Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chocolate Trifle

I had never heard of chocolate trifle before, but the picture looked pretty so that is what I made for Thanksgiving dessert. may want to avert your eyes.

  • 1 package brownie mix
  • 1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • carmel ice cream topping
  • Toffee pieces (by the chocolate chips)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 container frozen whipped topping, thawed- French Vanilla flabor
  • 1 pint whipping cream, whipped with like 3Tbs sugar
  • 1 bar chocolate candy


  1. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch squares.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped cream until no streaks remain.
  3. In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, top with caramel, top with toffee, then top that with half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 ounce container of whipped topping. Repeat layers. Shave chocolate onto top layer for garnish. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.
Um, Yum.

Dinner Rolls

This Thanksgiving was my first time making rolls and I was so happy that they were a success!

3 1/4 - 3 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1pkg active dry yeast
1 C milk
1/4 C sugar
1/3 C butter, margarine or shortening
1 beaten egg

I like to proof my yeast. So get some really warm water in a little bowl (maybe 1/2 C warm water) add your packet of yeast and like a tablespoon of sugar. Wait a few minutes for it to foam up.

Mix yeast mixture with 1 1/4 C of the flour. In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, butter and 3/4 t salt until just warm (butter starts to melt) (120-130 dgs, I usually warm it up until I can hold my finger (my very very clean finger) in there for about 3-4 seconds before it gets too hot). . Add to flour mixture along with the beaten egg. Beat with an electric mixer (or Bosh, or Kitchenaid) on low speed for 30 seconds, then beat on high for three minutes. Assuming you are using some sort of mixer and not your bare hands.... start adding as much of the remaining flour as you can, if you do my little yeast proofing trick you'll probably even need a little extra flour beyond what the recipe calls for (1/4- 1/2 C more?). Knead for 6-8 minutes total. Shape dough into a ball and place in greased bowl, turn once (or just spray the top with non-stick spray too, that's my little trick : ) ). Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about an hour.

Punch dough down. Then turn out on a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover and let rest for ten minutes. Lightly grease your pan.

For dinner rolls shape the dough into 24 balls, place balls on prepared baking pan. And bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes (the second pan only took about 12 mintues...go figure, just keep checking them).

I shaped my rolls into rosettes. Here's the directions for that --- divide each portino of dough into 16 pieces (I rolled it out into a big rectangle and cut in strips. Roll each piece into a 12 inch long rope. Tie in a lose knot, leaving two long ends. Tuck top end under knot and bottom end into top center of the knot. Place two to three inches apart on prepared baking sheet.

I also lightly brushed some melted butter on top of the rolls as they came out of the oven.

They looked so pretty and tasted so good with the homemade honey butter I served them with (equal parts honey and butter whipped together).

This whole recipe makes it sound complicated, but it's really not. Please, try it, they were so good--- even Janssen liked them. That kind of makes Janssen sound picky, she's not but she said that she doesn't normally like rolls : )

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lettuce Wraps

Is this one on here yet? 'Cause wooo-baby! If it's not, here's a SE Asian dish that will, as PW says, make your skirt fly up.

1 1/4 lb ground turkey
1-2 TBS sesame oil
1/2 TBS minced garlic

Brown turkey with the sesame oil and minced garlic. Add:

1 large bell pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, diced
1/2 cup hoisin sauce (in Asian foods section)
1 tsp-1 TBS chili garlic sauce (ditto)
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

Prettily arrange romaine lettuce leaves in whole pieces.

Meanwhile, cook a bunch of white rice and when it's done, add a can of coconut milk and serve with sliced mango pieces over the top.

Your audience can scoop their own portions of turkey loverliness into the romaine lettuce leaves and indulge. This recipe fed 5 adults (about 2 lettuce wraps each. I think. I forget...).

Triple-Layer Pumpkin Spice Pie

Not the same as a real pumpkin pie, but still very very yummy!

2C cold milk
2 pkg (small boxes) Pumpkin Spice Flavor Pudding Mix (we used one pumpkin spice and one regular old vanilla)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tub (8 oz) whipped topping
1 graham cracker crust
1/2 C pecan halves
1 Tbsp honey

Beat milke, pudding mixes, and cinnamon with wire whisk until well blended.

Spread 1 1/2C onto bottom of pie crust.

Add 1 1/2C of the whipped topping to the remaining pudding mixture; stir gently. Spoon over layer in crust.

Top with remaining whipped topping.

Set aside in fridge for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, cook pecans and honey in skillet on med-low heat until pecans are carmelized, stirring frequently. Spread onto waxed paper. Cool. Sprinkle over pie before serving.

Chicken Pot Pie

This is our favorite pot pie recipe, especially because my kids don't like using cream of mushroom soup for the filling. My older son will eat pot pie for almost every meal as long as we have leftovers. Also, it is a great way to use that leftover turkey we will all have this week!

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees.

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1C sliced carrots
1C frozen peas
1/2C celery
1/3C butter
1/3C chopped onion
1/3C flour
1/2tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp celery seed
1 3/4C chicken broth
2/3C milk

2- 9 inch deep dish pie crusts (unbaked)

In saucepan combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15min. Drain and set aside. (I usually boil these in chicken broth and use the reserves to the 1 3/4C chicken broth that you need later in the recipe. Also, use whatever veggies you want- but reduce the amounts of others or your pie will overflow)

In saucepan, over medium heat cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, peppter, and celery seed (don't think I ever remember the celery seed). Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place chicken/veggie mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour liquid mixture on top. Cover with top crust, seal edges. Make several small slits in top to allow steam out.

Bake in preheated oven 30-35min or until golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

One pot spaghetti

I have been on a cooking hiatus lately, we've been having boring fare like chili and baked potatoes. No one in our house is happy about it, but really I just haven't felt up to the task of making an actual meal. So the other night I was going to make spaghetti only to find I had no spaghetti sauce. So I was going to make spaghetti sauce and came across this recipe for "one pot spaghetti" and I thought, now there, there, is something I feel up to. And I thought it turned out really good and really, one pot. No complaints there. So if you're feeling lazy....

8oz ground beef or bulk pork sausage (we actually didn't have any meat, so I substituted lots of mushrooms!)
1 C mushrooms or 1can mushrooms
1/2 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic or 1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 14 oz can of chicken or beef broth
1 3/4 C water
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 t oregano
1/2 tsp basil or marjoram
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 oz dried spaghetti
1/4 C parmesan cheese

In large saucepan cook the ground beef, fresh mushrooms, onion and garlic until meat is brown and onion is tender, Drain.
Stir in the canned mushrooms (if using), broth, water, tomato paste, oregano, basil and pepper, bring to boiling. Add the broken spaghetti, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Return to boiling, reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, for 17-20 minutes or until spaghetti is tender and sauce is of the desired consistency, stirring frequently. Serve with parmesan cheese.

As mentioned, I didn't use meat, just lots of fresh mushrooms. Also the sauce seemed extra peppery, so I think I maybe either accidentally doubled the pepper, or 1/4 pepper is more peppery than you might imagine. I actually really liked it, but if you don't like pepper maybe start out with less. Now that I think about it though I bet I accidentally doubled it. I don't know. Also 6oz of spaghetti is not a lot. I put in a lot more than that and noticed my sauce was not going to be enough for the spaghetti to cook so I added some diced tomatoes with the sauce and a little extra water. Anyway, good quick meal for those of us who forget to buy spaghetti sauce and only like to use one pan : )

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Butternut Squash

Here's another squash for you to try. Soooo good. Again, I didn't use the maple syrup in it, but I did add some butter and milk and it is creamy goodness, that's what it is. I'm a squash convert after this and the acorn squash recipes.

Here's the recipe.

Cooked Acorn Squash

This is for Kristy. I made it without the butter and brown sugar and maple syrup, just cooked it according to directions with water on the bottom of the pan, since I gave all that really yummy stuff up for Lent. It is yummy squash just on its own, but I'm sure it's even more delectable drenched in sugar and'll have to let me know.

Here's the recipe.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The best cornbread ever. Seriously.

2 c. Bisquick
1 1/2 cubes butter
1 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. cornmeal
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Mix and pour in 9 x 13. Bake @ 350 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

We had this at a dinner party the other night and oh my! Seriously. There was a cookie salad there too and I chose this cornbread, without butter mind you, over cookie salad (well, I guess I say "without butter" kind of loosely, plenty o butter in the actually cornbread!). I loved it that much. It could be served as dessert and it should be served often. Thank me later. Well, really you should thank Janelle later, but you probably don't know her.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sweet Potato Fries

Let me start this post with a sad tale: "Once there was a country girl from Idaho potato country who married a city boy from Utah who was allergic to potatoes. The End." Sad, right? But, I'm happy to announce that I was recently introduced to sweet potato fries! (Is this old news to all of you?) My husband can eat them and they are a hit with the kids, too. And so healthy! Here's what I do:

Sweet Potato Fries

2 sweet potatoes
a splash of olive oil
seasonings to taste (salt/season-all/cinnamon and paprika/whatever floats your boat)

My husband is allergic to a lot of vegetables, but if I peel the skins, he does much better. So I start by peeling the sweet potatoes, although that is totally unnecessary if you like peels on your fries. It's your choice. Then I chop them into fry shape and size, throw them on a cookie sheet and drizzle some olive oil over the top. Then I mix them around to get them all coated with oil before sprinkling seasonings on top. I usually just do salt, but I've also tried cinnamon and paprika, which were also good. Then bake them in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes or so, turning every 10 minutes or so. And, VOILA! Baked sweet potato fries. We like to use fry sauce on these (mix ketchup and mayo together to taste), but ketchup is also good. These fries can also stand alone without sauce of any kind.

Fries are back on the menu at the Jones household! Yippee!

Mexican Lasagna

Okay, I really should just refer you to PW's site, because that's where I've gotten almost all of my dinner recipe ideas lately, but here's another winner that we tried and all liked at our house.

Here's the recipe.

Chicken Spaghetti

This is another recipe I found on Pioneer Woman's site and loved. I really think you can't go wrong with any of her recipes. Except maybe the whiskey carrots...if you're LDS like I am. But, I'm not here to judge. This was a good, quick easy meal that my whole family liked. I think next time I make it I'll leave out the green peppers. I liked them, but my kids are not the green pepper eating types. We'll see how generous I'm feeling next time I make it...

Here's the recipe.

Butternut Squash Soup

Okay, I've been making a lot of soups lately, but this one has been one of my favorites. My husband felt a little indifferent towards it. I think it's more of a girly soup? After all, it has pear and cinnamon mixed in...just sayin'. I loved it. I hope you will, too. Oh, and a confession: I just added a splash of vanilla in place of the vanilla bean. I'm not that fancy.

Here's the recipe.

Zucchini Cream Soup

This is a recipe my mom made when when we were kids, but I don't think I really appreciated how yummy it really is until I became an adult. I made it yesterday for dinner on a count of I have had strep, my husband just had nose surgery, and it just sounded really soothing. Let me tell you, it totally delivered.

Zucchini Cream Soup

1 C. diced celery
1/2 C. diced onion
4 C. sliced zucchini

Cook the above in a small amount of water until tender.

Meanwhile, make the white sauce:

1 1/2 cubes margerine
1 tsp. salt
3/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 C. milk

Cook these five ingredients until thickened and bubbly. Add 1 chicken bullion cube.

Now, take your cooked zucchini mixture and blend it in a blender. I do it about a third at a time, and be super careful because it's hot and it's a blender, and well, you don't want third degree burns, Folks. When blended, add to white sauce. I always crumble some bacon in at the end. Mmmm!

Corn Casserole

I've been making this a ton lately, and I just can't get tired of it. Can I give 5 stars out of 4? I really think it's just that good. And it's so easy! I've used fresh and frozen corn for this, and although the fresh is by far superior, the frozen is not half bad itself. Gotta love the Pioneer Woman.

Click here for the recipe.

Pumpkin Cake

I made this for an inservice meeting yesterday and it was a big hit!!

Yellow pudding cake mix (a yellow cake mix with pudding in the mix, I use Betty Crocker, Super Moist cake mix)

Save 1 cup of mix

Take remaining cake mix and add
½ cup melted margarine
1 egg, beaten

Press into the bottom of a 9x13 pan

1 large can of pumpkin
14 oz can of condensed milk
1 ½ cups sugar
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
1 tsp vanilla
Beat together

Pour over crust
Sprinkle with remaining cake mix (I didn’t use all of it)
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 335° and bake for 30 minutes more.

I also topped it with cool whip for some added yumminess!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Food Storage/Emergency Prep Blog

I thought y'all might enjoy this blog. It relates to food storage/emergency prep:

There are recipes there that help you rotate your food storage....

.... Um. We had spaghetti for dinner tonight.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe is another regular around our house, I love it. I always half this recipe too because it makes a lot, but i will write the original recipe.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 small cans green chili's
6 cups chicken- cooked and cubed and seasoned to taste
1 small onion
1 pkg flour tortillas
grated cheese

heat soup, add chili's, onion, sour cream. Divide chicken, cheese and sauce (2Tbs or more)in each tortilla. Place in a 9 x 13 pan. pour remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with cheese. cover and bake for 1/2 hour.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. ground (canned) pumpkin
1/2 c. cooking oil
1/3 c. chocolate chips

Mix together. Fill muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Stew

This is from my Grandma Kartchner. And we all know grandma's know how to make the best stew. She got it from a neighbor in the barracks during the war. The one in the 1940's. Serves 5-6 people for every 2 pounds of meat used.

Stew meat - 1 small package, cut into small cubes
1 med onion, diced
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp worchesthire sauce
1 garlic clove
2 bay leaves
1 TBS salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
dash allspice or cloves
6 carrots
2 potatoes
divers vegetables

Brown meat cubes with onion. Add 4 cups boiling water and 1 tsp lemon juice (helps tenderize meat).

Add 1 tsp worchesthsirehire sauce, minced garlic clove, and 2 bay leaves.

Sprinkle the salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, and allspice (or a couple whole cloves) over the stuff.

SIMMER. Covered. Approx 2 hours.

Add 6 carrots, chopped; 2 chopped potateees, and any other veggies as desired (string beans, green peppers, peas, etc). Cook until veggies are done.

Add 4 tsp water with 4 tsp flour for thickening.

Ratatouille's Ratatouille

So this was awhile ago, but Claire wanted us to make ratatouille just like the movie. I found this fabulous recipe. Results were excellent, even if Claire still refused in the end to eat anything involving vegetables. M and I loved it. I find myself craving this all the time, but I don't own a mandoline:

There was much cutting. Good thing I have nice sharp knives.

I had a TON of extra veggies. I just couldn't find tiny veggies like I was supposed to use I guess. So I ended up making two pans and only one is pictured here. In retrospect I probably could have put it all in one 13x9, doubling the sauce, but I didn't know ahead of time that there would be that much.

We tried to serve it kinda like the movie to humor Claire. Too bad she didn't get suckered in.
The goat cheese was a FABULOUS addition, though non-essential.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chicken stuffing bake

Now I got this recipe from the back of a stuffing box but I have changed it so much I will just write it how I do it. This is my brother in laws favorite meal(he lives with us so he eats my stuff a lot)

6 chicken tenders frozen
1/3 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom
cheese grated
frozen broccoli
1/2 box turkey stuffing (i like this flavor best)
water to mix into stuffing

I know this is similar to my other casserole but this one takes like 5 minutes to prepare so i love it. Get a small casserole dish, put frozen chicken in the bottom, season it with whatever you like to season stuff with (season all, Mrs. dashes, salt and pepper. Mix together sour cream and cream of chicken, pour over chicken. Put broccoli on that and cheese then mix stuffing with some water to moisten it ( i think it is like a half of cup of water but don't quote me on that) then put the stuffing on top. cook at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until chicken is done. The original recipe has you put this in a 9 x 13 pan, but if i do that i double the sour cream and cream of chicken and do the whole box of stuffing, i just like a little extra creamy stuff. We have this one a lot, i love it!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Alfredo Sauce

People, eat this and thank me later. Ours was really heavy on the garlic which may have to do that with garlic we "dump" rather than measure, so if you aren't a big fan maybe stick to what it says on the recipe or perhaps back it off a little bit. Seriously though, this is reallllly good. I used whole milk instead of non fat (tisk tisk I know, but it was right there in the fridge begging to be used!) and I also added some fresh ground pepper. Eat it and weep with delight.

  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup low fat margarine
  • 8 ounces Neufchatel cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Combine milk, cubed Neufchatel cheese, butter or margarine, garlic powder, onion powder, minced garlic, and salt. Stir until smooth. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until blended.
  2. Toss pasta with Alfredo sauce and serve warm.