Friday, February 27, 2009

Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

Delicious and nutritious!

Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/2 (plus more if you need it) dry bread crumbs
1/2 c. red or green bell pepper, minced (about 1/2 medium bell pepper)
1/2 c. thinly sliced green onion
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger root
1 small can pineapple slices; reserve juice
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
Thick Teriyaki sauce (like Kikkoman or this recipe)
Light mayonnaise (optional, but very yummy!)
4 hamburger buns (you can use this recipe if you're feeling ambitious)

Gently combine turkey, bread crumbs, bell pepper, green onion, ginger, 1/4 c. reserved juice from pineapple, and salt. Form into 4 deliciously large patties. Chill until ready to cook.

If you can, pop these puppies on the grill until done; otherwise, you could put these under the broiler in your oven, a grill pan on your stovetop, or just a frying pan. If desired, grill pineapple in last 5 minutes of cooking. Baste burgers with Teriyaki sauce during last two minutes of grilling. Spread buns with light mayonnaise and a little more Teriyaki sauce. Enjoy!

Contributed by Rachel Tollestrup
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Beef Stir Fry

This is the perfect meal for a busy evening because it takes just a few minutes to make!

Sirloin steak strips stirfried with mixed veggies...

This recipe calls simply for steak cut into strips, and a variety of mixed vegetables. Grill the steak, and stir fry the vegeatbles adding soy sauce as needed.

Contributed by Michelle Olsen

Monday, February 23, 2009

Moo Shu Pork

I loved the Shitake mushrooms in this dish!

Moo Shu Pork
• 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
• 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
• 2 teaspoons cornstarch
• 1 (1 1/2-pound) boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into 1 x 1/4-inch strips
• 10 dried shiitake mushrooms
• 1/2 cup (1-inch) sliced green onions
• 3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 12 cloves)
• 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
• 1/4 cup dried wood ear mushrooms (about 1/4 ounce)
• 3 tablespoons rice wine or sake
• 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 3 cups thinly sliced napa (Chinese) cabbage stalks
• 4 cups thinly sliced napa (Chinese) cabbage leaves
• 2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
• 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
• 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
• 16 Mandarin PancakesPreparation

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag. Add pork; seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally. Remove pork from bag; discard marinade.
Combine boiling water and dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Drain; discard mushroom stems, and thinly slice mushroom caps. Combine sliced mushroom caps, green onions, garlic, and ginger in a small bowl; set aside.

Combine boiling water and wood ear mushrooms in a bowl; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Drain; cut mushrooms into thin slices. Set aside.

Combine 3 tablespoons rice wine and next 4 ingredients (3 tablespoons rice wine through black pepper) in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Set aside.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork, and stir-fry 3 minutes. Remove pork from pan.
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil to pan.
Add eggs; stir-fry 30 seconds or until soft-scrambled.
Add shiitake mushroom mixture; stir-fry 1 1/2 minutes.
Add cabbage stalks; stir-fry 30 seconds.
Add the wood ear mushrooms, cabbage leaves, and 2 tablespoons rice wine; stir-fry 1 minute. Add pork and cornstarch mixture; stir-fry 2 minutes or until sauce is thick.
Place pork mixture on a platter.

Combine hoisin sauce and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Spread about 1 1/2 teaspoons hoisin sauce mixture on uncooked surface of each Mandarin Pancake. Top each pancake with 1/2 cup pork mixture; roll up.

Contributed by Becki Cutler

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sweet and Sour Chicken

My mother in law gave me this recipes and we love it!  It is quick easy, and oh so good!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

1 LB Chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
4 TBSP Corn Starch
1 Bell Pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 Onion, cut into bite sized pieces
1 Cup Pineapple chunks, fresh or canned
1/2 Cup Carrots, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Vinegar
2/3 Cup Water
1 1/2 TBSP Cornstarch
1 tsp Soy Sauce
4 TBSP Ketchup
Hot Cooked Rice

1. In a large Zip Lock Bag combine chicken and 4 TBSP cornstarch, shake to coat chicken.

2.  Heat 2 TBSP oil in a skillet, add chicken and brown.  Remove from pan and keep warm.

3.  Heat 1 TBSP oil in skillet, add garlic, onions, carrots and peppers.  Stir fry until tender-crisp.

4.  Meanwhile, in a sauce pan combine sugar, vinegar, water, 1 1/2 TBSP cornstarch, and soy sauce.  Mix until combined and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add 4 TBSP Ketchup.

5.  Add chicken to skillet as well as pineapple.  Stir in sauce and heat through.

6.  Serve over hot cooked rice.

Friday, February 20, 2009


This cookie has the perfect combination of cinnamon & sugar...
These classic cookies are both easy to make and fun to eat because they offer a little "crunch" on the outside, but are soft on the inside. Serve with a glass of milk and they are the perfect sweet treat and will beat a store-bought cookie any day!


½ cup butter

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 egg

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon cream of tarter

Cinnamon and Sugar mixture (approx 2-3 Tbls sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon)

Beat butter until smooth. Add half the flour and the rest of the ingredients (except cinnamon/sugar mixture). Beat until thoroughly combined. Add rest of flour and beat until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Shape into balls and roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes (until just barely the edges are turning brown). Cool on wire rack. Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen -- very easy to double. Store in sealed container.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good Morning Muffins

These are packed with nutrition...

Good Morning Muffins

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup flaxseed meal
3/4 cup oat bran
1 cup brown sugar
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 T cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1 1/2 c carrots
2 apples, shredded
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped or ground
3/4 cup 1% milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pans or line with paper cups. Mix together flours, flaxseed meal, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir in carrots, apples, raisins and walnuts. Combine milk, beaten eggs and vanilla in another bowl. Pur liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir until ingredients moistened. Do not overmix. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Makes 15 muffins.

Light Cream Cheese Icing (optional)

1 (8oz) pkg. 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Using a hand mixer or wooden spoon, whip until creamy. Tip: Individually freeze plain muffins and thaw for a quick and healthy breakfast, or serve as a hearty dessert with Light Cream Cheese Icing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Healthy Homemade Granola

This homemade granola recipe is an excellent source of just what your body needs to stay healthy!  Flax seeds contain high levels of lignans and Omega-3 fatty acids. Lignans may benefit the heart, possess anti-cancer properties and studies on Wikipedia found Flax may also lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood-sugar levels.  This has been one of my families treasured recipe's for years!
 Homemade Granola

In a big pot mix:

1/2 c olive or oliec safflower oil
1/2 c blackstrap molasses
1/2 c raw honey (optional - can also use a little stevia)
1/2 c almond butter (may need to be mixed using very low heat)
1 TB organic vanilla (optional)

When well mixed add one by one:

1 c chopped pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds will do)
1 c shopped raw almonds or filberts
1 c ground flax sees or meal (optional)
1 c mixed rolled grains
5 c old fashioned rolled oats
3c puffed millet or rice (found in the cereal isle of a health food store like Henry's)

Turn oven on lowest possible setting, so temperature stays around 100-130 degrees (measure with a meat or candy thermometer - you may need to crack the oven slightly). Leave in for several hours, until somewhat dry. Then you can add dried fruit to taste.

I sometimes add coconut, raisins, craisins, etc.  Add whatever you like - it will be fabulous!

Eat plain or with milk or yogurt.

My friend Jenni Wilson, who is working on a Masters Degree in Herbology passed this recipe to me... it is the best ever!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Green Salad with Feta, Almonds, Cranberries, and Avocado

While visiting a friend in Arizona I enjoyed this yummy salad and have been hooked ever since!  My husband even loves it and he is the anti-salad eater.  The combinations of flavors and textures is perfect!

Green Salad with Feta, Almonds, Cranberries, and Avocado

4 Cups Mixed Green
1/2 Cup Sugared Almonds (Sliced Almonds toasted in a pan with butter and brown sugar)
1/2 Cup Crumbled Feta
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/2 Avocado, sliced

Toss above ingredients and dress with a poppyseed dressing (My favorite is Brianna's Brand)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Three Cheese Macaroni

Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food, and this dish is a real indulgence!  Any type of pasta will work, but I love how every inch of the penne pasta is covered, inside and out for this yummy, cheesy side dish.

Makes 8-10 Side Dish Servings

12 oz Penne Pasta
1 1/2 Cups Milk
1/4 Cup melted Butter
1/2 tsp Ground White Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt
8 oz American Cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8 oz Shard Cheddar Cheese, Shredded (2 cups)
2 oz Mozzarella, shredded (1/2 Cup)
20 Ritz Crackers, crushed

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a large pot cook pasta according to directions, drain and return to pot.

2. Add milk, butter, pepper, and salt. Stir in Cheeses. Transfer to a greased 2 quart casserole dish.

3. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Carefully stir mixture. Sprinkle with crushed crackers and bake 5 more minutes or until crackers are browned and mixture is heated through. (Don't overcook or mixture will curdle) Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Chicken Taco Soup

This is the best ever Taco Soup recipe!

Maren's Chicken Taco Soup

1/2 onion diced
1 clove garlic minced
1 T oil
1 14oz can tomato sauce
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 can corn
1/2-1 whole jalapeno
1 T cumin
1 LB cooked chicken (a rotisserie chicken is the best)
2 cups chicken broth
Juice of one lime
1 bunch of cilantro - cut up
Saute garlic and onion in oil. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 20 minutes. Serve with chips or cut up tortillas, cheese, sour cream and avocado.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Caramel & Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

Happy Valentine's Day!

Pretzels dipped in caramel and chocolate

Christmas Caramels (they are great for any season)

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

dash of salt (I always forget to add this)

Combine ingredients in heavy pan. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Keep at rolling boil and cook till softball forms in cold water (about 13-15 minutes). (about 245˚ by thermometer)

Make the caramel. You want to start dipping pretzels immediately. The caramel gets hard as it cools. Dip the pretzels (you only need to dip once). Place on counter on parchment paper. Let cool. As I remove them, I mold the caramel around the flat spot and then dip in chocolate and let it set on wax paper.

I brake the rod pretzels in half and then dip the broken side. This way it takes about 2 bags of pretzels to use all the caramel. (about 100 pretzels). I use the candy melts chocolate from Michaels. It takes about 3 bags to do a batch. The candy melts can be melted in the microwave. I drizzle with white and colored candy melts for decoration.

They are supper yummy. Have fun!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chopped Chicken Salad

a few simple salads turns a baby shower into a wonderful feast!


This simple salad is really tasty!

Romaine Chopped fine. Hold the butt, and Cut About 4 times, turn and cut 4, and turn and cut 4 more times. Then chop across 1” pieces.

½ C fresh basil, chopped

Sun dried tomatoes

Roma or cherry tomatoes, chopped

1 block mozzarella, grated

Cooked cubed chicken


The slide show is from Chrissy's baby shower where the salad was devoured... Oh, what a party!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


This is a great recipe to start with if you haven't served tilapia before.  Tilapia has a mild taste, and even my kids will eat it when prepared as this recipe directs.
Baked Costa Rican Tilapia with Tropical Rice

1 cup short grain brown (or white) rice
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I used orange pineapple mango juice)
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
2 limes, thinly sliced


Combine the rice, chicken broth and a dash of salt in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 50 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. If using white rice, follow package directions.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, oil, 2 tablespoons of cilantro, the garlic, and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Add the tilapia fillets to the marinade, turning to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.

Stir together the cooked rice, beans, pineapple, and remaining 2 tablespoons of the cilantro in a 2 or 3-quart baking dish. If there is a lot of liquid, drain some since you'll be adding the marinade. Remove the tilapia from the marinade, reserve the marinade, and lay the fish fillets over the rice mixture, overlapping if necessary. Pour the reserved marinade over the fish. Shingle the lime slices over the fish. Bake until the fish flakes easily, is opaque, and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.

Serve with salsa & chips if desired.
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Monday, February 9, 2009

Wasatch Mountain Chili

A friend of mine gave me this recipe and I love it!  It is unique, yummy and so easy to throw into the slow cooker.  Perfect for rainy days!

½  Medium Onion, chopped

1 TBSP  Cooking Oil

1 15-oz Can Hominy, rinsed and drained

1 15-oz Can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained

1 14-oz Can Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth

9 oz  Frozen, precooked Chicken Strips

¼ Cup     Lime Juice

1 TBSP      Fresh, chopped Cilantro

¼ tsp     Ground Cumin

¼ tsp          Ground Black Pepper

½ Cup      Shredded Cheese (Monterey Jack or Cheddar)

1 4-oz Can        Diced Green Chilies

Tortilla Chips

Fresh chopped cilantro

In a skillet cook onion in hot oil over medium heat for 3 minutes, transfer to slow cooker. Stir in hominy, beans, chicken broth, frozen chicken, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, and pepper. Cover and bring to boiling over high heat, stirring occasionally. Serve topped with cheese, green chilies, tortilla chips, and fresh cilantro.

Serves 4

Sweet Berry Poppy Seed Steak Salad

The steak in this flavorful salad is delightful!

Sweet Berry Poppy-seed Steak Salad

chop 1 pkg baby spinach
sliced strawberries or pears
candied almonds
Thinly sliced red onion
feta cheese
golden raisins

Dressing:(in blender)
3/4 c. salad oil
2 T white wine vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
2 T minced white onion
1 + T poppy seeds
1 tsp. mustard
pepper to taste

to caramelize almonds, cook with white sugar (about 1/2 c. each for 1+ cups of sliced almonds) until the sugar dissolves, but don't burn!  Then transfer to wax paper lined baking sheet until cooled.  Until they're brittle, then cool and then break apart.  Watch carefully!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Yukon Gold Potato Blini

A recipe for the gourmet cook...

Yukon Gold Potato Blini

1 pound Yukon Gold Potatoes
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
2-3 tablespoons crème fraiche, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
Kosher salt

Place potatoes in a saucepan with cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked and tender.
Peel the warm potatoes and then press through a potato ricer. Pass them through a fine mesh sieve. Immediately weight out 9 ozs of the pureed potatoes and place them in a medium metal bowl. Working quickly, whisk the flour into the warm potatoes, then whisk in the 2 tablespoons crème fraiche. Add 1 egg, whisking until the batter is smooth, add the second egg, and then add the yolk.

Hold the whisk with some of the batter over the bowl. The batter should fall in a thick stream but hold its shape when it hits the batter in the bowl. If it is too thick, add a little more crème fraiche. Season to taste with salt.

Heat a griddle over medium heat. Spoon between 1 and ½ teaspoons of batter onto the griddle and cook until the bottoms are browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Then flip them can cook the second side for about a minute. The blini should be evenly browned with a small ring of white around the edges. Transfer the blini to a small banking sheet and keep warm while you make the remaining blini, wiping the griddle with a paper towel between batches.

This recipe is one that Byron from Seven Salts shared with us.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Eggnog French Toast with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream, Fresh Berries and Pomegranate Syrup

The perfect dish for a special occasion such as Christmas or Easter morning brunch!

Eggnog French Toast with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream, Fresh Berries and Pomegranate Syrup.

Vanilla Pastry Cream
1 1/2 cups cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
½ of a vanilla bean

Split vanilla bean and add to cream. Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk sugar, eggs, egg yolk and flour in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot cream. Transfer to saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to boil, about 5 minutes. Boil 1 minute. Pour into medium bowl. Press plastic onto surface of pastry cream. Cover; chill until cold, about 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.)
Yield: 2 cups

Pomegranate Syrup
4 cups pomegranate juice2.5 cups sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
In a saucepan, combine pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice over medium heat. Stir until sugar has complete dissolved.
Allow to cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until juice is the consistency of syrup. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Yield: 2 ½ cups

Eggnog French Toast
1 Cup Eggnog
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
6-8 slices of French bread (cut into 2.5” rounds with a pastry cutter)
Fresh berries

In a shallow dish whisk all ingredients. Dip sliced bread into egg mixture and leave to sit for about a minute each side.

Sauté each slide over medium heat for 1-2 minutes each side.

To plate, place a pool of pomegranate syrup in the middle of a large round plate. Place one French toast round in the center of the syrup. Pipe a ring of pastry cream around the toast slice. Add fresh berries. Repeat two more times with toast slices, pastry cream and fresh berries. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with pomegranate syrup.

These pictures are from a cooking class that Byron Konold of Seven Salts taught!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Princess Birthday Party

The hit of the party was the princess castle cake... ohhh la la!

Jenna & Olivia celebrated their 3rd & 4th birthdays with their 'fairy friends' princess style!

Dancing like fairies...

Maren made tutus and fairy wings for all the princesses...

Bracelets, a ring and lipstick were in the goodie bags!

The lollipop seeds grew up so fast, all because of the fairy magic...

This amazing cake was created by Tanya (Maren's sister)...

If you are thinking of making something similar for your princess, you can see instructions here.

Our guest princess charmed the girls throughout the party! Thank you, Miss Aubrey!

Happy Birthday, Olivia! Happy Birthday Jenna Olivia!!!