Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pies, Pies, Pies!

One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is all the pies! At Enrichment meeting a few weeks ago, the wife of one of the members of the Bishopric of my ward taught us how to make homemade pie crust and apple pie! It really made me want to contribute to my family's Thanksgiving feast with pie! I asked my mom if I could make my favorite pie ever, a Carmel Apple Pie, and she said that would be great. In the end, I actually ended up making three pies, all of which turned out pretty well! I thought it was a nice assortment; there was something for everyone! I think even the pickiest eater would enjoy eating! I discovered the Carmel Apple Pie last October when I was trying to find a recipe for a ward party. It was in the Taste of Home magazine, but it called for pears. I was a little hesitant about that, so I switched it out for apples! My mom said she thought it was absolutely delicious! I also made a chocolate pie, using my mom's recipe, and a traditional pumpkin pie! We refrigerated them over night, but I'm sure they would be delicious right out of the oven as well!


  • 3 cups sliced peeled ripe pears (about 6 medium)
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 18 caramels
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
In a large bowl, combine pears and lemon juice. In another bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add to pears; stir gently. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Pour into pastry shell. In a bowl, combine the oats, flour and remaining sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over pears. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan over low heat, melt caramels with milk. Stir until smooth; add pecans. Drizzle over pie. Cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Pie

1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding (small)
1 pint of vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
Pie crust (graham cracker or shortbread)

Mix in a medium size bowl vanilla ice cream and pudding until smooth. Stir in milk until everything is smooth and well blended. Pour into a pie crust. Refrigerate over night so it can set up! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can Libby's Pumpkin
  • 1 can evaporate milk
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Apricot Chicken

Who says that a fancy meal has to take forever to make and use a ton of ingredients! One of my very favorite meals is way simple, but it definitely could qualify as something you could order at a restaurant! I discovered this recipe about a year or so ago when I had some apricot jam in the fridge that I wanted to try and use for dinner. I came across this delicious, but simple, recipe for apricot chicken, and it has become a family favorite ever since. I made this a few weeks ago for my roommates, on the night of the Election, and they all seemed to love it! I recommend serving it with garlic bread or garlic knots


6 chicken breasts
3/4 cup Apricot Jam
1 pkg. French Onion Soup Mix
1/2 bottle French or Catalina Dressing
Linguini (or rice...I like Linguini the best though!)

Mix together jam, french onion soup mix, and dressing in a medium size bowl until well combined. Place chicken breasts in an oven safe container. Pour jam mixture over the chicken. Cook in over at 325 degrees F for about an hour. Serve over Linguini or rice. I like to put parmesan cheese on top.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Another item on the menu for the BYU versus U of U football game party was my mom's delicious Chicken Salad Sandwiches! For as long as I can remember, my mom would make these delicious sandwiches for our long road trips, and all of us always loved them! I have made them a few times while at college, and enjoy them everytime! They only take a few ingredients and are extremely simple to make! They are great to make for a bridal or baby shower, or to bring to someone for lunch or dinner when they aren't feeling well!


2 cans of canned chicken
Garlic Powder
Lemon Pepper
Grapes, Apples, Celery, etc.
Croissaints (or another kind of bread to put the salad on)

Mix together 2 cans of canned chicken and a spoonful or two of mayonaise. Just play it by ear how much you should put in; you just want enough to blend it. Put in about a teaspoon of garlic powder and lemon pepper and mix. If you desire, put in cut up apples, grapes, and/or celery. Putting cashews in is a nice touch as well! Spoon onto croissants and serve. Put in refrigerator if you won't be serving for awhile.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mint Chocolate Brownies

A few weeks ago when I was visiting Colorado, my mom welcome my brother and me with a huge plate of the most delicious brownies I have ever had (well, they are tied with my roommate, Christie's, moms carmel brownies..I still need that recipe!). They were this delicious mint brownies. The Creamery grocery store by my apartment has similar brownies, but the recipe my mom has definitely takes the cake (or perhaps...the Brownie!! haha). I have been craving them since I have gotten back to school, and today was the perfect occasion to make them! It was the BYU versus University of Utah game, and my brother, Daniel, and I were having a little party! The Brownies turned out great! Just as a forewarning, they are extremely rich!!!!! Definitely a thicker consistency than your every day Betty Crocker mix. The recipe I have says it makes 9 brownies, but I got like 30 out of it. I guess it just depends on how big you cut them! I really recommend making this as a dessert when you want to bring something somewhat fancy and pretty looking, but rather simple to make. Enjoy!

Denise Wright’s Chocolate Mint Brownies
1. In a large bowl, cream together: 1 C sugar, 1 C packed brown sugar, 1 C butter or margarine (softened) until fluffy.
2. Beat in 4 eggs until well blended
3. Set Aside.
4. In a small bowl, microwave 4 one-ounce squares baking chocolate for one minute. Stir and continue to heat at ten-second intervals just until melted.
5. Add melted chocolate to the sugar and butter mixture
6. Add 2 tsps vanilla
7. In a separate bowl, stir together 2 C flour and ¼ tsp baking powder; add to creamed mixture and mix well.
8. Spread batter into a greased 9by13-inch baking dish.
9. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few fudgy crumbs.
10. When brownies are cool, frost with Mint Frosting (see recipe below) and refrigerate for an hour.
11. Drizzle chocolate glaze over frosting. (see recipe below)
12. Refrigerate another hour. Makes about 15 brownies.


½ C butter or margarine, softened

¼ C milk

1 tsp peppermint extract

5 drops red or green food coloring

4 C powdered sugar

Mix first four ingredients. Add powdered sugar and mix well.


3 T butter or margarine

½ C semi sweet chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla

Microwave butter and chocolate chips together on high power for one minute.

Add vanilla and stir.

Randomly drizzle glaze over frosted brownies

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pumpkin Cookies

With Halloween over and Thanksgiving quickly approaching, there is pumpkin ever! Whether you are disposing of old pumpkins, or stoking up on canned pumpkin, there is a plethora of delicious recipes out there. A few weekends ago I went to my sister, Cindy's, house for the weekend for my birthday. Upon arriving she pulled out freshly baked pumpkin cookies. They were so delicious! Probably some of the best I've ever had. I kept forgetting to ask her for the recipe, so today when I got the sudden urge to make some, I googled it, and lo and behold, I'm pretty sure I found the exact recipe. They turned out really good, so I thought I would share the recipe. I give credit to Cindy to this recipe; she always has the best ones! She changed a couple things from the original recipe, like adding chocolate chips, but it only made it better!


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup Libby's Pumpkin
1 Large Egg
1 Tsp. Vanilla extract

Preheat over to 350 degrees F and grease baking sheets.  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until edges are firm. Let Cool. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Easy Cheesy Chicken Alfredo and Wheat Garlic Toast


(I am now going to be doing this blog in sync with a Communications Project for school. We basically have to make an online magazine and get as many subscribers as we can. Please subscribe at . I will be posting all the articles on this page and that one, but if you could subscribe, I'd really appreciate it! Subscribe to this if you want as well, I'm trying to widen this blog as to get more viewers!

I usually love making most of my meals from scratch, but it seems as if lately, I don't have all the time that I used to before college to devote to making lengthy, homemade meals. Because of this, I have been eating far too many microwaveable foods. Don't get me wrong, I love Lean Cuisines, but nothing beats a good home cooked meal! The past few weeks, however, I have decided to make more of an effort to making my dinners, and not just nuking it for a few minutes in the microwave. Mondays are usually a pretty tight day for me, so I prefer to go the “semi-homemade” way.

I discovered this “Cheesy Ragu Roasted Garlic Parmesan” sauce,

and I just had to get it! I hadn't tried it out til yesterday, when I wanted something yummy to eat, but also quick enough to be made and eaten before Family Home Evening.

This recipe is really simple and basically anyone can do it! It's super tasty and I'm sure it will satisfy just about anyone. The only downside about the sauce is that it separated a little bit after I had it simmering on the stove while the noodles cooked, but this did not affect the flavor. I added a few spices to the sauce, just to give it a little more of a zing. I didn't have any on hand when I made this, but to make it a little healthier and get your daily dose of vegetables in, you could add some onions, red peppers, or virtually any kind of veggie you like to the chicken/sauce mixture! As I do with most of my Italian recipes, I had to add some sort of garlicy

bread. Last night the choice was wheat garlic toast! It takes literally minutes to cook. However, I accidently slightly burnt it, so it doesn't look as appetizing in this picture, but trust me, it is delicious and simple, which is something I am always searching for!

Easy Cheesy Chicken Alfredo

One Jar of Cheesy Ragu Roasted Garlic Parmesan Sauce
1 Package of uncooked Linguini
Precooked Grilled Chicken strips (as many as you think you'll need..You could make your own chicken if you like, I think it's just easier to use the precooked!)
Garlic Powder
Italian Seasoning
Various veggies (onions, red peppers, etc.)

Bring a pot of water to a roaring boil and cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Add salt to the water to flavor the Pasta. Put the chicken strips into a sauce pan and cook until they look tender. Pour the Ragu sauce into the pan and mix the chicken around in it until it is fully covered. Add the seasonings (just a few shakes of each) and mix the mixture around. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve the chicken sauce over the noodles.

Wheat Garlic Toast

Wheat Bread--as many pieces as you think you'd like (I use Sara Lee, but any kind will do)
Garlic Powder
Parmesan Cheese
Grated Cheese (optional)

Lay the bread onto a oven safe cooking dish. Spread a light layer of butter on each piece. Sprinkle garlic powder, then parmesan cheese, and then a little more garlic powder on top of the buttered bread. If you want a little more cheesy of a flavor, sprinkly the grated cheese on top. Cook in the oven on broil for 2-4 minutes, checking periodically because it will burn easily! Serve with any type of pasta, salad, etc.