Wednesday, July 7, 2010


This is the best stuff ever, my family loves it when I make it.  I'll try to add a photo later

1 lb ground beef
1 lb bacon
1 onion
2 15 oz cans pork and beans
2 15 oz cans Ranch beans (these have a black label, if you can't find them you can substite pinto beans and taco seasoning)
1 C ketchup
1/4 C brown sugar...or more
3 tbs white vinegar
1 tbs liquid smoke
small can green chilies

Cook bacon
Brown burger and onion
Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  If there is too much liquid take the lid off for the last hour or so

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What the heck are these? (and a salsa recipe)

You might be familiar with these:

For me on the other hand I about made a fool of myself at the grocery store when I saw them!! I have not seen or eaten a jalapeno since leaving the states last August! It is shocking to me- a Mexican food lover- that any country or cuisine can live without jalapenos!! But Japan does!

I bought a pack of these right away and could hardly make up my mind on what to do with them. I finally decided on some salsa, kinda obvious, but we have been having to make due with jarred jalapenos so even salsa was exciting for us. So here is my favorite easy salsa recipe made with my $3 jalapenos!!

1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes- drained

2 cans of Rotel- also drained

1/2 of a red onion

Juice from one large lime or two small limes

1 tsp sugar

a shake of cumin

1 jalapeno (if you live here and want to make this after jalapenos are no where to be found use jarred jalapenos to taste, I usually use about 1/4 cup)

1 bunch of cilantro

4-5 cloves of garlic

slat and pepper to taste

Just throw it all in your food processor and pulse it to the desired consistency and then enjoy with chips or your favorite Mexican food!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Buttermilk Syrup

I LOVE this syrup. It is "lick your plate" good! My sister in law and I tried this one Sunday morning and we all loved it. Since then I haven't served pancakes without making Buttermilk syrup. It is a great alternative if, like me, you don't like maple, or if your just looking for something new to try! It whips up quick and you probably have most of the stuff. I've also heard this called Frothy Syrup. Give it a try- you'll never go back to maple!

Buttermilk Syrup

1 cup butter (Hey let's face it- we could all use a little more butter! That's my motto)

1 cup sugar

1 cup buttermilk (I have tried the powdered buttermilk and it works great, I haven't ever substituted the milk and vinegar trick)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking soda

In a suacepan, heat and stir butter, sugar and buttermilk until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Serve warm.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Parrothead salad

I've been searching for ways to use lettuce because it seems like we get it every week in the co-op.  I found this on and loved it.

Parrothead salad
1 head of lettuce, rinsed, dried and torn into bite size pieces
1/2 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 pound fresh blueberries
1 mango peeled and sliced (I think diced would have been better.)
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved- I just chopped up a tomato
1/2 c raisins
1/4 c toasted slivered almonds
1/4 c chopped red onion
4 slices bacon
Poppy seed dressing

cook bacon and crumble.  Mix everything else together and add salad dressing last.

I have quite a bit left and I'm hoping it's not too wilty tomorrow because I'm going to eat another big plate for lunch.  I didn't add the blueberries because they cost a ton.  My kids didn't particularly like the mango and of course, Jesse didn't like it at all.  The rest of us did!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Easy Chicken Curry and a Request!

Since moving to Japan we have been eating a lot of curry! I've learned there is a difference between Japanese and Indian Curry. I definitely prefer Indian Curry- although I like both. I wanted to try making Curry at home and so found this recipe online. It turned out great the first time I made it- no tweaking needed and we all loved it. I thought it would be fun to share. I'm curious- Do you like curry? What kind? And does anyone out there have a recipe for Naan bread? You can't buy it at the store here, and it seems like it would be easy enough to make, but I can't find a recipe!! If you have one- please share!!

Easy Chicken Curry

1 lb boneless, skinless Chicken Breast (3-4 pieces)

2 Tbsp Curry Powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 medium yellow onion- thinly sliced

2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced

1 can low sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (now you know it's gonna be good!)

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Cooked White Rice

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn (optional)

1/4 cup roughly chopped almonds (optional) ( I do double these- I love the crunch they add)

Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Toss in a bowl with curry and Cinnamon, then set aside. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and zucchini and cook until soft or about 3-5 minutes. Remove form heat.

Heat the remaining oil in skillet. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer. Return the onion and zucchini to skillet and heat until chicken is cooked through- 5 to 7 minutes. If you want a stronger curry flavor you can add more now- just sprinkle a little into the liquid mixture. I usually add a little more, just a sprinkle or two.

Serve in bowls over rice and top with almonds and basil!

Makes about 4-5 servings

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jamaican black bean & Rice soup

I made this soup earlier tonight and it is freaking amazing! I got it out of our old ward's cookbook. I have a friend there and I've been making all her recipes from that book and they're all so good. Ty loved it, Tracen gobbled it up and yelled at me for not spooning it into his mouth faster, and Jesse's comments don't count because he's picky and doesn't like about 75% of what I make. The garnishments totally make this soup, I tried some of Tracen's first bowl without them and he was missing out.

4 C vegtable or chicken stock
3 cans black beans
1 can diced tomatoes (I used a jar of stewed, not diced, from my garden, still way good)
1 can corn
1/4 c olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
4-6 garlic cloves crushed
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp oregano
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (I cooked more than this and didn't want to save it so I used about double this amount)
Garnish-green onion, sour cream and limes

Combine beans and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Take 2 cups of this mixture and puree it then add it back into the pot. Add tomatoes and corn bring back to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet and add onion, garlic, cumin, oregano and stir till onion is soft, add to soup mixture. Stir in rice. Spoon into bowls and top with green onions, sour cream and a lime wedge. Stir it all together in your bowl to mix and enjoy!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rustic Peasant Bread

I LOVE this bread!! It is by far my family's favorite. I love that it takes very little planning ahead and is very quick to make. It tastes to me like that bread you get at Macaroni Grill. I make it whenever we have soup and is my "go to" when I have to take a meal to someone. Give it a try- you won't be disappointed. Even if you aren't much of a baker or have experience with homemade bread- try this one! It is easy and fool proof.
1 pkg yeast ( I prefer Bread Machine yeast- even for this kind of stuff, it's just faster!)
2 cup warm water
1 T sugar
2 t Kosher salt
4 cup flour
Melted Butter
Italian Seasoning (optional)

Mix yeast, salt, sugar and water in a WARM bowl and stir until dissolved. (I just send my glass bowl around in the microwave for about 2 minutes before hand) Add flour and stir until combined. Do not knead this mixture. Cover and let rise one hour or until doubled in size.
This is what mine looked like:

Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with corn meal. Spray your hands with cooking spray and remove dough from bowl and place in two rounds on the cookie sheet. This is rustic bread and they won't be all pretty and smooth. It is part of this breads charm and ease- just go with it! This was mine:

Let these rise an additional hour.

Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with Italian Seasoning then bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 375 and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush again with butter. Serve warm!! If you want to score major neighbor points- run one of those hot loaves over to them and then sit back and enjoy all the praise. They won't ever have to know how easy it was! I won't tell!!!