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.