Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos

Fresh Jalapenos 2-3 inches in size
Softened cream cheese
Raw regular bacon, sliced into thirds (or longer if you want it to wrap around the jalapeno more)

Cut the jalapeno in half length wise. Remove the seeds and white membrane. Leave some seeds if you like things hot. Smear softened cream cheese into each half of jalapeno. Wrap jalapeno in 1/3 bacon slice. Secure by sticking a toothpick through the middle. At this point you can freeze them if you'd like in a ziploc bag.
Bake on a cookie sheet with a rack at 375 for 20-25 minutes. if the bacon does not look done after 20 minutes broil it for a few minutes. Served just out of the over is best. Room temperature still tastes good too.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Meringue Cookies aka "Spooks"

We grew up enjoying this tasty little treat at our Grandmother's house. Every Halloween I'd look forward to eating some of her holiday spooks! She didn't only make meringue spooks, she used it to make little cups for fruit or custards to go into. She made roundish cookies. She made a nest with it one year for Easter. She could also whip up mile high meringue on top of a lemon meringue pie. So the possibilities are limitless.

This batter can be very temperamental, but once you get the hang of it you'll see it's sooooo easy!
My spooks turned out a little on the brown side (over cooked) they still tasted great, so we called them California "tanned" Spooks! This recipe is a little different than my grandmother's. I found it to create a more stable batter, thus easier to use!!

3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 large egg whites
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon table salt

  1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 225 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (you can also use a brown paper bag). Combine sugar and cornstarch in small bowl.
  2. In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment(you don't have to have a stand mixer, it's just faster), beat egg whites , vanilla and salt at high speed until very soft peaks start to form (peaks should slowly lose their shape when whisk is removed), 30-45 seconds. With mixer running at medium speed, slowly add sugar mixture in steady stream down side of mixer bowl (process should take about 30 seconds). Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula. Return mixer to high speed and beat until glossy, stiff peaks have formed, 30 to 45 seconds.
  3. Working quickly, place meringue in pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain tip or large zipper-lock bag with 1/2-inch of corner cut off. Pipe meringues into "S" shapes for spooks or into 1 1/4-inch wide mounds about an inch high on baking sheets.
  4. Bake 1 hour, rotating pans front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking. Turn off oven and allow meringues to cool in oven at least 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature before serving, about 10 minutes.
Meringues may be a little soft immediately after being removed from the oven but will stiffen as they cool. To minimize stickiness on humid or rainy days, allow the meringues to cool in a turned-off oven for an additional hour. Cooled cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I do not know the name for this; we'll call it Yummo Chinese Chicken

My mom gave me this receipe. It is one of her favorites. She talks about it all the time, so we decided to try it. Joshua came home and said that he was not hungry and would not be eating dinner. I made this and he ended up having two helpings. This is a quick and easy 20 minute meal using ingredients that are usually laying in your cupboards anyway.

8 0z. angel hair pasta
2 cups broccoli
1 lb. chicken
1/2 cup Asian Toasted Sesame dressing (Kraft)
2 T. soy sauce
1/4 t. ginger, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper
1/3 cup chopped peanuts
Top individual servings with sesame seeds if desired.

Brown chicken. Add dressing, soy sauce, and spices. Let simmer for a moment. Add broccoli and peanuts just long enough to soften the broccoli. Place on top of cooked noodles. Top individual servings with sesame seeds if desired.

I love mushrooms, so we added those. My kids do not like nuts, so I gave them their food and then added the nuts to ours.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Red Potato Tuscan Chicken

I posted this on the other website and doing it here as well. I love this dish!! It is one of my favorites!

3 garlic cloves
Extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups/plus thinly sliced red potatoes
Cubed boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. herbs de province
4 tsp. cloves sliced garlic
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. salt plus 1 tsp.
Salt and pepper to taste

In large ziplock bag combine potatoes, sliced garlic, about 3 T. olive oil, 2 T. salt, and 1/2 to 1 t. black pepper. Shake to coat and leave to marinate while doing the following. Brown the chicken in olive oil in a skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add vinegar and stir pan to deglaze. Add broth, herbs, and garlic. Simmer 10 minutes. Layer potatoes on top of chicken in a baking casserole dish. Pour liquid into pan. Place covered covered baking dish in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. Uncover. Let brown for 15 more minutes.
Optional Add Ins: mushrooms or onions. Pairs great with Roasted Asparagus as a side dish.

Family-Style Pork and Potato Stew

This is a low fat meal and very tasty. My whole family loves it. Joshua usually makes it and enjoys playing around with the spices..

1 T oil
1 lb. pork tenderloin cut into cubes (any pork will do)
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced onions
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 T chix bouillon
4 ¼ cups water
1 T cider vinegar
3 T flour
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
Salt, pepper (and other seasonings)

Season cubed meat with salt, pepper, pork seasoning, garlic salt, what ever kind of seasoning you want. Sear meat in a hot pan. While searing sprinkle 3 T of flour over the meat, stirring constantly. Do not cook meat all the way or it will dry out. Add all of these ingredients, meat on the bottom, to a crock pot. Cook on low 8 hours, high 4 hours.
This recipe can be made on top of the stove as well and tastes just as good.

Ham and Vegetable Creamed Soup

This is a very easy and very tasty soup. It only takes 20 minutes to make, so is great if you're short on time. It does make quite a bit, but freezes well.

16 oz. bag of frozen vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower mix)
1 cup real butter
½ cup chopped onion
6 cups milk
1 cup of diced ham
1 can of corn
½ cup celery

Cook vegetables in 2 cups of water and set aside. In a separate pan (large enough to make your soup in) over medium heat, melt butter with onion and celery till done. Add the flour and stir till well blended. Add the 6 cups of milk to this along with 4 crushed bouillon cubes. Stir till thick and smooth. Add the vegetables, and their water, to the soup pan. Then add the ham and corn. Salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pork Chops In Gravy

This recipe is from a little book I picked up awhile ago at that cute store by Kristene's called Sugar 'n Spice. The book is called, What's for Supper? by Marcia Chambers. I've liked a lot of the recipes that I've tried from it. This pork chop recipe is one I like to call "dinner SUCCESS" because my kids didn't complain which means that we had a stress free time at the table! So if you're wanting a different way to cook pork, give it a try.

5-8 pork chops
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can french onion soup
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Brown chops. Transfer to a greased 13x9-inch pan. Combine the soups; pour over chops. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Serve with potatoes.

Caramel Apples, Turtle Style

Here are the apples all washed and waiting for Trent to put their sticks in.

The beautiful and not so beautiful finished products!

The recipe:
4-5 apples
1 package (14oz) caramels
1 tablespoon water
1 cup marshmallow creme
macadamia nuts or pecans coarsely chopped
bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate candy bar (about 2oz), broken into small pieces

  1. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper and grease; set aside. (we used tin foil sprayed with pam) Wash and dry apples completely. Remove stems. Insert craft sticks into centers of apples.
  2. Combine caramels, marshmallow creme and water in small saucepan. Simmer over low heat until caramels melt and mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. Immediately dip apples, one at a time, into caramel to cover completely. Scrape excess caramel from bottom of apple onto side of saucepan, letting excess drip back into pan.
  3. Immediately roll apples in nuts to lightly coat, pressing nuts lightly with fingers so they stick to caramel. Place apples, stick side up, on prepared baking sheet. Let stand 20 minutes or until caramel is set.
  4. Place chocolate in small resealable plastic freezer bag; seal bag. Microwave at MEDIUM power 1 minute. Turn bag over; repeat until melted. Knead bag until chocolate is smooth. Cut off very tiny corner of bag; pipe or drizzle chocolate over apples. Let apples stand 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. Store loosely covered in refrigerator up to 3 days.
Note: We didn't care for the chocolate. It was a bit much for our taste buds. Next time we might consider trying a milk chocolate otherwise none at all. We will also use smaller apples.
Live and learn.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Company Chicken

My cupboards were pretty bare and Trent invited our neighbors for supper, so I scoured my cookbooks and found this gem. The ingredient list is minimal, things that are usually lurking in the back of my cupboards. The recipe is from a fellow medical school spouse, Alana DeGooyer. The best part is that it can be made in the oven or crock-pot!

Salt and Pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup water
1 cup cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. stuffing mix, premade (or left over stuffing)
1/4 cup butter
4 slices Swiss cheese (don't limit yourself here, mozzarella is yummy too)

Oven directions: Preheat oven to 350 F. In an 8x8-inch pan place chicken with cheese over each chicken breast. Combine soup with water and spoon over chicken. Spoon stuffing mixture on top of that. Melt and drizzle butter on top. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes.

Crock-pot directions: Turn crock-pot to high. Place chicken breasts in crock-pot with cheese over top. Combine soup with water and spoon over chicken. Stuffing goes on top of that. Melt and drizzle with butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 3-4 hours until chicken is done.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sticky Buns and Fingerling Potatoes

I was craving Mom's cinnamon rolls to gobble down while watching General Conference on the computer. I looked in the Family Cookbook for the recipe and this is what I found just in front of it. A lovely short cut recipe for sticky buns from Grandma Marge. It is hard for me to believe that she has ever used this short cut recipe herself. She assured me she has when I dialed her up about it. So give them a whirl because they were very simple and very sticky and very delicious!

Quick Sticky Buns - pg. 119 in Family Cookbook
1 pkg frozen rolls, 16 count (I only had 12)
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 pkg butterscotch pudding, not instant!
1 stick butter, melted
1 c chopped nuts

Place all ingredients in a buttered bundt pan in order. Cover and place in oven overnight. Uncover and place pan in oven prior to preheating the oven. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.


I saw these fingerling potatoes on my fave blog Orangette a while ago and have been thinking and thinking of them. She doesn't care much for potatoes but she fell in love with these tiny Russian Banana potatoes. I love a potato just about any way you can think to cook a potato. I knew I would love them. And I did! Cesar said they were a winner. Hugo thought they were apple slices and inhaled them. Winner I tell you. Make them, but don't plan on having any for leftovers!

Fingerling Potatoes with Chives and Parsley
Adapted from Gourmet, July 2008

These would be delicious with almost anything: roasted chicken (served hot or cold), eggs any style, salmon (served hot or cold), you name it.

1 ½ lb. fingerling potatoes, such as Russian Banana
1 ½ cups water
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large garlic clove, pressed
½ tsp. salt
A few grinds of black pepper
3 Tbsp. chopped chives
1 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley

Peel the potatoes, and halve them lengthwise.

Combine the potatoes, water, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a nonstick 10-inch skillet.

Place the skillet over medium-high heat, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat slightly, and continue to simmer briskly, shaking the skillet occasionally, until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid, and continue to cook until most of the water has evaporated and the potatoes are glazed, about 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs.

Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, with extra salt for sprinkling.

*I completely copied what she said except for two things.
A. I gave up on peeling the boogers and left the skins on. Didn't change a thing.
B. Forgot the chives at the market. Just went without. Still majorly yummy.

P.S. - We had them with a little trout and a little salmon and a nice big spinach salad with English cucumbers, cranberries, sunflower seeds and fresh mozzarella.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lemon Chicken

I love this lemon chicken! Cesar loves this lemon chicken! Hugo loves this lemon chicken! We all love this lemon chicken recipe and it is sooo simple that you'll love it too! Just so you know, I found this recipe on the back of a package of frozen Tyson chicken breasts.

Best Lemon Chicken
serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 c lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil
2 Tbls finely chopped red pepper (optional) (yeah, I am not a red pepper fan, it was omitted)
1 Tbls Dijon Mustard
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped (I cheated and used minced from a jar)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
chopped parsley

Remove protective ice glaze from frozen chicken breasts. Mix all ingredients, reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade. Pour remaining marinade over single layer of chicken. Refrigerate 20 min. (I have left this to marinade in the fridge overnight, it tasted the same as the 20 minute marinade - yummy!)

Chicken can be grilled or broiled, left whole or chopped in half. (I have only broiled this recipe out of quick convenience for moi.) Broil 5 minutes. Baste chicken; cook 3 minutes or until golden. Turn chicken; baste. Cook 6-8 minutes, or until juices run clear and temperature reaches 170 degrees.

I have served this with my Mother-in-laws carrot and/or spinach rice. Great way to get extra veggies sneaked into the kids tummies!

Carrot Rice

1 c rice
2-3 or 4 carrots, you choose, peeled and finely chopped, we like a lot of carrots!
olive oil to coat bottom of pan, I like to use a pasta pot so nothing bubbles over
1 Tbls minced garlic, again, I use the jar stuff, my Portuguese MIL does so I do too!
1 can chicken broth, plus a quarter can of water
salt and pepper to taste

With pot on medium heat coat bottom of pan with olive oil just to cover. Once heated through add garlic, allow to become golden stirring all the while. Add carrots, rice, chicken broth, salt & pepper and water. Bring to soft boil, cover with lid and simmer on low till done. 20 minutes? I kinda ignore it while I make something else. Taste rice, not soft? add a little more water and simmer. Once done, remove from heat to rest 5-10 minutes covered. Stir and pour into serving dish.

*The carrots can be substituted for spinach, a lot of spinach because it cooks down quickly, any greens really, mushrooms or diced tomatoes. Easy and addictive side dish.