Where Cooking is Fun
We want cooking to be as fun for you as it is for us.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lion House Dinner Rolls


I've had a trusty roll recipe that I've used for a long time. It's treated me pretty well but I've always felt something was lacking. I've heard a lot about Lion House Rolls and I wanted to give them a try. Fathers Day dinner was the perfect opportunity. They were better than any of us could have imagined. We ate them with cinnamon butter and our mouths are still watering for more. My sister said they were the best rolls she had ever tasted in her life and I think I am inclined to agree.

Lion House Dinner Rolls
2 cups warm water
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup REAL butter
1 egg
5-5 1/2 cups flour

Combine water and dry milk. Stir until milk dissolves. Warm on stove or in microwave till approx. 110-115 degrees. Combine warm milk, dry yeast and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add salt, butter, egg and 2 cups of flour. Mix on a low speed until ingredients are wet, then for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add additional 2 cups flour; mix on low speed till ingredients are wet and then for 2 minutes at medium speed.

(Dough will be getting stiff and remaining flour may need to be mixed in by hand). Add about 1/2 cup flour and mix again. Dough should be soft, not overly sticky and not stiff. (It's not necessary to use the entire amount of flour).

Scrape dough off sides of bowl and pour approx 1 Tbsp oil around the sides of a bowl. Turn dough over in bowl so it is covered with oil. *Helps prevent dough from drying out. Cover with plastic and allow to rise in warm place until double in size.

Roll dough into a rectangle approx 1/4 inch thick. Cut into strips 8 inches long and 2 inches wide. Roll up dough and place seam on greased baking sheet. Let rise in warm place until rolls are doubled in size.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Brush with melted butter right out of the oven. Serve hot.

~Dayna~

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tropical Coconut Muffins


Muffins make up so quick and make for a great addition to any breakfast. I have one kiddo that hates breakfast, but she will eat muffins...usually any flavor. These Tropical Coconut Muffins are a nice and moist and fluffy. I like to double my batch so that I have some for the kids to snack on as well as for another breakfast...(unless they gobble them all up, which they often do)

Tropical Coconut Muffins
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 c. sour cream
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. crushed pineapple, drained well
1/2 c. coconut

In a mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar and cream well. Add the egg, sour cream and vanilla; mix. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Add pineapple and coconut and stir.

Spray muffin tin with pan coating and fill each muffin 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from pan.
*This batch is just a single batch and makes 12 muffins...trust me, you'll want to double it.

Happy Cooking~
Julie

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cinnamon Butter


My brother in law loves Texas Roadhouse- so for the past two years that's where we have gone for his birthday. My allegiance lies with Ruby River Steakhouse (it's by far my favorite steak house in Utah) but the Roadhouse does have something Ruby River just can't offer. THE most amazing cinnamon butter in the world. I've spent many hours online looking for the perfect recipe. Everything I found sounded a little off- honey, sweetened condensed milk.... not quite right. So I finally took the plunge and tried out a few ingredients. After trying a few things I have perfected the art of cinnamon butter. After the first bite Jack said it was Texas Roadhouse 100%. It's absolutely amazing on hot rolls. Try it. You will not be disappointed.

Cinnamon Butter
1 cup REAL salted butter
6 Tbsp. Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Beat butter, sugar and cinnamon till soft and smooth. Refrigerate till served.

~Dayna~

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Julie's Spicy Shrimp Taco's

Halle and I went to Cafe Rio and she ordered their "Shrimp Taco", which is SO delicious! She requested that I step out of my comfort zone and try to make them for her birthday dinner (I think that was asking a bit much from me...but I did it anyway). It was a huge stretch for me since I had only tasted them ONCE...and just a bite at that. I did my best...BUT I will have to say that these probably DO NOT classify as a MOCK recipe...but they are very good nonetheless. I love them...I love everything I post on here or it wouldn't be on here...but thats beside the point. GIVE these a shot. They are really easy and leave you asking for MORE!

Julie's Spicy Shrimp Taco's

1-2 lb. Large frozen shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked (the amount depends on how
many people you are cooking for. I made 2 lb. for 6 people and had a very small dish left over)
3 T. butter
1 package taco seasoning

Taco Shells (I used my recipe for Buttermilk Taco's found HERE
mexican rice (steamed rice + taco seasoning...mix together and heat...YUM)
tomatoes
avocado's
red onions, diced
grated cheese

Dressing (we used the Mock Cafe Rio Dressing recipe found HERE)

Thaw shrimp and drain water. Melt butter and saute' shrimp until hot. (You will need to drain water from shrimp periodically while you are cooking it) When shrimp is hot, add 1 package of taco seasoning (put on desired amount, I only used 1/2 of a package, but if you like it spicier use the entire thing...I like mine really spicy but there are a few in my family that don't, thats why I only used 1/2 of the package). Fill taco shells with desired amount of meat and mexican rice. Top with tomatoes, avocado's, diced red onions and grated cheese and your favorite dressing (we used a Mock Cafe Rio Dressing)

Happy Cooking~
Julie

Friday, June 25, 2010

Garlic Mashed Potatoes


Many years ago my mom made mashed potatoes for dinner. She had a sly grin on her face and told us she had tried a secret ingredient and we were supposed to figure it out. After taking one bite my 13 year old brain decided I didn't care what the secret ingredient was as long as I never had to eat it again. My mom refused to tell us what she added but years later I figured it out. Needless to say I was a little leary to try Garlic Mashed Potatoes when our friend Tryon offered to make them. I decided to be brave and give them a try. My mom will be pleased to know that 11 years later my taste buds have grown up and I now prefer this side dish over regular mashed potatoes any day.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

8 large baking potatoes
1 cup butter
3 Tbsp. milk
1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic (I like using the fresh ground garlic salt)
Cheese
Bacon
Sour Cream

Scrub potatoes, dice and boil on high till soft. (Leave skins ON) Once potatoes are boiled drain water and add butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Add garlic salt (could add more/less depending on preference). Top individual portions with cheese, bacon and sour cream. Serve hot.

~Dayna~

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Carrot Craison Bread

If you have ever been to Mimi's Cafe...you will love this recipe, and even if you haven't been...YOU have to give this scrumptious stuff a try. It's a quick bread that tastes like the yummy bread they serve you at Mimi's. When I make this, I have to hide 1 entire loaf that I can slowly eat all by myself because the family devoirs this up faster than I can make it. I don't make it very often because I don't want them to tire from it...but I make it A LOT!

Carrot Craison Bread

3 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
4 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
2 c. oil
2 c. brown sugar
6 eggs
1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
1 c. crushed canned pineapple, drained VERY well ( I do that first and let it sit in the strainer while I 
       put everything else together)
1 c. craisons
2 c. finely grated carrots

Put all dry ingredient into a large mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and eggs. Stir the wet mixture into the flour mixture; mix until well blended. Add the next 4 ingredient and mix well. Grease and flour 4 regular sized loaf pans. Fill the pans 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350 for 40-43 minutes. Check your bread with a toothpick at 40 minutes and then cook until the toothpick comes out clean. Mini loafs take about 20-25 minutes. 

*This Bread is very picky...you have to follow the instructions to a "T" but then it turns out every time. DON'T open the oven when it's baking or it will fall. AND most importantly...drain the pineapple really well. I dump the pineapple in a strainer and then push all the liquid out as I press on it with something heavier...a cup or something that you can get leverage with. *** Don't let the little things that are required to make this bread turn out, scare you away. Its worth the little extra effort to make this awesome bread!


Happy Cooking~
Julie

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chicken, Bacon and Guacamole Sandwich


Chicken is one of our favorite foods. I was in a crunch for dinner and needed to use some Chicken Breasts in my freezer. I wanted something new, different and summery. I picked up a few Avocados and created this amazing dinner. It was exactly what I wanted and I will definitely be eating this regularly.

Chicken, Bacon and Guacamole Sandwich

1 Breaded Chicken Breast Fillet
1 slice American cheese
3 slices bacon
2 Tbsp. Guacamole
1 Hamburger Bun

Cook chicken breast according to package instructions. Spread butter on Hamburger bun and broil for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Place chicken, cheese, bacon and guacamole on bun and serve immediately.

~Dayna~

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chipotle Chicken Salad/Sandwich Filling

This Chicken Salad is very versatile and can be eaten in cream puffs, in pita bread, on croissants, on rolls or just between two pieces of sandwich bread. I've served this "fancy" as well as "casual". It's a fun summer time lunch, picnic food or a quick dinner.
You choose how you serve it...but just serve it, its delicious!

Chipotle Chicken Salad/Sandwich Filling
2 can of chicken chunks, drained (I like to use the chicken breast chunks)
1 1/2-2 c. red grapes, sliced in half
3/4 c. mayonnaise (NOT salad dressing)
1/2 c. Chipotle Cashews

Bread of your choice: Pita Bread, Cream Puffs, Rolls, Croissants, Bread...etc....

After draining water off of chicken, break pieces up so they aren't in chunks. Add grapes and Mayonnaise and mix well. If you want more or less Mayonnaise, just adjust the amounts to you're liking. Add Chipotle Cashews and stir. Serve immediately.

*if you are making this ahead, wait and add your cashews right before you serve it, they tend to get soft and I like them crunchy...I think you will too.

Happy Cooking~
Julie

Monday, June 21, 2010

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies


One of my favorite TV shows is 30 Rock. In one scene the main character is reminiscing about the good times with her ex-boyfriend and she mentions that most of the memories are "food related". I find myself hanging my head in shame when I realize that a lot of my good memories are indeed food related as well. This cookie recipe is no exception. Macadamia Nut cookies always remind me of High School with my best friend. We'd go on Subway (the sandwich shop) runs and we'd always come home with some of their delicious cookies. These were always my favorite. I couldn't believe that I had never made these cookies until now. They turned out soft and chewy and I ate at least a dozen by myself the first day. This is hands down my very favorite cookie recipe I have ever made. Now it can be yours too.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup white chocolate chips

Cream shortening, butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time. Mix. Add vanilla. Combine flour, soda and salt. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Beat. Add nuts and chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes.

~Dayna~

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chicken Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favorite foods, especially the leftovers. I think because the pasta soaks up all the yummy flavors as it sits. Years ago I found a pile of different Lasagna recipes, some were very similar to the one that I make all the time, but others were very different. I always thought I would try them out on my family, but I never did and now I can't find the recipes...but I remember one that stood out in my mind was a recipe for "Chicken Lasagna". I found a recipe similar to the one I use to have and made some adjustments to it to fit my families liking a little bit more. I have to say that I was surprised at how fast my family gobbled this dish up. They all loved it. It's a nice change from traditional Lasagna.

Chicken Lasagna

1-2 cloves minced garlic
2 T. BUTTER (use the real stuff)
6 chicken breast, cubed into small pieces
2 cans cream chicken soup
1-8 oz cream cheese
2 c. sour cream
1 c. milk
1 box lasagna noodles prepared according to package instructions
4 c. grated cheese (I used Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese)

In a large frying pan saute minced garlic in melted butter. Cook for 2-3 minutes then add cream soup, cream cheese, sour cream and milk, stir until ingredient melts and thickens. Add chicken and continue to stir. Turn heat down and simmer.

In a 9x13 baking dish layer noodles, then cream sauce with chicken, then cheese. Continue to repeat until your pan is full, ending with cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Happy Cooking~
Julie

Friday, June 18, 2010

Brown Sugar Enchiladas


Enchiladas has always been a family favorite. Growing up we ate them a lot and since getting married it's one of the foods that traveled over with me. My mom sent me home with some of her homemade enchilada sauce the other day and I started craving a new recipe. I saw a recipe a while back that involved Brown Sugar in their enchiladas. It sounded delicious so I created my own dish with that in mind. Although it may sound like a weird ingredient it was amazing. Just a tiny bit of sweet and a whole lot of yum!


Brown Sugar Enchiladas

2 cups hamburger
1 package taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
1 cup enchilada sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
10 taco shells
enchilada sauce (for top)
cheese

Brown hamburger in a skillet. Drain and return to pan. Empty packet of taco seasoning onto hamburger with 1/4 cup of water. Let water cook off. Add refried beans, enchilada sauce and brown sugar. Mix. Put 1/2 cup of mixture in the center of taco shell. Top with cheese. Roll and place in pan. Continue with remaining shells. Top with enchilada sauce and remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

~Dayna~

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chinese Cashew Chicken

I love chinese food and Cashew Chicken is one of my favorites. I made this with little effort and it tasted like I worked on it for hours. Its easy, its tasty and its worth making~

Chinese Cashew Chicken

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small bite sized pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 t ground ginger (put in desired amount, according your taste)
1 t. pepper
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 c. soy sauce
3 T. ketchup
1 T. brown sugar
2 T. vinegar
1 c. cashew pieces

Put a small amount of oil into a frying pan, heat. When oil is hot add chicken pieces. Brown until chicken is entirely cooked. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, ginger, ketchup and cayenne, pepper and mix together; pour over chicken. Simmer for 15-20 minutes so that meat can absorb the flavor of the sauce. Add cashews and simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve hot over steamed rice.

Happy Cooking~
Julie

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake is one of our very favorite summer time treats. I'm always on the lookout for the perfect white cake recipe and I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this recipe in my mom's cookbook. She got it from her childhood ward cookbook. It was the perfect dense moist consistency that you want for strawberry shortcake. My search may have just ended. I promise it won't last long at your house.

Strawberry Shortcake
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
2 cups flour
1 cup milk
4 egg whites- beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder

Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg yolk, flour and milk. Mix thoroughly. Add egg whites, vanilla, salt and baking powder. Mix for 2 minutes. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Strawberries
Sugar
Whipped Cream

Cut strawberries into quarters and sprinkle with sugar. Mash strawberries until they become a "sauce" consistency. Slice cake in half. Top bottom half with whipped cream and strawberries. Replace top half and add whipped cream and strawberries as well. Serve immediately.

~Dayna~

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

If you follow our blog, you know that mexican is a favorite of ours...this is where it all started for me. When I was growing up,  my mom always made her own enchilada sauce from scratch, in fact I didn't know that you could buy it in the store. It has always been my favorite Enchilada Sauce...so much that I made up my own recipe for canning so that I could make it in bulk and keep bottles of it handy on my shelves to use for a quick meal. We use this scrumptious sauce for almost every recipe that calls for enchilada sauce (there are times that I need a HOTTER sauce, so I use the store bought canned). We make Enchilada's, Stacked Taco's, Grandma's Rip up Taco's and many more (if you are interested in any of these recipes...leave a comment and I will post those recipes as well) yummy mexican/american dishes with this sauce.
Try it...I don't think you will ever go back to the store bought stuff again. 
This recipe makes enough for dinner...I will post the LARGE recipe for canning in August when we are all in the "canning mode". 

Enchilada Sauce
5 c. tomato juice
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 T chili powder
1 T salt
1/4 c. sugar
dash of oregano
dash of cinnamon
shake of ketchup
1/4 c. cornstarch for thickening, mix with water until it makes a semi-thin paste.

Add all ingredient, EXECPT for the thickening, into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil then add thickening, a little at a time, until its thick enough (if you want your sauce thicker, make more thickening...if you want it thinner, don't add as much). Turn down heat and stir for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and use it on your favorite mexican dish. 

* If I am using this for dinner, I often add cooked ground beef  to the sauce. 

Happy cooking~
Julie

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chicken Tostada


When I was in college I went on one date. Some days I feel like such a loser when I say that. Aren't you supposed to date lots of guys? Yeah, not this girl. Antonio lived across the street from me and my roomates. He was tall, dark, handsome and older. He took it upon himself to introduce me to the best Authentic Mexican in Cache County. I don't remember where we went but it was good- not quite as good as his cooking though. He invited all of my roomates over one Sunday afternoon and made the most delicious Chicken Tostada's. I never got his recipe but at the store the other day I saw a package of Tostada's and instantly knew I wanted to imitate his recipe. Here's the version I came up with. It's pretty good if I do say so myself. Good enough that Jack slapped my arm and said "Oh my gosh this is so good" with his mouth full. Make it for your family and see if you get the same reaction.

Chicken Tostadas

4 cups shredded chicken
1 cup red enchilada sauce
2 Tbs. Brown sugar
Tostada shells
Refried Beans
Cheese
Lettuce
Tomato
Sour Cream
Guacamole
Ranch Dressing

In a saucepan mix enchilada sauce and brown sugar. When sugar is dissolved pour chicken in and mix. Let heat while you prepare other ingredients. Heat up refried beans, grate cheese, cut lettuce and dice tomatoes. Spread a generous helping of refried beans on your Tostada Shell. Top with cheese, chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and condiments. Eat with your hands.

~Dayna~

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Maple Pancakes

I think that eating the SAME OL' pancake every time you eat pancakes is BORING!...but I guess, each to their own. This pancake has a "hint" of maple flavoring that gives them a little PiZAzZ and makes them taste so good~

Maple Pancakes

2 c. milk
2 c. flour
1 T baking powder
1 t. salt
2 eggs
4 T oil
1 cap full of maple flavoring

Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly greased griddle or fry pan; turn when pancake bubbles on top. Cook until second side is golden  brown. 
Makes approximatly 10 pancakes, but it all depends on the size that you make them. 

Happy Cooking~
Julie

Friday, June 11, 2010

Grilled Pineapple


One of our favorite restaurants is Rodizio Grill. If we were rich I think Jack would make us eat there every week. It's a Brazilian Restaurant where they grill a bunch of fancy meat and bring it around to your tables on big sticks. You decide which ones you want to try and they cut you off a piece. (Jack would be so disappointed with my description... it really is more amazing than I can make it sound). One of our favorite things they serve is grilled pineapple. Something about the hot sweetness of this dish really does wonders for our taste buds. It's become a "must" when we BBQ anything.

Grilled Pineapple
1 pineapple
chili powder* optional

Cut Pineapple into 1/4 inch slices. Shake a dash of chili powder on each slice (if wanted). Place on grill and let sit 2-3 minutes on each side or until grill marks start showing.

We've tried it with and without chili powder and both of them are amazing. Weird combination but totally works.

~Dayna~

Thursday, June 10, 2010

French Banana Pancakes with Carmel Gravy

When Dayna was a little girl I went on a "breakfast recipe hunt" to get me out of my dreaded breakfast cooking rut. I found this recipe for French Banana Pancakes with Carmel Syrup and the first time I made them Dayna fell in love with them. Every year after that she requested"the pancakes with gravy" for her birthday breakfast....and thats where they got their "Gravy" name...we thought it was so cute, and the name just stuck. They are so delicious very rich and easy to make. Yesterday was Dayna's birthday and so I made these scrumptious little treats for breakfast in honor of Dayna's special day (even though she doesn't live with us anymore...we thought we would make them for old times sake) and it brought a smile to everyone's face at the table. I think it will do the same for your family...give them a try, you won't be disappointed. 

French Banana Pancakes with Carmel Gravy

Pancakes:
1 c. flour 
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. milk
2 eggs
3 T. butter, melted
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt

Gravy:
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 c. heavy whipping cream

5-6 banana's cut in half lengthwise
Whipped topping

Pancakes-put all ingredient for pancakes in a mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Heat a lightly greased (I use pan coating) skillet; pour 1/4 c. batter into hot pan and spread it by lifting the pan and tilting it back and forth and side to side until the batter is spread out and the pancake covers the bottom of the pan. Let cook until it will lift easily from the pan, then flip and cook the other side. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing the pan as needed. ( I sprayed my pan for every pancake)

Gravy-melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in cream and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

Roll a pancake around each banana half and top with gravy and whipped topping. Eat and enjoy!

*The pancake recipe makes about 6-7 pancakes
*I usually double the gravy recipe because my family likes to put more on their pancakes than the original recipe makes. 

Happy Cooking~
Julie 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cherry Chocolate Cake


For as long as I can remember my Dad has loved Cherry Chocolates. It was not uncommon to find a box of them on his nightstand every night throughout the Christmas season. We always knew what we were getting him for Christmas and even now I when I see them at the stores I always want to buy a bunch for him. Through the years it's become one of those things we just associate with Dad. I will never be able to see or eat a Cherry Chocolate without thinking of my Dad. So of course I knew I HAD to make this recipe for him. He absolutely loved it. If you have a Cherry Chocolate lover in your family- I know they will too.

Cherry Chocolate Cake

1 box Devils Food cake mix
1 can Cherry Pie filling
1 tsp. Almond Extract
2 Eggs

Stir cake, pie filling, extract and eggs together (stir by hand so cherries do not break up). Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Let cool.

Frosting:
1 cup Sugar
5 Tbs. Butter
1/3 cup Milk
1 cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

In a saucepan combine sugar, butter and milk. Boil for 2 minutes- stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until completely melted. Pour immediately over partially cooled cake.

~Dayna~

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bean Salsa/Salad


With summer right around the corner its hard not to think of "Cooking Easy"...and light...easy because life seems to be busy until late into the evening, light because its hot outside and no one wants to eat things that are warm and full of fat.  This Bean Salsa/Salad recipe is one of the easiest. Its super healthy but doesn't taste like you're eating healthy food...you know, that blah, boring yucky taste the seems to come to mind when you're eating something healthy?! This is anything BUT!!! Its packed full of nutritious ingredient, but delicious ingredient that just make your taste buds sing. My friend Maylene made me this for my birthday one year. I like it so much that I got the recipe from her...she got it from someone else...and so on and so on. Regardless of where it originated from, it's a keeper, thats for sure. I like to serve it with Tostito Brand Tortilla Chips "with a HINT of Lime", but you can serve it with whatever kind of chips that you like or serve it as a salad and just eat it plain. It's really delicious either way. So Enjoy~


Bean Salsa/Salad
2 cans black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
2 cans spicy, diced tomatoes, drained
( I just diced up some fresh one, because I had some that needed used)
2 avocado's, diced
1 package dry Italian dressing mixed with 1/2 c. vinegar

Mix well and serve. 
*add a little bit of lime juice to give it a little "zip" just before serving. 

Happy Cooking~
Julie


Monday, June 7, 2010

Fresh Vegetable Pizza

When I was in High School I took a foods class. We made some of the most delicious stuff including this fresh veggie pizza. I had totally forgotten about it till recently and I really wanted to try it again. It's perfect for an appetizer, snack or for a meal. The light crust and crisp cold toppings make for a perfect summer food.

Fresh Vegetable Pizza

2 tubes crescent rolls
2 packages cream cheese
2 envelopes ranch dressing mix
4 Tbs. milk

1 cup of EACH of your favorite fresh vegetables. (carrots, broccoli, cucumber, red pepper, onion, green peppers, cauliflower, chives, tomato, avocado, etc)

Unroll crescents onto a large cookie sheet. Press all seams together and bake at 375 for 11 minutes. Cool completely. Mix Cream Cheese, Ranch and Milk together. Spread evenly onto cooled crescent. top with vegetables. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

~Dayna~

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Summer Spaghetti Salad

This salad can defiantly be used as the main course of your meal or as a side salad at your family barbecue, I've used it for both. One of my sweet nieces begs me to bring this to every family party, it's her favorite. I love it because its so easy, so versatile and its very delicious. Give it a try~

Summer Spaghetti Salad
Spaghetti, cooked and drained
tomato's, diced
grated cheese
sliced olives (my family doesn't like them, so I leave them out...but topped them with a few)
cucumbers, diced
1 bottle of Italian dressing (I use fat-free and it doesn't lack any of the taste)

Combine all the ingredients and serve immediately. For an extra kick add cooked, cold shrimp (frozen-but thawed...not canned) or imitation crab...I've tried all 3 ways and I love all of them....Its just a wonderful tasting salad no matter what you do to it.

*Putting the tomatoes in it is tricky. If you want leftovers, don't add the tomatoes directly to the salad because they sort of go soggy and weird, put them in a bowl to the side and add to your own plate. BUT if you are planning on eating the entire thing or throwing away the leftovers...add the tomatoes. 

Happy Cooking~
Julie  

Friday, June 4, 2010

Broccoli Slaw


For Memorial Day we decided to have a BBQ. I wanted to try a few new salad recipes so I got up early and braved the grocery store. I went to the store intending to make Oriental Chicken Salad (which is amazing and I WILL make it one day) but I overheard a lady talking about needing broccoli for a Broccoli Slaw. I've tried it once or twice and remembered it being really good so I scooped up the ingredients for that instead. Here's my version of Broccoli Slaw.

Broccoli Slaw
3 cups Broccoli
3 cups Cauliflower
1/2 cup bacon
1/2 cup craisins

Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbs. vinegar

Combine Broccoli, Cauliflower, Bacon and Craisins. Mix Mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together. Pour over salad and mix thoroughly until coated. Chill before serving.

~Dayna~

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Walnut Buttermilk Waffles

This looks like your "ordinary" waffle, but don't let the picture fool you...it's a piece of HEAVEN. These Walnut Buttermilk Waffles are light and fluffy and so delicious. It's a nice twist to a hum drum breakfast. You won't be disappointed~

Walnut Buttermilk Waffles
2 c. flour
1 T baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
4 eggs
2-3 c. buttermilk (add enough to make it pourable, but not runny. I used 2 1/2)
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
2 t. cinnamon

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs and buttermilk and mix well. Stir in butter, walnuts and cinnamon. Pour 3/4 c. of batter onto a lightly greased preheated waffle iron. Cook until done (follow instructions for your waffle iron). Repeat until you have used all your waffle batter. Top with your favorite syrup or topping. I think that maple syrup finishes these Walnut Waffles off perfectly...EAT UP!

Happy Cooking~
Julie

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fruit Bruschetta

I kind of fell in love with Bruschetta a few months ago when my MIL made it for a family get together. I looked at a few different recipes and in my search found this delicious looking dessert. I kept it away for future use, promising myself that one day I would try it. This weekend proved to be the perfect time. The beginning of summer definitely warrants a fresh fun dessert and this little dish was just what we needed.

Fruit Bruschetta
8 Kiwi Fruit (peeled and chopped)
1 lb. package of strawberries
1 fresh pineapple
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 package sliced baguette bread
Butter
Sugar
Cinnamon

Spread butter on Baguette's. Sprinkle with Cinnamon and Sugar and broil for 2-3 minutes. When tops are golden brown remove and let cool. Chop Kiwi, Strawberries and Pineapple into very small chunks. Sprinkle with sugar. When Baguettes are cooled spoon a bit of vanilla yogurt onto each one. Top with fruit. Chill until served. *You could drizzle with honey if you like. I tried it and found it to be a little too sweet for me- but it looked oh so pretty.

*Could use any assortment of fruit. Berries, bananas, etc.

~Dayna~

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chocolate Graduation Caps


I saw these adorable little candy treats on a television show and thought they were a "must make" for our dessert/snack bar party that I was throwing for my daughter after graduation. Everyone thought they were adorable. They make a fun presentation as well as tasting yummy.


Chocolate Graduation Caps

1 package of Miniatures Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
1 package of Wilton melting chocolate (or some other melting chocolate)
miniature M & M's 
fruit roll ups

Take the wrappers off of the miniature peanut butter cups, turn them upside down on a plate. Melt chocolate according to package instructions. (I used a double boiler and it only took minutes to melt) Spray a baking sheet with pan coating and pour melted chocolate, spreading it very THIN across the entire pan. You don't want it thick or you will have a "thick" top of your cap. Let the chocolate sit and set up. When its set up, cut into small squares. Cut fruit roll ups into thin strips (you'll have to play around with it as you cut them and then you will get them to the size you like) to look like a tassel. To put together use a little melted chocolate and attach the chocolate square to the peanut butter cup, then attach the fruit roll up tassel to the top of chocolate square and then attach the M & M on top of the tassel (refer to picture). This is such a fun little treat for any time, but especially for graduation. 

Happy Cooking~
Julie