Thursday, November 17, 2016

Chocolate Chip Cookies


We were always on the search for a good chocolate chip cookie that was not only delicious, but that it wouldn't go flat.  Lucky for me, my friend Stephanie shared the perfect cookie recipe.  Lucky for you, she doesn't mind sharing it! These are some of the best chewy chocolate chip cookies you will ever have!  

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 c vegetable shortening (Crisco)
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 c flour
Chocolate chips

In a medium size bowl, mix shortening, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Incorporate salt, baking soda, and flour and continue mixing.  When the dough is ready, add chocolate chips to your liking.  Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce

 This recipe was shared a little while ago by my brother in law Hyrum who served a church mission in Argentina.  He actually sent me two recipes and I combined and tweaked them a bit.  This is one of those dishes that may look a little odd at first (specially to my kids) because of the green color, but do not let that stop you from trying this delicious chicken.  The chimichurri gives the meat the perfect flavor! Marinate it a while longer and the flavor will sink even more into the meat.  You have to give this a try!

INGREDIENTS:
Chimichurri Sauce:
1.5 -2 c parsley (about 2 small bunches)
4 tsp minced garlic
4 tsp oregano
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/2 c olive oil
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt 

Blend all ingredients in the blender until you have a smooth sauce.

I used 6 large chicken breasts for this recipe.  Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts, salt them and them put them in a container to marinate.  Pour the chimichurri sauce over the chicken and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours to marinate.  Grill and enjoy!

Note:  If you want, reserve some of the sauce before pouring it on the chicken so you can add it to your chicken after it's grilled. Also, you can cut down on the red pepper flakes if you think it might be too spicy for you.  It was perfect for us with the amount I put in it, my kids ate it.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Avocado Green Salsa (Salsa Verde con Aguacate)

 This salsa is absolutely delicious!  Perfect for chips or to accompany any of your favorite Mexican dishes.
INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 lbs Tomatillos
1-2 Fresh Jalapeños
1 small onion, quartered
1 bunch of cilantro
1 garlic clove
salt
2 avocados


Remove the husk (leaf) from the tomatillos and wash them.  In a sauce pan boil the tomatillos along with the jalapeños and onion. Make sure you don't overcook the tomatillos or they will break apart and you will have a hard time getting them out of the pan. Just cook them until they change color.  Let the tomatillos, onion, and jalapeños cool and then pour them in the blender with a little bit of the water. Add salt, garlic and cilantro and blend. Cut open the avocados and remove the pit.  Add the avocado pulp to the green salsa mix.  Blend once more.  The salsa will be thick and creamy at this point, just perfect!  Enjoy!!!

Note:  This salsa will keep for about 4-5 days.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ricotta & Spinach Stuffed Manicotti

 Quick and easy delicious dinner!  Stuffing the manicotti will be the most time-consuming while making the recipe.  However, if you place all your filling in a plastic bag and then cut a hole in it, you'll be able to stuff the manicotti shells much faster.  Also, this is one of those recipes that you can make ahead and then bake when ready.  You can also freeze it for up to 1 month.

INGREDIENTS:
For the Sauce:
37 oz Spaghetti sauce (bought 45 oz jar but didn't use it all, you easily can)
1.5 lbs ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
salt to taste (for meat)

For the Filling:
5 oz Fresh spinach
2 c Ricotta cheese
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground black pepper


1 pkg uncooked manicotti shells
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (to sprinkle on top when ready to bake)

Start by making your meaty sauce (you can easily skip the meat if you want).  In a pan, cook the meat, add salt.  When the meat is halfway done, add the minced garlic and chopped onions.  Mix well and continue cooking until meat is ready.  When the meat is ready, add the spaghetti sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes, set aside.

Steam the spinach, then squeeze to drain (you could also use frozen spinach).  Mix spinach, ricotta and Parmesan cheese, nutmeg and pepper.

Add about a third of your sauce to a ungreased 9x13 baking dish.  Fill the uncooked manicotti shells and place shells in sauce in dish.  Pour the remaining sauce evenly over shells, covering them completely.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 1 and 1/2 hours or until shells are tender.

Note:  If making ahead, cover and refrigerate manicotti for up to 24 hours.  You can also wrap airtight, and freeze for up to 1 month (when doing this,add 10 more minutes to the baking time).  When ready to use, unwrap frozen manicotti, cover and bake for 2 hours.  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Amish Caramel Popcorn

 Extremely addictive and delicious!
You can make it with regular "butterfly" popcorn, but we prefer to make it using "mushroom" popcorn.  I like to double the recipe and store the popcorn in large ziploc bags so we have some on hand for movie nights.  So yummy!!!!

INGREDIENTS:
14 c plain gourmet mushroom popped popcorn
1 c brown sugar
1/4 c honey (you can substitute for light corn syrup)
1/2 c butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda

Grease (I use butter) two 9x13 baking pans, add popcorn evenly, set aside.  Just FYI, you don't have to use 9x13 pans, just a baking pan/dish that is big enough to fit your popcorn. 

In a small sauce pan, add brown sugar, honey, and butter.  Boil for about 5 minutes stirring often. Remove from heat, add vanilla, mix well, then add the baking soda, mix well.  The caramel will get a little foamy when you add the baking soda.  Pour caramel evenly over popcorn.  Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour stirring every 15 minutes.  Pour popcorn over parchment or wax paper to cool down and separate.  Enjoy!!

Note:
1.  I have made the popcorn using both honey and light corn syrup.  They taste the same, so now I only make it with honey.

2.  Baking it for 45 minutes is plenty, unless you want your popcorn extra toasty :)

3.  Like I mentioned before, mushroom popcorn is perfect for this treat and the caramel coats it better than butterfly.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Blueberry Lemon Loaf

I found this recipe through "pinterest" and I have made it so many times.  
It's one of our favorites!  The recipe makes one loaf, so we usually triple it and give some away for others to enjoy as well.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 c flour, plus 1 teaspoon for blueberries
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt (or slightly less table salt)
1/2 c butter, room temperature
3/4 c sugar
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
3 large eggs
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 c fresh or frozen blueberries

For the Syrup:
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp sugar

For the Glaze:
1/2 c confectioners sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

In a bowl, mix your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt), set aside.  In a separate bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and mix until they are incorporated.  Continue with the milk and vanilla.  Once all the wet ingredients are well mixed, add your dry ingredients and mix just until everything is well incorporated and you have a cake batter.  Add the 1 teaspoon of flour to the cup of blueberries and fold into your batter.  Pour batter on a buttered and floured loaf pan and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F., for about 50-55 minutes (bread will be light brown on top, and if you insert a toothpick in the middle, it should come out clean).

While bread is baking, make syrup by boiling the two ingredients (lemon juice and sugar) in a small pot.  Your syrup will be ready when sugar has dissolved and syrup thickens a bit (just a couple of minutes).  Set aside.

When bread is done, poke holes on the top using a skewer, and pour the syrup on top to make it moist.  Remember to pour the syrup slowly, so that the bread absorbs it well.  Let bread cool completely.

Mix ingredients for the glaze and drizzle over your loaf.  Enjoy!


Steak Marinade

This is the marinade I use whenever we are grilling thick steaks.  It's pretty yummy.  

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 c Soy sauce
1/4 c Balsamic vinegar
1/4 c Olive oil
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2-3 tsp Minced garlic
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and pour over steaks.  Cover with plastic wrap and marinate steaks for at least one hour.

Note:  I like to add "Spicy Montreal Steak Seasoning" in place of the salt and pepper.  Both ways taste great, but I just like to use that seasoning if I have some on hand.