Sunday, April 3, 2016

Tomato Basil Pasta Salad


Tomato Basil Pasta Salad

16 oz uncooked penne pasta
3/4 C olive oil
1/3 C balsamic vinegar
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
1-2 C fresh mozzarella pearls
1/2 C pine nuts
1-2 basil leaves, torn
Salt, to taste

Cook & drain pasta and place in salad bowl. In small mixing bowl whisk together oil & vinegar; pour over pasta & mix well. Add remaining ingredients and toss well to coat. Cover & refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Grandma Velma's Irish Potato Bread

Grandma Velma’s Irish Potato Bread       
Makes 2 loaves

2 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp salt
2 pkg dry yeast
6-8 C flour, divided
1 ½ C prepared mashed potatoes
½ C water
1 ½ C Milk
½ C butter (1/2 stick)
3 eggs


  1. In mixing bowl combine sugar, salt, yeast, and 1 ½ C of the flour; set aside.
  2. In a 2 qt sauce pan add potatoes, water, milk, and butter. Heat over low, stirring often until very warm and combined.
  3. Very slowly stir liquid mixture into dry mixture.
  4.  Add eggs and beat for 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in 3 ¼ C of the flour to make soft dough.
  6. Turn dough onto floured board and knead for 10 minutes.
  7. Knead in additional 1 ½ C of the flour.
  8. Shape into big dough ball and place in lightly greased bowl, turning to coat dough.
  9. Cover with towel or plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour.
  10. Punch down. Turn onto floured board. Cut dough in half. Cover again and let rest 15 minutes.
  11. Place each half into large, greased loaf pan and gut 2 gashes across top with serrated knife. Cover and let rise and additional hour. Preheat oven to 400°.
  12. Brush top of loaves lightly with milk.
  13. Bake 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
  14. Turn out from pan and cool on wire rack. Let cool before cutting.


·       Recipe can be used to make dinner rolls as well. About 3 ½ - 4 doz.
Allan Rosenberg/Cole Group/Photodisc/Getty Image
{Get Printable Version Here}

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Fried Nacho Tacos

Fried Nacho Tacos


Three of my favorite words. Mmm... These are "Nacho" Mama's Tacos!

All kidding aside, if you are like me and love recipes with 5 ingredients (6 if you count the cooking oil, but who's counting?) or less and cooks in 20 minutes or less, then this is a must try! This recipe came about because I didn't have any motivation to cook an elaborate dinner tonight and my food storage/deep freeze is always stocked with these items.



INGREDIENTS

1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasonings
1/4 C. water
1 can cheddar cheese condensed soup
18 soft corn tortilla shells (white or yellow)
cooking oil



Step 1.
In small skillet brown ground beef over Med-Hi heat. Drain fat.

Step 2.
Stir in 1 packet of taco seasonings, and ONLY 1/4 C of water. (This is less than the packet instructions.) Stir until seasonings are evenly distributed.

(I know, I know - it looks like Kitty had an accident, but I promise it's sooo delish!)

Step 3.
Stir in cheddar cheese soup until well mixed. Turn off heat.

Step 4.
Heat 2-3 tbsp cooking oil in new skillet. (I love my electric skillet for this.)

Step 5.
On a plate, place a stack of about 18 tortillas and microwave about 1 minute. This helps keep the tortillas pliable and from tearing when folding.



Step 6.
Place one spoonful of cheesy-meat mixture on one-half of a tortilla shell.


Step 7.
Fold tortilla in half and fry a few minutes each side, until golden brown.



Step 8.
Placed fried tacos on a plate lined with paper towel to help absorb excess grease.

Step 9. EAT & ENJOY!!!

p.s. I love to dip mine in homemade ranch dressing. MMMMMMM!



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Emma's Easy Crepes

French Crepes. Trust me when I say they are easy to make. Almost foolproof. No kidding. I love making these because I don't have to measure a darn thing! Way easier than pancake mix too, which you still have to measure.

Give it a try and tell me what you think.

Possible fillings:
cream cheese, ricotta cheese, Bavarian Cream, French Vanilla Creme, Custard, Fresh berries, Nutella, or anything else you can dream up. If you don't want sweet, you can do cheese, ham, eggs, or even diced chicken with alfredo sauce, or chives cream cheese mixed with canned chicken. Mmm. The hubs keep his simple. Butter & powdered sugar. The possibilities are endless!

{{Click Pic for Large View}}


Monday, June 30, 2014

Simple Snickerdoodles

I am not (usually) a fan of Snickerdoodles. I'm what you would call a Supertaster, meaning I have more taste buds on my tongue than the average person. It's a true thing. About 35% of women have this and even fewer men. 

I can remember as a child, the first time I had a snickerdoodle. While my brothers and sisters devoured them like street urchins, clamouring for more, I spit mine out after the first bite. What was wrong with them? I wondered. How could they eat such a nasty, bitter cookie?

Turns out it's the cream of tartar I was tasting, and while everyone else called it "tangy" it tasted bitter to me.  

That aside, I don't mind being a Supertaster. The only down side is, it doesn't come with a cape. ;) 

In general, I love tasting new foods and being able to taste the smoked paprika, hint of chili pepper, or the dash of nutmeg. And since my hubs loves Snickerdoodles, I figured I'd give this simple recipe a try and guess what- I enjoy these little gems! 


1 yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/4 C oil
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°.  Mix cake mix with eggs & oil. Roll into balls. Roll into cinnamon-sugar. Place on lined pan. Press slightly with bottom of cup. Bake 7-9 min. Let sit on pan another 2 min before transferring to wire rack. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Super Easy, Super Yummy Homemade Chili

Because I buy things like canned diced tomatoes and beans in bulk, we always have a TON in our food storage.  While 10/$10 sales are great, check price clubs and case lot sales.  Last year I got a ton of beans for like 10 cents a piece at a case lot sale on double-coupon Wednesday.  (Thanks Winegars Grocery!)  I also buy a lot of canned dice tomatoes in bulk whenever I can get them for 50 cents a can or less.  This year we also went in together with 7 other families and bought a cow.  This gave us about 60 lbs of beef for $60.  What a steal!   In essence, this chili cost me less than $4 to make and will feed my family of 6 two meals easily. Maybe even 3, depending on their appetites on any given day.

But don't worry.  Even if you haven't bought a cow recently, you can still make this pretty cheap.  Definitely healthier than store-bought or restaurant chili and much cheaper!  (Freeze leftovers.  Great over baked potatoes too!)


2 lbs ground beef (or turkey)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 small sweet peppers (or 1 bell pepper), chopped
2 tsp oregano
2 Tbsp chili powder
4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon (yes, cinnamon!)
2 - 8oz cans tomato sauce
4 cans diced tomatoes w/ chilies
4 - 14.5 oz cans beans (any kind you like. pictured: Kidney, Black, and Navy), undrained
1 can sweet corn, undrained.

Brown meat with garlic, onion, pepper and spices.  Stir in everything else.  Heat until just starts to boil.  Cover & simmer 30-40 minutes, until ready to serve.

Note:  I drain 2 of my cans of beans and leave only 2 undrained.  Just depends on how thick or thin you prefer.  For extra thick & chunky chili, drain all beans as well as the corn.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tracy Huxford's Strawberry Yogurt Cake aka "New Beginnings" Cake

Sometimes the tastiest foods are the simplest and I'm all, "Why didn't I think of that?"  I attended an LDS "New Beginnings" night for the young women at church about 18 years ago.  (I was an advisor at the time.)  The leaders decided to serve strawberry cake for the refreshments and each brought their own variation.  This one, made by Tracy Huxford, was my favorite.  I don't know why I don't make it more often, as it's ridiculously simple.  Whenever I do make it, I can't help but think fondly of her.  Ever since that night, I've always referred to this as "New Beginnings" Cake.  I taught my daughter to make this today.  It's going to be our dessert tonight after dinner.


1 Super Moist White Cake Mix
3/4 C water
1/3 C vegetable oil
3 egg whites
2 - 6oz. Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt
1 tub Cool Whip
Strawberries for garnishing, if desired

Preheat oven to 350. Combine mix, water, oil, egg whites and 1 container yogurt on LOW speed 30 sec.  Then beat on MED 2 min.  Pour into prepared 9x13 pan.  (I used 2 round pans in above photo.)  Bake 35-40 min or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.  (I baked the 2 rounds about 20-25 min.)  Cool completely.  Fold the other container of yogurt into the Cool Whip. (Add 1-2 drops red food coloring if you want a pink frosting. (I didn't do that.))  Spread over cooled cake.  Garnish with fresh strawberries.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

NOTE:  The cake mix may give you different amounts for the water, oil, and/or egg whites.  Keep in mind, since you are adding in yogurt, you will want to use the amounts listed above for best results.