Sunday, January 31, 2010

Salisbury Steak

This is a favorite at our house. Dallin actually made it this time, it's so easy and so yummy.

Salisbury Steak

1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 envelope brown gravy mix, divided
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon prepared mustard (I omit this)

In a bowl, whisk the egg and milk. Add bread crumbs, 1 Tbsp gravy mix and onion. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 3-5 patties about 3/4 inches thick. Broil 3-4 inches from the heat for 6-7 minutes on each side or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160.

Place remaining gravy mix in a small saucepan; stir in the water and mustard. Bring to a boil, cook and stir until thickened. Serve gravy over the beef patties.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

2 recipes: Butternut Squash Mashed Potatoes and Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

K, so the fish in the picture above doesn't look that good, but I promise it is delish!! I could eat seafood every day.... and it's so easy to cook because it takes literally only minutes.

Here's the Broiled Tilapia Parmesan Recipe (from this link):

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup butter, softened

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon celery salt

2 pounds tilapia fillets


1.Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.

2.In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.

3.Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.
I paired it with peas and Butternut Squash Mashed Potatoes. To make those, simply cook some butternut squash in the oven: halve the squash, scoop out the seeds, place face down on a foil lined baking sheet, and cook at 375 for about an hour. Remove from oven and let cool. Meanwhile, peel and quarter some potatoes and boil until softened and mashable. Mash the potatotes and add the squash. Mash together. The squash makes the potatoes creamy, so very little butter or cream is needed (I added a few tablespoons of butter and a little bit of fat free half and half to the mash.). So good!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Farfalle Pasta with Tomato Cream

You can't really tell, but there is a pink sauce on the noodles besides just big pieces of tomato

1 lb farfalle pasta (bowtie)
4 tbsp butter
1/2 beef bouillon cube
2 tsp finely chopped fresh basil (or half this amount if dried)
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (half this amount if dried)
1 tsp finely chopped sage (half this amount if dried)
2 pounds fresh ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into dices (or two- 15 oz cans diced tomatoes*much easier)
1 tsp salt
dash pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream

Cook pasta according to directions. While cooking, melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add herbs and boullion. Stir until cube is dissolved. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until butter has separated from tomatoes (about 5-10 min). Raise heat to medium-high and pour in cream. Cook, stirring frequently, until it has reduced by about half. Remove from heat and combine with cooked, drained pasta.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lovin' Deals to Meals

In August I signed up for the Deals to Meals website . I've been slow to really use the website and try any of the recipes, but this year I've been more consistent about cooking at home. It's easy, when you've yet to be blessed with progeny and work a stressful full-time (or more than) job, to opt for eating out instead of eating in. I'll bet it's pretty easy when you have a family, too.

Anyway, the benefit of the website is that she finds deals for which you don't need coupons. And THEN makes a meal plan based on what's on sale that week. The recipes are delish. She also includes a few food storage recipes food storage tips. All in all, I think it's well worth the $4.95 subscription fee each week.

If any of you are signed up, I'd love to know what recipes you've tried as well as the reaction.

With that said, I want to share one of the recipes, which we devoured this evening. With each bite my husband and I uttered an "Oh. My. Goodness." You'll love it, I'm sure.

Santa Rosa Chicken and Queso Sauce with Corn and Zucchini Saute

Santa Rosa Chicken

6 chicken breast halves
2 (4 oz) cans green chilies, diced
8 oz block Monterey Jack cheese, cut into strips
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 tbsp butter, melted

Pound chicken to 1/4" thickness. Put 1 tbsp chilies and one strip Monterey Jack cheese into center of each piece. Roll up and tuck ends under. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, chili powder, salt, cumin and pepper. Dip each stuffed chicken piece into a bowl containing 6 tbsp melted butter. Roll in crumb mixture. Place chicken rolls, seam side down, in oblong baking dish and drizzle with a little melted butter. Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes; reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake 30-40 minutes longer, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with fresh salsa and Queso sauce.

Queso Sauce (the thing that makes the recipe so decadent)

4 oz diced green chilies
1 cup sour cream (I used fat free)
1 green onion, sliced (I didn't have this on hand. It was fine without, but I'm excited to make it again with the onion)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I used low-sodium, low-fat)
1 cup shredded cheese

Combine all ingredients and simmer until well blended. The Deals to Meals lady suggests using a fondue pot and letting it simmer several hours. I don't have a fondue pot, nor did I think to use my crock pot. I let it simmer while the chicken was cooking and it turned out great. Serve with tortilla chips or on top of chicken. DO serve it on the chicken, please. You won't regret it.

Corn and Zucchini Saute with Chilies

2 cans corn (or 2-3 cups frozen)
2 tbsp butter (I used extra virgin olive oil)
1 onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
1 can diced green chilies
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (I omitted this because of the queso sauce. I thought the veggies were delicious without the cheese)

Heat butter (or olive oil) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute until almost softened, about 2 minutes. Add zucchini; saute until almost softened, about 2 minutes. Add corn and chilies; saute until corn is cooked, about 2 minutes longer. Add diced tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and serve.

- the pink under the chicken is a flower design on the plate, not some weird "fluid". My mom wanted the recipe, so I sent her a copy of the picture via email and she was freaked out a bit. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Almost as good as Olive Garden's

I love minestrone soup, particularly Olive Garden's. It might be more of a sentimental thing, bringing back memories of girl's afternoons out with my mom, eating the unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks. However, it's not economical to go out every time I was nostalgic.

The canned versions of minestrone (and most soups, acutally) are far too salty for my taste. My family is also participating in a Healthy Living Challenge, so I've been on the hunt for some vegetable-rich, delicious recipes. I found this one on, and adapted it slightly.

Minestrone Soup


3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chipped
2 cups chopped celery
5 carrots, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups tomato sauce
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can green beans
2 cups baby spinach, rinsed
3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup seashell pasta
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese for topping

In a large stockpot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add onion and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, saute for 1-2 minutes.

Add chicken broth and tomato sauce and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, the longer the better.

Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside.

Once pasta is cooked and soup is heated through, place 2 tbsp of cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve with bread and salad, if desired.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Black Forest Chocolate Cupcakes

I'm all about cupcakes lately. These are from the book "101 Gourmet Cupcakes in less then 10 Minutes" by Wendy Paul. I definitely recommend getting this book- so many yummy recipes.

1 chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large can cherry pie filling with 1 cup of it set aside
1 12oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Mix in bowl cake mix, eggs, almond extract, sour cream and all of cherry pie filling except one cup reserve. Do not over mix. Place in cupcake liners or tins that are greased well- 3/4 the way full. Bake 17-19 minutes at 350. Take out and place on rack to cool completely.
To make ganache topping: place whipping cream in pan and bring to boil. Immediately take off heat and pour over chocolate chips. Stir until all melted together. Wait for it to cool a little and thicken. Frost the cupcakes making a little well in the middle to hold cherry filling. I forgot to do this in the picture above.
Place the reserve cherry filling on top of each cupcake.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Melted Reuben Sandwich

Roll out your favorite bread dough into a rectangle (it doesn't have to be perfect).
Layer in the middle turkey pastrami and swiss cheese.

I usually do 3 layers but today I only had enough stuff for two.
Cut slits in the side of the dough.
Fold up the flaps that you created to completely enclose the meat and cheese.
Make sure all holes are crimped together so it doesn't leak out.

Bake according to your bread directions. This was 350 for 15-20 min.
This is the yummy, gooey inside. So good. We have to now make two of these every time because the kids love it.
You could do any meat cheese combo (roast beef and provolone, ham and swiss, but our favorite is the turkey pastrami and swiss).
To make this a real Reuben you're supposed to put sauerkraut on top of the meat and drizzle with Italian dressing before you seal it up. I don't do sauerkraut and I forgot the Italian dressing.
I made this for lunch today so I took pictures. Many of you already have the recipe from the soup/sandwich swap.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Caramelized Corn with Fresh Mint

This recipe sounds weird I know. But it is so refreshing and sweet and with the perfect hint of mint the flavors just all blend together. You have to try it to believe me.

1 10 ounce package of frozen premium corn
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp minced fresh mint

Defrost the corn in a colander by running under hot water for a few minutes. Then let sit for a few minutes.

In a wide skillet, melt butter over high heat. Add the corn and cook, stirring often, until golden and browned (kernels may begin to pop), about 8-10 min. Stir in the mint and sprinkle with salt. Transfer to bowl and serve while hot.

PW's Asian Noodle Salad

I love this salad. The best thing about it is that it makes you FEEL healthy just by looking at it!  So pretty!

Here's the recipe direct from PW's site:



1 package Linguine Noodles, Cooked, Rinsed, And Cooled

½ heads Sliced Napa Cabbage, Or More To Taste

½ heads Sliced Purple Cabbage, Or More To Taste

½ bags Baby Spinach, Or More To Taste

1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin

1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin

1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Thinly Sliced

1 bag Bean Sprouts (also Called Mung Bean Sprouts)

Chopped Cilantro, Up To 1 Bunch, To Taste

3 whole Scallions, Sliced

3 whole Cucumbers Peeled And Sliced

1 can (about 10 Oz.) Whole Cashews, Lightly Toasted In Skillet


1 whole Lime, Juiced

8 Tablespoons Olive Oil

8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons (up To 3 Tablespoons) Sesame Oil

⅓ cups Brown Sugar

3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped

2 cloves Garlic Chopped

2 whole Hot Peppers Or Jalapeno's, Chopped

Chopped Cilantro

Preparation Instructions

Mix salad ingredients together. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on a platter.

Note: dressing keeps for up to three days before serving, without cilantro.

Some notes: This recipe makes A LOT! I made it with the intent to eat for lunches this week. Also, I used whole wheat spaghetti noodles, and it is just as good. I didn't buy any fresh ginger this time, but I think I will next time.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Best Brownies EVER!

Does anyone else get the urge to bake on lazy Sunday afternoons? I do, but I won't unless I have an excuse. I can't have those yummy baked goods around because I I want the weather to get warm again so we can go on walks! And maybe deliver some goodies. Tonight, I think we'll pawn these off on the in-laws.

Brownies are the perfect alternative to cookies. I'll take brownies over cookies any day. Who wants to have to keep changing out the cookie trays anyway? :) Plus, what's not to love? (*channeling best Joey Tribiani impression*) Chocolate? Good. Sugar? Good. Edge pieces? Good.

You get the point.

These are the Best. Brownies.Ever. But you don't have to take my word for it. I got this recipe from the Mormon Mommy Wars blog. You can read the post here (it's all in the comments section). They are so good because of something to do with the sugar/flour ratio. Whatever. They're just gooooooooood.

Here's the recipe:


1 stick butter

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup cocoa

pinch of salt

1 TBSP vanilla

Melt the butter in a pan. Dump all the rest of the ingredients in the butter pan with the melted butter. Stir till combined. Pour into lined 8×8 baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Let cool 1 hour.

Yes, you do have to wait that 1 hour, at least. Trust me. Yummy.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hawaiian Haystacks (beef)

I haven't contributed a recipe in a long time so I thought it was about time. I actually made this meal before the holidays, but hadn't taken the time to post it yet.
Most of you are familiar with Hawaiian Haystacks made with chicken. In our family, we make it with ground beef. It's a recipe from my MIL and it's something that Marty grew up eating. It's simple and even our kids eat it.

1 lb hamburger
1 small onion
2 stalks celery
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
Rice (depending on how many you are feeding)

Brown the hamburger, chop celery and onion. Place celery and onion in hamburger then add the soup. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Start cooking rice in rice cooker when you start to cook the hamburger so the rice will be done at about the same time. If you don't have a rice cooker, any rice will do.
I know, it doesn't look the most appetizing (more like dog food), but we really enjoy it. :)
I can't believe I just compared my food to dog food. (

Put meat mixture over rice. Can add olives, coconut, pineapple, frozen peas, almonds, chow mien noodles, etc. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sloppy Joes

Not everybody likes sloppy joes, but these are a favorite for me.
Sloppy Joes
Brown a pound of hamburger (sometimes I add a little chopped onion)
1 cup ketchup
1 TBSP mustard
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion salt
They always turn out, and I love them for leftovers too.