Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Cafe Rio" like recipes

Cafe Rio is a restaurant in Utah & Arizona (maybe other places too) that's known for good fresh food. I found these recipes online & decided to try them. I didn't have pork, so I made the meat with beef. I made some flour tortillas & served the meat in the tortilla & topped it with the cilantro rice, black beans out of the can (I just warmed them up & put a little of the cooked meat juice in them), cheese, & the creamy cilantro dressing (which is good on any salad). It was really really good. The meat was sweet with a back heat on it. I will definitely make again.

Cafe Rio Recipes
(not for sure that these came from Cafe Rio, but we made them last night and they sure taste awesome!)

3-5 lb Pork Loin or Pork Roast (I used beef)
1 ½ cans Coke (I've heard you can also use sprite)
1 c. sugar
7oz can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce –provides alot of heat (or plain adobo sauce for sweeter sauce)
1 tsp dry ground mustard (heaping)
1 tsp cumin (heaping)
1 tsp minced garlic

Place the contents of the can of chilies in a bowl and cover with soda to get as much of the adobo sauce off the chilies. Remove the chilies and throw them away, or if you want the meat to be hotter, leave one or two chilies in. Rinse can of adobo sauce with soda to get all the sauce out. Place pork in crock pot and pour sauce over it. Cook for 4-6 on high or 7-9 hours on low. Carefully turn roast over halfway through. Cook in sauce until it pulls apart and then shred. Take pork out and shred. Then put it back in the juice and stir to get all the juice back into the meat.

1 c. rice
2 c. water
3 cubes chicken bouillon
½ tsp dried onion
1 tbsp oil
1 fresh lime
1/4 bunch cilantro
Cook rice with all ingredients (except lime and cilantro) in pot or rice cooker. Squeeze fresh lime juice over rice and mix in cilantro before serving.

Creamy Cilantro Dressing (for a salad version)
1 envelope buttermilk ranch dressing
1 c. mayo
1 c. milk
½ bunch cilantro
2 tomatillos
½ serrano peppers with seeds removed

Blend in blender, let sit to thicken.

Poppy Seed Chicken

My friend Anna made this for a party at my house awhile ago & it was so good. I made it this past Sunday & served it over rice. It was creamy, easy & yummy!

Poppyseed Chicken

Cook and cube 1 lb chicken- put into bottom of casserole dish

Mix in small bowl and pour over the cubed chicken:
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce

Mix in another small bowl and sprinkle over casserole:
1 stick melted butter
1 tube crushed ritz crackers
2 Tbsp poppy seeds

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Serve over rice

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sugar Cookies

Maddie & I made these sugar cookies for her pre-school class last week & they were a hit! They're crisp & chewy. I think they're the perfect rolled sugar cookie. I found the recipe on my favorite site, The frosting we used is my favorite cupcake frosting from a guest on Martha Stewart.

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
Submitted by: Jill Saunders

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely

Billy's Vanilla Buttercream

This recipe for Billy's Vanilla Buttercream is courtesy of Billy Reece from Billy's Bakery in New York City.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Black-bottom cupcakes

Our friends Megan & Adam brought us dinner after we had Ty & for dessert they brought these cupcakes from a local cafe. I was in heaven after one bite! The only way I can describe them is black-bottom cupcakes on a whole other level! I decided to duplicate them for a book & cook club I just started going to. They turned out super super super close to the original. Close enough for me to say case closed on this duplication & I think these are my new favorite cupcakes!

Black Bottom Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix + ingredients to make cake

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 egg

1/3 c sugar

1/8 t salt

¾ c choco chips


4 oz cream cheese

½ c butter

1 c powdered sugar

(Cream cheese & butter together, add sugar and beat until fluffy & light)


½ c semi-sweet choco chips

1 t butter

(Melt together on low heat in a saucepan or in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time)

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Mix cupcakes according to package directions.

3. Fill 24 paper lined cupcake pan with cupcake mixture. Fill each one about ½ full.

4. Beat cream cheese. Then add egg, sugar and salt and mix until creamy. Add chocolate chips.

5. Put 1 ½ T of cream cheese mixture over cupcake batter.

6. Bake for about 20-22 mins or until done (test side of cupcake with a fork).

7. Chill until completely cooled.

8. Top with frosting (since there is already cream cheese in the cupcake you don’t need much)

9. Drizzle with chocolate mixture.


I decided tonight that I don't make homemade pizza nearly enough! I got 2 pizza stones when I got married & I've only used 1 of them 1 time. I also decided tonight that I need to use more of my kitchen tools (such as my pizza stone) that I don't use very often more often.

I used Tyler Florence's pizza dough & it was awesome & super easy! I topped 1 pizza with regular sauce & cheese & a few roni's (as Maddie calls them) I had left in the fridge. The other pizza I put on some carmelized onions that I just cooked in about a t of butter, & some left over steak we had in the fridge sliced up. For the sauce on that pizza I just made a roux of 1 T butter & 1 T flour, when it was cooked I added 1 c of milk, stirred until thick & added about 1/4 c of parmesan.

Yum pizza! I think this might have to be a family Friday night tradition!

Pizza Dough

Tyler Florence

1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups 0f flour, plus more for dusting

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until all the flour has been incorporated. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium; stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Get a feel for the dough by squeezing a small amount together: if it's crumbly, add more water; if it's sticky, add more flour - 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the dough gathers into a ball, this should take about 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times; kneading until it's smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot (i.e. over a gas pilot light) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. This is a good time to stick a pizza stone in the oven and preheat them to 500 degrees F.

Once the dough is domed and spongy, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough into a cylinder and divide into 3 equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes so it will be easier to roll out.

Roll or pat out a piece of dough into a 12 inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Dust a pizza paddle with flour and slide it under the pizza dough. Brush the crust with a thin layer of olive oil, and top with your favorite flavors. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp. Repeat with the remaining dough.