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Sunday, February 27, 2011

S'more Cups

If you love camping for the s'mores, like me, you will love this recipe. You will love it because you can have them at any time of the year, not just during campfire season (which I consider to be summer). My sister-in-law, Jayna introduced these to me. She brought them to a family party and I think I had 8 of them. I couldn't help myself. Then I made them to take to my sister's baby shower and I think I had to restrain myself from eating that many so there would be some to take to the shower!

I hope you will love them as much as I do!

This recipe comes from Pampered Chef, but I changed a few things to make it fit my needs.

S'more Cups
Adapted from 'The Pampered Chef'
Yield: 24 - 30 cups

1 C. finely crushed graham crackers
1/4 C. powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 -1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
12-15 large marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 350. Crush graham cracker in a Ziploc bag. Combine graham crackers, powdered sugar, and butter in a small bowl. Using a spoon, place a scant scoop of crumb mixture in each cup of a mini-size muffin pan. Press crumbs to form shallow cups. Bake 4-5 minutes or until edges are bubbling. After removing pan from oven; place 3-5 chocolate chips on each cup, allowing them to melt slightly.

2. Cut marshmallows in half using kitchen sheers that have been dipped in cold water (makes it less sticky). Place one marshmallow half, cut-side down, into each cup. Return to oven 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows are just slightly softened. Remove pan from oven onto a cooling rack. Cool 15 minutes. Carefully remove cups from pan. Cool completely.

3. Melt about 1/2-3/4 cup chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl or on stove. If you microwave, stir the chocolate chips every 20 seconds to prevent burning. Takes about 1-2 minutes to melt smooth. Dip the top of each marshmallow in melted chocolate. Turn top-side up and let stand for 30-60 minutes until set, refrigerate quickly if you are in a hurry (don't freeze, it will turn the chocolate white)

Note: Pampered chef calls for milk chocolate candy bars. I never have these on hand so I used chocolate chips since I always have those on hand. :)

Another Note: I wouldn't use granulated sugar in place of the powdered sugar. Since the powdered sugar is so fine, when you bake these it really holds the crust together, which is important for when you need to dip the tops.

Gluten-Free Note: Use crushed rice chex gluten-free cereal instead of graham crackers.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Taco Seasoning

Tacos or Taco Salad is on our menu at least 3-4 times a month. We love Mexican style food, it's the best. I have always bought my own taco seasoning at the store in individual packets or a big bulk size bottle at Sam's club. We have some family members that are gluten-free eaters, and since store bought taco seasoning has gluten, we started searching for a homemade mixture that would work the same. Since trying this homemade seasoning, we have outlawed buying taco seasoning. Yes, it's that good! And I feel better about using it too because it doesn't have meaningless ingredients such as: dextrose, maltodextrin, disodium inosinate, and silicon dioxide. I prefer a food label that lists ingredients that sound like good wholesome food. And one last thing, you can make it for cheap!

This recipe makes about 8 tablespoons of taco seasoning. You use about 2 1/2 tablespoons to season 1 pound of cooked ground beef for taco's or taco salad.

Taco Seasoning


2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
5 tsp. Paprika
4 ½ tsp. Ground Cumin
1 heaping Tbsp. Dried Onion
1 Tbsp. Salt
2 ½ tsp. Garlic Powder
⅛ tsp. Cayenne


Combine above ingredients and store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. Use approximately 2 ½ tablespoon of the seasoning mix for each 1 pound of cooked ground beef/chicken.

Recipe Source:

Adapted from by Sue Gronholz

Cinnamon Rolls

My husband got this Cinnamon Roll recipe from Sister Henry on his mission in Korea. Sister Henry got it from Elder Lee who got it from...someone else! So I'm not sure of it's real origins but it's no wonder it's been getting handed down again and again. 

Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorites. They are one of my comfort foods for sure. I am doing a 12-week challenge with my Mom and sister and we get sweets once a week. So when I made these cinnamon rolls, I ate 3. We gave the rest away or I probably would have had 7.

This is the best cinnamon roll recipe! It calls for mashed potatoes. I think that's what makes them so soft and chewy and melt in your mouthy! Oh man, I think I need 3 more right now! The frosting is also divine, it's simple to make and adds the perfect sugary glaze!

Cinnamon rolls are so pretty and delicious looking, I thought they deserved several pictures.


*updated a few directions in the recipe 12/12/14

Cinnamon Rolls


1 tablespoon yeast (I use instant yeast)
½ cup hot mashed potatoes (instant potatoes work okay or reheated leftovers)
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cup scalded milk
1 egg
4 to 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

Melted butter (¼-½ cup I always say the more the better it tastes)
⅔ cup white or brown sugar with as much cinnamon as you like 1-2 tablespoons

¼ cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Pinch salt


In a small bowl mix potatoes, oil, sugar and scalded milk and salt.   (To scald milk you cook in a saucepan over med-high heat until it starts to bubble on the edge, not really boil, but nice and hot - when I’m lazy I just put it in a microwave safe 2-cup measuring cup and nuke it for a minute or so.) Cool the potato, oil, sugar, and milk mixture to lukewarm and put it in your mixer (or if doing by hand you’ll want it in a large mixing bowl).  Add the yeast, egg, and 2 cups of flour.  Mix until smooth. Mix in two more cups of flour. Only add more if you need it to help the dough clean the side of the mixer and until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Continue mixing/kneading for 5 minutes in mixer or by hand.

Form the dough into a ball, and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Turn the dough ball once to coat and cover the bowl with a clean towel or spray-greased plastic wrap. Leave it in a warm place and let it rise until doubled (about one hour).  

Prepare cinnamon sugar mixture and frosting while it rises. Mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl until combined.  

To make frosting, melt butter in a large microwave safe measuring cup (I use my 8-cup one). Once butter is melted add the rest of the ingredients and mix til smooth with a hand mixer.  You can add more milk if you’d like the frosting more runny and add more powdered sugar to thicken it to the desired consistency.

After the dough finished rising, punch it down and roll into a rectangle shape (about the size of a large baking sheet).  It should be about ¼ inch thick.  Leaving about ½ inch uncovered on one of the long edges (so you can easily pinch the seam closed), spread with butter and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar.  Roll tightly and pinch the seam shut.  Cut into 1 ½ inch slices and place on a greased cookie sheet 11x17.  Press them down slightly and let rise until doubled again, about one hour.  

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Frost with frosting.


From Ana Henry Walker

 You might also like these: Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
This is my original photo. New photos updated 12/12/2014 

Crustless Blender Quiche

I've had a few requests for recipes. Bear with me as I get to making them, so they have a nice picture to go along with it. My friend Errin requested this recipe today. She came over for lunch and we had this yummy quiche.

This recipe is one of our family's favorites. It's so easy and so good. You can play around with the spices/herbs and change it up -Have fun! The reason I love this quiche, is that it's crust-less. No mess with the shortening or oil and it's whipped up in a flash. See my notes to the recipe at the end for other ways to make it in a jiffy!

Crustless Blender Quiche
From: Maureen

1 1/2 C. Cooked chicken or turkey - cut or shredded into bite size pieces
1 C. Cheese, shredded
1/3 C. Green onion, chopped or 1 1/2 Tbsp. dried onion
4 eggs
1 C. Milk
1/2 C. Chicken broth
1/2 C. Biscuit mix
1 tsp. Seasoned salt

Grease a 9-10" pie dish OR 8-9" square baking dish. Sprinkle meat, cheese, and onions over the bottom of dish. Put remaining ingredients in blender on high for one minute. Pour blender contents over top of the meat/cheese/onion mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Test with a knife to see if it's done.

-If you want to double the recipe, use a 9x13 glass casserole dish
-I prefer to do this in a pie dish, only because it looks prettier in a wedge shape
-For chicken broth substitute, since I don't like to open a whole can of broth for just a 1/2 c. I use 1/2 C. water with chicken or beef bullion
-For the biscuit mix: My mother in law uses Bisquick or a gluten-free feather light mixture. I've used, Jiffy biscuit mix, or Pioneer brand biscuit mix, or I've made my own biscuit mix (dry ingredients only) and used that. I think that is my favorite way, it's a big fluffier than a store bought mix. See below for the recipe I use.
-For the meat you can cook up your own chicken prior to making the meal. But what makes this meal lots faster is cooking your own chicken or turkey in bulk and freezing it in 1 1/2 C. measurements. I make this a lot so it makes whipping this up that much faster. I cook a whole turkey, shred the meat and then freeze it. It's best if you can use your frozen meat in 3-6 months. I also use the frozen turkey for gravy or casseroles, not just this recipe. I've also used canned turkey, it's good, but I like the real stuff better.
-For the seasoned salt, I like to use Garlic Salt and Mrs. Dash about 1/2 tsp of each. I've also made a hot version using 1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne power and 1/2 tsp. of garlic salt. Both are great tasting.

Homemade Biscuit Mix: (adapted from Better Homes and Garden Biscuit Recipe)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Mix together and store in airtight container.

Those are all my tricks! Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Italian Bread Bowls

Bread bowls are always a good way to have soup! This recipe it amazing from one of my favorite recipe websites Mel's Kitchen Cafe! The bread bowls turned out perfect. The egg wash on the outside is what made them extra good. It gave them a little crunchy coating that kept the soup from escaping!

Italian Bread Bowls
Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe (

*Makes 6-8 bread bowls

1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast (use 1 tablespoon instant yeast)
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

In a large bowl (or bowl of an electric mixer), dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. (You can omit this step if using instant yeast.)

Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition until a soft but not sticky dough is formed (you may not need to use all 7 cups). This bread bowl dough needs to be a bit firmer than a roll/bread dough so that the bread bowls rise up instead of out.

When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes (or let knead in an electric mixer). Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Punch dough down, and divide into 6-8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a round ball. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal (or use silpat liners or parchment paper). If desired, slash the top surface of the bread bowl several times with a sharp knife or razor. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and baked through.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Steak & Baked Potato Soup

My mom and I decided to invent a soup on Valentines Day. We had been thinking of making the soup with some leftover baked potatoes, but they had gone bad. But baked potato soup sounded really good. So we thought about what went with a baked potato. Baked potatoes and steak are always a favorite, so we thought, why not make a soup out of that.

(We used fried up hamburger patties (seasoned with salt and pepper) cut into bite-size chunks - we also thought it would be good with a grilled steak (T-Bone or New York Steak))

Steak & Baked Potato Soup
By: Diana & Lindsay

1 1/2 C. Sweet Onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
6 C. Water
4 cubes Beef Bullion
1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, scrubbed and diced with peels on, rinse potatoes (about 6 small potatoes)
1 head and stem of broccoli, finely chopped
1/4 C. real bacon bits
2 C. Milk with 1/2 C. all-purpose four
1/2 C. Sour Cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. cooked steak or hamburger patties, cut into bite-size chunks

In large stockpot saute onion in olive oil. When onion is cooked add water, potatoes, and beef bullion. Bring to a boil and then simmer about 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Add broccoli for last 5 minutes of the simmer. In a bowl whisk 2 cups of milk with 1/2 cup of flour until smooth. Add milk mixture to stockpot. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat until it thickens. Add steak, bacon and salt & pepper, heat thoroughly. After removing from heat add 1/2 C. sour cream. Stir in and serve.

Best served in Italian Bread Bowls.

Serve topped with:
Grated cheese
Sliced green onions
Bacon bits
Sour cream
Or anything else you like on a baked potato

My little brother said, 'oh, oh, take a picture of me too, I want to be on your blog'. So here he is enjoying his soup!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Honey 1/2 Whole Wheat Bread

I searched and searched for the perfect bread recipe. I was being pretty picky as I had to have whole wheat, it had to be soft (I hate dry wheat breads that are hard to eat and crumbly), and I didn't want refined sugar in the recipe. After trying about 6 or 7 recipes, this is the one I found. It originally called for all whole wheat, but I wanted it a little bit lighter, so I did half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour. I've experimented a lot with different wheat varieties in this recipe - the recipe posted below is my favorite version. The vital wheat gluten is essential in making the bread lighter and less crumbly, it seems to keep the bread soft too so it's good throughout the week instead of just the day you make it.

I do grind my whole wheat with a NutriMill. They says what is best freshly ground, and I agree, but I usually grind enough to fill a 2-3 gallon bucket. I do this because I use whole wheat in almost everything I make. If you don't have a wheat grinder, you can buy whole red or white wheat ground in the bulk section of most grocery stores, but it's just not the same.

Honey 1/2 Whole Wheat Bread
Adapted from

3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (1 C. Red Wheat 2 C. White Wheat)
1 TBSP Vital Wheat Gluten
2 TBSP Yeast (I use the rapid rise-SAF brand)
2 1/2 Cups Warm Water

In a large mixing bowl (preferably Kitchenaid or BOSCH mixer), add the 3 cups of flour, wheat gluten, and yeast. Stir. Add in warm water and stir until combined. Let sit for 10 minutes.

1/3 C. Oil
1/3 C. Honey
1 1/2 TBSP Lemon Juice
1 TBSP Salt
3 1/2-4 C. All-Purpose White Flour

Mix the oil, honey, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl. Add to the flour mixture after the 10 minutes. Mix until combined. Add in the additional flour and mix. Now knead the dough for 10 minutes with the dough hook. When it is done divide the dough into 2-3 loaves. Make sure they are even. Shape them into loaf form. Place the dough into 2 large loaf pans or 3 small loaf pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After the loaves have risen, bake them for 30 minutes. They should be golden brown. Let cool before slicing, if you can wait :)

I prefer doing 3 small loaves, otherwise the bread is too big of slices for the toaster putting a sandwich in a sandwich bag. This bread freezes great, I usually do 3 loaves and freeze two and keep one out to use!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Classic Bran Muffins

Nothing says 'I Love You' like heart healthy bran muffins. Whole wheat flour and wheat bran...yummm! My honey is out of town for Valentines Day, this was a special treat from him today! We have made these muffins twice in the last week. They are so yummy, with a hearty and sweet mouth watering taste!

Classic Bran Muffins
adapted from (Janet Kalman)

1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup buttermilk (or substitute with lemon juice, fill 1 cup with 1 Tbsp lemon juice and fill the rest of the way with milk)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole white wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
2. Mix together wheat bran and buttermilk; let stand for 10 minutes.
3. Beat together oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and add to buttermilk/bran mixture. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into buttermilk mixture, until just blended. Fold in raisins and spoon batter into prepared muffin tins.
4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!