Thursday, February 14, 2013


The missionaries are my guinea pigs...and I don't think they mind.
They requested Fajitas last night so I decided to try a new recipe.
(i have always just used the fajita seasoning packet--we liked these MUCH better)
I probably doubled the chicken, and I marinated it over night.
And I used lime juice instead of lemon.
Topped them with guac, sour cream, cheese, and salsa.
Chicken Fajitas


4tablespoons canola oil, divided
2tablespoons lemon juice
1-½teaspoons seasoned salt
1-½teaspoons dried oregano
1-½teaspoons ground cumin
1teaspoon garlic powder
½teaspoon chili powder
½teaspoon paprika
½teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1-½pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
½medium sweet red pepper, julienned
½medium green pepper, julienned
4green onions, thinly sliced
½cup chopped onion
6flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
Shredded cheddar cheese, taco sauce, salsa, guacamole and Sour Cream


In a large resealable plastic bag, combine 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice and seasonings; add the chicken. Seal and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1-4 hours. In a large skillet, saute peppers and onions in remaining oil until crisp-tender. Remove and keep warm. Discard marinade. In the same skillet, cook chicken over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes or until no longer pink. Return pepper mixture to pan; heat through. Spoon filling down the center of tortillas; fold in half. Serve with cheese, taco sauce, salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Yield: 6 servings.
Nutritional Facts 1 serving (1 each) equals 369 calories, 15 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 63 mg cholesterol, 689 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 28 g protein.


This was a new one for me....I didn't love it, but my family did.
You might like it too--Truly!

(recipe from THIS site)
1 box yellow cake mix
ingredients needed to make cake; eggs, oil and water
2 (3.4oz) boxes instant Vanilla or French Vanilla pudding
4 cups milk 
1 tub Chocolate Frosting
Make cake mix according to directions and bake in a well-greased 9x13 pan.

When cake is finished, while still warm, poke holes all over cake intervals using a wooden spoon handle
 or other similar size object.
You want those holes fairly big so the pudding has room to get in there and you need to poke 
straight through to the bottom of the cake.
For the life of me, I could not found my round wooden spoon. 
So I went with my knife sharpener.
Go with what you got.

In a medium bowl, add milk to pudding mixture and continue to whisk until most of the lumps are removed. 
Pour pudding on top of warm cake.
Taking care to pour straight into the holes in the cake.
 Take a spoon and spread it out. I like to very gently press down to ensure that pudding goes 
into the holes and spread it all the way to the sides.
Put cake in fridge and allow to cool completely before adding the frosting.
(about 2 hours)

 Remove the lid and foil covering from the tub of chocolate frosting.
Pop it in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds.
Stir with a spoon. It should still be thick but pourable - not bubbly hot.
Pour chocolate frosting on top of pudding.
 Spread frosting to evenly cover cake. Start in the middle and gently spread to the sides.
Allow to cool on the counter for a few minutes, then put into the fridge to fully cool and set up.
This cake needs to be kept refrigerated.

This is one of those cakes that I almost think tastes better after it has sat in the fridge overnight.
I think it really helps the pudding to settle in and blend all the flavors.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar
**cream together**
2 eggs
**blend in**
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
**add in and blend in**
2 1/2 c. oats, quick (whole oats can be blended)
2 c. flour
2 c. chocolate chips
(1 c. ch. pecans)

Shape with cookie scoop, and softly flatten with palm of hand on cookie sheet
350 degrees, 9-12 minutes

Cookie edge will lift off the pan, and the cookie will be risen. Can sit on the sheet for a few minutes to finish cooking.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chicken Marsala

If you don't like cooking with wine, you won't like this recipe. 
If you do, this is SO worth making. It's my new recipe of the week, and it's DELICIOUS!
(recipe and photos from THIS site)

Recipe type: Chicken
Author: Savory Sweet Life
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 4
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour or corn starch for gluten-free
  • up to 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces container of mushroom, sliced and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup sherry or dry white wine
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Garnish with chopped parsley or oregano

Split each chicken breast through the middle to make 2 pieces. Place plastic wrap over them and pound each one flat using a meat tenderizer/mallet until they are about a quarter inch thick. Season a good amount of salt and pepper on both sides of each piece. Place some flour on a plate and and dredge each piece of chicken in it.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat and when the oil is hot fry each piece of chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side until they are golden brown (this may require you to do this in 2 batches). Remove chicken and place them on your serving platter covering them with foil. carefully soak up any remaining oil with paper towels and discard.

Reduce the heat to medium and add butter and mushrooms. Saute mushrooms for 4-5 minutes making sure to season them with salt and pepper lightly. Add marsala wine, sherry, cream, and chicken stock allowing the liquid to reduce slightly – approx. 3 minutes. Pour mushrooms and sauce over chicken and serve. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pioneer Woman says~ "Perfect Salmon EVERY time", well I had a hard time believing her. 

It seemed too easy.

I was in a hurry last night, 
so I thought what the heck, let's give it a try.


here’s how Pioneer Woman says to do it: 
drizzle salmon filet with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, put it in a cold oven, then turn on the heat to 400 degrees. Twenty-five minutes later, the salmon is absolutely perfect. Tender, moist, flaky.

It works! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies

 I'm really picky when it comes to cookies, especially chocolate chip, so I'm always in search of a "better" recipe. 
Found this one a couple weeks ago, and I think it's a keeper!

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs 2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp. soda
2 tsp. hot water
½ tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate chips
(i also add a 1/4 tsp. cream of tarter, but it's not necessary)

Preheat oven to 350degrees
Cream together the butter, brown and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, stir in vanilla. Dissolve soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour and chocolate chips.
Bake for about 10 minutes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


These are "Utah scones" I guess.
After living here, I've realized New Englanders call it fried dough...and scones are more like biscuits?! 

This is MY idea of a scone.
We ate these with minestrone soup last night, perfect for a cold snowy evening.
(and we had the missionaries over, both from Utah, so they were thrilled to have scones)

½ cup butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup honey


Mom’s Scones
1 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1 Tbsp. dry active yeast
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 cup melted butter, cooled
1 Tbsp. salt
5 – 6 cups bread flour
Vegetable oil for deep frying

Combine warm water and warm milk. Stir in the sugar. Add dry active yeast and stir lightly. Allow yeast to activate, about 10 minutes. 
In a stand mixer, fitted with a bread hook, add milk mixture and melted cooled butter. 
Add the salt. 
Start the mixer and add the flour one cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. 
Dough should be slightly sticky but workable. Cover the dough in the bowl with a towel. Set in a warm place and allow raise until double.

Pour your oil in a large pan (with sides deep enough to fully immerse the scones) or a deep fryer and heat slowly over medium to medium high heat. While the oil is heating, roll the dough out onto the counter, without flour, into a large rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. You may choose to butter the counter lightly. (i didn't)
Using a pizza cutter, cut into squares or triangles.

Heat oil to between 350 – 400 degrees and cook scones until golden brown. 
Serve immediately.
(recipe and images from

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Glazed Pork Chops

This dinner was a hit!
The pork chops, with garlic mashed (recipe below)
Add a side of applesauce...everyone is happy!

Glazed Pork Chops

STEP 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine 1/4 cup brown sugar and spices (1/2 teaspoon each salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika and garlic powder or whatever spice blend you like).

STEP 2: Remove the pork chops from their package and rub the brown sugar/spice mix all over both sides. Use all of the spice mix.

STEP 3: Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium/high heat. When the oil is nice and hot (it will look wavy in the pan), add the pork chops. Cook the chops for about 5 minutes on each side or until they are nicely browned.

STEP 4: If you are using an oven safe skillet, place the skillet in the oven for an additional 5 minutes to make sure they are cooked through. If your skillet is not oven safe (most plastic handled skillets and teflon are not safe in the oven), transfer the chops to a baking sheet lined with foil then place in the oven.

STEP 5: Remove the chops from the oven and drag each side around in the thick glaze that has formed around the chops in the pan prior to serving.

4 lbs peeled, cubed potatoes
5 Tablespoons real butter
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
6 cloves roasted garlic (directions are below)
1- 1 1/2 Cups warm skim milk (any milk will do, I used skim)
1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste (i add only 1/2 Tablespoon)
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste

Place potatoes into a large pot of cold water. Place onto stove top over high heat and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, cook for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and transfer to the work bowl of a stand or electric mixer. Mix on low until potatoes are mashed then add butter, Parmesan, garlic, milk, salt and pepper. Season to taste if needed. For thinner mashed potatoes add more milk, slowly until your desired consistency.
Scoop mashed potatoes onto serving plates and top with pork chops and soup gravy from crock pot. I put a little parsley on top to serve.
Roasted Garlic
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place bulb of garlic with skins on, wrap lightly in tin foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from foil and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove garlic from skins, place in a bowl and mash with a fork until completely mashed. Set aside. One garlic bulb will have around 12 cloves.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Another good one.
It's different, but we liked it.

Honey Garlic Chicken
(crock pot recipe)
1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 c soy sauce
1/2 c ketchup
1/2 c honey
pinch of basil
salt & pepper to taste

Cut your chicken breasts in half, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in bottom of crock pot. Chop up your garlic cloves

Mix garlic, soy sauce, ketchup, honey and basil in a bowl and stir. 
Add mixture to crock pot.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours (mine actually cooked slightly faster than this). 

Remove chicken from crock pot and transfer to covered plate to keep warm. 
Reduce the sauce in a pot until thickened to desired consistency. Serve sauce over chicken. The original recipe also serves it with fresh, shredded basil on top, but I didn't have any on hand.

(i didn't follow this part of the recipe)
I actually just left it in the crock pot and shredded it, then served it over rice with the liquid.
I would make it again.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

approx 3 1/2 lbs beef chuck roast
16-oz. beef broth (1 1/2 cans)
1 10.5-oz. can condensed French onion soup
6-oz red wine (you can substitute this)
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
4-6 French rolls
sliced provolone cheese, optional

Trim excess fat off of beef roast and season meat all over with salt and pepper.
Pour beef broth, condensed French onion soup, red wine and garlic powder into slow cooker and place beef roast into liquid.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Slow cookers have different time intervals that you can select, so work with your cooker. Depending on how the settings on your slow cooker work, the time will vary. Since this is cooking in liquid, you don’t have to worry about the meat drying out in the same way you might if you were roasting the meat in the oven. Mine took 7 1/2 hours and was falling apart tender.
Take beef out and rest it, covered with aluminum foil, for about 15 minutes. Slice beef and return to slow cooker on low or very low for 30 minutes.
Lightly toast the bread and evenly distribute cheese between rolls, if using. Divide beef onto rolls and spoon the beef juice* into ramekins or other small bowls and eat everything while it is hot. Serve each sandwich with its own dip.
Seves 4-6.
*Note: If there is excess fat in your au jus, simply pour it from the slow cooker into a large measuring cup and let it stand for about 5 minutes so the fat separates. Skim it off, then pour the juice into serving cups.

I made these this week, they were a huge hit. Delicious!