Monday, September 30, 2013

Chocolate Cream Pie {French Silk Pie}

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Chocolate Cream Pie
We sure love cream pies around here. While cooking for company last night I was in desperate need of a dessert without many ingredients on hand. I had everything for a chocolate cream pie except for eggs (for the chocolate custard filling). I lucked out and found a recipe for chocolate cream pie filling with no eggs. And it was insanely delicious filling. I couldn’t stop eating it! I would make it again and just eat the filling like pudding if I didn’t have Oreos on hand for the crust next time ;)
I used this recipe from Food.com for Eggless Chocolate Cream pie filling for the filling and then just added an Oreo crust and whipped cream.
Ingredients:
  • Crust: 25 oreos, 1/4 c. butter melted
  • Cream filling:
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup cocoa
    • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 2/3 cups milk (I used 1 c. heavy cream and 2/3 c. milk)
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Whipped cream: 3 c. heavy cream, 5 tbsp. white sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla
For the crust: crumble Oreos in food processor. Slowly add butter. Press into pie dish and freeze while preparing filling.IMG_1074
For the filling:
  • Combine dry ingredients and gradually stir in milk/cream.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  • Bring to a slow boil, and stir constantly one minute.
  • Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla.
  • Fill dessert dishes or pie shell, and chill until cool.
  • Makes 4-6 pudding servings or filling for 8" pie.
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IMG_1126IMG_1125  IMG_1116

Rotisserie Chicken – Chicken Noodle Soup

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Chicken Noodle Soup
I love rotisserie chickens because they are easy, inexpensive, and they taste so good! Last week I made this soup when I didn’t have much time to get dinner ready. It is quick and delicious.
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 c. chopped or shredded carrots
  • 1/2 – 2/3 of a rotisserie chicken, meat shredded or chopped
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/2 box short cut pasta (I used bow-ties), cooked
  • Chicken broth or stock
  • Seasonings: parsley, garlic, salt, pepper
In a saucepan over med-high heat, melt butter. Toss in diced onions and cook until almost soft (cover while cooking so they steam and don’t burn). Add carrots and cover again. Cook until carrots and onions are soft. Add chicken meat and sauté until chicken is warm. Turn heat down to medium and add cooked pasta. Then add enough chicken broth to cover all ingredients and then add more to make it as “brothy” as you’d like. Add 2-3 tbsp of parsley, chopped and 1-2 tsp. of garlic powder. Amount will vary on how much broth you use. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until all ingredients are warm. The butter makes it a little bit creamy which we love.  IMG_0800

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Best Chocolate Frosting

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Old Fashioned Chocolate Fudge Frosting
I came across this frosting a couple years ago in my quest to recreate Magleby’s Chocolate Cake. I love it because it tastes like an old-fashioned fudge frosting. It is delicious! Please make it on your next chocolate cake. Oh it is so good. It comes from Hershey’s. I got the Hershey’s chocolate recipe book one year as a gift and found this gem though I don’t love most of the recipes in their book. Here is the recipe:
"PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting. Old Fashioned Chocolate Fudge Frosting Old Fashioned Chocolate Fudge Frosting Old Fashioned Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Disneyland Cornbread

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 Disneyland Cornbread
I don’t make cornbread often but I keep seeing recipes for Disneyland Cornbread and I’ve been dying to try it, only because it involves a yellow cake mix. Yes, sounds totally unhealthy but how interested are you in trying it now?!
The recipe is not even really a recipe. It’s boxes. 2 boxes of corn muffin mix and 1 of yellow cake mix. Tough huh? Make the recipes as directed on the boxes and mix together, throw in a 9x13” pan, and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
The best way to top is with honey butter. Just soften some butter, mix in some honey and whip with a whisk or fork. Yum. We had it this weekend with some amazing chili my friend brought for dinner. Mmmm.IMG_0772IMG_0773

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Easy Walnut Chicken Salad

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Walnut Chicken Salad2 Whenever we have leftover chicken meat from a rotisserie chicken I love to make chicken salad. I don’t know why I love chicken salad so much, but I really do, especially with walnuts! The walnuts really break up the creamy and salty flavors of the chicken and mayo. Next time you have some extra meat on your rotisserie chicken, shred it up and throw it into a chicken salad. Chill it and use it on sandwiches (or just eat it out of the container ;)).
Ingredients:
  • Approx. 1/3 rotisserie chicken meat, shredded and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c. mayo
  • Approx. 1 c. chopped/halved walnuts
  • 1/2 head chopped lettuce
    • Chopping lettuce: Clean a full head of romaine, in-tact, pat dry with paper towels, lay it on a cutting board and chop it into shreds. For chicken salad I try to use the crunchier bottom part and hearts of the romaine, then save the leafier green top part for salads. Then it won’t wilt in the chicken salad.
IMG_0419  Combine ingredients and chill. IMG_0719

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Food Storage Chocolate Chip Cookies

Food Storage Chocolate Chip Cookies
Last week I lead an enrichment lesson with women at church about food storage meal planning. I honestly only got asked because I mentioned to a friend earlier in the summer an article I’d found on Pinterest about food storage meal planning. I had a short amount of time to try to learn as much as I could about meal planning with food storage. Out of this “research” came some recipes I’ve adapted to only use shelf-stable ingredients. These cookies are one of those adaptations.
I love Chocolate Chip Cookies. Like I cannot make them just for our family because I will eat way too many. I’ve made a rule I can only make them for something or for somebody, leaving us with only a few to eat with our family. This recipe is adapted from my basic Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, substituting shortening for butter and applesauce for eggs. {I use applesauce for eggs all the time and it works so well! Try it if you’re out of eggs or want to reduce cholesterol/fat. Another post coming soon about meal-based food storage!)
Ingredients:
  • ¾ c. shortening
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • ½ c. white sugar
  • 1/3 c. applesauce
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 c. chocolate chips
Directions:
Beat shortening in mixer for 1 - 2 minutes until fluffy, and then add sugars. Continue beating for several minutes. While whipping sugar and shortening, combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) in a separate bowl. Mix well. Add applesauce and vanilla to shortening/sugar mixture and fully incorporate. Slowly add dry mixture to butter/sugar/applesauce mixture. Incorporate.
Add chocolate chips to mixture. (I actually like to beat half the chips for a second in the mixer; it breaks some of the chips up so there are tiny pieces of chocolate throughout the cookie, then add the rest.) Scoop heaping spoonfuls of batter and drop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 365 degrees for 9 - 11 minutes. Take out the second they start turning brown. Cookies will look a bit underdone, but leave them on the tray for 5 - 10 additional minutes to finish the cooking process. Remove to a cooling rack once the bottoms are solid.
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Simple Blackberry Ice Cream

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  Blackberry Ice Cream 2 Last night we had some friends over for dinner and I started making some frozen custard, but as I was cooking the eggs and cream I was chatting and let them cook too long… All our eggs and our custard was ruined! I was so frustrated! I remembered one time making ice cream without eggs (just cream, milk, sugar, vanilla), so I searched for that recipe—it is from our ice cream maker booklet, which I was lucky to find online! It’s the Cuisinart Ice Cream maker and here is the link to the PDF of their recipes. I used the Simple Vanilla Ice Cream (page 3) as the base for this recipe. Then just add 4 cups of blackberries that are sprinkled with sugar.
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 3 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. + 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • pinch table salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla
Then I added:
  • 4 c. blackberries (with a dusting of sugar, mixed together) – add these after the ice cream starts getting thicker in the machine
  • (Italian waffle cookies—we found these at Costco and they are the perfect addition to a bowl of homemade ice cream! They taste like a waffle cone only with a stronger vanilla flavor and have a great texture.)IMG_0680
Whisk ingredients together in a bowl. The recipe says to chill it 2 hours beforehand but we didn’t have time for that and it still turned out delicious and creamy! We just poured into the ice cream maker. After about 20 minutes we added the blackberries and after about 35 minutes we took it out of the ice cream maker. It was still pretty soft so I’d recommend chilling it another hour or two before serving.
This recipe is SO much easier than most other ice creams I’ve made (no eggs, no cooking) and tastes just as good. I think this will be my new go-to in the future.
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thai Chicken Salad

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Thai Chicken Salad
I found the original recipe for this salad here and altered it slightly based on what I had at home, and based on the fact that we can’t have peanut products in our house because of my son’s allergy. Here is what I used for my adapted recipe.
  • 2 cups sliced matchstick carrots
  • 1 yellow bell pepper sliced thin
  • 1 small bag baby spinach
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 4 cooked chicken breasts, shredded or cut in small pieces (I cooked these in the crock pot with soy sauce, honey, and red pepper flakes)
  • cilantro for topping of salad
  • limes for juice & garnish For chicken coating:
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp almond butter 
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
Instead of dressing the salad with the thick almond butter dressing, I removed the chicken from the Crock Pot, sliced it up, and mixed it with the dressing. Then I mixed up the veggies in the salad bowl and topped it with the chicken. The dressing is so delicious! I think I added a bit more red pepper flakes than I’d intended because the chicken was pretty spicy!! But we liked the spicy taste with the sweet honey. Taste as you’re making it to see how spicy/sweet you want it to be. And surprisingly the almond butter worked as a great substitute. I’ve made this kind of chicken before with peanut butter before we had kids and this tasted almost exactly the same.
Also, dress with lots of lime juice! It helped really add freshness to the salad. IMG_0513

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Oatmeal Cream Pies

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OatmealCreamPies
For the past couple weeks I’ve been seeing these recipes everywhere! They keep making me salivate and I’ve been wanting to try them but didn’t have a reason to until last night. I have to be cautious to not make sweets too much otherwise we end up eating all of them! Last night we had a get-together with friends and I finally had an excuse to make these.
They were so good. You should go make them this instant. And you probably have everything on hand. Honestly I was sad I only got to eat one because they went so fast!
I found the recipe on Pinterest one day. The blogger indicated these were an original recipe from her mom’s collection and she displayed a snapshot of the recipe card they came from. I took a screen shot of the recipe card so I’d have it handy, but when I went to find the blog I could not for the life of me find it with many searches on Pinterest and Google. Here is the recipe card—if this is your recipe or if you know where it came from please let me know! It was amazing! I’ve seen a lot of these cream pie recipes and the consistency doesn’t look quite right… this recipe made large thin cookies that were soft and chewy. Mmmm.
IMG_0389 My only change to this recipe was adding a little more flour than called for. It was so wet and sticky I didn’t see how I could even scoop them onto the baking sheetIMG_0449
Ingredients for cookies:
  • 1 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. flour (I used almost 2 c.)
  • 3 c. oats
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Cream butter and sugars in mixer. Meanwhile mix dry ingredients together. Add eggs and vanilla to butter mixture. Cream. Add dry mixture to butter mixture. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Let cool on pan before removing (so they don’t crack).
Ingredients for cream filling:
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp. heavy cream (I didn’t have cream so I used milk)
  • 4-5 Tbsp. shortening** (This wasn’t part of the original recipe but it needed something to taste lighter and fluffier. This was the perfect trick. Made it taste more like cream filling and less like a buttercream frosting.)
  • I also added 1 tsp. of vanilla
Cream all ingredients together until frosting is a light and whipped consistency. Frost insides of cookies once completely cool! Store with parchment paper between them to keep them from sticking. They are CHEWY!IMG_0447 IMG_0440

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cottage Cheese Strawberry Muffins

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Strawberry Muffins
On Sunday mornings I love to get up before my family and make a nice breakfast, but let’s be honest that is happening less and less lately! I am so tired these days. However I couldn’t sleep Sunday morning and everyone was still asleep so I decided to make some muffins. I had no blueberries or raspberries so I wasn’t sure what kind of muffins to make. I hopped onto Pinterest and found this Strawberry Muffin recipe from Baked Perfection…
We had all the ingredients except Greek yogurt so I decided to try out the cottage cheese I had in the fridge. I love how they turned out—they were light and fluffy, and the cinnamon flavor combined with the fresh strawberry flavor was a really great mix! I might even try a crumb topping next time (the recipe called to dust the tops with sugar before cooking).
Strawberry Muffins
recipe from Baked Perfection
recipe makes 12 muffins
2 eggs
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cups Greek yogurt (I used cottage cheese)
1 1/2 cups diced strawberries
sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
In a medium bowl mix together flour, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl beat together eggs and sugar. Mix in oil, vanilla, and Greek yogurt. Mix dry ingredients into wet mixture (be sure not to over-mix, batter will be lumpy). Gently fold in strawberries. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups so they are 2/3 of the way full.  Dust each muffin with sugar
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
I also didn’t use muffin cups, but just sprayed the pan with cooking spray. We can’t stand when half the muffin sticks to the paper cups and you lose so much of it! We’ve also found they save better without the cup because the bottom doesn’t get dry.
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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chopped Veggie Slaw with Feta Cheese

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Veggie Slaw
I love finding salads that find a way to make tons of veggies delicious together. Especially raw veggies that you’d probably never eat alone (i.e. yellow squash—can’t imagine eating that raw as a snack!)… however chopped thin and mixed together with other veggies it is delicious!
I found this recipe from Proud Italian Cook and she makes it look amazing! Loving her photos of tons of veggies piled high! Check out the original recipe here.
Ingredients for salad (slightly different from the original recipe based on what I had on hand), all diced into matchstick strips:
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 bag matchstick carrots
  • 1/2 red onion
  • fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 c. feta cheese
Ingredients for dressing (also slightly altered):
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1/3. c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp. agave nectar (or sugar, or any sweetener)
  • salt and pepper to taste  
Dress and chill slightly before serving.
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Chilled Asian Noodle Salad

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Asian Noodle Salad
Because I love pasta I of course love salads even more than have some starch in them! I found this recipe on Pinterest from Alchemy Baking, but didn’t have all the ingredients so I adapted it slightly. It turned out delicious!! The mixture of the salty soy sauce in the dressing, along with the tangy rice vinegar and limes, and the sweet agave nectar with the chilled veggies and ramen noodles was just a great combo. This salad is great as a side or as a main dish. I was craving BBQ chicken so I made that as a side, even though it didn’t really seem to go together but they actually tasted good together.
Ingredients for Salad:
  • 1 packet ramen noodles cooked, tossed in olive oil, and chilled (just the noodles, trash the powder)
  • 1/4 bunch of cilantro, chopped or torn
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 package shredded carrots
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 head of red cabbage, shredded or sliced
  • 1/3 bag baby spinach, chopped thin
Ingredients for Dressing:
  • 1/3 c. rice vinegar
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1/8 c. soy sauce
  • garlic salt
  • 1/4 c. agave nectar (to taste)
  • juice of 1 lime
I altered the ingredients to the salad (I think she had bean sprouts and nuts in it and used linguine) and in the dressing I didn’t use any sesame oil or ginger, added lime juice, and swapped agave nectar for brown sugar. Honestly the dressing is so good you can just chop up whatever veggies you have and mix them with this dressing.
Asian Noodle Salad Prep
Once you combine all the salad ingredients, mix with the dressing. I didn’t end up needing all the dressing (would have been too saucy) so add it slowly. Chill before serving!     Asian Noodle Salad       Asian Noodle Salad

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cheesy Shredded Chicken Taquitos with Pineapple Peach Salsa

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Shredded Chicken Taquitos
We love Mexican in our house and probably have it a couple nights a week. We’re always trying to think of new ways to make our Mexican dishes. Yesterday I put some chicken and Mexican seasonings in the crock-pot before we left for church and afterwards decided to make taquitos for dinner rather than our usual shredded Crock Pot chicken tacos. These were easy, fast, and deliciously crispy. Here’s how I made them:
Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. chicken breast meat (fresh or frozen)
  • chili powder, garlic salt, cumin to taste (or a can of enchilada sauce)
  • water
  • corn tortillas
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 1/2 c. grated cheese (I used colby jack but cheddar, jack, jalapeno, or any other cheese will work)
  • olive oil (or any kind of oil for frying)
  • Pineapple peach salsa (Or mango salsa, or any kind of sweet salsa—I found mine at Walmart and was so surprised to see a cool flavor there I decided to buy it)
  • Shredded lettuce
In Crock-Pot combine 3 cups of water, a generous amount of chili powder and garlic salt, and 1 tablespoon of cumin. Stir to incorporate. Place chicken breasts in Crock Pot and cook for 2-3 hours on high or 4-5 hours on low.
Once chicken is cooked, remove breasts into a large bowl and shred with 2 forks. Chicken should fall apart. Once all the chicken is shredded add 1/2 c. of the stock from the Crock Pot into the shredded chicken and mix to keep it from getting dry. 
Add 1/2 can of refried beans to chicken. Then add grated cheese to the top. Microwave for 1-2 minutes to melt cheese and warm the beans. Then stir well to incorporate the beans, chicken, and cheese. This is your taquito filling. Set aside.
Get out 10-12 corn tortialls. Pour 1/2 inch of oil in the bottom of a skillet and heat for 3 minutes. While oil is heating, fill corn tortillas one by one, placing filling on the side of the corn tortilla and rolling it over itself. Corn tortillas break very easily and if you put the filling in the middle they will break when you roll them. Use less filling than you think you need! Taquitos should be thin.IMG_0141IMG_0142 
Place a toothpick in each rolled taquito and stack on a plate. Using tongs, transfer uncooked taquitos one-by-one into the oil. Cook until golden brown on first side and then rotate to cook the next side. Remove from oil once cooked and place on a plate with a paper towel underneath to soak up the oil. Fry up all the taquitos until done.IMG_0151 IMG_0192
Serve with the pineapple peach salsa or any other sweet salsa you have and shredded lettuce. The sweet salsa really breaks up the creamy taquito filling! Such an easy but yummy dinner.
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Friday, September 6, 2013

Simple Apple Walnut Salad

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Apple Walnut Salad
Every fall I get the itch to start cooking (and baking of course) with apple and pumpkin… which doesn’t make much since seeing as it’s still about 90 degrees out. I’m just willing fall to come faster!
This is one of our favorite salads—so simple and we always have the ingredients on hand. Enjoy!
Ingredients (makes 2 large plate salads or 4 side salads):
  • Spinach (1/2 bag)
  • Romaine lettuce, chopped (1/2 head)
  • 1/2 c. feta cheese (gorgonzola works great too)
  • 2 apples thinly sliced
  • 1 c. candied walnuts (tutorial here)
  • Poppy seed dressing, to taste
Mix lettuces first, then add apples, chilled walnuts, and feta. Dress when ready to eat. This salad is great leftover too so only dress what you’re going to eat at that meal! We love this as a main salad or as a side.
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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mexican Cheese Sweet Pork Nachos

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SweetPorkNachos
Last week after making a huge crock pot of shredded pork, I had a lot left over I wanted to use up. Pork is an interesting meat because it really takes on the flavors added to it and soaks them up. The pork we used for our Shredded Pork Tacos was slightly sweet but more spicy. After a day in the fridge the pork became really sweet. It just soaked up that brown sugar.
My husband loves nachos so I figured sweet pork paired with some creamy Mexican cheese and fresh tomatoes would be a good combo and an EASY dinner. Also we had a bag of “Hint of Lime” Tostitos chips so it was a no brainer. Those chips are too insanely good to describe. Because the meat was already made, all I needed to do was throw the ingredients onto a baking pan and cook for 15 minutes. I made a small side salad to go with it and we had an easy but yummy dinner. 
Ingredients:
  • Shredded sweet pork (recipe here)
  • Cojita or Mexican farmers queso white cheese (I used the farmers queso—it is so creamy!)
  • Tortilla chips, 1 bag (Hint of Lime chips if you have them)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (approx. 2 cups)
  • Diced tomatoes (1-2 tomatoes)
Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Pour chips out and evenly layer on baking sheet. {You can put a layer of cheese in between the chip layers if you’d like, but we like to have some plain chips on the bottom of the nacho stack because the top chips get so loaded.}
Sprinkle a layer of cheese over chips, then pork, then tomatoes, Mexican cheese, and more cheddar on top. Bake at 415 F for 15 minutes. IMG_9805
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Serve with a side salad and you’ve got a great meal.IMG_9787