Friday, November 2, 2012

Strawberry Spinach Salad

I forgot to take a picture of this when I made it the other day, so I borrowed this picture from

This is one of my family's favorite, favorite, favorite salads that I make.  My grandpa asked for the recipe and has made it several times, and then he gave the recipe to my aunt, who has made it several times.  It's really delicious.  I originally got the recipe from the book Barbeques:  Parties and Potlucks.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Serves 8

1 bag baby spinach leaves
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 avocado, peeled, diced
1 package slivered almonds
4 Tbsp sugar

1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sweet rice wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced onion (the spice)

Arrange spinach leaves, strawberries, and avocado in bowl.  In skillet, caramelize almonds by cooking in fry pan with 4 Tbsp sugar until sugar melts and coats almonds.  Cool and stir.  Sprinkle over salad.  Combine all dressing ingredients in separate bowl and add just before serving.

*  Note - a little bit of this dressing goes a long way.  For an average bag of spinach leaves, I only used half of what this dressing recipe yields.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Honeydew, Blueberry and Mango Salad

I saw this on Mel's Kitchen Cafe and just had to try it.  I'm not a huge honeydew fan usually, but if you put mangos with something, it's always gonna taste good.  And that's the case with this.  Fabulous.  I'm supposed to bring a fruit salad to a family get-together in a couple of days, and I might just have to whip this baby up again.

Honeydew, Blueberry and Mango Salad

*Makes 6 cups

1 tablespoon grated lime zest from 4 limes (zest limes before juicing)
1 cup fresh lime juice (from the 4 grated limes and an additional 3-4 limes as needed)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch table salt
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 small honeydew melon, seeds and rinds removed, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
2 mangoes, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 pint fresh blueberries

In a small, heavy-bottomed non-reactive saucepan, simmer the lime juice, sugar, and salt medium-high heat until syrupy, honey-colored, and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lime zest, ginger, and lemon juice. Let the mixture sit and steep for 5 minutes. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer. Combine the honeydew, mangoes and blueberries in a medium bowl; pour the warm dressing over and toss. Serve immediately at room temperature or cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate up to 4 hours, and serve chilled.

Ranch Taco Chicken Salad

This is such a fun meal to have in the summertime.  So light, fresh, and easy.

Ranch Taco Chicken Salad

1 lb. chicken, cooked and cut into strips
1 tsp. oil
1 tsp. chili powder
16 oz. salad greens
1 cup shredded cheese
ranch dressing
tortilla chips

Cook chicken, oil, and chilli powder for 8 minutes or until chicken is cooked.  Toss all other ingredients together with the cooked chicken into a salad.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hamburger and Green Bean Casserole

I got this recipe from one of my roommates back in college.  I'm so sorry you can't see the hamburger!  It's in there, I promise.  This is a great way to use up green beans from your garden - I picked several thousand green beans from my mom's garden this week.  Yummmm.

Hamburger and Green Bean Casserole

1 lb. hamburger
1/4 of an onion, chopped
1 can of drained green beans, or 2 cups of fresh steamed green beans
1 bag of frozen tater tots
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk

Brown hamburger.  Add onion and cook until the onions are tender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Put the hamburger in the bottom of a 9X13 pan.  Lay green beans on top.  Put the frozen tater tots on top of the green beans.  Mix the soup and milk together, then pour over the tater tots.  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Cashew Pork and Pea Pods

I got this from my sister's Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  This is one of my faaaavorite meals.  It is so good, so good, you see. (Dr. Seuss)  Aaaand it was another way to use up the sugar snap peas I got from my mom's garden.  Badda-bing, badda-boom.

Cashew Pork and Pea Pods

Makes:  4 servings

1 pound lean boneless pork
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp cooking oil
2 cups fresh pea pods or one 6-oz pkg frozen pea pods, thawed
2 peaches or nectarines, peeled and diced, or 1 1/2 cups cubed papaya or frozen peach slices, thawed
1/2 cup cashews or peanuts
2 cups hot cooked rice

1.  Slice the meat into bite-sized pieces.  For sauce, in a bowl stir together orange juice, marmalade, soy sauce, cornstarch, and ginger.  Set aside.

2.  Pour oil into a wok or large skillet.  Preheat over medium heat.  Add pork.  Cook until done.  Stir in pea pods and fruit.  Push ingredients from the center of the wok.

3.  Stir sauce; pour into center of wok.  Cook and stir sauce until thickened and bubbly.  Stir in meat mixture to coat with sauce.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Stir in nuts.  Serve with rice.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Buttery Peas with Thyme

I made this a few months ago and really loved it.  Since I just inherited several billions of pounds of peas from my mom's garden (is there anything better than peas fresh from the garden??) I decided to make it again for our neighborhood's barbeque tonight.  And then I realized I don't have this on my blog yet.  Doh.  So here it is.  It's from Mel's, of course.

Buttery Peas with Thyme

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 medium onion)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
3 cups frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onion, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until the onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the peas and thyme and cook, stirring often, until the peas are just heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with black pepper (and additional salt if desired) and serve immediately.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Blackberry Peach Cobbler

My sister got married last summer while I was stuck in China.  I'm still sad about it.  A couple of weeks after her wedding, she wrote me an e-mail and told me all about it. She happened to mention that they had blackberry peach cobbler for dessert for their rehearsal dinner, and I just about broke down and cried.  I was in China, the land of no blackberries.  No ovens.  No baked goods.

I'm still traumatized by my stay in China.  For reals, yo.  I just barely made my first Asian-inspired meal since we've been home.  And we've been home 10 months.  It was just that bad for me.

Kay.  So when Lex told me about this dessert, I filed it away into my brain:  Oh yeah.  I'm soo making that next summer.

And right now, the time is right.  Peaches are on.  Blackberries are on.  So the other night, I searched for a recipe, and this one from seemed good.  And boy, was it ever.  Mama mia.  It's a keeper.

Oh, and I've tweaked it a little bit - they said to use cold butter straight from the refrigerator in making the dough, and that ended up being a fiasco for me.  Next time, I'm going to soften the butter a bit before blending it into the flour.  I've had enough experience with dough to know that will work just fine.  So that's the change I've made below.

Blackberry Peach Cobbler

Gourmet | September 2005

Yield: Makes 12 servings
Active Time: 25 min
Total Time: 1 1/2 hr (includes cooling)

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 lb blackberries (5 cups)
2 lb peaches (6 medium), peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons whole milk

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. Butter a 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish (3-quart capacity).

Whisk together cornstarch and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a large bowl, then add blackberries and peaches and toss to combine well. Transfer to baking dish and bake until just bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes.

While fruit bakes, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in another large bowl, then blend in butter with a mixer until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk and stir just until a dough forms.

Drop dough onto hot fruit mixture in 12 mounds (about 1/3 cup each), then sprinkle dough with remaining teaspoon sugar. Bake cobbler until top is golden, 25 to 35 minutes. Serve warm.

Cooks' note:
Cobbler can be baked 6 hours ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Before serving, let stand at room temperature 1 hour, then reheat in a preheated 350°F oven until warm, about 20 minutes.

The Best Blueberry Muffins

Holy Mother of Pearl, are these ever good.  I couldn't even believe how amazing these were.  Sooo not ever buying a box mix for blueberry muffins again! These were totally easy to make.  And they taste seventeen million times better.

And yep, I got these from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

The Best Blueberry Muffins

*Makes 12-16 muffins

*Note: I’ve made these with fresh or frozen blueberries…both work great but use fresh, if you can. I’ve also made them eliminating the blueberry syrup step and tossing both cups of blueberries in with the flour mixture. You don’t get the delicious blueberry syrup effect on top of the muffin, but they do come together more quickly and are packed with blueberries (still top them with the lemon-sugar mixture).

Lemon-Sugar Topping:
1/3 cup sugar
zest from one lemon

2 cups frozen blueberries (or 2 cups fresh)
1 1/8 cups (8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the topping, stir together sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.

For the muffins, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Rinse one cup frozen berries under cold water and spread on a double layer of paper towels to dry well. Bring remaining one cup berries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with a spoon several times and stirring frequently, until the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened and reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Toss the berries that have dried on the paper towels in with the flour mixture. Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg mixture into flour mixture until just moistened. The batter will be lumpy with a few dry spots of flour – don’t overmix. This is the key to moist and tender muffins.

Using ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill the muffin cups until they are about 3/4 full. Spoon a teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into the center of each mound of batter. Using a skewer (or a chopstick), gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.
Bake until the top of the muffins are golden and just firm, 17-18 minutes. Cool muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cranberry Bog Turkey Burgers

I saw this in People Magazine a few months ago and knew I had to have it.  It tastes as amazing as it looks.  It's a Rachel Ray recipe.

My mom was over the other day, and I made wayyy too many of these for our family to eat, so I offered her some.  She was like, "Nahhhh.  Turkey burgers?  I don't know...."  But then I said, "You serve them on English muffins instead of hamburger buns...."  And she paused mid-sentence.  "English muffins?" she asked, eyes wide with desire. 

I talked her into taking some home, and she didn't regret it.

Cranberry Bog Turkey Burgers

Serves 4

2 Tbsp. butter
1 apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
1 rounded tsp. poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
vegetable oil, for drizzling
1 cup prepared whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/2 cup mayo
4 English muffins, split and toasted
8 leaves Bibb lettuce

1.  Heat butter in a skilled over medium-high heat.  Add apple and next 3 ingredients; season with salt and pepper.  Cook until softened, 6 to 7 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl; cool.
2.  Add turkey to cooled apple mix; season with salt and pepper; mix thoroughly.  Score mixture into 4 equal portions and form patties.  Heat a drizzle of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook burgers, flipping once, 10 to 12 minutes, or until juices run clear.
3.  In a small bowl, mix cranberry sauce and mayo.  Spread may on toasted muffins.  Add burgers and lettuce.

Confetti Rice and Bean Salad

Oh my goodness.  I made this tonight and am officially in love.  From Mel's Kitchen Cafe.   It's perfect with a Mexican main dish.

Confetti Rice and Bean Salad

*Note: I used a wild rice/brown rice blend for my salad, but Basmati rice is delicious, also. Whatever rice you decide to use, cook it according to package directions and use it in the recipe – you should be good to go!

*Serves 6


3 cups cooked rice, cooled to room temperature (see note)
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed (or same amount fresh corn kernels)
4 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1 red pepper, seeded, cored and diced
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients and toss. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Toss to coat. Chill the salad for at least 2 hours before serving to let the flavors blend.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Buttermilk Pie

Dude.  How is this not on my recipe blog yet???  I had some extra buttermilk in the fridge, and I thought, I'm going to whip me up a buttermilk pie.  So I hopped onto this blog and looked and looked and was like, wait.  How have I not put this on here???  Whaaaa?  My FAVORITE dessert of all time!!  Not on my recipe blog!

I'm sorry, Buttermilk Pie.  I have failed you.  But now I will share you with the world.  And anyone who tries you will be immediately converted to your amazingness.

So you think, Buttermilk pie?  Ew.  I know, right?  But you don't taste buttermilk when you eat it.  You taste a lemon custardey taste.  It's amazing.  Try it.  Try it.  Try it.

Buttermilk Pie

Combine 1 1/3 cups sugar and 3 Tbsp flour.  Beat 2 eggs thoroughly and add to sugar-flour mixture.  Add 1/2 cup melted margarine (yes, butter will work just fine) and 1 cup buttermilk.  Mix well.  Fold in 2 tsp. vanille and 1 tsp lemon extract.  (Nope, lemon juice doesn't work.  You have to have the extract.)  Pour into one 9 inch unbaked pastry shell. Preheat oven and bake at 425 for the first 10 minutes.  Without opening the oven door, reduce temperature to 350 and bake 45 minutes longer.  Makes one pie.

*  If doubling the recipe and cooking two pies at once, still cook at 425 for the first 10 minutes.  When you turn the temperature down to 350, cook for one hour instead of the 45 minutes.

Deep, Dark Chocolate Brownies

I decided to make these, from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, tonight.  And I'm so very, very glad I did.  I originally wanted some brownies with a bit more flare, but Sadie saw this picture and absolutely insisted that we try these.  And we don't regret it.  (And they were really easy to make.)

*  I've added 10 minutes to the cooking time on the original recipe post on Mel's blog.  Ours were still quite liquidey in the middle after 35 minutes.  So we did 45 minutes and they were perfect.

Deep, Dark Chocolate Brownies


2 sticks (8 oz) butter
8 oz good-quality semisweet chocolate
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 large eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch metal pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray. Alternatively, you may use parchment. These are pretty sticky at first!

Melt butter and chocolate in a 3-qt heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring, until smooth. Add 1 cup of the sugar to the hot chocolate mixture. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.

Whisk in remaining 1 cup sugar and vanilla. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time until mixture is glossy and smooth. Whisk in salt and cocoa powder, then add flour and stir until it disappears (do not overbeat).

Spread in pan and bake until a pick inserted in center comes out with crumbs, 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature then chill for an hour or more. Lift from pan, place on a cutting board, cut into squares.
Makes 1 13×9 inch pan (yield depends on how big you cut your brownies, but they are rich, so small is fine.

Recipe Source: adapted from Cookie Madness

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cherry Coke Jello Salad

I was on the phone with my sister when I was making this the other day, and she laughed.  I asked her what was so funny.  She lives in Buffalo, New York, where there aren't very many Mormons.  Therefore, there isn't very much jello hanging around.  It's this weird phenomenon - where you have Mormons, you're gonna have jello.  She said that, when people she works with over there find out she's a Mormon, they all say stuff about jello to her.  "Oh, so you must make a lot of jello..."  She and this one dude were in a little joking tiff about something or other, and he goes, "So what are you going to do to me - make me some jello?"  I thought it was funny.

This recipe involves my favorite thing in the world - coke.

Cherry Coke Jello Salad

1 (15 oz) can dark bing cherries, cut in half
1 (15 oz) can crushed pineapple
2 (3 oz) packages of cherry jello
1 (12 oz) can coke

Drain juices from the fruit into a large saucepan.  Heat them until they simmer.  Dissolve the jello in the juice, mixing well.  Add cola and fruit, stirring well.  Pour into a pretty large dish - I had to use my casserole dish for this. 


Um, did you know that there really aren't any pretty pictures of lasagne?  Trust me.  I've been out there looking and...nope.  This one is kind of okay looking, but it's misleading, because this guy puts eggplant in his lasagne, and I don't.  So whatever.

I originally got this recipe from an LDS ward compiled cookbook, but I've fiddled with it and changed it a ton.  And here's how we like it.


Meat mixture:
2 pounds Italian sausage or ground beef*
1/2 Tbsp parsley
1/2 Tbsp basil
3/4 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup freshed, chopped tomatoes
2 cans tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

8 ounces lasagne noodles

Cottage cheese mixture:
1 carton of large curd cottage cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly

Brown meat slowly.  Drain the fat off.  Add the rest of the ingredients that are listed under "meat mixture."  Simmer, uncovered, until thick.  Stir occasionally.  Cook noodles in boiling water - follow package instructions for length of time needed.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Combine all of the ingredients in "cottage cheese mixture."  Place 1/3 of the noodles in a 9X13 pan, then 1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture, 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese slices, and 1/3 of the meat mixture.  Repeat layers.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

*  If you go with the Italian sausage option, get it as mild as you possibly can.  Also, if you go with the Italian sausage, don't add the following three ingredients on the list: parsley, basil, or salt.  It's just wayyy too spicy with the spices in the sausage, plus the ones in the ingredients.  If you get ground beef, definitely add those next three spices.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cheesesteak Subs

Mel's Kitchen Cafe just hits the spot for me.  All the time.  I looove her recipes.  I made these cheesesteak subs of hers last night and they were easy and really yummy.

Cheesesteak Subs

*Makes about 4 sandwiches (more if you are serving kids and can get away with putting less meat on their sub)
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, halved and sliced into thin half moons
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons A-1 steak sauce
1 pound deli roast beef, cut into 2-inch strips
Salt and pepper
4 (6-inch) sub rolls, split partially open lengthwise
8 slices provolone cheese
Preheat the broiler in your oven and adjust a rack to the upper-middle position. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter, Add the onion and cook until softened and golden, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and oregano and cook for a minute, until it smells fragrant. Add the A-1 sauce and the beef, stirring well to coat the beef with the sauce and onion/butter mixture. Cook until the meat is heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the sliced rolls on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide the beef mixture among the rolls. Top with the cheese and broil until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes (don’t even take your hand off the oven door handle – stand right there so they don’t burn!). Serve immediately.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Carne Asada Tortas

Oh, yummy, yummy, yummy.  My fam has eaten these for the past three nights, and they are heavenly.  The original recipe has you grill the skirt steak, but my hubby is gone and I'm scared of trying the grill by myself.  I know, dumb.  So I modified it a bit to cook the steak in my crockpot.  If you stay tuned after the recipe, I'll tell you what I did to modify it for crockpot use.

Carne Asada Tortas
Serves 4-6
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
Chili Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
4 to 6 torta rolls, telera rolls, bollitos/bollilos, or french rolls
vegetable cooking spray
Garnish:  fresh salsa, sliced avocado, shredded lettuce

Place skirt steak in large ziploc bag.  In a small bowl, whisk the orange juice, chili powder, oregano, and cumin together; set aside.  Place 1/2 of the onions and citrus fruits on each side of skirt steak in ziploc bag.  Pour orange juice mixture over all. Close the bag and place in a container (in case it leaks) and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours, or overnight.

Chili mayonnaise:  In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, chili powder, and cumin together.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat an outdoor grill to medium high.  Slice torta rolls in half, lengthwise.  Spray each side with vegetable cooking spray and place, cut side down, on heated grill.  Cook 1 to 2 minutes, watching very carefully.  Remove from grill and keep warm.  Remove meat from marinade and grill 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until desired degree of doneness.  Remove from grill to a rimmed cutting board and slice across grain of meat into 1/2" strips. Spread each half of torta roll with an equal portion of chili mayonnaise.  Layer a portion of meat on bottom of each roll.  Top with desired garnishes and serve.

*  How to do this in a crockpot - Put the skirt steak in first.  Then cover with all of the marinade ingredients.  Add one cup of water and one beef bouillon cube.  Cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

*This recipe was taken from Barbeques - Parties and Potlucks, 2001, California Cookbook Company.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fruit 'n' Cream Salad

I've had this recipe fooooooooooooorrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeevvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrr... (What movie?)  I got it from LeAnne, a lady who lived down the street from me when I was growing up.  She's, like, a size 2, but so many of my really yummy, really naughty and caloric recipes come from her.  I'm trying to figure out if she just exercises really, really hard or has good genes.  Probably the genes.  Because I exercise really, really hard, and well....let's just say that I'm not a size 2. :)

Fruit 'n' Cream Salad

16 oz. sour cream
8 oz. cool whip
3 oz. jello (your choice of flavor to match fruit)
4 cups fresh fruit, sliced (or 20 oz. frozen fruit, thawed)

Mix sour cream, Cool Whip, and dry jello until well-blended.  Refrigerate for one hour.  Fold in fresh fruit before eating.

* LeAnne's note:  If using frozen fruit, you may need more dry jello.
* Kar's note:  I haven't ever used this with frozen fruit, so I'm not sure how much more dry jello you'll need.  I'll do some experimenting and update this entry.  ALSO, there have been times that I haven't waited an hour before folding in the fruit, and it's been totally fine.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ben's Cornbread

I'm not sure where Ben got this recipe, but it is amazing.  Our ward has a chili and cornbread cook-off each fall, and Ben's cornbread won a couple of years ago.  It's moist and soooo delicious.

Ben's Cornbread


2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or grapeseed oil, if you have it)
1/4 cup melted butter
2 1/2 cup buttermilk

2 beaten eggs

Cinnamon Honey Butter:
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Combine dry ingredients, mix well, and make a well in the center. Set aside.
3.  Beat together eggs, oil, butter, and milk.
4.  Pour into the well.  Stir just until dry bits are moistened.
5.  Pour into a sprayed or lightly buttered 9X13 pan.
6.  Bake 45 minutes.  Cover with foil for the last half hour.
7.  Serve with cinnamon honey butter.

To make up butter:
Combine butter, honey, and cinnamon.  Mix in mixer until light and fluffy.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baked Potato with Toppings

Mmmm.  This meal is a crowd-pleaser.  And quite appropriate, since we live in Idaho.  I'm filing this under the Pork section, because we use Lil' Smokies and bacon as part of our toppings.

Baked Potato with Toppings

Wrap your potatoes with foil before putting them into the oven to cook. Otherwise, your skins will be hard as rocks.  Cook for one hour at 350 degrees, unless your potatoes are huge.  You may have to do another half an hour to another hour if you've got really big ones.

Toppings we like on ours:
Sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped broccoli
Summer sausage (if we can get it cheap enough) or Lil' Smokies pre-cooked sausages, chopped
Bacon, cooked and crumbled


Friday, April 20, 2012

Company Fruit Salad

I got this recipe off of - It calls for two kinds of grapes and two kinds of apples, but I didn't want to go to the store, so I just doubled up on the grapes and apples of one kind each. :)  It was still fantastic.  But I do think it would be prettier with the two kinds of grapes and two kinds of apples.

Company Fruit Salad


  • 4 medium Golden Delicious apples, diced
  • 4 medium Red Delicious apples, diced
  • 2 cups seedless green grapes, halved
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  1. Combine all the fruit in a large bowl. In a mixing bowl, beat dressing ingredients until smooth. Pour over fruit; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rigatoni with Brie, Grape Tomatoes, Olives, and Basil

I had a bunch of brie cheese leftover from this meal, so I hopped onto and typed in "brie" to see what I could see. This meal looked fantastic, so I gave it a shot and looooved it. I love me some pasta.

And, by the way, I've noticed that recipes have longer names of late. Get a load of this one! It's huge!!! Why, back in my day, it would have been called something like Tomato Rigatoni, or something. And we would have eaten it while we walked uphill both ways, through snow, for five miles each way, to and from school...

Rigatoni with Brie, Grape Tomatoes, Olives, and Basil
  • 1 (12-ounce) wedge Brie, rind removed, cheese cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 (12-ounce) package grape or cherry tomatoes, each halved
  • 1/2 cup quartered pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon (generous) dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 3/4 pound rigatoni

Off heat, place cheese, tomatoes, olives, garlic, and crushed red pepper in large skillet. Stir, separating cheese pieces. Mix in chopped basil.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Add hot pasta and 1/4 cup reserved pasta liquid to skillet with cheese mixture. Place over medium heat and toss until cheese is partially melted and sauce coats pasta, adding more reserved pasta liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry, about 5 minutes. Season pasta to taste with salt. Transfer to large shallow bowl. Garnish with basil sprigs and serve.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Caramel Brownies

Holy Shnikeys, you guys. Kay. I am NOT much of a chocolate girl. I mean, give me a pie any day, but with brownies, I'm usually like, meh. But duuuuuude. Something about this recipe called out to me when I saw it at Mel's Kitchen Cafe. So I tried it and just about fell off my chair when I took the first bite. A. maz. ing.

Caramel Brownies
Printable Version with Picture
Printable Version

*Note: I found that an hour or so of chilling the brownies after they had cooled completely helped the caramel layer set up and become more pronounced.

*Makes about 24 brownies

For the brownies:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1½ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the caramel filling:
14 ounces caramel candies, unwrapped
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and grease the foil well with butter or cooking spray. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and butter. Microwave in intervals of 1 minute at 50% power until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, stirring in between intervals. Whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla until incorporated. Stir in the flour and salt just until combined. Spread about half of the brownie batter in the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven (keep the oven on!) and let the brownies cool for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the chopped pecans (if using) to a medium skillet over medium heat. Toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and light golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside. To make the caramel filling, combine the caramels and cream in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power. Stir. Repeat the process, keeping a close eye on the mixture as it can burn very easily (make sure you use low heat in the microwave). Continue the microwave process until the caramels and cream are melted and combined. Stir in half of the pecans to the caramel mixture. Immediately spread the caramel mixture over the bottom brownie layer. Scoop the remaining brownie batter in spoonfuls over the caramel layer and spread it evenly across the caramel layer (spooning the batter in piles over the caramel will help to get an even layer of batter over the caramel). Sprinkle the chocolate chips and the remaining pecans on top of the final brownie layer. Bake for 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving. I found the brownies sliced easier once they had been cooled and refrigerated for an hour or two.

Lift the brownies from the pan using the edges of the foil. Remove the foil and cut the brownies into individual squares. Store in an airtight container.

*Kar's note - I've changed the cook time for the final brownie layer to 40 minutes. The original recipe called for 20 minutes, but maybe my oven isn't powerful enough? Mine hadn't set enough at 20 minutes.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I am a pineapple addict. "Hi, I'm Karlenn, and I'm a pineapple addict." "Hi, Karlenn..." I must say that the best part of Disneyland, for me, is the Tiki Room. Why? Because of the pineapple you can buy and eat while you're waiting in that little bamboo-lined waiting area. Or have one of those pineapple smoothies. Yummmmm. And what kind of fragranced candle do I keep buying, over and over? Pina colada. Or pineapple-cilantro. I'm in love with pineapple.

And, by the way, pineapple is amazing this time of year. I cooked up some pineapple upside-down cake for a friend who was feeling low last week - I've made it over and over again, and it's definitely shimmy-worthy.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 can pineapple slices in syrup (I had a can of pineapple chunks on hand and used that instead.)
maraschino cherries

Use an 8" square pan or a round cake pan. Drain the can of pineapple, reserving the syrup. Place butter in the pan, melt it in the oven while preheating it to 375 degrees. Sprinkle brown sugar over the melted butter. If you have pineapple slices, arrange them and cherries (with cherries in the centers of the pineapple slices) over the brown sugar in the pan. [If you have chunks or tidbits, just throw them in the brown sugar with the marschino cherries and arrange them how you like.] Cut remaining pineapple slices into half circles, then line the sides of the pan with them (standing up). In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, softened butter, milk, egg, vanilla, and 2 T of pineapple syrup. Pour batter into the pan, being careful not to disturb the pineapples and cherries. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until cake is golden and has pulled away from the edges slightly. Remove from oven, allow to stand for a few minutes to set, and then turn it upside-down onto a serving dish. Serve while still warm.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

A fun little factoid for ya - for my senior thesis in high school, I read and wrote a paper on The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. My teacher made me read the unabridged version. Mama mia, that's a long book.

We have a cafe/bakery in town called Babe's Bakery, and I always order the Monte Cristo sandwich from them. It's to die for. Several years ago, I got a recipe from under Southern U.S. Cuisine for Monte Cristos, and it's been fantastic.

I remember when my sis, Nat, had her fourth child, I went to her house and made these. She asked for the recipe, and it has become a staple in her house ever since. Maybe a month or so ago, her son, Brock, informed me that they had Monte Cristo sandwiches for dinner, and then he went on to tell me how you make them. I listened politely. :)

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

18 slices bread
softened butter for spreading
6 slices ham
6 slices turkey
12 slices swiss cheese
a little mustard for spreading
6 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt

For each sandwich, use 3 slices of bread. Butter one side of bread first, then cover the buttered side with a slice of ham and a slice of turkey. Butter both sides of the second slice of bread and spread with a little mustard. Place the second slice over the turkey.

Place two thin slices swiss cheese on top of the second slice of bread. Butter the third slice of bread and place it on top, butter side toward the swiss cheese. Cut into halves diagonally.

Beat eggs, milk, and salt in a cake pan. Dip sandwich halves into the egg mixture and fry on a hot skillet or griddle in butter. Brown on all sides, adding more butter when necessary. This part is tricky, because sometimes the pieces fall over. I just kind of lean them onto each other when I'm browning the thin edges. You can use toothpicks if you like, but I find them to be a pain in the butt.

Makes 6 sandwiches, 12 cut.

Mango-Jalapeno Salsa

Oh, can I tell you how much I love mango salsa? There is this salad I loooove getting at Costa Vida with mango salsa in it - I think it's called the Mango Chicken Salad, maybe? And it's ADDICTIVE. And, since a small salad costs a good $7 or so, I have resolved to use my mango salsa and try to make my own version at home. That is my plan.

Last week, I made this just to go with tortilla chips. And then I decided to blend it up, because I like my chips to dip into a more liquid-ey substance:

It's yummy either way, believe you me.

I got a recipe book when I was married called The Well-Filled Tortilla. I am a big, big fan of Mexican food, so this recipe book is really beaten up. The Well-Loved Recipe Book. :)

Mango-Jalapeno Salsa

2 ripe but firm mangos
1/2 tsp. minced jalapeno pepper
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp crushed coriander seed

1. Peel the mangos, slice around the large seed, and chop up the slices.
2. In a bowl, mix together the mangos, jalapeno, cilanto, lime juice, and coriander.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Mmmmmm. This is another Pampered Chef recipe (I swear to you that every recipe of theirs that I've tried, I've LOVED), and it's amazing. Of course, anything with cilantro in it is amazing, in my Humble Kar Opinion.

I'm typing this up doubled, which makes a whole lotta soup. If you have a smaller family, definitely half this baby.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

16 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup chopped onion
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I used turkey breasts when I made this last week, and it was fantastic, as well)
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 cans (14.5 oz. each) chicken broth
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (4 oz. each) chopped green chilies, undrained
8 tsp. snipped fresh cilantro
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut tortillas into 1/2-inch strips. Place on a cookie sheet, preferably one with a lip so they don't fall off. Bake 8 minutes or until crisp.
2. Chop onion. Cube chicken. Spray the bottom of a large pot with cooking spray. Add chicken and cook on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add onion, garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook for 2 minutes more, or until you know the chicken is cooked through. Stir in broth, tomatoes, and chilies. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
3. To serve, put soup into bowls, then sprinkle cheese, cilantro, and tortilla strips on top.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tangy Apricot Chicken

I originally got this recipe from one of my recipe books, Barbeques - Parties and Potlucks. The directions are for baking this chicken in your oven, but I was in a crock pot mood today, so I converted it a little. And it still tasted fantastic. I'll include directions for both oven-cooking this recipe and also crock-potting it.

Tangy Apricot Chicken

1 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup apricot jam
4 chicken breasts

Combine barbecue sauce with jam. Pour it over chicken in a 9X13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes. Use the sauce that is left in the pan for a dipping sauce.

*Crock pot - Add an additional cup or so of water to the chicken and sauce in your crock pot. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Banana Nut Bread

Look, an actual picture that I took!!! My lens focused correctly! It's a miracle!

So I found these in my cupboard the other day:

I was like, "Weird. I don't remember buying these..." I had some overripe bananas that I wanted to turn into banana bread, and I felt like using these instead of my standard walnuts.

And can I just say....SCORE!! Wow. This is going to be my new standard - using glazed pecans in banana nut bread. Amazing.

I told Ben about these pecans that had seemingly magically appeared in my cupboard, like manna from heaven, and he said, "Oh. That was me. I had bought those before I left. I thought they'd be good." You thought right, my hubby.

I got this recipe from my BFF's mom, Bethie. I still have it written down on a piece of paper with musical notes on it that I got from her house.

Banana Nut Bread

makes 3 loaves

5 cups flour
2 cups sugar
7 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp veggie oil
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 cups chopped nuts
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (6 medium bananas or so)

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour three 9X5X3 loaf pans. Mix all ingredients together. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes.

Pretzel Salad

Ah...the things I have in my recipe box under "salad".... Is this very healthy? Naw. I remember when my sister and her new hubby came up for a family dinner party. I was in charge of bringing salad, and I chose to make Cookie Salad. He was like, "How is this a salad and not a dessert??" Hahaha! Welcome to the family, brother. :)

Pretzel Salad

2 1/2 cups crushed pretzels (5 cups of whole pretzels yields 2 1/2 cups crushed.)
3/4 cup melted butter
3 Tbsp. sugar

Mix well and press into a 9X13 pan. Bake 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

Cream cheese layer:
8 oz. cream cheese
9 oz. cool whip

Mix these two together and pour into cooled crust.

Jello layer:
4 pkg. strawberry jello
3 cups boiling water
20 oz. froz. strawberries, OR 2 cups fresh strawberries plus 1/2 cup water

Dissolve jello in the boiling water. Add strawberries. If you chose the frozen strawberries, stir until they're thawed. Chill for 2 1/2 hours or until the jello is soupy.  You want it to be soupy, not liquid-ey. Otherwise, the liquid seeps down past the cream cheese and makes your pretzels all soggy. When it's nice and thick and soupy, pour it over the cream cheese and let it set.

Homemade Oreos

My younger sis, Lex, is getting more into cooking (which I think is adorable, by the way), and sometimes she refers to this blog when looking for something to cook. She asked the other day if she could contribute recipes to this site that she found shimmy-worthy. I readily agreed. She sent this recipe my way (which she got from my other sis, Nat), which I have also tried and found shimmy-worthy - I've just been too busy to put it up. But now, with two shimmy-worthy yeas, it must go up immediately. Then it must be cooked immediately and eaten immediately. That's how I feel about it.


2 packages Devil’s food cake mix

4 eggs

1 ½ cups butter

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together. Roll into little balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Filling: 8 oz. cream cheese, ½ cup butter, 1 package (not quite all) of powdered sugar.

Spread filling between two cookies.

Egg Rolls

I got this recipe from my seester, Lex. And may I just say, this recipe is a winnnnnnner at my house. Even my picky kids like 'em. And that's saying something.

Egg Rolls

  • 2 packages of egg roll wrappers (I can't find these at Wal-Mart, but I found them at Albertsons in the produce section, next to the tofu)
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, cut finely
  • 1/4 of a cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 of a small box of angel hair pasta, broken up into smaller pieces
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, chopped finely
  • 1/4 bottle of soy sauce
  • 1/4 bottle of sweet and sour sauce
  • 1/4 bottle of teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Tbsp veggie oil
  • Veggie oil for frying the eggrolls
  • Brown the turkey in the veggie oil in a wok or large skillet. After turkey is browned, brown onions, then add carrots, garlic, ginger, cabbage, and jalapenos to skillet. Cook until veggies are tender. Add the three sauces. Cook angel hair pasta and add to veggie/meat mixture. The pasta absorbs the liquid so the rolls won't be soggy. Wrap each egg roll with meat/pasta mixture. Follow directions on wrapper package. Fry egg rolls in hot oil until light brown.
  • These freeze really well, but I recommend individually wrapping the egg rolls in aluminum foil because the egg rolls will freeze together. I learned that the hard way :).

Friday, February 3, 2012

Margo's Chicken Squares

My friend, Margo, introduced me to these. They're fab. The original recipe calls for using those crescent rolls that come in a can in the refrigerated section, but I prefer pastry crust, so I've adapted it a little to fit what I like.

Margo's Chicken Squares

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 Tbsp melted butter
3 cups cooked chicken, cut up
1 tsp. Krazy Mixed-Up Salt
2 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped pimentos
2 pkg. croissant rolls, OR pie crust dough, enough for two crusts
3/4 cups seasoned croutons, crushed

Mix all ingredients except rolls and croutons. Roll out two crescent rolls together to make a rectangle. Pinch seams together and roll into a 6 inch square. (If you're using pie crust dough, just cut six inch squares into rolled-out dough.) Put 1/8 of chicken mixture into center. Fold up and seal. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with additional melted butter and sprinkle with croutons. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins for the crescent dough, 375 degrees for 45 minutes for pie crust dough.

Cherry Pie Jello

The best image I could find. And it's not much. I'll get a good one on here soon.

Cherry Pie Jello

6 oz cherry jello
3 cups boiling water
1 can cherry pie filling

Dissolve jello in water. Add pie filling. Let it set in fridge.

1 sm jar marshmallow cream
1/3 cup milk
6 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup cool whip

Mix the topping ingredients together and spoon on top of the set jello.

Judy Rose's Green Salad

Dang it, I made this Tuesday night and forgot to take a pic. Which is a shame, because I cannot find one picture on the internet that seems to represent what's in it. This is as close as I could get. And it's not that close. I'll get a new picture on here soon, I promise.

Who's Judy Rose? No clue! This is one of my mom's oldest recipes. It is one of my utmost favorite salads.

Judy Rose's Green Salad

1 head lettuce, torn
1/3 red onion, diced
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 can sliced water chestnuts (I don't put these in. Water chestnuts make me yak. Just sayin'.)
3-4 avocados, cubed
1 small can sliced olives
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lb swiss cheese, shredded

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp celery seed
3/4 tsp. wet mustard
3/4 tsp. grated red onion
3/4 tsp. salt

Cream Pie Filling

This is the greatest thing I've ever come across in my Pie Life. My mom found this recipe for making regular pudding-mix cream pies SPECTACULAR. So you can do this for chocolate cream pie, pistachio, banana cream, coconut cream, etc. I've tried them all and they are amazing.

Oh, and if you need a recipe for a pie shell, go here.

Cream Pie Filling

1 pkg instant pudding mix (3.75 oz. size)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp almond flavoring
2 or more cups cool whip

Combine above except for the cool whip with an electric beater or wire whip. Fold 1 cup cool whip in and pour into precooked pie shell. Let stand 10 minutes, and then top with remaining cool whip. When using coconut cream, add a little more coconut, and when using banana cream, add ripe bananas on the bottom of the pie shell before adding filling.

Cranberry Beets

This is a fabulous, different way to eat the beets you grew in your garden and canned and now don't know what to do with them. :) If you have canned beets on hand, you're good to go. If you don't, boil yourself some beets, peel 'em, and slice 'em. And then you're ready for this stuff:

Cranberry Beets

Mix the following in a saucepan and boil for three minutes:

1 cup cranberry juice
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp corn starch

Then drain your canned beets, dump them into your sauce, and toss to coat. This recipe is good for 1 pint of canned beets.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Oh, baby. These are sooooo good.

Buttermilk Pancakes

1 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp oil

Just mix it together and pour those puppies on your griddle!

No-Bake Cookies

Oh, bestill my little heart. I love these so much. Making them is dangerous for me, because I usually can't stop once I've started eating them. So. Addicting. Once, I made them for my Sunday School class that I taught in college. I made enough for each person to eat, like, three, which everyone did. And then I caught, out of the corner of my eye, one of the guys in my ward actually tilting up the cookie jar to his mouth and pouring the crumbs in. They are just that good.

No-Bake Cookies

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cube butter
1/2 cup cream or milk

Cream the above ingredients together and bring to a boil. Boil for three minutes. Then remove from stove and add:

1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 1/2 cups quick rolled oats

Beat until thick and spoon on waxed paper to cool.

Potato Salad

My mom's potato salad is to DIE for. The best I've ever had. I'm pretty sure my sister, Nat, could eat this at every meal and be perfectly happy.  Oh, and it this photo because my friend gave me a bag of little russets that had red, yellow, and PURPLE potatoes in it!  It was crazy!  And cool.  Purple potatoes. My three-year-old was thrilled.  Purple is his favorite color.

Potato Salad

1 doz. hard boiled eggs
16 small potatoes or 8 regular-sized potatoes
1 T. minced onion
3/4 cup mayo
3 Tbsp liquid mustard
3 Tbsp sugar

Mix it all together, and voila. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I really do hate fish, but there are three fish meals I can eat - Hibachi Shrimp at Benihana, Salmon Patties, and Tuna Noodle Casserole. Well, I guess it's four meals - tuna sandwiches, too. I grew up on tuna. So I guess I'm used to it. But we never really had good fish growing up.

My hubby HATES tuna. So I only make Tuna Noodle Casserole when he's not around. It's a great meal for when you're at the end of the month and out of money. :) Nice and inexpensive to make.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

* Note - this recipe is typed doubled and needs two casserole dishes. If you have a smaller family, half it and just use one casserole dish.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

5 cups egg noodles, cooked and drained
2 cans tuna, drained
10 oz frozen peas
A mixture of two cans cream of mushroom soup and 4 Tbsp. milk
3 cups shredded cheese
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt

Boil noodles until done; drain and rinse. Mix soup and milk together until smooth. Microwave peas until half-cooked (about 3 minutes on high). Mix all ingredients together and pour into two casserole dishes. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Karlene's Prosciutto Tortellini

Yoooooooooo! Rescue Pack, here!!! (If any of you watch Nick Jr. while you do your daughter's hair, you'll know what show that's from.)

My mama is out of town this week, and my dad came over a couple of times for dinner while she was gone. We had a good little exchange of services - I made dinner for him to eat, and after dinner, he watched my kids while I went to spinning class. It was wonderful.

Tonight, I made tortellini, and he adored it and told me to send my mom the recipe. I figured, since I need to type it up anyways, it's going on this here blog. Because it is definitely shimmy-worthy. And not only to me. It's shimmy-worthy to my dad, too.

There is a gal in my ward named Karlene - actually, there are two gals in my ward named Karlene. And I'm Karlenn, and there are two Carolyns. True story. Anyways, Karlene brought this to a Relief Society luncheon once, and I went back for seconds and thirds of this stuff. And then I called her and got this recipe.

And by the way, Karlene is really cool. I figure it's because her name starts with "Kar." Anyone whose name starts with "Kar" is cool. :)

Karlene recommends serving this with red snapper. Since any kind of seafood makes me yak, I served it tonight with Cherry Pie Jello. Which I made wrong, and it didn't set. Sad. But if you like red snapper, then go for it!

Karlene's Prosciutto Tortellini

2 20-oz pkg. refrigerated tortellini (I use Buitoni's)
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups half & half
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
20 thin slices of prosciutto, chopped (or deli ham. Or cubed ham. I used cubed ham tonight - about 16 oz. of it did the trick)
20 oz froz peas, thawed
1/2 tsp white pepper

Cook tortellini according to pkg. directions. In skillet, mix flour and cream until smooth. Stir in cheese. Cook and stir until thick. Reduce heat. Drain tortellini. Put in skillet with the cheese sauce. Add prosciutto, peas, and pepper. Cook until heated through.

* This makes a TON. If you have a smaller family, definitely half it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cranberry-Orange Pinwheels

I usually do almond poppyseed bread for neighbor/friend gifts every Christmas, but I had lots of leftover cranberries from various cranberry salad adventures this year, so I did something different - Cranberry-Orange Pinwheels. I've made these before and just love them. They're addictive. I got this recipe from my sister's Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

Cranberry-Orange Pinwheels

Makes: 60 servings
Yield: 60 cookies
Prep: 25 mins
Chill: 5 hrs to 24 hrs
(*Kar's note - I once only chilled these for ten minutes and they still turned out perfectly. Just sayin'. Don't let the chill time deter you from making them. They'll turn out great even if you don't chill them for this long.)
Bake: 375°F, 8 mins per batch

  • 1
    cup cranberries
  • 1
    cup pecans
  • 1/4
    cup packed brown sugar
  • 1
    cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2
    cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2
    teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2
    teaspoon salt
  • 2
  • 2
    teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
  • 3
    cups all-purpose flour

1. For filling, in a blender container or food processor bowl combine cranberries, pecans, and brown sugar. Cover and blend or process until cranberries and nuts are finely chopped; set filling aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and orange peel until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle.

3. Roll half of the dough between pieces of waxed paper into a 10-inch square. Spread half of the filling over dough square to within 1/2 inch of edges; roll up dough. Moisten edges; pinch to seal. Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Chill for 4 to 24 hours.

4. Cut rolls into 1/4-inch slices . Place slices 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degrees degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Makes about 60 cookies.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Key Lime Pie

Weirdly, I haven't made Key Lime Pie since I was in high school. I was at my BFF's house, and we were in the mood for some dessert. After taking stock of what was in the fridge and the pantry, we figured out the only thing we could make, based on available ingredients, was key lime pie. So we did just that.

And I love key lime pie. Why haven't I made it in, oh, the last 20 years??? I just don't know. I get it at restaurants all the time. And here's the thing - it's so EASY. So. Easy.

I went on a cruise with my hubs a couple of weeks ago, and I had Key Lime pie whenever possible. It was fantastic. (Fun fact for ya - I gained THREE POUNDS just in four days on this cruise. I kid you not. Horrible.)

I got this recipe from It's actually Emeril's recipe!! You can't go wrong with Emeril. BAM!

Oh, and I didn't actually taste it myself when I made it this week. I made it for my friends. I can't eat sweets on this diet thingey I'm doing. How do I know it's shimmy-worthy, then? She told me. And I believe her. I mean, it's EMERIL!! It's GOT to be shimmy-worthy!

Key Lime Pie

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter) melted
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk
  • 1 cup key lime or regular lime juice
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Once chilled, combine the sour cream and powdered sugar and spread over the top of the pie using a spatula. Sprinkle the lime zest as a garnish on top of the sour cream and serve chilled.

* Kar's Note - I used store-bought graham cracker crusts. So much easier. And it tastes just as good. And then you have a nice, disposable pie tin when you want to give the pies away, like I wanted to. Voila.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

This is one of my go-to meals. If we're poor and don't have many ingredients, or if I haven't had a chance to go shopping recently, or if I just want something warm and comforting, I make this bad boy.

Oh, and if you want to substitute turkey for the chicken, it's just as yummy.

Chicken Pot Pie

2 pie crusts
2 1/2 to 3 lbs. chicken, cooked and cubed or shredded
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp minced onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
10 oz. frozen peas and carrots or frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

If you want to make your pie crusts homemade, go here for a good, easy recipe. Or just buy the refridgerated, store-bought kind. Mix the remaining ingredients together and pour into the bottom crust. Put the top crust over the filling, cut some venting holes, and seal the edges. Cook at 425 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Put foil on the pie for the first 20 minutes or so, then take the foil off and finish cooking for the remaining 10 to 15 minutes. This will keep the crust from getting too brown.