Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Turkey and Stuffing

Happy Thanksgiving again! Can you all hardly wait for those delicious traditions to happen again? I love Thanksgiving. The family, the food, the shopping in the middle of the's just a fun holiday.
So, for those who don't have their final plans for the turkey and stuffing here is your last stop. This is delicious (tried and true) and turns out beautifully. 

 I hope everyone enjoys their holiday this weekend. And good luck with whatever part of the feast you are in charge of!!!

*Side note: For those who are appalled by cooking the stuffing OUTSIDE the turkey -- be warned. (Dad!) You will be directed to do so. If you cook the turkey stuffed you will almost for sure overcook your turkey or under-cook your stuffing. If stuffing is undercooked it can be a fabulous place for food poisoning. If you overcook your turkey it gets dry. Lose-lose. So here is the trick. Cook your stuffing outside of your turkey (*GASP*) and cook your turkey until it is perfectly done. Have your stuffing ready so that the second the turkey comes out, you can stuff the turkey. In the 15-20 minutes that the turkey needs to sit the stuffing will absorb the juices from the inside of the turkey that would otherwise be wasted during carving. This will give it that yummy turkey flavor. It works. We tried it. DO IT! (And don't judge me for this tip, just sayin')

1 10-14 lb. Turkey (completely thawed)
1 cube (1/2 cup) butter
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. rosemary leaves
1 tsp. thyme leaves
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. ground sage
2 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 cups prepared stuffing

  • Melt the butter
  • Add  salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, garlic and sage to the melted butter. Stir together well.
  • Using your hand and/or a paring knife, separate the skin of the turkey from the body of the turkey, leaving the skin intact.
  • Spread the butter mixture between the skin of the turkey and the body of the turkey, covering thoroughly.
  • Brush the skin of the turkey with olive oil.
  • Roast the turkey in a shallow roasting pan at 325° until the deep thigh meat reaches 180°
  • Remove from oven, stuff immediately with prepared stuffing.
  • Allow to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.


Cranberry Relish

 Happy Thanksgiving! I know this is a little last minute but this relish is so delicious that it just had to be shared. Cranberry sauce always gets thrown away (at least in my experience) but this stuff is far from trash worthy! So, enjoy your feast and try this out this year. You won't be sorry.

1 Cup whole cranberries
peel of 2 clementine oranges (or one large orange)
1/3 C water
1/4 C sugar

Blend all ingredients. Easy Peasy!
Serve with your turkey and all the fixings.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Panzanella With Chicken, Crisp Chicken Skin and Capers

Mr Chef loves to read articles. He found this gem and we tried it out. We didn't change anything so I can't claim it as my own. HERE is the original article.

It's absolutely delicious and is definitely on our "repeat" list. Try it out and let me know what you think!!!


  • 1 1/4 pounds very ripe tomatoes; a mix of varieties and colors is nice
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt, more to taste
  • 6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups leftover or rotisserie chicken including some skin (about 1/2 chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and patted dry
  • 1 6-inch length of ciabatta or baguette (about 4 ounces), preferably stale, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • Chopped fresh basil, for serving


  1. Cut tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Using a large chef’s knife, mince 1 of the smashed garlic cloves. Add a pinch of salt and using the flat side of your knife, smash into a fine paste. Add garlic paste to the tomatoes along with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss to coat and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 3 tablespoons olive oil until the mixture is thickened. Remove the skin from the chicken, shred the meat and combine with the vinaigrette. Roughly chop the chicken skin and set aside.
  3. In a 10-inch skillet over high heat, add 1 teaspoon olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add the chicken skin and capers. Cook while stirring occasionally until the skin is crisp and the capers are beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
  4. In the same pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, bread cubes, the remaining smashed garlic clove, 1 sprig of fresh thyme or 1 sprig of fresh oregano and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook while stirring occasionally until toasted and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely. When cool, discard the garlic and thyme and add bread cubes to the tomato mixture. Add the leaves of the remaining uncooked thyme or oregano, the shredded chicken and toss to combine. Transfer to a platter or individual plates and serve garnished with the capers, chicken skin, chopped basil, and freshly ground black pepper.
4 servings

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Roasted butternut squash curried soup


Our garden produced an abundance of DELICIOUS butternut squash this year so i've been experimenting, for the first time, with different ways of cooking them. They are so yummy and are quickly becoming my favorite vegetable.
So, the whole family came down for Sunday dinner this past week and guess who was featured?  Good old Butternut Squash herself! Shocking, i know! ;)

We served this soup in bread bowls and it was so yummy. I would highly recommend that.

Let get right to it, shall we?
Start by roasting your squash, onion, garlic and ginger. We left our squash in the peel, purely out of laziness, and then scooped it out when it was soft. It was really easy that way. Cut the squash into peiices, at least halves, maybe thirds. Cut the onion into quarters and sprinkle the others all over. We roasted for 2 hours. This one is up to you, however. When your squash smells divine and is soft, it's done.
While that is roasting pat your stew beef dry and shake it in flour, garlic, kosher salt and pepper. Brown the meat in a little oil. You don't want your meat all the way cooked, just browned, to add flavor. Make sure your oil is nice and hot before throwing these babies on the pan. Remove the meat from your pan and deglaze the pan with your stock. Scrape it pretty well so you get all the meat that stuck to the pan. (This is usually the best part of the meat.) Place meat and your stock in the crockpot and let them cook while your squash cooks. This will get your broth all delicious and stuff.   When your squash is done puree it in a blender along with the onion and some of the broth. This needs to be done in batches but when it's all smooth it's going to give your soup such a perfect texture, so make sure all the chunks are gone! Add pureed squash/onion/broth to crockpot and add all the remaining ingredients. Let it cook for 2-4 hours on low and serve HOT! This is delicious topped with toasted coconut!
MMM, I bet you know what's for dinner tonight, eh?!

Enjoy, i'd love to hear what you think!


2 butternut Squash
2 sweet yellow onions
2 Tbsp garlic
1 Tbsp ginger

stew beef -
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

6 C beef broth

1 can coconut milk
1/2 C buttermilk
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp white pepper
2 curry powder (yellow)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Roasted coconut

Cut squash into halves, thirds or quarters - depending on the size of your squash. Place open faced on cookie sheet. Cut onion into quarters and spread on cookie sheet around squash. Sprinkle squash and onion with ginger and garlic. Roast the butternut squash, onions, garlic and ginger in a 450 degree oven for 2 hours. 
Meanwhile, pat beef dry. Combine flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in large Ziploc bag. Coat beef with flour mixture, brown meat in a HOT pan. Remove meat and use beef broth to deglaze the pan the meat was browned in. Add the meat and broth to Crockpot and allow to cook on low until squash is done.

When squash is done, scoop squash out of peel and, in batches, puree squash and onions with some of the broth until creamy and smooth. add all back to Crockpot.  Add coconut milk, buttermilk, salt, white pepper, curry powder (yellow), cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar to crock pot and stir everyhting until well mixed. Cook on low 2-4 hours or until ready to serve.

Serve hot topped with roasted coconut.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lemon pudding

Ok everyone, this post is a little bit of a cheat. My husband announced that his favorite kind of pie is Sour Cream Raspberry. Who knew? after 5 yearrs I thought that was one thing I had down -- apple or cherry pie were the go-to-make every thing better-pies. Apparently not so much. He said he's never said anything because he's never seen them anywhere but Frontier Pies and that's out of business so he's settled for others.
Well, that got a bug going and I was determined to recreate his pie.  I even picked fresh raspberries.

BUT...This post isn't that pie :) The pie is coming soon. I made it. It was good but not THE pie. So, it's coming soon. However, after making the pie I had leftover lemon pudding, so I made us a fun little treat.
There is nothing fancy about this dessert. It probably shouldn't be blog-worthy. However, it's yummy, it took 5 minutes, it looks awesome and it was fun to have a "fancy" little treat on a friday night. So, next time you want to impress but want to keep it as simple as physically possible, here is your go-to.

1 package instant lemon pudding
2 cups COLD milk
raspberries, or berry of choice
mint leaves, optional

Pour milk into bowl, add pudding and whisk for 2 minutes. Let it sit for 5 minutes. It will be soft set. Yes, these are the directions on the pudding box. Pour into small individual cups, top with fruit and a mint sprig. chill until you are ready to dive in.


Come again!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Home grown-home canned, Dill pickles

We are growing cucumbers in our garden this year and when we got to the point that our entire kitchen was being taken over we decided that it was time to do something other than eat them for every meal. We just couldn't keep up. Do you grow cucmbers? I had no idea, they grow like zucchini and they get BIG F.A.S.T!!!!

Anyway, I'm not a big canner. I love to do my own jam but other than that, the few extra bucks in the store is so worth it to me.

However, when You have 900 cucumbers sitting on the counter (because you can't fit anymore in the fridge), you try your hand at some things :)

I am here to tell you today. I made my own pickles. 7 big ol' jars of them and they are DELICIOUS! I found the recipe online so here is the original link.

7 wide-mouth quart jars, lids & rings ( I did some wide mouth and some some not and trust me on this one, wide mouth is easier!)
fresh dill, heads & several inches of stems shaken free of bugs (or dried, just convert correctly!)
cucumber, washed, scrubbed
1 garlic clove (or more)


8 1/2 cups water
2 1/4 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup pickling salt (Table salt works as a substitute for pickling salt if you don't have any)
Wash 7 quart jars in hot, soapy water (or dishwasher), rinse and fill with hot water; set aside.
Fill canning kettle half-full with hottest tap water; set on burner over high heat.
In a medium saucepan, fit lids and rings together, cover with water, bring to a simmer.
In a large saucepan, bring water, vinegar and salt to boil; turn off the heat; set aside.
If using whole cucumbers, wash well. If using spears, cut cucumbers into spears.
Fill jars: place a layer of dill at the bottom of each jar, along with one garlic clove (if used), then TIGHTLY load the cukes into the jar to the NECK of the jar (depending on size you may get two nice layers with a few small cukes in the top--)---squeeze cukes into the jar tightly--uniform size helps; add a few TINY spriglets of dill at the top, too, and another garlic clove if desired.
Once jars are loaded, pour in the brine leaving half-inch head space in each jar.
Add lid and ring to each jar, tightening evenly.
Place jars into canner with water JUST to the necks of the jars.
Bring water ALMOST to a boil (about 15 minutes--depending on how fast it heats up).
Remove jars, set on a dish towel on the kitchen counter, cover with another dish towel & let cool.
Check for seal (indented lid), label jars or lids, store in cool dark cellar or cupboard.

NOTES: When washing/scrubbing cucumbers, sort them into piles by size. This really helps make your jars look nicer, if you have uniform sizes. And makes for easier packing, too.
**Because of my slight aversion to canning I don't actually own a canning kettle. I filled a stock pot half full instead and brought that to a boil. Follow directions exactly as they say, just as if you did have a canner, it works, promise!

These were so yummy! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Restaurant Review: Emmet and Ethel's

Welcome to Emmett’s & Ethel’s

Emmett's and Ethel's
90 E Main Street, Lehi, UT 84043
Family friendly, VERY casual

For those that aren't sure how this works, look HERE 

This place is a burger and Ice-cream joint. It's about the only mom-and-pop shop around and when we discovered it we were so excited. After trying it twice here is our opinion....
We found Emmett's and Ethel's shortly after moving to Lehi, UT and decided to try it for dinner one night. As we left we looked at each other and decided we were glad we had tried it but we probably didn't need to go back. The food was about the same as you would get at any normal fast-food joint but way more expensive. I will say though, Mr. Chef likes his fries and is quite picky with them. If they aren't great, they aren't worth it. These were NOT worth it. None of us even finished our meals. This first visit, however, we were impressed with the ice cream. They have specialty sundaes, shakes, malts etc. We shared a sundae (a black and tan to be exact) and it was really yummy. So, we decided that if we ever came back we would be back for dessert but that's it.

Fast forward and year or two...My little girl has been earning prizes with some charts she is working on. Well when she earned her first prize she asked if we could go get ice-cream to celebrate her accomplishment. We thought Emmett's and Ethel's could be fun. So, Labor Day afternoon we went to make a big deal of our little 3-year old.

As we walked in we should have taken into account all the red flags and walked right back out but we gave them the benefit of the doubt and went ahead and ordered. All the ice cream bins (?) were either almost gone, had a lid half way on them or were missing. It looked like they were closing or cleaning. I asked if they were doing either and the high-school kid at the counter looked super confused and said, no -- all of our ice cream is available, as he grabbed one of the lids off and threw it onto the counter behind him.
So my 3 yr. old really wanted chocolate ice cream, they were out. What? What ice cream parlor runs out of chocolate by 2:00PM? Well, she ended up choosing M&M and seemed pleased with what was coming so we didn't worry. We all ordered and sat down. As we walked to our table, however, our feet stuck to the floor the whole way there. The table was semi sticky too. GROSS!!!

When our order came the 2 sundaes ordered came several minutes before the kids ice cream cone. Lame. When hers finally came, there was only 1 M&M in the whole thing, it was at the very bottom and she never even saw it -- and it was FREEZER BURNED!!! Like, BADLY FREEZER BURNED. She didn't even come close to finishing it because it was straight vanilla ice cream with ice all over it.

We vowed then and there to NEVER RETURN.

On our way out Mr. Chef took our one year old to wash up in the bathroom and came out completely disgusted. He said he basically had to peel his feet off the floors, there was black stuff smeared all over the walls, it stunk and there were no paper towels. That was the final straw.

So - to sum it up. After spending ***$15**** on ice cream, (ridiculous!!!!!!!!) we had one of the worst experiences we have ever had at any restaurant.

Don't waste your time. It's over priced, gross and dirty. 

Parmesan Rock Fish

We love fish around our house. Even our girls, ages 1 and 3, gobble it right up and usually go for seconds. This recipe is so easy and fast, it's a great dinner on those nights that you want a yummy meal around the table but don't have much time.

2 Rock Fish Fillets
1-2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
Kosher salt to taste
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Pat fish dry and sprinkle kosher salt to taste. Generously sprinkle fish but it is overwhelming if you get too much. Use your judgement and remember play it safe, you can always add more after it's cooked. Set aside.
In an oven safe dish melt butter in oven. Once melted, place fish in dish, (did you hear that rhyme? ha ha) and cover with parmesan cheese. Make sure that fish does not overlap.
Bake 20-25 minutes.

Serve immediately.

This has already been repeated twice in the past 2 weeks at our house, hope you love it as much!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Restaurant Review: Bucket-o-Crawfish

Bucket-o-Crawfish West 3500 South Suite #104
West Valley City, Utah 84119
(801) 419-0900
5 star!!!
super casual, great for families, average noise

At first I was super hesitant with this dinner. I would consider myself a pretty adventurous eater and I am usually willing to try most anything but when we arrived I was a little hesitant. Our waiter explained everything to us and brought out a small sample - bonus points in my book, I hate ordering things that i'm not sold on. The crawfish (new to me) still has eyes, legs etc. and comes in a plastic bag, sauce and all, ready for you to dig in. So -- I tried the sample and immediately put my reservations behind me. It was delish! Here is a quick run-down of how it all works.

Step one: order your meat; You can choose from crawfish, shrimp, clam, muscle, snow crab and dungeness crab. Obviously, the fancier you go, the pricier it gets. 
Step two: order your sauce; Cajun, Garlic butter, lemon pepper and crazy mix of all of them (my favorite)
Step three: like it hot? pick your spice!
finally ORDER THE SWEET POTATO FRIES. Just trust me, okay?

and now for the fun part - all the tables are covered in plastic tablecloths. When your order is up they bring you a bib and DUMP YOUR FOOD RIGHT ON THE TABLE! What?! Does that go against everything you have ever learned at a restaurant? Yeah, me too. But, it was so. much. fun! We absolutely loved it! We tried a variety of crawfish and shrimp with several different sauces and we loved all of it. I'm not kidding on this, no plates, no silverware, LOADS of napkins (well, wet wipes) and a ton of fun!

Go try this if you are in the area. It is one we still talk about and want to take several of our friends for a little date night adventure!

Restaurant Review: Milagros

So we all love the tex-mex that is everywhere- Cafe Rio, Barbacoa, Chipotle - but in my opinion, true, legit, TASTY Mexican food is harder to come by.

*Don't worry i'm very aware that I might stand alone on this opinion, and that it probably goes back to my aversion of all things melted cheese...*

Well, Mexican Food taste buds prepare to GET. BLOWN. AWAY!!!!!!!!!!

Milagros in Orem, Utah is by far the BEST legit Mexican place, IN UTAH, ever!!! Although there are several street taco stands that come in as close second. I know I know, GASP! they are good, ok, don't judge :)'s the info:
For those that aren't sure how this works, look HERE

970 W 800 N
Orem, UT 84057
Monday  -  Saturday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Family Friendly, average noise, casual but not out of place if you are dressed up. 

This restaurant prides themselves in serving LOCALLY FRESH food. That was one of my favorite parts of our experience. If they could get it fresh and local, they did. The food was phenomenal, the service was fast and really friendly, (even when my three year old threw her root beer on the floor) and the atmosphere was comfortable and classy. We were impressed that even though it was full the night we were there, the noise level was very acceptable and the whole ambiance was fun and comfortable.

Both Mr. Chef and I were super impressed and would highly recommend it.

Also, we both loved our food, the kids menu was yummy too and from the looks of other people's tables, can't go wrong on the menu. One recommendation though - when you go, try the grilled honey-injected onion ball. It was so delicious!

Go, try it out and let me know what you think!

Just as a side note, in April 2013, City Weekly voted Milagros as "Best Utah Mexican Food" 

Here is another review to help convince you.

Best Miraculous Mexican Cuisine

“Milagros, meaning “miracles” in Spanish, is a heavenly take on Mexican fare. This Orem restaurant was started by Dave Tuomisto, the restaurateur who also founded the popular Bajio chain. His newest dining destination is a restaurant that offers a sometimes-sweeter take on traditional Mexican cuisine, such as the seafood tacos that come with pineapple salsa and roasted-red-pepper chutney, or the popular grilled onion ball that’s injected with honey and spices while in the oven. You also can’t go wrong with Barry’s Pollo Fundido-a chicken breast wrapped lovingly in a fried tortilla and smothered with sour cream, cream cheese, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses along with a smattering of sumptuous chilies and spices.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pesto Paninis

I love summer cooking; Barbeques, grills, fruit, fruit and more fruit! So last night I decided grilled sandwiches were in order. I have issues with melted cheese, serious issues. If it's too thick and I take a bite a bathroom better be close by, and regardless of how hungry I am, I'm done eating for the rest of the night. My husband thinks I'm crazy. What can I say, it's a texture thing.

So, normally paninis aren't really my thing. That whole melted cheese gets in the way. However, last night these were delicious. AND the best part about sandwiches is everyone can make theirs just how they want. For example, my sandwich has one thin layer of cheese but Mr. Chef can't get enough of that ooey goodness. To each their own.

Remember : Make yours with whatever you want! You could have paninis every day for a month and never have the same sandwich twice :)

So - I'm not giving you a recipe. These should be made to order, just how you want.
Go choose a delicious meat from your local deli, get some tasty cheese (experiment a little with this, we got a cheddar with red pepper in it) and slather on the pesto!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Restaurant Reviews: Introduction

OK -- Mr. Chef and I not only love to try new recipes but one of our favorite hobbies is trying new restaurants. We love finding a new gem where we can try new things and have a fun night out. For example -- a few weeks ago we were going to a local tried and true pizza place and as we drove our 3 year old started crying, hard, and screaming, "I don't want pizza! I want sushi!"
uh oh! So -- to her future dates, we are really sorry. She is officially ruined. 

Anyway, new, different, healthy (most of the time) food? Bring it on!

Here is the plan. I try and post a new recipe once a week and now in addition to that I will be reviewing a different restaurant weekly.
I will post all the normal details of the restaurant as well as using a 5-star rating system and a 4 $$ symbol system as follows:

(per person/includes entree, drink, tax and tip)
$ - Cheapo, under $10/person
$$ - Moderate, $11-$30/person
$$$ - Spendy, $31-$60/person
$$$$ - Splurge, $61+/person 

Thoughts? Isn't that exciting?! I hate going to a new restaurant and leaving disappointed. Hopefully this will help a little. There is one catch though. We live in Utah and not all of these places will be chains. So, to our Utah readers - maybe this one is for you. Hopefully there will be something for everyone with these reviews but we'll see.

Review #1 (isn't this so exciting!?)
***update: I've moved the Bucket-o-Crawfish review to it's own post for simplicity of finding it.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Spinach Pesto

 Everyone needs a good quick pesto sauce recipe! Trust me on this one, it's yummy. 
There is a secret ingredient that you might never guess. Go ahead, read on and tell me if you guessed it! Dare ya ;)
I'm keeping this short and sweet today, enjoy!!!

As you can see I buy my spinach in bulk. Costco has yummy spinach, and LOTS OF IT, for cheap. I'll get that and make 4-5 batches at once. This is my favorite go-to sauce, for loads of options. It's especially good on those days spent at the pool, where we run home just in time to get dinner on the table as Mr. Chef walks in. It's like I had been slaving for hours over a fresh hot cooked meal :)

 To start, let's make one thing VERY clear...this is easy peasy.  
 Blend all the above ingredients, minus olive oil, together in your blender or food processor until creamy. Slowly add oil, while blending. 
Pour into ice cube trays or tupperware for storage. 

For some reason pesto will discolor after you freeze it. I don't honestly know why. To avoid it, simply pour a very thin layer of oil on top of the pesto in the container. 

This freezes really well or goes great on sandwiches, pizza, wraps, pasta...the options are endless! Maybe i'll do a pesto week next week and give lots of ideas for how to use your pesto? Anyone interested?

5 C loosely packed, fresh spinach
1/4 C Lemon juice
1-2 tsp grapefruit zest (any citrus will do but the grapefruit adds a really fun zing)
1/2 C pine nuts, toasted
1/3 C Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste (I usually add about a full tsp of salt and 1/4-1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper)

Toast pine nuts in oven or toaster oven. spread them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toast at 250 degrees for 5-8 minutes, just long enough to enhance the flavor. When you open the oven door, you should be able to smell them. 
Place spinach (no need to de-stem but make sure it's washed well), lemon juice, pine nuts and grapefruit zest into blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. While still blending slowly add oil until well mixed. I usually prefer Olive Oil, however, this past time I made this I ran out of Olive Oil so I substituted Canola Oil. Whatever vegetable oil you have should work just fine. My personal preference is Olive. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use with your favorite recipe.

Optional use: Pour prepared pesto into ice cube trays or tupperware. Cover with a very thin layer of oil to preserve the bright green color while frozen. Freeze immediately.

PS - Did you guess the secret ingredient? Who would have thought, grapefruit pesto!?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Candy go-carts

This post is a little different. We are still making stuff in the kitchen, well actually the park, but it's still food. So, today is for the kiddos!

So -- today's post is a quick and fun idea when you are looking for a different day with the kids, or adults, or whoever. (we all got in on this action, maybe the adults more than the kids in some instances)

My little girl just turned three and was sure that ONLY a Fix it Felix party would do. Not Wreck it Ralph or Sugar Rush, Fix it Felix, complete with the building cake from the movie. Somehow I pulled it off and it was a blast and she was in heaven. But one of the most fun parts of the whole thing was making our own go carts. If you have a winco around you go hit them up for their bulk candy and go crazy!!!

Here is the birthday girls cart:

 We had a HUGE array of candies, cookies and crackers to use. Make sure that you get lots of round candies for different wheels and steering wheels. We also found that toothpicks were extremely handy!

And here are some other masterpieces...Aren't they beautiful!?


There are so many fun things you can do with this! Go grab candy of your choice, a few toothpicks, some awesome icing and go go-cart crazy!!!

Recipe for Royal Icing:
(recipe from Food Network)

3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)


In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Add confectioners' sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired. For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using storage bag, clip corner. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Balsamic Pasta

I've been so in the mood for fresh and fast since summer hit. This week especially! This dish hit the spot the other day and it was fast, easy and healthy.

So, without further delay - enjoy! Go work in the yard, go running, spend the day at the pool and then throw dinner on and feel great!

Cook about 1/3 cup dry pasta according to package directions. Sautee peppers and onion and steam broccoli. Combine pasta and veggies in bowl, sprinkle with feta cheese, salt and pepper and toss in a few shakes of balsamic vinegar. Serve with fresh fruit. That's it! Easy right?! And it's equally as delicious. Trust me!

1/3 C pasta
1/2 Red Pepper, chopped
2 Green Onions, diced
1 C fresh Broccoli, roughly chopped
Feta cheese, to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Happy summer!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Vegetable Carbonara

Today's to-do list included about 7x what I was actually able to get done. So -- when Mr. Chef called to say he was on his way home, I was elated as usual but also realized what time it was and that I hadn't even THOUGHT about dinner. I usually try and time it so that I'm putting it on the table as he walks in. Was it going to happen? Mmm, maybe not today. 

Sometimes you just need a quick throw together meal that is healthy, in budget and fast. This, my friends, is it! This saved me tonight, was delicious and fit the bill for fast.

Vegetable Carbonara

2-3 strips of bacon, diced and cooked (add less or more here, to your liking)
1 1/2 C fresh Broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
1 C chopped carrots
1 C mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 C dry pasta, any shape
3/4 C freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
2 eggs
freshly ground pepper

Cook pasta according to package. DO NOT LET THIS COOL!!! Carbonara is a pasta that needs to be finished immediately following draining the pasta. So, if you would prefer to prep everything else before the pasta so you are ready, great! Do what works for you but just be prepared that the pasta can not sit and wait for any amount of time. The egg won't cook if it does. 

Cook bacon, on low heat to enrich the flavor. Set aside -- LEAVE THE GREASE WITH THE BACON! (Which goes against every natural thing in me!)

Chop and saute peppers and mushrooms, add to bacon. Steam broccoli and carrots until tender, add to other ingredients. Grate Parmesan and add to these ingredients as well.
beat eggs lightly in small bowl. Drain pasta and quickly combine everything, including the egg. Stir constantly until egg is cooked (you can't really see that it's cooked, you can just see that it's not runny anymore), cheese is melted and pasta is thoroughly mixed. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, Bon Apetite !

*This was a huge success with everyone around this house including the 3 year old and 10 month old! Hopefully it will be with yours too :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Veggie Stir Fry

I am a carnivore. I love meat and would eat it for every meal every day. Lately however, meat hasn't really sounded good, like at all. Maybe it's because i'm trying to be healthier, maybe it's because healthy foods sound so refreshing in the summertime, maybe it's because I love veggies...whatever the reason - All i've wanted lately is veggies and barbequed food. So, the other night I was needing dinner in a hurry and had no idea what I was going to make. I had loads of veggies in my fridge so I threw them all together with some spices and had the most delicious stir fry ever. The best part, besides cooking the rice, dinner took like ten minutes! Keep reading for a fast yummy throw-together kindof dinner!

2 C cooked rice, I prefer brown but choose your favorite.
1 White onion, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 C mushrooms, chopped
2 C fresh broccolli, chopped
1 red Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 C Soy sauce
1/8 C Worstershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice according to package directions. 
Roughly chop onion. Sautee onion and garlic in a dash of olive oil for a few minutes until pungent. Add mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, soy sauce, worstershire sauce and spices. Sautee 3-5 minutes until veggies and spices are mixed well. Cover for 3 minutes to steam veggies. Uncover and mix well.
Add rice to veggies, mix well and enjoy!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

3 ingredient PB cookie

So, we must eat cookies. It's basically one of the 10 Commandments. Life without cookies is dull and boring. That's not doctrine, so don't quote me, but it's still true.

My cute neighbor called this afternoon to see if I wanted to pack the girls and head to the park for a picnic, HELLO SUMMERTIME! I of course said yes and started packing up. I had about 30 minutes before we were meeting and decided that any real picnic needed warm cookies. So, I had remembered seeing these online somewhere before and thought I would give it a try.
Peanut butter cookies will never be my first choice. They are usually hard and crunchy and I don't love them. These babies, however, will be repeated again, and again.
so - 15 minutes flat -- I give you, soft, delicious Peanut Butter Cookies, that are worth it!

1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup brown Sugar
1 Egg

Combine all ingredients and form into small balls. Flatten each cookie with a fork to get that must-have peanut butter cookie look. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.

I feel like i'm cheating because they are so easy. Added bonus -- no flour, no white sugar and no butter! Hello diet food! ok, I won't go that far but it is nice having something sweet without all the butter, flour and sugar.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

No Knead Artisan Bread

You know those meals where a delicious warm loaf of bread would just finish it off. Dang those stores for making bread in the morning (or night before) and not RIGHT at dinner time! We don't have time to slave over the stove making bread like our great grandmas! Right?! We've got soccer and dance and homework and dinner and work and facebook and instagram and twitter and kids and dogs and shopping and....seriously though -- not everyday is a "let's make artisan bread" kindof day, right? Well good news! This artisan bread can be made the day before (about 5 minutes to throw it together) and then baked 30 minutes before dinner and you will look like supermom, or dad.

I recently participated in BYU Women's Conference with a sharing station on Recipes. THIS bread graced my table. It was so much fun and I met so many incredible women. For those of you who may not be familiar with Women's Conference it is a two day event at Brigham Young University where women from all over the world gather and listen to speakers, on all subjects, do service, listen to inspiring music (Friday nights concert was a blast!) and just take a few days to let go of reality and allow themselves to be uplifted. It is associated with my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and it is spiritual but anyone and everyone are invited. I participated in the sharing station portion. There are booths on loads of different subjects where those who are in charge of the booth do all the work for you and you get to come, get ideas, and go implement them into your lives. All the handouts will be available to anyone and everyone in a few weeks here. Go check it out. It's amazing! This event is so much fun and if you have never been, schedule it now for next year. It is held at BYU in Provo UT and is just for women. Let me know if you want to learn more.
Here I am with my cute Mom in our booth

And here is the booth in all it's glory! If you look closely you can see the bread on the right. MMM!!!

So, onto the recipe. This is the fastest bread you will ever make BUT IT HAS TO RISE FOR 8-24 HOURS (the longer the better is my guess but mine was a ten-hour loaf and it was delicious!) so plan for the rising. Otherwise, 10 minutes hands on - if that!

3 C all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. instant or rapid rise yeast
3 C cool tap water

Before anything else, remember that this recipe is extremely forgiving! If it rises an hour short, it'll be delicious, an hour too long, it'll be delicious. Don't stress and have fun with this recipe.
Combine all ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon(or anything else that you love, I prefer the wooden spoon) until smooth. Don't over-stir but make sure it's all blended. Let rise in a large mixing bowl for 10-24 hours (easiest if you make the night before, just before bed, and it'll be ready for dinner the next day).
Preheat your oven to 450F. Once the oven is preheated, put an empty dutch-oven (min. 3 quarts, preferably 5-6 quarts) with the lid inside the oven for 30 minutes. The pan you cook the bread in needs to be hot to make the crust. Also, the lid needs to fit tightly to create a steam oven inside the pan.
*note: If you don't have a dutch oven or other heavy pan -- here is a list of pans from "Simply So Good" that will also work:
Old camping dutch oven
A crockpot insert.  If the knob on the lid is plastic, it must be removed or it will melt)

Glass Pyrex dish with a lid
A heat proof bowl with aluminum foil to cover
Stainless steel pot with lid
Clay bakers with lids or foil
Pampered Chef clay bakers
Pizza stone with a stainless steel bowl to cover the dough

While your pan is pre-heating flour a work surface with a TON of flour. This dough is sticky and we want to make it pretty and smooth without sticking to everything within a 5 foot radius. So, flour your counter, a bread board, whatever - and flour your hands. Dump the dough onto the floured surface (scrape the bowl) and form into a ball. Don't knead it, air bubbles are good. Form the dough until it is smooth then transfer, CAREFULLY, into the hot pan - DO NOT OIL THE PAN! The oven is way too hot for that and there will be smoke alarms going off everywhere if you do! Place the lid on tightly and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove lid and bake an additional 7-15 minutes until perfectly browned.

Cool if you must, I usually must not because i'm obsessed with warm bread but either way, enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Whole Wheat Bread

Today was one of those wonderful yet insane days. When it was over I sat down and almost couldn't get back up. Everything I did was wonderful and fun and I wanted to do it everyday (like the park with a friend and the kids...twice) but physically I kind of collapsed. One of my many activities was teaching one of my oldest and favorite friends how to make bread.

When people find out that I make all of our bread they get this look in their eye that could be admiration but is probably more scepticism about my sanity. I'm here to assure you that I am completely sane. When we were finishing the bread today my friend actually said, "that's it?" see -- Making bread is NOT as intimidating as it sounds and it's actually cheaper. Also, your house will smell A.MA.ZING. I'm just sayin' ;)

So onto the goods -- Plan for a good few hours to let this rise but other than that the hands on time is 20 minutes.

If you can grind your own wheat, that is the best, it's fresher and healthier but I know not everyone has that option. If you are in the market for a wheat grinder here is the one I have and love.

If you aren't sure if your yeast is good then make sure you let it foam, otherwise throw everything in your bosch (or other mixer) with your dough hook on, turn it on high and knead for 10 minutes.

While that is mixing oil 6 loaf pans.

when the dough is done kneading it's ready to be formed into loaves. Your dough should be easy to handle, not sticky. To divide my dough I make one big rectangle and slice it with my bread knife into even pieces and then form each of those pieces into a loaf by kneading a few times with your hands. If there is an obvious crease in the bottom pinch it together to seal it. Place each loaf into a pan, turn once so that both sides are greased and let rise for 2-3 hours.

Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes. You will know they are done when they are brown and sound hollow when you tap the top.

Immediately after taking them out of the oven rub a stick of butter over the top and cool, on a wire rack. If you prefer your bread SUPER moist immediately place in non-seal bags, otherwise leave to cool for awhile and then bag and freeze.

{Recipe} From my amazing sister-in-law, Julene Weaver

5 cups warm water
1 rounded Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons yeast
9.5 cups whole wheat kernals (13.5 cups flour if you are not grinding your own)
1000-2000 mg vitamin C (ascorbic acid) -- I use 1500mg
2 to 2 1/2 Tablespoons salt
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup honey

Mix water, sugar, and yeast together in your mixing bowl to activate
yeast.  Be sure the water is very warm, but not HOT.  You know the
yeast mixture is ready when the top is totally covered in foam.

Measure wheat before it is ground (it will yield quite a bit more
flour than 9.5 cups, approximately 15 1/2 cups).  Grind whole wheat and
vitamin C pills together.

Once the yeast mixture is ready, add all the other ingredients (flour,
oil, honey, and salt) to it.  Knead 10 minutes with mixer or 20
minutes by hand.

Immediately form dough into 6 loaves and put into loaf pans.  Let
rise until they reach the desired loaf size (this recipe only needs
to rise once) and then bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes.  You can tell
the bread is done by its color and also by tapping the bread with a
fingernail--if it sounds hollow it is done.

Remove bread from pans immediately and put in bread sacks while still
warm to retain moisture.  Freeze extra loaves immediately. (Ilet mine cool a while before putting them in sacks, just my preference. Experiment and see what you like better)

The drier and older the wheat the more you need Vitamin C you need.
If your bread is turning out dry, try using a bit more Vitamin C.  You
can grind up Vitamin C pills (break them in half before putting them
in your grinder) or you can just add ascorbic acid crystals to your
flour.  You can also try adding dough enhancer or wheat gluten if your
bread is too dry, but you shouldn't need to.

Use the same graduated one-cup measurer to measure your oil and honey.
Measure the oil first and then the honey will slide right out.

You can use whatever type cooking oil you want.

If you don't have enough honey you can use apple juice concentrate or
molasses as substitutes.

Don't put bread into bags with a perfect seal (like a ziplock) or the
bag will shrink up and crush the bread as it cools -unless it's cool when you put it in.

You can use white or red wheat in this recipe.  I prefer the white
wheat because it has a lighter color and lighter wheat taste.  You can
also use spelt wheat in place of half the wheat.  It gives the bread a
richer, slightly nutty, flavor.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tortellini Salad

My sisters and I went to lunch with my cute Mom for her birthday earlier this week and they all ordered the smoked turkey tortellini salad. It looked absolutely AMAZING!!! So -- this recipe began as a copycat from Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City but ended very differently and now I can only claim their lunch as my inspiration rather than my base.

This is one recipe that throws together impressively fast and still looks like you spent time cooking. Prove it you say? Challenge accepted.

Mr. Chef always calls when he leaves work. It is a phone call I look forward to every day. 5:00 came and went, 5:15 came and went, 5:30 came and went and still no call. I was busy so I wasn't worried but I hadn't started dinner because I knew it would be fast. I was poking around- prepping veggies etc. when suddenly I heard the garage door going up. He was home. Apparently my phone had gone straight to voicemail. Odd. I threw all my veggies in a bowl, boiled the tortellini, tossed with a tiny bit of mayo, sprinkled with some cheese and ten minutes later we were sitting around the table eating dinner and chatting about the day.

Voila! Fast, easy, healthy and delicious.


  • 1 package cheese Tortellini. (I use the 2 pack from Costco and freeze one. Total this pack could make 3-4 meals, they are big. I cook the whole pack and then take about 1/4 out for my 9 month old before I toss it and we still had leftovers)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Cup ham, turkey or meat of choice, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 C mushrooms, chopped
  • handful of baby spinach
  • 1 Roma Tomato, diced 
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 C peas
  • 1/4 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/8 C mayo or dressing of choice
  • salt
  • Black pepper

Cook tortellini according to package directions, drain well
Combine all ingredients and toss lightly.

*One of my favorite parts of this new recipe is that you can make this once a week and never repeat. Switch the meat, experiment with different veggies, dressings, etc. Make this your own.

Substitute ideas --
Dressing: Creamy basil, Poppy seed, balsamic vinaigrette
Meats: grilled chicken, smoked turkey, bacon, leave it off and have a vegetarian dinner
Vegetables/Fruit: Avocado, strawberries, apples, oranges, celery, broccoli, shittake mushroom, green beans...

Monday, April 1, 2013

Strawberry Limeade

Mr. Chef and I love to curl up and watch our shows after the kiddos hit the sack. We love Psyche, Castle, White Collar and The Voice. Get a life? Is that what just went through your head? You must just be jealous of our Super giant love sac :)
Well, most of the time when the munchies hit but we don't want a FULL treat, just something sweet we pair this with some fresh air popped popcorn and bask in our "Mom and Dad time" with all of our TV friends!

Enjoy this, it takes just a minute to prepare and it really is yummy!
6-8 Large Frozen Strawberries
1/2 Cup Lime Juice (fresh squeezed is best of course but any works just fine)
1/3 Cup Sugar
Place strawberries, lime juice, and sugar in a blender.  Fill with water to the 4 cup line.
Blend about one minute.  Chill and serve.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Irish Roasties

From December 2005 until July 2007 I lived in Ireland and LOVED it!!! Have you been there? It's one of the most amazing places I have ever seen and I miss it every day. The green, the Paddy men, the flower boxes (they really are amazing, especially in Killarney in summertime), even the rain. There is just nowhere like it and I can promise you, when you go -- YOU WILL LOVE IT!!!!

For those that have experienced the Emerald Isle you will know that a meal in Ireland is just not complete without at least one, usually two, types of Potatoes. Mashed, Roasted, Boiled...I could go on and on.

So, in honor of St. Patrick's Day I am sharing with you the most common and my most type of potato I ever experienced in Ireland. Roasties. I made these for our St. Paddy's Day dinner and it took me right back :) Ah...enjoy.

*Note to all my friends in Ireland: Please critique and add your tips for us in the comments! We would love all the help we can get making these as legit as possible.

I have been trying to recreate these babies for years now and never feel like they measure up. These were my best attempt. They still aren't perfect but they were close enough to bring memories flooding back when I bit into the first one. Sooo, I'm calling it close enough to share and while I perfect them I will share any changes I make.

I found this article and it was so extremely helpful. This is also the recipe I used, minus the polenta.

  • about 3.5lbs potatoes, preferably a floury variety (Russet work great for this)
  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • 4 TBSP cornmeal / polenta (opt.)
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary needles
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • If you are super organized and feel inclined to try it, put can your potatoes, unpeeled, in the fridge for a day or two before roasting. It will cause some of the starch to turn to sugars and encourage browning.
  • When ready to roast, preheat your oven to 200C/400F. Add the oil to your roasting tin and place in the oven to preheat also.
  • Peel your potatoes, keep the skins and wrap them in a piece of muslin and tie together in a little bundle with some string. (This will give more of a potato flavor but it's not absolutely necessary)
  • Cut the potatoes into roughly even-sized chunks (for large potatoes, quarter them, for smaller potatoes, halve them unless very small) and rinse the potatoes under running water for a minute or two to wash off surface starch.
  • Bring about 6C of water to the boil in a saucepan, add about 2 tsp salt, the potatoes and the wrapped-up potato skins. (*as long as your potatoes are covered, it doens't really matter how much water is in the pot)Allow the water to come back to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 5-6 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the polenta, rosemary, about1/4 tsp salt and a couple of twists of freshly ground black pepper.
  • When the potatoes have finished simmering, remove from the heat, drain very well and discard the potato skins.
  • Return the potatoes to the pot, cover, place over a very low heat and, holding with both hands and using a tea-towel to protect yourself from any steam, shake the pot back and forth for up to a minute or so, so that the potatoes both dry out and the edges are roughened up. Remove from the heat.
  • Remove the roasting tin from the oven and spoon the heated oil over the potatoes, tossing to mix, then roll each potato in the polenta to coat and place on the roasting tin.
  • Cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until nicely crisp, then eat.
The Variations:
  • For plain roasties, just leave out the coating of polenta, or keep the polenta and add to it by sprinkling some grated parmesan over the roasties about 5 minutes before the end of cooking time.

Now, don't forget -- the crispier on the outside the better. The softer on the inside, the better! You will love these, they are amazing!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Orange Julius with a twist of pineapple

This my friends is a delicious little treat! Mr. Chef concocted this the other night to go with popcorn and a movie. It was yummy and summery and made me want to lay on a beach and let all my worries go. Alright, that might be a little dramatic but it's definitely a drink that you would enjoy while doing that :)

So, it was movie night and I wasn't thinking "BLOG" when this drink happened so I will update with my own pictures soon. How terrible, i HAVE to make this again, probably tonight! Ha ha, until then this picture is beautiful and is linked to another recipe that is yummy and similar if you want variety. 

Here it is...
1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup of ice cubes
milk -- It will be approximately 1 cup of milk , but read below for the exact measurements.
One cup of orange juice

Place frozen pineapple chunks and ice cubes in a blender.  Then add enough milk that the milk comes up to the two cup line.  (It will be about 1 cup of milk because there's a lot of empty space in a cup of pineapple chunks/ice cubes).  Then, add a cup of orange juice and blend it until it's smooth and frothy.
Stick your little umbrella in and enjoy! 

Serves 4 unless you drink it in huge mugs like me, then it serves two. ha ha  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pork fajitas

  Pork Fajitas~

This recipe blew me away. Pork chops are pork chops, right? WRONG!!! well, they are but they don't always have to taste exactly like pork chops! MMM, these babies are definitely on our repeat list and I think the best part is, as long as your meat is thawed, this is a "through-together" kind of a meal. My father-in-law actually came into town right as we were finishing dinner and hadn't stopped and eaten on the road. So... I whipped up more in about 10, maybe 15 minutes. Perfect!
They are fast, filling and delicious! Try these on even your picky eaters, you might be surprised.

First, pat your chop dry and cut it into thin slices. This is easiest if your meat is mostly thawed but not "soft." In other words, still a little frozen in the middle so it's solid to cut.
Season with kosher salt, pepper, a little Cayenne pepper and paprika. 
Heat oil in pan and get it hot but don't let it burn. Cook the cut pork strips until cooked through but still juicy. About 5 minutes total.Remove pork from pan and set aside. Keep warm.

Roughly chop your onion. Sautee garlic in the same pan as the meat until fragrant, about 30 seconds and then add your onion and pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Don't overcook, you still want the flavor to have a little punch.
Layer meat, veggies, black beans, sour cream, cheeses, avocado and salsa and do your best to close your tortilla enough to fit it into your mouth. 
Do you do that? I always fill my tortillas WAY too full and then they fall apart becasue they are too big. But they are oh so wonderful :)

Get creative with this recipe, mix up the meat, the toppings or the spices - fewer, more, sweeter, spicier, different ones...whatever makes you happy!

 1 pork chop
1 can (14.5oz) black beans
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 bell pepper, any color
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp minced garlic (approx 2 cloves)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Sour cream
cheddar cheese

Drain and rinse black beans. Cook black beans with 1/4 c water over medium low heat until heated through. (season with salt if you prefer) Set aside. 
Pat your pork chop dry and cut it into thin slices. (This is easiest if your meat is still a little frozen in the middle so it's solid to cut.) Season with kosher salt, pepper, Cayenne pepper and paprika.
Heat oil in pan until hot but not burned. Add meat to pan and cook until no longer pink but still juicy. About 5 minutes total. Remove pork from pan and set aside. Keep warm. Roughly chop your onion and bell pepper. Sautee garlic in the same pan as the meat until fragrant, about 30 seconds and then add your onion and pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Don't overcook, you still want the flavor to have a little punch.

Layer meat, veggies, black beans, sour cream, cheeses, avocado and salsa

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stuffed French Toast

 S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y- NIGHT! (Can anyone quote the movie?) 
Ok, actually it was Saturday morning and I was sleeping in. Those days are my favorite! It's nothing very exciting, i'm always up well before nine but to still be in bed while Dad plays with the girls, somehow -- those days are the best. 
Well, on this particular Saturday morning not only did I sleep in, but I also awakened to Mr. Chef making stuffed french toast! YUM! (He totally knows the way to my heart is through carbs!)

So, he never knows the exact recipe or amounts because he is one of those people that throws things together and they always come out delicious. I get jealous of those people sometimes, i'll get over it. :)

This recipe is super easy and really pretty fast -- not the lowest calorie breakfast in the history of ever but once in awhile on a weekend I love me a big yummy breakfast like this!

Heat fresh or frozen strawberries, sugar, and cream cheese, and then puree them together. This is your stuffing.
 Slice a loaf of French Bread into slices. You want each slice the width of about two normal french toast pieces. Cut the slice in half but only go about 3/4 way through the bread so you have a "pocket" for your filling.
Fill the bread and dip in normal french bread mixture (eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon)

Once they are cooked, serve warm with syrup, fruit, jam or just plain!

1 cup of frozen (or fresh) strawberries 
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 block of cream cheese
1 Loaf of french bread cut into slices (approximately 2 inches wide) 
4 eggs
1 C milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon (opt.)

Combine strawberries, sugar and cream cheese. Heat until combined and then puree together until smooth. You can use a blender, an immersion blender (my tool of choice) or a food processor to do this. Set aside.

Combine eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon (opt) in a shallow pie tin or other shallow bowl. set aside. 
Cut your slices of bread and slice them in half about 3/4 of the way through the bread so you have a pocket. Fill with strawberry mixture. Dip each filled french toast slice in egg and milk mixture, coating thoroughly on both sides. You may want to let it soak for about 30 seconds so the bread can really absorb it -- that one is up to you. 

Cook on a non-stick skillet for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned, flip and repeat on other side.