Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gingerbread Houses

I know gingerbread cookies are traditional at Christmas time, but to me they have always seemed to have more bark than bite. It other words, they make your house smell great, but really don't taste all that wonderful. Until now...because I have found THE best gingerbread recipe. Not only does it smell delicious, but it tastes wonderfully spicy too! I think the secret is the use of black pepper. Try it! You will be in a spiced heaven, I promise.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner - Texas style

*Fully Cooked Mesquite smoked Brisket from HEB (just has to be heated)
*Cajun Roast Rabbit
*Sweet Potato Biscuits
*Macaroni and Cheese
*Herbed Broccoli & Tomatoes
*Smashed Potatoes (requested by Leah)
*Green Salad (spinach and arugula w/ persimmons, maple pecans, and manchego - simple balsalmic vinegar and olive oil dressing)
*Orange Ginger Pecan Cranberry Sauce
*Orange Fluff Salad
*Maple Pumpkin Pie
*Pecan Pie

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup

We tried this lovely recipe from 101 cookbooks this week and I seriously couldn't get enough. The Thai curry and coconut milk show off the pumpkin so well! I happened to have a sugar pie pumpkin from Halloween decorations that was begging to be used so I made the puree for this one - I imagine it would be fine using pumpkin out of the can as well. Roasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top added the perfect final touch - a bit of crunchiness to contrast the creaminess of the soup.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Spinach Lasagna

Another of my mom's great recipes - with an added twist. This is the lasagna I grew up eating and loved... after making a batch of stuffed shells one day I decided it would be much easier to adapt this recipe by adding the spinach and fennel seeds. The fennel is what puts this recipe over the top - it adds a wonderful fresh flavor to the dish. You could easily make this vegetarian by leaving the ground beef out of the sauce or replacing it with mushrooms. This recipe makes two lasagnas, so plan accordingly!

Sauté together:
1 lb. ground beef
½ cup chopped onion

Drain fat and add:
2 – 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 – 6 oz. cans tomato paste
2 tomato paste cans of water
1 Tbsp. oregano
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. dried parsley

In separate bowl, combine:
2 eggs
24 oz. Cottage cheese
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
2 packed cups fresh spinach, chopped in food processor

In another bowl, combine:
1 lb. Shredded mozzarella cheese
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook 1 lb. Lasagna noodles according to directions on package.

In each of two 9x13 casserole dishes, layer the following:
1 ½ cups meat sauce
Noodles to cover meat sauce (usually four or five)
½ cottage cheese mixture
¼ mozzarella mixture
Noodles to cover cheese layer
1 ½ cups meat sauce
¼ mozzarella mixture

Lasagnas can be frozen until needed. Defrost in refrigerator before cooking.
Bake at 400° for 30 minutes.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Turkey Meatloaf

As a kid, I seem to remember groaning at the thought of having to eat meatloaf for dinner - so how is it that it has become one of my kids favorite things to eat??? Not that I'm complaining! I love having a standby that I can hide veggies in when necessary - as you will see from the recipe below...

1 lb ground turkey

3/4 cup quick oats

1 egg

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, finely chopped

1 1/2 cup packed spinach, chopped in food processor

1 cup shredded carrots

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well - you may need to use your hands to combine all ingredients evenly. Coat your cooking pan with nonstick cooking spray - we like to use a muffin pan for faster cooking time and portion control. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (for muffins, a regular loaf pan takes about 1 hour, sometimes longer depending on how many veggies you add as more liquid will have to cook off). Halfway through the cooking time, combine 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp Italian seasoning and spoon over the top of each meatloaf.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Twice Baked Broccoli Potatoes

4 medium sized baking potatoes
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups steamed broccoli
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Bake potatoes (I did mine in the microwave) and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Slice off one side of the potato lengthwise to make a long opening. Scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl, leaving about 1/4 inch attached to the skins and set the skins aside. Add yogurt, butter, cheese, and spices to potatoes. Run broccoli through your food processor to chop it into small pieces and add to the potatoes. Stir until well mixed, adding milk or more yogurt if necessary. Scoop potato back into skins and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle more cheese on top if desired. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. (NOTE: You will have more potato than fits into the skins - place the remainder in a small baking dish and place in the oven with the potatoes or simply stick it in the fridge to use another day - we like leftovers, so this is what we do.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Chicken Tangier

Skinless chicken breast of your choice, can be boneless (up to 8 pieces)
1 Tbsp oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 - 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 - 15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground turmeric
dash tabasco
2 whole cloves
Brown chicken in heated oil in a large frying pan with cover; set aside. Cook onions and garlic until soft. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, parsley, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, turmeric, Tabasco and cloves; stir to mix well. Add chicken back into pan in a single layer. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low and cook for 45 mins, turning chicken a couple of times. Uncover and cook 15 minutes longer or until sauce is slightly thickened. Sauce is excellent over brown or white rice. Be sure to remove the cloves before serving.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cafe Rio Salad

This dish has been served at the dinner our stake provides before the RS Broadcast each year. It's always a big hit and the recipe is much requested. There are two different versions - chicken and pork. Choose your favorite and the rest is the same. The chicken tends to be a bit drier than the pork, but once you add the salsa and dressing, you would never know! Caution: This recipe makes a lot of food - you can easily serve 10-15 people with one recipe so adjust accordingly.

Just like Café Rio Pork
5-6 lb Pork roast
1 Tbs cumin
1 cup brown sugar
12 oz bottle Taco Sauce
20 oz bottle coke

Cook roast on low for 12 hours in Crock Pot with water covering half the roast. After 12 hours, drain water off roast and add remaining ingredients. Continue cooking 4 hrs. Then shred the meat and cook for 2 hours more. (I prefer cooking my roast in the oven, place in oven at night and cook at 220 degrees 8-12 hours. Drain, shred and add all other ingredients. Put in Crock Pot for about 2-3 hours to blend flavors)

Just like Café Rio Chicken
1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 Tbs. cumin
3 cloves garlic
5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast

Pour all ingredients in crock-pot on low for 4 hours. Shred meat and cook for 1 hr more.

Just like Café Rio Creamy Ranch dressing
1 pkg. dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic
3 tomatillos (peel off paper skins)
1/3 cup buttermilk
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. If you can't find tomatillos, you can replace both garlic and tomatillos with 3/4 cup green salsa.

Just like Café Rio Rice
4 tsp garlic
½ bunch cilantro
1 tsp cumin
1 can green chilies
¾ tsp salt
1 Tbs butter
½ chopped onion

Blend all ingredients in blender then put in pan and add 6 cups water, bring to a boil add 3 cups rice, simmer 25 -30 minutes. (Use the directions on your rice package for the amount of water, some rice calls for a 1–2 ratio, some have 1-1½ ratio)

To Serve
Place a tortilla shell on a plate; add rice and beans, meat (pork or chicken), shredded lettuce, cheese, and tortilla strips. Serve with guacamole, Café Rio Dressing, and Pico de Gallo.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Asian Barbecue Chicken

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
¼ cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup honey
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons orange juice
4 minced cloves garlic
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Sliced scallions for garnish
In a medium bowl, mix together hoisin sauce, honey, soy sauce, orange juice, garlic, scallions, ginger and cayenne pepper. Pour into recloseable plastic bag, add chicken, turn to coat, and marinate 1 to 2 hours in refrigerator. Remove chicken. Boil marinade in a small pan for 2 minutes. Arrange thighs on rack of broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Place rack on foil-lined broiler pan; place pan on oven shelf on medium position. Broil about 7 minutes; turn and broil about 5 minutes more, basting occasionally with marinade until thighs are done, taking care not to burn. Garnish with scallions and serve.
I replace the honey with corn syrup or agave nectar since Andrew is allergic. I've also replaced the orange juice with lemon juice and it tastes just great as well.

Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole

1 6 oz. package long grain & wild rice
3 cups cooked diced chicken
1 cup mayonnaise
1 10 oz. box French cut green beans, thawed
1 can cream of celery soup
1 small onion, chopped
1 can water chestnuts, sliced

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cook rice according to package directions. Combine rice and remaining ingredients in large casserole dish. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake 45 minutes. Freezes well before baking.
Substitutions... you can use any condensed cream soup with good results, also if you can't find frozen french cut green beans, the canned variety works just as well - they're just not as firm.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce or tomato juice
2 cups water or chicken broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp diced green chilis
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups cooked chicken, cut in bite sized pieces
1 zucchini or yellow squash, diced
Combine all ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with the following to be added as desired:
broken tortilla chips
sliced black olives
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
diced avocado

Lentil Stew

1 lb lentils
1 lb smoked sausage
4 cans (8 cups) chicken broth
2 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste

Rinse lentils and remove any stones. Cook lentils, sausage, and broth 30 minutes. Add spices and cook for another 30 minutes. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pork Chops with Sauerkraut

This is a favorite stand by that my mom used to make when I was little.

Just pan fry your pork chops until brown on each side, then smother with sauerkraut (be sure to add some of the juice too!) and cover the skillet and simmer for about 20 minutes.

The kids pick off the sauerkraut, but love the flavor of the pork.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Baked Pasta

I needed something to throw together at the last minute, so I made the following sauce and tossed it with cooked rotini noodles, then covered it with mozzarella and baked until melted.

1 can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/4 lb ground sausage, browned and crumbled

Mix together over medium heat until flavors are combined - about 10 minutes.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Potato Crusted Spinach Quiche

This is a healthy twist on quiche... instead of using those very fattening pie crusts (although they are sooo tasty), we use slices of potato - the secret is to give the potatoes a head start in the microwave so they won't be crunchy when you're eating the quiche. Also, can I please ask you to repent of buying frozen spinach and make you promise never to buy it again! Any recipe that calls for frozen spinach can be made with fresh spinach just as easily and with a much better tasting result. I just pack the spinach leaves in my food processor and chop them until I can't see any leaves left and use that where a recipe calls for frozen spinach. Below is the recipe I use....

2 medium baking potatoes
4 eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups packed spinach leaves, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Microwave the potatoes 3-4 minutes, until mostly cooked but still firm enough to slice. Slice the potatoes in 1/4" slices (we like to leave the skins on, but you could certainly peel them if that suits your fancy). Spray a 9" pie dish with non-stick cooking spray and layer the potato slices on the sides and bottom of the dish to form a crust. (There will be spaces, but don't worry about them as the egg will fill in the gaps.)
Beat the eggs and yogurt together until well blended. Add salt and pepper. Fold in the spinach, onions, and cheese and mix well. Pour the egg mixture in the potato crust. Spray the uncovered potato with butter or cooking spray to keep it from getting dried out. Bake at 375 F for 45 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Broccoli Stir Fry

This recipe is easily adaptable for whatever meat or veggies your family will eat. I happened to have only broccoli and onions on hand so that's what I used. The thing that makes the dish work is the sauce:

2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp cooking wine (can also use grape juice or apple juice)
2 Tbsp water
2 tsp cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Blend the above ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. If you are using meat, cut into bite size pieces and cook until brown. Remove to a plate. Add veggies, cut into small pieces, to the skillet (you may need to heat a bit more oil first). Cook until firm tender - you still want them to have a good crunch. If using multiple vegetables, add the crispier ones first (like broccoli or carrots) and the softer ones (like snow peas or scallions) after the other vegetables have been cooking for a few minutes. Return the meat to the skillet and cook for a couple of minutes. When the vegetables are cooked to the desired crispness, move them towards the outside of the skillet. Mix the sauce and pour in the middle of the skillet. Stir it around until it begins to thicken and then toss with the meat and vegetables. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rosemary Garlic Pork Loin with Roasted Cauliflower

I decided to just roast the pork loin, so I used my food processor to make a paste out of rosemary, garlic and olive oil and slathered that all over the roast, threw some carrots, celery and onions in the pan and stuck it in the oven for awhile. Everyone seemed to like it, but the surprise hit of the night was the roasted cauliflower! Finally a cauliflower recipe that I can enjoy! And it was surprisingly easy... so check it out.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thai Lettuce Wraps

Can I just tell you how shocked I was when we sat down to eat and my kids LOVED these! I thought for sure the lettuce would put them off, but I have finally discovered the reason that iceberg lettuce exists... to get kids used to eating salad. We're all about baby steps here folks - the good stuff can come later, I'm just thrilled they're eating any kind of lettuce! This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks - Minutemeals: Quick & Healthy. Here it is with my alterations:

Brown 1 pound ground turkey. Add 3 scallions (sliced), 1 large garlic clove (minced), 2 tablespoons lite soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Saute for about 2 more minutes then cover and simmer on low/warm to let flavors soak into meat. Serve wrapped in leaves of lettuce along with chopped cilantro.

Cukes & Onions

We love to eat cucumbers this way - this is a secret family recipe, so don't tell my grandma that I'm sharing it ;)

Combine 1 part apple cider vinegar with 1 part water and add about 1/4 cup sugar per cup of vinegar. Stir until dissolved and add salt and pepper as desired. Slice 1/2 sweet onion and add to the vinegar solution. This will cover about 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced. For the best flavor, refrigerate this at least one day before eating, but it tastes pretty good right away as well.

These last for quite a while in the fridge, so it's a good way to use up those cucumbers that you don't think you'll get to before they go bad.

Curried Chickpeas with Herbed Barley

We usually eat Indian curry, which isn't really my favorite, but this recipe calls for Thai curry - and I loved it! It's definitely spicier though, so I have to tone it down for the kids.

I used the meat that was leftover from the lettuce wraps, added a can of chickpeas, 1 tbsp red curry paste, and 1/2 cup water. Saute for a couple of minutes to mix in the curry and let simmer for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Wilt a bag of baby spinach and mix in with the bean/meat mixture. Serve over barley.

Herbed Barley
Heat 2 cups chicken broth, 1 tsp oregano, 1/4 teaspoon thyme until boiling. Add 1 cup quick cooking barley. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Caramel Popcorn

Did you know you can microwave conventional popcorn?

Just place about 1/3 cup in a paper lunch sack. Fold down the top of the sack two times (about 1/4 inch each time) and tape it closed. Shake the bag on its side to settle the popcorn in one layer and place in the microwave as you would a bag of microwave popcorn. Stop the microwave when the popping slows down and you have a bag of delicious popcorn without all the butter and salt and chemicals of the storebought stuff! Now you can flavor it to your tastes :)

To make the caramel, combine 2 cups brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/2 cup light corn syrup in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until it boils. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over 5 quarts of unsalted popcorn. Spread out on wax paper to cool, then break into pieces.

Bleu Cheese Vinagrette

I love bleu cheese, but usually hate bleu cheese dressing because it's so mayonnaise-y. This one is more of a bleu cheese vinagrette - super tasty!

Bleu Cheese Vinagrette

1 Tbsp dijon mustard
3 Tbsp champagne or white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2 oz bleu cheese crumbles
Combine first three ingredients in small bowl. Slowly add olive oil while whisking the mixture to mix well. (You could also use a food processor.) Mix in bleu cheese and drizzle over salad.

Oven BBQ Pork Chops

This was super easy and the kids liked it.

I just covered the pork chops with slices of sweet onion, a sprinkling of brown sugar, smeared it all with a little ketchup and baked it for about an hour at 375 (covered for the first 45 minutes).

Serve with a simple salad of a wedge of iceberg lettuce drizzled with the best bleu cheese dressing ever.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Move Over Cheerios

Cheerios have been replaced by Veggie Booty as the all time favorite finger food in my house. If you haven't tried this, you really must! The corn/rice puffs look like popcorn and are flavored with vegetable powders. They are great for the baby because they melt in his mouth after a couple of "crunches". While they can be the cause of some very green drool, they have been a bigger hit than the Cheerios - maybe because he can pick them up a little easier? Because they have more flavor? You can also get them in cheese and fruit flavors, but our favorite is the veggie!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Crunchy Chicken Salad

This is the classic Ramen noodle and cabbage salad. My kids wouldn't touch it, but A and I finished off the whole bowl!

2 cups diced cooked chicken
4 cups shredded cabbage (I like Fresh Express Angel Hair cabbage shreds)
1 package chicken-flavored ramen noodles
4 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 flavoring packet from ramen noodles
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Place chicken and cabbage in mixing bowl. Break noodles up and add to cabbage with onions and sesame seeds. In small bowl, combine vinegar, oil, sugar, and 1 tsp ramen flavoring. Pour over slaw, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, stir in slivered almonds. (Side note: I didn't have sesame seeds so I mixed a 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil in with the dressing - I think you actually get a better taste that way.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008


This has to be one of my all time favorite cookbooks! My mother-in-law gave one to each family for Christmas one year and it has been fabulous! I have yet to try a recipe that I didn't like... there were even a couple where I couldn't see how the end result would be tasty... but of course they were. These are especially nice for potlucks because the recipes are designed to feed 14-20 people. Tonight we had
"Mom's Famous Chilighetti"
1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1-32 oz can chili
1-8 oz package spaghetti
3 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Brown ground beef and onions; drain off fat. Stir in tomatoes and chili. Simmer 45 minutes. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti; drain and set aside. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in grated Cheddar cheese until melted. Fold in sour cream. Mix with cooked spaghetti. Spoon into large casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

My kids think it's great, even if it does give my husband heartburn. It's also a great way to use food storage pasta that may taste a little bit "old" because the chili is strong enough to cover the off taste.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Feeding the Baby

I must admit... the main reason I make my own baby food is because I'm lazy. Yes, you heard right. But isn't it more work to make your own baby food? Not really. Once I've introduced single foods to the baby to check for allergies, I just grind up some of whatever we're eating for dinner (or at least some of the ingredients as I'm cooking, depending on the spiciness of the dish) and add a little plain whole milk yogurt to moisten and smooth the texture a little. My food mill has been my best friend through this - I've even taken it to restaurants so I can be sure there will be something I can feed the baby - and we've come up with some unusual but tasty combinations that the baby loves. I'll keep a list in the sidebar until we move on to table foods. You can also check out the Wholesome Baby Food website for more great ideas - it's most useful for things like making your own teething biscuits or finger foods since grinding baby food doesn't really require a whole lot of instruction. Then open wide for the airplane!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tuna Casserole

This is my last minute and nothing planned meal. The easiest tuna casserole ever! It helps that my kids love tunafish - in fact they prefer it plain, eaten on chips like an appetizer.
1 box macaroni and cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can chunk light tuna
1 cup of your favorite frozen vegetable
chopped green onions
Prepare macaroni and cheese as directed on box, adding the frozen vegetables halfway through the cooking of the noodles. Add tuna (well-drained) and cream of mushroom soup and mix well. You can add a little milk if it seems to thick for your tastes. Warm over low heat until heated throughout. Garnish with fresh ground pepper and green onions.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Curried Egg Salad

Not much mystery to this one... just your run of the mill egg salad - with curry added to make things interesting! My husband loves curry, but I don't often know what to make with it so I tried adding it to egg salad one day and he loved it. Tonight I also used plain yogurt instead of mayo since I was out and I thought it tasted even better. It gets rid of that heavy, thick taste.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tomato Soup

My daughter requested tomato soup for dinner today so I pulled out an old favorite that I haven't made in awhile. I actually got this recipe from my sister-in-law, whose mother is a wonder in the kitchen. I think this is a improvement on something they tasted in a restaurant once. The best part is that it's super easy!

2-12 oz cans tomato juice
2-14 oz cans diced tomatoes
1-8 oz package cream cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the tomato juice and cream cheese over medium heat, stirring to break up the cream cheese and help it melt. If you're impatient like me, you can use an immersion blender to speed up the process once it's started melting. Add diced tomatoes and seasoning. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Crunchy Poppyseed Chicken Salad

This salad was absolutely delicious! I love the flavor of the broccoli slaw and you MUST use the cashews for the full effect. I actually had less poppyseed dressing than I thought so I used another fruity one I had on hand (pomegranate/blueberry) and it was just as tasty.

4 cups broccoli slaw
2 large red peppers, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
4 carrots, shredded (about 2 cups)
1 can (8 oz.) pineapple tidbits, drained
1 cup grilled chicken breast, chopped
1/2 cup poppyseed dressing
1/4 cup cashew

Combine all ingredients except cashews and toss to coat with dressing. Sprinkle cashews on top just before serving.

Spinach and Orzo Salad

This yummy salad was another big hit. It has a very mediterranean taste which I love! Next time I'll use half as many onions and add a can of garbanzo beans to make it more kid friendly.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tomato Paella

I served a mission in Spain where paella is more work than it is worth, in my opinion. However, this paella is super easy and is probably my favorite way to cook luscious homegrown tomatoes during the summer. It's okay with grocery store tomatoes, but for the best flavor either grow your own or visit the farmer's market.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mollie Katzen

In an attempt to get my kids more involved in our dinner choices - so they would hopefully eat the results more willingly, we checked out a couple of Mollie Katzen's cookbooks for kids.

Here are some of the dishes we tried - with varying results...

*Broccoli Cheese Quiche - this was the winner this week - both kids gobbled it up! Next time I'll use a milder cheese though, the swiss almost lost them

*Zucchini Moons - the kids had fun making this but weren't so interested in eating them

*Sweet Potato Surprise - These sweet potatoes were excellent! Lincoln loved them, but Leah wasn't so sure

*Polka Dot Rice - the fun of this rice dish is that the kids get to assemble it themselves at the table, adding the veggies they prefer

*Noodle Pudding - don't forget the raisins!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Cabbage & Apple Slaw

This slaw was so tasty! I left out the onions and added 1/2 tsp of celery seed instead and replaced the honey with corn syrup because of allergies. Very creamy and fresh tasting!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Salted Oatmeal Cookies

I snagged this recipe from a friend's blog. While the cookies themselves were a little heavy for me (I like mine more buttery), the salt on top was an excellent addition!

Chicken Corn Chowder

One of our favorite dinners and super easy to throw together!

1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 cup celery, sliced thin
2 cups cubed, peeled potatoes
1 cup carrots, sliced
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken breast
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can evaporated milk
2 cups chicken broth
red pepper flakes, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Saute onion and bell pepper in 1 Tbsp olive oil until tender. Dice the potatoes and place in microwave safe container. Cook on high for 5 minutes. Add to onions along with cubed chicken and saute another 2-3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer 20 minutes. Enjoy!