Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sweet and Salty Party Mix

I had a pampered chef party a week ago and made the Sweet & Salty Party Mix.  This is a delicious caramel corn with chex, pretzels & nuts.  DELICIOUS!!  It is a Pampered Chef recipe, that can easily be made gluten free by not using the pretzels (just replace with something else).  Enjoy!!

Sweet & Salty Party Mix (by Pampered Chef)
1 pkg (3-3.5 oz) microwave popcorn (about 5 cups popped)
2 cups minature pretzel twists
2 cups dry-roasted salted peanuts
2 cups oven-toasted rice cereal squares
1 cup butter  (2 sticks)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat over to 300. Prepare popcorn according to package directions.  In large bowl, combine popcorn, pretzels, peanuts and rice cereal squares, set aside.  Combine butter, brown sugar and corn-syrup in a 2 quart saucepan.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.  Continue to cook without stirring for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, carefully stir in baking soda.
Pour caramel sauce over popcorn mixture.  Stir until evenly coated.  Spoon onto large pan, bake 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Transfer popcorn mixture onto large parchment paper, cool completely.

Friday, August 27, 2010

5 pounds of Hamburger, $5.00- now what??

While picking up just a few groceries yesterday, I found hamburger (80%) for $.99/lb so picked up 5 lbs.  Since it is not lean, I will not use it in a meatloaf but instead we had hamburgers last night and I just cooked up the the rest of it this morning.  I have bagged up a couple of sandwich bags of cooked meat to add to recipes with just salt and pepper.  Made a shepards pie for the freezer and will make a pasta dish for the freezer with spaghetti sauce (from a bottle, adding some of the ground beef), pasta and cheese on top.  I have found disposal aluminum containers at the dollar store, 4 for $1 and it is about 7" across, fits two servings perfectly, has a cardboard lid so you can write the contents on top with cooking directions.  I made chicken casserole and baked ravioli the last cooking day, so easy to take from the freezer the night before or before going off to work, when I get home I just have to bake it and dinner is done.  I am planning on making some meals to take to Danielle for her freezer since she has just started a new year of teaching and I am sure she is overwhelmed. 

What to do with Hamburger??
Upside-down Spaghetti
Spaghetti Sauce
Shepards Pie
Taco Soup
Taco Salad

Upside Down Spaghetti  (original recipe from Betsey Hyde)
Combine and Spread in Bottom of Casserole Dish
Layer 1:1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 8 oz pkg sour cream
Layer 2: Brown:  1 lb hamburger with onion and green pepper (to your liking- as much as you like)
Layer hamburger mixture onto of cream mixture
Layer 3: 1/2 pound cooked spaghetti
Layer 4: 1 32oz jar spaghetti sauce
top with Mozzarella Cheese, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
Bake at 325 for 1 hour

The upside-down spaghetti can easily be divided between 2 smaller dishes, can be frozen as well.  Great dish to have in the freezer for those times that you get a call to bring in a meal to someone!!

Shepards Pie
1 can cream of corn
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 lb hamburger, cooked & drained
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine ingredients in bottom of small casserole or glass dish.  Top with mashed potatoes (left-over or instant).  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese or slices of american cheese.  Bake at 350 covered for 30 minutes, uncover, bake for additional 10 -15 minutes to melt cheese. 
makes approximately 3 servings, can easily be doubled, just be sure to put it in a container that is the appropriate size.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Apple Crunch Pie & Zucchini Bread

Okay, Tara asks for the apple pie recipe at least a couple of times a year, and the first request has come, so I am going to share it here so she can have access at anytime ;)  It is from a church recipe book that my friend Betsey Hyde gave to me, I think the recipe is actually from her mother-in-law.

Apple Crunch Pie
mix in plastic bag:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Shake 4 cups of prepared apple slices in flour mixture.  Put apple mixture in unbaked pie shell and sprinkle 2 tablespoons lemon juice over apples.
Crunch topping:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
Melt butter first and crumble over top of apples.  Bake at 325 -250 for 1 hour.

** I do not add the lemon juice, but do add an extra tsp of cinnamon to the crunch topping (I will usually make two pies at once and triple the topping, so that each pie gets 1 1/2 recipes of topping.

Zucchini Bread   (recipe from Kirsten Likes)
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
1 tbl vanilla
3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbl cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups grated zucchini
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mix oil, sugar & vanilla together.  Blend dry ingredients together.  Add to sugar mixture, add zucchini, milk & nuts.  Bake in 2 greased and floured loaf pans or 5 greased & floured mini loaf pans.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour, remove from oven, let cool 10 minutes and then remove from pans.

Well, I am off to read the second novel in the Hunger Games series.  Hope you enjoy the recipes!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Brazilian Lemonade, Raspberry Jam and link for Jam & Jelly Recipes

My husband took me to a restaurant in Orem that he loves called Tucano's.  While he was at the salad station the waiter came by to ask what we would like to drink.  Since Mark pretty much gave up soda a few months ago I ordered him a water and ordered myself a diet pepsi, but the waiter was persuasive and talked me into trying the Brazilian lemonade they are famous for.  We tried it and loved it!!  Even Mark who doesn't like many fruity drinks loved it.  He hasn't stopped talking about it so a few weeks ago I tried to find a recipe online for it, but had a very difficult time.  The reason is that it is called lemonade but is actually made with limes.  I finally found several recipes and tried one that was great.  We have made it several times, Mark even chose it over a chocolate milkshake tonight.  Remember, it is lemonade but is made with limes!!

Brazilian Lemonade
2 limes, washed thoroughly to remove any pesticides, cut off ends and cut into 8 pieces each
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 cup water
3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

In blender, combine live pieces and 1/2 cup sugar and 2 cups of water. Pulse 5 times (just five times, do not pulverize or it will be bitter), strain liquid in metal strainer add additional cup of water and sweetened condensed milk.  Serve over ice.  Makes 3 servings.  Do not try to make ahead of time as the essential oils from the limes will make it bitter. 

We are living in Farr West, which is near Willard Bay and Perry, Utah.  There are many fruit stands in Perry and Bear Lake Raspberries are at their peak.  I have grown my own raspberries with much success, but they were never as sweet as the Bear Lake Raspberries.  My husband and children love homemade raspberry jam and I got this recipe several years ago from my mother-in-law Fern.  It is so wonderfully sweet, and does not require pectin.  I have made it with fresh raspberries and on occasion have made it with frozen raspberries when I could not get fresh ones.

Raspberry Jam
1 quart raspberries, cleaned
1 quart sugar
3 tablespoons white vinegar

Combine raspberries and sugar, mash together.  Add white vinegar and boil for 25 minutes at rolling boil, stirring often.  While jam is cooking, prepare jars for processing.  Keep the jars warm either in hot water or dishwasher. Spoon off foam with slotted spoon, pour into hot clean jars, wipe off rims.  Top with new lid, process in water bath for 10 minutes.    Makes approximately 5 pints of raspberry jam.

My cousin Angie asked for a peach jam recipe.  I have only made peach jam once, and my family was not crazy about it.  I have always had success with the recipes that come with the boxes of pectin and usually make jam from it.  Many of my canning recipes come from the Ball website,  I have made the zesty peach bbq sauce from this website and it was good.  We had it on chicken and Melissa made a pasta dish with some of the leftover sauce. 

I hope the recipes are helpful.  I will post our zucchini bread recipe this week, as I am sure everyone is overrun with zucchini at this time of year.  Hope you all have a great week.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

VEGAN A-B-C Muffins

So my oldest daughter Jessica has decided to go vegan for a month.  In honor of that decision, I am posting a recipe for a Vegan muffin.  Let me just say ahead of time that, no, I have not tried this recipe so I can not really vouch for how they will taste, but the ingredients are normal, and most people will have them in their cupboard. The recipe comes from the website   If you try this recipe, please leave a comment to let us know what you think. 
I am very proud of your decision Jess and hope it works for you,
 you have more will-power than I do!!

A-B-C Muffins
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup cashews, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Lightly oil the muffin pan. Combine the dry ingredients and mix well.  Add the apple juice, apple, banana & cashews and stir well.  Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly raised and browned.  Makes 10-12 muffins.

Monday, August 9, 2010

So what did I do with my chicken??

Well, I made a wonderful chicken canape for my lunch and there is a leftover one if anyone wants to stop by for a visit.  Also chopped some of the chicken and added the extra onion that was left over from the canapes, added about 1 cup of bbq sauce to it and froze it- this will either be bbq chicken sandwiches or bbq chicken pizza, whatever we are in the mood for that night.  I also cubed some up and froze to use in chicken casserole, I took the last 1 1/2 breasts and cubed them up for chicken noodle soup.  There was plenty of juices left in the bottom of the pan so put the juices and onions from the original pan of breasts in a container with the chicken for the soup and froze it.  Will be easy to add a little broth, some carrots and celery and noodles and homemade chicken soup!!

My first Blog!!

My beautiful daughters all blog, and so I decided to give it a try.  I am playing with the idea of writing a cookbook for newly-weds, since I know there will be more weddings in my future soon. My middle daughter got married a little over a year ago, and we have a great time talking about recipes since we are both cooking for two now.  I have had a bit of a difficult time adjusting to feeding a family of six, back to just the two of us since we are empty-nesters now.  But as I am trying to cut back some of my favorite recipes, I am having a good time trying a few new recipes as well. 

What to do with a family-size package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts?  That is the question this morning, as I am staring at a package telling me I MUST take care of it soon, or it will spoil.  Well, the freezer will be my best friend today.  I have packaged a few breasts individually to freeze, added either teriyaki sauce or italian salad dressing and into the freezer.  These are great because they are marinating as they thaw out, making it great and so easy for the grill.  The rest of the chicken has gone into a 9 X 13 pan, sprinkled with garlic salt, topped with a sliced onion and into the oven to bake for an hour.  They smell delicious and will be used for many recipes.  How to use it??
Chicken Canapes
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
BBQ Chicken Pizza
Chicken Ceasar Salad
Chicken Bowtie Pasta
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Corn Chowder
Chicken Casserole
Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken Alfredo
Chicken and Broccoli Braid
Greek Orzo Pasta
White Chili
Chinese Chicken Salad

I am getting hungry just thinking about it.  I will let the chicken cool, shred or chop it and freeze it in 1 and 2 cup portions.  Makes dinner time so much easier with the chicken already pre-cooked.  I am going to share the recipe for the chicken canapes today.  I recieved this recipe from a dear friend in Maine.  My twins absolutely love this recipe, and was one of the items that was requested when they returned home from school.  It is actually a great recipe to have in the fridge for a fast lunch or dinner option.  The original recipe was made as an appetizer, but we use it as a meal.  The smell of it cooking is divine and so comforting.  Please leave me a comment if you have tried the recipe and let me know what you think. 

Chicken Canapes
2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (or romano/cheese blend)
1/2 cup grated swiss cheese
1/2 tsp garlic salt
3/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp thyme
pepper to taste

Mix together, spread approximately 2 tablespoons mixture on each halve of sliced english muffin.  Toast in 400 degree oven for about 13 minutes, until topping starts to brown.  Remove from oven,  cut into quarters for appetizers or serve entire muffin round as sandwich.

I will try to post pictures when I figure out how to do it.  Please leave me comments to help me improve my blog, thanks for looking.