Friday, December 12, 2008

Gingerbread Cookies

Go make yourself some festive gingerbread men, or as we like to call them, cookie boys.

1 c. sugar
1 c. shortening
1 egg
1 c. molasses
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. boiling water
1 Tbl. ginger
1 Tbl. cinnamon
1 Tbl. soda
3-6 cups flour to make soft dough (I used 5 c.)

Roll out dough on floured counter and cut cookies.

Bake at 350 for 7-8 min so they are still soft.

Originally posted 11/25/07 without picture

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Edition: Fancy Green Beans

Once my family tasted this recipe, there was no going back to green beans with mushroom soup and french fried onions. The bacon will win people over every time.

1-2 bags frozen green beans
1 lb. bacon cut into small pieces
1 onion, diced

Brown the bacon until very crispy. Remove beans from pan, and drain grease from pan (save for later).

Saute onion in a little bacon grease. Add green beans and onion and cook until beans are done. If necessary, add extra bacon drippings to green beans as they are cooking.

Add bacon back in with the beans before serving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving Edition: Sweet Potatoes

Do you have sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner? I know some people like marshmallows on top of theirs. My friend Emily lives for the sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving, and she swears by this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens.

3 large sweet potatoes (2 lbs.) peeled and cut up
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. melted butter
1/4 c. milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. flour
1 Tbl. melted butter

1. Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Cut off woody portions and ends. Cut into quarters. In a large saucepan, cook potatoes, covered, in enough boiling salted water to cover for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender; drain.

2. Preheat oven to 350. Transfer potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Mash lightly, "so it's still a little chunky," says Emily. Stir in sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Transfer sweet potato mixture to a 2-quart casserole dish.

3. In a small mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, pecans, flour, and 1 tablespoon melted butter. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.

4. Bake, uncovered in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Edition: Rolls

I have three roll recipes on this blog. Any of them would be delicious for Thanksgiving dinner. Here are links for the first two.

Easy Homemade Rolls

Lite Lion House Rolls

If you are looking for something extra special, go for my favorite. The last few years, we've had orange rolls. They are a little more work, but this is where we choose to put forth the extra effort. Most of the pies? Marie Callendar's. But I think the orange rolls are my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner.

I love the tang of the citrus mixed with the sweetness of the frosting and the soft buttery roll. They are a little more work, but so worth it. You can get full instructions here.

Here's somebody's plate from last Thanksgiving. No idea whose.
I'm just glad they chose to put the roll on their plate.
Unlike this person.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving Edition: Mashed Potatoes

I'm realizing I don't have pictures of all the dishes for Thanksgiving dinner. I'll post the recipes for now. Those that don't have pictures? Rest assured they will after Thanksgiving Day.

Here's how we make our mashed potatoes. My favorite.

Peel your potatoes. I like the large baking potatoes from Costco. They are so big they are a cinch to peel.

Cut the potatoes into similar sized chunks, about 1 to 2 inches wide. Often we'll get the potatoes ready to this point and then keep them in a bowl or pot with water covering them potatoes until we're ready. For our Thanksgiving dinner, it just helps to do the prep earlier.

Boil them in a large pot with water just covering the potatoes. Simmer, covered, until soft when poked with a fork. (about 15 to 20 minutes)

Drain off the water, and transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Add butter, cream or milk, and salt to taste. This will of course depend on how many potatoes you make. For my sake, make them creamy.

I love gravy on my mashed potatoes. That recipe, of course, is for another day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanksgiving Edition: Grandpa's Pecan Pie

Welcome to Thanksgiving Edition of Lovin From the Oven. Stay tuned for a full week of posts with all you'll need for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

First on the list is my Grandpa's Pecan Pie.

Are you impressed with my grandpa? Me too. He is famous for his pecan pie.

First, you'll need 1 cup pecans, broken or slightly chopped. Place the nuts in a Marie Calendar's Deep Dish Frozen Pie Crust.

3 eggs
2/3 c. sugar
3/4 c. light Karo syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. light vinegar
2 Tbl. melted butter

Beat the eggs in a bowl, but don't let them get foamy. Ad other ingredients and pour over pecans.

Bake at 325 for 50 minutes.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


I got my first two awards in the same day. About a month ago. I really was (am!) excited about it, it just caught me in one of those blogging droughts. You know the kind where real life gets busy, and all of the recipes you make lately (or the pictures of them) don't turn out. Thanks to Laura from Real Mom Kitchen and Clouse Cousins Cookin'. I didn't know you were reading my blog, but I'm so glad for the award because it pointed me to your sites and I like them so much I'm going to visit you often!

So now comes the part where I get to pass on the award. Isn't this just a chance to say to the blog author "I like your blog" and tell everyone about some other great blogs? Here goes.

Here are the rules for this award. If you choose to participate, please find at least 10 more blogs, of any kind that you love to read. Write a post about the blogs you picked, linking back to me and to them. Once you’ve posted, return here to let me know your post is done and be sure to let them know too! (If you don't come up with 10, that's fine too.)

I tried to stay away from personal family blogs, because I couldn't single any one out over another. So while some of these may be personal blogs, they have a certain theme or specialty going on.

Food Related Blogs:

1. Lydia at Put a Lyd on it. I think the name of her blog is so clever, and she makes real food.

2. Andy at Dinner's On Me. I like her style: writing style, food pictures, blog appearance. Also her intro about herself: "I'm no food snob. We're a real family that eats real food and then I blog about it." Perfect.

3. Laura at What's For Dinner? Because everything she makes is so delicious and half of her recipes are on my blog anyway. Maybe in another ten years we'll be like the Clouse Cousins. (Sorry to most of you because this is a private blog, which I tried to avoid, but this was the special exception.)

4. Amy from Super Healthy Kids. I learn all sorts of stuff from her about how to get a little bit of nutrition into my kids. She has lots of practical advice on fruits, veggies, and more.

5. Katie and Molly over at Sister Skinny, who keep me motivated to work off all the calories after eating. They're on a hiatus right now (with good reason!), but I think they will be back when the time is right. Their archives are great too. Love this site.

Other specialty blogs I love:

6. Rachel at Testosterhome. Her specialty is boys. Part of me relates to her real life stories, and part of me appreciates the insight of what to expect as my boys get older. A must read for any mom of boys.

7. Angie at Poppy Joy. Angie and I share the uncommon experience of losing a child to Trisomy 18. The thoughts she records on her blog are full of hope, and I have been impressed and encouraged by her faith through difficult circumstances. Thanks for sharing your story, Angie.

8. Stephanie at a Daily Scoop. While we differ in the details, I appreciate her thoughts on losing a child from a gospel perspective. We are members of the same church, and I find myself drawn to her writing. She is accomplishing a lot of good by sharing her experience and testimony.

There you go. That's much more information about myself than I usually share, in the context of just a few of many from the bloggersphere who inspire me.

Stephen's Gourmet Hot Chocolate

'Tis the season for sipping my favorite hot chocolate

in one of these.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup

It's cold today. Where I live, it's gonna get even colder this weekend. Go make your family some of this good warm soup. I made some of this chicken noodle soup last night with some homemade bread. I can't lie, it's incredibly satisfying to me to have my family sit down to that dinner. It just seems so wholesome and traditional and healthy.

My soup experiment: I made one batch creamy and one batch brothy.

This is easy, but I don't have exact measurements. Sorry. Add more or less of an ingredient depending on your personal taste I guess. I got the recipe from someone else, and that is how it was given to me. I put my measurements in parenthesis if that helps.

Boil chopped carrots (1o large carrots), chopped celery (about half of a large bunch), and chopped onion (1 whole onion) in a pot with just enough bouillon to cover them. (I used 5 cups of water and 10 bouillon cubes.)

Boil 1 package of Mrs. Weiss' Kluski Enriched Egg Dumpling Noodles (red and blue package) according to package directions. Drain noodles and add to vegetables.

For creamy soup: Stir in 2 cans cream of chicken soup, and milk until it is the right consistency.

For brothy soup: Omit the cream of chicken soup. Add more chicken broth to the right consistency.

Add cooked cubed chicken. (I used 2 1/2 chicken breasts because that's what I had. You could do just 2 chicken breasts.) Let it simmer together for a little while before serving, mostly to be sure the chicken is nice and tender when you serve it.

My husband liked the creamy version better. I liked them both.

Originally posted 9/24/07 with a picture that didn't do this recipe justice. I think this comes from or is close to the Lion House recipe.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Another recipe from Kaye. My dad says this whole wheat bread tastes better than the stuff from Great Harvest. My mom and I felt like real pioneer women after making this bread for the first time. Kevin says this makes the best toast.

Kaye makes 4 loaves at a time in her Bosch. My Kitchen Aid will only fit the dough for 2 loaves, which is about the right amount for my family anyway.

Learning to make bread has been a process for me. It has always tasted good, but I had a hard time making it look pretty. I finally got a loaf I'm not embarrassed to post a picture of. I've decided the key for me is to not let it rise too long in the bread pan. I fold the dough before I put it in the pan, and then I have to tuck and roll under a little bit more to get the top nice and tight.

My most recent batch, the loaf I thought was going to look the best when I put them into the oven rose a little too much over the top of the pan, so that when it came out of the oven it was hanging over the edge just a little bit. This loaf I took a picture of didn't look as good when I put it in the pan. In fact, it didn't even fill the ends of the pan. But it filled out as it rose and baked and ended up looking the prettiest. I'd love to have you post your bread making tips and tricks in the comments.

Warning: Before you start making this bread, set out a stick of butter so it will be soft when the bread comes out of the oven. Because there's nothing better than some soft butter spread on a slice of bread hot out of the oven and you will be sad if you don't have any.

Into the Kitchen Aid (with the dough hook attachment):

2 3/4 c. warm water
2 Tbl. yeast
1/8 c. sugar (about - depending on your sweet tooth!)


1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. honey
1/4 loosely packed brown sugar
1 Tbl. salt
1 1/2 Tbl. lecithin (optional - powdered or liquid)
3 to 3 1/2 c. red wheat flour (2 c. wheat into the wheat grinder yields me 3 c. wheat flour)
3 c. white flour (or until the sides of the bowl are clean)

I use 7 - 7 1/2 c. of flour total.

Remove bowl and let rise 1 hour. Scrape down the sides and turn onto oiled counter.

Cut dough in half with sharp knife. Form into loaves and place in greased pans. Allow dough to rise 1 inch above bread pan.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.

Originally posted 1/15/07 without picture

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My Favorite Omelet Combo

This is my favorite omelet combo. We'll even have them for dinner or lunch sometimes.

2 eggs, or 1 egg and 1 egg white
pico de gallo

I have a small 6 inch fry pan that works perfect for omelets. I turn the heat to 7 (medium high heat), spray with PAM and cook the ham, mushrooms, and pico de gallo until the mushrooms are soft. Transfer this mixture to a bowl.

Whip up your eggs in a separate bowl, spray the pan with PAM non stick cooking spray again, and when your pan is hot add your egg mixture and evenly distribute eggs around the pan. You may have to scrape down the edges.

When the eggs are mostly cooked through, add cheese, ham, mushrooms, pico de gallo, and salsa.

Fold the omelet in half and let it gel together for a few seconds before transferring to a plate.

Bon appetit, omelette du fromage.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Scrambled Eggs

So I know scrambled eggs are probably one of those things where YOU DON'T NEED A RECIPE...

so why is it that everyone' scrambled eggs turn out so differently?

My dad makes some mighty fine tasting breakfasts. He is famous for them. I learned how to make scrambled eggs from him.

In my opinion and per my dad's instructions, there are 3 things you need for great tasting scrambled eggs. I have learned from my own experience when I left one of the 3 out.

1. water
2. salt
3. cheese

I've been taught you add water to eggs, milk to french toast.

The tricky part is figuring out the amounts of each. I never measure, I've just gotten a feel. You will too.

1. Whip up your eggs in a bowl. Add a shot or two of water from the tap. (shot meaning a real precise measurement of turning the water on and off again really quickly). If you add too little water, the eggs won't be very fluffy. If you add too much, once the eggs are done cooking you'll have some water leftover in the pan. Not a big deal. Whip the water into the egg mixture.

2. I like my pan on a medium high heat. That's a 7 on my stovetop. Spray your pan with non stick cooking spray if you think you'll need it.

3. When your pan is hot, dump the eggs into the frypan.

4. Salt to taste. My taste, eggs need a fair amount of salt. Eggs without salt taste nasty. I salt the pan as I would if it was vegetables on my plate at the dinner table, but like I said, I like salt, especially with my veggies. BUT: My husband, who is not an over-salter like me, approves.

5. Add cheese, also to taste. Last time I made 10 eggs for my family, I used between 1 cup and a cup and half of colby jack cheese.

6. Stir until eggs are cooked through and not slimy. Serve with ketchup or salsa if you like. My best batches? They're so good they don't even NEED ketchup or salsa.

Our favorite stir ins while the eggs are cooking:

leftover taco meat (even with the kidney beans in it)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sour Cream Cookies

UPDATE: Emily made these and I loved her variation on the frosting.

Emily said: "If you like my hieroglyphic cookies, here's what you do: add more milk to thin the Browned Butter Icing, be too scared to brown the butter and just melt it real good, and use a Ziploc to make random squiggles/cave paintings. And then give them to all your favorite people that don't know Japanese."

Cool, no? Thanks, Emily!

The original recipe is below.

I got this recipe from my aunt Lisa, who made them for our bus tour for my grandparents 50th anniversary. I had never had them before, but these cookies are GOOD.

I think they must be the softest cookie I've ever had. Because when I accidentally left them sitting on the counter for too long, I expected them to be dried out and hard - but they were still as soft as when they came out of the oven!

1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. sifted flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. sour cream

Cream butter and brown sugar; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla. Sift dry indredients together and add alternating with sour cream to creamed mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes. (I do 7 or 8). Cool and frost. Makes 6 dozen.

Frost with Brown Butter Frosting.

Brown 3 tablespoons butter, add 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon milk, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Beat until smooth. Be careful not to brown the butter in the frosting too much. :)

Originally posted 11/14/06 without picture

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Today marks 3 months since I added sitemeter to my site to keep track of how many visitors I'm getting here.

Even as infrequently as I post, I'm getting a good amount of traffic.

So, thanks to everyone out there in cyberspace for the support. My family (okay, mostly my dad) can't believe I have that much site traffic.

("I mean, I know you have friends, but who are all these people?!")

Love you Dad. :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

M&M Cookies by color

Baby shower, anyone?

You could use specific color M&Ms to make these cookies fit any special occasion.

School colors
Holiday colors
Baby showers

Anyone have any other ideas?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A Beautiful Spread

It's all about Presentation.

Sometimes knowing how to serve your food makes all the difference.

So here are some pictures from a recent gathering I attended where the food looked as good as it tasted. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

Use Those Cookie Cutters

Use those cookie cutters and rock those little scout's worlds.

My sister made these when my brothers received a scout award. I should know which award it was, but I am still learning. (Primary President and Stake Primary President, don't listen)

Someone more versed in scouts, please help me out here.

To make these, start with brownies, then work your magic with the cookie cutters, frosting and powdered sugar.

Or it just might be that my mom is the only person in the world who has cookie cutters in these shapes.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ego Boost, Kitchen Edition

My enthusiastic 3 year old watched me make dinner last night.

"Wow, Mom! You're the best cooker ever!"

I think this child might have been born to our family for the sole reason of giving me compliments.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I was feeling generous a few days ago. I thought it would be nice for my family to wake up to the smell of bacon. Because this never happens at my house.

They woke up alright, but instead informed me that it smelled like smoke and that the smoke hurt their eyes. You're welcome.

But Kevin said it smelled really good so I'm going with his opinion. Which means a lot because the first time I made bacon after we got married I insisted that the bacon be crispy, instead of slimy.

And we ended up with grey bacon ash.

So really, if it did smell like bacon smoke and bacon ash, Kevin of all people would know. And he said the bacon was good.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Orange Chicken and Spring Rolls

Now, I'll be up front with you from the get go. This is not a homemade recipe.

But the point is, my family thought it was. They raved about it. They all thought it was so good my husband wondered aloud why I had never ever made Chinese in all of our married life together. Which is the reason I'm posting it up here.

I figured they knew it was from a box. But they didn't. I kind of burst the bubble when I pointed to the empty boxes on the counter.

[photo credit:
This is the same brand I used.
She also had a recipe for additional sauce to spoon over the rice.]

So we loved the orange chicken. The white steamed rice with it was a tasty combination. The spring rolls were a hit, but I didn't realize they were fried so I would try a lower calorie option next time.

Even my picky three year old believed us when we told him they were chicken nuggets with the ketchup already on.

Thumbs down on the Rice a Roni Fried Rice. Which we probably could have guessed before hand, but I like their chicken flavor and I really like their spanish rice with the tomatoes in it so I figured I would give it a try. Won't be making it again.

I got the orange chicken and spring rolls from Costco. It was fast, it was easy, the family scarfed it.

With leftovers I added a little water so it wouldn't dry out as I heated it and it ended up making a little more sauce, enough to spoon over the rice. It was really good this way.

Semi-homemade at it's finest. My only tip is: put away the boxes and take full credit for the meal.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Spike Chicken Salad

Spike Chicken breasts
1-2 heads Romaine lettuce
purple onion
black beans
parmesan cheese
Light Ranch Dressing, or dressing of your choice

Prepare your Spike Chicken. I can't get enough of this stuff. It's just too easy and way too delicious.

While the chicken is cooking, make a bed of romaine and top with tomatoes, onions, blacks beans, olives, and croutons according to taste.

Slice the chicken into thin strips, about a quarter of an inch wide. Lay chicken across top of salad. (I used a whole breast for each adult and less for the kids.)

Top with parmesan cheese and Light Ranch Dressing.

Yummmmm. Feels and tastes like a restaurant salad. Serve it up with some cold lemonade and you'll have a refreshing summery dinner.

I made the salads up on each plate individually and just set the premade salad in front of my family when it was time to eat.