Sunday, December 16, 2007

Homemade Pizza

Easy & delicious!

6 oz. can tomato paste
6 oz. can water
1 T sugar
1 t oregano
1 t chili powder
1 t garlic powder
1 t basil
2 T parmesean cheese

Mix paste and water with wire whisk in bowl. Add spices, mix well. Add cheese last to prevent lumps. Makes enough sauce for dough recipe. Make the sauce a day ahead for extra flavor.

4 3/4 C flour
1 T salt
2 T sugar
1 t basil
1 t garlic powder
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly in large bowl.

2 C warm (not hot) water
1 1/2 - 2 T yeast

In a separate bowl, using a wire whisk, stir water while slowly adding yeast. Whisk until yeast is thoroughly dissolved, then pour into dry mixture. Knead in heavy mixer like a Kitchen Aid or Bosch for 6-7 minutes (or by hand 8-10 min.). Allow dough to rise for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface. Spray pizza pan before putting dough on it. Work dough to edges of pan. Put on sauce leaving one inch around outside. Add cheese evenly, then add desired toppings. Sprinkle top lightly with extra cheese. Bake in preheated 460 degree oven for 14-18 min, or until crust is golden brown.

To make breadsticks, rub vegetable oil on prepared dough, sprinkle with garlic powder and cheese and bake for 8-10 minutes in 460 degree oven.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

World's Best Green Bean Casserole

I was given the assignment of bringing green bean casserole to Thanksgiving Dinner this year. I wasn't really looking forward to making it, as it's probably one of my least favorite things on the dinner table each year, so I decided to look for a different recipe besides the can of green beans, can of cream of mushroom soup recipe that people typically think of. Boy am I glad I went searching! I truly found the world's best green bean casserole. I made a huge dish, and it was nearly completely gone by the end of the meal. Several people even went back for seconds! Enjoy!

Here is a link to the recipe.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
Add vanilla and chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 10 -14 minutes until firm.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

I subscribe to a couple recipe sites, and decided to finally try one of the recipes out. My family loved this dessert!

1/2 cup cold butter
1 pouch (1 lb. 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker oatmeal chocolate chip cookie
1 egg
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, cut butter into cookie mix using fork or pasty blender. Stir in 1 egg until mixture is crumbly. Gently spoon 3 cups crumb mixture into pan; press into bottom of pan. Bake 15 minutes.

In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, 2 eggs and the vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Pour over cookie crust. Spoon remaining crumb mixture over cream cheese. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until chilled. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cake Mix Cookies

These are the easiest cookies in the world, and I think they're pretty yummy!

1 box cake mix (my favorite is Funfetti)
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil

Mix all ingredients, form into cookie balls (I use a cookie baller), put on cookie sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Don't overcook!

Note: You can add chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, etc. to cookie dough before baking. Mint chips with chocolate cake mix is another of my favorites!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fish Tacos

I think I could eat these fish tacos every night - they really are that good. And they're so easy to make! Don't let the name scare you away - my little sister doesn't even like fish, but she loves these fish tacos!

fish - I like talapia
carrots, chopped really small
zucchini, chopped small
red bell pepper, chopped really small
jalapeño, chopped really small
cayenne pepper
little tarragon
little seasoning salt
major greys chutney (optional)
tomatoes, cubed

Stir fry the carrots, zucchini, bell pepper, jalapeño, and garlic in a little bit of olive oil. Set aside. Cook fish in pan, breaking apart the fish as it cooks. When the fish is done, add the veggies back, and then season the whole mixture with the cinnamon, cayenne, tarragon, salt, pepper, and major greys chutney (all seasonings are to taste).

Place mixture in a small soft white corn tortilla. Top with cilantro and tomatoes. It's also really good with a simple sauce - sour cream and some hot sauce (I used Tapatio)....................

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Pumpkin Bars

These are yummy... and a perfect fall treat!

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups pumpkin, cooked and mashed (I used canned)
2 cups flour
1 t salt
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
4 T margarine
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 t vanilla

Combine eggs, sugar, and oil in a large mixing bowl. Beat well. Blend in pumpkin. Sift flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon. Add to pumpkin mixture. Pour into greased and floured 10x15 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool. Combine cream cheese, margarine, powdered sugar, and vanilla, blending well. Spread over baked mixture. Cut into bars.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mississippi Caviar

Still just trying to find ways to use up my ever-growing crop of tomatoes! Funny name, but this one is a nice variation on fresh salsa.

5-6 roma tomatoes, diced
3 cans black eyed peas, rinsed
4-5 green onions, chopped
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
1 pkg Zesty Italian dried salad dressing mix
2 T vinegar
2 T olive oil

1/2 diced jalapeño
black beans

Serve with Tostitos scoops!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Lazy Man's Fresh Salsa

I love fresh salsa, but I really don't like spending all day chopping veggies. So here's my lazy man fresh salsa recipe. I made this a couple days ago, and it's all I've wanted to eat since :-) I especially like it with Hint of Lime Tostitos! I put amounts next to each ingredient, but it's really to taste, so experiment to see what you like (I don't really measure anything)!

6-8 medium Roma tomatoes
1/4 onion
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 jalepeno or chili pepper, seeded
juice of 1 lime
1 T minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put everything into your blender or food processor & blend to desired consistency.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Tomato Cucumber Feta Salad

I have tomatoes coming out of my ears, so I decided to try out something new. I just threw all this together (after hearing of something similar) and it actually turned out to taste pretty good!

cucumber, chopped
tomatoes, chopped
small onion, chopped
1 package tomato-basil feta cheese
1 package dry Italian dressing
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup oil

Mix everything together for a yummy summer salad!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Garden Fresh Canned Salsa

With the help of my friend Katie, I just canned my first batch of homemade garden fresh salsa. We got a lot of our ingredients from the local farmer's market. This recipe is wonderful! Enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips, in taco soup, enchiladas or just straight from the jar (yes, it's that good!).

2 gallons of tomatoes, peeled and quartered
(Boil for 10-15 seconds, then run under cold water to peel)
4-6 large green peppers-chopped
4-6 large red or yellow peppers-chopped
4-6 large onions-chopped
2 cups white vinegar
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup salt (1/3 is probably enough)
2 Tbsp. chili powder
(2) 4 oz. cans diced green chilies
2-3 jalapenos diced (we used only 1, the seeds are what makes it hot)

In a large heavy duty kettle cook all ingredients on medium heat for 2 hours until thickened, stirring occasionally. Liquid will come to the top. Skim off as much liquid as you desire, and save for soup broth. Using a funnel, pour salsa into jars and wipe the rim clean with a paper towel. Place flat lids in hot water before putting on jars, then screw on lid firmly but not too tight. Place jars in your water bath canner. Processing time starts when the water begins to boil.

Processing times:

Pint jar: 15-20 minutes
Quart jar: 20-25 minutes

After removing jars from canner, place them on a towel on the counter and cover with the towel. Do not move for 24 hours. You will start to hear a popping sound indicating the seal. You can check the seal by pushing on the lid.

*This recipe requires a lot of chopping, so to save time I would definitely recommend using a food processor.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Amazing German Chocolate Cake

This german chocolate cake recipe actually bakes with the frosting in the cake! I liked it because it toned down the sweetness of the frosting and made the cake moister.

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain German chocolate cake mix
1 container (15 ounces) coconut pecan frosting
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.

2. Place the cake mix, frosting, water, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.

3. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 48 to 52 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a rack to cool completely, 20 minutes more.

4. Slide the cake onto a serving platter and slice.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Spicy Honey-Glazed Chicken

The recipe has a little sweet and a little spice, and can be made in 15 minutes!

1/4 cup honey

2 T frozen orange juice concentrate
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/8 t red pepper flakes
1 T butter
1/2 t olive oil
boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
cilantro, chopped
green onions, chopped

In a small bowl, combine honey, orange juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes.

In a skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat, add chicken, salt and pepper to taste, and brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Add honey mixture to skillet and cook, turning to thoroughly cook the chicken. Cook 2 more minutes until sauce begins to thicken.

To serve, place chicken on plate, spoon sauce over the top and sprinkle with cilantro and green onions.

Serving suggestion: serve with rice!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Oreo Milkshakes

I know, you're probably wondering who needs a recipe for oreo milkshakes... well, I do! Here's one I tried tonight. It was yummy :-)

12 OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
1-1/2 cups milk
1 pt. (2 cups) vanilla ice cream, softened
2 Tbsp. chocolate syrup

or coarsely break cookies. Place milk, ice cream and chocolate syrup in blender. Add chopped cookies; cover. Blend on high speed until smooth.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tomato Basil Pasta

I love this recipe! It's so easy to make and has excellent flavor. Today I made this pasta with garden fresh basil and tomatoes. Mmmm, mmmm, good! Here's how you make it:

pasta cooked - I like penne pasta
crumbled tomato basil feta cheese
grape or cherry tomatoes (you can use larger - just cut them)
basil - fresh or dried
olive oil

Mix all ingredients and serve!

Fall Off The Bone BBQ Ribs

I tried this recipe tonight, and the meat really did fall right off the bones! I love BBQ ribs, and always figured they would be hard to make. This recipe is super easy, and the meat was delicious!!!

2 racks/slabs pork baby back ribs
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
8 ounces barbeque sauce

Cut each rack/slab of ribs in half; sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder on each side; place in large broiler pan. Turn oven on to broil, 500°; broil ribs on top rack for five minutes on each side (this will seal in the juices). Then turn oven down to 250°; wrap ribs in heavy-duty foil; place back in pan in the oven for 4 hours.
Have grill ready; take ribs out of oven lather them with barbeque sauce on both sides; grill each side for 8 to 10 minutes and serve.
Note: If you don't have a grill then just take ribs out of pan and lather them with BBQ sauce; heat oven back up to 500°. Place ribs uncovered on top rack for 7 to 8 minutes on each side.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Broccoli Salad

2 heads of broccoli, chopped finely
1 lb bacon, fried and crumbled
1 small package(2 oz) almonds, toasted
1/2 small red onion chopped finely
1/2 pkg. light golden raisins
1 cup frozen petite peas

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
2 T vinegar
salt and pepper

I love this salad. I've seen lots of alterations, but this way is my favorite. Some omit the peas and almonds and add sunflower seeds, others use grapes instead of raisins. I usually use rice vinegar and add the almond accents and bacon just before serving. I don't like soggy bacon. Suit yourself.


Sunday, August 5, 2007

Cafe Rio Rice

Here's a recipe to go with the Sweet Pork Salad recipe below :-) I made Sweet Pork Salad with this rice for my family tonight and they LOVED it!

3 c water
4 t chicken bouillon
4 t garlic –minced
½ bunch cilantro
1 can green chiles—or equivalent fresh
¾ t salt
1 T butter
½ onion
3 c rice (see note)

Blend cilantro, green chiles and onion together in food processor. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients, simmer covered 30 minutes.

NOTE: This recipe makes a lot of rice. You may consider cutting everything in half for smaller groups.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sweet Pork Salad

1 Pork Roast
3 cans Mexican style tomato sauce (Pato brand, yellow can)
3 cans tomato sauce
1 cup brown sugar
4 cloves garlic

Cook roast until tender (6-8 hours on low in a crock pot), shred and season with salt and pepper. Put in a large pot with tomato sauces, sugar and garlic. Simmer for about one hour.

To make salads, cook flour tortillas on a griddle with a little vegetable oil until brown. Put in bowl with meat, mexican rice, beans (black or pinto), lettuce, fresh diced tomato and top with a sprig of fresh cilantro and parmesan cheese. Top with dressing.


Mix the following in a blender:

1 envelope buttermilk ranch dressing
1 cup mayo
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1 cup fresh cilantro
3 tomatillos
3 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

I got this recipe from my friend Mary Rogers. It is the closest thing to Cafe Rio's sweet pork salad I've tried! Above is the original recipe. You may want to adjust the amounts of tomato sauce and brown sugar depending upon how big your roast is and how sweet you want it to be (but the Pato brand tomato sauce is the secret). I also like to put cheese on the tortillas and bake them in the oven until the cheese melts. So Yummy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Shrimp Fettuccine with Sweet Pepper-Cayenne Sauce

Thought I'd get us started by copying over this recipe I posted on my blog last week - it's super easy and delicious!!!

12 ounces dry fettuccine
2 red bell peppers, julienne
3 teaspoons garlic
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup chicken broth
raw medium shrimp
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
dash crushed red peppers
salt and pepper to taste

1. While the noodles are cooking, saute red bell peppers, garlic, & cayenne pepper on medium, in 1 tablespoon olive oil, for 3-5 minutes.
2. Stir in sour cream & broth, simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
3. Add shrimp, crushed red peppers, salt, & pepper. Cook 5-7 minutes until shrimp are done. Stir occasionally.
4. Remove from heat & stir in cheese.
5. Toss with pasta.

Happy Cooking!