Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Polynesian Roast Beef

I love this slow cooker recipe... just be careful not to overcook it.

Polynesian Roast Beef

1 boneless beef top round roast (3 pound)
2 tablespoons browning sauce, optional
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can (8 oz) unsweetened sliced pineapple
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 medium green pepper, sliced

Cut roast in half; brush with browning sauce if desired. Combine the flour, salt and pepper; rub over meat. Place onion in a 3 qt slow cooker; top with roast.
Drain pineapple, reserving juice; refrigerate the pineapple. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch and ginger; whisk in the broth, soy sauce, garlic and reserved pineapple juice until smooth. Pour over meat. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
Add pineapple and green pepper. Cook 1 hour longer or until meat and green pepper are tender. Yield: 10-11 servings.
Eat over rice.
I buy the long pork loins from Costco, cut it in half, and save one for later in the freezer. This cuts down on the fat in the meat.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rick and I have a favorite Thai restaurant in Hillcrest and I always order the same peanut chicken dish. They serve it on a bed of fresh uncooked spinach and then with rice. I'm definitely going to do that next time. I've been trying out many chicken satay recipes hoping to find one similar to it. I finally found it!! I'll post pictures next time.
Chicken Satay
1 pound boneless chicken
1 c. unsweetened coconut milk
2 TB brown sugar
2 TB fish sauce
1 TB ground coriander seed
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
Mix together. Refrigerate 2 hours. Grill 4-6 minutes per side
Spicy Peanut Sauce
1 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
1 TB brown sugar
1 TB Thai red curry paste
1 TB fish sauce
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 c. crunch peanut butter
In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients through garlic over medium heat. Bring to simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in peanut butter. Cook 3 more minutes. Serve warm.
This sauce is not spicy but flavorful. Maybe because the curry paste that I use is mild. If you want it spicy add a spicier curry paste or add red pepper flakes.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Smore's Cheesecake

Oh my goodness... can we just say... divine!
S'more Cheesecake

2 1/4c. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter

2 packages cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 t. vanilla
3 eggs
1 c. miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. miniature marshmallows

1 c. miniature marshmallows
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 T. shortening

Combine crust ingredients and press into bottom and sides of a greased 10in. spring form pan; set aside.

Beat cream cheese, milk. and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows. Pour over crust.

Bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes until center is almost set. Sprinkle with marshmallows. Bake 4-6 more minutes until marshmallows are puffed.

Melt shortening and chocolate chips until smooth. Drizzle over top of cake. Cool on wire rack. Best if refrigerated overnight.

(Thanks Alison for contributing such an amazing recipe and photos! I really appreciate you)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This is a family favorite!

Oven Baked Fajitas:

-2 T vegetable oilo
-2 tsp each: chili powder and cumin
-1 tsp salt
-1 lb flank steak or chicken cut into thin strips
-14 oz Hunts diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
-1 each: medium green, red pepper, and onion cut into thin strips
-10 flour tortillas
-Fajita toppings (cheese, sour cream, salsa)

If using steak, quickly stir-fry in skillet with a little garlic powder to tenderize meat before adding to baking dish. Mix Meat, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and spices in baking dish. Bake uncovered in preheated oven at 400 for 30 minutes.Serve wrapped in warm tortillas with toppings.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

{Cafe Rio} Chicken Salad

I have tried a few different recipes out there for Cafe Rio's Chicken Salad. I like this one the best. Is it the real thing? Who knows, but it is delicious!

Mexican Chicken Salad (Cafe Rio Style)

Creamy Tomatillo / Cilantro Ranch Dressing

1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (or 3 Tbsp dry mix)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 to ½ cup buttermilk
3-4 tomatillos
1 cup fresh cilantro lightly chopped
½ tsp pepper2 cloves garlic

Take the papery layer off the tomatillos, wash, and chop. Chop the garlic. Wash and cut the cilantro into 1-2" segments. Put all ingredients in the blender and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate. Best made the day before. Keeps covered for several days. Makes 2 cups.
Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients well. Refrigerate.

Cafe Rio Chicken (I've tried a few recipe's, and despite the additives in the salad dressing, this one tastes the best - let me know if you have one you like better).

1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
3 cloves garlic—minced
5 lbs chicken breast

Cook all together in a crock pot for 4 hours, shred meat and cook 1 additional hour.

Café Rio Rice

3 c water
4 t chicken bouillon
4 t garlic –minced
½ bunch cilantro
1 can green chiles—or equivalent fresh
¾ t salt
1 T butter
½ onion
3 c rice

Blend cilantro, green chiles and onion together in food processor. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients, simmer covered 30 minutes.
Pico de Gallo is easy just chop up some tomatoes (I usually use roma), white onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and add some sea salt and fresh squeezed lime.

Put it all together in this order:
Fried flour tortilla
RiceBeans (black or pinto)
Green leaf lettuce
Pico de gallo
Shredded cheese
Crushed tortilla chips
Creamy tomatillo dressing
Sour cream

BBQ Roasted Salmon

Brown sugar, chili powder, lemon, cumin, salt and cinnamon oh my!

1/4 c. pineapple juice
2T fresh lemon juice
4 - 6 oz salmon fillets
Marinate for one hour only

2T brown sugar
4tsp chili powder
2tsp grated lemon rind
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Coat salmon with the rubPut on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes at 400 or until the salmon flakes with a fork.

Contruibuted by Emily Owsley & Rachel Tollestrup

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dinner Accessories

The perfect "accessory" to any main meal. Here is a yummy option to try out.

Steam your green beans just until slightly soft but still crunchy -- drain any water.
Sprinkle and toss with Olive Oil and Garlic Salt -- for an extra flare you can add in some sliced almonds.


Homemade Oreos

This recipe feeds the need for a sweet treat!

Homemade Oreos

2 boxes chocolate cake mix (i only had one so i subbed in one brownine mix and it worked fine)
2/3 cup oil
4 eggs
1 to 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional - they give cookies more rich chocolate flavor for chocoholics like me)

Mix all ingredients together. Using small cookie scoop, put balls onto cookie sheet greased with Pam. (I can fit 16-20 balls on one sheet.) Bake for 8 - 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Frosting Filling*

8 ounce cream cheese, at room temp
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar (add more if needed for thick consistency)

Mix all ingredients in mixer until smooth. Frosting needs to be thick so it won't ooze out the sides of cookie when eating. Add more powdered sugar to thicken if needed. Spread frosting between two cookies.

*this frosting makes the cookies extra yummy but store bought frosting works too, you might just have to add powdered sugar to thicken it. Also, you can add mint flavoring to frosting for mint oreos.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Anybody who believes that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach....

....flunked Geography!"

So with that said, DO NOT by any means replace this recipe for the real thing!!

Better Than Sex Cake

1 box Devil Food's cake
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 small jar of hot fudge topping
*2 cups of toffee bits
*2 cups of mini chocolate chips
1 (12 oz) tup of Cool Whip, thawed

(*I'm hearing that the toffee bits are a "seasonal item," I don't know why, usually I just get a bunch to have on hand. Anyway, if you can't find toffee bits, you'll just want to crush up four Heath or Scor bars and use the crushed pieces instead of the toffee bits and mini chocolate chips.)


1. Bake cake as directed

2. As soon as you pull the cakes out of the oven, poke holes all over using the end of a wooden spoon, or some other round object

3. Pour the sweetened condensed milk all over the cake and even out with spatula

4. Repeat that step with the butterscotch topping, reserving just a little bit to drizzle on the finished cake

5. Sprinkle toffe bits and chocolate chips or crushed up candy bars all over cake and then let cool for 15 minutes.

6. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour

7. Just before serving, spread Cool Whip on cake, sprinkle for toffee/chocolate pieces on top, and drizzle the butterscotch and chocolate syrup for a beautiful presentation.

Special Note*** If you try #7 somewhere other than the kitchen you might even get better results!!***

Have Fun!! :-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

{Southern Living} Enchiladas

This 'Southern Living' Enchilada recipe is the best ever! Cannot be topped, so don't even try - this recipe rocks!

Southern Living Enchiladas

Stir together the following:

3 cups cooked, chopped chicken {I boil a fresh whole chicken & de-bone}
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
½ cup sour cream
1 can chopped green chilies, drained
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

4 oz. Sour cream,
4 oz. Salsa verde

Diced tomato
Chopped avocado
Sliced black olives
Chopped Cilantro

Spoon chicken mixture evenly over 8 {8-inch} flour tortillas & roll up. Arrange in a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Coat with vegetable cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Top with sauce & toppings.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chili-Lime Mango Chicken Skewers ~ Williams Sonoma

Williams Sonoma in all it's glory!

Chili-Lime Mango Chicken Skewers
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

6T olive oil
¼ cup fresh lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
1 t chili powder
¼ t cayenne pepper (double that if you like spicy things!)
½ t salt
1 T sugar
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 ripe but firm mangoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (click that link to see pictures of how to cut a mango)

Directions: If you're using wooden/bamboo skewers, make sure to soak them in water for 20-30 minutes before you use them. Otherwise they'll fire right up on the grill! In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, chili powder, cayenne, salt and sugar. Place in a zip-lock bag and add the chicken and mangoes, stirring gently to coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Prepare grill (or indoor grill pan) Remove the chicken and mangoes from the marinade and thread onto skewers, alternating the pieces and dividing them evenly. *When you're making any type of skewer, make sure not to smash everything together tightly. In order for the food to cook thoroughly and evenly, it needs room! The pieces threaded on should just barely touch each other, or not touch at all.Arrange the skewers on the grill and cook, turning until the chicken is nicely charred and cooked through, 6-10 minutes. Serve immediately. This makes quite a few skewers, but remember that each one only has a few chunks of chicken on it. So to make a meal, you'll want to plan on 3-4 skewers per person, making this recipe serve 4.

Lime-Cilantro Rice with Pineapple

1 cup dry white rice, cooked.
2 T real butter
Juice from 1 large lime, or two smaller ones (taste as you go, I add a lot!)
1 C pineapple tidbits, drained
½ - ¾ C chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice. As soon as it's done, toss in the butter and stir to melt. Add lime juice, pineapple, and cilantro. Stir to combine, and then add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
* You'll want to serve this right away, if you don't, the flavors tend to mellow a bit and you'll probably need to add more lime juice because the rice kind of sucks it up. If you're not quite ready to eat when your rice finishes cooking, just toss in the butter and keep a lid on it so it stays warm. Then right before you serve it, toss it all together.

Contributed by Rachel Tollestrup

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Old Fashioned Lemon Bars

Tangy and Sweet

Lemon Bars

1 ½ cup flour

3 T. flour

½ cup powdered sugar

¾ cup cold margarine

4 eggs, slightly beaten

1 ½ cup sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

½ cup lemon juice

Combine the flour, powdered sugar and cut in the margarine til crumbly. Press into a 9x13 pan, slightly greased. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Meanwhile combine eggs, sugar, baking powder, lemon juice and 3 T flour. Mix well and pour on the baked crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until slightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars and sprinkle with additional powdered sugar. Store covered in the fridge.