Friday, December 31, 2010

Homemade Marshmallow Easter Eggs

Christmas version above!

This is one of those recipes that I pull out once or twice a year and then wonder...why don't I make this more often!! I got it from someone in Relief Society when we lived in San Jose.

It's easy but you have to follow directions exactly and at points move quickly, so, get your ducks all in a row before you begin this process!!

Get out 3 9x13 type pans, or things that will work like them. (I use both sides of a few tupperware marinater thingies) and fill half full with regular flour. (you will be able to put this back in your flour container after we are done!)
Take a plastic easter egg I like the medium sized ones not too small, but not too large. Make indents (molds) into the flour with the egg. You should be able to get 9-12 in one pan. Set these aside on a counter not too far away from the action.

Sprinkle 2 envelopes of unflavored Geletin in 1/2 C. COLD water and set aside.

Mix in a medium sauce pan: 3/4 C. Light corn syrup.
1/2 C. hot water
2 C. granulated sugar
Bring this mixture to a boil WITHOUT stirring to 240 degrees. Remove from heat immediately and pour into a stand mixer. Add shield and start beating. Bring to high speed and while mixing add softened gelatin 1 T. at a time. It will turn white.
Add: 1 T vanilla (or you can get creative and use another flavor if you like)
Continue to beat till stiff peaks form.

Now you have to work fast!!
Pour mixture into your flour depressions ASAP. I actually use the two spoon method to fill them, either way, you must do this as quickly as possible before the mixture cools and it's just a sticky mess. (The bigger the Egg impression the bigger the spoons works fine) Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the marshmallows in the molds. Let sit 4 to 6 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to dip these little pillows of pure joy into chocolate make sure to trim up all the little imperfections and dust off most of the flour.

Makes about 16 small/Med eggs or 9 large.

For Christmas Version I used round ornaments for the depressions and santa candies etc.

Don't forget to sift out the little bits of marshmallow before re-storing your flour.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Buche De Noel 2! Meringue Mushrooms

This is the recipe I use to make the mushrooms but I am including the entire thing since it's got good information!

2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Granulated sugar, scant 1/2 cup
Whole milk, 1/2 tablespoon
2 large egg whites
Cake flour, 1/3 cup
Powdered sugar, for dusting

1/2 recipe Pastry Cream (see below)
Dove Promises Dark Chocolate, finely chopped, 3 1/2 ounces

Simple Syrup flavored with Grand Marnier (see below)

3 large egg whites
Granulated sugar, scant 1/2 cup
Powdered sugar, sifted, scant 1 cup
Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting, 1/2 cup

PREPARE THE BISCUIT (Cake): Preheat oven to 420 degrees F. Place the whole eggs and yolks in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar and the milk. Whip with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, until the mixture lightens in color and triples in volume, about 6 minutes. Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl, and whip at medium speed until foamy. Make French meringue by adding the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. When all the sugar has been added, increase mixer speed to medium-high and whip to stiff but not dry peaks, about 5 minutes.

Use a rubber spatula to fold the egg mixture in batches into the meringue, incorporating it gradually so as not to deflate the meringue. When all the yolk mixture has been incorporated, place the flour in a fine-mesh sieve and sift over the mixture. Gently fold this in with the rubber spatula. Spread the batter evenly on a parchment-covered baking sheet, liberally dust the top of the biscuit with powdered sugar and place in the oven. Bake just until biscuit begins to brown on top, about 5 minutes. This will lock in the moisture, allowing you to roll the cake later without cracking it. Immediately after removing from the oven, run a knife around the inside of the baking sheet to loosen the cake from the sides. Remove cake from baking sheet and allow it to cool.

PREPARE CHOCOLATE PASTRY CREAM: Make pastry cream as directed and let cool. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a mixing bowl placed over a bowl of simmering water, stirring it occasionally as it melts. When all of the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove it from heat, and add the cold pastry cream to the warm chocolate. Mix them together with a rubber spatula.

PREPARE THE ROULADE: Place the biscuit on your work surface and soak with the flavored syrup. Spread the chocolate pastry cream evenly over the cake, spreading it all the way to the edges. Start at one long end and, rolling toward you, roll it into a tight cylinder. Place the roulade on a parchment covered baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for a few hours to set.

PREPARE THE MUSHROOMS: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have volume, then add the rest of the sugar. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and whip until you have stiff but not dry peaks. Gently fold in the powdered sugar. Place the meringue in a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip. Pipe the mushroom pieces onto a parchment covered baking sheet. Make the stems by squeezing out a dime-sized mound of meringue, then pull the pastry bag straight up, leaving a small tail. Make the caps by piping 1/2-inch mounds onto the sheet. Sprinkle the caps with a little cocoa powder and place in the oven. Bake until firm and dry, about 1 hour, leaving the oven door cracked so moisture can escape. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Bittersweet chocolate, tempered, 16 ounces, see below

3 large egg yolks
1 large egg
Water, 1/3 cup
Granulated sugar, scant 1 cup
Cold unsalted butter, cubed, 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon
Coffee extract, to taste
Red, green and yellow liquid food coloring as needed

Powdered sugar, for dusting, scant 1/2 cup
Chocolate shavings

PREPARE CHOCOLATE TREES: Make a cornet from parchment paper and fill half full with tempered chocolate. Pipe a long thick chocolate raindrop on a sheet of parchment paper. Draw a cake comb through the chocolate, starting at the center of the raindrop and moving from left to right. Repeat, starting at the center and moving from right to left. You should have a chocolate pine tree. Repeat for as many trees as you want. Allow the chocolate to set before peeling the parchment paper from it.

PREPARE THE CHOCOLATE FENCE: Fill a cornet half full with the tempered chocolate, and pipe a 3 to 4-inch long railroad track, with the outside rails spaced about 2 inches apart and the inside rails spaced about 1/2-inch apart onto a sheet of parchment paper. Allow the chocolate to set before peeling the parchment paper from it.

PREPARE THE COFFEE BUTTERCREAM: Place the egg yolks and whole egg in a large mixing bowl, and whip until thick, light, and tripled in volume, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour the water and granulated sugar into a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Insert a candy thermometer into the mixture. The sugar is ready when it reaches 250 degrees, or the soft ball stage. Pour the cooked sugar down the side of the bowl into the whipping eggs. Continue whipping the mixture until the outside of the bowl is warm but not hot, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the butter all at once, and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Now whip on medium-high speed until thick, smooth and shiny, about 10 minutes. Remove about 1/3 cup and set aside. Add the coffee extract to the remaining buttercream and whip until well combined.

ASSEMBLE THE BUCHE: Place the rolled cake on the platter you will use to serve it. Use a sharp knife to slice a 11/2-inch-thick slice from one or each end of the roll. These will become gnarls on the log. Spread a thick layer of buttercream over the buche. Place the ends or gnarls on top of the log, 1 at each end, if desired, and cover with buttercream. Run a cake comb through the buttercream along the length of the buche, to make it look like bark. Place the buche in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to let the buttercream set.

MAKE THE IVY AND FLOWERS: Divide the unflavored buttercream evenly among 3 bowls and color each with 1 of the food colorings. Make 3 cornets from triangles of parchment paper, and fill one with pink buttercream, one with green, and one with yellow. Remove the buche from the refrigerator. Use the green icing cornet to make the ivy, by piping long curved lines along the length of the buche.

Place small yellow dots along this stem, for the flower centers. Surround these with pink dots for the flower petals. Cut the tip of the cornet diagonally to make a point and fill it with green icing. Squeeze a dab of green buttercream out of the corner of each leaf.

FINISHING THE BUCHE: Stick together the caps and ends of the mushrooms, using a dab of buttercream. Place the mushrooms, chocolate trees and chocolate fence on the buche. Dust the buche with powdered sugar and sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Refrigerate for 1 hour,then serve and enjoy!

Cornstarch, 2 tablespoons
Granulated sugar, scant 1/2 cup
4 large egg yolks
Whole milk, generous 2 cups
1 vanilla bean
Unsalted butter (optional), 1 tablespoon

Sift together the cornstarch and half the sugar in a medium bowl, add the egg yolks and whisk until well combined. Pour the milk and remaining sugar into a 2-quart nonreactive heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium-high heat. While milk is heating, slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Separate the seeds, and add both seeds and skin to the milk. Bring it to a boil. Carefully pour about half of the milk into the egg mixture, whisking so eggs don't scramble. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and continue to whisk, as pastry cream thickens. Bring to a boil and continue to whisk and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat, strain through a fine-mesh sieve, and add butter in small chunks if desired. Stir butter into cream until well incorporated. Pour pastry cream into an airtight container and put plastic wrap on top to prevent a skin from forming. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days, until ready to use.

SIMPLE SYRUP: Water, scant 1 1/4 cups Granulated sugar, 2/3 cup Liqueur, 2 1/2 tablespoons

Place the water and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. The sugar should completely dissolve. Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Cool before adding the liqueur.

TEMPERED CHOCOLATE: When you melt chocolate, the molecules of fat separate. To put them back together, you temper it. One way to temper is to place the chocolate in the microwave, and microwave it on high power for 30 seconds at a time until the chocolate is melted. As it recrystallizes, it becomes tempered.

Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour

Buche De Noel

The recipe I use for my Yule Log Cake is at the following site:

I added 3/4 C. Sifted dutch coacoa to the cake and went a little light on the flour by about 2 T.

I use a different recipe to make the meringue mushrooms and the owl is by Moonstruck Chocolates.

Here is the text.

Christmas is coming soon and you are wondering what to prepare for this occasion, right? Why not try a "Buche De Noel"?

In this articles I'll show you a step by step method to get this done in record time. So check this out...

The Recipe: Buche De Noel
Yield: 16 Servings
Occasion: Christmas


For the Buche De Noel:

~ 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

~ 1/4 teaspoon Salt

~ 3/4 cup Sugar

~ 3/4 cups Cake flour

~ 3/4 teaspoon Baking powder

~ 5 Eggs

Chestnut Butter Cream Filling:

~ 1 Egg yolks

~ 1 pinch Salt

~ 1/2 cup Butter

~ 1/2 cup Superfine Sugar

~ 1-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract

~ 2 cups Powered Sugar

~ 2 tablespoons Butter

~ 30 Chestnuts (whole cooked)

~ 4 tablespoons Heavy Cream

Mocha Silk Frosting:

~ 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

~ 1-1/2 tablespoons Corn syrup

~ 1-1/4 c Sugar, powdered

~ 2 tb Heavy Cream

~ 2 teaspoons Instant coffee

~ 3 tablespoons Cocoa powder

~ 5-1/3 tablespoons Butter


For the Buche De Noel:

Utensils: Cookie sheet larger than jelly roll pan and clean lint-free dish towel.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the 10"x15"x1" jelly roll pan by greasing it, the line base and sides with wax paper. Grease the wax paper. Bring the 5 eggs to room temperature and then separate the yolk and the whites. Combine salt, flour, and baking powder; place aside.

Beat yolks until thick and pale. Slowly add 6 teaspoons of sugar, beating well after each addition. The mixture should fall in thick ribbon when beaters are lifted. Add the 1 teaspoon of vanilla and beat again. Beat egg whites until foamy with clean dry beaters.

Slowly add residual sugar while beating continuously, until whites stand in firm, glossy, moist peaks. Fold 1/3 whites into yolk mixture to lighten it, then fold remaining whites in too.

Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture; fold in smoothly but thoroughly. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan, making sure to get it into the corners. Place pan into oven right away. Bake around 10 minutes or until the top is golden and tester comes out clean. Make sure you do not overbake.

This part should be done very quickly: remove from oven, the immediately cover jelly roll pan with clean towel, then with the inverted cookie sheet. Turn over pan, towel, and sheet to turn out cake. Remove jelly roll pan; peel off wax paper.

Slide towel and cake onto counter so that the cake is wrong side up. Slice any crisp edges, fold one end of towel over short end of cake, and roll cake in towel. Place rolled cake seam side down on wire rack or cookie sheet to cool completely.

Chestnut Butter Cream Filling:

Mix salt, vanilla, sugar, cream and egg yolk; beat for around 7 minutes at medium speed. Cream butter until light in the beaters without washing it. Add yolk mixture little by little, beating well after each addition.

Slowly add the powdered sugar, while beating well after each addition. Put the basic buttercream aside. Puree chestnuts with powdered sugar, butter and cream. Mix chestnut puree into buttercream thoroughly. I sometimes add a little more cream to bring to very spreadable consistency.

Mocha Silk Frosting:

Place instant coffee in a plastic bag and crushing it with a rolling pin until powered. Combine coffee, sugar and cocoa. Add the remaining ingredients and beat for 1 or 2 minutes at medium speed.

You can also add a little more cream to make frosting easy to spread (optional). Unroll cooled cake, leaving it on towel. Spread 1/2 cup frosting evenly over cake, all the way to the edges.

Spread 2 cups filling over thin layer of frosting, pushing generous amount into curved end. Roll up again, without towel but using it to help roll. Put cake, seam side down, on tray or cake plate. Get rid of any excess villing from ends and seam edge. Chill for 1 hour to firm filling.

Trim and remove (or eat) a thin slice from one end of chilled cake; cut and keep wedge from other end. Spread a little amount of filling on top center of cake and press reserved wedge on it to make the "knot-hole." Frost entire cake with remaining frosting, building frosting up around sides of "knot-hole." Do not cover knothold top. Work frosting as far under roll as possible.

Frequently draw narrow metal spatula lengthwise through frosting to create rough texture of bark. Cut pieces of angelica into leaf shapes and cut glace cherries in half to make log decorations. Keep cake refrigerated until serving; it is much easier to slice when cold and firm. Prior to serving, surround cake with cranberries and holly.

Et voila! Your Buche De Noel is now ready! :-)

Merry Christmas! :o)

Jonathan Is The Webmaster Of Quick Easy Recipes & Author Of A Famous Cookbook Called America's TOP Secret Recipes [] Revealing The Insider Secrets Of World Class Restaurant Dishes. You Can Also Check His Brand New Website: Favorite Recipes [].

Article Source:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Easy Crock Pot Roast

For my Large crock pot this is what I do:

Add in this order:

1 med. bag of Baby carrots
5 to 6 med white potatoes (cleaned and chopped into cubes) Other potatoes work too.
1 med. onion rough cut
1 lg. roast
1 beef/mushroom gravy mix, mixed with 1 cup water. I pour this over the entire bowl.
Liberal amount of Worcestershire sauce on just the roast.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook on high 6 hours or low 8 hours. About half way through I stir the veggies and turn the roast and add more Worcestershire sauce to it and more salt and pepper to taste. (Make sure to TASTE it!)

For a smaller crock pot I would half this recipe!

If you like more carrots, or more potato add it! If  you want to try some herbs I would try Thyme maybe a very small amount of rosemary or toss in some itallian seasoning. It's very easy to adjust to your family's taste!!

When done, remove veggies to a bowl, beef to a cutting board and cut up. Heat the remaining juice in a microwave safe bowl to boiling with 2 beef bullion cubes. Add mixture of 1/2 C. Water and 1/4 C. flour well whisked and cook 1 min, whisk, cook 1 min more, whisk and taste for salt. Add more if necessary .... serve!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Hey all! It's Christina. I just wanted to share a recipe that's been a recent hit in my family lately. They are DELISH!

We have been dividing the dough into four small-medium size Calzones. we just cut four even parts of the dough then roll each out to make a circle, fill it with whatever we want inside and then fold it in half and tuck the edges.

since we make smaller Calzones the bake time is closer to twenty minutes.

Ingredients for Dough
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon dry milk powder
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

For fillings (remember this should make 4 individual calzones)
3/4 cup pizza sauce
4 ounces pepperoni or sausage.
1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Any other favorite toppings...
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Place water, salt, bread flour, dry milk, sugar, and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select Dough cycle. (if you don't have a bread maker you can do this in a mixer or by hand by mixing the dough and letting it rise for 60 min before the next step!)
After cycle ends, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface; cut into 4 equal parts. Roll each one out into a circle.  Transfer to a lightly greased cookie sheet(I just put mine on parchment).
Add Pizza sauce to half of the dough (you will be folding the other half OVER it making sure to leave a good inch or so on the edges to fold over.
Add toppings!
Mozzarella cheese, Pepperoni, olives etc....(whatever you like on pizza, but don't overfill!)
brush the edge with water and fold over the other half of the dough and seal the edges.
 Brush top with melted butter. (I forgot to do this to mine!!)
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 min and check for doneness. They should be pleasantly browned on top and bottom.
This one is waiting for Dad to get home....

This was mine, just sauce, cheese and pepperoni! yum!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Family Style Greek Salad

I can't remember where I found this recipe but we love it!

1/2 C. Olive Oil
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. dried oregano

1-2 heads of romaine lettuce chopped to 1 inch pieces
2 med. cucumbers peeled chopped
4 lg tomatoes cut to thin wedges (or we sometimes use 2 boxes of little tomatoes)
1 lg. red onion sliced thin and cut in quarters
12 oz. crumbled fetta cheese
3/4 C. Kalamata olives (i like them pitted but it's your choice)
1/4 C. Lemon Juice

Whisk dressing and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Combine salad ingredients and drizzle with the Lemon Juice
Add dressing to taste! TOSS and EAT!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sue's Chocolate Sauce

This recipe is from my good friend Sue! We made this in Young Women's one night and I was amazed and awed!

1/2 C butter
3 squares unsweetened choc.
2 C sugar
1 C light cream
1/2 C light corn syrup
1 tsp. real vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 bar good quality dark chocolate

Melt butter and the 3 squares unsweetened chocolate on low heat. When completely melted, add sugar, cream, syrup, vanilla, and salt. Turn heat to medium and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil and boil for 1 1/2 minutes. Take off heat and add 1/2 bar of dark chocolate or milk chocolate if you prefer. Serve warm over ice-cream or your finger!

When this is cold, its like the center of a really good warned you should hide this from your kids!!

Janey's Split Pea Soup

This is my almost final product after years of playing with this recipe. I like to buy the bags of split peas at Grocery Outlet and I have taken the recipes on the bags and basically picked them apart and made them better.

First you must beg, borrow or buy a honey baked ham bone...ok I guess another would work, but these are my favorite! A good way to get one or two (freezable by the way) is to hang around the kitchen after a ward dinner where they are serving ham!

Dig out that large crock pot and add:
the ham bone
8 cups of water (more if you like it soupy)
2 C. rinsed split peas

one onion
3 stalks of celery
2 carrots

Saute these for 3 min in about 1 T. Butter and 1/4 t. sage powder, dash of red pepper flakes!
(you can omit this step and just toss in if you prefer but I think it adds a nice flavor)
Add this mixture to the crock pot
Add 2 t. kosher salt, dash of pepper
and lastly, 2 bay leaves
Turn on High or low and get some housework done!

When done, remove the bay leaves and the ham bone remains, you may also need to skim off any fat if your ham had a lot on it!
I like to chop up the meat(only the tender parts) and add back to the soup. I Smoosh up the peas with the back of a spoon cause I like my soup chunky.
You can puree and strain soup for a smooth consistency.
you can add milk...

I will often puree up half of the mixture and add it back in for the smooth/chunky look!

This soup can also be made quicker by simmering for 45 min to an hour on the stove top!

Pictures to follow, I am making this today since I had to make room in the freezer and the ham bone was in my way!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Parmesan Crusted Salmon

Buy your Salmon the day you would like to make this....Or! you can get the frozen individual packed salmon at costco and thaw it the day you want to make this!

This is for 4 medium portions so adjust accordingly. This recipe works best if all the portions are similar in size. If you have a big fat piece you may need extra cooking time.

Combine about 1/2 Cup grated parmesan (freshly grated is best but get the good stuff at the store if you can't)
1/4 C. seasoned bread crumbs
dash of pepper
You can stop here...
I always grab a few fresh leaves of thyme and parsley from my herb garden and chop fine and add to the mixture.

I don't usually dredge the Salmon in anything but I do rinse with water before I crust it.

Lightly (because the Parmesan is salty) season the salmon with salt and pepper. Generously coat 1side of the salmon with the finely grated Parmesan. In a non-stick saute pan, add approximately 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and place over high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully place the salmon in the pan cheese side down. Turn temperature down to medium heat and allow the salmon to cook about 4 minutes before flipping over. The idea is to form a nice crispy, lightly brown crust. Turn salmon and allow to cook another 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside in a warm place until plating.

I like to Serve with brown rice and lemon wedges.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Pre-Heat oven to 375

Cream together
1 C. butter at room temp
2 C. Sugar
2 eggs
1/4 C. milk
1 t. vanilla

Sift together and add:
3 3/4 C. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. cream of tartar

Mix in a shallow bowl
3 T. granulated sugar
1 T cinnamon

Use greased cookie sheets or parchment lined.
Form dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the shallow bowl of sugar.
Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and flatten slightly with the
bottom of a cup.
Bake 8 min till light golden.

Peanut Butter Cookies

I always double the regular recipe so I am just going to post this doubled!!!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Pre-Heat the oven to 375

Cream together:
1 C. Butter
1 C. Chunky peanut butter
1 C. Granulated sugar
1 C. Packed Brown Sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla

Sift together and Add:
2 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Form into 1 inch balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a parchment lined
cookie sheet. (or and ungreased cookie sheet)
criscross with the tines of a fork.
Bake for 10 min. Cool 1 min before moving to wire rack.

Banana Cookies

Banana Cookies,

My kids love these almost as much as banana bread!!

Sift together:
2 C. Flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. cloves
Set aside

Beat for 30 Sec:
1/2 C. Butter
1 C. sugar
Beat till fluffy
2 eggs
1/2 t. vanilla
Add a little at a time alternating:
1 C. mashed ripe bananas (2 med bananas or equivalent)
Flour mixture
Beat in between additions

Drop on a greased cookie sheet or parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.
Bake for 10 to 12 min.
Cool on a wire rack.

Banana Butter Frosting
(If you want to add this I would omit the cinnamon sugar step)

Stir together
2 C. sifted powdered sugar
1/4 C. mashed banana (1 small)
2 T. softened butter
1/2 t. Vanilla
Mix well and add more sugar if needed to get to the consistency you prefer.

Lemon Squares

Lemon Squares

Pre-Heat Oven to 350

Grease 2 8x8x2 pans or a larger than 9x13 baking pan


3/4 C. Butter at room temp
1/2 C. Sugar
2 C. Flour
1/2 t. Lemon Zest


4 eggs
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 t. lemon zest
6 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. Baking powder

beat butter for 3o seconds, add the 1/2 c. sugar and 1/2 t. salt beating till fluffy.
Stir in the 2 C. flour and lemon zest, pat the dough into the bottom of the pans evenly. Bake for 15 min.

Meanwhile beat the eggs and add the sugar, flour, lemon peel, lemon juice, and baking powder.
Beat 3 min or till slightly thickened. Pour over baked crust. Bake for 25 to 30 min longer till light golden brown around the edges and center is set. Cool. Sift Powdered Sugar over top if desired.
Cut into squares makes 32.

Note: If you add some cornstarch to your powdered sugar and sift together it will hold up longer on top without melting! (not sure of the proportions but I would start with adding say 1 t. to one cup)

Pumpkin bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Everyone seems to have a recipe like this, but this is my favorite by far. Thanks to Connie Lowder for the recipe!

Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees

Cream Together:

1 C. Oil
4 eggs
1 16 oz can Pumpkin puree
1 2/3 C. Sugar
1 t. salt
2 t. Cinnamon
1 t. Soda
1 t. Baking powder

2 C. Sifted Flour or Cake Flour

Bake in a Jelly roll pan (10x15x1) I use a cookie sheet with a 1" side
for approx. 20 min.

3 oz cream cheese
1/2 C. Butter
1 t. vanilla
2 C. powdered sugar
Cream together, gradually adding powdered sugar
I always double or use recipe below:

Frost cake when it's cooled. Cut into Bars.
We sold a lot of these at the bakery!!

Store in refrigerator. It's actually better on the next day! Serves a lot!

My frosting recipe for this cake:

8 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 C. Unsalted Butter
1 t. Vanilla
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 box of powdered sugar

I pipe it onto the cake then spread it.

Cheesy Potato Soup

Cheesy Potato Soup

This recipe is from my good friend Lisa Hansen! They introduced it to us at Young Women's last year on our Soup and Bread night now we are addicted!!

4 medium potatoes, diced

1 large onion, chopped

1 quart water

¼ cup (½ stick) butter or margarine

3 tablespoons flour

½ cup milk

1½ cups (6 oz.) shredded sharp cheese

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon seasoned salt

¼ teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

Chopped chives

Combine potatoes, onion and water in heavy saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. In heavy skillet melt butter; add flour; cook and stir until mixture bubbles. Remove from heat; stir in milk. Return to heat; cook and stir until thickened. Stir mixture slowly into potatoes; cook and stir until thick. Add cheese and seasonings. Serve topped with chopped chives. 4 to 6 Servings

*I also add about ½ cup chopped celery and ½ cup chopped carrots along with the potatoes and water. I also garnish with sour cream.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rocking Rice Salad

This was another true winner! I would like to make this with Brown rice! It was so amazing and yummy...whoever made this recipe is my hero!

Rocking Rice Salad

2 (16 oz) cans black or red beans

2 C cooked white rice

2 ears (or 1 (10 oz.) package) of frozen corn, thawed

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 small (6 oz) can sliced black olives

2 red bell peppers, seeded & diced

½ C chopped cilantro

Salt & pepper to taste


2 T Balsamic vinegar

¼ C fresh lime juice

¼ C olive oil

2-3 T Worcestershire sauce

2-3 t soy sauce

Toss salad ingredients until well combined. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Makes 14 servings (1/2 C each) Make a day ahead.

Marinated Corn Salad-Girls Camp

This is a recipe from the Girls Camp Cook Book. I loved this when at camp, I can hardly wait to make it!!

Marinated Corn Salad

2 (12 oz) cans white shoepeg corn (we just used niblets at camp)

2 stalks celery, chopped

½ C green pepper, chopped

½ C onion, very finely chopped

2 (2oz) jars pimiento, drained

½ C apple cider vinegar

½ C sugar

½ C vegetable oil

1 t salt

½ t pepper

Combine 1st five ingredients; mix well. Combine remaining ingredients, blending well and pour over vegetables. Refrigerate overnight. Drain some of the liquid off before serving…Serves 8-10.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Janey's Taco's/Burrito's

We LOVE Taco Dinner Night! We love it so much that we often have visitors that find out we are making Taco's and show up! Enjoy!

2 lbs ground beef cooked well and drained
one Cup of water and one pkg of Taco Seasoning mix
1 16oz can of Tomato Sauce
Heath through and set aside on low to keep warm
(This mixture should be runny you will see why later!)

Warm up a large can of refried beans or two or 3 smaller can's
Chop up
Grate Cheese
Pull out the sour cream and salsa and hot sauce!
Serve meat with a slotted spoon!

Serve with flour tortillas for soft taco's or Fry Flour tortillas in veg. oil for that crispier texture.
sour cream or salsas etc.

When everyone is done.....
Make Burritos!

Mix the leftover beans, with the leftover meat (this is where the sauce comes in handy)
Add about 1/3 C. Bean/meat mixture into a flour tortilla and roll,
place in 9x13 or 9x9 pan (depends on the ammt. of leftovers)
Continue till pan is full then pour the remaining mixture over the burritos (there needs to be enough to cover all the burrito's.
Add the leftover cheese to the top grate more if needed.
Cover in foil and pop in fridge till tomorrow!
Bake at 350 for 30-40 min till cooked through and bubbly.
If you are going to wait a few days to bake this wait to put the cheese on till the last 15 min of cooking.

Quick Tiramisu

Once upon a time Chef Gordon Ramsey had a cook along.. We actually participated as a family! Each of the older kids came in to help on one of the segments. It was very fun! We pulled one of our little TV's into the kitchen and tried to keep up... which was NOT easy! This recipe is from that show.

1 C. Mascarpone
1/4 C. Powdered sugar
4 T. Marsala, or sweet dessert wine (we used an alcohol free flavoring that we had on hand I think it was hazelnut flavored)
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 C. Heavy Cream
1 C. Cold Strong Coffee (We omitted this part since we do not drink coffee)
4 Italian Ladyfingers
piece of Chocolate to grate as garnish

Sift the powdered sugar into the Mascarpone. Add the vanilla extract and flavoring to the Mascarpone and mix well.
In a separate bowl, whisk the cream till it forms soft peaks.
Mix the cream and the mascarpone together and refrigerate.
Break the Ladyfingers in half and dip very briefly in the cold coffee. Divide them into the bottom of 4 serving glasses. Spoon the Mascarpone mixture on top.
Grate over a little chocolate.

These were VERY yummy!! And so pretty! I added a mint leaf from our garden too.

The Perfect Crostini

This can be the perfect start to any number of appetizer dishes! And it's a cinch to make a day or two ahead of time!

Take a baguette or two and slice into 3/8 inch slices.

Brush each side with a little olive oil (I have fallen in love with the silicone brushes, you need one-really!)

Toast in a 400 oven for 5 min or until lightly browned, remove from oven and flip each slice of bread then return to oven to bake for another 5 min. (You know your oven better than I do so, adjust accordingly) You want each bread slice to be a medium brown, not too dark, not too light.

Let them sit for a few min till they are not too hot to handle, they should be hard to the touch but inside hopefully they will be soft.

Get a nice size clove of garlic and peel and chop the hard end off. Rub the garlic over one or both sides of the Crostini. The smell of the olive oil and garlic should have your family running into the kitchen at this point to steal one or two pieces when you are not looking... so beware!
You may need more garlic....
When these little gems are completely cooled you can store them in tupperware or zip-lock bags!

These have a variety of uses:
Float in soup
cut up and use as crouton on salad
eat plain...
add some goat cheese and spices
Serve with any other cheese spread

Friday, September 3, 2010

9 Layer Salad

This is my own take on the layered Salad. The nice thing about this one is you actually need to make it a day ahead of time!

1 C. Thinly sliced Celery (or diced if you prefer)
1 Lg. Bell pepper any color diced
1 sm onion chopped-I like red but green onions or a yellow onion work too
1 pkg frozen peas
1 head of lettuce Washed, Dried and chopped (make sure it's well dried!) Iceburg tastes the best to me but has no nutritional value so use whichever is best for your family.
1 C. Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 C. Crumbled Crispy cooked bacon
(Just before serving dice on large or 2 med/small ripe tomatoes)

1 C. Mayo
1 C. Sour Cream
1/2 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 T. sugar
2 t. Lemon Juice

Layer as follows
3-Bell Pepper
9-Tomatoes (just before serving)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Best Blue Cheese Dressing Ever!

My mother in law Lila taught me this recipe and I still love it!

Take one package of Hidden Valley Ranch Bleu Cheese Dressing mix and follow the directions for mixing.
Add a small package of Crumbled Bleu Cheese or crumble your favorite and add to the dressing.
Refrigerate and enjoy on your next cobb salad!!

The addition of the crumbled bleu cheese makes all the difference.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Elaine's Great Cheesecake

I miss Elaine, she is one of my favorite people! She was my good friend and neighbor when we lived in Houston area for 10 months (yes, that's all I could stand of Texas weather)! She is so inspiring, she painted bold fun colors on the walls in her house and she made great, yummy food! This is her recipe and I don't mess with it....usually!
She told us it came from Sundance resort so it has to be good right?? Well, it is! You should plan to make this sometime soon.

In a food processor Add:
1 3/4 C Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/4 C Melted Butter
1/4 C. Granulated sugar
Mix together and pat into bottom of a large springform pan. Bake at 400 for 8-10 min.

Turn oven down to 325

1 1/2 lbs. Cream Cheese
3 Eggs
3/4 C. Sugar (I have used as little as 1/3 C. and it's still a good cheesecake!)
1 T. lemon Juice (fresh is best)
1 t. vanilla

Beat Cream Cheese till smooth and fluffy. (this step is really important I find that if I get it very smooth now the cheese cake will utterly melt in your mouth!)
Add the eggs one at a time, then add the sugar gradually. (I do this while the mixer is running on low setting) Add the lemon juice and vanilla. At this point do not over mix, once it's all incorporated pour over the crust.
Bake at 325 for 45 Minutes

Remove from oven and set Temp back to 400

once the oven has reached temp add the Sour Cream Topping (believe me you DO want this!)
Whisk together and pour over hot cheesecake

Bake at 400 for 12 Minutes

Sour Cream Topping:
2 C. Sour Cream
1/2 C. Granulated Sugar
1 t. Vanilla

Cool Cake and refrigerate till ready to serve.

Mixed Berry Topping:
1/3 C. Seedless Raspberry preserves (I have also just used whatever jam I have on hand)
2 c. mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, sliced strawberries, raspberries any combination)
In a sauce pan Stir Preserves till melted then add berries. Cook down until it is the consistency you want 5 min to 15 min. (if it is not sweet enough for you you can add 1/3 C. sugar or a couple of Tablespoons of honey ) Let cool ladle over cake before serving!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cheesy tortellini casserole

I can't believe I have never posted this recipe! One of our family favorites.

This recipe can be found here also:


  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups marinara sauce (homemade is good, but canned works too)
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese (or room temp cream cheese works too)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 pound purchased cheese tortellini (I prefer the Costco cheese ones)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced smoked mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish.

Whisk the sauce, mascarpone cheese, parsley and thyme in a large bowl to blend. Cook the tortellini in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Add the tortellini to the sauce and toss to coat. Transfer the tortellini mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top the mixture with the smoked mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheeses on top melt, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Herb Crusted Rib Eye with Balsamic mushroom sauce

I have a small herb garden. One day I was looking for something, anything really, to use the herbs for. I created this receipe on the fly and we really enjoyed it. My inspiration was a few different dishes from a few different restaurants and love of steak!!

2 T. Olive Oil
4 Rib Eye Steaks-room Temp very lightly salted
2 T. fresh Thyme leaves Chopped
2 T. fresh Parsley Chopped
2 t. Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1 box sliced mushrooms
2 shallots sliced thin
2 T. dry Sherry
2 T. Balsamic Vinegar

Crumbled or sliced Gorgonzola Cheese (Optional)

Mashed Potatos

Preheat Oven to 450
Mix Chopped Herbs with Salt and Pepper and set aside
Heat a large skillet on med-high heat and add olive oil.
Sear Steaks until browned on each side, (Reserve skillet it's not done yet!)
Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with foil Put a thin layer of the Herb mixture over each steak.
Bake in the oven for about 8 min for Med. (adjust for thickness of steak, use a meat thermometer to check for desired doneness)
OPTIONAL: Add the gorgonzola for the last minute or two of cooking to melt over the top of the herb mixture.

When the steak is done it needs to sit for 5 min to rest.

While Steak is cooking add the mushrooms and shallots to the skillet. Add a touch more olive oil if needed. Cook for about 2 minutes till the mushrooms and shallots are to taste. Deglaze with the sherry, cook for a minute or two then add the Balsamic and reduce by half.

Remove from heat and set aside.

Serve with Mashed Potatoes

Shells with Crispy Bacon and Spinach

For Christina!
This is the link on Food Network Site.
We swap out the pancetta for Bacon and Small curd cottage cheese for Ricotta.

Picture of Shells with Crispy Pancetta and Spinach Recipe



  • 1 (12-ounce) package jumbo shells pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound thick-cut pancetta, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 pounds frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 cups grated asiago cheese, plus 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the shells:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Remove the pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl. Add the spinach, ricotta cheese, asiago cheese, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Stuff the shells with about 2 tablespoons of the spinach mixture each and place the stuffed shells in a large, buttered baking dish.

For the sauce:

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to very low and add the 2 cups asiago cheese, parsley, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is dissolved. Pour the sauce over the shells. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup asiago cheese. Bake until golden on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Baked Chicken and Rice With Black Beans

Baked Chicken and Rice With Black Beans

Baked Chicken and Rice With Black Beans
Photo: William Dickey; Styling: Rose Nguyen


  • 1 (10-oz.) package yellow rice mix (I did a 5 oz pkg to cut down on carbs and it was just enough rice)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained (I used a regular can of tomatoes and a small can of diced green chili's)
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) grated Monterey Jack cheese (I used colby Jack)


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare rice according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, sauté onion, bell pepper, and carrot in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium heat 10 minutes or until tender.

3. Combine hot cooked rice, onion mixture, chicken, beans, diced tomatoes and chiles, and 1 1/2 cups cheese in a large bowl. Spoon into a lightly greased 3-qt. or 13- x 9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

4. Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Meredith Baldwin, Lawrenceville, Illinois, Southern Living, FEBRUARY 2009

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chalupa Dinner Bowl

I think I would call this Carnitas Dinner 3 ways if it were my recipe! We made it today in the crock pot while at church and YUMMMM! I enjoyed it best as a soft taco with lettuce, guacamole, sour cream and a touch of salsa. You can make it in the taco bowl, nacho style or Soft Taco style. I made it with boneless pork roast so that I would not have to deal with the bone and it was amazing!

Chalupa Dinner Bowl

This pork-and-bean mixture is versatile. Serve it spooned over cornbread or rolled up burrito style in flour tortillas. Make hearty nachos, quesadillas, or tacos too. It can even be used as a meaty addition to huevos rancheros (fried corn tortillas topped with fried eggs and salsa).

Preparation Time: 30 minutes minutes
Cooking Time: 11 hours minutes
Other Time: 5 minutes minutes
Yield: Makes 8 servings

1 pound dried pinto beans
1 (3 1/2-pound) bone-in pork loin roast
2 (4-ounce) cans chopped green chiles
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (32-ounce) box chicken broth
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles with lime juice and cilantro
8 taco salad shells
1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded
Toppings: shredded Monterey Jack cheese, pickled jalapeño slices, halved grape tomatoes, sour cream, chopped avocado

Rinse and sort beans according to package directions.

Place pinto beans in a 6-quart slow cooker; add roast and next 6 ingredients. Pour chicken broth evenly over top of roast.

Cover and cook on HIGH 1 hour; reduce to LOW, and cook 9 hours. Or, cover and cook on HIGH 6 hours. Remove bones and fat from roast; pull roast into large pieces with two forks. Stir in diced tomatoes and green chiles. Cook, uncovered, on HIGH 1 more hour or until liquid is slightly thickened.

Heat taco salad shells according to package directions; place shredded lettuce evenly into shells. Spoon about 1 cup pork-and-bean mixture into each shell using a slotted spoon. Serve with desired toppings.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used RO*TEL Mexican Festival tomatoes and a Rival Recipe Smart-Pot slow cooker. Times may vary depending on the slow cooker used.