Friday, September 30, 2011

     A few years ago, my husband and I lived in Wisconsin while he was going to medical school.  We made life-long friends during this time, one of which was a girl named Jamie.  When I think about Jamie, I think hot mama!  She's always done up with the latest fashions and stylin' hair.  She keeps a spotless house and has the decorator's touch.  She is one of those skinny girls who eats chocolate chip cookies for lunch.  Jamie is as strong as they come.  She beat cancer for heaven's sake!  Twice!  In fact, when I met her she had recently finished chemo and a bone marrow transplant.  Like I said, this girl is strong!  She's been cancer free ever since.  Jamie has since adopted a darling girl and moved to Missouri for her husband's residency.  She started a design blog called Kreyv.  It's fabulous and so fun to look at and get ideas from!  Thanks to Jamie for giving Becoming Betty the Versatile Blogger award!  Go check out her fun blog ASAP!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Slow Cooker Sticky Wings

I got this recipe from my sister in law and it did not disappoint.
I love how you can make it and then put it in the fridge for up to 24 hours,
so if you are having a party you can make them ahead of time. Even though it
has cayenne pepper in it, it is not too spicy at all. My 2 year old even loved them!

Slow-Cooker Sticky Wings

1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 pounds chicken wings, halved at joint and wingtips removed (or just buy the already-cut pack in the freezer section)
¼ cup water
¼ cup tomato paste

1. MAKE RUB Pulse ginger, garlic, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper in food processor until finely ground. Add mixture to slow cooker insert. Add chicken and toss until combined.

2. COOK AND COOL Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Using slotted spoon, remove wings from slow cooker and transfer to clean large bowl (discard liquid in slow cooker). Let wings cool 20 minutes (or cool briefly and refrigerate up to 24 hours).

SAUCE AND BROIL (The oven rack should be 10 to 12 inches from the broiler element. Don’t wander off while the wings are in the oven.)

3. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler. Set wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and spray rack with baking spray. Whisk water, tomato paste, remaining sugar, remaining soy sauce, and remaining cayenne in bowl. Add half of sauce to bowl with cooled wings and toss gently to coat. Arrange wings, skin side up, on prepared baking rack. Broil until wings are lightly charred and crisp around edges, 10 to 15 minutes. Flip wings, brush with remaining sauce, and continue to broil until well caramelized, about 3 minutes. Serve with ranch!
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Gooey Butter Cake Variations

I posted a recipe for Gooey Butter Cake a while back and just recently, I found out that there are lots of variations to this rich and delicious dessert.  
We had a Relief Society meeting last Thursday and they passed around a sign up sheet the Sunday before asking for women to help make the desserts.  One of those easy gigs where they bring you all the ingredients and you just have to make it.  Don't you love organized organizations?  I was excited to try out a new dessert recipe, so I signed up for the peanut butter version of the gooey butter cake.  Here's the sad part of the story...I made it and smelled it baking and couldn't wait to try it, but then ended up not being able to make it to the meeting.  So I had no idea if it was even good, although my nose told me it was.  Well, I couldn't stop thinking about it so I went and bought the ingredients and made it on Sunday for our dessert.  Here's the happy ending to the tasted so good and gooey and we loved it!  Hooray for happy dessert endings!
Original Gooey Butter Cake:
1 package yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 cube butter, softened to room temp
8 oz. cream cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cube butter, melted
1 16 oz. box powdered sugar

*Combine ingredients for crust and press into a 9x13 or a round, spring form pan.  For filling, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Add butter and mix again.  Add powdered sugar and beat really well.  Spread the filling over the crust.  Bake the cake at 350 until it is golden brown but the center is still jiggly.  This takes about 30-40 minutes for a 9x13 and longer for a spring form pan.  Cool for at least an hour, but it's even better if you can refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight.  Top with fruit and whipped cream or just enjoy it in all it's buttery glory.

*Peanut Butter:  Use a chocolate cake mix for the crust.  Add 1 cup peanut butter and 1 extra egg to the filling.
*Chocolate:  Use a chocolate cake mix for the crust.  Add 2 Tbs. cocoa and 1 cup nuts (optional) to the filling.
*Lemon:  Use a lemon cake mix for the crust.  Add 1/2 cup lemon juice, zest of 2 lemons, and 1 extra egg to the filling.
*Coconut:  Use a white cake mix for the crust.  Add 1 cup unsweetened coconut to the filling.  You could also add a little coconut oil flavoring or extract to the filling.
*Pumpkin:  Add 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin and 1 extra egg to the filling.  Top with pecans and whipped cream when serving.
*Carrot Cake:  Use a spice cake mix for the crust.  Add 1 cup chopped nuts and 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots to the filling.
*Chocolate Chip:  Use yellow or chocolate cake mix for the crust.  Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup nuts on top of filling before baking.
*Banana:  Add two ripe bananas and 1 extra egg to the filling.

***Thanks to my friend, Marie, for passing on these fun variations on such a great dessert!!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lime-Cilantro Rice with Pineapple

1 cup dry white rice, cooked in 2 cups water
2 Tbsp real butter
Juice from 1 large lime, or two smaller ones (taste as you go, I add a lot)
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained

½ – ¾ C chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice. As soon as it’s done, toss in the butter and stir to melt. Add lime juice, pineapple, and cilantro. Stir to combine, and then add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

* You’ll want to serve this right away, if you don’t, the flavors tend to mellow a bit and you’ll probably need to add more lime juice because the rice kind of sucks it up. If you’re not quite ready to eat when your rice finishes cooking, just toss in the butter and keep a lid on it so it stays warm. Then right before you serve it, toss it all together.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Peach Cobbler Debate

Ever since I canned peaches a few weeks ago, I've been on a peach cobbler kick.  I've made 3 different recipes in the last 2 weeks and have been analyzing them to decide which was in my favorite.  Nerd alert!  I know.  But I'm a foodie, what can I say?  I posted the first recipe just over a week ago.  It had brown sugar and cinnamon and the crust was like a sweet biscuit.  The 2nd recipe, which I will post, is more of a cake-like cobbler.  My husband liked it better than the first one.  I thought it was good, but even better when I ate it the next day.  Almost like a bread pudding.  Finally, the 3rd recipe I tried was from my Favorites cookbook.  The cobbler was good but way too sweet for me.  I know, I can't believe I just typed that.  Nothing is ever too sweet for me!  But it was so rich.  And it needed cinnamon.  So, the debate is over and I don't think I am going to make peach cobbler for a while.  I think I'm good for the year!  
And the winner is...... Peach Cobbler #1.  I loved the brown sugar, cinnamon and biscuit-like topping.  It was the perfect sweetness and went perfectly with vanilla ice cream.  Although, the 2nd one was good too!  Such a hard decision!  

Peach Cobbler (#2)

1 29oz. can sliced peaches or 4 cups
2 Tbs. butter, melted
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 cup water

In a large bowl, combine peaches with juice, melted butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Dissolve cornstarch in water then add to peaches.  Set aside.

1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cup milk
2 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

In another bowl, combine milk, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.  Beat until smooth.  Melt butter in 9x13 pan.  Pour batter over butter then spoon peaches over the batter.  Sprinkle with the teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4tsp. of nutmeg.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until golden brown.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I took a Paula Deen recipe and made a few changes to make this delicious trifle. We had it yesterday for my sister's birthday dinner. It is REALLY rich, and so delicious. My son said he just wanted to "put his face in the bowl". And it looks pretty too! I always have left-over fudge sauce and it's great on ice-cream.

• 1 box chocolate cake mix (add an extra box of chocolate pudding-make according to directions)
• 2 cups fudge sauce, recipe follows
• 3 chocolate covered toffee candy bars, broken into pieces (Heath bars)
• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream whipped and sweetened with 1/3 cup sugar
Prepare the cake according to the package directions for a 9 by 13-inch cake. Cool thoroughly.
Cut or tear the cake into 3 inch pieces.
Line the bottom of a large glass bowl with a single layer of cake. Pour 1/4 of the fudge sauce over the cake, top with 1/2 of the candy bar-bits then 1/2 of the whipped cream. Repeat again, topping off the cake with more Heath bar bits.
Note: Assemble the trifle shortly before serving or it will get soggy.
Hot Fudge Sauce:
• 1 (4-ounce) bar German chocolate
• 1/2-ounce unsweetened chocolate
• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
• 3 cups powdered sugar
• 1 2/3 cups evaporated milk
• 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
To make the sauce: Melt the German chocolate with the butter in a saucepan over very low heat. Stir in the powdered sugar, alternating with evaporated milk and blending well. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the mixture becomes thick and creamy, about 8 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Cool before using

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Peach Spinach Salad

I linked this salad a few weeks ago and said it was my favorite salad of 2011.  I am now thinking that it could be my favorite salad of the decade.  I want to make it for every meal.  So in case you are not a link-clicker, I decided I had better put the recipe on here so you will make it and love it.  It's from Trainer Momma.
This salad is perfect for all those amazing Utah peaches we are enjoying right now.  I look forward to peach season all year and it's finally here!  If you live in Arizona, please go to Nielsen's frozen custard and get the fresh peach concrete or the homemade peach cobbler.  But don't blame me if you get addicted and spend way too much time and money there.
baby spinach (enough to fill your serving bowl)
fresh peaches, cut up (2 or 3)
fresh blueberries
cucumber, peeled and diced
green onion, sliced
asagio or parmesan cheese, shredded
dried cranberries
candied pecans or sliced almonds

*Toss these together in the amounts that you like.  If you don't have one or more of these ingredients, it's will still be good.  Toss with white balsamic vinegar dressing right before serving.

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

*Shake up really well until it's all combined.  I don't use all the dressing because the spinach gets too soggy and wilted.  The flavor is great and you don't need a lot.

Friday, September 16, 2011


 When we went to check out a pre-school for my son, Griffin, they had a station with gak.  Griff went right over to the gak and started playing with it while I talked to the teachers.  That was back in May.  He hasn't stopped talking about the gak since!  Every time I would bring up pre-school, he would say, "I can't wait to play with the gak!"  Since gak is only a special occasion thing at pre-school, we decided to make some of our own.  I just googled gak and found this recipe.  DO NOT EAT IT!  It is only for play.  It was super easy and kept Griffy busy for hours!!  Can't beat that.

1 8oz. bottle Elmer's Glue
warm water
1 tsp. Borax (found in the same isle as laundry detergent)
1/2 cup warm water

Pour glue into a mixing bowl.  Fill up empty bottle of glue with warm water and shake.  Pour water over the glue and mix well.  Dissolve 1 tsp. Borax in 1/2 cup warm water.  Add to glue mixture and stir until it thickens and becomes gak.

*You can add some food coloring to glue mixture to color gak.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Avocado Chicken Salad

I thought a car was the worst thing to be without.
I was wrong.
The worst thing to be without is a computer!
Ours has been "in the shop" for a week and it has been the longest week of my life.  Sad but true.  I had to keep calling Holly to ask for my own recipes that I can't remember because I throw away the hard copies when I put them on the blog.  I have to admit, though, that I sure got a lot more done around here without the computer to sit down in front of.  Who knew I could survive without Facebook, recipe blogs, and all those other fun things I "have" to look at everyday??? 
Enough about my computer woes.  Here's a really good recipe that you are going to want to make.  I went to a church meeting where there was a tasting table (love those) and this was one of the tasty dishes.
chicken, cooked and shredded
mayo, just a little
green onion, sliced
lime juice to taste
salt/pepper to taste

*Sorry there aren't any measurements.  I just asked what was in it and then made it to my liking.  I probably had 2 cups of chicken and then just threw the rest in until it tasted good.  I only used 1 avocado but if you really love avocados, you could use more.  I loved the lime juice, so I kept adding more of it little by little.  You definitely need a little salt, but the pepper is just if you want to.  I used a lot of cilantro and a moderate amount of green onion.  Probably 2-3 of them.  You can serve this in pitas or just eat it with chips.  We loved it and it was really good leftover, too.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Peach Cobbler

Last week, I got together with some friends to can peaches.  FYI - I don't know how to can peaches.  I was the peeler and slicer.  I ended up with 9 quart sized jars of peaches.  And I've already used 2 to make peach cobbler.  My friend, Dani, emailed me this cobbler recipe that she found on the Food Network website.  I made it last night and we loved it!  It has no white sugar, just brown sugar which gives it a caramel effect.  The crust is like a sweet, tender biscuit that goes perfectly with the peaches.  We had it with vanilla ice cream, of course.  It was a great way to end our Sunday!

Peach Cobbler

Cobbler filling:

  • 4 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches (blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds to remove the skins) or use 4 cups of canned peaches, drained
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon flour

Cobbler crust:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, for topping 
 Butter a 1 1/2 quart shallow baking dish.  Place the peaches in the dish and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and vanilla.  Mix gently and spread evenly.  Bake at 425 for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar and butter in a bowl.  Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to make the mixture like coarse crumbs.  Add buttermilk and stir to form a soft dough.  Spoon batter over warmed peaches and spread evenly.  Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon brown sugar.  Return to hot oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mexican corn on the cob

Another great recipe from my friend Ashley. Don't let the ingredients throw you off. We don't really care for mayo in our house but we love this. Easy and great for spicing up your BBQs!

Mexican Corn on the Cob

4 ears corn
3 Tbsp. mayo
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1/4-1/2 tsp. lime zest
1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp. chili powder
tiny pinch kosher salt
1 cup fresh parmesan cheese

Cook corn by method of choice (I grill it, but you could boil it, etc.). While it’s cooking, combine mayo, sour cream, lime zest, lime juice, chili powder, and pinch of salt. Store in the fridge until ready to use. (For even better results make the sauce ahead of time).

Grate parmesan cheese with a fine-hole cheese grater and place on a plate.

When corn is finished cooking, immediately spread sauce all over it and then roll corn cob in grated cheese.

Serve with lime wedges for squeezing and extra chili powder or cayenne sprinkled on top, if desired.

**Make sure to squeeze a lime wedge over your corn at the end... this really makes it yummy.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chili's Fajitas

 My husband and I have lived in a few states where good Mexican food is hard to find.  So, we usually end up eating at Chili's for chips and salsa and fajitas.  Although, we are now quite fond of Chipotle.  But that's beside the point.  I've had this recipe in my file for years and finally decided to pull it out and make us a fajita dinner.  It says it's the recipe Chili's uses for their fajitas.  Whether that's true or not, I'll never know.  What I do know, is that these fajitas were fabulous!  We absolutely loved them and could.not.stop.eating.them.  Husband said they are the best he's ever had.  That's big time.

Chili's Fajitas

2 lbs. flank steak, skirt steak or sirloin steak or chicken
1 red bell pepper
2 green bell peppers
1 onion


1 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1 cup water
3 1/2 Tbs. honey
4 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. ground ginger

Combine all ingredients for marinade in a bowl.  Put meat in ziploc bag and pour half of marinade over meat to cover.  Seal and let sit in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  Can do overnight as well.  Slice onions and peppers and cook over medium heat in a saucepan until tender.  Pour a few tablespoons of marinade over onions and peppers to flavor.  Cook meat on stove in a skillet or grill pan until done.  Place meat and vegetables in tortillas and top with sour cream, cheese and guacamole.  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 My name is Holly Gibb
I'm a peanut butter addict.
I eat peanut butter every single day.  On my apples, bananas, slathered across a graham cracker, on toast, and sometimes just with a spoon.  I love it and can't get enough of it.  A couple of days ago, I wanted to bake and I wanted peanut butter and chocolate to be the key ingredients.  I searched the web and found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen who got it from the famous Magnolia Bakery in NYC.  Hello- I knew it had to be good!  The dough was divine and the cookies were the best peanut butter cookies I've ever tasted!!  Seriously.  The best.  They went like hotcakes around here because you can't eat just one.  My friend called them, "amazing."  You get the picture.  

The Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups peanut butter, smooth or chunky (I used natural chunky)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. milk
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup chocolate chips
sugar for sprinkling

Cream butter and peanut butter until fluffy.  Add sugars and mix well.  Add eggs, vanilla and milk.  Mix then pour in dry ingredients.  Add peanut butter and chocolate chips until combined.  Roll into balls and sprinkle with sugar.  Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 2 minutes then place on cooling rack to cool completely.

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