If you have a question or comment, please e-mail me at marinscreations@yahoo.com

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

1 can (14oz.) enchilada sauce, divided
4oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 1/2 cups salsa, I used homemade, click here for recipe
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
1 15.5oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 4oz. can chopped green chilies
10 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, sour cream, olives (optional)

1. Pour 1/2 can of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 dish.
2. In a large sauce pan, cook and stir cream cheese and salsa over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir in chicken, green chilies, and beans.
3. Place about 6 Tb. of chicken mixture in each tortilla and roll. Place enchiladas, roll side down, in the dish.
4. Cover enchiladas with remaining sauce and sprinkle cheese over top.
5. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
6. Serve with lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes, and olives, if desired.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Apple Crisp

10 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used granny smith)
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water

1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted

1. Place the sliced apples in a 9x13 pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
2. Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mini Chalkboard

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I've had sick kids and now I'm not feeling so great myself. I went to Dollar Tree the other night and they had these plain wooden signs with pre-drilled holes in them in many different shapes. My mind immediately starting racing with all the things I could make out of them. So, this was my first idea and the others are to come.

What you need:
wooden sign (Dollar Tree)
chalkboard spray paint ($4.00 at Home Depot)

What you do:
1. Spray paint the sign, I did 2 coats. Let dry 24 hours.
2. Tie ribbon through holes. I knotted mine in the back.
3. That's it...You're done! So Easy!
(don't write on the chalkboard for 24-48 hours)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Most Dangerous Chocolate Cake

I received an e-mail the other day from my Mom with this recipe in it (thanks Denise for forwarding it to her) and thought I should share-
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (Microwave Safe)
Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.Then EAT! This can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Green Chili Burros

This is a recipe my mom always made for us growing up. I love this recipe because I have a small family and even the smallest roast is too big for our family. This takes care of the left-overs and is so easy to make.
left over roast (any kind), about 1 lb.
1 can salsa verde, I use Herdez brand
1 can diced green chilies

1. Shred left over roast and place in crock pot. Pour salsa verde over meat and mix in green chilies.
2. Cook on low for 2-3 hours.
3. Serve in warm tortillas (I prefer the ones you have to cook), and top with cheese, sour cream, black olives, lettuce- whatever you like!

Val Van Haren's Salsa

I got this recipe from a friend, thanks Dawn, and loved the fact that there is no chopping! Throw it all in the blender and you're done!
3 16oz. cans diced tomatoes, juice strained
1 bunch cilantro
4 jalapenos, de-seeded (I used 2, I don't like it too spicy)
1 bunch green onions
1 can El Pato (yellow can)
2 Anaheim chilies, de-seeded (I couldn't find these, so I substituted 1 can of green chilies)
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. salt, add more if needed
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree!
*this can end up a little spicy depending on how ripe your jalapenos and chilies are. you can adjust the "hottness" by adding a little sugar if needed.

Pasta Carrabba

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup fresh chopped basil
salt & pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp. butter
4 medium shallots (no substitutions)
2 cups cream
6oz. fresh mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas
salt & pepper, to taste
1 9oz. pkg. FRESH fettuccine
freshly grated Parmesan, to taste

1. Place halved chicken breasts side by side in a lightly greased baking dish. Drizzle with vinegar and oil. Sprinkle basil leaves over the breasts and season with salt & pepper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Bake chicken for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
3.Peel and finely chop shallots. Saute in butter for 1 minute. Add cream and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce until thickened to a light sauce. Add mushrooms and peas and cook an additional 2 minutes.
4. Cook pasta according to package (mine took 2-3 minutes), drain and shake out all excess water.
5. Thinly slice chicken, add to pasta, toss gently with sauce and top with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Family Directory

Sorry, I originaly had pictures of the inside but realized you could read all my information so I had to remove them.
I made this binder a while ago, but was recently asked about it so I thought I'd share. I keep this binder in a drawer in the kitchen right near our telephone. The very first page is a list of emergency contacts- 911, hospital, poison control, doctor, parent's cell numbers, home address w/directions on how to get there, etc. This is a must have especially if you have a babysitter. The second page is a poison control help sheet. I'm sure you can print this off the internet, I got mine from our pediatrician. Next comes the frequently called numbers. I generated a spreadsheet in excel with all the numbers we call most...family, friends, doctors, dentist, insurance companies, take-out joints, etc. And last but not least, the good old ward lists that we all have a million of (both old &new).
Possibilities are endless what you could put in here. I'm just glad I have it so I can feel better about leaving a babysitter. In the event of an emergency it's always good to have things written down because you tend to not be thinking straight!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Jay's Signature Pizza Crust

another no fail recipe from allrecipes.com
Chicken Ranch Pizza is pictured above, click here for recipe
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes.
2. Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour.
3. Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out. Use for your favorite pizza recipe.
4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, you may place your toppings on the dough, and bake immediately. If you are baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for 15 or 20 minutes before topping and baking it.
5. Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ham n' Potato Soup

this is another recipe from allrecipes.com, I served it in bread bowls, click here for recipe.
3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Death by Chocolate Cake

Sorry, I forgot to take the picture before we cut the cake!
1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar.

Blackberry Muffins

1 white cake mix
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. flour
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1-2 cups fresh blackberries (or strawberries or raspberries)

Mix all ingredients (except blackberries) with a hand mixer for approximately 2 minutes. Slice blackberries and fold into mixture. Spoon into a greased cupcake pan and bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Scripture Jar

I have two very young children so family scripture study has never been very successful in our home. My husband and I were recently discussing what we could do to make this work. We decided to fill a jar with important scriptures and read one a day. We each picked out 15 scriptures and I typed them up and placed them in a jar. (Of course the jar had to be cute if it was going to be in my house!) Each night after dinner one of the kids gets to pick a scripture out of the jar and we read it as a family. That's it, one scripture. We only wrote the scripture reference on the slip so that we would have to read it from scriptures and our children would have that visual and know what we were reading. We have had so much more success and my oldest actually gets excited now about family scripture study.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Serving Plate/Cloche Stand

I went to the dollar store and bought a plate and a sundae glass.
I came home and flipped the sundae dish upside down and glued it to the bottom of the plate with liquid nails (you could also use silicone).

I then added a little ribbon embellishment, threw some nice summer fruits on top and called it good!
So I have seen this done a couple of ways. Many people use candle stands, which works but mine was a dollar, and I like it better! You can also spray paint the sundae dish and the plate to have a perfect match. You'll want to finish it up with a coat of poly though. I just liked the look of mine and went with the green because I'm going to fill my cloche with citrus this summer and thought it would look good. Soo Easy and Soo Cheap!

Foil Dinners

Ok, not the most appetizing looking meal I've ever made, but they were good. This is the first time I've made these and they were by request of my husband.

1 lb. ground beef, I recommend a higher fat content like 80/20
potatoes, peeled & diced
carrots, either baby or sliced
onion, sliced
1 can cream of mushroom
salt & pepper
any other seasonings of choice, Lawry's, Garlic Salt, Lemon Pepper, etc.
1. Place 1/4 pound patty on an 8x8 piece of heavy duty foil.
2. Season patty with salt & pepper, and any other desired seasonings.
3. Place potatoes, onions, and carrots on top.
4. Place a dollop of butter on top of meat and vegetables.
5. Cover with cream of mushroom.
6. Pull 2 ends of foil together and roll, then roll each end in as well.
7. Place in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fresh Mexican Salad

I was a little skeptical about this recipe at first, but it got such awesome reviews on allrecipes.com that I decided to give it a try....and I'm so glad I did!
My husband said "this is a keeper!" I made this as a side dish to my Shredded Beef Tacos, click here to view recipe, and they were awesome together. This salad can be served alone, on the tacos, or eaten with chips. Don''t let the long list of ingredients scare you, I had most of these things on hand.
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn kernels
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 clove crushed garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 dash hot pepper sauce ( I omitted this)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1. In a large bowl, combine beans, bell peppers, frozen corn, and red onion.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice, sugar, salt, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and black pepper. Season to taste with hot sauce and chili powder.
3. Pour olive oil dressing over vegetables; mix well. Chill thoroughly, and serve cold.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Flower Clips

(don't ask me how my daughter ended up with blonde hair, I'm still trying to figure that out myself!)
What you need:
alligator clips (CVS Pharmacy, Sally's)
3/8" grosgrain ribbon
scrapbooking flowers, not the paper ones
decorative scrapbooking brads
hot glue gun
What you do:
1. Cut a piece of ribbon approximately 3 1/2" long. Apply a strip of hot glue to the entire back of the ribbon.
2. Pinch open the alligator clip and slide the ribbon in, glue side up, close the clip.
3. Continue wrapping the ribbon around the outside and around the bottom of the clip, trimming any excess ribbon. (YOU HAVE TO WORK QUICKLY AS THE HOT GLUE WILL DRY FAST!)
4. Layer your chosen flowers and feed a brad through the center holes. Flip the flower over and open the ends of the brad to secure.
5. Apply a small amount of hot glue to the back of the flower and place on the clip. Easy Enough!

Flat Iron Steak w/ Southwest Rub

1 flat iron steak, any size
Southwest Rub:
1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

Combine all ingredients and rub evenly onto steak just prior to cooking.

1. Preheat bbq grill to medium-high heat. Spray grill with non-stick spray.
2. Place steak on grill, top down, for 10 minutes. Flip steak and cook for an additional 10 minutes, top down.

This is a really tender and inexpensive steak. One steak feeds my entire family with little to no left overs. It comes in a vacuum sealed package which freezes great!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Caramel Rolls

Prepare one recipe for Lion House roll dough, (click here for recipe); allow to rise once. Divide dough into three equal parts. You will need 2/3 of this dough for these caramel rolls. The other 1/3 of dough you can make into a loaf of bread (see post below, or click here).

2 parts Lion House roll dough
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
6oz. (2 small boxes) vanilla pudding mix (NOT instant)
3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Spray a 9x13 cake pan or a bundt pan with non-stick spray. Take 1/3 of dough and tear into small pieces, placing them randomly in the bottom of greased pan.
2. Melt butter and add remaining ingredients, except cinnamon-sugar.
3. Drizzle 2/3 of the caramel mixture over dough pieces.
4. Take remaining dough and tear into small pieces placing them in any empty spots. Drizzle remaining caramel mixture over top. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise till doubled.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto platter or cookie sheet.
*you may substitute Rhodes frozen dough for Lion House dough. Allow 2 loaves of frozen dough to thaw completely. Use one loaf for the top and one loaf for the bottom.

Lion House Bread

The caramel rolls only called for 2/3 of the Lion House roll dough so you can use the extra dough to make a loaf of bread.

Prepare one recipe of Lion House roll dough, (click here for recipe); allow to rise once. Divide dough into three equal parts, shaping each into a loaf. Place each loaf in a greased loaf pan and allow to rise till doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.