Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More canning???

Yes! I got 3 more boxes of peaches from my Dad, so we did more canning on Saturday. I'm excited though. I got 10 more jars of slices and 6 jars of Cinnamon Peach jam. YUMMY!! It's even better then plain peach jam. All I do is add 1-2 Tablespoons of cinnamon to the jam recipe I get from the Sure Jell box. (I add it to the fruit before we start cooking.) I also get the pink box, because it requires less sugar. However a tip for anyone wanting to make jam, I have heard that it is hard to get the splenda version to set, so think twice about making jam with splenda.Sorry, my camera wouldn't focus. Its probably me, but I took like 10 pictures and this was the best!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Every time I ask my brother what we should make, he says gyros, even if I am needing a dessert. HA!! I always laughed and promised that I would find a recipe and help him make them sometime. We finally did it a few weeks ago. It turned out not to be too hard and I liked them, except that there was a little problem with the salt. There was a lot of it. I have never had anything more salty. I am not sure if it was the recipe or my brother. He didn't measure the first bit he put in, so I don't know how much was there before I came to help. Other then that the meat was really tender and easy to eat and the tzatziki was great. Using the greek yogurt is worth it, I have made other tzatziki with regular and it just didn't taste the same.
Homemade Greek Gyro
By: Nancy Gaifyllia, about.com

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 1/2 pounds of boneless pork loin, shoulder, or fresh ham
  • white wine vinegar
  • ----------
  • 3 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of finely crushed (powdered) Greek oregano (rigani)
  • ----------
  • 6-8 pieces of thin pita bread (not pocket pita)
  • 1/2 cup of tzatziki (see below)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • french fries (optional)
  • olive oil


In a small bowl combine paprika, salt, pepper, and oregano.

Make the Gyro Meat:

Slice the meat against the grain as thin as possible and pound with a meat mallet to less than 1/4-inch thick. In a flat-bottomed container, arrange one layer of slices, sprinkle liberally with seasoning mixture, then with a little vinegar. Spread the vinegar over the meat so that all pieces are moistened. Add layers, spices, and vinegar until all the meat has been marinated. Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour to 2 hours.

Remove meat from the refrigerator and slice into strips about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch wide and 2 to 2 1/2 inches long. Dry fry (without any oil) in a non-stick frying pan until browned and slightly crisp.

Yield: 6-8 large pita wraps, or gyro meat dinner for 6-8

  • 16 ounces (2 cups) of thick Greek yogurt
  • 4 to 10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of diced or grated cucumber (Kirby or "English")
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice


Prepare all ingredients in advance. Combine oil and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl. Fold the yogurt in slowly, making sure it mixes completely with the oil. Add the garlic, according to taste, and the cucumber. Stir until evenly distributed. Garnish with a bit of green and serve well chilled.

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups

Pizza-Adona style

I came up with this great idea for a pizza for my daughter Adona. I used the butternut squash puree that I had in the freezer as the sauce and pita bread as the crust. Then for toppings I put her frozen vegetables and cheese. I put it in the over on broil and a minute later she was scarfing down her very one pizza. It was a great way for her to get in a couple of servings of vegetables and she loved it!Sorry the picture is out of focus, its my only picture.


A few weeks ago my sister Erin host a bridal shower. I was very excited to help with the food. I saw this recipe on a blog and was DYING to try it. I think it turned out okay. Some of the problems we had was the frosting was separating, because it had jam in it. I don't know if it was the hot weather or just the recipe. It still tasted great, it just didn't look like I wanted it to. Also it made a ton of frosting. My sister didn't pipe much on the cupcakes, but we only used like a 1/4 of it. If we used more, we still would have had 1/2 of it left. The raspberries tasted AWESOME! I would make them just for a treat if they weren't so expensive!

Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Jam Buttercream and Raspberry Truffle

Devil’s Food Cake
Raspberry Jam Buttercream
Raspberry Truffles

Deeply Dark Devil’s Food Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
11 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cups warm water

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and flour mini cupcake pans.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix to incorporate.
Beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat on high speed for about 3 minutes. Add the cocoa powder and beat for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides with a spatula. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the warm water in two additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix at low speed for 30 seconds. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake cupcakes for 13-15 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes in pan and remove cupcakes from pan. Let cool on wire rack. When cool, frost with Raspberry Jam Buttercream.

Cake Source: Adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle

Raspberry Jam Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
6-8 cups powdered sugar
½ cup seedless raspberry jam

Place butter and jam in a mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream butter and jam until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time until you reach desired consistency. If frosting gets too thick you can add a little milk to thin it out.

Raspberry Truffles

2 pints fresh raspberries, cleaned and dried
5 ounce semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ cup seedless raspberry jam

Place chocolate and raspberry jam in a heat proof bowl.
Bring cream to a boil.
Pour cream over chocolate and jam and let sit for about 3 minutes.
Whisk together chocolate mixture. If it is still a little lumpy, put in microwave for a few seconds and whisk again.
Put ganache into a piping bag fitted or even an plastic bag(with a tiny hole cut out). Pipe chocolate ganache into fresh raspberries.
Let sit in fridge for about 15 minutes. Top frosted cupcakes with raspberry truffle.

Smores Cheesecake

I have always LOVED making cheesecake and eating it. I found this recipe a couple of years ago and have made it a couple of times. My brother Jordan has been wanting me to make him one since he got here and I finally did the other day. It turned great and was so easy for a cheesecake. If you are dying for a smore, but want it a little upscale, give this a try.

1/2 cup butter, melted
2 1/4 cup graham wafer crumbs
1/3 cup sugar

2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand, 300ml)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
1 cup miniature marshmallows

1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter


Combine butter, graham wafer crumbs and sugar. Press into the bottom of a 10" springform pan.

In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs and beat until combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows. Pour over crust. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 40 to 45 minutes, until centre is almost set.

Remove cheesecake from oven and sprinkle marshmallows over top. Return to the oven and bake another 4 to 6 minutes, until the marshmallows are puffed.

Melt chocolate chips and butter together. Drizzle over the marshmallows.

Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oh my!

I surprised myself today. I made the best marinara I have ever had. HA! I don't mean to brag, but to share. I could not believe it! Here is what I did:
Heat 1 tbls oil in a pan
Add 3 tbls of crushed or minced garlic and 1 small onion
saute for a minute, then add 1 small can of tomato paste and let cook for 2 minutes. Stir a little to make sure nothing burns.
Remove and put into crock pot. (This is just what I did and I have no idea how it turned out so well, so that's what I'm telling you!)
Brown ground beef, removing fat. Add 1 tbls oregano and a pinch of salt. Add 1 can of diced Italian tomatoes that has been pureed and 1 small can of tomato sauce. Let reduce for about 5 minutes, then add to crock pot. Add another can of diced Italian tomato pureed and tomato sauce and paste. Add 1 tbls of basil, 1 tbls sugar, and 1 tsp parsley. Let simmer until ready to eat.

I have no idea what happened, but it tasted amazing tonight and everyone agreed. Good luck if you try it and let me know how it goes!
Sorry no pictures, I hadn't planed on posting this.

Busy last Monday!

Yesterday was a very busy day for cooking. I started off with some homemade jam, moved to Jello, and ended with cake balls. HA!
I got an ad last week with 58 cent a pound for nectarines. I have long thought that they were very close to peaches, so I decided to make jam with them. I grew up with only homemade jam and since I live in Las Vegas and don't have a garden to pick raspberries I will resort to making jam with other fruits that I can get at a more affordable cost. All in all I ended up making more jam then I thought it would and ran out of canning jars. So I had to beg, borrow, and almost steal some from my friends. With the first batch we just did the normal jam, the second we added cinnamon, and the last and smallest batch we added about 1 1/2 cups of frozen mixed berries that I had from costco. They all seemed to turn out fine, however I have only had a little taste of each. HA! So hopefully it wasn't a total waste of time.
Now as for the Jello, I know a lot of you are thinking. JELLO?! Typical Mormon food. And I totally agree, but I have to say I love it! Especially in the summer when it's hot and food isn't very appetizing. My Mom has always made this layered Jello and I love the layers. I think it is fun and yummy. I have been wanting to make it since the beginning of summer and I finally had the opportunity. So I made that with all the time I had yesterday. It really is very easy, but you just have to have the time at home to do it. Here is what you do:
Seven Layer Jello
3 oz. pkg of each lime, lemon, orange, cherry (I used other flavors, so you can too!)
2 small envelopes knox
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
2 cups milk

Dissolve first 3 jellos in 1 cup of hot water for each of them. Then add 1/2 cup cold water to each. Put lime in the first layer and set in fridge. Boil 2 cups of mild, add 1 cup of sugar and dissolve. Dissolve 2 knox into 1/2 cup of cold water then add to milk mixture. Add vanilla to sour cream and then add to milk mixture. Blend well and let cool until lukewarm. After the lime jello is tacky (about 30 minutes) add 1 1/2 cups of the milk mixture. Let set for about 20 minutes or until it is tacky and pour the next jello (Lemon). The pattern goes lime, milk, lemon, milk, orange, milk, cherry. Do the cherry jello half way through. I usually pour the mixture on a spoon to make sure it doesn't disturb the next layer.
The last thing I did on Monday was to help my sister make cake balls for the bridal shower she was throwing. We decided to do chocolate, since I had it. We did chocolate cake with a chocolate ganache. I think I would do a cream cheese frosting next time, but they still tasted great. WE put them on sticks this time, so that she could give them as favors. Over all the turned out wonderful, even with the few hick-ups we had. HA!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hamburgers again! I guess it's summer!

We had some friends over tonight, I wanted to make some yummy burgers. I was out watering our basil and think about how we needed to use it.
Then I started craving mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes together. Yummy!!! (It helped that my friend Jaime made the best couscous that had all of this in it!) Then I decided to try making a hamburger with all of that stuff. I was a little scared that it would taste terrible, but it turned out pretty good. In the end it reminded me of a bruschetta hamburger, so that is what we will call it.
Here is what I did:

About 4 1/2 lbs of hamburger (15% fat)
4 Scallions chopped finely
1/2 cup of chopped basil (lightly packed)
about 2 cups of chopped mozzarella (I thought it would be too much, because it looked like a ton, but it tasted great and was fine once it was cooked. Add less if you want.)
3 Tbls grounded Flaxseed (Just for the heck of it, you don't need it.)
1 egg
Salt (I almost forgot this, which is why my meats sometimes don't taste as good. HA!)

I made it into patties and we grilled them. Then we put a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese on top with tomato and basil. We toasted some bread that had been brushed with olive oil for the buns.

I thought they turned out great and its always fun to have a new way of doing hamburgers. I only ate one, but wanted more. I however was too full from the yummy potato salad that Valerie made and the fruit that Rachel put together. Thanks girls! It was a great meal!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Double chocolate- what more can I say?

I just got the Cooking Light Cookbook and I love it. Mostly I love looking at all the pictures and planning the different things I am going to make from it. HA HA!! I especially like looking at all the desserts, but I can't make them just for us! Therefore I love the opportunity to be the person to bring a dessert for the party or dinner. HA! The dessert I have been dying to do is this:
(Sorry I forgot to take any pictures of it finished on the plate.)

Double-Chocolate Soufflé Torte with Raspberry Sauce


1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries in light syrup, thawed and undrained
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (orange-flavored liqueur) I used orange juice instead

3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (orange-flavored liqueur)
I used orange juice instead
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar, divided

1 large egg
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa or unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray


To prepare the raspberry sauce, combine first 4 ingredients in a medium, heavy saucepan; stir well with a whisk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook 2 minutes. Stir in raspberries; cook 4 minutes, stirring gently. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon liqueur. Pour sauce into a bowl; cover and chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 300°.

To prepare torte, combine chocolate and 2 tablespoons liqueur in a small, heavy saucepan; cook over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Place butter and 1/2 cup sugar in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 1 minute or until fluffy. Add egg; beat 1 minute. Gradually add milk; beat at low speed (mixture will look curdled). Add chocolate mixture, cocoa, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch; beat at low speed until combined.

Place the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form using clean, dry beaters. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold one-fourth of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Spoon chocolate mixture into an 8-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 300° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean; run a knife around outside edge. (The torte falls as it cools.) Cool on a wire rack.

Note: Grand Marnier adds a wonderful depth of flavor to his indulgent-tasting dessert. But if you must go alcohol-free, substitute water or orange juice.


8 servings (serving size: 1 wedge and 1/4 cup sauce)

This was surprisingly easy. It was super yummy and everyone that had it wanted the recipe. I have now made it two times and will continue to make it.

Lasagna Roll-ups

A while back someone made Lasagna Roll-ups for me and I loved them. I really don't like Lasagna very much, but I liked this variation. The other day I decided to try and make some. I found this recipe and decided to do it. I followed the recipe except I switched the cottage cheese for ricotta cheese. I loved it and thought it was really pretty easy, but looks a little nicer then the regular ones. You are able to dish it out a little cleaner then the typical layering method. I read on someones comments that it also makes a great freezer meal too! Always a plus.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Way to go Honey!

The other day I forgot to defrost any meat and we had a lot of frozen burgers left over from the block party, so I decided to do hamburgers for dinner. My dear husband took it to another level as usual. He decided to marinate the burgers in teriyaki sauce and grill pineapple to put with it. We also decide to use the stove top grill for the first time. It was so fun, but smoky. The burgers where great and was a good way to hide the fact that they were frozen burgers.I grilled up some asparagus and it turned out just right and it picked up some of the chard flavors from the burgers.
Good job Babe! That was a great dinner!

Recipe Review

I have tried my first recipe from the book "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld. I bought the book a while ago, because I liked the concept, but didn't make anything due to the fact that Adona is only 11 months and 29 days old. (HA!) Adona is finally old enough for me to try out these recipes on her, so I pick Tofu Nuggets as the first recipe.
I was expecting it to take a while to make and wasn't sure how the puree (I used peas) would stick to the tofu and how it would taste. I was surprised at how quickly I made this. It probably took me 15 minutes to make with a child holding onto my leg. The puree stuck great and Adona loved them. In the recipe she has you cut the tofu into cube, but I thought Adona would do better with sticks. The tofu is very delicate, so it didn't work the way I thought it would and will do it in cubes next time. I defiantly will make these again, since it is a great protein.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oh how creative!

Dave loves ice cream and it amazing me the funny things he comes up with. The other day he wanted an ice cream treat, not just ice cream, so he decided to toast up some frozen waffles that we had. Then he spooned the ice cream in between the waffles, making it an ice cream sandwich. I thought for sure it wouldn't taste very good, especially because I think these waffles are not very good anyway. To my surprise it was wonderful! I loved it and have been wanting one since. HA!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Glazing, grilling, etc.

A couple of days ago Dave was watching the cooking channel and saw this recipe for guava glazed chicken. So he wanted to make it and it was wonderful! Ever since he has been trying different things like honey balsamic glaze or pineapple glaze. I must say I have enjoyed all of them, but the guava one is the best. We took pictures of the guava one, but we lost them on our camera, so here are pictures of the other ones.
Dave has saw on the next show grilled fruit dessert, so he decided that he would saute some bannans and put them on ice cream with a chocolate ganache. It would wonderful!!! Here is a recipe for what he did:
2 Bannanas cut in half length wise
Put them in a ziploc bag and sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar
Dave put some Almond extract in the bag too or you could do vanilla, just a drop.
Then put them in a pan and let them brown a little.
Warm 1 cup of Chocolate on the stove
Warm about 1/3 cup of milk in microwave
Add the milk slowly to the chocolate until it is the consistency you are wanting.

Put bananas and ice cream in a bowl and pour the ganache on.
The last thing I'm going to share is something we made for a dinner we were having with some friends. Dave loves stuffed peppers, but I hate peppers. To compromise we did stuffed tomatoes. We decided we didn't want to do rice (mainly because I don't really like rice too much either) so we did couscous, which is pretty much my favorite thing right now. We mixed the couscous with tomatoes and basil with some parmesan on top. It turned out great and I loved how easy it was! We just roasted them in the oven for a few minutes on broil and them were prefect! The best part is that people have no idea how simple it is! HA! They just think its so fancy!

Friday, May 30, 2008

We love food!

Most know this about us, by just looking at us. We have been thinking more and more about doing a food blog and so today I did it! HA! Here are a few pictures of some of the yummy dessert I have made just in the last couple of months.