Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cranberry and Candied Walnut Salad

2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tbsp water
4 ounces raw walnut halves
6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
1 small onion
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 c. sugar
1/2 c red wine vinegar
1 c olive oil
8 oz. cranberry crazins
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

French baguette

1 head frisée lettuce, dark outer leaves discarded, inner pale green and yellow leaves separated
2 ounces (about 3 lightly packed cups) fresh baby arugula
2 ounces (about 3 lightly packed cups) fresh baby spinach

For roasted walnuts:
 Preheat the oven to 300°F Line a heavy baking sheet with foil. Stir the powdered sugar and water in a small bowl until the powdered sugar dissolves. Add the nuts and toss to coat with the sugar mixture.

Arrange the nut mixture on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until the nuts are golden brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set the nuts aside to cool completely. The sugar coating will become crunchy as the nuts cool.

For vinaigrette:
 Blend, red wine vinegar, sugar, chopped onion and mustard together well.  Slowly add the oil until the mixture is well blended.  Season the vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk the vinaigrette again, just before coating the lettuce leaves.

To serve:
Toss the frisée lettuce, arugula and spinach in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat lightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add half of the roasted walnuts and coarsely crumble the remaining goat cheese over the salad. Gently toss to combine.

Divide the salad among 4 plates. Sprinkle with the remaining roasted walnuts and serve immediately.

Homemade Fruit Leather

I just fell in love!
I'd love to make a spiced apple cider, plum or kiwi strawberry next time!
What flavors do you like?
4 cups of fruit
1/2 c water
lemon juice

Options for flavor:
2-4 tbs. honey 
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c sugar 

I added the honey and felt it needed a little more so I added half of the sugar amount as well and a little cinnamon to taste.

Prepare rinsed fruit, if using apples, peaches, plums or nectarines, peel and remove pit.  I used strawberries sliced in half.  Add 1/2 cup of water to pan and simmer fruit for 15 minutes.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Pour fruit mix into blender and puree.  Add preferred sweeteners to taste and make sure to add lemon or lime juice to prevent fruit from browning later.  Pour pureed fruit onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place into oven for 25 minutes.  Without opening oven, turn heat off with the oven door shut for 8 hours.  Remove baking sheet from oven.  Leather is ready when the surface is no longer tacky.  Cut 12 even strips, lengthwise.  Roll each strip up(with or without paper) and store in air tight container.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Our favorite lasagna recipe!  
It's also very easy to add in your favorite vegetables.

1 box of lasagna (I like Barilla)
2 jars of spaghetti sauce (we use Prego tomato basil)
1 pound of bulk Italian sausage or ground beef, cooked and drained
1 15 oz. container of ricotta cheese
4 c. mozzarella, shredded
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions, drain and separate. Combine cooked meat and 1 1/2 jars of sauce in a large saucepan. Combine eggs, ricotta, 3 1/2 c. mozzarella and parmesan cheese in large bowl. Spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 3/4 c. sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Place 5 lasagna noodles over the bottom, slightly overlapping. Spread half of the cheese mixture over noodles and cover with 1/2 of the meat sauce. Repeat layers. Cover last layer with remaining noodles and sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 6-8

Poppy Seed Chicken

I'll never forget the time my friend Kimberly brought this delicious dish over to my house after having my child.
This is so easy and yummy!

6-8 chicken breasts
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tubes Ritz crackers crushed
1 can of cream of chicken
2 cubes of butter
1 Tbsp poppy seeds

Jasmine white rice

Wrap chicken breasts in foil and bake at 350 for 45 min. After chicken is baked cut it in small pieces and place in the bottom of a 9x13in casserole dish. Mix cream of chicken with sour cream and spread over the chicken. Melt butter in a bowl and add poppy seeds and Ritz crackers spread over chicken. Bake for 30 minutes.

We like to eat it with Jasmine rice prepared as directed.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Green Chicken Enchiladas

My family loves Mexican food what can I say?!

1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can olives, sliced
4 oz. canned green chilies
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 pint sour cream
1-2 c. Monterrey jack cheese (we like ours smothered)
4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
8-inch flour tortillas
28 oz. can of green chile enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix soups, chicken, chilies, onion, olives, sour cream, half the can of enchilada sauce and cheese together to make a thick sauce, in large sauce pan. Dip tortillas in sauce on both sides. Scoop chicken mix into tortillas and roll up. Place filled tortillas in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Repeat until pan is filled. Add any extra sauce you'd like and smother the tops of enchiladas with cheese. Bake 25-35 minutes.
Serves 6-8

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cafe Rio Salad

This is a recipe for one of my favorite places to eat in Utah when we visit. I've worked my tail off in search for the perfect copycat and LOVED these!  If you've never had Cafe Rio, you'll fall in love with this recipe!
Cafe Rio pork
3 lbs pork roast (shoulder or butt)
16 oz chunky salsa
1 can coke
2 cup brown sugar
Place pork in crock pot and fill half way up the side of the pork with water. Cook on high for 4 hours. drain water. Cut pork into thirds, then mix sauce (coke, brown sugar, and salsa) and pour on top. Cook 4 more hours on low. shred pork. Mix back in with sauce if you want it saucy or not.

Click on the links for recipes:
Cafe Rio lime-rice

Cilantro-Lime vinaigrette
Cafe Rio creamy cilantro tomatillo salad dressing 

Black Beans
(I just use a can of black beans without anything else, but this recipe is good too)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 cup tomato juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs fresh chopped cilantro
In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro.

rice beans
shredded cheese
any other toppings wanted
roll it up

(I found a chicken recipe if you would like to substitute chicken instead of pork)

Cafe Rio Chicken
1 small bottle of kraft zesty italian dressing
1 tbs chili powder
1 tbs cumin
3 cloves garlic-minced
5 lbs chicken breast

Cook all together in a crockpot for 4 hours on high, shred, then cook for an additional 1 hour.

salad- order of assembly
tortilla - I use the land o lake brand of uncooked flour tortillas from costco or sams. They are awesome and taste like cafe rio's homemade tortillas
shredded colby and monterray jack cheese
pico de gallo - [or chopped tomatoes, diced onions, cilantro, lime juice]
feta cheese crumbles
lime wedge (or lime juice)
tortilla strips (I just made my own by baking a finely shredded tortilla until crispy)
cilantro tomatillo dressing