Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Vacation!

It's been almost two and a half years since Mormon Mavens in the Kitchen was born.  In that time we've posted hundreds of our favorite recipes.  It's a labor of love that we all enjoy but we hope you'll understand if we take a short vacation to enjoy our families!

We'll be back on January 6th!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Family


12 years ago today I got the best Christmas present of my life, I married my husband for time and all eternity in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple.    The greatest lesson I have learned in these last 12 years of marriage is that this life is made more full, more happy, and more meaningful by being a part of a family unit.    

In The Family: A Proclamation to the World the First Presidency of the church states:

"THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed."

I am so grateful for my family and especially for my husband who is devoted to me and his 3 (almost 4) children.  I pray that you and your family be blessed this holiday season and that you remember what a gift it is to be a part of a family!



Friday, December 20, 2013

Creamy Ham and Potato Soup



This is a great and easy recipe to use up your left over ham!  Enjoy

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion (I like to use dried onions because lets face it chopping onions is no fun)
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1 cup cooked ham (I use ham steak)
3 1/4 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
5 tbls. butter
5 tbls. flour
2 cups milk

Combine potatoes, celery, onion, carrot, ham and chicken broth together in stockpot.  Bring to a boil then turn down heat to simmer until vegetables are tender.  Add salt and pepper.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Whisk in flour and cook stirring constantly until think (about 1 min).  Slowly stir in the milk and continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick (4-5 min).

Add the milk mixture to the stockpot.

Serve with grated cheese, chives, bacon etc.

SOURCE: http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cranberry Relish

 
 
 
 
Just in the St. Nick of time (and notice, by the way, how he is eyeballing the relish)! Be sure and add this to your Christmas menu.  My good friend Phyllis brought this dish to a church Christmas party one year and gave me the recipe so that I could add it to our holiday meal traditions.  It is a big hit with everyone and full of yummy goodness.
 
Ingredients:
2 cups ground fresh cranberries (I just zap mine in the Ninja blender)
1 cup sugar
2 small pkgs. Cherry Jell-O
1 15-oz. can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
1 apple, unpeeled (Red Delicious is good) sliced and chopped
2 oranges (regular oranges NOT navel.  Tried that.), peeled, sliced and chopped
grated rind from one orange
1 cup chopped pecans
 
1.  Mix Jell-O with 2 cups boiling water, 1 cup sugar and reserved pineapple juice.  Let thicken in refrigerator. DO NOT LET IT SET COMPLETELY.
 
2.  Add other ingredients, already mixed together.
 
NOTE:  You can substitute cranberry Jell-O for the cherry
 

Source:  Phyllis Mecham, Mocksville, NC

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Turtle Cookies


Turtle Cookies

    These might be my new favorite cookie! They are soft, the caramel is gooey, and aren't they pretty? The perfect holiday cookie. They were also not difficult at all and pretty foolproof, which is always a bonus!

Ingredients:

Cookie:
1 C. flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) butter, softened
2/3 C. sugar
1 large egg, separated, plus one additional egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp milk
1 1/4 c. finely chopped pecans

Caramel filling:
14 traditional caramels (I used Werther's soft caramels)
3 Tbsp. cream

Chocolate Drizzle:
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate bar
1 tsp shortening

Directions:

Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on med-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, vanilla, and milk until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture just until incorporated. Do not overbeat. 

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.

Whisk egg whites until fluffy (by hand). Place pecans in a separate bowl. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Dip in egg whites and then roll in pecans. Place on cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart. Use the back of a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon to make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Bake at  350 until set, about 12 minutes.

For caramel filling: Microwave caramels and cream, stirring occasionally, until smooth and melted, about 1-2 minutes.

When cookies come out of the oven, gently re-press indentations. Fill with 1/2 tsp. caramel filling. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to wire wrack. 

Melt chocolate and shortening together in a plastic bag dipped in hot water. Cut tip off bag and drizzle over cooled cookies.

Yield: About 30 cookies. 

Source: America's Test Kitchen
Cookie:
1 c. all-purpose flour
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1/3 c. cocoa powder
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1/4 tsp. salt
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8 T. (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1 large egg, separated, plus 1 additional egg white
2 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. pecans, finely chopped
Caramel Filling:
14 soft caramel candies (I used Kraft Traditional Caramels)
3 T. heavy cream
Chocolate Drizzle (optional):
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (I used 2 squares of Baker's semi-sweet chocolate)
1 tsp. shortening

Directions
Prepare the Cookies:  
1.  Combine flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside.

2.  With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla; mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until just combined.

3.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
4.  Whisk egg whites in a bowl until frothy.  Place chopped pecans in another bowl.  Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls, dip in egg whites, and then roll in pecans.  Place balls about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, make an indentation in the center of each dough ball.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees until set, about 12 minutes.

Prepare the Caramel Filling:  
6.  Microwave caramels and cream together in a small bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.

7.  Once cookies are removed from the oven, gently re-press the indentations.  Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon of the caramel mixture. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Prepare the Chocolate Drizzle (optional):  
8.  Place chocolate and shortening in a small zip-top plastic bag.  Set bag in a bowl of warm water to soften.  Gently knead the chocolate with your fingers until melted and smooth, placing back in the warm water for a minute or two as needed.

9.  Snip a very small hole in the corner of the plastic bag.  Drizzle chocolate over the cooled Turtle Cookies.

Makes about 30 cookies.
Enjoy! 

Read more at http://www.thekitchenismyplayground.com/2012/09/insanely-delicious-turtle-cookies.html#vAFMPMioIaCqGHIJ.99
Cookie:
1 c. all-purpose flour
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1/3 c. cocoa powder
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1/4 tsp. salt
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8 T. (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1 large egg, separated, plus 1 additional egg white
2 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. pecans, finely chopped
Caramel Filling:
14 soft caramel candies (I used Kraft Traditional Caramels)
3 T. heavy cream
Chocolate Drizzle (optional):
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (I used 2 squares of Baker's semi-sweet chocolate)
1 tsp. shortening

Directions
Prepare the Cookies:  
1.  Combine flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside.

2.  With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla; mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until just combined.

3.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
4.  Whisk egg whites in a bowl until frothy.  Place chopped pecans in another bowl.  Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls, dip in egg whites, and then roll in pecans.  Place balls about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, make an indentation in the center of each dough ball.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees until set, about 12 minutes.

Prepare the Caramel Filling:  
6.  Microwave caramels and cream together in a small bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.

7.  Once cookies are removed from the oven, gently re-press the indentations.  Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon of the caramel mixture. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Prepare the Chocolate Drizzle (optional):  
8.  Place chocolate and shortening in a small zip-top plastic bag.  Set bag in a bowl of warm water to soften.  Gently knead the chocolate with your fingers until melted and smooth, placing back in the warm water for a minute or two as needed.

9.  Snip a very small hole in the corner of the plastic bag.  Drizzle chocolate over the cooled Turtle Cookies.

Makes about 30 cookies.
Enjoy! 

Read more at http://www.thekitchenismyplayground.com/2012/09/insanely-delicious-turtle-cookies.html#vAFMPMioIaCqGHIJ.99

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sausage and Apple Stuffing




Ingredients:

2 sticks plus 3 T. butter, divided
2 c. water
2 (14 to 16 oz) bags of your favorite dried cornbread stuffing mix
1 lb. pork sausage
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 t. dried thyme leaves
1 t. dried sage leaves
1 c. chopped walnuts
3 medium apples, cored and sliced
2 to 3 c. homemade giblet stock or low sodium chicken broth

*I added a cup or so of dried cranberries for taste and color.

Directions:

1.  In a large pot melt 2 sticks butter in water.  When melted add dry cornbread stuffing, stirring to incorporate liquid, set aside.

2.  In a large saute pan set over medium-high heat melt 1 T. butter and add sausage.  With a wooden spoon break up sausage and saute until lightly browned and cooked through.  Transfer sausage to paper towels to drain.

3.  In the same pan melt remaining butter and saute onions with the garlic, celery, thyme and sage until onions are translucent and celery is crisp tender.

4.  Add walnuts and saute for 1 minute.  Add apples and saute for one minute more.  Remove from heat.

5.  Combine cornbread stuffing with sauteed ingredients and stuff turkey.  Roast turkey as usual.

Alternatively:  Fill a 10x15x2 inch pan with the stuffing, moisten with the giblet stock and bake in a preheated 350 oven, covered with foil for 1/2 hour.  Remove foil and bake until top is lightly browned, about 15 minutes more.

Source:  Food Network





Monday, December 16, 2013

How To Make Melissa's Yummy Cinnamon Rolls - Photo Tutorial

I originally posted this on my own blog, but wanted to share it here also since so many people are enjoying this recipe! Perfect for Christmas morning, or to take to Christmas parties! I promise they are easy to make, and they are sooooo delicious! 

Cinnamon Rolls

(I know this picture is obnoxiously large, but I wanted you to be able to get up close and personal with these cinnamon rolls. ha! ha!)


1. Start with the 30 Minute Roll Recipe
Note: This recipe makes about 50 cinnamon rolls! You might want to half the recipe!

Mix and rest 10 minutes:
3 ½ cups warm water                          
¾ cup sugar (OR 1/2 cup honey)
1 cup oil                                                
6 TBSP Yeast (Less yeast may be used, but rising time will be longer)

Add:
1 TBSP Salt                                          
3 eggs (can use egg powder and water)
10 ½ cups flour (wheat flour turns out really light and fluffy)

Mix in mixer or knead. Shape into rolls. Raise 10 minutes. *Bake at 425° for 10-12 minutes or until done. 

2. Here’s How to “Shape into Rolls”
Cut dough in half. Roll out one of the sections into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick (or so!) Spread soft or melted butter over the dough. Spread a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon over the butter. (I use about 4 cups of brown sugar to 3-4 TBSP of cinnamon. I go heavy on the cinnamon and never really measure. I just dump it in until it taste the way I want it to.) Roll up. Cut into 1 inch sections and place on cookie sheet. Let rise for about 10 minutes or so. Repeat with other section of dough, or just make them into dinner rolls.

*I prefer to bake them at 375 degrees until they are starting to lightly brown and dough is done in the middle. Take out of oven and let cool for about 5 minutes or so. Spread on or drizzle on the frosting.


Photo Tutorial:


Start off by shaping the dough roughly into a rectangle.
Cinnamon Rolls

Roll out the dough about 1/4" thick. This will take practice.
Roll out dough

Spread soft or melted butter over dough. 
Spread on the Butter

Put cinnamon sugar on the dough.
Cinnamon Sugar

Spread it out smoothly - feel free to use your hands.
Spread out Cinnamon Sugar

Roll up the dough.
Roll up the dough

Cut into 1 inch slices.
Cut the dough

Place them neatly on a cookie sheet and let them rise. This is a "jelly roll pan", which is half of a sheet cake. You can put them on smaller pans that just hold 12 cinnamon rolls.
Let them rise

Bake them in the oven and look how beautiful they are!
Bake in oven

Oh. My. Yumminess!
The best cinnamon rolls

Spread on your cream cheese frosting. (Recipe below)
Spread on Frosting

I wish you could smell these and taste them! Make some! YUM!!!! 
The best cinnamon rolls


3. Here’s How to Make the Frosting
Okay, I have to admit that I never measure! But here is an estimate….Soften about 8 oz of cream cheese and 3 tablespoon of butter in a large plastic bowl. Add 3-4 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a few (maybe 4??) tablespoons of milk. Mix with hand mixer…you may need to add more milk or powdered sugar to get the right consistency you like. I like it kinda thin like a cake batter, not thick like cake icing.

4. Enjoy!

Eat immediately with a glass of milk and enjoy! They are good for a few days, but you will want to warm them up for about 8 seconds in the microwave!

The Reason Behind Christmas

I nearly forgot to post today. I have been thinking about it all week. I loved this video and I did get a little teary-eyed watching it. There are so many "gifts" that I can give to others around me. 
I hope that we all remember what this season is all about. And also that we try to emulate the Savior now and always. Let us love more, judge less, give more, hurt less and may we all feel the love of our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ throughout the year!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Turkey Pot Pie

I found this recipe on Allrecipes a few years back. It is one of our favorites and a great way to use up turkey leftovers. As I have said before, I tend to be a home made pie crust snob, but when it comes down to it, buying store bought pie dough just makes things so much easier.

Turkey Pot Pie



1 recipe for a double crust pie  
4 tablespoons butter, divided  
1 small onion, minced  
2 stalks celery, chopped  
2 carrots, diced  
3 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano (or any other dried herbs. I use thyme and basil sometimes.)
salt and pepper to taste  
2 cubes chicken bouillon (or equivalent of chicken base or stock, etc.)
2 cups water
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed  
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey  
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Roll out bottom pie crust, press into a 10 inch pie pan, and set aside. 

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion, celery, carrots, parsley, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the bouillon and water. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in the potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm. 

In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the turkey and flour. Add the milk, and heat through. Stir the turkey mixture into the vegetable mixture, and cook until thickened. Cool slightly, then pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Roll out the top crust, and place on top of filling. Flute edges, and make 4 slits in the top crust to let out steam. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.



Thursday, December 12, 2013

Steamed Dill Carrots


A few years ago, I went to a church dinner where a friend of mine had made these really tasty carrots. She used quartered baby carrots, but I find that I like sliced carrots better. I thought it was an easy way to make the carrots fancy and they are so simple to make!

Steamed Dill Carrots

Fresh carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
Dried dill
Butter
Salt and Pepper

Place the cut carrots in a steamer. Sprinkle a generous amount of dried dill over top. 
Cook until tender. Remove from steamer, place in a bowl. Add some butter and salt and pepper to taste. 





Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Homemade Chicken Crepes




This recipe originates from an old ward cookbook. I have added a couple of additional ingredients that we like. If the thought of making your own crepes then filling them and then baking them may seem like too much work, don't worry. I promise I wouldn't do it if it was too hard and if it wasn't totally worth it! I have typed this out in detail, so don't be afraid of it. This process moves fast. These are really delicious. Enjoy!

Step 1: Chicken
Boil 3-4 chicken breast. You will need about 2 c. of chicken. While this is cooking, begin cooking your crepes.


Step 2: Crepes
1 -1/4 c. a.p. flour
3 eggs
1 c. milk, we use 1%
1/4 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. melted butter



I use my smallest skillet for this. Its smaller than a salad plate, but not by much.
Preheat your skillet on medium low heat and then spray generously with nonstick cooking spray. Spray up the sides too. Then spoon in about 2-3 tbsp. of the batter and immediately tip it and turn it until it spreads all around the pan and its very thin. Cook about 1 minute on each sides. You don't want to brown it. It should be very soft.  It should look like a light tan color. Remove it from the pan and continue the process until. you've used all of your batter. 


Step 3: Filling
1 (10- 1/2oz.) cream of mushroom soup
1 tbsp. onion, minced
1-2 tbsp. celery, minced
chopped or shredded chicken
m
Mix all of the above ingredients in one bowl really well. 


Step 4: Assembly
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray non-stick cooking spray on a 9x13 baking dish. Place 2 -3 tbsp. of the filling on one edge of the crepe and roll up like and enchilada. Place seam side down on the baking dish. Continue this process until the crepes are all filled.


Step 5: Topping
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream, or 1/2 cup of milk
cheddar cheese

Mix this together the soup and the sour cream, or milk. Then spoon evenly over the crepes. Sprinkle the cheese over top. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.


These are so delicious. My family wipes out the entire 9x13 dish full! Enjoy!



Adapted from an original recipe by Wendy Starks. Thank you Wendy!
 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pumpkin Truffles

Easy, fun, impressive, festive!  And they taste pretty good too.

Ingredients:
5 ounces white chocolate chips
½ cup pumpkin puree
¾ cup finely ground gingersnaps
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of orange zest
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
white candy melts, about 8 ounces
additional gingersnap crumbs for garnish

1. Melt the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until they stir smooth.  Add the pumpkin, gingersnap crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, and cream cheese.  Mix well until combined.  Chill in fridge or freezer until the mixture can be scooped and rolled into balls.
2.  Scoop the mixture and form into one-inch balls, placing them on a parchment- or wax paper-lined baking sheet.  Place the baking sheet in the freezer and chill about two hours until firm.
3.  When it's time to dip the truffles, melt the candy melts in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until they stir smooth.  Using a fork to gently roll the ball around, coat the ball and lift it out and place it on the lined baking sheet.  (I use a cheap fork for this--I bent back the middle two tines and this gives more room for the excess to come off.)  Do this one or two balls at a time, making sure to garnish with the remaining gingersnap crumbs as soon as you place the balls on the baking sheet.  (If the coating cracks while setting, just use the tines of the fork to "patch" the coating with the melted candy coating.)
4.  When all the balls are coated, chill the baking sheet again to make sure the truffle coating is set.  Then store in a covered container in the fridge till ready to serve.

Makes about 15 truffles

Source:  Annie's Eats

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Mr. Krueger's Christmas

If you haven't seen this, you have to watch it.  Few people can really capture the humility and sweetness of a character better than the beloved Jimmy Stewart.  My favorite part is when he daydreams himself into the nativity.  So sweet.


There is a version on YouTube that is all one video, but the quality is not as good as the ones below:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Quinoa Cakes with Poached Eggs



    Quinoa is such a popular grain these days, I decided to give it a try. And boy, is this the way to try it! These cakes are savory, hearty, satisfying, and bursting with flavor! My kids gobbled them up. This was also the first time I tried to poach an egg without a poaching pan, and it was a little bit exciting, like a delicious science experiment.

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked Quinoa, at room temperature
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup minced fresh chives
1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 green onions or large shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs plus more if needed

To make cakes:

Combine quinoa, eggs, chives, salt, onions, garlic, and parmesan. Gently add bread crumbs until incorporated. Form into 6 cakes, 3-4 inches each.

Heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of  large saute pan over medium heat. Add patties, not touching. Cook about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Put on paper towels to drain. serve with additional salt and pepper, parmesan cheese, and top with poached egg. For instructions on how to poach an egg, see http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/easy_poached_eggs/.

Notes: It is very important to thoroughly rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer for at least two minutes to remove the bitter coating. To cook it, boil 2 cups of water, add 1 cup rinsed quinoa, cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Fluff with fork. This makes 3 cups of cooked quinoa, so I just 1 1/2 times the recipe because these are so good!

Source: Annie's Eats

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sweet Cornbread in a Bread Machine



Ingredients:

2 eggs, at room temperature
1 c. milk
1/4 c. butter, at room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. salt
2 c. flour (or flour of your choice)
1 c. cornmeal
1 T. baking powder

Directions:

Add all ingredients to your bread machine in the order listed.  Select the Quick Bread cycle.

Source:  Grain Mill Wagon

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pumpkin Bars


This is such a moist and delicious cake! Every time I make it for church or family activities, it is eaten down to the very last crumb! 



Ingredients:
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs 
1 tsp baking soda 
2 cups flour   
½ tsp salt   
2 tsp baking powder                               
2 tsp cinnamon                                    
2 cups canned pumpkin

Directions:
1. With wire whisk or electric beater, blend together oil, sugar and eggs until creamy. 

2. Combine baking soda, flour, salt, and baking powder. Then add to creamy mixture. Add cinnamon and pumpkin. Stir until well mixed. 

3. Pour into jelly roll pan. (Or two 9x13 casserole dishes.) 

4. Bake 350° for 25-30 minutes, making sure center is done. Let cake cool before frosting.

Frosting:
3 oz cream cheese               
6 TBSP butter                       
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla                          
2 cups powdered sugar       
dash of salt


Cream together and spread on cooled cake. ENJOY!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gratitude In Action


 
I saw this quote somewhere and made this simple "sign."  I think that it says so much, and in this day of entitlement and "gimme, gimme"  I thought it would be a good reminder of what we all should be doing to show gratitude to our Heavenly Father for what He continues to bless us with.  Sometimes we forget how blessed we already are just to be here on this beautiful earth and that we need to serve others every chance we get.  And we need to take care of our own stewardships and stop trying to get the others to do it all for us.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Nectarine Tart


This is a super simple, delicate and delicious tart. You can use any stone fruit.


Nectarine Tart
Makes one 12-inch tart

1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter
1½ pounds ripe nectarines, sliced into ¼-inch-thick wedges
2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, depending on the sweetness of the fruit

1. Fill a cup with cold water and place it in the freezer.
2. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Use a sharp knife to cut the butter into thin slices, then toss the slices into the bowl with the flour mixture. Using your fingers or two knives, rub the butter and flour together until there are no butter pieces larger than the size of a pea, about 10 to 15 seconds.
Remove the cup of water from the freezer. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of water over the butter-and-flour mixture. Give it a few strong squeezes to see if the dough will clump together. If not, pour in another tablespoon of water. Quickly shape the dough into a flattened disk, wrap it in plastic, and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
4. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a 1/8-inch-thick circle -- place in a tart pan. Trim the excess off the edge. Bake in the oven for about 5-8 mins til slightly firm. Remove and cool slightly.
5. Reduce oven temp to 375 F.
6. Arrange the nectarine wedges on the dough in overlapping concentric circles, Sprinkle the tart evenly with the granulated sugar. Bake it until the fruit juices bubble and the crust turns golden brown about 45 mins. Give or take several minutes. 
7. Let the tart cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then slice it into wedges. Serve each wedge with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

source: kcet.org



Happy Thanksgiving



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sweet Potato Souffle



This is a family recipe that we bake every year for Thanksgiving. It is so delicious! This tastes like a pecan pie on top of sweet potatoes. How can that be wrong? Happy Thanksgiving!

Soufflé:
3 cups of sweet potatoes, boiled and mashed
*I use a big can of sweet potatoes and drain the syrup.
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of these until smooth. Pour into a greased baking dish and set aside. I used a 9x13 sized baking dish.

Topping:
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup coconut
1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix all of these topping ingredients together a  sprinkle evenly over the sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes.
*The secret to this, is to double the topping recipe! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Samoa Fudge

I didn't appreciate the wonderful flavor and textures of the Samoas Girl Scout Cookies until I was an adult (I stuck with the boring shortbread to be safe).  And yes, I know they are now called Caramel Delites.  But to me they will always be Samoas.  This fudge recipe was a fun way to recreate some of that yumminess.  Hope you like it.

Ingredients:
1 cup shredded coconut
2 cups wrapped caramels
1 tsp. heavy cream
¾ cup butter
¾ cup heavy cream
1½ cups sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
1 (3-ounce) package coconut cream Instant JELL-O pudding mix
1 (11-ounce) package white chocolate morsels
1 (7-oz) jar marshmallow creme
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1.  Place coconut in an even layer on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown in a 425 degree oven.  Set aside.
2.  Unwrap caramels and place in a microwave-safe bowl with the 1 tsp. of heavy cream.  Microwave this for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until smooth.  Set aside.
3.  Line a 9"x13" pan with parchment paper, allowing enough length on each end for "handles" later.  Set aside.
4.  In a large saucepan, heat the butter, the 3/4 up cream, sugar, and salt over medium-high heat.  Bring this to a boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.
5.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the pudding mix, white chocolate, and marshmallow creme.  Pour the mixture from the hot saucepan into the mixing bowl.  Mix and stir until smooth.  Pour this into the prepared pan.
6.  Pour the caramel over the top.  It will thick so use a knife to spread it to the edges.  Use the knife to then swirl the caramel down into the fudge.  Refrigerate for 2-3 hours until the fudge is set.
7.  Melt the chocolate morsels in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until the chocolate stirs smooth.  Spread the chocolate over the fudge.  Sprinkle with the toasted coconut.  Chill  until chocolate is set.
8.  Lift the fudge by the parchment paper "handles" and cut into squares.  Store in the fridge.

Source:  Key Ingredient

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gratitude Is A Virtue



Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles has a said,
"Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character. We like to be around those who are grateful. They tend to brighten all around them. They make others feel better about themselves. They tend to be more humble, more joyful, more likable.
 
"You might be surprised to know that gratitude is a commandment of the Father. “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things” (D&C 59:7), the Lord has commanded in these latter days. Even further, He has admonished that “in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments” (D&C 59:21)."
 
"In the Book of Mormon we learn that we should “live in thanksgiving daily” (Alma 34:38). Isn’t that a wonderful thought to live in thanksgiving daily? Can you imagine how your life would improve if you lived in thanksgiving daily? Can you imagine how your life would improve if others did the same? Do you think the world would be a happier place? less stressful? less angry? more spiritual?"
 
"President Joseph F. Smith proclaimed: “The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life. Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 263)."

I have seen in my own life the blessings that come from practicing Gratitude. If I find myself completely down in the dumps, and it happens, I have found that counting my blessings lifts my spirits! Simply thinking of my many, many blessings can change my outlook on my life. I am so grateful for this testimony.

My blessings are too numerous to count. I see that my Heavenly Father is mindful of me and makes things happen in my life that lead me to him. All that I have comes from my Heavenly Father. May you too remember to count your blessings and be grateful. Practice an "attitude of Gratitude."

Friday, November 22, 2013

Banana Bread


I am back...I have been so sick but am finally feeling better.  It feels good to cook again.  This is my favorite Banana Bread recipe.  It is moist, cuts without crumbling, and has the yummiest crust (as shown in the picture).  Enjoy!

6 ripe mashed bananas
3 1/2 c. sugar
4 beaten eggs
1 c. oil
1/2 c. sour cream
2 t. vanilla

Mix above ingredients together well.  In another bowl mix together the following ingredients:

4 c. flour
1 1/2 t. salt
2 1/2 t. soda

Mix together the dry and wet ingredients and pour into 3 greased regular size loaf pans.  Bake at 325 for 1 hour.

Source: Katie Palmer

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Chef Todd's White Chili

My post is a tad late today, but it will be worth the wait.  I promise!  I saw this recipe being demonstrated on the website for Thrive.  Check it out if you are interested in a good food storage product.  Anyway, this recipe looked really yummy and it uses quite a few items from my food storage pantry.  I hope you enjoy the end results as much as I just did.  That's right.  I dared to post a recipe that I only just made this morning!  Livin' on the edge!

Ingredients (I am noting the brand name if I actually used THRIVE products):
1 cup small white Navy beans, uncooked
4 T. butter
5 T. white flour
1 T. butter
1 T. garlic
1 cup THRIVE Green Chili Peppers
1/2 cup THRIVE Red Bell Peppers
1/2 cup THRIVE Sweet Corn
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup THRIVE Celery
1 cup THRIVE Seasoned Chicken Slices
3 cups water
1 T. THRIVE Chicken Bouillon
2 cups THRIVE Instant Milk, reconstituted
2 cups heavy cream
1 t. chili powder
1 t. cumin
1 t. season salt
1 T. Cholula Hot Sauce
1 T. fresh lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

Here is what the freeze-dried foods look like before...


1.  Place the beans in a small saucepan with 4 cups of water and 1 tablespoon salt and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until just tender.  In a a small glass bowl, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in the microwave.  Add the flour and mix well.  Reserve this roux mixture for later.

2.  In a 3-quart sauce or stock pot, melt the 1 tablespoon butter and add the garlic.  Sweat for a few minutes on low heat.  Add all the vegetables and the chicken to the pot; stir a few times and add the water and bouillon.  Bring to a simmer and add the milk and the cream.  Add all seasonings except cilantro and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the roux to thicken the soup and cook at low simmer for another 5 minutes.  Drain the beans and add them to the soup.  Add the cilantro and stir well before serving. (You don't see the cilantro in the picture because girlfriend thought she had some in the freezer and did not.  I will get some on the way home from work and have with my chili later.)

Source:  Chef Todd, ThriveLife.com.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Taco Soup


    I know many of you may already have a recipe for this. There are many variations, but this one is our favorite. It is super easy, quick, delicious, healthy, and economical. What more could you ask for in a recipe? My kids love it and it is even better as a leftover. I love soup season!

Taco Soup

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef, browned and drained.
1 quart jar canned tomatoes or 48 oz. stewed tomatoes, blended
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can great northern beans
1 can ranch style beans
1 can kidney beans
1-2 cups corn (canned or frozen)
1 packet taco seasoning

Sour cream, cheese, avocado, and chips for garnish.

Directions:

Brown beef in a large stock pot. Drain. To beef, add all other ingredients. Simmer 20 minutes or until ready to serve. Garnish as desired. (I told you it was easy!)

Source: Aubrey Adams

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pumpkin Lust Cake





Ingredients:

1 stick butter, melted
1 c. flour
1 c. chopped pecans
2 T. sugar
8 oz pkg of cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
16 oz container cool whip
2 pkg (3.4 oz) jello instant pumpkin spice pudding
3 c. cold milk
nutmeg for sprinkling

Directions:

1.  For the crust:  Combine butter, flour, chopped pecans and sugar and press into a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.  Let cool completely.

2.  For the cream cheese layer:  Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 1/2 c. cool whip until smooth.

3.  For the pumpkin layer:  Mix pudding mixes with cold milk, whisking for several minutes.  Set it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to let it thicken.  Spread over the cream cheese layer.  Top with remaining container of cool whip.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.

4.  Cut into squares and serve.  Keep refrigerated.

Source:  Just a pinch recipes

Monday, November 18, 2013

3 Layer Ice Cream Cake


This is the most awesome ice cream cake, and it's so easy to make! You have to try this!


Ingredients:
1 pack of Oreos
3 quarts of your favorite ice cream
1 box ice cream sandwiches - keep in freezer until ready to use
Cool Whip

Instructions:
1. You will need a springform pan. Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray. Cut strips of wax paper to line the pan. The spray will help the wax paper stick to the pan.

2.. Put about half of the Oreos in a blender and blend to make fine crumbs, or small chunks, whichever you prefer. (You can also put the Oreos in a bowl or zip lock bag and crush with a wooden mallet. Sometimes I use the bottom of a drinking glass and gently tap to break the cookies into small pieces.) Save a tablespoon of crumbs or chunks to sprinkle on top of the final layer. Add a little water to your crushed Oreos so that they stick together a bit and you can press them into the bottom of your springform pan. I used a little too much water by accident and made almost an Oreo brownie. : )  It was good, but I prefer the bottom more crumbly instead of gooey.

3. Cut several ice cream sandwiches into 4ths like the picture shows. You will need enough to line the whole pan. That will depend on the size of your springform pan. I used about 8 ice cream sandwiches for mine. I personally like the WalMart brand better than some of the name brands I have tried.They have a good shape and texture for this. It's a messy job, so be prepared to ruin a few and eat them.


4. Line the pan with the pieces of ice cream sandwich. Make sure the outside rounded edge of the icecream sandwich is facing up and against the pan. This will be what everyone sees when you take off the springform pan, so try to make it pretty.


5. Scoop out about 3/4 of the ice cream for your first layer and put into a bowl. The whole quart would be too much. If you have a smaller springform pan, then maybe half of it would do...I have bought the fancy pints of ice cream for making these in a smaller springform pan. Stir the ice cream until soft and smooth. We have been known to add chunks of brownie, nuts, huge Oreo chunks, or whatever we are craving in each layer! Yum! Pour into pan. You may want to put it in the freezer for 15-30 minutes or so to let that layer get firm. if you don't, your layers will not be straight.


6. Repeat step 5 for the 2nd layer.


7. Repeat step 5 for the 3rd layer. 


8. Spread Cool Whip over the top. Try to make it look pretty. I make little peaks on mine by using the back of the spoon. I can't explain that...just try to make it look pretty. : )


 9. Sprinkle some Oreo crumbs on the top. This is as creative as I get, but I'm sure you could add some special touches to make it look really pretty. 


10. Put it in the freezer and let it freeze hard for 24 hours. Every time I have made it in the morning and tried to serve it that night, it was not frozen enough and it was more of a blob than beautiful layers. Take out of freezer and remove the outside of the springform pan and the wax paper. Cut and serve! Everyone will love it! : )


Notes: 

1. I did not freeze each layer before I added the next because I was trying to hurry, and I ended up with waves of color and not exact layers. (See picture below.) No one cared though and we ate every last bite of this! 

2. My favorite one I have made had pink, white and green layers. The colors were beautiful with the Oreo bottom and the Cool Whip topping. I used a strawberry ice cream, but the ice cream was white, so we added a drop or two of red food coloring to make it pink. Then we used a vanilla bean vanilla ice cream for the middle. For the 3rd layer, we used a mint chocolate chip ice cream, but the ice cream was white, so we added a few drops of green food coloring. It was stunning and the flavors were amazing!

3. Feel free to add cookie pieces, brownie chunks, nuts, mini marshmallows, or whatever you like in your ice cream!