Saturday, January 31, 2009

Creamy Coleslaw

I don't know what it is, but I really like coleslaw. I don't know if it's the sweetness of it or the creaminess, but I think it's great. I have made a number of different coleslaw recipes and I just found another one last night that's pretty good too. I always start with the bag of coleslaw mix and just make the dressing. Maybe someday I'll be ambitious enough to actually shred the cabbage and carrot, but not yet. By the way, an interesting fact about cabbage is that a head of cabbage will actually keep in a cool cellar or basement for months, just sitting on the shelf. I thought that was amazing. Now if I can just get my husband to start liking it :)

Creamy Coleslaw From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

1/2 cup mayo or salad dressing
1 T vinegar
1 to 2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup celery seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1 bag of shredded coleslaw mix

For dressing, in a large bowl stir together mayo, vinegar, sugar, celery seeds and salt. Add coleslaw mix and stir. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours.

Also try these coleslaw recipes:

Super Slaw

John's Summertime Slaw

Baked French Toast

I have to do a little catching up, it's been a few days since the last post. I made this french toast this morning for breakfast and it was awesome! I had made some french bread last weekend and had to use it up. It was actually supposed to be started last night, but I didn't think about it until this morning and it still turned out really good. It has a carmelly topping that bakes into it-so yummy! I halved the recipe for 1/2 a loaf of french bread, the originally recipe is for 12 and you can go here for that.

Baked French Toast From

1/2 loaf French bread, cut diagonally into 1" slices
4 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup half and half cream (I didn't have this so I used more milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup and 2 T butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 T and 1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup

Butter a 9x13" baking dish. Arrange the slices of bread in the bottom. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread slices, cover and refrigerate overnight. (I let sit for about 15-20 minutes, but did not let it sit overnight.)
The next morning, preheat oven to 350. In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup; heat until bubbling. Pour over bread and egg mixture. Bake in preheated oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Skinny Cacciatore

This dish is a yummy treat on a cold day like today. It has lots of good fresh veggies in it as well as a number of items that are pretty common to have on hand, like canned tomatoes. This is healthy and tasty!

Skinny Cacciatore From Healthy Cooking Magazine

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1" pieces
3 tsp canola oil, divided
1 lg green pepper, chopped
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 3/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium carrot, shredded
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (29 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14 oz) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bay leaf
3 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
9 oz uncooked spaghetti

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, brown chicken in 2 tsp oil; drain. Remove and keep warm. In the same skillet, saute the green pepper, celery and onion in remaining oil for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, carrot and garlic; saute 2-4 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in the tomato sauce, tomatoes and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes or until thickened. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Stir chicken into tomato mixture; cook for 8-12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Discard bay leaf. Drain spaghetti; serve with chicken mixture.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Swiss Steak

A girl I work with brought some swiss steak in one day for lunch and it was really good. We never had this growing up since my mom does not like steak, so I had never made this before. It is really good and it was nice to simmer it on the stove for an hour, making the house smell delicious!

Swiss Steak From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

1 pound boneless beef round steak, cut 3/4 inch thick
2 T flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 T cooking oil
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained (or regular diced tomatoes with the above seasonings sprinkled in)
1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
1/2 cup sliced celery (1 stalk)
1/2 cup sliced carrots (2 medium)

Trim fat from meat. Cut meat into 4 serving size pieces. Combine flour, salt, and pepper. With the notched side of a meat mallet, pound flour mixture into meat.

In a large skillet brown meat on both sides in hot oil. Drain off fat. Add undrained tomatoes, onion, celery and carrot. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 1 1/4 hours or until meat is tender. Skim off fat. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Pesto-Stuffed Pork Chops

These were awesome! My husband and I buy pork loin when it is on sale and he cuts it up into roasts and chops so we usually have a good amount of pork loin in the freezer. I had made some pesto this summer from fresh basil I had and froze it to use over the winter. I found this recipe and had most (not all though) ingredients and it sounded too good to not try. It sounds like it would be really complicated to make, but it was actually very simple and smelled so good while cooking. I also made baked potatoes and corn and we had a really good meal that didn't really take much work.

Pesto-Stuffed Pork Chops From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

3 T crumbled feta cheese (One thing I did not have, I used mozzerella instead, but I'm sure feta would be delicious too)
2 T refrigerated basil pesto
1 T pine nuts, toasted (Also omitted since I didn't have any)
4 pork loin chops or boneless pork loin chops, cut 1 1/4 inches thick
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1 T balsamic vinegar (I actually forgot this step)

For filling, in a small bowl, stir together feta cheese, pesto and pine nuts. Set aside.

Trim fat from chops. Make a pocket in each chop by cutting horizontally from the fat side almost to the bone or the opposite side. Divide filling among pockets in chops. If necessary, secure the openings with wooden toothpicks.

For rub, in a small bowl, combine black pepper, oregano, garlic, crushed red pepper, and thyme. Rub evenly onto all sides of meat (or just on top like I did). Place chops in a shallow roasting pan. Bake at 375 for 35 to 45 minutes or until the chops are 160 degrees F and juices run clear. Brush vinegar onto chops the last 5 minutes of baking. Before serving, discard toothpicks.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Homemade Baking Mix (AKA Bisquick)

I really like this recipe because it is cheaper than regular bisquick from the store and if you happen to run out of bisquick, it is quick to whip up with ingredients that most people have on hand anyway.

Homemade Baking Mix (AKA Bisquick) From

5 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 T baking powder

Mix all ingredients well until crumbly. Store in an airtight container. Use in any recipe that calls for Bisquick like these Banana Muffin Tops.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vegetable and Cheese Medley

My mom gave me this recipe and I've made it a number of times. It's simple and it is really tasty. It's something a little different for dinner.

Vegetable and Cheese Medley

1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup water
10 oz frozen chopped broccoli
16 oz can cream-style corn
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup french fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine carrots, celery and water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 7 minutes. Add broccoli; cover and simmer about 10 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Drain well. Stir in the corn and cheddar cheese. Pour into a baking dish. Sprinkle french fried onions on top. Bake 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

These are so simple to make and really moist and delicious. When you want to make some muffins with little prep and little clean-up, try these!

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

1 package Spice Cake Mix
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 12 cup muffin tin or line with paper liners. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and pumpkin puree until smooth. Spoon equal amounts of batter into the prepared muffin cups (2/3 full). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

I'm doing more baking for the week and I found this recipe in my grandma's old book of recipes. I still have frozen zucchini from my garden so I figured this would be a good way to use some more up. I love chocolate chips in my zucchini bread!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

2 cups grated zucchini (drain juice so zucchini is as dry as possible)
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
12 oz pkg chocolate chips (can substitute 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips as well)
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Mix together sugar and oil. Then mix in eggs and grated zucchini. Add salt, flour, baking soda, spices and vanilla. Mix well, then stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Bake in 2 greased and floured 9x5" loaf pans at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool on rack for 1 hour before serving.

For other zucchini recipes try:
Orange Zucchini Bread
Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Oatmeal Bread

Banana Toffee Muffin Tops

Oh, these were simple and delicious. I'm always looking for different, yet easy recipes and I found this one in my Taste of Home Quick Cooking Cookbook. I did make a few subsitutions, but they really turned out great. This is a fantastic way to use up those really ripe bananas instead of making the traditional banana bread (You could also try this recipe for Banana Oatmeal Bread). Using the baking mix really makes these a piece of cake to whip up.

Banana Toffee Muffin Tops From Quick Cooking 2006

2 1/2 cups biscuit/baking mix
1/3 cup English toffee bits or almond brickle (could also try mini chocolate chips)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (this I did not have on hand and substituted milk instead and they turned out fine)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
Additional sugar if desired

In a bowl, combine the biscuit mix, toffee bits and sugar. In another bowl, combine the egg, cream and vanilla; stir in the bananas. Stir into the dry ingredients just until combined.

Drop by tablespoonful onto greased baking sheets. Sprinkle with additional sugar if desired. Bake at 425 degrees for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Serve warm. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

These were tasty! I was in the cookie baking mood and found this recipe in my Grandma's collection of recipes. I love the taste of cream cheese and you can never go wrong with chocolate so I gave these a try. And they were goooood!

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
4 oz cream cheese
2 tsp grated orange rind (I omitted, but I'm sure it would give these a nice citrus taste)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Sift together flour and salt. Beat butter, cream cheese, orange rind (if using) and sugar, thoroughly until fluffy. Beat in egg yolk, then add flour mixture all at once and beat until blended. Add chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by leveled tablespoon 1" apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly and bake at 350 about 15 minutes. Watch closely so as not to burn edges.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cheeseburger Casserole

This is one of those great old recipes from a church cookbook. Those cookbooks always seem to have good, made from scratch recipes and tons of good casserole recipes. It is really cold here right now so the weather is perfect for a good ole casserole. I had all the ingredients on hand for this dish and it was actually pretty simple to make.

Cheeseburger Casserole From Country Cooking

1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 can (10 oz) tomato soup
1 cup (8 oz) peas, drained (I used frozen)
salt and pepper
8 cubes (3/4") cheese (I used shredded)
1 cup sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 T shortening
1/3 cup plus 1 T milk

Brown the ground beef and onions in a skillet. Drain off fat. Add tomato soup and peas. Salt and pepper to taste. Put mixture into a 1 1/2 qt greased baking dish.
Make cheese filled biscuits: In mixing bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut shortening until particles are fine. Add milk. Stir until dough clings together. Knead dough on slightly floured board 12 times. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Mold dough around cheese cubes. Place on casserole. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until a deep golden brown. Serves 4.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crispy Oven-Fried Fish

This was our dinner Saturday night. I made this crispy fish and some oven fries. It was a really good meal for a cold night.

Crispy Oven-Fried Fish From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

1 pound fresh or frozen skinless fish fillets (I used tilapia)
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/8 tsp dried black pepper
2 T melted butter

Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Cut into four serving-size pieces, if necessary. Measure thickness of fish.

Place milk in shallow bowl. Place flour in a second shallow dish and in a third shallow dish mix bread crumbs, cheese, dill and pepper. Add melted butter; stir until combined. Dip fish in milk; coat with flour. Dip again in milk, then in crumb mixture to coat all sides. Place fish on a greased baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, in a 450 degree oven for 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2 inch thickness or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Orange Zucchini Bread

I grew a ton of zucchini in the garden this last summer and I really enjoy baking with it. To extend zucchini season, I shredded a bunch of the vegetables and froze them in 2-3 c packages to use to bake with during the winter. I was looking for a different kind of zucchini bread recipe since I tend to make the typical bread recipe or zucchini bread with chocolate. Both are very good, but being me I like to try different things. I found this recipe which includes orange and coconut and decided to give it a try. It turned out great!

Orange Zucchini Bread From

2 eggs, beaten
1 3/4 c sugar
1/2 c cooking oil
2 tsp orange peel
3 1/4 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c orange juice
2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini
1 c shredded coconut

Grease 2 8x4" loaf pans. Combine the eggs, sugar, oil and orange peel in large bowl. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture and the orange juice alternately to the egg mixture. Stir until just combined. Stir in zucchini and coconut. Spoon into prepared pans. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes until center is set. Cool on wire rack.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Colette's Salad

I got this recipe from a girl I work with and it is a really delicious, different salad. It's a very good combination of fruits and veggies.

Colette's Salad

Mix together and put to the side:
1 cup mayo
1 cup sugar
dab of milk
a couple splashes of red wine vinegar (dump in until slightly pink)
(I decreased the mayo and sugar to 2/3 cup each and that was enough dressing for us.)

Mix together romaine lettuce, chopped, 1 apple, chopped, red onion, sliced and sprinkle in a couple handfulls of walnuts. Right before serving mix the dressing with the lettuce mixture.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Barbecue Meatloaf

This was a quick meatloaf to put together and it was really tasty. It didn't really keep in a solid loaf for me after cooking (i.e. it kind of feel apart),but it was yummy anyway. Ryan really enjoyed it too.

Barbecue Meatloaf From

1 pound ground beef
1/2 c quick cooking oats
1/2 c onion finely chopped
1/2 c thick and spicy barbecue sauce (or whichever kind you prefer)
1 egg, beaten

Mix the above ingredients together, except for 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce. Shape into a loaf in an 8x12" pan and bake at 375 for 50-55 minutes or until temperature reaches 160 in the center. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Spoon remaining 1/4 cup sauce over top.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pumpkin Pie

It's still an excellent time to make a pumpkin pie. Delicious with any meal, this recipe for pumpkin pie is yummy and a cinch to make. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

1 pie crust, thawed
1 15oz can pumpkin (about 1 3/4 c)
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 c half and half, light cream or milk

Preheat oven to 375. For filling, in a bowl combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add eggs; beat lightly with a fork until combined. Gradually add half and half; stir just until combined.

Place pastry lined pie plate on oven rack. Carefully pour filling into pastry shell. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of the pie with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 25 minutes more or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Cover and chill within 2 hours.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Farmers' Casserole

This is an easy and delicious breakfast dish. I was looking for something different for breakfast one weekend besides the regular eggs and bacon and I found this recipe. It's quick to prepare and quick to disappear.

Farmer's Casserole From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

3 cups frozen shredded has brown potatoes

3/4 c shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, Pepperjack or Cheddar)

1 c diced cooked ham

1/4 c sliced green onion

4 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 c milk

Coat a 2 qt square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange hash browns evenly in dish. Sprinkle with cheese, ham and green onion.

In a medium bowl combine eggs, milk and 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp ground pepper. Pour egg mixture over layers in dish.

Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Bread

I enjoy baking so that we have muffins or breads for breakfast. Ryan often just grabs something on his way out the door on the way to work so it's handy having muffins or quick breads that will be a lot easier to eat in the car then cereal. I froze some pumpkin that I had grown in our garden and some that I bought locally. I just cooked the pumpkin and then pureed it and it's keeping nicely in the freezer. I pulled out a package of pumpkin the other day to make some bread and it turned out really good.

Pumpkin Bread From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

3 c sugar

1 c cooking oil

4 eggs

3 1/2 c flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2/3 c water

1 15 oz can pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350. Grease the bottom and 1/2" up the sides of 2 9x5" loaf pans or 3 8x4" loaf pans; set aside. In an extra-large mixing bowl beat sugar and oil with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add eggs and beat well; set sugar mixture aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Alternately add flour mixture and the water to sugar mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Spoon batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

Maple Brined Turkey

This is getting posted a little late, but this was one of the best turkey's we've ever had. We made this for Thanksgiving and it was easy to put together and turned out so juicy and tasty! We doubled the recipe for an 18 pound turkey.

Maple Brined Turkey From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

1 1/2 gallons water

1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup

1 c coarse salt

3/4 c packed brown sugar

1 8-to 10 pound turkey (not self basting type)

cooking oil

For brine, in a 10 quart pot combine water, syrup, salt and brown sugar; stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Set aside.

Rinse the turkey body cavity; remove any excess fat from cavity. Add turkey to brine in pot. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

Remove turkey from brine; discard brine. Drain turkey; pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Tuck drumstick ends under the band of skin across the tail, if available. If there is no band of skin, tie drumsticks securely to the tail. Twist wing tips under the back. Brush with oil. Cover loosely with foil.

Roast turkey in a 325 degree oven for 2 1/4 hours. Remove foil; cut band of skin or string between drumsticks so thighs will cook evenly. Continue roasting uncovered, for 30 to 45 minutes more or until thermometer registers 180 degrees. Remove turkey from oven. Cover with foil; let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Transfer to cutting board. Carve.

Sauteed Chicken with tomato relish and spinach

This is another excellent recipe from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food. It was simple to prepare and very delicious. It is a great way to get more veggies into the family meal. I served this with some rice made with some chicken broth and seasoned with some parsley, garlic powder and butter. Yum! Easy and Delicious.

Sauteed Chicken with tomato relish and spinach From Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2009

1 can (14/5 0z) diced tomatoes in juice, drained

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or a couple T dried)

2 T olive oil

2 T fresh lemon juice

1 T jarred capers, drained

coarse salt and pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

2 pkg (10 oz each) frozen leaf spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

In a bowl, stir together tomatoes, parsley, 1 T olive oil, lemon juice, and capers. Season tomato relish with salt and pepper.

Working with one piece at a time, lay chicken flat; holding a sharp knife parallel to work surface, split in half horizontally. Cover with plastic wrap; lightly pound each cutlet with a meat mallet or bottom of a heavy skillet until 1/4" thick.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 T oil over medium-high. Cook cutlets, in batches, until browned and opaque throughout, 1 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, and cover loosely with foil.

To skillet, add spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Top chicken with tomato relish, and serve with spinach.

Pan-Grilled Pork Kebabs

This recipe is from Martha Stewart's Food Magazine. It was a simple, yet fancy dinner one night last week for us. It was very tasty and my husband thought it was fantastic!

Pan-Grilled Pork Kebabs From Food Everyday, January/February 2009

3/4 c long grain white rice
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen peas, thawed
1 pork tenderloin (1 pound), cut into 1 1/2" chunks
1 navel orange, cut into chunks (keep rind on)
coarse salt and pepper
4 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 c honey
1/4 c spicy brown mustard

Preheat oven to 200; place a baking sheet in oven. Prepare rice according to package instructions. Stir in peas, and heat briefly to warm through.

Alternately thread pork and orange chunks onto 8 6" wooden skewers; season with salt and pepper. Heat grill pan to medium; brush with 2 tsp oil. Cook half the skewers until pork is opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes per side; transfer to oven to keep warm. Brush grill pan with 2 tsp oil; cook remaining skewers. Microwave for 1 minute at a time if pork isn't cooked through.

In a small bowl, whisk together honey and mustard; season with salt and pepper. Reserve half of sauce for dipping.

Working in two batches, return skewers to grill pan, and heat over high, brushing with sauce, until glazed, about 2 minutes. Serve with rice and reserved sauce.