Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Here in Montana, we only have one Olive Garden restaurant. And I happen to only live 2 hours away. Suffice it to say that on more than one occasion, I have found reason to make the 2 hour drive and squeeze in a trip to the yummy Italian restaurant. I know, I know….its no local fancy Italian place. But hey, it’s a huge treat to travel to the big city and wait 35 minutes for a table.
I love these breadsticks. I have made them plenty of times, and it is often requested when I have family coming to visit. There are never any leftovers. And rolling out the breadsticks is a fun task so we all gather round the kitchen to make these. And I tell my younger sisters that they should be called “won’t be single for long breadsticks”.
Olive Garden Breadsticks
1 1/2 cups warm water (110-120 degrees)
1 pkgs active dry yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
4 1/2 c flour
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
*Melt all ingredients in the microwave. Mix well
1. Dissolve sugar and yeast in water for 10 minutes. Mixture should be frothy
2. Add flour and salt and melted butter
3. Mix with dough hook until smooth. Do not over knead
4. Cut in to 12 pieces and roll in to a breadstick shape
5. Place on greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise 45 minutes
6. Bake at 400 degrees for 6 minutes. Baste with basting sauce and cook 6 more minutes. Baste with remaining sauce. Cool 1-2 minutes (if you can wait that long). Devour! Try not to drool.
Keep up with my current recipes HERE I am always adding new favorites. (find it here first before all your friends find it on Pinterest)
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Nothing is more “movie-esk” than a family style country dinner. We invited over my cousin and I spent my girls’ Sunday afternoon nap time in the kitchen. On the menu was steak with a blue cheese cream sauce, crash hot potatoes, pan fried spinach, and rustic apple tart. All courtesy of my Pioneer Woman Cookbook.
Crash Hot Potatoes. They look so neat with the mixed colors.
Rustic Apple Tart. My husband loves apple desserts. I drizzled this with a caramel glaze.
Kitchen prep. The blue cheese cream sauce for the steak and the pan fried spinach.
Steak with a blue cheese cream sauce. Meat from Ranchline All Natural. Wonderfully tender and flavorful steaks. Visit their website if you haven’t yet.
I know that pan fried spinach doesn’t sound great, but really….I was surprised. I even had seconds.
Steak with Blue Cheese Cream Sauce
4 rib-eye, sirloin, or filet steaks (about 5 oz each)
salt and pepper to taste
1 stick of butter softened (8 tablespoons, divided)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced *not diced*
1 cup heavy cream (don’t be scared….do not substitute milk)
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1. Preheat your grill to high heat.
2. Season each steak with salt and pepper and slather with 1/2 stick of butter. Not 1/2 stick on each steak…..1/2 stick slathered over all 4 steaks.
3. Grill the steaks to medium rare. 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and keep warm. (you can also sauté them in a skillet over medium high heat)
4. Melt the remaining 1/2 stick of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the onions until golden brown. Takes about 7-8 minutes.
5. Pour in the cream and add a dash of salt and pepper. Pour in the Worcestershire sauce and let the sauce bubble a bit.
6. Stir in the blue cheese and stir it together to melt. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
7. Place steaks on a plate and spoon sauce and onions over top.
8. Enjoy! Try to use your best manners and not slurp or drool while eating. This is THAT good.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
I don’t have any recipes to go with this post. But I do have some inspiration for you. My sister and I threw a baby shower for my cousin this last weekend. We didn’t want to do a typical “cutesy” theme. I was browsing etsy and found cute invites that would work perfect. And….then we just went with it.
I just used boxed cake mix. The bottom book is two layers and the top book is one layer.
We set out a bowl of Swedish fish to go with the book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
We served a berry fruit salad to go with the book Jamberry.
I found old books at our thrift store that had all of the classic nursery rhymes. SInce the books were only $4 total, I had not tears when it came to cutting the pages. I saved the banner to hang in our play room.
You can order your own perfect invites here. This gal is wonderful to work with and VERY quick. I was really happy with how it turned out.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
My husband is a rock star. I have had “pages” set up at the top of my blog for a few months now. But, I haven’t really known how to link everything just right. I wanted to make my site easy for you readers to use and enjoy. And now, you can find every recipe on the blog categorized! Isn’t that handy!!
So, check out the All Categories page (top right bar) and search away. ENJOY!!
Also, I updated the About Me page and the Favorites page.
Go ahead. Click through.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Last time my grandma (Grammy) came to visit we got to telling stories about food prices and cooking. My Grampy was in the military so they lived less than the “high life”. She was telling me that she would get together with her friends at the end of the month, and pool together what food they all had for a yummy dinner together. She said it usually had hot dogs, but she said those dinner are some she will remember forever because of the times she shared with friends. Having good friends when times are tough is such a blessing.
This is her recipe for spaghetti sauce. She gave me a hand written recipe card at my bridal shower. I love having it.
Grammy’s Spaghetti Sauce
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 (16oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (16oz) can tomato sauce
1 (12oz) can tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1. Brown beef and onion until no longer pink. Drain.
2. Combine beef and all other ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low 6-8 hours stirring occasionally.
*This is a great recipe to freeze. I just use a freezer ziploc bag*
*If you don’t have beef broth, you can dissolve 1 cube beef bullion in 1 cup of boiling water.*
Saturday, August 11, 2012
It is almost fall, that means it is time to make yourself a big container of chai mix. And you should probably make extras for family and friends. This is such a great gift to give.
You can also make this dairy free if you need.
I got the recipe from allrecipes.com and I adapted it to my taste.
In a large bowl, whisk together:
1c. Nonfat dry milk powder (you can use powdered rice milk, soy milk or rick milk) Let me know how it turns out if you substitute those in.
1c. Powdered non-dairy creamer
1c. French vanilla flavored non dairy creamer powder
2 1/2 c. Granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. Unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp. Ground Ginger
2 tsp. Ground cinnamon
1 tsp. Ground all spice
1 tsp. Ground cloves
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Ground cardamom (this spice is pricey, but you don't want to skip it.)
In a food processor, blend 1 cup at a time until mix becomes a fine powder. Don't skip this step or the spices will clump in the hot water and not dissolve well. You can also use a blender.
I like 3tbsp in a mug of hot water but you can adjust the amounts depending on how you like it.
I also love it with a splash of half and half. I tend to think most hot drinks taste better with a splash of half and half.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Its my birthday!! And, I love cake. SO, what better way to start my special day?!
Hello, sprinkles. You are a lovely sight first thing in the morning.
Yes, it tastes just like eating cake for breakfast. A very fun tradition to celebrate special days. I also just reached “best mom ever” status. Thank you sprinkles, you never let me down.
Cake Batter Pancakes (recipe from How Sweet It Is)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cake mix
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 cups milk (varies depending on cake mix)
Combine flour, cake mix, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix. Add 1 cup of milk, egg and vanilla extract and stir until smooth. You want the batter to look like regular pancake batter; not too thin, not too thick. This will vary greatly on the brand of cake mix you use. Start with 1 cup of milk and add more if needed. Preheat a skillet on medium heat (I use an electric grilled and turn it to 275 degrees). Fold desired amount of sprinkles into batter. Pour batter in 1/4 cup measurements onto skillet and let cook until bubbles form on top, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for 1 minute more. Serve with vanilla glaze.
Glaze 1 cup powdered sugar 1/2 tablespoon milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract assorted sprinkles Mix milk, extract and powdered sugar until glaze forms. You may need to add a little more sugar or water/milk to reach desired consistency. Mix into glaze and drizzle on pancakes. Top with extra sprinkles. *Because at this point, we really need more sugar*
These.Are.AMAZING. That is all.
2 sticks butter, melted but cooled to room temp.
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup fresh lime juice (12-15 small-ish limes)
zest of 2 limes
pinch of salt
Enjoy your time in the kitchen:
1. Grease a 9X13 pan and line with foil. Then spray the foil as well.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and move the oven rack to the lower middle position.
3. Mix the crust ingredients in a bowl until combined. Press in to the bottom of the foil lined pan. Bake for 15- 17 minutes.
4. While the crust is baking, mix the filling. Just whip it all together until is is nice and combined.
5. When crust is finished baking, let it cool for 2 minutes, then pour on filling and return to oven to bake. Do not let it cool longer than about 2 minutes.
6. Bake for 22-24 minutes until set and not wobbly.
7. Now comes the hard part, practice the virtue of patience and let this cool for 30 minutes before sprinkling with powdered sugar and cutting in to bars.
*I like these best cold. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator*
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Welcome new friends from Pinterest. So glad you found me!
I am Joyful Momma.
I love pearls
I really really like pink. My husband is color blind (extremely), he thinks our bedding is grey. To be fair, I have told him that it is in fact, blush pink.
I went to nursing school….but didn’t finish. I have the basic knowledge (just enough to give me anxiety when I am feeling ill)
I can whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, from memory, in the 6 minutes it takes for the oven to preheat.
I have an incredible memory. I can remember very detailed and trivial facts about people. These are the kinds of things that I don’t repeat as the person I hardly know might be creeped out by the things I know about them.
Along with that, I have what my husband terms”media amnesia”. I have had the same CD in my car for about 4 years and I still don’t know the order of the songs or the lyrics. This makes watching the same movies and episodes of Friends really great. Its like I am watching it for the first time.
I have a twin sister. No cool stories, but being a twin is really cool.
I LOVE alpacas. I REALLY LOVE alpacas. I am sure you will hear more about this.
I once worked at Sea World as the vendor in the stands selling popcorn and soda. Shamu freaks me out.
While I have some fun and quirky traits, I have a serious side as well. These are this things that are a big part of who I am and how I live my life.
1. I am a daughter of The King. I put my faith in my Lord, and I am forever thankful for the love of Jesus Christ.
2. My everyday, in and out life, is my mission field. I strive to show the Light of Jesus to all who know me and all those around me.
3. I intentionally raise my kids. Not much about what I do is “hap-hazard”. I think about what I tell them, how I instruct them, and what I teach them. I want them to grow up in the love of a Christ filled home and see what that can mean for them.
4. I suffered a miscarriage between my girls. We named that little guy Paxton Daniel. I talk about him without shame or fear. I trust the Lord for life and while loss is sad and I grieve what life could have been like with Paxton, I think it is really pretty neat that the only thing Paxton will know is Heaven, and the first thing he saw was Jesus.
5. We have no plans of saying “no” to more children. We are excited and looking forward to opening our arms and our hearts to the kids God would bless us with.
6. Some people don’t agree with me…..and that is ok.
7. I am a list maker and I like to plan. I have a chore list, a laundry list, and a weekly schedule that I try to stick to. I want to be proactive, not reactive, to my situations.
8. My husband is really really wonderful. I will gush about him frequently.
Welcome to my little corner of the world. Enjoy!
I know that I share a good amount of fiesta type dinners here on the blog. But, it is what we eat and we love it. I don’t make anything very spicy since I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old at the table as well. But I do like to serve spicy salsa or cheese as a topping option.
Everyone was raving about this dinner while we ate. It was so easy to prepare and I had all the ingredients on hand. I am sure it will make it in to our regular dinner rotation.
These were so quick to assemble. Mix the filling. Roll the tortillas and brush with garlic oil.
While you mix up the filling let a bit of olive oil and some minced garlic bubble and infuse your kitchen with an amazing scent.
Isn’t that such a pretty dinner?! And you guys are gonna love me, the dip is made with 0% fat Greek Yogurt and not sour cream. It adds a nice little tang.
Crispy Chicken Roll Ups
4 chicken breasts (can be frozen)
1 tsp cumin
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 cup water
* Add all ingredients to a crock pot and cook on low 6-8 hours. Drain and toss in Kitchenaid mixer to shred*
1 cup shredded cheese (I just used what I had on hand)
2 chopped green onions, white and green parts
1/3 cup salsa
1 tsp salt
1 (6oz) container of Chobani 0% Greek Yogurt (plain)
*Add to shredded chicken in a large bowl and set aside*
1/3 cup olive oil
2 gloves garlic, minced
*Heat over medium 5-8 minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat*
12 flour tortillas
dried cilantro for garnish
1 recipe Creamy Avocado Ranch (below)
salsa for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking pan with parchment paper
2. Roll up chicken mixture in 12 flour tortillas and place seam down on parchment paper.
3. Brush tortillas with garlic oil and sprinkle with dry cilantro.
4. Bake 10 minutes, turn and bake another 10 minutes until edges get golden brown.
5. Serve with a smile and a large dollop of Cream Avocado Ranch and salsa
Cream Avocado Ranch
2 ripe avocados
1 (6oz) container Chobani 0% Greek Yogurt (plain)
juice from 1/2 lime (about 1 Tbsp)
1/2 pkg dry ranch dressing mix (1/2oz)
1/2 to 1 tsp chilli powder
1. Mash avocados in a bowl until creamy. Stir in yogurt and remaining ingredients. Chill in fridge until ready to serve.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
We love to have a big Sunday dinner. We almost always have family here to enjoy the meal with us as well. When it is so hot in the summer, it makes a big Sunday dinner a bit of a challenge. I try to keep the oven off so that everyone doesn’t want to spend all afternoon in the basement. Roast in the crock pot is good, but nothing tastes as good as a nicely marbled roast with a crispy outside.
Roast is one of our family favorites. And, who knew you could cook it on the grill. And it didn’t take long at all. This was definitely one of the best roasts I have yet. It is seasoned simply with just garlic salt, onion powder, and ground black pepper. I was VERY generous. I gave this roast quite a nice spice massage.
The most time intensive part of the whole thing is that you sear it 5-8 minutes on each side to give it a nice crust and seal in the juices. This thing turns out very juicy and flavorful. Be sure that you do NOT trim off the fat. That is part of the flavor and moisture.
After searing it, we let it cook on a pan to avoid fire.
Then you just let this baby sit and cook on indirect heat for about 70 minutes. (Instructions below)
Serve with a side of garlic potatoes and carrots. Finish the meal with warm chocolate chip cookies.
Need to buy a good roast? It can be hard at the store to determine a good roast from a bad one. Visit Ranchline All Natural. You will get a perfect cut of meat delivered to your door every time. And the price is perfect.
Ok, so now here are the instructions. Don’t be intimidated by the length. This is an easy meal.
1. Take your roast out of the fridge and pat it dry. Season generously with garlic salt, onion powder, and cracked black pepper. Let the seasoned roast set at room temperature for about 45 minutes.
2. Turn all 3 or 4 burners to high to preheat the grill.
3. Sear all 4 sides on high for 5-8 minutes per side (or until grease fire starts) This will form a nice crust. It may look burned but its ok.
4. Transfer the roast to a pan that is safe up to 400 degrees. I just used a 4 sided cookie sheet to keep the juices on. Now we will cook it on indirect heat.
5. If you have a 4 burner grill, turn off the 2 middle burners and turn the outside 2 burners to medium or until your lid thermometer says 310 to 325 degrees. Set the pan over the middle two burners that are off. If you just have a 3 burner grill, just turn off the 1 middle burner and put your roast over that one.
6. Close lid and don’t be tempted to peek. Check it in about 45 minutes. Use a meat thermometer in the middle of the roast of and it will need to read about 135 when you take it off the grill. It will still cook a smidge on the cutting board while it is resting.
7. Let roast set 5-10 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve. Enjoy!
Saturday, August 4, 2012
I had some watermelon to use and since it was a hot day, I knew a slushy would be just the thing. Serve it with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry for a fancy after dinner treat. The kids will love it!
All you need is 2 cups cold watermelon and 1/2 cup limeade. Easy. This made one large serving.
I had been drooling over a Ninja blender for some time. But since the price tag is $100+, I went with the Ninja prep and chop. Still has the double blades and boy-o-boy is it awesome!! Someday I will splurge on the fancy one, but for now, this thing makes blending a dream.
Watermelon Lime Slushy
*Makes 1 large serving or 2 smaller servings*
2 cups cold watermelon, cubed
1/2 cup cold limeade
1. Blend until smooth and frothy
2. Garnish with whipped cream and cherry.
When it gets to be 90+ degrees in the afternoon, I have to do my baking in the morning. We love to have quick breads with all the yummy fruits in season. And there is nothing better than waking up to a house smelling of fruit and fresh bread. My girls always wake up just a smidge earlier in the morning when I am baking. Their little noses bring them straight to the kitchen.
We enjoyed this bread with a little bit of whipped cream cheese. My 1 year old licks off the cream cheese first, then snarfs down the bread.
Raspberry Lemon Bread
2 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter milk
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
3/4 cup fresh raspberries, cut each berry in half.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x5 bread pan
2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together all of the remaining ingredient except for the berries. Mix until well blended and slightly foamy. Add in the flour mixture all at once and mix only until dry ingredients become moist. Do not over mix or you bread will be gummy. It will be a very lumpy, thick batter. Gently fold in raspberries until evenly distributed.
4. Pour batter in to a greased 9X5 bread pan and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, until done in the middle.
5. Let bread cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove bread from pan to a cooling rack. Let cool slightly, slice and serve warm.