Sunday, March 27, 2011


No, these aren't the fried ones, but the baked ones. Although, we had those fried ones a lot too.

The memories are different though. later on in our family my dad started making scones. I don't know why, but he did. They started out simple, but soon he was adding craisins, nuts, whole wheat, graham you name it. Till finally you had a staple. Even to this day going home to visit I can count on waking up one morning to hot scones and a bowl of homemade yogurt. Eating them with tart yogurt is the only way to go.

2 cups flour (1/2 whole wheat if you want to try that)

2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup butter

1 cup chopped raisins, or nuts, or craisins...

3/4 cup buttermilk

Mix dry ingredients together.

Cut in butter till it is crumbly, with some pea sized pieces.

Add the buttermilk, mix until just incorporated.

Put on to the counter and knead 3 times.

Roll out about 1/2 inch and cut into triangles. Usually makes about 12 scones

Place on a baking sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar

bake at 425 for 15 mins.

also try adding other spices-cinnamon, ginger, orange zest, poppy seeds, the combinations are endless.

The best chocolate chip cookies

Okay, so my dad loves cookies. Maybe even more then most dads. In fact, I'm willing to bet. So consequently I grew up loving to bake cookies. After a long search, this is my favorite chocolate cookie recipe, I adapted it from this recipe my sister sent me "award winning soft chocolate chip cookies". But I've made them so much that now to us they are just "the chocolate chip cookies"

I remember in high school nearly every thursday night was cookie night. Maybe it was just because we needed a break before the weekend, or maybe it was because our favorite tv shows would be on tv. At any rate either mom or I would make some cookies and we would all sit down at the coffee table and eat them. Now I make them for my roommates all the time (i'm not exaggerating) I especially love using pistachio pudding. It just tastes better that way.

are you ready?

1 cup room temp margarine (yes I prefer margarine, although half butter is great too)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 3.4 oz pckg vanilla instant pudding

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

3 cups flour

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between. Add the pudding mixture and vanilla, beating till well mixed.

Add flour, soda, and salt. Mix a little then add the chocolate chips.

If the dough still sticks to your hands alot, add some more flour till it doesn't really stick.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden on the edges.

Eat with cold milk.

Pico de Gallo

This is another side that brightens up a lot of our meals. It goes so fast I don't think any of us realize all the veggies we are eating. We would always eat a lot of pico de gallo during the summer when we had more tomatoes then we knew what to do with, but it would never last long.

This recipe and the guacamole recipe come from Chevy's cookbook (as in Chevy's the restaurant). As a family we have gone there a few times, but it is my parents favorite, and they would always go there together on their dates to the temple in Portland Oregon

2 cups tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup white onions diced

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 1/2 tbsp jalapeno, stemmed seeded and minced

2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

combine all the ingredients. Serve chilled with tortilla chips, or on top of your meal.


I think, if our family could, we would eat guacamole everyday. I remember hating it as a child, but no one ever tried to convince me to eat it. So, when I finally tasted it I realized that people didn't care if I didn't eat it because it just meant more for them.

We always have it with our big mexican meals, or even the small ones. Our fast quesadilla dinners were greatly enhanced by a bowl of guac.

3 medium Avocados

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 cup pico de gallo

1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp jalapeno stemmed, seeded and minced

1 tsp salt

Pit the avocados. Score avocado meat without cutting through the skin (in a diagonal/diamond pattern). Scoop out with a large spoon and put in a mixing bowl.

Add lime jice and coat the pieces. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir/gently mash the mixture. Don't over mash, we like it chunky.

Serve on everything.

Cheese Ball

Every holiday season my mom would make this cheese ball recipe. It makes 2 cheese balls, and I always thought we could never eat them both, but we always did. I remember helping my mom make the cheese balls, probably because she hated getting her hands covered in gooey cheese, and probably so she could focus on the turkey. You can make it ahead of time, and leave it in the fridge.

16 oz cream cheese

1 small old english sharp cheese (kraft)

1 cup cheddar cheese

1 tbsp parsley

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp onion salt

garlic salt to taste

chopped walnuts

mix all ingredients well, then form into two balls. Roll in chopped nuts, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate. Serve with crackers--wheat thins, triscuits, those fancy kind, you name it.

Cinnamon rolls

All the time. This recipe makes about 15 big rolls, and if they are Malaska rolls they are big. This was a favorite for FHE treats, we always wanted to eat another one, but rarely could. The smell was tortuous, and sometimes the only thing keeping us all together in the front for FHE was knowing that at the end we would each get a big sticky cinnamon roll and a glass of cold milk.

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/4 tsp salt

1/2 margarine (or shortening)

2 tbsp yeast

1/3 cup warm water

3 eggs

5 1/2-6 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup room temp margarine

1/2 cup brown sugar cinnamon


1 stick room temperature butter

1/2 bag powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Combine milk, sugar, salt and margarine in microwave container and heat till the margarine melts.

Cool to luke warm. In a large bowl dissolve yeast in 1/3 cup warm water. Add milk mixture, eggs and flour. Mix with dough hook. Keep adding flour till the dough cleans the side of the bowl. Cover and let raise till doubled.

Roll out the dough into approximate 13X5 rectangle, or about 3/8 inch thick. Spread on about 1/4 cup softened margarine and 1/2 brown sugar. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Roll the long way and pinch the end closed. Slice the roll into about 15 sections, about 2 inches wide. Place flat side down into a greased glass pan, cover and let rise till doubled. Back at 350, for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. When done remove from pan immediately onto wax paper and let cool for a few minutes, then frost.


*warning: Just by making this recipe you can't make pizza that looks like this. Sorry. That requires a beautiful outdoor clay oven, and a handy dad.

so pizza. Our family eats a lot of pizza. Growing up our pizza Fridays were practically famous. Everyone's friends would come over just for the pizza every weekend.

Like many things our pizza recipe has evolved over the years. But this recipe is the staple, what our pizza would taste like back in 1998, when we didn't have a clay oven and a culinary genius dad (I mean, we have the same dad, but now he just has more time to study culinary genius things).

So here we go


1 pizza crust

1 tbsp yeast

1 cup warm water

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp oil

2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups flour

dissolve yeast in water.

add salt, oil, and 2 1/2 cups flour. Mix then slowly add more flour if needed.

Knead till smooth and not really sticky. Place in a greased bowl and let rise till doubled.

bake in a 450 degree oven with favorite toppings! Double, or triple as necessary.

... or quadruple.


2 cans tomato sauce

1 can tomato paste



italian/pizza seasoning

garlic salt

mix together, add spices to taste

Toppings: at least our favorites

black olives


artichoke hearts




mozzarella cheese


green pepper

So you know, just put it together like a pizza

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fresh Pasta

My dad served an LDS mission in Italy, so italian food has always been extra special in our family. For this recipe you probably want a pasta roller, you can roll it out by hand, but it doesn't get as thin.

Our family used fresh pasta most for chicken soup and raviolis. For the raviolis just food process tasty things together--cheese, sausage, spinach, ricotta, italian spices, onions, mushrooms, whatever. And fill them up.

This recipe is just approximate. Like most things we make, measurements are approximate. The process is fun and rewarding, but labor intensive, I won't lie to you. It is easier to make a box of macaroni. But, that doesn't taste half as good, and you can't have your kids in the kitchen helping you make pasta bow ties!

The method of mixing is traditional, and always how dad does it. Be ready to get a little messy.

Fresh Pasta
4 eggs
approximately 3 cups flour (semolina is nice, but all-purpose works just fine)

On the counter make a little mound of flour with the salt mixed in. Create a little bowl in the mound so that you have a wide volcano of flour.

Beat up the eggs and add a little water. Pour the eggs into the volcano and start whipping your fork around in the egg mixture. This will slowly grab flour from the edges of your volcano, and the mixture will slowly get thicker. If you mix too vigorously the egg will just break through your walls and pour all over the counter. It is really hard to mix it by hand that way. Once your egg mix is sufficiently thick that it won't ooze everywhere, start mixing the flour into it by hand. Only add as much flour as you need. Keep adding flour and kneading till you have a firm not-sticky dough. On a floured counter knead the dough till it is smooth. We want lots of gluten forming!

Ideally you should be able to make a "window" with a bit of the dough. Just take a piece, and wiggly it around till you stretch it out and you have a transparent bit. That means the dough has formed enough gluten and the noodles will have a good authentic texture to them.

After you are done cover the dough with a bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then put it through your pasta maker, or roll it out 1/8" thick, and cut it into pasta.

Bowl in salted water until the pasta is al dente. It should only take about 3 minutes. You can also dry the pasta and freeze it, and use it later. Just put the cut pasta on a rack and let it dry, make sure they don't stick together.

Serve with pesto, tomato sauce, browned butter and walnuts, or in chicken noodle soup.

here is a video with the mixing method I described. Dad also likes to add olive oil to the dough sometimes. Beautiful!

Shepard's Pie

Maybe Shepard's pie isn't the most unique dinner, but it might be the easiest. So, here is why I love it--I'm pretty sure that every kid likes mashed potatoes, cheese and ground beef. The combination is therefore flawless. Plus, you get to use up leftovers! Maybe it isn't the healthiest dinner out there, but many a middle school day was brightened by a shepard pie dinner.

Mom would always try to sneak in vegetables, much to our dismay. It is pretty hard to hide a can of green beans, even if it is surrounded by gravy. But, you can always try that too.

Shepard's Pie
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
2 packages brown gravy mix, mixed with water
6 cups mashed potatoes
2 cups grated cheese
Mix gravy and ground beef
Pour ground beef in a 9x13 pan. Layer mashed potatoes on top, then cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

My 20th birthday (2009) at Grandma Brimhall's House in Toquerville Utah with a meal of chicken enchiladas, black beans and fresh salsa.

I think I have requested these for every birthday since I was 12. Usually they are served with beans. Recently our family has started serving them with fresh pico de gallo, and green chili salsa, plus extra ingredients. Personally, I always add chili powder and tabasco sauce to my chicken mix. But, this recipe is the straight up original.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

1 lb cheddar cheese (do we actually measure? no.)

1 pint sour cream

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 can chopped creen chile (4 0z)

1/2 medium onion

2 dozen flour tortilla

3 chicken breast, boiled and chopped into cubes

Grate cheese.

Mix everything else in, but save about 2 cups without chicken in it.

Fill and roll tortillas.

Place in a greased casserole dish.

Put remaining sauce on top and some more grated cheese, or you can layer the enchiladas up, but always end with sauce and cheese.

Cook for 15-20 minutes in 350 degree oven, or until bubbly.