Monday, March 30, 2009


So who doesn't love Lasgana? I know some of you think it is to much work but let me tell you my secret that makes it much easier and faster. You use the no boil lasagna noodles then you don't have to mess with sticky noodles that always seem to fall apart and make a mess.

Now doesn't that look yummy?:


1 onion chopped

2 T minced garlic

1 lb ground beef

1-28 oz can and 1-14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1-6 oz can tomato paste

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3 tsp basil
1 T. parsley
1 box oven ready or no boil lasagna noodles
1-2 lbs mozzarella cheese~we like a lot of cheese
2-15 oz containers ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 T. parsley

Brown the ground beef in a large pot until no longer pink. Add the onion and garlic and saute until onion is tender. Add in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1 T. parsley. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 -30 minutes. The longer you simmer it the better the flavor but still tastes good if short on time. While the sauce is simmering, mix the ricotta cheese, eggs, parm cheese, 1 tsp salt and pepper, and 1 T. parsley until well combined. When sauce is done begin layering your lasagna. Start with a sauce on the bottom then a layer of oven ready lasagna, then the ricotta cheese mixture and some mozzarella cheese and then repeat layers, ending with sauce and Mozzarella cheese on top. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for 15 minutes more. Serve with garlic bread and a Lettuce salad. Yummy!!

Here are a few pics of the layering process!!

Ricotta cheese mixture !!

This is perfect for a Sunday or weekend meal when you have a little bit more time to cook. It also can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer until ready to use. You will just have to bake a little longer than you would if you were baking it right after making it!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Homemade Corn Dogs

These are so yummy but so not good for you!! That is why we made them on a Friday night because come on every once and a while you need to live and have something that has been fried in grease!! My kids love corn dogs but I never buy them so when I saw this recipe on Mommy's Kitchen I knew I just had to try it especially for my kids. They were a hit and they were so easy and way better than any corn dog I have ever had. The corn breading was so light and not heavy like the bread on store bought ones. My husband who doesn't even care for hot dogs ate 3 of them, yes 3 is what I said. So if you like corn dogs you had better give these a try!! Don't worry we had fresh fruit and carrot sticks to go along with these so our meal wasn't totally unhealthy!!

How could you not want to eat one of those with tons of mustard and ketchup to dip it in:

Homemade Corn Dogs~adapted from Mommy's Kitchen
1 cup milk or buttermilk~i used buttermilk
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
2 T. sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup flour
12-14 hot dogs
flour for dusting(about 1/2 cup)
Oil or deep fryer for frying
popsicle sticks, chop sticks, or wooden meat skewers~I used wooden meat skewers because that is what I had in my house

First preheat your fryer or oil in a pan on your stove to 375 degrees or until the oil is almost smoking. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix. Then add the buttermilk, eggs and oil and mix until combined and is a thick batter~mine was really thick so I added about 1/2 cup more milk. Take your hot dogs and dry them off with paper towels. Then roll each one in flour~ if you don't do this the cornmeal mixture will not stick to the hot dog. Then put each hot dog on a stick. Dump your batter into a large cup or mason jar that is as tall as your hot dogs and dunk your hot dog into batter and swirl around until coated like so:

Place them immediately into your deep fryer or hot oil on the stove and cook until brown on all sides. Like this and enjoy!!

Your kids will love them!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Beef and Barley Soup

So wouldn't you know it is snowing again here in Utah!! We had 70 degree weather here last week and my family and I went camping and now it is snowing again!! You just gotta love spring in Utah. So last night I decided to make soup since it is cold again. My mom use to make a beef with barley soup and I loved it so I decided to make my own. I had no recipe to go by I just kind of threw things together and the end result was yummy!! I made this with ground beef but you could easily substitue ground chicken and turkey if you prefer. Sorry about the pictures they aren't that great but believe me the soup was great!!

Beef with Barley Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 T. garlic, minced
7-8 carrots chopped
5-6 stalks of celery, chopped
1 cup uncooked pearl barley~you find this by the dried beans and rice in any grocery store
4(14.5 oz) cans beef broth
1(14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1(8 oz) can tomato sauce
4 cups water
4-5 beef bouillon cubes
1 T. dried parsley
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 bay leaves
2 large baking potatoes, diced

Brown the beef in a large pot. When browned add the carrots, celery, and garlic and cook for 10 minutes.Stir in the remaining ingredients except the potatoes and bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes and then add the potatoes and simmer until the potatoes and all the veggies and barley are tender. Serve with grilled cheese, rolls, or cornbread.

Note: this makes a large pot of soup so if you don't want that much than halve the recipe and it will turn out just great as well!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sausage Baked Ziti

I made this pasta yesterday for dinner after we got home from church. It turned out really well. We all loved it and I will be making it again sometime.

Sausage Baked Ziti

1 lb Italian Sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 T minced garlic
1 green pepper, chopped
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2-14.5 oz cans petite diced tomatoes
1-6 oz. can tomato paste
2-8 oz. cans tomato sauce
3 tsp oregano
2 tsp. basil
1 T. parsley
4 beef boullion cubes
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 cup cream
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
1 1/2 lbs any kind of pasta

In a large pot brown the sausage in a Tablespoon of Olive oil until cooked through. Add the onion, pepper, and garlic and saute until tender. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes. Stir in the oregano, basil, parsley, salt, pepper, and bouillon cubes. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Then add the cream and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Mix the noodles with the sauce and 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese. Pour into 1- 9x13 pan and 1-8 or 9 inch square pan. Mix the bread crumbs, butter, parm cheese, and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese together and sprinkle over the pasta in the dishes. Bake for 30 minutes or until bread crumb cheese mixture is browned and it is bubbly. Serve with a lettuce salad and French bread.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Homemade Samoas

I found this yummy recipe on Baking Bites website. They are Homade girl scouts cookies and they were so great!! I reccomend you trying these especially if you love Girl Scout Samoas. I guarantee they are cheaper to make at home them buying them from the scouts!!

Homemade Samoas Bars~adapted from Baking Bites
Cookie Base:
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
First, make the crust.Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together. Pour crumbly dough into prepapred pan and press into an even layer. My dough was the consistency of cookie dough(it was not sticky at all)Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

What looks like after baked for 20 minutes:

3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) or 1(14 oz.) bag
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels~ I used a 14 oz package of Kraft caramels
3 tbsp milk
10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)~I used a mixture of Milk chocolate and semi sweet because we don't like dark chocolate very much
Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside. Will look like this:

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping).Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Like so: and Let the chocolate harden:

Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.
Makes 30 bar cookies.

Note: You can simply drizzle chocolate on top of the bars before slicing them up if you’re looking for yet an easier way to finish these off. You won’t need quite as much chocolate as noted above, and you won’t quite get the Samoas look, but the results will still be tasty.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies

I saw the recipe for these wonderful cookies on the Picky Palate. These were very tasty. I love oatmeal raisin cookies but I don't really like all the cinnamon that goes in them so these were great because the combine the oatmeal and raisins with chocolate withou the cinnamon. My Grandpa Smith use to always put chocolate covered raisins in his cookies. They were always so tasty.

Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies~adapted from Picky Palate
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups quick or old fashioned oats~i used old fashioned
20 oz. of chocolate covered raisins(raisinets)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in the chocolate covered raisins. Roll dough into 1-2 inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then enjoy!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Homemade Twix Bars

I made these delectable bars about a week ago. They turned out so good other than I would put the caramel on first and then the chocolate next time. They were super simple as well. A good recipe to use for a potluck or party. Look at all that chocolatey caramely goodness. This pic was taken right after I put the chocolate and caramel on. It will set up so they won't be this messy unless you eat them right away.

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 T. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Caramel~i just unwrapped a buch of kraft caramels and melted them with a little butter and milk until smooth and creamy(i melted them in the microwave)

Melted chocolate for the top of the bars~I used a bag of hershey kisses and melted them with a little butter/shortening in the microwave. You could use chocolate chips or any kind of chocolate you like.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with tin foil. Coat the foil with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the butter and sugars until creamy. Add in the salt and flour;blend well and add the chocolate chips. Press into prepared pan. Bake for about 20-23 minutes, or until golden brown at edges and bubbly in the center. Cool while melting the chocolate and caramel. Spread the chocolate and caramel in any order you want over the bars. Let cool completely then cut into bars!! (I doubled the recipe and put them in a large cookie sheet~the recipe is doubled easily for a larger crowd if you need or cut it in half and put in a 8 or 9 inch square pan if you don't want as many)

Eat them right out of the pan with a spoon!! Yum!! Yum!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

These are amazing chicken enchiladas. I will bet that they are better tasting than any you have ever had because they are more authentic than any recipe you get in the states. Again this recipe came from my husbands side of the familia!!! The picture I took of them cooked didn't do them justice so here is a pic right before putting it in the oven:

Chicken Enchiladas
20-30 corn tortillas~small ones~do how many you like there is no science to it
1 family size can cream of chicken soup
42 oz of green salsa~I buy this in the mexican isle at walmart, there are two kinds la costena and Herdez and I have used both or you can make your own but I am not that ambitious yet!!
1 cup sour cream
2-3 cups cheddar cheese
2-3 chicken breasts~cooked shredded or cubed

Cut the tortillas up into squares and fry them in oil until crispy like a tortilla chip:

(I fry them like this instead of rolling the tortilla up around the chicken because we like lots of tortillas and less chicken and this is a great way to get more tortillas and you don't have to waist your time rolling each individual tortilla up)

While the tortillas are frying, mix the cream of chicken, green salsa, sour cream and 2 cups of cheese together till well combined:

Next add the chicken and fryed tortillas and mix well:

(also the hard tortillas stand up to the sauce and doesn't just fall apart while baking. They just become soft and tender while baking~if you don't fry them till hard they fall apart and you can't tell that you are eating a tortilla)

Finally when all mixed together. Dump into greased 9x13 inch pan and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly:

Picture after it is cooked and please don't judge it~it is way better than the picture makes it look. Take my word for it!! Serve with Rice and refried beans.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


If you are looking for an easy meal you can throw in the crockpot this is for you. We love this recipe and it comes from my husbands side of the family. We usually make this on Sunday so it can cook while we are at church and then it is done by the time we get home and cook the mashed potatoes for it to go over.


8 cube steaks~can find these at any grocery store by all of the other cuts of beef/steaks
3-4 (10 1/2 oz)cans cream of celery soup
3-4 cans of water~use one of the soup cans to measure
1/2-1 onion chopped
Salt, pepper, and grill seasoning to sprinkle on each cube steak before browning it

Sprinkle each steak with a generous amount of grill seasoning, salt and pepper. In a large skillet over high to medium high heat brown steak on each side. Like this:

While the steak is browning Mix the soup, water and onion in a crockpot. When each steak is browned add it to the crockpot. After the last steak is browned, add a little water to the pan and with a wooden spoon scrap up the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and pour the bits and water into the crockpot. Like this:

The brown bits and the water used to scrap them up is what gives the gravy its color. Then place the lid on the crock pot and cook on low 6 hours or on high for 3 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes with a lettuce salad and homemade rolls!! Yum Yum !

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Sunday night we all needed a sweet treat. I wanted something that was quick and easy so I decided to try making pudding from scratch. I have never done it before and man it was really easy!! It turned out really good other than is was really dark chocolate flavored so next time I will use milk chocolate chips at the end instead of semi-sweet!! But if you love dark chocolate then make it with semi sweet or dark chocolate. My kids really loved this!! Plus you can't go wrong with REAL whipped cream on top!

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/4 cup cornstarch

pinch of salt

3 cups of milk ~ I used 2% I don't know how it will turn out with 1% or skim. Try at your own risk

1/4 cup milk chocolate , semi-sweet or dark chocolate~we prefer milk

2 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in the milk and bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat, stirring. Once it is boiling turn the heat down to medium and cook,stirring until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips and vanilla until smooth. Serve warm or chilled and with Real whipped cream. So yummy!!

This is the mixture before it started to boil!! Stir frequently to avoid clumps!!