Monday, March 29, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This recipe is a little more time-intensive than I generally prefer, but it is worth. every. effort! I modified it slightly from a top-rated recipe on The sauce is insane.INGREDIENTS
6skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
6 slices Swiss cheese
6-12 slices ham*
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup tablespoons butter
1/2 cup unsweetened white grape juice (I doubled to one cup) 1.5
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (I doubled to 2 tsp) 3 tsp
1 tablespoon cornstarch (or flour) 2
1 cup heavy whipping cream 1 1/4

Pound chicken breasts if they are too thick. Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast within 1/2 inch of the edges. Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks. NEXT TIME I WILL USE BAKING STRING. (The cheese will leak out a little bit and that's ok! Or, you can wrap the cheese up INSIDE the ham and it won't leak!) Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl, and coat the chicken pieces.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Add the juice and bouillon. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the breasts to a warm platter. (I used colored toothpicks. It made them easier to find, but the coloring spread to the chicken. Some people also recommended using baking ties instead of toothpicks).

Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl, and whisk slowly into the skillet with the remaining drippings, juice, and bouillon. This makes an a.m.a.z.i.n.g sauce! Cook, stirring until thickened, and pour over the chicken. Serve warm.

A friend suggested filleting the raw breasts in half instead of pounding them and rolling them. I am going to try that next time!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cashew Cabbage Salad

I swiped this recipe from my friend Allison. It's so yummy!

Cashew Cabbage Salad
1 head cabbage, chopped thinly (or 1/2 head green and 1/2 head purple)
1 bunch green onions
1 can (9.5oz) cashews, halves and pieces
1/2 C. - 3/4 C. toasted sesame seeds (I only had about 2 tbs and it was still yummy!)
1 pkg. ramen noodles chicken flavor

3/4 C. vegetable oil
3 Tbl. sugar
4 1/2 tsp. vinegar
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 of ramen chicken flavor seasoning packet

Combine cabbage and green onions then chill. Combine all ingredients of dressing then chill. Right before serving add rest of ingredients, break up dry ramen noodles till little pieces and toss then add dressing and toss.

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

I found this yummy recipe at the Sister's Cafe. It's really fantastic; even the kids loved it. *The recipe makes 12 large enchiladas and fills (2) 9 x 13 pans.

1/3 cup honey
4.5 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

6 cups cooked chicken, shredded
12 flour tortillas, soft taco size
4.5 cups colby and/or monterey jack cheese, shredded
(3) 10 oz. cans green enchilada sauce

Mix first 4 ingredients together and toss with shredded chicken. Let it "marinate" for at least a half hour. Pour 1/2 can green enchilada sauce on the bottom of each 9x13 pan. Fill flour tortillas with 1/2 cup chicken and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Roll and put in the pan. Pour one whole can of green enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas; then sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. (Put it under the broiler at the end for approx 5 minutes to make the cheese brown and crispy on the top.)

*The recipe makes 12 large enchiladas and fills (2) 9 x 13 pans.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chicken Bruschetta Bake

I found a version of this recipe on the back of my box of Stove Top Stuffing. I modified it a little (because I'm obnoxious that way) and it turned out really good. The whole family said it was very good, though Kinley wants it made next time without tomatoes ;)
1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package Stove Top Stuffing
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tbs olive oil

In olive oil, cook chicken in large skillet until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes each side (I recommend only two breasts at a time in the pan, but don't add more oil with second batch.) When chicken is golden brown, put in the bottom of a sprayed 9x13 pan.

Mix water, tomatoes, basil, and garlic in a bowl. Add stuffing mix. Sprinkle mixture over the chicken. Bake for 25 minutes uncovered at 350 degrees. Top with cheese and bake for 5 more minutes. Serve warm.

Orange BBQ Chicken Kabobs

This easy, tasty chicken recipe requires no marinading time! It was so easy and so flavorful!

Orange BBQ Chicken Kabobs
  • Cut chicken into kabob-sized chunks and put on skewers.
  • Mix equal parts BBQ sauce and orange juice concentrate. (I mixed two batches just to make sure there was no raw chicken cross contamination.)
  • Spoon generous amount over kabobs
  • Place on grill and cook for 10 minutes
  • Flip over with tongs and brush remaining sauce onto kabobs. Grill for additional 5-10 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Chocolate Cake

For many years I have said "I cook, I don't bake." Well, that sad, goodie-free time of my life is over!

I got this easy, delicious recipe for chocolate cake from my friend Laney and used a frosting recipe that I've had in my files. It makes a yummy combination! It was pretty funny to see me wandering up and down the grocery aisle searching for such exotic items as "cocoa powder" and "shortening".

Now if I could just be brave enough to attempt chocolate chip cookies...

Mommy: Kinley, I made this cake from scratch.

Kinley: You mean from a box?

Mommy: No, from scratch means without a box.

Kinley: Oh, I see. Like... from a box.

Mommy: Sigh...

Chocolate Cake
2 C sugar
3/4 C shortening
3 eggs
1C buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C flour
1/2 C cocoa
2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 C warm water

Mix together - Bake in a greased 9x13 pan at 350 for 35-40 minutes until toothpick comeo out clean.

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat together, spread over cake.

Who wouldn't give a beater to this face?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Apricot Chicken

I finally perfected my apricot chicken. It doesn't get much easier than this meal. The hardest part is the rice, LOL! Yes, Andrea, I definitely need to get myself a rice maker :) Ingredients:
Enough frozen chicken breasts to fill the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Some small spaces on the bottom ok.
1 bottle french dressing
1 jar apricot preserves/jam
1 envelope lipton onion soup
1 and 1/2 cup water

Combine water, dressing, preserves, and soup mix together in a bowl. Pour over the chicken in a 9 x 13 pan. Bake on 350 for 90 minutes. Take chicken out and shred. Mix chicken back into sauce. Serve over rice.

Low-Fat Pasta Primavera

This dish is a low-fat primavera that I originally found in a Pillsbury magazine. While it's a little more time-intensive than I generally prefer, it's yummy and worth it. Plus, I'm getting faster at streamlining the process. Our whole family loves it and it doesn't taste all that healthy!Ingredients:
16 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced tomatoes*
1 cup diced, cooked chicken
2 cups halved fresh snow pea pods (optional, and did not use)
12 oz uncooked fettucini
2 cups fat-free (skim) milk
3 tbs cornstarch
1 tbs chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 cup light ricotta cheese
1/4 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese (not in the green can!!)
3/4 cup chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1. Cook and drain fettucini as directed on package. Lightly spray with Pam and toss to keep from sticking together. Cook and chop/shred chicken.

2. Meanwhile, in a 2-quart saucepan, heat milk, cornstarch, basil, salt, and pepper to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with wire whisk. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 2-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Remove pan from heat.

3. In a blender or food processor, place 1/2 cup of the sauce, vinegar, the ricotta cheese and the parmesan cheese. Cover; blend on medium-lo speed until smooth. Return mixture to remaining sauce in saucepan; stir well.

4. In a nonstick pot, heat broth to boiling over medium-hgh heat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, broccoli and onions; cover and cook 4 minutes. Add tomatoes (and pea pods, if used); cook 1 minute longer. Add sauce and cooked fettucine; heat until hot. Transfer to serving platter if desired, and sprinkle with additional fresh parmesan cheese.

*I'm the only one in the family that really likes tomatoes, so I added them fresh to my own plate after serving, instead of cooking them in. I prefer them cooked in for a few minutes, but this works fine.

Rosemary Chicken

I originally received this recipe from my friend, Heather W. It may not look like much, but I assure you that it has a very unique, slightly addicting flavor to it. Again, our whole family loves this recipe. (And man, I'm in the mood for it again today...) Ingredients:
3 breasts of boneless, skinless chicken
Approx 2 cups flour (enough to dredge chicken in)
4 tsp olive oil divided
4 tsp butter divided
1/4 cup diced onions
4 minced garlic cloves
2 cups water
1 cup white grape juice
4 cubes chicken boullion
1 tsp ground or regular rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper
12-16 ounces thin spaghetti, prepared as on package*
fresh chives (optional)

Cut chicken breasts into thin strips. Dredge in flour. In a wide, deep skillet, combine 3 tsp olive oil and 3 tsp butter and heat over med-high until bubbly hot. Add chicken and cook, turning until lightly browned (3-4 minutes). Remove chicken and set aside.

To skillet, add 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp oil. Add onions and garlic cloves, saute until softened (about 2 minutes)

Add water, grape juice, boulliou, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Simmer approximately 5 minutes. While it's simmering, cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Return chicken to skilled and simmer approximately 8-10 minutes. Sauce will thicken slightly and chicken will be heated through.

Before chicken is added to the pot, get started on the pasta. Cook pasta and drain as suggested on package, but do not rinse (tip I learned from America's Test Kitchen). One idea for this recipe is to break pasta into 2-4 inch pieces before boiling.

When pasta is ready, slowly add pasta to the skillet with the sauce and chicken. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes, serve warm.

Serve with fresh chives (optional, and I keep forgetting, so we never use them)

*Heather recommends angel hair pasta, but the store was out of it when I went shopping this last time. If you use angel hair, I don't know exactly how much to use. You'll just have to feel it out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

I swiped this from my friend's family recipe blog. Thanks, Mandee and Marci!! We all LOVED it! Who knew you could make white enchiladas without cream of chicken soup?

Chicken Enchiladas
This is from Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, 1989 Edition.

8 flour tortillas
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 8-ounce carton sour cream
2 cups chicken broth
1 4-ounce can diced green chili peppers, drained
1 cup shredded cheese
3 cups chopped chicken (or turkey)

For sauce, in a saucepan cook onion, garlic, coriander, and pepper in butter til onion is tender. Stir flour into sour cream; add to onion mixture. Stir in broth and diced chili peppers all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat, stir in 1/2 cup cheese.

For filling, stir 1 cup of sauce into chicken. Place about 1/2 cup filling on each tortilla, spread around and roll up. Arrange rolls seam side down in a lightly greased 13x 9 baking dish. Top with remaining sauce. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven about 35 minutes or until heated through.

Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, about five minutes more until cheese melts. Can sprinkle with olives, tomatoes and green onions. Let stand 10 minutes

Sundried Tomato Pasta

My whole family just loves this recipe that I got from my friend Johanna. Even my tomato-haters (and I have three) love it.

1 (12 ounce) package farfalle (bow tie) pasta*
2 Tbs - 1/2 cup butter (I've tried both and everything in between. They are all good).
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut or shredded into bite-size pieces
Approx 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes**
4 tablespoons grated Romano cheese***

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

*I used spiral noodles because I didn't have enough bow tie. It was good with the spiral, but I have had it before with the bow tie and I thought it was much better with bow tie.

**Cheapest (and largest) jars of sundried tomatoes can be found at Costco. Otherwise, smaller jars (enough to make this recipe 3 times) can be found in the canned and jarred tomato section in your regular grocery store, $3.99 at Smell-mart.

***Recipe calls for 2 Tbs. Johanna always uses extra and I used 4 when I made it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Apple Stuffing Pork Chops

I swiped this recipe from my friend Jandy's blog. We have made it twice now and it is DELICIOUS. It is originally from a Kraft magazine and I have made two teensy modifications.

1 can apple pie filling
6 thin-cut pork chops, boneless
1 pkg stovetop stuffing, prepared as on box
1 Tbs olive oil

In a baking dish, pour apple pie filling in the bottom. Heat olive oil in a pan, on med-low heat, sear pork chops until golden brown, approximately 1-3 minutes each side. Lay porkchops on top of apple filling. Top with stove top. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes on 350.

The Most Amazing Chili

My friend Jamie gave a recipe for the most amazing chili. We have made it several times and we never get sick of it. It really is fan. tas. tic. With her blessing, I share the recipe with you. I'll just say that regardless of how the ingredients below may sound, this is definitely chili. This is not taco soup!

1 can chicken broth
1 lb ground beef
1 lb pork sausage (or more beef)
1 lb shredded chicken (Jamie uses rotisserie, I shred three cooked chicken breasts)
3 cans "ranch style" beans
1 C sweet corn (frozen)
2 26 oz jars of salsa (Jamie recommends Sam's Choice (Walmart) black bean and corn, and garlic and lime. I now make it with one each of those two.)
1/4 - 1 cup sugar (I use brown)

Brown beef and sausage and cook chicken. Mix all ingredients well, simmer in crock pot on low for appromixtely 8 hours.

*If you use the crock pot to mix in, add wet ingredients first, meat last, otherwise the meat may get stuck to the sides of the pot and burn.

**Do not attempt to double the recipe. This makes a surprisingly gigantic amount, barely enough to fit in my big crock pot.

Potato Soup

So... I successfully made potato soup this weekend. Hey now, don't all gasp in shock and faint away at once! I assure you no one was more surprised than Justin and the kids. I've really missed cooking lately, I can tell you that.

I combined a delicious recipe that I got from my friend Nikki with one that I found online. I think it turned out great and it was a big hit with the whole family, so I thought I'd share the recipe.

6 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups diced carrots
5 cube chicken bouillon
4 cups water
1 tbs dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pinch ground black pepper
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
2 cups chopped ham (or hamburger)

In a large pot, add potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, chicken bouillon, water, parsley flakes, salt, and pepper and simmer until vegetables become tender (approx 45-60 minutes. Carrots take the longest.)

When veggies are tender, in a separate bowl mix flour and milk. Once it is well blended, add to soup mixture and cook until soup becomes thick (approx 5-7 minutes).

Stir in cheese, cooked ham or hamburger and simmer until cheese is melted.

*Add more salt if needed, but remember that with leftovers, the salt will have had a chance to leak out of the ham, so be careful you don't overdo it!

Summer Kabobs

It is officially summertime! I found (and slightly modified) this recipe that I found online. It was awesome and we're doing it again super soon! If you smell somone grillin' it's probably us!!

3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
1-2 red, orange, or yellow peppers, cut into 1-2 inch pieces.
1 fresh pineapple cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 onion, cut into 1-2 inch pieces

Mix first five ingredients. Pour half of mixture over onions, peppers, and pineapple. Stir very well. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, stir well again. Drain/strain marinade back into original container. Pour almost all of remaining marinade (remember to keep some out for basting later!!!) into a bowl with the chicken. (If you don't do this, the pineapple will soak up too much of the marinade). Stir well, refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Start soaking skewers in water.

When ready to grill, thread veggies and pineapple on separate skewers from meat. Cook chicken kabobs 10 minutes on one side; turn, baste with additional sauce and cook for additional 10-15 minutes, turning and basting occasionally until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Grill vegetables 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally until peppers look soft. Onions may get crispy edges, but they don't seem to soften on the grill much, so they aren't a great indicator.

Apple Quesadilla

So the strange cravings I have been having are for things that I've never actually had before. I'm craving things I see on the covers of magazines or online. I found about a million variations of this recipe online and combined them into what I thought would make me happy (based on what I had in the fridge). Yum yum! Wow! Even better than I thought! And Tanner likes it too. Kinley is turned off by the onions. Her loss!

two tortillas
shredded cheese
honey mustard (optional)
lunchmeat cut in strips or square (ham is usually recommended, though I used turkey)
onions sliced in rings and sauteed in "I can't believe it's not butter" spray and salt (sea salt is very nice) (also optional, but I looooooove sauteed onions!)
The magic ingredient: apple slices.

Spread a light layer of honey mustard on one side of a tortilla. Layer cheese, lunchmeat, onions and a generous layer of apples. Cover with the second tortilla. Grill on both sides and serve immediately. Delicious!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Orange Strawberry Spinach Salad

6 oz of fresh baby spinach
3/4 cup sliced strawberries
2 sliced bananas
2 sliced avacado

1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp honey dijon mustard
2 tbs sugar or honey

Super Yummy!

Serve with corn on the cob.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Layered Tortellini Pesto Chicken Salad

We have a new favorite recipe! Yummy!!I made this salad last night (also from the Pillsbury magazine, what a treasure!) and it went over very very well. Kinley didn't love it because there were peppers in it, but Tanner ate a huge bowl and asked for more and Justin told me six times that he really really liked this new dinner. He said it's the best new recipe I've made in a long time and he wants it repeated soon! The pic in the magazine shows it all layered and pretty before mixing it up, but I couldn't get that step quite right. So my picture shows it all mixed up and ready to eat :)

I've modified it slightly from the original:

Layered Tortellini Pesto Chicken Salad
3 uncooked cups cheese-filled tortellini
1 cup peas, cooked and cooled
5 cups torn romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped or shredded chicken
1 medium red or orange bell pepper, chopped small
1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free Miracle Whip or mayo (I used miracle)
1/2 cup basil pesto (from the spaghetti sauce aisle)
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

In a small bowl or food processor, mix mayo, pesto and buttermilk. Chill in fridge at least 90 minutes.
Cook and shred/chop chicken. Chill in fridge at least 90 minutes.
Cook tortellini as directed on package. Drain, rinse with cold water, spray lightly with Pam spray to keep from sticking, chill in fridge for at least 90 minutes.
Prepare lettuce, pepper, and peas. Can be mixed and chilled ahead of time.
When ready to serve, mix all ingredients in a large bowl and serve immediately.

Apple Quesadilla

So the strange cravings I have been having are for things that I've never actually had before. I'm craving things I see on the covers of magazines or online. I found about a million variations of this recipe online and combined them into what I thought would make me happy (based on what I had in the fridge). Yum yum! Wow! Even better than I thought! And Tanner likes it too. Kinley is turned off by the onions. Her loss!

two tortillas
shredded cheese
honey mustard (optional)
lunchmeat cut in strips or square (ham is usually recommended, though I used turkey)
onions sliced in rings and sauteed in "I can't believe it's not butter" spray and salt (sea salt is very nice) (also optional, but I looooooove sauteed onions!)
The magic ingredient: apple slices.

Spread a light layer of honey mustard on one side of a tortilla. Layer cheese, lunchmeat, onions and a generous layer of apples. Cover with the second tortilla. Grill on both sides and serve immediately. Delicious!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Asian Coleslaw

Asian Cole Slaw
1 16 oz bag cole slaw
15 oz can mandarin oranges, drained
Approx 1/4 cup butter
4 oz slivered almonds
1 package crushed ramen noodles
1/2 cup diced green onions
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/4 apple cider vinegar
2 tbs soy sauce

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cole slaw with diced onions, put in fridge to keep cool. Melt butter and mix in crushed ramen noodles and nuts. Spread on cookie sheet, bake on 350 until browned, turning often to avoid burning. Set aside to cool at least 15 minutes.

In a blender (three cheers for the Magic Bullet!) mix sugar, oil, vinegar, and soy sauce. Refrigerate until ready to mix and serve.

When browned and cooled, add nuts/ramen mixture to cole slaw and stir well. Add drained mandarin oranges, then pour dressing over entire mixture. Stir well and serve immediately.

Vanilla Ice Cream

For Justin's birthday, I got him an ice cream maker. We busted it out last night for our maiden run. Justin made the ice cream all on his very own and it was delicious! Thanks, Kim and Shay for the inspiration, and for the recipe!

From Better Homes and Gardens
Vanilla Ice Cream
Makes 2 Quarts

4 cups half-and-half
1 ½ cups sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 cups whipping cream

In a large bowl combing half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla. Stir till sugar dissolves. Stir in whipping cream. Freeze ice cream mixture in ice cream freezer according to manufacturer’s directions.

Amish Macaroni Salad

I found a macaroni salad that I actually like. I found it on and it was the highest rated macaroni salad listed. I think the sugar in it makes it deliciously sweet. The kids both ate it semi-willingly, though they didn't absolutely love it. But why would they? There are green things in it.

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I used green)
2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
2 cups creamy salad dressing (e.g. Miracle Whip)
3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
3/4 cup white sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon celery seed

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Drain, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, onion, celery, red pepper, and relish. In a small bowl, stir together the salad dressing, mustard, white sugar, vinegar, salt and celery seed. Pour over the vegetables, and stir in macaroni until well blended. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

More Meatballs

Approx 70-100 frozen meatballs
4 cups ketchup
3 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (87 cents at Wal-mart!)  *optional
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix sauce in crock pot. Add meatballs and stir well. Cook on high for 3 hours. Delicious and easy! Serve on sandwich rolls or with toothpicks.

Stovetop Meatloaf

I first heard of this recipe from my friend Jen and from some of her friends and family suggestions. I made it tonight and it was a big hit with the whole family! Extremely easy, very moist (but not gross-moist), and very different from any meatloaf I've had before! Kinley is already asking if she can have it tomorrow for lunch :)

Stove Top Meatloaf
1 & 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 to 1 box of stuffing
1 & 1/2 cups applesauce

Sauce (optional, but really yummy!):
2 tbs brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp mustard

Mix beef, stuffing and applesauce, put in greased breadloaf pan. Mix up sauce, spread evenly on top. Bake uncovered for 90 minutes.

*These are the exact amounts that I used. You can use more or less of any of the ingredients to taste. I think that's the amount of beef I used, LOL. Mom Bradshaw, how much Bradshaw beef is in one of those things anyway?? :)

Chicken Stoup

My friend Laney makes a frightfully delicious chicken "stoup" or "stewp", I don't know how you spell it. I'm adding it to my master menu and thought I'd share the recipe while I'm at it! Thanks, Laney!

3 chicken breasts
3 c chicken soup stalk/broth
2 c carrots
2 c celery
3/4 onion
2 c cream of chicken soup
1/4 c evap milk
2 1/2 -4 c noodles

Boil chicken in soup stalk and 3 chicken boullion cubes. Once cooked, remove chicken and add veggies. While veggies cook, cut up chicken put back in with veggies, add soup and evap milk. Separately cook noodles until they are al-dente and then add to soup.


Yum-Yum smoothie recipe, made with friends (my dates, since my usual hot tamale was off counting other people's taxes!) Thanks for the invite!

2 cups fresh pineapple
1 orange
1 banana
1 container strawberry yogurt
1/2 cup water
1 cup ice

Blend pineapple, orange, water, and yogurt together until smooth. Add banana and blend again. Add ice and blend again. YUMMY!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Pasta Perfect

Natalie recommended this recipe recently. We ate it this evening -- BAM!! Instant family favorite, no lie. The kids inhaled it and Justin loved it too. It was in a Kraft magazine originally.

3 cups farfalle (bow-tie pasta), uncooked
4 cups broccoli florets (chopped)
3 tbs Kraft roasted red pepper Italian with parmesan dressing
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 ½ pounds)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups tomato-basil spaghetti sauce
4 ounces cubed cream cheese (I used fat-free)
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli to the cooking water for the last 3 minutes of the pasta cooking time. (or steam broccoli separately). Meanwhile, heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and garlic. Cook 5 minutes, turn chicken over; continue cooking 4-5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Drain pasta, return pasta to pan and set aside. Add pasta sauce and cream cheese to chicken in skillet; cook on medium-low heat 2-3 minutes, or until cream cheese is completely melted, mixture is well blended and chicken is coated with sauce, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm. Add sauce mixture to pasta mixture; mix well. Transfer to 6 serving bowls.

Cut chicken crosswise into thick slices. Fan out chicken over pasta mixture in each bowl. Sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese.

Makes 6 servings, about 1 ½ cups each.

**I cooked two regular breasts of chicken. When it was cooked through, I cut it into bite-sized pieces, smaller would have also worked. I only then added it to the pan and began to cook it up with the dressing and garlic. Also, to serve, I mixed the entire mixture together instead of removing the chicken and fanning it out pretty on top, which would have also been nice.

Italian Chicken

Justin wooed me with this simple and delicious recipe from his mother when we were dating. It has since become a family favorite. Of course, I'm the one who makes it now, LOL!

4 large frozen chicken breasts
6 slices provolone cheese
1 jar or can of your favorite spaghetti sauce ($.82 Hunts Chunky Garden recently)

Place chicken in baking dish. Pour entire can of sauce over the chicken. Bake covered for 60-75 minutes. Remove from oven; drape cheese over the chicken. Recover, continue to cook for 15-25 more minutes.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spinach Salad

I originally got this recipe from Heather. I loved it. I tweaked it ever so slightly for lunch today and liked it even more -- more taste, less oil.

Thanks, Heather! The modifications we discussed were FABULOUS! If you try the changes, you'll have to let me know what you think!

1 lb. Pasta, cooked al dente, drain, rinse in cold water
3 C cooked chopped chicken
5 oz fresh spinach, shredded
1 C black olives, chopped in 1/4’s
4 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
3 cups diced tomatoes (grape tomatoes, YUM!)
3/4 C monterrey jack cheese, shredded

3 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 C olive oil
3/4 C vinegar
3/4 tsp black pepper
3 tsp honey
1.5-2 clove garlic, minced

Blend dressing ingredients. Pour over mixed salad. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Carrot Delight

Alright, I have tweaked this recipe to be juuuuuuust right :) Ingredients:
1 large orange (or 2 mandarin oranges)
1 banana
1/2 cup water
15 baby carrots
supplement of choice (optional, and I chose Benefiber)

In a blender, blend the orange, banana, and water until smooth. Add supplement and blend thoroughly. Add carrots last and blend on high until smooooooth.

It tastes mildly of banana and I can't decide if I detect a hint of orange or not, or a hint of carrot. So....mostly banana with some ever-so-vague indefinable something else. Kinley drank more than half of mine and asked me to make it again tonight! SUuuuuuper delicious! Add ice to the blender if you want it colder!

Costco Garden Burgers

Kinley and I are completely addicted to Costco garden burgers, which I bought on a lark last week because they were cheaper than turkey burgers. They are super delicious! You have to cook them in a pan on the stove because microwaved is really nasty. Even Justin really likes them, though he prefers his smothered in cheese and served on a big fat bun. But who cares? The main ingredients are brown rice, mushrooms, and onion, I think, none of which I can actually taste individually. I eat it with a little bit of ketchup. Anyway, 5 stars!

Broccoli Drink

1-2 cups fresh pineapple
1 large orange
2 cups broccoli

Throw the fruits in the blender and puree. Add the broccoli and finish the job. It shrinks into a small, spoonable drink serving. It was a little gritty, but really tasty. I couldn't even taste the broccoli. I don't really mind the taste of broccoli, per se, but pineapple is just so much better, especially for breakfast :) Tanner even shared it with me. And he doesn't do fresh or steamed broccoli at the moment. Or fresh pineapple or oranges for that matter...

Super Salmon or Fabulous Fish

I love this salmon recipe. You might too.

The quote from Justin: "Are you sure this is healthy? This tastes way too good to be healthy." Kinley and Tanner ate several servings.

One large salmon filet (Costco's are delicious)
"I can't believe it's not butter" spray (or real butter, as you like)
Lemon pepper

Cover a cookie sheet (or something similar to it) in tin foil. Spray with cooking spray. Lay salmon flat on top. Spray with butter all over the top, season liberally with the lemon pepper. Broil uncovered on low for 25-30 minutes in the oven. Delightfully crispy on top, but flaky, moist, and tender inside.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken

I made this dish again this weekend. I slightly modified it, and it was awesome. So I've reposted it, complete with pictures and modifications :) Enjoy! It's so delicious!

Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken
Honey Mustard Marinade:
1 cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
1 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
salt, pepper, paprika to taste
8 slices bacon, COOKED
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/8 cup fresh parsley (optional)

Combine 1/2 cup mustard, 1/2 cup honey, oil and 1 tbs lemon juice in small bowl. Whip mixture for about 30 seconds. Pour as marinade over the chicken breasts and marinate them in the refrigerator, for about 2 hours.

After the chicken has marinated, preheat oven to 375 F and heat up frying pan with 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Sear chicken in pan for 4-5 minutes per side, depending on the size of the breast, or until golden brown. **This is the majority of the cooking time, so don't skimp on time. You don't want raw chicken! Remove the pan from heat, and transfer chicken into a baking dish.

As the chicken is cooking, sauté the sliced mushrooms in butter in a separate pan. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and a dash of paprika. Mix 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup mustard, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and pour the entire mixture over the chicken.

Stack two pieces of cooked bacon, crosswise, on each chicken breast. Spoon the sautéed mushrooms on the bacon, being sure to coat each breast evenly. Spread 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese onto each breast, followed by 1/4 cup of Cheddar. Bake the pan of chicken for 15-30 minutes, or until the cheese is thoroughly melted and starting to bubble. Sprinkle each chicken breast with 1/2 teaspoon parsley before serving.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Capellini Pomodoro

This was a good vegetarian dish I made last week. Tanner liked it, Justin liked it, but said it would have been perfect with a lot more chicken (there was none) and far fewer tomatoes (the "pomodoro" part). Kinley just hung her head in exasperation of all the tomatoes. I, for one, thought it was really good just the way it was :) Maybe a little more basil.Capellini Pomodoro
2 and 1/2 pounds roma or plum tomatoes
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 ounce fresh basil leaves, minced
1/3 cup virgin olive oil
3-5 ounces fresh parmesan cheese
12 oz dry angel hair pasta, cooked
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon black pepper.

Heat olive oil and add garlic; cook until it turns white. Add tomatoes and pepper and heat through, stirring constantly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Tomatoes should not lose their shape. Remove from heat. Transfer hot, cooked pasta to large bowl. Toss pasta gently with tomato mixture, basil and half of Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately and pass remaining Parmesan.

Recipe modified from Olive Garden's recipe.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Snow Ice Cream

a big bucket of fresh clean snow
enough cream to make it the texture of soft ice cream
sugar to taste
a bit of vanilla

fruit puree if desired (I like strawberry)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Thanksgiving Dressing

I love dressing. I love making dressing. I love eating it. I love improving (at least in my own mind) the dressing recipe from year to year. The following was this year's Thanksgiving stuffing.

2 loaves bread (I used Granny's)
4 cups diced celery
2 cups diced onion
½ cup butter
2 cups chicken broth
1 and 1/2 cups evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons rubbed sage
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 ½ cups dried cranberries (craisins, on 12 oz bag)
3 cups peeled, chopped apples

Break bread into small pieces and allow to dry out, overnight is preferable.

Simmer onions and celery in saucepan with butter and broth until tender. Remove from heat, add evaporated milk, salt, and dried cranberries. Allow to cool. When mixture has cooled (about room temperature or so), beat eggs and add them to mixture. Add apples to mixture.

When bread is dry, add sage and poultry seasoning, toss to mix well in a large bowl. Slowly add wet mixture to bread and mix gently until well moistened.

Pile high in the largest pan you’ve got, cover with foil and bake for APPROXIMATELY 90 minutes on 350. Remove the cover for the final 30 minutes. Serve warm.

If you bake it in two 9 x 13 pans, change cooking time to 60 minutes, removing cover for final 15 minutes.

It turned out great! At least I think so :)

Philly Sandwich

I made these last night. They turned out better than I had even hoped. I've never thought to mix everything together so completely and it made a huge difference. Philly Sandwich

1 and 1/2 pounds shredded beef, cooked in a crock pot in advance. I used thin steaks, but a roast will do. Other people use ground beef, which is supposedly very delicious as well.
1 green pepper
Entire large package of fresh mushrooms (what is that, 8 oz? 16 oz?)
1 cup diced onion
3 tbs butter
1/2 block of cream cheese (I used fat-free)
1 cup mozzarella cheese.
2 tbs worchestershire sauce
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Use the butter to saute green pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic together. Add worchestershire sauce, beef, salt, and pepper. Slowly stir in cream cheese, then mozzarella cheese. Serve immediately on toasted deli rolls.

Notes: This made a SURPRISINGLY large amount of food. We had plenty of leftovers for today. I think one of the keys to success is not having too much beef in the mixture. I prefer it heavy on the toppings, lighter on the beef (strange, since I'm generally a rabid carnivore). But it seemed more flavorful that way. It turned out to be a good thing that I didn't have as much beef as I had hoped to work with :)

Anna Banana Dogs :)

Annabelle actually did this recipe :) She found it in a Friend Magazine and she made it yesterday. It was fabulous, and really fixed that sweet tooth I had :)

-Put peanut butter and jam on the two sides of a hot dog bun, then lay a banana in the middle like a wiener :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chicken Rice-a-Roni Salad

Chicken Rice-a-Roni Salad

Ingredients and Directions
Chicken Rice-a-Roni (make up a box - according to the reduced fat directions) and refrigerate
1 can, sliced water chestnuts - roughly chopped
2 cups grapes
1 cup raisins
4 large chicken Breasts (cooked, cooled and cubed)
2 sticks celery, cut up
4 apples cut bite-sized (put in salad when ready to serve for freshness)
toasted, slivered almonds (can skip to cut extra calories)
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 bunch green onions, sliced

Mix together in large bowl and serve in *lettuce cups. Keep Refrigerated.

*We did not use lettuce cups last night; just ate it by the spoonful, and it was still great!!!

Hot Apple Cider

Originally from my friend Mindy)

Hot Apple Cider

1 apple
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 orange, thinly sliced
2 quarts apple cider
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
Pinch grated nutmeg
Cinnamon sticks, garnish

Stud the apple with the cloves. In a medium pot, combine the studded apple and remaining ingredients. Slowly bring to a simmer over low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Discard the apple. Ladle into mugs and garnish each with a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole
18 eggs
6 cups frozen shredded hashbrowns
2 cups shredded cheese
1 red pepper (diced)
1/4 cup onion (diced)
2 cups finely chopped ham
3/4 cup milk

Mix eggs and milk well. Stir in additional ingredients. Pour contents in to well-greased 9x13 pan. Bake uncovered on 350 for 90 minutes, until knife inserted in center of casserole does not come out wet. Serve with salsa and/or ketchup

**Casserole can be prepared the night before, if needed, and baked in the morning. Leftover casserole reheats in the microwave just fine.

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

I LOVE the biscuits at Red Lobster (the 2 times I have had them). I just tried out this copy cat recipe. They turned out beautifully and they tasted authentic. Delish! Kinley enjoyed eating the batter raw, which I thought was disgusting, but I allowed it since there were no raw eggs involved!

Here's the recipe:
2 cups Bisquick. baking mix
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup cheddar cheese -- shredded
1/4 cup margarine or butter -- melted
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450. Mix baking mix, milk and cheese until soft dough forms; beat vigorously for 30 seconds. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 min. or until golden brown. Mix margarine and garlic powder; brush over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet. Serve warm. Makes 10-12 biscuits.