Friday, October 30, 2009

Mexican Haystacks

Adam's most favorite dinner!

Mexican Haystacks
Serves 6-8

4 cups cooked rice (I use short-grain brown)
1 pound ground beef (I use ground turkey)
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup salsa
Shredded cheese

Shredded lettuce
Chopped tomato
Diced olives
Crushed tortilla chips
Sour cream

Brown meat with onion in pan over high heat; drain. Add salsa (you could also use a packet of taco seasoning, we prefer salsa). Cook over medium-high heat until bubbling.

To serve: layer rice, meat, and cheese. Stack on additional toppings as desired.

Potato Rolls

This is one of our favorite basic roll recipes. They always turn out and are so light and tender.

I usually make them when I make soup, but Adam and Grace love to make little sandwiches out of them for lunches with PB&Honey.

Potato Rolls
Makes 24 rolls

4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening (I always have butter-flavored Crisco, so that's what I use)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup mashed potato*

Combine 2 cups of the flour and yeast in mixer bowl. Heat and stir milk, water, sugar, shortening, and salt until just warm (120 - 130 degrees) and shortening almost completely melts and sugar has dissolved. Add to flour mixture along with egg and mashed potato. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as possible.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes).** Shape into ball. Place into a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover; let rise in warm place until double (about 1 hour).

Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Divide each portion of dough into 12 pieces. Gently pull each piece into a ball, tucking edges under to make smooth tops. Place onto prepared baking sheet. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly double (35 to 45 minutes).

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove immediately from baking sheet, and cool completely on wire racks.

* Peel and quarter 1 medium potato. Cook in a small amount of boiling water until fork-tender. Drain. Mash, and measure out 1/2 cup.

** I just change my beater out for the dough hook on my mixer, instead of kneading by hand.

Cream Cheese Chicken Soup

A few days ago, it was in the 40s and windy, and soup sounded so good. We tried this recipe from My Kitchen Cafe and we all loved it. It was so yummy! So, this isn't a "tried and true", but I wanted to share a new hit at our house. I served it with potato rolls.

(For us, the chicken didn't seem to do much for this recipe... maybe because I just boiled it, so it didn't have much flavor. I don't know. Next time, I think I might just add some frozen corn instead. I also added a cup of celery to the vegetables, to stretch it a bit more for Mike's lunch the next day).

Cream Cheese Chicken Soup
Serves 4-5

1 pound chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 onion, diced
1-2 Tablespoons butter
3-4 cups chicken broth (I used 4 cups)
4-5 reg carrots, sliced
1 cup chopped celery
4-5 potatoes, finely diced
1 cup milk
4 Tablespoons flour
8oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
Salt and pepper, to taste

Saute onion in butter. Put onion in pot and add 3 cups of chicken broth, carrots, and potatoes (and celery). Add more broth to cover vegetables, if needed. Bring to a boil, then simmer until veggies are tender (about ten minutes). When veggies are tender, mix the flour with the milk and add to the soup. Add cream cheese to soup little pieces at a time and stir until it is all melted. Add cooked chicken and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gingerbread Boys (or Girls)

I made these twice this week. They were a hit at Cub Scouts the other night. I made another batch today to take to the Halloween Party tonight! It's just my regular ol' gingerbread cookies that I usually do for Christmas. Amanda saw a cute idea to make them into skeletons. Amberly is thrilled because this is her favorite cookie and I would only make them at Christmas. Now she gets them twice a year. 1 c. molasses
1 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. hot water
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
3 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. cloves
6 c. flour

3 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Simmer molasses and shortening in saucepan for 5 minutes. Cream together sugar and egg. Dissolve baking soda in water and add to sugar mixture. Add vanilla, salt, and spices and mix together. Pour in molasses mixture and mix well. Add flour mixing well. Roll dough into a thick layer on floured surface. Cut in shapes. Scraps can be rolled out again. I keep a damp, warm towel or paper towels on the surface of my dough that is in the bowl so that it doesn't dry out or get too cold. Bake at 375 degrees for 6-7 minutes. After all cookies are baked, dip them completely in glaze and let drain and dry on cookie racks for a few hours. At Christmastime I like to put sprinkles or colored sugar on them after I dip them in the glaze.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fairy Bread

I heard about Fairy Bread a while ago and then I read about it in Parents Magazine (I think). It is super simple and my kids love it. It is apparently very popular in Australia.

Fairy Bread

bread slices
candy sprinkles

Butter the bread and pile on the sprinkles.

It also works well on toast.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sweet and Sour Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. cornstarch

Dip chicken in beaten egg, then dip in cornstarch, then fry in hot oil until a light golden color. Place chicken in 8x8 pan.

Mix together sauce ingredients and pour over chicken.

1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. vinegar
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. ketchup
3 Tbsp. soy sauce

Bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gingerbread Waffles

Perfect on a nice Fall morning!! Kimball doesn't even like pumpkin but he likes these waffles.
3 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. molasses
1/2 c. butter, melted

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. In separate bowl beat together eggs and brown sugar until fluffy. To egg mixture add pumpkin, milk, molasses, and butter. Combine until everything is moistened. Do not overmix.

Cook in waffle iron. Serve with syrup and powdered sugar. Yum!!!

Mummy Pizzas

Okay, so they are NOT picture perfect, but we had fun making them anyway! You can use bagels, english muffins, or homemade pizza crust. Add your sauce, and a couple of sliced olives for eyeballs. We like pepperoni so we put them on under the cheese so our mummies didn't look like they had the measles. We then layered string cheese that we had pulled apart to make the gauze effect.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I made this and took it to Mom and Dad's and Grandma's house on Sunday and everyone loved it. Grandma even told me I had to bring it again sometime.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla

2 cups grated zucchini
2 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa

*For extra chocolatey-ness, add a big handful of chocolate chips --however many you like!
Preheat oven to 350. Pour batter into greased (or use nonstick cooking spray) and sugared loaf pans Sugaring is just like flouring a pan--but do it with sugar. It makes for a delightfully sweet and crispy crust.

Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes (I cooked mine for like 20 extra minutes because it was super jiggly when it came out of the oven.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Creamy Italian Chicken w/ Ghost Rolls

For these little ghost rolls you just use your favorite basic bread recipe (mine is at the bottom of the post). Roll into balls, then into thick ropes about 3 inches long. Place them on baking sheet and flatten. The eyes can be whatever you want -- raisins, black beans, I used black food coloring. Let rise and then bake according to your recipe instructions. Creamy Italian Chicken

1 lb. chicken, cooked however you like -- grilled, boiled, whatever
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. Zesty Italian Dressing mix
1/2 c. water
1 can or jar sliced mushrooms, drained (this is optional)
pasta, any kind you want

Combine in saucepan and heat together cream cheese, soup, dressing mix, and water. If it's too thick you can add a little water or milk. Add chicken and mushrooms. You can spoon the sauce over the pasta or mix it all together. I usually just mix it all together.

Basic Bread Dough

1 1/2 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. yeast
2-3 Tbsp. sugar

Dissolve sugar and yeast in water

Add and mix:
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt

Add and mix:
1/4 c. oil

Add and mix until ball forms:
2 c. flour

Let rise til doubled. At this point it can be used for rolls, pizza crust, cinnamon rolls, hamburger or hot dog buns. Shape and then let rise again. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes.

Monday, October 19, 2009


1 14 oz. can tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 can water (use tomato sauce can)
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic salt

Put all of these ingredients in the blender and blend til smooth

2 Tbsp. cilantro
1 can green chilies
2-3 fresh tomatoes (I usually use roma or plum)
1 bunch green onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Let sit in refrigerator for a few hours before eating.

If you don't like it as chunky, you can put it in the blender.

Chicken Puffs

1 1/2 lbs. chicken, cooked and shredded
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
8 oz. cream cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 onion, chopped and sauteed to soften
1 stalk broccoli flowerettes, cooked (I usually don't add the broccoli)
salt and pepper to taste
*2 pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls, the large ones that are 6 count to a pkg.
Combine all ingredients except crescent rolls. Spoon about 1/2 cup of chicken mixture onto center of crescent dough and pull the dough up around the mixture sealing any holes. Bake puffs according to crescent roll package.
*The original recipe said to use the regular size, 8 count package of crescent rolls. Then, knead 2 crescent rolls together to make a square. I find that if I use the larger crescent rolls they are big enough and I end up with 12 puffs instead of 8.
**These freeze really well.

***I used one of the crescent rolls, cut little pumpkins out of it and placed them on top of the puffs before I baked them. I've done this for Valentines day too using hearts.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Island Chicken

I got this recipe from Annie's Eats. I had everything to make it so I decided to give it a try. Hailey and Kade both took one bite and spit it out, but the rest of us liked it (even Ray). It is very flavorful. I served them with mashed potatoes, peas/carrots, and Lion House Rolls.

Island Chicken

½ cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1½ tbsp. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2-4 chicken breasts (I used chicken tenders)
Combine all ingredients except chicken in a mixing bowl or large airtight plastic bag. Whisk or shake well until the marinade is well mixed. Add the chicken breasts to the bowl or plastic bag so that they are covered by the marinade. If using a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap. If using a plastic bag, press out all the excess air and seal the bag tightly. Refrigerate and marinate up to 10 hours.
When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish and pour the excess marinade over them. Bake in the oven until cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165° F, about 45 minutes (exact baking time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces.) Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Click here for printable version.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Italian Beef Sandwiches

These were so yummy. We used the leftovers to make quesadillas the next day. So good and so easy!

Slow Cooker Italian Beef for Sandwiches
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix (such as Good Seasons brand)
1 (5 pound) chuck roast

Combine water and beef broth with salt, ground black pepper, oregano, basil, onion salt, parsley, garlic powder, bay leaf, and salad dressing mix. Whisk to combine.

Place roast in slow cooker, and pour salad dressing mixture over the meat. Cover, and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours, or on High for 4 to 5 hours. When done, remove bay leaf, and shred meat with a fork (I did this step about 45 minutes before eating so the shredded meat had time to absorb more of the juices in the crockpot). Serve on crusty rolls with cheese, if desired

Hawaiian Beef Teriyaki

Patrick LOVED this recipe. I don't have a BBQ grill so I just used my Foreman Grill and it turned out well.

Hawaiian Beef Teriyaki

1 can pineapple chunks with juice (15 oz.)
1 c. soy sauce
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 Lb. beef sirloin, cut in 1 inch cubes

Mix together all ingredients, excluding beef. Set aside about 1/2 c. of the sauce, cover and refrigerate. Add beef to remaining sauce and marinate, covered and refrigerated overnight (better yet, seal the marinade and beef in a large Ziploc bag and place in a bowl, then place in the fridge-- either way works). Thread beef onto skewers. Discard leftover marinade. Broil or grill about 8-10 minutes, turning once, until beef is cooked. Place beef in a large bowl, pour remaining sauce over the cooked beef and stir until well covered. Serve with rice (or grilled fresh pineapple).