Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Coconut Chicken

This has become a staple around here. Love it! Going to try baking them next.

(photo courtesy of Budget Bites)

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 large eggs
1/4 c coconut milk
1/2 c all purpose flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c vegetable oil, divided
1 cup sweet chili sauce (I bought mine at Costco, Thai Kitchen brand)

STEP 1: Cut off any extra fat globules from your chicken breasts. Cut each breast into 6 strips, diagonally to prevent the end strips from being really short.

STEP 2: Prepare your breading station by gathering three bowls. In the first bowl combine the flour and salt. In the second bowl, combine the eggs and coconut milk. Whisk together until well combined. In the third bowl, stir together the panko bread crumbs and shredded coconut.

STEP 3: Place 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a large heavy duty skillet and heat over medium/high heat until it is just below smoking. You can test the heat by throwing in a little bit of flour. When it is hot enough, the flour will sizzle and create a lot of bubbles.

STEP 4: While the oil is heating, dredge the chicken strips. First, coat each strip in the flour and salt mixture. Then dip each into the eggs/coconut milk and finally coat each in panko and shredded coconut. I find it easiest to coat all of them in the flour then go back and then do the egg wash and panko/coconut for each before moving onto the next.

STEP 5: After breading the strips, the oil should be hot enough. Place about 6 strips in the pan at once. There should only be one layer in the pan and there should be about an inch between each strip. If you over crowd the pan it will get too cold and the strips will soak up a lot of oil instead of frying. Fry the strips for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown and crispy. Place them on a plate with paper towel to drain and move on to the next batch. After a couple of batches you may need more oil so you can add the second 1/4 cup to the pan. Allow the oil to come up to temperature before frying the next batch (2-3 minutes). Because the strips are thin, they should be cooked through by the time both sides are browned. You can tell by the texture of the chicken; it should be stiff when pressed. If you cut your strips thicker, you will need to bake off the chicken after frying to make sure the insides are cooked through.

STEP 6: When all of the strips are done frying, serve immediately with sweet chili sauce to dip in. I garnished mine with a little bit of chopped cilantro.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pumpkin Squares

Pumpkin Squares

1 pkg. Yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup) You can also try it with Spice cake mix.
1/2 C. butter or margarine (room temperature)
1 egg
Mix & press into greased 9x13 pan.
(It's VERY sticky, so spray your fingers with pam to keep it from sticking to your fingers.)

1 Lg can Libby pumpkin pie mix (make sure it says "mix", not just the regular pumpkin)
2/3 C. Evaporated milk
2 eggs
Blend & pour over the cake mixture

1 C. Reserved cake mix
1/4 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Butter or Margarine, room temperature
1 tsp Cinnamon
Mix & sprinkle over pumpkin mixture (also very sticky)

Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes till toothpick comes out clean.
Chill, and serve with whipped topping.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Easy BBQ Crock Pot Chicken

I have to say, I LOVE Pinterest!! I'm finding the best recipes on there. Here's one I made last night.

BBQ Crock Pot Chicken

4-6 pieces boneless skinless chicken breasts (i threw them in frozen... even easier!)
1 bottle BBQ sauce (sweet baby ray's all the way!)
1/4 c vinegar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (I didn't even have these, so I skipped it, and it was still delicious.)
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp. garlic powder

mix BBQ sauce with all ingredients listed under it. place chicken in crockpot. pour sauce over it and cook on low for 4-6 hours. you pretty much don't even have to stir it... how easy is that!?

I served it over rice. It is so yummy!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Best Zucchini Bread

 I know that claim is completely subjective, but this bread is so moist and delicious! I had my regular recipe that I always used until I found this one, SO GOOD! (from except I didn't add the walnuts.  Remember you can always substitute 1/2 cup of oil for 1/2 cup of applesauce.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Healthy Peanut Butter and Chocolate No Bakes

1 Cup of Peanutbutter – use the healthy stuff (I used Adams Natural PB, the kind you have to stir)

1 Cup of honey

1/2 Cup of ground almonds (I just chopped up some almonds really fine)

1/2 Cup of ground flaxseed

3 Cups of oats

Dark chocolate or regular chocolate chips – as many as you like.

Mix it all up and roll them into balls. Then keep them in the refrigerator.

These are really good and will satisfy your peanut butter/chocolate cravings.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bowtie Pasta Salad

Bowtie pasta, cooked
Mandarin Oranges
Pineapple (canned or fresh)
Green onion, chopped
Cubed, cooked chicken breast
Coleslaw dressing 

Mix everything together.  Add mandarin oranges last and fold them in.  Add salt to taste.  Garlic salt is also very good.  As far as the amounts, use your judgment ;)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

I guess you could say that today was All New Recipes day in the Nielsen house.

I found this recipe here and that's also where the picture came from. I have a house of seafood lovers so this was a giant hit here. I imagine it takes a lot like a shrimp Alfredo would, but I wouldn't exactly know because I'm not a fan of Alfredo. This is so yummy! It's easy to cook but paired with garlic bread and a green salad you could serve it at your fanciest of dinner parties. As I was cooking it I thought it would make a great anniversary or valentine's dinner. (Why was I thinking that? Who knows?!?!?!)

4-8 oz. fettuccine or linguine. (I used fettuccine. The author says she prefers less noodles but I had a family to feed. I used about 12 oz. of fettuccine.)

10 TBS butter (The author says, I know, but I've tried it with less and it's just not the same.)

8 oz. fresh, sliced mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 oz. cream cheese, cut into small pieces

2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped

1 TBS fresh basil, chopped. (The author says you can use dried herbs if that's all you have, but I(Kristen) know dried and fresh measurements are not the same and I don't think the flavor is as good with dried.

2/3 cup boiling water (from your noodle pot)
1 lb. cooked shrimp (feel free to buy frozen)

1. Boil and salt a large pot of water and cook your pasta.

2. While your pasta is cooking, cook your shrimp if necessary and reserve. If your shrimp are pre-cooked and frozen, quickly thaw them under running water.

3. In a large skillet melt 2 TBS butter over medium heat and saute mushrooms until soft and brown. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Reserve cooked mushrooms and melt remaining butter in the skillet. Add minced garlic, cream cheese and herbs. At this point, I generally fell like something has gone terribly wrong. The cream cheese doesn't really melt and starts to look almost curdled, don't worry about it It will all smooth out and be wonderful when we add the water, I promise.

5. Simmer cream cheese mixture until well blended. Get a scoop of boiling pasta water from your noodle pot and mix it in, stirring quickly to smooth out the sauce.

6. Keep sauce hot and add shrimp and mushrooms. Mix well and simmer (stirring often) until everything is hot and thickened, about 10 minutes. You won't ruin this sauce by accidentally boiling it so don't worry.

7. Toss sauce with cooked noodles and serve.

Caramel Sticky Buns

I've seen a lot of types of these recipes but I've never tried them before. I decided that I liked the idea of making it last night and having a yummy thing ready to go for Sunday morning. These are so good and we devoured it!

I found the recipe here and that's also where the picture came from.

18 frozen dinner rolls (Rhodes work perfectly)

1/2 package (3.5 oz.) butterscotch cook and serve pudding. (NOT INSTANT)

1 stick butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

chopped nuts - optional

Note from Kristen - nuts and optional don't go together for me. I used pecans.

Grease or spray a bundt pan with non-stick oil. Sprinkle with nuts. Place frozen rolls in pan. Now, sprinkle HALF of the package of pudding over rolls. Make sure the pudding is NOT the instant kind! Melt butter and brown sugar together and pour over rolls. Sprinkle with a few more chopped nuts. Cover pan with greased foil and put a dishtowel over the foil. Place in a warm place overnight (the oven works great, as long as it is turned off). In the morning, bake at 325 degrees for 1/2 hour. Invert immediately onto a large plate.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Crazy Noodles

I saw this on pinterest and thought I'd have a cooking night with the girls. We all had a blast sticking noodles into the hot dog slices, then we laughed and laughed at what they'd become after they were cooked.

I didn't eat any but my girls put parmesean cheese on them and said, "delicious, yummy and I like them mama."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 1/4 C flour (I use whole wheat)
3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 t ground cinnamon
2 C lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 C butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3 ounces baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 t vanilla extract
3 C grated zucchini or summer squash
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a fluted cake pan.

Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Beat brown sugar and butter. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla.

Add flour mixture. Fold in squash.

Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes and then invert. Allow to cool completely and dust with sugar if desired.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cashew Chicken

I tried this recipe last week and it was a huge success.  This is one of my favorites to order at chinese restaurants, so I am excited that I can make my own at home now.

Dallin even added it to this month's menu, so he enjoyed it as well.

No pictures, but here is the link:

Cashew Chicken Recipe (腰果鸡丁)
Stir-fry Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into about 1″ pieces
  • 5 slices ginger, peeled and minced (about 2 tsp.)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 2 scallions, diced (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp. rice wine (or rice wine vinegar)
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. rice wine (or rice wine vinegar)
  • 1/8 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
  • Salt to taste
Marinate the chicken meat with the baking soda for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse the chicken off thoroughly with water. (Please make sure that the chicken is properly rinsed clean of the baking soda.) Pat the chicken meat dry with paper towels. Then stir in the cornstarch and rice wine in with the chicken, and let marinate for another 15 minutes.

Mix the sauce together and set aside.

Heat up a wok or skillet with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and stir-fry the chicken meat until the color turns white or half-cooked. Dish out and set aside.

Add another 1 tablespoon of cooking oil into the wok and add in the ginger, bell peppers and onions. Stir-fry until you smell the peppery aroma from the green peppers. Then add the chicken meat back in, along with the green onions, garlic, and cashews. Stir and let cook for another two minutes.
Add in the sauce and stir continuously until the chicken meat is cooked and well coated with the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste if you’d like.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chili Cheese Frito Salad

Courtesy of Laura Powell and "Real Mom Kitchen".
Sorry no picture.

3 (14 oz) cans corn, drained well
1/4 red pepper diced
1/4 green pepper diced
1/4 red onion, diced (after making this I wouldn't use this much because it's a little strong for my family- I also prefer to grate the onion not dice it)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cup mayo
1 bag (9 1/4 oz) Chili Cheese Fritos

Combine corn, peppers, onions, cheese, and mayo in bowl.
Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Just before serving add most of the chips into the vegetable mixture reserving some to sprinkle on top.

Serves 8-10

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I always thought crepes were hard to make, but the other day I came across a recipe in a parenting magazine and they looked fairly simple so I gave them a try! Yum!! It took some time to use all the batter and it made a ton of crepes!


2 cups milk
1 cup flour
3 eggs
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted, unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixer or blender and blend until smooth.

2. In a medium-size skillet over medium-low heat, melt 1/2 tsp butter; ladle in 1/4 cup crepe batter. Swirl the skillet until you have a tin layer of batter covering the entire bottom.
3. Cook until the underside is golden brown, about 2 minutes; flip. Cook until the other side is golden brown, about 1 minute.
4. Add a filling, if desired, right after flipping. Place ingredients down the center of the crepe so you can fold in the sides like an envelope. If you aren't using a filling, cook all the crepes, then put them on a plate in the middle of the table alongside bowls of various fillings---jams, Nutella, whipping cream, sauteed fruit, etc.---so everyone can choose their own.
5. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Additional tips: If you have time, let the batter rest for half an hour before frying the crepes. And you can keep any unused batter covered in the fridge for one day.
If you want to make the recipe savory, not sweet, you need to lose the vanilla extract and the sugar. Then you can put whatever you want inside.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

2 tsp olive oil   
  1 medium leek(s), (about 6 ounces), cleaned and sliced (white and light green parts only)   
  1 medium carrot(s), finely chopped   
  1 stalk(s) (medium) celery, finely chopped   
  5 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth   
  4 cup(s) cauliflower, florets   
3/4 oz Low-Fat, American Cheese Single, slice   
2 Tbsp low fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel), at room temperature   
2 Tbsp chives, Fresh, chopped   
 Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are very tender, but not browned, about 8 minutes.

 Add the broth and cauliflower; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is very tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the cheeses until melted.

Remove the soup from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender, or in a food processor or blender, in batches if necessary. Return the soup to the saucepan and reheat. Stir in the chives. Yields 1 1/3 cups per serving.

I didn't have any American cheese so I used cheddar and it was yummy.  I also put in more celery than it called for.  I pureed it in a blender and it popped the lid off and splattered all over.  I would recommend an immersion blender.  You'd never know it wasn't potato.  It had the same texture.  A great way to sneak in some veggies.

5 Ingredient Crockpot Pepper Leek Chicken

2 large chicken breasts
1 red pepper cut in large chunks
3 Roma tomatoes cut in large chunks
1 leek white and light green parts cut in large chunks
1 can chicken broth (or 2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in  2 cups water)
salt and pepper to taste if desired

Mix everything in crockpot and cook on low 6-8 hours.

I served it over rice but I think it would be really good in a tortilla with some cheese.

Monday, August 8, 2011

S'More Cookies


1 Pkg graham crackers

6 T butter, melted
1 T sugar
dash salt
1 C butter, softened
2 C brown sugar
2 eggs
2 T milk
2 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3 1/2 C flour
2 1/2 C chocolate chips
24 large marshmallow
4 small Hershey bars

Crush graham crackers into fine crumbs. Add 6 T melted butter, 1 T sugar, and dash of salt, set asside.

Place softened butter and brown sugar in large mixing bowl. Beat until creamed. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Mix 2 minutes.

In separate bowl, combine soda, powder, salt, and flour. Add to creamed mixture. Mix in chocolate chips.

Pour graham cracker mixture into cookie dough. Smash dough in with wooden spoon. Don't completely mix them in.

Roll into 2 inch balls and place them on lightly sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes, until cookie begins to crack.

While cooking, cut marshmallows in half and break chocolate bars into individual pieces.

Remove cookies from oven and press marshmallow into center of each hot cookie. Return to oven and bake for 1 1/2 more minutes.

Remove once more and let cookie sit for 2 minutes. Press one Hershey piece into center of marshmallow.

Remove cookie from sheet to cool.


Crock Pot Spicy Shredded Beef Tacos

If you've been around me at all in the last few weeks, you've probably heard me talk about Pinterest. I'm so sorry to sound like a broken record! I found this recipe during my daily Pinterest crawl. It's so good. And so spicy. I just had leftovers for lunch, and my mouth is still tingling (but I like that). Once again, I forgot to take pictures, but you can see the original recipe here, and she has gorgeous ones.

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos Recipe

(Adapted from My Kitchen Addiction)


1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 pounds beef (boneless chuck roast)

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1 cup beef stock

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (I love spice and used two!)

1/2 large sweet onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

Flour tortillas

Favorite taco toppings (**ideas below**)


Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika in a small bowl.

Rub the spice mix into the beef, covering each side evenly. Once the oil is hot (it will shimmer a bit in the skillet), place the beef in the skillet and sear on each side.

Remove the beef from the skillet and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Leave the pan on the heat, and add in the beef stock to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato paste and minced chipotle and whisk into the pan sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.

Add the diced onion and minced garlic on top of the seared beef in the slow cooker. Pour the pan sauce down over the onions, garlic, and beef. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred with two forks. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions from the slow cooker, and mix into the shredded beef.

Serve the beef in the flour tortillas, topped with your favorite taco toppings.

Some topping ideas include:
guacamole or avocado
fresh salsa
Mexican rice
grated cheese
fresh lettuce
squeeze of lime juice

Kelly's note: Yesterday, I was in a hurry when I threw this together. I didn't do anything but throw the (frozen) roast into the crock pot, chop up 2 canned chipotle peppers, and scoop in some of the adobo sauce from the can. That was it. The meat was still really tasty!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Easy Lasagna Cups

1 pkg wonton wrappers
1 jar spaghetti sauce (add your meat of choice if you like it in lasagna)
2+ cups of cheese (any kind you like in lasagna: italian mix, mozarella mixed with ricotta, etc.)

Spray muffin tins with a little cooking spray, put down one wonton wrapper at the bottom of each muffin spot, then layer sauce, cheese, another wonton wrapper cut in a circle about the size of the muffin tin by a cookie cutter or a rounded edge glass, then keep layering in that order until it is to the top of the muffin tin and you end with cheese.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 min.  So easy, not a huge mess, the kids prefer these to regular lasagna.  You could also mix it up and use chicken and alfredo sauce.  The possibilities are endless.  I made 18 with about 2 1/2 cups of cheese.

I have a picture but blogger won't let me put it on.  So I will do it as soon as it will let me.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Coconut Banana Bread With Lime Glaze

This is a twist on banana bread, but oh so yummy!

2 C flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 C sugar

1/4 C (4 Tbs) real butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 1/2 C mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large bananas)

1/4 C sour cream or plain yogurt

3 Tbs apple juice or milk (id you don't have juice, milk is fine)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 C coconut

Topping: 2 Tbs additional coconut

Glaze: 1/2 C powdered sugar whisked with 1 1/2 Tbs fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs and beat to combine. Add banana, sour cream or yogurt, apple juice (or milk), and vanilla. Beat until blended. Add flour mixture and beat at a low speed until just combined. Stir in 1/2 C coconut. Pour batter into a 9×5″ loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle additional 2 Tbs coconut on top. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a knife or skewer inserted in center comes out clean.

Note: Check bread after about 40 minutes. If the top has browned and the coconut pieces are looking toasty, cover top of bread lightly with a piece of foil. Continue baking until done.

When done, remove pan from oven. Let cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes and then carefully remove from pan.

Whisk powdered sugar and lime juice together for the glaze and then drizzle over top. Cool for another 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Breaded" Baked Chicken

3 eggs
1 cup almond meal
1 cup coconut flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Black pepper to taste
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts, legs, etc)
Coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk eggs in one dish and in a separate dish mix dry ingredients. Dip chicken pieces one at a time into the egg, then roll in breading mixture until covered on both sides.
Place chicken in a glass baking dish that has been lightly greased with coconut oil (important if you want it to brown). Bake for 45-60 min or until juices run clear.

Serves 4-5

(I would 1/2 this recipe for my family of 4. It breads a lot of chicken.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Patriotic Cake

Use any cake mix in a 9x13 pan and follow directions. Let it cool.

Frosting: (This was our experiment that turned out so good and naughty at the same time!)
6 oz cream cheese
1/2 cube butter
Cool Whip (just a couple of big spoonfuls)
Powdered Sugar

I apologize that there are no measurements. I just dump things in and experiment with frosting. My kids think I'm a genius, but how can you go wrong when you add all those things together? That's right, you can't.

We used the pampered chef tool to make the design in the frosting.

Finish by designing the flag with blueberries and strawberries.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Parmesan Chicken

As my daughter says "Mom, this is delicious!" I do believe that this will something that I will be making again. This is from my sister who does catering. I forgot to take a picture before we started eating. I'll try to remember to take it next time.

2 chicken boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
1/2 cup milk
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 cup Parmesan cheese (not the fresh kind. In the bottle kind.)
1 cup crushed Garlic & Cheese Croutons (I used my baby food processor. My sister uses her blender)
3-4 tsp lemon juice
3/4 stick of margarine or butter

After you've crushed the croutons, add the Parmesan cheese. Mix well. Dip chicken into milk and then into the croutons/Parmesan mixture. Place into a baking dish. Melt butter. Once the butter is melted, add lemon juice and garlic. Pour mixture over each piece of chicken.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until it is cooked all the way through. I turned up the oven to 450 to brown the crust.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Another Peanut Butter Bar Recipe (No Bake!)

Fair warning: this recipe is sinfully delicious.

(You can find the original here.)

No Bake Reece’s Peanut Butter Bars

1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs

1 lb (3 1/2 C) powdered sugar

1 1/2 C creamy peanut butter

1 C (2 sticks) real butter, melted

1 12oz bag chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, or dark, you pick!)

2 tsp shortening

In a large mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and peanut butter and butter and beat until combined. Press into a parchment (or waxed paper or foil) lined 9×13 pan.

Place chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring after each one, until melted and smooth. Pour chocolate over peanut butter mixture and spread out evenly. Place pan in the fridge just until chocolate is set and then cut into bars. Tip: If the bars chill until the chocolate is too hard to easily cut, use a sharp knife and score the cuts first, then gently cut through. Can be stored in the fridge or at room temp. They will stay firmer if stored in the fridge.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Favorite Waffles

Dallin's mom shared this recipe with us a couple months ago, and it has become our favorite waffle recipe ever. We love breakfast for dinner, so it hits our menu once a week. We had these last night. Dallin doubled the recipe so he could have them this morning before he went to work.


1 cup buttermilk
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 egg whites

Preheat waffle iron. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg yolks, vanilla, and butter until thoroughly combined. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Stir into buttermilk mixture.

In another bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff. Fold into the batter.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Baked Chicken & Potatoes Italiano

This recipe is courtesy of The Food Nanny. I like it because it's super simple, and there aren't too many ingredients. It's also healthy!

Baked Chicken & Potatoes Italiano

6 medium russet potatoes (about 2lbs), quartered lengthwise. (Peeling optional)
1 large white onion, thickly sliced
Olive or Canola Oil
6 chicken thighs
6 chicken drumsticks
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, or 2 tsp dried
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place the potato & onion pieces in a sheet pan or other large baking pan. Drizzle 2 Tbsp of the oil over them & stir to coat.
3. Remove the skin from the chicken pieces if desired. Rub oil over the chicken and place in pan between the potatoes & onions. Sprinkle w/ rosemary, salt, & pepper.

4. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn the potatoes & continue baking until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 15 to 25 more minutes. Transfer to large platter & serve immediately.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Taco Soup

I know everyone has a recipe for taco soup.  This is the one I use most just because it's so easy and Weight Watcher friendly.
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
1 can corn drained
1 small jar of salsa or about 3/4 jar of a larger bottle
1 can chicken broth
1-2 cups cooked and shredded chicken

Put it all together in a big pot and let it heat through on med. heat.  If it starts to boil just turn it down to low until you are ready for serving.
I would suggest garnishing with sour cream, shredded cheese, and crushed tortilla chips on top.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chicken or Turkey Lasagna

Chicken or Turkey Lasagna

12 cooked lasagna noodles
16oz grated mozzarella cheese (the picture shows cheddar cheese, because I didn't have any mozarella. It was still yummy!)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boiled and shredded or chopped. (Or use turkey)
8oz Frozen broccoli or spinach (I used spinach this time)

White sauce:
7 C. Milk
1 C Margarine or butter
1 C Flour
Salt & Pepper to taste

To make white sauce, melt butter in sauce pan, and stir in flour with a whisk until smooth. Add milk and whisk constantly on medium heat until it thickens, (may take several minutes). Turn off heat and it will thicken more as it cools. Set aside 2 C white sauce and 1 C cheese for the top.
Spread a few Tbsp white sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.

Mix the broccoli or spinach, cheese, and chicken with remaining white sauce.

Layer from the bottom: 4 noodles, mixture, 4 noodles, mixture, 4 noodles, mixture, leftover sauce, leftover cheese.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Take foil off for the last 10-15 minutes to brown the cheese.

**Warning, this recipe tends to overflow in a regular 9x13 pan, so maybe put a cookie sheet under you pan to catch the drippings, or separate into 2 smaller baking dishes!**

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cabbage-Apple Salad

I follow the Super Healthy Kid blog and I've used many recipes.  My goal is to use more and there is nothing I love better then a fresh healthy salad, especially this time of year.  So we tried this one tonight. I tweaked it just a tad.  The picture is from SHK blog.  Plus, the last year I have learned to love cabbage.  I use it a ton in Oriental cooking.

Here is the recipe:
Bagged shredded cabbage (as much as you like)
Cut up apples
Sliced Almonds
I didn't have cranberries so I just used extra apples.

Favorite poppy-seed dressing (which I didn't have on hand so I made my own)
1/2 cup fat free miracle whip
1/4 cup  milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup white vinegar
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
(I don't really like the taste of miracle whip, so I used 1/4 cup mayo and a 1/4 cup regular miracle whip- then I added some salt and a bit of apple cider vinegar, because I love it!)
Yummy! I love it, my kids were ok with it, but I'm going to be munching on this tomorrow.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Moist Chocolate Cake and Creamy Chocolate Frosting

So, first of all, to make a regular, boring, store bought Devil's Food cake mix-in-a-box taste more fabulous, just add 1/2 Cup of Sour Cream. Who knew? It really works! Just prepare the batter according to package directions, then stir in the 1/2 cup of sour cream, then bake.

Now on to the good part. The frosting!

I'm a little behind on the times, and have never learned how to make homemade chocolate frosting. I LOVE the taste of the homemade SO much better than the store bought stuff. So I searched the internet, and found this recipe. I made it today for our cupcakes that we had at New Beginnings. I have to tell you, it is delicious!


2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar (aka powdered sugar)
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons butter, softened, but NOT melted in the microwave
5 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa, and set aside. (Make sure you sift it, because I didn't, and there were a few lumps of powdered sugar and cocoa in the frosting).
In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.

Lemon Pesto Chicken & Raviolis

I really wish I could remember where I found this recipe. I might have even printed it off of this site! I just found it in my cookbook one day, and can't remember where I got it. Anyway, I made it for the first time last week, and it was really good!

5-6 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
3 Tbsp Olive Oil or Canola Oil
1/2 Pesto Packet (like taco seasoning packets)
2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1 Cup milk
2 small yellow squash
2 small zucchini
2 Tomatoes
1/4 C. Parmessan
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a skillet, add in oil, and chicken. While chicken is browning, add in lemon juice, and cut the squash and zucchini into slices. When the chicken is brown on each side, (still pink in the middle), add in the squash & zucchini. Sprinkle pesto packet over everything in the skillet. Pour the milk on top, and mix around until everything is coated. Salt & pepper. Let cook at medium heat for about 10 minutes (until veggies are soft but not soggy). Add in sliced tomato and parmessan, stir. Remove from heat.

Serve over raviolis, or in my case, (I didn't have raviolis on hand), serve over pasta.

But here's another tip: Try it served over the Herb & Butter flavored Pasta Roni. I had some leftover from the kids dinner the next night, so I tried it. It was SO yummy!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Kraft recipes is one of my favorite websites to go to for recipes. I love Red Velvet cupcakes. I was checking out at a grocery store and I found this little treat magazine for Kraft. Here is the recipe for the Red Velvet cupcakes. They are really yummy.

Check out Click on cupcakes. You will find the recipe for the Red Velvet cupcakes. I tried to do a copy and paste and it wouldn't allow me to do it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wingers Sticky Finger Salad

4 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup bread crumbs
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
2 tomatoes
cheddar cheese, grated
ranch dressing
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup Frank's Hot Sauce(Original. I found mine at Smith's)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Dip chicken breasts into the sour cream and then into bread crumbs. Place on a sprayed/greased sheet pan. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked and crispy.

While the chicken is baking, prepare salad and make the dressing.

To make the dressing, combine the 2 1/2 cups brown sugar, 1/3 cup Franks Hot Sauce, and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar in a pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Let boil for one minute, but no longer! If you boil too long it will turn hard.

When the chicken is done dip into sticky sauce and place on a plate. To serve, place sliced strips on top of salad with any additional toppings (cheese, croutons, tomatoes, craisins, etc.) and drench in ranch dressing. Save the additional sticky dressing as an extra topping for the adds a little more tang!

*Oh, I reserved a few pieces of chicken and didn't dip it in the sauce. I wasn't sure if it would be too spicy for the little ones!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fluffy Orange Fruit Dip

1- 8 0z package cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons orange zest
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice(use some juice from the orange that you zested)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1- 7 oz jar marshmallow cream

Beat cream cheese, orange zest, orange juice, vanilla and salt until smooth and creamy. Add marshmallow cream and beat until combined.

Serving suggestion: Serve with fresh cut fruit. I used strawberries, oranges, apples, bananas, kiwi and fresh pineapple.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kung Pao Noodles

Instead of copying and pasting and posting the recipe just go to this link for what we had for dinner tonight.

Let me just say, this is the fourth night of dinners in a row that all five of my family members ate everything without a tiny bit of complaining.  They are either just really hungry or I've been on my game this week.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Smothered Burritos

This was all that was left from a 9x13 pan of these burritos (we all like them at our house)

2 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. flour
1 or 2  four-ounce can of green chilies
about three cups cubed or shredded cooked pork divided (mine was just a pork roast cooked in the crock-pot so it was shredded)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon
about 1 cup water or chicken broth
8-10 flour or corn tortillas
3 cups refried beans
Grated cheese

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet. Stir in flour to make thick paste.  Add 1 cup of pork (juice included if there is any), green chilies, chili powder, chicken bouillon, and about a cup of water (or chicken broth) if you don't have enough juice from the pork.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.  Turn to low until you need it.  Spread about 1/3 cup refried beans, some pork, and a little cheese, in each tortilla.  Fold up burrito style.  Place burritos in greased 9x13 dish.  Cover with all the pork/green chile sauce and a little more cheese.  Bake at 350 for 30 min. or until cheese is melted and sauce is a little bubbly.
Optional: after plating add a little sour cream on top.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Grandma's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

These cookies are very delicious! My aunt made them for me while we had the babies in the NICU. I got the recipe and have made them twice in the 3 weeks we've been home.

Grandma's Oatmeal Raisen Cookies

Combine 3 large eggs with 2 cups of raisins and 1 Tbsp vanilla. Let sit for half hour to an hour.

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar

Add raisins and mix well.

2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 cups quick oatmeal

Roll into balls and place on cookie sheet. Dip the bottom of a drinking glass in sugar and smash down each ball, dipping in sugar after each cookie.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Note: I have to add a little bit more flour (1/4 cup) than the recipe calls for. Do a test cookie. first.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Super Easy Manicotti

About 12 string cheese
Your favorite Spaghetti sauce
Manicotti noodles
Grated mozzarella Cheese

Boil the noodles according to package directions.  Drain and cool enough to handle.  Spoon some sauce over the bottom of a casserole dish.  Stuff each noodle with 1 string cheese.  If the Manicotti has fallen apart just wrap around the cheese and tuck under the edges.  Spoon more sauce on top and cover with the mozzarella.  
Bake at 350 just until the top cheese is about melted. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chicken Gyros

Greek Souvlaki has the best Gyros ever! I've had the lamb kind, but I prefer the chicken. A few weeks ago, I saw some pitas at Costco for really cheap and had a craving for a gyro. I decided to buy the pitas and search for a good gyro recipe. I found this one on the Taste of Home website ( The chicken tastes exactly like the one at Greek Souvlaki. I left the onions out because I'm not a fan of onions and I always have them take them off anyway. Note: I doubled this recipe for my family.


  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced garlic, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled cucumber
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill weed
  • 2 whole pita breads
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced


  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the lemon juice, oil, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, mustard and oregano; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 1 hour. In a small bowl, combine the cucumber, yogurt, dill and remaining garlic; cover and refrigerate until serving.
  • Drain and discard marinade. In a large nonstick skillet, saute the chicken for 7-8 minutes or until juices run clear. Spoon onto each pita bread. Top with yogurt mixture and onion; fold in half. Yield: 2 servings.
The yogurt sauce wasn't my favorite. It had chucks of cucumbers and I thought it might be good, but it wasn't really. I think my favorite part of a gyro is a fresh pita and yummy sauce. The pitas at Costco aren't as yummy as the fresh kind, but they worked. The next time I make this, I'm going to try this recipe for the suace.

Tzatziki Sauce


  • 1 cup plain yogurt (if you can find the extra-thick Greek yogurt it's best)
  • 4 garlic cloves; roasted and finely chopped (see below)
  • 1/2 lemon; juiced
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber without seeds
  • Salt to taste


1. Place whole, un-peeled garlic gloves in a small, un-oiled skillet over medium low heat and cook for about two minutes per side - until lightly browned. Peel and chop finely.

2. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

Note: The sauce is better if you allow it to sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before using.