Showing posts with label New Beginnings-college and missionary meals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Beginnings-college and missionary meals. Show all posts

4/28/14

Mary's Honey Nut Granola



My friend Mary makes the best granola.  It's crunchy, nutty, slightly sweet and a bit salty.  And the best part, aside from the taste, is the simplicity of the recipe. Granola is so easy to make. You can mix up a batch and put it in the oven while you're folding laundry, or balancing the checkbook, or reading cooking blogs :) A few minutes of stirring and baking and you'll have breakfast for days (or weeks) to come.
I love a bit of granola on my yogurt in the morning, or just a handful or two with some fruit. You can substitute different nuts and add whatever you like, but I loved the walnut and almond combo.




This makes quite  a bit of granola, so if you want to package some up and give it away as a gift, I guarantee the recipient will love it. Mother's Day, is just around the corner. How about ditching the usual candle and lotion and try making Mom some granola instead?
She'll  love it.
Promise.




Mary's Honey Nut Granola
Mary Primos
print recipe

6 cups thick-cut old fashioned oats
2 cups slivered almonds
2 cups chopped walnuts
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt (I like sea salt)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place dry oats, almonds and walnuts in a large bowl. Mix together.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together oil, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
Pour  wet ingredients over mixed oats and nuts and toss until mixed well.
Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes.
Let cool completely, then store.

Tips:
-This is a great gift to send in the mail, for mom or missionaries, college students or loved ones in the military. Let the granola cool completely, then scoop into Ziplock bags. Press all of the air out of the bag, seal and send. It keeps for two to three months if sealed properly.





3/5/14

Cracker Barrel Biscuits (copycat recipe)






You know how I love a good biscuit.
This recipe is a Southern classic. It's rumored to be the Cracker Barrel recipe.  It calls for ingredients all self-respecting Southern cooks have in their kitchen: self rising flour, shortening, and buttermilk. If you're a Yankee, (like me) you probably don't have self rising flour on hand at all times. No worries. You can make your own in a minute with three simple ingredients.


Oh, one more tip, My dear friend Miss Mary (what the kids love to call her) was visiting from Mississippi a few weeks ago. I made a big batch of biscuits for breakfast one morning, and we ended up having quite a few left over. I'm kind of a biscuit snob, so I'm not one to eat a leftover biscuit. I was about to throw them away when she told me the secret to re-heating leftover biscuits.  Listen up. Split them in half. Butter both of the insides. Lay them on a cookie sheet and broil just until lightly browned and heated through. Careful not to burn. They taste fresh and almost better than the first baking. We ate up every last crumb.
The rumor about these being the Cracker Barrel recipe? I've eaten a Cracker Barrel biscuit and I can tell you this.  This recipe makes a biscuit that's tender and flaky, like CB's. A bit of crunch from being baked at 450, a bit salty, which is perfect with the jam you're going to put inside. If we're comparing, I have to say no restaurant I've ever dined in serves a biscuit this good. It's hard to beat a home made biscuit.
Get baking.


Cracker Barrel Biscuits
adapted from cdkitchen.com found on Pinterest
print recipe

2 cups self rising flour (or  you may make your own, recipe below)
1/3 cup solid shortening, I prefer Crisco
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, shaken
melted butter

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees, and set rack in middle of oven.
Place the self rising flour into a medium size bowl. Cut the shortening in , using a pastry cutter, or two knives. Add the buttermilk all at once. Gently fold the buttermilk into the flour and shortening, until the
dough gathers together, and the flour is mixed in. I use a large wood spoon for this.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat gently into a disc about one inch thick. Do not over handle the biscuits, this will make them tough, and not tender.
Gently cut the biscuits, using a biscuit cutter or glass. Place onto a cookie sheet.
Brush the tops of biscuits with melted butter.
Make sure the oven is completely pre heated  and up to 450 when the biscuits are placed in to bake.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bottom.
Makes 9- 2 1/2 inch biscuits. Biscuit yield will depend on size of cutter.

Self Rising Flour :
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix together in a bowl with a fork. Store in a container or Ziploc bag until ready to use.
I double this for the Cracker Barrel recipe, and have a little leftover for the next time I make biscuits.
Measure out 2 cups for the recipe above.



10/29/13

Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup





Every year on Halloween, it was a trick to get the kids to eat real food before going out in the neighborhood to collect treats. My rules on Halloween (besides stay in the neighborhood, don't run, say "thank you" after screaming trick or treat and don't eat the candy till we inspect it) were:
1. Eat dinner before you go out. 
2. Eat a few pieces of candy that night, then put the stash away until the next day. There was a limit on how much candy you could eat each day, something like 3-5 pieces.

Then I grew a new brain, and came up with the new Foster Family Halloween standard:
1. Eat a bowl of home made chicken noodle soup and buttermilk scones before going out. Invite your friends over to eat with you. Amazing how your kids will actually eat dinner if their friends are with them, and they're eating something they love. 
2. Eat the candy you gathered that night ASAP, therefore alleviating your mother the hassle of policing how much candy you eat every day for the following month. The bulk of treats were usually gone in a day or two. 
If you're looking for an easy fix for dinner on Halloween, try this recipe. I Pinned it a while back, made it and loved it. After you take the blender to the ingredients, the kids will never know they are eating something healthy.
Happy Halloween!




Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup
adapted from Big Girls Small Kitchen
print recipe

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large carrots, scrubbed or 2 cups baby carrots
2 medium sweet onions, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
3 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 quart chicken (or vegetable) broth
10 basil leaves, fresh, plus a few more for garnish
Fresh grated Parmesan for garnish
Slow cooker:
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. Allow the soup to cool slightly.  using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Or puree in batches in a blender. Serve immediately, or keep on low until ready to eat.
Stove-top version:
Combine all ingredients in a heavy lidded pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low, and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. Allow the soup to cool slightly. Then puree as instructed above. Garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.

Tips:
If you like a creamier version, omit about 1 cup of the chicken broth and add milk or half and half.

10/23/13

Favorite Apple Crisp





I was digging through a folder of dessert recipes the other day and found an article on the closing of the Red Apple, an old SLC institution. It was housed in the basement of a building in the middle of the block on 100 South between State and Main, across from what is now the City Creek Center. They made great sandwiches and one of my favorites, Apple Crisp. The Red Apple was one of the only places I knew of where you could order house made apple crisp any time of the year, whether it was October or  April . After years of being in business, they closed the doors and moved on to other adventures.
I realized after looking at the article, I've never posted our favorite version of apple crisp. You probably have your own family favorite take on this classic dessert. Ours comes from years of testing out different recipes and then coming up with a recipe that is sweet, salty, caramely and heavy on the crisp.  I like a good amount of topping on my crisp, not a thin layer that leaves you wanting more to eat with the apple filling. I also like the bit of crunch the oats add, instead of using all flour. If you don't already have a version you love give this one a try. It may become your new favorite!
Hope you're enjoying the beautiful Fall weather .




























Favorite Apple Crisp
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

4 lbs of apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup dark brown sugar*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of salt

Topping:
1 1/4  cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, dark or regular
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (not margarine) , cubed


Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9x13 pan or two-9 inch pie plates.
Place apples into a large bowl. Sprinkle the apples with one tablespoon of vanilla. Top with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and dash of salt. Pour apple mixture into prepared pan(s).
In same bowl, Place all dry topping ingredients.  Using fingers or a pastry cutter, cut butter into dry ingredients. Spread/sprinkle topping onto top of apple mixture.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until apples are bubbly and topping is golden brown.
Remove and let sit for 15 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Tips:
-*you may use regular brown sugar, dark will produce a more caramelized filling.
-Apple Crisp is best served immediately after baking. If you need to make this ahead, you may put the dish together and bake the dessert for about 30 minutes. Remove, but do not cover or topping will get soggy. Let sit on counter to cool.
Before serving, preheat oven to 425 and finish baking dessert on top third of oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly.


9/16/13

Southwest Slow Cooker Chicken


Have you heard? We're on a roll at A Bountiful Kitchen. Super simple. Quick and easy.  Last week I posted Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken, and Baked Taco Rollups.  This week, Southwest Slow Cooker Chicken.
It doesn't get easier than this. This is a dump-and-cook-in-the-crockpot recipe. You can serve it over rice, on tortilla chips, on a bed of lettuce, or in a taco (soft or hard shell). We usually eat it rolled up in a soft flour tortilla, with some lettuce and tomato. This is, by far, my favorite slow cooker recipe.
I'm betting it will be yours too.



Southwest Slow Cooker Chicken
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

4 frozen chicken breast halves
2-3 cups salsa (red or green) I prefer green
1- 15 oz can black beans, drained
1 small bag of frozen corn or 1-15 oz can corn, drained
salt and pepper
2 cups grated cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, pepper jack if you like it spicy)
4 oz cream cheese (regular or low fat)

Coat the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray.
Place the chicken in the cooker, salt and pepper generously.
Pour the salsa over the chicken.
Pour the drained black beans and corn on top of the chicken and salsa.
Cover with lid and cook on low for about 3 1/2 hours.
When the chicken is done, Spread the grated cheese over the top of the mixture in the slow cooker, and then top with 4 oz of cream cheese. Cover and let cook for another 1/2 hour.
Remove lid and gently break up the chicken. Spoon the mixture over tortilla chips, shredded lettuce or  taco shells.
Serves 6-8

Tips:
-The cooking time may vary, depending on the size of your slow cooker and how hot it cooks.
-Don't worry about thawing the chicken, it will cook up just fine!

9/11/13

Baked Taco Rollups






Monday, after I posted Slow Cooker Sesame Honey Chicken on my Insta, my friend Robilyn commented  "I'll be making this tomorrow! What else can I make this week?"  Today, I dropped something off at her home, and guess what? There was a yummy smell coming from her kitchen.
The power of Insta! She had the Honey Sesame Chicken in her Slow Cooker. Love it when that happens. Also my young friend Megan made the sesame chicken and posted a pic on Insta of her dinner last night. Meg's the cutest newlywed and she's learning to cook for her new little family (Meg +Tony). So sweet.
In a world filled with fast food, and pre-made pre-packaged  everything, it's a rarity to see people (especially young peeps) cooking dinner. Here's my 2 cents:  It doesn't need to be complicated. Or take a long time. If you haven't cooked in a while (or ever), start small. Make a slow cooker meal. Or try this recipe. It's kid and hubs friendly.





















I believe this recipe was originally named "Baked Tacos" and made with hard shells. Grant is a hard shell hater (already told that story here), so I changed the recipe a bit. The filling take just a few minutes to make and the rollup part takes another 5 minutes. Lay out a little taco bar with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, guac and chips.  Let your fam pile the salad or condiments onto a plate. Serve the taco rollup on the side.  It's a fun change from an ordinary taco and if you have little ones, a taco rollup is much easier to grip. Promise they'll love it.
Now you have two dinners in your repertoire!
Watch out Martha.




Baked Taco Rollups
Adapted from Mommy I'm Hungry
print recipe

2 lbs extra lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 medium onion diced
1 small can diced green chilies, mild
1 recipe for homemade taco seasoning (below)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans (regular or fat free)*
2 cups shredded Colby-jack  or cheddar cheese
flour tortillas, small to medium size

Suggested Condiments-
lettuce chopped
tomatoes chopped
olives
sour cream
Sheri's Salsa
Guacamole

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large skillet brown meat and onion over medium-high heat. Drain off any excess liquid. Add chilies, refried beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning. Mix well and cook for a few minutes until bubbly. Add a little water or tomato juice if the mixture seems dry.
Spoon  about 3 tablespoons of the taco meat mixture onto a tortilla. Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of cheese. Roll up as you would a taquito, not filling the tortilla too full, but rolling fairly tight, so the tortilla will not come undone easily.  Place filled tortillas in a single layer onto a lightly greased baking sheet, seam side down. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tacos are heated through.
Remove from the oven and serve with optional condiments.
Makes about 12-15 medium tacos.

Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, mix all together. If making extra seasoning, store in an airtight container.
This is enough for one recipe of taco rollups above.
**less chili powder if you are serving to those who don't like spice.

Tips:
-*I used about 3/4 of a 16 oz can of refried beans. We liked the filling with less bean and more meat.
Another option is to add a can of drained pinto beans and smash them with a potato masher into the meat after the meat is cooked. Add about 1 tablespoon of canola oil while mashing beans.
-If serving to young children (who may not eat a whole taco) or using as an appetizer, cut the tacos in half, preferably on a diagonal.
-Heat up leftovers wrapped in a paper towel for about 1 minute in microwave.


9/9/13

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken




We are now two weeks into the new school year.
Adjustment time. As in- get my act together and figure out what I'm making for dinner before 6 pm.  I'm always looking for quick-fix dinner ideas. This recipe takes a little thought ahead of time, but you're set when the "What's for dinner??" question surfaces. It's simple and a complete meal when served with a dish of stir fried veggies.
The leftovers would be perfect for lunch served over some greens tossed with a little Balsamic dressing.
Lunch for Momma.
That's what I'm talking about.




Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken
Adapted from LDS Living Magazine online
print recipe

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fresh or frozen*
1/2 cup honey
½ cup soy sauce
1 cup diced onion
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
-------------------------------------
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup water
Sesame seeds

In slow cooker, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic, pepper flakes and pepper. Place chicken in cooker, turn to cover with sauce. 
Cook on low 3 to 4 hours or just until chicken is cooked through. 
Remove chicken from slow cooker, leaving sauce in ceramic insert. 
Turn heat to high on slow cooker.
Whisk cornstarch into water and pour into slow cooker. Whisk to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high 10 more minutes or until slightly thickened.
Shred chicken, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired and serve with rice.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Tips:
-*I usually just throw chicken into the slow cooker frozen. It cooks in 3-4 hours on low. No thawing needed!


8/29/13

Tomato, Cucumber and Cottage Cheese Salad




Don't you love it when you Pin something, and click on the photo, expecting to be taken to the link that will provide the recipe, then- nothing? Dud. A while back, I Pinned a photo of a salad that I thought looked perfect for late summer months. When I tried to see the link to the photo, it was a dead end. No recipe link. Oh well.
I looked at the photo again, and discovered this: You don't need to be Martha to figure this one out.
All you need are: tomato, cucumber, cottage cheese and about 5 minutes.
Best three ingredient salad.
Ever.





Tomato, Cucumber and Cottage Cheese Salad
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

Tomatoes, any type about 2 cups
Cucumbers, about 1 large or 3-4 small
16 oz low fat cottage cheese, I prefer small curd
fresh ground pepper

Wash and cut the tomatoes. Wash the cucumbers and seed if desired. Slice the cucumbers into small pieces or if using large cukes, slice long way, into fourths, so you have four long slices, then seed. Cut the cucumber into chunks. I like to leave the skin on for color.
Using a medium size bowl, preferably clear, layer the tomatoes, cucumber and cottage cheese, as you would if making a yogurt parfait. Place in fridge until ready to serve.
Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

Tips:
-This salad can be made year 'round, but is best in the summer months when garden cucumbers and tomatoes are available. That said, it is also best made with tomatoes that are NOT juicy. I like to make it  with cherry or grape tomatoes (simple to slice them in half, or leave them whole in the salad) so there is not an issue with the tomatoes giving off too much water and making the salad runny.

8/9/13

Tessa's Mini-Melts with Poppyseed Drizzle



Almost five months have gone by since this day...


Two years is a long time! My oldest son, Stephen left home to serve an LDS mission in Puebla, Mexico on February 16, 2011 (if you've been reading ABK for a while, you'll remember this post).  He returned two years, one month and three days later. That afternoon we dashed off to the airport with ballons and signs in hand. Our immediate and extended family gathered there, along with families of other missionaries who were returning that day. So much excitement. So much joy. So glad to have him  home!
In honor of Stephen serving for two years we celebrated his return with (what else?) food. We made  lots of salads, treats and some fun little sandwiches. It was nice to have something hot with the salads that didn't require too much time in the kitchen when we wanted to enjoy spending time with our newly returned missionary. Tessa gave me this recipe after she made dinner for a large group of sorority girls at the U. She said the girls loved them, and I thought, if they're good enough for the Chi-Omega's they're good enough for us! They take just a few minutes to put together, and are perfect for parties of any sort.
Grateful to have Stephen home.
So proud of his willingness to sacrifice and share the good word of God with the sweet people of Mexico.
Two years is a long time.
Yes, it is.





Mini-Melts with Poppy Seed Drizzle
Tessa Reinemer

3 dozen soft dinner rolls 
2 pounds deli meat (or have the deli slice up the exact amount of slices you need)*
1 pound sliced deli cheese, or approx 18 slices, cut in half

Topping
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespooon minced dehydrated onion (optional)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Slice rolls and put small amount of turkey or ham with one slice of cheese.  Place sandwiches in 2- 9x13 baking dishes or one large jelly roll pan.  
Heat ingredients for topping in a saucepan until butter is melted. Brush or spoon topping onto sandwiches right before cooking.  Cover with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese melts.
Serves about 15-20.

Tips (aka more than you ever wanted or needed to know about making baked sandwiches):
-These sandwiches may be assembled in advance.  A day before is fine, but don't brush with drizzle until right before cooking.  Store in fridge covered tightly with foil.
-*Deli meat- Slice the meat in half with a sharp knife (I cut the meat all at once). If you have 36 rolls, order 18 slices of deli meat, cut in half. 
-We used a combo of ham/swiss and turkey/havarti. Both were delicious.
-For a gathering at the school, and Anibelle's baby blessing, I used Costco large croissants and cut them in half after stuffing with meat and cheese. We used:
3 doz  large croissants
4 lbs ham or turkey
2 lbs sliced cheese
Served approx 75. 

-I use the Walmart Brand rolls, found near their deli when making these for a large (100+) crowd. I pinned the rolls here, so you can see what they look like. The rolls come 16 to a package. I like these for a crowd, because they are inexpensive and they stack well, without smashing if you need to buy a large quantity. I have also used a roll that looks similar to a Granny Sycamore cluster roll from Costco. They only sell these in the fall and winter months. This roll is much thicker than the Walmart brand roll,  and I add more meat to the sandwich when using the Granny roll, so the meat is not lost in the roll!
-Cooking for 100:
plan on about 1 1/2 rolls per person if you are serving other buffet items such as salads, appetizers, sweets.
10 packages of "The Bakery" rolls from Walmart, (Potato or Sweet Hawaiian) 16 per pkg =160 rolls
Deli meat sliced, approx 80 slices, cut in half to yield 160 slices
cheese slices, approx 80 slices, cut in half to yield 160
topping:
1 1/4 lb butter, melted (5 sticks)
8 tablespoons poppy seeds
6 tablespoons mustard
3-4 tablespoons dehydrated onion (optional)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
Follow directions above for baking.





2/24/13

Tessa's French Peasant Bread




Guess what the weather forecast is for the weekend. If you said SNOW, you're a winner.  Heavy sigh. Last week, we went to Southern Utah for baseball.




Oh.
Sun. I remember you. Warm. Blue skies. Sunscreen. No boots.
Then Monday came, reality along with it. Back to the North.
Snowy day= The perfect time to bake bread.




If you are a lifer on A Bountiful Kitchen, you know I love my friend Tessa. And I love her cooking. Tessa brought this to a dinner party at Christmas and I fell in love.  So simple. No kneading. No mixer required. Makes two loaves. Perfect for sharing on a cold winter day.


Tessa's French Peasant Bread
Tessa Reinemer
print recipe

1 pkg dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups flour
oil
cornmeal
melted butter

Place yeast, water, sugar and salt in warm water and stir until dissolved. Add flour and stir until blended. Do not knead.
Cover and let rise for one hour or doubled in size. Flour or grease hands and remove dough from bowl and place in 2 rounds on oiled cookie sheet ( or parchment paper ) sprinkled with corn meal. Let rise and additional hour. Brush top with melted butter.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and cook an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and brush again with butter.
Serve warm.



10/7/12

Funeral Potatoes 101 or What Mitt Ate Last Night (part two)




Did you see the debate last week? I'm not a big fan of politics in general. In fact, every time we see a politician make a speech, see a campaign commercial, or watch a debate, the conversation usually goes like this:

me: sheesh, I would never want to be a politician.
grant: you could not pay me enough to be a politician.
me: being the wife of a politician would be the worst.
grant: that job would stink.
me: you know, people say the same about lawyers.
grant: no they don't.
me: yes they do.

So.
That said, newsflash- we are Republicans.
I know, you're shocked. Mormons and Republicans.
And we like Mitt.  Mittens, as we affectionately call him. Not that we know him, but you know how that goes. We talk like we do.
Anyway.  Remember when I posted that JELLO recipe several months ago? I titled it "What Mitt Ate Last Night". This is the second recipe in the installment of "What Mitt Ate Last Night".
Classic Mormon food.
This will either make you :
a) feel warm and fuzzy inside, and run to the nearest grocery to buy some Cream of Chicken Soup.
or
b) stop subscribing to this blog.

Everyone needs a recipe for this dish in their files. Guaranteed to comfort and clog the arteries. This is my favorite version of Funeral Potatoes. Been making it for 30 years. Funerals, family parties, neighbor dinners, you name it, this dish goes with it.
Bon Appetite :)





Funeral Potatoes
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

12 large Russett potatoes, boiled, then peeled and grated or
1 large  24-32oz package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup  melted butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
Topping options:
1 cup Panko Crumbs or 2 cups crushed Corn Flakes + 2 tablespoons melted butter (optional)
or
1/2 cup grated cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rack in middle of oven.
Place butter, chopped onions, salt and pepper in a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook just until onions are softened. Place soup, sour cream, 2 cups of the grated cheese in a large bowl. 
Pour the cooked onion/butter mixture over the soup mixture in the bowl. Mix well. 
Add grated potatoes.  Fold ingredients together. 
Pour the mixture into a 9x13 greased pan. 
If using topping, spread the Panko or cornflake mixture or additional 1/2 cup of cheese over the top of the casserole and bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and golden on top. 
Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
About 16  side dish servings.

Tips:

-This recipe has oodles of variations, here are a few:
  • You may cut ham into cubes and place in the casserole. 
  • I have used low fat sour cream and low fat soup with good results. It is better with regular  soup and sour cream, but is fine with low fat. 
  • Some people use part cream cheese, cut into cubes, and cut some of the sour cream and or cheese.
  • The onions may be substituted with green onions.   
  • You may use flavored cheeses such as Smoked Gouda or Pepper Jack in place of the cheddar cheese.
-Almost everyone makes this recipe with frozen hash browns. That's fine in a pinch, or if you are making it for the masses. Make sure if you use frozen potatoes to thaw them before using.
Funeral potatoes taste best when you take just a little more time and cook your own potatoes. Scrub the russets, boil them until tender. Peel the potatoes and grate them before folding in the soup mixture. Make sure to always boil the potatoes with the skins on, to avoid watery tasting potatoes.

-I like to use Russets when making funeral potatoes. Never use Yukon Golds, the texture is too waxy.

-This recipe freezes well. Follow the recipe and cover with foil or saran wrap. To cook, place in oven at 325 for about 1 hour. You may take it directly from the freezer and bake. You may need a bit more or less time depending on your oven. Sometimes I put it in my oven at 275 for 2-3 hours.  When I bake a frozen dish, I cover it tightly with foil until it's done so it does not dry out. I remove the foil the last 15 minutes of baking or broil for a couple of minutes to get a golden top. 

9/20/12

Cobb Salad with Creamy French Dressing






Don't you love a good Cobb Salad? Cobb Salad usually consists of a combo of bacon, chicken, avocado, tomatoes, green onion, eggs and cheese on top of a bed of greens. I love the way it looks with the toppings lined up in neat rows.  Why is this appealing to me?
I like to make Cobb Salad without chicken, because I usually serve it with a main dish. Traditionally it is served with French or Roquefort dressing. I made three dressings last month: French, Roquefort, and Balsamic. All keepers.  I'll post the Roquefort and Balsamic soon, so you can whip some up on your own.
I know you want to make your own dressing.
Yes. You do.






Cobb Salad with  Creamy French Dressing
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1 lb bacon, cooked crisp, drained, cooled and chopped
6 eggs, hard boiled, cooled and chopped
Green, washed, dried and chopped about 12-15 cups or two large heads of lettuce
4 medium tomatoes or grape tomatoes, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
3-4 avocados, chopped (still fairly firm)
two cucumbers, seeds removed and chopped
2-3 chicken breast halves, cooked and chopped (optional)
Roquefort cheese or other grated cheese (optional)
green onions, chopped, (optional)

Place the greens in a large bowl. Layer all desired ingredients in rows on top of the greens.  Chill thoroughly and serve with home made dressings.
Serves about 25 as a side dish.


French Dressing

4 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
1/4 teaspoon  red pepper
1 1/2 cups vegetable, canola or olive oil

Place all ingredients in blender or bowl and blend on medium or using beaters or immersion blender for about 2-3 minutes. Mixture will thicken. Cover and store in fridge for up to three weeks. Stir before serving.
Makes about 2 2/3 cups or twenty-two 2 tablespoon servings.

Tips:
-Make sure to wash and dry the greens and toppings thoroughly. You don't want water in the bottom of the bowl.
-I like to use either Romaine or a combo of Romaine and other greens. Although Cobb Salad is traditionally made with Iceberg lettuce, I think it looks better when made with a dark lettuce. And it's better for you :)
-If at all possible, serve this with a home made dressing. Trust me, you will be glad you took the extra two minutes to make your own.

8/15/12

Sour Cream Biscuits




Are you still making biscuits with a mix or (gag) eating biscuits out of a can?
STOP IT.
Biscuits are one of the easiest recipes to experiment with if you are feeling uncertain about trying your hand at baking. Here's the scoop- these are absolutely melt in your mouth delicious. And simple. What more could you ask for?
Oh, Strawberry Jam. Get some.




Sour Cream Biscuits
adapted from Allrecipes.com

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons water

Mix together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in medium bowl. Add sour cream and mix to a soft dough. Add additional water if necessary.
Turn dough out onto floured surface. Pat dough to about one inch thick. Cut with biscuit cutter or glass about 3 inches in diameter.
Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 12 minutes.

Tips:
-a review on Allrecipes said the tester used fat free sour cream and loved the result.

7/28/12

Team USA Crepes







What's better (and easier) for brunch than home made crepes?
Don't say cereal.
Never made crepes? If you have a blender, they take about 2 minutes to throw together.
Hello Olympic crepe brunch party. Ready for 17 days of TV in the summer?
USA USA USA.
Shoot. Should have thrown some blueberries in there.







Team USA Crepes
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

2 eggs
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk (any type skim to whole)
1/3 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons melted butter

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse 10-12 times.
At this point, batter may be stored in fridge for up to two days.
Refrigerate batter for one hour if time allows. This will allow the batter to thicken a bit and produce a crepe that is easier to handle.
Heat a crepe pan* or small pan (6-8 inches) coated with teflon over medium high heat. Once the pan is heated, spray with non stick cooking spray or drop a small amount of butter into the pan and coat the pan evenly. Pour just enough batter into the pan to coat the bottom of the pan. Tip the pan until batter is evenly distributed.  If the pan is heated properly, the batter should cook quickly.   After about 20-30 seconds flip the crepe and cook on the opposite side. Cook for about another 20 seconds and remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Continue to cook the crepes until all of the batter is cooked. Stagger the crepes on the paper towel so they cool and the paper towel absorbs the moisture from the cooked crepes.
To serve, roll up fresh fruit in crepes and top with sweetened whipped cream and more fresh fruit.
See other topping ideas below.


Tips:
-*No need for a fancy electric crepe cooker. I use a simple 6 inch teflon-coated crepe pan that I've had for about 25 years. You may also use a small teflon pan.
-Other toppings: Nutella, a popular chocolate spread in Europe is wonderful drizzled (heat up the Nutella a bit)  on top of crepes or spread inside. Top with fruit and more Nutella and cream if desired.
-Cook several crepes ahead of time and have a crepe bar for brunch. Crepes may be served at room temperature. Serve with fresh fruits, nuts, Nutella, whipped cream, yogurt,  powdered sugar, cocoa powder, etc.  Let everyone build their own crepe.


4/26/12

Italian Oven Fries




We had these at River's Run last time we visited Mary and Will in Mississippi.  I use this recipe when I'm short on time and want to whittle away at the 50 lb bag of Idaho potatoes in my garage. It's a quick, kid friendly side dish that goes with almost any meal. YUM.






Baked Italian Fries
adapted slightly from Mad Hungry
print recipe

6 or 7 Idaho Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/3-inch-thick French fry-style strips, soaked in cold water
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or some combo of dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, and basil
2 cups freshly grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) salted butter, cut into cubes
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400* degrees.
Drain the potatoes and pat dry with paper towels. Spread 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on each of 2 rimmed baking sheets and spread out the potatoes. Overlapping is fine.
Sprinkle the dried herbs evenly over the potatoes. Liberally spread the cheese and parsley on top. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the cheese. Scatter the cubed butter around the pans.
Bake until the potatoes are golden brown, rotating the pans after 30 minutes, for 45 to 50 minutes total. Use a spatula to lift off the potatoes with all the crusty cheese adhered to them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. 
Potato Prep: For a French-fry cut, peel the potatoes and slice lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Stack the slices on top of one another, a few at a time, and slice lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick strips. Peeled and sliced potatoes can turn brown pretty quickly. To avoid this, try floating the peeled, cut pieces in cold, salted water. When you're ready to cook, drain them and pat dry.

Tips:
-Soaking the potatoes in water is not necessary if you are in a hurry. I have made this recipe several times and skipped this step.
-You may also skip the peeling step. Just scrub the potatoes clean before slicing. 
-* I turn the oven to 425 convection and bake them for about 20 minutes total.


3/20/12

Super Simple 5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies






I'm probably the last person on the planet to try this recipe. I saw it the other day on my new found love, Pinterest, and pinned away. My comment was something like "Serious? 5 ingredient cookies?"
I wondered how good they could really be, without flour, and only 5 ingredients. I showed them to Jake and he said, "If these are good, I'm making them every weekend for girls, they'll think I'm a genius".
Hello, Jake, I hate to break it to you but it will take a lot more than this...
So we whipped up a batch. The skeptic in me thought -these will probably be awful.  Guess what? Pleasantly surprised. I followed the directions exactly, and in less than 1/2 hour we were sampling some pretty tasty cookies.
I'm thinking my friends (who will remain nameless)  that have cooking/baking challenges will be able to throw these together in a flash, and succeed in the kitchen! Great for peeps with gluten issues too. And college students. How about those living abroad who have trouble buying ingredients for treats? Everything except the egg can be packaged and sent.
Super simple, pantry-ready, yummy homemade cookies in just a few minutes. Yum.




5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pinterest
print recipe

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp baking soda
½ heaping cup milk chocolate chips ( I like Guittard brand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips. When blended, mix in the chocolate chips. Using a small scoop, form 1 1/2 inch balls (dough will be very wet and sticky) and place onto an un-greased parchment  or Silpat (silicone) lined cookie sheet*. Don't  make them too big because they spread. 
Bake for 9 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely before removing. 

Tips:
-I also baked one pan without a liner of any type, ungreased on the cookie sheet, they did not stick and turned out just like the other pans. 
-I did not pat the scoops of dough down at all before baking. 
-Yield about 24 cookies. 


1/18/12

Peanut Butter Scotchies and Happy Bday Stephen!






How to make Mother sad:

Mother sends package to Mexico to son on mission, in November, with Christmas gifts inside. December 25th. No package received.
Mother sends package to son mid-December with home made treats, hoping it will get there close to Christmas/New Year. No package received.
Mother sends package end of December for missionary son's January birthday.
Seven weeks after first package sent. Still, no packages received. Sob. Sob. Sniff, Sniff.

How to make Mother happy:

Mother talks to son on SKYPE (greatest invention, EVER) on Christmas day. Son doesn't care he didn't receive package, he is just beaming and so thrilled to be able to talk and see his family online!
Mother sends email just before son's birthday.
The email starts off with- Questions: PACKAGES????
Son's response in email later that day: "No packages, yet. Don't worry about it. I love you! I miss you a lot." 
Also in Mother's email to son: Do you need anything?
Missionary son: "I just want some homemade cookies or something haha." 
"And maybe some potato salad." 
Well at least HE still has a sense of humor about the packages not being delivered!
I'm grateful to have a son who has lost himself in service, and doesn't think it's a big deal to celebrate Christmas or his birthday without a gift.
Note to me: It's just stuff. 

I tried to send this treat( the recipe I'm posting today) a month before his b-day. I even saved one square, wrapped it up, taped a little note on it and set it next to my computer. The note said "do not eat till December 29th". A few of my friends saw my note taped to the treat, and were really amused by this. Do you think this is funny? Doesn't everyone do this?   I wanted to see/sample for myself how fresh it would taste if he received it two weeks after I sent it. Um. Well, whatever. For the record, it was still decent. Not super fresh, but if you were, say, living in a foreign country, and you hardly ever got home made treats, you would probably think it was wonderful :), even if it was a little less than fresh. That is, if you ever received your mail.   
Ok, enough of my rant about mail, treats and the lack of timely, or any delivery.
**Update 1/23  Letter home from Stephen. He received two packages on his birthday! His Christmas gifts were a little late. Next Christmas, Ill send in September. Yay! 

On to wishing Stephen a happy birthday!


How did you grow up so fast?? 

About 19 years later....Stephen (on the right) with his last companion, Elder Gallan. 



I'm posting these, because last year when Stephen left on his mission (yes, it's been 11 months!)- He requested Peanut Butter Scotchies for his farewell celebration. You can look back here to that day...
I thought his birthday was an appropriate day to post one of his favorite treats!
Happy birthday, Stephen.
love and miss you,
Mum




Peanut Butter Scotchies
aka, Chocolate Scotcheroos
print recipe

1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
4 cups Rice Krispies*
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips (or one 11 oz package)**
1 1/2 cups  semi sweet chocolate chips (or one 11-12 oz package)**

Bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil . Add peanut butter and cereal.
Remove from heat, and press into a greased 9x13 pan.
Place the butterscotch and chocolate chips in a glass bowl in microwave for about 1 1/2  minutes, stirring  and place back into microwave for 30 seconds and repeating stirring until all chips are melted. This usually takes about 3-4 minutes total.
Spread the melted chips on tops of the cereal mixture in the pan. let cool and cut into bars.

Tips:
*The original recipe from Kellogg's uses 6 cups of cereal, I have always used 4.
**They also use only one cup each of the butterscotch and chocolate chips. I like to have a really thick layer of topping, so I use more chips.
-Don't over cook the sugar and Karo Syrup mixture, just bring to a boil and remove from heat. If you over boil, the bars will become very hard and difficult to cut.