November 8, 2012

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Growing up, sweet potatoes were always a part of Thanksgiving dinner--my favorite part (besides the stuffing, of course).  We'd have them baked and slathered with butter and brown sugar.  So the other night I wondered how they would taste in the form of mashed potatoes.  I added a little of this and a little of that.  They've got just a hint of sweetness, but you still feel like you're eating a vegetable, which is probably the best of both worlds.  We took them to dinner at a friend's house, and they were complimented several times.  I'd say that if you test out a recipe on friends and they like it, that's definitely success.

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes

4 lbs sweet potatoes (I used 3 extra-extra-large ones)
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  Wash the sweet potatoes, then prick the skin with a fork several times.  Place the sweet potatoes in the oven and bake for about an hour or until the potato is cooked through.
2. When the potatoes have cooled enough to handle them, remove the skins, and mash them in a large mixing bowl.  Either an electric mixer or a good old fashioned potato masher will work just fine.  Add the butter, brown sugar, and salt, and mix until thoroughly mixed.  Add the milk, and continue mixing until smooth and creamy.
3. Serve up some sweet potato goodness.  Is anyone in the mood for Thanksgiving yet?

November 6, 2012

Tip Tuesday # 13 {Crack Your Eggs on a Flat Surface}

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Did you know that when you crack your eggs on a flat surface, such as a counter top, you are far less likely to lose little eggshell pieces all over your kitchen or into your food.  And now you know.  So unless you like little eggshell pieces on your muffins, please don't crack the eggs on the side of the bowl or on some other non-flat surface.

October 29, 2012

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I came across this recipe on Pinterest, and it looked yummy, so I filed it away.  But tonight I decided to make something with quinoa for dinner.  And since my husband kindly requested that I make something other than my usual quinoa go-to dish, I pulled this one out.  It took a chunk of time to make, but it was well worth it.  And apparently they freeze well, so you can make a bunch when peppers go on sale (which is now in my neck of the woods) and freeze them for quick dinners or easy lunches.  My husband loved it as is, but I thought it could use a little kick--maybe some cayenne pepper or a can of diced green chiles?  If anyone out there gives that a try, I'd love to hear the results.  Let's move on to the recipe, shall we?

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Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
(adapted from Vegetarian Times)  

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, minced (roughly one medium onion)
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp cumin
10 ounces spinach (you can use a container of frozen spinach too, as long as you thaw and drain it first)
2 cans (15 oz) diced tomatoes, drained with the liquid reserved
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot (roughly 3 large carrots)
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or pepper jack), divided
4 large red or orange bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise with the ribs removed

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Throw in the onion and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until just tender.  Add the garlic salt and cumin, and saute for another minute or so to let those flavors start to blend.  
2. Throw in the spinach (as much as you can fit in the pot at a time) and stir it until the spinach wilts.  When there's room again, throw in the rest of the spinach.  If you're using frozen spinach, no need to wait and stir.  Just move right on ahead.  Stir in the tomatoes (which you remembered to drain, right?  And you remembered to reserve the liquid, right?).  Cook and stir until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.  
3. Add the beans, carrot, quinoa, and water.  Cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low.  Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender.  Stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese.
4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Remember that reserved tomato liquid?  Pour it into a baking dish (a 9x13 pan works great).  Place the peppers in the dish cut sides up, so they're like little pepper boats amongst the tomato liquid.  Fill each pepper with about 3/4 cup quinoa mixture.  Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for an hour.  
5. Uncover the dish, sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 cup cheese, and continue baking (uncovered) for 10-15 minutes.  When the cheese is just starting to brown, remove the peppers from the oven and let them sit for about five minutes while you gather the family around and say prayers.
6. Enjoy your vegetable goodness...because it won't even seem like you're eating vegetables.  It will just be plain old goodness.

October 18, 2012

Nutty for Oats Cookies

First of all, I must apologize for completely and entirely neglecting the blog.  The keyboard on my computer is broken, and I've just been lazy and haven't bothered to use someone else's computer to write a post.  And so, to make it up to you, my lovely readers, I present my new favorite cookie--perhaps one of the best cookies I've ever made.  The weather's cooling down, and that just makes me want to bake cookies--chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, oatmeal cookies... And this year I found this cookie recipe that is basically a combination of all three. And, even though it doesn't call for any flour, it tastes amazing.  Are you ready?

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Nutty for Oats Cookies
(from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook, of course)

2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a food processor, grinder, or blender (You basically want it to be like a coarse flour-ish consistency.)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line them with parchment or waxed paper.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together peanut butter, butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, and baking soda.  Beat in eggs, scraping the bowl, then add the ground oats, the rest of the oats, and the chocolate chips.  Mix until combined, then drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets.  By the way, did you know that when a cookie recipe calls for teaspoons or tablespoons to be dropped onto the sheet, they aren't really teaspoons and tablespoons like we normally use?  It actually refers to the spoons we use when eating at the table.  Technically a "teaspoonful" of dough equals about 3/4 of a tablespoon, and a "tablespoonful" is about 4 teaspoons.  So now you know.
3. Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes, or until they're barely set and barely browning on the edges.  Don't forget to rotate the pans halfway through (switching top and bottom pans and rotating them around so the front is at the back) so they cook nice and evenly.  Remove the pans from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on the pan.  
4. Grab a glass or milk or some hot cocoa and enjoy your delicious cookies.  But try not to eat the rest for breakfast the next day or your toddler will spend the whole day crying because he wants more cookies.  You might cry too when you run out of these.  They're that good.

August 23, 2012

Almost Panda Express Orange Chicken

I was shopping at Costco last month and feeling a bit stressed and also tired of always telling myself no when I want to buy things (probably not a good combination), when I ran across something amazing--Panda Express Orange Chicken Sauce!  And it was only like $5 for a huge bottle.  I couldn't resist.  I bought it.

After looking at several recipes online, here's what I tried out and found to be super tasty and probably as close to the real thing as I'm going to get here at home.  Knock-off Panda goodness!

Almost Panda Express Orange Chicken

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 egg, beaten (optional)
1/4 cup oil for frying (although, I suppose it could be baked instead...)
Panda Express Orange Sauce

1. Start preheating a large skillet (or, ideally, a wok) over medium-high heat.
2. In a shallow dish or large ziploc/bread/plastic bag, combine the flour and cornstarch.  Dip or shake the chicken in the flour until it is evenly coated.  Shake off the excess flour.  If you want to be healthy and be finished with the breading, skip to the next step now.  For the rest of us, beat the egg in a shallow dish.  Dip in the floured chicken in the egg and then back into the flour mixture again.  Double breading equals double deliciousness!  
3. Pour enough oil into the pan to cover the bottom, then throw in the chicken.  Don't overcrowd the pan or the chicken will start to steam itself, rather than stir-fry, which will make the breading soggy.  If you have too much chicken to fit in at once, do it in shifts and keep the cooked chicken warm on a cooling rack in a warm oven.  Also, if you're using a stainless steel pan, give it a minute to cook before you try to stir it all around.  If you flip them too early, the breading could stick to the pan, rather than the chicken.  Once the chicken is cooked through, pour on as much orange chicken sauce as you'd like and toss to evenly coat it.
4.  Serve it immediately over cooked white rice and break out the chop sticks.  Panda at home!

August 21, 2012

Tip Tuesday #12 {Soggy Breading? Use a Cooling Rack in the Oven}

Sometimes when you fry breaded chicken, do you find that there's not room enough in the pan for all the chicken at once?  Then do you set the cooked chicken on a plate while you fry the rest, only to find that the chicken on the bottom of the pile is soggy and cold by the time you actually sit down to eat?

Worry no more, my friends.  Just set your oven to the warm setting, and place a baking sheet with cooling rack on it inside the oven.  When you place the breaded chicken on the cooling rack, it leaves room for the warm air to circulate underneath, keeping your breading crisp and your chicken warm.  

And if your breaded chicken is being baked in the first place, rather than fried, you can bake it on the cooling rack to begin with.  That way the whole thing will get crispy and delicious.  Easy peasy.  

August 14, 2012

Tip Tuesday #11 {Measure Out Honey & Oil Together}

Ever measure out honey for a recipe and then spend five minutes trying to scrape it all out and get every last morsel of honey goodness?  Did you know that if you measure out your honey and oil in the same measuring cup at the same time that the honey will slide right out with the oil?  Just pour in the oil, then pour in the honey on top of it.  The honey will sink to the bottom but will not stick to the measuring cup because the oil was there first.

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This is amazing.  My sister-in-law and I made honey whole wheat bread together last week, and I was astounded that this actually worked.  I think my jaw may have actually dropped open.  This is definitely one to remember, folks.

August 13, 2012

100% Whole Wheat Bread

This recipe comes to you only slightly altered from the one in King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking.  I seriously love that cookbook.  This recipe has made me feel like a I've made it as a homemaker.  Not only is it homemade, but it's 100% whole wheat!  And I actually like it, which is saying something, since I normally don't care for wheat.  The orange juice counteracts the bitter wheat taste you can get sometimes.  I make this bread a lot, and I don't want to constantly have orange juice in my fridge just in case, so I make up a batch then freeze it in 1Tbsp amounts in an ice cube tray.  Then I put the orange juice ice cubes in a freezer bag and thaw two of them out when I want to make this recipe.  This loaf works best in a pan that's 8.5"x4.5".  You can make it in a 9x5, but it will make a very wide, short loaf.  All of the tips from my White Bread 101 tutorial apply to this recipe as well.  Alright, on to the recipe!

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100% Whole Wheat Bread

3 cups (12 ounces) whole wheat flour (I personally use white wheat for a more subtle"wheat" taste)
3 Tbsp sugar
Heaping 1/2 cup (1-1/4 ounces) dried potato flakes
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1 Tbsp vital wheat gluten (optional, but I think it helps)
1-1/4 tsp salt
2-1/2 tsp instant yeast (you can use active dry yeast, but you'll have to proof it in the water first)
1 cup lukewarm water
2 Tbsp orange juice, room temperature or lukewarm
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into several pieces

1. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and stir until combined.  Add the water, orange juice, and butter, then knead it all together until you have a soft, smooth dough.  It probably won't be as elastic as white bread dough, and that's okay.  Cover it, and allow it to rise until nearly doubled in bulk 1-2 hours.  For tips on getting your dough to rise, see White Bread 101.
2. Lightly grease an 8.5x4.5 loaf pan.  Gently deflate (don't punch!) the dough and shape it into an 8-inch log.  Place the dough in the prepared pan, and let it rise until it's an inch and a half above the pan.  Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Bake uncovered for a total of 35 minutes, tenting the loaf with aluminum foil after about the first 15 minutes.  When it's golden brown, remove it from the oven.  After a minute or two, loosen the bread from the sides of the pan (if needed) and turn it out onto a cooling rack.  Brush it with melted butter if you want to keep the crust nice and soft.  Cool the bread for at least 30 minutes before slicing it.
4.  Savor the smell of freshly baked bread, and cut yourself a slice.  Mmm...

August 7, 2012

Tip Tuesday #10 {Too Much Salt? Add a Potato}

Did you know that if you add too much salt to something you can just add a whole uncooked potato?  The potato will absorb excess salt without adding a weird flavor.  When you're ready to serve it, just remove the potato and go.  This works particularly well with soups.  Cool, huh?

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But for other things that aren't as easy to add a potato to, say cookie dough or something, you can actually slice a raw potato very thinly and lay the slices over/among the cookie dough and let it sit for 15 minutes or so.  It may not get all the extra salt, but it should pick up some of it.  Discard your salty potato slices and bake those cookies.  Super cool.

August 6, 2012

Asian Cabbage Salad

Thanks to my wonderful friend Shawna for this recipe!  I love it.  It's super easy and definitely adds variety to my recipe box.  It works well as a meal unto itself or as a side dish.

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Asian Cabbage Salad

1/2 head cabbage or bok choy
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked however you want and chopped
1 package ramen noodles (just throw out the seasoning or save it for something else)
2 Tbsp slivered almonds (or maybe even cashews or peanuts)
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 cup oil
3 Tbsp vinegar (I hear that raspberry vinegar is the best, but regular works too--just not apple cider vinegar)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Chop or slice up the cabbage into nice, bite-sized salad pieces.  Put them in a large serving bowl.  Add the chopped chicken.
3. Crunch up the ramen noodles into small pieces (I just punch the sealed package a few times, then open it up). Spread the noodles, slivered almonds, and sesame seeds evenly on a baking sheet.  Broil them until they're just lightly toasted.  Watch it here--I'm talking toast them for maybe a minute.  They brown quickly.  Toss them into the salad
4. In a small bowl or blender bottle, combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper to make the dressing.  Drizzle it over the salad, and serve.
5. Crunchy deliciousness.

July 25, 2012

Strawberry Lime Ice Pops

It's summer.  It's hot.  And don't we all love strawberries and lime?  I'm telling you, these ice pops are the way to go.  Strawberry.  Lime.  Ice pop.  Yum!  Have I convinced you yet?

Image thanks to Blendtec
Strawberry Lime Ice Pops
(from Blendtec)

1 lb fresh strawberries, potentially hulled and sliced, depending on the strength of your blender
2-3 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup sugar

1. Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.
2. Freeze them!  You can use a popsicle mold, tiny little dixie cups, ice cube trays...whatever floats your boat.
3. Eat them!  It's summertime.

July 20, 2012

Poppy Seed Chicken and Rice

I have some amazing ladies (aka visiting teachers) that like to come visit me every so often and share a spiritual message with me.  And last month they brought me this amazing dinner.  I took a bite and said to my husband, "I need to ask them for the recipe!"  If you know someone who has recently been sick, bring them this dish, and they will be happy and love you.

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Poppy Seed Chicken and Rice

2-4 cups cooked rice (depending on the size of pan you want to use/whatever you have on hand)
2-4 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 large or 2 small cans of cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup butter
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed (I'd put them in a ziploc and go at it with a rolling pin)
2 Tbsp poppy seeds

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spread rice evenly on the bottom of a 2-3 quart casserole dish.  Top with chopped chicken. Combine cream of chicken soup and sour cream.  Spread over rice and chicken.
3. In a separate bowl or saucepan, melt the butter, then stir in the crushed Ritz and the poppy seeds.  Top casserole with the poppy seed mixture.  Bake for 30-45 minutes or until it's nice and bubbly.
4. Voila!  Comfort food.

July 17, 2012

Tip Tuesday #9 {Eggs: Scramble Fast, Cook Slowly}

There is an awesome web site out there called The Art of Manliness.  Just check it out and you'll see what I mean.  It's a site dedicated to everything manly and how to be an honorable, resourceful, boy-scout-values kind of a man--you know, a real man.  And there's one post about how to make amazing scrambled eggs.  My husband and I tried out the low and slow method, and they truly were amazing.

Image thanks to Art of Manliness
This method takes what seems like forever.  Be ye warned.  BUT...if you really want to make your breakfast special, it's worth the effort every once in a while.  You can refer to the original post for more details, but here are the two main takeaways:

1. Whip 'em.  Whip 'em good.  Whip them with a whisk or a mixer until they're nice and frothy on top.  A few bubbles isn't going to cut it.  You shouldn't be able to tell a difference between the yolks and the whites because they should all be evenly mixed.

2. Cook them slowly over LOW heat.  Low as in, like almost as low as your stove goes.  Okay, okay, if they are truly taking forever to cook, you can turn up the heat a teensy bit.  But seriously, the more slowly you cook them, the more they will retain all that fluffy air that you whipped in, resulting in gloriously fluffy scrambled eggs.

One more inner nerd requires me to apologize for the title of this post.  I am well aware that it should be "Scramble Quickly" instead of "Scramble Fast," but seriously, quickly just doesn't feel quick enough!  Okay, I digress.  

Happy cooking!

July 12, 2012

Fresh Strawberry Syrup

We have found it!  This strawberry syrup is delicious and healthy and takes approximately two minutes to make.  Imagine strawberry deliciousness on french toast, crepes, ice cream, cheesecake, shortcake, or even mixed into lemonade to make it strawberry lemonade!  The possibilities are nearly endless...

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Fresh Strawberry Syrup
(adapted from the Blendtec recipe book)

2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 Tbsp honey
1 tsp lemon juice

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.
2. That's it.  Enjoy!

July 10, 2012

Tip Tuesday #8 {Microwave Your Corn, Husk & All}

This week's tip is brought to you by my fabulous  mother-in-law, who has been staying with me and taking care of my son while I recover from surgery.  She is amazing.  And she also knows how to make amazing corn on the cob--without all the fuss of husking it, getting all the silk out, boiling a pot of water, and timing everything just right.  How?  The microwave!

Image thanks to
1. Place a damp paper towel on a plate, and then put your corn on the cob on top (husk, silk, and all!).  Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes per cob, turning them halfway through the cooking time.
2. When the husks feel hot, take them out and wrap them in a towel or aluminum foil.  Let them stand like that for about 5 minutes.
3. Pull off the husks and silk (which is actually a lot easier to do when they're hot than when they're cold), and you're ready to go!
4. Slather that corn on the cob with butter, salt, and pepper, and enjoy!  That was easy.

July 9, 2012

Summer Tomato Sandwiches

I was never a tomato person growing up.  I hated them and anything made with them (including ketchup, spaghetti sauce, tomato soup...).  But somewhere along the road I discovered that I actually kind of like them--especially when they're in season.  Today my husband got to come home from work for lunch.  I told him I was making a tomato sandwich and asked if he wanted one too.  He said that leftover lasagna was really calling to him.  So I made myself a sandwich and went on with life.  A few minutes later I noticed that he had cleaned off his lasagna and was eyeing my sandwich.  I offered him a bite.  He put it back on my plate, and before I could take two more bites, he said, "Are you going to finish that?"  Um, yes.  Yes, I was planning on finishing it, but since it was apparently so irresistable, I told him he could have it and made myself another sandwich.  That is the power of a tomato sandwich.  Okay, okay, this is not really a recipe.  It's more of an idea for something delicious that makes you feel all summery when you eat it.  But here you go.  Enjoy.

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Summer Tomato Sandwiches
(*Yields 2 sandwiches, so you have an extra handy in case someone wants a "bite" of yours.  Just kidding, sweetie.  I love you.)

4 slices hearty bread
1 slicing tomato
2 Tbsp mayo
Salt and pepper to taste
Spinach leaves

1. Toast your bread and slice your tomato
2. Spread each slice with mayo, then top one slice with tomato slices.  If you get a tomato big enough, you only need one thick juicy slice, which helps your sandwich stay together better.
3. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper, then top it with spinach leaves.  Finish it off with the second slice of bread.
4. Hello tomato.  Let's be friends.

July 3, 2012

Tip Tuesday #7 {Freeze Your Fresh Herbs}

Did you know that you don't have to let all those fresh herbs go bad?  For instance, when you buy fresh cilantro and only use 1/4 of it, freeze the rest and use it later!  Will it come out the same?  Well...not quite.  The texture will be forever lost, but if you're using it in a soup or casserole or other cooked something, the taste is all that matters anyway, and the taste will be preserved.  Here's how you do it:

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Take the herbs and shake them vigorously in a bowl of cold water to make sure they're totally clean.  Pat them with a paper towel, then go through and remove all the wilted ones.  You only want to save the best.  If you throw out a bunch, don't panic.  At least you're not throwing ALL of them out, right?  Okay, now prepare the herb as you would for a recipe (chopping roughly, etc.)  Grab an ice cube tray and fill each one with the leaves, pressing them down lightly.  Next, fill up the ice cube tray with cold water, making sure that the leaves are submerged as much as possible.  Freeze them, then pop them out and put them in a ziploc bag.  When you need to use it, just pop it into whatever you're cooking.  The little bit of water won't hurt, and the flavor will be just as amazing as ever.  

June 27, 2012

My Apologies

Dear Readers,

I am so sorry that I have neglected the blog for almost a month now.  I've been having all kinds of crazy, random health problems and had to have surgery.  It was totally unexpected and threw me for a loop, but I am home now and am recovering.  Thanks to the lovely relief society sisters from my church, I'm getting dinners and new recipes from all directions, so stay tuned because there have been some tasty new dishes coming my way that I will definitely share.

May 31, 2012

Busy-Day Berry Cake

It's almost summer, which means it's berry time!  Berries have been on sale like crazy lately, and who can resist a good berry?  Not me.  I wanted to make a nice summery dessert with the berries that wasn't too sweet, and I found this recipe in my good old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  Someday I will have a giant porch with lots of rocking chairs, and in the summertime, we'll all sit on the rocking chairs and eat this berry cake as we watch the sunset.  I can hardly wait.

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Busy-Day Berry Cake
(from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook--15th edition)

1-1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1tsp vanilla

1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries or blackberries

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease one 8-inch round cake pan.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder.  Add milk, butter, egg, and vanilla, and beat on a low speed until they're combined.  Beat for 1-2 more minutes on a medium speed, and spread the batter into your prepared cake pan.
3. Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack about 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, whip up a batch of fresh whipped cream by combining the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla and beating them on high until soft peaks form.  Or, to simplify things, just grab a container of Cool Whip--because we all know that if you're going to use store-bought, Cool Whip is the only way to go.
5. You can serve the cake warm or wait for it to cool completely.  Top it with whipped cream and berries.  Go find yourself a rocking chair and a sunset.

May 29, 2012

Tip Tuesday #6 {Re-Steam Your Leftover Rice}

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Have you ever noticed that leftover rice is only good for one thing?  Fried rice.  Any other way, leftover rice tastes dry and gross--hardly even worth saving sometimes.  But not anymore!  My friend, Melissa, shared this tip with me, and it makes all the difference.  When re-heating your rice, just add a tablespoon or two of water.  As the rice heats up, the water will turn to steam, causing the rice to "re-steam" and gain back lost moisture.  The result?  Delicious, freshly-cooked-tasting rice.  Now that sounds good.

May 22, 2012

Tomato Avocado Chicken

Back at good old BYU, one of my roommates would always make this for dinner, and it would make our apartment smell amazing, and I would be silently jealous of her extraordinary cooking skills.  And when she told me how to make it, I thought, "Wow!  I can make that!"  And this, my friends, is how I was first introduced to one of my favorite things ever--Montreal Chicken Seasoning.

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Tomato Avocado Chicken
(from Rochelle)

1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 bonleless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tsp Montreal Chicken Seasoning
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 avocado, sliced or cut into small chunks
1 tomato, diced

1.  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the cubed chicken, and sprinkle on the Montreal Chicken Seasoning and cayenne pepper.  
2.  Continue and stir until the chicken is browning but isn't quite cooked through.  Add the avocado and tomato, and mix it all up.  Continue cooking until the chicken is no longer pink.  If you want, add a bit more of the seasoning to taste.  
3.  That was easy.  Eat up!

Tip Tuesday #5 {Bake Your Hard-Boiled Eggs}

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Did you know that you can bake eggs and that they come out just like hard-boiled eggs?  Neither did I!  I didn't, that is, until my brother-in-law informed me of this last week.  Just stick the eggs in a preheated oven and bake them at 325 for 30 minutes.  You can either rest them on the oven rack or put the eggs in muffin tins to keep them from rolling around.  As soon as you take them out of the oven, plunge them in ice water to prevent them from overcooking.  Baked eggs tend to be creamier, less smelly, and generally don't get that gross green color you sometimes get with hard-boiled eggs.  And they're easier to peel!  And honestly, doesn't this sound a lot less technical than most of the boiling methods?  Give it a shot.

May 15, 2012

Tip Tuesday #4 {What to Do When You Forgot the Yeast}

Image thanks to Our Best Bites
Last week I decided to make some delicious homemade bread.  I made the dough, kneaded it, put it in the oven to rise...and came back an hour later to find that the dough hadn't risen at all.  I had forgotten the yeast!  So I did a little investigating (because there is almost nothing I hate more than wasting food) and found that you can add it later and that it actually improves the flavor of your dough slightly by increasing the time the flavors meld together.  Cool, huh?  All you have to do to fix it is dissolve the yeast in just a tablespoon or two of warm water.  When it's all dissolved, knead it right into the dough.  If it's too wet, add a bit more flour to even it out.  Voila!  Perfect dough!  Isn't that awesome?  Three cheers for salvaging almost ruined bread!

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