Monday, December 24, 2007

White Chicken Chili

4 Chicken Breasts
3 cans of chicken broth about 10 oz each
2 cans of Great Northern Beans 10 oz each
2 cans of shoepeg white corn
2 cans of green chilies 4 oz each
1 cup chopped onion
1-2 garlic cloves minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Place chicken in large pot with broth, onion, and garlic and cook med heat for 20-30 minutes. Remove chicken and shred, add the rest of the ingredients (do not drain any of the cans) and cook for another 30 mintues.
Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream and shredded Monterey jack cheese!!

Broccoli Alfredo

Yummy way to get your kids to eat broccoli!

1 tbls of kosher salt
¾ of pound of fettuccine pasta
4 cups of broccoli florets
4 tbls of butter
1 cup parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Place salt in boiling water and add fettucine to cook to al dente. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, add broccoli. Drain in colander reserving 1 cup of the water. Place butter in the pot and stir until melted. Add ½ cup of the water and 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese. Add the fettuccine and broccoli and toss to coat. Remove from heat and add the remaining cheese. Serve and add more cheese if desired!
***I changed the recipe a little when I made it: I used half and half instead of the pasta water to make it a little creamier - if you don't need those calories you could use regular milk also or a combination of milk and pasta water - just play with it and see how you like it! I also got some chicken breast tenders, seasoned them with oregano, basil and garlic salt and cooked them in some butter and olive oil and served them on top of the pasta - it was really yummy!****

Asparagus, Snap pea, and Avacado Pasta

Thanks for sharing Kristi!

1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2 inches
1 lb. sugar snap peas
1 lb bow tie pasta
4 tbl of butter
2 garlic cloves minced
1 ripe avocado cut into chunks
½ cup of fresh basil or parsley (you can used dried if you want, just use a tbls of it)
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Bring salted water to a boil and cook asparagus for 2 minutes. Add snap peas, cook for 30 seconds. Scoop out veggies and set aside.
Return water to a boil and add pasta, cook al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup water.
In the same pot, melt 2 tbls of butter over med heat and veggies and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing veggies for about 2 minutes. Add remaining butter, pasta, avocado, herbs, cheese, and reserved water. Toss to combine and serve with more cheese!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Pretzels

This is what I made for my neighbor's and friends for Christmas treats this year! It was SO easy and my kids LOVED being able to help!

1 bag square pretzels (we used the butter pretzels)
1 0r 2 bags of Hershey peppermint kisses or Hershey hugs candies ( we made some of each for some variety...)
1 bag christmas colored M&M's

Place pretzels on a cookie sheet, top each pretzel with either a peppermint kiss or a hug (center them as best as you can!). place in 350 degree oven for 1-2 minutes (the hugs melt faster due to the white chocolate...). You just want them to soften not completely melt. Pull out of the oven and immediatly top with one M&M, pushing down softly. Very pretty looking and tasty!!!

Chicken Enchilada's

So melty, cheesy, gooey, delicious!

This is my favorite chicken enchilada recipe, takes a little time, but it's worth it!

2 c. cooked diced chicken ( you can use canned chicken in this recipe)
2 T. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
1 t. sugar
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. basil
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. oregano
8 flour tortillas
3 c. monterey jack cheese, grated
1 c. cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 c. sour cream

Saute onion and garlic in butter. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chilies, sugar, and spices. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Spoon some of the sauce over the tortillas one at a time to soften a little. (This really helps when you are rolling them up!) Top with a few pieces of chicken and both kinds of cheese, reserving about 1 c. of cheese for topping. I usually set out all of my tortillas and do an assembly line - my kids like to help! Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Blend sour cream with the rest of the sauce and pour over top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Kevin's Award Winning Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is one of the best chocolate chip cookie recipes ever! very soft and delicious! (and they really have won awards!)

2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding mix
1 pkg. ghiradelli milk chocolate chips (this brand tastes the best!)
1 t. baking soda
1 c. room temp. butter
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs

Mix flour and baking soda. Combine butter, sugars, vanilla, pudding mix in a big mixer and beat until smooth. Beat in eggs, and gradually add flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 8-9 minutes.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is the best sweet and sour chicken recipe that I have ever found! My kids love it! I usually double the sauce because we like to spoon the extra over white rice for a great side dish!

3 lbs. chicken breast (I like to pound mine thin)
1 t. garlic salt
black pepper
1 t. MSG ( i never use this)
1 beaten egg ( i usually end up using 2)
4-6 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. vinegar (i like to use rice wine vinegar for a fun flavor)
1 c. chicken stock
7 T. ketchup
2 T. soy sauce

Sprinkle chicken with the garlic salt and let stand while you are gathering the other ingredients. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Dip chicken in beaten egg, then in cornstarch. Brown in hot oil. (I usually cook the chicken on med heat so it doesn't burn - you don't need to cook it all the way through because it will finish cooking in the over - just lightly browned on both sides). Place browned chicken in 9x13 baking dish. Meanwhile, heat sugar,vinegar, chicken stock, ketchup, and soy sauce in a saucepan until mixed together. Pour over chicken. Bake uncovered for 1 hour, turning once or twice. Serve over white rice!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Just Like Cafe Rio Rice

4 t. chicken bouillon
4 t. garlic minced
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 t. cumin
1 can green chilis
3/4 t. salt
1 T. butter
1/2 onion, chopped

Blend ingredients in blender then put in pan on the stove and add:
3 c. water and bring to a boil.
Then add:
3 c. rice ( not minute rice) and simmer for 30 minutes.

*( I have found that I have to add a little more liquid to my rice to make it nice and fluffy - just watch it closely and if it looks like the liquid is gone before the rice is all the way done, add more water 1 c. at a time.)

Cafe Rio Chicken

1 small bottle kraft zesty italian dressing
1 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast

Put all ingredients in crockpot on low for 4 hours, shread meat and cook for one more hour. Put on top of salad with cheese, pico, and your favorite dressing (I like the cilantro ranch dressing), or make into a soft chicken burrito with your favorite burrito toppings!

Cafe Rio Cilantro Ranch dressing

1 pkg. dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
1 c. mayo
1 c. chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic
3 tomatillos, paper removed
1/3 c. buttermilk
1/4 t. cayenne pepper

put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Cafe Rio Pork

5-6 lb. pork roast
1 T. cumin
12 oz bottle la Victoria Taco Sauce
20 oz. bottle Coke

Cook roast on low for 12 hours in a crockpot with water added half way up the roast.
After 12 hours, drain water off roast and add remaining ingredients and continue cooking for 4 more hours. Then shred meat and cook for 2 more hours.
Place on soft, warm tortillas with sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, and cheese. Roll up and enjoy!!!

Rosemary Bread

This is almost exactly like the bread at Macaroni Grill. Serve warm with olive oil and balsalmic vinegar!!! yummy!

1 T. dry yeast
1 T. sugar
1 c. warm water
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
1 1/2- 2 T. fresh chopped rosemary
1 T. olive oil
nonstick spray
2 T. butter

place yeast, sugar, and water in kitchen aid mixer. Let stand for 5 minutes or until it starts to bubble up. Mix in 2 1/2 c. flour and salt. Add rosemary and mix . Add 1 T oil and mix. Knead by hand for 10 minutes or in kitchen aid for a few minutes and then by hand for 1 minute, until dough is smooth and elastic. Spray bowl with cooking spray and let dough sit for an hour or until double in size. Punch down and divide in half. Let sit 5 minutes. Shape into small round loaves and place on a cookie sheet. Melt butter and brush over loaves. Let rise again for 45 minutes. lightly sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn oven up to 425 degrees for 4-5 minutes. (watch so it doesn't get too brown). Best served warm.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cheesy Dutch Oven-style Potatoes

My father-in-law, Boyd, was the inspiration for this recipe! Everyone who tries it loves it! It goes great with the marinated flank steak!!!

1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped

Cook in big pot until onion is translucent and bacon is starting to crisp.

6-7 Idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
9-10 baby carrots sliced thin

Stir and season to taste with the following:

season salt
onion salt
garlic salt

1 liter sprite or 7-up ( i like sprite the best)
and enough water to just cover potatoes ( or you can add enough sprite to cover potatoes and forget about the water.) Cover and bring to a boil. simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender and most of the liquid has reduced. Cover with grated colby jack cheese and let melt ( about 3-5 more minutes). Dig in!

Company Chicken

I am trying to post all of my families favorites that I make a lot for dinner. This one is a staple, the ultimate comfort food. I serve it over mashed potatoes and then drizzle some of the extra sauce on top!! YUM YUM!!

5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 eggs beaten

1/2 c. dried breadcrumbs ( I use italian style)
1 t. basil
1 t. oregano
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/4 t. salt
2 T. parmesan cheese, grated ( I use a little more than this, because I like the taste, you'll have to mess with it a little to see how you like it!)

Dip chicken in egg and then in bread crumb coating, pat to get chicken completely covered.
pan fry in 2/3 c. melted butter on medium heat until browned and cooked through.


1/4 c. apple juice
1/2 c. green onions, chopped
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1/4 c. parsley, chopper

Pour over chicken, cover and simmer until chicken is done.
***I like to double the sauce so we have extra to pour over the top!****

Corn chowder

I had this at my friend Kristi's house and fell instantly in love!!! serve with homemade breadsticks right out of the oven!

8 oz bacon, chopped
1/4 c. olive oil
4 large onions, chopped
4 T. unsalted butter
1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 t. kosher salt
1 t. ground black pepper
1/2 t. ground tumeric
12 c. chicken stock
6 c. medium diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled
10 c. corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 c. half and half
1/2 lb. sharp white cheddar cheese, grated.

In a large pan on med high heat, cook the bacon in olive oil until crisp. Remove the bacon and save on a plate. reduce heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cobs and blanch the kernels for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (if using frozen corn, skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half and half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. serve hot with a garnish of bacon.
****This makes a large batch - you can half the recipe and still make a lot!!! (or make a full batch and enjoy the leftovers the next day!!!******

Marinated Flank Steak

This is the greatest marinade for flank steaks I have ever tasted!!! My kids and husband LOVE it! It's best if you marinade it overnight and then cook it outside on the grill!

3/4 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. real lemon juice
1 1/2 c. oil
1/4 c. worchestershire sauce
3 T. dry mustard
1 t. pepper
1/2 c. red wine vinegar

Sprinkle steak with garlic salt and then place in marinade. Let it sit and soak up all of the goodness overnight. Grill on medium heat until done. (about 30-40 minutes for medium well).

Friday, December 7, 2007

Flat French Bread

This is a delicious, fun way to make bread. Kind of like a square breadstick! (or you could make triangles, etc...HAVE FUN WITH IT!)

(adapted from Laura)

2 c. warm water
2 rounded T. sugar
1 pkg yeast ( or 1 T.)
4 c. flour
2 t. salt
1/4 c. butter melted
sesame seeds
garlic salt
parmesan cheese

Mix water, yeast, and sugar, let work. Add salt and flour to mixture. Beat well with a wooden spoon. Leave in bowl and let rise until double in size. Grease jelly roll pan well. Grease hands well and spread dough into pan. Pour melted butter over the top and sprinkle with sesame seeds, garlic salt, and parm cheese generously. Bake at 400 degrees, for 20 minutes. If brown enough, reduce heat to 300 degress for another 10 minutes. Can be wrapped in foil and reheated - best if served hot!!!

Pizza Salad

from Laura Dickman

1 med head lettuce chopped
1 8 0z. pkg sliced salami
1 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 c. cheddar cheese, grated
2 med tomatoes, chopped
2 med green peppers, chopped
1 T. chopped chives, or green onions
2 carrots grated
3 stalks celery chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
1 c. sliced mushrooms ( i use button)
1/4 c. black olives, sliced or chopped

Add all ingredients together and toss.
Dressing: (this is the best part!!)

1 (8oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 c. salad oil
1/4 c. white wine vinegar ( i have also used red wine vinegar and it is just as good)
1 t. sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. dry oregano
1 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. pepper
wisk together, adding oil in a stream at the end. Add to salad just before serving.

This salad is great as a meal with breadsticks or garlic bread on the side!!! Makes a LOT!

Harvest Salad

2-3 chicken breasts, grilled or pan fried in 2 TBS. olive oil, sprinkling both sides with basil, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cut into thin strips or small cubes.
1 head red leaf lettuce, or small bag of fresh spinach (whichever you prefer)
1 c. diced, dried apricots
1 c. craisins or dried berry blend
bleu cheese crumbles (or mozzarella if you prefer it more mild)

Toss salad. Cover with grilled chicken strips. Pour Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette over salad (this brand of dressing is crucial!). Serve while chicken is still warm. A delicious and easy salad for autumn time.

Spinach and Corn Salad

1/4 cup lime juice (fresh)
1 Tbsp. honey
1 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. salt
3 cups frozen whole kernel corn thawed, or 6 ears of fresh corn
1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup seeded, chopped cucumber
In a large bowl whish together lime juice and honey until well combined. Stir in jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and salt. Add corn or carefully cut corn kernels off cobs. Add to lime juice mixture. Stir in spinach, tomato, and cucumber. Serve immediately.Makes 9 - 2/3 cup servings.


8-10 Roma tomatoes
1-2 jalapenos
1 medium onion
3/4 t. lemon pepper
3/4 t. Lawry's seasoning salt
3/4 t. Lawry's garlic salt
3/4 t. salt
1 dash oregano
1/2 t. dried cilantro (coriander)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 bunch cilantro (chopped)
Place tomatoes, jalapenos and onion in a frying pan on high heat. You can half the onion and depending on how hot the jalapenos are, you may want to de-vein them. Let the vegetables burn! You will want to turn them every once in a while to get a lot of the outsides nice and black.
Remove from the pan and place in a bowl. Refrigerate until cool. Add remaining ingredients and blend together in a blender. Cool in fridge. Makes TONS.

Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks

This is my friend Kristi's recipe, she made it for me right after I had my baby, and it was a hit! my kids ate like 4 drumsticks each!!! It's easy and low maintenance, and is best served over rice with some of the leftover sauce drizzled over the top!!!

1 c. LITE soy sauce (very important to use the light!! way too salty with regular soy sauce!)
2 c. brown sugar

Mix together until the sugar dissolves. Pour into a 9x13 pan and then lay the frozen drumsticks on top ( i just buy a package of like 18-20 frozen drumsticks and the whole package will fit in the 9x13 pan.) Cook at 300 degrees for 3 hours, turning halfway through.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Pasta Fagol

1 lb. hamburger
1 small onion chopped
1 c. julienned carrots
2 cloves garlic chopped

saute together for 10 minutes and then drain grease.
2 cans diced tomatos
1 can red kidney beans
1 can great northern beans
1 can tomato JUICE (not sauce!)
2 cans v8
1 T. white vinegar
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. oregano
1 t. basil
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. thyme
simmer together for 1 hour.

cook 1/2 bag of salad roni pasta (or other small tube pasta) separately and add to soup right before serving! delicious when served with my yummy breadstick recipe!

Best Baked Beans!

(from Tammy Houser)

1/2 lb. hamburger
1/2 lb. bacon
1 small onion, chopped
cook together until meat is browned.
15 oz. can butter beans
15 oz. can kidney beans
15 oz can pork and beans
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. ketchup
1/2 t. dry mustard
bake together until warmed through and all the flavors mix together!!!

Wonderful Breadsticks

1 T. yeast
2 T. sugar
1 1/2 c. warm h2o

Mix together and wait for bubbles.
Then add:

1 t. salt
3 1/2 c. flour

Mix for 5 minutes with electric mixer. Dough will be slightly sticky. Let rise for 45 min-1hr.

Roll into long rectangle. Cut breadstick size strip's with a pizza cutter, fold ends together and twist. Place 1/2 c. butter in jelly roll pan and put in 400 degree oven until melted (don't let it brown!). Add twists to pan. Brush the tops with melted butter, then sprinkle with garlic salt, parmesan cheese, and sesame seeds. Cook for 12 minutes in 400 degree oven. YUMMY!


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