Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wendy's Chili ~ by Aunt D

Have you ever eaten Wendy's Chili? From the Wendy's fast food? It is my ABSOLUTE favorite. Corny maybe, but cheap and easy I am. When my friend Megan G. at work posted on her FB that she had the recipe I was salivating! And to make it even better it was 21 degrees out and clear today in beautiful Maple Valley. So off to the market I went in search of the basics I was missing. Side note: I also made a pan of Marie Callendar's Southwest Corn Bread, the variation that adds a can of corn to it. GREAT side dish for this.

*2 lbs of ground beef, browned
*one 29oz can Tomato sauce
*one 29oz can of Kidney beans (drain liquid)
*one 29oz can of Pinto beans (drain liquid)
*one 29oz can of diced tomatoes
*1 cup diced onion
*1/2 cup diced canned green chilies
*1 cup of diced celery
*2 tsps cumin powder
*3 TBSP of chili powder
*1 - 1/2 tsp black pepper
*2 tsps salt

Brown meat and drain off fat. In a large kettle combine beef, celery, onion, and green chilies.  Sweat them for 5-10 min.  Add all other ingredients and simmer over low heat, stirring every 15-20 min for 2-3 hours.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Grasshopper Brownie Bars ~Molly

I made these for Christmas Eve and they are soooo good! The creme de menthe doesn't cook out, like it would with a pie, so these probably aren't a great thing to take to a church potluck, school bake sale, or AA meeting. Mom has now eaten several and is claiming that she wants to "get a little drunk".  Merry Christmas everyone!

*I didn't take this, I stole it from Maybe if Sarah were here helping me, I'd have my own picture.

For brownie layer
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 10 1/2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not extra-bitter or unsweetened and no more than 60% cacao if marked), finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

For mint ganache
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream**
  • 10 oz fine-quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green crème de menthe
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

For chocolate ganache
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 10 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped

Make brownie layer*:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a 13- by 9-inch baking pan and line with 2 crisscrossed sheets of foil, leaving a 2 inch overhang on all sides. Butter foil.
Melt butter and chocolate with brown sugar in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in eggs and vanilla until combined. Whisk in flour, cocoa, and salt until just combined.
Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake until set and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs adhering, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

Make mint ganache:
Bring cream to a simmer in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan and remove from heat. Pour over white chocolate in a bowl. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Stir in crème de menthe and extract and chill, covered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 1 hour.

Make chocolate ganache:
Bring cream to a simmer in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan and remove from heat. Pour over bittersweet chocolate in a bowl. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Chill, covered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 30 minutes.

Assemble layers:
Spread mint ganache over top of cooled brownie in a thin even layer using offset spatula, then chill until firm but still slightly sticky, about 30 minutes.
Spread chocolate ganache over mint and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Lift dessert out of pan using foil overhang. Run a heavy knife under hot water and wipe dry, then trim edges of dessert (1/4 inch off each side). Cut dessert into squares and peel from foil.

*If you don't want to make your own brownies, I'm sure the kind out of the box would work just fine. This recipe makes enough batter for a 13x9 pan, though, so for box brownies you will have more ganache than you need.

**I didn't think the mint ganache was minty enough so I used probably closer to a 1/4 cup of creme de menthe. I didn't reduce my heavy cream at all, though so it didn't set up as much as it should have. When I make this again, I'll probably use about 1/3 cup of heavy cream instead.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Snow Popcorn ~ by Sarah

I got this recipe from another Sarah--a gal I taught with in Goldendale.  She brought it to the staff room one December and I couldn't get enough!

microwave popcorn
white chocolate chips or white almond bark
plain M&M's
peanut M&M's

(There aren't specific measurements for this.  For this batch, I used three regular-sized bags of butter-flavored microwave popcorn, two bags of white chocolate chips, one jar of peanuts, and one large bag of each kind of M&M's.)

Pop popcorn.  Meanwhile, melt chocolate or almond bark in a saucepan over a larger pan of boiling water.  Dump popcorn into LARGE container (I've used garbage bags when I'm making a really big batch--you need room for it to be able to really move when you shake it).  Combine all the ingredients in the container with the popcorn and shake the heck out of it.  You might have to stir, too.  Lay out on baking sheets, foil, or wax paper to dry.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Twice-Baked Potatoes ~ by Sarah

These are ah-mazing.  In the words of cousin Amy, "These are the best things I've ever eaten."  And they pretty much are.  Just don't think about your waistline while you're enjoying them.  Big surprise--they come from the Pioneer Woman!

8 baking potatoes, scrubbed clean
canola oil
8 slices thick-cut bacon, fried
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, cut into slices
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, such as Lawry's
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2-3 green onions, sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

With a paper towel, rub the outside of the potatoes with canola oil.  Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked inside and the skins are slightly crisp.

Turn the oven down to 300 degrees.

Dice the fried bacon into bits.  Throw the butter, sour cream, bacon, milk, seasoned salt, and pepper into a large bowl.

While the potatoes are still hot, hold each potato in a towel and cut in half lengthwise.  With a large spoon, scrape out the insides into the bowl with the other ingredients.  Repeat until all the potatoes have been scraped.  Reserve the potato shells on a large baking sheet.

Use a potato masher to mix the ingredients together.  Stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese.  Slice the green onions and add them to the bowl.  Stir, taste, and adjust the seasonings as necessary.

Fill each potato half with the potato mixture and return to the baking sheet.  Top with the remaining 1 cup grated cheese.  Bake in the 300 degree oven for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are hot.

Pioneer Woman picture:

If you want step-by-step directions with pictures, go here:  The recipe is older than the one in her cookbook, so I would follow this one and just look at hers for pictures.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Beefy Harvest Soup ~ by Sarah

This recipe is from the Oregon Beef Council.  It is one of Wes's favorites.  Definitely a good wintertime main dish!  I like it because, other than the sausage, I usually have all the ingredients in my kitchen.

1 lb. ground beef
4 c. water
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 c. frozen mixed vegetables
4 t. beef bouillon
1 c. uncooked large elbow macaroni
6 oz. smoked beef sausage, cut in 1/2-inch pieces

Brown ground beef.  In large saucepan combine water, tomatoes, mixed vegetables, and bouillon.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in macaroni and ground beef; return to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in sausage; continue simmering 2-4 minutes or until macaroni is tender.  Season with salt and pepper as desired.  (I also add Lawry's seasoning salt and garlic salt.)

The kids love it, too!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich ~ by Sarah

This is a recipe from my Pioneer Woman cookbook.  I have been wanting to try it for awhile now, but I was scared of all the butter.  It didn't disappoint--this is amazing!  

1 whole large onion
2 sticks butter
2 pounds (to 3 Pounds) cube steak
Lawry's Seasoned Salt
lemon pepper (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
½ cup (approximately) Worcestershire Sauce
Tabasco sauce, so taste
4 whole French/deli rolls

**Note: I also added fresh mushroom slices to the onion when it was cooking and grated mozzarella cheese to put on top of the meat when the sandwich was assembled.

Slice onions and cook in 1/4 stick butter until soft and light brown. Remove and set aside.

Slice cube steak against the grain. Season with Lawry’s, lemon pepper, and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter over high heat (in same skillet) until melted and beginning to brown. Add meat in single layer. Cook one side until brown, then flip and cook until brown, about a minute on both sides.

Add 1/2 cup (at least) Worcestershire sauce, 5 to 6 shakes Tabasco, and 2 tablespoons butter. Add cooked onions. Stir to combine.

Butter halved French rolls and brown in skillet.

To assemble, lay bottom half of French roll on plate. Place meat mixture, followed by a spoonful of juice from the pan.

 *This is a Pioneer Woman picture.  I was too lazy and too hungry to photograph my own.

If you want to see step-by-step instructions with pictures every step of the way, go here: 

Serve this to a man in your life--he will be over the moon!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Elegant Dessert ~ by Sarah

This comes from the Pioneer Cookbook--the one from the North Powder residents.  Make this and you will be the most popular person at the event you take it to.  Trust me.  It's a requirement at any Anderson Thanksgiving.  Jordan, Matt, and Andy threaten to steal it as soon as I arrive.  It's heaven on a plate!

1 cube butter
1 c. flour
1 3/4 c. chopped nuts*
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
9 oz. Cool Whip
1 small package chocolate pudding
1 small package vanilla pudding
3 c. milk
1 t. vanilla

*I hate nuts so I never use them in this recipe.  (Which makes Mom crazy.)  If you don't put the nuts in the crust, you will need to 1 1/2 the crust--1 1/2 cubes of butter and 1 1/2 c. of flour.

Mix butter, flour, and 1 cup nuts (if you want them).  Spread in 13x9-inch pan.  Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool completely.  Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 cup Cool Whip together.  Spread over crust.  Mix 2 pudding mixes, milk, and vanilla.  Beat until it starts to thicken.  Pour over cream cheese layer and chill.  Spread remaining Cool Whip on pudding layer and sprinkle with nuts.  (Since I don't sprinkle it with nuts, I grate chocolate and sprinkle it on the top.)

*I am crying right now over the fact that there were no leftovers of this!  Only one piece was enjoyed by me!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lasagna ~ by Sarah

I have had this recipe for years.  I believe it is Aunt Elaine's that Mom got from her years ago.  I was really surprised when I got my Pioneer Woman cookbook and the same recipe was in there.  The only difference is that PW adds fresh herbs (totally worth it!) and hot breakfast sausage (also totally worth it!).  Grandma Shirley had this on Sunday night and she says it's the best lasagna she's ever had!

1 T olive oil
10 oz. lasagna noodles
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 lb. hot breakfast sausage
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 14.5-oz. cans whole tomatoes (I cut them up with kitchen scissors before using them)
2 6-oz. cans tomato paste
freshly ground black pepper
10-12 fresh basil leaves
1/4 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 c. low-fat cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese (she uses the finely grated stuff in a can, I always buy the shredded)

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the hamburger, sausage, and garlic until brown.  Drain excess fat.  Add the tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, salt, and pepper.  Stir together well.  Simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Chop basil and parsley.  Add half of them to the meat mixture.  (You can use dry herbs, but it's not as good!)

While meat is simmering, combine cottage cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and the other half of the herbs.  Also while the meat is simmering, boil the noodles according to package directions.

In a 13x9-inch pan, layer 4 lasagna noodles on the bottom, overlapping them slightly.  Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles and spread it out evenly.  Sprinkle half the mozzarella cheese on top of the cottage cheese mixture.  Spoon just under half of the meat mixture on top of the cheese and spread evenly.  Repeat the process beginning with another layer of noodles, then cottage cheese mixture, mozzarella, then meat.  Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes--until bubbly.  Allow to stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

*Pioneer Woman picture. I forgot and it didn't last long!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Best Frosting. Ever. ~ by Sarah

This is the best frosting.  Ever.  Just ask Kelsey--she has been eating it by the spoonful all day.  (I sent it to her house so she would eat it instead of me.  That's the kind of sister I am.)

This came from  (It's the Pioneer Woman's recipe sharing site.)  This stuff is out of this world!  It's weird because of the flour, but, trust me, it's amazing!

5 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar (not powdered sugar!)

Bake your favorite chocolate cake and let it cool.

In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. Stir in vanilla.

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Salmon Florentine ~Molly

I found THE BEST salmon recipe the other day on I've made it twice now, and I'll probably be making it again very, very soon. It's healthy (hence the reason it was on a health magazine's website), quick, and soooooo delicious.
Since I'm alone in my wolfpack, I cut the recipe in half and had plenty for my dinner and leftovers the next day. Oh, and I wilted about 2 cups of fresh spinach instead of using frozen because frozen is gross.

Serves 4


  • 2 packages (10 oz each) frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots*
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets (6 oz each), rinsed and patted dry


  1. Heat oven to 350°. Squeeze spinach of all excess liquid. Set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute more. Add spinach, tomatoes, salt, pepper flakes and pepper; cook, stirring, 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; let cool about 15 minutes**. Add ricotta; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pack about 1/2 cup spinach mixture on top of each fillet, matching the shape of the fillet. Place fillets on a rimmed baking sheet or in a glass baking dish; bake until cooked through, 15 minutes. 

    *I used onions because I don't have shallots just hanging out on my counter.
    **I'm not patient enough to wait that long, so I cooled mine for about 5 minutes, and it was just fine.

    No, I didn't take this picture. Oh, and I left out the part of the recipe that tells you to serve it over quinoa.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Smoky Beef-and-Bacon Chili ~ by Sarah

This recipe originally came from Sunset Magazine, but was given to me by my co-worker, MaryRuth.  It is so delicious and will definitely be replacing our regular chili recipe!  It is a bit spicy, so you might want to back down on the cayenne pepper and chili powder if you're wimpy like me.

4 slices thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2-2 lbs. ground beef (she said this is also really good with elk burger)
1 T plus 1 1/2 t. chili powder
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1 1/2 t. smoked paprika (You might have trouble finding this in the grocery store--I had to borrow some from MaryRuth!)
1/2 t. to 1 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. salt
1 can (14.5-oz.) crushed or diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can (8 ox.) tomato sauce
1 c. Indian Pale Ale (IPR) or pilsner
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
sour cream, green onions, and/or grated cheddar cheese for topping

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon, stirring until it just begins to brown, about 4-7 minutes.  Stir in garlic and onion and cook for about 1 minute.  Add ground beef and break up.  Cook 6-8 minutes; until it loses its raw color.  Stir in spices and cook 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beer, and Worcestershire and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover partially, and cook 30 minutes.  Add beans and cook 10 more minutes, uncovered.  Season to taste with additional salt.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Milky Way Cake ~ by Sarah

My co-worker, MaryRuth, has brought this cake to school a few times and I am always eager to enjoy it!  It takes 11, yes 11, Milky Way bars to make it!  It is delicious!

8 Milky Way bars (full size)
2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/3 cups flour
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

3 Milky Way bars
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Melt over medium heat 1 cube butter and 8 Milky Way bars.  With mixer cream 1 cube of butter and sugar.  Add eggs.  Combine soda and flour, then add to sugar mixture.  Mix in buttermilk.  Add melted candy bars.  Bake in greased and floured bundt cake pan for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Melt Milky Way bars and butter over medium heat.  Add milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar.  Pour over warm cake.

Please excuse the crummy cell phone picture.  Trust me--it's pretty and delicious!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins~by Kelsey

This one comes from  I am a huge fan of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Grease the muffin pan, or use paper liners.  Mix sugar, oil, eggs.  Add pumpkin and water.  In separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and powder, spices, and salt.  Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir in the chocolate chips.  Fill the cups 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Pizza Dough~by Kelsey

I found this recipe in my recipe box.  It's written in Grandma Jessie's handwriting, but I don't know why, since I don't remember her ever making home made pizza.  I know it has been in there at least, like, 12 years, and I have never tried it, so I gave it a shot.  It was really good!  The kids had fun putting the toppings on.

1 cup warm water
1 package yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
3 cups flour

Mix together the water, yeast, sugar, and salt.  Add the oil and 1 1/2 cups of flour and beat with a mixer.  Add another 1 1/2 cups of flour and knead.  Let it rise 1 hour.  Punch it down, roll it out, and top as you please.  Cook it at 375 degrees.  I think I checked on it after 10 minutes and had to let it go another 10 minutes after that, but I am not sure, so keep an eye on it.

Chex Muddy Buddies~by Kelsey

I absolutely LOVE these!  You can't beat chocolate and peanut butter!  I didn't get a picture of them, so I guess I will have to make another batch soon so I can get a picture!  They are fast, easy, and only dirty one bowl.

9 cups Chex cereal (I buy generic rice and corn Chex-like cereals)
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a large microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter.  Cook 30 seconds, stir, cook 30 seconds, stir.  Repeat this process until the mixture is smooth.  Add vanilla.  Add the cereal to the bowl, and stir very carefully until all the cereal is coated.  Now, you can either add the powdered sugar to the bowl and stir, OR you can put the cereal in a ziplock bag, add the powdered sugar, and shake.  Store in an air tight container in the fridge.  They are awesome.  Trust me.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

24-Hour Fruit Salad~by Kelsey

I got this recipe from Grandma Jessie.

6 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 apple
3-4 bananas
1 can pineapple chunks
2 cans mandarin oranges
1 can fruit cocktail
2 cups mini-marshmallows
1/2 pint whipping cream

Mix cream cheese and mayonnaise.  Add all ingredients except the marshmallows and whipping cream.  Whip cream, fold in marshmallows.  Fold marshmallow/cream mixture into the fruit.  Let sit in the fridge overnight.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Killer Brownies ~ by Sarah

I found these brownies in my Pioneer Cookbook.  I decided to give them a try and I only have one thing to say: Where have you been all my life?!?

Seriously, you must make them.  I have two theories on how these got their name.  They are so incredibly delicious when people eat them they say, "Wow!  These are some killer brownies!"


People eat them, realize they contain 4 1/2 cubes of butter (yes, you read that right), and they say, "Wow!  These are some killer brownies!  I think I might be having a heart attack!  Please call 911!"

Regardless of their name's origin, they are insanely delicious.  I took them to school yesterday and had people hunting me down all day asking for the recipe.

4 1/2 cubes butter, melted (I read that applesauce can be a successful alternative to butter when baking.  If you can't get past the butter, try half applesauce and half butter.)
1/2 t. salt
3 c. oatmeal
3 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
3 c. packed brown sugar
1 (about 21-oz.) bottle butterscotch/caramel sauce (I have never found them together, so I always buy one jar of each and mix them.)
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix first 6 ingredients in a bowl.  Spread half of the mixture evenly on the bottom of a 15x10 3/4-inch pan.  (Make sure it's at least 1/2-inch deep.)  Pat down.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Drizzle caramel sauce over the baked mixture.  Use rubber spatula to spread to within 1/2 inch of the edges.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on caramel sauce, then sprinkle remaining dry mix on top.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cut into squares when completely cool.

Tip: Because of the copious amounts of butter in these, I highly recommend that you keep these in the refrigerator.  If the room is at all warm they really start to get gooey and are hard to hold.  Still delicious, but messy!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Three Packets and a Roast ~ by Sarah

This is a Mary Hunt from Everyday Cheapskate recipe.  It is the best pot roast you'll ever make.  I guarantee it!

1 beef roast (chuck, London broil, round...the cheaper the better--mine was only six bucks!)
Three packets of dry mix:
   brown gravy dry mix
   Italian dressing dry mix
   ranch dressing dry mix

Place beef in the slow cooker.  Tear open the packets and pour them on the raw meat.  Add one cup of water.  Cover and cook on low 8 hours for a large roast or on high for 5 hours.  Check after a few hours to make sure it's not getting too done.  The gravy this creates is incredible and even the cheapest cut of meat will be so tender! 

If you have a pork roast, substitute the brown gravy mix with pork gravy mix.  If you have a whole chicken, substitute it with chicken gravy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Peach Crisp ~ by Sarah

Another Pioneer Cookbook recipe!  I could eat just the topping and be happy!

1 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. butter, melted
4 c. sliced fresh peaches
1 T. lemon juice

Sift together flour, sugars, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.  Blend in oatmeal.  Mix in melted butter using a fork until course crumbs are formed.  Place peaches in a 13x9-inch pan.  Sprinkle with lemon juice.  Cover peaches with crumb mixture; pat down.  Cover dish and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Uncover, then bake 30 more minutes.  Serve warm with cream or ice cream.

Sky-High Biscuits ~ by Sarah

These came from my Pioneer Cookbook.  They are really good and I like how they have whole wheat flour in them.

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
4 1/2 t. baking powder
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
3/4 t. cream of tarter
3/4 c. margarine
1 egg, beaten
1 c. milk

Combine flours, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cream of tarter.  Cut in margarine until crumbly.  Add egg and milk, stirring quickly and briefly.  Knead lightly on floured board.  Roll or pat gently to 1-inch thickness.  Cut into biscuits.  Bake at 450 for 12 to 15 minutes.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Caramel-Apple Streusel Pie ~ by Sarah

This recipe was in my latest issue of Ruralite Magazine. I hadn't seen any pie like it, so I wanted to give it a try. It was amazing!

6 cups sliced peeled ripe apples (about 6 regular-sized apples--I used Granny Smith)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pie crust--enough for top and bottom
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup cold butter
18 caramels, unwrapped
5 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional--and I opted not to add them!)

*Heat oven to 400°F. In large bowl, mix apples and lemon juice. In small bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, the tapioca, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add to apples; stir gently. Let stand 15 minutes. Place 1 pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Pour apple mixture into pastry-lined pie plate.
*In small bowl, mix oats, flour and 3 tablespoons sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Cut second crust into wedges; arrange wedges in an alternate pattern across the mixture. (I wasn't exactly sure what they meant by this, so I did a lattice top...)
*Bake 45 minutes. Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat caramels and milk over low heat until caramels are melted. Stir until smooth; add pecans. Drizzle over pie. Bake 8 to 10 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 2 hours.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Vegetable Lasagna (With Meat) ~ by Sarah

It's lasagna--without the carbs! I got most of this recipe from my ground beef cookbook, but I changed it quite a bit to more closely resemble the regular lasagna I make. You can add or subtract vegetables as you wish. My kids don't usually eat spinach, zucchini, or mushrooms, and they ate them in this. They had no clue they were in there! It was really, really good!

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 jar marinara sauce
1 can Italian stewed tomatoes
1 package sliced mushrooms
4 zucchini or 2 zucchini and 2 yellow squashes, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
2 T flour
1 to 2 cups fresh spinach
2 T chopped fresh basil
16 oz. small curd cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
shredded mozzarella cheese  (I used reduced-fat and it was fine)
shredded Parmesan cheese

Brown ground beef and onion over medium-high heat.  Season as desired.  If you have Italian Seasoning, dump some in!  Drain.  Add marinara sauce, stewed tomatoes, and mushrooms.  Mix well (I used the spatula to chop the mushrooms into smaller pieces) and simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
 While the meat is simmering, grease a baking dish and layer the bottom with zucchini and yellow squash.  Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour.
In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese with beaten eggs.  Add 1 tablespoon fresh basil.  Pour half of the mixture over the zucchini and squash and spread evenly.  Add a layer of half of the meat sauce, then another layer of zucchini and squash with 1 tablespoon flour.  Spread the second half of the cottage cheese mixture over that.  Sprinkle with as much spinach as desired.
Spread with the last of the meat mixture.  Add as much Parmesan and mozzarella cheese as desired.  Sprinkle with remaining basil.  Bake at 375 degrees about 40 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.  Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
As you can see, it's pretty watery due to all the vegetables.  The flour is to help that, but the more veggies you use, the watery it will be.  It didn't bother us, though!  This is nice because it doesn't require a side dish.  I baked some garlic bread, but that was it!  A meal in one!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Slow Cooker Beef Dip Sandwiches ~ by Kelsey

I found this recipe in my Woman's Day magazine.  I modified it a little to fit what we like.  It was AMAZING!  So easy, and delicious.  It has a little kick to it, so it's a little more exciting than a regular French Dip.

Small beef roast, your choice of cut.  I used a cross-rib roast, and it worked really well.
Jarred pepperoncini peppers, your choice of quantity.  I used about three peppers, sliced, and it was fairly spicy.
1 cup of pepperoncini juice
1/4 cup each of water and oil
1 pouch of Italian dressing mix
1 tbsp minced garlic
Ciabatta rolls
Walla Walla Sweet onion

Put the roast in the slow-cooker.  Mix the peppers, pepper juice, oil, water, and salad dressing mix.  Pour over the roast.  Cook for 4-5 hours on high, or 7-8 hours on low.  Take the meat out of the slow cooker, let it rest for 15 minutes.  Saute the onion in a little butter in a frying pan.  Brush the juice that is left in the slow cooker on the halved ciabatta rolls.  Broil until lightly toasted.  Slice or shred the roast, put it on the bun, top with the onion.  Serve with a side of juice from the slow-cooker for dipping.  The kids didn't want it as a sandwich, so they ate the shredded meat with the bun on the side, minus onions.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chocolate Sheet Cake ~ by Sarah

This recipe came from my Pioneer Woman cookbook. If I had known it was going to be this good, I would have made it months ago.  Definitely the best homemade chocolate cake I've ever made.  And it's so easy!

For the Cake:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
¼ teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons (heaping) cocoa
2 sticks butter
1 cup boiling water
½ cup buttermilk (If you don't have any buttermilk, pour almost 1/2 cup low-fat milk into a measuring cup. Then add about 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar.)
2 whole beaten eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Frosting:
½ cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
1-¾ sticks butter
4 tablespoons (heaping) cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound (minus 1/2 cup) powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Set aside.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Set aside.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together. Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into ungreased sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.

While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake immediately after it comes out of the oven.

Serve to chocolate lovers everywhere!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fruit Pizza ~ by Sarah

This recipe came from Pioneer Cookbook, a compilation of recipes from people in the North Powder area.  Our family has been enjoying this recipe for years!

Sugar Cookie Crust:
3/4 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking powder

Put butter in bowl.  Add sugar.  Squish with fork.  Add 2 eggs and vanilla.  Blend in remaining ingredients.  Chill 1 hour.  Spread out on pizza pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes or until the edges are brown.  Cool completely.

8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 of an 8 oz. container of Cool Whip
1/2 c. frozen orange juice, diluted only 1/2 as directed on can
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
3/4 c. water
assorted fruit slices

Blend until smooth the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and Cool Whip.  Spread evenly over cooled crust.
Give your son the beater to lick:

Place any desired fruit pieces on the filling.  I used strawberries, peaches, and blueberries since that was what the fruit stand had.  We've used huckleberries, bananas, and kiwis, too.

For the glaze, cook until clear and thickened the orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and water.  Cool and pour over the fruit.  (The can be made ahead and refrigerated.)  You are likely to have quite a bit of this left over!

Serve to your bratty younger sister when she finally comes home from Germany.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Grilled Tuna with Mango Salad ~Molly

This is yet another recipe I stole from, although it was originally in Bon Appétit Magazine. It's super easy and an awesome summer meal.

1 Mango, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3/4 cup Red Onion, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
3 T Cilantro (or basil for all you cilantro haters!)
2 T Fresh Lime Juice
2 T Olive Oil
4 Tuna Steaks, 1 inch thick

Mix first five ingredients. Set aside.
Preheat grill or broiler. Brush tuna with olive oil and grill until opaque on both sides. Top with mango salad and serve.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chocolate Chip Pancakes~by Kelsey

This is what Lydia wants for breakfast every morning.  Riker likes them, too, but he tops his with peanut butter instead of syrup.

Pancake mix of your choice, made by directions on the package
Chocolate chips

Mix up the batter.  Pour the pancake in the pan.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.  Flip.  Enjoy!

Lydia's pancake is supposed to be shaped like an "L" in the above photo.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chicken Fajita Marinade ~ by Sarah

I got this from and added chili powder to give it a little kick.  Delicious!

* 1/4 cup beer
* 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (it took about 5 limes to get this amount)
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 tablespoon brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* salt to taste
* 1/2-1 teaspoon chili powder

1. To prepare the marinade, stir together beer, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and salt; mix well.
2. To use marinade, pour into a resealable plastic bag, add up to 1 1/2 pounds of chicken breast, and mix until chicken is well coated. Marinate for 1 to 3 hours in the refrigerator.
3. Saute vegetables, remove from pan, cook meat, then add veggies back to meat mixture to blend flavors.  Serve as desired!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Blueberry Muffins...The Best Way ~ by Sarah

I didn't make the title up--I copied it from I agree with it!  I find it hard to beat Betty Crocker's blueberry muffin mix, but I had fresh blueberries I wanted to use, so I found this recipe. They are yummy!  Simple, too!

3 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Mix flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  Combine melted butter, eggs, and milk and stir by hand into the dry ingredients until just blended.  Fold berries in lightly and carefully.  Spoon into greased muffin tins.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes--until golden brown.  Makes 12 extra large muffins or about 20 regular-sized muffins.


Slow Cooker Pork or Beef Roast ~ by Sarah

This recipe is a combination of ideas from Angela and ideas from me.  You can use a pork roast or a beef roast--the cheaper the better!  It is incredibly delicious!  This is one of Wes's favorite meals.

1 pork or beef pot roast
1 envelope dry onion soup
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 heaping spoonful diced, jarred garlic
seasoning salt, garlic salt, pepper

Drizzle olive oil in large skillet.  Heat over medium-high until oil is hot.  Place roast in skillet and brown on all sides.  Season well while browning. 
 Place roast in crock pot.  Pour golden mushroom soup over roast, then sprinkle the envelope of onion soup.  Add a small amount (about 1/2 a cup) of liquid--water, or beef broth if you're using a beef roast. 
Cook on low for about 6 hours.

Depending on how watery the roast is, the gravy in the crock pot may be thick enough to serve as is.  If it's not, add some flour and milk (I use heavy cream if I have it) and cook over medium-high heat until it's at your desired thickness.
You can add potatoes and/or carrots to the roast when a few hours of cooking time is left.  It makes the gravy a lot more watery, so sometimes I cook them separately.