Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wild Potato Topper


This fits in the 'why didn't I think of it' category! This yummy topping was served on baked potatoes at a Relief Society Birthday Party I attended with my sweet Mom. What a great way to serve toppings for baked potatoes--all in one dish.  This is not really rocket science but it is one great idea, and it is delicious.

Wild Potato Topper
1/2 pound butter--softened
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 cup sour cream (remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before using)
1 cup grated cheese--I used sharp
3 green onions--minced
1/2 cup crisp cooked bacon
Using a mixer beat butter till light, fold in seasoning salt, sour cream, cheese, onions and bacon. Store in refrigerator--remove 30 minutes before serving. Serve on baked or steamed potatoes. I'm sure it would be delicious on any steamed veggie!
Printable Recipe

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Birthday Party Chicken


This delicious dish was served at my mothers Relief Society Birthday Party. Mom was kind enough to invite me--the food was excellent, the company divine and the program was amazing. Glad I went. I had to have the recipe and the gals that made it were kind enough to share. So here is Birthday Party Chicken, it will be followed by Wild Topper for Baked potatoes. Stay tuned Yummy!


Birthday Party Chicken
Crush 1 sleeve of Ritz Crackers
Add:1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, 1/2 cup Panko Crumbs, 3/4 teaspoon Italian Seasoning, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon Paprika and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix well and pour into a pie plate.
3-4 chicken breasts, rinse and pat dry. Put chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to an even thickness, 3/4 to 1/2 inches--depending on size of chicken breasts. Cut in half--across width.
Melt 1 cube of butter in a shallow dish.
Dredge chicken in crumbs, then butter, then back in crumbs. Coat generously. Place chicken in a 9x13 baking dish. Top with fresh grated Parmesan Cheese. Cover pan tightly with a double thickness of foil. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Prepare to eat one amazing dish! It was tender and perfectly done.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Rhubarb Streusel Cake with Warm Vanilla Sauce


Last August we visited Amber and her family. She made this amazing dessert for us and was kind enough to take a photo for me. I didn't want to blog about it in August because rhubarb is hard to find in Utah--in August. Well I am happy to say that our rhubarb plant is thriving right now. It is the perfect time to share this yummy recipe.
I made the recipe for Sunday Dinner today and it was a hit. It is a wonderfully moist cake with tart bits of rhubarb. A crumbly streusel tops the cake and you top it off with a Warm Vanilla Sauce (that is good enough to eat by the spoonful). Perfect dessert.
I combined recipes I found on All recipes and Mel Kitchen CafĂ©.

Rhubarb Streusel Cake with Warm Vanilla Sauce
Cake:
2 tablespoons soft butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb, I used the most red pieces/ends, next time I want to use 2 1/2 cups
In a small bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt, set aside. In a large bowl mix together soft butter and sugar, I did this by hand. Add egg and beat. Gently add flour alternately with buttermilk. Don't over mix. Fold in chopped rhubarb. Spread in a 9x9 inch pan that has been sprayed with Pam. Top wit Streusel Topping.
Bake in a 350 oven for 40-45 minutes or until light brow and toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack. Cake serves 6-8. Drizzle Warm Vanilla Sauce on plated cake slices.

Streusel Topping
3 tablespoon melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
Mix all together in a small bowl, set aside.

Warm Vanilla Sauce
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Melt butter, add sugar and evaporated milk. Stir and boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
Photo by Amber Linderman Photography

Friday, May 16, 2014

Perfect Pretzel Bites and Cheese Dip



Hello again! Jill here, hacking my cute mama's blog to add one of my favorite recipes. These little pretzel bites have become a staple at our house.  I usually make them for a snack, but when my carnivorous husband is at work, I will even make a batch for dinner along side some carrot sticks and apple sauce. They have a thin, crispy outside, and perfectly chewy inside...The very thing that foodie dreams are made of. No joke.

The recipe comes from Mel's Kitchen Cafe...I love this blog. I like to think if we were neighbors, Mel and I would be very best friends.  Next time you have an hour, take a chance to look through her fabulous recipe index. I have never made anything from her site that I didn't love!

Mel has great instructions and a helpful step-by-step picture tutorial for putting the recipe together. I've probably made these 25 times (totally not exaggerating) in the last few months, and they turn out perfect every single time.



What's fun about these pretzel bites is that the variations are endless! I usually sprinkle some of them with cinnamon sugar after they come out of the oven. Kid love that! Last night, sprinkled some of my favorite Penzy's salad seasoning on before baking them and the flavor was amazing.




Every good pretzel needs cheese sauce for dipping. I'm pretty sure I've read it as a law somewhere...I'll get back to you on that one.  I have a basic recipe I use to get started, then throw in whatever different cheese I have on hand (Cheddar, Mozzarella, Swiss, fresh Parmesan, etc.)  to add a little zing!

1 Tbs Butter
1 Tbs Flour
3/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Dash Worcestershire Sauce (up to an 1/8 tsp, but usually I just sprinkle a few drops in)
1 1/2 - 2 cups cheese, depending on what you have.  I always use at least 1 cup of cheddar, then add whatever else I have on hand. Be sure you take into account the strength in flavor of your cheese. If you have extra sharp cheddar, you'll need much less than if you are using medium.  

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour to make a roux. Pour in the milk and stir until the mixture thickens. Stirring constantly, mix in cheese, Worcestershire, and garlic powder. Continue to cook and stir until cheese has melted and all ingredients are well blended, about 5 minutes. 

*** A helpful few tips***
- If you add your cheese and feel like your sauce is too thick, just add a little milk a teaspoon at a time until you get your desired consistency.
- Don't use pre-shredded cheese. these cheeses are typically coated with a flour/cornstarch mixture and don't melt well.
- If you want to add a little kick, sprinkle in a scant amount of cayenne pepper. My kiddos don't love it, so I keep it out. Or, use pepper jack cheese!
- Be sure to keep the heat at medium or even a little lower...be patient. All sorts of crazy things start to happen you get cheese and milk too hot. trust me!

Alright, go make your kids think you're the coolest parent around and whip up some of these pretzel bites.


See, proof that they rock. And my 7 year old doesn't give his stamp of approval to just anything!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chunky Peanut, Chocolate and Cinnamon Cookies



I do love the flavor of warm cinnamon--in fall baking, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins etc. I do not however usually add cinnamon in baking containing peanuts and peanut butter. But I trust Martha so Emma (my sweet little neighbor) and I decided to make these cookies. Emma loves peanut butter, she doesn't love nuts but peanuts are acceptable. And of course chocolate chips are a given. And we loved them!! We decided these just could be our new favorite cookie.
Thanks to Martha Stewart Cookies--we stepped outside our comfort zone and found a delicious cookie.

Chunky Peanut, Chocolate and Cinnamon Cookies
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup light brown sugar--7 ounces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used half milk chocolate and half semi sweet)
2/3 cup roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

In a bowl mix together flour, soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
Put butter and peanut butter in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add sugars and mix 2 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, mix until just combined. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips. Refrigerate until dough is firm about 20 minutes.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on a parchment lined baking stone (I used a Medium Pampered Chef Scoop). Bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes until just golden. Cool on wire racks. Makes 5 dozen cookies.
Printable Recipe

Monday, May 5, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Rice Bowl--Gluten Free



This yummy dish happened as a result of leftovers. Sometimes the best meals happen as I clean out the fridge! I had some Cilantro Lime Rice (I made a 5 cup batch--that's 5 cups of dry rice for a party at our church. My rice wasn't used so I had a fridge full. That is after giving some away) in the fridge, a few sliced olives and some cooked chicken seasoned with Penzys Fajita Seasoning. I drizzled some homemade enchilada sauce over all. A little cilantro, shredded cheese, diced tomato, sliced almonds and sour cream finished the bowl. It was delicious and perfect for the gluten free eater. Diced avocados would also be a great addition. We completed the meal with Chips and Salsa from Los Hermonos--a favorite local Mexican restaurant. Perfect meal for Cinco de Mayo!

Chicken Enchilada Rice Bowl
Cilantro Lime Rice--or plain rice
Cooked chicken, I like Penzy's Fajita Seasoning
Shredded cheese
Sliced olives
Sliced almonds
Diced tomatoes
Chopped cilantro
Diced avocado
Sour cream
Enchilada sauce, I used this Homemade Recipe, canned would work
Lime wedges
Put rice on a plate. Top with your favorite toppings. Whatever you use--I think it will be delicious!
Printable Recipe


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Chicken Enchiladas


I have had this recipe for over 30 years my sweet friend Mary Ann shared it with me. If a recipe came from Mary Ann you knew it would be a winner. It was delicious then and is delicious now! I'm sorry it has taken me so long to post it! I have cut the recipe down to feed a smaller family.
This is so easy to make, I had everything in the fridge/pantry to put it together. I quickly cooked some chicken tenders--about 6. The sauce is a simple homemade enchilada sauce.
If you really wanted to make this simple use rotisserie chicken, a can of enchilada sauce, a can of sliced olives and pre-shredded cheese. Dinner doesn't get much easier. And tasty!

Chicken Enchiladas
Sauce:
1 can chicken broth
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garli powder
1/8 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
Mix ingredient together and bring to a simmer. Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch that has been dissolved in 2 tablespoons water. Boil for 1 minute.
Filling:
1 diced canned green chili--or 1/2 of a small can of diced chilis
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
3/8 cup sliced olives
3/8 cup sliced almonds
3/8 cup shredded cheese, jack or cheddar
1/4 cup sauce
Mix together
6 flour tortillas--roll tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave for about 15-30 seconds till soft and warm. Fill with a heaping 1/4 cup filling and place in a greased 8 inch square pan. Double wrap with foil and bake a 350 for 20 minutes. Garnish with sauce, sour cream, cheese, avocado, tomatoes, salsa etc. Serve with Cilantro Lime Rice for a delicious meal!
Printable Recipe