Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lion House Twice Baked Potatoes

I have had some very specific cravings with this pregnancy and right now it is baked potatoes.  I can't get enough of them.  We're going to a mexican restaurant tonight with my brother and his wife and I am planning on bringing my own baked potato.  Sweet nector. 

This recipe is a long-time fav of John's and now is an all-time fav of mine.  John's mom makes these every once in a while and we just drool over them.  They come from the ever-delicious Lion House Cookbook.

{What you need}
6 large baking potatoes
3 slices bacon
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 chopped tgreen onions
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Wash potatoes and rub skins with oil.  Bake for 1 hour or til potatoes are done.  While the potatoes are baking, cook bacon until crisp.  Drain and crumble/chop; set aside.  When potatoes are done, reduce oven to 350.  Cut a slice from the tope of each potato and scoop out the pulp, leaving a little along the lining of the skin so it isn't flimsy.  Mash pulp with sour cream, milk, salt, pepper, and green oinions.  Fill potato shells with mixture and sprinkle with cheese and bacon.  Bake at 350 for ten minutes.

I'm thinking about making these for a baby shower I'm throwing in the next few weeks.  You can easily multiply this recipe to serve as many as you need, and they keep great in the fridge so you can make them the day before.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Joelle's Stuffed Mushrooms

My wonderful co-worker and friend Joelle made these phenomenal mushrooms for our work Christmas party a few weeks ago.  You can imagine how much I loved them, with my obsession with all things mushroom.  Then I found out there were only three ingredients and I about passed out.  She shared the love, so here I am sharing the love:

{What you need}

1 lb. ground sausage
1 8 oz. package creem cheese
2 packages whole mushrooms

Wash and de-stem the mushrooms. Fry up the sausage and drain the grease.  Combine cream cheese and sausage.  Place the mushrooms bottom up on a cookie sheet and fill each mushroom with the sausage mixture.  Broil on high for about 4-6 minutes.  Keep your eye on them so they don't overcook.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Brie en Croute

I first had this beautiful appetizer this past Thanksgiving at my hub's aunt and uncle's house.  It was absolutely incredible!  As a brie lover, this did not dissappoint.  You can imagine my delight when I stumbled across this recipe the other day on my favorite foodie blog, The Sister's Cafe.  You can imagine my delight even more when I realized how flippin easy it is!  I just had to share the love with you:

{What you need} 
1 wheel of Brie, I used a 13 oz from Harmons ($11.99) (you can use up to a 19 oz)
2 puff pastries, found in the frozen dessert section by the pies (2 come together in one package)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup crasins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 egg + 1 Tb water for an egg wash

Allow the puff pastries to defrost to room temp.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry.  In the center of the pastry put the brown sugar, crasins, and pecans.  Take the wheel of brie and scrape off as much rind as you would like.  It is edible, but makes it a little harder to cut into if there is too much on.  I shave off a lot of the rind but not enough to cut into the cheese.  Place the shaved wheel of brie on top of the pile of goods in the center of the pastry.  Fold the dough up and around the cheese, taking care to seal completely and securely.  Turn the wheel over onto a lightly greased cookie sheet so that the folds and seems are underneath.  Egg wash the entire surface.  With the other puff pastry you can roll it out and cut out shapes and press it onto the top of the wheel to add decorations.  I copied The Sisters Cafe and cut out some holly leaves and berries to make it festive for a Christmas party we went to.  Then egg wash the entire surface again. 

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then let the oven cool to 325 and bake for 20-25 minutes longer.  Serve with crackers and fruit.

Let me know if you try this super classy yet easy appetizer for your holliday presentation!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Poached Eggs and Asparagus

This may be my new favorite mini meal!  It is so easy, delicious, and looks gorgeous, too.  Poaching eggs the old fashioned way may intimidate people, but I did it on my first try by following these steps exactly.

{What you need}
Water for boiling
1 bunch asparagus, washed and tough ends cut off
4 eggs
grated parmasean cheese
cooking spray
sea salt

Bring a pot of water to a boil.
On a tin foil-coverd cookie sheet, spray cooking spray and arrange the asparagus so that they are in a single layer.  Spray the asparagus with cooking spray and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste.  Broil on high for 5 minutes and 20 seconds.

While they are cooking, poach the eggs, according to the steps listed in the link above.  When the asparagus is done,  divide onto four plates and sprinkle with grated parmesean cheese,  letting the heat melt it a little.  Place the poached egg on the asparagus and serve with garlic bread and grapes, or anything else you want!

Compliments of Gina at Skinnytastes

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bavarian Apple Torte

Sooo.... funny story.  We were having a fundraising bake sale at my work the other week and the owner (an amazing woman, I just lover her, thought still slightly intimidating--she's the OWNER) brought in this torte to sell.  It was beautiful and I had a bite of someone's slice and it was deLICious.  But we were all too timid to ask for the recipe from our BOSS boss.  Luckily Jenna, who used to work at my work, came in for therapy.  She saw the torte and remarked, "Wow, that looks just like my mom's Bavarian Apple To....wait, did Margo make this?"  We replied that she did.  Then Jenna said, "Oh!  It IS my mom's apple torte!"  Jenna's mom and Boss Margo are friends and share recipes! So we had Jenna bring in the recipe the next time she came in for therapy.  And here it is.  You can imagine how delectible this is if we went to all this trouble to get the recipe.  This would be a perfect addition to a Thanksgiving spread!  Can you believe it's already that time of year?

{What you need}
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

1 egg
1/4 cup sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

2 apples (peeled, cored, sliced thin)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of cloves
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Crust: Beat butter and sugar until smooth.  Add vanilla and flour until it forms a ball.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9" spring form pan.  Press crust mixture onto the bottom and up 1" on sides.
Filling: Beat the cream cheese until light.  Add the sugar and beat until blended.  Add the vanilla, egg and sour cream.  Beat until smooth.  Pour into crust and spread evenly.
Topping: Mix apples, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.  Lay apples flat on top of filling in a fan shape or flower shape, or whatever pretty shape you like.  Sprinkle almonds in a ring around outer edge of appples. 
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then 400 for 25 minutes.  Serve warm or chilled with ice cream.

compliments of Babbi Hill

Fried Banana Split

Picture of The Ultimate Banana Split Recipe
So I was working out at the gym the other day and was watching the Food Network (I know) and this beaut came onto the screen.  I was completely captivated and ended up making them the very next night!  These are, by far, one of THE most incredibly delicious desserts I have ever come across in my 25 years eating dessert.  And here's the cherry on top: THEY ARE EASY PEASY LEMON SQUEEZY!!

{What you neeed}
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup conrstarch
2 tblsp baking powder
2 tblsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 yolks
1 1/2 cup club soda
1 bunch barely ripe bananas
veetable oil, for deep frying

Preheat your oil in a heavy-based pot for deep frying to 365 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center and add the yolks and club soda. Using a whisk, stir from the inside working your way out, slowly incorporating the dry ingredients without forming any lumps. Peel the bananas and dip in the batter and coat well. Fry in hot oil until batter is puffy and golden brown. Drain on paper towels when done.

We served this with icecream, chocolate sauce, and chocolate cake.  It suggests serving it with icecream, banana chips, and caramel sauce.  Honestly, you could serve it with cough syrup and it would be delicious.  you can't go wrong with these puppies!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chocolate Lover's Favorite Cake and WINNER!

Whenever someone in our family has a birthday they get to pick a cake for me to make them for our wee family party.  My darling sister Ellie is pregnant and is craving all things chocolate, so this was her choice.  She was NOT disappointed.  None of us were.  When they say Chocolate Lover's Favorite, they ain't lyin!!  This is, by far, the best chocolate cake known to man.  And it's so easy to make!!

{What you need}
1 package devil's food cake mix
1 (3.9 oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix
2 cups sour cream
1 cup melted butter
5 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan.  In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mix.  make a well in the center and pour in sour cream, melted butter, eggs and almond extract.  Beat on low speed until blended.  Scrape bowl and beat 4 minutes on medium speed.  Blend in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 50-55 minutes.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cake plate and drizzle with frosting.  Best if served warm!

While the cake is baking, combine all frosting ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat on low, stirring constantly, until chocolate chips are melted and it is all blended.

compliments of


who wrote:
Well Jessie, I love these Sliders as well! My sister gave me this recipe a long time ago, so I was so excited to see it on your blog too! I actually don't like ham, but I made this for my husband and I and I sure did love it all put together like this. Your blog is great, and I hope all good things come to you for all you are doing! :) I am excited to make your breadsticks for my next family party. That will for sure be my favorite recipe, as soon as I make it! :)
xo- Jillian

email me at
to claim your prize!
Thanks to everyone for participating!  It was a fun turnout for my first giveaway.  Stay tuned for more nummies and fun to come!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Creamy White Chili

Happy Halloween!! My mom would make this delicious chili for us on Halloween when we were kids.  We've also made it for baby blessings, showers, and big family get togethers.  It's go a great clean taste and doesn't leave you feeling heavy like some chilies do.  Perfect for the colder months!

{What you need}
2 lb. boneless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
2 medium onion, minced
3 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbs. vegetable oil
4 cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (14.5 oz ea.) chicken broth
2 cans (4 oz ea) chopped green chilies
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cup sour cream
1 cup whipping cream
Monterey jack cheese for topping

In a large sauce pan, saute chicken, onion, and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink.  Add beans, broth, chilies and seasons and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and whipping cream.  Serve immediately, topped with cheese.

Compliments of Jackie Durrant

Thursday, October 28, 2010

GIVEAWAY! and Ham and Swiss Sliders with Poppy Seed Sauce

So this blog is relatively new, and I thought it would be fun to celebrate my 50th post by re-posting my very first recipe that started it all: the beloved Ham and Swiss Sliders!  I think I have made these 4 times within the last month for different occasions, and they really are just the greatest little sammies you could imagine.  Everyone LOVES THEM (except John, he doesn't like ham or swiss or mayo..... weirdo, but a hot weirdo)!  If you haven't tried this recipe, YOU SHOULD!  And then let me know what you and your guests think!  And stay tuned, at the end of the post I'm presenting my first GIVEAWAY!!!  

Ham and Swiss Sliders with Poppy Seed Sauce
This has become one of my all time favorite recipes. It is so delicious, so easy, and you can make huge amounts at a time. These sliders are just beautiful and are great for family parties, showers, church functions, etc. You can assemble them the day before and keep them covered in the fridge until you are ready to bake them. You can even substitute some of the ingredients for light alternatives if you're watching what you eat. This recipe can also easily be halved. Enjoy!!

{What you need}
24 good white rolls
24 pieces good honey ham
24 small slices swiss cheese
1/3 mayo
1/3 cup miracle whip

{poppy seed sauce}
1 1/2 TBSP poppy seeds
1 1/2 TBSP yellow mustard
1 stick butter, melted
1 TBSP minced onion
1/2 tsp. worschestershire sauce

In a small bowl, mix together mayo & miracle whip. Spread into both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham & a slice of swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls & place into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet. Place very close together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. Let sit 10 minutes, or until butter sets slightly.

Cover with foil & bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover & cook for 2 additional minutes. Serve warm.

(Compliments of Grammy Turley)

Ok folks, this is how it's gonna work--Leave a comment on THIS POST telling me your favorite Nummies recipe and who and what you made it for!!  After the contest closes on OCTOBER 31st at MIDNIGHT (hooray for Halloween!), I will select at random a winner, who will get this:
A darling custom-made corsage necklace from Sisi's Market!  $30.00 value

The winner will be announced the morning of Monday, November 1, 2010.
Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chicken Corrn Chowder with Sweet Potatoes

This one comes from my sister Andee.  Perfect for the colder months.  The Jiffy mix really adds something special!  Who'da thought??  A very delicious soup! 
{What you need}
3 cups 2% milk
1 (8.5 oz) box Jiffy corn muffin mix
2 T. butter
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 quarts chicken broth
2 small chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 " cubes
2 large sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
3 cups frozen corn (not thawed)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 2 Tb dried parsley)
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix milk and muffin mix in bowl until well combined. Meanwhile, heat butter in large pot over medium heat until foaming. Add onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, chicken (raw) and sweet potatoes. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked and sweet potatoes are just tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in milk and muffin mixture and simmer until soup thickens (can take up to 10 minutes although mine thickens immediately) Add cheese and corn and cook until cheese begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dead Witch Fingers

Halloween is so much fun!  My mom would make these for our annual Halloween parties and serve them with other fun goulish gourment treats, like this.  Can you imagine how much fun these were for us as kids??  Your babies will have a blast with them, too.  And not only do they look the part, they are super tasty, too!  You just can't go wrong with peanut butter and pretzles, even if they are in the form of bloody fingers.

{What you need}   
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup caro syrup
1/4 cup powdered milk
food coloring, green or orange
1 package large pretzle rods, each broken in half
1 package slithered or whole almonds
red cake gell

Mix a few drops of food coloring with caro syrup until it is evenly colored.  Combine the PB, sugar, syrup, and milk powder in a medium bowl and mix together to form a dough.  Take a small amound of dough and mold it around a pretzle rod half to look like a finger.  Leave a little of the pretzle hanging out the end so it looks like a broken bone.  Take an almond and stick it on the end of the finger.  Take a butter knife and make little indentations for the knuckles.  Add the red gel wherever you would like so it looks bloody.  A little gourment gore for you and your little gouls and boils!

Kitty Litter Cake

Happy Halloween!!  My mom, bless her, always made Halloween so much fun for us growing up.  We'd have an annual Halloween Party and she would make hillarious spooky treats that were always delicious.  This cake, though the appearance may make you gag, is one of the most delicious cakes I have ever had!  If you can trick your mind into not being grossed out then you and your guests will be in heaven. 

{What you need}
1 white or yellow cake mix, prepared
1 spice or chocolate cake mix, prepared
1 large package instant vanilla pudding, prepared
2 rows white cream cookies, crumbled but not too fine 
(generic oreos, but the vanilla or lemon variety)
green food coloring or cake gel
10-20 tootsie rolls, the long skinny kind
1 cheap kitty litter box, NEW (the dollar store)
1 cheap kitty litter scooper, NEW (the dollar store)

Crumble and combine the cakes in the litter box.  Spoon dollops of the pudding around the crumbled cake and mix it in a little here and there.  Do not over mix.  Put a few drops of green food coloring or cake gel in a bag full of the crumbled cookies and shake until the crumbles are coated with green.  It doesn't need to be even.  Sprinkle the top of the cake with the green cookie crumbles and fluff the cake here and there, but do not mix it all in.  Lastly, microwave the tootsie rolls individually for about 10 seconds each, just until they are warm enough to mold but aren't melted.  Let your imagination loose as you form the tootsie rolls into little "kitty presents" and place them around the cake, fluffing the cake a little here and there so some of them are lightly covered.  You can leave the tootsie rolls out, if you want.  They are the kicker and are the main thing that dissenchants people from trying the cake.  But it is much more fun with them!  Let me know your guests' reactions if you try this:).  Trust me, it really is DELISH.     

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yucatano Deliciosa

This was a favorite on the mission.  Sister Chapman would sometimes make it when she and President would have the missionaries over to the mission home for some good home-cooking.  It is so easy and you can multiply it to make loads!  I had forgotten about this recipe until recently and was so excited when I happened upon it again!  I made a few variations, but this one is another Sister Chapman winner.  It looks intimidating with the list of ingredients, but most of them are ones you'd already have around the house.

{What you need}
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 15oz. can crushed tomatoes
4 cups water
4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 large onion, diced
3 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
sour cream
shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Combine all of the ingredients in a pot except the beef, onion, and 3 cans of beans.  Simmer with lid on for 20 minutes.  While that is cooking, brown the ground beef and onions.  Add the beans the last five minutes of simmer time.  When the rice is cooked add the beef and onion to the pot.  Serve hot on chips with sour cream and cheese.

Other topping ideas:
chopped tomatoes
chopped green onions
chopped black olives
Ranch dressing

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

My gorgeous and talented sister Andee  is quite the little chef.  She made these the other night for a big family dinner and everyone raved about them.  And she was kind enough to share the recipe with me so I could share it with you!  This is one you will make a lot....

{What you need}
12 unthawed chicken tenderloins 
Swiss cheese,  6 slices
ham, 6 slices deli cut style
bread crumbs, about one to two cups
paprika, about 3 tablespoons
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper

{Dipping sauces}
Creamy Sauce:
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
Honey mustard:
1/4 cup mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/8 cup light corn syrup
1/8 cup mayo
1 tsp dry onion flakes

Pound the chicken a little to make it flatter (and more tender). Sift  paprika in about a cup of bread crumbs, spread on a plate. Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken. Dip chicken in egg, then in bread crumbs on both sides.  Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and spread half the breaded chicken strips in the the baking dish. Top with a slice of swiss and a slice of ham on each one. Top those with another breaded (on one side, breaded side up) chicken strip on each. 

Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from oven and place another cheese slice on each one. Return to oven for a few minutes. Baking it hotter and faster kept the chicken juicy.

Creamy sauce:
Mix all ingredients together and heat.
Honey mustard dipping sauce:
Mix all ingredients.  Serve hot or cold.

Serve over rice or these mashed potatoes.  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Crock Pot Beef Stew

This is the easiest stew ever, and it is so hardy and delicious! Perfect for fall! You can load it chalk full of all your favorite stew veggies. Next time I make it I'll put sweet potatoes in it, onions, and maybe some squash. Oh and of course loads of mushrooms. I told John the other day that my headstone should read "That would be better with mushrooms." I say that about practically every recipe. This recipe comes from a great cookbook, The Essential Mormon Cookbook.

{What you need}

1 pound beef stew cubes
4 carrots, sliced
4 medium potatoes, cut in large chunks
1 (1-oz) package dry onion soup mix
2 (10.75-ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup 
(you could get light soup to make the stew healthier)
1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
1 (10-oz) package frozen green peas

Mix all liquid ingredients in a medium bowl. Add all ingredients to a slow-cooker and cook on low for up to 12 hours.

Mama Henrie debuted (who'd a thought that's the past tense spelling of debut?!?!) this on Sunday and everyone looooooved it. I'm not even huge into stew, and this rocked my world.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Mushrooms

Don't tell your husband, but this is actually a Weight Wathcers recipe! No worries, though, he'll never know because of how flavorfull it is. I got this from my new favorite recipe cite, Skinny Tastes. There are some major winners on there that I am dying to try, and they are all HEALTHY but BURSTING WITH FLAV!! I'm just elated! I added loads of mushrooms to this, but the origional recipe doesn't call for it, so feel free to leave them out, if you're crazy.

{What you need}
1 lb high fiber ziti such as Ronzoni Smart Taste
28 oz crushed tomatoes (I prefer Tuttorosso)
1 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic,minced
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt and fresh pepper to taste
8 oz fat-free ricotta
1/4 cup Parmesan
2 cups (8 oz) part skim mozzarella
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
Spray olive oil Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with oil spray.In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta according to instructions until al dente. Drain and return to pot. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add olive oil and sauté garlic and mushrooms. Add chopped spinach, salt pepper and chopped tomatoes. Season with basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add sauce to the pasta and combine the ziti. Add half of the mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and ricotta. Mix well then transfer to the baking pan. Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Top with the remaining mozzarella. Bake for 30 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted and the edges are lightly browned.

This can be made up to a day in advance and stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.

I divided this casserole into eight sections and froze each portion individually in a mini tupperware so I can take it to work for a healthy lunch or just whip it out whenever I'm hungry for something healthy.

1/8 of the casserole is 6 ww points

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Broccoli Salad

My MIL is such an incredible cook and she has so many great recipes that she shares with me! This may be my new favorite salad, and I LOVE that it has fresh broccoli in it. A nice healthy twist! This dressing is gorgeous, too, and would be great on other salads as well.

This one comes from the cookbook Essential Mormon Cook Book, which has some major winners in it. You should check it out, even if you're not Mormon. The recipes are non-denominational:)

{What you need}
2 Bunches fresh broccoli (about a pound) cut in small flowerets
1 medium purple onion, finely chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
6 strips bacon, cookied until crisp and crumbled
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or raisins (optional, but HIGHLY encouraged)
1 recipe Broccoli Salad Dressing (See below)

In a large bowl combine broccoli, onion, and cheese. REfrigerate. Just before serving, stir in bacon. Add sunflower seeds or raisins if you wish. Pour desired amount of dressing over salad, and stir briefly. Serve the same day.

{Broccoli Salad Dressing}
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all dressing ingredients. Chill at least one hour before tossing with salad.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Classic Swiss Fondue

This was the first meal my husband ever made me. We had been dating about two months and he said he had this very special date planned for me. He took me to his house (his parents' house) and suprised me with this INCREDIBLE fondue. He had everything decorated really glamorously (probably with the help of his mom...Thanks Erin!) and we felt super posh as we ate it. Then he surprised me by whipping out the movie "Twilight" and declared, "My love for you is greater than my hate for this movie, so I will watch it with you!" It was quite the night.

I made this for a bachelorette party recently, too, and it was a major hit. So fun to eat with a group of friends, just socializing and snacking. You'll just love it.

{What you need}
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
pepper to taste
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

{Dipper ideas}
cubed french bread
cubed brawtworst
pretzle sticks
steamed/fresh veggies

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, dry mustard, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute and remove from the heat. Stir in the milk gradually. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in the cheese until melted Spoon into fondue pot and serve with your choice of dippers.

Fondue on FoodistaFondue

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Beef Stroganoff

I looooove a good crock pot recipe. They are so easy and usually super hearty. You can make loads at a time and usually have great left-overs for a few days after, which John and I also loooooove. There's nothing like wanting to grab a snack and discovering delicious savory dinner food in the fridge to indulge in mid-morning. That's typically how it goes in our home when we have left overs. And John likes to take the left-overs to school for a good lunch so he doesn't starve. Ok, enough about left-overs, let's get cookin!

This is a delicous stroganoff. Possibly my favorite, especially with loads of extra mushrooms. I trippled the mushrooms in this recipe and could have put even more. We just loooooove mushrooms. Thanks to my second mama, Julie McDonald, for this winner!

{What you need}
1 lb. stew meat
1/4 cup onion, minced or dried
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup, condensed
1 can mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup red cooking sherry
1 cup sour cream
cooked noodles of your choice

Combine all ingredients except sour cream in a crock pot, cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add the sour cream right before you serve it. Serve over noodles.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fry Bread (Scones)

A Durrant family regular. When I was in high school we would have "scone parties" all the time. My siblings and I would have dozens of friends over and my mom would make us scones all night long. It was a major hit. We'd also have them on Sundays a lot as a family treat. I have so many wonderful memories associated with these delicious scones! Thank you, Mom, for giving me this wonderful recipe.

{What you need}
3 cups boiling water
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 teaspoons salt
1 or 2 packages yeast
enough flour to make a soft dough
3 cups vegetable oil

In a large bowl or bosch mixer put boiling water. Add shortening and let it melt. Add yeast and stir. Stir in sugar and salt and mix for about 30 seconds. Gradually add flour, about a cup at a time, until a soft dough forms.

In a medium sauce pan heat the oil over medium low until it crackles with a drip of water.

Take the dough and roll it out into a large slab on a greased countertop. Cut the dough grid style into squares about the size of large dish sponge (this is harder to explain than I thought it would be---I can't think of anything the size of the squares! Dish sponge will have to do...)

Take each square of dough and stretch it out just a little, and place in the heated oil with tongs. It will begin to bubble. Repeatedly push the scone under the oil until the underside is a golden brown. Turn over and repeat dunking until the other side is golden brown, too.

Let the scones drip off on a plate with paper towels on it. Serve hot with honey butter, jam, powdered sugar, whatever you desire.

Compliments of Jackie Durrant

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cream Cheese Oreo Truffles

Thanks to my dear friend Krista I can now stuff my face with these sinfully delicious balls of delight any time I choose. Krista is a fellow recipe enthusiist and was willing to give me this incredible recipe that has proven to be a major hit on several different occasions at our workplace. Some recipes are hard to give away, and I was sure this would be one of those. But Krista is so willing to share the love! Bless her heart. These are great for entertaining or for family gatherings or to just have on hand any time you need a fix. I have this fantasy of making them for my first born's first birthday party, and decorating them all cute like. Enjoy, eh?

{What you need}
1 package oreo cookies
1, 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
23 oz. milk chocolate chips (or white chocolate chips, if you choose)
4 Tablespoons vegetable shorting
lolli pop sticks (found at a craft store)

{Optional topping ideas}
shredded cocount
nut crumbs
fruity pebbles
candy bar crumbs

In a food processor crush the oreo cookies until there are no big chunks. Pour into a large mixing bowl and mix in softened cream cheese until it is all evenly mixed. Mold the dough into little balls (about golf ball sized, or smaller) and place on a wax paper-covered cookie sheet. cover with tin foil and place cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour.

Meanwhile, combine chocolate chips and veggie shortening in a large sauce pan and melt together, taking care to not burn the chocolate. Once the oreo balls are frozen enough to allow for easy handling, jab the lolli pop sticks in and dip each ball in the chocolate, (dip in other toppings at this point, if desired) returning them to the wax paper-covered cookie sheet. Freeze for another hour. Serve chilled, and keep the leftovers refridgerated
(if there are any leftovers. Not very likely).

Aren't they just adorable?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tomato Tortellini Soup

My beautiful and talented sister Andee made this soup the other day and I snuck a taste--It blew my mind. I stole the recipe from her, modified it a wee bit, and I think it is my new favorite soup. It's delicious!! And once the tortellini was cooked it took literally less than three minutes to throw everything together. You really can't get any easier. It's great for busy nights, and you can make a ton at a time and have it for lunch for the rest of the week! It tastes even better the next day, believe it or not! And with Fall just around the corner, this will be perfect for you and your family when you feel it's time to get your soup on.

{What you need}

1 package frozen cheese tortellini
1 family size can (16 oz I think) of Campbelle's Tomato Soup, undiluted
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook tortellini according to package directions. While the tortellini is cooking combine the soup, broth, milks, and seasonings in a large pot. Heat through, stirring frequently. Drain the tortellini and carefully add it to the soup. Stir in the cheese. Enjoy!

Keeps great in the fridge!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Editor's note:  you'll need to at least quadruple this if you're planning on making it for a shower.  One batch makes enough for 4 or 5.

If you've ever been to PF Changst than you've probably at least heard of their mean lettuce wraps. This recipe is inspired by those delicious apetizers but has a few extra flairs to it. I served this at a wedding shower and it was a major hit! And they turned out so pretty, it was perfect for entertaining. Classy and delicious, that's how we roll. This recipe easily multiplies and freezes well if you want to make extras to whip out on a busy night. Enjoy!

{What you need}
(Don't be intimidated...)
at least 8 dried Shiitake mushrooms
(I got mine in the asian food isle in a package, there were like 16 in it. I used all of them
because we're kind of obsessed with mushrooms in my household. )
1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped in small pieces
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
3 chopped green onions
8 oz. can bamboo shoots, chopped
8 oz. can water chestnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 can of Chinese Rice noodles
iceberg lettuce leaves

{Lettuce wrap sauce}
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cooking sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Reconstitute the shiitake mushrooms by boiling water and soaking the mushrooms in the hot water for thirty minutes. Once they have been soaked, drain and dice them, removing any woody stem. Set aside.

While the mushrooms are soaking, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a large bowl (you'll eventually be adding the chicken to this bowl, too), making sure the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat add 3 tablespoons oil. Once heated, add the chicken pieces and fry until chicken is no longer pink, stirring constantly, about three minutes. Remove cooked chicken from skillet, place in the large bowl with the sauce in it and coat chicken evenly with the sauce.

In the same skillet, add 2 more tablespoons of oil. Ad the fresh ginger, garlic, and green onions and stir fry for about 1 minute, or until the garlic is golden in color. DON'T OVERCOOK GARLIC. Add the mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts. Stir fry for an additional 2 minutes or so.

Add chicken and sauce mixture to the skillet and stir fry until the sauce thickens. Add the cashews right before you serve it.

Serve on chilled iceberg lettuce leaves with rice noodles.

*And the crowd goes wild!!*

Citrus Water

Refreshing and delicious. And so elegant! Great for parties or showers.

{What you need}
5 quarts water
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons citric acid
1 teaspoon lemon extract
4 lemons, sliced
4 limes, sliced
pellet ice*

Mix together all ingredients and serve with lemon and lime wedges and pellet ice.

*pellet ice can be purchased at Sonic Drive In for under $2.00 for a ten pound bag. It is a great touch to this drink and is highly recommended for it!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Coconut Cream Cheese Cake

This is my new favorite cake! It is so refreshing and has a unique flavor that you don't find in a lot of desserts. It is sooo easy, too. You can make it in a 9x13, too, if you don't want to bother with presentation. I served this at my girlfriend's wedding shower and it was perfect!

{What you need}
2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter
5 eggs
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 cups flaked coconut

1/2 cup butter
2, 8 oz packages cream cheese
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two round cake pans, set aside. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beat well. Mix in coconut flavoring. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, mixing well with each addition. Fold in 1 cup coconut. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool completely once baked. (I put it in the freezer for a few hours)

While it is baking, cream powdered sugar and butter, adding in the rest of the frosting ingredients after. Tear off 4 thin strips of foil or waxed paper and place them around the edges of a cake stand. Once the cakes are cooled completely, remove and place one on the foiled cake stand, making sure that the foil covers all parts of the stand. Frost the top of the cake on the stand and place the other on top. Frost the rest of the cake, all sides covered. Sprinkle the remaining coconut on the top and sides of the frosted cake, covering as much as you'd like.
Remove the foil and reveal a beautifully clean cake stand with a gorgeous cake on it, with no frosting smudges on the stand! It looks amazing and tastes even better! Such a classy dessert, great for showers or parties. Let me know what you think!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Shredded Sweet Pork Salad

I have been dying to find some good recipes for a "Cafe Rio"-esque spread, and I think after modifying some different ones here and there, I got the winner! I made this for my family and it was a major hit. My dad, who has a very sophisticated palette, told me it was exponentially better than Cafe Rio! Ha ha, I feel like Elaine and the Soup Nazi! Anyway, this is a great dinner you can make in bulk to serve a lot, and it keeps well in the fridge if you don't finish it all (pretty unlikely, though!). Let's get this fiesta started!

{What you need}

tortillas (I like the Costco kind you cook yourself)
romaine Lettuce (I like it shredded)
black or pinto beans
pico de gallo to taste
sweet shredded pork
cilantro lime rice
creamy tomatillo dressing
lime wedges
tortilla strips
sour cream
crumbled cotija cheese or parmesan cheese

3 lb pork roast
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tb dried minced onions
Cook all ingredients in a slow cooker for about 8 hours on low. About an hour before serving remove roast from slow cooker and shred it. Dump out all cooking juices and place shredded roast back in slow cooker and add
1 cup brown sugar
1 c red enchilada sauce

{Cilantro Lime Rice}
4 cups water
2 cups rice
4 cubes chicken bouillon
4 tsp garlic powder
1 TB canola oil
2 TB fresh lime juice
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 onion
1 can green chilies
Blend cilantro, onion and chilies in food processor. Add rice to water and bring to a boil. Add bouillon, garlic powder, canola oil, and lime juice, and cook for the duration it says on the package of rice.

{Creamy Tomatillo Dressing}
3 tomatillos, peeled and quartered
juice of 1 lime
1 cup butermilk
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 pkg dry buttermilk ranch dressing mix
1 cup fresh cilantro
6 green onions with ends, chopped
2 gloves garlic, minced, or equal amount of powder
3 tsp sugar
1/2 jalepeno, seeds removed
Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix well. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

To assemble:
Take your tortilla and add rice and beans and pork as desired. Top with lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, tortilla strips, pico de gallo, cheese, dressing and lime wedges as desired.

Thanks to Sisters Cafe and Favorite Family Recipes for inspiration

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Yorkshire Pudding

If I had to pick one meal I could associate my entire childhood with, roast beef and yorkshire pudding would be it. I was raised on this stuff. I have so many fond memories of the family sitting around the Sunday dinner table, fighting over who got the last yorkshire. My brother would usually win because he would always pull the "I'm growing!" card. He's 6'8'' now. And he still pulls that card when we all come together and have roast beef and yorkshires for family dinner! I try to pull the "I'm growing---wider!" card to nab the last one, but I rarely get it. It's probably for the best. This is a traditional English meal that my grandparents acquired over 60 years ago when they were both serving as LDS missionaries in England. It's a Durrant family tradition to have this every month on Fast Sunday to break our fast. I plan on keeping that tradition alive in my own family. Hopefully I'll be able to make them as good as my mama!

{What you need}
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
vegetable oil

Leave the milk and eggs out over night, or as long as it takes to get them at room temperature. *It is very important that they are at room temperature, or the puddings will not rise* Whip the eggs until fluffy. Gradually add milk while continuing to whip. Slowly add flour and salt. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add a teaspoon of oil to each cup of a muffin tin and preheat the oiled muffin tin in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until oil is good and hot. Fill each muffin cup of the preheated muffin tin with 1/3 cup of the yorkshire pudding batter. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. They will rise and look gorgeous! And they are sooo good. Serve with a roast, mashed potatoes and gravy for full satisfaction.

(Compliments of Jackie Durrant)

Shrimp Chipotle

I never thought I'd marry someone who hates seafood, but John despises it. Luckily he is perfect in every OTHER way, so he makes up for it. I do miss seafood, though. Although I have never made this for my hubby, I have dreamed about it on occasion and long for the day when I can eat this dish and still kiss John afterwards without grossing him out with my shrimp breath. To be honest, though, this dish is pretty close to worth it even if I can't kiss him after! This is seriously one of my all time favorite dishes. Ever.
You could try to substitute the shrimp for chicken, but I have never done that.
Mmmmmmmm...shrimp chipotle........

{What you need}
2 whole tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
2 whole chipotle peppers
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1/3 cup vegetable oil + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 large raw shrimp, peeled and cleaned (or more, if you like)
1/2 cup sour cream
cooked white rice or angel hair pasta
cut limes for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In an oven proof dish roast tomatoes and garlic for 5 minutes. This is where a lot of the flavor comes from. In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes, garlic, and chipotle peppers for approximately 30 seconds. In a heavy sauce pan add the puree and cumin, oregano, and 1/3 cup vegetable oil. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring constantly.

In a heavy saute pan over medium high heat, add the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the shrimp and saute for two minutes on each side.

Add the chipotle sauce and the 1/2 sour cream to the heated pan and thoroughly blend until hot. Serve with hot white rice or angel hair pasta and garnish with cut limes.

(Compliments of Jackie Durrant)
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