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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Baked Chicken Parmesan

I like to think this is healthier than an original Parmesan chicken, but even if it's not, it is a lot quicker!

3-4 chicken breasts
pesto (I like Costco's)
Mozzarella cheese
Marinara sauce (I like to add a small can of diced tomatos)
salt/pepper/garlic powder

*Pound out chicken breasts between plastic wrap until 1/4 of an inch thick. Spread pesto (generously) on half of chicken. Slice or shred some Mozzarella on pesto. Fold over chicken and secure with a toothpick. Put some marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Place chicken on top. Season with salt/pepper/garlic powder. Top with more marinara and more cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Roasted Pork Roast


This was really good, a great change up from the usual roast and potatoes!

1 bonesless pork shoulder (about four pounds), skin on
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 handful fresh oregano
4 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar {I use 1 tbsp white vinegar and 1 tbsp white wine}

What To Do:
Place the pork, fat-side up, in a roasting pan.

Mash the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper into a paste on a cutting board with the flat side of a knife; place the garlic mix in a bowl and stir in the oil and vinegar.
Rub the garlic paste all over the pork, this will help form a crust on the outside when cooked. Cover the pork with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
Allow the meat to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking/while preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Roast the pork for 3 hours, uncovered, until the skin is crispy-brown. Let the meat rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing.

Puppy Chow


I know everyone probably has this recipe, but it's that time of year, so I thought I would post it as a reminder!

1 12 oz box crixpix(or rice chex)
1 12 oz pkg chocolate chips
1 stick butter
3/4 c cream peanut butter
2 c powdered sugar
Mix the choc chips, butter and peanut butter together and melt in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour this over cereal that has been put in a big bowl that can be covered(original recipe says to put in a paper grocery bag) Put about 1/2 c powder over the cereal mix. Put lid on and shake. Continue to add powdered sugar until all cereal is covered.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Super Easy Peach Cobbler

This peach cobbler is so yummy and so easy, I always need to double it just to be sure I get some!!!


1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 stick butter
1 (16 oz.) can sliced peaches
3/4 c. milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, sugar and baking powder and set aside. Melt butter in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Add sliced peaches without juice and add milk to flour mixture and pour over peaches. Now pour juice from the can of peaches over batter. Cook about 40 min!

Hot Deli Roast Beef Sandwich





I'm not really sure if it's my camera or the operator, but I keep taking blurry pictures! But here is a quick and easy weeknight dinner idea!

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can beef broth, homemade beef stock or 3/4 cup rich homemade beef stock
1 French baguette, cut into 4 (5-6 inch portions) (or hamburger buns or Italian bread)
1-2 slices Swiss cheese
1 lb thinly sliced roast beef


To make the Garlic Au Jus: In medium sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Then add onions, garlic and dry herbs, and cook, stirring often, about 1 minute. Do no let garlic brown.

Then add soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Increase heat, bring to simmer and let liquid reduce by half. Add beef broth and simmer for 5 minutes. (If using homemade stock, you may need to season with salt and pepper.).

You can make the recipe to this point up to 3 days in advance and keep, covered, in refrigerator.

To make and serve sandwiches: Reheat au jus. Split baguette pieces and top with Swiss cheese. Divide roast beef among sandwiches. Close sandwiches, place on baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for about 3 minutes or until just warmed. Serve with small cups hot au jus for dipping.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Quick Banana Bread


  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour


No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 45min. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's not pretty but sure does taste good....Meatloaf


1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
l 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs
3/4 cup finely crushed saltine cracker crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 5x9
inch loaf pan. Press the brown sugar in the bottom of the prepared pan
and spread the ketchup over the sugar.

In a mixing bowl, mix thoroughly all remaining ingredients and shape into a loaf. Place on top of the ketchup. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until juices are
clear.

Corbread

This recipe is as good as my homemade cornbread!


1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 box Jiffy Golden cake mix

Make each mix according to directions on box in separate bowls. Then, combine mixes and pour into greased 9x13. I used a smaller pan because I like thick pieces. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. (I found Jiffy mixes at Walmart).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Super Easy Peach Cobbler

This peach cobbler is so yummy and so easy, I always need to double it just to be sure I get some!!!


1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 stick butter
1 (16 oz.) can sliced peaches
3/4 c. milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, sugar and baking powder and set aside. Melt butter in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Add sliced peaches without juice and add milk to flour mixture and pour over peaches. Now pour juice from the can of peaches over batter. Cook about 40 min!

Pumpkin Whoopi Pies

This looks difficult but it really is easy, and soooo worth it!
  • For the Cream-Cheese Filling

    • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Pumpkin Whoopie

    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
    • 1 tablespoon ground cloves
    • 2 cups firmly packed dark-brown sugar
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 3 cups pumpkin puree, chilled
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil until well combined. Add pumpkin puree and whisk until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Sprinkle flour mixture over pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.
  3. Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pan.
  4. Make the filling: Sift confectioner' sugar into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla, beat just until smooth. (Filling can be made up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate; let stand at room temperature to soften before using.)
  5. Assemble the whoopie pies: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Transfer filling to a disposable pastry bag and snip the end. When cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate cookies at least 30 minutes before serving and up to 3 days.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Teryaki Chicken

I forgot to take a picture of this but, it was so yummy I had to post it anyway!

Teriyaki Chicken

Into the crock pot:

7-8 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In mixing bowl:

3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup soy sauce
6 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp ground ginger

Mix well and pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or High 4-5 hours. An hour before eating, remove chicken to dice it and then add it back to the crock pot.

In shaker: 4 1/2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 5 tsp cold water

Shake it up and add to the sauce and chicken, stir well. Cook one more hour and serve over rice.

My Favorite Pumpkin Muffins


Pumpkin muffins with a maple glaze.......



  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup veg oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups can pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla
add all of the dry ingredients.
  • Then in a separate bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients.
  • Mix well.
  • Add the wet to the dry ingredients.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes in a well greased muffin pan
  • *To give it a little kick try adding a half tsp of cayenne pepper to the batter before cooking* It doesn't change

Maple Glaze:

1 1/4 cup
confectioners' sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup pure maple syrup


To make maple glaze: In a bowl, combine confectioners sugar and vanilla. Gradually whisk in enough maple syrup to make a coating consistency.


The maple glaze is great over pork tenderloin!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Roasted Chicken


I love to roast a whole chicken for dinner one night, and make a chicken soup with the leftovers the next. It looks difficult, but is surprisingly easy to actually roast a whole chicken.

4-lb. roasting chicken
1 lemon, halved
1 tbl. garlic salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. dried parsley
7 cloves garlic, divided
1/4 c. butter, softened and divided
3 T. water
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 c. baby carrots
1 onion chopped

Place chicken in a lightly greased 13"x9" roasting pan. Squeeze lemon over chicken; place lemon halves inside the chicken. Sprinkle salt, pepper and parsley over chicken inside and out. Press one to 2 cloves garlic through a garlic press; rub over chicken. Halve remaining cloves garlic and stuff inside chicken. Rub one tablespoon butter over chicken; place remaining butter inside chicken. Pour water into pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, making sure foil doesn't touch top of chicken. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots to pan; cover again. Bake for an additional 40 minutes to one hour, until juices run clear, basting occasionally with pan juices.

Beef and Mushroom Stew


This is my Husbands favorite Autumn weeknight dinner, and you won't believe how super easy it is to make.

1 pound beef stew meat
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

2 cans (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained


Slow Cooker Directions:


Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on
LOW for 8 to 10 hours. Serve over hot cooked noodles or rice.



This is another recipe for one of those nights when you are short on time. Use leftover chicken, or boil a few frozen breasts for 20 minutes and then shred.







Mexican Chicken Crescents



1/2 c Onion; chopped
2 tble Garlic Powder
3 tbs Oil
2 1/2 c Chicken; cooked, shredded
16 oz Crescent dinner rolls
1/2 c Salsa
2 c Cheddar cheese; shredded
Sour cream
Salsa

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease large cookie sheet.

In large skillet, cook onion and garlic in oil until onion is tender.
Add chicken; cook over low heat until thoroughly heated, stirring
occasionally. Remove from heat.
Separate dough into 8 rectangles; firmly press perforations to seal.

Spread 2 tsp of the salsa on each rectangle to within 1/2 inch of
edge.

Stir 1 cup of the cheese into chicken mixture.
Spoon heaping 1/3 cpu of chicken mixture onto half of each rectangle.
Starting at shortest side or rectangle topped with chicken, roll up;
firmly pinch ends to seal.

Place seam side down on greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 16 to 21 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven;
top each with about 2 T. of remaining cheese. Return to oven.

Bake an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve with sour cream and additional salsa.

Easy Caramel Apples


This is the easiest way that I have found to make caramel apples!


Ingredients:

  • 2 packages (14oz each) caramels
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 medium apples, such as McIntosh, Gala, or Fuji
  • sticks for apples

Preparation:

In slow cooker, combine caramels and water. Cover and cook on high for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until caramels are melted, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, line a baking pan with wax paper; butter the paper.

Wash and dry the apples. Insert a stick into stem end of each apple. Reduce crockpot heat to LOW.


Dip apple into hot caramel; turn to coat entire surface. Holding apple above pot, scrape off excess accumulation of caramel from bottom apple.
Place coated apples on prepared wax paper in pan. As you near the bottom of the pot, use a spoon to spoon hot caramel over apples. Put the pan of coated apples in the refrigerator to set thoroughly. Use caution if children are helping; the crockpot will probably be quite hot to the touch and the caramel could scald.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mexican Style Stuffed Crescents

These are great for dinner or an easy appetizer!

1/2 c Onion; chopped
2 Garlic cloves; minced
3 tbs Oil
2 1/2 c Chicken; cooked, shredded
16 oz Crescent dinner rolls
1/2 c Salsa
2 c Cheddar cheese; shredded
Sour cream
Salsa

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease large cookie sheet.

In large skillet, cook onion and garlic in oil until onion is tender.
Add chicken; cook over low heat until thoroughly heated, stirring
occasionally. Remove from heat.
Separate dough into 8 rectangles; firmly press perforations to seal.

Spread 2 tsp of the salsa on each rectangle to within 1/2 inch of
edge.

Stir 1 cup of the cheese into chicken mixture.
Spoon heaping 1/3 cup of chicken mixture onto half of each rectangle.
Starting at shortest side or rectangle topped with chicken, roll up;
firmly pinch ends to seal.

Place seam side down on greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 16 to 21 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven;
top each with about 2 T. of remaining cheese. Return to oven.

Bake an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve with sour cream and additional salsa.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Labor Day Barbeque Sandwiches

This is a great recipe to make if you are having friends over, but also good for just an easy weeknight meal!

My friends and family loved them, they all say it's a little different than just your everyday barbeque sandwiches.


4 to 5 pounds pork roast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce, divided

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Put roast in slow cooker, top with pineapple, onion and 1 cup bbq sauce. Cook on low for 8-9 hours. Take out of slow cooker, shred and add some of the juice the roast was cooked in(with the onions) and more bbq sauce if desired. Serve on buns.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Slow Cooker Swiss Steak


¼ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons dry basil leaves
2 pounds round steak
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 stalks celery chopped
chopped onion 1/2 cup
3 carrots chopped (I omitted)
(2) cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
.
Cut the meat into serving size pieces and coat it with the flour . Brown the meat in the vegetable oil then put it into the crockpot. In the same pan, saute the onion, celery until tender. Stir in the diced tomatoes, salt & pepper, basil, Worcestershire, brown sugar and the rest of the flour. Mix well and pour over the meat in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until the meat is very tender. the sauce/gravy thickens as it cooks.
.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Breakfast Sandwich


When school starts back, I love cooking my kids a good breakfast. This is one of their favorites!


3 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. milk
2 T. butter
8 thick slices bread
12 slices Cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk; set aside. Prepare a griddle or large skillet by melting butter over low heat.

Dip only one side of 4 bread slices in egg mixture. Place 4 bread slices, coated side down, on griddle or in skillet.

Top each bread slice with 3 cheese slices. Sprinkle cheese with bacon, or if you haven't crumbled it, just lay about 3 slices on top of the cheese. Dip only one side of the remaining 4 bread slices in egg mixture and place over bacon, coated side up.
Cook 5 minutes per side or until bread is golden and cheese is melted.


Cheesy Barbeque Chicken


This is my version of the chicken breast at Chili's. It's pretty good, and very simple!


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 1 1/2 lbs. total
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup bottled barbecue sauce
4-8 slices cooked bacon, according to your taste preference
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 scallions, trimmed and sliced

Heat oven to 350
Place chicken in a single layer in a greased baking dish.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon on the barbecue sauce.
Bake in oven for 25 minutes, or until all pink is gone.
Top each breast half with 1 or 2 slices of cooked bacon. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake in oven 5 more minutes.
Top each breast half with fresh scallions.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Crock Pot Steak Sanwhich

I loved this recipe, and loved not heating up my oven!


You can easily omit the green peppers in this recipe. My kids don't love them, so I left them out then added some sauteed spinach right before serving.
  • 2 large onions, sliced into strips
  • 2 medium green peppers, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 pound thinly-sliced round steak
  • 1 clove garlic, finely-minced
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c beef broth
  • 1 tsp. freshly-ground pepper
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat Monterey Jack chees
  • Rolls or bread

Place the sliced onions and green peppers in the bottom of the Crock Pot stoneware. Lay the round steak slices on top of the vegetables. Whisk together the minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth and pepper. Pour over steak slices. Cover. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or high 3 to 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to broil. Slice the rolls, lengthwise, but not all the way through. Place steak, green peppers and onions on half of each roll. Top with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Broil two minutes or just until the cheese is melted and the roll is lightly toasted.




Ham and Cheese Chicken Breast


This is a really great way to change up chicken for the night!

  • 8 boneless chicken breast halves, skin removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 slices deli ham,
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese, cut in half (I sometimes use cheddar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • vegetable oil
Place each piece of chicken between 2 sheets of wax paper or in food storage bag. Pound gently to flatten, using a rolling pin or smooth side of meat mallet. Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Combine eggs with 1 cup milk; dip chicken pieces in mixture. Place a piece of ham and a piece of cheese in the center of each flattened piece of chicken. Brush top of cheese slices with the milk and egg mixture. Fold ends over the ham and cheese; roll up, beginning with long side. Secure rolls with toothpicks. Dredge chicken in the 1/3 cup flour then dip in remaining milk mixture; roll in bread crumbs to coat well. Place chicken rolls on a plate; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Heat 1/2-inch of vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Fry chicken rolls for 20 minutes, turning frequently, until golden brown. Drain well.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School Treats



I always make the kids a back to school treat on the first day of school. Usually it's cupcakes, but this year I decided to make Rice Krispie Treats. I added red food coloring and molded it in a cake pan! Turned out so cute, and tasted yummy! Here is my recipe......

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter or margarine
  • 1 package regular marshmallows
  • - OR -
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 6 cups rice krispies
. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Easy Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe is so easy, you'll never buy cinnamon rolls in a tube again!
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (16 ounce) package cream cheese frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cream cheese, cinnamon, and vanilla to pan, and stir until smooth. Remove from heat, and cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Spread cinnamon and cream cheese mixture over puff pastry. Roll puff pastry into a log, and pinch ends together to keep filling inside. Place roll in prepared pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and spread cream cheese frosting over warm roll. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Creamy Chicken in a Crockpot

This is great to serve over rice or pasta!

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 envelope (1 ounce) dried onion soup mix
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup canned bacon crumbles or 1/2 pound bacon, fried and crumbled
1 carton (16 ounces) reduced-fat sour cream

Spray slow cooker cooking surface with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix soup with soup mix in medium bowl.

Layer chicken breast and soup misxture in slow cooker.

Sprinkle bacon crumbles over top.

Cover and cook on HIGH 4 hours or on LOW 8 hours.

During last hour of cooking, add sour cream; stir

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pasta Salad With Fresh Spinach

Quick and Easy Pasta Salad, that is full of flavor!
  • 1 (12 ounce) package penne pasta
  • 10 ounces baby spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size piece
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese with basil and tomato
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black olives, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup Italian-style salad dressing
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, rinse under cold water and drain.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, spinach, cheese, red onion and olives.
  3. Whisk together the salad dressing, garlic, lemon juice, garlic salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss. Refrigerate for 2 hours and serve chilled.

Meatloaf Barbecue Style


This a great way to change up an ordinary meatloaf!


1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup uncooked quick-cooking oatmeal
2 egg
1/4 pepper jelly



Preheat oven to 375°F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, stir together the barbecue sauce and jelly.

In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup barbecue sauce mixture and the remaining ingredients. Shape the mixture into an oval and place on baking sheet.

Spoon the remaining barbecue sauce mixture on the top and sides of the meat loaf.

Bake for 50 minutes. Let the meat loaf stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Easy Peach Pie

This was so easy to make, and tasted great too!
  • 10 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  1. Mix flour, sugar and butter into crumb stage.
  2. Place one crust in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Line the shell with some sliced peaches. Sprinkle some of the butter mixture on top of the peaches, then put more peaches on top of the the crumb mixture. Continue layering until both the peaches and crumbs are gone.
  3. Top with lattice strips of pie crust.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden. Allow pie to cool before slicing. Best when eaten fresh.

The Pioneer Woman Grilled Chicken Salad With Blueberries


We were really surprised how much we liked the combination of blueberries, chicken, and corn! This was a really yummy light summer salad, and a great way for me to use up some of the blueberries leftover from our breakfast (blueberry pancakes)!

I omitted the dill and celery!
  • 4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil, For Drizzling
  • 3 stalks Celery (inner Light Green Stalks), Finely Diced
  • 2 ears Fresh Corn
  • 1/4 whole Medium Red Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1-1/2 cup Blueberries
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Dill, Minced
  • 4 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 4 Tablespoons Sour Cream
  • 1/4 cup Half-and-half
  • 1 whole Lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar (more To Taste)
  • Salt And Pepper (additional) To Taste
  • 3/4 cups Crumbled Feta

Preparation Instructions

Place chicken breasts into large plastic storage bag. Pound with a mallet or rolling pin to flatten to 1/4 inch uniform thickness. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat grill and drizzle chicken with olive oil. Grill chicken on both sides until done, about 7 minutes per side. (Rotate halfway during grilling each side to ensure pretty grill marks.) Remove from pan. Allow to cool.

With a very sharp knife, shave kernels off each corn cob. Combine with the onion and celery. Set aside.

Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, feta, and half-and-half. Stir in sugar, squeeze in lemon juice, and add salt and pepper. Stir, then taste. Add more salt if necessary; do not undersalt!

Slice chicken on the bias to create flat, randomly shaped pieces. Throw into a bowl with celery, onion, and corn. Stir to combine. Pour half the dressing over the ingredients and toss gently. Add more as desired, but don't overcoat the salad; should be light!

At the end, toss in the blueberries to lightly coat them in the dressing. Serve, then sprinkle individual helpings with feta.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Basic Manicotti

This is a basic manicotti recipe that you can make your own. You can add a pound of ground beef or sausage, omit the mushrooms, add tomatoes, lots and lots of things you can do with this!


  • 1 (8 ounce) package manicotti shells
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 8 oz package of white mushrooms, or cremini
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add manicotti and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. In a bowl, mix 3 cups mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese,mushrooms, garlic, egg, and basil. Stuff cooked manicotti with the mixture.
  4. Spread about 2 cups pasta sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange stuffed manicotti in the dish, and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan, and continue baking 10 minutes, until mozzarella is melted and bubbly

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Southwestern Chicken (in a crockpot)

As you all probably all figured out...I LOVE my crockpot! I am so super busy spending time with my kids in the summer, but still want to make sure we have a home cooked meal together. I love to just throw everything in a pot, and not worry about rushing home to cook dinner (not to mention using the crock pot in the summer doesn't heat up my kitchen. This is a VERY easy and delicious dinner idea that I happened to stumble across!


1 small bag frozen corn
1 can black beans
2 large frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 16-oz jar medium salsa, such as Pace medium picante sauce
shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla chips
sour cream
chopped cilantro
diced avocado

Pour bag of frozen corn in bottom of crock pot. Place chicken breasts on top of corn and cover with rinsed and drained black beans and jar of medium salsa. Cook on high for 1 hour, and then on low for 4 hours. Shred chicken with forks. Serve with tortilla chips and add toppings to individual servings.
It is VERY important that you use MEDIUM salsa in this. Mild isn’t flavorful enough. Be sure to serve with tortilla chips, and not tortillas. The salty crunchy chips make this so good!

Apple Dumplings


This is one of those recipes that I make sure I always have the ingredients on hand, just in case I need to make a quick dessert! They are super easy to make, and everyone loves them!



  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 2 small tart apples, peeled and cored
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons butter, divided
    GLAZE:
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extra
  • Using a sharp knife, cut pastry sheet in half. Return half to the freezer. Thaw remaining pastry. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a 14-in. x 7-in. rectangle. Cut into two 7-in. squares.
  • Place an apple on each square. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon. Spoon into center of each apple; top each with 1 teaspoon butter. Gently bring up corners of pastry to center; pinch edges to seal. Place in a shallow 3-cup baking dish coated with cooking spray. Melt remaining butter; brush over pastry.
  • Bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until apple is tender and pastry is golden brown. In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Drizzle over dumplings. Serve warm.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

4th of July Treats!

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Marshmallow Suckers!








24 regular sized Marshmallows
24 sucker sticks
1 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup white chocolate chips or 1 package of white almond bark
1-2 tbs Crisco (optional)
Two small bottles (or one large) Patriotic Red, White, and Blue Sprinkles


1. Line two cookie sheets with wax paper.

2. Spread about 1 tsp of peanut butter all along the sides of the marshmallows. It might get messy:) Lay marshmallows on one of the cookie sheets lined with wax paper. Place in the freezer 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, melt your milk chocolate chips, microwaving on high for 60 seconds and stirring every 30 seconds. I like to stir in a little bit of Crisco to thin the chocolate a bit.

4. Remove marshmallows from the freezer. Place a sucker stick in the bottom of a marshmallow, dip in chocolate just until it covers the bottom of the mallow. Try not to get it all over the stick. Shake or "spin" any excess chocolate off.

5. Cover with sprinkles and lay on wax paper. Alternate dipping marshmallows in milk chocolate and white chocolate.

Tip: Try to work quickly so the peanut butter doesn't get too soft. This is where it comes in hand to have little helpers! Or you can keep half of the mallows in the freezer while you work on the first half.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Peach Crisp


I love cooking with fresh peaches!

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
*Mix well with fork then add:
1 cold cube of butter, cut into pieces
*Mash until well blended.
*Peel and slice 6-8 big peaches. Put into baking dish and cover with topping. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, covered with foil, and then 25 minutes without foil. You can broil for a minute or two at the end to crisp it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

White Queso......Yum!

This is so good! I could eat the whole bowl by itself!


Bag of shredded Monteray Jack cheese 320z
1/2 cup diced green chiles (if using canned, drain them first)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chile powder
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup (sour cream)
1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced (optional, I didn't use it)

Over a double boiler or in a crock pot, stir all ingredients except sour cream until cheese is melted. Immediately before serving, stir in the sour cream.

Cherry Fruit Salad


Here's an old recipe that I forgot about! It's great to take to a party if you sign up for Fruit Salad! I think I will make it again on the 4th.

1 can cherry pie filling
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 can eagle brand sweetened condensed milk
8 oz cool whip
chopped walnuts or pecans (opt)

Mix all together and put in pretty bowl!

Another Crockpot Chicken Recipe


I love using my crock pot in the summer. It doesn't heat up my kitchen, and make my entire house feel hot! This recipe I found in an old Georgia cookbook that my mother in law gave me, and my kids loved it! They love it when I make any kind of chicken leg, but I think this was their favorite.


Place in crock pot in the following order:

10-12 5oz chicken portions (I used boneless, skinless and frozen)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
5 cloves garlic (I used 2 tbl garlic powder)
4 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup lemon/lime soda

Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4-6 (I recommend LOW)

Serve chicken over steamed rice and ladle the sauce over the top

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Best Beef Stroganoff

This is my favorite beef stroganoff recipe, and its fairly simple.


  • 1 1/2 pounds cubed round steak, cut into thin strips
  • All-purpose flour
  • Season Salt or Garlic Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Cooked egg noodles

Directions

Season the steak strips with Seasoning Salt/Garlic Salt, then dust with flour. In a large skillet, quickly brown them on both sides in the olive oil and butter. Remove the steak from the pan. Add the onion slices and mushrooms to the pan drippings. Saute for a few minutes, until the onion is tender. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon flour. Put the steak back into the pan with the onion and mushrooms. Add the mushroom soup and beef broth. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, covered. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in the sour cream the last few minutes, right before you serve. Serve over cooked noodles.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chocolate Lava Mini Cakes.....Yum!

I searched the internet and found this recipe. It was surprisingly easy and of course my family loved them!

1/2 C real butter

-4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
-2 eggs
-2 egg yolks
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 C chopped walnuts
-1/4 C white sugar
-2 tsp all-purpose flour
-Powdered sugar


Preheated your oven to 450 degrees.
Melt the butter and chocolate chips in a double boiler. Beat together the 2 whole eggs, the 2 additional egg yolks, vanilla, and sugar until it is thick. Stir the chocolate. Slowly pour the chocolate into the egg mixture while beating. Quickly beat in the flour. Grease 4 oven safe custard cups with butter and dust with flour. Evenly distribute the walnuts between the cups. Evenly pour the batter on top of the walnuts. Bake for about 10 minutes. The edges and the tops should look done. You can not do the toothpick test on these cakes because the center is "lava"! Carefully invert the cups onto your chosen plate. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!


*This batter can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Just let the batter reach room temperature before baking.

Smothered Steak


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Form into 8 balls, and flatten into patties.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties and onion in the oil until patties are nicely browned, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the beef patties to a plate, and keep warm.
  3. Sprinkle flour over the onions and drippings in the skillet. Stir in flour with a fork, scraping bits of beef off of the bottom as you stir. Gradually mix in the beef broth. Season with seasoned salt. Simmer and stir over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, until the gravy thickens. Turn heat to low, return patties to the gravy, cover, and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chicken and Rice Casserole


  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 2 cups of cooked rice
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup fresh mushroom, sliced
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup corn flakes
  • 1 (4 oz) pkg slice almonds
  1. In a bowl combine chicken, celery, rice, mayonnaise, mushrooms, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cream of chicken soup. Mix ingredients until well combined.
  2. Pour mixture into sprayed 9 x 13 inch dish and spread out evenly in the dish.
  3. Combine corn flakes and butter until corn flakes are well coated with butter.
  4. Spoon corn flake mixture evenly over chicken/rice mixture.
  5. Place dish in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove dish from oven and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
  7. Place dish back into oven for 5 more minutes.

You have to try these.....


Marshmallow Brownies



1st Layer:
1 stick butter
1 oz dark choc.
Melt these 2 together, then add:
1 Cup flour
1 Cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
¾ cup chopped nuts- optional

Layer 2:
6 oz cream cheese, softened
¼ Cup butter, softened
½ Cup sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla
2 Tb flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Spread first layer in greased 9x13 pan. Mix second layer ingredients together, except chocolate cips. Spread 2nd layer over base and sprinkle 1 cup choc chips on top. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

When done sprinkle with 2 cups mini marshmallows, put back in hot oven for 2 min or until puffy.

Frosting:
1 cup butter
1 oz dark choc
Melt these 2 together in saucepan then add:
2 oz softened cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup milk

Pour over warm marshmallows. Cool and watch them disappear, I'm not kidding!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Turkey Sandwich for Dinner

We have been spending a lot of time at the ball park lately, but it is still important for us to eat at home and this is a quick and easy dinner!


1 loaf cibatta bread
deli-sliced turkey
tomatoes, sliced
pepper jack cheese, sliced
pesto (store bought or homemade)
mayo
*Slice cibatta loaf in half and then into wedges. Mix mayo and pesto until you like the way it tastes. Spread on bread and then layer with turkey, tomato and pepper jack cheese.
Broil in oven until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Not So Traditonal Pasta Salad


4 c. penne pasta
4 Chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1/2 c. green onions
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 1/2 c. mayo.
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 c. red grapes
1 c. pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. craisins

Cook pasts according to package directions; drain. In large bowl, combine all ingredients except grapes, pecans, and craisins. Marinate mixture in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Add grapes, pecans and craisins just before serving.

End Of School Year Party Idea......Stay Cool This Summer





I got inspired by this cute FREE printable, on the Tip Junkie web site! What a great idea to print this tag and attach to Popsicle's, the kids loved it, and it was very inexpensive!