Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a no fail recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies ever.

Mix well:
1 cup soft butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 pkg pudding (vanilla, instant -I use the smaller size)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes


Friday, July 25, 2008

Milk Chocolate Cheesecake

My friends, Taylor and Dustin, gave me Mary Crownover's I Love Cheesecake recipe book for my birthday. This is the first recipe that I've tried from the collection of decadent and creative cheesecakes. I'm thinking of trying Lime Yogurt Cheesecake or Peachy Orange Cheesecake next.

I hesitate to add this recipe to our collection as I have found the resulting cheesecake to have a mind of its own. Be sure to make this for a large crowd and to send the leftovers home with others, or you may find that you've managed to eat half a cheesecake all by yourself in less than 5 days: not recommended for anyone's waistline.

Chocolate cookie crust
18 Oreos
5 Tb butter or margarine, melted

Crush cookies to make crumbs. Place crumbs in a mixing bowl and add butter, mix well. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom of greased 9-inch cheesecake pan. Set aside.

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Milk chocolate filling
32 oz cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 Tb cornstarch
3/4 cup sour cream
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz milk chocolate chips, melted

Ina large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, and sour cream with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract and melted chocolate, mix well. Pour filling onto crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

REDUCE HEAT TO 200 DEGREES and bake for 2 hours, or until center is firm and no longer looks wet or shiny. Remove cake from oven and carefully run a knife around inside edge of pan. Turn oven off and return cake to it for an additional 2 hours. Chill overnight.

Chocolate glaze
5 oz milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tb chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts

In a small heavy saucepan, combine chocolate and sour cream. Stir constantly while melting chocolate over low heat. Spread warm topping on the cake. Sprinkle nuts over top. Keep chilled.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tortilla De Patatas

When made correctly, the Spanish tortilla is a delicious half-inch thick "cake" of fried potatoes mixed with fried eggs and onions. After cooking, the tortilla can be cut into pizza-like triangles to serve 4-6 people, or cut into squares to give a whole group a bite-sized toothpick sample.

1 cup olive oil
four large potatoes
salt to taste
one large onion, thinly sliced
four large eggs.

Some people add thin slices of red pepper together with the onion.

Peel the onions and potatoes.
Cut the onions into about 1/2 inch pieces. Add plenty of olive oil to a frying pan and let them fry until they turn brown.
Dice the potatoes while the onions are cooking. Season them as desired and add them to the frying pan.
Fry everything together over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until everything turns slightly brown.
Remove the pan from the heat and drain the oil.
Beat 4 eggs in a large bowl, and add the potatoes and onions.
Add a little bit of olive oil in the frying pan and add the mixture. Cook the egg until it sets up, first on high heat, and then over low heat.
Turn the tortilla over so that it browns on both sides.
You can serve hot or cold. Most Places in Spain serve it cold.
I fell in love with this while I was in Spain and just found the recipe online and it is delicious. Mom and I had it for lunch today

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Homemade French Fries

garlic powder (or chopped garlic)
olive oil

Wash potatoes and cut into strips. Season as desired, add olive oil. Toss to mix. Wrap a handful of fries in foil and bake in the oven on 350 for 1 hour.

*I learned this from Ruth as well*

Turkey Burgers

1 lb ground hamburger meat
1 lb ground turkey meat
1 pkg. lipton onion soup mix
Hambuger buns and fixings

Mix the hamburger, turkey, and soup mix together. Shape into hamburgers and cook.

These are really yummy :) I learned how to make them from Ruth and Lola.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cool Summer Drinks

I loved Brent's summer beverage post. I'm always looking for ways to stay comfortable when the weather heats up. Check out this fun calendar for a month of cool beverages and refreshing sippers: My Recipes - June Calendar

Here's the list of non-alcoholic drinks from the calendar:

June 1 - Strawberry-Raspberry Soda
June 8 - Chocolate Fizz
June 10 - Homemade Orange Soda
June 11 - Pomegranate Orange Cooler
June 15 - Triple Berry Freeze
June 16 - Berry-Melon Agua Fresca
June 17 - White Grape-and-Orange Cooler
June 29 - Orange-Basil Cooler
June 30 - Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade
Does anyone have tips for making some of the other drinks without alcohol? I know Jack makes Mojitos without rum. Do you substitute extra juice or just leave out the alcohol?

Let us know if you try any of these fun drinks.

Ginger Limeade

I served this to my friends for my birthday party this year. It's from Cooking Light.

Instead of making my own limeade, I substituted frozen limeade from concentrate.


6 cups cold water, divided
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons grated lime rind
10 mint leaves
1 1/4 cups fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)
4 lime wedges (optional)


Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, ginger, rind, and mint leaves in a blender, and process until well blended. Cover; chill for 2 hours.

Add remaining 5 3/4 cups water and juice; stir to combine. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.


4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

Watermelon Cooler

This was the runner up for my birthday beverage this year. It's looks beautiful served in a glass pitcher. From SouthernLiving

Prep: 30 min., Freeze: 8 hr., Stand: 15 min.


8 cups (1/2-inch) watermelon cubes
1 1/2 cups ginger ale
1/3 cup water
1 (6-oz.) can frozen limeade concentrate


1. Place watermelon cubes in a single layer in an extra-large zip-top plastic freezer bag, and freeze 8 hours. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.

2. Process half each of watermelon, ginger ale, water, and limeade concentrate in a blender until smooth; pour mixture into a pitcher. Repeat procedure with remaining half of ingredients; stir into pitcher, and serve immediately.

Honeydew Cooler: Substitute 8 cups (1/2-inch) honeydew melon cubes for watermelon cubes and 1 (6-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate for limeade concentrate; proceed as directed.

Cantaloupe Cooler: Substitute 8 cups (1/2-inch) cantaloupe cubes for watermelon, and add 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger to mixture in blender. Proceed as directed.


Makes about 8 cups (serving size: 1 cup)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Orange Julius

½ 6 oz can frozen OJ

½ c milk

½ cup water

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp vanilla

5-6 ice cubes

Blend all items on high speed in blender until ice is finely crushed. Serve immediately. (Our family of 5 doubles recipe)

I enjoyed making these on hot summer days to enjoy a little splash of coolness.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

1 #2 can pineapple chunks
2 Tbs butter
2/3c pineapple juice
1c green pepper
1 chicken bouillon cube
1c boiling water
2T cornstarch
2t soy sauce
2t vinegar
1/3c sugar
cooked chicken or turkey
1/2 t salt
dash pepper
cooked carrots and celery on the diagonal
Rice or chow mein noodles

Cook carrots & celery. Drain pineapple and save the juice. Cook pineapple in butter for 3 min. Add1/3c pineapple juice and green pepper. Cover and simmer 10 min. Dissolve bouillon cube in boiling water. Add to pineapple cubes. Mix cornstarch with remaining 1/3 cup pineapple juice. Stir into mixture. Add soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Cook stirring till thick. Add chicken, carrots, and celery till heated through. Serve on top of noodles or rice.

Chicken Divan

2 10oz pkg broccoli spears (can use chopped broccoli)
2 cup sliced chicken or 3 breasts, cooked and boned
2 cup cream of chicken soup (2 cans)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp Lemon juice
1tsp curry powder

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese 1/2 c breadcrumbs 1 Tbs butter

Cook broccoli and drain. Arrange on bottom of 9x13 pan. Place Chicken on top of Broccoli. Mix together Cream of Chicken soup, Mayo, lemon juice, and curry powder. Pour a little sauce over broccoli, and then add chicken. Pour a little sauce over broccoli, then add chicken. Pour the rest of sauce on top of chicken. Sprinkle with cheese and top with bread crumbs. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350* for 30 min.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Baked Apple French Toast

My mom made this once before my mission, and I made it from memory with variations several times on my mission. It's become a breakfast of choice for special occasions.
Serves: 6

12 slices of sandwich bread
1.5 cups milk
8 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sugar or more
2 teaspoons cinnamon or more (to be sprinkled 3 times)

Peel, core, and slice apples. Grease or spray with Pam a 9x13x2" pan. Place 6 (squeeze) bread slices into pan, with the round sides toward the edges of the pan. Mix together 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle some on the bread. Place the next 6 pieces of bread & sprinkle again.. Mix together milk, eggs, vanilla, and 1/2 cup of sugar. Pour 1/2 of egg milk mixture over bread. Place apples on bread. Pour remaining milk and egg mixture over the apples. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar. (You may put 2 teaspoon butter dots on top if you want before cooking ... I don't do this). If prepared the night before, cover and put in the fridge. In the morning, uncover it and put it in the preheated oven at 400 degrees for an hour. If not chilled, bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 45 min. Serve with maple syrup.

Egg Chicks

1. Carefully peel a hard-boiled egg so as not to damage the white.

2. Make diagonal cuts around one end of the egg.

3. Remove the top. This should expose the yolk.

4. Carefully clean up the loose pieces of egg white.

5. Cut off the bottom to act as a base.

6. Use bits of carrot and raisin to make the face.

This recipe is from a great garnish book that Jack's mom, Melissa, has: More Japanese Garnishes by Yukido and Bob Haydock.

I made these this morning, 'cause I thought they were too cute. : )

Friday, July 4, 2008

Barbecue Beef Sandwiches

This turns out delicious! It's from Betty Crocker's Slow Cooker Cookbook (pg 96)

  • 3-pound beef boneless chuck roast
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 12 kaiser or hamburger buns, split
  1. Trim excess fat from beef. cut beef into 4 pieces. Place beef in 4- to 5-quart slow cooker.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients except buns; pour over beef. Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 8 hours or until beef is tender
  3. Remove beef to cutting board; cut into thin slices; return to cooker (Rather than try to slice the beef, just "shred" it so it's like pulled beef)
  4. Cover and cook on low heat setting 20 to 30 minutes longer or until beef is hot. Fill buns with beef mixture.

Cold Chicken Curry Salad

Jocelyn asked for my Chicken Curry Salad. It is difficult as I seldom measure and use what I have on hand.

3 cups cubed cooked chicken, cooled and chilled
6 oz slivered almonds
1/2 cup diced celery
¼ cup minced onion or green onion or omit
2 cups halved green grapes
2-3 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
¾- 1 tsp Curry Powder
1/1/2 cups Mayonnaise (can use ½ sour cream, ½ mayo)more if needed

Mix mayo, lemon juice, curry powder, parmesan cheese and onion together. Toss chicken cubes, almonds, celery and sliced grapes together. Lightly mix the sauce with the chicken mixture. Chill salad. Use a scoop to serve a mound onto either a lettuce leaf or a large tomato divided into 6 cuts (like a flower), gently spread and place scoop of salad in center.

Pineapple Mint Salad

Here's a fun salad that I've enjoyed making this last year. I found it in Easy Summer Meals by Cooking Light (pg 32)

Combine 4 cups cubed fresh pineapple, 1/2 cup very thinly vertically sliced red onion, 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh mint, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Well, we didn't quite make it as the Robertson Family Singers: let's see how we do with cooking...