Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Brazilian" Rice

Sorry, no picture for this one. Rice is a pretty boring thing to photograph - and to look at. This particular rice doesn't look any different than your ordinary plain rice, but it sure does taste better! We pretty much always make our rice this way - I can't even stand plain rice anymore. The word Brazilian has quotations because I don't really know exactly how authentic it is and I don't want to be misleading. However, since I have friends, a father and a hubsand who have all been to Brazil and eaten their rice, and they say this rice is pretty dang close to what they make there, Brazilian Rice is it's name. Now, if you're one of those people afraid to cook rice in a pot and not in a rice cooker, never fear! I'll teach ya how to do it!

"Brazilian" Rice
1 cup dry white rice
1/8-1/4 cup finely chopped onion {or you can use about 1 Tbsp of dried minced onion or 1-1/2 tsp. of onion powder if desired}
1-2 cloves finely minced garlic {you can also use approx. 1 tsp of garlic powder}
1-1/2 Tbsp. Canola or Vegetable Oil
1/3 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups water

Put the oil in a small saucepan and heat until the oil is hot. Add the onion and saute for a minute or two, or until onion is almost soft. Add the garlic {the reason you add the garlic after is because it will burn if left in the hot oil too long} and continue to saute, about until you can smell the garlic. Add the dry rice and continue cooking, stirring continuously, until you notice the rice is beginning to brown. Be careful not to let the rice burn - it doesn't need to be too browned, just slightly. Pour in the water and add the salt. Stir just a bit to be sure nothing is still sticking to the bottom and then cover the pan. You don't need to stir it anymore. Turn down the temperature to a medium/low and let cook for about 10 minutes. The temperature is important - don't have it on too high or the water will cook out too fast the rice will be crunchy. After 10 minutes, check the rice to see if there is any water still in the pan. If there is, allow it to cook for a few more minutes. The rice should be done about the same time all the water is cooked out. {If you cook it too long the rice will be dry - and start to scorch on the bottom of the pan.} Now you have some yummy, flavorful rice!

Note: the garlic and onion measurements are a little vague because everyone's tastes are different. If you don't like as much onion, don't put as much in; the same for the garlic. I tend to like more garlic so I add more of that. The minced onion and the powdered onion and garlic have stronger flavors than the whole veggies/spices so you don't need as much. If you use the powdered or minced product, just add it to the oil, cook it for a few seconds and then add the rice {if you let them cook alone too long they will burn}. Continue with the directions above.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Crock Pot Sunday Chicken

This is a recipe my old roommate used to make for us {we all took turns cooking for each other - less to cook and spend that way!} and we always loved it! It never disappoints - not only is it really yummy but it is so easy to make! Perfect those Sundays {or any other day for that matter} when you just want dinner ready when you come home without going to a lot of effort. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Sunday Chicken
Amy Barrus

2-3 chicken breasts, cubed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 small can mushrooms
1-2 cups sour cream or 8oz cream cheese

Put all ingredients except sour cream in crock pot. Stir. Cook on high 3 hours, stirring once. Add sour cream; cook for 1 more hour. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Swedish Pancakes

My grandmother is from Sweden and this is one of the most famed recipes she makes from there. We all love it - I could eat them waay too often! It's one of the few foods I don't really tire of having. These pancakes are really similar to crepes, but they are still different. They aren't quite as thin as crepes and I tend to like the flavor of these better {yes, I have had both}. Perhaps I'm biased, but who can tell? ;) Regardless, I don't think you'll be sorry if you make these!

Swedish Pancakes
Helga Hardy
Makes approx. enough for about 3 people if served with something else {hubby and I can eat the whole batch if we don't have anything else with it}

3 eggs
1 (+1/8-1/4) cup milk
1Tbsp. sugar
Sprinkle of salt
1-1/2 cups flour
½ cube of butter

Melt butter in frying pan you will use to make the pancakes. Mix all other ingredients together. Add the melted butter to the mixture {batter should be thin but not too thin - if you're familiar with the consistency of crepe batter, it won't be that thin, but it should be thinner than a typical pancake batter}. Pour small amount of batter into pan and spread so thin {I do this by rotating the pan around in a circle - you'll be able to tell if the batter is thin enough if it spreads itself out}. It should look about like this:

Let cook until browned on one side. Flip over.
Serve with powdered or white sugar, any pancake or sandwich topping you prefer, fresh or canned fruit or any other desired ingredient {my grandmother tells me these are really good with veggies but I have yet to try it - I really love the powdered sugar on mine, which, yes, is more like a dessert but I don't care too much about that ... if you can't tell from the photo!}.

Tip: If you wrap the pancakes in a towel they will stay warm while you finish cooking all the pancakes. Simply place one half of a towel on the plate you will use to the put the pancakes and then cover with the other half {my mom started doing this because she couldn't make them fast enough to keep up with how quickly we'd eat them so she started wrapping them in a towel and making everyone wait until she was all finished cooking them - a pretty good idea on her part}.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday ~ 02/22/10

Check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie to find other great menu ideas!


Here's a story: I hate shopping. I really do. It makes me cranky and unhappy and impatient. Especially grocery shopping. I get so irritated that something I have to buy to maintain my life costs so much money. So last week I kept putting off the little bit of shopping I had to do {really, all I had to buy was some produce and dairy stuff ... how hard can that be???} so I didn't go shopping until Saturday. Biggest mistake of the week! There were people everywhere. We could barely walk around the isles {is that how you spell that word in this context??} and I kept running into people. That just made me even crankier. But I've learned my lesson: don't go shopping on Saturday!
Whew! Anywho, here's the menu for this week:

Monday: Bean and Spinach Burritos with Avocado Relish

Tuesday: Now that’s a baked potato

Wednesday: Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach

Thursday: Leftover Smorgasbord

Friday: Out of Town

Saturday: Out of Town

Sunday: Italian Pasta with tomato and Basil

Other goodies I plan to make this week:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies _ 1

This is a pretty basic chocolate chip cookie recipe I got from my mom - but it's a good one. The cookies have a really yummy flavor and they cook up nice and soft, just the way a cookie should be. I like 'em!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Diane Hardy Makes: 5 dozen cookies

1 cup butter or margarine
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1-2 cups chips {I've used all flavors of chips as well as M&M's and they turn out great!}
½ cup nuts {optional}

Cream together first 7 ingredients. Mix in remaining ingredients. Drop by tsp. full 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375oF for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned {if you notice your cookies are starting to spread too thin while they are baking - I hate it when that happens! - try adding a bit more flour to the dough so it stays thicker}.

Fun Variation:
Instead of putting in choclate chips or some other such "normal addition", try putting miniature marshmallows and then baking them up. You gotta use a lot of marshmallows or it really doesn't make a difference. It's a really fun twist to the normal cookie - and kids love it {I really loved the way they turned out}!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Brownies in a Cloud

WARNING: The richness of these brownies has earned them the name "sinful" among my family for good reasons. Be aware of sudden addictions and disappearing acts when these brownies are made, as well as prepared for more compliments than you dare count.

If you are not a marshmallow fan, these may not be for you. But for everyone else, prepare to be amazed! Even I will eat these and that's saying a lot since I don't like chocolate. The recipe for the brownie is wonderful: perfectly moist but not too cake-y; the marshmallows add that something special that every brownie should have {every brownie should have something special, right?}; and the frosting is the very best frosting ever! I use it all the time because I just love how delicious is turns out each time I make it. Go knock yourself out!

Brownies in a Cloud
Karlene Cobbley
2 cubes softened butter
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
4 eggs
1½ cups flour
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup nuts {optional - I've never added these and it's a decision I have never regretted}

Combine butter, sugar and cocoa; blend till smooth. Add eggs one at a time; mix well. Add flour slowly, beat until smooth, and then add vanilla. Pour in a greased 9x13 pan. Bake @ 350o for 30 minutes.

While brownies are still hot {before taking them out of the oven}, cover with miniature marshmallows {don't be shy about that covering bit either - go ahead and dump bunches of marshmallows on there} and bake until they are light brown or melted {about 3 minutes}. Let cool completely.

Combine all together and beat until smooth

2 cups powdered sugar
1½ - 2 Tbsp Cocoa
½ cube soft butter
¼ cup milk

Monday, February 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday ~ 02/15/10

Check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie to find other great menu ideas!


Last week ended up being really crazy. DH worked insane hours & I honestly had some afternoons/evenings where I just didn't feel well. Top that off with Valentine's Day and we just didn't get to very many of our meals on the menu from last week. But that's okay. More for this week! ;)

Monday: Ranch Chicken

Tuesday: Leftover Smorgasbord {changin' things up a bit this week}

Wednesday: Cheesy Stuffed Shells

Thursday: Bean and Spinach Burritos with Avocado Relish

Friday: Chicken Corn Chowder

Saturday: Swedish Pancakes {recipe coming this week!}

Sunday: Hawaiian Ham

Other goodies I plan to make this week:
Wheat Bread - I really am going to make this ... I keep putting it off, which is just a miserable way of saying that I don't want to make bread ... this is just silly, really, because I know I'll feel better about myself as soon as I do it ... I just gotta do it.

Macaroni and Cheese _ 1

This is pretty good macaroni cheese recipe, though I'm still in search of that perfect recipe. We like our macaroni and cheese to be cheesy and creamy, but I'm not a fan of Velveeta {or some other such processed cheese}, which seems to be the best way to get really creamy macaroni and cheese. This recipe really is pretty good, though I don't recommend using the onions and it really should be served right away as that is when it tastes the very best. It is really quite creamy & delicious though the cheese flavor isn't the strongest - but if you want a fairly quick, creamy homemade macaroni and cheese dish, this is it.

Macaroni and Cheese _ 1
Recipe inspiration & some directions/measurements came from Family Dinners by Janet Peterson.

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups milk
2-3 cups grated cheddar cheese {can use another variety if desired}
1 package pasta {I probably used around 9-10 ounces; I just cooked up a bunch of pasta and added until I felt there was a good ratio and used the leftover pasta with spaghetti sauce}
1/4-1/2 cup chopped onion or 1 1/2 Tbsp. dried minced onion {optional; we used this and didn't really like the flavor it added so we probably won't do it again}
1/2-3/4 cup sour cream

Melt butter in a large saucepan {saute your onion at this point if you are going to use it}. Stir in flour, salt and pepper and cook for about 1 minute {it's best if you have all these ingredients measured out and ready - once you put the flour in the cooking goes quickly and you'll want to stir the flour frequently so it doesn't burn}. Add milk; cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened {add up to 1 Tbsp more flour if the milk isn't thickening enough & be sure to stir frequently or the milk will burn on the bottom of the pan}. Add cheese and sour cream stirring until melted. Stir in the pasta. Serve immediately.

Transfer the pasta/sauce mixture to a baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until slightly browned and bubbly. {I recommend using slightly less pasta so there will appear to be excess sauce - if you don't do this your macaroni will end up being kind of dry and it won't be creamy anymore.}

Optional Ingredients:
1 tsp. dry mustard or 1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 package {8 oz} cream cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/3 cup fine bread crumbs

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Avocado Relish

Unfortunately it seems that I didn't get a very good picture of the finished product! Ever so sorry. You can see it a little better on the Bean and Spinach Burritos {posted below}. This relish is also delicious served with chips or any other kind of burrito. Mmm, yummy! It's making my mouth water just thinking about it!

Avocado Relish
Sarah Harwood

1 large, firm, ripe avocado
2 T fresh lime juice
3/4 C finely chopped seeded tomato
1/2 C minced green onions
1/3 C minced fresh cilantro
1/2 1 tsp hot pepper sauce {optional: I never use it because I can't stand hot stuff. My hubby would probably love it}

-combine avocado and lime juice in bowl and toss. Add tomato, onions, cilantro, and hot sauce. Toss gently. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Black Bean Spinach Burritos

We love this recipe! My hubby has been begging me to make it for quite a while now and since I'm finally back to where normal food tastes {and smells!} good again, we're gonna have this month as part of menu! It's a really super yummy recipe and quite healthy too.

Bean and Spinach Burritos
Sarah Harwood
Spinach {I just use the pre-washed ready to eat stuff in a bag though you could easily purchase a bunch on spinach and wash it yourself}
Olive Oil
1 C finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained
1 can (10 oz) whole tomatoes with green chillies, undrained {you can use RoTel, which will add a little spice}
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground oregano
8 flour tortillas {if you use whole wheat tortillas it's that much healthier}
2 C (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese {I just use the cheese sparingly}

-saute onion and garlic until tender {about 5 minutes}
-Add beans, tomatoes, cumin, and oregano. Simmer, uncovered, until mixture is dry. Remove from heat and mash some of the beans
-Preheat oven to 350
-Arrange some spinach on each tortilla. Spoon bean mixture onto spinach. Sprinkle cheese over bean mixture, roll up and place in baking dish
-Cover with tinfoil and bake 20 minutes or until heated through

Note: These burritos taste really good with Avocado Relish {recipe to follow}!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday ~ 02/08/10

Check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie to find other great menu ideas!


Ah, it is nice to be back! I know this blog has been sorely neglected ... and I'm ever so sorry. I'm trying to get back into the swing of things, which still includes all the blogging and baking and cooking I used to do 4 and 5 months ago! So I'm working on it ... please be patient with me! But without further ado I'll get to this week's menu.

Monday: Curried Black Beans and Rice

Tuesday: Homemade mac’n cheese

Wednesday: Pizza Bread Loaf

Thursday: Leftover Smorgasbord

Friday: Hawaiian Ham

Saturday: Swedish Pancakes

Sunday: Crock pot Sunday chicken

Other goodies I plan to make this week:
Sugar Cookies - yummy valentine treat!
Wheat Bread - go me!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Menu Plan Series - Part VIII

This is the shopping list for the 20-day menu. I know it looks really long, but that's because I included everything you'll need for the whole month, for all 20 dinner ideas plus the extra food items I listed. You may already have all the spices or some of the canned goods. If you do, that means you'll have less to buy. It just depends on what you have. If you don't have many of the spices and don't want to buy a bottle of the spice, I would suggest going to a bulk foods store {like Winco} and buying just a little of the spices. It won't cost you much and you can decide whether or not you like the recipe and want more of that particular spice. Also, some of the items you can make from scratch {like the tortillas, shredded hash browns & spaghetti sauce} if you want.

25 potatoes {I’ll probably do about half that since I’ll cut the recipes in half}
13 clove garlic
7 onion
2 bags Spinach
1 jalapeƱo pepper
2 bell pepper
2 stalks celery {optional}
6 tomatoes
Green onions
1 head romaine lettuce
1 large avocado
2 limes

5 cup butter {approx}
2- 16 oz container sour cream
1 container cottage cheese
7 ¼ cup milk
12 eggs
4 ½ cup parmesan cheese
2-3 lb. cheese {half cheddar & half mozzarella}
1 ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese

Canned goods:
½ cup maple syrup
2 cans Rotel
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
5 can black beans
3 cups Rice
1 can Sliced pineapple
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
1 envelope Italian dressing mix
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
2 can mushrooms
3 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can pizza sauce {or a can of tomato sauce seasoned with basil & oregano}
½ cup ketchup
Worcestershire sauce
1 pkg Saltine crackers
2 can chicken broth
1 can tomato sauce
3 lb pasta {any kind}
12 jumbo pasta shells
Casear salad dressing
Croutons {optional}
1 jar Spaghetti Sauce

3-4 lb pork shoulder roast
10 pcs Sliced Ham
14 chicken breasts
3 lb ground beef
1 pkg pepperoni {or other pizza topping}

1 pkg frozen shredded hash browns
2 pkg corn

Baking Goods:
33 cup flour
2 1/2 cup shortening
4 cups granulated sugar
2 pkg powdered sugar
1 pkg brown sugar
Lemon juice
1 cup quick oats
1 cup walnuts, almonds or pecans
1 ½ cup coconut {optional}
2 cups wheat germ
12 cups rolled oats
1 cup cornmeal
Olive oil
Cider Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar {do not substitute}

8 tortillas
Tortilla chips

Powdered Parmesan Cheese
Kosher Salt
Garlic Powder
Onion powder
Curry powder
Italian seasoning
Chili Powder
Baking powder
Baking soda
Dijon Mustard {optional}
Lemon extract

Thanks for following along on this journey of the Menu Planning Series! This is officially the end of the series. If you want to read through it again or need a refresher, here are the links for each part of the series:

Menu Plan Series - Part I
Menu Plan Series - Part II
Menu Plan Series - Part III
Menu Plan Series - Part IV
Menu Plan Series - Part V
Menu Plan Series - Part VI
Menu Plan Series - Part VII
Menu Plan Series - Part VIII {this post}

Thanks again!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday ~ 02/01

Check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie to find other great menu ideas!


I am so glad to be back to menu planning - and so is my hubby! He's been hinting at at it for a couple weeks now so I think he'll be glad do see that I've actually created a menu & have a plan! Now that I'm feeling better I can pretty much plan to not only go shopping and fix dinner, but eat it, enjoy it, and keep it down! That's pretty exciting to me!

Monday: Crumbelievable Chili

Tuesday: Mexican Chicken Skillet

Wednesday: Glazed mini Meat loaves & Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Thursday: Cheesy Stuffed Shells

Friday: Gone – visiting family for lil’ sis baptism

Saturday: Gone – visiting family for lil’ sis baptism

Sunday: Ward Potluck – must think of something I can make ahead of time

Other goodies I plan to make this week:
Something for the ward potluck {I have yet to decide what}

Menu Plan Series - Part VII

First of all, I'd like to apologize for being MIA for the last while. My reasoning is that I spent pretty much all of December feeling super sick and the last thing I was thinking about was food. {You can find the reason I was sick here and here.} Anyway, I am finally back on track I think. I'm creating my menus again & I finally have a menu & shopping list for you! Actually, the 20-day menu I'm going to share is the same 20-day menu I'm using this month. I'll try to hyperlink the recipes if I've already posted them or if they can be found elsewhere, but if not then I'll post the recipe here as soon as I make it this month. Thanks for understanding about that. Also, tomorrow I'm going to post the shopping list {I promise!} for this menu so you can know what you'll need for the whole month. So here you go with a 20-day menu.

20-Day Menu

  1. Beef: Crumbelievable Chili
  2. Beef: Curried Black Beans & Rice
  3. Beef: Meatloaf
  4. Beef: Pizza Bread Loaf
  5. Chicken: Bowtie Chicken Caesar Salad
  6. Chicken: Crock pot Sunday Chicken
  7. Chicken: Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach
  8. Chicken: Mexican Chicken Skillet
  9. Chicken: Ranch Chicken
  10. Pasta: Cheesy Stuffed Shells
  11. Pasta: Italian Pasta with tomato and Basil
  12. Pork: Carnitas Soft Tacos
  13. Pork: Hawaiian Ham
  14. Potatoes: Now that’s a baked potato
  15. Potatoes: Swiss Potato Pancake
  16. Soup: Chicken Corn Chowder
  17. Soup: Minestrone
  18. Vegetarian: Bean & Spinach Burritos
  19. Vegetarian: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
  20. Vegetarian: Swedish Pancakes

Other recipes to make in addition:
  1. Avocado Relish
  2. Corn Bread {to try}
  3. Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  4. Delicious Indian Naan Bread {to try}
  5. Garlic Bread Seasoning
  6. Grandma’s French Bread
  7. Granola
  8. Maple Oat Bread
  9. Marinated Chicken (to try)
  10. Orange Rolls
  11. Sugar Cookies


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