Tuesday, June 28, 2011


My family thinks this granola recipe is the best out there, but to be honest, we haven't tried any other granola recipe because we love this one so much!


3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl stir together oats, coconut, almonds, walnuts, pecans, cinnamon, and salt.  In a small saucepan melt butter with honey over low heat, stirring.  Add vanilla and pour butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until combined.

On a large baking sheet, spread the granola evenly in a thin layer.  Bake, stirring every 5 minutes to keep from sticking or burning, until golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes.  (Do not overcook; the granola will crisp more when cooled.)  Cool granola on the pan.  Granola may be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

A few notes: 
*I always double the recipe and I keep mine in the freezer because I love when the granola is really cold. 
*Use whatever kind of nuts you like and if you don't like nuts, leave them out. 
*I don't like dried fruit in my granola, but if you do, stir in dried fruit once you've taken the granola out to cool.

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Buttermilk Ice Cream

Oh my, oh my, this is delicious ice cream, definitely one of my favorites.  This past week, my sister Stephanie was visiting from Hawaii.  I had her come for lunch and this bowl of cold, creamy, tangy deliciousness was our dessert, we were both in love. 


Buttermilk Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
6-12 large egg yolks (I used 8)
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla or half a vanilla bean, scraped and simmered with the cream
Pinch of salt

In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the heavy cream and one cup of sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.

Remove the cream mixture from heat and drizzle a small amount into the yolks, slowly, and whisking constantly to keep the eggs from curdling.  Do this a few more times to warm up the yolks before pouring the yolk mixture back into the cream, whisking constantly.

Cook over low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Strain mixture and whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla, and salt.  Cool completely and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.

I served this cold treat with strawberries and an oatmeal brown sugar crumble.

Adapted from smitten kitchen

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes

1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup chili sauce
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup diced yellow pepper
11/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
Hamburger buns, toasted

Heat nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add beef and onions; cook, stirring to break up the meat, 5 minutes or until browned and onion is softened.  Add garlic and the next ten ingredients.  Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened and peppers are crisp-tender.  Serve on toasted hamburger buns.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups have always been one of my favorites.  I remember being at the Courgareat at BYU with one of my best friends Susanna and filling our white styrofoam cups with vanilla soft serve ice cream and then piling on the Reese’s peanut butter cups.  Then a few years ago, my friend Christie told me about an ice cream concoction that she made in her kitchen aid.  It had all the makings of something delicious, vanilla ice cream, peanut butter, peanut butter cups, and pretzels all mixed together in a kitchen aid.  It was thick, creamy, salty, sweet, and crunchy.  I ate this treat many, many times and often used more ice cream then one should eat in one sitting.  I nearly burned out my kitchen aid motor making it so many times. YIKES!  This recipe for peanut butter cup ice cream won't disappoint those who have a love for peanut butter in their hearts like I do!

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups chopped chocolate peanut butter cups

In a medium sauce pan combine milk, sugar and salt.  Over medium heat stir the milk until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and add peanut butter.  Stir until smooth.

Pour cream and vanilla into a medium sized bowl.  Pour peanut butter mixture into the cream and mix until combined.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the ice cream base so that a skin doesn't form on the top.  Refrigerate until cold. 

Freeze in ice cream maker according the manufacturer’s instructions.  Once the ice cream is a soft-serve consistency, stir in the chopped peanut butter cups.  You can eat it right away or freeze to eat later.  If you freeze it for later, it will be more ice cream-scoopable (I prefer it this way).

Adapted from Recipe girl

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thousand Layer Lasagna

This is lasagna number two and my sister Stephanie shared this recipe with me.  Preston loves this lasagna and just thinking about it makes my mouth water.  It is great summer lasagna.

Thousand Layer Lasagna
1 pound package lasagna noodles
butter to prep baking dish
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon
crushed red pepper flakes (I use less)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed organic tomatoes
zest of one lemon
16-ounces of fresh mozzarella, sliced into thin pieces
Slivered basil (optional)
Freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat your oven to 375.
Make your sauce: Place the olive oil, salt, pepper flakes, and garlic in a pan. Dial the heat up and sauté for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes and slowly bring to a simmer as well. Remove from heat, stir in the lemon zest and taste for seasoning. Add more salt if needed. Set aside.
Fill a large pot full of water and bring to a boil.Butter a deep, square baking dish. The one I use is 9x9 and 2 1/2-inches deep.
Pre-cook the pasta: Salt your pot of boiling water generously.  Cook pasta according to package directions. When the noodles are finished cooking, drain, rinse with cool water, and lay the noodles flat on a sheet of aluminum foil.
Ladle a bit of the sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Cover the bottom with a layer of lasagna noodles (I cut mine so that they fit nicely in the bottom of the pan).  Top the noodles with a thin layer of sauce and then a layer of mozzarella cheese. Go for another layer of pasta, then sauce, then cheese.  Keep layering until you have used all of the sauce and cheese.  You want to finish with a layer of pasta (I usually have 4 noodles or so that I don’t use from the 1-pound package). Top with the last of the sauce and the very last of the cheese so you have a nice cheesy top.
Bake until everything is melted, about 35 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve with slivered basil and parmesan.

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks http://www.101cookbooks.com/

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


We have two different lasagnas that are loved in our family.  This is lasagna number one and is the favorite of Todd and Noah.  I honestly can't decide which one I love more because I think they are both delicious and Stella has yet to decide on her favorite.


1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5-ounce cans petit diced tomatoes
2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
6 tablespoons dried parsley flakes (divided)
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 package lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups cottage cheese
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup Kraft parmesan cheese
1 pound sliced mozzarella

In a skillet, combine ground beef, sausage, and garlic, cook until brown, drain off most of the fat.  Pour in tomatoes, tomato paste, 4 tablespoons dried parsley, dried basil, and 1 teaspoon salt.  Mix together and simmer, uncovered for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a large pot of boiling water add 1/2 teaspoon salt and olive oil.  Cook the lasagna noodles "al dente".  When noodles are finished, drain, rinse with cool water and lay the noodles flat on a sheet of aluminum foil.

While the meat and noodles are cooking, mix cottage cheese, 2 beaten eggs, parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons dried parsley, and 1 teaspoon salt.

Butter a 9x13 pan.  Once the sauce and noodles are cooked begin layers lasagna.  Lay four cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of the pan, overlapping as you go.  Spread 1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture evenly over noodles.  Then 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese on top of the cottage cheese mixture. 

With a spoon, divide your meat sauce into 4 quarters.  Spread one quarter of the meat sauce evenly over the mozzarella cheese.

Repeat the layering processes, 4 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture, 1/3 of the mozzarella, 1 quarter of the meat sauce.  4 lasagna noodles, remaining cottage cheese mixture, remaining mozzarella, and remaining sauce.  Top generously with Kraft Parmesan Cheese.

Place in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

Adapted from Pioneer Women Cooks

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bread Crumbs

Bread crumbs?  One night for dinner we were having a caesar salad, but there were no croutons to be had.  I had made homemade macaroni and cheese the week before and had made bread crumbs to put on top of the macaroni.  At the end of the meal I had extra, so I put them in a baggie and tossed them in the freezer.  A week later there may have been no croutons, but I had bread crumbs and they were a hit.  You get a little bit of crunch with each bite of your salad.  I just put them in a bowl and let everyone sprinkle them on their own salad so that they don't get soggy.

Bread Crumbs

1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoon melted butter
Pinch salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix bread crumbs, butter, and salt together in a small bowl.  Spread breads crumbs evenly on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes.  Let cool.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chicken Curry Pitas

This is great summer meal that my family loves and is easy to throw together.  If I have time and plan ahead, the homemade pitas are especially delicious! 

Chicken Curry Pitas

3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/3 cup celery
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
2 tablespoons mango chutney
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 (6-inch) pitas, cut in half

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Spoon 1/2 cup chicken mixture into each pita half.  Serve.

*Adapted from Cooking Light

Pita Bread

3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix flour, salt, and yeast together in the bowl of a mixer fitted with paddle attachment.  Add 1 1/4 cups of water and olive oil to flour mixture and mix until it comes together.  The ingredients should form a ball.  If there is flour that won't incorporate add water a couple of teaspoons at time. 

Once a ball is formed, switch the paddle attachment to the dough hook and knead on low speed for 10 minutes.  When the dough is done kneading, transfer it to a lightly greased bowl, rolling the ball of dough around so that it is lightly coated with oil.  Cover with the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.

When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down and divide into 8 pieces.  Form each piece of dough into a ball, cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well.  If you don't have a stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven.  This is the surface you will bake your pitas.

After the dough has rested, lightly flour your work surface and place one ball of dough there.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle between a 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick.

With a spray bottle filled with water, spray a light mist of water onto your baking stone or cookie sheet and close oven for 30 seconds.  This step reduces the blistering on the outside of your pitas.

Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface (I can only fit one).  Bake for 3 minutes.  Remove from oven and cover with towel until ready to eat.

*This recipe is a shortened and slightly adapted version from thefreshloaf.com

Friday, June 3, 2011

Banana Muffins

My little ones love these muffins for an after school snack.  I love them warm with a little chunk of cold butter on each bite.  The top part of the muffin is my favorite!

Banana Muffins

2 large bananas, mashed
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 scant cups flour
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
Brown sugar for sprinkling on top of muffins

Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and beat until light and fluffy.  Add flour and salt to creamed mixture.  Mix well.  Dissolve soda in warm water and add to mixture.  Blend in mashed bananas.  Grease a muffin tin and fill muffin cups with batter 2/3 the way full.  Sprinkle each muffin with brown sugar.  Bake at 325 for 18-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let stand 5 minutes before removing from pan.

This recipe is adapted from Ann Rice's cookbook Grandma's Recipe Box 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Preston loves these lettuce wraps and I even got a thumbs up from Noah.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

5 teaspoons sesame oil
1 pound ground chicken breast (I used ground turkey)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 teaspoons minced ginger
1/2 cup green onions, minced
2/3 cup chopped water chestnuts
2 tablespoon soy sauce
4 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1 head of romaine lettuce, leaves separated

Heat 4 teaspoons sesame oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the oil is heated, add the chicken, using your spoon to break it up. 

Once the chicken is cooked, add the red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, scallions and water chestnuts and cook for several minutes, stirring frequently. 

Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, lime juice and 1 teaspoon sesame oil to the chicken, stir to combine.  Remove from heat.  Serve with lettuce leaves and garnish with minced green onions.