Monday, December 8, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie


Candise brought a fresh plate of cookies last time she came to visit. They were the best pumpkin cookies I have ever eaten. They are delicious and simple to make--that is one great combo. These could become your favorite holiday cookie.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Penzey's Apple Pie Spice or cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups chocolate chips--I used milk chocolate
  • Mix together pumpkin, egg, oil and sugar. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix milk with baking soda and add to wet ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Add vanilla and chocolate chips. 
    Drop on parchment lined baking sheet using a medium size cookie scoop. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
    Recipe from I Heart Naptime
     

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    Crispy Halibut




    This is our favorite way to eat halibut. My mother, who does not like fish at all, is always happy to come to Sunday Dinner when I serve crispy halibut. This is so simple I can hardly call it a recipe--but I had to share it! We have over 50 pounds of halibut in the freezer so this dish will appear often.
    Serve it with Homemade Tarter Sauce and a lemon wedge. It is simply delicious.

    Crispy Halibut
    1 pound halibut--sliced 1/2 inch thick
    1/2 cup Panko crumbs
    1/2 cup cornmeal
    salt and pepper
    1 egg, beaten
    2 tablespoons water
    vegetable oil
    Mix together panko crumbs, cornmeal, salt and pepper. Put in a shallow dish. Mix together egg and water, put in a shallow dish. Dip halibut slices into egg mixture then into Panko mixture. Heat about 1/4 inch oil in a large skillet to 350 degrees. Gently place breaded halibut into hot oil. Cook about 2 minutes on each side. Put cooked halibut on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve with lemon juice and tarter sauce.
    Printable Recipe

    Sunday, November 2, 2014

    Tartar Sauce



    I don't often devote an entire blog post to a sauce--but this is just too delicious not to share. It makes up in a minute with ingredients found in your fridge. We have a freezer full of halibut--I can't imagine eating halibut without this yummy sauce.

    Tartar Sauce
    1 cup mayonnaise (for a lighter version use 2/3 cup mayo and 1/3 cup plain Greek Yogurt)
    1/4 cup chopped dill pickles, I like Famous Dave's Spicy Pickle Chips
    2 tablespoons chopped parsley
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    1 tablespoon finely diced onion
    1 tablespoon diced pimento (if desired)
    Mix together and refrigerate. Delicious on halibut, fish tacos, fish sticks.
    Printable Recipe

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

    Quiche for Two

    I do wish Quiche was a bit more photogenic! But, you will have to trust me--this is delicious. I like quiche, actually I really like quiche. I just don't like it for several days in a row. Enter, 'Quiche for Two'. Some brilliant chef decided that you really could cut a quiche recipe way down and put it in a small casserole--rocket science I know.
    Really this is a great recipe, it is crust less which is fine by me.  I'd rather forgo a high calorie crust and eat a brownie! There are so many ways to change this recipe--use what you have in your fridge. It will always be yummy. This recipe came from a Pampered Chef Cookbook. I don't know which one, as I have a tendency to rip recipes out of cookbooks, do you do that??


    Quiche for Two

    Base:
    3 eggs
    1/2 cup half and half
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 Tbsp all purpose flour
    Ground black pepper

    Filling Options
    3 slices crisply cooked bacon, 1/3 cup seeded, chopped tomato, 2 Tbsp thinly sliced green onion, 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
    OR
    1/2 cup chopped ham, 1/3 cup chopped fresh broccoli, 2 Tbsp finely chopped onion, 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

    Protein, vegetable, cheese

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray small oval baker with nonstick cooking spray.  Whisk together base ingredients, set aside.

    Combine fillings and cheese, spoon into the bottom of the baker.  Pour base over filling ingredients.

    Bake 30-35 minutes or until the center is set.  (A knife inserted will come out clean.)  Let stand 5 minutes before serving. 
    Printable Recipe



    Thursday, October 16, 2014

    Chicken Coconut Pistachios and Rice

    I have over 60 tasty recipes containing chicken on my blog. It was 4:00 and my menu plan wasn't going to happen. I had chicken tenders and a well stocked pantry. Certainly I could find a yummy dish. I checked out all 63 recipes and I had all the ingredients for exactly one dish. It looked like dinner would be Pistachio and Coconut Chicken and Rice (yes, I do keep a stash of pistachios). This recipe is a hidden gem. So I updated the photo and adjusted the recipe and wondered why I don't make this dish more often. Yummy rice simmered in coconut milk, browned chicken, peas and a sprinkling of pistachios and cilantro. And the leftovers were delicious. This recipe needs to be at the front of your 'list of dinner ideas'. I think you will love it and it can be on the table in about 45 minutes. That's a good thing!
     Chicken Coconut Pistachios and Rice
    1 to 1 1/4 pounds chicken tenders
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 medium onion, minced
    1 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
    1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
    3 medium garlic cloves, minced
    2 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
    1 cup frozen peas
    1/2 cup chopped pistachios, lightly toasted
    1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
    Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper. Dredge each chicken tender in the flour, shaking off excess.

    Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and cooked through about 8-12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Tent with foil to keep warm.

    Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Add the onion, Garam Masala, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

    Stir in the chicken broth and coconut milk, scraping up any browned bits. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook about 20 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender. Stir occasionally as rice cooks

    Off the heat, sprinkle the peas over the rice, cover, and let warm through, about 2 minutes. Add the cilantro and gently fold into the rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve with the chicken.
    Top with chopped pistachios
    This recipe serves 4-6. It makes plenty of rice, but the leftover rice is delicious. I tried cutting down the recipe but I really don't like having partial cans of coconut milk in the fridge.
    Printable recipe


    Adapted from a recipe found on one of my favorite blogs-- Mels Kitchen CafĂ©.


    Thursday, October 9, 2014

    Panko Crusted Salmon--30 Minute Meal

     
     

    Hubby spent a wonderful week in Alaska on my brothers fishing boat. He came home with 150 pounds of seafood! This Panko Crusted Salmon is amazing. It is quick--yes a true 30 minute meal. Heating the oven to 425 takes a few minutes so plan ahead. This is what I call 'fast food'. If you don't have a freezer full of salmon check out the frozen salmon at Costco, it is consistently good.

    Panko Crusted Salmon from Pink Parsley
    2/3 cup panko crumbs
    2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
    2 tsp grated lemon zest
    kosher salt
    freshly ground black pepper
    olive oil
    4 (6-8 oz) salmon fillets, skin on
    3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
    lemon wedges

    Preheat the oven to 425.

    In a small bowl combine the panko, parsley, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Stir until the crumbs are evenly coated and set aside.

    Place the salmon filets skin side down on a board.  Brush with the Dijon mustard, then season with salt and pepper. Press the panko mixture thickly on top of each filet.

    Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in an oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Wait for the oil to be very hot, and then gently add the salmon filets, skin side down and sear for 3-4 minutes, without turning.

    Transfer the pan to the oven for 5-7 minutes until the salmon is almost cooked through and the panko has browned. You may need to turn the broiler on for the last minute or two to brown the panko. Remove from the oven and loosely cover with foil.  Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.  Serve with lemon wedges.
    Printable Recipe

    Sunday, October 5, 2014

    Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread


    I saw a sign a couple of weeks ago at my local Kneaders announcing the arrival of Pumpkin Bread. I almost did a U turn right there. I know their bread is good. But I knew I had all the ingredients at home to make my own Pumpkin Bread. I wanted to try a new recipe and this was at the top of the list. I found the recipe at Our Best Bites--I made a few minor changes and decided it was delicious!
    Welcome Fall!

    Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
    2 cups all purpose flour (spooned into measuring cup and leveled)
    1 cup whole wheat flour (again spoon, don't scoop!)
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 1/2 cup white sugar
    6 oz container vanilla yogurt
    3 eggs, slightly beaten
    15 ounce can pumpkin puree
    1/2 cup canola oil
    1 tsp vanilla
    1-2 cups chocolate chips (plus a few extra for the top) I like plenty of chocolate in my pumpkin bread so I used 2 cups. I tried mini semi sweet chocolate chips in one batch, not bad. But the second time I made this recipe I used 60% Cocoa Semi Sweet chips--much better, I like a bigger bite of chocolate  in my pumpkin bread.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Whisk gently to combine and set aside.

    In a separate bowl combine sugars and stir until well mixed.  Add yogurt, eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

    Slowly add dry ingredients and mix gently, being careful not to over mix.  When combined gently stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter between pans that have been sprayed with Pam and sprinkle the top with additional chocolate chips.

    Bake large loaves for 50-60 minutes, check smaller loaves after 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out with on a few crumbs attached. Don't over bake!  Let cool for 10 minutes and then run a sharp knife around the edges before removing from the pan.

    This recipe makes two large 9x5 inch loaves of pumpkin bread; however I have better luck with smaller loaves and I wanted to share with friends. At my local Walmart I found a set of 5 Mini Loaf Pans that are disposable. Perfect. This recipe made 6 mini loaves. I decided they were a bit too full so the second time I baked them I made 6 mini loaves and 2 muffins (I cooked the two muffins in small 1 cup glass dishes). I know this is probably too much information but I really don't want pumpkin batter all over the bottom of your oven! It is a good idea to put loaf pans (whatever size) on a cookie sheet to bake, this avoids oven messes and makes it easier to transport loaves in and out of the oven.
    Printable Recipe




    Monday, September 29, 2014

    Fresh Fruit Salad



    The phone rings--it's 4:30. Frantic daughter is on the other end. "Mom,I need to take a salad to a church pot luck--tonight. Years ago you made a fruit salad--I think it has fruit juice and is thickened with cornstarch. I have looked all over and can't find the recipe."
    I know exactly the recipe she is talking about. It takes me a bit of digging but I find it. I realized I have not blogged about it. Over 500 recipes and some how I missed it. This recipe was given to me by my sister-in-law Keri. It feeds a crowd, can be made any time of the year with most any fruit. And it is delicious!

    Fresh Fruit Salad
    Juice from 1 lemon
    Juice from 1 orange or lime
    Juice from a can of pineapple
    1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch
    3/4 cup sugar
    6-8 cups diced fruit--apples, oranges, pears, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, melon, bananas, pineapple, mandarin oranges, etc.
    Mix fruit juices and cornstarch--heat to a boil. Stir until thickened. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves. Cool.
    Pour cooled mixture over diced fruit, stir gently. Serve immediately.
    What if I don't want a salad to feed 10?? Make sauce, store in the fridge, it will keep several days.. Dice about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of fruit per person. Spoon on enough sauce to just coat fruit.
    Top with whipped cream for a delicious dessert.


    Sunday, September 14, 2014

    Mini Puff Pancakes


    EJ is not a difficult child to please. She is happy and generally excited about all we do. But...if I really want to make her day I whip up a quick batch of Mini Puff Pancakes.
    Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch or a Snack--this will certainly please. There is something wonderful  about anything in miniature. These little gems are no exception.
    Toppings? Fruit, powdered sugar, syrup, Nutella and of course a bit of whipped cream. Let your child choose their favorite. EJ loves raspberries and whipped cream, great choice.
    .

    Mini Puff Pancakes
    3/4 cup flour
    3/4 cup milk
    2 eggs
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    2-3 tablespoons melted butter
    Place a mini muffin pan in the oven and heat to 400 degrees. While oven is heating mix together flour, milk, eggs and salt. I use my Immersion Blender, blend till smooth. Remove hot pan and quickly brush each well with melted butter. Fill each well 3/4 full. I used a mini muffin scoop. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes till puffed and golden. Serve immediately with your favorite topping.
    Makes 24 Puff Pancakes
    Printable Recipe

    Monday, September 1, 2014

    Taco Seasoning and Taco Chicken Tenders



    I needed some Taco Seasoning for a recipe and was out of my favorite Penzy blend. No fear, within seconds I had more Taco Seasoning recipes than one could ever need. I wondered how there could be so many different recipes for the same thing??? I chose one that I had all the ingredients for, because I did need it immediately. It was very tasty; I saved the recipe and knew I had to blog about it quickly as I have a very short memory.
    So, throw out your prepackaged Taco Seasoning--it has too much sugar and salt (read the label) and other stuff. This was delicious!

    Taco Seasoning
    2 tablespoons onion powder
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 tablespoon cumin
    1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    1 tablespoon garlic powder
    1 tablespoon oregano
    1/2 teaspoon sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    Mix together, use in any recipe calling for Taco Seasoning.
    Printable Recipe

    Slightly altered from Allrecipes


    Taco Chicken Tenders
    Use about 1 tablespoon per pound on chicken tenders. Fry chicken in a tablespoon of oil about 4 minutes per side. The chicken has a beautiful color and is so tasty. Serve with roasted veggies and fresh fruit. Easily a 30 minute meal.

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

    Chicken Taco Salad


    According to Pioneer Woman you can make this meal in 16 minutes! That may be stretching it a bit but with a helper you could pull it off in no time. This is the perfect season for this salad, fresh corn and tomatoes make it wonderful. I served it for my dinner group and it got rave reviews.

    Chicken Taco Salad
    Dressing
    3/4 cup Ranch Dressing (I used Lighthouse but I'm sure you could make your own)
    1/4  cup Salsa--I used Pace Medium Salsa
    3 tablespoons finely minced Cilantro
    Mix together and refrigerate, covered.

    Chicken
    2 Chicken Breasts or 6-8 Tenders
    2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning, I used this recipe, it is my new favorite recipe--check it out. But I'm sure you can use packaged Taco Seasoning
    2 tablespoons Butter
    1 tablespoon Oil
    Generously season chicken with Taco Seasoning. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, cook till golden brown on both sides and done in the middle. Remove chicken, allow to cool and dice.
    Place the ears of corn in the skillet and roll around, cook on medium high until it has a bit of a charred look. Slice off the kernels with a sharp knife

    Salad
    Shredded greens--I used romaine, spinach and Napa. That is what was in the crisper, Napa is a Chinese cabbage, it has a mild flavor and a light crunch, I use it often. I shred the greens with a sharp Chef's knife and put them in a salad spinner. I like to prepare salad greens in the morning and let them chill. This gives you a great jump on dinner. Or use a package of prewashed greens.
    sliced green onions
    julienne carrots
    diced red pepper
    diced tomato
    sliced olives
    shredded pepper jack cheese
    diced avocado
    chopped cilantro
    slightly crushed tortilla chips
    2 ears of corn
    I like to serve this 'Salad Bar' style. Put the greens, green onions, carrots and cilantro in a large bowl. Put chicken, corn, red peppers, tomatoes, olives, shredded cheese and avocado in small bowls. Let each person make their own salad--just the way they like it! Top salads with dressing and crushed tortilla chips. This salad is beautiful platted on a large platter, it is so fresh and colorful.
    Printable Recipe
    This is my new favorite salad. For very detailed step by step instructions check out Pioneer Woman.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

    Macadamia Nut, Coconut, White Chocolate Blondies



    I made these yummy treats twice in the same weekend! That is how good they are. I was asked to make a treat with an 'Island Theme'. Not hard at all, macadamias came to my mind as well as coconut. White chocolate is a perfect complement to these ingredients. I checked my Pinterest boards and found.the perfect bar from The Brown Eyed Baker, a blog that always pleases.
    I made a couple of very minor changes and was so happy with the results. Just a few notes that will insure a perfect bar. Measure the brown sugar by weight, it is easy to pack a few extra tablespoons of brown sugar in each cup. I love my scale and use in daily--many times! Please take a few extra minutes and toast the coconut, it really is better.


    Macadamia Nut, Coconut and White Chocolate Blondies
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
    1 1/2 cups brown sugar (10.5 ounces)
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups toasted coconut (toast coconut on a parchment lined pan for 7-9 minutes at 350, stir often)
    1 cup macadamia nut, coarsely chopped
    1 cup white chocolate chips
    Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt--set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the butter and brown sugar until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, whisk together. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl, using a rubber spatula gently combine the ingredients, do not over mix. Gently mix in the coconut, white chocolate chips and macadamias.
    Using a small offset spatula smooth the batter into a 9x13 inch pan that has been sprayed, lined with parchment paper, leaving a bit of an overhang and sprayed again. Bake at 350 degrees for about 23-25 minutes. The top will be shiny and firm to the touch.
    Cool completely in pan. Remove the bars using the parchment overhang, transfer to a cutting board. Cut in desired size bars. Can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for 5 days, or frozen for a month.
    Printable Recipe

    Sunday, August 24, 2014

    The Under 8 Group



    Just a few photos of the children that can't wait to be 8! Young cousins enjoyed a splash park, playing in Grammy's yard and getting to know each other.


    Candise, Paul, Amber and Annie May. It is so fun to have my kids visit!



    Amelia and Baylee--I'm not sure if this was before the biting incident or after, but they look like they are having a great time together!




    Three Amigos--looks like fun!
    And let's no forget the babies--these two cuties are close to walking!


    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    8 is Great!


    I went to the funeral of a dear friends mother. I was amazed at how the grandchildren talked of her with love, admiration and excitement. Her children and grandchild were spread across the United States but somehow she had managed to help build a wonderful family culture. I had to know more--my children and grandchildren are also miles apart.
    I went to lunch with Sara and begged her for info, I wanted to know more about this amazing grandma. Sara told me of how each summer she had the grandchild come to a 'grandma's camp'. They spent time in the mountains, hiked, made family flags and got to know each other. As a result the grandchildren got to know the grandparents better and the cousins built lasting relationships. Somehow I had to implement some form of this in our family.


    Eight is Great was born! Greg and I decided to have a Eight is Great Camp for our five oldest grandchildren. We planned, adjusted schedules and made arrangements. We sent out invitations and planned for the big event. And it was a grand event!

    We started our Camp with a Eight is Great cheer (remember I am married to a Silver Beaver who knows the value of a great campfire program). We talked for a minute about mining for Gold, Flecks of Gold or little bits of happiness that when combined make one wonderful life. At this point one grandson said, 'this is starting to sound like church'! But Greg knows that a Scoutmaster's Minute really should be a minute. We quickly started the activities! Which included:
    --a Dutch oven dessert, Cherry Surprise Cake
    --star gazing
    -- LED finger lights
    --sleeping out under the stars
    --a hike to Stewart Falls
    --cookout in the canyon
    --water slide
    --decorating canvas backpacks with fabric markers
    --a rousing hour of Tenzi
    --decorating treasure boxes--complete with stamped postcards and address labels, we hoped to encourage communication with cousins
    --singing to the radio as we traveled about
    --a movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2
    --no event would be complete without dinner at Taco Amigo
    --we had a good-bye cheer and talked of 'next time'.


    This all took place in 48 hours! It was a perfect amount of time, for the children and grandparents. It really was a magical event. It was exciting to see the grandchildren get to know each other. I do think it was the beginning of something wonderful!
    Thanks to my children for helping us make this happen. In two years we will have 4 more over eight year olds. I think I better start planning!

    Friday, July 11, 2014

    Sauteed Chicken in Mustard Cream Sauce



    This delicious chicken can really be done and on the table with simple sides in 30 minutes. Not to bad for a weeknight meal. But this weeknight meal is good enough for Sunday Dinner or company. You will probably have everything in the fridge/freezer to made this great dish.

    Sauteed Chicken in Mustard Cream Sauce
    2-3 small boneless skinless chicken breast
    (1 used one large breast and pounded it to a uniform thickness--not necessary with smaller pieces of meat. You want meat close to the same thickness so it will cook uniform--you your good judgement.)
    1-2 tablespoon olive oil
    1/4 cup chicken broth--I didn't have any open so I used hot water and 1/4 teaspoon concentrated chicken stock
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    2 scant tablespoons Dijon Mustard
    1 teaspoon dried tarragon--a yummy underused spice. 2 tablespoons of garden fresh basil would have been yummy instead of the dried tarragon

    Assemble all ingredient before beginning. Add oil to skillet, I used a heavy stainless steel skillet, set at medium heat for about 2 minutes till oil is smoking. Add chicken that has been salted and peppered to hot pan. Reduce heat to a medium low and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side. You want the chicken nice and brown and about 165 degrees. Remember meat continues to cook a few degrees after you take it off the heat. Remove the chicken to a warm plate and tent with foil.
    Add chicken broth to hot pan stir up browned bits on the bottom of the pan, this is where the flavor hangs out.continue to stir and to reduce by half, it happens quickly. Add cream, desired herb, Dijon Mustard stir and reduce till slightly thick--it will also thicken as it cools Check for seasonings.. Slice your meat in serving size portions. Drizzle mustard cream over chicken.
    I served this quick meal with microwaved carrots,sprinkled with a little brown sugar, butter and an oh so small amount of fresh Rosemary. Steamed baby spinach just needed a few drops of red wine vinegar.
    One excellent meal in just 30 minutes.
    Printable Recipe
    This recipe comes from Everyday Food--Great Food Fast by Martha Stewart
    Also on one of my favorite Blogs Let's Dish, Danelle always has something yummy on her blog--check it out.