Monday, December 29, 2008

Oreo Truffles

Well, ya'll already know how to make these, but I'll put them up anyways.

I had a really good sunday school teacher when I was 17 and she brought us oreo truffles one week, because we were such a great class. Then I planned a laurels activity for us to go to her house and learn how to make them. They are so easy, but sooooo good....but sooo bad for you.

Then I made them when we went to Denver for Thanksgiving one year, and Aunt Paulene decided to learn how to make them and sell them in her candy business.

Now I have to make them every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have pictures of Jesse shoving them in his mouth, and Sammy would get frustrated because after he had them, he thought thats what was in the the little white eggs in the carton and got really mad when amy would boil an egg and there wasn't a chocolaty oreo filling inside.

You need:
One package of Oreos
One package of Cream Cheese, softened
Almond Bark or White chocolate- if you're really good with it, one package is enough
Chocolate Chips

A food processor makes this whole process much, much easier. The oreos need to be crushed really finely. Then you mix in the cream cheese. Then you make 1 inch round balls, or as big as you want the truffle. They are pretty rich, so not too big. I usually fill up two cookies sheets. Then you chill them for a couple minutes so they don't fall apart. Roll them in the melted almond bark, if you're really good, you can make them look pretty too. Then after they chill again, you heat up the chocolate chips, put them it in a plastic zip-lock, cut the little corner and swirl chocolate over the top.

There ya go. They are easy, but they do take some time and almond bark can be awfully frustrating sometimes.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fudgey Oatmeal Bars

These are really easy and one of my favorites from my in-laws.


2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups of instant oats

Press half of the mixture into 13 x 9 pan.

12 oz chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

After melted, spread on the mixture in 13 x 9.
Put the other half of the oatmeal mixture on top of the chocolate spread.

Bake on 350 for 27 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


That's right, suddenly I can make tamales. Here's the story first.

My co-worker was laid off, and I am stuck running the classroom by myself. We had planned to make tamales for a parent participation day, and I was scrambling to put together the project. I found a recipe online, I asked my boss to pick up the ingredients, and she told me that she already knew how to make them, so she would pick up the ingredients and show me. Then she brought me the ingredients for her tamales (different ingredients than for the recipe I found) and told me that she wished she could come to our fun activity, but she was at a conference for the rest of the week. Thanks alot. So I frantically searched online for a recipe that seemed to use her ingredients, but to no avail. The morning of the Tamale Day came, and I drove to work in a snowstorm, still wondering how to face the great tamale dilemma.

Here are the ingredients I had:
Corn Oil
Chicken Broth
One whole Chicken (plucked, not cut or de-boned. Emma HELP!!!!)
Corn Shucks
Chili powder
Can of fajita sauce
assorted spices from the kitchen

Here is what I did:
Boiled the chicken in a pot of Fajita sauce and water.
Made the class of four-year olds wash their hands and "pull the yummy bits of chicken off and put them in the blue bowl. Put the yucky pieces in the Black bowl."
Voila. One shredded chicken. And 16 traumatized children.
Save the fajita sauce/boiled chicken juice. Pour it into the bowl of masa.
add some spices, some shortening, some corn oil, and some chicken broth, until it is about the consistency of cookie dough. All things can be likened unto cookie dough.
Soak the corn shucks in water this entire time (about 2 hours), and hand corn shucks out to the kids. Let them smear the masa dough onto the top half of the corn shuck, stick a handful of traumatically shredded chicken in the middle with an olive.
Fold it like a tamale.
Put it in a pan with a steamer in the bottom.
Once the pan is all full, fill the bottom of it with the rest of the broth and some water.
Steam them until they are done. We made about 30, and it took an hour to steam them. One parent said that 5 take abot 20 minutes. If they are taking a long time, you have to make sure that the pan doesn't steam itself dry. Just keep adding water/broth.

Here's the kicker people. They were a hit. The kids LOVED making them (talk about a sensory experience) and they were really good. I ate two. They were tasty. Parents took them home for dinner.

All I'm sayin is, if you ever need a fun (messy) FHE activity, this is it. You can simplify it in obvious places. No need to force your children to de-bone a chicken, just buy boneless skinless chicken. Or ground beef, or pork. Whatever meat works. I probably won't make them on my own, not without small children to enslave. Plus, it makes a lot of food.

Candy Cane Cake

This is actually really easy. But it's a hit every time I do it, so keep it in the back of your mind for the next Christmas party...

Chocolate Cake Mix (and all the stuff to make it)
Chocolate Frosting
Box of Standard red-striped peppermint candy canes

Smoosh the entire box of candy canes into crumbly pieces. Small enough to sprinkle, big enough to see some red and white.

Mix up a chocolate cake, pour into two round pans. Sprinkle a handful of candy cane pieces into each half.

Do the usual stuff for a two layer cake, but on top of the frosting layer in the middle, add some more candy cane (I use a fould sifter, to make sure that thi layer gets just the powder stuff.

After frosting the entire thing, sprinkle the remaining candy cane pieces on top. See how pretty!

I just made one this weekend, but yesterday I had requests for two more. I don't tell people how easy it is. If they can't figure it out, they don't deserve to know.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hey Aaron-

Emma needs an invite to be an author on this blog.

Candy Cane popcorn

I just found this recipe, and it is SO good.

28 cups of popped popcorn
1 lb white chocolate almond bark
1 1/2 cups crushed candy canes
Chocolate chips

Melt the almond bark. Toss the popcorn with the almond bark until evenly coated. Mix in the candy canes. Spread it out on wax paper to harden. Melt the chocolate chips and drizzle over the popcorn. Allow it all to harden. Break it into pieces. Yum!

I did this with a chocolate fountain, and skipped the chocolate chips.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sausage Dip Stuff

Since neither Aaron or Stefany have had a chance to post this, I thought I'd step up. But the credit goes to Stefany's family, I believe.

1 tube of ground sausage
8 oz cream cheese
1 can rotel (drained)

Fry the sausage. In crockpot (or this can be done on the stove if you watch it carefully) combine sausage, cream cheese and rotel. Let it get all melty and stir it. Serve with corn chips.

This is Matt's favorite for tail gaiting. Or at least our version, where we sit on our couch at home and watch the game, rather than paying 20+ dollars for bad seats at a BYU game.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lemon Twist Bread

3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 pkg yeast
4 1/2 cup sifted flour
juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
Glaze (directions below)
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup warm water
2 eggs, beaten

In small saucepan, scald milk. Stir in butter, sugar, and salt. (If you use powdered milk, you can skip this and just warm the ingredients in the microwave.) Cool to lukewarm. In small bowl, sprinkle yeats into warm water. Stir until yeast is dissolved. In large bowl, place foud. Add milk mixture, dissolved yeat, eggs, and lemon juice and rind. Mix well. On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth. Place in a large, greased bowl. Cover with wax paper and clean towel. Let rise until doubled. Then, punch dough down. Shape as desired. Let rise until half double in size. Bake 10 mins at 325 and then 30-35 mins at 359.

Glaze: 2 cups powdered sugar, juice and rind of 1 lemon. Pour over bread while still warm.

Salt Water Taffy

2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Oil of peppermint
7 drops green food coloring

Combine sugar, syrup, salt and 1 1/2 cups water in 2 quart saucepan. Cook slowly, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Cook to hard ball stage (260) without stirring. Remove from heat; stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into buttered pan. Cool until comfortable to handle. Butter hands. Gather taffy into a ball and pull. When candy is light in color and gets hard to pull, cut into fourths. Pull each piece into long strands, about 1/2 inch thick. With buttered scissors, quickly snip into bite-sized pieces. Wrap each piece in waxed paper.


2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla

In 2 quart saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 cup of water. Cook to hard ball stage (260 degrees), stirring only till sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Gradually pour syrup over egg whites, beating at high speed on electric mixer. Add vanilla and beat until candy holds its shape, 4 to 5 mins. Quickly drop form a teaspoon onto waxed paper. Makes about 40 pieces.

Five Minute Fudge

(you can double this recipe)

2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Bring to full boil, stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini marshmellows or 16 large marshmellows
1 tsp vanilla

Stir until marshmellos are melted and blended into the candy. Pour into a buttered 9x9 pan.

Note:  evaporated milk comes in a 12oz can, which equals exactly 1-1/3 cups, a doubling of the recipe.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oreo Truffles

1 pkg Oreos (not Hydrox cookies either, eww nasty gross).
1 pkg cream cheese
white dipping chocolate
chocolate chips

Put the oreos in the food processor and grind to dust. Squish in the cream cheese until it feels like sugar cookie dough. Roll into bite size balls and freeze. Melt the white chocolate and dip the frozen oreo balls in the white chocolate. Melt the chocolate chips and put in a decorating bag with a straight tip and drizzle a fancy pattern. Freeze. Then eat a lot of them, until you're sick. Thats the best way.


Friday, November 7, 2008

another request...

It's snowy in my yard and I think that means I need Emma's oreo truffle recipe. And mom's fudge. and divinity. And Stefany's sausage crock pot dip, and lemon bread, the list goes on. and I should post the recipe for the bouche as well, which I will do soon. But I'm just sayin', since our holiday traditions tend to revolve around food...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Spaghetti Pie

There's not a whole lot to this recipe- really its just a different way to serve spaghetti.

Angel hair noodles
1 egg
1/4-1/2 cup parmesan cheese
your favorite spaghetti sauce
cheese of some variety

Boil and drain the noodles. In a bowl, mix the noodles, parmesan cheese and the egg. Put this into a pie pan. Add your favorite sauce on top. Cover with cheese. Bake on 375 until the cheese is melty and golden brown. Cut like you would a pie and serve.

This is one of Grandpa's favorites- I probably bring it a few times a month. Every time we eat spaghetti, we laugh about the fact that the person who invented spaghetti is probably laughing at our attempts to eat it politely. We talk about how difficult it is to eat- I share the story of a guy I knew who would invite girls over for dinner and make spaghetti for them and laugh at them as they tried to eat it and impress him. He's a winner. Grandpa comments on this guy's lack of social skills and then usually tells me about his sister who married a Nielsen from Arizona- no relation by the way.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Layered Enchillada Bake

From This one is good. Obviously, you don't have to follow their name-brand suggestions.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained, rinsed
1/4 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
2 Tbsp. TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Taco Seasoning Mix
6 flour tortillas (8 inch)
1 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Mexican Style Shredded Four Cheese
Make It
PREHEAT oven to 400ºF. Brown meat with onions in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain. Add salsa, beans, dressing and seasoning mix; mix well.
ARRANGE 3 of the tortillas in single layer on bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish; cover with layers of half each of the meat mixture, sour cream and cheese. Repeat all layers. Cover with foil.
BAKE, covered, 30 min. Remove foil. Bake an additional 10 min. or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 min. before cutting to serve.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Slow Cooker Hash Brown Casserole

This is one I found online at Its pretty good. I added meat (cubed ham), and it was yummy.

30 to 32 ounces frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
1 cup chopped onion, optional
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed nacho cheese soup, undiluted
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
8 ounces light sour cream
6 tablespoons melted butter

Preparation:Spray the crockery insert with nonstick cooking spray or lightly grease the inside surface. Combine the thawed hash browns, onion, soups, sour cream, and melted butter. Pack into the slow cooker insert. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours.Serves 6.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pineapple Porkchops

Okay, here goes.

1 can Campbell's golden mushroom soup
1 can pineapple chunks (with juice)
4 porkchops (or pieces of pork of some sort)
chopped green peppers
soy sauce
4 servings of cooked rice

So you brown the pork in a frying pan with a little bit of oil and soy sauce. Brown each side and then add the soup, pineapple and peppers. Simmer until the pork is cooked all the way through. Add soy sauce to taste. Serve over rice.

Most Fantastic and sort-of low-fat Pumpkin Cookies

These were a huge success the other night at Grandpa Pratt's house. They went really fast and got all sorts of compliments, which makes me feel a little bad since they are the easiest thing on the planet. I got the recipe from my friend Ginger, and I have to give her the credit.

1 can of pumpkin pie filling (the big can, from Libby's is what I prefer, but make sure it is pie filling, not just the canned pumpkin)
1 Spice cake mix (whichever brand you like, although Duncan Hines is the kind with no milk product in it.)
1 egg
1 package chocolate chips

Mix it all up, and it should be pretty sticky, more like muffin batter than your average cookie dough. If you feel like it is too wet, add a little flour (half a cup?).

Scoop them onto a cookie sheet with a BIG scoop. I like a real ice cream scoop size thing. Bake for 16 minutes at 350.

It is particularly reccommended that you bake these when you want your house to smell yummy. Yummy is the only word for it. Yummy.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Baked Chimichangas

This is one of my all time favorite meals! It is from Taste of Home magazine. I like to serve it with spanish rice, refried beans, and a strawberry milkshake. Not that I always serve it that way but when I do, it makes us feel like we are eating in a restaurant. And all the kid love it!

2 1/2 cups shredded chicken breast
1 cup salsa
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
6 large tortillas or 12 small tortillas
shredded cheese
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free half and half cream
1 can (4ounces) chopped green chilies

Simmer first 5 ingredients in a nonstick skillet until heated though and most of the liquid evaporates. Place chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla, top with shredded cheese. Fold into classic chimichanga shape, place seam side down in a 13x9 glass pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes at 425. (My oven takes longer). You will know they are down when they are slightly browned and the tortilla is crispy.

Now for the sauce (which is the best part!). Heat broth, bouillon and pepper until bouillon is dissolved. Combine flour and cream until smooth; stir into the broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in chilies; heat through. To serve, cut chimichangas in half: spoon sauce over top.

Roasted Lemon Potatoes

This something I created to go with the garlic lime chicken. They complement the chicken nicely. I don't have exact measurements, it depends on the crowd. It is one that is easy to make for any size.

chopped medium red potatoes (scrubbed clean, peels on)
olive oil/melted butter
lemon juice
snipped fresh parsley
salt and pepper

Mix above ingredients together. Put it in one layer on a cookie sheet. Turn potatoes 1 during baking. Bake until tender. (I do it at the same time I am baking the chicken, so I am not sure what normal temperature or time woule be, but y'all are smart enought to cook potatoes so I'm sure you'll figure it out)

Garlic Lime Chicken

This has become a fovorite at the Nelson house. I often times but the chicken when it is clearanced out. I then put the marinade in a ziploc bag with the chicken and stick it in the freezer. When we want a nice meal, I pull it out the night before and let it marinade and thaw in the refrigerator.

1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tsps minced garlic
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried coriander
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
bone-in chicken (I like to use chicken breasts when on sale)
1/4 cub olive oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate over night or at least 8 hours.
Discard marinade. In skillet brown chicken on all sides in oil. Transfer to greased baking pan. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes and juices run clear. (I am actually unsure on baking time for a normal oven - mine is a little kooky)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Umm, so the story behind this should be self-explanatory, but in case you don't know some of the details, here you go. I learned the recipe in France, it is true, from real French people too! But I was terribe at it, and then one day a mission companion showed me a few tricks for making them succeed. She was from Sweden. I have been told that some of my tricks are cheating, but I have never had any complaints as to flavor or results, so I'll take the cheating! This makes a great conference breakfast!!!! It was one of the first requests my friends made when I got back, please can we have crepes for conference breakfast. I am only too happy to oblige. And they were a success again, so I haven't lost my touch!

Start with 1 cup flour and 1 cup water.
mix them with a whisk until they are smooth. Very smooth. Like glue, not bread dough. If you have to adjust the water or flour to do it go ahead, but I would start with less water and add the water instead of attempting to add flour, which goes lumpy.
Add 4 eggs
whisk some more, until well incorporated, even and smooth again
(Her ecomes the cheating part...)
Add a Spoonful of Sugar and two Tablespoons of vegetable oil
Whisk some more. The sugar does two things, it helps the flour to loosen up a bit and sweetens the batter a tiny bit. The oil makes it easier to turn the crepes.
Pour in Milk until the batter is crepe consistensy. Thinner than pancake or cake batter, Thicker than whole milk or orange juice.

The real key to making crepes is the way you use your pan. Have a good frying pan and a wodden or bamboo spoon/flat utensil. Lightly oil the pan, then heat it up until you can flick water on it and t sizzles. (I love that part, SSSSSSSS!)
Pour about a half cup of the batter into the pan, while rotating the pan with your wrist, so that it coats the bottom in a circle as you pour. Continue rotating it after you have poured all the batter in, so that it coats the bottom of the pan evenly. It will stop coating as it cooks. The crepe will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan when it is ready to be flipped. Use the wooden spoon to loosen the bottom a little, but it really should slide around easily once it is cooked. It only takes less than a minute, and it should be lacy brown when you turn it.

Here is the French part: Put the filling in now, while the second side is still cooking! fill it with ham and cheese and pineapple (my favorite), a chopped up candy bar (so it gets all melty), fresh fruit, or whatever. You have to throw that filling in while it is still cooking so that the filling gets warmed up just perfectly! You can top it with whipped cream later. (well, not the ham one. yuck)

My Menu

So Jessica and I sat down today (well I suppose she was sitting, I don't really know. I was sprawled on the couch and in a different state) and wrote our menu through the end of the month. I thought I'd post it here in case anyone was looking for ideas. If there's something that intrigues you, let me know and I'll post the recipe.

Okay, meal plan through the end of the month...

This week:
Tonight: Hawaiian Haystacks
9th Thursday: French Dip and mixed veggies
10th Friday: Grilled Cheese and Soup
11th Saturday: Spaghetti, garlic bread and green beans

12th Sunday: Ham, mubba tatoes, green beans
13th Monday: Leftovers/brocolli potato ham soup, butt rolls
14th Tuesday: Grilled cheese and more soup
15th Wednesday: Chicken Alfredo pizza
16th Thursday: Steak, baked potatos, mixed veggies
17th Friday: Date night, we're going out, Brody will probably get a hot dog.
18th Saturday: Hamburgers

19th Sunday: Chicken Dumplings
20th Monday: Tacos
21st Tuesday: French Toast
22nd Wednesday: Pizza (Enrichment night for me)
23rd Thursday: Chicken Divan
24th Friday: Spaghetti, garlic bread, mixed veggies
25th Saturday: Bubbles and Squeak

26th Sunday: Cheesy corn chowder
27th Monday: Enchillizzles
28th Tuesday: Pizza (Matt has a show)
29th Wednesday: BBQ chicken, green beans and mubba tatoes
30th Thursday: Italian Chicken and rice
31st Friday: Beef Stroganoff and green beans

Cheesy Corn Chowder

This is a favorite from my in-law's.

1 lb bacon
6-8 potatoes
2 cans creamed corn
1 can evaoprated milk
salt and pepper
cheddar cheese

This is all done in one pot. Fry bacon. Remove bacon and then saute the onion in bacon drippings. Add water, potatoes and carrots and cook until tender. Drain off water, if necessary. Add creamed corn and evaporated milk. Simmer until heated through. Top with cheese and crumbled bacon.

You can use ham. Just saute the onion in butter instead of bacon grease.

Italian Chicken over rice

I guess I'm revealing my total lack of cooking abilities on this blog. But, here goes another one that takes no talent whatsoever.

At lunch: Dump some chicken in the crockpot and pour Italian dressing over it. If you want, cube up some cream cheese to make it a creamier sauce. Turn crockpot on. If you put in cream cheese, stir it occasionally.

20 mins before meal: Dump rice in rice maker, add appropriate amount of water. Turn rice maker on.

10 mins before meal: Shred chicken and stir it all up. That goes over the rice. Heat up some sort of frozen veggie to serve on the side. (That's so I'm a good mom.)


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mubba Tatoes

This has been requested by others in the past, and I've never wanted to share it. But since you guys are family, I guess you can have it.

Peel and cube enough potatoes to feed however many people you're trying to feed.

Boil them with a clove of garlic.

Put 1 stick of butter and 1 package of cream cheese in the bottom of the serving or mashing bowl.

Drain the potatoes and dump them in the above bowl.


Add a bunch of dollops of sour cream when the potatoes have reached your desired consistency.

The first thanksgiving that we were married, the mashed potatoes became a huge source of contention. Matt told his grandmother that he wanted me to make them, and his sister and brother-in-law both agreed. I'm sure you can fill in the rest...

Chicken and Dumplings

We NEED this one on here:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5-6 medium potatoes
a few carrots
Chicken bullion

Cube and cook breasts. Add water, bullion, and cubed potatoes. Boil until they are tender. (Not mashed potato tender, more firm than that). Add carrots, and boil a little longer. Follow the instructions on the bisquick box to add dumplings. (2 cups bisquick, 2/3 cup milk, mix and dropped into boiling soup.)

You can easily make the soup the night before or earlier in the day.

Mexican Casserole

I tried this at an Enrichment meeting, but never have made it. I really liked it. You could probably add some corn to it, as well.

1 1/2 cup cracked wheat or pearled barley (if the latter, reduce water by half)
2 tsp. salt
6 c. water

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped, or 1/2 c. dry onions (throw the dry ones it in the above water)

2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. sliced black olives
8 oz. can tomatoes (do not drain)
3/4 tsp. garlic powder or 1 clove fresh, chopped garlic

1/4 c. water
1/4 c. ketchup

Bring wheat, salt and water to a boil and simmer for 1 hour (barley option - 25 minutes).
Brown beef and onions
Add meat mixture to the cooked wheat, then add worcestershire sauce, olives, tomatoes and garlic.
Place mixture in a 9x13 pan.
Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.
During last 15 min., mix water and ketchup and drizzle over casserole.

Cooking Wheat

A previous Enrichment meeting can be thanked for this one.

There are several ways to cook wheat. Here are three:

1. In a pan, bring one part wheat and two parts water, with 1/2 tsp. salt, to a boil; cover, remove from heat. Let stand overnight (at least 10 hours).

2. Put one part wheat and two parts water in a pan with 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently for 4 to 6 hours or until tender.

3. Combine one part wheat and two parts water with 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt in a crock-pot or slow cooker. Cover and cook 4 to 6 hours.

Cooked wheat can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

I really hate cooked wheat as breakfast cereal, but Aaron likes it. I think that's because he grew up with it a little, wheras I never tried it until last year. I will eat it as part of a casserole or something.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Perhaps you remember this one?
Mix up pudding or open a can from Sam's club.
Eat it with your fingers and make an obnoxious slurping sound.
Enjoy giggling insanely in the process.

It works best with chocolate pudding, but I suppose other kinds work too.

Crockpot Chili

For MJ- this is a good one that uses mostly pantry items and is super easy.

Throw the following into your crockpot:

1 lb ground hamburger, cooked with onions
a few cans of tomato sauce (depends on how soupy you want it)
a few cans of diced tomatoes
a few cans of kidney beans, drained
a can of corn, drained (optional)
diced green peppers

Season with chili powder.

I suppose if you know how to do the whole soak beans stuff, you could use dried beans, which would make this even more food storage-esh. You can make it without the meat, but that is quickly rejected at our house. I use frozen green peppers. When I have green peppers that I won't use before they go bad, I just dice them up and put them in a ziploc bag and throw it in the freezer.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Citrus Cranberry Relish

Melissa requested this recipe. Although I do not have any exact measurements for it, I 'll try to post how I do it. It's based of a description Mom had of Grandma Earl's but I have tweaked it over the years. However it is similar to the one on the back of the ocean spray cranberry bag.

Citrus Cranberry Relish
(Jeff calls it relish as to destinguish it from a normal sauce or the stuff from a can.)

1 bag of fresh cranberries (I sometimes buy them ahead and freeze the bag that works too!)
1 cup of sugar
1 apple
a couple clementines, or tangerines, or oranges or a mix (all depends on the budget at the time)
a splash of apple juice, and a splash of orange juice to taste

I rinse the cranberries and toss any that seem to squishy. I core, peel, and slice the apple. I peel whichever citrus fruit I am using and have it in segments. I blend the cranberries in a blender because I don't own a food processor. I am sure a food processor would do the job better. I add some sugar (not all at first) some apples and some orange. I add some water as needed but not much. I continue to use a little of each of the items listed above until I get the balanced taste just right. I usually use more citrus then apple, but more apple juice then orange juice. I usually end up using all the sugar and I always use all the cranberries. Remember it gets redder as the sugar is in with the cranberries, and it always tastes better after it sits for one day, so prepare it 1-2 days ahead of time. Also it gets sweeter with time so you can always add more sugar the morning of Thanksgiving.

Good luck. Sorry it can't be more exact but the measurements really depend on how sweet each item of fruit is, and that varies by the season, year, and location in the country.

Help me out please.

They finally took me out of music and called me to the Enrichment Committee. We had planned a small one where we would talk about food storage and we would swap easy recipes. I was going to demonstrate how to make homemade hot chocolate. Well, I got an email from the RS President today. She wants us to also include emergency preparedness, freezer meals and rotating food storage as well as how to cook with your food storage. So as it turns out, the Enrichment that I was planning for the end of the month is being taken from a small Enrichment to a full blown huge one.

Please please pass along your freezer or crock pot meals. And what you do with your food storage. Being in an apartment that is way too small for our needs, my food storage consists of fruit snacks, forumla and M and Ms. (Black market bargaining in an emergency.) I need to have a substantial recipe book compiled and done up all Relief Society-like before the 22nd. And I don't think the RSP will find it amusing if I teach all of the women that they should just can M and Ms as their emergency plan...

Happy Peach Season!

This is courtesy of my mother-in-law. Its really quite wonderful.

Peach Pie
2 c. flour
1 c. butter or margarine
1/2 c. powdered sugar
Mix and bake at 325 for 20 minutes

1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt
Mix together
1 c. water 1/2 lemon juice
Pour water and lemon over above mixture and cook until thick. Add 1/2 c. sugar and yellow food coloring. Cook 1 minutes. Pour over peaches and into prepared crust.
Great use of peaches that are on their way out. Mmmm....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tom's not-so-recipe for Raspberry Lemon Meringue Pie

This is a creation made by Tom for last Thanksgiving. It has been done once, and only once, and without a recipe or writing things done. So, its more of a method than a recipe.

The filling: He cooked down fresh raspberries, adding a little sugar. Then, he smashed them (or, as Jesse would say- smooshed them.) Mix in a can of lemon pie filling and heat that all up. Throw it in a crust, and top with meringue and bake. That's all I got for you all.

He uses the meringue recipe in the classic red and white cookbook. Bake according to the directions of whatever meringue you use.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

a request?

can I post a request that Jessica put Tom's Raspberry Lemon Merengue on here? I kind of am craving the pie, and maybe reading through the ingredients will help.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Chocolate chip cookie dough (and variations)

2 sticks butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2 1/4 cup flour (plus probably another 1/4 cup)
2 cups chocolate chips

You know the drill.
But if you are guaranteed to serve them hot, then decerase the white sugar to 1/2 cup and increase the brown sugar to a full cup. the extra molasses in the brown sugar will make the cookies harder when cool, but whne warm, it gives the cookie an extra carmel kick.

And if you would like an amazing frosting for your brownies, then substitute the egg for 2 tsp milk, and leave out the baking soda. Throw a few m&ms on top. I call it "half baked Brownies."

For a "mookie" variation, add 1/2 cup peanut butter and 2 cups oatmeal, an extra tsp soda and some milk to make it muffin consistency. Spoon into muffin tins and bake. There will be a sort of a hole down the middle when they are done, fill it with chocolate frosting. We call them "mookie's" because they are a combination of muffins and cookies. Amy loves them. We made them out in Provo quite a bit, during my "perfecting cookie dough" years.

Cookie dough is one of the great comforts in my life. Whenever a day goes badly, I try to spend part of the evening doing something I kow I am good at. This is where cookie dough comes into play. I know I can ace cookie dough. It is the best kind of therapy, after you've messed up everything else, to remind yourself of something you can do right. I reccommend that everyone make a list of a few things they can do right, to fall back on when everything else you try fails. Honestly, I don't even have to eat the batch to feel better. Just make it and taste it in order to know that I am not a total failure. It helps, though, if you can share it with someone who comes to the same conclusion.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chicken Alfredo

Alright, here we go:

Chicken Alfredo

clove of garlic
1 chicken breast
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 margarine
1/4 half n half
parmesan cheese
whatever vegetables you like...I use a normandy blend (steam them)
whatever pasta you have on hand (cook before serving...ha...ha...ha)

sautee the garlic for just a minute or two. add the chicken breast. cook it. chunk it as you cook it. when its all cooked, add the margarine and cream cheese. simmer until they're mostly melted. add the half n half. keep cooking. when its mostly creamy, add parmesan cheese to taste. serve the sauce over the pasta and vegetables.

This makes enough for about 3 people. I usually double it and Matt takes it in his lunch. Some of you may even want to triple it. It makes the whole house smell heavenly. (and by whole house, I mean our 4 room apartment, so really just like 100 square feet, but who knows, maybe the neighbors can smell it too?) This is definitely not part of our portion controlled diet, but I like to make it for date night. Grandpa Pratt also seems to really enjoy that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I miss cooking. I used to have weekly parties, very informal, in which everyone I new who had nothing else to do would show up at my place on a saturday night, because they knew that if they brough a random ingredient, I would add it to whatever meal I was cooking, and we would all end up with a gourmet, definitely better than any college kid ever eats, kind of a dinner. Then we would play a ridiculous party game and laugh until 2 am. The thing is, cooking is no fun if you don't have people to cook for, so the rest of the week I would eat ramen and cold cereal, always looking forward to the saturday night party, that nobody ever planned, and it was better for it. Undoubtedly, someone would call satuday afternoon and ask to come over, and I would say "bring some baguettes!" From there, anyone who came by, called, or who we felt inspired to call, would get the invite and be told to "bring something to eat, or an ingredient for something to eat. We'll figure it out when you get here." That is how you make bruscetta. It is also the best way to eat it.

There are, however, a few basics you need.

Olive Oil (all mormons have it on hand.)
Vinegar (prefferably flavored, i prefer balsamic, but apple or otherwise fruity works)
Fresh tomatoes.

Now for the variables.

Spices. (salt, sugar, rubbed sage, mustard powder, lemon pepper, herbes de provence, basil, any seasing blends you have laying around, and garlic.)

Cheese chunks
onion (whatever kind)
artichoke hearts
tofu chunks
water chestnuts
palm hearts
hot dog chunks (it sounds gross, but if you chop them up enough, you don't get the texture, just the flavor.)

This list can continue to include anything you might want in a salad that will absorb the flavor of the vinegar, but it all must be cubed or chopped. little chunks people, so they can blend together and be spooned onto bread.

use a 2:1 ratio on the Oil:vinegar. If you have good mustard (not the yellow american stuff, but maybe grey poupon, with the seeds in it even) blend a couple of tablespoons of that in too. Then pur it over all of the stuff you have chopped up, and mix it so you have a salsa like consistency (chunky, fresh salsa.) Then season to taste. If you think it needs more salt, add a little sugar first to see if that helps. Mom puts a little extra sugar in more things than we know. A teaspoon here and there makes everything taste more like home.

My favorite blend ever was tomatoes, chives, white onions, avacado, mozerella, and a mustard vinaigrette with rubbed sage and lemon pepper. Two of my roommates got engaged over that particular batch of bruschetta.