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.

Friday, August 26, 2011

(Cafe Rio-y) Creamy Tomatillo Cilantro Dressing

I've had a couple of requests for this recipe, so I figured it would be easier to just post it here.

Oh, how I love Cafe Rio, especially their salads. After trying, combining and tweaking, this is the closest thing to Cafe Rio dressing that I have found. It is delicious, and more than 20 girls and leaders at Girls' Camp agree.  If you're looking for some uber healthy dressing that will extend your life and make you able to complete a triathlon, keep looking.  But, if you are looking for absolute yumminess that spruces up even the dullest of salads, this is for you.  At camp we also discovered that it is a yummy dip for veggies and tortilla chips. 

1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (dry mix)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 bunch of cilantro with just the long stems removed
1/2 – 1 small jalapeno (remove seeds and membranes)
1 cup mayo
1 generous tsp. lime juice
2  tomatillos (remove outer papery skin)-the key ingredient in my opinion
1 garlic clove-minced

Blend all ingredients in blender. It tastes best if you make it ahead and let the flavors mix together, but if you're not a planner-like me sometimes-it also tastes great right out of the blender. This makes about 3 cups of dressing.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Breakfast Pizzas (for dinner)

As meal planning and cooking have gone right out the window this summer, this quickie meal is one we've had a lot. It's a great one for 6pm when I still haven't nailed down a dinner plan, and I haven't been to the store in weeks, as it uses ingredients I keep in the freezer (ham or bacon, English muffins) or have on hand (cheese, eggs). It is pretty kid friendly also, one of Isaac's favorite meals.

I am just giving my short version of the instructions, as this is a pretty adaptable recipe. If you want the full details the link is here at Our Best Bites.

English muffins of your choice (Costco sells them cheap; we freeze the extras for quick pizzas or breakfast sandwiches)
Eggs (for 6 whole muffins you'll want about 4 eggs)
Milk (2 teaspoons per egg)
Tabasco to taste (be fairly generous, it makes a big difference)
Shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
Toppings (we use bacon or ham and whatever vegetables need to be eaten in our fridge: bell peppers, mushrooms, green or red onions, tomato slices, diced green chiles, even zucchini)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease baking sheet generously or use a silicon baking mat or parchment. In shallow bowl whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and tabasco. Slice each muffin in half horizontally if they are not pre-sliced. Soak each half in the egg mixture (like french toast) and place on baking sheet, cut side up.

Top generously with meat or veggies of your choice and then with shredded cheese. Bake for 15 minutes and serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cold Raspberry Soup

I love crops that grow without me having to do anything. This year our raspberries have, for the first time, produced more fruit than we can eat while standing there picking. I used a big bowl we picked yesterday to make this Cold Raspberry Soup, like the kind they serve on cruise ships. The recipe comes from my Aunt Cheryl.

Cool Raspberry Soup

1 bag (20 oz) frozen raspberries, thawed (or fresh)
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup cran-raspberry juice (Minute Maid Cran-Apple-Raspberry)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 whole cloves
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 carton (8 oz.) raspberry-flavored yogurt (I used peach)
1/2 c. sour cream (sounds strange but it works, so does plain yogurt)

In a blender, puree raspberries and water. Transfer to a large saucepan; add the cran-raspberry juice, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring just to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat; strain and allow to cool. Whisk in lemon juice and yogurt. Refrigerate. To serve, pour into small bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream. Yield: 4-6 servings.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tutu's Lemon Ice Cream

This is one of my all-time favorites, second only to Tutu's Orange Sherbet.  My grandma knew her ice cream.  Is there anything better than lemon in the summer?  Plus it is super easy; the hardest part is juicing the lemons-which is not that hard.  Sorry, no picture.  It's always gone before I remember to take one. 

A couple of tips: If you chill the canister and the ingredients before you put them in your freezer, your ice cream will freeze faster.  I always allow more time than it says in the freezer instructions, because it always seems to take a little longer. If you have a lactose intolerant family member, I use rice milk.  It's not as creamy-more like a sorbet-but equally delicious. I tried soy milk, but it had a weird aftertaste.

I am also including the directions for a mini 1-quart freezer.  Some of the measurements seem a little funky, but they work.

Tutu's Lemon Ice Cream
6-quart freezer version
3 quarts half & half
6 cups sugar
Juice of 12 lemons
6 teaspoons lemon rind

Combine the above ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Freeze according to your ice cream freezer's instructions.

mini version:
(This will make approximately one quart of ice cream)
3 cups of half & half
1 ½  cups of sugar
Juice of 2 ¾   lemons
1½ teaspoons lemon rind
Combine the above ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Freeze according to your ice cream freezer's instructions.
**We called my grandma Tutu because she was in Hawaii when her first grandchild was born.  Tutu means grandma in Hawaiian-isn't that cute?  My Tutu was adorable.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Berry Angel Delight


Berry Angel Delight 

It seems like our recipe blog has been in hibernation for a while. So it’s time for some super summer recipes. Let’s see if we can find something to bring on the warmer weather.

This is a great summer recipe because it requires no cooking at all. I have made it several times and it’s always a hit. It’s a Betty Crocker recipe that I adapted to fit in a 9X13 pan. So it won’t be cut into a wedge like the picture, we just scoop it out with a big spoon.


2 C heavy whipping cream

1/4 C sugar

4 C vanilla yogurt (sometimes I use strawberry or a mixture of both)

1 round angel food cake, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 C fresh blueberries

4 C quartered fresh strawberries

1 C fresh raspberries


In a large bowl, beat whipping cream and sugar with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in yogurt. Add cake pieces gently combine with the yogurt mixture. Spoon half of the cake mixture into a 9X13 pan; press down with a rubber spatula. Top with half of the berries. Repeat with remaining cake mixture; press with spatula. Top with the rest of the berries. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

I use mostly strawberries, but you can switch up the amount of each berry depending on your tastes. Blackberries also work well in this recipe. There are quite a few fruit/yogurt combinations you could use with this recipe.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Toasted Sesame Seed Sugar Cookies


This recipe comes from McCormick. These cookies were quite tasty. The only problem is that I was too cheap to buy two bottles of sesame seeds, and even though I skipped adding seeds to the batter, I ran out before I could coat all of the cookies. So, I switched to toasted coconut and both versions were delicious.

Note: here is a great article on how to toast sesame seeds.
         here is a great article on how to toast coconut.


2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 jars (1.62 ounces each) sesame seeds, toasted (about 1 cup), divided
   and, or toasted coconut
2 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate, melted


1. Mix flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add sugar; beat until well blended, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture and 1/4 cup of the toasted sesame seed on low speed until well mixed.

2. Refrigerate dough 2 hours or until firm. (I’m sure I didn’t wait for 2 hours).

3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in remaining 3/4 cup toasted sesame seed. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

4. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Drizzle cookies with melted chocolate. Let stand until chocolate is set.

The recipe says it makes 6 dozen, but I don’t know if I got that many. I may have made bigger cookies though.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Navajo Tacos

I love navajo tacos. But, what I don't love is the canned chili my mom would typically serve on top of the fry bread when I was younger. I am not really a fan of canned chili so I knew I needed to give this dish a little bit of a make over. I know that I probably could have used my homemade chili in place of the canned chili but I wanted something with a bit more mexican type flavor. I checked a book out from the library called "Not you mothers slow cooker cookbook". I have really liked the book and it has lots of different ideas that I have never seen before. The recipe that caught my eye was the "easiest black beans and rice chili" recipe. It got me thinking that I could swap out the canned chili for this black beans and rice chili. The result was a huge success. I even called my mom right after we finished dinner to let her know that I had improved the already yummy navajo taco.

Black bean and brown rice chili:
This chili would be really great on its own too. When everything was done cooking, I did add about 3/4 c. of water to get the thinner consistency I wanted.

2 (15 oz.) cans black beans
1 (14.5 - 16 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 c. brown rice
1 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 -1 whole canned chipotle chili, cut into small pieces (These can be pretty spicy so be aware. Also, you can freeze the remaining chilies for another time.)
Pour the beans and their liquid and the tomatoes into the slow cooker. Add the brown rice and spices. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. (I think this cook time will depend on your slow cooker. I used my smallest slow cooker and the low setting was not high enough so I turned it to high after and few hours and it was fine.)

Here is the recipe for the fry bread. I know that Amy has posted her recipe on here as well so if you have tried that one and like it go ahead and stick with that one. This is the one that I have always made.

3 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. warm milk
1 tsp. salt

Combine ingredients and knead into a smooth ball. Cover and let stand for 30 min. Cook in about 1c.- 1 1/2c. hot oil. I just usually cut off a piece of dough, stretch it out the the size/thickness that I want and drop it into the oil. Cook both sides until lightly browned.

Top Navajo tacos with lettuce, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, olives, guacamole or salsa. Also, I usually break up the fry bread into smaller pieces before I top it with the chili and the other toppings so that it is easier to eat. The picture shows it in on whole piece because I thought it would look better for the picture. You can eat it however you want I just thought I would suggest it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chicken 'n' Garfunkel

Hey Ladies,

First of all, I'm sorry - I tried to post something from YouTube onto my other blog and it kept posting it here, so if you have about 50 notifications in your emails telling you a new post entitled "Lovely Little Listen" was posted, my bad. My very, very bad.

Secondly, here's one of my favorite recipes of all time. My sister gave it to me forever ago and I don't know where it came from originally, but it was before this thing called the internet took over the world.

It takes some time and a little bit of effort, but it's soooo worth it and your family will soooooo love you when they eat it.

It might be a good Valentine's Day dinner, so I'm posting it for your tasty goodness pleasure.

{rest assured it tastes much prettier than it looks}

Chicken 'n' Garfunkel

6 chicken breasts, pounded flat
6 slices mozzerella cheese
salt & pepper to taste
2 c. flour
1 egg, beaten
2 c. bread crumbs {I've used panko crumbs with great results}
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. white grape juice

1 T. parsley
1/2 t. sage
1/2 t. rosemary
1/2 t. thyme

{If you know Simon and Garfunkel's music, those last 4 ingredients are where this dish got it's name.}

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, sprinkle salt and pepper onto each breast, place a slice of cheese on each, roll up and secure with a toothpick. Dip in flour, egg, bread crumbs, and place in a baking dish.

In small bowl, mix together butter, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme; drizzle over chicken. Bake for 30 minutes, then pour white grape juice over chicken. Bake 20 more minutes.

Your home will smell of heaven and the angels will dine with you.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Asian Noodle Salad

Here is the link to the salad from playgroup. I have to thank Lynette for introducing me to this recipe. I went over at her house one afternoon right as she had finished making this salad and since it looked so good she was nice enough to send some home with me. I have to admit that I did not share one bit of the salad with anyone in my family. It really was to good to share.

For the salad at playgroup, I didn't stray to far from the original recipe but I did use regular green cabbage vs. napa cabbage, I didn't have any ginger so I left that out of the salad and I used 1 jalapeno instead of 2.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wild Rice Vegetable Soup

½ cup butter (you can substitute 1/4 cup olive oil for 1/4 cup of the butter)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup frozen corn
½ to 1 cup chopped celery
1 cup carrots, sliced
½ pound fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
¾ cup all-purpose flour
6 cups water + 2 tablespoons my favorite vegetable concentrate (0r 6 cups chicken broth)
2 cups cooked wild rice (I use SunWest Rice Pilaf from Costco)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup slivered almonds
2 cups nonfat half-and-half (I've also used whole milk and cream with good results)

In a large pot melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, corn, and carrots and saute until vegetables are tender--about 5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and saute 3 minutes more. Add flour and stir 1-2 minutes until vegetables are coated and flour taste is cooked out. Gradually pour in broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until soup has thickened slightly about 7 to 10 minutes.

Add cooked rice, spices and almonds. Pour in half and half. Simmer soup over low heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Watch that it doesn't come to a rolling boil or milk will curdle.

This is fantastic served in bread bowls.

*This recipe is adapted from Wild Rice and Creamy Chicken Soup on Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I've had a couple of requests for this recipe, so I figured I'd add it to the blog. My family loves this granola, and it's actually the only cereal that graces our table, since I know what goes into it. I'm sure the calorie count is up there, but you can feel good about most of the ingredients (it just wouldn't be the same without a little sugar :).

6 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 c slivered almonds
3/4 c raw sunflower seeds
1 1/2 c unsweetened coconut
1/4 c flaxseed
1/2+ c coconut oil (yes, it's a little pricey, but the health benefits are well worth it... plus, the flavor is YUMMY)
3/4 c honey (I use raw... again, because of the health benefits)
1/4 c packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
dried fruit (optional)

In small pan, combine coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt and heat on medium until oil is melts (this doesn't take long - don't overcook it). Combine oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, coconut, and flaxseed in large bowl. Slowly add the oil/sugar mixture and stir well until everything is evenly coated. Divide onto two baking sheets and spread out. Cook at 325 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, stir granola, rotate sheets in oven, then cook for another 10 minutes. Let cool, add dried fruit, break up and store in airtight container.

Mexican Skillet Pasta

So, this is a very simple meal, but I think we are always in need of more last minute meals. It's humble, hearty, and it's something that isn't too hard to get my kids to eat :). I apologize ahead of time for my vagueness in measurements... this is just one of those meals that you throw in whatever until it tastes good to you... oh, and I'm really bad at writing things down.

Half a box of elbow macaroni
1 lb burger (you could use chicken if you prefer)
1 small onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
+/- 1 c. salsa
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can green chiles
2-3 tsp chili powder
1/2-1 tsp cumin
S & P to taste
2 c shredded cheese

Cook macaroni according to package. Meanwhile, in large skillet, cook burger, onion, peppers, and garlic until burger is browned, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa, beans, chiles, and seasonings. Top with cheese, cover and cook until heated through and cheese has melted (5-10 minutes).