Friday, March 30, 2012

The Sweet Tooth Fairy

There's a new bakery in town and today was the Grand Opening!
The Sweet Tooth Fairy opened up a cute little shop in Scottsdale.  Not exactly in our neighborhood, but closer than Utah, so we'll take it!  Holly is in town (hooray!) so we drove over this morning to check it out.  Talk about a dreamy place.
Striped walls, jars filled with candy, glass cases filled with the most amazing looking treats, and cute signs all over.  Even the pen jar by the register had sprinkles in it.  Cute!  If you live nearby, you need to go check it out!
The sugar cookies were off-the-charts-so-delish.  Probably the best one I've ever had.
Wyatt thought he had died and gone to Heaven.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Buttermilk Pancakes

My husband is a pancake connoisseur, so he is always looking for the perfect pancake! Last weekend we found this recipe on and it is a winner at our house. They are really delicious! We weren't going for healthy with these ones. I'm sure there are healthier pancakes out there... but if you want a real treat, try these. We ate them with this coconut syrup and we were in heaven!

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. You can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it's ready!
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until it's just blended together. Do not over stir! Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/2 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Enchilada Casserole

I got this idea off of Picky Palate.  She made something similar using chicken enchilada ingredients so I decided to try it with ground beef and red sauce.  This was so easy and tasted so good that I might never make regular enchiladas again.  Ok, so I actually made enchiladas yesterday (honey/lime) and rolled them, so I guess that's not true.  But a casserole sure is nice when you're short on time.
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
Red enchilada sauce (I used two small jars from Trader Joe's)
6-8 corn tortillas, torn into pieces
Shredded cheese (I used colby/jack)

*Brown ground beef with onion on stove.  Season with salt/pepper/garlic powder.  Add enchilada sauce and let simmer.  Tear up corn tortillas into bite-size pieces.  Pour meat mixture into a 9x13 pan.  Add tortillas and mix together really well.  Cover the top with cheese and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spinach Apple Salad with White Balsamic Dressing

If you're like me, you buy a big box of spinach from Costco or Sam's because it's so much cheaper than buying a little bag of it at the grocery store.  But then you have a whole lot of spinach to use before it goes bad.  I put it in my smoothies, but that hardly puts a dent in that big box.  So I decided to make a spinach salad on Sunday.  Normally I would make a spinach salad with strawberries in it but since my strawberry-loving-daughter ate all the strawberries on Saturday night and I was too lazy to go to the store, I went with a spinach/apple salad instead.  Using what my mom and I both had a hand, we came up with a pretty tasty salad if I do say so myself.
3 apples, diced (I used Pink Lady)
Sliced almonds
Shredded parmesan

3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
juice of 1 lemon (not a huge one)
1 Tbs. honey
salt/pepper to taste

*Toss the salad using as many toppings as you like.  Mix up the dressing really well and drizzle over salad right before serving.  We don't like a ton of dressing so we didn't use all of it.  Just drizzle to your liking.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

I know this claim has been made before but this recipe has truly won me over time and again.  Other cookies who claim to be the best seem to be a different variation of the same old cookie.  But this one has secret ingredients which really makes these stand out.  This is the perfect cookie for Easter!  Thanks to my cousin Lynley who gave me this life changing recipe. 

Chocolate Chip Malt Cookies
1 c. butter, softened/melted
1 1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. malt (Carnation regular can get it in in the baking aisle or the creamer aisle. I usually have to look for it for awhile).*
2-4 T hershey syrup*
1 t vanilla
Add and mix...
1 egg
Add and mix...
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
Add and mix...
3 c. flour
Stir in...
1/2 bag toffee*
3-4 c. chocolate chips (1/2 milk 1/2 semi sweet)
I also added Easter Robin Eggs which gave it even more of an malt kick.  I just throw them in to the dough whole and let the Kitchen Aid break them up. * 

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Just until the shine is gone. (If you overcook them they aren't very good). They will be too soft right when you get them out of the oven so let them cool for a few minutes and then take them off the pan and cool on a wire rack. 

*Secret ingredients!

Monday, March 19, 2012


I got this recipe from a cute girl my husband and I became friends with when we were working with a singles group in our church. It's cold and rainy here today--so I broke out the soup recipes. This is easy, fast and you can add lots of different options. If you live in Arizona, you can make a Saturday trip to a Food City and buy fresh roasted green chiles. If not--you'll have to stick with canned. The fresh make my mouth water!! Thank you Renee!!

Roasted Green Chile, Potato, and Cheese Soup
(from Renee Siegfried)

8 small or 4 medium potatoes
2 Tbsp finely chopped yellow or white onion
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic or 1 tsp powdered garlic
5 roasted peeled & seeded green chilies (I buy them already roasted from Food City, 2 small cans diced--can be adjusted to your taste)
1 tomato
½-1 cup corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
Chicken broth
Diced avocado
1 cup or more Colby or Monterey Jack cheese

**You can add cooked, shredded chicken if you want--

Chop all vegetables except potatoes and set aside.
Wash, peel and cut potatoes into small square pieces and set aside.
Sauté potatoes briefly. Add all chopped vegetables and sauté briefly again.
Place in a large stock pot.
Add broth to completely cover potatoes-approximately 1 inch from the top of the potatoes to the top of the water.
Bring to a rolling boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook about 20-30 minutes until potatoes are soft.
Check for salt and according to your personal taste--also pepper.
Serve in bowls with cheese sprinkled on top and a lime wedge, of course, and avocado!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Easy Peanut Butter Bars

Talk about a quick and easy treat.
I got this recipe from a cake-mix cookbook.
I decided to try it out when we went out to the desert the other day with a bunch of fun cousins.  They disappeared pretty fast (the bars, not the cousins) so I think they were a success.
1 yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips

*Mix all ingredients really well and press into a greased 9x13.  Bake at 350 for 17 minutes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Peanut butter M&M Marshmallow Cookies

Peanut butter, chocolate, and marshmallows - yes please!  These cookies are full of peanut buttery goodness.  They are the perfect cookie.  Soft inside with a little crunch from the M&M's.  We loved them!  Like "ate so many I lost count" loved them.

Peanut Butter M&M Marshmallow Cookies
     from Sweet Treats and More

1/2 c. butter flavored Crisco, soft (I used butter.  I'm not a Crisco fan).
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp.milk
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. Peanut Butter M&M's
3/4 c. mini marshmallows
1/2 c. chocolate chips
Cream butter, sugars, peanut butter and egg.  Add vanilla.  Mix well.  Then, add dry ingredients and finish with M&M's, marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Bake at 350 for 8 to 9 minutes.  Cool on cooling rack.  

*I doubled the recipe.  More is always better!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


My neighbors trimmed their HUGE lemon tree and put the branches out for bulk pick-up last week. There must have been 150 HUGE lemons still on the branches, so I helped myself and juiced ALL of them. I had 1 gallon of lemon juice! I froze most of it in ice cube trays and put in Zip locks for further use, because I can't tell you how many times I just need one or two tablespoons of lemon juice and don't have a lemon. My cute friend Ang gave me this recipe for lemon curd--I tried it--we ate it on pancakes and I have been sneaking "little" tastes from the jar in the fridge about 3 (maybe 5) times a day. It is so good! You can use it on scones or hot rolls or spoon it over pound cake with whipped cream! One of my new favorites!!

1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6-8 large lemons)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
1 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1.5 sticks butter (12 tablespoons) cold, UNSALTED butter cut into bits
Zest lemons and set aside. Halve lemons and juice. Whisk together juice, zest, sugar and eggs in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Cook over medium low heat for about one minute. Then slowly add bits of chilled butter, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of a whisk and the first bubble appears on the surface (about 5-6 minutes).
Press curd through a large sieve into a shallow casserole dish (a 9×13 Pyrex works well). Cover the surface with plastic wrap to keep a film from forming on the surface of the curd. Chill overnight or for 8 hours before serving. Stores for several weeks. I store in a jar with a tight lid.

**It thickens a lot when it chills, so warm what you are going to use for a few minutes in the micro-wave and it will thin and become more pouring consistency.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

White Bean Chicken with Green Chilies

This was an accidental dinner that happened when I tried to make another dinner and then realized I didn't have the right ingredients.
Luckily, it turned out to be good, and I think we liked it even more than the original dinner I was trying to make in the first place.
Then add bonus points for it being a crock-pot dish because that just makes my life a little easier.  Two thumbs up!
4-5 large chicken breasts (mine were frozen)
1 jar of salsa (I used half of a Costco-sized jar)
1 (15 oz.) can Great Northern white beans
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
Frozen white corn (I like Trader Joe's and I used about 2/3 of a bag)

*Cook on low for 5-6 hours and then serve over rice or in tortillas.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Baked Oatmeal

This stuff is really good.  I mean really good.  It is just as awesome the next day reheated in the microwave which makes for an easy pleasey breakfast.  

Baked Oatmeal 
3 cups oatmeal, either quick or old-fashioned

3/4 cups brown sugar

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup applesauce

1 cups milk

2 beaten eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased 9x9-inch baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve with milk and/or fresh fruit.

 Recipe adapted from Mels Kitchen Cafe  (I know usually her recipes are untouchable but I really liked the changes)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fruit Frappe

Another yummy recipe from my father in law Doug. You may remember these that were from him. This slushy drink is easy, yummy, and really refreshing. It would be perfect for a shower or party. My husband loves it!

Juice of 2 medium oranges
Juice of 2 lemons
2 bananas, mashed
1 1/2 Cups sugar
2 Cups water
1 liter Lemon-lime soda

Combine sugar and water; heat until mixture boils and sugar dissolves, cool. Blend in juice and mashed bananas. Freeze until firm. To serve, chop to a slushy state and blend with soda. (We just blend by hand when we mix the frozen part with the Sprite.)
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