Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mexican Lasagna

The Story:

Last week I wrote about lasagna. Here is a fun twist! It is so yummy and easy! I got the recipe from one of my roommates when I was living at the Spanish house. We each had to take a turn making dinner for everyone (like 40 people) who lived in the Spanish house and this is what she made. I fell in love and this has been one of my favorites ever since!

Mexican Lasagna:

1 pound ground beef
1 can tomato soup
1 can chunky salsa
1/2 cup milk
6 flour tortillas cut into 1 inch strips
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Brown beef and pour off fat. Stir in soup, salsa, milk, tortilla strips and half the cheese. Spoon into 2 quart baking dish. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, Sprinkle with remaining cheese.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mom's Lasagna

The Story:

Another recipe from mom! What can I say? Everyone loves their mom's lasagna! Lasagna is one of my very favorite food and this is a tried and true recipe that I absolutely love!

Mom's Lasagna:

1 lb ground beef
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 1/2 cups water
1 can tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 lb. egg noodles
1 lb. dry cottage cheese
1 lb. mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Brown meat. Stir in onion soup, water, tomato paste, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, and sugar. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Arrange alternate layers of meat sauce, noodles, cottage cheese, and mozzarella cheese in a 9x13 pan. Repeat layers ending with meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until mozzarella is melted.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mom's Chicken Noodle Soup

The Story:

Since it is fall time and starting to get freezing cold in Utah I decided this week would be good for a soup recipe. I don't remember when we started having this soup on a regular basis at our house. I think it was when I was in high school. We lived in Arizona where it was always really hot so I didn't really make fall soup memories until I came to Utah for college. Now I have to make it all the time just to stay warm!

Here's a little note with soup recipes, or recipes in general for that matter. These are mostly just guidelines. Do want you think sounds yummy! And let's be honest...I have NEVER measured anything out when I make this so it is mostly just guesstimates on my part. And I somehow always end up with enough soup to feed a small army and we have leftovers for FOREVER. If you don't want that much try to just be really careful as you go along to keep things small. I don't really have any advice on how to do that so good luck!

Chicken Noodle Soup:

3 large chicken breasts
1 medium sized bag of noodles (I usually use shells)
diced potatoes and carrots
1 can evaporated milk
processed cheese (1/3 of a loaf of velveeta or about 8 slices of kraft will work great!)
3-4 eggs
seasoning of your choice to taste

a few notes:
  • for the diced carrots and potatoes: I usually do 4-5 small potatoes and one small bag of mini carrots BUT Stephen and I were at the store a few weeks ago and he said we should get the potatoes and carrots in cans. I thought that sounded really gross but I agreed to try it just once since they were on sale. I don't know why I have been wasting my time and energy all of these years dicing vegetables! This was sooo easy and they tasted perfectly normal! I am so excited that I don't have to cut them all up anymore--that always took forever! I used 2 cans of potatoes and one can of carrots.
  • for the seasoning: I always used oregano because it is my favorite but I either lost it or misplaced it when we moved so I just used pepper and season salt when I made it last. Stephen LOVED it!
Ok. Start by boiling the chicken with whatever seasoning you choose in a large stockpot about 1/2 way full of water. I almost always start from frozen so it usually takes about 30 minutes. (While I was waiting I used to spend that whole time and more chopping the veggies. Trust me--go with the cans!)

When the chicken is done, take it out of the pot and start the noodles boiling (Yes, in the same water. It is chicken broth at this point and that is what makes the soup so good! Unless you think that is gross like my dear husband...) while you cut up the chicken into bite size pieces. Put the chicken back in and add the veggies. Let those cook until they are nearly as soft as you want them.

These last few steps are tricky and I usually end up burning the soup. This is what makes the soup so yummy though so go as fast as you can and keep stirring the whole time! Add the can of evaporated milk and then toss in the cheese. Stir it until it is all melted in making the soup really creamy. Then crack your eggs in a bowl, stir them and then drop them into the soup a little bit at a time. You have to make sure the soup is hot enough to cook them, but don't burn it! Just go really fast! When the eggs are cooked, take it off the burner and, if necessary, transfer it to a bowl or something to stop the burning taste from spreading!

I don't think I forgot any steps...did I mom? I guess we'll find out. Haha. It is kind of complicated but this soup just warms my soul when it is bitterly cold outside! One more note...If you have leftovers like I always seem to just be cautioned that when you put the soup in the fridge, all of the veggies and noodles and stuff suck up all of the soup juice and it looks really weird/gross. When you reheat it in the microwave just add a bit of milk and all will be well!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Apple Cake

The Story:

I found this recipe on (great website!) and tweaked it a bit here and there. It has become one of my very favorite desserts to make. It is fast, easy and super yummy! I love to serve it warm with vanilla ice cream that has caramel swirls but I have been known to eat it cold for breakfast too. It works either way. :)

Apple Cake:

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 medium chopped apples
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon; set aside. In a large bowl, mix together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1 cup of white sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture, then stir in the apples. Spread the mixture evenly into a 9x13 pan. In a cup or small bowl, stir together the remaining cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over the top of the bars. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes. The finished cake should spring back when lightly touched.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chicken Rolls

The Story:

We'll just get started with my absolute favorite recipe of all time! I fell in love the very first time I had these and I'm sure I'll love them until the day I die! Thank goodness Stephen loves them too! I made them for him not too long after we started dating convinced him that I am an excellent cook. Haha...I fooled him! I generally have a lot more mishaps than successes in the kitchen. You'll hear about some of those later for sure. I've don't think I've ever messed up this recipe though. It is really simple! Not that being simple makes things foolproof for me but like I said before, we'll save those stories for another day....

My family got this recipe from our dear friend Kim Allen when she made them for us after my mom had surgery. They have been a favorite ever since! This was one of the first recipes I ever memorized because it is just that good! I hope you like it as much as we all do!

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can make them in bulk and freeze them! Just today Stephen and I made 48 chicken rolls and put them in the freezer. They will be the perfect easy and delicious meal after long, busy days of school! You can do this two different ways. You can bake them, freeze them and then heat them up in the microwave. I prefer to freeze them before I bake them. Then whenever we want chicken rolls I just pull them out, put them in the oven and have fresh chicken rolls! :)

Chicken Rolls:

-3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
-2 sticks butter
-2 packages of 8 crescent rolls
-2 cups crushed frosted flakes (most people use corn flakes or bread crumbs but trust me--frosted flakes is the way to go! we found out on accident when we are all out of corn flakes and had to use frosted flakes instead. it was the most brilliant substitution of all time and we have never looked back!)

Boil the chicken until it is cooked all the way through (about 30 minutes if it starts frozen) and then shred it. Mix in cream cheese and just one stick of butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stretch out the crescent rolls so they are just a bit bigger and thinner than how they started. Then put a heaping tablespoon of the chicken mixture onto each one. Fold in the corners to make neat little pouches. Melt the second stick of butter and crush the frosted flakes. Roll the chicken rolls in the butter and then the frosted flakes and bake at 350° for about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.

This is the technical recipe for the sauce that goes on top of the chicken rolls:
-1 can cream of mushroom soup
-1 cup. sour cream
-1/3 cup. milk
-1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix all ingredients over medium heat. Honestly though I don't usually have sour cream or lemon juice sitting around in my little college apartment so cream of mushroom soup and a little bit of milk works just fine on its own. Stephen prefers cream of chicken but if I were you, I would stick with the cream of mushroom. Just sayin'.


not so secret anymore

I have had this blog name reserved for a while with the intention of saving all of my "secret family recipes" in one place. I can NEVER find the little slips of paper that I jot my recipes down on so I thought this would be a good solution. And my little sisters always call at the most inconvenient times to ask me for recipes. A blog would be the perfect solution!

I finally decided to get going on this project now that I have my own little family. I'm excited to try lots of recipes and decide which ones will be our family's favorites. :)

I have tried to figure out how this blog will work over the past year with the domain name sitting on my blogger dashboard. I am always most tempted to try out new recipes when I see lovely pictures of the food that go along with the recipe. Unfortunately, I'm not very into the presentation of my food and I'm definitely not a photographer so I don't think that will work. You'll just have to use your imagination. I think I'll just include the recipe and why I love it. And I will probably only post once a week. I don't want to get too ambitious here. Haha. Guest posters are more than welcome and hopefully my sisters and sisters-in-law will pop in to share more fun family recipes! I'm excited to finally get this started!