Welcome Fellow Food Enthusiasts

Friday, December 31, 2010

Hot Parmesan Artichoke Dip & Pizza Dip

Now that I am living with other people, I find I am not taking pictures of what I am cooking. With an audience, there is more pressure to serve the food right away, and not pause to take a series of photos. So I am sorry that I’m not posting much these days. I resolve to do better.

While at my parents’ house for Christmas, we decided, since my brother’s family was flying out that afternoon, to just do a bunch of hors
d'oeuvres on Christmas Day. Here are two of the ones I made. Of course, I forgot to take photos of the finished dishes, but I did remember and took a photo of one of my bites. Everyone seemed to eat them pretty quickly, I guess they liked ‘em?

Hot Parmesan Artichoke Dip

14 oz artichoke hearts

1 c grated Parmesan cheese

1 c mayonnaise

1 garlic clove

1-2 Roma tomatoes, diced

3-4 green onions, sliced

Mix all the ingredients but tomatoes and onions.

Spoon into a pie dish.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.

Sprinkle with the tomatoes and onions.

Serve with chips or bread pieces or crackers or whatever.

Pizza Dip

1 cube cream cheese

2 c spaghetti or pizza sauce*

1-2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

Spread the cream cheese evenly into the bottom of a pie dish. **I set the cream cheese out for a few hours beforehand so that it is room temperature, aka: easier to spread.**

Pour the sauce over the cream cheese.

Sprinkle the cheese on top.

Bake at 350
° for 10-15 minutes (until the mozzarella is melted).
Serve with crackers or bread, etc.

*I usually just make my own quick sauce combining tomatoes and spices, instead of using a jar sauce.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Recipe Reminiscing

Have you tried a recipe from Eat Your Veggies, Peas! recently and loved it?  Or did you make it a long time ago and still continue to whip it up every now and then?

If you're like me - right before I go to the grocery store I scan old and new recipes from this website to make my grocery list.  Some things have been posted for months, yet I just barely tried it and loved it - and want to share (who really goes back to see that I checked the "Loved it!" box?).

Let's hear all about what recipes from here you've been cooking up!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

pumpkin pie...

I know Thanksgiving has come and gone but just had to post a homemade Pumpkin Pie recipe. It is so good and easy!


2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
7 Tlbs ice cold water

Using a pastry cutter, blend ingredients until well blended. Roll dough out on floured surface using a roller til about 1/2 inch thick. Roll dough around roller and place in a 9 inch pie pan.

You will have a little bit of extra crust. What I like to do is roll them out again and make little strips and sprinkle cinnamon and bake in the oven until golden brown. Makes a nice treat!

Filling: (recipe is on Libby's 100% pure Pumpkin can)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin (don't get the brown can and the one that says "easy" on it)
1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk

Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a small bowl. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spiced mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into unbaked pie shell.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool on rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

I also make my own whipped cream. Just get 1 pint of heavy whipping cream and pour into a bowl that has been left frozen for a few hours. (This helps the cream to stay cool while mixing) Use 1 teaspoon of vanilla and some sugar to taste. Maybe about 1/2 cup - 2/3 cup. Depending on your desire of sweetness and beat with a beater until the cream thickens. Takes about 5 minutes to thicken.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cinnamon Roasted Chicken with Pumpkin-Sage Grits

Sorry, I posted the pumpkin cinnamon rolls and mentioned another recipe I had planned to make that week... and then I got sick. Now I am better and cooking again. So here is the second pumpkin recipe I made this month. We all liked it , but the grits should definitely be eaten with the chicken. They compliment each other well, but I think alone, the grits are kind of bland. So here is the recipe, and as usual I put little side notes of changes I made...

Cinnamon Roasted Chicken with Pumpkin-Sage Grits

3 chicken breast halves (I then cut them in half, so into six pieces of chicken)
1 T vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
t salt
1 t cinnamon
½ t black pepper
c water
2/3 c instant grits
½ c canned pumpkin
1 T snipped fresh sage (I used closer to 3 T)
1/3 c shredded cheddar cheese
Sage leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place halved chicken breast halves into a baking dish. Drizzle chicken with oil and sprinkle with 1 tsp. of the salt, the cinnamon, and black pepper. Rub the spices over all sides of the chicken. Bake for 20 minutes or until no longer pink and juices run clear. (I had to bake for 40 minutes for them to be fulled cooked.)
About 10 minutes before the chicken is done, in a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in grits until combined. Stir in pumpkin, sage, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in cheese.
To serve, spoon grits onto dinner plates and top with chicken breast halves. Add sage leaves on top.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

instant potato soup.


this kept us nice & toasty during the winter storm today! i love that it doesn't require actual potatoes. i don't always have potatoes on hand, but i always have the instant variety :)

2 Tbsp onion, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
3 cups milk
1 can chicken broth
4 servings worth of dry instant mashed potatoes
1 1/2 tsp salt

in a saucepan, saute onion in butter over low heat. add milk, chicken broth, salt & pepper, and potato flakes. heat to almost boiling, stirring constantly. remove from heat. garnish with paprika, parsley, or grated cheese. add milk if too thick.

i added 2 cups of cubed, cooked potatoes. i think next time i'll try adding 4 slices of finely chopped bacon when i cook the onions.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and yummy breadsticks

Soup: 5-6 chicken breasts, cubed
2 Tbsp butter
1 32 oz container chicken broth
Minced onion
1 1/2 cup baby carrots, chopped
1 1/2 cup celery, chopped
8 cubes chicken bouillon
Seasoning salt
1 16 oz. package of Grandma's frozen egg noodles (can be found in the frozen aisle)

Brown chicken tenders with butter, minced onion and seasoning salt.

In a 1 1/2 gallon pan (I think it is how big it is) fill pan half with water. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add carrots, celery, chicken bouillon, seasoning salt (to taste). (If you don't have seasoning salt, you can add celery salt and onion salt.) Add browned chicken and noodles. Cook until noodles and vegetables are soft.

I get the bread dough from Dick's bakery. Or you can use any white bread dough of your own recipe.

Flour surface and roller and roll out dough until flat. Cut into thin short strips and put on greased baking sheet. Let rise for several hours. Spread melted butter on dough and sprinkle McCormick's Salad Supreme on. Bake at 350 degrees for about 11 minutes or until done. If you are butter lovers, you can add more melted butter to the breadsticks right after you take them out of the oven.

Warning: breadsticks are VERY irresistible!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Italian Tortellini Soup

I've posted a Tortellini recipe in the past - but it was more of a stew, quite a bit thicker, while this one is definitely a savory soup.  This one may trump all however.  I'm in LOVE with this soup.  Pretty sure I ate it for a week straight after I made it; not only because it makes a lot, but I really loved it!  Perfect for our cold winter days ahead.  I challenge you to cook up a savory pot of this yumminess . . .

Also, this soup would be fabulous with this Macaroni Grill bread.

(Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up!)

1 lb hamburger
1 1/2 t minced garlic
1 onion
salt and pepper
3  14.5 oz cans Italian Stewed Tomatoes
1  8 oz can tomato sauce
1  6 oz can tomato paste
8 C water
8 t beef bullion
1 green pepper, chopped
1 C carrots, chopped
1 C fresh or frozen green beans, chopped
1 can kidney beans
1 C zucchini, chopped
salt and pepper
1 pk. Good Seasoning Italian Dressing mix
1 can tomato soup
1 20 oz pkg Cheese Tortellini (I used the refrigerated kind, but you can easily use dried. Costco has a good deal on refrigerated kind for $10)

1. Brown your hamburger in a large skillet with the onion, garlic and a bit of salt and pepper.

2. Put the canned tomatoes in a blender and blend them up nice and lovely like. Just for 30 seconds or so.

3. Put the meat mixture, blended tomatoes and all other ingredients BUT THE TORTELLINI and TOMATO SOUP into a large soup pot. Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes. I like to leave the lid partially on. Less to clean up, and it keeps the heat some what trapped.

4. In a separate medium sized sauce pan cook the tortellini according to package directions. Be sure not to over cook it. When it's done drain the water from the tortellini and add it to the large soup pot.

5. Stir in the tomato soup and let it simmer for just 5 more minutes.
Yields: 12 servings (lots of leftovers!  Have some people over for dinner, or freeze half)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

So I found this yummy recipe on my friend Sarah's crafty blog, (she found it on another blog herself) and I am SO glad she shared. I love pumpkin anything (look for another recipe later this week that I am trying out with pumpkin.) Pumpkin cinnamon rolls? Frankly, you just can't go wrong with that combination. Here's the recipe. I did a tiny amount of tweeking, and then the cook time I recommend is the cook time for me here in Utah (Sarah is in DC.)

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls



¼ c warm water

2¼ t yeast

1/3 c warm milk

1 large egg, beaten

¾ c pumpkin puree

1 T melted butter

2 c white flour

1¼ c whole wheat flour

½ c brown sugar

1 t salt

½ t cinnamon

¼ t ginger

¼ t cardamom


¼ c melted butter

2/3 c white sugar

¼ c brown sugar

2 t cinnamon

½ t allspice

½ t ginger

¼ t nutmeg

1/8 t cloves

½c chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 ounces cream cheese (¼ stick)

4 T butter, softened

½ t vanilla

½ t lemon juice

1-1½ c powdered sugar



Stir yeast into water and let rest for 5 minutes before stirring.

In a separate bowl, add milk, eggs, pumpkin, butter, 1¼ c whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom. Add yeast mixture and stir for 2 minutes. Add white flour, a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.

Put dough back into bowl, cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.


Combine the sugars, nuts, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl, set aside.


Mix the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and lemon juice until smooth. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, blending in between, until well mixed and desired consistency is reached.


Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat or roll it into a 16" x 12" rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough and then sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Roll the dough into a log the long way. I like bigger cinnamon rolls, so I sliced my log into 12 rolls using string. Place rolls in a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 minutes.

Frost warm rolls with the cream cheese frosting and serve immediately. I think the rolls are rich enough with the pumpkin flavor, and didn’t want the frosting to be to dominating taste, so my measurements above are half what Sarah used. I thought it more than enough icing to compliment the rolls.

Sorry, pretty pathetic photos, but I had a hungry crowd waiting.
There wasn't much time to take a quick snapshot.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tomato-Pesto Pasta Salad

This recipe is so easy, it's almost embarrassing, but easy and fast is the best way to go when it comes to cooking for me.


  • 1 packet pesto mix {you could easily substitute for fresh pesto sauce or from a jar}
  • 1 package noodles {I used half a box of whole wheat rotini and half a box of bow-tie}
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil
  • 1 TBS white vinegar
How To:

  • Prepare your pesto according to directions {I used McCormack's brand and I believe it called for water and olive oil}
  • Boil noodles according to instructions
  • Once noodles are cooked, let them chill in the fridge for a little while
  • Slice cherry tomatoes in half
  • Put noodles in serving dish and add your tomatoes, basil and cheese {for this salad to taste good you really need fresh basil and the freshly grated Parmesan cheese, I wouldn't substitute}
  • Pour your pesto sauce over the salad along with your vinegar and stir together
  • Let it chill in the fridge until serving, it is best served as a cold salad

Now wasn't that easy! You could also add chicken to the salad, or basically anything you want, but this was how I made mine, and it was pretty tasty!

Meat Marinade

I am finally getting around to the post for the cooks challenge: chicken cuisine. For 8 years now, I have this go to recipe for a meat marinade. I love it because its not only delicious, but it's convenient because I always have the ingredients on hand. My favorite way to use it is for kabobs. Peppers are in season so I picked one up in every color. I paired it with a spinach salad. What a healthy and divine dinner.

Meat Marinade:

1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. soy sauce
ginger or garlic

Marinate for at least 4 hours (important if you want moist chicken). Grill on the barbie or do what I do, and bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Happy and Healthy Eats!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chicken A La King

I got this recipe off of another food blog called get off your butt and bake! go check it out for more detailed instructions. It was delicious and so easy to throw together. There are so many options you can pretty much add whatever your family likes. And we just served it over hot biscuits since I didn't have puff pastry. So yummy! We will definitely be trying this again.


1/3 Cup Butter melted

1/4 Cup Cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 Cup COLD water.

1/2 Cup Chicken Broth

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Pepper

1 teaspoon granulated Sugar

2 cups Milk

1 1/2 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese or other

*I also added:

1/4 tsp. Cracked Red pepper flakes (opt)

1/4 tsp. Onion powder (opt)

1/4 tsp. Celery Salt (opt)

Add to the prepared Sauce:

Diced or shredded cooked Chicken breasts and steamed veggies of your choice.

*This is also a great way to use leftover turkey or ham


In medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and stir while it’s melting. Add the broth, seasonings, Milk and the Cold water and Cornstarch mixture. Stir continuously over heat until sauce has thickened. Turn to low heat, and add the grated cheese. Do not let the sauce boil. It it seems too thick, simply add a bit more milk or Chicken broth to the sauce. Add the diced chicken and steamed veggies of your choice. *If you are adding frozen peas, make sure that they don’t have a build up of ice around them. It will thin your sauce.

Fill your puff pastry shells with the chicken sauce, and top with a bit more grated cheese. You can also use this sauce on top of Toast, biscuits, Toasted English muffins, etc.

Monday, September 20, 2010

apricot chicken.


this is suuuuper simple and the chicken turned out really moist and flavorful. i'll definitely be making this again.

1 small jar apricot preserves
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 {8 oz} bottle French salad dressing
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

preheat oven to 350. place chicken in shallow baking dish. mix apricot preserves, onion soup mix, and French dressing in bowl. mix well. pour mixture over chicken. bake in oven for one hour and serve.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

BBQ Chicken Pizza Soup

from the Picky Palate

I saw this recipe a few months ago and finally got around to trying it.   We really liked it, hope you will too.

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh minced garlic
11 oz can corn with peppers, drained
2 12 oz cans Swanson’s Chicken, drained  (I used frozen, shredded chicken)
1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup BBQ Sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Lawry’s Garlic Salt
1/2 Cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1. Heat oil into a medium pot over medium heat. When hot, saute onions for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic, corn and chicken breast; mix to combine. Pour in chicken broth, BBQ sauce, salt, pepper, garlic salt and cilantro leaves. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until ready to serve. Garnish each bowl with a fresh sprig of cilantro.

4-6 servings

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Easy Chicken Cordon Blue

Brady especially loves chicken cordon blue, but I'm not always up for all the pounding, breading and rolling that regular chicken cordon blue involves.  So, in my effort to dumb it down, I stumbled upon this beauty and we were pretty pleased with how it turned out!

You Need:

4 chicken breasts, thawed
1 box chicken flavored stuffing, prepared according to box directions
1 can cream of chicken soup
4 slices of ham
1 tbsp sour cream or dijon mustard
1 cup of shredded mozzerella cheese or 4 slices of swiss

To Do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place the chicken in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and salt and pepper it.
Place the ham slices on top of the chicken.
Mix the cream of chicken with the sour cream/dijon mustard.  (I don't like dijon so I just substituted sour cream) and pour it over the ham.  Spread it out so it covers evenly.
Top with prepared stuffing.

Place in oven for approx 25 min or until the chicken is cooked through. 
Pull it out and top with the cheese, put it back in the oven until the cheese is melted.


Sweet Salsa Chicken

I got this recipe out of one of my favorite recipe books called The Domestic Art: A Collection of Fine Recipes - a book my sister in law gave me a few Christmases ago.  It seems almost every recipe I've tried out of this book has been a success and new favorite.  So I'm pleased to share yet another recipe from it . . . super easy Sweet Salsa Chicken.

1 pkg. taco seasoning
4 chicken breasts
2 T. oil
1 c salsa
1/4 c apricot jam (I used apple)
1/4 c water
1 T cilantro
1 T lime juice
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Cut chicken into bite size pieces.  In large skillet heat oil; add chicken and taco seasoning and cook until juices run clear.  Add salsa, apricot jam, water, cilantro, and lime juice.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in beans, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Alfredo-Sauced Chicken and Rice

I had just returned from a weekend at my aunt and uncle's house when I got the new cook's challenge. It was perfect. We were laughing over the weekend because our meals were all chicken based. This challenge goes right along with the weekend. So I emailed my aunt for the meal I liked best from the weekend and made it tonight for friends.

Let me warn you, this makes a lot of food. Even with friends over, I still have lunch for at least 2 weeks (most of the leftovers are now in the freezer.) Also, I put the changes I made to the recipe in italics if you want to try my adaptations...

Alfredo-Sauced Chicken and Rice


1 1/2 cups COOKED wild rice
1 1/2 cups COOKED regular long grain rice
1 Jar (17 oz.) Alfredo sauce (I made my own Alfredo sauce, recipe follows if you like)
1/2 t tarragon
1/2 t marjoram
1/8 t pepper

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (and I halved each chicken breast so had 12 pieces)
1/4 to 1/2 t seasoned salt

1 1/2 c cut-up asparagus (the casserole dish was too full with with everything else, so I just steamed the asparagus and served it on the side.)
1 1/2 c sliced mushrooms (4 oz.)
1/3 c sliced roasted red bell pepper (from 7 oz. jar) (I opted for a chopped whole red pepper, and also a green pepper)

Cooked the rice. While the rice cooks, sprinkle the chicken with seasoned salt and brown in a skillet.

Heat oven to 350. Mix wild rice, regular rice, 3/4 c of the Alfredo sauce, 1/2 t tarragon and 1/8 t pepper in an ungreased 13X9 baking dish. Place chicken on rice mixture. Sprinkle the marjoram and spread the asparagus (remember I didn't have room so cooked it separately), mushrooms and peppers over the chicken. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top.

See how full it is?
That's why I cooked the asparagus separately.

Cover and bake 1 hour until juice of chicken is no longer pink. (I only cooked for 40 minutes because I browned the chicken for so long.)

Alfredo Sauce (this is doubled to be enough for the dish)


1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter

2 c heavy cream (I use half-and-half)

3 c freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

2 large egg yolk, lightly beaten


Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add cream and cheese. When cheese has melted all the way, add egg yolk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.

B liked it
(I know, I know, she hasn't even taken a bite yet in the photo.
But she asked to take home some leftovers,
I don't think she would have asked if she didn't like it.)