Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yummy Snack

This time of year we have an abundance of apples. I get kind of sick of just eating plain apples or in slices so with the cold weather we have been eating a lot of cooked apples.

Peel and slice the apples.

Put in a microwave bowl, add a little water, sprinkle on cinnamon/sugar and cook at 5 min. After they get out, sprinkle a tad of brown sugar on top. Plus, it makes your house smell delectable.

Take it one step further and if you want applesauce pour the whole cooked bowlful into the blender and blend up until you have the texture you want.

Witches Brew

This is a recipe for a yummy drink! I made it for YW's last night.

2 liters apple juice/cider
2 liters ginger ale/sprite
1 can grape juice concentrate
1 pint orange sherbet

Mix first 3 ingredients together. Add sherbet in small scoops Immediately before serving.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Broccoli Cheese Soup - Tammy Thompson

This is a recipe I got from Tammy Thompson. I love when people are willing to share their recipes. I've never understood those people for whom recipes are a guarded secret. (Sorry if I've offended anyone.) So many of my very favorite recipes I wouldn't have if people weren't willing to share.

Angie was asking for a non-Velveeta recipe so maybe this one will fit the bill. This is our traditionally recipe for Priesthood session night in bread bowls before Josh leaves because it's his favorite. He once said, "Do you know the one thing that's wrong with your broccoli cheese soup? That it doesn't make more." That's a compliment if I've ever heard one.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Bring to a boil:
2 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 large bunch of fresh broccoli, cut into pieces

While broccoli is cooking make white sauce.

Melt 1/2 cup butter
Add 1/2 cup flour and combine until a roux is made
Stir in 2 cups milk

Whisk until thickened, add broccoli/bouillon mixture. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese melts. I don't know that I can honestly say I've ever added that much cheese. I just grate until it looks like enough.

P.S. Does anyone really care about the origins of my recipes or why my family likes it or when we eat it? I can stop adding so much commentary if it bugs people. Let me know.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Soup seems to be a common recipe on this blog right now as the days get colder. I made this the night of the recipe exchange last week, but didn't bring any to share. :) I've brought this recipe before. It's actually Melinda Cloward's recipe, but it's a soup we make quite often. I usually make it in the Fall/Winter when I find Broccoli on sale. It's easy and takes less than 30 minutes to put together.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 cups potatoes (about 2 potatoes)

2 cups broccoli

½ cup onion, chopped

Cover with enough water to just barely cover. Cook until tender. Drain ½ of the water before adding the white sauce.

White Sauce:

¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks)

½ cup flour

1 quart half and half

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in flour. Add milk slowly while stirring with a wire whisk.

After combining vegetables with the white sauce, add 1 jar of cheese whiz (You can substitute cheese whiz with 8 oz of Velveeta cheese). Add salt and pepper to taste.

I didn't take pictures of the step-by-step process, but here's the finished product. On this particular night, we served it in a bread bowl. I love bread bowls! I found these whole wheat versions at Walmart and couldn't resist.
The only thing that would make this recipe that much better is if I could find a way to not use Velveeta cheese. It's not my favorite favor though you can't taste it in the soup. It just seems like a unhealthy cheese. So any other suggestions would be great.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Creamy Chicken Tacos

I got this Crock-Pot recipe when I first moved into the ward and didn't know anyone. They were handing them out in Relief Society so of course I took a copy, this is Tia Chapman's recipe that we make all the time.

Lay 3-4 chicken breast in your crock pot

Cover with about 1 1/2 cups salsa

Let cook on low 6-8 hrs or on high 4-6. About a half hour before serving shred up the chicken and add 3/4 cup sour cream keep in crock-pot until you are ready to eat.

Stuff into soft tortillas and garnish with shredded cheese and/or lettuce.
Chicken and salsa cooking

After it's all shredded and sour cream is added

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chili and Cornbread

This was my mom's chili recipe. I recently came across it in a file on my computer. It has her commentary about it that I won't include but it's great to see how she felt about the recipe. The cornbread recipe I came across a while back and thought it was so easy and unique. It's a sweet cornbread and I like that. Sorry - no pictures. I was rushing out the door to set up for the Daddy/Daughter Dinner.


2 lbs. ground beef, browned and drained
1 onion coarsely chopped (I add this to the meat as I am cooking it)
1 small/medium bag kidney or red beans, pre-soaked in cold water overnight.
2 tsp. salt
2 TBS. chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 Large Can (46 fl. oz) tomato juice.

Soak bean overnight. Drain and place in a pot and cover with water. Cover and cook at a soft boil until tender. Make sure the water level stays above the beans. This takes a while. I cooked mine from 9AM to 2PM. Then I added the rest of the ingredients and simmered until we were ready to eat. I transferred it to a crockpot to keep it warm.

Grated cheese
Chopped Onions
Sour Cream

This was always our traditional Halloween dinner.

2 boxes Jiffy Mix Corn Muffin Mix
1 box yellow cake mix

Mix both boxes according to directions and combine the batters. Pour into a greased 9X13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes. Test for doneness.

I have to add some commentary on this cornbread. Yesterday I made it and couldn't get the toothpick to come out of the center clean. I cooked it longer and never was able to get the middle completely done. I have never had this problem in the past. I don't know what it was. I am considering lowering the temperature and cooking it longer the next time. I am a VERY inexperienced baker so I wish I knew what more I could do to make sure the center cooked. Let me know if you have any tips.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Grandma Winder's Cheesy Potato Soup

Well, I guess I better contribute to this blog, instead of just TAKING all of these wonderful recipes! I made this the other night, and I make it quite often. It's one of our families favorites. Even the kids gobble it up! I've actually not yet met a person that doesn't absolutely LOVE this soup! I got the recipe off of Good Things Utah 3 years ago, and have been hooked ever since. Some of you may already have it, since I've probably made it for recipe swap, and I made it for our freezer meal exchange way back when. Anywhoo, here ya go.....

4 C. peeled and cubed potatoes (although I never peel them)
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped celery
1 C. chopped carrots
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1/4 C. butter or margarine
2 tsp. all-purpose seasoning (I use Lawry's Seasoned Salt)
1 tsp. salt
2 C. uncooked small shell pasta
3 C. shredded cheddar cheese (but I only use 2 cups, it's plenty!)
1 C. whipping cream

Heat 8 cups of water to boiling. Add everything except the pasta, cheese and cream. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the pasta. Turn heat down to medium and cook until tender (about 8-10 minutes). Stir often. When the pasta is done, turn off heat. Stir in the cheese. When cheese is melted, stir in cream. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Macaroni and Tomatoes

This is my #1 easiest recipe.  This is the only reason why I grow tomatoes in my garden.  If I didn't make this, I would have no reason for canning tomatoes!  And please excuse pictures.  They are from my phone!

Ingredients:  Macaroni guessed it...tomatoes.  I use two bottles of tomatoes to feed my family.  And we are using shells this time because that is what I could get to in my storage room!  I guess you could use any kind of pasta.

2009-10-22 17.12.49

Get your water boiling, then add your macaroni.  Let it boil for 5 minutes, then cover, turn it off and walk away.  Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and you will have perfectly cooked pasta (works with all pastas).

2009-10-22 17.25.05

When your time is up, drain the macaroni.  Blend up your tomatoes, then put them in the pan and warm them up.  I use my hand chopper thingy (I don't know what it is called!) but I have also just dumped them in the blender and blended them up.  My sisters make this with store bought tomato juice, but I like the texture of the tomatoes.

2009-10-22 17.47.07  

Now dump your macaroni back in and warm it all up.

2009-10-22 17.49.17

Add a spoon of butter and lots of salt.  The butter will melt and it is creamy and delicious!  I grew up on this and it is my favorite!

2009-10-22 17.50.20

Now, when Tom and I were first married, I made this for him and he was less than impressed.  He kept trying to get me to add hamburger or herbs or other things.  But I told him, "Then it wouldn't be macaroni and tomatoes!"  So if you add other stuff to it, just don't tell me!  LOL


Spaghetti Casserole

This is one of my fall back recipes, for when there isn't much time.  In fact, it's the first recipe in my collection!  I don't have pictures, but it's not pretty anyway. 

Spaghetti Casserole

1 lb. hamburger                                   1 can cream of mushroom soup

Onion salt, or chopped onion        1 can tomato soup

Garlic salt                                               1 can water (more or less)

Cooked spaghetti

Brown hamburger, onion salt, and garlic salt. Mix with rest of ingredients. Warm.  Use water to adjust consistency.


Chicken Fried Rice

Before I got married I lived in an apartment with a couple roommates. One of my roommates would make this fried rice a lot and it always tasted so good. It's a simple recipe and very fast to make.

It all starts with this packet. I know it seems like I use these packets a lot but I really don't. :) Once again you just follow the directions on the back. You can use any kind of meat you want but we're partial to the chicken. You will also need oil, soy sauce, 3 green onions, 2 eggs, cooked rice and 1 cup frozen peas.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Theresa Throop's Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese

1 cup Elbow macaroni

2 cups Water

½ tsp. Salt

½ cup evaporated milk*

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Bring water to boil add salt and macaroni. Cook about 15 minutes until

soft. Drain most of water off leaving about ½ cup. Add ½ cup evaporated

milk and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Season with pepper, onion, or

garlic powder to taste. Serves 3-4.

* The secret to good creamy macaroni and cheese.

Heidi Cole's Bacon Tomato Tarts

Bacon Tomato Tarts

8 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled

2-3 med. tomatoes diced

1 1/2 cups of grated mozarella cheese

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp garlic salt

12 refrigerator biscuits (2 small 6 pack cans)

Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Flatten out and place a biscuit in the bottom of each muffin slot.

Mix all the rest of the ingredients and spoon on top of the biscuits. Bake according to the biscuit directions.

Award Winning Pumpkin Cookies

A lady in my Grandma's ward came up with this recipe, entered it in a contest, and won first place.

Pumpkin Coookies
4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
Shake of Nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
3 cubes butter
2 c. firm packed brown sugar
1 c. coconut
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
16 oz. Solid packed pumpkin (canned)
2 c. chocolate chips
2 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped

Bake @ 350 degrees for 20 minutes. (After first couple batches, reduce time by a couple minutes and cookies are rounder if you refrigerate dough first - I didn't in picture)

1 lb. powdered sugar
1 cube butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Half and half cream (opt. canned milk)
Orange zest

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Beef Stroganoff

I've been eating this for as long as I can remember. My mom would frequently make it when my dad was out of town because it was quick and easy and we all liked it. I made it for our Recipe Exchange for the 30 minutes or less category.

The Ingredients

It's really simple. You need the McCormick Beef Stroganoff Sauce Mix Packet, water, thin cut steaks, egg noodles and sour cream. Just follow the directions on the back of the packet and serve over wide egg noodles. I add a vegetable with it and it's one of our family's favorite meals.

It's not so great in the visually appealing part as it's bland in colors, but it's oh so good and super quick! 20 minutes from start to finish at the most.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Our Dinner

Our family eats lots of dishes from the Valley Ridge Ward recipe book which came from the Recipe Swaps. One recipe that was submitted under Main Dishes was Chicken Stovetop Casserole by Jessica Orchard. We do a slight variation, but I thought I would add our recipe as a reminder of how delicious it is and how easy it is. Forgive the picture, this dish never comes out looking very appetizing but it makes the house smell so yummy!

Also, this is the time of year to stock up on Stovetop Stuffing when it goes on sale for the holidays.


4-6 small chicken breasts (3-4 large ones)

Cover each piece with Swiss Cheese

Mix as directed: 2 pkgs Stove top suffing. Dish stuffing over cheese and chicken.

Mix together and pour over all: 1 Can Chicken Broth and Can Cream of Chicken Soup

Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Chile Verde

I had to rearrange my meal plan for this week because I had a pork roast that needed to be used up. I got this recipe from Amy Grow and it is so yummy. We triple it every time like she suggests because leftovers and even better! I'm no photographer as many of the contributors on here are so my pictures will be nothing short of mediocre. :)

My girls helped with the staging. Lots of spices in this recipe. Notice the big block of wrapped cheese. What do you do with stuff like that when you buy in bulk?

Have you tried these? They are fresh tortillas and they are so yummy. You just quickly brown them on both sides in a dry frying pan. I will never eat any other kind of tortilla again! (Think Cafe Rio tortillas.) I buy mine at Sam's Club or Costco. I've never looked to see if they have them other places. They are in the refrigerated section. So good!

Josh was late getting home so we were starving and devoured it all quickly. We also shared some with friends that wanted to try it so this was all that was left when I remembered I needed a picture. Oops! I'll get better at this I hope.

Chile Verde ~ Amy Grow

1 Cup water
1 pkg cubed pork chops
1 beef Bouillon cube
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp oregano
¼ tsp pepper
1 can diced green chilies
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder

flour tortillas
grated cheese

Brown pork chops in oil. Pour water in with pork and bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients (except for tortillas and cheese) and simmer for 20 minutes. Thicken it with cornstarch or flour. Spoon a couple of spoonfuls of chili verde in tortilla with some grated cheese on top. Roll it up. Or some chili verde (smothered style) on top of burrito and add cheese. ENJOY! I usually triple this recipe for my family.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What's for Dinner?

I am big on meal planning. I stress out if I don't know what to make for dinner until the last moment. I don't work well under pressure and if I didn't plan we'd eat out ALL the time.

I usually plan on Monday and do my grocery shopping for the week. I had a few extra minutes today so I planned for next week.

Monday: Chicken Fried Rice, Jello Salad

Tuesday: Beef Stroganoff for Recipe Exchange and Book Group

Wednesday: Chile Verde with Beans and Rice

Thursday: Leftover Night

Friday: Chili and Cornbread for Activity Days Daddy/Daughter Dinner

Saturday: Noodle Bowls

Sunday: Dinner at Friends' House

I'll post recipes and pictures next week as I make things.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Easy blender salsa

I got this recipe from my good friend Jamie's recipe blog, Dinner's Ready. I love salsa, but I pretty much hate all jarred salsa that you can buy in the store. Same thing with ranch dressing - the prepared stuff = gross. This recipe is so easy and yummy. I could eat it like soup! Jeremy doesn't think it's hot enough, but it usually turns out plenty hot to my taste, especially if you buy "Hot" Rotel. I don't always use all of the ingredients in this recipe either - just what I have on hand (as long as it's the majority of what's listed). This recipe makes A LOT - I usually have to blend it in two batches. I dont' put all the lime in either, but that's just my preference.


2 cans stewed tomatoes (not Italian style)

3 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies ("Rotel" brand is the best)

1 cup cilantro, chopped

juice from 2 limes

2 garlic cloves, minced

half a white onion, chopped

1/2 C green onions, sliced

half green bell pepper (can add a red too if you like), chopped

salt and pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in blender or food processor and puree.

NieNie's Mexican Lasagna

This recipe was okay. I had some issues with it. First of all, I don't own a food processor, so I just used my blender. Obviously, dry spinach won't blend, so I added the salsa to the blender, but then that just made a puree. When all was said and done, it was more like Mexican lasagna soup. It wasn't disgusting - it's worth trying, and it's a healthy dish. Just make sure you have a food processor. Here's the recipe, straight from CuisineNie.


1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
4 scallions, coarsely chopped

Coarse salt and ground pepper

10 ounces fresh baby spinach

Nonstick cooking spray

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

1 (15.5 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup prepared salsa (mild or medium)

8 ounces pepper Jack cheese, grated (about 2 cups)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a food processor, combine cilantro, scallions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with as much spinach as will fit; pulse, adding remaining spinach in batches, until coarsely chopped.

Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Lay 4 tortillas in bottom of dish (they will overlap slightly). Layer with half of beans, salsa, spinach mixture, and cheese; repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with cheese and pressing in gently.

Cover dish with foil; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes; remove foil, and continue baking until golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

NieNie's Mexican Lasagna

Here's what I'm making for dinner tonight:

NieNie's Mexican Lasagna