Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cream Cheese Alfredo Sauce

I went looking around cyberspace for an Alfredo sauce that used half and half.  I found this one on Cooks.com and the cream cheese sounded too good to pass up.  Half my family loved it (me included) and the other half thought it was too rich.  You be the judge.

1 cube butter
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 cup half and half
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
Ground pepper to taste

*In a medium saucepan, melt butter on stove.  Add cream cheese and stir together until cream cheese is melted and they are mixed well.  This will take a little while and a lot of whisking.  When they are mixed well, add half and half, Parmesan, garlic powder and pepper.  Stir together until it's all combined.  Take off heat and let sit for a few minutes to thicken up.  Serve over your favorite pasta with some garlic bread to dip.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jane's Favorite Chocolate Cookies

Nat e-mailed this recipe to me a while back.  She got it from her mother-in-law, Janet, who got it from a lady named Jane.  Jane is the author of a cookbook called "Favorites" (that we love) so I knew it would be a winner.  I was intrigued by the fact that it didn't use normal cookie ingredients like sugar, eggs, baking soda, etc.  It's more like a brownie-fudgie-cookie combo.  In other words, these are really good if you are a chocolate fan.

3 Tbs. butter
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup flour
1 cup pecans (halved or chopped)

*Melt butter, chocolate chips and condensed milk in a double boiler on the stove until smooth and shiny.  Stir constantly and don't overheat.  Remove from stove and quickly fold in flour and pecans.  Scoop with a cookie scoop onto a cookie sheet, two inches apart.  Let sit for 15 minutes in a cool place.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Cool on a rack before eating.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Here's what's on our "Tucker Family" Thanksgiving menu today:

Turkey (cooked all night in our neighborhood Turkey Pit)
PW mashed potatoes
Lana's gravy
Stuffing
Creamed corn
Sweet potatoes
Glazed carrots
Homemade cranberry sauce
Jen's rolls
Pretzel Jello
Pumpkin pie
Pumpkin cream pie
Bobby Flay's pumpkin bread pudding

*Cooking and baking done by Holly, Jen, Momma Lana and myself.*
**Missing Ryan Gibb, Dave, Nat and Lucy!!**

(Much too lazy today to put all the links, but the creamed corn, pretzel jello and carrots are on here somewhere.  The mashed potatoes, bread pudding and cream pie are on Pioneer Woman).

Have a great day and enjoy all the good food!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

SISTER SCHUBERT'S DINNER ROLLS


Run to the nearest Sam's Club and buy these rolls! You may never make another roll in your life. And believe me...I am a homemade roll snob. These are so convenient and the added bonus--DELICIOUS!! Very reasonably priced too. $5.88 for a bag of 30 (in AZ). They are already baked--no raising. They are frozen and you place them in the oven for 5-10 minutes depending on how brown you want them. Just tell your guests you and Sister Schubert made them. (Oh--they are in the freezer aisle at Sam's). You can just heat how ever many you want and reclose the bag for later. I have been eating 1 or 2 (or maybe 3 or 4) every day with butter and jam. Yikes!! Try them. I promise you won't be sorry!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baked Spanish Rice

Holly and I both saw this recipe on "My Kitchen Cafe" and we both made it for dinner in the same week.  When we were talking on the phone and realized we had both made it, we each commented that it was an easy and healthy way to make Spanish rice.  Holly told me today that she ate the leftovers a couple days later with some melted cheese on top and it was even better.

2 1/4 cups brown rice
3 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 can rotel tomatoes with chiles, drained
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
(I also added a little salt and some fresh garlic)

*Combine all ingredients in a casserole dish.  Stir well.  Cover with foil and bake for 80 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Spicy Quinoa Salad

I am trying to branch out and try new things in my cooking.
I kept coming across recipes with quinoa in them so I decided this was something I needed to try.
I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and decided it was too colorful to pass up.
I loved it.  I can't say that it's the most kid-friendly dish, because it's spicy.  But I loved it and I think it would be perfect for a bridal or baby shower, bunco night, book club or some fun get-together like that.  I do have one child who likes spicy food and he ate a whole bowl of it with some tortilla chips.
I'm also a sucker for cilantro and this has the perfect amount.
And the dressing.  Oh my gosh.  My favorite part.

1 1/2 cups cooked organic quinoa (cook according to package directions)
1 Tbs. salt (add when boiling quinoa)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups corn kernels (I used the frozen white corn from TJ's)
1 cup finely chopped sweet bell peppers
1 whole jalapeno, seeded and chopped finely
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onion

*Mix these all together with the cooled quinoa and set aside.

Dressing:
5 Tbs. lime juice
1 tsp. salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. pepper

*Mix well and toss with salad.
Salad tastes better after being refrigerated for a while.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yellow Curry


I, like Rachel, have become obsessed with TJ's. Now I have several favorites and must-haves when I go grocery shopping there. One being the yellow curry sauce. So this is my extremely easy yellow curry recipe.

1 bottle Trader Joes yellow curry
1 can coconut milk
vegetables (potatoes, peas, carrots, bell peppers)
any meat/poultry
whatever you want really...

Cook veggies with some olive oil in a frying pan. Once they are close to being done, add the coconut milk and curry sauce. Let simmer until its all warm and veggies are done. Serve with rice! Me and Dave are really into it right now. Great for leftovers. **Obviously cook your meat and add. I usually just do veggies.

Speaking of TJ's... yesterday I bought some chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzels. Can you say YUM!

TJ's Margherita Pizza

The first few times I walked into Trader Joe's, I felt like a fish out of water.
I didn't know where anything was, I wasn't sure what was good and I felt like everyone else shopping there knew exactly what they were there to get.
But it's a small store and I've come to realize that pretty much everything they sell is good.
So now I walk in and fill up my cart with things that I can't wait to eat when I get home.
I am a Margherita Pizza lover.
If we go out to a restaurant and they have Margherita Pizza, that is what I will be ordering.
It was only a matter of time before I knew I needed this goodness in my own home.
That's where Trader Joe's comes in.
All the best ingredients to make a tasty favorite.
1 package whole wheat pizza dough
1 jar pizza sauce
Mozzarella cheese (the real kind that comes in a blob)
Fresh basil
Olive oil

*Let pizza dough set out on counter for 20 minutes.  Roll out into a circle and place on stone (or pan).  Brush with olive oil.  Bake in a preheated 450 oven for 5 minutes.  Take out of oven and spread on a little sauce.  Cut Mozzarella into slices (it's juicy) and drop over sauce.  Top with fresh, shredded basil. Bake for 10 more minutes.



*Speaking of Trader Joe's, please do yourself a favor and go buy their dark chocolate, sea salt caramels.  My friend, Jill, blogged about them last year and I was immediately sold.  They only come at Christmas time, so don't wait!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jo Lene's Taco Salad

There are a few reasons why I married into the Gibb family. This, my friends, is one of them. My mother-in-law's taco salad. It is full of flavor and goodness. And it comes with it's own special dressing. It is the number one requested meal at Gibb family gatherings. Enough said.

Taco Salad

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup dry onions
1 small can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
3 cans water (use tomato sauce can)
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. accent (I don't use this)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 cup cooked rice

Brown meat and add onions. Pour in rest of ingredients and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. accent (I don't use this)
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. onion salt or powder

Put all ingredients in blender and mix well.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sweet Pork Enchiladas

We had the missionaries from our church over for dinner a few weeks ago. I made the Honey-Lime Chicken Enchiladas. One of the elders took a bite and asked if the meat was sweet pork. I said no it's honey-lime chicken. But then I couldn't stop thinking about his sweet pork comment. Sweet pork enchiladas!! What a great idea! So I waited 2 weeks until the missionaries were coming again and made the enchiladas with sweet pork. I have one word, AH-MAZING!!! Really. They were so good. My new favorite enchilada recipe by far! The elders loved them. Hubby loved them. And I loved them. In fact, I can't stop thinking about them.

Excuse the bad pic. This was all that was left when I remembered to snap a photo.

Sweet Pork Enchiladas

1 pork tenderloin or 1 pork roast
20 oz. coke
2 cups brown sugar
1 bottle mild salsa

Put all ingredients into a crockpot. Cook on low 6 - 8 hours. Shred meat when done.

Then combine:
1 14 oz. can green enchilada sauce (I prefer mild)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Stir enchilada sauce and cream together in a bowl. Pour half into bottom of 9x13 pan. Take 12 to 14 corn tortillas and warm in microwave to soften. Then, fill with a small amount of pork and a little cheddar cheese. Roll up and place in pan. When finished, cover with rest of sauce and cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

BUTTER CHICKEN




This is a really tasty Indian dish that my sister learned how to make in Tokyo, Japan! I know--wrong country, but there are actually so many delicious restaurants in Tokyo from every country you can imagine! Most Indian dishes are extremely spicy, but this one is just TASTY! The best way to eat it is with Naan Bread to soak up the excess sauce. I will post a Naan bread recipe later. It's an Indian staple and delicious. Actually, when I visited India I ate A LOT of Naan bread when I wasn't sure of what was being served and didn't want to go hungry! The Kasuri Methi spice gives it a really unique flavor and can be bought at Lee Lee's Market (in the Phoenix area--commonly referred to as Lee Lee's Stinky Market; it's quite smelly in there) or ordered from indianblend.com. Tandoori paste can be purchased at most grocery stores. This is best served over rice.

1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
¼ t. powdered ginger
¼ t. garlic paste
1 can chopped green chiles
1 ½ cubes butter (not margarine)
2 small cartons whipping cream (smallest ones)
¼ t. cardamom
1 ¼ t. salt
½ t. black pepper
½ t. Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
4-5 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
Tandoori paste

Cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces and marinate in Tandoori paste overnight or for a few hours. Mix a little water with Tandoori paste if too thick. Use about ¼ of the jar of paste. This paste is very hot. Don’t use too much.

Place tomatoes and green chile in blender and blend until smooth. Melt butter in deep pan over low heat. Add ginger and garlic, stirring well and continue heating. Add tomato mixture, cream, cardamom, salt, black pepper and Kasuri Methi. Bring to simmer over lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the chicken pieces to simmering sauce and cook for additional 10-15 minutes, just until chicken is done. Serve over hot rice with naan bread. You can also pre-cook and shred the chicken—then add it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Boston Cream Cake

This recipe came out of a cake mix cookbook that I was looking through at my Aunt Annette's house.
Who knew you could do so many fun things with a cake mix?
I am a big fan of anything with a cream filling so this grabbed my attention right when I saw it.
Plus chocolate frosting.  Yum and yum.  


1 yellow cake mix
1 cup milk
1 small package instant vanilla pudding
1 small carton whipping cream
Chocolate frosting

*Make yellow cake batter according to package directions and bake in two round cake pans.  Cool completely when done.  Make vanilla pudding with the 1 cup of milk and set aside.  Whip the whipping cream until stiff, adding a little sugar and vanilla to taste.  Combine pudding and whipped cream.  Stack the two cakes on top of each other with the filling in the middle.  (I had to slice off the top of one cake to make it flat).  Top with your favorite chocolate frosting.  (I used the recipe on the back of the Hershey's cocoa).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Veggie Stir-Fry

This isn't exactly a new recipe.  It's more like a new spin on a previously posted recipe.
Thanks to a great class I went to taught by our friend, Calli Overstreet, we are trying to incorporate more color into our meals.  We are also trying to not eat meat every single night.  Hard when you're married to a carnivore.  But this dish was a smashing success and so easy on top of that.  We love a win-win at our house.
Brown or white rice (as much as your family eats)
Stir-fry veggies, steamed (I used 2 bags from Fresh and Easy)
Sauce:
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbs. canola oil

*Cook rice and steam veggies.  Put rice onto a serving platter or in a big bowl.  Put veggies on top.  Mix up sauce really well until honey is dissolved.  Drizzle sauce over the top of veggies.  It will seem like you don't have enough sauce but it is plenty.  LOTS of flavor.  Especially if you use fresh garlic.
(I used half brown rice and half white rice.  Trying to make that transition without the kids noticing).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cheesy Orzo

I make baked chicken and brown rice at least once every 2 weeks. It's easy and healthy. I was planning on making this meal for Saturday night but wanted to switch it up a bit. I decided to make orzo as the side this time. I found this recipe by Rachel Ray. It was easy, tasty and a good alternative to rice. We all liked it!

Cheesy Orzo

2 Tbs. butter
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
2 cups orzo pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Melt butter in saucepan. Add onion and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir in orzo and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to medium heat. Simmer for 15 minutes, while stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Taco Seasoning

Last Sunday it was time to make dinner and I realized that I hadn't thought about what we were having for Sunday dinner until that very moment.  Don't you hate that?  You probably don't do that.
So we went with the old standby...tried and true...always have the ingredients on hand...Taco salad.
Then I realized that I had left my taco seasoning at my parents' cabin.
No problem.  Google to the rescue.  Can't be rocket science making taco seasoning.
So I found this recipe on allrecipes (I think) and thought it looked like a winner.
I mixed it up and added it to the meat mixture and we loved the flavor.
Better tasting than my big plastic container of taco seasoning and better yet, no weird preservatives.

2 Tbs. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt

*I mixed it up in a little tupperware and used about 1/3 of it for 1 lb. of ground beef.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Favorite Crepes

We like to make crepes around here.
One child of mine loves crepes more than any other treat on earth.
I won't mention any names, but she can eat crepes like nobody's business.  We always have to tell her that she's had enough because she would never stop.  That's my girl!
I put a crepe recipe on here a while ago but we found one we like better.

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt

*Blend in a blender until smooth.  Heat a small frying pan on medium-low.  Spray with some oil spray and put about 1/4 cup batter in and turn pan around until the batter coats bottom.  Cook for a minute or so, flip over for a few more seconds and then serve with whatever you fancy!
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