Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ward Prayer

I live in a bubble.  I love this bubble.  Sometimes I forget that not everyone lives in that bubble with me.  I apologize.  Before I tell you all what I made for Ward Prayer, I will explain just what Ward Prayer is.

Ward Prayer is a social gathering every Sunday night (ours is at 9 pm) for our Singles Ward that my husband is a Bishopric member of.  They have a spiritual thought, and then say a prayer as a ward...hence the name, Ward Prayer.  We usually have about 80 to 100 people every Sunday night, and  I make treats for every Ward Prayer.

Ok now we can get on with it.  Here's what I made last Sunday...

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins
I love these.  I got the recipe from Betty Crocker.

Abby's chocolate chip cookies
This is not your ordinary chocolate chip cookie.  They have white chocolate chips, semi sweet, and milk chocolate chips.  There is also sweetened condensed milk in them!  You can't go wrong with that!  I got this recipe from my water aerobics teacher, Jolene.  I have no idea who Abby is, but i'm grateful for her cookies!  The recipe (posted at the bottom) makes about 85. They vanished quickly!

Lil' Smokies
Sorry, these never make a cute picture, but they taste awesome.  I searched everywhere for a decent sauce to cook these in.  You'll never guess what I came up with!  I mixed together Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce, and Grape Jelly. Yep, Grape Jelly.  I warmed the Lil' Smokies in two crock pots for a few hours first.  Then I poured over the sauce, and let it cook for another few hours.  It was REALLY good!  My husband, who doesn't like Lil Smokies, even loved them!  There were no leftovers!

Here's a couple more food items that I made for Ward Prayer a few weeks ago... 

Red Velvet cookies, Swedish Rosettes (I made these with my in-laws), and a Raspberry Chipotle Sauce poured over cream cheese, served with crackers.

 Lots of cooking...lots of fun!  Here's the recipe for those cookies.

Abby's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1lb butter-room temp

2 cups brown sugar

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs-room temp
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
6 cups flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup malted milk powder (carnation)

Coconut, milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, semisweet chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cream butter for 2 minutes, add sugars one at a time and cream for 5

minutes. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Add sweetened milk. Combine

all the dry ingredients then add to mixer, combine just until mixed. Add the
coconut and chips in the proportions you prefer. One ungreased cookie sheet,
place big scoops about the size of an ice cream scoop. Bake at 350 for only
12 minutes, you still want them soft in the middles. Enjoy!!

I only used 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, but I think I will cut it out altogether next time I make them.  I also didn't add the coconut, because I didn't have any.  



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

FHE Dinner

Once a month Levi and I host a Family Home Evening dinner for about 15 to 20 people at our small apartment.  Last month's FHE dinner was a bit of a disaster because I chose to make things that were too complicated.  This month I learned from my mistakes.  Although it still took me a full day of preparation, I chose easier things to make, and I made enough food!  I also used paper products, which saved me three days of dishes! 

I made two types of Chili's.  A regular Ground Beef Chili (I got the recipe from and a White Chicken Chili (recipe posted below).  I also made corn muffins and green salad with homemade Poppy Seed Dressing.  For dessert, I made Scotcheroos and Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches.  

Everything went well.  We had a great turnout, and everyone liked the food!  If you would like any of these recipes, don't hesitate to ask!  Here's the recipe for the White Chicken Chili.  It comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Domestic Art Vol. II.  It's really good!

White Chicken Chili:

6 (15 1/2 oz.) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
3 (5 oz.) cans chicken, drained
6 c. chicken broth
3 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 (4 oz.) cans diced green chilies 
12 oz. ctn. sour cream
1 T. olive oil 
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. white pepper
Optional: 2 onions, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot.  Simmer for 20 minutes until heated through.  Serves about 15.

I also added my own touch by garnishing the chili with avocado's, cilantro, lime wedges, and crushed tortilla chips. 



Monday, November 8, 2010

The Man Cooks!

When Levi and I were dating, I was under the false impression that Levi was an avid cook.  He served a mission in Rome, Italy and learned how to cook the Italian way from old women that he met on the buses.  He still loves to cook Italian food, but I have rarely seen his skills since we have been married.  I really can't blame him for deceiving me...I may have led him to believe that I didn't mind football when we were dating.  I do mind it.  Oh the things you learn about each other after marriage.

Well, Levi finally made me an amazing Italian meal on Sunday night.  He made Lasagna with a homemade Ragu and Bechamel (Bechamel is an Italian sauce that makes Lasagna creamy).  It was SOOOO good!  Tonight, I've decided to make a compromise.  At this very moment, I'm sitting on the couch by Levi, watching football!  Thank goodness for computers... and blogging!  Hehe.  Levi says this doesn't count.  I say it does.

Here are the pictures of his Italian Lasagna:

Homemade Ragu
The final layers
That's my boy!

Meanwhile... I was making these.  

It was a great night in the Kitchen!



Monday, November 1, 2010

Too much cook, not enough clean!

My fun week of cooking is officially over.  Here are a few more food items that I somehow managed to squeeze into my weekend:

5 Pumpkin Rolls

I  made 1 for Hannah B's birthday, and 4 for Ward Prayer.  It was my first time making them.  They were a little more work than I expected, but well worth it!  I made two with walnuts, and three without nuts.  It's the recipe on the back of the Libby's pumpkin puree can.

Chocolate spiderweb cake with cream cheese frosting and a strawberry filling (all from scratch):

I made this cake for Hannah B's birthday.  I don't have much experience with decorating cakes, so this was an experiment. I'm not sure if it would make my mom proud (she's an AMAZING cake decorator) but everybody's got to start somewhere right?!?  I have to admit, I was really regretting the fact that I never took advantage of learning all her cake decorating skills while I lived at home.  She would have loved to teach me!


This is my sister-in-law, Hannah.  Her birthday is on Halloween day!  I think she's the luckiest girl in the world.  I would love to have a Halloween birthday!

While i'm at it...

I actually made this birthday cake a few weeks ago for my friend, Dede.

To sum things up, here is a list of what I made this weekend:
Friday:  20 caramel apples
Saturday:  5 pumpkin rolls, pesto/sun dried tomato/cream cheese dip, Halloween bark candy, salad with an orange vinaigrette
Sunday:  Chocolate spiderweb cake
I can't believe I pulled it all off!  I had no idea that I had this in me.

Last week was devoted solely to cooking.  I had way too much fun, and now I have to deal with the consequences.  My poor apartment has been terribly this is the official week of cleaning!  And to make my life even more miserable, I'm also going on a no low-sugar diet this week!  I guess this is the price I have to pay for such a fun cooking weekend. Ugg. But first... my husband is claiming to be "starving", and I need some motivation for my dreadful week.  So what's a girl to do?!?  I have no choice. I must make us some homemade chicken noodle soup.  :) Wish me luck!



Halloween Dinner Menu

This weekend I got together with a few friends, and we had an amazing Halloween dinner.  We have been planning this event for the past few weeks, and it turned out perfect.  We gave food assignments to each couple, and here is what we had...

I made our appetizer.  It's a layered cracker dip with cream cheese, sun dried tomato, and homemade pesto (from my very own basil plant!).  It's not so pretty, but it's good!  

My friend, Betsy, works in a Chemistry lab at BYU.  She got these beakers from work.  They were perfect for our poison apple drink!  Thanks Sydney for the drink recipe!

I also made the salad.  It's dressed with an orange vinaigrette.  The recipe came from my sister, Rachel, and it's posted at the end.  It's delish.

Bone breadsticks, made by Betsy.

Homemade creamed corn, made by Kristi.  I'm begging her for the recipe, and when I get my hands on it, I will share it with all of you!  You'll never go back to canned creamed corn again.

Fabulous lasagna, made by Betsy.

Cupcakes made by Betsy.  So cute!

And finally...pumpkin cheesecake, made by Kristi.  She even made the spiders and spider web!  

I also made some Halloween bark candy as a party favor, which I forgot to hand out!  Grr, I always do that.  At least I didn't forget to take pictures!

It was a 'spooktacular' dinner! :)

Here's the recipe for the salad and orange vinaigrette dressing, and poison apple drink:

Orange Viniagarette Dressing
1 tsp. grated orange peel
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
4 TB. red wine vinegar
1 cup oil
4 TB sugar
1 pkg. Good seasons Italian Dressing mix
Shake together in a jar. 
Sugared Almonds
In a pan, place 1/4 cup sugar.  Stir constantly on low heat.  Just before it is totally melted, stir in 4 oz. of thinly sliced almonds.  Cook breifly until light brown.  Stir constantly start to finish.  Process takes appx 10 min.  Spread on foil to cool.  Break up and serve on salad or store in zip loc bag.
Red and green leaf lettuce
Red onion, sliced in thin circles
Mandarin oranges
Cucumber, sliced thin
Sugared Almonds
Orange Viniagarette

Poison Apple Drink:  I'm not sure of the exact proportions, but here's what's in it:

Apple juice
Lemon-Lime koolaid packet (not prepared)

Just mix them all together.  You'll have to make it to your own liking.  Then put in some dry ice.