August: Potlucks!

August Theme: Potlucks. What do you take with you?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Elephant Stew

This is one of my Husband's favorite recipes. Though it is a little time consuming.


* 1 medium elephant
* 2 (50 gallon) containers broth
* 500 lbs assorted fresh vegetables, chopped
* 2 rabbits (optional)


1. Cut elephant into bite-size pieces. This should take about 2-3 months.
2. Using large kettles, simmer equal parts elephant and vegetables with enough broth to cover.
3. Cook for a couple days. Until meat is cooked to desired tenderness.
4. Recipe originally serve 3,500, but if more people are expected add the rabbits, but do this only if necessary, as most people don't like to find hare in their stew.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


This is quite an involved recipe, but you can take short cuts (like using premade pasta). I got it from my mom who served her mission in Italy. It's one of my favorites . . . and with keeping to this month's theme, perfect for a romantic evening.

1 ½ cups flour
1 egg
1 egg white
1 T olive oil
½ tsp salt
1 T water
(Or you may use canneloni or manicotti premade pasta...the trick is to cut the tubes after cooking them to stuff with filling and roll them up seam side down in the pan.)

2 T olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen spinach thawed and squeezed dry
1 lb lean ground beef
¼ cup parmesan cheese
2 T heavy cream
2 eggs slightly beaten
¾ tsp crumbled oregano leaves
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp coarsely ground pepper

Béchamel sauce:
4 T butter
4 T flour
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper

Tomato sauce:
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 (32 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp dried sweet basil
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp coarsely ground pepper

¼ cup parmesan cheese
3 T butter

To Prepare Pasta: Mix pasta ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until dough forms a ball. Cover and let rest 30 minute. On a floured board roll pasta into a thin 12 x 16 inch rectangle. Cut in 32 rectangles, each measuring 2x3 inches. (or use a pasta machine) In a stockpot bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add pasta, stir gently and cook for 6-7 minutes. Drain, cool slightly and lay on paper towels to dry.

To prepare filling, sauté onion in oil in a large skillet until translucent. Add spinach and cook until moisture has evaporated. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Brown ground beef in the same skillet, drain any grease and add to spinach mixture. Add parmesan, cream, eggs, oregano, salt and pepper: Set aside.

To prepare Béchamel: Make a roux of the butter and the flour in a medium size saucepan: do not brown. Add milk and cram all at once. Whisk briskly until thickened Season with salt and white pepper, remove from heat and set aside.

To prepare tomato sauce: In a large saucepan make tomato sauce. Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the remaining 7 ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Before assembling Canneloni, whirl sauce in a blender or strain through a sieve if desired. Preheat oven to 375°.

To assemble canneloni, place a heaping T of filling on to each pasta rectangle and roll up. Pour 1 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a lag baking dish. Lay the canneloni side-by-side in one layer over the sauce. Pour Béchamel sauce over cannelloni and spoon the remaining tomato sauce over all.

Sprinkle with parmesan and dot with butter. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until cheese melts and sauce bubbles. Place under broiler for 30 second to brown on top.

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes

For those of you that know Melissa Frantz, I got this recipe from her. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing it with you. These are by far my favorite breakfast ever! And perfect for Valentine's Day. (I know, I'm a little late.)

Try these. You won't be sorry! (I usually double the pancake part because we eat so many)

Pancake Batter:

½ c milk
¼ c sugar
1 egg
2 TBSP unsalted melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ c small curd cottage cheese
1 tsp lemon zest minced

Whisk milk, sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla together in a large bowl. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl then add to the egg mixture until just incorporated.( it can be a little lumpy). Blend in cottage cheese and zest. Cook on the griddle on medium heat makes 8 pancakes

Candied Graham Crackers
Mix together:

4 TBSP unsalted butter (melted)
1 c graham crackers crushed (4-5 crackers)
2 TBSP sugar
½ t ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

Sweetened Sour Cream
Whisk together 1 cup sour cream and a ¼
cup powdered sugar, then chill.

Fresh Strawberry Sauce
4 c fresh strawberries in halves
¼ c sugar
¼ c water
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp orange zest minced

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to boil reduce heat and simmer 7 minutes or until strawberries soften.

Layer pancakes, strawberries, sweet cream and crumbs for the most delicious breakfast ever!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Twice Baked Potatoes

sour cream
garlic powder

Bake potatoes in oven on 400 for about an hour or until soft. Gently cut the top off enough to be able to scoop out the insides. Throw away the top or eat as a separate snack. Mash potatoes with the rest of the ingredients, slowly adding each one until you get the right taste. Carefully stuff back into potato skins making sure not to rip the skins. Top with cheese and put back in oven on cookie sheet until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Chicken Scampi

1/2 C butter
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C finely chopped green onions
1 T minced garlic
juice of one lemon
2 chicken breasts boned
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 C fresh parsley, minced
1 tomato, chopped

In skillet, hear together butter & olive oil & saute' green onions & garlic. Add lemon juice, chicken, salt, pepper, parsley. Continue cooking, stirring constantly for 5-8 minutes or until chicken's done. Add tomatoes & heat through. Serve over noodle of your choice, I like spaghetti noodles with this, but whatever you want. Just a hint, the lemon juice is the key ingredient, I just keep adding until it tastes super yummy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Marble Squares

Combine, mix well and set aside:
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese (works best if it is softened before you mix it)
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg

In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil:
1/2 cup margarine
2 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup water

Sift together dry ingredients into a large bowl:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Add to the dry ingredients:
saucepan ingredients (margarine, chocolate, and water)
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

Mix well and pour into a large cookie sheet with sides.

Drop spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture atop the brownie mix. Cut through with a knife to marble.

Top with chocolate chips (I prefer the Guittard brand)

Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

For a romantic twist, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Creamy Tomatoe Fondue Sauce

This is a recipe I got from my good friend, Jessica. She made it for a baby shower and it was so amazing, I had to get the recipe. This recipe is actually for fondue, but I have made a meal of it. I don't have a fondue pot- I just used a small crock pot. Also, I bought my tortellini noodles in the bulk section at Winco. I just boiled them up with a bit of salt and olive oil and they tasted great! (You could probably use any kind of noodle though if you are going to make it a meal.) If I were going to serve it again as a meal over noodles, I think I would add a little bit more liquid to the sauce- maybe apple juice or a bit of cream or milk. It is very rich and this makes a big batch, but it is SO delicous! Hope you try this one out!

Creamy Tomato Sauce (Originally for Fondue)
1 T Olive Oil
1 med Onion, chopped
2 tsp Garlic, minced
1 28oz can Diced Italian Tomatoes with Oregano, Basil and Garlic
1 c. Apple Juice
2 8oz Cream Cheese, cut in 1” cubes
1 c. Monterrey Jack Cheese – shredded (I used mozzarella)

Dip ideas:
French Bread, Cubed Mozzarella, Pepperoni, Tortellini, Green Peppers, Bagel Chips

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until onion is very soft. Add the tomatoes, and apple juice. Simmer 10 min, until liquid is almost completely reduced. Add the cheese and heat, stirring constantly, until melted. Pour into a fondue pot, over medium heat.
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Vanilla wafers (about 18)
2 (8 oz.) cream cheese
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. lemon juice (optional)

Place 1 vanilla wafer in bottom of each cup cake liner. Beat cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice. Fill cups 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cool. Put cherry pie filling on top.

German Chocolate Cake

3 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons Cocoa
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 teaspoon Vinegar
2 cups Cold Water
3/4 cup Oil

Combine all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix. Pour in greased cake pan. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

1 cup Evaporated Milk
1 cup Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
1/2 cup Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Combine all ingredients. Mix well. Cook over medium heat on stovetop until thickened, about 12 minutes. Add 1/3 cup Coconut and 1 cup Chopped Nuts. Pour over cake.

This recipe is really easy and tastes so good. It is fun to use different kinds of nuts. Walnuts are good, but I really like almonds. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Molten Chocolate Surprise

These are so yummy and easy! Dave isn't a huge fan of chocolate, I am, but these are his favorite! I got this from Kraft Foods via Baker's Chocolate, Pampered Chef also has a similar recipe, but we like the cookie idea better.

Click here for the link.
Recipe Rating: 5 Stars Prep Time: 15 min Total Time: 28 min Makes: 1 doz. or 12 servings, one cake each

4 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup flour
12 CHIPS AHOY! Cookies
1/2 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping OR, Real Heavy Whipping Cream, whipped

HEAT oven to 425°F. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir with whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Beat whole eggs, yolks, sugar and flour with whisk until blended. Gradually beat into chocolate mixture.

LINE 12 (2-1/2-inch) muffin cups with paper liners; spray with cooking spray. Place 1 cookie, upside-down, on bottom of each cup; cover with batter.

BAKE 8 min. or until cakes are firm around edges but still soft in centers. **(Watch them, because if the center firms you won't have the lava effect from the chocolate) Let stand 1 min. Carefully remove cakes from pan. Invert into dessert dishes; remove paper liners. Serve with whipped topping.

Cheesy Potato Soup

This is late and I'm counting it for Christmas and the Potato themes! I got this recipe from the enrichment when Heather Porter did the compiled recipe books in Moscow, but I changed it a little. We love it. I made it when my family was here for Christmas. It's pretty easy and fast and most of the time I have the ingredients. Feel free to change it to your taste!

Add to soup pot and boil:
-3 cups of water
-3 tsp. “Better than Bullion” OR (just use 3 cups of chicken stock instead)
-5 cups potatoes (I like to use red potatoes because you just wash them, cut them in small chunks and stick them in the pot. You can use whatever potato you want, and peel them if you want to as well, but be warned, if you peel them and cook it too long it turns into mashed potato soup. =))
-1 cup celery, diced
-1 cup carrots julienned, (In the produce aisle you can get a bag of them) or just chop or dice them
-1 cup onions, chopped

Boil until veggies are tender

While veggies are cooking:
Microwave 5 minutes in 2 quart glass bowl:
-3 cups milk
-½ cup butter or margarine
Stir, then add to pot

In a small Tupperware container that seals well, put in:
-1 cup milk
-1/4 -1/3 cup of flour
Seal container and hold tight to edges while you vigorously shake it until there are no lumps of flour.
While soup is boiling, slowly pour in flour mixture and stir.

To Finish:
-Add 2 tsp. (or to taste) Johnny’s Seasoning Salt, or other seasoning salt.
Boil and stir soup a few minutes.
-Then add 1 cup of cheese, or more if you like, and stir until blended. Sprinkle a little cheese on top of dished up soup. Voila! Makes 6 bowls. (But if you have 6 people over, you might want to double it, because they might want seconds...)