Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Barbara's Brazilian Salmon

This recipe comes from my friend Barbara, and it is our family's favorite.  Seeing as my husband doesn't like fish, but asks for this one - it really is that good!

4 salmon fillets (5-6 oz)
1/2 large orange, juice only (or orange juice)
1/2 large lemon, juice only (or 2-3 T. lemon juice)
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. chili powder
1 large garlic clove (minced)
2 T. melted butter

Marinate salmon in orange juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper for 20 minutes at room temperature (or longer).

Preheat oven to 425*
Mix brown sugar, chili powder and garlic together in a small bowl; rub well into marinated salmon.  Grease a foil lined baking sheet with a bit of the melted butter and place rubbed salmon on top.  Then drizzle with remaining butter and any remaining marinade. 

Cover with foil and bake for 25 +/- minutes - until salmon flakes with a fork.  

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Breakfast Crepes with Country Gravy

Earlier this summer we spent a week cooking for the leaders at our church's girls camp.  One morning, we started to prepare breakfast and I had a hankering for something salty.  We'd had a lot of fruit with every meal, and I was tired of the sweet.  On the fly, I decided to experiment and throw something we hadn't planned on together - hoping it would work.  

Every now and then I still get comments about how delectable it was.  My husband has asked for it a couple of times, so we tag teamed it this morning - he made the crepes/swedish pancakes, and I the filling and sauce.  Note that the gravy in this photo is a basic white sauce.  The recipe below is for a country gravy...which really completes this dish (er, I mean to say 'don't try it with a white sauce...it just isn't as good..the sausage really makes it amazing'). 

1 recipe for Swedish Pancakes prepared (but not rolled with sugar)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
6 large mushrooms - sliced
1 c. sliced red, yellow, orange bell peppers
1 garlic clove, diced

Country gravy (see below)

Slice veggies.  Spray cooking spray in the bottom of a frying pan, and heat, then veggies &  garlic.  Spray with cooking spray, add coarsely ground pepper.  Sauté until veggies are tender but still slightly crisp.   Add a few dashes of salt.
Remove cooked veggies from frying pan and place in center of crepe/swedish pancake.  Roll, and cover with country gravy (below). 

Country gravy
1 lb. ground sausage meat
4 - 6 c. milk
1/4 - 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. coarsely chopped onion

Brown sausage and onions until thoroughly cooked.  Do NOT drain grease.
Add flour, and gently toss until sausage is coated.

Slowly add milk, stirring constantly.  Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.  Allow to boil for 1 minute, then reduce heat.  Continue to stir as sauce begins to thicken.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour over crepe/swedish pancake
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Award Winning Canned Peaches

Here's my recipe for canned peaches.  They won class champion at the county fair last year.

Use whatever quantity you have.  

Blanch peaches.
Peel and remove any bruises or bad spots (but save this for peach skin jelly). 
Slice and pit the peaches.  
Place sliced peaches into a bowl of cold water with Fruit Fresh mixed in to keep them from browning until enough for an entire batch of jars are sliced. 

Remove peaches from water, and place into sterilized, warm jars (keep heated in the dishwasher until ready to use). 
Add between 1/4 - 1/3 c. sugar (depending on the desired heaviness of the syrup) to each jar.
Add a dash or two of Fruit Fresh (helps them not discolor).

Fill the jars up the rest of the way with boiling water - leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Gently slide wooden spoon or rubber scraper into the jar (keeping to the side) to remove any air bubbles or pockets.  Add more boiling water if needed. 
Wipe down the mouths of the jars to remove any of the sugar.  You can use a damp paper towel for this, just use a different spot for each jar.  

Place hot lids and rings on the jars - screwing until finger tight, and place in hot water bath.  
Once the water begins to boil, cook for 45 minutes (6,000+ altitude). 

Remove from water bath, place on dishtowel on counter to cool, and allow to cool for 24 hours before moving.

After 24 hours, some of the syrup may have settled to the bottom.  Gently swish and swirl, and the sugar will dissolve into the syrup.  


  • The amount of sugar you add depends on your preference.  1/2 c. = medium heavy, 1/3 c. = medium light, 1/4 c. = light syrup.
  • If entering these into a fair, make sure that the brand name on the bottle matches the name on the lid.   
  • 60 lbs. of peaches generally produces approx. 45 quarts and 15 pints of peach skin jelly.  


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rocky Road or Mississippi Mud Brownies

I found this recipe in a cookbook my mother-in-law gave me with recipes from the state of Utah. The original title for these brownies was "The Huntsman Family's Favorite Brownies". The Huntsmans are a prominent family in Utah (previously the Governer of Utah).

We gave this recipe a run through last month and followed the directions exactly. We weren't so sure that the finished product was correct, or that the recipe had been printed correctly. This time, we didn't quite follow the recipe and we tweaked a few things, and love the result - so we changed the name. This is a rocky road or mississippi mud type of brownie. Gooey and OH! So, VERY sweet!

4 eggs beaten
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/8 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
1 c. butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 of a 16 oz bag (8 oz.) miniature marshmallows

Combine eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla.

Melt margarine and add cocoa, stir. Add to egg mixture and beat well.

Bake in a 9x13 inch pan at 375* for 30 minutes.

As soon as brownies are taken from the oven, cover with marshmallows. Return pan to oven until marshmallows are slightly melted.

Pour chocolate frosting over marshmallows and cool before cutting.


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Chicken and Basil Alfredo

One of my kids has recently developed a fascination with basil. She also loves chicken alfredo, so when I saw this recipe, it was a must try.

I have to admit that at first glance I was fairly dubious of this recipe. Traditionally, I've never made an alfredo sauce using cream cheese - that just seems like cheating, and doesn't give the same results. I was pleasantly surprised though with this recipe, and appreciated the time saved by not making the uber rich, more time intensive traditional sauce.


4 1/2 c. (12 oz.) short shape pasta
1 T. butter
1 lb. chicken, cut into chunks
1/2 t. garlic salt (or fresh garlic)
1 c. milk
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, coarsely cubed
2 t. dried basil leaves
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions: drain. In a skillet, melt butter, sprinkle chicken with garlic salt, (or add fresh garlic to butter), and cook chicken until no longer pink.

Add milk and heat until it boils. Stir in cream cheese and basil.

Reduce heat and continue stirring until cream cheese has melted.
Remove from heat, add Parmesan cheese.

Toss with hot pasta and serve immediately.
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Tomato Salad / Mediterranean Tomato Platter

Here's a very simple and quick way to enjoy some fresh tomatoes.

Lay out serving platter and crush fresh salt, (or sprinkle) kosher salt lightly onto the platter.
Drizzle olive oil lightly over the salt.
Sprinkle with freshly minced or dried basil.
Slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and arrange onto platter.

Once again, lightly salt. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with basil. Top with freshly ground black pepper.

Variation - add mozarella cheese cubes.
Variation - coarsely chop tomatoes and cube 1/2 c. mozarella cheese. Toss all ingredients and serve as a salad.
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Friday, September 3, 2010

Chocolate dipped pretzels

Looking for a quick chocolate fix?


I made this treat for my family this evening. It took all of five minutes and my kids were thrilled - if they hadn't been weeding the garden (yes, my slave labor crew was hard at work while I was playing in the kitchen) I would have let them help as this is very kid friendly (and finger licking friendly as well).

I love the crunch of the pretzel and the marriage of the salty and sweet in this simple treat.

15-20 pretzels
1 c. chocolate chips (semi-sweet gives a darker chocolate flavor, milk chocolate a sweeter taste, white chocolate chips may also be used)
1 T. vegetable shortening (Crisco etc.)

Place chocolate chips and shortening into a microwave safe bowl, and heat at half power for 1 minute. Remove and stir with a spoon. Repeat until completely melted. Check and stir every 30 seconds after 2 minutes so that chocolate doesn't scorch.

Once chocolate is melted, dip pretzels into chocolate, covering both sides. Fingers can be used, or a fork or spoon. Place dipped pretzels onto waxed paper and allow to cool (if in a hurry, place waxed paper on cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator to speed up the setting process).

If desired, repeat this process with a coating of white chocolate as well after the chocolate has cooled and set, or dip half of pretzel with white chocolate, and half of pretzel with brown chocolate. My kids would love to be creative and cover these with sprinkles as well.

Pretzel sticks may also be used in this recipe.

Chocolate mixture can be used with fruits, cookies, candy, nuts, etc. as well.
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Peach Pie with lattice top crust

I was looking through the camera roll on my husband's phone this evening and realized that I forgot to post this recent recipe.


This week I have been canning peaches. Lots and lots of them. It took 12 hours and I ended up with 45 quarts of peaches and 15 pints of jelly made from the bruised peach parts and the skins.

On top of the canning, my kids started school on Wednesday. In honor of having a quiet house and some time to do whatever I wanted, I decided to make a peach pie. Now, I really haven't ever made one, and I couldn't be bothered to go and actually research and look up a recipe. I figured it couldn't be very hard (it wasn't) and here's what I came up with. This was also my first lattice pie crust - which I really liked. My pie dough was already prepared in the freezer, so the preparation for this pie was no more than 20 minutes total.

6-8 peaches, washed, peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1/4 - 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 dashes ground nutmeg
1 splash lemon juice

dough for top and bottom pie crust
cinnamon sugar mixture

Preheat oven to 350* F.
Roll out bottom crust and place in pie plate.
Lightly sprinkle flour over bottom of crust to prevent sogginess.

Place sliced peaches into a bowl and add 1/4 c. flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gently toss. Add a splash of lemon juice.

Pour mixture into pie crust, and dot with butter if desired.

Sprinkle flour over working area of counter top, and roll the rolling pin through the flour to coat. Roll out the remaining pie crust to 1/8 inch thin. Using rotary slicer/cutting wheel, or a pizza slicer, slice into 1/2 inch strips.

Carefully arrange the strips at half inch intervals horizontally across the pie, floured (flour from the counter) side up, pressing one end of each strip into the left pie crust edge. Once all of the strips have been placed horizontally, press a strip of pie crust dough at the bottom of the left pie crust edge, and gently lattice this strip with the horizontal strips in an over/under pattern until the opposite side is reached. Continue this vertical pattern, at 1/2 inch intervals, alternating each strip over/under beginning point.

Press vertical strips into the pie dough crust at the top of the pie when finished. Trim and flute edges of pie crust.

If desired (for a shinier and prettier pie), wet ring finger in milk and lightly moisten each lattice strip. If lattice strips don't stick well at edges, moisten with milk.

Sprinkle with a light dusting of cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 350* for one hour.

Best served with vanilla ice cream.

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