Thursday, March 31, 2011

Grilled Salmon and Mango Salsa

The other day, I was in the mood for some serious grilling.  I also wanted to use up some of the veggies that we got in our basket from Bountiful Baskets. If you don't know about Bountiful Baskets, they are a co-op to get produce for really cheap.  I like to use them every once and a while. It's fun to try new veggies and fruits that I normally wouldn't buy. Each week is a whole new basket.  It all depends on what is in season.  They also have great offerings like bread, tortillas, granola etc. 

In this basket we got some mangos and zucchini that went well with this meal.  There was a bunch of other things that we enjoyed, that I'll post in the upcoming days.  I decided to try a homemade mango salsa recipe.  I had to add a little bit of sugar to sweeten it up, because the mangos weren't quite at their peak of sweetness. This recipe came from All Recipes. I changed it up a little bit to match our tastes. I would also add less lime juice next time.  It was a little too much.

 Grilled Salmon

4 oz. Salmon Fillet
1-2 tbsp butter

place 1-2 tbsp butter cut into pieces on a piece of tin foil. Lay salmon on top of butter and top with salt and pepper.  Grill at medium heat until desired doneness. 

Tip:  You will only want to flip the salmon once while it is cooking. If you mess with it too much, it will flake apart.

Mango Salsa

1 mango - peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup  chopped tomato
1 green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
sugar to taste (optional)

In a medium bowl, mix mango, tomato, green onion, cilantro,  lime juice, and lemon juice. Cover, and allow to sit at least 30 minutes before serving

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich

This is such a quick and easy breakfast to shake up the usual, cold cereal.  You can also make up a bunch ahead of time and freeze them.  Just wrap them individually in a sandwich bag and stick them in the freezer.  Then you can microwave them for about a minute. You can add whatever kind of meat you want.  Ham, bacon, a sausage patty etc.  You can also add any type of cheese that you prefer.  I like my eggs fried. But you can easily make them scrambled, or omelet style.  This is how I like to make mine. Although I completely forgot the sliced cheese.  The best part!

English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich

4 slices of bacon
2 fried eggs
1 English muffin
sliced cheese

Layer ingredients on a toasted English muffin.  Serve immediately, or freeze for future meals.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Here is another of my husbands favorites. This recipe is so easy to change up to what ever your favorites are.  For this one, we used orange jello and then added mandarin oranges.  You can do, strawberry, or peach and then add those fruits, or get really creative and do lime jello with something like blueberries. The key idea to this dish, is that if you want a small batch... get a small box of jello, a small tub of cool whip and a small cottage cheese. If you want to make a large batch, get the large box or tub of everything. Also its ready to serve immediately, but it does taste better when it's chilled for about 4 hours.  That allows the flavors to really incorporate well.

8 oz cool whip
8 oz cottage cheese
small package jello mix
fruit (any)

Mix together and serve. For best results, chill for 4 hours before serving.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Buttermilk Syrup

Back when I was a teenager, we had pancakes for breakfast at Girls Camp. They were the lumpiest things I have ever tasted.  I hated pancakes ever since... until I had them with this syrup!  My sister-in-law made us breakfast for dinner one time and made this syrup.  I decided to give it a try. It was heavenly!  This is still the only way I will eat pancakes to be honest.  Give it a try. It is so delish!!!  I like mine really runny. If you like thick syrup, just boil it for about 5 minutes. This recipe is so quick and easy.  Also, I don't ever buy buttermilk... I just make my own sour milk. It works wonderfully  The recipe is below.
Buttermilk Syrup

1 cube butter (melt)
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c. buttermilk ( I make my own)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Baking soda

Melt butter and add sugar and buttermilk.  Bring to a boil.  (If you like it runny, remove from heat just after bringing to a boil. If you like it thick, Boil 5 min.) remove from heat, add vanilla and baking soda. Stir well. 
Tip: The syrup will foam up to double in size, when you add the vanilla and baking soda, so make sure that you are using a bigger pot.

Homemade Buttermilk

1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup milk

mix both ingredients and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Monkey Bread

This has got to be one of my families favorite treats.  It's so easy to make and so delicious! I found this recipe online somewhere, and then changed it to our tastes.  I've made it with refrigerated biscuits and Rhodes rolls, and the rolls are so much better! Also, you want to make sure to have a bundt pan.  It just doesn't bake evenly without one.

Monkey Bread
about 15 Rhodes rolls thawed
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 Cup)
1/2 Cup white sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Grease bundt pan and pour half of the chopped pecans in the bottom of the pan. Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Break rolls into 1/3-or 1/4 pieces and coat with the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place evenly in the bundt pan until it is half full. Sprinkle the rest of the pecans on top, allowing them to fall between the pieces of dough.

In a sauce pan, melt butter and add brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for one minute and pour over the layered dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes and turn upside down onto a plate. Pull apart and enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bruschetta With Tomato and Basil

We have a ton of basil growing in our garden right now and I wanted to use it up before it goes to seed. Unfortunatly my tomatoes aren't totally ripe yet, so I had to buy some. I have been searching for some good basil recipes and found a few that I will try out and then post if I like them. I found this recipe on a Rachel Ray 30 minute meals video that I checked out from the library.  You can also find it here. I am not a huge fan of some of Rachels recipes.  Sometimes she adds some interesting stuff to her dishes. I like to keep my meals pretty basic and simple.  I did like this one though. It's a pretty light flavor and a very simple one for sure.  Also, I didn't add all of the basil it called for. I think I only used about 10-15 leaves. I also didn't use fresh garlic, because I didn't have any on hand.  I just rubbed a little with the prepared garlic in a jar and then baked it.
Bruschetta With Tomato and Basil

1/2 baguette or crusty long loaf bread, sliced (12 pieces)
2 large cloves garlic, cracked away from skin
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
3 small plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
20 fresh basil leaves ( I used about 10-15)
Coarse salt

Preheat broiler to high, (if you prefer you can also grill the bread). Place bread slices on a broiler pan. Char bread on each side under hot broiler, keep an eye on it! Rub toasts with cracked garlic and drizzle with oil. Chop seeded tomatoes and place in a small bowl. Pile basil leaves on top of one another and roll into a log. Thinly slice basil into green confetti and loosely combine with tomatoes. Add a drizzle of oil and a little coarse salt to the bowl and gently toss tomatoes and basil to coat. Pile toasts around the bowl of topping. Place a spoon to scoop topping in bowl and serve.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I have been making Snickerdoodles for as long as I can remember.  Then one day I made them and they were so hard, we would bang them on the counter and they still wouldn't break.  It made for a fun night of playing around with hard cookies, but I kind of lost my passion to make them after that.  Just recently I started making them again.  This batch was my best ever.  I didn't realize until just now, that when I made them, I forgot the shortening.  The joys of Pregnancy brain!  Anyway, If you like them to look like this, leave the shortening out and add just a tad less flour. If you like them a little flatter and gooeyer (ha, is that a word?) then add in the shortening.  Either way, yummy!  By the way, this recipe comes from my aunt. She is a fabulous cookie maker. I've got a few of her recipes to share in the future.

1 ½ C. sugar
½ C. butter or margarine
½ C. shortening (I left this out)
2 eggs
2 ¾ C. all-purpose flour (you could do a little less (like 1/4 cup at most) if you decide to leave out the shortening.)
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tsp cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 Degrees. Mix 1 ½ Cups sugar, margarine, shortening and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded teaspoons into balls. Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon; roll balls in mixture. Place about 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake until set, 8-10 min. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Makes about 6 dozen.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Canning Chicken

The great thing about meats is that it is probably one of the easiest things to can. My friend and I bottled some chicken the other day and took some pictures. I'll take pictures as I start canning things as well.  Meat is super easy.  You just shove it in to the jar, put on the lid and put it in the pressure cooker.

I don't like to flavor my chicken ahead of time, because I never know what I am going to use it for. Same with my ground beef. There are so many things that you can put your canned chicken into. I use it quite often when I make my Sour Cream Enchiladas or Hawaiian Haystacks or even my Crunchy Oriental Noodle Cabbage Salad. Anything that calls for shredded chicken... you can use it for. Can you imagine, no more buying the expensive stuff in the can at the store. (That always tastes like tuna fish!) Just open up your jar and toss it in. It's so nice and easy!!! Also, from what I understand, meat can only be canned in a pressure cooker. It will not seal and stay sealed properly with a water bath.

If you would rather add some flavor to your chicken, feel free. Any flavor or brine you like will work just fine.

 Step one- There are two types of Jars. There are wide mouth and regular mouth jars.  (I prefer the wide mouth because they stack so much easier on my shelf and in the pressure cooker.) You will also need to decide if you want to use Pint or Quart jars. You can use both also.  See times below...
 Step two: Cram as much raw chicken into the jar that you can. (it will cook completely in the pressure cooker) Fill it up to 1/2 to 1 inch from the top.  (this jar we didn't fill as full as we could have.) I can usually fit about 1 1/2 breasts into a pint. You don't need to cut it up, but you can.  I usually cut up just what I need to, to fill in the gaps. Don't add any liquid.  The chicken will cook down and release it's own juices.  After you fill the jar. Be sure to wipe the rim with a damp paper towel. Then out on your flat lids and rings.  Just tighten it to the point where it starts to have some resistance.  It doesn't need to be as tight as possible.

Step three: stack your jars inside the pressure cooker.  You need to fill it at least half full. If you have a number pressure gage, you need it to be at 11 lbs of pressure.  If you have the rings pressure gage, it needs to be at the 2nd ring.  Once you get it to the right pressure, start the timer.  75 minutes for Pints and 90 minutes for Quarts.  If you have pints and quarts in the pressure cooker at one time, you will need to do the full 90 minutes. Always remember, when mixing sizes... do the greater sizes time. Also, you will need to keep it at that pressure, so you will usually have to play with the heat a little to keep it on target.
When the timer is up, turn off the stove and let the pressure cooker sit until it is down to zero lbs of pressure.  Then you can remove the pressure cooker lid. With canning tongs, remove jars carefully and place them on a towel on a flat surface.  Allow them to sit until cooled.  Check to see if the jars have sealed by pressing on the middle of the flat lid. If the button is down, it is sealed and can be stored on the shelf for up to 5 years.  If it's not sealed, immediately more to the refrigerator and use asap.

I like to say that chicken looks some what like a science project in a jar. Don't worry, it tastes better than it looks!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pineapple Limeade

This recipe comes from Real Mom Kitchen .  I really enjoy her blog. We have a lot of the same tastes.  I added an extra lime to toss on top. I really love the lime flavor! It is such a delicious drink. Another quick and easy one for ya. 

Pineapple Limeade

1/2 cup of sugar
3 cups pineapple juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1 liter club soda, chilled
2 limes, sliced and then cut slices in half

In a large picture, mix the sugar and juices together and chill. You want this nice and cold.
Just before serving mix in club soda and lime slices. Serve over ice. Enjoy!  Makes 8 servings.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Easy Stroganoff

I found a few recipes for Stroganoff that I liked out of our ward cookbook, then created my own recipe from them. This meal takes about 15-30 minutes to prepare. It is so simple! I know it probably sounds weird to have chicken and beef in the same meal, but surprisingly its super good! If you just can't handle the thought, you can substitute a can of cream of mushroom instead of chicken. My husband just hates mushrooms so I use cream of chicken. There are very few things he wont eat and mushrooms is one of them.  Also peppers and onions.  That is why I use the dehydrated ones instead. For some reason, he has convinced himself they are not real onions that way. Ha ha ha.

Easy Stroganoff

1 lb  ground beef (browned)
8 oz sour cream
1 large can Cream of Chicken (or Mushroom)
1 tablespoon dry onion soup mix
Worcestershire sauce to taste ( I really like the flavor so I add about 4 tbsp. Just taste as you go)
1 lb  egg noodles

Cook noodles according to package instructions.

Brown beef in a skillet and add Cream of Chicken soup, onion soup mix and Worcestershire sauce. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Stirring frequently. Turn down heat and add sour cream. Heat through, pour over egg noodles.

Variation: You can add sliced onion and sliced mushrooms if you want. You can saute them up as you cook the brown beef and then add other ingredients according to instructions.

Variation: You can also serve this over rice instead of egg noodles.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Getting Creative on a budget: Coupon Sense

I am sure that many of you have heard stories about people who walk out of the store with hundreds of dollars in groceries and only paying a couple dollars for tax.  The stories are true.  I have done similar shopping trips myself. 

I have tried out many coupon helper sites out there. There are personal blogs,  and all kinds of sites online that can help you with couponing.  I've found that Coupon Sense has the most to offer.  I tried the free sites thinking I could do the work on my own.  My savings went down and spending went up.  I've recently joined
Coupon Sense again and in the first week saved over $50 in coupons. And I did things the lazy way that week.

The thing I like about Coupon Sense vs the other sites, is that they give you all of the best deals and you can compare which place you want to use. All you have to do is click on a item and it will immediately add it to your shopping list.  You then print off the list, it tells you the coupons to cut, the store it goes for, the item, it's price and the "deal" price when you use the coupon.  Seriously it's a HUGE time saver.  With Four kids and one on the way, I don't have the time or energy to do all of the steps it takes to do couponing. They do all the thinking for you.  They have an awesome system of filing the coupons so when it's time to clip, the numbers take you right to the exact coupon.  It's awesome... 

You really have to give it a try. You can try it for only $4 the first month too.  That is an amazing deal!
I also like that they send out an email every Wednesday with the new deals of the week. They even tell you which coupons are about to expire.  I tell you they have thought of everything.  Plus, they have professionals that post the deals. A huge difference from just any random person trying to pull it all together.  They also have a connection with the newspaper that will give you a great deal on multiple Sunday papers.

Give it a try and don't forget to mention my name as the person who referred you. Jennie Plastow. 

Here is one of my deals that I have gotten in the past
Total: $ 3.40 plus tax

Hefty foam plates... 3 of the 50 pack 0.10 each! (I had a manufactures coupon to make them .50 each and then there was coupons on the package for .40 off as well. When one is a manufactures coupon and the other is a product coupon, you can stack them! )

Hefty Foam bowls...same thing 0.10 each
Protein bars- 6 of them for FREE.
Hot dogs-8 pkgs 0.09 each
Candy bars: 6 at 0.25 each
Weber Grill seasonings 6 for FREE
Kraft BBQ sauce 2 the extra large size FREE
Kraft Dressing 4 at 0.17 each (got 2 free ones earlier last week)
Dial soap 3 for 0.25 each 6 for FREE
Should have gotten all 9 free, but didn't realize I had 3 coupons floating around. my disorganization messed me up! ha ha
Crab classics 2 for FREE
Cool Whip 2 for FREE

One-eyed Sandwiches

Do you remember as a kid, your parents getting really creative with your food to get you to eat it?  Like calling broccoli, trees.  I've got a few recipes like this one up my sleeve.  This is a really cute way to get your kids to eat their breakfast.  My husband had these when he was a boy and still loves to eat them to this day. He likes to make them for our kiddos as well.  This is a good one to let them help out with too. It's quick and easy.
Step one: tear or eat a hole out of the center of the bread.  Melt about a tablespoon of butter on an electric griddle or frying pan and lay the bread on it.

Step two: Crack and egg and pour into the hole in the bread. Top with salt and pepper.

Step three: fry each side for a few minutes until egg is done and bread is crispy. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chocolate Layer Pie

This cake/pie has many names. Some call it Better than Robert Redford, Other names aren't so appropriate... I was joking that since Robert Redford is so not our generations "hunk" that we should rename it to Better than Justin Bieber or something. Ha ha.  Anyway, I just like the name, Chocolate Layer Pie.

My sweet mother-in-law found this recipe for me one Thanksgiving. Looking back, I don't know how she knew this is what I wanted, with the vague description I gave her.  She was asking what I wanted for my Thanksgiving pie, and I told her I tried this one pie one time that was delicious and gave her about 2 details about what I remembered.  She found the very one for me.  Oh it is so good!!!

The recipe says to use a 9 inch pie pan. This time, I doubled the recipe and did it in oblong pans for a funeral dessert.  Either, way, it still tastes the same! Plain ol' delicious!!!

Chocolate Layered Pie

1/2 cup chopped pecans                          
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant choc. pudding mix
1/2 cup butter, melted                               
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup all-purpose flour                              
2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 cup confectioner's sugar

1.  Mix together pecans, melted butter, and flour.  Pat into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate.  Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) until lightly browned.  Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.

 2.  In a mixing bowl, blend 1 cup whipped topping, cream cheese, and confectioners sugar until creamy.  Spread into cooled crust.

3.  Whisk together pudding mix and milk.  (You may want to add up to a half cup more milk if you like your pudding really creamy) Spread evenly over cheese layer, and then spread remaining whipped topping on top.  Chill 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Can crush oreos, crushed Heath bar, toffee pieces or shaved chocolate on top

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Taco Soup

Here's is another favorite of mine that came from my Mother-in-law.  I love her cooking! Can you tell?  There are so many variations of this dish, but I really like her version. I like mine thick. I use my chips as my spoon.  The rest of my family likes it a little more soupy and they crush their chips into it. Either way it's a winner at this house!
Taco Soup

2 cans kidney beans (drained)
2 cans corn (drained)
1 lb hamburger (cooked)
1 can tomato paste
2 cans tomato sauce
2 pkgs taco seasoning
2 cans tomatoes (stewed)
Water to desired consistency

Cook hamburger, combine all ingredients in crock-pot or stock pot.  Heat and serve. Serve with chips, olives, avocado, cheese and sour cream. Can be served thicker as a dip or more as a soup.

Giveaway Picts

For our first giveaway, the winner recieved 5 custom made hair bows/flowers.  Our faithful viewer Lexi was the winner. Here is what her prize looked like.

Cafe Corn Chowder

This is my all time favorite soup!  I've searched online for Mimi's Cafe Corn Chowder and found a few copy cat recipes. They just didn't seem to be the same.  Then one day I found it on the actual  Mimi's Cafe site. You can't get any closer than their own recipe right? I love that they share their recipes.  Seriously, I think it's so awesome!  I have found that some brands of frozen corn have huge kernels and they are really chewy.  It really made my soup far less enjoyable when I used that kind.  You will want to find a good quality frozen corn to make it the best it can be. My favorite so far was the brand from Costco.
Cafe Corn Chowder

¼-cup butter, (½-stick)
6 tablespoons chopped onion
¾-cup diced celery
2-½ cups water
2 cups cubed peeled red or russet potatoes, (½-inch)
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 can creamed corn (14 oz)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 dash of white pepper
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups half and half cream

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add in the flour and whisk until smooth and a roux forms (2 minutes). Add onions and celery and saute 5 minutes until soft but not brown. Add water, potatoes, corn kernels, creamed corn, sugar, salt and pepper. Using a wire whisk, whisk until smooth. Cover and simmer until potatoes are barely tender, about 30 minutes. Add half and half and simmer uncovered until soup has thickened to a creamy consistency, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Diaper Cakes and Pacifiers

This week we had a baby shower for two of my sister-in-laws. One is having a boy and one is having a girl. We had a good time.  I enjoyed making the decorations for the showers.  Although these decorations aren't edible, I decided to post them anyway.  I made a really cute diaper cake.  We decided to make one diaper cake and use it for both showers. I made the base ribbon black and then just changed the bows.  It was super cute!

 I also made little pacifiers to put on the table. I made these out of life savers.  My mom showed me these and I love making them. They are so easy!  They are made with the mint lifesavers and good and plenty.

Diaper Cake

You will need about 125-150 diapers depending on the size.  I used about 150 of the size 1-2 diapers from Costco. Take a diaper and roll it up, starting at the open end, rolling towards the folded end. Tie it with about 5-6 inches of very thin ribbon.  Continue doing that to each diaper.  Some people use glue. I think this is a waste because if you are going to spend an arm and a leg on diapers, the least you can do it make it so the mommy can use them!

When you get enough for the bottom layer, (about 75-85 or so. Again, depending on how big you want it... ) Arrange them in a large circle. It helps to have a few extra hands on this step. Wrap with a fat ribbon I used 1  1/2 inch. ribbon. Tie it tight.  I like to save a couple extra diapers to add in after I tie off the layer. Then I add them in to the bunch, making them fit even more snug.

Continue doing that for each layer. I like to keep my layers separate so that I can arrange it on the table when I get to the shower.  Some people add something into the middle to connect each tier. Some use tall baby shampoo bottles or thick wooden dowels. There's really no right or wrong to it.

Add bows, toys or baby products to spruce up the cake.

Life Saver Pacifiers

Step one: Take two Life Savers and lay them next to each other like this.  Make sure that the one on the right, has the wording (Life Saver) facing to the right. This way it will not show as much.

Step two:  Fill the hole in the lifesaver to the right with hot glue glue.

Step three: Place a Good and Plenty candy inside the hole. Hold it firmly for a few seconds. I like to use the pink ones for the girls and white for the boys.

Step four: Tie a small bow with pink or blue ribbon and hot glue it to the pacifier.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Stuffed Shells

Today is my 7th anniversary!  For our special dinner I made stuffed shells.  This dish, a friend of mine made for me after I had my 3rd baby.  We actually ate it for her 1st birthday dinner. It has since become a  meal saved for special nights like tonight. This is another super easy one. The exciting thing for me is that I was able to use fresh parsley from my garden. It tastes so much better with fresh although you can used dried if you need.  I hope you enjoy it!

Stuffed Shells
1 box of jumbo shells
1 pint (small curd) cottage cheese, drained
1-8oz cream cheese
1/4 c. butter softened
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
1 egg
1 green onion, chopped (optional)
1/8 t. salt
pepper to taste
1 jar marinara sauce
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top

Boil shells until they are just done but still firm.  Spread half of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. In a medium sized bowl, combine cottage cheese, cream cheese, butter, parsley, egg, green onion, salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into the shells and lay side by side in the pan. Top with the rest of the sauce and cook at 350 degrees for 30 min. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Tip: To use dried herbs, you would use about a third of what the recipe calls for. So you can use about 2 1/2-3 tbsp.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mohaffe's Mooshey Brownies

I have to admit, I have never made homemade brownies before in my life. I was always too intimidated to try it.  And making them from the box was so easy. I am so glad that my viewers asked for a brownie recipe.  It encouraged me to try something new.  I took them to a family dinner and asked everyone to be honest on what they thought of the brownies.  Everyone loved them and thought they were delicious. Some even said that they are the best brownies they have ever tasted!  I'd say we have a winner people!

I got this recipe from a friend of the family. I'm not sure where she got the name from.  I loved these brownies. I have to say the recipe looked a little complex at first but it was super easy to make.  There are a few steps to it, but don't let it intimidate you. They are actually really simple. I didn't add chocolate chips or nuts to mine. I don't think I will ever make brownies from a box again! I am sold on homemade brownies. The flavor is 10 times better than even the best boxed ones out there.

Mohaffe's Mooshey Brownies
2 C. Sugar
1 1/4 C. Flour
1/2 C. Cocoa
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
set aside.

In another bowl combine:

2 cubes melted Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
4 whipped eggs

Fold liquid mixture into the dry mixture until combined.  Mixture will be lumpy. (at this point you can also add in a bag of chocolate chips or nuts if you want.)  Pour into a 9 x 13 greased pan.

1 (8 oz) pkg Cream Cheese
1/2 c. Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp. milk

Dot on top of brownie mixture, then swirl with knife.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 Minutes .

Tip: the best way to see if the brownies are done is to insert a toothpick into the center of the brownies. If it comes out clean. They are done.

Tip: to cut brownies, the best way is to use a cheap plastic knife. It gives it a nice smooth cut without making it crumble.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jennie's Famous Salsa

My mom has been making her own salsa for years.  I used to love making salsa with her.  I've since adapted my own recipe just slightly from hers. (I like to use the prepared garlic that comes in a jar.  It's easier to keep it on hand that way.  My mom likes to use garlic salt ) This salsa tastes so fresh and delicious!  The key that I have found to making salsa is to let your eyes do the work.  There is a lot of beautiful color in this salsa. If it looks too red because there is too much tomato, add some more green or vica versa.  And if there isn't enough white, then add some more onion.  Really I have found that when my salsa looks the prettiest, it tastes the best.  Don't be afraid to taste as you go and add a little more of this or that as needed.  Just remember that as the flavors sit, they will combine and get a little stronger over night. 

If you like it with a little more kick, then add a jalapeno to it  A lot of kick... add the seeds. Most of the heat is in the seeds.  I like it very mild so I don't lose the wonderful flavor.  I don't add the seeds at all from my anaheim pepper.  Anaheims are very mild but have great flavor. It really makes the salsa what it is. Also, if you like thick salsa, drain the juice, if not, you can just dump the can right into the bowl. If you like it more pureed, you can combine all ingredients in a blender and blend it. 

Jennie's Famous Salsa

2 (28 oz) cans of petite diced tomatoes
1/2 medium yellow onion chopped
1 bunch of green onions chopped
1 bunch of cillantro chopped
1 large anaheim pepper chopped
1-2 cloves garlic chopped (I use the prepared garlic in a jar)
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients into a bowl. Serve immediatly or chilled. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Tip: I have found that when blending the salsa, it is best to keep the vegitables and the tomatoes separate. When I blend them together, the green seems to take over. I add a little bit of the tomatoes to the veggies to give it some liquid. But the rest, puree separatly.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hawaiian Haystacks

I used to think that everyone knew what Hawaiian Haystacks were but I have since learned otherwise. If you have never tried them, you are missing out.  Each family has their own tastes as to what should go on it. My family liked a lot of veggies and a little bit of fruit on them. My husbands family loves it with all fruit. Either way it's super yummy. We also liked to use the Chinese noodles the base of our haystacks and then rice etc. Other people only sprinkle them on as a topping.  It's totally up to your tastes. This one is a great one to use up all of those extra fruits and veggies in the fridge.

Hawaiian Haystacks

1 Packet of chicken gravy
1 cup chicken broth
1 lg can Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 C. Milk
a dash of onion powder
salt if needed
2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded

In a large skillet or stock pot, mix gravy packet and chicken broth. Stir on medium heat until thickened.  Add soup and heat through stirring constantly.  Turn heat down to low and add remaining ingredients. Heat through and keep warm until ready to serve.

Serve with rice, Chinese noodles, pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, tomatoes, raisins, bell pepper (any color), green onions, apples, bananas, cheese, cashews and coconut. Top with gravy.

The Giveaway Winner is...

The winner of our very first giveaway is... Lexi Greenhalgh! Congratulations Lexi! Thanks to everyone who participated. Stay tuned for those recipes you've been looking for!

I also wanted to share with you all a smoking deal I found at walmart yesterday.  I was in the checkout lane and saw that the symphony candy bars were $0.10 each!!!  Those are my all time favorite candy bar.  So naturally I had to stock up for the year right?  (yeah if they last a month I'll be surprised. he he he)  31 candy bars for $3.10.  Yippee!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hot wings and Steak Fries

My husband and I LOVE hot wings!  This recipe is one that we tried to copy cat from one of our favorite restaurants, Red Robin. We also love their steak fries with buzz sauce. (hot wing sauce) The bottle of franks red hot also has a similar recipe.  Here is our version

Hot Wings
2-3 lbs wings
3/4 cup (1 1/2 cubes) of butter melted slightly
3/4 cup Franks Red Hot (More if you want it really spicy)
a dash or two of salt

Bake or deep fry wings. I like to bake them and then crisp them up real good by frying them. Melt butter slightly and mix in with Franks Red Hot. Add salt.  In an air tight container combine wings and sauce and shake well to coat.  For best results allow them to sit for about an hour to soak in the sauces.  Serve with ranch. 

Tip: to really coat the wings nice and thick. Don't melt the butter all the way.  Soften it to just before melting point. Then add the Franks Red Hot

Tip: You want to dry out the meat as much as possible to allow it to soak up all of the flavor from the sauce.  Baking it well and then frying it until extra crispy work great.

Steak Fries with hot wing sauce

1 Bag of steak fries
seasoned salt
hot wing sauce

Fry steak fries with hot oil until crispy.  Sprinkle with season salt and dip in extra hot wing sauce. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fruit Dip

This is probably the easiest and most delicious fruit dip ever!  It's a huge hit everywhere I take it.  It's so simple! Someone made it for my very first baby shower. I loved it!! Well, now that we established it's super yummy and super easy... here's the recipe. ha ha ha

Fruit Dip

1 (8 oz) cream cheese (softened)
1 7 oz jar of marshmallow creme

Soften cream cheese and lightly whip with electric mixer.  Blend in marshmallow creme and serve with strawberries, grapes, apples, melon, fresh pineapple, kiwi etc.

Tip: I have found in most of my cheese cake type flavor recipes that I need to whip the cream cheese first before adding other ingredients.  For some reason if I don't (no matter how soft it is) it gets lumpy. But when I whip it first, it breaks it up enough to make it creamy