Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Reindeer Doughnuts

One of our family traditions during Christmas time is to have doughnuts and hot chocolate while we decorate our Christmas tree. A few weeks ago I was trying to think of a way to get a little more creative with this tradition and I came up with this idea. I loved how they turned out and my kids were so excited when they saw the finished product.
These are super fast and easy to make! I used glazed doughnuts, stuck some pretzels in for antlers and used a dot of white frosting for the eyes. I put a chocolate chip over the frosting and then covered doughnut holes in red candy coating for the noses. (The more candy coating you allow to drip off, the smoother your nose will be.) Once you have covered your doughnut hole with the candy coating, slide it onto the doughnuts and allow them to set for about 10-20 minutes, or until the candy coating is set. Super easy and super festive!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I could go on and on about this bread, but I will just say this-this bread will rock your world! I love, love, love it!!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

3 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
1 large can (30 oz) pumpkin puree
2/3 cup water
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease 3 large loaf pans. In a large bowl, sift together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. After eggs, add pumpkin and mix to combine. Alternate adding dry ingredients and water to pumpkin mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Divide evenly between 3 large loaf pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodle Cookies

Yesterday I played around with some recipes and came up with this little treat. I wanted to make something familiar, but with a twist. I added a few new ingredients to my favorite snickerdoodle recipe (courtesy of Great Grandma Wanlass) and I am pleased with the final product. This will be a keeper at our house for this time of year!

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2-3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. In another bowl, sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, 2 1/2-3 tsp of pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg. Combine dry ingredients with the butter mixture and mix well until combined. Add white chocolate chips and combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 and grease baking sheets. Roll chilled dough into 1 inch balls. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice in a shallow bowl or pie tin. Roll balls of dough into cinnamon/sugar mixture before placing onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes.

Makes about 5 dozen

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thanksgiving Traditions

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I wanted to share a few of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions. As with almost every other holiday, we do a Thanksgiving Countdown, full of crafts, activities, and treat making. I will be posting about this soon, so stayed tuned!
One of our most favorite traditions is our Tom the Turkey. Every Monday in November as part of our Family Home Evening activity, we each get to add feathers to Tom with some of the things we are thankful for. By the end of the month, our wall is full of colorful turkey feathers. To make Tom, I used construction paper and just traced my husbands shoes and eyeballed the rest. Laminate the turkey body and it will be ready to use each year. 
 Another tradition we have is our Thankful Jar. It is full of different act of kindness or reminders of things that we need to remember to show thanks for with an activity for each one. Example: I am thankful for my family-play a game together inside or outside. 

To make this happy little jar, just grab whatever old jar you have hanging around your house and tie a ribbon around it. The label and all of the card ideas you can get Here. I let each of my kids pick one card every night before bed and then we can plan on doing what the card says the next day. That gives me time to prepare if necessary. I also cut out each card and mounted it on a piece of cardstock to make them a little more durable. Laminating these would be a good idea too!

Last, but not least, is our Thankful Journal. This sits out all month long and I think it is my favorite tradition we have this time of year. I started it about 7 years ago, the year my son was born. I will admit, I am the one that writes in it most often, but now that my kids are getting older (and they bug their dad) it is so fun to open it and see their handwriting in it. I love to see the random things my kids and husband are thankful for (like my daughter adding that she is thankful for healthy food-something she has never put in her mouth!).
I just used a composition notebook and printed off a label that I glued on the front. I love looking back through the years and seeing what we have been through and the blessing that have been poured upon our family!

So there are a few ideas to get your thankful juices flowing. I would love to hear about some of your traditions! Please share you ideas in a comment. I will be getting some countdown activities up soon!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

This is probably my favorite fall dessert recipe of all time! I could seriously eat this whole cake by myself, so it's a good thing that I only make it once a year. My amazing sister-in-law, Courtney gets all the credit for this one because she introduced me to this recipe and my life has never been the same:) Make this cake!!! You won't regret it!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk

6 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powered sugar
2 1/4 tsp cocoa
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp orange food coloring

4 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottoms of two 8 inch pans with parchment or wax paper and lightly butter. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Stir the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla together in a small bowl. Beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and yolk, one at a time. Reduce mixture to low and alternately beat in the flour and the buttermilk mixtures in thirds. Pour the batter into prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool completely before icing.

For the frosting: Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar cocoa, cinnamon and vanilla on low speed until well combined. In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream and 3/4 cup powdered sugar and orange food coloring on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until well combined. Spread 1 cup of frosting between the 2 cakes and use the rest to frost the outside. Chill 30 minutes before glazing.

For the glaze: Place bittersweet chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a medium heat proof bowl. Bring heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan and pour over chocolate. Let sit for about 3 minutes. Using a whisk, gently stir until smooth. Let sit for 3-5 minutes., until glaze thickens slightly. Pour glaze onto the center of the frosted cake and smooth out over edges to allow it to drop over the sides.

Serves 1-12

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Tortellini

I love this time of year and all the good flavors that come with! Sadly, we have been super sick around here, so there hasn't been much of anything yummy coming from the kitchen. I think we are on the mend now and I have a lot of catching up to do. I made this for dinner the other night and we loved it. A perfect weeknight meal for the middle of fall. 

Pumpkin Alfredo Tortellini

2 (13oz) packages cheese tortellini
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh or dried parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook according to package directions. Reserve one cup of starchy cooking water before draining, then drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and nutmeg and cook for about a minute until combined and heated through. Stir in the cream and milk and bring to a low boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cheese and cook 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Add cooked pasta to sauce and toss until combined. Add some of the cooking water to loosen if needed (I didn't need to do this, but some sauces may turn out thicker than others). Sprinkle on some parsley and serve with additional cheese if desired.

Serves 4

Monday, October 21, 2013


I had 2 quotes brought to my attention that last couple of weeks and I haven't been able to get either of them out of my head. I have done a lot of pondering on both quotes and am grateful for the insight I have recieved because of them. I thought I would share them and hope that they might bring peace to someone who may be struggling. 

"I am determined to be cheerful and happy whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition."
  Martha Washington

"Stress makes you believe that everything has to happen right now.
Faith reassures you that everything will happen in God's timing."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mummy Munch

It has been one of those weeks and I feel like my brain has been turned off for most of it. I would like to think it's the lack of chocolate and sugar in my life. Don't ask me what I was thinking, but 3 weeks ago I signed up to do a weight loss challenge with some of my neighbors. I feel like every pumpkin dessert is constantly calling my name. 
Yesterday, I made one of our favorite Halloween snack/treats. We like to call it Mummy Munch. I realized when I was practically finished bagging it, that I hadn't snapped any pictures. Not the most artistic shots here, but you get the idea. This is an easy treat to make and the kids love helping out with this one!

Mummy Munch

4 cups honey chex cereal
1 cup autumn mix (candy corn and little pumpkins
1 cup dry roasted or honey roasted peanuts
2 cups mini pretzels
12 oz package vanilla candy melts

In a large bowl, combine cereal, autumn mix, peanuts and pretzels. Mix to combine. Melt vanilla candy melts in a microwave safe bowl at 30 second intervals, stirring after each 30 seconds until completely melted. Pour over cereal mixture and stir until evenly coated. Pour Mummy Munch onto wax paper to dry. Once dried, break up into pieces and store in ziplock bags or an airtight container. I like to divide it into snack bags for lunch boxes or we divide it up between cute Halloween goodie bags and deliver it to neighbors. 
Makes about 8 cups

Adapted from Picky Palate

Monday, October 14, 2013

Grilled Chicken Taco Pizza

All summer I have been wanting to try grilled pizza. This week I finally got around to it. I found an amazing recipe in Food Network Magazine for Grilled Chicken Taco Pizza. As soon as I saw the recipe I knew this was the one I had to try. I think grilled pizza is our new family favorite. It was so good!
Grilled Chicken Taco Pizza
food network magazine

Taco Seasoning: 2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Pizzas: 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for brushing
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 16oz tube pizza dough
flour for dusting
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 avocado
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp diced red onion
salt and pepper
1 cup fresh salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Make the taco seasoning: Mix all of the ingredients with 1 tbsp each salt and pepper in a bowl.

Prepare the pizza: Mix 2 tbsp of the taco seasoning and the canola oil in a shallow bowl. Pound the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Add the chicken to the bowl, turning to coat and marinate 30 minutes.

Preheat the grill to medium high. Grill the chicken until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Let cool, then cut into bite-size pieces.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Roll out each on a floured surface into an 8 inch round. Brush with canola oil, sprinkle with taco seasoning and grill until crisp, 3-5 minutes per side. Remove from grill.

Mix the cheeses in a bowl, then sprinkle on the crusts and top with the chicken.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

BYU Football Tablecloth

Last week I made this fun tablecloth for our football party. We bleed blue around here and love when it is football season and we get to cheer our Cougars on!
I came up with this idea when I was trying to think of a cheaper alternative to AstroTurf. I love how it turned out and it was so easy and fast to make!
Most of the supplies I already had on hand for this, so it really only ended costing me about $3 to make. Can't beat that! I bought green felt (on sale). Get enough to fit your table, so measure your table before going to the fabric store. 
Then I used 1 1/2 inch ribbon for the goal lines and 3/8 inch ribbon for the yard lines. You may want to use a ruler or tape measure to space all of your ribbon, but I just eyeballed it and it turned out fine. Once you have your ribbon in place, just use double sided tape to tape it down to the felt. Super easy!
For the Y-I totally cheated and just traced it off of a poster in my sons room on to some cardstock and cut it out. You could easily print a Y off the computer onto some cardstock and cut that out. I also just used double sided tape to attach the Y. 
For the numbers, I used a number stencil that I had, traced all the numbers onto cardstock and cut them out. This was the most time consuming part of the project. Just throw on a good movie while you do this and it will go quickly! I hot glued all the numbers on to the felt so they didn't get knocked off with people leaning over the table for food-mainly my little kids. 
There you have it! Simple and fun! My son was so excited to have this out for our party. If you wanted to protect if from spills and stains, you could also go to the fabric store or Walmart and have a piece of vinyl cut to fit over it. Make one for your favorite team and throw an awesome football party!
Go Cougars!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Johnny Appleseed Activities

For the last 3 1/2 years, I have been doing what we call, "Mommy School" here at our house. Once my oldest hit preschool age, I started Mommy School and have continued on with it with each of my preschool age kids. I have many reasons for keeping my kids home for preschool, but the main reason is, I am selfish and want them home with me as long as possible.
When I plan my Mommy School schedule, I try to incorporate our monthly and weekly themes and activities to go along with that specific time of year or season. Usually around this time of year, we usually do a unit on Johnny Appleseed. Since I don't have any kids in preschool at the moment, we are taking some of our favorite activities we would usually do with Mommy School and continuing to make memories and build traditions. 
So, this last week was Johnny Appleseed week. We planned 3 different activities for 3 different days. I am often asked how I plan so many activities for my kids to do. It's all about getting organized and realizing that most activities with kids only last 20-30 minutes. If you have a plan and are prepared, these things take a small amount of your time, but the kids remember them for years to come.

 On Wednesday, we read some of our favorite Johnny Appleseed books and made some apple art. I just free handed a tree that the kids colored, and then they used pencil erasers to make apples on their trees.
 One thing we love about Johnny Appleseed is his awesome hat. My kids love to put my pots on their heads while we read about Johnny Appleseed. But this year, we made some hats of our own. I just took a piece of black poster board, cut it into 3 long pieces and measured those pieces around each head. Staple it together after you figure out how big you want your circle and then cut a pot handle out of your leftover pieces of poster board. Staple those on the inside of your circle. Easy as that! We were done in 5 minutes and I didn't have to wash any pots:)

 You can't have a Johnny Appleseed week without making something with apples. We made one of our favorite apple desserts to enjoy Friday evening. (Recipe below)
Apple Spice Cake

3 cups flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3-4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla

Caramel Sauce:
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, sugar and eggs. Mix on high speed until it becomes a lemon color. Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients until just incorporated. Add apples and nuts to batter. Mix to combine. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until toothpick comes out clean, 75-90 minutes. Remove from oven  and cool slightly on a wire rack. Invert cake onto wire rack and cool completely. Serve drizzled with caramel sauce.
For the sauce:
In a saucepan, combine all the caramel sauce ingredients, stirring until thickened to desired consistency.
Serves 10-12

Source: Martha Stewart

Thursday, October 3, 2013

General Conference Ideas

Before I post anything, I have to give a huge shout out to my sister, Katy! She spent hours getting this blog updated and designed for me so I could get started quickly. I wish I had her confidence when it comes to trying or learning something new. She jumps in without hesitation. I could not have done this without her. Thanks Katy! You are awesome!!

This weekend is one of our most favorite times of the year. It is General Conference for our Church. Twice a year we get to hear from our Prophet and other leaders who teach us about drawing closer to and becoming more like the Savior. I love Conference weekend and always have. It lifts my spirits and enriches my soul. As a mother, it makes me want to work that much harder at teaching my children the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make our family unit a stronger one. 
 Until we moved to Utah way back in 1997, my family did Conference the old fashion way...going to church. I have fond memories of going to our Stake Center to watch General Conference most of my young life. My parents always tried to make it a special weekend for our family and that tradition has now carried over into my family. I have to give a shout out to my parents! I have no idea how they got anything out of Conference all those years while they wrestled with young children. I feel very blessed to be able to watch Conference in the comfort of my own home and plan activities for the kids to help them understand why we have General Conference. My kids love Conference weekend and have already been asking for a few weeks if it was time for our Conference fun.
General Conference always means amazing food! We plan some fun menus to enjoy during Conference weekend, so stay tuned for some yummy recipes this weekend. 
I want my kids to get as much out of General Conference as they can. Below are some activities that we do almost every General Conference-the tried and true activities that my kids request each time. 
 If you search the web, you will find tons of activity packets for kids to color and such. I usually print off one or two for my kids to keep them entertained while we listen to the talks. This "Draw the Speaker" page is a favorite with my older kids. They love going crazy with faces and hair color. You can find this template over at ayearoffhe.blogspot.com
 Several years ago I made this matching game with all the Apostles pictures. I printed out 2 of each of them, cut and laminated them, and that's it. A good quiet game for Conference or any Sunday afternoon. 
 You see this idea all over Pinterest, but we have been doing this for years. We have little buckets with different key words on them. I fill the buckets with different treats or goodies and then when the kids hear those words, they get a treat. This is a must at our house!
 For Family Home Evening, the week before Conference, I like to do a little lesson and activity on who our Prophet and Apostles are. I found these wonderful cards over at beehivemessages.blogspot.com. We do a matching game and the kids have to guess which Apostle goes with each card. Then when they speak, my kids can identify something special about each one of them. 

I found this idea over at intheleafytreetopsthebirdssing.blogspot.com a couple of years ago.  When each Apostle speaks, the kids get to tape them up on their chair. This helps the kids pay attention to what is going on during Conference. 
Another activity we love to do is build Temples or Conference Centers out of marshmallows. Sometimes the kids just glue them together, but sometimes they will use toothpicks and come up with crazy creations. It's fun to watch them have fun with this activity.
There are a few ideas of what will be going on at our house this weekend. I hope you saw something you can use or that gave you an idea for starting a new tradition with your family. I would love to hear any ideas that have worked for your family to help create a memorable General Conference weekend!
Happy Conference Watching!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Fresh Start....

There are so many things I want to write in this first post, I hardly know where to begin. I started my food blog several years ago as a hobby. I got really bad at posting things when I was pregnant with my last baby. Morning sickness and food blogging do not go together! I have just had to put blogging on the back burner while I keep up with the little ones these days. It's a miracle if I get to snap a picture of our food before we eat. And what's the point of a food blog if you don't have pictures to go with the recipes?
Lately, however, I have felt the desire to start working on this blog again, but with a twist. I recently read a talk given my Elder M. Russell Ballard (an Apostle in my church) at Education Week. He encouraged us women to use social media as a way to share our testimonies. This struck me and I knew it was something I needed to be better at doing. I was also recently encouraged by my Mom to start a parenting blog. I laughed out loud at that idea. I thought, "What on earth would I have to say on a parenting blog? And who would want my advice or tips anyway?" But, I guess that is why I still need a mother at the age of 33. What she suggested has stuck with me as well.
I also recently had a sweet friend and neighbor ask to come over and pick my brain to learn all my tricks for "doing it all". Again, that was another laugh out loud moment. I was glad to know that it looked like I had it all together.
The more I have thought about my little food blog, the more the promptings came to start it up again and add to it. I decided that I would continue with my recipes, because I love cooking and I love to make others happy with my food. I also felt it was important to add my thoughts, feelings, and insights on motherhood. I would not be who I am today without my little family and being a mother is all I ever wanted to be. It is the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done and ever will do. Motherhood is so precious and important and I want to be able to share that with others.
Sharing my faith and testimony, like Elder Ballard encouraged, was a must and then I thought I would throw in some of the fun things I do with my kids. People are always amazed by what I do with my kids, but what they don't realize is that it all comes down to planning and organizing. Hopefully sharing some of how I plan for all of our crazy activities will help other mom's out there realize that they can "do it all" too.
I am excited and nervous for this new little adventure. Please leave your comments! I would love to know how you feel or like the things that I share. Thank you to those of you who have been loyal followers for so many years and thank you to anyone new who is checking this out for the first time! Hopefully something you see on here will help make your life a little happier!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Frozen Brownies

My husband is back in school working on his MBA. We are almost to the half way point! He has weekend classes, so as of now, our schedule on the weekends has him leaving early Friday morning for work, going to class all afternoon and all day Saturday. He crashes in Salt Lake where he has school and comes home sometime Saturday evening. We miss him while he is gone and have tried to make the best of it. I have come to use my weekend time as my "alone" time. Once the kids are down, I catch up on a project or two or sometimes I just crawl into bed and watch 4 hours of "Say Yes To The Dress". And then there are some weekends when I need chocolate to survive! Last weekend was one of those weekends, so I decided to make myself a chocolate stash...something I try not to have because, lets be honest-my thunder thighs really don't need a stash! However, these little beauties are the perfect treat for a chocolate stash! Especially in my house because once I made them, my kids had like one a day until they were gone-totally eliminating my stash. Thunder thighs problem solved. But, the one or two I did eat hit the spot! 
We liked having these in the freezer when I was growing up so that when siblings (mainly teenage siblings) brought friends over there was always something to share with everyone. An oldie, but a goodie!

Frozen Brownies

1 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
4 eggs

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tbsp cocoa
2 tsp vanilla

In a mixing bowl, combine melted butter and cocoa. Stir in sugar and flour. Add eggs; mix well. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the frosting, beat together all the frosting ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth. Cool brownies for 15 minutes before frosting. Cool completely. Cover with foil and freeze until firm. Serve frozen or thawed.
*I like to cut them up and freeze the squares in ziplock bags for easy access.

Serves about 3 dozen

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Peach Glazed Chicken

This is an old family favorite, courtesy of Aunt Dee. My son gobbles this up!!

Peach Glazed Chicken
1 (16 oz) can sliced peaches in heavy syrup
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp oil
3 cups chicken flavored stuffing mix (such as Stove Top)
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp vinegar
1/8 tsp allspice

Drain peaches, reserving syrup. Add water to syrup to make 1 cup; set aside.  Heat oil in skillet and brown chicken. Add water/syrup mixture, butter, sugar, vinegar, and allspice. Bring to a boil; cover. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in stuffing mix and peaches. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.

Serves 4

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sweet Carrots

I love a good side dish and this is my new favorite! I could eat the whole bowl for my main dish. 
Sweet Carrots

1 pound baby carrots
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place everything together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until carrots are tender. Drain and serve.

Serves 4-6


Friday, March 15, 2013

Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese

This is one of our favorites and we (I) always make it around St. Patrick's Day. I originally got the recipe from Rachael Ray, but I have tweaked it over the years because some of the cheese she uses can cost an arm and a leg, and I really don't have any of those to spare. The flavor is just as good and it's always hard to find leftovers of this dish. 

Spinach Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb whole wheat penne pasta
3 tbsp butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
3 tbsp flour
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 box frozen spinach (10 oz), defrosted and wrung dry in a towel.
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1 1/4 grated parmesan cheese, plus more for top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to boil. Salt the water and cook  the pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, place another pot over medium-high heat and add butter. Once melted, add the onion and garlic and cook until vegetables are very soft, about 8 minutes. Turn heat up and add flour to the pan. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk the stock into the pan. Whisk in the milk and bring to a bubble. Add the nutmeg, spinach, artichokes, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer salt until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Add cheeses and stir until melted.

Toss prepared sauce with cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle more of cheese of the top and bake until the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Serves: 6

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hawaiian Haystacks

I tried a new recipe for dinner last week and we loved it! Thought I would share....

Homemade Hawaiian Haystacks

8 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp black pepper
32 oz chicken broth
2 dry ranch dressing seasoning packet
1/4 garlic salt
2 cups shredded chicken breasts

Steamed rice
Toppings of choice- here are some of our favorites
~chow mein noodles
~sliced green onions
~pineapple chunks
~shredded cheese
~sliced almonds
~chopped celery

Place butter into a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring well to melt. Slowly whisk in flour, salt and pepper until smooth and thick, for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in chicken broth until smooth. Increase heat to high, whisking until thick, about 2 minutes. Add sour cream, ranch seasoning, garlic salt, and cooked chicken breasts. Stir and season accordingly. Transfer to a crock pot and keep on low until dinner or serve immediately with rice and desired toppings. 

Serves 4-6


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Marshmallow Treats

This weeks recipe comes from my Great Grandma. I was very lucky to have wonderful Grandma's! Sadly, they are all gone now and I miss them all so much. My Great Grandma Wanlass lived to be an amazing 90 years old. I was 10 when she passed away, but I have wonderful memories of visiting her. She always had empty berry baskets waiting for us to pick raspberries when we arrived and she always had her cookie can filled with goodies for us. She almost always had it filled with No Bake Cookies or Marshmallow Treats. I have been using her recipe for Marshmallow Treats for years, but have added my own modern twist to it-mainly more marshmallows and sprinkles. When I don't add the sprinkles, my kids act like I have committed some sort of crime. So, in honor of wonderful Grandma's everywhere, enjoy some Marshmallow Treats!

Marshmallow Treats

1/4 cup butter
1 (10 oz) bag of large marshmallows
1/4 tsp salt
6 cups krispie rice cereal
1 (10 oz ) bag of small marshmallows
Sprinkles for decorating

Measure out krispie cereal and place in a large bowl. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add large marshmallows and salt. Stir until marshmallows are melted and everything is combined. Pour marshmallow mixture over cereal and stir until well combined. Add bag of small marshmallows and stir until well combined.
Place in a greased 9x13 pan and spread out. (A good tip for doing this is to get your hands wet. If you use wet hands to press the mixture into the pan, it won't stick to you.)
Decorate the top of treats with sprinkles of choice. Cool and cut into desired size squares. I like to wrap my squares into individual pieces of plastic wrap and fill up the cookie jar for little hands to grab as they please:)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Coming Back

I haven't been good at blogging for like a year and a half. I have missed it and I know I have said in the past that I really want to get back into it, but this time I really mean it! I want to give some time and attention to my hobbies again and share the things that we think are extra yummy with all of you.....if anyone even looks at this anymore. So, my goal is once a week. Hopefully I can keep my promise to myself. If anyone does look at this little blog anymore, send me a comment. It's always easier to keep things up when I know people give a hoot. 

To start things off again, here is a fast and easy Tortellini Soup. My 4 year old loves this and requests if for dinner constantly! A perfect meal for a cold and snowy Utah weekend.

Tomato Tortellini Soup

1 package (9 oz) refrigerated cheese tortellini
2 cans tomato soup
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Additional parmesan cheese

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large pot or dutch oven, combine the soup, broth, milk, half and half, tomatoes, and seasonings. Heat through, stirring frequently. Drain tortellini; carefully add to soup. Stir in 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Sprinkle each serving with additional cheese if desired.

Serves 6

Source: pinterest