Monday, December 26, 2011

Jacki and Leslee’s Meals

Well we have been cooking over here but have gotten a little behind in posting about the recipes we have been making.  My mom was here for a while in December and we made all these together.

First up are the sugar cookies.  Summer and my mom made these one day while I was out of town.  My mom said they turned out great and made a delicious sugar cookie although maybe there was a bit too much flour in them. 


Next was the Spinach and Feta Pasta.  I made a few little changes with this, leaving out the mushrooms and substituting parmesan for the feta.  It was really tasty and easy to cook up.  I also added some chicken to bulk it up a bit.  We thought it tasted a lot like Chicken Catactori.


The Pineapple Bacon Burgers with Sweet Potato fries was another really good meal.  This wasn’t something super new but everyone enjoyed it.  We cooked both the burgers and the pineapple on the grill and also added some pepper jack cheese.  We cooked the sweet potato fries in the microwave for a few minutes to start the cooking process before putting them in the oven. 


The last meal we made was the Pineapple-Ginger Steak with Stuffed Blue Cheese Potatoes.  We used Skirt Steak instead of flank and only marinated it for a few hours but it was nice and flavorful! The potatoes with pretty easy to make and were a big hit! We didn’t have any blue cheese so we substituted some feta cheese, which worked just fine. We liked these so much we decided to make them again for Christmas Dinner! Another delicious meal!!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

New Recipes

Pineapple bacon burgers p. 130
Baked sweet potato fries p. 180
Easy Pretzel Turtles p. 255

I have a ton of pictures I need to post! Hopefully I will get around to that SOON.

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Recipes for the week of 12/11.

Sorry for my tardiness on getting these up!

Pineapple-Ginger Flank Steak - pg 136
Stuffed Blue Cheese Potatoes - pg 183

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Leslee’s Chicken and Dumplings and Green Beans

I made these recipes a few weeks ago.  I made the chicken and dumplings using the stovetop method.  I only ended up using 4 cups of liquid instead of the 6 so it ended up a little thicker but that was okay.  I was excited to have a reason to try out the new Gluten Free Bisquick mix to make the dumplings with.  Sean and I both really liked this dish and it is perfect for winter.  I wanted to make the Caramelized Green Beans that night too even though I didn’t have the bacon.  Even without the bacon they were really good! My kids both surprisingly loved them! We will have to make these again.



Sunday, December 4, 2011

New recipes for week of 11/4

I chose a quick and healthy meal and a not so healthy dessert ;)
Spinach and Feta Pasta pg. 172
Sugar Cookies pg. 208
With a busy holiday month, this recipe is a one dish meal and I like to make sugar cookies at Christmas time :)
Hope both recipes taste great!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Review of the Green Beans and Chicken Dumplings


We had both the chicken and dumplings and the green beans this week. Both of them were well liked by our family. For the chicken and dumplings I used some homemade chicken broth I had in the freezer and also used canned chicken so it was easy. I did it all in the crockpot, even the dumpling part so it was pretty easy. The green beans were so good. My husband actually made most of it and did a very good job. He doesn't cook much but he did a great job of following the directions (with a few pointers). These were so delicious. We used frozen green beans and boiled them for a few minutes first. I think he cooked it to perfection because everything was just carmelized without being burnt. I was impressed since there were so many ingredients in there are burn easily. Suprisingly, even he said that you could use about half of the bacon the recipe calls for and still have it taste good. We ate it all and forgot to take a picture.

Jacki’s Chicken & Dumplings, Caramelized Green Beans

On Tuesday night I fixed the Chicken and Dumplings and then last night I fixed the caramelized green beans hence the separate pictures below.  We were not big fans of the Chicken and Dumplings.  The flavor was very good but I prefer a thicker, creamier sauce part.  The dumplings were good.  I added a bit more of the vegetables than what was called for.    I cooked it in a crockpot but I think it would be better to cook it on the stove. 

The Caramelized Green Beans were quite tasty but a lot of work for green beans – easier just to steam them.  I used fresh green beans and cooked them in the boiling water for one minute as called for but then I ended up needing to cook them a lot longer in the pan with the onions etc.  I would recommend cooking them a little longer in the water – my onions and garlic ended up quite done as a result.  It was fun to try something different with a vegetable.

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I have not had a chance to try the gingerbread cookies yet but they are a perfect choice for this time of year. 

Jacki’s Chicken Cacciatore

I finally made this on Monday night when we had some dinner guests and everyone liked it.  It definitely needed some salt even though I added what was called for (I used regular salt not Kosher so I added just a bit less than what was listed).  I think I must have accidentally grabbed some No Salt Tomato Paste at the store and used it.  I followed the recipe as directed except I left the chicken pieces bigger than bite sized.  I cooked it in the crockpot and the chicken was tender and flavorful.  Excellent leftovers.  I forgot to take a picture on the first night we had it and then I forgot again when I had it for lunch on Tuesday but I finally remembered to take a picture yesterday!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Recipes: Week of 11/27

I had a hard time choosing the recipes this week. So many good looking things. I am not sure if these have been chosen yet but I will take a chance.

page 104- Chicken and dumplings

page 188- Carmelized green beans

page 210- Gingerbread cookies

Leslee’s Catch Up

I am a little late in saying this…but CONGRATULATIONS to two of our cooks who had their babies this month.

Kim had her sweet little girl Norah on Nov 2nd and Tarin had the adorable little Weston on Nov 16th! I am sure they are both pretty busy (and tired)!

I have a few recipes I need to catch up on.  A few weeks ago I made the Banana Cream Pie. I used vanilla pudding mix and graham cracker crusts for both pies.  I set aside some filling for myself and that was some tasty stuff! It was pretty rich with the sweetened condensed milk but everyone loved it!

I also made the Smokey Bean Soup that week.  It tasted great but I probably needed to add a little more liquid because it was a little thick.  It wasn’t the most photogenic thing so no picture on that.

I had made the Chicken Cacciatore a month or so ago.  I cooked it in the crockpot and served it over rice.  It was very delicious so I made it again last week.  This time I didn’t cook it in the crock pot and served it over noodles.  I took a few shortcuts by not blending up all the ingredients as directed but it turned out very tasty still!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Heidi's catch up post

Okie dokie... it has been a LONG time since I have pulled my pics off my phone so here an my fabulous photos :)
I believe that this was the chicken tortilla soup.  It was pretty good.  A little spicy for my little family; but I loved the flavor.
 Greek Couscous Salad - I really liked it.  Kenton isn't a fan of "cold salads" other than regular salad so he didn't really care for it.  The kids picked out all the veggies and ate those.  I would fix it again, maybe to take to a potluck function.
 Puffed French Toast:  Very good although very sweet.  I also fixed the Buttermilk syrup too and that was good.  I actually preferred the flavor of the home-made syrup on the french toast too the regular syrup.
 Smoky Bean Soup with Ham and Bacon:  Not really a fan of this one, the flavor was just too strong for us. 
 White Chicken Chili:  If I remember correctly, this had really good flavor.  Lots of chicken pieces though!  I think I fixed this in the crockpot which really made it easy.
 Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Chop Chocolate Cookies:  these very VERY good!  I was a bit skeptical because I thought it would be "too chocolatey" but they were really good.
That's all the pics that I could find so hopefully that gets me all caught up!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Recipe for the week

Sorry I completely spaced it on picking out a recipe. I just picked one since we are already a couple of days into the new week.

Let's try the Chicken Cacciatore on pages 168-169.

French Toast with Buttermilk Syrup

Last week I made the french toast with buttermilk syrup. It was so yummy! And very sweet! It was like eating donuts. But it was definitely good french toast. My family loved it too.

I actually ate it without the syrup to begin with and I thought it was great. It's already sweet enough. But the syrup is good too. The syrup gave me a little grief, but it was my fault. I started cooking it in a pot that was too small. All of a sudden it boiled out everywhere. It was a mess! So I transferred it to a bigger pot and things went much better. I think I might have cooked it a little too long...but it was still tasty.

I froze half of the french toast like the book said. We pulled it out yesterday and it tasted really good. So it is good to know that that is an option.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Jacki’s Review of Double Chocolate Waffles.

These were absolutely delicious!  Nothing better than dessert for breakfast:)  Actually, I made these for dinner and served them with an egg and some sausage but just the waffles and some milk would have been plenty because they are so rich.  At first I was a little disappointed because they came out of the waffle iron soggy but they crisped right up after just a minute or two.  I like a crispy waffle.  I made the berry sauce to go with it and it was good but I think next time I would just use cut up berries and skip the whole jam and hot water part.  Of course I also added some fresh whipped cream – divine!

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Jacki’s Smoky Bean Soup and Banana Cream Pie.

I made both of the recipes a few nights ago for dinner and they didn’t disappoint.  I followed the Bean soup as directed but added just a little bit less broth than called for.   I also used white potatoes and peeled them.   I thought it had a really good flavor and it made good leftovers.  I served it with corn muffins and sliced pears. 

The store I went to didn’t have the Nilla Wafer pie crust so I just bought some Nilla Wafers and made my own.  The filling was very good but quite sweet so I think the next time I will just use a regular pie crust to counter the filling sweetness since the cookie based crust was quite sweet also.  It was still really tasty though.  One of the best banana cream fillings I have had.  I would also add more bananas next time.  I used the vanilla flavor pudding.   Also, I made the recipe as directed and used a 9 inch Pyrex glass pie plate and all of the filling fit into it.  So if you want to get two pies out of the recipe I would use the 8 inch pie plates.    I would make both of these recipes again. 

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Puffed French Toast

From 2011-11-02 (by Eye-Fi)
This was really yummy (Jake loved it so much I thought he was going to cry). I served it with bananas on top and that was so good! Somehow I missed that we were suppose to make it with the syrup recipe :( which sounds really good. I probably will only make this on special occasions from now on though since there isn't a ton of nutritional value. But definitely a keeper!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Jenny's Sort Of Catch-up

This is my sort of catch-up. I'm still behind on a few recipes! But I will make them soon.

I actually made the greek cous cous salad a few months back. I thought it was really yummy and a good salad to take to a potluck. I made it without feta, because Al doesn't like feta, but I missed it. I think next time I will just add feta to mine and keep Al's plain. I thought I had taken a picture of the salad, but I can't seem to find it...

The waffles were yummy! And the whole family liked them. I actually made the strawberry syrup that is in the book to go with them because I had a lot of strawberries, and not the berry syrup that was on the same page as the waffles. Anyway, the waffles were easy and we love to have breakfast for dinner here, so I will definitely make them again.

I thought the pumpkin shakes were delish! And again, the whole family loved them. We added mini chocolate chips to ours and left off the graham crackers. The chocolate was good, but I think I would have like it even better without. They really hit the spot and were a fun seasonal treat.

Recipes For Week Of 11/6

Smoky Bean Soup with Ham and Bacon    101

Banana Cream Pie                                                224

Puffed French Toast and Syrup

I made this breakfast this morning and it was a success.  They syrup gave me a bit of a hard time but I think I just needed to use a bigger pot. It turned out really tasty though, just like candy! For the french toast I used french bread because when I was looking for Texas Toast they only had garlic flavored and I didn’t think that would work out. The french toast worked out well though.  I didn’t have enough oil to really fry them but they turned out nice and golden brown.  Sean isn’t a big french toast fan but he thought these were really good!



Friday, November 4, 2011

Jacki and Nika’s Chicken Tortilla Soup and Grilled Taco Chicken

I have been traveling so I am waaaay behind on my cooking and postings.  Hope to catch up soon.  While I was visiting Nika and family we made the Grilled Taco Chicken one day for dinner and used the leftovers to make the Tortilla soup the next day.  Both recipes were excellent.  The Grilled Taco Chicken had just the right amount of spice and bite and the soup had a very good flavor.  For the grilled chicken we followed the recipe as directed except doubled it.  Served it with a lime/cilantro type rice and salad along with some pineapple.    When we made the soup we added a can of black beans to give it more substance and if we had any we would have added some corn.  I would also add less of the broth next time.    Nika fried up some corn tortilla strips to go with it which tasted really good as well.  Grated cheese, diced tomatoes and avocados were toppers.   Definitely two recipes to make again.

The Grilled Taco Chicken – delicious.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup – delicious.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tarin's Puffed French Toast & Syrup

We loved these recipes! They were both easy and delicious. Just a few comments:

The syrup was definitely worth it. I was really concerned when I started making this because I couldn't see how this:

Would turn into this...

But somehow it did :) It did take longer than 7-9 minutes and then if you really want that thick syrup texture you need to really wait for it to cool. But everyone agreed that it was so much better than store bought syrup.

For the puffed french toast, if you try to fry these at 375 for 3-5 minutes on each side you will be eating burnt french toast. I fried them at about 350ish for 30-40 seconds on each side and they were perfect. Crispy and brown without the burnt flavor!

Here's the batter for your reminded me of a thin pancake batter.

Heating up the oil.

And frying up the toast. I would also recommend for those of you who haven't done a lot of frying to make sure not to try and overstuff your pan with the bread slices. They cook quicker, more evenly, and are easier to flip when it isn't packed.

And the completed dish. My brother Jack (14) said that this was the best french toast in the world. Score!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Recipes this Week

Hey everyone, sorry to be posting this so late! It's a crazy week here so I decided to only choose 2 things:

Puffed French Toast, pg 64
Buttermily Caramel Syrup, pg 70

Happy Cooking!

Recipe Catch Up

I have a few recipes I tried lately from the last few weeks.

First up is the Double Chocolate Waffles.  These were delicious! I served them with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. I made a gluten free and regular version, both really tasty!


One night last week I made a big batch of the grilled taco chicken.  The first night we had it in tacos.  That was good and I preferred the taste of the seasoning to the packet of taco seasoning.  The next day I used the extras to make the Taco Soup.  This was easy to make and tasty.  It more liquid then some other versions I have made but still good.  Sean appreciated that there wasn’t beans in there but I think they would be a nice addition.

I made the Stovetop Kettle Corn for our little Halloween Preschool Party and it was a big hit, especially among us moms! It was pretty easy to make and was really good!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kim's review

Last week I made the 3 recipes I chose.

First up, the pumpkin shake... yum!!! I was a little hesitant when I was adding the pumpkin puree but mixed with the ice cream and everything else it was yummy and delicious. I made it for my kids who quickly gobbled it up.

The chocolate waffles (this is my husbands attempt to try and take a "pretty" picture! I thought these were really good. They are really sweet and you fill up on them fast. When I fisrt started pouring the batter to make the waffles I thought we weren't going to have enough for everyone but since they are so rich, it's hard to eat a lot. I think we even had a little left over. We didn't have any cream, that would have tasted yummy on them but probably made them even sweeter.

I LOVED the Greek couscous. I didn't add the olives or parsley. Also, I threw some chicken on our George Foreman and tossed it in. I didn't chill it for 2 hours either. We actually ate it warm and thought it was delicious. It all came together in just a couple of minutes and tasted fresh and light! YUM!! I ate some for leftovers yesterday and it was still really good but I think I kind of preferred it warm.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Since it is starting to feel a little bit like fall here I thought we should make a soup..
Chicken tortilla soup pg. 100
with the Grilled Taco Chicken pg. 114
And Stovetop Kettle Corn pg. 256

Happy cooking!

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Location:New recipes

Friday, October 21, 2011

Leslee’s Recipes

Last week we made the Cookie Sundae Cups for dessert.  I too had to cook mine for awhile and I think I might have cooked them a tad bit too long.  They were still nice and soft though when we ate them hot with ice cream and the toppings on top.  Very yummy!


Last night I made the Greek Couscous Salad but made a few changes.  I can’t eat couscous so I used quinoa instead.  It seemed like the best substitution.  Everything else I followed except substituting the cucumbers for broccoli (Sean doesn’t like them!).  I also just used regular olives because I wasn’t feeling too adventurous to try the other ones.  I guess I took a lot of the Greek out of this salad!    I thought the dressing was just a bit too oily but I didn’t end up using it all anyway.  Overall I thought the salad turned out great and it was light and fresh tasting. We ate it with some grilled chicken.  It was a good alternative to rice or potatoes!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tarin Playing Catch Up

So I while I don't have any pictures I have done a couple of our recipes so far...

I loved the cookies in the cups. I've done this before in a bigger sized container and was glad that I tried it in the ramekins, they are officially called pizookies but I know that there is a restaurant in Utah called The Chocolate that calls them cazookies which is where I saw them for the first time.   I also had to cook them longer, I don't know if it's because I put more dough in than I was supposed to but they turned out yummy.

The other one I just did was the white bean chicken chili. I haven't really had many chicken chili's before and I figured that this would just taste like a soup, but when I took my first bite I really thought chili. I made it on the stove top and let it just simmer for about an hour before serving it. I also thought the lime at the end was the perfect flavor! We also crumbled up tortilla chips and I tried it with some sour cream and cheese and it was just delicious. It was so easy, healthy, and yummy. Even Jack liked it and he hates all things chicken. Definitely a keeper.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Recipes!!

Please excuse my crazy pregnant mind. I think these recipes are a little random, but they each sound so good to me right now!

Double Chocolate Waffles with Berry Sauce (pg 63)

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake (pg 244)

Greek Couscous Salad (pg 79)

I know these things don't go together, but don't they all sound so yummy?! Happy Cooking everyone!

Kim's review

I made the white chicken chili and it was delicious. The first time I made it I did it in the crock pot and the second time (yes, it was that yummy!), I did it on the stove. Each time it was perfectly tasty and a winner at my house. It is easy but so delicious. A keeper for sure!

I made the cornbread and I liked it. Like everyone has said (and the cookbook too), it makes A LOT!! I thought the taste was perfect for me. They were just a little crumbly for my liking. It made a huge mess when my little boys were trying to eat them. They loved them by the way because they each thought I made cupcakes for dinner!

This apple dessert was easy and good... not delicious for me. It's one I'm not sure I will make again. We all liked it, but it didn't make anyone fly to the moon! By the way, I was watching a friends kids while she went to an ultrasound to find out if she is having a boy or a girl, so that is why my icing is pink and blue.... it's a boy!!!

Jacki’s Cookie Sundae Cups

I made this recipe last night for dessert and it was REALLY good – you  can’t go wrong with chocolate chip cookie dough and ice cream:)  I followed the recipe as directed except it took about 20 minutes to cook the cookie dough instead of 12-14 like the recipe said.   The dough had been chilling in the fridge since I  made it earlier in the day so maybe it took longer since it was still cold.  It was all pretty simple and straight forward.  My dough didn’t rise all the way to the top of the ramekin like in the cookbook picture so maybe I didn’t add enough but it seemed like plenty.  Very tasty!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Leslee’s Recipes


White Chicken Chili- This was so easy to fix and turned out very tasty! I used canned chicken, so I just dumped everything into the crockpot and let it cook for several hours.  I forgot to add the cilantro but it was still delicious!


Apple Streusel Bars- I made these on Sunday and took most of them to a church function. Sean sampled the rest of them and said they were delicious! They were pretty easy to make and smelled good!


Cornbread- I made the cornbread as well last week and I loved it! I used a package of gluten free cornbread mix and a box of gluten free yellow cake mix.  Both boxes called for a lot of eggs, butter, oil, etc so I felt like I was adding a ton of stuff.  I ended up with a lot of corn muffins!! I thought they turned out really tasty.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A quick recipe

Since we don't have a new recipe up this week, let's just try the Cookie Sundae Cups (pg 213). They look delicious and any excuse to whip up some cookie dough (or buy some:) is fine by me!
This should also give us a chance to catch up as well. I know I have a few recipes I need to post about.
Also I will put up a new selection schedule since we are all finished!

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Jenny's Guiltless Alfredo, White Bean Chicken Chili, and Cornbread

This week I made the Guiltless Alfredo pasta and the chicken chili.

I made the alfredo pasta without the chicken. I just added a little more bacon than what it called for. I think it would be good with chicken and next time I would add more artichokes since I am a fan. I didn't have quite as many as what the recipe called for. I also thought it would be yummy with sauteed mushrooms and maybe a white or yellow onion sauteed instead of the green onion. My husband really liked the pasta a lot. I thought it had a good flavor. I am wondering though if next time I would bake it. I'm not sure why that step was in there, except maybe to melt the cheese more. But it was creamier before the baking and I thought it looked great! Either way I am sure it would be good.

I made the chili yesterday and it was the perfect day to make it! It was rainy and stormy and on the cooler side for Houston. I really liked this recipe. I have another white bean chicken chili recipe I had been using, but this one is better. The other one is just kind of peppery and this one has a great flavor with the cilantro and the lime juice. Yum! I read at the bottom of the recipe, after the fact, that avocado would be a good thing to add. I agree. I think a little diced avocado would be a good addition, but again...I am a huge fan. I was wondering how the chicken would turn out in this soup. Sometimes I think chicken gets tough when it's cooked in soup, but this chicken was so tender. I had some leftovers for lunch today and the chicken was still really tender.

The cornbread I actually made a few months ago. I made it before we officially started the cookbook and I made it along with their red beans and rice recipe and their honey butter. I wasn't so much a big fan of the cornbread. I kind of like a more savory, corn-y type of cornbread. It was also during my first trimester and their is no accounting for what does or doesn't taste good at that time! Part of the problem maybe too was the honey butter. It was really, really, really sweet. I thought honey butter was just...honey and butter. But their recipe adds a fair amount of powdered sugar to the honey and butter. So it was super sweet honey butter on top of sweet cornbread/cake. Oh well. Maybe I will have to try it again under different circumstances :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Audrey's BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad & Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

Here's the Chicken Cobb Salad. We really liked it and it was easy enough to fix. We already eat a lot of these meals during the summer, so I knew that they would really like this recipe. I didn't fix the blue cheese dressing, as they didn't want to try it :(
Here is my version of the ice cream, courtesy of Jacki's suggestion. I did use the full fat vanilla ice cream after reading her review and it turned out great! I let the ice cream soften up and then added chopped up cherries that had been frozen and then thawed. I stirred them in and then added the grated dark chocolate. Put the mixture in a freezer safe container and let it refreeze. It tasted really good. I did like it best when it was still soft. I don't have a ice cream maker, so it was fun to try and make my own version of it.
Here is the mixture after adding the chocolate.
We liked both of these recipes and I will fix them again. Hope that those of you who haven't tried them will!