Looking for something to feed the kids? Need a great dessert to take to a gathering?
In the mood for a delicious soup, salad or whatever? Look no further.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Bars

Lately the "phantom" has been leaving treats in our neighborhood. One night he left some pumpkin bars. Since people really liked them, he left me the recipe, which he got from a friend (Neisha), who got it from allrecipes.com.

Pumpkin Bars
4 eggs
1 cup oil
1 2/3 c. sugar
1-15 oz. can pumpkin puree
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. salt

1-3 oz. pkg. cream cheese-softened
1/2 c. butter-softened
1 t. vanilla
2 c. sifted powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowlmix the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin with mixer until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into the pumpkin mixture until thoroughly combined. Spread batter evenly into an ungreased 10x15 jelly roll pan. Bake 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Cream together cream cheese and butter. Stir in vanilla. Add powdered sugar a little at a time, beating until smooth. Spread evenly on top of the cooled bars. Cut into squares. You can garnish the top any way you like, or if you are a purist, like me, just leave them plain.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

White Bean Chicken Chili

I found this recipe on allrecipes. When it comes to soups and stews, I have found that they are really just a guideline. Throw in what you like. If it's not good - don't do that next time. Maybe it's just the time of year, but when I'm making soup, sometimes I feel like a witch as I throw ingredients into my bubbling cauldron.

This chili is wonderful. I usually make it for gatherings, because it's not the type of soup my family will eat. So I'd rather enjoy it with my friends instead of fighting with the kids about eating it. It's also not that spicy and that's how I like it. If you want more heat, add some.
Below is how I made it last time, for our playgroup.


2 tablespoons oil
1/4 C dried onions
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 pound chicken
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (18.75 ounce) can tomatillos, drained and chopped
2 (1 4 .5 once) cans diced tomatoes
2 (4 ounce) can of whole green chilis, diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans cannellini/white kidney beans, rinsed
1 can kernel corn with liquid
1 can sweet corn with liquidcd
salt and pepper to taste

limes, cilantro, cheese, avocados, sour cream, and tortilla chips.


Heat oil, and sauté the chicken with the onions and garlic, until nice and browned. This may need to be done in batches (see note). Add the broth to the chicken and then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer for at least 15 minutes. More simmering = better flavor in my book. Make sure that you bring the soup back down to a simmer after it boils, or else your chicken will become tough if it sits in a rolling boil for too long.

Lots of Notes (Sorry, it's a control issue)!

I usually cut up raw chicken into bite size pieces and then cook them. You could easily just throw in whole pieces, but then you should take them out after they are cooked and cut them up. To get a nice browning, your pan should be quite hot and not overfilled with chicken or else it will just steam - which isn't bad - the most important thing is that the chicken is cooked through.

If you have already cooked chicken, just throw it in with the broth after you heat up the onions and the garlic in the oil. You can add more or less chicken depending on how much you have. My friend Heather posted this on her blog and wondered if she might just make it chickenless one day.

I use dried onions, because I have a giant can of them, but feel free to use a fresh onion if you want to. Same with the garlic - mine comes from a jar in the fridge - but if you have fresh cloves, use them.

What are Tomatillos? Well, you can get them fresh also, but I get mine from a can in the Spanish isle at Smiths (not sure if Days even carries them). They seem like green tomatoes to me, and are quite interesting in my opinion, they kind of explode when you chop them up.

I'm sure you could use a variety of different types of tomatoes - fresh, stewed, bottled, diced - I wouldn't recommend paste or sauce, but who knows it might be the best soup you've ever had. Same with beans, there are many varieties - but if you don't use white ones, then you have to change the title.

And finally, corn: really, use what ya got, fresh, frozen, canned, I throw in the juice, but you don't have to - it's all good. I mean isn't that what making soup is all about - using up what's in your pantry/freezer. This is a great food storage recipe - hey, if you're up for it, you can even use canned chicken!

P.S. I just went to look in the fridge to see what kind of "garlic from a jar" I have, and I can only find the lid. Now I'm really worried about where I might find the bottle. Wonder who was watching Henry?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Souper" Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Yes, I am posting again. Some of my favorite recipes are from the contributors of this blog, so I decided if you are too shy to post them, I will.

Monday is soup night at our house. The other day Mark requested homemade chicken noodle soup. I have never made homemade chicken noodle soup, but Mark insists I have, and remembers it being good. I'm sure someone must have brought us some in the last couple of years. Evidently Mark loved it, so I was feeling some pressure. Then I remembered this recipe I got from Sara last Christmas. It must have been the "easy" in the title that stuck in my brain.

Not only is this soup easy, it turned out delicious. Everyone in my family, from Mark right down to Gracie, ate it up. I also love the crock pot option. Thanks Sara!

3 qts. water
10-12 chicken bouillon cubes (or 1/3 cup chicken soup base)
1/4 t. pepper
1 t. basil
2-3 chicken breasts (uncooked)
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 onion
3-4 large handfuls of Country Pasta noodles

In a large pot, or crock pot*, add water, bouillon. seasonings, chicken and vegetables. Bring to a boil, then simmer until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked. Remove chicken and shred. Return to a boil. Add noodles. Cook until noodles are tender. Put shredded chicken back in and enjoy.

*In a crock pot, follow the above directions, but start in the morning. Allow to cook all day. Remove chicken to shred and add noodles. Replace chicken and cook for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until noodles are tender.

Tips from Sara: If the chicken is frozen, it doesn't need to be thawed.

Also, if your kids won't eat onions, leave the onion whole for cooking and remove it before serving.

Here on the Wasatch Back you can find Country Pasta on the bottom shelf on the noodle aisle at Day's.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Light wheat rolls

I know I have given out this recipe to some of you, but I have done some tweeking. Basically I reduced the honey and water just a bit because it seemed like I was always adding more flour at the end so the dough would get to the right consistency. I have several roll recipes that I rotate through, but this is the only recipe that uses wheat flour. Since I like to justify eating things that are not good for you. I figure since these have half wheat flour you should be able to eat 2 maybe 3 more than your average roll with all white flour. If any of you have wheat but no wheat grinder, you may come over to my house anytime and use my wheat grinder anytime. Actually, even if you don't have any wheat you may still come over and I will grind some wheat for you to take home.

2 pkgs. active dry yeast or 4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. olive oil
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
2 3/4 c. white flour

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 min. Combine honey, salt, olive oil and egg into yeast mixture. Add the whole wheat flour. Mix well. Stir in white flour 1/2 c. at a time, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (Sometimes I have to add as much as another 1/2 c. flour.) Continue to knead in mixer for another 4-5 min. Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Punch down dough, cover and let rise until it doubles again, about 30 minutes. Punch down dough, and divide into 24 golf ball size balls. Place dough onto a greased jelly roll pan or large cookie sheet. Let rise uncovered in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and brush with melted butter.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Italian Sausage Spaghetti

I LOVE using my crock pot. Its great for those crazy days when its just easier to make dinner in the morning (which, come to think of it, is just about every day). Spaghetti is always a hit at our house, and this sauce is a favorite of all members of our family. It makes a lot of sauce, so I've also used it when we invite people to dinner. Last, but not least, it freezes well, so I often make a double batch and freeze some for later.

1 pkg. (5-6 sausages) Italian sausage links cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 c. diced onions- or a handful of dehydrated onion
3 T. sugar
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. salt
2 garlic cloves-minced
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1-15 oz. can tomato sauce
1-12 oz can tomato paste
1-15 oz. can Italian tomatoes-diced, stewed, whatever
1 lb. spaghetti noodles

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, except the noodles. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours. Serve over cooked noodles.

Note: You can also use turkey sausage, which I prefer, but I can't always find it here. I've had success with several different brands of sausage. The only time it didn't turn out was when I used Western Family brand. It was gross.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tortellini Soup

Soup season is here, and this is one of my favorite soups. It's hearty, and the tortellini makes it a favorite with all the noodle fans at my house. I got the recipe from Liz. I hope you like it.

1/2 lb to 1 lb. Italian sausage
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1 c. water
2 cans beef broth
3 sliced carrots
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 c. sliced zucchini
4 Tbsp parsley
1/2 c. apple juice
1 chopped green pepper
8 oz. package cheese tortellini (I double this)

Brown sausage with chopped onion and garlic. Drain fat. Add everything but the tortellini. Simmer 30 minutes. Add tortellini 5-10 minutes before serving.