Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Dizzy Izzys"

Italian Sodas  (aka "Dizzy Izzys"

1. Fill glass with crushed ice
2. Pour 1 inch of favorite flavored syrup in bottom of tall glass
3. Fill remainder of glass with club soda
4. Top with a big dollop of whipped cream.
5. Stir with straw before drinking.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cool and Crunchy Lettuce Wraps

I know it's been forever since I posted on this recipe blog. It's because I haven't really cooked anything exciting in a while. We just finished up baseball season last week, and since it always falls in the middle of dinner time, we have had a lot of take-out the last month.

Also, we had a little health scare with my husband. He's doing just great now, but we've made some major eating modifications to try and get healthy here at our house. Now I need to learn how to cook good food that is also low-fat/heart healthy. I don't know how to do that yet. Everything I've tried to adapt has been a little gross. I didn't realize how much cooking I do with tons of cream, cheese, etc. So we've just had a lot of grilled chicken and grilled fish lately.

But I did make a new recipe a couple days ago. It was adapted from a taco recipe I had at a Pampered Chef party about a month ago. Instead of putting it in taco shells, I made the filling into lettuce wraps. It was pretty healthy and good--recipe blog worthy I think. Plus I got to use fresh cilantro from my garden!

Cool and Crunch Lettuce Wraps
1 small head iceberg lettuce
2 limes
3 c. dice grilled chicken breasts
1/2 small jicama
1 small mango, peeled and diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1 avocado, peeled and sliced (optional)
1/2 cup fat free magonnaise
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1. Wash and separate lettuce, set aside.
2. Make sauce using zest and juice from one lime--add to small bowl. Combine with mayonnaise, cumin, and cayenne pepper, if desired. Chill.
3. In a separate bowl, combine chicken, jicama, mango, cilantro, zest and juice from remaining lime, salt, and avocado if desired.
4. To serve: top lettuce with large scoop of chicken mixture, and about a Tablespoon of sauce mixture.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I won!

I am so very excited about winning the give-away over at One Crazy Cookie, a food blog that I totally enjoy!

You should all go check her out here.  She's always cooking up something wonderful!

Thanks again, Tiffanee!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

Have you ever had one of those weeks?  Not the really awesome, great weeks, but the other kind?  I am having one of those.  Sigh.  And when I feel stressed I find therapy in my kitchen.

So today when I was nearing the end of my rope I grabbed a wooden spoon and a bowl and held on for dear life.

These peanut butter cookies made my daughter smile.  And her smile made me smile.  It's getting better already!  :)

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 325.

Cream the peanut butter with the butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes, then beat in the egg.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and mix until combined.  Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so that everything is combined evenly.

Scoop dough by the rounded tablespoonful and roll into balls.  Place the balls about 2 in. apart on a baking sheet (can line with parchment paper or aluminum foil if desired), and press down slightly.  Using a fork dipped in flour, press down on the cookie to form an "X" pattern.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.  Overbaking will cause these chewy cookies to become crunchy, so try to avoid it.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.  For longer storage wrap in plastic and aluminum and freeze for up to a month.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Custard Baked French Toast w/ Raspberry Sauce

Custard Baked French Toast with Raspberry Sauce From Tasty Sensations

6 TBS butter
French bread loaf
1 1/2 C sugar
6 eggs plus 3 yolks
2 C whipping cream
4 C milk
1 TBS vanilla 

Melt butter in a 9X13 inch pan. Slice bread and layer 2-3 deep. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over bread. Let sit overnight in refrigerator. Bake 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Serve topped with raspberry sauce and slivered almonds (optional). Dust with powdered sugar and place a few fresh raspberries on top.

Raspberry Sauce:
1 pkg (10 oz.) frozen raspberries (organic, if you can get them)
1/4 C sugar
1 TBS cornstarch 
Combine on stove and cook until thickened, pour over French toast.  This sauce is the best part of this breakfast.  So yummy.  

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chicken Alla Voldostana


4 chicken breasts
4 slices Parma ham (proscuitto)
1 Tbs. flour
1 tsp dried italian herbs
2 Tbs. olive oil (any)
3 Tbs. butter
4 oz hard cheese (gruyere)
1/2 can chicken stock

1. Place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of waxed paper and beat with a rolling pin until flat.
2. Coat the chicken with flour that has been mixed with herbs, salt and pepper.
3. Melt the butter with the oil and fry the chicken for 5 minutes each side.
4. Place a slice of proscuitto on top of each piece of chicken, cover with sliced or grated cheese. Pour the broth into the pan, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. I served with spinach salad and dauphinois potatoes.

Potatoes Dauphinoise

2 extra large russet potatoes
1 pint half and half
white pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded gruyere cheese, about 5 ounces
1 clove garlic, minced
italian seasoned bread crumbs

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

peel potatoes, then slice very thin with a sharp knife (i used my mandolin).  put them in a medium pot with half-and-half, 2 tsp. salt, and freshly ground white pepper.  stir well and simmer the potatoes for 15 minutes, or until they are just beginning to soften.

rub bottom of medium casserole dish with garlic, then transfer one layer of potatoes to the dish.  sprinkle with half of grated cheese and nutmeg, then transfer remaining potatoes to dish, along with the half and half  mixture.  the liquid should come just to the tops of the potatoes.  top with remaining cheese, another sprinkle of nutmeg, and a thin layer of bread crumbs.  bake for 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and cheese is golden brown.

Mique's Chicken Enchiladas

3 chicken breast, cooked, shredded
¾ c. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c. milk
¾ c. salsa
12 corn tortillas
2 c. shredded cheese

Mix soup, milk & salsa. Heat in microwave on medium heat, 3 minutes. Add sour cream, heat 1 minute. Heat tortillas by wrapping 4 at a time in wet paper towel and heating in microwave for 1 ½ mins. Take 1 tortilla & place in greased 9x13 pan. Put 1 ½ Tbsp. chicken, 1 ½ Tbsp. cheese, 2 Tbsp. soup mix in the middle and roll up placing edge on bottom of pan. Reserve about 1 c. soup mix and 1 c. cheese to cover entire casserole. Bake at 350F for 30-40 mins or until bubbly (may be covered for more moist enchiladas).

I served with black beans and Rainbow Jello (I always love to have something sweet with Mexican food).  

From Mique's Tried and Trues.  Thanks for sharing Mique.  I thought they were delicious!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rainbow Jello

Hee hee, this is fun but start early because it takes all day!


5 boxes (8 oz.) jello in red, orange, yellow, green purple
2 cans evaporated milk


Purchase the 8 oz. boxes, but only prepare half of the box at a time.

Layer One:  1/2 box red jello, mix with 3/4 c. boiling water, then when dissolved add 1/2 c. COLD water

Let this set up in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Layer Two:  remaining half of red jello, mix with 3/4 c. boiling water, then when dissolved add 1/2 c. evaporated milk

Repeat with the rest of the colors.

Pear and Walnut sandwiches



  • 1/2  cup  (4 ounces) tub-style light cream cheese
  • 8  (1.1-ounce) slices cinnamon-raisin bread, toasted
  • 2  tablespoons  finely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2  Bartlett pears, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1  cup  alfalfa sprouts


1. Spread 1 tablespoon cream cheese evenly over each of 8 bread slices. Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon walnuts evenly over each of 4 bread slices. Top each evenly with pear slices, sprouts, and 1 bread slice. Cut each sandwich in half diagonally.  From Cooking Light.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Annual St. Patricks Day dinner at our house

2009--green pasta with green alfredo sauce, green jello, green french bread, green salad, green fruit, green Sprite

2008--basically the same

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fried Rice


3 Tbs. sesame oil
3 cups cooked rice, chilled
1 c. diced ham, or smoked turkey
4-6 scallions, white part only, minced
3 eggs
1 Tbs. sugar
soy sauce
peas (optional)

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil on med/high.  Add rice and stir fry until rice is slightly scorched.  Add ham, peas, and scallions.  Toss for 1-2 minutes.  Push all contents to one side of the skillet.  In a bowl, beat eggs with a fork.  Add eggs to cleared side of skillet.  Scramble until no longer runny.  Combine with rice mixture.  Pour soy sauce evenly along entire skillet of rice just enough to make the top layer turn brown.  Stir, add sugar and pepper to taste.  Toss 1-2 more minutes.

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle


1 large angel food cake, cut into bite-sized pieces
1-2 carton strawberries, washed and diced, then sprinkled with a couple Tbs. sugar (releases juices)
1 small container Cool Whip
1 large box vanilla pudding, prepared
1 small package strawberry glaze (usually sold right next to angel food cakes)

Layer 1:  1/2 Angel food cake pieces
Layer 2: 1/3 strawberries
Layer 3:  Drizzle of strawberry glaze
Layer 4: 1/2 pudding
Layer 5: 1/2 Cool Whip
Layer 6: remainder angel food cake
Layer 7: 1/3 strawberries
Layer 8: drizzle of strawberry glaze
Layer 9: remainder of pudding
Layer 10: remainder Cool Whip
Layer 11: remainder strawberries
Layer 12: final drizzle of strawberry glaze (optional)

Marble Chiffon Cake

Marble Chiffon Cake

2 squares ( 1 oz. each) unsweetened chocolate
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp salt
7 eggs, separated
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup veg. oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter


4 sares (1 oz. each) semisweet chocolate
1 Tbs. butter or margarine
7 Tbs. whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

In a small saucepan, melt unsweetened chocolate over low heat.  Add 1/4 c. sugar, hot water, and baking soda.  Mix well and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar.  Form a well in the center; add yolks, water, oil, and vanilla; blend until moistened.  Beat 3 minutes on medium speed; set aside.

In another mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high until stiff peaks form.  Gradually fold into batter.  Divide in half; gradually fold chocolate mixture into one portion.  Alternately spoon the plain an chocolate batters into an ungreased tube pan.  Swirl with a knife.

Bake at 325 for 55 minutes.  Increase temperature to 350, bake 10-15 minutes longer or until top springs back when lightly touched.  Immediately invert cake; cool completely.

For frosting, melt semisweet chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir in cream and vanilla.  Remove from the heat; whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.  Immediately spoon over cake.  Cool.  Recipe from Taste of Home.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pw's Chicken-Fried Steak

3 lbs. cube steak
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk, plus 2 cups for the gravy
3 cups flour, plus 1/3 cup for the gravy
2 tsp. seasoned salt
3/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you can handle it)
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 cup veg. oil for frying

1. Begin with an assembly line of dishes for the meat, milk-egg mixture, and flour mixture with a clean plate at the end to receive the breaded meat.
2. Get cube steak out and ready.
3. With fork, beat eggs and 1 cup milk in a bowl.
4. Mix flour with seasoned salt, paprika, cayenne, and black pepper in bowl.
5. Lightly season a piece of meat with salt and pepper then dip it into the egg-milk mixture.  Flip to the other side to coat.
6. Next, place the meat on the plate of seasoned flour. Turn over to coat thoroughly.
7. Now place the meat back in the egg/milk mixture, turning to coat.
8. Finally, dredge in flour one more time.   This repetition will create a nice, thick crust-the signature quality of chicken-fried steak.
9. Place the breaded meat on the empty plate until ready to fry and repeat the process with the remaining pieces of meat.
10. Heat the oil in a large skillet over med.-high heat.  When the oil is sufficiently heate fry 3 pieces of meat at a time.  Cook on one side until the edges start to look golden brown, about 2 1/2 min.
11. Tun over and cook for 2  or 3 minutes, until the other side is golden.
12. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm.  Repeat with remainder of meat.
13. Now it's time to make the gravy.
14. After frying all the meat, pour off the grease into a heat-proof bowl.  Withoug cleaning the pan, return it to the stove over med.-low heat.  Add 1/4 cup grease back to the pan. Allow the grease to heat up.
15. Sprinkle 1/3 c. flour evenly over grease.
16. Using a whisk, mix the flour with grease, creating a golden brown roux.  It needs to attain a deep rich color.
17. After a couple of minutes, whisking constantly, pour in 2 cups milk.
18. Whisk to combine, then let the gravy come to a slow boil. It will thicken gradually, but if it seems too thick add splashes as milk.  Cooking process should take 5-10 minutes.  Generously season with salt and pepper, careful not to underseason.
19. Serve meat with mashed potatoes and cover both with gravy.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pw's Creamy Mashed Potatoes

I got a new cookbook from my mom for my birthday that I have been wanting ever since it came out.  I was so excited!  Thanks Mom!

The Pioneer Woman is awesome.  Her food is great, and her explanations make it so that everyone can do it.  Her book is full of amazing pictures, and it has been a delight to dig into.

Disclaimer: her recipes are NOT low fat.  :)  We're eating great and loving her recipes, but it's time to hit the treadmill.

5 lbs. russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
12 Tbs. butter (1 1/2 sticks) softened, additional 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) optional
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup half and half
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of water to a slow boil over medium-high heat.
2. Peel potatoes and rise in cold water.  Chop into halves and/or fourths.
3. Add potatoes to the pot.  Bring to a full boil and cook for 20-30 min.
4. They are ready when you can slide a fork in with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost but not completely fall apart.
5. Drain in a large colander.
6. Return the potatoes to the pot and turn the heat on low.  With a potato masher, mash the potatoes over low heat to allow much of the steam to escape.  Continue mashing until all lumps are gone, about 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat.
7.  Add butter.
8.  Add cream cheese.
9. Next add the half and half and stir together.
10.  Add seasoned salt, salt, and pepper.  Be sure not to underseason.
11.  Spread the mashed potatoes in a 2 quart baing dish.
12.  If you want you can dot the top with butter slices.  At this point you can cover the dish tightly with foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking.
13.  When you're ready, preheat the oven to 350, cover with foil, and bake for 25-30 minutes until warmed through.
14.  Serve piping hot!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Toffee Trifle

Toffee Trifle 

1 pkg. brownie mix, baked
1-2 large pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix (Jello now makes an instant chocolate pudding mix with carmel bits, so I used that this last time and it was delicious)
1 bag of heath toffee chips
1-2 containers whipped topping 
1 large blue Symphony bar, chopped

1.  Make brownie mix and let cool.
2.  Make pudding mix and chill in fridge for 5 minutes.
3.  Put whipped topping in fridge to thaw.

Layer One:  1/2 pan of crumbled browies
Layer Two:  1/2 of chocolate pudding
Layer Three:  1/4-1/2 bag of Heath toffee chips, 1/4-1/2 chopped Symphony bar
Layer Four:  1/2 container of whipped topping
Layers Five-Eight:  Repeat

I don't have a large family, so when I made this tonight I only used 1 container of whipped topping, 1 box pudding mix, and half a bag of toffee chips.  If I were to make this for a party I would use twice as much of those and fill my trifle dish all the way to the top!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

7 Layer Salad

One of my favorites!

7 layer salad

2 cups mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1 tablespoon sugar
1 head of lettuce, shredded
1 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup radishes, sliced
4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
10 ounces frozen green peas, uncooked
1 small green onion, chopped
8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (bacon bits work fine)
1/2 pound cheddar cheese, grated

Combine the mayonnaise and sugar. Mix and refrigerate it until you finish making the salad.

Layer the rest of the ingredients in the following order:

a layer of lettuce on the bottom of the bowl,
then a layer of celery
a layer of radishes
a layer of chopped eggs
a layer of peas
a layer of green onions
a layer of crumbled bacon

Spread the mayonnaise/sugar mixture over the top of the salad like cake icing. Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over it all. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or for 8 to 12 hours before serving).

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sausage, Jack, and Egg Breakfast Braid


  • 1  (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1/4  cup  chopped onion
  • 4  ounces  chicken sausage with jalapeño peppers, chopped
  • 2  large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4  cup  shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4  cup  chopped seeded jalapeño peppers (I omitted these)
  • 1  large egg white, lightly beaten


1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Unroll dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; pat into a 15 x 10–inch rectangle.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sausage; cook 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in eggs; cook 1 1/2 minutes or until set. Remove from heat.
4. Sprinkle Monterey Jack lengthwise down center of dough, leaving about a 2 1/2-inch border on each side. Spoon egg mixture evenly over cheese. Sprinkle cheddar over egg mixture; top with jalapeño peppers.
5. Make 2-inch-long diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart on both sides of dough to within 1/2 inch of filling using a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Arrange strips over filling, alternating strips diagonally over filling. Press ends under to seal. Brush with egg white. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut crosswise into slices.  Recipe is from the Cooking Light magazine.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Breaded Ranch Chicken

3/4 cup crushed cornflakes
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
8 chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

In a shallow bowl, combine the cornflakes, parmesan cheese, and salad dressing mix.

Dip chicken in butter, then roll in cornflake mixture to coat.

Place in a greased 13 x 9 baking dish.  Bake, uncovered, at a350 for 45 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Brunch Enchiladas

From Taste of Home

These can easily be assembled the night before a brunch/party!

2 cups fully cooked, cubed ham
1/2 cup chopped green onions
10 (8 inch) tortillas
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 Tbs. flour
2 cups half and half cream, or milk
6 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp salt

Combine ham and onions; place about 1/3 cup down the center of each tortilla.  Top with 2 Tbs. cheese.  Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 13 x 9 casserole dish.  In a bowl, combine flour, cream, eggs, and salt until smooth.  Pour over tortillas.  cover and refrigerate for 8 hrs. or overnight.  Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Cover and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Uncover, bake for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese; 3 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.

Chocolate Mint Brownies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 can (16 oz.) chocolate flavored syrup
1 cup sugar

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 Tbs. water
1/2 tsp. mint extract
3 drops green food coloring

1 pkg. (10 oz) mint chocolate chips
9 Tbs. butter or margarine

Combine first 7 ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Pour batter into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (top of brownies will still appear wet).  Cool completely on a wire rack.  Combine filling ingredients in a mixing bowl; beat until creamy.  Spread over cooled brownies.  Refrigerate until set.   For topping, melt the chocolate chips and butter over low heat in a small saucepan.  Let cool for 30 minutes or until lukewarm, stirring occasionally.  Spread over filling.  Chill before cutting.  

Store in the refrigerator.

These brownies get more moist if you leave them in the refrigerator for a day or two.  (Yeah--as if!)

Shortbread Lemon Bars

From Taste of Home

1 1/2 c. cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. grated orange peel
3/4 c. cold butter or margarine

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/3 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
2 tsp. grated orange peel
1 tsp. baking powder

2 cup (16 oz.) sour cream
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a food processor, combine flour, powdered sugar, and lemon and orange peel.  Cut in butter until crumbly; process until mixture forms a ball.  Pat into a greased casserole dish or cake pan.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until set and the edges are lightly browned.  Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine filling ingredients and mix well.  Pour over hot crust.  Bake 14 minutes or until set and lightly browned.  In another bowl, combine topping ingredients.  Spread over filling.  Bake 7 minutes longer or until topping is set.  Cool on a wire rack.  Refrigerate overnight.  Cut into bars just before serving.  Makes about 3 dozen.

Waldorf Turkey Sandwiches

1 cup cubed cooked turkey breast
1 small apple, chopped
1/4 cup diced celery
3 T. mayo
2 T. plain yogurt'2 T. chopped walnuts
1 T. raisins
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
8 slices bread, toasted
4 lettuce leaves

Makes 4 delicious sandwiches with leftover turkey meat!

In a bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Spoon 3/4 c. mixture onto bread and add lettuce leaves.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chicken Chili Lasagna

This recipe is a fast version of mild chicken enchiladas.

And guess what?  I got a food processor!  Finally!  I know--I'm so behind the times, but I have been hand chopping everything for so long!  My mom got me a really nice, handy-dandy food chopper, and I can tell already that I'm going to love it and use it a ton.

I halved this recipe and made it in a 8 x 8 casserole dish.

2 pkgs. (3 oz. each) cream cheese
1 med. onion, chopped
8 green onions, chopped
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
1/2 tsp. minced fresh cilantro or parsley
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies, drained
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
12 flour tortillas, halved

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, onions, 1 1/2 c. Mexican cheese blend, garlic, 1/4 tsp cumin and cilantro.  Stir in chicken; set aside.  In a saucepan, melt butter.  Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add broth.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, chilies, thyme, salt, pepper and remaining cumin.  Spread 1/2 cup of the cheese sauce in greased casserole pan.  Top with six tortilla halves, a third of the chicken mixture, and a fourth of the cheese sauce.  Repeat tortilla, chicken and cheese sauce layers twice.  Top with remaining tortillas, cheese sauce and Mexican cheese.  Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until heated through.


*When covering cheese-topped lasagna with foil before baking, coat the underside of the foil with nonstick cooking spray.  That way the melted cheese won't come off with the foil.

*Freeze individual pieces of leftover lasagna in an airtight container for a quick lunch or dinner later.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday Pasta

1 box farfalle pasta, cooked and drained
1 jar alfredo sauce, add to pasta and warm over medium heat for about 3 minutes

For the picky child eaters, stop there and load up their plates with just that.  :)  Otherwise your picky seven year old son will start bawling and make himself throw up.

In a frying pan with about 1 Tbs. margarine, saute all of the leftover vegetables in your fridge from the previous week with some frozen pre-cooked chicken.  We like to saute together:

1/2 onion, diced
handful mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tomato, diced
pre-cooked frozen chicken breasts, diced

I served with asparagus with creamy herb dressing, and garlic toast for a super quick meal.

Creamy Herb Dressing

This dressing for vegetables is so easy.  You can make it ahead of time on busy days like Thanksgiving, etc.  I whipped this up my blender yesterday after church in only a few minutes.  I served it over asparagus, and saved half of it in the fridge to serve over green beans or broccoli later.

3/4 cups mayonnaise
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 Tbs. minced chives
1 Tbs. lemon juice

In a blender, combine all of the above ingredients and process until smooth.    I love asparagus and make it all the time.  My favorite method:  trim ends, then spread on baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.  You can also cook it in a skillet with a small amount of water for about 4 minutes until crisp-tender.  Drain well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Holiday Bacon Appetizers

Recipe via Pioneer Woman.  For a more entertaining narrative, click here.  She's funny, isn't she?  :)
Picture before baking (obviously)

  • 1 package Club Crackeers
  • 1 pound Thin Sliced Bacon (or More Depending On Number Of Crackers)
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Optional Alternative: Brown Sugar Instead Of Parmesan Cheese
Preparation Instructions
Lay crackers (as many as you want) face up on a cookie sheet.
Scoop about 1 teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese onto each cracker. Cut your package of bacon in half (or cut pieces individually) and carefully, so the cheese doesn’t fall off, wrap each cheese covered cracker in one half piece of bacon, completely covering the cracker. It should fit snugly around the cracker.
Place the bacon wrapped crackers onto a baking sheet that has a rack on it.
Place in a 250-degree oven for about 2 hours.

Poppyseed Pound Cake

This is one of those recipes that I remember from my childhood.  My mom made this cake a lot, and I just love it.  It is quite simple to make, and it is so soft and moist.  Plus it just tastes great!

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 (3 oz.) pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 cup. water
1/2 c. oil
4 eggs
2 T. poppy seed (or 1 T.)
2 T. almond extract

Mix all ingredients together for 5 minutes.  Pour into greased and floured Bundt pan.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  Turn upside down on plate.  Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

Loaded Potato Skins

Great as a late-night snack, appetizer, after school treat, or side dish.  The potato skins are full of crunchy goodness, and you can make soup, mashed potatoes, and casseroles with the "insides."

6 medium potatoes
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon soy sauce (you can omit this and it still tastes great)
Coarse salt
Cheddar cheese, grated
Sour cream
Bacon bits
Chives (optional)

Bake potatoes at 400 for 45 minutes or until tender.  Cool, then cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the pulp, leaving 1/8 inch shells.  Increase oven temperature to 500.  Combine the butter and soy sauce; brush on both sides of potato skins.  Place on baking sheet, fill with grated cheddar cheese and bacon pieces.  Bake for 10 minutes or until crisp.  Top with salt, sour cream, and chives.  Yield: 12 pieces.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Caramel Apple Bites

Finally getting around to posting some of my Christmas recipes.  I took lots of pictures, but didn't have much time for posting everything.

Use dehydrated apples (the kind from the cannery work well).
Dip in caramel sauce (recipe is HERE)
Then dip in melted white chocolate and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

These are G.O.O.D.

And definitely not just for Christmas.

I almost have myself convinced that they are healthy.  :)

Santa Cookies

Take favorite sugar dough recipe, cut out circles and bake.
Frost with white frosting.
Use coconut for beard.
Red sprinkles for hat.
Red hot for nose.
Chocolate chips for eyes.

Leave some for Santa.  He likes them.  :)

Easy Homemade Doughnuts

1 large can Pilsbury Grands refrigerated biscuits
1/4 c. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar

Preheat some veg. oil in a saucepan about med/low-medium heat.

Combine milk and vanilla in a saucepan, heat over low until warm.  Stir in sugar, whisk until combined.

Cut holes in the center of each refrigerated biscuit dough.  Drop biscuit dough (and centers to make doughnut holes) in the oil for a few minutes on each side until lightly browned.

Remove and transfer to pan with glaze one at a time.  Then set on a draining rack over a pan.

Easy, fast, yummy, and a fun quick treat with the kids tonight for family night!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stuffed Zucchini

Recipe adapted from

Stuffed Zucchini


1 Tbs. sour cream
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tomato, diced
1 tsp. thyme
2 zucchinis
1 onion
1 clove minced garlic
parmesan cheese
1-2 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled (optional, can leave out for a vegetarian dish)

  1.  Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Wash zucchini and slice in half length-ways.  You can trim ends if you like, or leave plain for a rustic look.  Scrape out the pulp, leaving 1/2 inch on outside edges.  Chop up zucchini pulp, then put in large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a pan, sautee diced onion with 1 Tbs. olive oil and minced garlic.
  4. When done, remove from heat and add 1/4 tsp. curry powder.  (You do not want to cook the curry powder more than about 30 seconds or the curry powder will turn bitter.)
  5. Transfer to large bowl, and add1 tsp. dried thyme, 1/4-1/2 tsp. salt, 1 heaping Tbs. sour cream, a good pinch of pepper, the chopped zucchini pulp, the tomato, and crumbled bacon.
  6. Lightly grease a baking sheet and put the zucchini boats on.  Gill the shells with the mixture, and top with fresh parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Fudge Ribbon Cake

Recipe from the cookbook Lion House Desserts

1 package chocolate cake mix
4 oz. cream cheese
1 Tbs. butter
1 small egg
1/2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
7 oz. or 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk

Chocolate Cream Frosting

1/2 cup plus 4 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. shortening
3 Tbs. cocoa
4 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. plus 1 1/2 tsp. water

Cake directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Make cake mix according to directions; fill two 9-inch greased and floured cake pans 1/3 full.  Set aside.  Blend cream cheese and butter in a small mixing bowl until smooth and creamy.  Mix egg, cornstarch, and vanilla and add to cream cheese mixture.  Add milk and beat for one minute.  Pour half of cream cheese mixture over cake batter in each pan and bake 45-60 minutes or until cake tests done.  Frost with Chocolate Cream Frosting.

Frosting directions:

In a large mixer bowl add butter, shortening, cocoa, and powdered sugar.  Beat until very creamy.  Add vanilla and mix until well blended.  Add water and mix until very light.
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