Saturday, September 29, 2007

Jan's Chili

For some reason this chili is RAVED about every time my sister makes it. It is SO easy and tastes fantastic. When the weather gets cold and rainy, we have to find something to look forward to, for me, that is SOUP!

1lb hamburger
7oz stewed tomatoes
32 oz pork and beans (baked beans, Bushes original brand is great)
8 oz chili sauce
1/3 onion
1/3 green pepper
chili powder to taste

Brown hamburger, gr pepper, and onion. Drain grease. Add remaining ingredients and heat through.
*when we make this, we puree the stewed tomatoes because the chunks are a tad chunky, and depending on who makes it, we don't always use all the tomatoes. Do it to taste.
*we also cut the onion and pepper very small - I think that is why the boys love it so much, no chunky veggies.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Spinach Smoothie

I have been looking at this recipe on Mary's cooking blog for quite some time. I knew it would be yummy and I was so excited that it included 3 cups of healthy greens, but I just haven't gotten around to it. When I told Spence about it he said, "yuck!" and when I told my kids we were going to have "green smoothies" today they too were skeptical.

Well, we finally tried them today. After I blended it all up I actually got a little nervous. I thought the first few tastes might be good but I'd probably be choking it down by the end. Boy was I wrong! It was fabulous from the first sip to the last drop. My kids even asked for seconds! and Spencer thought it was yummy too! So, if you're looking for more ways to get in those veggies try this out. I love that you still have all the fiber from the veggies and fruit and are not just drinking juice. Here are a couple of links for the health benefits of kale and spinach. If you want to learn more, google has all kinds of resources.

The kids say they still prefer their "pink fruit smoothies" but I'm hoping to convince them to GO GREEN!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

French Egg Bread

This is the bread recipe I brought to the September Supper Club. I cannot harp on any of you for not posting yours yet (except for Eliza--thank you) but really girls...this is so easy. This bread is one of my favorites because it's pretty fast. You only let it rise once and then you shape it and bake it right away and it makes two huge loaves.

I also brought pear jam but that recipe comes straight from the MCP packaging box so I won't post it here.

In a bread mixer (if you have one):
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp yeast

Stir in
1 1/2 cups luke warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/4 cup oil
6-7 cups bread flour

Knead until smooth and elastic (soft dough but not so soft you can't work with it) let double in bulk, split in two and shape into long loaves. Place on one greased jellyroll pan. Glaze with 1 egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut diagonal slits across the top.

Bake 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

If you grow your own mint...or have a neighbor who has is a yummy recipe for some homemade ice cream. I made this a couple of weeks ago in our favorite ice cream maker and we really liked the texture and flavor. Using real mint was really fun but, to be honest, to me it tasted a little "leafy" (although my mother could not detect it). I may have to try extract the next time.

(photo courtesy of

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Oreo balls

I haven't tried these, but they sound pretty yummy. Not too healthy, but yummy! I got the recipe the same place as the raspberry bars

1 bag Oreo cookies, blended in food processor until fine.
Mix with 8 oz. cream cheese and refrigerate.

Roll into 1/2"-1" balls and freeze.

Dip in dipping chocolate.

Raspberry Bars

Set oven to 375.

Mix together:
2 cups flour
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar.
Press into 9x13 pan. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until edges are slightly brown.

Immediately spread approximately 1 cup raspberry jam over crust and let cool.

Whip together:
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. milk
Add 8 oz. white baking chocolate (or vanilla milk chips)
Mix until smooth

Spread over raspberry layer and refrigerate.

Top with 4 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate (again, choc. chips okay) and 2 Tbsp. shortening. Melt together and spread on white chocolate layer. Chill.
*It's easiest to rotate the pan to spread the chocolate - if you try to spread it with a spatula it mixes with the white.

Thai Chicken Fettuccine

Here is the pasta dish from Needlebees.

1 cup salsa
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. orange juice
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. soy sauce
8 oz. uncooked fettuccine
3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 Tbsp. oil
1 med. red pepper, julienned
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (optional)

For sauce, in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Cover and microwave on high for 1 minute. Set aside.

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook chicken in oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until browned. Add red pepper; cook and stir until crisp tender.

Drain fettuccine; top with chicken mixture and sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jaques Torres's Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm always on the lookout for a really good chocolate chip cookies (meaning soft and chewy) and I tried this one a couple of weeks ago and really liked it. The original is from Martha Stewart but I made a few tweeks for my tastes. I'll post the half recipe because that makes 4 dozen but I'm thinking next time I make them I'll do a whole recipe and freeze half of them...yes, I can be my own Otis Spunkmeyer.
1 cup butter
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp pastry flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 pound chocolate (I'm not sure that I used quite a pound of chocolate but pretty close. I cut up a blue Symphony Bar and then made up the difference with semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs. Sift dry ingredients together and add to sugar mixture. Add chocolate. Bake at 350 for 9 to 10 minutes. Until cookies look just almost done---if you like yours soft and chewy.
For leftover dough freeze in balls and bake later on for about the same cooking time or one to tow minutes longer.
(photo courtesy of

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Mix together and drop onto greased pan (sometimes I'm able to roll the dough into a ball. It just depends on the consistency of my PB).
Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes.

I know what you're thinking.....this recipe sounds crazy but they are actually pretty good. My sister got this recipe from a friend. It really came in handy for her when some neighbors came over. The wife was allergic to gluten so my sis was glad she could offer them gluten-free cookies!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wheat/White Bread

This is the recipe for the bread I brought to supperclub last night.

3 c. warm water
1/2 c sugar
1 T salt
1/4 c oil
1/2 c powdered milk

Add 6 c. whole wheat flour
Add 2 T. instant yeast
mix and let sit for about 20 min (so the yeast can do it's thing)

Add 2 c. white flour
(optional add 1 c oats for more hearty oaty bread, my mom always does this)
Set on knead, about 5-6 min
Let it raise to top of bowl or so

Turn out, make into 3 medium loaves (or 2 big, or 4 small....)
let raise until round over the top of pan
Bake at 350 for about 25 min.

*This recipe calls for 8 c flour total. It's your choice how much wheat or white you use. This recipe is just what I've figured to be the perfect ration for wheat bread, with a slight white flavor. Enjoy!