Monday, November 26, 2012

Menu Nov. 26 Leftover Turkey Time

Yesterday we came home from church and the shelves were quite bare.  Finding something for everyone to eat for lunch was more of an ordeal than I anticipated.  See, grocery shopping has been at the bottom of my list lately.  But as my due date for baby #6 is this week I figured it was high time I get myself in gear and make a menu and do some serious shopping.  So, as a means for me to easily access the recipes I will be making in the upcoming weeks I am posting the plan here.  Hopefully it can help someone else out there to try something new.

Most (but not all) of the recipes we will be trying will actually be using up our turkey from Thanksgiving.  We ate very, very little of our 14 pounder... so we've got lots to use!

Broccoli & Chicken Pasta Salad by Disney
Tortellini Spinach Bake by Our Best Bites
Crispy Turkey Tostadas by Disney
Chicken Salad Curry Wraps by Favorite Family Recipes
Chicken Divan by Betty Crocker
Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas by Buns in My Oven
Chicken Alfredo Roll-ups by Table for Seven
Cheesy Chicken, Bacon, & Avocado Quesadillas by Kevin and Amanda
Easy Chicken & Couscous Skillet by Kevin and Amanda

Since I'm not on pinterest, I just bookmark recipes and have a separate folder for different types of meals.  These were all in my Dinner folder and it was simple to go through and choose some that would work!  And I've already been to the store to get the rest of the ingredients to make these scrumptious meals.

Knowing me, I will make minor adjustments to these recipes. If anything is super awesome I will be sure to post a review and any changes we make.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Grandma's Chocolate Cake

Since its my birthday today I thought I'd share my favorite cake recipe ever.  My grandma's chocolate cake.  I actually never had this cake when my grandma made it, but my mom shared it with me once I was old enough to appreciate a good recipe.  I've made it countless time and received nothing but praise.  It truly cannot be beat, in my opinion.  Its dense and moist and delicious.  Go make and celebrate my birthday with me. :)

Grandma's Chocolate Cake

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling

Heat oven to 350.  Prepare pans as needed*.  Sift dry ingredients together.  Blend in buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.  Add eggs one at a time.  Finally, add the boiling water.  You have to really mix it to get the water incorporated, but it should come together in just a couple minutes.  Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until the sides start to pull away from the side of the pan.

*I like to always use shortening and flour for my cake pans if I'm going to be taking the cake out of the pans.  Also, if I'm taking the cakes out of the pans (like to decorate, you know?) I almost always cut a piece of wax or parchment paper to the size of the bottom of the pan and do a little layer of shortening on the pan, then place the paper, then grease and flour the paper.  When I'm ready to flip my cake out of the pan I can easily get the bottom out and then gently pull the paper away for the cake to cool!  Easy!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Chips

I remember the first time I made this... it was for a baby shower for one of my favorite friends!  I made a lot and we ate... a lot!  Its so tasty, quite easy to make, but a favorite for sure.  You can really use whatever fruit you feel like using or that you have on hand, but this is my favorite combo I've tried.

Fruit Salsa

2 apples
4 kiwi
1 lb strawberries
6-8 oz raspberries
2 spoonfuls orange marmalade
2 tsp lemon juice

Chop the strawberries and kiwi, the raspberries just need to be kind of smushed and mixed in with the fruit mixture.  While chopping my apples I add about 1 tsp lemon juice with each apple to prevent browning.  Mix all the fruit together with the preserves and enjoy with cinnamon chips!

Cinnamon Chips

10 (8") flour tortillas
Cooking spray, butter flavor works well
Cinnamon sugar mixture~ I think we usually do about 3/4 cup sugar with 1 Tbsp cinnamon.

Heat oven to 350.  Spray one side of a tortilla with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Cut into 10 wedges (or whatever size you prefer).  Place the wedges sugar side down on cookie sheet.  Once the sheet is full, spray all the wedges with cooking spray again then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Serve with fruit salsa and let the compliments pour in.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cheese Ball

Do you ever have to take an appetizer to a holiday party?  Do you want it to look impressive, but not take a ton of work?  No? I'm the only one... ha!  You're not fooling me.  Well, this cheese ball is awesome.  My mom created its awesomeness, so I can say that without being conceited. She uses cashews as the nuts around it, but due to allergies we use almonds.  Seriously, make it, but make it for a crowd its big and addicting.

Cheese Ball

1 package cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheese (I usually use medium cheddar, but pepper jack would be yummy)
1 can green chiles, diced
1/2 (14 oz) can olives, chopped
Sliced almonds

Mix the cream cheese, cheese, chiles, and olives.  Form into a ball.  I like to put it in plastic wrap to form its shape.  Smash the almonds into the sides of the ball.  Wrap it up tight in plastic wrap until you're ready to serve.  Serve with crackers.  So yummy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Potato Salad

I know, I know, you have already have the perfect potato salad recipe, right?  Well, this is the salad I grew up on and my family still loves!  Its perfect for a potluck and with Memorial Day right around the corner, its a perfect time to try a new recipe, right?

Potato Salad

8 medium baking potatoes
10 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1/2 onion, chopped fine
2-3 big pickles, chopped
1 1/3 cup Miracle Whip
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp sugar

Peel the potatoes, cut into quarters lengthwise and boil for 20 minutes.  Cool, then cut into bite size pieces.  Dice the hard boiled eggs and combine with chopped onion, pickles and potatoes.

Mix the remaining ingredients for the dressing.  Pour over potato mixture and stir well.  Chill for at least 4 hours if you can before serving!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hamburger Goulash

Sometimes you just need a quick and easy dinner.  Something the kids will eat without complaint but that you will enjoy as well.  It needs to be full of hearty ingredients and flavorful.  This is that dinner for our family.  I actually get "yes!" comments from my boys when I say this is what we'll be eating for dinner.

Hamburger Goulash

1 pound ground beef
1 onion
3 cups macaroni
2 small cans tomato sauce
2 (14 oz) cans chopped or crushed tomatoes
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
2 cups cheese, grated
Garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper

Brown the ground beef and onion until meat is cooked through and onion is translucent.  I always cook mine with salt and pepper.  Once it all cooked through drain and rinse it.

While the meat is cooking, boil macaroni until cooked to desired doneness.  Drain.

Combine macaroni and meat.  Add tomatoes and sauce, salt, sugar, pepper, garlic.  Once its heated through add cheese and stir to melt.  Serve to a happy crowd!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Basic Granola

Oh boy, I love this stuff.  Its been calling my pregnancy name for days and its high time I make it up again.  I seriously created this one pulling my favorite parts from various recipes from friends and cookbooks.  Its fun to play with too, lots of delicious variations to be had!


2 cups honey
1 cup oil
8 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
2 cups coconut
2 cups rice krispies
1 cup wheat germ or wheat bran
2 cups almonds
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Line 2 cookie sheets with foil.  Mix all the dry ingredients together.  Heat the honey and oil until they can mix well.  Pour over the oat mixture and stir until well coated.  Divide evenly between the two cookie sheets and bake at 325 for 25 minutes, stirring every 8 minutes.  When pan comes out of oven, press gently with paper towels and let cool.  Break into chunks and store in gallon size zip top bags.  Break into smaller pieces to serve with milk or eat as "bars" right from the bag.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pretzel Jello Salad

Ok, this one is kind of a stretch as a "salad".  But I won't tell, if you don't.  This is one of the yummiest creations ever.  The combination of sweet, salty, fruity, creamy is perfection!  I made this for a Relief Society event recently and everyone was enamored with it. I thought for sure it was one of those recipes that was old news, that everyone had had a million times before... but still never gotten sick of.  But in my ward, at least, it was pretty new!  Maybe you can surprise some people in your neck of the woods too!

Pretzel Jello Salad

2 cups pretzels, crushed
1 Tbsp sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 (8oz) block cream cheese
1 (8oz) tub Cool Whip
1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
10 oz frozen strawberries
10 oz frozen raspberries
1 (6oz) package raspberry Jello

First of all, heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Now go and find a glass 9x13 dish, this is just too pretty to hide in a metal pan.

Now, get those pretzels crushed.  I'd like to say the food processor works perfectly, but I still end up smashing a lot of them with a rolling pin.  Toss the pretzels, I usually use sticks, in a sturdy zip top bag.  Get the air out as best you can.  Then whack with a rolling pin (or whatever tool you have handy for smashing things, meat mallet, hammer, candlestick, whatever).  Once you have enough crumbs to measure 2 cups, mix the pretzels with the sugar.  Melt the butter and mix it in with the pretzels and sugar.  Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes.  You want to cool for 1 hour, but if you don't have time for that just stick it under the AC vent while you work on the rest.

Next beat the cream cheese and 1 cup sugar together, stir in the Cool Whip.  Spread over the pretzel crust.

Mix boiling water with Jello and stir until dissolved.  Add frozen berries and stir until thickened.  Pour over cream cheese mixture.  Chill for at least one hour.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pizza Dip

Back in the good ol' days of grad school, I met a lot of really great people.  One of those lovely people shared this delicious recipe with me and I have loved it every time I've made it.  Those I've made it for have loved it too.  That dear friend has since passed away and I wish that I could go back and enjoy our time together with a little more perspective.  Isn't it amazing how, so often, we bond over food.  This one is for you Catherine!

Pizza Dip

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2-3 cups spaghetti sauce
Baguette slices or French Bread

Combine cream cheese and seasoning, spread onto the bottom of a 9" pie plate.  Mix mozzarella and parmesan, sprinkle about half of it over the cream cheese.  Top with spaghetti sauce.  Sprinkle remaining mozzarella/parmesan over top. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350.  Or microwave on high in 2 minute intervals until cheese is melted through and sauce is bubbly.  Serve with 2-3" pieces of bread.  So yummy!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Corn Flake Candy

Do you ever buy something at the grocery store only to realize that none of your family will eat it?  I think I realized why Corn Flakes are so cheap... so they sat in my cupboard way longer than any cold cereal should (or ever does).  I reached back into my memory and thought of this super yummy treat from my youth.

When I was 16, in order to accomplish a goal called Young Womanhood Recognition I helped put together a cook book from all the young women from my church ward (congregation) between the ages of 12-18.  I had to dig through my cook books in order to find it, but I did and good news (!) the recipe for this candy was in it like I remembered!!

So I made it up this afternoon, a little afraid that my memory had increased the yumminess in my brain and that it wouldn't be as good as I remembered.  Well, let me tell you, I feared in vain.  It is even better than I remembered!  I even considered hiding it before my boys got home from school so I could keep it all to myself (I know I'm a mean mom!) but, never fear, reason won and they are currently enjoying it with me...

Go make some and enjoy it with your kids!  But first, answer this, what kinds of things do you have in your cupboard that no one wants to eat?

Corn Flake Candy
Recipe from Megan Clifton, adapted by hollidaisy

1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 cup peanut butter (I did half creamy, half crunchy~it just sits in my cupboard too)
5 cups Corn Flakes
3 cups Kix (the recipe doesn't call for them, just 8 cups flakes, but I added them and the texture is perfect!)

Combine corn syrup, sugar, and powdered milk in a sauce pan.  Cover the pan and slowly bring to a boil. I set my stove to medium/ medium low.  Stir frequently.  Remove from heat once it boils an stir in the peanut butter.  Pour this mixture over the cereal mixture in a large bowl.  Stir to evenly distribute the candy coating.  Spread the candy on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and let cool.  Try not to eat it all in one sitting. :)

I'd just like to say thanks to my 16 year old self for making this little treasure of a cook book so 30 year old me can enjoy all the yumminess within.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Super Cheesy Cream Cheese Frosting

This is hard core Cream Cheese Frosting.  If you like that tang in your frosting, you'll love this!

Super Cheesy Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe from, adapted by hollidaisy

2 blocks Cream Cheese
1 stick butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

You don't want the cream cheese or butter to be too soft, but just barely at room temperature if you plan on piping it at all.  Otherwise it won't hold a shape.

Beat it all together for about 5 minutes on high.  Try not to eat it all before it makes to your cake. :)

Raspberry Cupcakes

My ward Relief Society had a cupcake throwdown this month and I wanted to make something super yummy and different.  I was looking at Our Best Bites and thought the Strawberry cupcakes were the perfect choice; light and springy and delicious to boot!  Having made them for Valentine's Day, I liked them, but thought that a variation would be fun, enter the flavorful raspberry!

Raspberry Cupcakes
Recipe from Our Best Bites, adapted by hollidaisy

2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. cake flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
2 1/4 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 egg white
1 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. raspberries pureed

1 Recipe Super Cheesy Cream Cheese Frosting
30 Fresh Raspberries for tops

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a metal muffin pan with paper lines.  Whisk flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.  

Cream butter and sugar in mixer until light and fluffy (around 3 minutes).  Add eggs and egg white, one at a time, beating after every addition.

Reduce spee to low.  Combine buttermilk and vanilla and set aside.  Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture; end with dry ingredients.  Fold in berries.  Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure its all mixed in.  Divide batter among muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. 

As you can see, my photography isn't the greatest.  Hopefully the cupcakes speak louder than my skills.
Also, these were mini cupcakes for the competition, my big ones got destroyed by my 18 month old.
Bake until set, around 22-25 minutes.  Allow to cool in muffin tins.  Top with a swirl of frosting and a plump fresh raspberry and hope that no curious toddlers come around to ruin all your hard work!  

Now go enjoy a cupcake! You deserve it!

Quick & Easy Marbled Chocolate Treats

 I had a Baker's Chocolate coupon book with some yummy recipes in it that I wanted to try. For a Family Night recently I had my oldest son make these delicious treats.  They were so good, so pretty, and so easy my 8 year old could do it himself!  Win-win-win!

Quick & Easy Marbled Chocolate Treats
Recipe from Baker's Chocolate

8 1/2 Graham Crackers
6 squares semi-sweet Baker's Chocolate (although, you could use chocolate chips)
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 squares white chocolate

Line a 9x13 pan with foil.  Line the crackers up in the pan, filling it up and breaking them into the sizes that fit.

Melt the chocolate and peanut butter in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until its smooth.  Pour the chocolate peanut butter yumminess over the graham crackers.

Microwave the white chocolate for 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds.  Drop spoonfuls of the white chocolate on the chocolate/peanut butter.  With a butter knife swirl the white and dark chocolates to make a beautiful marbled treat.

Set in the fridge for at least an hour until set.  When ready to serve pull the foil out of the pan, flip it upside down and cut into pieces the sizes of the crackers.  Enjoy... just like this handsome man! :)

These would make a pretty gift too!  Wrap them up in a cellophane bag, tie a pretty bow and make someone's day!

As a side note, I used half Baker's chocolate and half chocolate chips for my semi-sweet chocolate.  And I used Almond bark for my white chocolate and they were fabulous!