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Showing posts from November, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Have you ever seen a recipe somewhere and immediately knew you just had to make it as soon as possible?

This was one of those for me.

Mostly because I knew Ryan would like it.

See? Sometimes I make things solely based on my husband's palate... and sometimes... well... I completely ignore them, and serve him pasta loaded with mushrooms and pine nuts. So I guess I'm not completely innocent.You'll know when I've completely sacrificed my own taste buds when I finally share a fish/crab/lobster/shrimp/nastiness recipe on here. Someday that day will come.

Today is not that day.

This recipe was delightfully simple, and yielded dreamy results. The rich and velvety soup accompanied by the baked and seasoned pie dough wedges created the perfect illusion of chicken pot pie. Instead of using both frozen peas and carrots, I settled for frozen peas, but also used freshly peeled/sliced/boiled carrots. The broth was surprisingly thin - and I surprisingly liked it that way. You'd …

Holiday Peanut Brittle

I know.

It's bizarre for me to do things 'holiday' before December even begins. But I figured with the whole "Christmas Classic Pumpkin Pie" deal I pulled earlier this week, I'm already standing with both feet in the water. Heck, I even drew snowmen, Santa, and Christmas trees on our sidewalk yesterday with the Manchild. I must be coming down with something.

This is where I come clean:

I am a total scrooge about Christmas things before Thanksgiving, but have come a long way in allowing Christmas-like things to happen before the actual start of December. I wasn't always this way; as a wee little Goldilocks, I loved Christmas all the time. But as soon as I hit college, I loathed the idea of December. It was then when Christmas-time and I broke up.

You see, in my mind December = Finals. and Juries. and the destruction of any nerve I had to spare at the end of the semester.

The closer Christmas came, the nearer these nighmare-inducing ulcers drew closer t…

Parmesan Smashed Red Potatoes

In the past when I've made mashed potatoes with red potatoes, things really haven't turned out well. Sure, they tasted fine. But they were gummy, and I've avoided trying to mash them ever since.

Until recently.

Potatoes around here are still a pretty decent price, so we've been trying to still incorporate them into our meals. Ryan, on almost a weekly basis, asks for my fried/baked breaded chicken. He had been a very good sport about the 'not-so-manly' things I had made that week - so I wanted to not only to make his beloved fried/baked breaded chicken, but also to add a little extra Ryan-love to the side dish. All we had was a pile of red potatoes sitting on my counter. Normally I would slice/boil/season them up and serve them in chunks. But I knew darn well Ryan likes his potatoes mashed. And mashed hard core.

I learned while preparing this recipe, that if you delicately simmer your little red potatoes, instead of balls-out boiling them to death, they will co…

Classic Pumpkin Pie

Alright, kids.

I know Thanksgiving is over, and that's the holiday when people go all gung-ho about Pumpkin Pie. However, this delightful dessert hasn't finished it's time in the spotlight, and has almost instantly transformed into something else:

a Christmas pie. 

So there you go.

For the Studio 5 pie segment last week, I didn't want to just bring cherry and pumpkin pecan pie, so the day before I also tried my hand at making my very first pumpkin pie. Ever. Sure, I'd eaten it many times, but not once had I tried to make it. Thankfully, the Food Network Gods smiled upon my kitchen, and basically handed me this heavenly recipe. I made the pie. I decorated the pie. I used the pie on TV. Then I put it in my fridge - almost forgetting about it altogether amidst all the excitement and business of the week.

A day or two after, I found this beloved pie staring at me when I opened my fridge door. It was then I realized that I hadn't cut into it at all, and therefore…

White Bean and Bacon Soup with Fresh Kale and Mini Pasta Shells

Don't fear the kale.

It's super-cheap, doesn't dominate in flavor, and is such a perfect green to toss right into any soup your whipping up. It holds it's own without losing it's integrity, if you know what I mean. And according to Parenthood, it's super-trendy right now. We used fresh instead of the frozen as the recipe called for - it was a good move. I also used less water, more chicken broth, and regrettably omitted the Parmesan rind. It's cheaper to buy pre-shredded Parmesan cheese, and typically the bag doesn't come with the rind. I don't blame them - this is the first recipe I've prepared that called for it in the first place.

This soup is also loaded with an ingredient that will forever prevent my family from ever going vegetarian:

bacon.

It's like crack candy to us, and adds such a rich smoky undertone to this soup. The original recipe called for about 3 slices - (cue laughter). You know darn well we didn't only add three slice…

Chicken & Prosciutto Tortellini Alfredo with Peas

One of my favorite days of the month is when my Food Network magazine arrives in the mail. It's like getting a brand new cookbook, and each fabulous recipe is loaded with the flavors of the season. The recipe sections I enjoy the most are the ''weeknight cooking" pages. They're pretty quick-to-prepare, only require a few simple & fresh ingredients, and always taste just right.

Yesterday we needed one of those recipes. It was a wild day, and I didn't feel like making anything that required more than 20ish minutes or so of total prep/cooking time, so this recipe was perfect.

Of course, I like to put my own spin on the ingredients, so instead of regular ravioli, I chose to use chicken & prosciutto tortellini. It made all the difference. The prosciutto added such a beautiful hint of bacon flavor that mixed so well with the peas and Parmesan, and made the recipe go just a bit further. Instead of throwing cash at two 9-oz packages of tortellini, I decided w…

Studio 5 Pie Segment

A little while ago, I almost peed my pants when I received an invitation from KSL Channel 5, here in Utah, to be their featured ''Blog of the Week." I was in a daze, and has such a blast! That afternoon another email popped up from KSL, only this time it was for Studio 5!

I almost died. I'd been watching Studio 5 as often as possible ever since the Manchild was born, so you can image just how starstruck I was to be invited on the show! They wanted me to do a little research and find the latest convenient pie gadgets to show off during an almost 5-minute segment. Also, they wanted me to share one of my favorite easy pie recipes.

I thought I had more time to prepare... so when I received an email (Thursday) saying there was a date mix-up, and they needed me on the show that upcoming Monday instead of 2 weeks away, I can't say it wasn't without a little panic. I thank my lucky stars that a miracle happened over the weekend and we were able to throw something …

It's coming...

Alright folks,

My Studio 5 segment has been moved up from the 26th.... to MONDAY.

As in THIS UPCOMING Monday.

So in great panic and chaos, I haven't been able to try any new recipes in the last few days. However, I have loved spending a great deal of time getting lost in beautiful specialty cooking stores such as Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, and Spoons & Spice, browsing countless of online resources, and collecting the perfect ideas for the show.

This weekend is going to be NUTS, I tell you. But I'm positive we can pull this off, and can't wait to be on the show on Monday!

Get ready for some serious Pie Action, all just in time for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin and White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

Funny story about these cookies.

We LOVE white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies (we actually visited a macadamia nut farm once in Moloka'i. Good times.) Subway destroys me with their version - as if a giant meatball-loaded sandwich isn't enough, right? 3 delicious cookies for 99 cents is hard to walk away from. Such a blessed cookie, I say.

So when I told Ryan a couple nights ago that we'd be making some of his favorite cookies, he jumped right into the kitchen. We started adding the ingredients one by one... then he noticed the pumpkin can. What the heck, woman?!?! was written all over his face. He wasn't sure why I'd ruin perfectly wonderful cookies with a 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree. I assured him it'd be delicious, and to trust me. With that, the pumpkin puree went right into the mixture.

Our favorite part of making cookies is eating the dough. We think the dough always tastes better than the cookie in actual 'cookie form.' So naturally, we exci…

Magleby's Rolls

These rolls are so delicious it's just sick.

Sick, I tell you.

We made a batch of these on Sunday (one and a half dozen) to go along with our Chicken and Couscous Soup, and finished them off by Monday morning. We're addicts.

Oh wait, it get's better - I made another full batch the very next morning. In my defense, it was for a funeral. I still ate a couple while they were burning hot out of the oven. Totally worth it.

We've eaten at Magleby's several times, and each time we go I am delighted by their loaded salads, perfected entrees (their spare ribs... save us all), legendary chocolate cake, and last but not least: their mouthwatering rolls. I've always wondered what they use on top of the rolls. The only flavors I could pick out were garlic and salty Parmesan. All I knew for sure is that I loved them, and I couldn't wait until our next visit (usually not often because of our budget) to have them again.

These rolls fit the bill perfectly. Originally, o…

Chicken and Couscous Soup

Last year we didn't need to shovel our walkway at all - there was simply almost zero snow to deal with. This year, however, mother nature has already unleashed her wrath here in the valley. We busted out the shovels and quickly went to work on the 10 inches of snow on our walkway/driveway. The manchild insisted on helping, and it looked kind of like a scene fromThe Christmas Storygetting him ready to go outside.He also forgot there were stairs down from our front porch (covered by snow) to the sidewalk. His first steps in the deep snow quickly tumbled into an epic face plant in the bushes. Yep, definitely my spawn. 
Needless to say, cozy & warm soup was a must. This soup (as many are) was incredibly easy and simple. I found myself searching over and over again through the ingredients thinking this is really all that's in there? Yep, it's true. Next time we're going to throw in a few veggies. But serving this along side a veggie-loaded salad was fine by me this wee…

Let's Review...

Two-Potato Tart

I know the snow is well on it's way here in Utah, but I can't help but cling to the warm weather as long as possible with both hands.  The snow certainly a beautiful sight to see, but when I think snow, I think ice.
About 5 years ago, Ryan and I were gifted a 1990 Chrysler New Yorker for our wedding. It was basically an aircraft carrier, broke down once every couple months (usually when I was on the freeway) and sucked down gas like none other. But we loved that car so much. It had the most comfortable seats (like sitting on a couch), could handle my loud music, got us from point A to B most of the time, and allowed us to go the first few years of marriage without having to wrestle a car payment. It has it's own special charm, and I miss the New Yorker to this day (not the breaking down part, though....) I still have it's key on my set of keys to this day (even though we saved up enough for a healthy substitute).
The snow was coming down in thick chunks, it was almo…

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Yes. Pie.

It was probably the easiest pie I've ever made. And that's not because I've made some killer pies in my day, but because this pie took minutes to throw together. Sometimes 'easy' doesn't always have the flavors to back it up, but this pie is a delicious exception.

I love pumpkin pie, and pecan pie has always been one of my guilty pleasures. So putting them together was just delightful chaos. The familiar creamy pumpkin layer with the sticky (yet firm) candied pecan layer is far too much to ever walk away from. Other than a couple slices, Ryan and I ate this entire pie. That's just how we do things. Ryan won't gain a single pound. I, on the other hand, will need to squeeze in an extra run or two. Pronto.

Two pies in one? 

It was worth every bite, I tell you.

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Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Ingredients:
Pumpkin Layer: 
Prepared refrigerated pie dough (I prefer homemade, and lay it down raw).
1 C pure pumpkin
1/3 C sugar
1 large egg
1 T pumpkin pie s…

Fresh Living Segment - Take 2

Today I had such a blast on KUTV Channel 2's Fresh Living show! (if you missed the segment, click here for the video). I don't think I felt as comfortable this time as I felt last time, though. It was mostly during the photography segment. (They had me talk about using a non-expensive/fancy camera for food photography in addition to sharing my Pepperoni Pull-Apart Pizza Bread). I felt right at home during the food segment, though (and am taller than Debbie - I'm not used to being taller than anyone other than little children. So I felt special.)

Let's just lay this out right now: I am not a photographer. I have zero training. I know nothing about photography. I graduated from college in Music for crying-out-loud (yes, I spell Music with a capital M). So to be asked to talk about my ''photography method'' was pretty daunting. But they assured me THAT'S why they wanted me to talk about it. I can take decent pictures with a $30 Ebay camera. My …

Creamy Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Yesterday was overcast, but was surprisingly warm. The Manchild was getting antsy, and running from one end of our little house to the other like a madman. This is usually the case by late afternoon, so I threw him in the stroller we headed to the park. I want to hang on to these not-too-cold Fall days as long as possible. Winter will show it's beastly wrath soon enough here in the valley. 
My little guy has a hard time leaving the park without throwing a fit (no matter how long we've stayed there), so this time I had us collect leaves on the way back to distract him. It worked, thank heavens, and left us with a perfect background to one of my favorite soups I've ever made. 
I thought I'd get an eyebrow raise or two over this recipe with Ryan. Again, no pile of meat swimming around in the soup... but Ryan adored this soup - and made up some grilled cheese late last night along with his second helping! What is happening to my husband?! He must be coming down with some…

Three Cheese Ravioli in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Holy Smokes. 
I try new recipes all the time. Some make it on the blog, and some... we just eat and never talk about again because they weren't the greatest. Pinterest and cookbooks are funny that way. Some recipes are complete winners and deserve to be shared again and again; some were a sad waste of ingredients. And it's a shame, because some of those bad recipes are being pinned over and over and over again, and cookbooks containing similar recipes are being published like crazy. Downright insanity. I guarantee all the recipes you see on my website have been prepared, cooked, tasted and served by me to my family (so if you're frustrated in the kitchen from a recipe of mine, or it hasn't turned out quite right, tell me. I will help you troubleshoot what happened.) If it didn't taste perfect in my kitchen, I would have never put it on my blog in the first place.
I also aim to try a variety of different foods. Yes, we are a meat-loving family. But you will find m…