Monday, September 7, 2015

Pico de gallo

I love everything Mexican and everything tastes better than when you smother it with sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole!! Here is my Pico recipe:

{keep in mind my pictures are for a HUGE batch of pico, I have already adjusted the recipe for you to make a smaller batch!}


First gather all your ingredients. I like to seed my tomatoes so that I don't get all of the juice and seeds in my Pico. Then I dice them pretty small. I like everything about the same size.


Next, dice the onion. I like to make it pretty small also, almost the same size as the tomatoes. I use spanish onions.


Next dice the jalapeno, I usually make these as small as I possibly can cut them. I hate biting into a big piece of a jalapeno. Then mix together with all the remaining ingredients.


Pico de gallo

6-8 roma tomatoes, diced {small oval tomatoes, I used large ones today}
1/2-1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced small
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped up small
1 garlic clove {you can use garlic powder if you don't have fresh garlic}
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. YUMMO!!!




Sunday, June 1, 2014

Fresh Dill Potato Salad

I don't like mustard and I don't eat egg yolks {they make me itchy}....so finding a potato salad that I like and can eat is hard....I needed a side dish for a party and I remembered that I have this awesome recipe for potato salad a friend shared with me several years ago. I made it today and I remember now why I love it so much....it might be the bacon, or the fact that it's made with sour cream and very little mustard, or maybe it's the fresh dill that gives it amazing flavor....or maybe it's all three!!



5 lbs red potatoes  - diced and boiled until fork tender
1 lb bacon - cooked and crumbled
1 bunch of green onions - chopped
1 small bunch of fresh dill - chopped {about 1/4 cup}

Mix all together in a large bowl and add dressing. Refrigerate before serving for best flavor.

Dressing:
1 C mayonnaise
1 C sour cream
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt

Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lemon Almond Bread



Lemon Almond Bread

Ingredients:
For the bread:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3/4 cup Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

For the lemon glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, for garnishing the loaf


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant. Whisk into the flour mixture. Set aside.

3. In a separate medium bowl, combine the almond milk, oil, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract.

4. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

5. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Place the loaf on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the bread with a knife. Carefully remove loaf from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.

6. While the bread is cooling, make the lemon glaze. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and almond extract. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze of the lemon almond bread. Sprinkle sliced almonds over the bread. Cut and serve.



Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad



Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad
{From the Jenson Family Cookbook}

1 bunch of romaine {torn} - I usually use spring mix
1 qrt fresh strawberries, sliced
1 small red onion, diced - I leave mine a little bigger in case you want to pull them out
1/2 c slivered almonds

Dressing:
1/3 C mayonnaise
2 Tbsp vinegar
1/3 C Sugar
1/4 C Milk
1 Tbsp poppy seeds

Toss salad together and pour dressing on just before serving.

Homemade Granola {one of my new favorites}!



HOMEMADE GRANOLA {SO YUMMY}

3 cups old fashioned Oats
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup Almonds - optional
1/2 cup cranberries/raisins - optional
1/3 cup Honey
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  1. In a food processor or blender, pulse half of the almonds until they are very finely chopped. Pour them into a large bowl. Then chop the other half of the almonds coarsely, and pour them into the same bowl.
  1. Pour the oats, salt, and brown sugar into the bowl with the almonds and stir to combine.
  1. In a small microwaveable bowl, combine honey and coconut oil, and heat for 40 seconds. Stir to dissolve the coconut oil, and add the vanilla and almond extract.
  1. Pour the honey mixture over the oats, and stir so that they are evenly coated.
  1. Pour the oats evenly onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet (helpful if it has sides).
  1. Bake the oats for 5 minutes, and then stir them around. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
  1. Pour the granola and onto a piece of wax paper to cool. Spread it out into a thin layer.
  1. After it cools completely, break the granola into clusters and store in an airtight container.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Soup

I found this recipe on pinterest, but then I didn't have everything to make it so I improvised and made up my own recipe. This is delicious on a freezing cold winter day. {which we are having a lot of these days!}



CHICKEN ENCHILADA SOUP

3-4 chicken breasts, trimmed {I used them frozen, straight from the freezer}
3/4 C onion, chopped
3/4 C green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 11oz can Mexican Corn, undrained
1 - 14oz can petite diced tomatoes {can use Rotel if you want more spice}
1 - 15oz can black beans, undrained
1 pkg enchilada sauce {found in packages with the taco seasoning, etc}
3/4 tsp ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 C Chicken broth
1 C Heavy Cream {I just used milk}
Cheddar Cheese - Can also use Monterey Jack Cheese
green onions
chips

Using large stockpot or dutch oven, add chicken {whole}, onions, peppers, garlic, corn, tomatoes, beans, enchilada sauce, pepper, salt and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and let cook for 40-45 minutes. Remove the chicken and shred it. Add chicken back to the soup. Stir in the milk and mix well. {do not let boil after you add the milk}. Top with cheese, green onions and serve with chips.

You can also cook this in a crock pot, add all ingredients and cook on low for 4 hours. Remove chicken, shred and add back to the crock pot and add milk. Let cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.

ENJOY!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oh. My. Goodness.....These are DELICIOUS!!!! They are all of my favorite things combined into one amazing cookie! I found them because I was looking for something to do with all the pretzel pieces I had left over from the chocolate covered pretzels I made for Christmas. These are the perfect way to use up broken pretzels. {or you can break some up if you need to!}

I found the caramel pieces in the baking isle at the grocery store, they are made by Kraft. They are already unwrapped and in little "bits" so you don't have to chop them up. WAY EASIER!!!


Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 C butter, softened
3/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 C Flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C milk chocolate chips
1 C Kraft caramel bits
1/2 C crushed pretzel pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add Flour, cornstarch, soda and salt and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips, caramel bits and crushed pretzel pieces. Using a standard size cookie scoop, drop by scoopful onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt if desired. I pressed pieces of pretzel into the top of all my cookies.

Bake  8-10 minutes until just golden brown on the edges. DO NOT OVER-BAKE. {mine were 8 minutes}. Let cool and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Molasses Crinkle Cookies

These are a family favorite. I just drizzled some white chocolate that I had left over to make them a little more festive.


MOLASSES CRINKLE COOKIES {Jenson Family}

1 1/2 C Shortening
2 C Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 C Molasses
4 1/2 C Flour
4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cloves
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt

Cream together sugar and shortening. Add eggs and molasses. Combine flour with all the spices and mix together well. Slowly add flour to the other ingredients.

Roll cookies into balls and then roll in granulated sugar. Flatten just slightly on the cookie sheet. {I just used the palm of my hand}.

Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes. These are better slightly under cooked so make sure you watch them carefully. {I did mine for 8 and it was a little too long.}.

Let cool and enjoy!

Orange Zested Cranberry White Chocolate Bliss Bars

I absolutely LOVED these bars. I ate SO many of them...and I don't want to know how many calories they have. Of course, the recipe is from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, I LOVE everything I've ever tried from her blog. I basically just followed her recipe, so you can find it HERE or on my Pinterest HERE.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cheesy Vegetable & Ham Soup

This is one of my favorites for left over ham.



Ingredients:

In a large pot combine the following:

2 C grated red potatoes {raw with skins}
1 C grated carrot
1 C chopped celery
1/2 c chopped onion
2 cans {about 4 C} chicken broth
2 C chopped ham

Boil the above all together for 30 minutes.

In a microwave safe bowl mix together:

1/4 C Flour
4 C milk
1/2 C Flour

Heat for 2 minutes

Cube 1 lb Velvetta cheese and add to the milk mixture.

Slowly melt the cheese and milk mixture in the microwave {I usually do 1 minute and then stir it with a wisk and then repeat until it's fully melted}.

Add this cheese mixture to the above soup mixture that has been boiling and serve.

Do NOT let the soup boil after you have added the milk mixture to the soup as it will curdle.



Green Beans & Bacon

I don't like traditional green bean casserole. It's not my favorite. I found this recipe a few years and I like it SO much better for a green bean side dish.



Original Recipe from Hidden Valley

INGREDIENTS

1 pound fresh string beans trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dressing
  • 4 slices bacon (or turkey bacon), cooked, crumbled

DIRECTIONS

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add string beans, and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander and immediately pour cold water over them, which will help set the green color and prevent them from cooking further. {I usually buy the steam packages of beans and just steam them!}
  • Toss the beans with the olive oil.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium-low heat. Add the green beans and ranch dressing to the pan and saute the mixture for approximately 3-5 minutes, until crisp tender.
  • Toss the crumbled bacon into the dish right before you serve it, so that the bacon stays crisp.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cracker TOFFEE

I've seen this on Pinterest in a few places and thought it sounded a little strange but I Love toffee and thought I would give it a try....I made it for Thanksgiving and it is DELICIOUS!! {I think I like it even better than regular toffee because it doesn't get stuck in your teeth and it's not too hard to eat}.


1 sleeve saltine crackers
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 pkg chocolate chips
1 C nuts to sprinkle on top {optional}

Preheat oven to 375.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread saltine crackers on cookie sheet. Leave a little room between them so the crackers can move around a little.

In a saucepan melt brown sugar and butter. Let boil for 3 minutes and then pour caramel mixture over the saltine crackers. Try to cover them as much as possible, but don't worry too much about covering every inch.

Bake for 6-8 minutes. The mixture will bubble up and cover all the crackers while it's cooking.

Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Let chocolate chips melt and then spread them all over the top. Sprinkle with nuts.

Let cool and then break into pieces and enjoy!!

PIE {Coconut Cream & Apple}

You might have seen that I've been working on my pie crust lately...I'm getting pretty good at it and my boys are loving that I keep having to "practice" with lots of pie. I have made several pies in the last few weeks and it has been AWESOME every time. {and they are both SUPER easy}.

I have used two different recipes for the crust. THIS one is easier to work with, and THIS one taste a little better. They are both good and they have turned out each time, but personally I like the taste of the Crisco one better however it is MUCH harder to work with!


COCONUT CREAM PIE

2 pkg Coconut Cream Pudding
2 1/2 Cups Cold Milk
1 8oz Cool Whip
Coconut for topping

Mix pudding mixes together with cold milk. Whisk well and let sit for 5 minutes to start setting. Pour Coconut cream mixture into pie crust. Top with Cool Whip. Let sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

In a frying pan, toast about 1/2 cup of coconut. I just toast it until it starts to brown. {it takes a minute to get it started and then it turns brown pretty quick so be sure to watch it carefully}

Top pie with toasted coconut and ENJOY!!




APPLE PIE

Using the same pie crust {but you do NOT have to cook it first}

4 Cups wedged apples
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar, depending on sweetness of apples, to taste
2 -4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, to your taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon, to your taste
1 cup apple juice or 1 cup water, if you don't have juice, try to have juice, it adds to the flavor
Directions:

Sprinkle lemon juice over apples in saucepan. Mix next four ingredients together and add to apples. Mix well. Add very hot juice to pan, (I microwave juice for 2 minutes) cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and cool.

Fill a well chilled 9 inch pastry lined pan and cover with top crust. Bake on lowest rack at 425* for 10 minutes, and finish baking on center rack until bubbling, about 30 minutes more.



ENJOY YOUR PIES!! {I know we did!!!}

Monday, November 18, 2013

Best EVER Cookies and a Dirty Diet Coke {Swig Copycat}

I found this recipe on Pinterest for copycat Swig cookies. {I know it's been all over the internet, I got the recipe HERE and it has lots of good pictures}.  I've never been to Swig. I don't even know if they taste the same, but I do know they are AWESOME sugar cookies. They are soft and just the right size and they taste AMAZING. I love the mix of sugar and salt that you put on the outside, every once in a while you get a little taste of the salt and it makes them SO good.




Look at those sugar crystals and that frosting....don't they look delicious!

Makes 3-4 dozen good size cookies.  I used the scoop just under the ice cream scoop size

1 c. butter (room temp.)
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. powdered sugar
2 Tblsp. water
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
5 1/2 c. flour

Sour Cream Frosting:
1/2 c. room temp. butter
3/4 c. sour cream
4 c. sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. salt (I think I'll try just 1/2 tsp. next time)

Cream together butter, vegetable oil, sugars, water, and eggs.  Mix dry ingredients and slowly add to butter mixture.  Mix until everything is combined.  Your dough should be a little crumbly and not sticky at all.  Roll a golf ball sized ball of dough and place it on your cookie sheet.

Now is the time to give these babies their signature rough edge.  Put 1/4 c. sugar and a pinch of salt in a dish.  This is in addition to the sugar and salt listed above.  Stick the bottom of a glass in it.  This is going to be your cookie press.  Firmly press it into the center of your dough ball.  You want your dough to spill out over the sides of the glass.  If there is a ridge, it is even better.  Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes.  They should just barely be browning on the bottom.  Move cookies to a cooling rack.  Once they are cool, put them in the fridge.

Sour Cream Frosting:

Start by creaming together butter and sour cream and salt.  Slowly add powdered sugar.  When it gets so thick its not frosting like add a splash of milk.  (I didn't need to add any milk).  Alternate this process until your frosting is the desired consistency.  Add 1 drop red food coloring and whip on high for 1 minute.

Keep cookies in a sealed container until they are ready to serve.  The magic of a Swig Sugar cookie is that the cookies are cold and the frosting is room temperature.  Frost right before serving (if you make the in advance and need to refrigerate the frosting make sure you give it time to warm up before serving).   Actually, I thought they were good without doing that.

Tastes BEST with a Dirty Diet Coke.



Dirty Diet Coke
Recipe adapted by Our Best Bites
crushed ice
1/2 lime (cut the lime into quarters and use 2 quarters)
12 ounces Diet Coke
1-2 tablespoons half and half (optional)


Ingredients:
2 tablespoons coconut syrup
Instructions:
Pour the coconut syrup into the bottom of a 24-ounce glass. Fill it about halfway full with crushed ice. Squeeze the lime quarters over the ice and drop them into the glass so the rind is touching the ice. Pour the Diet Coke over the spent limes. If desired, add a splash of half and half. Add a straw to stir and serve. Makes 1 serving.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Be BRAVE...Make Pie Crust!!!

I was very brave and made pie crust. I read Mel's Kitchen Cafe {which I LOVE} and thought ok, she says I can do it...and I'm going to try.

My boys LOVE pie. And I've NEVER made them one!

So, I followed her instructions EXACTLY! And it turned out PERFECT!!!!

{don't mind my runner hair, I was so excited to make pie that I didn't even change!}


I even made lattice. Holy Moly! What is this world coming to!

HERE are the instructions! You can't mess it up! It's perfect pie crust.  {I don't actually like fruit pie, but I did try the crust and it was flaky and perfect!} YUM!!!

Now, what kind should I make next? I'm thinking Coconut Creme. That is my favorite!!