Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sweet Potato Fries

If you have never tried sweet potatoes you are missing out. They are slightly sweet with a soft, squash-like texture when cooked. I love sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving with the brown sugar and butter or maple syrup and marshmallows, but sweet potatoes are delicious at anytime. They are also very good for you, full of Vitamin C and betacarotene. I have also used sweet potatoes in making quick breads and purees for different dishes, but one of our favorite ways of preparing sweet potatoes is baking them like oven fries. My husband loves sweet potato fries and he can be kind of picky sometimes. So, if you've never tried sweet potatoes or don't think you'll like them. Give them a try with this recipe.

Sweet Potato Fries

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in strips (I had to cut my potatoes in half and then into strips, they tend to be pretty big)
chili powder
olive oil

Preheat oven to 450. Spread the sweet potato fries on the bottom of a 10x15" greased pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle chili powder and salt over the fries. Bake for 20-30 minutes to desired level of crispness. Turn fries over halfway through cooking.

Veryl's Hot Dish

I'm not sure who Veryl is, but his hot dish is tasty. I got this recipe from the Saint Anne's Church Cookbook. I was looking for a dish I could make with things I already had at home so I didn't have to make a trip to the store. This was so good...another hot casserole on a cold, windy night. I do really enjoy those comfort foods as the weather is cooling off and the snow has started falling. This is a cheesy dish that I will definitely make again.

Veryl's Hot Dish

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used 1 pound of ground venison)
1 medium onion, diced
1 small can tomato sauce
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 pkg medium egg noodles, cooked
grated cheddar cheese

Saute onion in butter or margarine. Add meat and brown. Mix in other ingredients except cheese. Put in greased casserole. Bake 30-45 minutes at 375. Put cheese on top for the last 15 minutes.

Potato Sloppy Joe Bake

I made this the other night when I was looking for something quick and easy to make. It was easy to put together and a delicious casserole for a cold fall night.

Potato Sloppy Joe Bake from Taste of Home's Quick Cooking

1 pound ground beef
1 can (15 oz) sloppy joe sauce
1 can cream of potato soup (I used cream of mushroom)
1 pkg (32 oz) frozen cubed hash brown potatoes, thawed (I put in frozen and cooked longer)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain. Add sloppy joe sauce and soup. Place hashbrowns in a greased 9x13" pan. Top with beef mixture. Cover and bake at 450 for 20 minutes (40-45 if hashbrowns frozen). Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until heated through. Sprinkle with cheese.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Chicken Creole

We had this for dinner the other night and it was really good. It is a great meal to make as the weather starts cooling down and you need a little comfort food at night.

Chicken Creole From Healthy Cooking

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 3/4" pieces
4 tsp canola oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 c reduced sodium chicken broth
1/3 c tomato paste (I used a whole 6 oz can)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp each dried basil, oregano. thyme, marjoram
2 c hot cooked rice

In a large nonstick skillet, saute chicken in 2 tsp oil until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm. In the same skillet, saute the onion, green pepper and celery in remaining oil until tender. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, tomato paste and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8 minutes (I added the chicken and simmered it all together). Return chicken to the pan; heat through. Serve with rice.

Streusel Topped Apple PIe

This pie is delicious! I made 9 of these for a fundraiser and they sold like hotcakes. Everyone really seemed to enjoy them. I think I'll make another this weekend for Ryan and I to enjoy.

Streusel Topped Apple Pie

1 9" unbaked pie crust
6 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3/4 c sugar
3 T flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
dash salt
Streusel: 3/4 c flour, 1/2 c brown sugar, 1/2 c butter

Mix pie ingredients together. Pour into pie shell. Combine streusel topping ingredients until crumbly (I used a food processor). Sprinkle over pie. Bake at 425 for 45 minutes. Cover the top of the pie with foil during the last 25 minutes of baking and keep an eye on them so they do not overflow in the oven.

Apple Sauce

It is nearing the end of apple season. I love baking with and eating apples! Ryan and I went to an apple orchard a few weeks ago and picked the windfall apples (very cheap) and I used them to make a bunch of apples pies as well as some applesauce and some orther delicious apple crisps. I still have a number of them left and I'm sure I'll find many more yummy recipes to use them in. Here's an applesauce recipe that was so easy and so yummy.

Slow Cooker Applesauce from A year of crockpotting

4 large apples
juice from 1 lemon (or about 1 T lemon juice)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 T brown sugar
1/4 c water

Peel, core and quarter apples. Put in crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours. Mash when apples are tender or puree in blender for smoother consistency. I used a 4 quart crock pot and I doubled the recipe. The apples really cook down. This sauce is slightly sweet, but not too sweet with a slight vanilla flavor. It is really good. You could easily freeze or can it as well.

I'm back!

I took a little break from posting for a while, but I've been trying lots of delicious new recipes that I will be adding. Let me know if there is a recipe you're looking for, what you're favorite recipes from the blog have been so far or post your favorite recipe for others to try!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

This is one of my favorite zucchini bread recipes. I think the chocolate part may have something to do with that. It is really pretty easy to make and it makes 2 loaves-one for now and freeze one for later. It's so good!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread From Sparks from the Kitchen cookbook

3 c flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder and baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
3 c sugar
1 1/2 c vegetable oil (I substituted 1 c applesauce and 1/2 c oil)
3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract (I omitted since I did not have.)
3 c grated zucchini
1 c chopped nuts (I omitted since I did not have any.)
1/2 c chopped dates (optional-also omitted)
*I did add about 3/4 c chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. Beat eggs in large bowl until frothy; gradually beat in sugar and oil. Add vanilla, chocolate and almond extract. Fold in dry ingredients. Fold in zucchini and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 10" tube pan (Bundt pan) or 2 loaf pans. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Cucumber Salad

This is a really quick and easy recipe. It's a nice way to use up some cucumbers and it tastes great.

Cucumber Salad From Sparks from the Kitchen

2-3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced to desired thickness
1/4 c Miracle Whip
2 T sugar
1 T vinegar
1 T cream (Half and half or milk)
onion to taste
pepper to taste

Blend Miracle Whip, sugar, vinegar, cream and onion and pepper. Fold into cucumbers. Refrigerate.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Chicken Parmesan

I made this for dinner tonight since I needed something quick and easy. It was pretty easy to put together and yummy too. I just put all the ingredients in a oval casserole dish instead of wrapping in tin foil and it worked just fine.

Chicken Parmesan From Easy Home Cooking Country Italian Recipes

2 or 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 sheets heavy duty foil sprayed with cooking spray
salt and pepper
1 c pasta sauce
1/2 c chopped onion
8 slices zucchini quartered
1/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese (I used a little more)
2 T Parmesan cheese
Hot cooked spaghetti

Preheat oven to 450. Place 1 chicken breast in center of each sheet of foil. Season with salt and pepper. Combine pasta sauce, onion and zucchini. Pour half of sauce mixture over each chicken breast. Sprinkle with cheeses. Double foil sides and ends of foil to seal packets, leaving head space for heat circulation. Place packets on baking sheet. Bake 16-18 minutes until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from oven. Carefully open 1 end of each foil packet to allow steam to escape. Open packets and transfer to serving plates. Serve with spaghetti.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Homemade Pizza

Ryan and I love homemade pizza. I made the dough usually and the crust and it goes pretty quickly since I have a bread maker. It is nice to be able to put whatever toppings on that you like and it is an easy way to use up some leftover fresh veggies such as green peppers and onions. I love to add olives too--yum!

Pizza Hut Style Pizza Dough from

1 1/3 c water
2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
2 T cornmeal
3 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine, according to manufacturer's settings, and run dough setting. After the machine beeps, roll out the dough. You can roll the dough into 2 9x13" pizzas or into 2 medium pizzas or a large pizza and an order of breadsticks or cheesesticks. Parbake the crust with a drizzle of olive oil on it at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove the crust and add sauce and toppings. If making breadsticks, add your breadsticks at this time. Place into the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Exquisite Pizza Sauce from

1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
6 oz warm water
3 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T minced garlic
2 T honey
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried majoram
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp dried red pepper flakes
salt to taste

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients in order listed above making sure to break up any clumps of cheese. Cover the sauce and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Spread sauce over pizza dough and prepare pizza as desired.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tasty Tuna Casserole

This is a really quick dish to put together and something a little different from the usual meals I make. It is simple and tasty.

Tasty Tuna Casserole From Healthy Cooking

2 c uncooked elbow macaroni
1 can (12 oz) solid white tuna, drained
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, cubed
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Drain macaroni; stir into tuna mixture. Transfer to a 2 qt baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Grandma's Potato Salad

Summer is the time for barbecues and potato salads. I found this recipe in Taste of Home and it was really good. It was easy to make, having most of the ingredients on hand anyway. It is really creamy and delicious!

Grandma's Potato Salad from Taste of Home

8 medium red potatoes, cubed
4 to 5 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
2/3 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon celery seed
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil; cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and cool. Place in a bowl; add eggs. Combine the remaining ingredients; pour over potato mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rice Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

This was another dish I made on the 4th. It was simple to make and very good. I nice change from the pasta and potato salads I usually make.

Rice Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette from Taste of Home

2 c cooked long grain rice
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c diced sweet red pepper
1/2 c diced sweet yellow pepper (I omitted both of these peppers and added a green pepper)
4 1/2 tsp minced fresh cilantro
3 T olive or vegetable oil
2 T cider or white wine vinegar
2 T water
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a bowl, combine the rice, beans, peppers and cilantro. Combine the remaining ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid; shake well (I whisked the ingredients in a bowl). Pour over rice mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Zucchini, Zucchini Everywhere!!

I planted 4 zucchini plants and I have gotten about 18 zucchini already this year. I love it! I really enjoy baking with zucchini and it's got to be good for you since its a vegetable. I am already working on freezing some so I can make zucchini muffins and bread all year long. I found this recipe in Grandma's cookbook for some zucchini bread. It is delicious!

Zucchini Oatmeal Bread

2 c flour
1 c quick oats
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 c salad oil (I substituted 1/2 c applesauce and 1/4 c oil)
3 c shredded zucchini
1 tsp vanilla
1 c chopped walnuts (omitted since I didn't have any on hand)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x5" loaf pan. In large bowl, mix flour, oats, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In medium bowl, with fork, beat eggs slightly, stir in salad oil, shredded zucchini, vanilla and walnuts; stir into flour mixture just until flour is moistened. Spoon batter evenly into pan. Bake bread 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool bread in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan and finish cooling on wire rack.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Raspberry Cream Muffins

Here is another great muffin recipe. I bought some frozen raspberries on sale and had some leftover half and half left. This recipe worked great to use it up.

Raspberry Cream Muffins from Taste of Home

1 c fresh or frozen raspberries
3/4 c plus 2 T sugar, divided
1/4 c butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp almond extract (omitted since I did not have any)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c half and half cream
1 c finely chopped vanilla or white chips (omitted since I did not have any)
2 T brown sugar

In a small bowl, toss raspberries with 1/4 c sugar; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and 1/2 c sugar. Beat in egg and extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with cream. Stir in chopped vanilla chips and reserved raspberries. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4th full. Combine brown sugar and remaining sugar; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

These were really good even without the vanilla chips. I'm sure they would be great with the chips though too. Try them both ways!

Cheesy Cream Dip

I can't believe it's July already! We had a great 4th of July and enjoyed this dip during our little get together. I have been so busy with my flowers and garden that I haven't had time to add more recipes, but I will be working hard the next few days to try and catch up. We've been enjoying lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, primarily from the store, but I have already picked about 15 zucchini from my garden and a couple of cucumbers. I have peas that are working on getting bigger too! I love summer!

Cheesy Cream Dip from Our Dairy Specialists Cookbook

1 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1 c sour cream
3 T pimento, chopped (omitted since I did not have any)
3 T stuffed green olives, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp pepper
raw vegetables for dippers

Beat cheese and sour cream in small mixing bowl until well blended. Stir in olives and seasonings. Cover and chill 2-3 hours to allow flavors to blend well. Serve with assorted fresh raw vegetables as dippers.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Super Slaw

So I heard on the news that to fight cancer we should eat at least 3 servings of raw broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage a month. It also said a good way to get the cabbage in our diet is to eat coleslaw. I personally really like coleslaw and when our store has the shredded cabbage bags on sale for 88 cents I had to get a bag. I made are really good coleslaw recipe the other week (see John's Summertime Slaw), but I'm always looking for new recipes. This one was really good too. Not a real creamy dressing, but delicious anyway. It would be nice at a potluck or picnic where you wouldn't want a mayo dressing sitting out too long. Anyway, another yummy coleslaw recipe to try!

Super Slaw from Cooking Because we Care Cookbook

1 bag of slaw mix
1 tsp celery seed
6 T sugar
1 onion
2 T dried parsley flakes
6 T white vinegar
4 T salad oil
1 tsp salt
1 T lemon juice
2 ice cubes

Shake sugar, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, salt and 2 ice cubes in pint jar with lid until ice cubes are melted. Pour this mixture over cabbage mixed with thinly sliced onion, celery seed and parsley. Refrigerate a few hours before serving.

Baked Potatoes

These are a simple and delicious side dish that I have made a few times now. Ryan really enjoys these and they were delicious with the ribs!

Baked Potatoes from Country Cookin' Cookbook

6 medium potatoes
1/2 pkg dry onion soup mix
1/4 c butter or margarine

Peel potatoes and slice. Melt the butter. Grease sides and bottom of casserole. Layer potatoes and onion soup; pour melted butter over; repeat layers to use all ingredients. Cover. Bake for 1 hour at 350.

BBQ Country Style Ribs

I like to make something a little more putzy for Sunday since I have a little more time to prepare it. This actually wasn't too putzy, but it was really yummy. It was a nice dish to make in the crockpot and not have to have the oven on warming up the house.

BBQ Country Style Ribs

5 tsp chili powder
2 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
5 tsp vinegar
2 1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 1/2 c. water
3 pounds beef country style ribs (I used boneless pork ribs)
1 c BBQ sauce

Mix liquid smoke, chili powder, vinegar, garlic salt and water in a roaster pan or electric skillet. Add ribs. Cover, place in over at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove and drain liquid. Pour BBQ sauce over ribs and place in oven 1/2 hour to 1 hour-remove and enjoy. Can use crockpot. (I put everything the ribs in the crockpot on high for 2 hours, drained and poured the BBQ sauce over and cooked another 1-2 on low).

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Versatile Vinaigrette

I am growing just about everything imaginable this year. Some things are doing really well, others not so good. I have lettuce growing in a container on my front deck and it looks really good. I decided the other day to use it to make a salad for dinner. I also have radishes in a container so I decided to pick some of those too. Unfortunately, the radishes fall into the not so good catergory and the biggest one I found was about the size of a pea. It still tasted like a radish though. Anyway, I wanted to make a different kind of dressing for the salad and I found this recipe in a light cooking book. It was really easy and it tasted great. It says that it is a good dressing for pasta salad too which I am looking forward to trying soon too.

Versatile Vinaigrette from Six Ingredients or Less Cookbook

1/4 cup olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T Dijon Mustard

Combine ingredients; mix well to blend (I used a whisk to mix). Makes about 1/2 cup.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Adobo Marinated Pork Kabobs

These are really, really good. In the summer we like to make kabobs quite a bit on the grill. These were awesome! They do have a little zip to them since they have the chipotles in the marinade.

Adobo Marinated Pork Kabobs

1/2 c red wine vinegear
1/4 c fresh cilantro leaves
3 T fresh oregano leaves
2 T canned chipotle chilis in sauce (about 3 chilis with sauce)
3 cloves garlic, halved
1 T brown sugar
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c butter, melted
1 1/2 pounds pork loin cut in 1" cubes


1 1/2 c chopped Roma tomatoes
1/3 c chopped green olives
1/4 c Monteray Jack cheese, cut in 1/2" cubes
1 T fresh cilantro
1 T lime juice
Mix all of the above and chill.

Combine in food processor or blender the first 6 ingredients. Process until well chopped. Pour in the oil and the butter. Pulse until smooth. Reserve 1/3 c of marinade to bast the kabobs. Place pork cubes in bag and pour marinade over. Seal and mix up. Place bag in a 9x13" pan. Turn several times to coat pork. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Thread on skewers. Grill 12-17 minutes brushing with reserved marinade. Serve with salsa.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Roasted Cauliflower with Brown Butter

This is one of the best ways to eat cauliflower. I found this on someone's blog a while ago and have made it at least half a dozen times. Ryan loves this recipe.

Roasted Cauliflower with Brown Butter

6 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
cooking spray
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp butter

Preheat oven to 400. Arrange cauliflower in single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Coat cauliflower with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes, turning cauliflower twice. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Combine cauliflower and browned butter in a bowl, toss gently to coat.


I really like to make things from scratch since it's usually cheaper and then I don't have to worry about having the mix on hand all the time. I have made this pancake recipe many times-it's quick and easy to make. Now you can enjoy pancakes all the time!


1 c flour
2 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 c milk
2 T oil

Mix together the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, beat the egg and add the milk and oil. Stir in the flour mixture until blended. Now you're ready to make the pancakes!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pasta Pinwheels

I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. This was a really easy recipe to assemble and you really don't even miss the meat. It was really good reheated for lunch today too!

Pasta Pinwheels from Quick and Simple Magazine

Preheat oven to 350. Cook 8 lasagna noodles in boiling salted water according to package directions. Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine 10 oz package frozen spinach (thawed and drained) with 1 cup ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella and 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning. Drain noodles and lay out flat on cutting board. Spread 1/4 c cheese mixture over each noodle and roll up. Place in a baking pan seam side down and pour 2 cups bottled marinara sauce over the top. Top with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella. Bake, loosely covered, until heated through, about 30 minutes.

Poppy Seed Sour Cream Loaf

I'm always looking for different breads or muffins to make for breakfast. I don't really like to spend a lot of time baking at night so I really appreciate recipes that are easy to put together and don't take a lot of prep time. I found this one in Grandma's cookbook and it turned out to be fast and tasty. It's a little different than what I usually make, but it was a nice change too.

Poppy Seed Sour Cream Loaf

2 c flour
2 T poppy seeds
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 c sugar
2 T butter, melted and cooled
8 oz dairy sour cream (1 c)
1 T grated orange peel

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8x4" loaf pan. In a small bowl, combine flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar and butter; stir in sour cream and orange peel. Add flour mixture; stir until just combined. Spoon into pan (mixture will be thick). Bake about 50 minutes. Remove from pan and cool. Yield: 1 loaf

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sloppy Joes

I was talking to mom the other night and she said that they were having sloppy joes for dinner. I wasn't sure what we were going to have so that sounded good. I found this recipe in Grandma's cookbook. It was easy and fast.

Sloppy Joes

1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 can tomato soup
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
1 cup water
1 green pepper, chopped

Brown meat, stirring frequently. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for at least 20 minutes. Serve on buns.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Teriyaki Beef Burgers

I was excited for the end of the week this week. Not for any particular reason though. I happened to get off of work a little early and so I was able to start dinner preparations a little early too. I had planned to make these burgers from scratch, potato salad and coleslaw for a summery meal. It wasn't too warm out (70s) and it was pretty windy so we enjoyed our summery meal inside.

Teriyaki Beef Burgers from Healthy Cooking magazine

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (I just used 1#)
1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained and chopped (If using less than 1 1/2 pounds of meat, use less water chestnuts)
1/2 c reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/3 c sherry or reduced-sodium beef broth
2 green onions, chopped (I used some that I'm growing in a pot outside!)
1 T brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
6 lettuce leaves (optional)
6 hamburger buns

In a large bowl, combine the beef and water chestnuts. Shape into 6 patties. Place in a 9x13" pan. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sherry or broth, onions, brown sugar, garlic and ginger. Pour 1/2 c over patties; cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight. Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade for basting. **I just poured all the marinade over the burgers. I thought the additional basting would just make a big mess on the grill.**
Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray before starting the grill. Drain and discard marinade. Grill patties, covered, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until meat is no longer pink, basting occasionally with reserved marinade. Serve on lettuce-lined buns.

Potato Salad

To go along with the burgers last night, I made potato salad and coleslaw. I really like potato salad and am always trying new and different recipes. This one was very easy to make and is actually a Light and Tasty recipe.

Potato Salad from Healthy Cooking magazine

4 cups cubed peeled potatoes
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
1/3 c finely chopped onion
1/3 c sweet pickle relish
3/4 c fat-free mayo
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/8 tsp pepper
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
1/8 tsp paprika

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, celery, onion and relish. In a small bowl, combine the mayo, mustard, salt, celery seed and pepper. Pour over potato mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Top with eggs and paprika.

John's Summertime Slaw

I really like coleslaw. I wish that my husband did too, but he won't even try it. I make it anyway because I really like it and this recipe is awesome! I don't worry about eating this all by myself because it is some of the best and easiest coleslaw to make.

John's Summertime Slaw from the Dinner Doctor cookbook

1 bag (16 oz) coleslaw mix
1/2 c chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia
1/2 c chopped green pepper
1/2 c mayo
1/4 c sweet pickle juice (I omitted since I didn't have any and added a little extra pickle relish)
3 T pickle relish
3 T sugar, or more to taste
1 tsp seasoned salt, or more to taste

Place the coleslaw mix, onion and green pepper in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the center of the slaw mixture and add the mayo, pickle juice, pickle relish, sugar and seasoned salt. Stir with a fork to mix the dressing and the slaw mixture with a wooden spoon to combine. Serve at once or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Buttery Garlic Rice Mix

I have to share with you all one of my favorite rice dishes to make. I got this from Strange, I know. She has a lot of frugal recipes for mixes and other things made from scratch. I don't buy packaged rice mixes very often because I don't like the preservatives in them so this recipe is an excellent, quick alternative.

Buttery Garlic Rice Mix

1 cup long grain rice or brown rice
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp turmeric
2 tsp dry parsley

Combine the rice and all of the other ingredients in a resealable plastic container. Seal container and label. Store in the pantry. This makes one package of rice mix. Can make several at a time. I tend to just prepare the mix when I'm making the rice for dinner which works well too.

To Prepare:
2 T butter or margarine
1 package rice mix
2 cups water

In a 2 quart sacuepan, combine the margarine, rice mix and water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Place a lid on the pot. Reduce heat to the lowest possible flame. Simmer, covered until done. White rice should cook for 20 minutes and brown rice for 45 minutes. Serve hot.

We enjoy this with fish alot. It's very good!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Stuffed Mushroom Caps

This is just a recipe I came up with by myself. Our grocery store had whole mushrooms on sale so I picked up a few cartons. I used some for a pizza or something, but had a whole carton left and didn't know what to do with it. Ryan and I both like mushrooms and I had never made stuffed mushrooms, but I thought I could come up with something that would be tasty-and I think I did!

Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms

4 oz lite cream cheese, softened
about 1/4 c mayo
4 oz can diced green chilis, drained
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz carton whole mushrooms

In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese and mayo. Add the green chilis and shredded cheese and stir to combine. Rinse the mushrooms and remove the stems (save for another use by freezing). Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and place mushroom tops on sheet. Fill each top with the cheese mixture. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes until heated through and slightly browned on top. A delicious and easy appetizer.

The Ultimate Spaghetti and Meatballs

This was a very delicious and overall pretty easy recipe to make. It takes a little time to put together, but it is one of the best meatball recipes I've ever tried. I got it from Redbook magazine. This is one of Tyler Florence from the food networks best-ever recipes and I would tend to agree.

The Ultimate Spaghetti and Meatballs

4 c Pomodoro Sauce (recipe below) or qood quality jarred sauce
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped, about 1/3 cup
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 T chopped fresh parsley (I didn't have any fresh so I used a few teaspoons dried)
1/2 c milk
2 thick slices firm white bread, crusts removed, cut into cubes (about 1 cup)
3/4 pound each ground beef and ground pork (I used 1 pound ground beef since I didn't have any ground pork)
1 egg
1/4 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 oz mozzarella cheese (1 cup)
1/2 c basil leaves (I used a few dashes of dried basil)
1 pound spaghetti

Make Pomodoro sauce. Heat 2 T oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and parsley and cook until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Pour milk over bread and let soak. In a large bowl, combine the meats, egg, parmesan, salt and pepper. Squeeze excess milk out of bread; add bread to meat mixture along with the onion mixture. Gently combine all of the ingredients. Shape the mixture into 12 balls, about 1 3/4 inch in diameter. Preheat oven to 350. Heat remaining 2 T oil in same large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to 9x9 inch baking dish. Spoon 2 c of the Pomodoro sauce over the meatballs. Sprinkle with mozzarella and half of the basil leaves. Bake 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Drain pasta and toss with the remaining 2 c Pomodoro sauce, adding cooking liquid if necessary. Spoon meatballs over pasta; garnish with remaining basil and parmesan cheese.

Pomodoro Sauce

2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (28 oz each) whole, peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand, juices reserved (I like to use diced tomatoes so I don't have to crush them and break them up myself)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 c fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces (I substituted dried basil-a few teaspoons)

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Carefully add tomatoes and about 3/4 c of the reserved juices. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Continue to simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes and adding more reserved liquid if necessary. Stir in fresh basil.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I'm always looking for good breakfast bread or muffin recipes and I found this one on It is pretty rich, but very tasty. It would be really good for a brunch or just a special treat in the middle of the week.

Sour Cream Coffee Bread

1 c butter, softened
2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c pecans, chopped (I omitted since I didn' t have any at home)

Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time until blended. Add sour cream and vanilla. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and fold into the sour cream mixture. Combine the remaining sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Spray a 9" bundt pan with cooking spray. Spoon 1/3 of batter into pan and sprinkle with 3/4 of the cinnamon mixture. Spoon remaining batter into pan and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture. Bake at 350 for 1 hour until done. Cool 10-15 minutes in pan and invert onto a plate to serve. This is very good with a cup of coffee in the morning.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Huli Huli Pork

This is a great recipe to make as the weather is getting warmer and the grills are coming out. I guess this is a Hawaiian dish that I got from Better Homes and Gardens. We had this a while ago and it was really, really good.

Huli Huli Pork

2 1-2 # pork tenderloins or 1 3-4# tenderloin
3/4 c ketchup
1/3 c soy sauce
3 T brown sugar
3 T lime juice or sweet mirin (I'm not even sure what that is-I used the lime juice)
1 T grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced

Place pork in a large plastic bag; set aside. For marinade, combine ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, ginger and garlic. Transfer 3/4 c marinade to small container, set aside. Pour remaining marinade over pork. Chill 4-24 hours, turning bag occasionally. Drain pork, reserving marinade. Grill, brushing with marinade from bag. Remove from grill, cover with foil and let stand 10 minutes. Place reserved marinade in saucepan, bring to boil, transfer to serving dish and serve with pork.

Enchilada Meat Loaf

I made this meat loaf a few weeks ago and it turned out pretty yummy. It was simple to make and pretty filling.

Enchilada Meat Loaf

1 egg, lightly beaten
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 c salsa
2 T chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 # ground beef
8.5 oz pkg corn muffin mix
2 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Combine egg, onion, salsa, chili powder, garlic and salt; add beef and mix well. Shape into a ball and place in a 9" pie plate. Flatten to a 6" circle. Prepare corn muffin mix according to package directions and spread over meat. Bake about 50 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees. Sprinkle cheese on top and let stand covered about 10 minutes.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ham and Cheesy Potato Bake

This is a good comfort food recipe to use when you have some ham leftover. I made a ham roast one weekend and had enough left to make this. It makes quite a bit and we were able to get a number of lunches out of this too for the week.

Ham and Cheesy Potato Bake

1 pkg frozen hashbrowns
1 1/2 c sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c chopped onion
2 c shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 1/2 cups diced ham

Combine all ingredients; place in greased 9x13" pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Note: may top with crushed corn flakes mixed with 4 T butter.

Slow Cooker Tuscan Pasta

I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. I love using my slow cooker-the food always seems to turn out great and it is so easy to put together. This woman is actually using her crockpot everyday for the entire year and she has a lot of different crockpot recipes.

Slow Cooker Tuscan Pasta from

1# boneless skinless chicken breasts, but into 1" pieces
15 ounces red kidney beans, canned-rinsed and drained
15 ounces tomato sauce
29 ounces Italian-style stewed tomatoes (or diced tomatoes)
4 1/2 ounces canned mushrooms (I used fresh)
1 medium green pepper, chopped (omitted since I didn't have on hand)
1/2 c onion, chopped
1/2 c celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 c water
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
6 ounces spaghetti, thin, uncooked an broken into halves

Place all ingredients except spaghetti n crockpot. Cover and cook on low 4 hours or until vegetables are tender. Turn to high. Stir in spaghetti; cover. Stir again after 10 minutes. Cover and cook 45 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Serve with crusty bread and you'll think you're at the Olive Garden.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Beef and Broccoli Soup

This was something a little different. It has kind of an Asian flare to it.

Beef and Broccoli Soup
1 lb beef round tip steaks, cut 1/8 to 1/4" thick
2 T soy sauce
1 T fresh minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 14oz cans of beef broth
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips, then crosswise in half
1 cup broccoli florets, cut in bite-sized pieces
1/2 c thinly sliced mushrooms
1/2 c thinly sliced green onions
1 T rice vinegar
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1/8 to 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 c prepared hot cooked rice

Cut beef steaks into 1" wide strips. Combine beef, soy sauce, ginger and garlic in medium bowl; toss to coat. Set aside.

Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add half of the beef; stirfry 1-2 minutes or until outside surface is no longer pink. Do not overcook. Remove from skillet. Repeat with remaining beef.

Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil in a 4 quart saucepan. Add bell pepper and broccoli. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from heat. Stir in mushrooms, green onions, vinegar, sesame oil, pepper flakes, and beef. Serve immediately over rice in bowls.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spaghetti Pizza Casserole

This one we had a while ago, but it was really tasty and easy to make. It made quite a bit for leftovers too.

Spaghetti Pizza Casserole from Light and Tasty

7 oz spaghetti
1/2 c egg substitute or 2 eggs
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 c chopped sweet yellow pepper
1/2 c choped green pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
26 oz meatless spaghetti sauce
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook spaghetti. Rinse with cold water and drain. In a bowl, toss spaghetti with eggs and parmesan cheese. Spread evenly into a 15x10" baking pan coated with cooking spray; set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the beef, onion and peppers over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add garlic, cook 1 minute longer. Stir in spaghetti sauce and seasonings; heat through. Spoon over spaghetti. Top with mushrooms and cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Stuffed Peppers

Our grocery store had green peppers on sale 2/$1 so I had to make some stuffed peppers. These are a little different than what mom made growing up, but they are very good and easy too!

Stuffed Peppers from Our Dairy Specialties cookbook
4 or 6 peppers
1 lb. hamburger
1/3 cup onion, chopped
salt and pepper
1 T oil
1 can diced or stewed tomatoes (mine had chiles in them for an extra kick)
1 c cooked white rice
2 or 3 T Worcestershire sauce
2 cups cheddar cheese ( 1 cup for sauce and 1 cup for topping)

Brown the first 5 ingredients (excluding the peppers). Add remaining ingredients. Simmer while cooking the green peppers. Clean peppers. Precook 5 minutes in boiling salt water. Drain, then sprinkle with salt (I forget this step and they were still good). Fill with mixture. Bake uncovered at 350 for 25 minutes or until hot. Then top with cheese until melted. This is a meal all in itself.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Easy as Tortilla Pie

Easy as Tortilla Pie

1 cup frozen corn
2 green onions, sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 c salsa
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
4 burrito sized tortillas
8 oz. Mexican cheese blend
2 T chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 450. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Spray skillet with cooking spray. Saute corn, onions and cumin over medium heat 3 minutes until corn thaws. Remove from heat, stir in salsa and beans. Place 1 tortilla on cookie sheet, top with 1 c bean mixture and 1/2 c cheese. Repeat, starting with tortilla to make 2 more layers. Top with remaining tortilla and cheese. Bake 10 minutes until heated through. Top with chopped cilantro and cut in wedges.

Very easy and yummy. Enjoy a margarita with this one!

Chicken with Capers

This was so good and so moist. We loved it!

Chicken with Capers
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 T dijon-style mustard
1/2 c seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
lemon juice
1 T capers

Place 1 chicken breast between sheets of plastic wrap and lightly pound to even thickness. Repeat. Brush with mustard, sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper and bread crumbs to coat. Heat 2 T olive oil in skillet. Add chicken and cook about 4 minutes per side until heated to 170 degrees. Add some lemon juice if the pan is drying out too fast. Transfer to plates. Add 2 T olive oil. Add a splash of lemon juice to skillet along with the capers; heat and drizzle on chicken.

Banana Oatmeal Bread

This bread was really easy to make and it tastes great.

Banana-Oatmeal Bread
1 c flour
1 c rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c mashed bananas
1/4 c buttermilk
1 c chopped nuts, optional

In a small bowl, combine first 5 ingredients; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter. Continue beating, while gradually adding sugar until pale and fluffy. There should be no lumps. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in mashed bananas and buttermilk. On slowest speed of mixer, or by hand, gradually add the flour mixture until batter is an even consistency. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until done.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Paris Chicken

I made this for dinner last night and it was so tasty. It smelled wonderful as it cooked all day and the chicken was so tender it fell apart.

Paris Chicken from

3 lb whole chicken cut up or 3 whole chicken breasts, halved

1/4 c white wine or chicken broth

1 can cream of mushroom soup

4 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 cup sour cream

1/4 cup flour

Place chicken in slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Mix wine and soup and pour over chicken. Add mushrooms. Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Remove chicken pieces and keep warm. Stir together sour cream and flour and stir into mushroom gravy in slow cooker. Heat for 30 minutes on low. Add chicken back to slow cooker. Yummy served over rice. Would also be good over pasta or mashed potatoes.

Tri-level Brownies

Another one of grandma's yummy dessert recipes.

Tri-Level Brownies
Bottom layer: Sift together 1/2 c flour, 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt, mix with 1 c quick oats and 1/2 c brown sugar. Stir in 6 T melted butter. Pat mixture into a 12x8" pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Middle layer: Combine 1 oz melted unsweetened chocolate, 4 T melted butter and 3/4 c sugar; add 1 egg and beat well. Sift together 2/3 c flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt, add alternately with 1/4 c milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla to chocolate mixture. Fold in 1/2 c chopped nuts. Spread batter over baked layer. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Top layer: Place 1 oz unsweetened chocolate and 2 T butter in small saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Remove from heat and add 1 1/2 c powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Blend in enough hot water to form frosting. Spread over baked layer when cooled.

Cheese Baked Fish Fillets

It has been a little while since I've updated my site. I've been busy getting ready to do some planting and with some spring cleaning. I've still been doing some delicious cooking so enjoy these new recipes.

Cheese Baked Fish Fillets
1 pound frozen fish fillets, thawed (I used orange roughy fillets)
2/3 c cream of mushroom soup
3/4 c sour cream
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
Drain fillets on paper toweling: arrange in a single layer in a buttered 2 quart shallow baking dish. In a 1 quart saucepan, combine undiluted soup and sour cream, blend thoroughly. Add 1 c cheese, heat over low heat, stirring constantly until cheese melts. Spread mixture over fillets, bake in a preheated over at 375, 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; return to over for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. The sauce would be very good served over rice or pasta.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Party pleasing beef dish

I have to thank Ryan for making this Sunday. I had to work and he put this together and he did a great job.

Taste of Home

1 # ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup water
8 oz tomato sauce
8 oz tomato paste
2 tsp sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup cooked rice
Tortilla chips
Toppings: shredded cheese, chopped green onions, olives, sour cream, tomato, taco sauce

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add the next 8 ingredients; mix well. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until heated through. Add rice; cover and cook 10 minutes longer. Serve over tortilla chips with toppings of your choice.

I am definitely going to make this again when we have company sometime. It was really tasty and (I think) easy to put together.

Lemon Pork Chops

I guess I'm kind of on the lemon theme lately. I made this Saturday in the crock pot and it was really nice to have dinner ready at the end of the day. This smelled delicious all afternoon and it turned out pretty good. We had homemade macaroni and cheese with this and some peas. This was really a simple dish to prepare.

Taste of Home

4 bone-in pork loin chops (I used boneless and it worked out fine) 3/4" thick
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 lemon, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup

Place pork chops in the slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with onion and lemon. Sprinkle with brown sugar; drizzle with ketchup. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until meat juices run clear.

Scrumptious Blueberry Lemon Bread

This was really easy and really good! It is a Light and Tasty recipe.

1 and 1/3 c flour
2/3 c whole wheat flour
2/3 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 egg white
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c fat free milk
3 T butter, melted
1 c fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tsp grated lemon peel
Glaze: 1/3 c powdered sugar
2 T lemon juice

In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, beat the egg, egg white, applesauce, milk and butter. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in blueberries and lemon peel.
Transfer to an 8x4" loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Combine the glaze ingredients; pour over warm loaf. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

This was so good!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lazy Bones Casserole

This is one of grandma's recipes. I just needed something simple to put together for dinner one night and I found this one. It was pretty tasty.

1 lb ground beef
1 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 can cream of chicken soup or chicken rice soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
8 ounces of small uncooked noodles
1/2 package of frozen peas

Brown meat. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Put in a greased 2 quart casserole. Bake covered at 350 for 1 1/2 hours. If it becomes too dry, add water.

Lemon Mushroom Chicken

We had this for dinner Thursday night and we loved it. Ryan raved about it that night and he took leftovers the next day for lunch and again thought they were great. It's a pretty simple recipe and shouldn't take too long if the chicken isn't frozen.

From Light and Tasty:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup plus 2 tsp all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 T butter
1/3 cup plus 3 T reduced sodium chicken broth, divided
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1 T lemon juice

Flatten chicken to 1/2 inch thickness. In a large, resealable bag, combine 1/4 cup flour, salt and pepper. Add chicken, one piece at a time, and shake to coat.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in butter for 5-6 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm. (I kept the chicken in the pan while making the sauce.)

Add 1/3 cup broth to the pan, stirring to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil. Add mushrooms; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until tender.

Combine the remaining flour and broth until smooth; stir into the mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in lemon juice. Serve with chicken.

We had mashed potatoes with this and peas-yum.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thai Shrimp and Noodles

Another Taste of Home recipe and we had this for dinner one night this week.

1 pound cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 T minced fresh cilantro
2 T chunky peanut butter
1 T honey
1 T soy sauce
1 tsp minced fresh gingerroot
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup julienned carrots
1 cup chopped green onions
2 T vegetable oil
1 T sesame oil

In a large, resealable bag, combine shrimp and salad dressing. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.
In a small bowl, combine broth, cilantro, peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, ginger and pepper flakes; set aside. In a large skillet, saute carrots and onions in oils for 2-3 minutes or until the veggies are crisp-tender.
Drain shrimp and discard marinade. Add shrimp to vegetables; cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Drain pasta and place in large bowl. Add shrimp mixture and the peanut butter mixture. Toss to coat.

Cappuccino Muffins

I have been doing some baking and cooking this week, I just haven't had the time to get on the computer. Ryan is very spoiled and I try to make some kind of muffins or bread for breakfast because otherwise he doesn't really eat anything. I made these the other day and he loved them! These are a Taste of Home recipe.

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 T instant coffee granules
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir milk and coffee granules until the coffee is dissolved. Add butter, egg and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 375 for 17-20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Seasoned Baked Potatoes

From Light and Tasty: These potatoes are so easy to make are really good.

4 medium baking potatoes
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Scrub potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Place cut side up on ungreased baking dish. Brush or drizzle oil over. Sprinkle with basil, onion salt and garlic powder. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until tender.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

This is a recipe that I got from grandma. She rated them as good and I agree.

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup margarine or butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
2-3 T light cream or milk

1 oz semisweet chocolate
1 T margarine

In a small saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, set aside. In mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar until light, add flour, baking powder and melted chocolate. Pour into greased 9x9 pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cool. For filling, beat powdered sugar, peanut butter and butter in mixing bowl. Stir in cream or milk. Spread over cooled brownies. For the glaze, Melt remaining chocolate and butter in saucepan until smooth. Spread over peanut butter layer. Cover and cool.

Caribbean Chicken Chili

This was our Valentine's Day dinner. We love spicy food and it has been really cold here lately so it worked out well. This is from The Dinner Doctor Cookbook which has many really good and easy recipes.

1 medium sized sweet onion
1 T olive oil
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 tsp jerk seasoning
2 cans white beans, with their liquid (15.5 oz each, I used navy beans, but any white bean will do)
1 chicken flavored bouillon cube
Dash of hot pepper sauce, or more to taste
1 T heavy (whipping) cream, optional (I did not use and it tasted great)

Cut the onion in half lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise into thin half moon slices, you'll need about 1 cup. Saute the onions in a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat in the olive oil. Cook about 3 minutes, until soft. Add the chicken and jerk seasoning and cook, stirring, until the chicken is coated with the seasoning, 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat and add the beans with their liquid, the bouillon cube and hot sauce. Fill one bean can with water and add. Stir. Place pan over high heat until liquid comes to a boil and the bouillon dissolves. Reduce heat and cover and simmer, 10 minutes. Add cream if desired, stir, cover and cook 2 minutes longer. Serve garnished with clives, cilantro and/or diced mango and red pepper if desired.

Oatmeal Waffles

I love the waffle maker that I got for Christmas. There are so many great waffle recipes and they're quick to make. This recipe I got from She has a lot of really good and frugal recipes.

2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 T baking powder
1 beaten egg
1 T molasses
2 T corn or olive oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients together until there are no lumps. Pour into well greased waffle iron. Cook 4 minutes and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Soy ginger chicken

Another fabulous meal thanks to my Rachel Ray casserole dish! This was really yummy! There is a version for the crock pot and one for the oven. I made it in the oven yesterday after work and it turned out great. It is a recipe from Martha Stewart, Everyday Foods that I've been wanting to try for a while and I'm glad I finally did.

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 T dark brown sugar

5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped plus sprigs for garnish

1 piece fresh ginger (about 2 inches long), peeled and cut into thin strips (I didn't have the fresh ginger so I used 1 tsp of ginger powder)

5 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal (1 cup packed)

1 T balsamic vinegar

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground pepper

4 chicken drumsticks and 4 thighs, skin removed

2 medium carrots, thinly sliced crosswise

1 T cornstarch

cooked white rice, for serving

In the slow cooker:

1. In a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker, stir together soy sauce, sugar, garlic, cilantro, ginger, 1/2 cup scallions, vinegar, coriander and pepper. Add chicken and carrots; toss to coat. Cover and cook on low until chicken is tender, about 6 hours. Using a large spoon, skim off and discard any fat from surface of cooking liquid.

2. In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, whisk cornstarch with 1 T water. Ladle 1 cup cooking liquid into measuring cup; whisk to combine. Pour into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil; cook until thickened, about 1 minute. With slow cooker turned off, stir in cornstarch mixture. Serve chicken with white rice and garnish with cilantro sprigs and remaining 1/2 cup scallions.

In the oven:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Follow step 1, using a 5 quart Dutch oven or heavy pot with a tight fitting lid instead of the slow cooker. Add 1 cup of water, and cover. Transfer to oven; cook until chicken is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Proceed to step two.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Cleaning the Bowl

I'm sure it doesn't come as a surprise, but I don't care for cleaning very much, let alone cleaning the toilets. I really don't like the commercial toilet bowl cleaners that are full of chemicals. One time some splashed out while I was cleaning the toilet and dissolved part of my bathroom mat.

I found in one of the many magazines I get, Good Housekeeping or Better Homes and Gardens, a recipe for toilet bowl cleaner that worked great.

I sprinkled about 1/4 cup of baking soda around the toilet bowl and then poured 1/4 cup of white vinegar around in the bowl. I took the scrubby brush around the bowl a few times and it worked great! I'm definitely going to keep using this recipe when cleaning the bowls-it's much safer and easier!

Cheddar Baked Potato Slices

This is also from the same cookbook. These are really yummy and I may actually make these tonight!

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
4 medium baking potatoes, cut into 1/4" slices, about 4 cups
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 400. In small bowl, combine soup, paprika, and pepper. In greased 2 quart oblong baking dish, arrange potatoes slices in overlapping rows. Sprinkle with cheese, spoon soup mixture over cheese. Cover with foil and bake 10 minutes. Lower temp to 350 and bake 35 minutes longer. Uncover, bake 10 more minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Three in One Dish

This is also from "Sparks from the Kitchen", the Florence Herman cookbook. I made this one night when I just needed something to use up some veggies I had in the fridge. It does take a while to cook so you have to plan ahead a little bit.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, browned
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 potatoes, cut up
3 carrots, cut up
1 small can of peas, drained
1 can of tomato soup
1/2 soup can of water

Heat oven to 350. Brown meat and drain. Mix in the vegetables (leave peas for last). Put in casserole dish. Mix soup and water and pour over top. Bake 1 1/2 hours.

Mixed Pasta Salad

I made this for the Superbowl and since Ryan and his brothers don't really care for vegetables, there was enough left for lunch for me for a few days. It turned out really good and was really simple. I got this recipe from "Sparks from the Kitchen", the Florence Herman cookbook.

1 pkg pasta, any shape desired (I figured about 8 oz)
1/2 cup creamy or regular Italian dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Sugar to taste (I didn't need to add any)

Cook pasta according to package directions, rinse and toss with salad oil if desired. Mix Italian dressing, mayo and sugar together until well blended. Pour over pasta. Add your favorite vegetables, such as celery, onions, carrots, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and ripe olives.

It was almost better the next couple days.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Wisconsin's Best Scalloped Potatoes (with or without ham)

This is a recipe from grandma which I've made a few times. It doesn't call for ham, but it's a good way to use up leftover ham if you like it.

1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp pepper
2 cup milk
4 medium potatoes sliced about 1/8 inch thick
2/3 cup coarsely chopped onions
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups or so of chopped ham, optional

Melt the butter in a 1 quart saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring 1 minute. Gradually add milk. Cook and stir until sauce is thickened, 3-4 minutes. Butter a shallow 2 quart baking dish. Cover the bottom with 1/4 c of sauce. Add layers of half each of potatoes, onions, remaining sauce and cheese (ham if using), repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake in 350 degree oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Remove foil and bake 5 minutes longer. These are very yummy and bake up nice and crunchy.

Fudge Brownies

These are the best homemade brownies ever! I actually got this recipe from Hillbilly Housewife. She has a lot of good, cheap, made from scratch recipes like this one.

1 c melted margarine or butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
4 medium eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour

Melt the margarine in a microwave safe bowl. Combine the margarine and sugar in a large bowl with a spoon or whisk. Add all four eggs, and beat the mixture until it is sort of fluffy and emulsified. Add the salt, cocoa, and vanilla. Stir it up really well. Add the flour. Stir again until the mixture is thick and chocolatey. Turn the batter into a well oiled 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before serving. Cut into 32 small squares. Delish!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Spicy Pasta and Shrimp

This was a really good recipe I made for us the other week. Since Ryan isn't home I've just been making whatever I can find in the cupboard, so nothing really interesting. This will be the last one for a while since I will be soaking up the sun in Hawaii!!! Here is a hot and spicy recipe from Southern Living.

8 ounces uncooked linguine
1/2 pound unpeeled, medium-sized fresh shrimp
2 T. butter
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T Cajun or Creole seasoning
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 to 2 tsp dried crushed red pepper (I did closer to 2 and it was spicy!)
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley or a couple tsp dried parsley

Cook linguine according to package directions; keep warm. Peel shrimp and devein; set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet; add green onions and garlic. Saute until tender. Stir in cajun seasoning; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in shrimp and whipping cream; reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in wine; simmer 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in linguine, parmesan cheese, and crushed red pepper; cook mixture, stirring gently, until thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley; serve immediately. Yields: 2 to 3 servings.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bacon Cheeseburger Chowder

Well, it is freezing here, -6 degrees at 11 am. I made this soup a few weeks ago and it is great for cold days like today. I have some in the freezer as this makes a lot! I'm going to thaw it out and finish it up since it is just me and Ryan is in Hawaii. I'll let you know how it tastes the second time around.

4 cups diced potatoes
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cans cream-style corn
1/2 pound diced bacon
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup butter
4 cups half and half or milk (I used 2 cups regular half and half and 2 cups fat free)
2 cups velveeta cheese cubes
1/2 cup flour

Place first 6 ingredients in kettle (make sure it is a large kettle-this filled my new Rachel Ray pot to the top). Just cover with water and cook until vegetables are tender. Add cream-style corn. While vegetables are cooking, brown bacon; drain. Brown ground beef; drain. In microwave, make a white sauce of butter, half and half, cheese and flour. I'd microwave for a few minutes and then mix and continue until it was about all melted. Pour over vegetables, stirring often so it thickens evenly. Add bacon and ground beef. Stir to mix and serve.
It's really filling so you don't need much else with it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Spanish Chicken

Here's another great recipe from mom. She was and is the best cook. She always made great dinners while we were growing up and this was definitely a favorite.

1-2 pounds chicken breasts cut in small pieces
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup butter
1 cup onions, chopped
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 T Worchestershire sauce
1 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry sherry
3 cups hot cooked rice

Roll the chicken in combined flour, salt and pepper. Brown in butter. Push chicken to one side. Add onions; saute until transparent. Stir in remaining ingredients except for rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 35 minutes. Serve over beds of rice.
I'm sure this will quickly become a family favorite for you too!

General Tsao's Chicken

This is a delicious chinese dinner recipe I got from my mom. I think she may have gotten it from a Weight Watcher's cookbook, but I'm not sure. I've made it for my husband and I before and we loved it!

3/4c. canned chicken broth (reduced sodium)
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. sugar
2 T low-sodium soy sauce
1 T. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (don't send ground ginger powder all over the kitchen like I did as I was opening the spice bottle!)
2 tsp. peanut oil
2 medium scallions, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pound uncooked chicken breasts, boneless and skinless cut into chunks
2 cups cooked white rice

In medium bowl, whisk together broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger; set aside. Heat oil over medium high heat. Add scallions, garlic and pepper and cook 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Add reserved sauce and simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Serve chicken over rice.