Monday, December 21, 2009

Pecan Chicken with Cranraspberry Sauce

Chicken breast (I pound mine out a little)
Pecans - I put mine in the food processor to make them the consistency of bread crumbs)
Olive Oil
2 eggs

1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/4-1/2 bag of frozen raspberries
Splash of white wine

1- Scramble the eggs in a bowl.
2- Dip chicken in the eggs.
3- Coat in crushed pecans.
4- Cook in pan with oil oil.

Put can of whole cranberry sauce, raspberries, and wine in a pan. Bring to a simmer.

Spoon sauce over chicken:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Triple-Layer Peanut Butter Brownies

I got this recipe off of Kraft Kitchens. I have made it twice for two mom's get togethers and they were a huge hit!!

I did not put the nuts on top. The second time I made them I used chocolate pudding instead of vanilla. Definitely use the vanilla!!! Tastes much better!
Also, I used about 1/2 - 3/4 of a bag of chocolate chips instead of bakers chocolate.

They tasted like brownies with a peanut butter cup on top. YUM!

Here's the link with a video included:

What You Need!
1 pkg. (19 to 21 oz.) brownie mix (13x9-inch pan size)
1 cup cold milk
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP Whipped Topping (Do not thaw.)
3 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup PLANTERS Dry Roasted Peanuts, coarsely chopped
Make It!

PREPARE and bake brownies in 13x9-inch pan as directed on package; cool. Meanwhile, beat milk and pudding mix with whisk 2 min. Add peanut butter and sugar; mix well. Refrigerate until brownies are completely cooled.

SPREAD pudding mixture over brownies.

MICROWAVE COOL WHIP and chocolate on HIGH 1 min., stirring every 30 sec. Spread over pudding; sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Sorry I didn't take any of my own pictures!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Swiss Steak


Cube Steak (pkg. of 4) thin sliced

2-3 Tablespoons Flour for coating the steak

1-2 teaspoons black pepper to mix with flour

2 cans of beef gravy (any brand)

2 cups Carrots (cut bite size)

1/2 onion sliced thinly

1 teaspoon Olive Oil

Mix Flour & Black Pepper in plate - coat the steaks with flour (both sides)

Pour oil into pan - place sliced onions in pan with oil on medium heat

Put floured steaks on top of onion - Cover and Cook 10 minutes each side

Add Gravy and carrots

Cover and cook on low for about 1 hour

I serve with mashed potatoes and any green veggies

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lentil Cassoulet and Focaccia Bread

If you know me, you know that I have an ongoing love affair with my crock pot and my bread maker. Wintertime is my favorite because I love making soup. And I always eat bread with soup. Enter crock pot and bread maker!

Lentil Cassoulet (fancy name for soup, I suppose!)

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
4 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped (chop the leaves and add them too, they add great flavor!)
3/4 cup dry lentils (rinse well)
1-2 tsp dried rosemary
1-2 dried bay leaves
salt & pepper to taste

Brown the meat with the onion and garlic in a pan, season with salt & pepper. Once brown, add to the crock pot with all the other ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours.

You can also make this with ground turkey, or pork.

Bread Machine Focaccia Bread
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp dried italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Add the ingredients in order. Set your bread machine to the dough cycle. When it is done, grease a 9x13 inch pan, and with greased hands, remove the dough from the bread machine. Spread the dough into the bottom of the pan, until it is covered. With your finger tips, make indents in the dough. Put it somewhere warm and let it rise for 20 minutes. (Tip: If you need a warm place to let the dough rise, heat the oven to 100 degrees, then turn it off. Put the pan inside the oven. It's warm enough to let the dough rise, but not so warm that it will cook the bread).

While the dough is rising, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a pan over low heat (I usually do a little less). Once the oil is hot, add 1 tsp oregano and 1/4 cup minced garlic (again, I usually do a little less). Remove from heat after about 30 seconds (DO NOT let the garlic burn!). Brush this mixture onto the dough with a pastry brush. Sprinkle 1/3 cup parmesan cheese on top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes (my oven runs hot, so I usually check it after 13 minutes or so.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Zucchini Tomato Salad

Yet another zucchini recipe!

Cut 2 tomatoes and one zucchini into cubes. You want to have an even amount of each.

Add as much ranch dressing as you like. Fabulous and easy salad! My kids love this.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Exceptionally Stupendous Baked French Toast

Melt together (microwave works great!): 8 T buttah, 1.5 C brown sugar, & 3 T Karo syrup. Pour in a greased 9x13 pan.

Beat together 8 eggs, 2.5 C evaporated milk, and 1 T cinnamon.

Dip thick slices of french or italian bread into egg mixture and arrange in pan.

Pour remaining egg mixture over the top.

Sprinkle top lightly with more cinnamon.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 min.

Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

You can also sprinkle pecans over brown sugar mixture if you like more of a pecan roll taste.

Tips: This works great if you prepare the night before and bake in the morning, just add 10-15 minutes onto the baking time. Pairs well with fresh fruit or sausage.

**disclaimer: that's not a picture of *my* baked french toast. I got the image off of Google...My camera is broken!

Friday, October 9, 2009

caramelized butternut squash

Here's one for Fall:

2 butternut squash
6 tbsp butter
1/4 cup brown sugar

Peel the squash, cut in half, and then into chunks. Place on sheet pan.
Mix melted butter and brown sugar and pour over squash. Mix with clean hands then season with s/p. Spread evenly over pan and bake in 400 degree oven until tender, about 45 minutes.

I used only one squash and it took just under 30 minutes. Any longer and they would be soggy. It was deliciously sweet. I almost wanted to eat it for dessert!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stuffed Jumbo Shells

1 box (12 oz.) jumbo shells
1 lb. ground beef or Italian sausage
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 bag (6 oz.) baby spinach, chopped
1 c. finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 egg
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

--Preheat oven to 350.
--Cook jumbo shells; drain, reserving 1/3 c. of the pasta cooking water.
--Brown ground beef and drain grease.
--Add oil, spinach, onion, garlic, reserved pasta water; continue cooking 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
--Add seasonings and blend well. Let mixture cool.
--Stir in egg and Parmigiano cheese.
--Pour 1 cup spaghetti sauce into a 13x9 baking dish.
--Fill jumbo shells with meat mixture; place in dish. Pour remaining sauce over shells; sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top, cover with foil.
--Bake for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

**Taken from the back of a Barilla Jumbo Shells box.

Modifications I made: more spinach, onion powder instead of onion, no nutmeg, more cheese. This was my first time trying this recipe, and we loved it! My kids ate it too!

For sides, we had breadsticks and salad.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Velveeta Mac n Cheese

True comfort food!!!

2 C dry macaroni
1 16 oz box of Velveeta (the smaller box)
1/2 C milk
1/2 stick of melted buttah
1/2 roll crushed Ritz crackers

Cook and drain macaroni. Melt cubed velveeta on stovetop on low with milk, stir frequently. Remove saucepan from heat. Combine noodles and sauce in saucepan and coat noodles well. Pour mixture into greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs that have been combined with the melted buttah. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 25 min.

The recipe can be doubled and comes out great. You can also mix and warm in crock pot on low for 3 hrs. If you do the crockpot version, make sure to add about 1/4 C more milk and a T of butter to keep the mac and cheese moist. Large groups LOVE this and it's often an unexpected and delicious addition at gatherings. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Delicious Cornbread

This cornbread recipe is so easy and mouthwatering - it's almost like dessert. You will never want to use another recipe again.

* 1/2 c. butter (softened)
* 1 c. sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 c. cornmeal
* 1 1/2 c. flour
* 2 tsp. baking powder
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1 1/2 c. milk
Combine butter and sugar. Add eggs, stir. Add cornmeal, stir. Add flour, baking powder, salt and milk. Stir. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan or muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

You don't even need butter and honey to go on top!

PS - I made this to go with our left over taco soup. YUM!

Quick & Easy Taco Soup

I LOVE fall season - it's SOUP time. Here is a relatively new taco soup we have been enjoying - very easy. This makes a 5 qt. pot/pan.

Quick & Easy Taco Soup
* 1 lb. turkey sausage (or ground beef)
* 1 onion
* 3 cans of beans (Light Kidney, Dark Kidney, Pinto, Black)
* 1 can of corn
* 2 cans of dices tomatoes (or chopped fresh, if you have them (3-4 cups)
* 1 cup of salsa
* 1 packet of taco season

Brown sausage and onion. I didn't have an onion, so I used a palm full of dried onion. Season with Salt & Pepper.
Open above cans and DUMP - you can rinse the black beans, if you don't want it to turn a funny color - but I just dump it all.
Add Salsa and packet of taco seasoning. Bring to a boil, cover and turn on low to simmer. NOTE: No water was added, just the juices from all your cans.
Serve with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips (we love the chips with lime!)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Crumbly Zucchini Bread

We all know how much zucchini one garden can produce, so I found a great zucchini bread recipe that I tweaked a little. The original recipe is here.

Start by beating 3 eggs until light and frothy (I used a hand mixer):

Add 1/2 cup vegetable (or canola) oil and 1/2 cup applesauce:
Mix in 2 cups of sugar (I ran out, so I used 1 1/4 cups sugar and 3/4 cups Splenda)

Mix in 2 teaspoons vanilla

And 2 -3 cups shredded zucchini - no need to peel- and stir together (I stopped using the hand mixer on this step):

In a separate bowl stir together flour, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt, baking soda, and baking powder (see measurements below):
Let your 3 year old help, if you're so inclined (yes, she painted her hair green with her finger paints):

Stir together with a spoon or fork and fold into the egg mixture

Grease two 8x4 loaf pans and divide the mixture between the two pans:

Now for the yummy crumbly top (this is optional, but I HIGHLY recommend it!):
Mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter (stick butter is better, but again I had to improvise!)

Be sure your toddler tests it out to make it's edible :)

Mix together (your hands are your best tool here!) until the butter is well incorporated, then sprinkle it on top of the batter. You'll think there is WAY too much, but believe me, use it all!!!

Bake in a 325* oven for an hour. Warning, you'll want to open the oven while this is baking, it smells SO yummy


  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2-3 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (high altitude, add 1/2 cup flour and 1-2 tbsp water)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F ( 165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8x4 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and frothy. Mix in oil and sugar. Stir in zucchini and vanilla. Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; stir into the egg mixture. Divide batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until done.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Roasted Pineapple

I LOVE grilled pineapple, but I don't like having to get the grill going (we use charcoal) just for that. I was SO happy when I found this recipe for roasted pineapple in the oven. It's by Claire Robinson of 5 Ingredient Fix, you can find the entire recipe here (she pairs it with shaved ginger ale for a yummy dessert).

Start with a fresh pineapple. Cut off the top and outside, then slice it into 8 slices (don't bother coring it at this point). Place the slices on a cookie sheet.

Brush both sides of each slice with Vegetable Oil (I used Canola Oil) - don't use too much or they'll be soggy! Then sprinkle the side that is up with sugar and salt (not too much salt, but it helps bring out the pineapple's juices).

Cook in a 400* oven for 20 minutes, turn, sprinkle with sugar and salt and cook for 10 more minutes.

Mmmmm! These are a really good side with steak.

gorgonzola cream sauce

i was a little too bashful with the sauce. note to self: next time lay it on thick!
This recipe was DIVINE.
The catch?
You must like Gorgonzola or Roquefort (blue cheese).

The sauce:
4 cups heavy cream
3 to 4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese (I happened to have Roquefort so that's what is used)
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (the real fresh kind, not the kind from a plastic tub)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper

Bring the heavy cream to a full boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, then continue to boil rapidly for 45 to 50 minutes, until it's thickened, like a white sauce, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the Gorgonzola, Parmesan, s/p. Whisk rapidly until the cheese melt, and then serve. If you must reheat, warm the sauce over low heat until melted, then whisk vigorously until the sauce comes together.

I served this sauce on top of steak. It was so delicious and is totally compatible with the same dish i had at a high end restaurant. It's a splurge and definitely special occasion worthy, not to mention NOT low fat, but it was oh so worth it!

Thanks to Ina Garten - Barefoot Contessa - for this recipe.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

All American Mini Meatloaves

Sorry I don't have a photo. Next time I make it I'll take pics.

17 Saltines crushed fine
¼ cup whole milk
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 large egg
1 ½ tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ lbs meatloaf mix* (3/4 lb of ground pork and 3/4 lb 90% lean ground beef)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

½ cup Ketchup
¼ cup light brown sugar
4 teaspoons cider vinegar

*Walmart did not have meatloaf mix so I bought a pound of 90% lean ground beef and 1 lbs ground pork and mixed them together and took out what looked like 1/4 lb. of each And put it in the freezer for next time.

1. Heat oven to 500 degrees and put oven rack in the middle position.

2. Mix saltines, milk, parsley, wors. Sauce, egg, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder and meat together. I used my hands to make sure it got incorporated well. Shape the meat into 4 oval loaves.

3. Heat the oil in a nonstick 12 inch skillet and brown the meatloaves on one side for about 5 minutes then carefully flip them over to brown the other side. Neaten up the edges with a spatula. In the meantime, while the meat is browning mix the glaze.

4. If your skillet is oven safe, top the meatloaves with glaze and place in the oven until the center of the loaves reach 160 degrees, this takes about 15 minutes. My skillet was not oven safe so I rubbed the bottom of a casserole dish with vegetable oil and placed the meatloaves in there before glazing them. Bake for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

If you try it let me know what you think!

Egg Rolls

NOTE: I usually don't measure ingredients, I just dump. However, I will do my best to give estimations. If I don't - know it is a dash (which for me is less than a tsp.)

* 6 cups cabbage, shredded
* 1 carrot, shredded
* 2 TB. chopped onion (I used dried onion)
* 1 lb. ground pork
* 2 TB. soy sauce
* 1 TB. Hoisin Sauce
* 1/4-1/2 tsp. sesame seed oil
* Garlic Powder to taste
* Black pepper to taste
Saute pork in pan, add onion and veggies for remaining 5 minutes. Add soy sauce and seasoning. Remove from heat to cool a little before you wrap them.
NOTE: This go around, I didn't have pork or carrot - so I used ground beef and corn instead. They were still very tasty. My 2 1/2 year and 18 month old LOVE these.

Next you will need:
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1 pkg. egg roll wrappers
* olive oil
Stuff egg rolls - direction are on the back of the egg roll wrapper. I brush all edges with the beaten egg. Then, instead of deep frying, I brush the outside with olive oil and broil them for 3-4 minutes on each side. Much more healthier!!
Serve with sweet and sour sauce. (sorry, not a very good plate to display.)

Sweet & Sour Sauce
* 1 c. sugar
* 1/2 c. white vinegar
* garlic powder
* onion powder
* ginger
* pepper
* apple cider vinegar
* pineapple juice
* red & yellow food coloring
Bring to a boil, thicken with corn starch, reduce and simmer. Serve with Rice on the side (not shown)

There is a better picture on my blog - and also features an idea for a dessert roll with left over wraps. They were yummy!

Also - if you don't think you'll ever use Hoisin sauce - think again. If you like Chinese food - BUY IT. I always make lettuce wraps - which I will feature next time I make them.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baked Ziti

1 lb. Lean Ground Turkey Breast (or ground beef)
1 jar Spaghetti Sauce (any kind)
1 box Ziti pasta (any brand)
16 ounce bag of shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 tsp. Olive Oil (for greasing casserole dish)
~~Kitchen Supplies Needed~~
Large Non-Stick Skillet to cook Turkey
Large Pot to cook Pasta
13x9 Casserole Baking Dish
Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees
Brown turkey in skillet, once cooked, add spaghetti sauce, simmer on low
Cook Ziti pasta while turkey & spaghetti sauce are simmering on low
Once pasta is cooked, DRAIN and keep in same pot
After draining, add turkey & sauce to pasta (Stir)
Grease casserole dish with olive oil
Layer casserole dish with 1/2 of turkey/sauce/ziti mixture
Sprinkle 1/2 of shredded cheese
Layer remaining turkey/sauce/ziti mixture over the cheese
Layer remaining shredded cheese
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until cheese is all melted
This is a modified recipe from

Monday, September 21, 2009

chicken enchiladas and mexican rice

While my husband Mark thinks this picture looks unappetizing - a pile of hud is what he called it - I assure you it is a go to favorite at our house.
For the enchiladas:
In a crock pot combine 2 chicken breasts (beef can also be used), 1 onion chopped, 1 small can green chiles and s/p. Cook on High for 3-4 hours, until chicken shreds and onions are browned.
Add to chicken mixture 1/2 - 1 cup salsa, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 tsp cumin.
Roll mixture into tortillas (this makes enough filling for about 6 tortillas) and place in oven safe dish. Pour 1/2 -3/4 14 oz can enchilada sauce (i use green sauce) on top of tortillas and cover with monterey jack cheese. Keep in 350 degree oven until cheese is melted.
For Mexican rice:
In saute pan, brown 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 chopped onion on high heat. When onions are nearly brown, add 1 cup uncooked white rice. Add 1 tbsp cumin and 1 tsp garlic powder. Add 1/4 cup tomato sauce, 2 cups chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.
Both of these recipes feed my family of 4 with enough left to fight for left overs!