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EEO REPORT

 

 

Each Saturday morning, Jean  provides our listeners with a number of recipes on Kitchen Medley.  These recipes are published weekly on this site.  (click here) Selected recipes featured during the month are combined into a single document  and copies are available at the Cub Store in Buffalo, The Marketplace in Annandale and Cokato.  

 

       

 

                              Kitchen Medley Recipes

February 18, 2017

Spinach and Rice Casserole

2 tsp olive oil

1 can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup

3 medium carrots, chopped (1 1/2 c)

1 1/2 c uncooked instant brown rice

2/3 c chopped celery

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 c)

1/2 tsp pepper

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 c diced cooked ham

1 3/4 c water

3/4 c shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (3 oz)

2 boxes (9 oz ea) frozen chopped spinach,

1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

thawed and drained

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13x9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 3-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water and soup; heat to boiling. Add spinach, rice, Italian seasoning and pepper; return to boiling. Remove from heat; stir in ham, 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Spread in baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake 30-35 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Let stand uncovered 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin w/Sweet Pot, Pears*

1 pork tenderloin (1-1 1/4 lbs)

1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper

2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves

2 firm ripe small pears, unpeeled, cut into 6 wedges

1/2 tsp salt

1 medium sweet onion, halved crosswise, cut

1/2 tsp dried sage leaves, crushed

into thin wedges

1 large dark-orange sweet potato (l lb) peeled,

1 Tbs olive oil

cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

fresh sage leaves, if desired

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray 15x10x1-inch pan with cooking spray. Place pork tenderloin in pan. In small bowl, mix rosemary, salt, sage and pepper. Rub half of seasoning mixture on pork. In medium bowl, toss sweet potato, pears and onion with oil until coated. Sprinkle with remaining seasoning mixture; toss. Place vegetables around pork. Bake 25-30 minutes, stirring vegetables and pears gently once or twice during baking, until pork has slight blush of pink in center and meat thermometer inserted in center reads 145 degrees, and vegetables are tender. Remove from oven; cover with foil and let stand 3 minutes before slicing. Cut pork into ½ -inch slices. Serve with vegetables. Garnish with fresh sage leaves.

Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes

1 can (16 oz) spicy chili beans in sauce, undrained

1/4 c ketchup

1 lb extra lean (at least 95%) ground beef

1 tsp chili powder

1 c chopped green pepper

1/4 tsp pepper

1 c chopped red bell pepper

2 tsp fresh lime juice

1 c chopped onion

8 whole wheat burger buns

1 jalapeno chile, seeded, diced

Spray 3 1/2 - 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray; set aside. Pour chili beans into medium bowl. With potato masher or fork, mash about half of the beans; set aside. In 12-inch skillet, cook beef, green and red bell peppers, onion and jalapeño chile over medium heat 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Pour beef mixture into slow cooker. Add beans, ketchup, chili powder and pepper. Stir to thoroughly combine. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 2 ½ to 3 hours or until heated through. Stir in lime juice. Divide beef mixture among buns (about 1/2 cup each). Serve immediately.

 

Sesame Shrimp and Apple Salad*

8 uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined

1 tsp honey

wooden skewers

1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

cooking spray

1/2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/4 tsp salt

3 c baby lettuce leaves

freshly ground black pepper

1 granny smith apple, cut into thin matchsticks

2 tsp cider vinegar

1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin matchsticks

1 tsp olive oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper or foil. Thread shrimp onto skewers, 2-4 per skewer. Spray shrimp evenly with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 5-8 minutes or until shrimp are pink. Meanwhile, in small bowl, beat vinegar, olive oil, honey, sesame oil and soy sauce with whisk until well blended. In large bowl, toss lettuce, apple and bell pepper with dressing. Divide salad evenly between two serving plates. Top each with shrimp.

February 11, 2017

Chicken Broccoli Cheddar Mac

16 oz fusilli pasta, uncooked

8 oz extra sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

4 Tbs olive oil

8 oz white American cheese slices, in small pieces

4 chicken breasts, cubed and seasoned with salt

4 oz mozzarella cheese, grated

and pepper

8 oz cream cheese, softened and diced

1/2 tsp ground dry mustard

2 Tbs flour

1 tsp white pepper

2 Tbs butter

2 c whole milk

4 c steamed broccoli florets

Cook cubed chicken in a medium skillet with olive oil until crispy and completely cooked. Steam broccoli and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. In the same pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour. Whisk flour and butter together for 1-2 minutes. Pour in milk and whisk until smooth. Add in dry mustard and white pepper. Heat milk until hot and then add in cream cheese. Stir until melted and smooth. Add in all grated cheese and blend until melted. Mix in the chicken and broccoli. Pour pasta into cheese sauce and mix well. Stir well and heat for 2-3 minutes.

Loaded Potato Soup*

1 pkg (12 oz) bacon

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 c chopped onion

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

6 c chicken broth (two 32 oz cartons)

1 c diced cooked ham

2 lb baking potatoes, peeled, cubed

1 container (8 oz) sour cream

2/3 c butter

2 1/2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese (10 oz)

3/4 c all-purpose flour

3/4 c sliced green onions

4 c milk

In a medium skillet, cook bacon over medium heat 6-7 minutes or until crisp; drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon; set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Cook onion in bacon until almost tender. In a 6-quart Dutch oven, mix onion, broth and potatoes. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are very tender. Meanwhile, in same skillet, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour with whisk until smooth. Cook and stir 1 minute. Gradually stir in 2 cups of the milk. Pour milk mixture into potato mixture. Add remaining 2 cups milk, the salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with whisk, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in ham, half of the bacon, the sour cream, 2 cups of the cheese and 1/2 cup of the green onions. Cook until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted. Evenly top individual servings with the remaining bacon, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/4 cup green onions.

Sausage and Red Bean Skillet w/Biscuits

1 Tbs butter

1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes

1 lb bulk pork sausage

1 box (6.5 oz) cornbread muffin mix

1 c chopped yellow onion

1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese (4 oz)

1/2 c chopped celery

2 Tbs milk

1/2 c chopped green bell pepper

1 Tbs sriracha sauce

1 tsp Cajun seasoning

1 egg

1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 can (19 oz) dark red kidney beans, drained, rinsed

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In medium ovenproof skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook sausage, onion, celery, bell pepper, Cajun seasoning and red pepper in butter 8 -10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are softened. Stir in beans and tomatoes. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently; remove from heat. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix cornbread muffin mix, cheese, milk, Sriracha sauce and egg. Spoon tablespoonful’s over sausage mixture. Bake 12-15 minutes or until cornbread biscuits are cooked through and browned on top. Top with green onions.

Smothered Chicken Casserole*

1 Tbs oil

1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 1/4 c half-and-half

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp pepper

2 c frozen broccoli florets, cut into smaller pieces

6 oz uncooked angel hair pasta

3 slices precooked bacon, crumbled

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 1/2 -quart casserole with cooking spray. In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs; sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Cook chicken 8-10 minutes, turning once, until golden brown and juice of chicken is clear, and when thickest part is no longer pink. Cook pasta as directed on package; drain. In large bowl, mix soup, half-and-half and paprika; reserve 3/4 cup sauce. Stir in cooked pasta and frozen broccoli. Place pasta mixture in casserole; top with chicken thighs. Spoon reserved sauce over chicken thighs. Top with bacon. Cover and bake 20 minutes; uncover and bake 10-15 minutes or until sauce bubbles.

February 4, 2017

Stuffed Baby Portabella Mushrooms

2 pkg (5oz ea) fresh baby portabella mushrooms

BOURSIN CHEESE SAUCE:

or large regular white mushrooms

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 Tbs butter or margarine

2 1/2 oz butter, softened

3/4 c finely chopped red onion

6 oz cream cheese, softened

1 c frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, drained, minced

1 Tbs grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1/4 c garlic and herb bread crumbs

1 tsp fresh dill minced or 1/4 tsp dried

1 c Boursin cheese (see right)

1/8 tsp dried marjoram

1/2 tsp dried basil leaves

1/8 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves

1/4 tsp chives, minced

1/2 tsp garlic salt

dash black pepper

1/2 tsp pepper

1/8 tsp dried thyme

1 Tbs chopped roasted red bell peppers (from a jar)

2 tsp minced fresh parsley

BOURSIN CHEESE SAUCE: First, mix the cheeses, butter and garlic, then add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pack into tight container and chill until ready for inclusion in mushrooms. STUFFED MUSHROOMS: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Carefully remove stems from mushrooms. Chop enough stems for 1/2 cup. In a 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Cook onion and broccoli in butter 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in mushroom stems. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is crisp-tender. Cool slightly. Stir in bread crumbs, boursin cheese sauce, basil, oregano, garlic salt and pepper. Spoon vegetable mixture evenly into mushroom caps, mounding slightly. Place stuffed mushrooms in an ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan. Garnish each with bell pepper pieces. Bake uncovered 12-15 minutes or until filling is light golden brown.

Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 box (9 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and

1/4 c chili garlic sauce

drained

12 c sour cream

2 slices bacon, chopped

1 can or jar (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and

2 c thinly sliced sweet onions

coarsely chopped

1 serrano chile, seeded, finely chopped (1 Tbs)

1/3 c shredded parmesan cheese

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

crackers, crostini or vegetables, as desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Cook spinach as directed on box. Drain well; squeeze with paper towel to get out as much liquid as possible; set aside. Spray a 10-inch skillet with cooking spray. Place bacon in skillet; cook over medium heat until crispy. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Add onions and serrano chile to bacon drippings in pan; cook 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized. Meanwhile, in large bowl, mix cream cheese, chili garlic sauce and sour cream; stir in spinach and artichokes. Stir onion mixture into spinach mixture. Pour into pie plate. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes or until hot in center. Top with reserved bacon; serve with crackers, crostini or vegetables.

Slow Cooker Candied Spiced Nuts

1 1/2 c granulated sugar

3 tsp vanilla

1/2 c packed light brown sugar

2 c almonds

1 1/2 Tbs ground cinnamon

2 c cashews

2 egg whites

2 c pecans

Spray a 4-5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In large bowl, stir together sugars and cinnamon. Set aside. In small bowl, beat egg whites and vanilla until a little frothy. Place nuts in slow cooker. Pour egg white mixture over nuts, and stir until nuts are evenly coated. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over nuts, and stir until nuts are all coated well. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. When 20 minutes are left, pour 1/4 cup water into slow cooker, and stir. When cooking time is up, spread nuts on cookie sheet to cool until dry.

Fully Loaded Deviled Eggs*

12 eggs

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp vegetable oil

1/2 pinch onion powder

1 small onion, chopped

1/8 tsp lemon pepper seasoning

1/4 c sour cream

1 Tbs bacon bits, or to taste

2 Tbs mayonnaise

1 c finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 Tbs ranch dressing, or to taste

1/4 tsp paprika, or as needed

1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Place eggs into a large pot and just cover with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium; boil eggs for 10-12 minutes. Drain the boiling water and place under running cold water. Continue until eggs are fully chilled, 10-15 minutes. Peel eggs. Heat vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat and cook and stir onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Slice eggs in half lengthwise and scoop yolks into a bowl; transfer egg white halves to a plate. Mash egg yolks with a fork; stir in sour cream, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and lemon pepper seasoning until yolk mixture is smooth. Stir in bacon bits and cheddar cheese. Generously fill egg halves with filling and sprinkle each deviled egg with paprika. Refrigerate until chilled before serving.

January 28, 2017

Beef Burrito Skillet

(28 Jan 17)

1 lb lean ground beef

4 flour tortillas (6 in) cut into 1 1/2 in pieces

1 pkg (1 oz) taco seasoning mix

1 c Mexican style shredded four cheese

1 can (15.5 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed

1/3 c sour cream

1 c thick and chunky salsa

1 large green onion, chopped

1 c water

In a large skillet, brown the beef on medium-high heat, drain. Add the seasoning mix, beans, salsa and water and stir, bringing to a boil and simmer on medium-low for 5 minutes. Stir in the tortilla pieces, and top with the cheese. Remove from the heat and cover, letting it stand for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Top with sour cream and green onion.

Easy Cheesy Barbequed Sloppy Joes

(28 Jan 17*)

1 lb lean ground beef

3/4 c barbeque sauce

1 green pepper, chopped

4 hamburger buns

1/4 c onion, chopped

4 slices American cheese

Brown meat in a large skillet, drain. Add the green pepper and onions, cook and stir until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Stir in barbeque sauce, cook 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Fill buns with the mixture and top with a slice of cheese on each.

Best Ever Meatballs

(28 Jan 17)

2 lbs ground beef

1 1/4 c water

1 pkg (6 oz) stuffing mix for chicken

2 eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line two 15x10 inch pans with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking spray. Mix the ingredients until just blended; and shape into 32 1/2 inch balls, using a quarter cup for each. Place in the prepared pans, and bake 16-18 minutes or until done. Serve with your favorite sauce and pair with your preferred noodles or pasta.

Maple Bacon Beer Burger

(28 Jan 17*)

1 lb ground beef

4 slices cheddar cheese

1/4 c beer

4 slices extra thick Maplewood bacon, cut in

2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

half and cooked crisp

4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split

Combine ground beef and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl, mixing thoroughly. Shape into four 1/2 inch thick patties. Grill or cook on the stove top at medium heat, covered 8-10 minutes. About 2 minutes before burgers are done, place buns, cut side down on the heating surface, toast. Then add cheese, and melt. Place burgers on the buns, add the crisp bacon slices and close sandwiches.

January 21, 2017

Potato Crunchy Tenders

(21 Jan 17)

1/2 c vegetable oil, for frying

2 tsp salt

1 1/2 c milk

2 tsp ground black pepper

1 egg

1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders

1 pkg (7.6 oz) garlic flavored mashed potatoes

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. While the oil is heating, beat the milk and egg together in a bowl. In another bowl, stir together the instant mashed potatoes, salt and pepper. Stir the chicken tenders with the milk mixture to coat thoroughly, then shake off excess milk and dip each tender into the potato flakes. Place the breaded tenders into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. This should take 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.

Roast Sticky Chicken-Rotisserie Style

(21 Jan 17*)

4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried thyme

2 onions, quartered

1 tsp white pepper

2 (4 lb) whole chickens

In a small bowl, mix together all of the seasonings. Remove and discard giblets from chicken. Rinse chicken cavity, and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub each chicken inside and out with the spice mixture. Place one onion into the cavity of each chicken. Place chickens in a resealable bag, or double wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4-6 hours. About 5 hours before serving, preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place the chickens in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for about 5 hours, to a minimum internal temperature of 185 degrees. Let the chickens stand for 10 minutes before carving.

Buffalo Chicken Wings

(21 Jan 17)

1/2 c all-purpose flour

HOT SAUCE MIXTURE:

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 c butter

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 c hot sauce

1/4 tsp salt

1 dash ground black pepper

10 chicken wings/drummets

1 dash garlic powder

oil for frying

ranch dressing or other dipping sauce

In a small bowl mix together the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Place chicken in a large nonporous glass dish or bowl and sprinkle flour mixture over them until they are evenly coated. Cover dish or bowl and refrigerate for 60-90 minutes. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep skillet to medium high (375 degrees). The oil should be just enough to cover the wings entirely, an inch or so deep. Combine the butter, hot sauce, pepper and garlic powder in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir together and heat until butter is melted and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat and reserve for serving. Fry coated wings in hot oil for 10-15 minutes, or until parts of wings begin to turn brown. Remove, drain, and place them in a serving bowl, adding the hot sauce mixture and stir to coat. Serve, and present with ranch dressing or other dipping sauce.

Rice Crispy Chicken Nuggets

(21 Jan 17*)

1 egg

1/4 c olive oil

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

2 Tbs butter

2 1/2 c crispy rice cereal, crushed

APRICOT SAUCE:

1 1/4 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut

1/2 c apricot preserves

into 20 pieces

2 Tbs water

Beat egg, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Pour crushed cereal into a separate bowl. Coat chicken pieces in the egg mixture. Press chicken pieces into cereal until coated. Heat oil and butter together in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir chicken until coating is golden brown and meat is no longer pink in the center, about 7 minutes. Whisk preserves and water together in a saucepan over medium-low heat until heated through and smooth, 2-3 minutes. Serve apricot sauce with the chicken nuggets.

January 28, 2017

Beef Burrito Skillet

(28 Jan 17)

1 lb lean ground beef

4 flour tortillas (6 in) cut into 1 1/2 in pieces

1 pkg (1 oz) taco seasoning mix

1 c Mexican style shredded four cheese

1 can (15.5 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed

1/3 c sour cream

1 c thick and chunky salsa

1 large green onion, chopped

1 c water

In a large skillet, brown the beef on medium-high heat, drain. Add the seasoning mix, beans, salsa and water and stir, bringing to a boil and simmer on medium-low for 5 minutes. Stir in the tortilla pieces, and top with the cheese. Remove from the heat and cover, letting it stand for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Top with sour cream and green onion.

Easy Cheesy Barbequed Sloppy Joes

(28 Jan 17*)

1 lb lean ground beef

3/4 c barbeque sauce

1 green pepper, chopped

4 hamburger buns

1/4 c onion, chopped

4 slices American cheese

Brown meat in a large skillet, drain. Add the green pepper and onions, cook and stir until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Stir in barbeque sauce, cook 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Fill buns with the mixture and top with a slice of cheese on each.

Best Ever Meatballs

(28 Jan 17)

2 lbs ground beef

1 1/4 c water

1 pkg (6 oz) stuffing mix for chicken

2 eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line two 15x10 inch pans with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking spray. Mix the ingredients until just blended; and shape into 32 1/2 inch balls, using a quarter cup for each. Place in the prepared pans, and bake 16-18 minutes or until done. Serve with your favorite sauce and pair with your preferred noodles or pasta.

Maple Bacon Beer Burger

(28 Jan 17*)

1 lb ground beef

4 slices cheddar cheese

1/4 c beer

4 slices extra thick Maplewood bacon, cut in

2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

half and cooked crisp

4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split

Combine ground beef and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl, mixing thoroughly. Shape into four 1/2 inch thick patties. Grill or cook on the stove top at medium heat, covered 8-10 minutes. About 2 minutes before burgers are done, place buns, cut side down on the heating surface, toast. Then add cheese, and melt. Place burgers on the buns, add the crisp bacon slices and close sandwiches.

January 21, 2017

Potato Crunchy Tenders

(21 Jan 17)

1/2 c vegetable oil, for frying

2 tsp salt

1 1/2 c milk

2 tsp ground black pepper

1 egg

1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders

1 pkg (7.6 oz) garlic flavored mashed potatoes

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. While the oil is heating, beat the milk and egg together in a bowl. In another bowl, stir together the instant mashed potatoes, salt and pepper. Stir the chicken tenders with the milk mixture to coat thoroughly, then shake off excess milk and dip each tender into the potato flakes. Place the breaded tenders into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. This should take 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.

Roast Sticky Chicken-Rotisserie Style

(21 Jan 17*)

4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried thyme

2 onions, quartered

1 tsp white pepper

2 (4 lb) whole chickens

In a small bowl, mix together all of the seasonings. Remove and discard giblets from chicken. Rinse chicken cavity, and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub each chicken inside and out with the spice mixture. Place one onion into the cavity of each chicken. Place chickens in a resealable bag, or double wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4-6 hours. About 5 hours before serving, preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place the chickens in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for about 5 hours, to a minimum internal temperature of 185 degrees. Let the chickens stand for 10 minutes before carving.

Buffalo Chicken Wings

(21 Jan 17)

1/2 c all-purpose flour

HOT SAUCE MIXTURE:

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 c butter

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 c hot sauce

1/4 tsp salt

1 dash ground black pepper

10 chicken wings/drummets

1 dash garlic powder

oil for frying

ranch dressing or other dipping sauce

In a small bowl mix together the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Place chicken in a large nonporous glass dish or bowl and sprinkle flour mixture over them until they are evenly coated. Cover dish or bowl and refrigerate for 60-90 minutes. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep skillet to medium high (375 degrees). The oil should be just enough to cover the wings entirely, an inch or so deep. Combine the butter, hot sauce, pepper and garlic powder in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir together and heat until butter is melted and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat and reserve for serving. Fry coated wings in hot oil for 10-15 minutes, or until parts of wings begin to turn brown. Remove, drain, and place them in a serving bowl, adding the hot sauce mixture and stir to coat. Serve, and present with ranch dressing or other dipping sauce.

Rice Crispy Chicken Nuggets

(21 Jan 17*)

1 egg

1/4 c olive oil

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

2 Tbs butter

2 1/2 c crispy rice cereal, crushed

APRICOT SAUCE:

1 1/4 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut

1/2 c apricot preserves

into 20 pieces

2 Tbs water

Beat egg, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Pour crushed cereal into a separate bowl. Coat chicken pieces in the egg mixture. Press chicken pieces into cereal until coated. Heat oil and butter together in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir chicken until coating is golden brown and meat is no longer pink in the center, about 7 minutes. Whisk preserves and water together in a saucepan over medium-low heat until heated through and smooth, 2-3 minutes. Serve apricot sauce with the chicken nuggets.

January 14, 2017

Beer Pizza

(14 Jan 17)

1 Tbs olive oil

1 c beer

1/2 lb pepperoni sausage, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lb bacon, diced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 can (4 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 onion, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 unbaked pizza crusts

1 can (28 oz) tomato sauce

1 pkg (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the pepperoni and bacon until evenly browned. Mix in the mushrooms, onion, and green pepper. Cook and stir about 5 minutes until tender. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix the ingredients from the skillet with the tomato sauce and beer. Season with the garlic, oregano, thyme, and salt. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Spread over the two pizza crusts, and top with cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes in the oven until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.

Hot Ham and Cheese Swirls

(14 Jan 17)

2 1/2 c biscuit mix

2 Tbs honey

3/4 c milk

1/4 lb (6 slices) deli ham

2/3 c mayonnaise

1 c cheddar cheese, grated

2 Tbs Dijon or whole grain mustard

Heat oven to 375 degrees, and grease a 13x9-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, stir biscuit mix and milk to form a thick dough. Dump out onto a floured surface and use a floured rolling pin to roll into a large rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick.  In a small bowl, beat mayonnaise, mustard and honey with a whisk to make the sauce. Spread a few spoonfuls of sauce on dough and top with the ham and cheese.  Starting with one long end, tightly roll up dough. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 equal rolls. Place rolls in the baking dish, cut side down. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately with remaining honey mustard sauce. 

Sweet and Salty Caramel Popcorn

(14 Jan 17*)

1 tsp baking soda

2 1/2 c brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 c butter

1 Tbs vegetable oil, or as needed

1 c light corn syrup

1 c un-popped popcorn

1 tsp cream of tartar

1 c chopped strawberry licorice twists

sea salt, to taste

2 c broken small pretzels

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Measure baking soda and vanilla extract into separate small bowls; set aside. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan; add popcorn, cover, and cook, shaking often, until fully popped, about 5 minutes. Transfer popcorn to a large roasting pan using a strainer or your hands, leaving un-popped kernels in the saucepan. Distribute chopped licorice and broken pretzels evenly over popcorn. Bring the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and cream of tartar to a boil in a heavy pot, stirring constantly. Place a candy thermometer into the caramel mixture, and continue boiling, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 265 degrees, which could take up to 10 minutes. Remove caramel from heat, stir in vanilla and baking soda into the caramel; it will foam and rise slightly. Pour hot caramel over popcorn mixture, stirring gently to coat. Spread the popcorn mixture loosely onto the prepared baking sheets. Season to taste with sea salt; set aside to cool, about 20 minutes. Break popcorn mixture into chunks, store in airtight containers.

Southwest Dipping Sauce

(14 Jan 17)

1/2 c mayonnaise

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp ketchup

1/8 tsp dried oregano

2 Tbs cream-style horseradish sauce

1 pinch ground black pepper

1/4 tsp paprika

1 pinch cayenne pepper

In a small bowl, stir together the ingredients, blending well. Refrigerate until needed. Serve with your favorite chips and crackers.

Simple Bean Dip

(14 Jan 17*)

1 can (16 oz) refried beans

1 tomato, chopped fine

1 pkg (1.25 oz) taco seasoning mix

1 c cheddar cheese, shredded

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix the refried beans, taco seasoning, and tomato. Allow the mixture to simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon dip into a medium serving bowl and top with the cheese. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

January 7, 2017

Parmesan Chicken Bake

(7 Jan 17)

2 Tbs olive oil

1/4 c chopped fresh basil

2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

1 pkg (8 oz) mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese, divided

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 pkg (5 oz) garlic croutons

2 c prepared marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom of a 9x13-inch casserole dish with olive oil, and sprinkle with garlic and hot red pepper flakes. Arrange the chicken breasts in bottom of the dish, and pour marinara sauce over chicken. Sprinkle basil over marinara sauce, and top with half the mozzarella cheese, followed by half the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle on the croutons, then top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake until cheese and croutons are golden brown and the chicken is no longer pink inside, about 35 minutes to an hour, depending on the shape and thickness of your chicken breasts.

Twice Baked Potato Casserole w/Bacon

(7 Jan 17*)

2 large baking potatoes

2 Tbs butter, melted

1/2 lb lean bacon

1 tsp dried chives

1 1/2 c shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c sour cream

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 c milk

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish. Poke a few holes into each potato, and bake potatoes in the preheated oven until fully cooked, about 1 hour. Cool for about 15 minutes. Place the bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, cook until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on paper towels and crumble. Cut a thin slice from one side of each potato; carefully scoop out the flesh and transfer to a bowl. Discard skins. Mix 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, sour cream, milk, butter, chives, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder with potatoes. Spread potato mixture into the prepared casserole dish; top with remaining cheddar cheese and the crumbled bacon. Bake in the preheated oven until just bubbling, 10-15 minutes. Cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Connoisseur's Casserole

(7 Jan 17)

1 can (11 oz) white corn, drained

1 can (10.75 oz) cream of celery soup

1 can (15 oz) green beans, drained

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c chopped celery

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 c chopped onion

4 Tbs butter

1 jar (2 oz) chopped pimento peppers

1/2 c slivered almonds

1/2 c sour cream

1 c crushed buttery round crackers

1/2 c shredded Colby cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix white corn, green beans, celery, onion, pimento peppers, sour cream, Colby cheese, cream of celery soup, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, and stir in slivered almonds and crushed crackers. Sprinkle over the casserole. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Firecracker Casserole

(7 Jan 17*)

January 7, 2017

Parmesan Chicken Bake

(7 Jan 17)

2 Tbs olive oil

1/4 c chopped fresh basil

2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

1 pkg (8 oz) mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese, divided

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 pkg (5 oz) garlic croutons

2 c prepared marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom of a 9x13-inch casserole dish with olive oil, and sprinkle with garlic and hot red pepper flakes. Arrange the chicken breasts in bottom of the dish, and pour marinara sauce over chicken. Sprinkle basil over marinara sauce, and top with half the mozzarella cheese, followed by half the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle on the croutons, then top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake until cheese and croutons are golden brown and the chicken is no longer pink inside, about 35 minutes to an hour, depending on the shape and thickness of your chicken breasts.

Twice Baked Potato Casserole w/Bacon

(7 Jan 17*)

2 large baking potatoes

2 Tbs butter, melted

1/2 lb lean bacon

1 tsp dried chives

1 1/2 c shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c sour cream

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 c milk

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish. Poke a few holes into each potato, and bake potatoes in the preheated oven until fully cooked, about 1 hour. Cool for about 15 minutes. Place the bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, cook until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on paper towels and crumble. Cut a thin slice from one side of each potato; carefully scoop out the flesh and transfer to a bowl. Discard skins. Mix 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, sour cream, milk, butter, chives, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder with potatoes. Spread potato mixture into the prepared casserole dish; top with remaining cheddar cheese and the crumbled bacon. Bake in the preheated oven until just bubbling, 10-15 minutes. Cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Connoisseur's Casserole

(7 Jan 17)

1 can (11 oz) white corn, drained

1 can (10.75 oz) cream of celery soup

1 can (15 oz) green beans, drained

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c chopped celery

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 c chopped onion

4 Tbs butter

1 jar (2 oz) chopped pimento peppers

1/2 c slivered almonds

1/2 c sour cream

1 c crushed buttery round crackers

1/2 c shredded Colby cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix white corn, green beans, celery, onion, pimento peppers, sour cream, Colby cheese, cream of celery soup, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, and stir in slivered almonds and crushed crackers. Sprinkle over the casserole. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Firecracker Casserole

(7 Jan 17*)

2 lbs ground beef

1/2 tsp salt

1 onion, chopped

4 (7 inch) tortillas

1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes w green chile peppers

2 Tbs chili powder

1 can (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup

1 Tbs ground cumin

1 c shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir the ground beef with the onion in the hot skillet until completely browned, for 7-10 minutes; drain any excess fat. Stir the black beans, chili powder, cumin, and salt to the beef mixture; cook and stir until hot, about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Arrange the tortillas atop the beef mixture. Mix the tomatoes with green chile peppers and cream of mushroom soup together in a bowl; spread over the tortillas. Top with the cheddar cheese. Bake in the preheated oven until cooked through and the cheese is melted completely, 25-30 minutes.

December 31, 2016

Horsey Deviled Eggs

6 hard-cooked eggs

1/4 tsp ground mustard

1/4 c mayonnaise

1/8 tsp salt

1 Tbs prepared horseradish

dash pepper

1/2 tsp dill weed

sliced green onion tops

Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks; set whites aside. In a bowl, mash the yolks. Add mayonnaise, horseradish, dill, mustard, salt and pepper; mix well. Pipe or spoon into egg whites. Garnish with sliced green onions. Refrigerate until serving. Watch them disappear.

Crispy Chicken Taquitos

3-4 chicken breasts, frozen or thawed

1 tsp cumin

8 oz cream cheese

16 taco-sized tortillas, corn or flour

1/3 c jarred whole or sliced jalapenos, roughly

1 1/2 c shredded cheese (Colby Jack, Monterey

chopped

Jack, Mexican blend, or mozzarella)

1 tsp garlic powder

optional toppings: fresh cilantro, dipping sauces

1 tsp salt

such as ranch, salsa, green goddess dressing

Add chicken, ½ cup water, cream cheese, jalapeños, garlic powder, salt, and cumin to crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. Minutes before serving, preheat the oven to 425 and grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Shred the chicken and stir it in with the other contents of the crock pot. Heat tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds to soften them up, this will make them easier to work with. Sprinkle cheese in the middle of each tortilla. Top cheese with 2-3 tablespoons of shredded chicken mixture. Roll tortillas tightly into a log-shape taquito. Put on a baking sheet and spray heavily with cooking spray. Bake 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas begin to brown.

Bacon Crescents

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 Tbs milk

1/3 c grated parmesan cheese

2 pkgs (8 oz ea) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1/4 c finely chopped onions

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix all ingredients except crescent dough. Separate each can of dough into 8 triangles; cut each triangle lengthwise in half. Spread each dough triangle with 1 generous teaspoon cream cheese mixture; roll up, starting at short side of triangle. Place, point-sides down, on baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Luscious Slush Punch**

2 1/2 c white sugar

2/3 c lemon juice

6 c water

1 qt orange juice

2 pkgs (3 oz ea) strawberry gelatin mix

2 (2 liter) bottles lemon-lime soda

1 can (46 oz) pineapple juice

Bring the sugar, water, and strawberry flavored gelatin to a boil in a large saucepan; boil for 3 minutes. Stir in the pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice. Divide mixture into 2 separate containers and freeze. Combine the contents of 1 container with 1 bottle of the lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage in a punch bowl; stir until slushy. Repeat with remaining portions as needed.

December 24, 2016

Sweet Potato Cake

1 pkg yellow "super moist" cake mix

1 c mashed sweet potatoes, fresh or canned

4 large eggs

FROSTING:

3/4 c sugar

3 oz cream cheese, softened

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 stick butter

1 tsp cinnamon, ground

1 lb powdered sugar

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 c water, cold

2 Tbs milk

1/2 c cooking oil

CAKE: Mix ingredients well. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes in a well-greased tube pan. Bake only 35 minutes if using layer pans. Cool until just warm, run a butter knife around the edges, then turn upside down to release onto serving plate. FROSTING: Combine ingredients and add just enough milk to make icing of spreading consistency.

Golden Rum Cake**

CAKE:

1/2 c dark rum

1 c chopped walnuts

GLAZE:

1 pkg (18.25 oz) yellow cake mix

1/2 c butter

1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix

1/4 c water

4 eggs

1 c white sugar

1/2 c water

1/2 c dark rum

1/2 c vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over the bottom of the pan. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in the eggs, water, oil and rum. Blend well. Pour batter over chopped nuts in the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto serving plate. GLAZE: Combine ingredients and brush glaze over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze and repeat until all glaze is used. To make the glaze: in a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup rum.

Éclair Cake

2 pkg (3.5 oz ea) instant vanilla pudding mix

1 pkg (16 oz) graham cracker squares

1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 pkg (16 oz) prepared chocolate frosting

3 c milk

In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend the pudding mix, whipped topping, and milk. Arrange a single layer of graham cracker squares in the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan. Evenly spread half of the pudding mixture over the crackers. Top with another layer of crackers and the remaining pudding mixture. Top with a final layer of graham crackers. Spread the frosting over the whole cake up to the edges of the pan. Cover, and chill at least 4 hours before serving.

Hurricane Cake**

1/2 c margarine

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese

1 c chopped pecans

1/2 c margarine

1 c flaked coconut

3 3/4 c confectioners' sugar

1 pkg (18.25 oz) German chocolate cake mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt and spread 1/2 cup margarine in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle coconut and pecans evenly over the bottom of pan; set aside. Prepare cake mix as directed on package. Pour batter over coconut and pecans in pan. In a saucepan over low heat, melt cream cheese and 1/2 cup margarine. Stir in confectioners' sugar until mixture is smooth. Spoon cream cheese mixture randomly over top of cake batter. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool and serve from the pan.

December 17, 2016

Fluffy Pancakes

3/4 c milk

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 Tbs white vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

1 c all-purpose flour

1 egg

2 Tbs white sugar

2 Tbs butter, melted

1 tsp baking powder

cooking spray

Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to "sour". Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into "soured" milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.

Potato Waffles

2 Tbs butter

1/4 c all-purpose flour

1 onion, chopped

2 eggs

1 Tbs minced garlic

1/4 tsp salt

2 c mashed potatoes

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and garlic in the melted butter until onion is tender, 5-7 minutes. Preheat a waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions. Combine onion mixture, mashed potatoes, flour, eggs, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl until well blended. Scoop 1/4 to 1/2 cup batter (depending on size of waffle iron) into the center of waffle iron and close lid. Cook until golden brown, 3-5 minutes.

Cinnamon Bun Pancake

1 c biscuit mix

1/3 c white sugar

1/2 c milk

1 Tbs cinnamon

1 egg

non-stick spray

Blend Biscuit mix, milk and egg until you have a smooth mixture. In a separate bowl evenly blend the sugar and cinnamon. Spray the bottom of your slow cooker generously with non-stick spray. Set on high. Pour the mixture into the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture evenly over the top of the batter. Take the end of a spoon and swirl the cinnamon and sugar down into the batter. Cook for about 1 hour–1 hour and 15 minutes. Check the center with a fork, when none of the batter sticks, it’s ready.

Gingerbread Waffles**

1 Tbs butter, softened

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 Tbs molasses

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/4 c liquid egg substitute

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 c Kamut flour (or sweetened wheat flour)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 c boiling water, or as needed

In a medium bowl, mix the butter, molasses and egg substitute with an electric mixer until smooth. In a separate bowl, stir together the Kamut flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Stir the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture alternating with the water, beginning and ending with the flour, stir just until blended. Preheat the waffle iron, and coat with cooking spray. Spoon the desired amount of batter onto the hot iron, and cook until steam stops coming out, and waffles don't stick to the iron. Continue with remaining batter.

December 10, 2016

Chocolate Jingles

35 soda crackers

1 c milk chocolate chips

1 c butter

1 c blanched slivered almonds

1 c packed light brown sugar

red and green colored sugar crystals

1 c semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a sided cookie sheet with aluminum foil and line crackers on foil. Combine butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Pour over crackers completely. Bake for 5-6 minutes, watch carefully. Remove cookie sheet from oven, place it on oven door and sprinkle chips over baked crackers. When chocolate gets soft, spread over crackers with back of a spoon. Sprinkle slivered almonds and some colored sugar crystals on melted chocolate. Place in refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Break into cookie-size pieces. This recipe freezes well.

Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 c butter

1 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c white sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/3 c packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c crunchy peanut butter

1/2 c rolled oats

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 c semisweet chocolate chips

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla and egg until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter just until moistened. Mix in the oats and chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Drop by tablespoonful on to lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges start to brown. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Chocolate Divines

4 (1 oz) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 c semisweet chocolate chips, divided

1/2 c all-purpose flour

6 Tbs butter

2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

3 eggs

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 c white sugar

1/4 tsp salt

In the microwave or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup chocolate chips, and the butter stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whip eggs and sugar until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and the chocolate mixture until well mixed. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually stir into the chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining 1 cup chocolate chips. Cover dough and chill for at least an hour or overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll chilled dough into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets so they are 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Almond Coconut Bars**

BASE:

1 Tbs coconut oil

1 c sliced toasted almonds

2 Tbs maple syrup

1/4 c unsweetened coconut flakes

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 c raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder

generous pinch of salt

1/3 c dried dates, pitted (about 4.25 oz)

FROSTING:

2 Tbs maple syrup

1/4 c coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 c raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 Tbs maple syrup

MIDDLE LAYER:

pinch of salt

1/2 c coconut butter

unsweetened coconut flakes, optional

Line a 9x5 in loaf pan with parchment. Make base layer: In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until all ingredients are chopped and combined (don’t over mix). Press into an even layer in pan and refrigerate while you make middle layer. Middle layer: Put coconut butter in a bowl. Add remaining middle layer ingredients and stir until well combined (don't over mix.) Spread evenly over crust; cover and refrigerate while you make frosting. Frosting: If your coconut oil is solid, place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 10-second intervals just until it’s melted. Add remaining frosting ingredients (except coconut flakes) and stir until smooth. (If the other ingredients are cold and the frosting seizes when you combine them, microwave in 10-second intervals until it’s melted and smooth.) Pour over coconut layer and quickly spread. Sprinkle with coconut flakes, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. To slice, use parchment to lift out of pan. Run a chef’s knife under hot water and wipe dry; use hot knife to cut bars into pieces on a cutting board and serve. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

December 3, 2016

Chicken Sausage and Peppers

4 large links hot Italian sausage

4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered

2 Tbs olive oil, divided

2 tsp dried Italian herbs

6 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs

2 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed

1/2 lb assorted sweet peppers, seeded

freshly ground black pepper or to taste

1 small red onion, sliced

chopped fresh Italian parsley, optional

1/2 yellow onion, sliced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage links until browned and oil begins to render, about 3 minutes per side. Piercing in a few places while cooking to release juices. When sausages are cool enough to handle, cut them into serving pieces, about 2-inch slices. Transfer back to pan. Cut two slashes down to the bone on the skin side of each chicken thigh. Depending on the size of the peppers, halve or quarter them and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the sliced red and yellow onions and potato chunks. Add chicken thighs and sausage pieces with pan juices. Season with kosher salt, black pepper, and Italian herbs. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Mix with your hands until all ingredients are coated in oil, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to large, heavy-duty roasting pan. Evenly space the chicken thighs skin side up. Place the potatoes near the top. Place in preheated oven until chicken is cooked through and everything is caramelized, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with chopped fresh Italian parsley, if desired.

Baked Pork Chops**

6 pork chops

2 c Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs

1 tsp garlic powder

4 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp seasoning salt

1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 c milk

1/4 c all-purpose flour

1/3 c white wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse pork chops, pat dry, and season with garlic powder and seasoning salt to taste. Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl. Dredge the pork chops lightly in flour, dip in the egg, and coat liberally with bread crumbs. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the pork chops 5 minutes per side, or until the breading appears well browned. Transfer the chops to a 9x13 inch baking dish, and cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. While baking, combine the cream of mushroom soup, milk and white wine in a medium bowl. After the pork chops have baked for an hour, cover them with the soup mixture. Replace foil, and bake for another 30 minutes.

Honey Glazed Ham

1 (5 lb) ready-to-eat ham

2 c honey

1/4 c whole cloves

2/3 c butter

1/4 c dark corn syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Score ham, and stud with the whole cloves. Place ham in foil lined pan. In the top half of a double boiler, heat the corn syrup, honey and butter. Keep glaze warm while baking ham. Brush glaze over ham, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Baste ham every 10-15 minutes with the honey glaze. During the last 4-5 minutes of baking, turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze. Remove from oven, and let sit a few minutes before serving.

Crunchy French Onion Chicken**

1 1/3 c French-fried onions, crushed

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread crushed onions in a shallow bowl. Pour egg into a separate shallow bowl. Dip chicken into beaten egg, then press into crushed onions. Gently tap chicken to let loose pieces fall away. Put breaded chicken on a baking sheet. Bake chicken until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 20 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees.

 

November 26, 2016

Maple Salmon

1/4 c maple syrup

1/4 tsp garlic salt

2 Tbs soy sauce

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lb salmon fillets

In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper. Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork.

Unbelievable Chicken**

1/4 c cider vinegar

1/2 c brown sugar

3 Tbs prepared coarse-ground mustard

1 1/2 tsp salt

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

ground black pepper, to taste

1 lime, juiced

6 Tbs olive oil

1/2 lemon, juiced

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

In a large glass bowl, mix the cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, lime juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Place chicken in the mixture. Cover, and marinate 8 hours, or overnight. Preheat an outdoor grill or broiler for high heat. Lightly oil the pan or grill grate. Place chicken, and cook 6-8 minutes per side, until juices run clear. Discard marinade.

Greek Island Chicken Shish Kebobs

1/4 c olive oil

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 c lemon juice

2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into

1/4 c white vinegar

1 1/2 inch pcs

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 wooden skewers

1 tsp ground cumin

2 large green or red bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pcs

1 tsp dried oregano

1 large onion, quartered and separated into pcs

1/2 tsp dried thyme

12 cherry tomatoes

1/4 tsp salt

12 fresh mushrooms

Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, cumin, oregano, thyme, salt, and black pepper together in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Add the chicken and toss to evenly coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap; marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Soak wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes before use. Prep the broiler at 4 inches from the heat, or preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat; lightly oil the pan or grate. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Discard the remaining marinade. Alternately thread pieces of the marinated chicken with pieces of bell pepper, onion, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms onto the skewers. Cook the skewers, turning frequently until nicely browned on all sides, and the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes.

Szechwan Shrimp**

4 Tbs water

1/4 tsp ground ginger

2 Tbs ketchup

1 Tbs vegetable oil

1 Tbs soy sauce

1/4 c sliced green onions

2 tsp cornstarch

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp honey

12 oz cooked shrimp, tailed removed

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

In a bowl, stir together water, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, honey, crushed red pepper, and ground ginger. Set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Stir in green onions and garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in shrimp, and toss to coat with oil. Stir in sauce. Cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and thickened.

November 19, 2016

Grandma's Green Bean Casserole

2 Tbs butter

1 c sour cream

2 Tbs all-purpose flour

3 (14.5 oz) cans French style green beans, drained

1 tsp salt

2 c shredded cheddar cheese

1 tsp white sugar

1/2 c crumbled buttery round crackers

1/4 c onion, diced

1 Tbs butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, sugar, onion, and sour cream. Add green beans, and stir to coat. Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Spread shredded cheese over the top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter, and sprinkle over the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.

Golden Garlic Mashed Potatoes**

5-7 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb butter

salt and black pepper

1 pint half and half

parsley sprigs

Place a large kettle of lightly salted water on the stove and place the potatoes in while still cold. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat and keep boiling on low for 15-20 minutes. Do not over boil as the potatoes will become soggy. When done, carefully drain and set aside. Add half of the butter to the kettle and add the minced garlic, saute for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, then return potatoes to the kettle. Mixing with a hand mixer on medium, beat in as much of the half and half until potatoes are nearly smooth. Add the remaining butter to taste, mixing in. Place on serving dish and garnish with parsley sprigs.

Yam Casserole

4 lbs yams

1/8 tsp ground allspice

2 eggs

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 c brown sugar

6 oz pecan halves

2 Tbs butter, melted

1/3 c brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 c melted butter

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Poke yams in several places with a fork, then cook them on high power in microwave oven until heated through and soft, about 20 minutes. When cooled, remove skins and place the yams in a large bowl. Beat yams until smooth. Then beat in one egg at a time, blending after each addition. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg; beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Transfer mixture to an ungreased 3-quart casserole dish, or 9x13 inch pan. Arrange the pecans in a single layer on top. Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar and drizzle 1/4 cup melted butter over the top. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until browned and bubbly.

Maria's Cranberry Ice Cream Pie

CRUST:

1 Tbs orange juice

42 ginger snap cookies (9 oz)

WHIPPED TOPPING:

2 Tbs sugar

1 1/2 c heavy cream

5 Tbs butter, melted

4 1/2 tsp sugar

FILLING:

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 c vanilla ice cream, softened

sliced almonds, for garnish

1 c cranberry sauce or canned whole berry sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large plastic storage bag, place the ginger snap cookies and sugar. Crush until crumbs are tiny and smooth. Pour into a medium bowl and add the melted butter, mixing until all the crumbs have become incorporated. (If you have a food processor, all this can be done there.) Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool, then place in the freezer to chill. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the ice cream, cranberry sauce and orange juice until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie crust and smooth the top into an even surface. Freeze for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, in a chilled bowl, beat the heavy cream and the sugar together on high speed until it begins to form soft peaks. Then, add the vanilla and continue to beat until the peaks become stiff. Spread or pipe the topping onto the pie and garnish with the sliced almonds.

November 12, 2016

Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak

2 lbs lean ground beef

2 Tbs oil

1 pkg (1 oz) dry onion soup mix

2 cans (10.75 oz) cream of chicken soup

1/2 c Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1 pkg (1 oz) dry au jus mix

1/4 c milk

3/4 c water

1/4 c all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, onion soup mix, bread crumbs, and milk using your hands, shape into 8 patties. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour on a plate, and dredge the patties in it to coat, and quickly brown on both sides in the hot skillet. Place browned patties into the slow cooker, stacking them alternately like a pyramid. In a bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup, au us mix, and water. Pour over the meat. Cook on the low setting for 4-5 hours, until the patties are well done.

Slow Cooker Barbeque Ribs**

4 lbs pork baby back ribs

4 Tbs vinegar

salt and pepper, to taste

2 tsp dried oregano

2 c ketchup

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 c chili sauce

1 dash hot sauce

1/2 c packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season ribs with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow baking pan. Brown in oven 15 minutes. Turn over, and brown another 15 minutes; drain fat. In a medium bowl, mix together the ketchup, chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt and pepper. Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour sauce over ribs, and turn to coat. Cover, and cook on Low 6-8 hours, or until ribs are tender

Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs

4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

1/3 c honey

1/2 c soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 c ketchup

1 tsp dried basil

Lay chicken thighs into the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker. Whisk soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, and basil together in a bowl; pour over the chicken. Cook on Low for 6 hours.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup**

1 lb shredded, cooked chicken

1 tsp chili powder

1 (15 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed

1 tsp salt

1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 (4 oz) can chopped green chile peppers

1 (10 oz) pkg frozen corn

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs chopped cilantro

2 c water

7 corn tortillas

1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth

vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin

Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chilies, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6-8 hours or on High setting for 3-4 hours. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10-15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.

November 5, 2016

Pumpkin Scones

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour

1/3 c buttermilk

1/4 c white sugar

1/3 c toasted pine nuts

1 Tbs baking powder

2 Tbs all-purpose flour, or more as needed

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 egg

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp milk

6 Tbs cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 tsp white sugar

1/2 c pumpkin puree

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Whisk together 1 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until combined. Mix butter into flour mixture using a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the flour-butter mixture. Stir in pumpkin puree, buttermilk, and pine nuts until just combined. Sprinkle a work surface with two tablespoons flour. Turn out dough onto the floured work surface. Shape into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Fold the rectangle in thirds, sprinkle with more flour as needed, and flatten to about 1 inch thick. Repeat two more times. Cut final rectangle into 6 equally-sized squares. Cut each square into triangles and transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet. Whisk egg and milk together in a small bowl. Lightly brush the top of each scone with egg wash. Sprinkle one teaspoon sugar over scones. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Rhubarb Bread**

1 c milk

1 tsp salt

1 Tbs lemon juice

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 c chopped rhubarb

1 1/2 c brown sugar

1/2 c chopped walnuts

2/3 c vegetable oil

1/4 c brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour

1 Tbs butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. In a small bowl, stir together milk, lemon juice and vanilla; let stand for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, oil and egg. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda, stir into sugar mixture alternately with the milk mixture just until combined. Fold in rhubarb and nuts. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. Sprinkle this mixture over the unbaked loaves. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a loaf comes out clean.

Carol's Banana Bread Muffins

2 c all-purpose flour

1 c sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 c butter, melted

1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 c mini chocolate chips, optional

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 c chopped pecans, optional

October 29, 2016

Cheddar Garlic Chicken Breast

1/3 c butter, melted

1/2 c cheddar cheese, finely grated

2 Tbs garlic, minced

1/4 c fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

2 tsp garlic powder, divided

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp seasoning salt, or salt

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

3/4 c seasoned dry bread crumbs, or plain

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a bowl, combine melted butter with fresh minced garlic, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and salt. In another bowl, combine the dry breadcrumbs with cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and coarse ground black pepper. Dip chicken in butter mixture; then in crumb mixture. Place in prepared pan and bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes or until cooked through, larger breasts may take more time (placing the chicken on a rack in a pan will produce an extra crispy crust). Optional: Top with shredded cheddar or mozzarella the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Chicken Breasts w/Spicy Honey Orange Glaze**

1/4 c honey

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed

2 Tbs frozen orange juice concentrate

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

1 tsp orange zest

1 Tbs butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

In small bowl, combine honey with juice concentrate, orange zest, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Rinse chicken with cold water and pat dry. Season lightly with salt. In large non-stick skillet, heat margarine and oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook about 4 minutes, until seared. Turn chicken, cook another 4 minutes until just cooked through. Pour honey mixture over chicken and cook, turning chicken to coat as sauce begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Serve chicken breasts with honey-orange glaze spooned over the top

Thai Chicken Breasts w/double sauce

5 Tbs grated fresh gingerroot

4 Tbs olive oil

4 Tbs garlic, chopped

8 Tbs soy sauce

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 c brown sugar

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin

1 c white wine vinegar

1 c flour

2 tsp fish sauce or anchovy paste

salt and black pepper, to taste

1 c sugar snap peas

Combine the gingerroot, garlic and red pepper flakes in a cup and set aside. Mix flour with salt and pepper to taste and dredge chicken pieces in this. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the chicken until browned on both sides and cooked through. Remove the chicken and put in a warm dish, set aside in low oven to keep warm. Add the ginger-garlic mixture to the skillet and saute until lightly browned. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and fish sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce reduces and thickens. Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces in the warm serving dish and keep warm until ready to serve. Trim and shred the sugar snap peas diagonally. Just prior to serving sprinkle the top of the chicken with the shredded snap peas.

Super Easy Oven Fried Thighs**

1/2 c butter

1 Tbs dried parsley

3 Tbs garlic, minced

6 bone-in chicken thighs

3 Tbs soy sauce

dried parsley, to taste

1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat the oven broiler. Lightly grease a baking pan. In a microwave safe bowl, mix the butter, garlic, soy sauce, pepper, and parsley. Cook 2 minutes on High in the microwave, or until butter is melted. Arrange chicken on the baking pan, and coat with the butter mixture, reserving some of the mixture for basting. Broil chicken 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until juices run clear, turning occasionally and basting with remaining butter mixture. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.

October 22, 2016

Spinach Enchiladas

1 Tbs butter

1 c ricotta cheese

1/2 c sliced green onions

1/2 c sour cream

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided

1 (10 oz) pkg frozen spinach, thawed, drained

10 (6 inch) corn tortillas

and squeezed dry

1 (13 oz) can enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; cook for a few minutes. Stir in spinach, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat, and mix in ricotta cheese, sour cream, and 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese. In a skillet over medium heat, warm tortillas one at a time until flexible, about 15 seconds. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the spinach mixture onto the center of each tortilla. Roll up, and place seam side down in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the remaining cup of Monterey Jack. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven, until sauce is bubbling and cheese is lightly browned at the edges.

Eggplant Tomato Bake**

1/2 c all-purpose flour

1 Tbs peanut oil

1/2 c dry bread crumbs

1 (14 oz) jar spaghetti sauce

2 Tbs Italian seasoning

1 c ricotta cheese

2 eggs

1 c grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbs water

1 tomato, thinly sliced

1 small eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

1 (8 oz) pkg angel hair pasta

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a plastic bag, combine the flour, bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. Shake to mix. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a bit of oil to thinly coat the bottom of the skillet. Dip the eggplant slices in egg, then place in the bag and shake to coat. Fry the slices in the skillet until golden brown on each side. Remove, and drain on paper towels. Spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9 inch square baking dish. Cover with the eggplant slices, then top with more sauce. Mix together the ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese; spread over the eggplant. Spread sauce over the cheese, and top with tomato slices. Cover with more sauce, and spread remaining cheese over the top. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Serve the eggplant tomato bake over pasta.

Cauliflower Imitation Fried Rice

2 c frozen peas

1 large carrot, cubed

1/2 c water

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c sesame oil, divided

20 oz shredded cauliflower

4 c cubed pork loin

6 Tbs soy sauce

6 green onions, sliced

2 eggs, beaten

Stir peas and water together in a saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook and stir until peas are tender and heated through, about 5 minutes. Drain and discard water. Heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Cook and stir pork in hot oil until lightly browned on all sides and cooked through, 7-10 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil in the wok. Saute green onions, carrot, and garlic in hot oil until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower; cook and stir until cauliflower had a tender but firm to the bite, 4-5 minutes. Stir pork, peas, and and soy sauce into cauliflower mixture and stir-fry until mixture is hot and slightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Move pork-cauliflower mixture to one side of the wok; pour beaten eggs onto empty side. Scramble eggs until cooked through, 3-5 minutes; stir cooked eggs into the pork-cauliflower mixture, breaking up any large chunks.

Artichoke Spinach Lasagna

cooking spray

1 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed,

9 uncooked lasagna noodles

drained and squeeze dry

1 onion, chopped

1 (28 oz) jar pasta sauce

4 garlic cloves, chopped

3 c shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided

1 (14 oz) can vegetable broth

1 (4 oz) pkg feta cheese w/garlic and herbs,

1 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped

crumbled

1 (14 oz) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until onion is tender-crisp. Stir in broth and rosemary; bring to a boil. Stir in artichoke hearts and spinach; reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce. Spread 1/4 of the artichoke mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish; top with 3 cooked noodles. Sprinkle 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese over noodles. Repeat layers 2 more times, ending with artichoke mixture and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle crumbled feta on top. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, and bake 15 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

October 15, 2016

Mexican Monkey Bread

cooking spray

3/4 c jalapeno pepper slices, divided

2 Tbs butter, melted

3/4 tsp dried parsley flakes, divided

1 (16.3 oz) pkg refrigerated biscuits

1/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese

1 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour melted butter into a small bowl. Cut each biscuit into fourths. Dip each piece of biscuit dough in melted butter to coat. Arrange enough of the biscuit dough pieces in the bottom of the loaf pan to form a single layer; top with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup pepper slices, and 1/4 teaspoon parsley. Repeat layering once and top with remaining biscuit dough pieces, pepper slices, and parsley flakes. Mix remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese together in a bowl; spread over the top of the ingredients to cover. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, 40-45 minutes. Cool bread in pan for 5 minutes before inverting onto a plate to serve.

Mini Ham Sliders

2 Tbs dried minced onion

24 dinner rolls

1 Tbs prepared mustard

1/2 lb deli or chopped ham

2 Tbs poppy seeds

1/2 lb thinly sliced Swiss cheese

1/2 c butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, combine minced onion, mustard, poppy seeds, and butter. Split each dinner roll, and make a sandwich of the ham and cheese with the dinner rolls. Arrange the sandwiches on a baking sheet and drizzle the poppy seed/mustard mixture over the sandwiches. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Serve warm.

Chicken Satay w/Peanut Sauce

1 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut

2 small red chile peppers, seeded and minced

into 1/2 inch strips

1/2 c crunchy peanut butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/34 c coconut milk

1 Tbs fish sauce

2 tsp soy sauce

4 tsp fresh ginger, minced, divided

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp peanut oil

1 1/2 Tbs fish sauce

4 shallots, minced

1 1/2 Tbs lime juice

2 tsp garlic, minced

12 wooden skewers, soaked in water 1 hour

Toss chicken, garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce in a bowl until the chicken is coated in the marinade. Cover, and marinate for 1 hour. While the chicken is marinating, heat the peanut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in shallots, garlic, ginger, and chile peppers. Cook and stir until the shallot begins to turn golden brown, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and stir in peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce, and lime juice until blended. Simmer very gently for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and keep warm. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Thread chicken onto skewers. Grill chicken skewers on preheated grill until no longer pink in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with warm peanut sauce. Toss chicken, garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce in a bowl until the chicken is coated in the marinade. Cover, and marinate for 1 hour. While the chicken is marinating, heat the peanut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in shallots, garlic, ginger, and chile peppers. Cook and stir until the shallot begins to turn golden brown, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and stir in peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce, and lime juice until blended. Simmer very gently for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and keep warm. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Thread chicken onto skewers. Grill chicken skewers on preheated grill until no longer pink in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with warm peanut sauce.

Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Mushrooms**

3 slices bacon

1 Tbs onion, minced

8 Cremini mushrooms

3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 Tbs butter

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, dice and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove mushroom stems. Set aside caps. Chop the stems. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Slowly cook and stir the chopped stems and onion until the onion is soft. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, stir together the mushroom stem mixture, bacon and 1/2 cup Cheddar. Mix well and scoop the mixture into the mushroom caps. Bake in the preheated oven 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Remove the mushrooms from the oven, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

October 8, 2016

Roasty Toasty Chili**

1/2 lb thick cut bacon, chopped

1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 c water

1 1/2 lb ground beef

1/4 c chili powder, or to taste

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp liquid smoke flavoring

1 Tbs ground cumin, or to taste

salt and ground black pepper

3 (15.5 oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 dash hot pepper sauce, or to taste

Cook bacon and onion together in a large pot over medium heat until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef, garlic and cumin to the pot; cooking and stirring until the beef is completely browned, 7-10 minutes. Stir in kidney beans, diced tomatoes, water, chili powder, liquid smoke, salt, black pepper and hot pepper sauce into the beef mixture; bring to a simmer and cook until thick, about 1 hour. Skim excess grease if desired.

Boilermaker Chili

2 lbs ground beef chuck

1/4 c chili powder

1 lb bulk sausage

1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

3 (15 oz) cans chili beans, drained

1 Tbs minced garlic

1 (15 oz) can chili beans in spicy sauce

1 Tbs dried oregano

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice

2 tsp ground cumin

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

2 tsp hot pepper sauce

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 tsp dried basil

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 tsp salt

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tsp cayenne pepper

2 green chili pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tsp sugar

1 Tbs bacon bits

1 (10.5 oz) bag corn chips (Fritos)

2 cubes beef bouillon

1 (8 oz) pkg shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 c beer

Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease. Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chili peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day. To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded cheddar cheese.

Oktoberfest Chili

2 1/2 lb fresh bratwurst links, cut into 1 in pcs

1 (12 oz) can or bottle German-style beer

2 Tbs bacon drippings, divided

1 Tbs salt

1 large onion, chopped

1 Tbs black pepper

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 Tbs cumin

2 jalapeno peppers, diced

1/4 c chili powder

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbs sugar

2 c sauerkraut, drained

2 tsp garlic powder

2 (15 oz) cans red beans, rinsed and drained

2 tsp paprika

2 (15 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes

1 tsp allspice

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

1 tsp oregano

2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce

2 1/2 oz milk chocolate candy

2 (15 oz) cans tomato juice

Place the bratwurst into a large skillet with one tablespoon of bacon drippings over medium heat; cook and stir the bratwurst until the pieces are browned and no longer pink inside, about 15 minutes. Drain excess grease. Place remaining tablespoon of bacon drippings in a large, deep pot over medium heat, and cook and stir the onion, green and jalapeno peppers, and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Place the bratwurst into the pot with the vegetables, and stir in the sauerkraut, red beans, petite diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, beer, salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder, sugar, garlic powder, paprika, allspice, and oregano. Bring the chili to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and stir in the milk chocolate until melted and dissolved. Simmer for 5 hours, stirring occasionally.

Chili Colorado

3 Tbs all-purpose flour

1 can (4 oz) tomato sauce

1 1/2 lb boneless pork, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 Tbs chili powder

1 Tbs bacon drippings, or vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin

1 Tbs vegetable oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbs all-purpose flour

salt and black pepper to taste

1/4 c chopped onion

3 c water

Place 3 tablespoons flour in a plastic bag. Add pork and shake to lightly coat with flour. Set aside. Heat bacon drippings and vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add pork and cook until meat is evenly browned, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in the onion, tomato sauce, chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer until pork is just falling apart, about 1 1/2 -2 hours. Top with favorite toppings.

October 1, 2016

Turkey Vegetable Meatloaf Cups

2 c chopped zucchini

1 egg

1 1/2 c chopped onion

2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

1 lb lean ground turkey

1/2 c or more barbeque sauce

1/2 c uncooked couscous

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin cups with cooking spray. Place zucchini, onions, and red bell pepper in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Then, put them in a large bowl with the ground turkey, couscous, egg, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard until well combined. Fill each prepared muffin cup about 3/4 full. Top each cup with about 1 teaspoon barbeque sauce. Bake in the oven until juices run clear, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Corn Dog Muffins**

2 (8.5 oz) pkgs cornbread mixture

1 1/2 c milk

2 Tbs brown sugar

1 c grated cheddar cheese

2 eggs

9 hot dogs, cut in half

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together the cornbread mix and the brown sugar in a large bowl. Whisk the egg and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Fold the eggs and cheese into the dry mixture until moistened. Spoon mixture into muffin tins about 2/3 full. Add 1 hot dog half to each muffin. Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Barbeque Beef Cups

3/4 lb lean ground beef

1 (12 oz) pkg refrigerated biscuit dough

1/2 c barbeque sauce

1/3 c shredded cheddar cheese

1 Tbs dried minced onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the cups of a muffin pan. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, cook beef until evenly brown. Drain excess fat. Stir in barbeque sauce and dried onion. Simmer for a few minutes over low heat. Flatten each biscuit, and press into cups of the muffin pan. Make sure the dough comes to the top of the pan. Spoon a portion of the meat mixture into each dough cup. Bake for about 12 minutes, then sprinkle with cheese and bake for 3 more minutes to melt.

"Toddler" Muffins**

1/2 c butter

1 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c brown sugar, or to taste

1/2 c oat bran

2 large bananas, mashed

1 tsp baking soda

1 (4.5 oz) jar baby food squash

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 carrots, grated

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 24 mini muffin cups, or 12 standard muffin cups. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the bananas, squash, carrots, and eggs. Stir in the flour, then the oat bran, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt until just combined. Spoon the batter equally into the prepared muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on wire racks. (Try freezing to help the little one who is teething!)

October 22, 2016

Spinach Enchiladas

1 Tbs butter

1 c ricotta cheese

1/2 c sliced green onions

1/2 c sour cream

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided

1 (10 oz) pkg frozen spinach, thawed, drained

10 (6 inch) corn tortillas

and squeezed dry

1 (13 oz) can enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; cook for a few minutes. Stir in spinach, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat, and mix in ricotta cheese, sour cream, and 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese. In a skillet over medium heat, warm tortillas one at a time until flexible, about 15 seconds. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the spinach mixture onto the center of each tortilla. Roll up, and place seam side down in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the remaining cup of Monterey Jack. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven, until sauce is bubbling and cheese is lightly browned at the edges.

Eggplant Tomato Bake**

1/2 c all-purpose flour

1 Tbs peanut oil

1/2 c dry bread crumbs

1 (14 oz) jar spaghetti sauce

2 Tbs Italian seasoning

1 c ricotta cheese

2 eggs

1 c grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbs water

1 tomato, thinly sliced

1 small eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

1 (8 oz) pkg angel hair pasta

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a plastic bag, combine the flour, bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. Shake to mix. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a bit of oil to thinly coat the bottom of the skillet. Dip the eggplant slices in egg, then place in the bag and shake to coat. Fry the slices in the skillet until golden brown on each side. Remove, and drain on paper towels. Spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9 inch square baking dish. Cover with the eggplant slices, then top with more sauce. Mix together the ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese; spread over the eggplant. Spread sauce over the cheese, and top with tomato slices. Cover with more sauce, and spread remaining cheese over the top. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Serve the eggplant tomato bake over pasta.

Cauliflower Imitation Fried Rice

2 c frozen peas

1 large carrot, cubed

1/2 c water

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c sesame oil, divided

20 oz shredded cauliflower

4 c cubed pork loin

6 Tbs soy sauce

6 green onions, sliced

2 eggs, beaten

Stir peas and water together in a saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook and stir until peas are tender and heated through, about 5 minutes. Drain and discard water. Heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Cook and stir pork in hot oil until lightly browned on all sides and cooked through, 7-10 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil in the wok. Saute green onions, carrot, and garlic in hot oil until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower; cook and stir until cauliflower had a tender but firm to the bite, 4-5 minutes. Stir pork, peas, and and soy sauce into cauliflower mixture and stir-fry until mixture is hot and slightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Move pork-cauliflower mixture to one side of the wok; pour beaten eggs onto empty side. Scramble eggs until cooked through, 3-5 minutes; stir cooked eggs into the pork-cauliflower mixture, breaking up any large chunks.

Artichoke Spinach Lasagna

cooking spray

1 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed,

9 uncooked lasagna noodles

drained and squeeze dry

1 onion, chopped

1 (28 oz) jar pasta sauce

4 garlic cloves, chopped

3 c shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided

1 (14 oz) can vegetable broth

1 (4 oz) pkg feta cheese w/garlic and herbs,

1 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped

crumbled

1 (14 oz) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until onion is tender-crisp. Stir in broth and rosemary; bring to a boil. Stir in artichoke hearts and spinach; reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce. Spread 1/4 of the artichoke mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish; top with 3 cooked noodles. Sprinkle 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese over noodles. Repeat layers 2 more times, ending with artichoke mixture and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle crumbled feta on top. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, and bake 15 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

October 15, 2016

Mexican Monkey Bread

cooking spray

3/4 c jalapeno pepper slices, divided

2 Tbs butter, melted

3/4 tsp dried parsley flakes, divided

1 (16.3 oz) pkg refrigerated biscuits

1/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese

1 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour melted butter into a small bowl. Cut each biscuit into fourths. Dip each piece of biscuit dough in melted butter to coat. Arrange enough of the biscuit dough pieces in the bottom of the loaf pan to form a single layer; top with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup pepper slices, and 1/4 teaspoon parsley. Repeat layering once and top with remaining biscuit dough pieces, pepper slices, and parsley flakes. Mix remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese together in a bowl; spread over the top of the ingredients to cover. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, 40-45 minutes. Cool bread in pan for 5 minutes before inverting onto a plate to serve.

Mini Ham Sliders

2 Tbs dried minced onion

24 dinner rolls

1 Tbs prepared mustard

1/2 lb deli or chopped ham

2 Tbs poppy seeds

1/2 lb thinly sliced Swiss cheese

1/2 c butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, combine minced onion, mustard, poppy seeds, and butter. Split each dinner roll, and make a sandwich of the ham and cheese with the dinner rolls. Arrange the sandwiches on a baking sheet and drizzle the poppy seed/mustard mixture over the sandwiches. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Serve warm.

Chicken Satay w/Peanut Sauce

1 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut

2 small red chile peppers, seeded and minced

into 1/2 inch strips

1/2 c crunchy peanut butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/34 c coconut milk

1 Tbs fish sauce

2 tsp soy sauce

4 tsp fresh ginger, minced, divided

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp peanut oil

1 1/2 Tbs fish sauce

4 shallots, minced

1 1/2 Tbs lime juice

2 tsp garlic, minced

12 wooden skewers, soaked in water 1 hour

Toss chicken, garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce in a bowl until the chicken is coated in the marinade. Cover, and marinate for 1 hour. While the chicken is marinating, heat the peanut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in shallots, garlic, ginger, and chile peppers. Cook and stir until the shallot begins to turn golden brown, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and stir in peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce, and lime juice until blended. Simmer very gently for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and keep warm. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Thread chicken onto skewers. Grill chicken skewers on preheated grill until no longer pink in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with warm peanut sauce. Toss chicken, garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce in a bowl until the chicken is coated in the marinade. Cover, and marinate for 1 hour. While the chicken is marinating, heat the peanut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in shallots, garlic, ginger, and chile peppers. Cook and stir until the shallot begins to turn golden brown, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and stir in peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce, and lime juice until blended. Simmer very gently for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and keep warm. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Thread chicken onto skewers. Grill chicken skewers on preheated grill until no longer pink in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with warm peanut sauce.

Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Mushrooms**

3 slices bacon

1 Tbs onion, minced

8 Cremini mushrooms

3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 Tbs butter

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, dice and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove mushroom stems. Set aside caps. Chop the stems. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Slowly cook and stir the chopped stems and onion until the onion is soft. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, stir together the mushroom stem mixture, bacon and 1/2 cup Cheddar. Mix well and scoop the mixture into the mushroom caps. Bake in the preheated oven 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Remove the mushrooms from the oven, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

October 8, 2016

Roasty Toasty Chili**

1/2 lb thick cut bacon, chopped

1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 c water

1 1/2 lb ground beef

1/4 c chili powder, or to taste

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp liquid smoke flavoring

1 Tbs ground cumin, or to taste

salt and ground black pepper

3 (15.5 oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 dash hot pepper sauce, or to taste

Cook bacon and onion together in a large pot over medium heat until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef, garlic and cumin to the pot; cooking and stirring until the beef is completely browned, 7-10 minutes. Stir in kidney beans, diced tomatoes, water, chili powder, liquid smoke, salt, black pepper and hot pepper sauce into the beef mixture; bring to a simmer and cook until thick, about 1 hour. Skim excess grease if desired.

Boilermaker Chili

2 lbs ground beef chuck

1/4 c chili powder

1 lb bulk sausage

1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

3 (15 oz) cans chili beans, drained

1 Tbs minced garlic

1 (15 oz) can chili beans in spicy sauce

1 Tbs dried oregano

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice

2 tsp ground cumin

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

2 tsp hot pepper sauce

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 tsp dried basil

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 tsp salt

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tsp cayenne pepper

2 green chili pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tsp sugar

1 Tbs bacon bits

1 (10.5 oz) bag corn chips (Fritos)

2 cubes beef bouillon

1 (8 oz) pkg shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 c beer

Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease. Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chili peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day. To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded cheddar cheese.

Oktoberfest Chili

2 1/2 lb fresh bratwurst links, cut into 1 in pcs

1 (12 oz) can or bottle German-style beer

2 Tbs bacon drippings, divided

1 Tbs salt

1 large onion, chopped

1 Tbs black pepper

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 Tbs cumin

2 jalapeno peppers, diced

1/4 c chili powder

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbs sugar

2 c sauerkraut, drained

2 tsp garlic powder

2 (15 oz) cans red beans, rinsed and drained

2 tsp paprika

2 (15 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes

1 tsp allspice

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

1 tsp oregano

2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce

2 1/2 oz milk chocolate candy

2 (15 oz) cans tomato juice

Place the bratwurst into a large skillet with one tablespoon of bacon drippings over medium heat; cook and stir the bratwurst until the pieces are browned and no longer pink inside, about 15 minutes. Drain excess grease. Place remaining tablespoon of bacon drippings in a large, deep pot over medium heat, and cook and stir the onion, green and jalapeno peppers, and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Place the bratwurst into the pot with the vegetables, and stir in the sauerkraut, red beans, petite diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, beer, salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder, sugar, garlic powder, paprika, allspice, and oregano. Bring the chili to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and stir in the milk chocolate until melted and dissolved. Simmer for 5 hours, stirring occasionally.

Chili Colorado

3 Tbs all-purpose flour

1 can (4 oz) tomato sauce

1 1/2 lb boneless pork, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 Tbs chili powder

1 Tbs bacon drippings, or vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin

1 Tbs vegetable oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbs all-purpose flour

salt and black pepper to taste

1/4 c chopped onion

3 c water

Place 3 tablespoons flour in a plastic bag. Add pork and shake to lightly coat with flour. Set aside. Heat bacon drippings and vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add pork and cook until meat is evenly browned, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in the onion, tomato sauce, chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer until pork is just falling apart, about 1 1/2 -2 hours. Top with favorite toppings.

October 1, 2016

Turkey Vegetable Meatloaf Cups

2 c chopped zucchini

1 egg

1 1/2 c chopped onion

2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

1 lb lean ground turkey

1/2 c or more barbeque sauce

1/2 c uncooked couscous

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin cups with cooking spray. Place zucchini, onions, and red bell pepper in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Then, put them in a large bowl with the ground turkey, couscous, egg, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard until well combined. Fill each prepared muffin cup about 3/4 full. Top each cup with about 1 teaspoon barbeque sauce. Bake in the oven until juices run clear, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Corn Dog Muffins**

2 (8.5 oz) pkgs cornbread mixture

1 1/2 c milk

2 Tbs brown sugar

1 c grated cheddar cheese

2 eggs

9 hot dogs, cut in half

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together the cornbread mix and the brown sugar in a large bowl. Whisk the egg and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Fold the eggs and cheese into the dry mixture until moistened. Spoon mixture into muffin tins about 2/3 full. Add 1 hot dog half to each muffin. Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Barbeque Beef Cups

3/4 lb lean ground beef

1 (12 oz) pkg refrigerated biscuit dough

1/2 c barbeque sauce

1/3 c shredded cheddar cheese

1 Tbs dried minced onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the cups of a muffin pan. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, cook beef until evenly brown. Drain excess fat. Stir in barbeque sauce and dried onion. Simmer for a few minutes over low heat. Flatten each biscuit, and press into cups of the muffin pan. Make sure the dough comes to the top of the pan. Spoon a portion of the meat mixture into each dough cup. Bake for about 12 minutes, then sprinkle with cheese and bake for 3 more minutes to melt.

"Toddler" Muffins**

1/2 c butter

1 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c brown sugar, or to taste

1/2 c oat bran

2 large bananas, mashed

1 tsp baking soda

1 (4.5 oz) jar baby food squash

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 carrots, grated

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 24 mini muffin cups, or 12 standard muffin cups. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the bananas, squash, carrots, and eggs. Stir in the flour, then the oat bran, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt until just combined. Spoon the batter equally into the prepared muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on wire racks. (Try freezing to help the little one who is teething!)

October 8, 2016

Roasty Toasty Chili**

1/2 lb thick cut bacon, chopped

1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 c water

1 1/2 lb ground beef

1/4 c chili powder, or to taste

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp liquid smoke flavoring

1 Tbs ground cumin, or to taste

salt and ground black pepper

3 (15.5 oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 dash hot pepper sauce, or to taste

Cook bacon and onion together in a large pot over medium heat until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef, garlic and cumin to the pot; cooking and stirring until the beef is completely browned, 7-10 minutes. Stir in kidney beans, diced tomatoes, water, chili powder, liquid smoke, salt, black pepper and hot pepper sauce into the beef mixture; bring to a simmer and cook until thick, about 1 hour. Skim excess grease if desired.

Boilermaker Chili

2 lbs ground beef chuck

1/4 c chili powder

1 lb bulk sausage

1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

3 (15 oz) cans chili beans, drained

1 Tbs minced garlic

1 (15 oz) can chili beans in spicy sauce

1 Tbs dried oregano

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice

2 tsp ground cumin

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

2 tsp hot pepper sauce

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 tsp dried basil

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 tsp salt

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tsp cayenne pepper

2 green chili pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tsp sugar

1 Tbs bacon bits

1 (10.5 oz) bag corn chips (Fritos)

2 cubes beef bouillon

1 (8 oz) pkg shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 c beer

Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease. Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chili peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day. To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded cheddar cheese.

Oktoberfest Chili

2 1/2 lb fresh bratwurst links, cut into 1 in pcs

1 (12 oz) can or bottle German-style beer

2 Tbs bacon drippings, divided

1 Tbs salt

1 large onion, chopped

1 Tbs black pepper

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 Tbs cumin

2 jalapeno peppers, diced

1/4 c chili powder

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbs sugar

2 c sauerkraut, drained

2 tsp garlic powder

2 (15 oz) cans red beans, rinsed and drained

2 tsp paprika

2 (15 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes

1 tsp allspice

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

1 tsp oregano

2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce

2 1/2 oz milk chocolate candy

2 (15 oz) cans tomato juice

Place the bratwurst into a large skillet with one tablespoon of bacon drippings over medium heat; cook and stir the bratwurst until the pieces are browned and no longer pink inside, about 15 minutes. Drain excess grease. Place remaining tablespoon of bacon drippings in a large, deep pot over medium heat, and cook and stir the onion, green and jalapeno peppers, and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Place the bratwurst into the pot with the vegetables, and stir in the sauerkraut, red beans, petite diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, beer, salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder, sugar, garlic powder, paprika, allspice, and oregano. Bring the chili to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and stir in the milk chocolate until melted and dissolved. Simmer for 5 hours, stirring occasionally.

Chili Colorado

3 Tbs all-purpose flour

1 can (4 oz) tomato sauce

1 1/2 lb boneless pork, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 Tbs chili powder

1 Tbs bacon drippings, or vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin

1 Tbs vegetable oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbs all-purpose flour

salt and black pepper to taste

1/4 c chopped onion

3 c water

Place 3 tablespoons flour in a plastic bag. Add pork and shake to lightly coat with flour. Set aside. Heat bacon drippings and vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add pork and cook until meat is evenly browned, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in the onion, tomato sauce, chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer until pork is just falling apart, about 1 1/2 -2 hours. Top with favorite toppings.

October 1, 2016

Turkey Vegetable Meatloaf Cups

2 c chopped zucchini

1 egg

1 1/2 c chopped onion

2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

1 lb lean ground turkey

1/2 c or more barbeque sauce

1/2 c uncooked couscous

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin cups with cooking spray. Place zucchini, onions, and red bell pepper in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Then, put them in a large bowl with the ground turkey, couscous, egg, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard until well combined. Fill each prepared muffin cup about 3/4 full. Top each cup with about 1 teaspoon barbeque sauce. Bake in the oven until juices run clear, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Corn Dog Muffins**

2 (8.5 oz) pkgs cornbread mixture

1 1/2 c milk

2 Tbs brown sugar

1 c grated cheddar cheese

2 eggs

9 hot dogs, cut in half

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together the cornbread mix and the brown sugar in a large bowl. Whisk the egg and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Fold the eggs and cheese into the dry mixture until moistened. Spoon mixture into muffin tins about 2/3 full. Add 1 hot dog half to each muffin. Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Barbeque Beef Cups

3/4 lb lean ground beef

1 (12 oz) pkg refrigerated biscuit dough

1/2 c barbeque sauce

1/3 c shredded cheddar cheese

1 Tbs dried minced onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the cups of a muffin pan. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, cook beef until evenly brown. Drain excess fat. Stir in barbeque sauce and dried onion. Simmer for a few minutes over low heat. Flatten each biscuit, and press into cups of the muffin pan. Make sure the dough comes to the top of the pan. Spoon a portion of the meat mixture into each dough cup. Bake for about 12 minutes, then sprinkle with cheese and bake for 3 more minutes to melt.

"Toddler" Muffins**

1/2 c butter

1 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c brown sugar, or to taste

1/2 c oat bran

2 large bananas, mashed

1 tsp baking soda

1 (4.5 oz) jar baby food squash

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 carrots, grated

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 24 mini muffin cups, or 12 standard muffin cups. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the bananas, squash, carrots, and eggs. Stir in the flour, then the oat bran, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt until just combined. Spoon the batter equally into the prepared muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on wire racks. (Try freezing to help the little one who is teething!)

September 24, 2016

Old Fashioned Oven Beef Stew

1 1/2 lb beef stew meat

2 cans (10 oz) condensed beef consommé

3 Tbs all-purpose flour

1 Tbs sugar

2 bags (1 lb) frozen vegetables for stew

1/8 tsp pepper

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained

2 dried bay leaves

Heat oven to 325 degrees. In 5-quart Dutch oven or 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, toss beef with flour. Add frozen vegetables. In large bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour over beef and vegetables; gently stir until mixed. Cover; bake 3 1/2 -4 hours or until beef is tender. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Kielbasa Stew**

4 c coarsely chopped cabbage

1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed

3 c peeled, cubed potatoes

1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed

1 1/2 c sliced carrots

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 lb cooked kielbasa, sliced

2 cans (14 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth

In a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker combine cabbage, potato, and carrots. Top with kielbasa. Sprinkle basil, thyme, and pepper over kielbasa. Pour chicken broth over all. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 7-9 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours. Yield: 4 or 5 servings

Chicken Vegetable Ragout

2 lbs chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, drumsticks)

1 bay leaf

2 Tbs cooking oil

2 c chicken broth

1 large onion, chopped (1 c)

1/2 c dry white wine

8 oz fresh mushrooms, quartered

4 medium carrots, cut in 1-inch chunks

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 parsnips, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks

1 Tbs fresh or 1 tsp dried thyme, crushed

1/3 chicken broth

1/2 tsp pepper

3 Tbs all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

snipped parsley, optional

Skin chicken. In a 4-1/2-quart Dutch oven cook chicken over medium heat in hot oil for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned, turning to brown evenly. Remove chicken; set aside. Add the onion, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, pepper, salt, and bay leaf to Dutch oven; cook for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Carefully stir in 2 cups chicken broth and the white wine. Add carrots and parsnips. Return chicken to Dutch oven. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken and vegetables to a serving dish; keep warm. If necessary, spoon excess fat from broth mixture in Dutch oven. Discard bay leaf. Combine 1/3 cup chicken broth and the flour. Stir into broth mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir for 1 minute more. Spoon sauce over chicken and vegetables. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Country Bean Stew**

6 c water

1 tsp instant beef bouillon granules

2 c dry Great Northern beans

1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed

3 large carrots, coarsely chopped

1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed

12 oz lean boneless lamb, cut into cubes

1/4 c dry red wine

8 oz bulk Italian sausage

1/3 c tomato paste (1/2 of a 6 oz can)

3 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1/2 c cubed cooked ham

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c snipped fresh parsley

3 c water

In a large saucepan, combine the 6 cups water and the dry beans. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain beans; rinse with cold water and drain again. In a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker, combine beans and carrots. In a large skillet, cook lamb, sausage, onions, and garlic over medium heat until sausage is brown, breaking up sausage as it cooks. Drain off fat. Transfer meat mixture to cooker. Stir in the 3 cups water, the bouillon granules, thyme, and oregano. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7-8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4 hours. In a small bowl, stir wine into tomato paste; add to mixture in cooker along with ham and parsley. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more.

September 17, 2016

Easy Chicken and Biscuits

1 can (10.75 oz) cream of broccoli or celery soup

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 can (10.75 oz) cream of potato soup

2 c frozen mixed vegetables

2/3 c milk

2 c cubed cooked chicken or turkey

1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

1 pkg (7.5 oz) refrigerated biscuits

Stir the soups, milk, poultry seasoning, black pepper, vegetables and chicken in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the chicken mixture. Top with the biscuits. Bake for 15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.

Easy Sweet and Sour Pork**

1 lb boneless pork loin chops, cut into 1 in cubes

1/2 c vegetable oil

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 c frozen bell pepper and onion stir-fry

3/4 c biscuit mix

(from 1 lb bag)

1/2 tsp salt

1 can (8 oz) pineapple chunks, drained

1/8 tsp pepper

1 jar (11.5 oz) sweet and sour sauce

In medium bowl, toss pork with egg. In 1-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag, place biscuit mix, salt and pepper; seal bag and shake to mix. Drain excess egg from pork. Place pork cubes in plastic bag; seal bag and shake to coat. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Place pork in single layer in skillet. Cook 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally, until brown and crispy on outside and no longer pink in center. Drain on paper towels. Cover to keep warm. Reserve 1 tablespoon oil in skillet; discard any remaining oil. Add bell pepper mix and pineapple; cook over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in sweet-and-sour sauce and pork; heat to boiling.

Quick Chili Mac Soup

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 c)

2 c diced tomatoes (from 28 oz can)

1/4 c chopped green bell pepper

1 can (11 oz) whole kernel corn w/red and

5 c hot water

green peppers, undrained

1 box Hamburger Helper chili macaroni

2 Tbs sliced pitted ripe olives

1 tsp chili powder

In 4-quart Dutch oven, cook beef, onion and bell pepper over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in hot water, sauce mix (from Hamburger Helper box), chili powder, garlic salt and tomatoes. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in uncooked pasta (from Hamburger Helper box), corn and olives. Cover; cook 10 minutes longer.

Speedy Cheesy Breadsticks**

6 pcs string cheese (1 oz ea)

1 egg white, lightly beaten

2 pkg (11 oz) refrigerated soft breadstick dough

2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

2Tbs bottled pesto

1 c bottled tomato sauce, for dipping

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Slice each piece of string cheese in half lengthwise. Lightly flour work surface and rolling pin. Separate each package of breadstick dough into 12 strips. Lightly roll two strips to 1-1/2-inch width. Spread middle of one strip with scant 1/4 teaspoon pesto. Place string cheese half on top of pesto. Spread scant 1/4 teaspoon pesto over middle of second strip of dough. Moisten edges with water. Place, pesto-side down, on top of cheese-topped strip; press edges together to seal. Repeat with remaining dough, pesto and cheese. Transfer cheese-bread sticks to ungreased baking sheet. Lightly brush with beaten egg white; sprinkle with grated Parmesan. With sharp knife, slash three 1/2-inch-long vents in top of each stick. Bake in 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden and puffed. Heat spaghetti sauce in small saucepan. Let cheese sticks cool slightly. Serve with warmed spaghetti sauce for dipping. Yield: 12 sticks.

September 10, 2016

Warm Mexican Layered Dip

2 cans (16 oz) refried beans, divided

3 Tbs white vinegar

1 c jarred salsa verde, divided

1/2 tsp sugar

1 pkg (8 oz) shredded Mexican cheese blend

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 tsp ancho or regular chili powder

1 c shredded lettuce

1 c sour cream

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

tortilla chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 1 1/2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1 can refried beans into prepared dish. Top with half of the salsa and one cup of the cheese. Stir remaining can of beans to loosen, then carefully spread over cheese layer. Top with remaining salsa and cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, microwave chili powder in a small glass dish for 45 seconds until toasted. Stir into sour cream. In a small bowl, combine red onion, vinegar and sugar. Set aside. Remove warm dish from oven. Uncover and top with sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado and pickled red onions. Serve with chips.

Mexican Chicken and Rice**

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

3-4 Tbs finely chopped fresh jalapeno

1/2 tsp salt, divided

chili pepper

3/4 tsp ground black pepper, divided

2 tsp lime juice

2 tsp olive oil, divided

1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and

1/2 c chopped onion (1 medium)

sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 2 cups)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 pkg (8.8 oz) cooked whole grain brown rice

1/4 c reduced sodium chicken broth

1/4 c snipped fresh cilantro

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

lime wedges

Sprinkle chicken breast halves with1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a large non-stick skillet heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Brown chicken breasts in hot oil for 5 minutes, turning once. Add the remaining oil to the skillet. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in broth, undrained tomatoes, jalapeno, lime juice, the remaining salt and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in zucchini. Cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes more or until zucchini is crisp-tender and chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees). Stir in rice, heat through. Sprinkle each serving with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Mexican Chorizo Noodle Bowl

1 lb uncooked chorizo or hot Italian sausage

1 tsp ground cumin

2 cloves garlic, minced

10 oz dried vermicelli or angel hair pasta

3 cans (14 oz) chicken or vegetable broth

1 c chopped zucchini (1 small)

2 c bottled salsa

2/3 c shredded mozzarella or asadero cheese

1-2 cans chipotle peppers in adobo sauce,

1/4 c snipped fresh cilantro or Italian

drained and finely chopped

leaf parsley

1 tsp dried oregano

fresh cilantro sprigs, optional

Remove casing from chorizo, if present. Crumble chorizo. In a four-quart Dutch oven cook chorizo and garlic until chorizo is brown; drain off fat. Stir broth, salsa, chipotle pepper, oregano, and cumin into Dutch oven. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in vermicelli and zucchini. Simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes more or until vermicelli is tender but still firm, stirring occasionally. Remove Dutch oven from heat; stir in 1/3 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the cilantro. Transfer to a warm serving dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese. If desired, garnish with additional cilantro.

Mexican Chipotle Chocolate Bites

FILLING:

1/2-1 tsp ground chipotle chile pepper

6 oz Mexican style sweet chocolate or

1/2 tsp baking powder

semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbs whipping cream

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 Tbs butter

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

COOKIE DOUGH:

1 egg

1/4 c butter softened

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 c shortening

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour

2 oz cream cheese, softened

3 oz Mexican style sweet chocolate or

1 c brown sugar

semisweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. COOKIE DOUGH: In a large bowl, combine butter, shortening, and cream cheese. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, chipotle chile pepper, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Stir chocolate into dough. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls one inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Flatten balls until 1/4 inch thick. If desired, sprinkle with additional ground chipotle pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes or until edges are set. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool. FILLING: In a small saucepan, combine 6 ounces (1 cup) chocolate, cream, and butter. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Transfer to a medium bowl. Cover and chill about 1 hour or until nearly firm. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Spread filling on bottoms of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, bottom sides down. Makes about 25 sandwich cookies.

September 3, 2016

Lemon Ginger Chicken Thighs

1 lemon

2 Tbs water

1 Tbs ginger, grated

8 chicken thighs

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbs oil

2 Tbs honey

1 green onion, chopped

1 Tbs soy sauce

Zest the lemon, then cut it in half and juice it, set juice aside. Combine the zest with the ginger and salt, mixing well. In another bowl, mix together the lemon juice, honey, soy sauce and water. Rub the lemon peel mixture under the skin of the chicken. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and place the chicken skin side down. Cook seven minutes then turn, cover and cook for 15-18 minutes. Top with green onion and drizzle more lemon juice to serve.

Luscious Lemon Triangles**

non-stick cooking spray

2/3 c granulated sugar

3/4 c all-purpose flour

2 Tbs all-purpose flour

3 Tbs granulated sugar

1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel

1/4 c butter or margarine

2 Tbs lemon juice

FILLING:

1 Tbs water

1 egg

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 egg white

sifted powdered sugar, optional

Lightly coat an 8x8x2 inch baking pan with cooking spray, set aside. In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. FILLING: In a small mixing bowl, combine the egg and egg white. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Add granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice, water and baking powder. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in lemon peel. Pour filling over hot crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes more or until edges are light brown and center is set. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into nine squares; cut each square diagonally to make a triangle. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Lemon Basil Pasta

10 oz dried linguine or desired pasta

1 c packed fresh basil leaves

1 can (19 oz) white kidney (cannellini) beans,

3 Tbs olive oil, divided

rinsed and drained

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 of a lemon

1/4 tsp pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding beans for the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Remove 1/2 cup of the cooking liquids; set aside. Drain pasta and beans; cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, finely shred peel from the lemon half (about 2 teaspoons). In a small skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add lemon peel; cook and stir 1 minute, or until lightly golden. In a food processor combine cooked lemon peel, basil, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the juice from the lemon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and process until smooth. Add reserved cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency, processing mixture after every addition. To serve, toss hot cooked pasta mixture with lemon-basil mixture

Lemon Herb Broccoli Casserole**

1 can (10.75 oz) cream of chicken w/herb soup

4 c frozen broccoli cuts, thawed

1/2 c milk

1 can (2.8 oz) french fried onions (1 1/3 cups)

1 Tbs lemon juice

Stir the soup, milk, lemon juice, broccoli and 2/3 cup onions in a 1 ½-quart casserole. Cover the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Stir the broccoli mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining onions. Bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

August 27, 2016

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

1 lb rump steak, finely sliced

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

2 Tbs soy sauce

1/2 c beef broth

1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger (1/4 tsp ground)

1 tsp soy sauce

2 Tbs vegetable oil

1/4 tsp sesame oil

1 lb broccoli florets

Put meat in a bowl with two tablespoons soy sauce and ginger and mix well. Heat wok or frying pan to very hot. Add oil and coat the sides well. Add beef and broccoli and stir-fry until meat changes color (about 2 minutes). Dissolve cornstarch into the beef stock and stir in remaining soy sauce and sesame oil. Add to the beef and broccoli, stir until the sauce thickens. Serve over rice or noodles.

Cod and Tomato Bake**

1 1/2 lb cod or firm white fish fillets

2 Tbs onion, diced

2 Tbs lemon juice

1/4 c dry breadcrumbs

1/8 tsp pepper

1 Tbs fresh basil (1/2 tsp dried)

2 large tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 Tbs oil

1/2 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped

Arrange fillets in single layer in lightly oiled baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice and pepper. Place tomato slices on fish. Sprinkle with green pepper and onion. Combine bread crumbs, basil and oil in bowl; spread bread crumb mixture evenly over tomatoes. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until fish flakes when pierced with fork.

Zucchini Beef Skillet

1 lb lean ground beef

1 tsp chili powder

1 onion, chopped

3 c zucchini, sliced*

1/2 chopped bell pepper

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c water

1/4 tsp pepper

*add or substitute squash, eggplant or tomato

Saute onion and pepper. Add ground beef and brown. Add remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer 15 minutes or until veggies are tender. Serve with crusty artisan bread or on a bed of rice or pasta.

Coconut Chicken w/Pina Colada Dip**

1 Tbs fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbs hot pepper sauce

1/4 tsp pepper

1 (14 oz) can light coconut milk

DIP

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut

1/4 c crushed pineapple

into strips

1/4 c sour cream

3/4 c breadcrumbs

1/2 c Pina Colada non-alcoholic drink mix

1/2 c sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine first three ingredients in a large plastic bag. Add chicken to bag and seal. Marinate in fridge 1 1/2 hours - turn bag occasionally. Combine bread crumbs, coconut, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Remove chicken from marinade; discard remaining marinade. Dredge chicken, one piece at a time into bread crumb mixture. Place chicken on a sprayed baking sheet. Coat top of chicken with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes or until done.

August 20, 2016

Frosty Strawberry Squares

1 c all purpose flour

1 c sugar

1/2 c packed brown sugar

2 c sliced strawberries

1/2 c chopped walnuts

2 Tbs lemon juice

1/2 c butter, melted

1 c heavy cream

2 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, walnuts and melted butter. Toast in the oven until walnuts are fragrant, about 15 minutes; stir occasionally. Sprinkle 2/3 of the walnut mixture evenly over the bottom of the 9x13 inch dish. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites with the lemon juice until they can hold a soft peak. Gradually add white sugar while continuing to whip to firm peaks. Fold in the strawberries. In a separate bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer until stiff but not grainy. Fold into the strawberry mixture. Spoon over the crust in the dish and spread evenly. Top with the remaining walnut mixture. Freeze for 6 hours, or overnight.

Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles**

4 c seeded watermelon chunks, rind removed

1/2 c vanilla yogurt

juice of 1/2 lemon

3 medium kiwis

5 Tbs sugar, divided

juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 c mini-sweet chocolate chips

popsicle mold and sticks (for 10 (3 oz) ice pops)

Fill a blender with watermelon chunks. Add the lemon juice. Add three tablespoons of sugar. Blend until everything is mixed but some of the watermelon pulp remains. Fill each mold about 3/4 full. It's okay to spoon in the pulp as you want the pop to have some of the watermelon texture. Add about a dozen mini chocolate chips to each mold section. Use a popsicle stick to place the chips so they'll be visible on the sides of the popsicle. The thicker your watermelon mixture, the more likely it is that your chips won't all sink to the bottom. You want them to appear throughout the watermelon mixture as "seeds". Next, wipe the insides of the watermelon mold with a damp paper towel so there is no pink watermelon residue on your next layer. Place the cover on it, insert the sticks and freeze for 3 hours. Using a funnel add about one teaspoon vanilla yogurt to cover the watermelon layer in each pop. Then use a spoon or a knife to spread it evenly. Freeze another hour. During the last half an hour of freezing, cut each kiwifruit in half. Run a spoon around the inside of the kiwi by placing the spoon between the skin and the flesh of the fruit and scooping out the inside. Place the kiwi fruit in a blender with the lime juice and two tablespoons of sugar and blend. Once the yogurt layer is frozen, remove from freezer and carefully remove the lid. Fill the molds the rest of the way with the kiwi mixture. Replace lid and freeze another 2 hours or overnight. When you're ready to serve, run the mold under warm water for about 30 seconds. Then remove the lid and slowly pull the pops out by the stick.

Peach Melba w/Honey Raspberry sauce

2 c (10 oz pkg) unsweetened frozen raspberries

2 fresh peaches, peeled and cut into 1/2 in wedges

3 Tbs honey, or to taste

4 large scoops premium vanilla ice cream

1/4 c water

fresh mint sprigs for garnish

1 Tbs cornstarch

Sauce: combine the raspberries and honey in a small saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until just below boiling. Remove from the heat. Meanwhile, stir together the water and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth, add to the saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until the sauce is thickened and smooth, about 4 minutes. Strain the sauce through a coarse sieve, stirring occasionally, to remove the seeds. (Discard the seeds.) Taste the sauce and adjust the amount of honey. Refrigerate to cool. For each serving, arrange the slices from half a peach in a dessert bowl. Top with ice cream and drizzle with about 3 tablespoons of the sauce. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig. Serve immediately

Cherries Jubilee**

2 blocks of 16 oz cream cheese (4-8 oz)

1 angel food cake

8 oz sour cream

1 (20 oz) can cherry pie filling

8 oz container whipped topping

fresh blueberries for garnish

Allow the cream cheese to soften at room temperature. Tear the angel food cake into small pieces and set aside. Beat cream cheese and sour cream together until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped topping. Then add the angel food cake pieces into the cream cheese mixture. Put in a decorative bowl or press into a 9x13 pan. Spread the cherry pie filling over the top. Add blueberries, chill for several hours.

August 13, 2016

Ham and Pineapple Kabobs

3 Tbs brown sugar

3/4 lb cooked ham, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 Tbs distilled white vinegar

1 (15 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained

1 Tbs vegetable oil

skewers

1 tsp prepared mustard

Preheat grill for high heat. In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, vinegar, vegetable oil, and mustard. Thread ham and pineapple chunks alternately onto skewers. Lightly oil grill grate. Place skewers on the prepared grill, and brush liberally with the brown sugar mixture. Cook for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently and basting often. Serve when heated through and richly glazed.

Brown Bag Burritos**

1 (15 oz) can black beans

1 Tbs chili powder

1/2 c frozen corn

8 (10-inch) flour tortillas

1 c salsa

1 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 Tbs ground cumin

Rinse beans in cold water, drain well. Combine beans, corn, salsa, cumin and chili powder in large pan. Cook over medium-high heat for about ten minutes, mashing beans slightly with back of wooden spoon. Stir occasionally, adding a little water if mixture looks too dry. Spoon bean mixture into tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold each tortilla into an envelope shape, ensuring both ends are tucked in. Eat warm or wrap in plastic to take for lunch.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 (10 oz) cans chunk chicken, drained

1 c pepper sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot)

2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

1 c ranch dressing

Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers.

BLT Chicken Salad**

6 slices bacon

1 Tbs chopped parsley

3 c diced cooked chicken

1 tsp lemon juice

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 dash Worcestershire sauce

2 stalks celery, sliced thin

salt and ground black pepper to taste

3/4 c mayonnaise

12 leaves romaine lettuce

1 green onion, minced

1 large avocado, sliced

Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain bacon slices on paper towels; crumble. Stir chicken, bacon, tomato, and celery together in a bowl. Whisk mayonnaise, parsley, green onions, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl until dressing is smooth. Pour dressing over chicken mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes. Stir chicken mixture and serve over romaine lettuce leaves; garnish with avocado slices.

August 6, 2016

Weeknight Pork Loin Superb

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped; plus 2 heads,

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

halved crosswise

2 Tbs olive oil, divided

1 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh rosemary; plus

freshly ground black pepper

4 sprigs

1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin

1 Tbs fennel seeds, coarsely chopped

4 slices bacon

Toss chopped garlic, chopped rosemary, fennel seeds, salt, and 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl; season with pepper. Rub garlic mixture all over tenderloin (if you have time to do this in the morning, great; refrigerate pork until dinner). Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wrap bacon slices around tenderloin, tucking ends underneath so bacon stays put. Scatter rosemary sprigs in a large baking dish and set tenderloin on top. Place the halved heads of garlic around tenderloin and drizzle everything with remaining oil. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of tenderloin registers 145 degrees for medium, 40–45 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Chicken Schnitzel

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded

2 c (or more) whole wheat (or regular) panko

to 1/8 inch thickness

breadcrumbs

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbs canola oil, divided

1 c all-purpose flour (for dredging)

2 Tbs unsalted butter, divided

2 large eggs

chopped parsley

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

lemon wedges

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place flour on a plate. Beat eggs and Dijon mustard to blend in a shallow baking dish. Place 1 cup panko in another shallow baking dish, adding remaining 1 cup panko, or more, to dish as needed throughout process. Working with one chicken breast at a time, dredge in flour, shaking off excess, then dip into egg mixture, turning to coat evenly; carefully coat with panko again, pressing panko gently to stick to chicken. Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet. In a pan large enough to hold two breasts, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts to skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, 8-10 minutes. Transfer chicken breasts to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Add remaining oil and butter to skillet and repeat with remaining two chicken breasts. Transfer chicken breasts to plates and garnish each with parsley and a lemon wedge.

Unexpected Tuna Casserole

1/2 c plus 1 Tbs unsalted butter, divided

2 1/2 c homemade chicken stock or low-sodium

12 oz dried curly egg noodles

chicken broth

kosher salt

1 c heavy cream

1 large onion, finely chopped

6 oz white cheddar, grated

1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts

2 tsp hot sauce (Tabasco)

only, finely chopped

2 jars (6 oz) oil-packed tuna, drained and

10 oz mushrooms, chopped

broken into small pieces

1/4 c white wine

2 c potato chips

freshly ground black pepper

1 lemon

1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

1/2 c dill, coarsely chopped

2 tsp finely chopped thyme

2 Tbs finely chopped chives

1/4 c all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 13x9 inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Cook egg noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain pasta; let cool. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and leek; cook, stirring, until soft but not brown, 8–10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add mushrooms. Cook, tossing occasionally, until most of the mushroom liquid has evaporated, 4–6 minutes. Add wine and reduce until skillet is almost dry, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Stir in Worcestershire and thyme. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook until roux is golden and looks shiny and smooth, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add cream, cheddar, and hot sauce; cook, stirring, until cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Gently fold mushroom mixture, cream mixture, noodles, and tuna in a large bowl; taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Transfer tuna mixture to prepared baking dish. Press chips into casserole so they stand upright. Bake casserole until bubbly around the edges and chips begin to brown, 15–20 minutes. Zest one-quarter of the lemon over casserole. Let sit 5 minutes, then top with dill and chives.

Best White Chicken Chili**

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut

1 Tbs chopped fresh oregano

into 1 inch pcs

2 tsp ground cumin

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 c chicken broth

1/4 c olive oil

2 cans (15 oz) cannellini (white kidney) beans

1 large onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 poblano chile, seeds removed, chopped

2 Tbs fresh lime juice

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

sour cream, cilantro and lime wedges

Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or small stockpot over medium-high heat. Working in batches as needed, add chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 10–15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add onion and poblano chile and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onion is softened and translucent, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add oregano and cumin and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth, beans and their liquid, bay leaf, and chicken and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until meat is cooked through and tender and liquid is slightly thickened, 30–35 minutes. Season with lime juice and more salt and pepper. Serve with sour cream, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Snickers Ice Cream Cake Bars

1 box (18.3 oz) fudge brownie mix

1 container (28 oz) dulce de leche caramel

brownie mix ingredients for cakelike brownies

ice cream, softened

1/2 c chopped cocktail peanuts

1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

3/4 c caramel sauce

3 Snickers (1.86 oz ea) candy bars, chopped

1 container (28 oz) chocolate ice cream, softened

2 Tbs chocolate flavored syrup

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix brownie mix, oil, water and eggs until well blended. Stir in peanuts. Bake 24-26 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Remove brownie from oven to cooling rack. Cool 30 minutes. Spread 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce on top of brownie. Place in freezer 10 minutes. Remove pan from freezer, and evenly spread softened chocolate ice cream on top of caramel layer. Return to freezer 1 hour. Remove pan from freezer, and evenly spread softened caramel ice cream on top of chocolate ice cream layer. Cover, and place in freezer about 3 hours or until firm. When ready to serve, spread whipped topping on top of frozen cake. Sprinkle chopped candy bars over top. Drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup caramel sauce and the chocolate syrup. Cut into 5 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in freezer.

Strawberry Daiquiri Cake

1 pkg white cake mix

8 fresh whole strawberries

water, vegetable oil and eggs for mix

FROSTING:

1 box (4 serving size) strawberry gelatin

1 container creamy vanilla frosting

1 Tbs grated lime peel

2 tsp grated lime peel

1-2 tsp rum extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees or 325 degrees for dark or nonstick pan. Grease bottom only of 13x9-inch pan and lightly flour, or spray with baking spray with flour. In large bowl, beat cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Stir together lime frosting ingredients. Spread frosting evenly over cake. Store loosely covered at room temperature. Just before serving, cut each whole strawberry in half, leaving leaves on. Garnish cake with strawberry halves. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Lemon Layer Ice Cream Pie

1 frozen deep dish pie crust (from 12 oz pkg)

1 can (15.75 oz) lemon pie filling

1 tsp grated lemon peel

1 Tbs lemon juice

3 c vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

lemon slices, if desired

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake pie crust as directed on package for one-crust baked pie shell. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. In large bowl, stir lemon peel into ice cream just until well mixed. Quickly spread 1 cup ice cream mixture in crust-lined pan; return remaining ice cream to freezer. Freeze pie until partially frozen, about 30 minutes. In small bowl, mix pie filling and lemon juice until well blended. Spread evenly over ice cream mixture in crust-lined pan. Freeze 45 minutes longer or until partially frozen. Spoon remaining ice cream mixture over top; spread evenly to cover. Freeze at least 4 hours or until firm in center. To serve, let pie stand at room temperature 10-15 minutes before cutting into wedges. Garnish with lemon slices.

Frozen Caramel Apple Crunch Cake

1 box crunchy granola bars

3 c softened vanilla or cinnamon ice cream

1/2 c all purpose flour

3/4 can apple pie filling (chop up apple pcs)

1/3 c packed light brown sugar

1/4 c caramel sauce plus extra for serving

6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the granola bars in a food processor and process to a coarse crumb consistency. In a large mixing bowl, add the granola bar crumbs, flour, brown sugar and melted butter and stir to mix together. Spread the mixture out onto a pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely. Spread half of the crumb mixture onto the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking dish. Reserve the other half of the crumbs. In a large mixing bowl, add the softened ice cream and stir in the apple pie pieces and caramel sauce. Pour the mixture over the crumbs in the 8x8-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the top, cover with aluminum foil and freeze for at least 3 hours. Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream and caramel sauce

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie**

2 pts mint chocolate chip ice cream

1 1/2 c crushed chocolate covered mint cookies

1 pkg (6 oz) ready to use chocolate pie crust

1 c chocolate fudge topping

Spread 1 pint of slightly softened ice cream in pie crust. Sprinkle 1 cup of the crushed cookies over ice cream. Cover and freeze 1 hour. Spread remaining pint of slightly softened ice cream over cookies. Cover and freeze about 3 hours or until firm. Let stand at room temperature about 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with fudge topping; sprinkle with remaining cookies. Cover and freeze any remaining pie.

July 23, 2016

Skillet Pork Chops w/Cider Sauce

4 boneless pork loin chops, 1/2 to 3/4 in thk

1/8 tsp pepper

(4 oz ea), trimmed of fat

1 Tbs vegetable oil

1/4 tsp seasoned salt

1/2 c apple cider

1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves

1/4 c brandy or additional apple cider

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbs butter

Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with seasoned salt, thyme, garlic powder and pepper. In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add pork chops; cook uncovered about 5 minutes until bottom sides of pork chops are browned. Turn pork chops; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook uncovered 5-10 minutes longer or until pork chops are no longer pink in center. Remove from skillet to serving platter; cover with foil to keep warm while preparing sauce. Add cider and brandy to skillet. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet; reduce heat to low. Add butter, simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, 1-3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve sauce over chops.

Double Meat Dudewich**

1 boneless pork shoulder roast (2 1/2 lb), trimmed

1 pkg (16 oz) beef smoked sausage rings,

2 c barbecue sauce

cut into 1/2 inch slices

1/2 c lager beer, such as a Boston Lager

1 pkg (14 oz) coleslaw mix

1 tsp seasoned salt

1/2 c coleslaw dressing

1 tsp garlic-pepper blend

dill pickle chips

1/2 tsp ground mustard

6 onion buns, split

Place pork in 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker. In small bowl, mix 1 cup of the barbecue sauce, the beer, seasoned salt, garlic-pepper blend and ground mustard. Pour over roast. Cover; cook on High setting 4-5 hours or on Low setting 8-10 hours until pork is very tender. Remove pork from slow cooker, and discard liquid. When cool enough to handle, shred pork into bite-size pieces; discard any excess fat. In large bowl, stir together remaining cup barbecue sauce and the shredded pork. In 10-inch skillet over medium heat, cook sausage slices until heated through and crisp around edges. In medium bowl, stir together coleslaw mix and dressing. To make sandwiches, pile pork mixture, smoked sausage, coleslaw and pickles on buns. Serve immediately.

Speedy Cassoulet

1 can (15 oz) cannellini or great northern beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with roasted garlic (or other variety), undrained

1 can (14 oz) chicken broth

1/2 lb fully cooked beef or turkey kielbasa cut into 1/2 inch slices (1 1/2 c)

1 green pepper, chopped

seasoned bread crumbs, if desired

In 3-quart saucepan, heat beans, tomatoes, broth and kielbasa to boiling, stirring occasionally; reduce heat. Stir in bell peppers. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Ground Beef Mummy Bread**

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef

1/2 c creamy Italian dressing, divided

1 med green bell pepper, cut into bite-size pcs

1 loaf (1 lb) Italian bread, halved lengthwise

1 med red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pcs

4 slices (6 oz) thinly sliced provolone

1 small onion, cut into thin wedges

cheese, quartered

Set oven control to broil. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef, bell peppers and onion over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in 1/4 cup of the dressing. Spread remaining 1/4 cup dressing on cut sides of bread. Place both halves, cut sides up, on ungreased large cookie sheet. Broil with tops 4-6 inches from heat 2-4 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove bread from broiler. Spread beef mixture on cut halves of bread. Top with cheese. Return to broiler; broil 4-6 inches from heat 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut each half into 2 pieces.

July 16, 2016

Southwestern Chicken Stir Fry

2 Tbs lime juice

1 small yellow summer squash

2 tsp chili powder

2 Tbs vegetable oil, divided

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast halves,

1/3 c medium picante sauce

cut into 1/2 inch strips

2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro

1 small zucchini

Mix lime juice and chili powder in medium glass or plastic bowl; stir in chicken. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes. Cut zucchini and yellow squash into thin slices. Heat 12-inch skillet or wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil; rotate skillet to coat side. Add chicken and marinade; stir-fry until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from skillet. Add remaining tablespoon oil; rotate skillet to coat side. Add zucchini and yellow squash; stir-fry about 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add chicken, picante sauce and cilantro; cook and stir until hot.

Speedy Ravioli Bake**

2 pkg (9 oz ea) refrigerated cheese-filled ravioli

1 tsp dried basil leaves

1 jar (26 oz) chunky tomato pasta sauce

2 c (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a three-quart saucepan or four-quart Dutch oven, cook ravioli as directed on package; drain and set aside. In same saucepan, mix pasta sauce and basil. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated. Stir in cooked ravioli. Pour into ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Sprinkle cheese over top. Bake uncovered 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Texas Turkey Burgers

1 lb ground turkey

4 slices Monterey Jack cheese w/jalapeno

1 egg

4 hamburger bins, split

1/2 c medium salsa

medium salsa

1/4 c onion, minced

TOPPINGS: sliced avocado, tomato slices,

1 clove garlic, minced

lettuce, sour cream, black olives

1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chilies, drained

Mix turkey, egg, salsa, onion, garlic and chilies. Shape mixture into 4 patties, each about 3/4 inch thick. Set oven control to broil. Place patties on rack in broiler pan. Broil with tops about 3 inches from heat 10-14 minutes, turning once, until turkey is no longer pink in center. About a minute before burgers are done, top each with cheese slice. Broil until cheese is melted. Serve on buns with toppings.

Crispy Fish Topped au Gratin Potatoes**

1 box (4.7 oz) au gratin potatoes

1 c julienne strips carrots or shredded carrots

2 c boiling water

1/2 tsp dried dill weed

1/2 c milk

1 pkg (12 oz) frozen breaded fish fillets

2 Tbs butter or margarine

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In ungreased 8-inch square glass baking dish, mix potatoes, sauce mix, boiling water, milk, butter, carrots and dill weed. Arrange fish fillets on top. Bake uncovered about 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

July 9, 2016

Morning Glory Muffin Squares

STREUSEL:

1/2 c chopped walnuts

1/2 c biscuit mix

1/2 c shredded carrots

1/3 c packed brown sugar

1/2 c raisins

2 Tbs firm butter or margarine

2 Tbs granulated sugar

MUFFINS:

2/3 c milk

2 c biscuit mix

2 Tbs vegetable oil

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 egg

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Streusel: In small bowl, mix biscuit mix and the brown sugar until well blended. Cut in butter, using fork or pastry blender, until mixture is crumbly; set aside. Muffins: In large bowl, stir biscuit mix, pumpkin pie spice, walnuts, carrots, raisins and granulated sugar until blended. Stir in milk, oil and egg until blended. Pour into ungreased 8-inch square pan. Sprinkle with streusel. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm.

Chocolate Delight Muffins

1 c buttermilk

1/2 c unsweetened baking cocoa

1/2 c butter or margarine, melted

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 c all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c whole wheat flour

1/2 c miniature semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 c packed brown sugar

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups. In medium bowl, mix buttermilk, butter and egg with spoon until blended. Stir in flours, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda, vanilla and salt just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan. Serve warm or cool.

Cheese and Spinach Muffins**

2/3 c milk

1/2 c coarsely chopped fresh spinach

1 Tbs vegetable oil

1/2 c (2 oz) shredded Swiss cheese

1 egg

1/4 c grated parmesan cheese

2 c biscuit mix

2 Tbs chopped green onions

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottoms of 12 regular-size muffin cups. Beat milk, oil and egg in medium bowl until blended. Stir in remaining ingredients just until moistened. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown; cool slightly. Remove from pan. Serve warm.

Buttermilk Corn Muffins

1 3/4 c cornmeal

1 c buttermilk

1 c biscuit mix

1 tsp baking soda

1/3 c sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 c butter or margarine, melted

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups, or grease bottoms of muffin cups with shortening. In large bowl, stir all ingredients until blended. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake muffins 14-17 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to wire rack.

Muffin Tin Cheeseburgers**

1 Tbs butter, melted

4 Tbs ketchup

6 burger buns, split

6 slices American cheese, each cut in 4 pieces

3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped

1 tsp sesame seed

1 lb ground beef

2 Tbs dill pickle relish

1/2 c diced yellow onion

yellow mustard, optional

1/2 tsp seasoned salt

Sriracha sauce, optional

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush 12 regular-size muffin cups with melted butter. Press half of a bun, cut side up, into each muffin cup, pressing to 1/4-inch thick; set aside. Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp; with slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon drippings. Add beef, onion and seasoned salt to drippings in skillet; heat to medium-high heat. Cook 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is brown and cooked through; drain. Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups. Gently press mixture down into cups. Top each with 1 teaspoon ketchup. Divide cheese, then sesame seed among muffin cups. Bake 7-9 minutes or until cheese is melted. Immediately top with cooked bacon, followed by relish and mustard or Sriracha sauce, as desired.

July 2, 2016

Bacon Wrapped Wings

1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper

1/4 c packed brown sugar

3 lb chicken wings and drummetts

2 Tbs soy sauce

12 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

BOURBON SAUCE:

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 c ketchup

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 c bourbon

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with sides with heavy-duty foil; spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle pepper over chicken. Wrap each chicken piece with a half slice of bacon. Place bacon-wrapped chicken pieces on cookie sheet, bacon end down. Bake uncovered 30 minutes; turn chicken; rotate cookie sheets in oven. Bake 20-30 minutes longer or until golden brown and juice of chicken is clear when thickest part is cut to bone. Meanwhile, in one-quart saucepan, mix Bourbon Sauce ingredients; heat to simmering over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside. In large bowl, toss chicken with half of the sauce. Serve warm with remaining sauce on the side for dipping

White Chicken Enchilada Dip**

2 c shredded cooked chicken

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

1 can (10 oz) mild green chile enchilada sauce

1 c ( 4 oz) shredded Mexican cheese blend

1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chilies

cilantro leaves and sliced green onions, if desired

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-inch round baking dish or 8-inch (2-quart) square baking dish. In large bowl, mix chicken, enchilada sauce, chilies, cream cheese and 3/4 cup of the cheese until well mixed. Spread in baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake about 20 minutes or until bubbling and golden. Garnish with cilantro and green onions. Serve with chips or warm tortillas as desired for scooping.

Cheesy Homemade Onion Rings

1 large white onion

1 egg

1 1/3 c flour

1 1/2 c panko bread crumbs

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

1 c milk

oil, for frying

Heat 3 inches of oil over medium high heat to 375 degrees. While the oil is heating, cut the root and tip off the onion and discard. Slice the onion into 1/4 inch thick slices and separate the rings. Add the flour and salt to a shallow dish and coat each onion ring in the flour. Shake off and set aside. Once all the onions are coated in flour, beat together the milk and egg and stir into the flour. Whisk until smooth. Coat the onions in the batter and shake excess off before placing on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Mix together the panko and parmesan cheese and coat each onion ring in the breadcrumb mixture. Return to the cooling rack. Drop the onion rings, 3 or 4 at a time depending on the size of your pot, into the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the onion rings from the oil to a paper towel-lined dish for the grease to drain. Repeat with the remaining onion rings until all are cooked.

Impossibly Easy Bacon Cheeseburger Balls**

3 c biscuit mix

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

1 lb uncooked lean (at least 80%) ground beef

1/2 c milk

4 c (16 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 c dill pickle relish

12 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

ketchup and mustard, optional

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan. In large bowl, stir together all ingredients except ketchup and mustard, using hands or spoon. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Place in pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm with ketchup and mustard for dipping.

 

 

June 25, 2016

Shrimp Linguine Alfredo**

1 (12 oz) pkg linguine pasta

1 c half-and-half

1/4 c butter, melted

2 tsp ground black pepper

4 Tbs diced onion

6 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese

4 tsp minced garlic

4 sprigs fresh parsley

40 small shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 slices lemon, for garnish

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan. Saute onion and garlic over medium heat until tender. Add shrimp; saute over high heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in half-and-half. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Place pasta in serving dish and cover with the shrimp sauce. Sprinkle with black pepper and Parmesan cheese. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices.

Meatloaf in a Mug

1 slice white bread, torn into pieces

1 green onion, thinly sliced

2 Tbs milk

1/4 tsp seasoned salt

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 lb ground beef

Place the torn bread into a small bowl, and pour in the milk and Worcestershire sauce; set aside for a few minutes for the bread to absorb the liquid. Add the ground beef, green onion, seasoned salt and pepper to the bread; mix well and place into a 10-ounce microwave-safe mug. Cook in the microwave at 70 percent power until the meatloaf is firm and no longer pink in the center, about 4-5 1/2 minutes, depending on the microwave. Remove the meatloaf from the microwave and allow to stand 2 minutes before serving.

Quick Quiche**

1 (8 oz) pkg refrigerated crescent rolls

1/2 c cheddar cheese

2 slices Black Forest ham

6 eggs

1/2 c roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

3 Tbs milk

1 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1 pinch black pepper

and drained

1 dash hot pepper sauce (tabasco)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll crescent dough, leaving it in one piece. Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with the dough, with it extending up the sides 1 inch. Prick with a fork. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Layer the chopped ham, roasted red peppers, spinach and cheddar cheese in the baked crust. In a bowl, beat the eggs, milk, black pepper and hot sauce together. Pour egg mixture over the layered ingredients. Bake for about 15 minutes. Turn oven to Broil and cook until browned, about 3 additional minutes. Turn off oven and allow the quiche to rest for 10 minutes in the cooling oven.

Easy Chicken Tetrazzini

cooking spray

1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup

1 (12 oz) pkg rotini pasta

1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

2 Tbs butter

1/4 tsp salt

2 small onions, chopped

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and chopped

1/2 c red bell pepper, chopped

1 c cheddar cheese, shredded

2 1/4 c milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the rotini pasta until al dente. This will take about 8 minutes, then drain and pour into the prepared baking dish. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir onions, celery and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir into the onion mixture the milk, cream of mushroom soup, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer about 5 minutes. Add chicken and half of the cheddar cheese. Remove immediately from the heat and pour over the rotini pasta in the pan. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 25 minutes.

Shrimp Linguine Alfredo**

1 (12 oz) pkg linguine pasta

1 c half-and-half

1/4 c butter, melted

2 tsp ground black pepper

4 Tbs diced onion

6 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese

4 tsp minced garlic

4 sprigs fresh parsley

40 small shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 slices lemon, for garnish

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan. Saute onion and garlic over medium heat until tender. Add shrimp; saute over high heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in half-and-half. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Place pasta in serving dish and cover with the shrimp sauce. Sprinkle with black pepper and Parmesan cheese. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices.

Meatloaf in a Mug

1 slice white bread, torn into pieces

1 green onion, thinly sliced

2 Tbs milk

1/4 tsp seasoned salt

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 lb ground beef

Place the torn bread into a small bowl, and pour in the milk and Worcestershire sauce; set aside for a few minutes for the bread to absorb the liquid. Add the ground beef, green onion, seasoned salt and pepper to the bread; mix well and place into a 10-ounce microwave-safe mug. Cook in the microwave at 70 percent power until the meatloaf is firm and no longer pink in the center, about 4-5 1/2 minutes, depending on the microwave. Remove the meatloaf from the microwave and allow to stand 2 minutes before serving.

Quick Quiche**

1 (8 oz) pkg refrigerated crescent rolls

1/2 c cheddar cheese

2 slices Black Forest ham

6 eggs

1/2 c roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

3 Tbs milk

1 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1 pinch black pepper

and drained

1 dash hot pepper sauce (tabasco)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll crescent dough, leaving it in one piece. Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with the dough, with it extending up the sides 1 inch. Prick with a fork. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Layer the chopped ham, roasted red peppers, spinach and cheddar cheese in the baked crust. In a bowl, beat the eggs, milk, black pepper and hot sauce together. Pour egg mixture over the layered ingredients. Bake for about 15 minutes. Turn oven to Broil and cook until browned, about 3 additional minutes. Turn off oven and allow the quiche to rest for 10 minutes in the cooling oven.

June 18, 2016

Cranberry Spinach Salad

1 Tbs butter

1/2 c white sugar

3/4 c almonds, blanched and slivered

2 tsp minced onion

1 lb fresh spinach, rinsed and torn

1/4 tsp paprika

1 c dried cranberries

1/4 c white wine vinegar

2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

1/4 c cider vinegar

1 Tbs poppy seeds

1/2 c vegetable oil

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and let cool. In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients for the dressing. Toss the dressing with the spinach just before serving. (Yield: 8 servings)

Champagne Salad**

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened

1 (10 oz) pkg frozen strawberries, thawed

1 c sugar

3 bananas, diced

1 (15 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained

3/4 c chopped walnuts

1 (16 oz) contained frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sugar. Fold in the pineapple, whipped topping and strawberries, mixing well. Stir in the bananas and walnuts. Freeze for 4-6 hours or overnight. Remove from the freezer an hour or so before serving.

Salad Nicoise

1/2 lb new potatoes, quartered

1/2 lb mixed salad greens

1/4 c chopped fresh parsley

1 c lemon vinaigrette

1/4 c pitted nicoise olives

3 hard-cooked eggs, quartered

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

3 roma (plum) tomatoes, thinly sliced

1 (6 oz) fresh tuna fillet

1 Tbs capers

1/3 lb fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and

4 anchovy filets, optional

blanched

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high and sear the tuna fillet briefly on both sides. Remove and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, parsley, olives, tuna and green beans. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours. In a large bowl, toss greens with vinaigrette and top with chilled potato mixture. Garnish with eggs, tomatoes, capers and anchovies, if desired.

BLT Macaroni Salad**

2 c elbow macaroni

5 green onions, finely chopped

1 1/4 c mayonnaise

1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded

5 tsp white vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 c diced celery

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 large tomato, diced

1 (16 oz) pkg bacon, cooked and crumbled

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni stirring occasionally until cooked al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until chilled. Transfer to a large salad bowl. In a medium bowl, stir mayonnaise, vinegar, celery, tomato, green onions, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper into macaroni until well combined. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Mix bacon into salad when ready to serve.

June 11, 2016

Personal Pizza

1 small (4 inch) pita bread

OR:

1/4 c pizza sauce

4 slices cooked ham

6 slices pepperoni sausage

1/4 c pineapple chunks, drained

1/4 green bell pepper, sliced

4 slices Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 c mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pita bread on a small baking sheet and cover with pizza sauce. Layer with meat, and other toppings. Top with cheese. Bake in the preheated oven 12-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Personal Portobello Pizza**

1 large Portobello mushroom, stem removed

1/2 Tbs sliced black olives

1 Tbs spaghetti/pizza sauce

4 slices pepperoni sausage

1/2 c mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the mushroom on a baking sheet, and bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and spread sauce in the cap. Top with the other ingredients, cheese last. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden.

Chicago Style Pan Pizza

1 (16 oz) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained

1 lb bulk Italian sausage

3/4 tsp dried oregano

2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 tsp salt

8 oz sliced mushrooms

1/4 tsp fennel seed

1 small onion, chopped

1/4 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9x13 inch baking dish, or large size deep dish pizza pan. Crumble the sausage into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until evenly browned. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and sprinkle over the dough crust. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the sausage. Add mushrooms and onion to the skillet, cook and stir until the onion is tender. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, salt, fennel seed and garlic powder. Spoon over the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Dessert Fruit Pizza**

1/4 c butter

2 kiwi, peeled and chopped

32 large marshmallows

fresh fruit, as desired

5 c crisp rice cereal

2 Tbs apricot jam

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese

1 1/2 tsp water

2 c confectioners' sugar

2 tsp heavy cream

1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp sugar

16 small strawberries, halved

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 banana, peeled and sliced

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and marshmallows. Stir over low heat until melted. Remove pan from heat and stir in the crisp rice cereal. Prepare a pizza pan by lightly coating with vegetable oil cooking spray. Press the cereal mixture evenly onto the pizza pan and place in the refrigerator to cool. To make the sauce, combine cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and cocoa in a small bowl. Beat until smooth and creamy. Spread evenly over the pizza crust. Arrange the strawberries, bananas, kiwi slices, and any other fruit over the crust. In a small cup, mix together the apricot jam and water. Dab onto the fruit with a brush to keep the fruit from turning brown. Whip the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff and drop dollops onto the pizza. Slice in narrow pieces as is a very rich dessert!

June 4, 2016

Tortilla Breakfast Cups

12 flour tortillas

salt and pepper

6 eggs

bell peppers, diced

1 c sour cream

onions, diced

1 c shredded cheese, divided

Start by cutting 3.5-inch circles from the flour tortillas. Grease a muffin tin and put a tortilla circle in each cup. Crack eggs into a mixing bowl and add sour cream and mix. Then add 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and salt & pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the tortilla cups. Then top with diced bell peppers and onions. Bake in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Then sprinkle the hot breakfast food with the rest of the cheese.

Lemon Souffle Pancakes

6 eggs, separated

4 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 c low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese (not nonfat)

1 tsp grated or minced fresh lemon zest

1/4 c canola or other vegetable oil

4 tsp baking powder

2 Tbs sugar

1 c all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

In a bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Set aside. In a food processor or blender, combine the egg yolks, cottage or ricotta cheese, oil, sugar salt lemon juice and zest, baking powder, and flour and blend until smooth. Fold in the egg whites. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat, and lightly brush with melted butter or oil. Pour the batter, about 1/4 cup for each pancake, onto the cooking surface. Cook until the tops are bubbly, then turn and cook until the bottoms are browned. Serve hot with your favorite toppings.

Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie**

1 c soy or almond milk

14 frozen strawberries

1/2 c rolled oats

1/2 tsp vanilla extract, optional

1 banana, broken into chunks

1 1/2 tsp white sugar, optional

In a blender, combine soy or almond milk, oats, banana, and strawberries. Add vanilla and sugar if desired. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

2 c all-purpose flour

1 lemon, zested and juiced

3/4 c sugar

2 Tbs poppy seeds

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 c milk

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c water

3/4 c margarine

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Cut in margarine until the mixture is the consistency of large grains of sand. Stir in the poppy seeds, lemon zest and lemon juice. Combine the milk and water and gradually stir into the dry ingredients until the batter is moistened, but still thick like biscuit dough. (You may not need all of the liquid.) Spoon 1/4 cup sized dollops of batter onto the greased baking sheet about 3 inches apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake**

1 c sugar

1 tsp baking powder

2 Tbs shortening

1 c milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 c brown sugar

2 c all-purpose flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degree and lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening. Stir in vanilla. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Stir flour into sugar mixture alternately with milk. Mix until smooth. Pour batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean, about 35-45 minutes.

May 28. 2016

Chicken Salad a la Grapes

5 c diced cooked chicken

1 1/2 c diced celery

1 tsp salt

1 c seedless grapes, halved

3 Tbs lemon juice

1/2 c toasted slivered almonds, optional

1 c mayonnaise

In a bowl, combine chicken, celery and grapes. Add lemon juice to the mayonnaise, mixing well. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the chicken and toss lightly. Chill until ready to serve. Sprinkle with almonds if desired.

Egg Salad Spread**

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs, divided

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

3/4 c mayonnaise

3 green onions, sliced, divided

4 oz cream cheese, cubed, softened

1/8 tsp paprika

2 Tbs white vinegar

Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Remove the yolks, and place in a bowl or food processor. Add the mayonnaise, cream cheese, vinegar mustard and half of the egg white halves. Process or chop and stir until blended. In a bowl, chop the remaining egg white halves coarsely, and add to the blended mixture with 2/3 of the onions. Sprinkle the remaining onion on top with paprika for garnish. Serve as sandwich filling or as a dip with crackers or veggies.

Parrothead Salad

1 head leaf lettuce, torn into bite size pieces

1/2 c raisins

1/2 lb fresh strawberries, sliced

1/4 c toasted slivered almonds

1/2 lb fresh blueberries

1/4 c red onion, chopped

1 mango, peeled, seeded and cut into strips

4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

1 c cherry tomatoes

In a large salad bowl, toss the lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, cherry tomatoes, raisins, almonds and onions together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than 4 hours. When ready to serve, take the bacon crumbles, and sprinkle on top.

Dessert in a Jar

1 1/2 c milk

4 large apples, cored and chopped (6 cups)

1 (3.4 oz) pkg instant cheesecake pudding mix

4 (2.07 oz) Snickers candy bars, cut into 1/2 in pcs

1 (8 oz) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft set. Fold in whipped topping, then the apples and the candy bar pieces. Refrigerate until serving. If packing along, place servings in mason jars with lids.

May 21, 2016

Rhubarb Dream Bars

2 c all-purpose flour

2 c sugar

3/4 c powdered sugar

1/2 c flour

1 c butter

1 1/2 tsp salt

4 eggs

4 c rhubarb, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, powdered sugar and butter. Mix well and press into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. In a large bowl