"Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children." Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cornish Game Hens

This was our Christmas Eve dinner.
I made 10 Cornish Game Hens, Stuffing, Roasted Veggies, Artichoke Cups, and Rolls. For dessert, my mom made Haddon Hall Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce and Kathie made Egg Nog.
We ate very well.

I got the recipe for the Cornish Game Hens from another blog, The Open Pantry. Thanks so much for the help, Emily!

Garlic and Herb Roasted Cornish Game Hens
Recipe by: Emily

2 Cornish Game Hens, washed and dried
1/2 tsp dried Tarragon
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1 tsp Parsley, dried
1 tsp Chives, dried
2-3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Orange, cut into wedges
4 tbsp Butter, softened
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1. Combine the butter, herbs, salt and pepper together. Smear each game hen with the butter. Be sure to lift the hen skin and rub the butter underneath and on top of the skin. Lightly sprinkle the hen cavities with salt and pepper and then fill each cavity with the orange wedges. Place hens on a baking sheet and tuck the wings underneath the bodies and then tie the drumbsticks together with kitchen twine. Bake in a 450 degree preheated oven for 55-60 minutes. After 15 minutes cover the hens with foil to keep them from over browning and then remove the foil for the last 5 minutes to crisp the skin. Allow hens to rest after baking for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!!
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Ham Fried Rice

I got this recipe from my mom. My exact words when she made this were, "That's not a main dish, that's a side dish!" What did I do? Ate it as my main dish and LOVED it. But you could also use it as a side dish. And I am not a mushroom lover, but I LOVE mushrooms in this dish.

2-3 Cups Minute Rice
1 -2 Cups Cubed Ham
1/2 Green Pepper
1 or 2 Celery Stocks - depending on how much you like celery
1 small can Mushrooms, drained - sometimes I add two because they are SO yummy
3 Green Onions
4 Tbsp. or so of Soy Sauce
2 Eggs

Wash and cut up vegetables and ham. Let cook over medium heat. In another pan, start boiling water for minute rice. Follow directions on box. When your vegetables are cooked, push to the side and add the eggs in the middle of the pan stirring them.  Once cooked (like scrambled eggs) then mix in with the other ingredients. Make sure the eggs are fully cooked. Then add rice and soy sauce.
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Mozzarella Chicken

The Finished Product

I got this recipe from my sister, Suzie. Except she calls it Swiss Chicken because she uses swiss cheese. I use mozzarella because my hubby is lactose intolerant and mozzarella has lower levels of lactose.
Anyway... it is SUPER easy and delicious!

2 Chicken Breasts
8 oz Swiss or Mozzarella Cheese
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1-2 Cups of Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing (Pictured Below)

You can put the chicken breasts in the baking dish whole or cube them. My husband likes it cubed because each bite is then covered in the yummy gooeyness of it all.
Layer chicken, cheese, cream of chicken soup, then sprinkle uncooked stuffing on the top until completely covered, in that order.
Cook at 350 for 45 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

You can get this in any store. There is another package that is red, but buy the blue. The red has bigger chunks.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

T-Rex Cake

Carson's 5th Birthday Cake

1 Cake Mix (plus ingredients to make it)
3 Cans of frosting
Food Coloring

I took the easy way out.
Ok, again, I had to post it just cuz I'm proud of my accomplishment.
Maybe I should have made part of it from scratch so I could be helpful.

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Tree Skirt

I had to post this even though it's not a recipe or even food. But I was very proud of myself. I didn't have a pattern but I was determined to make one. I really didn't think it would be as hard as it was. If I had had a pattern, it wouldn't have been bad.
My advice? Get a pattern.
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)

I'm not sure why we call this Puppy Chow, but we do and it is good!

1 Box Rice Chex (12.8 oz)
2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Cube Margarine (Room temp)
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
Powdered Sugar

In a pan, melt chocolate, peanut butter, and margarine that is room temperature together over medium heat. Constantly stir. Do not over cook. When melted, remove from heat and add vanilla. Mix with cereal until evenly coated. Place in Zip Lock bag and add powdered sugar. I do about 1/4 of the batch at a time. Be generous with your powdered sugar so all you see is white, but not too much.

Funny story, a few years ago I was making this and while melting the chocolate mixture, it turned into fudge. Which was actually really good. The next few times I made it, it did the same thing! The only thing that I did differently was that I used butter and it wasn't room temp. It may have been on too high a heat or cooked for too long, too. Anyway, I added some marshmallows and graham crackers to the "fudge" and it was really yummy.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Turkey Steak Sandwiches

Turkey Steaks
Rosette Buns
Litehouse Thousand Island Dressing
Olive Oil
DeVerle's Seasoning
And whatever else you like on a sandwich

Soooo yummy. And living in Arizona, I've been deprived of these for too long.
For those in Cache Valley, Utah, or anyone who has ever been to Juniper Take Out or Maddox, you know what I'm talking about.

When I was in high school, I worked at a restaurant in Logan, Utah, called Juniper Take Out. I may have been the best employee ever. Every penny I ever made went straight back into their pockets because I could not stay away from their food. I basically worked for food. Sadly, their prices have sky rocketed, and as a poor med student's wife, I can no longer afford their extremely delicious food. (Hint Hint, Kirk) So I have found an alternative. You can buy at almost any local (northern Utah) grocery store, frozen turkey steaks from Maddox. I then buy some of the best buns out there, rosette buns from the bakery that's located in Macey's in Providence. And honestly, they're better buns than what Juniper uses. Sorry Juniper.

And then this is what I do.

Defrost turkey steaks in microwave completely.
Warm up your griddle that you would normally use for pancakes, etc. to medium high. If you don't have a griddle, a frying pan works just fine. With a griddle you can cook a lot more at one time and it's easier to handle.
Cover the surface you'll use in olive oil.
Place the turkey steaks in the olive oil making sure they're completely coated. Move the steaks over and place more olive oil on the griddle. Then flip the turkey steaks, covering the other sides in olive oil. After each side is oiled up, generously sprinkle the DeVerle's Seasoning on both sides. Turn occasionally until browned to your liking. Then turn the heat down to medium and let them cook through without burning.
Place on rosette bun with Litehouse Thousand Island Dressing and if you'd like to add tomatoes, cheese, lettuce and whatever else, please do.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Meatball Subs

I've never had a meatball sub, but the idea came to me today and it sounded pretty good. I was pleasantly surprised and this will definitely be coming back.

Hoagie Buns
Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1 lb Hamburger
1 Egg
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
2 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
1/2 Tbsp. Garlic Salt

Put all ingredients for meatballs in a bowl and mix well. Form into 1 x 1 inch balls. Place olive oil on a 9 x 13 baking sheet and put the meatballs on that. Cook at 350 for 20 minutes.

Warm spaghetti sauce in a pan, do not add meatballs.  Many recipes that I read said to do that, which I did but some of the grease from the meatballs thinned the sauce and made it runny.

Cut hoagie buns almost all the way through and put face up on a 9 x 13 baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Cover both sides of the hoagie bun with mozzarella cheese. Broil in the oven until cheese is melted.

Place meatballs and sauce on hoagie buns. To make it easier to eat, you can cut the meatballs in half and lay flat side down.

Spaghetti & Meatballs

My boys wouldn't eat a meatball sub so they opted for Spaghetti & Meatballs. Sorry it's not the best picture, the steam kept getting in the way.
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Navajo Tacos

Fry Bread:
1 batch of my Mom's Homemade Roll dough
Vegetable Oil

1 lb Hamburger
1/2 Cup Ketchup
1 Tbsp. Mustard
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 can Tomatoes
1 can Pinto Beans - drained
2 tsp. Garlic Salt

Cheddar Cheese
Sour Cream

Make roll dough recipe.
About 20 minutes before the dough is finished, start browning the hamburger. Remove grease and add all ingredients except the garlic salt. Cover and let simmer for about 20 mintues. Then add garlic salt.

Fill frying pan about 1 inch tall with vegetable oil and get it hot. Then fry the bread one at a time unless your pan is big enough. Place on paper towels and pat dry. When finished, place the filling and whatever toppings you would like on top of the fry bread.

An easier way to do this (and probably what I'll do from now on just for the sake of time and effort) is to use cans of chili instead of making your own filling. It was pretty good, though!
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Paradise Bakery Sugar Cookies

For the addicts and soon to be addicts of the Paradise Bakery Sugar Cookies

At a relief society planning meeting, the host bought us Paradise Bakery Sugar Cookies. It was one of the most addicting and delicious sugar cookies I've ever had. And of course, I thought to myself, I'm sure I can find a recipe for those online. Which I did. Yay! I googled Paradise Bakery Sugar Cookies and this site came up. I will say that they don't taste 100% the same but like 97%. Pretty close.

Don't substitute regular flour for cake flour. I couldn't find it at Walmart, but did find it at Albertsons. Follow the directions exactly!

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups shortening
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg, beaten
4 1/3 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
sugar, for decorating

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugars and shortening using an electric mixer.
3. Mix on slow speed 30 seconds, then scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
4. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
5. Slowly add vanilla and beaten egg while mixing.
6. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, mixing on slow speed until just blended. Do not overmix.
7. Scoop with an ice-cream scoop and roll in sugar.
8. Place directly on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with palm of hand.
9. Bake at 375° for 9-10 minutes. Cookies are done when small cracks appear and are pale golden. Ideally, the edges do not brown.

I was following the directions for baking them, but they just didn't seem done so I let them go a couple minutes longer. I should have stopped sooner. The first batch are the ones on the right with bigger cracks. The following batches I cooked for just enough time. They're both really yummy, though.
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Strawberry Salad

This is a very summery salad but it's still 80 here in AZ so I think it's still ok.

1 Head of Romaine
1 lb of Stawberries
1 Cup of sliced Red Grapes

Poppy Seed Dressing:1/2 Cup Mayo
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Milk
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Poppy Seeds

Add all ingredients for poppy seed dressing and wisk until well mixed. Put in fridge until salad is put together.

Wash lettuce, strawberries, and grapes. Cut lettuce if not already. Slice strawberries & grapes and add to salad.
Wisk dressing again and add to salad right before serving so the salad won't wilt.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

The Best Broccoli Cheese Soup

I got this recipe from my mom. It is one of my favorite meals and always has been. The only thing missing here is a bread bowl. I've been craving it since it's cooled down. And since I'm in Arizona by "cool down", I mean in the 60's. I've been freezing! :)

2 large or 3 smaller heads of Broccoli or
a bag of frozen broccoli that you can steam in the microwave
6 Tbsp Butter
3/4 Cup Flour
6 Cups Milk
8 oz of shredded Cheddar Cheese
3 Chicken Bouillon cubes
Salt & Pepper to taste

If you are using fresh broccoli, wash it and cut it up. In a big pot, cook your broccoli in a couple inches of water.  If you are using frozen steam-able broccoli, then wait until further instructed.

Pour 6 cups of milk into microwave safe bowl and heat for about 5 minutes or cook in a pot on the stove over medium heat, careful not to curdle it.

To make a roux (to thicken the soup), get a large pot and melt butter over medium heat.  Add flour to melted butter and whisk for about a minute to get rid of the floury taste.

Add the warm/hot milk slowly and whisk until thick (10-15 minutes).  If you add cold milk this process will take much longer and your arm will be very sore.

While you're doing this put the frozen broccoli in the microwave and cook as directed.

Once the roux has thickened, take it off the heat and stir in the cheese.

Cut up the broccoli as small as you would like it and add it.  Add the salt and pepper to taste.  If it is too thick you can add about 1/4 - 1/2 cup more milk or water to thin it.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

French Bread Pizza

1 loaf French Bread
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove
3 Tbsp or so of Italian Seasoning
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese

Cut french bread length-wise as evenly as possible. I wasn't very good at that. In a small bowl, mix olive oil and minced garlic. Brush onto bread. Sprinkle about 2 Tbsp of seasoning onto the bread. Put in an oven at 350 for about 5 minutes. Take out and spoon and smooth pizza sauce over the bread leaving about 1/2 inch before the edge. Then top with cheese and more italian seasoning. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. You can also use more of your favorite pizza toppings.
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Chicken Parmesan

FYI for my recipes. My hubby is lactose intolerant so usually when I call for some diary product, I either substitute it for his milk or a product that has lesser levels of lactose, like mozzarella cheese. So this isn't really Chicken Parmesan, it's more like Chicken Mozzarella. I also used linguine here instead of spaghetti. I think I like it better with spaghetti.

2 Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Flour
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp Milk
1 1/2 C. Seasoned Bread Crumbs
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
8 oz Mozzarella Cheese
Spaghetti Sauce

Place the chicken inbetween 2 sheets of plastic wrap or place in a large ziploc bag. Using a meat mallot, pound it until nearly flat. Cut each piece of chicken into serving size pieces.
Mix the eggs and milk together. Cover the chicken in the flour, then the egg and milk mixture, then the seasoned bread crumbs. Place oil in frying pan and get warm. Brown the chicken in the oil on both sides and place in baking dish. Cook at 350 for about 45 minutes or until chicken is done. Start boiling the water for the spaghetti about 15 minutes before the chicken is done. When chicken is cooked, top the chicken with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese. Place back in oven until cheese has melted.
Place chicken and spaghetti sauce on top of spaghetti.
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BBQs (A.K.A. Sloppy Joes)

Not the best picture, sorry. We were in a hurry to eat and the bun looks like it's already had a bite taken out of it. It hasn't.

I grew up with these being called BBQs. Which I think was smart. If my mom had tried to serve me a Sloppy Joe, she would have been turned down and it would have been fast. I still don't like calling them Sloppy Joes. It reminds me of the lunch lady on Billy Madison. To get my little boy to eat these, we call them Krabby Patties. For those Spongebob fans, you know what that is. Although that's a Cheeseburger and this clearly isn't. We call Cheeseburgers Krabby Patties, too.

1 lb Hamburger
1 can Chicken Gumbo Soup
1/2 cup Ketchup
1 Tbsp Mustard
Hamburger Buns

Brown hamburger and drain fat. Add other ingredients (minus the hambuger buns), stir, and heat through for about 5 minutes. Dish onto hamburger buns and enjoy!
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Zucchini & Squash

1 Zucchini
1 Squash
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
Favorite Seasoning - I use DeVerl's, you could use Season All or just salt and pepper

Wash, slice and put in frying pan with olive oil and favorite seasoning. Cook on medium heat frequently stirring for 5-10 minutes. Once it starts to brown or get tender, it's done.
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Melt In Your Mouth Cinnamon Rolls

Use my Mom's Homemade Rolls recipe listed under the bread label.

1/2 cube melted butter or margarine
Brown Sugar

Follow directions of Mom's Homemade Roll Recipe until you get to where you've just rolled out the dough. Don't cut it. Instead, spread the melted margarine around with a pastry brush. Then add enough brown sugar to cover that, I'm not exactly sure how much that is. Then sprinkle the top with cinnamon.
Roll up very carefully and cut with a bread knife into pieces. Place in greased baking pans, (I use round cake pans) and let rise for about an hour. Then cook at 375 for 8-9 minutes.

3 Cups Powdered Sugar
6 Tbsp. Margarine or Butter melted
3 Tbsp. Milk
1 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla

Mix well and pour over warm cinnamon rolls.
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Cheesy Biscuits

I got this recipe from Mandi Freestone who made these for us a while ago and I've been craving them ever since.
I didn't realize they were so easy or I would have done it a long time ago.

1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Cheese
1 3/4 Cup Bisquick
1/4 Cup Melted Butter
1 Tbsp or so of Garlic Salt
2 Tbsp. Parsley

Mix ingredients together well and place on a greased baking dish or I used greased muffin tins. I use a Pampered Chef medium scoop which is 2 Tbsp to scoop them into the muffin tins. 1 batch made 12 bisquits.

Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, remove from oven.  Top with melted butter, garlic salt, and parsley.  Place back in oven and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until golden brown.

I didn't have any parsley on hand and this was a very last minute addition to tonight's dinner so I skipped that part.

Just to prove how easy all of the dishes are that I made tonight for dinner are, here's the list.

Pork Loin
Rolls & Cinnamon Rolls made out of one batch of dough
Cheesy Biscuits
Roasted Asparagus
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Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch of Asparagus - the thinner the asparagus, the better!
1-2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Wash and cut or snap off ends of asparagus. Place on baking dish and brush olive oil onto asparagus. Then cover with salt and pepper.
Cook at 350 for 10 minutes.
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Tasty Pork Loin

1 Pork Tenderloin
1 McCormick's Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin Bag & Seasoning Packet

Follow directions on seasoning packet which are to put the pork in the bag that comes with the seasoning, put the seasoning in the bag and shake it around making sure all of the pork is covered, cut 4 slots in the bag and cook it. Super easy!

Sometimes I'll add a little water to the pork half-way through and cut it in slices so it will cook faster. Comes out so tender and tasty!

But.... I don't actually use a tenderloin. I buy a pork centerloin and cut it in half, freezing half for next time. Plus it's a lot cheaper.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pot Stickers

Pot Stickers:
1 pound Ground Pork
1/2 medium head Napa Cabbage (aka Chinese Cabbage)
1 Green Onion
1 tsp. Ginger
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. White Sugar
1 tsp. Sesame Oil
2 tsp. Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 package of Won Ton Wrappers

Brown Pork. Drain the fat. Finely chop cabbage and green onion. In a medium size bowl mix browned pork, cabbage, onion, ginger, salt, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Lay out a few won ton wrappers at a time (so they don't dry out) and fill with 1 Tbsp of pork mixture. Using a pastry brush, brush the sides with water. Fold and pinch to seal.

If serving with rice, now would be a good time to start the rice. We prefer sticky rice. But you can use whatever kind you like.

If you want them steamed, get the water hot and then put the potstickers in the top pan of the steamer and let sit for a 5 - 10 minutes.

If you want them browned in a pan, heat 3 Tbsp. of vegetable oil over medium high heat. Place the pot stickers into the oil, seam sides up. Stirring constantly, heat 30 seconds to a minute. Pour 3/4 cups water into the skillet. Gently boil 7 to 8 minutes, until oil and water begin to sizzle, then add 2 Tbsp. of vegetable oil. When the bottoms begin to brown, remove pot stickers from heat.

Dipping Sauce:
3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
2 drops of Sesame Oil

Mix well.

The steamed pot stickers were my favorite out of the two but I will admit that I didn't fully read the instructions for how to brown the pot stickers. I did them more like egg rolls and fried them in hot oil. They were still good but tasted more like egg rolls than pot stickers.  My bad. But I will say that even my kids, who don't eat much of what I make, loved this and ate this up. I didn't make all of the pot stickers tonight so I put the leftover pork mixture in the fridge and I can make more tomorrow.
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