Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Salsa was one of the very first recipes I remember enjoying to make. 

I have been making my own salsa since I was a teenager.  

Recently, I found this recipe and my mouth started to water as I saw it.  

I made it immediately.  

It was incredibly similar to my version with a few added ingredients that really makes it amazing!  

With a few tweaks, it's now my go-to recipe.



1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes with juice
2 cans (10 oz) Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies) I prefer to use one HOT and one ORIGINAL.
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 whole jalapeno, quartered
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 whole lime juice (sometimes I cheat and use concentrated lime juice)

Combine everything into a bowl.  Use a hand mixer to blend until you get the consistancy you like.

Test seasonings with tortilla chip and adjust as needed.

Eat immediately, or serve after it's chilled.

Source: Restaurant Style Salsa from Pioneer Woman

Bean Salad

This colorful bean salad is so fresh and light with so many flavors I could eat the entire bowl in one sitting!  I got the recipe from my brother who made it last year for Thanksgiving.  It is now a mandatory side dish at all our family gatherings.

Make this tonight.  You'll probably want to eat the entire bowl.

Bean Salad


1 small red onion, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbonzo beans, drained and rinsed
small bunch cilantro, minced
1 small bag frozen corn
1 small container feta cheese
juice from 1 lime
few splashes rice vinegar (to taste)

Mix all ingredients together.
Serve with tortilla chips.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

IKEA Meatballs

When looking to furnish a room in our first house we visited IKEA for the first time on a trip to California.  It was love at first sight.  To a young couple looking to buy cheap furniture it was the happiest place on earth. Then, we entered the food court...we couldn't believe just kept getting better.  After a long day of shopping we sat down to enjoy some Swedish meatballs and potatoes. Now, it's the only thing we order when we go.

Dear IKEA,

Please come to Nevada.

A few years later, I found a recipe titled IKEA Meatballs from a cookbook the ladies in my ward put together.  I immediatly tried it.'s a favorite!

IKEA Meatballs


2 cups cream
1 cup beef broth
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp white flour
2 Tbsp water, cold
salt and pepper (to season)
1 bag frozen meatballs (not Italian style)

In a large skillet bring beef broth to a low boil.  Add the cream.

In a small bowl mix the flour and water to a creamy consistency.

Add to the skillet and stir. (make sure the cream and broth are boiling)

Add salt, pepper and soy sauce.

Allow to simmer to allow sauce to thicken.

Add meatballs and simmer until they are heated through.

Serve with mashed potatoes.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chicken Pockets

I first made these after we had moved to a new city and I had just started working a new demanding job.  So, naturally I was searching for meals that would be easy, quick and tasty to feed the family after a long day at work.


Chicken Pockets!

These little chicken pockets are a surprise burst of flavor when you bite into them.  I like to overfill the rolls so the filling is exploding out of the sides. 

Chicken Pockets


2 cans crescent rolls (not the flaky kind)
2 boneless chicken breasts
2 8 oz container Onion and Chive cream cheese, softened
1-2 cups chopped mushrooms
salt and pepper (for seasoning)

Preheat oven to 350º

Cook chicken, shred.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan and cook mushrooms until soft.

Mix all ingredients, except rolls, together in a bowl.  Flatten rolls and add a heaping spoonful of the filling in the center.  Wrap corners around the filling.

Bake about 15 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is an easy dip that is great to take to potlucks and get togethers with family and friends.  Almost everyone likes a spinach artichoke dip.  This one is from Pampered Chef.  Someone gave us an All-Purpose Spreader as a wedding gift.

Inside the packaging was a small folded piece of manilla paper with this recipe printed on it.  For 8 years I have kept (and used) it.  I am relieved to finally have it on a larger scale.

Spinach Artichoke Dip


2 6oz jars marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonaise
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375ºF.  

Drain and coarsely chop artichoke hearts.  

Mix artichoke hearts with remaining ingredients in a medium size bowl.  

Spoon into an 8x8 baking dish.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until heated through. 

Serve with tortilla chips, pita bread, crackers or fresh veggies. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Originally, we ate this meal at a friends house.  I couldn't believe the tastiness!  It was so filling and full of creamy flavor.  After we left, I just couldn't stop thinking about how good it was.

About 3 months later I got this cookbook.

                                      Cover Image

Guess what I found inside?  Not only the same meal I had eaten at my friend's house, but lots of dog-ear-the-page worthy recipes! 

But out of them all, this is the one I go back to the most often. Such a good meal.

I did make one adjustment, though.  It calls for russet potatoes, but I prefer red potatoes. 

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham


8-10 red potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 ham steak (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into cubes
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 soup can water
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Grill seasoning to taste (we like Johnnys Seasoning Salt)

Layer potatoes and ham in slow cooker.

Combine soup, water, cheese and seasoning in a bowl.  Pour mixture over ham and potatoes.  Cover; cook on HIGH 3 1/2 hours or until potatoes are fork-tender.

Turn slow cooker to LOW and continue cooking 1 hour.

Friday, November 4, 2011

White Castle Sliders

I have never eaten a real White Castle slider, but my husband has.  The first time I made these he said (and I quote) "These taste better than the real thing!"  That is all I needed to hear.  This recipe immediatly found its spot on my list of favorites.

I originally found this recipe from another food blog I follow Favorite Family Recipes.  It's an amazing site.  Go check it out.

To fit our family, I made a few adjustments to the recipe.  Enjoy!

White Castle Sliders


1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
1 package of dry onion soup mix
1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup milk
12 slices of cheese (the processed kind is good)
1 tbsp olive oil
12 Sara Lee dinner rolls

Preheat oven to 350º degrees

In a large bowl mix (with your hands or a spoon) the hamburger, onion soup mix, peanut butter, and milk. Spread the meat mixture on a cookie sheet with a lip. Use a cup or rolling pin to roll over the meat to smooth it out.  Try to get it to reach all the edges of the pan. 

Put in oven for about 10 minutes. The meat will shrink. 

While the meat is in the oven, saute the onions in a small frying pan with olive oil.  

Take it out of the oven and put the onions all around the edges to flavor the meat. Place back in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Take it out of the oven. If you want onions on your sliders then spoon them onto the meat from the sides. Add your cheese slices across the entire surface. Put it back in the oven for 7-10 minutes (until cheese is melted). 

At this point there is a lot of juice.  Use a bulb baster to drain some of it from the pan.  

Then add the tops of your rolls and place back in the oven for about 5 more minutes.

Take it out of the oven. Slice the meat with a pizza cutter and pick up the slider/top bun with a spatula and set it on the bottom bun.

*Sometimes we add pre-cooked bacon.
*Enjoy with ketchup and mustard

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bean Dip

This bean dip recipe is a masterpiece. The magic is in the ingredients we add to the dip.  It is so simple and delicious.  The dip is beany, cheesy, the chips are crunchy and it truly warms my heart to eat it.  

My family has enjoyed this dip since my parents were newlyweds.  Their love of this snack has become a favorite for all members of the family.  

Now, in my own family, it's a snack we enjoy almost weekly. Yum!

Bean Dip


1 can of Fritos Bean Dip (we like original, but you can try the HOT version too.  It's also delicious!)
1 slice of chedder cheese
a few shakes of Worcestershire Sauce

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and microwave for about 2 minutes (until the cheese is melted)  Stir to combine and serve with Fritos Corn Chips. 

*I also like to eat it with a warm tortilla.