Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lori's Broccoli Salad

My cousin Lori brought this to a family reunion. It's my favorite broccoli salad recipe. Crunchy broccoli, chewy craisins, creamy cheese, meaty bacon. The dressing is sweet and has a little tang.

2-3 heads broccoli, cut into small pieces
1/2 purple onion cut into thin strips
1 cup craisins
1 cup crumbled bacon
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix in bowl, then stir in the following dressing:

1 cup mayo
1/2 cup sugar
2 T. white vinegar

Refrigerate before and after serving.

Homemade Pizza Dough

I grew up on a farm and we always had ground beef in our freezer. My mom would make homemade pizza and top it with browned hamburger. This is a serious comfort food for me. I've included several different variations for toppings. I've tried tons of different crust recipes, but I like this one best.

Dissolve 1 T. yeast in 1 cup warm water. Let set 5 minutes. When yeast starts to grow, add:
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 T. vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups flour

Knead until smooth (3-5 minutes) I use my food processor with the kneading attachment for this, but you can easily do it by hand or in your stand mixer. Let rise about 30 minutes. Roll our on pizza pan. Add toppings, sauce and cheese. Bake until browned and bubbly. 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.

Mom's Pizza: Pizza Sauce, browned hamburger, olives, mushrooms, cheddar & mozzarella
Chicken Pizza: Alfredo Sauce, chopped chicken, green onions, fresh tomatoes, pressed garlic, mozzarella
BBQ Chicken: BBQ sauce, chopped chicken, red onion, cilantro, mozzarella

Hawaiian Cake Dessert

Our old family friends, Scoop & Sara Ruth use to make this dessert for our family night get- togethers when I was a little girl. It's cake-y, creamy and tropical. Great for a summer party.

Make a white cake mix according to pkg. directions. Here in Utah, I use the high altitude directions.
Pour only 1/2 of the cake batter into a greased and floured 13x9 pan. You can either make 2 cakes or use the rest of the batter to make cupcakes. Bake until lightly browned (test for done-ness), remove from oven and cool completely.

1 1/2 c. milk
1 large vanilla pudding

In separate bowl, mix until smooth:
1 cup milk
1 8 oz. brick cream cheese

Mix pudding and cream cheese mixture together (you do it this way to keep the cream cheese smooth and avoid big lumps). Spread this on the cooled cake.
Spread 1 large can crushed pineapple (drained) on top of that.
Top with 12 oz. container Cool Whip.
Sprinkle with toasted coconut

Refrigerate cake for several hours before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Janell's Breadsticks

This recipe was given to me by my sister-in-law. Quick, easy and delicious. I make them often!

1 T. yeast dissolved in 1 1/2 cups warm water
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
1 cube butter
Parmesan cheese
Garlic Salt

Mix yeast mixture, sugar, salt and flour. Knead until smooth and elastic. (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this). Let rise for 10 minutes. Melt the cube of butter and pour it into a large cookie sheet. Roll out dough into a large rectangle. Cut into 1/4" strips with pizza cutter. Roll in butter right in the pan and begin placing them around on the pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garlic salt. Let rise for 20 minutes more. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

*I also sprinkle Italian seasoning on top when I'm serving these with Italian food.

Smooth & Creamy Frosting

Janell's mom, Janice, made a cake one weekend while we were visiting them up in Lewiston. The frosting was unlike anything I'd tasted before; light and creamy rather than thick and sugary. I LWTR! You can use any flavor of pudding that you like.

1 small package instant pudding (your favorite flavor)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cold milk
1 8 oz. container Cool Whip

Combine pudding, powdered sugar and milk in a bowl. Beat until well blended (about 1 minute). Fold in Cool Whip. Spread on cake. Refrigerate.

*Chocolate and vanilla are always great, but my favorite is to make a lemon cake and use lemon pudding. The new White Chocolate pudding mix is also very good.

P. Butter Puff Rice Squares

This is a classic school lunch recipe. Lately, my sisters and I have been having a hard time finding the puff rice. The only kind we can find comes in bags (not boxes) in the cereal section.

3 cups Karo syrup
3 cups sugar

Microwave this mixture on high for 3 minutes. Stir up, then microwave for 3 minutes more.

Add 3 cups peanut butter and mix well.

Pour over a big bowl of puffed rice and stir to coat. I use one of those huge Tupperware bowls and start out with less puff rice than I think I'll need. I gradually add more and stir until it is all well coated, but not too sticky. Press the soft mixture into a large cookie sheet. Cut into squares to serve.

No Bake Cookies

This is my all-time favorite cookie recipe! I've been making these since I was a little girl. Now my kids have taken over and I beg them to make me No Bake Cookies.

2 cups sugar
3 T. cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1 cube butter
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt

Bring to a boil in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil that can't be stirred down and boil 1 minute. Then add:

1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups oatmeal

Mix and drop onto waxed paper. Cool until set.

Tamra's Coconut Bread

This is a southern family recipe from my good friend and cooking buddy Tamra. She credits the recipe to her mom, Jan, who was my third grade teacher.

4 eggs (well beaten)
2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
3 tsp. coconut flavoring

3 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and alternately with 1 cup buttermilk.
2 c. chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
2 1/2 cups shredded coconut

Pour into bread pans (grease & flour), then bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

5 minutes before the bread gets done, make the following in a saucepan:

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
3 T. butter
1 tsp. coconut flavoring
1 tsp. vanilla

**bring to boil over medium heat, cook 5 minutes. Drizzle this mixture over the warm loaves.

Julies Fruity Ice Cream

Julie made this for BUNCO one summer. It is light and creamy.

1/2 gallon softened pineapple sherbet
1 bag frozen raspberries
3 bananas, mashed

Blend with a large spoon. Freeze in a bowl for several hours. Scoop and serve. This is good with a little Sprite or 7-up poured on top as well.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken

Here are two versions of a recipe. One was given to me by Kelly B., the other by my friends Shawn & Keri. The chicken melts in your mouth and is great served with noodles or rice. My kids love it.

Kelly's version:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt & pepper (to taste)
garlic powder (to taste)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup

Bake on low in crock pot for 6-8 hours.

Shawn & Keri's version:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Bake on low in crock pot for 6-8 hours. Can also put this in a 13x9 pan and bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 2 hours.

Brad's Stir Fry

Right out of high school, I was working as a receptionist at a company called Valtek. One of the security guards who I worked with shared this recipe with me when he found out I liked to cook. I went out and bought a wok just so I could make it. Very delicious!

chicken breasts cut in strips
diced carrots
fresh mushrooms, chopped
broccoli, chopped
onion, chopped
garlic, chopped

Brown chicken with olive oil in wok. Add the garlic. Add veggies, then stir fry for a few minutes until they begin to soften.
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup karo syrup
2 T. corn starch

Cook until bubbly and thickened. Serve on chow mein noodles or rice.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

I hate to admit it, but I got this recipe from Semi-Homade with Sandra Lee. I made this for BUNCO last year and the meat was melt-in-your-mouth good and had wonderful flavor.

1 (3 lb.) beef roast
1 can beef stock
1 can cream of celery soup
Sliced new potatoes
baby carrots
chopped mushrooms
1 pkg. beefy onion soup mix
1/4 cup steak sauce (I use either A1 or Heinz 57)

Place roast and all veggies in the crockpot. Pour beef stock and celery soup on top. Sprinkle soup mix on top of that and finally, pour steak sauce over the top. Cook for 3 1/2-4 hours on high. If your roast doesn't seem to be tender, continue cooking for another hour or so.

Raz-Pepper Preserves Step by Step

You don't need fancy equipment to can delicious preserves. I use an ordinary sauce pan and a metal 13x9 pan for most of the work.

Step 1: Place all ingredients (1 cup raspberries, 1/2 cup chopped red pepper, 1/4 cup chopped jalapeno, 3 cups sugar & 3/4 cups white vinegar) in a saucepan. Stir and begin cooking on medium/high heat.

2. In a metal 13 x 9 pan, bring about 1 inch of water to a boil and sterilize the bottles and lids by boiling them for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and dry on a clean dishcloth.
3. Bring the raspberry mixture to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. It will start out looking bright and chunky like this picture, but as it boils, the raspberries will start to break down and the peppers will soften. The mixture will get a bit foamy. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.
4. After mixture has cooled for 5 minutes, add 1 (3 oz.) package liquid pectin, then stir well.

5. Put your canning lids into the boiling water and let boil for 2-3 minutes.

6. Fill jars with preserves using a funnel. Place hot lids on top and screw down with rings.

7. Turn filled jars upside down and place back in the boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Within a few minutes you should hear the lids popping which means they are sealing. You will know they have sealed if you press down on the lid and it doesn't pop up and down.

Raz-Pepper Preserves

Kelly B. and I have been trying to perfect this recipe for about 3 years. I think we have all the bugs worked out (in the past, we've had it go runny). I make my batches mild, with just a little kick, but Kelly likes hers spicy. Warn your kids not to spread this on a PBJ! I serve it as a sauce on chicken or pork, but my favorite is to pour in on a brick of cream cheese and serve it with Wheat Thins or Ritz Crackers. I am going to include step-by-step instructions on another post for those who are new to canning. I often give this as a christmas gift.

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (I always use fresh)

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

1/4 cup chopped jalapeno (for mild, remove the seeds, for hot, leave some of the seeds in)

3 cups sugar

3/4 cup white vinegar

1 (3 oz.) pkg. liquid pectin

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except pectin. Bring to a boil. Boil 3 minutes, then cool for 5 minutes. Stir in liquid pectin. Pour in jars and seal.

Broken Cookie Salad (Fudge Stripe Salad)

JoLynn (my mother-in-law) introduced me to this recipe.

Beat together:
1 c. buttermilk
1 small package vanilla instant pudding

Fold in: 1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip

Add: 1 can crushed pineapple & 1 can mandarine oranges (both drained)

Just before serving, fold in broken Fudge Stripe Cookies (desired amount).

***In the last couple of years, Keebler has come out with mini fudge stripe cookies which would be great in this recipe!

Amie's Stuffed Beef Sandwiches

This is a BUNCO recipe. I've made it several times when I have to feed a crowd. To make it even better, look for homemade buns at a local bakery. I use homemade hamburger buns that are sold at the Maverick Gas Station. They are inexpensive ($2.19 for 8) and are surprisingly delicious.

Brown 1 lb. ground beef with chopped onions and chopped green peppers (desired amounts). Drain fat, then add 1 1/2 bricks (8 oz. each) cream cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped, fresh button mushrooms and chopped, canned black olives. Continue cooking until mushrooms soften. Add 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese just before serving. Serve on fresh buns.

Toasted Version: Don't add the mozzarella into the meat mixture. Split buns and spoon meat mixture onto bottom bun. Place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top. Place on cookie sheet and toast in oven at 400 degrees until cheese is melted and top bun is golden and toasted.

Jill's Spinach Salad

Another BUNCO recipe. The dressing is the secret.


1 bag of spinach
1 head romain lettuce, torn
3 green onions
1/2 c. sliced red onion
1 cup crumbled bacon
Sliced swish cheese strips


1/3 c. white vinegar
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup oil
1 t. celery seed

Cook until sugar dissolves (boil about 1 minute).

***Serve salad immediately after tossing in the dressing.

Kristen's Chicken Salad

Kristen made this one night for BUNCO and of course I asked for the recipe. I loved that she told me that she really didn't have a recipe, but had just "thrown it together". Here are her instructions:

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (marinated 3-4 hours in Yoshida's gourmet sauce then grilled on the BBQ)

In a large bowl, mix:
1 head each of torn red, romaine and green leaf lettuce
1/2 cup chopped provolone (Kristen had deli sliced provolone, then cut it in thin strips)
1 can black olives
2 ripe Roma tomatoes (slice in thin circles, then cut in half making half moon shape)
1/2 small red onion (cut in thin slices)
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cut chicken in diagonal strips and mix in with the rest of the salad. Serve with Girard Light Caesar Dressing and croutons.

Kristen's Sticky Chex Mix

My friend Kristen gave me this recipe. She use to bring Chex Mix to UVSC when we had our late night ElEd classes and we gobbled it up. Whenever I eat this, I think of my days at UVSC.

1 cup karo syrup
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cubes butter
1 large box Rice Chex
2 oz. sliced almonds (if you have time, you can toast them - yum!)
3 oz. coconut

In a large bowl, combine the cereal, almonds and coconut. In a saucepan, bring the corn syrup, sugar and butter to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Pour over cereal mixture and mix well. Spread onto a cookie sheet or large sheet of wax paper to cool. Cover to store.

German Pancakes

I've been making these since I was a kid. My own children now love them. They are super easy - just mix ingredients and dump in the pan. They are also sometimes called Dutch Babies or Popeye Pancakes.

1/3 c. butter
6 eggs
1 c. butter
1 c. milk
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butter in a 13 x 9 glass pan and place in oven for 2-3 minutes until butter melts. Mix the rest of the ingredients. Remove hot pan from oven and pour egg mixture on top of the hot butter and immediately return to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup. It is also good with a dollop of whipped cream.

Funnel Cakes

My Aunt Kathleen out in Colorado gave me this recipe. We had them all the time when I was young and it wasn't until many years later that I saw them at amusement parks and carnivals. They are surprisingly easy to make. My kids top them with powdered sugar and maple syrup. Fruit toppings and whipped cream are also delicious.

2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cup milk

Mix to combine, then add:

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Beat until smooth. Test mixture to make sure it flows easily through a funnel. If too thick, add a little milk, if too thin, add a little flour.

In an 8" skillet, heat 2 cups vegetable oil to 360 degrees. Cover opening of funnel with your finger. Pour a generous half cup of the batter into the funnel. Hold the end of the funnel close to the surface of the oil and remove your finger, releasing the batter into the hot oil. Spiral the funnel around so the batter doesn't stay all in one lump. Fry until golden and then turn over (about 2-3 minutes). Using tongs, carefully turn the cake over and fry one more minute or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Homemade Oreo Cookies

I've been making this recipe since I was a tween. I use to make these and take them to drill team practice. The other girls would bug me, "when are you bringing us those oreo cookies again?"

2 boxes devils food cake mix
4 eggs
2/3 cup oil

Mix all ingredients. It may seem dry, but keep mixing. Form into small round balls (very small!). Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. Take cookie sheet out of oven and then drop it on the counter to flatten down the cookies. Cool on a wire rack.

While cookies are baking and cooling, make filling:

1/2 c. cream cheese
2 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

When cookies are cool, frost the bottom of one cookie, then press together with another cookie.

Nan's Chocolate Eclair Cake

I've had this recipe for 17 years! I got it from one of my co-workers wives, who I use to hang out with. She was the homemaking leader in her ward and I was the homemaking leader in mine. She took me under her wing and gave me tons of good ideas and recipes (I was only 19 years old!). A few weeks ago, Ramona called to see if I had an easy eclair cake recipe and I resurrected this. It is absolutely delicious and looks surprisingly fancy when cut into squares. Ramona later called to tell me that everyone at her party had raved and raved.

Butter and line a 13 x 9 pan with graham crackers (across the bottom and up the side too).
Mix 2 small boxes of French Vanilla instant pudding with 3 1/2 cups milk until thick. Add 9 oz (or closest amount) container Cool Whip, mix again. Pour 1/2 of the mixture into the pan, on top of the graham crackers. Add another layer of graham crackers to the top, then pour the rest of the pudding mixture on and then finish with a final layer of graham crackers. Refrigerate for 2 hours, then top with chocolate fudge frosting recipe (below).

Top eclair cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting:

2 squares baking chocolate, melted (I use semi-sweet)
2 tsp. karo syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. margarine, softened
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
3 T. milk

Mix everything well, then spread on top of eclair cake. Refrigerate cake overnight. Cut in squares to serve.

***For those who are unfamiliar with baking chocolate, you find it in the grocery store on the baking isle. It is usually above the chocolate chips and comes in a small box.

Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

My good friend Jodi brought this to a faculty party when I worked at Parkview School. She brought regular graham crackers to serve with it all those years ago, but now you can buy graham cracker sticks that are perfect for dipping. You can also serve this with gingersnaps, Nilla Wafers or even strawberries or bananas.

1 pkg. cream cheese (softened)
1/2 c. real butter (softened)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. powdered sugar
2 T. brown sugar
3/4 c. mini chocolate chips
3/4 c. chopped pecans

Mix the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, brown sugar and chocolate chips. Put mixture into fridge and refrigerate for 2 hours. Spoon the mixture onto the center of a big sheet of plastic wrap and then carefully wrap up and shape into a ball. Refrigerate for 1 more hour. Roll in chopped pecans and then wrap in a fresh sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Parmesan Chicken

This recipe came from a Taste of Home Magazine. I make it for Sunday dinner and serve with any type of pasta or sometimes with mashed potatoes and chicken gravy.

In a bowl mix:

1/3 c. melted butter
2 cloves garlic (pressed)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt

In another bowl, mix:

1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 c. grated cheddar cheese
2 T. grated parmesan cheese
dash of pepper

Using 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, dip them first in the butter mixture, then roll them i n the cheese/breadcrumb mixture. Place breaded breasts in a 13 x 9 pan that has been greased or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cover with foil and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Kelly's Zucchini Bread

I have many different zucchini bread recipes, but this is my favorite.

2 c. grated zucchini
1 c. vegetable or canola oil
3 beaten eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, sugar, soda, baking powder, cinnamon & salt). Add the zucchini to the dry mixture and stir until all zucchini is coated. In separate bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients (oil, eggs, vanilla). Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix until just combined (don't beat or over mix). Pour into bread pans that are greased and floured. Fill pans about 2/3 full. This recipe makes 2 medium/large loaves or about 4 small loaves. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Make sure the top is well set and not doughy before removing from oven. Cool ten minutes, then turn loaves out and cool on a wire rack.