Monday, November 29, 2010

Brownies for Missionaries

The other day Elder Jeff asked for a brownie recipe. The first one I sent him didn't work, because he can't get chocolate chips in Uruguay. (That's pretty sad.) However, this recipe does work for him.

Note: Here's the first recipe, the one using chocolate chips.


1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cookie Pizza

I'm not sure where this recipe came from, but it's a delicious one, although a bit messy to cut (because of the sticky marshmallows). We tried it again today when we realized there was a "help bring refreshments" assignment for the fireside that started in an hour. Within a half hour, we were ready.

Cookie Pizza

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour. Spread dough onto a greased 12-inch pizza pan. Bake at 375° for 10 mintues. Sprinkle with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Bake 2-3 minutes longer until lightly browned. Note: This recipe is best eaten the same day it's prepared.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake

While I stayed after church for a meeting, Princess came home and looked through the recipe books to find something for dessert. Here's what she chose. I was amazed we had all the ingredients and that we actually had time for it to set before our planned dinner time. Although noone elevated it to "favorite pie" status, everyone said it was delicious and we should have it again.

Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake

1 (7-ounce) package soft caramels - about 20 candies
1/4 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup chopped pecans - divided use
1 (9-inch) chocolate crumb pie crust**
2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups milk
1 (3.9-ounce) package chocolate instant pudding mix
1/2 cup fudge topping

Place caramels and evaporated milk in a saucepan. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth for about five minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Pour into pie crust. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, and milk in a blender. Process until smooth. Add pudding mix; process for about 30 seconds more. Pour pudding mixture over caramel layer. Chill about 15 minutes. Drizzle fudge topping over pudding layer and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans. Chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
** To make the crust, combine 3 tablespoons melted butter and 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (Oreos work fine). Press into a 9" pie plate and bake for 6-8 minutes at 350°. Cool before filling.


also known as
Georgia Raised Biscuits

1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 teaspoons salt
5 cups flour

Soften yeast in water to which sugar has been added. Combine flour and salt and cut in butter. Stir in water. Knead lightly (may need a bit more flour), roll out and cut with biscuit cutter. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Lightly brush with melted butter if desired. (Can also stack two high, which is what the originally recipe called for, but we prefer the single layer version.) Let rise for one hour. Then bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Makes two dozen. This recipe came from Jeanine Tibbitts in my Hollister Relief Society Cookbook. The first time we tried it, our school-age boys decided they looked like frisbees. I suspect they actually tested them to see if they flew like frisbees! Hence, we renamed the recipe.

Baked Chicken Fingers

These chicken "nuggets" are much better than the ones you buy in the freezer section, and they really don't take that much more work, particularly if you make up a big batch and stick them in the freezer yourself. If you do that, just reheat the frozen fingers for 5-10 minutes in a 400° oven.Baked Chicken Fingers

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips or cubes
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Ranch dressing**
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Combine the milk and Ranch dressing and toss with the chicken. Combine bread crumbs and paprika and toss with the chicken. (Although it can get messy, it's fastest to do this with your clean hands and a large bowl. However, you could also use a spoon or a bag for shaking.) Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes; turn once if desired. Serve warm, with various dipping sauces if desired. Freezes well.

**You can substitute 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons dry mustard and 1 teaspoon onion powder for the Ranch dressing

French Cheese Puffs with Ham

These are basically cream puffs, but the ingredients are adjusted to make a savory appetizer instead of a sweet dessert. They're best served hot, but are still good at room temperature.

French Cheese Puffs with Ham

1/3 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup flour
3 eggs
1 cup chopped ham
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley or chives

Bring butter and water to a boil; stir in flour and cook until it forms a ball. Cool a bit, then beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in ham, cheese and parsley. Drop by tablespoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400°. Makes about 2 dozen.

Spinach Tortellini Salad

I found the idea for this recipe here, and it turned out great. We tried the leftovers warmed up, and it was delicious that way as well. Spinach Tortellini Salad

1 (9 ounce) package cheese-filled tortellini
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives
1 (8 ounce) bottle Italian-style salad dressing

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, rinse under cold water and drain. In a large bowl, combine the tortellini, spinach, cheese, tomatoes and olives. Add enough salad dressing to coat. Toss and season with salt and pepper.

Mother's One Pan Family Meal

This recipe came from Gloria in Beaumont Texas; how, I have no idea, but that's what it says in my recipe binder. We like it, though, so thank you Gloria.
Mother's One Pan Family Meal

1 cup uncooked rice
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 can creamed corn
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Cover the bottom of a 9x13" pan with rice. Brown ground beef and onion together; drain. Add remaining ingredients except cheese and still well. Pour over the rice. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese.

Note: I used thawed wheat/meat and didn't heat anything before pouring it over the rice. It took about 90 minutes for it to cook. However, I expected that because that's how long my chicken and rice recipe takes, so dinner was still on time. It may only take 25 minutes in the oven if your mixture is boiling first.

Another note: Amazingly this week I was out of creamed corn, so I used regular canned corn instead. I also had a half can of cream of mushroom soup in the fridge, so substituted that for the whole can of cream of chicken soup. And I never have Rotel tomatoes; I just regular canned tomatoes for that. As you can see, it's a very forgiving recipe.


The other day "Beef Taquitos" was on the menu plan. When it came time to fix dinner, however, I decided to use some leftover barbecued ribs instead of ground beef. I just shredded the pork, added a bit of salsa and cheese, rolled them up in the tortillas (large ones instead of small ones) and baked them. They were fabulous! However, the original recipe is delicious as well, so I'll go ahead and post it below. Beef Taquitos

1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 cup salsa
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
10 6" tortillas
1/2 cup Cheddar or Jack cheese

Brown beef with onion and garlic. (Remember you can always use wheat/meat instead!) Stir in salsa and seasonings; simmer for 10 minutes. Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup beef mixture. Sprinkle with some cheese. Roll up and place seam side down on foil lined baking sheet. Brush lightly with oil if desired. Bake 8-12 minutes at 400°. If desired, serve with additional salsa and sour cream.

Classic Green Bean Casserole

We actually had this a couple of weeks ago for dinner (minus the french-fried onions because I didn't feel like opening the can). However, I didn't take a picture. You can go to the official Campbell's site to see what it looks like if you don't know.
Classic Green Bean Casserole

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Dash ground black pepper
4 cups cooked cut green beans
1 1/3 cups French's® French Fried Onions

1.Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.
2.Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the bean mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining onions.
3.Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

This year I took a picture!
Green Bean Casserole - the 2016 version

•Easy Substitution: Use 1 bag (16 to 20 ounces) frozen green beans, thawed, 2 packages (9 ounces each) frozen green beans, thawed, 2 cans (about 16 ounces each) green beans, drained or about 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans for this recipe.
•Easy Substitution: For Broccoli Casserole, substitute 4 cups cooked broccoli florets for the green beans.
•Flavor Variation: For cheese lovers, stir in 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese with the soup. Omit the soy sauce. Sprinkle with an additional 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese when adding the remaining onions.
•Flavor Variation: To add a festive touch, stir in 1/4 cup chopped red pepper with the soup.
•Flavor Variation: To add crunch, add 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds to the onion topping.
•Flavor Variation: For bacon lovers, add 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, to the bean mixture.
•Flavor Variation: For Golden Green Bean Casserole, substitute Campbell's® Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup for the Cream of Mushroom Soup. Omit the soy sauce. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped red pepper with the green beans.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Crustless Spinach Quiche

Although the non-quiche-loving son didn't try this recipe (leftover pizza was a better option in his opinion), it was pronounced "the best ever" by others, and it also made a great "quick and easy" breakfast for this morning. Crustless Spinach Quiche

Sauté one cup of onions and one cup of sliced mushrooms in a bit of olive oil until tender. Stir in 2/3 cup chopped ham and 10 oz. package of frozen spinach (thawed and drained). Salt and pepper to taste. Beat together 5 eggs and 2-3 cups cheese. (The original recipe called for Jack or Muenster, but that wasn't in the fridge, so we used Mozarella with a bit of Cheddar.) Stir in the vegetables and pour into a lightly greased 9" pie plate. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bubble and Squeak

Here's the final "English" recipe for right now. Apparently it was a way to use up the leftovers from Sunday dinner, and the title came from the noise it made while you were fixing it. All we know is it was pretty good, and I think we'll have it again someday.

Bubble and Squeak

4 ounces bacon, chopped
1 onion, sliced
1 cup cubed ham
1/2 head cabbage, chopped and boiled for 5 minutes
3 cups potatoes, cooked and sliced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the bacon and onion in a cast iron frying pan. Add the ham and heat through. Stir in the potatoes and cabbage. Let cook for a few minutes, then flip and cook on the other side. Sprinkle with paprika and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4.
This is a very forgiving recipe - amounts don't need to be exact. And if it seems a bit dry, and you're not me, just add some catsup.

English Scones

We decided scones would be a great "traditionally English" recipe to try as well, so we did. We couldn't really tell the difference between regular biscuits (except for a bit more sugar) and they weren't fried like the scones my mom made on Sunday evening, but they were still good. And they were super simple and quick to make.

Traditional English Scones
(at least according to the recipe submitter on All Recipes)

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 cup butter
2-4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup milk
Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Cut/rub in butter. Mix in sugar. Add milk and stir gently. Knead no more than 8-10 times on a floured surface. Roll/pat out to 3/4" thick and cut with 2" round cookie cutter. Alternatively, pat into a flat circle and score wedges. Brush with milk and bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Serve with clotted cream and jam. Alternative add-ins could include currants or raisins, orange zest and dried cranberries, blueberries, or mini chocolate chips.

We also noticed in other recipes that the cream of tartar and baking soda could be substituted with 2 teaspoons baking powder. We tried both variations and didn't notice a difference. Just so you know.

Coconut Cookies

In trying to find a "Heritage Recipe" to share, I turned to the back section of our recipe binder where there were a few recipes my mom sent us years ago. A lot of them were variations of Christmas Pudding (my thoughts on that are deserving of their own post!) but this Coconut Cookie recipe looked like it was worth a try. Because my family doesn't care for coconut, I figured the cookies would be safe for the 24 hours before I took them to Relief Society. I figured wrong! Everyone actually liked them, so I had to guard them vigilantly. (Fortunately, I brought home a few leftovers.) The recipe came from a little booklet my grandmother, Ethel Beckstrand, compiled while serving their mission in Australia in the early 1960s. Coconut Cookies

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, margarine or shortening
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup shredded coconut

Combine flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Cream butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients and coconut. Make into 1 1/2" diameter rolls in wax paper and chill for a few hours. Slice and bake at 425° for 5 minutes. Makes 3-4 dozen.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Salmon Patties

While waiting at the orthodontist and reading a magazine, I saw a recipe for Salmon Croquettes, and it sounded like a good thing to add to our menu this week. I couldn't find the same recipe when I googled it, so we tried a variation of one at It was pretty good, and a great way to use the canned salmon in our food storage!

Salmon Croquettes

1 can (14 oz.) salmon, drained and bones removed
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
seasoned salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Form into 4-6 patties and fry in a touch of olive oil until cooked through. Turn gently!

They do have a tendency to fall apart, which is why the "turn gently" instruction is there. Forming the patties ahead of time and chilling them for 30 minutes or so should help with that.

I read another magazine and found a recipe for Crab Cakes. I figured the seasonings would work well with salmon, so am adding this option here. Maybe I'll try it with crab sometime also!

Crab Cakes

1 can (16 oz.) crabmeat, drained
6 green onions, chopped (can briefly saute in some oil first if desired)
1 egg
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon mustard powder
2 cups (about 60 crackers or 2 sleeves) Ritz cracker crumbs
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup bread crumbs

Combine everything but bread crumbs and form into 8 patties. Carefully coat each patty with bread crumbs. Heat some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook patties in two batches, turning once until golden brown, about 1 minute per side.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I'm not sure where I got this recipe, probably a Relief Society class, but it's a good one.
Broccoli Cheese Soup
1 bunch broccoli, trimmed
2 medium onions, sliced
5 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup flour
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk or cream
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Mozarella cheese
Cut tops off broccoli and divide into flowerets. Simmer in lightly salted water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cook onion in butter until soft. Stir in flour and cook until bubbly. Add broth and heat to simmering. Stir in milk, oregano, mustard and broccoli. If desired, process with hand blender until smooth. (If you don't have a hand blender, you could pour it into a regular blender, or just leave it chunky.) Stir in cheese and heat until cheese melts. Makes 8 servings.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

BBQ Chicken Skewers

About ten years ago, Weston went fishing with his priest quorum in San Francisco Bay and brought home this shark for us to eat. Since I'd never cooked shark before, we went searching for a recipe and found a delicious marinade. I decided to keep the recipe because it was so good, but then it just sat in our recipe binder because shark-fishing was a one time deal. Finally, however, one day the light bulb went off and I realized we could try it on something else. Guess what? It's delicious on chicken, too!
Grilled Shark (and Chicken) Marinade
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
parsley, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Combine marinade ingredients.Cut chicken breasts into strips and thread onto skewers.Place in pan and pour marinade over. Refrigerate for a few hours.Cook on heated grill for a few minutes.Turn and cook a few more minutes. Serve to hungry teenagers (or anyone else)!

Chicken Fajita Salad Wraps

For some reason, Betty Crocker sent us a calendar this year, and since we didn't already have one for the kitchen, we hung it up. We've even tried some of the recipes that were featured each month, of course with our own variations. Here's the one for August which was actually pretty good.

Chicken Fajita Salad Wraps

For the dressing, combine:
1 cup ranch dressing
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped chipotle childes in adobo sauce (we actually bought a can for another recipe and stuck the extras in the freezer so we had this ingredient!)
and 1 teaspoon grated lime peel (we didn't have this ingredient)

In another bowl combine:
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (no deli rotisserie chicken here, although I'm sure that would have been delicious)
2 cups sliced iceberg lettuce
1 cup cooked corn
1 diced tomato
and 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

Stir in the dressing and spoon onto tortillas. Roll up and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Roast Chicken and Potatoes

This was an "I don't feel like making a real recipe, so just throw something in the oven" Sunday dinner that was met with such raves, we'll definitely have it again. All I did was peel some potatoes, put them in a 9x13" pan with some chicken thighs, and plop them in the oven for an hour to roast. I guess the "secret ingredient" was the Everglade Seasoning I sprinkled over the chicken and potatoes before baking. I'm not sure who introduced this to us, and if it's even available outside of Florida, but it's a pretty good mix of spices. We love it!I didn't feel like making dessert that day either, so it's a good thing there was a nice variety already in the refrigerator!

Strawberry fluff pie, mini cheese-cakes from the open house, birthday apple pie, and some cheesecake a friend gave us - everybody got their favorite!

Strawberry Fluff Pie

Here's a simple dessert for when you're tired of chocolate (as if that could ever happen)!
Simply dissolve a small package of strawberry jello in one cup of boiling water. Add about 8 ice cubes and stir until thick. Beat in 1-2 cups whipped cream and stir in 1-2 cups chopped strawberries (frozen and thawed is fine). Pour into a graham cracker crust and chill for a few hours. Serve topped with more whipped cream, if desired.

Spanish Bean Soup

Or, what happened the second time we tried it. I'm not giving the recipe here, because even though we've made it twice, we probably won't ever make it again. However, I thought I should let you know that there's a difference between American salt pork and Spanish salt pork (or whatever it is they sell at the Latin market). We needed chorizo and blood sausage, so that's where we went shopping. The first time we made it, using canned beans, it was so salty it was unpalatable. Yet, not being a family that wastes "good" food, we doctored it up - by adding tomato juice and a lot more potatoes - and finished it off. The second variation, using dried beans, we washed the extra 1/4" layer of salt off of the salt pork before adding it to the soup. Fortunately, this version was not too salty!
P.S. If you really want the actual recipe, let me know and I'll post it.

Nauvoo Bread

Steven came home from Nauvoo raving about the bread he tried at the Pioneer Living Center there, and he wanted to have it again. So, we looked up the recipe - which you can find here - and tried it ourselves. It was delicious bread, although not quite what he remembered. He thinks the fancy brick ovens had something to do with the taste. Or maybe our pans changed things. We'll try it again someday without pans - forming it into a round loaf and baking it on a cornmeal-topped pizza stone. We'll let you know his verdict.

Dutch Oven Dough Dogs

Here's a simple 3-ingredient recipe, made even more simple by using the shortcut of Rhodes frozen roll dough!

Start by taking 8 hot dogs (one package) and cutting a lengthwise slit in each one, not quite all the way through. Take a slice of cheese (whatever variety you like) and stick it in the slot. Then grab a hunk of roll/bread dough (you could use homemade dough, but we used the frozen variety this time - thaw 12 rolls and use 1 1/2 to cover each hot dog) and form it around the hot dog, sticking all the cheese inside. (The one you see above with cheese oozing out is proof that you only need one slice of cheese, not 1 1/2.) Place them in your dutch oven and bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes. Serve with ketchup and mustard.

Note: Because they still weren't golden brown after 20 minutes, we upped the oven to 400° for another five minutes. That did the job.

Dutch Oven Biscuits and Gravy

This recipe is one of the first ones in our Dutch Oven Cookbook, and since it had 16 variations, we had it a lot of times. However, because all those times were before I started this blog, I hadn't typed up the recipe yet. Michelle requested this for her birthday breakfast, so I took advantage of the opportunity to record this family favorite. (It was either this or Eggs Malagueña, and since it was a seminary morning, we opted for the quicker recipe. We also saved time by making the gravy and biscuit dough the night before and just baking it in the morning.)

Dutch Oven Drop Biscuits and Milk Gravy
(serves 4-6)

Start by browning 1/2 pound of sausage (or bacon, or both!) in your dutch oven. Stir in 3 cups of milk. Combine 3/8 cup each flour and water and stir into the pot.
Bring to a boil and cook until thickened. Serve over Dutch Oven Drop Biscuits.

To make the biscuits, combine 2 cups flour, 3 tablespoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cut in 1/3 cup shortening and stir in 1 cup milk. The dough will be sticky, but dump it onto a floured board and knead a few times. Spoon into a dutch oven and bake, uncovered, at 450° for 12 minutes.
Cut biscuits in half and top with the milk gravy.
The various combinations included the gravy plain, with bacon, with sausage, with sausage and bacon over regular biscuits, and also over "pigs in blanket" which were made by forming the biscuit dough around a cooked sausage link or patty. Then we tried eight variations of Dutch Oven Eggs Goldenrod which was adding chopped, hard-cooked egg whites to the gravy and sprinkling the chopped, hard-cooked egg yolks over the whole concoction. This is definitely not a recipe for someone who's trying to lose weight!