Monday, December 24, 2007

Pesto Sauce

30 large basil leaves
1 clove garlic
4-5 grains rock salt
2-3 Tablespoons pine nuts
1/2-2/3 c. olive oil.
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

Blend basil, garlic, and rock salt in food processor. Add pine nuts and olive oil, combine until it's a medium-textured sauce. Add parmesan cheese. Add more of each ingredient to taste. Serve over pasta, chicken, or anything else. Yum.

Pecan Balls

1 c. butter
3/4 c. powdered sugar
2 1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped pecans
powdered sugar (for rolling)

Cream butter. Add sugar, flour, and salt (it will be hard to mix). Add the remaining ingredients and press into a big ball. Chill 1 hour. Pinch off dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Bake at 400F for 10-14 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar. Roll again in sugar when cool.

Popcorn Balls

1/2 c. margarine (I think real butter would work)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. mini marshmallows
2 quarts popcorn (popped)
2 c. mini marshmallows
mixed nuts (optional)

Melt butter and sugar. Stir in 1 cup of mini marshmallows. Add popcorn, other marshmallows, and nuts. Shape into balls.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Recipe request

I'm looking for a yummy popcorn recipe- the kind that makes the gooey, buttery, sticky kind of popcorn that you could make balls with or just eat. That stuff is SO good.

ye olde Christmas Candy

When I made Christmas candy last year, I wrote a post about why it's important to me. You should read it here, if you want. My mother made it every Christmas season during my childhood and now we make it together!!

Tuesday was the only day we could get together - and I'll tell you, my house STILL smells good and it's Thursday morning! We worked in tandem this time, finishing in record time. Well, we would've been done in record time if on the final batches we hadn't had a small sugar snafu.

The legacy of hard tack comes from my father's mother, and I have taken the liberty of scanning in her recipe, which my mom owns. I love to look at her handwriting. She passed away when I was in 6th grade. If you decide you want to make it (which, really, you should try sometime), here is what we do in addition to/different from this recipe:

First, make sure you buy flavored OILS and not extracts. I've found them at the Dutch County Market and my mom buys them here online. Usually they are tiny bottles measured in DRAMS. Each batch uses ONE DRAM. I think the bottles you get from online are 2 drams, so we just pour in half. Just be sure to look. Typically, here are the flavors and colors we make and stir together when all the batches have been cooled in their jars:
anise - purple
peppermint - yellow
wintergreen - blue
cinnamon - red
spearmint - green
While it's getting ready to boil, make sure you stir it a lot or the sugar will burn on the bottom of the pan. Once it hits about 260 degrees, it starts heating up REALLY fast. Faster than you'd think. So watch it close. Right at 285 degree pull out the candy thermometer, (I usually slide it into a different pot), take the pot off the heat, pour in the oil , put in 12 drops of food coloring and stir and stir. Keep the pot AWAY from your face while you stir, the oil is some STRONG stuff. Seriously. I tend to walk around my house to spread the smell :)

Don't put the powdered sugar on the parchment. Put the powdered sugar in a mason jar and put the parchment on a granite baking slab that you've gotten really cold somehow. We put it outside when it's freezing, or put bags of frozen vegetables on it when it's a warm winter : ) The cold slab helps the candy to cool WAY faster. As you break apart the candy and put it in the jar, every few minutes shake up the jar to coat the candy with the sugar - that's so the pieces don't stick together.

I did a little photo essay on Tuesday:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Vast Number of Recipes

I have a lot of family recipes I want to post, but I don't want to clutter up Telestial Kitchen with a lot of recipes that might have limited appeal. So I am planning on starting up a recipe blog as kind of an annex to my personal blog. If any of you are interested, you can link to it via my blog at Since I am off school for about the next month, it is my goal to post at least one recipe a day.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

For Lisa: Biscuits Supreme

This is my favorite biscuit recipe (although I'm sure there are other greats), and Lisa asked me for it ages ago. It's from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, and you can also find it on their website. But for your convenience I'm putting it right here, along with a few additional tips not found in the recipe.

3 c. all-purpose flour
4 t. baking powder
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
3/4 t. cream of tartar
3/4 c. butter or margarine, or 1/2 c. butter and 1/4 c. shortening
1 1/4 c. buttermilk or 1 c. milk (1 c. milk + 1 T. vinegar = 1 c. buttermilk. Mix them several minutes before you add to the recipe so it has time to do what it's supposed to do. Don't try it with powdered milk. Actually, try it. It's kind of interesting what happens. Just make sure you have some regular milk handy so you can actually make the recipe.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (I suppose you could use 2 knives instead of the pastry blender, but they're so much harder to work with. I recommend the pastry blender.) Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add buttermilk all at once. Using a fork, stir just until moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough by folding and gently pressing dough for 4 to 6 strokes or just until dough holds together. Pat or lightly roll dough until 3/4 inch thick. Cut the dough with a floured 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. (Tip: Don't twist the cutter. It breaks the dough and lets out all the nice air bubbles that make your biscuits light and fluffy. Just press down firmly. Also, cut out as many biscuits as you can from a single rolling of dough because the dough gets tougher with each rolling.)

Place biscuits 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 450 degree F. oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Remove biscuits from baking sheet and serve immediately.

Microwave Caramel Corn

In the spirit of the holidays, I thought I'd add another treat to those already shared. This caramel corn is good anytime, but for some reason my family only made it around Christmas. It's pretty simple.

5 c. popped corn (Note: 1/2 c. unpopped = 12 c. popped)
2 T. dark or light corn syrup
4 T. butter (or margarine--even lite margarine works)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
1/4 t. baking soda

Place popped corn in a paper grocery bag. In a glass bowl or measuring cup, microwave syrup, butter, and brown sugar for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir. Microwave for 1 minute more. Stir. Add vanilla and baking soda. Stir. Mixture should get foamy. Pour syrup over popped corn in bag. Close bag and shake. Place bag in microwave for 1 minute*. Shake again and microwave 1 minute* more. Spread on cookie sheet (no need to grease) and allow to cool.

*When I made this before I got married these times worked great. Then I used our new microwave and the popcorn got overcooked. Now I do 30 seconds/30 seconds, give or take. You might want to just play with it, but if you have a new-ish microwave, it's probably more powerful than the ones used when this recipe was written (which was a LONG time ago). Generally, the longer you cook it the darker and crunchier the caramel corn will be. Shorter times result in lighter, chewier caramel corn. It depends on how you like it.

Another note: Like I said, this was written a long time ago. I recently read that it's not good to cook things (namely turkeys) in paper bags because of chemicals used in production. I've never had a problem with this recipe (so far all of my children have turned out fine), but if any of you know that there is a problem with microwaving food in paper bags, let me know. And let me know if you know of any alternatives because even if it's not unhealthy, paper bags in the microwave are bulky and hard to work with.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Janet Nelson's Persimmon Cookies

I double this and it can make about 80 cookies! They have a yummy, cake-like consistency.

1/2 c butter
1 c sugar (I use less)
1 egg
1 c of pulp (make sure the persimmon is ripe/soft and just scoop it out - takes 1 - 2 big ones)
1 c nuts (I use more - walnuts or pecans)
1 c raisins (instead I like to use dried cranberries- and more than 1 cup)
2 c flour (I use white whole wheat from Trader Joe's)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (I use less)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp each - cinnamon
ground cloves
often I add orange peel
Add the baking soda to the persimmon pulp and set aside for at least 5 minutes
Cream the butter, sugar, egg
Add the pulp and mix
Gently stir in the flour mixture (with spices etc)
Add the nuts and cranraisins (or whatever you're using)
Drop by teaspoonfuls (it spreads) on greased cookie sheet
Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

A Mere Curiosity

This is random. But I'm curious about blog members' responses to this question: What are the ingredients that you can't live without? I'm referring to those ingredients that you use in nearly all your recipes, so important to your kitchen functioning that, if they ceased to exist, your family would starve and your shelves would be bare?

(For example, my crucial ingredients are rice, tofu, canned tomatoes (fire-roasted or basil and oregano), soy sauce, whole wheat pasta, black beans, canned corn, olive oil, adobo (Goya brand), and brownie mix.)

Monday, December 10, 2007

REVIEW: Toffee Troubles

I am so impressed at how EASY this toffee recipe was. However, a few things didn't work out quite right... help please?

When it was "the color of Peanut Butter", I poured it out only to find the "toffee" was swimming in melted butter in the pan. It was mostly hard after leaving it in the fridge for 2 hours, (still kind of chewy-hard, not rock hard) but once I left it on the counter overnight, it was gooey-ish and the chocolate was melted. It does taste right though. But it is kind of grainy. Did I not heat it long enough? Did I use cheap sugar? Will baking chocolate not melt as much as choc. chips?

I promise I used real butter this time.

Please help. I want to make a million batches of this for everyone we know, but I want to figure out what I did wrong first...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

REQUEST: Persimmon Recipes

I gave out a bunch of persimmons at church a few weeks ago on behalf of someone with a productive tree. I gave them to people who had no idea how to use a persimmon, and promised I would send them recipes. I have no recipes.
Could you please ask around for something to do with Hachiya (cooking) persimmons?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fudge Recipe for dummies

1 Cube Margarine
1 Cup Evaporated Milk
3 Cups Sugar
• Put all the ingredients in a heavy LARGE saucepan.
• Cook at medium high heat until butter is melted.
• When it starts boiling set the timer for seven minutes (this may differ for you, but this the first time you need to check for soft ball stage) Use a glass bowl, fill it with cold water, take a spoonful of the mixture and drop it in the water. If it forms a soft ball when you roll it between your fingers, pop it in your mouth and be on your way… if not, set the time for one more minute and test again. Repeat procedure until soft ball can be formed. If you do it too long though it will completely ruin it… careful!
1 pint of marshmallow crème
1 bag of milk chocolate chips (you can use semi-sweet too, but I think it is too bitter tasting)
nuts (yuk) if you want.
• Stir until all the chocolate is melted
• SPRAY WITH NONSTICK SPRAY and put in a regular 11 X 13 cake pan.
• Cover and put in fridge

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Microwave Peanut Brittle

This is Katie's recipe.

1 cup raw peanuts
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a microwave bowl cook 8 minutes on high, stirring 2-3 times during. (Watch carefully. I burned this once and it was a pain to clean up.)

add 1 Tablespoon butter

Cook 3 minutes on high

add 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda

Put into buttered pan right after adding soda. Do not spread with a spoon.

Disclaimer: I've only made this twice with two different microwaves. The second time was when I burned it (I haven't been brave enough to try it again). Microwaves cook differently so watch it.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Flour Tortillas

These tortillas are pretty easy and sooooo good. Plus they freeze well, so I encourage making a large batch and then saving for later.

Also, as a quick note... if you're going to make them more than once, I HIGHLY recommend a tortilla press. You can get them dirt cheap at your local Latino market ($5-$10) and are worth every penny. Rolling them out by hand is at least 3 times more work. I have a 8 inch metal one that I looooooooove. The perk of metal is that you don't have to use a piece of wax paper when you roll them out like you do on a wood press. Ok, enough about that.

5 c. flour (or, if using whole wheat, 4 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup white flour)
1/2 c. olive oil (you can also use lard or shortening... but I like to pretend I'm being healthy, despite my plans to top them with piles of cheese)
2 t. salt
1.5 c. boiling water

Mix the flour, olive oil and salt together with a fork, or ideally, a pastry blender. Make a well and pour in the boiling water. Mix together with a fork and then as it begins to become one large ball, knead by hand until it is moist, but does not stick to your hands. Add flour or boiling water as needed to get to this consistency.
Form 1-2 inch balls and set on a plate. Cover with a towel and set aside for 15-20 minutes, up to an hour. I have no idea why this step is important, but it makes a big difference.
Roll (or press) out until very thin. I usually press the tortillas twice, once on each side, to make them as even as possible.
Heat a griddle or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Place the tortillas on, and flip over when they start to bubble and have light brown spots. Remove and place in a stack on a plate or in a cloth napkin, or allow to cool slightly and then refrigerate or freeze.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Chicken Enchiladas

This is a variation of a recipe my Grandma uses... and I have two different ways that I make them... the less-Mexican way, and the much-less-Mexican way. :)

1 cooked chicken (or 8-10 cooked chicken tenders), shredded
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, coarsely diced
2 4oz. cans diced green chiles (you can substitute one can of diced jalapeños if you like things muy picante, like me)
2 8oz. packages cream cheese
12-18 tortillas, depending on size (I usually use the medium size, and end up using about 14 tortillas... 8 if you're using the variety that Costco sells)
8 oz. shredded cheese (white for version #1, orange and white for version #2)
1/4 cup milk (for version #1 only)
1 can enchilada sauce (for version #2 only)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While preheating, stick in a 13x9 pan with 2 tablespoons butter in it to melt. Remove the pan when the butter is almost completely melted, set aside.
Saute the onions in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter until about half-soft.
Add the green chiles, saute until the onions are soft.
Add the cream cheese (both packages) to the onion/chiles mix. Stir on low heat until well mixed.
Add the shredded chicken, remove from heat.
Assemble - put chicken mix in the tortillas, place in buttery pan with the seam of the tortilla down. Repeat until your pan is full or you're out of stuff. Sometimes it takes two pans (sorry, guys).

VERSION #1 - Sprinkle shredded white cheese (I usually use mozzarella or monterey jack) on top of the enchiladas. Pour 1/4 cup milk on top of the enchiladas. Cook for 20 minutes.
VERSION #2 - Pour enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Top with shredded cheese (I use the Mexican blend from Costco that I drive 3 hours to get). Cook for 20 minutes.

Enjoy. I often top with sour cream, lettuce, and possibly salsa.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

REVIEW: Giant Eclair

I was going to put this in the comments of the recipe, but when this recipe gets 35 people (young and old) to look past everything on the dessert table and fight over the last crumbs, well...kudos to the recipe-giver!

I made this for Thanksgiving, and in a sea of pies, it was the first thing to disappear. Everyone LOVED IT.

Thank you SO much for sharing! This will become a family staple!

Sweet Potato Souffle

This is the recipe of a friend's grandmother who is from the deep south. It's yummy!

3 C sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 T sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 C milk
1/2 t vanilla


1 C dark brown sugar
1/2 C flour
3/4 stick butter
1 C chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Add to sweet potatoes the sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Pour potato mixture into a well-buttered baking dish.

Mix topping: melt butter; add sugar and flour. Blend well. Add pecans. The mixture should be paste-like. Spread the topping over the potatoes. Bake at 350 for 40 min. Let sit for about 10 min before serving.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Caramel Pecan Pie

I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a major hit. It was super easy, too. I will be making this every year from now on!

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
40 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.)
In a saucepan over low heat, combine caramels, butter and milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Gradually mix in the melted caramel mixture. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool until filling is firm. I actually made it the day before, and it was great, too.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Triple Chocolate Oreo Pudding Pie

Guess I should have posted this's super-easy and really yummy.

1-1/2 cups cold milk

1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling

1 OREO Pie Crust (6 oz.)

10 whole OREO cookies

2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided

POUR milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Spoon half of the pudding into crust.

PLACE the whole cookies in a single layer on the pudding.

GENTLY stir 1 cup of the whipped topping into remaining pudding; spoon over pudding layer in crust.

TOP with the remaining 1 cup whipped topping. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Store any leftover pie in refrigerator. If you have leftover cookie crumbs, you can sprinkle those on top too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lesley’s Easy Italian Chicken

Lesley made this recipe up when she was a student in college. It’s very easy and quick to make.


Thawed or Fresh Chicken Breasts (one per serving)
1 ½ cup Bottled Italian Dressing (Kraft Roasted Red Pepper is really good.)


Place chicken breasts in a lidded frying pan. Pour dressing over. If dressing does not cover the bottom of the pan, add water until it does. Simmer over medium high heat until chicken is slightly browned on one side, and then flip it to cook the other side. Cook until chicken is no longer pink.

Number of servings varies—you can cook as many or as few chicken breasts as you want.

Calories per serving: 305
Grams of protein per serving: 43
Grams of saturated fat per serving: 1


Did you guys notice a few new blog authors this week? Meet the lovely Vicky D. and Allison B.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tortilla Soup

(It's my rip-off of California Pizza Kitchen's recipe)

2 cans of corn
2 cans of cream soup (I use mushroom, but any is fine)
2 cans of chilies (not jalapenos)
tortilla chips, crunched into medium chunks (stale ones are fine)

Put one can of corn in the blender and blend until smooth. Put the blended corn, the unblended, undrained corn, cream soup, and chilies all in a pot and heat up. Add a little water if it's too thick. Serve hot with crushed tortilla chips on top. Soo easy, and a good recipe to use if you have unexpected company because it's super fast.

Man Soup

(This is named for my husband, who only likes really hearty soup)

1 package dried tortellini
2 cans of vegetable broth
1 cup of water
frozen green beans, french cut
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
boullion to taste
mix of rosemary, oregano, italian seasoning, and a salt-free spice blend (basically I just raided the spice cabinet until the broth smelled good and wasn't too salty.)
This recipe is very adaptable. If you like corn, add it, if you hate garbanzos, leave 'em out, etc. Even the spices are flexible--I think oregano is a keeper though.

1. Bring the water and broth to a boil. While it is heating up, open the chickpeas and rinse them under running water until they stop foaming. Then add them to the broth.
2. While the broth is heating up, add spices and bouillon to taste.
3. When the broth is boiling, add the frozen greenbeans. They heat through really quickly.
4. Bring the broth to a boil again.
5. Add the tortellini and cook to the manufacturer's instructions (mine took about 12 minutes)
6. Serve.
This whole thing takes about 25 minutes, and used just stuff we had in the kitchen. Its very filling, and makes good leftovers--although by the next day, this is way too thick to still qualify as soup. :)

So-Easy Sparkling Cider

I love Martinelli's sparkling cider at the holidays, but it's expensive, especially if you have a big group. Here is my own recipe for a large quantity of sparkling cider on the cheap.

club soda (wait til it goes on sale for $1 a bottle or less)
frozen apple juice concentrate
tap water

Basically, you just mix it like it says on the apple juice can, but replace 2/3 of the water with club soda. So if it calls for 3 cans of water, use 2 cans of club soda and one can of tap water.

Southern Made Cheese Ball

Every time I make this, I get rabid requests for the recipe. It's a holiday favorite of mine too. (Also, to give credit where credit is due, I got this recipe from

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (I use 2 bricks ofNeufchatel--see note)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon Creole-style seasoning (shop for one that is not super high in sodium)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup diced cooked ham (I am a vegetarian, so I have always left this out)
1 tablespoon creamy salad dressing, e.g. Miracle Whip ™
Topping to roll cheeseball in--chopped pecans, grated cheese

In a large bowl, mix by hand, cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, green onions, chili powder, Creole-style seasoning, Cheddar cheese, ham and creamy salad dressing. Form the mixture into one or more balls. Roll in topping if desired. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving.

Note: Neufchatel cheese is often sold by the bricks of cream cheese. It tastes absolutely the same but is 1/3 the fat. And it doesn't have the weird texture of low-fat cream cheese, either. But I usually make this recipe with 2 bricks Neufchatel, and 1 brick regular cream cheese, just in case.

Snickers Pecan Pie

3 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 c White corn syrup
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c melted butter
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c chopped snickers bars (12 fun size snickers) or 9 oz.
1 c chopped pecans

To make filling, combine eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla. Stir in chopped snickers bars and pecans. Pour filling into unbaked 9" pie shell. bake at 375 for 40-50 min. or until knife inserted off center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Garnish with whipped cream and slices of snickers.

Cranberry Pecan Pie

3 eggs
1 c. corn syrup
2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. fresh cranberries
1 c. chopped pecans

Prepare pastry in a 9" pie plate. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix filling (1st five ingredients) well, add cranberries and pecans and stir until coated. Pour into shell. Bake 10 min. at 425 degrees, then 38 min. at 350 degrees. Cool and refrigerate.

Monday, November 19, 2007

French Apple Pie

Here is my sister Allison's favorite pie recipe. Seems simple enough. I am planning to make a couple of them this week.


1 ready to bake pie crust
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
6 cups cored, peeled and thinly sliced tart baking apples (approx. 4-5 med. sized apples)
1 cup flour (King Arthur's White Whole Wheat is actually the best.)
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature

  1. Preheat the oven to 350* F.
  2. Mix sugar, starch, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Stir in sliced apples.
  4. Dump apple mixture into prepared crust.
  5. To prepare the crumb topping, mix together flour and brown sugar. Blend in the butter or margarine until crumbly.
  6. Sprinkle crumb topping over pie.
  7. Bake pie on a sheet pan for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Request: PIE

My mom called this weekend with my Thanksgiving Dinner "assignment."

2 pies.

For one of them, I'm rebelling and making the aforementioned Giant Eclair, which will be a TREMENDOUS hit, I'm sure! But I'm still stuck on pie number 2.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Request: Vegetable Side Dishes/Veggies

I am so bad at feeding my family veggies. Either I made a green salad (which my kids won't eat) or I just pop some frozen veggies into the microwave. Does anyone have any ideas of how to get more veggies into my kids in more varied ways? Thanks.

REVIEW Again: Curry in a Hurry

I made this again last night. I only used half the curry seasoning (it's all I had) and my 4 year old still said it was too spicy...oh well, what can you do. I used coconut milk instead of the cream. I'm not sure if it was the brand or not, but it wasn't very coconutty. It was still good though.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

African Chickpea & Spinach Soup (Vegan)

2 Tbs olive oil
1 med onion, chopped (about 1 c.)
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp if you are using prepacked minced garlic)
1/4 c. smooth natural peanut butter
2 c. low sodium veggie broth, divided
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp coriander
1 15 oz. can chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans), rinsed & drained
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 c. spinach, chopped
1/2 c. chopped cilantro

1) Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, sauté 5 minutes, or until soft and golden. Add garlic, and cook 2-3 more minutes until garlic is soft and lightly browned
2)Blend peanut butter and 1/2 cup broth in food processor (or blender) to make a smooth paste. Blend remaining broth into mixture.

3) Add paprika, coriander, and cayenne to onion mixture, sauté one minute or until fragrant. Stir in peanut butter mixture, chickpeas, and tomatoes.

4)Simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in spinach and cilantro just before serving.

***I would say this needs to simmer at least 5 minutes, but can simmer as long as you need it to; I simmered the soup for 20+ minutes. I added two can of chickpeas to give it more substance. I used only half of the spinach...oh, and I used frozen, prechopped spinach. And my cilantro was slimy, so I didn't use any. ***
***I pulled the coriander jar from my spice rack to find little dried seed pod looking things. I didn't know what to do with them, so I measured 1 tsp then kind of crushed them with the back of a spoon. Maybe you have skillz with coriander, but I don' that's what I did. Seemed to work***
***This was really good paired with cornbread. And I have found the cornbread of my dreams. I got it at Costco, it is Marie Callenders. So good. So tasty. ***

way too easy oreos

1 pkg chocolate cake mix
1/3 c oil
2 eggs
mix, spoon by teaspoonfuls onto cookiesheet (I press down a bit with my fingers). Bake 6-8 min at 350. Cool and frost with can of storebought cream cheese frosting putting two cookies, flat side together.
1 box cake mix makes about a dozen finished cookies. A jar of frosting goes much much farther, depending on the finger licking involved.
Yes, you can use any kind of cake mix and frosting combo you like. I also like spice cake and cream cheese, or lemon and white frosting. Go nuts. oh, that would be good too. :)

No-Bake Cookies with a *Twist*

I've always thought no-bakes were a so-so kind of cookie...but just for fun, I added some rice crispies to the recipe and it was a pleasant surprise! I think it'll be a permanent change for us...and BAD for my waistline. =)

In a heavy-bottomed pot, bring the following ingredients to a boil:
1/2c. butter
1/2c. milk
1 c. sugar

Boil for about 1 1/2 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Whisk in:
1/2c. smooth peanut butter
5T cocoa powder

When the mixture is smooth, stir in:
2c. quick oats
2c. rice crispies

Spoon by 1-2 tablespoon-sized scoops onto a wax paper-lined cookie sheet or plate. Chill for 1-2 hours (or overnight, if you have time)...

The original recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar, but I thought it was WAYYYYYYY too sweet. My husband and I thought 1 cup was PLENTY. But in the interest of full disclosure, I thought I'd include the original amount for you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

REVIEW: Impossible Garden Pie

This was SO good and SO easy! I doubled the recipe and used one for a pot-luck. I used broccoli instead of zucchini (what I had on hand) and it turned out really well. Connor actually ate more than I did, which is saying something, since I can't seem to get the kid to eat ANY vegetables. This will definitely be inserted into the regular rotation.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pan Seared Salmon with Pineapple Jalepeno Salsa

I don't like Salmon, but this is amazing.

2 cups chopped pineapple object
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion object
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper object
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
2 finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided object
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, chili powder, and black pepper, stirring well; sprinkle evenly over fish. Add fish to pan, skin side up; cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with pineapple mixture.
4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet and about 1/2 cup pineapple mixture)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fried Bananas (like at P.F. Changs)

One of the only things I could make when Scott married me. Definately worth knowing how to do. Great party food.

Vegetable Oil (several cups)
Lumpia / Egg roll Dough (find in the refrig. produce area)
Fudge sauce or Hershey's syrup
Vanilla / Coconut ice cream
Deep skillet or Pot
Metal tongs

Here is the step-by-step, Pioneer Woman style.

Slice bananas. Cut the Lumpia in half, "hot dog way". (i.e. the skinny way.) Place the banana on one of the halves.

Fold the sides in, and crease them. Fold one end down, like you were wrapping a present.

Starting with the folded end, roll the banana up in the Lumpia. Make it tight.

Put a dab of water on the end before you press it into the roll. The water will act like glue. Fill a deep skillet with oil, until half the banana roll will be covered with oil. Heat to Med. Low. When a drop of of water sizzles when tossed into oil, place several banana rolls into the oil, standing up. Fry approx. 3 minutes, then flip so raw side is in oil. Flip back and forth every few minutes until golden brown. Serve hot, arranged around a scoop of ice cream, and covered with chocolate.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Impossible Garden Pie

2 c chopped zucchini
1 c diced tomato
1/2 c chopped onion
1/3 grated Parmesan
1 c milk
1/2 Bisquick
2 eggs
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Preheat oven to 400º
Mix zuke, tomato, onion, and cheese together in bowl; spread evenly in lightly greased pie pan. Combine remaining ingredients and beat until smooth (15 secs in blender, 1 min. w/ hand mixer). Pour into pie pan (pan will likely be tip-top full). Bake until golden and knife comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes or more before cutting.

This resembles quiche. My husband despises quiche. He really liked this. It would be really good with pieces of ham in it, too. And definitely let it stand and setup before cutting into it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Lunch Group

This is the first time in the last 3 months I've looked at this blog and I haven't wanted to throw up. It has nothing to do with the food - it looks DELICIOUS, I've just been really nauseated. Well, I'm back and looking to gain 25-35lbs over the next 6 months, so let the eating begin!

Anywho, I have a little lunch group that I belong to. We meet every month and try new recipes. I hosted this month and the food was yummy. I'll post some other recipes from other months when I'm not tired.

Thanksgiving Sandwich - inspired by Kneaders
- Rolls or any other bread, whatever you like. This bread would be great!
- Rotisserie turkey breast
- Cranberry sauce from a can (get the whole cranberries)
- Lettuce
- Tomato
- Avocado
- Mayo
- Honey mustard
- Sprouts

Directions: Cut up veggies. Mix the mayo and honey mustard – ½ honey mustard, ½ mayo. Put it on the bread. Eat. Duh.


Butternut Squash Bisque - from this recipe blog, but I changed it a little.
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 4 cups/one whole butternut squash
- 3 cups chicken broth
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Ground nutmeg to taste
- ½ cup cream


1. Preheat over to 375. Cut butternut squash in half, remove seeds. Lay cut side down on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
2. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion in the butter and oil until tender.
3. Mix carrots and squash into the pot. Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender.
4. In a blender or food processor, puree the soup mixture until smooth. Return to the pot, and stir in the cream. Heat through, but do not boil. Serve warm with a dash of nutmeg.


Jamie’s Cranberry Salad
-1 tablespoon butter
-3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
-1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
-1 cup dried cranberries
-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
-1 tablespoon poppy seeds
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/4 teaspoon paprika
-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
-1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, paprika, cider vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving.


Poached Pears with Vanilla Cream from Everyday Food
- 8 firm, ripe Bosc pears
- 4 Tbsp light-brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ cup vanilla ice cream

1. Peel 4 firm, ripe Bosc pears, and core from the bottom using a melon baler, leaving stems intact. In a 2-quart microwave-safe dish with a lid, place 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, and add pears. Cover, and microwave on high until the pears are tender enough to pierce with a knife, 10 to 12 minutes (timing will vary depending upon ripeness of pears). Don’t be concerned if pears fall over on their sides as they cook. Carefully uncover, as dish lid will release steam.

2. Transfer cooked pears to four shallow serving bowls, leaving juices behind. Add ¼ cup vanilla ice cream to the juices of the dish; stir until smooth and saucy. Dividing evenly, spoon sauce around the pears; serve at room temperature or chilled.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Giant Éclairs

Edited in italics after making this last night.

A recipe that I got from my sister-in-law Joy. Everyone was fighting for seconds. These were amazing and tasted much more like éclairs than my recipe for éclairs with graham crackers.

1 c. water
1 stick butter
1 c. flour
4 eggs

Bring water and butter to boil. Remove from heat and add flour. Then add eggs one at a time and stir. Pour onto large greased cookie sheet (with 1 inch sides) and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. (From my experience you might want to start checking it at 20 minutes and don't be alarmed if it gets bubbles.) I cooked this for only 23 minutes. Cool. You can place another cookie sheet on top while it cools to help the bubbles go down.

2 1/2 c. milk
1 large vanilla pudding mix
8oz. cream cheese softened

Beat until smooth. Spread on crust. Top with 12 oz. cool whip. Top all of that with chocolaty goodness or fruity yummies of your choice.

My frosting for éclairs:
5 Tbsp. cocoa
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. oil
2 tsp. karo syrup
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Heat until smooth. While hot, pour on top of éclair's cake. Cool and refrigerate overnight.

You can also pour and spread on a bottle of the ice cream topping Magic Shell.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Creamy Chicken Lasagna

So I got this recipe from my Relief Society; they asked for volunteers to make it for a night that we do dinner at the local soup kitchen. It's the kind of excessively creamy recipe I normally try to avoid because of its astronomical caloric contribution, but since it was for charity: I made it. I also made an extra one for us (I used all fat-free and "healthy request" products trying to cut the fat a little bit). To my chagrin, it was quite delicious and my husband had thirds. Man. I hate being reminded that sometimes unhealthiness is super-yummy.

(The recipe format is weird; this is how I received it.)

Cook until done:
3 whole chicken breasts (then cut up)
9 lasagna noodles

Mix together:
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2/3 c. milk
8 oz. cream cheese
1 pint sour cream
1 tsp. poultry seasoning

Add to sauce:
the chicken breasts

Also get ready:
1/2 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese

Layer in a 9 x 13 pan:
Noodles on bottom
Sauce, chicken and cheese
Repeat layers

Bake at 375 degrees for at least 30 minutes.

Review: pulled roast with cilantro sauce

YUMMMMY!!! I knew this would be good simply because Corinne has awesome recipes, but hello! I don't even like cilantro and I absolutely LOVE this. I have eaten it every day since I made it. I must confess that I carmelized the inside of my crockpot because the roast I used wasn't fatty enough, but hey, it was still really good. Keep them coming please.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Cookie is a Sometimes Food

Did you know this is an actual song that the Cookie Monster sings on Sesame Street? I just learned that this very week.

My mother in-law sent me this email, and I thought "Hey, what the heck, I'll post it!" I've never tried any of the recipes, but I thought it was quite a novelty to have so many cookie recipes in one place.... I might even try a few.

1-2-3 Cookies 7 Layer Cookies Allie Nelson's Famous Snickerdoodle Cookies Almond Crescent Shortbread Amish Sugar Cookies Andies Candies Cookies Angel Crisps Angenets Applesauce Cookies Apricot Fold-Overs Aunt Edy's Molasses Crinkles Auntie Linda's Ginger Gems Bakeless Dream Cookies Banana Drop Cookies Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World Biscotti Biscotti Blueberry Cookies Boiled Chocolate Oatmeal Drop Cookies Bronwnies Brown Sugar Shortbread Brownie Cookies Brownie Delight Brownies Buccaneer Snowballs Buried Cherry Cookies Butter Cookies Butter Nut Balls Butterballs Butterscotch Haystacks C.O.P. Cookies Candy Cane Cookies Candy Cookies Caramel Shortbread Cheesecake Brownies Cherry Buns Cherry Crowns Cherry Winks Chewies Chewy Noels Chinese Chews/Haystacks Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Chocolate Chip Cookies Chocolate Chip Meltaways Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies Chocolate Christmas Trees Chocolate Cream Cheese Squares Chocolate Crinkles Chocolate Mint Snow-Top Cookies Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (no bake) Chocolate Snowball Cookies Chocolate Streusel Bars Chocolate Sundae Cookies Chocolate Walnut Crumb Bars Choco-Scotch Crunchies Choose A Cookie Dough Recipe Christmas Crackers Christmas Crunch Bars Christmas Ginger Snaps Christmas Macaroons Christmas Mice Cookies Christmas Shaped Cookies Church Window Cookies Coconut Cookies Congo Squares Cookie in a Jar Corn Flakes Cookies Cornflake Christmas Wreaths Cowboy Cookies (oatmeal) Cream Cheese Cookies with Apricot Filling Crème De Menthe Chocolate Squares Crème Wafers Crescent Cookies Crispy Crunchies Date Nut Balls Date-nut Pinwheel Cookies Diabetic Peanut Butter Cookies Disgustingly Rich Brownies Doodles Double chocolate chip cookies Double-Chocolate Crinkles Eatmore Cookies Eggnog Cookies Elizabeth's Sugar Cookies Elves Quick Fudge Brownies Emily Dickinson's Gingerbread Cookie Recipe Emily's Best Brownies Famous Oatmeal Cookies Firemen Cookies Fluffy Shortbread Cookies Forgotten Cookies Frosted Peanut Butter Brownies Fruit Cake Cookies Fruitcake Squares Fry Pan Cookies Gems Ginger Cookies Ginger Crinkles Gingerbread Baby Gingerbread Cookies with Butter Cream Icing Gingerbread Men Gingerbread Men Ginny's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Glory's Golden Graham Squares Glory's Sugar Cookies Gramma Chapman's chocolate coconut drops Grandma Elsie's Zimt (cinnamon) Cookies Grandma J's Butter Cookies Grandma Olson's Parkay Cookies Great Grandmothers Sugar Cookies Gum Drop Cookies Gumdrop Gems Haystack Cookies Ho-Ho Bars Holiday Cereal Snaps Holiday Chocolate Butter Cookies Holiday Raisin Walnut Bars Holly Cookies Hungarian Cookies (Little Nut Rolls) Ice Box Cookies Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies Italian Cookies Jacob's Peppermint Snowballs Jam Bars Jessica's Famous Brownies Jessie's Chocolate Chip Cookies Jubilee Jumbles Juliet's Peanut Butter Blossoms Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies Kentucky Colonels Kiefle (cream cheese cookies with jam filling) Kifflings Kiss Cookies Lacy Swedish Almond Wafers Lemon Angel Bar Cookies Lemon Bars Lemon Cake Cookies Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies Lemon Squares Linzer Tarts Log Cabin Cookies Luscious Lemon Squares M&M Cookies Magic Cookie Bars Melt in Your Mouth Cutout Sugar Cookies Melting Shortbread Meme's Cream Cheese Cookies Milk Chocolate Florentine Cookies Mincemeat Cookies Mincemeat Goodies Molasses Cookies Molasses Forest Cookies Molasses Sugar Cookies Mom Mom's Crescent Cookies Mom-Mom's Ginger Cookies Mom's Nutmeg Sugar Cookies Mom's Old Fashion "Puffy" Sugar Cookies Monster Cookies Moravian Christmas Cookies Nana's Famous Soft Southern Cookies Nitey Nite Cookies No Bake Chocolate Cookies No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies No Bake Cookies No Bake Cookies No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies No-Bake Cookies Norwegian Sugar Cookies Nut Balls Oatmeal Bars Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Nut Cookies Oatmeal Coconut Crisps Oatmeal Cookies Oatmeal Scotchies Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Ooey Gooey Caramel Chocolate Dunk Ooey Gooey Squares Orange Slice Cookies Parking Lot Cookies Peanut Blossoms Peanut Butter Bars Peanut Butter Blossoms Peanut Butter Cereal Cookies Peanut Butter Chewies Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars Peanut Butter Cookies Peanut Butter Cookies Peanut butter fingers Peanut Butter Reindeer Peanut Butter Surprises Peanut Marshmallow Cookies Pecan Puff Cookies Peppermint Snowballs Peppernuts Persimmon Cookies Persimmon Cookies Petey's Yummy Spicy Almond Thins Pfeffernuesse Pffefferneuse Cookies Pineapple Filled Cookies Pizzelles Potato Chip Cookies Potato Flake Cookies Praline Cookies Praline Strips Pterodactyl Nests Pumpkin Bars Pumpkin Bars Pumpkin Chip Cookies Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Pumpkin Cookies Queen Biscuits Quick Cookies Raised Sugar Cookies Raisin Filled Oatmeal Bars Raspberry Meringue Bars Really Peanutty Butter Cookies Reese`s Brownies Reese's Peanut Butter Bars Rich Flavor Christmas Cookies Rich Lemon Bars Ricotta Cheese Cookies Royal Almond Christmas Bars Rudolph Cinnamon Cookies Russian Tea Cookies Russian Teacakes Samantha & Kelsey's Chocolate Chip Cookies Sand Art Brownies Santa Claus Cookie Pops Santa Claus Cookies Santa's Butterscotch Melts Santa's Shorts Santa's Special Squares Scotch Cakes Scotch Shortbread Scotcharoos Scotcheroos Seven Layer Cookies Short Bread Cookies Shortbread Skor Squares Snicker Doodle Cookies Snickerdoodles Snickerdoodles Snow Balls Sour Cream Apple Squares Sour Cream Christmas Cookies Special K Cookies Spice Cookies Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Spritz Cookies Stained Glass Window Cookies Stir & Drop Sugar Cookies Sugar Cookies Sugar Cookies Sugar Cookies Swedish Pepparkakor (Pepper Cake) Cookies Swedish Sugar Cookies Sweet Marie's Swiss Treats Taralle (Italian Cookies) Tea Time Tassies Texas Brownies The Best Shortbread in The World Thumbprint Cookies Thumbprint Cookies Toffee Squares Traditional Christmas Sugar Cookies Traditional Gingerbread Men Cookies Triple-Chocolate Chip Cookies Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies Vanilla Waffer Balls Walnut Butter Cookies Walnut Crumb Bars White Chip Chocolate Cookies Wild Oatmeal Cookies Will's Famous Apple Jack Cookies Yummy Yummy Peanut Butter Blossoms