Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cafe Rio salad

I made this for dinner and it was SO GOOD, i was quite impressed. It was delicious and the closest to cafe rio/costa vida I have come across.

I am going to post the recipe from the blog that I used . . . and then after each recipe I will post the ways I tweeked it in red . . cause i don't know how to follow a recipe exactly.

2 pounds pork
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced green chilies
3/4 can RED enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso brand, medium spiciness)
1 c. brown sugar
Put the pork in a heavy duty Ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry). Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.
In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.Put shredded pork and sauce in crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

I used Dr. Pepper instead of Coke, I did not marinate the meat the night before . . . Instead I just put some brown sugar into the crock pot in the morning during the first cooking with the other ingredients. I doubled the amount of meat so we would have leftovers . . so I did double the ingredients and cooked the meat before shredding for about 5 hours.

1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.

I used instant rice . . . and it was still absolutely delicous. Also doubled this recipe.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro. (**NOTE** we added a can of corn, drained, to the beans with a dash of cumin and chili powder, it was AWESOME! We recommend doing this even though it's not "traditional Cafe Rio")

I did add the corn, and it was really good!

1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk
2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno (we like it SPICY so we kept the seeds in it, if you like it mild, just remove the seeds)Mix all ingredients together in the blender. That's it!

I just used Ranch Dressing (2 cups) from the bottle instead of the mix with mayo and buttermilk. It was still really good . . . and I used 1/2 the seeds from the jalepeno and it was still quite spicy!

We just put some cheese on flour tortillas and put them in the oven for 5 min . . . then added the meat, rice and beans . . . with lettuce, tomato/onion and the dressing. Big hit.

We fed 4 people . . . tons of meat and beans leftover (maybe cause my hubby won't eat them) . . . and just a tiny bit of rice leftover. We used about 1/2 the dressing.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sugar Cookies

So - I had these sugar cookies at a baby shower the other day they were delicious! I had to get the recipe and wanted to share it as it is the season for sugar cookies and other treats. They tasted similar to those Grandmother's sugar cookies you buy at the store - YUM. Maybe its the margarine (totally unhealthy) or the almond extract (and I usually don't like almond extract), but they were wonderful!Here is that sugar cookie recipe before I forget:

1/2 c. butter (room temp)
1/2 c. margarine (room temp)
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. almond extract
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. bk powder
1/4 tsp salt

Beat butter and margarine till creamy. Then add sugar, eggs and almond extract. Stir together dry ingredients and combine with wet ingredients. Cover and chill one hour (at least) Roll out dough on lightly floured board. Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes until lightly browned.

1/2 bag powdered sugar
1/4 c butter (room temp)
dash of salt
almond extract to taste
1/2 vanilla
milk until desired consistency is reached

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

1 (16 oz) pkg Rigatoni
½ C green onions
2 c chopped tomato
package pepperoni
1 c. sliced olives
1 ½ c cubed cheese

¾ c vinegar
2 TB salt
¾ c water
1 tsp pepper
¾ c brown sugar
½ c oil
1 tsp garlic powder

Cook pasta as directed. Mix pasta mixture (excluding cheese) & sauce mixture separate. Once pasta mixture mixed add sauce. Cool about 5 minutes before adding cheese. Best if refrigerated overnight.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

P&P Salad Saturday! Everyone Come!

Hey Ladies!

Its time for another Pleasant & Plump get together to not only add more recipes to our delightful collection, but also to add more friendships and more fun into our summer's schedule! This time, we'll be having a SALAD party---hoping to taste and share all kinds of unique, delicious, and new salad recipes with each other!

When: Saturday, June 20th @ 11:00 am
Where: Cambria Volleyball Pavillion
Who: Anyone who has a salad recipe to share!

Please RSVP ASAP to or leave a comment telling if you'll be there so that we can make planning easier! And if you won't be in town or available, feel free to send/post a salad recipe for the rest of us to enjoy!

We want an assortment of different salad recipes (not just romain lettuce with tomatoes--get it?) so here are some quick ideas of types of salads you could contribute(also found on the invitation above):

Noodle, Green, Spinach, Fruit, Tuna, Chicken, Egg, Potato, Jello, Seafood, Bean, Oriental, Dessert, Classic, Crazy, Hot, Cold, etc.

We hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Buttermilk Syrup

Many of you have asked for my buttermilk syrup recipe---so here it is!

1/2 cup butter
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 tsp lemon juice)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp baking soda
Melt all ingredients together in a medium sized saucepan. It will bubble up and over if you don't watch it carefully. Make sure to not overcook. Serve hot! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fruit and Spinach smoothie

I crave this smoothie and the amazing thing is that Summer (my 2.5 year old) loves it to! Great way to get spinach in your diet.

1/2 c. crushed pineapple (make sure it is soaking in its own juice - not sweetened)


pack in the spinach (I usually do 2 handfuls)

1/4 can of frozen concentrate orange juice

berries (whatever you prefer)

1 c. plain yogurt

soy milk (or whatever milk you prefer) - until the consistency you like.

Mix these all in a blender and vualah - a tasty spinach drink where you can't taste the spinach! Thanks Christine Gibb for sharing this with me!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

So I am addicted - and I mean addicted to chocolate and peanut butter. The two together sing anthems of sweet nothings to my taste buds and I just adore the taste! So here is the recipe to the ones I make all the time.

1 c. peanut butter (I use the sugary kind - it makes it better)

4 tbs butter

2 c. powdered sugar

dipping chocolate

Shape peanut butter, butter, & powdered sugar into small balls. Put in freezer for 3-5 hours. Melt dipping chocolate then roll balls in chocolate. You can then roll them in nuts, drizzle white chocolate, grate chocolate . . . whatever. Return to freezer until ready to eat or serve.

Pecan Chicken

Oh my lands! I got this recipe from our ward cooking group - it is a recipe by Treesha Rawcliffe who was a pastry chef at Magleby's restraunt. Usually I don't like what I cook the night I cook it because I saw what went in it, however I gobbled this up. Not as healthy as I'd like but very tasty.

Pecan Chicken
1 c. finely chopped pecans
1 c. bread crumbs
1/4 c. butter, melted
6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Pecan Sauce
1/2 c. dijon mustard
1/2 c. brown sugar
6 tbls chicken stock
4 tbls soy sauce (I use sodium reduced one)
2 tbls worcestershire sauce
3/4 c. cold butter cut into cubes
1/2 c. sliced green onions

Stir together the pecans, bread crumbs, and 2 tbls of the melted butter. Spread the mixture on a large plate. Press the chicken into mixture to coat on both sides. Heat remaining butter in a large skillet over medium hea. Place chicken in pan and heat on both sides until browned and meat cooked all the way through - about 10 minutes per side.

In a small saucepan, wisk together dijon mustard, brown sugar, chicken stock, soy sauce, and worcestershire sauce until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat ten remove from burner and wisk in the butter one piece at a time. Do not return to heat.

Arrange chicken on plate, pour sauce over, and garnish with green onions.

The sauce is amazing - probably because of how much butter there is - I only put in half of what was called for (which is the amount I put above).

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I'm posting this recipe on the other two *other recipe blogs that I contribute to--not only because I don't have three new recipes to contribute this month, but also because my hubby thought this was SO GOOD (so did I) that I figured I'd share it with everyone.

I made this recipe up for the sole reason that I have never found a good, healthy tuna noodle recipe that wasn't full of butter, sour cream, and cheese. So, I threw together my own ideas and it was a success. Let me know what YOU and YOUR family thinks!

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Boil Egg noodles so that you'll have about 3-4 cups of cooked noodles

Meanwhile, in a large skillet sautee (in about 1-2 tsp olive oil):
1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
8 oz (or 10 medium) mushrooms (chopped)
About 1/2-3/4 cup cooking sherry
1 tsp minced garlic

Once onions are translucent add:
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of celery soup
1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
2 tsp ground mustard powder
1/4 tsp curry powder
1 to 2 tsp onion salt
1 to 2 tsp garlic powder
1 to 2 tsp salt
1 to 2 tsp pepper

Stir together until its creamy then stir in:
3 cans of tuna (6 oz cans) after draining liquids

When noodles are nearly all the way done boiling, drain the water and stir them in with the creamy tuna mixture in the skilllet. Once thoroughly mixed together pour contents of skillet into a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Sprinkle top of noodles with about 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Place in oven for about 15 minutes or until bread crumbs are browned and top noodles are crisp

Serve hot! Enjoy!

*Tried and True Food
*Delicious Dishes

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tortilla Soup

I was looking for the cafe rio tortilla soup recipe but couldn't find it so instead I just googled quick and easy tortilla soup and this is what I found. I've made it a few times and every time I make it I have to google it so I thought I would just post it here!

Quick, Easy -N- Fast Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

1 (15 oz.) can whole-kernel corn, drained, or 2 C. frozen
2 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can black beans
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
1 t. cumin
salt to taste
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped

Tortilla chips
Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese for topping

Pour corn, broth, beans, tomatoes and chilies (I usually puree the tomatoes and chilies b/c I hate chunks) into large saucepan. Add cumin, salt and chicken. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through. Serve with tortilla chips and shredded cheese.

For added spicy flavor, cook chicken in taco seasoning, or add a couple of teaspoons of taco seasoning or chili powder to the soup.

Makes 6 servings.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

(This was one of the soups at Turin's birthday party)

1 whole chicken

1 whole celery bunch, diced

2-3lbs large carrots, diced

1 small onion, diced

Seasonings (add the following seasonings to 12 cups of water):

2 tsp. Garlic pepper

½ tsp. basil

1 tsp. celery flakes

1 tsp. Lawry’s salt

¼ tsp. Tyme

¼ tsp. Poultry seasoning

¼ tsp. Rosemary

3 bay leaves

12 chicken bouillon cubes

Optional: 4 drops of hot sauce

Optional: Rice or Noodles- I've used homemade noodles and I've used egg noodles and both have tasted great.

Dissolve cubes in water. Add chicken. Boil (a gentle boil) chicken until tender. Remove chicken, set aside and cool. Add diced carrots, celery and onion to broth. Add seasonings. Simmer until tender. While vegetables are simmering, remove chicken from bones. Add meat to broth. Simmer 30min or more. I usually let it simmer for a couple of hours. Add pre-cooked rice or noodles.

Yummy Salad Recipe That I Am Addicted To!

I love this salad recipe, especially the dressing. I've been meaning to post it on here for a while because I kept forgetting the exact recipe for the dressing and would just throw in the ingredients until I thought it tasted good. Well last Sunday we had company for dinner and I thought I would make the recipe. I thought I new how much red onion to put in but apparently my guess of 1 cup instead of 1/2 a cup was way off. Needless to say, after everyone's eyes watered up after the first bite I was able to fix the dressing and it was back to its delicious self again. Enjoy!

1 head of green leaf lettuce (maybe add some other lettuce to it for texture if you want) chopped into bit size pieces
Toasted almonds (as many as looks good to you—not the whole package)
Shredded mozzarella (not the whole bag)
Bacon bits (you can buy real bacon pieces—get the Hormel type that has to be refrigerated after opening)

(If you make a huge party batch you can use 2 heads of lettuce, and ALL of the toppings. Otherwise, you should have enough toppings for a second salad later)

In a blender mix:
½ C red onion
2t dry mustard
½ C red wine vinegar
1c sugar
1 ½ t salt
As blending as 1 c oil gradually

In my opinion this is enough dressing for two salads. If you put it on, only use half. Otherwise, serve it on the side.

I have also had similar salad using craisins, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, or whatever else. But that is the type that uses Briana poppyseed dressing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tomato Basil Soup

I originally posted a recipe similar to this but with much more yucky (well, fattening) ingredients. I have since played with the recipe and feel much better about its contents, so, I will post my NEWER version here but also leave the more fattening one below it if you are still interested in the calories. The fam and I ALL decided the healthier version tastes better, but you decide...

8 cups tomatoes (chopped)
4 cups tomato juice
1/4-1/2 cup white cooking wine
1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
14 leaves of FRESH basil
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream for garnish *We are not even a sour cream fans but it totally adds to the soup!*

Bring tomatoes, onion, tomato soup, and garlic to a boil and let simmer for about half an hour. Puree the soup in a blender with the basil leaves until soup is smooth.
Return soup to the pot and add butter, milk, and salt & pepper.
Heat for another 10 minutes or so or until the table is set and serve with bread or crackers.

4 cups tomatoes (chopped)
4 cups tomato juice
1 cup heavy cream (or half & half to ease the calories)
14 leaves of FRESH basil
1/2 cup butter (1/3 cup still does justice)
Salt and Pepper to taste + a little garlic if you like it

Bring chopped tomatoes and tomato soup to a boil and then simmer for about a half an hour. Puree the heated tomato mixture with the basil leaves and return them to the pot.
Add cream and butter, salt and pepper, and a pinch of garlic if you want.
Heat it all together and serve hot with nice bread or crackers.
*You might want to add one or two teaspoons of sugar at the very end, too depending on the taste you're looking for.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Tomato Vegetable Casserole

Tried this and loved it. We don't like zucchini so we used butternut squash instead. Not often you find a genuinely delicious and healthy recipe.Posted by Picasa
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium yam, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
2 small or 1 large zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
Salt and pepper
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons dried Italian-style bread crumbs
Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the potato, yam, bell pepper, carrots, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss until coated. Spread vegetables evenly over the bottom of the pan.
Arrange the onion slices evenly over the vegetable mixture. Arrange the zucchini over the onion. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the tomato slices over the zucchini.
Stir the Parmesan and bread crumbs in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the Parmesan bread crumbs over the vegetables in the baking dish. Drizzle with the last tablespoon of olive oil.
Bake uncovered until the vegetables are tender, and the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs, if desired.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Banana Bread with Orange Glaze

This is one of my new favorite recipes. It has a little more sugar than your standard banana bread, but it has whole wheat flour, so it must be good for you. For a dessert, serve warm with vanilla ice cream.... or that is good as a mid-morning snack too :o)

3/4 cup soft butter
8 oz. soft cream cheese
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 medium mashed bananas
1/2 tea vanilla
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1/2 tea baking powder
1/2 tea baking soda
1/2 tea salt

Juice and zest of one orange
1 cup powdered sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese together until fluffy, add sugar and beat again. Add eggs, vanilla and banana's and mix until combined, then add the rest of the ingredients. Bake in 2 8"x4" loaf pans at 325 degrees for 60 minutes. Pour the glaze over hot bread before removing from pans, let cool 10 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Magic in the Middle cookies.

So I have to admit I'm just cut and pasting from a friends blog, but when I tried these I had to share the wealth. Some of the best cookies ever hands down.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar (plus more for dipping)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (i used regular)
1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided (use skippy)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a medium-size bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together both sugars, butter, and 1/4 cup peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, beating to combine. Stir in dry ingredients, blending well. Set dough aside.
Stir together remaining 3/4 cup peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth. With floured hands, roll mixture into 26 (1 inch) balls.
Break off about 1 Tablespoon cookie dough; make an indentation in center with thumb, and press 1 peanut butter ball into indentation. Wrap dough up and over filling, pressing to seal; roll cookie to smooth it out. Repeat for each cookie.
Dip top of each cookie in sugar and place 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Use greased bottom of drinking glass to flatten each cookie to about 1/2 inch thick.
Bake cookies at 375 for 7 - 9 minutes until set. Let cool on wire rack.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Carrot Ginger Soup

About 1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion
1 bunch green onions
2 lbs fresh raw carrots
1 1/2 to 2 quarts chicken broth
1/2 tsp fresh ginger
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup heavy cream or milk
1 Tbsp parsley
About 1 tsp salt (I like a little more)
About tsp pepper (I like a little more)

Chop both kinds of onions and sautee' in a large pan with the olive oil. When clear and soft, add carrots (that you've chopped into small pieces) and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until carrot pieces are soft.

Using a blender, transfer one or two cups of broth + carrots & onions, and puree until smooth. Return each pureed batch to a large pot until all of carrots & broth are pureed. Heat well while adding finely grated fresh ginger, sugar, salt & pepper, and cream. If soup seems to thick add more broth; if seems to runny, let it simmer for another half hour or so.

Serve with hot bread (and garnish with chives if you so crave). Enjoy!