Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Easy Traditional Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe


We had a really fun Relief Society activity where my friend Michelle, a native of the Caribbean, shared a few recipes with us. She adds her own twist of spices to this dish, but this is the basic recipe she used. We also had some delicious “rice and peas” on the side. It was all so yummy! I can’t handle too much heat, but she made a mild version, and it was perfect. Just a mouth-watering mixture of flavor! So fun to add some culture to the mix! Thanks for sharing Michelle!

Homemade Jamaican Jerk Chicken (
  • 1 whole chicken, sectioned and with each piece containing a few ½ inch deep slashes
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 seeded and finely chopped habanero or Scotch bonnet pepper for a very hot flavor or a jalapeno pepper for a milder spice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Cooking Directions for Jerk Chicken
  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the chicken, in a food processor and blend into a smooth puree to form the jerk marinade.
  2. Place the sectioned chicken in a large bowl and cover each piece completely with the marinade.
  3. Cover the chicken and marinate for at least six hours. Leave overnight for best results.
  4. When the chicken is fully marinated, remove it and grill it over a hot grill until the chicken is fully cooked.

If one does not have a grill, the chicken can also be baked in a 425° oven until it is fully cooked. (Michelle bakes hers in the oven in a casserole dish.)

For the perfect meal, pair this jerk chicken with a cold, crunchy coleslaw or salad and Jamaican rice. Make sure to have plenty of cold drinks on hand as this recipe is spicy. For a less spicy version, leave the hot pepper out all together. This marinade can also be used with pork if desired.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

$250 Cookie


I know what you are thinking… “Seriously, another chocolate chip cookie recipe?” Can you ever have to many, really? They just all turn out so different and so good! :) I feel like Debra’s got cookies down! (Remember those Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies?) Well, this one is worth at least $250! :) Thanks for sharing Debra… especially in the middle of a move… bonus points for you!

$250 Cookie

  • 2 cups butter
    4 cups flour
    1 tsp. salt
    2 tsp. soda
    1-8 o.z. Hershey Bar (grated)
    2 cups sugar
    3 cups chopped nuts (your choice/optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 cups blended oatmeal **
    2 tsp. Baking powder
    24 oz. chocolate chips
    2 tsp. vanilla
    2 cups brown sugar

**Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies. (Recipe may be halved)
Note: May bake in a convection oven for 11 minutes at 350 degrees. Also if you take your butter and eggs out a few hours before you plan to make the cookies and allow them to warm to room temperature, your cookie will turn out better! I don’t use nuts. These cookies freeze really well, and defrost within a couple of hours. Freezing them is a way to keep them fresh and enjoy them longer!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Muffins that Taste Like Donuts


Muffins or Donuts for breakfast? Hmmm… why not indulge in both fairly unhealthy competitors? (I’m sure you would have the full support of your local law enforcement. :) I came across this recipe on and seeing as how I am a pretty big muffin fan, this one was just screaming at me to give it a try. We are not going for healthy here… just absolutely delicious! :) I loved the dense consistency and the cinnamon and sugar coating. It really did remind me of an old fashioned donut or a yummy coffee cake. This made a very tasty addition to the muffin collection! A must try!

Muffins that Taste Like Donuts
from lemanda on Tasty Kitchen

for the muffins:

1 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/3 cup Oil
3/4 cup White Sugar
1 whole Egg
3/4 cup Milk

for the topping:

1/4 cup Butter
1/3 cup White Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

Grease one standard size muffin pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Combine oil, sugar, egg and milk. Add dry ingredients and stir only to combine. Fill standard sized muffin tin with the batter, using a scant 1/4 cup per muffin (I like to use my Pampered Chef Large Cookie Scoop – perfect size & easy!)

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a bowl. Combine the white sugar with the cinnamon in another bowl. Shake muffins out while still hot. Dip muffins in butter, then into the sugar/cinnamon mix. Let cool.

Makes 1 dozen. You might want to double the recipe. (I think I filled my muffin tins really full, because I was short 4 muffins from a two dozen after doubling the recipe… and I felt pretty ripped off. :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tangy Almond Garlic String Beans


It’s always good to have a winning side dish… it just seems like I neglect that part of the meal, but I find it’s really worth it when I take the time. It makes me so impressed with my Grandparents generation—they always seemed to have an impressive “proper” spread complete with several side dishes, fruit, and followed up with dessert. I just feel lucky most days to throw together a casserole or something of that nature, and if it has some sort of veggie in it, I feel like “I’ve arrived.” :) Way to go Grandma! These string beans were really god- I love almonds in them! I’ve made a similar recipe before, but I really liked the addition of ginger- added a whole new dimension.

Tangy Almond Garlic String Beans (

  • Salt
  • 1 pound string beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes (I'm a wimp and didn't include this.)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook for just 1 to 2 minutes, until the beans turn bright green. Strain them and run under cold water to stop them from cooking.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and toast them until golden brown, about 4 minutes, shaking the pan often to avoid burning the almonds. Remove the toasted almonds from the pan.

Return the skillet to the burner and increase the heat to medium-high. Heat the olive oil in the pan and add a few pinches of salt, the garlic, ginger, and chili flakes. Cook just until the garlic starts to brown. Add the vinegar and let cook down for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and toss in the beans to coat them thoroughly and evenly with the dressing.

Serve on a platter and scatter the top with the toasted almonds.

Thursday, May 12, 2011



Scones, Fried Dough, Indian Bread, Whale’s Tails, Tiger Ear’s, Pizza Frita, Frying Saucers, Elephant Ears… I’ve even heard them call “Nessy’s Ears” at our local Renaissance Festival. (Which, consequently, got me pining for these greasy, yet delicious morsels.) Growing up, I used to help out in our ward food booth to earn money for the scouting program. I have memories of stretching many a dough ball to make many a scone. We had the best honey butter to go with it. (Talk about asking for a heart attack. :) At least you would die happy, right?) Doug made some this time, and it was pretty good. At the festival, they had theirs dipped in cinnamon and sugar, and they looked so good.

This isn’t even like a real recipe- I guess I just wanted to get the idea out there. I didn’t even make my own rolls! I was lazy and bought a package of Rhodes rolls… but they work great. Let them thaw and slowly stretch them out, then I just deep fried them in some canola oil. I couldn’t get them to stretch really well- I can usually get them really thin and make huge ones, thanks to all my former “practice”, but I think I’ve lost my touch. :) Still a fun “once in a while” treat. The kids loved it!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Mexican Wedding Cookies


I’m just a bit behind on my “Cinco de Mayo” post. I am certainly not of “Mexican” origin, but growing up, we used to beg my mom to make us these cookies, so you could just about consider me a "danged native". They are one of my favorites. They are kind of a shortbread cookie… with lots of butter as you can probably see… chalk it up as another reason I'm quite partial. :) My husband said he was surprised at how good they were, because he was just expecting little “dough balls”. My daughter did the powdered sugar dipping, so they weren’t “perfect” but I thought they tasted great, and I was happy to find a quick recipe that worked well and brought back lots of happy memories!

Mexican Wedding Cookies (

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped PLANTERS Pecans

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Beat butter, 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and the vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour and pecans, beating on low speed after each addition until well blended.

SHAPE dough into 1-inch balls. Place, 1-1/2 inches apart, on ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE 14 to 15 min. or until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned. Cool 5 min. on baking sheets. Roll warm cookies in remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar until evenly coated; place on wire racks. Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.

Make it Easy: Use a blender or food processor to finely chop the pecans. Just be careful not to overprocess them or you'll end up with nut butter!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

MaryJane’s Farm


My daughter’s class recently went on a field trip to MaryJane’s Farm. She is kind of a “local celebrity” and it was fun to see her lovely farm and where all the “magic” happens for her magazines. It was fun to meet her. She is like a lovely, down-to-earth, country version of Martha Stewart. She even came out with her pet chicken named Ginger. (The kids were thrilled! :) One of the reasons I wanted to post this, was because she has a pretty cool line of MaryJane organic foods. I’m not totally immersed in the whole “organic” thing, but I think there is some neat stuff in there and a few fun recipes you might want to check out. It was a neat trip for me. I’m enjoying some of her magazines- she has a really fun old fashioned, Country Girl style that is refreshing after so much of the trendy, new-age stuff that gets thrown at us.



Sunday, May 1, 2011

Banana-Berry Brownie Pizza


I brought the dessert to “The Easter Feast”, and this is what I decided to make. My mother-in-law knows how much I love cooking, and for my birthday, she gave me this AWESOME Taste of Home Most Requested Recipes cookbook that I have just LOVE! It has so many practical, but absolutely mouth-watering recipes in there that I can’t wait to try. This was one that I found, and it ended up being a big hit! They had it in a pizza pan, but I decided to do it in a 9x13 casserole dish. Anyway- this is a yummy one. Bananas and strawberries are just a good match, but then you throw chocolate in there and life is beautiful!

Banana-Berry Brownie Pizza (Taste of Home)

  • 1 package fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch size)
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 to 2 medium firm bananas, sliced
  • 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, melted (I'm a slacker, and I just drizzled chocolate syrup over the top.)


  • In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, water, oil and egg until well blended. Spread into a greased and floured 12-in. pizza pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Spread over brownie crust. Bake 15 minutes longer or until topping is set. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Just before serving, arrange strawberries and bananas over topping; drizzle with chocolate. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 10-12 servings.