Tuesday, December 21, 2010

English Toffee *Lauren Perry*

I have tried 3 different recipes over the past year and I could not get my toffee to turn out good! I was not going to let a simple recipe conquer me, especially since I am a huge fan of English Toffee. Its a ton of work and you need a lot of elbow grease, but everyone always appreciate a homemade candy treat. I called a "toffee queen" in my neighborhood and she walked me step by step through the process with this yummy recipe (I literally called here every 5 minutes while I made it). It turned out wonderful. Let's just say I had to burn 4 lbs of sugar and butter over the past year to finally find a keeper recipe.

2 1/2 cups of sugar
1 lbs of butter (4 sticks)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup karo syrup
1 tbs vanilla
1 bag of choc/chips or 2 large chocolate candy bars (I love Ghirardelli milk chocolate or Symphony plain milk chocolate bars)
pecans chopped (you could do as much as you want, I probably chopped 1 1/2-2 cups)

Directions for dummies... helpful tips
-Use a deep pot because the sugar might boil over, you want it to get foamy and boil
-melt the butter, water, vanilla and Karo syrup on med/low heat until the butter is fully melted
-use a WOODEN spoon. I did not know this but its very important
-spray a little cooking spray on a large cookie sheet or 2 9 x 13 's
-sprinkle your chopped pecans evenly on the cookie sheet/cake pans
-add the sugar to the melted butter stuff and stir with wooden spoon CONSTANTLY. You can walk away for a minute here and there, but you pretty much have to babysit the sugar and stir it for a good 25 minutes on MED/HIGH heat.
-you want the sugar grains to go away and you want it to glaze on the spoon. Make sure you don't have grainy sugar around the edges of the pot by constantly mixing it. It is going to get very foamy and raise, that is ok. Eventually it will thicken, change to a carmel color and drop a bit. If it gets to close to the top, remove it from the heat for 30 seconds here and there (while constantly mixing) and put it back on.
-It will be a pretty/light tan/golden color. A test to see if the candy is cooked, take a glass of cold water and use a drop of the toffee- let it drip off of the spoon into the cup on cold water. Let it sit about 30 seconds and taste it, make sure it is crunchy and not chewy. If its chewy, then its not all of the way cooked
-Pour the cooked toffee over the nuts and let it sit about 7-10 minutes.
-Add your favorite chocolate and let it melt, then take a spatula and spread it evenly over the harden (but warm) toffee. Immediately put in fridge (it takes way too long for the chocolate to harden at room temp)
-Once its hardened, let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes at room temp and then chop up good size chunks and enjoy!

Candied Bacon *Lauren Perry*

Doesn't the name alone clog your arteries? My best friend Jaime told me about this little gem, and I am obsessed! It is delicious in a salad or on its own. You can wrap it around those little smokes and bake them, you can add them to the cheesey onion dip (I've posted this recipe before). All I know is, you CANNOT go through life without trying this atleast once!

1 lb of quality bacon (I love a thick applewood smoked, splurge and spend the extra $2 for the good stuff)
about 1/2 a cup of brown sugar

- extra optionals, chopped pecans once the bacon is cooked

Put on foil on a cookie sheet and bake at 320 for about 20 + minutes, or use a microwave bacon tray (the easiest way). Lay the bacon out and use a generous amount of brown sugar. Cook until crispy but not burned. Once you remove from the heat or microwave, add an extra little amount of brown sugar (and chopped pecans if desired) and let it sit for about 10 minutes until it hardens and candies. Eat plain or chop in salad-

Sample Salad

Chopped Romaine Hearts (1 bag)
1 bunch green onions chopped
1 lb of candied bacon, chop into large pieces
1-2 avocado, cubed into small pieces
sliced almonds (I buy the honey glazed)
1 small container of feta cheese
your favorite dressing (I love Girards Champagne Dressing)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin-Oatmeal-Choc. Chip Cookies *Lauren Perry*

I love when my friends find wonderful recipes and send them my way :) My sweet friend Tosha emailed me this yummy treat. Doesn't it sound like the perfect fall cookie?

1 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), softenend
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 a cup of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 cups of old fashioned oats
1 cup chocolate chips (i love milk chocolate)

Oven at 350 spray/grease cookie sheet
sift flour, cinnamon, spices, salt and baking soda in a large bowl
in another bowl, beat brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy
beat in egg and vanilla
mix in pumpkin, just blend at low speed- add in the sifted dry ingredients
add oats mix well
add in chocolate chips and stir
roll balls, 1 TBS in size, place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet
bake for 10-12 minutes (or until slightly brown)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Savanna's Cookie Salad

You will need:
2 cps. Buttermilk
1 lrg. vanilla instant pudding
1 small thing of coolwhip
2 cans mandarin oranges
2 cans pineapple tidbits
1 pkg. Keebler striped cookies

Mix 2 cps buttermilk with 1 Lrg. pkg. of Vanilla instant pudding

Then fold in a small Cool whip

In strainer for about an hour, drain juice from 2 small can's of mandarin oranges and 2 cans of pineapple tidbits.

Mix all together. Before serving add 1 pkg. of Keebler striped cookies. Enjoy!

Poppy Seed Bundt or breads

3 cps. Flour
2 1/4 cps. Sugar
1 1/2 cp. milk
1 1/2 cp. oil

Mix 2 minutes then add 3 eggs, 1 1/2 tsp. of poppy seeds, salt, baking powder, vanilla extract, butter flavoring, and almond extract. (so 1 1/2 tsp. each)

Bake 350 for 40-50 minutes. You can use a bundt pan or 3 loaf pans. It's good any way. Just use up the batter in whatever you have. ( Just make sure you don't over cook your bread.)

Glaze: 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cp. prepared Orange juice, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. almond flavoring, 1/2 tsp. butter flavoring

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pulled Pork *Lauren Perry*

I am a HUGE fan of a good pulled pork! This is delicious, sweet and juicy!

4-5 lb pork butt or shoulder
1 can of soda pop (I've used Coke, Dr. Pepper and Rootbeer- they all work great)
2-3 TBS of garlic chopped
1 small jar of salsa, I like Mild Pace Picante
1 tsp of liquid smoke
3/4 to 1 cup of brown sugar
1-2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
garlic salt (a few really good shakes) to taste
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
dash of salt and pepper to taste

throw all of the above in a crock pot and cook about 6-8 hours depending on how hot your crock pot gets

This is great buns with coleslaw (I will post an easy coleslaw recipe later) or its good in a salad.

A traditional salad or Cafe Rio like salad- romaine lettuce, can of black beans (drained), can of corn (drained), cilantro, 2 tomatoes chopped, 2 avacado's chopped, shredded cheddar cheese, fry up some tortilla strips. You could also make a cilantro lime rice to add. This is good with store bought ranch or you could make a packet ranch and use juice from 1 lime and a bunch of chopped cilantro and food process/ blend it to make it like a Cafe Rio salad.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Healthy Fall/Winter Stew *Lauren Perry*

I am on a SUPER strict diet right now to lose weight. I have been doing a lot of research on recipes and healthy eating habits. I made up this stew and it was just so delicious, Brian flipped over it. We served it with garlic Melba toast and cooked cinnamon apples, a total fall dish :) Anytime I make or come across a healthy recipe that is yummy, I will post it as well.

Brian is on the diet too, so this recipe is 2 servings. You are more than welcome to double the recipe if you have company or if you want to freeze half of it for another day.


200 grams of extra lean stew meat
1 1/2 cups of low sodium broth (I used organic vegetable- it only has 2 grams of sugar per 1 cup of broth)
2 TBS red wine vinegar
2 stocks of celery chopped
1/3 of a white onion chopped
1/2 of a regular sized tomato chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
small handful of parsley chopped
garlic powder (a few shakes)
ground cumin (a few shakes)
chili powder (a few shakes)
onion powder (a few shakes)
fresh ground pepper
sea salt (I grind this)

Extra add-ins (I am limited to my veggie add in's right now, but extra add in's that are Weight Watcher approved are- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/2 cup frozen corn and 1/2 cup diced carrots)

saute garlic, meat, and veggies in vinegar
add broth and bring to boil- then reduce to simmer
add seasons to taste and let simmer for 30 minutes
if it needs more liquid or is a little too spicy, add 1/2 a cup of water

This is high protein, very very low carb, low sodium (because of the sea salt), the seasons added have no sugar, and its high in vegetables.

Garlic Melba toast is yummy, high in fiber and grains and low in carbs/fat

For the apples you dice 2 apples, add to a bowl and throw in some lemon juice, a few shakes cinnamon, and like 6 stevia drops (these are sugar free sweetener drops that you get at a health food store) and then you saute them and serve them warm. You can serve the apples with a non-fat vanilla yogurt or a homemade granola or just eat them plain like I do.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Get your Canning on!


1/2 bushel Tomatoes
3 Green Peppers chopped
3 Large Onions chopped
1/4 c. Salt (more or less given on your taste)
2 C. Vegetable Oil
2 T. Oregano
2 T. Garlic Powder
2 T. Basil
1 1/2 c. Sugar
8 small cans Tomato Paste

*Put Tomatoes in boiling water until the skins split. Peel the skins off and chop up and put in a pot. Add other ingredients and stir well. Simmer for 2 hours to blend all the spices and soften the peppers and onions. Let it cool and then put in Ziploc Freezer bags or other containers and Freeze.

* I got my tomatoes peeled and then put them in my Vitamix. It was awesome! Then I poured everything into my big Roaster Oven and got it to a boil and then simmered it on low for 2 hours. It worked out great! Super Easy, and VERY yummy. Great thing to make with all those tomatoes.


9 Qt. Chopped Tomatoes (about 1/2 a bushel)
12-24 oz. Tomato paste (depending on how thick you like you salsa)
2 T. Cummin Powder
3 T. Oregano
2 T. Fresh Cilantro
Put into a large bowl and stir
In a pot add the following ingredients;
4 C. Chopped Peppers (no seeds)
5 c. Chopped yellow Onions
1/2 c. Jalapeno Pepper (no seeds)
6 cloves garlic or 6 T. Minced Garlic
2 C. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 T. Black Pepper
3 T. Salt
*Simmer all of these ingredients on the stove until onions and peppers are tender. Then mix this mixture with the tomato mixture.
Put into bottles. I steam can them for about 20-25 minutes.
*This is REALLY Yummy. It tasts fresh but is nice because it's bottled and stays good longer.


Choose your favorite type of Apple. Last Year I did Golden Delicious and this year I did Gala. They were both great.
This year I peeled the apples and then just used an apple cutter and put the apples in a pot with about 2 inches of water in it. Steam until the apples get soft. Then, I put the soft apples in my Vitamix and blended until I got the consistency I wanted. I like it a little chunky but my daughter doesn't. Then I poured the blended apples into a pot on the stove. The recipe calls for 1/4 c. Sugar per pound of applesauce. I try to do the least amount of Sugar possible. I had 35 pounds of Apples and used I think 3 cups of Sugar for all of that and it was great. I like to use it for baby food so the least amount of Sugar the better. Add Sugar to the blended/ Mushed apples and stir on the stove until it comes to a boil. I let it boil for about 5 minutes stirring constantly. Then I put it into jars and steam can it for 20 minutes. It is SO yummy and So easy. This has become my new favorite thing to can. You can add Cinnamon and Sugar to it too. My cousin puts a fireball (hot jawbreaker) on the top of hers before she seals them and likes that. My kids just prefer plain old applesauce.

Last Year I left the skins on the apples. I cut them with an apple cutter and then steamed them until soft. Then, the ideal thing is to use a strainer that separates the skins and the apple. I have an attatchment for my kitchenaide that worked great, but the VitaMix was the best. Or you can just mush them yourself with a potato masher or whatever else you want to use.

Happy Canning!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


by: Liz Edmonds- The Food Nanny
  • 1 pound uncooked mostaccioli or other tubular pasta
  • Alfredo Sauce (p. 71)
  • 1 (26-ounce) jar meatless spaghetti sauce
  • or 3 cups homemade sauce, divided (see Note)
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • RED-AND-WHITE MOSTACCIOLI (“little mustaches”)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain.
3. Meanwhile, prepare sauce of Fettuccine Alfredo (omit the pasta).
4. Spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Layer
half the pasta, half the Alfredo sauce, half the spaghetti sauce, and
11/2 cups of the cheese. Repeat the layering with the remaining pasta,
Alfredo sauce, spaghetti sauce, and cheese.
5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake about 30 minutes or until it is hot and

Serve with a tossed green salad and Italian or French bread.

Note: You may use meat sauce or meatless; I prefer meatless. When I make my
own spaghetti sauce (p. 62 made meatless), I often double the recipe so I can
freeze half of it to have on hand for this recipe. But purchased sauce is almost
as good.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 pound uncooked fettuccine
1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Mix in the cream
cheese. Stir in the cream and garlic powder. Increase the heat and bring
to a boil. Decrease the heat and simmer, stirring often, while you cook the
pasta. If the sauce needs additional thickening (for example if you're serving
it as a dipping sauce without pasta), you may sprinkle in flour, 1 teaspoon at
a time. Cook and stir for desired consistency.
2. Cook the fettuccine according to package directions; drain.
3. Stir the Parmesan cheese into the sauce and season with salt and pepper
to taste.
4. Toss the sauce and the pasta in a large bowl and serve immediately.
Serve with a tossed green salad and hot French bread or bread sticks.

For Chicken Alfredo, stir-fry bite-size chunks of chicken in 1 tablespoon olive
oil until cooked and add to the sauce.

If you’re a seafood lover, toss the sauce with cooked medium shrimp or
chunks of crab.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sugar cookies in a pan

(i took this picture off my favorite new food blog www.thegirlwhoateeverything.blogspot.com, but this isn't her recipe but the same thing. I promise this one is terrific! Next time, I might even add a little nutmeg.)
If your like me ... you love sugar cookies but don't love rolling them out. So... here is your new solution and trust me they are absolutely DIVINE!

1 cp. butter soft
1 8oz. package of cream cheese
1 1/2 cp sugar
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 3/4 cp. flour

Grease and flour cookie sheet. Bake 375 for 20 minutes. Blend ingredients dry w/ dry, wet w/ wet etc.

Cream cheese frosting

1/2 cp butter, soft
4 oz. cream cheese, soft
3 1/2 cp powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
splash of milk

Frosted Blondie- too good to keep a secret!

1 cp. butter softened
1 cp. brown sugar
1 cp. white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 cp. Flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cp. quick oats

Cream together butter and sugars. Mix in vanilla and eggs. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix. Spread in greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.


1/4 cp. butter, soft
3 ounces cream cheese
2 cps powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Beat ingredients together adding a small amount of milk to acheive the right consistency. Frost cooled bars. Slice and serve.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Salad *Lauren Perry*

My mom came up with this recipe and its really flavorful. Everyone that had this LOVED it and asked for the recipe.

1 bag of Romaine Lettuce
1/3 cup craisins
6 pieces of Prosciutto (microwave to cook it)
2 regular size Roma tomatoes, chopped
1-2 avocados, diced
2 oz of goat cheese, crumbles/chunks
Lighthouse Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (its in the refrigerated lettuce/veggie section of the grocery store)
- extra add in's- chopped green onions, candied pecans

Cornbread and Honey Butter *Lauren Perry*

My sweet friend/neighbor Tara turned me on to this yummy recipe (I love having neighbors who share their cooking talents with me!). My waistline will forever thank her for this one ;) This is as yummy as a birthday cake with frosting. You can literally eat the honey butter with a spoon. This recipe is from http://www.mykitchencafe.blogspot.com/


1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil
3 TBS butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup milk

Add dry ingredients make a well and add oil, butter, eggs, and milk into the center. Stir until just mixed (batter will be runny). Bake in an 8" square pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. This doubles perfectly for a 9x13 inch pan.

Honey Butter
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1 container marshmallow fluff
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sugar

Whip all together with an electric mixer and serve at room temp. Refridgerate if runny

Friday, June 18, 2010

Toscana Soup *Lauren Perry*

Very much like Olive Gardens, but with a few added extras :) Its delish!

about 6 cups of chicken broth (I used 2 boxes + 1 can)
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 package of mild italian sausages, break up chunks
1 large russet potato (peel and cube)
1 cup of mini farfalle (bowtie) pasta
1/2 a white onion chopped
a bunch of chopped italian parsley
1 1/2 cups of chopped kale (I don't even add this, I end up picking it out)
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
garlic salt

top with parmesan

In a skillet, saute garlic, onions and italian sausage until sausage is cooked----- drain the fat
In a pot, throw everything (except the onions, garlic, and sausage) and bring to boil. Once it boils for a few minutes, set to simmer. Simmer 5 minutes and add the cooked onion, garlic, and sausage and simmer for 5+ minutes. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Black Bean and Rice Salad *Lauren Perry*

I wish I could claim this as my recipe or atleast a recipe that I found, but my mom sent it to me from another recipe blog (not sure which one). Its a wonderful little salad if you are going to a BBQ or having people over. Its very filling and full of flavor!

2 cups of white rice (pre-cook and chill)
1 can of black beans (drained)
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1 chopped avacado
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
3 TBS lime juice
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 crushed garlic clove
salt and pepper

in a large bowl, mix tomato, avacado, red onions, beans, rice and cilantro. In a small bowl, wisk olive oil, sugar, cumin, garlic, and lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Combine all ingredients until consistent.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hot Crab Dip *Lauren Perry*

This is very yummy with chips or triscuts!

1 brick of cream cheese
1 package (or can) of crab meat (real claw crabmeat is the best!)
1 dash of hot sauce, Tabasco or Mikes Hot
1 shake of cayenne powder
1 shake of garlic salt or powder
1/2 tsp of sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used mild) and a little bit extra to top it off when you put it in a serving dish

*you could add some onion if you like as well

Throw everything in a pan and mix and melt
add to baking dish, top with cheese and serve hot!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Best Tortilla Soup EVER *Lauren Perry*

The secret to this soup is to let it simmer on low for about 40 minutes and to add the sour cream in each individual bowl. The flavor is amazing! I am still drooling as I think about it! I made a HUGE batch and passed it to some friends for taste test, just to get approval.

2 boxes of chicken broth (about 8 cups)
1 1/2 cups of water (you could probably just use an extra can of chicken broth, but this toned down the flavor nicely)
1/3 an onion
2 cans of corn, drained
2 cans of pinto beans, drained
1 can of diced tomatoes (I used the mild kind with chili and onion in it)
a bunch of cilantro
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs chili powder
3 garlic cloves
1/3 cup of lime juice
pico de gallo (I just bought pre-made mild from the store, I was too lazy to make my own)
shredded cheddar cheese
garlic salt, a few good shakes
chicken breasts (3-4)
1-2 TBS sugar (depending on taste)
lime (sliced)
tortilla chips, crunched
dollup of soup cream per bowl *

*the sour cream melts in the cups of soup and when mixed, it makes this creamy and DELICIOUS!!

In a mixer or blender, add the can of tomatoes, a small handful of cilantro leaves (maybe 1-2 TBS), garlic, 1/2 an onion- chop and blend well
In a large pot, bring broth and water to Medium heat and add the mixture from the blender/mixer, bring to slow boil
Cook or broil chicken breast in oven and shred
Add garlic salt, cumin, chili powder, lime juice, sugar to pot on Med/Low heat
Add drained corn, beans and shredded/cooked chicken to broth. Bring to simmer for about 30 minutes.

In a bowl, add shredded cheddar cheese, a lime wedge, a few chunks of cilantro leaves, 1 spoonful of pico de gallo, and avocado chunks. Spoon soup into the bowl, top with sour cream and tortilla chips and enjoy :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chicken Scampi *Lauren Perry*

This was super yummy and FULL of flavor! :)

3 Chicken breasts (cubed)
1/2 red onion sliced thin
1 red bell pepper sliced
1 yellow bell pepper sliced
1/2 cup of white cooking wine
1/2 stick of butter
4 pieces of cooked bacon chopped (I used Applewood Smoked Bacon)
garlic (3 cloves chopped)
lemon juice (about 4 TBS)
1 cup shredded parmesan
1/2 cup of chicken broth
italian parsley, chopped (about 2 TBS)
garlic salt
Pasta (I used wheat linguine)

Saute vegtables and garlic in butter for about 5 minutes
add cubed chicken cook for about 7 minutes on med/high head
add wine, lemon juice, broth, and spices cook for about 7 minutes on med/high heat
cook until tender and then add chopped bacon and parmesan
add to drained pasta

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mongolian Beef

We found this recipe on a website. It's EXACTLY like PF Chang's or Pei Wei's Mongolian Beef. Really easy even though the directions seem long. The original recipe called for green onion instead of broccoli, but I put in broccoli instead. I just like it better. Either way, it's good! My husband is super picky and asks for this all the time.

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced

1 tablespoon garlic, chopped

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1 lb flank steak

1/4 cup cornstarch

½ head broccoli


Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat. Don't get the oil too hot. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat.

Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/8" thick sugar packet size slices. Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.

As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil). Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. You don't need a thorough cooking here since the beef is going to go back on the heat later. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.

After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels, then pour the oil out of the wok or skillet. Put the pan back over the heat, dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add the broccoli. Cook for one more minute, then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate.

Heavenly Mashers *Lauren Perry*

Everyone ALWAYS asks me what I do to my mashed potatoes. Truth is, I never really follow a specific recipe. I've always just made it up as i go along (like most of my recipes). Today I took the time to stop and figure out how I make these bad boys :)

5-6 LARGE brown potatoes
1/2 a stick of butter
3 good size dollups of sour cream
a few good shakes of garlic salt
a few good shakes of pepper
3 cloves of garlic (keep it whole, just peel the skin off)
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 - 1 cup of parmesan cheese
(optional but SUPER YUMMY- add 1/4 cup of blue cheese- it is wonderful with the garlic and parmesan flavor)

Peel and cube the potatoes. Add to a large pot of boiling water. Add some salt (I use Kosher Salt) to the boiling water
Toss in the garlic cloves whole (but peeled)
Boil for a good 20 + minutes
Drain the water and add the garlic and potatoes back to the pot
throw in all of the above and mash with a potato masher. You don't want to overly mash the potatoes and make them like paste, its nice to have little small lumps in there.
Scoop out the mashed potatoes and place in a casserole dish. Sprinkle a bit more parmesan on top and then bake for about 20 minutes on 350 when you are ready to eat them!
Serve with gravy

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Curry Chicken *Lauren Perry*

Serve this with rice! It is very delightful :)

1 can of chicken broth
1 can of coconut milk
2 TBS curry powder
a few shakes of garlic salt
1 shake of pepper
3 large chicken breasts cubed
2 TBS of sugar (3 if you think it needs a little more)
1/2 yellow onion sliced
splash of lime juice

extras (if you want)
sliced shittake mushrooms (yum!)
shredded coconut
cilantro (yum!)
potatoes cubed (peeled and chopped)
carrots (peeled and chopped)

I cook it on the stove top until the chicken is thoroughly cooked (on med low) and then I simmer it for the flavors, but you could also throw it all in a crock pot and add the can of coconut milk at the end.
(I personally LOVE it with 1 container of sliced shittake mushrooms)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Man-wich and Wedges *Lauren Perry*

Make this tonight! Your husband will thank you :) I am not a fan of horseradish, but I am OBSESSED with this special sauce!

Steak (i used a tenderloin- you could really use any kind of steak or prime rib)
garlic salt
(optional- a squeeze of lime if you like a very tender steak with a slight kick)
-grill it until tender and slice about 1/2 inch thick slices

Special Sauce
about 1/3 cup Mayo
1 TBS Horseradish
1 to 1 1/2 TBS of Ketchup
-mix in a bowl

Sauteed Onions
about 4 TBS of butter
1/2 of an onion slided into rings and cut in half (do not chop, this just gets messy)
pinch of salt and pepper
(optional splash of white cooking wine)

Sliced sour dough bread (or any type of bread works)
Provolone Cheese (blue cheese would be yummy too, but I just LOVE provolone)
*Special Sauce
*Sauteed Onions

- Toast the bread slices
-add a good amount special sauce to both pieces of bread (trust me, the more the better!)
-add cheese and warm in microwave for 10 seconds if necessary (the bread and steak and onions should melt it pretty good on its own)
-add steak slices and onions

Potato Wedges
2-3 Large brown potatoes
2 cloves of garlic chopped
Parmesan cheese (powdered or shredded)
garlic salt and ground pepper

-preheat oven to 400
-Pour a bit of cooking oil on a baking sheet
-slice potatoes into quarters, then quarter them again and cut into half (depending on size of potato) They should look like wedge fries
-set them on cookie sheet and mix them around with the oil on there
-add garlic salt, pepper and garlic
-if using parmesan powder, add before you bake, if using shredded parmesan- add with about 5 minutes left of baking
-bake for 30-40 minutes or until lightly golden

Friday, February 26, 2010

Italian Meatloaf Sandwich *Lauren Perry*

Brian flipped over this! I am not quite sure on the measurements, since I just threw it all together, but this is basically the measurements

1 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup of milk
1 egg (lightly beat)
1/3 onion (leave in large chunks)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
about 1 cup of Italian bread crumbs
garlic salt
garlic bread
1 can of pizza sauce
provolone cheese slices

Heat oven to 350
in a large bowl- mix ground beef, Worcestershire, onions, spices, bread crumbs, egg and milk. Press into a bread pan or circle cake pan

Top with Pizza Sauce (i don't use the full can because its nice to have a little extra to drizzle over or use for a dip)

toast the garlic bread with provolone slices on it

with 10 minutes left to meatloaf, add slices of provolone cheese to melt on top

Slice the meatloaf and set on top of a slice of garlic bread

Pick up and eat or use a fork!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Oreo Truffles

2 packages Double Stuf Oreos
8 oz. cream cheese
Chocolate almond bark
White Chocolate almond bark

CRUSH cookies to fine crumbs in food processor or cookies can also be finely crushed in a Zip-lock bag using a rolling pin. Place in medium bowl or mixer. Add cream cheese, mix until well blended. Roll cookies into balls about 1-inch in diameter. (I use a small cookie scoop so that the bottoms are flat.) Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

DIP balls in melted chocolate; place on wax paper covered baking sheet then drizzle with melted white chocolate using a Zip-lock bag with the corner cut off.

REFRIGERATE until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.

How to easily dip truffles: Place truffle ball in chocolate to coat; roll if necessary. Lift truffle from chocolate using 2 forks (this will allow excess chocolate to run off) before placing on wax paper.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Vanilla French Toast with Butter Syrup *Lauren Perry*

French Toast
Bread (white, wheat, sweet hawaiian ...which ever kind you want)
3 eggs
1/4 cup of sugar
1 TBS cinnamon
2 TSP vanilla extract
2 TBS Milk
(you could slice 1 vanilla bean and take out the insides too, but vanilla beans are pretty expensive)

mix in a bowl and dip bread in, cook on oven or on a skillet- cook until each side is golden brown

Butter Syrup
1 stick of butter
about 1/3- 1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of Karo Syrup
1-2 TBS of vanilla extract

melt all of the above in a microwave and stir it together until the sugar melts

extra- slice strawberries or fresh peaches and put on top of french toast, pour butter syrup over and enjoy!

Clam Linguine *Lauren Perry*

I LOVE clams! This doesn't have a very fishy taste-so you don't have to worry if you have a weak stomach :)

4 cans of clams (in juice)
2 TBS of lemon juice
a bunch of fresh parsley
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/2 cup white cooking wine
1 stick of butter
1 cup of shredded parmesan
2 cloves of garlic, minced
pinch of garlic salt and pepper
2 TBS olive oil

cook linguine

In a large sauce pan, saute onions and garlic in the butter and olive oil. Add parsley, cooking wine, lemon juice, the juice from the clams, garlic salt and pepper and cook until it boils for about 3 minutes, then cook on low for 5 minutes. Add the clam meat and parmesan and cook another 2 minutes. Pour over the cooked linguine and toss. The linguine will absorb a lot of the liquid and strong flavors, and it wont be overly powerful (if you taste the sauce in the pan- its very powerful with the lemon, garlic, salt, salt from clams...etc..)- the cooked linguine tones it down a ton.

Enjoy with a cesar salad and french bread!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos *Lauren Perry*

Easy and Yummy- my 2 favorite things when making food!

3-4 Chicken Breasts
1 packet of mild taco seasoning
1 cup of water
1 can of petite diced tomatoes (I used the one with mild green chili's)
1/2 jar of green verde salsa (I like mild)
2 TBS of ranch dressing
dash of salt and pepper

-throw all of the above in a crock pot and cook all day! I threw the ranch in the last 30 minutes

stuff in and top with
taco shells or small tortillas for soft tacos
shredded cheese
sour cream

*I bought a bag Mexican rice that you microwave, a can of pinto beans that I cooked on the stove and mashed up with some lime juice and garlic salt, and had homemade salsa and chips as well :) The chicken meat is so yummy, it also goes great on nachos!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Yummy cookie and MIA *Lauren Perry*

Sorry I have been missing in action! I had a baby on December 11th and I have been too busy for words!

My mom just came up to visit and spend time with my boys. She brought this cookie recipe that she has been dying to try out. It is probably the easiest cookie recipe on earth (next to good old slice and bake cookies) and it is truly divine!

1 box of Devils Food Cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 bag of Andes Mints

oven set at 350'
Combine cake mix, eggs and oil in a mixer
roll into cookie dough balls, about a TBS/ball
bake for 10 minutes
remove from oven and drop baking sheet on counter to 'flatten' the cookie
remove 1 Andes Mint and place 1 mint/cookie and smooth out as it melts with a spoon
let the melted mint cool off for about 10 minutes and then eat the whole batch! This makes about 28-36 cookies.
ps- here is a cute pic of my boys!