"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

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pot Roast

When I make this, it's usually for Sunday dinner. But it sounded soo yummy I couldn't wait.

1 Boneless Beef Chuck Roast
1 package of Lipton's French Onion Soup Mix
1/4 Cup Water
Salt & Pepper to taste
Potatoes (I use red)

Put the roast in your crock pot. Add the water and then French Onion Soup Mix. Add the salt and pepper. Cook on low for about 6 hours. About 3 hours before it's done, wash, cut, and add the vegetables. I used to add them at the beginning but then they get too soft. I also like to put them under the roast so they soak up all of the flavor.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cubed Steaks

This was my favorite thing that my Grandma Jardine made. I did change a few things but it's basically the same.
And I find this funny, but I never make mashed potatoes and gravy. My family doesn't really dig 'em. So I called my sister, Suzie to see what's the best way to do the gravy. She said her mother-in-law adds Cream of Mushroom Soup to hers and she loves it. She was right, it was awesome! My hubby who is not a fan of gravy loved it. Thanks Suz!

Cubed Steaks:
4 Cubed Steaks
Egg Wash
Italian Bread Crumbs or crushed cracker crumbs
Vegetable Oil

I like to put the flour, egg wash, and bread crumbs in 3 separate pie tins. Put the vegetable oil in a frying pan and get very hot. While that's heating, cover the cubed steaks in flour, then the egg wash, then the italian bread or cracker crumbs. Brown in the hot oil on both sides. Then place in baking dish. Put in a 350 degree oven and let it finish cooking.

Mashed Potatoes:
4 medium size Russett Potatoes
1/4 Cup Milk
2 Tbsp. Butter

Now you'll make the mashed potatoes. Peel, wash, and cut up the potatoes. Put in a pan with water covering them. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn to low, and set timer for 15 minutes. (Start the gravy) Drain water. Now, you can either use a hand mixer or I use my Kitchen Aid. Add about 1/4 cup of milk and about 2 tbsp. of butter. Make sure there are no lumps. Unless of course you like it lumpy. I like mine thicker, too so I don't add much milk.  If you like them a little thinner, add more milk.

Drippings from browning the cubed steaks
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Cups Milk
Salt & Pepper to taste

While the potatoes are cooking on the stove, start making the gravy.
Wisk the flour and milk together in a separate bowl. Add all ingredients to the drippings in the frying pan that you used to brown the steaks. Wisk well, and let warm.

I didn't show it in the picture because it's not very pretty but I love the gravy on the cubed steak. Super yummy.
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Monday, January 25, 2010


Sweet Goodness.

I think this might be a Rice Krispey recipe, not sure. All I know is I've loved these ever since I was little.

1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
6 Cups Rice Krispies

1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Butterscotch Chocolate Chips

Combine sugar and corn syrup in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Once it starts to bubble, remove from heat and add peanut butter. Once it's well mixed, fold in Rice Krispies. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 cake pan.

Melt butterscotch chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Repeat one to two more times. Once completely melted, pour over Rice Krispey mixture and spread evenly. Cut soon after or else they harden and it's really hard to cut after that.

Oh and as a little side note, make sure you lick the spoons. It's delicious and you don't have to worry about salmonella poisoning like with cookie dough so lick away!
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Monday, January 18, 2010


My inspiration comes from Princess and the Frog. I've never had Gumbo, never really thought about trying it. In the movie, it's her dream to open her own restaurant and serve her daddy's Gumbo.
I looked at about 5 million recipes for Gumbo. Each one is different. Everyone has their own take on Gumbo. I took what I liked from each one and made my own.

1/2 C. Flour
1/3 C. Vegetable Oil
1 Can Beef Broth
2 Cans Chicken Broth
1 Clove Garlic - minced
2 Stocks of Celery
1 Medium Green Bell Pepper
1/2 White Onion
3/4 Tbsp. Salt
3/4 Tbsp. Pepper
1 lb Shrimp
1/2 lb. Hot Italian Sausage

Wash and chop veggies. Put them in a frying pan to cook a little.
Put oil and flour in a separate frying pan. Brown for a few minutes. Then add beef broth and whisk until thick.
Brown the sausage in a separate frying pan.
Add all ingredients except Shrimp to crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. About 2 hours before serving, brown shrimp with a little oil in a frying pan. Then add to Gumbo.
Serve with rice and crunchy bread.

I'm not sure that making the roux is crucial. It's supposed to thicken the gumbo but it really wasn't that thick. Maybe I didn't make enough. But I thought it was fine how it was.

Also, I am not a huge fan of spice. This is super spicy! But we still really liked it. To make it less spicy, just use mild Italian Sausage instead.

The perfect way to end this meal, Deep Dark Chocolate Moist Cake. Mmm!

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Deep Dark Chocolate Moist Cake

Steve and I went on a date (yes, that's my husband) the other night to Red Lobster. They have the deal right now where you get 2 Entrees, 2 salads, and either a dessert or appetizer. Of course, we chose the dessert. It's called Chocoalte Wave and oh my gosh it was good. It was so moist and gooey and rich and delicious. So ever since I've been craving it. I found this recipe online. And although I don't think it comes close to the Chocolate Wave, it's still pretty good.

I got this recipe off of Recipe Zaar.

1 (515 g) box devil's food cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark molasses

Place the two layer size packaged devils food cake mix in a large mixer bowl, and sift out lumps.
Add all other ingredients into bowl, and beat well, until combined and thick.
Bake in greased cake pans at 350 degrees preheated oven.
Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick or tester comes away clean.
Cool ten minutes, invert onto cooling rack.
Fill and frost with your favourite frosting.

I also cut each layer in half, so there were 4 layers of cake and did frosting inbetween each layer. And this time I was going to try and make my own frosting, but I didn't have some of the stuff on hand so I used canned. 2 Cans actually. I also used crushed up oreos on the side and a little on the top.
Why is it that when you see people put stuff on the sides of cakes does it look so easy? I saw a guy on Food Network last week putting coconut on the sides of his cake and he did the whole cake in about 20 seconds and it looked amazing. There were oreo crumbs all over my kitchen! If you have any good tips, I would love to hear.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chocolate Souffles

I wanted to practice an elegant dessert for Valentine's Day just to make sure that when the day comes, I can actually pull it off. However, even though they were good, I think I have other things that I prefer. But I do like the fact that I actually made these and they turned out well. And I did find that you can get a set of 4 Ramekins at the World Market for $3! Great Bunko or Birthday gifts! They also come in navy blue and lime green. Really cute.

I got this recipe from Food Network. Enjoy!

7 ounces finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus for preparing the molds
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons warm water
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
8 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Confectioners' sugar for garnish

Brush 6 (6-ounce) ramekins with soft butter, then coat with sugar. Put the prepared ramekins in the freezer. (This can be done a day ahead.)
Set an oven rack in lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Put the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside.
Combine the egg yolks and warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer or large bowl and beat until frothy. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar, and continue beating until ribbons form, about 5 minutes. Very lightly fold the yolks into the chocolate mixture. (Rinse the bowl well, if using for beating the egg whites.)
Remove prepared ramekins from freezer. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer, or large non-reactive bowl, add the lemon juice. Beat on medium until frothy; then gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and increase speed to high. Beat until the whites hold a stiff but not dry peak.
Working quickly, fold about a third of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten; then fold in remaining whites until blended. Gently ladle or spoon the souffle mixture into the ramekins, and place on a baking sheet. (Level off the surface with a straight edge, scraping any excess mixture back into the bowl.)
Immediately bake until the souffle rises about 1 1/2 inches from the ramekins, and the tops are touched with brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Potato Casserole (AKA Shephard's Pie)

Don't run, yet! Give it a chance. I know how people react when they hear certain words. Shephard's Pie, Meatloaf, Casserole, Poison, it's never a good thing. But here's what I say, give it a chance. Not the poison, still run from that. Anyway, I used to be one of those people. Growing up, those words were not in my vocabulary. But now, I welcome them. Sometimes. :)

Ok, I didn't spread the butter out very well on the potatoes and it's a little overcooked, but I swear it's only because I'm a good Mom. I decided to take advantage of this awesome weather (I live in Arizona) and take my kids to the park a lot lately. Which is why I haven't been posting as much. Anyway, I got dinner in the oven and took the kids to the park while it cooked. And no, I didn't leave it completely unattended. My husband was home, but I didn't ask him to keep an eye on it. We stayed later than I planned on, of course, but dinner still tasted great, the top layer of potatoes were just a little crisp.

The bottom layer.

This is my mom's recipe and I LOVE it. Give it a chance, don't shy away until you've tasted it and decided for yourself.

1 lb Hamburger
1 Can Kitchen Cut Green Beans - drained
1 Can Tomato Soup - not sauce, soup
Salt & Pepper to taste
3 Large or 4-5 Medium Russet Potatoes
2 Tbsp. Butter (or Margarine in my case)

Mashed Potatoes: Peel potatoes, wash and cut. Put in a pan with water an inch above the potatoes. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to medium low and set timer for 15 minutes. Drain water and mash. Add a little butter or margarine and a little milk or lactose free milk :)  Mash a little more.

Hamburger Mixture: While the potatoes are cooking, brown hamburger. Remove grease. Add beans, tomato soup, and salt and pepper. About 1/2 Tbsp of each. Place hamburger mixture in baking dish. Then add potatoes. Place pieces of butter or margarine on top of the potatoes and then sprinkle with Paprika to your liking. Cook on 350 for about a half an hour until it's completely warmed through.

I really hope you make and enjoy this. It's definitely one of my favorites.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Landon's 3rd Birthday Cake

This cake is for our little Rock Star who turned 3 today. I will admit, definitely not my best work. But in my defense, it was 8:00 at night after a long day of partying. Is that spelled right? Looks weird.
Anyway.... again, not a homemade cake or frosting, but I'm kind of proud of my work so I thought I'd post it. I'll have another shot at this cake next week when we have a friend birthday party and I will be privelaged enough to make it again. At least I have a better idea of what I'm doing now. Oh, and if you know what guitars actually look like, please don't look too closely. Thanks!

This was after his bath or he would have still had his mohawk done. And no, it's not a real mohawk, it's a foax-hauk but his hair is just that light and thin so you can't really see it here.
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Friday, January 1, 2010

Artichoke Cups

This is a Pampered Chef recipe that I got while I was an independent consultant for The Pampered Chef.
Love Love Love these. Definitely my go to appetizer recipe.

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
24 square Won Ton Wrappers
1 Can (14 oz.) Artichoke hearts in water, drained
1/2 medium Red Bell Pepper
1/4 cup (1 oz) grated fresh Parmesan Cheese - If I hear of any of you using parmesan out of a can, you are in big trouble!
1 Lemon
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh Parsley
1/2 Cup (2 oz.) shredded Mozzarella
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Garlic clove, minced
Additional grated fresh Parmesan cheeese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush one side of won top wrappers with vegetable oil with a pastry brush. Press wrappers into mini muffin pan. Bake 6 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven, leave in pan.

Meanwhile, coarsely chop artichokes, put in large bowl. Remove seeds from pepper and chop. Grate parmesan; zest lemon. Finely chop parsley. Add pepper, parmesan, lemon zest, parsley, mozzarela, mayo, and garlic to the artichokes.

Fill won tons wtih mixture. Sprinkle with more parmesan. Bake 8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan, serve immediately!
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