Saturday, December 26, 2009

Poppyseed Vinagarette Dressing

1 1/2 Tablespoons Poppy Seed
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups oil (want to experiment with less later on)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon dried minced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Mix together and keep overnight in the fridge.

This is the dressing for the spinach salad (see other post) but I think it would be awesome on any type of salad!

Janet's Spinach Salad

This recipe came to me from a good friend, Janet, who made it for all our work parties. It makes a large bowl so be prepared for it to look huge when you put it all together. Once you add the dressing it compacts down so don't worry! Be sure not to add the dressing until you are ready to serve so it will get soggy.

1 1/2 Tablespoons Poppy Seed
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups oil (want to experiment with less later on)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon dried minced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Mix together and keep overnight in the fridge.

3/4 cup grated swiss cheese
2 packages of washed fresh spinach
1 container cottage cheese, drained
1/2 pack of bacon cooked to a crisp and crumbled
1/2 purple onion cut into rings and separated
1 carton fresh sliced mushrooms

Mix the salad portion all together and add dressing just prior to serving.

Cashew Pea Salad

Ok, this sounds odd but really you won't be able to put your spoon down! I love it and it has such a nice flavor :)

1 10oz pkg frozen baby peas (I used a 14oz pack since I had it in the freezer and it was fine!) THAWED
1 cup diced celery
1 cup chopped cauliflower or broken into small bite size pieces
1/4 cup diced green onion
1 cup coarsely chopped cashews
1/2 cup sour cream (I used FF)
1 cup prepared Ranch dressing
Crisp bacon about half a pack

Mix it all up and chill it until ready to serve! Yum yum!

I wanted to try using greek yogurt and mixing up my own ranch to save on cals and fat but ran short on time. I think you could use some fat free product and still have it turn out well :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pumpkin Dinner

Small to med sized pumpkins
we used 5
1-2 lbs Hamburger
chopped celery
chopped onion
salt and pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups cooked rice
about 1/2 cup brown sugar
2-4 tbsp soy sauce
chopped green peppers ( I left them out)

Cut lid of pumpkin and clean it out.
In a large skillet brown hamburger, onion, salt and pepper
(I also added garlic salt and Mrs. Dash)
drain and add chopped veggies
Mix in cream of chicken soup, cooked rice, brown sugar
and soy sauce (i mixed brown sugar and soy sauce in a
blow and then poured it over the top)
Mix everything together and put them in the pumpkins

Place pumpkins on a foil lined cookie sheet
Bake 350 for 1 1/2 hours.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup/Chicken Soup with Rice

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 recipe chicken and broth(see other post)
2 medium carrots chopped
2 medium stalks celery chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
chopped fresh parsley
1 cup medium noodles or 1/2 cup uncooked rice

prepare chicken and broth according to previous recipe
heat broth, carrots, celery, onion and bouillon to boiling in large pot. reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes until carrots are tender. add chicken.
stir in noodles or rice. simmer uncovered 7-10 minutes for noodles or 15 minutes for rice.
sprinkle with parsley.

Chicken and Broth

I find this to be easy to make, and freeze for later. it can be the base for chicken pot pie or chicken soup, I think the chicken also makes a nice chicken salad. I like to make a double batch, then I always have some on hand. I shred the chicken and freeze it separate from the broth. you can freeze the broth in 1 or 2 cup containers for easy use later.

Chicken and Broth

3 to 3 1/2 cut up chicken (I like to use breasts with the bones, or thighs)
4 1/2 cup cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 medium stalk celery, cut into large chunks
1 carrot, cut into chunks
1 small onion, cut up
1 sprig parsley

Place the chicken in a large stockpot, add everything and heat to boiling. skim foam from broth, and reduce the heat to low. cover and simmer about 45 minutes. remove the chicken from the broth and cool on a plate until its cool enough to handle. strain broth and discard vegetables. if you chill the broth in the fridge the fat will form a disk and be easy to discard.
remove skin and bones from chicken and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 package frozen peas and carrots
1/3 cup margarine
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cup chicken broth (1 can) (I posted a recipe for your own broth as well)
2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked chicken
pastry for two crust pie

heat oven to 425 degrees.
melt margarine in saucepan over medium heat, stir in flour, onion, salt and pepper. stir constantly until it bubbles then remove from heat. stir in the broth and milk. return to heat and heat to boiling, for 1 minute. stir in the chicken, peas and carrots.
roll out 2/3 of the pastry for the bottom crust. put it in a 9x9 pan, add chicken mixture to the crust. roll out the remaining dough, cut into shapes and put on top of the pie. bake about 35 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

Pie crust

one crust pie
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

two crust pie
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

use a pastry cutter to cut shortening into flour and salt. until it resembles coarse crumbs. sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the flour is moistened. up to 2 tlbl of additional water can be added, depending on humidity. the dough should NOT get sticky.
gather it into a ball, or 2 if 2 crust pie, wrap in plastic wrap and form into a disc. I like to refrigerate the dough for up to a day. its easier to work with it when it has chilled.
roll it out and follow your pie recipe.

Fried Wontons

my kids love hamburger anything, so they loved these! we served them with fried rice.

1 package wontons

1 lb hamburger
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 egg

we cooked the veggies, then the hamburger, mixed it with the seasonings, and let it cool a bit and added the egg. then we stuffed the wontons with about a teaspoon filling each, formed them into triangles and fried them. be careful when filling them all to not let them dry out, you can just put a wet paper towel over them as you go. we served them with soy sauce for dipping and fried rice.

I let my kids put the filling in the wontons, they had fun, I did have to seal the edges of all of them when I fried them. they did a good job overall though, a fun way for them to help with dinner.

Lemon sauce

We love this sauce.

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon corn starch
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoon stick margarine or butter

mix the sugar and cornstarch, add the water and cook over medium heat. stir constantly, until it thickens and boils. boil 1 min and remove from heat, add remaining ingredients. serve warm over angel food cake.

Angel Food Cake

This is from the Americas Test Kitchen Cookbook. I love everything I have baked from it, but have found its important to follow it exactly.

3/4 cup cake flour (can use 7/8 cup all purpose flour with 2 tbl cornstarch, but not quite same lift)
1 1/2 cup sugar
12 egg whites room temp
1 tea cream of tarter
1/4 tea salt
1 1/2 tea fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tea vanilla extract
1/2 tea almond extract (you can omit this if your allergy needs require it)

heat oven to 325 degrees, whisk the flour and 3/4 cup of the sugar together, and set aside. whip the egg whites in your mixer until foamy. then add the cream of tarter and salt until it forms soft billowy mounds. Increase speed to med and add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar one tablespoon at a time until the whites are shiny. and starts to form soft peaks. add the lemon juice and extracts.
slowly fold in the flour mixture, about 1/5 cup at a time. it should take 6 or 7 times to add and fold.
pour into angel food cake pan, and smooth. bake aprox 50 to 60 minutes. rotating the pan halfway through baking.
if your pan has legs, invert it. if it doesn't have legs, use a soda bottle in the hole of the pan to invert it while cooling. cool completely, 2 or 3 hrs.
run a knife around the edge and center to loosen the cake, and flip it onto a platter.

can be served with berries and cream, or lemon sauce. (see other post)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shar's Monkey Bread

We hadn't had this until we visited our friends in New Jersey this year. I know some of you have probably made it but I told Sarah I'd send her the recipe. We didn't put nuts or raisins in ours and I found this on

Monkey Bread

3 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube/Bundt® pan.
Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. If using nuts and raisins, arrange them in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.
In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

Shar's Cake Balls

Thanks Shar for sending this one through. She found it on a Dave Ramsey Forum. YUM!! I've also seen where they use a sucker stick to attach the ball to and then dip holding the stick. Too Cute!

Last year for Christmas, I made these for teachers and friends. Quick and easy, and the kids can help!

1) Bake a boxed cake mix.
2) Let it cool.
3) Scrape the whole thing into a big bowl. Really. Just smash it in.
4) Add an entire container of frosting.
5) Mix.
6) Using a cookie baller/scoop, place "balls" of cake and frosting on wax paper, then in the freezer to set.
7) Melt chocolate. We used cheap chocolate chips (more wax in them).
8) Pull the scooped cake from the freezer, and roll in your hand to get a more perfect ball. Dunk in chocolate, then place on wax paper again.

Ta da!

We got the best compliments on these combinations:
Chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, chocolate coating. Yum!
White cake, vanilla frosting, some crushed candy canes in the mix, dipped in white chocolate.
Spice cake mixed with cream cheese frosting, dipped in white chocolate.
Lemon cake mixed with lemon frosting, dipped in dark chocolate.

It looks so much nicer than it sounds. Kinda like a cross between a petit four and truffle, but fast and easy. And we don't tell other people that we call them "cake balls"... we just say something like, "Oh, they're just a sweet little treat." LOL

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chicken with artichokes

For dishes that I cook often I almost never measure things out. I just sort of cook. So this recipe is a guide for you to follow. If you are asking yourself "is she nuts??" then adjust to what you think would work for you and your family.

1 lb (or so) boneless chicken breasts

artichoke hearts Drain any liquid. If you are using marinated I rinse them off with water in a strainer since I don't like all the oil in my food. I also pick off any tough leaves.

can of stewed tomatoes (or two, depends on my mood. LOL). Drain these too. Then chop up the tomatoes. I usually have a pack of the italian stewed in the pantry.

white wine 1/2 to 3/4 cup?? use the larger amount if you like the flavor to be strong. I NEVER cook with "cooking wine", I use the real stuff. The cooking wine tastes off to me. Cheap wine is fine for cooking and it will last a while in the fridge if you don't normally drink it!!

chicken stock or chicken broth about 2 cups. I've been using chicken stock by Swanson or Pacific organic broth from Costco. Yeah I could make my own but that would require pre planning and organization.

garlic 2-3 cloves minced

Cut up chicken into bite sized pieces. Brown in skillet with olive oil. Add garlic and cook until garlic starts to brown. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until liquid is reduced by about half. Check chicken to make sure it is cooked all the way!!

We love this over thin spaghetti. If you like capers I'm sure they would be great in there too. I hate them so I've never tried it. I sometimes add the juice of 1/2 lemon for a little zing.

This is really fast and easy to whip up for dinner. We almost always have a salad with it as well.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dutch Oven Potatoes

OK, this is just an estimate, I have never really had a recipe we just make these.

Dutch oven potatoes
for a 12 inch deep dutch oven

up to 10 lbs of potato, sliced. (you can do that by hand, I use the salad shooter. peeled or not)
1 lb bacon 3/4 for bottom, 1/4 for top
grated cheese
salt, pepper, season salt
sliced onion if you like that

we line our dutch ovens, but you don't have to. I like to slice small and cook 1/4 of the bacon and reserve it for the top.
cut up all your potatoes, line the dutch oven with the raw bacon. start to layer the potatoes, with salt, pepper, season salt and onion if desired. just season to taste, until you get all the potatoes in the dutch oven. cook with the appropriate # of coals for the size of the oven. check them at about 45 mins to 1 hr. when the potatoes are cooked through, add the grated cheese and the cooked bacon on top. when that melts, usually 15 min. you are ready to eat.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

3 eggs, gently beaten
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
1 C oil (I actually use a cup of applesauce instead)
2 C grated zucchini
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 T cocoa
2 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a bowl, gently beat eggs and add sugar, brown sugar, oil (or applesauce), zucchini, and almond. Mix well. Mix in cocoa, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Pour in two greased bread loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Tastes fabulous with homemade cream cheese frosting. Of course I can't have that right now but discovered that Duncan Hines vanilla frosting is yummy on it too!

Butter Rolls - Breadmaker

For those of you that love plain ole good white yeast rolls, but want to save time using your breadmaker, here ya go! This is another recipe that came from my breadmaker cookbook!

3/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 3/4 cups Bread flour
2 tbs sugar
2 tsp dry active yeast.

Place all ingredients in the breadmaker pan in order listed above. Set for dough setting. When done, remove dough to a lightly floured surface and knead 2-4 times to get air bubbles out.

Shape as deisred and place in a greased or sprayed pan. Let rise for 1 hour covered with a clean kitchen towel or sprayed saran wrap. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Seriously, easy and yummy :)

Honey and Wheat Rolls - breadmaker

Dairy free for those of you who are checking!

This yummy and super easy recipe came from the cookbook that I got with my breadmaker about 14 years ago LOL It has the best recipes I swear. Don't think I've tried one I didn't like yet!

Place all ingredients in order in your breadmaker. All should be at room temp.

1 Cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup honey
1 egg (slightly beat before adding)
2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (not better for bread ww, just regular ww)
2 teaspoons dry active yeast.

Put this in your machine on the dough setting. When done, remove dough and knead 2-3 times on a lightly floured surface to elminate any air bubbles. Shape as desired ( I usually do pan rolls - divide into 12 pieces, shape so the top is smooth, place in a greased or sprayed 9x9 pan. Also works well to do the same thing only in a greased muffin tin). Cover with sprayed saran wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

The rolls are fluffy and yummy. Both my kids ate them when they first came out of the oven (ok, so we did cool the baby's but he wolfed it down too!)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stacey's Yellow Squash bake

Another yummy and fresh recipe from Stace :)

Recipe #2 I use this version the most!!
Yellow squash casserole

1 1/2 lbs. yellow squash sliced and boiled till soft and drained well
1 can low sodium mushroom soup
1 8 oz carton fat free sour cream
1 4 oz jar pimento (chopped) I buy at Walmart
1 8 oz can of water chestnuts (chopped)
1 stick of butter of marg.
1 medium onion (chopped)
1/2 package of Pepperidge farm herb stuffing mix

In a large bowl, mix cooked squash, mushroom soup, sour cream, pimento, water chestnuts and onion together put to one side. Melt 3/4 stick of butter (or use a little olive oil instead) Mix well with breadcrumbs and put 3/4 of the bread crumbs in the bottom of a 2 qt. dish. Pour squash mixture over 3/4 of the breadcrumbs then sprinkle the remaining 1/4 on the top. Bake at 35o degrees for 40 minutes.

Stacey's lower fat zucchini bread

This recipe came from my friend Stace at designing and motherhood :) I love zucchini bread but hate all the fat so here is a nice alternative. I've not tried it as of yet, but I do have a zucchini earmarked for this!

My zucchini bread FAVORITE recipe (when counting calories)!

I have tried and trued Zucchini bread recipes over and over again. I am watching my waste line so I make this recipe that is low fat but tasty. Keep in mind the full fat recipes are better tasting when compared side by side. On the other hand, we care about the calories, RIGHT?! Enjoy!

Makes 16 servings

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup skim milk, rice milk or soy milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini (1 medium)

Combine dry and wet ingredients. Bake at 325 degrees for about 70 min and test with a toothpick.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hungry Girl Chunky Chicken Salad

You will LOVE this one! It's chock full of chicken, fruit and crunch. Love this on a hot summer night just by itself. You can also do it as a sandwich.

Recipe by Hungry

Dozens of fat grams in chicken salad = bad news. Crunchy cucumbers, red grapes, and yogurt dressing on the other hand = GREAT additions. Here's HG's guilt-free answer to the notoriously fattening Waldorf chicken salad...

1 cup (about 4.5 oz.) cooked & roughly chopped skinless lean chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped Persian or Kirby cucumber**
1/3 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/3 cup chopped apple
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 tbsp. fat-free mayonnaise
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda)
1/4 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
dash salt

Mix together the yogurt, mayonnaise, sweetener, lemon pepper seasoning, and salt. Coat the chicken in this mixture, and then stir in the chopped cucumber, grape halves, and chopped apple. Then try not to pass out as you chow down on this insanely good chicken salad! MAKES 2 SERVINGS

Hungry Girl Exploding Chicken Taquitos!

We've been doing some cooking out of the Hungry Girl cookbook and her stuff ROCKS! So here is one that I love. It's super simple, usually have the ingredients on hand and filling. Enjoy cause they are yummy!! If you want more...check out

Roll With It!
These li'l Mexican treats are so stuffed, they're almost guaranteed to crack a bit when you bake 'em in the oven -- hence the name "Exploding." De verdad!

8 small (6-inch) yellow corn tortillas
One 9.75-oz. (or 10-oz.) can 98% fat-free chunk white chicken breast in water, drained well
1/2 cup salsa
1/3 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. dry taco seasoning mix
Optional: red enchilada sauce, additional salsa, fat-free sour cream, for dipping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken and salsa, and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Remove chicken mixture from the fridge, and drain any excess liquid. Add cheese and taco seasoning, and mix to combine. This is your filling. Set aside.

Prepare a baking sheet by spraying with nonstick spray, and set it aside.

Dampen two paper towels, and place tortillas between them. Microwave for about 1 minute, until tortillas are warm and pliable.

Take one tortilla (keep the rest between the paper towels), spray both sides lightly with nonstick spray, and lay it flat on a clean dry surface. Spoon about 2 heaping tbsp. of filling onto the tortilla. Spread it evenly across the entire surface, and roll tortilla up tightly, so that you have a cigar-shaped tube. Secure with toothpicks and place seam-side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

Bake for 14 - 16 minutes, until crispy. Allow taquitos to cool for 5 minutes. If you like, dunk in enchilada sauce, salsa, or sour cream!


Pineapple Lime Dutch Oven Chicken

Wow, we have been super neglectful of this site! Yikes!

So this week we did Dutch oven cooking with my neighbors. Our offering, and trial run, was this recipe found from someone's cookbook. I'd give kudos to whoever it is, but I don't have the book in front of me!

8 chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey
2 cans of pineapple tibits in juice, one drained, reserve the juice of the other.
1/2 c lime
4 tsp Corn starch
4 Tbs soy sauce

Heat up the ole coals and brown the chicken in the dutch oven on both sides. I mixed all the "wet" ingredients in a bowl. Be sure to dissolve the corn starch in the juice of the pineapple before you go so you don't get lumpies! Pour the wet ingredients over the top, place on the lid, add coals and let bake until chicken is done and sauce is thickened. I think we did it for about 20-30 minutes. It was a sweet, limey teriaki. YUM!

I think it would be awesome just poured over white rice to serve.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ice Cream in a Bag

This is so much fun to do with the kids and let them do the shaking!! No need to have an ice cream maker either!! Once ice cream is finished you can add add ins too, crushed oreo's, gummy bears, m&m's, cookie dough, whatever you like!! Enjoy!!

Ice Cream in a Baggie:
1/2 C milk
1/4 C half and half
1 T sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 sandwich size Ziploc® bags
1 one gallon size Ziploc® bag
2 C ice
1 T coarse salt

Put one small Ziploc bag inside the other and add the milk, half and half, sugar, and vanilla extract to the inside bag. Seal both bags securely, removing excess air. Add ice and salt to larger bag and place smaller bag inside. Seal firmly. Let the kids shake themselves silly -- shaking, tossing, and turning the bag. Ice cream will be soft and ready to eat in 5 to 10 minutes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Grilled Chicken Marinade(s)

Here are a few new marinades we have tried recently.

Ginger-Lime Marinade

1/4 cup Lime Juice
2 tbl olive oil
1 tea fresh ginger
1/4 tea salt
dash of ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 clove garlic (crushed)

mix. marinate for at least 15 min up to overnight.

Lemon-Rosemary Marinade ( can also be used for fish or seafood)

1 tea lemon peel
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine worcestershire sauce(or regular)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried crushed
1/4 tea salt
1/8 tea pepper

marinate 2-4 hours for poultry, or 1-2 hours for any fish or seafood. brush with marinade for up to the last 5 min of cooking.

Pineapple-Ginger Marinade

1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
2 tbl cooking oil
2 tbl finely chopped green sweet pepper
1 tbl finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tea honey
1/4 tea five spice powder

marinate 2-4 hrs. brush with marinade for up to the last 5 min of cooking.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Grilled Chicken penne al fresco

This was so easy to make, and you can make it without the deep dish baker. The dinner only cost about $12, total with french bread.

4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
3 cups uncooked mezze penne pasta
3 cups chicken broth
¾ cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay or more chicken broth
½ tsp each salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1¼ cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, divided
1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about ¼ cup packed)
2 cups diced grilled chicken breasts
Additional grated fresh Parmesan cheese
and coarsely ground black pepper (optional)
1. Spray Deep Covered Baker with olive oil using Kitchen Spritzer. Slice
garlic into baker using Garlic Slicer. Add tomatoes. Cover; microwave
on HIGH 4-5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to burst, stirring after
2 minutes. Crush tomatoes using Mix ‘N Chop. Add pasta, broth,
wine, salt and black pepper.
2. Return baker to microwave; cover and microwave on HIGH 16-18
minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring after 10 minutes. Meanwhile,
coarsely chop basil with Chef’s Knife. Reserve 2 tbsp for garnish. Grate
cheese using Rotary Grater.
3. Carefully remove baker from microwave and remove lid, lifting away
from you. Add remaining basil, cheese and chicken to baker; mix well.
Garnish with reserved 2 tbsp basil, additional Parmesan cheese and
black pepper, if desired.
Yield: 8 servings
Nutrients per serving (about 1 cup): Calories 240, Total Fat 2.5 g, Saturated Fat .5 g,
Cholesterol 25 mg, Carbohydrate 35 g, Protein 17 g, Sodium 450 mg, Fiber 2 g
Cook’s Tips: An additional ¾ cup chicken broth can be
substituted for the wine, if desired.
Any tube-shaped pasta requiring 9-11 minutes cook time, such as
penne or rigatoni, can be substituted for the mezze penne pasta.
To grill chicken in the Grill Pan, season 2 chicken breasts, about 6 oz
each, with salt and black pepper. Heat Grill Pan over medium-high heat
5 minutes. Spray pan with oil. Cook chicken 4-6 minutes or until grill marks
appear. Turn chicken over; cook 4-6 minutes or until center of chicken is
no longer pink and Pocket Thermometer registers 170°F.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Slush Punch

This is my all time favorite recipe for punch!! It has to be made ahead of time, and then frozen, so you aren't running around at the last minute trying to wrip up a yummy punch! I am asked to make it for every family gathering cause the whole family loves it too!!

· 2 1/2 cups white sugar
· 6 cups water
· 1 (6 oz.) package strawberry flavored gelatin mix
· 1 (46 oz.) can pineapple juice
· 2/3 cup lemon juice
· 1 quart orange juice
· 2 (2 liter) bottles Sprite
1. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, water, and strawberry flavored gelatin. Boil for 3 minutes. Stir in pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice. Divide mixture in half, and freeze in 2 separate ziplock bags.
2. When ready to serve, place the frozen contents of one container in a punch bowl, and stir in 1 bottle of lemon-lime soda until slushy.

- Can make ahead of time, but remember to pull out of freezer a couple of hours prior to serving so that mixture will get slushy….otherwise it will be too hard.

Friday, February 20, 2009

White Chocolate Fondue

White Chocolate Fondue

1 cup heavy cream
½ stick unsalted butter
2 packages (12 ounces each) white chocolate morsels

Dippers: Sliced apples, bananas, strawberries, cookies, pretzels, and cubed pound cake

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and butter. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat.
Add white morsels. Stir til melted and smooth. Cool slightly.

Transfer to a fondue pot, Serve with dippers.

Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup

Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 (15 oz.) can whole kennel corn, drained
2 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth
1 (10 oz.) can chunk chicken
1 (15 oz.) can black beans
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green Chile peppers, drained

Open the cans of corn, chicken broth, chunk chicken, black beans, and diced tomatoes with chiles. Pour everything into a large saucepan or stock pot. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through. Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I hate mac and cheese from a box. My mom used to make it from scratch and cook it in the oven, but her recipe requires an entire block of Velveeta cheese and it not my favorite. I found this online and everyone seemed to like it pretty well! I read all of the reviews at the end and made a few changes. I'll put them at the end. Enjoy!

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 45 min
Serves: 6-8 servings (there was plenty for our family of 5 with at least 2 servings left over)

-1/2 pound elbow macaroni
-3 tablespoons butter
-3 tablespoons flour
-1 tablespoon powered mustard
-3 cups milk
-1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
-1 bay leaf
-1/2 teaspoon paprika
-1 large egg
-12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-fresh black pepper

-3 tablespoons butter
-1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour & mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it is free of lumps. Stir in the onion, milk, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving.

I used twirly pasta because I had it in the pantry. I also used less than 1/2 an onion and sauteed in a tiny bit of olive oil before adding it to the macaroni. I usually don't like onion but I'm trying to broaden my horizons. LOL

Make sure you don't cook the pasta too long. I pulled it out of the water when it was still a little crunchy in the middle. You don't want it to get mushy. Definitely use the sharp cheddar and use the full amount it calls for. I didn't get a big enough block so I substituted some 4 cheese blend and it wasn't "cheesy" enough. So I might use the full 12 oz in the mix and then use extra on top.

I could taste the butter in it later so next time I might half the roux.

And finally- the 1 cup of bread crumbs was WAY too much. Maybe it was the dish I used, but everyone said there were too many. I'll probably leave them out next time.

Let me know if you make any other adjustments!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Coconut Treats (samoas)

Coconut treats

(samoas-from food network magazine)

I did not order any cookies this year, trying to be better and resist temptation! However, when I came across the recipe, I could not resist trying it out! This way, I can make them year round, right??

3 TBS cold unsalted butter

1/3 cup flour

1 and ½ cups shredded coconut

2 tbs packed brown sugar

¼ tsp salt

5 oz. semi or bittersweet chocolate-finely chopped

Caramel or dulce de leche ice cream topping

Toast coconut in oven until golden brown, let cool for a few minutes. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with butter. Pulse the flour, ¼ cup coconut, brown sugar and salt in food processor until combined. Add the cold butter and pulse about 5 times, or until the mixture resembles wet sand with pea-sized pieces. Put 1 heaping tbs of the mixture in each muffin cup and press down. Bake until the crusts are golden about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from oven and sprinkle the chocolate evenly over each crust. Turn off the oven; return to pan to the oven to melt the chocolate, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle each crust with 1 TBS of the remaining coconut. Drizzle caramel topping over the coconut. Cool slightly, then freeze crusts in the pan until set, about 15 minutes. With a thin spatula, gently remove each crust from the muffin pan.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

1 1/2 C Warm Water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C oil
1/4 c sugar or honey
2 tsp dough enhancer (opt)
1 1/2 T vital gluten (opt)
1/4 C instant dry milk (opt)
1 Tablespoon yeast
4-4 1/2 c Wheat Flour (or 3 Cups wheat, 1 cup white flour)

Add all ingredients, except only 2 cups of flour. Mix Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until dough does not stick to bowl. Mix (knead) for 6 -8 minutes. Form into loaf. Place in greased loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Let rise until double or 1 or 2 inches over top of pan. Bake at 350 degress for 30 minutes. Larger loaf might cook in center better at 325 for 40 mins.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Three-Cheese Beef Pasta Shells

I got this recipe from - it makes lots of dirty dishes and took a bit longer than I expected it to, but it was SO YUMMY.

Three-Cheese Beef Pasta Shells

Prep time: 25min
Start to Finish: 1hr 20min
8 servings (3 shells each)

24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 jar (26 oz) chunky tomato pasta sauce
1/4 cup water
1 container (8 oz) chive and onion cream cheese spread
1 1/2 cups shredded 6 cheese Italian cheese blend (6 oz)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 to 2 tablspoons chopped fresh parsely, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and drain pasta shells as directed on package.
2. In 10 inch skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
3. In large bowl, mix pasta sauce and water. Pour 1 cup of the pasta sauce in bottom of ungreased 13x9 inch (3 quart) glass baking dish. In medium bowl, mix cheese spread, 1 cup of the Italian cheese, the Parmesan cheese, egg, and cooked ground beef. Spoon heaping tablespoon mixture into each shell. Arrange stuffed shells over sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over top, covering shells completely. Cover with foil.
4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and cheese filling is set. Sprinkly with remaining 1/2 cup Italian cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley.
8 servings

Monday, February 2, 2009

Peanut Butter Bars

Thanks for giving me the chance to join you!  This recipe is one we've recently tried and love - I have a stash of these hidden in the freezer that I'm sneaking when the kids aren't around. :)

1/2 c butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2 c peanut butter
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
2 c chocolate chips

Combine butter & brown sugar in saucepan, I did this until it started to bubble and combined. Pour into a big bowl with all the other ingredients except chocolate chips, stir to combine and press into greased 9x13 pan. (I did use an extra 1/2 c powdered sugar.) Melt chocolate chips & pour over top, spread. Chill but defrost a minute before cutting or they'll probably be too hard.

* 2 cups of chocolate chips is too much, I did one heaping cup and it was plenty. Next time I would also mix the 1 c chocolate chips w/1 T peanut butter then melted it so the chocolate layer didn't crack when cold. These are similar to peanut butter cups.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Skillet Laz

I made this the other night, it is another new pampered chef recipe, I had to put it on here because it was really yummy.

Skillet Lasagna

1 jar marinara sauce
3 cups water
8 oz lasagna noodle
1 lb bulk hot italian sausage or regular sausage
2 cloves of garlic pressed
2 oz parmeasan cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh parley
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 cuo shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
additional grated parmeasan cheese (optional)

Combine sauce and water in skillet. Cover; bring to a boil. Meanwhile, wrap noodles in clean kitchen towl and break crosswise into quarter. Stir noodle into sauce. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 16-18 minutes or until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally. As noodles cook, place sauage into skillet;cook and stir over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink, breaking into crumbers. Add pressed garlic; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. stir sausage into noodles and sauce. Grate parmesan cheese, chop parsley, combine cheeses, parsely and black pepper, in a different bowl. Scoop cheese mixture over noodles, Cover skillet and simmer gently 3-5 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


Friday, January 23, 2009

Easy corn chowder

I made this the other night for our family, it was awesome. I just served it in bread bowls.

Easy Corn Chowder

2 Medium unpeeled red potatoes

1 cup cubed cooked ham

½ cup diced red bell pepper

½ cup coarsely chopped celery

1 teaspoon butter or margarine

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 can (14-14 ½ ounces) chicken broth

1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk

1 can (15 ounces) creamed corn

2 tablespoons sliced chives

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Cooked crumbled bacon (optional)

1. Cut potatoes and ham into ½ - inch cubes using Chef’s Knife or Crinkle Cutter; set aside. Dice bell pepper. Coarsely chop celery using Food Chopper. Heat butter in Saucepan over medium heat. Add bell pepper and celery; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in flour; heat until bubbly. Gradually add broth, evaporated milk and corn, whisking with Nylon Spiral Whisk until blended.

2. Add potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in ham; heat through. Remove from heat; stir chives into soup and season with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls using Nylon Ladle. Top with bacon and serve.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

French's Crunchy Onion Chicken

*copied from French's Website

Servings: 4 servings Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 1/3 cups French’s® Original or Cheddar French Fried Onions
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 egg, beaten

1.Place French Fried Onions into plastic bag. Lightly crush with hands or with rolling pin.
2.Dip chicken into egg; then coast with onion crumbs, pressing firmly to adhere. Place chicken on baking sheet. Sprinkle with additional crumbs, if desired.
3.Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes or until no longer pink in center.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chocolate Butterscotch Bars

If you've ever come to a get-together at my house, you have more than likely had these!

1 cup sugar
1 cup light Karo syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter

Melt in a pot on medium heat, stirring frequently.

Stir in:
6 cups Rice Crispies cereal and spread in greased 9x13 pan. (I line mine with wax paper and spray with non-stick spray.)

1 cup butterscotch chips and 1 cup chocolate chips in microwave. Spread over treats, let set until hard.

Potato Soup

1. 8-10 peeled/cubed potatoes
2. 2 diced celery stalks
3. 2 sliced carrots
4. ½ yellow onion, sliced
5. 4 cups water
6. 5 chicken bullion cubes
7. ½ tsp pepper
8. 1 can cream of mushroom soup
9. 1 can evaporated milk
10. 2 cups milk
11. 4 tbsp margarine
12. 1 tbsp parsley flakes

Cook 1-6 until tender, then mash. Add 7-12. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cheese if desired.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tangy Crock Pot Chicken

Honestly, this is the best and it's so dang quick. I found it blogstalking a week or so ago on the polka-dot apron blog. I put an link to that on our page so if anyone is interested, they have more super recipes :)
This recipe may seem too simple to be true, but it is so flavorful and the chicken is super moist, definitely a favorite around here.

2-4 chicken breast, cut into small strips
1 jar coleslaw dressing (I used Marie's in refrigerated veggie section)
Garlic salt sprinkled over the top

Cook in slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours.

Serve with or over hot rice, a nice green salad and some hot French or Italian bread. So simple to fix and so delicious to eat.

***Originally posted by Cherie in April 2008

Monday, January 5, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

If you love chocolate chip cheesecake, give this appetizer/dessert a try. The recipe came to me from my Great Aunt's church cookbook from South Carolina. YUMMY!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Allison's "lifted" Easy Breadsticks

So it's not a secret that I really don't like to cook. But I tried these breadsticks at a scrapping night here in Price and was promised that they were easy to make, so I tried them last night because Jacob wanted homemade crazy bread to go with our homemade pizza. So here's the recipe as copied from LyNae's blog:

Okay so I just made these bread sticks for the first time tonight... they are seriously the best thing ever. (Whitley said "mom these bread sticks are genius") don't let the yeast and kneading scare you! I did it and they worked out great and tasted so so yummy! This recipe comes from my friend Angie, Thanks Domestic Goddess you!!!

Bread sticks
Yields 12 bread sticks

1 tablespoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ cups warm water
½ tsp salt
3 cups flour
½ cup butter
garlic salt, Parmesan cheese, and salad supreme

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix together yeast mixture, sugar, salt, and flour. Knead for about 3 minutes. Add flour as needed. Let stand for 10 minutes, or longer. Melt butter on cookie sheet. Cut dough into fourths, then into thirds. Roll & twist. Roll in butter, sprinkle with garlic salt, Parmesan cheese and salad supreme. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until lightly browned.

I totally used Angie's picture because hers turned out way prettier (is that really a word?)than mine. Seriously This Salad Supreme stuff is a is made by McCormick and comes in a regular shaker bottle. It can be found by all of the spices at the store. I am actually trying it out on my pumpkin seeds for a fun little snack!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bacon and Cheese Dip

8 oz cream cheese
1 and ½ cups Swiss cheese, grated

3 scallions, diced

½ cup mayo

1 tablespoon djon mustard

5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

Mix ingredients together, sprinkle with more swiss cheese on top, if desired. Bake at 400 degrees until bubbly (about 15 minutes). Serve hot with chips or French bread.