Tag Archives: recipe

Chocolate Mousse (or chocolate elk)

We’ve had more than our share of moose around the house this summer and fall. We’ve counted at least 5 different cows and bulls hanging out by the deck, sipping water from the boys “pond”, lounging by the playground and cruising our roads.  I have a 1/2 gallon of whipping cream from last weekend when I made caramels and needed a few more recipes so it didn’t go to waste. When I told the boys I was making chocolate mousse, they asked if I’d make chocolate elk or chocolate bear instead…so I think we have a new name for a very traditional chocolately dessert…here is our Chocolate Elk.

The boys loved helping whip this up, literally.  Of course they like licking the beaters!

I also think that what a person puts into a martini glass says a lot about them. I served our Chocolate Elk in my grandmothers vintage swirl martinin glasses….I honestly don’t think I’ve ever served martini’s in them but they make fabulous dessert dishes!

8 ounces chocolate chips (or semi sweet chocolate)
6 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1. Melt chocolate and water in saucepan over medium
2. Whisk in vanilla and allow to cool
3. Whip cream. After it begins to thicken as sugar and continue whipping until thick.
4. Add cooled chocolate and blend on low.
5. Scoop into martini glasses, garnish with chocolate chips and chill in refrigerator.

Makes 6-8 martini glasses!


Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

So now that you’ve created an abundance of Salsa Verde (see previous post https://justcutthescrap.com/2012/10/13/awe-mazing-green-tomato-salsa-verde/), I thought you’d appreciate a recipe to cook with it. Sure chips and salsa is great, but it’s always nice to have options, especially when you have 27 pints in front of you!

So my dear friend, Lindsay over at www.eat8020.com shared a delicious enchilada recipe. I noticed her “gravy” was quite similar to my salsa verde and so gave it a try using my now abundant stash of salsa.

I did change a few things up to accomodate the hubby’s hollow leg and the boys growing appetite. This recipe will make 2 – 9 x 13 pans of enchiladas…great for when company visits or having leftovers. Also since cheese is almost it’s own food group in this house, I had to add some in the filling mixture. I also have to give her a big thanks for helping me discover the raw tortillas. I found them in the refrigerator section of the store near salsa’s and cheese. If you’ve never tried them, go get yourself a pack today…simply yummy!

Hope you enjoy this easy little number using your own Salsa Verde!

15-20  12″ raw flour tortillas (found them in the refigerator isle by the salsa)
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (~22 oz total), grilled and cubed
2 packages 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
2 6 oz cans diced green chiles
3 cups + 3 Tbsp Salsa Verde,warmed on the stove top
1 1/2 cups shredded mexican cheese blend (or monterey jack cheese)
Cilantro, to garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover bottom of 9 x 13 pan with a thin layer of salsa verde.
2. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup shredded cheese and green chiles. Mix well. Add chicken cubes and fold to combine.
3. Fill each tortilla with ~1/3 cup chicken mixture. Roll tortilla and place in pan, seam side down. Ladle 3 cups Enchilada Gravy over filled tortillas, then sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted. Place oven on high broil and place baking dish on top rack. Watch closely and broil for ~3 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve.
As I mentioned I made a few alterations to the original recipe which are all represented in the above recipe. Check out the original here http://www.eat8020.com/search?q=enchiladas. And while you’re there check out her other recipes!

Awe-mazing Green Tomato Salsa Verde

Winter arrived a lot earlier than we expected here in MT.  Despite our best efforts to prolong our tomato growing season with the construction of several greenhouses, our little tomato crop was frosted out this weekend 😦 We are so sad to see hundreds of soon-to-be ripe tomatoes cut short by mother-nature’s cruel joke of an early October hard freeze!

What to do???? I know you can ripen the tomatoes by wrapping them in newspaper and putting them in a dark place. Honestly, I’ll forget about them and find them one day, rotted and stinky and one big mess to clean up. Our dilemma is some of the tomatoes suffered frost and were quickly turning to mush.
I found a recipe for salsa verde using green (unripened) tomatoes. I modified it a bit to accommodate our abundant crop of green tomatoes and the result?  In my husbands words “I could eat the heck out of this” salsa verde. I have successfully canned 27 pints!  We have a long winter of green chili burritos, casserole con salsa verde, chips and salsa verde, ________insert favorite dish and salsa verde!  It is that good, yes, I am currently fantasizing about all the “salsa verde” dishes to come!

So if you have an abundance of green tomatoes, here’s a delicious and easy recipe for you to try!
NOTE: When working with the peppers, be sure to wear gloves and DON’T touch your eyes or any other sensitive part of your body! 🙂

8 lb (or a large stock pot 3/4 full) of green tomatoes, cored and quartered
3-4 onion, diced
3-4 green Anaheim chili pepper, stem and seeds removed, diced
5-6 jalapeno chilies, stems and seed removed, diced
7-9 garlic cloves, diced
4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups water
5 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 small bunches fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Combine green tomatoes, onion, chili peppers, garlic, salt, cumin, oil, water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

2. Stir in lemon juice, sugar and cilantro. Simmer for 5 more minutes.

3. Spoon into food processor. Pulse until salsa is the consistency you desire (chunky or smooth).

Makes approximately 8-9 pints! I then processed the pints in my pressure canner using the canner instructions. You can also freeze this!

Cooking Note: I used the food processor to chop the onion and chili peppers before adding them to the stock pot to cook. I also used prepared minced garlic which I buy at my local warehouse store because we use garlic, a lot!

Chewy Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

I think I’ve mentioned our household fondness for chocolate. It’s been snowy and cold here this early October and it’s sent me back into the kitchen for some baking.  After daddy devoured the peanut butter cookies (with Hershy Kisses on top) I felt a little sad for the boys. Mostly my oldest coming home from school hoping to have a cookie and alas, no cookies. I didn’t feel like making another batch of regular chocolate chip cookies so I gave this one a try. It makes about 4-5 dozen cookies so you could easily cut in half.

Now I’ve mentioned my unusual lack of obsession with chocolate. I think one note should be made here. I LOVE chocolate cookie and brownie and cake dough/batter, mmmm.  However, once baked I generally can take or leave the finished goodies. These cookies are truly delicious!  The dough is rich and chocolatey and the cookies come out soft and chewy, just the way the hubby likes them.  Hope you enjoy them too!

Chewy Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

1. Cream together the margarine, sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla
2. Blend in the cocoa and add baking soda, salt and blend well.
3. Add the flour into the creamed mixture and fold in the chocolate chips.
4. Bake at 350° for 8-9 minutes.
Pair with some home-made hot cocoa for a deliciously chocolatey treat! https://justcutthescrap.com/2012/10/05/delicious-hot-cocoa

Originally found at http://www.food.com/recipe/chewy-double-chocolate-chip-cookies-53301

Delicious Hot Cocoa

It’s the first week of October and we are already thick into the “snow”!  Yes for the past 3 days we’ve had freezing temps and snowy conditions making us all just a little uneasy about the length of winter ahead.  However, this is MT and we could see 70’s again next week (not likely but possible).

One of the boys favorite treat after playing in the snow is a warm cup of hot cocoa. For the longest time #1 would request a cup of “warm cocoa” because a hot cup would burn his mouth, so smart! Since this cold spell hit us at the end of a beautifully warm September, I am all out of hot cocoa mix (usually Ovaltine since in my mother’s mind it must be a little healthier since it has all those vitamins in it, right?)  What is a mom to do? Two boys, cold from their snow fort building on the lawn begging for a warm cup of cocoa…hmmm?

Well once a long time before all our prepackaged foods, powdered mixes and sliced bread, moms must have served their little ones something that was probably so much more delicious! And they did, home-made hot cocoa. This is super easy and fun for the kids to help!

Both boys proclaimed this to be so much better than hot cocoa mix in a can – their words not mine. This then lead to a short chanting of “home-made hot cocoa, home-made hot cocoa).

2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cocoa powder
Dash of salt
2 cups warm/hot milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

1. I used a pint mason jar, one for each boy. Add sugar, cocoa and salt.
2. Pour in warm milk and vanilla.
3. Put mason jar lid on securely. Let the little ones shake.
4. Remove lid and serve…in the jar! So fun!

Enjoy with some fresh baked chocolate chocolate chip cookies.  I think you could even put this mix in jars and take it with you or have it prepared for sledding parties. Hopefully we don’t have enough snow for one of those for a few more months, crossing fingers and toes, please!

Cowboy Meatloaf

Since we have so much ground meat in our freezer, I am constantly challenged to create new dishes with said ground meat that isn’t spagetti or chili.  Meatloaf is quickly becoming a favorite in the house among my “we eat meat” boys. However, the same meatloaf over and over gets a bit redundant. The kids also like to help mix up the meat and getting their hands all gooey!

My oldest is certain he will grow up to be a cowboy, so he LOVES this meal! Not to mention any meal with a fun name goes down faster in this crew. This is a favorite on cold days coupled with roasted or mashed  potatos, mmm.  It also brings out the boot wearing cowgirl in me!

Hope you enjoy this zesty version of loaf de meat! Boots and hats are optional!

Cowboy Meatloaf
2 lb ground beef
1 cup soft bread crumbs
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 large clove, minced
1/2 cup shredded cheese
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup chunky salsa

1. Heat over to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except salsa in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
2. Shap beef mixture onto baking sheet that is lined with foil (this makes for easy cleanup!). Pour salsa on top.  Bake for 1 hour to 1hour 15 minutes or until cooked through.
3. Let stand for 10  minutes, slice and serve.

What to do with the leftovers?  Head over to https://justcutthescrap.com/2012/09/29/lasagna-from-leftovers for my Lasagna recipe using meatloaf leftovers!

Note: one of my favorite sneaks into meatloaf is shredded carrots-sautee them a bit in a pan before adding to the mixture. While the hubby notices them, the kids do not. 🙂

Can you say yee-haw? That’s some good meatloaf my friend!

Mac’ n’ Cheese with Cauliflower

I admit not long ago I was the queen of dressing up mac’ n’ cheese from a box. With 2 toddlers they loved it, it was fast, easy and I could add real cheese along with a variety of other things to it to make me feel like it was “healthy”. I even joked I was going to write a book “101 ways to make Mac’ n’ Cheese”. There was Mac’n’cheese with Peas, Mac’n’cheese with Chopped Spinach, Mac’n’cheese with Cheddar (yeah the real stuff), and so on and so forth. Don’t judge me until you have 2 kids under the age of 2!

However, I also love food made from scratch. There is little processed food in our shopping carts, no frozen dinners and most of the “boxed” food involves cereal or noodles. The rest I like to prepare myself in part because it is so much better for you AND because I love to be in the kitchen!

I have noodle hounds on my hands…any type of noodle and they love it. So I came across this mac’ n’ cheese recipe that seemed like something they’d like and a grown up would enjoy too. I really like that it adds your veggies into the mix.  Dicing them small makes it harder for the kids to find them and thus complain about veggies in their mac! For the adults, the Dijon mustard and garlic give this a nice flavor. Oh and this was toooooo easy!  Took longer to boil the noodles than make the sauce!

Mac’n’cheese with Cauliflower


2 cups cauliflower florets  (for the kids I chopped these up small)
Olive oil or cooking spray for the baking dish
3/4 – 1 lb noodles (macaroni, mini penne, cavatappi or here we used mini bowtie)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1tsp Dijon mustard
1tsp salt
Pinch of cayenne
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan*
1/2 cup Boursin light garlic and herb spreadable cheese**
*I did not have this so I substituted grated mixed cheese
**I did not have this so I substituted cream cheese and 1tsp garlic herb seasoning

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread cauliflower on greased 13×9 baking pan. Roast until florets begin to brown about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
2. Cook pasta per box instructions. Drain and set aside.
3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk olive oil and flour for 1 min. Add milk, whisking constantly. Stir in mustard, salt, cayenne, garlic and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
4. Add cheddar cheese, parmesan (in my case the other mixed cheese), and Boursin (my case cream cheese and garlic/herb seasoning).
5. Combine with pasta and cauliflower, return everything to the baking pan.
6. Sprinkle top with cheese and bake 30 minutes until golden and cheese is bubbling.

Notes: I think this would be delish with some diced chicken in it.  Our family loves broccoli so I may  substitute that next time around.

Shown with garden salad straight from our garden, mixed greens, lemon cucumber (my new fave!), carrots and cherry tomatoes topped with homemade Balsamic vinegrette…mmmm!