Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rogerson's Potato Salad

Now there are MANY different ways to make potato salad. Some have more mayo, other more mustard, some have pickles, some don't. The list could go on and on. 
One thing I don't approve of is store bought potato salad, there is just something about it that makes me gag. 
Now I use to be a fan of just my Grandma's potato salad, it is delicious! Then I married Dave and had his Grandma's potato salad, it is yummy! 
Throughout our marriage as we hung out with the Rogerson's she had prepared Nino's Mom's potato salad. 
Are you lost yet? Good.
I thoroughly enjoy the first 2 potato salads, I have yet to make my Grandma's though. And when I tried to make Dave's Grandma's on my own....well lets just say there was more to be desired. 
I figured I could handle the Rogerson's potato salad, it seemed simple and almost fool proof.
As if you haven't noticed by I now I succeeded in making it!
Dave may tell you it had too much mustard, I will beg to differ. How would he know if there is TOO much mustard, when he doesn't eat mustard (unless in potato salad and deviled eggs)?
Oh and yes this potato salad has pickles in it! Which I am a fan of. 
For those of you who aren't too sure of potato salad, I would start with this recipe. Just add small amounts of the fixings until you reach the taste and consistency you want.

Rogerson's Potato Salad

10 red potatoes (I used Russets cause that is what I had on hand)
6 hard boiled eggs
1 1/2 - 2 cups mayo
1 tsp. mustard
onion salt 

Boil the potatoes for around 20-25 minutes or until they are tender when poked with a fork. Then move them directly to an ice bath to remove the skins (leave them in the ice for a few minutes and the skin just comes right off). Cut into bite sized pieces. Add all the ingredients together (the mayo, salt and pepper you just kind of have to do by taste).

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cheese Steak Sandwiches

Now I know these cheese steak sandwiches aren't from Philly, but they are just as good! In fact they were so good I ate 2! I even got to use up some of the green peppers that were growing in my little garden. Which by the way my garden is dying, I'll post about that later. I love the mixture of sauteed peppers, onions and meat. And all sandwiches are better with melted cheese on them. I highly recommend adding the hot sauce to the mixture. I used the green Tabasco sauce, it added a nice flavor. 

Cheesesteak Sandwiches

1 lb. steak (you really can use any cut; since you’re going to slice it up and season it heavily, there’s really no need to splurge on a fillet mignon.)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 green bell pepper
1 medium yellow onion
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Hot sauce (like Tabasco or Cholula; optional,)
4-6 Hoagie rolls

All righty then, onto the recipe. Slice bell peppers and onions. Set aside. Slice meat. Set aside. Heat 2 Tbsp. butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add steak and stir-fry. Season heavily with salt and lots of freshly-ground pepper. When meat is about half-cooked, add peppers and onions. Stir occasionally, cooking until most of the liquid is evaporated and meat is cooked through. Season with hot sauce to taste. 
Spoon steak mixture inside. Top with cheese and place under broiler for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is slightly toasty.

Recipe From: Our Best Bites 

Continued 24th of July Weekend

On with the pictures of our trip home.

Us waiting for the horse for parade

Blake was excited for the parade

As were Nick and Robin

My wonderful Mother

Bart and Stacey 

My cousin Mindy's little girls rode their family horse in the horse parade

What's the 24th of July without a rodeo! I love rodeos, I still plan to barrel race in a few. It's on the bucket list.

Dave, he looks like a unabomber waiting to run the Fairview 5k.
The race was at 6:30 in the morning. We weren't use to the cold weather in the morning, we loved it!

My Dad came to watch us run, he kept track of our time.

After the race, I am getting addicted to races. I should probably actually train for them so I can improve my time and not be at the end of the race. :)

The kids at the big parade, waiting for the candy to be thrown.

We went up in the hills to shoot the 22/Shotgun Bart's family brought.

Cosmo apparently did NOT want to stay in his kennel. The little turkey even got out when we block him in against the wall with a cooler. He just pushed his way out through the hole he had made earlier and took a nap on the couch. 
Any suggestions on how to fix the hole on the dog kennel?

Cosmo didn't fit real well under the seats in the airplane. He is a little squished, but I think he was pretty comfy. 

It was great to be able to go home and spend time with family. We played games, watched some movies, and just enjoyed each others company. I look forward to next time I get to come home and see them again. 
And a big thanks to my parents for planning the get together and providing snacks and meals. Thank you to my siblings for the wonderful meals they made as well. Love you guys!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

24th of July Weekend Part 1

I hope you will forgive me with the lack of posts. I started a new job, and went home this past weekend, I was busy.

The hubby and I got to go home this past weekend to celebrate the 24th of July in Utah (actually Dave went home Monday to hang out with his family while I started my new job and left Thursday). The 24th of July is when Utah celebrates the Pioneers entering the Utah Valley, its a big to do. There are lots of events going on and a lot of fireworks just like around the 4th of July.

My Mom rented a house from my Uncle down in Mount Pleasant for the weekend. I love that area of Utah, it is beautiful. Right after I flew in on Thursday, the hubby and I made our way down that way. Of course we had to stop for a Cafe Rio chicken salad on the way. 

When we got to Mount Pleasant, we headed to the next town called Fairview to watch the kid rodeo that was going on. Some of my family was already there watching.

Robin and Nick

My parents 


We brought the furball along for the trip, he growled at the wandering steers.

The rest of my family got in around 2 A.M. that night.

We went fishing at the lower Gooseberry Lake and stream up Fairview Canyon.

Dad with one of his catches, I miss following him hole to hole to find the big fish.

Blake quietly focused.

So beautiful, I love it.

Robin with one of her catches of the day.

Chan and his nice little rainbow trout.

We went slip and sliding

Apparently I don't remember how to slip and slide, I belly flopped my first time down the slide.

I forgot a swim suit, it sure felt nice to cool off even fully clothed.

Since this post is long, I will post the remainder of our trip home tomorrow.
 Oh how I wish I was back where there was grass and green plants. 

A Tint Of Blue

I was hoping I would get to post about our trip home today, it will have to wait till tomorrow.

I cried this morning. I got up at 3:30 A.M. to this

I left a ball point pen in my work shorts in a load of laundry, which I never do. I usually keep nothing in my pockets.

Once it got to the dryer it exploded.

It ruined a batch of whites, that I am trying hard to get the blue spots out of. I figured I could throw my shorts in with the whites since the fabric doesn't bleed. The fabric doesn't, the pen sure did though! 

Any suggestions on how to get ink spots removed from the inside of a dryer?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blinchiki (Russian Crepes)

I love crepes! I love that you can fill them with whipped cream and fruit, syrups, jam or even melted chocolate. It is just simply delicious! I even like them plain, hot off the pan. 
Crepes are very popular all over Europe and Russia. 
I think the crepe you would find in France is going be different then the crepe Russian crepe we made. 
My husband served a 2 year mission in far East Russia. He made crepes like this on his mission. This recipe isn't the one he had on his mission, we have misplaced his little cookbook so we Googled for a recipe and found this wonderful recipe. 
I am going to be making these for my family when we go home to Utah for a family reunion in Mount Pleasant. I think this is a recipe I will use often, it is simple and they are quick. The tricky part is flipping them over on the pan. They are VERY thin, so it will be tricky. You batter should be extremely thin as well, so don't freak out if you think it is too thin. It will work just fine. 
I suggest making homemade whipped cream to put on these, I like it better then the already made stuff from the grocery store.

Blinchiki (Russian Crepes)

2 1/4 c. milk or water
3 eggs
1 1/4 c. flour
1 Tbsp. sugar (if you want it to be sweeter add 2 Tbsp. of sugar)
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil

Mix the eggs, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl until thoroughly blended. Add milk or water to the mixture and mix well. Stir in flour, mixing well to make sure that there are no lumps in the mixture. Add vegetable oil to the batter and mix well. Leave to stand for 10-15 minutes. Oil a skillet. Pour the batter on the hot oiled skillet and cook on one side until golden then flip the blinchiki over and brown the other side.
Serve crepes with jam, sour cream, honey, syrup, melted chocolate, whipped cream and fruit.

Recipe Adapted From: Fun Russian 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Homemade Corn Dogs

After I called my Mom to tell her I had just made some amazing homemade corn dogs, she informed me she used to make them when I was younger. And here  I had thought I had never had a homemade corn dog. I was real young when she made them. She would make them bite size instead of the whole corn dog.

I am probably never going to buy frozen corn dogs from the store ever again. Not that I do on a regular basis, but my husband craves them every so often. I usually refuse to get them because I don't think there is anything extra special about them. 

Now homemade corn dogs, I will definitely make these for him if he is craving a corn dog. They were delicious! You will want a good quality hot dog, like Nathan's or Hi-Grade (I used all beef BallPark) to make corn dogs, it will make a world of difference. 

The batter is going to be THICK, and that is perfectly normal, it makes it a little hard to just dip the corn dog. I just used my hands to spread it over the hot dog. Use a popsicle stick or I found long wood corn skewers, the corn skewers had a pointy end so just be careful.

Also I thought this would make a mess in the oil when I fried them, they don't! It was a very easy clean up.
Enjoy, you will love them a lot more then the frozen store ones!

Homemade Corn Dogs

1 Tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice
scant 1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
10-12 hot dogs
brochettes or wooden skewers (if real long, cut in half)

Preheat some oil in a deep fryer or large skillet to 365 degrees. You need it to be a couple inches deep and the pan needs to be large enough to fit the corn dogs in. I used my Lodge Dutch oven. You want to completely submerge the corn dogs in the oil. Place 1 Tbsp. of the vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measure cup. Then add enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add milk and eggs then whisk until well combined. 
Insert skewer in hot dog and dip in batter. Coat hot dog well and fry in 365 degree oil until golden brown. Drain on towels.

Recipe Adapted From: Real Mom Kitchen 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Smore Cookies

If there was a cookie I could eat before I die, I think these would be it! 
(I can't say for certain because I haven't tried all the cookies in the world, but I am working on it!)

Smore cookies are AMAZING!! They were soft and moist, and it is a traditional summertime treat mix with the traditional chocolate chip cookie.
I ate about 10 maybe.....15 cookies, but honestly who is counting! I loved them, and I would be eating them still if there were any left. 

This cookie has all of the ingredients of Smores in it, the graham cracker, marshmallow, and of course the chocolate bar. 

When you make these cookies, and you will, you will be addicted just like me!!

Smore Cookies

1 package graham crackers (9 full sized graham crackers)
6 T butter, melted
1 T sugar
dash salt
1 C butter, softened
2 C brown sugar
2 eggs
2 T milk
2 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3 1/2 C flour
2 1/2 C milk chocolate chips
24 large marshmallows
4 small 1.55 oz Hershey bars 

Break the graham cracker crumbs up into pieces. Place them in a small food processor and grind them into crumbs. Or you can crush your crackers into crumbs by placing them in a gallon sized zip loc bag, sealing the bag securely and then smashing the crumbs with a rolling pin.
To your crumbs add 6 Tbsp. melted butter, 1 Tbsp. sugar and a dash of salt. Let the food processor grind all of the ingredients together nicely. Set the crumbly mixture aside. 
Place your softened butter and brown sugar into a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until the ingredients are nicely creamed together, about 2 minutes.
In a separate bowl combine your baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. Add it to your creamed mixture and mix until combined. 
Add your eggs, milk and vanilla and mix for another 2 minutes. Toss in your chocolate chips and mix yet again, just until the chips are evenly distributed.
Grab your graham cracker crumbs and pour them into the cookie dough. Using a wooden spoon or your hands smash them into the cookie dough. You don't want the graham cracker crumb mixture to be totally lost in the dough.
Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inc to 2 inch balls, place them on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet or one that is lined with a silpat and bake at 350 for about 6 minutes (I cooked mine for 8), or just until the cookies begin to crack. 
While your cookies are in the oven, cut the large marshmallows in half. 
Press a marshmallow piece into the center of each hot cookie. Return the sheet to the oven and bake for about 1 1/2 (I did this for about 3 minutes) minutes allowing the marshmallows to puff  up.
Remove the sheet from the oven. Let the cookies sit for about 2 minutes, then press one Hershey bar piece into the center of the marshmallow.
Remove the cookies from the sheet and allow them to finish cooling on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from: Jamie Cooks It Up

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Oven Baked Chimichangas

These were absolutely yummy! They are loaded with wonderful things and are healthy! 
Now the recipes called for the big tortillas, I used the medium sized tortillas since I bought them from fresh from Rosa's Cafe. I would recommend using the bigger tortillas. The medium size are very hard to fold as you can tell from my picture. I also think next time I make them I would make them with a little bit more heat to them. 
The filling reminded me of Cafe Rio back home in Utah. Obviously it's not even close to what they do, sure it has rice and beans and chicken but it just wasn't the same. Oh how I miss their salads! The filling is good though, very good. In fact with the left over filling from these chimichangas I ended up putting it in a salad, it was great. Feel free to add what you like to these chimichangas or leave the chicken out, I am sure they would make a great vegetarian meal also.

Oven Baked Chimichangas

*Makes 6 chimis
*Note: this recipe makes use of already cooked rice and chicken so plan ahead!
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 (16-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups cooked brown or white rice
2-3 cups diced, cooked chicken
1-2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (use the lesser amount for less heat, greater amount for a bigger kick)
1 cup shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese (or a combination of both)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and Pepper
6 large burrito-size flour tortillas
Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is heating, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Cook the onion until it is just softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the beans, rice, chicken and chipotle and cook until the mixture is heated through, about 3 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the cheese and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon each).
Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave the tortillas until they are warm and pliable, about 1 minute. Top each warm tortilla with some of the chicken mixture, leaving about a 2-inch border at the bottom of the tortilla. Fold in the sides and roll up the tortilla tightly. Brush the wrapped tortillas with the remaining oil and arrange them seam side down on the hot baking sheet that has been preheating in the oven. Bake until the chimis are golden brown and crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu

My experience with chicken cordon bleu has mostly been with those pre-made ones in the freezer section of the grocery store. Lets just say they don't taste nearly as good as this semi-homemade recipe. 

I loved this dish! The coating is crunchy since you use corn flakes to coat the chicken. I made two big pieces of chicken cordon bleu instead of the four the recipes calls for. They were pretty big pieces of chicken and Dave flattened the pieces chicken pretty good. Next time I think I will cut them in half, they were pretty filling. Though I think next time I would like to find a different sauce, it was good I would just like something a little more then cream of chicken soup.    Don't get me wrong, it was good! I just want something a little more homemade.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 chicken breasts
8 thin slices of ham (like shaved ham)
4 slice swiss cheese, cut in half
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup crushed cornflakes

1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 tsp. lemon juice

Place 1 chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap or inside a gallon sized freezer bag.  Pound chicken until all even in thickness.  You want it to be about 1/8 inch thick.  Continue this process with each chicken breast.
Lightly salt and pepper one side of the chicken breasts.  Then place 2 slices of the ham on the center of each chicken breast.  Then top ham with 2 halves of swiss cheese.  Then roll up chicken breasts jelly roll style with ham and chicken on the inside.  Tuck in ends and seal well.  Secure each chicken roll with bakers twine or toothpicks.
Dip each chicken roll in butter then roll in cornflake crumbs until coated.  Place chicken rolls in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 40 minutes until juices run clear and chicken is golden brown.
When the chicken has cooked for 30 minutes makes the sauce.  Place the soup, sour cream, and lemon juice in a sauce pan.  Add a little milk to help thin out.  Heat over medium heat until heated through.  Add more milk if needed to make the sauce the desired thickness.
Serve chicken rolls topped with sauce.

Recipe Taken From: Real Mom Kitchen

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Barbecue Pork Spare Ribs (4th of July Celebration)

These pork ribs are amazing! 
The longer they cook the better they taste. They were fork tender after the 2 hours that they were cooked in the dutch oven. The few that had bones the meat of the rib just fell off them. They were absolutely delicious! 

This is the simplest recipe to do if you are just learning how to dutch oven, it's one that I don't think you could ruin if you tried! There are only 4 ingredients to this recipe. 1 is the marinade and the other 3 will go in the dutch oven.

They go perfectly with the dutch oven potatoes I posted earlier. 

Barbecue Pork Spare Ribs

5-6 lbs. boneless country style pork spare ribs
(1) 2 liter bottle Coca-Cola
3 sweet yellow onions, thickly sliced
2 cups Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue sauce 

Place ribs in a large bowl and pour coke over them until they are covered. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator and allow to marinade 12-24 hours. Pour liquid off ribs. Place one layer of ribs in a 12" deep dutch oven. Place a layer of onions over ribs. Repeat process until all meat and onions have been used. Pour barbecue sauce over the top of the ribs and onions. Cover and cook 90 minutes (I suggest cooking for at least 2 hours or longer) using 12-14 briquettes on the bottom and 12-14 briquettes on the top. 

Recipe Adapted From: Byron's Dutch Oven Recipes 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dutch Oven Potatoes (4th of July Celebration)

Excuse this picture, it just doesn't give these potatoes justice. 
These potatoes are my FAVORITE dutch oven potatoes. They are loaded. They have mushrooms, onions, bacon and other unhealthy things so they just gotta be amazing right?! 
I have to tell my Dad thank you for introducing me to dutch oven cooking. He has been cooking in a cast iron pot for as along as I can remember. It is one of my favorite memories of my Dad, and it is still the highlight of my camping trips. We don't just use cast iron when we go camping, we use them all the time. I treasure mine. They seem to make the food taste better.
Back to the potatoes, try them! You will love this recipe. If it is too unhealthy for you don't be afraid to change it up a bit, but I am telling you now it won't be as good. 

Byron's Dutch Oven Potatoes

1lb. thick slice bacon
2 med. yellow onions, sliced (I diced them)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
15 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced (I didn't peel mine)
1 10 1/2oz. can of cream of chicken soup
1 10 1/2oz. can cheddar cheese soup
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a 12" deep dutch oven using 18-20 briquettes on the bottom until oven is hot. Cut bacon into 1 inch slices and place in oven and fry until brown. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms. Stir, then cover and cook until onions are translucent. Add potatoes. In a large bowl combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour soup mixture  over potatoes and stir until all potatoes are coated. Cover and cook 60 minutes using 10-12 briquettes on the bottom and 12-14 briquettes on the top. Stir pot gently every 15 minutes.

Recipe taken from: Byron's Dutch Oven Recipes

Never head-butt a car door...

It will only cause severe damage to the car....

make a huge mess for you to clean up....

and probably give the person (Dave) a little bit of a headache!

Moral of the story watch where you are walking so you don't walk into things. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th Of July Celebration

I hope all of you had a wonderful and safe 4th of July! 
Me and the hubby had a great time with some great friends. I also got to go the Lubbock 4th of July Parade, Dave had to work so I tagged along with the friends.

"The friends" waiting for the parade to start. 
These lovely people are the Bradshaw family. Marybeth is the one I do cooking adventures with sometimes. 

All the people waiting for the Parade on Broadway.

I don't know which I like better, seeing policemen, military men carry the flag or this

all the little kids that were so proud to have a flag to wave.
 I love living in a country that is free. I don't think we realize how great our lives really are here in the U.S.A. 

Have I mentioned that I love John Deere? I have? So you aren't surprised I took a picture of this huge tractor that was in the parade? 

Texas Tech's Masked Rider

Later in the afternoon we and some other friends headed to the Bradshaw's home for some water games to survive this hot Texas heat. We also had  some delicious dutch oven cooking. I will post the recipes for the dutch oven cooking later this week.

We played the water pass along game.

They race to see who can empty the pan that is at the front of the line and get it all in the pan at the back of line. They use cups to pass the water along, some water never makes it to the pan. :)

Then we played the water balloon toss. You take a step back after each time you throw the balloon to your partner and see how far away you can get from each other before the balloons breaks.

I hope all of you got to enjoy this wonderful holiday! 
I hope we remember what a great country we live in, though sometimes it doesn't seem so great we truly are blessed to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.