Thursday, December 24, 2009

Figgy Pudding

The last few Christmas Eves, we've made this "figgy" pudding (really chocolate pudding) to have after our tradition of "Rum Tum Piddly" which is a silly name for potato soup in bread bowls. We also borrow from the Danish the tradition of hiding a single almond in the pudding (theirs is rice). Whichever lucky soul who happens upon the almond gets to open the first present of Christmas Eve. One of our tastiest traditions, to be sure.

Figgy Pudding
(sans figs)

2 cubes butter, softened
2 C. flour
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 C. powdered sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups whole milk
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine butter and flour and press into bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, til golden brown. Let cool. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1/2 the whipped cream, set aside.

For the pudding: Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Whisk often. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

When crust is cool, spread on cream cheese mixture. Pour pudding on top and spread evenly. Top with sweetened whipped cream. Chill til served.

Pudding recipe from Smitten Kitchen, all the rest from friend Laurel.
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Cinnamon Honey Butter

This is what I am making to take to neighbors and the staff at the dental office. A loaf of yummy bread from The Whole Grain Bread Co. will accompany it. I knew I had to make the butter when the blog author said, "If you never try another recipe from this blog, TRY THIS ONE." Sold.

Cinnamon Honey Butter

4 sticks softened butter
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. honey
4 tsp. cinnamon

Blend all ingredients thoroughly. Spoon into jars and give oh give away. Or keep it all to yourself, up to you.

Recipe adapted from here.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lunchables and a menu

This is what we eat for lunch round here just about every day (or some variation of it). Lunchables, homemade style. Multigrain crackers, sliced deli meat, cheese, a veggie and a fruit. We all love it- if you ask my boy his favorite food he will say "peas open and crackers closed", because he likes me to open his snap peas and eat just the insides and he makes bite size sandwiches out of his crackers, turkey and cheese. This particular day, after the photo was snapped, he made a towering sandwich which included one piece of everything on his plate, including the orange. He stuffed the whole thing in his mouth and had us laughing for a good 5 minutes.

Here's whats for dinner at our house this week:

Sun- Mexican feast of tostadas with all the fixins, enchiladas, spanish rice, and cheesecake

Mon- leftover pulled pork, rice, zucchs and carrots

T- Corn chowder and whole wheat rolls

W- green chile burros, pineapple, salad, hot cocoa ice cream

Th- leftovers

F- tin foil dinners

Sat- St. Francis sounds good to me...
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Southwestern Egg Rolls

This is one of my very favorite recipes. Amanda made these for a Sunday dinner back when she and Mason lived in Utah, and I was lucky enough to partake. They were so so good, and I knew I had to have the recipe.

I know the ingredient list looks long, but don't let that deter you from trying these. I usually make a big batch and keep them in the freezer. They are easy to grab and take to work, or perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. I've never deep fried them as the recipe directs. I will just bake, or sometimes microwave them, depending on how hungry I am.

Southwestern Egg Rolls

  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half
  • 2 Tbs minced green onion
  • 2 Tbs minced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 c frozen corn kernels
  • 1/4 c black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbs frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 Tbs diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1/2 Tbs minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 5 (6 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 quart oil for deep frying
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook chicken approximately 5 minutes per side, until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in green onion and red pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until tender.
  3. Dice chicken and mix into the pan with onion and red pepper. Mix in corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until well blended and tender. Remove from heat and stir in Monterey Jack cheese so that it melts.
  4. Wrap tortillas with a clean, lightly moist cloth. Microwave on high approximately 1 minute or until hot and pliable.
  5. Spoon even amounts of the mixture into each tortilla. Fold ends of tortillas, then roll tightly around mixture. Secure with wet toothpicks. Arrange in medium dish, cover with plastic, and place in the freezer. Freeze at least 4 hours.
  6. In a large, deep skillet, heat oil for deep frying to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Deep fry frozen, stuffed tortillas for 10 minutes each, or until dark golden brown. Drain on paper towels before serving. (Instead of deep frying, you can bake them in the oven at 425 degrees F for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chocolate Mint Cookies

I saw this recipe on Becoming Betty, and thought it would be the perfect dessert to take to my enrichment activity tonight. If you like chocolate and mint, then you will love these cookies. Delish.

Chocolate Mint Cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Andy's Mint baking chips
  • 1 bag Candy Cane Hershey's kisses
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside.

2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in mint chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 8 to 9 minutes. (Do not over bake; cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.) Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack and place a kiss on top.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Banana Bran Muffins

These turned out to be quite tasty. I made a double batch and froze a bunch for an easy grab and go breakfast. I also added chocolate chips because I had a half a bag that needed to be used, and I love chocolate chips in breads. Maybe the chocolate chips made these extra delicious. I don't feel too bad about it because I'm getting my potassium and 3 grams of fiber from each muffin, which is pretty good if you ask me.

Banana Bran Muffins

From EatingWell: May/June 1997

1 dozen muffins | Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup mashed banana, (2 medium bananas)
  • 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, or walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk egg, egg white and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Add buttermilk, banana, bran, oil and vanilla and whisk until blended. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and sprinkle with nuts. Bake until tops spring back when touched lightly, 15 to 20 minutes. Loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool.


Per muffin : 197 Calories; 7 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 4 g Mono; 18 mg Cholesterol; 33 g Carbohydrates; 4 g Protein; 3 g Fiber; 251 mg Sodium; 188 mg Potassium

2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 2 other carbohydrate, 1 fat

Monday, November 23, 2009

Giant Cookie Cake

Our big little boy turned three yesterday. After showing him a few different options of cakes I could make him, he decided he liked the one made of giant cookies. Good choice, bud. This idea would be fun just to make the cookies w/out turning it into a cake... it ends up being A LOT of frosting.

Giant Cookie Cake
Serves 16

4 C. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
6 T. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 C. light brown sugar
3/4 C. granulated sugar
3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, plus two egg yolks
3/4 C. heavy cream
3 C. semi sweet chocolate chips
5 pkgs cream cheese, room temp
2 C. confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Cream butter and sugars in mixing bowl. Add in vanilla, eggs, and yolks. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the cream. Stir in chocolate chips.

For each of the 5 layers, drop one level cup batter onto center of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. To make the circle even, trace an 8-inch plate or bowl on the underside of the paper. (Refrigerate unbaked dough.) Spread dough into a circle. Bake til edges are golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven. Use spatula to reshape circle. Return to oven and bake til edges are golden brown, about 6 minutes more. Transfer to wire rack to cool. *There will be leftover dough

Mix cream cheese and sugar in clean mixing bowl. Spread onto 4 cookies. Stack cookies, placing unfrosted cookie on top. Refrigerate til frosting is set, at least 20 minutes or up to 4 hours. Serve at room temp.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Lemon Cream Pasta with Veggies

I will always associate this dish with celebrating nephew Jonah's arrival, when we had it for Sunday dinner at Mase and Amanda's. Really, really delicious- and such a happy memory.

Lemon Cream Pasta with Veggies

1 T. olive oil
1 garlic clove
2 C. heavy cream
3 lemons
salt and pep
1 pound pasta of choice
2 medium zucchini
2 medium yellow squash
1/2 C. freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook just for a few seconds- not more than 30, or it will burn, and burnt garlic is so bitter and nasty. Add cream, zest and juice of two of the lemons, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Simmer sauce for about 20 minutes on medium-low.

Bring large pot of water to boil. Add 1 T. salt and pasta. Cook according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Immediately add cream mixture and cook for about three minutes. Steam zucchs and squash, and add to the pasta. Toss in parmesan and tomatoes. Slice the last lemon and add a few slices to the pasta, to make it purty. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.

* We've also made this with broccoli and it's yum too.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pumpkin Cranberry Pancakes

We are LOVING our pumpkin pancake/waffle mix from TJ's. I was there a couple weeks back and this was their tasting sample. Knocked my socks off. If you don't have the mix, I am sure there are a number of simple recipes for pumpkin pancakes on the net.

Pumpkin Cranberry Pancakes

(This is more of a method than a recipe.)

Pumpkin pancake dry mix
egg, milk, and butter as box directs
fresh cranberries
real maple syrup
pecan halves

Prepare batter as box directs. Preheat griddle or skillet. Grease pan and pour batter by 1/4 cupfulls. Add cranberries to batter. When pancakes are dry round the edges and bubbles start to burst, flip and continue cooking on other side. Meanwhile, heat maple syrup in saucepan over low heat. Add pecans to syrup, warm through, and serve over finished pancakes. Perfect fall recipe!
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cuties and a menu, 11-15-09

Happiness filled my heart when I came accross this box of clementines at Trader Joes last week. I proceeded to buy two boxes on the spot, and another at Costco later that day. There have been a couple times when I've been duped into buying a box of mandarins... and they're not the same. Gotta be clementines.

Here's what we're eating for dinner at our house this week:

Sun- spaghetti, garlic breadsticks, pizza salad, and Texas sheet cake

M- roast chicken, steamed broccoli and rice

T- mini hamburgers and glazed carrots

W- leftovers

Th- lemon fusilli pasta with zucchs, squash and tomatoes (recipe to come)

F- out (carbing up for Chris' bike race Sat. am)

Sat- cold cereal, most likely.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ravioli & Vegetable Soup

My diet has been extremely lacking in the area of fresh food (mainly fruits & veggies) for the last few weeks. This week, I recommitted to eating more vegetables and decided that this soup would be a good start.

My notes:
  • I used fresh bell pepper, left out the onion, and used cheese tortellini.
  • It was a bit spicier than I thought it would be, but I still liked it. If you're planning to serve it to kids, I'd probably omit the crushed red pepper flake.
  • Next time I might opt to just use regular canned diced tomatoes, not fire roasted.
  • Other than that, it was a nice hearty soup that was delicious with some Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top and a nice piece of crusty bread for dipping.

Ravioli & Vegetable Soup


Fresh or frozen ravioli cook in minutes and turn this light vegetable soup into a main course. Look for whole-wheat or whole-grain ravioli in the refrigerated or frozen section of the supermarket. Tortellini can be used instead of ravioli as well.

4 servings, about 2 cups each | Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups frozen bell pepper and onion mix, thawed and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed crushed red pepper, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 15-ounce can vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil or marjoram
  • 1 6- to 9-ounce package fresh or frozen cheese (or meat) ravioli, preferably whole-wheat
  • 2 cups diced zucchini, (about 2 medium)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pepper-onion mix, garlic and crushed red pepper (if using) and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth, water and basil (or marjoram); bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add ravioli and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions. Add zucchini; return to a boil. Cook until the zucchini is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Season with pepper.


Per serving : 264 Calories; 9 g Fat; 3 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 28 mg Cholesterol; 38 g Carbohydrates; 11 g Protein; 8 g Fiber; 763 mg Sodium; 762 mg Potassium

2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 1 fat

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Thin with broth before reheating, if desired.


For my husband's thirtieth birthday party, I made those pies in jars I had been dying over a few weeks back. They were lots of work but lots of fun. I made some apple, some peach, some pumpkin, and some blackberry, at Chris' request. I found the short squatty jars at Ace Hardware, since they were sold out on Amazon. Here is the blackberry pie recipe I used, adapted from a Blueberry pie I found in my ATK cookbook. This recipe makes one regular pie, follow the link to the pies in jars for instructions on making and baking those.

Blackberry Pie

6 cups blackberries
1 C. plus one T. sugar
4 T. potato starch
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp. allspice
pinch nutmeg
1 recipe double crust pie dough
2 T. unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Adjust oven rack to lowest position, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Toss blackberries, 1 C. sugar, potato starch, lemon juice, lemon zest, and spices together and let stand for 15 minutes. Place bottom crust into pie plate and roll out top crust to a 12 inch circle. Spread berries in the unbaked crust bottom and dot with butter. Lay top crust over berries, seal and crimp the edges, and cut four vent holes. brush crust with egg white and sprinkle with 1 T. of sugar. Place pie on baking sheet and in the oven, then lower the temp to 425. Bake til top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet, reduce oven temp again to 375, and continue to bake til crust is deep golden brown, about 30-35 minutes longer. Transfer to wire rack and cool before serving. You can store this pie at room temperature wrapped in foil for two days.

Double-crust Pie Dough

2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
8 T. vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces and chilled
12 T. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cun into small pieces and chilled
8 T. ice water

Process the flour, sugar and salt in a food proccesor til combined. Scatter shortening over top and process about ten seconds. Scatter butter over top and, using short pulses, process til it resembles coarse crumbs, about ten pulses. Transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle ice water over mixture. Stir and pressdough together with a rubber spatula. Divide dough into to even pieces and flatten into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour. Let dough soften slightly before rolling out.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I'd publish a few pumpkin recipes that I think are delicious. Hope you enjoy!

This Pumpkin Cheesecake was a hit at our Thanksgiving dinner last year. Recipe complements of my friend Katy.


For the crust

* 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
* 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
* 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the filling

* 1 1/2 cups solid pack pumpkin
* 3 large eggs
* 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
* three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, cut into bits and softened
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 2 tablespoons heavy cream
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch
* 1 teaspoon vanilla


Make the crust:
In a bowl combine the cracker crumbs, the pecans, and the sugars, stir in the butter, and press the mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the side of a buttered 9-inch springform pan. Chill the crust for 1 hour.

Make the filling:
In a bowl whisk together the pumpkin, the egg, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the ginger, the salt, and the brown sugar. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and the granulated sugar, beat in the cream, the cornstarch, the vanilla, the bourbon liqueur, and the pumpkin mixture, and beat the filling until it is smooth.

Pour the filling into the crust, bake the cheesecake in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the center is just set, and let it cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes.

Pumpkin Bread

This AMAZING pumpkin bread recipe was given to me by a friend. It is very likely the best pumpkin bread I've ever tasted. If you like pumpkin, you must try!!!


3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease
two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large mixing, combine sugar, oil and eggs; beat until
smooth. Add water and beat until well blended. Stir in pumpkin,
ginger, allspice and cinnamon.
3. In medium bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, and baking powder.
Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until all
ingredients are mixed. Divide batter between prepared pans.
4. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mango Smoothies

We love a good smoothie round here, and we've had our fill this week. Mango smoothies are up there in our top couple faves. Recipe from Williams-Sonoma.

Mango Smoothies

2 cups frozen mango cubes
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups milk
1 banana, coarsely chopped
2 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Blend and serve. (Trader Joes has delicious frozen mango year-round.)

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Our menu is very flexible this week- we're nursing our daughter back to health after she had a tonsilectomy on Monday. I made this soup last night, and it was just what the doctor ordered, for all of us. Recipe adapted from one found on For the Love of Cooking.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

2 T. olive oil
2-3 T. yellow onion, finely diced
2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
couple dashes of oregano
couple dashes of thyme
1 chicken bouillon cube
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
6 cups chicken broth
3 cups of baking potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups of roasted chicken, shredded
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup half n half
2 cups uncooked egg noodles

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery; sauté for 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for an additional 60 seconds, stirring constantly.
Season the cooked vegetables with oregano, thyme, chicken bouillon, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Add 5 1/2 cups of chicken broth and potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer partially covered, 20 minutes or until the potato is tender.
Combine the cornstarch with the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth and mix thoroughly. Add cornstarch mixture, chicken, half-n-half and egg noodles to the broth, and cook for 10 minutes or until the noodles are tender.
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Pie in a Jar

Oh. My. Word. Just when I think I've seen it all... This is so fun, I can't wait to test it out. Find the instructions here. I love the internet.
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Seven Wives Inn Granola

There is a little bed and breakfast in St. George, Utah that has the most delicious breakfasts. I've asked the owner for a couple of her recipes, and she shared them willingly. First, the granola. I love the addition of the coconut and the peanut butter. It makes a nice big batch, so I keep some out to eat and freeze the rest for later use.

Seven Wives Inn Granola


8 cups oats, not instant
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cup wheat germ (optional)
8 oz. almonds
8 oz cashews
8 oz coconut, unsweetened large ribbon
3 oz sunflower seeds
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup raisins


Mix first seven ingredients in a large bowl. Heat water, oil, honey, and peanut butter until it begins to bubble. Add vanilla and pour over dry ingredients. Mix well and spread on two large cookie sheets. Bake in 200 degree oven for about two hours or until coconut is golden. Stir occasionally while baking. Add raisins when cool. Store in an airtight container.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Corn Cakes

Came across this fun appetizer on Prudence Pennywise a few weeks back. Very tasty- kids and adults gobbled them up. I think they would be outstanding with some of Shawna Ellsworth's salsa... must get that recipe.

Corn Cakes

1 and 1/2 cups corn kernels, divided use
1/4 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth or water
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch salt
heaping 1/2 cup masa harina
1/4 cup flour

In a blender, combine 3/4 cup corn kernels and butter. Process until almost smooth. Pour into bowl and add remaining ingredients, including remaining 3/4 cup corn kernels. Shape into 12 small patties. Preheat griddle over medium high heat and lightly coat with butter. Cook patties like pancakes, until golden brown on each side. Serve with avocado, sour cream, and fresh salsa.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Menu, 10-4-09

Hold the Onions Readers, please pray for Maren this week. She is getting all 4 wisdom teeth pulled today and will be on a steady diet of liquified food for the next few days. Her last meal is going to be a big fat In-n-Out cheeseburger before the big event. Best of luck Mare!

Here's whats for dinner round here this week...

Sun- Paula Deen's pot roast, mom's homemade rolls (she did good, Kelli!), layered green salad, balsamic roasted potatoes and carrots, and Laurel's layered chocolate pudding dessert- must post recipe for that soon, it is THE BEST.

M- broccoli cheese soup, rolls, green salad w/ walnuts and pears

T- leftovers

W- spinach ravioli with marinara sauce and steamed squash

Th- maybe stirfry again- it was so good last week!

F- pepperoni pizza

S- going out, or taking out
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oreo Banana Cream Pie

Chris took me out for a wonderful dinner for my birthday a couple months ago. We ate at one of the restaurants inside the Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Scottsdale. Our dinner was delish. But one thing stood out above all the rest of the meal. DESSERT. Mini root beer floats and an Oreo banana cream pie with caramel sauce and a crispy cinnamon sugar banana slice. I could not get over how amazing it was. ATK helped me recreate the pie for my Mom's birthday earlier this month. The only thing I cannot figure out is the fried banana. Mine turned to mush. I am stumped and would welcome any suggestions.

Oreo Banana Cream Pie

16 Oreo cookies, broken into rough pieces (not double stuffed)
2 T. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Grind cookies in food processor until fine crumbs. With machine running, pour butter through tube til incorporated. Transfer crumbs to pie plate. Press crumbs into an even layer on the bottom and sides of pie plate. Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Cool.

1/2 C. plus 2 T. sugar
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
5 large egg yolks
2 C. whole milk
1/2 C. evaporated milk
1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise
2 T. unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas

Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the egg yolks, then immediately but gradually whisk in the milk and evaporated milk. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean halves with a knife. Add both vanilla seeds and pod to the pot. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whsiking frequently, then cook for one minute til mixture is thick and smooth. Off the heat, discard the vanilla bean pod and whisk in the butter.

Pour filling into a shallow pan and lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling to prevent a skin from forming and allow to cool at room temp til just warm, about 30 minutes. Pour 1/2 the filling into the Oreo crust, add a layer of 2 ripe bananas, sliced thin, and pour in the remaining filling. Again lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate the pie until completely chilled, about 4 hours.

1 C. heavy cream, chilled
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
caramel sauce

Just before serving, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla together in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Spread over top of the pie. Drizzle with caramel sauce and top with additional sliced bananas, if you fancy.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mango Chicken

When Mason and I were living in Utah, his cousins had us over for dinner. They made this dish and we were hooked. We make it all of the time. It is healthy and DELICIOUS!! Enjoy!


3-4 chicken breasts
1/3 c. teriyaki sauce
1/3 c. pineapple juice
1/3 c. honey
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
black pepper to taste

(Keep 1/3 c. for basting)


1 avocado, diced
1 mango, diced
1 tomato, diced (squish out seeds)
5 green onions, chopped
½ c. cilantro leaves, cut with kitchen shears
1-2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced (put sandwich bag over hand to take seeds out)
juice of 1 lime

Marinate meat for approximately 6 hours. Grill meat, while basting with extra sauce. Make salsa right before serving. Serve meat with salsa on top.

Note: Leftovers are excellent on salad with Brianna’s Poppyseed salad dressing.

Menu 9-27-09

On the menu for us this week:

Sun- baked potato bar, BLT salad, caramel apple turnovers

M- breakfast for dinner

T- stirfry

W- chicken and pasta alfredo with veggies

Th- lemony chicken over mixed greens

F- roast and mashed potatoes

Sat- pizza?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Carrot Cake

I have never been a huge fan of carrot cake, because of all the chunks. I was intrigued when I saw a recipe that called for carrot baby food. I liked the puree idea, but jarred baby food just tastes NASTY and that won't do.
America's Test Kitchen came to the rescue again. I've made this cake twice in the last couple weeks. Grating the carrots takes a little while... I'd be interested to see how the food processor does.

Carrot Cake

2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs, room temp
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 C. veg oil
1 lb. carrots, peeled and grated

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat the oven to 350. Lightly coat a 9 by 13 cake pan with veg oil spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk the eggs and sugars together in a large bowl until frothy and the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 1 min. While whisking, slowly add the oil until the mixture is thoroughly combined, about 1 min. Whisk in the flour mixture til no streaks remain. Stir in the carrots. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until center of cake is done, 40-50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack about two hours. Run a knife around edges of pan, invert the cake on a cooling rack, peel off the parchment, then invert again onto a serving platter.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 T. unsalted butter, softened
1 T. sour cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 C. powdered sugar

Mix the cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla with an electric mixer til combined. Add the powdered sugar and mix til smooth. Frost, and dive in!
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Lady and Sons

A couple weeks back, Kelli and I went to Florida to visit Mason, Amanda and Jonah (our brother and his family). At the top of our to-do list was a road trip to Savannah, Georgia to dine at Paula Deen's restaurant, The Lady and Sons. It was a Saturday, and they were booked for lunch and also dinner. But Mason worked his magic on the hostess and within a few minutes we were seated. :) Just being there was so very fun. The staff was outstanding- so friendly. I don't know quite how to say this, I feel as though I am betraying Paula, but our meal was just OK. It was right up there with Chuck-O-Rama buffet. I am so glad we did it, just to say we did. All around our meal was a fun one, just not THE most delicious. We were spoiled the rest of the trip by Amanda's exceptional cooking, which IS something to write home about. I'm hoping she'll post her Mango Chicken recipe for us... whaddaya say Mandy?
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Manicotti with Spinach

This one's a family favorite. Yum yum.

Manicotti with Spinach

1 box (8 oz) uncooked manicotti shells
2 C shredded Italian cheese blend (8 oz)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1 box (10 oz) frozen spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 jar (25.5 oz) marinara sauce
1 C. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c. half n half

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Cook manicotti as directed on box. Rinse and drain well.
2. In medium bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups of the Italian cheese blend, the red pepper, ricotta cheese, spinach, garlic and egg.
3. In bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce. Spoon ricotta mixture into manicotti; place over sauce in dish. Mix remaining sauce with half n half then pour over manicotti.
4. Cover tightly with foil; bake about 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling. Uncover dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Italian cheese blend and 1 C. parmesan. Bake uncovered 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
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9-20-09 Menu

Here's what we're having for din din this week:

Sun- Pasta al Forno, spinach salad, rolls, coconut chocolate chip cookies

M- double decker tacos

T- hawaiian pizza (kid's request)

W- chicken salad sammies

Th- penne with roasted veggies

F- taking advantage of AZ Restaurant Week

Sat- leftovers?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Strawberry Crunch

This is one of the yummiest desserts ever! The combination of flavors is unbelieveable. Any chocolate chip cookie will do, but my favorite recipe is from here.

Strawberry Crunch

8 oz. fresh strawberries
3 chocolate chip cookies
1 heaping tsp. orange zest
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. melted butter
vanilla yogurt ( I used Strauss because it's really runny- perfect for drizzling)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sliced strawberries, orange zest, and sugar in a medium bowl. Pour the strawberry mixture into an oven-safe dish and crumble the cookies on top. Drizzle melted butter all over and bake for 7 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla yogurt drizzled over the top. DIVINE!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C. butter
1 C. sugar
1 C. brown Sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. whole wheat flour
2 1/2 C. oatmeal (Blend in blender or food processor until powdery)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 4 oz. Hershey’s bar (grated)

Cream together butter & sugars. Add eggs & vanilla. In a separate bowl mix together flour, oats, salt, baking powder & baking soda then add to butter/sugar mixture. Stir in chips & grated Hershey’s bar. Bake on ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart for 8 minutes @ 375.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Menu, Sept. 13

Found these funny sammies and thought I'd pass them along.

Here's what we're having for dinner this week:

Sun- brocooli chicken casserole, fresh fruit and coconut dip, caesar salad, cornbread, banana cream pie

M- roast chicken, balsamic roasted carrots and potatoes

T- taco salad

W- chicken pot pie

Th- tostadas with homemade refried beans, tamale griddle cakes


Sat- ???
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Restaurant Week

Arizonans, it's that time again! Chris and I are at a loss as to which restaurant to try. Roy's, Flemings, Ocean Prime, Cowboy Ciao, and The Green House are all on our to-try list. The website has all the info you'll need. Hooray!
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Eating Out

My husband has had the opportunity to be a part-investor in a new Phoenix restaurant that opened last week-
St. Francis. It's been in the works for a while so it was fun to go get the grand tour and try out the food. Aaron Chamberlin is the owner/chef and he is awesome! He has had several highly acclaimed restaurants in New York, San Fransisco, and was part of the opening team that started LeGrande Orange, Chelsea's Kitchen, and Radio Milano here in the valley. The restaurant itself was an old brick building that they renovated and they did an outstanding job. The architecture is amazing and there are lots of really cool details. St. Francis is a must-try.!

Important Notes:

*the rustic wood-burning oven
*the glass garage door downstairs that opens up to an outdoor courtyard
*kids under 6 eat free
*the custom bathroom sinks
*the chalkboard
*the crispy fingerling potatoes with lemon aioli
*romaine hearts and spring vegetables with buttermilk cheddar dressing
*the pepper crusted flat-iron steak
*the sticky toffee pudding with sweet cream gelato

Go here for the full menu. I'm sure we'll see you there, we're going tonight for the third time this week.