Monday, December 31, 2007

A Hearty Meal in Minutes!!

This morning I tried this idea I saw in a magazine. It was so fast, so easy, and so good. It's quite filling and made me feel real healthy.

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • brown sugar
  • almonds
  • dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • Throw it all in the microwave for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes and Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Feel Like a GENIUS!!!

I tried Chalonn's recipe for Cafe Rio salads and it was SO yummy and so easy with the food processor. We loved the rice and the was so Cafe Rio-like. Thanks, Chalonn for the recipe. It tasted like the REAL thing!

Monday, October 1, 2007

All Hail Betty Crandra!

As you can see this is a tribute to CRANDRA! Last night I made Candra's Betty Crocker Cookie Recipe (just click go to the index on the left of this blog and click on "cookie") for the second or third time now....and I've got to say DEEEEEEEEEE-LICIOUS! They always turn out just right and OH-SO-GOOD!
Here's a cookie tip that my friend told me that she learned from her Grandpa. I was telling her that I felt like my cookies were either too cakey, or flat. I've always wanted to be able to make the perfectly soft cookie...not hard, not gooey. So she told me that her Grandpa told her that you use HALF butter & HALF Shortening.
So for instance, on Candra's Betty Crocker recipe it calls for 1 cup of butter. And I found that it makes the perfect cookie when I do 3/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup shortening instead.
So three cheers for Candrac! Hip Hip HOORAY! Hip Hip HOORAY! Hip Hip HORAH! Way to go Crandolf!
Yours very truly,

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Please Pass the Proberts

DJ loves soup. Candra loves Sandwiches. DJ loves Mexican. Candra loves Italian. Can you tell?

Cube and cook 2 chicken breasts w/ favorite seasonings. We like fresh lime juice and lemon pepper.

Mix the following in a soup/sauce pan:
1 can Corn (undrained)
1 can Black Beans (undrained)
1 can Diced Stewed Tomatoes (undrained)
1 can Chicken Broth
1 pkg Taco Seasoning
Add chicken when cooked.

Serve with cheese, sour cream, and avacado. We love it with Frito's, too.

Toasted Turkey Sandwiches: turkey, cream cheese, tomato, cucumbers, red onion, and avacado on toasted bread (we even use bagels sometimes). Or try assembling your sandwich then pressing it in a Foreman Grill.

Serve with favorite soup. We like to keep it simple with Tomato Soup, and canned pears or some other fruit on the side.

Place Pork (we usually just get whatever is on sale, but pork chops are my favorite) in crock pot. Cover with your favorite BBQ sauce and a can of stewed, diced tomatoes. The acid from the tomatoes makes the pork really tender and adds great flavor.

Shred it and serve on buns for a pulled-pork sandwich. Try sides like a salad (green, macaroni, pasta, or potato) and fresh fruit.

OR, don't shred it at all! Serve with mashed potatoes and a green salad. MMM!

On pita bread, spread tomatoe sauce, fresh sliced tomatoes, green peppers, pepperoni, italian sausage, and any other favorite toppings. Try other varities like a white sauce pizza or BBQ chicken pizza (I haven't ventured that far yet). Cover with cheese. Pitas make for a perfect individual-sized pizzas. Bake until cheese melts.

Serve with Salad. We like this salad combination: shredded dark green or red leaf lettuce, diced tomatoes, and diced avacado. Toss with fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt, and olive oil. Add cashew nuts if you need a little crunch. As DJ has put it, "it just tastes so clean".

Cottage Cheese (or something more exotic)
Mozzarella cheese (or whatever cheese you have around)
Parmasean cheese
Minced or freshly diced onion
Garlic salt
Drained, thawed, frozen spinach

Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Layer between cooked lasagna noodles and pasta sauce in a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 until bubbling and cheese is melted. Serve with green salad, fruit, and garlic bread. I think I'm in love.

1-2 bunches fresh broccoli, cooked untl tender. Do not overcook. Cut into small pieces. Set aside.
1 medium onion (or dry, minced onion) Cook in butter until soft and golden (in separate pan). Set aside.
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. flour
4 c. milk
1 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. grated cheese

In large saucepan prepare a white sauce: melt 1/2 c. butter over medium heat, then stir in flour until well blended. Gradually stir in milk, chicken broth, and salt. Stir constantly until mixture reaches a boil. Cook 1-2 minutes, until thickened. Add broccoli and onion. Stir in cheese. Avoid bringin gto boil. Serve immediately or keep warm over low heat. Serve with rolls or in bread bowls.

Cook roast in crock pot just as if you were making a pot roast...I normally cook it with cr. mushroom soup and a pkg of dry onion soup mix. Shred when cooked. Serve on favorite rolls w/ cheese.

For dip: prepare 2 (1 oz) pkgs of au jus mix according to pkg directions. Add 1 (10.5 oz) can beef consomme soup and 1 cup of water. Stir and heat.

Pour au jus into individual cups for dipping. Serve with a salad, chips, fruit, or whatever tickles ye' fancy.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Grilled Bell peppers

Mom reminded me to post this new favorite produced by the master chef...Heber

Red bell pepper cut in half....
Clean out seeds and fill with feta cheese and cheddar...or whatever cheese you want.
Grill til cheese is melted and serve...
This is a great tasting side and looks pretty "Martha"!

Yummy! Pickles and Cheese!

For the past 2-3 months I must confess I have hardly stepped a foot in the kitchen (the smells would make me sick). I've been living off of Grilled Pickle and Cheese Sandwiches. But, here are 3 new recipes we have tried before and really liked:

"Sweet Citrus Chicken"
1 pkg prepared Stove Top Stuffing Mix
6 boneless chicken breasts
2/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp. melted butter or marg

EASY! Mix sugar & butter well then pour over chicken. Top with stuffing. Bake at 400 for about 1/2 hour or till chicken is cooked through. We like this with steamed green beans and mashed potatoes.

"Chicken Yakitori KeBabs"

Put on Kabab Sticks:
-Chicken in cubes
-10 scallions or any type onion
-Red bell pepper cubed
-Pineapple cubed (fresh is best!)
Place kababs in deep sheet or cassrole pan.

Mix and drizzle over top of kebabs:
-1/3 soy sauce
-2 tsp. sugar
-3 tsp. rice vinager
-2 teaspoons sesame oil (i love this!)
-2 minced garlic cloves

Broil. Baste till chicken is cooked. Serve with rice!
"Saltine Cracker Cookies"

Lay a pack & 1/2 of Saltine Crackers in a pan.
Boil and Pour over top:
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
Bake at 400 for 5 minutes.
Take out and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Let cool and eat!

A Peak At Our Dinner Table

I think we eat a little different than you with children. I keep things pretty simple and fast. But here is a look at last weeks table events:
-Dinner at Ashley's with BAKED SALMON, spiced potato chunks, fruit salad...delicious
-ROTISSERIE CHICKEN (purchased), green salad, watermelon,
-BBQ SHREDDED BEEF (cook roast in crock till very tender, add BBQ sauce recipe in family book) on buns with veg tray and baked chips and apples
-CHICKEN SALAD (use canned chicken or grilled chicken pieces, grapes, slivered almonds, celery, miracle whip), cantaloupe rings, bread & jam
-ENCHILADAS (recipe in family book) with lettuce and tomatoes, chips and salsa
-Don't forget a little bite of chocolate after each meal for dessert or if visitors will eat it all so you don't have leftovers, be sure to try the ALMOND JOY CAKE in the family book.
-we also love a little fruit...APPLE SALAD (chopped apples, chopped nuts, raisins opt, yogurt)

CHOCOLATE FONDUE OR DIP (great with strawberries, bananas, pineapple, apples)
1-6oz Hershey Chocolate Almond bar 1/3 c whipping cream
1 Tbsp milk 1 Tbsp margarine/ butter
1 c mini marshmallows
cook in double boiler so won't burn, till melted and blended. Serve warm.

New and improved Easy meals

Appease em all!

add a few chicken breasts
a can of beans (black or pinto)
a can of salsa

Simmer and shred chicken...SERVE!

I like mine over brown rice (naked burrito style)
Heber likes his in a tortilla (burrito style)
Mckay likes his on a taco shell


We all love chicken fingers...super easy!
Slice chicken
dip in egg, then bread crumbs and fry in olive oil on stove top....

We serve with a green salad and steamed veggie...

Smother salmon with lemon, salt, brown sugar onion, garlic... and grill on foil on BBQ or bake in oven in a glass baking dish...super easy and super healthy....serve with rice and steamed veggie.

We've grown to love any steamed veggies....we discovered real green beans...not the canned...delicious! Steamed baby carrots, asparagus, zuccini etc....EASY side!

Cafe Rio dressing, chicken and rice look a like!

For all you cafe rio lovers...I found something on the internet that has become our NEW can be creative and make whatever salad, burritoes, enchiladas etc that you want and just use dressing on top of anything for a delicious taste.

Café Rio Dressing

1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet (make as per recipe)
2 tomatillos (tomato like vegetable with a husk around them)
½ bunch of cilantro
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeño (Use the seeds too if you like it spicy. You could substitute a few drops of green tobasco for the jalapeno.)

Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients well. Refrigerate.

Cafe Rio Chicken

1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
3 cloves garlic—minced
5 lbs chicken breast

Cook all together in a crock pot for 4 hours, shred meat and cook 1 additional hour.

Café Rio Rice

3 c water
4 t chicken bouillon
4 t garlic –minced
½ bunch cilantro
1 can green chiles—or equivalent fresh
¾ t salt
1 T butter
½ onion
3 c rice (see note)

Blend cilantro, green chiles and onion together in food processor. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients, simmer covered 30 minutes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Not in any special order...

Tostadas, Soft Tacos or Burritos (whatever you want to call them)
Tortillas (we like wheat)
Put tortillas on hot pan to make them crusty and melt cheese on top (like Cafe Rio baby!) Take off pan and add any or all of the following: refried beans, black beans, fresh tomatoes, green or red peppers, avacado, sour cream, salsa, turkey burger, etc.

Homeade Hamburger & Fries
Remember how we used to have homeade hamburgers every Saturday night? Well recently we started making these and they are delish!
Hamburger or Turkeyburger(how ever much you need)
Minced onion, garlic powder and anything else in your spice cupboard you'd like.
Mix burger and spices. I like to make patties on wax paper so that I don't have to touch the meat.
Fries (my weakness, these are better than fast food)
In a big bowl mix oil (about 1/4 cup or less), and any spices you want (we like: minced onion, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, Season salt, whatever). Add cut potatoes (I like to cut them thin like real fries) and stir them around (or shake them in a tupperware) to coat them. Spread on cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes.
Sweet Potato Fries (yum!)
Do the same as above except the only spice I add is a little Cayenne pepper to the oil.
This meal is also good with cooked, fresh green beans.

Baked Chimichangas
1lb chicken or turkey burger
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp chili powder
taco seasoning (to taste)
3/4 cup shredded cheese
1 (4oz) can green chili peppers
1/2 cup snipped cilantro
12 large flour or wheat tortillas

Brown meat, add onion, garlic, chili powder and taco seasoning to taste. Drain any liquid. Add cheese, chili peppers, and cilantro. Assemble like a burrito and place in baking dish. Sprinkle cheese and cilantro on top for garnish. Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

I don't think you need a recipe for this one. But I would suggest adding avacado.

Make pizzas with your favorite toppings on flour or wheat tortillas. Bake at 400 for about 10-15 minutes or until edges are crisp.

Breakfast for Dinner
Sometimes we'll have German pancakes, or eggs and hashbrowns, or our favorite hearty waffle/pancake recipe from Michelle, who got it from Katie. (Hope you don't mind that we share it Michelle)

Pancake/Waffle Mix
4 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup instant milk
3 tbsp bkg powder
2 tbsp cinnamon (or more)
5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
Mix ingredients and store in container or ziplock.

To made pancakes or waffles:
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil or applesauce
2 cups pancake mix
1 cup water
Beat eggs, add oil, mix and water. Makes 10 pancakes or waffles.

Chenae's AYAYAY! Tortilla Soup
Cooked chicken, shredded with a fork. (OR THIS CAN BE A VEGITARIAN DISH IF YOU DON'T WANT CHICKEN)
1/2 of an onion
1 clove of garlic
1 can of diced tomatoes
4 cups of chicken broth (or water with bullion cubes)
lime juice (to taste)
taco seasoning (to taste)
1 can corn
1 can white hominy (opt)
1 can black beans (opt)
1 avacado
shredded cheese
corn tortillas (cut with pizza cutter into strips and bake spread out on cookie sheet at 400 for 10 min or until crisp)
Cook & Shred chicken, set aside. Saute onion and garlic, then add chicken again. Add tomatoes, broth, lime juice, taco seasoning, corn, hominy, and beans and a handful of chopped cilantro. Simmer until hot (its not rocket science right?). When you serve it, top it with cheese, crisp tortilla strips, cilantro and (drum roll please) avacado.
This is my all time favorite meal and I'm Mat's favorite chef when I make it.

If you can't tell...we like Mexican food. I think it's my way of coping without Cafe Rio. I'm always looking for good ones, so send any my way!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Grilling Tips

(Dad got in a Grilling Class at BYU-I July 2007)
Ideas at


-Meat that has fat marbled in it will be more tender and tasty
-The more you turn the meat the tougher it will be
-great marinade…salad oil, Montreal seasoning.
-Red cooking wine has enzymes that will always enhance the flavor
-some like to bake meat 15-20 min at 300 degrees first, then grill

-always preheat to 325-350 degrees.
-pay lots of money for NY steak or buy a roast and have butcher cut it in strips
-Rib Eye Steak always tender. Lean meat will always be tougher.
-Good steak will cook 7-8 min at 350 degree
-always use pan spray on the grill rack when it’s heated

-Grill meat on diagonal for ½ time then shift diagonally the other way to mark the meat, but don’t turn it. Turn only once and mark diagonally like the first side. Use diagonal to know what has been turned
-never meat outside refrigerator longer than 4 hrs.

-Nice marinade is rice vinegar, salt, oil, liquid smoke
-Pork without bone is best for grill (2-3 hr marinade best)
-turn only once like in steak
-350 degrees preheat, open lid, then leave open while cook
-when cooking meat, look at side of meat and can see when ½ cooked, then know to turn it.

-Pkg marinade is best…Schilling, etc
-Soda pop in marinade is good
-buy metal tongs and thermometer to put in meat (like pencil size) to make sure temp is right
-Chicken at least 160 degrees by thermometer. Other meats 150 degrees.

-Hamburger that is pre-pattied and frozen is best.
-great fresh corn…put mayonnaise on it and Parm cheese and crushed pepper corn. Wrap in foil (always shiny side next to food). Grill 45 min-1 hr.
-Veg…make foil pouch (double foil if no skin on veggies, like pots), add onions, zucc, pot, mushrooms, etc, garlic, salt, olive oil. Close pouch up, seal, and grill 6-12 min
-Sm red potatoes will take 15-20 min in pouch.
-Fish cook 12-15 min…cook first on skin side. Fresh tuna is excellent…not fishy.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


I got this recipe from a cooking class put on by a Cicilian lady in our ward. DJ and I made it lastnight and it was SOOO yummy.

2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp olive oil
3/4 c. warm water
2 c. bread flour
1 tsp. instant yeast

(triple the recipe so you can freeze extra batches for later)

Bloom yeast in the warm water and half of sugar. Dump the rest of the ingredients into a bowl, except for the olive oil, and whisk to combine. Dump all the wet ingredients into the dry and stir, then knead to combine. Let dough sit for several minutes. Knead, then oil and put into large ziplock. This goes into the refrigerator overnight. When the dough has been in the fridge for a couple hours, unzip the bag to let the co2 out and punch the dough down.

If tripling: the next day, the dough can be seperated into three 1lb,3 oz. balls. Put in ziplock bags and freeze for future use.

15 oz. can Roma style tomato sauce (Contadina)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. tomato paste

Sauce is to be used somewhat sparingly, otherwise you will have a soup instead of pizza.

Any thinly sliced vegetables, cooked meats, and cheeses.
Dashes of herbs like thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, etc.

Try grated cheeses like Asaigo, Fontina, Grana Padano, Pecorino Romano, Provolone (mild), Reggiano Parmesiano, Whole Milk Mozzarella.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Dust your countertop with flour or cornmeal. Aseemble your pizza evenly, sliding it onto your pizza pan or baking stone. Bake immediately for a crisp crust. Resting the dough 30 minutes will result in a chewy crust. Bake for about 7 minutes or until toppings are bubbly and crust is golden brown. Rest two minutes before slicing.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Crock Pot Thai Chicken

Mat and I tried a new recipe last night and really liked it. It was REALLY easy (gotta love the crock pot!) and it was different. Check it out.

6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thighs or tenders
3/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy...i like crunchy)
1 tsp ginger (opt)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp lime juice

My opinion: I would consider doubling the sauce...last night we wished we had more sauce with the chicken.

Put all the ingredients in a crock pot on low for 6-8 hrs. Garnish with cilantro, scallions and/or peanuts. Serve on rice (you can also make rice with coconut milk by doing 1 cup rice, 1 cup water, 1 cup coconut milk).

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Betty Crocker's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Good old, Betty. We discovered these cookies and are crazy about them. DJ thinks I'm some kind of cookie genius. They're that good.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg
2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 bag chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375.

Beat sugars, butter, vanilla, and egg in large bowl with electric mixer. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough into balls on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown, golden on the edges. Cool on wire rack.

Southwestern Style Cobb Salad

You may be wondering, "Where am I? Have I accidentally stumbled onto Martha Stewart's website?" No. You're in the right place. This is just a Little Something...a salad that we tried tonight that I wanted to share. I got the recipe from my friend Clarissa. It was so tasty and so fresh for a hot, summer evening. Enjoy!!


Romaine Lettuce
1 can black beans or pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can corn (rinsed and drained)
2 tomatoes
1 c. cheddar cheese
Cubed Chicken, cooked in lime or lemon juice and w/ any other spices
Cilantro (opt)

Serve with Ranch Dressing

It's that easy! Let me know what other fun things you add to it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Verlie’s Bottled Salsa

½ bushel tomatoes (I know this is farmer talk but a bushel is about a laundry basket half full)
12 green peppers (I have taken out the peppers because our family doesn’t like the green pepper taste)
10 med onions
1 whole garlic
4 C. vinegar
10 jalepeno peppers (This makes mild salsa. The hotter you want it the more jalepenos you put in. Last year Adam wanted it HOT so I put in habenero peppers. Whew!)
3/4C salt
Grind or chop everything.
Bring to a boil then simmer until thick (about 2 -3 hours) Bottle and process in canner at 12 lbs for 20 min.

Teriyaki Beef and Pineapple

2 to 2 ½ lbs. of London Broil or Top Round Steak sliced as thinly as possible (Partially freeze meat and then cut for thinner slicing).
½ cup soy sauce
4 TBLS brown sugar
1 TBLS honey
1 can pineapple chunks
1 minced garlic clove
2 slices ginger root minced
1 TBLS sesame oil
Combine all marinade ingredients into one bowl and marinate meat 24 hours. Weave beef strips onto skewers with pineapple chunks between each section of meat. Grill or broil for 3 minutes on each side.

Aaron's Steak-on-a-Stick

2 to 3 lbs. of London Broil or Top Round Steak sliced as thinly as possible. (Partially freeze meat and then cut for thinner slicing).
1 cup oil
¾ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 TBLS dry mustard
3 tsp salt
1 TBLS pepper
½ cup wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp dried parsley flakes
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/3 cup lemon juice
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Add steak strips and mix thoroughly. Marinate 24 hours. Weave steak onto skewers and grill over hot coals or broil.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Mat's Latest Obsession

Someone in one of Mat's classes brought some Mookies. He came home that night and HAD to make us some....I have to admit they were OH SO YUMMY. They are a mix between Muffins and Cookies ...and we ate some hot out of the oven with ice cream. DE-LISH!

The Mookie Cookie
Prep & Cook time: about 40 minutes
Makes: 16 Giant cookies

1 cup (1/2 lb) butter or marg, at room temp
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups regular rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup each sweetened shredded dried coconut and raisins (optional)

1. Mix butter and brown sugar until thoroughly blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine oats, flour, salt, and bkg powder. Blend oat mixture and butter mixture. Stir in walnuts, coconut, and raisins.
2. Pack cookie dough into an ice cream scoop (4 oz size), 1/2 cup measuring cup (we liked them this way) scrap dough level with rim, and empty onto lightly oiled baking sheets, spacing dough about 3 inches apart. OR pack dough into muffin tins.
3. Bake at 350 until cookie edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool cookies on a rack; serve, or store airtight up to 2 days.

My Newest Favorite Easy Enchiladas

My 2 cents: First of have to know that these Enchiladas are super simple and delicious to make. But I have added some optional ingredients that make them even better and heartier. So don't fret if you don't have everything...they'll still be yummy...but enjoy all the extra goodness if you do.

1/2 lb ground turkey
1/4 cup chopped onions (opt)
1 small can green chilies (opt)
1 small can tomato sauce
1 green or red pepper diced (opt)
1 can of corn (opt)
1 can of black beans and/or kidney beans (opt)
8 tortillas (corn, flour or OUR favorite...wheat)
2 cups shredded cheese
1 can mild enchilada sauce
1/2 cup sour cream (opt)
lettuce (opt)
Garnish: chopped green onions and/or black olives (opt)

In a large skillet, saute onions and brown turkey. Stir in green chilies, tomato sauce, pepper, corn, beans and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Place a spoonful of meat mixture in the center of each tortilla, roll tortilla up, and place in cookie sheet or casserol dish seam side down. Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas; sprinkle rest of cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Garnish however you want. And hey, feel free to serve it with sour cream and lettuce.