Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apricot Chicken

I think this recipe may have come from Allrecipes, but I'm not sure. I've had it for ages and it makes for a nice change of pace for a little something different with chicken.

6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 cup apricot preserves
1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a 9x13 baking dish. Combine preserves, vinegar, and brown sugar. Pour mixture over chicken breasts. Cover and bake for 50 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 10 more minutes.

Lip Smackin' Stuffed Shells

This is another recipe I got from Denise. Can you tell we share a LOT of recipes? :) We have theme nights for our dinners and we usually eat "Italian" once a week. This is a great recipe to help mix up the menus a little bit rather than just having spaghetti or lasagna all the time.

12 ounce package jumbo shell pasta, cooked
15 ounce can tomato sauce
16 ounce package shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups cottage cheese (we prefer low fat ricotta cheese in this recipe)
2 - 10 ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 eggs, beaten
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (I leave this out)
28 ounce jar spaghetti sauce, divided
Salt & Pepper
Parmesan Cheese, grated, for garnish

Combine tomato sauce, cheese, spinach, eggs, nutmeg, salt, pepper. Use this mixture to stuff cooked shells. Put 1/4 of the spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Place filled shells on top, stuffed side up. Cover with remainder of spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sweet & Sour Turkey Meatballs

This is another recipe I got from Denise that we adapted slightly to our tastes and has quickly become a family favorite. (to make gluten free, simply substitute gluten free soy sauce and make sure the ketchup is also gluten free)

1 1/2 pounds ground pork sausage (we use extra lean ground beef)
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 can pineapple chunks (we use tidbits) in it's own juice, drained

My additions:
1 small onion finely diced
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Mix together sausage and turkey (as well as onion & black pepper if desired). Form into meatballs. Brown meatballs in a large skillet. Drain meatballs onto a paper towel and discard drippings. Mix remaining ingredients (except pineapple) in a small bowl. Place meatballs back in skillet and pour sauce over them. Simmer for 10 minutes or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked. Add pineapple just before serving. Serve over warm rice.

Jera's Bread Recipe

I got this recipe ages ago from my friend, Jera Parker. Not only is it an easy recipe but it's super delicious. :)

5 1/2 cups water
3 Tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup oil
6 cups wheat flour
8 cups white flour

Mix all ingredients together. Knead for 10 minutes. Shape into four loaves. Place in greased loaf pans and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until the loaves look pregnant. Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees (or until done).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Corn Fritters

I pulled this recipe out of a book from the library last week. While I thought they sounded really good, I confess I was a little skeptical of how they would turn out. Not only were they delicious, the kids were begging for more! They are really good with just a bit of honey drizzled on top. Mmmmm!

1 14.75 ounce can cream style corn
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
canola oil for frying

Combine corn, flour, salt, eggs, baking powder and sugar in a medium bowl. The dough is very sticky. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop dough by spoonfuls into hot oil and cook on each side until golden brown.

Split Pea Soup

Allison had been begging me for quite some time to make split pea soup. It is one of her favorites (mine too for that matter). :) I didn't have a recipe to go on, so I just kind of winged it and got it right the first time. WooHoo!!!

1 lb. dried split peas (rinsed and soaked overnight)
1 small ham bone or ham hock
2 cans chicken broth
1 potato, diced
1 cup diced carrots
salt & pepper to taste

After soaking peas overnight, rinse and place in crockpot with the ham bone & chicken broth. Let simmer for a couple of hours on high. Add diced carrots and potatoes. Let simmer on low till it is the consistency you like. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I was out of onions when I made this and it turned out just fine, but I think it perhaps might be even better if you were to add maybe 1/2 of a small onion that has been finely diced. :)

Cinnamon Rolls

As promised, here is the recipe for the Cinnamon Rolls. I use the dough from this recipe to make the Brocca. While this recipe calls for alternating between white flour and wheat flour, I have gotten lazy and make it with all white flour. It is quite good though made half and half. :)

1 stick butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
2 pkg. yeast
2 cups warm milk (or reconstituted powdered milk)

Place ingredients in large mixing bowl. After adding milk, let ingredients sit for five minutes.


1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

Add enough flour (alternating white & wheat) to make a soft dough. Knead for 6-8 minutes. Grease bowl and let rise in warm place (covered). Punch down. Let dough rest for 10 minutes then divide into two pieces. Roll out into a rectangle and spread cinnamon and brown sugar over the dough (can also add nuts & raisins). Roll and cut. Place on greased cookie sheet. Let rise. Bake at 400 degrees.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I learned how to make this simple yet filling dish from my mother-in-law (Beth) many years ago. For starters, it's pronounced broh-ka. I guess what I really like about this dish besides how tasty it is, is how simple it is and really the possibilities are endless because ultimately it's just like making your own sandwich pockets.

1/2 of a sweet dough recipe (a basic sweet dough like you'd use for cinnamon rolls)
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1/3 - 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded

Make sweet dough and let rise. Brown beef, drain off fat (if any), add onion and cabbage. Cook until tender but do not overcook. Roll out sweet dough and cut into squares. Put a small amount of filling in the middle of each square and fold over. Place seam side down on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until lightly browned. Serve with brown gravy.

Often times I'll just add more cabbage than it calls for and use up all of the sweet dough, or I'll make cinnamon rolls that I let rise in the fridge overnight with the leftover dough. I'll share my favorite cinnamon roll recipe tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rice Pudding

This is another recipe from my grandmother, and one of the best comfort foods of all time. :) I have fond memories of enjoying this as a child.

1 cup rice (do not use minute rice) - cook according to directions.

Add about 4 cups milk and cook until it looks creamy, but don't let it boil. Add 2/3 cup sugar and a handful of raisins if desired. Add 3-4 beaten eggs and stir until it thickens but DO NOT BOIL. If it is too thick add more milk. Remove from stove and add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Turn out into a buttered 9x13 pan and sprinkle cinnamon on top.

Monday, January 18, 2010

BBQ Chicken Pizza

This recipe is one of our family favorites that we can never seem to get enough of. :) I think the crust may be to make individual size pizzas but I'm not really sure. What I usually do is I triple the crust recipe and then roll it out to make two med/large thin crust pizzas. I also like to add a bit of provolone to the pizzas even though the recipe only calls for Mozzarella and Gouda. Of course we are also cheese addicts at our house! LOL

The Crust:

1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon warm water
3/4 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil


1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (I like to use leftover grilled chicken)
1/2 cup BBQ Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated smoked gouda
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (you can use white or yellow onions but it has better flavor with red onions)
2 teaspoons fresh chopped cilantro ( I never add this)

Mix dough ingredients and set to rise. Once risen, punch down and roll out thin and place on greased pizza pan.

Use olive oil to cook chicken and then layer in the following order...sauce, both cheeses, chicken, onion, more mozzarella, cilantro. Bake until crust is lightly browned and cheese is bubbly and lightly browned. Oh, my notes don't have a temperature on them, I think I bake it at 400 degrees. Obviously I take after my grandmother's style of cooking. LOL

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chicken & Dumplings

This recipe is an old one that my grandmother has been making for years. I thought with being in the middle of winter it would be an ideal recipe to share today. :) Nothing fills & warms the belly quite like homemade chicken & dumplings - especially if served with homemade bread.

Chicken & broth:

One chicken cut into serving size pieces. Cover chicken with water and add 2 ribs of celery and 2 carrots, onion, parsley, salt, and pepper. When chicken is cooked through, remove vegetables. You can leave the chicken in or you can remove and debone it if desired.


2 cups flour
4 egg yolks
3 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon shortening
1 teaspoon salt

Place flour in mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Add egg yolks, salt, water, and shortening. With a fork start blending the ingredients together. When the fork has gone as far as it can go, start blending with fingers until all blended. Remove dough to a floured surface and knead. Divide dough in half and roll out thin. Cut into one inch strips. Break the strips into tidbits as you drop them into the boiling broth. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Edited to Add: My grandmother does not really measure too much for recipes such as this, and often has to guess an approximation. As we were making this for dinner last night we realized the amount of water needed for the dumpling dough is off by quite a bit. It is rather a stiff dough, but you'll want to add enough water, one tablespoon at a time until you have a pliable dough that is not crumbly and that you can work with. I think Corey ended up using about 5 1/2 tablespoons of water by the time he was done.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Freezer Crescent Rolls

I've been woefully neglecting posting recipes over the past few days but never fear, I am back! Did anyone miss me? LOL I've been working on organizing my recipes in a new binder with lovely index tabbed dividers. It looks awesome! No more green monster! hehehehehe

I found this recipe in the Oct/Nov 2007 issue of Taste of Home. It is by far the easiest and tastiest recipe I have come across for homemade rolls. We no longer buy any frozen roll dough since finding this recipe. We typically cook half and freeze half when we make it. If we have company over to dinner we bake the whole batch.

3 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mashed potato flakes
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the butter, milk powder, sugar, potato flakes, eggs, salt, and 3 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough.

Turn onto a heavily floured surface; knead 8-10 times. Divide dough in half. Roll each portion into a 12 inch circle; cut each circle into 16 wedges. Roll up wedges from the wide ends and place point side down 2 inches apart on waxed paper lined baking sheets. Curve ends to form crescents. (I coat my counter and rolling pin in cooking spray for rolling out my dough rather than using flour. It keeps me from getting too much flour added into my dough and I get a much more tender roll. This also works for making cinnamon rolls and pizza crusts)

Cover and freeze. When firm transfer to a large resealable freezer bag. Freeze for up to 4 weeks.

To use frozen rolls: Arrange frozen rolls 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. (we just pull them out mid to late morning on the day we want to have them with dinner and let them thaw and rise at room temperature)

Let rise in warm place for 1 hour or until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Denise's Cheeseball

I remember watching Denise make this cheeseball many times for the holidays, not only when we were growing up, but after we had families of our own. I finally asked her for the recipe and now we make it for the holidays, game nights, and sometimes just because. :)

16 oz. cream cheese
4 oz. velveeta
very finely chopped green onion
1-2 teaspoons mustard
Bon Appetit Spice
Pecans or walnuts, finely chopped

Mix cream cheese and velveeta until well blended. Add mustard and the Bon Appetit spice and green onion. Shape into a ball and roll in the chopped nuts.

Denise, you can correct me if I left anything out. :) I've made a couple of changes to it over the years that my family likes. I can't find Bon Appetit spice, so I use Mrs. Dash instead. Rather than regular yellow mustard I like to use stone ground mustard. My family prefers it without the nuts so we simply scoop it into a dip bowl. Also, if you are a fan of seafood, one of our favorite things to add to it is shredded imitation crab. I usually have to make one batch with crab and one without and either way it gets gobbled up fast!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cranberry Sauce

I realize that the holidays are over but I thought that for those of you who still have an extra turkey or two in the freezer (like I do) that this recipe would come in handy. Even though I love cranberry sauce and have cooked many Thanksgiving dinners over the years, I had never until this year made homemade cranberry sauce. Shocking huh? We started participating in Bountiful Baskets and I ended up with a bag of fresh cranberries that I had no idea what to do with. So I went to the trusty allrecipes site and found this simple recipe. Let me warn you now that it is so yummy that it'll spoil you for the canned stuff. When we were eating leftovers the next day, I had to stop Alex from taking a spoon and eating the leftover cranberry sauce by itself! LOL

1 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 (12 oz.) package fresh cranberries

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice. Stir in the cranberries, and cook until they start to pop (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat, and transfer to a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Orange Marmalade Muffins

I don't remember exactly where I found this recipe. Probably on allrecipes. All I know is that I've had it for years and it's one of our favorite muffin recipes.

2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
4 3/4 cups flour (add 1/4 cup for high altitude)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons orange zest
1 cup orange marmalade

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mix well. Add buttermilk. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add orange zest and marmalade, stirring until just mixed. Pour into muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees (375 for high altitude)until toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Buttermilk Pancakes

I don't like using a pancake mix if I can help it. The pancakes just aren't as good as the ones made fresh from scratch. I found this recipe on allrecipes and it has been a huge hit at our house ever since we first tried it.

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until the second side is golden brown.

For a special treat, we might sprinkle on miniature chocolate chips after we pour the batter onto the griddle. One of our favorite ways to eat these is with fresh sliced bananas, caramel and cool whip.

These taste every bit as good as the pancakes you get at IHOP. However, I do recommend that you use real buttermilk and not a substitution or regular milk. They just aren't as good without buttermilk.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Double Delicious Cookie Bars

Okay we got these bar cookies delivered to our house the week before Christmas and the family actually had a fight over the one that was left. So , I asked the neighbor for the recipe and here is what she sent:

Double Delicious Cookie Bars
1/2 Cup Margarine or butter
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 oz) can Eagle Brand Sweeten Condensed Milk
2 Cups (12 oz) semi -sweet Chocolate chips
1 Cup Peanut butter chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees in a glass pan)
In a 13 X 9 inch baking pan, melt margarine or butter in oven. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over Margarine/butter. Then pour the Condensed Milk evenly over crumbs. Tops with both kinds of chips. Press down firmly and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool, cut into bars!
* can substitute nuts or use butterscotch chips as well *

Easy Chicken Tacos

Having lived in Texas for 18 years and my hubby having served his mission for our church in Texas for 2 years, tacos are a favorite dish at our house. We eat them at least a couple of times a month. They are quick, easy, and muy delicioso. :) I love how juicy and flavorful the chicken turns out. It reminds me of the chicken at Taco del Mar which was one of our favorite fast food places before they closed down here in Idaho Falls. I hope y'all enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Oh, and the leftovers are really great made into nachos. :)

2 cans diced tomatoes with mild green chiles
1 packet taco seasoning
3 lbs. fresh or frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders

Place chicken in the crockpot. Mix together diced tomatoes and taco seasoning. Pour over chicken and cook until the chicken is fall apart tender. Shred chicken and serve in crispy taco shells or warmed flour tortillas with cheese, sour cream, salsa, or whatever your preferred toppings are. It is especially good with black beans.


Bacon Chicken Crescent Ring

Here is a quick little dish that my family really enjoys. We have used it as a main dish or as a snack. It also reheats well so any leftovers we have evaporate quickly.

2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
6 chicken tenders - cooked and shredded or chopped
1-1/2 C. shredded cheese
3/4 C. Mayonnaise
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled - I just use real bacon bits (from Costco)
1 Tbs. Italian salad dressing mix

Grease a large pizza pan or cookie sheet. Unroll the crescent roll dough. Place the dough triangles in a circle around the pan with the wide end overlapping a few inches from the edge of the pan. The points of the triangles will hang over the edge. Cook the chicken - I add some garlic salt to the chicken when I cook it for flavoring. Combine the chicken, cheese, mayo, bacon and Italian dressing mix. Spoon the mixture over the wide ends of the triangle. Fold the points of the triangle over the filling. Bake 375 for 20-25 min. or until golden brown.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Super Easy Chili Cheese Dip

This has to be one of THE easiest recipes ever. Corey's Aunt Linda introduced us to this...and I can't even guarantee I make it exactly the way she does...but boy oh boy is it yummy. My hubby doesn't even like chili yet he devours this. The recipe is easily cut in half, but if we have a crowd over, there's no problem eating it all. :)

2 cans Nalley Walla-Walla Onion Chili
2 cans Nalley chili (meat no beans)
1 (2 lb.) block of velveeta

Cube the velveeta and place in a crock pot with the cans of chili. Cook on low until all the cheese is melted. Stir well before serving.

You could pretty much use any variety of chili. We use half one kind and half of another kind because my hubby doesn't like beans. So really it's all personal preference. :)

Happy New Year!