About Me

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Who am I? Wife. Mother of 2. "Newbie" to fitness. Personal Trainer-in-training. Lover of health. Fitness. Religion. Family. Gluten and refined sugar intolerant. Welcome to my journey. Learn with me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Classic Repeat - Cheesy Lasagna Rolls

Wow. So it has been a long time since I last made these. But last time I mentioned that the meat we added was a bit too much and so this time we left it out. It was great! They turned out just wonderfully and we really enjoyed them. They are EASY to make although ricotta cheese is not something you would normally have on hand, so watch out for that! Vegetarians? This is the meal for you! Meat lovers? This is a nice change!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Brown Bag Burritos

I have no idea why this recipe is called brown bag burritos. Maybe because it would be really easy to take for a sack lunch? This recipe is exceedingly versatile. Jake ate the "sauce" in a flour tortilla, folded over like a quesadilla to avoid a big mess and I ate it over chips for nachos. It was definitely a different flavor but one that we both enjoyed immensely. This recipe will DEFINITELY be a keeper in our house! And yes, the recipe list surprised me at first too... but it really does work!

From Three on Food

1 lb. ground beef
1 can refried beans
2/3 c. enchilada sauce
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. minced onion (or sprinkled onion powder)
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 c. shredded colby/jack (or cheddar)
10 flour tortillas

Brown and drain meat. Add all ingredients, but tortillas. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Fill tortillas and roll up. Serve with shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My German Roots

Okay, so I don't REALLY have German roots. But with a Grandfather who went to Germany on his mission I have had my fair share of exposure to German foods. A classic staple in our house? Bratwurst (sausage) and sauerkraut! Talk about inexpensive - this meal could feed an entire family for, at most, $10. All you need to do is fry up a couple of these:

And serve them with some of this:

And dip in some of this:

And you are good to go!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Honey Lime Enchiladas

We are BIG fans of enchiladas at our house and I was really excited to try this one out. Jake loved it a lot and it has been linked on so many blog lists that it is almost a sure fire hit wherever you take it! Not too hard with basic ingredients, but takes a bit longer to make because of the needed time for marinating. The picture and recipe are from the wonderful blog: http://sisterscafe.blogspot.com/. Enjoy!

From The Sister's Cafe

6 Tb honey
4.5 Tb lime juice
1 Tb chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 lb cooked chicken, shredded
flour tortillas
colby or monterey jack cheese, shredded
10 oz. can green enchilada sauce

Mix first 4 ingredients together and toss with shredded chicken. Let it "marinate" for at least a half hour. Pour some green enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 10x10 casserole dish or 9x13 pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese. Pour the rest of the can of green enchilada sauce over enchiladas then sprinkle with more cheese. (When using a 9x13 I like to use 1 1/2 10 oz. cans) Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. (Put it under the broiler at the end to make the cheese brown and crispy on the top.)

*NOTE: I used a mixture of monterey jack and cheeder cheese, and 2 full cans of the enchilada sauce (one on top, one on bottom). It was great! Also, when marinating make sure that the air cannot get to your chicken or it will dry out. I put mine in a ziploc bag and sucked the air out of it - chicken was nice and moist!

Classic Repeat - General Tso's Chicken!

I love Chinese food and I love this meal! It is SOOOO good!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Personal English Muffin Pizzas

This recipe is a classic from my family! What easier way to feed a family than with a bag of English muffins, a bowl of pizza sauce, and whatever ingredients they personally want? These are so simple and quick that you will find it difficult to ever want to make pizza crust again! Unfortunately the picture is not mine. I got it from this cute blog: http://iheartfood4thought.wordpress.com/.


1 bag English Muffins
Any pizza toppings you and your family likes

1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1/4 tsp. Ground sweet basil
1/4 tsp. Oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Sugar
1/4 + 1/8 tsp. Garlic powder

Mix all sauce ingredients together and spread on top of English muffins. Top with any pizza ingredient you can fathom. Bake at 400 degrees for ten minutes or until cheese has melted. Enjoy!

Classic Repeat - Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta!

It is fun to try out new recipes, but sometimes I just want a quick, tried and true recipe to throw together for dinner. And this one happens to be one of my personal favorites. A couple of things about this dish: I said before to not use spaghetti noodles, but it turns out that you can! It is a fun new way to have the noodles instead of in the classic marinara sauce. Also, I am pretty sure it is important to NOT use sour cream substitutes (IMO). It made our pasta REALLY thick this time. And lastly, if you want to splash just a bit of lemon juice in there it adds a nice flavor! :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Perfect Pancakes

Sometimes I don't want to make anything elaborate or fancy. Sometimes it is just nice to go back to the basics. So when I need a quick breakfast for my family - these are excellent! They were a hit with everyone, including the baby who munched on her "baby pancake." Basic ingredients + very little time to prepare = the perfect recipe!

From: Crisco® Collection
Prep: 10 minutesCook: 25 minutes
Serves: 12


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups milk
5 tablespoons Crisco® vegetable oil


Stir the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat the egg, milk and 2 tablespoons oil in a small bowl with a fork or whisk. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch skillet or a griddle over medium-high heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter into the skillet for each pancake. Cook for 1 minute or until bubbles form on the pancake surface and the edges are dry. Turn and cook until golden. Remove the pancakes from the skillet and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding additional oil as needed.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with maple syrup, fruit syrup or honey, sliced fruit or fresh berries.

Tip: You can keep the pancakes warm in a 200°F. oven in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bacon, Egg and Toast Cups

WELCOME BACK TO ME!!!!! Hurray!!!! I am so excited to be back to cooking and eating! It turns out that I do not have celiac, just gastritis, and it is now under control and I can go back to eating like a normal person! So to celebrate - here is a new recipe! I love to make breakfast when Jake has the day off. We eat breakfast together and it is so much fun to talk and eat, and give bits to the little chirping bird that is our daughter. I am not an egg yolk fan so this recipe was not quite my cup of tea. Next time I will DEFINITELY break the yolks or do egg whites only. But the rest of the meal was quite tasty and we will make it again! I got this recipe from a blog called Annie's Eats.


6 slices of bacon
6 slices of bread
Shredded cheese
6 eggs
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 400° F. Grease 6 wells of a muffin pan with butter. In a frying pan, cook bacon about 3-5 minutes, until partially cooked but not completely crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Cut out rounds of bread (I used a 3.5-inch round cookie cutter, but a drinking glass would be fine.) Press the bread rounds into the greased muffin wells. Curl a piece of bacon around the periphery of each piece of bread, positioning it between the bread and the muffin tin to help keep it in position. Sprinkle a small amount of shredded cheese in the center of each piece of bread. One at a time, crack an egg, removing about half of the white, and dropping the remaining white and yolk over each piece of bread, being careful not to break the yolks. Once all the bread pieces have been topped with eggs, bake until eggs are cooked through to your liking (about 6-10 minutes) and bacon is crispy. Run a knife around the edge of each muffin well and pop the egg cups out. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Starting Over

Dearest Friends who follow this blog:

I am sorry that I have not posted anything in a while. I have recently been diagnosed with Celiac disease and, therefore, can no longer tolerate wheat. Add in to that equation the fact that I have developed lactose intolerance (due to the Celiac) and am allergic to raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, intolerant to sugar, and oils.... yeah... basically I am having trouble finding things that I can eat.

So what now? Now we start over. I am on the search for things that I can eat and it is a very slow process. I will post as soon as I can, but until then... wish me luck!

Love, Shayla

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Moo Shu Noodles

Okay, this isn't one of my normal recipes because it calls for some unusual ingredients that you wouldn't just have on hand - BUT!!!!! This is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO worth it! The unusual ingredients are cheap and easy to get at the store and this is my new favorite way to eat pork. Plus it comes together so quickly - like half hour quickly! I am a sucker for Chinese food, I really am, but even my ginger picky husband gobbled this one down! It is super super super delicious and has earned a place in our FAVORITE recipes! Thanks so much to My Kitchen Cafe for another great recipe!

From My Kitchen Cafe

12-ounces fettuccine (I used 16 and it was just fine)
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 eggs, beaten
3 medium-sized boneless pork chops, thinly sliced (it is easier to slice thinly if pork chops are slightly frozen)
Ground black pepper
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons ginger (about a 2-inch piece), peeled and grated (Or 1 tsp. Ground ginger)
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated (Or 1 tsp. minced garlic)
1/2 pound mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 small head Napa or Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced (Available at your local Wal-mart)
1/2 cup chicken broth

Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil. When the water comes up to a bubble, add some salt and drop in the fettuccine. Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain the cooked pasta and reserve.

Combine the hoisin and soy sauce together in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat one tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add eggs and scramble. When done, scrape them onto a plate and reserve. In the same skillet heat two tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes (don't overcook or pork will be tough!). Remove the meat from the pan onto the same plate as the eggs and keep warm.

Add the scallions, ginger and garlic to the pan, and cook until aromatic and the scallions are tender, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir-fry until golden brown, 4-5 minutes.

Add the cabbage to the pan and stir-fry until tender, about 3 minutes. When the cabbage is tender, add the reserved pork and scrambled eggs back to the pan along with the hoisin-soy mixture and the chicken broth. Stir-fry to fully heat through, about 1 minute, and then toss with the reserved cooked pasta. Cook to heat through and serve.

*NOTE: I added a small can of sliced water chestnuts to my Moo Shu Noodles and it added a very satisfying crunch!

Crockpot Lemon Chicken

My husband and best girlfriend Ashley loved this although it wasn't quite my "cup of tea." It was a hit though and was gobbled up very quickly. It was pretty easy so it is worth giving a try. Maybe next time I will use less garlic...


1 teaspoon oregano, dried
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1/4 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons lemon juice (I would use fresh if possible)
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups sour cream (12 oz.)
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced

Combine the oregano, seasoned salt and pepper rub over chicken. Place in a 3-qt slow cooker. In a small bowl, dissolve bouillon in boiling water. Stir in lemon juice and garlic. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. (I don't know which universe you would cook this for 4 hours, but mine only took 2 hours before it was done!)

Remove chicken and keep warm. Stir in sour cream and parsley; cover and cook for 15 minutes or until heated through. Serve chicken with sauce and rice if desired. *I cut up the chicken and mixed it with rigatoni noodles.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Taco Chicken Fingers

I know, it sounds weird. And I know that the ingredient list is unusual. BUT! These really were good! They were delightful little chicken poppers in the end that we dipped in sour cream and salsa. My husband and I loved them and they are SUPER easy to make with so few ingredients! I got this recipe from Three on Food - listed at the side in my list of blogs!

From Three on Food

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbs. milk
3 cups crushed tortilla chips
3 Tbs. mild taco seasoning
garnish: salsa, sour cream, guacamole

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut each chicken breast into 1/2 inch strips. In a large shallow bowl, whisk mayonnaise and milk until blended and smooth. Place tortilla chips in a resealable plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, crush chips into fine crumbs. In another large shallow bowl, toss crushed tortilla chips with taco seasoning; mix well. Toss chicken strips first in mayonnaise mixture, then in crushed tortilla chips. Place on prepared baking sheet - do not overlap. Bake until just browned and chicken is cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. Serves: 8-10

Classic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! They are some of my very favorites! I have been really craving them lately and decided to put them together! I found this recipe on one of my favorite sites: My Kitchen Cafe. Make them! They are DELICIOUS!

From My Kitchen Café

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 3/4 cups oatmeal
2 cups chocolate chips

Cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add Baking soda, powder, and salt and mix. Add flour, oatmeal and chocolate chips. Mix until combined. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Yield: about 3 dozen.

*Note: These were better for me when I cooked them 8-9 minutes. Remember! They continue to cook as long as they are on the hot cookie sheet!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chicken with Lemon Sauce

I found this recipe on Delectable Dining and thought it looked so simple with such basic ingredients that I had to try it! It was definitely a different flavor than anything I have ever made but we really enjoyed it! The lemon taste is not too strong and it has an almost "sophisticated" taste to it. We will be adding this one to our list of favorites! The picture is courtesy of Delectable Dining and original recipe can be found here.

from Delectable Dining

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all purpose flour, divided
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 teaspoons salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, divided
2 eggs
5 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups apple juice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Flatten chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. In a shallow bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour, Parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. In another bowl, beat the eggs. Dip chicken into eggs and coat with flour mixture. In a large skillet, cook chicken in 2 tablespoons butter and oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm. In a small bowl, combine the remaining flour, salt and pepper; stir in broth until smooth. Add apple juice to the skillet, stirring to loosen any browned bits. Stir broth mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in lemon juice; cook for 1 minute. Add parsley and remaining butter; cook and stir until butter is melted. Serve over chicken with noodles.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chocolate Cake in a Mug

What a fabulous Family Night treat! SOOOO easy to make with ingredients you mostly already have around the house! I got this recipe in the Deseret News and it is really fabulous! It is RICH so 1 "cake" can definitely go for two people! If I had whipped cream I definitely would've toped this with it, or served it with vanilla ice cream! Enjoy!

From Deseret News

4 Tbsp. plain flour (NOT self-rising)
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. baking cocoa
¼ tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. chocolate chips
1 egg
3 Tbsp. milk
3 Tbsp. oil
Dash of vanilla

Empty dry ingredients into a microwaveable mug. Add egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in milk and oil. Mix again. Add chocolate chips and vanilla and mix again. Cook in microwave for 2 ½ - 3 minutes. Allow to cool. Eat from mug or tip out on plate and slice.

*NOTE: After you add the egg it is quite difficult to mix! Stick with it until mixture looks like a regular wet cake batter. You can do it!

Creamy Tomato Baked Penne Pasta & Cheesy Garlic Bread

I love trying new recipes and this one definitely didn't disappoint! It was a lot like the Upside Down Spaghetti that we like so much but all mixed together... with beef... and a different noodle. Lol! It was relatively easy to put together. Not as easy as some of my other recipes, but it was still pretty easy! I made Cheesy Garlic Bread to go with it because we had it at Chef Tom's the other night and my husband really loved it. I thought, "I can make this!" The pasta recipe became Rigatoni for us (because it was on sale and it's a whole lot like Penne) and is courtesy of Mindika Moments. The original recipe can be found here!

(Mindi Original)

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
1 12 oz. bag penne pasta
4 oz. cream cheese softened
2 C. mozzarella cheese
½ C. Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large sauté pan, brown the beef until fully cooked
3. Add the cream cheese to the beef, stirring until melted and incorporated into the beef.
4. Add the marinara sauce to the beef mixture; heat through.
5. Add the cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese to the sauce, mix well.
6. Transfer pasta and sauce to a 9x13 pan.
7. Top with mozzarella cheese.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.


1 pkg. Dry yeast (2 tsp. = 1 pkg.)
2 Tbsp. Lukewarm water
~Dissolve yeast in warm water.
1 egg
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Shortening or oil
1 cup boiling water
3 cups flour

Beat egg, add shortening, salt, sugar. Slowly stir in boiling water. Cool to lukewarm and add yeast mixture. Add ½ flour; stir (or beat with electric mixer) until smooth. Add remaining flour. Knead to soft dough. Roll to fit pan. Spread light coating of oil over dough on pan. Let rise 15 minutes. Will rising, spread on mixture of butter and garlic to your personal taste preference. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning and top with Mozzarella Cheese. Cook at 425 for 15 - 20 minutes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Logan County Hamburger

This was an excellent recipe that I found at http://threeonfood.blogspot.com/. It is a spin on grilled cheese sandwiches that was delightful! We added bacon, pickles, ketchup, and barbecue sauce and these were a hit! It IS SOOOO EASY! You'll love it! The picture is courtesy of Three on Food.

From Three on Food

1 pound ground beef (85 percent lean)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 medium yellow onion, half grated, the other half thinly sliced (Or onion powder)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 slices white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
12 slices American cheese, optional

In a medium bowl, combine the beef, egg, grated onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined. Form into thin patties. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers about 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Drain the grease from the skillet. In the same skillet, place six slices of bread, butter side down. Top each with a slice of cheese, if desired, some onions and a burger. Top with remaining slices of cheese, if using, and bread, butter side up. Cook each sandwich until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with mustard, ketchup, pickles, or any other desired hamburger toppings. Makes 6 burgers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


It is always fun to do some classic repeats for dinners! There is no use having favorites if you only get to have them once! Here are the dinners we have repeated this month that are already located on this blog. You can find them at the following addresses:

ENCHILADA CASSEROLE: http://shaylaskitchen.blogspot.com/2008/10/enchilada-casserole.html

CHICKEN CORDON BLEU PASTA: http://shaylaskitchen.blogspot.com/2008/12/chicken-cordon-bleu-pasta.html

PINEAPPLE MEATBALLS: http://shaylaskitchen.blogspot.com/2008/12/pineapple-meatballs.html

SKILLET ENCHILADAS: http://shaylaskitchen.blogspot.com/2009/05/skillet-enchiladas.html

Happy eating!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chicken Cajun with a Chile Cream Sauce

I subscribed to all sorts of different recipe places that send me new recipes daily. If I think I would ever attempt to make it, or if it sounds good, I save it. This is one of those recipes, courtesy of Campbell's Kitchen! I had cayenne pepper, cumin, curry, and coriander all on hand... but no cajun. It is a bit pricey at some places so if you don't already have it, watch out for that! This is a tasty meal that we really enjoyed!

From Campbell’s Kitchen

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup water
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chiles
1 tsp. lime juice
1/4 cup sour cream
Hot cooked regular long-grain white rice

Season chicken with Creole seasoning. Heat oil in skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned. Add soup, water, chiles and lime juice. Heat to a boil. Cook over low heat 5 min. or until done. Stir in sour cream and heat through. Serve over rice. Serves 4.

*I don't like to deal with bulky chicken breasts so I cut mine up. I find it helps get an even flavor too. We also like things spicy so I added a bit of cayenne pepper to my final sauce - tasty!

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

I stumbled across this recipe on a blog and now I can't find it again except in my recipe compilation! But this was FANTASTIC! I have never had a Monte Cristo Sandwich before (nor had Jake) and we LOVED this. After using whole wheat bread I could only get down one sandwich before being super full and Jake only got down 2! He spent the whole evening talking about how amazing these sandwiches were! Try them! They are fabulous!


2 eggs
1/4 c. maple syrup
4 slices of bread
cream cheese
2-3 slices deli black forest ham
2-3 slices deli turkey
2 slices Swiss cheese'
powdered sugar
Raspberry Jam (or any jam you like)

Mix eggs and maple syrup together with a fork and pour in a shallow dish. Dip the bread in the egg (make sure the bread is well-covered with the egg mixture) and cook on a griddle or in a frying pan (as if you were making French toast). Spread a good amount of cream cheese on half of the toasts. On the same toasts, add half of the ham and turkey and a slice of Swiss cheese. Top each sandwich with the remaining toasts. Turn the griddle to a low heat and add the sandwiches. Warm each sandwich until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and sprinkle each sandwich with powdered sugar. Cut into halves or fourths and serve with raspberry jam. Yield = 2 sandwiches.

*I didn't want to spend a lot of money on meat so we just got the Land of Frost meats and they were still great! Also, if you warm up your jam a little bit it is really tasty!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was feeling down the other day and I decided to get outside of myself and bake some cookies for my sweet husband! He requested Chocolate Chip Cookies and I just added a bit more Chocolate to help improve my mood even more. :-) We went to Mom and Dad Bentley's house that evening to celebrate our brother Henry's 12th birthday and served the SUPER MOIST cookies with Mom Bentley's homemade ice cream! I made 24 cookies and they were GONE by the time I had finished my small bowl of ice cream! I think they were inhaled! The picture and recipe are courtesy of Allrecipes.com. They went too fast for me to get a picture! For the original link go here.

From Allrecipes.com

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Yield = 24 cookies

Bubble Pizza

This great recipe is from a blog on the web that is no longer available! Luckily, I snagged this classic recipe before that could happen. This is a regular at our house. It is so quick, easy, and versatile and Jake especially loves it, even as left overs.


1 jar pizza/tomato sauce OR *your own pizza sauce recipe
2 cups Mozzerella cheese
2 tubes buttermilk biscuits
Sausage, pepperoni, chicken, mushrooms, spinach, olives, onions, any pizza topping you love.

1. Open the two tubes of biscuits and cut the individual biscuits into quarters. Place in bowl and set aside.
2. Open or make your pizza sauce. Stir in with biscuits being sure to coat all of the pieces.
3. Add toppings, NOT CHEESE. Mix well.
4. Pour mixture into a GREASED 9x13 pan (Pyrex is best).
5. Cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
6. Remove and sprinkle cheese over the top. You may not need all two cups (we didn't).
7. Bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve.

*Classic Pizza Sauce (adjusted particularly for this recipe)

1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1/4 tsp. Ground sweet basil
1/4 tsp. Oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Sugar
1/4 + 1/8 tsp. Garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Shredded Barbecue Chicken

This recipe, courtesy of Recipezaar, was a really great, really easy, quick to pull together recipe. (I used the stove top directions.) My sweet Jake said that the flavor wasn't "wow" enough for him but I really enjoyed it and thought the flavor was perfect. It really is simple so what do you have to lose? Regrettably, I don't have a picture! Sorry! The original recipe, including nutritional information, is located here.

From Recipezaar

4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 1/2 cups
3 tablespoons
brown sugar
1 tablespoon
Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon
soy sauce
1 tablespoon
apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon
crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon
garlic powder
8 buns

CROCKPOT DIRECTIONS: Place chicken breast in the crockpot and cook on high about 3 hours. Stir together all the sauce ingredients. Add the shredded chicken and heat. Serve on buns. (If you want the chicken to be moister you need to cook it on low for 8 – 10 hours.)

STOVETOP DIRECTIONS: Boil the chicken in water on the stove. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the rest of the ingredients. Heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Once the chicken is done, shred it with a fork and add to the sauce. Heat through. Serve on buns.

Dunford Potato Salad

This is the famous Dunford Potato Salad that is requested at every party we ever go to. (My mom's maiden name is Dunford.) Unfortunately, there really isn't an "official" recipe... so here is the best I can offer!


6 medium red potatoes, cubed
4 eggs, hard boiled, cut horizontally, vertically, and then sideways (in your hand...)
1 1/2 - 2 cups Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Mustard
3 - 4 tablespoons Celery seed

Boil the potatoes until they are tender and then cut into cubes. Place in a bowl and fold in the cut hard boiled eggs. Sprinkle with celery seed. In a separate bowl mix together mayonnaise and mustard. Pour into potato and egg mixture and fold until everything is well combined. Serve immediately or chilled.

*Okay, that is a general idea of the recipe but here is what you look for: 1) Make sure that the eggs are present but not overwhelming. 2) When mixing the mayonnaise and mustard you should be able to taste the mustard slightly, but not too much. The mixture should be faintly yellow, and you should make enough of it to coat the potatoes and eggs very well. 3) The celery seed needs to be uniform in consistency throughout the whole salad. If you need to add more, don't be shy!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

General Tso's Chicken

WOW WOW WOW!!! Jake and I are huge fans of chinese food and General Tso's Chicken is Jake's favorite Chinese dish. The verdict? We both LOVED this chicken! There is nothing that I like more when it comes to food than well seasoned chicken and this was phenomenal. Forget paying $30+ for an overpriced Chinese restaurant dish. This recipe was BETTER than any General Tso's Chicken I have gotten anywhere and it was SO easy to make with ingredients I already had on hand! (Okay, so the green onions aren't USUALLY something I just keep stored in my refrigerator, but they were there this time!) Try it! You won't be disappointed!


1 Lb. chicken breasts (cut into 1" pieces)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. "lite" soy sauce
1/4 c. unsweetened pineapple juice
1/4 c. white distilled vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. cornstarch, mixed with 3 Tbsp. water
4 green onions, sliced

Dredge chicken in flour and fry in oil over medium heat (in a wok or a skillet) until golden brown and crispy. Drain excess oil. Sprinkle cayenne over the chicken and keep warm on low heat. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine sauce ingredients (sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, vinegar, garlic, and ginger) and heat gently. When sauce is smooth and sugar has dissolved, SLOWLY add cornstarch mixture and stir constantly until sauce has thickened to desired thickness. Pour sauce in the wok (or skillet) and stir to coat chicken. Stir in green onion and hot red pepper flakes (optional, but we LOVED the extra kick). Remove from heat and serve.

*NOTE: I cut some of the chicken into small strips for variety and they cooked beautifully. I also didn't have "lite" soy sauce so I used regular soy sauce at just under 1/4 cup. I don't like dealing with fresh ingredients either so I just sprinkled about 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp. of minced garlic in the sauce and used 1/2 tsp. ground ginger.

The Easiest Taco Salad

Okay, let's be real here. How many newleyweds (or oldyweds) with kids have money in abudance AND a lot of time on their hands? I will be amazed if anyone says they do! After a long day of looking after a newborns needs, cleaning house, working out, and teaching piano lessons, I don't have a lot of energy or motivation to put together long recipes with lengthy ingredient lists and obscure ingredients! SO! For all of you in the same boat with me: this is one of our favorite go-to recipes for those nights when we're hungry and want something RIGHT NOW! (Without resorting to fast food.) It takes, at most, 10 minutes to get ready from start to finish and is SO versatile that you can add just about whatever you want to it. The ingredients below are the BAREST OF BARE BASICS to give you a wonderfully tasting recipe at very little cost.


1 lb. ground beef
1 packet favorite taco seasoning
1 package iceburg lettuce (with the carrots and cabbage included)
2-4 Tbsp. favorite Ranch dressing

Brown ground beef; drain. Mix in water and contents of taco seasoning packet according to directions on the back of the package. Toss with lettuce and ranch dressing. Serve.

*No. I'm not kidding. That is seriously all there is to it. I like to add some variety now and again with shredded cheddar cheese, tomato, crushed tortilla chips, salsa, corn, etc., etc., etc. Whatever you want to add - throw it in! But what is listed above is really all you NEED! Enjoy! :-)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sticky Fingers like Wingers!

Yummy! Who doesn't like Wingers Original Sauce? I found this recipe on the internet (can't remember where) and we really enjoy it. I like to double my sauce so that we have some to dip the finished chicken in to. This is really great served with a baked potato! Picture courtesy of this site: FAVORITE FAMILY RECIPES


1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. hot sauce (more or less as desired)
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
12 - 16 oz. box frozen breaded chicken tenders

In a saucepan over low heat, combine all ingredients, except chicken. Warm sauce, stirring occasionally, while you cook the chicken. Prepare chicken as directed on package in the oven. Toss chicken in sauce and remove with a slotted spoon to a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 5 - 7 minutes, or until sauce thickens and becomes sticky.

*Make sure that you use chicken with a crunchy exterior. If you use chicken like chicken nuggets, the breading will just soak up the sauce. It is good to use chicken nugget type chicken if you want to have the sticky fingers on top of a salad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Wing Soup

Despite what the title may lead you to believe, this soup does not have chicken wings in it - rather it has chicken with the flavor of buffalo wings. We LOVED it. Like, seriously! My husband is not a big soup fan and we ate this up! Below is my modified recipe. The original recipe only calls for a very small amount of hot sauce but you could hardly taste it and so we really turned up the heat!


6 cups milk
3 cans condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted (10 3/4 oz. cans)
3 cups (about 1 lb.) shredded or cubed cooked chicken
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 cups frozen corn (optional) - I added it for more substance
Hot pepper sauce to taste (we used at least 3-4 Tbsp!)

Combine milk and soups in slow cooker until smooth. Stir in chicken. Cover and cook on Low 3-4 hours. Fiftenn minutes before serving stir in sour cream and hot sauce (and corn if you decided to use it.) Cover and contine cooking just until bubbly.

Makes 8 servings. AT LEAST! If you are cooking for just a few people you will want to cut this recipe down because it makes a full crockpot of soup.

*This is REALLY fantastic with some crumbled tortilla chips and cheese on the top!
*Our favorite hot sauce is the Louisiana hot sauce. It has a slight tang to it instead of being just heat.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Skillet Enchiladas

It's been a million years! So it seems... Our place has been under construction and so I haven't had real access to a kitchen while we have been staying with my grandparents. I was so excited to get back home and make dinner again! This was a new recipe I tried and we LOVED it! I got this recipe from Real Mom Kitchen - love that site! For a link to the recipe go here.

From Real Mom Kitchen

1/2 to 1 pound ground beef (I use the 1 lb)
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons canned chopped green chilies
Vegetable oil (I use canola)
8 - 10 corn tortillas
2-1/2 to 3 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese, divided

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.

Stir in the soup, enchilada sauce, milk and chilies. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in another skillet, heat 1/4 in. of oil. Dip each tortilla in hot oil for 3 seconds on each side or just until limp; drain on paper towels. When meat mixture has simmered for 20 minutes, top each tortilla with 1/4 cup cheese. Roll up and place over beef mixture, spooning some of mixture over the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and cook until heated through and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Yield: 8- 10 enchiladas.

*I use flour tortillas (cut in ½ instead of corn tortillas), ¼ tsp. of cayenne pepper instead of the chopped green chilies, and onion powder instead of chopped onion. :-)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sweet & Tangy Chicken

I'll be honest - I wasn't sure if the men I was cooking for were going to like this recipe. But it was SOOO easy and required so few ingredients and such a small amount of my time that I HAD to try it... just to make sure. Plus, I was looking for something easy and healthy to cook. Well, it turned out to be a hit! There wasn't any left of it and there were only 3 of us eating it. It isn't my all time favorite recipe, but it's good and worth keeping around because of the simplicity. I got this recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sweet-and-Tangy-Chicken/Detail.aspx.


1 tablespoon butter or margarine
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Tomato Soup (Regular, 25% Less Sodium or Healthy Request®)
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
Hot cooked regular long-grain white rice

Heat butter in skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned. Add soup, water, sugar and vinegar. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 5 minutes or until done. Serve with rice.

*NOTE: I served it over fettucine noodles and it was really good. I also added a little bit of salt, onion, and garlic to my mix.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fallen, and Ham Fried Rice

I have fallen off the face of the earth. Lol - not really. I had a baby girl and have not made ANYTHING that is not already listed on this blog. I will try to get around to being creative again sometime... until then, try this one out!


2 C. Water
1 C. Long Grain Rice
¼ tsp. Salt

Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan with a RIGHT-FITTING lid. Stir in rice, and salt. Reduce heat until mixture just simmers; with a fork, stir once. Cover pan and simmer WITHOUT STIRRING OR LIFTING THE LID, ABOUT 20 MIN.

2 slices thick Bacon (3-4 slices regular bacon)
2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 ½ tsp. Garlic Powder
½ Carrot, grated
1/8 Head of Cabbage, shredded
½ C. Chopped Ham
1 egg
1 Green Onion, chopped
½ C. Frozen peas

1. Cut bacon into small pieces. Cook in a large frying pan until browned and completely cooked. DO NOT DRAIN FAT!
2. Add to frying pan ham, grated carrot, shredded cabbage, sliced green onion. Heat ingredients until the cabbage wilts.
3. Scramble the egg and cook with vegetables.
4. Add cooked rice and peas to mixture and stir fry for 2 minutes.
5. Add soy sauce and garlic powder to mixture.

*1 ½ tsp of garlic powder makes it very strong. You can definitely taste the garlic. If you are not such a big fan of garlic, use less. (I like to use 1 tsp.)
*Vegetable fans - I love cabbage so I use ¼ a head of cabbage and it doesn’t make much difference.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I woke up this morning craving waffles and decided that that is what we were going to have for breakfast. I started browsing a lot of different recipes but they all called for buttermilk which I don't happen to keep on hand at all time. I finally found this one and was so encouraged by the reviews and the ease of the recipe that I had to try it. It was fantastic! The picture doesn't really do them justice. I loved the unique flavor of the waffles and probably ate more than I should have. Jake really loved them too. The recipe says it only makes 4 servings, but this recipe could easily fill 4 people. (Unless you have an extra hungry husband. :-)) I made some modifications to the original recipe. My modified recipe is listed below, and here is the original recipe: Waffles.

From: Allrecipes.com

2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs, separated
2 – 3 T sugar
2 – 3 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup fruit (optional)

Preheat waffle iron. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Stir in milk, oil, vanilla and egg yolks until mixture is smooth. (Blend in fruit, if desired.) In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter.

Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden; serve hot.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Classic Family Chicken Noodle Soup

My dear sweet Jake is SICK! So after work let out I sent him straight back to our room to get in his jammies and to rest while I made a big pot of our classic Chicken Noodle Soup! It's really great tasting and Jake loved it. Hopefully he will be able to get some sleep now and get better! This recipe is really easy and doesn't require very many ingredients!


1 1/2 lbs. noodles (I just use 16 oz.)
3 chicken breasts
1 package baby carrots
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
3-4 cubes chicken bouillon
Onion powder to taste

Cook chicken breasts in approximately 8 cups water with carrots and shake a bit of onion powder in. Start noodles cooking in a separate pan. Cook until carrots are soft. Take out chicken breasts and carrots but KEEP THE WATER. (Use a strainer on top of the pan). Add chicken bouillon and cream of mushroom soup to "juice." Cut up chicken and carrots to add to soup. Add noodles. Salt and pepper to taste.

*This recipe makes a HUGE pot of soup. If you have less people to feed cut the recipe in half, or even in fourths.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Key Lime Dessert

I made this to take to our cousin Tonya's baby's blessing. I wish I could have taken pictures because it looked SOOO pretty, but I felt really weird whipping out my camera and taking pictures of the dessert on my plate in the middle of a big family party. Can't imagine why, huh? (It looks like a green cake with a chocolate cookie crust and white frosting.) Anyway, this was a HUGE hit! Seriously, people SWAMPED it and it was devoured within 5 minutes. It is pretty rich but is super tasty. It was a little more involved to make so I would recommend making it on a low key Saturday when you can do a bunch of stuff in between steps. I don't remember exactly where I got this recipe but I think I clipped it out of the Deseret News C section one day.


2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter

1 large box lime gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided

Combine cookie crumbs, sugar and butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan and set aside.

To make filling, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Chill until quite thickened, about 1 hour. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar on low with a hand mixer until fluffy. Beat in thickened gelatin. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping. Pour over crust and chill for several hours. Top with remaining whipped topping. Serves 12. (Or more when you cut it into smaller pieces which I recommend because of the richness of the dessert.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ranch Chicken Pizza

Yay! I'm back and with another great recipe! Jake and I love pizza - especially homemade pizza. I ran across a version of this recipe in my new Made Simple Chicken cookbook. I definitely made a lot of changes to it based on what I had on hand, so I will just post my altered recipe. We loved this pizza - hopefully you will too



1/2 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
*2 chicken breasts, cooked, and cut into strips
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 can olives, sliced

Blend together dressing, cream cheese, and tomato paste. Stir in cooked chicken. Spread on pizza crust. Top with mozzarella cheese and olives.


1 pkg. Dry yeast (2 tsp. = 1 pkg.)
2 Tbsp. Lukewarm water
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
1 egg
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Shortening or oil
1 cup boiling water
3 cups flour

Beat egg, add shortening, salt, sugar. Slowly stir in boiling water. Cool to lukewarm and add yeast mixture. Add ½ flour; stir (or beat with electric mixer) until smooth. Add remaining flour. Knead to soft dough. Roll to fit pan. Spread light coating of oil over dough on pan. Let rise 15 minutes. (You can spread on sauce and toppings while waiting for dough to rise.)

Cook at 425 for 15 - 20 minutes. (Check at 15 minutes.) HINT WHILE BAKING: Turn oven to BROIL for one minute at the very end of pizza cooking time. This gives the cheese a nice brown that is so delicious!

*NOTE: When cooking my chicken strips I flavored them with salt, pepper, onion powder, and a little bit of Worchestershire sauce - SO GOOD! We also folded mozzarella cheese into rolled edges of our pizza crust for the "stuffed crust" experience.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


It has been a really long time since I have posted any new recipes and I am sorry! I have been extremely sick and our kitchen is being remodeled right now so I do not have access to cooking opportunities! The kitchen should be done in the next few days so hopefully I will be able to get back to cooking scrumptious meals soon!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Crockpot Spaghetti

This is a great idea if you have a large gathering. I like my usual spaghetti sauce better - less ingredients, even easier to put together - but this does make a lot! It was a hit with our friends who came over to play some games. I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it before Jake's boys gobbled it up, but it doesn't look any different than any other spaghetti sauce!


1 lb. lean ground beef (raw)
1 c. beef bouillon
Minced onions
2 Tbsp. Minced parsley
¼ tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. Brown sugar
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. Dried basil
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 (8 oz.) can tomato paste
¼ tsp. Pepper

Mix all together and let cook all day on low. Boil spaghetti noodles until soft. Drain.