Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cranberry Coffee Cake Muffins

These are absolutely DIVINE and disappear way too fast at my house. Not only do they taste amazing, but they're also incredibly moist and fluffy. Make some this week!

12 Tbsp butter at room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs at room temp
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c sour cream
1/4 cup milk (I use cream if I have it)
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, chopped
1 tsp orange zest

Cream butter and sugar in a standing mixer until fluffy, about 5 min. Add eggs one at a time, beating on low speed. Add vanilla, sour cream, and milk (or cream). Sift flour, powder, soda, and salt. Add to batter, beating until just moistened. Fold in berries and zest. Fill muffin cups (to the top; they don't need to be just 2/3 full, and they bake really well) and bake at 350 for about 25 min. Makes about 2 dozen, less if you've been eating the batter. Enjoy!

link to recipe

Portuguese Dinner

Brian's aunt served a mission in Portugal, and this is one of the recipes she brought back. No one remembers how to pronounce it in Portuguese, so we all just call it "Portuguese Dish." It's cheap to make and tastes pretty good. The elders always gobble it up.

5 potatoes
3 carrots
5 eggs, boiled
1 can tuna, drained

Peel potatoes and carrots and cut into bite-size pieces. Boil until tender and drain. Chop up boiled eggs. Combine potatoes, carrots, eggs, and tuna in large bowl.

3 eggs (yes, raw)
3/4 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vinegar
2 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp mayonnaise
1/2 c vegetable oil

Shake in a salad dressing mixer (or use a blender). Then add enough oil to make 2 cups total. Shake. Serve over potato mixture individually.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sausage and Egg Brunch Casserole

3 c. frozen shredded hash browns                        6 eggs
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese                                  1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup chopped onion                                       1/2 tsp. salt 
1 Ib mild sausage                                                1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup mushrooms                                               1 teaspoon dry mustard


Brown and drain sausage.  Set aside.  Thaw potatoes and place 1/2 in bottom of 9x13 casserole pan.  Add 1/2 cheese and 1/2 of sausage and repeat.

Beat eggs, salt, pepper, chopped onions, mustard, and milk.  Add mushrooms on top if desired.  Pour liquid over top of potatoes and cheese.  Leave in refrigerator overnight.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Makes 6 big servings

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fruit Coffee Cake

1 1/2 to 2 c. sliced, peeled apricots or peaches; chopped, peeled apples; or blueberries or raspberries
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 c. butter
1 beaten egg
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 c. flour
1/4 sugar
2 T. butter

For filling, in a sauce pan combine fruit & water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer, covered, about 5 min. or until fruit is tender. *Do not simmer raspberries. If using frozen peaches, thaw & omit the 1/4 c. water & do not simmer; will turn to mush.* Combine the 1/4 c. sugar & cornstarch; stir into fruit. Cook & stir over med. heat until thick & bubbly. Set aside.

In a med. bowl combine the 1 1/2 c. flour, the 3/4 c. sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking powder & baking soda. Cut in the 1/4 c. butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the mixture & set aside.

In another bowl combine egg, buttermilk & vanilla. Add egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Spread half the batter into a greased 8"x8"x2" baking pan. Spread filling over batter. Drop remaining batter in small mounds onto filling.

In a small bowl combine the 1/4 c. flour & the 1/4 c. sugar. Cut in the 2 T. butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over coffee cake. Bake @ 350 for 40-45 min. or until golden. Best if served warm.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


4 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of coconut
1 1/2-2 cups freshly ground wheat flour
1 cup of cooking oil (can use less)
3/4 cup of honey (can use less)
1 tsp of vanilla

Thoroughly mix together, spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally while baking.

After cooling add any or all of the following ingredients:
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (can blend in blender)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup raisins, dried currants or craisins

Store in tightly lidded container and refrigerate! It's yummy with milk or yogurt, enjoy!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cheesy Stuffed Shells

This recipe was actually shared with me by Aubrey Horner, and our family loved it. Liked it so much that it has since entered our rotation of meals, and better yet, I make a large batch of it, then package the supplies together and freeze for a fast meal during the week.


1 16oz container of low fat cottage cheese
1 10oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach (for our family we omit the spinach)
1 c. mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked, drained
1 26oz jar of spaghetti sauce
1 large tomato chopped


Heat oven to 400. Mix cottage cheese, spinach, 1/2 c. mozzarella, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning, spoon into shells. Mix sauce and tomatoes spoon 1/2 into 9x13 dish. Add filled shells, top with remaining sauce. Cover and bake 25 min. Top with remaining cheese and bake uncovered for 2 min.

Chicken Breasts in Garlic Sauce

I found this recipe on iVillage, and thought it was not only simple, only used one dish, and tasted pretty good. it paired perfectly with the Crash Hot Potatoes. Ingredients:

15 garlic cloves, unpeeled (didn't have any, so I used dehydrated minced garlic, seemed fine)
1 TBsp butter
1 cup apple juice
4 chicken breasts, with skin and bone (I used boneless/skinless, but I think I'll try bone-in next time. Plus, bone-in is usually cheaper and I never have good recipes to use it with.)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 TBsp chopped thyme (I used dehydrated and decreased amount)


-Preheat the oven to 350 degress. Parcook the unpeeled garlic cloves in boiling salt water for 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold, running water and peel. Set aside. (I skipped this, since I didn't use fresh)

-Heat the oil and butter in a shallow flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the skin is deep golden brown. Turn over, add the apple juice, garlic cloves, and bay leaf, then bring to a simmer. Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced with a knife.

-Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken and half of garlic cloves to a deep platter and keep warm. SKim fat form the cooking juices, then bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, crushing the garlic into the sauce with a spoon about 5 minutes, or until thickened.

-Add the cream and cook for 1 minute longer. Season with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the casserole and baste. Sprinkle with the thyme and serve immediately.

The only thing I will do different next time is let the sauce cook down longer, I would have liked it thicker.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour -Makes about 2 dozen cookies
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 cans (20 oz) cherry pie filling

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In another bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until smoooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Refrigerate dough until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners. Place graham cracker crumbs in a shallow dish.
Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, then roll the balls in graham cracker crumbs. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using a tablespoon measure, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Place 3 cherries in the dimple. Bake until golden brown around the edges, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool for five minutes on the sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Santa Fe Chicken Tortellini Casserole


1 pkg (9 oz) refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
3 Tbs. olive or vegetable oil
2 cups broccoli flowerets
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 cups cut-up cooked chicken
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (3 oz)
1/2 cup shredded Colby cheese (2 oz)
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips, if desired


1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
2. Cook and drain tortellini as directed on package.
3. Meanwhile, in 10" skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat. Cook broccoli, onion and red bell pepper in oil about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender. Remove broccoli mixture from skillet.
4. In same skillet, cook flour and remaining 2 Tbs. oil over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Stir in milk, broth and cumin. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, tortellini and broccoli mixture. Spoon into casserole.
5. Bake uncovered 30 minutes. Sprinkle with Colby cheese and tortilla chips. Bake 5 minutes longer or until casserole is hot in center and cheese is melted.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip


1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts (drained and chopped
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
1 cup mayonniase
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Lightly grease a 1 quart baking dish
3. In a medium bowl, mix together artichoke hearts, spinach, mayonnaise , parmesan cheese, and 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of Monterey Jack cheese.
4. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

Bowtie Chicken Salad

6 cups chicken, boiled & diced (3 lbs)
16 oz farfalle (bowtie) pasta, cooked and cooled
1/2 bunch green onions, sliced
8 oz Ranch dressing
2 cups mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
1 lg can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 lb purple grapes, cut in half
1 cup celery, chopped
1 pkg slivered almonds
2-3 red apples, cut into bite size pieces

Mix chicken, pasta and onion in large bowl. In separate bowl, mix dressing and mayonnaise. Fold into pasta mixture and chill overnight. Add remaining ingredients and serve.

Blueberry Salad

1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 can blueberry
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 pkgs. dream whip- mix according to instructions on pkg.

Mix together the crushed graham crackers, melted butter, and 1/4 cup sugar. Save 1/3 of mixture for the top. Beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar then combine it with the dream whip.
Then layer in 9x13 pan:
1 layer of crust
1 layer of cream cheese mixture
1 layer of blueberries
1 layer of cream cheese mixture
Sprinkle the rest of the graham crackers crumbs on top
Refrigerate over night and enjoy!

Summer's Sweet Crock Pot Chicken

Okay, I had this at Summer's house and it was delicious!! I guess it's a bit "Cafe Rio"-ish... but I've never eaten there, so I have no clue. Anyway, she told me how to make it....

Put some chicken in your crock pot, then add equal parts brown sugar and salsa, then let it cook for several hours, shred it up, mix it around and cook a bit longer, and then you've got some delicious sweet and spicy shredded chicken. We had this in burritos with lots of yummy toppings, but I also make this along with some Celery Salsa and either serve together, or pile all of it on a bed of lettuce and have an awesome salad!

I don't really have any good measurements or dimensions for you... I think I did about 3 chicken breasts and maybe 1/2 cup sugar and salsa. You could also substitute a can of Rotel and some hot sauce, it would be very much the same.

Celery Salsa

Okay, I've been waiting to post this until I had a picture of it... but everytime I make it, it's gone before I think about grabbing my camera to take a picture. So I swiped one off the internet that looks similar! (cool, huh?)

1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 1/2 cups celery, diced
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 cup tomato, diced
1 can corn, drained (I used frozen sweet corn)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
2 TBsp oil (I used EVOO)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 TBsp hot sauce
Prep all veggies and put in bowl. I mixed the dressing ingredients in a seperate bowl then added it, you could jsut add it all together and mix, it turns out the same.
Serve with tortilla chips.
Or you could use it as a topper/ dressing on a salad. Sometimes I will make a salad with it and add in some of Summer's Sweet Crock Pot Chicken --YUM!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Peanut Butter Carrot Cookies

From allrecipes.com

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and peanut butter.
3. Add in the egg and the milk. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and stir in. Stir in oats. Add in the carrots and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoon onto cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes.

Chicken Crescents

2 c. cooked shredded chicken
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 packages crescent rolls

Mix together cream cheese, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir in chicken. Flatten out crescent rolls a little, then put some chicken mixture into each and roll up. Bake at 350 for 20 min.

Whisk together sauce in a small bowl:
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp poultry seasoning

Pour sauce onto baked crescent rolls. Bake for an additional 10 min.

Pop Tarts

Okay, it's true, my kids LOVE poptarts, with all their heart and soul. But I can't bring myself to buy them anymore, first off they are the furthest thing from a "healthy" breakfast, and they are kinda priciey when you're talkin one box feeds for only one meal. I've been dreaming of a homemade type version and finally today, the first day the kdis are in school I remembered to google for homemade poptart recipes. This girl had one and they look like a delight!

Homemade Pop Tarts
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk

1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)

Cinnamon Filling (enough for 9 tarts)
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, to taste
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg, to brush on pastry before filling

Jam Filling
3/4 cup (8 ounces) jam
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

Alternate fillings: 9 tablespoons chocolate chips, 9 tablespoons Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut paste or 9 tablespoons of a delight of your choice, such as salted caramel or a nut paste

To make cinnamon filling: Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.

To make jam filling: Mix the jam with the cornstarch/water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool. Use to fill the pastry tarts.

Make the dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. If you’ve used a food processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Whisk the first egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.

Divide the dough in half (approximately 8 1/4 ounces each), shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. You can roll this out immediately (see Warm Kitchen note below) or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Assemble the tarts: If the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″. [You can use a 9" x 13" pan, laid on top, as guidance.] Repeat with the second piece of dough. Set trimmings aside. Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles.

Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.

Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.

Charming tip from King Arthur: Sprinkle the dough trimmings with cinnamon-sugar; these have nothing to do with your toaster pastries, but it’s a shame to discard them, and they make a wonderful snack. While the tarts are chilling, bake these trimmings for 13 to 15 minutes, till they’re golden brown.

Bake the tarts: Remove the tarts form the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.

Whole Wheat Variation: I was itching to swap out 1/2 cup of the flour with whole wheat flour. I am sure it would make it more deliciously breakfast.

Pop Tart Minis: The biggest struggle I had with these was the size. I actually like my baked goods on the tiny size, thus I think this could make an adorable batch of 16 2 1/4″ x 3″ rectangles.

Savory Pop Tarts: Nix the sugar in the dough and halve the salt. Fill with pesto, cheese, ground nuts or olives, or any combination thereof. Brush the tops with additional egg wash and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Please invite me over.

Do ahead: The sweet versions should keep at room temperature in an airtight container for a week. If you’d like to make them further in advance, I vote for freezing them unbaked between layers of waxed paper, and baking them as you need.

Warm kitchen warning: Guys, I live in an inferno, so between the heat and the  humidity, me and this dough were struggling. To keep it from being too warm and soft, I was stuffing the trays of dough in the freezer for 10 minute shifts almost every time I worked with them. If you find yourself in an overly warm kitchen working with dough that gets soft too quickly, just keep using your freezer. The 10 minutes here and there that you extend this project will save you many gray hairs as the dough becomes easy to work with again.

Monday, August 16, 2010


3 c. diced chicken breast, uncooked
2 TBS. butter
1 lb. smoked pork sausage, sliced 1/2" thick--I love kielbasa!
1 lb. cleaned, raw shrimp
1 med. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (15oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (28oz.) can diced tomatoes or 3 med. fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1/2 bunch green onion, chopped
1 1/2 c. uncooked rice
creole seasoning, such as Tony Chachere's

In a large stock pot melt butter; add diced chicken & season with creole seasoning. Remove chicken when done. Saute onion & garlic until transparent. Add tomato sauce & tomatoes. Add 43oz. water (amount of water=# of oz. of tomato sauce & diced tomatoes). Add sliced sausage, bell pepper, green onion & rice. Stir well. Bring to a boil; cover & simmer on low heat for approx. 20-25 min, or until rice is tender. Stir in shrimp & add back the diced cooked chicken. Season with more creole seasoning & cook for 1-2 min. or until the shrimp is done.
*I half this recipe for my family & it nearly fills my 6qt. stock pot. I would estimate that the whole recipe serves 12-15.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Berry Torte


1 cup sugar plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 pint berries (Any kind works but they should be reasonably bite-sized. I usually use blueberries or blackberries. They can be fresh or frozen and there's no need to thaw.)
dash salt
lemon juice


Cream 1 cup sugar and butter. Mix in flour, baking powder, dash of salt, 2 eggs, and the almond extract. Place into a greased and floured 9" spring form pan. Cover entire top surface of batter with berries. Sprinkle some sugar and lemon juice on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove spring form and serve warm or cooled.

May be frozen after a quick cooling. Defrost then reheat for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Fruity Pasta Salad


1 cup unkcooked rotini pasta, cooked
1 c quartered fresh strawberries
1 c fresh pineapple chunks (8 oz drained)
1 c seedless red grapes, halved
2 kiwi fruit peeled, quartterd, sliced, chucnked
2 TB slivered almonds, toasted


½ c. low-fat vanilla yogurt
½ tsp grated lime peel
1 TB lime juice
2 TB honey


Cook pasta, drain then cool. Mix dressing together. Mix salad together, then add dressing and toss.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dutch Apple Pie

This recipe is, TO DIE FOR GOOD, or atleast I think so! It's an apple pie recipe, but I substituted pears in place, and I made extra pie crust so I could spread it across a cookie sheet, then it came out kind of "tart" like, I then graciously called them "pear tarts"!

8-10 large Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apples, pared, peeled & sliced
Juice of one lemon, toss and coat apples

In small mixing bowl add:
1 cup of brown sugar
1 heaping TBsp. flour
dash of salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix above ingredients together; pour over apples and toss well.

Place apple mixture in pie shell (unbaked), dot with butter (approx. 2 TBsp.)

1 cup flour
1/2 - 3/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp, cinnamon
dash of salt

Mix together in small bowl then add: 1 cube [1/2 c.] of soft butter. cut into flour mixture until it resembles crumbs; sprinkle over top of apples.

Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes, lower temp to 350 and bake for 30 minutes more.

Lime Rice

Lime Rice

in a sauce pan, saute

2 Tbs butter
1 yellow onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced

In a large pot bring to boil:
6 2/3 cups water
8 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 bunch of cilantro ( i didn't have any and so i didn't put this in)
2 tsp cumin
2 small cans diced green chili's
1 Tbs lime juice
1/2 tsp pepper

Add three cups of rice, and the butter/garlic/onion mixture. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 min. (stir occasionally so rice doesn't stick to bottom of pan)

Terriyaki Baked Chicken

Okay, here's the deal with this recipe, I really liked it the first nite we had it, I followed the recipe, and it DID NOT look like this picture. I thought however that it would be fabulous done as kabobs... they were only like 2.5 stars out of 4; maybe someone could help me on this: the second time I made these, nothing was different except the method of cooking, they turned out WAY too salty, all the sauce was rediculously too salty, so it wasn't really a hit. But they looked beautiful! Although the bake method was nice to have it ready ahead of time, and a lot fewer dishes.


1 (3 lb.) fryer, cut up
1 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
Butter, melted
1 can chunk pineapple (1 1/2 cups)
1 med. onion, sliced
1 sm. green pepper, sliced


Combine soy sauce, sugar, ginger and garlic in large bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add chicken and marinate 3 to 4 hours. Remove chicken and season with pepper. Brush with melted butter. Place in shallow baking pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees (covered). Remove from oven and turn chicken. Add pineapple (with the juice), green pepper and onion slices. Continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes until chicken is done. Cover until the last 15 minutes, then uncover for browning. Serve with rice and pour juice over all. I used the left over juice and reduced it in a sauce pan, then added a teeny bit of cornstarch to make a sauce, it was pretty good!

Instead of white rice, I actually served this the first time with this Lime Rice recipe, and then second time with this Coconut Rice recipe (shown below).

Friday, June 4, 2010

Regular ol' Chicken Strips

I got this recipe from PWCooks, I had chicken dethawed, but no idea what to do with it. These were fairly quick and super yummy, and once again, the kids loved them. I would imagine you could bake them instead of frying if you wanted a healthier option...

1 package Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Strips (sometimes Called "tenders" Or "strips")
1-½ cup Flour
2 teaspoons (to 3 Teaspoons) Lawry's Seasoning Salt (I made my own, here)
Vegetable Oil

Start by rinsing and drying your chicken strips. Next, in a bowl submerge the chicken strips in buttermilk for 15 to 20 minutes (or longer if you’d like).

In another bowl combine about 1 ½ cups flour and 2 to 3 teaspoons of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt (or other seasonings if you prefer). Mix this together well. Next, add about ¼ to ½ cup of buttermilk into the flour mixture and stir lightly with a fork as you add it.

Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat.
Remove a few of the buttermilk-soaked strips and place them in the flour mixture, turning them over to coat them thoroughly. Place them on a plate. Continue coating chicken strips until they are all ready to cook.

When the oil is sufficiently heated, begin cooking the strips a few at a time. Cook them for about a minute and a half or so on each side. When golden and crispy, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Yum!

Copycat Lawry's Seasoned Salt

The chicken strip recipe called for Lawry's Seasoned Salt... I don't have that. SO I found this, made up a little batch, worked out perfectly!

2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

1Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
2Pour the blend into an empty spice bottle to store.

Kellogg's Double-Coated

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8

7 cups Kellogg's Corn Flakes® (crushed to 1 3/4 cups)
1 egg
1 cup fat-free milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 pounds chicken pieces, (without or with skin) rinsed and dried
3 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted

1. Place KELLOGG'S CORN FLAKES cereal in shallow dish or pan. Set aside.

2. In medium mixing bowl, beat egg and milk slightly. Add flour, salt and pepper. Mix until smooth. Dip chicken in batter. Coat with cereal. Place in single layer, in shallow baking pan coated with cooking spray or foil lined. Drizzle with margarine.

3. Bake at 350° F about 1 hour or until chicken is tender, no longer pink and juices run clear. Do not cover pan or turn chicken while baking. Serve hot.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Frito Salad

This recipe is a summer picnic favorite of mine! I did 1/2 the recipe for our get-together.

4 cans red or pinto beans (or a combo), drained & rinsed
1 grn. pepper, chopped
2-3 grn. onions, sliced
3 Roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
12"ish" oz. bottle Catalina or French dressing*
1 reg. size bag Fritos or Fritos Scoops

Combine all ingre. except for chips. You can make it the day before & refrigerate until ready to serve. At serving time, mix in chips. It will keep fresh for about 1 1/2 hours or you can just let everyone add their own chips. :)

*For recipe group I strayed from my usual Kraft Catalina dressing & went with Brianna's brand Zesty French dressing which had A LOT less sodium & tasted fresher to me.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Apple Salad

This was Liz Lantry's recipe. :-)


4 med-small apples
1 8oz tub light cool whip
1 c. mini marshmallows
1 20 oz can of pineapple tidbits, do not drain
1 small box fat free sugar free white chocolate pudding mix (or vanilla, or cheesecake)
Pecan pieces, if desired


Mix all ingredients. Top with nuts if desired. Chill and serve.

Asian Chicken Pasta Salad

I got this reciepe from no biggie.net. It's delicious! Enjoy!

Asian Chicken Pasta Salad

1 box bowtie (farfalle) pasta
4 chicken breasts cooked & shredded or all the breast meat of one rotisserie chicken
1/4 Cup green onions (sliced & diced into oblivion)
1/2 pack sliced almonds - toasted
1 bag spinach (stems removed)
1 sm. bag peapods
1 can Mandarin Oranges (drained)

The Dressing (double this into two batches)
1/4 Cup Sesame seeds (toasted)
1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
1/3 Cup Red Wind Vinegar
1/3 Cup Veg. Oil *or Sesame Oil is great here too
2 TBS. Sugar
1/2 tsp. S & P

Marinate chicken & pasta in the dressing in the fridge overnight.

* It's helpful to under cook the pasta a bit. Al dente would be perfect.

Toss altogether right before serving with round two of the dressing.

Frontier Pies Cornbread

Aubrey shared this recipe with me, it's some of the best cornbread I have ever had!


3/4 c. margarine or butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
2 2/3 c. milk
2 2/3 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1 1/16 c. cornmeal (3 tsp. weird I know!)

Cream together the butter, eggs, sugar. Add remaining ingredients, mix well. Bake in a 9X13 greased and floured pan.
Bake 350 for 40 min

Cari's Rockin' Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cari made these and they were FANTASTIC, I had to recreate them -yum!


1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. shortening
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 bag chocolate chips (12 oz I think, I use part butterscotch chips)


Combine butter, shortening and sugars and mix briefly, don't over-mix. Then add vanilla and egg, stir just until mixed in and wet. Add all dry ingredients (except chips) mix until flour is completely mixed in, don't over-mix or your butter and shortening will get too soft. Stir in chips. Best if refrigerated before baking. Bake for 8-10 minutes in 350 degree oven.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bourbon Chicken

I got this recipe from My Kitchen Cafe sometime ago. It is easy, fast, and super yummy!

2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
cornstarch (for dusting chicken- optional)
4 Tb oil

1 garlic clove (minced)
1 tsp ginger (ground ginger or you can use fresh)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4C apple juice
1/3C light brown sugar
2 Tb ketchup
1 Tb apple cider vinegar
1/2C water
1/3C soy sauce

Dust chicken lightly with cornstarch. Heat oil in frying pan or wok and lightly brown chicken pieces. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

In a bowl combine all the sauce ingredients. Pour into wok and bring to a boil. Add chicken back into the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.


SNICKERS Apple Salad

OK this one takes forever to make good luck!

3-5 apples (different varieties for fun.)
1 large container of cool whip thawed
3 frozen snickers

Cut apples into bit size pieces, smashed frozen snicker with a rolling pin and add 3/4 of it to the mix. Next add all the cool whip until desired texture. Last add remaining snickers for garnish. YUMMY!!!

Lemon Spinach Salad

I thought this salad was very refreshing. It was my first time making it and I would definitely make it again. Enjoy!!!

3T fresh lemon juice
3T sugar
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp grated lemon rind
1/4 cup canola or light olive oil ( I used extra virgin olive oil)

3 cups fresh spinach ( I used a mix of spring greens and spinach)
1 cup fresh strawberries ,sliced
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
Feta cheese to taste
In blender combine lemon juice, sugar, mustard, grated lemon rind and oil. Pulse until mixture is combined , thickened and sugar is dissolved.In a large bowl, toss together spinach, strawberries, nuts and feta. Toss with enough dressing to coat.

Citrus Slaw

Slaw Ingredients:

1 head Napa cabbage (shredded)
2 large Sunkist® navel oranges, segmented
1 medium Sunkist® grapefruit, segmented
1 small green papaya (shredded) I used fresh pineapple instead
1 medium carrot (julienne)
1 medium red onion (julienne)
2 Poblano chilies (julienne

Dressing Ingredients:

2 Ancho – chilies (roasted and rehydrated) I'd leave these out
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
¼ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup Sunkist® freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin I'd leave this out too


I used my mandolin slicer, set with julienne blade, to cut almost everything, to make the carrots, onions, peppers small enough. The cutting was pretty simple, a bit time consuming.

I used all my left over juices to add to the dressing, some grapfruit and pineapple juice, I personally really disliked the flavor of the cumin, so I would suggest adding it to just a little bit of dressing, and trying it before you use it in the whole thing. Also, I think it would have been better without the ancho chilies, they were kind of pasty in the dressing, never really mixed in, and smelled kinda funky!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Romaine Salad with Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette

7 cups torn romaine
1 cup seedless red grapes
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup salted soy nuts
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salad dressing

In a small nonstick skillet coated with butter-flavored cooking spray, cook and stir pecans and salt until toasted. Remove from the heat; set aside. In a salad bowl, combine the romaine, grapes, cranberries, soy nuts, and cheese. Add reserved pecans; toss to combine. Serve with dressing.

Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp poppy seeds

Shake all of the ingredients in a salad dressing shaker. Can be refrigerated for up to 7 days; bring to room temperature, then shake vigorously to recombine before serving.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Olive Garden Toscana Soup

2-3/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c heavy cream
1 medium Russet potato
2 c chopped kale
1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Combine the stock and cream in a saucepan over medium heat.
Slice the unpeeled potato into 1/4-inch slices, then quarter the slices and add them to the soup.
Add the kale.
Grill or saute the sausage. When cooked and cooled, cut the sausage at an angle into slices about 1/2-inch thick. Add the sausage to the soup.
Add the spices, and let the soup simmer for about 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as an entree.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Apple Crisp

3 c peeled apples, sliced
1/2 c sugar
1 Tbsp flour
dash cinnamon

Toss lightly, put in greased and floured 8x10 pan. Pour 1/2 c water over the top.

3/4 c oatmeal
3/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Combine, then work in 1/3 c butter. Sprinkle on top of apples. Bake 375 for 20-25 min.

Stuffed Mushrooms

I usually make this appetizer to use up the rest of the mushrooms before they go bad. It doesn't look very appetizing, but --YUM-- it is.

8-10 medium mushrooms, firm, closed caps
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp minced onion or green onion (I just dash onion powder)
1/4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c soft bread crumbs*
1/4 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp water
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Wash mushroom quickly under running water; drain on paper towels. Pull stems and chop finely. Melt butter in skillet over med/low heat; add chopped stems and onion. Saute till tender. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, cheese, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle salt over mushroom caps and fill with sauteed mixture, mounding over the top. At this point, you may cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Before serving, put 2 Tbsp water in shallow dish and arrange mushrooms in dish. Bake for about 20 min. Serve hot.

*To make soft bread crumbs: Use fork to tear apart bread on cutting board. 1 slice = 1/2 c crumbs.

Maple Salmon

Fast and delicious!

1/2 c maple syrup
1/4 c soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 lbs salmon

In a small bowl mix everything but the salmon. Place salmon in shallow glass baking dish and coat with the mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate in the fridge 30 min, turning over once.

Preheat oven 400F.

Place dish in oven, and bake uncovered 20 min, or until easily flaked with a fork.

Serve with vegetables and rice.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thai Peanut Chicken and Coconut Rice

This is one of our family favorites. Seriously. TJ and I love it, and I love than I can serve it all deconstructed and the kids still eat most everything. It works out well for everyone really!

Thai Coconut Rice:

1 Cup uncooked rice (basmati, jasmine or long grain)
1 14 oz can coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup coconut flakes

Cooking Directions:
-Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan.
-Stir well to combine
-cook over medium-high hear, stirring until mixture comes to a low boil.
-Immediately reduce heat to low
-cover and cook for 18 minutes
-fluff with fork.
-cover and let sit for 5 minutes
-garnish rice with additional coconut

Peanut Sauce:

I buy this packet. I know, sweet, huh? But I'm very specific on which one I like, this is the one. Only one HEB around here sells it (As far as I know.) and all other stores have stopped carrying it. I buy all they have when I go in (now, I'm extra lame). You could try making your own peanut sauce, I think I have before in a pinch, just like the coconut milk, peanut butter, red pepper flakes....

Anyway, just follow directions, it's simple, but you will need another can of coconut milk for the sauce, along with meat and vegetable of your choice.

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

I have been making these and packaging them into snack size zip bags and putting into the freezer to make preparing school lunches cheaper and quicker. As well, I've been known to serve them with orange juice for a quick breakfast!

1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. nuts or raisins (optional)

Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy.
add eggs and vanilla, beat well.
Mix in flour and baking soda.
Stir in oats and raisins/nuts; mix well.

Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Yields approx. 4 dozen

*Cookies will look flat, don't worry, that's how they are "chewy". If you refrigerate the dough a little bit the butter will firm back up and yield a nicer looking cooking. I don't care what they look like, they taste great!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Blueberry Freezer Muffins

Alright, so I have really enjoyed making these up lately and then having some quick muffins stashed away in the freezer, so awesome! Ooh, these also come in other varieties, not just blueberry!

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter or margarine

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh, canned (drained) or frozen blueberries


1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line 12 regular-size muffin cups with paper baking cups, or spray bottoms only of cups with cooking spray.
2. In medium bowl, stir 1/4 cup flour, the brown sugar and cinnamon until mixed. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture is crumbly; set aside.
3. In large bowl, beat milk, oil and egg with fork or wire whisk until blended. Add 2 cups flour, the granulated sugar, baking powder and salt all at once; stir just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Gently stir in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle each with about 1 tablespoon streusel.
4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. If muffins were baked in paper baking cups, immediately remove from pan to cooling rack. If muffins were baked in sprayed pan, leave in pan about 5 minutes, then remove from pan to cooling rack. Serve warm or cooled.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Decrease baking powder to 1 1/2 teaspoons.

Nutrition Information:
1 Muffin: Calories 220 (Calories from Fat 70); Total Fat 7g (Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 25mg; Sodium 210mg; Total Carbohydrate 33g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 15g); Protein 4g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 2%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 8%; Iron 8% Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


Apple-Cinnamon Muffins: Omit blueberries. Beat in 1 cup chopped, peeled apple (about 1 medium) with milk. Stir in 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon with the flour. Bake 25-30 minutes.

Banana Muffins: Omit blueberries. Decrease milk to 1/3 cup. Beat in 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 medium) with the milk. Use packed brown sugar for the sugar.

Cranberry-Orange Muffins: Omit blueberries. Beat in 1 tablespoon grated orange peel with the milk. Fold 1 cup cranberry halves into batter.

Rasperry Muffins: Replace blueberries with frozen or fresh raspberries.

Freezing Directions:

Okay, so I like to make up a double batch, since it's "like" the same amount of work, or nearly. and we can't eat very many muffins very fast around here. So I fill cups, paper ones work, but I do like the metal liners for this. and then I scoop into a snack size baggy the right amount of struesel topping. I freeze the filled muffins while still in the muffin pan --so they hold shape better.

Then, after they are frozen, I package 6 together at a time (one pan's worth). This way I can just grab some out in the morning and pop them into the oven. I don't dethaw them first, although you could if you wanted or had time. I just set the time for regular time, and then check them. They usually need a few extra minutes, since they started frozen. Oh, I also write on the outside of my vaccuum package what temperature and how long they need to bake for, along with the date they were made.

Dough Boys

Yep, that's what they are called, or at least in my house they are! We grew up eating these mainly for breakfast and they are truly delicious!

frozen roll or bread dough, or your favorite dough recipe
oil for frying
syrup, or your choice of toppings
I often make my own dough recipe to use for this, just let it rise the first time, then punch it down, split it up into smaller sizes, a portion about the size of a fist will make one dough-boy. I also sometimes buy frozen dough, and when I do that I set the frozen loaf or rolls out the nite before, in a bowl, covered loosely with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise over nite.
After portioning out the dough, just stretch it into a disc shape, just smaller than the pan you are going to fry in. You can use a rolling pin to get it flatter and more even. Sometimes if you get them thinner they pop up and then are a bit more like sopapillas. I usually opt for the hand pressed look. You can use a pizza cutter and cut into smaller pieces if serving for breakfast or a snack, etc.
Then, just serve with syrup or honey or powdered sugar or chocolate syrup for dessert, it's up to you.
You can also use these same fry breads for Navajo Tacos, just replace the sweet toppings with refried beans, hamburger, lettuce, tomato, etc. Heck, I bet you could even have tacos for dinner, then if there are left overs, have 'em for breakfast the next morning. Ooh, sometimes if there are actually leftovers, I'll pop them into the toaster to reheat them, helps them keep some of their crisp. Yum!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Oven Baked Salmon with Mango Lime Salsa and a side of Berry Couscous

Oven Baked Salmon with Mango Lime Salsa and a side of Berry Couscous

Oven Baked Salmon:
Marinate Salmon overnight in desired marinade. The Salmon pictured above was marinated in a Tangerine Pineapple Vinaigrette. Place salmon in baking dish and cook at 350 degrees until the internal temperature of the salmon fillet reaches 140 degrees (which is medium) or until desired doneness. Discard used marinade.
Tangerine Pineapple Vinaigrette (This makes 1 qt of Vinaigrette):
10 fl oz Tangerine juice
5 1/3 fl oz Pineapple juice
1 fl oz Lemon Juice
2 tsp White wine vinegar
2 tsp Prepared creole mustard
10 fl oz Vegetable Oil
5 1/3 fl oz Olive Oil
2 tsp Salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp Ground black pepper, or to taste
1. Combine the juices, vinegar, and mustard.
2. Whisk in the oils gradually.
3. Season with salt & pepper.
Mango Lime Salsa:
Ingredients -
8 oz Honeydew melon, seeded, rind removed
8 oz Papaya, peeled and seeded
8 oz Mango, peeled and pitted
4 oz Red bell pepper, cored and seeded
1 oz Jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded
3 oz Red onion, cut Brunoise (this is pronounced BROON-WAH. A cut 1/8"x1/8"x1/8")
4 fl oz Lime Juice
2 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
Salt to taste
1. Chop the melon, papaya, mango, bell pepper, and jalapeno pepper into fine dice. Be careful to safe the juices that are released.
2. Combine the chopped fruit with their juices, peppers, onion, lime juice, and cilantro in a bowl.
3. Season to taste with salt.
4. Refrigerate until served.
Top Oven Baked Salmon with Mango Lime Salsa.
Blackberry & Raspberry Couscous:Prepare couscous as outlined on package (we use the brand Rise Select). This step should only take 7-8 minutes as the couscous should cook in about 5 minutes. Once the couscous has been cooked, add the washed blackberries and raspberries to the couscous. Stir gently. Plate this by placing a circle cutter (size of your choice- this is a circle mold...almost like a circle cookie cutter...almost) on to the plate and add the couscous to the rim. Gently remove the cutter. If you do not have a cutter/mold, a 1 cup measuring cup can be used. Fill (pack it, but not super tight or it will be difficult to release the couscous naturally...without a utensil) the measuring cup with the couscous and flip the open end onto the plate, gently tap on the top of the cup while lifting up at the same time.

Baked Red Peppers Stuffed with Italian Sausage

(This picture is before they were cooked...sorry I don't have an after picture.)

Baked Red Peppers Stuffed with Italian Sausage
4 Red Bell Peppers
4 Ripe Roma Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
1 Small Onion, Diced
1 Celery Stalk, Trimmed and Diced
4 Fresh Mild Italian Sausages, about 1 lb
8 Black Olives (Such as Kalamata, Gaeta, or Spanish), Pitted and Chopped
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Cup Fresh Bread Crumbs
1 Cup Hot Tap Water

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Carefully cut each bell pepper in half lengthwise. Remove the stem, being careful not to cut into the flesh. Remove the seeds and ribs. Fill a large saucepan three-fourths full of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pepper halves, bring the water back to a boil and parboil (blanching) for 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pepper halves to a colander to drain. Keep the water at a boil to peel the tomatoes. Core and peel the tomatoes. Cut in half crosswise and carefully squeeze out the seeds. Chop the tomatoes coarsely and set aside. In a large sauté pan or frying pan over medium-low heat, warm the butter or olive oil. Add the onion and sauté stirring, until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add the celery and sauté until starting to soften, another 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion and celery to a plate. Set aside. Add the crumbled sausage to the pan and sauté over medium heat, turning several times, until lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Return the onion mixture to the pan along with the tomatoes. Mix together and continue to cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes to blend the flavors. Stir in the olives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the pepper halves, cut side up, in a baking dish in which they just fit comfortably in a single layer. Spoon the sausage mixture into the peppers, dividing it evenly. Top evenly with the bread crumbs. Add the hot water to the dish. Bake, uncovered, until the crumbs are golden and the mixture is bubbly, about 40 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to plate for serving.

Anthony's Famous Cheese ball

Anthony’s Famous Cheese ball

This is a one-time batch recipe…we always make a two-time batch as it goes quickly.

8 oz Cream Cheese block
1 Ham Steak
Dried Parsley
Hot Sauce
Crushed Nuts…we use Pine Nuts
Additional Items for preferred taste:
Onion Salt
Garlic Powder

Take soft cream cheese block, mix in diced ham steak, dried parsley, and additional items if preferred. Then add hot sauce to taste. Ball the mixture onto a plate and add crushed nuts on the outside. Chill 2-3 hours, but overnight preferred.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Taco Casserole

1 lb lean ground beef
1 envelope (1.5 oz) taco seasoning mix
1 can (16 oz) refried beans
2 c water
1 pkg (8 oz) guacamole-flavored tortilla chips, crumbled (I can't find these, so I just use regular tortilla chips, which still work great.)
2 c grated cheddar
chopped lettuce
chopped tomatoes
sour cream

In a large skillet, brown ground beef; drain off fat. Add taco seasoning mix, refried beans, and water. Heat mixture, stirring occasionally, until it begins to boil. Spread chips in bottom of 9-in square baking dish. Pour meat mixture over chips. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in a preheated 350-oven 15-20 min, or until cheese begins to bubble. Pass lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, and sour cream at table, and let each diner add toppings.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chicken Pillows

2 pkg. Crescent Rolls
2 C. Cooked Chicken (If David is home to start the grill then I grill it. If not, then I just boil it. I usually use about 3 chicken breasts. I also just cut the cooked chicken into small pieces but you could shred it too. )
1 (8 oz) pkg. Cream Cheese (easier if it is at room temp)
1 T. Chopped Onion
1/4 C. Melted Butter
Bread Crumbs (I use Italian but any works)

1. Mix: Cooked chicken, cream cheese, and onion in a bowl. (I usually wash my hands and mix it)
2. Place one rounded spoonful of meat mixture on wide end of crescent roll wedge. Pull dough around mixture toward the point while pulling the small end wider. Tuck ends and pinch dough together to make sure that the mixture is covered.
3. Dip the "pillow" in melted butter and roll in bread crumbs.
4. Bake 20-25 min @ 400

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C. sour cream (or milk)
1/2 C. shredded cheese

Heat mixture together and serve over pillows

***for re-heating it tastes better if you can warm them up again in the oven....but the microwave works too!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Skillet Ziti with Chicken and Broccoli

Serves: 4-6
Time: 30 minutes


•1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into 1-inch pieces
•Salt and pepper
•3 tablespoons unsalted butter
•1 onion, minced
•1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
•1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
•3 garlic cloves, minced
•8 ounces ziti (2 1/2 cups) -Or whatever pasta you have or like
•2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
•1/2 cup heavy cream
•1 bunch broccoli (1 1/2 pounds), stems discarded and florets cut into 1-inch pieces
•1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
•1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
•2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (optional)


1.Pat the chicken dry, then season with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until it is lightly browned but not fully cooked, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl.

2.Add 1 more tablespoon of the butter, onion, red pepper flakes, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.

3.Sprinkle the UNCOOKED ziti evenly into the skillet. Pour the broth and cream over the ziti. Cover and bring to a boil, about 5 minutes.

4.Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the broccoli and roasted peppers. Cover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta begins to soften and the broccoli turns bright green, about 8 minutes.

5.Stir in the chicken and any accumulated juice. Cover and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes longer.

6.Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, the Parmesan, and lemon juice (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Filo Onion Rolls

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


•8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
•2 cups grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
•2 onions, chopped
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•1/4 cup butter
•1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
•1/8 tsp. pepper
•18 (9" x 14") sheets filo dough, thawed
•More melted butter (I use about 1/3 cup)


In medium bowl, mix cream cheese and Gruyere. Set aside. In heavy skillet, sauté onions in 1/4 cup butter until very soft and beginning to brown, 10-15 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another 1 minute. Cool 20 minutes. Mix together onion mixture and cheese mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place one sheet filo dough on work surface. Brush with melted butter. Lay another sheet on top, brush with butter, and put one more sheet on top.

Take the onion mixture, divide it into six parts, and form a roll about 1 inch in diameter down one short edge of the stacked filo. Roll up carefully and place on cookie sheet. Brush thoroughly with more butter. Repeat with remaining filo and filling, making six rolls total. I place three rolls on each cookie sheet. Cover well with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F and remove the rolls from the refrigerator. Bake for 10-17 minutes or until rolls begin to brown and cheese filling melts. Let stand 5 minutes, then, using a very sharp knife, cut rolls into 1" pieces. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve. The onion filling right out of the oven is super-hot. Serves 8-10. (Mine got too flat when they cooked as a roll and were cut after. I think in the past I have cut the rolls and then stood them up to bake, they held a rounder shape that way.)

You can also freeze these rolls. Wrap well in freezer wrap, label, and freeze up to 3 months. To bake frozen rolls, place rolls on cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees F for 15-23 minutes or until the rolls are beginning to brown and crisp and cheese melts. Proceed as directed above.

"Tempt-Me" Truffles


4 c. powdered sugar

1 (8oz.) pkg cream cheese

5 (1oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted

1 tsp. vanilla

toasted almonds, chopped


powdered sugar

Gradually add 4 cups powdered sugar to cream cheese, mixing well. Add chocolate and vanilla. Mix well. Chill for a few hours. Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll to coat in almonds, cocoa or powdered sugar. Chill.
Makes 4 dozen.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fruit Pizza

1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar

1 egg

1 1/4 c. flour

1 tsp. cream of tartar

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 80z. package cream cheese

1/2 c. sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl cream together the butter and 3/4 c. sugar until smooth. Mix in egg. Combine the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, and salt; stir until just blended. Press dough into an ungreased pizza pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool.

In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, 1/2 c. sugar, and vanilla until light. Spread on cooled crust. Arrange desired fruit on top of filling and chill.