Tuesday, November 30, 2010


This recipe is so easy and sooo good! They taste amazingly similar to the breadsticks at The Pizza Factory in Utah.  They even tasted good in the whole wheat version--you know you have a winner if whole wheat breadsticks taste good!

 Breadtwists (Our Version of The Pizza Factory Breadsticks)

From Favorite Family Recipes blog

1½ cups warm water
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast

Let that sit for 5 minutes. Then add:

3½ cups flour
1 tsp Salt

Mix until smooth then let raise for 10 minutes. Roll out dough into a large square on a floured surface. Brush with melted (real) butter mixed with garlic and then sprinkle with kosher salt. Fold in half and cut into 1 inch strips. Twist and place on a cooking sheet. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes to raise. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately after baking, brush with more garlic butter and sprinkle with kosher salt and grated parmesan cheese.
Serve with marinara, alfredo sauce, or ranch for dipping.

*Dough also makes a great pizza dough, just roll out into a large circle, add your favorite toppings, and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Slow-Cooker Stuffing

For any of you that haven't yet picked a stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving, look no further. I grew up on Stove Top and though it was good (How can stuffing be bad?) I have recently been converted over to the homemade stuffing. I'm bringing the stuffing this year to Thanksgiving dinner and I was kind of stressed because I've never made stuffing before. So what did I do? Allrecipes.com of course! I searched for the highest-rated and most rated stuffing recipe and this was it! I wasn't going to make this for the big day, though, without trying it out first and I'm really glad I did, because I tweaked it a little bit and it turned out fabulous. Happy Thanksgiving in 2 days!

Slow-Cooker Stuffing
adapted from allrecipes.com
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, diced very small
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, chopped very small
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms, diced very small
  • 12 cups dry bread cubes
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • up to 4 cups chicken broth, as needed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  1. Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, mushroom, and parsley in butter, stirring frequently.
  2. Spoon cooked vegetables over bread cubes in a very large mixing bowl. Season with poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, and salt and pepper. Pour in enough broth to moisten, and mix in eggs. Transfer mixture to slow cooker, and cover.
  3. Cook on High for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to Low, and cook for 4 to 8 hours.
Note: The amount of broth you add totally depends on you. Add more if you like mushy stuffing and less if you like dry stuffing. If you've added too much, you can take the lid of the crock pot off for the last hour or so and if you've added too little, just slowly add a bit more. If you like a crispy top to your stuffing, throw it in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes or until crispy.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Easy Baked Risotto

When I made this last week, I served it as the main dish for our dinner. Alongside the risotto, we had a medley of steamed veggies and fresh fruit. It was so delicious and what made it even better was how easy it was to put together, thanks to this baked risotto. Next time, I'm going to saute some onions and throw it in the oven along with everything else.

Easy Baked Risotto
Recipe from Ezra Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
4 1/2 cups chicken broth (or any broth you have on hand)
3Tbs. butter
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rice and broth in large oven-proof pot. Stir to combine, cover with lid or foil, and cook for 45 minutes, or until rice is al dente and most of the broth is absorbed. Stir in cheese, butter, salt and pepper until combined and serve immediately.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Anniversary Bowtie & Asparagus Pasta

So delicious!  This creamy sauce is so rich and delicious.  And....it has asparagus so it has a vague feeling of healthy.  Very vague.  Very delicious.

Anniversary Bowtie & Asparagus Pasta

From Favorite Family Recipes Blog 

1 pkg. bow tie pasta
1/2 c. (1 cube) butter (the real stuff)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 pint heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste
10-15 spears asparagus, blanched
1/2 c. bacon, crumbled
1/4 c. toasted pinenuts (or to taste)
Parsley, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste

Boil bow tie pasta in salted water until al dente. Do NOT over cook.
In wok or heavy skillet melt butter. Add minced garlic and saute a minute or so.
Add Parmesan Cheese and bouillon cube(s). When the bouillon cube is dissolved, slowly stir in heavy cream and salt & pepper. Add cooked pasta to cream sauce and toss until pasta is well covered. Add blanched asparagus. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon, toasted pinenuts, parsley & Parmesan cheese and toss together. Serve immediately.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Candy Corn Cookie Bark

A fun Visiting Teaching Halloween surprise!
Candy Corn Cookie Bark

From Your Homebased Mom Blog

14 whole Oreos, broken up.  I used the Halloween ones with the orange filling but regular will work fine
1 1/2 C pretzels, broken into pieces.  I used the small stick pretzels
1 lb. white chocolate, almond bark or melts found in the bulk food section
1 C candy corn
brown and orange colored sprinkles
Cover a large cookie sheet with wax paper.  Spread broken cookes, pretzels and about 3/4 C of the candy corn onto the waxed paper.  Place white chocolate in a container and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.  Stir and then microwave for another 30 seconds until melted and smooth.  White chocolate melts faster and burns easier than chocolate.
Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookie mixture, spreading with spatula if needed to coat evenly.  Sprinkle remaining candy corn and colored sprinkles over the chocolate while it is still wet.  Do not let it harden.  Place cookie tray into refrigerator until set and firm.  Remove and gently break bark into small pieces.  Store in air tight container.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

{A Little Like Martha} Granola Bars

Yeah, I felt a little like Martha (Stewart, that is) the first time I made these. They are the prettiest little granola bars and the tastiest ones too. Granola bars are a huge staple in our house and I was sick of eating ones that tasted like a cardboard box. So, I went on a hunt to find the best. My search is over people...this is it.

Homemade Granola Bars
Adapted from 337 Greenwich

2 cups old-fashioned slow-cooking oats
1 cup sliced almonds (I got whole almonds and did a rough chop on them)
1 cup shredded coconut (don't get scared here- its not a huge flavor in the end)
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
2/3 cups honey
3 tablespoons butter, plus a bit for the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Chocolate chips (or any items you prefer in your favorite granola bar)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9x9 baking dish and line it with parchment paper. I also spray the parchment with cooking spray because my granola bars stick to the paper after cooling.  Toss the oats, almonds, and coconut on a sheet pan and cook for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Toast your wheat germ in a skillet on medium heat on stovetop (watch carefully- this will burn if not tended) until golden brown- about 3 minutes. Transfer oat mix to a large bowl and add the wheat germ. In a saucepan, over medium heat bring the butter, honey, vanilla, and salt to a boil. Cook while stirring for another minute. Then add the liquid to to the bowl of dry ingredients. Pour the mixture into the parchment lined pan by layers, adding chocolate chips to each layer as desired. I have used both mini and regular size chips- my favorite is the regular size...and I used semi-sweet (yum). Sprinkle some on top too! Bake at 300F for 30 minutes until lightly browned. Allow it to cool for at least 3 hours (or overnight) and then cut into bars or squares. Serve at room temperature or store in an airtight container.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Avocado Chicken

This is not a legitimate picture, but this dish always disappears before we ever even get a chance to snap one. Yes, its just that tasty. I got this recipe from my friend, Sheree, who is a great cook. You can trust this one- its amazingly delicious and really impresses. When we had the missionaries over for dinner and made this, one of the elders said it was the best dish he's ever eaten on his entire mission. Score!
Avocado Chicken
Sheree Nixon

4 chicken breasts
½ c. chopped white onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 pkg. fresh sliced mushrooms
2 Tbs. flour
1 tsp. celery salt
white pepper
½ c. chicken broth
½ cup white grape juice
2 avocados
1 ½ c. grated Monterey jack cheese

Cut chicken in half or pound til its thin. Sprinkle both sides with salt, black pepper, and flour. Saute with butter in large skillet until browned, but not cooked all the way through. Put chicken in 9X13 pan and set aside. In the same skillet put ¼ cup butter (or less, if desired) and sauté the onion, garlic, and mushrooms until soft. Add 2 Tbs. flour and celery salt, white pepper, chicken broth, and juice. Thicken. Stir in mashed avocados and ½ cup cheese. Pour sauce over chicken in pan and sprinkle remaining (1 cup) cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is light brown. I broiled mine for a few minutes at the end for crispy, brown cheese. Serve over noodles (I used spaghetti).

Friday, November 5, 2010

Chicken Chimichangas

Pros: easy, quick meal with all the ingredients on hand, can manipulate the ingredients, baked but almost taste fried.  A good, quick weeknight go-to meal.

Chicken Chimichangas 

From Our Family Treat Blog

3/4 cup salsa
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 cups shredded chicken
2 cups mexican style cheese
1/2 cup onion chopped
1 tablespoon melted butter

Mix first six ingredients. Put about 1/2 cup of mix on tortilla, fold sides and then roll from bottom. Place seam side down on cookie sheet and brush with butter and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes.

**  I added black beans and some mexican rice on the inside of mine.  Yum!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Swiss Chicken

This recipe was introduced to me by none other then my mother-in-law (and queen of the kitchen), Julie Allred. I love this recipe because it's so delicious first and foremost, it's super easy, and you can use frozen chicken. So this is SO one of those recipes that I go to when it's 5:00 and have set out nothing to eat for dinner. Therefore, I go to the freezer to get out chicken and hurriedly throw this in. And, I don't even have a written recipe for it. It's that simple. It's in my head.

photo courtesy of allrecipes.com

Swiss Chicken

2-3 lbs of boneless skinless chix breasts (frozen or thawed...just adjust cook time accordingly)

2 cans of cream of chicken soup
2 soup cans full of water

1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper

Swiss cheese slices to cover chicken breasts

Pepperidge farm "Herb Seasoned Stuffing" ***this is very important. It is in a blue and white bag not a box. Again, very important.

Lay chicken breasts in 9x13 inch casserole pan. I like to cut my chicken in half lengthwise so they are not thick. They cook faster and you get a lot more flavor per bite. Put a layer of deli sliced Swiss cheese over the chicken (I dare you to put two). Then in a bowl mix water, soup and S&P with whisk. Pour over chicken and cheese. Top with ample stuffing. This picture is SO not what mine looks like. I put about a 1/4 inch of stuffing on top. Cook at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes depending on the state of your chicken- frozen or thawed.

(Sorry about the wierd spacing. I don't get it. Blogger did it.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tortilla Soup

This is another soup we had at our Souper Saturday.  I loved it!  Plus--added bonus--very low on calories!

Tortilla Soup
From Melissa Pickard

14 oz can tomatoes, undrained
1 med. onion diced
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 big bunch cilantro
1/4 t sugar
Tabasco to taste
5 c chicken broth
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
2 c monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 medium avocados, cubed
tortilla chips

In blender, combine undrained tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, and sugar.  Blend until just chunky.  In large saucepan, add vegetable mixture and chicken broth and chicken pieces.  Simmer 20 minutes.

To serve:
Place cheese, avocado, and chips on bottom of bowl.  Pour hot soup over.  Serves 4-6.

*If wanted add 1 can drained black beans and/or 1 can drained white corn

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tomato Basil Soup

This is my favorite Tomato Basil Soup recipe, and I love Tomato Basil soup. If you've ever tried Nordstrom cafe's Tomato Basil, this one actually is comparable. Yes, it's that good. Try making your own garlic/parmesan toast to dip in it, and it is heaven!

Tomato Basil Soup
this recipe came from my sister-in-law, Debbie

1/4 cup butter

1 onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp. Dried thyme

1/2 tsp. Dried crushed red pepper

1 bay leaf

2 28 oz. Cans crushed tomatoes with added puree

6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth (I use water and chicken bouillon)

1 cup chopped fresh basil

1-2 cups cream

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and next 5 ingredients. Cover; cook until onion is tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, and basil. Cover and simmer 40 minutes. Discard bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Puree in blender and then add the cream (this step is optional). Serve. This is really yummy with small toasted parmesan/garlic toast slices to dip into it (try sourdough bread). Also yummy with meatballs in it. Freezes well.