Friday, October 31, 2014

Cheesy Sausage Pasta Skillet

First off, I want to share how happy I am to be back with the Mormon Mavens. I took a year hiatus... and missed it! I love trying new recipes and sharing the good ones I find as well as those tried and true recipes that you can never go wrong with. Thanks for having me back, friends!

Now... onto the yummy food....


This recipe is a true one pot meal and comes together quickly. 

Cheesy Sausage Pasta Skillet


1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. Smoked Turkey Sausage, sliced
1 C. diced onions
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (about two fresh cloves)
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream (if you don’t have this on hand – milk would work too)
8 oz dry pasta (any small pasta will do)
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped scallions, for garnish


1.  Add olive oil to a 4-5 quart saute pan over medium high heat. Add onions and sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.

2.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes, milk, pasta, and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender.

3.  Turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover for about five minutes to allow cheese to melt. Top with sliced scallions and serve.

Makes about 4 servings.

Many thanks to Yellow Bliss Road for sharing this recipe!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Red Curry and Ginger Pork Loin

So, I like to cook with pork. It is so versatile and lends itself well to different flavors. I decided to make up a curry and ginger marinade and sauce. It is slightly sweet with a definite kick due to the curry.

1/4 C. oil
juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar2 Tbsp. red curry paste
1 tsp. fresh ground ginger

2 lbs. meat. I used pork, but it would be great with chicken or beef. 

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Place meat in a large zip top bag. Pour marinade over the top. If you have a meat injector, you could also inject some of the marinade into the meat. Let marinate in the fridge for an hour or two.
Heat up your grill over med high to high heat. Oil your grill grate. Remove meat from marinade and place on grill. Let sit for a few minutes, then turn. Continue cooking pork until an instant read thermometer registers between 145 and 160 degrees F. Let meat rest for at least 5 minutes.

For extra sauce cook the following in a small sauce pan:
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. Brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. red curry paste
1/3 c. water
juice of 1 lime.
Heat til just boiling, then simmer for 5 mins or so. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

One of the things I have a hard time resisting is pizza.  Even when I'm not trying to eat wheat- and dairy-free, pizza is a huge temptation.  I just love it.  But it doesn't love me.  I didn't think there would be an alternative that I would enjoy.

I've seen pics for this crust all over Pinterest but never really had the gumption to try it until now.  While it doesn't rival Domino's or Pizza Hut or Whatever-Your-Favorite-Pizza-Place-Is, it's good enough that I will be making it again.  And that's sayin' somethin'.

2 cups shredded cauliflower
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup mozzarella Veggie Shreds
1 tsp. dry oregano
1/2 tsp. finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp. onion salt

1.  Remove leaves from cauliflower and cut head into pieces.  In a food processor with a grater blade, process the cauliflower.
2.  Place 2 cups of cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on full power for 5 minutes.
3.  Cool to room temp.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
4.  Grease a cookie sheet or pizza pan.  Form pizza crust into desired shape.
5.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with desired toppings.  Return pizza to oven for a few minutes, or broil to melt additional cheese.


  • The head of cauliflower I used yielded about 3 1/3 cups of shredded.  
  • You can use regular cheese, but I'm trying to go dairy-free so I used a cheese substitute.  If you want to give it a try, you can find it in the produce section at the grocery store.
  • I didn't add extra cheese since there is some in the crust already.  I just topped with a bit of pizza sauce and some pepperoni.  If you are adding veggies, you may want to saute them a bit first since they won't spend long in the oven.
Makes 6 pieces of pizza crust

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chili Blanco

This is my favorite time of year for so many reasons.  One is that we get to have stews and soups and all kinds of yummy, warm comfort foods.  This chili recipe is actually quite healthy and was really easy to put together.  You just need to allow time for the beans to cook, as you will note in the instructions.  I will probably be posting other recipes from this cookbook (see source below), so stay tuned for more deliciousness.

1 pound dry white beans, rinsed and picked over *
4 (14-oz. each) cans of chicken broth *
1 t. chicken stock base (I didn't have any so I just made my broth stronger)
2 onions, chopped *
1 T. oil
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (7-oz.) can diced green chilies *
4 t. ground cumin
2 t. dried oregano leaves
2 t. cayenne pepper
4 cups cooked, diced chicken
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro, if desired (I added this)
1 cup fat-free (yeah right!) sour cream *
3 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

1.  Place the beans, broth, chicken stock base, onions, oil, garlic, chilies, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook very slowly until the beans are done--test to see if they are done as they cook.  You don't want them to be mushy, just tender.  Beans that are not soaked first take 2-3 hours to cook.  Make sure to add more broth or water if the liquid gets low so they won't dry out.

2.  Remove beans from heat.  Stir in the cooked chicken and the cilantro.

3.  Top each serving with sour cream and shredded cheese.

* I have noted when I have used freeze-dried or other items from food storage products, just so you can get an idea of how to incorporate those items into your every day cooking.

SOURCE:   The Romney Family Table.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

North Carolina BBQ Sauce

This sauce was a huge hit at our daughter's graduation pig pickin'.  We cooked the pig in the sauce but you'll want to add more to your plate when you eat your pork because it is that good!


4 c. cider vinegar
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/3 c. ketchup
1/4 c. butter
2 T. hot pepper sauce
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
2 t. mustard powder
1 t. salt
1 t. fresh ground pepper


1.  Place all ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the stove and pour into a heat-proof bowl.  Cover and refrigerate the sauce for 2 days.

2.  Strain the sauce through a mesh sieve to remove the red pepper flakes.  Store the sauce in the refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

***I did not remove the red pepper flakes and I thought it was delicious that way.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Love and Concern for All God's Children

Today, we had a wonderful lesson at church about having love and concern for all God's children
Here are some of my favorite excerpts

"I believe it is our solemn duty to love one another, to believe in each other, to have faith in each other, that it is our duty to overlook the faults and the failings of each other, and not to magnify them in our own eyes nor before the eyes of the world. There should be no faultfinding, no back-biting, no evil speaking, one against another, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We should be true to each other and to every principle of our religion and not be envious one of another. We should not be jealous one of another, nor angry with each other, and there should not arise in our hearts a feeling that we will not forgive one another our trespasses. There should be no feeling in the hearts of the children of God of unforgiveness against any man, no matter who he may be. …

… We ought not to harbor feelings one against another, but have a feeling of forgiveness and of brotherly love and sisterly love, one for another. Let each one of us remember his or her own individual failings and weaknesses and endeavor to correct them. We have not reached a condition of perfection yet, it is hardly to be expected that we will in this life, and yet, through the aid of the Holy Ghost, it is possible for us to stand united together seeing eye to eye and overcoming our sins and imperfections. If we will do this, respecting all the commandments of the Lord, we shall be a power in the world for good; we shall overwhelm and overcome all evil, all opposition to the truth, and bring to pass righteousness upon the face of the earth. For the Gospel will be spread and the people in the world will feel the influence which will be shed forth from the people of Zion, and they will be inclined more to repent of their sins and to receive the truth."

"In other words, all that has been revealed for the salvation of man from the beginning to our own time is circumscribed, included in, and a part of these two great laws. If we love the Lord with all the heart, with all the soul, and with all the mind, and our neighbors as ourselves, then there is nothing more to be desired. Then we will be in harmony with the total of sacred law. If we were willing to live in harmony with these two great commandments—and we must do so eventually if we are worthy to live in the presence of God—then wickedness, jealousy, ambition, covetousness, bloodshed, and all sin of every nature would be banished from the earth. Then would come a day of eternal peace and happiness. What a glorious day that would be! We have been endowed with sufficient reason to know that such a state is most desirable and would establish among men the Fatherhood of God and the perfect brotherhood of man."

I could not put it better. As one woman said during our lesson today, "LIFE IS HARD, LET'S HOLD HANDS!"

I love that. We all need to show more love, more concern, more kindness to everyone. Those in and out of our faith, those that we agree with and those we disagree with. The world needs more love!
Let's try to be more Christlike and love all of God's children.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pulled BBQ Chicken

My neighbor told me this recipe over the phone. Super easy and satisfying.

Pulled BBQ Chicken in the Crockpot
3-4 Frozen chicken breasts
1 onion
smoked paprika
garlic powder
a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce- I used Stubbs original

Slice up the onion and place on the bottom of your crock pot. Lay the chicken breasts over the onions. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and garlic powder. Pour some of the BBQ sauce over the top of it all. Cover and cook on low until chicken is cooked through.
Shred the chicken with a fork and add more BBQ sauce as needed.

Serve on rolls with lettuce or wrapped in a tortilla with blue cheese cole slaw.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Candy Corn Cookies

Now, I'm normally a "make it from scratch" kind of girl.  But sometimes, well, you just don't have the time or energy.  I had planned to make these cookies from scratch but then thought, "You know, it's just as wonderful to have a time-saving way to make something cute as it is to have a scratch way to make something cute!"

So, if you're the type of person who loves ideas using convenience foods, you'll love this.

2 logs of sugar cookie dough
food coloring

1.  Preheat oven according to dough directions.  Unwrap logs of dough.  Set aside about 1/3 of the dough.  Take the other 1/3's and place into two small mixing bowls.  Color one of the 1/3's orange and the other yellow.  (I used gel food coloring in orange and yellow because that's what I had.  If you have liquid food coloring, use yellow and then yellow/red to make orange.)
2.  Line a loaf pan with a large sheet of wax paper (you want it to cover all the sides, not just the bottom...and allow some to hang over the sides).  Press the uncolored cookie dough into the bottom of the paper-lined loaf pan.  Make sure it's even.  Then do the orange, then the yellow so that you have three even layers.  Fold the wax paper down over the top of the dough and press to help the layers be even and also to adhere them to each other well.  Chill for an hour.
3.  Use the paper to lift out the dough from the loaf pan.  Remove the paper.  With the dough on a cutting board, carefully cut the dough into slices about 1/3-inch thick.  Cut each slice into little candy corn shaped wedges (also known as triangles!).  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, two inches apart.
4.  Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until the edges are just barely starting to get golden brown.  Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet.  Then carefully remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

I could have sworn I had a picture of the loaf slice cut into diagonal candy corn shaped wedges, but apparently I did not.  Sorry!

These cookies are a little on the small side, but 2 logs makes a lot of them.  I only had time to cut and bake a few of the slices and that was over 2 dozen.  The rest of the dough I put back in the fridge to use later.

Source:  idea from Kathie Cooks

Sunday, October 12, 2014


I am so so so so so tired.  In fact I believe this is the most tired I have been in a long time.  I have a almost 5 month old who has been waking me up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours at night, a 3 and 5 year old who are up at 6:00 a.m. everyday, a 10 year old who somehow can't fall asleep until 10:00 p.m. every night despite the fact that I want to be in bed and asleep at 9:00, and last but not least I have a brain that won't let me fall asleep when I can sleep because it keeps going over all the things I need to be doing.  We are getting ready for a move across the country and every time I start working on something for the move a child needs something from me that keeps me from getting what I need to do done.  In fact right now it is 6:30 a.m. and I have been awake since 4. I have now told my 3 and 5 year old to stay in bed until the sun comes up at least 5 times and have tried to settle the baby back into sleep twice since I have began writing this blog post 30 minutes ago.  Right now being a mom feels like too much!  When the house is finally quiet at night I lay in bed and try to think if I have had more positives then negatives with my children that day.  Did I use every teaching moment?  Did I snap at them when they were doing nothing wrong?  Did I talk kindly to them?  Did I love them enough?  

What can I do to make things right?  Last night as I was thinking and praying about all of this a song from my childhood came into my mind, it is titled Four Hugs a Day by Charlotte Diamond.  The song starts out with the lyrics:

Nobody gets enough hugs a day
'Cause the minimum number is four
Now if you haven't got Four hugs today
Then you better get some more....

As I laid in bed thinking about this song I decided that today my goal would be to give my children at least 4 hugs each.  If all else fails today, if I go to bed tonight completely exhausted, if I didn't get any packing done and my kids have only eaten macaroni from a box, at least I can say that I hugged them and maybe today that is enough.

Mommy’s Hug

My mommy baked a cake today,
But Mommy didn’t hug me.
She made some puppets for a play,
But Mommy didn’t hug me.
She washed the dishes, clothes, and walls.
She picked up papers, shoes, and dolls.
She made my lunch and answered calls …
But Mommy didn’t hug me.
When nap time came, she tucked me in,
But Mommy didn’t hug me.
She saw a tear run down my chin,
And then my mommy hugged me!
She tickled, kissed, and hugged me tight.
I hugged her back with all my might,
And that made everything all right.
I’m glad my mommy hugged me.

Who wouldn't want to hug these cute kids!  Today is going to be a good day!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Candy Corn Fruit Salad

I am not a fan of Candy Corn, but I love this salad.  It is simple:

1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Marshmallows
1/2 cup Coconut

Mix together and place in the bottom of a glass bowl, layer 4 cans Mandarin Oranges and 2 cans Pinapple on top. Gently mix together just before serving.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Halloween Poison Cake

You know, it's scary how many Halloween recipes you can find on Pinterest.  All the boys and ghouls are pinning all their faves for their upcoming spookiest soirees.  Every year I get so excited and say "This is the year I am going to host a "Tim the Tool Man Taylor"  monster bash!"  And every year I don't.  Maybe next year.  Anyway, here is a sweet treat you can try out, the trick is trusting the conversion equivalents.  The source for this recipe has included both, but I think next time I make this I will tweak it.

375 grams sugar (2 cups)
250 grams soft unsalted butter (9 oz.)
3 large eggs
250 grams all-purpose flour (1 3/4 cup)
1 1/2 t. baking powder
pinch of salt
250 ml  milk, room temperature (1 1/8 cup)
2-3 t. almond extract (or vanilla or mint )
Green food coloring, to desired color

Cocoa Icing:

1 cup or more of powdered sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder, about 1/2 a cup
A few T. boiled, lukewarm water (not sure how this makes a difference.  I just used tap water.)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment (I used baking spray with flour).

3.  In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

4. In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well each time.  Scrape down the sides when needed.

5.  Add the flour mix to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, mixing well.

6.  Stir in the almond flavoring.  Next add green food color.  Don't use too much since the color will darken as it bakes (it really does!).

7.  Pour the green batter in the cake pan and smooth with a rubber spatula.  Place cake on lowest rack in oven to prevent over-browning. Do this for sure.  I didn't and ended up with a zombie cake top  Bake for about 40-60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

8.  Transfer cake to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.  Cut the cake into squares.


Mix ingredients together in a bowl, adjusting liquid/sugar depending on desired consistency.  It should have a thick pouring consistency that is easily spread with a spatula.

SOURCE:  Cake Journal.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Spider Deviled Eggs and Clementine Pumpkins

Just thought a couple of healthy treats would be nice for a change around the Halloween season.  No need for recipes here, just a few simple instructions.

For the Spider Eggs:

Make your basic deviled eggs.  Use a half black olive for the body of the spider.  Slice the other half into 4 segments to make legs.  You'll need one and a half olives to make one spider.

For the Pumpkins:

Peel a clementine.  Insert a cut piece of celery into the top opening for a stem.

Source:  pinterest

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mormon Morsels: How's Your "To Do" List?

I was scrolling through Facebook this afternoon at work, kind of filling in some time and I came across this video.  I want you to take 9 minutes and watch this, pay close attention to the boy's prayer, and grab a tissue.  I will not even attempt to write any more about it.  You will understand why once you watch it.