August 28, 2009

Beef Shish-Kabobs

Beef Shish-Kabobs
1 lb super trim stew beef
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
1 20 oz. can pineapple slices, chopped
McCormick Montreal Steak Grill Mates packet
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons wine vinegar
  • large Ziploc bag
1 package kabob skewers
Begin soaking skewers in a sink or bowl full of water.  Combine Grill Mates packet with water, olive oil & vinegar in Ziploc bag.  Let marinate in refrigerator for at least an hour.
Alternate chopped vegetables with meat and pineapple on the skewer then barbeque till done.  YUM!

Nearly-Chocolate Pudding Cake

Nearly-Chocolate Pudding Cake

Source: Delicious Meliscious. It was adapted for what I had on hand and was in the mood for.

If you find that you’re the only one in your house that loves chocolate (like me) this is a nice alternative to a “death by chocolate” cake recipe.  With a hint of vanilla it compliments the chocolate without overwhelming the taste buds!


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
  • 1 (3.9 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Yoplait Very Vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350*

Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan (I use cooking spray).

In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mix.  Pour in eggs, sour cream, oil and water. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

To remove cake from pan, a rubber or silicone spatula can be slid down the large fluted edges and this is usually sufficient to help release the cake.  To remove the cake, place a large plate over the Bundt pan and while holding the plate in place, invert the pan, the cake should drop unto the plate.

Cream Cheese Banana Bread & Orange Glaze

Orange Glazed Banana Bread

Source: Eat at Home


3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups of mashed banana (about 4 medium bananas)
1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda


1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoons orange peel


If you’re lucky enough to have someone this cute and willing, let them mash the bananas in a small bowl till there aren’t any lumps.

DSC_6314 copy

In a large bowl, blend together butter and cream cheese. Blend in the sugar till creamy, then the eggs, mashed bananas, and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Add them to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Pour into 2 well-greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes.  (I cooked mine for 75 minutes – the edges were juuuust about to get too brown so the time made me nervous and I removed them from the oven.  The inside was perfect!)  Remove loaves from pan onto cookie rack to cool.

For Glaze:  Start with less than the 3 Tablespoons of orange juice, stirring it into the powdered sugar until you get a nice consistency (about that of Elmer’s glue).  I recommend waiting to make the glaze until just before serving over the bread.

August 26, 2009

Iced Coffee

Iced Coffee
This was perfected with the help of my mom while she was in town visiting.  The kids wanted to help taste test which lead to a lot of jumping and silliness but in the end I think it turned out as good as what you'd find in any coffee shop!  If you have the time and patience (which I don't), I also recommend making coffee ice cubes ahead of time so your drink isn't diluted when it comes time to pour it over ice!
Makes one serving, so if you plan on making more than one I recommend mixing in a blender. 

  • 1/8 cup refrigerated liquid coffee creamer - your choice of flavor – I’ve used both (Coffee Mate) French Vanilla & Vanilla Chai Spice
  • 1/8 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp (or just a sprinkle) nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 cup coffee
The glass I used holds approximately 14 oz of liquid.
1.  Start by adding coffee creamer, cream, cinnamon, nutmeg & honey.  Mix well.
2.  Add ice cubes/coffee cubes
3.  Fill your glass half full with coffee and mix well.  
4.  Add the rest of the coffee, mix again and enjoy!

August 14, 2009

Hula Joes

Hula Joes

Source:  Real Mom Kitchen

Dedicated to Jamie because I know how she loves her hamburger!!!


about 7 or 8 strips of smoked bacon, chopped (I love using kitchen shears for this job)

1 pound ground beef

1/4 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 cup tomato sauce

1 20 oz can pineapple tidbits

Hamburger buns



Cook bacon until crispy in a large skillet over medium-high heat, turning once.*  Once cooked, remove bacon and set aside.  Drain the fat leaving the bacon drippings and about 3 Tablespoons of fat in the bottom of the pan (this can be approximate – I didn’t want a lot of fat but wanted to cook the beef in a lot of flavor.)

Return the skillet with bacon fat to medium high heat & add the ground beef, onion and garlic. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire and tomato sauce.  Pour into the skillet and add pineapple.  Cook until warmed through and thickened. 

To serve simply pile the beef mixture over an open faced bun, slap the top on and enjoy!

(to avoid splattering I cover nearly all the way with the pan lid, cook for several minutes then turn the heat all the way down to low and wait a few minutes till the temperature drops before I stir.  Not only does this help reduce splattering (saving time in clean-up later but helps to avoid getting burned by the oil)

This will make approximately 8 Joes – depending of course on how high you pile it on!

Fry Sauce

Fry Sauce

If you live in Utah, or have ever visited Utah, you know what joy Fry Sauce is.  The savory, creamy dip that must accompany the French fry & tater tot.  To let a fry or tot go naked is a sin not many are willing to commit once they’ve tasted Fry Sauce.

What I’ve discovered, after leaving Utah, is that no one else seems to know what it is and therefore has been deprived of this lesser known comfort food.

The ingredients are simple:

3 hefty dollops of Mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)

hearty squirt of ketchup

The measurements are based solely on the number of fries or tots you have to dip.

Mix thoroughly, removing any lumps of mayo until you have a lovely shade of pink – if it’s coral in color add a little more mayo.  If it’s not pink enough, add a little more ketchup.  Mix till satisfied and enjoy your dipping!

August 13, 2009

Pasta & Chicken Sausage Bake

Pasta and Chicken Sausage Bake

Source: My Kitchen Cafe


  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 10 fresh oregano leaves, chopped (I sent my 10 year old out to pick “a bunch” of oregano and used what she brought in) – you could also use 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 2 - six ounce bags baby spinach
  • 12 ounces smoked chicken (or turkey) sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a large skillet, cook chopped onion until translucent then stir in garlic. Cook for another minute; avoid browning the garlic.

Stir in tomatoes and oregano; cook till heated through; add cream and warm through. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta in the boiling water, according to package instructions. With about a minute and a half to spare on the cook time, add spinach, and cook just until wilted. Drain; return to pot.

Add tomato sauce, sausage, and 1/2 the Mozzarella to pasta; toss to coat. *Pour into 13x9 inch dish, top with remaining Mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes. and bake 20-30 minutes or until tops and sides are bubbly brown.

This served two adults and 3 small kids a second night of leftovers.

*If you want to save a second portion for another night entirely, rather than using the 13x9 inch dish, divide it evenly between two shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dishes, freezing one. To re-cook simply take the dish from the freezer, and cook approximately 30 minutes more than the original time.

August 3, 2009

Beach Street Lemon Chicken Linguine

Beach Street Lemon Chicken Linguinie
Source: My Kitchen Cafe, adapted slightly
**This recipe requires marinating the chicken for 3 hours so plan ahead**
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (smashed with the back of a large knife or saucepan)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning (you could cut this down to 1 1/2 teaspoons if you want less heat.  I left it at 1 Tablespoon and the kids didn’t mention it being hot at all.)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce (I’m a reduced sodium soy sauce convert after trying it in the Sesame Noodles)
  • 10-12 chicken tenders
Combine the marinade ingredients in a Ziploc plastic bag.  Add chicken and toss to coat. Refrigerate 3-12 hours.
  • 1 lb. linguine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • zest from one lemon
  • juice from one lemon (about 3 Tablespoons)
  • 3 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1.  When ready to cook, pour contents of plastic bag (both marinade and chicken) into a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat. Cook until chicken is no longer pink and sauce is reduced by half.
2.  Combine juice of one lemon, lemon zest, olive oil, green onions, Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley together in a small bowl. Set aside.
3.  While the chicken is cooking, prepare linguine according to package directions; drain and add to pan with chicken. Pour lemon juice/olive oil/green onion mixture over pasta and mix well. Serve warm.