Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Strawberry Danish Dessert Cake

1 white cake mix
small package Strawberry Hello, prepared
1 box strawberry Danish Dessert ( or homemade if you feel like it)
1 1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
sugar to taste
Package of  thinly sliced strawberries ( frozen is fine, just defrost them and drain completely before adding to mixture)

Bake the white cake mix, poking holes in the cake with a fork  as soon as you take it out. prepare small box jello. spoon jello all over cake, using about 2/3 of the mixture, discard the rest. let cake cook in fridge. Make Danish Dessert, allow to cool for about an hour. Beat whipping crean until it has peaks, adding sugar to taste. Fold in Danish Dessert with whipped topping. Add strawberries and spread over cake. Can be made the night before use.

One Hour Bread

5 1/4 C. Bread Flour
1/2 T. Salt
1/4 C. Sugar
1 1/2 T Yeast
1 1/2 Soy Lethicin Liquid ( or granules)
2C. Warm Water

Mix together the bread flour, salt, sugar,yeast and soy lethicin in a mixer. Pour in the water while mixing and then keep mixing for about five minutes.

Shape into balls, or if you want twists, roll out dough with your fingers into strands and then coil the dough around itself. DO NOT add ANY flour while shaping into balls. If you need to prevent sticking use coking spray or shortening, not flour. Let the dough rise for 20 minutes and then bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Soy Lethicin Liquid is a bit hard to come by, I think you can get it online. My sister in law got mine for me at the Macy's in Orem. The granules are easier to find, and they work also. Sometime I need to add a little more than 2 C. of water, and let the dough rise a little longer, depending on how warm the kitchen is.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pear and Walnut Salad

pear and walnut salad


  • 1/2 cup glazed walnuts
  • 5 cups spring salad mix, cleaned and dried
  • 1 pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt pepper
  • 6 ounces blue cheese crumbles


Combine spring mix and pear in a salad bowl, add nuts then dress the salad with lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper. Top salad with lots of blue cheese crumbles. To check if the pear is ripe, apply pressure with your thumb at the top of the pear by the stem. If your thumb leaves an indent, it is ripe.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Russian Borsh

2 Medium Beets (matchstick)
2 Medium Carrots (matchstick)
1 large Onion (diced)
3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
1/2 Cup Tomato Paste
2 tsp. Salt
Pour some oil onto a frying pan (maybe 1/4 cup) and fry the beets, carrots, onion, and garlic. I just add water, instead of more oil, as I go because it needs a bit of liquid to soften them up. When they are no longer crunchy, add the salt and tomato paste and cook a little more. It will be really thick. And you might want to add 1tbsp. of sugar or so to take the bite out of the tomato paste.

In a bot with 2 liters of water add:
3 Large Potatoes (chopped)
1/2 a small cabbage (chopped)
3 bouillon cubes
2 Bay Leaves
Any kind of meat (Pork is the best and they love it really fatty- but I don't)
(You can also add roasted red pepper, white beans, or whatever would make it tastier for you)
Boil all of these things together and when it's soft, add the Beet mixture and let the flavors blend together. Salt and Pepper to taste.
The Russians like to add fresh dill on top, but I don't like it. I ALWAYS eat it with a dollop of sour cream. It is an acquired taste, but so delicious!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thai Cashew Chicken ผัดเม็ดมะม่วงหิมพานต์ใส่ไก่


2 T oil (vegetable, coconut, sesame, etc.)
1-2 T garlic - crushed
10 oz chicken breast - cubed to bite size
1 large or 2 small onions - sliced to bite size
1-2 large red chillies - sliced (unseeded for more heat; bell peppers can substitute)
1/3 cup water or chicken stock (I usually don't even use any)
2 T oyster sauce
1 T soy sauce
1 T fish sauce
1 T palm sugar (brown can substitute)
4 spring onions - sliced to 1½-inch segments
1-2 cups cashews (your preference- salted/unsalted, toasted, fried)

Heat up your wok or a large/deep pan to med/high. Add oil. When oil is hot add garlic.
When garlic starts to brown add chicken. Stir for 1-2 min then add onions and chilies.
Stir for 2 more min. Add oyster, soy, and fish sauce, and sugar, then stir. Add water as
needed. When chicken is thoroughly cooked and onions are slightly soft add spring
onions and cashews. Stir briefly then turn off heat. Serve over white jasmine rice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cake Muffins

These are SOO moist and delicious!!  Weight watchers recipe. :)

1 16oz. can pumpkin
1 box spice cake mix
A little less than 3/4 cup of water

Mix all ingredients in a big bowl (ignore the directions on the back of the cake mix, just use the mix).  Pour into muffin pan.  Bake on 350 for 20-25 mins.  Makes about 19 for me because I like them a little bigger than only filling up the cups halfway.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Lasagna

15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese

15 oz pumpkin puree (tastes best if you roast a pumpkin pie pumpkin)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ Tablespoon brown sugar

2 Tablespoons fresh sage (finely chopped)

1 egg (beaten)

6 lasagna noodles (I use whole wheat)

3 large shallots (or 1 yellow onion) chopped

1 zucchini, quartered then sliced

1 yellow squash, quartered then sliced

1 Tablespoon garlic

2-3 cups of shredded cheese (Italian blend or mozzarella)

Butter for greasing pans (or olive oil)

Cook the noodles according to the package, drain, set aside.

Mix together the first 8 ingredients, put in a freezer bag, set aside.

Heat and grease a frying pan. When hot, add the shallots. When shallots become clear, add the zucchini and yellow squash, and garlic. Set aside when fully cooked.

Grease a glass 9x13 pan. Lay down 3 noodles. Cut a corner of the freezer bag and squirt a layer of the pumpkin/ricotta mixture (use half the bag). Spread a layer of the shallots and squash (use half). Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese over it. Repeat this layering process and top with extra cheese.

Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and broil or bake at higher temperature until the top crisps a little bit.

Optional: add Italian sausage, or substitute the vegetables with spinach or something of your choice.

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese


cups dried elbow macaroni (8 ounces)

Tbsp. butter

Tbsp. all-purpose flour

tsp. salt

tsp. ground black pepper

cup whipping cream

cup whole milk

oz. Fontina cheese, shredded (1 cup)

15-oz. can pumpkin

Tbsp. snipped fresh sage or 1/2 tsp. dried leaf sage, crushed

cup soft bread crumbs

cup grated Parmesan cheese

cup chopped walnuts

Tbsp. olive oil

Sage leaves (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta in a large pot following package directions. Drain cooked pasta, then return to pot.

2. For cheese sauce, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add whipping cream and milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in cheese, pumpkin, and sage until cheese is melted. Stir cheese sauce into pasta to coat. Transfer macaroni and cheese to an ungreased 2-quart rectangular baking dish.

3. In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, walnuts, and oil; sprinkle over pasta. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If desired, sprinkle with sage leaves.

Impossibly Easy Creamy Topped Pumpkin Cheesecake

(From Betty Crocker, found here)


1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, cut into 16 pieces, softened

¼ teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

¾ cup sugar

½ cup Original Bisquick® mix

1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Topping, if desired

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.

In blender, place all cheesecake ingredients. Cover; blend on high speed about 2 minutes or until smooth. (Or beat in medium bowl with hand beater 2 minutes, scraping bowl constantly.) Pour into pie plate.

Bake about 45 minutes or just until puffed and center is dry (do not overbake). Cool on wire rack 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix all topping ingredients. Carefully spread topping over cheesecake. Refrigerate at least 3 hours until chilled. Store covered in refrigerator.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Cake!


  • 1 (29 ounce) can canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package spice cake mix
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9 x 13 inch pan (preferably metal).
  2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture. Melt the butter or margarine, and drizzle it over the cake mix. Sprinkle walnuts over the top.
  4. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until done.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Easy, Easy, Easy!!

I made these his past week and they hit the SPOT!! Thought I would share. 

Mac n Cheese Casserole

2 regular boxes of mac n cheese
1lb ground beef/turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 14.5 oz. can LeSeur peas (silver can)
1 can cream of mushroom
3 heaping tablespoons of sour cream

Make the mac n cheese regular with the butter and milk, boiling the noodles of course, then place in a large bowl.  Brown the meat with the onion, drain, and put in the same large bowl as the mac n cheese.  Put all remaining ingredients in the bowl and stir thoroughly.  Place in a pan (I use 9x13) and bake on 350 for 20-25 mins-just to warm and mesh everything together real good.  Voila!! Done!

Taco Soup
1lb ground beef/turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 14.5 oz can of-dark (or light) red kidney beans, corn, (both drained) and chili beans (not drained)
3 cans beef broth
1 can of diced tomatoes w/ chilis (I get the mild can)
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch mix

Brown meat with onion in a large soup pot.  Drain.  Put back in the pot.  Add all other ingredients (doesn't matter what order).  Bring to a boil.  Let it simmer for 5 mins, and it's ready to go!  Serve with delicious homemade bread, or rolls.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wild Edibles with Mackenzie- Cooking Group Oct 6, 2011

Wild edibles resources

Steve Brill has an iPhone app that is extremely helpful.
Green Deane has hundreds of YouTube videos. Just put eat the weeds in the search
3. Vickie Shufer is the local native plants expert and she leads foraging tours in the area.
P.O. Box 61413
Virginia Beach , VA 23466-1413
Phone: 757-421-3929

Some basic foraging guidelines:
Be certain of identification before you taste any plant.
Do not harvest plants for consumption in drainage ditches, along the sides of highways,
pristine lawns, and gardens, which are likely sprayed with pesticides and herbicides
or another possibly contaminated environment. Do not harvest from private property
without permission.
White sap is a danger sign. There are a few wild edibles with white sap, but many more
poisonous plants with white sap, which is also a skin and eye irritant. White berries are
poisonous 99% of the time.
All mints are edible, all mustards are edible, and all mallows are edible, with varying
degrees of palatability. Learn the defining characteristics of these families and you open
up a whole world of culinary possibilities!
If it looks like a mint and smells like a mint, it is a mint. If it looks like an onion and
smells like an onion, it is an onion. If it has one, but lacks the other, steer clear.
When trying something new, start slow. Even edible plants sometimes cause undesirable
reactions in certain individuals.
Never eat a new plant on the same day you find it. Take your time to study it and be
certain you have what you think you have. Even experienced foragers tend to want to
make the plant fit the description sometimes. Some plants you will have to observe
through all seasons to be certain it fits the pattern it should.
Start small and keep at it, your brain will catch on.

Risotto with Mackenzie- Cooking Group Oct 6, 2011

Classic Risotto

12 oz Arborio rice
4 cups heated stock
1 chopped onion
½ Tbsp butter
Parmesan or other grated cheese
4 oz dry white wine
¼ cup cream
Salt to taste

1. In a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan, sauté the onion in the butter until
golden. Add the rice and stir until well coated and translucent.
2. Add the wine and cook until evaporated. Stir in 1 cup of hot stock and simmer
3. When the stock has been absorbed, add another cup, and continue in this way until all
liquid is absorbed and grains are cooked.
4. Stir in cream and cheese. Salt to taste. Remove from heat, cover and let sit 2 minutes
before serving.

The trick I wanted to share is the one that turns risotto from a fancy elaborate chore into a
quick and easy family dinner. The effect of separating the starches in the grain to expand
and create that yummy sauce that is achieved by constant stirring, can also be achieved
by keeping your risotto at a low boil, so the grains are constantly moving and creating
friction. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan, to keep it from scorching or sticking,
and always be sure to make risotto in a heavy bottomed pan.

Other tips:

o Always use fresh parmesean cheese. (Or other hard, strong favored cheese like
asiago, just no freeze dried, shelf stable powders.)

o When adding meat or vegetables, they should be pre-cooked and added at the very
end. This is a perfect place to use leftovers.

o Use no more than one or two additional complementary flavors to keep from
overpowering the delicate flavor of the risotto. For example, basil and pepper or
lemon and sage. Same goes for additions of meat and vegetables.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rainy Day Deer Stew!

1 quart jar homecanned deer (about 4 cups of pulled beef/pork would be a good substitute)
1 quart jar homecanned tomatos or 2 14.5 oz cans
1 14.5 oz can each of green beans, corn, carrots, and diced potatos
1 T minced garlic
1 tsp. liquid spoke
salt and pepper to taste.

Can easily substitute fresh veggies in place of canned ones.... I will buy some canned if I don't can it myself, for emergency cases though!!

Basic Pancake Mix

from Recipes from the Old Mill by Sarah E. Myers and Mary Beth Lind

Pancake Mix:

4 cups flour

2 cups any stone-ground flour: buckwheat, whole wheat, rye, or cornmeal

1 Tbsp salt

6 Tbsp sugar

6 Tbsp baking powder

2 cups instant nonfat dry milk

Mix well and store in airtight container in a cool place.

Pancake Batter:

1 egg

1 cup water

2 Tbsp oil

1 1/2 cups pancake mix

Beat together egg, water, and oil.

Add pancake mix. Stir just until mix is moistened.

Fry on a hot non-stick griddle

Hints: I reversed my flours so there was less of the white flour. I also just added the egg, water and oil directly to the pancake mix and then mix it all together.

Emergency Survival Bar

3 C. cereal (Oatmeal, cornmeal, or wheat flakes) - (I used Oatmeal)
1/4 tsp. salt
3 T. honey
2 1/2 C. powdered Milk
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. Jello (optional) [This adds a flavor to Bars.]
3 T. water

Place all dry ingredients except Jello in a bowl. Bring water, honey, and Jello to a boil. Add to dry ingredients. Mix well. Add water a little at a time until mixture is just moist enough to mold. Place in a small square dish and dry in the oven under very low heat. Wrap and store. This will make 2 bars, each containing approx.1000 calories or enough food for one day. These will store for a long time and are excellent for emergency packs, etc. Eat dry, or cooked in about 3/4 C. water.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

(Recipe found here)

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 egg whites (or 2 T. dryPowdered Egg + 1/4 C. Water)
1/2 cup fat-free milk (1-1/2 T. Dry Powdered Milk + 1/2 C. Water)
1/4 cup canola oil (1/4 cup white or pinto bean puree)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2-1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt

PREHEAT oven to 350ºF. Grease a nonstick 9×5-inch loaf pan; set aside. Mix pumpkin, 1 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 3 of the egg whites, milk and oil in large bowl. Add flour, baking powder, pie spice and salt; stir just until moistened.

SPOON the pumpkin batter into prepared pan.

BAKE 1 hour to 1 hour 5 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Run knife or thin spatula around edges of pan to loosen bread; cool in pan on wire rack 10 min. Remove bread from pan to wire rack; cool completely.

Quick Couscous

1 can of soup (anything broth-based or watery will do)
About 1 cup of dry couscous

Bring the soup to a boil then stir in the couscous (1 cup couscous per 1 1/4 cups liquid). Cover and remove from heat. Let it sit for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork. Feel free to add a can of rinsed beans or canned chicken before boiling or after fluffing.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Preserved Tomatoes

Sister Jerrie Smith taught us to how to preserve tomatoes in jars using a water bath or "hot packing" (so special equipment necessary).

1. Use 4 quarts of tomatoes (18 pounds) for at least 4 jars (sanitize jars in dishwasher or really hot soapy water)
2. Wash and rinse tomatoes (pull out the bad ones).
3. Boil in batches just until skin cracks, and put them in cold water immediately.
4. Skin and core them (don't leave any white pieces).
5. Quarter them.
6. Bring tomatoes to a boil in a pot (chop them more if desired).
7. Fill jars with the tomatoes up till 1.5 inches from the top.
8. Add salt (1 tsp per quart, or 1/2 tsp per pint).
9. Wipe the rims of jars clean (really clean).
10. Heat lids in hot boiling water.
11. Put lids on with rings on top (tighten by hand).
12. In a pot with a lid, boil water (enough to cover tops of jars).
13. Put jars into boiling water.
14. Boil with lid on for 45 minutes, then remove jars and let them cool.
15. When cooled, touch top of jar lids: If indented=you're done! If not indented=put in fridge and use right away.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quick Spudnuts

This is my mother's famous recipe. She makes them a lot for the neighbors and ward members.
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 c. sugar
2/3 c. shortening (I used unsalted butter)
1 cup mashed potatoes (you can use instant too)
2 c. milk
1/2 c. warm water
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
6-7 c. flour (I used half wheat, half white)

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add sugar, salt and shortening to 2 cups scalded milk. Add to the yeast. Add eggs, potatoes, and flour. Mix it up and roll out about 1/2 an inch thick. You'll have to judge how thick you want your doughnuts. Cut them out and lay them on a clean cloth to rise for an hour. Fry in hot oil.
Once they are fried, before they cool down, throw them in the bowl of glaze and make sure they are covered, then place them on a pan to cool. It's best to eat them while they are still warm because they are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Mmm!

1/2 c warm water
1 to 2 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar

Start with warm water, add vanilla and then add powdered sugar. Do not make it too thick or too runny. You can also roll them in cinnamon and sugar or put frosting on top.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Very Chocolate Zucchini Bread

My mother-in-law gave this recipe for me to try. I loved it! I substituted unsweetened applesauce for the oil and it turned out amazing. I told Eli it was chocolate cake and he gobbled it up.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup oil (or unsweetened applesauce)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Grease a 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan and set aside.
-Grate the zucchini, using a medium sized grater; set aside.
-In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice; set aside.
-In the bowl of your electric mixer, or by hand if you prefer, beat the oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until well blended (about 2 minutes). Fold in the grated zucchini. Add the flour mixture, beating just until combined, then the chocolate chips and nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes.
-Place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes

Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes

1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 T. butter, softened
1 egg, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tin with muffin cup and spray with cooking spray. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into a bowl. In another bowl beat both sugars and butter until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the water and buttermilk beating on low speed until just combined. Beat on medium speed just until no traced of flour remain. Bake in prepared pan for 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely. Fill with Nutella.

Best Frosting EVER!!!

The ingredients seem weird but this is the best frosting!!!
3 T. flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla

whisk together the flour and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken (you will be able to start to see the bottom of the pan. Strain through a mesh strainer (I use a spoon and press it into the strainer to get it all through). Put in the fridge and let it cool completely. Using the whisk attachment, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, while beating add the milk mixture and vanilla. Scrape the sides and beat on med-high for 7-8 minutes. Frost on cupcakes--or eat with a spoon which ever floats your boat!!

Another variation that is yummy, is to fill the cupcakes with the above frosting and then top the cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache which is super easy and yummy.

Chocolate Ganache
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 T. butter, melted
8 oz. semi-sweet or dark chocolate, chopped

Place chocolate in a bowl and pour melted butter over it. Place cream in microwave for about 2 minutes-it needs to be at a simmer. Immediately pour over the chocolate and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit for about 3 minutes and then stir until smooth. Let it cool until it's a good spreading consistency and spread on cupcakes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Andes Creme de Menthe Chunk Cookies

These are my favorite cookies! The only ingredient you may not have on hand is the Andes Mint Chips (the small bits). They are difficult to ruin (good news for me) and I always eat way too many (not good news)!

Andes Crème de Menthe Chunk Cookies 

½ cup butter softened
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup white granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 package (10 oz) Andes Crème de Menthe Baking Chips
2 2/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour 

Blend butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and eggs until mixed. Stir in Andes chips and then flour. Chill approximately one hour. Measure out about 1 oz of dough and form ball and slightly flatten. Raise oven rack one level above middle and bake on non-stick baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on pans for two minutes before removing. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Tuscan Bruschetta

I love this super easy recipe! It goes great on the side of chicken or pasta, or makes a great snack. I usually substitue whatever ingredients I have on hand and it doesn't seem to matter much in taste. This recipe also calls for a little food processor to chop everything up, but you can chop by hand easily.

Tuscan Bruschetta

Bruschetta Topping:
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
1/4 Cup Red Onion
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
½ Cup Fresh Basil Leaves (or use dried)
Salt and pepper to taste

Tuscan Bean Spread:
1 (15 oz) Can Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed (white kidney beans found in bean aisle)
1/4 Cup Loosely Packed Parsley Leaves (or use dried)
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove
Salt and pepper to taste

 1 Loaf French Bread (I've also used wheat bread)
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

To make the Bruschetta Topping
Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until tomato mixture is uniform in size. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.

To make the Tuscan Bean Spread
Using the same bowl (no need to wash), add all the ingredients for the bean spread, pulse until the mixture is smooth.

Assemble the Bruschetta
Cut the French bread into ½ inch thick slices, brush with olive oil and grill on each side until lightly golden brown. Spread the bean mixture on the grilled bread and top with the bruschetta mixture.

Chicken Kiev

This is one of my favorite recipes, probably because I always have the ingredients on hand and it is super fast to make. I can even make a lower-fat version that still tastes delicious... just limit the butter and cheese. Yum! This goes great with whole-wheat pasta, seasoned with the same herbs, and veggies.

Chicken Kiev

½ stick butter (1/4 cup)
¼ tsp parsley flakes
¼ tsp oregano flakes
½ cup plain bread crumbs
½ cup parmesan grated cheese
½ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp onion salt
4 chicken breasts (boneless skinless is best)
Swiss cheese

Melt butter in a small microwave safe dish. Add parsley and oregano. In another small, flat dish, add bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic salt and onion salt. Mix well.

Wash chicken and pat dry. Place chicken in plastic and pound until 1/2 inch thick, or desired thickness. Place chicken breast face down and spread with a thin layer of butter mixture. Add a strip of swiss cheese. Roll tightly, tucking cheese in and securing with a toothpick. 

Spoon a little butter mixture over the top of rolled breast, then roll in the bread crumb mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until 165 degrees internally.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chewy Brownie Cookies

We made these for FHE tonight. So yummy! If you want chocolate, make these. This recipe is from my Mother-in-law.

2/3 Cup Crisco (I use the butter flavor)
1 1/2 cups Packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp Water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp soda
2 cups semi-sweet Chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. In large bowl, beat shortening, brown sugar, water, and vanilla until well blended. Add eggs. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add to sugar mixture, beating on low speed just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounder TBSP 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7 - 10 mins. or until cookies are set. Cookies will appear soft and moist. Do not over bake. Cool 2 mins. remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely before serving. Makes about 3 dozen.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mexican Casserole

We love this at our house any time of year.

1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped olives
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 Tbsp chopped onion
2 (8oz) tomato sauce

1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 can diced green chilies

8 oz. tortilla chips
2 cups grated cheese

Brown Hamburger. Drain and add garlic salt, tomato sauce, olives and onion. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, cottage cheese, and green chilies. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray. Layer 1/2 of chips (crush them a little to lay flat), then meat mixture, next sour cream mixture and cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 for 35 minutes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grilled Salsa

Grilled Salsa

6 large ripe tomatoes, hulled and halved

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved

2 red bell peppers, seeded and halved

4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved (leave seeds in for more heat)

2 limes, juiced

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


Drizle oil over vegetables and lightly salt. Grill over medium heat until they begin to char, about 15-20 minutes, turning them over after 10. The tomtatoes will take the longest to cook. Remove from the grill and allow them to cool to room temperature. Puree in a food processor in batches. Add lime juice and season generously with salt to taste. Chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.

Roasted Red Potato Salad

Roasted Red Potato Salad

3 lbs baby red potatoes, cut in small pieces

½ cup olive oil

12 cloves minced fresh garlic

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon salt and pepper

2 cups mayonnaise

2 lemons, juiced

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil, half of the garlic, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Spread on a flat baking sheet and roast 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

When potatoes are cool, toss them with mayo, lemon juice, remaining garlic, and fresh parsley. Salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cooking Group Field Trip! 6-2-11

For our Cooking Group field trip we visited the only year-round indoor farmers market in the Richmond area called Farm to Family. This was an opportunity for us to see what foods Virginia has to offer. They have an area inside for children to read books, play with balls, and look at live bunnies while parents can shop. Everything they sell was produced within 150 miles of Richmond; and it's all made by eco-friendly farming. Their produce is organic and is often picked the same morning it is brought to the market. Their meats, dairy products, and eggs are all "pastured", meaning they are free to roam and eat as animals were meant to. They also carry local honey for those of you with allergies to pollen.

At the end of our visit we purchased tomatoes, zucchini, cherries, apples, salad greens, bread, beef, eggs, potatoes, onions, beets, peas, and more!

If anyone would like to go in the future, mention that you are LDS and you'd like the "Church discount" they offer--I think it's 10% off (Mark and Suzi Lilly are LDS and they run the place). Also, BRING YOUR OWN GROCERY BAGS!

It is located at:

2817 Mechanicsville Turnpike
Richmond, VA 23223

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ingredient Substitutions for Healthier Baking (from Cooking Group May 19, 2011)

Original Ingredients



Flour (white wheat flour)

Whole wheat flour, some oat flour, other whole grain flours, flax seed meal

If the flour you choose is gluten-free you may need to add xanthum gum

Refined sugar (including brown sugar)

Honey, agave, fruit, sucanat, dates or raisins soaked and blended to a paste

1 to 1 ratio, or try reducing the overall sugar in the recipe. Just try to avoid “white,” “refined,” or “bleached”.

Butter, margarine, shortening, oil, fats

Applesauce or prune puree, pureed white beans. Use olive oil (for savory dishes), coconut oil, or nut butters to add the richness and fat needed in some dishes

Some dishes can handle substituting a 1 to 1 ratio. However, sometimes one remaining Tablespoon of real fat makes all the difference.


Egg whites. (Plain non-fat yoghurt can be used as a binding agent when “breading” a dish).

2 egg white = 1 egg

Chocolate chips

Nuts, craisins, raisins, fruit, dried fruit, seeds.

Two websites with great healthier baking recipes, especially for kids:

Whole Wheat Banana-Strawberry Muffins (adapted from


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (*we used coconut oil)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (*we used honey)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup frozen sliced strawberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 12 large muffin cups, or line with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, oil, brown sugar, vanilla and bananas. Combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon; Stir into the banana mixture until moistened. Stir in the strawberries until evenly distributed. Spoon batter into muffin cups until completely filled.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when pressed lightly. Cool before removing from the muffin tins.

Whole Wheat Brownies (adapted from

  • Pour into greased glass pan.
  • Bake at 350 F for 40-45 min.