Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memorial Day BBQ

Memorial day is the weekend that kicks off summer. What better way to get it started right, than to get out and grill. If you are like me, you keep things pretty standard, right? Hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, maybe chicken? Well, I want you (and I) to get brave and try some new things out there on the grill.  Seafood, vegetables, ribs? You bet- we can do it!! Here are some recipes that I have book-marked to try, along with a recipe for some really easy and super yummy chicken kabobs which I make often.

First, this Honey Ginger Grilled Salmon looks amazing!

Grilled salmon with jalapeno butter sounds really good.

BBQ Bacon Wrapped Shrimp sounds like a great appetizer- or just a nice light dinner.

Speaking of bacon, this recipe has you wrapping it around fresh corn on the cob and then grilling the corn.

Marinated and Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash look really tasty.

These ribs sound fairly simple- which is good when grilling ribs is a little scary!

I hope to try these recipes this summer. I will let you know how it works out. You should try this recipe- it works out to a tasty dinner!

Chicken Kabobs
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
4 Tbsp. Soy sauce
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. basil
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients in a ziplock bag and marinate 1-2 lbs. chicken breasts that you have cut up into large chunks. Try to make all the pieces the same size- they will cook more evenly. After they have completed the marinating time, thread onto skewers. We like to cook bell pepper and onions, cut into large chunks and threaded onto their own skewers. Grill over medium heat until the chicken's juices run clear.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Make your own taco seasoning

We eat a lot of tacos in our house. They are fast, easy and we usually have everything on hand. Last year, I started to search for a homemade taco seasoning. I looked all over the web and I found a few I liked a little. So I combined them into one really good recipe. I double this and keep it on hand for all my taco feasts.

Taco Seasoning
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
3 tsp cumin
1 tsp. Lawry's seasoning salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 pinch cayenne
(Before we moved to Utah I used to add 1/4 tsp. chipolte chili powder, but I can't find it here, so I leave it out. It still tastes awesome!)
Combine. Add 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp to 1 pound ground beef. You can also add 1/2 cup water, but we like ours a little more on the dry side, it works for what your tastes like.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lottie's Chicken Enchiladas

My husband has a birthday this week. I asked him what he would like for his birthday dinner, and he almost always chooses these enchiladas. My favorite part of this dish is the fresh ingredients that you pile on top at the end. They make these enchiladas over the top yummy! I got this recipe from my great Aunt Lottie. I am not sure where she first got it, as she loves to clip recipes out of newspapers and magazines (seems to run in the family.)

Lottie's Chicken Enchiladas

3 -15 oz cans green enchilada sauce, divided
3 cups cooked chopped chicken
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can chopped green chilies, drained
8-10 large flour tortillas
1- 8oz  container sour cream
1 bottle green taco sauce
Toppings: diced tomato, sliced black olives, chopped avocado, chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese, and lettuce

Using one can of the green enchilada sauce, stir together the first 5 ingredients. Spoon mixture in each flour tortilla and roll up. Place in a 13x9-inch casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Pour remaining two cans of enchilada sauce over top of the prepared enchiladas. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes. Stir together taco sauce and the 8 oz. container of sour cream. To serve, place enchilada on plate, spoon green taco sauce mixture over top and sprinkle with desired toppings.

Today I am sharing this recipe at Skip to My Lou- who hosts Made By You Monday.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Check out this post

I have never posted a link to another blog post that didn't include a recipe or a craft tutorial. Until today. Please go read what this lovely lady had to say about being real with people. Let's just say this post really spoke to me.
I am going to try to get over myself and start letting more people be "Upstairs friends". I know I will be glad that I did.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

It has been rainy for days here. I wish that I could say that I was exaggerating, but I am not. This morning when I woke up, I could not believe my eyes. The sun was shining! I don't know how long it will shine today, but for now, I am thankful for a beautiful morning full of sunshine!
This cake recipe is pure sunshine. Anything lemon makes me feel lighter and brighter. Perhaps it is because it is my favorite color? Or that lemons smell so fresh and clean? Regardless, this cake is awesome and a nice light ending to a meal.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

1 package lemon cake mix
1 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 12 cup bundt cake pan with shortening and lightly flour. Beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and zest.  Stir in poppy seeds. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for ten minutes. Turn pan upside down on wire rack and gently shake to remove cake. Cool completely. Spread lemon glaze over top of cake, allowing some glaze to drizzle down the sides.

Lemon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 - 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp lemon zest

Mix powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir in additional lemon juice, one teaspoon at a time, until smooth and has the consistency of a thick syrup.

Have a beautiful day.......Enjoy the sunshine!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Most boys really like dinosaurs, mine are not an exception. Son #4 is entering into a really fun awareness about dinosaurs. We took an afternoon recently and brought the whole family to the dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point here in town. This is not your average dusty boring museum. This place is built for hands on exploring.

This is a replica of some large dinosaur bones, but you could touch these ones,. They have things like this all over the place. Buttons to push, things to feel, and fun activities to try out.

This was a station where you could build a dinosaur. All the pieces attached to the base either by heavy duty Velcro or by hooks and eyelets. This "creation" was what my kids came up with.

But by far, the best thing in this museum is the water table room. They have these huge water tables that have sand in them and the water is pumped and circulated through out.. Son #4 loved playing with the plastic dinos in the water. 
The older boys built dams and rivers and islands for over an hour.

Daddy even got his fair share of playing in the water and sand. 

This is such a great place to go for an afternoon. We had such a great time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Tacos and spaghetti are frequent dinners around here because they are kid friendly, fairly cheap and easy to make. I found this recipe online that combines the idea of tacos with spaghetti (just the pasta part of spaghetti). It really intrigued me, so I had to try it. It is really yummy, and it reheats well. An added bonus to this recipe is that you can freeze it. I will often double what I make to be able to throw an extra batch in the freezer. There is something very satisfying about not having to really "cook" on a super busy day. Throwing it in the oven for a little bit doesn't really count as cooking in my book!

Mexican Stuffed Shells

12-18 large pasta shells, cooked and drained
1 lb. ground beef
3 Tbsp taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups salsa, divided
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1- 15 oz can tomato sauce
3/4 tsp. chili powder
Brown ground beef. Add seasoning, water, onion, 1/2 cup salsa, and 1/4 cup cheese. Mix together remaining salsa, tomato sauce and chili powder. Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Fill each shell with a large spoon full of ground beef and place in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over top of the shells. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. * Bake at 350 ° for 30 minutes.

*At this point you could cover tightly and freeze. When you want to eat, defrost in freezer for at least one day and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

You can find the original recipe here,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The best Coconut cake recipe- ever!

We had to make a very quick trip back to Colorado this past weekend. Family emergency stuff- but we are back and all is good. While we were there, my sister-in-law shared a Coconut cake recipe that one of her customers had given her. It is so wonderful. It is such a light dessert, and very easy to throw together.

Coconut Cake

1 white cake mix and ingredients needed to make cake
1 small box of instant coconut pudding and ingredients to make pudding
1 can coconut cream milk (found in the liquor store)
1 tub cool whip- defrosted
Half a bag of coconut- toasted

Bake cake according to the directions given on box. While the cake is baking, mix pudding and chill. When cake is done baking, poke holes all over top- the more holes the better. Open coconut cream milk and stir well. Spread over top of warm cake. Let cake cool completely. Spread with pudding, then top with Cool whip. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

*How to toast coconut- Spread coconut on a piece of parchment paper. Place on cookie sheet and put under the broiler. Watch very closely, it will toast in just a minute or two. Remove when the edges start to get toasty brown.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What to do with Cube Steak?

I get tired of always eating ground beef and chicken breasts. They are so good and super versatile, but I like to also use other cuts of meat from time to time. One of my favorite cuts is the humble Cube Steak. What exactly is cube steak, you might ask? I googled cube steak and found a website dedicated to this yummy piece of beef- . They explain that cube steak is round steak, that has been tenderized. All I know is that it is tasty and can be used in many recipes. Here are some of my favorites:
This is a recipe for one of the most tasty sandwiches ever. My family loves these.

This recipe is for Chicken Fried Steak- classic comfort food.

This recipe looked good and will be tried out soon at my home- Cube Steak Parmigiana.

Another recipe that I have marked to try is this- Budget friendly Beef Stroganoff.

This salad recipe looks really good as well- Cube Steak Milanese.

My personal favorite way to use Cube Steak is Queso Steak. I don't know where my mom got the recipe, but it has been made in our family for years. I put the recipe at the end of this post: .