Monday, May 16, 2011

Lemon Bars

This recipe is really old, tried and true!  
If you love lemon these bars will blow you away!

2 c. flour    
1 c. butter/margarine        
½ c. powdered sugar

Mix flour, butter, powdered sugar until crumbly.  Press into 9 by 13 pan.  Bake 18 minutes at 350 degrees.

4 eggs      
2 c. sugar    
½ tsp. salt    
6 Tbl. lemon juice    
1/4 c. flour    
1 tsp. baking powder

Mix eggs well.  Add sugar, salt and lemon juice and mix.  Add flour and baking powder.  Pour over hot crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cool 15 minutes and cut into bars.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I love this fudge recipe I got from my sister Renee!  
We are trying it tonight with orange extract instead of mint!

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (divided)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup (6 oz) white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon pure peppermint extract
1 tsp gel green food coloring

Line an 8 or 9 inch pan with wax paper. Melt chips with 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk in a sauce pan over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Spread half of the mixture into prepared pan and chill for about 10 minutes.(Hold remaining mixture at room temperature)Melt white candy with remaining sweetened condensed milk in sauce pan over low heat. Add peppermint extract and food coloring. Spread on chilled chocolate layer and then chill for 10 minutes longer or until firm. Spread reserved chocolate mixture on mint layer and then chill for about 2 hours. Peel off waxed paper and cut into squares. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

7 Up Bundt Cake

My honey made this and it was good!

My husband got me an early birthday bake-ware present from William Sonoma and naturally 
we had to use it before making my birthday cake!
This recipe is designer back fat, just to warn you, but it's amazing so who cares!!

1 1/2 c. butter(see I told you so)
3 c. sugar
5 eggs
3 c. flour
2 tsp. lemon extract
3/4 c. lemon-lime flavored carbonated soda

1 c. powder sugar
3/4 tsp. lemon extract
add milk until desired consistency

Cream together the butter and sugar for 20 minutes(any good baker knows this is very important).  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add flour, lemon extract and fold in the soft drink.  Pour into a 12 c. well-greased and floured bundt pan(if you have a smaller sized bundt pan like I do just pour in less batter).  Bake at 325 F. for 60-75 minutes.

Pasta Bake

Okay, these pasta bake instructions are amazing!  
I got the recipe from the Food Network magazine for this month and it is to die for and full of fresh goodness!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rich and Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

I made this amazing recipe last night and am thrilled it turned out so good!  
It's also delicious with a pastry puff added on top. 
Now I don't have to go to my favorite Italian restaurant for my favorite soup!!

4 tomatoes, seeded and diced (if you don't use the freshest tomatoes it is best to use 2 cans of diced tomatoes)
4 c. tomato juice
14 leaves of fresh basil
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. butter
salt and pepper to taste

Place tomatoes and tomato juice in a stock pot over medium heat.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Puree the tomatoe mixture along with the basil leaves, and return the puree to the stock pot.  Place the pot over medium heat, and stir in the heavy cream and butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  Heat, stirring until the butter is melted.  Do not boil.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


We love making these... they're great lightly buttered with jam or cinnamon and sugar or a great addition to soups and stews!
Not to mention how easy these are to make!!

2 eggs
1 c. flour
1 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
popover pan

Preheat oven to 450 F. Grease six 6 oz. popover cups. (It's the best putting a dab of butter in each cup and putting the pan in the oven just to melt the butter)  In medium bowl beat eggs slightly, Beat in flour, milk and salt until just smooth; being careful not to over beat.  Fill cups half full.  Bake at 450 F. for 15 minutes.  Decrease oven temperature to 350 F. and let it bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Carefully puncture the tops with a fork and immediately remove from cups and serve hot.

I have made these using a muffin tin back in law school, they just come out smaller and may not rise as much.  Still yummy!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Easy Scones

Fried Scones!

Bread Dough – I like to use Rhodes Rolls. I zap them in the microwave for a quick thaw.
Oil – I use canola oil
toppings – cinnamon, sugar, jam, syrup, etc.

Pour 1 inch of oil into a frying pan set to medium heat. (A tip for knowing when your oil is ready: tear off a tiny piece of bread and when it floats to the top and has bubbly sides it’s ready. You don’t want it sinking to the bottom.) Now stretch out your dough as far as it will go. Now cook about 1-2 minutes per side, watch these, they can burn fast. Then using tongs, place them on plate with paper towels to soak up any excess oil.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I'm addicted to Mary Lynn's coffee cake recipe!!

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 ½ c. sugar

3 eggs
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
 1 ½ c. sour cream (I use either lite or fat free)

Filling:  Mix ½ c. brown sugar, ½ c. finely chopped nuts, 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon.

Heat oven to 350̊.  Grease tube pan or two 9x5 loaf pans.  Combine butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla and beat for two minutes.  Stir flour, baking powder, soda and salt together.  Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix, then add the sour cream and mix, then the rest of the dry ingredients and mix.  Spread 1/3 of batter in pan(s) and sprinkle with 1/3 of filling.  Repeat two times.  Bake 60 minutes.  Cool 10 minute in pans before removing.

I usually make this for Gregory with breakfast food and he loves it!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

French Dipped Sandwiches with Au Jus

Is there a more basic yet delicious sandwich than this?!
I always feel guilty when I make these because they are so good but almost effortless to make!

1 lb. beef, thinly sliced from the deli
4-6 french bread or hoagie rolls
1 packet of Au Jus sauce
1/2 lb. swiss cheese

Toast rolls in oven, open faced with swiss.  Follow packet Au Jus sauce instructions on the stove, when hot add beef to sauce.  Assemble sandwiches with Au Jus served on the side for yummy dipping!!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a tried and true recipe from Gregory's uncle Stephen, who went to culinary school out east.
These are the perfect cookies!

Cream together:
1 stick of butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Add 1 egg and beat well. 

Combine, then add to above:
1 & 3/4 c flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Add 1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips

Form into balls, place on cookie sheet, and bake at 375 F. for 9 minutes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Berry Crisp


1/2 c. oats
1/2 c. flour
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 c. butter, softened

1 can blackberry pie filling
1 can raspberry pie filling
(sometimes I add mixed left over berries from my freezer)

Preheat oven 375 F. Grease 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. Pour, blackberry pie filling and raspberry pie filling together in baking dish. In separate bowl combine all topping ingredients and mix together well. Spoon topping over pie filling. Bake for 30 minutes. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and serve.
Serves 6-8

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tortellini Vegetable Soup

Soup to warm the soul!

2 tsp. dried basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. oil
4-6 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 c. cheese tortellini (I actually use the whole bag)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)(if you like tomatoes, use 2 cans)
1 can green beans (drained)(I prefer French cut)
½ c. sliced carrots (can use baby carrots sliced in half lengthwise)
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat oil in large pan, cook basil and garlic for one minute. Add broth, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add tortellini, tomatoes, green beans and carrots. Return to boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add a baguette and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is so yummy and it's perfect for game day!

1 c. canned artichoke hearts or 1 c. frozen artichoke heart, chopped
8 0z. cream cheese
1/2 c spinach, chopped
1/2 c parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, crushed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

chips or crackers

Cracker, chips or toasted bread

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Boil spinach and artichoke hearts in a cup of water in small saucepan over medium heat until tender, about 10 minute. Drain. Heat cream cheese in small bowl in microwave set on high for 1 minute. Add spinach and artichoke hearts to the cream cheese and stir well.  Add remaining ingredients to the cream cheese and combine.  Sprinkle extra cheese on the top and bake until cheese melts and becomes bubbly. Serve hot.

Crème Brûlée

Break out your torches and start firing them up!!  
Every year for Valentine's Day my boys look forward to this amazing dessert!
Years ago, I worked for some fancy restaurants in downtown Salt Lake running their dessert bars and this was one of my constant favorites to make!!

4 ramekins
6 egg yolks
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
3/4 tsp. vanilla
6 tsp. sugar (for caramelizing the tops)
pastry torch

Preheat oven to 300 F.  In medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar together until sugar is completely dissolved.  Add cream and vanilla and whisk until blended. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days (do not stack them -learned this the hard way).

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining sugar equally among the 4 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top.

I love my heart shaped ramekins, I know that you can get some really inexpensive one's at Target in the dollar section.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kiddie Bath Paint

This is a lot of fun.. break out some paint brushes and have a blast!! 

In each space of muffin tin add:

2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 c. liquid soap (use something that is gentle if your child has allergies)
Several drops food colouring
Smidge of water to get a good paint consistency

Edible Chocolate Play Dough

Just for fun!
  This is a fantastic recipe especially if you can't keep things out of your child's mouth, at some point it may be a good idea to teach them to not put everything in there!
This smells good but does not taste good.

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup salt
1/2 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 cup water

Mix dry ingredients in a medium size pot.  Add wet ingredients and stir together over low heat until a ball of dough forms.  Remove play dough from pot and knead by hand until dough is smooth and evenly colored.  Store in airtight container.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Breaded Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

My family loves it when I make these!

6 pork chops
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
2 eggs, beaten
¼  cup all-purpose flour
2 cups Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
½  cup milk
⅓ cup white wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Rinse pork chops, pat dry, and season with garlic powder and seasoning salt to taste.  Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl. Dredge the pork chops lightly in flour, dip in the egg, and coat liberally with bread crumbs.  Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the pork chops 5 minutes per side, or until the breading appears well browned.  Transfer the chops to a 9x13 inch baking dish, and cover with foil.  Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.  While baking, combine the cream of mushroom soup, milk and white wine in a medium bowl.  After the pork chops have baked most of the way, cover them with the soup mixture.  Replace foil, and bake for another 15 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 150 F. (will reach a perfect 160 F. after it is pulled out).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Homemade Bath Crayons

These crayons will be a hit with any kids to whom you give them.  Just add water!!

 1 bar hypo-allergenic soap (the best is plain old Ivory, but any soap their skin can handle and is white, will be fine)
1/4 c. warm water
food coloring

small moon & stars cookie cutters -or- any plastic candy mold ( you can get creative with the cookie cutters and make them any shape you want) or you can mold them by hand into crayon shapes! 

For making multiple colors you'll want to get the kids and maybe even your significant other to help, as the mixture will need to be stirred until it hardens.

Grate the soap until it's finely shredded. Mix in the warm water. Separate into as many small bowl as colors you wish to make (so if you want to make 6 colors of crayons, use 6 bowls) Place a few drops of food coloring into each bowl until desired color is achieved. Stir until the mixture hardens. Remove from bowl and kneed on a flat surface until it thickens into a thick dough. Spoon dough into the mold or cookie cutter. Use your fingers to press(to get rid of air bubbles. Place mold into the freezer for about 10 minutes or fridge until 30 minutes - or until firm. Pop crayons onto a plate, let air dry overnight.

Kool-Aid Play Dough

This is such a fun recipe and they smell so yummy!!

1 cup flour 
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil 
1 package unsweetened Kool-Aid mix  
1/4 cup salt 
2 Tbsp. cream of tartar 
1 cup water

Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and Kool Aid in a medium pan. Add the water and oil. Stir over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. Remove the mixture when it forms a ball. Knead it until it’s smooth. Let cool and store in an airtight container OR have fun playing!!! Please don't make this if your child eats everything!

Repeat for each color of play dough you want to make.

Italian Soda

After ordering these at our favorite italian restaurants, we set out to make the perfect mixed soda's on our own, they're so easy!  We had some people over for Christmas Eve dinner and they loved mixing and making these.   If you're having a dinner party these are sure to impress!

Club Soda
Heavy Whipping Cream
straws (for mixing)
Torani flavored syrups... 

The one's we have and love are:  Passion Fruit, Peach, Strawberry, Lime, Raspberry, Peppermint, Caramel, Watermelon and Grapefruit.

Fill a large glass full of ice.  Add about 2 oz. of flavoring.  Fill the glass the rest of the way with club soda, leaving  some space at the top for whipping cream.  Mix and enjoy!!

Making Whipping Cream from Heavy Cream
1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. sugar

Chill metal bowl and beaters in freezer for 5 minutes.  Combine ingredients in bowl and beat together until peaks form nicely about 3-4 minutes.

Blonde Brownies

The other day my husband broke out his mother's cook book she had given to me years ago of all his favorite recipes as a child.  
He decided to make me one of the desserts from the book and  
I couldn't believe
I have lived so long without ever having a blonde brownie  -They're amazing!
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chocolate chips
2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. milk

Cream sugar and butter.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Blend in dry ingredients alternately with milk.  Stir in chips.  Bake in greased 9x13 pan at 325 F. for 30-35 minutes.  While still warm, add frosting.

1/4 c. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. milk

Melt and lightly brown butter over low heat.  Stir in powdered sugar, vanilla and milk.  Beat until creamy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Indian Fry Bread (for navajo tacos)

Navajo tacos are my favorite meal at the Olson's house when we visit Utah! This is a quick recipe; and Sometimes, when we don't have time, I put a couple cans of chili on the stove and start making this dough!

4 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. powdered milk
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. hot water

Stir dry ingredients together, mix in water and knead until soft (5 minutes). Squeeze off a golfball size piece and roll it out flat. Cook in hot oil (canola is best), turn once, until golden on both sides. We put chili, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, sliced olives, salsa and sour cream on our Navajo tacos.

My Mother-in-law gave me this amazing recipe!

Monday, January 10, 2011


We love this stuff!

1 (16 oz.) can garbanzo beans (saving 2 tbsp. of the liquid from can)
1 lemon, freshly squeezed or 3 tbsp. lemon juice
1-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine beans, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend ingredients together.  Add salt and pepper and sprinkle with paprika and parsley.

Make a small basin in dish with spoon and garnish with a few beans, paprika, parsley and pour in a little extra olive oil.  Cayenne is also delicious sprinkled in lightly with the paprika.

Potato Cheese Soup


8 c. potatoes, diced
1/2 onion, diced and sauteed on the stove
1 1/2 -2 cans chicken broth
2 cans of cream of cheese soup, condensed
1 (8oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

 chives or scallions or shredded cheese for topping.

Combine potatoes, sauteed onion, broth, cream of cheese soup in crockpot.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until potatoes are tender.  Put softened cream cheese into medium sized bowl and pour 2 cups of soup from the crockpot and into the bowl, mix well to prevent curdling.  Pour remaining ingredients into crock pot and stir well.  Top with cheese bacon and chives and serve!

I will sometime sub in some Velveeta to make it extra cheesy or throw in a can of corn!

Rosemary Dinner Rolls

Truly Heaven Sent!

Frozen, unbaked dinner rolls
Butter, melted
Rosemary, coarsely chopped or dried
Coarse sea salt

Spray iron skillet or pyrex pan with cooking spray (we use extra virgin olive oil pam).  Place frozen rolls in the skillet, leaving some room for rolls to rise for several hours.  After rising, brush rolls very gently with melted butter (or olive oil).  Sprinkle chopped rosemary onto rolls.  Brush with additional butter (or olive oil).  Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Bake according to roll package instructions.  Usually 400 F. for approx 15 minutes, until rolls are a deep golden brown on top.

We have also done a variation of this recipe with cinnamon and sugar and it was fantastic!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

N'Orleans Cajun Chicken and Shrimp Pasta

This is an amazing recipe!

2-4  skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
12 oz.  linguine, cooked al dente
6 tsp.  cajun seasoning
4 tbsp.  butter
1  bunch of green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2- 2 c.  heavy whipping cream
4 tbsp.  sun-dried tomatoes, julienne cut
1/2 tsp  salt
3/4 tsp.  dried basil
3/8 tsp.  black pepper
3/8  tsp. garlic powder
3/4 c.  parmesan cheese, grated 

Cajun Seasoning Recipe:
2 tsp. white pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. black pepper

Place chicken and cajun seasoning in a bowl and toss to coat.  In a large skillet over medium heat, saute chicken in butter until chicken is tender and fully cooked, about 5-7 minutes.  Reduce heat add green onion, heavy cream, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and heat through.  Pour over hot linguine and toss with parmesan for about 5 minutes on low heat.

*We make ours a little differently, I use olive oil instead of butter and used extra cajun seasoning to the chicken for extra kick.  I love the the taste of sauted scallops so I added it in with the chicken towards the end instead of adding into the sauce, and I did half shrimp and half chicken.   So yummy!!