Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Recipe for a clean house

Someone was asking me the other day about home-made cleaning solution, so I thought I'd post some "recipes" I got at Enrichment to make your own cleansers.

Basic Cleaner

1 pint rubbing alcohol
2 Tbs. non sudsy ammonia
1 tsp. liquid dish soap

Pour these into a one gallon jug, add water to fill the rest of the way. For everyday cleaning, incuding windows and glass. For convenience, keep some in a spray bottle in the kitchen and each bathroom.

Non-abrasive cleanser
For a great non-abrasive cleanser, keep some baking soda in a  shaker to clean countertops (works great on juice stains), sinks, chrome, enamel, appliance fronts, stovetops and even the enamel surface inside the oven. Works as a deodorizer as well.
Works best when used with only a damp cloth, and the baking soda is still partly dry.

I'd be curious to know if anyone has any others to share!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shortbread Brownies

This recipe is from Jenny. She says she cuts them into 1 1/2 inch squares. Tasty, tasty.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x9x2 inch baking pan with foil; set aside. IN mixing bowl stir together the 1 cup flour and the brown sugar. Cut int he 1/2 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/4 cup of the chocolate pieces. Press into prepared pan. Bake for 8 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl stir together granulated sugar, the 3/4 cup flour, the cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, the melted butter, and vanilla; beat by hand until smooth. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate pieces. Carefully spread over crust in pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Remove brownies from pan by lifting up on foil. Cut into bars. Makes 24 bars.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Crock Pot Chicken with Black Beans and Cream Cheese

4 hours | 3 min prep


  • 4-5 boneless chicken breasts (I had chicken tenders on-hand, so that is what I used)
  • 1 (15 1/2 ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) jar salsa, any kind
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  1. Take 4-5 frozen, yes, frozen, boneless chicken breasts put into crock pot.
  2. Add 1 can of black beans, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of corn
  3. Keep in crock pot on high for about 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked.
  4. Add 1 package of cream cheese (just throw it on top!) and let sit for about 1/2 hour.
  5. I served it over rice with chappati. It was sooo good!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Strawberry "Sheetcake"

I feel the need to preface this by saying that I think strawberry shortcake is the best culinary invention ever. I tried this recipe from my neighbor and I daresay it's an improvement upon the original (something I never thought was possible).

1 White cake mix, mixed as directed
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. whipping cream, whipped
1 pkg. strawberry Danish Dessert (on the Jello aisle)
2 c. sliced strawberries

Pour cake batter onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Let cool.

Cream together cream cheese, lemon juice, and powdered sugar. Fold in whipped cream. Frost sheet cake. Prepare Danish Dessert as package directs for fruit sauce, then add strawberries.

Drizzle fruit sauce over each piece before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Note: This makes a lot of cake. We still haven't eaten all of it, but our strawberry/danish dessert combination is dwindling faster than the cake. If you're going to make it for a potluck or something where it will all be eaten at the same time, it might be wise to do two packages of Danish Dessert and four cups of strawberries. 

Sooooo yummy! (But dangerous...I had three pieces for lunch yesterday...)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mongolian Beef

P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef
(to see pictures, click here)

30 min | 10 min prep


  1. Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat.
  2. Don't get the oil too hot.
  3. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
  4. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  5. Remove it from the heat.
  6. Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4" thick bite-size slices.
  7. Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts.
  8. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef.
  9. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
  10. As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil).
  11. Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking.
  12. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges.
  13. You don't need a thorough cooking here since the beef is going to go back on the heat later.
  14. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.
  15. After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels, then pour the oil out of the wok or skillet.
  16. Put the pan back over the heat, dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute.
  17. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions.
  18. Cook for one more minute, then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate.
  19. Leave the excess sauce behind in the pan.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Waffles Topped With Stewed Blueberries

Want to make your family really happy? Make them these tasty waffles topped with blueberry wonderful-ness, add lots of whipped cream and yum! A delicious way to start the day...


1 1/2 c. flour
1 Tbs. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. sugar

1 1/3 c. milk
1 egg
2 Tbs. oil

Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the wet and stir with a whisk till combined. Cook as usual in your waffle maker.

Blueberry Sauce:
2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 c. water
1/2 - 3/4 c. sugar
1 Tbs. cornstarch

Put blueberries in a small saucepan. Mix the sugar and cornstarch together thoroughly in a measuring cup and add to the berries. Add the water. Cook on med.- high heat till mixture begins to boil, stirring frequently. Simmer for a few minutes while stirring, until berries are soft and sauce begins to thicken.
Voila! you're ready to top your waffles!

In my house, the whip cream flows pretty freely from the can, so we top these off with a small mountain on each waffle.

You can do this with just about any type of fresh or frozen fruit: peaches and strawberries are good!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

WHOLE wheat pancakes

Do you have some of this somewhere in your house?
Do you want to use it more in your life?
Well, here is the recipe for you!
"Star's Whole Wheat Pancakes"
Add to your blender: 1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Berries
2 cups milk
Blend for about 5 minutes
(this time is based on my blender,
I like my batter to be a bit chunky, with chewy little wheat bits
so blend longer for a smoother batter)
Add: 2 eggs
2 Tbs. Oil or melted butter (I like coconut oil best)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
dash of salt
Blend for about 30 more seconds
Heat butter or coconut oil in skillet or griddle
Stir batter and spoon from bottom of blender
This will help mix in the little wheat chunks as they tend to sink to the bottom
Make each pancake kind of small, this makes them easier to flip.
These would be great adding additional grains or nuts, maybe even some flax seed.
I know I can never get enough fiber!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chewy Coconut Chippers

Here is a little change from your typical oatmeal and raisin cookie: This recipe features white chocolate chips, flaked coconut and chopped pecans  for a nice, nutty flavor.

Cream together:
1 c. shortening (I used butter flavored).
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar

2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 Tbs. milk

beat well till light and creamy

2 cups flour mixed with
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon

mix well and add:
2 c. oatmeal
1 pkg. white chocolate chips
1 c. sweetened, flaked coconut
1/2 c. pecans, chopped fine

Mix till all ingredients are blended. Drop by Tbs. sized scoops onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350º for 11 minutes, or till they just start to turn golden brown. Let cool for 2 min. on cookie sheet then remove. Delish!
*Tip: did you know you can fit an extra cookie on your sheet by alternating rows of 3, then 2? Fits thirteen cookies instead of twelve. Just think of all the extra time that will save you! :)

Pasta Salad with Fresh Mozzarella

Here is a yummy side dish to take to your summer BBQ's. (If summer ever gets here!) Lots of tasty fresh veggies.

3/4 lb.  rotini or bow tie pasta, cooked according to directions
1 can black olives, drained
2 cups fresh broccoli, cut into small pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced to thin strips
8 baby carrots, sliced to thin strips
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
about 3/4 of a bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
8 oz. fresh mozz., cubed.

Combine all ingredients in a salad bowl, pouring the dressing over all. Best if left to marinate in the fridge a few hours. Season with a little salt, fresh cracked pepper, and some shredded Parmesan before serving.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


OK so I haven't posted lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been doing my recipe research. Check out these fun links I added at the bottom. There is one completely dedicated to cheesecakes (yum!), and one blog where a lady is making 365  crock pot recipes for each day of the year. Now that's a cool idea. No wait- more like a warm idea. Well anyway, enjoy!
 (Speaking of crock pots here's a funny saying I overheard last week. When it comes to uh, heating things up, "women are like crock pots, men are like microwaves." Agree?) 

Friday, April 3, 2009

Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

This recipe comes from the "Fix-it and Forget-it" Cookbook.

6 cups raw potatoes, cut into small cubes.
1 medium onion, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. cooked ham, cubed
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
1 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese.

1. Layer potatoes, onion, 1 tsp. salt, and ham into slow cooker.
2. Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in flour and 1 tsp. salt. Cook until bubbly. Gradually add milk. Cook until smooth and thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted. Pour over potato-ham mixture, stirring lightly.
3. Cover. Cook on Low 6-7 hours, of High 3-4 hours.

Note: the edges and bottom of your crockpot will burn, but the innards are still very tasty. I just have to plan on soaking the crockpot overnight afterwards to clean it up. I'd welcome any ideas on getting it not to burn...

Ham Dishes???

I have a bunch of leftover ham in my freezer that needs to be used, does anybody know of any good ham recipes?