Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cinnamon Apple Pecan Squares

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted 
1 tablespoon Cinnamon Extract  
1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract  
1 egg 
3/4 cup flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup finely chopped peeled apple 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Mix sugar, butter and extracts in large bowl until well blended. 
  3. Stir in egg. 
  4. Add flour and baking powder; mix well. 
  5. Stir in pecans and apples.
  6. Spread in greased 8-inch square pan.
  7. Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 
  8. Cool in pan on wire rack. 
  9. Cut into 16 squares.

Note:  1 cup chopped walnuts can be substituted for the pecans if desired.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Almond Apple Bars

Crust ingredients:
1 1/4 C. all purpose flour 
1/2 t. kosher salt (or 1/4 t. table salt) 
3 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temp. 
2 oz. (4 T.) unsalted butter, softened at room temp. 
1/4 t. pure almond extract 
1/4 t. pure vanilla extract 
1/4 C. granulated sugar 
1/4 C. light brown sugar 
1/3 C. almonds, finely chopped

Topping ingredients:
2 T. all purpose flour 
2 T. granulated sugar 
2 T. light brown sugar 
1/4 C. almonds, coarsely chopped

Filling ingredients:
5 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temp. 
1/2 C. granulated sugar 
1 large egg 
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice 
pinch of salt 
2-3 medium (~ 1 lb) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored & cut into thin slices

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Line a 9x9 inch square baking pan with parchment. 
  3. Butter the parchment.
To make the crust:
  1. Sift flour and salt. 
  2. Set aside dry ingredients.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. 
  4. Add the almond and vanilla extracts and beat on medium until smooth, about 1 minute. 
  5. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium speed until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
  6. On low speed, mix in the flour-salt mixture and the 1/3 cup of finely chopped almonds just until the dough comes together. It should be crumbly.
  7. Reserve about 2/3 cup of the crust mixture (for the topping). 
  8. Press the remaining dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. 
  9. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake until light golden, about 16-18 minutes. 
  10. Remove crust from the oven.
To make the topping:
  1. While the crust bakes, make the topping by adding the flour, granulated and brown sugars to the reserved dough. 
  2. Mix until well combined. It should be crumbly. 
  3. Set aside topping and 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds while you make the filling.
To make the filling:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. 
  2. Beat in the egg, lemon juice and salt until well mixed.
To assemble:
  1. Arrange the apple slices over your baked crust. 
  2. Pour the cream cheese filling over the apples and gently spread the filling to cover. 
  3. Crumble the topping over the filling. 
  4. Sprinkle with the almonds. 
  5. Bake until light golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. 
  6. Let the bars cool in the pan for about 30 minutes. 
Makes one 9x9 inch square pan

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Lemon and Lavender Cuticle Cream

1 ½ oz. Shea Butter
½ oz. Cocoa Butter
¼ oz. Beeswax
½ tsp. Vitamin E Oil or Coconut Oil
5 drops Lemon Essential Oil
5 drops Lavender Essential Oil

  1. Add the butters, beeswax and coconut oil (if using) to the double boiler, and heat gently to melt, stirring occasionally.
  2. When fully melted, turn off heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Before cuticle balm starts to solidify add the vitamin E oil (if using) and essential oils.
  4. Mix gently to combine ingredients and pour into your container.
  5. Leave to fully cool and set.
Use daily, and when your cuticles need a little extra moisturizer.  Keep in mind that a little goes a long way.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Chicken Tenders with Spicy Tomato and Black Beans


12 (about 1 1/4 lb) chicken tenders  
1/2 tsp. chili powder 
1 10-oz can mild diced tomatoes and green chilis
½ 15.5-oz can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil 
½ cup fat-free sour cream


  1. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces evenly with chili powder.
  2. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. 
  3. Coat skillet with cooking spray, cook chicken 2 minutes or until browned on one side, turn, and top with the tomatoes and beans. 
  4. Bring to a boil (over medium-high heat), and cook for 3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the center.
  5. Remove from heat and drizzle the oil evenly over all. 
  6. Serve in shallow soup bowls, topped with sour cream.

Serves 4

Friday, September 20, 2013

Chicken Marsala

4 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
1/2 cup flour
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Dried oregano to taste
4 Tbsp oil
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Marsala wine

  1. Pound chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap (or in a plastic zipper bag) until about 1/4" thickness.
  2. Combine flour, salt, pepper and oregano in a mixing bowl. Dredge chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  3. Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  4. Cook chicken breasts on medium heat for about 2 minutes on the first side, until lightly browned.
  5. Turn breasts over to cook other side, then add mushrooms to skillet.
  6. Cook breasts about 2 more minutes, until both sides are lightly browned.
  7. Continue to stir mushrooms.
  8. Add Marsala wine around chicken pieces.
  9. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  10. Transfer to serving plate.
Serves 4
Prep Time:  30 minutes
Cooking Time:  30 minutes

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

One Pot Pasta


12 ounces pasta
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 large sprigs basil, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish


  1. Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. 
  2. Pour in vegetable broth. 
  3. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano.
  4. Drizzle top with oil.
  5. Cover pot and bring to a boil. 
  6. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. 
  7. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. 
  9. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Chicken and Dumplins

This recipe is very similar to Cracker Barrel's Chicken n' Dumplins.

2 cups Flour
½ teaspoons Baking Powder
1 pinch Salt
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup buttermilk, A Bit Less Than A Full Cup (you can use regular milk if needed)
2 quarts Chicken Broth
3 cups Cooked Chicken

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender. Stir in the milk, mixing with a fork until the dough forms a ball.
  2. Heavily flour a work surface. You’ll need a rolling pin and something to cut the dumplings with. I like to use a pizza cutter. I also like to use a small spatula to lift the dumplings off the cutting surface.
  3. Roll the dough out thin with a heavily floured rolling pin. Dip your cutter in flour and cut the dumplings in squares about 1"x1". They do not have to be uniform or exact.
  4. Use the floured spatula to put them on a heavily floured plate. Just keep flouring between the layers of dumplings.
  5. To cook them, bring the broth to a boil. Drop the dumplings in one at a time, stirring while you add them. The extra flour on them will help thicken the broth. Cook them for about 15-20 minutes or until they are not doughy tasting. Add the cooked chicken to the pot, stir and you are done!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

2 lbs chicken tenders or 4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup whole milk
3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 - 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoon butter

  1. Crush 1 1/2 sleeves of crackers.
  2. If using chicken breasts and not tenders, cut each chicken breast into 3 large pieces.
  3. Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans.
  4. Toss the salt and pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine.
  5. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk and then the cheese.
  6. Press the cheese into the chicken with your fingers.
  7. Then press the cheesy coated chicken into the cracker crumbs and press it in.
  8. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan.
  9. Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken.
  10. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.
  11. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy.
  12. In a medium sized sauce pan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk.
  13. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot.
  14. Serve over the chicken.
Cook Time:  45-50 minutes

Friday, July 26, 2013

Crockpot Chicken and Rice

1 lb of Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (can substitute Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs)
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 cans (10.5oz) Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
14 oz. water
1 medium Onion, diced
Hot Cooked Rice


  1. Place thawed chicken in crock pot. 
  2. Add butter, cream of chicken soup, water and onions.  Stir until soup is mixed well with water. 
  3. Cook on high 4-6 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  4. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Broccoli and Shrimp Chowder

1 medium uncooked Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced   
2 cups uncooked broccoli, florets   
1 medium uncooked shallot, minced   
2 cups fat free chicken broth   
1/4 tsp dried thyme   
1/2 pounds cooked shrimp, peeled (medium size)   
1/2 cup fat free sour cream   
1/2 cup fat free skim milk   
1/4 tsp table salt   
1/4 tsp black pepper

  1. In a medium-size pot, combine potato, broccoli, shallot, broth and thyme; bring to a boil, partially cover pot and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Pour soup into blender and purée in batches careful not to splatter hot liquid; return soup to pot. (Or puree soup in pot using an immersion blender.)
  3. Add remaining ingredients to pot; reduce heat to low and simmer until hot, about 3 minutes. (Do not allow to boil.)

Prep Time:  10 Minutes
Cook Time:  18 Minutes
Serves 4 - Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Rick's Salsa

2 bunches of green onions
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
2 large cans of diced cooked tomatoes (32 oz. cans, be sure not to pick up the stewed tomatoes)
1 large can of diced green chilies (or two small cans)
1/2 can El Pato hot tomato sauce (yellow can with a duck on it in the international foods aisle)
1 tsp. black pepper
garlic salt (to taste)

  1. Combine the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl:  diced tomatoes, green chilies, half a can of El Pato hot tomato sauce (add more if you like it hot), black pepper (more or less to taste), garlic salt also to taste.
  2. Finely dice the green onion using mostly the light green & white part of the onions (not too much of the dark greens) finely chop two or three tablespoons of cilantro or more to taste).  Try to use only the leafy parts.
  3. Combine this with the rest of the ingredients and put it in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) to let the flavors blend.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chicken Quesadillas

2 boneless skinless boneless chicken breast, diced
1 (1.27 ounce) packet fajita seasoning
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Salsa (optional))
Guacamole (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink.
  2. Add fajita seasoning, onion, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper.
  3. Cook and stir until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Layer half of each tortilla with the chicken and vegetable mixture, then sprinkle with the Cheddar cheese, and Monterey Jack.  Use the as little or as much as you like. 
  6. Fold the tortillas in half and place onto a baking sheet.
  7. Bake quesadillas in the preheated oven until the cheeses have melted, about 10 minutes.
  8. Cut each quesadilla into 3 triangles.
  9. Serve with salsa, guacamole and/or sour cream.
Prep Time:  30 minutes
Cook Time:  25 minutes
Serves 5 (1 quesadilla per serving)

Note:  When I make this recipe, I do not end up using all of the tortillas.  I did not use all of the Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheeses either.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Stuffed Chicken Parmesan

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 5 oz. each)
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 oz. fat free cream cheese
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. dried basil leaves
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 c. fat-free egg product
12 stone-ground wheat crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)
1 t. dried basil leaves
1/2 t. pepper
1 c. pasta sauce
1/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (1 oz.)


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spray 13x9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Place each chicken breast smooth side down in a zipper bag.
  4. Gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick.
  5. In medium bowl, mix spinach, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon basil and the garlic until blended. 
  6. Spread about 1 tablespoon spinach mixture over each chicken breast; roll up tightly. 
  7. If necessary, secure with toothpicks.
  8. In small shallow bowl, place egg product. 
  9. In another small shallow bowl, mix cracker crumbs, 1 teaspoon basil and the pepper. 
  10. Dip each chicken breast into egg product; coat with crumb mixture. 
  11. Place seam side down in baking dish.
  12. Bake uncovered 20 minutes. 
  13. Pour pasta sauce over chicken; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. 
  14. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until thermometer inserted in center of chicken reads 165°F. 
  15. Remove toothpicks from chicken before eating.

Prep Time:  20 minutes
Total Time:  55 minutes
Serves 6

Friday, June 21, 2013

Vegetable Calzones


2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper, optional
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1 packed cup baby spinach, chopped
1 cup ricotta
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper
1 lb. store-bought pizza dough, divided into 4 portions
1 large egg

  1. Place a rack on bottom shelf of oven; preheat to 450 degrees F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
  3. Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add onion; saute until softened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and red pepper, if desired.
  6. Saute for 30 seconds.
  7. Reduce heat to low.
  8. Add broccoli, saute for 2 minutes.
  9. Cover and cook until broccoli is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
  10. Remove skillet from heat and stir in spinach.
  11. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.
  12. Stir in broccoli mixture.
  13. Working with 1 portion at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured counter into 8-inch rounds.
  14. Divide filling among dough circles (about 3/4 cup each).
  15. Fold dough over to enclose filling; press to seal edges.
  16. Beginning in one corner, stretch sealed edge outward, pinching and rolling dough up and over to form a decorative edge.
  17. Transfer calzones to baking sheet.
  18. Whisk egg and 1 tsp. water.
  19. Brush top of each calzone with egg wash.
  20. Cut 3 small vents in each calzone.
  21. Bake until golden, 13 - 15 minutes.
  22. Serve with tomato sauce if desired.
Prep Time:  30 minutes
Cook Time:  13-15 minutes
Serves 4

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lemon Chicken Primavera

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 large shallot or small onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tub Knorr Homestyle Stock - Chicken
6 oz. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2 -inch-thick diagonal slices (about 1 cup)


  1. Combine flour with pepper in shallow dish.
  2. Dip chicken in egg, then flour mixture; set aside.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and brown chicken, turning once, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
  5. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in same skillet over medium heat and cook shallot, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in water, lemon juice and Knorr Homestyle Stock - Chicken until stock is melted.
  7. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.
  8. Add asparagus and return chicken to skillet.
  9. Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is thoroughly cooked and asparagus is tender, about 3 minutes.
  10. Serve, if desired, with hot cooked rice.
Note:  Try substituting green beans, broccoli florets, green peas or sliced mushrooms for the asparagus

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Chicken and Rice Burritos

8 Mission® 10 inch Large Flour Tortillas warmed
Mission® Chunky Salsa, Medium
2 1/2 cups cooked Chicken shredded
3/4 cups Long Grain White Rice (uncooked)
1 1 ounce package Taco Spices and Seasonings
1 3/4 cups Water
1 8 ounce can Tomato Sauce
1 large Tomato chopped
1/3 cup Green Onion chopped
Cheddar Cheese shredded
  1. In a large skillet, place chicken, rice, seasonings, water and tomato sauce.
  2. Bring mixture to boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.
  3. Add chopped tomato and green onion to combine evenly.
  4. Place 1/2 cup of filling in each tortilla, roll burrito style and serve with optional garnishes. 
Serves 8
Cooking Time:  20 Minutes

Friday, May 31, 2013

Sausage, Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna

8 ounces whole-wheat lasagna noodles
1 pound lean spicy Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
4 cups sliced mushrooms, (10 ounces)
1/4 cup water
1 pound frozen spinach, thawed
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably chunky
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 pound part-skim ricotta cheese, (2 cups)
8 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2 cups), divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until not quite tender, about 2 minutes less than the package directions.
  4. Drain; return the noodles to the pot, cover with cool water and set aside.
  5. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
  6. Add sausage; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes.
  7. Add mushrooms and water; cook, stirring occasionally and crumbling the sausage more, until it is cooked through, the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Squeeze spinach to remove excess water, then stir into the pan; remove from heat.
  9. Mix tomatoes with basil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  10. To assemble lasagna: Spread 1/2 cup of the tomatoes in the prepared baking dish.
  11. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, trimming to fit if necessary.
  12. Evenly dollop half the ricotta over the noodles.
  13. Top with half the sausage mixture, one-third of the remaining tomatoes and one-third of the mozzarella.
  14. Continue with another layer of noodles, the remaining ricotta, the remaining sausage, half the remaining tomatoes and half the remaining mozzarella.
  15. Top with a third layer of noodles and the remaining tomatoes.
  16. Cover the lasagna with foil and bake until bubbling and heated through, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.
  17. Remove the foil; sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top.
  18. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is just melted but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
  19. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Broccoli, Rice, and Ham Casserole

2 cups chopped, cooked ham
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen broccoli
1 cup cooked rice
1 can cream of celery or mushroom soup
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 small onion, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients except breadcrumbs.
  2. In a 2- to 2 1/2-quart casserole or baking dish, combine ham, broccoli, cooked rice, soup, cheese, onion, and sour cream.
  3. Spread bread crumbs over top.
  4. Bake 55 to 65 minutes at 325°, or until browned and bubbly.
Serves 4.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Zesty Southwest Burgers with Cilantro Slaw

(burger minus the cilantro slaw)

I originally found this recipe in the Sunday coupon insert years ago.  You can find the original here:  Zesty Southwest Burgers with Cilantro Slaw.

1 bag Success® White Rice, Success® Brown Rice, or Success® Jasmine Rice 
1/2 C. Ranch salad dressing 
2 C. shredded cabbage 
3 T. cilantro, minced 
1 lb. ground chuck 
2 1/2 T. hot and spicy taco seasoning mix 
2 T. vegetable oil 
4 each hamburger buns
  1. To make the cilantro slaw:  In a large bowl combine ranch salad dressing, cabbage and cilantro. 
  2. Toss to combine; cover and refrigerate until serving.
  3. Prepare rice according to package directions. 
  4. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, combine rice, ground chuck and taco seasoning mix. 
  6. Form into four patties sized slightly larger than hamburger buns. 
  7. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
  8. Add patties and cook 10 to 12 minutes for medium well doneness (165°F), turning once.
  9. To serve, on each hamburger bottom bun, place a cooked patty, an equal amount of slaw and top bun. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Italian Pork and Vegetable Saute

1 lb. boneless pork sirloin chops, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 T. olive oil, divided
1-2 large diced bell peppers, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces
10 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
Coarse salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 T. all-purpose flour
½ c. dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio, or non-alcoholic varietal grape juice
  1. Heat 1 T. oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add red pepper and cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften, about 1 minute.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until juices evaporate, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in scallions and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.
  5. Transfer to plate.
  6. Season pork with ½ t. salt and ¼ t. pepper.
  7. Add remaining 1 T. oil to skillet and heat.
  8. Add pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and meat is slightly pink when pierced to the center with tip of sharp knife, about 5 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with flour and stir with wooden spoon to coat pork.
  10. Add wine and ½ c. water and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits in pan with wooden spoon.
  11. Return vegetables to pan and cook until sauce is thickened, about 1 minute.
  12. Season with salt and pepper.
  13. Serve hot. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Paula Deen's Favorite Lasagna Recipe

12 oz. lasagna noodles
 2 T. olive oil
 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
 1 lb. ground beef
 ½ t. salt
 ¼ t. black pepper
 1 jar (24 ounces) spaghetti sauce
 5 oz. cream cheese, cut into bits
 1 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
 1 ½ C. grated Parmesan cheese (about 6 ounces)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 13x9 inch baking dish with butter, oil, or cooking spray.
  3. In a large pot of boiling salted water, parboil the lasagna noodles according to the package directions.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  7. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a fork, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with the salt and black pepper.
  9. Add spaghetti sauce and cream cheese.
  10. Stir until the cheese has melted into the sauce.
  11. Spoon ½ cup of meat sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  12. Top with a single layer of noodles, 1 cup of sauce, ⅓ of the mozzarella, and ½ cup of Parmesan.
  13. Repeat the layering two more times, until all of the ingredients have been used, ending with a layer of mozzarella and Parmesan.
  14. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until golden on top and bubbling, about 20 to 25 minutes.
I found this recipe on the NBC website after watching the Tonight Show segment.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Grandma's Homemade Meatballs

1 lb. ground lean beef
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 C. parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 C. bread crumbs
1/8 C. milk
chopped parsley to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C. canola oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. Begin to roll meatballs to desired size.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet and add canola oil.
  5. Fry each meatball to golden brown (it is okay if they are not yet cooked through).
  6. Remove meatballs to a paper towel covered plate to drain while cooking the remaining meatballs.
  7. Place meatballs on tray and bake for 30 minutes.

This recipe will also make great hamburgers.  For every pound of ground beef it makes 4 good sized hamburgers.

Teriyaki Chicken

1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
8 bone-in chicken thighs (2 1/2 pounds)
1 cup long-grain white rice
  1. In a large bowl, combine the garlic and 1/4 cup of the teriyaki sauce.
  2. Add the chicken, turn to coat, cover, and let marinate for 30 minutes
  3. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  4. Meanwhile, heat oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Place the chicken o a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and roast, basting with the remaining 1/3 cup of teriyaki sauce, until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. Serve over cooked rice.

To make your own teriyaki sauce, whisk together 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 clove garlic (chopped), and 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Easy Cheesy Pizza Casserole

1 lb ground Italian sausage
1/2 cup ricotta
pinch of oregano
pinch of basil
1 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
1 - 26 oz jar of pasta sauce
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Pepperoni slices (about 1/2 a bag)
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded aged Provolone
Herbed Parmesan Drop Biscuits
Additional Parmesan cheese for topping
Herbed Parmesan Drop Biscuits
2 1/4 cup baking mix
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2/3 cup milk
  1. Brown sausage in skillet; drain fat.
  2. Mix in pasta sauce and pepper flakes; set aside.
  3. Mix ricotta cheese with the herbs and Parmesan in a separate bowl; set aside.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients for the biscuits.
  5. Add milk and stir until combined
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Spray a 13 x 9 pan with non-stick spray.
  8. Drop biscuit dough by teaspoons in the bottom of pan, spacing evenly. It's OK if there is space between the dough--it will expand as it's cooked.
  9. Top with sausage mixture and dot with the ricotta cheese mixture.
  10. Bake at 375 for about 20 min or until biscuits are puffed and beginning to get golden brown.
  11. Top with mozzarella and provolone cheeses and distribute pepperoni slices evenly over top, increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
  12. Return to oven and bake until cheeses are melted and beginning to bubble. This should take about 10 minutes.
  13. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
  14. May be topped with the additional Parmesan cheese.

Cheesy Chicken Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup roasted garlic light cream cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Combine the chicken, eggs, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, vegetable oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; mix well.
  4. Form mixture into 20 meatballs; place on prepared pan.
  5. Bake in center of preheated oven until juices run clear, 17 to 18 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
This recipe also makes for great chicken patties.  Makes 5 or 6 patties depending on what size you make them.  Put on a bun with lettuce, mayo, and tomato.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie With Bisquick

Filling Ingredients
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup Bisquick
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
1 3/4 cup chicken, cooked, and diced or torn
10 oz. pkg. frozen peas and carrots

Crust Ingredients
1 1/2 cup Bisquick
3 tablespoons hot water
3 tablespoons butter, softened

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan, combine butter, Bisquick, onion, pepper and thyme; bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in the chicken broth and milk.
  4. Bring to a boil again, stirring constantly.
  5. Boil for 1 minute.
  6. Add in the chicken and frozen vegetables.
  7. Mix thoroughly and take pan off of the heat.
  8. Pour mixture into a 9-inch square baking dish.
  9. Make crust and place over pie.
  10. Bake 45 minutes or until crust is a light, golden brown.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Frank's RedHot Buffallo Chicken Dip

8 oz. pkg.cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing (Blue Cheese Dressing Recipe)
1/2 cup Frank's® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish.
  3. Stir until smooth. 
  4. Mix in salad dressing, Frank's RedHot Sauce and cheese.
  5. Stir in chicken. 
  6. Bake 20 min. or until mixture is heated through; stir.
  7. Garnish as desired.
  8. Serve with crackers or vegetables.

Blue Cheese Dressing


1 cup regular mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
6 oz blue cheese
1 Tablespoon apple cider or wine vinegar
1/ 2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)


Crumble the blue cheese, and mix it all together. Thin with water if desired.

Note:  This worked well for the Franks RedHot Buffalo Chicken Dip

Thursday, April 4, 2013

90-Minute Dinner Rolls

2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 envelope active dry yeast
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

  1. Mix 3/4 cup flour, sugar, salt, and undissolved yeast.
  2. Heat milk, water and margarine to 120 - 130 degrees F. 
  3. Gradually add to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer.
  4. Add 1/4 cup flour.  Beat at high speed of electric mixer 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough.
  6. On a floured surface knead 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces.
  8. Shape into balls.
  9. Place in greased 8-inch round pan.
  10. Pour a 1-inch depth of boiling water into large pan on bottom rack of cold oven.
  11. Cover rolls with a cloth.
  12. Set rolls on rack above water.
  13. Close oven door; let rise 30 minutes.
  14. Uncover rolls; remove pan of water.
  15. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  16. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until done.
  17. Remove from pan.
  18. Serve warm.

Yield:  1 Dozen
Proof Time:  30 minutes
Bake Time:  20-25 minutes

Beef and Potato Casserole

2 1/2 to 3 cups diced roast beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup beef gravy or prepared brown gravy
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/4 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled
dash garlic powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
beef broth or water, if needed
2 cups prepared mashed potatoes, seasoned
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1/2 to 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  1. Grind or finely chop the beef and onion.
  2. Add gravy, wine, and seasonings.
  3. Add broth, if necessary, to make a moist mixture.
  4. Put beef mixture in a shallow 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
  5. Combine mashed potato with butter and egg; mix well then spread over the meat mixture.
  6. Sprinkle with the cheese.
  7. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.
Serves 6

Ravioli Lasagna

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 pound ground Italian sausage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
28-ounce can crushed roma tomatoes
1 cup prepared pesto sauce, divided
4 ounces fresh baby spinach, stack the leaves and thinly slice (about 2 cups)
15-ounce container ricotta cheese
1 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Two 16 to 18-ounce packages frozen cheese-filled raviloli
3 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add onion and saute until soft, add garlic and cook about 4 minutes longer, transfer to a small plate.
  3. Add the sausage to the same skillet and cook, stirring often to break up for about 12 minutes or until sausage is browned.
  4. Drain off any grease, then add the onion-garlic mixture back to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a medium bowl, stir together the crushed tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the pesto sauce.
  6. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the sliced spinach and the remaining 1/2 cup pesto sauce.
  7. In a third medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese (reserve remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan for sprinkling on at the end), stir in the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
  8. In a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, spread 1/2 cup of the tomato-pesto sauce on the bottom and the pan and lightly coat the sides of the pan with the sauce as well, to prevent the lasagna from sticking after baking.
  9. Top with 1/2 of the sausage-onion mixture, then 1/2 of the spinach mixture.
  10. Top with 1 package of the ravioli, laying out evenly in a single layer.
  11. Dollop 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over ravioli, then top with 1/3 of the mozzarella.
  12. Spread with 1/2 of the remaining tomato sauce, top with remaining sausage, then with remaining spinach.
  13. Top with second package of ravioli, dollop with remaining ricotta and 1/3 of the mozzarella.
  14. Spread on the rest of the sauce.
  15. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
  16. Remove from oven, discard foil and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and the reserved 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  17. Return to oven and bake another 12 minutes.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Chicken Zucchini Casserole

1 (6 oz.) package stuffing mix
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 cups diced zucchini
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 medium carrots, shredded
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sour cream

  1. In a large bowl, combine stuffing mix and butter. 
  2. Set aside 1/2 cup for topping.
  3. Add the zucchini, chicken, soup, carrots, onion, and sour cream to the remaining stuffing mixture.
  4. Transfer to a greased 2-quart baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle with reserved stuffing mixture.
  6. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  45 minutes
Serves 6

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Zuppa Toscana Soup

This recipe is very much like the Zuppa Toscana you might find at Olive Garden.

1 pound Italian sausage
1/2 pound cooked bacon
4 cups water
2 cans (29 oz. total) chicken broth
2 large potatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
2 cups kale
1 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. In a skillet, over medium-high heat, brown Italian sausage, breaking into small pieces as you fry it; drain, set aside.
  2. In a skillet, over medium-high heat, brown bacon; drain, set aside.
  3. Place water, broth, cubed potatoes, crushed garlic, chopped onion in a pot; simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender.
  4. Add sausage and crumbled bacon to pot; simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add chopped kale and cream to pot; season with salt and pepper; heat through. 

Focaccia Bread

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 t. white sugar
1 T. active dry yeast
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 T. vegetable oil
1 c. water
2 T. olive oil
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. mozzarella
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper.  Mix in the vegetable oil and water.
  2. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic.  Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough into the bowl, and turn to coat with oil.  Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).  Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet.  Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle.  Brush top with olive oil.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

Alternative Suggestion:
This make a great pizza crust.

Chicken Sausage and Tortellini Soup

4 tsp. olive oil
1 pkg. Italian Chicken Sausage Links
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. white wine (optional)
3 14 oz. cans low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
18 oz. refrigerated cheese tortellini
6 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
  1. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven and saute chicken until browned (safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F). 
  2. Remove from pan and carefully slice into small pieces; set aside.
  3. Heat remaining oil in Dutch oven; saute garlic for 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in wine and broth; bring to a boil.
  5. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add tortellini.
  6. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, then stir in spinach and tomatoes.
  7. Cook until the spinach wilts, approximately 2 minutes.
  8. Return sauteed sausage to the soup; heat throughout.
  9. Melt butter into soup.
  10. Refrigerate any leftovers

Serving Suggestion
Shredded Parmesan cheese and pieces of crusty bread are the perfect accompaniments.

Serves 6

Monday, March 25, 2013

Salsa Chicken Rice Casserole

1 1/3 cups uncooked white rice
2 2/3 cups water
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups mild salsa
  1. Place rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place  chicken breast halves into a large saucepan, and fill the pan with water.  Bring to a boil, and cook for 20 minutes, or until done.  Remove chicken from water.  When cool enough to handle, cut meat into bite-size pieces.
  3. In a small skillet, cook onion until opaque.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, onion, and salsa. 
  7. Layer 1/2 of the rice, 1/2 of the chicken, 1/2 of the soup and salsa mixture, and 1/2 of the cheese mixture in a prepared dish.
  8. Repeat layers, ending with cheese.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until bubbly.

Vanilla French Toast

2 eggs
1/2 C. 2% Milk
1 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
Pinch salt
6 slices day-old bread
Maple syrup or cinnamon-sugar
In a shallow bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt.
Soak bread for 30 seconds on each side.
Cook on a greased hot gridle until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.
Serve with syrup or cinnamon-sugar.

Serves 2

Nuoc Mam Pha (Mixed Fish Sauce Recipe)

60 ml water
1 t.  Rice vinegar
2 t. Sugar
1 Red Chili, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and crushed
1 t. Lime juice
2 T. Fish sauce
Mix ingredients together and serve as a dipping sauce.
If making in larger amounts however, bring water, vinegar and sugar to a boil then allow to cool before adding chili, garlic and lime juice.
Stir in fish sauce before serving.
Goes well with Spring Rolls.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Beer-Battered Shrimp

1 cup Bisquick mix
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup beer
1 egg
1 lb. uncooked peeled diveined large (16 to 20 count) shrimp, thawed if frozen, tail shells removed
3 to 4 Tbsp. Bisquick mix
Vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup sweet-and-sour sauce
  1. In a deep 10-inch skillet, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil over medium heat to 375% F
  2. In a medium bowl, stir 1 cup Bisquick mix, the garlic powder, beer and egg with wire whisk or fork until smooth.  (If batter is too thick, stir in additional beer, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency).
  3. Lightly coat 6 shrimp with 1/4 cup Bisquick mix.  Dip shrimp into batter, letting excess drip into bowl.  Fry in oil about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown; drain on paper towels.
  4. Repeat with remaining shrimp. 
  5. Serve hot with sweet-and-sour sauce.

Prep Time:  25 minutes
Serves 4

Chicken Tortilla Soup - Crockpot Recipe

1 (16-oz.) jar Pace Picante Sauce
2 cans Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1.5 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (16-oz.) bag frozen whole kernel corn
1 (15-oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3 soup cans of water
2 teaspoons ground cumin
6 corn tortillas (6-inch), cut into thin strips
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 C, fresh cilantro, chopped
Additional shredded cheddar cheese for topping (optional)
Sour cream for topping (optional)
  1. Stir together picante sauce, soup, chicken, corn, beans, water and cumin in a 5-qt. or larger slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or on high for 2 to 2.5 hours, until chicken is cooked through.
  3. Stir the tortillas and cheese into the soup and cook for an additional 15 minutes. 
  4. Stir in cilantro right before serving.
  5. Serve with additional shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for topping. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spicy Thai Beef and Rice

3/4 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
2 carrots, thinly sliced
3/4 C. Jasmine rice
2 T. soy sauce
1/3 C. chopped fresh mint leaves
1/3 C. chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Heat large frying pan over high heat.
  2. Add beef; stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes or until browned.
  3. Add onion, garlic and crushed red pepper; stir-fry 1 minute longer.
  4. Mix in carrots, rice, 1-1/2 cups water, and soy sauce. 
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to low.
  7. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  8. Mix in mint and cilantro.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. Let stand, covered 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings, about 1-1/4 cup each.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

3 1/4 lbs. Roma tomatoes
10 garlic cloves
1 large yellow onion, diced
8 oz. mushrooms, diced
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. salt
3 Tbsp. Splenda
1 3/4 cup water
1/8 cup olive oil

  1. Blend tomatoes in blender. 
  2. Peel and chop onion and garlic.
  3. Wash and chop mushrooms.
  4. In a large pot combine all ingredients and stir to mix.
  5. Bring to a boil and then turn down to lowest setting.
  6. Simmer for at least 6 hours.
  7. The mushrooms should be very slightly firm when done.

Makes about 6-8 servings.
Can be frozen in serving size portions.

Note:  The longer it sits, the better it is.  Should be made at least 2 days before using to let flavors blend.

Salisbury Steak

1 egg
3 T. crushed butter-flavored crackers
1 T. onion, finely chopped
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. rubbed sage
3/4 lb. ground beef
1 can (4 oz.) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
2 T. butter
3 T. all-purpose flour
1-3/4 C. water
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/4 teaspoon browning sauce, optional
Hot mashed potatoes
  1. In a medium bowl, combine egg, cracker crumbs, onion, salt, pepper and sage.
  2. Add beef and mix well.
  3. Shape into patties.
  4. In a medium skillet, cook patties for 4-5 minutes per side or until browned; drain.
  5. Remove to a platter and keep warm.
  6. In the same skillet, saute mushrooms in butter for 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in flour; blend well.
  8. Add water and bouillon; cook and stir until smooth and thickened.
  9. Stir in browning sauce if desired.
  10. Return patties to gravy and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Serve with mashed potatoes.
Yield: 2 servings (or 3, depending on your preferences)

Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
  1. Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer.
  2. Add vanilla.
  3. Gradually add sugar one cup at a time., beating well on medium speed.
  4. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
  5. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
  6. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  7. Keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

Yield:  3 cups
Refrigerate in an airtight container, can be stored 2 weeks.

Sausage Quiche

1 lb. sausage or pork
2 1/2 C. hash brown potatoes
1 C. shredded cheese (I use Mozzarella)
1 3/4 C. milk
1 C. Bisquick mix
4 eggs
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
  1. Save 1/4 cup cheese for top.
  2. Grease 10-inch pie plate.
  3. Cook and stir sausage until well done, drain off grease.
  4. Mix hash brown potatoes, sausage, and cheese in pie plate.
  5. Beat remaining ingredients except 1/4 cup cheese.
  6. Pour into pie plate.
  7. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  8. Bake until golden brown, 40 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Eggplant Parmesan

1 eggplant (1 lb.), sliced
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spray 13" x 9" pan with cooking spray.
  3. Layer half each of the eggplant and mushrooms in pan; top with layers of 1/3 each of the Parmesan and mozzarella.
  4. Repeat layers.
  5. Top with spaghetti sauce; cover.
  6. Bake 35 minutes.
  7. Remove foil; sprinkle casserole with remaining cheeses.
  8. Bake, uncovered 5 minutes or until mozzarella is melted.

Total time:  50 minutes
Prep time:  10 minutes
Serves 6

Orange Chicken

1 1/2 cups water
2 T. orange juice
1/4 C. lemon juice
1/3 C. rice vinegar
2 1/2 T. soy sauce
1 T. grated orange zest
1 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 t. minced fresh ginger root
1/2 t. minced garlic
2 T. chopped green onion
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
3 T. cornstarch
2 T. water
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 C. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
3 T. olive oil
  1. Pour 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce into a saucepan and set over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir in the orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, chopped onion, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Remove from heat, and cool 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Place the chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag.
  6. When contents of the saucepan have cooled, pour 1 cup of sauce into bag.
  7. Reserve the remaining sauce.
  8. Seal the bag and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  9. In another resealable plastic bag, mix the flour, salt, and pepper.  Add the marinated chicken pieces, seal the bag and shake to coat.
  10. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Place chicken into the skillet, and brown on both sides. 
  11. Drain on a place lined with paper towels, and cover with aluminum foil.
  12. Wipe out the skillet, and add the sauce.
  13. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  14. Mix together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water; stir into the sauce.
  15. Reduce heat to medium low, add the chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Prep Time:  40 minutes
Cook Time:  40 minutes
Serves 4

Quick and Simple Classic Lasagna

15 oz. container ricotta cheese
16 oz. pkg. mozzarella cheese, shredded
5 oz. wedge Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
1 lb. ground beef
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup beef broth or water
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
  1. Mix ricotta cheese and egg in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in 3 cups mozzarella and 3/4 cup Parmesan.
  3. Reserve remaining cheeses.
  4. Brown beef over medium heat and drain.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Stir in spaghetti sauce and beef broth.
  7. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  8. Spread 1 1/2 cups sauce in bottom of 13" x 9" glass baking dish.
  9. Top with 3 noodles lengthwise, place 4th noodle crosswise, breaking to fit.
  10. Layer heaping 1 cup of the sauce and 1/2 of the ricotta mixture.
  11. Repeat layers. 
  12. Top with remaining noodles and sauce.
  13. Cover with foil. 
  14. Bake 1 hour.
  15. Remove foil.
  16. Sprinkle with reserved cheeses.
  17. Bake uncovered 10 minutes.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Baked Shrimp Scampi


  • 2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined.
  4. Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup honey
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 pinch paprika
1 pinch salt
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.  Can be made ahead of time.

Great with Chicken Strips.

Chicken Strips

1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup self rising flour
10 chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup flour
oil (6 to 10 cups) or shortening for frying
  1. Heat shortening or oil in fryer to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine beaten egg, milk, chicken broth, salt and pepper in medium bowl.
  3. Whisk for about 30 seconds to dissolve salt.
  4. Whisk in 1 cup self rising flour.
  5. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Coat each piece of chicken with dry flour, and then dunk the chicken into the batter.
  7. Let a little batter drip off the chicken and lower it into the hot oil.  Fry for 7 to 9 minutes.
  8. Repeat with the remaining chicken, frying 3 to 4 tenderloins at a time.
  9. Drain fried chicken strips on paper towels and serve with honey mustard dipping sauce.
If you don't have self rising flour it can be made with the following:
1 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt

Total time:  45 minutes
Prep time:  15 minutes

Serves 4

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce Recipe


Peanut Sauce:
3/4 cup natural-style creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 1/2 medium limes)
4 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons chile-garlic paste
1 medium garlic clove, mashed to a paste
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Summer Rolls:
24 medium shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled and deveined
4 ounces dried rice stick noodles or rice vermicelli
16 (8-1/2-inch) round rice paper wrappers
1 cup mung bean sprouts (about 3 ounces)
32 medium fresh mint leaves (from about 1 bunch)
32 fresh basil or Thai basil leaves
16 small fresh cilantro sprigs
2 serrano chiles, stemmed, halved, seeds removed, and thinly sliced lengthwise into 32 pieces (optional)
1 medium English cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/4-by-1/4-by-2-1/2-inch sticks
3 medium scallions, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 2-1/2-inch pieces (white and light green parts only)
8 Bibb lettuce leaves, cut in half

For the peanut sauce:
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside
For the summer rolls:
  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until bright pink and just opaque, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain in a colander and run under cold water until cool. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place on a cutting board.
  2. Holding your knife parallel to the cutting board, halve each shrimp horizontally.
  3. Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  4. Place all of the ingredients in separate containers and arrange them in the following order around a work surface: rice paper wrappers, shrimp, rice noodles, bean sprouts, mint, basil, cilantro, serrano (if using), cucumber, scallions, and lettuce.
  5. Place a clean, damp kitchen towel on a work surface. Fill a medium frying pan or wide, shallow dish large enough to hold the rice paper wrappers with hot tap water. Working with 1 wrapper at a time, completely submerge the wrapper until it is soft and pliable, about 15 seconds. Remove the wrapper from the water and place it on the towel.
  6. Working quickly, lay 3 shrimp halves in a row, cut side up, just above the center of the wrapper, leaving about 1 inch of space on each side. Layer a scant 1/4 cup of the rice noodles over the shrimp, followed by a few bean sprouts, 2 of the mint leaves, 2 of the basil leaves, 1 sprig of cilantro, and 2 pieces of serrano, if using. Place 4 of the cucumber sticks and 2 of the scallion pieces on either side of the noodle pile. Roll one piece of lettuce into a cigar shape and place it on top of the noodle pile.
  7. Fold the bottom half of the rice paper wrapper over the filling. Holding the whole thing firmly in place, fold the sides of the wrapper in.
  8. Then, pressing firmly down to hold the folds in place, roll the entire wrapper horizontally up from the bottom to the top.
  9. Turn the roll so that the seam faces down and the row of shrimp faces up. Place it on a rimmed baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and fillings. Leave 3/4 inch between each summer roll on the sheet so they don’t stick together, and replace the water in the pan or dish with hot tap water as needed.
  10. If not serving immediately, keep the summer rolls tightly covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Serve with the peanut sauce for dipping.

Egg Rolls

1 pkg. Egg Roll Wraps 1 lb. lean ground pork (diced pork loin works just as well)
1 tsp. minced ginger
2 cups cabbage, finely chopped
1/4 lb. bean sprouts
1/2 cup carrot, shredded
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
Canola oil for frying
Sauce for dipping

  1. Stir-fry meat and ginger in skillet over high heat until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. 
  2. Add cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, and green onions, cook 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in oyster sauce.
  4. Let mixture cool.
  5. Place filling diagonally on wrap.
  6. Use 2 tablespoons filling for each egg roll
  7. Fold bottom corner over filling; roll snugly half-way to cover filling
  8. Fold in both sides snugly against filling; moisten edges of last flap
  9. Roll wrap up and seal top corner; lay flap-side down until ready to cook.
  10. In a large skillet, heat oil to 350 degrees and place rolls flap down.
  11. Turn occasionally until golden, 2-3 minutes. 
  12. Drain on paper towels.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Spring Rolls

This recipe came about after I tried a Vietnamese Spring Roll recipe and then made a favorite Egg Roll recipe a few days later. This Spring Roll recipe is a combination of both.

8 1/2-inch round rice paper wrappers
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 T. oil
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, shredded
2 cups cabbage, finely chopped
1/2 cup bean sprouts
3 T. oyster sauce
4 oz. rice virmicelli noodles

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the green onions, carrots, cabbage and bean sprouts.
  3. Cook until vegetables are cooked.
  4. Add oyster sauce.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Cut each shrimp in half horizontally.
  7. Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions.  Drain and set aside
  8. Place a clean, damp kitchen towel on the work surface.
  9. Fill a frying pan, or wide shallow dish (large enough to hold the rice paper wrappers) with hot water.
  10. Working with 1 wrapper at a time, completely submerge the wrapper until it is soft and pliable, about 15 seconds.
  11. Remove the wrapper from the water and place it on the towel.
  12. Lay 3 shrimp halves in a row, cut side up, just above center of the wrapper, leave about 1 inch of space on each side.
  13. Layer 1/4 cup rice noodles over the shrimp.
  14. Spread cooked vegetable mixture over the noodles.
  15. Fold the bottom half of the rice paper wrapper over the filling.
  16. Fold the sides of the wrapper in.
  17. While pressing firmly down to hold the folds in place, roll the entire wrapper horizontally up form bottom to top.
  18. Turn the roll so that the seam is down and the row of shrimp faces up.
  19. Place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.
  20. Repeat process with remaining wrappers and filling. 
  21. Leave 3/4 inch between each roll so they don't stick together.
  22. Replace the water in the pan with hot tap water as needed.