Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Super Easy Goulash

This is super easy and the kids all loove it, and Danny and me, too! It's kind of like a twist on spaghetti, but different.

ground beef, onion, elbow macaroni, one can of spaghetti sauce(I use Hunt's Four Cheese- it's usually $1), 1 can of stewed tomatoes, sour cream and cheese.

Start your water boiling for the elbow macaroni. (I didn't put measurements on here, because I don't really use any. You kind of know how much to use for you own family.) While the elbow macaroni is cooking, cook your ground beef with one onion. After draining off any grease, add the can of spaghetti sauce and the can of stewed tomatoes. When the macaroni is done cooking and strained, add the sauce mixture. Then add about 2 tablespoons of sour cream and then grate a bunch of cheese over the top and stir it in so that it just kind of melts into it. Then you are done! It sounds like an unlikely combination, but it is so good and very "comfort food-y".

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

This bread is simply yummy! The fresh blueberries give it a hint of flavor, and the zucchini makes the bread incredibly moist. Oh so delicious. This recipe makes two regular-sized loaves or four mini loaves.
-3 eggs
-1 cup vegetable oil (healthy tip: use only 1/2 cup veg. oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)
-3 teaspoons vanilla
-2 cups white sugar
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-3 cups grated zucchini
-3 cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1 tablespoon groung cinnamon
- Fresh blueberries (I usually use about 4 ounces)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease four mini-loaf pans or 2 regular sized loaf pans.
2. In large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in zucchini.
3. Beat in flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in blueberries. Transfer batter to loaf pans.
4. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes (if using four mini loaves) or 1 hour and 20 minutes (if using 2 regular loaves), or until toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!
-Sprinkle bottom of greased loaf pans with small amount of brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Brooks' Bread

Brooks' Bread
Recipe from "Cook's Illustrated"
Posted by Brooks

Makes 1 loaf

18 3/4 oz AP Flour (about 3 1/2 cups)
1 t Salt
2 1/4 t Instant Yeast

2 T Unsalted Butter (Melted)
3 T Honey
1 c Whole Milk
1/3 c Water

Turn on the oven to 200 (it will become a proofing box)
Mix the Dry ingredients (minus 1/4 c of flour) in a stand mixing bowl
Mix the Wet ingredients and heat to approximately 110
Turn on the mixer to low
Introduce wet into the dry
Mix for about 10 minutes
If, after about 5 minutes, the dough is too wet, add from the reserve 1/4 cup (1 T at a time)
Turn off oven (the oven should have been on for 20-30 minutes by now)
Remove bread from bowl and knead a few times, shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl
Cover with plastic wrap and place in proofing box (oven) until doubled (40-50 minutes)
Shape into loaf and place in greased bread pan
Start heating oven to 350
Let rise until about doubled (Not in your heating oven)(20-30 minutes)
Bake until interior reaches 195 (30 minutes or less)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pesto Ravioli with Chicken

This is super easy, hard to get wrong, and always enjoyed!
2-3 large chicken breasts
1 package frozen ravioli- I like the square cheese ones
Sliced, Fresh zucchini- as many as you want. We usually use about 6!
1 can 14oz. chicken broth
1 can pesto
Parmesan cheese (optional- I don't think I usually use any)
Step 1. Cut up your chicken breast into slices or pieces and cook in a large skillet in a small amount of olive oil and with lots of garlic salt!. Take out of pan (to save on dishes) and set aside.
Step 2. Add frozen ravioli and sliced zucchini and chicken broth. You only need enough to cook the ravioli and zucchini in , but I usually use the whole can.
Cook until the zucchini is cooked through. You can usually tell because it gets this slightly transparent look to it. By this time the ravioli is always done.
Step 3. Add the chicken back in and the pesto. Only add as much pesto as you want for flavor. I usually use about 2/3's of an 8 oz. jar
Step 4. Heat thoroughly and then serve!! You can add parmesan at the end if you want.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Favorite Pork Chops

Favorite Pork Chops

Serves 6

  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 6 bone-in pork loin chops

Sauce Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cups ketchup
  • 2/3 cup chili sauce (found in the condiments isle)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • In saucepan, over medium heat, bring soy sauce, brown sugar and mollasses to a boil.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Cool to room temperature.
  • Pour into large resealable ziplock bag.
  • Add pork chops to the bag.
  • Seal bag and refridgerate for 3-6 hours (or overnight).
  • Drain and discard merinade.
  • Place pork chops in a greased 13 by 9 inch baking dish.
  • Cover with foil.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Combine the sauce ingredients and pour over the chops.
  • Bake uncovered for another 30 minutes or until the meat juices run clear.

Pizza Dough

You can use this recipe when you make the Calzones recipe. This will make about 5 medium-sized calzones, so you might want to double this recipe because they get eaten fast!

-2 1/2 cups flour
-1 T. sugar
-1 T yeast
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 cup warm water
-2 Tablespoons oil
  • Mix water, sugar and yeast, and dissolve
  • Add oil and remaining ingredients. Mix well and cover
  • Cover bowl and sit 10 minutes
  • Add 1/2 cup flour to make soft dough
  • Knead 5 minutes
  • Rest for 5 minutes
  • Bake 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes

English Toffee

English Toffee
Recipe from Cally Carlson
(This is the best toffee I have ever had, and it is super easy to make and tastes better than store bought Almond Rocca.)


  • 2 cubes butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 TSP water
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 (16 ounce) package chocolate chips
  • Combine butter, sugar and water in a heavy pan over high heat.
  • Stir continuously.
  • Cook until the candy makes a color change to deep amber (approximately 15 minutes) and is steaming.
  • Do NOT mix/scrape sugar from upper level of the pan (the stuff above the level of the candy) as this will change the consistency. Cally quote, "Be sure not to scrape down the sides of the pan while cooking. The sugar will crystallize and the Toffee will come out grainy and chewy instead of crunchy."
  • Remove candy from heat and spread on cookie sheet that has been lined with wax paper.
  • Let begin to cool 2 -3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly on top of hot candy and spread until it begins to melt.
  • Sprinkle top with the chopped walnuts.
  • Lightly press nuts down.
  • Cool in refrigerator until hard.
  • Use hands to break into pieces.

Call Cally for hints!!! When I made this the first time without her, I didn't let the color change enough before removing it from the heat and then the candy was tougher and didn't break so easily. Cally says, "I am always more likely to under cook than overcook. Let it get a little more brown than you think."
Also, remember to stir it constantly.
But the most important thing to remember....Keep the kids away while stirring and pouring!!! This stuff gets HOT!


These pizza pockets are great for a Friday night! Easy and yummy!
-1 can pizza dough or pizza dough recipe (see other post)
-Several cups shredded cheese (I use mozzarella cheese)
-Toppings: olives, pepperoni, canadian bacon, ham, pineapple, mushrooms, etc.
-Olive oil
-Pizza/Spaghetti sauce (to dip)
-Garlic salt
  • Make pizza dough, and roll out to about 1/2 inch thick and cut into squares.
  • Fill with cheese, a small spoonful of pizza sauce, and toppings, and pinch dough closed all around.
  • Lightly brush tops and bottoms with olive oil and season with garlic salt.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Fresh Homemade Salsa

Fresh Homemade Salsa


Three 28 ounce cans stewed tomatoes-drained
1/2 bundle of cilantro
1 bundle green onions
2 garlics
1 or 2 jalapenos
(Take the seeds out for mild salsa)
1/8 tsp ground cumin
fresh lemon juice
tortilla chips

  • Cut cilantro, green onions, garlic and jalapeno to small pieces.
  • Add to blender and blendy away.
  • When ingredients are cut up fine, add the drained tomatoes
  • Blend.
  • Add cumin, lemon juice and salt to taste.

It is best to keep the tomatoes out of the blender until the other ingredients are added and chopped to keep a good texture.

How to Cook Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash

(So I never forget, and because cooked Squash is sooooo good in the fall.)

One squash

  • Preheat over to 450 degrees.
  • Cut squash in half lengthwise.
  • Remove seeds.
  • Bake 35-45 minutes cut side down in a shallow baking dish.
  • Test with fork for softness.
  • Remove from oven- and don't forget to turn it off!
  • Add butter, brown sugar and/or salt
  • Cut in slices or mash the inside (but don't mash the hard outside layer)

And try to forget that you added the butter and brown sugar so that you feel healthy eating it!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lori Bullock's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lori's (Best Ever) Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 2/3 cups shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 ounces chocolate chip cookies
  • Mix all ingredients.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (In Idaho and Utah I baked for 10, but here in West Virginia I do 8 1/2 minutes or they are too dark.
  • You just want them BARELY golden brown. If left in too long they are crunchy.)

Hints: Mix ingredients in order. Don't over mix. Stir between each ingredient.
I usually double the recipe. You know, so there are enough for you AND to share with someone else!

Rolo Cookies

These are the easiest cookies to make, and they are delicious, especially when just out of the oven!
-Rolos (at least 20, unwrapped)
-2 eggs
-1 box Betty Crocker devil's food cake mix
-1/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix eggs, cake mix, and oil together in large bowl. When rolling the dough into balls, put a rolo in the center of each dough ball (make sure it's all covered with dough so when it melts it doesn't get goo all over!). Cook 8-9 minutes (don't need to grease the pan). Makes about 20 cookies.