Monday, October 27, 2008

Caramel Apples

Apple of choice - Granny Smith is a good tart one.
Toppings of choice - ie. white chocolate with cinnamon and sugar, heath bits, nuts, etc.

Caramel: Grandma Carver's recipe
2 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter - sliced in bits
1 2/3 cup canned milk
1 tsp vanilla or 2 Tbsp rum flavoring
Boil together in a pot sugar, salt, and corn syrup, stirring, until it reaches 238 degrees. Add butter and milk gradually so that mixture doesn't stop boiling at any time. Cook to soft ball stage. Stir constantly because mixture sticks easily. Add flavoring. Dip apples and top with favorite toppings or just leave plain. Delicious! (This is a great recipe for caramel corn too.)

Black Bean Salsa

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
2 limes, juiced
1 pkt. Italian dressing mix
2 Tbsp water
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 onion, chopped
cilantro, chopped to taste
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup vinegar

Combine all ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kitchen Towels

I'm lovin' my Amy Butler sewing books. There are so many cool projects and they are pretty simply. Here are some fun decorative kitchen towels I just made for my sister as a house warming gift. (Surprise Candice, I hope they match your new kitchen.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mock Turkey Pomodoro

This is one of my favorite sandwiches from Hagermann's Bakehouse. I wanted to see if I could duplicate it. I purchased their cranberry jalepeno jelly and a loaf of bread. Everything else I was able to find at the grocery store.
Mock Turkey Pomodoro
"Hagermann's Bakehouse"

Bread of choice
Cranberry jalepeno jelly
Thinly sliced Turkey Deli Meat
Thinly sliced cucumbers
Havarti Cheese slices
Roman Lettuce
Roasted tomatoes - found in grocery store deli's, ie. Harmon's.

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

Dan made this potato casserole dish to take to his parent's family Sunday dinner. It was really good and loaded with lots of yummy fatty foods. Enjoy!

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole
"SouthernLiving - easy entertaining"
8 medium-size baking potatoes (4 pounds)
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
1 (16 oz) container of sour cream
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cloves garlic minced - (we used 1/2 tsp minced garlic and thought it strong. Use 1/4tsp)
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
4 green onions, chopped
Bake potatoes. Peel potatoes, and coarsely mash pulp with a potato masher. Stir in 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, sour cream, and next 7 ingredients. Spoon into a lightly greased 13 X 9 baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese, bacon and green onions. Yield: 8 servings.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

12 oz Small Shell Pasta
1-1 1/2 cups ranch dressing - I prefer Hidden Valley Ranch, made from a packet
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Real Bacon Bits
Combine all ingredients.

Mock Cafe Rio Salad

Uncooked tortillas
Black Beans

Fry tortilla and melt cheese on one side. Top with warm black beans, lettuce, and pico de gallo. Drizzle creamy cilantro dressing on top.

Candice's Creamy Cilantro Dressing:
1 C. Mayonnaise
1 pkt. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
1 c. cilantro, loosely packed
1/4-1/2 fresh jalapeno, chopped
1/2 c. Herdez Salsa Verde
1/4 tsp. crushed garlic
Combine all ingredients and puree. Chill.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Don't you just love the smell of ginger and cloves? It just smells like fall to me.

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
Granulated sugar

Mix shortening, brown sugar, egg and molasses. Blend in remaining ingredients except the granulated sugar. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375. Shape dough into round balls. Dip tops in granulated sugar. Place balls, sugared side up, on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Tenders
Marinara of choice - fresh or bottled, if bottled spice it up with onions, garlic, basil, etc.
Pasta of choice
Mozerella cheese
Egg, beated
Seasoned Bread crumbs - Progresso Bread Crumbs Italian Style
Coat chicken with egg wash and dip both sides of chicken in bread crumbs. Fry chicken tender on both sides until chicken is completely cooked through. Place chicken on cookie sheet and sprinkle mozeralla cheese on top and broil until melted. Serve over pasta of choice and spoon on marinara.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Old Fashioned Oatmeal

We woke up to a layer of snow on our neighborhood. To warm our insides we each had a bowl of oatmeal topped with our favorite toppings. Enjoy!


Boil water and salt. Stir in oats. Cook about 5 minutes over medium heat. Just follow the instructions on the back of the Quaker Oats box.

Dan's favorite - ice cream and maple syrup
Michelle's favorite - brown sugar
Jake's favorite - peaches and cinnamon

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Homemade Doughnuts

Seriously, what could be better than homemade doughnuts and Stephen's Mint Truffle hot chocolate on a cool October night?

Homemade Doughnuts
"the I Do cookbook for the Bride & Groom"

1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup hot tap water
3 1/2 cups flour

In small bowl, sprinkle yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar over 1/4 cup warm water. Let sit until dissolved, about 5 minutes.

In mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar, salt, shortening, and hot tap water. Cool to lukewarm.

Add yeast mixture and 2 cups flour. Beat 1 minute. Gradually add remaining 1 1/2 cups flour and mix well. Dough will be sticky. Flour hand and scoop dough into greased bowl. Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.

Place dough on floured surface. Sprinkle top lightly with flour and gently pat to 1/2" thick. Cut with doughnut cutter (dip in flour with each cut).

Place doughnuts on greased and floured cookie sheets. Cover and let rise until very light, about 1 hour.

In fryer or saucepan, heat oil to 350 degrees. Place each doughnut carefully in the oil and fry each side until brown. Drain on paper towels.

While still hot, dip in glaze of choice and set on rack. Allow to stand until glaze is dry.

Makes 1 dozen.

2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla exract

Combine ingredients and mix until smooth. Dip each side of doughnut.

Chocolate Glaze:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup whole milk
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In saucepan, combine butter, milk, corn syrup and vanilla. Heat to melt butter. Add chocolate chips and whisk until melted. Turn off heat and add powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth. Keep warm. Dip top of warm doughnut in glaze.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sugar Cookies

We're feeling festive around here, so I used a pumpkin cookie cutter.

Elaine's Famous Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup salad oil
2 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugars; beat in eggs one at a time until light and fluffy. Beat in oil and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and gradually add to sugar mixture, beating till well blended. Cover and chill several hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface. Use your favorite cookie cutters. Refrigerate dough not being used. Place cookies on cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes till lightly browned. Frost with vanilla frosting.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New Conference Traditions

We decided to bottle fresh salsa Saturday morning as we listened to General Conference. Dan has a greater appreciation for my salsa now after working along side me for 3 hours to make it. We enjoyed several plates of nachos with our delicious salsa piled on top.

Before the first session Dan made breakfast for us. One of his own creations, Pumpkin eye and Cat eye or better known to most as Camel's eye.

Doesn't it just feel like fall, I love this time of year.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread
The Best of Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library: Baking

2 1/2 cups white or wheat flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large)
4 eggs
1 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two medium loaf pans and dust with flour.

In a bowl mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in bananas and then eggs until completely mixed. (Mixture will be lumpy.) Stir in nuts. Add the flour mixture and stir until well blended.

Pour batter into loaf pans and bake for 40-60 minutes or until a toothpick that is inserted in the center of loaf comes out clean. Turn loafs onto a wire rack for cooling.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lettuce Wraps

4-6 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, dice into very small pieces
Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce
1 8oz. can slice water chestnuts, diced into small pieces
1 cup onion, diced
2 Tbsp. bottled minced garlic
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce
2 tsp. bottled minced ginger or 1/2 tsp. gound ginger
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 tsp. Asian chili pepper sauce or 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
3/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp. Asian Sesame Oil
Combine garlic, soy sauce, Hoisin suace, ginger, vinegar and chili pepper sauce. Set aside. In a large skillet, stir fry chicken at high heat in a small amount of oil until done. Add chopped onion and continue to stir fry for a couple of minutes. Lower heat to medium high heat and add sauce mixture. Stir to blend and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add chopped chestnuts and reduce heat to medium heat. Add green onion and sesame oil. Cook and stir untion the onions begin to wilt. Remove from heat and serve with crisp lettuce leaves.
*Beware your house will smell of garlic for a while.

One Costume Finished

Growing up I don't remember putting much effort into my Halloween costumes. We use to buy the pastic masks and little plastic costumes from the grocery store. I'm not sure why I decided to do a family theme this year. Maybe it's because I have a little more time on my hands these days to be creative. My sister came to help me work on my Halloween Costume on Tuesday. I finally finished yesterday during one of Jake's naps. Now I just need to find some old overalls for Dan's costume as a scarecrow.