January 31, 2010

Holidays This Week

There are some great holidays this week - I thought you might want to celebrate some of them:
February 1 - Baked Alaska Day
February 2 - Groundhog's Day
                     My Birthday
                     Crepes Day
February 4 - Homemade Soup Day
February 5 - Chocolate Fondue Day

image via myrecipes.com

January 29, 2010

Birthday Wishes

Next week is my birthday. I always wish for clothes, jewelry, and pretty things. But here is my foodie wish list.

A Dutch Oven like this from Le Creuset  

A beautiful, large wooden cutting board like this from Food Network  

Silicone tongs like these from Rachael Ray 

A cooling rack like this from Williams-Sonoma - oh man, is my current one sad. 

And these by my girl Paula Deen 

Oh, and I need a replacement for my salad spinner, it didn't like the dishwasher.

That's not too much to ask for right?

January 28, 2010

Thinking about...

... what to post today. At first I was going to respond to the comment left here. Then I decided to ignore the meanness. Then I was going to make something truly gourmet to show him/her. But then I decided to share a treat to show that I truly love ghetto foods.

But you must try this recipe before bashing it. It is my Grandma's recipe and it is delicious.

Grandma's Chocolate Treats
2 cups Peanut Butter Captain Crunch cereal
1 1/2 cup Peanuts
2 cups pretzel sticks, broken a bit
dipping chocolate

your ingredients (you will need more chocolate than that)

Mix cereal, peanuts, and pretzels in a mixing bowl.

break your pretzels more than that. 

Mix chocolate in microwave, stirring every 20 seconds until melted. Careful - it can scorch in the microwave. Pour over cereal mixture, stir until completely coated. Spoon into clumps and place on waxed paper until cooled.

this was my first batch and I didn't have quite enough chocolate... learn from my mistake.

Voila! (that's how much chocolate you want - this is semi-sweet chocolate, above is milk, use what you want.)

January 27, 2010

Holidays This Week

This week is a big week for holidays:
Yesterday (sorry) - Pistachio Day
Today (Wednesday) - Chocolate Cake Day, all should celebrate
Thursday - Blueberry Pancake Day
Friday - Corn Chip Day

picture via cafelatte.com

Hawaiian Haystacks

Have you ever had Hawaiian Haystacks? If you live in Utah, you probably have, its a classic. It is a favorite recipe of my husband's. I know, it may sound strange, but it is delicious. Fun for your kids too- they get to put on whatever they want.

Hawaiian Haystacks
3 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup sour cream
Cooked Rice
Desired Toppings

Boil chicken until just done. Cut into cubes or shred with two forks. In a saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Add cooked chicken. Heat until warm. May need to add more stock if sauce is too thick. Spoon over cooked rice (we like Jasmine in our house).

Top with the toppings you like. Serves 4.

These are some of the ones we like:
Chow Mein Noodles (these are a must!)
Cheddar cheese
Craisins (or raisins if you like that sort of thing)
Other things you can add:
Anything you are trying to empty out of the fridge... well, almost.

Sorry - I had to close this post to comments because I was getting some nasty spam. I would love to hear what you think about this -- but comment on another post! Thanks -Sarah

January 25, 2010

Barbecue Meatballs

This is a favorite recipe in our house. My husband would like me to make this every week (but I need more variety than that). I did a tutorial, for my friend Katy, who told me she likes to see how things are made.
This would also be a great thing to make for your superbowl party in a couple weeks. You can make the meatballs ahead, freeze them, and then put these together just before game time.

Barbecue Meatballs
3 pieces white bread, crusts removed
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 small onion, diced fine
1 tsp fresh garlic, grated
1 Tbsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 egg
1 (12 oz) jar chili sauce
1 (12 oz) jar grape jelly

1. Tear bread into a few pieces and cover with milk. (I smashed mine down after the picture so it was covered).
2. Gather ingredients. This is why I don't like saying "2 garlic cloves." Look at those! They are enormous, almost as big as my egg!
3. Grate garlic with this beauty
4. About that much... I ended up using 1 1/2 enormous garlic cloves.
5. Dice onions
6. Combine meat and egg.
7. Now that your bread is soaked...
8. Break into small pieces and combine with meat.
9. Add remaining ingredients
10. Mix with hands until just combined. But don't over work the meat!

11. Roll into desired size. (mine were about 1 1/2 inches in diameter)
12. Bake at 400 degrees until almost done, for my size about 11-12 minutes.
13. This is the kind of chili sauce you must use. My mom says. If you don't have this brand (I don't even know what the brand is), then get the best kind you have. Combine this with jelly in your crockpot. (Might help to loosen the jelly in the microwave for a minute.)
14. Add meatballs to sauce. Let them marry flavors until warm, or until your party starts.
15. Serve over rice.

  • If you want to make these a little lower fat, do half ground turkey and half beef. It's still delicious.
  • Use really light fluffy white bread, it makes it much more tender (like Wonderbread)
  • For your Superbowl party, omit the rice and put a box of toothpicks next to your crockpot.
  • If you don't have grape jelly, use whatever you have in the house
  • If you want to make these meatballs ahead: once you have rolled out the balls put them in the freezer, once they are frozen, put in freezer safe bag until ready to bake. OR bake them, let them cool, then place in the freezer.
  • Use these meatballs on your spaghetti too - just omit the sauce.

January 22, 2010

Pork Tenderloin Two Ways

I love getting my pork from Costco - it's generally cheaper and when you buy the tenderloin, you get two in a package. That means, I get to try out two recipes at once. Plus, pork tenderloin is very lean and low fat.

These are my two simple Pork Tenderloin recipes.

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
1 pork tenderloin
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey

Bake pork tenderloin at 325 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until internal temperature is 145 degrees. Meanwhile, combine vinegar and honey in a small pot, simmer until reduced by half. Remove pork from the oven, brush with reduced vinegar. Place under broiler until sauce is bubbly and starting to caramelize. Remove, turn, brush with vinegar, and repeat. When finished, remove from oven and let rest 7-10 minutes before cutting. Drizzle with remaining vinegar if desired.

Apricot Pork Tenderloin
1 pork tenderloin
1 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup dijon mustard

Bake pork tenderloin at 325 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until internal temperature is 145 degrees. Meanwhile, preserves and mustard in a small bowl, microwave until liquid, about 2 minutes. Remove pork from the oven, brush with preserve mixture. Place under broiler until sauce is bubbly and starting to caramelize. Remove, turn, brush with sauce, and repeat. When finished, remove from oven and let rest 7-10 minutes before cutting. Drizzle with remaining sauce if desired.

January 20, 2010

Green Mashed Potatoes

 Do you have a hard time getting your kids to eat peas? Or do you just want something different for a side dish? This is perfect. I made this the other night because the only begetables I had in the house were frozen peas. Don't judge me. And I didn't want to have just peas on the side. So I decided to mix them in with the mashed potatoes.

No, it's not quacamole...

Green Mashed Potatoes
6 russet potatoes
1/2 bag frozen peas, thawed
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp sour cream

salt and pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes until soft. Add in peas for last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain peas and potatoes. Add butter, sour cream, salt and pepper. Mash. Add milk as needed to obtain desired texture. Serve.

This would also be a fun recipe for St. Patrick's Day.

January 19, 2010

Popcorn Day

Today is National Popcorn Day. Make everyone in the office go crazy by popping some for your snack. Or, for dessert tonight make caramel popcorn or kettle corn.
Because you can't really make a dinner out of popcorn (although my family would applaud me if I did), we are having this: Popcorn Chicken!

And just for fun - everything is finger food: raw broccoli with ranch for dipping, creole sweet potato fries, and of course - popcorn chicken. Kids love that right?

For the menu:
Popcorn Chicken - I used this technique for the chicken, only cut the chicken into smaller, cube peices. They cooked for about 6-8 minutes.

Sweet Potato Fries - My tip, cook them almost all the way, remove from oven. Put chicken in. Then put the sweet potato fries back in under broil. unless you are one of those lucky people who has two ovens. Then I am jealous.

Sweet Potato Fries 
(serves 4)
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into a julienne, cut to the size you like
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-3 Tbsp Creole Seasoning (recipe follows), or more to taste

Mix all ingredients in large bowl, toss until evenly coated. Place a metal cooling rack on top of a jelly roll pan. Place potatoes evenly over cooling rack. (This gives an even heat distribution so one side isn't soggy and the other is crispy). Bake a 400 degrees until almost all the way soft. (for my size, it was 20-25 min) Turn oven to Broil, remove the fries once they have gotten crispy slightly browned. Mmm.

Creole Seasoning 

Thanks Emeril
2 1/2 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried thyme

Combine all ingredients. Use for recipe, and reserve the rest for delicious things like shrimp, chicken, or more fries.

January 18, 2010


This week I am doing a guest post on I Never Grew Up. She is having a different person each day share their recipe for cheap, easy dinners. Check out what other people have to offer. There is a button on my side bar if you want to link on over. It starts tomorrow and goes through Saturday.

January 15, 2010

Make Every Day Special

Can't decide what to make for dinner? Check out what holiday it is. Maybe it is oatmeal Monday - make steel cut oats for breakfast, meatloaf with oatmeal in it, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Or maybe it is arbor day and everything has to be in the shape of trees: make a steak trunk with green mashed potatoes for the tops. Or just serve broccoli.

Look how fun my month of January is. Today is Strawberry Ice Cream day and Hat day. I think for dinner we will all wear silly hats and have strawberry ice cream for dessert. Too bad I don't have those bowls that look like baseball helmets that you get at a baseball game. We could have eaten our ice cream out of those bowls.
What do you do to spice things up at your kitchen table?

If you have a Mac, or iCal, I have made a calendar you can download easily onto your computer. If you would like it, just email me.

January 13, 2010

Lack of Cooking

I am finally getting adjusting to normal life again after the holidays. My cooking has suffered severely - I was always at parties where someone cooked for me or else we were so on the go we just picked something up on the way. I vow to you, and my husband, that I will cook more. Coming up will be the fruits (vegetables, and meats) of my labors. Hope you have all caught up from the holidays quicker than I have.

January 06, 2010

Spaghetti Squash

Thanks for being patient while I took a little break from blogging to be with my family. They have now all flown back home and our Christmas decorations are down. Seeing my family off was bittersweet - but it is nice to be back on a schedule.

Awhile ago I took some great pictures of spaghetti squash but filed them away improperly and now I can't find them. So, thanks to google images for this one.

I love spaghetti squash and if you are looking for some help with your new years resolution to eat healthier, cut carbs, or eat more vegetables, this is a great item to add to your pantry. Plus, its way easy to cook. Here are the two ways:
1. Stab the squash with a sharp knife all over. Place in microwave for 20 minutes (may vary depending on microwave and size of your squash). Remove. Cut in half. Remove seeds. Take a fork to the flesh and peel spaghetti strings out.

2. Cut squash in half, remove the seeds. Place flesh side down in microwave safe dish with about 1/4- 1/2 inch deep water in dish. Microwave for 10 minutes or until desired done-ness. Take a fork to the flesh and peel spaghetti strings out.

You can use this to replace pasta, or put a little butter, salt and pepper. It is also great with Parmesan or fresh parsley.