Navajo Tacos

   If you arent familiar with Navajo Tacos, then you have been missing out! It is a bread dough that is deep fried, and topped with chili and all your favorite taco fixings. These tacos are very popular in the Southwest region of the country. I grew up eating these at festivals here in Southern Utah. They are so yummy!

   The traditional navajo bread dough is a non-yeast dough. There are many recipes for it I've found on the internet. I normally just use frozen Rhodes dinner roll dough, and it works perfectly. I usually make these in the Fall, especially around Halloween. I remember one year I made them for a Halloween party we had at our house. Emma was only 2 months old, and I was standing in my kitchen frying 50 of these babies and ready to pull my hair out! Ha. But it was so worth it in the end. They were a HUGE hit. Everyone loved them!

Navajo Tacos

20 frozen Rhodes dinner roll dough, thawed OR use refrigerated dinner roll dough (like Pillsbury)
Vegetable Oil, for frying
Recipe for Navajo Taco Meat (see below) OR use your favorite homemade chili recipe
Your favorite Taco Toppings (lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc)


1 lb Ground beef
1 (28oz) can diced Tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 packet Chili Seasoning 
1 (6 oz) can Tomato Paste
1 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Chili Powder
1 can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained

DIRECTIONS:  Cook ground beef in a skillet. Once browned, drain grease. Add ground beef and all the other ingredients into a large crockpot. Cook on high for 3 hours.

TO MAKE TACOS:  In a small 8 inch skillet, pour in enough oil to fill it 2/3 full. Set heat to medium-low. Let oil heat up for atleast 20 minutes before frying dough.

Once oil is ready, take 2 of the thawed Rhodes rolls and press them together to make one ball of dough. Press dough into a flat circle. Carefully, place dough into the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until nice and golden. Remove from oil, and lay fried dough onto a paper towel lined plate to let soak up grease. Repeat with all other rolls.  

Place one fry-bread onto a plate, and top with 1/2 cup of chili. Top with all your favorite taco toppings and enjoy!



Cheesy Potato Casserole

   This Potato Casserole is a mix between the one my Mom used to make, and one I found on the bag of my frozen hashbrowns a few years ago. This is a perfect side dish to any ham or chicken dinner. I've even made it for breakfast. It is very comforting and yummy. I actually decided next time I make it, I'm going to throw in some chopped ham, and it'll be a complete dinner in itself. I love it when you can turn a side dish into a main course with hardly any effort! With our hectic schedule, I am always trying to think of ways to make dinner time easier!

Cheesy Potato Casserole

1 (2 lb) bag of frozen Hashbrowns (shredded or diced)
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 (16oz) container of Sour Cream
1 small Yellow Onion, chopped OR 1 bunch Green Onions, sliced
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 cup Corn flakes, crushed
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1-2 cups diced Ham (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together cream of mushroom soups, sour cream, onion and 1+1/2 cups of the shredded cheese. Mix together well. Season with salt and pepper.

Add in frozen hashbrowns, and chopped ham (if using) and mix all together well. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Bake uncovered, for 45 minutes.

While potatoes are baking, mix together the crushed corn flakes, melted butter and the last 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.

When potatoes are done, remove from oven and sprinkle the top evenly with the corn flake mixture. Place back into oven and bake another 15 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.


Cake Batter Blondies

   These are Cake Batter Blondies and they are wonderful! The original creator of these amazing treats is Gracie from Girl Meets Life. I fell in-love when I first saw them. I knew I would have to try them right away! I decided to add frosting to mine, so I used a half batch of my White Texas Sheet Cake frosting to spread over the top. I also thought, no blondie is complete without a big ol' scoop of ice cream, so that was added too. These are heavenly when warmed up in the microwave first, and then add your ice cream on top!

Cake Batter Blondies
Makes 9 blondies

1 box (18 oz) Rainbow Chip or Funfetti Cake mix
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 Egg
1/3 cup Milk
1/2 cup White Chocolate Chips (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 325 degrees ( if using a dark metal pan) or 350 degrees (if using a glass pan) Spray a 9x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine the cake mix, oil and egg in a large bowl. Slowly stir in milk and then stir in white chocolate chips. Once batter is thoroughly mixed, pour into the baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand atleast 1 hour before serving.


4 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Milk
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
food coloring (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  In a medium saucepan, bring the butter and milk to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove from heat and quickly stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. When completely mixed, add in food coloring of choice, and then mix again well to incorporate color. Spread warm frosting evenly over the blondies, and serve with ice cream, if desired.


Chicken Pillows

   If you live in Utah, like myself, then you most likely have heard of these delicious things. I've heard a couple different names for them. 'Chicken Pockets', 'Chicken Rolls' and 'Chicken Pillows'. Call them whatever you like, just know that they are good! If you're not familiar with these, they are a crescent dough crust filled with chicken and cream cheese. Then they're dipped in butter and breadcrumbs. Pop 'em in the oven to bake, then pour on some chicken gravy right before you serve them!

   The filling you put inside can really be whatever you like. I've made them before with chopped green onion and chicken stuffing, along with the cream cheese and chicken. It is really good that way as well. I've also used the 1/3 less fat cream cheese and can't tell a difference at all. You can really play around with these! As far as serving portions go, one pillow is a perfect serving for an adult. If your feeding small children, then cut one in half for the kiddos. Serve these up with a salad and veggie and you have got one delicious meal!

Chicken Pillows
4-6 servings

2 cups Chicken, cooked and shredded
4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1 Tablespoon Butter, softened
1/2 Tablespoon dried Chives
1/2 Tablespoon dried, minced Onion
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1- (8 oz) can Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough
1/4 cup Butter, melted
1 cup Italian Breadcrumbs

1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 packet Chicken Gravy mix
3/4 cup Water

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

Mix together the softened cream cheese and 1 tablespoon butter. Add in chicken, chives, onion and season with salt and pepper.

Unroll your crescent dough and press together two triangles to create one rectangle. Make sure you press together the perforations well so your filling wont ooze out. You should have 4 rectangles total.

Spoon about 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture into the center of rectangle. Fold each corner over the center of filling. Press together to cover filling entirely. Shape into a ball. Repeat with all rectangles. Once all pillows are formed, dip each into the melted butter, and then coat in breadcrumbs. Shake off excess. Place each coated chicken pillow onto the greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

While chicken pillows are baking, make the chicken gravy. In a small saucepan, mix together the cream of chicken soup, gravy packet and water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and let simmer and thicken until ready to use.

Pour gravy over each chicken pillow and serve!



Oven Baked Stew

    I was going to wait and post this recipe closer to Fall season, since it's still 100 degrees outside, but I just couldnt wait. I a good stew. This is the best one I've ever had. Period. When I made these rolls, I wanted something delicious to dip them in, and I knew this was it. As I ate every bite, I moaned and kept declaring my love for it, and Kale just kept rolling his eyes at me. I was even more excited to have it for leftovers the next day after work! It was actually better as leftovers. Please bookmark this, and try it as soon as the weather cools down. You will LOVE it!

*Recipe Updated 9/24/12- I updated the recipe by doubling it*

 Oven Baked Stew
8 servings

2 (1 oz) packages of Dry Onion Soup mix
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
2 pounds lean Beef Stew Meat (cut up into bite sized pieces)
5 medium Potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
6 large Carrots, peeled and diced
1 small Onion, chopped
2 cans Cream of Celery Soup
1 cup Ketchup

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large plastic bag, combine the dry onion soup mix and paprika. Add in meat and shake the bag to coat meat with the seasonings. (You may have to do that step in two batches, for all the meat to fit) Once meat is coated, spread it out evenly into a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish.

Top meat evenly with diced potatoes, carrots and onion.

Mix the cream of celery soup and ketchup in a small bowl. Pour all over the meat and vegetables. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 2 1/2 hours.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

   There are some recipes that should come with a huge WARNING label! This is one of them. These babies are not low cal in any way, shape or form, so don't blame me if you gain a few pounds after eating one! These treats combine two of my most favorite things in life (besides my kids and hubby)... brownies and cookie dough. And not just any cookie dough. Eggless, safe to eat cookie dough. *Sigh* There is nothing better.

   I saw these delectable treats over at Lori's scrumptious blog, Recipe Girl. I fainted when I saw the picture. I thought, 'How genius can anyone be to come up with this?'  I adapted the recipe by using a boxed brownie mix (to make my life easier) and slightly changed up the cookie dough batter. They turned out wonderful. They are purely sinful. Have a big, cold glass of milk nearby. These things are rich!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Makes 18 Brownies

1 box (18 oz) of your favorite Brownie mix ( I used Betty Crocker Triple Chunk)
(plus the eggs, oil and water the mix calls for)
1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
4 Tablespoons Milk
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips, divided
1 teaspoon Shortening

DIRECTIONS:  Make brownies according to the package directions, using a 9x9 inch square baking pan. Remove from oven and let them cool completely.

FOR COOKIE DOUGH:  Beat the butter, both sugars, vanilla and milk together in a medium bowl. Stir in the flour and 1 cup of the chocolate chips. Spread cookie dough evenly over the top of the cooled brownies. Cover and place in refrigerator to chill for atleast 3 hours.

FOR DRIZZLE:  Melt the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of shortening together in a small bowl, in the microwave. Once melted, stir and then pour into a small sandwich baggie. Snip off one corner and squeeze chocolate to drizzle over the brownies. Cut into squares and devour!

Linked up at Mandy's Recipe Box


Crispy Onion Chicken

   I was browsing through my friend Mandy's blog, Mandy's Recipe Box, when I found this chicken recipe. Everything I've made from her blog ( and it's been a lot ) has never disappointed, so I thought I would give this one a try. The results were superb! This was the easiest chicken I've ever made. Only 3 ingredients! That is it! The honey mustard gives it a really nice flavor, and the crunch of the French's fried onions make it crispy and delicious! I got two thumbs up from my hubster, so I'll be making this one again for sure!

Crispy Onion Chicken
4 servings

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey mustard
1 1/2 cups French's fried onions, crushed

DIRECTIONS:  Coat chicken with the honey mustard. Roll coated chicken in the crushed fried onions. Carefully lay chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops of the chicken with a little bit more of the crushed fried onions. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  


Texas Roadhouse Rolls and Cinnamon Honey Butter

   The only reason we go to Texas Roadhouse is for their rolls. They are to die for. They are served with a Cinnamon Honey Butter that is so good. I've been seeing their copycat recipe all over the internet, so I thought I would give them a try to go along with our yummy dinner we had tonight.

   The verdict..... They were awesome! Soft, and so delicious. Very close to the real thing. They were pretty easy to make and call for very basic ingredients I'm sure you already have on hand. These will now be my 'go-to' roll recipe. I'm already planning on making them for Thanksgiving this year! I know everyone is going to love them!

Texas Roadhouse Rolls
Yields 24 large rolls or 48 small rolls

4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup Warm Water
2 cups Whole Milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
3 Tablespoons Butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup Sugar
7 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Eggs
2 teaspoons Salt

DIRECTIONS:  Dissolve yeast in warm water with a teaspoon of sugar, in the bowl of a stand mixer. Once yeast has dissolved, add milk, sugar and 2 cups of flour. Beat thoroughly on medium speed. Let stand until foamy (about 2 minutes). Add melted butter, eggs and salt. Beat well.

Add in another 5 cups of flour, slowly, to form a soft dough. *NOTE* Do not use more than 7 cups of flour total. The dough will be very soft and somewhat sticky, you may think it needs more flour, but it does not.

Knead dough on a floured surface, until it is smooth and satiny. ( I kneaded mine in my stand mixer with the dough hooks, for about 4 minutes) If you knead it with your hands, you will need to grease up your hands with some cooking spray, to help the dough from not sticking to your hands.

Once kneaded, place into a large, greased bowl. Place dough inside, and turn over to grease top. *NOTE* Again, dough will be sticky so you may need to grease your hands to handle while putting dough in the bowl to let rise. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

Once dough has risen, remove from bowl and place onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour a rolling pin, and roll dough out into a large rectangle, that is a 1/2 inch thick. Carefully handling dough, fold the rectangle in half, to form a smaller, 1 inch thick rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, slice dough into 24 large squares or 48 small squares. Place squares onto greased cookie sheets. Cover, and let rise again, until doubled in size.

Bake rolls at 350 for 16-18 minutes, or until lightly golden on top. Remove from oven, and immediately brush tops with butter. Serve rolls with Cinnamon Honey Butter.

Cinnamon Honey Butter

1/2 cup Butter
1/4 cup Honey
1 teaspoon Cinnamon

In a bowl, mix the butter, honey and cinnamon together. Cover and chill in fridge until ready to use.


Baked Mac and Cheese

     Macaroni and Cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods! The other week I was craving it like crazy. Dont ask me why (and no I'm not pregnant!) I went on the hunt and found a ton of recipes that sounded great. I decided to go with this one I found from Americas Test Kitchen. It turned out to be so good. It was creamy, cheesy and totally comforting. My craving was finally satisfied. Oh, and the kiddos loved it too, so it will be a keeper!

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) Butter, divided
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
1/2 lb Large Elbow Macaroni
1/4 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Ground Mustard
3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1 3/4 cups Whole Milk
3/4 cup Chicken Broth
4 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Salt & Pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a small bowl. Mix in the bread crumbs, and set aside.

In a large pot of water, pour in 1/2 tablespoon of salt and boil the macaroni until tender. About 11 minutes. Drain water. Leave macaroni in the strainer. Set aside.

Use the same large pot, and wipe it dry. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, and melt over medium heat.
Stir in the garlic and ground mustard. Cook until fragrant. About 30 seconds or so. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, about a minute. Whisk in milk and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, and continue to cook, whisking often. Cook until mixture has thickened, about 6 minutes.

Remove from heat and add in all the cheese. Stir until cheese has completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the macaroni until well combined. Pour into a greased 8x8 baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.