Monday, May 17, 2010

Upside-Down Pizza

I have been wanting to post this recipe for a while because it is so good and I don't want to lose it. I made it a while ago and took a picture because it looked delicious. It was and is now going to become a staple at my house. You will not want to order pizza from take out again after you have this pizza!

Recipe adapted from


1 (26oz) jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I like the chunky Ragu or Prego for this)
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Italian sausage

1 1/2 cups water
4 1/4 white bread flour
1/1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp yeast

1/2 stick butter
1 clove garlic


1. Put all ingredients for the dough in your bread machine.
2. Start on dough cycle and come back when dough is done.
3. When you are ready to make the pizza preheat oven to 375*.
4. Brown ground beef and sausage in a skillet.
5. Add spaghetti sauce.
6. In a 2 quart baking dish add the spaghetti sauce mixture.
7. Top with cheese.
8. On a flat lightly floured surface roll dough out to the size a little bigger then the baking dish.
9. Put dough over the top of the sauce.
10. Roll dough edges under to seal the sauce in and make it look nice.
11. Melt butter and add crushed garlic.
12. Brush butter mixture on top of dough.
13. Bake 20 minutes.
14. Let stand 10 Minutes.

Jo's Tips:
You can buy refrigerated pizza dough instead of making bread. It won't be as good though, just easier. You can add whatever toppings you want. Sometimes I like to add only veggies.
You can buy a used bread machine at DI for less then $15. And if you do get a bread machine or already own one I would suggest buying, The Cooks Encyclopedia of Bread Machine Baking by Jennie Shapter because you will love what you can do with it!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Years Resolutions

It has been a crazy month.....At the beginning of the year I started thinking about the year ahead. I told myself that it was going to be a good year. I had so many plans. I had a monthly budget all planned out. We were going to get out of credit card debt, I was going to declutter my house, I was going to plant a garden in three of my friends back yards (my back yard was so small and had little usable sunlight space), I was going to go to Bass Lake California, and we were going to go to Disneyland! Now I'm not saying I have given up hope on doing these things, but let me tell you what started happening....January our new old car broke. It cost $900.00 to fix!!! Now I am ok with having to fix the car. It is just the price you pay for not having a car payment. The problem lies in the fact that in December, November, and October the car also had to be fixed. $400 here $500 there starts to get to you after a while. Humm my budget was toast.
I started to declutter the house (see Monday motivation), but something happened while in the middle of the decluttering process....(this one's my fault) I was just on the internet looking at houses (I kinda do this as my hobby) I found the cutest little 100 year old Victorian house on 1.7 acres of land in the heart of Grantsville! I had to go see it. (every once in a while I drag Mike and the kids out on a "drive" to go look at a house I found) We took a picnic and went to Grantsville. It was, and is the cutest house I have ever seen. I fell in love with it and Mike did to(or so I thought). He told me we could look into selling our house. I prayed about it first to see if it was right for us to move, I couldn't believe I got a good feeling about it, that had never happened. I have prayed several times once for Roy, for Eagle mountain, and for Logan. All NO! I was surprised that I got the go ahead for Grantsville.
We did our research on Realtors, and house prices, started shoving things in boxes to get the house "show ready", painted, and basically wore myself out. The house went up on the market and the next day. We had two or three showings. This continued all week and by the end of it we had our first offer! No go. He didn't want to budge and neither did we. The next day or so we got our second offer. We accepted. It took them a week to back out, so up it went again! Another week, more showings and another offer! We took it! All went well. We packed up, moved and now......we are homeless with no garden! Two of the neighbors were not happy because they were two of my garden helpers! (I felt bad because this was so not in my plans for the year and I felt like I backed out of a promise to them).
Back to the cute little Victorian! Well we went back to look at it and my husband noticed the foundation had a crack in it and the chimney was about to fall off. (I don't get the problem but whatever) He told me he had the feeling we should build a new house! It took me a while to warm up to this idea, but after much internal turmoil and finally taking it to the lord again, I got the distinct feeling to listen to my husband. That out of the way we picked a lot and the house and we are now on our way to getting a new house!
I'm sorry to have messed up Monday motivation, and well, We'll get out of debt sometime right?
One more thing...we are definitely going to Disneyland because I need a vacation!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Maple Syrup

I make sure I always have a bottle of maple extract in my pantry because if I do I will never be without syrup for pancakes, waffles, and french toast! My family lives for these breakfast items so this is a good thing!


1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp maple extract
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter


1.While I am making my pancakes I put the first four ingredients into a sauce pan and tun on the heat to high. Stir to mix all ingredients.
2. When it starts to boil turn heat to med-med low. making sure it does not boil over, (it smells bad on your burner and is a pain to clean up).
3. When my pancakes are done I take off the heat and add the vanilla and butter. (about 10 minutes)
4. Stir and serve warm.

Jo's tip's: Store extra syrup in the fridge. If you let it sit too long in the fridge it will form sugar crystals, but hot water cleans those up nicely.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fiesta Lime Chicken

On Friday My good friend Sabrina and I went out for a girls night. (We had been planning it since Christmas and just never got around to it.) For dinner we went to Applebee's. And she ordered the fiesta lime chicken. She said she ordered it every time and she would be very happy if I could recreate it for her. So, in honor of Sabrina I give you wanna be Fiesta Lime Chicken! (We also went to the bead store and made watch bands it was really fun!)


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (grilled all the way through in the bbq)
2 cups ranch dressing (I suggest the homemade ranch packet kind because it doesn't seem to be as strong)
1/2 cup salsa (pureed in a food processor)
1-1 1/2 cup shredded cheese
about 1/4 bag crushed up tortilla chips
1-2 limes


1. Cook up the chicken on the barbecue and set aside.
2. On four individual plates, put a pile of crushed up tortilla chips.
3. Mix together ranch and salsa puree.
4. Put a spoon full of ranch mixture over each pile of tortilla chips, covering them.
5. Put one chicken breast on each pile of chip and ranch mixture.
6. Add more sauce (optional).
7. Cover with cheese.
8. Put each plate under the broiler in the oven for about a minute each plate.
9. Squeeze some lime juice over each dish (optional)

Jo's tips: Serve with rice. We found this dish to be really strong do it is good to serve with rice and I mixed the chicken with the rice, it toned it down a bit. If you like ranch you will love this dish! It was also REALLY good with the avacado so I would recommend that as well if you like them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Buttermilk Pancakes
Yesterday while at the grocery store I saw saw something crazy!!!! They had shake and pour pancake batter! Apparently you add milk or whatever liquid it requires and shake. then you pour the batter to make the pancakes! I can not believe someone would pay money for THAT! I don't know maybe it is just me but is is sooooo easy to make your own pancake batter I just don't understand why people buy mixes. This recipe from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook and has been a staple in our family for years. It is so easy my husband even makes it occasionally. I don't know, I make my own syrup too so maybe I'm just weird.


1 c flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs beaten
1 cup Buttermilk
1 Tbsp oil


1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large batter bowl and mix together.
2. Add remaining wet ingredients and mix with an electric hand mixer. (not for too long)
3. Pour onto a hot skillet and make the pancakes. (we all know how to do this part)

Jo's tips: If you don't have buttermilk you can add a few drops of lemon juice to the milk. Or just use plain milk (they are not buttermilk pancakes though!) I add the real buttermilk on special occasions because I don't always have it on hand, but it is so good when you use the real thing.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Out with the old in with the new

I have been neglecting my duties as a blogger, but I have a good reason for it. Not just the fact that I have three kids, I babysit four days out of the week, clean someones house every Thursday, try to keep my own house from looking like a pig sty, and that I'm a cub scout leader for a pack of wild wolves. No I have something else going on that I think justifies my lack of recipe writing. The main reason for the lack of posting is that we are in the middle of "fixing" up the house to sell! This is my first experience with selling a house and there is so much involved. I am now in the process of putting everything in boxes to shove under the house so the house looks decluttered to the point of being sterile. And painting the walls, (I have to make a note that EVERY single wall in my house has some form of art work painted, colored, penciled, or penned on them and I'm talking little people level here). I am trying to get everything ready to start showing the house for next month, so until then I am cooking lots of great food and will post them when I have a chance. Tonight we are having some friends over for dinner. I am making scalloped potatoes. I will post the recipe soon because I have SERIOUS issues with people making them from a box. It shouldn't be done. Ever.
Happy cooking everyone!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tomatillo Ranch

What is better then fresh tomatillo ranch dressing? Not much in my opinion. I love this salad dressing. You can get a similar version at Cafe Rio, but when you want to stay home and have a delicious taco salad, this dressing will fill your craving just fine!


1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch
1 cup mayo
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic
3 tomatillos
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp cayenne or to taste


1. Blend in a blender all ingredients except mayo. Mix well.
2. Add mayo and pulse until creamy.
3. Store in fridge.

Jo's tip: If you don't like spice you don't have to add the cayenne pepper.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More Then Enough Chocolate Cake

The first time I made this was for James' birthday. We loved it so much we decided to make it for Glens Birthday as well. It was a hit again! Especially for Glen. We gave him a huge piece and he ate it all! I was surprised because he is only one! Enjoy. For all those who have asked for the recipe here it is.
(This recipe is from the Dave Ramsey website)

Cake Ingredients

2 cups sugar
½ cup shortening
4 eggs (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 squares (1 oz. each) unsweetened chocolate
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups of buttermilk

Icing Ingredients

½ cup butter (softened to room temperature)
1 3-oz package of cream cheese (soften to room temperature)
½ teaspoon vanilla
Dash of salt
1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of whole milk
2 squares unsweetened chocolate (1 oz. each) melted and cooled

To Prepare Cake:

Preheat oven to 325. Spray and flour two 9-inch cake pans. (For easy cake release, I always line the bottom of my pans with parchment paper, sprayed and floured.)

Cream sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Add melted, cooled chocolate.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.

Add dried ingredients to the wet batter, alternating with buttermilk until combined. Divide batter evenly between the pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans, remove and cool completely.

To Prepare Icing:

Combine butter, cream cheese, vanilla and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add powered sugar slowly, beating on low speed. Stir in one tablespoon of milk and melted chocolate. Beat until fluffy. Add additional tablespoon of milk if needed.

Jo's Tips: I add a chopped up candy bar on top to give it an extra something. I used Skore for Gens cake and chocolate chips for James. I am going to use Snickers next time!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Split Pea Soup

This is a very easy and yummy food storage meal. I grew up eating split pea soup. I remember the first time I had it. Mom made it for dinner and I didn't want to try it because it was PEA soup! I hate peas and I couldn't believe they were trying to feed it to me. They knew how I loathed that ugly green vegetable! My dad coaxed me into eating it by telling me it didn't taste like peas and you know what? It didn't taste like peas! It has been a favorite soup of mine ever since!


1 lb. split peas (washed and sorted*)
1/2 pk frozen bacon
1/ onion (diced)
2 stalks of celery (diced)
2 carrots(diced)
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
8 cups chicken broth
crock pot


1. In a frying pan add bacon, sliced into little pieces.
2. Add about 2 Tbsp olive oil to braise the veggies.
3. fry bacon until cooked, using medium heat.
4. Add chopped vegies ( not the garlic and bay leaf)
5. Cook until you have a slightly brown color.
6. Put the peas in your crock pot
7. Add chicken broth, veggie mix, bay leaf, and garlic to the crock pot.
8. turn on the crock pot to low for 8 hours.
9. enjoy yummy soup

Jo's tips: *You need to sort the split peas from any small pebbles that might be hiding in your peas. (it happens). You can also add a dollop of sour cream to the soup. It makes it taste creamier and is so good. If you don't have chicken broth you can add bullion cubes to water. I like lots of salt so I add some to my bowl!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It has been crazy at my house since Christmas. First the car broke right after thanksgiving, then I was sick for the three weeks before christmas, the week in between christmas and new years we gutted the bathroom in order to lay tile, which we also did, then the car broke again. And in the middle of it all the batteries died in my camera. I Have new batteries now and have calmed down just enough to start cooking again! yeah. There is a catch.....We are living on our food storage right now because we spent all our money on cars and bathrooms and doctor trips! Ok enough about me lets talk about food!
The first time I had a grilled peanut butter and jelly was when I was in kindergarten! My dad was in charge of getting me lunch. Usually mom only made regular pb&j but that day I had it grilled (dads are so cool) with a large glass of milk! It was the best lunch a five year old ever had!

I ate a whole lot of these when I was pregnant, for some reason I just craved them. So pick your favorite jelly and have yourself a grilled pb&j sandwich! they are soooooo good!