Wednesday, April 28, 2010

White Chicken Chili & Wheat Bread

My sister Richelle is famous for her amazing wheat bread and chicken chili.. so I decided to try her recipe out!

First we'll start with the Wheat Bread
In bowl mix:
1 T yeast
1/4 c warm water
In mixer mix:
2 1/2 c warm water
1/4 c brown sugar
3 1/2 c wheat flour
1 T salt (last time I made bread I put in TOO much salt... so I was scared and maybe put in half a tablespoon. But what I forgot was that last time I put in 2 tablespoons instead of 2 teaspoons. I guess the full one would have worked out after all)
1/3 c applesauce OR vegetable oil (I didn't have applesauce for the healthy version).

Mix ingredients together. Add an additional 2-3 c wheat flour. Kneed 4-10 min. Place in greased bread pans. Raise till double. Bake 38 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes 2 loaves.
This time around everything mixed so nicely!! And rose so fantastic as well. I only have one bread pan, so the other waited around on the cutting board (bad idea. When it was time to put the 2nd loaf in it deflated when I picked it up and looked so ugly after I baked it! haha)
 See how pretty it looks this time??! Yay!

Now for the White Chicken Chili
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 small chopped yellow onion
1 - 7 oz can diced green chilies
1 - 15 oz can great northern beans
2 - 15 oz white beans
1 lb ground turkey

Boil chicken breasts in about 2-3 cups of water flavored with 2-3 chicken bouillons. Add salt and pepper to the taste. Remove chicken, shred and place back in broth.
Since I made it earlier in the day Ian was able to help me out and shred the chicken :)
Saute chopped onions in oil till tender. Add ground turkey and cook till no longer pink.
After taking this picture I realized pink ground turkey doesn't look appetizing! hah
Then add to the broth. Add diced green chilies, Drain all beans and add to broth. Mix and cook till warm. Serve topped with grated cheese and sour cream (optional).
It was SO yummy. I mixed it all in time for Ian to take to work tonight. Then I gave my brother in law some for helping us move Kyle out. THEN Kyle and I had a bowl and I still had 2 servings left over! So needless to say.. this serves 6 people!

But yes, my brother moved out of our house today. I'm seriously SO sad. With Ian at school and work all day and night I've really enjoyed my brothers company. I cooked for him, watched tv with him.. and actually had someone to talk to. I'm so sad he left :(
Guess it's time for him to be a grown up!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Asian Lettuce Wraps

I decided to be adventurous today and attempt to make Asian Lettuce Wraps. I had NO idea what was involved until I looked up the recipe... there's a WHOLE lot of stuff!


2 t vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T  fresh ginger, peeled then minced
1 lb chicken, chopped (about 2-3 boneless, skinless breasts)
3/4 C  mushrooms, minced
1/2 t  salt
4 C cabbage, chopped (about 1/2 a head)
8oz can water chestnuts, minced
1/2 C green onions, minced
1/4 C soy sauce
2 t sesame oil
1 lemon, zested
1 t hot sauce
1/3 C cilantro, chopped
1 head iceberg lettuce

I had a heyday at the store trying to find everything on that list. I NEVER knew what fresh ginger was. I actually had to have someone point it out to me at the store. It's one nasty ugly looking root! I should have taken a picture... Sorry I didn't! 

As you can see... pretty much EVERYTHING needs to be minced. I am SO glad I have my little Pampered Chef chopper thingy. 

Here's everything I chopped up (there are two to three different things mixed in some of the bowls).. plus Kyle cutting chicken in the background..

I don't know why I didn't take very many pictures tonight! But anyway... after you brutally chopped everything to pieces you heat up a large skillet. Seriously, a super large one, this makes a TON. Put in vegetable oil and when it’s hot add minced garlic and ginger. Saute for a minute just until it’s fragrant and then add in the chicken, mushrooms, and salt. Cook until chicken is cooked through.

Then add in the cabbage, water chestnuts, and green onions. Cook for a few minutes until cabbage starts to wilt. Add in the soy sauce, sesame oil,  zest from the lemon, and hot sauce. When everything is cooked through, remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.

To serve, carefully separate the whole leaves from the lettuce. This was an amazingly difficult task!! Wash and keep them in the fridge beforehand so they’re nice and cold. Spoon chicken filling onto the lettuce leaf.

TIPS: I pretty much bought everything fresh. If you want to save some mincing time, buy some canned mushrooms.. actually.. that might be the only canned thing you can buy.
Next tip... chop your cabbage MUCH more fine than I did. A blender probably would have worked.
Another tip.. I think it called for too much cilantro and not enough water chestnuts! Just something to think about :)
And my last tip.. they are MESSY. I ate mine over my rice so that when it dripped my rice had some good flavoring :) hah

EDITS: I didn't buy any sesame oil. It's was like $9 for a small bottle! But the lettuce wraps were missing a flavor.. and I think it was the nutty taste the sesame oil gives.
Next edit.. I bought TWO heads of lettuce thinking 1 wouldn't be enough. Well.. 1 worked out perfectly fine. Plus I have a ton of other veggie left overs since it only asked for less than a cup of each thing pretty much.

Anyway.. it didn't quite taste or look like PF Chang's, but it was still super yummy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Southwest Taco Pie

While I was flipping through the cook books yesterday I came across this recipe. Unlike yesterday, I was more willing to go to the store to pick up a few things. Here's how you make it, and here's how I did!..

I think my so called "dough" hated me. I swear I put everything in it called for. I couldn't roll it out big enough or pretty enough. The edges just kept crumbling!
After I got it in the pie pan and made it as pretty as I could (even though the dough didn't reach the edge) I put the meat, salsa and cheese in.
Popped it in the oven....
And here's how it turned out!

It was pretty tasty. Too bad Kyle and I weren't very hungry! Hopefully it taste just as good as left overs as well. Poor Ian, never gets anything homemade the day of! hah

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm super lazy today - Manicotti

Obviously I haven't been cooking much lately. It just takes SO much work... and money. Although today I insisted on making dinner, but I REFUSED to go to the store. I looked through cook books, nope, didn't have ANY of the stuff the books called for. Then I remembered I still have a box of Manicotti noodles. I checked out the recipe on the box which is this.... (click the photo to see it larger)
Last time I made Manicotti it called for some crazy ingredients. Plus it just didn't taste very good. So I just went with what it said on the back of the box... with a few changes.
I don't have ricotta cheese and like I said before, I REFUSED to go to the store. So I used hamburger meat instead. THEN I realized I didn't even have mozzarella cheese, but I did have String Cheese! haha, so yes, I cut up string cheese and used that instead. And lastly, I didn't have "fresh" parsley, but I had some dried stuff in my spice rack.  This is how it all turned out with the changes!
Then I popped it in the oven and here's how it looked with some peas and pressure cooked pears!
Pretty eh? It was good too. I LOVED the big chucks of string cheese. Almost reminded me of pizza cheese from The Pie. It was 100 times better than the previous manicotti I made :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sunny Day!!!

Warmest day of Spring thus far! I was so happy, my babies and I hung out in the back yard.

 (Remind me to pull that giant weed later)
Silly Kitty, being allowed to roll in the dirt still has its consequences. . . .
Happy Sunny Day!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


As soon as I heard Owl City was coming to Utah I bought my tickets RIGHT AWAY. I think that was back in December or something. At the VERY last minute I thought to myself  "self... does Saltair allow professional cameras??!"  well... myself didn't have an answer, so I emailed Saltair. Come to find out.. NO pro cameras allowed. ALLLL I wanted was photos of the ever so beautiful Adam Young (singer of Owl City) in my band portfolio. So..... I worked my magic and somehow managed to get a photo pass!!! With this photo pass I got in for free :) I gave Kyle my ticket so Ian would have someone to hang out with just in case we wouldn't be by each other the entire show.
When we got there I got in early, before the HUGE rush of people who had to wait in the wind and rain (including Ian and Kyle). Come to find out.. I was the ONLY photographer that night and apparently I had been talking to the OWNER of Saltair! :) She said it's hard to find house photographers because people just want in shows for free and never end up taking pictures. It made sense, but I was shocked. Why would photographers NOT want photos of these amazing musicians in their portfolio??? Crazy stupid people. But she told me if this works out, maybe I'll be their official house photographer! Soo exciting :)
Anyway.. moving on. When I got in I worked my magic yet again and got Ian and Kyle VIP passes! They were able to go upstairs, out of the crowds that made everyone look like sardines, and watch the bands from above. They were in HEAVEN. Now, I do believe that none of us will EVER be able to sand in a crowd after experiencing that!
Here's Ian and I before the show started... I'm pointing at my amazing Owl City photo pass!
Close up of my cute pass..
Here's a photo after the doors opened.. hard to see.. but the cars are backed up on the freeway!!
Here are some of my favorite photos of Adam Young!!! He totally sounded different live than on cd. A little more squeaky if you will. And he pranced and danced around and it kinda reminded me of Pee-Wee Herman! haha! I still love Owl City though. I was set on meeting him, but Kyle and Ian had to get up early for work, soooo we left right after the show :(
While I was down by the stage shooting DAVID ARCHULETA ended up in the same VIP box with Ian and Kyle! Ian sent me a text and I was soooo mad I wasn't up there to take a picture with him. I don't even listen to his music, but I'd love to be in a picture with a famous person. By the time I got back in the VIP box he had moved to a different one. I'm sure I could have gone in the other boxes to find him, but I didn't. They said he was running around screaming like a teenage girl or something. But he's young.. he's allowed to ;)

You can check out my photo blog to see more photos from Owl City and the other bands that were on tour with him :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Soft Sugar Cookies

I got another recipe from church a few weeks ago and decided to try it out to bring to today's Gailey family dinner. I've made sugar cookies before with babysitting kids and they're always thin and crunchy. I've been told it takes a perfect recipe to make AMAZING sugar cookies. I was hoping this was going to be just that!
Since my family is HUGE I doubled the ingredients. After a HUGE mess and squeezing 12 cups of flour in my new kitchen aid I realized it wasn't big enough.
Sooo Ian and I cleaned up the stove and I had to kneed in the rest of the flour by hand. Although, I thought it tasted amazing and didn't need anymore flour. So I just added in 1 more cup and kinda sprinkled some on here and there so it wouldn't stick.
I flattened it out and tried rolling it flatter with my tiny mini roller (I totally need a REAL rolling pin) and cut out circles using a cup.
When they were done baking I swear they still weren't finished. But I guess I tend to burn things and that obviously makes them darker. I tried putting them in longer and longer each time... which resulted to this...
From left to right ... 9 minutes, 12 minutes and 15 minutes. 9 and 12 ended up being the best. I had to throw away the 15 minute batch. The bottom was horrible (good thing there were only 6 cookies on that tray! hah)! Oddly enough here's the tops of all three... They all look the same!!
I made over 40 cookies today. I ate so much of the cookie dough the cookie itself just didn't do it for me. It wasn't that AMAZING sugar cookie I was looking for, but it was soft! I thought they were a little bland and could use some frosting, but I ran out of ingredients to make it. Luckily we threw Sarah (my brother Kyle's fiance) a kitchen bridal shower and she got a TOOOON of frosting! So I frosted them at dinner and they ALLLL got eaten! Success! :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

My cousin's wife posted a link to this recipe on facebook. I thought it sounded fun and decided to go for it. Here's how you make it...
(click the photo to see it larger)
I don't have a mini muffin pan, so I double the recipe to make 12 normal muffin sized pizza puffs! (the only thing I didn't double was the pepperoni because I only bought 4 oz worth) When I was mixing it all together it looked sooooo clumpy and dry! I was SO confused. Kyle went over everything making sure I actually doubled it. Come to find out I forgot to double the milk! Once we added that in it finally started looking like a dough mix!
I cut the pepperoni into fourths.. I probably could have chopped it smaller so it would have mixed easier!
I filled them into the pan, then popped them in the oven for about 35 minutes. I opened one up and it still looked slightly doughy so I put it in for 5 minutes. After that they looked great! Still looked a little soft and doughyish inside, but it was mostly just the melted cheese since it didn't taste like dough.
And here's the finished product! I was too lazy to make a side (it asks for peppers on the side.. meh)
 Cute huh?! :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tortilla Soup

I had this yesterday for dinner while I was babysitting at Brandie's. It seemed super easy to put together (come to find out it REALLY IS super easy) so I figured I'd make it tonight for dinner :)
Here's what you need.... (tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, can corn, black beans & chips)
Plus beef... mixed with the taco seasoning.
Dump it all together in the crock pot and you will end up with this!...
I put it in the crock pot on high for about an hour. Now it's just sitting on warm... just in case Kyle ever comes home for dinner.
Anyway.. add in some cheese and chips ( I like to dip the chips) and here's the end product..
Very easy and SUPER tasty. I think I'll head down for seconds!
Man.. I've been eating dinner super early.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Home made White Bread & belated B-day gift

Every Conference Sunday we go to Ian's parents for crepes. Since today just so happened to ALSO be Easter Sunday we brought Kyle along so he could join in on the festivities. I loved that he proved to the Atkins family that pigging out on candy and having absolutely NO will power is a Gailey thing... not JUST a Wendy thing! haha!
After the first session of Conference was over they brought out my belated Birthday gift (we tend to celebrate birthdays the following Sunday). I pretty much knew what I was getting this year. Every other gift giving holiday when Ian's mom asks me what I want I always say.. "I dunno.. gift cards?" This time was different. I asked for a Kitchen Aid or at least money I could put towards one since they're so expensive. I was excited to see that the family bought me a SUPER nice red Kitchen Aid :)
Ian was SOOO excited we had to leave right away so that we could use it. I had no idea what to make though. I really wanted to re-do the cinnamon rolls I made, but I was filling ill from munching on candy. Instead I decided to make bread. I wanted to use my sisters recipe for wheat bread, but we don't have any wheat flour. Luckily my Kitchen Aid came with recipes and had one for white bread. Here it is..
I found out very quickly that Kitchen Aid baking is meant for one person, not two. Ian and I budded heads a few times on how to do things. We also had issues with the dough. It was SO sticky, so we kept adding in more and more flour. It said to mix it for about 2 minutes, but I swear we had it go for 15 minutes until we gave up and put it in a bowl to rise.
I was exhausted and pretty tired from being told I was doing things wrong, so I took a LOOONG nap. By the time I got up Ian had put the dough in the bread pan to rise again.

Once it was done rising I put it in the oven. It didn't look as pretty as my sisters bread. Since the dough wasn't smooth looking to begin with, it looked pretty bumpy and ugly when it was done.
I cut a slice and took a bite.........only to find out that it was SUPER salty.
Yup. Of course, I didn't read the recipe correctly. Apparently I never do. I put 2 tbs instead of 2 tsp of salt. I remember thinking that was a lot and double checked, but I swear I STILL saw 2 tbs.
Kyle still loved the bread. He said the salt gave it some great flavor. It really isn't THAT bad, but I just wasn't expecting it.
Ian and I now believe that it was the salts fault as to why the dough didn't cooperate. Stupid salt.