Thursday, December 29, 2011

I've been a slacker and not posted in quiet a while... I will blame the busy holidays! Here is a cake I did today for some people in our ward. It was a white almond cake with a cream cheese raspberry chocolate chunk filling. it was tasty and coinsidering I'm dealing with my second case of Mastitis with in two turned out well. The cake topper was made by the aunt of the bride.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

We had a wonderful Halloween party with friends, complete with carnival games and spooky food. The kids thought it was great and couldn't believe the food.
                                         we had Mummy pizza's and Mummy pigs in a blanket

 Jack o'latern cheese ball and witches finger breadsticks( Next time I will make the dough myself rather than store bought dough and allow myself more time to really get them finger like)
 And candy corn rice crispies and witches hat cookies. also not pictured were the spidered deviled eggs and spooky hand punch.
It was great fun and we look forward to more holiday fun in the upcoming months.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pinned Image

Made this for dinner lastnight and Darwin said he would be happy if I made this meal once a week, and the kids ate it so I guess it is a keeper! It was pretty good. Now you might have noticed that I seem to always change at least something to each recipe I find. I always like to change it a bit to make it my own, so I did switch it up alittle bit, added a few more seasonings, Here is the link to the orginal recipe But this is what I did...

8 large chicken breasts

2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder 

2 C milk
1 tsp cayenne
1tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 T garlic powder

4 C cheddar cheese, grated
fresh parsley
1 14 ounce can cream of chicken soup
4 T sour cream
2 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley
1/4 tsp thyme
Milk as needed to thin out sauce

Combine the Milk, with the cayenne, salt, pepper and garlic powder for about a half hour. place ritz crackers in a food processor and pluse till fine, add salt, pepper, garlic and onion. In another dish combine the cheese and parsley. Remove the chicken from the milk and place into the cheese, pat cheese on each side, then coat with the ritz crackers, and place on a baking sheet. Bake the chicken at 350` for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked. Meanwhile prepare the sauce, in a sauce pot combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer. Season as needed with salt and pepper and if you want a thinner sauce as as much milk as needed. Top the chicken with the sauce.

Then this is a picture of the wedding cake I did for Devin and Emily's wedding, that was the day before I had Carter....the top three layers are a combo of styrofoam and rice crispy treats....They ordered sheet cakes for the rest of the the guest and the wedding cake was just to serve the wedding party...I won't do that one again. Working with the styrofoam was such a pain! Thank heaven's for my Dear friend Michelle who was a life saver and helped SO much with this cake, not only did she provide me with a house to do the cake in but she did so much as my large baby belly continued to get in the way. For future reference I will NOT do wedding cakes when I'm nine months pregnant! overall it turned out good, however this picture shows the bottom teir strip is not level and I must admit as I look at it even now it is DRIVING ME NUTS! oh well. I just got hired to do my first cake in Lakeview too, a wedding in December, with cake to serve 100, buttercream and simple decorations, should be great!

Friday, October 14, 2011

So life has been a little more than just plain right crazy and thus the blog and me cooking took a back burner. Since my last post, I've done a wedding cake, while 9 months pregnant, had said baby, the day after the wedding and then spent 8 days in the NICU, got home and have been adjusting to life with five children all six and under! I'll post pictures of the wedding cake in the next post, we are so glad that Devin and Emily finally made it official and she is now part of our family!
Anyhow, this beautiful and oh so scrumptious picture above was of an experiment of mine and let me just say it was beyond a success, it was so yummy and we will definitely do it again as the possibilities are endless.

For a quick easy dessert all you need is
Cake mix of your choice (I used chocolate) prepared according to directions on box
strawberries, sliced and sweetened with a bit of sugar
vanilla ice cream
chocolate syrup
waffle maker

yep waffle maker, fill your waffle maker with the cake batter and cook till done. immediately top with strawberries and ice cream and syrup! You will have a quick and simple dessert that will be sure to dazzle your guests! And it is SO good!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta

It has been SO hot lately I dread cooking, I now strange huh? Normally I love it and Look forward to making dinner...perhaps it is my growing belly that is making me miserably hot or the fact that my house doesn't cool off the way I would like it to...whatever it is my inspiration to cook has vanished. Plus the summer is supposed to be full of BBQ dinners...our BBQ isn't working. I think something must have gotten disconnected in the move because I can't get it hotter than 200`...alas the minimal cooking dinners.
I really didn't want the oven on so I decided to make a pasta dish and it was SO yummy!  Here is the recipe and let me tell you it is a GOOD ONE!

4 boneless skinless Chicken breast
2 T minced garlic divided
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
bunch of fresh basil + 1 T fresh basil minced
3 T olive oil
1/4 onion
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 box penne pasta, cooked al dente

Heat a bit of oil in a saute pan and add the garlic and 1 T basil, add the chicken and cook till complete. Set aside.
In a food processor or blender make the pesto. Add the tomatoes, bunch of basil, remaing garlic, onion, cheese and oil. Blend well, if too dry add more oil if too wet you can add more tomato, basil or onion. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the chicken breast, and add to the hot cooked pasta. Add pesto and toss well. Toss with a bit more cheese if liked and serve hot.
Simple easy and so good!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Denver's Birthday

So my next post was gonna be on a friend..but she has yet to give me a recipe she wants posted so... I'll move on to other events in our lives. Denver my first born and oldest son is HOLY COW six! No way where did the time go? We went to the Oregon coast for his birthday because he wanted to be on the beach for his birthday so we went. It was a fast but fun trip... for the cake oh the cake... ugh he wanted Buzz lightyear. So about a week before we left I shaped and carved Buzz out of rice krispies thinking that'd be the best way to do it and then we would just do the Alein Cupcakes there for the cake part... hahaha, well the day before we leave I'm working on Buzz putting the fondant on him and I have to go and rescue a screaming child...Emery I believe. I return to the kitchen to find Buzz on the floor demolished and Parker looking guilty. He swears he didn't touch him and that he just fell... Oh well so I frantically start thinking what to do. I baked an extra cake and made half of Buzz out of cupcakes, and packed up everythign else for the road trip... well cake doesn't travel well and it was rough, but overall it turned out okay and the six year old LOVED it which lets face it is all that matters!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


We have finally made the move to Lakeview and although I'm thrilled beyond thrilled to be here with Darwin, to be a family again, it was really hard for me to leave the wonderful friends that I had in Burns. I decided I would do a few posts highlighting a few of those friends and the wonderful cooks that they are!

So first off, they are in NO particular order and I love them all equally and will miss them all DESPERATELY! Rebecca is first mainly because she is the first one to respond and return a recipe to me!

Now I've only know Rebecca for a year or so but we became fast friends! It always helps too when you have kids the same age! Her son Luke is Denver's Buddy! Rebecca is one of the kindest people I've ever met. Before she officailly moved to Burns we were "becoming friends" over facebook, before she even moved here she was offering to help watch kids and planning play dates! She has always been there when I needed help or a meal. She was a lifesaver during my recovering through appendictus! She is an amazing mother and I'm sure wife but I can't testify to that one myself ;) Her kids are the sweetest and such a good example of well behaved children!  Oh and since this is a recipe blog I should mention she is a GREAT cook. She makes this spinach dip that I kid you not I crave at ALL hours of the night this pregnancy...and now you all can try it and love it and crave it too!

Spinach Dip
1/2 cup mayo
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 pkg Rance dressing mix
1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
3 or 4 cups fresh spinach chopped

combine all and serve cold with crackers.

Thanks Rebecca for being such a Great friend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mario Cake

Denver's best buddie Luke celebrated his 6th Birthday today. Luke came over when we celebrated Porter and Parker's Birthdays and all he could talk about was the marshmellow frosting! His mother asked me if I would make a cake for him using the marshmellow fondant. I was happy to. However I had to summon my inner video gamer, which I soon found out there isn't an inner one of those in me, so I googles alot. His theme was Mario. The cake turned out cute and it was a huge hit!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Marion Berry Pie...Mmmmmm

Alright, the move is done! For now until we get to do it all over again in a few weeks! I REALLY hope and pray that the house in Lakeview is ready by July 1!! Anyhow today we had a lovely sacrament farewell to Darwin's cousin Delight who will be leaving in 2 weeks to serve in the Baton Rouge Louisanna Mission. Later this evening we had a family get together and I was assigned to bring dessert. Well being that my living quaters are dishelved and unorganized..I went for simple and what ever it was had to come from stuff I already had on hand.. So Marionberry pie it was and my oh my it was good! Now I'm not a huge fan of warm berrry pies unless I have some cool ice cream to eat with it, so I decided to make a cold pie this time around and it was a hit.

Here is the recipe...

Marion Berry Pie
5 cups frozen Marion berries
1 cup sugar
4 T cornstarch
2 T lemon Juice
1 9inch pie crust baked

In a sauce pot add 2 1/2 cups of berries, the corn starch. lemon juice and sugar. Place remaining berries back in freezer till needed. Mash up the berries and cook on meduim heat till it comes to a boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes stirring constantly until berries are mashed and filling is liquid. Allow to cool completely, then gently mix in remaining frozen berries. Add to baked shell and chill till served. Serve cold.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lack of cooking...Sorry

I've hit another slump in my cooking this time due to...moving AGH!! I hate packing and is such a pain! It seems as though I pack a box turn around and when I come back to that box seconds later the kids have unpacked it... We have to be out of our house this weekend, but still don't have a place in Lakeview so...we are moving into our shop, which is 800 square feet and we just finished it into an apartment. It looks amazing and too bad we are moving and don't get to enjoy it as we originally planned. Oh well it is finally done, and provides me and the kids a place to live for the time being and should really help sell our house!! So most likely NO real cooking will happen this week. We are hoping to get into our rental home in Lakeview sometime in July. We also found out that baby number five is....a BOY! When Emery was born I joked around saying good luck to any boy that ever wants to date her between 3 older brothers and her with this baby also being a boy I now say good luck to any boy that just wants to look at her! Oh well. We are thinking of naming him Carter Steven, and yes we know that the ER ending with all of our boys is confusing and we really don't do it on purpose, it just so happens that ALL of the boy names we like end in ER, I haven't found one that doesn't that I would even sorry if we confuse you all,  I figure I was called my siblings names all the time growing up and our names were nothing close to each other so really what's the big deal ;) Anyhow. Carter Comes from Church history and Darwin's side of the family and of course the Steven is for my wonderful father who has taught me so much and is such a wonderful example to me. I pray that this little boy will look to his namesakes for examples and guidance. Anyhow, I have to go pack some more....

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Orchid Cake

The gum paste orchid cake... I think it turned out good. The picture I was given orginally had A satin ribbon and a string of pearls and real orchids on it. The Bride (Darwin's Cousin wanted everything edible) Which added up to ALOT of work for me, but I'm very pleased with the outcome. The only thing other than the dowels and cake boards that was NOT edible on the cake was the wires on the flowers that held them together. The bride loved it and it seemes as everyone else did as well.

 This is the top view of the orchids on the top teir.
Me with my master piece. I really enjoyed doing this cake, and I'm really proud of how it turned out. I always have to mentally prepare myself for when they cut into the cake, because I see all the hard work and it disappearing so fastly... I wasn't quiet ready when they cut into this cake and quinged a little bit! Oh well, it looked great and tasted great and now all I have left is pictures!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More cake...

I'm making the wedding cake for Darwin's cousin this weekend and she wanted everything edible. So I've been busy making these:

They are gum paste cymbidium orchids. The actually are a very pretty red, not the brown they look in the photo...poor lighting I guess! The cake is 4 round teirs, chocolate cake with mint filling, white cake with vanilla bavarian filling, chocolate cake with chocolate filling and lemon cake with raspberry filling, all cover with buttersream and marshmellow fondant. Lots of work. Photos will be coming soon!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So it's not food...But there are recipes :)

So I've been trying to find easy ways to help save us money. I've heard people talk about homemeade laundry soap and thougth why not give it a try. I bought the supplies and made it, and have tried it and I can officially say I LOVE IT! It is so simple to make and works great and averages out to be like 5cents per load verses the 25cents a load I was paying with store bought detergent. Here is the recipe:

Powdered Laundry Detergent

2 cups Fels Naptha Soap (finely grated – or any of these other soaps Ivory soap, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile, and Zote. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps.) I used Fels Natha because it is specifically a laundry bar soap
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax

Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.
Use 1 to 2 tablespoons per full load.

Powdered Dishwasher soap

1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda

Combine and store in airtight container. Use 1 Tablespoon per load

For a rinse agent in your dishwasher use White distilled Vinegar.

I think these are great, work really good and save money! I also think that these are great items to have in your food storage. Whether you have it made or at least the ingredients to make them if needed! Happy washing!

Monday, May 16, 2011


Holy Cow I saw these last night and decided I HAD to have them. I like to blame the baby for things like this.. the Baby is the one that really needs it not me. The baby needs the second and third helping as well.  Anyhow, I'm heading to the store to buy the cookies and then I'm making a tray of these...and probably will eat the whole thing myself!

•1 pound Oreo Cookies

•4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

•24 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, At Room Temperature

•¾ cups Granulated Sugar

•¾ cups Sour Cream At Room Temperature

•1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

•½ teaspoons Salt

•3 whole Large Eggs, At Room Temperature

 Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides (I spray mine with cooking spray).
 Make the crust: place 28 Oreos in a food processor and process until finely ground. Pour into a large bowl, add the melted butter, and stir with a flexible spatula until all crumbs are moistened. Place the cookie-crumb mixture in the lined pan and, using your fingers, press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire cooling rack (leave the oven on) while you make the filling. Snap the remaining Oreos in half, put them in the food processor, and turn on and off quickly a few times, just until the cookies are roughly chopped.
Make the filling: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and sugar until well blended, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a flexible spatula and beat again until uniform. Beat in sour cream, vanilla and salt. Scrape down the bowl and mix again. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. After beating in the last egg, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat one more time, to make sure the mixture is fully combined. Stir in chopped Oreos with the same spatula.
Pour the cream cheese mixture over the baked cookie crust, smooth the top with the spatula, and bake for 40 minutes, until the filling is set around the edges but still slightly wobbly in the center when you gently shake the pan. Remove the pan to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. When cool, cover it with foil and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours. (I chill mine overnight.)
 To cut, use the foil overhang to lift the cheesecake out of the pan and place on a large cutting board. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the cheesecake into bars, rinsing off the knife with hot water and wiping it dry between each cut. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Yield: 24 bars

Monday, May 2, 2011


Sorry it has been so long since I posted, we went to Portland for Porter's appointments which was a disappointment and then got home and appendistus hit me a few days later! So I am down and taking it easy! My fabulous ward is so amazing they set up meals for me for THREE WEEKS and child care for like TWO WEEKS! Don't know what I'm gonna do with myself other than sleep and heal and I guess that is good cause it is definately what I needed. I'm considered high risk for the next few weeks and can't lift anything more than a gallon of milk. Surgery while awake was interesting and something I don't wish to do again! Anyhow, posts will probably be in short supply for awhile, until I'm up and fully running again! Sorry!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Who can so no to a comforting bowl of ooey gooey homemade macaroni and cheese, especially when there is bacon! One of my good friends, blogged about how she was craving some stick to your bones homemade mac and cheese so a midnight she started making it, and it was horrible. After reading her post I wanted mac and cheese so bad I decided to make it for dinner tonight and I'm making enough for her and her family so her craving can be satisfied as well!  It's a classic and a good one!

1 lb bacon, diced and fried
1 T bacon grease
7 T butter
3/4 cup flour
1/3 Cup cream cheese
5 cups milk
2 lbs cheddar cheese grated
1/2 medium onion with core still attached
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 large bag elbow macaroni

Add the bacon grease and butter to a pan and melt, add flour to make your rue. Cook for about 3 minutes, add about a cup of milk and mix well with the rue. Add Remaining milk and seasonings. Add the onion and a bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes so that the rue is thickened. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the cheese in small amounts so that it melts completely. Meanwhile cook the macaroni till al dente`. Add the cheese sauce to the noodles and toss well, add the bacon and place in a baking dish. Top with either more grated cheese or bread crumbs or even crushed potato chips, or leave it plain. Bake for about 15 minutes so that it gets crispy. Serve hot.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Oh the Popcorn...

So for Christmas we got a Popcorn popper like this...
West Bend 82306X 6qt Popcorn Popper
I admit I hadn't opened it until this past weekend. The kids LOVE popcorn, but the convience of a microwave had prevented me from opening it from it's packaging until Conference weekend. Now for family home evening we do things alittle different than the traditional family. You see having four and a half kids under the age of six one can imagine they RARELY sit still let alone not touch and pester one another for more than five minutes... Enter two items, laundry baskets and popcorn. We place each kid in their own basket, complete with pillow and blanket if requested and give them each a bowl of popcorn. This allows us to get through a still brief lesson with out arguing about so and so is touching me, breathing on me, looking at me etc.... 
So Conference seemed like it called for laundry baskets and popcorn. They did pretty darn good for being under 6! We got them to watch quietly 1/2 of the Saturday morning session(holy cow temple being built in my home town! Fort Collins!! AWESOME) and they watched all of the Sunday morning session! Good job kids. Now on Sunday I made my good friend Michelle's AMAZING caramel popcorn, recipe is top secret and (tear) will not be shared here, as it is top secret, held under lock and key and I kid you not I could eat a bath tub full of it and still want more of the gooey caramel goodness... drooling yet? however I thought I would share a few tried and true wonderful popcorn recipes, my children's favorite, regular buttered and salted popcorn and plain M&M's. Here is one of my favorites,
Garlic Parmesan Popcorn
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder *more if you want more garlic flavor
dash of black pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
2-3 T melted butter

Pop the popcorn according to machine's specifications. Toss the popcorn in the melted butter and then toss with the spices. Serve immediately.

Another tasty popcorn idea is popped corn melted butter and dried ranch dressing mix, toss and serve.

What are your favorite Popcorn ideas and recipes? Now that I've busted out the popper I just can't seem to stop! :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Porter turns 4!! WHAT?

This weekend we celebrated Porter's fourth Birthday. I got emotional..I know surprise surprise, as I thought about my sweet boy. He has gone through so very much and there was a time that we really didn't think that we would be blessed to have him remain in our family for this long.
Since hsi surgery I have seen him struggle with his speech and headaches, it seems so little in comaprison as to what it could have been.
We are so blessed adn grateful for this sweet little boy in our home, he loves all things cowboy lately and has quite the attitude lately...something we are working on :) He is extremely OCD which is hard to manage sometimes, he likes to have things a certain way, his way and can through one heck of a temper tantrum. On the flip side though he is very kind and loving. He is tender and sweet and tells the funniest stories! He has the most vivid imagination! He has pretend friends, Dinasour and Dinasour, and he has to have his "crunchy" blanket every night inorder to fall asleep. ( it is a striped afghan my Grnadma Murphy made him) He is such a character and we love him!

For his cake he wanted cowboy.. so I thought I'd go the easy route and use a horse pan, well aparently it looked to girly and Porter would have nothing to do with it. So I had to rush his cake and it didn't turn out the way I pictured it but it served it's purpose and he loved it!

Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork

Oh my goodness, I LOVE Pioneer Woman! HSe has some of th ebest recipes...other than myself of course ;) I saw this on her web site and decided I had to try and my oh my was it tasty. I served it with my cilantro lime sauce, and fried corned tortillas. It was fabulous and will definately do it again!


■1 whole Large Onion

■1 whole Pork Shoulder ("pork Butt") - 5 To 7 Pounds

■Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper

■1 can (11 Ounce) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce

■2 cans Dr. Pepper

■2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a large dutch oven.

Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.

Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in.

Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least six hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it’s not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour.

Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready to serve. (You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it’s cold. Then heat up the liquid on the stovetop and return the meat to the liquid to warm up.

Serve on warm flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado slices, salsa, and whatever else you’d like.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Relief Society Birthday Cake

 Months before Darwin got his new job I was asked to make a cake for the Relief Society Birthday Dinner, that was on March 17. I wasn't sure what to do and frankly once Darwin left I lost any and all enthusiasm I had for the cake. Lucky for me I have a wonderful friend who loves to assist in the cake making fun. She searched for ideas and she designed the cake. Our other friend Tamara who is starting her own cupcake business wanted to come and help and learn. It was fabulous I must say to be the executive chef and teach. I baked all of the cakes, made the buttercream and fondant, and fillings. Then we all got together and decorated the cake. I showed them how to do each step and then let them go for it, and was there if they needed me. It was a great team effort and was a huge hit!

 The bottom layer was a french vanilla cake with a fudge and fresh strawberry filling. The middle layer a chocolate cake with a creme de menthe filling with andes mints, and the top layer a lemon cake with a lemon blueberry filling. All covered with homemade buttercream and marshmellow fondant.
The three of us with the finished project. Tamara will do fabulous in her cupcake business and I would hire Michelle ANY day as an assistant, cook, babysitter, teacher, friend, pretty much whatever!
I'm sad to know that this is probably the last cake I will do for the public in Harney County, I've got Porter's Birthday this next weekend. I'm trying not to dwell on the friends and ward we will be leaving and focus on the great opportunity and exciting adventure that is before us.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Parker's 3rd Birthday Cake

Happy Birthday on the 12 to my dear sweet devious and mischeivious Parker! He loves big trucks so I made him a truck cake. He loved it!
Front view
Other side and back...I left it on the stove like an idiot and melted the orginal back off, of course this happened before I took any pictures. So a quick fix and it turned out ok..
He love the cake and was sad to cut into it. He is such a sweet boy and we are so blessed to have him in our family! We love you Parker!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Birthday

So my Birthday was also Darwin's first day of work in Lakeview. I was stressed out because he was leaving and I was worried about him traveling and then there was the fact that he was still homeless. We woke up around 5 to get him ready and out the door. I cried of course, that is one of the things I do best. Then decided to open my card from my family, bad idea more crying insued as I read the comments of we love and are so proud of you... Then decided to check my email, harmeless right? Wrong, First email I read was from my Dad, water works again....I should have prepared myself better emotionally that I would be a wreck. Now you might be thinking come on now, really it is only during the weekdays and you get to see him on the weekends....But here is the simple facts, Darwin and I have been married for almost 7 years of those seven years we have only been away from each other 3 times(other than a night here or there while in the hospital) and each time was for no longer than a weekend. Plus, Hello, I have four kids under the age of five that now during the week I am a single mom to! AGHHHHHH! 
Anyhow, so the day wasn't really the best but that evening my dear friend Michelle and her wonderful husband Ryan and Emery's finance Brigham came and brought me dinner! It was so wonderful! She even brought me a present! Now Michelle is the best and so very thoughtful. I LOVE the Pioneer Woman( a blogger, cookbook writer woman extrodinare etc...) I think I love her so much because she is city girl like in the middle of NO WHERE and makes the most out of it. anyhow, Michelle bought me her cookbook, yipee! But then as I open the front cover I find this... don't mind me in the picture I look awful, no makeup and really tired... 

oh that's right it is Birthday card to me! signed by the one and only Pioneer Woman!! Oh my goodness! So exciting to know that my name was written by her hand! So amazing!
Overall it was a decent day, would have been better if I could have been with my hubby but oh well.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Creamy Potato and Bacon soup

found this recipe, tweeked it a bit and it was tasty!

Thick and Creamy Potato Bacon Soup


•1/2 lb (1/2 package) thick cut pepper bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped

•2 – 3 tbsp. Bacon drippings

•1 large onion, chopped

•4 cloves garlic, minced

•5 lbs. russet or red potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes

•32 oz. chicken stock (approximate)

•1/2 pint heavy cream

•1/8 lb (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

•Salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon using preferred method until crisp. (I bake thick cut bacon on a cooling rack over a sheet pan so that it remains flat). Allow to cool and chop or crumble into small pieces. Reserve several tablespoons of drippings. (add more bacon drippings if onions look dry. This will depend on the size of your pot and particular onion.)

Place a large soup pot or heavy casserole over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp. bacon drippings and cook onions, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes, stirring often.

Add potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally for a few minutes. When everything is sizzling nicely, add enough stock to just cover potatoes. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.

Mash potatoes roughly with a potato masher. Scoop out about half of the remaining mixture and puree in a blender (in batches!) or food processor. (Or if you’ve got an immersion blender, go for it with that.) Make sure to leave a good bit of the potatoes chunky, for texture.

Add butter and heavy cream. Stir to combine well. Taste for seasoning and add more stock if soup is too thick for your liking. When the consistency is right for you, stir in bacon and bring to just a bare simmer, stirring often.

Serve hot. Garnish with additional crumbled bacon and some chives or green onions.

*things I did differently, I put half the bacon in as I pureed half the soup, and I used milk instead of cream. I also served with grated cheese. It was yummy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

My friends and I got together tonight to decorate some Valentine cookies. We had lots of fun with lots of laughter. We did some cute little Valentine cookies for our kids then some ...more creative cookies for our husbands. It was great fun and I think they turned out pretty funny!
 The ones for the kids.....and now the ones for Darwin....
Too funny! We used royal icing to decorate the cookies and here is the recipe.....

For those of you who don't know Royal icing is great, it taste pretty much like sugar but you can add flavoring to it. It is very thin and easily piped, smooths easily and can be used for many things. Thicker royal icing can be used to make flowers and things for cakes as well. It dries hard and smooth.

You can make it with egg white but i found Meringue Powder is much easier

Royal Icing
1/4 cup Meringue Powder
1/2 cup cold water
2 1/2-4 cups sifted powdered sugar

In a mixer combine Meringue powder and water and mix till peaks form, add powdered sugar till you have your desired consitancy. Color, fill piping bags adn have fun!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The wedding cake..

Today was the day of the wedding...It did not start off well. But I will get into that in a minute... First I want to show some pictures of the wedding. This is the reception area.. The camo theme was definately there and clear.                                                                      
 The center pieves were antlers with balloons tied to them and battery operated candles covered in duct tape..oh and the table cloths, plates and napkins were all camo..
 Here is part of the cake the branch in the middle.
 The food line... yes the walls are covered in brown paper, then a deer head and a few bow and arrows make it complete.
 Now for the cake drama.. Orginally I was going to marble the fondant, I made all my fondant the day ahead and this morning when I woke up my fondant was not my friend. I don't know what happened, a combo of dry air and the coloring or something but it was just falling apart. After a few tears I devised a new plan.. I would cover the cakes in white fondant then airbrush it. It turned out pretty good. My dear friend Michelle was a life saver on this cake as she made ALL of my chocolate leaves! I'm gonna owe her a fabulous dinner and dessert for all her hard work. But I think she had fun on our 'adventure into the outdoors'
I'm glad it is done and over with and hopefully they are happy with it....if not oh well it is too late to change now!

Monday, February 7, 2011


We have had this Elder, Elder Tancayo in our ward for quite some time and he gets to go home to Hawaii tomorrow. As a send off/thank you and ward activity we had a Hawaiian Luau. His mom sent many items and he had the ward provide some as well and he did most the cooking himself. It was great, complete with whole pig roasted in a pit, poi, macaroni salad, and Salmon Lomi. I was asked to make the Salmon Lomi and the recipe has been requested quite a bit, so here goes. Also this recipe is for a mass amount adjust as needed :) His mother sent the salted Salmon so I'm not quite sure this is the same for the salmon but here goes...

Salmon Lomi
20 lbs tomatoes seeded and diced
2 1/2 bunches green onions diced
4 large white onions diced
5 cups salted salmon diced

Rinse salmon well and combine with the other ingredients. Mix well and allow to sit for 30 minutes prior to service.

Salted Salmon:
In a large baking dish spread a layer of Hawaiian Salt or Kosher salt. (Table salt will not work for this application, it needs to be a coarse salt) Rinse the salmon and pat dry. Apply another layer of Salt and be sure to have all sides covered with salt. Cover with plastic wrap and weigh down with another dish. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours and as long as 3 days. The longer the fish cures the more water is drawn out of the salmon resulting in a saltier and more heavier cured fish. Rinse well prior to use.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Roasted Garlic & Romano Butter

Oh my goodness, there is NOTHING better than a warm roll with this butter smeared all over it. It is the best! It has the yummy roasted garlic flavor with the salty Romano cheese with a bit of black pepper for bite and oh so good! I could eat this and only this for a week...

1 Stick of butter, softened
2 heads garlic
1 tsp black pepper
3 T grated Romano cheese
1 T olive oil

Cut off the tops of the heads of garlic, place in an oven safe pan, drizzle with olive oil and roast at 350` for about 30-40 minutes until the garlic is soft. Allow to cool till able to handle. Squeeze the roasted garlic out onto a cutting board. Using your knife smear, cut and smash the garlic until it is a mash. Mix with the softened butter add the cheese and the pepper. Smear onto toasted bread and warm rolls.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The redneck cake...

So today I spent the morning doing a test run of what I'm refering to...imagine the Jaws music in your head...the redneck cake. I decide that I didn't need to do a full feldge test run and that one small teir would work, so it began. I made Darwin's favorite cherry chip gag, (sorry folks I'm not an artifical cherry kind of gal) covered it with Buttercream then made my marshmellow fondant. I thought I would share this recipe here as well as the modeling chocolate recipe... recipes to follow shortly. I started by making 3 shades of army green, a chocolate brown and white fondant. I then took each color and formed it into a snake squished the snakes together and twirled and folded a few times then rolled out. It looked really good just like Camo. I covered the cake then drew the bark pattern by free hand on the fondant. I then took the modeling chocolate and formed branches. Then made the chocolate leaves. I bought candy melts in different "leaf" colors and coated fake fall leaves with the different shades, then peel off the fake leaf leaving the chocolate leaf intack. It turned out pretty good. The couple came over to look at it and drop off the topper adn pillars... did I mention the pillars? they want it seperated by pillars that they have covered in camo duct tape. The cake stand orginally was going to be a round of wood cut and sealed but they told me they couldn't find a round big enough so would like to me to cover a board guessed it camo duct tape... I told the couple if you don't like the way it looks or want my to do something different let me know and I'd be happy to change it... but no it is just perfect and what they wanted. oh goodness....
  anyhow, it will be interesting. Here are the recipes:

Marshmellow fondant:
1 pkg marshmellows
2-5 T water
2 lbs sifted powdered sugar
1/2 shortening

Place marshmellow and 2 T of water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals stirring inbetween until completely melted (about 3 minutes) fold in 3/4 of the powdered sugar. Grease hands adn table GENEROUSLY with the shortening, pour fondant out of bowl and knead incorporating the remaining sugar. If it tears easily it is too dry and add more water. Knead till it forms a ball that will not tear when stretched about 8 minutes. Store over night by coating with a thin layer of shortening and covering in plastic wrap and then in an air tight container. Roll out to 1/8-1/4 inch thick and cover cakes. Can be colored and flavored if you want. To make chocolate fondant sub 1 cup cocoa powder in for the powdered sugar.

Modeling chocolate: if you don't know what this is it is AMAZING!! it is so simple to make and great fun to play with. You can make it different colors by using white chocolate and food coloring *Just be sure to use powdered or Gel food coloring NOT liquid, the luquid contains water which will cause the chocolate to seize and have to be thrown out* This wonderful stuff, taste like a richer tootsie roll and can be shaped into any shape, it is so easy to work with.

1 bag chocolate chips
1/3 cup corn syrup

melt the chips in the microwave and fold in the syrup. Stir till thick then turn onto plastic wrap. Spread out and allow to sit out to set, about 2 hours if on the counter 30 minutes in the fridge. Tear off a  piece and start shaping, store in an air tight container.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Shrimp Hash with a Bacon onion Balsamic vinaigrette

So we had this big get together dinner on Sunday with friends and it was great fun. It was a pot luck, I was to bring a side and dessert... So I brought Darwin's favorite goodies of his grandmothers...recipe will probably make its apperance here at some point, and I had 2 lbs of my mind was thinking what to do with this shrimp....I kid you not I went to sleep and dreamt about this wonderful yummy shrimp dish and woke up and decided it actually sounded quite tasty... so I made it and well lets just say my dear friend Michelle requested a tray full of it for her Birthday...which is in September.

Shrimp hash with a Bacon onion and Balsamic vinaigrette

3 large russet potatoes grated
1 T olive oil
1 meduim onion small diced
1/4 lb bacon diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 lb shrimp
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper
4 T reserve bacon fat...I know not the most healthy thing but Mmmmmmm
4-5 T balsamic vinegar
1/3 tsp white pepper

Start by marinating the shrimp in the paprika, cayenne salt and pepper and oil. Set aside. Fry the bacon and when about half way done add the onion and bacon, drain reserving the grease and allow to cool. On a griddle spread the olive oil out and press out the grated potatoes, basically you are making hashbrowns. Season to taste and cook till golden brown adn crisp then flip and cook through completely. In the pan that cooked the bacon and onions add the shrimp and cook completely. In a bowl add the bacon grease white pepper and whisk in the balsamic vinegar.
Cut your hashbrowns into squares, then top each one with 4-5 shrimp, top each square with about 1 tsp of the bacon mixture then drizzle with the vinaigrette, serve warm.... yummy!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Alfredo anyone??

So I made this super yummy and way easy alfredo sauce tonight and it turned out really good. I had leftover shrimp and chicken from the other night and really didn't want to cook something new so I just made this sauce and cooked up some noodles and whala a whole new meal!

Alfredo sauce:

1/4 cup flour
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
2 garlic cloves minced
1 onion peeled and cut in half, core still attached
3 cups milk
1/3 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
salt and white pepper to taste

Melt the butter and oil and saute the garlic and add the split onion, add the flour and cook your roux for about a minute, add the milk, bring to a boil to thicken, if too thick add more milk. Add cream cheese and Romano cheese, reduce to a simmer. Season to taste and remove onion. Supper simple and ooooooo so YUMMY!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ham and Potato soup

I always make this whenever I have leftover ham, it is so basic and simple but so very yummy! I like serving it with crackers and cheddar rolls, and a salad. However the soup is filling enough on its own... I meant to take a picture but...oops.

3 cups left over ham, diced
4-6 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 boxes chicken stock (32 oz)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
2 T oil
garlic powder
onion powder
salt and black pepper
white pepper

Heat the oil and suate the onion and garlic. Add the potatoes and Ham and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the stock. Combine the milk and flour and mix well to get rid of any lumps. Bring soup to a boil and add the slurry to thicken the soup. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Now you must season the soup to your likings. Usually I use 1 T onion powder 1 T garlic, 2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp black pepper and white pepper about a 1/2 tsp. The white pepper is very peppery so season to you and your families liking. We like it with a bit more peppery flavor. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes or till the potatoes are cooked through. Serve hot and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Well I've been a slacker lately...sorry. In all reality I really havne't been cooking that much, we are still working on left overs.. But I promise to post some new recipes soon.. perhaps with pictures. On a side note though, made my sister's chicken recipe(see below) and it is AMAZING and the kids loved it! For now while I'm lacking in recipes... I ask for your help. I met with a couple the other day who have asked me to do their wedding cake. I'm a bit scared and intrigued to do their cake... Not sure how I will blend the topper but this is the photo they gave me...
Their cake topper is very bridal and white and sparkly. It has lots of tulle and rhinestones, and the bride and groom are holding guns... They said they want James Bond meets Camo outdoors man...They want this cake just three teirs on pillars with large ediable branches in between so they can put fake deer on them... hmmmm... any ideas on how I can do this cake?