Tuesday, January 27, 2009

amaretto slush

i got this recipe from a lovely blogger, holli. i LOVE amaretto and i've always wanted to make this, so when i hosted bunco at my house a few weeks ago, i made this. i had also borrowed a recipe for rum glogg from my dear friend kristi, but i thought this might appeal to this group of girls more. next year, we will do the glogg. i just like the name glogg. i want to say glogg over and over.

ok, back to this slush. thanks to holli for the recipe...

amaretto slush

*1 C boiling water
3 lipton tea bags **
3 1/2 C water
1 1/2 C amaretto
1 C sugar
1 (6 oz.) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed and undiluted
1 (6 oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed and undiluted
2 (2 liter) bottles ginger ale, chilled

Pour boiling water over tea bags; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and toss them out. (**I think you could make this without the tea bags, but they are definitely what gives the slush a nice brown almond color. If you live in Cache Valley, I have a giant box of these tea bags and will give you 3 if you want to make this. Just let me know...I would probably even mail them.)

Transfer tea to a 2 quart freezer container. (i have a large tupperware measuring cup I use) Stir in 3 1/2 cups water and the remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the ginger ale. Cover and freeze until firm. To serve, partially thaw until slushy (mine didn't freeze solid. but i may have put, uh, more amaretto in than 1 1/2 cups. maybe.) Pour equal parts of slush mixture and ginger ale into serving glasses.

Makes 1 gallon.

For those of you who choose not to drink, I think you COULD make this with almond extract instead of amaretto. I'd just use water in place of the amaretto, and try a T of almond extract. I have NEVER done this, so experiment. One tablespoon might be too much. Might not be enough. I have no idea.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


this recipe is easy and yum-o-licious. you can also use the dough for pizza crust.

i made these for bunco last night - two batches. and none were left over at the end of the night.


*1/8 cup olive oil
*1 T. yeast (can use 1 pkg. yeast)
*2 T. sugar
*1 1/2 C. warm water (not too hot, not too cold)
*1/2 tsp. salt
*3 cups flour

i make this in my kitchenaid...and i got a tip from a friend to warm the mixing bowl with hot water before making any recipes with yeast in them. so warm up that bowl... and attach the dough hook. put the oil, yeast, sugar and water in the bowl. stir to combine and let sit for about 5 minutes. attach the bowl to the mixer and add the salt and flour. knead for about 3 minutes. the dough should NOT be too sticky or stick to the sides of the bowl, but it will be soft. let the dough rest for about 10-15 minutes.

preheat your oven to 415-425 degrees F. you'll have to experiment and see what works best for you.

sprinkle flour on your countertop and roll the dough out. try to get it the same size as the pans you are going to be baking on. you can roll it out right on the pan if you prefer. brush the top of the dough generously with melted butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. i also like to put a bit of kosher salt on the top. cut into sticks with a pizza cutter.

bake for 10-15 minutes or until the breadsticks start to brown.

if using for pizza crust, roll out into the shape you want, top with sauce, toppings and cheese and bake.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

menu plan week 2

i'm not sure what to call these menu plan posts. do any of you have any good ideas? menu plan seems so freaking boring!

this is what i'm gonna make this week:

monday: corn dogs, tater tots and canned beets

tuesday: tonight is my bunco night at my house. i'm going to make roasted tomato soup and breadsticks. i got the breadsticks recipe from my friend jess and i'll post it later this week for you. it's super easy, and you might already even have it in your recipe file. i'll probably also make a spinach salad.

wednesday: breakfast: eggs, pancakes or waffles and bacon

thursday: grilled peanut butter and jelly, sliced apples

friday: oven roasted potatoes and beef tips

saturday: homemade chicken noodle soup

sunday: roasted pork lion with braised cabbage (and yes, i know it's loin, not lion. CLICK THE LINK!!)

now, with that said, i need to get my shopping list in order. wish me luck on another week of menu planning!

menu plan review

so last week, i did pretty darn good with the menu plan. thursday was going to be leftovers or oatmeal, but the kids had pizza coupons from school they wanted to use, so we did that instead. thursday also was a really, uber crappy day at work (i'll post details later, when it's all official - but i still have a job and that's all that matters.), so eating out was kind of nice, honestly.

friday was supposed to be frozen pizza, but we ended up have five million things happen on friday night, with both jake and jenna having sleepovers and me having to drive back to logan after work. so we didn't have dinner on friday night. i had some leftover biscuits and a diet mountain dew.

saturday, we decided to take the kids to a movie and to dinner, so i'll make homemade chicken noodle soup THIS coming weekend instead.

overall, i'd say the menu plan was a total success. i didn't have to stress about what to make. and paul will stop at the grocery store on the way home from work almost any morning i ask him to, so if i need an ingredient, he can stop and pick it up. he's also really good at ONLY picking up what i ask for, so it doesn't cost a bunch of extra money.

i'll post this week's plan tomorrow.

Monday, January 5, 2009

menu plan

one thing i'm going to try out this year is menu planning. i've tried this before, and i'm not very good at it, so bear with me.

i'm actually going to try to PLAN out dinner every night for a week. when i can and i have time, i'll link you the recipe i'm going to use.

here's this week's plan:

monday: swift spaghetti i already cooked the hamburger and mixed it with the sauce, so all i have to do is boil the noodles.

tuesday: philly cheesesteak sandwiches

wednesday: spinach salad ( i will post a recipe for this )

thursday: leftovers. or oatmeal. i'm not joking.

friday: frozen pizza

saturday: homemade chicken noodle soup

sunday: texican hash (i got this link from connie...and it looks sooo yummy. she does the whole menu plan thing because she's super organized.)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

angel hair pasta with chicken

even though my children can be holy terrors, i am really lucky they DO like to eat. ask anyone who knows them - they'll eat things other kids won't touch with a ten foot pole. that doesn't mean they aren't picky. jake doesn't like tomatoes - not chunks of them anyway. he does like spaghetti sauce and tomato soup. he's also not super fond of onions, but he will eat them. neither one of my kids likes squash. but they will eat beets, either pickled or just sliced and cooked. jenna just LOVES to eat her grandma's pickled beets. they love asparagus. one of our favorite snacks to eat after paul goes to work is a bag of edamame. i'm not having much luck finding a picture of the brand we like the best, but edamame is soybeans. they come in the pod and i boil them in the microwave. i rinse them with cold water so they are cool enough to handle and sprinkle with kosher salt. then we sit down, pop them out of the pods and eat them. totally yummy and very good for you. they are high in protein and fiber.

another veggie my kids both love is broccoli. this recipe uses broccoli nicely, and while it also calls for carrots, i have left them out before, because my kids would rather just eat the broccoli. the truth is, i don't like cooked carrots all that much and that's the REAL reason i have left them out in the past. the carrots do provide some nice color, however. for the most part, i think this recipe is fairly light, and it will serve 6-8 people. or 4-6 if you have giant eaters in your house. i believe you COULD replace the butter with margarine if you prefer. but i wouldn't recommend it. :)

angel hair pasta with chicken

*4 chicken breast halves, trimmed and cut into small chunks (approx. 1 inch)
*2-3 cups broccoli florets
*2-3 carrots, sliced diagonally
*3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (i use the food chopper!)
* 1 12-oz. pkg angel hair pasta
*2 c. chicken broth (1 15-oz can will work, if that's easiest)
*1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
*1/2 cup shredded parmesan, divided
*2 T. butter
*2 T. flour
*1/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
*2-3 T. olive oil, divided

Put water on for pasta to cook - don't forget to salt the water! Heat 1-2 T. oil in skillet over medium heat; add chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until chicken is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes (mine took more like 9 minutes, but i'm super anal about cooking chicken). I like to get the chicken nice and browned as it looks better when mixed with the noodles. Remove the chicken from skillet and set aside. Heat remaining oil in same skillet. Add carrots to skillet; cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add broccoli and garlic to skillet; cook stirring for 2 minutes longer. Cook pasta according to package directions (do not overcook angel hair pasta - it's super nasty!). While pasta is cooking, push the vegetables to the sides of the skillet and make a thin white sauce of 2 T. butter, 2 T. flour, 1/4 t. salt and 2 c. chicken broth in the skillet, then add basil and 1/2 of the parmesan cheese. Return chicken to skillet and simmer for 4 minutes. Drain pasta. Place in a large serving bowl. Top with chicken and vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan. Serve immediately.

if your skillet is large enough (mine is a 12-inch), i recommend adding the pasta right to the skillet. toss the ingredients with tongs and you're good to go. i also added onions to mine, because i think onions go well with chicken and pasta. onions actually go well with most things. but if your kids won't eat them, don't add them! the best thing about this recipe is that you could use less chicken or omit it altogether if you want - and use vegetarian broth to make it totally vegetarian. you could add whatever veggies you have in your fridge already. from start to finish, it took me less than 30 minutes to make.