Sunday, December 26, 2010

Clam Chowder

I remember growing up and it was tradition to have Clam chowder on Christmas Eve.. we did it for years and then we switched it to French Dip sandwiches because none of us kids would eat the clam chowder... Now that I have more developed tastebuds and a passion for food, I love clam chowder and we've decided to make it our Christmas Eve tradition. Of course I serve it with chicken strips so my kids will at least eat something that night! So I made it for Christmas eve and my oh my did it turn out good! Iwas even told by several of Darwin's family members thatit was better than their grandma's!!! yes, I can die happy now! I didn't really write out my recipe... but here is what I did.

1/2 lb bacon
3 leekes
2 stalks celery, small diced
1/2 cup flour
6 cans of diced clams, save the juice
2 T butter
2 cups chicken stock
1 T garlic minced
2 cups milk
5 large potatoes, peeled and diced
salt and pepper to taste

Start by dicing the bacon and cook till brown and crispy, drain and set aside. Now one might say, bacon in clam chowder? Won't that take away from the sweet chewiness of the clams?? But I tell yo trust me, it adds a nice smokiness to it and it is tasty!! Next slice the leeks in half then slice then place in a bowl full cold water to clean, the dirt will sink to the bottom and you can scoop out the leeks on to a dry towel. (I use leeks rather than onions because they add a suttle onion flavor) In a large stock pot, melt the butter, saute the garlic and leeks, add the celery and potatoes and cook for a few minutes. Add the bacon and flour. The flour should heavily coat all of the chunks of goodness, if it seems like you need more flour go ahead and add more. Add the drained clams. season with a bit of pepper. Add the clam juice and chicken stock, stir well to combine all of the flour. Add the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook for at least 45 minutes. If it is too thick add more milk, too thin you can mix some flour and milk and combine it but be sure to bring soup back to a boil to get the full thickness. Season to taste and serve hot with crackers. Mmmmm Mmmmm good!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My sister Jessica

I always seem to be emotional around the holidays especially when I know I'm not going to be with my family. Having my grandmother recently hasn't help and we also found out Darwin didn't get a job we really felt he was going to get. So keeping with my emotional state and sentimental feelings of late, here is a recipe and post about an example in my life. My sister Jessica. Now don't get me wrong all of my sisters are amazing examples to me... but I'm pretty sure Jessica is the only one that cooks and this is a cooking blog so... :) I love you Laura, Miranda and Jana! Jessica is incredible and I look up to her so very much. She is the mother of five active kids and still manages to keep the house in order the kids in order and still look amazing and stylish. She has given me many encouraging talks and words of wisdom. She has always been there for me. This past weekend at my grandmother's funeral I was going through some of her photos and found pictures of her and I playing the leaves. I wish we were closer to each other so I could get pictures of our children playing together. She is a great example to me of what a good wife and mother and member of the Church is and I pray that I can someday be as wonderful as she is. I love you Jessica! This is a recipe she sent me. I haven't tried it yet but it sure sounds Delicious.

1 cup Catalina dressing

1 can cranberry sauce or 1 cup prepared cranberries

1 pkg Lipton soup mix

chicken breast

Combine and cover over top of the chicken breast. Bake at 350` for 1 hour. Serve hot over brown or long grain rice, with the extra sauce.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Grandma Grace Macbeth

This post is in honor of my Grandmother who passed away this week. 99% of my readers will already have this recipe but I wanted something to remind me of my grandma. I started by showing the kids a picture of Grandma, I explained to them that she died this past week and that mommy was really sad. I explained that it is okay that she died because she is with Grandpa and Heavenly Father and that she is happy. I then told them we were going to do something fun that will help us remember Grandma. I then told them that Whenever Grandma Macbeth came to visit I would wake up in the mornings and she would be in the kitchen rolling out scones to make. I loved it! We would cut them into different shapes and fry them up. I rember Grandma always cut them into rectangles then slit the middle and inverted one end into the other to twist it a bit. We would eat them with honey butter and jelly and powdered sugar. Such found memories. So then we made them and I decided I would share it with you all... even though you probably already have the recipe!
3 T yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups milk, scalded
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
3 eggs
6 cups flour
Scaled milk and allow to cool. Combine yeast and water and set aside. Cream sugar and shortening. Add remaining ingredients and combine well. Allow to sit in the fridge for at least an hour or over night. Roll out on to a floured surface and cut into strips. Fry till golden brown on each side. Serve warm with honey butter, jelly and powdered sugar.
I Love you Grandma and I will miss you! Give Grandpa a hug for me and till we meet again!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Well if you've been reading my blog you have noticed that I didn't post everyday my thanksgiving recipes. I apologize... this week was FAR from what I planned. Oh well though, it was still good. What might you ask is the reason my plans crashed and burned? It was the sick kids, those darn little buggers spoil my plans all the time! Just kidding! It was the sick kids though. Parker started it, he was sick all last weekend hacking cough fever, the whole ten yards, then Denver woke up Monday hacking so no school for him, that night he really didn't do well, the cough turned to croup and we were up all night with him. I took him in first thing in the morning and his oxygen intake was so low they immediately admitted him to the hospital. I spent all day with him there, doing breathing treatments and oral steroids. We were sent home later that evening, to find Porter hacking. It was a crazy week, and they are all still trying to get over it. Though I must say it was the quietest my house has EVER been with the kids awake, none of them had voices, I must admit it was kind of nice :) Our Thanksgiving was nice, we brought the meal to Darwin's great grandparents and shared it with them. They couldn't believe how much food there was! It was fabulous, I made this fabulous sweet potato recipe that will now be a regular, it is divine! Don't be too shocked mom, my taste buds have fully developed now and I love things like, sweet potatoes and squash, not sure they are ready for mincemeat though;) here is the recipe for you all to try, super yummy!

4 medium sweet potatoes
1 cup white sugar
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup flour
3/4 stick of butter

Bake the sweet potatoes till fork tender about 30-40 minutes at 350` split open and scoop out the goodness into a large bowl. Mash, add the milk, eggs, vanilla, white sugar and salt. Mash till well mixed and smooth. Spread into an oven safe dish. Chop the pecans finely. In a small bowl, combine the pecans, flour, brown sugar and butter. Top the sweet potatoes with the "crumble" topping and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Serve hot. Delicious!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving....Gear up!

The week is here! I can't believe it! Sadly I'm not in a very festive mood. I'm hoping this fun week of cooking and baking will get me excited for the holidays. I have a busy busy schedule this week. Between, the normal stuff of, school, homework, kids,and getting ready for the holidays...that is right my kids are sick :( But we can get through it! At least the primary program is over and the super saturday I was in charge of is over and I can breath a little easier. I like to schedule out my cooking for this week, one because I have to do it all, which is fine by me, and two because I have a small kitchen and it is much easier to spread things out and three make thursday a bit more relaxing for me. Here is my plan of attack for this week and I will try and blog through it as well...
Monday: caramel, celery stuffing, pumpkin pie
Tuesday: Green Bean casserole, cheesy onion dip, another pie...not sure what kind :) Sweet pototoes
Wednesay: Rolls, stuffing prep potatoes, Get turkey a moving,
Thursday: finish it all and devour many times over.
But for now, here is a recipe for you to enjoy...
Tradition: the handing down of cutoms through generations...
this is a tradition in my house, no matter how strange it may sound it is delishious and it wouldn't be thanksgiving without.... wait for it......


this comes from my mom's side of the family and no it isn't celery stuffed with easy cheese, or celery with peanut butter and raisins. And no we won't dis-own you from our family if it comes out that you really don't like stuffed celery. ;)

1 head celery, cleaned
1 pkg cream cheese softened
1 small jar green olives with pimentos sliced

Combine green olives and pimentos with the cream cheese. Mix well and fill the celery with cheese mixture, cut stalks into 3 inch pieces and serve cold.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shrimp or Steak tacos

Alright there are a few post that go with this post. I posted on facebook today that I was off to make dinner and that if it was successful then I would post on my blog...well it was tasty. We had shrimp and steak tacos with a cilantro lime sauce and house salsa. Here is the marinades for the proteins and the salsa and sauce recipes are following posts. Hope you enjoy! we sure did!

Steak marinade for tacos
1/2 c soy sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
splash lime juice
1 T cumin
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
2 T minced garlic
salt and pepper
2 lbs thin cut sirloin, fajita meat cut into thin strips

combine all in a bag and coat the steak completely. let marinate for at least 1 hour up to 8. remove from marinade and pat dry. Cook in a hot skillet for about 2 minutes then toss and cook for another minute or two depending on how thick it is cut.

Shrimp Marinade for Tacos
1 lb shrimp, peeled and de-veined
splash lime juice
splash of vinegar
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine all and coat the shrimp allow to set for 20 minutes. Drain the marinade and pat dry, cook in hot skillet till cooked about 3-4 minutes.

serve both the steak and shrimp in corn tortillas that have been lightly fired then formed into taco shells. top with the cilantro lime sauce(recipe follows), lettuce tomato and cheese. Serve along side the house salsa(recipe follows) and tortilla chips. Super yummy enjoy!

House Salsa

So before Darwin and I got engaged I worked at a Mexican restaurant in Idaho Falls that will remain nameless because I probably shouldn't have memorized this recipe;) anyhow, this is their house Salsa that I would make almost daily when I worked. It is different but I really like it. The heat come mainly form the onions and the garlic and it is SO easy! Darwin's cousin makes a salsa alot like this...I think hers is better though! :)

1 can diced tomatoes Italian style
1 can diced tomatoes with garlic
1 can diced tomatoes with green Chiles
2 T minced garlic
6 green onions
2 onions
1/2 bunch cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup water

Take the green onions, one of the onions and the cilantro and water and blend in a blender till smooth. Combine the cans and the garlic and add the pureed green goodness. Dice the remaining onion small and add to the mixture. Season to taste and serve.

Cilantro Lime sauce

Cilantro lime sauce, super easy and great on tacos and I think it would make a pretty darn good salad dressing for a mexican salad with jiicama and lime and red peppers... but that could just be me :)

Cilantro Lime sauce

1 Cup sour cream
1/4 bunch of cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice
2 green onions
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all in a blender and go to town. Smooth and mint green color full of flavor!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

French Onion Soup

Today we had our first snow here in Burns! It has been a strange winter and usually we have had much more snow by now. I'm not complaining though! I prefer the warmth and sun rather than snow and ice. The boys are thrilled because with snow means Saturday mornings of ice hockey... I'm so thrilled.... I decided to make soup tonight fitting for the first snow, so we are having french dip sandwiches and french onion soup...too bad I can't get real French Baguettes or French Gruyere cheese.... oh well...

This made just enough for probably four servings, though I know when Darwin gets home he is going to be in shocked and slightly frightened that I made an entire soup out of the ingredient he despise...though I put onions in most everything I make.... anyhow...

1 Large onion and when I say large I mean large the one I used was like a softball size but you can use several smaller ones of course.
1 T minced garlic
1 T olive oil
1/2 container of Beef broth
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 sprig of thyme
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 basil leaf
cheese cloth and butchers twine
salt to taste
french bread
slices of mozzarella, Parmesan and Romano cheeses

Get pan hot and add the oil, then saute the garlic and add the onions, cook on medium heat till caramelized. Should take about 30-40 minutes stir occasionally. Onions should be tender and a golden brown color with spots of darker brown. Add the chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Stir to get all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the Beef broth. Take the cheese cloth and make a bouquet garni, with the herbs and peppercorns tie up into the cheese cloth and place in soup. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Adjust the salt as needed. Toast the french bread and top with the sliced cheese. Broil for several minutes till cheese is melted and has some brown toasted bits. Remove the bouquet and serve in bowls place a piece of cheesy french bread a top each bowl.... Devour and repeat!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Smoke House Potatoes

When we lived in Rexburg I worked at this great smokehouse, then they fired me and then they sold the smokehouse and the new owners hired me as the sous chef and kitchen manager... only lasted a few months till they realised they couldn't afford to not do the work themselves and I got canned.... Oh well such is life. They got some good stuff out of me though! Here is the potato recipe I created for them. We are having steak tonight and I thought I'd make these to go along with it.

5 slices bacon, chopped cooked and drained
1/2 large onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
5 large potatoes, quarted length wise and diced
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 1/2 cup Sprite
extra water as needed

Cook the bacon and drain. Saute the onions and garlic in a bit of bacon grease, add the potatoes, cook for about 5 minutes stirring occassionally. add seasonings, cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring occassionally. add the sprite and bacon allow to cook uncovered for 5 minutes andthen covered till moisture is absorbed and potatoes cooked through.(add extra water if needed) might get crunchy on the bottom but it is goodness!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vampire Teeth

Growing up my mom always made these adorable teeth cookies. She always made them around valentines day I think because they were pink and like little smiling kisses. But I got thinking I could make these for Halloween with a small change. They are super easy.

Teeth cookies

Sugar Cookie dough

vanilla frosting colored pink

Mini marshmellows

large marshmellows cut into fangs

Roll out the cookie dough and cut into round, use you fingers to indent the lips and then score the cookie in half don't cut completely. Bake

Once cooled break in half at the score mark and frost the bottom of each half. place the marshmellows and top with the other half.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Our ward had a wonderful Halloween carnival and Chili feed last night and I can't believe how many people came! It was amazing! Now before I'm off to get the kids ready for trick or treating tonight... (one of the few perks of living in a small town.. when Halloween falls on a Sunday we just move it!) I thought I would post my chili recipe. Now I never use a recipe and each time I've made chili it has turned out differently, this I think in my opinion was the best batch ever! So I think that is why I'm writing down what I did for next time!!

1 lb ground beef
1 pkg chorizo sausage
2 cans black beans
2 cans white beans
1 can kidney beans
3 cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 jalapeno
1 anahiem pepper
1 pasilla pepper
1 onion, diced
2 T garlic, minced
1 T chili powder
1 tsp cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
water as needed

Start by throwing the red, anahiem, and pasilla peppers on a baking sheet with some olive oil in the oven at 350`. Roast the peppers for about 20 minutes till bubbly and soft. Brown the ground beef and draining it. Set aside. Cut the chorizo, my pkg came with 2 large links and I got the pre cooked stuff, I quarted it and fried it up in a bit of olive oil to give it some more flavor. When the peppers are done place them in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Chop the onion and garlic and saute in remaining oil from the ground beef and chorizo. After the peppers have cooled a bit, remove the skin, and seeds and place the cleaned peppers in a blender, add a can of the tomatoes and blend well. Return the beef and chorizo to the pan with the onions and garlic, add the beans and the mixture from the blender. Add the remaining cans of tomatoes in the blender and mix. Add this also to the pan. Add the chili powder and cayenne and adjust the seasonings. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Serve hot with sour cream cheese and tortilla chips and my favorite with corn bread! enjoy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mmmmmm... Baked Apples

I have found my new favorite thing! we finally decorated for Halloween, a week before but better late than never right? We went to the pumpkin patch and I was feeling all festive and fall like, so I decided to make something with Apples and what was created was nothing short of heavenly. I told Darwin this might have to be a new tradition for thanksgiving and he said how about every Sunday... I guess that means he liked them!

6 Braeburn apples
1 1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3 T flour
2 T white sugar
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 recipe caramel fondue

Prep the apples, cut of a small slice off the bottom so they stand evenly. Slice off the top and core out the center. Combine all of the other ingredients except for the juice and caramel, in a ziploc bag and mix till well combined. Place apples in Baking dish. Spoon about a tsp of the caramel into the hole then fill with the oatmeal mixture. Top with a bit of the caramel. Place apple juice in the pan surrounding the apples and bake apples at 350` for 35-40 minutes, till apples are cooked through. Serve warm with more of the caramel on the side as well as vanilla ice cream.

So yummy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

yet another cake

Darwin's cousin got married this past weekend, and as if I wasn't busy enough recovering from a trip and having a house full of stomach flu children...I made the cake as a gift to them. Considering I did it super fast and pretty much in one day I think it turned out pretty good.


Aghh... anyone who knows me knows that unless it is rolls or a cake I don't bake. Never really have. Hated, no utterly despised it in school...perhaps it was partly because of the hour inwhich the classes met, no college student should be getting up at 5:30am. Mainly though I don't like to measure, I simply don't have the patience for baking...
However I decided to make a southern meal tonight for dinner, and wanted some biscuits to go with it. So I found this ooober easy recipe and surprisingly they didn't turn out half bad!

2 cups all purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening*
1 cup milk

Heat oven to 400`. In a mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and add shortening till small pea like size. Add milk and mix just till milk is absorbed. Lightly dust the surface and gently form into a ball and roll to about an ince thick. cut out and coat tops with an egg was. Bake for 12-15 minutes till golden brown.
* I didn't have shortening (strange I know) I really didn't feel like hauling all four kids to the grocery store so I used Butter, they will taste better anyways :) I used 1/4 cup plus 2 T because the butter has water in it where as the shortening does not. Happy Baking!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mexican Pork Soup

Here's what's for dinner tonight. After a week of the stomach flu, head colds we can't seem to shake and the impending winter weather, I feel like soup tonight! I'm going to use the left over pork from my slow roaster I did last week.

1 T olive oil
1 lb of left over roast pork
1 onion small diced
1 small can green chiles, diced
2 T garlic, minced
1 can fire roasted tomatoes, diced
1 can black beans
2 tsp ground cumin
1 box chicken stock
1 cup beef stock
1/2 cup frozen corn
season to taste

Start by sauting the garlic and onion then add the pork and beans. Cook till onions are translucent, then add tomatoes and green chiles and cumin. Add stock and allow to simmer for at least one hour. Add corn about 10 minutes before service. Season to taste and serve with cilantro, sour cream and cheese and tortilla chips.

I'm excited it should be yummy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm Back!!

Alright after being gone for so long and all the traveling and to add sick kids on top of it... I never thought I would be so happy to be back in Burns but I am!!! Now we are just trying to get back to the swing of things and back on schedule! We will get there I'm sure... This is a recipe I made yesterday but am eating it today... My dear friend Michelle, surprised me and made me dinner last night since I haven't been feeling well, little did she know I had dinner in the crockpot. So we will be enjoying that tonight.

Slow Cooker Pork Loin Roast

2-3 lb Pork Loin Roast fat trimmed
2 Tbsp Dijion Mustard
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp tarragon
1 meduim onion sliced
2 cups beef broth
1 tsp garlic minced
1 apple sliced

Place Apple and Onions on the bottom of the slow cooker. Coat the pork in the mustard and coat with an even coating of all the seasonings. place in slow cooker, add broth and cook on low for 3-4 hours till completly cooked and tender.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Slacker I know...

So we have been out of town all last week and are leaving yet again on Saturday for a week... needless to say I haven't been cooking so the fridge will be emptied before we leave! I promise I will post more recipes soon and I'll post a picture of Emery's First Birthday cake which is friday! Hard to believe I know!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Peanut Thai Noodles

Alright so this recipe is still a work in progress. I looked on line and got a few ideas but ran with it on my own and it still needs some tweeking, to be where I really like it. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it though...

1 pkg spaghetti noodles cooked al dente
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 T garlic
1/2 of an onion
1 green chile sliced
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 T oyster sauce or fish sauce would work too.
1 tsp ground ginger
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
carrots julienned
chicken strips (I had left over roasted chicken so I used that)
other veggies and proteins what ever you perfer.

Saute the garlic and onion and chile in a bit of oil add the stock, vinegar, peanut butter, soy, oyster sauce, ginger and cayenne and flakes. Cook till melted and smooth. Adjust the heat as you perfer by adding more cayenne. Sir fry the chicken, carrots and other items and add the cooked spaghetti, toss with the sauce and serve with chopped peanuts, lime juice and Sriracha.

Overall it was tasty but I need to play around with it some more until I can consider it one of my favorites!

Monday, September 13, 2010

To blog or not blog

So I think that I'm not very good at this blogging business. I don't post nearly as often as I should or as I want to but it is so hard...I often wonder if people even look at my blog, I'm going to evaluate my blogging and decide if I want to keep this going or not, I'd like to blog more and add pictures and tips as well but we will see...I also think it might be fun to blog through a cook book, yes like the movie Julie-Julia, but don't know what book to do... perhaps a Pioneer Woman book...But oh the calories! We will see! If you have any suggestions as to how I can make my blog better by all means leave a comment I'd love to hear!

Fish N' Chips

Tonight I'm making Fish N' Chips with some beautiful Cod I bought.

Here is the Batter:
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
seasonings to taste, I used some garlic and cayenne
combine all and let sit for at least 20 minutes. Coat the fish in the batter and fry.

For the chips I just took some potatoes from MY GARDEN!! I know surprising! and peeled them and tossed them in some flour and fried them for about 4 minutes before I did the fish. Once the fish was cooked I tossed the chips back in the oil for a second fry and then tossed with some seasoned salt when they came out.

Serve with homemade fry sauce and homemade tartar sauce. So yummy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Zuchinni Bread

I love the smell of zuchinni bread on a brisk fall day! I didn't plant any zuchinni this year, not sure why but luckily my father in law did and he is sharing the wealth! While Darwin and the 2 older boys went cutting wood this morning Parker, Emery and I made zuchinni bread.

2 cups grated zuchinni
3 eggs
1 cup oil
4 T melted butter
2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

Combine wet ingredients and set aside. Combine dry ingredients and sift together. Combine wet and dry and mix just till combined. Grease bread pan well and fill. Bake at 350` for 70 minutes or until baked completely through.
Makes one loaf

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chicken fried Chicken

Holy Cow this was SO good, it will definately be something I do again, and It was super easy!

Chicken Fried Chicken
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 T garlic powder
1 T paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T corn starch
4 boneless skinless chicken breast, eith butterflied or pounded thin
oil for frying about 1/2 inch deep

2 T oil from frying the chicken
3 T flour use the left over from the chicken
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Combine eggs and milk and place chicken in it. Allow to sit for about a half hour. Heat oil in a pan. Combine flour and seasonings. Remove chicken from egg mixture and coat with the flour mixture. Fry in hot oil for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Discard oil except for about 2 T, keep as many drippings as possible. (extra flavor) :) add about 3 T of the flour coating and cook for a few minutes. Slowly add the milk whisking out any lumps. Cook till thick, if you want a thinner gravy add more milk. Season to taste. Serve with chicken over mashed potatoes.

Gravy would be great the next day over some sausage and biscuits!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

cream cheese pudding pie

So I was suppose to make a dessert for a dinner with friends and totally I made it yesterday. I didn't want to go to the grocery store again, so I made this with stuff that I had on hand, it actually was really yummy! you could change it up easily as well.

Cream Cheese Pudding Pie
1/2 box graham crackers, made into crumbs
2 T butter, melted
Or you could use a premade graham cracker crust
1 pkg cream cheese softened
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1/4 c sugar
1 c milk
1/4 c carmel sauce
1/4 c chocolate sauce
chocolate curls

Make the crust by combining the crumbs and melted butter and forming into a crust. In a mixer combine cream cheese, sugar and pudding mix, mix till smooth. Add the milk, mix till smooth if too thick add a bit more milk. Spread the carmel on the bottom of the pie pan on top of the crust. Then spread the cream cheese mixture on top. Drizzle with the chocolate sauce and top with chocolate curls. (to make chocolate curls use a veggie peeler) Refridgerate for 1 hour prior to service.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fresh Blueberries

one of Darwin's co-workers parents have a blueberry farm in Eugene. Every year I help him sell the Blueberries over here in Burns. Except this year...their crop got some type of fungus and they didn't have a good crop this year which was so unfortunate. However, they love us so much they still brought us a big bag full of the yummy balls as Denver calls them!! One of Darwin's favorite things is blueberry pancakes, I perfer blueberry muffins and have a pan of them in my oven right now! I like this simple recipe because there isn't any cinnamon or nutmeg, it is just blueberry goodness. I've also made this before with a cream cheese frosting that I have drizzled over teh tops while still warm as a glaze. Super yummy!

Blueberry muffins

2 cups flour
2 T baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter melted
1 egg beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups blueberries

combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl, combine the wet in a seperate bowl. combine the wet and the dry and mix just till combined, don't over mix clumps are ok! Add blueberries and fold in. Grease a muffin tin and scoop into 12 muffin tins. Bake a 350` for 10 minutes then remove from oven and sprinkle the tops with some sugar then return to oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I love pesto! Love love love it! I like it in pasta, over chicken, on a wonderful paninni, oh and so many other wonderful ways. Many times I'm pressed on time...I wonder why? not like I have 4 children all 5 and under to care for as well as a house, husband and church responsiblities as well as being a full time student... but on those times I have the ingredients and time I love to make my own pesto. Forgive me though I'm using less common measuring ways and am really just guestamating!

1 large handful of fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup toasted nuts*
salt and pepper to taste
squeeze of lemon juice

In a blender or food processor combine all ingredients except olive oil. Mix in food processor till smooth, then slowly drissle in the oil to bring together a creamy texture.
*traditionally made with pine nuts but can really substitute any type of nuts, I've made with pine nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.
** you can also make a pesto with different herbs and I've even done it with spinach which is super tasty!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ginger Sesame Rice

So we have the missionaries coming for dinner tonight and I'm making my maple Teriyaki Salmon, I'm making some chicken too incase they don't like salmon! I was trying to come up with some side dishes and made this one. So far it smells wonderful and will hopefully taste just as good!

Ginger Sesame Rice

1 1/2 cup long grain rice
1 T butter
2 cloves garlic
1 T fresh ginger grated
2 T dried onion
2 cup chicken stock
handful scallions
1/3 cup sesame seeds toasted

saute the garlic and onions in the butter, add rice and cook for a few minutes. Add ginger. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer. Cook till rice is completely cooked and stock absorbed. add more stock if necessary. Add scallions and toasted sesame seeds.

Here is another side dish I'm serving, I'm excited it will be yummy

Corn on the cob with garlic Soy glaze

8 ears of corn shucked
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T scallions
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp fresh ginger grated
pinch of cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients. Boil corn till cooked through. prep grill. Place corn on gril and baste with the glaze carmelize and serve hot.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Crab Bread

This is one of the best things ever! I love it and it is so simple!!

1 loaf french bread
1 clove garlic
1 pkg garden veggie cream cheese
1 lb shredded crab
2 cups monteray Jack cheese, grated

Split the french bread in half and rub with garlic. Spread cream cheese over bread then top with crab, then top with cheese. Broil in oven till golden brown and cheese is melted.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chicken Cordon Blue

My parents and two younger sisters are coming for a visit and wanted to make something yummy for them. Darwin suggested Chicken Cordon Blue, so it is. I love this it is super yummy!

Chicken Cordon Blue

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 slices of ham
4 slices of Swiss cheese
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp poultry seasoning

Season bread crumbs with garlic, onion, poultry seasoning, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Whisk up eggs in seperate dish, and place flour in a seperate dish as well for the breading. Take chicken breast and either butterfly or pound out thin. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. place a slice of ham and swiss cheese in the middle and roll chicken up. Create a little package filled with goodness. You can use tooth picks to keep it shut if needed. Now for breading, keep one hand for the dry indgredients and one hand wet. place the chicken in the flour and coat, then into the eggs and then in the bread crumbs. Place on a greased baking sheet and top with a dollop of butter. Bake for about 45 minutes until completely cooked through. Serve hot.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Baja Lasagna

This is a recipe that I did in school. It is super yummy and I haven't made it in forever! I think that I might have to make it this week!

20 small corn tortillas
2 T oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion small diced
1 lb pork shredded
40 oz tomato sauce
1 T cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper*
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups refried beans
8 oz green chile chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese grated

grease the 12 ramkins with oil and cut out rounds of tortilla that fit the ramkins.** Saute the garlic and onion in 1 T oil, add the shredded pork. Cook for about 5 minutes. combine the tomato sauce, salt and pepper and green chile, cumin and cayenne and simmer for about ten minutes. Layer the tortilla with the pork mixture and top with cheese and another layer of tortilla, then top that layer with refried beans and cheese then another tortilla. Rotate pork and beans everyother layer. Bake at 350` for about 15 minutes. Use a knoife around the edges and flip out of the ramkin onto the serving platter. Serve hot with a corn and black bean salsa, or rice with chips.

*add more or less depending on your preference of heat, or you could sub jalapenos for the green chiles
** If you don't want to do individuals you could just make this in one dish like a traditional lasagna and it would take less time to prep.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Caramel Fondue

So every year there is a father and sons campout in our ward. Me and few friends always get together and do a fondue party and stay up late chatting. Normally we do a chocolate fondue and cheese. But this year my friend Michelle had a baby, adorable Brigham does NOT like chocolate! So I decided to do a caramel fondue for her and it was yummy!

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 stick butter, room temperature and cut into pieces
2 tsp vanilla

In a sauce pot combine, water, syrup and sugar. Over low heat cook for about ten minutes till the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and cook till syrup begins to turn a golden brown. Swirl the pan or brush down the sides with a pastry brush with water. Continue to cook till the syrup is a deep amber color. Remove from heat and add butter and heavy cream. Return to heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold with fresh fruit, angel food cake or our personal favorite scones. Supper yummy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sweet and sour Chicken

We really enjoy chinese food so I decided to take a stab at making it from home and oh my was it yummy! We served it with some fried rice!

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” cubes)
Flour to coat
4 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
Oil for frying
Toss the chicken in flour then in the yolks and soy sauce then again in the flour. Deep fry till completely cooked. Remove from oil and season with salt.

Sweet and Sour sauce:
1 can pineapple chunks (reserve juice for sauce)
1/2cup vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup pineapple juice
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Combine all ingredients except for corn starch. taste and adjust sourness or sweetness to your liking. Bring to a boil then add corn starch to thicken. toss chicken in sauce nad serve over rice.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Grandma Macbeth's Scones

I'm posting this just for my friend Heidi who loves all things fried and requested this for her upcoming visit. Best served fresh and hot with honey butter and powdered sugar. Also good with perserves.

2 T yeast
1/2 c water, lukewarm
2 c milk, scalded then cooled
1/2 c shortening
1/2 c sugar
2 tsp salt
3 eggs
6 c flour

combine water and yeast and allow to dissolve. Combine all ingredients well to form a soft dough. chill for at least one hour preferably overnight. Roll out dough on a floured surface then cut into strips or shapes and deep fry. Serve hot.

Never Fail Dinner Rolls

These rolls are the best and they really are never fail! You can also use this recipe for a braided loaf or just do it as the crossiants. I've done it with an herb butter and cheese butter and just butter all are great! Super Yummy!

2 T yeast
1/2c warm water
1 1/2 c canned milk*
1 c very warm water
2 eggs
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp salt
6-8 c flour
2 T butter, melted plus extra for later

Dissolve yeast in the 1/2 c water. In large bowl combine very warm water and sugar, and salt. Mix till dissolved. Add eggs and milk and then the yeast. Add 3 c flour then the melted butter. Add 3-5 more cups of flour. add enough flour till it forms a soft ball of dough, which will seperate from the side of the bowl. Depending on the altitude and mositure in the air will depend on how much flour you need. I use 8 here. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic. Let rise for 1 1/2 hours. Seperate the dough into 3 sections. roll out each section and coat with the reserved melted butter. Use a pizza cutter and cut into wedges. Roll each wedge into a crossiant starting with the wide edge. brush tops with more melted butter. Place on pan and allow to rise about 30 minutes or until they double in size. Bake at 400` for 10-12 minutes.

* if you don't have canned milk you can use regular milk, I perfer using whole milk if I don't have canned. Using the canned milk just makes for a richer dough.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Spicy Grill Rub

Sorry it has been while, between end of the school year, beginning of summer things, Darwin's work and a trip to Colorado, we've been really busy. Not to mention the eye appointments, broken leg and me being in the hospital for cysts. Oh well. Well since it is getting to be summer time I figured I put on a spice rub that is great on anything from chicken to ribs to steak and shrimp. Also is a spicy BBQ sauce that is great to coat everything with or to put on corn on the cob. Beware though it is spicy! You can adjust it easily enough for your liking though!

Spicy Grill Rub

1 T cayenne pepper
2T garlic powder
2T onion powder
2T paprika
1T crushed red pepper flakes
1T chilli powder
1 T salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin

combine all ingredents and rub down your choice of meat, coat with spicy BBQ sauce and grill serve with reserve sauce.

Spicy BBQ sauce

1 cup prepared BBQ sauce
2T prepared hot sauce

combine, and serve.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

One of Darwin's favorite is Chicken enchiladas. I love how easily you can adjust them to your preferences. We like ours with a red sauce and floour tortillas, but you could easily switch it to corn and green sauce.

Flour Tortillas
8 chicken breast
2 T cumin
2 T garlic powder
3 T onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper*
1 lg can red enchilada sauce
1 large onion diced
2 T garlic
1 can diced green chiles
grated cheddar cheese

toss the chicken in garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, and cayenne. Place on baking sheet and roast till cooked through. Set aside to cool. In a saute pan, cook the diced onion and garlic and green chiles. Dice ore shred the chicken and then add to the onions and chiles. toss to combine. Add a few tablespoons of the enchilada sauce to moisten the chicken. Fill and roll the tortillas and place in dish. Top with the remaining sauce and then top with the shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes and serve hot.
*More or Less for you heat preference

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chicken Pesto Pasta

On my trip to Vegas my friend Kari made this for me, which for Kari is a big deal. Growing up she was never much of a cook, but now that she married she has grown emensly in that department! I liked it enough that I'm adding it to my blog and tweeking it just a bit.

1/2 cup prepared pesto
1/4 water
1 onion diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
3 chicken breast
1 tsp parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 pkg penne pasta
1/4 cup Romano cheese, grated

Start the pasta and cook till al dente. set aside. In a saute pan, add a bit of olive oil and saute the garlic and onions. Carmelize slightly, add the chicken breast with the parsley and salt and pepper. allow chicken to get golden brown and cooked through. In a smaller pan heat the pesto and the water to make a thin sauce. When the chicken is completely cooked, shred with forks add to the pasta, add the tomatoes and then the thin pesto sauce. Toss till coated and serve hot top with Romano cheese. Serve with rolls and a salad.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Long time no cook...

Sorry it has been awhile since I last posted. My mom came for a visit and we were busying visiting and painting Emery's room. Then I just got beck from a weekend in Vegas to visit a friend. I have a tri tip roast that I'm going to make for dinner tonight and I wanted to do something different than the regular meat and potatoes roast. I've made this befor with skirt steak and a different marinade but we are going to do it with this marninade and tri tip. Should be yummy!

For the trip tip:
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1 (2 1/2 pound) beef tri-tip roast

Rub all over the tri tip and allow to sit for a few hours in the fridge. Broil, roast or grill the tri tip till cooked to your desired doneness, usually about 40 minutes. Allow to rest and then slice against the grain.

1 loaf crusty french bread, thinnly sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup calamata olives, chopped
1/2 red onion, minced
1 T garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 T olive oil
1 cup mozzrella cheese, grated
3 T fresh Basil, chopped

Combine all bruschetta ingredients. Toast the sliced french bread in oven till they are light brown and crunchy. Top with a slice of the tri tip, then the tomatoe mixture then top with cheese. Melt cheese on top with broiler and serve hot.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Conference Breakfast

So for Conference this year we invited friends over for Breakfast and to watch the morning session. My dear friend Michelle makes this fabulous Buttermilk syrup it is SO good and yesterday while I was thinking what to make all I could think of was this syrup! I wanted to make something that would go great with the syrup, so I came up with this stuffed french toast recipe. It sure was yummy!!

Stuffed French Toast

French toast bread
6 eggs
2 T milk
1 1/2 T cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 T vanilla

For the Stuffing:
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup strawberry preserves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
sliced strawberries

Combine the french toast ingredients and proceed to dip the bread in the egg mixture and cook on a gridle top. Flip to cook the other side, when cooked set aside. Combine cream cheese, preserves and cinnamon. Combine till well mixed. If the cream cheese isn't soft enough nuke in microwave for 30 seconds. Spread a layer of the cream cheese mixture on one side of each piece of french toast. Then top with some sliced strawberries then another piece of frnech toast. Place on a baking sheet and place in a 350` oven for about 5 minutes to heat through. Serve warm with syrup and extra strawberries on top.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I figured that since this is a cooking blog I could post some pictures of the cakes I've made. I'm in the process of building a portfolio and am gathering pictures of all the cakes I've made through the years. Here are a few from the last year or so. I recently been asked to make afew cakes and have been paid to do and each time during delivery I've been asked for my business card... I guess it is time for me to really think about getting business cards!

Sabrina Maki's baby shower cake for their little boy Mason due in April 2010

Close up of the baby face cupcakes, so cute and so much fun to make!


Jeff and Sheryden Cary wedding cake I made for their December 2009 wedding

Darwin's brother Cody and Amanda Jo Johnson's wedding cakes for their January 2009 wedding

My son parker's 2nd Birthday cake

My son Porter's 3rd Birthday cake

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tomato Lime Chicken for Fajitas

So I had abunch of leftover steak and had some chicken out so I decided we'd have chicken and steak fajitas. The steak was already cooked so I just ahd to warm it up but the chicken I wanted to marinade and make yummy. So I came up with this and it turned out SO GOOD!

4 chicken breast, sliced
1 T garlic Powder
1 T onion powder
2 tsp cumin
cayenne pepper to taste
4 T lime juice
2 T tomatoe paste

Combine all ingredients until evenly coated. Allow to marinade for at least 1/2 hour. Heat pan with a bit of oil and toss the chicken in. Cooked till done. Serve with rice, beans and fajita toppings and fresh salsa.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sticky Chicken

This didn't turn out the way I wanted it to I think I still need to tweek it and change a few things, but Darwin and the boys LOVED it so that I guess means a success.

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 T honey
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh ginger grated
1/4 tsp black pepper
3-4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast

Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and wisk well till honey is evenly incorporated with other ingredients. Place chicken in a ziploc bag and add marinade. Toss to coat. Refridgerate and marinade for at least 4 hours. place chicken and marinade in a skillet on the stove top. Bring marinade and chicken to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes turning the chicken a few times. After 15 minutes remove chicken from marinade and return the mariniade to the heat to reduce further. In the mean time place chicken under the broiler to finish cooking and to get a slight crust on it from the broiler. Slice the chicken and serve on hot sticky rice with some of the marinade drizzled over it, top with some toasted sesame seeds and stir fried veggies.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nothin like soup on a cold day!!

Sorry I've been slacking on the blog... it has been a crazy few weeks. So the last three or four days have been BEAUTIFUL!! But the nights are still pretty chilly. Darwin was out side digging a trench for the new bathroom we are putting in our shop and he was out there till late and it was getting cold. So I thought what is better on a cold day than homemade soup! I didn't want to go to the grocery store so, I made it from all things I had on hand and it was super yummy and we are still enjoying the left overs!

Chicken Enchilada Soup

6 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 T ground cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 red pepper roasted diced*
3 jalapenos, minced
2 T garlic, minced
1 can blk beans
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 onion, small diced
1/4 tsp chili powder
to taste cayenne pepper
2 qts chicken stock**
1/2 lb bacon, diced
salt and pepper to taste

combine the first six ingredients and place in a baking dish with a bit of oil, bake till cooked through. set aside to cool. When cool dice the chicken and again set aside. combine, garlic and onions and cook ina bit of bacon fat till clear. Add jalapenos, roasted red pepper, tomatoes and black beans. add the tomatoes paste and then add the chicken stock. return the chickena nd bacon to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the chili powder and the salt and pepper and cayenne to your liking.
*may buy canned roasted red peppers or roast your own. Coat pepper with oil and a bit of salt and pepper and roast in oven at 400` Roast till the pepper is brown and bubbly. Remove from oven and immediately place in bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow to cool. Once cool remove from bowl and the skin will pull away easy.
**you can buy canned or boxed stock or make your own, use chicken bones, carrots, onion and cerlery cover with water, and boil strain an skim off any fat.

Serve soup with sour cream, cheese, and tortilla chips

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I learned how to make these from my roommate who was dating a return missionary who served in Korea. I sometimes make them completely from sratch dough and all but lately I've cheated and used wonton wrappers, to make my life at least alittle bit easier.


1 lb ground pork
2 scallions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 T soy sauce
wonton wrappers*

Fill the wonton wrappers or dough with about a tablespoon of the filling and seal with a bit of water. Boil in water till floating and competely cooked about 5-6minutes. Or you can fry these in a bit of oil for a crispy potstickers. Serve with sauce.

1 cup soy sauce
1 T white vinegar

*If using wonton wrappers double them up. Or if you want to make your own dough from scratch mix flour a dash of salt and enough water to form a soft dough.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lettuce Wraps

I've never been to a P.F. Changs but I have heard wonders about the lettuce wraps, I found a recipe on line but I changed it a bit to suit me and my family. They were super yummy and I just stir fried some rice noodles along side with some carrots and broccoli.

5 Chicken breast, boneless skinless, small diced*
1 pkg white mushrooms, small diced
1 can water chestnuts, small diced
1/2 onion, minced
2 T garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated**
2 dried chiles***
1 head of iceberg lettuce, seperated

3 T cornstarch
3 T soy sauce
1 T oil

2 T cornstarch
3 T soy sauce
3 T Hoisin sauce
3 T Oyster sauce
2 T white vinegar

Combine chicken in the marinade and toss. Heat wok and cook chicken till completely cooked. Remove from heat, add the rest of the indredients and allow to cook. Meanwhile combine all the sauce ingredients and set aside. Return chicken to wok and add the sauce. Simmer till combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve in lettuce cups and enjoy!
* ground chicken can be subsitituted
**store in freezer and use a small grater to grate the ginger.
*** more chiles can be used depending on your preference of heat.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Birthday Dinner

So it was my big 26th Birthday and overall it was a good day. I started getting sick on Saturday and was not feeling my best but was still able to have a good day, unlike today where I'm miserable! Darwin took the morning off and got a sitter for the kids and we went out to a nice breakfast and visited some of the touristy shops. He wanted to take me out to dinner but being we live in Burns without very many options I opted to just cook myself. So while Darwin and the boys decorated a castle cake for me, complete with knight in shinning armor, I cooked dinner. Nothing to fancy since I wasn't feeling well but this is one of my FAVORITE marinades! (I'll post pictures of the cake as soon as I get them off my camera!

Balsamic marinated Flank Steak

1 Flank steak roughly 2 lbs
1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 T garlic minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
3 T olivve oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary

Combine all ingredients in a bag and marninade for at least 2 hours, the longer the better. remove from bag and discard marinade. Grill on BBQ, grill pan or gridle, for about 9 minutes per side till cooked to a nice medium doneness.

Birthday Dinner

Lemon Garlic Shirmp

12 jumbo shrimp
2 T garlic, minced
1 T lemon juice
1 T olive oil
black pepper and salt to taste

Marinade the shrimp for at least an hour in the lemon juice and garlic and salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add shrimp. Cook about 3 minutes per side just till pink and curled.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Feeding the Missionaries

At first I was going to title this post Missionaries for Dinner, but realized once I typed it that it sounded as if we were eating the missionaries! So Feeding the Missionaries it became! I made a favorite of ours from back in my Culinary days, Pecan chicken. When the Missionaries got here and I told them what we were having a huge smiled came over their face and they said we have heard about this. Michelle( my good friend) told them they should ask me to make it! They loved it! It sure is yummy!

1/3 cup pecan, finely chopped
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breast
3 T dijon mustard

1/4 cup maple syrup
1 T dijon mustard

Combine the 5 ingredients and set aside. Coat the chicken breast with the Dijon mustard and then coat in the pecan mixture. Pan fry in a bit of oil or bake in the oven at 350` till completely cooked. Combine the 2 sauce ingredients and serve with the chicken.

Feeding the Missionaries

Carmel Brownies:

50 Carmels
1/3 cup canned milk*
1 pkg German Chocolate Cake mix
6 T butter, melted
1/2 cup canned milk*
1 cup chocolate chips
2 T powdered sugar

In a double boiler melt carmels and the 1/3 cup canned milk. Mix together the cake mix, melted butter and remaining milk. Grease a 9x13 inch pan very well and spread half of the cake mixture on the bottom. Bake at 350` for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and carmel. Then spoon remaining cake mix over the top and spread as best you can. Bake for an additional 18 minutes. When cool dust with the powdered sugar.
* If you don't have canned milk you can substitute whole milk, however the brownies will be sticker and chewier.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cooking without electricity??

So our Bishop gave each family a challenge for this week. To cook our meals without electricity. He wants us to learn what we would need and what we would do for food if we were to loose our power. Being that the East coast has had severe weather and that families are going without electricity, he felt that we should all try to go a full week without using electricity to fix our meals. Well I must admit I've already cheated and it is only Tuesday, and we definately won't be going the whole week. It is too much with the kids and plus we have the missionaries coming for dinner and I have a reputation to uphold!! It has been good, we've discovered that we need to invest some money into dutch ovens, we only have one 6 inch and 2 cast iron skillets. For now it works but once the kids get older... we will need something bigger. Also we are going to invest in buying more of the little propane tanks for our camp stove as well as an extra propane tank for our BBQ. It has been a good experiment and really has made us realize how better prepared we could be. So tonight we are roasting hot dogs in the fire place with smores for desert of course and I'm making my mom's Calico Beans on top of the fireplace! I'm sure the boys will get a kick out of it!

Calico Beans:
1/2 lb bacon, diced
1 cup onion, diced
1 T garlic, minced
1 qt pork and beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can white beans

Cook bacon and drain, add onions and garlic till browned. Add to pan:

2 T vinegar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 T prepared mustard

Mix well and bake at 400` for 30 minutes till bubbly.

Monday, February 22, 2010


So I decided to fix salmon on Sunday and I had a good amount of it so I thought I would prepare it in two different marinades. While I was getting it ready Denver came and asked what it was I told him its Salmon, he was like whats Salmon I told him it is a fish, he replied like Nemo? Isaid yep like Nemo. Well next thing I know he is running up stairs telling Porter we are eating Nemo for dinner! Porter comes running down the stairs NOOOOOO don't eat Nemo! It was funny and no he refused to try Nemo! Oh well

Maple Teryaki Glazed Salmon

2 lbs Salmon
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup apple juice
3 T soy sauce
1 T garlic, minced
1/2 onion, finely diced

Combine all ingredients and coat salmon, refrigderate over night before cooking. Remove from marinade and place on a baking sheet covered in tin foil. broil on top rack of Oven for 12-15 minutes till moist and flaky. You can savesome of the reserve marinade and bast a few ties during the cooking process.

Lemon Pepper Garlic Salmon

2 lb Salmon
3 T lemon pepper
3 T lemon juice
2 T garlic, minced
1 T ground black pepper
2 tsp salt
juice from 4 lemons, fresh (really does make a difference)
4 T olive oil
1 T garlic powder

prepare the marinade by whisking all of the ingredients together. Place in bowl or bag and add salmon. I also tossed in the lemons from the juice coat the salmon. Place in fridge and allow to marninade for 2 hours. I wouldn't recommend marinating this over night because of all the acid from the lemon, will end up actually cooking the salmon and creating a sevice. Place on baking sheet and Broil on top rack of oven for 12-15 minutes till moist and flaky. You can also baste with marinade or place slices of lemon on top of the fish.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Something sweet

So last year we had a super bowl party and we decided to serve different appetizers and bites of a variety of things. I made pot stickers, (will have to add that recipe at a later time) I had a bunch of left over wonton wrappers and wanted to make something sweet so I created these and they are yummy. Today going through my fridge hunting for something warm and sweet and there were the wonton wrappers calling to me. I can't think of a clever name though...

Wonton wrappers
Cream cheese
favorite type of jelly
oil for frying
cinnamon sugar
chocolate chips, melted

Take a wonton wrapper and spread a small dollop of cream cheese (about 1 T) in the middle. Then add about 2 tsp of your choice of Jelly, spread over cream cheese. Roll up like an egg roll, add a drop of water along the edge to seal it to itself. Drop in hot oil and fry till golden brown. Remove from oil and al;low to drain briefly, then toss in the cinnamon sugar. Drizzle with the melted chocolate chips and eat warm.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mexican Night

Darwin's cousin watched our boys for us on Saturday so that we could drive the 3 hours to go to the temple. In return I made them dinner tonight, at lunch time I couldn't decide what to make so I asked Darwin. He requested Chicken Enchiladas. I didn't really feel like it but couldn't decide on anything else so enchiladas it was. Man was I glad he made that choice!! They were yummy! I made fresh salsa(see below) and rice and beans.

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper*
1 can diced green chiles
1 onion, diced
2 T garlic, minced
24 flour tortillas**
4 cups cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups red enchilada sauce***

mix cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, chili powder and cayenne in a small bowl, combine well. Place chicken on a baking tray and sprinkle seasoning mixture evenly over them. Bake at 350` for about 15-20 minutes till cooked through. Allow to cool. In a large skillet, saute onions, garlic and green chiles. Dice the chicken up into small cubes and add to onion mixture. Add about 3 T of the enchilada sauce and mix well. Spoon into tortillas and roll up, place in oven safe dish. coat with enchilada sauce and sprinkle cheese over it. Bake in oven at 350` till cheese is melted and slightly crispy.
* more or less cayenne can be used depending on your preference of heat
**Corn tortillas can be used but there will be less filling in each enchilada due to the size of the tortillas
*** I've also done this with green sauce however we prefer the red. A nice addition if doing a green sauce is a thin spread of cream cheese on each tortilla before you put in the chicken mixture.

Mexican Night

I secretly, ok not secretly I flat out want it to be summer! I want to warm and be able to let my boys play out side and run and scream out there rather than in my house! Also I got a catalog in the mail today to order seeds and plants for my garden which only made me long for summer even more. One thing that reminds me of summer and my garden is Fresh Salsa!

Fresh Salsa:
8 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 onions, diced
2 red peppers, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 anaheim pepper, diced
2 jalapenos, diced*
1 zuchinni, diced
3 T garlic, minced
1 T salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sugar

Combine all ingredients and serve with chips or your other favorite mexican dishes. Keep cold.
* fewer or more jalapenos can be used depending on your prevence of heat level.
**lime juice or cilantro can also be added for additional flavors.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Left-over Lobster

So since Darwin isn't a shell fish fan, (I know terrible huh?) I had the wonderful job of devouring 2 lobster tails all myself on Valentine's day. Well on top of all the other food I only ate about 2/3rds of one so today I decided to make myself a Maine classic and have a lobster roll and let me just say it was fabulous! Here's what I did but I of course only made a small batch for my lonesome self. I just wish I would have had one of the east coast hotdog buns to finish it off.

Lobster Rolls:
4 cups steamed Lobster, chunks
1 cup mayo
2 ribs celery, small diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 T dijon mustard
juice from one lemon
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
2 T fresh basil, chiffonade*
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Gently mix all ingredients till evenly coated, serve on warm rolls.
* I used basil but tarragon would be excellent too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine Dinner

This is the meal I'm making today for Valentine's Day. There are several different posts so that way I could archive them. It is tasty! Enjoy!

Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes

4 Large potatoes, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
2 T chives, chopped
1 T butter
salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes till soft. Place in a mixer and mash. Add remaining ingredients and mix till combined.

Valentine Dinner

Panna Cotta with strawberries:
3 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
1 T orange zest
1 T unlfavored gelatin
1 cup whole milk

In a sauce pan heat heavy cream, sugar vanilla and orange zest. If using vanilla bean split the bean and scrap the seeds out place seeds and bean in cream) Vanilla extract can be substituted, use 1 1/2 T. Heat to scalding, and remove from heat. allow to infuse for 30 minutes. In a smaller sauce pan away from the heat add milk and sprinkle the gelatin over the milk. Allow to soften. After gelatin is soft heat the milk to completely dissolve the gelatin. Slowing add milk mixture to the cream mixture and return to the heat. Heat to scalding again. Pour into ramekins and allow to sit over night to set.

2 lbs strawberries, diced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 T oragne zest

In a sauce pot combine sugar, water and zest. Bring to a boil then cover the diced starwberries. Toss and cool till service.
Top each ramekin with some strawberries and enjoy!

Valentine Dinner

Roasted Garlic Beef Tenderloin:

1 head garlic

1 petite beef tenderloin

1 tsp salt

2 tsp ground black pepper

1 T olive oil

Cut the head of garlic in half and place in pan with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 305` for about 10-15 minutes till soft. Remove the cloves and mash with a fork in a small bowl. Season the tenderloin with the salt and pepper, then rub the tenderloin with the mashed garlic and place in a bag and in the fridge over night. Tenderloin can then be grilled, or raosted to the desired doneness.

Valentine Dinner

Broiled Lobster tails:

2 frozen lobster tails, thawed
1 T garlic, minced
1/2 cup butter
1 T olive oil
2 wooden skewers

Preheat broiler. Use kitchen shears to cut through the top shell of the lobster. Slice down the middle of the lobster tails down about a 1/2 inch. Skewer each tail so that it won't curl during cooking. In a saute pan melt butter and saute the garlic. Add olive oil. Brush the lobster with garlic butter and place on pan. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the lobster is opaque and cooked through. serve with remaing garlic butter.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cheesy Onion dip

I have to laugh each time Darwin asks me to make this dip because he swears he hates onions but loves this! It is a great recipe and you can change it really easily into a completely different dip.

Cheesy Onion dip:

3 large onions, diced
1 lb bacon, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup mayo
3 8oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup parmesan plus 1/4 cup

Fry bacon and allow to drain. Saute onions and garlic in a bit of bacon grease till cooked through. Remove from heat and add bacon, mayo, cream cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Mix till combined and transfer to a oven safe dish. Then sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese on top and bake at 350` for about 20 minutes. Serve hot with Crackers, we like to eat it with the sundried tomato basil wheat thins.

*Variations: You can add, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, spinach, or jalepenos, roasted red pepper. etc...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


So I'm going to try and organize this blog thing a bit and have labels for each post so you can go to main dishes or sides or favorites and have all the recipes you want. I also want to have a label for tips and tricks in the kitchen. I think having different labels will help organize the archive better. Oh and feel free to leave comments on the recipes and let me know if you tried them out!
Alot of these recipes I created myself and have tried them out on my family and friends. Since Darwin has City Council tonight, it will be left overs from the super bowl party. So turkey Burgers it is! I like eating the turkey burgers on a nice homemade bun but store bought ones work just as well. Enjoy!

Fontina Turkey Burgers with Salami and rosemary dijon mayo:

2lbs ground Turkey

1/2 cup onions, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

1 egg

16 slices hard salami

8 slices smoked Fontina cheese, cut in half

Combine all but the last two ingredients in a large bowl. Combine with hand till fully mixed. If meat seems to wet add a bit more bread crumbs. Meat should be a good constistancy that will hold together when formed into burgers. Divide the meat into 8 even portions. Take one section of the meat and divide it in two. Form a small patty with one half of the portion. Take 1/2 slice of the fontina cheese and place on the small patty. Then use the remaining portion of meat on top of the cheese. Squeeze the sides of the burger to seal in the cheese center. Cook the burgers completely through, I use a non-stick griddle. Only turn the burgers once. Near the end of the cooking time top burgers with 2 slices of the hard salami each and the other half piece of the fontina cheese. Allow cheese to melt then serve. (Cook about 8 minutes per side, till completely cooked through)

Rosemary Dijon Mayo:

1 cup mayo

2 T Dijion Mustard

2 tsp rosemary

combine all ingredients and serve on buns with the turkey burgers, along with onion, tomato and lettuce.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

By popular Demand:

It is here. I finally did it. You asked and I delivered. Here it is my cooking blog! I named it Simple Home Gourmet because I love fine dining and great ingredients, but I like simple and easy cooking. Now for those of you who don't know me I figured I better fill you in a bit about myself and my family.
Growing up I always loved cooking, I would make mud pies and pretend cook all of the time. In high school I had the opportunity to take Culinary Art Courses at a local college. I enrolled right away and loved it. I soon started working for the instructor at his catering company. I worked there for almost two years before I went to college at Brigham Young University-Idaho, where I majored in none other but Culinary Arts! I met my husband while at school we married in April of 2004. I received my Culinary Arts degree in 2005. We soon moved to Burns Oregon were we remain today. We have four beautiful children, Denver(4), Porter(almost 3), Parker(almost 2) and Emery(4 months). I'm a stay at home mom and I love to cook. I cook most nights and figure that I will post my recipes on here as well as a shopping list. We can work our way through the recipes together and enjoy some simple home gourmet food at more than half the cost of getting it at a resturant!