Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wendy's Chili

Melissa gave me this chili recipe. We tried it last night for our ward's chili cook-off, and we really liked the recipe! It is similar to "Wendy's Chili" from the fast food restaurant.

1 lb. Ground Beef (browned)
1 lb. Italian sausage (browned)
1-29 oz. Tomato Sauce
1 29- oz. Can Kidney Beans
1-29 oz. Can Pinto Beans
1 C. Onion Diced
1/4 C. Diced Celery
1/2 C. Diced Green Chilies
3 Medium Tomatoes, diced up
1 Tsp. Cumin
3 TBSP. Chili Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Pepper
2 tsp. Salt
2 C. Water

Add all ingredients into crock pot or onto stove top. Simmer for a a few hours.

**I would always half this recipe unless you are cooking for a really large group!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Homemade Mac n' Cheese

I cannot remember EVER liking macaroni and cheese, though I probably did as a child. (Did I, mom?) But as far back as my memory goes, I've found it revolting. Katelee and Gerald like it, though, so it is (very rarely) made around here at times. I ate a bite of Katelee's once - blech.

But recently Katelee ordered mac n' cheese at a restaurant. I could tell it was the REAL thing (no Kraft from a box, thank you), and it was yummy! I don't think I'd ever tried mac n' cheese that wasn't from a box before. So lately I've been craving a nice bowl of real macaroni and cheese.

Martha Stewart's recipe for macaroni and cheese showed up on Yahoo this week, and I was excited to try it. But when I went shopping I found I was going to have to spend about $40 making this one meal if I bought the expensive cheeses listed in her recipe - no thank you!!

So my friend shared THIS recipe with me and we tried it for dinner tonight. It's from the Pioneer Woman! I LOVE her. (In fact, why didn't I think to look there for a mac n' cheese recipe first?) It's simple, made with everyday regular ingredients, and it was yummy. A great dinner on a fall Sunday evening. :) Hope you enjoy! (You can see step by step photo instructions on her blog here.)


4 cups Dried Macaroni
1 whole Egg Beaten
1/4 cup (1/2 Stick Or 4 Tablespoons) Butter
1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
2-1/2 cups Whole Milk (I used 2%)
2 teaspoons (heaping) Dry Mustard, More If Desired
1 pound Cheese, Grated (I used sharp cheddar, but want to try a blend next time.)
1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
1/2 teaspoon Seasoned Salt, More To Taste
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Optional Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Thyme

Preparation Instructions

Cook macaroni for only about 5 minutes, until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.

In a small bowl, beat egg.

In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.

Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick, almost like a cream gravy. Reduce heat to low.

Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the egg. Whisk together till smooth.

Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.

Add in cheese and stir to melt.

Add salt and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.

Pour in the drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top. (You can serve it without baking - it will be very soft and creamy. I chose to bake mine.)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our New Favorite Meatloaf Recipe

Gerald LOVES meatloaf. It is the one meal he requests on special occasions (maybe because I don't make it otherwise). :) We were recently invited to dinner at a friend's house, and they served a DELICIOUS meatloaf. Yum! This is going to be my new go-to meatloaf recipe. :)

Recipe from Cathy Burgoyne via Sarah Burgoyne 10-4-11
  • 2 1/2lb of hamburger (I used 3 the other night)
  • ¾-1c. bread crumbs (I usually use old bread and my food processor to make the crumbs, freeze the rest)
  • 2 eggs well beaten with 2 Tbsp of water
  • ½ small onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ c. ketchup or bbq sauce (I used bbq sauce the other night- just what ever I had in the fridge)
Sprinkle bread crumbs and onions over meat and mix. Premix all other ingredients and then add to meat mixture. Mix with hands until incorporated. Form into a loaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Homemade Applesauce

Today I made and bottled homemade applesauce. I haven't done applesauce in a few years, and I had almost forgotten how much better it tastes than store-bought applesauce! Oh, it's heavenly!

This website here has TONS of great information about making applesauce: from choosing apples to making and bottling the sauce, etc. I'm not going to talk about choosing apples, since she already does all that. But I'll give instructions for how I made and bottled the sauce.

Things You'll Need:
  • apples (You'll get 12 - 16 quarts of sauce per bushel of apples. A bushel weighs about 42 lbs.)
  • cinnamon (optional, but I like it!)
  • sugar (optional - I don't usually use any sugar unless the sauce just seems too tart. With the right apples, you shouldn't need any.)
  • washed and piping hot mason jars with lids and rings
  • water bath canner
  • food strainer/saucer. I have this one here. If you plan to make a lot of applesauce, I highly recommend it! I hear you can make applesauce with just a plain metal strainer, too, but luckily I've never tried it. Sounds like a headache. :)

Soak your jars in hot water so they will be nice and hot when you need them. Put the lids in a small sauce pan of water to simmer. Fill your waterbath pot with water and start heating to a boil.

Wash your apples and cut them them in quarters. LEAVE THE SKINS AND CORES ON - no need to remove them! (YAY!) Just cut them into quarters or use one of those metal apple segmenter thingys to slice the apple quickly.

Throw the apples into a pot of water and bring to a boil. When it gets really going, turn the heat down to medium-high and let cook until the apples are nice and soft through and through. (This took about 10 - 25 minutes per batch.)

Now, if you have a food saucer like I do, just stick the soft apples in the top of your saucer, crank and voila! APPLESAUCE! Again, if you do not have a food saucer, you can still make applesauce, especially if you're just doing a small batch. Click here to read all about how to do this with no special equipment.

Now, if you want to bottle the applesauce, put the applesauce into a large pot. Keep the sauce hot. Season with cinnamon and/or sugar as needed to taste. Note - a little bit of sugar goes a long way! The sauce doesn't need to cook, it just needs to be kept hot until you have enough to fill your jars.

Fill the jars to within a 1/4 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims well and put a lid and ring on each jar. Place in a waterbath canning pot and when the water comes to full boil, start timing. How long you keep them in the waterbath depends on your elevation. I processed mine for 30 minutes.

When done, remove the jars and set in a safe place to cool and seal overnight. You're done! Yay!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Soft Molasses Cookies

Last night I had a Halloween-themed piano recital. It was so fun! For the refreshments, I baked cookies that reminded me of fall. Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, toffee and butterscotch (using Darla's chocolate chip recipe and substituting the chocolate chips with toffee and butterscotch chips), and THESE amazing cookies that my friend, Sarah Burgoyne makes. I am so glad that Sarah shared this recipe with me. These cookies are soft and chewy. They are pretty. And they taste like fall or Christmas to me. They got the most compliments at the recital last night - everyone loved them and there were none left at the end of the night. ;)

¾ c. shortening
1c. packed brown sugar
1 lrg egg
1/2 c. molasses
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg

Cream sugar and shortening. Stir in egg and molasses. Fold in dry ingredients and stir. (I like to mix spices, salt and baking soda together before adding to flour.) Cover and chill for 1-2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into small balls and roll in white sugar. Place on a cookie sheet (I like to cover mine in foil- keeps cookies from getting too dark and easy clean up). Bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes (I do 9 minutes). (Jenn's note: I think I made mine a bit smaller than Sarah's and so I baked them for 8 minutes. You want them soft - so be careful not to overcook!) Leave on sheet one minute to set, remove to cooling rack

A few notes from Sarah:
*I usually double the recipe.
*I tend to substitute ground cloves for the allspice, also if I am ever low on one of the spices I just try end up with the same amount of tsp of spices. I’ll up the cinnamon or ginger if I am out of nutmeg for example.

Coconut Cake

We had dinner a friend's house recently, and she served this yummy cake. Gerald LOVES coconut, and especially loves this recipe! The recipe is originally from another woman in my ward, Julie Dixon.

  • Pillsbury White Cake mix
  • Can of Cream of coconut*
  • Whip cream (Cool Whip Light)
  • Shredded coconut
Make a Pillsbury White cake mix according to high altitude directions. Bake in an oblong cake pan – I like to use a foil lasagna pan ( 9 X 11) because it’s slightly smaller than a 9 X 13 cake pan and therefore makes a slightly plumper cake. If you use the foil pan, bake for 45 minutes instead of the time listed on the cake mix box. While cake is hot, punch holes every two inches with the handle of a wooden spoon. Into the holes pour a can of cream of coconut (Coco Lopez is one brand name). Let cake completely cool. Frost with whip cream (I use Cool Whip Light) and top with shredded coconut.

*At King Soopers the cream of coconut is located in the mixed drink area. I guess they use it to make pina coladas.