December 22, 2010

Our Christmas Menu

You can let this post evoke jealousy....or just change your whole idea of what "Christmas Food" should be. 
I love turkey...but thats for Thanksgiving.
I love ham...but thats for Easter. (Or Lamb.)
Christmas to me is PRIME RIB. (Yummy juicey, still pink in the middle...really pink, prime rib.)

You still have time to purchase new dinner stuff right???
Comment here to let us know what you'll be having.

Breakfast...More like Brunch:

  • Typically we have Eggs Benedict...but the hubby isn't a big fan of Hollandaise. Its too tart for hoo, I like it tart.
  • I may make the whole thing benedict style with poached eggs, English muffins & ham (Canadian Bacon), but use Mornay (light cheese) sauce instead this year. A little compromise never killed anyone.
  • We also add sliced avocado to our benedicts. Yum yum!

  • Prime Rib Roast (rubbed with salt, pepper, garlic & thyme. Served with Au Jus & Horseradish.)
  • Roasted-Garlic Mashed Potatoes (red skin yellow potatoes with the skins left on, butter, sour cream, roasted garlic puree, salt & pepper.)
  • Steamed Green Beans ( bacon or onion. yeah yeah.)
  • Fresh Bread (home baked artisan bread...I may add fresh herbs to the bread.)
  • Green Salad (mixed greens & spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots & avocado with balsamic orange vinaigrette)
  • Chocolate Mousse Decadence (made in a spring-form cheesecake pan, oreo crust, thick layer of chocolate mousse, whipped cream & shaved chocolate on top...sliced strawberries on the side)

Facebook & Christmas Menus

Do you Facebook???
We do!!!
Frenzied Foodie is on Facebook!!!

Right now we are asking about Christmas menus....come share.
What is on your menu???

December 17, 2010

Homemade Gatorade

Tis the Season...Flu Season!
This morning, yes the morning after he finished his 1st semester of college finals, my husband woke up with either the stomach flu or food poisoning.
He tried to push through this morning and go to school to finish a non school related project, using the school video equipment. That didn't work...because hes home now and looking like death warmed over.
I just made him up my favorite concoction. Icy & cold, homemade lemon-lime "tummy-ade". I absolutely hate lemon lime flavored Gatorade, but this is SO good. Probably because its naturally flavored. Its also cheaper than buying sports drinks at the store.

Homemade Gatorade..."Tummyade"
2 Liters water
1 packet sugar free Lemon Kool-aid OR 1 packet/little tub of Great Value Lemonade Drink Mix (I prefer the GV)
10 Tbsp sugar
1 Tsp Kosher Salt
1 Lime
Empty juice bottle or milk jug

  • Take water & put into blender.
  • Add sugar, salt & drink mix.
  • Juice lime into the blender.
  • Blend well until all sugar, salt & drink mix is dissolved.
  • Pour all into large empty bottle.
To serve to a sicko at home:
  • Take a glass & fill part way with ice cubes.
  • Pour Tummyade over the ice till glass is nearly full. 
  • Pour entire glass of ice & tummyade into the blender.
  • Blend till the ice is gone.
  • Pour back into the glass and tell the sicko to drink!
  • Because its icy cold there is no hesitation in drinking this...its almost like a slushy.

December 9, 2010

Zuppa Toscana

Olive Garden has the most amazing "Zuppa Toscana"...yes the translation: Tuscan Soup.
Truly I don't care what it means, its just freaking good.
Italian sausage, kale, potatoes, in a creamy but not thick base. (If you are aiming for a thick potato soup, this is not it.)
Perfect for a cold night...or not so cold. Anytime of day its good really. I'd probably eat it for breakfast. We just had it for lunch...because lunch is our large meal on Thursdays.

1-2lbs of Hot Italian Ground  (not in casings)
1Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
4 Russet Potatoes (washed well, skins left on, sliced in thin circles)
1 large yellow onion (sliced thin)
2 Tb minced garlic
1.5qts water
1 cans Chicken broth (I use 1 large aspetic/cardboard container)
3-4 cups chopped kale (take out the center rib, and only use the sides)
2ish cups of heavy whipping cream
Salt & Pepper

  • Brown sausage, crumbling during cooking.
  • Drain sausage & put back into pot.
  • Add Pepper Flakes.
  • Add onions & garlic, brown a bit.
  • Add potatoes.
  • Add water & chicken broth
  • Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add chopped kale.
  • Add cream.
  • Shut off.
  • Season to taste w/salt (it needs a bit) & pepper (I don't add any because I use the Hot sausage & red pepper flakes).

November 25, 2010

Hot Yummy Dip (Hot Artichoke Parmesan Dip)

2 cans (13.75oz ea) Artichoke Hearts, drained (not rinsed) & chopped
2c. mozzarella cheese, grated
1c. Parmesan cheese, grated
1c. mayonnaise (NOT Miracle Whip or "Salad Dressing")
2tsp. garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/2tsp. cayenne powder (optional...but you can't even taste the heat it blends nicely)

  • Mix all ingredients in an 8x8" pyrex casserole.
  • Bake @ 350 for 30-45 minutes or until golden around edges & hot all the way through.
We can typically go through a double batch (9x13" pan) of this at special occasions. It is soo good.

November 22, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Aioli (Bulk)

4 red bell peppers
2 jalapenos
  • Grill/char the peppers & set aside in a plastic covered bowl to sweat.
1t-1T garlic (depending on your like of garlic...I go with 1 full Tablespoon)
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1T lemon juice
1T lime juice
2T cilantro
1t salt
1t pepper
3c. olive oil
  • Peel & de-seed the grilled, sweated peppers.
  • Put all ingredients into food processor (except oil) & pulse several times.
  • Slowly add oil to emulsify. 
  • Season with more salt & pepper to taste.
This is an amazing aioli spread for sandwiches. Especially great on ciabatta bread or grilled panini's. Try dipping fries into this bad boy sauce!

My favorite sandwich....a warm grilled chicken breast (herb marinated) sliced, on ciabatta bread, with provolone cheese, fresh tomato & greens with roasted red pepper aioli. OH MY GOODNESS.

Oh and did I mention smearing it onto a BLT? Heavenly!

Balsamic Vinaigrette (Bulk)

1T garlic, minced
1T shallots, minced
3T chopped herbs (mostly parsley with some rosemary)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1c. balsamic vinegar (make it a good brand!)
3c. olive oil
  • Combine all ingredients (except oil) in food processor & blend.
  • Slowly add oil to emulsify.
This is a THICK vinaigrette. It is not a thin runny dressing. It is meant to be tossed onto a salad, not drizzled.

Raspberry Vinaigrette (Bulk)

5c. frozen raspberries
2c. red wine vinegar
3/4c. sugar
3c. olive oil
  • Combine berries & vinegar in food processor & blend.
  • Strain in a chinois (very fine mesh sieve) & press to get all juice. 
  • Clean processor.
  • Put raspberry juice/vinegar mixture & sugar into processor & blend.
  • Slowly add oil into processor to emulsify.
This is a thicker vinaigrette meant for putting onto a tossed salad, not drizzled over on the plate.

Roquefort or Blue Cheese Dressing (Bulk)

1lb roquefort or blue cheese crumbles
1T shallots, minced
2T garlic, minced
2T chopped herbs (mixed herbs...mostly parsley with some rosemary)
1/2c white vinegar
3c. sour cream
2c. olive oil
2oz. lemon juice
salt & pepper
  • Combine all (except oil) in food processor.
  • Slowly add oil to emulsify.
This is quite possibly the BEST Blue/Roquefort Dressing ever. So yummy!

Caesar Dressing (Bulk)

1 jar (12 oz) anchovy paste
3/4 qt whole peeled garlic cloves
1qt lemon juice (does not need to be fresh)
1 gallon mayo
2/3c. black pepper
2/3c. dijon mustard
2 c. Worcestershire sauce
1 c. water (optional)
  • Puree anchovy paste, garlic & 1 c. of lemon juice together.
  • Add all remaining ingredients (except water) & mix together.
  • Add water slowly...if necessary to obtain the consistency you want.
Not only is this the most amazing caesar dressing....but gosh darn it I've marinated chicken & shrimp in it too. Yum!!!

Menu Planning Monday

Monday 22nd - Tacos (Jesse has Barbershop tonight instead of Thursday.)
Tuesday 23rd - Enchurritos (yes, thats Enchilada & Burrito combined)
Wednesday 24th - At the in-laws!
Thursday 25th - THANKSGIVING!!! I am giving up all control & we will be at my in-laws. I've never NOT cooked, so this is weird. I AM bringing my Great Grandmas super yummy rolls & some snack items for before the main meal. I have purchased a 24# turkey that is in our freezer for us to roast here at home later & then we'll have plenty of meat for sandwiches. Or maybe I'll just save it for Christmas.
Friday 26th - We'll be driving home from my in-laws, then at Apple Hill for the day & home just in time for dinner...hmm. Really not planning tonight.
Saturday 27th - Dinner out with EQ before our Temple Session.
Sunday 28th - Baked Potato Bar

November 20, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

Monday 15th - Pork Street Tacos, Spanish Rice, Chips & Salsa w/Friends
Tuesday 16th - Leftovers
Wednesday 17th - Family Night Out....2 weeks ago I purchased (4) $12 vouchers for Johns Incredible Pizza. They were valued at $115 full price. The deal included an all you can eat buffet dinner (pizza, pasta, salad, baked potatoes, soup & bread-sticks), drinks & dessert, plus 4 game cards worth $15 each. For 5 of us this was an incredible (haha) deal. Plus we needed time out.
Thursday 18th - Clam chowder
Friday 19th - Pizza & Football Game
Saturday 20th - Chili & Cornbread
Sunday 21st - Quesadillas & Tomato Soup

November 9, 2010

Creamy Chicken & Veggies (with Brown Rice or Biscuits)

A stand-by, go-to, easy meal that even our 11 year old makes. I make this (pretty much every time) I am asked to make a meal for someone at church due to illness, birth, etc. It freezes well too...directions are below.

Creamy Chicken & Veggies (Serves 12)
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (boiled & chopped)
5-6 cups frozen mixed vegetables
3 cans of cream of chicken soup
2 cans of water
herbs (tarragon, thyme, oregano)
garlic powder
black pepper

  • In large bowl mix all the above ingredients. 
  • Season with herbs, garlic & pepper per your taste.
  • Evenly divide into 2 (9x13) casserole dishes.
  • Bake in oven @ 400 degrees (convection) or 450 degrees (regular oven) until bubbly around edges. About 30-45 minutes
With Brown Rice:
6 cups of brown rice
7.5 cups of water
  • Bring rice & water to a boil on stove top.
  • Let boil about 5 minutes.
  • Reduce to a simmer & cover with lid.
  • Simmer till water nearly full absorbs.
  • Shut off stove & let sit a few minutes.
  • Add a scoop of rice to each plate & top with creamy chicken & veggie mixture.
With Biscuits:
2-3 cans of refrigerator crescent roll or biscuit dough (or make your own. I usually do but I had leftover crescent roll dough from Halloween Mummy Dogs)
  • Roll crescents or seperate biscuits.
  • Place on top of bubbly chicken & veggie mixture.
  • Place back into oven for 12-15 minutes until biscuits/rolls are golden brown.
  • Serve big scoops of chicken, veggies & biscuits in bowls. 
Shhh, Don't tell....sometimes I make brown rice & put a scoop in the bowl & then top it with the biscuit version.

TO FREEZE Rice Version: 
After mixing in bowl & prior to cooking put into freezer safe casserole dishes. Cover well with plastic wrap & foil or plastic wrap & lid. You may also pour into freezer bags & label with cooking directions. Place in freezer. Fully defrost before cooking. Cook rice the day of only.

TO FREEZE Biscuit Version:
After mixing in bowl & prior to cooking, put into freezer safe casserole dishes. Place biscuits on top. Cover well with plastic wrap. Then cover well with foil or pan lid. Place in freezer. Fully defrost before cooking. 

November 8, 2010

Quantity Issues

I've posted several recipes & will be posting more that use or become large quantities.
Yes, these are restaurant & catering recipes.
It will take you a while to use 1.5gallons of salad dressing, but its worth making.
Thats because they are AMAZING recipes!

Most of them can be used for parties or holidays.
They can also be frozen for longer storage.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment and I'll get back to you.

Mango Kiwi Salsa

Its kiwi season!!! Time to post some kiwi recipes....

4 Mangoes (diced small)
4-6 kiwis (diced small)
1 red bell pepper (diced small)
1/2 red onion (extra small dice)
1-2 tsp minced garlic
1-2 minced jalapenos
1 lime (juiced)
2 lemons (juiced)
3 Tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro
  • Combine ALL ingredients.
  • Season with salt & black pepper.

Menu Planning Monday

Monday 8th - Mac & (Nacho) Cheese w/Chicken & Broccoli
Tuesday 9th - Chicken, Green Beans & Brown Rice
Wednesday 10th - Taco Salad
Thursday 11th - Dinner w/Friends
Friday 12th - Football Game!!!
Saturday 13th - Out with friends after a meeting
Sunday 14th - Milanesa with Rice & Beans

October 26, 2010

Pretzel & Jello "Salad"

Yeah I know...Petzels & Jello???
YES you fools!!!
Its so freaking good. Yeah its "oh my goodness" good.

3c. crushed pretzel sticks (some will be more powdery, some stick peices, but you need 3 full cups)
10 Tbsp (1 stick + 2Tbsp) of melted butter (unsalted)
1/3c. granulated sugar
  • Mix together & spread in a deep 9x13 or 11x14 pan.
  • Bake @ 350 for 10 mins, then cool.
8oz cream cheese (room temp helps)
1c. granulated sugar
2c. cool whip....(an 8oz tub works)
  • Mix together.
  • Spread over pretzel crust.
  • Pretzels will move, so spread carefully to keep crust in place.
2c. pineapple juice
2 pkgs (3oz ea) strawberry jell-o
16-20oz of frozen strawberries (whole berries, not in syrup)
  • Heat juice till near boiling in microwave.
  • Dissolve Jello in hot juice.
  • Option 1: Slice frozen berries & place over top, pour jell-o mix over the top of the cream layer.
  • Option 2: Toss frozen berries in blender, pour jell-o mix over the top & pulse a few times to chop berries. Pour jell-o & berry mix over the top of cream layer.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • Enjoy!
You may also use:
  • raspberry jello-o & frozen raspberries
  • peach jell-o & frozen peaches
  • lime jell-o & frozen pineapple

October 19, 2010

Buttermilk Waffle Batter (Toaster Waffle Leftovers!)

You don't have to ask twice.
These are amazing with strawberries & whipped cream.
I like waffles as breakfast for its listed in both categories.

They can be pretty time consuming for breakfast unless you are using the pre-done mix in baggies, so I make them for dinner when I have more time OR I make the whole batch & freeze them with wax paper in between...then they make easy toaster waffles. Yes!

3 c. flour
3/4 c. dry buttermilk powder
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt

  • Mix all dry ingredients together.
  • Mix can be set aside in freezer bags or used immediately.
3 eggs
3 c. water
6 Tbsp melted butter
  • Beat eggs.
  • Mix in butter & water.
  • Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  • Cook as directed on waffle iron. (Mine takes about 1/2c per 2- 4" iron only makes 2- 4" waffles instead of 4.)
Makes 16-20 4" waffles. 
*You can also use 1/3 of dry mix with 1 egg, 1 c water & 2 Tbsp of butter for smaller batches. 

October 18, 2010

Argentine Alfajores

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
1 1/2 cups dulce de leche, at room temperature (Nestle La Lechera Dulce de Leche)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt and butter. Pulse until dough comes together into a ball. If the dough is too sticky add a little more flour so that you can shape the soft dough into a ball. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and roll the dough 1/8-inch thick. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bring the dough scraps together and gently press into a ball. Flour your work surface, re-roll 1/8-inch thick and cut out more rounds.
  • *I cut these out even a bit smaller using a shot glass & they only take about 8ish minutes to bake at the same temperature.
  • Bake the cookies until they are golden and firm, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely, about 25 minutes.
  • Place the dulce de leche in a small bowl and (if you are adding the spice) stir in the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Spread about 1-2 teaspoons of the dulce de leche on the flat side of a cookie and sandwich with the flat side of another cookie. Place the cookies on a platter, dust them with powdered sugar, and serve.
Makes 16-18 cookies (2") or 2 dozen shot glass size cookies. I usually make a triple least.

Funeral Potatoes a la Mexico

Who loves funeral potatoes??? I DO!!!
Who loves Mexican food??? I DO!!!
Who loves Mexican Funeral Potatoes??? WE ALL DO!!!

This is a sweet spicy little twist on funeral potatoes!
Don't know what funeral potatoes are???
They are the LDS/Mormon dish traditionally funerals anything.

Nobody claims these are healthy. They just taste amazing.

2 bags of frozen tater tots (this should nearly fill your 9x13 pan)
2 jars of cheddar cheese sauce (16oz ea or 32oz total)
1 large can of cream of celery, mushroom or chicken soup (optional)
1 large can (6oz?) of fire roasted diced green chiles
2 cans (10oz ea) of Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles
2 Tbsp of garlic powder
1 Tbsp of fresh ground black pepper.

  • Spray bottom of 9x13 pan with Pam or cooking spray. 
  • Dump in tots and spread evenly.
  • Heat up cheese in microwave a bit then pour or spoon over tots.
  • If using the cream of ....soup, spoon it over tots & cheese.
  • Drain Rotel of 1/2 the liquid (not all).
  • Add Rotel & Diced Green Chilis.
  • Sprinkle liberally with garlic powder & fresh black powder.
  • Mix well.
  • Bake @350 until bubbly in the middle...about 45 minutes.
  • Can be topped with a nice layer of cheddar cheese or some sour cream or a sprinkle of green onions...or nothing at all.

October 15, 2010

CM's Basic Cheesecake, Crust & 4 yummy alternatives

Ok heres the deal. I'm pretty sure this makes 2 cheesecakes...maybe 3. No its 2. Its 2 HUGE cheesecakes. I'm serious people. They're HUGE. But they are the best cheesecakes you'll ever taste. Yes its from that elusive restaurant in Chico where I used to work. Enjoy!

CM's Basic Cheesecake Base
3lbs cream cheese
3 eggs
1 1/2c sugar
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Whip cream cheese till smooth.
  • Add 1 egg at a time until smooth.
  • Add all other ingredients 1 at a time, till its smooth each time.
  • At this point you can also make this into one of the AMAZING variations at the bottom.
CM's Basic Cheesecake Crust:
1lb unsalted butter (cubed)
5c. Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • Mix in food processor with short bursts.
  • Press in spring form pans (12" spring form pans) about 1/4" thick.
  • Toast in 350 F oven for 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
Baking CM's Cheesecake:
  • Preheat your oven to 375 F. 
  • Place a water bath on the lower rack of the oven (a 9x13 filled with as much water as possible).
  • Spray oven with water bottle (spritz bottle with warm water into warm oven), don't spray your light bulb!
  • Fill crust.
  • Put cheesecake into oven on the rack directly above the water bath.
  • Bake 25 minutes.
  • Turn oven down to 325 F.
  • Bake an additional 45-50 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven.
  • Let cake stand in oven 1-2 hours.
  • Chill overnight.
  • Slice & Enjoy!!! (Top with berries, chocolate, caramel, etc)
CM's Cheesecake Variations

Espresso Chip Swirl:

  • Using about 1/2 of the basic batter recipe!
  • Add 3 shots of espresso to 1/2 of the above batter & mix well.
  • Put 1/2 of the now espresso batter into the bottom.
  • Top with 1/2 the plain.
  • Top with 2c mini chocolate chips.
  • Top with rest of the espresso batter.
  • Top with the remaining plain batter.
  • Swirl carefully with a knife.
  • Bake as directed.

White (or Dark) Chocolate Raspberry:
  • Add 2c. of raspberries
  • Add 1.5c shaved or chopped chocolate
  • Swirl through batter.
  • Add 2 baskets of berries
  • Swirl through batter
  • Bake as directed
  • Add 1c. of finely chopped walnuts to 2c. of the crust mix before baking the crust.
  • Add 32oz of pumpkin to the batter.
  • Add freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon & cloves.
  • This is not a swirl recipe it is totally pumpkin.
  • Bake as directed.

    Jenny's Amazing Sugar Cookies

    Yes. Jenny makes some of the BEST cookies I've ever had. Her sugar cookies are SOOO good. Oh my gosh, they're almost exactly like the thick fluffy sugar cookies you find at the store.

    1 cup shortening (not butter flavored)
    1 cup margarine softened
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup powdered sugar
    2 eggs
    4 cups flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp cream of tartar
    1 tsp salt
    1 Tbl vanilla

    • Blend all together. 
    • Roll out to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick (the thicker- the softer the cookie) 
    • Cut with favorite cookie cutters. 
    • Use greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 7-8 minutes (or until edges look SLIGHTLY tan and done). 
    • Cool then frost.
    I've eaten Jennys frosting & love it. I've never made it myself, I just make my own. But if you want the whole package then here is here recipe for that too.

    Frosting recipe (or use whatever frosting you want)
    1 capful of vanilla
    powdered sugar
    1 Tbl margarine

    • Add enough powdered sugar and milk to form a spreadable frosting consistency. 
    • Add food coloring if desired.

    Nilla Blobs (Plus my Oreo & Andes version!)

    Another recipe courtesy of Jenny. You should have seen my reaction after she gave me my first one. You should have seen her reaction to the alternate version below....YUM!

    4 hershey bars (with our without almonds) 
    1 large tub of cool whip 
    1 box nilla wafers

    • Crush nilla wafers in large ziploc with rolling pin- to a fine powder. Set aside in shallow dish. 
    • Dump cool whip tub in to large mixing bowl; set aside. 
    • Melt hershey bars in microwaveable dish, If using Hersheys with Almonds, then chop them up first.
    • Let chocolate sit until not too warm. (15 mins or so) 
    • Add melted chocolate to cool whip; stir. (it'll look kinda chunky) 
    • Freeze mixture for 1/2 hr. 
    • Drop spoonfuls of cool whip mixture into nilla wafer crumbs and coat. 
    • Place "blobs" on wax paper covered cookie sheet. 
    • Freeze for 20 minutes then place in ziploc/airtight container. 
    • Serve from freezer - if they sit out too long they become too soft. : D 
    • Although they wouldn't last on the counter anyway - they get eaten in seconds.
    If you like some extra chocolate & some minty flavor then use the following alternative:
    • Substitute Oreos for Nilla Wafers
    • Subsitute Andes Mints for Hersheys Bars
    • HEAVEN in a blob....oh yes.

    Overloaded Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

    My friend Jenny makes these amazing peanut butter cookies packed full of peanut butter chip & chocolate chips! They are amazing. I'm not a crunchy pb fan so I only use creamy, but you can use whatever you like. I figured I needed to share the love with my friends...& give Jenny credit.

    1 cup butter, softened
    1 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 cup white sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    2 3/4 cup flour
    1 bag milk chocolate chips
    1 bag peanut butter chips

    • Cream sugars, peanut butter, butter, and eggs.  
    • Add dry ingredients gradually.  
    • Stir in chips.  
    • Try not to eat all the batter - they taste good baked too, I promise!
    • Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes (until the edges are just slightly brown and the tops aren't shiny)

    Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

    2 sticks softened butter
    1 Cup granulated sugar
    3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 Tablespoon pure vanilla (love my Mexican vanilla)
    1 c. pumpkin, from can
    3 1/4 Cups all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
    12 oz bag chocolate chips
    (I like cinnamon & nutmeg so I do the full a bit.)

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined then add pumpkin.

    2. Place flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg into large bowl; mix to combine then slowly add to wet ingredients then chocolate. Mix only until just combined.

    3. If using baking sheet, scoop medium cookie scoop of dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet, about an inch apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges just begin to brown. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing.

    4 dozen cookies

    August 27, 2010

    88 GIANT Burgers

    Is well worth the stop if you are in the area.
    Be prepared to eat in your vehicle....because this place is small.
    They've got room for 4 at the bar and 4 outside. 
    There is always a wait!
    This place is full of locals, ski bums, bikers & campers stopping on their way to the lake.

    Don't miss it as you drive it is......
    Located in Amador County. In the town of Pine Grove.
    About 15 minutes "down hill" (west of) Pioneer or 10 minutes "up hill" (east of) Jackson CA. 
    Directly across the street from the fire station & Pine Grove Park.

    This place is a classic hamburger joint...and a total dive.
    But its SO good.

    Order a shake! They're made of real ice cream!!!
    Strawberry is our favorite.

    Juicy ALL Beef Patties are pounded out in front of you for each order and slapped down on the sizzling flat top grill along side the buns! No salt or pepper is added. Pure unadulterated, cow flavored, red meat is on this big guy.

    Cheese is layered on at the perfect time....American is the ONLY cheese available.

    Burgers are topped with mayo, mustard, lettuce, thick slices of FRESH onion & tomato. But they of course are all made to order for picky guys such as my onions and mayo for him.
    If you want to purchase a whole pickle they will slice it and add it to your burger.

    You can order a single with cheese like mine, which is pictured above.
    Order a double burger with double cheese like my hubbies below.......

    Let me share that drippy cheesy goodness with one more picture.

    August 19, 2010

    Cookie Disappointment

    We haven't been to a certain "local specialty cookie bakery" in months. I know its been at least 6 months, but thinking back now its probably been closer to 9. Well I've been trying to "recreate" a cookie from this place and hadn't had one in so long I needed to try another to see how close I may or may not be getting. I'm close. This cookie is my favorite (at this bakery) its half peanut butter cookie & half chocolate cookie....swirled together. I know it sounds like a simple cookie to make. However, its actually many things that make recreating a recipe (especially a baked product) hard to do.
    • First the proportions of dough. On this they seem to be 1/2 & 1/2. But sometimes its more peanut and less chocolate.
    • Second the amount of chocolate in the chocolate cookie dough.....thats actually part of the problem.
    • Then the consistency of the cookie itself...the peanut butter is creamy and so is the chocolate and this bakery makes a large cookie and manages to keep it soft all the way through, with just a slight bite at the edges. No crispy on this cookie. Peanut butter cookies tend to fall apart if baked too soft and dry out if baked even 2 minutes too long.
    On to my disappointment...the cookie I'm trying to recreate is amazing. It still is amazing. I decided to splurge and buy a cookie we'll call a "chocolate crinkle"....yeah hush if you know the real name. It was disappointing. I've had it before and never noticed the lack of cocoa. No really, there wasn't enough chocolate flavor...and the powdered sugar honestly was killing what little chocolate I could taste. Blah. So the problem is that most people assume this chocolate cookie is the other half of the 1/2 peanut & 1/2 chocolate yumminess. After tasting it again...and being disappointed with the chocolate cookie itself I am convinced otherwise.

    Ya never know what you aren't missing till you go back and try it again. Darn my memory and giving it another chance!

    Loaded Baked Potato Soup

    8 potatoes (peeled & diced)
    1 large yellow onion (chopped)
    1lb bacon
    2-3c cooked broccoli (i used leftovers from last nights was covered in shredded cheddar cheese)
    2ish qts of milk (2qts of water/chicken broth plus 1.5c powdered milk)
    2c shredded cheddar cheese
    Roux....made from bacon grease & flour.

    Put potatoes in the crock pot.
    Add broccoli.
    Add milk.
    Sautee onion & add.
    Bake bacon in oven & chop into pieces once crispy.
    Add bacon.
    Add cheese.
    Cook in crock pot for a while.
    Add roux to thicken.

    I know...lack of directions and real measurements. Whatever! Its the basic concept.
    Ladle into bowls and top with cool sour cream & chopped green fresh cracked black pepper. Yum.

    August 9, 2010

    Dutch Oven Ooey Gooey Rocky Road Cake

    1 stick butter
    1 bag chocolate chips (regular sized bag)
    1 devils food cake mix (prepared via box directions!)
    Nuts! (pending any allergies)
    Whipped Cream!

    -Melt 1/2 stick of butter in DO
    -Pour 1/3 of batter in DO.
    -Add 1/2 choc chips on top of batter.
    -Add some mallows & nuts.
    -Pour 1/3 of batter in.
    -Add 1/2 choc chips on top.
    -Add some mallows & nuts.
    -Pour last 1/3 of batter on top.
    -Put other 1/2 of cube of butter on top in pieces.
    -Cover & bake about 30 minutes or until cake is finished.
    -Remember to check that the cake is finished...but there will be gooiness because of the chocolate chips & mallows.

    Dutch Oven Peach Pear Crisp

    2 sticks butter
    2 large cans 1/4 peaches (both drained)
    2 large cans 1/4 pears (1 drained)
    1 1/2tsp fresh black pepper
    3 Tbsp cinnamon (1 1/2tsp in the fruit, other in topping)
    2c oatmeal
    1/2 bag brown sugar
    1 1/2c flour (1/2c in fruit & 1c in topping)

    -melt 1 stick of butter in DO
    -add peaches & pears, stir
    -add 1 1/2tsp of cinnamon, pepper & a few Tablespoons of brown sugar.
    -add 1/2c of flour to the fruit and mix
    -in a gallon sized baggie add 1c flour, all oats, rest of brown sugar, 1 cube of butter & cinnamon
    -mix baggie well...should be sandy looking
    -dump baggie on top of peach/pear/juice mixture
    -Cover & Bake 30-45 minutes or until bubbly.

    Dutch Oven Black Forest Cake

    1 Stick of butter
    2 cans cherry pie filling
    1 box devils food cake (prepared via box directions!)

    -Melt 1/2 of butter in DO.
    -Pour in 1/2 of cake batter.
    -pour in all cherry pie filling.
    -Pour in other 1/2 of batter.
    -Place of 1/2 of butter on top of batter in pieces.
    -Cover & Bake for 30ish minutes.

    Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside Down Cake

    2 sticks butter
    1/2 bag brown sugar
    2 cans pineapple
    1/4-1/2 c cherry pie filling or maraschino cherries
    2 boxes yellow cake mix (not prepared)
    1 can of soda

    -melt 1 stick of butter
    -add brown sugar
    -add pineapple (no juice...set to side)
    -add cherrys
    -mix well
    -sprinkle cake mix over
    -add 1 stick of butter in pieces to top of mix
    -pour pineapple juice & soda over cake mix
    -Bake 45 mins to 1 hour.

    Cilantro Lime Rice

    Say better than Chipotle!!!

    vegetable oil
    3 cups of rice
    6 cups water
    1 bunch of chopped cilantro
    2 limes (juiced, juice set aside)

    - Oil bottom of pan well.
    - Make sure there is about 1/4 inch of oil in whatever pan you use.
    - Add rice & water stir well.
    - Bring rice to a boil, then cover & reduce to a simmer.
    - Once rice is finished, fluff with fork.
    - Pour lime juice into rice.
    - Sprinkle cilantro over rice.
    - Fluff again, while mixing in the lime juice & cilantro.
    - You can also cook via dutch oven.

    Makes 6 cups of rice!

    August 8, 2010

    Dutch Oven Verde Chicken Enchiladas

    1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
    ground cumin
    ground chile powder
    garlic powder
    2 4-oz. cans diced green chiles
    2 pounds diced chicken breast
    shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese (I like all Jack)
    6+ flour tortillas (can cut into wedges for small dutch ovens)
    Vegetable Oil (enough for cooking the chicken & onion)
    2 large cans of green enchilada sauce
    Sour cream for garnish

    -Cook chicken & onion in a sautee pan with just enough oil so it doesn't stick. (cook in batches if necessary)
    -Season chicken & onion while cooking with garlic, cumin & chili powder to your taste.
    -You may add some cayenne if you don't mind spicy.
    -Add green chiles & mix.
    -In 12" dutch oven pour an ample layer of green enchilada sauce.
    -Layer tortillas, an ample pour of sauce, then chicken, then cheese.
    -Repeat 2 more times.
    -After final layer add an extra layer of tortillas & pour remaining sauce over the top.
    -Place lid on dutch oven & cook for 30 minutes @ 325 via basic dutch oven directions.
    -Serve with more tortillas, cilantro lime rice & sour cream.

    This makes 1 12" dutch oven sized batch. You can easily feed...8 people.
    Yes its sort of a make to your taste sort of recipe...sorry for lack of measurements.

    July 25, 2010

    Nutty Whole Grain Pancakes

    These pancakes are SO yummy & pretty darn healthy too. Yes, they are similar to IHOP's "Harvest Grain N' Nut Pancakes"....only better.

    1 1/2 c oats/oatmeal
    1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    2.5 c buttermilk (I use 1 cube of melted butter added to 2 cups of 2% milk)
    1/4 c canola oil (you can use regular veg oil...I can't due to soy allergies)
    2 eggs
    1/4 c sugar
    3-4 Tbsp almonds (finely chopped)
    3-4 Tbsp walnuts or pecans (finely chopped)

    Grind oats/oatmeal & nuts to "flour" in blender or food processor.
    Put all dry ingredients in 1 bowl & mix.
    Put all wet ingredients in 1 bowl & mix.
    Blend wet ingredients into dry ingredients.

    Scoop batter by 1/4-1/3c portions onto a hot griddle (lightly greased)
    Cook 1-3 minutes per side till desired done-ness.
    Makes about 12 pancakes

    NOTE: These are slightly heavy and VERY filling. (My hubby only eats 3 of these and is FULL.) I like to serve them with fresh fruit syrup, fresh fruit, applesauce or just butter.

    July 23, 2010

    Casa Lupe (Yuba City)

    Let me preface this review by saying I grew up going to Casa Lupe in Chico and occasionally the Hamilton City location too. I think they existed in Chico & HC since we moved to Chico in 1986. That was the cool place to go! They made their own tortillas by hand and then on their totally cool machine....LONG before Chevy's had "El Machina" or before their was even a Chevy's nearby. To be honest Casa Lupe probably exsisted LONG before Chevy's did at all. They had a seperate bar area, kept things very family oriented, had a neat recessed fountain area in the Chico locale and the fajitas are TO DIE FOR. Simple, but perfect. Their salsa was different and still is. It is watery and chunky in consistency...which throws people off. It has big peices of celery, onions, bell peppers & tomatoes in a semi spicy but yes watery base. Its not authentic at all, but still yummy.

    The family owned restaurant had locations in Chico, Hamilton City, Gridley & Yuba City. Slowly the locations closed and they are left with the Gridley location & Yuba City location only. I remember going to Casa Lupe the week before I moved to San Diego in 2002. Then after the move, a marriage, a couple of babies, a deployment, another move or 3 and a trip back to Chico in 2006 I discovered the location had closed. The Hamilton City location was gone too. Up in that area they have been replaced with Casa Ramos. A good mexican restaurant which I will eat at when I'm "home".

    Then in 2008 my blooming family moved to Marysville. We haven't gone to the Casa Lupe location in Yuba City all that much in the past 2ish years. Maybe 3 or 4 times. I remember once as a family and twice on date night, just me and my hubby. It seems prices have gone up and quality had dropped....but just a bit. Let me tell you that as of our last "date night" vist this past Wednesday, I would not consider going again soon. Please read on....

    -The food is still good! Its pretty much the same as it always has been. I still love the salsa, you can find it odd if you want, but its something about the flavor. The FAJITAS are still where its at. Jesse and I split a Steak Fajita Platter which can feed 2-3 people. They come with fresh corn or flour tortillas (6), rice, beans with melted cheese, sour cream, guacamole and the sizzling hot platter of sauteed steak, onions & mixed bell peppers.

    -Service is typically good. I'll be the first to admit the wait staff can be over taxed and spread too thin at points if it is busy. Its best to go in later in the evenings. I still love the wait staffs "uniforms" or shorter black skirts and little white Mexican blouses with embroiderd flowers. The girls are all typically very pleasant.

    -The current Manager Antonio leaves something to be desired as he is not a pleasant person and cusses publicly. I will not go back to Casa Lupe due to the experience with him alone this Wednesday. Below is a message I'm sending to every available resource in order to get the problem addressed. It was horrible.
    Dirty Mouths At Casa Lupe!
    Wednesday evening our service from Martha was excellent. The fajitas were great as usual. The atmosphere....not so pleasant. The entire time we were eating we listened to the foul mouthed MANAGER Antonio stand in the lobby area loudly conversing with 2 of his buddies. Antonio proceeded to harass one of the female employees with words I would not have been comfortable having said to me. He and his friends cursed like sailors. Multiple expletives were used but one in particular was their favorite. A word which elevates even a movie to a rating of which I will not attend. Why use it??? Why in public? Why in a family restaurant??? I was completely disgusted by the time we left and plan to never go back, unless Antonio is gone. I don't care whether he is family or not, but he should no longer be employed at a reputable establishment such as Casa Lupe. I wanted to say something as we left, but knew I could not contain my anger if I had. It was so horrible. There were 8-10 paying customers left in the restaurant when he began his verbal vomiting. Antonio should respect the fact that he has a job right now. The current economic situation is not something to joke about. Antonio’s job should immediately go to someone who respects their position, has a clean mouth and understands a little bit more about appropriate actions in public. He should be ashamed!

    May 5, 2010

    German Pancakes

    German Pancakes are yummy fluffy goodness. Pretty much a twisted version of crepes. Also known as Dutch Babies." They are PERFECT with some more melted butter and a squeeze of lemon. Or powdered sugar sprinkled like crazy by children....& sliced strawberries a plenty for mom. Dad says Nutella is his favorite topping. Make these as minis and children can mess up their own plate with toppings they like and you don't...such as peanut butter and sprinkles.

    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 cup flour
    • 6 eggs
    • 2 tsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup melted butter (for the pancake...need more for pans)
    Preheat oven at 400*

    Cooking Options: two 9-inch cake pans, 1 9x13 pan, 2 full muffin tins (24). 
    Butter which ever cooking pan WELL with more melted butter!!!

    Put EVERYTHING into the blender. 
    Blend really well, until super smooth.
    Pour into prepared pans and bake.

    9x13 - 20-25 minutes. 
    Muffin Tins - 15 minutes.
    2 9" rounds - 20 minutes.

    Slide onto hot plates. 
    Serve with lemon slices, powdered sugar and butter if you are a purist. 
    Other people like fruit or maple syrup. 
    Or fresh berries, even.

    If you truly like the traditional way of cooking a German Pancake then:
    • Drop 2 Tablespoons of butter into a cast iron pan.
    • Place into oven.
    • When butter is well melted & pan is hot, remove pan from oven & swirl butter around.
    • Pour batter quickly into pan and put back into oven.
    • Cook for 15-20 mins.
    • YUM!

    April 29, 2010

    Blueberry "Streusel" Muffins

    Blueberry muffins with a streusel top. This recipe hails from moi! Adapted slightly from a recipe I learned in culinary school. Amanda- This is upon your LATE NIGHT request!

    3c flour
    1/2t salt
    4t baking powder
    2t baking soda
    1 1/2c sugar
    1c butter
    4 eggs
    1c milk
    2t vanilla
    1 1/2c floured blueberries (fresh or frozen whole blueberries, toss lightly in flour)

    • Mix ALL ingredients (except blueberries) together in bowl
    • Fold in blueberries (careful not to beat)
    4t cinnamon
    1c nuts (finely chopped)
    1c brown sugar
    2T butter
    • Mix all together
    • Fill muffin tin with muffin mix (lined with papers & oiled pan top OR fully oiled and not lined)
    • Bake @ 350 for 5 mins.....
    • Pull rack slightly out, but leave muffin tin on the rack
    • Now TOP with the streusel topping (after that first 5 minutes of baking)
    • Push rack back in & close the oven
    • Bake ANOTHER 10 minutes or until a toothpick/skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

    April 16, 2010

    Peach Freezer Jam

    I finally posted my strawberry freezer jam recipe from last year.
    I also made Peach freezer jam and this recipe was sitting there waiting to be posted as well.

    Last year @ the Marysville Peach Festival I purchased a full lug of Red Haven Peaches.
    These peaches were gorgeous. They were the color of the sunset...the sunset in CA during fire season!
    The jam turned out equally pretty. It was so close in color to my strawberry jam its crazy, just a bit orangey in comparison.

    (Red Haven) Peach Freezer Jam

    • Freezer Safe Canning Jars/Glad Ware/Tupper Ware or Freezer Containers (Washed & Rinsed)
    • 1 box 100% Natural Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin (powdered 1.75oz)
    • 3 cups of finely chopped peaches (usually takes about 2lbs)
    • 4 1/2 cups sugar
    • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
    • 3/4 c. water
    • Wash & Rinse "jars" or containers.
    • Prepare fruit as directed on pectin package (peel, pit & finely chop. a potato mashers will help. do not puree. jam has chunks.)
    • Measure EXACT amount of fruit (3 c.) along with the lemon juice (2 T) into a large bowl.
    • Measure EXACT amount of sugar (4.5 c.) into a separate bowl.
    • Stir sugar into fruit. Mix well. Let stand 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
    • Stir 1 box of pectin into 3/4 c of water in small saucepan. (Pectin will start out lumpy.) Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
    • Stir pectin mixture into fruit & sugar mixture.
    • Stir pectin/fruit/sugar mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy, about 3-5 minutes.
    • Pour or ladle into prepared containers, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top for expansion during freezing. Cover & seal with lids.
    • Let stand at room temperature 12-24 hrs until set. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks. Otherwise store in the freezer for up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator.
    I'd add a picture...but I took it with my camera phone last year too. Its gorgeous. I'll be making more in July.

    April 15, 2010

    Strawberry Freezer Jam

    Its THAT season again!!! Yep, Strawberry Season!!!
    So what does that mean??? Freezer Jam!!!
    Its EASY....I PROMISE. I make it in up to TRIPLE sized batches...because I'm insane.

    Strawberry Freezer Jam
    • Freezer Safe Canning Jars/Glad Ware/Tupper Ware or Freezer Containers (Washed & Rinsed)
    • 1 box 100% Natural Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin (powdered 1.75oz)
    • 2 cups of crushed Strawberries (takes about 2 pints of berries)
    • 4 cups sugar
    • 3/4 c. water
    • Wash & Rinse "jars" or containers.
    • Prepare fruit as directed on pectin package (strawberries crush easily after removing stems and unripe sections. potato mashers work great. do not puree. jam has chunks.)
    • Measure EXACT amount of fruit (2 c.) into a large bowl.
    • Measure EXACT amount of sugar (4 c.) into a separate bowl.
    • Stir sugar into fruit. Mix well. Let stand 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
    • Stir 1 box of pectin into 3/4 c of water in small saucepan. (Pectin will start out lumpy.) Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
    • Stir pectin mixture into fruit & sugar mixture.
    • Stir pectin/fruit/sugar mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy, about 3-5 minutes.
    • Pour or ladle into prepared containers, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top for expansion during freezing. Cover & seal with lids.
    • Let stand at room temperature 12-24 hrs until set. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks. Otherwise store in the freezer for up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator.
    I'd add a picture...but I took it with my camera phone last year. I'll take pics next week when I make more. Its bright pinky red and looks like strawberry jam!!! Its so yummy. Make lots!!!

    NOTE: This recipe does NOT call for lemon juice, but it can be added as well. 1-2 Tbsp can be added to the fruit BEFORE mixing it with the sugar.

    NOTE: If you crush your berries and leave them overnight, DO add the lemon juice and cover with plastic wrap directly on the crushed berries. This will prevent browning & fridge flavors from getting in.

    April 12, 2010

    Crock Pot Clam Chowder

    I LOVE CLAM CHOWER. L.O.V.E. LOVE!!!! Its true.

    This is quite possibly the easiest clam chowder recipe I know that still retains a true chowder style...with chunks and pieces.

    This is a large crock full and feeds....well I don't know. I take it to Souper Saturdays, feed my hubby and kids and well WE LOVE chowder. So real portions....a lot. People who like yumminess...maybe 10.
    • 2 large yellow onions diced roughly
    • 1 stalk of celery chopped (not 1 rib! 1 FULL stalk...yes the whole thing you buy from the store...even the leaves...not the base.)
    • 2 Family size (26oz) cans of cream of mushroom soup
    • 2-3 (150z) cans of diced potatoes (find them in the canned veggie aisle, they are lovely.)
    • 8 (6.5oz) cans of minced clams NOT drained (or 1 big can from Costco)
    • 1 jar of clam juice
    • 1 qt half and half (more if you want)
    • 1 stick unsalted butter
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • Saute onions & celery in the stick of butter on the stove.
    • Add potatoes. Heat thru.
    • Put cream of mushroom soup in crock pot.
    • Add sauteed yumminess.
    • Add clams AND their juice.
    • Add the half and half.
    • Season with salt and pepper.
    • Cook on Low-Med for 2-3 hours. (all crock pots are different)
    Thicken as needed with a bit of cornstarch in cold water (only if necessary).
    If you don't like mushroom soup you can also use cream of potato or celery.
    Serve with bread.

    April 6, 2010

    Oreo Truffles

    • 1 package oreo cookies (use whole cookie including the cream center)
    • 1 8oz. package cream cheese (softened)
    • chocolate "bark"
    1. Crush cookies and stir in softened cream cheese. Use the back of a large spoon to help mash the two together....or use a Kitchen Aid Mixer.
    2. Roll the mixture into 1″ balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet.
    3. Melt chocolate as directed on the package and then dip balls into chocolate, tap off extra and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry.
    4. Once dry, refrigerate and enjoy!
    5. Makes about 36 truffles.
    You can also use mint oreos or peanut butter oreos or strawberry cream oreos. Yum!
    You can coat in white or regular chocolate "bark".
    You can use small cookie cutters to form into shapes...such as hearts or stars or roll into footballs instead of traditional balls!

    March 10, 2010

    Our "Go To" Meals

    I recently started teaching a new class for Relief Society, these are offered in addition to my FUNdamentals of Food classes. The 4-part series is called "Stretching Your Budget" and it was designed with the current economic issues in mind. The 1st class was "Menu Planning & Easy Meals". One of the biggest things we discussed other than the whys and hows of menu planning was our easy "go to" meals in our families.

    If each family has approximately 14 go to meals for dinner then you can easily menu plan. Not only easily but quickly.

    Our "Go-To Meals":
    1. Goulash
    2. Stroganoff
    3. Chicken & Rice
    4. Pizza (French Bread, Mini Biscuit & BBQ...or Papa Murphys)
    5. Chowder & French Bread (Chicken, Corn or Clam)
    6. Soup & Grilled Cheese
    7. Quesadillas
    8. Tacos/Burritos/Tostadas
    9. Chicken Enchiladas
    10. Tri-Tip
    11. Hamburgers
    12. Mac & Cheese
    13. Swedish Meatballs
    14. Spaghetti/Tortellini/Ravioli (or any form of pasta with red sauce)
    15. Alfredo (usually w/chicken & broccoli) 
    16. Chili: Green Chili, White Bean Chicken Chili, Sweet Red w/Black Beans
    17. Tuna/Salmon & Noodles
    18. Ham & Cheese Spaghetti Bake
    19. Chicken Divan
    20. Breakfast for Dinner
    21. Pork Chops (w/Rice or w/Scalloped Taters) 
    22. Bacon Fried Rice
    23. Pulled Pork Sandwiches
    24. Pork Spare Ribs
    25. BBQ Tuna
    26. Salmon - BBQ or Otherwise
    27. Empanadas
    28. Milanesa
    29. Pot Roast
    30. Stuffed Baked Potatoes
    31. BLT's
    32. Chili Mac

    March 3, 2010

    cabot cheese

    I'm sort of a cheese snob. However there are 2 companies who make cheese which aren't very snobby. One is Tillamook. The other is Cabot. Tonight I'd like to share a little bit of yummy knowledge about Cabot.

    We made quesadillas tonight as a snack....using Cabot cheese. Cheese we found at Grocery Outlet. Sun-dried Tomato Basil Cheddar quesadillas!!! All because of the yumminess that is Cabot Cheese. They also offer flavors such as Chipotle, Habanero, Chili Lime, Horseradish & Garlic/Herb.

    GO explore!

    February 18, 2010

    Enotria (Valentines Day)

    For "Valentines Day" we luckily had a sitter in town all weekend...thanks Mom!!! So we headed to Sacramento for a date night on Firday as we had church obligations on Saturday and Sunday. We went to Enotria....meaning "land of wine" or "land of untrained vines".  Enotria is located in North Sacramento on Del Paso. Directly across the street from Iceland Skate Rink. If you can get over the slightly shadey neighborhood then you are in for a treat. There is plenty of off street parking in the lot nears their east side and patio, but street parking in front of the door too. Enotria is know for its amazing wine selection and and equally amazing sommelier. I can't give any recommendations, its been years since I drank...but I did overhear that they had some Amador County wines which grow a stones throw from my in-laws.

    Anyways... we avoided the Prix Fixe Menu and selected our own combinations from the dinner menu. Service was the best we've EVER had ANYWHERE. Our waiter, our busser, everything. We were the only ones there the first 45 minutes we were there...our drinks constantly full of fresh water. A very, very pleasant experience.

    Below you will see that we started of with a "small plate" of Goat Cheese & Potato Gnocchi which was accompanied by sauteed mushrooms, baby spinach and lamb sausage, all floating on top of a silky sun dried tomatoe cream sauce. $9.50

    Perfectly cooked pillows of goodness...a slightly tangy sauce. Amazing wild fungi, but safe. SOO good.

    Then for our salad course Jesse selected the Enotria Caesar with housemade dressing, marinated white anchovies, fresh herbs, shaved Hirtenkase accompanied with grilled pan rustic. $5.50

    Jesse refuses to touch anchovy I ate it with a piece of bread. Yum. I also tried the salad and it was crunchy and perfect. Not too much dressing like most caesars these days.

    For my salad I selected the Roasted Beet Salad with mixed greens, herbed goat cheese, candied walnuts and a maple mustard dressing. $6

    The roasted beets were amazing and the silky goat cheese. Yum!

    For Jesses entree he selected the Mustard Encrusted Lamb Rack served with green lentil and roasted vegetables ragout, baby spinach, demi glace and micro greens. $26

    Jesse recently discovered lamb and I looked at menu after menu making sure he had the option wherever we went...this was amazing! Plus I've never had more amazing lentils. Really.

    For my entree I selected the Coq au Vin which also had slow braised bacon lardons, roasted pearl onions, wild mushrooms, baby carrots, braised greens and a savory bread pudding. $22

    This had amazing flavor, but the bread pudding (stuffing) was a bit gooey and the bird a bit tough. Coq is very hard to cook to perfection, so this was really close.

    For dessert its hard to turn down a Hot Chocolate Lava Souffle.
    Yeah it was perfect and baked from scratch, to order. Topped with raspberry coulis. Yum.

    Can you tell he wanted some???

    February 11, 2010

    Great Grandma's Rolls

    This is my Great Grandma Tennants roll recipe. Feel special I'm sharing. They are SO good. Plus I'm named after her!

    2 1/4 tsp yeast
    1 tsp sugar
    1/2 c. warm water
    1/2 c. shortening (vegetable please)
    3/4 c. sugar
    1 c. boiling water
    1 tsp. salt
    1 c. cool water
    3 beaten eggs (room temp!!!)
    7-9 c. all purpose white flour
    • Dissolve yeast and 1 tsp sugar in 1/2 c warm water. Let stand 20 minutes.
    • Mix shortening, 3/4 c. sugar & 1 tsp salt with "boiling water". (I add all these ingredients to a Pyrex measuring cup and heat in the microwave till nearly boiling.)
    • Add 1 c. cool water to hot liquid mixture. 
    • Put 3-4 cups of flour into mixing bowl. 
    • Add tepid shortening mixture to the mixer. 
    • Add yeast mixture & beaten eggs.
    • Mix about 5 minutes.
    • Add remaining flour slowly in increments until you make a slightly sticky, but firm dough. This is not stiff bread dough. 
    • Put dough into a large "tupperware" bowl with lid or plastic wrap.
    • Place in refridgerator for 3-4 hours to rise.
    • Dough will keep up to or just beyond 1 week in the fridge.
    When you want to bake the rolls:
    • Take as much dough out of fridge as you will need.
    • Form any shape roll you want. (Parker House rolls = 2 balls of dough in muffin tin, Cloverleaf = 3 smaller balls in muffin tin, regular round or ovals on cookie sheets.)
    • Let rise 20-30 minutes in a warm place for fluffier rolls.
    • Bake @ 400 (375 convection) for 15 minutes.
    Makes 3 dozen small rolls.