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Friday, February 27, 2009

Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze

This glaze is a yummy complement to grilled or broiled salmon. Serve with rice or over pasta with a green vegetable for a colorful meal!


1 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 Teaspoon honey
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
3/4 teaspoons soy sauce
3/4 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4 Salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each


1. In a small pan, melt the brown sugar, honey, and butter over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil and ginger. Let cool.

2. Preheat grill to medium heat or preheat oven to broil. Brush salmon with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the salmon skin side down on the grill or place on a baking sheet if using the oven. Coat the flesh of the salmon fillets with the brown sugar mixture. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes, turning once after 5 to 6 minutes. If broiling, broil for 5-6 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Amazing Deals

Anyone who is willing to make a drive and shop in a warehouse-y kind of place might want to check out NPS. They get in boxes that are dented, things that stores have over-ordered, things that go out of date soon...stuff like that. Rarely the same deals twice---kindof like a treasure hunt every time.

I especially thought of Kristin when I saw that they had TONS of frozen pie crusts like she gave us to make the homemade pot pie. Get this-- $.50/box. Sweet. Hormone free frozen chicken breasts and tenders for $1.00/package, ten for a dollar whipping cream that is frozen...and sometimes there are super great deals on produce.

If you end up going, you might want to try one of the many chocolate angel food cakes in the freezer section. I quite like it for a sweet, mostly fat free indulgence.

NPS address: 1600 S. Empire Road in Salt Lake City. Enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Soft Yogurt Sandwich Rolls

I got this recipe from when searching for ways to use my less than desirable yogurt. I really liked the way these rolls turned out and easily substituted half of the flour with whole-wheat flour.

Thanks to Taylor for providing the picture!

Makes 10 rolls

3 1/2 - 4/12 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
3 Tablespoons honey
1 cup water, warm (100-110F)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup flour, active dry yeast, honey, and warm water. Stir well and let sit for 10 minutes, until slightly foamy.
2. Stir in yogurt, vegetable oil, salt and 2 cups of the remaining flour. Gradually stir in more flour until you have a soft dough that sticks together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (I do this in my kitchen aid).
3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes; or if using a stand mixer continue to knead for just a few minutes; add additional flour if needed, until dough is smooth and elastic.
4. Place dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
5. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
6. Turn risen dough out of bowl and onto a lightly floured surface. Gently deflate, pressing into a rectangle. Divide dough into 10 even pieces with a board scraper or a pizza cutter.
7. Shape each piece into a round roll. To do this, take all the corners of one of the squarish pieces you just cut and pull them together, pinching them to create a seal. This will pull the rest of the dough tight across the top of your roll, giving you a smooth top. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
8. Once all rolls have been formed, press down firmly on each one to flatten. Cover with a clean dish towel or greased plastic wrap and let rise for 25 minutes.
9. Bake for about 20 minutes, until rolls are deep golden on the top and the bottom.
10. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans

This is a great way to use/rotate your food storage. I typically make a big batch and freeze in 1-2 cup containers for future use.

1 onion, peeled and halved
3 cups dry pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
5 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
9 cups water

1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine,. Cook on high for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Do not let it run dry! Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking turn down the temperature.

2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with an immersion blender or some other device, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency. I usually add all the reserved liquid. You want them pretty wet, especially if freezing for later use because they dry out easily when reheated.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Slow Cooker Steak Fajitas

I'm so grateful Jami let me browse through some of her slow cooker recipes to try because this one is fabulous. While the meat fell apart, the onions, peppers, and flavor were perfect!

1 beef flank steak (about 1 pound)
1 medium onion, cut into strips
1/2 cup medium salsa
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 small green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips
Flour tortillas, warmed
Additional salsa

1. Cut flank steak lengthwise in half, then crosswise into thin strips. Combine onion, 1/2 cup salsa, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt in slow cooker.

2. Cover; cook on LOW 5 or 6 hours*. Add bell peppers. Cover; cook on LOW 1 hour.

3. Serve with flour tortillas and additional salsa.

*Cooking this long, the meat completely fell apart. I didn't mind because the pieces were evenly distributed and carried the flavor into every bite. However, if you really want to have your meat stay in strips, I would recommend cutting way back on the cooking time for the meat and onions, or even grilling the meat--basting often with the cooked juices from the sauce. You may also try adding the meat after the onions have been going a while, as the full cook time for the sauce enhances the flavor. Just some thoughts. Regardless the texture of the meat, these fajitas really are great. I couldn't gobble them down fast enough!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I got this recipe from Jami Harward, and was pleased with just how simple and delicious it is. A can of this and a dump of that into the crock pot, and come dinner time all I have to do is dish up! I used chicken I had previously canned, and it was not only fall-apart tender, but it couldn't have been easier. This is a flavorful, fun recipe I would recommend anyone try.

1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded
1 can (15 oz) crushed or petite tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies*
1 can (15 oz) whole kernel corn, undrained
1 medium onion, chopped or 1/2 cup dry minced onion
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp dried chopped cilantro (I used fresh)

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat 4-6 hours or on low heat 8-10 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream and Monterrey Jack cheese.

*I didn't have green chilies in my cupboard, so I used tomatoes with green chilies and the spice was just about right for us. If you like to heat things up a bit more, you could add more chilies to your liking.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Another winner from Stephanie's Kitchen, if I had to use just one word to describe these biscuits it would be FINALLY! I have wanted a great biscuit recipe for a really long time. After countless attempts resulting in palatable, yet disappointingly mediocre biscuits, I was extremely excited by the ease and SUCCESS of this recipe. Barring my stumbling upon some unforeseen, miraculous recipe that outdoes this one, when my grandkids request some of Grandma's delicious, moist buttermilk biscuits, this will be the recipe I'm still using!!

Photo courtesy of Stephanie's Kitchen

Buttermilk Biscuits

makes 6-12 biscuits depending on how thick you cut them**

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons chilled butter

1 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. Add buttermilk, tossing with a fork until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly a few times just until smooth. Pat the dough to desired thickness, 1/2 inch to 1 inch (I like thick biscuits). Using a round cookie cutter, cut out biscuits.

3. Bake on ungreased baking sheet for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Brush some melted butter over the tops to make them even more delicious!

[**I experimented with a more thin dough, but my REAL success came when I kept them rolled nice and thick. They really do rise very nicely to make big, thick biscuits, and when they are thick they get that crackle in the middle that marks the classic buttermilk biscuit experience.**]

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Butter on Sale at Smith's

Butter on sale at Smith's for $1.49/ lb.
Time to stock up!

Other good prices at Smith's - Philadelphia Cream Cheese - .99/ 8 oz., Cottage Cheese and Sour Cream - $1.00/ 16 oz.
Another heads up - While at Smith's check for Manager's Specials in the meat and dairy departments. They are foods that are about to expire so they need to sell them soon or throw them away. There's nothing wrong with the food, but if you buy make sure you use it soon or freeze it. You can find some smokin' deals like whole turkey marked down from $28 to $16, Heavy Cream for .79 a pint, Half and Half for .39 a pint. They also have a shelf, usually in the back of the store of other discounted items.
Many grocery stores also have their weekly adds online so you can check for specials without having to drive to the store. Here's a link to Smith's Weekly Adds.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blueberry Buttermilk Streusel Coffee Cake

Kristin stumbled upon a food website that is now among my favorites. If I find myself in need of an amazing dessert recipe, I am confident it can be found here.

I tried this hot out of the oven, and was disappointed that it wasn't better. HOWEVER, I took one taste for breakfast in the morning, and was completely converted to this delicious dessert. The rest of the pan hardly made it to the end of the day before I devoured it single-handedly. I will make this one many times, I'm sure. It's a winner!

Recipe and photos courtesy of Stephanie. Click here to view her website.

For the Cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

For the Streusel:
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 inch pan.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time until well incorporated. Add vanilla.
4. Slowly add flour mixture, and than buttermilk until just combined. Do not overmix.
5. Stir in blueberries and lemon zest.
6. Pour batter in the pan, it will be slightly thick.
7. Make streusel. Mix sugar, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add butter and mix with hands, or a pastry blender until mixture is the size pea sized crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over cake batter.
8. Bake for 30-35 minutes* or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

*For some reason, it took nearly an hour before mine was ready to come out of the oven. Be sure to check for done-ness so you don't end up with a soggy, soupy mess.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Apricot Pork Roast

Straight from the dinner table of my dear friend, Candace, this is a really yummy roast with a sweet glaze. Don't have pork? Try it with chicken! It is just delicious, and I'm happy to have another crock pot winner to turn to.

1 medium pork roast
1 small jar of apricot preserves
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/2 bottle Italian dressing
1/2 cup soy sauce

Cook the roast in the crock pot on high for 3-4 hours. In a medium sauce pan, combine preserves, soup mix, dressing and soy sauce. Cook over medium heat until the glaze is well combined and the preserves are melted.

Drain meat. Pour glaze over meat and, lowering heat on the crock pot to medium, cook for another 2 hours. You may want to reserve some glaze to pour over the top at time of serving.

Cut meat and cover with remaining glaze. Serve.

**Recipe and photo courtesy of Candace Staheli. Thanks Cando!**

Friday, February 6, 2009

Honey Grilled Pork Tenderloins

I got this recipe from Austin's aunt, and we just love it! It offers a fun, sweet flavor that really hits the spot.

2 (3/4 pound) pork tenderloin
1/4 cup soy sauce
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp honey
2 tsp dark sesame oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 bunch green onion, sliced

Make a lengthwise cut down each tenderloin to within 1/4" of opp0osite side; press open. Combine all other ingredients together and chill at least 3 hours. Grill on covered grill over medium heat about 20 minutes.

**Tip for the pocketbook: Freeze it when it's cheap! When you find the tenderloins on sale, you can easily prepare the marinade, combine with the meat in a freezer bag, and you'll be stocked with the perfect meal to grill at the last minute. Best of all, this way you won't be stuck paying a higher price for the meat.**

BTS Cake

My stepmother makes this once in a blue moon, maybe it's because she and I eat whatever is left over :D

1 box chocolate cake mix- with needed ingredients from the box

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar/bottle caramel ice cream topping
1 bottle chocolate topping
1 container wihpped cream
1 to 2 bars Heath Bar candy bar- smashed

Make the cake according to package directions in 9 x 13 pan. (I would make it in a pan that you would want to serve the cake in since you won't be removing it until serving.) You can stir in some of the smashed Heath bar if desired, I prefer not to.

When cake is still warm, poke holes in cake with chopstick- it works the best. If you don't have one, just use a skinny handle from a wooden spoon. Pour can of milk onto cake, follow by pouring 1/2 of caramel and 1/2 of chocolate sauce on top as well. Sprinkle 1/2 of Heath bar pieces on top.

Let cake cool, mostly (you don't want it cold when served). After cake is cooled, spread cool whip on top. Top with remaining sauces/toppings and sprinkle with remaining Heath bars. Serve immediately!

Warning: this cake will go FAST!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Kettle Corn

I always crave Kettle Corn when at a fair or market. It's one of those things I have to buy but don't like the high price. I made this for the first time last night and was surprised at how easy it is. Kellen said it's better than at the fair. Don't be afraid to experiment and add other flavors to your taste. Just try not to eat the whole batch yourself, like I did. There's no picture because I ate it before I got a chance to take one. Next time! That gives me an excuse to make it again.

Homemade Kettle Corn
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup popcorn
Salt to taste

In a heavy pan with tight lid, heat oil over medium high heat with three kernels of popcorn. When kernels pop, add popcorn and sugar at the same time and stir quickly to dissolve sugar. You can also add salt or cinnamon at this point or to cooked popcorn. Cover with lid. Place on the heat for 3 seconds, then remove pan from heat and shake vigorously; repeat as long as corn is popping. Remove from heat and pour into bowl. I used a 5.5 qt pot and it was just big enough. I wouldn't recommend doubling the recipe, rather make two separate batches. You may have greater chances of the popcorn burning doing too much at once.


- Add 1/4 tsp cinnamon, salt, vanilla, or 1 teaspoon chipotle powder with the sugar in the pan.

- Toss mini M&M's or chocolate chips into warm popcorn.

- Drop a few drops of food coloring into the oil and stir before adding popcorn and sugar.

- Scatter cooked popcorn on a baking pan lined with waxed paper and drizzle white and dark chocolate all over it. Turn over by laying another pan top upside down and flip the popcorn over. Drizzle the other side. Heavily. Break apart. Add nuts or whatever. Try different flavors of chips. Peanut butter, or butterscotch, or whatever you can find. Bag and give to friends for gifts.

- Instead of using oil, melt about 1/4 cup of butter flavored shortening. It makes the kernels pop much faster, lighter, and adds a hint of buttery taste.

- Use halt white sugar and half brown sugar.

- Do not add powdered flavorings to the oil as it will burn. Instead, sprinkle on cooked popcorn.