Wednesday, June 25, 2008

{mint brownies}

Last night I had a little get-together at my house, and I really wanted to make mint brownies. I have a recipe that I have used before, but the brownie part isn't my favorite, and the chocolate on top was hard to spread. So, I decided to create my own, using a combination of recipes. They turned out SO good! I will definitely be making them like this from now on.



3/4 tsp. salt
1 c. + 2 T. flour
1/3 c. cocoa
2/3 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. white sugar
1/2 c. chocolate chips
handful mini marshmallows
3 eggs
2/3 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine sugars and butter. Add eggs and vanilla, then cocoa. Mix in flour and salt. Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-32 minutes, or until well done. Do not overbake. Let cool to room temperature.
*Usually I make these and frost with a chocolate buttercream frosting. They are really versatile, and very delicious! You can also add white chocolate chips, which give it a different, yummy taste.

Mint Frosting:

1 recipe Traditional Buttercream Frosting
2-3 drops green food coloring
1 tsp. peppermint flavoring

Make frosting as directed, then add food coloring and flavoring. Add more flavoring to taste. Beat well, until light and fluffy. Once brownies are completely cool, spread generously over the top.

Chocolate Ganache:

2 c. chocolate chips, or finely chopped chocolate squares (I prefer milk chocolate, but semi-sweet is generally used.)
8-10 T. whipping cream

Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Add 8 T. of the cream, then a little more if necessary, stirring until glossy. Spread over mint layer carefully. Let the brownies sit for a few minutes before cutting.
*This is based on a basic recipe I found on Picky Palate, but you can use any recipe for chocolate ganache that you like.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

{sesame beef}

This recipe came from a friend, and those that have tried, love it!


1 lb. beef boneless sirloin steak
2 T. sugar
2 T. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. finely chopped green onions (about 3)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 T. sesame seed
2 T. vegetable oil
2 c. hot cooked vermicelli or rice

Cut beef diagonally across grain into 1/8 inch slices. (Beef is easier to cut if partially frozen, about 1 1/2 hours.) Mix sugar, soy sauce, pepper, onions, and garlic in a plastic bowl. Stir in beef until well coated. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Drain beef mixture. Heat sesame seed in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until golden brown. Serve over vermicelli or rice. Sprinkle with sesame seed.

{potato chip chicken}

What a fun, kid-friendly recipe...not to mention delicious! These bite-sized nuggets are easy to make, and yummy to eat. Try serving with sides of ranch, honey mustard, and even BBQ sauce.


2-4 boneless, skinless chick breasts, cut into strips or nuggets
1 egg
3-5 T. buttermilk
1 bag potato chips, crushed

Mix together eggs and buttermilk. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture, then to the potato chips. Lay on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until done.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

{the BEST peanut butter cookies}

Rick was in the mood for peanut butter cookies, and last night I decided to try a new recipe from a friend, since I didn't love any of the ones I had. I made a few changes to it, and it is our new favorite! If you like soft and chewy cookies, peanut butter and chocolate, this is the cookie for you. Enjoy!


1 c. sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
*2 c. flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. chocolate chips (I use the large Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 325. Cream together the butter, peanut butter, and both sugars; beat in eggs. Stir together *flour (I didn't sift mine, just used a spoon to place it in the measuring cup. I ended up adding another 1/2 c. after it was all mixed, because it was still too "wet") and baking soda; add to creamed mixture. Beat just until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll into balls, then roll them in granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Use 2 fingers to press them down slightly. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool slightly before removing from pan to cooking rack.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Navajo Tacos

I grew up in the West, and frybread (or scones as we also called them) were a yummy part of my childhood. I have experimented over the years with different bread recipes, and I finally settled on a favorite. The best part? I buy it at the store! It's fast, easy, and delicious.


1 lb. ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
salt and pepper
2 loaves Rhodes frozen bread dough

Green onion
Sour Cream

Using 2 loaves makes enough so we have extra scones, and we either sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on them, or honey butter. YUM!

Thaw bread dough out according to package directions--usually 5-6 hours before the time you plan to prepare them.
Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat until cooked through; add taco seasoning and salt and pepper. Simmer over low until ready to use.
Heat oil in a cast iron skillet until it bubbles when you stick the handle of a wooden spoon in the middle of the pan.
Take medium balls of dough, and stretch them out thinly, making sure there aren't any really thick areas. It's okay if there are some holes--this makes it extra crunchy in those areas, and delicious! Place in the hot oil, and let it cook until golden brown. Using tongs, flip it over and brown on the other side. When done, let it drain on a large platter covered in paper towels. Repeat the process until all the bread dough has been fried.
Serve them with the meat mixture, and garnish with tomatoes, lettuce, onion, cheese, sour cream, and even guacamole.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Mexican 7-Layer Dip

This is one of my most favorite things ever! I love love love to eat this with really yummy tortilla chips, and it's perfect to eat at home or take to a get-together.


1 can traditional refried beans
1 pint fresh salsa or pico de gallo
1 pint guacamole (not guacamole dip--homemade works well too)
1 pint sour cream
green onions, chopped
tomatoes, chopped
Cheddar cheese, grated

Mix the beans and salsa together in your serving dish, then spread evenly across the bottom. Layer the guacamole on top of the bean mixture, followed by the sour cream, cheese, onions, and tomatoes. Easy peasy!

Salsa and Black Bean Pasta

This originally was a Salsa and Black Bean Stuffed Shells recipe, which I still make occasionally, and which we really like. I came up with this version when I was in a hurry (that happens to me all the time!), and I didn't have time stuff each shell. My family prefers it this way, and it is easier for younger children to eat. It is SUPER easy, and totally delicious!


1 pint fresh salsa or pico de gallo
1 can black beans
1 lb. hamburger
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 c. mozzarella cheese

Cook 1 lb. pasta (I use farfalle or penne) according to box directions. While it's cooking, brown the hamburger in a large skillet with the garlic until cooked through. Add the salsa and black beans, heat through. Toss the hamburger mixture with the pasta in a large baking dish, then sprinkle generously with cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.