Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Broccoli Tomato Salad





Perhaps this recipe is out of season. That is to say not out of "season"ing, but maybe it is more of a summer dish . I have a difficult time cutting off the cold fresh dishes when the weather gets cooler because I live in Arizona. Here we have "kinda hot "and "just warm" as the standard weather. When it becomes "just warm" or below 100 degrees I whip out the hot soups. I love soup! I often love to compliment the soup with some sort of bread or something salad -like. This is a beautiful salad that I think is great for any occasion. The dressing is delicious while the broccoli and tomato pair well together.

Ingredients:
1 large bunch broccoli, separated into florets
2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
3/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 green onions, sliced

Dressing:
3/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/3 cup tarragon or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

Directions:
Cook broccoli in a small amount of water for 5 minutes or until crisp- tender. Rinse with cold water and drain. Place in a large bowl; add tomatoes, mushrooms and onions. Combine dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid; shake well. Pour over salad; toss gently. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Serve and Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Death by S'mores Bars

I think that s'mores are the perfect dessert. I always have a chocolate bar, graham crackers, and marshmallows on hand just in case I need a go to dessert. These bars, however, are better. The crust is amazing and I might have to use it for other treats as well. It is like a fluffy, buttery, graham cracker slash cookie dough crust (yes I said "slash" not as pathetic as my poor food picture). When you take the buttery, yummy crust, top it with dark chocolate (that's how I roll), smear it with gooey marshmallow creme, with a final layer of the graham cracker dough it seemed like I was nailing the last nail in my coffin. These flavors work so well together, but as a bar, it is ten times better.

Needless to say my mom and I ate the whole pan in a day. Yum!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king-sized Hershey's milk chocolate bars (if you want a more subtle chocolate flavor use regular sized chocolate bars; enough to fit) I used dark chocolate bars :)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (7 1/2 oz jar)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.

3. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff. This part can be tricky. I made little disks with the dough and formed them into a sheet on some parchment paper then transferred it over. Spread it around gently.

4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Makes 16 cookie bars (or one giant one serving size bar if you are me).

Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Zucchini Cake like it was 1998

1998 was a really good year for food apparently. One day I went to the library to pick up some books I had on hold and low and behold they were selling a Taste of Home cookbook for 4 dollars. I am a sucker for old cookbooks. I scrounged up 4 dollars in change because I am ghetto like that and never carry cash.  Away I went with my cookbook and became fast friends with my new recipes.

Here is a Zucchini Cake recipe which I made to share with friends within my church, but sadly it never made it past my husband and I.  Besides being selfish, we felt okay about it. After all, it must be totally healthy with zucchini!!!!

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups shredded zucchini
walnuts (optional)

Frosting:
1 package cream cheese softened
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions:
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Combine oil, and eggs; add to dry ingredients and mix well. Add zucchini; stir until thoroughly combined. Fold in walnuts if desired. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 x 2 in baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool. Combine and mix ingredients for frosting and frost cake once cool. Serve and Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Crock pot Sunday Chicken


I recently learned of crock pot liners. Why hasn't anyone told me? I used to loathe my crock pot because it just doesn't clean up very easily. Enter crock pot liners and I am hoping to use that handy appliance daily. Between the crock pot liners and this easy recipe, I should be able to amazing things around here. This is tasty. It reminds me a bit of chicken marsala.

Ingredients:
1 pound of chicken cut into bite size chunks
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can french onion soup
12 oz fresh sliced mushrooms
2 stalks of celery diced

Directions:

Place chicken in the crock pot and cover with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes. Serve and enjoy! You can make it your own by adding carrots, peas, or whatever you love.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Greek Chicken Souvlaki

Once upon a time I came upon a Greek restaurant at the food court in a mall. I ordered their Chicken Souvlaki and was blown away. I then went home and had to find a recipe like it. I found this recipe and adapted it to my taste. This will be a repeat again and again.

Tzatziki Sauce
1 cups Greek Yogurt
Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 T)
1 garlic clove,
chopped 1/2 medium cucumber, seeded and diced ( I did not seed it)
1 T kosher salt
1 T finely chopped fresh dill
 Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions: Combine all ingredients, blend, or place in food processor.  Chill in fridge for flavors to marry while preparing chicken.

For the chicken:

3-4 breasts of chicken, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
3 T lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. fresh oregano or 1/4 tsp. dried
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 clove of garlic, minced
Pitas sprayed or spread with olive oil and sprinkled garlic salt

Directions:
Combine the spices with the oil and lemon juice. Cut the chicken into cubes; combine with the marinade and let sit 30 minutes. Assemble the skewers; grill for 5 minutes (or longer depending on temp), turning only once after 3 minutes; when done, the cooking juices from the chicken should be clear.

To serve, I sprayed the pitas with olive oil and sprinkled with garlic salt. I then placed them on the grill for 20 seconds or so on each side. Smear with tzatziki sauce, place chicken, sliced tomatoes, and feta cheese on top for garnish and serve. Opa!

It is delicious my friends, and tastes fresh and healthy (mostly healthy).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

THE Strawberry Cake




It is too bad it is such an ugly picture, because it really is a gorgeous cake. What's not to love about white cake with a cream cheesy layer topped with a billion strawberries and then smeared with strawberry glaze? My thoughts exactly! It is pretty easy too! Let me know if you try it. My hat goes off to strawberries this year. They have really made by belly proud!

Don't worry. It is really pretty easy.

Ingredients:
1 white cake mix. Make as directed.
8 oz pkg cream cheese room temp
Dream Whip made as directed
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups strawberries whole or cut in half if big
Danish Dessert, strawberry (in section with jello) made according to directions and cooled

Directions:
While cake is cooling from being baked as directed on box,
mix powdered sugar with cream cheese. Then
blend this mixture with Dream Whip mixture
Spread on cake
Place trimmed and sliced strawberries uniformly on cream cheese mixture.
Cover strawberries with Cooled Danish Dessert.
Place in fridge and replace in fridge with leftovers. Serve and Enjoy!

Tips:
  • In case you were unable to find the Danish Dessert, you could also use the strawberry glaze found near the fresh strawberries in the produce section.
  • You could also create your own mixing strawberry jello with corn starch. I have seen recipes for this on the internet.
  • The Dream Whip comes in a box found in the cake mix/jello section as well.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Healthy Summer Salad



First off, let's give credit where credit is due. I stole this from Amanda's cookin, and I would do it again because this salad is a good find. The only thing I might change is the cheese next time. I liked the smoked gouda, but I wouldn't mind switching it up either. So if you want to impress your friends, try it!

Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad

1 15-oz can chicken broth
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, cooked and cooled
1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 package grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup diced smoked gouda cheese
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, packed (I didn't have this and it was still yummy)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mayonnaise
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, about 4 turns

Directions:
Cook quinoa in chicken broth by bringing to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes covered. Remove from heat and cool completely. I placed in fridge while preparing the rest.In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, both vinegars and mayonnaise. Add salt to taste and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour half of dressing over remaining ingredients and taste before adding more. Chill in fridge for at least two hours before serving. This was great the next day and the next! Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grilled Romaine Hearts


Summer is for grilling. At least it is at my house. When it is 115 degrees outside, using the stove or oven seems like suicide. We often do the usual grilled steak or chicken, some fresh fruit of a sort, and a starch or grain. I found this little recipe in the Parade newspaper insert. I thought it tasted fresh with the lemon and warm crisp of the lettuce. I will say my husband did not care for it: "This is different, I don't know about warm lettuce!"

Ingredients:
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove minced
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. worcesteshire
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. freshly grated paremesan cheese
Olive oil spray
2 hearts of Romaine lettuce

Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, Worcesteshire, and pepper. Stir in the parmesan cheese.

Preheat the grill over medium-high heat. Oil the grill's surface. Remove any wilted outer leaves from the hearts, then cut the hearts lenghthwise down the middle leaving the ends intact so each half holds together.Spray them lightly with oilive oil spray.

Grill until grill marks from and the lettuce wilts slightly, about 6 minutes turning once or twice. Serve drizzled with above vinaigrette. Yum!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hawaiian French Toast




If you have recently had french toast for breakfast your stomach is going to hide into the furthest corner of your abdomen in shame after reading this. French toast will never be the same again after adding coconut to its mixture. As Emmeril Lagasse would say: "let's kick it up a notch!" Hawaiian style.

Basically you need this:



and this:



Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 teaspoon sugar, optional
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup coconut creamer
10 to 12 slices Kings Hawaiian Bread sliced rather thick
maple syrup or other syrup (can you imagine the possibilities with this recipe?)

Directions:

whisk or blend just slightly all the ingredients together except the bread. Place a little butter or oil in your pan or griddle. Dunk bread in mixture and cook both sides on medium heat to your liking making sure the egg is cooked. top with butter and your favorite syrup. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Pretties



Ok, so maybe they aren't that pretty to you, but to me this ugly old jar full of homemade processed jam is so pretty to me. Whenever I make something like homemade jelly I feel truly happy. It only resulted in about 4 jars, but I open my pantry every day and stare at them with such pride. I will never be a great chef or gourmet cook, but I will always try. I often fail, but I can't say I never tried and that is truly satisfying.

Strawberries and raspberries have been on sale lately. Stock up and make some of this delicious jam!

Ingredients:
4 cups crushed strawberries
1 cup crushed raspberries (raspberries were not on sale, but blackberries were, the substitution was tasty if you ask me)
2 Tbs lime juice
package of pectin
4 cups sugar

Directions:
Mix strawberries, raspberries & lime juice. Gradually
stir in pectin. Bring to a full roiling boil that cannot be
stirred down over high heat, stirring constantly.
Add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return to full boil. Boil
hard for a full minute stirring constantly. Remove from
heat. Ladle into jars & process in boiling water canner
for 15 min.

Serve and enjoy or just stare at them each day for one hour like I do.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

German Chocolate Cake with Cheesecake Center


This is a classic with a twist. It is mostly easy and very delicious!

Ingredients for the cake:
1 box of German Chocolate Cake mix
4 eggs (not kidding) plus whatever the cake mix needs
2 pkgs of cream cheese softened
1 1/2 cups sugar

Directions:
Mix cake mix as directed. In another bowl blend cream cheese, eggs, and sugar. Grease 9 x 13 pan and pour in 1/2 cake mix, then cream cheese mixture, and top with remaining cake mix. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool before frosting.

For Frosting:
Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Combine in sauce pan sugar, butter, evaporated milk, and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Fold in coconut and pecans. Pour and spread over cake. Serve and enjoy! It won't last long!



Before the frosting makeover ( I shaved off the uneven parts for an even topping)


After!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thai Chicken Pasta



Wowie! Where have I been? Well to answer that I should be sharing a recipe with sugar and spice and everything nice because I am now the proud mother of a darling baby girl. The nursery has been filled and so have our hearts. For a while there, our bellies were neglected. However, I am back in the kitchen and ready for summer dishes. This turned out to be pretty tasty if I do say so myself. My complaint is it was more sweet teriyaki tasting than Thai, but we loved it anyway.

Thai Chicken Pasta

3/4 Pkg of fettuccine noodles cooked
1 pound of chicken breasts
1 cup snow peas
1 cup carrots sliced thin

For the Sauce:
1/4 cup peanut oil
juice of one lime
1 clove of garlic minced
3 TBS of spiced ginger (the tube in the produce section )
3 TBS peanut butter (I used more to taste)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce

Directions:
Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce together. Pound the chicken into flatter pieces and place in ziplock bag. Poor sauce over the chicken leaving about 1/3 cup reserved for later. Place chicken in fridge for an hour or longer to marinade. Grill chicken basting a little more sauce over each piece. While chicken is cooking, cook pasta. Put the snow peas and carrots in the boiling water with the pasta in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and add diced chicken to pasta and veggies. Add remaining sauce if more flavor is desired. I used about 2 more additional tablespoon of sauce stirred into mixture. Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Take a Peek at the Nursery!

BEFORE:


I loved the red white and black. I still do, but am also really excited to add some fun patterns and most of all, PINK!



AFTER:


I wish my camera didn't suck so much so you could really see the colors. An amazing seamstress in AZ made the bumper and changing pad cover. I found the cardboard letter 'k' and covered it with pink paint. I then mod podged some of the leftover fabric from the bumper and added a few accents. The pom poms in the corner are from Martha Stewart. Darn her and her creativity! Finally, my favorite is the tu tu bed skirt. I simply tied tulle to a long ribbon and then used Velcro to attach it to the wooden bed frame.














NOW I JUST NEED A BABY! LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chicken Burritos



This week I was craving some creamy chicken burritos. The web proved that there are a lot of great recipes out there. I took what I loved from several recipes and came up with this little concoction. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts cooked shredded
flour tortillas
1 green bell pepper diced
1/2 diced red onion
4 oz cream cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can of black beans rinsed and drained
4 TBS of cream (optional)
1TBS of olive oil
1 cup cheddar cheese or mexican blend



Directions:



1. Saute green pepper and red onion and large skillet.
2. Add soup,black beans, and cream cheese and 2 TBS of cream.
3. Add chicken and simmer for 5 minutes.




4. Place filling on the middle of the tortilla and top mixture with cheese.



5. Fold like a burrito and spread remaining cream over the top of each burrito. Spread the remaining cheese over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Easy Mint Cake



Mint is always a good idea in my book. This cake is light on the mint side, but refreshing enough to make your day. This is also a great cake to make for someone. I made two. One for my big belly and one for the dental office I took my toddler to. Enjoy!

Crème De Menthe Cake

Ingredients:
1 white cake mix
3 1/2 TBS crème de mentheliquor
1 tub of cool whip
1 jar of chocolate ice cream topping (I used hot fudge)

Mix cake mix as directed on box. Add 2 Tablespoons of crème de menthe liquor. Mix and bake as directed. Spread hot fudge while cake is still warm and allow to cool. Mix remaining 1 1/2 Tablespoons of crème de menthe to cool whip, mix, and spread on top. Place in fridge until cool and keep in fridge in between servings. Let me know if it rocks your world like it does mine. Didn't think it would be that easy? Stay tuned! There is more where that came from!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Creamy Baked Mac n Cheese



Sometimes you just have to have a big bowl of macaroni and cheese. The Kraft kind will work once in a great while, but a big bowl of this recipe could be a regular at my household. I researched recipes and took what I loved from each one and came up with this. It was yummy in my large pregnant tummy.

Ingredients:
3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni shells
6 thick slices of bacon cooked and cut into small pieces.
2 cups milk
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup Colby cheese
1 cup Cotija cheese (found with other Mexican food dairy products)
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 can of Campbell's condensed cheese soup
2 Tbs butter
3/4 cup bread crumbs

Directions :
Blend milk, cottage cheese, cumin, salt and pepper, and soup in blender. Pour over dry noodles in casserole dish. Stir in bacon and half of each shredded cheese leaving the rest for the top. Add remaining cheese to the top. Combine butter and bread crumbs and spread as the final topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Serve and enjoy!