Saturday, July 25, 2009

san diegan fish tacos

I don't even care for fish tacos, but these are delicioso!
Blue Water Grill inspired.

1 lg. salmon fillet, mahi mahi, swordfish or 6-12 shrimp or prawns
3 c. cabbage(red or green), thinly sliced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 c cilantro
1/2 c. purple onion, diced
2 limes
lime juice
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
white corn tortillas
garlic salt

Cook your seafood or meat of preference. We use salmon, mahi mahi or shrimp most of the time.

Fish fillets:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 8x8 baking dish. Place fillet inside dish and sprinkle garlic salt, lemon juice and a lot of freshly ground pepper on top. Cover with foil and cook about 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet. Remove when it's cooked thoroughly and let sit for 5 minutes to lock in flavor. Cut fillet into fourths in long strips.

In large skillet on medium heat, lightly cook each side of tortillas. Melt 1 oz. of cheese on each tortilla and place meat on top of melted cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 c. of cabbage, onions, tomatoes and cilantro on the meat(it should be overfilling). Mix, plain yogurt, garlic salt, pepper and 2 tbsp. of lime juice. Pour 3 tbsp. yogurt mixture over fish tacos and serve. Garnish with lime wedges that you can freshly squeeze.

Serves 2 per fillet (2 tacos each)

tomato bruschetta

These are an all time favorite of mine!

1 french baguette, sliced at an angle
3-4 tomatoes, diced
3/4 c. basil, chopped (purple basil works great too and has beautiful presentation)
1 lg. clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
parmesan, freshly grated

Preheat oven to 350 F. Very lightly brush baguette slices with oil on the tops. Sprinkle a tiny amount of parmesan on all the slices and bake 3-5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, garlic, oil, balsamic and salt to taste. Mix gently. Spoon tomato mixture on the hot sliced baguette and serve right away!

Friday, July 24, 2009

banana mama

Ah, this is the life!
We loved drinking these during our Christmas vacation at Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.

1 oz. cream of coconut (you can get at most liquor stores)
2 oz. pineapple juice
3 strawberries
8 oz. pina colada drink mix
1/3 banana
splash of grenadine

Blend all ingredients together.

patriotic punch

Be sure to make this cool refreshing punch for the 4th of July or for any special occasion this summer, and especially if there are kids around or adults that are kids at heart, it's a definite crowd pleaser. I'll give you a hint, the secret is in the ice cubes!

1 qt. any flavor of blue Kool-Aid drink mix, prepared
1 pkg. any flavor of red Kool-Aid (already sweetened)
2 c. cold water
2 c. chilled pineapple juice
1 bottle chilled club soda

Fill 3 ice cube trays with the prepared blue drink, and freeze. Prepare red drink mix with water and juice, pour into punch bowl just before serving. Add club soda, blue ice cubes and enjoy!

red, white & blue cake

In honor of Pioneer Day July 24th, Utah's Birthday!!

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping,thawed
1 pint blueberries, rinsed and drained
2 pints fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced

Prepare cake according to package directions and bake in a 9x13 inch pan. Cool completely. Frost cake with whipped topping. Place blueberries in a square in the corner, and arrange sliced strawberries as stripes to make an American flag. Chill until serving.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

virgin pina colada

If you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain...

1 c. ice
1 1/4 c. pineapple juice
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 tbsp. sugar
2 oz. coconut cream (coconut milk is also heavenly)
pineapple, sliced as garnish
umbrellas (optional)

In electric blender, blend ice, pineapple juice, milk creams, and sugar.
Blend until smooth and frothy.
Serves 2

roasted potatoes

This makes a wonderful side dish!

1 lbs. tri-colored new potatoes, cut (sometimes I just use 5-6 of the red new potatoes)
1/4- 1/2 c. Olive oil
2-4 tbsp. butter (optional)
garlic salt
basil (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil 8x8 baking dish. Arrange potatoes and drizzle oil on top. Mix them in the pan to coat all sides of potatoes. sprinkle on garlic salt. Bake for 40 minutes. When serving garnish with a sprinkle of basil.

The purple potatoes can be a little difficult to find.

alaskan king crab legs with butter sauce

Crab House style!

2 lbs. king crab legs
1/2 c. butter
5 garlic cloves
1/2 lemon, juice of
1/8 c. extra virgin olive oil
sea salt (optional)
dried parsley (optional)
1/2 lime, juice of (optional)
crab shears (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F. In small saucepan, on medium low heat, melt the butter, add garlic and lightly saute. Squeeze in the juice of the citrus of choice. If using a lemon, squeeze the juice into your hands so you can remove the seeds with ease. Turn the heat to low and let those flavors mesh until the oven is nice and hot. Toss in salt (to taste) and a couple pinches of parsley. Then whisk in your olive oil. Turn turn burner off. Arrange your tasty crustaceans in a 9x13 baking dish, brushing each leg with butter sauce. Pour remaining sauce into baking dish. Place in center rack in oven. Bake your crabs for 25 minutes or so depending on the thickness of legs. Work in juices from the pan and onto the legs every 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle on parsley for garnishing. Using tongs, place crab legs onto a platter and pour remaining sauce into ramekins for dipping.

Quick Steaming Method:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, set in steam insert (double boiler). Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. In small sauce pan, melt butter, add minced garlic (optional), and squeeze in lemon juice. Turn off sauce burner. Whisk in 1 tbsp. olive oil add salt and parsley to taste and Voila!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

blueberry muffins

These will get your party started!
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen

Beat together the butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs and milk. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a seperate bowl before adding to the butter mixture. Once everything is mixed together, carefully fold in the bluberries. Spray muffins tins with non-stick cooking spray and fill about 2/3 full with batter. Sprinkle sugar over the tops of the muffins before putting them in the oven. Bake at 375 F. for about 20 minutes.

great grandma huber's banana bread

This is Ryan's grandma's recipe, my favorite banana nut bread recipe and best of all it is very simple.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 soft, ripe bananas, mashed

Cream sugar and shortening; add eggs, flour, soda, bananas, and chopped nuts. Pour banana bread batter into 1 greased and floured loaf pan; bake at 325° for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. This banana nut bread recipe makes 1 loaf.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

taco soup

Easy and yummy!

Slow Cooker (optional)
1lb ground beef, browned & drained
1 can small red beans, undrained
1 can black beans, undrained
1 can white corn, undrained
1small onion, diced
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 pkg Taco Seasoning
28 oz can crushed Tomatoes
tortilla chips for dipping
sour cream

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low 4-6 hours (or if your impatient like me, cook it on the stove for 10-20 minutes!). Top with Grated Monterrey Jack cheese, sour cream and crushed tortilla chips.

I serve with rolls, cottage cheese and carrots and ranch.
Number Of Servings:7-9
Preparation Time: 10 minutes prep/4-6 hours low 2-3 hours high.

homemade macaroni and cheese

This recipe is delicious!
Okay, so the fat grams are out of control on this recipe(54.5 fat grams per serving). But, hey, we're talking comfort food here!

8 T. butter, divided use
6 T. flour
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
freshly ground white pepper
3 3/4 c. hot milk
4 c. cheddar cheese, shredded, divided use
1 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked al dente, rinsed in cold water
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. fresh bread crumbs (real bread, no crumbs from a can!), cut in cute little cubes

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter an 8x11 baking dish. Melt 6 T. butter in heavy sauce pan over low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes (flour mixture must foam as it cooks, or sauce will have a raw flour taste). Stir in cayenne and season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk in hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until sauce thickens. Reduce heat to low and stir in 2 c. cheese. Cook, stirring, until cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Combine cheese sauce and cooked macaroni in large bowl and season with salt. Sprinkle 1/2 c. cheese over prepared baking dish. Put 1/3 of pasta in dish, top with 1/2 c. cheese, then repeat, layering pasta and cheese, another layer of pasta, ending with cheese. Pour heavy cream over assembled mac n cheese. Melt remaining 2 T. butter in skillet. Add bread crumbs to butter and stir well, then sprinkle over macaroni and cheese. Bake until crust is golden, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.
Serves 6

creamy chicken enchiladas

My family loves Mexican food what can I say?!

1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can olives, sliced
4 oz. canned green chilies
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 pint sour cream
1-2 c. Monterrey jack cheese (we like ours smothered)
4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
8-inch flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix soups, chilies, onion, olives, sour cream and cheese together to make a thick sauce, in large sauce pan. Dip tortillas in sauce on both sides. Scoop chicken mix into tortillas and roll up. Place filled tortillas in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Repeat until pan is filled. Add any extra sauce you'd like and smother the tops of enchiladas with cheese. Bake 25-35 minutes.
Serves 6-8

grilled corn on the cob with herb butter

Summer means fresh corn on the cob!!
8 ears corn, husked
2 sticks butter
5 tablespoons of your favorite fresh herb, chopped (I like thyme or basil)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Beat together butter, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Brush the corn with butter mixture. Grill until corn is browned, but not black, continuously basting with butter mixture. Serve hot!

garlic mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes go great with everything!!
6 Cups Peeled Potatoes
8 Garlic Cloves
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 Cup Cream
2 Tablespoons Butter
Salt to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper

Peel potatoes and place them in a saucepan and fill with water, sprinkle in about 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and bring the water to a boil. Let the potatoes simmer for about 25 minutes until they are soft enough to be pricked quite easily with a fork.

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain out the water and shake the pot so that the potatoes break up slightly and are easier to mash. Place the garlic cloves along with some cream and butter into the pot and top with some pepper and salt to give a great taste to the potatoes. Place the lid back on to let the ingredients mix and leave time for the butter to melt.

Now it’s time to actually mash the potatoes, there are 2 ways this can be done, you can either use an electric mixer to make it more smooth and creamy, or simply use a potato masher for a homemade texture. I do them bot way depending on what I am serving them with. ENJOY!!

maple carrots

1 1/2 pounds baby carrots
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

Bring all ingredients to boil in heavy large skillet. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer until carrots are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Uncover; cook until juices are reduced to glaze, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Monday, July 20, 2009

red velvet cake

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1-2 oz red food coloring (depending on how red you want it)
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 (16 oz.) package powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat butter at a medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, vinegar and vanilla until well mixed. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Mix in food coloring. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at a low speed until blended after each addition. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 F. for 20-22 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire racks. Spread cream cheese frosting between layers and on top of cake.

Cream cheese frosting:
Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy; gradually add sugar and vanilla beating well.

Pat pecans on the sides of cake, if desired.
You can make 2 or 4 levels on your cake simply by slicing into each, cooled, cake in half horizontally. Just make a double batch of frosting. Enjoy!

tomato, basil and mozzarella salad

We love the insalata caprese salad!

4 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. fresh basil

Arrange 4 tomato slices and 2 mozzarella slices on 6 salad plates. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper; drizzle with olive oil. Top evenly with basil.

(Fresh mozzarella cheese is packed in water. It has a softer texture and a sweeter, more delicate flavor than the regular part-skim mozzarella that is more commonly used in cooking for superior melting qualities.)
Serves 6


A family friend of ours is a grilling expert and I thought his grilling post was very informative!

As I grill, the more I realize that all my philosophies growing up of steaks are incorrect. So let me just clear up the myths vs. fact so you don't run into the same problems I did.

1) Myth: Sirloin is the best and only real cut of steak, because the Sizzler commercials say so.
Fact: Sorry, but my Weber is a "no sirloin" zone. Bring real meat or you won't be allowed to the BBQ.

1) Myth: Make sure you season it well, and maybe marinate it beforehand so you can lock in all the flavors.
Fact: The flavor should be steak, ok. Don't ruin it. A little Montreal Steak seasoning and you're good.

2) Myth: The best way to make sure your steak is done is to keep checking on it, flipping it over to see the other side, and you should definitely cut into it while it's on the grill to see if the middle is done.
Fact: You need to understand your steak way before you put it on the grill. The thickness, the temperature, the cut, whether it's boneless or not--because good steaks are all about timing. Only open the lid of the grill once, only flip the steaks once, and NEVER cut into it or you'll lose all you've worked for.

3) Myth: A steak is best served "hot off the grill"
Fact: Please allow the steak to sit for at least five to seven minutes before cutting into it--preferably longer but I know it's hard. The middle of the steak will rise in temperature and the juices will settle. Again, if you cut into it too soon, you will lose everything.

4) Myth: A good steak requires a good steak sauce
Fact: This may be an obvious one, but ask **** my reaction when she brought A1 to enjoy a NY strip I served. She won't make that mistake again. Sure, if you're having a Sizzler Sirloin then please, feel free, but if you're at my BBQ and you bring steak sauce you'll walk in the front door and right out the back door, which will be locked behind you.

I'm sure there are more lessons, but those are some good ones. By the way, never buy a steak at full price, either...just rotate between the good cuts with whatever is half off.

mixed berry crisp

Very berrylicious!
1/2 c. oats
1/2 c. flour
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 c. butter, softened

1 can blackberry pie filling
1 can raspberry pie filling
(sometimes I add mixed left over berries from my freezer)

Preheat oven 375 F. Grease 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. Pour, blackberry pie filling and raspberry pie filling together in baking dish. In separate bowl combine all topping ingredients and mix together well. Spoon topping over pie filling. Bake for 30 minutes. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and serve.
Serves 6-8

Sunday, July 19, 2009

3 layer lasagna

Our favorite lasagna recipe!

1 box of lasagna (I like Barilla)
2 jars of spaghetti sauce (we use Prego tomato basil)
1 pound of bulk Italian sausage or ground beef, cooked and drained
1 15 oz. container of ricotta cheese
4 c. mozzarella, shredded
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions, drain and separate. Combine cooked meat and 1 1/2 jars of sauce in a large saucepan. Combine eggs, ricotta, 3 1/2 c. mozzarella and parmesan cheese in large bowl. Spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 3/4 c. sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Place 5 lasagna noodles over the bottom, slightly overlapping. Spread half of the cheese mixture over noodles and cover with 1/2 of the meat sauce. Repeat layers. Cover last layer with remaining noodles and sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 6-8

peach dream

13 1/2 oz. canned peach slices
3-4 scoops of vanilla ice cream
1/4 c. orange juice
2-3 drops of vanilla essence
2 c. milk, chilled
orange slices for garnish

Mix peach slices, vanilla ice cream, orange juice, vanilla essence and milk until mixed well. Garnish with orange slice. Serve immediately.
Serves 2

ice cream in a bag

Milk can become homemade ice cream in five minutes by using a bag! This homemade, creamy treat is a summertime delight for my boys and yours will love it too!!
•1 tablespoon sugar
•1/2 cup milk or half & half
•1/4 teaspoon vanilla
•6 tablespoons rock salt
•1 pint-size Ziploc bag
•1 gallon-size Ziploc bag
•Ice cubes

How to make it: Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag. Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it. Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it again carefully. Shake until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes. Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open it carefully. Enjoy!

Just a note... a 1/2 cup milk will make about 1 scoop of ice cream, so double the recipe if you want more. But don't increase the proportions more that that -- a large amount might be too big for kids to pick-up because the ice itself is heavy.