Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

At our fall festival at church we had a pumpkin baking contest. Any dish/ dessert containing pumpkin could be entered. I had been searching for a pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe on line, but could not find one that sounded right. So, I came up with this tweaked version of the dinner roll recipe I use for my famous cinnamon rolls. I also came up with the filling, which is SINFUL. Too bad i almost killed a cute little sister missionary with them, though.  forgot to put out a sign that they had pecans in them.  i ground them finely.  she had an allergy.  she left early.

1 1/2 C. Milk
1/2 C. Shortening
Heat for 3 minutes in microwave or scald on stove.

2 C. Pumpkin purée
3 eggs
1/2 C. Sugar
2 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp. allspice
Combine these ingredients well; add milk/shortening combination.

1/2 C. Warm water
2 T. Yeast
2 tsp. sugar
Combine and let rise 5 minutes.

Add 3 C. Flour to wet ingredients; stir to combine.
When yeast has risen sufficiently, add to rest of ingredients.
Mix with dough hook. Add flour until dough is thick, but still slightly sticky: 3-5 C. (May still stick to sides of bowl.)
Let rise to double size.

16 oz cream cheese (very soft)
1/2 C. Butter (very soft)
Combine with electric mixer scraping sides as you mix.

In a separate bowl combine
2 C. Brown sugar
1 C. Ground pecans
2 T. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Ginger
Shake of salt

This is a huge recipe. Before you roll out the dough you may want to split it in half. I roll out my dough onto a table that measures 2'x5'. It covers that area. 
Spread cream cheese and butter on rolled out dough. Spread brown sugar pecan and spice mixture over cream cheese/ butter.
Gently and tightly roll up the dough with filling spread on it. Take floss or thread and slide under "log" of dough. Cross the thread and pull until a section of dough has been cut. The size of the roll will be determined by the length of the cut piece. 
350 degrees 20 min or until golden brown.  Let cool for 10 minutes. Spread combination of 1 C. Milk   2-4 T. Lemon juice. 1/2 tsp vanilla and 2-3 C. Powdered sugar over each roll. I find a pastry brush works really well. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

I love to eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Last Christmas I decided to make them for breakfast, which meant eating a very late brunch. What the heck with the four and a half hours of assembling, kneading, waiting for dough to rise, more assembly, more waiting for rising, then baking?! The humanity!! I just want to eat a warm cinnamon roll. This time I did most of the work the day before I wanted to eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast and it worked like a charm. As all my plans do. (This is from America's Test Kitchen's Family Cookbook.)

Basic Sweet Dough

3/4 c. buttermilk, warm (but not hot)

6 T. (or 3/4 of a stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 c. sugar

1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 1/4 tsp salt

Whisk the buttermilk, butter, and eggs together in a large liquid measuring cup. Mix 4 cups of the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 1 minute.

Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (If, after 5 minutes, more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough clears the side of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.)

Turn the dough onto a clean counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball, about 1 minute. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Cinnamon Roll Filling and Glaze

3/4 c packed light brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

Pinch of salt

1 T. melted butter

3 T. cream cheese, softened

3 T. buttermilk or milk

1 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar

Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt together in a small bowl.

Press the dough (after the 2 hours of rising) into a 12 by 16-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle on the brown sugar mixture, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge. Lightly press the mixture into the dough.

Roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch the seam closed. Slice the cylinder into 12 evenly sized rolls using a serrated knife. Arrange the rolls in a greased metal baking dish (I only have metal cake pans, so I used those). Wrap the pan tightly in greased plastic wrap.

Refrigerate overnight or up to 16 hours.
Let rise in a warm place until the rolls have doubled in size and are pressed against one another, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Bake rolls (uncovered - obviously?) in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. (Watch them, though. I thought mine were a little overdone. Brian loves overcooked food, so that was a win for him.)

Beat cream cheese, buttermilk, and confectioners' sugar together. While the rolls are still fairly warm, spoon the glaze over them.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lemon Meringue Bars

This is genius.  From "Baking Bites"
Lemon Meringue Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
3/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into chunks

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp baking powder

4 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350F.
To make the crust, combine flour, sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor (or a large mixing bowl, if you prefer to work by hand). Pulse in butter (or rub in with fingertips) until butter is well distributed and the mixture resembles moist sand. Pour into a 9×13-inch baking dish and spread evenly. Press down to create a firm, even layer.
Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
While crust is cooking, prepare the filling. Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together until smooth (can also be done in a food processor). When crust is done, pour filling into hot pan and return to oven.
Bake for about 17-20 minutes, until filling is set. Edges may be lightly browned, depending on the pan.
While filling is baking and getting close to finished, prepare the meringue. Beat egg whites to soft peaks in a large, clean mixing bowl, adding the sugar and salt in gradually while beating, beginning when the egg whites are foamy. Spread evenly onto hot, cooked filling and return pan to oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned at the peaks.
Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Use a slightly damp knife to cut through the meringue cleanly when ready to cut into bars.
Makes 24 bars.

Honey-Oat Pain de Mie

From King Arthur Flour.  Passing it on because all good things should be shared.  And yes, you can bake it in a regular bread pan.  I especially appreciate direction #6- the secret to success!

Recipe photo

  • 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup to 1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water*
  • *Use the smaller amount in the summer, or in a humid climate; the larger in winter, or in a drier climate.


1) Combine all of the ingredients, and mix until cohesive. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for 20 minutes, to give the oats a chance to absorb some of the liquid. Then knead — by hand, stand mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth, soft, elastic dough.
2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, or in an 8-cup measure (so you can track its progress as it rises), and let it rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it's risen noticeably. It won't necessarily double in bulk.
3) Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a 9" log. Place the log in a lightly greased 9" pain de mie (pullman) pan, pressing it gently to flatten.
4) Place the lid on the pan (or cover with plastic wrap, for a better view), and let the dough rise until it's about 1" from the top of the lid, 60 to 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
5) Remove the plastic (if you've used it), slide the pan's lid completely closed, and bake the bread for 30 minutes.
6) Remove the lid, and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers at least 190°F.
7) Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Run a stick of butter over the top, if desired; this will yield a soft, buttery crust. Cool completely before cutting; wrap airtight and store for several days at room temperature.

Manicotti Crepes

Easy and amazing!  Weston made them on his own and added bacon.  Yum. We had enough filling left over to make another batch the next day.

 Homemade Manicotti

From "Taste of Home" 


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 pounds ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 jar (26 ounces) meatless spaghetti sauce
  • Shredded Romano cheese, optional


  • Place flour in a bowl; whisk in milk, eggs and salt until smooth.
  • Heat a lightly greased 8-in. skillet; pour about 2 tablespoons
  • batter into center of skillet. Spread into a 5-in. circle. Cook over
  • medium heat until set; do not brown or turn. Repeat with remaining
  • batter, making 18 crepes. Stack crepes with waxed paper in between;
  • set aside.
  • For filling, combine cheeses, egg and parsley. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons
  • down the center of each crepe; roll up. Pour half of the spaghetti
  • sauce into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Place crepes,
  • seam side down, over sauce; pour remaining sauce over top.
  • Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 minutes longer or until heated through. Sprinkle with Romano cheese if desired.

Salmon Cakes

This recipe is very forgiving and versatile.  Take or leave any of the veggies and add whatever suits you (shredded carrots, corn, black beans, etc.).  Easy and quick!


Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
1 1/2 cups small-diced celery (4 stalks)
1/2 cup small-diced red bell pepper (1 small pepper)
1/2 cup small-diced yellow bell pepper (1 small pepper)
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 (7-oz) cans pink salmon
3 slices toasted bread crumbs, no crust
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons  mustard
2  eggs, lightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Saute veggies in 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil with the hot sauce, parsley, and Worcestershire until veggies are soft.  Cool to room temperature.

Drain and rinse canned salmon and place in a large bowl. Toast bread and  crumble into the bowl. Add mayonnaise, mustard, and eggs. Add the vegetable mixture and mix well. This works great in a Bosch with dough hooks. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Shape into cakes using an ice cream scoop and place on a lightly oiled (sprayed) baking sheet.  Flatten the cakes lightly and shape as desired.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light gold.  Serve warm

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lazy Daisy Cake

My friend made this cake for us when we visited them over the weekend. I made her give me the recipe because it was so good! I'll post a picture later.

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups plus 3 T flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup cream
2 cups flaked coconut

In a mixer, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick, about 2 minutes. Add baking powder and salt. Mix until combined. In microwave, bring butter and milk to a boil. Add to batter and beat until combined. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the cake tests done. Combine frosting ingredients, spread over warm cake. Turn oven to broil and return the cake to oven and broil for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly. Serve warm or cool.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Summer Salad

I love a good macaroni salad. This one is the winner, y'all. I was given this recipe in our very first ward in Lehi when I was told to bring it to a summer event. I grumbled about it at the time because it has so many ingredients. (I guess if you have the ultimate garden and you were asked to bring this at harvest time, it would be cheaper. As if.) I have since discovered that this salad is like the official salad of Lehi. Every town should have it's own official salad.

12 oz. macaroni (I use shells), cooked 30 seconds under the package directions (5 1/2 minutes)

3/4 c. celery, chopped

4 green onions (those I did get from my garden), diced

1 small zucchini, peeled and chopped

1/2 - 3/4 cucumber, peeled and chopped

4 radishes, quartered and sliced

2 small tomatoes (or use a bunch of cherry tomatoes like I did), chopped

3/4 c. frozen peas

1 c. chicken or turkey, cooked and chopped (I used a Costco rotisserie chicken) (duh)


1 c. mayonnaise

1 c. Miracle Whip

1 c. buttermilk

1/4 c. sugar

1 envelope Ranch Dressing Powder

1 pkg. Arby's horsey sauce (optional)

Drain and rinse the shells in cold water, set them aside while you CHOP, CHOP, CHOP the other ingredients. Chop.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients. I like a saucier macaroni salad, so I've doubled the buttermilk from the original recipe. I think it helps the salad "keep" better, too. If you can, make this several hours before you plan to serve it so the flavors have time to mix together. It's the best. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Broiled Grapefruit

This is one of the first recipes my friend Laura contributed to a cookbook I asked her to help with.  My first thought was, "I've made a huge mistake."  Broiled grapefruit?  Who does these things?  Then we moved to Arizona where grapefruit trees are aplenty and people leave boxes of grapefruit at church with signs that say, "Take these!  I beg of you!"  So I looked around Pinterest to see what grapefruit goodness would pop up and it turns out broiled grapefruit is a thing.  Like, a good thing.  Like a my kids ate this crazy fast and immediately asked for more thing.  Here's how you make it:

Step 1: Steal a grapefruit off of your neighbor's grapefruit tree.  (Stolen citrus always tastes better.)

Step 2: Preheat your broiler on Hi.

Step 3: Cut the grapefruit in half.  Gently loosen the fruit from the rind a bit.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar and drizzle with honey.

Step 4: Broil for 3-10 minutes, or until sizzling and the fruit is ready to burst.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Creamy Chicken Soup

It's almost too warm for soup, but if you haven't tried Allyn's Creamy Chicken Soup from the second Sisters' Cookbook, do it. DO IT. It has cream cheese in it, so you probably thought I was the one who contributed it, but it was Allyn. :) The parsley adds a nice pepper-y flavor (bonus that our parsley is already growing in the garden). We had rolls with it, which you should also make. Get to work, will ya!

1 small onion, chopped

1 T. butter

3 c. chicken broth (or two 14.5 oz. cans)

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

2 medium to large potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 c. chicken, cooked and cubed (as usual, I used a Costco rotisserie chicken)

2 T. fresh parsley

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 1/2 c. milk

1/3 c. flour

1 8-oz. pkg cream cheese, cut into eight pieces

Saute onion in butter until translucent, add carrots and potatoes and stir. Immediately add broth to the vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let it simmer until the veggies are soft. Add chicken, parsley, salt and pepper.

Whisk together milk and flour until smooth. Add to the soup while stirring. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes, stirring often. Add cream cheese and stir until it's melted.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

This recipe was no where to be found, until I looked on the back of the Hershey's Kiss bag. Voila!

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 T milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 salt
Hershey Kisses
additional granulated sugar

1. Heat oven to 375.
2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended. Add white and brown sugars; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. 
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet. 
4. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press an  unwrapped chocolate into the center of each cookie.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

My friends and I just finished making a cookbook.  It's so pretty!  I love having new recipes to try.  This one is from my friend, Emily.  I'm always on the lookout for non-cereal breakfast items.  Muffins are my son's favorite food and when he saw that these had chocolate chips in them, he was pretty blown away.  I think he likes them because, as Jim Gaffigan put it: "There is no difference between a muffin and cake.  A muffin is a bald cupcake."

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 C all purpose flour (or 3/4 C white, 3/4 C wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 large bananas, mashed
3/4 C sugar
1 egg
1/4 C butter, melted
1/2 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin pans with non-stick spray or use paper liners.  Sift together dry ingredients. Set aside.  Combine bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter in a large bowl.  Fold in flour mixture. Add chocolate chips. Scoop into muffin pans. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Roast Beast

Sometimes you just need roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy on Sunday. I think I put a recipe for it in the first Sisters Cookbook, but we have improved it. (I just thought about Rob asking how many rolls per person at a family dinner we had at our house a few years ago. Old habits die hard, eh? I hadn't even done the math! Hahahaha!) Once again, I couldn't nail Brian down with a gravy recipe. I even watched him and took note of the stuff he was getting out. "Do we have beef broth? It doesn't matter, I can do it without." What?!! No specific ingredients? So, yeah. I have no idea.

1 beef roast (chuck is the best, then cross-rib)

kosher salt

TWO INGREDIENTS, YOU GUYS! The key is to first, get the right cut of beef.
Then the biggest thing is to salt the roast at least 12 hours before you cook it. I shake kosher salt all over the roast, then cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. (The roast has to be thawed, btw.)
Put the roast in a crock pot on high for four to six hours. That's why it's such a great Sunday dish. The house always smells amazing when you get home from church when there's a roast beef in the crock pot.
Meat is not photogenic. Anyway. Take the roast out of the crock pot and put it on a cutting board, then tent it with tin foil (the foil is over the meat, but not touching it). Empty the juices into a gravy separator, then put the juices (sans grease) into a saucepan to make gravy with ingredients. (I'm so sorry! There was bouillon and cornstarch involved. I think it's like a white sauce.)

Once the meat has rested, slice it up and serve it. My fork cut through that roast beef very easily. It's the day-ahead-salting, I'm telling you! Works every time.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


I have a piano student whose parents pay for her lessons with hamburger. ("Interesting trades considered.") They have a cattle ranch, see. One of the many ways I use all that ground beef is by making (and freezing) meatballs every few weeks. We use the same meatballs for three different recipes and they taste great in each dish. The pictured recipe is from Our Best Bites (the first cookbook) "Sweet and Sour Meatballs." I also use the Swedish Meatballs gravy from the Our Best Bites Seasons cookbook for one of our three meatball dishes.

1 lb. extra lean ground beef

1 lb. regular pork sausage (I use Jimmy Dean)

4 T. minced onion

1/2 tsp. pepper

2 tsp. kosher salt

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 c. fine, dry bread crumbs

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl, then mix with your hands. (Do it, Katy!! DO IT.) Line a cookie tray with tin foil that has been crumpled up a little, then smoothed out again. Roll meatballs (or scoop them with a mini scooper) and place on the lined cookie tray.
Adjust the top rack in your oven to the highest level (mine is really close to the top, so I do the second highest level). Put the meatballs on the adjusted rack, then turn the oven to broil. Broil for 11 minutes. We don't use our broiler very often - if you're the same, just know that every minute counts when you're broiling. One minute too long can ruin your meatballs.

Add broiled meatballs to your sauce (sweet and sour sauce, spaghetti sauce, cream gravy for mashed potatoes) and simmer for about 10 minutes. Done! 

This recipe makes approximately 50 meatballs. We need between 15 and 18 meatballs per meal for our family of five. (That family includes one person who thinks meatballs are YUCKY, btw.) So, this ends up being three meals for us. It only takes about an hour for the meatballs to thaw. 
Get the scoop. The process goes much quicker.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Beef Stew

This is a well-loved you can see.  So well-loved that I cannot even believe it is not already on this blog.

I got this recipe from a friend in California. It is perfect for Sundays (or any long busy day) because you throw everything into the crockpot and leave. It is also perfect because almost everyone in my house cheers for joy when they find out that we are having it for dinner.

Beef Stew-Shelly Collins

2lbs Stew beef cubes
1/2 C. Flour
2 T. Oil
1 bay leaf
2 T. A-1 sauce
1 onion
1 cube beef bouillon

1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt
1tsp. sugar
6 carrots
4 potatoes
1C. Celery
4 C. Water

* Heat oil in skillet
* Coat beef cubes with flour (I like to do it shake-n-bake style by putting the flour in a ziplock bag then putting the meat into the bag, zipping it and shaking it)
* Brown the meat in oil
* With crockpot on low,  put meat, bay leaf, a-1, onion, bouillon, seasonings and water.  Let that cook for 3-4 hours.
* Add vegetables cut up in large chunks.  Let cook until vegetables are soft.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I know. I'm posting a lot of stuff lately. I'm trapped in my house potty training! The only thing I can do is cook and take photos. And clean up messes. I'll say no more - I don't want to ruin your appetite. We have a child at our house who pretty much only eats pasta and/or rice. It's Colin. I find myself preparing menus based on what I hope he will eat. He's the smallest one! His twin brother weighs 10 lbs more than he does! I'm trying to beef him up. Anyway... He loves this stuff!! You will love it too. My favorite thing to do is have Brian get Chick-fil-a chicken strips on his way home from work and we have homemade macaroni and something green for sides. THAT'S the dream.

1 lb. macaroni, cooked (I use shells most of the time)

4 c. white sauce (recipe follows)

2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

2 c. Muenster (*snap *snap) cheese, shredded

White Sauce:

2 c. heavy cream

2 c. milk

8 T. butter

6 T. flour

Cook pasta for one minute less than the package directions in boiling, salted water. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed, large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted and bubbling a little, add the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the milk and cream (I put it in the same measuring cup) very slowly, whisking the whole time. Bring to a boil, whisking often. Turn heat to low and add cheeses. Whisk until the cheeses are melted.

Drain the pasta and pour it into the cheese sauce. Stir until it's well-mixed. Pour pasta into a buttered 9" x 13" casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. The top of the macaroni and cheese should be a little browned. (I half this recipe for my family of five and we can all have seconds. It makes A LOT.)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Revel Bars

These are a definite favorite in our house!  Our girls thought they were called "Rebel" bars!  We are in the South, after all!

butter, minus 2 TBS
1 cup butter, softened  (minus 2 TBS)
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
3 cups quick rolled oats
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the butter to use for another purpose, say, on toast or something.  In a large mixing bowl beat the remaining butter with a mixer until fluffy.  Add the brown sugar and baking soda.  Beat until combined, scraping the sides occasionally.    Beat in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla until combined.  Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.  I was able to do the whole amount.
Transfer mixture to a bowl to stir in oats.

 Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in any remaining flour and the rolled oats.

Mixture should be smooth.

For filling, in a medium saucepan combine the peanut butter, chocolate chips, and sweetened condensed milk.  Cook over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring occasionally with a wire whisk. Be careful not to cook too long or the chocolate will scorch.  Remove from heat.

 Press two-thirds of the rolled oats mixture into the bottom of an non-greased baking dish. 
Spread chocolate filling evenly over oat mixture.  Dot remaining rolled oat mixture over chocolate filling to form a top crust.
Bake about 25 minutes, or until crust is light brown.  The chocolate filling will still look moist.  Cool pan on a wire rack, cut into bars and enjoy!
Cool pan on a wire rack.

Cut into bars.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup

One of my neighborhood friends contributed this recipe to a neighborhood cookbook I put together in 2007. I've changed quite a few things, so I want to have it MY way (always here are the QUEEN'S ways) somewhere. You know, just in case I lose my mind and someone else has to make this soup for me.

3-4 T unsalted butter

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 c. flour

3 (14 oz) cans chicken broth

2 c. half-and-half

4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (surprise, I use Costco rotisserie chickens)

1 (1.27 oz) fajita seasoning packet

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can creamed corn

1 c. salsa

2 tsp. cumin

3 tsp. cilantro, chopped

Garnishes (optional, but duh):

Cheddar cheese

Sour cream


Tortilla chips

In a heavy bottomed pot, saute onion and garlic in butter over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add flour and stir until the butter is absorbed, then add one can of chicken broth slowly while stirring. Add the rest of the chicken broth and the half-and-half. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and add chicken, fajita seasoning, chicken soup, salsa, corn, cumin, and cilantro. Continue to simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, until flavors have blended and the soup is heated through. About 20 minutes. Garnish in individual bowls and serve.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Chicken Divan

 This is one of those recipes I thought was already on the blog. Because I make it almost once a week. I almost always have all the ingredients and my kids love it. Something all of them will eat?!!! And Brian and I like it too. It takes a little prep time and almost an hour in the oven, but I it's one of the best things for a piano lesson night. (We usually have it with rolls. Always from the freezer. Never make rolls and Chicken Divan in the same afternoon.)

3 1/2 - 4 c. cooked rice

1 1/2 c. broccoli florets (I always use fresh broccoli and microwave it with a little water for 3 min.)

1 1/2 c. cooked chicken, cubed (Costco rotisserie chicken, of course)


1 c. mayonnaise

1 c. cream of chicken soup

2 T. lemon juice (I use fresh lemons)

1 c. half and half (you can use regular milk) *I add half-and-half until it's a saucy enough to pour.

2 tsp. yellow curry


1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 c. bread crumbs

Layer rice, chicken, and broccoli in a casserole dish (in that order). Whisk sauce together until it's smooth, then pour over the rice, chicken, and broccoli. Top with grated cheese, then bread crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Elsie's Barbequed Spareribs

I made these last night and even took pictures of them.  I tried every angle, but it turns out barbequed spareribs are not very photogenic.  No, really.  Google Image "country style barbequed spareribs". . . . See what I mean?
This recipe is from the Woods Cross 7th Ward (church) cookbook that Mom gave all of us back in 1988.  I was nine at the time, so I was super jazzed about finally having some dutch oven camping recipes.  (Not so much.)  This is definitely the recipe I use the most from this cookbook.  I made these spareribs when Jeff and I were engaged and I was still living at home.  The recipe is so easy and foolproof that Mom knew I could be trusted to make them.  They turned out great and Jeff was left with the very false impression that I was a good cook.  The next couple of years would be very sad for him.

I love this inscription Mom wrote in the cookbook, because I do enjoy making these recipes and it does remind me of home, friends and teachers.  I have added this recipe to two other ward cookbooks from areas where we have lived and it's always such a sweet trip down memory lane to see the names of dear old friends and think of them as I make their dutch oven camping recipes.

Elsie's Barbequed Spareribs

3 lbs. country style pork ribs
salt and pepper
1 1/2 c. catsup
1 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. onion salt
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 TBS. Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper ribs.  Mix remaining ingredients together to make barbeque sauce.  Roll ribs in sauce.  Bake for 2 1/2 hours at 325 degrees; cover for first 2 hours.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Grandma Edith Barlow's Frosted Butter Cookies

Megan Furniss Salvo with her Grandma Edith Barlow 2013
Mom's brother, Mark Furniss, married a really wonderful lady, Julie Barlow. Aunt Julie's mother, Edith Barlow, passed away a few months ago. She definitely left the world a better place and seemed to be living every minute of her life. Very inspiring. As I was cleaning out my office today I found a handwritten recipe of Edith's that is just barely legible. I'm going to post it here before it disappears completely! (The recipe is in my Grandma Furniss's handwriting. I like the idea of these two sweet grandmas exchanging recipes.) I remember having these cookies - they're memorable. :)

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 c. butter

1 1/2 c. brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. sour cream or 1 c. canned milk with juice of 1/2 a lemon

Dry Ingredients:

2 1/2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. nuts

Mix ingredients same as for a cake (mixing wet and dry ingredients separately, then adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients half a cup at a time, stirring between each half cup). Drop by spoonful onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 to 400 degrees for 10 minutes (AH! it looks like a 10... could be a 20).


3 T. butter melted to a golden brown

1 - 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

2 2/3 T. hot water

2/3 tsp. vanilla

No instructions on this one. I'm guessing you beat this with a mixer. That's the funny thing about real cooks writing down recipes - they already know stuff.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Roasted Asparagus

Asparagus is one of Brian's favorite things. I know, right? My memories of asparagus are stringy, disgusting, and green. Now I love it! We figured out exactly how we like it best and I have to share because I'm betting most of the sisters have the same memories of asparagus that I do. Try it again for the first time. :)

Asparagus (they usually come in bunches)

Olive Oil (about 1/2 a tablespoon per bunch)

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Pepper

First of all, choose the skinniest asparagus you can find. If all of them are fat, they're probably not in season and they won't taste as good. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil, then place a wire rack on top of the tin foil. (If you don't have the wire rack that fits into your cookie sheet, go get it. I use that thing almost every day.) Snap off the ends of each stalk (they will naturally snap where you need them to), wash, and pat dry with paper towels. 

In a 7 x 9-inch casserole dish, pour a little olive oil. Toss the asparagus in the olive oil enough to coat it but not soak it. Place asparagus on the lined cookie sheet in one layer. Sprinkle on Kosher salt and pepper, just on one side. Roast in a 425-degree oven for 7-8 minutes. The asparagus will be sizzling a little and it will be shiny green and beautiful.

Remember how Mom and Aunt Jane used to go picking asparagus near the ditches in Oakley? No? Here is some photographic evidence.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Rice Pudding Muffins

My favorite way to use leftover rice!

1/2 c. raisins (opt.)
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tb baking powder
1/2 c sugar
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 egg
3/4 c milk
1/4 c oil
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c cooked rice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a small bowl, soak the raisins in enough water to cover them.  In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.  In another bowl, lightly beat the egg and add the remaining wet ingredients except the rice.

Drain the water from the raisins and mix the raisins and rice into the flour mixture (this is an important step- the rice needs to be mixed into the dry ingredients very well).  Add the egg and milk mixture to the flour and rice mixture and stir until just moistened.

Fill greased muffin tins.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until muffins are golden brown.  Serve warm