Sunday, March 1, 2015

Navajo Tacos with Indian Fry Bread

Navajo Tacos with Indian Fry Bread 
Indian Fry Bread made from a Bread Dough recipe that is cut up into balls and rolled out with a rolling pin, and then pan fried in a 1/2 inch of canola oil. 

These are about 6 inch circles. You can either buy frozen bread dough, or just make up a batch of your favorite 2 loaf recipes for bread. I use this one from Here. It is kind of a foolproof bread recipe that my family loves. 

I rolled mine out pretty thick but if you like light Navajo Tacos, roll them thin. Or experiment and have some that are thick and some that are thin. You know the insides are done when big bubbles appear, kind of like pancakes.
One bread dough recipe will make about 8 Navajo Tacos. I used a 2 loaf recipe of bread and made about 14 pieces of Indian Fry Bread.
 Navajo Tacos are great meal to make when you have leftover chili at home. Fry up the Indian Fry Bread for about 2 minutes per side......

Fry up the dough in a frying pan with 1/2 inch of hot, canola oil. 
Then dry the Indian Fry Bread on paper towels to soak up excess oil. 
Here is the Indian Fried Bread....this would be good with honey and butter OR cinnamon and sugar on top. I do this with the leftover dough and make small "donut" twists.  That's a fun thing for kids to do with the leftover dough! 
Spread the warmed up chili on top and add your favorite Mexican shredded cheeses. Then add your toppings like tomatoes, lettuce, olives and avocados! Yummy! 

I cut up all the veggies while the leftover chili was warming up on the stove......and then put them in individual bowls. Everybody just made their own Navajo Tacos. Some added salsa and sour cream to theirs. 
And there you have it!  Navajo Tacos are a great way to use up your leftovers from Chili Night! You can also just bake the flattened dough pieces if you want to reduce the calories. We baked ours for about 8 to 10 minutes at a Girl's Camp one year.

Now Dig in! Yum! (sounds of yumminess)....

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Homemade Pizza Crust

We wanted pizza tonight. So I made some homemade dough and we had fun adding toppings. It is the easiest thing. And it always turns out delicious on my pizza stones. 

Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe
1 C warm water
1 T sugar
1 T Active Dry Yeast
1 t salt
3 T  canola oil
2 1/2 to 3 Cups of white flour
2-3 Cups of mozzarella cheese, grated

Pizza Sauce (I use Prego with mushrooms)
Toppings of your choice for 2 large (12 inch) pizzas

Mix up all the ingredients. 

Be sure you let the dough rest for 5 minutes,  after you mix up all the ingredients and roll it into a ball. Then drop a bit of oil on each of the stones and rub it around before placing dough on the stone. If you made a super large pizza I usually bake it for about 6 minutes first before adding any toppings or sauce to be sure the middle will cook through and not be doughy. (I use a hot oven 450).

 But if you are doing medium like 12 inch pizzas, don't worry about it. Use a pizza stone and roll out the divided dough onto 2 different stones. I used one round one and one new rectangle one I bought recently. Be sure they are oiled.
 We did one pizza in pepperoni with mushrooms and olives.
 The other one we did in canadian bacon and pineapple tidbits. Yum. That's my favorite. We left part of it just cheese pizza for the kiddos.
 Once you spread the dough out evenly all over your two pizza pans or stones, then Pour 3/4 to 1 cup Prego sauce over the pizza. Then you can add 1 1/2 cups of the cheese on each pizza and your own choice of toppings.

 Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in a 450 oven. When it looks ready and bubbly take it out and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting into it with a pizza cutter. I usually try to do 8 to 10 pieces, making some large and some small for the adults and the kids. Then dig in brutha! It's done!
Homemade Pizza is so much better than boxed pizzas from the supermarket. And it is just as good as the pizza shops make! Just be sure you use a good pizza dough recipe. That's the secret! 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Salted Caramel Samoa Cake

We had such a fun time watching the Super bowl on Sunday and having the family over for pulled pork sliders, side salads, and Salted Caramel Samoa Cake for dessert. It was so delish!

Salted Caramel Samoa Cake 

 I made a regular chocolate cake in a sheet cake pan. But I doctored it up a little with some sour cream and a small box of chocolate pudding (dry) like I always do. Then I added 1/4 cube of butter melted to the batter. It makes it have a much richer chocolate taste. But the real hero is the caramel ice cream topping in the buttercream icing. Salted Caramel Samoa Cake was an idea swiped from the Girl Scouts Samoa cookies.

Girl Scouts Samoa Cookies are a treat, but not like this Salted Caramel Samoa Cake! 
 It is made with coconut, caramel and chocolate, just like Samoa Cookies. I used caramel ice cream topping in the deliciously delectable salted icing. I was eating it by the spoonful, I swear. I still dream about how
yummy the icing was!
It kind of reminded me of this Salted Caramel donut I had recently. Super yum!
This Salted Caramel Donut I got from Beyond Glaze was good. But not as good as the Salted Caramel Samoa Cake. Nope. 
It kind of reminded me of this Salted Caramel donut I had recently. Super yum![/caption] The best part is  you add toasted coconut to the Salted Caramel Samoa Cake icing, then add caramel bits or melted Kraft caramels, and then drizzle warm chocolate bark or chocolate chips melted in the microwave on top. It is the yummiest of cakes. My family all raved about it. And making it in a sheet cake pan really made it go a long way. [n top of the Salted Caramel Samoa Icing It is a new favorite recipe of mine.

Toast the coconut in a non-stick pan for about 3 or 4 minutes. 

Then let the coconut cool a bit before sprinkling it all across the caramel icing. 
Here is how I did mine: I used a regular chocolate cake boxed recipe and added a cup of sour cream and a small pudding dry mix to the batter and 1/4 stick melted butter. Everything else is just as the boxed mix calls for. Then I greased a 13 x 18 one inch deep cookie sheet with Pam and poured the batter. I baked it at 375 for about 20 minutes. I bakes a lot faster because it is not a deep cake. Then I made up the icing. I got the recipe for the salted caramel buttercream from Chef in Training.

Here is her recipe for the Salted Caramel Buttercream Icing:  I tweaked the recipe slightly

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (hers calls for 3 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes to 25 minutes depending on your oven. It is a lot quicker because you are using that large sheet pan that is 1 inch deep.
et cake pan that is only 1 inch deep. Chocolate cake batter made richer with sour cream and a pudding mix and some melted butter.  While it was cooling I made up the icing. Then I frosted it with the Salted Caramel icing. Oh my it is good. I kept licking the spoon and had to fight my granddaughter for the beaters.

Salted Caramel Samoa Cake Icing. It is so rich and delish!
This Salted Caramel Samoa Cake icing is so decadent and delish! I was licking the spoon AND the bowl! 
Salted Caramel Samoa Cake Icing. It is so rich and delish! Then comes the real magic. I put  1 1/2 cups of coconut into a non-stick fry pan and toasted it for about 4 minutes watching it closely and turning it over and over with a spatula. Lay it out on a plate to cool. Then sprinkle it on the top of the Salted Caramel icing

 Salted Caramel Samoa Cake
 Then I microwaved the chocolate chips for 30 seconds and added a little bit of oil to thin them. I've used chocolate bark too. Either one works well with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of canola oil to thin it. Drizzle chocolate all across the cake back and forth. Then lastly get Caramel Bits or Kraft caramels and melt them down and add a little water for drizzling. OR you can just drizzle some Caramel ice cream topping over the drizzled chocolate.  It was a great treat at the end of a Super Bowl Game to remember. Congrats to the Patriots who pulled it out at the last minute.

Salted Caramel Samoa Cake Salted Caramel Samoa Cake.  Now I owe my son-in-law a Snickers candy bar, since we are a betting family. And, yes, I lost the bet. :D

Friday, January 30, 2015

Copycat Swig Sugar Cookies

We were in the Swig Sugar Cookie zone. We were trying decide if we should get in the car and go down to the SWIG in Draper and get a cookie and a drink, or be ambitious and make our own.  
I found a few Swig Copycat Cookie recipes online and my daughter decided to try one of them. We both wished they had a little more flavoring or something, they were not super buttery, which we LOVE. I also love the taste of almond extract in sugar cookies. We would add a 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract or vanilla in this cookie batter next time. The icing has sour cream in it. It is super Yummy! But don't forget to flavor it with some vanilla.
Here is the recipe for Swig Copycat Sugar Cookies we got from Vintage Revivals.


1/2 cup room temperature butter
3/4 C Sour Cream
3/4 t salt
1/4 C Milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar till thickened to your liking. 
A drop or two of Red Food Coloring for pink icing. 
Now time to let the little kids play with all of my Valentines sprinkles. I have dozens of them! 

I bought this pan last year to make sugar cookies with in different shapes. It is kind of hard to get the cookies out once you bake them though. I wasn't happy with how they turned out. But it might be fun for just making candy melt candies in red and pink and white! 

These will be a lot prettier once the little girls get to decorate them! I have 2 little granddaughters aged 7 and 6 who are living with us right now while their new house is getting finished. It is so much fun hanging out with them! 

All the Fun sprinkle topping we can play with to add to the Swig Copycat Cookies! Whee! Enjoy! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Game Day Guacamole and warm, salty chips is one of the best snacks for football lovers. I'm gettin my game on preparation for next week's Super Bowl. Too bad there is so much controversy surrounding the games this year.  Poor Patriots. I guess they need to leave their balls alone from now on. lol. 

I was looking in the market for some game day snacks for the Super Bowl next week. The avocados were looking amazing!  They are large and beautiful. They would make a delicious, fresh guacamole. I bought a few and wanted to make some guacamole to go with the Chicken Taquitos I'm making for dinner.

Here is a delicious and easy recipe for making the most wonderful guacamole. It does call for a lemon, but I've used fresh lime, fresh oranges and even the bottled lemon juice is fine if you run out of fresh.
3 avocados, the bigger the better (smashed up)
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup sour cream 
seasoning salt and pepper to taste
1 diced tomato (optional if you like chunky guacamole) I do but my family doesn't. 

I just slice my avocados in half and then twist so they come apart easily. Then I slice lines down the avocado right in the skin. Then scoop out the green stuff with a spoon and it is already in little chunks, very easy to smash up with a fork. Then add the sour cream, salsa, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Chill for 30 minutes before serving with fresh tortilla chips or hot taquitos. Or use it in a 7 layer dip! It is yummy! 

This GUACAMOLE is really delicious and creamy, with the sour cream.....Yum!

I like it a lot better than the chunky varieties of Guacamole. I like it with thin, salty, warm chips too. I put mine into the microwave for 30 seconds before serving the bowl of chips. It just makes it taste better! Enjoy some fresh, guacamole for the big game next week! And I hope the best team wins! Woot! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Kitchen Organization Week 2 Kitchen Drawers

Well, it's the 2nd week of January and I've finally gone through most of my kitchen drawers, which was the task for the first week of January. And I'm about ready to move on. It takes about a week to go through all the drawers and successfully reorganize them, if you commit to doing a drawer a day, and it will only take about 30 minutes a day of organization. I have a big kitchen, so it has taken me more than a week.
  IMG_9586 The "Before" picture of one of my messier drawers.[/caption] I don't love organizing, so I promised myself I'd do 30 minutes a day and  as I got into the job I'd actually push it up to about 45 minutes until I felt I had completed a task. It was actually kind of a rush to see the improvements I could make in only 30 minutes! [caption id="attachment_6765" align="alignnone" width="500"]Now it looks like this! Much betta!
I layed out all of the wraps and baggies and chose the ones I will keep.[/caption] There is a method to organizing that I have learned from listening to a few youtube experts. ORGANIZING KITCHEN DRAWERS 
  • Take everything out of the drawer and lay it out on a table to examine what you will keep and what you will toss and what you will donate.
  • REDUCE  the AMOUNT of stuff you store in each and every drawer and cupboard.
  • Clean out the drawer with a good cleaner like 409 or Fantastic.
  • Use smaller containers to sort small, like items together.
  • Place the now organized products together with like items in drawers.
Then wipe out all the drawers as you empty them. Sort what was inside, choose what will go back and put it back in the drawer neatly, sorting like things into smaller bins.IMG_9599 Now the drawer looks like this! Much better. And it took about 20 minutes to do.[/caption] I had a drawer full of towels that were always a mess. I decided to do something about that too. I am a towel hoarder, I know what you are thinking. So some of these had to go! IMG_9598
I had WAY too many tea towels. I had to reduce the number. So I packed up a box of them to give away to charity. I kept only 6 that I really love. Then I put them into a bin and placed them in one of my laundry room cupboards. I hung one up on the stove front.IMG_9592 I couldn't believe how many of THESE things I had hanging around either! Can you say HOARDERS? lol. I packed a few of these to bring up to the cabin next time we go. And I threw one away that was out of juice.IMG_9607 I had a gajillion microwave popcorns in my drawers. I had to purge a bunch of old ones. I found the perfect sized bin to put the rest into and placed it on a shelf in the pantry. This freed up a new drawer! Yay![/caption] I think the key is to find little containers to sort your packaged foods and then you alway know right where to go to get them or restock them.....a place for everything, and everything in its place. (My grandma used to say that....she used to run an entire 400 acre farm in Iowa!

One of my drawers had chocolate chips and hot chocolate and an array of birthday candles and cupcake sprinkles. I put the chocolate chips in a bin, the sprinkles all on a lazy susan, and the hot chocolates in a mini bin of their own. This will go in the pantry on a shelf.[/caption] The next drawer I cleaned out was the cookie and cake decorating things. Now I've decided that I have altogether TOO MANY cookie cutters. All of the organizational gurus say the first thing people need to do is PURGE, because we have TOO MUCH stuff.

I think I had 10 heart cookie cutters. I had to part with a few of these. I don't want to be known as a hoarder!![/caption] So I reduced my Valentines cookie cutters from 9 to 6. I know, that's still kind of in the "hoarders" category, but I can't help myself....they were just so cute! And when we have family cookie parties, I will always have enough for everybody to make and bake together.

I love making Valentines Sugar Cookies with my family AND my classroom kiddos.
I love making Valentines Sugar Cookies with my family AND my classroom kiddos.

Valentines field trip eagles 010
I just love this Valentine sugar cookie we made last year in my classroom. It is always fun to get out the sprinkles and sugars and little candies and make a masterpiece! Woo Hoo![/caption] So here is my sprinkles drawer after I cleaned it up a little bit. But I hated using this everyday drawer for something I only use rarely, on holidays mostly. That is a wasted drawer. So  I cleared it out, combined a few of the sprinkles jars, and tossed out a few that were almost empty. Then I placed them all on a lazy susan. It looks SO much better. And it will be fun to twirl to see which colors I want to use next time we bake cookies.

My new Lazy Susan fit the drawer full of Sprinkles. I combined a few and tossed a few out. Now I feel I can see them at a glance. My new Lazy Susan fit the drawer full of Sprinkles. I combined a few and tossed a few out. Now I feel I can see them at a glance.

Now I like this a lot better. I can see them easier, and I freed up another drawer in my kitchen. Yay! I love these Lazy Susans.[/caption] I debated whether to put the sprinkles for Valentines into the same baggie, but I decided to put the sprinkles onto their own lazy susan. I might want to use pink or red sprinkles other times of the year anyway. I bagged the holiday cookie cutters together with cupcake picks and sugar stencils.
I bagged the holiday cookie cutters together with cupcake picks and sugar stencils.
The Halloween cookie cutters and 4th of July and Easter were all bagged and organized. Then I put them all together in the cake decorating drawer. I feel so organized finally! The Halloween cookie cutters and 4th of July and Easter were all bagged and organized. Then I put them all together in the cake decorating drawer. I feel so organized finally![/caption] I put all of the cookie cutters into their own baggie according to season; Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Valentines Day, St. Patrick's Day, 4th of July. Now I can just pull out the right baggie and find the cookie cutters I need easily.  It took me about 2 weeks to do all the kitchen drawers. I still have a hobby drawer left to do. Next week I will do the Kitchen shelves. Those should take at least a week. Although they truthfully aren't as messy as the drawers were. Why is that?

Join me in getting organized this year! I'm pretty excited about it!


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