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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Marshmellow Brownies

These are so good.  This is one of the first recipes that I collected when we first got married.  I was reminded of these the other day when they served them at a work party and I dug this up.  I can’t wait to try them again.

Since I am trying to be good, it may be awhile.  Unlike Dave, who can have a little taste of dessert and then not touch it again all week.  His famous comment when having dessert, is “boy is this rich” as if that is a bad thing.  Or just as ridiculous is “I’m full” , as if that is relevant at all where dessert it concerned. I snack on something all week, until I just decide to finish it off and get it over with. 

 

WONDERFUL BROWNIES

2 Squares butter ( we are definitely off to a good start)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 – 2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups nuts
Melt butter and add sugar and cocoa.  Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.  Add flour and nuts.
Bake at 325 for 25-35 minutes.  Cover with minature marshmellow.  Bake 3 minutes or until melted.  Frost and cool 2 hours.
 
Frosting
 
1 square softened butter
1 2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/3 cup evaporated milk

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Recipes

 

My Other Dream!! including crepes and shower decorations

You know my dream of a food truck and owning a barn for barn weddings?  Well there are several more–some include dancing, playing the piano well, tennis, running a marathon and being an event planner.  Not just weddings in a barn, but showers, birthday parties, you get the picture.  Jordan and I love planning parties and usually are the first to say “we’ll do it” and then much time and money later are asking ourselves “why” 

Well of course we offered to give Jamie (my nephew Brighton’s fiancee) a wedding shower.   Her wedding is very vintage so we tried to go that way with the shower, which is great because that is what we love also. 

Of course I went a little out of control and Jordan had to rein me in on several occassions., she is really good at telling me when I have gone over the edge.  When Dave was hauling all the stuff up for us the night before, he started questioning some of things I wanted him to take, mainly the fairly heavy old door from Jordan’s room.  He stopped himself, I am sure realizing he would get no where, and just said, Well of course we will move the door from Jordan’s room, where it does nothing nor opens anything and move it over to Heidi’s where it will also do nothing nor open anything there as well.”  I answered “Now you’re getting it!!”

  It was great fun planning and decoratingl  Here are a few of the highlights including invitations, deoorations and menu.

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I changed the menu so many times.  We even had a tasting party the Sunday prior to taste all the ideas I had and then everyone voted.  Then when it came down to it, I realized I was trying to make too much food and much of it had to be cooked the morning of the shower. So to keep my life somewhat stress free, I decided to go with crepes.  They are always a hit and do not take alot of work ahead of time.  We did crepes with ice cream, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, Nutella, whipped cream and powdered sugar.

We made OJ cooler of the drink–equal parts orange juice and sprite with some fresh lime juice.  We used cut up oranges and limes in the drink holder and the glasses.  Old mason jars were used for the glasses with the fun striped straws.

For a take home gift we made “Better than Sex Cake” in half pint jars.  Jordan made these the night before and they are even better the next day.

To make these we baked chocolate cake in a jelly roll pan.  Using a glass, we cut the cake in circles.  Put one cake round in the bottom of the jar.  Drizzle caramel ice cream topping on the cake.  Sprinkle with toffee bits.  Then add a layer of cool whip.  Repeat.  We tied them with twine and added a spoon.  Next time I would not do the colored spoons, but something more neutral.  They were a little too much when stacked together in the basket.

My mother in law sisters came and were so thrilled with the cakes.  When Aunt Carolyn went to leave, she came running back and said, “I forgot my sexy cake”  She then took another one and said “Now Wayne and I can have our Sex tonight”  It was so funny coming from Carolyn

Then when Jamie was opening some lingerie from Tiana, Carolyn said ” I went into Jack and Jills once because I thought it was a children’s clothing store.  I looked around and said, What is all of this????”  Aunt Ruth said “well what was it” and Carolyn answered “naughty stuff, very naughty stuff.” I thought everyone was going to die laughing.  It was a fun day.

Here is my crepe recipe

1 cup flour

1 1/3 cups milk

2 eggs room temperature

2 TBS butter melted

2 TBS sugar

Wisk flour and milk together,  Add eggs, butter and sugar..  I use my electic crepe maker.  If  you are going to make alot of crepes, this is the way to go.  I have made them in crepe pans before, and this is so much easier.  cool slighty and then roll them up on a platter.  For a party, make some ahead of time so you do not have people waiting for them.  These are so good.  Put a scoop of ice cream on them. fruit of your choice and then drizzle with Nutella.  Roll them up, add a squirt of whipping cream and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Then enjoy!!!!

 The crepe maker that I use is Tibos.  I purchased it at Williams and Sonoma years ago.  It is a little pricey but works so good.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Recipes, Special Occassions

 

Bread Pudding

I love bread pudding, even the soggy somewhat tasteless pudding at the cafeteria at the hospital. I can remember working the night shift and this tasted so good in the middle of the night. 

I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman.   It is amazing and much better than the soggy stuff at the cafeteria.  It is so pretty and has a very strong vanilla taste and I love vanilla.  A good friend of ours Spence Packer had heart surgery,so it gave me the excuse to make this.  It is definitely not Weight Watchers approved and I do not even want to think about how many points this would be.  But if I am going to fall off the wagon, this is how I want to go.  Talking about falling off the wagon, the Whiskey sauce that Pioneer Woman serves with this is evil.  It may not have been the best thing to take to a General Authority’s son.  I hope he is not visiting tonight when Dave delivers this.  I do cook it for an extended time to get the alcohol out, but there is still definetly the taste.  But one good thing,  I am sure that Spence does not know what whiskey tastes like!!!!!

BREAD PUDDING

1 Loaf of French Bread

2 eggs

2 TBS vanilla

2 TBS melted butter

2 1/2 cups milk

2 cups sugar

1/3 cups finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven fot 325 degrees.  Beat together the eggs, milk, butter, vanilla and sugar..  Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes.  Leave the dark crust facing up around the edges. 

Pour the egg mixture over the bread.  Push the bread down with your fingers to saturate each bread piece with the egg mixture.  Just  want to know whose stubby fingers those are!!!     Sprinkle the finely chopped pecans over the bread and let it set for about an hour prior to baking. 

Bake at 325 degrees for 55 to 70 minutes until lightly browned and set in the middle.  Serve warm or cold, with ice cream, whipped cream, whiskey sauce or a combination of any of the above. 

WHISKEY SAUCE

1/2 cup sugar

1 stick butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup Jack Daniels Whiskey

Combine all ingredients and bring to a low boil.  Boil for 5 to 10 minutes to cook off alcohol..  Serve over bread pudding.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Recipes

 

Cooking Day at Mom’s

Today was cooking day at mom’s.  I started by stopping by the grocery store on my way up and filling the cart to the brim and then some.  I think I had just about every meat in the meat department.

Then I hauled it all in and asked myself, “why did I do this?”  So I opened a diet coke, turned up the air conditioning (mom has the heat on and it’s 85 degrees out) and got to work.

Four hours and a big mess later, I filled her freezer with enough meals for a few months.  She continues to love these meals and the convenience of just popping one in each morning.  Jeri Ann and Lorraine came to visit and she insisted they go look at all the meals in the freezer and read all the new recipes. I am sure they were thrilled.

 I was exhausted!!!  Oh well no cooking for 2 months.

One of the new recipes that we tried this month

BBQ Beef Sandwiches

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup ketchup

1 cup BBQ sauce

1 cup water

2 TBS vinegar

2 TBS worcestershire sauce

2 TBS brown sugar

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

3 to 4 pound bonless  chuck roast

Combine all ingredients except roast in slow cooker. When well mixed, add roast.

Cover and cook on high 6 to 7 hours.

Remove roast. Shred meat and return to sauce.  Serve on buns.

I just put all ingredients in ziplock and froze.

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2012 in Crockpot Dinners, Photography

 

The Ultimate Comfort Food!!!

Do you ever have a day that just started bad and went down hill from there.  Well I had one of those today and I am sitting here feeling a little sorry for myself.  I am very grateful for my job and it provides us with the extra income we need and allows me the flexibility to also spend the time with mom caring for her needs.  I worked for many years as a nurse in labor and delivery and loved it.  I can remember when I first started, just loving to go to work.  It was fast paced, exciting and nothing beats the delivery of a new baby.  It was the perfect job and I feel so blessed to have had that experience for many years.  The drawback was the hours.  I worked from 4 am to 4 pm and that was a long day.  Then there was the on call, weekends, and holidays. My job now lets me be home at night, rarely work weekends or holidays, but I really miss labor and delivery.  This is much more adminstrative and it is sometimes very challenging to manage 5 hospitals with 5 sets of nurses, all with very different and strong personalities.  Today was especially challenging and coming home, I was emotionally and physically drained.

When I am feeling that way, I tend to see all the things that I am not getting done at home and that seems to intensify my feelings of discouragement.  Then add that to the things that I fail to acomplish as a wife and mother, let’s just say, I am not a shining example of mother, nurse or wife of the year tonight.

So my inner devil, said “you will feel much better if you go get some french fries or a big hot fudge sundae.  I promptly told my inner devil to “buzz off” and went home, got in my PJ’s, cooked me an “egg in a hole”, crawled in bed and watched silly sitcoms.  I can’t even tell you what they were because I have never seen them before, but they were the perfect mind candy to get my mind off of my day.

Sometimes being a mother and loving so much, can open you up to heartache and worry.  The saying is true, “motherhood is not for the weak” or something like that.  No one prepares you for how sad you can be if you see a child go through difficult times.  It is very true that a mom is only as happy as the saddest child.  I am a fixer and I just want to make it all better,  but part of growing up is to figure things out on your own and learn where to turn during tough times.  We can only do so much and then spend alot of time on our knees.  And I have three great kids. 

  Well enough venting–here is the recipe ( not really a recipe) for the ultimate comfort food for nights like this.

EGG IN A HOLE

Take a slice of bread and using a small glass or cooking cutter, cut a hole out of the middle.  Spray a skillet wth Pam or melt some butter if you want a real treat.

Cook for a few minutes and then crack an egg in the middle.  Cook for several minutes and then flip to the other side. 

Cook until desired doneness (not sure that is a word).  I like my yolk soft, so that when you cut it, the yolk runs out and mixes with the toast. 

Even though this is just bread and egg, for some reason, cooking it this way just tastes better.  For kids, it is fun to use different shaped cookie cutters, or a heart for valentines–how cute is that!!!!

v

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Recipes

 

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

If you are like me and have more tomatoes than you can eat, this is a great way to use them.  I have made all the salsa I need ( see previous post for a great recipe) and do not have many tomato eaters in my house.  This soup is so good and the roasting really makes a difference in the flavor.  I love fall and soup weather.  We are not quite there yet but we have had a few days that at least were below 90, so I think we are on our way.  A little off subject, but can I say I love fall.  Just about everything about it, cooler weather, high school football games, Monday night football, opening my windows at night andfeeling the cool air, pumpkins, fall decorations, the leaves turning, crisp apples, the farmer’s market, soups, hot breads etc. etc. etc.

Okay now back to the soup recipe

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

4 lbs tomatoes, halved

8 garlic cloves left unpeeled

3 TB olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1 onion finely minced  ( the last time I made this I sauteed these in a little olive oil — you could try roasting them with the tomatoes and garlic)

2 tsp fresh oregano minced ( use 1/2 tsp if dry)

2 TBS sugar

2 TBS meltd butter

3 cups chicken stock

3/4 cup cream

Put oven rack in the middle positon and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle oil over tomatoes and garlic and roast them until they just start to brown.

Place the tomates in a food processor and puree.  I like to leave it a little chunky, but you can make it as smooth as you want.  Squeeze the garlic out of the cloves and puree with the tomato mixture.  Place this in a large pand and add all of the other ingredients, except the cream.

Simmer to combine all of the flavors and at the very last, add the cream and warm. Do not bring to a boil.

I like to serve this with a little dollop (is that really a word) of sour cream and some baked tortilla strips.  You can make these yourself by slicing flour tortillas very thin.  Toss with olive oil or spray with baking spray and season with coarse salt..  Bake in hot oven (450 degrees)until crisp.  Or you can just order them by the bag at Costa Vida or Cafe Rio.  I buy a bag and keep them in the freezer.
 

It is supposed to be in the 70’s tomorrow.  I think that is cool enough to start the soup season!!!!  Now I just need some snow so I can quit mowing!!!
 
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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in My Favorite Things, Recipes

 

Buttermilk Syrup

 

 

I love this syrup so much. I have used it for years.  Last night I was whipping up a little breakfast dinner to give Jace and Dave while they watched Utah State beat Utah.  What a game. I could not find my recipe book so I googled the recipe.  This is just a little different than my original recipe and I think I like it better.  It is a little darker and richer.  I will post both of them and you can be the judge. I will never go back to store bought syrup again.  This makes everything you put it on taste so much better–even a spoon.  It is fast and amazing.  Prepare to fall in love.

New Favorite Buttermilk Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, and baking soda. Bring to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla.

 

ORIGINAL RECIPE

 

1 1/2 cups butter

2 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

3 tsp vanilla

3 tsp baking soda

Melt butter and then add the sugar and buttermilk.  When it starts to boil, turn down and simmer for 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the baking soda and vanilla.  Serve warm.  May keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 week.

This seems like almost the exact same recipe, but for some reason it turns out much lighter in color and taste.  Try them both and prepare to see Elvis!!!

I made this syrup last year for Christmas and put it in these very cute jars;  I used the swing top bottles from Specialty Bottles.  Then I had labels printed with

HOMEMADE BUTTERMILK SYRUP

Merry Christmas

The Hill Family

They turned out so cute. I have ordered several different bottles from this company and have been very pleased with all of them.  Last year I made dipping sauce and used a bottle with a screw on lid and ordered thier plastic lid covers.  You just slip them over the lid and then use a blowdryer to shrink the plastic.  Makes for a very professional looking bottle.  The only problem is that they look so nice, no one believes you made them.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2012 in Recipes, Special Occassions

 
 
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