Thursday, December 17, 2009

Devine Baked Potato Soup

BAKED POTATO SOUP aka“Hard Rock Café Baked Potato Soup.”

Give yourself enough time to make this. You need to bake the potatoes and allow them to cool before you begin on the soup.

8 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled (plus additional for garnish).....I use the microwave bacon to save time and it's easy cleanup!

3 T. butter

1 C diced yellow onions

1/3 C flour

6 C hot chicken broth (6 cups water plus 6 chicken bullion cubes)

4 C (or more) cooled, peeled, diced baked potatoes

2 C whipping cream

1 – 2 TBSP dried parsley

1 t. granulated garlic

1 ½ t. dried basil

1 ½ t. salt

1 ½ t. coarse black pepper

1 C shredded cheddar cheese (plus additional for garnish)

¼ C sliced green onions (plus additional for garnish)

Cook onions in 2 T. butter over medium-high heat until transparent, about 3 minutes. Add 1 T. butter. Once it melts, add flour stirring to prevent lumps; cook 3-5 minutes, until mixture turns golden. Add chicken broth gradually, whisking to prevent lumps. Continue whisking and allow to boil, until mixture thickens, 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer and add potatoes, cream, bacon, parsley, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes, do not allow to boil. Add cheese and green onions, heat until cheese melts smoothly. Garnish with additional bacon, cheese, and green onions.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yummy in Your Tummy Pasta


½ C. chopped pancetta or bacon-I use bacon-about 8 strips

1 Tbs. olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (14 ½ oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes in juice

½ C. whipping cream

¾ C. torn basil leaves, divided

1 box Bow-Tie pasta---i actually only use half a box

Cook pancetta in large skillet over medium-low heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Drain dippings. Add olive oil and garlic back to the pan and sauté 30 seconds. Add tomatoes with juices and cream. Bring sauce to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Stir in ½ C. basil. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta and divide among 4 plates. Spoon sauce over pasta. Sprinkle pasta with pancetta or bacon and remaining basil and serve.

Brooke's Notes- This recipe doesn't call for chicken but I added it anyways just because I always need protein! I cut 2 chicken breasts into bite size pieces then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook in the skillet after the bacon is done cooking, but in a clean skillet. Then add the oil and garlic and saute with the cooked chicken in the skillet as well, then follow the rest of the directions. and ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Crockpot Tacos w/Fresh Pico

6 Boneless, skinless chicken Breasts
4 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 Lg. jar medium Pace salsa

Arrange chicken in Crockpot, so that the breasts and thighs are mixed together. Pour all the salsa over top and bake on high for 4 hrs.

After chicken is cooked, take out and shred and place back in Crockpot in all the juice and salsa, and bake for another 2-3 hours on low.

Drain and serve with taco shells. (or burritos, or over rice as a taco salad)

Fresh Pico

4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
3 jalepenos, seeded, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
salt, to taste
1 Tbs. Lime juice, to taste

Mix and serve over taco meat

YUMMY! Tastes so fresh!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Homemade Chili and Cornbread

I love fall! I love the leaves changing, wearing sweaters and boots, sipping hot chocolate, making warm homemade soups and snuggling under a big blankey! I have sisters and cousins (pseudo cousins really...long story about our twisted family) that LOVE cooking and are really good at it. I was home for my brother's wedding and his cousin Kat(e) was talking about this chili and Mexican lasagna recipe she had that her hubby loved! So she emailed all of us that wanted it, and wah-la! I made it for Michael along with homemade cornbread and they both were a hit! So yummy, healthy (kinda?) and filling! Enjoy!

Homemade Chili

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
2 cups of water
2 cans of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
brown sugar (I start with a 1/4 cup then taste and add more. Or leave it out if I just want it spicy)
2 TBSP chili powder
2 1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2-1 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
a dash or two of hot sauce

Combine ground beef, onion and garlic in pan over medium heat until meat is brown and onions are tender. Drain. Add everything else and mix well. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer for 1 hour.

Brooke's Notes: I cooked the meat (i also used ground turkey meat instead of beef), onion and garlic at lunch. Instead of simmering the chili for an hour, I threw the rest of the ingredients and meat into the Crockpot and put on high, while I was at work. That way when I came home all I had to do was make the cornbread for 25 min. and dinner was ready.


2 C Bisquick

½ C. white sugar

½ C. corn meal

½ tsp. baking soda

1 C. milk

2 eggs

1 ½ sticks melted butter or margarine (I just use one stick)

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. Pour into ungreased 9x13” pan. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Means Yummy SOUPS!


3-4 C. cooked chicken, shredded

(I did 5 smaller breast portions, probably the equivalent of 3 big ones in the crock-pot with 3 C. of chicken broth (3 C. water + 3 t. bullion) -- for about 4 hours and it shredded right up)

After shredding the chicken, add it back to the broth (which should now be 4+ cups of broth with the extra juices from the chicken. So if you do your chicken a different way you need about 4 1/2 C. of chicken broth).

Then add:

16 oz. can Mexican corn (rinsed)

16 oz. can black beans (rinsed)

4 oz. can diced green chilies (with juices)...add more if you LOVE green chilies like I do!

1 Small can Rotel diced tomatoes

1/3 C. snipped fresh cilantro (plus more for the very end)

1 envelope Taco Seasoning

Let that simmer for a while. I did it for a few more hours in the crock pot.

About an hour before serving, remove 1-2 C. of the broth into a pan and add 1 1/2 C. water, plus 1 C. of sour cream and a 14-16 oz. jar of queso. I used Pace Mexican 4 Cheese - because it looked the most real (not bright orange) and it was the cheapest. Blend that all together and then add it back to the rest of the soup. Sprinkle with additional fresh cilantro before serving.

You can also garnish with fresh avocado.

It tastes great with tortilla chips for dipping as well, but is also amazing (and much healthier) without.

Brooke's Note- I made this for Sunday dinner for Michael and my mom before she went back to CA. Michael isn't a HUGE soup fan, but could not stop singing my praises for this amazingly yummy in your tummy soup. It really is one of the tastiest soups I have ever had/made!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cream Cheese Chicken

Cream Cheese Chicken

Recipe By:
Krissa (Midge) Reinbold

: 4


  • 4 Chicken Breasts Cubed
  • 8 oz. Package Cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1 package Good Seasonings Italian Dressing mix


  • Cook Chicken with dressing mix in skillet over medium-high heat
  • Mix soup, cream cheese and milk in a bowl and pour over chicken
  • Bake at 35o for 15 min. until cheese has melted
  • Serve over rice or egg noodles

Monday, September 21, 2009

Why Are You so PUFFY?

Cream Puffs
Recipe by:
Leila Kauwe
Makes: 60 bite size puffs


1/2 cup margarine

1 cup sifted all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs


Melt butter in 1 cup boiling water. Add flour and salt all at once; stir vigorously. Cook and stir till mixture forms a ball that doesn't seperate. remove from heat; cool slightly. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each till smooth.
Drop by normal teaspoon size 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet. bake at 450 for 12-15 min, then at 325 for 7-8 minutes or unitl golden brown. Turn oven off, remove puffs and let cool for 10 min. To dry cream puffs, put them back in off oven for 15-20 min.


1 3.9oz box jello instant pudding (flavor by preference)

1 8oz container cool whip

about 1 cup milk

Blend cool whip on low, gently adding milk and jello pudding slowly until all jello is mixed in a bowl and crystals are disolved.


Use cake decorating tube and tip to inject pudding into puffs once puffs are dry. Place on serving tray. Slightly sprinkle tray with powdered sugar. Serve.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The 1st Recipe Swap!

Last night we had our very first recipe swap! We had about 6 girls come over to my house and each brought something yummy for a FULL course meal! There were tons of new yummy things to try and I will be posting them throughout the next week or so! The first one I am posting is from Kristy Denney. She brought this AMAZING salsa and yummy chips to go along with it! It had awesome taste and great color and texture! Perfect to bring to a party and wow your friends and look gourmet in the process! :) Thanks again to everyone that came, it was SO fun to have all of you over and I can't wait to make all your yummy delights!

Avocado Feta Salsa
adapated from


2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 ripe avocado - peeled, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 c. chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste


In a bowl, gently stir together tomatoes, avocados, onion, and garlic. I also squirted some lemon juice on it to give it more flavor and to keep the avocados from browning as quickly. Mix in cilantro. Gently stir in olive oil and vinegar. Then stir in feta. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and chill for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips. *It does not keep long because of the avocado so it is best to make it close to when you are serving it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bruschetta Chicken with Basil Orzo Pasta

Bruschetta Grilled Chicken
w/Basil Orzo Pasta

Serves: 4
Time: 30 min.

  • 4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
  • 1/2 cup Kraft Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing, divided
  • 2 tomatoes , finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Coarse Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil


HEAT your grille, whether that is a Foreman grill or BBQ grill. Meanwhile, place chicken in resealable plastic bag. Add 1/4 Cup dressing; seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with dressing. Refrigerate 10 min. Remove chicken from bag; discard bag and dressing.

GRILL chicken til' cooked thoroughly throughout. Meanwhile, combine remaining dressing, tomatoes, cheese and basil. Also, turn your oven to Broil and let it heat up.

PLACE chicken on a baking sheet. Top with tomato mixture. Put under broiler and heat until cheese is melted. Then serve and enjoy!

Basil Orzo Pasta

Serves: 4

Time: 30 min.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  1. Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and saute until lightly browned.
  2. Stir in chicken stock and bring to boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 - 20 minutes.
  3. Mix in Parmesan cheese and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to shallow bowl. Garnish with basil sprigs.

Brooke's Notes: The first recipe was from Kraft Foods and it was VERY healthy (only 200 calories) and super easy to make and extremely tasty! I was tired of the mundane pasta routine so I thought I would spice it up with something different. I have never made orzo pasta, and actually only had it in soup at Zupa's. But it was SUPER tasty and a fun twist on a new meal! You can find this pasta on the pasta aisle in the store. It took me a while to find it (only one manufacturer made it) But I was determined to find it!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My balls are better than yours!

The Best Homemade Meatball

Makes- 32-you can freeze and store any leftovers you may have for up to 3 months!

  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken- do not will cook with the mixture....
  • 1-1/4 cups hot water
  • 2 eggs

Heat oven to 400ºF.

Line 2 (15x10x1-inch) pans with foil; spray with cooking spray. Mix ingredients until blended; shape into 32 (1-1/2-inch) balls, using 1/4 cup for each.

Place 16 meatballs in each prepared pan. Bake 16 to 18 min. or until done (160ºF).

Combine half the meatballs with Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce or preferred spaghetti sauce.

Homemade Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce


  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • Fresh basil- finely chopped
  • 2 oz. cubed Philly cream cheese


Mix 1 jar (14 oz.) spaghetti sauce, 2 oz. cubed PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese and chopped fresh basil in large skillet; cook on medium-low heat 3 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Add 16 hot meatballs; stir to evenly coat.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Grilled Steak Tacos

Grilled Cola Skirt Steak Salsa Tacos

Recipe by: Silvana Nardone- Rachel Ray's No Recipe section


Prep time- 30 min.


  • 1/2 cup cola
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 2 limes, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Salt
  • 1 pound skirt steak, cut into 4 portions
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, finely chopped
  • 8 crisp taco shells
  • 1 avocado, cut into 8 lengthwise slices


  1. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the cola, olive oil, 2 tablespoons lime juice, the chili powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Add the steak and let marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

  2. In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeños and remaining lime juice; season with salt.

  3. Preheat a grill or grill pan to high. Grill the steak, turning once, about 15 minutes for medium-rare; let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the steak against the grain and toss with the tomato salsa. Fill each taco shell with some slaw mix, an avocado slice and steak with salsa. Serve with the lime wedges.

The Photo Play by Play:

Place the skirt steak in a plastic bag, then add cola, olive oil, chili powder, lime juice and salt.

Then mix chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapenos and more lime juice.

Grill the steak, turning once, for about 12 minutes, then let it rest.

Thinly slice the steak,

and toss it with the salsa.

Add avo and some steak and salsa. Serve the tacos with lime wedges.

Brooke's Notes: This was incredibly tasty! I would suggest that after you cook the meat and slice it that you place it in a warm oven for a few minutes, otherwise your steak will taste cold. You have to let the steak cool down enough to cut, but once you toss with the salsa it becomes cold. I would also suggest tenderizing the meat before you marinate it. That will ensure that the meat soaks up all of the flavor and be mouth watering juicy!! :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Brooke's Buitoni Pasta

Here is a super yummy but easy recipe to follow! Perfect for a beginner!

Brooke's Buitoni Pasta

Serves-4 (if you buy the big pack of noodles-2 if you opt for the smaller one)


  • Buitoni pasta
  • 1 bottle sun dried tomato pasta sauce- I use "Classico"
  • 3/4 C. chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tbls. garlic- minced
  • Aidell's Garlic & sun dried tomato sausage-cut up in small pieces and use the entire package in the skillet
  • 1/3 C. sun dried tomatoes- chopped
  • Fresh basil- chopped
Preparation Prepare the pasta as directed. While pasta is cooking, in a skillet over medium-high heat, saute garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and sausage. Cook for 5-7 minutes til the sausage starts to brown. Then add the pasta sauce and chicken broth and bring to a boil for 3-4 min. Add basil and cook for another minute. Then add the pasta and mix well. Continue on high heat til the pasta and sauce has been mixed together and the sauce coats the pasta. Move to a serving bowl, then enjoy! The meal was super fast and easy and wonderfully delish!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chile Lime Chicken Fry

Chile Lime Chicken Fry

Recipe By: Rachel Ray

Serve with Tex-Mex Peperonata and Corny Polenta

  • 4-6 Chicken fillets (ultra thinly sliced chicken breasts)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 C. all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 C. bread crumbs
  • 3 limes, zested and juiced
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder, a couple palmfuls
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder, 2/3 palmful
  • 2 tsp. onion powder, 2/3 palmful
  • 2 Tbs. dried or fresh thyme
  • 1/4 C. vegetable, canola, or safflower oil
Preparation Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Arrange 3 shallow dishes. Put the flour in 1 dish, and add the eggs to a second dish. Combine the bread crumbs in the third dish and season with 1 Tbs. lime zest, 2 Tbs. chili powder, the garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme. Coat the chicken in the flour, then the egg and then the bread crumb mixture. Heat the oil, about 1/4 C, in a large skillet over medium-high heat. If your pan is not large enough to fry 4 fillets, in a single layer, heat the oven to 275 degrees F and put a baking sheet on a cooking rack. As you fry the chicken, transfer them to the sheet in the oven to keep them warm. Fry the chicken until deeply golden and crispy and transfer to a serving platter. Season with a little extra salt, and top with lime juice and serve.

Brooke's Notes- I served the Tex-Mex Peperonata on top of the chicken. I topped the peperonata mix with lots of cilantro and used the polenta as our side dish. This was a fantastic meal! We had leftovers, and it served well the next day too! Enjoy!

Tex-Mex Peperonata & Corny Polenta

Tex-Mex Peperonata
Serves- 4
Recipe By: Rachel Ray


  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 jalepenos, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 cup beer or chicken stock
  • handful fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

Heat the EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, the peppers, garlic, and the salt and pepper, to taste. Saute the onion mixture until crisp-tender, 5-6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cook 2 minutes. Add the beer or stock and stir for 1-2 minutes more. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter, garnish with cilantro and serve.

Corny Polenta
Recipe By: Rachel Ray


  • 2 ears fresh husked corn on the cob or 1 cup frozen kernels, defrosted
  • 1 Tbs. EVOO
  • 3-4 thin scallions, finely chopped
  • 3 C. chicken stock
  • 1 C. quick-cooking Polenta
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 Tbs. hot sauce
  • Salt

Scrape the corn from the cob by balancing the cob on a small inverted bowl nested in larger bowl. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cob from the top to the bottom.

Heat the EVOO, a turn of the pan, in a sauce put over medium-high heat. Add the corn and saute until it starts to brown at the edges, 3-4 minutes. Add the scallions and cook for one minute, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and cook until thick, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the butter and season with the hot sauce and salt, to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Recipe Swap

I am by no means a professional chef, but I do LOVE cooking and I love trying out new recipes, and then sharing those with friends. I was talking with my BFF Jaime, and we decided that we wanted to have a recipe swap, and WAH-LA-
The RED Recipe Box was born!

I will be hosting a recipe swap (if you are in the Provo, UT area) in September, and will be featuring those recipes on this blog, as well as any new recipes I try in the future.

I hope to broaden my cooking horizons, and in the meantime help those out there looking for a fresh new recipe as well. I generally take recipes from the web or cooking shows I see and then put a little twist on them, but will definitely let you know who the recipe is from, and where you can find it too! I hope that over time, I can expand my cooking resume and learn new and fun ways to feed my family. I hate the monotony of cooking the same 4 recipes, and can't wait to get my apron dirty with all new ingredients!

Ok so how will the "Recipe Swap" work?
Each time our group (no matter how big or small) meets, we will have such a variety of recipes there to share, I get so excited just thinking about it! I want to have each person bring different recipes. For example, when we meet in September, I would bring 2-4 soup recipes. Jaime would bring 2-4 salad recipes. "kate" would bring 2-4 appetizer recipes and so forth. We would ask that each girl that comes brings enough copies on 8.5x11 paper for each girl that will be there. That is the easiest way to keep everything the same, but I am open to suggestions if any has them. On the invites that I am so excited to send out, I will ask each girl on her invite what would be a great recipe category for her to bring and share with everyone.

Who wants to come to the "Recipe Swap"?

If you would like to come to the swap or know someone that would want to come, please send an email to Please include your email, and address that I can mail you an invite! We would love to have a steady group of girls that would come to our swap, and promise it will be worth your time and you will have so much fun! You can also email any of your recipes to The Red Recipe Box, or any of your questions as well.

We hope that you will come and join in the cooking fun!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Beginning

This is the beginning of The Red Recipe Box. Where I will take recipes I love and share them with friends all over!