Saturday, May 29, 2010


This is a recipe that I love for homemade granola. It's light and NOT too sweet. I love it mixed most in my yogurt for a snack, but I love it with milk too. When I make it, I usually four times the recipe. I store it in a tupperware container (what will fit) and the rest I put in ziploc bags and freeze. If you like it more clumpy, you can add more honey. I think it's perfect the way it is.

Granola Ingredients:
9 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup oil
1 cup honey
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup whole flaxseed
1/2 cup ground flaxseed

Mix all together and spread evenly on the bottom of two cookie sheets. Bake at 350 and stir every 10 minutes until the granola is lightly browned. It will store up to four months in your pantry.

Whole Wheat Pancakes and Heavenly Caramel Syrup

I have two recipes that I love for whole wheat pancakes. Today I made the recipe that uses just the ground wheat flour. However, I am posting the blender pancake recipe as well. The already ground flour recipe is probably my favorite of the two, but if you are too lazy to grind your flour for breakfast, its really nice to have the option of just putting the whole wheat kernel right into your blender. And honestly, both recipes are great!

I'm also putting all of our favorite syrup recipes in here. I tried a new one today that I got from Sister Wood, the lady we home teach. It's for vanilla syrup. It's really good. Reminds me of the caramel syrup our family loves. However, a staple is also the homemade maple syrup. So, here is the recipe for all three!
Whole Wheat Pancakes:
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
1 TBSP. baking powder
1 TBSP. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour

Mix all together and pour onto griddle. Don't re-stir the batter!

Whole Wheat Blender Pancake Recipe:
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/4 cups whole wheat kernels
2 eggs
2 TBSP. oil
1 TBSP. honey
1/2 tsp. salt

Blend the buttermilk and the wheat kernels until smooth. Add the eggs, oil, honey and salt. Blend again until smooth. Then add the baking soda and baking powder and blend just for a few seconds. Don't ever stir again. Pour onto hot griddle.

1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Caramel Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cube butter, real butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 TBSP. karo syrup

Bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, remove from heat and add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Vanilla Syrup
1 cube butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Bring to a boil, remove from heat and add 1 tsp. vanilla.

Maple Syrup
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. mapelline flavoring

Bring water and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat, add vanilla and mapeline.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Our Families Favorite Cornbread

This is a sweet cornbread. We love it. Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 cup yellw cornmeal
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400. Melt 2 TBSP. butter in the bottom of an 8x8 square baking pan (double recipe for a 9x13 pan).
In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking poder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If using a glass pan, lower heat to 375.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Taco Soup

This is a recipe I make all the time. My family loves it. Typically when I make it, I will five times the batch and then freeze it in meal-size freezer bags. I figure if I'm going to take the time to make it, I might as well make a bunch. It's perfect for those nights when you just don't want to cook...just get it out and throw it frozen into your crockpot on low or even warm and dinner is done! Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 cans mexican diced tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, don't drain the liquid
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)

Brown the ground beef and saute the onion with the beef. Add the taco seasoning mix, tomato saue and tomatoes. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer on low. Or....just brown the ground beef and saute the onion and dump the rest in your crockpot on warm (if you are leaving it all day) or low if it is only for a few hours. Serve with fritos, cheese and sour cream.

Lemon Citrus Bread

I know....MORE lemon. Just had to. Sure is yummy bread!Ingredients:
Lemon Cake mix
1 (3.5oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 TBSP. fresh lemon zest

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup orange juice

Grease and flour a bundt pan or two bread pans. Cobine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, orange juice, vegetable oil and lemon zest together and mix until well blended. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 55-60 minutes. Using a fork, poke holes every 2 inches into cake. Pour glaze while the cake is still warm and in the pan. Allow cake to cool completely before turning cake out of the pan. Dust with powdered sugar.

GLAZE: Combine butter, sugar, orange juice and zest in a small sauce pan. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.

Pistachio Bread

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law, Denise, years ago and I typically only make it on St. Patricks Day because it's so good you can't stop eating it! It is a yummy, moist bread. Ingredients:
1 box white cake mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
2 small boxes pistachio pudding
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream

Mix ingredients together. Place 1/3 of the batter on the bottom of 2 greased loaf pans. Sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mixture, then put on the remaining batter and sprinkle the top with more cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

I've tried lots of different recipes for Chicken Parmesan, as I love it. I've found lots of good recipes along the way, but tonight I think I found the "one" and only one I will ever use again...and that's saying a lot for me! It was truly delicious. The sauce was really good! Everyone in my family loved it. I gave Hollie a bite and she said "yum! Give me a WHOLE plate of that!" Dallin tried a bite and said "yum! I'm in heaven!" (which was hilarious!). Sydnee was at dance and came home and warmed her food up in the microwave and said "mom, this food is immaculate!" (which was even MORE hilarious!).....she was thinking of a different word! So, needless to say, we all gave it rave reviews. Don't cheat on the recipe though...use those fresh spices! Besides, nothing smells better than fresh basil. I sat and enjoyed smelling it for a few minutes before I had to put it in the sauce. I don't know how others chop their fresh spices, but I use my coffee grinder. It works great! I also cheated a bit on the cheese and used I like cheese! I also doubled the sauce and I always add lots of extra garlic.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 1/2 cups Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows or purchased marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
16 teaspoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Stir the oil and herbs in a ziploc bag to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts to the bag and coat the chicken breasts with the herb mixture. Heat a heavy large oven-proof skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Spoon the marinara sauce over and around the chicken. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of mozzarella over each cutlet, then sprinkle 2 teaspoons of Parmesan over each. Sprinkle the butter pieces atop the cutlets. Bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Simple Tomato Sauce:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 TBSP. minced garlic
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
6 fresh basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

Lemon Poke Cake

I must have a thing for lemon....tonight for FHE I decided to try this Lemon Poke Cake. It's really moist and yummy and you keep it in the fridge, so it's also cool and refreshing. The family loved it, so here it is. I posted the recipe as it was written, but I, personally, am NOT a fan of cool whip, so I used the real stuff...whipping cream. I also used two boxes of lemon pudding, as I wanted a thicker "frosting". Next time though, I think I will just try one. Ingredients:
1 white cake mix
2 (3oz.) boxes of jello
2 cups boiling water
1 (3oz.) pkg. of lemon pudding
1 cup milk
1 (12 oz.) container cool whip

Bake the cake in two round cake pans, according to box directions. Allow to cool. Poke holes in the cake. Bring 2 cups water to a boil and dissolve the two boxes of jello. Pour the jello directly into the poked holes. Let chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Afterwards, dip the bottoms of the pans in hot water in your sink, to loosen the jello and unmold.

For the frosting, mix pudding with 1 cup cold milk. Fold in cool whip. Use it to frost you cake in between the two layers and on the top and sides. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Easy Lemon Cookies

Sydnee wanted to make individually wrapped cookies to sale at her school classes Economics Fair tomorrow. We googled and found this really easy cake mix cookie recipe for lemon cookies. They are really moist and soft. I got the thumbs up from my lemon taster (thanks Liz), so here is the recipe. Ingredients:
1 lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp. lemon extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix all the ingredients, EXCEPT the powdered sugar. Shape the cookies and roll in the powdered sugar. Bake at 350 for 6-9 minutes. They will seem gooey when you take them out. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet before removing.

Rosemary Grilled Chicken Kabobs

I decided to try a new recipe for dinner tonight. We all gave it a thumbs up. I have decided I'm definitely in love with grilling my veggies. Tonight I just made up my own rub, with some brown sugar, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and basil. It was really good. The rice is a mushroom of my favorites to make. It's just that basic rice recipe, only with more garlic, onion, mushrooms and some thyme. I did learn one thing...the leftovers for the shiskabobs taste really good the next morning in an omelette! Same goes for the steak shiskabobs. Ingredients:
1 cup olive oil
1 cup ranch salad dressing
6 TBSP. Worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP. minced fresh romsemary or 1 tsp. dried
4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 TBSP. sugar
Chicken Breasts
Green pepper
Red Pepper

In a ziploc bag mix together all the incredients for the marinade. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to absorb. Dump have the marinade in another ziploc bag and add the cut up veggies to it. In the other bag, put the cut up meat. Let marinate at least six hours.

Thread the chicken and veggies on your skewers. Lightly oil the grill. Grill skewers for 8 to 12 minutes. Don't over grill!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Grilled Flank Steak

This is a really yummy recipe for grilled flank steak. Marinate it overnight for best flavor. It cooks up really fast. You basically just have sear it on both sides. You want it to have a slight pink line in the middle (this one could of come off the grill a bit sooner, but it was still good). Then you cut it on a pretty sharp angle. It's got really great flavor.

Cut the mean 1/4 inch deep cross grain, 1" apart and marinate. Sear on grill both sides, serve a little pink.

Marinade Ingredients:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP. red wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. pepper

As your grilling, lightly sprinkle on some kosher salt, if you like. I think the soy sauce gives it enough salt flavor, but I'm careful with salt.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shiskabobs and Grilled Veggies

I'm not really great at taking pictures of the food. I promise tastes better than it looks! This recipe for the marinade for shiskabobs I got from my sister-in-law Denise. We love it so much though, so it's a regular around here. It sure tasted yummy tonight! I usually use top sirloin, but I have used more expensive cuts as well. With as long as it marinates, I think top sirloin is great! Tonight I bought some zuchinni, summer squash, asparagus, sweetpotatoes, and butternut squash and grilled them. They were delicious! My favorites were the asparagus and the sweet potatoes, but all the vegetables tasted delicious. Marinade Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
10 TBSP. cider vinegar
4 tsp. onion powder
5 tsp. celery salt
3 tsp. garlic salt
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt (I prefer kosher)
5 tsp. oregano leaves
2 1/2 tsp. pepper
5 TBSP. prepared mustard
5 small bay leaves

Bring all the ingredients to a boil, stirring well and pour 1/2 mixture over your cut up steak and refrigerate overnight (I usually just do the morning of). The remaining mixture pour over chopped vegetables (onions, peppers, mushrooms). Place on skewers before grilling and grill.

Grilled Vegetables:
Sliced Vegetables (sweet potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash, asparagus)
2 TBSP. olive oil
2 TBSP. McCormick Vegetable seasoning (Perfect Pinch)?

Slice the vegetables long and thin. Put in a ziploc bag and toss to coat. Grill.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chocolate Lovers Bundt Cake

Delicious Bundt cake....You can't stop eating it!
1 box devils food cake mix
1 small box chocolate instant pudding
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Spray and flour a bundt pan. Pour in the batter and bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan and then flip the cake out of the pan. Drizzle the chocolate sauce on top and serve. Keep in the fridge. It keeps it really moist and I swear it's even yummier the second day!

Chocolate Sauce:
2/3 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips (I use LINDT Milk chocolate)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Warm the whipping cream and slowly melt the chocolate on low heat. Let cool slightly before drizzling over the cake.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dad's Birthday Strawberry Pie

Warren's birthday "cake" of choice EVERY year.....Strawberry Pie! I put this recipe in here, not because it is hard to make, as you don't even need a recipe for it! But I include it in here, because it is delicious and someday one of my children will call me up and ask me how to make Strawberry Pie. So, here is the recipe...just for them! Just don't cheat and use cool whip! That is all I ask! Ingredients:
1 box junket Strawberry Danish Dessert
4 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 TBSP. sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 pint Heavy Whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

To make the crust, crush 2 cups of graham crackers (or cheat and buy pre-crushed), add the 3 TBSP. sugar and 1/2 cup melted butter. Stir all together and press in the bottom of your pie pan. This makes a pretty thick graham cracker crust, but our family likes it thick!

In a sauce pan follow the PIE directions on the danish dessert box. Let cool slightly and add the strawberries. Pour into the crust and let chill for four hours.

Before serving, mix the whipping cream until it's starting to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla and continue mixing until it's the right consistency. Serve over the pie.

Almond Crusted Halibut and Lemon Rice Pilaf

This was Warren's birthday dinner and I do have to was delicious! There are quite a few steps to the sauce, but boy is it worth it! Of course, after having made it, it was hard to completely enjoy guilt-free, as there is so much butter in the sauce! It won't be a frequent meal at our house, but I DEFINITELY will save it for special occasions. I recommend you double the sauce because it is THAT good! Warren recommends you triple!

The Rice Pilaf is a basic recipe that I use all the time and I just adapt it for whatever flavor I'm craving at the moment. I've made it spicy, lemony, garlicy, etc. Tonight's flavor of choice....lemon.

1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup heavy cream
10 tablespoons unsalted butter - chilled, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
6 (6 ounce) fillets halibut
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
2/3 cup minced blanched almonds
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

Make beurre blanc: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine wine, vinegar, shallots, thyme and bay leaf. Boil until liquid has evaporated. Stir in cream, and boil until liquid is reduced by half; decrease heat to low. Whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time, adding each new piece before previous one has melted completely. Do not allow sauce to simmer, or it may separate.
Strain sauce through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl. Stir in chives, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Keep warm by setting bowl in a larger container of hot water.

Preheat oven on broiler setting. Pat fillets dry, and season with salt and pepper.
Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute halibut fillets for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned, and just cooked through. Transfer to a baking sheet, and cool 5 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together bread crumbs, almonds and 1 tablespoon melted butter. Brush tops of fillets with egg, and spread with almond mixture.
Broil fillets 1 to 2 minutes, or until browned (watch closely - every broiler has its own personality!). Place fillets on individual plates, and spoon beurre blanc around it.

2 cups white rice (preferably long grain) (or brown, if your family will eat it)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion - green onion (or yellow onion)
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 cups chicken broth (I use bouillon and water). You can also use vegetable broth as an option
2 tsp. seasoning (this is where I change the recipe) I used the tequila lime seasoning from Cabela's - makes for a yummy lemon rice pilaf!
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or more depending upon your family
Garlic, optional

Brown the rice, onions and celery in the olive oil. Add the four cups broth and seasoning and bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes until rice is done. Fluff with a fork.

Strawberry Cream Filled Crepes

It's Warren's birthday today and he loves EVERYTHING strawberry. So, this morning I made him his usual birthday breakfast in bed, consisting of these wonderful fruit-filled crepes and a sausage breakfast casserole.
3/4 cup Flour
2 TBSP. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil

2 cups vanilla yogurt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup strawberry jam (I prefer homemade), seperated
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

I made the crepe batter and the sauce the night before so that it was all ready to go this morning. Just whip the crepe batter until it's smooth. You are supposed to let it sit in the fridge for an hour before you use it, that is why it is nice to make it the night before.

Directions: I just use a frying pan and spray it with cooking pray, then I pour 1/4 cup batter and tip the pan until it is a thin layer over the entire pan. Then flip.

Mix the yogurt, cinnamon and 1/4 cup jam in a small bowl; set aside. Heat remaining jam in the microwave for 45 seconds; stir until melted and smooth.

Spread the yogurt mixture down the center of each crepe. Top with fresh fruit (strawberries, bananas, pineapple, any other berry). Fold or roll crepe over yogurt mixture. Top with melted jam and chopped pecans, if desired; serve. OPTIONAL: can also top w/whipping cream. Adds fat and calories, but sure is good!

I freeze any leftover crepes. Just be sure to seperate each one with wax paper.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Venison Stew

If you are married to a hunter, as I am, then you will find that you have a lot of Venison to use up from your freezer. My husband, Warren, actually found this recipe online and we have made it many times since, although we have altered a bit to give it a bit more flavor. I am posting our alterations. We love it on Sunday because we can put it in the crockpot and come home to a yummy, hearty meal. Tonight it just sounded good because it was another miserable, cold, wet, rainy day!

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds venison stew meat
3 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups water
7 small potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 cups chopped carrots
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water

In a large soup pot, deeply brown the meat in oil with the onions and garlic. Season your meat with your favorite steak seasoning. We love the Whiskey Steak seasoning from Cabela's, but we are out, so tonight a used a mixture of two: a steak dust from Costco and Montreal steak seasoning. Place your meat, onions and garlic in the crockpot. Add Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, thyme, salt, flour and 3 cups of water and the carrots and potatoes. I throw in celery as well, if I have it. Cook on low all day or on high for 5-6 hours.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tortelini Soup

This isn't actually a "new" recipe for our family, but it is a well-loved one. I was going to grill something for dinner, but with all the clouds and rain, it just seemed more of a soup day. And this sounded good and good it was! We love it served with scones, but I was too lazy to make them tonight, so we just had garlic bread from the grocery store.1 pkg. three cheese tortelini
1 1/2 pkg. Jimmy Dean Sausage - sage flavor
1 medium onion, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped and quartered
4 carrots, chopped
5 1/2 cups water
5 tsp. chicken bouillon paste or 5 cubes
1 tsp. basil
1 bay leaf
1 big can crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 small cans diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste

Brown the sausage and saute the onion. Pour all ingredients (except the tortelini) in a pan. Add sausage and onion. Put the tortelini in about 10 minutes before serving. Make sure the soup mixture had come to a boil, then put the tortelini in and turn the soup down.