Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Red Sauce Enchiladas

I usually make the standard yummy white chicken enchiladas, but I found this recipe that my friend gave me in college and decided to give it another try. I'm writing the recipe with the alterations I made, which I thought tasted great. By the way, I don't usually care for corn tortillas, but I think they work with the red sauce. I'm sure flour could work well too though.

1 lb. hamburger

1 8-oz. pkg cream cheese

1/2-1 packet of taco seasoning

corn tortillas

grated cheese

2 small cans of tomato paste

1 can of green/mild enchilada sauce

1 medium chopped onion (red/white)

2 T cilantro leaves

2 T chili powder

chopped green onions (opt.)

sliced olives (opt.)

Brown hamburger. Once fully cooked, pour 1/2-1 (depending on preference) packet of taco seasoning and package of cream cheese in with the hamburger. Cook on low until mixed together into a sort of thick paste.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, mix together the tomato pastes, enchilada sauce, onion, cilantro, and chili powder.

Pour a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Fill each corn tortilla shell with scoops of hamburger mix and top with cheese before rolling and placing (seam down) in the pan. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and top with green onions, olives and remainder of cheese. Bake covered 350 degrees for 30 minutes and uncovered for another 5-10 or until cheese is thoroughly melted.

You can serve the enchiladas with sliced avocados, sour cream, and salsa for an especially festive and delicious flair.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I love the small grocery store near our home. It is mostly meant for picking up that one item you need on your way home from work. For that reason, they always have their meat marked down because no one buys it. I got a $20+ salmon for $5.17 the other day (it's usually over $5.99/lb lately). I found this recipe a long time ago and was saving it. It was WONDERFUL! I will definitely use it again.

1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
lemon pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
salt to taste
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil


Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.

In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved. Make a pouch out of tin foil and place fish on the bottom pouring the soy sauce mixture on top, seal. Refrigerate for at least 30 mins.
Put pouch on pan and bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 mins and broil on high for 5 mins after that.

Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers have been cheap here--less than lettuce. When we grew cucumbers in our garden growing up my mom and dad would always whip up a cucumber salad. You can prepare them any way you like. This is just one way. I don't measure, so these are guesses, but you really can't mess up. Often I just leave out the dill and go heavy on the pepper.

2 cucumbers

1/4 onion, sliced

1-2 tomatoes

1/2-3/4 c. sugar

3/4-1 c. white vinegar

1/2 c. water

few dashes of dill

pepper to taste
Mix and chill.

Healthier Sloppy Joes

I like to make sloppy joes once in a while, but this time I thought I'd search for a healthier recipe. This was what I found and played with. It was really good; almost like a thick chili. By the way, if you have questions about substitutions, post them on here. One of us can probably answer.

1 pound extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, minced

1 red pepper, diced

1 can small red beans or pinto beans, preferably low sodium drained and rinsed

2 cans no-salt-added tomato sauce

2 T tomato paste

1 T red wine vinegar

1 T molasses

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 T mustard powder

3/4 T salt

Freshly ground black pepper

8 whole-wheat burger buns

Brown the meat and the onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat into crumbles as it cooks. Pour the drippings out of the pan and discard. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and red pepper and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Place a half-cup scoop of the mixture onto each bun and serve.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

I guess I've been craving cakes lately. I've been trying to make ones that aren't quite as sinful. This one I topped with an easy powdered sugar and lemon juice glaze, but it's good without.

1/8-1/4 cup poppy seeds (depending on preference)
1/4 cup milk
1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs


Soak poppy seeds in milk for 2 hours (opt). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mix. Make a well in the center and pour in water, oil, and eggs. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Blend in poppy seed mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Dump Cake

This is an easy and delicious cake for those nights when you just need a quick and yummy treat. And, it can't be THAT bad for you, right?

1 lg. can of cherry pie filling and/or 1 lg. can pineapple
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/2 c. butter

Pour the can(s) into a 9x13 pan. Evenly sprinkle cake mix directly on fruit and cut up butter over the top. Bake at 350 for about 40-45 minutes. Top with ice cream or whipped cream.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Chocolate Cake with German Chocolate Frosting

I needed chocolate last weekend, so I made this delicious cake. The cake is extremely moist (a reason I don't usually like cakes) and stands well on its own. You won't be needing ice cream or milk to go with this cake--it's awesome. The frosting is really good too, but you can put whatever frosting you want on this cake. I used 3/4 c. coconut and maybe 1/2 c. of crushed walnuts when I made the frosting, since that's all I had. Oh, and I went ahead and used the whole can of evaporated milk and it worked fine.


3 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. butter or margarine, softened
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. baking cocoa
1 T. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/3 c. sour cream
1 1/3 c. boiling water


1. In a mixing bowl, cream brown sugar and butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla.
2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add alternately with sour cream to creamed mixture. Mix on low just until combined. Stir in water until blended.
3. Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

INGREDIENTS for frosting

1 c. evaporated milk
1 c. white sugar
3 egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1/2 c. margarine
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. chopped pecans
1 c. flaked coconut


In a large saucepan combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, margarine and vanilla. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and coconut. Let the frosting sit for 30 mins or so to thicken up before spreading.

Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole

This recipe came in the mail with some coupons when we were first married and while it isn't too different from other chicken and rice recipes, it is easy and good. Chad's Grandma requested it, so we took a casserole over to her last week, but I forgot to take a picture. I usually line the pan with foil and it makes it MUCH easier to clean the pan afterwards. Often I'll substitute the vegetables for whatever veggies I have on hand.

2 c. rice
2 cans condensed cream of chicken (you can mix it with mushroom or celery too)
2/3 c. water
1 t. seasoned salt
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium bell pepper, cubed
1 small onion, thinly sliced
6 skinless chicken pieces
Seasoned salt, paprika, and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. For easy clean-up, line a 13x9 pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Spray foil with nonstick spray.

2. Combine rice, soup, water, and 1 t. seasoned salt. Add carrots, bell pepper and onion. Arrange vegetables and rice in an even layer in foil-lined pan. Place chicken over rice mixture in an even layer; sprinkle chicken with additional seasoned salt, paprika and pepper.

3. Cover pan with a sheet of foil.

4. Bake about 45 minutes or until chicken reaches 170 degrees; stir rice before serving.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Angel Food Cake

This was AMAZING! Seriously try it. It's way better than store bought--I can't stop eating it! It calls for 12 eggs, but all you'll end up needing are the egg whites (1 1/2 c. worth). I buy egg whites in a carton (they're usually next to the eggs at the store), and that's a lot easier to measure out. I made fresh whipping cream:
1 c. whipping cream
3 T. powdered sugar
1/2-1 t. vanilla
Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form

12 eggs
1 1/4 c. confectioners' sugar
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. cream of tartar
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. almond extract
1/4 t. salt
1 c. sugar

1. Separate eggs; discard yolks or refrigerate for another use. Measure egg whites, adding or removing whites as needed to equal 1-1/2 cups. Place in a mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, sift confectioners' sugar and flour together three times; set aside. Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat on high speed. Gradually add sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Fold in flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time. Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan (I used a bundt pan). Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely before removing cake from pan.

Nutritional Analysis: One slice equals 101 calories, trace fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 59 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 3 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Conference Time Biscuits and Gravy

Each conference time my dad would get up in the morning and make us a biscuits and gravy breakfast. It was always so exciting to wake up to the smell, and tasted delicious. We make biscuits and gravy as dinner sometimes because Chad loves it, and we always are sure to prepare it for breakfast on conference weekend. I like this gravy recipe because it's simple. I usually just buy tubes of biscuits since it's so much easier and not too expensive, but I've included a simple and fast biscuit recipe for you extra-milers! :) Enjoy and be thinking of us as you eat it and listen to the prophet's voice.


6 T butter
6 T flour
3 c milk
12 oz. ground sausage
salt and pepper

Brown sausage and set aside on a paper towel. Melt butter in skillet and mix in flour. When bubbles appear, lower heat and add milk. Stir until even consistency. Add sausage and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until desired consistency. (Will thicken upon cooling.)


3 c. flour
4 1/2 t baking powder
2 T sugar
1/2 t salt
3/4 t. cream of tartar
3/4 c margarine
1 beaten egg
3/4 c milk

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in softened margarine with dough hook. Add milk and egg. Pat to 1 inch thickness. Bake at 450 degrees on greased cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce with Shrimp

This is a healthy meal that tastes fabulous. There is a similar dish at Olive Garden although Chad and I thought this was better. I found 1 lb bags of frozen shrimp at Walmart for $3.98 and bought a few, so look for sales on shrimp otherwise it can be kind of pricey. I usually buy whole grain pasta since it has fewer calories, about the same protein, and at least twice the fiber. I didn't have fresh herbs on hand, although I'm sure it would taste that much more amazing. Also, I didn't have any, but I think it would taste fabulous to add some heavy cream (maybe 1/4-1/2 c) to make the sauce creamy--just a suggestion. This was not that spicy. Jackson ate it just fine, but he's probably used to spiciness by now.


1 t olive oil
1 c chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/8 c shrimp juices or chicken stock (see directions)
2 T white sugar
1 T chopped fresh basil
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
2 T tomato paste
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1/4 t ground black pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
2 T chopped fresh parsley


1. Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, and shrimp in oil for 5 minutes.

2. If most of your "shrimp juices" cook out of the saute, then add chicken stock. If there appears to be enough "shrimp juices" after sauteing then add sugar, basil, red pepper, tomato paste, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, black pepper and tomatoes ; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes.

3. Stir in parsley. Ladle over the hot cooked pasta of your choice.