September 26, 2009

Coconut Key Lime Pie

For Sunday dinner, and a farwell to my mom, I made her this delicious Coconut Key Lime Pie. Thanks to my friend, Lindsey at Cafe Johnsonia, who shared. Check out her blog for more step by step instructions, pictures, and tips on the pie.

Look at that crust! It is even more delicious than it looks. Coconut? Graham crackers? Delicious! I made my pie in a spring form pan because I only had a 9-inch tart shell and it didn't hold all the filling - and throwing away this filling is a sin!

Mmm! Thanks for sharing Lindsey!

Coconut Key Lime Pie
(original recipe by Lindsey Johnson)
9 graham crackers (1 plastic sleeve)
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
16 oz. (2 bars) 1/3 less fat cream cheese (I used normal, because that is what I had, and it turned out great)
1 can, or 15 oz cream of coconut (find this where the drink mixes are)
1/2 cup heavy cream
juice from 12 key limes, about 1/2 cup
1/4 cup sugar
To make crust:
Process the graham crackers, brown sugar, and shredded coconut in the bowl of a food processor until fine crumbs form. Remove crumbs to a small bowl and add the melted butter. Stir with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened with the butter.
Spray a 10" tart pan (with or without a removable bottom is fine) with non-stick cooking spray. Use the flat bottom of a measuring cup, ramekin, or glass to press the crumbs crumbs evenly on the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 to 15 minutes for a crisper crust, or chill the unbaked crust until ready to fill.
To make filling:
Wipe out the bowl of the food processor and add all the ingredients, except the heavy cream. (No need to let the cream cheese soften for this.) Process until everything is incorporated, thick, and creamy. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and scrape the bowl of the food processor with a spatula.
Add the 1/2 cup heavy cream to the food processor and turn on for a few seconds until the cream has thickened. (Be careful not to over-process or it will turn to butter!)
Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Taste for sweetness. Pour into the prepared crust.
Freeze the tart for at least 3 hours or overnight. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving for easier slicing.

September 23, 2009

Sticky Chicken

I have started cutting coupons to help save a few bucks here and there. It paid off last week - I got free chicken! So I was excited to use my cheap chicks! This is a great combination of flavors - sweet, spicy, sticky, savory.

Sticky Chicken
1.5 lbs chicken drumsticks
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp. chili garlic sauce (or less depending on taste)
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Collect ingredients. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Meanwhile combine remaining ingredients in small saucepan. Cook until thick and sticky, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken from oven, cover in sauce. Return to oven for 20 minutes or until done. (Tip: do not cut into chicken to test doneness, use thermometer or touch method.) Let rest a few minutes and enjoy!

September 21, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese

With the cooler weather here, comfort food seems more on my mind. Homemade macaroni and cheese is delicious and some ooey-gooey comfort.

Macaroni and Cheese
1 lb pasta (use something that will hold the sauce well. I had Ridatori)
3 Tbsp butter
2 heaping Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (not pictured)
8 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 oz grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
pinch grated thyme (or a sprig or two of fresh)

Cook pasta in salted, boiling water, according to package instructions until al dented. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the cheese, pepper, thyme, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon and stir well. Serve as is OR..
Pour into baking dish (9x13 pan). Tear 4-6 slices of stale or toasted bread slices into small peices, or cut with a knife if you are impatient like me. Stir in parsley and a few Tbsp melted butter. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the pasta. Place under broiler until bread crumbs are nice and toasty. See?


September 18, 2009

Going Around, Saving Lives

For this story you will need a little background:
1 - I am a nurse which means I put on and take off a lot of gloves.
2 - I have heard lots of stories of diamonds being lost in gloves, on the floor, etc.
3 - I don't wear my wedding ring to work, just this plain silver band.
4 - Tuesday night I was running late to work and forgot to switch out my wedding ring. I just took it off and locked it in my locker. My husband, AC, was going to drop off the band for me after his meeting that night.
Okay, now we can move on to the good part.

Yesterday I put Lou down for her second nap, which is when I nap (when I work a night shift). She rarely fuses, but when she does - it doesn't last long. I noticed she wasn't falling asleep, just talking away happily in her bed. Normally, I do not intervene, she's not even upset. But yesterday I thought, "I'm just going to go give her her pacifier." So, I went in and she had flipped herself around so her feet were where her head was and visa versa (a common occurrence). I pulled the blankets off her head and she gave me her adorable toothless, open-mouthed grin. This time there was something different - a small silver glimmer. I quickly pulled it out - it was my silver band. AC couldn't find it earlier when I asked (he wasn't able to bring it for me on Tuesday). Apparently when he got her out of bed Tuesday night, it had fallen out of this shirt pocket and into her crib.
So I texted AC to tell him the funny story - what a random place to find it. Then, as I was typing away on my phone, I realized, "If I didn't go in and she choked, I would have just thought she fell asleep. My baby could be dead, and I wouldn't know it for two hours." I was overwhelmed. I welled up. Call it coinscidence or luck (it's not), call it mother's intuition (it kind of is) - but I know there was some Divine Intervention!
My great aunt coined it best, "Motherhood is simply - goin' around, savin' lives!"

September 15, 2009

The Importance of Measuring

My mom is one of the most amazing bakers/cooks ever. And I am not just saying that because I grew up on her food. Really, she is amazing. That's why I don't feel that bad posting this - it is purely comedy that she did this.
So along with my mom, my grandma was a great baker - with a knack for the sweets. She had this oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe that was to die for. My mom made it this weekend on our getaway. (Minus the chocolate chips because my sister doesn't like chocolate - I.know.) I saw them and thought they looked odd - the exact shape as when they went in - fingerprints and all. Plus, they tasted like flavorless hockey pucks.

She doubled the recipe so I thought something had to have gone wrong there. We went over the recipe, yep, she read it wrong. The 3/4 cup shortening, sugar, and brown sugar were interpreted as 1/4 cup. (It is hard to read). Then she only had 3 eggs, not 4. So, we tried to fix it and ended up with these. They tasted slightly better (enough that the kids ate them) but just waited until Hannah brought up the dough she happened to make earlier and froze. Bless you sister. (follow the link to see how the dough really should look).

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
3/4 c. shortening
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
2 c. quick rolled oats
1 pkg. chocolate chips
3/4 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Cream together shortening and sugars. Add eggs. Add remaining ingredients in order and mix well. Bake at 350 degrees until done. (About 10-11 minutes.)

*Although we did have a failure due to poor eyesight and bad printing - I promise, these are some of the best cookies you will ever have!

September 11, 2009

Cop-Out Salad

This is way easy, so easy I probably don't even need to post it.

Tex-Mex Salad
Romaine Lettuce
Black Beans (rinsed)
Caramelized Onions
Tortilla strips (cut corn tortillas into strips, fry in oil until golden brown)

Cut in thin, bite size pieces. Season with salt and pepper and salsa verde, saute until just done.

3 Tbsp salsa verde
1-2 tsp sugar
splash of lemon/lime juice
3-6 T olive oil

Assemble and enjoy. I used this prepared salsa for a quick help. You could use anything similar to this.

September 09, 2009

Getting to Know Me

I wanted this blog to be educational, but more than that, fun and a way for people to get to know me. I felt like I couldn't put a lot of myself before I built up some credibility as a cook. So now, I either feel like I have or that I just can't wait.
I will give you a quick overview about me and then will let you get to know me in depth overtime.

Three years ago I married my best friend! He and I met in high school when he was friends with my sister. 4 years later we started dating, and 8 months later we were married. He graduated from BYU this past spring and will be taking the LSAT this month. Pray for us! He will start law school in a year. Again, pray for us!

7 months ago I had little Lou. She is the best decision we have ever made. She is the perfect baby, no really, she is.

On the side of being a wife and mother and blogger, I am a nurse. This is me a couple years ago when I got to be my nephews nurse when he was born. I work in Labor and Delivery and get to see the most amazing experiences each time I work. I love my job. I have my RN, but am doing online classes to further my degree. So pretty much I am crazy.

September 07, 2009


Lately, I have been on an omelet kick. I love trying out different fillings for them.
I have found that this method makes the perfect omelet. Yes, each step really does make that big of a difference.

Warm 3 eggs in hot water for 5 minutes. Crack warm eggs into bowl, add a pinch of salt, and blend with fork. Heat a 10-inch non-stick aluminum pan over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, add 1 tsp room temperature butter and brush around surface of pan. Pour eggs into center of pan and stir vigorously with rubber spatula for 5 seconds. As soon as a semi-solid mass begins to form lift pan and move around until the excess liquid pours off into pan. Using your spatula move around the edge of the egg mixture to help shape into round and loosen edge. Let omelet sit in pan for 10 seconds without touching. (This is when I add the fillings, have them prepared in advance, you don't have much time to stuff!)
Shake pan to loosen from pan. Lift up the far edge of the pan and snap it back toward you. Using your spatula, fold over 1/3 of the omelet. Slide omelet onto plate and fold over so that omelet is a tri-fold. Coat with 1/2 tsp butter. Serve immediately.

My fillings of choice:

  • sundried tomatoes
  • scallions
  • fresh parsley
  • Italian blend cheese

September 04, 2009

Zucchini Bolognese

Yep, here is another zucchini recipe. You know we have it coming out our ears. This recipe can be used with the zucchini that you stored in your freezer or freshly grated zucchini.
Bolognese is traditionally a meat sauce. If you need help sneaking vegetables into your kid's diet - they will never know its in this.

Zucchini Bolognese
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups grated zucchini (or more, depending on taste)
1/2 package of ground, lean turkey
2 cans (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
a handful of fresh basil
Favorite pasta, cooked to al dente
Defrost zucchini, ring out liquid with clean kitchen towel. Set aside. Heat olive oil in large frying pan on medium high. Saute onions until slightly translucent. Add garlic and zucchini, saute for a few minutes, until color starts to appear. Add ground turkey, cook until almost completely cooked through. Add cans of sauce and tomatoes. Season according to your liking (I added a little italian seasoning, salt, and pepper). Just before serving, add chopped parsley and tear in basil leaves, saving some to top pasta.
I always like to use spaghetti, but you use what you like. Add pasta to sauce and toss until coated, adding some pasta water if sauce is too thick. Top with freshly grated Parmesan and remaining parsley and basil.

September 02, 2009

What's in Season - September

Ever curious what's in season? Well, during the month of September - these are some of the produce that you will find. These are at the peak of their season, they will be at the farmer's markets, the cheapest at the store, and the best tasting. Look for recipes that include these items.

photos via Google Images

1. Carrots
2. Beets
3. Eggplant
4. Potatoes
5. Peppers
6. Cabbage
7. Melons
8. Peaches
9. Tomatoes
10. Summer Squash
11. Swiss Chard

These are the items in season here in Utah. If you are looking for what is in season in your state, check this tool out for some help.