Welcome Fellow Food Enthusiasts

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cherry Almond Oatmeal Cookies

Basic Oatmeal Recipe
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour (can use up to 1/4 cup more)
1 tsp. baking soda
3 cups oats

Cream butter and sugars together, add eggs. Mix in dry ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

And the best part...the add-ins! Just add to the basic recipe.

Cherry Almond Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup dried cherries (you can buy these at Costco, by the other dried fruits)
1/2 cup chopped almonds
2 tsp. almond flavoring (use INSTEAD of vanilla in the basic recipe)

Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup dried blueberries
2 tsp. cinnamon

Craisin Orange Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup craisins
grate the peel of 1 orange

Almond Joy Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup coconut
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped almonds

Black Bean Soup

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, undrained
1 (16 ounce) can reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup salsa
1 TBSP chili powder
shredded cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)
chopped onion (optional)
cilantro (optional)

Mash one can of beans with potato/bean masher or food processor. Pour both cans of beans into saucepan. Add chicken broth, salsa, and chili powder. Bring to a boil. If desired, top with shredded cheese, sour cream, onion, and cilantro.

**This was a new recipe for us and we tweaked it a bit. It seemed really liquid-y, and I like black bean soup thicker, so we added another can of beans but drained that one. We also added chopped onion to the mixture as it was boiling for more flavor. And, it needed a little bit of salt. Otherwise, it was very tasty! Served with cornbread muffins.**

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Orange Rolls

Now don't knock this until you try it. There is no yeast in these rolls. The first ingredient may turn you off, but really! I'm giving you the same advice the website I got this recipe from gave me and I am so glad I took their advice. These rolls are SO good. These rolls are SO easy - no waiting around for the dough to rise a couple times. These rolls were the perfect start to our Thanksgiving morning.

Orange Rolls
3/4 c cottage cheese (don't use fat free and again, don't mock, just try it)
1/3 c buttermilk
1/4 c sugar
4 T butter, melted
1 t vanilla extract
2 c flour; more for rolling
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda

Orange Filling:
4 T butter, softened (I melted it)
1/2 C sugar
zest from one orange

Orange Glaze:
2/3 C powdered sugar
1 T melted butter
2 T Orange juice (I used all the juice from the orange I zested)

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray cooking dish - a 9" pie dish or 9"x9" casserole work well.
*Combine cottage cheese, buttermilk, sugar, butter, and vanilla in FOOD PROCESSOR (a must have for this recipe - a blender may work.) Mix until smooth.
*Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt). Add to the food processor. Just give it a couple quick pulses to create a clump-y dough.
*Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a rectangle. Spread the combined filling ingredients on the dough. Roll up like cinnamon rolls, slice the dough, and place into baking dish.

*Bake for 20-25 minutes - until tops are golden.

*Take out of oven, allow to sit for 5 minutes before covering with the combined glaze ingredients.

*Enjoy! You will regret the mocking.

Friday, November 20, 2009

mini chicken pot pies.

love this recipe! it's very simple and very hearty :)

1 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots
1 cup cubed cooked chicken {i used a can of chicken}
1 cup cooked diced potatoes
1/4 cup diced onion {i used frozen, pre-diced onions}
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 can {10 oz} cream of chicken soup
1 can crescent rolls
1 egg
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves

heat oven to 400. in a saucepan cook onions until tender. add peas & carrots, chicken, potatoes, milk, 1/2 tsp thyme and soup. heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. divide mixture evenly among 4 ungreased 10 oz custard cups. unroll crescent dough. place one crescent over each custard cup. in a small bowl, mix egg and water. brush mixture over crescent dough. sprinkle 1/2 tsp thyme over dough. bake 10-12 minutes until crusts are golden brown.

if you don't have custard cups, you can buy foil tart pans in the baking aisle.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sunday at Shawnee's (mom's house)

Chicken -n- Noodles
This is my ultimate comfort food. It's been a tradition in my family for years. I'm not really sure where it all started, but my grandma and mom have been making it for as long as I've been around. It might seem weird to have chicken and noodles over potatoes, but it's oh so good. I haven't mastered the art of homemade noodles, so I appreciate going to my mom's house and enjoying her hard work.

Noodles: 2 eggs, 1 tsp milk, 1 cup flour, salt
Mix until real stiff, adding extra flour on top and bottom as you roll the dough until paper thin. Let dry until almost brittle. Roll up and cut into thin strips.

Chicken: cook whole chicken, with a little water, in crock pot all day or in pressure cooker 30-40 minutes. Strain chicken-water mixture for broth. Shred chicken.

Gravy: Use chicken broth and potato water to make a thin gravy. Add shredded chicken and noodles. Thicken as needed.

Serve chicken -n- noodles over mashed potatoes.

Saturday at Shawnee's

Taco Soup Leftovers...the great thing about a big pot of soup is that you can eat it for days. And this past Saturday certainly was a soup day.

Friday at Shawnee's

Taco Soup

I'm pretty sure everyone has a version of taco soup. Brady made dinner and used his mom's "recipe"...I have no idea how much of anything she uses...just until it looks right is what she always tells me. Someday, I'll be able to cook that way. :)

Ground beef, browned
Diced tomatoes
Tomato juice or sauce
1-2 cans Beans (red, black, pinto, your choice)
1 can Canned corn
about a TBSP Brown sugar (to sweeten it a bit, add more if needed)
Taco seasoning or chili powder or a little bit of both

Throw it all together in a pan or crock pot and let it simmer. Top with chips, sour cream, cheese.

Thursday at Shawnee's

Bean Burritos with (Spring) Greens

My computer ate my picture of this. I'm very disappointed because it looked so pretty with all the colors. Oh well, use your imagination and when I make it again I'll post a picture! This was a new recipe from earlier in the summer. I loved it because it was a yummy way to sneak those leafy greens in.

1 green/spring garlic (or use what garlic is in season)
1 baby walla walla onion (or use your favorite onion)
1 bunch cooking greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
2 TBSP olive oil
salt to taste
1 can refried beans (I used refried black beans)
4 warm tortillas
Shredded cheese (as much as you want)
Toppings: salsa, avocado, limes, sour cream, etc.

Finely chop onion and garlic. Saute onion, garlic, and greens in olive oil for about 5 minutes. (I find it best if you saute the onion and garlic together first, then add the greens.) Salt to taste. Layer greens mixture with warmed beans, cheese and other toppings of your choice on tortillas. Roll up tortilla and serve.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sweet Sliced Snacks

Okay, I really have no idea what these "are called" so I made up the name and think I did a pretty good job. Dr. Seuss has nothin' on me!

This is the cheapest, easiest, most cost efficient snack ever. Not to mention healthy. Well, healthier.

apples (sliced horizontally)
peanut butter
chocolate chips

Really? I mean come on.... :)

lasagna rollups.

this recipe takes a little time, but it's so worth it!

1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 jar {14 oz} tomato pasta sauce
1 egg
3/4 cup ricotta cheese {i used reduced fat}
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese {5 oz}
4 lasagna noodles {the recipe calls for frozen precooked noodles, but i just cooked mine the old-fashioned way}
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, washed, stems removed

heat oven to 350. in a skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently; drain. stir in 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce. remove from heat. spread 3 tbsp of remaining pasta sauce in bottom of square glass baking dish.

beat egg in medium bowl. add ricotta, Parmesan, oregano, and 3/4 cup of the mozzarella; mix well. spread 1/4 each of ricotta mixture, spinach leaves, and beef mixture over each lasagna noodle. loosely roll each noodle; place seam side down in baking dish. top rollups with remaining sauce. cover with foil.

bake 30-40 minutes, until bubbly and hot. remove foil; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. bake 2-4 minutes longer to melt the cheese. let stand 5 minutes before serving.

the recipe says it serves 2 {2 rolls each} and it has a whopping 985 calories per serving! i ate one roll with a green salad on the side. i think the recipe easily serves 4.

honey roasted red potatoes.

this was a delicious side for our dinner last night. i found the recipe on sweet basil.

1 Pound Red potatoes
2-3 Tb Melted Butter
2 Tb Honey
1 Ts Ground Mustard
1/2 Ts Salt
1/4 Ts Pepper

Heat oven to 375 and spray a cookie sheet. Cut potatoes in half or quarters depending on the size and line on the baking sheet. Mix the butter, honey, mustard, salt and pepper and drizzle over the potatoes. Bake for 30-40 min until tender

we served it with parmesan chicken and greek salad.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday at Caprene's House: Enchilada Soup and Pumpkin Bars

I promise, I do eat at home usually, it's just lately that I seem to be at other homes a lot. But my friend cooked some really yummy soup, recipe below. I made dessert again. (It is the easiest thing for me to prepare and transport since I usually travel the farthest to family and friend events. You know, living in North Salt Lake - we are just out in the boonies.)

Enchilada Soup
1 T vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 T chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 c chicken broth (I added 2 more cups)
1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T fresh lime juice
tortilla chips
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 avocados, cut
shredded cheese

1. Heat the oil, add the onion, jalapeno, chili powder and garlic. Cook until the onion is softened. Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and simmer, partially uncovered, until no longer pink, about 15 min.
2. Remove the chicken and let cool. Continue to simmer the broth for 10 min. Meanwhile, shred the chicken in bite-sized pieces.
3. Remove the broth from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Divide portions of the chips, chicken, tomatoes and avocados among individual bowls. Ladle the broth over each bowl and sprinkle with cilantro. Cheese would also be yummy.

Pumpkin Bars (I found this recipe on this food blog. It is like pumpkin bread but even more moist - ick, I don't like that word.)

6 eggs
1 1/2 c canola oil
3 c sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 large can (29 oz) pumpkin
3 1/4 c flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 T cinnamon
1 1/2 t salt
Chocolate chips or white chocolate chips, etc

Mix together eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin. Fold in dry ingredients and pour into jelly roll pan (13 x 18 pan) . (Optional: Sprinkle the pan with chocolate chips - though I think the dessert is plenty sweet without them) Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes (I find 35 minutes to be perfect) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake.

Frost with cream cheese frosting (again optional, I use a really thin layer.)

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla

Blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla.

Saturday at Caprene's House: English Muffin Pizzas

I was watching my friend's 22 month old (yup, he's almost reached the age where he'll no longer be aging by months...) so had to make some kid friendly foods. My friends just purchased a new toaster oven, and it was fascinating to their little boy. Needless to say, all meals prepared on Saturday involved the toaster oven. Dinner - English muffin pizzas, broiled in the toaster oven.

English muffins
Pizza sauce (tomato sauce with some seasonings found in the cupboard)
Cheese (cheddar and mozzarella)

Another recipe where directions probably aren't necessary.

Since I mostly cook for one, I don't usually make side items. Most of my fruits and veggies come from breakfast, lunch and snacks. This night, I did have a vegetable though...

At least I think it counts as a vegetable...

Friday at Caprene's House: Tacos

OK, this meal wasn't in my own home either, so no camera - hit me over the head with a frying pan for forgetting it.


Corn tortillas
Ground Turkey (I use it all the time, I hope it really is healthier than ground beef)
Shredded cabbage (I prefer cabbage over lettuce for Mexican food)
Diced tomatoes
Diced avocado
Shredded Tillamook medium cheddar cheese (it's the only brand I use...)
Sour cream
Canola oil (for frying the tortillas)

Do you really need them?

I will say, my friend and I both like to fry the corn tortillas just long enough so that they can cool off bent over something to create homemade crunchy taco shells. So that and my tip on using cabbage instead of lettuce are the only original ideas I have...

Thursday at Caprene's House: Lasagna

(again, I'm horrible with the photos)


1 package of lasagna noodles (does anyone else end up throwing out noodles? why do they put so many in the box.) I used whole wheat noodles this time and loved them.
1 lb ground meat (this night I used ground turkey, I also use ground beef, or Italian sausage.)
2 cans Italian-stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
Italian seasoning to taste (I use a LOT)
16 oz cottage cheese
1lb grated mozzarella cheese
other optional things I add:
Green Pepper


Boil the noodles
Brown the meat and then drain
Add the tomatoes, the tomato paste, extra veggies and the seasoning and simmer until the noodles are cooked. Add the cottage cheese just before putting the lasagna together.
Lay enough noodles to cover the bottom of a casserole dish.
Spread 1/2 the meat sauce over the noodles.
Sprinkle 1/3 of mozzarella cheese.
Cover with noodles again.
Spread the rest of the meat sauce on the noodles.
Sprinkle with 1/3 of mozzarella cheese.
Cover with noodles.
Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (until you can see the sauce bubbling on the edges.)

Wednesday at Caprene's House: Spaghetti Squash

I really don't eat a lot for dinner (I'm a big lunch person.) So, 1/4 a spaghetti squash was dinner on Wednesday (and lunch on Thursday, Friday and Saturday)

Cut the squash in two (Does anyone else struggle when cutting squash? I think it takes longer to cut up a squash than to cook it...)

I place the halves face down on a cookie rack (sometimes I use a roasting pan with the roasting rack). I fill the bottom of the cookie sheet with water and placed the cookie sheet in the oven. 350 degrees for an hour.

I'll admit, one of the reasons I like spaghetti squash, I like to use my fork to scrape up the spaghetti like strands.

I just top the squash with spaghetti sauce (when I'm out of homemade sauce, I'm a fan of Newman's Own Spaghetti Sauce) and cheese.

I try to eat as much fresh squash as I can in the Fall.

Tuesday at Caprene's House: Frosted Flakes

Yes, there are days when I get home and don't have the energy to make anything. Tuesdays I go straight to school from work. Sometimes I have meetings after school. This was one of those nights. I'm not a fast food eater, so dinner at 10:30pm - sometimes it is cereal with soy milk, and this is the cereal I had open at the time.

Who thought aerobics instructors only eat fruits and veggies and healthy stuff...?

Monday at Caprene's House: Butternut Squash and Curried Apple Soup

This will be easy for me to post. Please just reference this post that I already made in October. This is seriously becoming one of my favorites. I think I could eat it everyday. Yummy stuff!

Sunday at Caprene's House: Enchiladas and Cookie Sandwiches

This meal wasn't actually at my house, it was family dinner at my aunt's house. So, here's her recipe for the yummy enchiladas she prepared, and then the recipe for the dessert that I made. (oh, and I have no skills when it comes to taking pictures of food.)

Chicken Enchiladas


12 tortillas, softened

4 T butter

2 medium chopped onions

8 oz can green chilies (or less)

8 oz can sliced olives

1 c sour cream

1 1/2 lbs Monterey jack cheese (or less), sliced in ¼ to ½ inch wedges.

20 oz can medium hot enchilada sauce

8 oz grated cheddar cheese

1/2 c chopped green onions

1/2 c chopped cilantro

2 shredded chicken breasts


Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.

Add chopped onions and cook for 2-3 minutes

Add half of chilies, half of olives, and all of sour cream.

Heat through and set aside.

Soften tortillas by wrapping in foil and heating in a 350º oven for 10 minutes.

Fill each with 2 T of onion mixture & two slices of Monterey jack

Roll up tortillas & place seam down in buttered 9x13 dish.

Pour enchilada sauce over, Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, green onions, cilantro, olives & green chilies.

Bake 350º for 30-40 minutes or until cheese melts.

And then for dessert...

Cookie Cheescake Sandwiches

I made oatmeal cookies (and you can make any cookie)
Then here's the filling:


4 oz Cream Cheese, softened

2 T sugar

1 c thawed Cool Whip

20 Cookies

Melted Milk Chocolate for dipping (optional)


Beat cream cheese and sugar with mixer until well blended. Stir in COOL WHIP.

Cover bottom (flat) side of each of 10 cookies with about 2 Tbsp. cream cheese mixture; top each with second cookie to form sandwich. Dip half of each sandwich in chocolate; gently shake off excess chocolate. Place in single layer in airtight container.

Freeze 3 hours or until firm.

**Ok, I actually did all this a while ago, but so many people were posting and I didn't have time to sit down and post. I don't remember really which say was which for everything, but I'll at least post the seven days worth.