Friday, April 30, 2010

Mom's Famous Cinnamon Bread

For those of you who don't know, my Mom is practically famous for her cinnamon bread. Last year, she showed me her trade secrets and for this first time, I made some of my own. I've made it a few times since then, and have had some great success as well as- I'll be honest- some pretty disastrous failures. I haven't been making bread for that long, so I still have a lot to learn, but I made it again this morning for our neighbors, and it turned out wonderfully. I used a different white (gasp!) bread recipe than she uses, and- don't tell Mom- but I actually liked it better than her recipe. We don't usually eat white bread, but I consider this stuff dessert, and we all know that I eat plenty of that!

PS- I just halved this recipe and got three mini loaves and one big loaf.

Grandma's White Bread
submitted by Brittany ~

2/3 cup powdered milk *see note
3 heaping Tbsp of instant yeast
6 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
6 Tbsp shortening (I'm sure you could use butter if you don't want to use shortening)
6 cups warm water
Flour (approx. 15 cups total)

*I have made this bread with fresh milk too and it works great. Just omit powdered milk and use 3 cups warm milk and 3 cups warm water in the place of the 6 cups warm water.

Mix powdered milk, yeast, salt, sugar, and shortening in large mixer like a Bosch. (*your Kitchen Aid is not big enough! It will handle a half recipe though.) Add warm water. Add about 4 to 5 cups flour and beat until well mixed. Add flour slowly until dough comes away clean from the edge of the mixing bowl. Allow to knead for 5 more minutes. Do not add too much flour. Cover with greased plastic and allow dough to rise. Once it has doubled in size, roll it out to about a 17x11 rectangle. Combine 1 cup granulated sugar to 1/2 Tbl cinnamon (more or less depending on your taste) in a small bowl. Spray (I used a spray bottle) the dough with a little water. Scoop cinnamon sugar mixture on to bread dough, distributing evenly, leaving about 1/2 in on all sides like this:

Roll dough, starting at long end until it forms a long log. Press ends together to seal cinnamon in.

Measure the approximate size of your dough pans and cut the dough accordingly, being sure to pinch and "seal" the edges each time. Place in dough pans and allow to rise until the loaves reach loaf size.

Heat oven to 350 and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes and then invert loaves on to a cooling rack (if you leave the loaves in the pans too long, they will stick and you won't be able to get them out in one piece).

Monday, April 26, 2010

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Pic courtesy of McConnor Blog

Out with the cold and in with the...chicken salad sandwiches! Oh, how I adore chicken salad in the spring! I was first introduced to chicken salad sandwiches not even 2 years ago and I became an instant fan. I've tried many different recipes, but have finally found one that, in my opinion, is the best. I made this for a friend's birthday party last week and everyone raved.

Chicken Salad Sandwich
adapted from

  • 2 1/2 cups diced and chilled, cooked chicken meat
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced, seedless grapes
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • dash of cayenne pepper

Toast almonds at 375 for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown. Whip cream until soft peaks form. Fold in remaining ingredients and chill. Serve on bread (croissants are the best), crackers, romaine lettuce leaves, or eat it straight out of the bowl!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cheesy BBQ Sloppy Joe's

Wow!  These were so mouth-watering-ly good!  Even Mom ranted and raved 
about them.  If you don't want to make it on the Texas Toast, then put it on a salad
 or a bun.  The meat flavoring is so good!

Cheesy BBQ Sloppy Joe's 

from Southern Living magazine


  • 1 1/2  pounds  lean ground beef
  • 1  (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1  cup  ketchup
  • 1/2  cup  bottled barbecue sauce
  • 1  tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped pickled jalapeño peppers (optional)
  • 1  tablespoon  liquid from pickled jalapeño peppers (optional)
  • 1  (11.25-oz.) package frozen garlic Texas toast
  • 1/2  cup  (2 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well. Return to skillet. Stir in tomatoes, next 3 ingredients, and, if desired, jalapeño peppers and liquid. Cover and cook 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare Texas toast according to package directions. Serve beef mixture over Texas toast; sprinkle with cheese.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Julianna Jewkes' college roommate

2 bruised and ripe bananas
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. chocolate chips

Blend bananas, add sugar, softened butter, egg and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients and finally add chocolate chips. Cook around 10 min. at 350'---don't overcook as these are best underdone. Yum!

Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Strawberry Coulis

Pic courtesy of Annie's Eats

It's strawberry season! I first baked this little piece of work a couple months back for a friend's birthday. I just topped with a sugar glaze and it was divine. However, this last week, I was in Utah for a Demarle party I was giving, and I decided to go all the way and make the strawberry coulis (don't worry- it's just a fancy word, not fancy making) and wow, wow, wow- I was in heaven. Do yourself a favor- bookmark this, make it, and never look back.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Strawberry Coulis
adapted from Annie's Eats

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature (I used Neufchatel cheese)
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract (You can use more if you like almond flavor, but I want to taste the cream cheese!)
3 cups all-purpose flour (can use half and half cake flour)
1 tsp. salt

For the strawberry coulis:
2 cups quartered, hulled strawberries (about 12 oz.)
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a bundt pan or tube pan (line the bottom with parchment if using a tube pan). Combine the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar, increase the speed to high, and beat until light and airy, at least 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts. Add in the flour and salt and mix until just incorporated.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 65-75 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool completely. Serve at room temperature.

To make the strawberry coulis, combine the strawberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Puree until very smooth, then press through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. You'll probably have to use a scraper or spoon to "push" the strawberry juice through the sieve and there'll be quite a bit of seeds mixed with a little juice in the sieve that'll kind of stop it up so you'll have to dump out the seeds and do 2-3 rounds of this. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Serve with slices of pound cake.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cafe Rio Salad

I know these recipes are "a dime a dozen" but this is the best imitation I've had yet. AMAZING--especially the dressing! I got his recipe from a ward friend, Megan Johnson.

Chili Beans
4-6 cans of black or pinto beans
1 can diced chilies
1 1/2 c. green enchilada sauce
Place all ingredients in a crock-pot, electric skillet or saucepan. Cook 2 hours on low until flavors are mixed.

Cilantro-Lime Rice
1 c. rice
1 tbs. oil
1/3 bunch of cilantro
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 chopped onion
2 c. water (or chicken broth - leave out bouillon cubes)
2 bullion cubes
zest of 1 lime
Brown onion & rice in oil in skillet. In blender, place water/stock, bouillon, cilantro, lime zest and salt..blend thoroughly. Add mixture to rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. When rice is cooked, fluff with fork and add the juice of 1 lime.

Cafe Rio Chicken (makes a ton)(I've never made this one but I've tasted it and it's good)
5 lbs chicken (breasts)
2 Tbs. Cumin
2 small bottles of zesty Italian dressing
6 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbs. Chili powder
Combine all and cook on low all day in crock-pot. Then shred and serve.

Cafe Rio Pork(I've made this a bunch and it turns out great every time)
3 lbs Pork Roast
1 can Coca Cola, Pepsi or Dr. Pepper (I use coke)
Cook all day on low in crock-pot. Drain the juice and add:
1/4 c. BBQ Sauce
1/4-1/2 c. Brown Sugar
1 can mild green chillies
3/4 c. Ketchup
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
Mix into shredded pork.

Spicy Tomatillo Ranch Dressing
1 Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Packet
2 Tomatillos (peel off loose skin)
1 clove garlic
1/2-1 small jalapeno pepper (to your taste)
2 c. Mayo
1 1/2 - 2 c. Buttermilk
1/2 Bunch Cilantro (mostly leaves)
2 Tsp. Lime Juice (or more)
Blend all ingredients together in a high blender until it is mixed well. Refrigerate.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Can you say FANCY?  Yeah, I know.  Not only that, but really yummy!  Another must try!
Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells
Submitted by Erin at The Sister's Cafe blog

44 uncooked jumbo pasta shells (That’s about one and one-half 12-oz boxes)
2 c chopped cooked chicken
2 c fresh chopped spinach
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15oz) container ricotta cheese
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (5oz) package shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1 2/3 c.)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 Tb dried parsley flakes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (26oz) jar prepared spaghetti sauce (any variety)

Cook shells according to package directions (be sure to stir every once in awhile so they don't stick to the bottom of the pan and tear apart); drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 2 13x9x2inch baking dishes.
In a large bowl, combine chicken and all the rest of the ingredients except mozzarella and spaghetti sauce. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella. Spoon into shells. Spread half of spaghetti sauce into prepared baking dishes. Arrange shells over sauce; top with remaining sauce. Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.
Makes 8-10 servings.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini

Pic courtesy of The Sister's Cafe

I remember the first time I had a panini sandwich, I seriously thought it was as close to perfection in a sandwich as you can get. I still feel that way, but let's be honest, how often are you going to break out the sandwich maker (i.e., George Foreman grill) for lunch when your kids are hungry and whiny before naps and all you want to do is slap a little PB&J on some bread and tuck them in for a few hours of peace and quiet? (How's that for a run-on sentence??) So, my solution? Sandwiches for dinner! Yeah! These are so yummy and so easy and can be pretty healthy (as long as you don't slather on the pesto and butter). I just made mine on regular ol' whole wheat sandwich bread and it was delizioso.

Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini
from The Sister's Cafe


bread (artisan is traditional, but use whatever you have on hand will work)
butter (optional)
grilled chicken
mozzarella cheese (fresh is best)
roasted red peppers

Lightly butter outsides of bread. Lightly spread pesto on insides of both pieces of bread. Layer chicken, cheese, tomatoes, avocado slices, and peppers, cover with top slice of bread. Lay flat on sandwich grill (George Foreman) and cook for about 5 minutes, til outsides of bread are nice and toasty. Serve immediately.

To make roasted red peppers, half the bell pepper and remove seeds and stem. Place face down on a sheet of tinfoil and place under the broiler. Broil until the skin is black all over, about 8 or so minutes. I cover the tops of the pepper with some tin foil when it gets black and continue to broil it so the remaining sides will blacken. Once the skin is black, fold the tinfoil around it to seal in the heat (or place in a bowl and cover with Saran wrap) and let sit for 20 minutes (I've scrimped on the time before, and I think it still tastes good). Then peel off the black skin and cut into slices