Thursday, December 9, 2010

Freezing Soup

I'm mostly posting this so I'll remember the link to it. I've had trouble freezing soups and this website seems helpful on determining which soups are okay to freeze, which ingredients you should undercook, etc. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Homemade Hot Fudge

Dresses up your brownies and ice cream, making it "an occasion". This recipe makes a quart of fudge, and will keep in the fridge for several weeks. Also good eaten cold with a spoon when you just need "a little something chocolate"! :)

1 stick real butter
6 oz. chocolate chips
1 - 13oz. can evaporated milk
2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

Melt butter and chocolate chips in medium saucepan. Stir until smooth. Add evaporated milk and powdered sugar. Bring to a rolling boil, and boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Makes one quart. (I keep mine in a glass quart canning jar) To reheat, microwave for 20 seconds, stir, and pour.

Easy Minestrone Soup

Turns out the Williams-Sonoma Kids' Cookbook has some of the easiest, most delicious recipes around. Like this one.

1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 lb. sausage (I use Jimmy Dean Reduced Fat pork sausage in the soft tube)
1 T. butter
1 medium zucchini, diced with skin on
4 c. chicken broth
1/3 c. dry spaghetti, broken into short pieces
1/2 t. dried oregano
1 can (24 oz.) crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Shredded Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in large pot. Add carrot, onion, celery, and sausage and saute over medium heat until sausage is cooked through (no pink left). Add chicken broth, tomatoes, zucchini, spaghetti, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a LOW BOIL and cook until spaghetti and vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Plum Apple Crisp

One time my mom made apple crisp for some sort of Young Women activity at the church. I was about 12 or 13. This was my all-time favorite dessert, so when it came time to serve it up, I took about a third of the pan. Hey, there were other desserts too! My Beehive advisor told me (I remember it being more of a snapping) to put back about half of what I had taken. "Leave some for everyone else!" she exclaimed, astonished that I would have the audacity to take such a greedy amount.

Hmph. What can I say? Fruit crisp is my absolute fave. I found this new rendition tonight and after tweaking it a little, here it is! I liked the idea of tossing the fruit with some of the cinnamony mixture first. Enjoy it my friends, and may you always unabashedly take large helpings.

2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 medium plums, pitted and thinly sliced
1/2 C butter, melted, divided
1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar, divided
1 T lemon juice
1 T + 1/3 C flour, divided
3/4 t ground cinnamon, divided
1 C rolled oats
1/4 C chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 t ground ginger
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, lemon juice, flour and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Add apples and plums; toss to coat well. Place in an 9 x 12 inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl combine oats, remaining 1/4 cup butter, remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, nuts, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and ginger until well blended. Crumble over fruit. Bake 30 minutes or until fruit is tender and topping is lightly browned.

Serve warm with softened ice cream, if desired.

Makes 6 servings (or about 3 big-bowl servings).

You can also use 2 sliced peaches or nectarines in place of the plums.

Punkin Pancakes

These little guys are thick and to die for. I stole the recipe from Women's Services, but the picture is my own! This will satisfy your pumpkin fix without a problem. A perfect way to begin your Saturday...or any day!

Makes 12 pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar (I left this out...)

1. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

We topped our lil stack with chopped pecans, sliced apples, and maple syrup. Wash it down with apple cider with cinnamon. Mmmmm, fall.

Baked Potato Soup

Just made this last night and was reminded how much we love it! Tastes like a baked potato "with everything" on it ... serve with a green salad and crusty French bread.

4 large potatoes, scrubbed and baked (best if baked in the oven v. the microwave: 400 degrees for one hour)
4 T. butter
3 T. flour
6 c. milk
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, grated
8 slices crisp bacon
4 green onions, sliced

In large pot, melt butter. Add flour to make a roux, and cook while bubbling for one minute. Add milk and stir. Halve baked potatoes and scoop out centers into a small bowl. Partially mash. Cut up HALF of potato skins into bite-sized pieces and add, with mashed potato, to warm milk mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Stir over medium heat until soup starts to thicken, a couple of minutes. Add sour cream, cheese, bacon, and green onions. Heat through. Serve with a sprinkle of green onion on top, for color of course!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Holiday Trifle

I chose holiday trifle to be the treat after my baptism. I've loved it since I was a wee girl of eight and I don't love it any less now! When I made it for the first time, the layers were not as beautiful as when my mom makes it, but it still tasted divine. I guess I just need to practice.

Also, Mom says she doubles this recipe for Christmas festivities. All parenthetical notes are from her.

A mini version of the real thing. From Google. Don't chya know?

1 angel food cake (I prefer pound cake, found in the bakery or frozen section of grocery store)
1 large package vanilla pudding (COOK & SERVE), prepared and slightly cooled
1 large package berry-flavored Jell-o (I usually use raspberry)
1 - 10 oz. package frozen berries to go with Jell-0 (raspberries)
Whipped cream (or Cool Whip)
Sliced bananas
Sliced almonds (optional)

Prepare pudding and set aside.  Prepare Jello-o half-way by just adding boiling water, dissolving by stirring for a couple of minutes, then adding FROZEN berries.  (Don't add cold water) (It will start to thicken up immediately)  Layer three times in trifle dish:  bite-sized pieces of cake, partially-set Jell-o with berries, partially-cooled pudding.  Top with whipped cream and sliced bananas (right before serving).

Chinese Chicken Salad

This can be added to Kaylie's bridal shower salad category. Woot woot! I loved to sneak little bites of ramen when my mom made this growing up. I love how easy and fast this is to make: just slice up the stuff and throw it all into a bowl together. Love it.

1 head green cabbage, diced
8 green onions, chopped
2 packages Ramen noodles, dry and crumbled (set aside seasoning packets)
4 chicken breasts, poached and chopped
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
4 T. sesame seeds

4 T. sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
6 T. white vinegar
2 t. salt
2 t. pepper
Contents of BOTH Ramen seasoning packets

Combine ingredients for dressing in a jar with a lid.  Shake and set aside until right before serving.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mommy Urban's Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I grew up on this soup and there were many a winter evening memories cutting the noddles with my mom and plopping them into the soup. It warms the heart and soul. It is totes the best! I was reminded of it just the other day when my sister Bethany blogged the recipe so I just copied and pasted (even the picture taken by her). The homemade noodles are my absolute favorite. I am going to make this tonight with my sister and try wheat flour in the noodles. I'll tell you how it goes. Enjoy :)

1. Start by boiling the chicken.

3-3.5 lb. chicken cut up
6 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
bay leaf


6 cups chicken broth (or water mixed with "better than bouillon" (so good), or a combination of the two.)
4-ish chicken breasts
salt and pepper
bay leaf

Put all ingredients in pot, and heat to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until meat is fully cooked (less time if using chicken breasts). Remove chicken, and cool in a casserole dish. Skim off the fat. Remove chicken and cut into pieces.

(I usually chop the vegetables and get the noodles going while the chicken is simmering.)

2. Add the vegetables

4 stocks of celery, sliced
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, chopped (Again, we omit the onions. Since I miss the onion flavor, I do add onion powder)
chicken boullion cube (or one tablespoon of "better than bouillon")
salt, pepper, and parsley to taste

Add vegetables to the soup and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.

3. Homemade Egg Noodles

Make these while the soup, chicken, and/or vegetables are simmering.

2 cups flower
3 eggs
2 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup water

Add flour to a large bowl. Make a well in the flour, then add the eggs and salt, then mix with a fork. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time while mixing with fork. Stop adding water when dough is stiff and easy to roll. Use a rolling pin to roll into preferred thickness on a floured, cloth covered board (or a clean, floured counter top). (I have learned to roll the dough QUITE thin, otherwise the noodles won't cook all the way through. They also plump up when added to the soup.) Slice them into strips with a pizza cutter, and add to boiling soup. Cook for another 7-10 minutes, test the doneness of the noodles, add the chicken, serve, and enjoy!

Easy Pumpkin Crumble

I just found this delite the other day, but haven't had the chance to try it. It looks quite delicious though, especially since I love anything pumpkin in the fall :) The recipe is by Our Best Bites found here!

1 boxed yellow or white cake mix
1-2 sticks butter (see notes in instructions)
1 16 oz can pumpkin*
2 eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t ginger
1/8 t cloves
1/8 t nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1/3 C chopped pecans
1/2 t additional cinnamon for topping

*This makes a dessert about an inch thick or less. That's because I like a high topping-to-pumpkin ratio. If you'd like it thicker, use a large can of pumpkin and double the rest of the filling ingredients (Eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and spices). Leave the rest of the recipe the same.

Preheat oven to 350. Place 2 C of the cake mix in a bowl. Cut in 3 T chilled butter. Just use your fingers to crumble the butter until it's in small crumbly pieces. Place mixture in a 9x13 baking dish and press flat with your fingers. Mix pumpkin, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and spices until smooth. Pour on top of the cake mixture in the pan.

Now take the rest of the dry cake mix and mix in 1/2 t cinnamon. Sprinkle it all over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Use a measuring cup so you have a rough measurement of how much you're putting on. Here's why:

Here's a little something I learned after making the dump cake a gazillion times. Cake mixes all have different amounts in them! Different brands, different flavors, etc. Each one is slightly different in volume. I found one mix to have almost double the normal amount. Measuring the amount of cake mix you're sprinkling on top will help you get the perfect topping ratio in the last step.

Next sprinkle on the chopped pecans. You'll have 3 distinct layers now. Here's the trick: For every 1 C of cake mix you sprinkled on top, you'll need 3 T of melted butter. Drizzle it right on top. That butter is going to combine with the cake mix and make magic in the oven. Pop it in your 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or so. A knife should come out without globs of pumpkin on it and the topping should be nice and golden.

Hello, All. Clam Chowder For You.

Hi. I'm here because I've finally got something good to share.
Every day for the past two weeks, Jared cries, "I WANT SOUP FOR DINNER TONIGHT!" and I have said, "OKAY!" But the best result, by far, was this easy, delish clam chowder:

1 can cream of celery soup (10.75 oz)
1 can cream of potato soup (10.75 oz)
1 can minced clams, with juice
half and half
bacon, if desired
salt and pepper, to taste

Empty the cans into a pot, add as much celery and onions as you want. Boil and stir for a good 3-4 minutes. (The recipe originally said everything needed to cook for 6-8 hrs, not really sure why?)
Add half and half until you reach the desired creaminess (we ended up using almost a whole pint)
We added bacon, too, which I could have done without but Jared loved.

And, uh, sorry that my recipes are never going to be very exact... :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Easy Beef Stew

Because of the time this takes to bake (4 hours), stick it in the oven before church. When you return home, you'll be welcomed by a yummy, savory smell, have just enough time to make some mashed potatoes and ... dinner is ready!

2 lbs. beef stew meat
1 med. onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 med. carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
fresh, sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 T. sugar
2 t. salt
3/4 c. tomato juice (or V8)
2 T. minute tapioca

Combine all ingredients in 9X13 baking dish and stir gently to combine. COVER TIGHTLY WITH FOIL and bake at 250 degrees for 4 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes (my favorite) for a complete meal. You can also serve it over cooked rice or pasta.

Apple Spice Cake

Fall is not complete without making this baby at least a couple of times. Bring home a few red-variety apples from the farmers' market, and chances are you have the rest of the ingredients on hand.

2 lg. eggs
3/4 c. canola oil
2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
4 c. thinly-sliced red-variety apples (3 large)
1 c. nuts (optional - I leave these out)

In large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add oil, sugar, vanilla and mix. Add balance of dry ingredients and combine. Dump in sliced apples, wash your hands, take off your rings and get them (your hands) in the bowl to mix this thick batter. Press gently into greased 9X13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool and frost with CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (recipe follows). Refrigerate until cold and cut into small squares.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese (one package, soft)
3 T. butter
1 t. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar

Combine cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla. Stir in powdered sugar.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pasta, Pasta!

Right now we have a huge bag of spaghetti and not much else. The end of the month couldn't come quickly enough (that's when our budget starts over, you see). I figure we always have at least one of the following combinations on hand, so I made a list of ways to easily make a dinner out of pasta. Heat up a can of vegetables for the side and you're set!

Things to add to two servings of cooked pasta:
*Note: Pasta headings are the kinds that work best with that recipe, but are not required for a tasty dinner.

Spaghetti, Linguine
1 T butter
1/4 C parmesan cheese
1/2 C frozen peas, prepared
1/2 C ham, cubed
s & p

1/2 C mayonnaise
1 T basil pesto
2 chicken breasts, poached and shredded
s & p

Basic Crockpot Recipe

1/2 C heavy cream
1 C cooked broccoli
1/4 C parmesan cheese
s & p

Shells, Macaroni
2 T butter, melted in a saucepan on low
stir in enough flour to make a roux
add 1 1/2 C milk
then 1 C cheddar cheese, shredded
sprinkle with paprika and s & p

1 medium tomato, chopped
2 sticks of string cheese, chopped
3 basil leaves, shredded very small (or 1 T pesto)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
s & p
(serve cold)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Easy chicken and rice dinner

This is the epitome of "homework meals" for us. All you gotta do is mix all the ingredients together in your 8 1/2 x 11, throw her in the oven, and study for an hour while she does her magic.

What you'll need:

1 can cream of chicken soup (or celery or mushroom)
2 cans water
1 package of onion soup
2 heads of fresh broccoli, chopped (or 1/2 pkg of frozen)
1 cup uncooked rice
2 chicken breasts, chopped

So, like I said, throw everything into your pyrex, mix well, add the chicken, cover her with foil, and throw her in the oven at 350 for 1 hour. Easy enough.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ian Cookies

Well, these aren't healthy, and I'm not going to try to figure out how to make them healthy. But, we all know they are delicious.. so I figured I would add this recipe for all to have!

Ian Morris Cookies

2 cups butter (salted preferentially)
2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs

4 cups flour
5 cups blended oatmeal
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder

8 oz Hershey Bar (grated)
24 oz chocolate chips

Cream the butter and both sugars (make sure to add the full amount of sugar... Kaylie)
Add eggs and vanilla
Measure oatmeal and blend into fine powder
Mix together with dry ingredients
Add chocolate chips and Hershey Bar
Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased pan
Bake at 10 minutes @ 375
Makes 112 cookies. (Recipe may be halved)


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dear Women,

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I am incapable of helping it reach its full potential.
You all have administrator abilities.
Feel free to change the template as you please.

Bridal Shower Salad

Or something. That's just been the popular local as of late, it seems.

8 cups spinach
1 lb bowtie pasta, cooked
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped green onions

1 cup olive oil
2/3 cup rice vinegar
6 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce

Mix 1/2 to 2/3 cup of dressing with pasta and chicken. Chicken and pasta can be cooked the night before and soaked in dressing overnight if desired. When ready to serve, mix remaining ingredients with dressing and combine with chicken and pasta. Best served when chilled.

Southwest Crockpot Chicken

This delectable chicken concoction was served as a base for a salad at a luncheon before our "Women in White" Relief Society activity. We all loved it and it has become a staple in many homes because it meets all of the "good recipe" criteria: delicious, EASY, healthy, and inexpensive. You can also use it as the meat filling for burritos, tacos, etc.

1 - 16 oz. bag frozen corn (or canned)
4 chicken breasts
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 24 oz. jar MEDIUM salsa (mild doesn't add enough flavor)

Combine ingredients and cook in crockpot on high for 5 hours. Before serving, shred chicken with two forks and mix well with other ingredients.

For Southwest Chicken Salad, serve over Fritos with desired garnishes.

1 bag Fritos
Garnishes: shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, shredded cheeses, sour cream, avocado, fresh cilantro, etc. etc. etc.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Big Pot O' Soup

Chad and I discovered Bear Creek Country Kitchens dried soup mix this week. Heavens, it is ready in 15 minutes and all you have to do is boil water! The packs come for $4.55 at Macey's and make a whoppin EIGHT cups of soup. We both ate big bowls tonight and had at least six cups of soup left to throw in the freezer. The Chicken Noodle pack acts as a perfect base for whichever vegetables you have in the fridge. Easy, healthy, cheap--my favorite lil combination.

1 pkg. Bear Creek Country Kitchens soup mix
8 cups water (plus 1/2 cup for every added ingredient)

Things to add:
potatoes, carrots, corn, broccoli, etc. (NOTE: potatoes and broccoli do not freeze well)
wild rice
chicken, poached and shredded

Boil water in a large pot. Whisk in the soup mix and mix in your chosen additional ingredients. Let simmer for 10 minutes. And you're done.

Serve with hot, buttered biscuits or cornbread or any other delicious sort of bread.

Vegetable Lasagna

The infamous Christmas recipe, aka the one I always request when home for Christmas vacation. Courtesy of Janny and Mom.

1 - 8 oz. package lasagna noodles
2 - 10 oz. pkgs. frozen chopped spinach
2 c. fresh sliced mushrooms
1 c. grated carrot
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 T. oil
2 - 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 1/2 t. oregano
2 c. cottage cheese, drained
1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Cook noodles in boiling unsalted water for 8 - 10 minutes or until barely tender.  Drain and set aside.  Cook spinack according to package directions and DRAIN WELL.

In a saucepan, cook mushrooms, carrot, and onion in oil until tender.  Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, and oregano.  Simmer a few minutes.

In greased 9X13 pan, layer half the noodles, cottage cheese, spinach, Jack cheese, and sauce mixture.  Repeat the layers reserving 1/2 cup of cheese for the top.  Sprinkle with Parmesan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Freezes well.

Focaccia Bread

This recipe comes from my favorite blog: No, I have not tried it (yet), but the picture looked too divine to pass up. So here it is. Copied word for word from Marta Dansie.

Focaccia Bread
2 hours, start to finish

2 cups warm water
1 pkg. active dry yeast (not instant)
1 Tbs. sugar
4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
1-2 Tbs. Italian seasonings

1/2 cup butter, melted
garlic salt
Parmesan cheese, grated

1. In small bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.

2. Blend together remaining 1 1/2 cup warm water, dissolved yeast, sugar, flour and salt in mixer bowl. Combine well. Mix in Italian seasonings. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise to double or more (about an hour).

3. Grease a 9x13 pan. Scoop dough into prepared pan, dough will be very sticky. You'll be tempted, but don't add any extra flour. Butter your clean hands and coax the dough into all the edges of the pan.

4. Let dough rise again for 20 minutes, meanwhile preheat oven to 400. Before baking, poke indents in the focaccia with your fingers. Drizzle melted butter over the top of the bread. Sprinkle some garlic salt over the top and add a couple handfuls of Parmesan cheese.

5. Bake 20 minutes. After cooling for ten minutes, turn focaccia out on cutting board and slice into thick breadsticks. Pile them into a bread basket and serve to hungry guests.


Basic Crockpot Recipe

This is the classic throw-anything-into-the-crockpot recipe that Katie and I used on most Sundays when we lived together. I put together these specific ingredients last night when I had earlier been convinced that we were completely out of food. As long as we have cream of chicken, rice, and frozen chicken, we will never go hungry--when in doubt, raid your kitchen and throw it all in the crockpot (within reason, of course).

Basic Crockpot Recipe

Serves: 2             Preparation Time: 10 minutes                Cook Time: 3 hours

1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 C sour cream
2 chicken breasts, thawed and cut into small strips
           OR 5 chicken tenderloins
1/4 C parmesan cheese
salt & pepper (the divine spices)
1-2 spices from the cabinet

pasta or rice

In Order to Create:
Add cream of chicken soup, sour cream, chicken strips, and seasonings to the big, red crockpot. Cook on high for three hours (or on low for 5-8).
In the meantime, prepare pasta or rice, steam vegetables, butter crusty french bread, etc.
Before serving, cut up chicken into bite-sized pieces. Serve chicken over pasta/rice. Top with more s&p and parmesan.

add canned/frozen/fresh vegetables to the mix (e.g. green beans, corn, broccoli)
top with bread crumbs or prepared stuffing mix
use 1/2 brick of cream cheese instead of sour cream