Friday, October 22, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I made this dip for a Relief Society Activity last week. I just took all the things I like in Spinach & Artichoke dip recipes I've had and mixed them all together. It turned out really good.

Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Kerstin Bates
6 medium portabello mushrooms, diced
1 stick of green onion, diced
3 sliced precooked bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T butter
1 28 oz can artichokes, diced
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
½ c mayo
16 oz cream cheese, softened
½ c parmesan cheese, grated
5 basil leaves, diced
½ t dried dill

Cook the mushrooms, green onion, bacon and garlic in the butter in a skillet until softened. Add the spinach and cook over a medium heat until all the moisture is cooked out of the mixture. In a large bowl mix the spinach mixture, mayo, artichokes, cream cheese, parmesan, basil and dill until thoroughly mixed. Put in a 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 mins. You can also top it with a thin layer of parmesan for a nice crust.

Warm Picnic Burritos ("Burritos De Machaca") Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid Prep Time: 15 min Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time: 2 hr 30 min Level

This burrito filling from Marcela on the Food Network is SO good. It made a lot so I put some in the freezer & had 2 meals. I will definitely be making this again.

Warm Picnic Burritos ("Burritos De Machaca")
Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid

Prep Time: 15 min Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time: 2 hr 30 min
12 burritos

2 tablespoons Maggi sauce* or 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 (2 to 3-pound) skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 3 pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced red bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 cup beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
Lime wedges, for serving
*Maggi sauce is a popular seasoning in Mexico that can be found in Latin markets
Combine the Maggi sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, chile, salt, and pepper, to taste, in a medium-size bowl. Slowly add the 1/2 cup of olive oil, whisking constantly.

Add the beef to the marinade, making sure each piece is coated with the mixture. Transfer the meat and the marinade to a quart-size freezer bag. Seal and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight. Allow the meat to come to room temperature before cooking, about 30 minutes. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade.

In a large heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Sear the meat on all sides, a few pieces at a time, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the browned meat to a platter and set aside.

Add the onions, peppers, garlic, and chiles to the hot pan. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the beef broth, tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well, then return the meat to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer slowly until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and allow to rest until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Continue to cook the onion mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Using your fingers or 2 forks, shred the meat into 2-inch-long pieces. Return the shredded meat to the pot, stir to combine, and cook until meat is very hot, about 3 minutes.

Warm the tortillas over a burner or in a dry skillet over medium heat for 20 seconds. Put about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture in the center of each tortilla, and roll into a thin burrito. Arrange them on a serving platter and garnish with lime wedges.

Super Simple Crock Pot Beef Stew

I made this last week. It was really good and super super easy.

Simple Beef Stew

1 package beef stew meat
4 small potatoes, cubed
1 c baby carrots
1 package brown gravy mix
1 package onion soup mix
1 c water

Put all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Chunky Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie

I really like Top Chef:Just Desserts. The judges said over and over that this cookie Erika made was really good so I had to try it. It's a seriously good cookie!!

-Erika Davis

Top Chef: Just Desserts, Season 1, Episode 3, Elimination Challenge


¾ c sugar
¾ c brown sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ lb butter
2 ½ c AP flour
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ c chocolate chips
1 c walnuts

1. Cream the butter, sugars, eggs together then add the vanilla, salt and baking soda. Scrape the sides and add the baking powder and flour. Mix till incorporated and add the walnuts and chocolate chips just till mixed.

2. Scoop and bake at 345


This recipe from is my go to recipe for pancakes & waffles. Delish!

Fluffy Pancakes

3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
cooking spray
1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to "sour".
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into "soured" milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.

Spinach Twist

I got this recipe from Sister's Cafe. It was a little complex, but really good. It's really rich, so be prepared for that.

Spinach Twist
submitted by Erin ~
printable recipe
8 Rhodes Texas rolls, thawed and risen (or 12 regular dinner rolls)
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese
3 c chopped fresh spinach
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 egg
1/4 c parmesan cheese
2 c chopped ham
1 c sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten
parmesan cheese, if desired

Press rolls together and roll out to a 10x13 inch rectangle. Mix cream cheese, spinach, basil, rosemary, egg, parmesan cheese and ham in bowl. Spread mixture over dough. Saute mushrooms, onion, garlic, butter, salt and pepper. Spread over cream cheese mixture. Starting with the longest side, roll dough up tightly and place seam side down. Tuck ends under. With a long, serrated knife, cut roll lengthwise in half. Carefully, roll each half so the cut side is facing out. Twist halves together 3 times and then pinch ends together and tuck under. This will form a long twist. Place on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Brush with egg and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise until double. Remove wrap and bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes. Do not underbake. Cove with foil the last 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
This is what it looks like before being baked:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Caramel Apple Cake

This is a really yummy cake from the Food Network Magazine. It's quite a process, but really good.

Caramel Apple Cake
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine

Prep Time:1 hr 0 minInactive Prep Time:--Cook Time:1 hr 30 min
8-10 servings

For the Caramel and Apples:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
3 cups sugar
5 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
4 large Golden Delicious apples (1 3/4 to 2 pounds)
For the Batter:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
Butter a 9-by-3-inch round cake pan. Make the caramel: Cook the sugar and corn syrup in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is dark amber, 7 to 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium. Carefully add the cream and 4 tablespoons butter (it will splatter) and cook, stirring, until combined, about 3 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and let sit 1 minute. Pour 1 1/2 cups caramel into a glass measuring cup and set aside. Pour the remaining caramel into the prepared pan and set aside until set, about 30 minutes.

Cut 3 apples into quarters and cut out the cores with a paring knife. Arrange the pieces skin-side down in the pan (overlapping them slightly) to form a ring about 1/2 inch from the edge. Save any pieces that do not fit for later.

Halve the remaining whole apple crosswise. Scoop out the seeds with a melon baller or measuring spoon, leaving the stem on the top half. Chop the bottom and any of the leftover quartered apples into pieces; set aside.

Arrange the apple top, stem-side down, in the center of the pan. If the quartered apples shift, just push them back into place.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the batter: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream, orange juice and vanilla.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Slip them into the mixer bowl, one at a time, and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy, about 5 more minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula.

With the mixer on low speed, add half of the sour cream mixture, then half of the flour mixture. Repeat. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula; finish combining the batter by hand.

Spread the batter over the apples in the pan. Top with the chopped apple. Bake on the middle oven rack until the cake is brown on top and springs back when pressed, 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes (don't worry if the top is dark). Cool in the pan on a rack.

Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a skillet wide enough to hold the cake pan. Carefully run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan several times, then rest the pan in the water to soften the caramel, about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the water and dry.

Invert a plate on top of the cake, then flip over the cake and plate. Using pot holders or a towel, wriggle the pan off. Soften the reserved 1 1/2 cups caramel in the microwave, about 2 minutes. Drizzle the cake with some of the caramel. Slice and serve with the rest

Cauliflower Gratin

This is a really good recipe I tried a couple of weeks ago from Ina Garten. It's a nice change up from the normal potatoes gratin.

Cauliflower Gratin
2004, Barefoot in Paris, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:20 minInactive Prep Time:--Cook Time:30 min
4 to 6 servings

1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into large florets
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.

Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Aloha Chicken

My sister-in-law's family is famous for this recipe. It's so easy & SO good. It's called Aloha Chicken because you use Aloha Brand Soy Sauce.

Aloha Chicken
-Schoen Family

1 c Aloha Soy Sauce
1 c sugar
1 t garlic, minced
1 t ginger, minced
3 lbs chicken thighs

Put the first 4 ingredients in a large pot. Bring them to a boil until the sugar dissolves. Add the chicken and cook at a medium high heat for 45 minutes.

I like to cook everything in the crockpot on low for about 8 hours.

Super Quick No Rise Pizza

This pizza is great when you don't have time to wait for the dough to rise. It was really good! It's from

Pizza Dough I

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
1. Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in oil and warm water. Spread out on a large pizza pan. Top as desired.
2. Bake at 375 degrees C (190 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

Pasta Bolognese

This is a time consuming recipe, but it's also delish. It's really hearty and thick. This made a huge amount, so I just put 2/3 in the freezer for another time.

Pasta Bolognese
Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell

Prep Time:45 minInactive Prep Time:--Cook Time:4 hr 30 min
6 to 8 servings

1 large onion or 2 small, cut into 1-inch dice
2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch dice
4 cloves garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil, for the pan
Kosher salt
3 pounds ground chuck, brisket or round or combination
2 cups tomato paste
3 cups hearty red wine (I used beef broth instead)
3 bay leaves
1 bunch thyme, tied in a bundle
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
High quality extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing
In a food processor, puree onion, carrots, celery, and garlic into a coarse paste. In a large pan over medium heat, coat pan with oil. Add the pureed veggies and season generously with salt. Bring the pan to a medium-high heat and cook until all the water has evaporated and they become nice and brown, stirring frequently, about 15 to 20 minutes. Be patient, this is where the big flavors develop.

Add the ground beef and season again generously with salt. BROWN THE BEEF! Brown food tastes good. Don't rush this step. Cook another 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook until brown about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the red wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half, another 4 to 5 minutes.

Add water to the pan until the water is about 1 inch above the meat. Toss in the bay leaves and the bundle of thyme and stir to combine everything. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. As the water evaporates you will gradually need to add more, about 2 to 3 cups at a time. Don't be shy about adding water during the cooking process, you can always cook it out. This is a game of reduce and add more water. This is where big rich flavors develop. If you try to add all the water in the beginning you will have boiled meat sauce rather than a rich, thick meaty sauce. Stir and TASTE frequently. Season with salt, if needed (you probably will). Simmer for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

During the last 30 minutes of cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat to cook the spaghetti. Pasta water should ALWAYS be well salted. Salty as the ocean! TASTE IT! If your pasta water is under seasoned it doesn't matter how good your sauce is, your complete dish will always taste under seasoned. When the water is at a rolling boil add the spaghetti and cook for 1 minute less than it calls for on the package. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking remove 1/2 of the ragu from the pot and reserve.

Drain the pasta and add to the pot with the remaining ragu. Stir or toss the pasta to coat with the sauce. Add some of the reserved sauce, if needed, to make it about an even ratio between pasta and sauce. Add the reserved pasta cooking water and cook the pasta and sauce together over a medium heat until the water has reduced. Turn off the heat and give a big sprinkle of Parmigiano and a generous drizzle of the high quality finishing olive oil. Toss or stir vigorously. Divide the pasta and sauce into serving bowls or 1 big pasta bowl. Top with remaining grated Parmigiano. Serve immediately.