Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Peanut Butter Bars-Jason’s favorite


No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Rich and chocolatey no-bake peanut butter bars have only five ingredients and the best part is that they take just ten minutes to make. 
PREP TIME 10 mins
TOTAL TIME 1 hr 10 mins
COURSE Dessert
CUISINE American
CALORIES 481 kcal

  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups graham crackers, crushed
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  •  cups creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  •  cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Line a 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper, set aside. 
  • Using either a stand mixer or a handheld mixer, combine the melted butter, powdered sugar, and graham crackers. 
  • Mix in the 1¼ cups of creamy peanut butter, just until well incorporated. 
  • Evenly spread the peanut butter mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. 
  • In a heat-safe bowl, add the semi-sweet chocolate chips and the remaining 3 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter. Heat for 30-second intervals, stirring well after each interval until the peanut butter and chocolate are smooth. 
  • Spread the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter base. 
  • Cut the servings before you put the bars into the refrigerator. (The bars cut much easier this way).
  • Chill the bars for 1 hour.
  • Let the bars sit 10 to 15 minutes, at room temperature, before serving. 


  • You can either buy graham cracker crumbs or buy the crackers and crush them yourself in a food processor or with a rolling pin.
  • It’s easier to slice the mixture into bars if you do it before you put it in the fridge.


Sodium: 260mgCalcium: 39mgVitamin A: 280IUSugar: 30gFiber: 4gPotassium: 332mgCholesterol: 25mgCalories: 481kcalSaturated Fat: 14gFat: 32gProtein: 8gCarbohydrates: 43gIron: 3mg

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan


This Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Casserole is a family favorite. Add broccoli and chicken to a creamy sauce, top with cheese and serve over cooked rice or potatoes.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Casserole, chicken broccoli, Chicken casserole, chicken divan
Servings: 8
Calories: 363kcal


  • Stock Pot
  • 9x13 Inch Baking Dish
  • Medium Mixing Bowl


  • 2 bunches fresh broccoli (can also use frozen)
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked and cut into pieces if desired)
  • 2 (10.5) ounces canned cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  •  slices bread
  • 1 Tablespoon butter melted


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook broccoli in boiling salted water until tender and drain.
  • Arrange stalks in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
  • Place cooked chicken breasts on top of broccoli.
  • In a medium bowl, combine soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and curry powder; pour over chicken.
  • Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  • Break bread into small pieces and mix with melted butter. Sprinkle over shredded cheese.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Chicken Spaghetti

This is one of my favorite recipes from my sister-in-law, Kristy. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mangoes and Sticky Rice... the real deal!

This is from a friend from college Amber Flake

When we were in India, the 2nd graders at our international school had a mela (sort of a shopping fair) to learn about economics. The kids were selling all sorts of things, and were giving the money to charity. A cute little Thai girl was selling dishes of my favorite dessert (Mangoes and Sticky Rice) for the equivalent of 50 cents. I bought one, and it was so good I offered her about 5$ (all the money I had with me) if she could get her mom to write down the recipe. After tinkering with it, I think I have FINALLY nailed it!

This is the recipe I got from the Thai girl at AES.  The only thing I had to "tinker" with was how to cook the rice in my rice cooker.  The ratio of rice to water in a standard (cheap costco variety) rice cooker, was 1 1/2 C rice to 2 C of water.  Only cook the rice till it is about 3/4ths done.  It needs to be semi un-done so the coconut syrup can soak into it without making it into mush.
Her mother also said to use fresh coconut milk, which is delightful, but unnecessary.  It would take like 10 coconuts to get enough anyway!  I use the heaviest coconut milk I can find.  Shake the can, and if it feels like it is all liquid, try another brand.  It should feels somewhat solid, and have a high fat content.  Try the "lite" if you want, but I like my desserts to be genuinely dessert-like.  This is a treat, afterall!  Stir the coconut milk up before you measure it out, so that the water and solids are homogenized.
The recipe calls for sticky rice.  This is sometimes labeled as glutinous rice, or more likely, as sushi rice.  There were 3 different brands of sushi rice in the Asian section of my grocery store....I just bought the cheapest one.
The mangoes need to be ripe, or you might as well not bother.  There are many different varieties.  Just be sure that the flesh is very soft, and the skin has gone from green to whatever color your variety is when it ripens (usually orangey yellow to red).
Here is the recipe.  I double this to make a ton for my big family.
1 C. coconut milk
1/2 t. salt
1 C. sugar (I've seen, and tried, recipes that call for palm sugar, but the plain white sugar does the trick, and it is what the Thai girl's mom said to use!)
Boil these together, and keep it warm.
Now you need to cook the rice.  Mix 1 1/2 C of sticky rice with 2 cups of water in your cooker, close the cooker, and start it up.  Check on it every once in a while, and once it is close to done, but not quite, unplug it.  Then mix the boiled mixture quickly into the rice.  Close the lid, and let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
For the topping, mix the following in a bowl... you don't need to cook this, or even warm it. 
1 C. coconut milk
1 t. rice flour (you can find this pretty easily... I buy the cheap Goya brand stuff they have in the Mexican section.)
2 T. sugar
dash of salt
Now just slice up the mangoes in your preferred fashion, arrange around the rice, and drizzle the whole concoction with the sauce.  It is an easy dessert that makes people think you are some sort of a chef!  Give it a try!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

1 cup uncooked Quinoa
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock

Rinse Quinoa then cook like you would rice.

1 Rotisserie chicken cut into pieces
2 cans back beans
1 can Rotel mild tomatoes and chilis
1 cucumber cut up
1 large tomato cut up
2 cobs of corn lightly roasted and cut off the cob
1/2 a bunch of cilantro cut up
2 ripe avocados cut up (you may want to add this right before you serve)

Add cooked Quinoa and the above list in a large bowl.

1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 a bunch cilantro
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil (or canola oil)
1/2 a packet of italian salad dressing packet 
1/2 tsp garlic

In a blender or bullet mix dressing.

Pour over everything and mix together. Eat and enjoy. 

I made this for Ike's birthday party and it was a big hit, among the mom's that is. So hears the recipe for those who were there and those who missed out. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Healthy Reese's Granola

Healthy Reese's (like) Granola

  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal
  • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes (I used natural unsweetened, it already has a crunch to it)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dark chocolate or sugar free)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1-2 scoops protein powder (I use vanilla)
  • 1 cup rice crispies
  • 1 Tbs. Cocoa Powder

Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix.  Put peanut butter, honey and coconut oil in a microwavable bowl and heat for 30 - 60 seconds. Then incorporate it all together. Pour out into a 9x9 pan and press. Refrigerate. 
It tends to fall apart pretty easy so I usually end up putting it into a ziplock bag after it cools. 

I'm addicted to this stuff. To me it tastes like Reese peanut butter cup cereal which I love. But oh so much healthier.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad

I Stole these recipes but I've made the pork and it was really good. I'm making the rice and beans tonight. I know the California family misses Cafe Rio even though they have one in Oxnard now but thought you guys might want to have a Cafe Rio night dinner. It's really not that hard to make.

Here is how we put it all together: First of all, we bought the aluminum deep-dish pans (they had these at the grocery store, you will know when you see them.. they look JUST like the Cafe Rio tins). Lay a tortilla in the bottom of the pan, sprinkle cheese on it, and put in the oven at 375 for about 5 min or until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven, add beans, rice, pork, then lettuce and a little scoop of diced tomato and onions (pico de gallo). Add guacamole (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) and sour cream. Add crushed tortilla chips, a shake of Parmesan cheese, and top with a few cilantro leaves. Serve with the cilantro ranch or vinaigrette dressing and there you have it! (makes about 6 salads)

(scroll down to see the rice, beans, pork, and ranch recipes all together...)

2 pounds pork (we like to use boneless pork ribs)
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can diced green chilies
3/4 (1ooz) can red enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso brand, medium spiciness)
1 c. brown sugar

Put the pork in a heavy duty Ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry). Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

Put shredded pork and sauce in crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro. (**NOTE** we added a can of corn, drained, to the beans with a dash of cumin and chili powder, it was AWESOME! We recommend doing this even though it's not "traditional Cafe Rio")

1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk
2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno (we like it SPICY so we kept the seeds in it, if you like it mild, just remove the seeds)

Mix all ingredients together in the blender. That's it!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chili Verde


2 lb tomatillos

6 garlic cloves, not peeled

3 Anaheim or Poblano chiles

3 Jalapeños, seeds removed, chopped

1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

4½ lb pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes

Olive oil

2 small yellow onions

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 TBSP dried oregano

3 cups chicken stock

- Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cut in half and place cut side down, along with 6 garlic cloves, on a baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

- Roast the Anaheim chiles over a gas flame or under the broiler until blackened all around. Let cool and remove the skin, seeds, and stem. Roughly chop.

- Place tomatillos, skins included, into a food processor. Remove the roasted garlic cloves from their skins and add them. Add chopped Jalapeño peppers, Anaheim chilies, and cilantro. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed.

- Season the pork cubes generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed dutch oven over medium high heat and brown the pork chunks well on all sides. Work in batches so that the pork is not crowded in the pan. Using tongs, lift the browned pork out and place in bowl. Set aside.

- Pour off excess fat, leaving 1 or 2 tablespoons. Place the onions in the same dutch oven and season with salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until limp, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add the pork back to the pan. Add the oregano, the tomatillo puree, and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2½ – 3 hours uncovered, until the pork is tender.

- Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt. Serve with rice and warmed flour or corn tortillas.

I made this a while ago and it was so yummy! I'm going to make it again for Ike's birthday dinner. He won't eat it but I will!