Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Broccoli-Cheese Casserole with Chicken

I modified this recipe from a Weight Watchers recipe.

2 packages frozen chopped broccoli - thawed and drained
1 can condensed reduced fat cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
4 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed - 2% milk variety
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup skim milk
2 TBS butter, softened
1/2 lb cooked chicken - I boil mine.
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl and stir well. Spoon into a 2 qt casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 45 minutes or until heated and rice is done.


Weight Watchers Points - 6 points for a 1 cup serving

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Chicken Wild Rice Soup


Awhile ago, we were invited to a friends house for dinner and she served this soup with sliced french bread toasted with shredded cheddar cheese on top. It was delicious! Here is the recipe, my adaptations are to the side in italics. It is very easy and made two full meals for our family. When I made it last week, it fed 4 adults and 4 kids, with my changes of course.

5 2/3 cups water
1 package (4.3 ounces) long grain and wild rice mix (I usually use Uncle Ben's)
1 envelope chicken noodle soup mix (near the dry soups)
1 celery rib (chopped) (I used 2.)
1 medium carrot (chopped) (I use 3.)
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cups cubed cooked chicken (I use 1 1/2 -2 cups. This is a great recipe for all that shredded chicken you already have stocked in your freezer.)

In large saucepan, combine the water, rice with contents of seasoning packet and soup. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in celery, carrot and onion. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Stir in cream of chicken soup and cooked chicken. Cook 8 minutes longer or until the rice and vegetables are tender.

To make the bread:
cut french loaf into slices. Spread with a small amount of butter and sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. Toast in preheated oven, 350, for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread is slightly toasted.

Enjoy!



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Party Cookies

My mother always made lots of cookies, bars, and fudge at this time of year. After she died, I got all her recipes. These cookies are my brother's favorite. His wife makes them every Christmas since my mom isn't here to do them! They've quickly become my boys' favorite, too.

Christmas Party Cookies

1 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 3/4 cups M&M's (you can use red and green ones for Christmastime)

Blend shortening and sugars in a large bowl. Beat in vanilla and eggs. Sift dry ingredients together; add to mixture, blending well. Stir in 3/4 cups M&M's. Drop by tsp. on ungreased baking sheet; decorate tops with remaining candy. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Some cracking may occur. Makes about 72 (2 1/2 inch) cookies

Festive Fudge

FESTIVE FUDGE

3 cups (1 1/2 packages, 12 ounces each) Hershey's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
Dash of salt
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup Reese's peanut butter chips
1/2 cup whipping cream

Directions:
1. Line 8- or 9-inch square pan with wax paper
2. Melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt in heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; stir in nuts, if desired, and vanilla. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
3. In another heavy saucepan, melt 1 cup Reese's Peanut Butter Chips with 1/2 cup whipping cream. Stir until thick and smooth. Spread over fudge.
4. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. Turn fudge onto cutting board, peel off paper, and cut into squares. Store covered in refrigerator.

Delicious! And such a great idea to give out as Christmas goodies!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chicken Corn Chowder


Recipe and Photo From Chicken Corn Chowder

*Plan Ahead: This recipe calls for cooked chicken.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped, seeds and membrane removed (this is important for flavor - but doesn't add heat because the seeds and membranes are removed and it is cooked with the other veggies)
1/4 cup thinly sliced or cooked chopped ham
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14-oz.) cans chicken broth
3 tablespoons flour
3 ears of fresh corn kernels or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Place olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute celery, bell pepper, onion and jalapeno until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ham; cook for another 3 minutes. Whisk the broth with the flour in a liquid measuring cup or bowl and then stir into the soup. Stir in the corn and chicken. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat. Whisk together the cream cheese and milk in a large bowl until smooth (I had a difficult time getting my cream cheese to completely whisk into the milk so my soup had some minor small lumps but next time, I'll soften the cream cheese until almost melted in the microwave). Whisk the cream cheese/milk mixture into the soup along with the salt, pepper and cheddar cheese. Simmer on low until ready to serve.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

**This is a repost recipe. Amber posted it several months ago. My friend and I tried this recipe on Friday at our Annual Christmas Cookie Baking Day. The cookies were amazing. Not too crunchy, not too soft. So if you are looking for a new recipe, or you are tired of your cookies not keeping their shape, you might want to try this one.





Ingredients
•3 cups all-purpose flour
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•1 cup granulated sugar
•1/2 tsp. kosher salt
•2 sticks of butter, unsalted, softened
•1 large egg
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•dash of almond extract

Sift together the flour and baking powder. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the egg, salt and both extracts.

Slowly add flour mixture (1 cup at a time) and stir until mixed.

Form the dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (*or see hint below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface to approximately 5/8" thick. Cut the cookies into shapes and place the cut cookie shape on a parchment lined cookie sheet. If you plan on making a bouquet, place a stick into each cookie.

Bake the Cookies for approximately 8-10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown in color. (I baked mine on parchment paper. When you use the parchment paper, and you see any hint of brown, remove them. The tops will still look white, but the bottoms will be golden.)Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes. This recipe makes about 2.5-3.5 dozen cookies, depending on how thick you make them.

HINT: Rolling Out Dough Without the Mess -- Rather than wait for your cookie dough to chill, take the freshly made dough and place a glob between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll it out to the desired thickness then place the dough and paper on a cookie sheet and pop it into the refrigerator. Continue rolling out your dough between sheets of paper until you have used it all. By the time you are finished, the first batch will be completely chilled and ready to cut. Reroll leftover dough and repeat the process! An added bonus is that you are not adding any additional flour to your cookies.

Lesley's Royal Icing Recipe
Ingredients
1 bag confectioners' sugar
4 T. meringue powder
2 t. flavoring (usually almond)
warm water

Put confectioners' sugar and meringue powder in mixing bowl. Start beater and mix slowly for a few seconds.

With mixer running, add 3 to 4 T warm water. Add flavoring. Continue
mixing and adding water a little at a time until you get the consistency you want.

Divide and color! (I used Wilton's Gel Coloring.)

NOTE:
Remember that royal icing only takes a long time to dry after you put it on a cookie. Until then, it turns to concrete in seconds. Keep your containers covered until you are ready to use it. The cookies you see a on Kitchen Collectables' web pages were all decorated with Royal Icing. Royal Icing has several advantages over buttercream:: no fat, the icing won't separate, the icing hardens so cookies can be stacked, and you can freeze cookies iced with Royal Icing!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Super-Duper Easy Chicken Pot Pie

My friend, Holly, sent in this recipe. This meal has been a family favorite at my house. I modified it a little bit.

2 tablespoons of butter
1-2 chicken breast
Sprinkling of Season Salt
1 small can Veg-all
1 can cream of chicken*
1 pack of refrigerated pie crust (contains 2)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Cut butter up into small chunks and place on pie plate in oven as the oven is preheating. In skillet, cook chicken (sprinkled with a bit season salt) in a little bit of oil. Shred chicken and place in a medium bowl. Add melted butter, Veg-all, cream of chicken soup and chicken. Add a 1/4 cup of milk and salt/pepper to taste. Stir it all together. Spread one pie crust on bottom of pie plate, and spoon in filling. Place other pie crust on top, crimp and make vent holes. (I spray cooking oil on top to give it a golden color.) Place in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Enjoy!

This meal along with a salad) feeds my family of 5 with three young children. If you are making it for a larger crowd, you may want to make two.

*I made this recently and I was missing cream of chicken soup. I used cream of mushroom soup with a spoonful of Better than Bullion - chicken flavor.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mary's Red Velvet Cake

My mother always made a red velvet cake at Christmas. Here is her recipe with buttercream icing.

1 large bottle of red food coloring
water (refill the food coloring bottle with water)
3 tsp cocoa
1/2 cup Crisco
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine food coloring, water and cocoa in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine Crisco, sugar, eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, flour and salt in large bowl. Add color mixture and mix. Add vinegar and baking soda. Blend together. Bake in 2 9" cake pans that have been greased and floured at 325 degrees for 35 minutes.

Buttercream Icing

1/4 lb butter
8 tbsp Crisco
2 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp flour
2 cups powdered sugar

Beat ingredients until creamy and white.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel Popcorn


I found this recipe at Dancing by the Light. It looked like a fun way to make homemade gifts and who doesn't like cinnamon, vanilla and caramel!?

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Generously grease a large baking sheet with butter.
Pop the popcorn (see below) with a hot air popper or stovetop.

Heat to simmering in a large stockpot over medium-high heat, stirring constantly:
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup butter
½ teaspoon salt

Add:
8 cups popped popcorn (1/2 cup unpopped)
1 cup mixed nuts (optional)

Cook, stirring constantly until well coated, about 2 minutes.
Place on greased baking sheet, and bake at 300 degrees F. for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cool on waxed paper and let stand at room temperature until cool.
Store lightly covered.

Variations:

Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel Corn:
To the brown sugar mixture, add 1 teaspoon (or more) pure vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Amaretto Caramel Corn:
To the brown sugar mixture, add ½ teaspoon almond extract.
Instead of mixed nuts, use roasted whole almonds.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken Stacks

2 cups frozen corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 large frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups salsa

Lightly grease the bottom and sides of the slow cooker. Pour frozen corn into the bottom of the slow cooker and place the frozen chicken breasts on top. Cover with beans and salsa. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with forks. Return to the slow cooker and stir until the chicken, corn, beans and salsa are combined.

Serve on a bed of tortilla chips and top with additional garnishes: lettuce, tomato, avocado, sour cream, cheese, cilantro, lime wedges, etc.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach


This recipe comes from the blog, My Kitchen Cafe.

6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this doesn't add spiciness - just the right amount of flavor)
6 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound penne pasta
1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried
6 tablespoons juice from 2 lemons
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Meanwhile, combine garlic, pepper flakes and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until garlic is golden and fragrant, about 1 minute.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels and cut into bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the garlic/red pepper oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat until oil is rippling. Add chicken and cook until well browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil.

Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to boiling water and cook until tender but still slightly firm (al dente). Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and return to the pot. Stir in chicken, spinach, basil, lemon juice, Parmesan, and remaining garlic mixture, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holiday Hash Brown Casserole

2 pounds Sausage
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (10 ¾ oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 (8 oz.) container of French onion dip
1 cup chopped onion
¼ cup each green and red bell pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (30-oz.) package frozen hash brown shredded potatoes, thawed

In a skillet, cook the sausage until browned. Drain well. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheese, chicken soup, sour cream, French onion dip, chopped onion, bell peppers, salt and pepper. Fold in thawed hash brown potatoes. Mix well. Spread ½ of the hash brown mixture over bottom of a 9 X 13-inch greased baking dish. Spread ½ of the browned sausage over hash browns. Repeat layering second ½ of hash brown mixture. Top with remaining sausage. Bake at 350°F for about one hour or until casserole is golden brown.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Decadent Peanut Butter Pie - JIF Recipe

1 prepared chocolate cookie pie crust
1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups (12 oz. container) of non-dairy whipped topping, divided
1-11.75 oz. jar hot fudge ice cream toppings, divided
2 Tbs. hot fudge and 2 Tbs. peanut butter

In a medium bowl, beat together the peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar. Gently fold in 3 cups whipped topping. Spoon mixture into the pie shell. Using a spatula, smooth mixture to edges of pie. Reserving 2 tablespoons of hot fudge, place remaining hot fudge into microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Spread hot fudge over pie to cover the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, spread the remaining whipped topping (1 1/2 cups), over hot fudge layer, being careful not to mix the two layers.

TOPPING
Place the 2 Tbs. hot fudge in a small baggie and knead for a few seconds. Cut a tiny hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle over pie. Do the same with 2 Tbs. peanut butter going in the opposite direction of the hot fudge.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Low Country Smothered Pork Chops

My friend, Julie, post this recipe from Food Network. Looks wonderful!

4 center-cut pork chops, 1-inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, spread on a plate
2 medium green bell peppers, stemmed, cored, and membranes removed, cut into strips
2 yellow onions, trimmed, cut lengthwise
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
2 to 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

Trim the excess fat from the chops and season well with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Lightly roll the chops in flour, shake off the excess, and slip them into the pan. Brown well, about 3 minutes per side, and remove them to a plate.

Add the bell peppers and onions, to the skillet, and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about half a minute longer. Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet. Add chops to pan and place vegetables on top of pork chops. Pour in the broth and sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce. Cover pan with foil and allow to simmer for 45 minutes or until chops are tender.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pumpkin Fluff

1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions

In a large bowl, mix together instant vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in the thawed frozen whipped topping. Chill in the refrigerator until serving. Serve with graham crackers or graham cracker sticks.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fresh Apple Pound Cake

Ingredients:
* 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Oil
* 2 cups Sugar
* 4 whole Eggs
* 3 cups Flour
* 1 teaspoon Salt
* 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
* 1 teaspoon Vanilla
* 1 cup Chopped Pecans
* 1 cup Coconut
* 3 cups Chopped Apples

Preparation Instructions

Mix the oil, sugar and eggs well. Add flour, salt, baking soda and vanilla. Mix until smooth and blended completely. Fold in pecans, coconut and apples.

Pour into a greased and floured tube pan. Bake for 1 hour at 275 F. Increase oven temperate to 300 F and bake for another ½ hour.

***I don't know if it's my oven or my bundt pan or what, but I ended cooking mine at 300 for an additional hour, not just thirty minutes. My recommendation is to check the cake with a knife and back until knife comes out clean.

Pumpkin Bars

I have several friends who have metioned the blog, My Kitchen Cafe.I decided it was time to check it out. I wasn't disappointed. Here's a Paula Deen recipe I found there.


Pumpkin Bars
from Paula Deen

Bars:
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (can substitute 1/2 cup applesauce for 1/2 cup oil)
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Icing:
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

FOR COOKIES:
PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Lightly grease or line four baking sheets with parchment paper.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Drop by heaping measuring teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets. (A total of 72 cookies are needed for the recipe.)

BAKE for 10 to 13 minutes or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

FOR CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
BEAT cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.

SPREAD a heaping teaspoon of filling onto flat side of one cookie; top with flat side of second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Store in covered container in refrigerator.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

From Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman

Makes 8 servings

1 3⁄4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch nutmeg
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1⁄4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄3 cup milk
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat the inside of a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust it with flour.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl.

3. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.

4. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the pumpkin purée and vanilla. Stir in the milk.

5.Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, 1⁄2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake the cake until it is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack, and then turn it right side up on a rack to cool completely.

TIP

Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic, for up to one week.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Slow Cooker Monday - Chicken Curry

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 each red and green pepper, sliced
1 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp curry powder
3/4 cup chicken stock


Place all ingredients into slow cooker in order listed. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tennessee Caviar

Tennessee Caviar is a great dip to bring to tailgating, Care Group, picnics, or cookouts! I made it last night for Care Group, and it seemed to be a big hit. Warning, this dip makes a TON, so you want to be sure to have a large group to feed. I don't believe you can half the recipe, but hey, I guess it would be worth a shot!

Tennessee Caviar

Ingredients:

2 (15oz) cans of black-eyed peas
1 (15oz) can of black beans
1 (13oz) can yellow niblet corn
1 (13oz) can white shoe peg corn
2 cans of Rotel tomatoes
1 can of chopped black olives
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 bunch of green onions, thinly slice, include whites and greens
1 (16oz) bottle of Zesty Italian salad dressing


Directions:
Drain all vegetables very well. In a bowl, combine chopped onions and pepper and all vegetables. Pour Zesty Italian dressing over all of the vegetables and marinate over night. Serve with Fritos.

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

My family is really into candy corn right now. Who isn't!? So, I thought they would enjoy a twist on the classic candy corn. I got this recipe at "Little Birdie Secrets." Click here to see really great pictures for each step at their site.


Candy Corn Cookies

1 package (18oz.) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. grated lemon zest (optional)
1 1/2 tsp grated orange zest (optional)
yellow and orange food coloring
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
decorating sugar

Step 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Using an electric mixer on low, beat cookie dough and flour until combined. Divide dough into three equal portions.


Step 2. Add lemon zest and yellow food coloring to one portion of the dough. With the mixer on low, beat until blended; set aside. Add orange zest and orange food coloring to another portion of the dough; beat until blended. Leave remaining portion plain.

Step 3. Divide each dough section in half. Roll 1 piece of each color into 12-inch long rope. Transfer dough ropes to a lightly floured surface, side by side, with the orange rope in the middle.

Step 4. Place parchment paper or wax paper over dough; gently roll into a 15x4-inch rectangle. Remove parchment paper. Using a knife, cut dough into 12 equal triangles.

Step 5. Transfer triangles to an ungreased baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Push a ruler against sides of triangles to straighten edges (I skipped this step as you can see). Bake until lightly browned, 9-11 minutes; let cool for one minute then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 6. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave white chocolate on high until melted, about 1 minute. Stir. Dip wide end of cookies into chocolate then into decorating sugar. Let stand until set. (I was out of white chocolate when I made these, so I just dipped them in white frosting--it was still yummy!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin Waffles

My friend, Julie, posted this recipe on Facebook. It maked me want to run and buy a waffle iron!


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil for brushing waffle iron or cooking spray

Preheat oven to 250°F and preheat waffle iron. Sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices. Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl with buttermilk, pumpkin, and butter until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients just until combined.

In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks (as in, far softer than the over-beaten whites you’ll see in my picture above). Folk them gently into the waffle batter, until just combined.

Brush waffle iron lightly with oil and spoon batter (about 2 cups for four 4-inch Belgian waffles) into waffle iron, spreading quickly. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Transfer waffles to rack in oven to keep warm and crisp. Make more waffles in same manner.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Cake

****I made a correction regarding the "gluten-free" label I put on this recipe earlier. It is NOT gluten-free, but is dairy-free. Sorry for the confusion!


My friend Carrie posted this recipe on her blog. Her one-year-old has recently been diagnosed with some food allergies, so Carrie is having to adjust to life with some new food regulations. Her daughter, Kendall, can't have milk or eggs, so dairy-free is a must for now!

I made this pumpkin-spice cake yesterday, and it is delicious! Try it sometime. Seriously, it couldn't be simpler.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Ingredients:

1 box of spice cake mix
1 can of pumpkin
1/2 can of water

Directions:

Combine all three ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth. Pour into your favorite cake pan. (I used a bundt!) Bake cake according to the directions on the box, let cool, and serve. For a beautiful display, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

This cake is so good, so moist, and just perfect for Fall. It's a great breakfast or dessert or mid-day snack! Oh, I love pumpkin!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Slow Cooker Mondays - Potato Soup

When I woke up this morning to frost, I thought that a nice warm soup would be a good recipe for today.

8 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 can chicken broth
2 Tbs. fresh, minced parsley
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 C. 2% or skim milk
1/2 C. all-purpose flour

Toppings: sliced green onions, grated cheese, or crumbled bacon

Sauté the onion in a skillet with a little oil till tender. Add to the crockpot with the potatoes, carrots, rosemary, broth and parsley. Add water to about 2 inches from the top of the crock. Season with the salt and pepper. Cook on high for 8 hours. 1 hour before serving, put milk into a bowl. Add flour and whisk till combined. Add to the soup.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Here is a yummy and easy supper to fix that I tried out last night! Jonathan and I really enjoyed it, and I will be adding it to my repertoire! I found the recipe on the $5 Dinners blog! This is a great website with lots of great money saving ideas and delicious dinner recipes.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Ingredients:
1 lb chicken breast, diced
2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, with juice
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger


Directions:
1. In large skillet over medium high heat, brown the diced chicken pieces in oil.
2. Add diced green bell pepper and garlic and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
3. In small bowl, whisk together corn starch and soy sauce, then pour the mixture into skillet along with the pineapple chunks, pineapple juice, vinegar, brown sugar, and ginger. Stir together and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes, or until sauce reaches desired consistency/thickness.

Serve over brown or white rice.
***I used white rice and added just a few splashes of soy sauce to the water to add a hint of salt.
***This meal was wonderful, but I like lots of sauce, so I doubled the sauce portion, minus the pineapple and pineapple juice. I added some water to replace the liquid that the pineapple juice added.
***Jonathan mentioned that this recipe would probably be equally as tasty using shrimp instead of chicken. I think I may try that sometime soon as we love us some shrimp in this household. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Zucchini Nut Bread

Danielle posted this recipe on her blog, Dancing by the Light. It looks yummy!

2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts or raisins
1 cup shredded zucchini
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix everything and pour batter into a greased 8 1/2 x 2 1/1 inch bread pan or two 5 3/4 x 3 1/4 x 2 inch pans. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Bake 1 hour for large and 30 minutes for small.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nestle Toll House Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks

Preheat oven to 350º F. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chunks. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set but still soft. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Remember to follow baking instructions before consuming.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

When I saw this recipe on Domestic Life , I knew I had to share. It looks like a fun treat for kids. I might have to try this one for our next small group meeting at church.


1 18.5-ounce box yellow cake mix (plus the ingredients called for in the package directions)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
2 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
24 pieces candy corn

1. Heat oven to 350° F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Prepare the cake mix as directed but with the following change: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute the can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions.
2. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool.
3. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a piece of candy corn.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Slow Cooker Monday - Stuffed Pasta Shells

18 jumbo pasta shells
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tbsp. parsley flakes
1 egg, beaten
2 jars meatless spaghetti sauce (151/2 oz. each)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta shells according to directions, just until tender and drain. Meanwhile, brown beef, onion and garlic on stove top, drain. Add Mozzarella, bread crumbs, parsley and egg. Stuff shells, set aside. Pour 1 jar of sauce into slow cooker. Arrange stuffed shells in sauce. Top with other jar of sauce and Parmesan cheese. Cover and cook on low 5 to 7 hours.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Apple Dapple

3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups self-rising flour
3 cups chopped and peeled apples
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat overn to 350 degrees. Cream sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla. Add sifted flour, nuts, and apples. Pour batter into 9x13 lightly greased glass pan. Bake for 45 minutes.

Topping
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk

Boil ingredients, stirring constantly for 2 1/2 minutes. Pour over hot cake.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tex-Mex Potato and Corn Chowder

I am a big fan of soup and Tex-Mex. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it.

1 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons butter
8 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
4.5 oz can chopped green chilies
1 can corn with red and green peppers
1 pkg no-fat country gravy mix
1 cup chopped onion
2 cans chicken broth
2 cups skim milk
4 oz processed Mexican cheese

In a large saucepan, cook celery and onions in butter over medium heat until tender. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add potatoes. Cook over low heat until potatoes are soft. Stir in corn and chilies and return boiling. Dissolve gravy in milk; stir into boiling mixture. Add cheese, cook and stir over low heat until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chicken and Green Bean Alfredo

I found this recipe on the back of can of Del Monte green beans. It looked very simple.

6 oz dried fettuccine
1 - 1 1/4 cups of alfredo sauce
2 cans of green beans
6 oz cooked chicken strips
2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
Fresh basil or sage leaves

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Return to saucepan. Meanwhile, heat sauce, green beans and chicken in medium saucepan, stir occassionally. Toss well with hot pasta. Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with basil or sage if desired.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Slow Cooker Monday - Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Here's another recipe from Slow Cooker Extraordinaire, Joelle.


Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Makes 4 to 6 serving / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: Low 3 to 4 hours

2 slices bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, trimmed or excess skin (breasts would work well also. Skin or skinless is fine too)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried sage (I used thyme - worked just as well)
1 cup converted long-grain white rice (I used brown rice worked just as well)
1 package (4 ounces) wild rice (I used Royal Blend Rice: Texmati White, Brown, Wild & Red. This really added great flavor and color)
6 ounces baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and chopped (chop fine if your husband and kids hate mushrooms. They never notice)
3 cups hot chicken broth, or enough to cover chicken
salt and black pepper to taste


Microwave bacon on High (100% power) 1 minute. Transfer to crock-pot. Add olive oil and spread evenly on bottom. Place chicken in Crock pot, skin side down. Add remaining ingredients in order given. Cover: cook on Low 3 to 4 hours, or until rice is tender. Uncover and let stand 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper, if desired. Remove skin before serving, if desired.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Tortellini Soup

Here's another yummy recipe from Danielle's blog . I just seem like the perfect Autumn soup!


Tortellini Soup
Sautee 1/2 cup chopped onion and 1 clove chopped garlic in oil in pot.
Cook until they are light brown and translucent.

Add:
2 cans of chicken stock
1 can water
1 can drained white beans.
Heat to simmer.

Then add:
1 can chopped tomatoes (undrained),
1 teaspoon vinegar,
1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce,
1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach,
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend.
Cook for about 10-15 minutes.

Approx. 10 minutes before serving add:
1 bag frozen cheese tortellini and
2 Tablespoons fresh basil finely minced
1 tablespoons shredded parmesan. cheese.

Turn on low and cook 10 minutes.
Serves 6-8 hearty servings.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Penne with Brie, Shrimp, and Walnuts

Someone gave me a wheel of brie. And I've been able to make a lot of yummy things from it. But our favorite was this pasta. It's a made up recipe.
Ingredients:
1 pound penne pasta, cooked
1 pound shrimp-peeled, tails removed, deveined
3 cloves garlic
1 wedge of brie, rind trimmed off and cheese cubed into small pieces (you could also use any other soft cheeses)
1/4 c parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup half-and-half (or whole milk, cream, or whatever you have)
1/2 c finely chopped walnuts
1/4 c olive oil
Directions:
Saute shrimp in oil until almost done, then add garlic and finish cooking one more minute. In a small saucepan, add half-and-half, and both cheeses and stir constantly over medium-low heat until smooth. Now toss all ingredients together. Garnish with parsley and walnuts.

Breakfast Cookies (Take 2)

And now from the test kitchen...
I have been trying different recipes for breakfast cookies. The first one I tried was too sweet and I didn't like the texture (too much butter). I think this one's a keeper although I will probably try a few more recipes and tweek them until I come up with our favorite.
Ingredients:
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c canola oil (I subbed butter)
3/4 c peanut butter (might try crunchy next time)
1/4 c water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1c ww and the rest white)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1/2 c raisins
3 c cheerios (we used multi-grain kind)
I think you could sub lots of other things like nuts, coconut, cranberries, etc.
Original recipe called for mini chocolate chips (but we don't do that for breakfast)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375. Beat sugar, oil, peanut butter, water, vanilla and egg until well combined. Stir in flour, baking soda, oats and raisins. Mix well then gently fold in cheerios. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto cookie sheet-flatten slightly with spoon. Bake cookies 13 to 15 minutes. Recipe says it can be stored in airtight container or zip bag for up to 2 months (umm, don't think they'll last that long around here!)

Brown Rice/Millet Pancakes

Well, thanks to Honey, I am back on here after a hiatus of nearly two years.  These pancakes are adapted from a recipe from Julie Wandling's "Hallelujah Kids" and they'll have you shouting "Hallelujah" when you try them.  They are gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free, and are a staple in our house.  They also freeze well, if you flash freeze them first on a cookie sheet before placing them in a freezer bag.  Then they can go directly to the toaster on a busy morning.

2 c. brown rice (not the quick kind)
1 c. millet
2 c. water

Place above ingredients in a bowl, and cover with a towel, allowing to soak overnight.
The next morning...
Place the contents of the bowl in a blender with the following ingredients:

1 large apple (chopped)
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP Honey
1/2 tsp salt

Process until smooth, then add 1 TBSP of Aluminum-free Baking powder.
Fry as you would any pancake, in coconut oil, because of course we would never use any other oil to fry with, right?  Another good selection is grapeseed oil.  And since none of us are perfect, I guess butter can occasionally make its way into the pan.  "Eat without guilt!"  That's my motto.

Slow Cooker Mondays - Chicken Santa Fe

1 can black bean, rinsed, drained
1 cup of chunky salsa
8 oz of low fat cream cheese
2 (15 oz)cans of corn, drained
6 chicken breasts
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

In a slow cooker, mix beans, corn and 1/2 cup salsa. Top with chicken then spoon remaining salsa over chicken. Cover and cook on high heat for 3-3 1/2 hours or until chicken is tender and white throughout. Remove chicken and cut into bite sized pieces or shred. Add to slow cooker. Add cubed cream cheese and heat until cream cheese melts and blends into sauce. Serve over rice with shredded cheese.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Portuguese Kale Soup

Thanks to Jennifer Erickson for making this for me and giving me the recipe. It is very similar to the Tuscana Soup at Olive Garden. It is from the Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook, although I have adapted it a bit...
Ingredients:
1 medium onion diced
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced (ok-truth be told I use 4 or 5)
2 T olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 c chopped tomatoes with juice
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained
12 oz Italian sausage (can use chicken sausage), chopped
8 c kale (wash and remove stems,cut into strips
fresh ground pepper
Directions:
Cook sausage completely. Then add onion, garlic, olive oil, paprika, and cayenne and cook 5-10 minutes. Add potatoes and broth and cook until potatoes are tender. Smash some of the potatoes with the back of a spoon. Add tomatoes, beans and kale. Cook another 15-20 minutes. Season with pepper.

Pecan Crusted Tilapia with Rum Butter Sauce





I found this recipe awhile ago and just got around to trying it last week. It was really good! It was simple to prepare and my kids ate it. The good thing about tilapia is that it doesn't taste very "fishy." So if you're scared of fish, this might be one for you to try. Also, don't let the rum title scare you away, I substituted juice for the rum. Enjoy!






Pecan Crusted Tilapia




Ingredients:


1/2 cup pecans

4 tilapia fillets

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp pepper

3 Tbsp butter

Golden Rum-Butter Sauce (recipe below)




Directions:


1. Process pecans in a food processor until finely chopped. Sprinkle fillets with salt, garlic powder, and pepper. (I actually did not measure the amounts of seasonings, I just sprinkled over the fish.) Dredge fish in finely chopped pecans.


2. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add fish, and cook 3-4 minutes on each side until well browned and fish flakes easily with fork. Serve with Golden Butter Rum Sauce (below).




Golden Butter Rum Sauce






Ingredients:


3 Tbsp butter

1 shallot, minced ( I didn't have this so I used the white part of 2 green onions.)

1 garlic clove, minced

2 Tbsp rum (I substituted 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp orange juice for this)

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp orange juice

1 tsp honey

1/2 tsp salt




Directions:


Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat; add shallot (or green onion) and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until shallot or onion are tender. Reduce heat to low, and slowly whisk in the rum (or juice) and next 4 ingredients and remaining 2 Tbsp butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute; serve warm over the fish.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup

I thought this soup recipe would be very appropriate on this rainy, rainy day. I found this recipe in Woman's Day magazine. What is your favorite soup recipe? Do share!!

6 cups chicken broth
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, visible fat trimmed
1 cup each chopped celery and onion
1 cup baby carrots, halved crosswise
1 large parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups uncooked medium egg noodles
1/4 cup snipped fresh dill

1. Put broth, chicken, celery, onion, carrots, parsnip, garlic, bay leaf and pepper in a large saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender.

2. Discard bay leaf. Remove chicken to a plate to cool slightly. Add noodles to soup; cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until tender.

3. Meanwhile, shred chicken with fingers or 2 forks. Add to soup along with the dill.

(Photo from Woman's Day Magazine)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

French's Crunchy Onion Chicken

This looks like an easy, tasty recipe. It uses the French's French fried onions. It's only 4 ingredients. And it has to be healthier than fried chicken.
Ingredients:
2 cups french fried onion
2 T flour
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten
Directions:
Place flour in a baggie. Add onions and crush them. Dip chicken into egg, then coat in onion. Bake 20 minutes at 400 until cooked through. *
Zesty tip: add 1/4 c any French's mustard instead of egg. (I'm wondering if dijonaise would be good since mayo is supposed to make chicken very juicy and tender.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cranberry Chicken

Cranberry Chicken

1-2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce
1 package of dry onion soup mix
8 oz. of Catalina salad dressing (I used Kraft Light Catalina to cut back on fat and calories)

In a bowl, combine the cranberry sauce, soup mix and dressing. Place chicken in a casserole dish and cover chicken with sauce mixture. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour, or until chicken is cooked through. I served this with white rice and turnip greens. The sauce is so yummy and tastes great over the rice!

This is definitely one of our new favorites!

Savory Pot Roast

Hi ladies, I have been following this blog for months, and use it all the time! Suzanne mentioned posting on here so I said SURE....This recipe comes from my great Uncle and Aunt in Seattle, it sounds very strange but I assure you it is very yummy and puts a different twist on regular "roast and carrots".

Brown a 4 to 5 pound chuck roast in 2 tablespoons of oil. Place 1 chopped onion on top of meat.

Blend together:
1 can mushroom soup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce.

Pour over roast, onions, potatoes and carrots, cover and cook at 325 degrees for 3 hours or until tender.
I have used white and sweet potatoes in this recipe and both turn out great. Also the mixture is a little hard to get incorporated, but I have found that using a whisk helps out with that.

Harvest Ham Supper

This recipe comes from my friend, Joelle, who is a slow cooker extraordinaire. She says it is extremely easy and quick to prepare.

Makes 6 serving / Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook time: Low 6 to 8 hours

1 package of mini carrots
3 medium sweet potatoes, quartered
1 to 1/2 pounds boneless ham (I found hams at Kroger that are already sliced and halved. I use two and double all the rest of the ingredients)
1 cup pure maple syrup

Arrange carrots and potatoes in bottom of slow cooker to form a rack. Place ham on top of vegetables. Pour syrup over ham and vegetables. Cover: cook on Low 6 to 8 hours)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Crispy Confections

My friend, Susan, posted this on Facebook. She said it is super easy!

49 Kraft caramels (14oz. bag)
3 TSP. water
2 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups Corn Flakes
1 4oz. package shredded coconut

Melt caramels with water in saucepan over low heat. Stir frequently until sauce is smooth. Pour over combined cereals and coconut. Toss until well coated. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Let stand until firm. Makes 4 dozen

Friday, September 18, 2009

Almond Chicken and Rice - Kraft Food and Family Magazaine

I recently receive my Kraft Food and Family Magazine. I thought this recipe looked really good. If you don't get Kraft Food and Family Magazine, click on the link for more info, and best of all, it's free!

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
1/4 cup Italian Dressing and Marinade, divided
1-1/4 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup instant white rice, uncooked
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted, divided

Cook chicken in 2 Tbsp. dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 4 min. on each side or until evenly browned. Stir in broth, garlic powder and remaining dressing; bring to boil. Cover; simmer 5 min or until chicken is done (165ºF). Remove chicken; cover to keep warm. Add broccoli to skillet; cook, uncovered, 3 min. Stir in rice and 3 Tbsp. nuts. Remove from heat; cover. Let stand 7 min. Serve chicken over rice; top with remaining nuts.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chocolate Cloud Cake

I enjoy reading Danielle's blog for many reasons. One of the reasons is because she shares some wonderful recipes. She has given me permission to share all her recipes and even more exciting to me, her recipe photographs. This one comes from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. Get ready to drool...


9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

6 eggs: 2 whole, 4 separated

3/4 cup superfine sugar

2 tablespoons Cointreau (optional)

grated zest of 1 orange (optional)

9 inch springform cake pan

for the cream topping:

2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional)

half teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Line the bottom of the cake pan with baking parchment.

Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or a microwave, and then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate.

Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 1/3 cup of the sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture, the Cointreau and orange zest.

In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the remaining sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but are not too stiff. Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools.

When you are ready to eat, place the still pan-bound cake on a cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its pan. Don’t worry about cracks or rough edges: it’s the crater look we’re going for here. Whip the cream until it’s soft and then add the vanilla and Cointreau and continue whisking until the cream is firm but not stiff. Fill the crater of the cake with the whipped cream, easing it out gently towards the edges of the cake, and dust the top lightly with cocoa powder pushed through a tea-strainer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Vindaloo Beef Curry (Crockpot Conversion)

My friend (who's parents are from India) makes this and it's really good. I decided to try to convert it into a crockpot recipe. It's not too spicy for kids.
Ingredients:
1 pound boneless beef round (I have used sirloin, also)-cut into 1" cubes
2 T butter
1 cup onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T white vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or 1/4 tsp cayenne)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup water
Directions:
Put all in crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. Just before dishing it up stir in 2 T lemon juice. Serve over rice-brown basmati is great with it-or jasmin rice. (One of these days I am going to master making rice in my other crockpot without it being glumpy and mushy. I have only ever tried to cook it in the same pot with chicken and it was awful. If anyone has tips on this-I'd love to learn). Also here's a side traditionally served with this.

Radish Raita
Shred 1 cup radishes on box grater. Add salt to taste. Mix with 2 cups plain yogurt and season with 1 tsp cumin.

Peanut Butter Pitas

Here's a quick, kid-friendly lunch idea. It's from Skippy. And for other ideas for lunch and breakfast click on lunch heading on the right hand side.
Ingredients:
Bag of pitas
1 C peanut butter
1/2 C dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, etc)
2 diced apples
Directions:
Spread peanut butter on pitas and top with apples and dreid fruit. My kids were excited about this recipe since they look like little pizzas...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Individual Raspberry Cobblers

Oh, dear. These are incredible.



I saw this recipe on The Pioneer Woman Cooks a few months back. I knew they looked heavenly, so I printed out the recipe. I finally had an occasion to bake these delicious little desserts! They are amazing and you MUST MUST MUST try them!

Individual Raspberry Cobblers
Makes 24 cobblers

Ingredients:
2 cups self-rising flour (must use self-rising)
2 cups sugar
2 cups milk
2 sticks butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh raspberries
Extra sugar for sprinkling

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour with sugar, then whisk in milk. Whisk in melted butter and vanilla. Pour 1/4 cup batter into greased muffin tins. Sprinkle a few raspberries on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown and crisp around the edges. Invert onto a cooling rack and serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

***This full recipe makes 24 cobblers, but as you can see, it is easy to half or double this recipe if you need to.
***I sprayed my muffin tins with Pam, then lightly floured the bottoms. She mentioned in her blogpost about these cobblers that they tend to stick. I had trouble getting my first batch out of the muffins tins, so I used a knife to loosen the edges. Some fell apart, but most of them stayed intact. I recommend letting them set for about 5 minutes to cool a bit before inerting them.
***These were so delicious and so easy. I bet they would be equally as yummy if you were to use blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries.

Slow Cooker Mondays - Slow Cooker Lasagna

Source: Taste of Home's Quick Cooking Magazine, Jan/Feb 2000

1 lb. ground beef
1 lg. onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato sauce (29 oz.)
1 c. water
1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 pkg. no-cook lasagna noodles (8 oz.)
4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (16 oz.)
11/2 c. small-curd cottage cheese (12 oz.)
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

In a skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt and oregano; mix well. Spread a fourth of the meat sauce in an ungreased 5-quart slow cooker. Arrange a third of the noodles over sauce (break the noodles if necessary). Combine the cheeses; spoon a third of the mixture over noodles. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining meat sauce. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until noodles are tender.

Yield: 6-8 servings.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ice Cream Cake

Travis requested an ice cream cake for his birthday. Last year I made the ice cream sandwich cake you can find on Kraft.com or here on my blog. I wanted to do something different this year, and try to spend as little money as I could. I decided to make my own recipe using all things I had in my pantry or fridge. I ended up having to buy cool whip, but that cost me less than a dollar! So without further delay, here's what I did!



Ingredients:
1 box cake mix, your favorite flavor and all ingredients needed to make it.
(you only use half of the batter, so I ended up with 12 cupcakes as well)
hot fudge sauce
ice cream, choose your favorite, up to two
1 tub cool whip, thawed




Directions:
Prepare cake mix as directed on box. You'll pour half in a 9x13 baking dish and I used the rest to make cupcakes. Let cool. Cut the the cake in three equal parts so it will fit into a loaf pan. Line your loaf pan with tin foil with some hanging over the sides to wrap the cake up when done layering. I used cheap foil and I think heavy duty or nonstick foil will do better. First place one of the cake pieces in the bottom of the loaf pan, spread a layer of hot fudge on top of that, then spread your ice cream of choice on top that. I put my ice cream in the microwave to soften it and make it easier to work with. Remember, it doesn't have to look perfect, we're layering on top of it. Continue these steps one more time and finish with the last layer of cake. Wrap the cake up with the extra foil hanging over the sides and put in the freezer over night. Once the cake is set, remove from freezer, unwrap the foil and turn cake upside down onto a platter, or in my case a small cookie sheet. Remove the foil from the cake and ice with the thawed cool whip. My cake wasn't very pretty because I didn't have time to thaw my cool whip, so if you're all about presentation, make sure it is thawed when you're ready to ice. Put the cake back into the freezer for 2-4 hours. Enjoy!


*For my cake, I used Devil's Food cake mix, cookie dough ice cream, and snickers ice cream.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Homemade Granola

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1/2 cp shelled sunflower seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup unsweetened wheatgerm
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup raisins

Combine honey and oil. Stir into oat mixture. Spread out in 13x9 inch baking pan. Bake in 300 degree oven until golden brown - about 45-50 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes. Remove for oven and stir in dried apricots and raisins. Stir occassionally during cooling to preven lumping. Store in tightly covered jars or plastic bags. Makes 6 1/2 cups.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sticky Coconut Chicken

Tonight I made this chicken for dinner. I thought it turned out really well. I was only able to marinate it for 3 hours, next time, I'm going to try and marinate it longer, maybe even all day. Below is what I did when I cooked it due to preference and ingredients on hand. You can click on the link below to get the original recipe. Enjoy!

adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 can canned coconut milk
1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Marinate chicken in coconut milk, ginger, pepper and red pepper flakes at least one hour (It is better to let it marinate four about four to five hours). Grill on barbecue.

Glaze:
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

While the chicken is grilling, bring above ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until mixture is reduced and thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Be patient because it takes a little while. But once it starts getting really thick, immediately take it off the heat! Glaze both sides of chicken the last few minutes of grilling and serve chicken over rice.


Fish Florentine

1 1/2 - 2 lbs white fish
3 (10 oz) frozen spinach boxes
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 stick butter
4 tsp flour
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic

Saute minced garlic in butter. Add chicken broth. Cook until broth, garlic/butter thickens. Pour half of sauce into baking dish. Put spinach on top of sauce. Lay fish fillets over top of spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour rest of sauce over fish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Homemade Waffles

Here's another recipe from a reader, Erin.

Homemade Waffles

2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs, beaten
2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. oil

In large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In small bowl, beat eggs and buttermilk. Add to large bowl and beat together. Slowly beat in 1/2 cup oil.

Cook in waffle iron and individually wrap and freeze. Stick in toaster when ready to eat.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Slow Cooker Mondays - Smothered Steak

We had this meal on Thursday. It was a BIG hit! I omitted the green beans because we didn't want to wait 45 minutes after we returned from soccer to eat. So, we just went with rice. Next time, I will make a vegetable or a salad to with this meal. Also, I will double the recipe and freeze a batch for a rainy day.

Smothered Steak
1 1/2 lb. lean chuck or round steak, cut in strips
1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 lg. onion, sliced
1 can tomatoes (1 lb.)
1 can sliced mushrooms (4 oz.)
1 tbsp. molasses (optional)
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 pkg. frozen green beans

Toss steak strips with flour, salt and pepper; place in slow cooker. Add onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, molasses, and soy sauce. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 hours on low. Add green beans 30 to 45 minutes before serving. Good served with rice. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Chicken Noodle Casserole

This recipe comes from a reader, Erin.

1 large onion, diced
1/4 cup butter
3 (10 ounce) cans chicken chunks or 3 1/2 cups of cooked shredded or cubbed chicken
1 pint sour cream
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken and mushroom soup
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (8 ounce) package uncooked egg noodles
4 ounces buttery round crackers, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium skillet, fry onion in butter until softened. Cook Egg Noodles as directed. In large bowl, combine chicken chunks, sour cream and soup. Stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar. Stir in cooked egg noodles and onions. Dish into small aluminum foil tins and top with crumbled crackers and remaining cheddar.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cajun Porkchops

Talk about S-I-M-P-L-E! Yes, this says Cajun, but I actually got the recipe from my mother-in-law who is a good ole, Southern, Mississippi girl. It is yummy and super easy, and not really spicy at all!

Ingredients:

4- 1/2 inch thick pork chops
olive oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1 can of Chicken Gumbo soup

Directions:

In a medium-sized, deep skillet, heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. You'll want a very thin layer of oil to cover the bottom of pan. Salt and pepper both sides of pork chops and dredge in flour. Make sure the oil is hot, then place chops in skillet and brown 3-4 minutes per side until lightly browned.
Add can of Chicken Gumbo soup. In soup can, mix 1/2 can of water with 1 teaspoon of flour and mix well until all clumps of flour have dissolved. Add water/flour mixture to skillet. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 20-30 minutes until the chops are cooked through and the liquid from soup has condensed some. Ta-da!

Serve with salad and hot bread!

***I bet this would be equally as tasty with chicken instead of pork chops.
***I used Campbell's Chicken Gumbo soup.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Swiss Steak

1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 lbs round or cube steak
1 can cream of celery soup
2 T. butter
1 small can tomato sauce
1 sliced onion
Garlic salt, pepper and salt to taste
1 (soup) can water

Roll steak in flour. Sprinkle with garlic salt, salt and pepper. Brown onions in butter and remove from skillet. Brown meat on both sides. Put onions on steak. Pour soup and tomato sauce and water over steak. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until tender. Serve with rice or noodles.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Slow Cooker Mondays - Creamy Chicken in Chive Sauce


My friend, Joelle, suggested that I become better acquainted with my slow cooker. I use it 1-2 times a month which I thought was honorable. She owns FOUR slow cookers and generally makes all her meals in her slow cookers (all on the same day, too). I was quite impressed.

Now I've realized that my boys have a homeschool coop class on Thursday mornings, homeschooling lessons to complete Thursday afternoon, and soccer practice at 5:30 on the same day. There's definitely not time to prepare a meal unless chicken nuggets and macaroni count. I've decided to become better acquainted with my slow cooker so that my family can have a nutritious and yummy meal waiting for us when we got home from soccer.

Another friend recently sent me a list with lots of slow cooker recipes. I figured it was a good place to start. I thought I would take you on this journey. So, without further ado: Introducing.....Slow Cooker Mondays. Joelle will be so proud. If only my slow cooker could do my laundry...


I'm going to start off Slow Cooker Mondays with a recipe that is already listed here. I thought I'd try a new recipe on Thursdays and then share the recipe on Mondays with you (unless it bombs) and maybe even a picture if it looks appetizing.

This recipe is from my friend, Johanna, the Martha Stewart of my life. She got it from her friend who lived in France for several years....could we call it French food? Probably not, but it sure is a family favorite around my house.

Creamy Chicken in Chive Sauce
6 boneless chicken breast (1 1/2 lbs)
1/4 c butter
1 0.7 oz package of Italian salad dressing mix
1 can of golden mushroom soup
1/2 c of dry white wine
1/2 of an 8 oz tub of cream cheese with chives


Place chicken in slow cooker. In pan, melt butter. Add dressing mix, soup, wine and cream cheese. Stir until combined. Pour over chicken. Cook 4-5 hours on low. Serve with pasta.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cake

We had a church function tonight and I wanted to make something easy, but yummy. I found this recipe at My Kitchen Cafe and decided to try it. It was so yummy! I think it would even be good as a coffee cake without the chocolate and more cinnamon sugar. YUM!


Chocolate Chip Cake
from My Kitchen Cafe

Cake Batter:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sour cream
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Middle & Top:
cinnamon sugar (mix them together and then sprinkle the mixture on the layers.)
1 bag chocolate chips, divided (I used semisweet)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 if using a glass pan). Grease a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine all of the cake batter ingredients. Mix for 1 minute at low speed; mix 3 minutes at medium speed. Pour 1/2 of batter into greased pan. Generously sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over batter making sure to get the corners and then sprinkle with 1/2 bag of chocolate chips. Pour remaining cake batter on top and spread across bottom layer. Repeat with cinnamon and sugar and chocolate chips. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs (don't over bake or cake will be dry!).

*Note- I baked this in a glass baking dish and it took exactly 35 minutes. It may take a little longer, so if you get to 35 minutes, check it every couple of minutes, because at 30 minutes I didn't think this would be done at 35 minutes, and it was!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Zesty (and sweet) Pork Chops


This recipe is from the Betty Crocker Bridal Edition Cookbook. I bought some pork sirloin chops on sale and needed to figure out how to cook them instead of my go to with Dales and garlic powder. I found this in my cookbook and had all the ingredients on hand, so I thought I would try it. I thought it would be spicy since there is horseradish in it, but it isn't, it is sweet. It reminded me of something Chinese, since it is pork with a sweet sauce. I really liked it, and so did my family. It was quick and easy! Enjoy!



Zesty Pork Chops

adapted from the Betty Crocker Bridal Edition Cookbook


Ingredients:

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 pork chops (the original recipe calls for 6 fully cooked smoked pork chops, I didn't do this)


Directions:

Heat gas grill or coals. Heat brown sugar, horseradish, and lemon juice to boiling, stirring constantly. Brush on pork. Cover and grill pork on medium heat about 20-25 minutes, turning once. Continue to baste pork with sauce 2-3 times during cooking. Serve remaining sauce with pork.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mexican Pasta Bake

1 lb ground beef
1 jar (16 oz) salsa
1 cup tomato sauce (from 15-oz can)
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups uncooked regular or multigrain elbow macaroni
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (2 oz)


1. In 12-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.
2. Stir in salsa, tomato sauce and water. Heat to boiling. Stir in macaroni and corn. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until macaroni is tender.
3. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover; let stand 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

You can easily reduce the fat and calories in this dish by using lean beef or turkey, 2% cheese, etc.

Recipe from Betty Crocker

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pecan Crusted Salmon

I haven't tried this recipe yet, but since I found a lot of pecan in my freezer, I thought I'd give it a try - along with Amber's recipe for Pecan Crusted Chicken. You can get that recipe by clicking here.

1 lb salmon cut into pieces
1 Tablespoon mustard
11/2 cup honey
1 cup crushed pecans
2 Tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400, spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Mix dry ingredients, and mix mustard and honey. Dredge the salmon in the honey mustard, coat with breading and place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until flaky.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to Cook a Whole Chicken

Erin, over at $5 Dinners, just put up a great post on how to cook a whole chicken. She's the one that inspired me to start buying, cooking, and shredding split chicken breasts. So go on over and visit her site to see a step by step tutorial, (with pictures!) on how to cook a whole chicken and use all of the parts!

Girl Talk

One of our recipes has been featured on Girl Talk! Way to go, Casey, for sharing that recipe with all of us!

Parmesan Chicken and Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup uncooked instant brown rice
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon parsley

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, and mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add chicken; sauté 4 minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned. Add wine, salt, and pepper; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.

Stir in rice and broth. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in cheese and parsley.

4 servings.

Source: cookinglight.com

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cheesy Salmon Patties

This is my grandmother's recipe for Salmon Patties. They are easy, delicious, and the kids like them!

1 15 1/2 oz can pink salmon- drained ( I usually use 3 small cans, not sure how much in each)
1 egg- beaten
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup cheddar cheese (I use a little more.)
1/4 cup oil

Mix above ingredients together and make into patties.

Cook in hot oil, medium heat, approximately 8 minutes or until brown, turning once.

Drain on paper towels.

Southwest Lasagna Rolls

1 can (15 ounces) vegetarian chili with beans
1 carton (15 ounces) reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1 jar (16 ounces) salsa

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Spread about 1/2 cup on each noodle; carefully roll up. Place seam side down in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Uncover; top with salsa. Bake 10 minutes longer or until heated through. Yield: 8 servings.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ground Beef Shepherd's Pie - Taste of Home Magazine

1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (10-1/2 ounces) beef gravy
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
2-1/2 cups mashed potatoes

In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the gravy, vegetables, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Transfer to a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Spread potatoes over the top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 4 servings.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fuss-Free Ravioli and Cheese Bake - Kraft Foods

1 jar pasta sauce
1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can 25%-less-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
2 pkg. refrigerated cheese-filled ravioli
1 cup Italian blend Shredded Cheese

HEAT oven to 375°F. COMBINE first 4 ingredients in 13x9-inch baking dish. Add ravioli; mix lightly. Cover. BAKE 50 min. or until ravioli are tender. STIR ravioli; top with cheese. Let stand, uncovered, 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

TIPS
You can also use frozen ravioli - no need to thaw before using.
For a delicious flavor twist, stir 1 Tbsp. pesto or 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil into the baked ravioli before stirring and topping with cheese.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Idiot Rolls

I haven't tried these rolls, but I liked the name of the recipe.

Mix in large bowl:
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 cup cold water



Blend in small bowl:
1 stick butter
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup boling water

Let cool. Dissolve two packets of yeast in 1/2 cups of lukewarm water. Mix all ingredients and add 7 cups of self-risging flour. Mix well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before using. Form rolls, butter and back at 450 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pecan Crusted Chicken-repost

Tonight I cooked Pecan Crusted Chicken. I was reminded of how easy it is, and more importantly, how yummy it is! I posted about it awhile ago, and you can click here to get the recipe. This time for the sauce, I used spicy brown mustard. It was even better than the Dijon mustard. YUM! If you haven't tried it, I recommend that you do!

Caesar Chicken Pasta Salad

I got this recipe from the site, www.momadvice.com. It loots really simple and yummy. I plan to try it out soon


Caesar Chicken Pasta Salad

1 pound chicken (about three small breasts)

½ pound penne pasta (This ingredient is available this week at Aldi. If it isn’t at your store, you can substitute with elbow macaroni)

1 romaine heart, chopped

½ pint cherry or grape tomatoes

1/3 cup Caesar dressing


A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top

Bake chicken breasts as directed on package on a cookie sheet. While the chicken is baking, chop the romaine heart and halve the tomatoes. Cook pasta until al dente, as directed on package. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Dice the cooked chicken and put this in a bowl. Toss in pasta, tomatoes, lettuce, and the dressing. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated. This can be served with a little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chicken and Potatoes au Gratin - Family Fun Magazine

1 broiler-fryer chicken
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 clove garlic, halved
3/4 cup non-fat sour cream
3/4 cup skim milk
1 small onion, minced
3 tbsp. chopped pimiento
1 tsp. prepared mustard
4 Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. grated Romano cheese
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1. Cook chicken. Remove and discard skin and bones and cut meat into pieces. Mix broth with cooked chicken. Spray a 2 quart shallow baking dish with vegetable cooking spray. Rub dish with garlic halves; then mince garlic and place in small bowl. To this bowl, add the sour cream, 1/4 cup of the milk, onion, pimiento and mustard; stir to mix well. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper.

2. In prepared baking dish, place 1/3 of the potatoes; top with half the chicken and half the sour cream mixture. Repeat layers and then top with remaining third of the potatoes. Pour remaining 1/2 cup of milk over all; sprinkle with lemon juice and Romano cheese. Mix the butter or margarine and bread crumbs; spread over all. Bake in 375 degree oven about 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender. Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Neiman Marcus Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)

2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.

3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.

4. Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Puffin Muffins

Have you ever been to The Bread Basket and tried one of their Puffin Muffins? They are one of the best things in this world. It's a cross between a muffin and a doughnut with lots of sugary goodness in between. I discovered how delicious these things were a couple of weeks ago. At a $1.59 a pop, I cannot make the trip too often, so I thought I'd try to make some myself. I googled the recipe, and I found two. Here and here.They were both very similar, the only differences were the amounts of spices and sugar. Below is what I did, and let me tell you, they were DELICIOUS, but not nutritious, so I paired the muffins with fresh fruit. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk (plus a tablespoon or two more)

For dipping:
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup white sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. In one bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In another bowl, beat egg, butter, vanilla and sugar until well blended. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat in milk until smooth. Fill each cup of lightly greased muffin tin 2/3 full. Bake 20 minutes, or until a light golden color, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool 1-2 minutes and remove from pan.

For dipping:
Melt butter. In separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
While puffins are still warm, dip each one in butter, then in sugar mixture, coating thoroughly. Serve warm, or allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

Fluffy Pancakes

1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp oil
2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cups buttermilk (I use the powdered kind that you add water to)
1 beaten egg

Sift dry ingredients. Combine buttermilk, oil and egg. Add to dry ingredients, stirring until moistened. Batter will be thick and lumpy. Bake on hot, ungreased griddle. This recipe makes 6-8 pancakes. Double/triple recipe to meet your family's needs.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Taco Pie

2 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 lb ground beef
shredded cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 envelope of taco seasoning

Beat eggs; add flour and milk to make topping. Brown ground beef and onions together. Add taco seasoning. Spoon into 9x9 pan. Add egg/flour/milk topping over meat. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with cheese and bak another 2 minutes until cheese melts. Garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream.