Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wheat Thins

I found this recipe in the Deseret Cookbook, and it always intrigued me. You can actually make homemade Wheat Thins? How cool is that?! I made them for a New Years Eve party back in 2006, but then I lost the cookbook. I got a new one early in 2009 and finally made these crackers again a couple weeks ago. They are super easy to make and yummy, too. The recipe says to flavor them with a light sprinkling of salt before baking, you can be creative with the flavor. I've made them with onion and garlic powders and salt. They were a hit!
Wheat Thins
Click here for Printable Recipe

  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water

Mix flours together in large bowl.
Blend oil, salt and water together.
Add liquid mixture to dry, mixing well but as little as possible.
Roll as thin as possible on unoiled cookie sheet (or the back of a jellyroll pan) -- not more than 1/8" thick.

Mark with knife for size crackers desired, but do not cut through.
Prick each cracker a few times with a fork.

Sprinkle lightly with salt or onion salt, if desired.

Bake at 350°F until crisp and light brown, about 30 minutes.
Break apart at scored marks.
Wheat Thins

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The ghost sister returns with a new recipe!!!

Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens | One Skillet Jamaican Baked Pork Chops with Sticky Pineapple Rice
Yes, ghost sister has returned and with her a new recipe! I was at a loss for supper last night. I had a pair of very tasty looking boneless pork chops just WAITING for me to make something splendid out of them. I peeked in my pantry, and voila my muse, my inspiration, peeked over a can of kidney beans. How could a girl resist that sweet golden goodness that is just MADE to be paired up with pork. It is like peanut butter to chocolate....cornbread to honey....orange yogurt to saltine crackers (this MAY or may not be to everyone's liking). Inspiration hit and I started to busily clang around pots and pans. I was feeling like my old self again, my "dinner block" had been tossed to the curb. I am BACK and raring to dust off my hot pads and don my apron again. This is what became of the beautiful pork chops and the lowly can of crushed pineapple. My son really liked the rice especially.

One Skillet Jamaican Baked Pork Chops with Sticky Pineapple Rice

Click here for Printable Recipe

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Lean Boneless Pork Chops marinated in Lawrys Jamaican Jerk Marinade Sauce
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar + 2 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp Jamaican Jerk seasoning (I used Spice Islands brand)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to your tastes

Heat olive oil in oven proof skillet. Sear Pork Chops on both sides for a minute or so. Remove pork chops and set aside. To skillet add onion, rice and garlic. Stir frequently until rice is toasted. Add broth or water, crushed pineapple, brown sugar, Jamaican seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Place pork chops on top of rice mixture and cover tightly. Place in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes. Remove and sprinkle the remaining brown sugar over the skillet. Serve with your choice of vegetable but broccoli is AWESOME! You can easily add 2 more pork chops to this and not alter anything else!

Hope that you enjoy this like my family did!!!
Jennifer The OTHER sister :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

White Chocolate-Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

A few weeks ago, I signed up for a Cookie Countdown through My Recipes.com. Each day I receive an email with a link to a delicious new cookie recipe to try. The countdown began on November 1st, and you can easily click on their interactive calendar to see what recipes were sent out previously. Each recipe was originally published in a magazine, and today's recipe was orginially from Christmas with Southern Living, Oxmoor House, DECEMBER 2006. These cookies turned out to be quite delicious; although, it did take eating a few for them to really grow on me. Now that I've eaten nearly the entire batch on my own, I can confidently say that they are yummy and slightly addicting. They have a unique flavor and are relatively light and crispy. Warning: It is hard not to have a few crumbs fall while eating these.
Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens | White Chocolate-Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies
Click here for a Printable Recipe.

Yield: about 2 1/2 dozen

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened (I used 1/2 c shortening + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon fiori di sicilia or orange extract (see note) (I used orange extract)
  • 1 cup uncooked regular oats
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped, divided (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup raisins or golden raisins


Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating well. Beat in egg and orange flavoring just until combined. Add flour mixture and oats; stir until blended. Stir in 1 cup white chocolate and raisins. Cover and chill dough 1 hour, if desired.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. I did not line my cookie sheets with parchment paper; I just used regular ungreased cookie sheets. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls, 3" apart, onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake at 350° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

After cookies have completely cooled, melt remaining 1 cup white chocolate. Spread melted chocolate over approximately half of each cookie.
Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens | White Chocolate-Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies
Note: Order fiori di sicilia from bakerscatalogue.com or call 800-827-6836. It's very affordable, and a small vial will perfume your kitchen for a long time.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Imported recipes

Just to let you know...

I've imported some recipe posts that I had on my personal blog, All Things Clarinda.

Importing recipes is really neat, because they keep their original posting dates.  Makes this blog seem like it's 3 years old already. :-)

Hope you enjoy the *new* recipes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Goodies Recipe Exchange


Jeanette, over at Sweet Jeanette, is hosting a recipe exchange on December 15th. Blog your favorite Christmas goodies recipes, and then hop over to her website and link your recipe to her site.

I'm excited to share my recipes...and hopefully find some new favorites.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Spicy Surprise Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got this recipe from the back of Ziploc(R) box. It has intrigued me for more than a year. Cayenne pepper in chocolate chip cookies?? I cut out the recipe, knowing someday I'd give it a try. Well, someday finally came. These have a very unique flavor that I feel really complements the chocolate chips. I did make a couple of changes to the recipe, which I'll note in parentheses in the recipe below. You can choose which to make.
Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens | Spicy Surprise Chocolate Chip Cookies
Click here for Printable Recipe

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (I used 1 cup shortening)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsps vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used 2 1/2 cups of flour blend which consists of 2 parts white flour, 2 parts wheat flour, 1 part wheat germ, and 1 part ground flaxseed in place of the flours in this recipe)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F.
Combine butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until smooth and light.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne pepper.
Gradually mix into butter mixture. Beat just until combined and smooth.
Fold in chocolate chips until combined. Scoop cookies into 2-inch balls and place on cookie sheets.
Spicy Surprise Chocolate Chip Cookies
Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens | Spicy Surprise Chocolate Chip Cookies
Let cool slightly, then remove from cookie sheets and transfer to a wire rack to cool further.

I found it relatively easy to overbake these cookies. They may not look done, but if the edges are golden brown they are. They will flatten as they cool.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Super Simple Chili

Last night I actually planned ahead and got dinner ready in the Crock Pot before heading to class. I made the simplest chili ever, and it was so tasty. Jeff especially loved it.

Click here for Printable Recipe

  • 2 cans Turkey Chili, plus 3 cans of water
  • 2 cups black beans, not drained
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes, slightly pureed
  • 1/4 cup minced onions
  • scant 1/4 Wahoo Chili
  • scant 2 T Garlic Garlic
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Not pictured:
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • onion powder, to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a Crock Pot, or slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours.
Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens | Super Simple Chili
My husband loves soupy chili, so this is really thin. Adjust the amount of water to satisfy your family's tastes.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Denise's Holiday Cookies

I LOVED these cookies when I was growing up. My older sister would make them during the holidays, and they were so tasty. I had some leftover Halloween plain M&Ms, and these cookies sounded so yummy that I thought it would be a perfect way to use up the plain M&Ms plaguing my cupboards. I wasn't sure that Jeff would like them, so I was surprised to find them on the coffee table this morning when I woke up. Husband approved!

Click here for Printable Recipe.

  • 3/4 c Shortening
  • 3/4 c Sugar
  • 3/4 c Brown Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 c Flour
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 c Coconut
  • 1/2 bag of Holiday M & M's (I used Halloween)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cream shortening, sugar and brown sugar.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Sift dry ingredients together and add. (I just added the dry ingredients directly to the mixture, to save on washing yet another bowl). Add coconut and M&Ms.
Spoon dough on to baking sheets. You can use two regular teaspoons, or I prefer using a scoop like the one shown in the picture below.
Bake at 350°F  for 10-12 min. The recipe I got from my sister didn't have a temperature on it, so I guess at 350°F. Her recipe indicated a baking time of 15-25 minutes, but my cookies were quite done in 10.
Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens | Denise's Holiday Cookies

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cinnamon-Blueberry Muffins

I love muffins for breakfast! Or lunch or a snack... I was really in a mood for some yesterday, so I found a recipe for some blueberry muffins in my KitchenAid cookbook. I didn't have the specific ingredients, so here is my slightly altered recipe. I thought these muffins were super tasty, but Jeff didn't much care for them. I think it was the cinnamon-sugar sprinkled on top. Too messy. I think next time I try these, I'll just add cinnamon to the batter and bake it in rather than sprinkle it on top.

Click here for Printable Recipe
I made a half batch of muffins, so only one egg is shown in picture
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 T butter, melted, divided
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 T sugar, divided
  • 2 T baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen), rinsed, drained
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously grease 24 muffin tins.

Combine eggs, milk, and 1/2 cup melted butter in mixer bowl. Using flat beater, mix until well combined, about 30 seconds.
Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and orange peel.
Add flour mixture to egg mixture. Mix just until combined, about 15 seconds.
Add blueberries and stir just until blueberries are incorporated, about 15 seconds.
Spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake at 400°F for 24 to 26 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near centers comes out clean.

Combine remaining 2 T sugar with cinnamon in small bowl; blend well. Brush tops of warm muffins with remaining 1 T melted butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve warm.

Yield: 24 muffins.
Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens | Cinnamon-Blueberry Muffins

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Delicious Homemade Bread

The other day, I decided to bake some homemade bread. I have a lot of ground flaxseed that I need to use, and we needed bread, so it just seemed logical. I scoured the Internet for a recipe that seemed easy and appealing but found nothing. I did find a Q&A about whether or not ground flaxseed could be used in place of wheat germ. The answer was yes! I decided to modify a recipe I had for Whole Grain Wheat Bread from the KitchenAid cookbook that came with my mixer. This bread turned out so yummy! Even Jeff raved about it. :-)

Click here for Printable Recipe.

  • 1/3 cup plus 1T brown sugar, divided
  • 2 cups warm water (105°F to 115°F)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 5 to 6 cups flour blend (For 6 cups of blend, combine 2c all-purpose flour, 2c whole wheat flour, 1c wheat germ, 1c ground flaxseed)
  • 3/4 cup powdered milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup oil

Dissolve 1T brown sugar in warm water in small bowl. Add yeast and let mixture stand.

Place 4 cups flour blend, powdered milk, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and salt in mixer bowl.
Using bread hook, mix for 15 seconds on Speed 2. Continuing on Speed 2, gradually add yeast mixture and oil. Mix for an additional 1 1/2 minutes.

Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Knead on Speed 2 for about 2 additional minutes. Dough may not form a ball on hook. However, as long as hook comes in contact with dough, kneading will be accomplished. Do not add more than the maximum amount of flour specified or a dry loaf will result.

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in a warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled. I usually turn my oven on to the lowest setting for about 1 minute, then turn it off and let the bread rise in the oven. Bread is doubled when you put two fingers in the dough about 1/2" and the indentation remains.

Punch dough down and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into a rectangle, approximately 9x14 inches. A rolling pin will smooth the dough and remove gas bubbles. Starting at short end, roll the dough tightly. Pinch to seal the seam. Pinch the ends and turn them under. Place the dough, seam side down, in a greased loaf pan. Cover loaf pans. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. This time, I just let them rise on the stovetop, not in the oven, so that I can preheat the oven after about 45 minutes of rising.

Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake 30 minutes longer. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.
Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens | Delicious Homemade Bread

Sorry for the lack of photos in this post. I haven't quite figured out how to take pictures while my hands are covered in sticky bread dough!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens | Ghosts in the Graveyard

Happy Halloween! I have been busy today getting Saul's and my costumes ready for tomorrow. We are going to meet my sister and go trick or treating and then go out for pizza with the kids. So I thought I should do something "spooky" for our supper. I just made a very simple hot dish (casserole for those not of the Minnesota region). I call it Ghosts in the Graveyard. I saw something like it in Taste of Home magazine but couldn't find where I put the book! So I just did it my own way. Saul thought it was hilarious! I love making silly meals for him, it gives me so much joy when he sees silly food on his plate.Such simple little things creates lots of laughter out of my sweet boy! Hope everyone will have a "spooktacular" Halloween! Be safe!!!!!

Click here for Printable Recipe

Ghosts in the Graveyard


  • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 medium potatoes cubed
  • water for boiling
  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1/8 cup milk (more or less)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooked Peas for the eyes and mouth
Put potatoes on to boil. Meanwhile, brown ground beef, onion and garlic until cooked through. Add vegetables and continue to cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in soup and milk and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste. After potatoes are fork tender, drain and coarsely mash with the butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mashed potatoes in about 1/2 cup increments into the prepared ground beef and shape with two spoons to look like ghosts. Add the peas for the eyes and mouth.

I only made three ghosts because there is only the three of us, but you can form as many as you would like!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Not all meals have happy endings.....

I BOMBED it tonight. Yes, that is right. I decided to be completely honest and not just write about the good, but the bad as well. Multi tasking can be a wonderful thing, but not all the time!!! I made pork loin medallions---I usually sear pork on both sides quickly and then simmer on low, that way they do not dry out. I thought I turned the knob down to med low but Saul was flopping around in the bath tub and called for me, so it stayed on med high. They weren't burnt, but lets say that they were a tad on the dry side (understatement of the year). Then I thought instead of just steamed carrots I would make this recipe that I made at Christmas last year. I started the recipe and then found out that it was a totally different recipe. It was not very good, at all. But the plain old buttered noodles turned out. Of course how on earth do you mess up buttered noodles? So in the world of kitchen fairy tales, this one had a unhappy and unsatisfactory ending. And I am hungry. I want CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, but alas I have taken an oath to stay away from them for a month. Only 2 weeks left of my self induced cookie fast. I hope I can make it. In the epic words of Scarlet O'Hara, Tomorrow is another day!

Pineapple-Cherry Dump Cake

It's usually my responsibility to provide desserts for our family dinners on Sunday evenings. Some weeks, I am really busy and don't have time to create anything elaborate. At times like this, I usually throw together something very simple, like a dump cake. I got this particular recipe from the 101 Things To Do With A Cake Mix cookbook. Even though it's super simple, I'll still give you the recipe with step-by-step photos.

Click here for Printable Recipe

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 to 1 stick butter (My husband LOVES butter, so I used an entire stick)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan.
Dump 1/2 of the cake mix into pan, spreading to evenly distribute.
Dump crushed pineapple in pan, spreading to evenly distribute.
Dump cherry pie filling over pineapple, spreading to evenly distribute.

Dump the remainder of the cake mix over the top of the cherry pie filling, spreading to evenly distribute. Top with thinly sliced butter.

(I forgot to take a picture before putting in the oven, so here's a pictue with the butter slightly melted from being in the oven for a few minutes.)

Serve warm with ice or cooled with whipped topping.
Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens | Pineapple-Cherry Dump Cake

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My husband's idea of heaven.....

Chicken & BroccoliI was so excited about doing this blog with my sister, I just had to put a few posts on (recipes earlier posted). So I thought my sis's pics looked so nice I decided that I needed to add them as well! Things always are easier to make when you see a finished product, I think. I went to pick up my husband from work and picked up the chicken and broccoli. When I told him what I was making I thought I might have to find a napkin to wipe the drool from his face! It was kind of fun making dinner with the thought that I would take pictures of it! All in all it turned out super! Of course Saul and I don't have the nerve for the sauce. My face starts to turn red and Saul pulls out his tongue and says "oww mama oww". But as for Todd, he just sits on his side of the counter and has a silly little smile on his face and occasionally utters a weird "mmmm" sound. That is all I have to hear to know that dinner was a success!!!

Onion Rice

Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens | Onion Rice

I have a love affair with onions. They are in almost everything I cook. Who can resist the smell of sauteing onions???? When I made a new recipe which I called Jamaican jerk pork roast in the crock pot, I needed something to serve it over because of its yummy juices and pineapple. I was SO bored of just plain old rice. Seriously tired of it. So I jazzed it up a bit with the help of a beautiful yummy onion. Family loves this side and it is so incredibly easy! You don't even feel like you have done ANYTHING! P.S. I have a crummy microwave so I make the rice on the stove top. Feel free to make it in the microwave!

Click here for Printable Recipe

Super Easy Onion Rice
Serves 2 (and one little Saul)

  • 1 cup Brown Minute Rice
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/4 tsp or so of onion salt (you can add more later if needed)
  • 1 medium Onion coarsely chopped
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring water and onion salt to a boil. Add the rice and cover for about 8 minutes (until the water is all absorbed). Meanwhile, Spray pan with cooking spray and saute onions until clear and translucent. When rice is ready toss onions with the rice and salt and pepper to taste.

My secret sauce

Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens | My secret sauce
So everyone will figure this about me pretty fast, I am a throw this and throw that in a pot add a bit of sugar and love and BAM (thanks Emeril) voila I have dinner! Sometimes I can recreate, sometimes it is a one hit wonder! But this sauce that I made by complete accident I make over and over again for my Hubby! It is pretty spicy, so I and my wee lil' boy don't eat too much of it, but my Husband eats the WHOLE bowl! It is especially good with sauteed chicken served with onion rice and steamed broccoli. You can make this is as spicy as you would like!

Click here for Printable Recipe

Todd's Favorite Sauce
Serves 2-4

  • 1/4cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 1/8 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tblsp Red Curry Paste
  • 1 Tblsp Soy Sauce
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (to your specified taste)

Mix all ingriedients in a small sauce pan and bring to a slow boil.

* Different brands of Hoisin sauce are sweeter than others. I prefer using a darker colored one instead of the more red toned ones. But since it isn't always available at my grocery store I just add a little bit more brown sugar or a touch of molasses to give it the flavor I like.*


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