Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Katie's Secret Ingredient Smoothie

My cousin Katie (I know, I know...we hear about her alot) intro'd me to this smoothie and it has recently become a serious staple for three reasons 1) my kids love love love it 2) its easy and uses ingredients that do not go bad 3) its extremely low cal but extremely tasty. So....when I diet from the hours of 7 am to 3pm (everyday I fail epically around 3 or 4) I love this little treat. And its filling too!

Katie's Secret Ingredient Smoothie
 This is not an exact science here so I don't have measurements. Having said that, I usually use the following quantities. It makes a blender full.

-3 c. Sprite zero or Diet Twist up (whatever brand of dient lemon-lime soda) <<---psssttt, this is the secret ingredient
-4 scoops Fat Free Rainbow Sherbet (I have only found Wal-Mart brand and its great!)
-2 cups Wal-mart brand's "mixed fruit" frozen fruit (it has mangoes, pineapple, strawberries and peaches in it)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cadbury Egg Cookies

I've made these cookies 2 years in a row now and they are divine. i only use 1/4 cup of crisco and 3/4 cup butter just to make myself feel a bit better. go try these now.

Cadbury Egg Cookies

Recipe By

1/2 C Crisco (I use butter flavored)
1/2 C Butter
1 C brown sugar
1 C white sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 1/2 C flour
6T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 10 oz bag Cadbury Mini-Eggs*

*If it's not Easter, or you (gasp!) don't like Cadbury Eggs, try these cookies with white chocolate or PB chips- they're fantastic!

Preheat oven to 350. You'll need to chop up those Cadbury Eggs. I just put them in a ziplock bag and bang on them with a marble rolling pin until they're sufficiently crumbled.

Cream together the butter, crisco, brown sugar and white sugar. Add in eggs one at at a time and the vanilla. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture to combine and then mix in the candies.

Drop onto a cookie sheet and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and try not to stuff them in your face to quickly.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Quick Blender Jell-o

photo from
This is really, really good.  While I try to avoid the typical mormon jell-o recipes, I gave in to this one.  It was so good, creamy, and quick!

Quick Blender Jell-o   
Recipe from real mom kitchen
  • 2/3 c. boiling water
  • 1 (3 oz) package Jell-o
  • 8-10 ice cubes
  • 1  (8 oz) container of Cool-whip
  1. Place the boiling water in the blender and add the package of Jell-o.  Place the lid loosely on your blender.  Since you are using boiling water, if you put the lid on tight you could end up with an explosion.  Blend for 1 to 2 minutes until the jello is dissolved.
  2. Add the ice cubes to the blender ONE at a time.  Blend after each addition until the ice is well blended.
  3. Add half of the container and cool whip.  Blend until combined.  Pour Jell-o into desired dish/dishes.  then chill until set.  the original recipe said 5 minutes but I would plan on at least 30 minutes.
  4. Top each serving with a dollop of the remaining cool whip. Serves 6.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Crockpot Applesauce

photo from
I was really intimidated by peeling so many apples, but I invited a friend over, put the boys to work and made quick work of it.  This applesauce is delicious and lasted me several days!

Crockpot Applesauce
Recipe from
After you pick (or buy) your apples you need to:
1. Wash them
2. Peel them
3. Core them
4. Slice them
5. Place them in a slow cooker
(Preferably while watching McDreamy and McWarVet on Hulu)

Set the slow cooker on low heat for 6-8 hours.

Add 1/2 cup water to start and add more later if it needs it.
Some people season later, but I like the seasonings to cook into my apples, so I add about a 1/4 cup of sugar(brown or granulated) and a heavy sprinkling of cinnamon.

After so many hours in the slow cooker I didn't even have to mash my apples! I stirred them and they fell to mush. Yummy mush.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kettle Corn

Pic courtesy of

Christian decided about a week ago that he eats too much candy and dessert so he decided to go on a candy and dessert fast after Valentine's Day. I thought I'd try it with him. I made it til 7pm on the first day. And then my body was screaming for chocolate. Anyway, so we had some friends over for games and treats last night and I couldn't very well have all these tempting treats out without something for Christian to munch on. We both love kettle corn, but I've only ever made the microwave bags. I looked on to see if they had a recipe and of course they did. So, I made it last night and it was seriously so good- it was even gone before the yummy cookies I made! I found what I call Christian's "cheat treat." :) Enjoy!

Kettle Corn

1/4 c veg oil (I used EVOO)
1/4 white or brown sugar (using brown will make it taste more caramel-y)
1/2 c unpopped popcorn kernels
salt to taste

Heat the oil in a large pan. Put 3 kernels in the pan and when they pop, dump the remaining kernels in. Sprinkle with the sugar and cover with a lid. Let it pop, shaking intermittently to avoid burning the sugar. When there's 2-3 seconds between a pop, it's done. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cowboy Casserole

photo from

I made this for some friends before General Conference.  It was delicious!  The selling factor for me was that I could make it the night before so I didn't have to wake up early the next morning!

Cowboy Casserole
 From the cutting edge of ordinary blog
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used 80/20)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (15.25oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 bag (30 oz) frozen tater tots (I used Ore-Ida Crispy Crowns)

Before I got ready to make this casserole, I let the Crispy Crowns sit on the counter to defrost for an hour or so. The original recipe used still frozen tater tots, but I felt they wouldn't cook as well if they were still frozen solid.

In a large skillet cook the onion until tender and translucent. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the beef and cook over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain the mixture and place into a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the soup, milk and sour cream. Whisk until smooth. Add to hamburger mixture and stir to combine. Add corn and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Gently mix to combine.

Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer half of the Crispy Crowns on the bottom, pour the hamburger mixture over the top and then layer with the other half of the Crispy Crowns. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy.

*Note - The second time I made this I prepared it the night before and stuck it in the fridge overnight. I took it out about an hour before I wanted to bake it, just so it could come to room temperature a bit. I think it was even better than the first one

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tex-Mex Frito Salad

photo from

For a side dish for a BBQ or something, this is perfect!  I am not a fan of catalina dressing but I really enjoyed it in this combination.  Obviously, leftovers would be nasty so eat it all at once!

Tex-Mex Frito Salad
  • 1 (14.5 oz)can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (I prefer Bush’s)
  • 1 (14.5 oz)can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (I prefer Bush’s)
  • 10.5 oz  (1 dry pint) container grape tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on their size
  • 1/2  (4.25 oz) can of chopped olives
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2/3 of a 16 oz. Catalina Dressing
  • 2 1/2 finely shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 (10.5 oz) bag of Chili Cheese Fritos
  1. In a large bowl, combine the beans, tomatoes, olives, pepper, green onion and celery.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Before serving, mix in the cheese and dressing until well combined.  Then fold in the chips and serve.  You want to fold in the chips when you are ready to serve or they will become soggy.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cauliflower Soup

I made this soup for dinner tonight and everyone loved it- even Brian, who isn't necessarily a soup guy. I love that it has a lot of healthy ingredients in it and it makes a ton for leftovers.
Cauliflower Soup
Adapted from Zoom Yummy

1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
3 Tbs. butter
7 cups chicken broth
4 Tbs. flour
3 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
2 tsp. parsley
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. pepper
Salt, to taste

Melt 2 Tbs. butter in large saucepan. Saute onions for 3 minutes and then add carrots and saute for 2 additional minutes. Add cauliflower, chicken broth, and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 25 minutes. While thats cooking, whisk together flour and milk in a bowl. Melt 1 Tbs. butter in smaller saucepan. Add milk and flour mixture and whisk together. Bring to a boil and whisk constantly, while boiling for two minutes. Add milk mixture to soup and simmer for 10 minutes altogether. Remove from heat and add sour cream and cheese. Serve.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Savory Chicken Marinade

I really wanted to BBQ today. It was sunny and beautiful and it just sounded good. There's nothing like a good chicken mariande so I went on a search on This one was rated 4.5 stars and had about 800 reviews. We loved it! I served with it mashed potatoes and rolls.

I halfed this recipe and cut two huge breasts lengthwise, to make four cutlets. It was plenty of marinade. I let is marinate for about 8 hours.


1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons dry mustard (used regular mustard)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced fresh parsley (optional...I did not have so I didn't use)

Strawberry Cheese Danish

photo from

So danishes are one of my weaknesses whenever I stay in a hotel and have breakfast there.  When I saw this recipe it immediately stuck out to me.  Here is what I would do differently: I don't love strawberry jam, especially when it tastes fake!  So I would do just cream cheese or use blackberry or blueberry preserves--but that's just me! 

Strawberry Cheese Danish


Strawberry Cheese Danish

·                     1 tube (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
·                     4 ounces cream cheese, softened
·                     1/4 cup sugar
·                     2 tablespoons lemon juice
·                     8 teaspoons Strawberry preserves
·                     1/4 cup powdered sugar
·                     1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
·                     2 teaspoons milk
Directions:  Seperate dough into four rectangles. Seal perforations. In a small bowl whisk together cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Spread 1/4 of the mixture onto each rectangle. Roll up from long side; pinch edges to seal. Holding one end, loosely coil each.
   Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Top each coil with 2 teaspoons preserves. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or golden brown.
   For glaze, in a bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Stir until smooth and drizzle over each danish. Makes 4 danishes.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Apple Pie Dip and Cinnamon-Sugar Tortilla Chips

photo from

This looks harder than it is!  It was not bad at all to cut the apples up and the dip was so delicious and definitely healthier than most other dips...
Apple Pie Dip & Cinnamon-Sugar Tortilla Chips   
2 cups peeled, cored, and diced apple
2 tbsp fresh lemon/calamansi juice
3 tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tsp water
 for the chips
5 (6-inch) wheat tortillas
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
§  You can either cook this on the stove-top or the microwave.
§  Combine all the dip ingredients in a small pan/ microwaveable bowl except the cornstarch-water mixture.
§  Heat for a few minutes until it’s boiling and has extracted juice from the apple.
§  Add cornstarch-water mixture to the “sauce”
§  Put back in the microwave/stove top until boiling and the sauce has thickened.
§  Set aside. You can serve this warm or chilled. It doesn’t matter. It will taste delicious.
§  Cut tortillas into desired size. {wedges}
§  Put in a slightly greased baking pan.
§  Brush the tortillas with butter.
§  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake at 210º C until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes.
§  Let them cool before serving and serve with the Apple Pie Dip

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Southwestern Chicken Barley Chili

picture courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe

My family really enjoyed this twist on Chili by Mel's Kitchen Cafe.. I have never used barley before and I really enoyed using it and esp. eating it. So good and so good for you! WE put fritos on top and that was yummy!

Southwestern Chicken Barley Chili

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained ( I blended mine b/c my family does not like tomato chunks!)
1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup medium barley (not quick cooking)
4 cups water
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
dash cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into bite-size pieces
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
SALT to taste

Garnishes: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, tortilla chips

In a large pot (about 6-quarts), combine the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, barley, water, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano and cayenne (if using). Stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and add the chicken. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer the chili for 40 minutes, until the barley is tender and chewy and the chicken is no longer pink. Stir occasionally, while it simmers to prevent sticking and to make sure it stays at a steady simmer. After 40 minutes, add the beans and corn and salt to taste. Stir to combine and simmer for five more minutes. Serve the chili with optional garnishes, if desired.

The chili will thicken considerably upon cooling. Add chicken broth or water as needed to achieve a desirable consistency (especially if reheating the leftovers). Can freeze!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Creamy Tomato and Sausage Pasta

photo from yourhomebasedmom

It was refreshing to use sausage instead of the typical beef or chicken with pasta.  I loved the marinara/cream sauce too!

Creamy Tomato and Sausage Pasta
1 lb. mild Italian Sausage
2 – 3 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tsp fresh basil, sliced (reserve some to garnish with) or use 2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cans (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 C cream
1 box penne pasta
Brown the sausage . Cook pasta according to the box. Heat olive oil in a pan and add garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Saute until garlic is soft. Add in tomatoes and cream. Stir until it begins to thicken. Add sausage back in and then pour over pasta. If it seems to thick just thin it with some additional cream. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and more fresh basil.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

photo from

Oh, these are so, so good!  Let me say that again, these are so good.  These beat out blueberry muffin boxes any day!

Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Serves 6-8
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup + 1 T. sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.