Friday, October 31, 2008

Here comes the storm

We've been so blessed with such fabulous weather, but this weekend it looks like we'll be welcoming rain and possibly snow early next week. Being raised in Oregon, I love the rain...but it wasn't like that when I was a kid. I remember staring out the window wishing I could go play as a 10 year old. As a teenager it was just a downer. Then I moved to Texas.

I had never seen it rain so hard that you had to pull the car over because you couldn't see the road. That was Texas. I'd never seen steam rise off the pavement at 4am after an early morning sprinkle. That was Texas. I'd never experienced 112+ degree weather or ice storms. Turns out growing up in Oregon was quite docile compared to places my future would bring me.

I guess that's my point. When we're younger we can't wait to move on. But what's the hurry? There's no doubt that the memories you form as a child will come back as some of the best times of your life. These days I appreciate rain for so many reasons. It brings "green" to nature and fills our lakes and rivers. It helps us stay home with our families in the cozy comfort of our kitchen....or lazing out in front of the television snuggled up on the couch....or just simply enjoying the sound of the rain on the roof. It's definitely home baked bread weather so here's a terrific recipe that'll make your house smell like heaven! It's one of many you'll find on my website at


1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 t. baking powder

½ t. baking soda1

¼ t. salt

4 ounces shredded provolone

½ cup finely chopped green onion

2 t. minced fresh parsley

¾ t. dried rosemary, crumbled

2/3 t. coarsely ground pepper

2 t. shortening

2 t. sugar

2 large eggs

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1¼ cups buttermilk

1/3 cup chopped pine nuts

Drain tomatoes, reserving 2 t. oil; chop tomatoes and set aside. Cook garlic in a small amount of boiling water for 15 minutes; drain; peel and mash garlic, set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt; stir well. Add chopped tomatoes, cheese, green onion, parsley, rosemary and pepper; stir well. Combine reserved oil, shortening and sugar; beat with whisk until smooth. Add mashed garlic, eggs and buttermilk; stir well. Add chopped tomatoes, garlic mixture and pine nuts to flour mixture; stirring just until blended.
Spread batter in greased 8 ½ x 4 ½ by 3 in loaf pan; smooth top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on rack.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

KSL this Sunday - A Woman's View

Earlier today, KSL's Amanda Dickson invited me to join her for "A Woman's View". We talked election, health care, staying in balance and, most of all, we talked about the strength of Woman Wisdom. You can listen in this Sunday, November 2nd, from 10a-11a on KSL Newsradio 1160AM or 102.7FM. You can also tune in online at

In the photo above, from left to right is Kim Wirthlin - VP of Government Relations at the UofU and Associate VP for Health Care; Amanda Dickson - KSL Morning Radio Goddess, and me! Also joining in the discussion was Joanne Milner - Education Partnership Coordinator with Mayor Ralph Becker.

This Saturday, I hope to see you in Brigham City for A Women's Forum at the high school. I'll be keynote speaking at 9:10a on how to Rebalance, Refresh and ReEnergize your Life's Purpose...then, it's on to the kitchen for two sessions about Cooking With Wontons. I'll bring back pictures!

In the meantime, see you in the morning on ABC4's Good Things Utah....have a Happy Halloween and thanks for checking in with me today.



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

To freeze or not to freeze

I got this message the other day and wanted to answer it here on my blog. If you ever have any cooking questions I'd love to help. If I don't know the answer I bet I can find it! Happy cooking!

Here's the recipe that's being referred to:

Beefy Corn Chip Casserole

1 lb. ground round
½ cup chopped onion
½ t. garlic salt
2 small cans tomato sauce
1 cup chopped sliced olives
1 cup sour cream
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
canned chopped green chili peppers to taste
6.5 oz. corn chips
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

Fry beef, add onions, garlic salt, tomato sauce and olives: set aside. Combine sour cream, cottage cheese and chopped chili peppers. Crush corn chips and place ½ in bottom of casserole dish. Add ½ meat mixture and sprinkle with 1 cup grated cheese. Spread sour cream mixture evenly over casserole. Repeat first two layers. End with cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes.

....and here's the question

Hi Angel,
I'm a big fan of yours. Love your Butter cookbook. I want to make some freezer meals and I was wondering if the Beefy Corn Chip Casserole you made on Good Things Utah will freeze well?

I'd appreciate any recipe ideas that freeze well that you may have too.

Amy Messersmith

Hi Amy,
I would say that the Beefy Corn Chip Casserole isn't a good candidate for freezing. Neither sour cream or cottage cheese freeze'd also probably have soggy corn chips! There are lots of great recipes on my website at that would freeze well. Just remember that soft dairy products, i.e. cream cheese don't usually stand up well to freezing, neither do bread crumbs (or casserole toppings of any kind), cubed cooked potatoes (mashed are fine), and you may find a taste change in herbs and spices, especially garlic.

I hope that answers your question....and thanks for the compliment on my Stick of Butter Cookbook! Take care of yourself Amy and let me know if you need anything else at all.

Hugs as always,

Monday, October 27, 2008

Creamy Shrimp Spaghetti

Today on ABC4's Good Things Utah, I made a delicious Creamy Shrimp Spaghetti that's delicious and inexpensive. Angie was in the kitchen with me along with a viewer guest host. We had lots of fun in the kitchen. Just go to and click on Good Things Utah for the recipe. It's comfort food that begs you to take seconds.

By the way....I'd like to introduce you to my new puppy, Buddy! He's so cute and already sits, lays down and shakes. I took him for his first walk on a leash over the weekend. I think it was an "experience" for both of us! Now if I could only get him to stop chewing on my tennis shoes!

Friday, October 24, 2008

One week until Halloween

Here's a recipe I'd like to share with you for Halloween....well, actually it's one of several coming your way over the next week. Try this out and I guarantee the kids will love it because it's funny and you'll love it because it's easy. Double the batch for a Goblin Party treat!


2 cans (11.5 oz. each) refrigerated corn breadstick dough..or3 cans (4.5 oz each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 can (15 oz.) mild chili with beans
1 cup frozen corn
Sliced Cheddar Cheese
Olive slices, bell pepper, and carrot pieces for decoration
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease 16-18 regular-size (2-½ inch) muffin pan cups. Lightly roll out corn breadstick dough to press together perforations. Cut out 18 circles with a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Press 1 circle onto the bottom and push up the side of each muffin cup about one inch.
Combine chili & corn in medium bowl. Fill each muffin cup with 1-tablespoon chili. Cut out 16-18 circles from cheddar cheese slices and place rounds over the chili mixture in cups. Decorate cheese with olive, bell pepper & carrot pieces to resemble jack-o’-lanterns. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until corn bread is completely baked and cheese is melted.
Makes about 8 servings

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's 4:13....Did you eat lunch today?

I came across some very interesting facts today...all about fast eating. Not fast eating! Did you know that:
People who eat quickly until they're full are 3 times more likely to be overweight? The World Health Organization estimates around 400 million people are obese, 20 million of those under the age of 5.

Slow eating encourages conversation, good digestion and a chance for your body to actually realize you're full instead of overstuffing yourself. My Mom used to sit at the table with me for our PB&J sandwich lunches and it was fun. We enjoyed ourselves and I still remember learning so much from my Mom just because we took the time to "sit a spell" (as they used to say). When we're old enough to go to school, we learn really fast how to gorge down our lunch in 20 minutes. Then we go to work and most likely are opting for the drive-through and lunch on the run. Sooner or later we pay the price. Where's the Tums? Did I eat lunch or not? My pants must have shrunk! You get the slow down, take the time to enjoy every bite, be mindful of your meal and anyone sitting around the table with you. I refuse to let life push me through a great steak and even better company! I hope you'll join me in savoring every bite.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How many people does it take.......

How many people does it take to have a great time with their food? Well, if you were at the Macey's in Sandy, Utah last night...almost 40! I had the pleasure of conducting a cooking class in their Little Theatre Kitchen featuring recipes from my Stick of Butter Cookbook. We made Apricot Streusel Bars and Jolly Jelly Filled it was a sugar-rush all the way around.
The best part, besides the cooking comradery, is when things don't quite go as planned. I use a pastry bag to "inject" the jelly into the biscuits and I had selected a tip that was way too you say "free-flowing raspberry jelly"? What a mess! I felt like I was in an "I Love Lucy" episode (and if you don't know what that is...think goofy, slapstick comedy with a happy ending).
Thanks to everyone who came along for the ride...especially Susan, who is Macey's most dedicated, fabulous, sweetest, hard-working, incredibly multi-tasking, not-so-secret weapon.
She took today off and I hope she's letting somebody else pamper her!
Where can you pick up my Stick of Butter Cookbook? At Barnes and Noble, Seagull Books, and other fine at It's full of retro recipes with at least a stick of butter in each one!
Tonight? My husbands grilling hamburgers to take advantage of our sunny weather....and I can't wait! Isn't it true that the best burgers come out of your own kitchen? Here's a quick tip: if you buy extra lean ground beef, mix yourself up some chopped garlic and butter and harden it up in the fridge - cut it into small pieces and mix it into your beef just before throwing it on the grill. You'll have the juiciest, best tasting burger on the planet - after all, isn't everything better with butter?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekend Leftovers!

I'd like to say that my weekend was full of daring, living-on-the-edge kind of stuff. I didn't cliff dive or rock climb...however I did eliminate about 6 gazillion e-mails from my home address,, to make room for more. That in itself was a mind-boggling feat since some of those messages were from 2005! I saved recipes & email addresses, forwarded funny presentations to myself at work and generally cleaned house of about 2,000 messages that were just taking up space. You'd think I'd be able to do that with the rest of my house!

For Sunday Supper I whipped up a Sausage and Steak dish served over buttered noodles...which I then made this morning on ABC4's Good Things Utah. Yummy! My favorite weekend treat? I chopped up leftover tri-tip and roast beef, mixed them up with pizza toppings like pepperoni, onions, lots of cheese and mushrooms...heated it up and served it over a nice crisp green salad topped with Jalapeno Ranch dressing. What a great way to use leftovers...and now I guess I'll just have to make more.

Did you know that paprika is actually dried pimiento peppers ground up? That in the Middle Ages, students were encouraged to wrap rosemary sprigs around their hair to stimulate their brains? Oh wait! Here's a good one! You can make your own sweetened condensed milk by putting 1 cup instant nonfat dry milk into a blender along with 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup boiling water and 3 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter. Process until smooth and creamy and you'll have enough for 1 (14 oz.) can! I bet that'll come in handy for the holidays.

Hope your having a happy Monday...and if you'd like to see how to make that sausage and steak over buttered noodles dish, just visit , click on Good Things Utah and watch today's'll also see my new puppy too!

Keep on Cookin'!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Recipes! Recipes! Recipes!

My neighbors love me. Not because I'm nice or because I always say hello. My neighbors love me because I give them food. Whenever I'm working on a new cookbook they get lots of food. You see, compiling recipes for a cookbook means lots of testing, inventing, creating, starting over and having "That's it!" moments which means I taste it and have to get it out of the house or I'd weigh a gazillion pounds....especially since the cookbook I'm working on is all desserts. I can't tell you any more than that or my publisher will be canceling my contract, however chocolate and sugar are key ingredients....not to mention butter and cream!

Let's just say that this weekend my neighbors will love me even more...and that's okay. If delicious food works on my husband it will surely work on them. Wish me luck...and lots of self control!

Viva Desserts!