Aug 31, 2009


Remember the blog that inspired me to combine my blogs into one? Well she also had this yummy recipe that I tried recently. It is a copy cat recipe for Bajio Chicken Chile Salad. She says this recipe "came from Kara’s Kitchen Creations - a darling blog with lots of yummy recipes!".

Recipe adapted from Kara's Kitchen Creations

Bajio Chicken Chile Salad
5 chicken breasts (I only used 4 large ones)
1/2 cup salsa
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 cup brown sugar (more to taste)
1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
6 oz. Sprite (1/2 can)
Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Return to crock pot and cook 1 more hour. Thicken the juices with a little cornstarch mixed in water.
Serve with flour tortillas, lettuce, cheese, black beans and any other taco fixings.
If you want it spicer rather than sweeter add a hotter salsa and more green chilies.

Green Chile Rice (Serves 6)
1 cup rice
2 cups chicken broth
4 oz. green chiles
1 sm. onion, diced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. cumin
3 green onions.
Mix together and pour into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until rice is done at 350.
NOTE*** If you plan to double the amount of rice you will have adjust cooking time appropriately. It will take about 15-20 min. longer.

Cilantro Salad Dressing (This gets rave reviews everytime I serve it)
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (dry mix)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2- 1/3 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/2 – 1 small jalapeno (remove seed)
1 cup mayo
1 tsp. lime juice
1-2 tomatillos (remove outer papery skin)
1 garlic clove
Blend all ingredients in blender!

Building the Salad
I used sweet baby greens for the foundation of my salad.
Top the greens with the chicken.
Top the chicken with black beans.
Top the black beans with cheese.
Top the cheese with tortilla strips (I made my own).
Drizzle the cilantro Salad dressing over everything.
Serve with Green chili rice on the side.

Aug 30, 2009

Hello Dollies

While attending Utah State University my sister, Caprece, and I worked for the university catering department. It was a wonderful experience in which we learned a great deal about food and entertaining. It was also the perfect place for struggling college students because of the "free food" perk. Everyday we were permitted to eat what was termed leftovers. The leftovers were actually items that hadn't sold that day and wouldn't be fresh the next. One of our most favorite "leftovers" of all were the Dolly Madisons. She and I dreamed of them long after our college life ended with marriage and graduation. Nearly 10 years later she found the recipe. I am not sure if she ever tried the recipe but today when my 3 year old had a little sweet tooth I pulled out her tried and trues and found the recipe. I just had to have a little of this cookie full of nostalgia and rich gooey yumminess. Try it for won't be able to stop with one.

Adapted from recipe by Debbie Ruse

1 package graham crackers (crushed)
1 stick of butter melted in 9 x 13 pan
Spread crackers over butter.

Sprinkle on top:
1 package milk chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet for a contrast with the gooey rich cooked sweetened condensed milk)
1 cup coconut
1 cup nuts (I used pecans just like the USU one)

Pour 1 can Borden's sweetened condensed milk over all. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Cut around edges as soon as cool. Cut into squares. Refrigerate until firm.

Aug 24, 2009


Caprece was a great collector of recipes. She was always on the look-out for a good one and she passed the bug on to me. Matt allowed me to copy all of her recipes a couple of years ago and they get plenty of use!

This is a recipe from her collection. Once while visiting our cousin in Kentucy she served this light refreshing dessert and Caprece had to have the recipe. I decided to make it after suffering from a craving for a dessert with fresh fruit. It is easy to make and tastes wonderful.

From Caprece's collection by Raina

Ingredients and Instructions:

4 cups flour
2 sticks of butter
1/2 cup pecans
1 cup brown sugar

Mix all together. grease texas sheet pan and spread evenly over the pan(will not be smooth). Pat with hands. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 min(the longer it cooks the harder it gets so cook it to desired firmness) I like it on the softer side so I cook it for 6 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

1 large tub cool whip
2 8oz cream cheese
1 small box powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese then add coolwhip. Add sugar 1 cup at a time and mix well. Spread over cooled crust. Top with seasonal fruits. I used strawberries, blueberries and kiwi on this one.

Aug 21, 2009

Zucchini & Carrot a Scapece (Antipasti) grazie a Giada

This is the last of the new recipes I tried for our most recent bookclub meeting. Another suprisingly delicious antipasti. I had never had this before but it had the kind of flavors that one bite is just not enough of. This recipe is also from her "Everyday Pasta" book. It is pretty simple as well.

6 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
5 large zucchini (about 2 pounds), cut in 1/4-inch rounds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped (I left these out and it was still wonderful)
10 medium carrots (about 1 pound), peeled and cut in 1/4-inch rounds
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Heat 1/3 cup oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the zucchini and fry until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried zucchini to a baking dish. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle half of the garlic, basil, and mint leaves over the zucchini.

Add the remaining oil to the frying pan. Add the carrots to the hot oil and saute until golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried carrots to the dish of zucchini. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining garlic, basil, and mint leaves over. Drizzle the vinegar over the vegetable mixture and toss gently to coat. Cool to room temperature. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Allow the vegetables to come to room temperature before serving. Transfer the scapece to a platter. Serve with bread, fish or chicken.

Aug 20, 2009

combo blog - coming soon

It has been a bit since I have posted a new recipe on my recipe blog due to the amount of time it takes to type up the ingredients and get a picture that is just right. I knew something had to change. I recently found a wonderful blog/recipe blog Your Homebased Mom or what I term a “combo” blog. She blogs about her life as well as recipes. I decided that was just the thing that I needed to do! It is less maintenance and keeps me all in one place. So I will very soon be introducing my new combo blog but, for now you can see all my recipes and new ones at

RAVIOLI FRITO & ANTIPASTI - Giada De Laurentiis Style

Remember I said for my turn hosting book club I went with an italian theme for the food. It was a surprisingly simple and delicious experience. I just turned to Giada. I speak of her as if she is my friend...actually I feel like she is...her cookbooks are very user friendly for thos
e of us who aren't familiar with italian cuisine beyond spagetti and lasgna. I took all my recipes from her "Everyday Pasta" book. This first one is delicious and appears once platted that it takes great effort but looks are deceiving. It is nothing but easy and even better nothing but yummy! I had every plan to make a homemade marinara sauce but at crunch
time I went with Napa ValleyBistro Homemade-style marinara sauce by Mezzetta. I am so glad I did because it was unbelievably good for a store bought or homemade sauce and was the perfect complement to my ravioli frito. This recipe is a new family favorite.

Olive oil, for frying
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
1 box store-bought cheese ravioli (about 24 ravioli)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 jar store bought marinara sauce, heated, for dipping
Pour enough olive oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees F.
While the oil is heating, put the buttermilk and the bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Working in batches, dip ravioli in buttermilk to coat completely. Allow the excess buttermilk to drip back into the bowl. Dredge ravioli in the bread crumbs. Place the ravioli on a baking sheet, and continue with the remaining ravioli.
When the oil is hot, fry the ravioli in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried ravioli to paper towels to drain.
Sprinkle the fried ravioli with Parmesan and serve with a bowl of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

Aug 17, 2009

Flourless chocolate cake


You see I am a fan...a fan of Bakerella...a fan of Paula Deen...and a die hard fan of C.H.O.C.O.L.A.T.E. It was a wonderful chain of events inspired by chocolate. It began with Paula and her "Chocolate Celebration 2008" magazine which in turn inspired Bakerella which in turn inspired me.

It was my turn this month to host the book club and I wanted to do something fun and yummy. We read the book "Galileo's Daughter" and I was at first trying to come up with some kind of food to do with the solar system or the stars (I know, funny right?) Then it hit me how simple it was. Galileo had a deep love for Florence (Italy that is), his home. As a result, I chose food from Tuscany the region of Italy in which Florence is located.

So naturally I thought of this delicious cake. Naturally? You ask. Naturally for me...Rodrigo took me to a very popular Italian restaurant,Cucina Rustica, while on our honeymoon in Sedona, Arizona and this was the very dessert we ate. This was not only the beginning of our love affair but of our love affair with Italian cuisine.

It was the first and last time I have eaten flourless chocolate cake until now. I was afraid of attempting the recipe myself as I often have this experience of food tasting better in my memory than in my real life re-creation. However, this one did not disappoint. It was as fabulous made right here in my home as it was sitting in that very pricey but wonderful restaurant. So, don't be afraid...go ahead...give it a try.

I'll list the ingredients here but, Bakerella gives such a wonderful explanation on preparing it that I'll just leave her link to it at the bottom.

What you'll need:

  • 9 inch spring form pan
  • parchment paper
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 6 large eggs (yolks in one bowl and whites in another)
  • 8 0z semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 oz dark chocolate
  • 2 sticks of butter (1/2 lb)
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar