Thursday, June 30, 2011

Serving UP {Dessert}: Best Homemade Ice Cream

Are you getting ready for your 4th of July BBQ yet?  My kids have been asking what our plans are and my eight year old informed me that he loves the 4th of July because of the BBQ.  Fascinating since we BBQ all the time and the menu is the same whether it's a holiday or not.  Also fascinating because he generally eats what is grilled and passes on all the sides.  So I'm not sure where the love affair is, but maybe it's because he know I will be making this homemade ice-cream!

Growing up I was blessed to live very close to family (VERY close!).  Because of the close proximity to family, we had a family BBQ for Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Pioneer Day (a Utah holiday), and Labor Day.  The menu was always the same, with the same aunts bringing the same items to each BBQ.  The most important assignment was always grandpa's because he was in charge of the Homemade Ice Cream.  It would not have been a family gathering if we weren't all talking over the loud drone of the electric ice cream maker at the corner of the garage.  Loved it!

This recipe isn't actually the recipe that my grandpa used.  Forgive me for saying this, but this recipe is even better!  I came across this recipe when I was first married and have tweaked it slightly, but have never gone back to any other vanilla ice cream recipe.  For our family, this is it!

Just in case you are looking for something beyond vanilla, tomorrow I will post another favorite homemade ice cream recipe - Root Beer Float ice cream!

printable version

5 eggs (I use egg beaters as the eggs aren’t cooked)
2 cans evaporated milk
1 pint heavy cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (3.5 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
4 C. whole milk

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, evaporated milk, heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer. Beat in pudding mix until smooth. Pour into freezer canister of ice cream maker and add milk, not exceeding the "fill line" on the freezer canister (you may use less than all 4 cups of milk). Freeze according to manufacturers directions.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Serving Up {Pork}: Kalua Pork

Three years ago I was in charge of a family reunion in Las Vegas for my husbands family.  The second evening we turned our church gymnasium into a Hawaiian Luau complete with music, decorations and food.  The menu for the evening included spam musabi, macaroni salad, sticky rice and this recipe for Kalua Pork.

Cooking for 42 people gets tricky.  The fact that half of those 42 people were little bodies adds an additional amount of tricky into the equation.  I'll be honest, I tend to over prepare and over cook and the result is generally lots of leftovers.  Not the case with this recipe.  I cooked three 7-8 pound pork roasts and after the first round of people filling their plates I was horrified at the amount that was still remaining on the serving table.  I guess the meat required an actual tasting because before long most people were returning for seconds and not long after that I was asked if there was any more pork.  It had ALL been eaten!  All 20+ pounds.  Since that reunion I have had a number of family members ask for the recipe.  I love serving this recipe to a large group because it comes together so easily, requires so few ingredients and is always a hit with everyone.

printable version

5 lb. pork roast
2 Tbs. sea salt or Hawaiian salt
¼ cup liquid smoke
¼ cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1 onion

Trim excess visible fat from the pork roast.  Sprinkle the salt over the roast and rub the salt into the pork.  Place the pork roast into a roasting bag. Peel and cut the onion in half; place into roasting bag with pork.
Mix together the liquid smoke, soy sauce and water; pour into the bag and seal as per directions for roasting bag. Place bag into a roasting pan and bake for 4-5 hours at 325 degrees.
When fully cooked the meat will pull away to shred easily.  Pour remaining gravy from bag over the shredded pork and allow the moisture to absorb into the meat.
Serve over sticky rice.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Serving Up {Dessert}: Caramel Rice Krispie Treats

I have a dear friend (that I attended kindergarten with thank you very much!) that frequently sends me recipes.  She knows of my love of all things food and I know that if the recipe is from her then it is worth making.  Unfortunately some of the recipes she sends do go unmade - but when she sent this recipe earlier this spring I made it the very same week.  And again the next :)

As I made the caramel sauce, I realized that it is a basic caramel coating recipe for caramel popcorn.  Somebody was just pretty brilliant to toss it over rice krispies.  And while rice krispie treats may not be anybody's idea of gourmet, I have to admit that I LOVE them.  This caramel twist just takes it to the next level of goodness!  Not only are these insanely yummy, they are quick and easy and a great activity to share with the kiddos, who just so happen to be out of school and looking for something to do.

(recipe from Kim F.)
printable version

12 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Boil the following for 3 minutes:
2 c brown sugar
1 c Karo syrup
1 c butter

Add and boil another 3 minutes:
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Pour over Rice Krispies cereal and mix until well coated.  Transfer to a butter-greased 9x13 pan and press evenly. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Serving Up {Fun}: Edible Peanut Butter Playdough

What a gruesome photo!  Maybe some recipes really shouldn't be photographed...

Are your kids out of school yet?
Have you heard those dreaded two words yet?
You know the ones..."I'M BORED!".

If you are like me, those words result in an extra chore (or two).  If you are not like me and you actually help your children cure their boredom with something fun to do, this recipe is a great find.  It only requires four ingredients and so it's easy enough for many kids to make completely on their own.  Once the ingredients are combined, the kids have a ball making all kinds of creations and then eating them.  Actually, I guess that solves the problem of the other two dreaded words, "I'M HUNGRY".

printable version

¾ cup Peanut Butter
¾ cup Dry Milk
½ cup Honey
1 tsp. Vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Store in the refrigerator.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Serving Up {Soup}: Cool Berry Soup

I posted a Chilled Raspberry Soup in April and it has been getting a lot of hits.  I'm thinking that the warmer weather is drawing people to look for recipes that don't heat up the kitchen and are light and luscious.  Based on demand, I guess I ought to share the recipe for another chilled yogurt "soup" that was served at the same wedding as the Chilled Raspberry Soup.  This soup is also from the Museum Cafe Menu at BYU.  It's has more of a citrus flavor, but is just as delightfully delicious topped with fresh (or frozen) berries.

(recipe from the Museum Cafe at BYU)
printable version

1 32 oz container of Vanilla yogurt
1/2 lb. sour cream
1/3 cup minute maid orange juice
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1 cup powdered sugar

Combine all of the ingredients and whisk together until the sugar is dissolved and the soup is smooth.
Serve with fresh or frozen berries on top.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Serving Up {Breakfast}: Buttermilk Pancakes

At any given time if you were to open my refrigerator you would find at least one, if not two, containers of fresh buttermilk.  It is a mainstay for breakfast at our house.  Buttermilk Pancakes and Buttermilk Waffles are each on our menu at least once a week.  I grew up thinking that you could substitute the dry buttermilk powder for the real thing.  I guess technically you can, but the end result knows that you cheated.  Promise me that if you have never used real buttermilk that you will try it.  I am convinced that you will be converted just as I was.

I used to think that making pancakes from scratch took too much time out of our busy morning routine.  Not the case.  This recipe comes together in minutes.  If time really is the issue, you could combine all the dry ingredients the night before in one bowl and the wet ingredients in a bowl left in the fridge.  Then you would have no excuse.  Personally, I think there is no excuse for NOT making these regularly.  I hope you agree.


2 cups flour
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the milk, eggs and oil and whisk together.  Pour liquid into the bowl with the flour and mix until just combined, being careful to not over mix.  Pour 1/4 cup of batter at a time onto a heated griddle, flipping when bubbles begin to form.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Serving Up {Salad}: Teriyaki Bowtie Chicken Salad

Can I just say that by simply posting this recipe I am craving it!  A lot!  I mean, read through those ingredients and tell me what there isn't to love?  Okay, so my kiddoss don't actually love that the ingredients are all touching each other - and being the ultra cool (pushover) mom that I am, their salad looks more like a plate of Teriyaki chicken with a side of noodles and a serving of spinach.  But throw out those childish inhibitions and toss it all together.  You will be so glad that you did!  I will be so glad that you did.  In fact, I might come over and eat it with you because I cannot get enough of it!!!  

(recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)

1 cup canola oil
1/3 – 2/3 cup bottled teriyaki sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
6 Tbs. sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

16 ounce bow tie pasta, cooked al dente, drained and cooled
1 bag (10 ounce) fresh spinach
6 ounce craisins
2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
4 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted
6 ounce honey roasted peanuts
2 cups cooked chicken, tossed with 2-3 Tbs. teriyaki sauce

In a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients and blend until well combined and smooth. 
Mix about 1 cup of the dressing with the cooked pasta in a large bowl and marinate for at least one hour. Combine the remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Just before serving, add the pasta and toss. Add dressing to taste and toss. Serve immediately.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Serving Up {Pudding}: Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

This is a recipe that I got from my sister-in-law long before I saw a variation of it from Paula Deen.  But trust me, my sister-in-law and Paula Deen are both sources that I trust completely when it comes to recipes for just about anything!  Take my word for it!

What I want to know is why I never thought of adding sweetened condensed milk, and cream cheese for that matter, to my pudding before.  It's brilliant!  Seriously you could skip the cookies and the bananas altogether and just serve the most delightfully delicious pudding you've ever imagined.  But the cookies are cute and the bananas are healthy (hee hee) so go ahead and keep them along for the ride.

(recipe from Neesha W.)

2 bags shortbread cookies (Lorna Dune)
6 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 5-ounce box vanilla instant pudding
1 8-ounce pkg. cream cheese
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-ounce cool whip topping

Line a 9x13 pan with one bag of cookies and layer the sliced bananas on top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding and blend well.
In another bowl blend the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth.  Add the pudding and then fold in the whipped topping until all are combined.
Pour the pudding mixture over the cookies and bananas.  Top with remaining cookies.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Serving Up {Pasta}: Angel Hair Pasta with Sausage and Clams

I have been reading on the news about so many areas of the country experiencing some serious heat waves.  It seems unreal to me because I'm still trying to grasp that it's June when our average temps are still only in the 60's.  I made soup just last week and would love to be posting soup recipes, but they are probably out of place for most of my (family) readers.  This recipe isn't out of place.  In fact, it's the perfect summer recipe because you use the stove top and don't have to heat up the house with the oven.  Perfect if you are experiencing some of the heat seemingly prevalent everywhere but where I am :)

If you read the ingredient list of this recipe and you jump to the conclusion that the recipe is complicated or time consuming you would be wrong!  This dish comes together SO fast because you simmer the noodles in the "sauce" versus cooking them separately.  Not only that, angel hair pasta only needs to cook for about 6 minutes to be done so by the time you have asked your kids to set the table for the third time, the meal is ready!

(recipe from aunt Sue)
printable version
10 ounce angel hair pasta
2 Tbs. olive oil
6 ounce Italian sausage, mild
½ cup minced onion
1 Tbs. minced garlic
2 tomatoes, chopped
½ cup water
4 cups chicken broth
1-2 cans clams, rinsed and drained
4 Tbs. fresh basil (or 2 Tbs. dried)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat olive oil. Add sausage, onion and garlic and cook until sausage is cooked through. Add chopped tomatoes, sautéing 5 minutes more. Add water and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add clams, basil and uncooked pasta. Reduce heat and simmer 4-6 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Serving Up {Bread}: Mom's Corn Bread

I love corn bread but have become a bit of a corn bread snob.  I grew up enjoying my mom's recipe for corn bread, which is dense and moist and delicious.  Sadly, I have learned that most corn bread is dry, crumbly and not delicious.  As a result, I am cautious about eating corn bread outside of my own (or my moms) home.

If you have doubt, I will illustrate my point by telling you that twice, in a very short period of time, I took meals into the homes of people that needed a meal.  On both occasions I brought this bread along as an accompaniment.  On BOTH occasions, I had the husbands comment later that they don't even like corn bread but that they loved mine.  I thought that is was funny that the same thing happened twice and that both men felt the need to tell me how much they disliked corn bread.  I was pleased on both accounts that mine found their favor.

So if you aren't a corn bread fan (because you have only had dry, bland experiences) may I encourage you to try this recipe and see if it makes a corn bread fan of you.  It makes a great side to a warm soup in the winter or the perfect balance to a green salad in the summer.

recipe from Linda W.
printable version

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup corn meal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup milk

Cream together the butter and sugar in a medium bowl.  Add the eggs and beat well.  Combine the dry ingredients and alternately add the dry ingredients and milk.
Pour into a greased 9-inch square pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until center tests done.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Serving Up {Ice Cream}: Oreo Ice Cream Cake

I have been asked by more than one of my children for an ice cream cake for their birthday.  You would think I would have learned long ago to just go and buy one.  But I'm a slow learner and as a result, we have celebrated with some weird ice cream cakes over the years.

But in my defense - if I had taken the easy way out, I never would have stumbled upon this recipe - which just so happens to be the easiest answer to an ice cream cake EVER (and significantly less expensive than Cold Stone!)  We celebrated my stepson's birthday over the weekend, and while he didn't make the specific request for an ice cream cake (probably a direct result of previous requests gone terribly wrong) I know of his love for ice cream cake and surprised him.  The surprise lost some of the "bang" when three of my four children pointed to the freezer over the course of the day and told him that "your cake is in the freezer".  What we lost in "surprise" we more than made up for in presentation!

One variation that I highly recommend, although I didn't do it this time.  Use the mint Oreo's and mint ice-cream sandwiches.  The last time I made this cake I switched it up with the mint and it really takes the cake over the top.  I wish I had done it again this time.

(recipe from Kraft Food & Family)
printable version

1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
8-ounce COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) Chocolate Instant Pudding
8-12 OREO Cookies, chopped (about 1 cup)
12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches

Pour fudge topping into medium bowl. Whisk in 1 cup COOL WHIP. Add dry pudding mix; stir 2 min. Stir in chopped cookies.
Arrange 4 ice cream sandwiches, side-by-side, on 24-inch-long sheet of foil; top with half the COOL WHIP mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining sandwiches. Frost top and sides with remaining COOL WHIP. Bring up foil sides; double fold top and ends to loosely seal packet.
Freeze 4 hours or until firm.

*** A delicious variation is to use MINT Oreos and MINT ice cream sandwiches ***

Friday, June 10, 2011

Serving Up {Breakfast}: Buttermilk Waffles

We are a hot breakfast family.  Pancakes, eggs, waffles, oatmeal - we try to send the kids off with something more than just cereal.  As a result I have a wide variety of recipes for the basics.  One of my favorite "variations" of pancakes and waffles are recipes that call for buttermilk.  And while I spent the first ten years of my marriage believing that dry buttermilk powder was an adequate substitute, I have been converted to having REAL buttermilk always on hand.  It's beautiful and thick and makes delicious batter.  Really, it's the only way to go.

This is a basic buttermilk waffle recipe - kind of my go-to recipe when we aren't going for anything fancy.  What makes them fancy is smearing them with Nutella when they are hot off the waffle iron.  The chocolate melts and seaps through the holes, drips down your fingers and maybe even a dollop will end up on your chin (if you are lucky).  Add a few banana slices and you may just want to go back for seconds.  If it's after 5 p.m. at night then you have my permission to also add a smear of marshmallow fluff along with the nutella.  But if you do that make sure to use up all the marshmallow fluff, otherwise the kids will be eating it by the spoonful when you are not looking :)


(recipe from Martha Stewart)
printable version

8 Tbs. butter (1 stick), melted
2 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, room temperature and seperated
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla. Pour into dry mixture, and combine.
In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter.
Using a measuring cup, pour batter onto preheated waffle iron and cook until done.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Serving Up {Ice Cream}: Key Lime Ice Cream Shake

When I was a teenager, a dear friend of mine introduced me to the Key Lime Pie at The Dodo restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City.  It was the beginning of my fascination with all things lime.  Twenty years later, if a recipe has lime in it, you know I will be making it.  Fun for me.  Not so much for my husband who just bears that trait in me patiently.

I tell this because this same dear friend commented a couple of days ago, requesting some specific recipes.  I promise that those recipes that she requested will make their way to the blog soon.  But in the meantime, this recipe is specifically for her.  It may not be Key Lime Pie but it is reminiscent of a Lime Ice Cream treat served at The Bluebird in the little college town of Logan, Utah - a favorite stop when we used to make the trek to Bear Lake.  Good times.  Good friends.  Good treats!


3 parts vanilla ice cream
1 part Kirkland (Costco) brand Margarita Cocktail Mix - Classic Lime
1/2-1 tray ice cubes

Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.  

Put the kids to bed.  
Pour the shake into a large glass.  
Sneak out to the back porch and put your feet up while you sip and enjoy!  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Serving Up {Salad}: Broccoli Salad

I love salads of all sorts.  Salads coated in a sweet mayo dressing tend to find particular favor in my palate.  This recipe for Broccoli Salad is one that I had for the first time close to eight years ago.  I still can't believe I had gone nearly three decades of my life without ever having had Broccoli Salad.  I have spent the time since making up for lost time and serve this recipe frequently.

I'll be honest, it's not a favorite of the kids (but that's only because they won't try it!) but I'm almost glad that they don't eat it because I love to eat the leftovers for lunch the following day.  The less they eat, the more for me! (wink)

(recipe from Alberta T.)
printable version

4 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup craisens
1/2 - 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup red onion, chopped or minced
1 bottle real bacon bits

Combine all five ingredients together in a large bowl.

3/4 cup real mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine well, stirring to ensure the sugar dissolves.  Pour over the salad ingredients and stir gently.
Chill salad 4-6 hours prior to serving.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Serving Up {Chicken}: Rosemary Chicken Marinade

Summer has finally come to the Northwest!  It has been a lonnnggg winter.  We just turned our heat off last week and three days later we were at 80+ degrees.  I'm not sure what happened to Spring but maybe we will get a few Spring-like days in the next few weeks before 80 degrees return to stay.

When the temperatures heat up it's nice to take the cooking out of the kitchen.  I like to throw my frozen chicken breasts into a marinade (morning of or even the night before) and let the chicken thaw while they soak up the delicious flavors of the marinade.  When dinnertime comes around I fuel up the barbecue and dinner is a snap.  This recipe for chicken marinade is my most's quick to throw together, the ingredients are almost always on hand, and it's delicious (a favorite even of my kiddos).

(recipe from Saralyn D.)
printable version

16 ounce bottle Italian Dressing
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup (heaping) brown sugar
2 tsp. dry rosemary, crushed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients and marinate the chicken 8-24 hours.
Discard marinade and grill chicken on the barbecue until cooked through.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Serving Up {Salad}: Potato Mac Salad

This is the continuation of yesterday's (bad weather) Memorial Day barbecue menu.  What would a barbecue be without a potato salad or a macaroni salad?  Can't decide which?  This recipe solves the problem by combining the two and the result is great!

Here in Portland there is a Hawaiian restaurant called Noho's that I drool over.  While I've eaten at other good Hawaiian restaurants, Noho's really had me after one bite of their macaroni salad.  I was thrilled when the local paper revealed their "secret" - which was to add potato to it.  I have added potatoes to my mac salad ever since and this recipe is the result of making it many times and making adjustments each time.

1 cup dry elbow macaroni
2 small to medium russet potatoes
2 carrots, shredded
1 green onion
2 cups Best Foods mayonnaise
1 squirt yellow mustard, to taste
3 Tbs. sweet relish, to taste
celery seed, to taste 
Salt & Pepper

Cook the macaroni according to directions.  Rinse and drain.  Place in a bowl to cool in the fridge for at least one hour.
Peel and dice the potatoes.  Place in a pan and cover with salted water.  Cook until fork tender.  Drain and place in a bowl to cool in the fridge until cooled through.
In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, mustard, relish, and celery seed and mix well.  Dice the green onion and add to the dressing.  Shred the carrots and add to the dressing.
Combine the cooled macaroni and cooled potatoes.  Pour dressing over both and mix to combine.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  If it is dry, add a bit more mayonnaise.
Refrigerate salad for at least 4 hours to allow it to chill through and flavors to blend.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Serving Up {Beef}: Smoked BBQ Brisket

The weather prediction for our Memorial Day was wet and cold!  Welcome to Portland!  I thought that Memorial Day was supposed to be the kick-off to summer, which ought to include being able to plan a perfect barbecue.  In defense of our weather patterns, Monday turned out to be a beautiful day but I had already planned our "BBQ" around  the predicted storm.

My bad weather BBQ consisted of throwing a brisket into the crock pot for a Smoked BBQ Brisket.  I served a side of Potato Mac Salad (recipe to come), homemade rolls, green salad (with this dressing), fruit and a limeade punch.  Bring on the rain - my BBQ will weather the storm!

printable version

1 3-6 pound Beef Brisket (Costco carries good brisket)
1/2 - 1 bottle Liquid Smoke (I like the Stubb's brand and the Mesquite flavor)
1 bottle KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Sauce

Place brisket into a crock pot turned to low.  Poke the beef numerous times with a fork or knife.  Pour liquid smoke all over the beef, using half of the bottle if your beef is a smaller cut or the entire bottle if your beef is a larger cut.  Place the lid on the crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours.  Cover the beef in BBQ sauce (using at least half of the bottle of BBQ sauce but more if you prefer).  Replace the lid and continue cooking on low for 6-8 more hours, until the beef shreds easily.
Shred the beef and serve as an entrée or on buns for a meat sandwich.