THIS MONTH ON MOMMY DIARIES
2-3 cans petite diced tomatoes - with the juice
2 cans chicken broth
about 1 cup salsa
about 3/4 cup white sweet corn
about 3/4 cup black beans
about 1-1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (cook it before adding it to the crockpot)
garlic powder, dried cilantro, and minced onion - all to tast (I just sprinkle it in until I think it is enough, probably about 2 teaspoons of the cilantro and garlic powder, and maybe a tablespoon or 2 of the dried onion).
Cook it on low 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Top it with cheese, crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, green onion, guacamole, or whatever else you want!
This is a great recipe when you are feeding lots of people because you can easily double or triple it. Enjoy!
1lb stew meat
4 potatoes – cut into bite size chunks
4 carrots - bite size chunks
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can tomato soup
1 pkg dry Lipton onion soup mix
Mix together and slow cook in crock pot until meat and potatoes are tender. About 6-8 hours on Low.
2 lbs russet potatoes
1 Tbsp. salt plus more for taste
1 cup milk or cream
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Rinse, peel and cut potatoes. Place potatoes in pot and cover with cold water one inch above potatoes, stir in salt. Simmer until soft, or until a fork goes in and out smoothly. Drain potatoes. In small saucepan heat milk until low boil. Place potatoes in Bosch (that is what i have) or other mixer. Mix until smooth, then add the butter, add hot milk in slow stream while mixing. Add pepper and nutmeg.
I made two recipes this evening for our gathering tomorrow and they are so tasty that I had to quickly share them!
HOMEMADE GINGER ALE
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 lb fresh ginger, cut into 1/4 inch thick "coins"
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of cayenne pepper
1. Bring sugar, ginger, cinnamon stick, and 2 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. SImmer 5 minutes, then remove from heat, and stir in cayenne pepper. Let cool.
2. Strain liquid into small pitcher, and discard ginger and cinnamon (I kept the ginger, cut off the outside peel and made it into candied ginger instead of throwing it away). COver, and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. To serve, ladle 1/4 cup ginger syrup into tumbler filled with ice. Top with 3/4 cup sparkling water (6oz), and stir.
2 1/2 cups pumpkin, cooked and mashed (or 1 can)
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 cup Apple cider, orange juice, or apple juice concentrate
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Cover and chill. Makes 3 cups.
I took a picture of my bosch FULL of potatoes, if you want to see it, visit my blog: http://themortensenfamily.blogspot.com/
Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.
Serve with fresh whipped cream.
1-29oz can pumpkin
1-12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice -OR- (1/2 tsp cloves, 1 tsp nutmeg, 3 cinnamon)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick melted butter
1 yellow cake mix
Mix all ingredients exept buter and cake. Pour into well greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle cake mix on top and then drizzle butter over that. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.
2 cups white sugar
1 cup shortening
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Cream the sugar, shortening, pumpkin and vanilla together. Mix until light and well combined.
3. Mix the flour, baking soda and ground cinnamon. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Drop by teaspoons onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 12 to 15 minutes or until set. Let cookies cool on a rack.
This girl has a lot of really cute backgrounds that are super easy to install (and they don't mess up your sidebar). And they should all be working right this week (some are sized a little wrong so she's been fixing them).
You can make them ahead of time so that on Thanksgiving all you have to worry about is putting them in the oven. Also, as this was a big hit, I have doubled the recipe and they've still been eaten!
5 lbs potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 (8 0z) pkg cream cheese
1 c sour cream
1/2 c milk
2 t garlic salt (you may want to add more, depending on how much you like the garlic taste!)
Pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients. Mix well and place in a large, greased casserole dish. If making ahead, refrigerate. Otherwise, cover and bake 325 degrees for 45 minutes (If refrigerated, let stand 30 minutes at room temp. then bake as directed.)
Makes 6-8 servings.
MIke and I are the Nursery Leaders in our ward. We are in charge of the Sr. Nursery too. These are the snacks I made for Nursery tomorrow. The kids will love them. Its fudge striped shortbread cookies, mini reeses pieces, candy corn, graham crackers and chocolate frosting to glue it together. You may think it looks like a lot and it is, there are 15 turkeys, we actually have 18 names on the roll (for sr. nursery alone). We generally have between 10 and 12 show up, but just in case there's more I'm prepared.
1 small pkg. strawberry jello
1 small pkg. cook and serve vanilla pudding
1 small pkg. cook and serve tapioca pudding
fresh cut strawberries (i'm using frozen)
12-16 oz. cool whip
Mix jello and puddings with 3 cups boiling water. Let cool until firm. Beat jello mixture, add cool whip and strawberries.
And it should be fixed soon.
I make this yummy sweet-savory stuffing every year. I got it from Allrecipes, but adapted it to fit my family's tastes.
5 cups bread cubes
1 pound ground sausage
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
3/4 cup turkey stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degree C). Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl.
In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in dried cranberries and parsley. Drizzle with turkey stock and melted butter, and mix lightly. Spoon into turkey to loosely fill or bake in a 9x13 inch pan for more crunchy stuffing.
Sinfully Rich Sweet Potatoes
3 c mashed sweet potatoes (use fresh sweet potatoes and boil or microwave)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c butter
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 c sugar
Mix together and put into greased casserole dish.
1 c coconut
1 c brown sugar
1 c pecans, chopped
1/3 c butter
Mix together and spread over potato mixture. Bake at 375 until browned (maybe 20-30 min).
12 oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
60 Hershey hugs or kisses
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan combine chocolate chips and butter. Stir over very low heat until chips are melted and smooth. Add milk. Mix well. Combine flour, chocolate mixture, and vanilla. Cover hugs/kisses completely with the dough. Place one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Back at 350 degrees for 7-10 min. Best when served right out of the oven.
You can also melt some white baking bar with shortening and drizzle it over the cookies to add a pretty touch.
* You can experiment with the inside candy. I think hugs are the best but I experimented with carmel kisses today and they were good but a lot of the carmel seeped out while they were in the oven. Bridget gave me a good idea though and next time I'm going to try them with Reese's peanut butter cup miniatures!
A lot of you have been to my apartment and seen our countertops. What you might not have noticed is that the blue gray pattern is not what my countertops actually look like. When we moved in they were an ugly faded yellow color. Rather than stare at those for the next 5+ years I covered them up with contact paper! It cost me probably $10 and a couple hours sticking it down and I then had countertops that I really like and that match the kitchen decorations I already had. It is a lot easier if you find a pattern that you can overlap without it being obvious on the seams but if you find a good one then it's really not that hard, and so worth it! We've lived here for over 3 years and I think it still looks good!
I buy a HUGE bag of frozen chicken breasts at Costco, and I hate getting the big bag out of the freezer where it is tucked so nicely every time we have chicken. Plus, cooking frozen chicken is a long process and I'm all about simplicity.
Then, I put like 5 or 6 breasts in my crockpot and pour like 1/4 c. of water over it, just to moisten the tops. Then sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and a little dehydrated onion.
Cook it until it is done, it usually takes about 5-6 hours on low in my crockpot, but I know everyone's may be different. When it is done, it is so moist and juicy that most of the time, I have to scoop it out of my crockpot because it won't stay on a fork.... so, scoop it out and just shred away with a knive and a fork. My sister has a friend who swears the best way to shred chicken from the crockpot, like this, is to use your (electric) hand mixer - just stick it in the crockpot and turn it on and it does all the shredding for you. I've never tried this, so if you do, let us know how it works out.
Once it is all shredded, I just put it in small snack or sandwich size ziplocs and freeze it again. Then.... I use it for EVERYTHING and it is quick! My favorite things to use it for are: pizza topping, enchilada filling (just add it to the sauce), chicken stir fry, Cassi's chicken roll-ups, etc.... you get the picture. So, how was that for a LONG wordy post on the simplest thing ever?
PS - I also buy a huge thing of hamburger from Costco and cook all that before I freeze it- it honestly saves me a ton of time. Plus, all you have to do when you want to use it, is dump it into whatever you are doing, or season it for tacos or whatever. I LOVE it - it makes great quick meals
2 packages (18-1/4 oz each) devil's food cake mix
1 cup vegetable oil
1 packages (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
In mixing bowl, combine the cake mixes, oil and eggs; mix well. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Do not flatten. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks (cookies will flatten as they cool). In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread on the bottom of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies. Store in the refrigerator. They also freeze well!
These cookies are so good! I normally cut the recipe in half and don't even make the filling. I then break them over ice cream, add some caramel and it is the best dessert ever!
18 graham cracker squares (9 of the full rectangles) or 1 1/2 C crumbs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
6oz pkg chocolate chips
Crush crackers into crumbs. Add milk, vanilla and chocolate chips and stir together. Bake in greased and floured 9" square pan for 30 min at 325 degrees. Cute while hot. Chill before eating.
Snicker Apple Salad
10 granny smith apples
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 bag snack sized snickers plus 2 king sized snicker bars
1 large container of whipped topping
1. Chop apples into bite sized chunks. Pour lemon juice over them so they do not brown.
2. Chop snickers bars up into similar sized pieces.
3. Combine apples, snickers and whipped topping into a large bowl. Mix to coat well.
Makes one large salad
Crushed pineapple may be added to this salad
BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA
Lately, my favorite thing to do with shredded chicken is make pizza. I cook a bunch of chicken in my crockpot, shred it, and then freeze it. So when I do pizza, I just make the crust (or use store bought), and then spread it with BBQ sauce, shredded chicken, cheese, green onions, black beans, corn, and usually more cheese. Then bake it and enjoy - my whole family LOVES this pizza and it's good for you!!
Chocolate Pudding Cake - this is to die for!
(It looks intense, but it is very easy. The recipe is from Family Fun, so it is written so kids could easily follow it. Also, I'm not a soggy food fan, and I know at first glance you think this will be a soggy cake, but it really does take the shape of pudding... not sog - if you know what I mean. It really is a hit!)
1 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1. Generously grease a 9-inch square cake pan with butter. (You can also use a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan, provided that the sides measure at least 2 inches high.) Heat the oven to 350° F.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, 2 tablespoons of the cocoa powder, the baking powder, and the salt.
3. In a medium-size bowl, stir the remaining 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder into the brown sugar. Rub the mixture with your fingers, breaking up any sugar lumps, until evenly combined. Set the bowl aside.
4. Make a well in the flour mixture. Add the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk the liquids to blend them, then briskly stir the entire mixture, pulling the dry ingredients in from the sides to make a uniform batter. 5. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and spread it evenly with a spoon. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the batter. Then spread all of the brown sugar mixture evenly over the top.
6. Slowly pour the boiling water over the batter. Place the pan on the center rack and bake the cake for 30 minutes. When it's done, the cake will be baked through, but there will be a thick layer of chocolate pudding at the bottom. Because this is difficult to check with a toothpick, it's best to rely on time to determine when the cake is finished.
7. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving. You can cut the cake into squares or slices, or simply spoon it out of the baking dish. Serve topped with whipped cream or ice cream. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
We have really enjoyed Virginia so far but there are many things and people that we miss in Minnesota. I think Kent is having Hockey withdrawals!
I grew up in San Jose, CA, got an Industrial Design degree from BYU, served a Spanish speaking mission in New York City and eventually found myself working in Minnesota where I met Kent in the singles ward. We were married in the Salt Lake Temple and settled in Minnesota. I worked at Target Corporate Headquarters for 3 years designing products for the Target stores. It was a blast to work for them! I mostly worked on their kids bedding and furniture aisles along with bath furniture and accessories. After having Ian I decided to quit and become a freelance designer from home. Thanks to you girls who watched Ian for me while I worked! Freelancing has been great and was easy to move. I haven't done too many projects since we have moved because I have become consumed with my house.
We bought a house here in Charlottesville that needed a lot of work. Here is how the house looks now after some exterior love. We have officially painted every inch of this house: ceilings, doors, trim, walls, everything. I think before the seller put the house on the market they came in with cheap yellow paint and sprayed the entire interior yellow. I like yellow but with beige trim and doors and cream ceilings it looked hot, dirty, and outdated! It is amazing how you can improve a room with fresh paint. We have also laid some tile, replaced light fixtures, and updated some things in the kitchen and baths. We are done for awhile, thank goodness! I felt like I couldn't really move in fully with the house torn up.
Ian is the best little boy ever! He is really shy sometimes and quiet. He is starting to say words but sometimes they are hard to understand. He loved Thomas the train and has a train table that we bought from our neighbor. His latest thing is wanting to help with everything, painting, sweeping, unloading the dishwasher, etc. He is very sweet natured, I am a lucky girl.
I love being a mom too but I definitely struggle at times. I appreciate all of your posts and enthusiasm! At this point the thought of having a second is overwhelming, not that I am announcing anything! I look forward to posting more things and learning from all of you experienced moms!
We also had a good idea suggested to us about having some sort of advice giving posts. I've been trying to think of a crafty way to do this since I think it's a great idea too. So here's what I thought of but if anyone has a better suggestion to make it work let me know.
I thought we could have a weekly "Tricks of the Trade" post. This will be a short post just asking any kind of parenting question. Then anyone who wants to can answer the question with your tips, tricks, or advice in the comments (or feel free to do a post if you have more than just a comment). Since I'm sure everyone has questions I thought this might work out best if we take turns with the posts, but I don't want anyone to feel like they have to do it either. So, if you want to have a turn let me know in the comments to this post and I'll take those names and we'll just rotate.
Does that sound like something you would be interested in? Is weekly too often? We could do it biweekly or even monthly instead. If you have any better suggestions let me know.
Also, we've been putting links to our personal blogs/websites on the side. If you want yours linked let me know. Thanks everyone!
Here is the easiest chicken recipe ever! The best part of it is that it is cooked in one skillet. It is a new family favorite thanks to Molly and Geoff.
1 lb Chicken cubed
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black pepper
1 14.5oz Can chicken broth
1 8oz Jar salsa
2 Cups Instant rice
8oz Shredded cheddar cheese
In a large skillet over Med. High heat, brown the cubed chicken in oil, salt, and pepper. Cook until juices run clear. Add broth and salsa and bring to a boil. Once liquids are boiling, turn heat off, and stir in instant rice. Sprinkle top with cheese. Cover and let sit for 5 min. Serve!
1 to 2 t. seasoned salt
1 t. poultry seasoning (I've never actually used this ingredient)
1 lb. diced chicken breasts
2 t. olive oil
4 T. butter (divided)
2/3 c. water
2 T teriyaki sauce
2 T onion soup mix
1 envelope Savory Herb with Garlic Soup Mix (Lipton)(divided)
8-12 oz. fettuccine
2 T Parmesan cheese
1 T worchestire sauce
Combine seasoned salt and poultry seasoning, sprinkle over chicken. Saute chicken in oil and 2 T butter for 5 minutes. Add water, teriyaki sauce, onion soup mix and 2 T herb and garlic soup mix. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook fettuccine and drain. Add pasta to chicken mixture. Add cheese, worchestire sauce, remaining butter, and remaining herb and garlic soup mix. Toss to coat.
**We also love this pasta with the Lipton's Onion and Mushroom Soup Mix instead of the Herb and Garlic. Both are delicious! I also love these soup mixes to cook mixed vegetables (tossed with olive oil) in the oven for 30 minutes at 350. Yummm!
Chicken Taco Soup
4 boneless cooked chicken breast diced or shredded
1 small chopped onion
1 small can chopped green chili
2 cloves of garlic
2 T vegetable oil
1 quart canned tomato juice
1 can beef broth
1 ½ C water
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
Combine and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Then add pkg of frozen corn. Serve with tortilla chips and grated cheese
Just click on the name of the cookie and the recipe is there.