Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our Meal

We made the Easy Chocolate Mousse on Friday night, before Sean left to return home, so that he could try it.  It was pretty easy to mix up and I didn’t make any changes to the recipe.  We let it chill for 30 or so minutes and topped it with strawberries and whipped cream. Delicious! We all really liked it.  It made enough for 4 adult servings and a small child one. 

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On Saturday we prepared the salad and lemonade as we had some produce we needed to use up.  All the slicing and dicing did take a bit of time but not too bad.  I was glad they included the roasting tip for the nuts and seeds.  The salad shrank quite a bit as it soaked up all the dressing in the fridge, I was surprised, but I guess cabbage does that.  The salad was really good and I would even add more veggies next time to it.  It would be a good thing to make for a luncheon. 

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When I started the lemonade I didn’t read the directions in advance so I didn’t realize the time involved.  I would definitely make it earlier in the day, but it worked out just fine.  I ended up using 7 medium sized lemon and one medium sized lime.  After I dissolved the sugar, I put the water mixture into the fridge for a few minutes to cool before adding the lemon/lime juice.  The recipe suggests that this should sit for an hour but because of time I just mixed it straight in with about 7 cups of water and it turned out fine.  This lemonade was so refreshing and delicious, it really paired nicely with the salad and made for a good summer dinner, along with some crusty bread. 

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Friday, July 29, 2011

New Recipes from Our Best Bites

I hope everyone is ready to start cooking from our new cookbook! There are so many delicious looking recipes in there that I can't wait to try. Since this cookbook is much bigger we thought we could go back to choosing 2 or 3 recipes to make each week that could maybe go together for a meal.
This week I chose 3 that should make a refreshing summer meal!

Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade pg 26
Asian Cabbage Salad pg 75
Easy Chocolate Mousse pg 234

Also I will update the rotation on the right side. I just plugged everyone in so let us know if the week doesn't work for you. We also have a new member to our group, Sarah, who is Jenny's SIL so welcome!

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Jacki and Leslee’s Review of Pico De Gallo

We made this recipe (actually Leslee did all the work) the other night to go with dinner.  I prepared the spicy pork in the PW book which we served with tortillas and/or rice, the Pico De Gallo and other condiments.  I forgot to buy jalapeno’s and it was bad traffic time around here and close to dinner so we decided to omit them.  It was fresh and oh so delicious tasting.  The jalapeno would add some zip but it was good without as well.  We used the red onion per Audrey’s suggestion.  I will definitely make this recipe again and if I remember to buy avocados I would like to try the guacamole. 


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The Pico De Gallo topping Sean’s fine looking burrito:

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dana & Audrey's Roasted Corn Salad

I started out cleaning and cutting all the veggies up for the grilling process. Instead of drizzling the veggies with the oil on the grill, I wiped it on the veggies. I used all the veggies that she suggested, except used one yellow squash and one zucchini as that is what I had. Once they were all roasted and cooled, Dana started cutting them all up. That was quite a job, but she got it done :) She made the dressing like the recipe said, but we would change it if we make it again. Too much balsamic vinegar! It made it too sweet. I think that I would prefer an Italian dressing on it, myself. We served it with skillet potatoes fresh from the garden and beef and veggie shish-k-bobs. Some people used tortilla chips to scoop up the salad. I thought that it all tasted good, but some of the family didn't care for the corn salad. Dana made the pretty tomato garnishes on our salad :)

Dana and Audrey's Review of some Side Dishes

Here's Dana working hard cooking our Quesadilla's. We had mushroom, red pepper & cheese quesadilla's with our Pico De Gallo and Guacamole.
Here is the Guacamole. Dana fixed it and I think that she followed the recipe, but she also added some garlic powder to it. Its real important to have good avocadoes and handy to just add the Pico De Gallo to it. It was so so good!!

This is the Pico De Gallo and I fixed that. It wasn't hard to make, just some cleaning and chopping of the veggies. It tasted very good also! I had some home grown tomatoes and then had to add a few from the store. We really liked the red onion instead of the yellow. I had made this a few days before with the yellow and didn't like it as well. I would recommend that you add half a jalapeno at a time to test for hotness. Some peppers are mild and some are hot :) Don't forget to add the lime juice and salt as these really add a lot of flavor. I have made this recipe about 3 times now. It's nice to eat when its so hot outside. We also used tortilla chips to dip up these tasty sides.

Here's Dana's plateful ready to eat !!
I will definitely make both of these recipe's again.

More Recipe Reviews By Audrey

Here are the Marmalade Muffins. They were fun to make, but they made a lot! I filled the muffin cups full & it made double the amount of muffins that she said, which is good. I poured the glaze over some of the muffins & then left the rest without for those who didn't want the sweet glaze. I thought that they tasted good both ways.
Mocha Brownies fresh out of the oven. These were also fun to make, since I usually just open a box. I used a good sturdy pan the size that she said & they turned out really good. For the frosting, since I didn't have the coffee, I used some milk and that worked good. I didn't ice the pan of brownies, but had a dish of the frosting on the side for those that wanted it. We usually don't frost our brownies, but it was a nice change from the usual version that we have.

Here's mine ready to taste, yum!!

Here is the Braised Beef Brisket ready to go. I followed her recipe and actually kept it in the fridge for several days, so it was marinated very well. It was a very easy recipe to make, you just had to plan ahead for your marinating time.

Here's the brisket after sitting for a bit ready to pull apart. We thought that it was very tasty and we served it with the Cheese Grits. I think that Dana might have posted about this. We didn't like the Grits as well. Garlic was too strong!

Here's our version of Beans and Cornbread. My family prefer's butter beans, so that is what I did. I knew that it would be a waste to do the beans her way. I really didn't follow her recipe at all :(

Here is the finished product. I also just used our usual cornbread mix(Jiffy) as my family said that they didn't want any other :) The meal was great !!

Here is the Perfect Pot Roast ready to go in the oven to roast. I followed her recipe and 4-5 hours later pulled it out. I did make some gravy to go with it and also cubed some potatoes and steamed them. We thought that this was a great recipe and now I cook my roast this way instead of the crockpot! Unless it is 100 degree weather outside here in oklahoma, then I will have to use the crockpot again :)

Here it is ready to be dished up.

Here's the Twice-Baked Potato. I think that I fixed this one saturday in March for our lunch. I followed the recipe and it takes a bit of time, but there are things that you could do ahead to make it go quicker at meal time. We thought that it was very good. You do need the bacon and green onions to give it good flavor.

Well, I only have a few more recipe's to post about that I fixed with Dana, so I will try and get those posted soon.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Jacki and Leslee’s Review of Katies Roasted Corn Salad and Twice Baked Potatoes

Leslee and her family are here visiting with us and we decided to make both of these recipes for dinner tonight.  The Roasted Corn Salad was a little labor intensive but tasted very good.  If I made it again I would add a little less balsamic vinegar.   I was worried the corn wouldn’t get all the way done with the grill pan so I cooked it in the microwave a few minutes first.   The salad was good with  tortilla chips and by itself.  It was a nice blend of flavors and the grilled taste was an excellent addition. 

The Twice Baked Potatoes were also very good but I didn’t have any green onions or bacon and both of those ingredients would have zipped up the flavor a notch.  It was very hot here today so I did all the potato cooking in the microwave so the oven would have given the dish a little bit of crispiness which would have been nice.  Both dishes were tasty and recommended.

Salad part way through preparation:

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Twice baked potatoes – a little heavy on the cheese.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jenny's Migas and some random recipes from PW

I made the migas a couple of weeks ago but never got around to posting it. I guess summer has been pretty busy...or lazy...or maybe some of both...

Anyway, I really liked the migas. It tasted very fresh, light, and on the healthy side for PW! I just used sharp cheddar cheese and only used green pepper and not the red one too. My husband wasn't a huge fan of the migas. He said it needed a little more kick to it. I used the whole jalepeno, but I think it must have been a really mild one. It really wasn't spicy at all and usually when I cook with jalepeno my fingertips are burning afterwards, making taking my contacts out at night pure joy...I really need to keep some gloves around for when I cook with jalepenos! I did put a little tabasco on top of my eggs to give it some heat and I thought it was great.

While I was on vacation in Utah I had an opportunity to make a few recipes from the PW cookbook. My mom bought the book after hearing me rave about various recipes from it, so I was able to use her book. I didn't take any pictures though, which I should have!

One night I made the Chicken Spaghetti for everybody. We all really liked it. It was just a good comfort food casserole. I thought it would be a great thing to make when you need to take dinner to people because it made a lot and it seemed to be a crowd-pleaser.

We also made the creamy, herbed Rosemary Potatoes. These were seriously the best potatoes I have had in a long time. I could not get over how wonderful they were. Everybody else at the table was going crazy over them too. We made them just as the recipe says and they were absolutely delightful. I hope I'm not over-selling these potatoes...but they really were so good. After reading the recipe it's not hard to understand why they are so good. They are definitely on the decadent side of things...I think they would be great to serve for company. They would go perfect with a nice steak, pork tenderloin, or grilled chicken, etc. I can't remember what we served them with...I just remember the potatoes :)

One night my mom made the Blackberry Cobbler. My brother and his wife came over for dinner that night, along with my grandma. It happened to be a night I was having dinner at my in-laws. When I got home there were literally 2 bites of cobbler left. My mom saved it for me so I could at least try it! The 2 bites I had were good :) I will have to make it again I think. It's definitely safe to say that my mom and dad are enjoying the PW cookbook.

And I did make the Olive Bread a while back. I made it back when we were making the lasagna. You can barely see it in the lasagna picture, kind of in the top left corner. My husband and I are olive lovers, so this bread really worked for us. But I will state that you really, really, really need to love olives to like this bread. It was very rich and salty, like Audrey said. I think you could definitely cut the green olives by half to help with this, or leave them out completely if you are not a fan of them and the bread would still be plenty olive-y.

Anyway, sorry this post is so long. I got my Our Best Bites cookbook from Amazon the other day. I have already looked through it a few times! I am excited to start it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Audrey's Catch-up

Well, I am finally getting some of the recipe's that I have tried posted. Its nice to now have high speed internet ! This is the Spicy Pulled Pork. I have made this several times now and we have really liked it. Its a recipe that you can freeze half of the meat if you don't need all of it, so that's very handy. The fresh lime juice squeezed over the filling is real good!
Here's the BBQ Jalapeno Poppers. These were a big hit! My first batch was fairly hot, due to the peppers, but the second batch wasn't, so that was good for me :)

Brock was my taster. He liked the hot and mild :)

Here's the Chocolate Sheet Cake. I made this to take for the Hospitality room at a basketball tournament. They cleaned it up, so I guess that they liked it ! I made one to keep at home for us also and we liked it. I thought that it was nice and moist and of course I like nuts with my chocolate :)

The Simple, Perfect Chili was very good also. Easy to make which I like. I added pinto and kidney beans. I like beans in my chili, but not all of our family does, so I made my usual chili recipe for them. They missed out not eating this !

I fixed the Olive Cheese Bread for a family get together. It wasn't a recipe that anyone picked, but it looked good. I found that there was a lot of filling to go on one loaf of french bread. It was too much for us and too many olives ! Very rich and salty. It was good, but I would cut back on the olives :)

The Oatmeal Crisps were a big hit! I liked the fact that you could make up the basic recipe and then add different ingredients to change it up. My favorite was adding chocolate chips. I think that someone else added raisins or cran-raisins. It was nice to make it, roll it up and then put it in the freezer till you needed it.

I usually make Onions Rings when we have hamburgers, so I thought that I would try these Onion Strings out. They didn't go over big with my guys! They wanted the ones that I usually make. I liked the Onion String quite a bit, but it was easy to eat too many!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Leslee's Flat Apple Pie

After seeing my mom's review I decided to make this recipe too. We have made the pie crust before but it was pretty easy to mix up and turned out nice. I used some nice crisp golden delicious apples in place of granny smith. I liked not having to deal with making the crust look nice in the pan and my folding was definitely 'rustic'. I thought this turned out well and Sean reported he like it. I cooked up some of the filling for myself separately and ate it with some ice-cream, delicious! Also I just made half the recipe.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Jacki’s Review of Flat Apple Pie

I made this last night for dessert and it didn’t disappoint.  I only made half the recipe but followed the directions other than that.  I didn’t do a very good job of folding over the edges so I had some cracks and some of the juice leaked out all over the cookie sheet but it still tasted really good – just a pain to clean the pan.  I would definitely make this again and maybe try PW’s suggestion to drizzle caramel sauce on top:)

Ready to go into oven – mine was VERY rustic.

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Fresh out of the oven. 

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

New Cookbook Title!

The next cookbook we will be cooking from is Our Best Bites – Mormon Moms in the Kitchen by Sara Wells & Kate Jones.
You can order this book online or find it in some bookstores.  They also have a website  Not all of the
recipes in the book are on the website.  We still have a few recipes in the PW cookbook that we have not tried.  So, for the month of July we will not select a specific recipe but everyone can cook whatever they want from the PW book and post a review about it.  If you need to catch up on your cooking and/or posting feel free, this is a great month to do so.  We would all love to hear your results!  We will begin cooking from the new cookbook the beginning of August – assignments will be forthcoming.  Please let either Leslee or I know if you do NOT want to be included in the recipe selection rotation.  Or, leave a comment below.   So, for the month of July – order your new book and prepare some of those few recipes remaining in the PW cookbook such as pico de gallo, rosemary potatoes, roasted corn salad etc.  Don’t forget to share your results with us:)  PW will have a new show on the Food Network channel beginning some time in August which might be a fun  to watch.  It is supposed to be about cooking and life on their ranch.  Hope to see some postings from all of you over the next few weeks.

Leslee's migas

I made these one night for dinner and they were very good. I made a little smaller portion but followed pretty much everything else. This was a very tasty meal but a little spicy for the kids so they just had plain scrambled eggs.

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