Friday, February 26, 2010

i love martha

Martha Stewart has an application for the iPhone! Seriously! I used it to make a yummy dinner the other night and just had to share the recipes. They were SO yummy.

Cilantro Lime Rice

Serves 4
1 cup long-grain white rice
Coarse salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove

1.In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add rice and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until water is absorbed and rice is just tender, 16 to 18 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, in a blender, combine cilantro, lime juice, oil, garlic, and 2 tablespoons water; blend until smooth. Stir into cooked rice, and fluff with a fork.

My main complaint with most cilantro lime recipes is the fact that I have to chop up a ton of cilantro AND that I always end up with big pieces of the stuff and then it reheats all wilted. Blech. Using a blender or food processor eliminates annoying chopping, which is perfect if you are lazy like me. It also really adds a nice fresh flavor to the whole rice dish and allows for a really really great lime and cilantro flavor through the whole dish. Yum. If you are worried about the cilantro or lime being too overwhelming you can just make more rice. I used 1 1/2 cups of rice and it was perfect.

I served it with my favorite black beans which I make almost all the time.

Mandy's Black Beans (which are better than Martha's)

1 tsp Cumin
1 clove minced or crushed garlic
1 Tblsp Olive Oil
1 can Goya Black Beans (drained)
1 packet Sazon Goya Achiote y Culantro seasoning
1/2 can water
salt to taste

In a pan heat the olive oil on low heat. Add the cumin and garlic and stir until fragrant, but DO NOT BURN (I've burned my garlic before, it ain't pretty). So after not burning the garlic and cumin, add the drained black beans and about 1/2 a can of water. Then stir in the packet of seasoning and a little salt. Heat over medium/low heat and let boil for a little bit. Taste, marvel at the wonderfulness of the Sazon Goya, then add enough salt to suit your tastebuds. Serve over rice. Yum.

This has become my comfort food since my mission. White rice and black beans. Happiness. And trust me on the Sazon Goya. It is seriously really really good.

Martha's Lime Marinated Skirt Steak


1/3 cup (about 4 limes) freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 scallions (about 1/3 cup), thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds flank steak
Vegetable oil, for grates
Coarse salt and ground black pepper

1.In a resealable plastic bag, combine lime juice, soy sauce, scallions, ginger, and red-pepper flakes. Add steak, and seal bag (place in a dish to catch any leaks); marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, up to 1 hour.
2.Heat grill to high; lightly oil grates. Remove steak from marinade, letting excess drip off (discard marinade); season with salt and black pepper. Place on grill; cover. Cook, turning once, until meat reaches desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing thinly.

This is a yummy marinade and leaves the steak tender and very well seasoned without being overpoweringly lime-y or ginger-y. Just really really good. It did have to cook mine a lot longer, but I used a grill pan and didn't cover it. I imagine you could do this on a george foreman or bbq or whatever you happen to have on hand. I personally am in love with my new grill pan so I used that. It worked great and Christian could have his piece still moo-ing and I could have mine with only a tiny bit of pink. And yes, I am correcting Martha's recipe. I hope she doesn't smite me or hunt me down for this. I love you Martha!

Monday, February 22, 2010

sometimes blonde is better

I came across this great recipe for blondies the other day and I have made it twice this week. Simple, fast, and incredibly yummy. They basically taste like a super delish chocolate chip cookie with a very soft center. Mmmmm.


8 Tblsp (1 stick) of butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup of flour
*extra add ins* (I always use chocolate chips!)

1. butter an 8x8 pan
2. mix melted butter with brown sugar - beat until smooth. beat in egg and then vanilla.
3. add salt, stir in flour. mix in any additions.
4. pour into prepared pan. bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle. (err on the side of caution, they taste better a little underdone)

I always use chocolate chips because those are delish...but here are the other suggestions that the recipe listed:

- 1/2 to 1 cup chopped toasted nuts
- 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup mashed bananas
- 1/2 cup of dried fruit

For an even more fattening and yummy with melted chocolate and peanut butter or buttercream frosting.


Make them. I made a pan last night and I am eating the last one now. There is only one left because I hid it from Christian. Shhh....don't tell him.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

pork chops lori

I am not really sure why these are called pork chops lori, but that is what they are. For those of you that have tried pork chops and found them dry or flavorless, just try this recipe and be converted to the joy of pork chops.


4-6 boneless pork chops
1 package pork stuffing mix (prepared according to package instructions)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 "can" milk

Salt and pepper chops and brown in a skillet with a little olive oil. Plave chops in a pyrex baking dish. (if you have a fancy stove top to oven dish then you can just make the whole recipe in one dish) Cover chops with the prepared stuffing. Mix cream of mushroom soup with one soup can of milk. Pour mixture over stuffing and chops.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until chops are cooked through.


These are super moist and incredibly good. You also have stuffing which saves you having to make a side dish. I serve these with applesauce and some kind of veggie (tonight it was my orange glazed carrots). You get stuffing, meat, and a yummy gravy all at the same time. This is our FAVORITE way to eat pork chops, and it makes for great leftovers...except tonight we didn't have any!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

apologies and yummy-ness

Sorry for the lack of recipes, I tore the nail off my right index finger and so I was having a hard time typing. But I have been doing quite a bit of cooking. For my Hubby I made his favorite, Chicken Rolls. I think every Mormon household has their own variation of these little yummys, but this is my personal favorite...

Grandma's Chicken Rolls

1 can (8) Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1 3 oz package cream cheese, softened
2 Tblsps butter or margarine, softened
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tblsp or a little more chopped green onions
1 Tblsp milk
a few fresh mushrooms thinly chopped
2 cups chicken (cooked, boned and diced) (can works too)

1/4 cup (or a little more) melted butter
Parmesan Cheese

Blend cream cheese, butter and milk until smooth. Add Salt, pepper, onions, and milk. Fold in chicken and sliced mushrooms. Unroll crescent rolls and separate into triangles. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the chicken muxture onto the roll. Fold the ends of the rol around the chicken mixture, pinching to seal (part of stuffing may show). Rolli n melted butter and Parmesan cheese. (To cut down on fat you can just place them on a lightly sprayed baking sheet and brush with butter and sprinkle with the cheese).

Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with gravy made from diluted cream of chicken soup.

These are so delicious. I usually use the big crescent rolls so that I don't have to make a million tiny rolls. I also sometimes play around with the amounts depending on my mood. Last time I used leftover rotisserie chicken and didn't quite have enough, so I added more mushrooms and more cream cheese. It is a flexible recipe. And these make for very yummy leftovers. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

comfort food

during this time of insane snow and frigid temperatures the thing i crave most is comfort food. things that are creamy and carb loaded. warm, nourishing, delicious, and most likely not too good for you. (ie the brownies and lemon bars we had last night). however with a few easy substitutions this dish fits my requirements for healthy and comforting.

Amy's Creamy Crockpot Italian Chicken

1 8oz package Cream Cheese (softened) (i use lowfat)

1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup (i use the healthy request lowfat/lowsodium)

1 coup can of water

1 packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix

4 or 5 boneless/skinless chicken breasts

Mix all the above ingredients except chicken in a crockpot. Add chicken and cover with mixture. Cook on low for approx 6 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Once chicken is cooked, shred and let simmer on the low setting for a little bit to absorb all the yummy juicy goodness. Serve over rice, noodles, or pasta.


We are big fans of this meal at our house. It is yummy and easy, and it makes a lot of food. We especially love how well it reheats for leftovers the next day. We have had it over egg noodles, rice, and pasta. My personal favorite is over angel hair pasta, but it is a really versatile dish. I personally love it because it tastes super creamy and warms me through and through :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

grandma's cinnamon rolls

we have been snowed in for three days, and it is freezing outside, so i have been baking up a storm here at home. we invited some of our neighborhood pals over for brunch on the second day of the blizzard and i made these tasty treats. this is my grandma's recipe, and eating them reminded me of her. they made even a bleak and snowy morning seem warm and welcoming. hope you enjoy these!


1 package dry, active yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water

3-4 eggs (If you are using extra-large eggs only use 3)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups (or more) flour

softened butter

In a large bowl, stir together yeat, 1 T. sugar, and warm water. Allow yeast to get happy and bubble. (i find that talking softly to the yeast and encouraging it along helps greatly...don't ask why, happy yeast means yummy bread)

Add eggs, butter, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and flour. Dough will be soft and sticky. Knead slightly.
(I did this whole thing in my Kitchen Aid and it worked great)

Cover and let rise until double in bulk. (My first batch didn't do a good job rising, but it baked up just fine. Second batch rose like a dream because I left it alone longer and the kitchen was warmer.)

Divide dough in half. Roll our fit half of dough into a large rectangle, spread softened butter (I don't know how much, just soften a whole stick and use what you need to cover liberally) and then sprinkle lots of sugar and cinnamon on top. I don't know how much, just take a spoon and sprinkle sugar over the butter and then get shake happy with the cinnamon. Just don't get too close to the edges. Now roll up the rectangle and slice into one inch pieces. (tip: use a little water to seal the seam and cut with a serrated knife and the seam side down) Place in a well greased pan and let rise again.

Top each roll with a little bit of butter and then bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Frost with powdered sugar glaze immediately upon removing from the oven. Repeat with remaining dough.


1/2 cup of sugar
grated rind of one orange
1/2 cube butter, softened

Mix altogether and spread over dough in place of cinnamon and sugar topping.


2-3 Tablespoons of softened butter
2-3 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
add milk to reach desired consistency

Blend together. For these rolls you want more of a runny glaze than a frosting. It just tastes fantastic that way. Trust me.


The dough can be a little different than traditional bread dough, but just keep working with it. Don't add all the flour at once, just add it a little at a time, you may only need 4 cups instead of 4 1/2 and once you add it you can't take it out again.

You can also refrigerate the rolls and just take them out with enough time to get to room temperature and then rise before you bake them. I did this and it made for a very yummy breakfast treat.

I used some of my leftover dough to make traditional dinner rolls. SO good. Just roll them up into little crescents or knots or balls or whatever you want. When you take them out of the oven brush immediately with butter to make them shiny and amazing.

Oh yeah, and a warning, you probably won't be able to stop at just one roll or two rolls. We picked at the pan all day have some friends over when you make these bad boys!

Happy baking!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

modified meatballs

so I made these delish sweet and sour meatballs from My Kitchen Cafe. This was my second attempt making them, so I modified the recipe slightly to fit our tastes. Below is the recipe from her blog. Just so you know, this is one of my FAVORITE cooking blogs. Everything that I have made from her blog has tasted so good. So, go there and make her yummy recipes. Back to the meatballs, these little suckers are amazing. Sweet, tangy, easy, and a definite crowd pleaser. Here is the meatball recipe as it appears on her site for your reference and my ease...

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
adapted from Lion House Recipes

Serves 4-6

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (you don't want the beef to be too high in fat because the fat will all pool at the bottom of the baking dish after baking - big time grody-ness in my book)
3/4 cup quick oats
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Form into about 12 balls, each about 2 inches in diameter. Place in a casserole dish. Cover with sauce (below). Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serve over rice.


1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoon mustard
1/2 cup (or a little more) barbeque sauce
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine ingredients and blend thoroughly. Heat in a small saucepan until combined and sugar is dissolved and pour over meatballs. (This dish is not overly abundant on sauce so if you enjoy things a bit saucier, double the sauce ingredients.)

*Freezable Meal: After covering the meatballs with sauce, cover the pan with two layers of aluminum foil and freeze. To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake covered without thawing for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 20-30 minutes more, until meatballs are cooked through.

My big change was the sauce. The original sauce was WAY too sour for me. It tasted too strongly of vinegar and not sweet enough for us. So I changed her original recipe and doubled the sauce except for the apple cider vinegar. The results were so much better. We also had them with egg noodles. We like egg noodles more than white rice with meatballs in this house. I also made the meatballs a little bit smaller so I had enough meat to bake smaller meatballs to freeze for another day. I really like the meatballs. Very very moist and then coated with delish sauce. Mmmm. So glad there are leftovers.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

cilantro lime chicken, rice, and black beans

which is in my mind the perfect combo. this is my friend Heather's recipe which she postedon our ward cooking blog. but here it is so you don't have to click and open another window.

1/2-1 whole onion (chopped however you like..extra fine in this house)
2 tsp oil (i use olive)
sautee onions for a few minutes
add 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp tumeric (in spice isle); sautee for a min.

Add 1 cup of rice, sautee for 2 mins.

Add 2 cups water and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-18mins ( i check after 8 mins or so and give a stir or 2)

1 costco sized can of chicken, shred. Add 1 tsp oil, 2 T lemon or lime juice and a handful of cilantro (rough chopped)

Open can of beans, drain and rinse.

Once rice mixture has cooked down add beans, 2 T of lemon or lime juice and handful of cilantro. Cover for 5mins.
Add chicken.

My kids eat it without tortillas but the adults eat this with the uncooked tortillas from Costco. Heat them in a pan with a dash of oil. Dry on papertowels. YUM.


Ok, so we really liked this recipe but the chicken tasted a little too "canned" for me. I think the key to fixing this is to drain and rinse the canned chicken or used cooked shredded chicken. ALSO, next time I will let the chicken marinate in the lime juice/cilantro/olive oil from the very start and let it sit like that hwile i assemble everything else. I also had no tumeric, so I used my "go-to" mexican food seasoning, Sazon Goya with Culantro y Achiote. Yummy.

We ate this on lightly fried corn tortillas, but I reheated it plan with a little dollop of sour cream on top. This is a great busy weeknight meal which makes plenty for leftovers the next day.