Thursday, January 8, 2015

Marvelous Manicotti

This manicotti is delicious!  You are going to love it!  I slightly adapted my recipe from Recipe Girl's "Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Manicotti".  The best part about making it is you don't have to boil the noodles!
Recipe Girl gives this great tip: use a piping bag to fill the noodles.  It's still messy but way more manageable than filling them with a spoon!
My variation is I add more veggies- steamed cauliflower.  I've made it once without the cauliflower, but Curt and I both agreed it was better with it.

This is a good one to double up on if you need to take a meal to a neighbor or friend.

If your kids (or you!) are picky you can omit the spinach.  But it doesn't overpower the mix, you hardly notice it actually.

Yummy!  Cheesy goodness!

Head over to for the original recipe, tips, and great pictures.
Thanks, RecipeGirl, you made manicotti easier and tastier!

Chicken Pot Pie

Semi-homemade Chicken Pot Pie.  Curt's mom makes this and got us hooked.  It's perfect for using leftover chicken and gravy.  And it's easy to change to your liking.

1 box pie crusts (2 crusts)
Chopped or shredded chicken
White gravy
Potatoes, chopped and boiled
Frozen peas and carrots
Boil potatoes. Meanwhile press one pie crust into the bottom of your baking dish.  If you use a rectangle dish like me, just manipulate the crust the best you can.  Preheat oven to 350.  Get gravy, chicken and veg ready. (I microwave my gravy quickly just to make it easier to pour and mix with the other ingredients.) If you don't have leftover gravy, just whip some up while potatoes are boiling.  When potatoes are finished throw the frozen veg into the boiling water, then turn off and let sit 1 min.  Strain the potatoes, then pour back into the warm pot with the other ingredients.  Stir, then pour over pie crust.  Top with second pie crust.  Bake about 45 min (or longer if you like a darker crust).

This is easy, yummy comfort food.  If you already have the chicken and gravy it comes together very easily- the hardest part is cutting the potatoes. And if your gravy and chicken were already seasoned, it will be plenty flavorful.  Enjoy!

Homemade Orange Rolls

I love the frozen Rhodes Orange Rolls, orange is a favorite flavor of mine.  When I read this blog post on Simply So Good I knew I had to give homemade orange rolls a try.  She has tons of pictures and step by step instructions.

I tweaked the original recipe a bit to fit my needs- she baked hers in muffin tins, I baked mine like cinnamon rolls.
 They were delicious!  Curt's bro-in-law said they have true orange flavor, unlike the frozen kind. :)

  Here's mine before they were baked.
Orange Rolls

¼ cup warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
3 eggs
½ cup butter
¾ cup milk
½ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
4 ½ - 5 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water, set aside for 5 minutes.  In bowl of mixer mix together eggs, sugar, and salt.  Set aside.  

In a small saucepan, melt butter then add milk.  Slowly pour into egg mixture mixing all the time.  Add yeast mixture and 2 cups flour.  Mix until dough is smooth.  Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time.  Only use needed amount of flour to form a smooth yet sticky dough. Cover dough with plastic wrap.  Place in refrigerator overnight. 

Orange filling:
1/2 cup butter – melted
1 cup sugar
Juice from 1/2 orange
Zest from 1 orange

To make the orange filling:  Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl and stir to blend. 

Grease baking sheet or cover with parchment paper, set aside. Roll into a rectangle.  Spread the melted butter and orange mixture on the dough leaving ½-inch border around the sides.  Roll dough.  Cut roll into slices and place on pan.  Allow to rise until double in size.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Original Recipe with detailed instructions and pictures HERE

Getting cooking oil out of clothes

We've splashed or spilled oil on our clothes several times.  On pinterest I found a way to get oil out of cotton clothes- even after they've been washed and dried.  NorthernBelleDiaries gives step by step instructions with great pictures.

Here's my experience:
Curt spilled something on his shirt.  It was sauce or dressing (oil based).  I read somewhere to "reactivate" the stain by adding more oil then following more steps.  I tried this and it was a huge failure.  Now I just had a gigantic oil stain.

I decided to give Northern Belle's method a try.  I wasn't diligent on one step though- the dishwashing soap- and the oil didn't come all the way out.  You can see where I squirted it in a zig zag.

Third time's the charm!  I followed each step exactly and it worked great!

Items needed:
scrap of cardboard
Baking soda
old toothbrush
Dawn (I used a cheap brand)

Here's a condensed version of the directions:
Put cardboard inside shirt.  Spray with WD-40.  Pour on baking soda.  Rub with side of toothbrush until baking soda becomes clumpy.  Dust off.  Scrub with soda again.  Dust off.  Scrub again.  Dust off.  Squirt with Dawn.  Rub with side of toothbrush.  Wash as you normally would.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Kids' Birthday Cakes

Just for fun...
Here are 3 b-day cakes we've made for our kids the last couple of years.

Rapunzel's Tower
Island- graham cracker sand

Lego cake
Lego cake 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

These are yummy!  They were a contest winner at LDS Living magazine.  Lauren Brennan.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 whole egg
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp soda
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment, set aside.  In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla, egg, zest and juice, mix again.  Add dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated.  Pour powdered sugar on a plate.  Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into sugar and place on baking sheet.  (I used my pampered chef scoop, and pressed them down a tiny bit with my palm.)  Bake for 9-11 minutes.  Bottoms should be barely starting to brown.  Let cool for 3-4 minutes before transferring.

Make some soon, you'll enjoy them!

Paleo Stuffed Peppers

For a few days Curt tried the Paleo thing...  I refused to try it because my 2 favorite things are carbs and desserts.  Needless to say we weren't converted.  Here's a recipe we tried during that week.

Found this on a blog called "Paleo Made Painless"

5 bell peppers
1 lb ground Italian hot sausage
1/2 head of cauliflower, grated
1 small white onion chopped
1 small can tomato paste
5 cloves garlic
Seasoning of choice (she recommended basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes)

Directions:  Mix all ingredients in a bowl (except peppers).  Cut the tops off the peppers and clean out the seeds.  Stuff each pepper with the meat mixture and freeze.  
To Cook: Place peppers at bottom of slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

These were extremely spicy!  Our kids could barely eat one bite before they gulped down a cup of water.  If you make this, do not add red pepper flakes!  The hot sausage has enough heat.  I think I cooked them a bit  too long because the peppers were a bit mushy, but mine weren't frozen.  If we do make these again we will aim for less spicy! :)