Sunday, December 27, 2009

Crock Pot Chicken Stew

*Let me preface this with a disclaimer- it doesn't look that pretty, but I wouldn't post this if it didn't taste good! :)

We are always looking for a good Crock Pot recipe that we can use that the kids will eat. Everyone gets bored of the normal stuff, and this is an easy Chicken Stew with a small twist(onion soup mix).

As in any stew, amounts are up to you. My sons don't care for potatoes ( I know, right? Weird!) so we put more carrots in than anything else.


Carrots - about a half bag of baby carrots (my boys get the entire bag)
Potatoes - Peeled & rough cut (usually 3-5 medium sized)
Chicken breasts- 2
Cream of Chicken Soup- 2 cans
1 1/2 soup cans of water
Onion Soup Mix- 1 Packet(we tried 2 tonight- and loved it)

That's basically it! Crock pot it for 4 to 6 hours- and Voila! We shred the chicken (obviously) and serve it with some Rhodes Rolls- its something my children will eat! Yeah!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pork Spare Ribs

My friend let me borrow his electric smoker for a couple months, so I thought I would put it to good use and make some spare ribs! I know not too many of us use, or have a smoker on hand, but you can get the same result by slow roasting in the oven with a little liquid smoke+water in the pan and keeping it covered with aluminum foil.
These spare ribs were purchased at Costco for a price of $15.99 for 8 pounds. That is actually a lot of ribs for one sitting, so I would recommend they be split up into 4'ths and saved for a later date. I think I am going to be making a lot of happy co-workers and friends on Monday!
Ribs, if you have never had any experience with them, come with a membrane on the back that is tough and should be removed before cooking. Its fairly easy to do, just get your knife under it to start, and grab it with a paper towel and tear it off(picture #2)
The smoking process was pretty easy. I cooked them at 220 degrees for about 5 hours and replacing the Apple chips about every hour. General rule of thumb is about an hour for every pound of meat you have. Apple chips gave the ribs a very nice smokey but not overbearing flavor. The rub is something I put together on my own. It ended up being a little spicier that I wanted, so I might go very lightly next time on this rub.
Ribs are an easy dinner and we all love them. These turned out wonderful, and I would love to cook them again, but maybe for a larger crowd! They are great served with a generous helping of BBQ Sauce and baked potatoes! (my favorite!)

Chris' Spicy Rub

2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
2 Teaspoons Coarse Black Pepper
2 Teaspoons Paprika
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Teaspoon Oregano Leaves (dried)
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

*I use fresh Garlic after the rub has been applied and let rest for about an hour. I prefer fresh over granulated, but you can use that instead. I generally eyeball garlic- about 2 Teaspoons of fresh. I would use about 1 Teaspoons of granulated if you want to substitute.
Happy Dry Rubbing!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fruit Trifle Salad

6 oranges, peeled and sliced
3 bananas, sliced
3 cups blueberries
2 cups seedless grapes
3 cups strawberries, halved
4 oz pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp orange zest

Layer fruits in trifle bowl or tall glass bowl. Combine pudding, milk, sour cream. Spread pudding mixture over top layer and sprinkle orange zest over top.

(other fruits may be substituted for fruits listed except melons. We used kiwi instead of blueberries. I love the display of colors in this salad!)

Cranberry Pecan Salad

I found this in a magazine recently and made it for Thanksgiving dinner but doesn't it sound Christmas-y? It was yummy and a nice change from our traditional salads.

2 radicchio bunches, torn
1 red leaf lettuce bunch, torn
1 endive bunch, torn
3 pears, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sweetened, dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted (I think I will try not toasting next time)
1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese (we couldn't find any in Burley, ID so we used crumbled Feta cheese)

1/3 cup pear juice (we used juice from canned pears)
1/4 cup oil
2 T vinegar
2 T lemon juice
1 tsp red onion, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Cheese and bacon appetizers

These are so delicious and so easy to make! My mother-in-law gave me the recipe and it will go great with your Christmas buffet.

2 cups grated cheese

1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon

2 small cans (1/2 cup) chopped black olives

8 (1/2 cup) green onions, finely sliced

2 t. Worchestershire sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 lb. cocktail loaf rye or Pumpernickel bread (I used a loaf of french bread last time and it worked great)

Preheat oven 375. Arrange squares of bread tightly together on cooking sheets. Mix other ingredients together and spread over bread. Bake about 6 minutes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wanna-Be Cafe Rio Salad

Cafe Rio Salad
My husband and I LOVE Cafe Rio. We probably visit this restaurant about two or three times a month when I don't feel like cooking (and sometimes I just make it at home). Their food is super yummy and affordable, plus you usually can make two meals of your order because they give you a ton of food. If you haven't gone to this restaurant, I totally recommend it if you are in town. If you live away from Utah...I have just the solution for you. Now remember, this is not the official recipe, I'm not that lucky to get it...but I came accross a pretty good knock-off recipe. I will call it...............

Cafe Rio Dressing

1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet (follow the instructions on the packet)
2 tomatillos
½ bunch of cilantro
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeño

Use a food processor or blender to blend all the ingredients well. Refrigerate

*It will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Café Rio Sweet Pork

3-4 lbs pork roast
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups salsa

*Mix ingredients in a crock pot and let cook for 10 hours on low.

Cilantro-Lime Rice

1 cup uncooked rice
1 teaspoon butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

In a saucepan combine rice, salt, butter, garlic, lime peel, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice.


Cook your beans like regular (beans, water, salt in a pressure cooker or pot). In a saucepan sautee chopped onions and minced garlic and then add cooked beans with a little bit of juice, then add chopped cilantro.

For the salad, you will also need:

romaine lettuce
large flour tortillas
tortilla strips (cut yellow corn tortillas in thin strips and fry them).

To assemble your salad put a warm flour tortilla on your plate, then add rice, beans, meat, lettuce, guacamole, salsa, cheese, tortilla strips and finally the dressing!

The recipe will make a lot of food so make sure you invite people over. Let me know how you like it!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Apple Crumb Pie

Oh so good!!!!
Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
6 cups chopped peeled tart apples (about 6 medium)
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp sour cream
4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cold butter or margarine
Line a 9 inch pie plate with pastry; flute edges. In a bowl, combine the apples, butter, sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon into pastry shell. For topping, combine flour and sugar in a bowl; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over filling.
Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the apples are tender. Cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pumpkin Pie


1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk and the rest of the ingredients in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust.

Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, bake an additional 35-40 minutes or utnil knife inserted in pie comes out clean. Cool. Garnish if desired.