Monday, May 30, 2011

The Ultimate Marinade

photo from
I don't know if it's because of the amazing Costco steak, or the amazing marinade-but HOT DOG! this stuff was good.  Seriously, I don't need to go out to eat if Jake can grill me up an amazing slice of beef like this!

The Ultimate Marinade
Recipe from

1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup sherry wine
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder

Combine all ingredients together and mix in a large bowl or baking dish. Whisk until sugar has disolved and pour over meat, seafood or veggies.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Photo from
I want everyone to know that I don't eat all of this stuff by myself.  I sound like a real porker!  I made these for someone else.  I might have eaten several of them-but certainly not all of them.  They were good.  Real good.  I had to bake them about twice as long--weird, I don't know why--but don't give up!  They were good.  Real good.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Recipe from

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2-oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp red food coloring
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
  2. In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir until combined and very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Add flour and salt and stir until just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
  5. To prepare cheesecake mixture, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract in a medium bowl until smooth. Distribute the cheesecake mixture in 8 dollops over batter in the pan. Swirl in with a knife or spatula.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
  7. Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack before lifting out the parchment paper to remove the brownies.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce

photo from

Hold up. Let me wipe the drool from my chin.  Yeah, these were good.  I mean really good.  I mean, let's have these leftovers the next night and they even taste better good.  I liked them.

White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce

8-10 soft taco size flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese, divided
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
Chopped, fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together 1 cup of the cheese and the chicken. Place an equal amount of the chicken mixture into each tortilla.  Roll up and place seam side down in a lightly greased, 9 x 13-inch pan.
In a skillet or saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, whisking until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Stir in the sour cream and green chiles. Pour sauce over the top of the enchiladas; sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oreo Truffles

photo from
I know these have been a 100 times or more but here's why I like this recipe: no dipping involved!  I am averse to dipping things.  It never works for me and it never looks pretty.  These were awesome because they were so quick.  I just rolled them in crushed oreos after.  Oh, and they are so good, and yet so bad!

Oreo Truffles

1 16 oz. package of Oreos, divided.  Total of 45 oreos
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
Crush 9 Oreos in blender and set aside.  Crush remaining 36 Oreos.  Beat cream cheese until smooth and add 36 crushed Oreos.  Beat until well mixed.  Form into 1 inch balls and then roll in remaining crushed Oreos.  Refrigerate until firm.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Spanish Rice

Photo from
More authentic?  Yes.  This is just like the rice you get at El Charro-shout out Griffin, GA!  I thought it was a bit bland--as most true authentic mexican is--but Jake loved it.  And FYI-the recipe sounds weird, but just follow it, mysteriously it actually works.

Spanish Rice
Recipe from

1-2 T. oil
2 c. white rice
1/2 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 onion, cut into chunks
3 T. chicken bouillon granules
5 c. water
Heat oil in skillet and fry rice until light brown. Add tomato sauce and stir. Turn heat off. Blend onion, bouillon and water in blender on high until pureed. Add blender mixture to rice, stir well and cover. Bring rice mixture to a boil, over medium-high heat. Once liquid level has dropped below the rice, turn heat down to low and simmer 30-35 minutes. Move rice to see if liquid remains. If so, keep simmering. Once rice is done, you may crack the lid to let steam out and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving (this helps the rice dry out a little and not be so sticky).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mexican Chocolate Cake

I don't know what makes this cake mexican-I just know it's delicious and super rich.  When Michelle made it for us there were no nuts-definitely what I prefer.

Mexican Chocolate Cake 
Recipe from Michelle Chapman (in my ward)

2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 C Water
2 C granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 C well-shaken buttermilk
2 TBS vanilla
2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

2 C chopped pecans
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 C half and half
1/2 C confectioners sugar
5 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened) finely chopped
(Michelle’s note:  I like to use Ghirardelli’s Double Chocolate chips here.)
1/4 tsp salt

Make Cake:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 deg F.  Butter cake pan well and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Melt butter in a 3 qt heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then whisk in coca,.  Add water and whisk until smooth, then remove from heat.  Whisk in separately sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl, then sift again into cocoa mixture and whisk until just combined (don't worry if there are lumps).

Pour batter in cake pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 45-55 minutes.  (Leave oven on)

Cool cake in pan on a rack 20 minutes, then loosen edges with a thin knife and invert onto a plate.

Make Glaze:
Spread pecans in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) and bake until fragrant and a shade darker, 6-8 min.  Cool pecans slightly in pan on a rack, about 5 minutes.

Melt butter in a 2 qt. heavy saucepan over low heat, then stir in half-and-half and confectioners sugar.  Add chocolate and cook, stirring, until smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in pecans and salt.  Cool glaze until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Spoon glaze over top and sides of cake (cake will still be warm) and spread with a small offset spatula or knife to cover completely.

Cook's note:
Cake (with glaze) can be made 2 days ahead and kept at room temperature in a cake keeper or covered with an inverted bowl.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Almond Poppy Seed Muffin

Photo from yourhomebasedmom
These are definitely my new favorite thing!  They were so delicious!  My kids-I mean, my kids-ate these up and wanted more.  These were so tasty!

Almond Poppy Seed Muffin
adapted  by yourhomebasedmom from

2 eggs
1 C white sugar
1/2 C oil
1/2 C milk or buttermilk
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 C flour
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C orange juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp butter
1 tsp orange zest
Beat together eggs, sugar and oil.  Mix in milk, salt, baking powder, poppy seeds, flavorings and flour.  Do not over mix.
Fill greased muffin tins 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool until slightly warm and then add glaze.
While baking mix together glaze and allow it to cool a bit and thicken slightly.  In a saucepan over low heat combine sugar, juice, extracts and butter.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Once glaze is cooled to room temperature dip tops of slightly warm muffins into glaze.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Photo from cdkkitchen
Another easy peasy mid-week meal.  I've always been nervous about pairing jam with monte cristo's--but honestly it made it taste better.  Even my super picky youngins ate these! (By the way, this picture is not what they actually look like since they are made with crescent rolls--I couldn't find another one!)

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

Ingredients to serve four:
Ultra thin sliced deli meat of your choice
Cheese or combination of cheeses of your choice.  Sliced or shredded.  Same diff.
Pillsbury Crescent rolls. One can makes four sandwiches.  Plan accordingly.
Jam.  We are boysenberry fans here, but raspberry or strawberry would work fine too.  But boysenberry is better.
Powdered sugar.
 Line your baking sheet with foil.
Spray it with Pam.
These guys tend to stick, or the cheese melts out the sides.  Who wants to scrape melted cheese?
Unroll the crescent rolls, making sure to keep them in rectangles.  See how two triangles make a rectangle? 
With your finger, lightly press together the seams where the triangles meet.
 Sprinkle or tear the cheese so it fits on each rectangle.
Layer on a few pieces of meat.
Fold over the neat little pile of cheese and meat.
Seal edges by pressing down with your fingers.
 Bake until golden brown at 375ยบ for 15-18 minutes.
(Aren't you glad you used foil?)
Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and a heaping spoonful of jam.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cream Cheesy Quesadillas

While not the fanciest meal you'll ever have, these are easy and very yummy compared to the amount of time invested.  Quick and different mid-week meal.

Cream Cheesy Quesadillas   
Recipe from Real Mom Kitchen
  • 2 cups shredded Monterrey jack and cheddar cheese blend
  • 4 oz of reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 8 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • additional salsa for dipping
  1. In a bowl, blend together cheese, cream cheese, and salsa.
  2. Divide and spread cheese mixture over 4 of the tortillas.  Top with the remaining tortillas creating 4 quesadillas.
  3. Brush one side of each quesadilla with melted butter.
  4. In a skilled, fry tortilla butter side down.  Brush other side with melted butter.
  5. Fry quesadilla until one side is crisp and brown.  Flip and cook the other side until crisp and brown.  Continue this process until all the quesadillas are cooked on both sides just like a grilled cheese sandwich.
  6. Slice each quesadilla into 4 wedges with a pizza cutter and serve with additional salsa.  Makes 4-6 servings.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Julie's Chicken Salad

Julie's Chicken Salad

You know, I would've never thought I would like chicken salad. My mother-in-law (Julie) converted me. I guess I am becoming an adult afterall. All of these ingredients alone I DO.NOT.LIKE. Especially Miracle whip (lets hear it for mayo!), celery and cold chicken. But, somehow, this congolomeration of ingredients is a beautiful mixture that is so satisfying. YUM ! Can't wait to eat another tomorrow for lunch.

6 chicken breasts, boiled
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 bunch of green onions
6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced and diced
Sliced almonds toasted to taste
Miracle Whip enough to liking

Directions: Dice chicken, celery, eggs and green onions. Combine in a bowl with Miracle Whip and S&P. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before (I only did for 6 hours and it was delish!). Serve on Crossiants and sprinkle the salad with almonds directly before serving.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Chicken and Asparagus Black-bean Enchiladas

Photo from

This recipe is so refreshing and different!  A couple in our ward made it for us for dinner.  I was a little skeptical to see asparagus sticking out of an enchilada--but YUMMY!

Chicken and Asparagus Black-bean Enchiladas

Recipe from Michelle and David Chapman (in our ward)

 Double this recipe for a 13 x 9 pan of enchiladas!

4 slices bacon
½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 ½ cups salsa, divided
1 (15 oz) can black beans, un-drained
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ cup sliced green onions
salt and pepper to taste
4-6 flour or fresh corn tortillas
¾ pound blanched asparagus (about 3 stalks per enchilada depending on the size of stalk)
¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup light cream

Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp, remove from skillet, drain and crumble.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon drippings.
Cook chicken strips and garlic in drippings until tender.
Stir in ¼ cup salsa, beans, bell pepper, cumin, and chili powder.  Season with salt/pepper.
Simmer for 7 or 8 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Stir in green onions and crumbled bacon.
Spoon bean mixture down the center of each tortilla. 
Add 2-3 asparagus stalks and top with cheese, reserving ¼ cup cheese for garnish.
Roll up tortilla and place seam side down in a greased 9x9 (or 9x13 if you double recipe) baking dish – Pyrex dishes are best.


Combine remaining salsa with cream and pour over top of enchiladas.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Top with remaining cheese.  Bake for 5 minutes longer or until cheese melts.  Served with rice, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, and additional salsa!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Southwest Pasta Salad

photo courtesy of
Southwest Pasta Salad

Oh, the dreaded salad assignment! It seems so boring when you are asked to bring a salad to a dinner. I was dying to mix it up and so searched on and found this gem. YUM!


1/2 lb. cooked bowtie pasta (I used whatever I had on hand which was whole wheat Rotini)

1 14oz. can black beans rinsed and drained

2 roma tomatoes diced

1 large pepper of any color, diced

1/2 C sliced green onions

1/2 C frozen corn (no need to thaw)

Zest from two limes

optional: add chicken

1/2 C cheese Queso fresco or Cotija cheese (found in the mexican cheese section) or pepperjack cubed


6 T fresh lime juice (about 3 juicy limes)

1/4 C rice vinegar or white wine vinegar

4-5 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/2 t chili powder

1 t cumin

1/2 t coriander

1/2 t salt

2 t sugar

3/4 C canola oil or EVOO

1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro