Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Love

In one more day I will be leaving for Europe! I know I am so excited. My mom and best friend Ang and I will be going to Paris, Marseille & Barcelona. My brother and sister in law live in France and we will get to see them as well. I am so excited to try all the Foods, experience the Culture, visit the awe-inspiring sights and just BE on Vacation in the most Awesome places ever! I will definitely be blogging about the trip and all the foods I get to experience, I may even get some tips from the Chefs! France is however where Julia got her start.

The only sad part of my trip is that I will be missing Easter with my family.

My sister in law Heather brought this by today, how freaking cute is that. She grew her own grass in these plastic baskets, then made them cute with fabric. How cool is that. Plus it has Trader Joes Peanut Butter Eggs -which are the Best things ever! Thanks Hezz

My mom had a dinner last night in place of our family Easter dinner. I had been wanting to make a couple of things so I told her I would bring the veggies and dessert.

A couple of weeks past for our Relief Society Enrichment night they served this amazing veggie casserole- it was to die for. My sister and I had like 3 helpings.
So here it is ( this will be a perfect dish for the summer gardens) It is filled with squash and carrots and has Amazing flavor. Everyone loved it, even the kids.
(onions not pictured)


4 medium zucchini, sliced 1/2"thick 3 cups or 1 box Pepperidge Farm

5 large carrots, pared and sliced Classic Cut Seasoned Croutons

1 1/2 cups chopped onion (2 med.) (small croutons)

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup 1/2 cup sour cream

1 cube margarine

Preheat oven to 375°F. Steam or boil zucchini and carrots just until tender. In a

large saucepan, sauté onion in 4 Tbsp of margarine until the onions are tender. Stir

in 1 1/2 cups croutons, soup and sour cream. Gently stir in zucchini and carrots.

Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch pan or casserole dish. Put mixture into pan. Melt

remaining margarine in a small saucepan. Add remaining croutons. Toss gently

and sprinkle over the casserole mixture. Bake for about 15 minutes or until mixture

is bubbly around the edges and the croutons are toasted. Makes 10 servings

This beauty I found on Mels Kitchen cafe, as soon as I saw it I was looking for an opportunity to make it.

Now it has 3 sticks of butter and like 3 cups of brown sugar, so the chances of it Not being good are Zero! We all loved it and I will definitely be making it again.

( I used gala apples since I already had a ton and it tasted great so use what you got)

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping- Mels Kitchen Cafe
Printable Version
Printable Version with Picture

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cream Cheese Layer:
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 cup caramel sauce (homemade recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, two tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine all the streusel topping ingredients and mix until crumbly. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture is crumbly but combined. Press evenly into a 9X13-inch baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

While the crust is baking, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Then add eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla. Mix well. Pour over the warm crust.

Spoon the apple mixture evenly over the cheesecake layer. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes until the filling is set.

Cool the bars to room temperature. Drizzle with the caramel topping (or plate individual slices and drizzle with topping one by one).

Caramel Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cups half-and-half or cream
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix butter, brown sugar, half-and-half or cream, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thickened slightly. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold. If the caramel sauce has cooled in the fridge long enough to harden, warm slightly before drizzling on bars.

Recipe Source: Bars adapted from my brother, Nate (I think he originally found them on the Food Network), caramel sauce from Pioneer Woman

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Perfect Omelette

I have never made an Omelette, mainly because I am not a huge fan. But for Conference Sunday I wanted to a special breakfast, I looked in the fridge and saw that i had a bunch of random stuff, cooked broccoli, tomatoes, sausage, green onions, spinach, cheese, red onion & avacados. So I thought I would give it a try, I also thought the kids would like the idea of getting to pick all their ingredients.

First things first I researched online how to make the perfect omelette. I found some 3 min. video tutorial which gave me enough information to work with.
Omelette toppings

Picking their omelette toppings- They absolutely loved doing this
After they picked their toppings each of them got to help me make it
The only thing about doing a bunch of omelette's is the time, it takes about 5 min. or so and you can only do one at a time.

Start off with 3 eggs beat heavily then add salt and pepper

Add some butter or grease to the pan ( I used the drippings from the sausage)

Burner at med to med low
Pour the eggs in with the toppings
Then move it around a little bit getting the cooked eggs moved around
Then let it set making sure there are no holes, if there are fill it in with the eggs
On most of them I didn't use a lid but you can if you want it more cooked on top, I like it a little "wet" plus it continues to cook after you pull it off
When it is done enough for you then flip it in half and slide it on to a plate
Top however you want
We prefer avacados and the Duck- El Pato

Friday, April 15, 2011

Texas Caviar Enchiladas

The other day I had some leftover Texas Caviar. Now by itself this is an amazing dip for chips but when added to enchiladas it gets even Better. My husband loved it and told me these are his favorite enchiladas! Guess I will be making them again.

Now you can basically make this anyway you like, add it to your old chicken enchilada recipe or create a new one. I kept it simple only 3 ingredients. Texas Caviar, Green Salsa, & shredded Chicken.
First I added a little green salsa to the bottom of the dish
Shredded some chicken and mixed it with the remaining jar of green salsa
added the caviar
piled it into a softened corn tortilla and rolled it up
put them all in a dish pour a little more salsa on top
added some cheese and then popped it in the oven for about 15 min. on 350 until the cheese melted


Monday, April 11, 2011

The Best and Easiest Homemade Bread

Now I am always a little gun shy when it comes to using yeast. I have gotten a bit better lately but still am wary of straight up bread. So when my SIL Heather invited my mom and I over to make some of her delicious bread I jumped at the chance. She said it was Super easy and she wasn't lying. Making it that day with her by our side was easy, but the real test was could I make it myself, so I took excellent notes and gave it a try. I know there are a lot of pics but I want to give you step by step instructions for those of you out there who are as wary of bread making as I am.
First she lines up her ingredients in order that she puts them in

starting off with some yeast dumped in some warm ( not hot warm) water ( no need to mix)
Set aside
Start adding rest of the ingredients to mixer
powdered milk
oil (add this first and use same measuring cup so oil just slides out)

then dump in yeast water
then add first 6 cups of flour
start mixing then scrape the sides
after that start adding more to total about 11-12 cups

you want it to pull away from the sides a little bit but still be sticky
( I am always so afraid of not adding to much that I always add to much- so you want it to be sticky and not all come away from the bowl)
then mix for 8 minutes- by then it will pull away from the sides completely
then take out your hooks and leave it in the bowl covered and let it rise till doubled in size

Once rises oil up a working area and your hands a bit then dump it out
then divide into fourths
take the ball
roll it out lengthwise

fold it in half
flip it over
then start rolling it up tight

then seal it up on the ends
and sides
fold the sides under
put in greased pan and pat it down

then let rise again covered till they are over the rim about 30 min.
they are almost done in this pic
finished rising
then put in oven for about 20 min. till they reach 180 degrees most importantly
check them individually
let them cool completely on something that will soak up the oil like a paper bag.

Then they are yours to do with what you want
Warm with butter or toasted with honey.
You can give some to a neighbor or freeze them .
So good luck and I hoped this helped

Heather's Best Whole Wheat Bread

5 C. warm water
2Tb. yeast
add yeast to bowl of water, do not mix, set aside
to mixer add
1/2 C Powdered milk (plus 1/4 more if instant)
1/2 C oil
1/2 C honey
2Tb. salt
dont mix
add yeast water
then 6 cups flour ( I didn't have fresh ground wheat so I used half white half wheat store bought)
Start mixing then scrape the sides and continue adding flour till it pull away from sides a bit but is still sticky about 11-12 cups. Then mix in low for another 8 min. By this time it will pull away completely from sides. take out hooks, cover and let rise until doubled in size.
Once rise use oil and roll into bread form, then place in greased ( I spray with pam) bread pans, cover and let rise again until they reach the rim about 30 min.
Cook at 350 for about 20 min. till they reach 180 degrees.
Cool completely before bagging or freezing.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Stove Top Chicken

Awhile back there was a great deal on Stove top Stuffing and while I am not a huge stuffing fan and almost never buy it I decided to get a couple of boxes just in case.
Then I looked up some recipes using said stuffing box. I came across this one from Kraft and with 5 ingredients it was worth a try! It was super simple, Loaded with flavor and completely kid friendly. Who could ask for more. This dish will definitely be making an appearance around this house for a long time.
I used my big plug in skillet.

STOVE TOP One-Dish Chicken Skillet

what you need

1-1/2 cups hot water

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted

1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken

6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.)

1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/3 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream

make it

MIX hot water, butter and stuffing mix.

COOK chicken in large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat 5 min. on each side.

MIX soup and sour cream; pour over chicken. Top with stuffing; cover. Cook on low heat 10 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF).

kraft kitchens tips


Substitute fat-free milk for the sour cream.


Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare stuffing as directed. Place chicken in 13x9-inch baking dish or 2-qt. casserole. Mix soup and sour cream; pour over chicken. Top with stuffing. Bake 35 min. or until chicken is done.


Prepare with BREAKSTONE'S Reduced Fat or KNUDSEN Light Sour Cream.

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