Thursday, November 1, 2012

Crockpot Chili

This recipe gave me one of the most positive reactions from everyone.  I was so pleased and surprised with how much everyone really enjoyed it!  We didn't really have any Halloween plans, but I saw this recipe and thought it would be a simple enough meal and maybe we could watch a scary movie with friends, if they didn't have plans.  That ended up being our Halloween and it was really fun.  Everyone raved about this recipe, and I will definitely be making this often.  It's really flavorful & not spicy and simply delightful with cornbread.  A big hit!

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans
1/4 c. ketchup (or chili sauce)
1/4 c. water
1 packet chili seasoning mix
3 stalks celery, diced
2 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce (didn't have any, used soy sauce, didn't even noticed)
1 Tbl. sugar

1.  Brown ground beef with onion.  Season with salt and pepper.  I also added in minced garlic and minced, dried onion. 
2.  Add remaining ingredients to crockpot while beef is cooking.  Once beef is browned and the onion is tender, add to crockpot and mix ingredients together.
3.  Cook all day on low (or on high for 3-4 hours).  By the time we ate, it had cooked for about 11 hours on low and it was delicious.

Serve with cheese, sour cream, cornbread, whatever you love!

Sorry for no pictures--it went so quickly that I completely forgot!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bacon, Tomato & Caramelized Onion Quiche

I made this quiche for Zak's birthday and it was a hit.  Super yummy and just what he had envisioned.  I grew up having quiche for brunch on Christmas day, but never for dinner, like Zad had.  I had also never made quiche before, so I was a bit nervous but then I realized, I've made pie (even those cute mini chicken pot pies!) and other complicated dishes, I should be able to make this!  Anyways, huge success, going to make it again this week because: yum!!  

I basically looked at a few recipes and combined them, made it taste good and wrote down my notes.  So here is my recipe for bacon, tomato & caramelized onion quiche:

8 oz. (about 7 pieces) bacon, cut into small pieces
1 large white/yellow onion, sliced 
1 large tomato, diced
1 single recipe of pie crust (used frozen deep dish pie crust)
3 Tbl. light sour cream
4 eggs
3/4 c. half & half
dash tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 c. cheese (I used a cheddar blend, we aren't big on Swiss)
salt & pepper

1.  In a large pan on medium heat, heat up a few tablespoons of butter.  Add onions, season with salt & pepper and cook for about 10 minutes.  Turn heat down to low and continue to cook until translucent and soft.
2.  Bake crust for 10 minutes at 375 degrees, cool.
3.  Fry bacon pieces while baking crust and caramelizing onions.
4.  In a small bowl, mix sour cream with a pinch of salt & pepper.  Spread on the bottom of cooled crust.
5.  In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg.  Add half & half, tabasco, dry mustard and salt & pepper to taste.
6.  Add caramelized onions to pie crust, followed by bacon pieces, diced tomatoes and cheese.  Pour in egg mixture.
7.  Baking on cooking sheet for 40 - 45 minutes at 375 degrees


taken the next day, we scarfed down our pieces

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Reuben Sandwich

We had delicious Reuben sandwiches for lunch today.  I had never had one before, but oh man, it was SO good!  We are going to have them again for dinner this week and I can't wait!  Zak wanted coleslaw in his, but I went tradition and used sauerkraut, yum!  It wasn't too difficult to make, once we got the swing of things.

2 slices dark rye bread
1 or 1 1/2 pieces Swiss cheese
4 oz. (?) corned beef (use your judgement)
1-2 Tbl. sauerkraut/coleslaw
1-2 Tbl. thousand island dressing

1.  Heat slices of corned beef on medium-high heat, until slightly browned.
2.  Butter bread (like making a grilled cheese) and set both buttered-sides down on griddle with cheese slices on one half (on medium heat).
3.  Once cheese has started to melt, pile corned beef on.  If you want sauerkraut, warm up and place on top.  Or just put coleslaw on top of the meat.
4.  Add dressing and place bread on top of it.  Carefully brown and flip.

Zak's deli-style lunch


so delicious

Spinach Salad

I have been on a big spinach salad kick lately.  I have never been a big salad eater, but I adore this salad.  It might just be because there are other tasty things in it rather than raw vegetables, which aren't my favorite.  But I'm trying to eat better and this is one of the salads I take to work with me (sometimes I'll take a chicken Caesar salad).  And this salad, with dressing, is about 350 calories, which is great!  I have a food scale that I love, so I will list the gram/oz measurement as well as a normal measurement of each ingredient.

2 c. (38g) spinach
5-6 (1.45 oz.) cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 (30 g) dried cranberries/craisins
2 1/2 Tbl. (21 g) walnut pieces
2 Tbl. (21 g) crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp. sunflower seed kernels
2 Tbl. (28g) Annie's Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette

everything you need

all ready for work tomorrow!

Taco Salad

We have taco salad often because it's easy, really yummy and lasts us for a few days, which is always great. My family has a great thousand island dressing that I posted on the blog and it goes great with this taco salad!  This last time I made it, I used a homemade taco seasoning mix, which turned out really well, definitely a keeper.  Here is what we have for taco salad:

1 lb. lean ground beef, browned with salt & pepper (also with 1 chopped onion, if desired)
3 tsp. taco seasoning mix or 1 package mix
1 can kidney beans
1 can sliced olives
1-2 heads iceberg lettuce, washed & torn
4-5 tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 can corn
1-2 bags tortilla chips
grated cheese
sour cream
thousand island dressing

ingredients lined up & ready to go!


completed and before mixing up

Thousand Island Dressing

This recipe is a family favorite.  We use it for taco salad and it's sooo good.  It's quick to make and the ingredients are simple.  I use a quarter of the recipe for the two of us, which lasts for a few nights' worth of taco salads.

Here's the full recipe:

4 c. mayo
3/4 c. ketchup
2 Tbl. vinegar
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. sweet relish

Blend all ingredients, makes 6 cups.

My quartered recipe:

1 c. mayo
~1/4 c. ketchup
1/2 Tbl. vinger
2 Tbl. milk
1 Tbl. sugar
2 Tbl. sweet relish

all mixed up
Zak wanted to write on it...funny guy (we used an old ketchup bottle for this,  the quartered recipe fits pretty perfectly in it!)

Taco Seasoning

I have seen a lot of recipes out there for homemade taco seasoning.  I figure I might as well give it a shot.  Having Winco in town makes life so wonderful, because of the bulk spices.  I love it!  I used a few different recipes and came up with this.

1 Tbl. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Makes about 7 1/2 tsp.  Use about 3 tsp. for 1 lb. meat + 1/3 c. water, boil then simmer 5 min. for quick, delicious taco meat!

I plan on filling this up. I don't have a picture of it, but I wrote up the recipe and taped it to the jar!

Monday, August 20, 2012


The other day Zak asked if I'd make spaghetti & meatballs, which we haven't had in a long time.  I ended up using a Better Homes & Garden recipe for the meatballs, but changed it a little bit to what I thought would be good.  The meatballs turned out really yummy, I can't wait to have them again soon!

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic
1 egg
1/4 c. diced onion
3/4 c. normal breadcrumbs
sprinkles of parmesan cheese

1.  Dice onion.  Add to bowl with meat and spices.
2.  Beat egg, add with breadcrumbs.  Mix and add in cheese.
3.  Form into 1/2" (?) balls.  I got about 22 good sized meatballs from this recipe.
4.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

so delicious!

Chicken & Bacon Fried Rice

This is a variation of my mom's fried rice recipe.  We often had fried rice the day after we had rice with dinner.  I don't usually get fried rice at Chinese restaurants because it never seems to be as good as my mom's.  I'm a bit partial to it.  The other day I cooked a bunch of rice but ended up making something different for dinner, and the next day at work I thought about making fried rice all day.  So I came home and did it.  I decided to add chicken to make it more of a main dish than a side dish.  Zak helped me and we made a delicious, big batch of fried rice that lasted us a few days.

3 eggs, beaten with a little bit of milk, salt & pepper
4 c. rice (leftover is fine)
4 slices bacon
1 lb.+ chicken (used about 20 oz.), cut into bite-sized pieces and cooked (Zak seasoned with salt & pepper, butter, rice vinegar & a bit of soy sauce)
4-5 baby carrots or 1-2 medium carrots, grated
1/2 (?) c. frozen peas
2 (?) green onions
soy sauce
water chestnuts (optional, not my favorite)

1.  Dice bacon, cook and drain most of the grease.  Leave a little room so the rice can fry in the grease.
2.  Add rice to wok/pot and cook in small amount of remaining bacon grease.
3.  Add carrots, peas, chicken and green onions until mixture is warmed.
4.  Add scrambled egg, cook for a few minutes until everything is mixed together.
5.  With the soy sauce, draw a small circle over rice and mix to taste.


nom nom nom

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

Zak's grandparents mailed us a big box of cherries last week and we decided to try a new cherry vanilla ice cream.  The recipe we tried a year or two ago was ok, but froze very hard.  This new recipe was like the peach raspberry ice cream we made a few weeks ago--we basically used the base and then added cherries. My friend let us use her cherry pitter, which was awesome!  It is a great tool.  The ice cream was great, soft and creamy and perfect on a hot summer day.

1 c. milk
3/4 c. sugar + 1/8 c.
1 c. half & half
1/2 Tbl. vanilla
2 c. cream
2 c. pitted, quartered cherries
1 1/2 Tbl. vanilla

1.  Scald milk on stove until bubble form around the edges, remove from heat.
2.  Pour into a heat-proof bowl and stir in sugar and salt until it's all dissolved.
3.  Add in half & half, vanilla and heavy cream.
4.  Cover tightly, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5.  Freeze ice cream according to ice cream maker's directions.  Once it has churned for about 20 minutes (starting to stiffen up), add pitted, quartered cherries and continue mixing another 5 - 10 minutes.
6.  Freeze in freezer for a few hours.


Tater Tot Casserole

I didn't know tater tot casserole was a thing, but after this experiment, it might become a meal that we have every once in awhile, when we get that craving for a very yummy comfort food dish.  I used a bunch of different recipes and combined them to create this one.  I was only a little bit nervous about mostly winging it, but I took confidence in knowing what Zak and I both like and what would taste good and I'm proud to say that this was a big hit!  It was very easy to make and tasted great the next day, too!

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 c. onions, minced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 lb. tater tots (around 50)
2/3 c. frozen peas
2/3 c. frozen corn
1 1/2 c. cheese

1.  Brown meat with onions.  Add spices.
2.  Add in soups and veggies, cook until warmed through.
3.  Defrost tots in a shallow bowl in the microwave for 1 - 2 minutes.
4.  Layer a 9"x13" casserole dish with half of the soup mixture, half of the tater tots, 1/2 c. cheese; repeat.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
5.  Cook for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

before cooking

after baking
sure it may not look super pretty, but it hit the spot!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

I found this recipe and let's just say they are amazing.  I love cream cheese, Oreos and the combination of the two.  They were pretty easy to make, as long as you can restrain from eating the Oreos in the meantime. I made a double batch so I could send some to my family to try, so here is that recipe with my slight alterations.

1 c. (unsalted) butter, softened (I only had salted, worked fine)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (used low fat)
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 c. mini chocolate chips
2 c. Oreo cookie crumbs (about 16 cookies, had a little bit left over)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  I didn't have parchment paper, but used my air-bake cookie sheets or whatever and it worked just fine.
2.  Cream together butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and well-combined.
3.  Add in sugar and vanilla; mix until ingredients are well-combined.  Add the flour and mix on low until it is incorporated.
4.  Stir in the mini chocolate chips with a spatula (I just set the mixer to low and ran it a few times).
5.  Roll dough into 1/2 - 1 inch balls and roll in the cookie crumbs.
6.  Bake 12 - 15 minutes, or until tops are slightly puffy.
7.  Let cool on pan for about 2 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool.

This made about 4 dozen decently sized cookies.

little cookies, ready to be tossed with Oreo crumbs

about halfway through

fresh out of the oven


Skillet Cheesy Chicken Rice

We really liked this recipe and it was so easy and satisfying, definitely a comfort food type of meal.  It was so quick to throw together after a long day at work, which is always a good thing.

1/2 Tbl. oil
1 1/4 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can (10.75 oz.) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 c. uncooked regular long-grain white rice
12 oz. frozen bag mixed veggies (ours had corn, green beans, carrots & peas)
3/4 c. shredded cheese

1.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes, or until well browned on both sides.  Season with salt & pepper to taste, remove from skillet once completely cooked.
2.  Stir in soup, water, spices, rice into skillet and heat to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring once.
3.  Stir in vegetables and return chicken to skillet.  Sprinkle with cheese; cover and cook for 5 minutes or until cooked through and rice is tender.

Kalua Pork

Kalua pork is a traditional Hawaiian dish where the pig is cooked underground.  It's a common dish and is super tasty.  This recipe comes from my mother's aunt, who was born & raised in Hawaii.  It's very simple and tastes delicious.  I have only tried the crockpot method, but my mom will attest that both the oven and crockpot ways are great.  We had this with rice, mac salad, sweet rolls and an amazing fresh pineapple from Walmart (go figure).  My little sister is going to BYU-Hawaii in the fall and this was my excuse to celebrate that...or just to have a delicious tropical dinner in Idaho.

boneless pork shoulder/butt (I typically get about 3 lbs. for the 2 of us, we have leftovers for a few days)
1 - 2 Tbl. liquid smoke
coarse salt

1.  Place pork in crockpot.  Don't worry about cutting the fat off or anything.
2.  Using a ziplock bag, rub liquid smoke and salt on each side.
3.  Cook 6 - 7 hours in crockpot on HIGH OR wrap tightly in heavy duty foil and bake in 9 x 13" pan (whatever will fit it) at 350 degrees for 6 - 7 hours.  No peeking!
4.  Shred pork, discard fat and enjoy!

very tender pork


a delicious meal!

Peach Raspberry Vanilla Ice Cream

We have been itching to make homemade ice cream, but it hasn't been very "summer-y" around these parts until the last few days.  After much debate, we decided on a vanilla ice cream with peaches from Zak's grandparents and raspberry jam or syrup to swirl in.  We ended up using the basic vanilla ice cream recipe from our ice cream maker book and went from there.  The result was simply delicious.  We were too eager to try it after a few hours in the freezer that we completely forgot about the sugar cones we bought.  Anyways, this was supposedly a 2 quart recipe, but we separated it into two containers to fit into the freezer, so I don't know how much total it made.  But it was worth it!

1 c. milk
3/4 c. + 2 Tbl. sugar
pinch of salt
1 c. half & half
1/2 Tbl. vanilla
2 c. heavy whipping cream
2 c. pureed peaches (2 fresh peaches)
about 4 Tbl. seedless raspberry jam (didn't have any homemade stuff, but Smucker's worked just fine)

1.  Scald milk on stove until bubbles form around the edges, remove from heat.
2.  Pour into a heat-proof large bowl and stir in sugar and salt until it's all dissolved.
3.  Add in half & half, vanilla and heavy cream.
4.  Cover tightly, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5.  For the pureed peaches, Zak blended them with about a Tbl. of plain yogurt to smooth the texture out.  And then he heated up the jam in the microwave so we could pour it easily.
6.  Add peaches to refrigerated mixture and freeze according to ice cream maker's directions.
7.  We added the jam after about 20 minutes of mixing it, just on top and let it run for a few minutes.
8.  Freeze for at least 2 - 3 hours before tasting, it will be tempting though!

before freezing

it was a bit soft when we ate it, but it was so good (also check out the cute bowls Zak's parents got us, we love them)


Orange Teriyaki Chicken Kebabs

This was a fun recipe that we tried several weeks ago.  We had everything but the orange marmalade and I couldn't justify buying an entire container of marmalade that we don't even like for this recipe.  So I just added more orange juice and zest and whatever, it was fine.  Zak did an excellent job grilling these and it was a recipe that we will probably experiment with again in the future.

2 Tbl. olive oil
1 Tbl. fresh ginger, finely grated
1 Tbl. orange zest (I used a bit more)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c. rice vinegar
3 Tbl. soy sauce
2 Tbl. sugar
2 Tbl. orange marmalade
1 Tbl. freshly squeezed orange juice (probably used about 3 Tbl.)
1 Tbl. honey
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, trimmed & cut into 1 inch cubes

1.  Over medium heat, add olive oil to small sauce pan.  Add ginger, orange zest and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently for 1 - 2 minutes, or until fragant.
2.  Stir in the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, marmalade, orange juice, honey and red pepper.  Bring to a simmer and continue cooking for 3 - 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
3.  Make sure wooden skewers have soaked in cold water for about 20 minutes before threading chicken onto them.  Turn on grill.
4.  Thread chicken and grill, turning a quarter turn every few minutes.  Once they are mostly cooked, brush sauce on and cook until it caramelizes.  Zak used most of the sauce by the time they were done, so I guess just use your judgment and brush on sauce accordingly.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Creamy Eggs

This is our traditional Easter morning breakfast.  It is hard-boiled eggs in a thick cream sauce poured over toast.  We also have kielbasa on the side.  My dad even sings (he is not known for his singing), 'We're creamed eggs on toast! Mom & Dad were Easter Eggs!!' as he ladles up the creamy eggs for us.  It's a great tradition, and I was nervous when I made it for Zak the first time, but he was sold from the first bite.  I made this for breakfast this weekend, because my brother is visiting and we didn't get to make this for Easter, as we were visiting Zak's grandparents.  I was unsure of how many eggs to make, if I should halve the sauce recipe or what, but what I made turned out to be the right amount for the three of us to stuff ourselves with!  It was delicious and worth the wait!

6 hard-boiled eggs
1 cube + 1 Tbl. butter
6 Tbl. flour
3 c. milk
salt & pepper
7 pieces of toast

1.  Place eggs in a small saucepan, and add enough cold water to cover them.  Bring to a rolling boil, then remove from heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes.  Drain and add to cold water with ice cubes.
2.  Heat butter on medium heat in microwave until melted.
3.  Whisk in flour, cook on medium heat 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, until bubbling almost reaches the top of the bowl.
4.  Slowly add in milk.  Cook on medium heat for 3 minutes.  Stir, cook for 2 minutes.  Keep repeating until sauce has thickened.
5.  Peel and cut up eggs, and add to thickened sauce.  Sprinkle in salt & pepper and combine.  
6.  Serve over toast and enjoy!

enjoy with juice!

Crockpot Beef Stew

This recipe was pretty good, it smelled so good in the crockpot all day!  It was great with some thick slices of sourdough bread yum!

2 lb. stew beef
3 - 4 large potatoes, peeled & chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 c. flour
1/3 c. soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 large onion, sliced
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 c. beef broth

1.  Layer potatoes on the bottom of the crockpot.  Add carrots and stew meat.
2.  Sprinkle meat with salt, pepper, paprika, flour and soy sauce.
3.  Layer onions on top of meat.
4.  Combine tomato sauce and beef broth and pour over meat and vegetables.
5. Cook on low for 7 - 8 hours (or on high for 4 - 5).

so thick and hearty!


Winger's Sticky Fingers

Winger's is a pretty good restaurant in this region of the U.S. (Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Washington, etc.) and they have great sticky fingers.  The sauce is hot enough, but sweet enough and very addicting.  I saw this copycat recipe and knew I had to try it.  It tasted just like Winger's, and was much cheaper to make (duh).  We had a lot of leftover sauce, but it was good to dip the freezer fries in.  Zak had the best idea for coating the chicken tenders: he suggested that I put the chicken in a strainer with a bowl underneath to catch the excess sauce.  It worked really well.  This was a really easy, fun dinner and I'm sure we'll have it again!

1 package breaded chicken tenders
6 Tbl. Frank's hot sauce (it's important to use the Frank's brand, from what I've heard)
4 Tbl. water
1 1/2 c. brown sugar

1.  Prepare chicken according to the package directions.
2.  Combine remaining ingredients in a small saucepan on the stove, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
3.  Place cooked chicken in strainer, with a large bowl underneath.  Pour the sauce on the chicken and toss.
4.  Repeat with the sauce that drained a few times and enjoy with ranch dressing!

with flash

without flash, so good!

Lighter General Tso's Chicken

As you may have figured out, we love Chinese food.  And when I saw a recipe for not only General Tso's Chicken (a favorite of Zak's), but a healthier recipe from Martha Stewart, I knew I had to try it.  It was awesome!  The chicken was perfect, and although it was pretty spicy (but not as much the next day), it had such great flavor.  I loved how the chicken came out with the egg white and cornstarch batter, it was just great. Definitely a favorite and an addition to our meal menu.

1/4 c. cornstarch, divided (1 Tbl., 3 Tbl.)
1 lb. snow peas, trimmed (I used 1 lb. frozen sugar snap peas and trimmed them)
4 - 5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
3 Tbl. brown sugar
2 Tbl. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (1/4 if you aren't a fan of spicy)
2 large egg whites
1 lb. chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 - 2 Tbl. oil

1.  In large bowl, stir together 1 Tbl. cornstarch and 1/2 c. cold water until smooth.  Add snow (or sugar snap) peas, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce and red pepper flakes.  Toss to combine and set aside.
2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites with remaining 3 Tbl. cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Add chicken and toss to coat.
3.  Heat oil over medium-high heat.  Shake off excess mixture from chicken and cook until golden, 6 - 8 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.
4.  Add snow pea mixture to skillet, cover and cook until tender and sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.
5.  Return chicken to skillet and toss to coat.

I got about 5 servings from this

the chicken turned out so perfectly

so yummy!

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pork

I love sweet & sour pork and this recipe did not disappoint.  It was simple and tasty.  And pretty easy to throw together!

1 1/2 - 2 lb. pork loin or shoulder, trimmed & cut into 1-inch cube
1 Tbl. oil
2 (8 oz. each) cans crushed pineapple in juice
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. brown sugar
2 Tbl. ketchup
1 Tbl. quick-cooking tapioca
3 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1.  In skillet, brown pork cubes on both sides in oil; drain off fat and place in crockpot.
2.  In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients and pour over pork.
3.  Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours, or on high from 4 -5 hours.

I'm sorry, this was the only picture I managed to get

Slow-Cooker Beef Gyros

This was a pretty good recipe.  And a bit different from our usual meals.  I was a bit nervous about this, because the meat hadn't thawed completely before I put it in the crock pot, and I didn't want to overcook it, but it turned out pretty darn perfect.  Zak was great and made the cucumber yogurt sauce and chopped the onions and tomatoes.  It was all ready when I came home for work and pretty tasty!  We have lots of leftovers!

2 lb. boneless chuck steak
1/4 c. olive oil
2 Tbl. lemon juice
1 Tbl. minced garlic
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Dill Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
1 c. plain Greek yogurt
1 c. diced seedless cucumber
1 Tbl. dill
1/4 tsp. salt

Pita bread
toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, red onions

1.  Place beef in crock pot.
2.  Mix rest of 'meat' ingredients in a small bowl and pour over beef, turning to coat.
3.  Cover and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours (until meat is tender, it was practically falling apart!)
4.  Mix sauce ingredients together, spread on pita bread.
5.  Top pitas with meat and toppings.

meat about to be cut up

cucumber sauce


Monday, April 9, 2012

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough

We love making homemade pizza; we used to make it almost every week when we were engaged/dating/in Rexburg.  We don't make it as often now, but it's always fun.  We have almost always used Zak's mom's recipe (they have a Pizza Friday tradition since forever), which is awesome and we love.  But I saw this recipe online and thought I'd like to give it a try.  The gal talked about how the crust was chewier, thinner and like restaurant pizza, and the only major difference was using bread flour vs. regular flour.  Zak was in charge of the dough and when I came home for work, we made two pizzas: one just cheese, and one with pineapple, tomatoes and basil.  It was delicious.  I really liked this recipe, the crust was awesome!  Zak liked it too, but he naturally loves his mom's recipe.  So I think we'll use this one from time to time, depending on our stock of bread or regular flour.  

1 c. warm water
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbl. honey (or sugar)
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbl. olive or canola oil
3 c. bread flour

6 oz. tomato sauce
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic
1/2 tsp. minced onion

~4 c. cheese

1.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together yeast and honey (or sugar) into warm water.  Let sit for 5 - 10 minutes or until bubbles form and mixture starts to foam.
2.  Pour in salt, oil and half the flour and mix on low.
3.  Once that flour is incorporated, start adding rest of flour slowly until dough is slightly tacky, but doesn't stick to hands when you touch it.
4.  Turn the mixer to medium - high to high speed, set a timer for 6 minutes and walk away.
5.  Lightly grease bowl and dough, cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 - 2 hours.
6.  Once dough has doubled in size, punch down, separate into two pieces and roll into circle.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
7.  Mix sauce ingredients, adding other spices to taste.
8.  Add sauce, cheese and toppings to pizza.
9.  Cook pizza about 8 - 10 minutes, until crust has turned a beautiful golden brown color.

at first, I was skeptic of pineapple w/basil & tomatoes, but it was so yummy!

beautiful and delicious