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Vegetarian Chili

From our "Joy in the Journey" Christmas Dinner.

Vegetarian Chili

1 diced green bell pepper
1 diced onion
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 can diced green chiles
1 can kidney beans
1 can chilil beans
1 can whole kernal corn
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin

I put all the ingredients in a crock pot on low for about 6 hours. Could also go in a pot on the stove and simmer until veggies are tender. Serve with grated cheese and sour cream.


Chocolate Raspberry Torte

These are the Brownies I made for the Christmas Relief Society Party, 2009

Joy in the Journey

This recipe is so simple yet delicious! It was brought to me from another Sister in the ward when we lived in California. She was a caterer. I don't have a picture but it is the dessert I took to the Relief Society Christmas Party

1 box of Brownie Mix (plus eggs, oil and water)
1 jar of Raspberry Preserves
whip cream
Nuts (optional)

Make brownies using brownie mix and recipe on the box ( I used the Costco, Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate)
mix in nuts if you would like
pour batter in a greased round cake pan
Bake and cool.
Turn out on plate
Top with raspberry preserves and dot with whip cream and raspberries
keep cold until serving

Roxanne's AMAZING!!

At the wedding reception Roxanne created this Pesto sauce to go on noodles. Roxanne says she just whipped it up and didn't write anything down. Here are the ingredients; mix and measure till it all taste good. (the measurements are Vicki Green's guess) It was amazing! I've already bought the ingredients to try it this weekend!

Jar of Pesto bought at COSTCO
2 qts of cream bought at Costco
1/2 jar of sun dried tomatoes, drained (Costco)
Fresh Mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 lbs of Italian Sausage, browned and drained
Italian Seasoning added to taste.

In a big pot, put the jar of pesto, and the cooked sausage. add the fresh mushrooms and SD Tomatoes and simmer for about 30 minutes. add the cream and stir into mixture. bring back to low simmer. DO NOT BOIL. Serve over pasta. Ground Beef can be used instead of sausage.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

This is one of the soups we served at our Relief Society Christmas Party. 2009
Joy in the Journey

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked wild rice
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup shredded carrot, I diced mine
3 cups milk
6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded chicken (cooked in crock pot with water and bullion)

Toppings: Shredded Cheddar Cheese, chives

In a large saucepan, combine the chicken broth and the wild rice. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat, cover ,and simmer for 50 min. or until rice is soft. Stir in the diced onion and shredded carrots; simmer for 5-10 min. longer or until tender.

In a small bowl. whisk together the milk, four, and pepper. Stir the milk mixture into the rice mixture, and cook until thickened and bubbly, stirring frequently. Add chicken and heat through but do not boil. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with shredded cheese and chives.


Italian Pasta Bake (Kraft)

simple is good, right? I love this recipe because it changes with different jar of sauce I use and my noodle choice. And the last time I made it I threw in some mushrooms that had no particular destination.

-1 lb ground beef (or sausage or turkey or just mushrooms)
-3 cups of Penne or rotini pasta, cooked, and drained (I used a mix of bow tie, penne and some left over wheat; just cleaning out the boxes).
-1 Jar spaghetti sauce
-3/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
-1 pkg (8oz) Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

BROWN meat in a large skillet; drain. Stir in pasta, sauce and 1/2 cup parm cheese.
SPOON into a 13x9 baking dish. Top with mozzarella Cheese and remaining 1/4 cup parm cheese.
BAKE at 375 for 20 minutes.

6 servings


Yummy Acorns!

Brayland's preschool class had their Fall Party today. I signed up to bring in treats. I wasn't excited to go and just buy something generic. So dinking around I found this cute crafty idea on FamilyFun ~ a totally favorite site of mine. They were super easy and so fun to put together.
Brayland picked up a few acorns the others day and they've been floating all over our kitchen floor (owe)! Point being: he has had the time to examine them. So when I was making them he said to me, "Mom, it needs a pokey thing on the bottom." Great idea Brayland! It made it a better acorn! Aren't they so cute!!!


Chicken Licken'

This was the Chicken tomato- cream sauce that I brought to the RS birthday celebration. This recipe was tried one day because I was looking through a crock pot cock book and thought that it sounded interesting. I decided to give it a try, and it instantly became a favorite. I often times take it to potlucks, socials and serve it when the missionaries eat over. It feeds a lot and is so tasty, you might find yourself licken' the plate clean!

4-6 chicken breasts (I use boneless, skinless- the original recipe calls for thighs)
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Salt
1 & 1/3 Tbsp. Paprika
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. chili powder
2 (16 0z) cans cut up or diced tomatoes- I can never find this size, so I use the 14.5 0z size
1 can (4 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1- cup heavy cream
1 pkg of rigatoni (or any pasta)
add last two ingredients later.
makes 6-8 servings
(I doubled the recipe for the RS dinner)

Stir the ingredients in the crock pot except for the cream and pasta ( I usually add frozen chicken on the top, after I have stirred the other ingredients in)

Cook on High for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Boil noodles on the stove top and add cream to the crock pot at the end of cooking time.

( I have found that the mixture is still very runny, so I mix cornstarch and water together and stir it in at the end also. Last time I made it, for the RS dinner, I made two, one for the dinner and one for home. My family never turned off the crock pot and I found that the cream had thickened up nicely- try adding the cream in earlier to let it cook longer and thicken up.)

You can easily store a lot of the ingredients in your food storage.


"Cannery" Hot Cocoa Mix Chocolate Pudding

It drives me nuts to buy the convenient lunch size packages of crackers/cheese/puddings. so in my latest attempt to stretch my dollar i found this fun recipe in the big yellow book from the cannery. it's called "basic food storage cookbook". I made pudding from the hot chocolate mix. heehee quick side story. i wasn't too excited to make more hot chocolate from it because one winter's evening brian turned down the lights, flipped on the fire and the Christmas tree lights and said, let's cozy up by the fire, drink hot chocolate, and stare at our tree. very out of the after-kids-are-in-bed routine. so he made hot chocolate. oh my gosh! it was awful! we couldn't stop laughing as we tried to drink this stuff. brian's not one for reading how to mix it so he dumps and stirs. ew. we were drinking clumps of powdery chocolaty sugar in luke warm water. but the cuddling was the best heehee.

so here's the yummy pudding recipe.

1/4 Cup cornstarch

1/4 Cup sugar

dash of salt

3/4 Cup Hot Cocoa Mix

1 Cup cold water

1 Cup hot water

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix together in saucepan the cornstarch, sugar, salt, cocoa mix. add cold water and stir until dissolved. add hot water. stir constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. stir in vanilla. chill and serve. may be poured into individual dishes after cooking if desired. serves 4

so here it is; all ready for Brilee's lunch!


Cafe Rio Dressing, Chicken and Rice

Cafe Rio Dressing:

1 buttermilk ranch dressing pkt--make per package directions
2 tomatillos
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno or a few dashes of green tabasco sauce

Use a food processor to blend all together.  Refrigerate.

Cafe Rio Chicken:
1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian dressing
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
3 cloves minced garlic
5 lb. chicken breasts

Cook all together in crock pot for 4 hours.  Shred meat and cook for an additional hour.

Cafe Rio Rice:
3 cup. water
4 tsp. chicken bouillon
4 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 can green chilies
3/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 onion
3 cups rice

Blend cilantro, onion and chilies together in a food processor.  Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients.  Simmer, covered for 30 minutes.  

Serve like tacos or taco salad with whatever toppings you like--cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.

From my friend Traci!  


Mexican Style Quinoa Black Bean Salad

• 1 cup quinoa
• 1 1/2 cups cold water
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 2 cups cooked black beans. If using canned beans, drain and rinse well
• 1/2 cup chopped celery
• 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
• 1 garlic clove, minced, OR 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 red pepper, sliced thin
• 1 large ripe tomato
• 1 green pepper, sliced thin
• 1 tsp cumin powder
• 1 tsp coriander powder
• 2 Tblsp freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 tsp salt
• Fresh ground pepper
• Pinch cayenne or chili powder
• 2 Tblsp chopped fresh cilantro
• 1/4 cup chopped scallions
• Optional: 1/2 cup sliced olives
1. The quinoa can be made ahead of time and refridgerated
2. Soak the quinoa 1/2 hour in cold water
3. Rinse very thoroughly in water several times. For each rinse, pour off most of the water and finish draining through a large fine mesh strainer
4. Place in 2 qt pot with 1 1/2 c. water and 1/2 tsp salt
5. Bring to a boil, turn down to low, cover tightly, and cook for 15 minutes
6. Remove from heat and allow to sit 5 minutes covered
7. Fluff gently with a fork and set aside to cool.
8. Saute jalapeno, fresh garlic, in 2 Tbsp oil until garlic is browned, pepper and celery are softened
9. Add the green and red peppers and saute briefly
10. Add the cumin and coriander, cook and stir 5 minutes
11. Blend dressing ingredients with a whisk or shake in a jar
12. Gently combine sauteed veggies, tomatoes, black beans, quinoa and dressing in a large bowl
13. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cilantro and scallions, and serve warm or

Gluten free Tabouleh

• 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
• 1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 5 green onions, finely chopped
• 2 cups small grape tomatoes, halved
• 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, thinly sliced
• Juice of 1 to 2 lemons, more to taste
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• Sea salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients together in a large serving bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Serve room temperature or chilled.

You can use dried tomatoes, onions and parsley in this dish.

If you like Tabouleh this is great. One of Zac’s favorites.

Quinoa is a great storage food

Quinoa has a nutty flavor and texture similar to rice. It's good source of complete protein, vitamins and minerals - 25% of the daily iron and magnesium requirement, 10% for Vit E, potassium, and fiber, 20 or so amino acids. Unlike wheat or rice, quinoa is a good source of lysine. Quinoa is also gluten free, and nutritionally higher than wheat for almost everything except complex carbohydrates. It also has more fat than most grains.
Helpful Quinoa Hints:
• Quinoa has high oil content, so should be stored in the fridge or freezer after opening to avoid becoming rancid
• A tight fitting lid is essential for even cooking
• Quinoa is coated with saponin, which will give it a bitter taste unless you wash it very thoroughly - those tiny flaky bits in the rinse water are the saponin (Most quinoa you buy in the stores has been pre-washed, but check by agitating in water.) If the water is clear it has been washed
• Because of it's high protein and oil content, quinoa is a satisfying meal with a few nuts or beans and veggies added

Basic Quinoa Recipe: 4 - 6 Servings: 2 quart pot with tight fitting lid
• 1 cup quinoa
• 1 1/2 cups cold water
• 1/2 tsp salt
Cooking Directions:
(I find that most quinoa comes already washed these days and doesn’t need washing.) If you don’t wash proceed to step 6.
1. Soak the quinoa first for 15 min - 1/2 hour in its cooking pot. Soaking loosens up the outer coating of saponin, which can give a bitter taste if not removed.
2. If you don't have time for long soaking, use hot water and soak for five minutes, then give an extra rinse or two
3. Stir the quinoa with your hand, and carefully pour off the rinsing water, using a sieve at the last.
4. Put the quinoa back in the pot, add more water, and rinse again two or three more times, until the rinse water is pretty clear
5. Drain quinoa well in the sieve.
6. Place quinoa in the pot, add the water & salt.
7. Bring to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat down to simmer.
8. Cook for 15 - 20 minutes.
9. Remove from heat and allow to sit five minutes with lid on.
10. Fluff gently with a fork and serve.

Think of using quinoa as you would rice. You can use it in salads; or hot with dried fruits and nuts; or with finely chopped vegetables added. You can brown it before cooking in liquids as you would rice for pilaf. If you know how to make Dilly Bread you can use it to replace the cottage cheese.

It is a great storage food as it is a complete protein just as meat is.



This is a very easy bread to make. It is a good one for children to start on. It is one step up from "Mud Pies". You can use your hands for everything.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup whole-wheat graham flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk together the flours, soda, salt, baking powder in a large bowl. With your fingertips blend in butter until it resembles small peas. Add buttermilk all at once. Stir with a fork or your hands until mixture holds together.

2. In the bowl, pat the dough into a ball. Lift out dough to a flour covered surface. Knead one or two times. Don’t handle too much or bread will be tough. Form into a dome shaped loaf about 7 inches in diameter. Transfer to lined sheet.

3. Dust lightly with flour and cut a ¾ inch deep cross in the top, reaching almost all the way to the edges. (This, they believed, was so the bad spirits could escape.) Bake, rotating half way through, until deep golden brown, about one hour and 20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Note: Graham flour is coarser than most whole wheat flour. If you use whole wheat flour, substitute one half cup wheat bran for one half cup of the all-purpose flour. If you are using flour you grind, then just use 4 cups.




Nonstick cooking spray

2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup hot water

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup cornstarch


1.Lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle gelatin over a small bowl filled with 1/2 cup cold water; let stand to soften.

2.In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup, hot water, and salt. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture reaches the soft-ball stage, about 238-240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat, add gelatin mixture and set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. With the mixer running, slowly add sugar mixture. Add vanilla and continue beating for 10 minutes until the mixture looks like marshmallow.

4. Transfer marshmallow mixture quickly to a prepared baking dish and spread evenly. (I use a half sheet pan) Spray a piece of parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray and cover marshmallow. Let stand overnight.

5. Remove parchment paper and invert marshmallow onto work surface. Trim 1/4-inch from edges of marshmallow. Cut marshmallows into 1 1/2-inch squares. Pour cornstarch in a bowl; working in batches, gently add marshmallows and toss to coat.

Makes about 30 marshmallows.


White Bean Chicken Chili

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. cooked chicken, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
 14oz. chicken broth
1- 16 oz. mexican tomatoes
1-16 oz. diced tomatoes--petite
1-7 oz diced green chilies
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 15 oz. can white beans
2 cup. corn (frozen works well or canned)
black pepper
chopped cilantro

Heat oil and cook onion and garlic until soft.  Stir in broth, tomatoes, chilies, and spices.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.  Add corn, chicken and beans.  Simmer and season with salt and pepper.  Top with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.  

could be made with canned chicken for food storage recipe.

Black Bean Salsa

One of my favorites!

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can whole kernal corn, drained
2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
chopped red onion
1-2 avocados, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Serve with chips!  

Mandarin Salad

Perfect for spring!  

1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 Tbsp. sugar
Bagged lettuce mix--I like some with romaine and the butter leaf lettuce
1 cup chopped celery
2 whole green onions, chopped
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
sliced strawberries
1/8 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. vinegar
dash of tabasco

caramelize almonds by mixing with sugar in a skillet until sugar in melted onto almonds.  mix all the salad ingredients together.  Toss with almonds and dressing just before serving.

Chicken Pasta Salad

really yummy on croissants for lunches etc.  --sorry no photos

1/2 box bow tie pasta, cooked
1-20 oz. can crushed pineapple
2 cans sliced water chestnuts, drained and sliced
2 cups chopped celery
1 pkg. craisens
1 can cashews
1 cup red grapes, cut in half
6 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 bottle cole slaw dressing (the refrigerated kind by the lettuce in the market)
1 cup mayo

Mix it all together and serve cold.  One-half of this recipe will easily serve 12-15 people.


Hutzley Sausage Lasanga

We hung out with the Hutzley's a long time ago for conference weekend. and they served us this incrediable meal! Bro. Hutzley is a great cook and i really don't know if this is hers or his. But regardless this is a huge, amazing, impressive, meal. i just made it for some friends and they said it's the best they have ever had! this one is difantly worth a try!

You'll need:
~Uncooked Lasagna Noodles

Meat Mixture:
~2 lbs Italian Sausage
~1 med onion
~2 cloves minced garlic

~1 28 oz diced tomatoes un-drained
~1 12 oz can tomato paste
~2 tsp sugar
~2 tsp salt
~1 ½ t basil
~1 t crushed red pepper
-In a large skillet combine sausage, onion, & garlic; cook till sausage is done. Add the next six ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer 20 min.

Ricotta Mixtures -In another bowl, mix:
~2 16oz ricotta cheese (using name brand really makes a difference)
~1 beaten egg
~1 T parsley flakes
~1t salt

Cheeses –and in another bowl mix:
~4 C mozzarella
~1 C parmesan

In a 9 x 13 pan spread meat mixture on bottom, then a layer of noodles, then Ricotta mix, then sprinkle with cheeses. Repeat 3x (I think).

Cover (use toothpicks to keep the foil off the cheese; sticky mess)
Bake 375. 45 min to an hour then let it sit for 5 minutes.


Megan wants pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for FHE dessert tonight. I love to eat them, but I've never made them.... anyone have a good recipe?


***EDIT: I remembered this afternoon that Kate gave me her recipe for pumpkin cookies last fall! I made them today and they were way delish! I'll ask her to post it for all of you!


Lemon Chicken with Broccoli

Lemon Chicken with Broccoli

12 oz thinly sliced chicken

On a plate:
1 ½ T flour
¼ t salt & Pepper
Coat chicken.

2 t olive oil in a large skillet; med heat.
Add chicken and cook, turning as needed, until lightly browned and cooked through: 5 minutes; remove to a plate.

In same skillet put
1 cup chicken broth
2 t minced garlic;
Bring to a boil over high heat, scrapping up browned bits from pan.
Add broccoli; cook 1 minute.

In a small cup, stir together
½ C broth
½ T flour
¼ t salt.
Add to skillet and bring to a simmer over low.

Cook till sauce is slightly thickened, 1 ½ min, stir in
2 t fresh lemon zest.

Remove from heat and stir in
2 T fresh parsley
1 T fresh lemon juice.
Toss to coat.
I had to share because my joy that day was watching Brayland devour his "bushes".


Pizza Meatloaf

I bought a meatloaf pan at Walmart.  It has two pans. The one that fits on top of the other is a drip pan.  It gets rid of the nasty grease.  Anyway, this recipe was on the packaging so I decided to try it.  It was a hit with my family.  Which is difficult to get all six of us to like the same thing.

1 1/2  pounds ground beef
1 can or jar (10 oz) pizza sauce divided
1  1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
1 egg
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 -  When I cooked mine I set the temp at 275 because i was going to be leaving.  It was in the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes and it turned out perfect.  Every oven is different so I guess it will depend on your oven.  

In med bowl combine beef, 1/2 of pizza sauce, 1 cup cheese, eggs, bread, salt and pepper. mix together and pack into the loaf pan.

Bake 1 hour or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees.  Let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Heat remaining pizza sauce.  Serve heated sauce over meatloaf  and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Oatmeal and Dried Cherry Biscuits

I was watching Martha and she was making this recipe.  I thought it looked good and decided to try it.  They were delicious and would be so good for a brunch with fruit and other goodies as well.  All of my family even liked them.  They reminded me of oatmeal cookies. 

I didn't take a picture, but I will next time and post it.

1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 c buttermilk, plus little more for brushing
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup dried cherries  (I used dried cranberries or craisins)
sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper (i just used my cookie sheet, didn't have parch paper)

In a med. bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter into oat mixture until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.   In another bowl, mix together egg, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extracts until well combined.  Add egg mixture to flour mixture.  Stir in cherries.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface, roll out to 1 inch thick rectangle.  Cut biscuits into 8 equal squares, transfer biscuits to prepared baking sheet.  Brush biscuits with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.

Put in oven and bake until tops are lightly browned, 18-20 minutes.  Put on wire rack and cook slightly before serving.


Baked Potato Soup

My New Favorite Soup

3-4 med potatoes, peeled and diced
5 Bacon Strips
2 Cans Cream of Potato Soup (undiluted)
1 Can Condensed Cheddar Cheddar Cheese Soup (undiluted)
3 1/2 C. Milk
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
1 C. Sour Cream

Boil Potatoes u til Tender and cook Bacon until crispy, then crumble
Combine the next 8 ingredients including 1/2 of crumbled bacon (reserving the rest for topping)
Cook uncovered for 10 min, stirring occasionally.
Stir in sour cream and potatoes, cook for another couple minutes (do not boil)

Top with reserved bacon, shredded cheese and dollop of sour cream

I double this because we eat so much of it and It's soooo good the next couple days for lunch!


My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

I finally found a recipe that made thick chewy amazing cookies. i think it is technically called Mrs. Fields Cookies and the best part is that the recipe only makes 13 gigantic cookies.

½ C Butter
½ C Sugar
½ C Brown Sugar
1 Egg
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 ½ C Flour (I made them w/ wheat flour once; still tastes amazing)
1 tsp. Soda
½ tsp. Salt
1 C Milk Chocolate Chips
1 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 ½ C chopped Pecans (I’m not a big nut fan so added 1 cup of oats instead; still amazing)

and recently i added chunks of Almond Bark. i did maybe 1/2 cup and then reduced the milk ch. chips to 1/2.

Preheat over to 325. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Mix flour, soda and salt in a separate bowl and add to butter/sugar mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (or oats). Dough should be thick. Use a ¼ Cup and fill with dough. (Yea, the cookies are huge! Make 13 big ones. I did smaller portions and found the baking time to be the same). Place on top rack for 15 minutes or until cookies edges are brown


Christmas Wassail

This recipe came from Ben's Aunt Kendalyn. Pretty good stuff. I like to keep it in a crock pot... it smells so good that it's like having a potpourri you can drink!

Put in a saucepan:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups water
5 whole cloves
4 allspice berries
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 piece of ginger root

Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for one hour.

Then combine:
2 cups orange juice (or you can use pineapple juice)
1 cup lemonade
1 quart apple juice or apple cider

Add the spices to the juices, and warm through. Feels very Christmas-y!


Bowman Chili

This is the chili we had at Kate's "yea-she's-pregnant" party!  

1 lb beef
1 lb sausage
2 cans mild chilli beans
1 jar salsa ( 160z)
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can diced tomato (141/2 oz)
1 can cream of mushroom
1 8 oz Velvetta cheese
1 1/2 chili powder
1/2 cayenne pepper

You brown the beef and the sausage. Then add the seasonings. Last you put in all the cans and velvetta cheese. Warm up and make sure that the cheese is melted. Eat it up. YUM YUM :)



Does anyone have a good recipe for Wassail? i need one for Christmas Eve dinner.


Tuscan Minstone Soup

This soup is so great, and great for you too! I discovered this recipe out of the book Bob Greene, The Best Life Diet. I did make a few changes.....which he may not approve of...but I don't think it will kill ya, and it made it a little tastier.

Serves 6

2 Tablespoons olive oil (first change.....I added more oil!)
1 medium Zucchini, cut into 1/2- inch slices, about 2 cups
1 medium Squash, cut into 1/2- inch slices, about 2 cups
1 large carrot, finely diced, about 3/4 cup
1 small onion, finely diced, about 3/4 cup
2 cloves garlic, minced ( I added a little more)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning ( I only had oregano...I used less but didn't measure)
4 cups all-natural reduced sodium chicken broth ( I used regular and at least doubled the amount)
one 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
one 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed ( I used great northern beans)
1/2 cup whole wheat Barilla PLUS or elbow pasta (used regular food storage elbow mac, I used more, which is why I used more broth and it made more servings)
3 fresh thyme sprigs
salt and pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil, cut into strips

Heat the oil in a dutch oven (Pot)over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, summer squash, carrot, onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning to the dutch oven and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 min. Stir in the broth and diced tomatoes, cover the mixture, and bring it to a boil. Add the beans, pasta, and thyme, and cook, uncovered, at a low boil until the pasta is done, about 10 min. (I have done it this way, but for the party I made the noodles ahead of time). Remove the thyme sprigs, and season the mixture with salt and pepper. Serve in individual bowls and top each serving with the Parmesan cheese and basil.

Per Serving: Calories: 193, Protein: 10g, Carbohydrate: 25 g, Dietary Fiber: 6, Total Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 5 mg, Calcium: 130 mg, Sodium: 516 mg.


Phylzer's Sweedish Cookies

So my Mom's nickname is Phylzer and this was originally her recipe she found. We had them at every important milestone growing up. Since they are my absolute favorite I have been carrying on the tradition even though I am not much of a baker. We had after both the Twins and Aubrey's blessing. They are so sweet and pretty with both pink or blue icing that I thought about calling them Blessing Cookies or Baby Shower Cookies. Here they are at my twins' 3rd birthday party.

1 c soft butter
1/3 c whipping cream
2 c flour
Granulated Sugar

<> Mix butter, whipping cream, together, slowly mix in the flour.
<> Roll out dough thinly and cut out cookies in little circles (I use my cake decorating icing tube as a punch) My picture above it actually way too thick, I had a 3 year old rolling so if you do it yourself they could get even thinner.
<> Set out a plate with sugar and cover both sides in sugar.
<> Poke holes with fork usually 3 straight lines (I did on the side here to look like baseballs).
<> Place on cookie sheet and Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes. (They should not brown, just possibly get a little golden)
<> After completely cooling** frost one and press another on top to make sandwiches.
**Make ahead and freeze and frost before needed

Here is a picture of one of the birthday boys getting caught stealing cookies off the table. And
then getting caught again later....


Dreaming of you Salad

This amazing salad was served at my baby shower and I probably think about it weekly for over 3 years now. I try to order it at restaurants and it is never quite the same. So I called up my friend for the recipe and realized the secret is in her dressing. I served it at my boys birthday for the adults and everyone asked for the recipe.
Spring Mix Lettuce
Candied Walnuts
Pears (slice thin or chopped)
Red Onion (slice thin and then chopped)
Blue Cheese

1 and 1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
2 T Dijon mustard
1 t minced garlic
1/2 t fresh ground pepper
1/4 t salt
*optional sugar (I use about 1/4 cup)
Pour all ingredients into blender or food processor to emulsify or just heavily whisk.

Toss together and Voila!!!


Lisa's Sweet Chicken Fingers

This recipe from Lisa Peterson is one my kids favorite meals. We always have it for New Years--with other asian inspired things. We had is yesterday for dinner--so yummy--but I forgot to take a picture when it was fresh and pretty.

Chicken tenders (as many as you need to feed your family)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
2 beaten eggs
1 Tbsp. oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. salt

Dip chicken in eggs. Then dip in combined flour, cornstarch and garlic salt. Coat chicken with flour then fry in lightly oiled skillet till browned on both sides. Add extra oil as you go--or between batches. I have to do two skillets worth of chicken. Place chicken in a 9x13 baking dish. Whisk together ketchup, water, sugar and soy sauce in a saucepan, then simmer until warm. Pour over chicken and bake for 45 minutes at 350. You may want to make extra sauce or save some to pour over your rice or with egg rolls. Serve with white rice.


Pecan Dream Bars

Some of you tried these at the craft activity...."come be corny with candy corn!" (great turn out! It was fun!) and asked for the recipe..Hope you enjoy!

I found this recipe one fall from a Paula Deen Magazine. It tastes wonderful! So close to eating Pecan pie. I have never found the almond brickle chips, so I have substituted white chocolate chips or milk, or semi-sweet chocolate chips. (I prefer the white). If any one knows where I can find Almond brickl chips...please let me know. I think that would make these irresistable.

makes 2 dozen

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 large eggs
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 (8 ounce) package almond brickle chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
Ina small bowl, combine flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. ( I use my mixer) Press mixure evenly into prepared pan. Bake 15 min.
In a medium bowl (mixer again) Combine eggs, remaining 1 cup of brown sugar, corn syrup and melted butter; stirring until smooth. Stir in vanilla, pecans and brickle chips. Pour over hot baked crust. Bake 30 min. or until set. Cool completely before cutting into squares.


Needing a little Christmas Help

Sisters ~ I am in need of some menu suggestions. I am the Hostess of my neighborhood "Breakfast with Santa" and it will be for about 80 kids and their parents. It is similar to kitchen as at a ward building and I have very limited heating capabilities. I really don't want to serve donuts and bagels so if you have any great ideas or have done anything at past ward functions, please share and post!!!


Potato Chip Crusted Chicken & Rice Casserole

Potato Chip Crusted Chicken and Rice Casserole

serves 4

1 1/2 cups rice (any kind will do)

3 cups water

4 chicken breasts, cubed and cooked with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder

1/2-cup plain yogurt

1/2-cup light mayo

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups regular potato chips, crushed

1. Add water and rice to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Put a lid on it and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 20 minutes. Set aside.

2. Mix yogurt, mayo, chicken soup, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper until creamy and smooth. Add chicken and rice and mix well. Scoop into individual ramekins or a baking pan and top with crushed potato chips. Put into a 350 degree oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Grilled Brochette Chicken

Grilled Brochette Chicken

¼ C Sun dried tomato vinaigrette dressing-divided
4 small boneless skinless chicken
1 tomato, finely copped
½ C shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ C chopped fresh basil

Place large sheet of heavy foil over half the grill; preheat grill to med.
Pour 2T of the dressing over the chicken in re-sealable bag, toss and refrigerate 10-20 min
Remove chicken from fridge and grill chicken on uncovered side of grill-6 min
Meanwhile combine tomatoes, cheese, basil and remaining dressing
Turn chicken over, place cooked side up, on foil on grill. Top with tomato mixture. Close lid for 8 min
Serve with steamed veggies or over cooked pasta

Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato Basil Soup- The best ever!
*This is the first” Fall” soup make in the Cotton home

4 Cups Canned whole tomatoes
4 C Unsalted Tomato Juice
12-14 Fresh Basil leaves
1 C. Heavy Cream- or Plain Yogurt
½ C Unsalted Butter
Salt/Pepper to taste
I add chopped artichoke hearts- yummy

Puree tomatoes and basil
Put all ingredients in slow cooker about 4 hours

Top with homemade crouton and parmesan cheese
*We dip in the homemade rolls!

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 t pumpkin pie spice
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped peeled apples

1/4 cup sugar
2 T all-purpose flour
1/2 t ground cinnamon
4 t cold butter or margarine

In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apples. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.


Toffee Pumkin Squares

This is another recipe I grabbed off the internet. I thought they sounded different and yummy. Just another way to make pumpkin during the fall season. This is what I took to Dave Williams baptism.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 (1 pound) can pumpkin
1 (13 ounces) can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Combine flour, oats, brown sugar and butter in mixing bowl until crumbly. Press into ungreased 13X9X2 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 min. Combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, salt and spices. Beat well. Pour into crust. Bake for 20 min. at 350 degrees F.

Combine pecans, brown sugar and butter, Sprinkle over pumpkin filling return to oven and bake 15-20 min. cool before cutting.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Every Year I make pumpkin Muffins, bread, cookies. I never keep the same recipe, they all seem to be about the same. This year I took a recipe off the internet and I took them to a baptism this morning. I think anything tastes good with milk chocolate chips in it!

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil

2 eggs

3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup water

Mix dry ingredients and then add to wet mixture

1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Fold in
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Fill lined muffin pan and bake at 400 degrees 20-25 min.

Makes about 1 & 1/2 dozen


Spice Applesauce Bread

not the best picture, but oh well they tasted yummy

My mom used to make this bread when I was growing up.  It has been along time since I have made it.  Tonight I decided to make muffins instead of bread.

2 1/2 cups applesauce
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
4 tbsp milk


Sift dry ingredients
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp soda
1 tsp baking powder

Add to applesauce mixture
Beat well
Put in either bread pans or muffin tins
Sprinkle with mixture of:
1/2 cup pecans (I always leave these out because I am not a nutty girl)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Bake at 350 until toothpick comes out clean

So Yummy -