Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chicken Piccata

It's the last day of the month which typically for me means I've spent my monthly allotted budget for food and we are down to the bare minimum on fresh stuff. I've been wanting to try this recipe from Simply Recipes for a while but just haven't gotten around to it. Today as I was racking my brain for dinner ideas this came to mind and lucky for me it was all pantry ingredients (I skipped the fresh parsley). It was yummy and easy and I'm definitely making it again. I used chicken tenders instead of breasts which made it even faster and with Trader Joe's Rice Pilaf and frozen broccoli we had a quick and easy dinner that was amazing and no one would have known I have zero food in my fridge.

Thank you Elise!

Side Note: Spencer came home late last night and had to eat this reheated. He RAVED about it (he rarely raves about my cooking) we're definitely keeping this one.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Orange Julius

I didn't make this last night but this was our standard smoothie growing up. My kids love it.

1/2 can oj concentrate
1 cup water
1 cup milk
2 cups ice
1/4 c sugar or 2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 tsp vanilla

Blend til smooth. Very refreshing and great with popcorn.

Supper Club: April 2008

We had a great night last night at Meg's house sharing smoothie recipes and eating chips and salsa. Macy's Power Smoothie made me think of an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie and I think my strawberry almond smoothie was liked as well.

My favorite part of Supper Club--besides all the yummy, yummy food consumed--is just the chance to sit for a couple of hours unhindered and chat with friends. Last night the topics of conversation ranged from chocolate cake to Facebook to visiting teaching to embarrassing shopping trips. Each month seems to bring a different flavor and tone to the conversation but one that is filled with lots of laughter.

Our March 2008 club night was at Macy's cute house and I was amazed at how much conversational terrain we packed into just those couple of hours. Macy littered her table with Easter chocolates, so as we chatted I contributed my part to ridding the world of too much Easter candy by consuming all the chocolates within arm's reach. That was the night for talking about blogs and what books we were reading and I went away with a new bunch of books to read and a list of blogs to add to my Google Reader.

Our February 2008 club night was a busy, busy evening at Mary's house where we learned new bread-making skills and tried out all kinds of different sugars. I think we had 15 women crowded into Mary's new kitchen munching on fresh-from-the-oven bread with butter and honey. Hmmmm. So, so good. There were a host of new recipes we each walked away with and a multitude of conversations to choose from while we waited for the bread to bake. There is nothing like warm bread and hot butter on a cold February night when you are among friends.

Can't wait for the next month's night or to see what's on the menu.

Fruit Almond Smoothie

I discovered this smoothie a few months ago and I really like it. It is easy, quick and yummy---all characteristics of a great recipe to me.

I like to eyeball the amounts on a recipe like this and adjust for taste or sweetness, but for the sake of posting the recipe, I tried to come up with some general guidelines for amounts.

2 cups of fresh fruit (or frozen)
3/4 cup to 1 cup of almond milk (I use original or vanilla)
1 tsp. of honey
a handful of ice (if using fresh fruit)

I've made this smoothie with fresh strawberries, fresh blueberries and with frozen mixed berries. All of them turned out delicious. Enjoy!


Power Smoothie
Macy Mauerman

1/2 cup oatmeal (cook in the microwave with water for 50 sec.)
1 1/2 cups of ice
6 oz milk
1 big tbsp of peanut butter
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder

Great for after a work out- to give your body some rebuilding power!

Banana Split

1 Banana
1/2 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
2 tbsp orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp whey powder (Natural or Vanilla)
6 cups crushed ice

Monday, April 7, 2008

Kilee's Salad

I'm titling this "Kilee's Salad" because I got the recipe from her and because I would be shocked if she ever got on and posted her own recipe. :) This is a great summer salad.

Mixed greens, spinach, etc

Sliced Strawberries

Fresh Blueberries

Sugared Almonds (1:1 almonds and sugar, slowly melt sugar in a pan, add almonds, spread thin on a cookies sheet to cool.)

Blue cheese (as much as desired)


1/3 C olive oil

1/3 C sugar

1/3 C red wine vinegar

2 tsp salt

dash of garlic powder

Sam's Moist Chocolate Cake

We got this recipe from a family friend who is an amazing pastry chef on the side. This cake is seriously good and can be made a day or two in advance. This recipe is ALL Sam's.

Chocolate Cake

(from Gale Gand, modified for Utah's elevation)

Sugar 2 1/2 cups

All-purpose flour 2 3/4 cups

Cocoa powder, 1 1/8 cups (yep, that's CUPS)

preferably dutch-processed

Baking powder 2 tsp

Baking soda 2 1/4 tsp

Salt 1 1/2 tsp

Eggs 3

Milk 1 1/2 cups

Vegetable oil 3/4 cup

Vanilla extract 1 Tbsp

Very hot water 1 1/2 cups

Heat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour pans (3 - 8X8 OR 1 9X13 and 1 8X8 OR 3 8" rounds)

Add sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer(I used my bosch). Using the whisk attachment, whisk until dry ingredients are combined.

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 5 minutes. Gradually add the hot water, mixing at low speed just until combined. The batter should be thin enough to pour.

Divide the batter into the prepared pans, making sure that it doesn't come more than halfway up the side of the pan.

Bake for 35+ (it can be as much as 50 minutes) until a toothpick in the center comes out completely clean. Cake can cool in pan. Frost with your favorite frosting or eat plain.

Sam's note: It actually gets even better on the second and third days. You can store it at room temperature covered with plastic wrap.

Chocolate Butter Frosting

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

1/3 cup real butter, room temperature

1/2 - 3/4 cup cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed)

4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 - 1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

In bowl beat the butter until fluffy. Add the cocoa powder and beat until combined with the butter. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in the milk and vanilla. Slowly add in remaining sugar. Beat in additional milk if needed to make frosting spreading consistency.

*You'll need about 1 1/2 recipes to decorate a whole cake.