Thursday, August 17, 2017

One Dozen Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are great because they make 2 dozen! I have halved it and it worked out great for me, so if you're wanting to make 1 dozen cookies, do that and it will work out great! But, I like to share cookies with others, and I still want a lot for myself, so 2 dozen is perfect for us! This recipe makes suuuper soft cookies and they look slightly undercookied, but they end up being perfect! They're very rich and so it makes it a little easier to stop after eating just a couple of them.
I never really liked cookies a ton growing up, but I have come to like them a lot more recently. I don't know why exactly though? I'm a chocolate lover, and usually brownies and ice cream means more chocolate, so that's my only guess. Ice cream is still my dessert of choice, but chocolate chip cookies are coming to be a very close second. Lucky for me, cookies are a lot easier to make than ice cream is, and it's also easier to share cookies with neighbors and friends. The day before my brother left on his mission, we got together and had dinner as a family. I brought these cookies for dessert, but they were gone before we even finished cooking dinner. SO GOOD! I have a favorite recipe, but they make like 8 or 9 dozen cookies, and that's way too many for me because after sharing, I still have about half of them left. And you know, I could eat all of them.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mashed Potatoes for Two

If you're like me, then you could eat a TON of mashed potatoes every time they are placed in front of your face. I seriously could eat a huge bowl of them all by myself. I used to love those potato pearl thingies when I was younger, and now I don't even get gow I could have a little bit of those things because the real stuff is so much better! My mom only cooked potatoes about once each week, usually in a slow cooker or in the oven, and sometimes baked. But rarely did we have mashed potatoes because they were saved for special occasions at our house it seemed like. We regularly ate rice with our dinner and ate pasta too, so these mashed potatoes were sooo good to us growing up. Now, I still cook them just as regularly as my mom did, but I have to make sure to cook the right amount for two people.
The first couple of times I made mashed potatoes, I used about 8 potaotes, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, shredded cheese, you name it. I didn't quite know what was healthy to put in them regularly and definately not how many potatoes to use when preparing them for only two people. So, after about one year, I've finally gotten it to be able to feed two people for two meals, and it's perfect for us since we do leftovers. So, if you're feeding four people for dinner, you'd be set there too!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Family Favorite Zucchini Brownies

Sunday nights in the summer always meant zucchini brownies at my house growing up. We'd eat zucchini daily over the summer. I have two zucchini favorites and one of them is these brownies. It makes a whole sheet and my family could down them in less than 12 hours, we'd eat them for dessert, before bed snack, and breakfast the next day. And then we'd eat the unwanted edges before lunch. That's how much we love them. The texture is pretty cakey, but not dry and spongy. It's like the perfect cake, all because the zucchini makes it not as dry. But, we still call them brownies instead of cake, and I don't quite get why?...haha! My other favorite is what we called "squished squash" growing up and it's stuck. I think it's technically a zucchini mousse sort of thing? It's steamed zucchini with sour cream, parm and cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper. It's amazing. And, I could eat it every. single. day. We're moving away from family soon and I'll be pretty bummed when I can't pick fresh veggies out of my family's garden.
I can't believe that Summer is winding down. We have hiked all summer, hung out with family, weight-lifted in our old high school gym, and just hung out. My husband has been working like crazy. He is a temporary worker for the Forest Service, and hikes for 40 hours each week, plus overtime almost EVERY SINGLE WEEK! Like 50-60 hours each week, he is hiking straight up the mountains. And it amazes me because, I don't think I could do that. When we hike for 5 hours, I am pretty much dead by that point. So, I am excited to be able to spend time with him when school starts. We are wanting to do one more fun trip before school starts. I'd love to hear any ideas if you have any!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Mixed Roasted Veggies

These roasted veggies are a favorite of mine! They’re as customizable as you’d like them to be. I like to bring them for Sunday dinner at my parents’ house because anyone can eat them. My brothers don’t like a lot of veggies, but they can pick and choose what they like off of the pan and put it on their plates to eat.
Now that it’s August, it means that school is starting this month (not until the 28, but still)….and it has put me in “back-to-school/Autumn mode”. Summer is pretty much over for me it feels like, and these last few weeks are going to be busy ones! Next week, my little brother is leaving on a 2 year service mission in Arkansas, so we won’t see him for two whole years, hopefully it goes by fast because I’m going to miss him! A few days after that, my husband’s brother and his wife are having their wedding reception. They were married just about two months ago, but it had to be kind of rushed because my father-in-law was going to marry them and he was being released as a bishop that next week, so they decided to get married a little earlier than anticipated and have their wedding reception on the planned date. I’m so excited to attend their reception to celebrate their marriage and cute family. And also, because it means family members who have been living in Texas and Wyoming are coming back to Utah and I’m looking forward to seeing them! All my nieces and nephews get to be in one place haha. That’s one of my favorite parts about being married into this family, Michael’s the youngest in his family so everyone has kids already that we get to play with. On my side of the family, I’m the only one married so it’s fun having two such different family dynamics because of the age differences.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Week Two Dinner Plan

Week Two Meal Plan is loaded with recipes by The Pinstriped Pantry, I hope you enjoy them! My favorite hamburger seasoning, grilled tilapia, and pulled pork sandwiches will be coming soon, so keep an eye open for those recipes!

Monday- Hamburger BBQ
Tuesday- Grilled Tilapia cooked with Lemons and Garlic with Quinoa and corn
Wednesday- Yummy Ritz Cracker Chicken with rice and Cooked Carrots
Thursday- Loaded Spaghetti with turkey kielbasa and steamed squash
Friday- Grandma's Chicken Marinade with Sweet Potatoes and steamed broccoli
Saturday- Quinoa Chicken Nuggets with Seasoned Oven Fries and frozen peas
Sunday- Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Pasta Salad

Thursday, July 27, 2017

No-Bake Raspberry Lemonade Dessert

Oh my, this dessert is amazing!! My mom received this recipe from one of her co-workers and we have loved it since then. Right after I graduated from high school, I competed for Miss Utah representing our county and we had a send-off party and served this dessert there because it was such a favorite of ours! I like how easy it is to make and it can serve quite a few people too. Who would've thought that putting Ritz Crackers and frozen lemonade together would taste this amazing? It's like a Better Than Anything Cake in a light, fruity form. And if you haven't tried Better Than Anything Cake, you have to make that one too, it's the real chocolaty goodness you need in your life! This dessert is one of those that, if you make it for yourself, you keep going back to the fridge to take just another small slice, and it's gone by the end of the day. This recipe was given to my mom by one of her coworkers and has been passed around for a while, I added the raspberries for a fun little texture change!
I'm all about light summer desserts because it seems like there is always another party to go to during the summer. I'm a Mormon (you can learn more about our religion here, and no....we don't practice plural marriages) and when boys turn 18 and girls turn 19, they are given the opportunity to choose to serve a mission for our church. And since everyone is out of school for the summer, many of them leave during those months. Coming from a small town, everyone knows everyone else, and we attend a meeting where the person leaving or returning gives some remarks and then afterwards, we have a dinner and visiting afterwards. So, it seems like almost every Sunday, there is a dinner going on that you can contribute to. So, desserts and salads are on repeat for about five months, and I really don't mind.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Loaded Spaghetti Sauce for Two

Spaghetti is one of my favorite meals ever! I love how tasteful and filling it is every time you eat it! I am very used to cooking it with pre-made marinara sauce, but thought it would be nice to try a sauce by myself. It's been gloomy here for the past while with scattered rain showers and cloud coverage for the last couple of weeks, with the occasional sun peeking in through the clouds every once-in-a-while. So, a warm and filling meal is exactly what we needed!  I also realized that taking photos when the sun is peaking out of the clouds isn't the best idea for spaghetti sauce, lighting was pretty off when I was taking these photos, but I think that they ended up turning out okay!
I like my spaghetti sauce to be filled with everything, but you could easily take those things out and it wouldn't make that much of a difference. I changed this recipe up a bit from Fox and Briar. Her recipe is marinara sauce and it is about double the amount as mine, so try that one if you want a little more of a simple marinara sauce!