Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tortilla Soup

The cooks up in less than 10 minutes!
John's Rating: 8

Cook 1 cup frozen corn

Put VitaMix:
1 pint jar of crushed tomatoes
1 pint jar warm water
1 small carrot
1/2 Tbsp. dried green pepper
1 cube cheddar cheese
2 cloves garlic
1 small chicken boullioun cube
1/4 of an onion
1 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning

(*next time try a small piece of jalepeno to add some kick)

Blend 3-4 minutes. Steam will come out when small lid is opened.

While that is blending:
Drain corn
Drain 1 can black beans
Drain 1 can chicken (Costco brand)

Add corn, beans, chicken, and a handful of Corn Fritos to the soup and mix on lower speed just until combined.

Serve with Fritos.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sweet Corn Bread

A favorite at our house.

Makes an 8x8 pan. Double recipe to make a 9x13 pan.

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn meal
1 Tbsp. baking pwd.
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup veg. oil
3 Tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together all ingredients. Bake 35 minutes.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Our Favorite Roast

Brown roast in a little bit of hot oil. Place browned roast in crock pot. Use same frying pan and add:

7 1/2 Tbsp. Gravy Mix
2 1/2 cups Water
3 Tbsp. Dry Onion Soup Mix
3/4 cup Italian Dressing

Cook just until thickened. Pour over roast and let the roast cook all day in the crock pot. 1 hour before dinner, shred the roast thoroughly mix with the gravy mixture and let cook for one more hour.

You can use the sauce as a gravy over potatoes.

Our Favorite Dinner Rolls

This recipe comes from my Betty Crocker Cookbook...I love this cookbook, it has fantastic detailed directions and illustrations so if I haven't made it before, I'm guided right through! I won't type all of the directions, but here's the recipe:

I fill a jelly roll pan with 24 rolls with this recipe.

7 to 7 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 cup very warm water
1 cup very warm milk (I have used pwd. milk, too)
2 eggs (once I used one egg and they still worked!)

Mix 4 cups of flour in kitchen aid, add the rest of the ingredients in the order listed. Add remaining flour until it pulls away from sides of bowls.
Let rise in warm place 1 hour or until double. Cut and roll dough into 24 balls. Place on greased jelly roll pan. Let rise 30 minutes or until double. Heat oven to 375 and bake 12 to 15 minutes.

Orange Almond Banana Smoothie

I enjoyed the almond flavor this drink had, John's not an almond fan...
John's Rating:7

1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup water
1 small banana
1 small orange (peeled and halved)
10 almonds
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups ice

Blend until smooth.

*Make it a power drink by adding 1 scoop (5 Tbsp. soy protein)

Fresh, Warm Tortillas chips

John's Rating: 7-8 (he was bummed I baked instead of fried them!)

Buy some corn tortillas at Mi Pueblo. (1.79 for 3 dozen!)
*Don't try flour tortillas-they taste like burnt pie crust--Yuck!
Use a pizza cutter and cut them into eight triangles-I stacked several and cut them at once. Lay the triangles on a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with salt. (We tried butter flavored and vegetable oil, John liked the butter flavor slightly better). Bake on pizza stone in oven at 350 until lightly browned. Cool slightly and eat!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spicy Refried Black Bean Dip

So I used a recipe for "Black Bean Soup," but we didn't think it was much of a soup, but a really good refried bean dip or taco filler.
John's rating: 7 (and he doesn't like beans)

1 lb. black beans

soak beans in 8 cups of cold water over night or at least 8 hours. Rinse beans and put in large pot with 6 cups of hot water. Bring beans to a boil and reduce to a good simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until water is gone and beans are soft.

Cook over low heat, but do not brown:
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 onion
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
1 Tbsp. dried green pepper
3 cloves garlic

Meanwhile, blend (in VitaMix) 3 cups of beans with 2 cups of water and 2 chicken boullion cubes. Add back to pot with the remaining beans. Blend cooked vegetables with 2 cups water until smooth. Mix into pot.

Add:
2 tsp. chili pwd. (next time I won't add this much, it was a bit too spicy for me)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. liquid smoke
1 1/2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

Friday, April 24, 2009

Strawberry-Banana Frozen Treat

Kyla liked this...and she won't eat bananas. And it's loaded with potassium!
John's Rating: 9

1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
1 banana
1/2 cup water
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 to 1 1/2 cups ice.

Blend in VitaMix until smooth.

*Can also add 1 scoop (5 Tbsp.) of soy protein

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Garlic Green Beans

I finally found a way to get John to eat green beans...he even goes back for seconds and one day I caught him eating leftover ones! And he told me the only way to get him to enjoy them was to drowned them in cheese.

Use the amounts you like:
chopped onions
garlic
Frozen Green Beans
butter

Saute onions and garlic in butter. Add cooked green beans to sauteed onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Serve immediately.

Marinade

Kraft's Vidalia Onion Marinade on Steaks was great! And it was so easy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

F.D. Smoothie

John named this one...I dumped a bunch of fruit into a smoothie. He said it was his favorite one we've made so far and asked what it was called, so I said "Dump". So he renamed it it "F.D." for "Fruit Dump".
John's Rating:10

Because I "dumped" these measurements are only approximate. Sorry.

1/2 banana
2 canned peach halves with a little juice
3 cubes frozen pineapple
1 cup frozen stawberries
1/4 container of frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup french vanilla creamer
Water-I filled my VitaMix to the top of the handle.

Blend until smooth.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Our Favorite Wheat Bread

This bread has the perfect texture and moistness.   I wanted a bread that did not crumble and had a hard time with wheat, vital wheat gluten is key to making this bread.  


Makes 2 loaves

1 Tbsp. dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1/4 cup soft butter
2 Tbsp. molasses
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. Vital Wheat Gluten
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water, set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in mixer. Add yeast mixture. Gradually add more flour. I let the mixer do the kneading for me. Let rise until double. Shape into 2 loaves, let rise again. Bake 350 for 35 minutes or until done.

Gourmet Burgers

This recipe came from Jessica. I've adapted it for us a little, but not much. We have really enjoyed it. Now that the weather has been warming up, John requested we get some of these grilling.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Heat oil in pan over med. heat. Add the shallots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute for 3 minutes or until soft. Stir in the garlic. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2 1/2 lbs. quality ground beef
4 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp.Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh Italian Parsley (last time I used dried parsley because I forgot to buy some fresh, and it turned out great!)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 large eggs, beaten

Gently mix the ground beef with spices and sauteed shallot mix. Mix in the eggs.

Form meat into 8 meat patties (I freeze half for later use). Grill burgers. (The original recipe says to pan fry in a Tbsp. of olive oil, but I've always used the grill.)

Serve with Warm Bacon and your choice of cheese on your favorite bun. And add all the fixings of course!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce

Restaurant Style Honey Mustard Sauce, my favorite dipping sauce for chicken strips...


John's rating: 9

1/4 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup light mayo
2 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tbsp. Mustard
1/2 Tbsp. Vinegar

Mix on low in VitaMix.

(The original recipe said just to wisk together, that works, too) 

Apple Cinnamon Wheat Pancakes

These are a favorite around here. We serve them up with our carameled apple jam we made last year. The kids like them with maple syrup.
John's Rating: 9

1 cup wheat
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup applesauce (I use unsweetened)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking pwd.
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Grind wheat in Vita Mix. Add all other ingredients and mix.
Cook on griddle at 375.

Instant Stawberry Ice Cream

Another one I want to try soon...

1 cup French Vanilla creamer
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups frozen strawberries

Blend in Vita Mixer.

Instant Orange Ice Cream

I haven't tried this yet, but wanted to keep it for future use...I'll update when we try it.

1 cup non-dairy french vanilla coffee creamer or any dairy of your choice
1 tablespoon instant vanilla pudding
2 tablespoons Tang
2 1/2 cups of ice

Mix in Vita Mix until smooth.

Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie

Just like having an orange dreamsicle in a glass!
John's rating: 9

2/3 cup orange juice
1 cup vanilla ice cream or yogurt (We used ice cream)

Blend together and enjoy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fried Rice

Serve this up with the sweet and sour sauce and some Simmons chicken from Costco!
John's Rating: 9



Rice:
1 1/2 cups rice
3 cups water

Cook rice.

1 lb. bacon (or ham...we prefer bacon)
4 eggs
1 bunch green onions, finely sliced.
1 cup frozen peas, cooked
Soy sauce

Cook 1 lb. bacon until crispy. Crumble bacon.
Use a little of the bacon grease to grease a large frying pan. Heat grease.
Scramble 4 eggs and pour onto hot grease, cook like an omelet. Once egge is cooked, cut into small cubes.

Mix bacon, cooked eggs, rice, and peas in a bowl. Gently mix in green onions. Sprinkle with soy sauce...just enough to give it a little flavor and color.

Hawaiian Bread

This is a treat at our house. I usually make wheat breads, but this makes for a nice change and even John will eat a PBandJ on it! The kids will steal slices of it and moan when it is gone. :)
John's Rating: 9



Makes 2 loaves

2 Tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water

Mix together and set aside to proof about 5 minutes.

In KitchenAid mix together:

3 Tbsp. Powdered milk
4 cups White flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup warm water

Add yeast mixture. After ingredients are mixed, add more flour until it begins to pull from the sides of the bowl.
**This is a sticky dough, so don't over do it!

Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Knead dough a few times and roll into 2 loaves. Place in greased pans and let rise for 1 more hour.

Bake 350 until done. Brush tops with butter right after it comes out.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cookies and Cream Cake


John's Rating: 8

1 package white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
3 egg whites
1/3 cup oil
10 crushed oreos

Mix cake mix, water, egg whites, and oil together until well blended. Fold in crushed oreos.

Bake cake at 350 for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.

Frosting:
4 to 4 1/2 cups pwd. sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Frost and decorate Mmmmm.....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chocolate Marshmallow Easter Eggs



Marshmallow Eggs

Create mold shapes in pans of 9x13 pans of flour.

Combine in a bowl, 4 pkg (sm) knox unflavored gelatin with 3/4 cup cold water. Stir well. Let stand at least 5 minutes to dissolve.
In a 2 qt sauce pan combine 2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup Hot water, 1/2 cup and 1 teas corn syrup Blend well and cook to a firm soft ball stage. DO NOT STIR after boiling begins. Wash sides of pan with water & a pastry brush as this cooks. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup corn syrup then add gelatin preparation. Stir gently for a few seconds then beat with mixer increasing speed to the highest point after first minute or two. Beat for 10 minutes or until white and heavy. Add 1 teas. vanilla or other flavoring or coloring. (For Chocolate use 3 oz. melted unsweetened chocolate.) Pour into molds or 2 7inch square pans slightly greased. Cool 3 hours or until marshmallow is firm enough to cut. (may use some corn starch to help from sticking) (This recipe given to Marie from someone who worked in a candy factory)
Picture is molded marshmellow eggs covered in chocolate

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rice Pudding

John's Rating: 8

Ingredients
2 cups cooked rice
4 cups milk (I use 1%)
1/2 cup sugar
cinnamon

Directions
Stir ingredients in pot. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently--especially towards the end of cooking.
The pudding is done when the rice and milk have amalgamated into a thick porridge-like consistency. DO NOT OVERCOOK or the pudding will be solid instead of creamy once cooled.

Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 tsp. vanilla.

COVER with plastic wrap directly on surface "IF" you don't want a skin.
COOL.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Mmmm...so far this is our favorite sweet and sour we've tried.

John's Rating: 9

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Directions
In a saucepan combine the first 6 ingredients; bring to a boil whisking constantly.
Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer stirring for 2 minutes.
Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup water until smooth then add to simmering sauce stirring constantly until bubbly, thickened and smooth (about 2-3 minutes, the sauce will thicken as it simmers).

the sauce will thicken more when chilled.