Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tomatillo Green Salsa

We have tomatillo's coming out our ears!! We only planted 4 plants and they are just producing like I made a double batch of our favorite TOMATILLO ENCHILADA SAUCE and froze 6 pints of it (wasn't sure if it could be canned...but they say it freezes well), and some TOMATILLO RANCH DRESSING(one of my absolute favorites...just scroll down after the sweet pork recipe and there it is!) and then made 5 pints of Tomatillo Green Salsa! Can't wait to try it and see how it is! Looks and smells fabulous!
Here are about half of our tomatillo's. I just love their color!! With their husks on:

Without their husks: this picture is only about 1/4 of what I picked which is half of what we have growing if that gives you some perspective!

Tomatillo Green Salsa

• 5 cups chopped tomatillos
• 1½ cups seeded, chopped long green chiles (I de-seeded and ribbed these...didn't want too much heat!)
• ½ cup seeded, finely chopped jalapeƱo peppers (I de-seeded and ribbed these too!)
• 4 cups chopped onions
• 1 cup bottled lemon juice
• 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin (optional)...I opted to use this
• 3 tablespoons dried oregano leaves (optional)...and this!:)
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and stir frequently over high heat until mixture begins to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle hot into clean, hot jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.
Process in a boiling water canner according to recommendations. 1-1,000 feet altitude=15 minutes. 1,001-6,000=20 minutes, and above 6,000=25 minutes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Taco Soup!

I love this time of year becuase it gets me in the mood for soup!! Although we've had record heat this week I still needed some soup and one of my favorites is this taco soup. So easy and de-lish!

Taco Soup

1 pound hamburger
1 onion, chopped
3 cups water
1 (32 oz.) can diced or stewed tomatoes (I use 2 smaller cans that equal about 28 oz. I beleive and it works just fine)
2 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 package taco seasoning
1 package Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix

Brown hamburger and onion together. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat thouroughly. (about 15-20 minutes simmering is good!)

We like to crush tortillas chips in the bottom and then put in the soup and top with some cheese and sour cream. It's also really good with some fresh cilantro on top. Also, it is really good with some corn as well. Just add a can or two of corn to the soup with the other ingredients.

Isn't that easy...and so type of recipe!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Peach Muffins

This is a good one!! I can't remember where the recipe came from (my friend e-mailed it to me and I've since deleted that e-mail...sorry!) but I changed it a little and they turned out really yummy!! Great for using your canned peaches!

Peach Muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peach yogurt (I just used 1 container of the Yoplait Harvest Peach)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup peaches, well drained and chopped (or use some fresh peaches)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (my addition)
slivered almonds (my addition)

Combine eggs, yogurt, butter, vanilla. Add the dry ingredients. Add the almond extract to the peaches then fold in to muffin mix. Fill sprayed muffin tin or muffin cups almost to the top. These muffins don't rise much. Sprinkle a few slivered almonds on the top of each muffin. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, cool in pan for 10 minutes.

This is the recipe how I made it with my changes. The original recipe didn't call for the almond extract or the slivered almonds, but instead called for 1 cup of chopped pecans that you fold into the mix with the peaches. I think that would be yummy as well, but I didn't have any pecans!:) And I think the best compliment to peaches is almonds...that's one of the reasons I LOVE my Mom's fresh peach pie so much!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chocolate Caramel Bars-by Kyla

Kyla was in charge of the dessert for FHE and decided she wanted to make these bars. I told her that I wouldn't be able to help her because I had piano lessons right after school so she said she could do it on her own. And she did...and they were GREAT!! All the family really liked them and Kyla was so proud of her work.

Chocolate Caramel Bars

2 1/4 cups flour, divided
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/1 2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cold butter or margarine
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 jar (12 oz.) caramel ice cream topping

In a bowl, combine 2 cups flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Set half aside for topping. Press the remaining crumb mixture into a greased 9 X 13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and pecans. Whisk the caramel topping and the remaining flour until smooth; drizzle over top. Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours before cutting.

I just had to throw in this picture of Eli and Rhett enjoying their treat!:)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cinnamon Toast

I grew up on these and I can say they were the only thing that made me like Oatmeal for breakfast.:) I'd eat as many pieces of toast that I could get away with and as little oatmeal as I could get away with! Really good & really easy and quick for one of those rushed mornings when you only have time for some instant oatmeal.

Cinnamon Toast

Bread (I just used regular store bought bread but homemade is really good too...or try whatever kind of bread you have on hand)
brown sugar

Butter bread with a not to thin and not too thick layer (got that?:)). Then sprinkle on the brown sugar and then cinnamon. Just whatever looks good to you. The brown sugar does melt down into the butter and bread so you may want to put just a little more than you think is necessary.

Bake in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes or until butter and brown sugar is melted and the bread is toasted on the bottom.

Now go and eat some oatmeal...and don't forget to include these babies!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Garden Fresh Salsa

This is a recipe request from my sister-in-law Ana. Tony and I usually just add whatever we want and taste it throughout to see what it needs, but today we measured and made sure of what we put into it so others who like to have exact measurements will be able to have some fresh salsa too!:)

Garden Fresh Salsa

5-6 medium tomatoes, diced (I like mine chunky, but just cut them whatever size you like.)
1 anaheim pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/4 to 1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Dice tomatoes and put in a bowl. Add all the other ingredients and stir until all mixed up. I just put in 1 jalapeno and I scraped out the seeds and ribbing so as not to get too much heat. If you like the heat leave the seeds and ribbing and just chop up the whole jalapeno. Salsa is always better if you can leave it alone and sit it in the frige for a few hours to let all the flavors mix-in, but I have a hard time doing that!:)

We also made some Queso that was really good too. We just heated up some Cheez Whiz according to the instructions on the jar and then added some Garden Fresh Salsa in with it and it was superb!

I LOVE this time of year. I just wish my tomatoes would all turn red already!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hot Chocolate Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies!

The name says it all!!! I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman's tasty kitchen this morning and knew I had to try these out! I was really intrigued by the hot chocolate mix in the cookie dough...not only are there 3 different kinds of chocolate chips in this cookie, but hot chocolate in the dough as well. This is my kind of cookie!!

Hot Chocolate Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks Salted Butter- At Room Temperature
1 cup White Granulated Sugar (I Like Baker's)
2/3 cups Packed Light Brown Sugar
2 whole Large Eggs
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla
3 1/4 cups All-purpose Flour (I ended up using 3 cups)
4 packages (1 Oz. Packets, NOT Sugar-free) Hot Chocolate Mix
1 teaspoon Salt
1 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Each White, Milk, And Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, hot chocolate mix, salt and baking soda. Add to wet ingredients in 3 to 4 parts, making sure all is incorporated. (I just added all the dry ingredients straight into my mixer and mixed it until it was mixed!:))Fold in chips. Chill the dough for an hour or so. (Didn't do this...too impatient!) Use a 1/4 cup as a scoop to scoop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Chocolate HEAVEN!! These were so stinkin' good still warm...I got warm gooey chocolate all over my fingers!! Again...HEAVEN!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Garlic Artichoke Dip

Yesterday was the start of College football season and my hubby's team was playing! He has been so excited all week long to watch his Utes play a #15 ranked team, so I decided I'd make the day special in the only good way I know how...FOOD!!:) So I made him one of his favorite dinners, Li'l cheddar meatloaf with mashed potatoes, and corn, and Helen Jean Punch(this is also one of the kids favorite meals!). So we ate dinner and then during the game I brought him up this Garlic Artichoke dip that I've been wanting to try with some french bread. It was so darn good! It's a perfect football snack!

Garlic Artichoke Dip
Recipe from Our Best Bites

2 8-oz. packages cream cheese (light works great), softened
1 c. mayonnaise (no Miracle Whip or fat free mayonnaise, although low-fat mayo also works great)
1 c. (packed) shredded Parmesan cheese (try to get a wedge and grate it yourself; the pre-shredded stuff in a bag doesn't melt well)
1 12-oz. jar MARINATED artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (I used a 14.5 oz. jar)
6-7 cloves garlic, minced (I would use maybe 4-5 medium to large cloves was a little too much garlic for me and I really like garlic!)

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix the softened cream cheese with the mayonnaise and shredded Parmesan cheese. Gently add in the chopped artichoke hearts and minced garlic. Place the mixture into a 9" pie plate (or divided evenly among smaller dishes) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until it's lightly browned and bubbly on top. Serve hot with slices of bread and/or tortilla chips.

For those who care...the Utes pulled it off...27 to 24 in Overtime. Pretty good game!

Helen Jean Punch

This has been a family staple for years now. It is perfect for just about any occasion! Try it out this weekend with any of your festivities!  It is to DIE me!!

Helen Jean Punch

1 can (12 oz.) frozen orange juice concentrate
1 can (12 oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate
20 cups water
1 Tablespoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups sugar
2 2-liter lemon-lime soda

Dissolve orange juice and lemonade in water. Add the extract, vanilla, and sugar and stir until all mixed and sugar is dissolved. Mix ratio is about two-thirds punch with one-third soda. Cool and then enjoy! Perfection!
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