Monday, September 29, 2008

White Chicken Chili

As September and October begin(cool weather or not) I move into my fall/winter recipes. I love soups and the smells of pumpkin and cinnamon. Fall is definitely my favorite time of year. The air is fresh, the holiday seasons begin, and the attitude of many begin to change into a sense of gratitude and fulfillment as the year comes to a close. Chili is number one on my list of fall foods I can't get enough of. You must try this amazing white chicken chili recipe. I was asked to judge the contest this year and this one was the winner. It's very tasty and a definite keeper. Try it out on your family this week and store it in your recipe book for a fall menu keeper!

Easy White Chili
*Nancy Cromer

2 cans Chicken broth
2 can Great northern beans
1 can chopped chilli's
2-3 chicken breasts cooked anyway you like (I grill mine) cut into pieces
1Tbsp Chili powder, more if you like it Hot or less if not
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper
1 tsp poultry seasoning
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp cumin
1 (8-oz) container sour cream, or I used same amount of guacamole
1 Cup whipping cream
1 bag corn tortilla chips

In a crock pot mix first 12 ingredients, and cook on high for 2-3 hours. Before serving add sour cream and whipping cream to soup. Let set for 30 mins.( it will thicken). To serve, crush tortilla chips in a bowl and pour soup on top.......MMMM good.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A New Recipe Blog

Hi Friends! I just found an amazing blog by my good friend Holly. It has some yummy recipes that I will have to try out... Great Blog Holly!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie Bowls W Puffy Croutons

My hubby isn't a huge pot pie fan... Maybe it's becuase until last night I had never been able to master the taste that he likes. So I made this dish following the recipe to the T and not giving the name of the meal until the end when Joe was getting his second helping and I asked... "how do you like dinner?" He replied with... "it tastes like Chicken pot pie with out the pie" haha... But he said it was good and my boys both scarffed down 2 bowls each. Everyone loved the croutons. Keep an eye on them in the oven... mine only took 12-15min rather than the 25min suggested. The soup in the bowl was so good I would use it as a filler for a real chicken pot pie... It was excellent!

Chicken Pot Pie Bowls with Puffy Croutons
*Pickly Palate

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 medium white onion finely diced
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 stick butter (I know, I hear the groans)
½ Cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cans chicken broth
1 Cup half and half (there go the groans again)
½ Cup low fat sour cream (better?)
1 Cup petite peas, frozen is fine
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of garlic salt, Lawry’s

1 sheet thawed puff pastry
1 egg mixed with 1 Tbsp water
¼ teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1. Heat oil into a large dutch oven or heavy pot. Saute carrots, onion, celery and onion until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat to low stir in chicken and simmer.

2. In a separate medium pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Slowly whisk in chicken broth and half and half until smooth. Increase heat to high while continually whisking until mixture thickens and almost starts to boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in sour cream and peas. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a pinch of garlic salt (won’t need much). Simmer on low while croutons are cooking.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Gently roll out puff pastry with a rolling pin to even thickness. With pastry brush, brush pastry with egg wash and lightly sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. With pizza cutter, cut into ½ inch squares. Place squares onto a large baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking spray and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Remove and let cool.

4. Serve in pot pie base in bowls and top with puffy croutons, Enjoy!

Crispy Parmesan Ranch Crusted Green Beans

I made these last week with some chicken, parmesan, basil pasta (I'll post later). My boys loved them because they ate the green beans with their fingers like french fries. The only note I would add is that more salt may need to be added (I would use kosher salt). Also I have a big ranch family and they liked dipping their beans in homemade ranch. Very very healthy! *grin*

Crispy Parmesan Ranch Crusted Green Beans
*picky palate

¾ Cup prepared Ranch Dressing (I prefer Hidden Valley Seasoning to make my own)
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ Cups panko bread crumbs
½ Cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ lb washed and trimmed fresh green beans (I used some green beans I picked this summer and froze, they still worked really well)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Combine ranch dressing and egg together in a shallow dish. Combine panko, parmesan, salt and pepper in a separate shallow dish. Lightly dip beans into ranch dressing. Press into crumb mixture then place onto a parchment lined baking sheet (they’ll stick to the pan if not, even if sprayed with cooking spray). Do this process until all beans have been coated. Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is crispy and golden. Let cool for 3 minutes then serve.

Peanut Butter Caramel Popcorn Brownies

I made these for family home evening this week and they were a big hit....

Peanut Butter Caramel Popcorn Brownies

1 box brownie mix 9x13 size
3 Cups mini marshmallows
½ stick butter
2/3 Cup corn syrup
1 Big Scoop Of Extra Crunch JIF Peanut Butter
4 Cups Kettle Corn popcorn, popped

½ Cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. (I lined the baking dish with foil that I sprayed with cooking spray first)

2. During the last 2 minutes of baking brownies, sprinkle marshmallows over top, bake for 2 minutes or until marshmallows just begin to puff. Remove from oven.

3. In a medium saucepan melt butter, corn syrup and peanut butter chips over medium heat until just melted. Pour mixture over popcorn and stir until coated. Place over marshmallow layer. In a microwave safe bowl melt chocolate chips in 30 second intervals or until melted smooth. Pour into the corner of a ziplock baggie and snip one corner. Drizzle chocolate back and forth over brownies. Let cool completely before slicing into squares!! (I put mine in the refer and ate the next day)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Honey Mango Chicken with Cashews Served On Sesame Rice

By: Rachael McDizzle Wynn

Honey Mango Chicken with Cashews

3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup salted cashews
3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 medium mango, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
Sesame Rice, recipe follows

In a large bowl or re-sealable plastic bag, mix together 2 tablespoons of the oil, the soy sauce, and the honey until well combined. Add chicken and toss to coat well. Place in refrigerator to marinate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add nuts. Toast nuts, shaking pan a few times, until nice toasted, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. (Can be made up to 3 days in advance.)
When chicken is ready, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add chicken and marinade juices and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is browned on all sides and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in mango and cashews and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust seasoning, as necessary. Serve immediately over Sesame Rice.

Toasted Sesame Rice:
3 1/2 cups water
2 cups long-grain rice
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
Bring water to a boil. Add rice and salt and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, to finish cooking, about 5 minutes. Stir in oil and sesame seeds and serve.

She said she added more Honey after she added the marinade to the pan b/c the soy sauce over powered it. Very tasty!

Why God Made Moms


One of my sister-in-laws sent this to me and I decided to ask lucas the same questions. It was so funny it was hard not to laugh when he gave some answers, but i didn't want it to effect his answers so I tried to hold it back... It was too cute... I had to blog it!!

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

(Lucas) to take care of their children

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

(Lucas) By growing their body in a garden

What ingredients are mothers made of ?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

(Lucas) Hot Chocolate, Cookies and some Broccoli

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

(Lucas) So I could be special

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1. My Mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

(Lucas) The oldest and most careful

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. S he had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

(Lucas) If he believed in God and Belonged to her Church

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

(Lucas) So she could live in a house and have lots of children

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lo t more to do than dad.

(Lucas) Daddy, but mom gives all the spankings

What's the difference between moms & dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.
(Lucas) The dad has the short hair and the mom has the long hair

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

(Lucas) Clean the house, because that's what mommies are for

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

(Lucas) Go to school to make lots of bucks

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

(Lucas) Wear more lip gloss

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Grilled Pizza (With Italian Sausage, Grilled Peppers and Onions)

Grilled Pizza (with Italian Sausage, Grilled Peppers & Onions)
*Rachael Wynn (My cooking diva sister-in-law)

1/2 pound Italian hot sausage
1 large red onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 large yellow pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
2 large red pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 recipe favorite pizza dough, rolled into 4 (6-inch) rounds
1/2 pound grated fontina cheese
1 cup sheep's milk ricotta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Basil Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Preheat a grill.

Grill the sausage on both sides until golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes per side. Brush onions and peppers with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the onions and peppers until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the sausage from the grill and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices. Remove the onions, separate into rings, and roughly chop. Remove the peppers and slice into 1/8-inch thick slices.

Heat grill to high. Brush dough with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over and grill for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the grill and place on a flat surface.

Divide the fontina cheese among the 4 pizza rounds. Divide the sausage, onions and peppers over the cheese. Place the pizza on the grill, close the cover and grill until the cheese has melted, about 3 to 4 minutes. To finish in the oven, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the pizza on sheet pans and bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Mix together the ricotta, extra-virgin olive oil, and oregano in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the pizzas from the oven and drizzle with Basil Vinaigrette. Top with dollops of the ricotta cheese mixture and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Basil Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste

Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar

1 can Black Eyed Peas (rinsed and drained)
1 can Black Beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can(24oz) Diced tomatoes -drained or 1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes
1 can white corn (whole kernel)-drained
1 can yellow corn (whole kernel)-drained
1 red bell pepper diced
1 med. red onion diced
Fresh Cilantro *optional
Jalapenos *optional
1 Sm-Med Bottle of Italian Salad Dressing

Combine all ingredients together and allow to sit overnight. Serve with Big Scoop Corn Chips

or with grilled chicken over a bed of romaine lettuce as a meal.

BLT’s with Basil Aioli on Grilled Flatbread

BLT’s with Basil Aioli on Grilled Flatbread
*Family Style Food

Flat Bread (Usually Deli Section of Store)or Prepare from Scratch
Basil Aioli (recipe follows)
Fresh arugula or other greens
Cooked bacon
Sliced ripe tomatoes

Basil Aioli
1/2 cup mayonnaise, regular or reduced fat ( I prefer Hellmann’s)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

*Prepare Mayo (stores well up to one day prior), Brush Flatbread with EVOO on both sides.. grill on pizza stone until bread is blistered, remove. Once Bread has cooled a bit spread may, mixed greens, bacon and tomatos... Serve and Enjoy!

Mini Chicken Quesadillas

I find Quesadillas to be a bit boring for me. But this one takes the cake!! The fresh corn gives a sweetness mixed with the salty and spicy flavor and you won't be able to get enough... My boys loved the fact that they were mini!

Chipotle Chicken, Black Bean and Corn Mini Quesadillas
*Picky Palate

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
30 2 1/2- 3inch round flour tortillas, cut with round cookie or biscuit cutter
2 Cups diced cooked chicken
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce from can (3 if you like spicy)
1/4 Cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 fresh corn on the cob, kernels removed
1 Cup drained black beans
2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 Cups sour cream
2-3 Tablespoons adobo sauce from can of chipotle peppers

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place tortillas onto a baking rack placed over a baking sheet. Brush tops of each tortilla with oil and bake for 5-7 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Remove and set aside.

2. Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil into large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, chipotle peppers, cilantro, corn and beans until heated through, about 5 minutes.

3. Sprinkle a thin layer of cheese over each bottom tortilla. Spoon a heaping Tablespoon of chicken mixture over cheese layer then sprinkle with a pinch more cheese. Lightly press a tortilla round over top. Repeat this process until chicken and tortillas are used up. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until cheese is melted. Combine sour cream and chipotle in a small bowl. Serve with a cilantro leaf garnished plate and top with chipotle sour cream if desired.

*Depending on what size you cut your tortillas you may need more or less to use all of filling. If you have a house full of non-spicy fans, only use 1 chipotle chili. You'll still get the smoky flavor with less heat*

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I'm not a big Coleslaw fan... But my Hubby is!! I made this coleslaw a week ago and he really enjoyed it. Try it out!

Simple Coleslaw
*Picky Palate

16 oz bag of coleslaw mix

½ Cup mayonnaise or miracle whip

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 teaspoon honey

Place cabbage into a large bowl. Place mayonnaise, sugar, mustard and honey into a small bowl and mix together. Pour and stir into cabbage until combined.

Title Of Liberty

Because we have small children we try to keep family home evening short in sweet. After our opening exercises we have a short lesson and activity. Tonight we told the story of Capt. Moroni and the Title Of Liberty.

I used the children's Book of Mormon with pictures to help tell the story. When we were finished we took a plain white flat sheet I purchased on clearance and let the boys finger paint their own Title Of Liberty.

It went really well and they were too excited to get their hands all grimy.

We used Crayola Finger paint because it washes out so nicely.

Note: By using a bigger sheet we were able to cover the entire dinning room table to ensure the boys didn't start painting on the table itself. Because they were already bathed for the night and in their pajamas we did put old t shirts on so they wouldn't soil their already clean Jammie's!!

Bathroom Chores

As my children get older I realized the importance of them learning responsibility in the home. Perhaps if they were held more accountable for keeping it clean they would remember to pick up after themselves. (Theory yet to be determined if it helps) Nonetheless, I am bound and determined to teach my children what it means to clean. I have a friend that I look up to in so many ways as a mother. I explained to her that I couldn't wait for my boys to be old enough to begin chores....(at that time my son was 5)... She said... THEY SHOULD BEGIN NOW! So I went home and sure enough my oldest son is more than capable to clean an entire bathroom. We store Lysol wipes underneath the sink and every morning he is responsible for cleaning the bathroom (excluding scrubbing the tub which is done once a week). First he must pick up the bathroom (toothbrushes and toothpaste into drawers, towels hung up, and dirty clothes removed) Next he removes the rugs and shakes them. Third he vacuums the floor (I prefer vacuum to sweeping because it doesn't make dust fly). Then he cleans the sink and counters, making sure there isn't any toothpaste or soap scum. and Lastly the Toilet. Now, when I say toilet... He cleans the whole thing top to bottom. The base is just as important as the lid and seat. (And he removes the trash when he is complete)

By doing this every single day (excluding Sunday) the bathroom never gets very dirty and I'm never embarrassed to have company over to use the restroom. Also, because it is done daily it only takes him 15 min or so to do the whole thing.

Homemade Quilted City

My old roommate from college and friend Marie had this great idea for her children. She created a city for her sons matchbox cars and trucks. It's sewn like a quilt and folds up great and washes beautifully. I am getting the pattern and will have it available for anyone interested.

Note: This something little girls can use too. They can play with their barbies, pollies, and animals. The skies the limit with this amazing city.

Laundry Care

I've heard it said that Coke will remove grease stains from your clothing. So I did the research, tried it out and sure enough... It really does work! It doesn't clean, so you will need to use detergent as well.. but it does in fact remove the grease stains and odor from clothes.

I found this Borax at the grocery store in the cleaning isle. It cost 2.50 for a medium sized box (4lbs). It's an amazing product!! It just gives a little boost to your detergent. I try to do a quick spot check to my laundry before throwing it in, but at times i do miss spots... This has really come in handy for that purpose.

Borax is can also be used to clean a porcelain tub, hard water stains, delicates in the wash, it removes odor from garbage pails, and is soft enough for delicate china. I use it for those hard to reach areas in the toilet as well. I just pour some into the bowl before bed, swish and flush the next morning and it practically sparkles! I also used it to clean my drip pans on my stove (that were waaaay over due) I just soaked them and used a scrub brush and now they look brand new again!! Try it out and let me know how it works for you!!