Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cranberry Apple Pie

adapted from A Bountiful Kitchen

7 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup fresh cranberries, washed
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
dash salt
2 9-inch pie crusts
Egg wash

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place rack on bottom third of oven.
Place bottom crust onto 9-inch pie plate. Set aside.
Place apples in large bowl and mix with cranberries. Add rest of filling ingredients and mix well. Fill bottom crust with apple cranberry mixture.
Place other half of dough on top of filling in pie plate. Crimp edges. Make slits on top of pie for steam to escape.
Brush with egg wash if desired, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.
Place pie onto foil lined cookie sheet (important, this usually bubbles over a bit.
Bake for about 60 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if pie is getting too brown.
Continue baking for about 10-15 minutes or until pie is bubbly and golden.
Remove from oven and let sit for at least four hours. This will prevent the pie from becoming a gooey mess, and help to keep it's shape when cutting and serving.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Chicken in a Pan

recipe from The Morris Family
5-6 chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups shredded swiss cheese
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup apple juice
1 box stove top stuffing
3/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a medium bowl, mix cream of chicken soup with apple juice until well blended. Set aside.

Layout chicken breasts evenly in a 9x13" baking dish. Top with cheese, and then with soup-juice mixture. Spread the dry stuffing mix evenly over the top, then top with melted butter.
Baked covered with foil at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5-10 minutes longer.

I grew up a home where we never ate casseroles… like, ever. So just the idea of all that cheese, and butter and the cream of whatever soups would gross me out like there is no tomorrow. And it still does, so when my friend, Karli was talking about this recipe, which her family affectionately calls, "Chicken in a Pan" I was thoroughly disgusted by it. Thankfully, Karli is as determined as they come, and let me know that the next time her family has it, I WILL be over for dinner, and if she has to, she WILL forcefully feed me this dish. So when the time came for me to come over, I was hesitant, but from the first bite, the to last bite of my second serving, I was in Mormon-Relief-Society-Arms Heaven. Seriously, this dish is SO good, it has me converted to the gospel of casserole dishes.

Tortilla Chicken Soup

1tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, small dice
1 tsp minced garlic
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 23-oz box chicken stock
2 cups water
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can sweet corn
1.5 lbs shredded chicken*
1 16-oz tub of sour cream
Shredded colby-jack cheese
Crushed tortilla chips


Sauté diced onion in canola oil over medium high until fragrant, add minced garlic and continue to sauté until onions are translucent. Add crushed tomatoes, and spices. Stir continuously while cooking for at least a minute. Add chicken stock, water, black beans, corn and shredded chicken. Bring to a boil for one minute, then turn heat down allowing soup to simmer for at least 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, add sour cream, and stir until sour cream is fully blended into the soup.
Serve with crushed tortilla chips and colby-jack cheese, and enjoy!

For my shredded chicken, I cooked up some boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a tiny bit of canola oil in the pot I was going to cook the soup in. Threw them into my KitchenAid Stand Mixer with the paddle attachment and shredded the cooked chicken at the #2 setting. Perfectly shredded chicken without having the sit with a couple of forks shredding for forever!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Caramel Popcorn Balls

recipe from Ashlee Marie

1 cup butter
1 cup karo syrup
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp vanilla
14 cups popped popcorn

Bring the butter, syrup, and sugars to a boil, keep bubbling over med heat until it hits the softball stage (240 degrees - using a candy thermometer).
Add the sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla and boil for one minute.
Pour over the popcorn and stir spread the popcorn out and let it start to cool.
Spray your hands with cooking spray and portion it out into 8 sections and ball up.
Continue to check back and ball and turn until they cool enough that they stay in their ball forms

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Milkiest Chocolate Ice Cream

from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home,
Recipe by Jeni Britton Bauer

1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (55% to 70% cocoa)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Combine 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
Chop the chocolate and place it in a medium bowl.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
Combine the remaining milk, the cream, evaporated milk, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Add the cocoa, whisking until it is incorporated, and continue to boil for 4 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the chocolate. Add the salt and whisk until the chocolate is melted.
Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon resealable plastic freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until the mixture is chilled through, about 30 minutes.
Pour the ice cream base into the ice cream maker and process until thick and creamy per the machine’s instructions.
Pack the ice cream into a resealable container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface of the ice cream, and seal with an airtight lid. Stash it in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home,
Recipe by Jeni Britton Bauer

2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Danger! This is the dry-burn technique. I don't add water to the sugar before putting it on the heat, as some chefs do. Caramelizing sugar dry means it goes faster, but you have to watch it more closely and be ready with your cream. Here is an overview of what you are going to do:

Stand over the pan of sugar with a heatproof spatula ready, but do not touch the sugar until there is a full layer of melted and browning liquid sugar on the bottom with a smaller layer of unmelted white sugar on the top. When the edges of the melted sugar begin to darken, use the spatula to bring them into the center to help melt the unmelted sugar. Continue stirring and pushing the sugar around until it is all melted and evenly amber in color — like an old penny. When little bubbles begin to explode with dark smoke, give the sugar another moment and then remove from the heat. Immediately but slowly pour about 1/4 cup of the cream and corn syrup mixture into the burning-hot sugar. Be careful! It will pop and spit! Stir until it is incorporated, then add a bit more cream and stir, then continue until it is all in.

Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.

Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

Mix the cream with the corn syrup in a measuring cup with a spout.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Heat the sugar in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat until it is melted and golden amber in color (see note above). Remove from the heat and, stirring constantly, slowly add a bit of the cream and corn syrup mixture to the caramel: It will fizzle, pop, and spurt. Stir until well combined, then add a little more and stir. Keep adding the cream a little at a time until all of it is incorporated.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the milk. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.

Bring back to a boil over medium-high and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. If any caramel flecks remain, pour the mixture through a sieve.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and whisk. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

Pour into frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.

Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid.

Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Berry Muffins

adapted from Art Bar Blog
3 cups whole wheat all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 cups milk
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups frozen berry mix
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a large bowl. Whisk together to be sure the ingredients are combined. In another bowl, combine the milk, eggs and melted butter.

Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture, pour the wet mixture into the well, and stir until just combined. There will be some lumps but don’t over-mix the batter. Add the frozen berries and white sugar; stir gently to combine.

Using a large cookie scoop, disperse batter into the muffin cups to fill the liners. Top with turbinado sugar, to make a pretty crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, remove muffins from tin and cool on wire rack. Enjoy!

Okay guys, I originally used this recipe because it said "dairy free" but it didn't say dairy free because they used dairy free products that they just noted in parentheses on the side. Any recipe can be "dairy free" if you do that. However, I'm extra glad that I tried this recipe. I added more spices, and topped each muffin with turbinado sugar because I thought they were too sticky and moist on the tops, and I was just really craving some crunch! They're great without it, but the added sugar just puts them over the top, so try it. :)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pecan Pie Bars

adapted from Sugar Apron

Package of pre made pie crust
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1 1/4 cup pecans
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a half sheet pan with aluminum foil, leaving enough for a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
Unroll dough, and cut to fit into sheet pan; press over bottom and up sides to form crust.
Whisk together sugar, vanilla and eggs until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Slowly add in the melted butter while whisking vigorously to prevent cooking the eggs. Mix until sugar is completely dissolved, then add corn syrup and whisk until homogenous.
Add pecans.*
Spread filling evenly over crust.
Bake 22 to 27 minutes or until filling is set and golden brown.
Cool for about an hour; cut into bars.

*I left my pecans as halves, because I prefer big chunks of nut, and they cooked well. You can definitely chop them up if that's your jam. It's really a play it by ear kind of thing.

I had a craving for turkey dinner, and so I convinced my family to make a full thanksgiving dinner "in honor of the pioneers that came and stole our homeland." In Utah, on July 24th, we celebrate Brigham Young coming to the Salt Lake Valley, and deciding that Utah was Zion. Of course, my people were already here, which is something I like to remind all of my friends when they get all pioneer on me. So we had thanksgiving in July, and so to shake things up, I decided to make some Pecan Pie Bars. Pecan Pie is one of my favorite pies in the world! so to have it so portable, and easy to make was definitely a plus! This is a recipe that I'll be making for years to come!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from No. 2 Pencil
2 tablespoons of butter
2 firmly packed tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
¼ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
Mini semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a microwave safe bowl, heat butter just until it starts to melt and is softened. Blend softened butter, sugars, salt, and vanilla together by hand.
Add egg yolk and stir again.
Add baking soda and flour and stir until combined.
Then stir in mini chocolate chips until you feel like there are enough.
Scoop dough, and place on baking sheet at least two inches.
Bake for about 8 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
Remove baking sheet from oven and give the baking sheet a firm, but careful bang on the counter top. This will deflate the cookies and give them a perfect wrinkly appearance.

I am a lazy baker. I love baking, but sometimes I just can't. Cookies cause this laziness to come up to the surface. You make the dough, bake a couple batches, and then you still have a crap ton of dough! This recipe is perfect for my lazy baker heart. It made six cookies, and they all fit on one cookie sheet. It is gloriously delicious, gloriously portioned, and gloriously easy to clean up. Make these! I promise you will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Deep Fried Cauliflower

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup whole milk
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into even pieces
Canola oil for frying
Kosher salt for after frying

Heat oil over medium-high heat, until it reaches at least 375ºF.

While oil is heating, whisk flour, pepper, garlic powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Add milk, and mix well. Toss chopped cauliflower into batter.

Fry in batches for 5-6 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove from oil, and let cool on a paper towel covered cooling rack. Salt while still hot.

Serve warm with bbq covered meat, or just eat alone until you can't eat anymore.

I'm sad to admit that there was a time when cauliflower had no place in my life. Then I moved to Cedar City, and a couple years later a little joint called, Sonny Boy's opened up. I stuck with sides that I was familiar with, until my friends forced me to try a piece of their fried cauliflower. I quickly realized how generous that act of love truly was because they were heavenly. That battered, and deep fried cauliflower changed my life. When I moved home, it became my mission to recreate the deliciousness of that cauliflower, because a five hour drive is a long-A-drive for some cauliflower. This recipe is pretty dang close that I had to share it with the world!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Creamy Citrus Bars

adapted from TastyKitchen

2- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup lemon (or lime) juice
zest of lemon (or lime)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Combine milk, citrus juice and zest. Mix well and set aside.
Mix remaining ingredients until crumbly..
Press half of the dry mixture into a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish.
Pour the sweetened condensed milk mixture over top.
Finish by sprinkling remaining dry mixture over the top of the citrus filling, and gently press.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Cool completely then store in the refrigerator.

I first found this recipe a couple years ago, and instantly fell in love. I was going through a lemon phase, and this recipe filled my need for all things lemon. I doubled the sweetened condensed milk and juice from the original recipe because I needed it to have a little more zip. About a year later I went through a lime phase, and revamped this recipe to be my ultimate lime dream. To tweak it to a lime lover's delight, use lime juice and add 1/2 cup of shredded coconut. And it will transform into the best thing on earth. This recipe is fool proof, and easy!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Red Velvet M&M Bars

Adapted from Yellow Bliss Road
1 Box of Red Velvet Cake Mix
1 egg
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup of of Valentine M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare a 9x13 pan, with cooking spray.
In a kitchenaid with the paddle attachment, mix cake mix, egg, butter and vanilla until blended.
Carefully fold in half of the M&Ms. This will be a pain in the butt.
Press batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the remaining M&Ms, pressing them into the batter.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to completely cool before cutting into bars.

I hate red velvet cake. I will admit that it looks beautiful, because red is bae. However, I think it tastes like poop. It's just not my favorite, but I always find myself pinning recipes for it. So, I figured that I could bring a recipe to one of my ward's FHEs… cause that's how Mormon girls get a husband. They turned out to be super pretty, and pretty dang good. Not my favorite, but definitely a crowd pleaser.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ultimate Brownies

recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, butter, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then stir. Continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and salt, folding gently until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached, 35 to 40. Do not overbake. Let cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

I'm in love! I'm in love! and I don't care who knows it! Unfortunately for my family, I am in love with these brownies and not a tall, dark and handsome man that could potentially marry me and take me away. They'll just have to accept my offering of these brownies, and be content with having me single as a dollar and not looking for change. I think they'll be cool with it as long as I keep making these brownies.