Sunday, February 28, 2010

Waldorf Chicken Salad

I LOVE the Waldorf Chicken Salad at California Pizza Kitchen, don't you? Well, I had it a couple weeks back and wanted another one the next day. Only problem, Scott's not a huge fan of CPK so he didn't want to go there every chance we got. Soooooo, he suggested I just buy the stuff and make it myself. I thought there was no way it'd compare, but it DOES & I think this tastes pretty close to the original! I've eaten it for lunch every day this week & my sister and her husband were here this week and they even had it with me a couple of days as well! The only thing I omitted was the Gorgonzola cheese on top. So if you like it, add it to this recipe.

waldorf chicken salad:

spring mix lettuce
Granny Smith apple
red seedless grapes
candied walnuts
grilled chicken breast
balsamic vinaigrette dressing

*You decide how much of each ingredient you want in your salad, so play with it, you can always add more.

(I bought the big Spring Lettuce Mix from Costco for about $4, the grilled chicken breasts strips in a 2 pack at Costco for $10, the only place I was able to find to candied walnuts was at Walmart in their baking aisle for about $2.50 & I bought the balsamic vinaigrette dressing at Sprouts)

1. In a large bowl, combine as much lettuce that you want into the bowl, cut 1/4-1/2 of your Granny Smith apple into chunks & sprinkle in bowl put the rest of the apple into a ziploc for next time, cut as many of the chicken strips as you want into chunks & sprinkle in bowl, cut red grapes in half & add to bowl, sprinkle walnuts in to bowl, pour dressing over top (a little goes a long way) & then using a spatula stir your salad in the large bowl until the dressing coats all of your lettuce and ingredients. (If you like Gorgonzola cheese you can sprinkle that on top as well).
2. Transfer your salad to another bowl and enjoy!
And if you're feeling like making the "official" CPK balsamic dressing, Steph donated the recipe for us to try! I'm salivating already.....

official CPK dressing:

1/2 C. balsamic vinegar
2 TB. dijon mustard
1 TB. minced garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt

*Whisk, then slowly add 1& 1/4 cup + 2 TB. olive oil.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Shredded Roast Sandwiches

We've made these a million times. Still a family favorite! Sometimes we put the meat on hamburger buns tonight we put it on french rolls & melted swiss cheese on them. Scott loves to put thousand island salad dressing on them & the kids and I like ketchup on them. Always good. Give em a try, you won't be disappointed!

shredded roast sandwiches:

3 lb. (approx) beef chuck pot roast
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
3 bay leaves
1 onion sliced
1/3 C. vinegar

1. Combine all ingredients in crock pot, then add roast. Cover, cook on low 8-10 hours or high 6-8 hours flipping over half way through.

2. Remove chunks of roast & shred in a bowl (removing fat as you can), add juices & onions to bowl, stir. Put meat on buns, melt cheese on top add whatever else you'd like.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Crock Pot Black Bean Salsa Chicken

New recipe test. Another super easy recipe. My only change would be adding a little bit of chili powder or cajun seasoning or maybe a 1/2-1 package of taco seasoning mix to spice it up a bit. I'll dabble in a solution to the lack of "kick" this had. It does have 2 cups of salsa in it, but I think the addition of cream cheese mellows it out. Anywho, everyone ate it & thought it was good, just thought it could use a little spice. So if you make an alteration to the recipe you find a success, let me know!

crock pot black bean salsa chicken:

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can corn drained
1 can black beans drained
2 C. salsa
8 oz cream cheese
tortilla chips
shredded cheese

1. Place chicken in crock pot. Cover with drained corn, drained beans & salsa.
2. Cook for a few hours until chicken is done.
3. Place cream cheese in crock pot & cook additional 30 mins.
4. Remove chicken and shred in separate bowl, add back into crock pot, stir.
5. Serve over tortilla chips or rice. Top with cheese, sour cream, guacamole, olives or salsa.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Honey Lemon Chicken

It's Guest Chef time again & lo & behold it's my adorable little pregnant sister Kallie again! This looks really delish & I know I'll be trying it soon! Leave a comment on the blog when you're ready to delight us with one of your recipes! Your old, boring recipe is NEW & EXCITING to the rest of us so don't be shy & share your easy or difficult dessert, cookie, appetizer, main dish or soup recipe with us!
My family loves this chicken and it's healthy too! Even the 2 year old ate it with out ANY whining.

honey lemon chicken:

5 chicken breast halves
1/3 C. Honey
1/4 C. Lemon Juice
2 tsp. dried Rosemary leaves, crushed
1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
Combine honey, lemon juice, rosemary and crushed red pepper. Pour over chicken and baked uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.

My tips:
  • I like to turn my chicken over half way through the cooking time.
  • I only use 1/2 tsp. of rosemary, because I'm not a huge fan of it.
  • The last 5 minutes of cooking I drizzle a little extra honey on top of the chicken to give it a little crust.
I love to have leftovers because this chicken and sauce is amazing in a salad. I like to add just a drop of ranch for the creamy texture and use the honey sauce for the rest of the dressing.

your guest chef,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Good Ol' Chocolate Chip Cookies

This chocolate chip cookie recipe is one from my Great Grandma Hancock. It's the one we used growing up & I still make when we need a good 'go to' cookie recipe or I'm craving some delicious cookie dough.....seriously. I gave Scott some cookie options tonight & these are the ones he wanted. Enjoy!

chocolate chip cookies:

1 1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
1 1/2 C. butter flavored shortening
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2-4 C. flour
1/2-1 bag chocolate chips

1. Mix sugars, shortening & eggs well.
2. Add remaining ingredients & blend well.
3. Spoon onto cookie sheets & Bake 350 degrees for 8-10 mins or until light brown on top.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Crock Pot Chocolate Cake

Today is Valentine's Day. One more sweet surprise for the ones I love the most! I tried this new recipe for a cake made in a crock pot! I was so confused & intrigued by this, it had to be tried! A couple of my kiddos liked the whip cream more than the actual cake but the other two asked for more cake! Makes your house smell like warm chocolate!

crock pot chocolate cake:

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 C. sour cream
1 C. chocolate chips
1 C. water
4 eggs
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1 small box instant chocolate pudding

1. Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Mix all ingredients in separate bowl with hand mixer. Pour into crock pot.

3. Cover & cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
*My crock pot cooks really hot, I had it on high for only 2 hours and it was done, even burned a little bit around the outer crust, which was fine we just scooped out the cake in the middle. Just watch it depending on how hot your crock pot is.
4. Cake is done when you touch the top & it springs back a bit.
5. Top with cool whip & serve!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

I found a recipe on line that I was excited to try for Red Velvet Cupcakes made from scratch & I was all ready to make them until I could not find 2 bottles of red food coloring to save my life! The recipe called for 2oz. of red food coloring (that's a lot) & told stories of "be prepared to have your hands, kitchen towel, etc. be stained with the dye". But I was still willing to try. When I was unsuccessful at located that much red food coloring, I was somewhat relieved my hands would not be red for a week. I found another recipe that is as simple as can be & it got rave reviews from 12 of my closest friends at our GNO last night (hopefully they weren't just telling me that because they're my friends)! They're topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting so how could they not be? I really wanted to slather my body with cream cheese frosting & let it seep into my pores while I frosted these cupcakes, I resisted......but it smelled that good!
red velvet cupcakes:
1 Red Velvet boxed cake mix (told you it was easy)
1 small box of instant chocolate pudding
3 eggs
1/3 C. oil
1 1/4 C. water
1. Mix cake mix as instructed on box.
2. Dump dry instant pudding mix into batter & mix again.
3. Fill cupcake liners about 1/2 full with batter. Bake 350 degrees 20 mins.
4. Cool completely.
cream cheese frosting:
2-8oz pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. unsalted butter (one stick), softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1. Mix cream cheese & butter until smooth. Blend on slow as you add vanilla, salt & powdered sugar. Once blended, turn mixer on high & blend until nice & fluffy. Use immediately or refrigerate. If refrigerated, frosting will need to be brought to room temp (& then blended to smooth again) before using.
I sprinkled some of the cupcakes with white chocolate shavings after I frosted them.
Also made some with Valentine sprinkles for a cute give away! Personally, I'd prefer extra frosting with the white chocolate shavings, but couldn't deny the kids their sprinkles! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Taco Soup

It was windy & rained today, which made me smile because I knew we were having this warm taco soup for dinner! Super easy recipe & also made the critics happy!

taco soup:

1-2 lbs. ground beef
2 cans petite diced tomatoes
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can green beans (I used french style)
2 cans kidney beans
1 packet taco seasoning (I used 1.5 packets)

1. Brown the meat sprinkled with half the packet of taco seasoning.

2. Bring all other ingredients to a slow simmer in a separate pot (including other half of seasoning)

3. Add meat & simmer for a few minutes.
4. Garnish with cheese, chips, green onions, olives, avocado, sour cream. Knock yourself out!
I served my kids bowl full topped with goldfish & sprinkled cheese! While they're trying to pick out the goldfish, the hope is they get a vegetable on their spoon too!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Crepes With French Vanilla Cream Cheese Filling

Growing up one of my favorite things my mom would make us for breakfast was crepes! To this day crepes are one of my favorites! When we were staying at the Paris in Vegas, they had the most divine crepes there! Sigh.....I'd kill for one right now. Any who, my mom made really good crepes too, so I made my family some crepes with my mom's recipe for breakfast & tried out a new recipe for a really yummy filling! Wouldn't this be a fun Valentine's Day breakfast surprise for your family! You could add some Valentine sprinkles to the top! Enjoy!

1 1/2 C. flour
1 TB. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. milk
2 eggs
2 TB. melted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. Mix all ingredients together with a hand mixer.

2. Spray skillet with non-stick spray & then heat up.

3. Scoop about 1/3 C. of the batter into skillet. Pick up skillet & tip skillet side to side, top to bottom until batter covers entire bottom of pan in somewhat of a round shape, set back on heat until sides start to pull away.

4. Carefully slide spatula around edges and then underneath crepe & flip over in skillet.

5. Cook this side for about 1 minute or until done. Slide out onto plate

6. Fill with jelly & powdered sugar, butter & powdered sugar, fruit, caramel sauce, mini marshmallows, whatever your pleasure!

french vanilla cream cheese filling:

1-8oz. cream cheese at room temperature

1-8oz. container cool whip

2 small pkgs instant french vanilla pudding

3 C. milk

1. Mix cream cheese in a blender until smooth. Mix puddings in separate bowl with 3 C. milk for 2 minutes. Add to cream cheese. Fold in cool whip. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This makes a lot! Next time I'll cut the recipe in half.

chocolate mousse:
1 large pkg. instant choc. pudding. Mix as directed on box.
1 quart whipping cream (whipped with some sugar & vanilla until stiff) fold into chocolate pudding. Chill until ready to serve.
Everybody had one like this one above, rolled up & then put fruit on top! For their second one, they all went back to the jelly with powdered sugar in them. Mmmmmmmmm!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies have chocolate chips AND peanut butter chips in them! Wowee-zowee! Did I mention real butter? What I failed to mention that? Well, they do. I gave Donna (my official outside the family taste tester) a few this morning & she text me and said I needed to get this recipe on the blog ASAP....I'm taking that as she liked them! For those of you that have been concerned, rest assured my family does not eat everything I make til its gone. These cookies for example, a big plate went to a family in our ward who helped Owen cut out his pinewood derby car, a few to neighbors & a few to Donna to give her opinion on. My kids have had a few but there's only a couple left. So to those of you that are wondering if I am baking my kids into a sugar coma while I'm dieting, I'm not...just sprinkling their sweet tooth a bit! Nothin wrong with that!
peanut butter chocolate chip cookies:
1 1/4 C. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. unsalted butter softened (or salted butter then cut salt down to 1/8 tsp.)
1 C. peanut butter
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 TB. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chocolate chips
1/2 C. peanut butter chips

1. Mix the butter & peanut butter together until fluffy. Add remaining ingredients. Blend.

2. Drop rolls of cookie dough into sugar until coated (I forgot this step, oh well...couldn't hurt.)

3. Make criss cross pattern on top of cookies with fork or slightly flatten with spatula (skipped this too...obviously I was distracted!)

4. Bake 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes depending on size.

I accidentally rushed over those 2 steps (roll in sugar & press with fork) but apparently it didn't effect the results! Mmmmmmm! I love the smell of warm peanut butter.......don't laugh, you do too!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chicken Tomato Alfredo Over Noodles

Every single one of my kids loved this dish! They all gave it a thumbs up & Scott had two bowls! So simple & smells divine! Let me count the ways I love you crock pot!

chicken tomato alfredo over noodles:

2-15oz jars of Classico (recommended brand) Alfredo sauce
1-14.5oz can of petite diced stewed tomatoes drained (I forgot to drain it was fine)
2-3 chicken breasts
1. Place chicken breasts in crock pot, cover with sauce & tomatoes. Stir.

2. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6 hours (mine cooks hot so didn't take that long)

3. Remove chicken from crock pot when cooked & shred with 2 forks. Add back into sauce & mix together.

4. Serve over cooked egg noodles.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lemon Sprite Cake

When I'm in Costco & I pass that lemon cake they have there, I seriously want to buy it EVERY time I see it! So today when I let my kids vote on what we should make today, I was tickled when they picked lemon bundt cake. Tori was the first to vote for a lemon cake, the rest of them quickly followed. As I was taking it out of the oven, Boston asked "Who's birthday is it?" To which I replied "No ones". "So this is for us to eat? Just for our family?" He was pumped! Besides looking divine, it opened to rave reviews! Scott said it's his new FAVORITE cake! Yay!lemon sprite cake:

1 box white cake mix
1 small box lemon instant pudding
3/4 C. veg oil
3 eggs
1 C. Sprite

1. Mix together, pour into greased bundt cake pan.

2. Bake 350 degrees for 40 mins.

3. Let cool for 15 mins, then turn upside down onto serving plate.


1 C. powdered sugar
2 TB. lemon juice

-Mix & drizzle over cake while trying not to lick the spatula.....harder than it seems.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Marshmallow Pops

Remember these? I made these last Valentines Day & I thought I'd make a few real quick and post the tutorial in case anybody was looking for an easy teacher (or UPS man-hehe, my Dad's a UPS man) gift for Valentines Day next week or if you wanted to make a special little Valentine treat for your own kiddos!
Marshmallow Pops:

Big marshmallows-white & pink if you want
Almond bark
sucker sticks (Walmart $2 for 25 or short ones $2-3 for 50)
mini sacks (Walmart $2 for a bag of 50) & ribbon
1. Poke each marshmallow with a stick, melt chocolate in little bowls in microwave for 30 second intervals until smooth.
2. Dip marshmallow in chocolate and twist until excess drips off, immediately sprinkle with deco (over a cookie sheet for less mess), stick in play-doh to stand up straight.
3. Place in fridge to let chocolate set up before you wrap.
4. Once set up, remove & place one mini bag over marshmallow & tie each one closed, or take bigger cellophane sack & put in a whole bouquet of marshmallow pops & tie shut.

Love these cute little things! I've also seen Cake Pops that have cake covered in chocolate on a stick, someday I'll attempt those, but these are so easy & the kids can even help!
Then I had a brilliant idea! What about a smores version??!! So I made another one & sprinkled it with graham cracker bits!
Yes please!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jamaican Jerk Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Today I am proud to present our VERY FIRST EVER
Guest little (& sweeter) sister Kallie!!!
Kallie lives in Utah with her husband McKay & their adorable 2 year old daughter Addison. Kallie is due in June with their 2nd baby...a BOY! Thank you Kallie for Guest Chef-ing! It looks delish! Hope you'll come again!

(Er, I tried to make the picture look as delicious as I could)
This is what the family had last night. Even Addison ate it without complaining (the chips might have helped a little). It smells fantastic while it is cooking. The meat is a little more sweet then spicy, which I like. It is one of the easiest crock pot recipes; all you need is 6 ingredients and buns!
jamaican jerk pulled pork sandwiches:

2 1/2 lbs. pork boneless shoulder
1 tbsp. Jamaican Jerk seasoning (I use Caribbean style jerk)
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 cup cola
2 cups barbecue sauce
8 sandwich buns

1. If pork comes in netting or is tied, do not remove. Spray crock pot with cooking spray (or use a crock pot bag - best thing ever!). Rub jerk seasoning over pork; sprinkle with thyme. Place pork in cooker. Sprinkle with onion. Pour cola over pork.

2. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours. (My pork was done in 7 hours)

3. Remove pork from cooker; place on cutting board. Remove juices from cooker and reserve 1/2 cup. Remove netting or strings and pull pork into shreds.

4. Pour barbeque sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved juices into the crock pot. Add pork mix well. Cover and increase the heat to High for 30 to 45 minutes until it's heated through.

5. Serve on sandwich buns and enjoy!

FYI - this freezes really well. I cooked a 4 lb. pork last night so I'm freezing the leftovers for 2 meals later. If you buy a big shoulder roast you can cut it to size and rub the jerk seasoning and thyme on it and freeze it so you don't have to touch it twice before you cook it.

your guest chef,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Creamy Chicken & Broccoli over Rice

I tried this out on my family last night...Scott & Owen really liked it, Tori & Ava thought it was pretty good & Boston made me feed him like a baby and complained....what's new. While I was preparing it, Boston saw me holding a bag of cheese & asked "What are we having for dinner?" I answered & then he said "Well, I don't like it" so I wasn't surprised he didn't give it a fair shake.

creamy chicken & broccoli over rice:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cheddar soup
8oz chicken broth
1/4 tsp. cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
3/4 C. sour cream
2-3 C. broccoli florets
shredded cheddar (optional)

1. Place soups, chicken broth, cajun & garlic seasoning into a crock pot over low heat, whisk until smooth.

2. Place chicken in crock pot, pressing to bottom. Cover & cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.

3. When chicken is cooked through, remove into separate bowl & shred chicken w forks into bite size pieces. Stir in sour cream & add chicken back in.

4. Steam broccoli in microwave or steamer, drain & add to crock pot.

5. Serve over steamed rice, sprinkle w cheese.