Monday, November 26, 2012

Butcher Block Cutting Boards

I can't believe it's been soooo long since I've done anything with my blog!  Is it too early to make a New Year's resolution to post more frequently!?!  I vow to post at least once a month.  There... I've said it.  Now I just need to hold myself to it!  At least this way, I haven't set an unrealistic goal.  If I said once a week, I could see myself not updating every week.  Saying once a month minimum, I can do that!  If I post more frequently, then I can pat myself on the back and have a feel good moment!

So to get down to the nuts and bolts of it... the reason for my posting today is purely on a technical note (or should I say *lack of* technical note.  I have fallen in love with Pinterest and I am not savvy enough to figure out how to post pictures on Pinterest without pinning it from a website.  So now I can pin from this page and I don't need a Tylenol to get me through the figuring it out ;-)

My brother in law is starting to make these cutting boards.  They are BEAUTIFUL!!!  They truly are!  They are made from butcher block wood.  Since I am not a wood worker, I couldn't accurately relay how he makes them without getting my terms messed up... something about jigging, router, sanding (ok... so I'm not unschooled enough to not know what sanding is... but you get my point!)  He is making these to sell.  Lucky you!  He is taking orders for the following sizes: Small- 12 1/2 X 10, Medium- 13 X 17, Large- 17 1/2 X 15 1/2, and an Extra Large- 21 X 12 1/2.  Prices range from $20-$50 depending on what size you want.  They will come with a butcher block coating on them, but you will need to re-treat the boards periodically to keep the wood in condition.  Home Depot carries a Butcher Block wood conditioner.  If you are local to Utah County, you can pick them up from him, if you are not local, you can have them shipped to you.  I'm sure the shipping will vary in price depending on size as well.  You can reach Richard at (801) 367-5398

If you want, follow me on Pinterest and see what makes me smile :-)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cherry Cake

On April 30, 1789, George Washington, standing on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York, took his oath of office as the first President of the United States. "As the first of every thing, in our situation will serve to establish a Precedent," he wrote James Madison, "it is devoutly wished on my part, that these precedents may be fixed on true principles."

It is said that Washington cut down a cherry tree in his youth. When questioned by his father it is said that Washington replied, "I can't tell a lie, Pa; you know I can't tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet."

I personally don't believe this took place. I believe it to be a fabrication on the part of an author to show Washington's honesty and to sell books.

When I think of Washington DC, I also think about the cherry trees that are planted throughout the District. I dream of someday visiting our Capitol and touring it's monuments. If it were to coincide with the cherries blossoming... that would make it even better!

So when I think of President's Day, I think of cherries. What better way to celebrate than to make a cherry cake! This cake whipped up in no time flat (uses a box mix) and is TASTY! I iced it with my Cream Cheese Icing that I added maraschino cherries to. Results... hubby had three pieces ;-) The following picture isn't the greatest, but when you finish making the cake at 9 PM after helping a friend corral her stallion, there is NO natural light to take good pictures!!!

Cherry Cake

1 yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 can cherry pie filling

Beat the cake mix and eggs for two minutes until it is well blended. Stir in cherry pie filling. Pour into a greased or lined (I lined my pan with parchment paper) jelly roll pan. Bake at 350* for 18-22 minutes. Cool completely and ice with Cream Cheese Icing.

Cream Cheese Icing
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 C maraschino cherries, chopped
2 c heavy cream

Beat cream cheese, sugar and extracts until well combined. Add in cherries and with mixer running, slowly pour in heavy cream and beat until stiff peaks form.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I have gone to two different gatherings lately where I was asked to bring food. The first was my friend Cari's birthday! We had a surprise party for her... AND we pulled it off! She was definitely surprised! I had wanted to make Cranberry Meatballs... but for the life of me couldn't find which of my MANY cookbooks had the original recipe :( So I searched around on the internet and found a grape jelly meatball recipe that sounded interesting. I made it and was not disappointed! Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of these meatballs before my family inhaled what wasn't eaten at the party.... but here's the recipe anyway!

3 C chili sauce
2 C grape jelly
1 T dijon mustard

Mix all together and pour over precooked meatballs. Crock pot on high 4 hours

I just used frozen meatballs from Costco. This recipe adequately covered 5 lbs of meatballs. Had I had enough room in my crockpot for the whole 6 lb bag of meatballs, with room to stir, I would have used the whole bag. I heated the meatballs in the microwave for this occasion, since I was running behind on my party prep... but you could easily pour it over the frozen meatballs and cook on high for 4 hours to get them warmed through.

So my next occasion was our Quilt Guild service day. Every February, instead of our regular meeting, we do service projects. Today we sewed burp cloths and receiving blankets for the Women, Infants, Children organization, and pillowcases for The Quilts of Valor project. We sew for several hours, have a potluck lunch and sew some more! I was REALLY craving my Cranberry meatballs, and then the lightbulb went off! Since it has been a favorite recipe of mine for a while, I thought maybe I had put it in the Cookbook Emma's school put together a few years back as a fundraiser.... sure enough there it was! So easy... I couldn't believe I couldn't remember the ingredients! I mixed the sauce ingredients in a Ziplock bag, picked up some meatballs on the way to the Guild and threw it together in a flash when I got there.

Cranberry Meatballs
2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce
1 can tomato soup (undiluted)
1 T dijon mustard

Mix sauce ingredients and pour over precooked meatballs. Crockpot on high for 4 hours. Sauce adequately covers 4 lbs of meatballs.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chicken Tacos

I saw these Chicken Tacos on The Urban Homemaker and knew I had to try them! I wasn't disappointed one bit. This is a good way to stretch a little bit of meat. We actually got two meals out of this... not bad for my hungry family of 5 =-)

I was a bit concerned about putting the pepper jack cheese in them, since my littlest does NOT like spicy hot food... but I did not detect any heat from it at all.

I had some chicken in my freezer left over from when we stewed some of our hens. I just nuked it enough to be able to separate the pieces out, but they were by no means defrosted all the way. I used corn and rice straight from my freezer as well. One of these days I will put my baked rice recipe on here. It is the best way I have found to cook brown rice! I make a bunch at a time, so I freeze leftovers in 2 cup increments in ziploc freezer bags. Everything was cooked through in the time given.

Chicken Tacos

3-4 C cooked, shredded chicken

2 C cooked brown rice

1 C frozen sweet corn

1/2 tsp salt

1 C (4 oz) shredded Pepper Jack Cheese

1 can diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes

2 (10 oz) cans Green Enchilada Sauce

Crisp taco shells



Sour Cream

Fresh squeezed lime juice

Lightly grease a 13 X 9 baking dish. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, spread into the baking dish. Bake at 450 degrees or 25-30 min, or until bubbling. Let stand 5 minutes and serve!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

You all probably thought I fell off the face of Earth didn't ya! I apologize for taking such a hiatus from my blog. I have still been taking lots of pictures of food I've been making, so I have no excuse to not blog about them!

My middle little, Ellie, turned 9 this month. Between family parties and a friend party I made lots of cupcakes and a cake. My favorite has to be the cupcakes I made for her friend party! I have found a lady who does ceramics. She teaches everyone from 2 to 90... although I am sure if you are 92 and still have a desire to paint ceramics, she isn't going to turn you away ;-) I was VERY pleased with her party and her prices. If anyone wants to plan a party I can give you her contact information in a private e-mail.

Ellie decided she wanted her friends to paint fish... so we went with the whole fish theme for the invitations and party. I found some dimensional fish in a scrapbooking section at our local megamart and decided to use glue dots to affix toothpicks to them to stick in the cupcakes.

The frosting was to DIE FOR!!! I guess that depends on your fondness of peanut butter... one of my favorite candy bars is Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.... so this was right up my alley! I doubled the frosting recipe to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes the way I did. If you were just going to spread the frosting on the cupcakes, a single recipe should be adequate... but why would you just want a thin layer!?! =-)

Chocolate Cupcakes

6 T cocoa
1 1/2 C sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 C flour
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 C vegetable oil
1 C water
Sift together cocoa, sugar, salt, baking soda and flour. Using a mixer, mix together the eggs, vanilla, oil and water until well combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down side of mixer as needed. Divide evenly into 24 lined muffin cups and bake at 375* for about 18-20 minutes.

Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting
6 T unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C powdered sugar
3/4 C creamy peanut butter
1/4 C heavy cream
Using a mixer, beat all ingredients together until smooth and combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed while mixing. Use a pastry bag with a large tip to pipe frosting on cupcakes, or spread with a knife.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Jalepeno Popper Dip

So I've been bad with blogging this week! I've been off riding horses, cleaning house and prepping for the Super Bowl. NOT that I care for football... who played again... oh yeah... Saints and Colts. I love the Super Bowl for the commercials and the party. My favorite commercial was the one close to the beginning of the game for Doritos. The dog wearing the shocking bark collar that gets teased by the man with the Doritos and the dog sneaks the collar onto the man... hilarious. I'm sure there were other ones that were better than that one, but honestly, I didn't even watch much of the commercials either, I was too busy chatting and cooking... shocker, I know ;-) I made a new dip today (well new for me!) This dip whipped up quickly and was so easy... and TASTY! I'm glad I didn't get around to making it until the party was well under way. By the time I pulled it out of the oven, everyone had been snacking on so much of the other food, there was little belly room left. There is just enough of a corner left for me to have a snack tomorrow! If you love Jalapeno poppers, you will LOVE this dip! The panko bread crumbs can be found on the Asian aisle of your grocery store. They add just a hint of crunch to the topping. I served these with thin triscuit triangles. I also need to mention that I have some awesome friends that helped me clean up before they left. I wasn't expecting them to, and I turned down the help when they first asked me, but I am so thankful that I will have a clean kitchen to wake up to tomorrow. I do feel a bit guilty though knowing how many dishes I messed up with all my food prep I did during the party! Thanks a ton guys =-)

Jalapeno Popper Dip

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 C mayonnaise
1/2 C sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
3 jalapeno peppers, membranes and seeds removed and finely chopped
1 C Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 C Panko bread crumbs

Mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, green chilies, jalapeno peppers and 1/2 C Parmesan cheese. Spread out into a 9X9 pan. Combine the remaining Parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs and sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until the top is lightly golden brown. Serve with triscuits or cracker of your choice.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I had planned on making pizza for Ellie's birthday earlier this month. With everything else I had going on that day, I didn't get around to making it homemade, so we had Papa Murphy's pizza instead. (Hey... at least it was home cooked ;-) ) Hubby was REALLY craving homemade pizza since I had mentioned making it for the birthday. I might have gotten myself in over my head now... after hubby had taken a few bites, he said he was NEVER gonna buy a Little Caesar's pizza again. I think that is maybe taking it a tad to far... after all, mine takes a few hours, not very feasible for a spur of the moment lunch! I do see this in a regular rotation!
I adapted the dough recipe from Culinary in the Country. I love the different topping ideas they come up with. I doubled this recipe and made a Canadian bacon/ pineapple pizza and a "supreme" with sausage, olives, mushrooms, Canadian bacon, pepperoni and pineapple. The crust is not too heavy with the half and half use of flour. Of course I had to add some flax seed to up the nutrition. If you haven't gotten around to using flax yet... it IS optional. I add it to all my dough recipes to boost the Omega 3's my family gets. The sauce is QUICK and EASY! I swiped this from Coleen's Recipes I will never buy pizza sauce again!
We found that if you cook the pizza for 15 minutes adding the cheese after the pizza has baked for 10 minutes, the crust doesn't get soggy and the cheese doesn't get burned! These pictures didn't come out too well (I can't wait until we have daylight at suppertime again!), but someone has been muttering about me making pizza tomorrow, so I will get some new ones with better light!

Pizza Sauce

1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 clove garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
1 (6 oz) can of water
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp fennel seed(do not leave out)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp dry crushed red pepper flakes

Saute the onion and celery in the olive oil until soft. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Sauce will become very thick. Makes enough sauce to top one pizza.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1 T olive oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 T flax seed, ground

Combine flours, salt and ground flax seeds. In mixer bowl, combine yeast, sugar and water. Let sit for 5 minutes or until frothy. Add oil and dry ingredients. Knead for 5 minutes. Turn out into a greased bowl and flip dough to oil top of dough. Let rise until doubled. Roll dough out and spread with sauce and desired toppings (excluding cheese). Bake at 450* for 10 minutes. Add cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes. This recipe makes enough for a 1 lb dough (1 pizza)