Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hoppin John by Elizabeth Eastmond

Yeah!!! my first "guest" post. If you want to share you recipes with me (us) than please email me, I would love to have your family favorite :)

For a time we lived in the south--Arlington, Texas--to be exact. Every region of the country has their food traditions and one famous one for that area is serving a dish called "Hoppin' John" for New Year's Eve. Basically it's a combination of black-eyed peas, brown rice, sausage and bacon all simmered together. I got the recipe from my cross-the-street-neighbor, Margaret Hall, who brought some over one New Year's Day. "Oh, you have to try it!" she said. "It brings good luck to the new year." I ate it, and was hooked. As for good luck? Well, that was the year one of my children was born--a baby a sure sign of good luck if I ever saw one.

Happy New Year and Enjoy!
Elizabeth Eastmond

Hoppin' John
Prepare separately:
1 cup brown rice (when cooked yield is 3 cups)
1 pound Jimmy Dean's Sage sausage, browned and drained
1 pound bacon, chopped and cooked
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch celery, chopped
3 16-oz. cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
a few drops of Tobasco sauce, to taste
salt and pepper (check first, as the bacon can add enough salt)

Add all to a crock pot. It is ready when hot (2-3 hours). You can also do this stovetop, adding chicken broth as necessary to keep it moist. I've also heard it can be made with white rice, or spicy-hot sausage, although I've never tried that.

We like serving it with freshly baked tortillas, or gritty corn chips for scooping. It's always better the next day too, so enjoy it on New Year's Day while you take down the Christmas tree.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Carmel Popcorn

6 qt popped corn
1 cup butter
2 Cups brown sugar
1/2 cup karo syrup
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda

put butter, sugar, karo and salt in sauce pan. Cook on medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Let boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda. Mix with popcorn, cook in oven at 250 for 45 minutes. I put the popcorn in a big metal bowl. You will need to stir the popcorn every 15 minutes while baking.

Place on sprayed wax paper to cool

Recipe from Cindi McNiven

Easy Bake oven Chocolate cake

I don't know about all of you, but I have a little girl that LOVES to bake. So it only made sense that Santa brought her an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. I was so excited when I saw what Santa choose, until I went to the store to buy "Mixes". WHAT A RIP! They want $5.69 for enough cake batter for two (Very small) cake pans. NOT! So to the web I went.... and I did find, oh yes... so here is the first, there will be more to come.


Easy Bake Oven Recipe
Children's Chocolate Cake Mix
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and salt. Stir with a wire whisk until blended. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until evenly distributed and mixture resembles corn meal. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the mixture into each of 11 small containers with tight fitting lids or ziplock bags. Seal containers. Label with date and contents. Store in a cool dry place. Use within 12 weeks. Makes 11 packages of Children's Chocolate Cake Mix for Easy Bake Style Oven.

To Use:
1 package cake mix
4 teaspoons water

Mix together and stir with a fork or spoon until blended and smooth. Pour mixture into greased and floured 4 inch round miniature baking pan. Follow directions for child's oven, or bake in Mom's preheated 375° oven for 12 to 13 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Invert onto a small plate and remove pan. When cool, frost with Children's Chocolate Frosting. Serves 2 children.

Turkey cutlets with rosemary and shallots

My hub-o-love got me a subscription to EVERYDAY food by Martha Stewart! When I thumbed through it on Christmas day I found this recipe. It was delicious, easy too!

1 boneless turkey-breast half, sliced on the diagonal into 8 cutlets
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
Course salt and ground pepper
4 shallots, quartered lengthwise
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used chicken broth)
5 sprigs rosemary (about 1 inch each)
1 Tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1. One at a time, place turkey cutlets between two sheets plastic wrap, using meat mallet or heavy skillet, pound cutlets to 1/4 inch thickness. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Season turkey with salt and pepper. In batches, cook turkey until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes er side (add up to 1 Tbsp oil if needed, reducing hear to medium if skillet becomes too dark). Transfer turkey to plate and cover.

2. Add 1 Tbsp oil and shallots to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are tender, about 4 minutes. Add wine and rosemary and cook until syrupy, about 3 minutes. Add broth and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Return turkey to skillet and cool until warmed through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter; season with salt and pepper. Serve with potatoes (I did mashed)

Recipe from EVERYDAY FOOD by Martha Stewart

Monday, December 28, 2009

"Ugly Dip" (Salsa)

Two years ago, when we first moved here, I was asked to be in a "meal group" It was FANTASTIC! Monday-wednesday dinner was brought to my door, hot and ready to eat, then on Thursdays it was my turn to make and take dinner. There was a girl in the group, Breanne, she cooked the MOST amazing foods, as did everyone. This is her salsa recipe, called Ugly dip (Yes, you know me... I LOVE the name!)


5-6 green onions, chopped
1 small can chopped olives
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 tsp vineager
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 can of Jalapeno salsa (I couldn't find this for the LONGEST time, so I have included a picture of the can. I know... I rock!)

Recipe from Breanne Street

White Bean Chicken Chili

A year ago (I can't believe it's already been a year) I had my third child and at the ripe age of 30 and because of it, I contracted a heart disease called Peripartum Cardiomyopahty. It completely changed my life, I couldn't do ANYTHING, and for the first 3 months our ward (Church) brought us in dinner every other night. It was a HUGE Blessing and this was one of the dinners we got. Miss amazing, @CyndyMickelson gave me her recipe for this chicken chili. YUM. Stick it in a crock pot for the day and forget about it.

3 cans Great Northern White Beans
3 chicken breast (1/2's) cook-season with below spices and cut up into small cubes
1 T. olive oil
1 Med Onion chopped
4 t. garlic
2-4oz can chopped green chilies
1 can chicken broth
3 c. grated jack cheese
2 t. cumin
1 1/2 t. oregano
1/4 t. gr. cloves
1/4 t cayenne pepper
S & P

Cook chicken cut into small cubes and season. Saute onion, garlic in oil, add chilies and saute for 2 min. Add beans, chicken broth, onion mixture & chicken to large pot or crock pot. Simmer for 2 hours. Then add cheese and let it melt. Season with S&P. Garnish with sour cream and salsa and fresh snipped cilantro.
Yummy on a "cold" day.

Number Of Servings:Probably 6-8

Recipe from Cyndy Mickelson

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Oriental Glazed Chicken

I found this recipe in a Family Circle magazine and gave it a try. I changed the original version to be a little better, I hope. Good luck.

(I got a new camera.... aren't the pictures AMAZING!)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup light soy sauce (I used regular)
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbls vegetable oil
2 Tbls chili sauce (I didn't have any so I used taco sauce)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tbls cornstarch
2 cups coleslaw mix
1 cup salted cashews, chopped
3 cups cooked rice

Place chicken in a baking dish for marinating. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, honey, 2 Tbls of the vegetable oil, the chili sauce, ginger and garlic powder. Pour over chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Mix together the broth and cornstarch and set aside.

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and marinade and bring to a hard simmer, cooking chicken completely. Remove chicken and set aside. Also set aside left over juice from pan.

Add remaining oil to skillet and add coleslaw mix. Cook, stirring until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan into a bowl for serving. Pour back in both/cornstarch mixture and bring to boil until thickens, add back in chicken and cook until warm.

To assemble: Put rice in bowl, add tender cabbage and chicken on top, you can either spoon over cooked marinade of broth mixture from chicken. Then add chopped cashews.

Recipe from Family Fun.

Stuffed Mushrooms

I make these every time there is a party and they are always a hit. and with only 4 ingredients, how can you go wrong!


1 package of Italian Sausage (remove the casing)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 8oz package of cream cheese
45-50 white mushrooms or Crimini's whatever you prefer

Once you have removed the slimy casing place in skillet and brown sausage until completely cooked. While cooking add the garlic powder. Drain. Add back into pan and add cream cheese, stirring to combine. set aside. Wash the mushrooms with a damp cloth, snap out the stem, fill with sausage/cream cheese mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Recipe is from a friend in Kingman, Cindy McNiven.

Monday, December 21, 2009


So my friend Cyndy dropped this off to my house this morning and I knew from the second I saw it I would have to get that recipe out of her, and surprisingly enough she didn't even put up a fight. So you can all thank @CyndyMickelson for this recipe. I know I do!

Ingredients for the powder mix:

1 cup orange tang (I know right!)
3 cups sugar
12 oz lemonade mix (like Countrytime)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves

Makes 46 cups.

I know Cyndy doubled the recipe and made 15 jars (I think that is what she said)

How to make the drink:

Add 2 Tablespoons of the mix (recipe above) to 1 cup boiling water

Recipe came from the one and only Cyndy M. Love ya!


Everytime I make this I "wow" people. It really is pretty easy and you get a HUGE response. Make it this holiday season.

4 sticks real butter melted
2 ½ cups chopped walnuts
1/8 cup sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 pound Filo dough
Mix together nuts, sugar and cinnamon, set aside. Brush cookie sheet with some of the melted butter. Place one sheet of filo carefully in the pan. Brush melted butter. Repeat until there are 6 layers of filo.
Sprinkle 1/3 of the sugar mixture
Layer two leaves of filo on top of the nut mixture, brush with butter, layer 4 more sheets, one at a time, brushing each with butter. Sprinkle 1/3 of the sugar mixture
Layer two leaves of filo on top of the nut mixture, brush with butter
Sprinkle last 1/3 nuts on top. Repeat layering of filo until all layers areused. Brush top layer with butter. With a small sharp knife, sore the top of the pastry with parallel diagonal lines about ½ inch deep and two inches apart, then cross them diagonally to form diamond shapes. Bake in the middle of a 350F oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 and bake for 45 minutes longer or until the top is golden brown.
Meanwhile, make the syrup
1 ½ cups sugar
¾ cup water
1 tbls FRESH lemon juice
1 Tbls honey
Combine sugar, water and lemon juice in a small sauce pan and stirring constantly, cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and timing from the moment the syrup boils, cook briskly, umncovered for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the honey. Pour the syrup over it slowly, up and down all the scored. Cool to room temp and cut just before serving.

Recipe is from my Mom

Captain Crunch French Toast

I saw this on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food network and it looked delicious, so away I went to the good ol' web and found TONS of variations. So decided to make my own. They were crunchy and fantastic!

3 large eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1 (16 ounce) box Cap'n Crunch cereal (don't use the cheaper brands)
1 loaf Texas toast thick bread

1.Pour Cap'n Crunch into a gallon-size zip lock bag and crush to a course meal -- make sure there are a few good size pieces in the mix. Pour into a 9x13 pan in order to dredge properly.
2.Combine eggs, sugar, cream, vanilla, and spices in a large bowl. It will have the consistency of custard.
3.Soak each slice of Texas Toast in wet ingredients, 30 seconds each side. Be sure the edges are moist, too.
4.Dredge in Cap'n Crunch, lightly press onto each side, and around the crust. Place on parchment paper until all slices are coated.
5.Heat 2 tbs. butter in large skillet, then gently place slices in pan; two at a time.
6.Cook three minutes per side. Place on parchment covered baking pan in a warm oven.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Best Chicken EVER! (really!)

again... no picture on this one, but because I liked the chicken so much I am SURE I am going to make it again soon...


boneless, skinless chicken breasts (however many it takes to feed your family)
Montreaal Chicken Seasoning
Salt and Pepper
2 Tb olive oil

Heat oil in a frying pan until med to med-high heat. Place chicken in pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper and montreal seasoning. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip over and season same as before. After it has cooked for 6-8 minutes total place pan into 350 degree oven. bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven WITH OVEN MITT (I forgot that part) and place on plate and cover with tinfoil for about 5 minutes.

The chicken has the YUMMIEST flavor and it so very tender.

I made this recipe with the Thai Chicken Wraps, and they were delicious!

Thai Chicken Wraps

So... our camera died. dead. So sad, I know... so this entry doesn't have a picture which is unfortunate because it was YUM and looked cool too! So picture something delicious, good luck!

Red onion cut into thin wedges
2 cups chopped green cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
4 green onions, sliced
1 Tb grated ginger root
2 tsp minced garlic
2 Tb oil

Cooked Rice
tortillas (the ones you cook)
Cooked chicken chopped or shredded

Peanut sauce (recipe below)

Cooke red onion in oil until tender. Add cabbage, carrots, green onion, ginger root and garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes. Lay cooked tortilla on sheet and lay chicken, rice and vegetable along the length of one side. Drizzle with peanut sauce and roll the tortilla. Slice in half and serve the peanut sauce on the side for dipping.

Thai Peanut Sauce:

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tb soy sauce
2-4 tsp minced garlic
3 Tb water
2 Tb oil

Cook in saucepan on low to med heat to dissolve sugar. stir often. (I actually forgot to read this part and served my sauce uncooked and it was still VERY yummy)

Recipe from Breanne Street (miss her and her cooking)

Christmas Cookies

These are David's family favorites. We have made them every year since we got married. They are made with pecans, but because we have a little guy with a nut allergy we just leave them out. They don't last long and make sure to have some milk handy... you will need it!


1/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter or marg.
2 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans

cream together sugar and butter. Beat in flour, vanilla and salt, stir in nuts. Use scant tsp, roll into ball and put on ungreased cookie sheet (about 30 on a sheet). Use finger to put print in the center of each cookie BEFORE BAKING. Once out of the oven fill with frosting (recipe below)

1 Tsp butter or marg.
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp almond flavoring
red or green food coloring

mix with whole milk or canned milk.

Recipe is from David's mom, SueAnn Charon

Christmas Kiss Cookies

Cream together:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

mix together then add to creamed mixture:
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

form into balls about 1 inch in diameter, roll in granulated (white) sugar. Baking in a 350 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until set. Take out of oven and immediately press a chocolate kiss into center. Remove to wire rack to finish cooling. Kisses will get soft but will firm up again as the cookie cools. These take a LONG time to cool (like an hour or more)

Recipe from my Mom.... Elizabeth

Monday, December 14, 2009

Black and White mint Truffles


1 package creme filled chocolate cookies (I used the mint ones)
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
36 oz vanilla flavored candy coating (almond bark) I used chocolate as well
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
cocoa for dusting

1. line 2 cookie sheets with waxed paper/ Place cookies in large food processor. Cover, process with on and off pulses until consistency of fine bread crumbs. IN large bowl, stir cookie crumbs and cream cheese until well blended (I just added the cream cheese in the food processor) it will be like a dough consistency.

2. Chop 8 oz of the candy coating, stir into the dough mixture. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, place on cookie sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes or until VERY firm.

3. In small microwaveable bowl, microwave half of remaining 28 oz candy coating on high for 1 minute at 30 second intervals. Stir. Continue microwaving and stirring in 15 second intervals until melted and smooth.

4. Remove half of the balls from freezer, using 2 forks roll each ball in coating, return to cookie sheet. Melt remaining candy coating and dip remaining balls.

5. in 1 quart resealable freezer plastic bag place chocolate chips and oil. seal bag. Microwave on high 35 to 50 seconds, squeezing chips in bag every 15 seconds until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Cut small tip from bottom corner of bag. Drizzle chocolate over truffles, and sprinkle with cocoa. Store covered in refrigerator.

Recipe from Mrs. Bliss and Betty Crocker Christmas Cookies

Peppermint Pretzels


Pretzel rods
White almond bark (melting chocolate)
Andes Peppermint bites

Dip pretzels in white melted chocolate, sprinkle with Andes Peppermint bites. Let cool, the chocolate gets hard when completely cooled. Eat. YUM!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


In a word: YUM!


3 large cans of diced tomatoes (28 oz)
2 onions, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 Tbs garlic, about 3 or 4 cloves
2 cans diced chilies
1 can diced jalapenos
2 Tbs lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
a dash of red pepper flakes (don't use if you don't want it with a kick)

I add 1 can of tomatoes with all onions, cilantro and blend in blender. Then I pour that into a bowl and blend everything else and combine, then salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe from Tyla Watson

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Biscuits disguised as cinnamon rolls :)

My kids were requesting cinnamon rolls this past Sunday morning, and since I didn't have any yeast, this seemed like a good option, and I remember my Mom making them the same way when I was younger... YUM!


2 cups white flour
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
2 tsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 stick margarine
2/3 cup milk

Mix flour, cream of tarter, sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter, incorporate the stick of margarine until pebbly. gradually add 2/3 cup milk, knead 5 times on floured surface. Shape into biscuits. Bake at 425F for 7-8 minutes.

Sometimes I add fresh herbs for a yummier taste.

To make these into cinnamon rolls:

roll out dough into a large rectangle. Using a pastry brush, brush on melted butter. Then sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 7-8 minutes. When they come out of the oven drizzle with a glaze made out of powdered sugar and milk.

Recipe for biscuits is from Lucinda Meyers Milton

Monday, November 30, 2009

Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle

WARNING: This recipe will make your mouth water!!! How rude is it that I am giving you 'Thanksgiving' recipe's after Thanksgiving? Forgive me? Please... Make this ANYTIME, it's so yummy I think I am going to go make it right now, what diet? :)


1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup hot water


2 cups cold water
1 package (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding
1 can (15 oz) canned pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp rum extract

1. In large bowl cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg. Combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternatively with water, beating well after each addition.

2. Pour into greased 13 x 9 in ch pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, set aside.

3. In large bowl whisk milk and pudding for 2 minutes. Let stand 2 minutes or until soft-set. Combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon; stir into pudding. In another bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken, add sugar and extract, beat until stiff peaks form.

4. Set aside 1/2 cup gingerbread cubes. In a 4-qt trifle bowl or glass serving bowl layer a third of the remaining gingerbread cubes; top with a third of the pumpkin mixture and whipped cream. Repeat layers twice. Crumble reserved gingerbread and sprinkle on top. cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

** Take a short cut a nd buy gingerbread cake in the package and make that according to the directions!**

My sister in law, lisa made this recipe at Thanksgiving, and she got it out of a "best ever Thanksgiving' recipe book

Christmas Salad

Ever since I was a little girl my Mom made this recipe for either Thanksgiving or Christmas, both if I was lucky :) I know, the picture isn't that appetizing, but BELIEVE me, it's yummy!


6 oz package cherry jello
6 oz package raspberry jello
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple
1 pint sour cream
1 bag frozen raspberries

Dissolve cherry jello in 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Add cranberry sauce and crushed pineapple, pour into 13 x 9 inch pan (for thicker salad use 9x9) chill in fridge until firm. Once firm spread with sour cream (make sure it's even) then, dissolve Raspberry jello in 1 1/2 cups boiling water, stir in raspberries until thawed, spoon over sour cream, chill until firm, then ready to serve.

Recipe is from my Mom

Layered Nachos

Since finding foods for the family and Barb to eat can be a challenge, I thought I would make it easy for myself and do nachos.


green onion

You can put all or one of the ingredients on, it doesn't matter. Here are what nachos look like in my house:

we will just call these, the ULTIMATE nachos. He had EVERYTHING!


I am not sure if you could call mine "Nachos" there were two, yes two chips at the bottom but, no cheese, lots of lettuce, black beans, tomatoes and green onions and some meat. Pretty lame!


Cheese, chips, meat and olives


yes.. just cheese and chips

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Eve Punch

This punch was a tradition in our family for every Christmas Eve and New Year's. I love it, and it is SO very easy.

1-46 oz can pineapple juice
12 oz can lemonade concentrate
12 oz can orange juice concentrate
4 cups water
1 qt of 7-up (1/2 of a 2 liter)

mix. I cut up a lemon and freeze it in water in the bottom of a bundt pan for a garnish.

Recipe from my Mom.

Pasta, Pesto and Peas

This almost killed me. Really, almost! As you know I am on this "Raw foods" diet with no room for yummie-ness. This weekend I had people over for a "Scentsy" party and decided to make this and other yummy recipes that I could not eat. That's right, I did NOT have one bite, not one! I am very proud of my will power. Didn't think I had it in me :)

3/4 pound of fusilli pasta
3/4 pound bow tie pasta
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 12 cups homemade pesto (recipe below)
1- 10 oz package frozen spinach chopped (defrosted and squeezed dry)
3 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup Pignolis, toasted
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper.

Cook pasta i large pot of boiling salted water for 10-12 minutes, until pasta is al dente. Drain and toss in a bowl with olive oil. cool to room temp. In the bowl of food processor, puree the pesto, spinach and lemon juice. Add the mayo and continue to puree'.
add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta, then add the Parmesan cheese, peas, pignolis, slat and pepper. Mix well. season to taste and serve at room temp.

Homemade Pesto

1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3 Tbs diced garlic (about 9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

place the walnuts, pignolis and garlic on bowl of food processor. Process for 30 seconds. Add basil, S & P. With processor running slowly pour in olive oil until pesto is finely pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute more. Serve or store pesto in fridge or freezer. If freezer add a THIN layer of olive oil on top.

(I have had mine in the freezer for months, and it is still good)

Recipe from THE Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten

Orange Fruit Dip

1 cup sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
1 cup water

Add these in sauce pan and cook until clear. Once cooked add:

6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate (1/2 can)

let cool.

Then whip 1 cup whipping cream, beat until thick and add to sauce pan. Stir and serve. YES it's that easy!

Recipe is from my Mom, who got it from some lady named Hazel Sonne.

Enchilada Casserole

I usually just make enchilada like this, but because of my new diet, I left the chicken chunks EXTRA big, and just used 4 tortillas to layer (because I can't eat those) and it worked out. I just picked out the chicken and my family loved the rest.


1 can cream of chicken (I used the heart healthy kind, if there is such a thing)
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 can diced green chilies
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts boiled and cubed
shredded Monterrey jack cheese
flour tortillas

mix the cream of chicken, diced chilies, enchilada sauce and chicken in bowl. spray glass 9 x9 pan with cooking spray. layer 1 flour tortilla, chicken/sauce mixture and cheese. Then repeat, you can only get two maybe three layers so don' be stingy with the chicken/sauce layer. I just baked it until it was warmed through. about 25 minutes. I served it with LOTS of broccoli, yum!

My recipe

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala

{sorry.. you can barely see it on my plate, it was attacked by my HUGE salad :)}

Pastor Ryan's Chicken Tikka Masala

3-4 chicken breasts
1/2 c plain yogurt
6 Tb butter (divided)
kosher salt
1 1/2 c heavy cream
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 in. chunk fresh ginger, peeled and minced

Garam Masala
2 c Basmati rice

fresh cilantro
chili peppers
frozen peas

Start by seasoning the chicken breasts with Kosher salt. Next sprinkle them on both sides with coriander and cumin. Then coat the chicken with the plain yogurt. Set the chicken on a metal cooling rack over a foil-lined cookie sheet and place it about 10-12 inches below a broiler for 5-7 minutes on each side. It should have slightly blackened edges. Remove from oven.

Next dice the onion and saute with 2 Tb butter over med-high heat until slightly browned. As the onions cook, mince your garlic and ginger (1x2 inch peeled chunk). Add to onions with 1 Tb salt.

At this point add 3 Tb Garam Masala spice (found in the spice section of the grocery store). If you like it hot, add a chili pepper or two. (I did a Serrano pepper and it tasted great.) Add the tomatoes and continue cooking and stirring, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Add about 1 Tb sugar and allow this mixture to simmer on medium for 5 minutes.

To a rice cooker add 2 cups Basmati rice, 4 Tb butter, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tb ground turmeric and 4 c water. Cover, turn on your rice cooker and walk away. If you do not have a rice cooker, cook your rice as usual but make sure you use Basmati. (The turmeric adds a very subtle flavor - it's more about the vibrant yellow color it creates.)

After the Tikka Masala sauce has had a chance to simmer for a bit, add in the 1 1/2 c heavy cream. Now chop up your chicken breasts into chunks and add them into the sauce. A handful of chopped cilantro is a nice addition if you like cilantro. You can also throw some frozen peas into the cooked rice, give them a stir and allow the heat of the rice to cook the peas. It tastes great and gives another nice dash of color. Serve the rice with the Chicken Masala over the top. Make sure you have some Naan bread handy too.

Recipe from the Pioneer woman

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cafe' Rio Black Bean Salsa

We were invited to eat over at friends on Sunday night, and I was a little worried considering I am on this new, ultra Raw diet. But to my pleasure my Friend Anne prepared LOTS of things I could eat. I have never been to Cafe' Rio, but baby... I am finding one soon. :)


1 bag sweet white frozen corn
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large tomatoes, diced
2-3 avacados cut into smallish pieces
1/2 red onion chipped finely
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbs. red wine vineagar
juice of two limes pulus 1 more tbsp juice
salt and pepper

Miz all ingredients. Add the avacados last after mixing other ingredients or they will get smashed.

Recipe is from Anne, who got it from Cyndy... who knows where she got it from, but THANK you for finding it!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hard Candy

Keagan was star of the week, and wanted to make suckers to pass out to her class. What possessed me to actually do it, I don't know... usually I try to talk her into something easier :) But... did it with a smile, and here they are.

all wrapped up and ready to give to her classmates

You have to have candy molds to make the suckers... I got these from my Mom ages ago. Glad she kept them from when she was a child.

Here is the hard candy recipe

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1/3 cup light karo syrup
1/2 tsp food coloring
1/2 tsp oil based flavoring *I got these off ebay a few years ago*

Combine sugar, hot water and karo syrup in heavy saucepan. Place on high heat and stir with wooden spoon until all the sugar crystals are gone. Clip on thermometer, continue cooking WITHOUT stirring, to 290F. Then remove from heat and add coloring and flavoring. Pour immediately into molds. For suckers: place molds on cookies sheet and SPRAY with non-stick spray. (believe me, if you forget this last step you will cry when you try to get them out)

Recipe is from the Internet. can't remember where, sorry

Saturday, November 14, 2009


So I have just been put on an all raw foods diet by my heart Doctor. For those of you who don't know me, I have a heart condition called Peripartum Cardiomyopathy. It happens after you have a baby... crazy. The medications haven't helped pull up my low EF rate, so we are now trying food. Anyhoo.... I am a healthy..hmmm... I can't believe I am about to tell all of you my weight, (breathe) Go close the door first and dim your computer monitors. Ok. I weigh... 156. AHHHH. I said it out loud! So it's not that I am HUGE and needing to loose weight, the Dr. is just trying to help my heart (along with several fun medications, that aren't really fun at all)

So... I am going to try to cook the same old Barb way for the family, and will be making myself tasty food (NOT!). So you will get a two for one deal on Barbbakes. A vegan, non cooked meal (not by choice :) and a regular 'wish I could eat' meal.

Tons of fun!

Please... if you know any recipes that use fresh fruits and veggies that is NOT cooked please let me know. This is only temporary (that is the only thing that got me to stop crying!)

thanks friends!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Burger

ya... no. Our burger didn't turn out like this. I was hoping because I miss In-N-Out so very much. In fact I think I am going to retire the idea of making burgers at home because I just get disappointed time and time again thinking that it will taste like INO.

So lets take a Moment of silence for Barb and her love of THIS company.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Mamwhich... oh, it's a sandwich alright!

O remember eating this when I was young, and ever since I have been on my own I have made it, when I got married I hooked my husband on it, and when the kids came along, they came to LOVE it. It's Keagan's favorite meal. And the best part.... it's SUPER easy!


1 package of bacon, browned until crispy
2 tomatoes
1 package of Alfalfa sprouts
1 loaf of french bread
1 mayonnaise recipe (below)

Cut bread lengthwise in half. spread with mayonnaise, then bacon on the bottom, tomatoes on the top and sprouts on top of that. YUM, and EASY!


3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup may
3 Tbsp of Dijon mustard *add more if you want the taste stronger)

Recipe is from my Mom.

and P.S. my kids LOVE this sandwich... sprouts and all!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dijon Pork Chops

I think Pork in general has a bad rap for being dry... extrememly dry. But this is NOT the case for this recipe. Each piece was juicy and tender with amazing flavor. The picture DOES NOT do it justice, promise! Try it, I promise you will not be disappointed, well... if your not a very good cook then I can't guarantee anything :)

{shown with fresh green beans with seasoning and Grey Poupon potatoes (that recipe is on the web site too)}
Dijon Pork Chops

4 1/2 inch thick butterfly pork chops
6-7 T. flour
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 c. butter
2 T. finely chopped green onion
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 c. cold water
2/3 c. dry white wine (I used chicken broth, or water with bouillon)
fresh chives to garnish

Pound pork chops with a meat mallet to 1/4-inch thickness. Combine 5 T. flour with pepper, seasoning salt, and poultry seasoning in shallow dish. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge chops in flour mixture and then brown in melted butter on both sides. Remove chops from skillet and set aside. Add green onion to skillet and cook until tender, about 1 minute. Stir together wine (or broth) and mustard. Add to skillet and stir to combine with meat juices. Return chops to skillet. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 8-10 minutes or until tender. (I wrote in my recipe, "Check at 5 minutes" because it cooked faster than I had anticipated.) Remove chops to warm platter. Combine water and 1 T. flour in a small bowl and mix well. Add to skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 1 minute. Pour sauce over chops and garnish with chives before serving.

Recipe from Sisters Cafe

Grey Poupon Potatoes

{this picture was taken before baking.... I made them with the Dijon Pork chops... VERY yum indeed!)


5 Tbsp. Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, shopped
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
6 medium potatoes (about 2 pounds)

Mix all ingredients, except potatoes in small bowl. Place potatoes in bowl and toss lightly, Place potatoes in lightly greased 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan or on shallow baking sheet. Bake at 425F for 35-40 minutes. or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Makes 4 servings

Recipe from a magazine clipping I got YEARS ago...

White Bread

6 to 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 packages FLEISHCHMANN'S active dry or rapid rise yeast
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine

in large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups four, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt. Heat water, milk, and butter until very warm (120F to 130F) Gradually add mixture to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.

With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Place kneaded dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 60 minutes. (With Rapidrise yeast, cover kneaded dough and let rest on floured surface 10 minutes)

Cut dough into two, roll dough to 12 x 7inch rectangle. Beginning at short end, roll up tightly as for jelly roil. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Place, seam side down, in greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. Cover, let rise in warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes or until done. Remove from pan, let cool on wire rack.

Recipe from FLEISCHMANN's best breads ever book


(I ALWAYS grill these, but tonight I just cooked them in a Pan. GRILL them, they are better that way)

Marinade recipe:

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate

Mix all ingredients together. Add to either skirt steak or chicken. I cut my steak into faijita strips BEFORE marinating. No matter what meat you use, it will be yummy!

Recipe is from my Mom

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Potato Stewp

Potato Stewp
(thicker than soup, but not a stew)

6-8 Potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Tbs margarine
3 Tbs flour
2 chicken bullion cubes
2 cans chicken broth
2-3 cups cheese
6-8 strips of cooked bacon
1 can evaporated milk
3-4 chopped chives
½ cup sour cream

Salt & pepper to taste, minced onion and garlic powder

Cook potatoes in water with bullion cubes. When soft drain and leave in strainer. Over high heat melt butter and sift in flour, stir with whisk. (will be pasty-it’s the Rue) slowly add the Chicken broth, a little at a time. Keep whisking. Add a little at a time until 1 can is added. Stewp should be thick. Add potatoes back and add ½ of the second can of broth. Then add evaporated milk. Stir. Keep on low rolling boil. Then add cheese, bacon, chives (green onion bottoms) pull off heat, before serving add sour cream. Then season to taste. Yum!

Recipe from Eve Cardiff

Pico de Gallo

This recipe is SO very easy to make. It tastes Y.u.m. with chicken faijitas topped with cabbage.

Are you ready for this brain busting recipe, really? ready?

ok.. here you go.

1 onion
2 tomatoes
1 bunch of cilantro
juice from a lime

chop all of the above and add to bowl. Add a tiny bit of water and lime.


Recipe is from my old neighbor Tyla Watson. I miss her and her cooking!

I know, right! Easy!

Beef Tamales

This IS NOT the recipe I use for Tamales. The recipe I use is a family recipe from @Tanaangles Mom. I didn't think it would be ok to mass distribute the recipe without her permission, but if you want hers (which is MUCH, MUCH easier by the way) then leave a comment, If There is enough interest then I will ask her. Let me give you just a sneak peak of her recipe... it only calls for 5 ingredients including the meat. and her tamales are the YUMMIEST tamales I have ever had.

Here is a back-up recipe I found off the Food network website. Good luck.

2 pounds beef shoulder roast
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 onions, peeled and sliced
1 garlic bulb, cloves removed and peeled
4 ounces dried New Mexico chilies
2 ounces ancho chiles
2 ounces pasilla chiles
2 tablespoons cumin seed, toasted
1 tablespoons salt
2 bags dried corn husks, about 3 dozen
4 cups masa mix
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups reserved beef broth, warm
1 cup vegetable shortening
Season the beef shoulder all over with salt and pepper then brown in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Once browned on all sides, add enough water to cover the roast along with the 1 sliced onion and about 6 cloves of garlic. Cook until the meat is fork tender and comes apart with no resistance, about 2 hours. When done, remove the roast to a platter to cool, reserve the beef broth. Hand shred the meat and set aside.

To prepare the sauce, remove the tops of the dried chilies and shake out most of the seeds. Place the chilies in a large stockpot and cover them with water. Add the cumin, remaining sliced onion and garlic. Boil for 20 minutes until the chiles are very soft. Transfer the chiles to a blender using tongs and add a ladle full of the chile water (it is best to do this in batches.) Puree the chiles until smooth. Pass the pureed chiles through a strainer to remove the remaining seeds and skins. Pour the chili sauce into a large bowl and add salt, stir to incorporate. Taste to check seasonings, add more if necessary. Add the shredded beef to the bowl of chili sauce, and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Go through the dried cornhusks, separate them and discard the silk, be careful since the husks are fragile when dry. Soak them in a sink filled with warm water for 30 minutes to soften. In a deep bowl, combine the masa, baking powder, and salt. Pour the broth into the masa a little at a time, working it in with your fingers. In a small bowl, beat the vegetable shortening until fluffy. Add it to the masa and beat until the dough has a spongy texture.

Rinse, drain, and dry the corn husks. Set them out on a sheet pan covered by a damp towel along with the bowls of masa dough and beef in chili sauce. Start with the largest husks because they are easier to roll. Lay the husk flat on a plate or in your hand with the smooth side up and the narrow end facing you. Spread a thin, even layer of masa over the surface of the husk with a tablespoon dipped in water. Do not use too much! Add about a tablespoon of the meat filling in the center of the masa. Fold the narrow end up to the center then fold both sides together to enclose the filling. The sticky masa will form a seal. Pinch the wide top closed.

Stand the tamales up in a large steamer or colander with the pinched end up. Load the steamer into a large pot filled with 2-inches of water. The water should not touch the tamales. Lay a damp cloth over the tamales and cover with lid. Keep the water at a low boil, checking periodically to make sure the water doesn't boil away. Steam the tamales for 2 hours.

The tamales are done when the inside pulls away from the husk. The tamale should be soft, firm and not mushy. To serve, unfold the husk and spoon about a tablespoon of remaining beef filling on top.

Recipe from Tyler Florence on the Foodnetwork

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stuffed Shells

I haven't made these things in FOREVER, but they were as good as remembered. Serve them up with a fresh tossed salad and garlic bread.


1 pkg jumbo shells
4 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 cups spaghetti sauce (28 oz jar)

Heat oven to 375F. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in large bowl, stir together cheeses, eggs, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. In 13x9x2 inch baking dish, spread 1/2 cup spagetti sauce. Fill each uncooked shell with about 2 Tbsp. cheese mixture. Layer one half filled shells over sauce; spread remaining sauce over shells. Sprinkle with additional cheese, if desired. Cover with foil. Bake 35 minutes or until hot or bubbly.

Recipe from American Beauty box of Jumbo shells


Hello new friends. Aren't they just the cutest things you have ever seen? They just look at you and say, "hi. how are ya?" I love makng holiday themed treats!

What you'll need to make these little guys:

Cookies (I used Sour cream cookies: recipe below)
White frosting
Assorted sugar wafers (ours were about 2 1/2 inches long)
Candy corn
Mini chocolate chips
Bran cereal (I used Chow Mein noodles... only cause I had them already)
Chocolate sprinkles

Old-fashioned sour cream cookies


1/2 cup chortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup sour cream

heat oven to 350F. mix shortening, sugar, egg and vanilla thoroughly. Measure flour by dipping method or by sifting. Blend dry ingredients; add to sugar mixture alternately with sour cream. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick on well floured pastry cloth. Cut with 2" cutter. place on greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar (or don't if frosting them) bake 8 to 10 minutes.

Recipe from Betty Crocker. Love her!
Scarecrow idea is from

Chicken a la luffle

I call this recipe, "chicken with a ruffle" This is a recipe that came from David's family when we got married. You give a little, right? I am NOT a cream of anything type person... I just don't see how something that comes out of a can in that form can be healthy! So we NEVER use it... except in this recipe. (and sometimes in enchiladas) So hope you like it... to make it EXTRA tasty add good spices to the chicken when you bake it the first time.. spices like... Rosemary, Poultry seasoning, herbes de provence. Good luck!

(we like to top our rice with the left over soup in the pan and of course... I served it with broccoli)


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips or left whole
1 can cream of mushroom soup (try the Heart healthy kind)
1 can milk
4 Tbsp butter or marg
Ritz crakers for topping

Turn oven on to 350. In shallow baking dish add chicken and melted butter, season to taste. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. On stove top heat 1 can of cream of mushroom, fill the empty can with milk and stir to combine. once heated together turn off stove. When chicken is out of the oven add the milk/soup mkixture and top wih crushed ritz crackers. Bake 15 minutes more. Serve with Rice.

Recipe from David's Mom, SueAnn

Lemon Bars

Lemon bars are a FAVORITE in this house. We usually just stick to the tried and true recipe, but I think in the future I might branch out a little bit, so if you have a good recipe you wouldn't mind sharing, let me know. Otherwise.. enjoy! P.S. David makes these in our house... he's such a great cook!

(do you like how my witch is keeping an eye out on these little yummies! That's right... I have a guard witch on my lemon bars!)
1 cup flour
½ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Heat oven to 350F. Measure flour by dipping method or by sifting. Blend flour, butter and confectioners’ sugar thoroughly. Press evenly in square pan 8x8x2. Bake 20 min. Beat rest of ingredients together. Pour over crust and bake 20-25 min more. Do not overbake. (The filling puffs during baking then flattens when cooled) make 16 squares (nah.. more like 4 HUGE squares in our family ;)