Friday, September 30, 2011

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake

Photo from

This is the perfect meal to use up a bunch of leftovers, such as rice and chicken.  Wasn't my favorite meal ever but the practicality of it has it's worth!

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake
Recipe from

serves 4-6
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and shredded
4 cups cooked brown rice
3/4 cup frozen corn
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup plain greek yogurt (you can use sour cream)
1 4 ounce can green chilis
1/2 cup chunky salsa
1 cup grated cheddar & monterey jack cheese (low-fat cheese works too!) + more for topping if desired
cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for cilantro and mix thoroughly to combine. Make sure the yogurt and cheese is stirred in throughout the entire bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and top with extra cheese if you would like. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

To make this process easier, I always have cooked chicken on hand, and use Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice. If you have those two things, this mean can be throw together in a matter of minutes! It can also easily be made ahead of time and reheated.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mini Cheese Meatloaves

Photo from Tasteandtell blog

I know, I know it's weird but I actually loved these!  Plus, I love how they are perfect portions.  I think I am slowly becoming a meatloaf fan.  

Mini Cheese Meatloaves
Recipe from tasteandtellblog
Serves 4

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 – 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound lean ground beef

2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.

In a bowl, beat the egg and milk. Stir in the cheese, oats, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, onion and salt. Add beef and mix well. Add more breadcrumbs if needed to be able to form loaves. Shape into 8 small loaves, and place in a greased 9×13 baking dish.

In a small bowl, mix ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Spoon over loaves. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Texas Roadhouse Rolls

Photo from

These are as good as they look though I admit that mine didn't look like this picture.  All tastes the same in the mouth!

Texas Roadhouse Rolls - Copycat Recipe
Recipe from

4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water
2 c. milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
3 Tbl. of melted butter, slightly cooled
1/2 c. sugar 
2 quarts all purpose flour (7-8 cups)
2 whole eggs
2 tsp. salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water with a teaspoon of sugar.  Add yeast, milk, sugar and enough flour to make a medium batter.  Beat thoroughly.  Let stand until light and foamy.  Add melted butter, eggs and salt.  Beat well.  

Add enough flour to form a soft dough.  Sprinkle a small amount of flour onto counter and let dough rest.  Meanwhile, grease a large bowl.  Knead dough until smooth and satiny and put in greased bowl; turn over to grease top. (I used the dough hook on my Kitchen-Aid to knead this for about 4-5 minutes).  Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.  Punch down.  Turn out onto a floured board.  Divide into portions for shaping; let rest 10 minutes.  Shape dough into desired forms.  Place on greased baking sheets.  Let rise until doubled.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Baste immediately with butter.  Yield: 5 to 6 dozen.  

*Jenn's Notes: I shaped my rolls by rolling out the dough into a rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick, then I folded the rectangle in half, making it about 1-inch thick. I used  my rolling pin and rolled over the dough, ever so gently, just to seal the two halves together.  I then used a dough scraper and cut the rolls into squares and placed those on my greased baking sheet.  I cut the recipe in half and I got exactly 12 big rolls and baked them for 16-17 minutes.  In order to get the 5-6 dozen rolls like the recipe states, you would have to make really small rolls.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chicken and Green Bean Stir Fry

Photo from

Once again, loved this one and even my kids ate it all!

Chicken & Green Bean Stir Fry
Recipe from

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 lb. green beans
2-3 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. minced ginger
3 tsp garlic, minced
5 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp vinegar

Steam green beans by placing them in a ziploc baggie and microwaving on high for about 2 minutes.  Until crisp-tender and bright green.

Heat 2 Tbsp. sesame oil in pan over medium heat.  Add chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until cooked through.  Remove chicken from pan.  Add remaining oil to pan and add green beans, garlic and ginger and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.  Add chicken back in.  Add in soy sauce and vinegar and cook until sauce begins to thicken – about 2-3 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lemon-Blueberry Yogurt Loaf

I made this loaf/cake over the weekend and thought it was really delicious- tart, flavorful and different from your run-of-the-mill breakfast cake. Really though, you could eat this anytime of the day as a delicious and satisfying snack.
Lemon-Blueberry Yogurt Loaf

For the loaf:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 Tbs. flour, divided
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup plain (not low-fat) yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. grated lemon zest (approx. 2 lemons)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups blueberries (can use frozen, but thaw first), rinsed

For the Lemon Syrup:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

For the Lemon Glaze:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2-3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a 9X5 loaf pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 c. flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. In a small, separate bowl, gently toss the remaining 1 Tbs. flour with the blueberries until coated. Gently fold blueberries into batter. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 50-65 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it to a wire rack placed over a cookie sheet (important!). While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup. In a small saucepan, stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to cook for 3 more minutes and then remove from heat. Poke holes with a toothpick all over top and sides of loaf and pour lemon syrup slowly over the top. Allow loaf to cool completely before making the lemon glaze. To make the lemon glaze, whisk together the sugar and lemon juice. Mixture should be thick, but pourable. Add more lemon juice, if needed. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of the loaf and allow to harden before serving.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pretzel Dog Dippers

Photo from

BYU vs. Texas: the best thing about the game were these pretzel dog dippers!  These were super easy and really quick  to make--after you let the dough rise.  I think it took me about 5 minutes of prep, no joke!

Pretzel Dog Dippers 
Recipe from

8 frozen white bread rolls (I used Rhodes)
1 package of hot dogs, or 8 polish sausages (little smokies work too)
1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons baking soda

Defrost and proof dough according to packaged directions (it took me 3 hours to get my dough to defrost and rise a little)

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water. Set aside. Cut hot dogs in half or into thirds if you want bite sized snacks. Form dough into 1 large ball. Divide dough into enough equal pieces to cover all pieces of hot dogs. Smooth dough over hot dog pieces and dip into baking soda water. Arrange on greased baking sheet. Sprinkle salt over top. Bake 12-15 minutes or until dough is darker golden brown. Serve with cheesy chili dip (below), or usual hot dog condiments.

Cheesy Chili Dip

1/2 cup velveeta
1 can chili, or 2 cups homemade leftover chili

Microwave velveeta and chili for 1-2 minutes until velveeta is completely melted. Serve with pretzel dog dippers or tortilla chips. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Lehi Orange Rolls

Photo from Sister's Cafe

Just look at these.  They were so good!  I froze half the batch and ate them later and they were still so delicious!

Lehi Orange Rolls   

Recipe from The Sister’s Cafe

1/3 cup warm water
2 Tb yeast
3 eggs
1 tsp orange extract
1 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
5 1/2 – 7 cups flour, divided
1  cup butter, softened, divided
1 1/3 cup sugar, divided
zest of 2 oranges
Dissolve yeast in 1/3 cup very warm water.  Add eggs and beat.  Add orange extract, 1 cup warm water, salt, 1/3 cup sugar, oil, and 4 1/2  cups flour. Beat.  Add 1/2 to 1 cup flour and knead for several minutes.  Place dough in greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Put in a warm place and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled.
Knead dough 5 or 6 times.  Divide in half.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  Roll each half out into a narrow and long rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick.  Spread with softened butter, remaining sugar, and orange zest.  Roll up lengthwise  and pinch to seal edge of dough.  Cut rolls about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Place in a greased pan fairly close together and cover with greased plastic wrap.  Let rise for 1 hour in warm place.  Bake at 350 degree for 12 to 17 minutes. Don’t overbake.  Let cool slightly, then ice with orange cream cheese icing.

Orange Cream Cheese Icing

1/2 package of cream cheese (4 oz.), at room temperature
1 Tb butter, softened
1/2 package of powdered sugar (about 3 cups)
2 Tb orange juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 – 1 tsp orange extract, to taste
Beat all ingredients together.  Add more orange juice, if necessary, for drizzle consistency.  Use over orange rolls.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rasberry Cheesecake Trifle

Photo from
Oh my gosh!  This has got to be the most amazing piece of heaven I've tasted recently.  Plus, you just buy the cake part, you don't even have to make it.  Plus, it was good for the next couple of days, too.  Not that I needed to confess that.  

Raspberry Cheesecake Trifle
Recipe from

2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix together cream cheese, powdered sugar, sour cream and vanilla. 

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whip heavy cream, sugar and vanilla. Then fold into the cream cheese mixture.

2 prepackaged Angel Food Cake, cubed

2 package raspberry Danish Dessert (I can never find this so I used raspberry jello and unflavored gelatin and then added a little cornstarch mixed with water)
3 cups water
2 package frozen raspberries

Bring water and Danish Dessert to a boil. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and add frozen raspberries. In trifle bowl, begin to layer. Start with raspberry layer, then add cream cheese mixture, then angel food cake, and repeat. Be sure to end with raspberry layer. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cafe Rio Style Salad

Photo from

We don't really need a picture do we?   I finally found it and I am so, so, so excited!  By far the best replica of Cafe Rio salad.  I love it!

Cafe Rio Style Salad 

Recipe from

Cafe Rio Pork

2 lbs pork roast
1 can Coke decaf
1/4 cup water
1 tsp garlic salt
1 can green chiles
1 cup red enchilada sauce (suggested La Palmas mild)
3/4 cup brown sugar

Put pork into a crock pot with 1/2 can Coke, water, and garlic salt.  Cook on high for 1 hour and then on low for 3 hours.  Shred pork in pot and add rest of Coke, green chiles, enchilada sauce, and brown sugar.  Cook on low for 2 more hours.  Serves 6

Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

2 jalapenos diced
3 cloves garlic diced
2 tomatillos chopped
1 small handful cilantro
2 TBS lime juice
2 cups milk
2 cups mayonnaise
2 envelopes Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

Blend all ingredients except mayo in blender until smooth.  Add mayo and blend until just incorporated.  Chill (overnight is best.)

Lime Cilantro Rice

1 cup uncooked rice
1 tsp butter
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp lime juice
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
1 TBS lime juice
2 tsp sugar
3 TBS cilantro chopped

In saucepan, combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp lime juice, broth, and water.  Bring to a boil and cook for 22 minutes on low.  Combine rest of ingredients and stir into rice as you fluff it.


cheese, cheddar and monterey jack
romaine lettuce chopped into 1/4" strips
tomatoes, chopped
sour cream
avocados or guacamole
black beans
pinto beans
crunchy corn tortilla strips or chips

Layer the Cafe Rio Pork Salad as follows:

cooked tortilla, cheese, black/pinto beans, lime cilantro rice, lettuce, Cafe Rio Pork, then your choice of favorite toppings.  drizzle with creamy tomatillo dressing.  crush corn tortilla chips for final topping.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

picture courtesy of

I know there are probably several tortilla soup recipes on here already, but I saw this one (from and it caught my eye because of the fresh cilantro and fresh limes. It was really really easy too unlike some other recipes I have tried. Kids weren't crazy about it with the chunks of tomatoes from the rotel and  the cilantro and lime- it was just too much for them! But my husband and I really enjoyed it.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 cans of black beans, rinsed
4 cans of chicken broth
1 pkg of frozen corn
2 cans of mild rotel
1/2 small can of tomato paste
Shredded chicken (I just threw 3 breasts in a crock pot with a cup of water...super moist to shred)
Combine the above in a pot and heat until boiling. Add salt and garlic powder to taste (about 1tsp of ea).

Garnish with:
-1 bunch of cilantro chopped, for garnish
-shredded cheese, garnish (we had pepper jack for adults and cheddar for kids...PJ was AWESOME in this)
-two avocados chopped into bits, garnish
-two limes cut into wedges, for squeezing on top-Tortilla Chips for crunching on top

P.S.- this makes A TON. I would half it next time for sure. It makes about 10 adult servings.

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

Photo from

I love grilling and I love the flavor of teriyaki.  Thus, I love this recipe.  I just used the canned pineapple and still loved it all!

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

Recipe from

*Note: if you don’t have fresh pineapple or choose not to use it, you can use a large can of pineapple chunks, draining and reserving the liquid for the marinade, and serving the pineapple chunks alongside the grilled chicken. I like to serve this teriyaki chicken with baked brown rice (cooked with chicken broth – and after baking, I stir in toasted almonds and sliced green onions).
*Serves 6
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 ounces (3/4 cup) pineapple juice
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup canola or olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Fresh pineapple, for grilling
Hot rice, for serving

In a small bowl, combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, molasses, brown sugar, oil, vinegar and garlic powder. Whisk to combine. Add the chicken breasts to a large ziploc bag and pour the marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.

Drain the liquid. Grill the chicken over medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through. When the chicken has about 4-5 minutes left to cook, add the rings of fresh pineapple and grill for 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the chicken into strips. Serve over hot, cooked rice with grilled pineapple.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Crispy Oven-Baked Chicken

Pic courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe

I had looked over this recipe on Mel's Kitchen Cafe months ago and passed it up because it just looked ordinary. But, last night I was desperate for something new for dinner and came across this again. And, I'm so glad I didn't pass it up again, because we LOVED it. Christian could not stop raving. I loved it for it's simplicity (I had all the ingredients on hand!). But, it's texture of flavor from the butter to the garlic to the bread crumbs and Parmesan, made it a definite winner in my book. This is definitely going to be making many more appearances at our dinner table.

Crispy Oven-Baked Chicken

adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

*Note: If you don’t have a food processor to make fresh bread crumbs, you can try using a blender and pulsing the crumbs or try using panko bread crumbs (usually found in the Asian foods aisle). If you are using a food processor, you can also add the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to the bread crumbs and pulse to combine to create an even finer crumb.

4 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1-2 thick slices whole wheat bread (for about 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Combine butter and garlic in an 8- or 10-inch skillet. Heat over medium heat until the butter has melted. Pour the butter/garlic mixture into a shallow pie plate or similar dish and cool to room temperature. Pound the 4 chicken pieces with a meat tenderizer until they are about 1/4-inch thick.

In the bowl of a food processor, tear the bread into large chunks, and pulse until the bread is ground into crumbs. Pour the bread crumbs into a shallow pie plate or shallow bowl and toss with the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Dip each chicken breast in the melted, cooled garlic butter. Transfer to the bread crumb mixture and turn until coated on all sides. Arrange the chicken in one flat layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle any of the remaining melted butter over the chicken. Bake the chicken until it is lightly browned and just cooked through, 40-50 minutes. The baking time will depend on the thickness and size of the chicken you are using. Don’t overcook or the chicken will be dry.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

Photo from
This was easy and it was really good.  I don't love dijon mustard so I substitued honey mustard.  But I don't love honey mustard so I would probably make the sauce with sour cream or cheese next time or maybe just leave out the mustard.  Jake loved the sauce.  To each their own.
Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu
Recipe from
*Serves 6
For the Cordon Bleu:
3 large chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise (to form two thinner chicken breast cutlets)
12 slices deli ham
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 to 1/2 pound thinly sliced swiss cheese
For the Parmesan-Dijon Cream Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (or 1 bouillon cube, crushed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs and melted butter. Set aside.
Lay the cut chicken breasts in a single layer in the 9X13-inch dish. Layer each chicken breast with two slices of ham and top with 2 slices of swiss cheese, shingling across the chicken breast to make sure the entire chicken breast is covered with ham and cheese. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the chicken.
Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through completely, the cheese is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden.
While the chicken bakes, in a medium saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the flour, whisking constantly, while cooking the flour/butter mixture for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking quickly. Stir in the chicken bouillon granules and salt. Whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 3-5 minutes. Once the sauce has bubbled and thickened, remove from heat and stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Keep the sauce warm until the chicken is finished baking.
Serve each chicken cordon bleu portion with warm sauce.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Root Beer Pulled Pork

Raving reviews from all the gentlemen in the house--and there were 4 of them (grown men that is).  I liked it but I think I personally prefer pulled chicken in my sandwiches.

Root Beer Pulled Pork   

Recipe from


1 (5 to 6 pound) bone-in pork shoulder/butt roast
1 envelope dried onion soup mix (or dehydrated onions)
salt and pepper
1 can root beer
2 cups barbecue sauce, divided


1. Trim roast of excess fat. It's okay to leave some on there-- just get rid of the large, visible slabs.
2. Place roast on a work surface and sprinkle with onion soup mix. Use clean hands to rub the mix into the meat, reaching underneath to reach all sides. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place seasoned roast in your slow cooker.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together root beer and 1/2 cup barbecue sauce. Pour over the roast in the slow cooker.
4. Place lid on the slow cooker and cook on LOW heat for 10 to 11 hours, or until internal temperature is above 190 degrees F. and meat is tender enough to pull away from the bone.
5. Remove roast to a cutting board and let sit to cool for just a few minutes. Pour out all but about 3/4 cup of the juices from the slow cooker. Use two forks to shred the pork, cutting around and discarding any fatty pieces. Place all of your pulled pork back into your slow cooker. Add about 1 1/2 cups of barbecue sauce. Stir to combine and place the lid back on. Heat on HIGH for about 15 to 20 minutes, just until pork and juices are hot and bubbly. Use this time to heat up buns and get the rest of your meal ready.
6. Scoop pulled pork onto buns and serve immediately.


*If you don't wish to make such a large roast, you can use the same ingredients for a smaller roast too. You can likely cut down a bit on the cooking time, and use less barbecue sauce when adding it in at the end.
*For the most tender pulled pork, I do not recommend trying to short-cut the recipe by cooking it on HIGH heat. Low and slow is best!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chocolate Brownies

These brownies work for a crowd (obviously, since served at Girl's Camp and at our massive family reunion).  I doubled them and put them on a large cookie sheet.  I used mint chips on top of the chocolate chips.  Yummy!  I also love how you make it in the microwave.  Simple, that's how I roll.

Chocolate Brownies
Recipe from Andrea Bake, served at Girls Camp

3/4 cup cocoa
1 cups butter or margarine
2 cups of sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips
Toffee and mint pieces

Melt butter in microwave, add cocoa and sugar; mix well.  Incorporate eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour.  Spread on foil lined baking sheets.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 min.  Immediately after the brownies are removed from the oven, sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Allow to sit for 5 min.  Spread melted bits evenly over brownies, and top with toffee or mint pieces.  Allow to cool before cutting into bars.