Monday, September 9, 2013


It's been too long since I've been in the kitchen regularly.....almost as long as I've been away from this blog.  I'm happy to report that I'm back and ready to cook.  It also helps that we're getting closer to fall and I can't wait!  I've already baked chocolate chip pumpkin muffins and the smell alone was worth it.  I've enlisted a little help from my kids in menu planning.  My 17 year-old has recently renamed my theme nights.  Here goes:
Monster Grill Monday
Taco Tuesday
(formerly Mexican Fiesta)
Weirdly Comforting Wednesday
(formerly Hot Dish/Crock Pot)
Throwback Thursday
(formerly Family Favorites)
Fantastico Friday
(formerly Pasta/Italian Night)
Soup OR Salad Saturday
Super Grab Bag Sunday
If changing the names gets them to be happier with what I make for dinner.....I'm all for it.  I'm also working on organizing all my recipes right now.  Currently, if I need a recipe, I have to grab a huge stack of papers from the book shelf and then search for what I'm looking for.  Now, I'm entering them in a computer data base and printing them out to organize them in two binders I've picked up.  (I know I can just access them on my computer, but I really like having the printed recipe in front of me.)  The best part of this newfound excitement in the kitchen.....I have my next two weeks of menus planned out! 
I leave you with a photo of the delicious chocolate torte my brother made for us to celebrate our 24th anniversary!

Thursday, May 2, 2013


FRENCH BREAD - warm from the oven!
This bread is so delicious and unbelievably easy to make.  Don't worry if you don't have a pan like this, you can use a cookie sheet.  I first came across this recipe while watching The Food Nanny.  Just last month I finally tried it out and HEAVEN HELP ME it's good.  Everyone loved it so much we had to make it the next night too. 
recipe from The Food Nanny
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
2 tsp. sugar
3 1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. salt
Combine 1/2 c. of the water, yeast and 1 tsp. of the sugar in a bowl, let stand 5 minutes until bubbly.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, remaining sugar and yeast mixture.  Add the rest of the water and mix (I just used a spoon).  Pour out on a floured counter and knead briefly.  Cut the dough in half and shape into two long loaves.  Place on a greased baguette pan or cookie sheet and gently score the top of the bread with a sharp knife.  Let rise under a towel for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and place a shallow pan of water in the bottom rack of the oven to create steam.  Bake for 15 minutes.  
Optional: melted butter 
you can brush the tops with butter half way through baking 
OR brush with butter after they come out of the oven for a softer crust
I brushed it with butter out of the oven the first night, but the second I opted to omit the butter. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013


This is one of my favorite salads!  It's so yummy and I get so many compliments on it.  Last week, my cousin's wife requested it at her baby shower.  Yesterday, it was served at my brother's wedding (one of my friends was kind enough to make it for me).  Next week, I'll be making it after General Conference with our extended family.  It's really good and easy.  You can chop everything up and add the dressing just before you're ready to serve it.  Enjoy!

BROCCOLI SALAD (from Bronwyn Brown, found in our church cookbook)
8 c. chopped broccoli
1 1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. raisins
1/4 c. roasted sunflower kernels
1 lb. bacon, cooked and chopped up
1 c. mayo
3/4 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Mix the broccoli, celery, raisins, sunflower kernels and bacon in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, stir the mayo, sugar and vinegar together. Stir well.  Add your dressing to the salad and mix well before serving.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

MENU IN REVIEW - March 4 -10

Sloppy (Chicken) Joe's
Tony took care of it
Tony's up again
Papa Murphy's Pizza
Dinner out
Ham & Potato Soup
Ham with Mashed Potatoes, and Stuffing 

Thursday, March 7, 2013


What can make yummy food better?
This was from a church luncheon the other week.
So cute!
The theme was Finding Joy in the Refiner's Fire.
Love the simple centerpieces.
Everything in the lunch box coordinated too!
Our chicken salad on mini croissants were in the little white envelope closed with the washi tape.  Cute coordinating papers on the water bottles.  Even the chips bag matched the color scheme....LOVE!  Then the dessert - strawberry dipped in white chocolate and drizzled with black and yellow candy melts.  ADORABLE!!!!  Great job, ladies!
Our simple all boys Valentine's {belated} breakfast.
It was fun to use pink heart doilies as placemats, carafe with fresh squeezed OJ, smoothies with red & white striped straws and heart-shaped ramekins on our white plates.  I have TONS......not exaggerating - TONS of dishes.  I don't bring them out a lot (don't really have an appreciative audience) but I love them.   
I need to start doing it for me!
Sometimes the presentation is just as simple as the colors and textures of your food.  I love lunchtime creations!  This particular day I sauteed an onion, red & orange bell peppers and some spinach.  Then added some brown rice and leftover honey bourbon sauce from dinner the night before.  
Delicious and beautiful!
My favorite salad!
Belgian endive, toasted walnuts, sliced pears and blue cheese drizzled with a mustard vinaigrette.  Delish!!!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013


Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie - easy and yummy.
Photo from here
This is an easy recipe and the latest pin on my Pinterest Success Board.  Brandi from Bran Appetit! came up with it and Asher and I really like it.  It's really easy, but you need to do a little prep the night before.

From Bran Appetit!
The night before in a pint jar, I place 1/2 c. oats, 1 c. milk, 1/2 t. vanilla, 1 t. chia seeds, and a pinch of salt.  Tighten the lid and give a quick shake and place in the fridge overnight.  In the morning, pour the contents into your blender and add 1/2 c. milk and 1 c. frozen blueberries.  I also added a little honey.  Blend until smooth.  It says one serving, but we've shared it.  So yummy!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

MENU IN REVIEW Jan. 7 - Jan. 13

Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup & Rolls
Honey Bourbon Chicken with Rice
Ham & Cheese Quiche, Spinach-Onion-Mushroom Quiche, Green Salad, Green Beans - YUM!!!! (no leftovers)
Tamales, Refried Beans, Chips, Cheese
Pad Thai for lunch....Dinner Out
Dinner out
Raclette (at my mom's)

I'm getting back on track.  This week, I plan on trying some new recipes and figuring out how much food I need to pack for a 14 year old who will be at school from 7:25am - 6:00pm!