Monday, December 20, 2010

Cinnamon Sour Cream Cake

Posted in by blkris | Edit
This is a great recipe to take to parties and gatherings.  If you have ever been to a Corner Bakery store, you will know what this tastes like.  Theirs is better of course, partly because I didn't have to make it.  But alas, there are no Corner Bakery stores here in Boise for me to enjoy a nice slice of this stick- to- your-hips sweet cake.  Yes, you may choke when you see the amount of butter and sugar, but that is why I take it to get togethers... my secret plan is to make my friends fat, so I don't have to eat it all and get fat myself! :)

Found on

  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 container (8 oz.) dairy sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S Cinnamon Chips
  • Powdered sugar(optional)


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan.

2. Combine 3 cups flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Beat sour cream, eggs and vanilla with fork or whisk in medium bowl until smooth.

3. Add butter and 1 cup sour cream mixture to flour mixture. Beat on low speed until thoroughly combined; beat 1 minute on high speed. Add remaining sour cream mixture; beat on medium speed until fluffy. Stir together cinnamon chips and remaining 2 tablespoons flour until chips are coated; gently stir into batter. Pour batter into prepared pan.

4. Bake 60 to 70 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. 12 to 16 servings.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quick, Easy-N-Fast Cashew Chicken and Snow Peas

Posted in by blkris | Edit
I honestly can't remember where I got this recipe.  I just know it has been in my recipe box for quite a while and it is a good meal and something a little different.  Hope you enjoy it too!

3/4 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
freshly ground pepper
1/2 lb. fresh snow peas
3 garlic cloves
3 T. olive oil or coconut oil (divided)
1/2 C. salted roasted cashews
1/2 C. chicken broth

Cut chicken into thin strips and season with pepper.  Remove stems and strings from snow peas and cut in half diagonally if very large.  Finely chop garlic.

Heat 2 Tbs. oil in a wok or large skillet.  Add chicken and stir fry over high heat until just cooked through, 2-3 min.  Remove to a plate.  Add remaining 1 Tbs. oil to wok and stir fry snow peas over high heat 1 min.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add garlic and cashews and cook, stirring, 1 min.

Return chicken to pan, add 1/2 C. chicken broth and simmer until heated through, about 1 min.

Makes 4 servings.  Serve over hot brown rice.
Saturday, November 27, 2010

Homemade Rolls- The Best!

Posted in by blkris | Edit
This is the recipe my Mom and Grandma use for our Thanksgiving rolls.  They are delicious and are always eaten up.  They are terrific for leftover turkey sandwiches too.  After a couple days, pop them in the microwave and they soften right up.

Mix together and let sit until bubbly: 2 pkg yeast (or a little under 2 Tbs.)
                                                          1/2 C. warm water

Melt together on stove or in microwave: 1 1/2 C. milk
                                                                1/2 C. shortening (I did 1/4 C. shortening, 1/4 C. salted butter)
(Make sure this is lukewarm when you add the other ingredients to it so that it doesn't kill the yeast when that step is added.)

To the above milk mixture, add 1/2 C. sugar, 3 tsp. salt and 3 C. flour (I added 1 C. wheat flour, 2 C. white flour).

Then add 3 beaten eggs.

Add 1 C. flour and yeast mixture to the above.

Keep adding flour until you have a sticky dough (not too sticky though).

Let raise until double.

Roll out dough and cut into circles.  Then dip half of the middle in butter and fold over onto itself.  Then put on pan (greased) and pinch ends together.

Let raise until double in pan.

Cook at 350 8-10 min until golden brown.  Spread butter on top of warm rolls.  Enjoy!

Yam Casserole

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
This is a recipe my family uses for Thanksgiving.  It is really yummy and more of a dessert than anything.  I cut this in half and made it this Thanksgiving and it turned out great!  Hope you enjoy it!

               Bake and then mash 5 medium sized sweet potatoes
               Add the following and beat with a mixer - 
                   1/4 tsp. salt                      1 tsp. vanilla
                   1/4 c. butter                     1/2 tsp. cinnamon
                   2 eggs                               2/3 c. sugar
              Place in casserole dish.

             Mix together the following and sprinkle on top.
                   1/4 c. melted butter
                   3 Tbl. flour
                   3/4 c. brown sugar
                   1/2 c. chopped pecans
             Bake about 45 min. at 350
Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chocolate Cake in a Mug

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
I got this recipe in an email, and didn't believe it would work.  But, of course, it was chocolate and I decided to try it!  The first time I made it, I was not all that impressed.  I tweaked it a bit and it is much better now!  It is really rich though and what I add to it make it more so.  But, my husband and I split it and it is a great treat for when you want something chocolatey fast!

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

-Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. (I got smart and just mix everything together, in the correct order, in a bowl and then pour it into the mug.  It is much easier that way!)
 -Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
-Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
-Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. (I actually mix 2 Tbs chocolate chips and 2 Tbs Peanut Butter chips.  The peanut Butter chips make it so much better!!)
-Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
-The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
-Tip upside down on a plate. I then top with whip cream and sometimes hot fudge!

Peanut Butter Fingers

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
I had these for the first time tonight and they were delicious!  In my opinion, anything with chocolate and peanut butter is great in my book!  Thanks again Dawn for the recipe!

From Dawn A.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup quick rolled oats
1 6 oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 to 4 Tablespoons milk
Cream butter; gradually add sugars; cream well.  Blend in egg, 1/2 cup peanut butter, soda, salt and vanilla.  Add flour and oats; mix well.  Spread in 10x13 greased pan.  Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and cover with chocolate chips.  Let sit til melted and spread.  Mix remaining ingredients and drizzle over the top.

Avocado Stuffed Chicken

Posted in by blkris | Edit
Ryan found this recipe and made it the other week.  Yes, my husband can cook.  Don't tell him you know though.  He likes it better when I cook!  It was very fresh and light with great flavors.  Hope it turns out as good for you!

Found on

  • 4 chicken breasts, pounded flat
  • 2 avocados
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh, minced basil leaves
  • 1 large diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • pepper mill
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the avocados lengthwise all the way around. Twist the halves and using your knife, strike and remove the pit.

With a large spoon, scoop the avocado out of its peel. Then, with a small paring knife, slice the avocado lengthwise.

Place the slices in a mixing bowl. Add the lime juice, the pepper, the garlic powder, the minced basil, the diced tomato, and the chopped onion. Mix this all together.

-Next, lightly oil a baking dish with cooking spray. Now, lay a piece of chicken out on a flat surface.

Scoop out a spoonful of the mixture and lay it onto a chicken breast. Roll the meat over the mixture and tuck in the ends.

-Place the stuffed chicken in the dish. Do this with all of the chicken; aim to use just about half of your avocado mixture. Then sprinkle the top of the chicken with the cracked peppercorns.

-Place them in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. I like to serve this chicken with brown rice. Lay a piece of chicken against the rice and then spoon the more of the avocado mixture all around the chicken. Enjoy!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rumford Baking Powder Biscuits

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
I FINALLY found the best biscuit recipe (well, according to me!).  These turn out crispy and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Great with butter and honey or homemade raspberry jam!

2 C. sifted all putpose flour
3 tsp. Rumford Baking Powder
1 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. shortening (I use butter instead)
2/3 C. milk

Sift flour, Rumford Baking Powder, and salt together (personally, I don't sift my ingredients!).  Cut in shortening (or butter) until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add milk to make a soft dough.  Turn out on floured surface and knead gently for 30 seconds.  Roll out to 1/2 in. to 3/4 in. thickness.  Cut into rounds of desired size and place on greased baking pan.  Bake in hot oven (450) for 12-15 min.  Yield: 8-10 biscuits.

Potato Cheese Soup

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
I love a good soup on a cool day.  Well, yesterday wasn't especially cool, but it still sounded and tasted great.  Guess I am getting ready for winter!  Here is a great soup recipe that can be used for clam chowder, you can add broccoli and make it broccoli cheese soup, add bacon, etc.  The possibilities are endless.  However, when I make it, I usually omit the cheese and just make it Ham and Potato Soup.  YUM!  Pair this with homemade biscuits and cooked carrots, broccoli and peas, and you have yourself a great dinner!

From the Grover Family Cookbook
(I never measure out the ingredients except for the milk, cream and seasonings.  Just eyeball it and decide what works best for your family!)

1 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped celery ( I do more than this)
2 Tbs butter (I use olive oil)
2 C. raw potatoes, cubed
1tsp. parsley
2 C. chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. cream
3 C. grated cheese (optional)

Put vegetables in first with olive oil to tenderize them.  Then add your broth, seasonings and add milk products last.  Use instant potatoes to thicken to your liking.  

Hot Fudge Sauce

Posted in , , by blkris | Edit
I have had this recipe for a LONG time, but never even bothered to make it.  I was having a nasty prego chocolate craving the other night and decided to make this to go on top of a pan of brownies.  I convinced myself if I made the brownies, I would be eating them the whole next day, so decided to make a chocolate cake in a mug instead with this on top.  DELICIOUS!!!  And this hot fudge sauce is good hot, cold, a spoonful out of the jar when no one is looking... shhh!  Don't tell my husband or my midwife!  Enjoy!

1 C. chocolate chips
1/2 C. butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 C. Powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. canned evaporated milk

Melt chocolate chips and butter on stove.  Add sugar and milk.  Bring to a boil and cook 8 min., stirring every once in a while to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom.  When this gets thick after about 8 min., you know you are done.  Add vanilla.
Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Posted in , , , by blkris | Edit
Around Thanksgiving time, I get the urge to make something pumpkin so I end up buying a couple big cans of pumpkin.  Well, mine were still sitting in the pantry and I wanted some pumpkin pancakes.  So, I opened up that lovely can and made some pancakes.  Not the best pumpkin pancake recipe ever, so I won't post that, but I wanted to know what to do with the leftover pumpkin.  So, I found this great recipe on My Kitchen Cafe.  I had plenty of pumpkin leftover, so I doubled the batch.  I froze half of the cooked muffins and then pulled them out for our trip to Utah for a family reunion.  They froze and thawed great!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
from Mel B.
1 2/3 c. flour
1 c. sugar (As always, I reduced the sugar to a little less than 3/4 C)
1 T. pumpkin pie spice**
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1/2 c. butter, softened (I used half butter, and half applesauce to try to decrease some of the fat!)
1 c. chocolate chips
Mix ingredients well and then add chocolate chips. Pour into greased muffin tin (or use muffin liners). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Don’t overbake or they will be dry!
**My tip: if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, use the following combination: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon cloves. Mix together and woila! – you have the equivalent of 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (and it is much cheaper than buying it premade). So for this recipe, you would need to triple the above amounts to equal one tablespoon pumpkin pie spice.

World's Best Dinner Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls

Posted in , , by blkris | Edit
I was having a prego craving moment of wanting homemade dinner rolls.  I browsed my usual recipe sites and ended up on Our Best Bites as usual.  The rolls turned out great (they would have turned out even better if I would have remembered to add the salt like it called for!) and I had a full 9 x 13 pan of them and still had half of the dough left.  I decided to just make it into cinnamon rolls!  I used the recipe on here but just did a little less since I didn't have a whole batch.  These will probably be my go to recipe now since I can morph them into whatever I want!  The orange roll recipe looked good too, but alas, no oranges in my house right now.  Good luck!

World's Best Rolls

2 c. whole milk (if you're in a pinch, you can use 2%, but whole is best. Don't use 1% or skim) (I used a can of evaporated milk and 1/2 c. of 1 % milk)
½ c. + 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1/3 c. (5 1/3 Tbsp.) butter
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 pkgs. active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp.), preferably bread machine yeast
2/3 c. warm (105-115-degree) water
8-9 c. all-purpose flour (Try using part whole wheat and part white flour!  Just make sure you add a tiny bit more liquid than called for if using wheat flour.)
3 beaten eggs

Combine milk, 1/2 c. sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts. It's salty. It's sweet. Yum.
Remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm. I usually rub some ice cubes along the sides of the pan or pop the entire pan in a sink full of ice cubes to cool the mixture down because this step can take forever. This step is really important because if the mixture is too hot, it will kill the yeast.

While the milk mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 Tbsp. sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes. If the yeast hasn't bubbled, you'll need to repeat this step--moving on with yeast that hasn't been activated properly will only end in heartache for you and hate mail for us.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 c. flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes.
Add beaten eggs. Why should you beat your eggs first? Same reason you should combine your dry ingredients before adding them to moist ingredients when making cookies and cakes--it ensures everything is well-mixed and can be evenly-distributed through your dough or batter. If you add the whole eggs, your dough may not be as consistent.

Stir in as much remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft--it will be coming away from the sides of the bowl, but it will still stick to your finger when you touch it. Don't worry, it will firm up during the rising process. Part of what makes these rolls so good is that they're so soft and light; if you add too much flour, they will be heavy and dense. Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean towel; allow to rise 1 hour.

Punch down dough. Lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto surface. Divide in half.

Spray 2 9x13 glass pans with cooking spray. Roll first portion of dough into a rectangle and then cut it into 12 equal-sized pieces. I like to use a pizza cutter because it has a blade on each side, so it cuts right through dough without sticking to the blade. This dough should be very easy to work with, almost like playdough. Shape each piece into a ball and place in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough in the second pan.

Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. When dough has about 15-20 minutes to go (depending on your oven), preheat oven to 375.

 Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden-brown.

When done, remove from oven. Rub a stick of cold butter over the tops of the rolls.
Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mint Chocolate Delights

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
I bought a bag of Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels when they were on sale around Christmas time and they came with this recipe. I kept them in my freezer and decided to pull them out last night as my son and I were spending some one on one time together. Of course, what are we going to do? Bake treats! It was between these and Nummy Bars. He chose these and I must say, I was a little skeptical. But, they turned out nice. So nice that my prego self has eaten WAY too many since last night :)

2 C all purpose flour
2/3 C Baking Cocoa (Of course it calls for Nestle but I use Saco's Premium Cocoa.)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C (2 Sticks) butter softened
2/3 C granulated sugar
2/3 C packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla 
2 large eggs
1 2/3 C (10 oz. pkg) Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels

Preheat oven to 325
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl.  Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in morsels.  Drop by well-rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 11-13 min. or until cookies are puffed and centers are set.  Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

I baked one batch of this at the 325 like the recipe said and ended up baking them for more like 15 minutes.  I decided I couldn't wait that long next time so I changed the temp. to 350 and baked for about 11-13 min. like the original time should have been.  When pulling these cookies out, the centers are NOT set and the outside and top edges are just getting a little crispy.  Let them cook and they will turn out just fine.  YUM! 

Apple Pancakes

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
Tired of the same old plain pancakes? Yeah, me too sometimes. Well, here is a different type you can try. My husband's family introduced me to these and I thought they were weird. Who puts apples in their pancakes, and who puts powdered sugar on their pancakes?! Well, try them and you will like them. I know I do!

Apple Pancakes:
2 C. flour
2 Tbs. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 well beaten egg yolks
2 C. milk
2 Tbs butter melted
1 Apple chopped into small pieces
2 beaten egg whites

Add dry ingredients first. Then add the yolk and milk. Next, add the melted butter and apples. Make sure everything is stirred well. Then FOLD in egg whites. Do not completely mix in. The egg whites make the pancakes light and airy like they do in homemade waffles too. To make these a little healthier, add 1 C. whole wheat flour, 1 C. white flour. Top with butter and powdered sugar, and pair with a smoothie for a great breakfast!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Orzo With Parmesean and Basil

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
If you need a great side dish, this is it. I get tired of potatoes, rice and noodles, so this is a different thing that you don't normally have. At least we don't in our house. Another good one is couscous. Anyway... back to Orzo pasta. It looks a little like a flat piece of rice. I am sure you can eat it many ways, but this is what I have done a couple of times and it turns out great. And the great thing, it is really easy too!  Hope you like it!

From Allrecipes

Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons butter ( I do a little less)
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I only had shredded Italian cheese and this turned out great!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (It tastes better with fresh, but in a pinch, dried can be used.  I only use about 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 tsp dried basil)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (Only for garnish)


  1. Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and saute until lightly browned.
  2. Stir in chicken stock and bring to boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 - 20 minutes.
  3. Mix in Parmesan cheese and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to shallow bowl. Garnish with basil sprigs.
Saturday, July 10, 2010

Banana Pudding... the best!

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
My mom has a recipe for this really great banana pudding. Not just your every day mix up a box of banana pudding and that's it. This is WAY better! Just know that this is not something to eat if you are counting calories. But it is delicious! Thanks for the recipe Mom!

1 large box (can't remember the actual size!) instant vanilla pudding
3 C. cold milk
3/4 tub of cool whip
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 ripe bananas
1 box nilla wafers

-Whisk the pudding with 3 cups cold milk for a couple minutes.
-Then add the can of sweetened condensed milk and stir.
-Put in fridge to set up for about 5-10 min.
-In a 9x13 cake pan, place nilla wafers in rows to fill bottom of pan.
-Cover with sliced bananas (Do not use green bananas and don't use really brown bananas. Just in between in best!)
-Fold cool whip (about 3/4- the whole tub) into pudding mixture.
-Cover cookie and banana layers with pudding mix and repeat until your pudding is gone. Serve cold.


PS My Mom says go with the name brand on everything for this recipe. I didn't go with name brand and it ended up delicious, but not as sweet. Mom says go with THE Nilla Wafers, Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk, and regular Cool Whip (I used Lite). Apparently this gives the best version possible.
Thursday, July 8, 2010

Spaghetti Sauce recipe

Posted in , , by blkris | Edit
I have tried a couple of recipes to find a really great spaghetti sauce recipe.  I have also tried just about every bottle of sauce in the store.  The best one we found was Newman's Own Sockarooni sauce.  Pretty good in our book.  However, my husband and I kept wanting a more fresh, homemade taste.  I went to a little cooking class our church was putting on and they taught how to make your own sauce.  I took bits and pieces from that as well as from this website and put my own together.  Turns out different every time, but still very good.

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 3/4-1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 medium green bell pepper, chopped 
  • 3/4 medium red bell pepper, chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt (This sounds like a lot, but with all the other ingredients you have, it turns out about right.  I use more like 1/2-3/4 Tbs at first and salt to taste at the table)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced or crushed tomatoes - (use one Italian stewed tomatoes and one plain tomatoes.  It adds more flavor.  Or if you have lots of tomatoes from your garden, I have used 3 big fresh tomatoes ground up in a blender)
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil; sauté onions, peppers and garlic in the oil until tender. Add salt, pepper, tomato paste, tomatoes, and oregano. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese before serving or serve cheese separately. Serve with hot cooked and drained spaghetti.   Serves 6 to 8. 
Meat version: Sauté 1/2 pound of lean ground beef  (we use ground turkey and you can't tell the          
difference!) with the onions, peppers and garlic until browned. Proceed with recipe.

Traditional Chicken Parmigiana

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
Being prego this third time has thrown me through a loop for food.  I do not remember having this many food aversions with the other two nor the lack of wanting to eat (although I have to or I will be sick... hmm Catch 22?).   Sweets and steaks ALWAYS sound good to me, but who can live off of that and be healthy?  Not me.  So, my sweet family has put up with me lately with my finicky taste buds.  When I get the urge to cook a real meal, I just go for it, even if it means having dinner at 7:00 (which I what I did the other night when I made this meal).  The picture on Pioneer Woman's website looked delicious so that is why I made it.  And alas, I was so hungry by the time the food was made, I did not take my own picture.  Sorry! I thought it was good but will make a few changes next time.  Hope it works for you and satisfies your cravings! 

(My comments are in pink)

Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 45 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 6
  • 4 whole (up To 6) Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Trimmed And Pounded Flat (I used two thick chicken breasts and it was enough to feed two adults and two kids for dinner and lunch the next day)
  • ½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • ½ cups Olive Oil ( I didn't use this much.  Just drizzled some in the pan when cooking)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped ( I only used half of an onion)
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ¾ cups Wine (white Or Red Is Fine) (I used white cooking wine and only used a little over 1/4 C. and thought it had a rich wine flavor... then again my tastebuds are weird so use to your liking!)
  • 3 cans (14.5 Oz.) Crushed Tomatoes (With my 2 thick chicken breasts, I used 2 cans crushed tomatoes.  Wish I would have used one can of Italian tomatoes though to give it a little more flavor)
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • ¼ cubes Chopped Fresh Parsley ( I used dried and realized it did not have the flavor I needed.  Will use fresh next time!)
  • 1 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 pound Thin Linguine
Preparation Instructions
Mix flour, salt, and pepper together on a large plate.
Dredge flattened chicken breasts in flour mixture. Set aside.
At this time, you can start a pot of water for your pasta. Cook linguine until al dente.
Heat olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted and oil/butter mixture is hot, fry chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Remove chicken breasts from the skillet and keep warm.
Without cleaning skillet, add onions and garlic and gently stir for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all the flavorful bits off the bottom. Allow wine to cook down until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Pour in crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add sugar and more salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Toward the end of cooking time, add chopped parsley and give sauce a final stir.
Carefully lay chicken breasts on top of the sauce and completely cover them in grated Parmesan. Place lid on skillet and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is thoroughly heated. Add more cheese to taste.
Place cooked noodles on a plate and cover with sauce. Place chicken breast on top and sprinkle with more parsley. Serve immediately.
Monday, May 10, 2010

Alfredo Pizza

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
I have not found a good, puffy crust pizza dough recipe.  I try new ones all the time, but end up not liking them after a few times.  But, I did make a good pizza the other day, minus the dough!  Here's the ingredients I used:

-1/2 of a bottle of Newman's Own alfredo sauce (This was the first time I used it, and I chose it because it had less "junk" in it than most.  If I am not making my own, I try to buy things that have the most recognizable ingredients in them.  That way I know what I am eating and feeding my family.)
-1/2 red pepper chopped
-1/2 green pepper chopped
-1/2 white onion chopped
-1 garlic clove chopped
-handful sliced mushrooms
-1 chopped tomato
-Mozzarella cheese
-1 chicken breast sliced and cooked

1.  Make pizza dough of your choice (still looking for THE recipe!).  Spread out on your pizza pan and set aside.

2. Cook chicken (I cooked mine in a pan, chopped in bits, with olive oil, season salt, fresh garlic and italian seasoning).  Remove and place in a bowl to the side.

3.  Cook red and green chopped peppers with chopped onion and 1 clove diced garlic in olive oil until tender.  Remove and place in a bowl to the side.

4.  Cover pizza dough with sauce, add cheese, and add all other ingredients.  Cook until dough is done and cheese is melted and browning on top.

Enjoy with a nice green side salad, or we made a fresh fruit/spinach smoothie.  Yum!

Stir Fry with Noodles

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
We went on a big group date a while ago and all ate out at a Mongolian Barbeque restaurant.  If anyone has been to these you know you can load up on whatever you want.  They have lots of raw veggies, noodles, and meat and you pile it all in a bowl, add seasonings and then they cook it right there in front of you.  YUM!  Well, I wanted to eat this again, so I decided to make it on my own.  Not as good, but still yummy.  This was kind of one of those things that I didn't have a recipe, but I just threw in whatever sounded good.  So here were my ingredients:

1 pkg dry stir fry noodles
thinly sliced chicken pieces
Green cabbage
sugar snap peas
fresh ginger
seasoned rice vinegar
sesame oil
olive oil
fresh garlic
Any other veggies I had around (I am drawing a blank right now!)

I started out by adding a little olive oil in a pan, a drop of sesame oil (it is kind of strong so don't add too much) and some seasoned rice vinegar.  I added about 1 chopped garlic clove and the onions and cooked those for a bit.  Then I added my chicken and cooked until done.  I put that aside and added a little more of the oils and vinegar and added my veggies, starting with the broccoli and any other hard vegetables.  I cooked those first and added the softer things last, like the cabbage and the peas.  I cooked them all without a lid for a bit, and then added water and put a lid on.  I then added the noodles when my veggies were tender (not soft!) and voila!  You have your homemade mongolian stir fry.  But add some soy sauce to taste and you have it made!
Sunday, March 21, 2010

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

Posted in by blkris | Edit
Tonight we are having Grilled (actually baked tonight!) Bruschetta Chicken, baked asparagus, garlic bread baguettes and herbed chicken couscous.  YUM!  My friend and I did this chicken recipe for a cooking class and it turned out great!  She cooked it on the grill and in the oven for variety.  The grill is much better, but hey, it was still good in the oven too.  It has lots of flavor and it a healthy way to cook chicken.

Found on

what you need!

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
1/4 cup  KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing, divided
1 tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup  KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

make it!

HEAT grill to medium heat.
COVER half the grill grate with sheet of heavy-duty foil. Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag. Add 2 Tbsp. dressing; seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with dressing. Refrigerate 10 min. Remove chicken from bag; discard bag and dressing.
PLACE chicken on uncovered side of grill; cover with lid. Grill 6 min. Meanwhile, combine remaining dressing, tomatoes, cheese and basil.
TURN chicken over; place on foil. Top with tomato mixture. Grill, covered, grill 8 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF).

Baked Asparagus

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
I thought I had posted this already, but came back looking for the recipe and couldn't find it.  So sorry to the people I told to find the recipe on my blog!  I like this recipe for the fact that it is a non-measuring, do it to your liking recipe.  Just throw on the ingredients, pop it in the oven, and there you have it!  A different way to cook asparagus rather than just steaming it.  My Mother -in -law has a recipe like this but it also calls for adding bread crumbs on top to give it some crunch.  Hope you like it!

Handful of asparagus
parmesan cheese (green tube kind)
olive oil

Preheat your oven to 350.  Place a handful of asparagus (chop off the ends to get rid of the "woody" parts) on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle (now go easy on this or it will get mushy) extra virgin olive oil on top and mix the asparagus around to coat.  Sprinkle salt, pepper and parm. cheese on top.  Cook 10-15 min. depending on how thick the asparagus is.  It is best still a little crunchy and better for you so you don't cook out all the great vitamins.  Enjoy!
Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pot Roast

Posted in by blkris | Edit
My sister made this recipe a couple weeks ago and said it was really good.  Just thought I would post it and hopefully try it sometime soon.  Let me know what you think!

Aaron's Pot Roast
3-5 pound roast (mine was 3.75lb - it feed us, Randall and Sara and their kids and left us a little for leftovers the next night.)
1 can basil and garlic flavored stewed tomatoes
some minced garlic (I did about a spoonful)
1 can beef broth (about 2 cups/bouillon cubes)
onion and carrot on bottom of pot under roast (I did about 1/2 onion and 1/2-3/4 small bag of carrots)
1 packet McCormick's Roast seasoning for crockpot
1 packet onion soup mix
a little soy sauce
salt and pepper
a little worchestershire sauce

Cook on low 10-12 hours in crockpot.
Add red/yellow bell pepper last 20 minutes.  (I forgot to do this last week but it still tasted fine without it.  Nobody noticed.)
I also added 1 stalk of celery cut up to add a little extra juice and flavor. 

The recipe calls for putting red potatoes in with the roast to cook.  I left these out because I didn't have any room to put them in and was afraid it all wouldn't cook if I stuck them in.  So we steamed them and then added them to the juices later to get the flavor.  This made so much yummy gravy too!  Really yummy and really easy!


Posted in , , , by blkris | Edit
I have wanted to try bruschetta before but have never gotten around to making it until the last couple of weeks.  And I wish I would have made it a long time ago!  It was great!!!  I did my own variation of the recipes I found online though.  Most of them called for fresh basil, olive oil and tomatoes, with a few added ingredients here or there.  I had just made a fresh batch of pesto that same week and decided that since pesto has olive oil and basil in it, I would try that.  So glad I did.  Here is my made up recipe below:

-One long bread baguette
-Pesto (If using frozen pesto from ice cube trays (, use 4 ice cubes worth.  If using bottled pesto, you will need to just eyeball it!)
-1 1/2 tomatoes chopped (something like hot house tomatoes... the round ones)
-shredded parmesean cheese
-Salt and pepper to taste

Slice baguette into 1/2-1 inch slices.  Spread with pesto.  Pop in the oven on broil until warm.  Then add chopped tomatoes and a little parm. cheese on top.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Put back in oven until warm (try not to cook too long so the tomatoes don't get mushy).  Serve warm with soup and/or salad  and a smoothie for a light dinner.  This is also great as an appetizer.  To add a little more substance, add chopped chicken pieces.  Enjoy!

Banana Bread w/ Sour Cream

Posted in , , by blkris | Edit
If you are like me, you buy sour cream for tacos or fajitas, but don't end up using the rest of the container.  Need something to use it for?  Try banana bread.  I know, I know, it will just add to the bread to make it fattier.  Point taken, BUT it tastes oh so good!!  I am a fan of banana bread.  Some people like it, others don't.  To each his own, and that is fine because it means more for the rest of us!  Anyway, back to the recipe... I like this one because even though I add whole wheat flour, it still turns out moist because of the sour cream.  I am sure you can probably substitute for something less fattening like plain yogurt, but I never buy that, so I go with the original version.  Let me know if you try it with yogurt.

PS This is even better with chocolate chips in it :)

2/3 C. butter (I try to cut down a little each time I make this)
1 1/3 C. sugar (ditto to the above statement.  My norm is about 1 cup)
2 3/4 C. flour (I usually do at least 1 C. whole wheat flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla (If you are using real Mexican Vanilla like I do, only use 1/2 -3/4 tsp)
1 1/2 C. mashed bananas (If you do add whole wheat flour, add a little more bananas and make it about 1 3/4 C.)
1/2 C. sour cream

Cream butter and sugar.  Add all others.  Mix well.  Grease bread pan, muffin pan, bundt pan, etc.  Cook at 350.  If using a bundt pan, check bread at 1 hour.  If using muffin pan, check at 12-15 min.  If using bread pan, check at about 30 min, but probably cook for about 45-50 min depending on size and how full.  Good luck!
Sunday, February 28, 2010

Turtle Tart

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
We did a big group date a couple weeks ago and this is what I made for the dessert.  It was very rich, but very good!  Mine didn't look as pretty as the picture on Betty Crocker's site though!  We were feeding a big group, so I made mine in a cake pan to spread it out a little further.  I don't think I needed to though because we had plenty of leftovers.  Enjoy!

Cookie Base
1pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® oatmeal cookie mix (we used Peanut Butter cookie mix!!)
1/2cup butter or margarine, softened
1tablespoon water
1cup chopped pecans

40caramels, unwrapped
1/3cup whipping cream
3/4cup chopped pecans
1bag (11.5 oz) milk chocolate chips (2 cups)
1/3cup whipping cream
1/4cup chopped pecans

1.Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, water and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in 1 cup pecans. Press dough in bottom and up sides of ungreased 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
2.Bake 19 to 21 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 10 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, in medium microwavable bowl, microwave caramels and 1/3 cup cream on High 2 to 4 minutes, stirring twice, until caramels are melted. Stir in 3/4 cup pecans. Spread over cooled crust. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
4.In another medium microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and 1/3 cup cream on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Pour over filling. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup pecans. Refrigerate 2 hours or until set. To serve, let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before cutting. Store covered in refrigerator.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Use 10-inch tart pan. In step 2, bake crust 21 to 23 minutes.
Friday, February 19, 2010

Homemade granola bars

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
Ryan and I try to limit the amount of preservatives we eat as well as give to our kids, try to not buy anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup, and try to limit the amount of sugar we eat (although that is hard when you like to bake like I do!).  So, when it comes to finding snacks for the kids, I was getting frustrated at the junk that is in gummies and granola bars.  That is when I started making homemade fruit leather, dried apples and pears, and homemade granola bars.  This is a great recipe because you can use the oat, seed, and nut (or omit the nuts if you have peanut allergies in your family and maybe try to add something else for more substance)base and add different ingredients to make all varieties of granola bars.  I have adjusted the "glue" every time I make these and have come to the realization that if you want your granola bars to stick together, keep the ingredients the way they are.  I have made the glue with less butter and less sugar(which is what I do most of the time now), and used Agave nectar as a sugar replacement (This way creates crumbly granola instead of granola bars.  Still taste good, but do not stick together.).  So, play with the glue a little and see what works best for your family.
Let me know what combinations you have tried and what is your favorite!  I can always use more ideas!!!  
homemade granola bar recipe

PS This post is really long, but the recipe is actually pretty easy.  Sorry if I stressed you out!

Found on Joyful Abode

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Gather your ingredients:
  • 2 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ ( I don't have this, so I omit this step)
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup peanuts, crushed ( I usually use almonds, but this last time I used chopped cashews.  YUM!)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar ( I make it a little less than this)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 Tbsp butter (I use more like 3 Tbs.)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (or if you have real Mexican vanilla, use around 1 - 1 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • approximately 8 oz. dried fruit ( I have used craisins, coconut and chocolate chips, or dried apples and dried blueberries)
To crush your peanuts, put them in a plastic bag and smash them with a heavy mallet, measuring cup, or sauce pan. (I chop my almonds and cashews in my small food processor.)
Then, mix the peanuts, oats, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds in a baking dish with sides. Toast them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes so that they don’t get burned (I have burned mine.  So really watch it and keep stirring!)

Meanwhile, prepare a glass baking dish (about 11 x 13 inches) for your granola by lining it with waxed paper lightly sprayed with a nonstick spray.
Put the brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.  (Make sure you don't overheat or cook too long.  This will make the glue almost crumble and break) (I have wanted to try adding some natural Adams Peanut Butter to this mix so I can make peanut butter chocolate chip bars, but haven't tried this yet.  if you do, let me know how it turns out!!!)
By now, your grains and nuts should be toasted, so mix everything together in a large bowl. The grains, the liquid “glue,” and the dried fruit (This is usually when I add my chocolate chips too.  Then they melt in with the oat mixture and cover everything.  I tried just pressing in my chocolate chips this last batch I made, but it made my granola break apart too much.) Oh, and turn off your oven, because you’re finished with it now.

Mix everything REALLY WELL because you want to make sure the “glue” gets all over everything. Now, dump your granola mixture into your prepared baking dish.

Spread out the mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Now fold over the sides of the waxed paper or add a sheet on top, and PRESS HARD all over the granola. You want to compact it together so that your bars won’t fall apart when you cut them.

Wait 2-3 hours or until the granola has totally cooled.
Then, open the waxed paper … And carefully turn the granola onto a large cutting board, peeling away the rest of the paper.
Now, firmly pressing down with a big knife (not sawing), cut your granola into whatever size bars you’d like.
I wrapped ours individually in plastic wrap, so that we could just throw one into our bag or lunch box in the morning. If you’d like to save on packaging though, you can store yours in an airtight container, between sheets of waxed paper (so they don’t stick together).