Sunday, January 31, 2010

chocolate chip cake

lovely friends had us over for dinner tonight so i didn't have to cook (hip hip hooray!) but I decided to try out my new bundt pan and make a cake...chocolate chip cake to be exact!

1 yellow cake mix
1 large package instant chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream (not the lite version)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup hot water
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Blend all ingredients except chocolate chips together at medium speed for 4 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Cool ten minutes then remove from pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

This cake is amazing. Seriously so good. I got the recipe from my family's cookbook and it originated from a friend of my Aunt Jodi. The original recipe says to use milk chocolate chips, but I loved the semi sweet ones. This cake really is rich enough that you don't need frosting, but I think that is you really wanted to some vanilla glaze would be acceptable. My personal favorite way to enjoy it is warm with ice cream. Yum. I had two pieces tonight and I had to undo the button on my jeans. A true sign of a successful dish.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chick 'N' Chokes

With Christian gone there hasn't been much cooking around these parts, but I did make this yummy casserole for my friend and I since C hates artichokes and I absolutely love them.

2 cans artichoke hearts (unmarinated)
2 garlic cloves crushed
2 2/3 cups cooked chicken, cubed
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup soft bread, cubed
3 T. butter
olive oil

Cut artichoke hearts into quarters, arrange in buttered casserole dish. Heat a small amount of olive oil with garlic in a saucepan and drizzle over artichokes. Sprinkle chicken over artichokes. Combine mayo, soup, lemon juice, and curry powder. Spread over chicken and artichokes. Sprinkle with cheese. Toss bread cubes in melted butter and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

(from the Santa Monica 2nd Ward Cookbook, submitted by Kris Gutierrez)


This casserole was super yummy! Since there were just two of us, I halved the recipe and I was out of cream of chicken soup so I used cream of mushroom. It tasted fabulous. After making this, I think next time I will make a few changes...

For starters I will cut the artichokes up a little smaller and sautee them with the garlic and olive oil. After consulting with my Mom and her notes on the recipe, we figured out that mixing the chicken, artichokes, and soup mixture would probably taste better. I also loved the toasty bread cubes on top, so I will double the amount of bread cubes next time, or maybe used some unseasoned croutons.

All in all this is a really yummy and tasty treat. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


the hubs is on a business trip which means no cooking for me!!! but i thought i would share my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (thanks michelle).

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup butter flavor shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 large package of instant vanilla pudding
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine butter, shortening and sugars until light and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add pudding and remaining dry ingreients, mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoon full onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Very very yummy. My favorite way to eat chocolate chip cookies is to bake them just enough so that the edges hold up the "warm cookie dough" in the middle and then a big glass of ice cold milk. These cookies don't really brown so just take them out at 10 minutes, unless you are a wierdo and like your cookies well done.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

my favorite sunday dinner

For me Sunday Dinner means one thing...Roast and Mashed Potatoes. We used to call it "Grandma's Special" because it is what she made almost every week my whole life. Now I love making this for my family and friends. Tonight I made my new favorite roast recipe, my mom's yummy potatoes, glazed carrots, and homemade chocolate sauce for our ice cream. Here are the recipes:

Yummy Roast in the Crock Pot

One chuck or rump roast (I usually use about a 2-3lb roast)
1 packet of Lipton Onion Soup mix
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
2-3 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 can of water

Season roast with salt and pepper and brown in a little olive oil. While the roast is browning combine the soup, the can of water, and the Worcestershire sauce in the crock pot. Place browned roast in crock pot. Sprinkle with the onion soup mix. Cook on low for 8 hours.

I have often substituted one can of cream of celery for one of the cans of mushroom soup. yummy. I also always use the low-fat low-sodium soups. I think the gravy and the roast still tastes just as rich and yummy. I never measure the worst sauce, I just throw a few shakes in there and call it good. And more than once I have cheated and cooked the roast on high for less time. It doesn't taste as good but it will do in a pinch. This makes the most tender and moist roast you have probably ever tasted. Christian told me that he hated pot roast and wouldn't eat it...until I made him this and then he proceeded to eat an entire half of my 2lb roast in one sitting. So, there you have it. You can probably throw in potatoes and carrots if you want to, but I prefer to have mashed potatoes so I never do that. My favorite part of making a roast this way is the fool proof gravy...just strain and serve. Perfect.

Mom's Ultimate Mashed Potatoes

8-10 good size red potatoes
1 package of garlic and herb flavored cheese spread (like
rondelle or boursin)
a few Tablespoons of butter
a few tablespoons of milk
salt and pepper to taste
*optional grated cheddar or other cheese*

Cut up red potatoes and cover with cool water until the water is about one inch over the potatoes. Boil until the potatoes are tender and smash easily. Drain. Over very very low heat add a few pats of butter (start with 2 and then you can add more if you need to) and add about 2 tablespoons of milk. Mash with a potato masher or whip using an egg beater. Then add a little more than half of the package of garlic herb cheese spread or more to taste. Mix in well. Sprinkle with about a half cup of grated cheese if you have any. I love adding about a half cup of cheddar or colby jack if I have some on hand. Finally taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Serve and enjoy!

My Mom makes these a lot and these are my go-to potatoes. I also love PW's potatoes, but they are just so full of fat that I can only make them once or twice a year. I love using red potatoes because you can eat the skins, but this recipe would work well for just about any type of potato. Yukon golds especially, just peel first. I also always use the LIGHT cheese spread and it still tastes very rich and creamy. Tonight I had no extra grated cheese, so I just added some extra cheese spread. Holy Cow. Yum. I think we both ate more than what is considered a normal portion size!

Glazed Carrots
(adapted from The Essential Mormon Cookbook)

1 bag of baby carrots
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp Butter

Cook carrots in a small amount of water for about 10 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain carrots. Return to warm pot and sprinkle with sugar and cornstarch, mix. Add orange juice and butter. Stir over low heat until the sauce has thickened. Salt to taste.

The TEMC says to add peas, but I hate peas so I omit that step. Blech. But if you love peas, add away. Just a note, be sure to let the sauce thicken up, it really blends well with the carrots. Also, be sure to add some salt at the end or it can taste kinda blah. Usually I dislike cooked carrots, but these were simply delish. We both had seconds.

Finally... what to make when you don't want to bake or dirty too many more dishes...

Easy Chocolate Syrup
(adapted from Taste of Home website)

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking cocoa
2-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 quart vanilla ice cream

In a 1-qt. microwave-safe dish, combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and water until smooth. Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes or until the mixture boils, stirring twice. Stir in butter and vanilla until blended. Serve warm over ice cream. Yield: 6 servings.


This is really really good. So plan on maybe 4 servings unless you double the recipe. The original recipe says to add two tsp of butter, but that was not nearly enough. The butter really adds some richness and depth to the sauce. Seriously so so so good. Your lips will thank me, but your hips probably won't.

So, that is what I cooked today. It was really easy, even if there is quite a mess to clean up since I failed miserably at the whole "clean as you cook" thing. I am procrastinating dishes as we speak by writing on this blog! It was so nice after taking care of a screaming and sick baby all day long to enjoy some good old fashioned comfort food. Usually we have friends over for Sunday dinner, but with sick babykins we decided not to today. I am kinda glad, because I can't wait for leftovers tomorrow!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

cooking group

I host cooking group once a month, which means that I need to create impressive dishes to feed my hungry amigas. It is an adventure to think of a new theme and recipes for each month. Tomorrow I am making breakfast foods including this amazing casserole my Mom made for us on Christmas and then again in New Years Day because we liked it so much!

Egg and Sausage Casserole

10 to 12 slices white bread (remove crusts and cube)
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1 pound sausage
4 eggs
2 1/4 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk

Place bread cubes in a lighlty sprayed 9" x 13" baking dish. Top with grated cheese. Brown sausage, breaking up into small pieces. Drain. Arrange sausage over cheese. Beat eggs with 2 1/4 cups milk and dry mustard; pour over cheese. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, dilute mushroom soup with 1/2 cup milk. Pour over mixture already in pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hour or until set.

(from "The Ivory Family Cookbook")
Ridiculously good and makes for yummy leftovers. It is like a breakfast sandwich in casserole form. Yummyness.

what am i doing

just a way to keep track of the recipes i make and an easy way to share them with friends.

Tonight I cooked easy chicken and rice. It is my go-to meal when I have nothing to eat and no desire to go to the grocery store. Like tonight, there was a freaking ICE STORM. Blech. Definitely not going to catch me outside in that! It didn't help that I hadn't been grocery shopping in a week, Mason was freaking out, and Christian was on his way to a meeting. So this is my easy chicken and rice.

Easy Chicken

2-4 chicken breasts seasoned with seasoning salt (i use Lawry's)
Brown chicken in a little bit of olive oil in a large skillet. (to save on time I split my chicken breasts so they would cook faster). When the chicken is browned on both sides add one can of Cream of Celery soup mixed with 3/4 cup of water. Cover and let the chicken finish cooking and the sauce reduce. Serve over rice.

Tonight I used cream of celery, but it also works with cream of mushroom. I also served it over brown rice (trying to be healthy) and it was really good!