Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce

photo from ourbestbites.com

This was listed as one of the favorite recipes on this amazing cooking blog.  I thought it was pretty good.  Definitely not my favorite, but very delicious and impressive for a crowd!

Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Really? Meatloaf. Yes indeed. When it comes to meatloaf  I always think of the "Christmas Story" when Ralphie asks what's for dinner and when his mom says meatloaf he responds, "AAAAAAAWWWWW, Meatloaf???". Oh the misery! Meatloaf is a funny thing. Generational wouldn't you say? Well, every once in a while I like to make it on a Sunday afternoon because it seems like a Sunday-y thing to make. And I get dang tired of roast. ANNND, this just happens to be my father-in-law's favorite recipe and is one of my husband's favorites too. This recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law and it was handed down from her mother-in-law. Yup. Its that old. So, tried and true. Its pretty good.


1 lb hamburger
1/2 lb sausage (spicy if you like)
1 can evaporated milk
S &P
Minced onions (or the real thing...my family doesn't like the real thing)
1 T flour

1/4 c ketchup
dash nutmeg
3 T brown sugar
1 t mustard

Preheat oven to 350. Soak bread crumbs in the milk. Add remaining ingredients for the loaf. Mix until well combined. I used a ginormous fork because I cannot stand using my hands but my MIL uses hers hands. Combine sauce ingredients in a separate bowl with a whisk. Top loaf with sauce. Cook for 1 hour.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Banoffee Pie

Photo from thesisterscafe.com

I was really hesitant to trust making caramel in a crock pot but it totally worked and it was delicious!  A very easy and impressive dessert.  I just used cool ship instead of whipped cream because I am slightly lazy when it comes to whipping cream and I like the taste of cool whip better!

Banoffee Pie {Caramel Banana Cream Pie}
From The Sisters Cafe

1 graham cracker crust
3 Bananas sliced
1 can sweet condensed milk
1 cup whipping cream whipped with 1-2 TB powdered sugar until stiff peaks form
To make the caramel or Dulce de Leche:
Stove Top Method:  Remove the label from can of sweet condensed milk.  Put in pot and cover completely with water.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 2 1/2 hours.  Be sure to keep the can totally covered in water to be safe.  The can will burst if it is not completly covered in water the whole time!  Be careful!!  When cooled enough that you can handle with can with your bare hands, it is safe to open.
Crock Pot Method:  Take the label of the can and place in crock pot.  Cover completely with water.  Put lid on and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Just once again make sure there is plenty of water and the cans are covered the entire time!  Cool before opening.
Oven Method:  Open can of sweet condensed milk and pour into a glass pie plate.  Cover with tin foil.  Place in a roasting pan and fill pan halfway with water. Place in a 300 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes or until is a rich caramel color.
Banoffee Pie (Caramel Banana Cream) Directions:
Slice the bananas into your pie shell.  It does not matter how, just make sure it is somewhat even.  Pour the cooled caramel over the banana slices.  Cover in sweet whipped cream and garnish with shaved chocolate.  Viola!  That is it and you have a MAGICAL incredible dessert! Enjoy:)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Easy Philly Cheesesteaks

Photo from favfamilyrecipes.com

These are amazing. Period. My new favorite go-to meal.  I loved them, we all loved them!

Easy Philly Cheesesteaks

From favfamilyrecipes.com

2 c. beef broth
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 lb. Black Angus rare roast beef (regular roast beef works great too, just make sure it's from the deli and thinly sliced)
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 large white or yellow onion, sliced
8 oz. cream cheese
sliced provolone cheese (2 slices per sandwich)
3-4 hoagie rolls

Bring beef broth and onion soup mix to a boil. Add roast beef, reduce heat, and simmer for about 5-10 minutes. In the meantime, in a large skillet saute onion and green pepper. When beef is done simmering, drain juices (you can keep the juice if you want to make an "au jus" dip.. I tried this a couple weeks ago when I made these at my sister's house and it was awesome). Add roast beef to skillet along with about 4 oz. of cream cheese. Spread remaining cream cheese on each hoagie roll. When the cream cheese in the skillet is all melted, generously portion beef mixture onto each hoagie roll. Top with provolone cheese and place sandwiches, open-faced on a large baking sheet. Broil on high for about a minute or until cheese becomes bubbly and bread becomes slightly toasty. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Here is a picture of the sandwich before all the different cheeses are added. I just thought it looked nice and it is a healthier alternative (but let's be honest, what is a cheesesteak sandwich without the cheese?)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fail-proof Pizza Dough and Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks

photo from laurenslatest.com

This was the number one rated recipe on this blog.  The breadsticks were cheesy, garlic-y, and amazing!

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough and Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks 

From laurenslatest.com

Basic Pizza Dough
yield: 2-12 inch pizzas, approximately 1 lb. of dough

1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey {or sugar}
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
3 cups bread flour {give or take 1/2 cup…depending on the heat & humidity}
In a large mixing bowl, preferably that of a stand mixer, stir yeast and honey into warm water. Sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles form and mixture starts to foam. This tells you that the yeast is alive and kicking. Pour in salt, oil and half the flour and mix.

Once that flour is incorporated, start adding flour in bit by bit until you get the pizza dough to the consistency you want: slightly tacky, but when you touch it it doesn’t stick to your hands.
Once you reach this stage, turn the mixer on high to knead for 6 minutes. Turn a timer on and walk away! Resist the temptation to stop earlier than 6 minutes! That seems to be the magical number. It should look something like this when it’s done!

The dough should be smooth and easy to work with. And the bowl should be clean!

Lightly grease the bowl & the dough so it doesn’t dry out, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise 1-2 hours. That’s it!

Now you can turn this dough into anything your little heart desires.
How about some Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks?

Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks
yield: 1- 12 inch pie
1/2 recipe Fail-Proof Pizza Dough
2 tablespoons softened salted butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese {use the real stuff!}
1/4 pound grated mozzarella cheese
{salt & pepper, if desired}
Preheat oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone inside. {If you don’t have a pizza stone, use an upside down cookie sheet…a tip I got from Natalie!}
Mix butter and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
Spread pizza dough out into a 12-inch circle on parchment paper. {This makes it easier to transfer to the pizza stone.}
Spread the butter and garlic mixture over dough and top with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Top with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, if desired. {That step is totally optional!}
Bake 9-10 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Remove from oven and cool 1-2 minutes before cutting. Serve hot, with marinara.

Oven Dogs

Photo from realmomkitchen
I know these sound  basic and odd but they were a really good and easy way to spice up an ordinary dinner!

Oven Dogs
From realmomkitchen.com

o    8 hot dog buns
o    mayonnaise
o    8 all beef hot dogs (I like Ball Park Franks)
o    1/2 cup sweet relish
o    1 Tbsp butter
o    1/2 medium onion, diced
o    1 (15 oz) can of chili or 2 cups of your own chili
o    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1.       Spread a coating on mayonnaise on the inside of the hot dog buns.
2.      Fill the buns with the hot dogs and place in a 9x 13 inch baking dish. You will have to squeeze then into the dish.
3.      Top each dog with a Tablespoon of the relish.
4.      In a pan, saute the butter and onion until tender. Add the chili to the onions and still until well combined.
5.      Top the dogs with the chili and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
6.      Cover with foil at bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Palmyra Hot Chocolate

Palmyra Hot Chocolate

3 oz. Ghiradelli 66% Cacao chocolate bar
1 cup sugar
8 cups whole milk
1/2 cup Hershey syrup

Melt chocolate bar and sugar together in a pot. Add milk 2 cups at a time, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add syrup and come to a low boil.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Breakfast Cookies

My friend brought these over to me fresh out of the oven and I ate all 6 right away.  I'm sensing a theme here with me devouring a lot of cookies in one sitting!  I don't really know why they are called breakfast cookies because they have all the makings of a regular cookie but they were extra soft....

Breakfast Cookies
Recipe from Renee Waterer, in my ward

1/4 c. butter, margarine, or shortening
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 c. peanut butter
3 c. uncooked oats (rolled better than quick)
1 + 1/4 t. baking soda
3-4 oz. chocolate chips (2/3 c-1 c)
optional: 2 T. flour and 2 T water, for high altitude

Blend butters and sugars.  Blend in vanilla and eggs.  Combine oats, baking soda, and flour in another bowl.  Drizzle in the 2 T. water while stirring into the mixture of oats.  Add the oat mixture to butter mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.  The edges only should start to turn golden, let cookies sit for 1-2 minutes to finish cooking the center.  Remove to rack and enjoy!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chicken Salad

I know there are a million of these recipes out there but the reasons I love this one are: there is a good noodle balance in here, it doesn't taste very mayonnaise-y, I love the fruit ratio too.

Chicken Salad
Recipe from my MIL, Debbie Hutchings

2 c. dry shell macaroni-cooked and drained
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 c. coleslaw dressing
4 c. cooked, diced chicken
2 c. diced celery
2 c. seedless red grapes
2 c. chopped apples
2 Tbls. diced onion
1 can water chestnuts (sliced)
2-20 oz. cans pineapple tidbits drained
2-11 oz. cans mandarin oranges drained
4 oz. package cashews
4 oz. pkg. sliced almonds

Makes large Tupperware bowl full.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pizza Crust/Calzone Crust

We just had our friends over for calzone night and I thought I'd try this recipe for a change.  Definite good move.  This crust was really easy to make and very tasty!

Pizza Crust 
From The Pioneer  Woman Cooks
If using as calzone, half the above recipe to make 4 adult calzones, bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  Brush tops with olive oil and make slits for ventilation.
Yield: 2 pizza crusts
1 tsp or 1/2 packet active dry yeast
1 1/2 C warm water
4 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/3 C extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
In a mixing bowl, pour the yeast over 1 1/2 cups of warm water, stirring gently. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Using an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil until just incorporated. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, mixing until the dough forms a ball. (You can also do this by hand.)
Drizzle a little olive oil into a clean bowl. Toss the ball of dough in the bowl and turn over to coat in oil. Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Divide the dough in half, then using your hands, stretch the dough to the desired shape, pressing it into an oiled pan with your fingers. The thinner the better. The surface of the dough should be lumpy from finger marks.  The other half of the dough may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days before use, or frozen for up to 6 months.

Monday, January 2, 2012

thai noodle salad

i have made this twice now and beau and i are both in love. he DEMANDED that i put this up for you all to see. you can add or take away from the salad ingredients as you please but the key ingredient is the dressing. if you like thai/peanuty stuff this dressing is to die for. this time around i doubled it so that i could keep more in the fridge for when i wanted a swig. ( i also added quite a bit of water at the end to make it not so thick)

Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
Recipe by OurBestBites.com

8 oz Linguine Fini (or regular linguine)- i just used spaghetti
4 C shredded greens: any combo of napa cabbage, romaine lettuce or even spinach
2 C thinly sliced purple cabbage
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, julienned
1/2 medium cucumber, halved and sliced
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
3 C diced grilled chicken
honey roasted peanuts (about 1/2 cup)

Thai Peanut Salad Dressing (save some time and make this part ahead!)

Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Add a spoonful of salt and then add your pasta. While pasta is cooking, start chopping those veggies.

You can really use any mix of veggies you want. I have a thing with rainbows, so whenever I make this type of salad I pick the vegetables purely based on color so I can have something in every shade of the rainbow.

You can play around with the leafy greens. I like to use both napa cabbage and romaine lettuce. If you're eating this right away lettuce works great, and spinach is even good in there. However, if you're taking it to a picnic, or serving it on a buffet or anything like that where it will sit a while, I recommend going heavy on the cabbage because it will stay nice and crunchy for ya.

As soon as your pasta is done drain it and run some cold water over it until it's cool. If you're not going to use it right away, add a drizzle of the salad dressing and stir to coat. This will prevent the noodles from getting all clumpy. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

When you're ready to assemble the salad, place noodles, veggies, and chicken in a large bowl.

Pour the Thai Peanut Dressing over everything, stirring as you go until you have enough to coat. I use it all!


1/2 C peanut butter
1 lime, juiced and zested
2 1/2 t sesame oil
1 T seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 T soy sauce
3 T honey
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 T minced ginger
1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro (stems and all)
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/4 t kosher salt*
2-3 t sriracha chili sauce*
2-4 T water*

*The need for salt may differ depending on the brand of PB you use. Taste first and then add.
*I use 3 t Sriaracha, but you may want more or less depending on your preference of heat levels. Again, taste first and then add.
*Lastly, the addition of the water is purely for consistency which again, depends on the PB brand you use. Add water until you get the consistency you want, or leave it out completely.

Place everything in a blender and mix until smooth. Makes about 2 cups.