Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Taco Seasoning

1 T. Mexican chili powder
1/4 t. California garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t. oregano
1/2 t. paprika
1 1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 t. fresh ground black pepper

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chocolate Frosting


Kate's Cupcakes


Spicy honey chicken

Spicy Honey Chicken
Recipe by Our Best Bites

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 2lbs (Yes, Thighs!!)
everyone is always asking me if they can use breasts for this. Sure you can, but I'm tellin'
ya right now it's better with thighs.
2 t vegetable oil

2 t granulated garlic
2 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t coriander
1 t kosher salt
1 t cumin
1/2 t chipotle chili powder

1/2 C Honey
1T Cider Vinegar

Combine the rub spices in bowl and mix well.

Use kitchen shears (or a pair of clean scissors) to trim off any excess fat from the chicken pieces. Pat dry. Drizzle oil over chicken and rub in with your hands to lightly coat all the pieces. Then toss chicken with the spice rub to coat all sides well. Use your hands and get in there! Grill chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

While chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave so it's not so thick. Add the vinegar and combine well. Reserve 2T honey glaze for later. Take the rest and brush on chicken (both sides) in the final moments of grilling.

I'm gonna warn you that this can make a hot mess, literally. It's sugar, and it's gonna drip. But the smelly smoke is worth it for a minute or two. Just leave your grill on for a few minutes after the chicken is done to burn off any excess glaze. It's totally worth it once you taste this stuff.
If you don't have a bbq, try it on an indoor grill pan or use your broiler. Just be sure to open a window in case you burn your glaze!

Remember how I had you reserve that extra couple tablespoons of glaze? Ya, drizzle that on top now. Your taste buds will thank you.

Eat with this:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Grilled Pizza


Pizza Sauce
Recipe from OurBestBItes.com

Pizza Sauce

1 6-oz. can tomato paste
6 oz. water (just use the empty tomato paste can)
3 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning*
1 Tbsp. sugar or honey (I usually use sugar because it's easier and hey, I think we've established here that if there's an easy road or a hard road, I usually take the easy road...)
3/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

Empty tomato paste into a bowl and add water a few tablespoons at a time, stirring constantly until combined. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and allow to stand until ready to use. Covers two average-sized pizza; freezes extremely well.

*Garlic Bread Seasoning:

combine the following ingredients

1/2 c. powdered Parmesan cheese

2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. marjoram
2 tsp. parsley

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce

2 C low-fat milk
1/3 C (3 oz) low fat cream cheese
2 T flour
1 t salt
1 T butter
3 garlic cloves
1 C grated Parmesan cheese

Toss the milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a blender.
Process until smooth and set aside.

In a non-stick sauce pan, melt butter on med-high heat and add garlic.
Then add milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for about 3 or 4 minutes or until it just comes to a simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more. It should be much thicker now.

When it's nice and thickened remove the pan from the heat. Add the cheese, stir it up and then cover immediately. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing. Also, if you have leftovers in the fridge, the sauce will thicken almost into a solid. Just re-heat and add a little milk and it will be back to normal again.

Breadsticks & Pizza Dough
Recipe from OurBestBites.com

1 1/2 c. warm (105-115 degrees) water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 1/2 c. flour

In a large bowl (the bowl of your mixer, if you have one), combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.

Add salt and stir. Add 1 1/2 c. flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour (usually between 3-4 cups, depending on your elevation and your humidity) until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger.

Spray a glass or metal bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Remove from bowl and place on a lightly-floured surface. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll into a rectangle and cut into 12 strips with a pizza cutter.

Roll out each piece of dough into a snake and then drape over your forefinger and twist the dough. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining 11 pieces of dough. Try to space them evenly, but it's okay if they're close; pulling apart hot bread is one of life's greatest pleasures!

Cover pan and allow dough to rise for another 30 minutes. When there's about 15 minutes to go, preheat your oven to 425. When done rising, bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Rub some butter on top of the breadsticks (just put a ziploc bag on your hand, grab some softened butter, and have at it) and sprinkle with garlic bread seasoning or the powdery Parmesan cheese in a can and garlic salt. Or you could sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar.

Garlic Bread Seasoning
Recipe from OurBestBites.com

1/2 c. powdered Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. marjoram
2 tsp. parsley

Combine ingredients in a jar (preferably one with a sprinkle top) and shake. Sprinkle on top of breadsticks or combine 1 1/2 Tbsp. seasoning with 1/2 c. of softened real butter and spread on a loaf of French bread (cut in 1/2 lengthwise). Wrap in foil and bake at 375 until butter's melted. If you want, you could also pop it open-faced under the broiler for a few minutes so it gets brownish and crispy.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tangy Broccoli Salad

From Kraft

3/4 Cup Light Miracle Whip
2 T. sugar
2 T. white vinegar
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 small red onion, chopped

Mix Miracle Whip, sugar, and vinegar in large bowl.
Add remaining ingredients and mix lightly.
Chill for one hour and serve cold.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Allspice Substitute

Equal parts:


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Glace Icing

From Kate Jones, 2009

1/2 pound powdered sugar (16 oz.)
1/4 c. plus 2 T milk
1/4 c. plus 2 T light corn syrup
1 t. of extract (vanilla, almond, etc.)

With a whisk, combine sugar and milk until smooth (no lumps). Then stir in corn syrup and extract.

To thicken for piping, add more powdered sugar.

For sugar cookies.

Cafe Rio Ranch Dressing

From Kate Jones, 2009

1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
1 C. of mayo
1/2 C. milk
1/4 C. Herdez green salsa
2-3 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 C. chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Hot sauce to taste

Combine all ingredients except for hot sauce in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste, if you want it a little more spicy, add hot sauce to taste. Transfer to a storage bowl and cover; allow to stand at least one hour in frige.

Serve on salad of romaine, cojita cheese, tomatoes, avocados, etc.


From Kate Jones, 2009

1 medium avocado, pitted and mashed
Pico de Gallo to taste
Lime juice to taste, about 1/2 lime
Small spoonful of sour cream, to taste
Salt to taste

Combine ingredients.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


(From Kate Jones, 2009)

1 rack babyback ribs (about 2-2.5 pounds; 1 rack feeds two adults; another rack of ribs will work with the marinade if your crockpot can fit them)
3 c. pineapple juice
1 ½ c. brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. mustard powder
1/3 c. ketchup
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1 ½ Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
Your favorite barbecue sauce

Using a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen shears, cut each rack into about 4 portions (it ends up being about 3-4 rib bones each).

Place in crockpot. Mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, mustard powder, ketchup, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce, cloves, ginger, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Pour over ribs and cover.

This step can be done the night before. Set to low for 6-7 hours. You can poke 'em occasionally to make sure they all get exposed to the braising liquid and that they're not getting too tender (like totally falling off the bone; these babies still have to make it onto the grill!)

Remove ribs from liquid and heat grill to medium. Place ribs on the grill, brush one side with barbecue sauce, and close the lid for 3-4 minutes. Carefully turn the ribs, brush other side with sauce, close the lid, and wait another 3-4 minutes. Repeat.


Apple Dumplings

(From Kate Jones, 2009)
Jeni's variation

1 can cresent rolls
1 granny smith apple, peeled and cored, divided into eighths
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 cup Mountain Dew
Cinnamon for sprinkling

Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350.

Wrap apple wedges with one triangle cresent dough. Repeat for all wedges.

Place in baking dish and melt one stick of butter in saucepan over medium heat.
Gradually whisk in sugar. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour butter/sugar mixture over dumplings. Pour Mountain dew on the dumplings next.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake uncovered 40 minutes in oven until browned and bubbly.

Serve with vanilla ice cream:)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice

(From Food and Family, Fall 2009, pg. 52)
Jeni's variation

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup plus 1 T. chicken broth
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice (yields three cups cooked rice)
1/2 pound (8 oz.) Velveeta, cut into cubes
1 stalk fresh broccoli, chopped
Salt and Pepper OR Montreal Steak Seasoning

Cook rice according to package directions (optional: substitue chicken broth for water when cooking and add a pinch of salt).

When rice is finished, lightly season chicken with salt and pepper OR Montreal Steak Seasoning and cook in a large pot or skillet sprayed with cooking spray over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until chicken is done.

Stir in broth and bring to a boil.

Add broccoli and cheese. Turn down heat and stir constantly until cheese is melted.

Remove from heat and add cooked rice. Mix lightly and serve.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pork Carnitas (Tacos al Pastor)

(From Everyday Food, Issue 62, Page 136)

Serves 4
half the portions for 2 people

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
course salt and ground pepper
1 T. olive oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup milk
8 corn tortillas, warmed on skillet
Fresh cilantro leaves, thinly sliced onion, diced avocado, and lime wedges for serving

Place pork in slow cooker. Slice one onion, thickly, and place on top of pork. Add enough water to cover pork about 3/4 of the way. Cook on Low for 8-10 hours or until pork is tender. When pork is finished, drain well and discard onions and water. Shred with a fork.

At this point, you can store the shredded pork in fridge and continue with recipe a day or so later.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add pork, garlic, orange juice, and milk (whole milk is best, but others will work). Stir occasionally until liquid is evaporated and meat is browned 8-12 minutes.

Warm tortillas on a dry skillet set on Medium heat until soft and warm OR until slightly crispy but still bendable (that's how I like it).

Serve carnitas in tortillas with cilantro, onion, avocado, and fresh lime juice. Don't ruin it by drowning them in salsa and sour cream...

Linguine with Spring Vegetables

(From Everyday Food, Issue 60, Page 68)
Jeni's variation

Serves 4

course salt, ground pepper
1/2 pound of linguine
1/2 bunch asparagus (tough ends removed, cut into 1 inch lengths)
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, stem ends trimmed then halved
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 T. butter

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta 4 minutes SHORT of al dente. Add asparagus, zucchini, and snap peas. Cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water; drain pasta mixture and set aside.

In the same pot, bring cream and butter to a simmer over medium heat. Toss in pasta mixture and enough pasta water to create a thin sauce (it will thicken as it stands). Season with fresh ground pepper and serve.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Janna's Meatballs

From Janna Mangum

1 lb. sausage
1 lb. hamburger
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs
pinch of salt
pinch of garlic powder

Form meatball ingredients (above) and brown.

1 cup ketchup
1/4 t. celery seed
1 T. vinegar
1/2 cup water
4 T. brown sugar

Mix sauce ingredients and simmer meatballs in sauce.

Serving suggestion: serve over white rice

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spinach and Gruyere Quiche

From Sexy Lexi Majoue

1 tablespoon butter
3 shaloots, minced
3 bunches flat-leaf spinach, thick stems and leaves roughly chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
1 recipe Basic Pie Dough fitted into two 9-inch pie plates
8 large eggs
3 cups half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1.) Preheat oven to 350 with racks set in upper and lower thirds. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add as much spinach to skillet as will fit, toss adding more spinach as room becomes available, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.

2.) Tranfer spinach mixture to a colander. Press firmly with the back of a spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Divide spinach mixture and cheese between crustss. Place each crust on a seperate rimmed baking sheet.

3.) In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Divinding everly, pour egg mixture into crusts.

4.) Arrange baking sheets on racks and bake until center of each quiche is just set, 55 to 60 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom halfway through. Let quiches stand 15 minutes before serving (pr cool to room temperature, cover and refridgerate up to one day. Reheat at 350 until warm in the center, 30 to 40 minutes).

Note to self: Add ham to make a complete meal and serve with fresh spinach salad.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Huevos Rancheros

From Emeril Lagasse
(Jeni's adaptation)
Serves 4

1 T. veggie oil
1/2 of a large onion (or 1 small), chopped
1/2 of a red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (ribs and seeds removed)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup chopped tomatoes with their juices
1 cup chicken stock ( I used Rachael Ray)
Chopped cilantro, to taste (optional)
4 large corn tortillas
1/2 cup refried beans
8 large eggs
Shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Ranchero Sauce:
Heat oil in medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes. Add cumin, salt, cayenne, jalapeno, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and their juices and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add stock and simmer for 15 minutes to thicken the sauce, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

In a large skillet heat some veggie oil over medium heat. Add 1 tortilla and brown until slightly crispy, about 1 minute. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Fry eggs in bacon drippings over medium heat. Cook to desired doneness (I like over-medium). Sprinkle with MJ cheese.

To assemble, place one tortilla on each plate. Spread with refried beans. Place two eggs on refried beans. Top with Ranchero sauce and sprinkle with cilantro if desired. Served with sliced avocados.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

BLT Wraps

Zesty Garlic Herb "Wraps" tortillas
Thick slice bacon
Romaine lettuce
Ranch dressing (Hidden Valley Ranch from the packet with REAL mayo:)
Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded

Cook bacon, stuff wrap with all the fixin's

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Breakfast Smoothie (Jeni's Variation)

From Kristel Liddle

2 cups fresh spinach leaves (about two handfuls)
1 ripe banana
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/4 cup frozen raspberries
A few ice cubes
2 T. Splenda

Combine all ingredients in blender.

Salsa (Jeni's Variation)

From Lexi Majoue

7 cans (14.5 oz each) stewed tomatoes (I like Mexican Style if you can find it, but the regular is okay too)
1 can El Pato sauce (yellow can in Mexican aisle)
1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles
5 bunches of green onions
1 bunch cilantro
3 jalepeno peppers
course salt
fresh ground pepper
garlic powder

Chop onions, cilantro, and peppers (I used my food processor...for mild, remove all seeds and ribs from peppers, for medium include seeds and ribs from two peppers, for hot include all seeds and ribs)

Combine all ingredients. Use salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Run entire mixture through a blender until desired consistency.

Makes ONE GALLON of salsa. Give some away to friends. Or, eat it all up (trust me, this stuff goes FAST).

It tastes even better after it's been sitting in your fridge for a day or so:)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sugar Cookies

From Amy Norby (Dec 2008)

First, mix together:
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter

Then add:
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs

Mix together and then add to liquids:
7 cups flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
4 t. baking powder

Then add:
2 t. vanilla

Chill dough overnight. Roll out on floured surface and cut cookies. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 350 for 8-10 minutes (I baked for 10 minutes for my oven).

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pizza Dough

In a bread machine on the "dough" setting:

7/8 to 1 cup warm water
2 T. butter
2 T. sugar
1 t. salt
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 t. yeast

Monday, December 22, 2008

Creamy Fusilli with Yellow Squash and Bacon

From Everyday Food (September 2007, page 28)

Course salt/Ground pepper
8 ounces fusilli
4 slices of bacon, chopped
4 medium yellow squash (quartered and sliced)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Asiago cheese plus more for serving

Boil pasta until al dente in salted water

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cream Cheese Tarts

From Mom

2 Eight ounce packages cream cheese (softened)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
Nilla Wafers

Blend first four ingredients together. Place on top of nilla wafer in a cupcake paper.
Bake 350 for 12 minutes.
Top with cherry pie filling