Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Plain Potato Soup

I LOVE POTATOES! Just thought everybody should know. It's my favorite food and the one I would choose to eat for the rest of my life if somebody made me choose. Unlikely, but still. Here's a fabulous recipe for potato soup now that fall will be upon us soon. It's way simple and way yummy!

Plain Potato Soup

4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
water to cover
2 (12 fluid ounce) cans evaporated milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place the potatoes in a large pot over high heat. Add water to cover, about 1 inch over the potatoes. Boil for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.Do not drain.
2. Reduce heat to low and pour in the evaporated milk and the butter. Mash the potatoes in the pot with a potato masher. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Here are the results:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cream Cheese Penguins

Already planning your Christmas Party? Me neither. BUT I do have a cute idea when that time comes around.... Cream Cheese Penguins! They are adorable. Kids love them and adults think they're cute too.

Cream Cheese Penguins

18 jumbo black olives, pitted
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,softened (I used flavored cream cheese)
18 small black olives
1 carrot

1. Cut a slit from top to bottom, lengthwise, into the side of each jumbo olive. Carefully insert about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese into each olive.(If you use a plastic sandwhich bag with one corner cut off, this is much easier) Slice the carrot into eighteen 1/4 inch thick rounds; cut a small notch out of each carrot slice to form feet. Save the cut out piece and press into center of small olive to form the beak. If necessary cut a small slit into each olive before inserting the beak.
2. Set a big olive, large hole side down, onto a carrot slice. Then, set a small olive onto the large olive, adjusting so that the beak, cream cheese chest and notch in the carrot slice line up. Secure with a toothpick.

Here are my results:

The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner

On BYU TV, sometimes I see The Food Nanny. She helps people sit down and plan their dinners ahead of time. She's so bubbly and fun to watch. I met her at Swiss Days and she was just as energetic in person. She has a book: The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner.I've already tried her Crunchy Parmesan Baked Chicken and it was 5 stars amazing! I've cooked a few things out of her book and here are the results:

Mac & Cheese Kids Crave

First time I made homemade mac & cheese and we both loved it.

Northern-Style Corn Bread with Liz's Honey Butter

Husband said this was the best corn bread he's ever tasted. We also loved the honey butter.

French Baguettes

These were way easy by the way! And they were pretty good. I didn't have a baguette pan but they turned out chewy anyways.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Dark Divine

The description of The Dark Divine as found on amazon.com
"Grace Divine, a pastor's daughter, doesn't think she lives up to the name that her father tells her means "heavenly help." Her brother, Jude, a church volunteer whose faith seems unshakable, has always seemed to be the more "graceful" Divine. When his friend Daniel returns to town after a long and mysterious absence, Jude recognizes Grace's attraction to him but urges her to stay away with unusual vehemence. Against his advice, Grace begins a relationship with Daniel, whose reluctance to discuss his disappearance piques her curiosity. As she attempts to uncover the mystery of Daniel's past, Jude discourages her investigations with oblique references to an ancient evil and a transforming curse. The novel builds to a dramatic climax involving the surprise revelation of a Divine family secret and a violent confrontation that suggests a possible sequel. Despain's first novel mixes romance and the supernatural and offers true love as the ultimate defense against lycanthropes. This long novel is a slow starter, but as Grace discovers unexpected local connections to the mystery of Daniel's absence, the pace picks up and the suspense builds. Although not a novel of Christian fiction, the book's thematic investment in faith and sacrifice distinguishes it from traditional supernatural romances."

MY REVIEW: I really did enjoy this book. I thought it was another Twilight Ripoff, but it totally wasn't. This one actually had a plot and was very well written. It had me thinking and guessing up until the last chapter. I really liked this book and was glad I read it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Vegetarian Lime Orzo

Once again, I came upon this recipe by necessity. I had orzo I needed to use and have never cooked it before. This dish turned out spectacular. If I had a LARGE non-stick skillet, I surely would have used it in this recipe, since the orzo tended to stick. It just so happens to be vegetarian, but you can use chicken broth like I did if you aren't so strict in the vegetarian area.

Vegetarian Lime Orzo

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups orzo pasta
1 zucchini, peeled and shredded
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 (16 ounce) can stewed tomatoes,undrained
1 (14 ounce) can vegetable broth
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese for topping

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and orzo pasta; cook and stir until pasta turns a light, golden color, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini and carrots; cook until vegetables soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, vegetable broth, Italian seasoning, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir in the green onions, parsley, lime zest, and lime juice. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Here are the results:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Asian Chicken Salad

I saw this on the side panel of a Keebler box one day and thought it looked yummy, so I tried it and it was! A nice change from a tuna sandwich. You can serve it on crackers or make a sandwich out of it. Here's the recipe:

Asian Chicken Salad


* 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
* 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
* 2 cups finely chopped, cooked chicken breast (I use canned chicken)
* 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
* 1/2 cup sliced green onions
* Keebler® Club® Crackers
* Coarse ground black pepper

1. In small bowl stir together mayonnaise, soy sauce and sesame oil.

2. In medium bowl toss together chicken, bell pepper and onions. Add mayonnaise mixture. Toss to coat. Serve on crackers. Sprinkle with pepper.

Here are the results:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Some of Saving Dinner's Food

I am a big fan of the Saving Dinner book and website. Here are a few pics of recipes from the book.
Fish in a Bag:

Skillet Chicken with Spinach:

Parmesan Drumsticks:

Warm Spinach Salad

Caramelized Garlic Chicken

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies

If anybody ever asks me what my favorite cookies are, I tell them Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies HANDS DOWN. I make mine with Rolos but I've made them with a king-sized Caramello bar before. They are so yummy! MY CHANGES ARE IN BOLD

Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup chopped walnuts (I hate nuts so I leave these out!)
1 tablespoon white sugar
48 chocolate-covered caramel candies

1. Beat butter until creamy. Gradually beat in white sugar and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, and cocoa. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in 1/2 cup walnuts. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. I don't chill them, I don't have patience
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
3. Combine remaining 1/2 cup nuts with the 1 tablespoon sugar. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Work with one part at a time, leaving the remainder in the refrigerator until needed. Divide each part into 12 pieces. Quickly press each piece of dough around a chocolate covered caramel. Roll into a ball. Dip the tops into the sugar mixture. Place sugar side up, 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.
4. Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Let cool for 3 to 4 minutes on the baking sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Here are the results:


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms

I don't get why people don't like Brussels Sprouts. They are delicious to me and I needed a change of pace in my vegetable department. I'm sick of canned green beans. I loved this recipe.

Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms

4 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/2 pound whole mushrooms
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
fresh lemon juice

1. Cook Brussels sprouts in a pot of lightly salted boiling water for 15 minutes, or until fork-tender; strain through a colander, removing as much water as possible. Set aside.
2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook and stir mushrooms until lightly browned. Toss Brussels sprouts with mushrooms, and sprinkle with parsley and lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Here are the results:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I ran across Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater on a friend's blog and since she seemed to like it so much, I decided to give it a whirl. Here's the description from the author's website:
"For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human... until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever. "

My review: SPOILER ALERT:I enjoyed The Twilight Series and my first thought when I read this book is "Total ripoff of Twilight". There are too many similarities for me to think this is another werewolf book. I'm pretty sure they even have pack members with the same name. The one thing I didn't like about Twilight was the stalker scenario between Edward and Bella, and that Bella actually LIKES it, and the same with this book. Sam is a stalker and Grace likes it. At least in Twilight they actually waited until they were married to "seal the deal" but in this book, NOPE, just do whatever you little heart desires.

So as you can see, I wasn't impressed. I wanted to be but wasn't. Sorry.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The BEST Zucchini Bread

Still have more zucchini? The only way my hubby REALLY likes zucchini is in zucchini bread form. I have to admit, I have never tried another zucchini bread recipe other than this because it always gets rave reviews and I figure "Why go searching when I've got what I want." It's also great because it doesn't have any eggs or complicated directions, just mix everything together! This recipe originally appeared in my church cookbook.

Zucchini Bread
1 C. sugar
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. Oil
3 C. zucchini,grated
3 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. nuts/raisins, optional (I don't put in because of my preference)

Mix together, Bake for 1 hour at 325°F. Make 1 (9X13 inch pan) or 2 loaf pans.

Here are the results:

Right out of the oven

Yummy Goodness!