Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hard Rock Cafe Baked Potato Soup...

Perhaps it's the Idaho girl in me but I love a potato just about any way you cook it. I even like potatoes in flake form which my husband lovingly refers to as fake potatoes. So throwing potatoes in a soup (another favorite of mine) is destined to be amazing. I know our cool Arizona temperatures this week pale in comparison to the majority of the country, but it dropped into the low 60's which means its a soup week for us!

This recipe is from a friend and the first time I ate it, it was love at first bite. It's creamy, it has bacon and just enough kick to keep it interesting.

Life With Fingerprints: Hard Rock Cafe Baked Potato Soup
6 · to 8 slices bacon, fried crisp, drippings reserved
1 cup · onions -- diced
2/3 cup · flour
6 cup · hot chicken stock
4 cup · baked potatoes -- peeled and cubed (I throw them in the microwave when I'm running low on time)
1 cup · heavy cream (I've also made this with an additional cup of milk instead of cream and it turned out great!)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup · parsley -- chopped or 3 tsp dried
1 1/2 teaspoon · granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon · dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoon · salt
1 1/2 teaspoon · hot sauce (I add less than this amount and then add more to taste because every hot sauce is different)
1 teaspoon · coarsely ground pepper
1 cup · Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup · green onions, white part only -- diced

Chop cooked bacon and reserve drippings.Cook onions in drippings over medium-high heat until transparent, about 3 minutes. Add flour, stirring to prevent lumps. Cook 2-3 minutes until mixture is golden. Add chicken stock gradually, whisking to prevent lumps, until liquid thickens. Reduce heat to simmer and add potatoes, cream, chopped bacon, parsley, garlic, basil, salt, pepper sauce and black pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes; do not allow to boil. Add grated cheese and green onions. Heat until cheese melts smoothly. Garnish each serving as desired with chopped bacon, grated cheese and chopped parsley. Makes 2 quarts, about 8 servings.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Manly Caramel Corn...

How many guys does it take to make caramel corn?? You need someone to pour the caramel, someone to stir the popcorn and there's always a need for a supervisor, right? Life with Fingerprints: Manly Caramel Corn Steve's brother makes a delicious caramel corn and we were there to witness the magic one evening. As you can see, these guys were having far too much fun in the kitchen. Life with Fingerprints: Manly Caramel Corn It's easy to make and it's a crowd pleaser - we took it to a family gathering last weekend and it was gone in no time. Life with Fingerprints: Manly Caramel Corn
Manly Caramel Corn
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 lb brown sugar (about 2 1/4 cups packed)
1 cup Karo Syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups unpopped popcorn

Pop the popcorn and set aside. Melt the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat. After mixture comes to a low boil, add the sweetened condensed milk. Stir constantly for 3-5 minutes scraping the sides and especially the bottom of the pan to prevent any burning. Stir until mixture reaches a soft ball stage (At this temperature, sugar syrup dropped into cold water will form a soft, flexible ball. If you remove the ball from water, it will flatten like a pancake after a few moments in your hand. You can also use a candy thermometer if you have one). The longer you cook it the firmer the caramel will be. Once it reaches soft ball stage, remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour over popcorn in a large bowl and stir until evenly coated. This is a sticky corn and will remain soft. Life with Fingerprints: Manly Caramel Corn We wrapped a few balls in saran wrap for Hallie to use in lunches and several days later they were still soft. It's the perfect fall treat.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sugar Cookie Cake...

When the Pothiers get together for a birthday or holiday celebration it is a big crowd. Typically the easiest way to treat so many people to dessert is to make a sheet cake. Depending on the RSVPs it may be one or possibly two sheet cakes. Most everyone is familiar with the traditional chocolate "Texas Sheet Cake", and it's a family staple. But last year my SIL Laurel decided to mix things up and bring a "Montana Sheet Cake" to a gathering. It has since been lovingly renamed sugar cookie cake (thanks to the almond extract) by our family and it is delicious. Two weeks ago I decided to make one while visiting my family in Idaho and just 5 days after it was devoured, my SIL had purchased the ingredients for me to make it again. It's addicting if you like sugar cookies.

Here is the recipe from Laurel, from her friend, from her niece, from her monkey's uncle. I love how recipes float around!

Life with Fingerprints: Sugar Cookie Cake SUGAR COOKIE CAKE
2 1/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cubes butter
1 cup water
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Heat butter and water in a saucepan until butter melts and pour over dry ingredients. Mix until smooth. Add eggs, soda, extract and sour cream, mixing after each addition. Bake in a half sheet pan (18x13) at 350 for 20 minutes.

FROSTING
2 cubes of butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
5-6 cups powdered sugar
Heat all ingredients except sugar until butter melts. Remove from heat and add sugar gradually. Let cake cool before topping with frosting.

I make the frosting really thick. I like it to resemble sugar cookie frosting but you can alter it to your preference.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Broiled corn...

One of my favorite summer foods is corn on the cob. I've boiled, grilled, steamed and frozen corn on the cob. Although my mom would argue that it's a starch, I claim it to be my favorite vegetable. However, corn is not readily available most of the year and even when it is available, it takes some work.

I was at Paradise Bakery a while back eating my favorite: BBQ chopped chicken salad which comes topped with grilled corn. I commented to my friend that I would put grilled corn on every salad if I had it on hand. That is when I was introduced to a very simple yet genius concept: broiled corn.

Don't get me wrong- nothing truly compares to freshly grilled corn, but this is a great alternative.

Take a bag of frozen corn, toss it with melted butter (you can also use oil, but the butter flavor is more like my grilled corn) and throw in some salt and pepper. Spread it out on a cookie sheet and broil in the oven for a few minutes. If you broil too long the kernals start to shrivel, so watch them.

That's it. Grilled-like corn in no time to throw on top of a salad or even as a vegetable (or starch) to go with dinner. Life with Fingerprints: Broiled Corn I'm still going to grill my corn this summer, but the advantage of broilng - the kernals don't get stuck in your front teeth while eating them off the cob (causing conversation embarrassment) and the juices don't shoot across the table hitting your dinner guest!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Fresh Squeezed Orange Julius...

Our 12 orange trees in the grove that we call a backyard are in their prime. We've had fresh squeezed juice constantly in our fridge for weeks and we have several weeks to go. I've been trying to come up with new recipes involving oranges just to use some more up, but I'm coming up a little short. Oranges aren't as universal as I was thinking they might be, so we're stuck with orange juice, and...orange juice. Really creative, I know! If anyone has any great orange based recipes please let me know, we're open for all ideas!!

A while back I thought to make some orange julius. It was always a mall favorite of mine stemming from my grandmother who would like to get them as a treat. Fresh Squeezed orange julius I scoured the internet and found several recipes, we've been trying them out and have compiled a couple to come up with our favorite.

16 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
Ice
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp vanilla pudding powder
1/4 sugar (depending on the sweetness of your oranges, we've added more or less)

Pour the orange juice into the blender. Add enough ice so the juice rises to the 32oz mark, add sugar, vanilla and pudding and blend. Blend for a couple minutes and serve immediately.

We've been making these two times a day and wouldn't mind throwing in a third round for breakfast! I don't think the kids would complain! 20130311-DSC_8580 photo 20130311-DSC_8580.jpg 20130311-DSC_8581 photo 20130311-DSC_8581.jpg

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cinnamon Chip Bread...

Cinnamon is probably my favorite spice, which is no surprise why cinnamon rolls are my favorite dessert. But I would feel guilty eating cinnamon rolls on a daily basis so instead I enjoy cinnamon bread. One of my favorites is Great Harvest Cinnamon Burst bread. While living by Steve's brother in Milwaukee, they introduced us to the idea of making french toast with cinnamon burst - without sounding overly dramatic, it was life changing! So over the years I've made several different copy cat versions and tweaked it slightly to our liking. 20130218-DSC_7973 photo 20130218-DSC_7973.jpg

Cinnamon Chip Bread
2 cups water
2 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
5 teaspoons yeast
2/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon salt
7-9 cups flour
1 10oz bag of Cinnamon chips*

Heat water and milk in the microwave until it is warm - around 100-120F. Using a stand mixer or Bosch mixer, put yeast, 2 tbsp (of the 2/3 cup) of sugar and water/milk mixture in a bowl and let yeast bubble for 5-10 minutes.

Add the remaining sugar, oil and eggs. Mix well. Add two cups of flour and mix well - a minute or two. Add salt and remaining flour until mixture pulls away from bowl. Your dough will be slightly sticky. (don't add too much flour; it will make the dough tough and dense) Add cinnamon chips and mix - the chips will start to melt due to the warm bread, so work quickly. Let dough rise until doubled in size. 20130217-DSC_7959 photo 20130217-DSC_7959.jpg Shape into 4 loaves and let them rise again for 30 mins-60mins. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

*Cinnamon chips may be hard for some to find. Our local Wal-mart carries them next to the chocolate chips. Most grocery stores bring them in for the holidays and you can stock up! 20130218-photo (18) photo 20130218-photo18.jpg

Monday, December 17, 2012

Lights and cocoa...

We have "that" house in our neighborhood. The house that goes all out for the holidays. The one that coordinates a series of songs to light movement. The one that has cars lined up in front to catch the 30 minute show. Yes, we have "that" house in the neighborhood and because we're not right next to them, we actually like it. Sunday night on the drive home from family, we stop by for a visit. On my way home from evening church activities, I stop by and take a look.

We even made an evening of it with some cousins. We got bundled (as much as we need bundling in Arizona) and drove the neighborhood with an extra long stop at the fun house. What's Christmas lights without a little hot chocolate? We made some crock-pot cocoa that was nice and hot by the time we finished with the lights.

1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
7 cups of milk (original recipe called for 6, but it was really rich, so we toned it down just a bit!)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups of milk chocolate

As if the cocoa by itself wasn't rich enough, we threw in some peppermint marshmallows, whipped cream, and some mint ice cream. Death by cocoa. Totally worth it!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Reindeer Crunch...

Steve came home from work last week and says, "I'm really sorry, but..." Long pause. "There's a holiday bake-off and I didn't sign up for it because I don't bake, but then someone dropped out so they needed me to fill in - I tried getting out of it, but they said you could help me, we need to make something tomorrow night." He then sported the best puppy dog eyes ever.

Of course I wasn't going to leave him hanging. We started to brainstorm some different treats. We came up with a great idea, a little labor intensive but it would be awesome. After we finalized the idea he adds, "It might be a better idea to go with something good, but not great, because if we win, we stay in the competition." Heaven knows I didn't want to be involved in Steve's company bake-off, so we came up with a new idea.

Thursday night rolled around and it was chaotic. Our floors were being worked on so we could barely here ourselves think. Bennett was long past due for bedtime even though it was only 6:30 and Hallie had a school project she was working on. The idea we had settled on was surely not going to be completed. Back-up plan - search through the cupboard and see what we could throw together. Lucky for us we had all the ingredients for Muddy Buddies. Not exactly a holiday treat but we were scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas.

I decided to swap out the peanut butter and add more chocolate chips and added some peppermint extract. Fail. I thought perhaps I got the chocolate chips too hot so I tried it again. That was clearly not the problem. Fail. I realized I removed all the oil when I eliminated the peanut butter so I added it back in with butter. This almost worked. But the chocolate was still too think. So my persistance paid off when on my fourth try I finally created a product that was worth eating! For how much time these ended up taking we would've been better off making the first idea we came up with! We made these again for a family gathering this weekend and they were gone in no time - fantastic holiday treat!
REINDEER CRUNCH
9 cups Chex cereal (I use rice)
2 cups chocolate chips
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp peppermint extract
Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking bits
Powdered Sugar

Melt chocolate chips and butter over medium heat, if you're chocolate is too thick, add more butter. Add 1 tsp of peppermint extract. Pour chocolate mixture over chex in a ziploc bag and toss with peppermint baking bits. (Or you can add the baking bits to the chocolate, just make sure the chocolate isn't too hot or it will melt the bits) Pour powered sugar into ziploc bag and toss to coat. I start with a cup and a half and add more as it soaks into the chocolate.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Canned Salsa...

When I was growing up we had a large garden that produced a lot of food. We would spend time during the summer weeding and harvesting the "crop". My mom did the majority of the canning on her own, but I was there. At her feet. In her way I'm sure.

On salsa day, the house would fill with the smell of onions and peppers, enough to make your eyes burn. There was a bag of chips on the counter used for taste testing that was depleted by the end of the day. There were spatters of tomatoes on the counter and even on the floor. It was a days worth of work and my mom made a couple batches each summer. She would stock the storage room shelves for the winter and despite filling those shelves, every summer they would be near empty. I married and I too had a garden and filled my shelves with salsa. Clearly, we go through a lot of salsa!

Our salsa shelf has been empty for sometime. My last batch of salsa was just shortly before our move to Arizona. It was the last time we had the benefit of a plentiful garden. I received a message last week from my friend in Milwaukee and she let me know she had just finished a batch of my mom's salsa. Immediately I started craving that salsa. More than anything I wanted a bowl with a bag of chips.

Although we currently don't have a garden - I decided I would break down and purchase tomatoes for the salsa. (Something I never thought I would do, nor is it something my mom does!) The next day I was at the market, and wouldn't you know it, the tomatoes I needed were 3lbs for a dollar. It was a salsa miracle!! Two days later I had 20 pints of salsa on my counter ready to fill my shelves. Thank you Linda for the kickstart!

SALSA
20 lbs Tomatoes (I always use roma)
4 lbs onions (I do a 1/2 yellow, 1/2 white)
12 tsp salt (1/3 cup)
4 cup Apple cider vinegar
12 jalapeno peppers (this is to taste, I often put in more depending on the hotness level desired and the hotness of your peppers)
8 cloves of garlic (The minced garlic in a jar from the grocery store works great)
3 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp sugar
2 or 3 cans tomato paste (12 oz)

Blanch your tomatoes to remove all skins. Boil a large pot of water and put some tomatoes in the p0t, wait up to 30 seconds and then remove them with a ladle and immediately put them in cold water in your sink. Do this for all 20lbs. You'll have to add more cold water halfway through. Use a paring knife to remove the skins and remove the stem area.

Blend all your ingredients except the tomato paste and spices. I typically put a little of each ingredient in the food processor/blender multiple times. Put it in a large stock pot, add spices and let it cook for an hour or so, it'll change from a light red to a dark red. I continue to cook the salsa until it's the consistency I like. I prefer a thicker salsa, so I let a lot of the water cook out. Add the tomato paste and let it cook just a bit longer.

When it tastes the way you like and it's the consistency you like, you're ready to can it. You can use a stock pot or a traditional canner (black with white speckles). Fill as many jars as you can fit in your pot, make sure your jars are warm, since you'll be adding warm salsa. Fill with salsa and clean off the top of the jar so you get a good seal. Add a lid and ring to the jar and place it in the pot of boiling water. After all jars are added, make sure there's an inch of water over all the jars. Let it boil for 25 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Remove rings after jars sit for 24 hours. Make sure the lid has a good seal by pressing down and making sure it doesn't pop back up. Grab yourself a bag of chips and enjoy a batch of salsa!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Meal Planning...

Everyone has their own system as far as meal planning goes. And some don't have a system at all and it works flawlessly for them. I, however, am a systems person and over the years have done many things to try and make dinner run smoothly. Over time I learned some things really worked well and others did not. For example: I could eat the same seven meals every week of the year. This would eliminate any meal planning and streamline my food storage needs. My husband would die at the thought of eating the same seven meals, he needs variety!

So, to meet his need for a variety of foods, but my need to know in advance what we're eating I came up with this system.

I chose six categories of food that our family enjoys. Within these categories I listed meal examples. (Anytime I come across a new recipe that looks enticing I place it in its respected category, or it gets thrown into All-American!)

Once a week I sit down with my weekly calendar and I write in what day we will be eating what category. After looking through the grocery ads I get a better of idea of what is on sale and what meal within the category we will be eating.

I do my grocery shopping based on this plan.

During the week it is nice knowing what we are eating on any given day, but with complete flexibility. Sometimes, my husband is craving a certain category and I easily swap category days. I know to cook meals that offer the most leftovers on Monday or Tuesday so Steve has lunch options throughout the week.

There is one day that is the same category every week. Friday is pizza night. We make pizza. We buy pizza and cook it our house. We buy take out pizza. Depends on the week, but never failing, we eat Pizza on Fridays.

It's a pretty easy system that is impossible to screw up. It's so easy I was talking to Steve about it and he had no idea this system has been in place for over a year, he just knows he's enjoyed a year full of variety! He even made me walk through our meals last week to see if we truly follow it, and we did. And if we walked through the week before that and even the week before that it would reinforce my argument.

Come up with your own categories and start planning!

Download the meal plan:
Download Blank Meal Plan
Download Meal Plan

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"No-Nonsense" Granola...

I've been making granola for years, since our first year of marriage. I had a recipe from my mom and I followed it exactly. It was great and tasty and Steve showered me with kisses every time I made it for him.

After we moved to Arizona and we were homeless, my granola making days came to a halt. However, upon moving into our home seven months ago we had a kind neighbor drop off a container of freshly made granola and a gallon of milk. I'm done with casseroles and fresh bread for new neighbors/moms. Granola is genius and who wouldn't love a gallon of milk on their doorstep!

Steve devoured the whole container in a very short amount of time. I decided it was time to bust out the oats - once again my husband showered me with kisses. We make it about every three weeks - longer if we're on vacation.

I call it my "No-Nonsense" Granola.

After several years of making granola and swapping recipes with friends, I realized most people put some sort of nuts/seeds in their granola; almonds, pecans, walnuts and even some sunflower seeds. I am the farthest thing from a nut fan so the thought of adding any of those to granola makes me cringe, but people do it and evidently they really enjoy it. No nuts, "no-nonsense".


"No-Nonsense" Granola
8 Cups rolled oats, old fashioned
2 cups of rice krispies
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup ground flax meal
1 cup oat bran
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup sugar or molasses
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp cinnamon

Throw all dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine honey, sugar, applesauce, vanilla and cook over low heat. Pour over dry ingredients and stir well to incorporate all dry ingredients.

Cook at 250. Depending on your crispines-likeness your time will vary, as little as 40 minutes to 2.5 hours, stirring once or twice during baking. My husband likes it break-your-teeth-hard. Many like it nice and soft. Play around with it and see what you like.

As much as I would hate to ruin a perfectly good recipe, you can always add "nonsense"; nuts, seeds, dried fruit - what ever strikes your fancy.
But if you move into my neighborhood, this will be dropped off on your doorstep with a gallon of milk. Supply your own nonsense.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

No more Costco burgers...

When I want to bbq, I go to Costco and buy a lifetime supply of frozen patties. They're easy and they're tasty. It never crossed my mind that I could make them. I figured if Costco made them, they're probably the best.

Of course pinterest opened my eyes - I came across a recipe from Little Miss Momma blog for some homemade patties. I'm a sucker for a new recipe so with my brother and his family in town, we fired up the grill. And although it is somewhat embarrassing to admit, for the first time ever we used patties that I hand mixed with love...and cheese. I read through a lot of feedback from the original recipe and several complained that the burgers fell apart. I added an egg to bind it together and ours turned out great, much tastier than the Costco alternative. Who would've thought!??

3 lbs ground beef (I used 80/20)
1 cup of grated Monterrey jack cheese
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 egg
season salt
cracked black pepper
onion powder

Mix it all together with your hands and form into patties - remember they will shrink!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spicy Avocado Chicken Enchiladas...

Tried a new recipe last week and it was delicious. Of course I tried taking a picture but it didn't look nearly as appetizing as it really was so I'm not including it. (I went back to the original blog and she took her picture before she cooked it, looks much nicer this way!)

Spicy Avocado Chicken Enchiladas (from here)

Recipe Note: I would recommend increasing the sauce recipe. Perhaps an additional half batch. It is by far the best part of the enchilada and when I made it I would've liked a little more. Steve even suggested pouring a little sauce on the top after you cook it so it doesn't soak in. Just some thoughts. You make it and figure out how you would like to change it!

Ingredients:

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 Serrano/jalapeno pepper, minced (depending on how much heat you like)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup medium salsa verde
1/2 cup fat free sour cream

for the enchiladas:
3 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
8 oz Cabot Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded & divided
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 avocados, peeled and chopped
8-10 flour tortillas

directions: Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute serrano pepper and garlic, for 1 minute. Stir in flour, constantly stirring, and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a low boil. Once boiling, whisk in the sour cream, salsa verde and cilantro. Remove from heat.

Spray/grease a 9×13 baking dish. Add 3/4 cup sauce to the bottom of the pan. Add chicken, Cabot Monterrey Jack Cheese, onion and avocado to the center of each tortilla and roll, placing seam-side down in the dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Top with leftover cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling. Serve immediately.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Birthday Cake Rice Krispies...

Hallie was out of school for good Friday so I scrolled through my pinterest account to see what would be the best kid-friendly project. You can never go wrong with food! These little goodies have been sitting in my account for a while and I couldn't find the right occasion to whip them up...until now.

Like all rice krispies, these were easy to make and virtually impossible to screw up!
6 cups Rice Krispies
1 bag of miniature marshallows
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup yellow cake mix (the original called for less, but I liked a little more flavor)
sprinkles

Melt marshmallows with butter. Once it's almost melted add the dry cake mix. Mix with the cereal. Once marshmallows are stirred in well add a lot of sprinkles. Don't stir a whole lot once the sprinkles have been poured in because it dye will start to color your treats. Press into greased 13x9 cake pan. Add more sprinkles to the top and lightly press down so they stick. Let them sit for 30 minutes before cutting into them. (I like mine a little more gooey, so I add some more marshmallows!)

We made a pan when some cousins were over and loved them so much we made them again the next afternoon. Since you only use a 1/2 cup of the cake mix, you would hate to have any of it go to waste...so you must make these treats a couple days in a row. If you have very little self control, you can also put the extra mix in the freezer and save for another day!

Can you imagine other holidays...Fourth of July, Valentines, Christmas, Halloween...there are endless possibilites here!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tortellini Sausage Soup...

I came across a soup recipe from Our Best Bites last year for a tortellini sausage soup. I made it the first time and it was great. The second time I added this and that and changed the amounts. Every time I made the soup it would be different because I always changed it. I started becoming more consistent with what I was adding and finally wrote it down. I made this for the Christmas Eve soup night and it was by far the first to go! Note: This makes a lot of soup. So here it is: Brown:
1 lb sausage (Jimmy Deans HOT)
6 cloves of garlic
1 onion diced

Add and cook for a half hour:
2 cups water
3 cups apple cider
2 cans of chicken broth
1 28oz of diced tomatoes
1 8 oz tomato sauce
1 cup carrots shredded
2 tsp chicken bouillon
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Add and cook for 15 mins:
2 medium zucchini shredded

Add and cook until done:
Tortellini (15 oz or so, I use the fresh stuff from costco, they come divided in two packs and I use nearly one whole side)
2 Tbsp parsley

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwich...

Steve loves all things peanut butter. Peanut butter cups. Reeces pieces. Peanut butter M&Ms. Peanut butter and chocolate swirled frozen yogurt. You get the idea. I hope he never has to choose between me and peanut butter anything, I'm afraid I wouldn't stand a chance.

While browsing my favorite food blog, ourbestbites.com, I came across these peanut butter sandwich cookies. It's a basic peanut butter cookie (a soft and chewy cookie) with a fluffy peanut butter whipped frosting in the middle. Some might think the frosting is a little over the top, but it really does melt in your mouth. I keep meaning to try a chocolate frosting in the middle but haven't made the leap yet.

Our Best Bites Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
1 C butter flavored Crisco
1 C creamy peanut butter 
1 C sugar
1 C packed brown sugar
1 t vanilla
3 eggs
3 C flour
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt Additional white sugar for rolling

Filling:
1 C creamy peanut butter
1/2 C  real butter, softened
4 C powdered sugar
2 t vanilla
3-4 Tbs milk

Cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream shortening, peanut butter, and sugars together until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add in vanilla, and eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt and add to dough. Mix to combine. The dough will be very soft- that’s normal!

Roll dough into 1/2 inch (or a little larger) balls, roll in sugar, place on ungreased cookie sheet and do the little forky criss-cross thing.

Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until puffed and set, but not browned.  Remove from oven, let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack. 

Filling: Beat peanut butter, butter, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth, if needed, add milk until desired consistency is reached.  When cookies are completely cooled, spread a layer of frosting on one side and sandwich together. yield: about 4 dozen sandwiches 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Trifle...

I recently hosted all of the Pothier women (including cousins and aunts) for the 1st Annual Pothier Pumpkin Palooza. (Based on a party my friend Karen throws in Wisconsin every year) Everyone was instructed to bring a pumpkin based dish and they all replied to the invite what they were bringing so we wouldn't have 5 pumpkin rolls. We had a great turn-out and everything was delicious. Our menu included:
Pumpkin Eggnog
Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll
Pumpkin Pancakes
Pumpkin Fluff Dip
Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

My contribution - Pumpkin Spice Trifle from Tasty Kitchen. (Of course, envision it in a beautiful trifle dish which I keep telling myself I need to purchase!)
 
1 box (18.25 Oz.) Spice Cake Mix 
1 can (small Can, 15 Oz.) Libby's Pumpkin 
¼ cups Milk 
¼ cups Vegetable Oil 
2 whole Eggs 
2 boxes (one Large 5.9 Oz. Box And One Small 3.5 Oz. Box) Cheesecake pudding
16 ounces, weight (Large Tub) Cool Whip 
½ bags (16 Oz. Bag) Ginger Snaps (about 30 Cookies)

Mix together the cake mix, pumpkin, milk, oil, and eggs. Bake in a 9×13 pan in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool.

Prepare pudding according to package directions. Let cool.

Cut the cake into cubes. Layer half the cake cubes, half of the pudding, and half of the Cool Whip. Repeat.

Top with ginger snap cookies and crushed cookie pieces. Refrigerate and serve cold.

I didn't end up using the whole cake in the trifle, instead we continued to eat on it for three days - by itself it was very tasty!

 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pop-up Pancakes...


I came across this recipe on the website www.makeandtakes.com. (picture from there as well) Although it would make sense to file this under "breakfast foods", in all the times we've made them, it was for dinner. At first I made a single batch and they were gone in minutes. I've learned that our small family requires a double recipe!!

We serve them with powdered sugar and syrup, with fruit smoothies - we always eat them with smoothies! Try them out!

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
6 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
dash salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Blend all the ingredients, works best in a blender to get the batter smooth.
  3. Grease your muffin tins or baking pan very generously. Makes 24 muffins or fills a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  4. Bake them for 15 minutes, or until puffy and golden on top.
  5. Use a knife to pry them out, hopefully they were greased well enough and should pop right out.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Homemade Caramel...

I came across this recipe on-line and had to try it. (I'm thinking it would work perfectly on my apple nachos). I dipped a couple apples and let the rest cool in a pan and then rolled them in wax paper. They were good. Make sure you use a candy thermometer to get the right temp or else you'll have really runny caramel - or rock hard caramel.
¼ cups Butter (1/2 stick)
1 cup White Syrup
14 ounces, fluid Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
2 cups White Granulated Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Assemble all ingredients: wash and dry apples, insert sticks, and butter a cookie sheet and dinner plate before starting to cook.

Heat all ingredients except vanilla in a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium/low heat. Stir constantly!

When caramel reaches soft ball stage (235°F–240°F) remove from heat and add vanilla. Let cool a few minutes.

If dipping apples, using the stick inserted in the apples, dunk apples in the hot caramel and twirl slowly away from the heat for a couple of minutes.

If using as dip, add some half and half to keep the caramel a nice dipping consistency.

If making wrapped caramels, pour into a buttered plate or dish to be cut into individual pieces when cool and wrap.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

BBQ Chicken...

I'm a big BBQ chicken fan - Steve is not. He claims he ate pulled pork one time and threw up. Therefore he can no longer eat anything of resemblance...sloppy joes, pulled pork, bbq chicken (only if shredded). So knowing he would be traveling one week, I made up this recipe. I had it the first night on top of a bun with mozzarella cheese, two nights later I ate it in a spinach wrap just like the way Red Robin does their bbq wraps. They were pretty tasty. It's definitely on the menu next time Steve decides to gallivant (aka - work) around the country!

BBQ Chicken
4 large chicken breasts
1 small bottle of bbq sauce
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of italian dressing
3 tbsp worchesshire sauce

Throw everything in a crockpot and let cook throughout the afternoon. Shred and serve on a bun, on a wrap, over a salad, whatever your little heart desires!
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