No Empty Chairs: "Stout Hearts" around the Table

No Empty Chairs. . . "Stout Hearts" around the table.

Wanna Be A Stout... Eat, Don't Pout.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pizza Rolls

Pizza Rolls
I found this recipe on Pinterest, but the original source is What About Pie?

This recipe is easy peasy, quick and breezy!
I modified it from the original recipe and now it's even easier!

Roll out some pillsbury crescent rolls, keeping the triangles together so that they form a rectangle. 
Lightly spread with olive oil.  (This time I didn't have any olive oil, so I used canola oil instead.)  
Cover with pepperoni. 
 Sprinkle on some mozzarella cheese. 
(The one of the far right was Jason's, hence, lots of cheese!)
 Add just a touch of Italian Seasoning.
 Roll them up.
Bake for 10-11 minutes at 375 degrees.
We were so hungry and they were so good....I forgot to take a picture of the finished product before we started eating.  But trust me, they're awesome! 
(Even my picky girls loved them!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

I've really been wanting something lemony lately, but I don't have any lemon recipes.  So I just used a lemon cake mix and followed the recipe for Cake Mix Cookies.  They turned out SO yummy!  I bet they would have been really good dipped in Cool Whip.

1 box cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Pour cake mix into a mixing bowl. Add oil and eggs, and mix well. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased pan (I flatten them just a touch). Bake at 350 for about 7 minutes.

For half the batch I mixed Betty Crocker Pearls Cupcake Gems into the dough.  The kids loved these ones, but they were a bit too crunchy for me.  I liked the soft, chewy, plain ones better.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ham & Cheese Crescent Rolls

Ham & Cheese Crescent Rolls

Jason and I love these!  They're just so dang good.  And easy peesy, too!

Roll out some crescent rolls.  Keep two triangles together to make it a rectangle.  Sprinkle on some mozzarella cheese and lay out some sliced ham.
Roll them up and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Best Carrot Cake Ever

The Best Carrot Cake Ever

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 pound finely grated carrots
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by lightly coating with oil and lining with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg together in a bowl. Set aside.
Mix the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, brown sugar, vanilla, and pineapple together in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Stir in the carrots, pecans and raisins just until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake on the center rack for about 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
Cool cakes in their pans for at least 30 minutes before attempting to remove them. Then, removed from the pans and peel off the parchment paper. Continue to cool the cakes completely before frosting.

To assemble the cake, place the bottom layer on a cardboard round or other flat surface and put on a cake turntable. Scoop about 1 1/2 cups of the cream cheese icing onto the top of the bottom cake layer. Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the surface. Carefully place the second layer on top. Scoop another 1 1/2 cups or so of the frosting on the top of the cake and spread evenly, easing the frosting down the sides. Spread the icing around the sides of the cake, adding more as needed. Lift the cake off the turn table and place on a cake stand or platter and chill a bit to firm up the frosting before slicing.

Cream Cheese Frosting with a Hint of Orange

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar to taste

Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add extracts and beat just until incorporated. Beat in sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting has the flavor and consistency you want. You may not need to add all of the sugar.

I made this for my father-in-law's birthday and he loved it! 
Along with everyone else! 
Then I took pieces to several of my friends and they all gave it a two thumbs up!  Yay!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

1 box chocolate cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Pour cake mix into a mixing bowl. Add oil and eggs, and mix well. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased pan (I flatten them just a touch). Bake at 350 for about 7 minutes.

For half of the batch I stuffed 2-3 chocolate chips inside of each ball.  Then there was a warm, gooey, chocolatey surprise when the kids bit into the cookies.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Baked Zucchini Fries

Baked Zucchini Fries

3 small zucchini (about 1 lb)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 packet Shake & Bake Coating Mix
salt to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Trim the zucchini and cut each in half width-wise.  Then cut each half into 1/4 inch sticks.  In a bowl, combine the parmesan cheese, coating mix, and salt.  In another bowl, whisk together the egg and water.  Place flour in another bowl.  Coat zucchini with flour.  Then place zucchini in the egg mixture, followed by the parmesan cheese/coating mix.  Place on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 450 degrees for 12 to 13 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with ranch dressing or marinara sauce for dipping.

Look, even Samantha liked them! 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Chocolate Coconut Bars

OH...MY...GOSH!!!  THESE...ARE...SO...GOOD!!! 
No kidding, they're amazing!

3 cups finely ground cookies, such as graham crackers or chocolate wafers, or a combination
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup pecan pieces (optional)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly splash a 15-by-10-inch rimmed baking sheet evenly with water, then line with parchment paper.  (I didn't have parchment paper so I used foil.)
2.  In a large bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter until combined. Evenly press onto bottom and up sides of prepared baking sheet. Bake, rotating halfway through, until firm, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool, about 20 minutes.  (I left it in the pan to cool.  Took longer, but I was in no hurry.)
3.  Sprinkle cooled crust evenly with pecans and chocolate. Pour condensed milk over the top, spreading to cover completely (do not let it drip over the edges). Sprinkle with coconut.
4.  Bake until coconut is toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely.  (I left it in the pan to cool overnight, loosely covered in foil.)

Allow several hours to fully cool and set up.  Then dig in!!  And share with friends--they'll love you forever!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Green Rice

This “arroz verde” has a deep gorgeous color and a buttery, herbal flavor. You can make it to have with some traditional Mexican food, or it is also delicious served with a grilled steak.

I really liked the flavor of this rice, but for me it was a bit “too green”. Next time I make it I will use double the amount of rice and the needed addition of liquids for that amount, but will keep the cilantro and spinach the same amount.


½ c tightly packed fresh cilantro sprigs (about ½ ounce)
1 cup tightly packed fresh stemmed spinach leaves (about 1 ½ ounces)
1 ¼ cups low-fat chicken stock
1 ¼ cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ cups long-grain rice
¼ c finely minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced


1. Put the cilantro, spinach and stock in the blender and blend until the greens are pureed.
2. Add the mixture and salt and blend a bit more until well combined.

(You can prepare the cooking liquid mixture earlier in the day and keep it refrigerated. Then, when it is time to make the rice it goes together quickly.)

1. Use a medium-sized (3-quart) heavy-based saucepan with t good lid over medium heat.
2. Heat the olive oil and butter until butter is melted
3. Add the rice and saut̩ Рstir about every 30 seconds or until it just starts to brown (3-4 minutes).
4. Add the onion and garlic and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
5. Add the contents of the blender, stir the mixture well, and then turn the heat to high, to bring it to a boil.
6. Cover the pan, turn the heat to very low and cook for 20 minutes.
7. After 20 minutes, stir the rice very carefully to avoid crushing it, cover, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
8. Take the pan off the heat and let the rice steam inside the pot for 10 more minutes.

Serve hot.

This recipe makes 6-8 servings.

This was great to use in really big flour tortillas. Wrap as for burritos and add some shredded beef, and pinto or black beans. Add some cheese and salsa and sour cream if you choose. Fold it over, tuck in the sides and continue to wrap to achieve a large, fully enclosed burrito.

Use two hands to hold this huge burrito as you try to eat it- otherwise you will have a bit of a mess- but that is what makes it all good!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fourth of July Rice Krispy Treats

I mixed in a bottle of red, white, and blue sprinkles.
Sprinkles make everything more fun!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Congo Squares

My Grandma GG always had these ready for us kids when we would come visit.  Making them reminds me of all the summers we'd go to Utah to see grandma.

2 1/4 c brown sugar
2/3 c softened butter
3 eggs
2 3/4 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 pk chocolate chips
1 c nuts (optional)

Add butter to sugar and cream well. Add eggs and beat. Add rest of ingredients. Mix well and spread in pan 3/4 inch thick. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool and cut.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Banana Bread

Source:  Cindy Twohy

My friend Cindy makes amazingly yummy banana bread!  Here is her delicious recipe!

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups banana (approx 3 medium bananas)
1/3 cup milk

Combine dry ingredients.  Set aside.  Cream butter, sugar, add eggs and bananas.  Combine milk and slowly add dry ingredients.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

Note:  I always add a handful of chocolate chips when I make this yummy bread.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Creamy Ranch Chicken

Source:  Jennifer Skinner

3 or 4 frozen chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 rectangular box cream cheese
1/3 to 1/2 a packet of powder ranch dip

Mix all together in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 4-5 hours.  When it's done, shred chicken and serve over rice.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken

This is the easiest recipe ever!  And one of the most requested from my friends!  And one of my favorites!  Make it--you'll love it!

3 to 5 frozen chicken breasts
18 oz bottle of barbecue sauce (I always use Kraft Honey BBQ)
small can of sliced or chunk pineapple

Put chicken and barbecue sauce in crockpot. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 4 or 5 hours.  When done, use forks to shred chicken.  Add pineapple and cook for about another 20 or 30 minutes.  Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cake Mix Cookies

Cake Mix Cookies

Source: McConkie Menu

1 cake mix box
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Pour cake mix into a mixing bowl. Add oil and eggs, and mix well. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased pan (I flatten them just a touch). Bake at 350 for about 7 minutes (adjust accordingly).

Note:  I put a little bit of dough in several bowls and then changed the dough in each one just a tad.  For one bowl, I added mini chocolate chips.  For another, sprinkles.  And another, I rolled the plain dough ball in sprinkles.  And of course, some were left plain.  The kids loved it!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Italian Chicken Quesadillas

I only have a few Pampered Chef products, but the ones I have, I love!  In this recipe, I like to the use the Deep Dish Baker and the Food Chopper. You can, of course, make this recipe without these particular products--it's just what I have. (By the way, my Mom sells Pampered Chef so if you need anything, just let her know!)

1 frozen chicken breast
dry Italian seasoning
shredded cheese - we like to combine cheddar and mozzarella, but you can use whatever you want
medium flour tortillas

Start by putting the frozen chicken breast in the deep dish baker. Shake italian seasoning on top, cover with lid. Microwave it for 6 or 7 minutes. When chicken is cooked, cube, then chop finely using the food chopper. Put your tortilla in a greased pan. I lightly grease with cooking spray and I like to use a frying pan on the stove at medium heat. Layer your choice of shredded cheeses and finely chopped chicken then top with second tortilla. When it's melted enough that you can turn it without the insides falling out, flip over to cook the other side. This only takes a few minutes.

Slice it up in wedges like a pizza and serve with your choice of dip. In my family we like to dip ours in sour cream.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pinapple Butterscotch Bundt Cake

This was super easy - I had a Pineapple Cake Mix and a little box of Butterscotch instant pudding. I made the cake mix just the way it said on the package, but added the pudding powder in with the mix.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Peanut Butter Squares


1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c corn syrup
1 c peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 c rice crispies
2 corn flakes


  1. Melt ingredients together.
  2. Put the 1 cup rice crispies and 2 cups corn flakes in a large bowl.
  3. Pour the melted stuff on top and stir well to combine...
  4. Spread into a 9x9-inch greased pan.
  5. Put 1/2 half a package of chocolate chips on top and then put the pan in a warm oven to melt the chocolate.
  6. When melted, you can spread the chocolate all over the top like a frosting.
  7. Cool a bit, then cut into squares and serve.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cake

I wanted to make this cake with Samantha- I think she will have fun with it. I would love to make it with any of the other grand-kids- if they lived close enough...or maybe when I come to visit we could make it.

1 pkg devil's food cake mix
1/4 c oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 c water
1 pkg chocolate instant pudding ( 4 serving size)
1 c chocolate chips (6 oz pkg)

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. pour oil into 9 x 13-inch pan and tilt pan until bottom is covered in oil
  3. put remaining ingredients into pan
  4. stir with a fork until blended - about 2 minutes
  5. scrape sides and spread batter evenly in pan
  6. bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 45 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean)
  7. cake may be sprinkled with powdered sugar

Friday, February 18, 2011

Aggression Cookies

These are the easiest of cookies to make- pour the ingredients into a big bowl, make sure the kids hands are clean and them let them start mixing...


3 c brown sugar, packed
3 c margarine

6 c uncooked oatmeal
1 tsp soda
3 c flour

  • with clean hands, mash, knead and squeeze all ingredients until well mixed and a firm dough
  • form into small balls
  • place on ungreased cookie sheets
  • dip the bottom of a small water glass into granulated sugar and flatten each ball
  • bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes
Anytime there was an opportunity for boys to cook - this was my recipe of choice. I let Birke's cub pack make them and also Kirt's scouts. Boys love to get their hands all messy with cookie dough. When having the boys make the cookies we make a slight adjustment- instead of making lots of little balls I have them form the cookie dough into 3 long tubes, we wrap them in waxed paper and pop them into the freezer for slice and bake cookies later. When we want to get really exotic I have them add chocolate chips, or raisins, or both.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pumpkin Pineapple Muffins

I found this recipe in a magazine - it was an advertisement for olive oil. I didn't have any but decided I could use a different cooking oil and they turned out well!

Recipe makes 12 muffins -- if you want more just double the recipe.


1/3 c oil
2/3 c sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c low fat buttermilk
2 egg whites (I just used two eggs)
1/2 of a 16 oz can solid pumpkin
2 tsp vanilla
1 T grated orange zest
8 oz can of pumpkin tidbits, drained

  • preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • use cupcake papers or grease insides of each cup in the muffin tin
  • combine 1 T sugar, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in a bowl and set aside- this will be sprinkled on the top
  • whisk the buttermilk, the oil, egg, pumpkin, vanilla and orange zest in another bowl
  • stir in the pineapple
  • make a well in the flour mixture, pour in the milk mixture and stir until just blended
  • spoon the batter into the muffin tins
  • sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture
  • bake 18-20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted comes out clean
  • carefully remove from tins and cool completely on wire rack
I doubled the recipe and we took a dozen - minus 1- to two different families.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day

On Sunday I looked around the Relief Society room and saw the many single sisters- widows, and divorced. I thought that Valentine's Day must be difficult for them so why not invite them to dinner on Monday night. I asked 7 sisters, and 6 were available to come. I told them we were having a red meal and they could bring something red if they wanted to add to the meal.
I cooked a ham with cranberry/orange juice glaze, and the sisters brought a red jello, red velvet cake, cherry cheese cake, and two different pasta casseroles. It was all so yummy, and we had such a good time visiting.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

This makes a lovely dessert for Valentine's Day because it is incredibly easy, but looks and tastes totally delicious and it also makes an interesting conversation dessert as no one will be able to guess that the crust is made from pretzels.

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels (about 8 ounces) Regular --not mustard flavored
  • 3 Tablespoons of sugar
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip
  • 1 large package of strawberry jell-o
  • 16 ounces of frozen strawberries
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple

To make the crust:

  • Crush the pretzels and put them in a medium sized bowl.
  • In a small pan on the stove melt the butter, stir in 3 Tablespoons of sugar.
  • Pour the melted butter/sugar mix over the crushed pretzels and stir to distribute the butter.
  • Press the pretzel mix into the bottom of a greased 9’ by 13-inch pan. (you could also choose to use a 11” by 13-inch cake pan, but I prefer the 9” by 13-inch cake pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes.

Cool for one hour.

  • In a large bowl, using a spatula or hand mixer, mix the cream cheese with the cup of sugar. Then, using a wooden spoon or spatula, fold in the Cool Whip.
  • Spread this concoction over the crust.
  • Dissolve jell-o into 2 cups of boiling water.
  • Add the strawberries and the undrained pineapple.
  • Chill and then place on top of the cream cheese layer.

Continue to chill.

This yummy dessert will feed 15 regular appetite people… fewer if this is their favorite recipe.

This recipe is also good- or better if you substitute raspberry jell-o and raspberries instead of using strawberry jell-o and frozen strawberries.

Of course, this causes me to think of what other flavors you could try.

How would it turn out if you used orange jell-o and mandarin oranges? Or peach jell-o and peaches? Or strawberry-banana jell-o and added some bananas to the strawberry jell-o mixture? Obviously, I will need to try a few more version of the pretzel dessert recipe.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Brown Rice Bread

Try this toasted in the morning with butter and a drizzle of honey! yum!

2 c warm water, divided
2 pkgs. quick rise yeast
3 cups cooked brown rice
1/3 c honey
1/4 c butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cup wheat flour
4-5 cups flour
1 c raisins
1 c walnuts (optional)

  1. dissolve the yeast in 1/2 c water in a large bowl; let it stand for 5 minutes.
  2. add remaining water, rice, honey, butter and salt; beat until smooth.
  3. stir in enough flour to make a soft dough and then add the raisins and walnuts.
  1. turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
  2. place in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat both sides
  3. cover and place in a warm area for about 1/2 hour or until double in bulk.
  1. punch down the dough and knead lightly
  2. divide dough in half and place each peace in a greased loaf pan.
  3. cover with wax paper and let them rise again for about 45 minutes or until double in bulk.
  1. preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. bake for 30-40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

Rainbow Cupcakes - So Easy, So Fun, So Cool!

This is one of those recipes that yields a cool result with just a tiny bit of work.  That's my favorite kind!

Mix up a white cake mix following the directions on the box.  Don't forget to just use the egg whites.  Pour the ready cake mix into seperate bowls.  Add food coloring and stir.  Using a spoon, glop the mixes into the cupcake cups in random orders, layering the colors however you want.  Bake per the time on the box.  Let cool, frost, and enjoy! 

Here are some pictures showing the process:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 T. water
3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 c flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Andes creme de menthe (enough for each cookie-I used 3 packs)

In a large heavy pan, over low heat, melt the sugar, butter, and water.
Add chocolate chips and stir until partly melted, then remove from the stove and continue stirring until all chocolate chips are melted.

Pour into a large bowl and let set for 10 minutes to cool slightly.

With a mixer, beat eggs one at a time add some of the dry ingredients. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the chocolate mixture and then continue adding the remainder of the dry ingredients, beating just until blended. Cover bowl and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil. Using the small Pampered chef scoop to scoop up uniform sized balls of cookie dough, and then roll them into balls. Bake 10-12 minutes (cookie will crisp as they cool). Remove from heat and immediately place a mint on the top of each hot cookie. Allow the mint to soften, then swirl mint over the cookies.
This recipe makes about 80 cookies.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Merika's Miracle Cookies

Made these this week after work- knew I needed something to take to the ladies I VT on Wednesday, and also I signed up to take a dessert to someone on Thursday, and was feeding the missionaries on Friday. I made them smaller than usual so I would have plenty and could let the missionaries each take home a bag of cookies.
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