Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mizithra Pasta

I don't know how many of you have been to The Old Spaghetti Factory, but this is seriously my FAVORITE dish there. I was so excited to see it on FFR. This was the easiest dish to make. Here are a few things to remember: 1) start the butter before the pasta and it takes time, 2) mizithra (myzithra) is hard to find, and 3) a cube of butter is really a stick (at least in the USA). I found my cheese in Smith's Deli section. Serve this up with garlic bread and a salad. YUM YUM!

1 pkg. spaghetti (1 lb)
2 cubes REAL butter
1/2 to 3/4 lb. Mizithra Cheese, grated
Italian Seasoning (optional, I added that on my own)

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water until al dente. Drain. While pasta is cooking, start slowly melting butter over medium heat until golden brown. The butter will foam up and rise, but just keep stirring until it turns brown. Remove pan from heat and allow the sediment to settle at the bottom of the pan for a few minutes.

Do not stir up the sediments in the pan, you want the clear butter separated from the stuff at the bottom. Pour the browned butter into a separate bowl, again, keeping the butter separated from the sediment. Toss the pasta with the butter when it is ready. Sprinkle with Mizithra cheese to taste. Serve immediately. You can sprinkle Italian seasoning on it here too!

Here's the original recipe: Mizithra Pasta


These were excellent! It was definitely more than your average cheese quesadilla. Eli and I both loved them. These came from Family Favorite Recipes. YUMMY stuff! My picture doesn't look as good as the one on FFR, but you can click here to see it and the original recipe. Her recipe includes zucchini, but I didn't put that in mine because we didn't have any available!
1 c. frozen corn
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. diced jalapeno (or more if you like it hot...I used the canned pickled kind found in the mexican aisle)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1-2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 c. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
flour tortillas (if you want to be really healthy, use whole-wheat tortillas)
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for the cheese (and tortillas of course). Place mixture in a large skillet and fry until hot. In the meantime, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the pan. On half of the tortilla add a few large scoops of the corn/bean mixture and a little cheese. Fold tortilla over, then flip sides. When cheese is melted, cut in half and serve!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Menu: Oct 20- Oct 27

I have been bad lately and a lot of that is due to the fact that we are trying to transition Becca into eating what we eat for dinner (we were supposed to do this a while ago). She's still not very good at eating everything and doesn't like spicy things, so I've had to alter what we eat. It's really hard to come up with meals that Becca can eat and that we want to eat. So, I'm trying to at least make a few meals a week that she can eat and then we'll get better and better at it.

Monday: Tacos/Taco salads...I had a taco and Brian had a salad.
Tuesday: We went out to eat to celebrate a business success.
Wednesday: Spaghetti w/ mixed veggies and garlic bread
Thursday: Egg salad sandwiches
Friday: Creamy Italian Chicken (it's a new crockpot recipe). I'll post the recipe and tell you how it tasted. I'm going to serve it with mashed potatoes and a veggie.
Saturday: Chicken and dumplings...we use a very easy recipe that I'll post.
Sunday: Baked Ziti
Monday: Chicken Chalupas? (I'm not sure about that one yet)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Menu: October 19 - October 25

I don't know if I said this before, but I've decided to keep cooking dinner on the nights I work. I'll just make something simple on the nights I work. I'm excited to cook this week. I found a new blog with some awesome recipes. I left her a comment to see if I could link her blog to my page, but I will go ahead and leave the address here so you ladies can check it out (Favorite Family Recipes). Highly Recommended.

Sunday: Sweet Pork Roast
Monday: Quesadillas (FFR)
Tuesday: Mizithra Pasta (FFR)
Wednesday: Tomato & Pesto Pizza (FFR)
Thursday: Veggie Melts (Chef Britta)
Friday: Bean, Avocado, & Cheese Sandwich (sounds weird, I know)
Saturday:Vegetarian Chili (Chef Britta)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Menu: October 16 - October 22

I got a little bit stuck planning my menu this week. A couple quick searches on helped finish it right up, though! :)

Thursday: Grilled Chicken Pitas
Friday: Late dinner out to celebrate the end of Paul's softball season
Saturday: Curry
Sunday: Pot Roast, rolls, mashed potatoes, and steamed carrots
Monday: Amanda's pasta dish without chicken
Tuesday: Golden Pork Chops (
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken (

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've always liked pumpkin cookies, but I had never actually made them before. These turned out yummy! They are very cake like as many pumpkin cookies are.

Sunday Desserts 040

1 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. milk
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla

Dissolve baking soda in milk; set aside. In large bowl add pumpkin, sugar, oil, and egg; stir. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda mixture. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla. Spoon onto cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees 10-12 minutes.

Rolo Cookies

How can you go wrong with a chocolate cookie that has a rolo in the middle? The chocolate cookie has a great flavor and the rolo melts to make them caramel filled.

Sunday Desserts 043

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
48 rolos (one package)
2 tbs. sugar

Combine flour, cocoa, and soda and set aside. Beat sugars and butter until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla. Add dry mixture and blend well. Shape cookies into small balls. Press rolo into center of ball and cover with dough (I just sort of form a dough ball around a rolo). Roll cookie in sugar. Bake on un-greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, until tops of cookies are slightly cracked. Cool on racks.

*As you can see this recipe makes about 48 cookies. So if you don't want tons of cookies you could do half of the recipe. But, the girl who gave me this recipe said that the dough balls freeze well and then you can make them whenever you want fresh cookies. I haven't tried that yet.

Potato Soup

I'm not sure where my parents got this recipe, but it's a delicious, creamy soup. I have always loved this soup. The recipe is actually a clam chowder recipe, but I don't really like clams (especially when I'm pregnant), and it's cheaper without them. But, this is a very versatile soup. You can add corn for a corn chowder and ham for a ham chowder. It's also good as just a potato soup.

Dinners 074

Potato Soup

1 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 cup finely chopped potatoes
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 qt. half and half
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

Put chopped vegetables and onions in pot with enough water to barely cover. Simmer, covered over medium heat until potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes). In the meantime, in a medium pot, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook a minute or two. Add cream; cook and stir until smooth and thick, using a wire whisk to blend (it always takes longer to thicken then I think it's going gets pretty thick). Add to undrained vegetables and heat.

* We usually serve it with what we call toasties. Butter bread on both sides, cut in four strips and bake on cookie sheet until brown (flip once).

Monday, October 13, 2008

Basic Chili

I know that you all have different chili recipes. I decided I would post this one though because it's way simple and so delicious. My Dad took a recipe from the checkerboard cookbook and made some little changes. It's a very good basic chili recipe and is one that Brian requests during the cold season.

Dinners 071


1 lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
1 small can of diced green chiles
2 to 3 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
dash of cayenne pepper

Cook beef, onions, and garlic until beef is brown and onions are tender. Drain fat. Stir together with all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer (covered) for 20 minutes.

*I forgot the sizes for the tomato paste and green chiles, but they're the smallest sized cans.
*Is delicious served with cheddar cheese and sour cream on top. We also love corn bread with our chili.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Famous Peterson Apple Pie Recipe

(Sorry, I forgot to take a picture before eating the pie, but it looked so good I got ahead of myself) :)

Pie Crust (Two crusts) - Ill explain later
3/4 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. milk
2 cups flour

Pie Filling- (for one pie)- Ill also explain later
5 large green apples or 6-8 small apples
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup flour
Butter (dot top of pie)

Pie Topping - (for one pie)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar

Instructions and explanations:
The pie ingredients were originally made for one pie with a crust on bottom, pie filling in the middle and crust on top, but my mom has her special pie topping which makes it so famous. If you want to make the traditional apple pie with crust on bottom and top you can, but of course it doesn't taste as good without the yummy sugary topping.
Crust instructions:
I always start with making the crust. I put Crisco and water in a microwavable bowl for 1 min. Then add salt, milk and flour. Mix well with hands! :) Spilt into two evenly as possible balls. Put one pie crust ball in between two pieces of wax paper and use a rolling pin to make a circle to fit your pie pan. To make the edges of the pie crust I use my thumb and index finger on my left hand and thumb on right hand and push together. It should make a triangle shape. Don't be discouraged if it doesn't look pretty because it takes a lot of practice. ALSO don't forget to take a fork and poke little holes on the bottom of pie crust. REPEAT with second pie crust.
Pie Filling instructions: (Double recipe if your making the famous Peterson apple pie)
I use an apple peeler which spins the apple into a spiral,peals the apple for me and takes out the core of the apple, which is nice! :) But if you don't have an apple peeler, make sure you peel the apple and cut apple into small pieces. Add lemon juice to the apples. Mix sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and flour in separate bowl and mix well. Add to apple bowl. Pour apple mixture into pie pan.
Pie Topping Instructions: (Double recipe if your making the famous Peterson apple pie)
Mix cinnamon, flour, and brown sugar in separate bowl. Put on top of Pie filling which should be inside the crust. Top with dots of butter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45mins-1hour. I usually check after 30 mins to make sure the crust isn't burn. If it is starting to get brown I would take foil and cut it to cover crust only.
(I hope these directions aren't confusing, if so don't hesitate to ask questions!)

Oreo Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies

I discovered this recipe on a blog called Baked Perfection. Everything she makes looks delicious! There are tons of recipes I want to try on her site. These became my entry for the dessert competition of the ward cook-off last night. (Unfortunately, I didn't win. :( They were all eaten though!)

This was an interesting recipe. The dough was pretty hard to handle because of all the oreo chunks. They're quite delicious, though!

Oreo Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 package vanilla instant Jell-O Pudding (not prepared, the smaller size box)
1 dash of cinnamon
2 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened (I did my half butter, half margarine trick)
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
2 c. chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips because that's what it looked like she used in her pictures, and it sounded yummy to me.)
30-40 double stuffed Oreos*, crushed into medium chunks (you really need the double stuffed kind)

I really think this is a ton of Oreos. One package had 36 Oreos in it, so I just used the whole pack. It was a little overwhelming, and like I mentioned, made the dough a bit tough to handle. I think next time (and oh yes, there will be a next time ;) ) I will use more like 20-25 Oreos.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat together butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add pudding mix. Add flour. (Yes, you guessed it! She has you mix the dry ingredients separately! My laziness strikes again!) Stir in chocolate chips and Oreo chunks. Usually I just use my mixer for everything when I'm making cookies, but I really did stop and use a wooden spoon to stir in the Oreo chunks and chocolate chips. The dough was very thick. Roll into balls and bake for 10-11 minutes. Makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies.

It was hard for me to get my cookies to stay round, and they certainly don't look as beautiful as hers, but they sure taste good! Here's a link directly to the original recipe: Oreo Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies. Check it out! Her pictures are wonderful.

Vegetable Quiche

Yes, I finally made my quiche! It's about time, right? Anyway, it turned out well. It was FULL of vegetables, which was surprising. The vegetables nearly filled up the crust! There was barely enough room for the eggs on top. Paul especially liked the fact that it had so many vegetables in it (he doesn't like eggs all by themselves).

Vegetable Quiche
1 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shell*
1 1/2 c. chopped onion (I just used one medium onion)
1 medium green pepper, chopped (I used half of a really big one)
1 c. chopped tomatoes (I didn't measure, I just chopped up three relatively small roma tomatoes)
1/2 c. chopped zucchini (again, I didn't measure, I just used one small-ish zucchini)
1/2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms (same as above, I used half a package)
2 T butter or margarine (I just used olive oil)
1/4 t. curry powder (Funny story, I was just going to leave this out when I originally planned to make this recipe because I didn't have any...but since it took me so long to make it, I actually bought some to use in a completely different recipe. I figured I'd use it! According to reviews on, you can leave it out if you want to, but it tastes good!)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
pinch ground cinnamon
5 eggs
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

*I highly recommend buying a pre-made pie shell. I think that the fact that I had to make a crust was one of my main hang-ups with making this. However, if you want to make your own crust, I very much recommend Paul's mom's recipe. It's the easiest crust recipe I have come across. I'll write up that recipe at the end of this post.

Line unpricked and unbaked shell with foil and bake at 450 degrees for five minutes. Remove foil and bake for five more minutes. (I have no idea why the crust didn't bubble because it wasn't pricked, but it didn't!) Reduce heat to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, sautee onions and bell pepper in butter (or, in my case, olive oil). Once they begin to soften, add mushrooms and zucchini. Finally, add tomatoes. (Okay, let's be honest, I just added the vegetables as I chopped them up. I just started with the ones I thought would need the most time to cook. I knew tomatoes break down quickly, so I did them last. It worked well, so there you go. The original recipe doesn't give an order (it just says sautee the vegetables), so I figure this is an improvement.) Stir and cook until zucchini is starting to get soft (with the order I added my vegetables, the zucchini was the last to finish cooking). Add curry powder, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Mix well. Spoon into crust.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add milk and cheese, mix well. Pour egg mixture over the vegetables in the shell. This completely filled up my quiche pan. If you don't have a quiche pan, you can use a pie pan, but be careful you don't overflow the pan. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Mine was done right at 40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Here's a link to the recipe on Vegetarian Quiche.

And for the encore! Here's the easiest crust recipe you'll ever find!

Grace's Pie Crust
3/4 c. butter flavored Crisco
1/4 c. water
1/4 t. salt (Grace's recipe calls for two generous dashes, so this is an estimate)
2 T. milk
2 c. flour

Put Crisco and water in a bowl. Melt in the microwave (it takes about 90 seconds). In a bowl, mix together melted Crisco/water, salt, milk, and flour. It's easiest to mix with your hands. Add a little extra flour if the dough is too wet to handle. Divide into two even balls (the recipe makes enough for a top and bottom crust, or two shells). Roll out one ball for one crust.

Helpful hint from my mom: When rolling out a pie crust place a piece of wax paper underneath the dough and another piece of wax paper on top. This makes it much easier to transport the crust once you've finished rolling it out, and you can make a much thinner crust successfully. When you finish rolling out the crust, peel off the top layer of wax paper and flip crust over on top of your pie pan (or quiche pan! :) ). Peel of the other layer of wax paper and press crust into pan.

Like I said, this is the easiest crust recipe I've come across. It's on the greasy side, but it turns out nice and flaky!

Oh, and by the way, I'm putting a dessert label on this post just so that the crust recipe will show up under that label as well. If I ever post the recipe for Paul's mom's Apple Pie, then I'll post the crust recipe there again and remove the dessert label from this one.

Banana Bread

Ok so, I didn't know if I should post this recipe or not, either. It's a very straight forward recipe taken straight from the checkerboard cookbook (Better Homes and Gardens), and I assume you all already have perfectly wonderful recipes of your own for banana bread just how you like it. Well, if you do, just keep using your recipe (or, post yours here, too! :) ), but just in case you don't, here's a tried and true recipe (both Paula and I use it) for basic banana bread.

Banana Bread
2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. mashed bananas (I never measure, I usually just wait until I have 4 or 5 over-ripe bananas in the freezer. ;) )
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil, or melted butter (I use oil)

Streusel topping:
1/4 c. brown sugar
3 T. flour
2 T. butter, cold

Grease sides and bottom of loaf pan (one of the bigger ones, 9x5x3). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt (Yes, this is one time I actually do mix the dry ingredients separately! Shocking!), set aside. In a medium bowl, mash your bananas. Then add sugar, oil, and beaten eggs. Mix well. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the banana mixture all at once. Stir until just moistened (it will still be lumpy). Pour batter into loaf pan.

Prepare streusel topping by mixing the flour, brown sugar, and butter together with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs. I don't have a pastry blender, so I just use a fork and knife. Sprinkle topping evenly over the batter in your loaf pan.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a knife inserted near the center comes out nearly clean. If needed, cover with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning. I didn't need to cover mine this time because my rack was set right in the middle of the oven. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

*Note: As you can see, there are no nuts in my banana bread. I'm not a fan. If you are a fan, however, you can add 1/4 c. chopped nuts to the batter and 1/3 c. chopped nuts to the topping.

Hansen Family Hamburger Stroganoff

This recipe is almost exactly like the one Mandy posted the other day. I almost decided not to post it, but this one is just a tad simpler, so if you are in a hurry, this is a great recipe!

Hamburger Stroganoff
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 c. sour cream
1 T. flour
garlic salt, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Sautee onions in a little bit of butter (I actually just used some olive oil because it's easier to me, but my family uses butter). Add ground beef and cook until meat is done. Drain. Add flour and season with garlic salt and salt and pepper. Add cream of mushroom soup and mix well. Mixture will be quite thick. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. This is a good time to cook your noodles (if you're serving it with rice, you should have started cooking it a while ago ;) ). At the very end, add sour cream and mix well. Heat through, but don't bring to a boil. My dad says it tastes better when you add the sour cream at the end and don't bring it back to a boil. Serve over noodles or rice!

I don't know why, but this really hit the spot when I made it on Friday. It was quite tasty!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

This recipe came from Chef Britta's dessert blog, Sunday Sweets. As soon as she posted it, I knew I had to try it. I mean, how can you beat peanut butter cookies with chocolate ganache in the middle?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
1 c. flour
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I just used semisweet chocolate chips)
2 T. heavy cream (I used whole milk, because that's all I had)
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1/3 c. packed brown sugar

Note: Do you notice anything unusual about these ingredients? I didn't either until I started making them. There are no eggs in the recipe! Because of this, the cookies are not soft and chewy. They're kind of crumbly and have the texture of shortbread. That really took me by surprise.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare chocolate ganache filling by melting the chocolate in a heat-proof (pyrex glass is perfect) bowl on top of a pot of simmering water (the double-boiler method). Stir frequently until chocolate is smooth. Add cream and continue to stir until smooth. Set aside chocolate to cool and thicken for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat together butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. (This is when I noticed the recipe didn't call for eggs. ;) ) Add salt, baking soda, and flour, and mix until just blended (do not overmix). Roll dough into 1" balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. I fit all of them on one big cookie sheet (it made 24 balls). They can be close together because they don't expand very much. Flatten the balls of dough into a disc shape with the bottom of a dampened glass. Bake until golden around the edges, about 12 to 13 minutes. Now here's where my directions stray from Chef Britta's (well, aside from mixing the dry ingredients in a separate bowl...that's a given for me ;) ). She said to remove cookies immediately and transfer them to a wire rack. I attempted this, and the results were disastrous (see below). The cookies fell apart as I tried to move them. Instead I let them cool for at least ten minutes before moving them to a wire rack. They held together much better after having cooled for a little bit.

Allow cookies to cool. Stir chocolate topping and spread generously on the bottom of half of the cookies. Top with the other half of the cookies. Allow to set for about 15 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the fridge.

So, mine turned out pretty good, even though they don't look quite as beautiful as Chef Britta's:

Although, we did have two complete casualties, and one more that underwent reconstructive surgery:

All in all, the cookies were delicious! But be sure to eat them with a tall glass of milk. You also can really only eat one or two at a time. They are on the intense side, even for me. ;)

Here's a link to Chef Britta's recipe (and I recommend looking at it because she has some good pictures of the steps along the way): Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies.

Menu: October 8 - October 15

I planned this yesterday, but I didn't have a chance to post it. I've been struggling lately, but I'm trying to regain my motivation to cook each night.

Wednesday (yesterday): Skillet Vegetables and Chicken
Thursday (today): Quiche (yep, still haven't made it)
Friday: Three-Pepper Pasta Sauce (slow cooker...I really have to make this one before the peppers go bad!)
Saturday: Yakisoba
Sunday: Grace's Fall-Off-The-Bone Ribs, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and homemade rolls (We have a new goal of having special meals on Sundays. :) )
Monday: Potato Soup and Toasties
Tuesday: Hamburger Stroganoff
Wednesday: Country Captain Chicken (slow cooker)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Menu: Oct 6th - Oct 10th

Brian is back in town and I'm not sick anymore.  Hooray!  So, it's looking like I will be able to have a menu this week.

Monday: Stir-fry over rice
Tuesday: Sloppy Joes (I just made it from a can)
Wednesday: Potato soup with toasties...I've been feeling like that one for a while.
Thursday: Tacos
Friday:  Tuna salad

I'll post the recipe for potato soup and tuna salad at some point.  They're both really easy recipes.

Menu: October 6 - 11

This week is gonna be kinda of tight for me. We're trying to get a lot done (like fix our ceiling because it caved in on us. I'll post pics on my site) and so I decided to go the easy route. I am trying everyone else's recipes this week. Sorry there won't be anything new, but I am going to LOVE eating! We also have the missionaries over for dinner on Wednesday; I'll let you know how they like the food! Thanks ladies!

Monday: Paula's Cream Cheese Chicken w/ corn on the cob and salad
Wednesday: Paula's Chicken Chalupas w/ rice and beans
Saturday: Jennie's Poppyseed Chicken w/ any suggestions?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Broccoli Corn Chowder

Well, my success with making my planned dinners goes up and down. This week's meals have gotten all flipped around and some have been missed entirely. Here's one that was very delicious, though (aside from the fact that I made it at like 8:30pm...bad Jennie!). Once again, thanks to Chef Britta for her amazing recipes!

The night I made this soup I was very frazzled (because of how late it was...I was trying to hurry). I kept messing up and doing things in the wrong order. So, the directions I will write here will represent what I should have done. ;)

Broccoli Corn Chowder
4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth (or 3 1/2 cups of broth made from bouillon powder or cubes...which is what I did)
1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
1 head broccoli, cut into bite-size florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced (I was trying to hurry, so I didn't use the stalks. I probably will next time.)
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
1/2 t. dried thyme
1 c. whole milk
shredded cheddar cheese, for serving

In a large pot (this part is important, it's going to be the pot you use to make the soup in), cook bacon over medium-low heat until crisp, about 8-10 minutes. (If you are making chicken broth using bouillon, it would be an excellent idea to start start water boiling for that while the bacon is cooking. ;) ) Meanwhile, chop your onion. Once bacon is crisp, remove from pot with a slotted spoon and place on a plate covered with a paper towel. Increase heat to medium. Add onion and cook until onion starts to become tender, about 6-8 minutes. While the onion is cooking, chop your potato. Add flour, stirring constantly, and cook for about 30 seconds. Add broth and potato, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut your broccoli. Once the potato is done, add broccoli, corn, milk, and thyme. Cook until broccoli is done, about 8-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper (although the bacon gives it enough salt for my taste). Serve topped with cheese and bacon.

Like I said, this was a really yummy recipe. I could have made my own traditional recipe for potato soup and added broccoli and corn (and taken out the celery), but I thought I'd try this new one. Paula and Amanda (and anyone else who has had my family's recipe for potato soup)- This recipe tastes different. It's not as thick, and the thyme gives it a very distinctive flavor. I liked it!

Here's a link to Chef Britta's recipe: Broccoli Corn Chowder.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hamburger Rolls

Sorry this picture isn't the best, but we definitely had another winner tonight. This one is also from the Budge Family Recipe Book. I think that next time I make this I might make the balls bigger. Eli enjoyed them, but said they weren't too filling. That could be because he only got two. We had company. I'm pretty sure this would've been enough for just the two of us though. Good Stuff! Thank you Barbara!

Hamburger Rolls


1 lb lean ground beef (I used turkey)

1/2 c canned milk (low fat)

1 TBSP catsup

1 TBSP mustard

1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

onion salt (I was out and used garlic salt)

Schilling hamburger seasoning (I couldn't find, so I used Lawry's season salt)

Salt & pepper

1 package Stove Top Stuffing

1 can Golden Mushroom Soup (undiluted)


Preheat oven to 350. Mix first 8 items. Divide into 6 portions. Shape each portion into a circle about the size of your hand. Prepare stuffing mix according to the package directions. Place a large spoonful of stuffing in each patty and roll up and seal. Cover each roll with the Golden Mushroom Soup. Add grated cheese if desired. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes.

*This stuff is really gross looking when you first mix the ingredients. Eli tells me it looks like meatloaf. That made me feel a little better. Either way, be ye warned!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Caramel Cream Cake

This was also in my Budge Family Recipe Book. It was submitted by Valoy Smith, who is another great aunt. I think this cake is also called "Better Than Sex Cake," but I guess you can make your own decision. Ha ha! It was super easy and stayed super moist. Yum-Yum!

Caramel Cream Cake


1 package Super Moist German Chocolate Cake mix

1 c Carmel Ice Cream topping (I used sugar-free)

1 can sweetned condensed milk (fat-free)

5 Heath candy bars (I just bought a bag of pre-crushed bars in the baking section)

Cool Whip or 1/2 pint cream whipped


Make cake as directed on package in a 9 x 13 pan. Poke holes in the cake while it is warm. Mix the carmel topping and condensed milk and pour over the warm cake. Let cool. Crush the Heath candy bars and sprinkle 2/3 over the cake. Top with Cool Whip or whipped cream. Sprinkle the rest of the candy bars on top of cream. Refrigerate. Eat with a tall glass of milk!

P.S. Sorry about the spacing. My computer is spazzing!

Ground Beef Stroganoff

This recipe came from the Budge Family Recipe Book, submitted by Barbara Howell. I believe she is a great aunt, but you should still feel privileged to be given this recipe. You know, being a family heirloom practically. Eli and I both loved it. I did make a few changes though. I used a lot of low-fat or lite ingredients. Oh! I also made it with ground turkey instead. Like I said, delicious!
Ground Beef (or turkey) Stroganoff
1/2 c chopped onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 TBSP butter or margarine
1 LB ground beef (or turkey)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp monosodium glutamate (I used Accent)
1/4 tsp paprika
1 c sliced mushrooms (I skipped this one)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (the healthy request)
1 c sour cream (fat-free)
cooked rice or noodles (I used egg noodles)
Saute onions and garlic in the butter in a hot skillet. Stir in meat, flour, and seasonings, and saute about 5 minutes or until meat is cooked. Add mushrooms, then soup. Simmer about 10 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and heat, but do not boil. Add a little milk if needed (mine was really thick, so I added a little milk straight from the jug until it looked like the consistency I wanted). Season to taste. Serve on hot rice or noodles.

Menu: October 1 - October 7

Paul and I have been doing a lot better with our menus lately and not giving in to the temptation to eat very often at all. And because of this, we were under out food budget for the month for the first time pretty much ever! I think the main reason is that I've been keeping myself interested by finding new recipes to try, and we've had such variety in our meals that the thought of trying something new at home is more exciting than eating out! It's exciting. I have a couple meals left over from last week because of unforeseen circumstances (I got free dinner before the Relief Society broadcast on Saturday, and Paul's teeth hurt too much to eat real food last night after his intense dentist appointment).

Here's the lineup:

Wednesday (today): grilled cheese and tomato soup
Thursday: Vegetable Quiche
Friday: Three-Pepper Pasta Sauce (slow cooker)
Saturday: Paul makes tonkatsu
Sunday: Brocolli Corn Chowder (Chef Britta)
Monday: Paul's Pork and Beans
Tuesday: Sweet and Sour Chicken