Sunday, November 20, 2016

Perfect Fall Salad

This was gone before I even had a chance to take a picture of it, so this stock one will do and its pretty dang close.  But, while I was preparing it, I did think "this is the prettiest salad I have ever made" because the colors are so gorgeous and perfect for Thanksgiving (or anytime!).  It was absolutely delicious too!  You could easily add chicken to make it a full meal.
google images

The Perfect Fall Salad

8-10 cups assorted greens (kale, romaine, mixed greens)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (could sub goat cheese)
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large red-skinned apple, diced
1 large sweet potatoe, peeled, diced and roasted with EVOO,salt, and pepper

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
dash Tabasco sauce
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Whisk together dressing ingredients.

Spiced Pecans: 
3 Tbs. butter
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans

Over medium heat, melt butter in a pan and add sugar, spices, and salt.  Add pecan pieces and stir until well-coated.  Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar caramelizes and pecans darken slightly in color.  Transfer mixture to a paper bag or parchment paper to cool.  Toss or shake occasionally to break up pieces.

Assemble salad ingredients.  To avoid browning, apples can be added directly to dressing or dice just prior to serving.  Toss salad altogether and serve.

Friday, November 18, 2016

One Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Loved this soup and its amazing flavor.  The apple, pepper and coconut milk combine to make it really delicious, different and totally fantastic.  You could easily skip the butter on this and make it vegan.  I love it when I find a healthy, easy and delicious meal!
One Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10 servings
  • 1 tablespoon canola or Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional- sub EVOO if vegan)
  • 6 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1 small or buy the pre-cut at Trader Joe's)
  • 2 teaspoons salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small apple,( I like Gala’s for this recipe) cored, cubed, skin on
  • 1 medium onion, chopped, about 2 cups
  • 32 oz chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup half and half or coconut milk ( I used coconut milk)

  1. Place oil and butter in a large pan over medium high heat. Add squash, salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes, uncovered.
  2. Add garlic, chopped apple, onion and saute for 5 additional minutes.
  3. Add about 2 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until squash is fork tender.
  4. Add remaining broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth, or add soup in small batches to a blender.
  6. Add remaining broth and coconut milk. Simmer until ready to serve.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The MOST AMAZING Peanut Butter Cookies

"These cookies are the BEST peanut butter cookies I've ever eaten" said Dad when he first bit into them.  As someone who isn't short on opinions, but will also be totally honest, I'm going to have to agree.  These are absolutely amazing.  Soft and chewy and addictive.  The dough is also incredible so try not to eat it all before you stick it in the oven!

courtesy google images
The MOST AMAZING Peanut Butter Cookies
Gotorecipes (on Instagram)

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda 

White chocolate chips (optional, but man they really knock these things out of the park)

Cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add sugars and beat until smooth, then beat in eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and slowly add them to the mixture just until incorporated. Add white chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Scoop dough (about 2 Tablespoons) onto Silpat or un-greased baking sheet. Make hatch marks by pressing a flour-covered fork down on the down twice - one way, then across the other way (optional- we didn't do this at the Crofts home). Bake for 10 minutes until barely starting to brown, puffed and beginning to crack. Allow to cool on the baking sheet. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Goat Cheese Frittata

I've been on a sweet potato and goat cheese kick lately (hello, these flavors also scream Fall!) so when I came across this recipe, I knew I had to make it.  It was really easy to assemble and a cinch to make- plus its a show-stopper meal for almost no work!  It turned out really pretty and really tasty (caveat- my kids didn't love it but I think goat cheese is a mature flavor).
Sweet Potato, Kale and Goat Cheese Frittata


  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 6 cups chopped kale, ribs removed
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  3. Place a large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat, preferably a cast iron skillet. Add the olive oil and heat until hot. Add the sweet potato and onion and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, and kale and cook until kale is wilted. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
  4. Remove half of the mixture from the pan and set aside. Pour the egg mixture into the pan, over the sweet potatoes, kale, onion, and garlic. Add the reserved mixture back to the pan, making sure you evenly spread out the ingredients. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until just set. Top with crumbled goat cheese.
  5. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until eggs are firm and edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cut into wedges. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Traditional Oatmeal Cookies


This recipe is another one of mom's! She said it was a family favorite for years! I tried it today and I loved it. I know shortening isn't "IN" anymore. Whatever!

1 c shortening (butter flavor)
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
2 well beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 t soda
2 1/3 c uncooked instant oats

Mix all ingredients. Cook at 350 for about ten minutes. I added chocolate chips. They were delicious and pretty basic.

Creamy Grape Salad with Brown sugar and Pecan topping


This is actually mom's recipe that I am posting for her! :) I made this for a BBQ the other night and it was the only dish at the get together that was completely gone. It is so yummy! Its practically dessert.

1.5 lbs seedless green grapes
1.5 lbs seedless red grapes
8 oz light sour cream
8 oz  low fat cream cheese
1/4 c white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
for topping:
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c chopped pecans

Remove stems from grapes. Wash and dry grapes. Beat sour cream, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.
It will be kind of lumpy. Fold grapes into creamy mixture. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle on top. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Baked Taco Rollups

Baked Taco Rollups
I made these and thought they were delish! I froze leftovers in ziplocs and popped in microwave for lunches! They are great! I used only 1lb of meat and it worked!

Baked Taco Rollups
Adapted from Mommy I’m Hungry
print recipe
2 lbs extra lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 medium onion diced
1 small can diced green chilies, mild
1 recipe for homemade taco seasoning (below)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans (regular or fat free)*
2 cups shredded Colby-jack or cheddar cheese
flour tortillas, small to medium size
Suggested Condiments-
lettuce chopped
tomatoes chopped
sour cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large skillet brown meat and onion over medium-high heat. Drain off any excess liquid. Add chilies, refried beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning. Mix well and cook for a few minutes until bubbly. Add a little water or tomato juice if the mixture seems dry.
Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the taco meat mixture onto a tortilla. Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of cheese. Roll up as you would a taquito, not filling the tortilla too full, but rolling fairly tight, so the tortilla will not come undone easily. Place filled tortillas in a single layer onto a lightly greased baking sheet, seam side down. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12-15minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tacos are heated through.
Remove from the oven and serve with optional condiments.
Makes about 12-15 medium tacos.
Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
In a small bowl, mix all together. If making extra seasoning, store in an airtight container.
This is enough for one recipe of taco rollups above.
**less chili powder if you are serving to those who don’t like spice.
-*I used about 3/4 of a 16 oz can of refried beans. We liked the filling with less bean and more meat.
Another option is to add a can of drained pinto beans and smash them with a potato masher into the meat after the meat is cooked. Add about 1 tablespoon of canola oil while mashing beans.
-If serving to young children (who may not eat a whole taco) or using as an appetizer, cut the tacos in half, preferably on a diagonal.
-Heat up leftovers wrapped in a paper towel for about 1 minute in microwave.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Spicy Mexican Pasta Salad

Shake It Up! Add small chunks of pepper jack cheese, green bell peppers would add some bite. If you aren't worried about calories, double the dressing for a creamier pasta dish.
Author: Kristi Rimkus
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Spicy Mexican Pasta Salad for a Crowd
Serves: 16
  • 2 small oranges, zested and juiced
  • 2 small limes, zested and juiced
  • 2 small lemons, zested and juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Mexican seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 12 ounces frozen corn
  • 2 cups tomato, chopped
  • 12 ounces whole grain penne pasta
  • 3 medium avocado, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  1. Combine orange, lemon and lime zest and juice in a jar with garlic, Mexican seasoning, honey, grape seed oil and red pepper flakes. Shake well.
  2. Cook pasta according to box directions until al dente. Do not overcook pasta or it will become mushy.
  3. Toss pasta with remaining vegetables EXCEPT avocado and cilantro.
  4. If you will be serving this pasta salad later in the day, toss the pasta and vegetables with ½ the vinaigrette and chill. When it's time to serve, toss it with the rest of the dressing, and fold in the avocados and the cilantro.
  5. If you will be serving it right away, toss in all the dressing, then fold in the avocado and the cilantro. Chill for 20 minutes and serve.
Food energy: 239kcal
Weight Watchers PointsPlus 6
Saturated fatty acids: 1.19g
Monounsaturated fatty acids: 3.39g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 3.30g
Total fat: 7.89g
Calories from fat: 70
Cholesterol: 17mg
Carbohydrate, by difference: 36.55g
Total dietary fiber: 7.13g
Protein: 7.06g
Total lipid (fat): 8.75g
Water: 163.73g
Ash: 1.72g
Total sugars: 6.79g
Calcium: 47mg
Iron: 2.07mg
Magnesium: 45mg
Phosphorus: 137mg
Potassium: 529mg

Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce

Jennefer served this delicious roast while I was visiting so Im posting it for her!

I only use half the oil.  I also sear the pork, season it, and then pour the marinade over the meat in the crockpot.  I then add some chicken broth along with some thickening agent (corn starch) if you want to thicken sauce into gravy when you're ready to serve.  

1⁄2 cups olive oil
1⁄3 cup soy sauce
1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1-2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tsp dry mustard
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 1-lb. pork tenderloin (silver skin removed)

Combine all marinade ingredients and reserve 2-3 Tbsp. Place the pork tenderloin and marinade in a Ziplock bag and let marinate for at least 3-4 hours. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a hot skillet over medium-high heat, sear each side of tenderloin for 2-3 minutes. Place in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the meat has reached 160 degrees. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. 

Pan Sauce:
Pan scrapings from pork tenderloin
1/2 cup of chicken broth
2-3 tbsp of pork marinade (thoroughly mixed)
1-2 tsp butter

Meanwhile, place the skillet back on the stove over medium heat. Add the chicken broth and scrape up all the browned pieces from the bottom of the pan. Add the marinade and let it boil down for 2-3 minutes. Add the butter and remove from heat stirring until butter has melted. Pour over the pork tenderloin.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Turkey and Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion and Cumin

Amy sent me this recipe a couple of weeks ago and I made them last night- they were seriously the TASTIEST burgers I have ever eaten.  I could have eaten them all day long b/c they tasted so unique and refreshing.  They are a bit labor intensive, but I promise they're worth every single second. You have to make the sauce too- its incredible.  Sumac is a common spice used in Middle Eastern cooking.   I actually doubled the burgers, but not the sauce and still had lots of leftover sauce- it made 12 big burgers. Amazing!!

Turkey and Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion and Cumin
Yotam Ottolenghi

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest 
  • Fresh lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon) of half a lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sumac (found in spice aisle or on amazon) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


1 lb. ground turkey
1-2 large zucchinis, coarsely grated (scant 2 cups)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large egg
2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Sunflower oil for searing

First make the sour cream sauce by mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Stir well and set aside or refrigerate until needed (can be made a day ahead of time).
Preheat oven to 425F.  In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the burgers, except the sunflower oil.  Combine meat mixture with your hands and shape into burgers.  Pour enough oil into a large non-stick frying pan.  Heat over medium heat until hot, then sear the burgers in batches on all sides.  Cook each batch for about 4 minutes, adding oil as needed, until golden brown.  Carefully transfer burgers onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper and place in oven for 5-7 minutes, or until just cooked through.  Serve warm, or at room temp with the sauce spooned over, or on the side for dipping.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Asparagus Frittata

This was one of those "whatever you have in the fridge meals", in the which I happened to have asparagus and eggs....BUT, it turned out to be the yummiest surprise!  We all seriously loved it.  And, its super easy to make (like seriously 2 minutes of work) and it will make you feel all kinds of fancy- which is just what you need when your husband is working late on a Friday night and you're home with your kids ;)  
Asparagus Frittata

  • 6 large free-range eggs
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 knob of unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch of small asparagus

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.

    Beat the eggs with a little sea salt and black pepper. 

    Heat the oil and butter in a 19 cm ovenproof frying pan or cast-iron dish over a medium heat. Trim and add the asparagus for 5 minutes. 

    Add the eggs, cook for 3 minutes then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and fluffy. 

    Serve hot or cold, with a drizzle of hot sauce, such as harissa, if you like (we ate it without either and it was so good).  

    Friday, May 13, 2016

    Tex Mex Salad

    Tex Mex Salad

    1 head of romaine lettuce
    1 pint of cherry tomatoes
    1 can black beans drain and rinsed
    1 can shop peg corn
    1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

    2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
    1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    1 teaspoon lime zest
    1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1 clove garlic
    1 tablespoon honey
    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    Salt and fresh ground pepper
    Use blender to mix dressing

    Asian Noodle Salad

    This salad was served at our stake RS activity a few weeks ago, and while I haven't made it, I tasted of it's deliciousness and finally got the recipe.  I can't wait to make it!

    Asian Noodle Salad (served cold)

    8 oz thin spaghetti
    1 1/2 cup julienne carrot
    1 cup thinly sliced peppers
    3 English cucumbers, seeded, and sliced
    3 green onions sliced 
    1 bunch fresh cilantro 
    1/2 head of Nappa cabbage thinly sliced
    1/2 head of red cabbage thinly sliced
    Chopped romaine lettuce
    Chopped peanuts

    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup oyster sauce 
    1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
    1/4 cup brown sugar or honey
    3 tablespoon diced fresh ginger
    2 tablespoon sesame oil
    2 cloves of diced fresh garlic

    Saturday, April 2, 2016

    Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Chowder

    Kate had to plan and prepare a meal recently for her Faith in God requirements.  She chose this soup and it was delicious- even better the next day too!  We all loved it and it was easy enough for a kid to make. :)
    Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Chowder


    • 1 large head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 carrots, chopped
    • 2 celery stalks, chopped
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (can use gluten-free flour)
    • 2 (15 ounce) cans vegetable broth (low sodium is fine)
    • 1 1/4 cups Almond Breeze Almondmilk Unsweetened Original
    • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (we used white cheddar)
    • Salt and black pepper, to taste
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place chopped cauliflower and garlic cloves on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until well coated. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Place pan in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until cauliflower is tender, stirring once. Remove from oven and set aside.
    2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    3. Finely chop the roasted garlic cloves. Add the garlic, roasted cauliflower, bay leaf, and dried thyme to the pot. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir. Cook until flour disappears.
    4. Pour in the vegetable broth and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the milk and shredded cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and chowder is creamy. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
    5. Ladle chowder into bowls and serve warm.

    Monday, March 28, 2016

    Butter Cake with Strawberry Sauce

    (pic courtesy Jenny Evans Gatherings)

    I don't have words to describe how incredibly delicious this was. So, I'll just say it was melt-in-your-mouth, buttery perfection. Seriously one of the best desserts I've ever had in my life. If you want to blow the socks off of someone, make this.

    Butter Cake with Strawberry Sauce
    from Jenny Evans Gatherings 

    8 – 6 oz. ramekins
    raw turbinado sugar (any raw sugar or Sugar in Raw), to coat the bottom of the ramekins
    1 c. unsalted butter, softened
    2 oz. cream cheese, softened
    1 c. granulated sugar
    ¼ tsp. baking powder
    ¼ tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. salt
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 egg
    ½ c. buttermilk
    1 ½ c. all purpose flour
    8 fresh strawberries, sliced (optional, for garnish)
    mints leaves (optional, for garnish)

    Cream cheese layer:
    4 oz. cream cheese, softened
    ½ c. granulated sugar
    1 egg
    1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

    Strawberry Sauce:
    2 c. strawberries, fresh or frozen
    ¼ c. granulated sugar
    1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

    Preheat the oven to 325 F. Prepare the ramekins by generously coating the bottom and sides with cooking spray. Put 2 teaspoons of the turbinado sugar on the bottom of each ramekin. Swirl the sugar along the lower ½ inch and bottom of each ramekin.
    In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar. Beat for 30-60 seconds. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract; Mix well. Add the egg and beat for 30-60 seconds. Add ½ cup of the flour. Beat for 30 seconds. Add half of the buttermilk. Beat for 30 seconds. Add another ½ cup of the flour. Beat for 30 seconds. Add the other half of the buttermilk. Beat for 30 seconds. Add the last ½ cup of the flour and beat for 30 seconds.

    Cream Cheese Layer:
    Beat all the ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Do not overbeat.

    Strawberry Sauce:
    Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.

    With an ice cream scoop, place two even scoops of the cake batter in each ramekin. Top with about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese layer.
    Bake in a 325 F oven for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
    Let the cakes cool for 10-15 minutes. Gently turn them over onto a dessert plate to release them from the ramekins. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle the strawberry sauce over the ice cream, cake and plate. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries and a mint leaf. Serve warm. (You can also serve the cake in the ramekins.)