Sunday, July 31, 2011

Barbacoa Restaurant

Jason and I discovered Barbacoa about a month ago and have been a couple times since. Each time, I get the Burrito Soup. Yum! I have the do it "meatless". I love the broth, and how it has hominy in it. I also have them put lots of pico in the soup. So good! Highly recommend it. Jason always gets a burrito. It is not a wet burrito (which I prefer), but Jason says it's really good.

It is just a block away from Blue Lemon

272 E 12300 S # 100, Draper, UT

Kids eat free with a purchase of an adult entree.

Ramen Cabbage Salad

I don't have a photo of this, I will post one when I make it next time.

1 bag of shredded cabbage
1 package of chicken ramen
a bunch of chopped green onions

1/2 vegetable oil
3T sugar
the seasoning pack from the ramen
splash of soy sauce
3T white vinegar

Easy stuff: Mix the cabbage with crushed ramen, and chopped green onions. Put dressing ingredients in a jar and shake. Poor over salad and serve immediately.

Sometimes I do variations like adding peanut butter to the dressing to make it more "asian", or adding extra veggies (diced carrots, green pepper, red pepper).


Mountain West Burrito


kind of bland but ingredients make up for the lack of wow

Fresh apricot sauce

I just had the best dessert ever!

I was looking for something to do with the fresh apricots we picked from our tree yesterday so I paged through my favorite cookbook and found a recipe for Sunrise-Sunset Sauce from Jane Brody's Good Food Gourmet. I made it tonight and had it with berries and Costco's non fat Greek yogurt. It was like eating an incredibly healthy and delicious version of cheesecake.

I'm going to try it on Joelle's oatmeal pancakes tomorrow.

Here's the quick and easy recipe

Sunrise-Sunset Sauce

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 pound fresh apricots, pitted and quartered
2 cups (1 pint) strawberries, hulled and halved
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  1. Combine sugar and water in large saucepan and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Add apricots and cook for 15 minutes or until very soft.
  3. Puree mixture in blender or food processor. Transfer puree to the saucepan, and add strawberries and lemon juice. Simmer for 1 minutes until strawberries are tender but still intact.
  4. Cover bowl and cool for 2 hours or longer.
As I was typing this, I realized I didn't follow the recipe correctly. I pureed the cooked apricots, with the strawberries, and lemon juice and didn't cook it any more after that. My version was so good, I don't know if I will change it.

Added later: I made it correctly with the sliced strawberries and it was equally good.

5 minute whole wheat bread

I really want to try this recipe for easy european style whole wheat bread from the Former Chef blog.

The concept is from the book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Seminary Drink!

3 cups sugar
4 cups water
1 (12 oz) can of Orange Juice
1 1/2 cups lemon
1 T almond
2 t vanilla extract
1/4 t cloves
all spice (a bit)
4 quarts water

This is the infamous seminary drink. It is great to serve at a winter gathering and is quick to make.

Indian Bread - The recipe Dad used to follow

2 cups of flour
1 t of baking powder
1/2 t of salt

When the 5 J's were young, they loved this!

Creme Fraiche

A staple in french cuisine, and widely used throughout Europe, creme fraiche is similar to sour cream with a superior full, rich flavor. It can be reduced and thickened without curdling, and can also be whipped like double cream. It is an excellent addition to all sorts of soups and sauces. And any kind of cultured milk product has beneficial bacteria that heals the gut and helps with digestion and nutrient absorption, so eat up! It's good for you!!

To make homemade creme fraiche:

1 pint good-quality cream (raw cream is best, but pasteurized works. Do not use ultrapasteurized.)
1 tablespoon whole-milk buttermilk (not ultrapasteurized, and without additives)

Stir buttermilk into cream in a clean glass jar. Cover tightly and leave at room temperature to culture for 24-48 hours, until thick, slightly sour, and creamy.

Jason's Macaroni and Cheese


Half a bag of chopped frozen onions

salt and pepper

2 cloves of garlic (we always guess on the garlic)

2 extra large chicken boulion cubes (1 cube equals 4 costco size cubes

Butter for sauteeing

1 cup flour

3 cups water

2 cans lowfat condensed milk

1/2 pound of cheese cut into cubes

2 bags of macaroni noodles.

Sautee onions, chicken boulion cubes , and garlic in butter. Once sauteed, add condensed milk, 3 cupes of water, and stir in flour to thinken. Add cheese and stir until it melts.

Add cooked macaroni noodles to cheese mixture and stir. Sprinkle paprika on top. Place in a casserole dish and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

It tastes the best when it is slightly crispy on top. Our favorite side dish with this meal is fruit salad. (Submitted by Jenny Moyer)

Augratin Potatoes - Just like the French make it!

Peel and thinly slice 8-10 potatoes. (We like yukon gold.)
Stir fry potato slices in pastured butter or olive oil until soft, but still slightly firm. Do not overcook, or they will be mushy!
In a buttered casserole dish, spread half the potatoes, and sprinkle with salt and fresh pepper. Cover with a layer of creme fraiche, then a generous amount of shredded gruyere cheese (or any cheese you like). Repeat the three layers once more, ending with the cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, and then reduce to 350, and bake until potatoes are tender, and top is golden. YUMMMMM!!!

European Bread - A favorite of our missionary couples

Also known as "No-Knead Bread"

(Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery)

Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

Tarte flambée (Flammeküeche) From our trip to the Alsace

Ingredients to serve 4

500 g (1 lb) bread dough – 2 onions – 60 g (2 ½ oz) smoked bacon (small pieces) – a bit of butter - 20 cl (6 oz) thick crème fraîche – 20 cl (6 oz) fromage blanc (soft white cheese) – 1 tablespoon colza oil – salt, pepper and nutmeg


• Preheat the oven to 270 °C (thermostat 9 – 520 °F).
• Slice the onions thinly and brown them in a pan with the butter.
• Remove the onions from the pan and fry the bacon in it for a few minutes, without adding fat.
• Mix the cream, the fromage blanc, the onions and the bacon bits. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
• Roll the dough in a thin layer on a baking sheet.
• Cover the dough with the mixture of fromage blanc / onions / bacon and pour a tablespoon of oil over.
• Bake 10 minutes.

Please note: this recipe may be made with grated Swiss cheese, fresh mushrooms or Munster cheese.

Chinese Chicken Salad

(This was pretty easy and the dressing was super yummy!I prefer the chicken shredded instead of chopped)

For Dressing
4 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce
3 tbsp peanut butter
3 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp Asian chili paste
1 1/2 tsp ginger, grated
4 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil

In a small bowl, combine, whisk and set aside.

For Salad
2-3 large cooked chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, shredded or chopped into chunks
Sesame seeds, toasted
1 Head Napa cabbage, chopped
1 Head Romaine, chopped
About 10 snap peas, ends snipped and julienned (optional)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and shredded or julienned
3/4 cup peanuts, chopped
1 bunch (about 8) green onions, white and light green parts chopped crosswise

In a really large salad bowl, combine cabbage, romaine, snap peas, cilantro and green onions and toss gently. Sprinkle in the sesame seeds and peanuts. Add the chicken. Pour in the dressing and toss. Serves 4.



1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.

Sauteed Filet Mignon

(We were really needing a yummy treat on this diet and this was exactly what we were looking for! I bought 2 nice filets (the kids got leftover meatloaf) and served it with smashed cauliflower and green beans)

2 filet mignon steaks
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cut beef broth
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp butter (it's optional justin!!!)

-season the filets generously with salt and pepper. Saute in a heavy skillet over medium high heat with a little oil until steaks are medium/medium rare. Remove and cover to keep warm.
-pour off all but 1 tbsp of the fat, leaving any meat juices in the pan. reduce heat to medium and saute the garlic for 15 seconds. Add the wine and scrape up any browned bits from the pan. Raise heat and reduce to a syrup. Pour in the stock, soy sauce and vinegar. Boil until the sauce just reduces to a syrup. Remove from heat and stir in butter, if you wish (it adds fat but gives the sauce a velvety texture. Taste for salt and pepper. Pour over the filets and serve. This was so yummy!!!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Diet Pancakes???

Rachel says these are better than regular pancakes! The vita mix is perfect for this. Make it extra healthy by cooking them with a little cooking spray instead of butter and serving with just a touch of syrup. I used the nutmeg syurp from Trinidad. They are very filling - yet somehow Rachel still ate 4 of them.

1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
6 eggs
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or 1/4 cup whole wheat and 1/4 cup barley flour)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Pinch of salt
Dash of vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk

Blend or food process first six ingredients on high until smooth. Add milk slowly to reach batter consistency. Cook on a hot, nonstick griddle. Number of pancakes vary by size. Serves 6.

Nutritional Information: (per serving)Calories: 225 Protein: 13 g Fiber: 1.5 g
Carbs: 9 g Fat Total: 15 g Saturated Fat: 3 g

Pannekoeken (Our favorite Dutch Pancakes)

1 c. flour
1 c. milk
4 eggs
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of salt
Apple pie filling (optional)
Ham and cheese (optional)
Bacon and mushrooms or other desired toppings (optional)
Powdered sugar or syrup (optional)

Heat 2-4 tablespoons butter in 9-inch deep dish pie pan (metal) in preheating oven at 400 degrees.

Mix flour, milk, eggs, nutmeg and salt. Beat lightly, leaving lumps. Pour into hot pie pan. Bake 20 minutes until puffy and brown. Serves 4.

Delicious plain with butter and powdered sugar or syrup.

For apple Pannekoeken, spoon 1 can apple pie filling over batter before baking.

Other options: Sprinkle ham and cheese, bacon and mushrooms or desired topping before baking.

German Pancakes





German Pancakes II


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Melt butter in a medium baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, milk, eggs and salt. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake on center rack in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.

Sour Dough Pancakes

This assumes that you have some of my starter in the fridge--just waiting to be taken out and fed.

The night before, mix well (to incorporate some air) 1 cup of your sourdough starter with 1½ cups of all purpose flour and 1 cup of warm water (85°-90°). Leave at warm room temperature (70°-85°) overnight, covered well with plastic wrap.

The next morning, return 1 cup of the starter mixture to the fridge.

Then mix the remaining 1½ cups of starter with

1 egg, slightly beaten
1 Tablespoon of sugar (or more if you like)
1 Tablespoon of melted butter
¾ Teaspoon of salt

After you have mixed the previous ingredients, then mix:
½ teaspoon (generous) of baking soda
2 Tablespoons of milk

And then mix everything together.

Try to have your ingredients at room temperature. This will help to make more tender pancakes.

Bake on a 400° griddle. Enjoy!

Key lime bar recipe to try

Someone try making these key lime bars from Mel's Kitchen Cafe and share how they taste

Baked Brown Rice

Another favorite from This recipe fooled John. He could not tell that he was eating brown rice.

*Note: This recipe doubles beautifully for a 9X13-inch pan.

*Makes about 3 1/2 cups cooked rice

1 1/2 cups brown rice 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water (if using water, add 1 teaspoon salt)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8X8-inch or 9X9-inch baking pan. Place the rice in the prepared pan and pour in the liquid. Stir to equally distribute the rice. Cover tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes before removing the aluminum foil and fluffing with a fork. If your rice still has a bit of liquid on the bottom or conversely, if it is dried out, adjust the baking time up or down to make changes. Variations: Before baking, slice one small yellow onion into dices or half moons and caramelize and brown in 1 teaspoon of olive oil until golden and soft (about 10 minutes in a nonstick skillet). Stir onion into rice and broth mixture and bake according to recipe.

After removing rice from the oven and letting it sit for five minutes, remove aluminum foil and stir in the zest and juice from 1 lemon, 1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 apple, finely diced.

Oatmeal Pancake Mix

Diane's modification:
I don't add the oil to the mix - just the dry ingredients. I grind the oats to flour in the vitamix and store the mix in the refrigerator.
To make pancakes - I combine 1 cup mix, 1 cup liquid, 1 egg, and 1 Tbs oil.

This recipe is taken from a food blog that I visit regularly ( I have made this a few times and LOVE it. I keep the mix handy in the fridge and try to keep buttermilk on hand as well but when I am out I make a substitute with milk, lemon juice and a little plain yogurt. Mom made the mix without the oil and just added a bit when mixing the batter. They turned out great and the mix would then not need to be refrigerated.

*Note (added 3/2011): I’ve updated this recipe several times to reflect that I generally use 100% whole wheat flour (five cups total, instead of using 2 cups of all-purpose flour). I prefer white wheat flour, although red wheat could be used and will lend an even heartier taste to the mix. Also, I made it the other day and before I added the oats to the mix, I threw them in my blender (yep, blender) and pulverized them to a powder. We loved the result! Loved it. Although the texture with the unblended oats is fantastic in it’s own right, blending the oats lends a smooth texture to the mix and finished pancakes. I’ll be doing it that way from now on!
*Makes 10 cups of dry mix
3 1/2 cups rolled (quick) oats 3 cups whole wheat flour 2 cups all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons sugar 3 tablespoons baking powder 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon baking soda 1 cup vegetable or canola oil (I left out the oil and added it when making pancakes)
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a mixer with a paddle (or by hand). If desired, grind the oats in a blender or food processor before adding to the other dry ingredients for a smoother mix. With mixer on slow speed (or gently by hand), drizzle the vegetable oil into the bowl slowly while the mixer is running. When all the oil has been added, stop the mixer and squeeze a clump of mix in your hand. If it stays together, it is just right. If it is still crumbly, add another tablespoon of oil at a time until the consistency is correct (I’ve never had to add additional oil). Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature or indefinitely in the refrigerator or freezer.
To make the pancakes: whisk together 1 cup of mix, 1 cup buttermilk (a combination of half plain yogurt and half milk will also work), and 1 egg. The mixture may seem thin at first but the oats will soak up the milk as it stands while the griddle preheats. Heat a griddle and drop the batter onto it. When the edges look dry and bubbles come to the surface and don’t break, turn the pancake over to finish cooking on the second side. As a sidenote, buttermilk can be frozen indefinitely for future batches of pancakes, so it’s worth keeping it around!
*1 cup of mix will make about 6-7 4-inch pancakes.

A chocolate snob's hot cocoa recipe


I am a chocolate snob

I love it - but it's got to be top quality

Can you believe this? Before we even left the mission field to come home, I had already put in an order for Sharffen Berger unsweetened cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate (professional size) to be delivered and waiting for me?

(you can buy it online here)

Here's a little of my food philosophy:
  • I don't need lots, but it has to taste fabulous
  • I want to slowly savor every bite
  • A little extra effort is worth it
  • Simple quality foods taste best

Now to the hot cocoa

My husband and I have been enjoying regular "put your feet up, relax and chat" hot cocoa breaks for years. I am convinced this has cured me of dessert cravings. Who needs rich dessert after slowly sipping fabulous chocolate. And the great thing is - this is a very low calorie treat! On top of that it's extremely good for you (scroll to the bottom to read a quote).

First - you must get quality cocoa powder. It's worth it, believe me. Sorry Hersheys, but even your Special Dark doesn't work for me. Most good grocery stores carry some quality brands. Here are two reasonably priced brands I like:

cadbury cocoa

Van Houten
van houten cocoa

Of course you can also buy top quality expensive brands like Valrhona, Green and Blacks, or Dagoba at specialty stores. Why not treat yourself and collect a few? You only need a couple of teaspoonfuls per cup of cocoa so it goes a long way.

Here's my current collection (sure to grow)

Each one tastes a little different - I use more than one brand sometimes for variety.

The very simple Hot Cocoa recipe:
  • Choose your favorite mug(s) and fill about 3/4 full with milk. Skim is delicious but you can up the fat level if you want a richer treat.
  • Heat it in the microwave - about 1 1/2 minutes per mug.
  • Meanwhile add about 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder and 1-2 teaspoons of sugar per cup of milk plus a pinch of salt to a blender (vitamix preferred). You will have to play with the proportions here. If you have a sweet tooth you may need more sugar at first but try to decrease it over time. Some cocoa powders are stronger than others so amounts will vary. You can always add more cocoa or sugar after blending and tasting. Be sure to make it plenty chocolaty!
  • Add hot milk to blender and mix on high a few seconds until frothy. Be careful when using most blenders because they can leak and spray! You may want to hold a paper towel over the top and increase speed gradually. I use a vitamix and the top seals nicely.
  • I like to top my cocoa with canned whipping cream and it's fun, on special occasions, to sprinkle a little shaved or grated chocolate on top. Nutmeg or cinnamon is nice too. In the West Indies, all I could get was boxed milk. It tasted so bad that I usually added a pinch of cinnamon with the cocoa powder - it was great!

Hot Cocoa recipe summary
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 1-2 tsp cocoa poweder (to taste)
  • 1-2 tsp sugar (to taste)
  • pinch of salt
  • Blend until frothy
You can try spice variations - add cinnamon, nutmeg, or a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Now - I need to find time to write a post on the health benefits of chocolate. Here's one quick article link and quote:

"Cup of cocoa may keep the doctor away"

"Dr Chang Yong Lee and colleagues at Cornell University in New York carried out tests to measure antioxidants levels in tea, red wine and cocoa. A cup of cocoa came out on top. Their study found it was twice as rich in antioxidants as a glass of red wine, up to three times richer than a cup of green tea and up to five times richer than black tea."

Tart Frozen Yogurt

I don't know about the rest of the country, but in Utah Valley frozen yogurt is the rage. My husband and I returned home (after being away three years) to find loads of new yogurt places scattered around the valley. Of course we had to make the tour and try them out. I love plain tangy frozen yogurt with fresh berries on top! I think I ate it at least every other day for our first few weeks home. Yesterday my daughter shared a recipe to make it at home. I tried it this morning and ....

tangy frozen yogurt's perfect!

Here's the recipe:
  • 2 cups lowfat or regular plain Greek yogurt (it's thicker than normal - I love Greek Gods brand)
  • 2 cups plain whole milk yogurt (I love Brown Cow brand)
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar (I didn't have any so I put regular sugar in blender for a few minutes)
  • 3 TBS corn syrup (I didn't have any so I used honey)
  • Mix together and freeze in ice cream freezer

    Serve with fresh fruit on top

    Enjoy being naughty and healthy - all at the same time

    "Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness." Ezekiel 3:3

    Diane's Dad's dill pickles

    I used to can them in the summers - but that was ages ago. Recently I discovered the Costco bag of a dozen or so small tender cucumbers. I brine them and put what's left after sampling in the refrigerator. Here's the recipe:

    Put the following into a large glass jar or bowl:
    Sliced cucumbers (I cut them lengthwise)
    3-4 cloves garlic (sliced)
    piece of hot pepper or pinch of pepper flakes
    dry or fresh dill stalks or seeds

    Bring the following to a boil:
    1 1/3 cups vinegar
    1 quart water
    1/3 cup salt

    Pour over cucumbers. Cool and store in refrigerator.

    Quinoa salad

    We are into Quinoa lately. It's supposed to be a wonder grain - great source of protein and all kinds of good things. We bought a big bag of it at Costco so I went hunting for a good recipe. I came across this Citrus Quinoa salad that was fabulous

    Citrus Quinoa Salad

    1 cup quinoa
    1 cup diced cucumber
    1/2 cup diced figs or dried apricots or raisins
    1/2 cup drained canned mandarin orange sections, halved (I used the whole little can)
    1/4 cup sunflower seeds or toasted almonds
    2 green onions, diced
    2 Tbs chopped coriander or parsley

    1 tsp grated lemon or lime rind
    3 Tbs lemon or lime juice
    1 Tbs sesame oil (I used olive oil)
    1 tsp sugar
    1/4 tsp each ground cumin and coriandor
    salt and pepper

    Rinse quinoa and drain. In saucepan bring 2 cups water to a boil; stir in quinoa. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is transparent; drain and let cool.

    In salad bowl combine quinoa, cucumber, figs, orange sections, sunflower seeds, onions and coriander.

    Dressing: In small bowl mix lemon rind and juice, sesame oil, sugar, cumin and coriander; pour over salad and toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

    Makes 8 servings of about 1/2 cup each (it was so good I ate 2 cups)