Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn

Ask my friends, I happily share recipes with anyone who asks. There is not really a point in a home cook keeping a recipe a secret. That being said, I almost didn't want to share this recipe with you. I think I could become a rock star with this recipe! Just kidding! It takes caramel corn to a new high.  This is one that you should just go make. Like right now. You will thank me. Your family will thank me! To give credit where credit is due, I found this recipe in Our Best Bites cookbook, page 257.

Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn

12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup un-popped kernels, popped)
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup real butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 squares almond bark

Preheat oven to 250ยบ. Place popped popcorn and pecans in a large bowl, set aside. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a  large microwave safe bowl. Mix well. Chop the butter into chunks and place on top of the brown sugar. Pour corn syrup on top of the butter. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and stir. Return to microwave and cook on high for 2 minutes. Remove and stir. Microwave for 2 more minutes, and stir. Add vanilla and baking soda, stir to combine. Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn mixture. Stir very well so it all can be coated in caramel. Spread the popcorn on to a foil lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove pan and spread the hot popcorn out onto parchment paper or waxed paper. Melt the almond bark in the microwave according to package directions. Drizzle over the caramel corn. Once the almond bark has hardened, break the popcorn into chunks.
* You might want to hide a stash away, I speak from experience. My kids inhaled this popcorn!

Monday, October 7, 2013

New Mexico Green Chile

It has been getting cooler around here in Utah. I have been craving soups and stews lately. I found this recipe on Pinterest and was hoping that it would be good. It was perfect. Slightly spicy, hearty and so flavorful. I served it with fresh cooked tortillas, which serve as a perfect utensil for scooping up every last drop of this green chile.

New Mexican Green Chile
3 Tablespoons Oil, Divided
4 pounds Pork Loin, Trimmed And Cubed
1 whole Large Onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon Garlic, chopped
2 cans (14 oz.) Chicken Broth
1 can (14.5 oz.). Petite Diced Tomatoes with Chipotle
2 cans (27 oz.) Whole Green Chiles, chopped
1 can (10 oz.), Original Rotel Diced Tomatoes With Green Chilies
¼ teaspoons Celery Salt
⅓ cups Flour (for Thickening)
½ teaspoons Salt, Or To Taste
¼ teaspoons Pepper Or To Taste

Heat a large Dutch oven or sauce pot over medium high heat. Add two tablespoons oil. Sear pork cubes in batches. Season with salt and pepper each batch after the meat sears. Spoon the cooked pork to a plate and set aside.
Add remaining oil and saute onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth being sure to scrape up the brown bits in the pan as you pour it in. Add the pork back into the pot. Add cans of tomatoes, chopped chiles, Rotel and celery salt and simmer for 3 hours until pork is fork tender. You can also pour the ingredients into a crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours if you can't be home.
Just before serving, take out a cup, or so, of the liquid and whisk with flour to make a smooth, thin paste. Stir this mixture back into your pan and simmer for about 5 minutes to cook down the flour. Stir several times to prevent sticking on the bottom.

recipe from

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chopped Thai Chicken Salad

I am not going to lie to you all. I love eating super savory and wonderfully bad for you foods, just as much as anyone,  but I also like to find recipes that are good for you and are super tasty. During the warmer weather, I also like recipes that don't heat up my house any more than it already is. This recipe that I found on Pinch of Yum is scrumptious. I was drawn to it because I love chopped salads. I also love almost any food that is Thai/Chinese/Japanese. They have such wonderfully fresh flavors! I did alter her recipe though, tailoring it to fit my family and their eating preferences.
Chopped Thai Chicken Salad
1 small head cabbage, chopped
4 carrots, shredded
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and chopped
1 can Mandarin oranges, drained

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno, diced very fine
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water

Whisk dressing ingredients together until smooth. Toss salad ingredients together in large bowl, holding the peanuts aside if you have picky eaters who would prefer a salad sans nuts. Toss with dressing, and sprinkle with peanuts.

Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fudgy Brownies

Who doesn't love a brownie with a tall glass of cold milk? Or with a cup of coffee for breakfast? I found this recipe on Pinterest/ Six Sisters' Stuff, and I knew that I would have to give it a try. I was not disappointed, they are dense and  super chocolaty. I normally don't frost the brownies that I make from a box mix, but these are perfect with their frosting.

Fudgy Brownies
1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup cocoa
      2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
   4 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a mixer, blend melted butter and cocoa until smooth. Add flour and sugar; beat together. Mix in eggs and vanilla and mix until combined (be sure not to over mix). 
Pour batter into a greased 9x13" baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Let the brownies cool for about 10-20 minutes and then frost while still warm.

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
dash of salt

Mix all ingredients together and frost as desired.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Taco Pie and Spanish Rice

Growing up, we ate tacos at least once a week. They were cheap and very easy for my hardworking mom to make. Now that I am the mom, we also eat tacos once a week. They are great when you have picky eaters because they can customize their meal to their tastes.  I came across this recipe many years ago, and it is a great change of pace from the standard tacos. One of the best parts of this recipe is how wonderful it reheats! Yummy! I am also including a new recipe that I have been working on perfecting- Spanish rice. I think that I have it just right!

Taco Pie
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 pkg Fajita seasoning- you will only use 2 Tbsp.
1 diced green chilies
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup biscuit baking mix
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Toppings: Sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, diced tomato, salsa

Cook beef and onion, drain off the fat. Stir in the fajita seasoning. Spread into a 10 inch pie plate that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with the green chilies. In a mixing bowl, combine biscuit mix, eggs and milk until smooth. Pour over beef in pie pan. Bake in 400° oven for 35 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Return to the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve with desired toppings.

Spanish Rice
1 cup rice
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
 1 - 16 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water
Fry rice in butter until browned. Add onion and garlic and saute for 1-2  minutes. Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for approximately 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lemon Chicken

There is something about lemon that shouts springtime to me! In fall, I crave pumpkin and apple treats, but lemon is spring time for me! This past week, I made this amazing Lemon Chicken recipe that I discovered on Pinterest. This was one of the best tasting chicken dishes that we have had. It was great! It would be great for dinner with company, because it looks fancy. The leftovers were so good, I have to say I was disappointed when I discovered that my hubby had taken them to work. I thought hiding them behind the milk would have worked!

Lemon Chicken
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2-4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Basting Liquid
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Place your chicken in a large zip lock bag. In a bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour over chicken in bag. Seal and squish it around to coat the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, I let the chicken marinate overnight. Preheat oven to 425°. Place the chicken in a well sprayed casserole dish. Place a pat of butter on top of each piece of chicken. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Mix up your basting liquid and baste the chicken, use all the basting liquid. Place back in the oven and cook 30 minutes more. Chicken breasts are done when the juices are clear and the internal temperature is 170° . Remove chicken and place a foil tent over the chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Philly Cheese Steak Rolls

I love Philly Cheese steak sandwiches. Sadly, my boys do not. However, they loved these easy sandwiches. I am not sure if it was the flaky puff pastry rolls or the wonderful yummyness inside, but all of my kids gave these sandwiches two thumbs up I think that next time, I might saute some sliced bell peppers in with the onions.

Philly Cheese Steak Rolls
All-purpose flour
1 package frozen Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced
1 package frozen sandwich steaks, Steak-umm is the brand that I used
8 slices American cheese
1 egg, beaten

Heat the oven to 400°F.
Sprinkle the flour on the work surface.  Unfold the pastry sheets on the work surface.  Roll the pastry sheets into 10-inch squares.  Cut into 8 (5-inch) squares.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally.  Remove the onion from the skillet.
Increase the heat to medium-high.  Add the sandwich steaks to the skillet and cook until the meat is no longer pink. I also give it a rough chop as I cook it, so the meat is in small pieces.
Spoon approximately 2-3 Tbsp. of the onion and 2-3 Tbsp. of the sandwich steaks on the bottom third of each pastry square.  Top each with 1 slice cheese.  Fold 2 opposite sides over the filling.  Roll up like a jelly roll.  Brush the pastries with the egg.  Place the pastries onto a baking sheet.
Bake for 20- 25 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.  Let the pastries cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 10 minutes. 

Recipe adapted from  Pepperridge Farm.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Olive Cheese Ball

I don't know about you, but I could very easily eat a whole meal of appetizers! One of my favorite is a good cheese ball and crackers. I love to make my own cheese balls and totally customize the toppings that you roll the ball in. This recipe is for an Olive Cheese ball.

Olive Cheese Ball
1- 8 oz package cream cheese softened
1/3 cup chopped green olives
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1 Tbsp minced onion
Several dashes Tabasco
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Mix the cream cheese, olives, onion, and the dashes of Tabasco together until well blended. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Shape into a ball and roll in the parsley. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Chai Sugar Cookies

I think that I have mentioned before of my love and obsession of Chai tea, see here, so it was an amazing day when I found this recipe on My Baking Addiction for Chai sugar cookies. I was so excited to try these cookies out, I immediately went to my spices to make sure I had the right ingredients, and I was found that I didn't have any ground cardamom. Off I went to the store, and several stores later I finally found some ground cardamom that didn't break my piggy bank. These cookies are easy to make, super fragrant and quite delightful. If the aroma of the cardamom is to much for you, decrease the amount. My hubby thought he was eating a perfume cookie, but my boys gave them two thumbs up. I should also tell you, my sweetie is not a fan of chai- shocking, I know!

Chai Sugar Cookies
(Adapted from My Baking Addiction)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom- I used 3/4 tsp.
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice and black pepper. Remove 1/4 cup of the sugar-spice mixture, set aside to reserve for rolling the cookies. Beat the butter and sugar-spice mixture until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla extract, combine until fully incorporated. Slowly blend in dry ingredients mixing until just combined. Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts and then roll in the reserved sugar-spice mixture. Place dough balls on baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand on baking sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

I apologize for the lack of a picture- my boys inhaled the cookies!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mexican Chicken- an easy crock pot dinner

I have been trying very hard to make one new thing each week, and I have been finding a lot of my new ideas on Pinterest. I would love for you to follow me there if you want, I have pinned some great things! Anyways, back to my latest recipe that I have pinned and tried. Mexican Chicken in the Crock pot. The original recipe is here, but when I pinned it, some gracious person wrote out the crock pot version, which I will share with you.

Mexican Chicken in the Crock pot
In your crock pot place your chicken breasts in the bottom. Sprinkle with taco seasoning, I used 2 Tbsp. Pour two cans red enchilada sauce over the top. Chop some green onions and sprinkle over top. Cook on low for 6 hours or so until the chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from crock pot, shred with two forks and return to the enchilada sauce. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro and shredded Cheddar cheese, wrapped in warm soft tortillas.

For those of you who know me in real life, you know how hard it is for me to get a unanimous positive vote for my cooking, I have some picky eaters, but this recipe was a hearty thumbs up from the entire family! Woo Hoo!