All recipe photos on this site are ORIGINAL and are copyrighted. Please do not use these images without express written permission. If you would like to use recipes from this site on your own blog, please rewrite them in your own voice. All original writing is copyrighted on this blog.

We are working on some changes here on the blog so our posting
will happen less often for a while as we work out the details and settle on a new and improved plan.

Thanks for visiting!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pretzel Dessert

I did not grow up eating a lot of Jell-O.  I think it's a western thing, because my husband (who is from Utah) used to eat a LOT of Jell-O desserts.  From my perspective, other than funeral potatoes (which I am still clueless about), Jell-O is the ultimate Mormon food. 

My mother-in-law actually gave this recipe to me, and it is fabulous!  Take it from a Jell-O skeptic (I mean, where's the chocolate?!), this dessert is a crowd-pleaser!  My mother-in-law and I made this together to feed a large crowd at a Sunday family get-together and there were only 2 pieces left.  The grandkids (my nieces and nephew) took care of the leftovers too!  Needless to say, this dessert is a Jell-O hit!

Ingredients & Directions:

1st Layer: 2 c. finely crushed salted pretzels, 3 T. sugar, 3/4 c. melted butter

Combine above 3 items.  Place into a 9 by 13" pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8 min.  Cool completely.  (It is crucial to cool this layer completely before adding the 2nd layer, so the cream cheese layer doesn't melt!)

2nd Layer: 8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese (room temp.), 1 c. sugar, 8 oz. crushed pineapple (drained), 12 oz. Cool Whip topping (thawed)

Mix together all 2nd layer ingredients.  Spread over cooled pretzel layer.

3rd Layer: 0.9 oz. dry raspberry Jell-O (1 large box plus 1 small box), 3 c. boiling water, 2 1/2 c. frozen raspberries

Dissolve Jell-O in hot water.  Cool to room temperature.  Add frozen raspberries.  Spoon onto second layer.  (Make sure this is cool before you top the cream cheese layer, so the 2nd layer doesn't melt.) Refrigerate a few hours, until firm.

Yield: 12 very large pieces (enough to feed a large crowd)

Source: my mother-in-law, Nancy Carver

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tres Leches Cake

Has anyone out there noticed that I post a lot of recipes for Hispanic foods?  We lived in El Paso, Texas for 6 1/2 years--right there on the US/Mexico border. Oh my yum!  Last night we had the sister missionaries over for dinner.  One of them had completed her mission and was heading back home to Arizona this week. She wanted her last dinner appointment in her mission to be at our house and she wanted a fiesta!  So cool that both missionaries are Hispanic.  They know how much we love Mexican food so I was happy to oblige. Chile Rellenos, Spanish Rice, Frijoles Charros and Tres Leches Cake.  The rellenos were homemade, but I bought my favorite rice and someday I will learn to make the beans, but for now canned is great.

For those who have never had Tres Leches (3 milks), this cake is meant to be soggy.  If yours turns out dry, you didn't make it right.  Just sayin'.


3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided (or not.  I forgot to divide, so my cake was a little sweeter.  Who cares?)
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract, divided
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. cream of tartar
1 cup whole milk (I had 2% and it was fine)
1 12-oz can evaporated  milk
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 T. rum (we don't drink so I used 2 T. rum flavoring--I Googled this)
Fresh fruit for garnish--I recommend mango, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi combined.
I cut them up a little bigger than a dice.  Leave the blueberries whole.

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease and flour a 13 x 9 baking dish.  I like using glass for this, so I adjusted the oven temp to 325.

2.  Combine butter and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl.  Beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy.  Add 1 t. vanilla.  Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well.

3.  Combine four, baking powder and cream of tartar.  Add to slowly to butter mixture and beat well. Spread batter in pan.  Bake 25-30 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Set aside to cool.

4.  Stir together milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk.  Pour 3 cups over cake*.  Reserve remaining milk mixture to serve with cake.  Refrigerate cake.

5.  Combine heavy cream, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 1/2 t. of vanilla and rum or rum flavoring. Beat until thick and spread over cake.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

6.  Pour leftover milk mixture onto dessert plates.  Slice chilled cake into squares and place on plates. Garnish with fresh fruit, if desired.  Serves 16.

Source:  I clipped this from a magazine, so I am guessing Better Homes & Gardens.

*no need to poke holes in the cake before you pour your milk mixture over it.  The cake does absorb the liquid very easily.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Play Dough

2 C. Flour
1 C. Table Salt
2 Tbsp. Cream of Tartar
2 Tbsp. oil
2 C. water

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pot. Cook and stir over medium heat til it comes together and clears the sides of the pot. It will get tough to stir. Remove from heat, knead the play dough and add food coloring or essential oils for colored/scented dough. Mix til smooth.

Store cooled play dough in a ziploc bag. It should last for several weeks or a couple months.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Banana Walnut Bars

It's April 1!  April Fools Day!  Beware of the plastic-wrapped toilet seat and the bug in an ice cube trick!  This recipe, however, is NO joke!  These bars are sooo good!  They are moist, with just the right amount of banana and walnut in the cake.  And the frosting--YUM!  Make these right now, before someone plays a joke on you!

Ingredients List:

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. light sour cream
1/2 c. softened butter
2 large eggs
4 ripe bananas (mashed)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

1/2 c. butter
4 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 T. 1% milk


1. Prepare a jellyroll pan by spraying with cooking spray; set aside.

2. Cream butter, sour cream, and sugar in mixer until well blended.  Add in eggs.  Mix in bananas and vanilla; blend for 1 minute.

3. In separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients (soda, flour, and salt).

4. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture; mix until combined.  Stir in walnuts.

5. Spread into prepared pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown.  Cool slightly until warm.  Frost once warm (frosting directions below).

Browned Butter Frosting Directions:

1. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat past the melting point until it is boiling and a delicate brown.

2. Remove browned butter from heat and immediately add the remaining frosting ingredients (powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk).  This mixture should be thicker than a glaze, but thinner than a frosting. 

3. Using a spatula, smooth over the top of the warm bars immediately.

Yield: 32 squares

Nutrition Information, per bar: 210 Calories, 7.9 g Fat, 0.6 g Fiber, 1.9 g Protein

Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Almond Butter Quinoa Brownies

I am not saying that I have jumped on the quinoa bandwagon, but I got a free "Eating Well" magazine in the mail this past week and was just flipping through it and left it open on the kitchen island.  Next thing you know I have a request to make these lovelies.  Okay, I was game.  These are actually pretty good.  And I had all of the ingredients on-hand, including a hand-crank grinder that I haven't used in forever*.  Pretty handy little tool, really.  Mental note to use this more often.  

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (I used salted because that is what I had.  Paula Deen says that's okay.)
3/4 cup smooth or crunchy natural almond butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 cup quinoa flour (I used my hand-crank grinder to make this)
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil allowing it to slightly overhang on opposite ends so you have "handles" to lift the blondies out of the pan.  Coat the foil with cooking spray. Seriously. These things are a little sticky when you cut them and pull them off of the foil.

2.  Beat butter and almond butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until creamy.  Beat in eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.  Whisk quinoa flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

3.  Mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.

4.  Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes--until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it.  DO NOT OVER BAKE.

5.  Remove from oven and let cool about 45 minutes in the pan.  Lift the blondies out of the pan with the foil  and transfer to a cutting board.  Let cool completely and cut into bars.

6.  Makes 24 blondies.

7.  These should keep up to 5 days in the fridge, in an air-tight container.

*Check out this cool grinder...

SOURCE:  Eating Well Magazine.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chicken Satay and Thai Peanut Sauce

For this post, you get two recipes in one! The chicken satay recipe came from here. And the most amazing Thai Peanut Sauce recipe came from here.

Thai Chicken Satay:

2 normal to large sized chicken breasts
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 wooden skewers

1. Soak the skewers in water while prepping your chicken and sauce. This will help keep the skewers from burning when you place them on the grill. 
2. Cut the chicken into thin slices. 

3. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, add the chicken and massage. The chicken does not need to marinate in the sauce for very long, in fact only a few minutes. Place the chicken on skewers and drop them on the grill at medium heat. Flip the skewer just before you start to see grill marks on the chicken. This makes for the perfect “doneness” without drying it out. 

This marinade also goes great with shrimp! 

For the Thai Peanut Sauce:

One 13.5-ounce can of full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk
2 ounces (approximately ¼ cup) of Thai red or Massaman curry paste
¾ cup unsweetened (natural) creamy peanut butter (Do not use regular peanut butter or anything with added emulsifiers. I get mine fresh ground in the bulk section at Winco.)
½ tablespoon salt
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (Do not use white wine, red wine, balsamic, or anything else — not even rice vinegar)
½ cup water

Put everything into a medium heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a very gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.
Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes over low heat; be careful not to let the mixture scorch at the bottom of the pot.
Take the pot off the heat, let the sauce cool down to room temperature (or slightly warmer), and serve the sauce with satay or fried tofu.

This peanut sauce keeps in a glass container in the refrigerator for weeks. Refrigerated sauce will thicken up considerably. All you have to do is thin it out with a little bit of water to desired consistency, reheat, and serve. The sauce also freezes beautifully.