Monday, November 16, 2009

Great Grandma's Goulash

Well, it's snowing here in Utah and the temperatures are frigid (maybe not for you Wyoming or Alaska people) but we're not playing outside . . . not even to make a snowman! This weekend, I just wanted something good. I called my sister, Makayla, and asked if she wanted to come make me something. She kindly obliged (although jokingly as she has a new baby and lives 6 hours from here). She said she was craving goulash. So, Keek, this one is for you. I've had it in the archives to post for over a year now (I think this pattern is repeating itself). This is one of the recipes my grandmother came and made to put in the recipe book of my great-grandmother's recipes (see that here).


1 lb hamburger
1 pkg shell or elbow macaroni
1 large can diced tomatoes
1/2 onion, diced
1/2-1 green pepper, diced
seasonings (salt, pepper, basil, oregano)
a little sugar

Brown Hamburger with onion, green pepper, salt, and pepper. Add tomatoes, seasonings, and a little sugar to taste. Prepare noodles. Combine and serve with parmesean cheese. Stay inside and enjoy! Welcome to comfort food season. I'm brainstorming ideas for Thanksgiving Dinner. Please share any must-have dishes/recipes that you can't let a Thanksgiving go by without indulging.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quinoa Vegetable Salad

What is Quinoa? It's a tiny grain cultivated from a tumbleweed type plant in South America. If you want to know more, read the Wiki details here.

It's very quick to cook and looks fluffy like this when it's all done - (just a quick 15 minutes).

So here's the recipe . . . with Emily's notes . . .

1/2 cup quinoa (rinse, boil in 1 cup water, reduce heat, cover, 15 minutes)
1/2 cup frozen petite peas
1 small carrot, shredded
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup (or less) chopped green onions
1 cup fresh spinach or lettuce (optional, to serve salad on)

1 Tbl. white balsamic vinegar (I used dark, I don't think it matters but maybe white looks nicer).
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 T. sugar
1 Tbl. minced fresh parsley (dried works but fresh tastes best)
1 Tbl. minced fresh thyme (I used dried)
Mix dressing and pour over salad.

Now, you'll notice that the veggies I put in this salad in the picture don't match the recipe. You can throw pretty much anything in there. I put in what I had on hand, but I must say the frozen peas are my favorite with the tomatoes and grain. It's the perfect mix of textures and flavors.

Also, on another side note, Quinoa is great as a healthy breakfast. Let me know if you try this or if you have any other Quinoa recipes that you like! I'd like to try more.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Raspberry Coffee Cake

Three and a half years ago, my sister Annie and I traveled to Wyoming. I was expecting Marcela and my sisters and mother were throwing me a baby shower. This is what they served as dessert and it was soooooo delicious! I've been making it ever since. My little sister Makayla is expecting and has requested this as dessert for the shower we're throwing her next week. The blend of the almond with the raspberries and a little cream cheese is the perfect balance. And it's fun in winter or summer. At my winter shower, they served it with hot cocoa. At Makayla's summer shower, I think we'll serve it with some fresh squeezed lemonade.

So here's what you do:

Grease and flour bottom and sides of 9" or 10" spring form pan.


2 1/4 c flour
1 c sugar, divided
3/4 c margarine (I use butter)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c sour cream
1 tsp almond extract
2 eggs, divided
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 c rapsberry preserves
1/2 c almonds, sliced

In large bowl, combine flour & 1/4 c sugar. Using pastry blender or for, cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of crumb mixture. To remainding crumb mixture, add baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, almond extract & 1 egg; blend well. Spread batter over bottom and 2 inches up sides of greased and floured springform pan. Batter should be about 1/4 inch thick on sides.

In small bowl, combine cream cheese, remaining sugar, and 1 egg; blend well. Pour into batter-lined pan.

Carefully spoon preserves evenly over cream cheese mixture.

In small bowl, combine reserved cumb mixture & sliced almonds.

Sprinkle over preserves.

Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until cream cheese filling is set and crust is deep golden brown.

Cool for 15 minutes.

This is definitely a family favorite and I'm looking forward to making it again for Makayla's shower.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Risa's Blonde Brownies

This is how behind I am in posting recipes. Over a year ago when Armando and Marcela went to Honduras, I whipped out a recipe book that my dear friend Lindy had given me of her favorite family recipes and made her mom's blonde brownies. They were delicious. I've made them a couple times since and never regret it (unless I eat the whole pan, which isn't hard to do!) This is my lazy way out of making chocolate chip cookies and they taste even better!

1 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 package chocolate chips
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift dry ingredients, add nuts and mix well. Melt butter, add sugar and cool slightly. Add eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture, mixing well. Turn into buttered 9 x 9 pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.

Thanks, Lindy, for sharing your family book with me!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Gram's Chocolate Nut Dessert

I've never really known if this dessert has a name. I just jotted it down as "Gram's Chocolate Nut Dessert" in my recipe book years ago and that's what it's been. I don't know why, but I associate this dessert with Christmas for some reason. And that's when I usually make it, but Armando requested I take it to a church gathering a week or so ago and so I snapped a picture before we stepped out the door.

This is a simple recipe and it'd delish. However, I am trying to eat healthier. So I'm going to dump a bunch of unhealthy recipes out there for the rest of you to try and then when I'm through I plan to share a couple healthy ones I've been enjoying lately. Now for the recipe:

The crust*:
1 c flour
1/2 c butter
1/2 c nuts (walnuts or pecans)

*When I make this in a larger dish, I double the crust ingredients. This is my favorite part of the dish. No sugar. Nuts and butter. It's the perfect blend with the sweet chocolate and creamy cheese.

Mix together and press into 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes at 350. Remove from oven and let cool.

1st Layer:
1 c powdered sugar
1 c cool whip (I usually am generous with this cup)
8 oz cream cheese

Beat together until smooth and spread over cooled crust.

2nd Layer:
1 large pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 large pkg instant chocolate pudding
3 cups milk
You'll notice that a normal pudding recipe will call for more milk - this is meant to be quite firm.

Top Layer:
Top with remainder of cool whip and sprinkle with nuts or chocolate shavings to garnish. Keep refrigerated. Serve cool.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mini Pizzas

A friend introduced these simple pizzas to me a couple of Christmases ago. I made them shortly after and just got busy and never posted the recipe. It's super easy and a great dish to serve to kids who have a varying range of likes and dislikes. Here's the simple instructions:

Thaw Rhodes Rolls according to package directions. (My friend made them on whole-wheat rolls which were delicious - I just happened to have white in my freezer at the time, but I'd definitely do wheat again!)

Roll out each roll flat. Prepare preferred toppings.

Spoon and spread your preferred sauce on each mini pizza dough. I used just a jar of spaghetti sauce I had on hand.

Top with cheese and let guests top with their favorite toppings.

Bake in oven to desired crispiness. Serve with Caesar Salad and enjoy!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

I'm playing recipe catch up. I have pictures from 2007 I haven't posted. Did I just admit that? Yes! We'll see if I get to them. I'm really enjoying my first summer vacation as a full-time mom so who knows how much I'll post, but for now, here's one that's worth it.

I found this recipe from my favorite cooking blog: And let me tell you, Deb's photos are as delicious as her food!


1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup *dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 450 F. Grease and flour an 18 cup muffin tin and set aside.

Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix in the buttermilk gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.) Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.

Divide the batter evently among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400F and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

*I personally didn't like the strong flavor of the dark brown sugar and would use regular brown sugar in the future - or maybe I wouldn't top them with sugar at all. I like muffin toppers, but the dark brown sugar didn't do it for me. Perhaps a mixture of sugar, butter, flour and nuts next time.

Also, I would store these in the refrigerator as the moisture in the apples made them go bad quickly. All in all they were quite delicious and filling!