Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Persimmon Bread

This recipe comes courtesy of the Salt Lake City Junior League cookbook from years ago.  Persimmons are a winter fruit, so this is the perfect holiday bread for eating and gift giving!
    ~ Kimberley Stewart

Christmas Persimmon Bread

Yield:  Two loaves

·         2 C chopped persimmons (3 persimmons.  Should be soft.  Do not peel.)
·         1-1/2 tsp baking soda

Pour into a bowl and slightly stir:
·         2-1/2 C flour
·         2 C granulated sugar
·         1-1/4 tsp salt
·         1 tsp cinnamon
·         1 tsp nutmeg

Barely blend in:
·         3 eggs, slightly beaten
·         3/4 C vegetable oil
·         1/2 C raisins (optional)
·         1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour two 4.5” x 8.5” bread pans.  Distribute the mixture evenly between the two pans.  Bake for 45 – 60 minutes.  Cool completely before cutting.  Refrigerate if not eating immediately.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Peanut Sauce Perfection

I have spent 12 years married to a man who adores peanut sauce. And I have spent 12 years perfecting th recipe! I finally found the perfect peanut sauce recipe, and I want to make sure it is on the food blog forever!

-peanut butter (1/2 cup)
-hoisin sauce (2 tbsp)
-soy sauce (1tbsp)
-garlic (1 mashed clove)
-dark brown sugar (1 tbsp)
-sesame oil (1 tbsp)
-chile – garlic paste (1 tsp)
-lime juice (from 1 lime)
-rice vinegar (1 tbsp)
-ginger (1/2 tbsp)
-hot water
Add all ingredients but water in a food processor and blend. There are times when I don't have an ingredient or two, and it always still turns out fine! Peanut sace is fun, because you can put it over everything and toss. You add the water to determine thickness of your sauce depending on at you are using it for. 

I cook rice, and stir fry carrots, broccoli, chicken and cabbage. When cabbage wilts, I leaves a lot of water behind so, I don't add any water to the sauce, I just put spoonfuls on top of my stir fry and It gets bended in. Serve over rice or toss with pasta! It's very versitile! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Original Joes

This has been a family favorite for a long time. But I lost track of it for a while. I made it this week and got RAVE reviews from my kids. Always great when a recipe you make has spinach, and gets RAVE reviews.. RIGHT?

Original Joes

1 lb Ground Beef (I use turkey, always)
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
1/2 Onion, Chopped
Fresh Chopped Mushrooms (to taste)

Saute until meat is browned, and add

3/4 cup Ketchup
3-4 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
Fresh Spinach
Fresh Chopped Tomatoes
4-5 Slices of Pastrami

Italian Seasoning, to your liking... salt and pepper. Cover, and let spinach wilt.

In the end, put grated mozzarella cheese on top and let melt. Serve on buns (Hoagie Style). It is a great meal, with lots of veggies!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chelle's "Healthy-ish" Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

I just recently noticed that this blog does not have our family's enchilada recipe on it!  This is the way my sister Chelle taught me how to make enchilada's.  I know that cooking with Cream of Whatever soup is frowned upon these days, I just can't deny the simplicity and comfort level that this recipe gives.  When I took down the recipe from my sis, I wrote that they were "healthy" enchilada's, now I'm not sure they quite qualify for that category,  but they are a lighter version than some people use.  Hope you enjoy.

3-4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
1 can fat free cream of chicken soup
1/2 c plain yogurt
1 c reduced fat sour cream
4 green onions chopped
1 can diced green chili's
jack cheese
flour tortillas
1 big can your favorite enchilada sauce (you might need one and a half cans if you are doing two dishes)

Preheat  oven to 375 degrees

Cook and shred chicken breasts.
Stir chicken, yogurt, sour cream, green onions, chili's, and soup together.
Get out 9x13 or two 8x8 pans and coat with cooking spray
Pour enough enchilada sauce on the bottom of your pan to coat the bottom.
Spoon mixture into enchilada size tortillas and top with a few healthy pinches of cheese. Lay side by side in dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and more cheese please.  Cover with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes.

You can garnish with fresh cilantro and sliced olives if desired.

I like to split the recipe and make one for now and one for the freezer.  I get about 10-12 enchilada's out of this recipe.

Spaghetti in Garlic Gravy with Herbs and Lemon Marinated Chicken

So this was a recipe that I found on pinterest and it's from this woman's website Goddess of Scrumptiousness. I tried it out and WOW is it ever good. Right now is the time when I'm trying to dream up ways to eat all my delicious sun sugar tomatoes and this recipe was perfect.  My husband is not a fan of tomatoes and he commented that it would also be amazing with broccoli or asparagus.  Will do!  I will be making this again and again. It was easy and the flavors were fresh and family friendly.  I definite keeper!
Photo courtesy of her website....

500 grams spaghetti pasta (cooked al dente)
1 pound chicken breast fillets (sliced into 1 inch chunks)
For the chicken marinade:
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped (if using dried, use half of the amount)
Juice of 1  lemon
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt (not table salt)
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to sauté the marinated chicken)
-  Add all the marinade ingredients into the chicken and marinade for 20 minutes (if making this dish in pronto) or over night (if making this dish the next day… much better).
-  Saute the marinated chicken in extra virgin olive oil until cooked (about 4-5 minutes) then set aside.
For the garlic gravy:
½ stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups chicken stock
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup parsley, chopped (to sprinkle/finish the pasta)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups whole cherry tomatoes
-  Place sauté pan over medium heat and add butter and olive oil.
-  Saute garlic until fragrant and soft.
-  Add the flour and cook for a minute.
-  Add chicken stock and simmer gravy until thickened then add the chopped basil.
-  Season with salt and pepper.
-  Add the sauteed chicken in the gravy then toss the cooked spaghetti into this sauce.
-  Add the cherry tomatoes and finish the dish with the chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese (serve extra on the side).
Makes 5-6 servings

Monday, August 6, 2012

Island Mango Chicken

 This is in our rotation at our house. It is a kid and adult pleaser. I love the easy factor as well as it's a great way to use up that big bottle of Mango Peach Salsa that I love to buy at Costco. I got this recipe off the the Sisters Cafe website. They have great stuff!
 3-4 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
1 can corn,
drained 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 cups mango salsa (depending on how much chicken you are using)
 Cumin to taste
 Lemon Pepper to taste

 Put chicken breasts in crock pot. Add spices. Cover and cook chicken until tender. Shred chicken on a plate and return to crock pot. Save juices in separate bowl. Add corn, beans and salsa. More salsa can be added to taste. If mixture seems dry, add some of reserved juices.
 I serve this dish with Jasmine rice I have made with half water half coconut milk. It gives it that extra island flavor! Garnish with cilantro or parsely, if desired.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
 ~ from Gourmet magazine, adapted by Kimberley Stewart

 The perfect summer cheesecake!

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
For the crust
        Grind in a blender:
  • Generous 2 Cups graham crackers (about 1-1/2 to 2 packages.  I use low-fat)
  • 1 C slivered, blanched almonds
        Pour into a bowl and mix in:
  • 1/4 to 1/2 C melted butter – enough to moisten the crumbs so they stick together
  • 3 Tbls sugar (optional)
        Wrap a 10” cheesecake pan in tinfoil (bottom and sides). Press the crumbs into the pan, going 2/3 up the sides.  Be sure to make the bottom is smooth and even.   
  • 1 C white chocolate chips or chunks, evenly distributed over the bottom crust
  • 1 pt. raspberries, evenly distributed over the bottom crust

        Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Remove and cool.  Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees.

For the filling
        Cream together:
  • Four 8 oz packages of cream cheese (can use 2 packages Neufchatel), beat until creamy
  • 4 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks added one at a time, mix well
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbl all purpose flour
  • 8 oz fine white chocolate

Melt in the microwave or over boiling water on the stove.  Melt very slowly and stir often so the chocolate does not clump.  When the chocolate is melted and smooth, pour it into the cream cheese mixture, while stirring.

When batter is incorporated, pour slowly into the baked crust, so the chocolate pieces and raspberries stay in place.

Slide the cheesecake into the oven and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour-20 minutes.  The top will be very jiggly, but should be firm to the touch. 

Remove from oven and cool completely (I bake this at night and let it cool overnight on the counter.)  When cool, cover loosely with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge at least 6 hours.  Remove when ready to serve.

Dish a slice onto a place, and serve with three raspberries on the side.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nearly Guilt Free Chocolate Muffins

Nearly Guilt Free Chocolate Muffins This is so easy, we have been making these a lot. I like them because they have the vitamin A and fiber from the flax and pumpkin and the chocolate that my kids love. We have made these a lot so far this summer because they are easy to grab and go. I had heard of making these with spice cake mix, but never the devil's food. It's been a new favorite around here. 1 box devils food 1 16 oz pumpkin puree 1/2 c flax meal 1 c mini chocolate chips Mix cake mix and pumpkin together with a hand mixer or kitchen aid...mixture will be thick. Add chocolate chips last. Spoon into greased muffin tin. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Roast Chicken and Artichoke Pasta Dinner

If you are a fan of ordering the famed Spinach and Artichoke Dip when you go out to eat, here is the meal for you. Although it's not the healthiest meal I've ever made, it's really not to bad with the light mayo and is great paired with a salad! We tried this meal recently and everyone in the house gobbled it up. Roast Chicken Artichoke Pasta 1 lb roast chicken, chopped 24 oz. artichoke hearts, cooked, drained, quartered 1 lb. penne, cooked and drained 2 c spinach (optional) 1 clove garlic, crushed 1/2 cups Parmesan, grated (to taste) 1/2 cups, olive oil or light mayonnaise 4 oz light cream cheese Splash of milk if needed to thin out sauce Juice from 1 lemon Salt and pepper to taste 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped Cook pasta according to directions on package. If you want to add spinach, toss fresh spinach in the boiling pasta water the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain pasta and toss with all other ingredients. Serve warm!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ham Loaf

I can not believe that this family classic is just now making it's debut on the food blog. This is an Easter meal in our family that I have fond memories of. I hate to even post a picture because this is for sure the ugly step child of main dishes. The trickiest part of this recipe is getting the nerve to ask the butcher to grind your ham and you may get a dirty look or two because they have to clean the machine before and after to do this, but for this Stewart family classic it is worth it. My kids ate this meal for the first time and they all loved it's sweetness and texture. It's a great meal and really takes ham to a whole other level!!

Loaf Mixture

1 lbs ground ham
3/4 lbs ground pork
1 egg
1/2 cup cracker crumbs (crushed saltines)
1/2 c milk

Purchase you meats at the store, you should be able to buy ground pork in the meat case, and the ham you will purchase in a small ham "roast", then have the butcher put it through the grinder like I talked about. Tip... go to a "customer friendly" grocer. You will have better luck at a high end grocery store then you will asking them to do this at Walmart.
Mix all ingredients together and shape into loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray. Poke holes in meat with a skewer to allow glaze to distribute in the meat. Set aside while you make the glaze.

Glaze Mixture
3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c vinegar
2 t prepared mustard (Dijon)
1/2 c water

Bring all ingredients to a boil in small saucepan. Boil 5 minutes. Pour mixture over meat.
Cook in loaf pan 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Mustard Sauce
(Make earlier in the day)
1 beaten egg
6 T vinegar
1 T flour
1 T Dijon mustard
1/4 T water

Heat ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat. Heat and Stir until thickens. Take off of heat pour into small bow and cool completely in the refrigerator.
Then fold in
1 c !!Whipped!!! Whipping cream
2 T sugar

Refrigerate mixture until ready to serve as a dollop on top or to the side of ham loaf.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Browned Butter and Mizithra Cheese Pasta

Photo and Recipe from

4 tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Mizithra cheese; shredded
6 ounces Spaghetti
Cracked pepper

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the butter over medium heat; the butter will froth a bit, and then start to turn a nice golden brown. Let the butter cook until it is a light caramel color. Set aside.
Drain the pasta.
Carefully pour off the butter into a small dish, being careful to leave behind the solids that have settled to the bottom of the pan.
Mix the butter, spaghetti, and most of the cheese (save some to sprinkle on top).
Garnish with remaining cheese and Cracked pepper to taste. YUMMY!

Crockpot Marinara

Photo courtesy of Budget Bites

I've always wanted to try marinara sauce in my crock pot and I surfed around looking for the perfect recipe. This one caught my eye because it included two of my favorite ingredients that many of the other sauces did not include. Balsamic Vinegar and Brown Sugar! I was not disappointed, this sauce will darken and caramelize the flavors as you cook it over a long period of time. It was excellent. I served mine with a browned butter and mizithra cheese pasta kind of like my own "Managers Special" at Spaghetti Factory. It was AMAZING! Enjoy this recipe from Budget Bites with my notes.

2 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes (I used whole and then pureed my sauce at the end)
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 medium yellow onion
1/2 Tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves fresh)
2 whole bay leaves
1 Tbsp dried basil
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
to taste salt & pepper

STEP 1: Cut the onion into a small dice and mince the garlic (or use pre-minced garlic from a jar). Place both in the slow cooker. Also add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, bay leaves, basil, oregano, and freshly cracked pepper. Stir well to combine. If your slow cooker tends to lose moisture and dry things out, add 1/2 to 1 cup of water as well.

STEP 2: Secure the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hrs. (I read from other websites that some people prefer to cook their marinara with the lid off, so I did about half and half. I guess when you leave the lid on, the marinara can get watery.)

STEP 3: Remove the lid on the slow cooker, stir the sauce, and remove the bay leaves. Season with salt to taste (I added about 1 tsp). Enjoy over your favorite pasta! (I also pureed my sauced at the end with an immersion blender to give it that smooth consistency.)

Now how easy was that? You can also try adding other ingredients like sliced mushrooms, Italian sausage (cook separately and add to the sauce after it has cooked), crushed red pepper, olive oil (for a richer sauce), bell peppers... the sky is the limit.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Red Velvet Waffles

Ok, so I wanted to try a fun Valentines Day breakfast. I researched some online recipes and found that many red velvet waffles were time consuming and people complained of a rubbery texture...ew. This one appealed to me because it was easy but I wasn't expecting too much. Wow was I ever wrong!! These had the perfect red velvet flavor, a moist, cakey texture with a light crunch on the outside! Perfect for a special day, shower, or a brunch. I will be impressing guests with these for years to come. Try it!!!!!

Serves 6

2 c baking mix (I used Jiffy Baking Mix, but you could use Bisquick)
1 1/4 c milk
2 eggs
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4 c sugar
1 T red food coloring
1 t vanilla
2 T melted butter

Mix together dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients adding the melted butter last. Scoop onto hot and lightly sprayed (with cooking oil) waffle iron.

Top with the following options:
Cream Cheese Butter/ REAL Maple Syrup
---To make Cream Cheese butter use equal parts softened butter and softened cream cheese stir together and dollop onto warm waffle.

Or Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese softened
3 T butter softened
1 t vanilla
1/4-1/3 c milk
2 c powdered sugar

Mix and stir until you reach a desired want it to be thicker than a glaze but still thin enough to drizzle and spread.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Low Fat Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins

I am huge muffin fan and when I saw this recipe on "For the Love of Cooking" I knew I needed to try it. Pretty impressive since she says her young daughter came up with the recipe. Except for one version is modified to make them healthier and tastier! These have a great chocolatey wholesome flavor with a hint of banana. I will absolutely be making these over and over again! Try it this weekend!

Chocolate, Banana, and White Chocolate Chip Muffins:
Recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking
Adapted by me...

1/4 cup of butter, softened
1/4 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed up
1 cup of flour
1 cup oat flour (measure one cup quick oats in blender and blend until a course powder forms)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup of white chocolate chips plus additional for topping
1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter, yogurt, and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Blend 1 cup quick oats in blender until a course powder forms, then dump into batter. Add 1 flour, baking soda, and salt. Add mashed bananas. Stir in white and milk chocolate chips. Spoon into greased muffin cups. (I used jumbo muffin tin)
Press additional white chocolate chips onto top of muffins if you want to improve the aesthetics.
I got 6 jumbo muffins and 2 regular size out of this recipe. Cook the jumbo about 6-8 minutes more than regular size.
Regular muffins bake 20 minutes
Jumbo 26-30 minutes
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