Friday, December 11, 2009

Banana Muffins

This recipe is from Aubony O.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
3/4 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Grease twelve muffin cups (do not line with paper baking cups). In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Make a well in center of dry mixture; set aside. In another mixing bowl combine egg, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to dry
mixture. Stir just till moistened. Add mashed bananas (batter should be lumpy). Spoon batter into muffin cups, bake at 400 degrees for 20
minutes or until golden brown. Makes 10-12 muffins.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ginger cookies

It is that time of year again when my home is filled with all kinds of yummy smells. I don't know what it is but I love to bake in December. Last night we made chocolate chip cookies and today I'm making ginger cookies. The smell is amazing! Cloves and cinnamon baking! It makes me feel warm and happy. One of the children even commented that they like it when I bake because it makes it feel like home. So thank you Middle School choir for having a fundraiser and needing cookies! Thank you snowy, cold weather for keeping me home so I could make the cookies! Thank you dear daughter for asking me to make them for you!

Ginger cookies
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
3 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. cinnamon

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs and molasses. Mix well. Add 1 cup flour, baking soda, cloves and cinnamon. Mix well. Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time mixing well between each cup. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Seven Layer Bean Dip

1 can refried beans
1 (8 oz) container of sour cream
1/2 packet of taco seasoning mix
shredded cheddar cheese
green onions
sliced black olives

On a platter, spread the refried beans in an even layer. Combine the sour cream and taco seasoning mix. Spread over the beans. Layer remaining ingredients. Serve with chips.

I just pick 7 different "taco" toppings when making this. Use what you like!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Bean Salsa

This recipe was contributed by Cassie G.

1 can black beans
1 can white corn
1 medium red onion diced
1 tomato diced
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp. cumin

Combine all ingredients. Serve with chips.

Spinach Dip

This recipe was contributed by Mercedes W.

1 C mayo
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C plain yogurt
1 package Vegetable soup mix
1 package spinach

Cook spinach and drain. Mix together all ingredients. Chill and serve with bread.

Caramel Corn

This recipe was contributed by Aubony O.

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 quarts popped popcorn (about 2 bags microwaved popcorn)

In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.
Microwave 2 bags of microwave popcorn, pull out kernels that didn't pop, and put in large bowl.
Pour a thin stream of caramel over popcorn, stirring to coat. Let cool for a few minutes and serve.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I don't know about you but I love soups. They are comfort food, especially during this time of year. I found this recipe on Dinner's On Me's blog. Click HERE to go directly to this blog and find other great recipes. I was very impressed with this recipe, it was the first I've tried of his. I will definitely being trying other recipes from him. Now, this recipe does call for heavy whipping cream, and I have to say, anything that calls for heavy whipping cream has got to be good! Give this recipe a try. I am positive you will love it!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cooked & shredded
1 (4.3 oz) box Rice-a-Roni Long Grain & Wild Rice (original flavor)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup milk

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery and carrots and saute for 7-8 minutes.

2. Add chicken broth, water and shredded chicken.

3. Bring to a boil and add rice (save seasoning packet!).

4. Cover pot and remove from heat.

5. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the seasoning packet and stir to combine.

6. Slowly add the flour (in 1/4 cup increments) to form a roux and continue to stir.

7. Add salt and pepper.

8. Whisk in heavy cream and milk, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Cook and continue to stir until thickened - about 5 minutes.

9. Return broth/rice mixture to the heat and add cream mixture. Cook over medium heat until rice is softened and soup is thickened and heated through, about 10-15 minutes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Slow Cooked Corn Chowder

2 1/2 c milk
1 can (14 3/4 oz) cream style corn
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 3/4 c frozen corn
1 c frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 c cubed fully cooked ham
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp butter or margarine (optional)
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
salt and pepper to taste

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I found this recipe on Cooking During Stolen Moments. The first time I made it we served it as a side dish with steaks. I wasn't sure if the soup would be hearty enough to have as a main dish. However, after making the soup we decided it was tasty enough and filling enough that it could stand alone as a main dish. If you decide though, it did make a great side dish instead of rice or a baked potato.

1 lb. bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
5 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 c. chicken stock
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
3 green onions, sliced
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 t. black pepper
Sour cream for garnish, optional

1. In a large stock pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain and set aside. Drain all but 2 T. of bacon grease from the pot. Cook the onions in the remaining bacon grease for about 5 minutes, until tender.
2. Add potatoes and chicken stock to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer about 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender. With a slotted spoon, remove a few scoops of potatoes. Place in a bowl and mash with a fork. Set aside.
3. In a small sauce pan, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, bring to a boil and simmer until thickened. Slowly stir in to stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer. Stir mashed potatoes back into pot.
4. Add 1/2 c. shredded cheese, three-fourths of the bacon and half the sliced green onions to pot. Add pepper. Stir to combine. Cook an additional 5 minutes.
5. To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls and top with some shredded cheese, bacon, green onions and optional sour cream.

Poppy Seed Salad


1 cup mayonnaise
3 TB vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp poppy seeds

Mix all of the ingredients and allow to cool in the fridge.


(Use the amount you desire and tailor to the number of people you have. These are suggestions of things you can use on the salad; Use what you like, leave off what you don't)

1 Chicken breast cooked and shredded
slivered almonds
hard boiled egg, chopped
green onions
shredded mozzarella cheese
sliced mushrooms
cooked and crumbled bacon
spinach or red leaf lettuce

Friday, November 6, 2009

Play Dough

I recently wrote a blog on my family blog about my son eating play dough. I got a couple comments about giving him Peanut Butter Play Dough instead of the real stuff. He has actually had it, which may be why he thought it was okay to eat... I thought I'd share my recipes for the edible and not-so-yummy (but more fun to play with!) play dough varieties.

Play Dough

1 c water
1 c flour
2 tbsp oil
1/2 c salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
food coloring

Combine all ingredients in a pot. Cook and stir over medium heat until too stiff to stir. Pour out and knead for one minute. Store in an air-tight container.

Peanut Butter Play Dough
(This is the most nutritious variety I could find, so that's what my kids get.)

1 c creamy peanut butter
1 c rolled oats
1 c dried milk
1/3 c honey

Mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Store in an airtight container. It is best right after making.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Monterey Chicken Quesadillas

I was a little leery to try this recipe. I wasn't sure how all of the ingredients would blend together. However, the picture of the finished product looked so yummy I decided to go ahead and give it a try. I LOVED them. My kids loved them. My husband loved them.

I found this recipe and picture on Cooking During Stolen Moments (click HERE to go to this blog and find other great recipes).

1/2 lb. shredded or diced cooked chicken 3/4 c. barbecue sauce (bottled or homemade)
1/2 lb. bacon
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 c. shredded monterey jack cheese
6 burrito-sized flour tortillas
Butter (I used spray butter on mine and regular butter on the rest of the families)

1. Combine chicken and barbecue sauce. Set aside.
2. Dice the bacon and add to a small skillet. Cook until desired crispness. Remove bacon from skillet with a slotted spoon to drain.
3. Add the sliced onion to the bacon grease in the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, until fully cooked. Remove onions with a slotted spoon and drain.
4. Build quesadillas – on a tortilla layer cheese, chicken, bacon, onion, more cheese and top with a second tortilla.
5.Cook quesadillas in a large skillet with melted butter.
6. Slice into triangles and dip in ranch dressing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Danish Puff

1 c soft butter or margarine, divided
2 c flour, divided
1c plus 2 tbsp water, divided
1 tsp almond extract
3 eggs

Mix 1/2 c softened butter with 1 c flour until smooth. Add 2 tbsp water and mix till smooth. Spread on a cookie sheet in two 12 inch by 3 inch strips.

In a saucepan, bring 1/2 c butter and 1 c water to a boil. Remove from heat. Add almond extract and 1 c flour. Stir. Mixture will form a ball and follow spoon around the pan. Return to low heat. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add all the eggs at once. Stir until smooth. Spread over pastry strips. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour.

Ice with powdered sugar glaze flavored with almond extract. Sprinkle sliced almonds over the top while icing is still soft if desired.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe was contributed by Megan W.

1 box Spice Cake Mix
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin
1 cup (1/2 bag) miniature semi-sweet morsels
Mix all ingredients. Drop on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cider Vinegar Chicken Over Smashed Red Potatoes

I got this recipe off of Cooking During Stolen Moment's Blog. Click HERE to go to her website and view more of her yummy recipes. Her original recipe called for 3TB of oil, but I cut it back to 1 TB and I thought it was just fine and it saved a few calories. I also just made regular mashed potatoes and served the chicken and sauce right over the mashed potatoes. JP and I really loved this recipe. It tasted like fall and the caramelized onions were wonderful. This was two thumbs up for us. Go ahead, give it a try!

For the chicken:

1 T. Extra virgin olive oil
4 Chicken Breasts, pounded thin
1 large onion, sliced
2 T. honey
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. apple cider or juice
1/2 c. chicken stock
1 1/2 t. rosemary

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Season the cut chicken breasts with a little salt and pepper. Place in skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.
2. Add onions, honey and more salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the onions are nicely caramelized. Add the chicken back to the skillet.
3. Add cider vinegar, cider or juice, stock and rosemary to the pan. Increase heat and bring to a slow boil. Let simmer until sauce is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
For Smashed Red Potatoes
2 1/2 lbs. baby red potatoes
1/3 c. butter
1 c. milk (plus more if needed for desired consistency)
4 T. cream cheese
1 T. garlic salt
2 t. pepper

1. Boil potatoes for 15 – 20 minutes, until tender. Drain and return to pot. Add butter to the potatoes and mash slightly.2. Stir in milk, cream cheese, garlic salt and pepper.


This recipe was contributed by Jen G.

2 cups butter (I used a little less butter 1 3/4 cups)
2 cups white sugar one white one brown
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped almonds (I used pecans)

1.In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Allow to come to a boil, and cook until the mixture becomes a dark amber color, and the temperature has reached 285 degrees F (137 degrees C). Stir occasionally.

2.While the toffee is cooking, cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

3.As soon as the toffee reaches the proper temperature, pour it out onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the chocolate over the top, and let it set for a minute or two to soften. Spread the chocolate into a thin even layer once it is melted. Sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate, and press in slightly. Putting a plastic bag over your hand will minimize the mess.

4.Place the toffee in the refrigerator to chill until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pumpkin Bars

This recipe was submitted by Jen G.

Bar Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Frosting Ingredients:
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2.In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into the pumpkin mixture until thoroughly combined.

3.Spread the batter evenly into an ungreased 10x15 inch jellyroll pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven. Cool before frosting.

4.To make the frosting, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Stir in vanilla. Add confectioners' sugar a little at a time, beating until mixture is smooth. Spread evenly on top of the cooled bars. Cut into squares.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Philly Cheesesteaks

1 lb sirloin
1 green bell pepper
1 onion
8 oz mushrooms
4 Slices Provolone Cheese
4 Hoagie Rolls
Seasoned Salt

1. While the beef is still mostly frozen, shave it into very thin pieces with a very sharp knife. Set aside.
2. Slice the mushrooms, bell peppers and onion into thin strips and set aside.
3. In a hot skillet melt 2 TB of butter and saute the vegetables until cooked through. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.
4. Melt 2 TB of butter in the hot pan. Add the beef and season with the seasoned salt. Stir fry the beef until cooked through. Remove the beef from the pan.
5. Add to the pan enough meat and vegetables for 1 sandwich. Top with provolone cheese. Place a lid on the pan, pouring a small amount of water into the pan so that the steam will melt the cheese. When the cheese is melted place the meat mixture into a bun that has mayo spread inside of it. Add lettuce and tomato if desired.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

East Meets West Burgers

Hamburger Patties:

1 pound ground beef

1/4 cup soft bread crumbs

1 large egg white

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

4 hamburger buns, split

Sesame-Soy Mayonnaise:

1/4 cup light mayonnaise

1 TB thinly sliced green onion (green part only)

1/2 tsp soy sauce

1/4 tsp sesame oil

1/8 tsp ground red pepper

Slaw Topping:

1/2 cup romaine lettuce, thinly sliced

1/4 cup shredded red cabbage

1/4 cup shredded carrot

1 tsp rice vinegar

1 tsp vegetable oil

1/8 tsp salt

1. Combine Sesame-Soy Mayonnaise ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Combine Slaw Topping ingredients in small bowl, set aside

3. Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, egg white, salt and pepper in large bowl, mixing thoroughly. Lightly shape into four patties.

4. Grill the patties on a barbecue until cooked through.

5. Spread equal amounts of mayonnaise on the bottom and top of each bun. Top with burger and slaw.

JP and I really liked the slight spice (they were not overly spicy) and the very mild sesame flavor. We ate these two nights in a row so we could use the ingredients again. If you like the flavor of sesame oil, give them a try, they were really good.

We found this recipe on Check them out for other great beef recipes.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Spaghetti Sauce

My garden has produced copious amounts of tomatoes this year, so I have been making a lot of spaghetti sauce and freezing it. This is the traditional Allen family spaghetti sauce. I do a lot of variations to it, so it is a pretty fluid recipe.

1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
4 mushrooms (I use a can of mushrooms instead)
1 lb hamburger
2 (30 oz) cans whole tomatoes, cut up with spoon (I use crushed tomatoes instead)
2 (16 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 c water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Italian seasoning (this is an approximation-- mom told me to add it 'to taste'. I just sprinkle it on until it looks right.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
1/4-1/2 c Parmesan cheese

Chop and saute onion, green pepper and mushrooms. (My mom always did this-- I never do. I just throw it all in to the sauce raw.)

Brown hamburger and drain. Mix all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 3 hours or until thickened and yummy looking.

*Mom says you can put it in the oven at 250 degrees for 3-4 hours, no need to stir, as well. I've never tried it.

*I have put everything in the crock pot and cooked it all day. I do not add the water, since it doesn't boil off as it is cooking.

*I usually double this when I make it, using a big #10 can of crushed tomatoes from Sam's, adding a pound of sausage with the hamburger, and doubling the other veggies.

*Add whatever veggies you like in your spaghetti. I have put zucchini, carrots, summer squash, etc into it as well.

*To use fresh tomatoes, puree in a food processor or chop tomatoes. I don't skin or de-seed them, but it would be better if you did.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chicken Picatta

JP and I got this recipe from the TV show on Food Network called "The Barefoot Contessa". We tried it on a night when we put the kids to bed early and cooked dinner for just the two of us. JP LOVES it and has me to make it several other times. You have to like lemon to try this recipe, but if you do like lemons, it's a winner for sure.

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1 egg
1 tsp water

3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

2 TB oil

1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup cooking white wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 whole lemon rinds (saved from after you have juiced the lemons)

1.Pound your chicken until it is 1/4 inch thick and then dry the chicken with a paper towel.

2.In a shallow dish combine the flour, salt and pepper. In another shallow dish combine the egg and water and whisk. Dip your chicken breast in the flour mixture, then into the egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs.

3. Heat your skillet and add the oil. When the oil is hot place your chicken breasts in the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Keep the chicken warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce.

4. Add your butter to your hot skillet. When your butter is melted add the lemon juice, white wine, salt and pepper to the pan. Stir until mixed well. When mixed well, add your lemon rinds to the pan. Having the lemon rinds boil in the sauce adds lemon oil to your sauce and will make it extra "lemony".

5. When your sauce has reduced in half then take your lemon rinds out of the pan and spoon the sauce on top of your chicken breast.

Serve with oven roasted onions and mashed potatoes!

Sesame-Ginger Chicken

This is a great crockpot recipe. If you choose to use boneless, skinless chicken breast you should just coat the chicken and either grill them or bake them in the oven as putting them in the crockpot they tend to dry out.

1 to 2 lbs of bone-in chicken pieces
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup oil
4 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Combine all ingredients except for the chicken and mix well. Place chicken pieces in the crockpot and pour the sauce over the top. Cook on low for about 6 hours.

If you decide to bake your chicken in the oven, bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, turning the chicken once during baking and rebasting with the sauce.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chicken Spaghetti

(I borrowed this picture from Cooking During Stolen Moments Blog)

I cannot stake claim on this recipe. It is from the blog listed to the right called Cooking During Stolen Moments. My family loved this recipe. In fact, I broke a cardinal rule of mine and cooked it for company even though I had never tried the recipe on my own family first. But the ingredients sounded good and the picture of the prepared dish looked good enough to eat. So, I tried it out and we all loved it. We will make it again. Go ahead, try it yourself, and visit her blog to find more great recipes!

1/3 c. butter or margarine
1/2 green pepper, finely diced
1/3 c. flour
1 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 1/2 c. milk
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. chili powder
1 8 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 lb. chicken, fully cooked and cubed
1/2 lb. spaghetti, fully cooked

1. In a large skillet or saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add green pepper and cook 2-3 minutes. Add flour and cook an additional 2 minutes. Slowly add chicken stock and milk. Whisk or stir well to prevent lumps.
2. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 3 minutes, until slightly thicker than a gravy consistency. Remove from heat. Stir in spices, cubed chicken, cheese, tomatoes and spaghetti until combined.

I only did half of the cheese she called for and I thought it was plenty cheesy. This recipe would be enough to feed my family of 6 but if you are cooking for a larger family or are having guests I would double the recipe. Doubled it will make about 12 -1 cup servings!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Beef Stew

This is my mom's recipe and I love it. It doesn't have the "canned beef stew" flavor. It is hearty and comforting on a cold day. Serve with some warm rolls and call it dinner!

1 1/2 to 2 pounds of beef, cut into bite size chunks
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (about 30 oz)
6 large carrots, peeled and sliced into chunks
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 cups of chicken broth
3 Tablespoons oil

After cutting your meat into chunks, place in a bag with flour, salt and pepper. Shake well to coat the meat. In a large pot heat the oil and then pour your meat mixture into the hot oil. Brown the meat on all sides then add the chicken broth. Bring stew to a boil, add the potatoes and carrots and then cover and turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 4 to 5 hours on the stove, stirring occasionally to make sure the broth doesn't burn on the bottom. If your stew begins to boil rapidly, turn down the heat; you want a very warm simmer with only a bubble here and there. If you want a thicker broth, right before you serve the stew put a 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of flour in a large bowl. Add chicken broth in the amount of flour you have to your flour. Stir until smooth. A tablespoon at a time add hot liquid from your stew to the flour mixture until you have doubled the amount of liquid in your flour mixture. Slowly pour the flour mixture into your stew. Doing it this way should eliminate any lumps in your stew. Cook at a boil for 1 minute. If stew still isn't thick enough, repeat the process.

*Make sure you never boil your stew while it is supposed to be simmering, it will turn your potatoes to mush. If you keep it at a simmer they will turn soft but remain firm.
*I recommend using chicken broth and not beef broth. Chicken broth is what keeps it from getting the canned stew flavor.
*This makes enough to feed my family of 6 for two nights. If you have a smaller family or don't want leftovers then half all of the ingredients.
*This recipe really needs to simmer for at least 4 to 5 hours otherwise your meat will be tough. If you do simmer it long enough, you will have very tender beef that just melts in your mouth.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pot Roast Soup

This recipe was contributed by Cassie G.

1 rump roast
carrots and red potatoes to the desired amount
1 envelope pkg of onion soup mix
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 cup water
ground pepper sprinkled in
Place rump roast, carrots, and potatoes in crock-pot. Add the onion soup mix, golden mushroom soup, water, and pepper. Cook on high for the first hour. Cook on low for 9 to 10 hours.

Garden Chowder

I found this recipe here and loved it. I brought this to the recipe swap, and so I copied the recipe over for you to see as well.

1/2 chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1 cup each diced potato, celery, cau­li­flower, carrot and broc­coli
3 cups water
3 chicken bouil­lon cubes (or just 3 cups of chicken broth to replace water and bouil­lon)
1 tea­spoon salt
3 garlic cloves or 1-2 tsp of garlic powder
1/4 tea­spoon pepper
1/2 cup flour or arrowroot powder
2 cups milk
1 Tbsp minced fresh pars­ley
1/8-1/4 tsp of each the following spices: paprika, coriander, ground mustard (increase as desired)
2-3 cups shred­ded ched­dar cheese (can be adjusted as desired, as I rarely use more than 2 cups of cheese)

In a Dutch oven or large pot, saute green pepper, onion and butter until tender. Add veg­eta­bles, water, bouil­lon, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 min­utes or until the veg­eta­bles are tender. Com­bine flour and milk until smooth; stir into pan. Allow to thicken at a low temperature. Add the pars­ley and other spices. Just before serv­ing, stir in the cheese until melted.
Yield: 6-8 servings. This chowder freezes very well also! Just allow room for expansion.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Apple Crisp

This recipe was contributed by Christine K.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
4 cups sliced apples or peaches
Place sliced apples in greased baking dish. Combine all the dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over apples and pat down. Cover and bake 15 minutes at 350. Uncover and bake 30-35 more minutes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sweet Apple Hand Pies

This recipe was contributed by Michelle H.

1 17 oz package of puff pastry
2 medium cooking apples
1/3 c brown sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 egg with water for egg wash

Preheat oven to 375. Thaw puff pastry. Peel and chop apple into small pieces. Toss apples with dry ingredients. Brush edges of square pastry with egg wash. Fill with apples and fold over to form a triangle. Press edges together using a fork. Place on a cookie sheet, brush with more egg wash, and poke small slits in tops of dough to allow steam to escape while cooking. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Simple White Bread

We had our recipe swap, so here is the first of the recipes. This is from Amy B. Sorry I didn't get a picture.

Mix together the following:
2 ½ cups warm water
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons yeast

Then add in:
2 cups flour

Mix together.

Now cover the bowl and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Next add:
2 teaspoons salt
About 4 cups flour

Mix together to form a ball of dough, kneading if necessary.
Cover the bowl and let it sit again for 15 minutes.

Cut the dough in half using a pizza cutter, or very sharp knife. Form into 2 loaves. Put into greased bread pans. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes. Then bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool on wire rack.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crock Pot Enchiladas

2 lbs roast (you can use a cheap roast since it will be cooking all day)
1 small to medium onion, finely chopped
2 15 oz cans red enchilada sauce
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1 pkg corn tortillas

Place roast in a crock pot and cover with 1 can enchilada sauce, onion, and cayenne pepper. Cook on low 6-8 hours. When roast is finished cooking, shred and add 1/2 can enchilada sauce. Mix well. Heat a skillet on medium-hi heat. Place tortillas in skillet and heat through. Remove tortillas to a large casserole dish, fill with beef, and roll. Repeat until beef is used. (There should be enough meat to fill an entire 9x13 in casserole dish.) Once you have all the enchiladas rolled, pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven until cheese is melted and edges of tortillas are crisp.

Chicken Chile Casserole

2 lbs chicken breast
1 pkg flour or corn tortillas (half and half is really good!)
1 16 ounce container sour cream
2 small cans diced green chiles
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
Grated Cheddar or Jack cheese (or 1 pkg "Mexican Style" pre-grated cheese)

Cook chicken thoroughly, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Chop chicken. Mix with 1/2 of the cheese and the rest of the ingredients, excluding tortillas. Line bottom of a baking dish with a layer of tortillas then with a portion of the chicken mixture and repeat until all of the chicken mixture is used (I usually try to get 2-3 layers because if you make it too thick, the casserole will get soupy.) Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees fir 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Melissa Howell's Corn Chowder

  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 2 cups cubed frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 3 cups corn
  • 1/2 heavy cream
In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.

Discard all but 1 Tbsp drippings. Add onion, pepper, and nutmeg to saucepan. Cover and cook on low for 10 minutes or until onion is soft. Stir in flour and cook 3 minutes more.

Whisk in broth, turn up the heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes and corn and cook 5 minutes more. Stir in cream and cooked, crumbled bacon.

Makes 6 cups.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Anna's Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Wanna sneak something healthy in a delicious CHOCOLATEY snack? Then this recipe's for you:

3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups zucchini, peeled & shredded
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Stir in zucchini. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to zucchini mixture & mix well. Pour into 2 greased 8-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 1 hour or until bread tests done.

Note: fill pans half-full, you may need more than 2 pans.
Also: Might try substituting "egg beaters" and "Splenda for Baking" to reduce the calories.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Katie's Menu Plan Aug 31

Here is this week's menu plan.

Breakfast: French Toast sticks, Pancakes, Oatmeal, Grits (I will make them eventually!)

Lunch: Leftovers, PB & J, Lunchables, Burrito Roll-ups

Snacks: Pretzels, Pizza Muffins


Monday-- Potato Minestrone Soup, Rolls

Wednesday-- Beef Stroganoff

Sunday-- BBQ Beef Sandwiches

I'd love to see other menu plans! Check out to see other menus.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pasta Salad

Recipe contributed by Cassie G. (Sorry I didn't get a picture of this one!)

1 (12 oz) package spiral pasta
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large sweet red pepper, chopped
1 c sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cans (2-1/4 oz each) sliced ripe olives, drained
6 green onions, sliced
1 (3 ½ oz) package sliced pepperoni, halved
½ c olive oil
1/3 c red wine vinegar
1 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions, rinse with cold water and drain well. In a large serving bowl combine the peppers, mushrooms, olives green onions, pepperoni and pasta. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour over salad, toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Toss before serving. Yield 14 servings.

** 2 cups cubed chicken may be added if desired.

Homemade Vinaigrette Dressing

Recipe contributed by Katie C.

4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
½ c olive or vegetable oil
½ tsp pepper

Mix together and refrigerate. I like to serve this with grilled chicken salad.

Greek Pasta Salad

Recipe Contributed by Christine K.

3 c uncooked penne pasta (I never measure)
1 c sliced grilled chicken
1 can sliced olives
½ c chopped green pepper
½ c chopped red pepper
½ c or more crumbled Feta cheese
2/3 c Caesar salad dressing (I like Ken’s brand)

Cook pasta and combine with rest of ingredients. Eat with grilled vegetables and French bread!

Tortellini Salad

Recipe contributed by Heidi S.

1 - 20 oz package of fresh Tortellini (deli case)
1 - chopped cucumber
1 (of each) red, yellow, & green bell pepper
grape tomatoes
1 can small black olives
1 cp. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 bottle Italian dressing (I usually use about 3/4 of the bottle)

Cook tortellini for 7 minutes after water has come to a boil
rinse & cool
mix all ingredients together and chill approx. 1-2 hours before serving
mix well & serve

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Orange Juice Dessert

Recipe contributed by Cara C.

2 cylinders Ritz crackers, crushed
¼ c powdered sugar
½ c margarine or butter, melted

Mix cracker crumbs and powdered sugar. Add melted butter. Mix well. Spread ¾ of mixture in a 9x13 pan. Reserve the other ¼ of the mixture for topping.

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 tub Cool Whip

Mix well. Pour over crumbs in pan. Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top. Freeze.

Creamy Lemon Pie

Contributed by Tera S.

6 graham cracker sheets
2 tbsp butter
11 oz fat free sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
½ c lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
1 tbsp lemon zest

Put graham crackers in the food processor until it turns into crumbs or place graham crackers in a Ziploc bag, seal and smash with a rolling pin. Melt the butter and mix with the graham cracker crumbs. Press graham cracker mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate and set aside.

In a bowl combine the sweetened condensed milk and the eggs. Mix well. Add the lemon juice and zest. Mix well. Pour filling over the crust and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool on the counter and then chill pie in the refrigerator. Pie can be frozen up to two weeks. (Recipe from Weight Watchers.)

Yummy Brownies

Contributed by Amber O.

2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 c margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¾ c flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ c cocoa

Mix all dry ingredients together and add all other ingredients. Spread into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Top with semisweet chocolate bits (or not). Bake at 375 for 20-24 minutes.

Pink Stuff

Contributed by Janeen B.

1 16oz Container of Cool Whip
1 Can Cherry Pie Filling
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Small can crushed Pineapple
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Chopped Pecans (optional)

Place Softened Cool Whip in a large bowl. Add cherry pie filling and sweetened condensed milk. Stir. Next add Lemon Juice and pineapple. Stir. Lemon juice makes the mixture solidify a bit. Stir in chopped nuts if desired and serve. Yummy!

Angel Lush Cake

Recipe contributed by Aubony O.

1 can (20 oz) Dole Crushed Pineapple, undrained)
1 pkg. (3.4 oz) Jell-O Vanilla flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup thawed cool whip topping
Mixed berries to garnish
1 Angel food cake (store bought or from mix)

Cut angel food cake horizontally into three layers.
Mix pineapple and dry pudding mix in medium bowl. Stir in whipped topping. Layer cake with filling mixture.
Top with mixed berries, chill in fridge 1 hr.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Recipe contributed by Heidi S.

3/4 cp. white sugar

3/4 cp. brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cp. Crisco

1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla

2 1/4 cp. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

mix first 5 ingredients together
combine the last 3 ingredients together in separate bowl
slowly add to the first mixture
place dough in mini muffin tin {about 3/4 full in each slot}
place in oven @ 350 for 7 minutes
as soon as they come out, push a Reese’s cup in each slot

Chewy Low-Cal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe contributed by Ginette K.

1/2 cup regular sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg white
1 cup flour, all-purpose
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup miniature, semisweet, chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sugars, margarine, vanilla and egg white in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto greases cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Move to wire rack to finish cooling.

Each Cookie; 60 Calories; 20 calories from fat; 2 grams fat; 0 mg Cholesterol

Creamy Orange Jell-O

Recipe contributed by Kay H.


Prepare cooked pudding as directed on package, using the ½ cup of sugar and the egg yolks. Cool 5 minutes. While cooling, prepare the orange jell-o, using ½ cup less cold water than directed on the package. Wisk the jell-o into the pudding and stir until well blended. Pour into an 8 x 8 dish. Refrigerate until form. Top with the cool whip, and if desired, the oranges and nuts.


Basic Decorating Cream Cheese Icing

Recipe contributed by Kay H. Kay is a professional cake decorator, so I'm sure this is great!

Place the first 9 ingredients in the bowl in this order and mix well.

2 tsp. Salt
3 tsp. Clear Vanilla
2 tsp. Butter Flavoring
½ tsp. Almond Extract
2 TBLS. Lemon Juice
2 Cups Crisco Shortening
1 8oz. Pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese (Room Temp.)
1 Stick of Butter (Room Temp.)
½ Cup Flour

Add the following, alternating until desired consistency is reached.

4 – 4-1/2 lbs Powdered Sugar (pure cane sugar is the best)
3 TBLSP. Meringue Powder
(Do Not pour Liquid directly onto the meringue powder, you will get lumps)
1/3 to ½ Cup Liquid – milk, evaporated milk, water, whipping cream, ½ & ½,

-Evaporated milk gives a bolder taste
-Whipping Cream gives a creamier texture
-Sometimes I use a combination of evaporated milk and either whipping cream or ½ & ½.

Icing needs to be a medium / soft consistence to spread on cakes and thicker for doing decorations. If your icing does not spread easily it is too thick just add liquid a little bit at a time. If it seems droopy or too soft you need to thicken it up with more powdered sugar.

You can add any flavor of instant pudding to either ice or fill your cake. (you will need additional liquid.)

Any special flavorings or extracts. (Butterscotch, Cherry, Lemon)

If you want fruit flavored icing try some fruit juice. (pulp free or strained is best)
Remember colored juice = colored icing.

For chocolate icing add unsweetened Cocoa, cooled melted chocolate chips, I’ve even used ice cream syrup; not my favorite but it works.

For Spice Icing add cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg. Great for carrot or spice cakes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Katie's Menu Plan Aug 24

Here's my menu plan for this week.
Breakfast: French Toast Sticks, Oatmeal, Potato & Herb Pancakes, Grits (didn't do it last week...)
Lunch: Leftovers, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Lunchables, Burrito Roll-ups
Monday-- Homemade pizza
Tuesday-- White Chili
Wednesday-- Pork Chops & Rice
Tursday-- Family BBQ
Friday-- Taco Pinwheel
Check out more menu plans at

Chicken Waldorf Salad

This recipe was contributed by Janeen B.

Grilled or Broiled Chicken Breast Sliced or Chopped (Amount will vary depending on number of servings usually 1 Breast per person)
2 Hearts of Romaine Lettuce chopped
Red Grapes Sliced in two
2-3 Stalks of celery chopped
1 5oz container of Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese
1 cup of Candied Walnuts or Pecans
1 red onion slices (optional)

Toss together and top with Blue Cheese Dressing

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

This recipe was contributed by Daria P.

1 Cup Flour
½ tsp. Salt
¾ Cup Sugar
½ Cup Milk
2 Tbsp. Cocoa
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 tsp. Baking Powder
2 Tbsp. Oil
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 ¾ Cup Hottest tap water
¼ Cup Cocoa

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. In separate bowl combine milk, vanilla, and oil. Add to dry ingredients and stir by hand until smooth. Spread evenly in 9x9 or 8x8 inch pan.
Sprinkle with brown sugar and cocoa, then carefully pour tap water over all. Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, inverting spoonful of cake so the sauce is on top.

Friday, August 21, 2009


This recipe is from Michelle H.

3 tablespoons corn syrup
6 ounces heavy cream
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, combine the syrup and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract.
I found a very good web site for pate choux. This website has a recipe and excellent instructions with pictures on how to make the choux.

Plated Desserts Demonstration

Today we had our first Lunch and Recipe Swap. Michelle H., our resident chef, did a demonstration on dessert plating. Simple Presentations:
  1. The dessert alone-- This will usually only consist of a wedge of pie or cake, a piece of pastry, or a single scoop of ice cream or two.
  2. The dessert plus a garnish-- This can be as simple as a sprig of mint. Fruit is another suitable garnish that is very popular. You may choose to use some berries whole. Large pieces of fruit should be diced into small pieces or sliced. Another way to add a garnish is to use ice cream. This is done by forming the ice cream into a quenelle. A quenelle is formed by using two spoons to shape the ice cream into an oval. Some other ideas might be to add some whip cream, a small cookie, or chocolate curls.
  3. The dessert plus a sauce-- Some ideas for a sauce would be to use a fruit sauce, chocolate, or a creme anglaise. This is a simple vanilla sauce, that is made from milk, sugar and egg yolks. Typically you don't place a sauce on top of a dessert, but use the sauce to decorate the plate. This can be done by placing a small pool of sauce in the middle of the plate, or on the side and then placing the dessert close to the sauce. you may also consider dazzling or even coming up with your own design for your plates. Use your imagination and have fun.
  4. The dessert with a garnish and a sauce-- With this method you simply use all of your components on one plate.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chicken in Mushroom Sauce

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup fat free plain yogurt

Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a separate bowl, combine soup and yogurt. Pour over the top of the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until chicken is tender.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Paula Deen's Cheesy Garlic Grits

Katie asked for a good grits recipe - here's one I've tried from Paula Deen. It is good!

6 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups regular grits
16 ounces Cheddar, cubed
1/2 cup milk
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
8 ounces grated sharp white Cheddar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 4-quart casserole dish.

Bring the broth, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in the grits and whisk until completely combined. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the grits are thick, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cubed Cheddar and milk and stir. Gradually stir in the eggs and butter, stirring until all are combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with the white Cheddar and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until set.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Katie's Menu Plan Aug 17

Here is my menu plan for this week. School starts tomorrow, so I am trying to be more organized for breakfast and lunch as well.

Breakfast: Yogurt Parfaits, Scrambled Eggs and Toast, Grits (the kids found them at the store and wanted to try them, so if you know a good way to prepare them please share!)

Lunch: Leftovers (always an option for the kids, but usually they don't take it), PB&J from the freezer, Lunchables (on sale, so I got them as a special back-to-school treat)

Monday-- Stuffed Shells

Tuesday-- Curried Chicken Salad

Wednesday-- Leftovers or Chicken nuggets

Thursday-- Cilantro Lime Chicken Wraps

Friday-- Chicken Salad for Recipe Swap at lunch (I will post the recipes!), Eat out for dinner

Saturday-- Hawaiian Haystacks

Sunday-- Dinner with family, we are bringing dessert. I will probably make Peanut Butter Bars.

Check out other menu ideas at

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Food Tidings

I found this site that I wanted to share with everyone.

This site helps you organize meals for friends or family that are going through a transitional period in life. I thought it was a great idea and would cut down on all the headache of organizing help!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Super-Easy Chili

The kids wanted chili-dogs for dinner last night, but I had no canned chili (our usual stand-by). In looking through the freezer and pantry, I found ground beef and some Campbells condensed tomato soup.

I combined the (cooked) ground beef and the tomato soup, added some chopped onions, then spiced it up with cumin, chili powder, and a bit of cayenne pepper. It was really good chili. I may stop buying the stuff in the cans!

You could also add beans to this chili recipe to make it heartier. I left them out since it was intended to top the chili dogs.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Katie's Menu Plan Aug 10

I found this site that encourages people to plan menus. I always do a monthly menu so I only have to endure shopping at Wal-Mart once a month, and then I pick up other perishables needed throughout the month at King Soopers during my weekly Grocery Game trip. Then I come up with a day-to-day weekly menu at the start of each week. This works for me because then I know which days I need a quick meal or a crock-pot meal depending on what's on the calendar.

I thought it would be good to share our menu plans so we can get ideas from each other and also so we can link up any good recipes we find online (but aren't ours, so we can't claim them). I hope you enjoy and this is helpful!

Menu Plan for the week of August 10:

Monday: Pizza, carrots, cucumbers & apples

Tuesday: Chicken in Mushroom Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, Corn Bread

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Cowboy Beans, Fried Potatoes, Biscuits

Thursday: Spaghetti, Herbed Dinner Rolls

Saturday: (BBQ) Hot dogs, Hamburgers, Watermelon, etc

Sunday: Mexican Meatloaf (I make double and put one in the freezer)

Let me know if you want any specific recipes I have listed!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes

(I adapted this from a recipe I found online at You can adapt the different ingredients to suit your tastes - I never measure, so the measurements below are kind of guesswork, but close enough to what I use. The original recipe calls for green grapes, but I prefer red grapes for the color.)

4 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1/4 to 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cups mayonnaise or plain yogurt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp Dijon or prepared spicy brown mustard
4 cups cooked chicken, cubed
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups grapes, halved

In a small saucepan or skillet heat 2 Tbsp of oil. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the curry powder and salt and heat for another 30 or so seconds. Remove from heat.

As the curry mixture cools, place chicken, 2Tbsp oil and celery in bowl and toss. Add grapes and toss.

To the cooled curry mixture add mayonnaise, lemon juice, and mustard. Add this to the chicken and toss well. It is not necessary to chill before serving. Serve with lettuce or on bread or a roll. Enjoy!

Carne Asada Street Tacos

1 pound round steak or skirt steak
Meat Tenderizing powder
Adobo Seasoning to taste
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
Corn tortillas
1-2 limes, cut into wedges

Sprinkle Meat Tenderizer over steak per directions on label. Season meat with Adobo seasoning (use sparingly because the tenderizer is VERY salty). Put seasoned meat into a ziploc baggie and add oil. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Cook steak on grill over med-hi until medium rare, or desired wellness. Meanwhile, chop onion, cilantro, and limes. When meat is finished cooking, let stand for 5 minutes, then chop into thin strips. Heat tortillas in a skillet over med-high heat until warm and soft. Keep tortillas warm in tin foil. Assemble tacos with onion and cilantro and squeeze fresh lime juice. Serve with pico de gallo and guacamole if desired.

Cream of Mushroom Chicken and Rice Skillet Dinner

1 lbs chicken breast, cubed
1 15 oz can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Hot, cooked rice

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Add chicken and cook thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour Cream of Mushroom soup over chicken and stir until coated evenly. Add cheese. Cook until cheese is melted. Serve over hot, cooked rice.

Pepper Steak

1 to 1 1/2 lbs round steak, cut into 2 inch strips
1 Green bell pepper, chopped
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 Clove minced garlic
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
Cooked rice

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add round steak and garlic. Cook until steak is browned. Add green pepper and cook until tender. Add tomato sauce and stir until meat mixture is evenly coated. Sprinkle enough oregano to cover the surface of the skillet and salt to taste. Cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 - 20 minutes, or until meat is cooked through and tender. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Amigo Tortilla Soup

1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 pound boneless chicken chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
10 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup salsa
1 Tablespoon lime juice

Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat; add onion and saute until translucent. Add chicken and cook until brown. Stir in cumin and chili powder. Add remaining ingredients except for lime juice. Simmer until heated through and chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Serve with cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, black olives for garnish.

My children love this!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fruit Smoothies

1 ripe banana
1 c fresh, frozen or canned fruit (I have done frozen strawberries, raspberries and canned peaches)
1/2 c plain or vanilla yogurt
1/2 c apple juice
1 tbsp wheat germ (if you are feeling like a healthy kick!)

Place all ingredients into a blender and pulse until combined. Add extra juice if it is too thick.

** This has been a staple at our house this summer. The kids love it and it's good for them!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Green Chile Enchiladas

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can (15 oz) black beans
1 can (15 oz) corn
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
8 flour tortillas (I think mine were 10 inch?)
1 can (10 oz) green chili enchilada sauce
1 c shredded cheddar cheese

Dice and cook chicken in a skillet. Add corn, black beans and cream cheese until combined (if it is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk). Divide mixture between the tortillas. Roll and place in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Pour enchilada sauce evenly over the top. Cook for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Cook 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

30-40 prepared meatballs
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 large can crushed pineapple
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

In a fry pan, brown meatballs on all sides. In a seperate bowl, drain the pineapple, reserving the juice. Combine the pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce and cornstarch. Add to the skillet with the meatballs. Stir the meatballs and sauce constantly until sauce boils. Boil and stir 1 minute more. Add bell peppers and pineapple to the sillet. Simmer for 5 minutes longer or until meatballs are cooked through. Serve over cooked rice.

*I have done this in the crockpot before as well, just mix your sauce and add everything to the crockpot. Cook on low heat.

*When I cook this, I usually double the sauce - it will depend on how much extra sauce your family likes.

*This would make a great appetizer as well.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Chicken and Corn Chowder

1 teaspoon oil
1 large onion, diced
1 potato, diced
1 oz canadian bacon
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup creamed corn
1 cup evaporated milk
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup frozen corn

In medium saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, potato, and bacon. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables begin to soften. Stir in chicken broth, evaporated milk, creamed corn and frozen corn. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Stir in diced chicken and cook until chicken is cooked through.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

  • 1 10-ounce box frozen cut or chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 12-ounce jar artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • pita chips, tortilla chips, or sliced French bread
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Squeeze the spinach between paper towels to remove excess moisture. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, and Cheddar. Season with the salt and pepper.
  3. Scrape the mixture into a small oven-safe baking dish. Bake until lightly golden and heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve warm with the chips or bread.

Last Minute Lasagne

  • 1 26-ounce jar pasta sauce
  • 2 30-ounce bags frozen large cheese ravioli, thawed
  • 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
  • 1 8-ounce bag shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and spoon in a third of the sauce.
  2. Arrange 12 ravioli on top and scatter the spinach over them. Top with half of each cheese. Cover with another layer of ravioli and the remaining sauce and cheese.
  3. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 to 10 minutes more or until bubbly.

Chicken Curry In a Hurry

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (optional)
  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes. Sprinkle with the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  2. Add the yogurt and cream and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, and tomatoes (if using). Remove from heat.
  3. Slice or shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Divide the rice and chicken among individual bowls, spoon the sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the cilantro.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Herbed Dinner Rolls

1 c water (70-80 degrees)
2 tbsp canola or olive oil
1 egg
¼ c sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp each dried basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary, crushed
3 ¼ c bread flour
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
butter, melted
coarse salt, optional

In a bread machine pan, place the water, oil, egg, sugar, salt, seasonings, flour and yeast in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tbsp water or flour if needed).

When cycle is complete, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 16 portions; shape each into a ball. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with butter. If desired, sprinkle with coarse salt. Remove to wire racks.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Citrus Cooler

1 scoop Country Time Lemonade Mix
2 cups orange juice
2 cups cold water
3 (12 oz) cans lemon-lime soda

In a 2-quart pitcher, add ingredients and stir to combine.

*** I was at Sam's Club last week, and they had this as a sample. The kids loved it so much we made it for our 4th of July barbecue.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

White Chili

2-3 chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (15 oz each) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 c chicken broth
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 c minced fresh parsley or cilantro
Monterrey Jack cheese

In a slow cooker, add all ingredients except cilantro and cheese. Stir well. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or until chicken is done. Shred chicken; add cilantro and stir. Top each bowl with cheese.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Potato Hamburger Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 family size can of Vegetable Beef Soup
1 family size can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 large potatoes

Cook, chop and season to taste ground beef
Peal and thinly slice potatoes. (It helps if you have a slicer)
Put two layers of everything in a 9x13 pan
Layer half the potatoes, then add half of each can of soup and half the hamburger, do the same with the next layer.

Bake for 2 - 2 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wahoo Green Sauce

If you've ever been to Wahoo Fish Tacos, you know the green sauce I'm talking about. It's the mildly spicy cilantro sauce that they give you to put on your tacos and rice bowls. It's SO good. But a rice and shrimp bowl at Wahoo's costs around $7. For that price, I was able to make a big bunch of green sauce, plus the shrimp I needed to make rice bowls for the whole family!

After a bit of Internet searching, I found a recipe someone had created based on the Wahoo green sauce:

  • 1 Bunch Cilantro
  • 2 Cloves of fresh garlic
  • 2 Limes (Juice only)
  • 1/2 C. Half and Half or cream
  • 1/2 C. Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp. salt or salt to taste
  • 1 Poblano pepper washed remove stem and seeds and cut into chunks
Put all the ingredients into your food processor and let her rip till the consistency is creamy and the cilantro and the Poblano pepper is very fine.

When I made it, I ended up adding a bit more salt and pepper to counteract the very strong lime. So when I make it again, I'll probably cut the lime juice by half. I also added about a tsp of cumin - but that's because we really love cumin at our house!

So it's not exactly Wahoo's green sauce. It's creamier and - as some commenters pointed out - higher in calories than the original. It's still pretty darned good.

I served it first on shrimp and rice bowls (cook rice, add a little chopped cilantro, top with shrimp stir-fried in teriyaki sauce and red pepper flakes) and it was delicious. Definitely a match for the pricy Wahoo bowls. Then we had a lot of the sauce left over, so the next night I served it on Gorgonzola beef rollups... that was really good, too. Especially since the Gorgonzola cheese was a bit too strong, so the green sauce counteracted that nicely. Finally, we had baked chicken and rice for dinner last night and it was just a little boring. But spoon a little of that green sauce over both the rice and chicken, add some diced avocado (and a slice of that artisan bread from my last post) and suddenly it was a meal worthy of Father's Day!

Artisan Bread

This is an incredibly easy bread recipe. It takes about 5 minutes (and 4 ingredients!) to stir together. Then you just let it rise for a couple of hours before baking. Easy, easy! And tasty, too. :)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
  • Cornmeal
1. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. (I always start out mixing with a wooden spoon, thinking this time I'll keep my hands clean. But after a minute I remember that it's easier to just get in there and quickly knead it together. It's VERY sticky dough. It helps to rub a little vegetable or olive oil on your hands before handling the dough.)

2. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. (I usually just use a clean dishcloth.) Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours). (Sometimes I punch it down once or twice during the rising and let it rise again. This will make the texture of the bread a little finer. But if you like a coarse, rustic bread, don't bother punching it down.)

2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it. (I rarely have cornmeal on hand, so I just skip that part. It turns out fine.)

3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes. (I don't actually preheat my baking stone because the instructions that came with the stone say that's bad for the stone. So if I'm using a baking stone, I just slide it into the oven with the dough when I'm ready to bake. Or sometimes I bake the bread in regular bread pans. Or on a cookie sheet. Once in a casserole dish - because it was clean. It all works just fine.)

4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. (You don't have to slash the top. I think that's just for looks. It's never affected the quality of the bread.) Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. (DON'T skip this step! The hot water and steam are very important to the recipe. If you don't have the steam, your crust will be REALLY crunchy. Too crunchy to want to eat. But cooking it in the steamy oven helps the crust stay just soft enough.)

5. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Yield: 4 loaves.

Variation: If not using stone, stretch rounded dough into oval and place in a greased, nonstick loaf pan. Let rest 40 minutes if fresh, an extra hour if refrigerated. Heat oven to 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Place pan on middle rack.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Italian Steak Sandwiches

1/2 c plus 2 tbsp beef broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp pepper
16 slices deli roast beef
4 sandwich rolls, sliced
4 slices provolone cheese

In a large skillet, combine broth and seasonings. Add beef. Heat through. Place beef slices on rolls; drizzle with broth mixture. Top with cheese.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chicken, Garlic and Sundried Tomato Pasta

• 1 (16 ounce) package farfalle pasta
• 1/2 cup butter
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 tablespoon dried parsley
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 3 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
• 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated in water
• 2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese

In a large pot with boiling salted water cook farfalle pasta until al dente. Drain. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add garlic cloves and cook until garlic browns. Add the cream of chicken soup and milk, stirring until smooth. Stir in the dried parsley, salt, and ground fresh pepper. Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add bite size chicken pieces and hydrated sun dried tomatoes. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes. Mix in grated Romano cheese. Toss cooked and drained pasta with chicken sauce. Serve warm.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pecan-Crusted Chicken

1 cup pecans - crushed to tiny bits
4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
2 tbsp butter or margarine
salt and pepper to taste

This one is quick and easy. Just put your chicken breasts in a casserole dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with the crushed pecans. Dot with the butter/margarine. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

(You could also dip the chicken in an egg wash and then shake in a bag with crushed pecans to coat the entire piece of chicken. But I find that too much trouble when this method works quite well.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Beef with Broccoli

1 pound lean beef, cut into thin strips
4 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 pound fresh broccoli, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup water
2 TB soy sauce
2 tsp oil
2 TB oil

Slice the beef into thin strips. Combine the soy sauce, cornstarch, 2 teaspoons of oil and salt in a bowl. Add the beef and toss well to coat. Set the beef mixture aside to marinate. In a large skillet, heat the ginger and 1 1/2 TB of oil on high heat. Add the broccoli and stir fry for 5 minutes. Remove the broccoli from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining 1/2 TB of oil to the pan. Stir fry the beef mixture for about 5 minutes or until it is well browned. Return the broccoli to the pan and add the water. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Makes 6 cups

*For those counting weight watchers points, this is 8 points per 1 cup.
**We serve this with fried rice - the recipe we use is posted after this recipe

Fried Rice

1 TB vegetable oil
6 slices of ham, diced
4 eggs
4 cups rice, cooked
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
3 TB soy sauce

Heat 1/2 TB of oil in a large skillet. Scramble the eggs in the oil until the eggs are done. Remove the eggs from the pan. Add another 1/2 TB of oil to the pan and stir-fry the onion, vegetables, and ham. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Add the cooked rice to the pan. Continue stirring until the mixture is hot. Add the soy sauce, mix well, and then add the eggs. After it is all mixed well and hot, serve.

Makes 6 1/2 cups of fried rice

*This recipe turns out better if you use cold rice (left over from another meal?) but I usually just used fresh made rice and it turns out fine. It is just a little mushier.
*For those counting points, I used egg beaters instead of whole eggs and it is 2 points per 1/2 cup.
**The original recipe called for more oil, but I cut it down. I have tried using non-stick spray and eliminating the oil all together and the rice did not turn out well. Some oil is necessary.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Yeast Pancakes

4 c all-purpose flour (I use 2 c whole wheat and 2 c white)
2 pkgs (1/4 oz each) quick-rise yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 c warm milk (120-130 degrees)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c canola oil

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add milk, eggs and oil; beat for 2 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 30 minutes. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly greased griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until second side is golden brown.

*This makes a lot of pancakes. I usually freeze the extras and then we have pancakes to eat in the mornings.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

South-of-the-Border Pasta and Chicken

(From the Weight Watchers Best Eats Recipe Book)
Prep 15 min Cook 20 min Serves 2


1 1/3 cups pasta shells (whole wheat is preferred)
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 tso extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup diced cooked chicken breast
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green or yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (wear gloves to prevent irritation)
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions, omitting the salt if desired. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold running water.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together the lime juice, oil, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the chicken (optional), bell peppers, onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and pasta; toss to combine.

Per Serving (2cups): 398 Cal, 8g Fat, 2g Sat Fat, 0g Trans Fat, 57mg Chol, 649 mg Sod, 52g Carb, 4g Fib, 29g Protein (if chicken is added), 33mg Calc

Additions: I liked the dressing a lot and didn't think there was enough of it, so I doubled the ingredients for that. It adds some extra calories, but it's totally worth it! Also, the flavor will be stronger if you let it sit over night before serving it, but you don't have to do that, either. Enjoy!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pork Chops and Rice

4 pork chops (or about 1 lb pork diced for stew)
2 tbsp oil
1 1/2 c uncooked rice
1 can (16 oz) tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and pepper pork chops if you want whole pieces of meat to serve. I like to use the diced pork to make the meal go further and so I don't have to cut up everyone's dinner! In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add meat; brown on all sides. Remove meat from skillet. Drain off excess fat, but keep any cooked on bits left from cooking the meat. Stir the rice into the pan. Pour the tomato sauce into a liquid measuring cup; add enough water to make 3 cups of water. Pour into the skillet. Stir in garlic, salt and pepper. Place the meat on top of the rice mixture. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes, or until rice is tender and meat is cooked all the way through.


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