Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken

Who doesn't love a creamy garlic sauce with perfectly grilled chicken on top of pasta? Yum :) Tonight I made Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken. Everyone loved it...and I have to say, it was delicious.

For the chicken: pound 3 chicken breasts with a meat tenderizer. Rub with garlic and grill (or cook to your liking). When it is cooled enough to handle, slice into strips.

Fettuccine Alfredo Sauce
1/2 c. butter
2 c. heavy cream
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 t. fresh basil
1 t. fresh oregano
salt and pepper
garlic powder

*Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the cream. Simmer for 5 min. Whisk in the garlic and cheese, constantly stirring until the cheese is melted. Stir in the herbs. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder to your liking. Add the chicken and cook on medium-low until heated through. Put this on top of fettuccine pasta. Delish! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Creamy Tomato Soup and Cheesy Garlic Toast

Our family went sledding today. It was fun to be with my nieces, nephews, brothers, and sisters-in-law. After getting home we were pretty cold so I wanted to make something for dinner that would warm us up. I used a recipe from the Italian cookbook that Stu and Amber got dad for Christmas. I made some changes: rather than using fresh tomatoes, I used canned stewed tomatoes. While blending them up, I thought I turned the blender off. It shut off and so I took off the lid. Suddenly the machine turned on again and tomatoes went all over the kitchen. Yeah, yeah, laugh all you want. It looked like I murdered someone. Haha, oh well.

Creamy Tomato Soup
2 onions, chopped
6 cans stewed tomatoes (15 oz)
salt and pepper
4 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth
1 c. heavy whipping cream (you can add more)
2 T. fresh basil leaves
2 T. fresh oregano leaves
(if using dried herbs, decrease down to about 2 t. dried basil and 2 t. dried oregano).
*In olive oil, saute the onions until barely soft. Puree the tomatoes and onions in the blender. Put pureed tomatoes and onions in a pot. Stir in hot broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and boil for about 10 minutes, constantly stirring. Turn off stove. Stir in herbs. Right before serving, stir in the cream.

*For the Cheesy Garlic Toast, butter slices of white bread, sprinkle with garlic salt, cover with mozzarella cheese. Put bread on a cookie sheet and cook on the top rack on broil. Cook until cheese is melted (about one minute).

Friday, December 25, 2009


Merry Christmas everyone! Today was a little odd to spend the day with only three of us kids and mom and dad. It was very relaxed and enjoyable. Stu and Amber came later and brought us gifts: chocolate covered macadamia nuts and cookbooks...I was very excited :) This morning I made breakfast for the family: french toast with homemade strawberry syrup, breakfast potatoes, scrambled eggs, and bacon. After unwrapping presents, I started baking pies. I made my three favorite pies: apple, pumpkin, and banana cream. They turned out perfect and were sooo yummy! Banana cream is now my favorite pie.

Apple Pie
1/2 c. butter
3 T. flour
1/4 water
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
8 apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
*Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Pumpkin Pie
2 c. pumpkin
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
*Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, sugar, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean.

Banana Cream Pie 
1 1/2 c. crushed vanilla wafers
6 T. melted butter
-Spread in a pie pan and bake for 5-8 minutes at 350 degrees 
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk (either 2% or whole)
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 bananas, sliced
*In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add milk in gradually while stirring gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner. Stir a small quantity of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture. Cook for 2 more minutes; remember to keep stirring. Remove the mixture from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency. Slice bananas into the cooled baked crust. Top with pudding mixture. Cool in fridge. When ready to serve, top with homemade whipped cream and sliced bananas.


Each Christmas Eve, we have a family tradition of eating clam chowder. Lon said that we couldn't just have soup, but that we needed some filling food too. In order to please Lon, I made grilled paninis. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any panini bread in good ole Wyoming (no surprise there). Instead I bought ciabatta bread and artisan bread. I roasted some veggies and then assembled the sandwiches. The meat ones were full of salami, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. The veggie ones were piled high with roasted veggies, tomatoes, avocado, and Swiss cheese. The last step was to grill the sandwiches...they were a delicious pair with the classic clam chowder that mom made. Here is the recipe for mom's yummy clam chowder (I usually hate clam chowder, but this recipe is a winner):

Mom's Clam Chowder
Fry 8 slices of bacon, crumble
Fry 1 medium onion (chopped) in 2 T. bacon grease
Put bacon and onion in a soup pot full of 1 qt. water
Add 1 t. salt and pepper
Add 8 cups cubed potatoes
Add 1 can corn
Add 1 carrot, chopped
Add 1 qt. scalded milk
Add 6-7 cans of clams (including clam juice)
Simmer until veggies are tender
Add 1 c. cream (or evaporated milk)
Thicken with 7-8 T. flour (or cornstarch) in 1/2 c. water
Add 2 1/2 t. salt, and black pepper and garlic salt to taste

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Southwestern Wraps

I made dinner for the fam again tonight. We had some cilantro that was getting old so I made Southwestern Wraps. They are healthy and scrumptious. Wahoo! (Note: this recipe is made to feed a large group of people. You can make the recipe as is and freeze some for later or you can just split it in half).

Southwestern Wraps
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
7 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
one bunch of cilantro, chopped
4 c. brown rice, cooked
4 cans black beans, rinsed & drained
2 cans pinto beans, rinsed & drained
2 cans corn, drained
3 c. salsa
3 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. oregano
*In a large pan, saute the onions, peppers, and garlic until soft. Add the cilantro and saute about one minute longer. In a very large bowl combine the rice, beans, corn, salsa, and spices. Add the sauteed veggies to the bowl. Mix well. You can eat this plain, on a salad, or in a wrap. For a wrap, put the mixture in the center of the wrap, add shredded cheese. microwave about 1-2 minutes, and toast until lightly golden using the broiler in the oven. Eat with salsa and sour cream. YUM!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Granola: healthy and delicious...where can you go wrong?

I love homemade granola! It is really easy to make and delicious. You can add anything you want: oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit, wheat germ, even shredded wheat. I made some tonight and it turned out super yummy! Here's the recipe I came up with:

Sarah's Granola
9 c. rolled oats
1 c. shredded wheat, ground up in blender
1 1/2 c. chopped almonds (or any other nuts)
1 c. shredded coconut
1 c. raisins
1 c. dried cranberries
1 1/2 t. salt
2 T. cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
2 c. honey, melted
2 T. vanilla
*Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine the oats, shredded wheat, nuts, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a container with a pourable spout, mix the oil, honey, and vanilla together. Pour the honey mixture over the dry mixture and stir well. Pour the granola into 2 - 9x13" glass baking pans. Bake the granola for 15 minutes and stir. Bake for another 15 minutes and stir. Bake for about 6-8 minutes and stir. You will know the granola is done when it is golden and starting to get toasted. Remove the pans from the oven. Pour the granola into a bowl and stir in the raisins, dried cranberries, and coconut. Let the granola cool. After cooling, the granola should be toasty and crisp (compare this texture with the texture of store-bought granola). Store in an airtight container. Enjoy :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Treats! yum :)

Today was my first day back to work at my old job at Main Street Artisans, a cafe and art gallery. My boss asked me to make a dessert...I made Chocolate Candycane Cupcakes :) The chocolate cupcake recipe is originally just a cake recipe. It is delicious! You can use it for any occasion, especially if you are craving chocolate. Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Candycane Cupcakes
3/4 c. margarine or butter
2/3 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. white sugar
3 eggs
2 t. vanilla
2 1/4 c. + 1 T. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. milk
1/2 c. half & half
8 oz cream cheese
4 T. butter
3 T. half & half
1 1/2 t. vanilla
3 c. powdered sugar
2/3 c. cocoa
1/8 t. salt
1/2 c. crushed peppermint candies
* Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla-mix well. Then add the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda, and salt. Mix in the milk and half & half. Blend until creamy. Put into cupcake liners (fill 2/3 full), or if making a cake: 2-8" round pans or 9x13" pan (sprayed and floured). Bake 350 degrees for 20-25 min (keep an eye on them). For the frosting: whip together the cream cheese and butter. Mix in the half & half and vanilla. Add in the powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt. Stir in half of the crushed candies. After the cupcakes have cooled, frost them and sprinkle them with the remaining candies.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Dinner: Curry Tomato Sauce Spaghetti and Herbed Garlic French Bread

After church I made dinner for the family. Dad informed me that I had to use up the raw hamburger that has been sitting in the fridge for two days :-( bleh. (I am not a fan of hamburger or meat in general). I decided to make spaghetti with a curry tomato sauce and french bread filled with garlic and herbs. Here is the tomato sauce that I invented, it was really good :)

Curry Tomato Sauce
3-4 cans of stewed tomatoes (15 oz)
2 tomatillos (optional)
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2-3 tsp. curry powder
1 Tbs. basil
1 Tbs. oregano
*Puree stewed tomatoes and tomatillos in blender. Saute onions, garlic, carrots, and green bell pepper until just barely soft in a deep frying pan. Add pureed tomatoes into pan. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15-20 min. Serve over noodles, rice, etc.

Herbed Garlic French Bread
1 Tbs. active dry yeast
1 T. white sugar
1-2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. milk
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. butter
1 Tbs. white vinegar
1/2 c. onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. salt
1 Tbs. basil
1 Tbs. oregano
2 Tbs. olive oil
*In a large bowl combine the yeast, sugar, 1-2 teaspoons of salt and 1 1/2 cups of the flour. In a saucepan combine the milk, water, and the1/4 cup of butter and heat until butter is melted. (Note: this milk mixture must be warm, not hot or it will kill the yeast). Add milk mixture and vinegar to the flour mixture and blend at low speed of the mixer until moistened. Beat at medium speed for about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups additional flour to form a sticky dough. Either knead with mixer or with hands. Add 1/2 to 1 cup more of flour until dough is smooth and pliable. Place dough in a greased bowl and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Punch down dough and roll into a rectangle shape about 16x8 inches. Spread olive oil over the dough rectangle. Sprinkle with the onion, garlic, salt and herbs. Starting from the 16 inch side, roll the dough up. Place the bread seam side down onto a greased cookie sheet and let rise until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake bread until golden brown (about 20 to 30 minutes).

Sunday Morning: French Toast and Dad's Healthy Breakfast Shakes

I woke up this morning to the smell of freshly baked homemade bread (whole wheat, of course). There is nothing I like better than that heavenly aroma in the kitchen. I felt sort of sick from staying up so late the night before so dad let me have one of his health shakes for breakfast. I am telling you, those shakes are miracle food. Plus they taste amazing. Here is the recipe:
Dad's Healthy Breakfast Shakes
1 apple
1 orange
2 bananas
5 strawberries
pineapple juice
+ random things like beets, yams, nuts, etc.
*Put all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.

That shake put me in such a good mood that I  decided to make Isaac breakfast. (I know, I know, I am such a nice sister...haha). I needed to make something fast so I made cinnamon vanilla french toast:

Cinnamon Vanilla French Toast
3 slices whole wheat bread 
3 eggs
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
a dash of nutmeg 
*Whisk everything together (except the bread, silly). Dip the bread in the egg mixture and cook on med-high in a lightly oiled frying pan. Cook until lightly brown on each side. (Tip: if you cover the pan with a lid the french toast will puff up and cook more evenly). Remove french toast from pan.Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Devour.
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