Sunday, August 29, 2010

zucchini red onion flatbread

zucchini red onion flatbread
adapted from bon appetit, from ms
Summer Harms
submitted by Melanie

Printable recipe

1 batch of your favorite pizza dough
3/4 cup cream cheese
to taste: dill, pepper, garlic salt, italian seasoning, etc.
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 small red onion, cut into 1/8 inch thick rounds
1 zucchini (yellow or green), cut into 1/8 inch thick rounds
3 T. chopped fresh parsley or your favorite herbs -(Iused Rosemary-yum!)
olive oil

1. chop veggies. prepare dough. preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. combine cream cheese with dill, garlic salt, and other desired seasonings.
3. brush a large baking sheet with olive oil, and stretch dough out in the pan.
4. spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough, sprinkle with parmesan.
5. arrange 1 row of zucchini slices down 1 long side of the dough. arrange onion rounds in a row alongside zucchini. repeat until all is used. brush vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with s + p.
6. bake until puffy and golden brown, about 24 minutes. sprinkle with fresh herbs.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Beefsteak Casserole

  • 1 - 1 ½ lb. of sirloin steak, trim off fat
  • 2 TB. Shortening
  • 1 Stalk of Celery sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ bag baby carrots
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • sliced Mushrooms
  • 2 TB cornstarch

Cut steak into bite-sized pieces about 1/4 inch wide & 1 inch long. Brown meat after season well with garlic salt & pepper

Add about 2 ½ - 3 cups water, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, celery, mushrooms, green onions & baby carrots to meat. When carrots can be pierced with a fork (soft) then mix the cornstarch with 2 TB of cold water in a separate bowl. Add cornstarch paste a little bit at a time to boiling meat juices to thicken. Serve over Rice.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Louisiana Shrimp Casserole

I know some of you don't like seafood, but for those of you who do and also like things with a kick this is a good one and it's easy!


1 1/2 c. uncooked white rice

1 tsp. vegetable oil

1 lb. small frozen shrimp

Cayenne pepper to taste

2 T. butter

Sliced mushrooms

Minced garlic (I use pre-minced garlic in the jar and do a couple teaspoons)

Maggi seasoning

1 10.75 oz. can of cream of mushroom soup

1 8 oz. container of sour cream

3/4 c. shredded cheese (sharp cheddar & swiss) (I just use Cheddar)


1. Preheat broiler. Grease 8 x 8 baking dish.

2. Cook rice according to package directions. Transfer to greased baking dish.

3. Sauté mushrooms in butter, garlic, and Maggi seasoning. (I couldn't find Maggie Seasoning so I leave it out)

4. Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat. Place thawed shrimp in skillet and warm up (1-2 minutes). Season with cayenne pepper. (you can always add more pepper later so don't over do it like I did the first time!)

5. Mix in soup and sour cream with mushrooms and cook until heated through but don’t bring to a boil.

6. Add shrimp to mixture and cook until heated through. (Here is where you can add more pepper and taste since the shrimp is cooked)

7. Scoop skillet mixture over rice in baking dish and top with cheese.

8. Broil 5 minutes in the oven, or until bubbly.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Caramel Apples

You HAVE to make these caramel apples! Seriously. Some of you had the joy of trying them last fall. They don't disappoint. Love them!

What you need:

wax paper
popsicle sticks
apples - makes around 6-8 apples(whatever kind you want, they all taste good)
caramels - 2 bags (the kind you unwrap)
Almond Bark (white chocolate)
cinnamon and sugar

First, wash off the apples and put the popsicle sticks in them.
Second, melt the caramel by mixing 2 tbsp of water with the unwrapped caramel and putting it in the microwave for a minute at a time until it is all melted.
Third, dip the apples in the caramel, place on the wax paper, and put in freezer as you finish the apples. By the time you finish dipping all the apples in the caramel, the first one will be ready to dip in the chocolate.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave (also a minute at a time) until it is spreadable.
Mix 2 cups of sugar with 1 tbsp of cinnamon
Spread the chocolate on the apple and use a spoon to distribute the cinnamon sugar over the apple. Place back in the freezer. When you have finished all of the apples, you may want to store in refrigerator, or room-temperature. They are best served at room temperature so that the chocolate doesn't fall off! Just slice them and eat them!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Poppy Seed Dressing

Get ready to take your salads to the next level of AWESOME! This dressing is yummy (probably because it's got so much sugar in it ;)).


1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. poppy seed
2 tsp. mustard
1 green onion

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ranch/Cream Cheese Chicken

I saw Sarah's recipe and thought I would post my version. Different but very similar. This is my favorite dish to do on Sundays too. Feeds about 5 long as Zac doesn't go back for seconds.

2-3 large chicken breasts
3/4 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 packet ranch dressing

Cook the chicken and above ingredients in a crock pot on high for 3-4 hours. You can replace the water and chicken bouillon cube with 3/4 cup of chicken broth.

8 oz cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup

20-30 minutes before serving shred the chicken in the crock pot and add the cream cheese and chicken soup. Mix until well blended in the chicken and let cook for 20-30 minutes. Serve over rice!

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken

(This is a very easy crock pot meal for Sundays or any other day)
· 1 (2/3 ounce) package Italian salad dressing mix
· 4 tablespoons melted butter (divided)
· 1 small onion, chopped
· 1 garlic clove, chopped
· 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
· 8 ounces cream cheese
· 1/2 cup chicken broth

-Put everything into crock pot except the cream cheese.
-Cook on Low for 5-6 hours.
-Add cream cheese to crock pot and cook till all is creamy.
-Eat over rice. (I added steamed broccoli at the end to have some veggies and it makes it even yummier!)
Italian Dressing Seasoning Dry Mix (in case you don't have a packet on hand)
· 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
· 1 tablespoon onion powder
· 2 tablespoons oregano, ground or oregano leaves
· 1 tablespoon dried parsley
· 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
· 2 tablespoons salt or salt substitute
· 1 teaspoon black pepper
· 1 teaspoon ground basil or basil leaves
· 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme or thyme leaves
· 1/2 teaspoon dried celery leaves or dried celery flakes

White Chicken Chili

I love this because I love green chiles!
1 lb chicken breasts
1 medium onion chopped
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 cans chicken broth (depending how thick a consistency you like)
2 cans chopped green chilies (if you like less kick, add just one can)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream (or milk)

Place your chicken breasts and large chunks of your onion in a baking dish, drizzle them with olive oil and bake at 350 till the chicken is just done. (I just cook them on the stove in a frying pan to save time and a hot house) Shred your chicken and chop the onion. Combine the chicken, beans, onion, chilies and seasonings in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, let it cool slightly, and then stir in the sour cream and cream. Serve immediately

Spaghetti Pie

This is so so so yummy! Especially with sausage!

* 6 oz. spaghetti, cooked and still warm
* 2 tbsp. butter
* 1 well beaten egg
* 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 c. cottage cheese
* 1 c. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
* 2-3 cups Bolognese sauce (recipe to follow)

Bolognese Sauce: (This recipe makes a lot of sauce and is absolutely delicious. You will only need about a fourth of the sauce for the spaghetti pie, so plan on freezing the extra to use later for lasagna, sloppy joes, spaghetti or by itself!)

* 2 lbs. Hot Italian Sausage (I used mild)
* 2 lbs. ground beef (from freezer)
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1 lg. yellow onion, diced (from freezer)
* 1 green pepper, diced
* 2 stalks celery, diced
* 2 cans crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)
* 1 bay leaf
* 3 T. dried oregano
* 2 T. dried basil
* 2 tsp. salt
* 1 tsp. pepper
* 1 cup dry red wine (optional)
* 2 cans tomato paste (6 oz. each)
* 1/8 tsp. cinnamon

-Remove sausage from casing. Place in pan with 1/4 cup water and crumble with spoon while browning. -When cooked, drain in colander and rinse with very hot water (this washes the extra grease off); set aside.
-Brown ground beef, drain, rinse as above, and set aside.
-Heat olive oil in dutch oven. Saute celery, onion, and pepper until tender. Add sausage, beef, tomatoes, bay leaf, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Simmer covered for an hour. Add wine, tomato paste and cinnamon. Simmer covered for 15 minutes. Cool and refrigerate until dinner time. You will use 2-3 cups of the sauce for the Spaghetti Pie and freeze the rest in dated gallon freezer bags.

Spaghetti Pie:
Combine hot cooked spaghetti with butter until butter is melted. Add egg and Parmesan cheese. Place in pie dish and form a "crust" with a well in the center. Spread cottage cheese over spaghetti in pie dish. Cover with Bolognese sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 30 minutes at 350°F or until bubbly. Cut into slices and serve.
***Note: I just realized as I was copying this recipe down that I completely forgot to add the tomato paste and cinnamon to the sauce!!! Oops! It was still very delicious!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Caramel Apple Salad

Everyone thinks this is pototo salad (yuck!), so you may have to put your salesman face on and tell people that it's actually good. They will be pleasantly surprised, I promise. This one's for you, Atrena.

Carmel Apple Salad

1 package Butterscotch Instant Pudding
1 container of Cool Whip
8 oz. can crushed pineapple (with juice)
2 Green Apples (cut into pieces)
2 Red Apples (cut into pieces)
1 C. Mini Marshmallows
1 C. Butterscotch Morsels

Mix all ingredients EXCEPT Cool Whip together in a bowl. Stir together. Add Cool Whip last and stir.

Cheesy Ranch Potato Bake

I made this as a side to our dinner last night and I'm giving it 5 stars. It was really easy (I actually just threw it all together before church so that all I had to worry about when I got home was baking it).


1 lb. Southern-style hash browns
2 cans cream of chicken soup
¾ c. sour cream
1 envelope Ranch dressing mix
¾ c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese (1/2 c. reserved for topping)
½ c. melted butter (reserve half for topping)
½ t. salt and pepper
2 T. dried minced onions
1 c. crushed Ritz crackers

Add all ingredients to a bowl; mix well and spread into a greased casserole dish. Add reserved cheese to top of potato bake. Mix reserved butter and crushed crackers in separate bowl and sprinkle over top. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

pizza dough

This is my kid's favorite meal and I love it because it is super easy. Once you make the crust you can pretty much put anything on you want. Sometimes I roll out the dough bigger than the pan and put cheese along the edges then roll the dough over the cheese. Zac loves this. Usually I use cheese sticks because I am lazy...turns out really yummy.

Pizza Crust:
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 Cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar
3 Cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

In small bowl or cup combine yeast, warm water, and sugar. Then mix and set aside. In large mixing bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Then add yeast mixture and stir as much as possible with a spoon. Kneed the dough by hand until smooth. Roll out and layer with any toppings you wish. In the pizza above I had rolled out the dough bigger then the stone and put cheese into the crust. Usually the crust is not so thick. The longer you let the dough sit on the stone the more thick your crust will be. I prefer the thin I throw it into the oven fast.
Bake at 325 for 13 minutes - I usually broil it for 1-2 minutes just to make it crispy on the top.
You don't have to use a pizza stone but I really do think my pizza crust has improved since I started using one. Yes, it is a Pampered Chef. I love it!

marshmallow popcorn

I can't take credit for this sister in law gave us this recipe along with all the ingredients for Christmas. I have to admit I was a bit hesitant to put marshmallows with popcorn but so glad we tried it. We fell in LOVE. Anyway I am not one to keep a yummy recipe to myself so here is the recipe. Go try is so yummy! might eat the whole bowl.

Marshmallow Popcorn
Popcorn (two bags of microwave popcorn)
1 Cube Butter
1/4 Cup Karo Syrup
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
10 oz. Bag of Mini Marshmallows

Pop popcorn. Mix marshmallows and popcorn in large bowl. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Add sugar and Karo syrup. Bring to a rapid boil for one minute. Take off heat and quickly add vanilla. Pour over popcorn and marshmallows. Stir well until popcorn is coated and marshmallows are melting. Eat and enjoy!*When using microwave popcorn, try to remove un-popped kernels from the bottom of the bowl before adding the marshmallows and syrup mixture.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fruit Soup

Some of you requested that I post the fruit recipe from the shower this morning. Here it is:

Fruit Soup

¾ c. sugar
1 c. water
1 c. peach juice (or another cup of water, which is what I always do instead)
3 Tb tapioca (be sure to use the “minute brand” quick cooking tapioca!)

6 oz orange juice concentrate
1 ½ c. water

2 cans mandarin oranges (with or without juice)
1 quart sliced peaches -
(you can use 1 large can of peach slices, but I would not add the heavy syrup – I always try to use Lite peaches that have been bottled with pear juice and water, in which case I add the juice. Also, cut up the slices so they are bite-size.)
2 c. fresh strawberries, sliced, just before serving
2 bananas, just before serving

1 bag frozen raspberries, thawed but still cool and firm (or an equivalent amount of fresh) or other berry mix
(raspberries give the juice a red tint, without raspberries it is an orange color. I almost always use a tri-berry mix which includes raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.)

Bring sugar, water, peach juice and tapioca to a boil. Continue boiling on medium high for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Some tapioca will be clear and other granules will have a white center. Take off heat. Let sit for 30 minutes. (This is when the tapioca will become more clear.)
Add 6 oz orange juice concentrate and 1 ½ c. water. Chill overnight.

Add mandarin oranges and peaches. Before serving add strawberries, bananas, and raspberries.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


This is a delicious Italian-style meal the whole family will love.

1 1/2 T. active dry yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
3 T. vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (add more if dough is too sticky)

Dissolve yeast in water with sugar. Let rest a few minutes then stir in oil and salt. Add flour. Beat with mixer. I used my Kitchen-aid stand mixer with a dough hook. Divide dough in 2. Roll dough into a square.

6 T. butter
dash garlic powder

Melt butter and add garlic powder. Use pastry brush to apply butter and garlic to cookie sheet (you will also use this inside and on top of Stromboli roll). Place rolled out dough on cookie sheet. Add the following:

Divide the following between the 2 rolls:

1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
12 pepperoni slices
1/2 c. cheddar cheese
3 slices deli pastrami (not turkey pastrami)
1/2 c. pepper jack cheese
3 slices deli ham
1/4 c. fresly grated Paresean cheese (aged at least 2 years - Costco sells a good one)
12 more pepperoni slices

Carefully bring up sides to make a roll and pinch together so nothing can escape while in cooking process. Also fold up and pinch ends. Use pastry brush to apply left over garlic butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for at least an hour. I put mine outside when it is warm (80 degree or above weather).

1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning

Remove plastic wrap. Sprinkle with freshly grated Paremsean cheese and italian seasoning.

Bake in 350-degree oven for 22 minutes or until lightly browned. The Paresean cheese is always a good indicator after it has changed color. Immediately after removing from oven, place Stromboli on large cutting board to cool 10 minutes. Slice into 1 inch pieces with pizza cutter.

Dip in hot pizza sauce. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Rolls w/ Peanut Sauce

I love summer rolls. They are like the love-child of some amazing Asian persuasion dish and some hunk of a burrito. Its the lesser known, but much more health conscience/trendy, sibling of the spring roll and cousin of the "I get around" egg roll [there's one in every family]. Unlike its sibling and cousin, the summer roll is NOT fried. This makes it an entertainingly delicious, intriguingly healthy, and wonderfully complimentary appetizer to many savory, fat-laden main courses you may have in mind.

First things first, make the "I have dibs on licking the bowl" peanut sauce.
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (Asian food aisle)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 small garlic clove, mashed to a paste
  • 1 teaspoon chile-garlic paste or hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup water (add extra water to thin to desired consistency)
Combine ingredients and mix together well. Serve at room temp. Easy.

So the hardest part to making the peanut sauce is getting your hands on the ingredients. The same goes for the summer rolls. Once you have everything that is needed and laid out in front of you the rolls are cake (not literally). They are pretty fun to make too. Some people add pork, julienne carrots, and/or bell pepper slices, feel free to add as much "stuff" as you wish/can fit into them.

For the "I feel good eating this and it actually tastes good" summer rolls:
  • 8 (8-1/4-inch) round rice paper wrappers (Asian food aisle, round, often made of tapioca)
  • 12 medium cocktail shrimp, halved (or an equal amount of smaller cooked shrimp)
  • 2 ounces dried rice sticks (Asian food aisle, they are a thin rice noodle)
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts, rinsed (canned in the, you guessed it, Asian food aisle)
  • 24 small mint leaves
  • 16 basil leaves
  • 8 small cilantro sprigs
  • 1 hot pepper, julienne or dice
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-by-1/4-by-2-inch sticks
  • 2 large scallions, trimmed, halved, and sliced into 3-inch lengths
  • 4 Boston lettuce leaves, cut in half
Like I said, getting the ingredients is the hardest part. Now, soften the rice sticks in hot water for a little while (10-30min). Get all of the ingredients in front of you on a table or something that gives you room to roll the rolls. Fill a med. bowl with water and have it beside you. Next comes the cool part. Take a rice paper wrapper (its thin, dry, and brittle) and wet it with the water in the bowl next to you. Almost instantly the wrapper becomes thin, soft, and pliable. Lay the wrapper flat on the table. Near the middle add all of the ingredients in order (3 shrimp halfs first, then some rice sticks, bean sprouts, 3 mint leaves, 2 basil leaves, cilantro sprig, some hot pepper, some cucumber, some scallions, and a half leaf of lettuce rolled like a cigar). Fold the sides of the wrapper over the "stuff". Fold the front over and roll it up like a burrito. Done. Easy. Now make 7 more and enjoy with the "I could drink this stuff" peanut sauce.

Tip: These are meant to be eaten fresh. You are not supposed to store them in the fridge because they dry out. If you do want to store them for a couple of hours put them on a plate and cover them with a damp towel.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

If you like cinnamon rolls, and if you like pancakes....
these are for you. Holy moly, these are good.

1&½ cup All-purpose Flour
3 Tablespoons Sugar
½ teaspoons Salt
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
2 whole Eggs Beaten
1 cup Milk
2 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
¼ cups Butter, Melted
1 Tablespoon Vanilla

In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon with a whisk. Whisk well to make sure everything is combined. In separate large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, corn syrup, butter and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium/low heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto griddle. Brown on both sides.

Maple Butter Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
dash salt
1 TBS maple syrup (I added a little more)
1/4 cups milk, more if needed

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tomatillo Ranch Dressing

Since I just posted our Cafe Rio style rice recipe, I thought I'd add on our dressing recipe as well. We're still on the lookout for a pork recipe to satisfy our lofty expectations (I haven't tried yours yet Atrena!). Every recipe we've tried for the Cafe Rio style pork is good, but a shadow of the glory found at the restaurant.

Café Rio Dressing

1pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix, buttermilk flavor

1 cup fat free sour cream

½ cup buttermilk

3 fresh tomatillos (you can also use canned)

1 cup fresh cilantro

3 cloves of garlic

½ tsp. – 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce

Blend everything and enjoy with a Cafe Rio type salad!!!

Cilantro Lime Rice

I tried out McCall's recipe for Honey Lime Enchiladas last night. Oh my! Our taste buds gave them a standing ovation!!! Bryce made cilantro lime rice as one of our side dishes and we've gotten requests for the here it is!

Cilantro Lime Rice

Serves 6-8

4 tbsp. unsalted butter (I don't usually have this on hand and find regular butter works great too)

2 shallots, peeled and minced (or 2-3 green onions)

2 cups Jasmine rice or long grain rice

Grated zest of 2 limes

1 Stalk of cilantro, washed (the long thin part, no leaves)

4 cups hot chicken broth or stock

2 tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Melt butter in medium *casserole dish and sauté the shallots until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and cook until translucent and well coated with butter, a few more minutes. Stir in half of lime zest, the cilantro stalk and the stock. Cover the casserole dish and place in the oven. Bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20-25 minutes.

*Bryce has broken a casserole dish cooking the rice this way. We now use a frying pan to saute the green onions and rice. We stir in the lime zest and cilantro stalk, then dump everything into our rice cooker with the chicken stock.

3. Stir in remaining lime zest and cilantro leaves. Season to taste and serve.