Monday, December 24, 2007

Roasted Potato Soup

6 baking potatoes, cut into medium pieces
1 onion, sliced or chopped
6 gloves garlic or about 3Tbs. minced garlic from jar
3 Tbs. melted butter
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425. Place potatoes (I leave skins on) in shallow roasting pan or cookie sheet. Add the onions and garlic and then drizzle with melted butter. Pepper to taste. Roast in oven for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer potatoes to large saucepan. Add broth and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer with lid for about 20 minutes. Mash potatoes to desired consistency. Add cream and cook another 10 minutes, stirring until desired consistency. Add salt as desired.

Serve with grated cheddar on top and cornbread.

*When I add the cream, I also add 1 can sweet whole kernal corn. Also, depending on how "soupy" or "thick" you like your soup, you can use less broth/water or add more if it gets too thick.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Eggplant Parmigiana

1 small eggplant
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbs. water
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbs. oil
1.2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup meatless spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

Wash and peel eggplant; cut cross-wise into 1/2-inch slices. Combine egg and water; dip eggplant into mixture, then into the flour. Preheat oven to 400.

In skillet, cook eggplant in oil about 4-6 minutes.

Place eggplant in a baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Top with spaghetti sauce (use more if needed) and mozzarella. Bake 10-12 minutes. Serve with cooked spaghetti.

Apple & Walnut Tarts

This recipe makes 4 - its easy to double though for 8 . . .

1 8oz sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 apple, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Heat overn to 400. Cut pastry into 4 squares and place inside 4 rounds of a muffin pan. Mix together all other ingredients and fill each pastry with some of the mixture. Bake until crust is golden - about 20 or 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes & remove from pan. Serve with whip cream is desired.

Mom's Great Mac & Cheese

Bring water to boil and cook maccaroni (I prefer the larger size).

In medium saucepan, melt 1 stick butter and 1/2 a brick of Velveeta cheese. Stir continuously so the cheese doesn't scorch. When melted together, add 3/4 cup shredded cheddar and stir until melted. Add 1/2 - 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream and stir until blended. (If it's too thick add more cream). Salt and pepper to taste.

Add cheese to drained maccaroni.

You can also use other cheeses - parmesan, Gouda, different cheddars, etc. The velveeta helps it have a really creamy texture.

Easy Shepherd's Pie

Recipe from Real Simple
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp. Worchestershire
8 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
1 16 oz. pkg refrigerated mashed potatoes (or make your own)

Heat oven to 400. Brown ground beef and drain any fat. Stir in ketchup and Worchestershire. Add vegetables and cook 1 minute. Spoon into baking dish. Mix cheese and potatoes together and then spread over beef/veggie mixture. Bake until heated - about 10 minutes.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Swiss and Bacon Dip

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

I love this as a dip, but also love to make little appetizers by mixing the ingredients and filling mini fillo dough cups with it - then bake for 10-12 minutes. (Kim made it this way at her Christmas party.)

  1. 8 slices center cut bacon,chopped
  2. 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  3. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  4. 2 rounded teaspoons prepared Dijon style mustard
  5. 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese, available on dairy aisle
  6. 3 scallions
  7. chopped 1/2 cup smoked almonds, coarsely chopped
  8. Baby carrots and a selection of spiced flat breads, cocktail sized pumpernickel or rye breads, or sliced whole grain baguettes, for dipping


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Brown bacon in nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Drain crisp bacon bits on paper towels.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon, Swiss and scallions with cooked bacon. Transfer to a shallow small casserole or baking dish and bake until golden and bubbly at edges, 15 to 18 minutes.
  4. Top with chopped smoked almonds.
  5. Place dip on a platter and surround warm casserole with breads and carrots for dipping.

Bacon Water Chestnut Rolls

Courtesy of

1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, halved
1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut in half
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup tomato-based chili sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Wrap each water chestnut with a piece of bacon. Place the rolls seam-side down in a baking dish.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until bacon is crisp and cooked through. Drain off the grease. (I turned the "rolls" over about halfway through.)
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, brown sugar and chili sauce; pour over the bacon-chestnut rolls. Return to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes.

I used mostly whole water chestnuts (I bought two different brands and they were very different sized from one can to the other. The can of large water chestnuts, I cut in half. The other jar I left the water chestnuts whole.)

Dip for the Stars

Courtesy of

1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons dry vermouth
ground white pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
3/4 cup pesto sauce


  1. In a food processor, combine the butter, feta cheese, cream cheese, garlic, shallot, vermouth, and white pepper. Process until smooth.
  2. Oil a medium bowl, or gelatin mold, and line with plastic wrap for easy removal. Layer the dip into the mold as follows: Sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, pesto, cheese mixture. Repeat. Pat down into the mold, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  3. Turn the dip out onto a serving plate, and remove plastic wrap. Serve with crackers.

I thought this was a little to "shalloty" and will use a smaller shallot or maybe half of one next time. Also, I didn't have any vermouth, so used red wine vinegar instead...

White Chocolate-Cinnamon Triangles

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® Create 'n Bake® refrigerated sugar cookies
1 cup white chocolate chunks or white vanilla baking chips
1/2 cup honey-roasted cashews, chopped
1/2 cup toffee bits
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 to 3 teaspoons milk


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir or knead in all remaining bar ingredients until well blended. In ungreased 9-inch square pan, press dough evenly in bottom. Bake 23 to 27 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 30 minutes.
  2. In small bowl, blend all glaze ingredients until smooth, adding enough milk for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle over bars. Cool completely, about 45 minutes. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. Cut each bar in half diagonally to make triangles.

Raw Vegetable Salad

Courtesy of

6 slices bacon
3 cups chopped broccoli
3 cups cauliflower, chopped
3 cups chopped celery
1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas, thawed
1 cup sweetened-dried cranberries
1 cup raw Spanish peanuts
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grated onion
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, celery, peas and cranberries. Wisk together the sugar, salt, vinegar, grated onion, cheese and mayonnaise. Pour dressing over the salad; add nuts and bacon and toss well.

I used Oscar Meyer bacon recipe pieces (directions on the back to tell you how many tablespoons equals 1 bacon slice) and skipped the celery...

Chicken Enchilada Dip

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) jar mayonnaise
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place chicken breast halves on a medium baking sheet.
2. Bake in the preheated oven 20 minutes, or until no longer pink. Remove from heat, cool and shred.
3. Place shredded chicken in a medium bowl, and mix in cream cheese, mayonnaise, Cheddar cheese, green chile peppers and jalapeno pepper. Transfer the chicken mixture to a medium baking dish.
4. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

When I made this for care group tonight I was in a hurry and didn't want to chop the jalapeno, and I think it was a little bland without it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fruit and Chocolate

This isn't really a "recipe", but I wanted to share. This week our chocolate supply at home ran low (as in completely out), and when I needed a sweet treat I did this a couple of times. I took a handful of milk chocolate chips, melted in the microwave for 25-30 seconds, and stirred until completely smooth. You have instant, really tasty, chocolate dip. And this week we had pears at home, so I sliced pears and dipped them in the warm chocolate. Other fruit suggestions: grapes, strawberries, apples, nectarines, etc. Enjoy!

Marinated Flank Steak

1 1/2 - 2 lb flank steak
1/4 c soy sauce
2 T oil
2 T honey
1 T red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp minced ginger root or 1/2 tsp pwd.

Mix all of the ingredients, marinate flank steak at least overnight. Grill and enjoy!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Carmel Passion Fruit Sundaes

Carmel or butterscotch sauce from jar

24 chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
1 pint passion fruit sorbet, barely softened
1 pint vanilla ice cream, barely softened

In 4 tall glasses, spoon 2 Tbs of cookies into bottom of each glass. Then layer 1/4 cup sorbet, 2 Tbs. caramel sauce, and 1/4 cup ice cream. Repeat layers once more starting with cookies. Sprinkle 1 Tbs. of cookie crumbs on top and serve immediately.

Sweet Potatoes with Apple Butter

4 lbs sweet potatoes
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup apple butter

Preheat oven to 350. Pierce potatoes with fork and place on baking sheet. Bake 1 1/2 hours until tender. Peel potatoes and transfer to large bowl. Mash until creamy. Add in butter and apple butter. Season with salt. Serves 10.

Smoked Mozzarella Spread w/ Flatbread

1 lb smoked mozzarella, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup + 1 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. sun dried tomato pesto
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper

In food processor, combine cheese, olive oil and pesto and process to a paste. Scrape into bowl. Stir in parsley and S&P. Serve with flatbread crackers.

Butternut Squash Risotto w/ Fried Shrimp

The risotto is the same as the regular risotto recipe, except you add butternut squash and thyme to the recipe.

To serve 4:

Bake 1 butternut squash on 400 for about an hour - until tender. (Pierce with knife and place on baking sheet). Let cool. Scoop out and discard seeds and peel off the skin. Either put squash in food processor to puree or just mix it with an electric mixer until the consistency of mashed potatoes. Set aside.

Prepare risotto according to recipe on container. Add about 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme to onions and garlic.

Once the risotto is cooked, add in the butternut squash and stir together. I add this the same time I add the parmesan cheese.

While the risotto is cooking, fry the shrimp. For the shrimp, marinate it for about an hour in the following:
1 1/2 Tbs. olive olive
3 Tbs. minced garlic
Black pepper

Coat shrimp lightly with cornmeal and fry in vegetable oil - about 1 1/2 minutes per side.

Serve shrimp on top of risotto with a salad.

Brown Sugar Pecan Coffee Cake

Prep: 15 min., Bake: 30 min.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, cubed
1 cup sour cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans

1.Stir together flour and brown sugar in a large bowl. Cut 3/4 cup butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or 2 forks until crumbly. Press 2 3/4 cups crumb mixture evenly on the bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.
2. Stir together sour cream, egg, and baking soda; add to remaining crumb mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir together granulated sugar and cinnamon. Pour sour cream mixture over crumb crust in pan; sprinkle evenly with cinnamon mixture and pecans.
3. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean.

Makes 12 servings
Southern Living, DECEMBER 2006

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Maple Pecan Cake

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 eggs
1/2 cup maple-flavored syrup
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 oz cream cheese (half of 3-oz package), softened
3 to 4 tablespoons maple-flavored syrup

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with shortening; lightly flour (or spray pan with baking spray with flour). In large bowl, beat all cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Pour into pan.

2. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours.

3. In large bowl, beat powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, the cream cheese and 3 tablespoons of the syrup with electric mixer on low speed. Beat in enough of the remaining syrup to make a smooth, soft frosting that will flows down side of cake. Spread frosting over cake.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Stuffed Pasta Shells

Prep: 30 min., Bake: 45 min., Stand: 10 min.
We used half of one of the Herb-Roasted Chickens in this recipe. 1
8 jumbo pasta shells
2 (10-oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 cups chopped cooked Herb-Roasted Chickens
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 (16-oz.) container low-fat cottage cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (16-oz.) jar Alfredo sauce
1. Prepare pasta shells according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, drain chopped spinach well, pressing between paper towels.
3. Stir together spinach, chicken, basil, and next 4 ingredients. Spoon mixture evenly into shells.
4. Spread half of jarred Alfredo sauce in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Arrange stuffed pasta shells over sauce, and pour remaining sauce over shells.
5. Bake, covered, at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until filling is hot and sauce is bubbly. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 minutes.
Note: To make ahead, prepare recipe as directed through Step 4. Cover and freeze up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake, covered, for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings

Herb Roasted Chickens

Prep: 20 min.; Bake: 1 hr., 25 min.; Stand: 15 min.
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup poultry seasoning
1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
4 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt1 teaspoon pepper
2 (3- to 4-lb.) whole chickens
1. Stir together oil and next 6 ingredients until well blended.
2. If necessary, remove giblets and neck from chickens, and reserve for another use. Rinse chickens with cold water; pat dry.
3. Loosen and lift skin from chicken breasts with fingers (do not totally detach skin). Rub 2 Tbsp. olive oil mixture evenly underneath skin of each chicken. Carefully replace skin. Rub remaining olive oil mixture over both chickens, coating evenly. Place chickens, side by side, on a lightly greased wire rack in a pan.
4. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes; cover loosely with aluminum foil, and bake 45 to 55 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of breast registers 165°. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing.
Note: Dried herbs and seasonings may be substituted for fresh. Substitute 1/2 tsp. garlic powder for minced, but use the same amounts for the other herbs and spices.
Yield: Makes 8 to 12 servingsSouthern Living, AUGUST 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Chicken Scallopine with Linguine Alfredo

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup white wine
Garnish: fresh parsley sprig
Linguine Alfredo

Combine first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish; dredge chicken cutlets in flour mixture.
Cook chicken in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from skillet, and keep warm.
Add wine to skillet; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet.
Arrange cutlets on a serving platter, and drizzle with sauce. Garnish, if desired. Serve with Linguine Alfredo.

Linguine Alfredo
1 (10-ounce) container light refrigerated Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup white wine
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 (8-ounce) package refrigerated linguine
Process Alfredo sauce and next 4 ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.
Prepare linguine according to package directions; drain and return to pot. Stir in Alfredo sauce mixture, and serve immediately.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Buitoni Light Alfredo Sauce.

Makes 4 servings

Southern Living, APRIL 2004

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Brazilian Limeade

This is the limeade I made for Beth's shower. I tripled the recipe.

2 Limes, washed , cut off ends and thinly slice
1/2 cup sugar
3T sweetened condensed milk
1 cup ice cubes
3 cups water
1 bunch mint leaves

Combine lime slices, sugar , condensed milk, and ice cubes in a food processor or blender. Process for 5 to 10 seconds. Add the water and stir with a spoon. Strain limeade and serve in 4 glasses over ice with a sprig of mint.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Herb Smashed Potatoes

3 large all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks Salt 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces 1 shallot, chopped 10 blades chives, chopped or snipped, 3 tablespoons 3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped, 2 tablespoons Freshly ground black pepper 1 cup good quality chicken stock, available on soup aisle 4 ounces, 1 small log, herb, peppercorn or plain goat cheese
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and salt. Boil potatoes 15 minutes or until fork tender.
Begin other dishes for your menu with the pocket of time you have here.
Pour the potatoes into a colander to drain. Return pot to stove. Adjust heat to medium. Add oil, then the butter. When butter melts, add shallots and saute 2 to 3 minutes. Add herbs, then potatoes back to the pot. Mash potatoes, adding stock as you work to achieve your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Remove goat cheese from packaging and cut the small log into 4 discs. Serve potatoes on dinner plates and top each mound with a disk of goat cheese.

** I just crumbled the goat cheese and mixed it in to the potatoes instead of setting it on top.

Sweet Bacon Wraps

12-15 appetizer servings
45 min 10 min prep

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (1 lb) package sliced bacon
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes.
Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with a wooden pick inserted on the diagonal starting where bacon seam overlaps.
Stir together brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture.
Coat a rack and broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken on rack in broiler pan.
Bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bacon is crisp.

** I cut the chicken half and wrapped 1 piece of bacon around it instead of the appetizer s the recipe called for. It was good. I have done it the other way too, for parties.

Greek Shrimp and Feta Penne

2 lbs.large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 3/4 a pound instead, I think 2 pounds is too much)
1 lb.penne pasta, cooked to al dente
3 Tablespoonsextra virgin olive, 3 turns around the pan
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 can(28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
8 oz.feta cheese, crumbled
Black pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoonsfresh chopped oregano, 2 or 3 sprigs
A handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
Crusty bread, for the table
Directions: Remove tails from shrimp and set aside. While the penne is cooking, heat olive oil in deep skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 1 or 2 minutes until garlic speaks by sizzling in oil. Add wine and cook to reduce by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add feta and stir constantly until cheese crumbles melt into sauce. Add black pepper and oregano, stir to combine and add raw shrimp. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are pink and firm. Add parsley and cooked, drained pasta to the shrimp and sauce. Serve immediately with warm, crusty bread.

Deviled Chicken and Stone Fruit

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, grated
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons spicy brown or Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
2 to 2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
4 stone fruits (such as plums, nectarines or peaches), halved
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped
1. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup EVOO and the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, paprika and hot pepper sauce. Add the chicken, turn to coat evenly and let marinate for 15 minutes. Grill, turning once, until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced, about 5 minutes on each side.2. Drizzle the stone fruits with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Place on a grill, without touching the chicken, and cook until grill marks appear, 5 to 6 minutes.3. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, brown sugar and rosemary to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced by about half, 6 to 7 minutes (watch carefully to avoid burning). Serve the chicken with the fruit alongside and drizzle the sauce over both.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blue Moon Burgers

1 pound lean ground beef
4 shakes Worcestershire sauce
cracked black pepper
1/4 pound blue cheese, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup dry red wine
kosher salt to taste
4 crusty rolls or toasted Sourdough bread
sliced red onion and lettuce as toppers

Season beef with Worcestershire and black pepper. Take quarter of the beef in hand. Nest some blue cheese in the meat and form a pattie around the filling- keep your burgers no more than 3/4 inch thick.
Pour the wine into a shallow dish. Cook burgers 4 minutes on each side. Salt burgers to taste. Place on rolls or bread and tops with onion and lettuce. Serves 4.

5 spice coconut chicken

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 boneless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total), pounded flat( I used chicken breasts)
Cooked white rice, for serving
1. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/3 cup coconut milk, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 tablespoon lime juice with the soy sauce, garlic, five-spice powder and salt. Add the chicken thighs, coating well. Marinate for 15 minutes.3. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for 1 minute; drain. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with the reserved coconut-honey dressing.4. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium. Grill the chickenbreasts for about 4 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Halibut with Corn Chowder Gravy

4 Halibut fillets
4 slices bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery with leaves attached, diced
3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
1 10 oz. box frozen corn
1/4 cup flour
1 cup half and half
1 cup chicken stock
A few dashes of hot sauce
Salt and pepper

Heat 1 T. olive oil in a medium to large pot over medium heat. Cook the bacon until golden and crispy, 3-4 minutes.
Add the onions, celery and thyme. Saute the veggies with the bacon until tender, 7-8 minutes. Add the corn and season with salt & pepper and hot sauce, to taste. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and half & half and cook until thickened to a gravy consistency.

In a separate pan, heat 3 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the fillets with salt and pepper then add to the skillet. Let them get crispy and golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes, then flip them over and let them cook for about 3 more minutes.

Top with the Corn Chowder Gravy. I served this with mashed potatoes and the green beans posted below.

From Rachel Ray

Green Beans

1 1/2 lb. fresh green beans, washed & trimmed
1 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
fresh lemon juice
toasted almonds
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook green beans about 5-7 minutes in boiling water (or until they are as soft as your prefer).
Drain the beans and return them to the hot pot; toss with olive oil and butter until butter melts. Then squeeze 1/2 of a lemon and toss. Add salt, pepper and almonds.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Baked Ziti

8 oz. dried penne pasta
1 jar tomato sauce
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup pitted ripe sliced olives
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta per directions and drain well. In large stove/oven proof pan, brown ground beef with onion. Drain fat. Stir in tomato sauce. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in pasta and olives. Bake covered for 30 minutes; sprinkle with cheese and bake 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

Chicken empanadas

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 (8-ounce) package shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts Water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and next 7 ingredients. Unroll 1 piecrust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining piecrusts, making 12 to 15 circles total. Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture. (Up to this point, the recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month). Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Cake
(Tanya Warpula)
2 cups Sugar
1 1/2 cups Wesson Oil
4 Eggs
1 can pumpkin
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix sugar & oil. Add eggs & beat. Add pumpkin. Mix the dry ingredients together & add to pumpkin mix. Pour into a greased & floured bunt pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
You can serve it just like that, even as a breakfast cake.
You can make it into a fall cake (Parker's 2nd Bday, fall party) and flip it upside down, ice it with cream cheese frosting dyed orange. Take a ice cream cone and put it upside down in the center. Dye that icing brown and it makes for a perfect stem.

Chocolate Popcorn

12 cups butter microwave popcorn (popped)
1 pkg. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 pkg. vanilla chips
2 tsp. shortening
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted

Place popcorn in greased 9x13 pan. Microwave chocolate chips and 1 tsp. shortening until melted. Drizzle over popcorn. Microwave vanilla chips and 1 tsp. shortening until melted. Drizzle over popcorn. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with pecans. Chill until firm. Break into pieces.

Taco Soup

1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 cans Rotel
2 cans chopped or sliced tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans (drained)
2 cans shoepeg corn
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 small onion, chopped

Brown/saute ground meat with onion in large pot. Add seasonings and vegetables and cook until hot. Serve with crackers, cornbread, or corn chips.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sausage Rolls

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
5 Tbs. shortening
2/3 cup milk
1 lb. sausage

Stir together flour, salt and baking powder in large bowl. Cut in shortening until crumbly. Stir in milk. Half the dough and roll out each half to about 1/4 inch thick. Half the sausage (uncooked) and spread out on each half of the dough. Roll the dough/sausage into a roll (log shape). Wrap in wax paper (or saran wrap) and foil; chill. Slice and bake at 400 for about 20 minutes until desired "brown-ness".

A couple of things: they slice better if they are cold; I usually freeze one roll for later; if you don't want to make the dough, you can use a pie crust

Chicken Piccata

2 chicken breasts, halved
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. capers, drained
2 Tbs. butter
Fresh lemon slices

Cut chicken breasts in half and pound until flattened into "cutlets". Season with salt and pepper and dust lightly with flour. Coat a non-stick saute pan with spray and add the vegetable oil; heat on medium-high.

Saute chicken 2-3 minutes on 1 side, flip over and saute other side 1-2 minutes with pan covered. Transfer chicken to a warm plate; pour off fat from pan.

"Deglaze" pan with white wine and add garlic. Cook until garlic is slightly brown and liquid is nearly gone. Add broth, lemon juice and capers. Return chicken to pan and cook on each side for 1 minute. Transfer chicken to warm plate.

Finish sauce with butter and lemons. Once butter is melted, pour over chicken and serve.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tarragon Flank Steak

2 medium shallots, minced
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. dried tarragon
1 t. salt
½ t. ground black pepper
2 lbs. beef flank steak
1 T. olive oil
In small bowl, stir all together except beef and oil. Spoon mixture into large
Zip-loc bag; add steak, turning to coat. Seal bag and press out excess air. Place bag on plate; refrigerate at least 1 hour before cooking. Remove steak from bag. Brush large grill pan or skillet with oil and heat over medium heat until ht. Place steak in pan and cook for 15 minute for medium rare or desired doneness, turning over once. Transfer steak to cutting board. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow juices to set for easier slicing. Thinly slice steak to serve. Make 10 servings!

Mexican casserole

2 lbs. Ground beef
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ can water
1 can Rotel
1 can taco sauce
1 can green chiles
cheddar cheese
Brown meat and drain. Add soup, water, Rotel, taco sauce and green chilies. Put a layer of tortillas, layer of grated cheese, layer of meat mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in 9x13 pan at 350 until hot.

Beef Ravioli in basil-cream sauce

1 (24 ounce) package frozen beef ravioli
2 tablespoons butter
1 8 ounce package of fresh or canned mushrooms, sliced
3 green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 (10 ounce) can diced mild tomatoes and green chilies, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt

Prepare ravioli in a large Dutch oven according to package directions; drain and keep warm.
Melt 2 T. butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and next 3 ingredients; saute over medium-high heat 6 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Stir in diced tomatoes and green chiles, basil, and cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese; add salt. Stir in ravioli, tossing to coat.

No Pain Lo Mein

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Meal Makers: Add a few simple sides to this one-pot-meal and double the fun and the food on the table! Prepare store bought egg or spring rolls (preferred brand Pagoda Cafe) with dishes of duck sauce and sweet hot mustard for dipping. Chill pieces of sliced melons and pineapple spears for a simple dessert. Fortune cookies and green tea are readily available in the Asian food aisle of market and will add to the total-effect of a weeknight fun Chinese supper for your family.
2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan in a slow drizzle) vegetable or wok oil
1 cup (2 handfuls) snow peas, halved on a diagonal
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into match stick size pieces 1
4 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
2 inches fresh ginger root, minced or grated with hand grater
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lo mein noodles or thin spaghetti, cooked to al dente and drained well
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, several drops
Heat a wok-shaped skillet or large non-stick skillet over high heat. When pan is very hot, add oil, (it will smoke a bit) then, immediately add the snow peas, pepper, scallions. Stir fry for 1 minute to flavor the oil, then add the ginger and garlic, and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add the cooked noodles and toss with to combine. Add the soy sauce and toss the ingredients to coat noodles evenly with sauce. Transfer the lo mein to a serving platter and garnish with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil.
Cook's Notes: Wok oil is infused with ginger and garlic and is widely available on the International Foods aisle of the market.
Cooked shredded pork, chicken, or small de-veined shrimp may be added to this dish in any combination.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Chili Party Dip

This one is low fat and low calorie, but completely delicious! I'm following Weight Watchers and this recipe is from their web site. I made it for care group the other night and people really seemed to like it and no one even knew it was low fat!

15 oz canned turkey chili without beans
8 oz fat-free cream cheese
4 oz canned jalapeno peppers
1 small onion(s), finely chopped
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts, about 10 minutes. Yields about 1/4 cup per serving.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lazy Chicken

From Rachael Ray
This has chicken and veggies all in one dish!

balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cutlets, thinly sliced
2 medium potatoes, thinly sliced(I used red)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick , or salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
1 -28 0z. can crushed tomatoes
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
10 leaves fresh basil, torn or coarsely chopped
2 sprigs oregano
1/2 to 2/3 cup shredded cheese of your choice(provolone, mozzarella, asiago)

Rub a little splash of vinegar to each chicken breast. Heat 1 T. olive oil in a deep skillet on medium heat. Brown chicken for 2 minutes on each side. Remove chicken.
Add 1 T. olive oil. Add a layer of potatoes and onion. Sprinkle potatoes and onion with Montreal seasoning. Let cook, turning occasionally, but maintaining layer, until they brown all over. Add broth or wine to the pan. Spread zucchini across the pan on top of potatoes and onion. Sprinkle with more seasoning.. Top with layer of chicken breast. Dump crushed tomatoes evenly over the top. Sprinkle with chopped herbs. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes.
Sprinkle the pan with cheeses and place under broiler until cheese melts and begins to brown. Serve from pan with crusty bread.

**I omitted tomatoes and it was still a really good dish. And I cut up the chicken instead of leaving them whole breasts. I also just put the cheese on top and let it melt on the stove. Derek loved this and it was so easy!!

Monday, September 24, 2007


I use Arborio rice, and the recipe for cooking is on the container.

1 cup Arborio rice
olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped (I usually use a couple of tsp. from the jar)
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I use the HEB/Central Market Organics from the box)
1/2 to 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a saucepan, saute onion and garlic in a little olive oil. Add 1 cup rice and stir about 1 minute until all rice is coated. Add 1 cup broth and let simmer/low boil until liquid is absorbed. Repeat with each cup of broth. After 3 cups of broth are added, risotto should be cooked (not mushy but not hard either). If it is not cooked enough, just add a little water or broth until it is cooked through. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

While risotto is cooking, sauté chopped onion, chopped orange bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, and asparagus tips in olive oil and butter. Keep covered and don’t over-cook. Serve risotto into individual bowls and top with sautéed vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese if desired.

Substitute any vegetables you like. I also serve with grilled chicken or shrimp on top (but the vegetable is my favorite).

Easy Beef Stroganoff

1lb ground beef or sirloin steak
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
salt and pepper
8 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup milk

Brown ground beef or steak (cut into small strips) in large skillet with 3 Tbs. butter. Add chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, salt & pepper and cook until tender. Add cream cheese and milk. Stir until melted and mixed together. Serve over egg noodles.

BBQ Brisket

1 brisket (usually 3-5 lbs, I think)
1 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs. Worchestershire
3 Tbs. Liquid Smoke

Place brisket in 9x13 dish with fat side up (the fat flavors the meat and you can trim off once it is ccoked or you can trim excess fat off first).

Mix together brown sugar, worchestershire and liquid smoke and then pour over brisket. Cover with foil and bake 6 hours on 250.

Once it is baked, trim off fat if you didn't already and cover with BBQ sauce. Cut and serve.

When I have leftover brisket, I either make BBQ sandwiches or I chop it up and serve on tortillas with sour cream and cheddar cheese.

Best Black Beans

from Sandra Lee
1 (15-ounce) can, no-salt added black beans
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with chiles in sauce (recommended: Ro'tel)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon crushed garlic (recommended: Christopher Ranch)
1/2 cup frozen chopped onion (recommended: Ore-Ida) (I used fresh)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir thoroughly. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Place in a serving dish and serve hot.

Taco Pockets

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

1 1/3 pounds ground sirloin or ground turkey breast
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon (a palmful) ground cumin
1 tablespoon, (a palmful) dark chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce
1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) coarse salt,
1 tablespoon (1 turn around the pan) vegetable oil,
4(12-inch diameter) soft flour tortillas
1 cup mild taco sauce
1 heart of romaine lettuce, shredded 2
small plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped 2 cups shredded monterey jack
Accompaniments: Cut fresh seasonal vegetable pieces and strips Assorted organic tortillas like blue corn, red corn or black bean Prepared mild salsa, for dipping chips and vegetables, recipe follows
Combine ground meat with onion, garlic, spices, and salt and form 4 patties. Pan fry patties in 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat for 7 minutes on each side. To make a taco pocket, blister a flour tortilla on a hot griddle pan for 30 seconds on each side. Place tortilla on dinner plate and spread surface with 1 /4 cup mild taco sauce. Pile shredded lettuce, tomatoes and a handful of cheese in center of tortilla. Top veggies and cheese with cooked taco burger patty and wrap tortilla up and over patty on all four sides. Turn square pouch over and cut from corner to corner, making 2 taco pockets that will not crumble and drip like traditional tacos. Serve taco pockets with cut fresh seasonal veggies, assorted tortilla chips and mild salsa for dipping

Florentine Chicken Ring

1 can (10 oz.) chunk white chicken, drained 1 t. lemon zest
½ red bell pepper, chopped 1/3 c. mayonnaise
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese 1/8 t. nutmeg
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed & drained
2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls
Preheat oven to 375 . Mix chicken, spinach, cheese, mayo, lemon zest, bell pepper, salt and nutmeg. Unroll crescent roll dough; separate into 16 triangles. Arrange triangles in a circle on 13” round Pampered Chef stone. Have the wide ends of the triangles overlap in the center and point to the outside. Scoop chicken mixture evenly into the widest part of each triangle. Bring outside points of triangles over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at center of ring (filling will not be completely covered). Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Green Salsa Enchiladas

8 chicken breasts(2 c. cooked chicken)
16-20 tortillas
2 28 oz. jars salsa verde (I used 1 medium/1 hot)
2c. Monterrey Jack cheese
2c. Cheddar Cheese
2c. whipping cream

Dip boths sides of tortilla in salsa. Put 3 T. chicken, some cheese and roll up. Fill pan with tortillas. Por whipping cream over tortillas. Cover with remaining cheese and salsa. Cook uncovered at 350 for 20 min. You can put green onions on the top.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Chicken Divine

1 package frozen broccoli
1 large 10 oz. can cooked chicken breast (all white)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon curry
2 cups grated cheedar cheese
3 slices of bread - toasted

Mix both soups, mayonnaise and curry in bowl.
Add chicken mixture to bowl.
Put broccoli in bottom of 9X13 dish. (You could put brocolli on half side of dish only if some don't like broccoli.)
Spread chicken mixture on top of broccoli.
Add grated cheddar cheese.
Toast bread and crumble on top.
Cook for 20-30 min. on 400.
Feeds 6-8.

Chicken Spaghetti

1-2 cups grated velveeta cheese
1 chicken - boiled, cubed
1 cup chopped onion
1 med. red bell pepper chopped
2 buttons garlic - minced
1 small can stewed tomatoes
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 t. cumin
salt and pepper

Saute onions, peppers, and garlic in butter. Brown lightly.
Add broth from chicken. 3-4 cups. Boil. Add 2 cups uncooked spaghetti (broken into pieces)
Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, cumin.
Put lid on and cook until tneder (20-30 min.) Stir often.
Add chicken and soup.
Put in sprayed casserole dish.
Top with grated cheese. (Velveeta is Best)
Sprinkle with paprika.
Bake uncovered at 350 until hot throughout - (20-30 min)
Freezes well!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

This is the recipe Tanya made for Kristen's shower last week. So good!!!

1 pkg plain yellow cake mix
1 15oz can pumpkin
1/4 cup water
2 lg. eggs
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2tsp. baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped pecans (optional, I never use these)
1 tbsp confectioners' sugar for garnish

1. preheat oven to 350. Lightly mist a bunt pan with vegetable oil spray.
2. Place cake mix, pumpkin, water, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda in a lg. mixing bowl. Blend with a mixer on low for 1 min. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Increase the speed to med. and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips & pecans, making sure they are well distributed throughout the batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with the spatula. Place pan in the oven
3. Bake until lightly browned and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 42-46 minutes.. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a long sharp knife around the edge of the cake & invert it onto a rack to cool completely, 20 minutes more.

*if you plan to ice the cake you may want to eliminate the Chocolate chips. I use cream cheese frosting and color it orange with food coloring. You can stick an ice cream cone in the center and ice it brown. *

This cake can be stored for up to 1 week in a cake savor

Monday, September 17, 2007

Chile Picado Stuffed Peppers

I tasted this a while back at HEB. It was pretty good and easy to make.
4-5 large green bell peppers
1 tub shredded chicken for enchiladas
1 can Rotel
1 cup instant rice
1/2 cup, plus 1/4 cup mexican blend cheese, shredded

1. Wash and dry peppers. Slice top and remove seeds to make bowl.
2. Mix chicken, Rotel, rice and 1/2 c. cheese in a bowl.
3. Spoon mixture into pepper, but do not pack tightly.
4. In microwave safe dish set peppers upright and add 1/4 cup of water to bottom of dish.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and insert vent hole for steam. Microwave for 10 minutes or until rice is cooked.
6. Sprinkle peppers with remaining cheese.

London Broil

2flank steaks
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
3 T. dry mustard (can add more or less depending on how "mustardy" you like it); the more you add the more spicy it will be
3 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 pkg. of dry (powder) chicken bullion--I get Goya brand on Mexican isle, white and yellow box
1 pkg. of saffron seasoning--also Goya brand and should be a white and orange box
splash of: soy sauce, Tabasco
Garlic powder, pepper and salt to taste
1 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce(on BBQ sauce aisle)
Couple shakes of Italian seasoning and Onion powder
Whisk all of the ingredients together then pour over steaks and marinate in a pan for several hours. I usually do it the night before I'm going to cook it or early that morning. Don't marinate more than 24 hours but as close to 24 hours as possible is good.
Cook in skillet about 6 minutes on each side, or until med. rare. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Kellee/ Egla Grana

Pollo Relleno

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 1/3 c. cornmeal
2 T. pkg. Taco seasoning mix 1 egg
1 (4 0z.) can whole green chilies, seeded and cut in ½ ¼ t. black pepper
2 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, cut in 6 sticks ¼ t. crushed red pepper
2 T. fresh parsley or cilantro

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place each breast half between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound lightly into a rectangle. Remove plastic wrap. In a small bowl combine cornmeal and taco seasoning mix. Place egg in another small bowl, beat lightly. For each one, place a chili pepper half on a chicken piece. Place cheese stick atop chili pepper. Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley, and both peppers. Fold in sides; roll up jelly-roll style, starting from edge with cheese. Dip rolls in egg mixture and coat with cornmeal mixture. Place rolls seams sides down in shallow baking pan. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Steamed New Potatoes with Lemon and Dill

1 pound potato(es), new (I could only find small red potatoes at the grocery store so we used those and they were really good)
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp dill

Wash and rinse potatoes; slice in half.
Fill a saucepan with water so that it covers about one inch of entire pan, and bring water to a boil. Place potatoes in a steamer basket; set steamer basket in saucepan, making sure it sits above water. Cover saucepan and steam potatoes until completely cooked and tender, about 15 minutes. (We didn't have a steamer, so I just boiled the potatoes in water for about 15 minutes or until they were tender.)

Meanwhile, mix together oil, lemon juice and dill.

Place cooked potatoes in a serving bowl and pour lemon juice mixture over potatoes. Toss gently to coat evenly. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Green Beans with Carmelized Shallots

1 pound green snap beans, trimmed
2 Tbsp light butter
4 medium shallot(s), thinly sliced
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1 tsp lemon zest

Steam green beans until tender, about 5 minutes. Run under cold water for 30 seconds; set aside. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes (add a bit of water if necessary to prevent burning). Add green beans and toss until hot; season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with lemon zest and serve. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

This is really easy to make ahead - it's best to prepare the night before and serve the next morning.

10 slices white bread
9 eggs
1 c. grated cheddar cheese (or more to taste)
Salt and Pepper
1 lb. sausage (I use the medium or spicy)

Cube bread with crust on and place in greased 9x13 pan. Layer browned sausage on the bread. Beat eggs and pour on top of sausage. Put cheese on top. Pour milk over top to cover the casserole (don't worry - this sounds gross but the bread soaks it up over night).

Bake 40 minutes at 375. I usually bake a little longer.

Mom's Baked Beans

In a medium pan, melt 1 Tbs. butter and saute 1 small chopped onion. Cut 4 pieces of bacon in smallish pieces and saute with onions (optional). Add 2 regular size cans of Van Kamp's Pork & Beans (drained) and 1 can Rotel (not drained). Add 3/4 cup brown sugar. Stir together and cook on medium heat until desired thickness. This serves about 4 people. *If you like it spicier, add hot Rotel and not as much brown sugar. The Tucker family likes it sweet, so we use the regular Rotel and add a little more brown sugar.

If I am making this for more than 4 adults, I use 2 large cans of the beans and 2 cans of Rotel.

Hot Artichoke Dip

This is a favorite and really easy to make! I serve it with crackers or bread.

Mix together in a microwavable bowl:
  • 1 can or jar artichoke hearts (drain and mash with fork)
  • 8 oz. mayo
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
Heat until cheese is melted and serve.

Blueberry Pound Cake

1butter cake mix
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese
3 eggs1 stick butter, melted
3 T. sugar
2 C. fresh blueberries
1 can of cream cheese or vanilla icing
Preheat oven to 350°F. With mixer, beat the cream cheese, then add eggs and beat well. Add melted margarine and sugar. Add dry cake mix and mix until well blended. With large spoon or spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Grease and flour tube or Bundt pan. Bake in 350°F. oven for 38-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle warm icing over the cake to serve.


Easy, Easy!
Get packages of HEB marinated fajita beef and chicken. Cook according to directions. In the meantime, saute peppers and onions. Make fajitas with meats, veggies and condiments of your choice. Serve with spanish rice, beans, and chips and queso.

Shrimp and Pepper Kabobs

1 pound peeled large shrimp
1 cup lemon juice
3/4/ cup oil
1/2/ cup soy sauce
1/4 cup parsley
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2/3 onion, cut into pieces
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red and 1 green pepper, seeded and cut into pieces

Combine lemon juice, oil, soy sauce, parsley, 1/3 c. onion, salt, pepper , and garlic in bowl. Stir well. Pour 1/2 of the mixture over shrimp in a shallow dish. Cover and marinade for 4 hours. Drain shrimp, discarding marinade. Thread shrimp , peppers and onions onto skewers in whatever arrangement you'd like. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until shrimp turn pink, basting with remaining marinade. Serve over dirty rice. (I used Zattarain's brand that comes in a box and did not add meat to it.

Pesto Pasta

16 oz bowtie pasta(you can use any kind)
1 red pepper, chopped
8 oz cubed turkey(in meat section in a package)
pesto sauce(Knorr brand)

Cook pasta in boiling water. Meanwhile, saute red pepper and turkey. Cook the sauce according to the package directions. Drain pasta when finished. Put back into pot. Add pepper and turkey and toss with sauce.

Meal Stromboli from Rachael Ray

1 tube refrigerated pizza dough (recommended: Pillsbury brand)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or corn meal
1/4 pound sliced pepperoni, about 24 slices
6 slices provolone, deli sliced
6 slices Italian hot ham
8 slices Genoa salami
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano or Romano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Break open the tube of dough and remove it from container. Dust your hands and lightly coat the dough with flour or cornmeal the roll out onto work surface. Stretch out dough, gently spreading out the rectangle shape it has been formed into already. Cut the thin rectangular dough into 4 equal pieces, working across the dough: cut it in half and cut each half in half again. Cover each piece of dough with: 6 slices pepperoni, 1 1/2 slices cheese, 1 1/2 slices hot ham and 2 slices Genoa salami. Roll each piece on an angle from corner to corner making a long roll that is thicker in the middle and thinner on each end. Brush rolls with extra-virgin olive oil then mix sesame seeds, cheese and seasonings in a small cup, sprinkle and pat the mixture into the dough. Bake until evenly golden, 12 to 14 minutes then serve. Can make this into one long piece too.

Chicken with grapes, couscous and asparagus

1 1/2 pound asparagus
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, stripped from 6 to 7 sprigs
Coarse salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, eyeball it
2 pounds chicken tenders
1/2 cup white wine, eyeball it
2 1/2 cups chicken stock (available on soup aisle in paper boxes), divided
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grainy, stone-ground mustard
1 1/2 cups, about 1/2 pound, seedless red grapes, halved 2 cups couscous
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place asparagus in a large bowl and toss with about 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of chopped thyme leaves and salt and pepper. Spread the asparagus out on a cookie sheet and roast 10 to 12 minutes until the asparagus is tender and crispy at the tips.
Heat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat; add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, and 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. Place flour in a shallow dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper then dredge the tenders in flour and add it to the pan. Cook chicken 7 to 8 minutes until browned. Add wine and scrape up browned bits as wine cooks down and bubbles, 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup stock to skillet. Combine cream and mustard and add to stock. Add grapes to the pan and turn chicken and grapes to coat and combine with the sauce. Simmer 5 minutes over low heat.
Bring remaining 2 cups chicken stock and remaining tablespoon of fresh thyme to a boil in a small pot. Add couscous. Put a tight fitting lid on pot and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Serve tenders and grapes on couscous alongside asparagus

Friday, September 7, 2007

Garlic Roasted New Potatoes

Place 1 1/2 lbs. small red potatoes in a 9x13 and pierce each with a fork. Drizzle with enough olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 Tbs. dried crushed Rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 400 for 40 minutes or until tender.

Fettucine Alfredo

Melt 1 stick butter in saucepan. Saute 1/2 small chopped onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves. Add 1 pint heavy whipping cream and stir on low to medium heat until thickened. Add 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Serve with fettucine pasta. Alternative: serve with grilled chicken or shrimp.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Preschool Food

I'm wondering if you guys have any great ideas for preschool lunches. I had a hard time thinking of anything to make for the baby this morning since I usually just give him bites of whatever I'm eating which is usually leftovers. Last year I made lots of wraps for Jackson's lunch with turkey and cheese, peanut butter and carrots, or our new favorite turkey with hummus and feta. He nevers complains, but I do feel bad making him the same thing over and over. Any suggestions?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Chicken Potato Bake

1 (3 pound) broiler-fryer chicken, cut up
1 pound red potatoes, cut into chunks
1/2 cup prepared Italian dressing
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place chicken in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the italian seasoning, 1/2 of the italian dressing and 1/2 of the parmesan cheese. Arrange potatoes around/over chicken. Sprinkle with remaining Italian seasoning, italian dressing and Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-30 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and chicken juices run clear.

I used 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead as I don't care for dark meat much. I also used peeled and cubed russet potatoes because that is what I had on hand. We really enjoyed this and it was super easy! My sister plans to try it in the crock pot...

Pasta Bake

1 (16 ounce) package rotini pasta
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 teaspoon diced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
In a large pot cook rotini pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.
Cook ground turkey or beef in medium skillet until brown. Add the diced onion, salt and pepper. Mix in half of the jar of spaghetti sauce.
In a large bowl add the browned beef mixture to the drained pasta and stir in the second half of the of spaghetti sauce. Pour mixture into a 2 quart baking dish.
In a preheated 425 degree F oven bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese and return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

Prep: 20 min., Chill: 1 hr

1/2 cup light or regular mayonnaise
1/2 cup light or regular sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds skinned and boned chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
3 cups red and white seedless grapes, halved
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1. Stir together 1/2 cup mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chopped chicken and grapes, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Stir in pecans just before serving. Serve on bread of your choice.

Amy's Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings – 1 1/2 cups milk
1 bag frozen green peas
1 package chicken tenders (cooked and cut up)
1-2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup Original Bisquick
1/3 cup milkSoCook the chicken, save the broth, cut up the chicken
depending on how much broth you have (and how soupy or thick you want it to be), you may want to use all the broth or get rid of some of it
Add the 1 1/2 cups milk and the soup to the broth and boil; mash up the soup until it is smooth
Put the chicken back in the liquid
Make the dumplings using Bisquick and 1/3 cup milk. We like a lot so I usually double this.
Add the dumplings by spoonfuls into the liquid on top of the chicken (I just drop them on top and they kind of sit there while they cook)
Cook uncovered over low about 10 minutes
Cover and cook 10 more minutes. I cook the peas separately, and either serve them on the side or mix them in when I serve them

Bobby Flay's Red Chile-Citrus Marinated Chicken Breasts

Marinade: 1 cup fresh orange juice 1 cup fresh lime juice 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup ancho chile powder 2 tablespoons paprika 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 1 cup
For the Marinade and the chicken breasts: Whisk together all ingredients except olive oil in a large bowl until combined. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Reserve 1 cup of the marinade and set aside. Transfer remaining marinade to a large shallow baking dish, add chicken breast and turn to coat completely. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour in the refrigerator, turning once.
Preheat grill. Remove chicken from marinade and season on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Grill the breasts, skin side down, for 4 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the breasts over and baste with some of the reserved marinade and cook for 4 minutes. Baste, turn and baste again, cover the grill and cook the breasts for 4 more minutes. Repeat the process once more for a total grilling time of 16 minutes, or until the chicken is well-browned and cook through. Remove the chicken to a platter, cover and let sit 10 minutes. olive oil. Serve with roasted potatoes and chips and salsa.
Roasted potatoes- Cut up red potatoes into 4ths. Put in ziploc bag and marinade with olive oil, and seasonings of your choice. I used a chipoltle grill seasoning. Place in roasting pan and cook for 45 minutes our until golden brown.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Grilled Cheese on Foccacia

focciacia bread(in bakery section, any kind is fine)
cheese slices( any kind is fine, I had colby jack)
grilled on onions
grilled peppers
sauted mushrooms
Add all to slices bread and cook in the oven until the cheese has melted. This can be made any combination of ways and you can put different ingredients on different parts,depending on who likes what.

Green Chille Rice Casserole

2 c. cooked rice
2 c. sour cream
1 t. salt
1 (7 oz) can chopped green chilies
2 T. butter
3 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
Cook Rice. Combine all ingredients. Place in 9x13 dish. Bake 30 minutes at 350. his reciep can be cut in half and serve 4.

King Ranch Chicken

1 (3 pound) chicken, boiled and deboned (you can use chicken breasts or canned chicken)
1 package corn tortilla (you can use flour tortillas or chips)
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (150 degrees C.)
Layer the tortillas in a 9x13 inch casserole dish.
Combine the tomatoes,chicken, chicken soup, mushroom soup, bell pepper, onionand half of the cheese and heat on the stove. Pour half of mixture over tortillas. Layer again with tortillas and chicken mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Top with the remaining cheese and return to the oven until the cheese is melted.

Flank Steak with Green Beans and Corn Casserole

Flank Steak
Marinade steaks with olive oil, balsamic viniagrette and oregano(can use whatever herb you want) for 2-3 hours. Grill steaks for about 6 minutes on each side or until done to your liking.

Green Bean Bundles
green beans
1 pkg. bacon
½ stick butter
3 T. brown sugar
1 T. soy sauce
1 t. worchestershire sauce
For each serving of green beans, you will need one slice of bacon. Slightly cook the bacon. Cook the beans for 2 minutes in boiling water and then rinse under cold water. Wrap a bundle of beans in a slice of bacon and place in foil lined pan. Repeat until all of the beans are wrapped in bacon. Melt butter with brown sugar, soy sauce and worchestershire sauce. Spoon over beans and bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until bacon is cooked through.

Corn Casserole was posted earlier from Kellee.

Cod wrapped in Prosciutto

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Four 6- to 8-ounce cod fillets
4 slices prosciutto
salt and pepper to taste

Lemon wedges, for serving
In a large nonstick skillet, heat EVOO over medium-high heat until rippling. Add half the fish fillets and cook, turning once, until the prosciutto is crisp and the fish is firm, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining oil and fish. Serve with a green salad and corn on the cob.

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas
4 chicken breasts, cooked
2 can cream of chicken soup
16 oz. sour cream
½ pt. whipping cream
1 T. chopped jalapenos
16-18 flour tortillas

Heat ingredients in saucepan. Put a little sauce in the bottom of 9x13 pan. Heat tortillas in microwave. Spoon sauce mixture into tortilla, roll and place in dish. Add cheddar cheese to top. Bake at 20 minutes at 350 . Serve with black beans or green beans and chips and salsa

Beef Kebabs from Rachael Ray

1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1/2 cup grated English cucumber, wrung out in a kitchen towel
1 teaspoon dried dill
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus whole leaves for garnish
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Warm pita bread, for serving
1. Soak 8 wooden skewers in water. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, dill and half the garlic; season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.2. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. In a medium bowl, combine the beef, remaining garlic, chopped parsley and cumin. Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide the beef mixture into 4 sections. Roll each section into a 6-inch log. Thread each log lengthwise onto two parallel skewers. Wrap your index finger and thumb around the log and lightly squeeze from top to bottom to make 4 indented rings. Rub the beef kebabs with olive oil and grill for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness. Top each kebab with the yogurt sauce and parsley leaves and serve on a pita.
( I did not make the yogurt sauce. My kids even loved this one too) I served this with a green salad with glazed nuts, strawberries and Machego cheese and bakes sweet potatoes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Corn Casserole

1 can corn, drained
1 can cream corn
3/4 stick of butter
2 beaten eggs
8 oz. sour cream
1 box Jiffy corn bread mix

Mix all ingredients and put in baking dish. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

**You could even add some green onion or red pepper for some extra flavor.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Andrea's Pumpkin Bread

This is a really yummy, easy recipe compliments of Andrea!

Pumpkin Bread
4 eggs
2/3 Cup water
1 Cup oil
2 Cups (1 can) pumpkin
3 Cups sugar
3 1/3 Cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of cloves

Blend eggs, water, oil, sugar, and pumpkin. Gradually add dry ingredients. Pour into greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Crock Pot Chicken

We had company last Saturday night, and I made this family favorite. It's embarrassingly easy! The recipe came from the little booklet that came with my crock pot, and I've made it more times than I can count.

3-4 carrots and 1 onion, cut into chunks
1 whole chicken
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup chicken broth

Put all the ingredients, in the above order, into the crock pot. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Remove the chicken, de-bone it, and serve. This is great over rice, and would also be yummy with mashed potatoes--you could use the "juice" as gravy for the potatoes!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Spicy Tuna with Jalapeno Vinaigrette

1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup fennel seeds
1/4 cup coriander seeds
1/4 cup cumin
2 tuna fillets(8 ounces each)

Preheat oven to 325. Roast pepper, fennel, and coriander for 15 minutes. Mix with cumin and process all in the food processor until finely ground. Coat tuna with spices and pan sear until Medium rare.

Jalapeno Vinaigrette
1/4 bunch of chives
1/4 bunch of parsley
1/4/ bunch of cilantro
4 seeded jalapenos
2 egg yolks(or Egg beaters if you need pasteurized eggs)
4 ounces rice vinegar
6 ounces of olive oil

For vinaigrette- use a blender and mix egg yolks, cilantro, parsley, chives, seeded jalapenos and rice vinegar. Add 6 ounces of oil, slowly.
Place vinaigrette on platter and place slice tuna on top. Or serve in a bowl on the side.

This was so good and quick to make. It could be an appetizer too. We had lots of the vinaigrette left over, so you could 1/2 the recipe.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Breakfast Cookies

These "cookies" are easy to make and nutritious, and are perfect to have on hand for a quick breakfast or snack!

3 mashed bananas
1/3 cup apple sauce
2 cups quick-cooking oats*
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, etc.)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp sugar

Mix all ingredients and let sit for five minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls on greased pan. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

*I used two packets of apple-cinnamon flavored oatmeal plus one cup of regular instant oatmeal.
**You can also add chopped nuts for protein.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dijon Chicken & Veggie Casserole

Dinner tonight was such a hit, I thought I'd post the recipes! I don't remember where I found the chicken dish, but I've adapted the veggie casserole from a recipe in a vegetarian cookbook. The first time I prepared it was when I found out at the very last minute that a guest coming for dinner that night was vegetarian. I was so thankful that my mother-in-law had given me that cookbook! We've loved this casserole ever since.

Dijon Chicken
Cut four chicken breasts in half lengthwise to make them thinner, and then pound them until they are less than 1/4" thick. Combine 1/2 cup Dijon mustard and 3 Tbsp honey and spread over the chicken. Dip each piece of chicken in a mixture of 1-1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, covering completely. Lay the chicken on a greased pan, drizzle lightly with olive oil, and bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes.

Veggie Casserole
Prepare 1/2 cup of brown rice; I just bring about 1-1/2 cups of water to a boil, pour in the rice, and boil for 20 minutes. Drain completely.

While the rice is cooking, chop 1-2 zucchini, 2 carrots (sliced into sticks), 1/2 cup onion, and 2-3 garlic cloves. Feel free to add other vegetables like squash, broccoli, corn, or whatever vegetables are left over from last night! Saute the veggies (except the garlic) in olive oil for 5-10 minutes until somewhat tender; add the garlic near the very end.

Take the veggies off the burner and stir in 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese, salt & pepper, 1 tsp each basil and oregano, and the cooked rice. Pour into a greased or buttered cassrole dish, top with bread crumbs, drizzle the top with just a bit of olive oil, and bake at 400 for about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Squash Casserole

I don't really like squash and I love this. Even both my kids like this too. It can be made ahead of time if needed.

2 cups cooked yellow squash
1 cup chopped onion
6 T. butter
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 cups Ritz cracker crumbs

Combine squash and onion, mashing squash slightly. Melt butter and combine with eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Mix everything together, except for 1/3 cup cracker crumbs. Put remaining cracker crumbs on top. Bake uncovered at 375 for 40 minutes.

Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding

This is from the's cookbook "Dinner Tonight." I'm not usually a fan of bread pudding, but this is amazing! It was easy enough for a quick family dessert but nice enough for company.

4 eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
4 cups cubed French bread (this equals about 2/3 of a loaf)
2 bananas, sliced
1 cup (or more!) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in bread cubes, bananas and chocolate chips; let stand 5 minutes for bread to soak. Pour into loaf pan.

Line a roasting pan with a kitchen towel. Place loaf pan on towel and place roasting pan on oven rack. Fill roasting pan with as much water as it will hold.

Bake for one hour or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm.

101 Easy Summer Meal Ideas (In Under 10 Min)

Best Blueberry Muffins

Will need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
1 large egg
1 cup granulated sugar
4 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 cups fresh blueberries

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick vegetable cooking spray.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl until combined. Whisk egg in second medium bowl until well-combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add sugar and whisk vigorously until thick and homogenous, about 30 seconds; add melted butter in 2 or 3 steps, whisking to combine after each addition. Add sour cream in 2 steps, whisking just to combine.

3. Add berries to dry ingredients and gently toss to combine. Add sour cream mixture and fold with rubber spatula until batter comes together and berries are evenly distributed, 25 to 30 seconds (small spots of flour may remain and batter will be thick). Do not overmix.

4. Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to drop batter into greased muffin tin. Bake until light golden brown and toothpick or skewer inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pan from front to back halfway through baking time. Serve as is or use the sugar-topped variation.

Sugar-topped variation:
While muffins are cooling, mix 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon in small bowl and melt butter in small saucepan. After baked muffins have cooled five minutes, working one at a time, dip tops of muffins in melted butter and then cinnamon-sugar. Set muffins upright on wire rack; serve.

Pepper Steak

Here is one of our old standby meals (given to me by Jessica D.). We all enjoy it and it is easy to throw together...I will admit that I leave out the celery and the tomatoes (we aren't fans of either).

1/4 oil
1 lb beef, cut in thin strips
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped bell pepper
3 stalks sliced celery
1 T. cornstarch
1 c. water
2 tomatoes

Brown beef, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in oil. Keep tossed and cook until tender. Add onion, pepper and celery. Mix cornstarch and water and add to above. Stir and cook until thick. (You can add a little more water and soy sauce to make more sauce for rice, if desired.) Add tomatoes cut in wedges and heat through. Serve over rice.

Oatmeal Carmelitas

These are really easy to make. And when you eat them warm, it's like you're eating cookie dough....

2 cups flour
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed firmly
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups butter or margarine

Heat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 pan. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup. Level off. In large bowl blend ingredients until crumbly. Press about 3 cups (1/2 of mixture) into prepared pan. Reserve remaining crumbs for topping. Bake for 10 minutes.

1 package (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli milk chocolate - YUM)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
12 oz caramel ice-cream topping
3 tablespoons flour

Sprinkle crust with chocolate chips and nuts. Blend caramel topping and flour. Drizzle over chocolate and nuts. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Return to oven and bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Chill for easier cutting. Yield: 36 bars

Chocolate Pie

This is a family favorite of ours. I made it for Derek yesterday for our anniversary.

Chocolate Pie
1 1/2 c. sugar
3T. cocoa
3T. flour
1 lump of butter
1` 1/2 c. canned milk
3 egg yolks(save whites for meringue)
Mix in order. Stir on stove. Cook until thick. Pour into baked pie shell.

Mix 3 egg whites and 1/4 t. cream of tartar
Add 6 T sugar, one at a time and beat until stiff(check with knife for peaks to stand up)
Add 1 t. vanilla and beat.
Put on top of pie. Seal edges of pie with meringue or it will shrink away from the edge.

Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes, till meringue browns.