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!