Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cheese Dip

Super easy and super yummy.

Cheese Dip

1 lb Velveeta, cubed
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes (do not drain)

Combine cheese and Ro-tel in microwave safe bowl, and microwave on high 3-6 minutes, stopping every so often to stir. Serve with tortilla chips.

Tortilla Roll-Ups

Tortilla Roll-Ups

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
4 oz can chopped green chilies, drained
2 oz slice ripe olives, drained
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
6-8 large flour tortillas

Mix first 7 ingredients together. Spread on tortillas and roll up. Wrap each tortilla in Sarah wrap and refrigerate several hours. Slice and serve with salsa!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

A fall favorite at our house.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

Cake Ingredients:
1 box spice cake mix
15 oz can pumpkin
3 eggs
mini-muffin tin
mini-tart shaper

Filling Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup milk
12 oz Cool Whip
1 pkg cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix
pastry bag
star tip

Cake Directions: Mix the eggs with the can of pumpkin until smooth. Add cake mix and stir well until few lumps appear. Pour batter into greased mini-muffin tin and bake for 12 minutes at 375. While muffins are still in pan, press each muffin down in the center with a mini-tart shaper (Pampered Chef). Remove muffins from pan and cool on wire rack.

Filling Directions: Mix together cream cheese and milk until blended. Fold in Cool Whip and pudding mix. Place filling in pastry bag with star tip and squeeze into cooled pumpkin cups. Store in refrigerator.

Flaxseed Muffins

Flaxseed Muffins

canola cooking spray
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup sugar
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup fat-free buttermilk
optional: 1/2 cup golden raisins, chocolate chips, blueberries, walnuts, coconut)

Preheat oven to 375. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper cups. In large bowl, blend the first 9 ingredients together and set aside. In separate bowl, mix together eggs, oil, applesauce, buttermilk Add to dry ingredients, mixing until combined. Stir in any optional ingredients. Scoop batter into muffin cups. Bake 30-35 minutes or until done. Makes 12 muffins.

I've made these without the oil and you couldn't even tell it was missing!

Cream Cheese Danish


Cream Cheese Danish

2 cans crescent rolls
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, separated
powdered sugar
milk or water

Spread one can crescent rolls in greased 9x13 dish. With electric mixer, blend sugar, cream cheese, egg yolk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix until creamy. Spread on rolls. Cover with second can of rolls. Brush top with beaten egg white. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Make simple icing from powdered sugar and milk (or water) and a drop of vanilla. Drizzle over warm danish.

Confetti Chowder

So yummy, and so full of veggies. My kids like this soup a lot, and the cheese sorta disguises all those vegetables! A skillet of cornbread goes great wtih this!!

Confetti Chowder

3 Tbsp butter
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced or shredded zucchini
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp sugar
3 cups milk, warmed
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup diced ham
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup shredded cheddar OR 1lb Velveeta OR a mix of the two

Melt butter in stock pot. Add carrots, zucchini, broccoli, onion, and celery. Saute until crisp-tender. Sprinkle next 4 ingredients over veggies, mix well to coat. Immediately add milk and broth. Stir until thick and bubbly. Add all remaining ingredients. Stir until cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Makes 2 quarts.

**I sometimes decrease the milk to 2 cups, and increase broth to 2 cups. You can use any combination really, just as long as you end up with 4 cups of liquid.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn

15 cups popped popcorn (plain)
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Divide popcorn between 2 9x13 pans. In medium saucepan over medium heat, cook brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt, stirring occasionally until bubbly around edges. Continue cooking 5 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in baking soda until foamy. Pour over popcorn, stirring until corn is well-coated. Bake uncovered in 200 degree oven, stirring every 15 minutes for 1 hour. Cool and store in airtight container.

Taco Soup

This is one of my favorite recipes from my friend Joan in Arkansas. I've modified it a tiny bit, but I think of her every time I make this!

Taco Soup

2 lbs. lean ground been, browned and drained
1 large onion, chopped (brown with the ground beef)
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes (puree in blender)
1 can mild Rotel
1 package taco seasoning
1 package HVR seasoning
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
2-3 cups water

Mix all ingredients together. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheddar, sour cream and sliced avacado. YUM!

Mer's Potato Soup

Mer's Potato Soup

4-5 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 onion, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped fine
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup *
salt and pepper to taste
1/4-1/2 stick of butter
1/4 lb Velveeta
2-3 cups milk
sharp cheddar cheese-shredded
chopped, cooked bacon or bacon bits

Boil potatoes with salt, pepper, and celery until potatoes are tender. Drain all but about 1/2 cup of the water the potatoes were boiled in. Add cubed Velveeta and butter and stir until melted. In small bowl, mix sour cream, chicken soup, and 2 cups milk. Pour over potatos and stir well to blend. Season with more salt and pepper. Add more milk if soup is too thick. Heat through and serve with shredded cheddar and bacon bits.

*Lately, I haven't been using the cream of chicken soup. It tastes fine without it...

Lentil and Sausage Soup

Lentil and Sausage Soup

1 14oz cans chicken broth
1.5 cups water
1 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
6 oz cooked smoked sausage links, sliced

In a large saucepan, combine broth, water, lentils, celery, carrot, onion, dried thyme, cayenne, and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until lentils and veggies are tender. Stir in sausage. Heat through and serve.

I double this for my family, and we have enough for leftovers.

Shredded-Beef Sandwiches

Shredded Beef Sandwiches

3lb chuck roast
1 large onion, cut in chunks
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
8 french rolls, split and toasted (if desired)
lettuce and cheese (optional)

Place meat and onion in slow cooker. Add bay leaves, salt, garlic powder, and cloves. Pour vinegar over meat. Cover and cook on low 11-12 hours or high for 5-6 hours. Remove meat. Discard bay leaves. Using two forks, shred meat, discarding any bones and fat. Strain juices, skim off fat, and reserve. Put shredded meat on rolls with cheese and lettuce. Pour juice over meat if desired. Use remaining juice for dipping.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

This is so good...just don't bother couning the fat and calories.

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
14 oz can arichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 oz cream cheese, cut in chunks
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
8 oz bag Four Cheese Mexican shredded cheese

Melt butter in skillet; add onion and garlic and saute until tender. Add spinach and cook 3 minutes. Add artichokes and next 4 ingredients, stirring until cheese melts. Spoon into greased 2-qt baking dish. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Hash Brown Casserole

Hash Brown Casserole

32 oz bag frozen hash browns, thawed (I like the shredded kind)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz sour cream
2 cups grated Velveeta
2 cups crushed cornflakes

Mix above ingredients (except cornflakes) and pour into greased casserole dish. Top with crushed cornflakes. Bake covered at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes more or until golden brown and bubbly.

Carrot-Apple Muffins

These muffins are so delicious, and so good for you! This recipe makes 2-3 dozen, so I usually put the extra in gallon freezer bags and freeze until I need them. Pull them out of the freezer the night before you want to serve them for breakfast. They're great in lunchboxes too! Enjoy.

Carrot-Apple Muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unprocessed bran
2 cups grated carrots (about 6 large carrots)
2 cups shredded apples (about 3 apples)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup raw nuts, coarsely chopped (I use walnuts)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
3 large eggs
1 cup Safflower oil
3/4 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice concentrate

Sift flour, soda, cinnamon, salt and bran. Stir in carrots, apples, raisins, nuts, coconut, and seeds. In another bowl, beat eggs and honey, oil, vanilla, and apple juice. Stir nuts into the flour mixture until just combined. Spoon into well-greased muffin pans, filling to top. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Makes 2-3 dozen.

**I use my food processor to grate the carrots and apples. It goes much faster that way. And if apples are on sale, I like to buy enough to shred for another batch. The shredded apples freeze well until you're ready to make more. Shredded carrots freeze well too.

Corn and Avacado Salsa

Corn and Avacado Salsa

2 cups fresh corn kernels (I use frozen, but cook before using)
1/3 cup chopped avacado
1/4 finely chopped red onion
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro (fresh)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt

Mix and serve with tortilla chips

Monday, July 30, 2007

Eye of Round Roast

This is GREAT for company because you can prepare it the night before and forget about it! It's delicious and is great leftover!

4-5 lb eye of round roast
Cavendar's greek seasoning
Lawry's seasoning salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Soy sauce (I use lite)
Worchestershire sauce
minced garlic (small jar)

Rub roast well with Cavendars, seasoning salt, and black pepper. Poke several holes in roast with a knife. Line bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with aluminum foil, and place roast on top. Mix equal parts of soy sauce and worchestershire sauce (about 1/3 cup each) and pour over top of roast, being careful not to let liquid escape the foil lining. Cover top of roast with minced garlic and wrap up really tight in the foil being very careful not to let juices leak. Bake for 30 minutes at 400, then reduce heat to 175 and bake overnight or about 10 hours. Strain garlic from the leftover juice; slice and serve with cooking juices.

I like to serve this with hashbrown casserole, green beans, Sister Schuberts rolls, and a green salad.

Chicken Fettuccine Supreme

I got this recipe years ago from Southern Living and still love it. It is one of John's favorites and is something I make for company from time to time. If I'm serving it for guests, I try to prep the ingredients earlier in the day so I can prepare it quickly for company. Oh yeah, this is very fattening! That's why it is so good.

Chicken Fettuccine Supreme

1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 in pieces
3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup chopped green onions
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
10-12 oz uncooked fettuccine
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)

Cook fettuccine according to package directions, omitting salt.

Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup butter in large skillet; add chicken pieces and cook until browned. Remove chicken from skillet, reserving pan drippings in skillet; set chicken aside.

Add mushrooms and next 5 ingredients to pan drippings in skillet, and saute until veggies are tender. Add chicken; reduce heat and cook 15 minutes or until chicken is done and mixture is thoroughly heated.

In small bowl, combine half-and-half, 1/2 cup melted butter, parsley, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; stir well. Add to cooked and drained fettuccine; toss gently to combine. Add chicken mixture and parmesan to fettuccine; toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with pecans and serve immediately.

**I don't usually garnish with pecans...there's enough fat without adding more. And, I do use fat-free half-and-half to offset the stick and a half of butter! Yikes.

Margarita Pie

A neat twist on lemon icebox pie. Very yummy!

Margarita Pie

1 1/4 cup finely crushed pretzels (I use my food processor)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
3 tsp grated lime peel or lime zest
1/4 cup lime juice (fresh squeezed is best!)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 (8oz) container Cool Whip, thawed

For crust: Combine all ingredients in medium bowl; press onto bottom and sides of 9-inch pie plate.
Filling: Combine condensed milk, lime peel, and juices in medium bowl; fold in Cool Whip. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour before serving.

**I like my filling a little more tart, so I use more lime juice than orange juice. I don't know the exact measurements...I just start with 1/2 cup and fill it with mostly lime juice, then fill to the top with orange juice. Make sense?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sauteed Zucchini

Super easy and super tasty. I like to serve this with pasta dishes or lasagna, when I need another veggie.

Sauteed Zuchini

1 lb. zucchini, sliced
1 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tsp dried basil

Melt butter in saute pan. Add zucchini and basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Saute until tender.

**I really like to use fresh basil too. Just chop it fine and use as much as you'd like. So yummy.

Favorite Squash

This is my favorite way to cook summer squash. It's simple and delicious.

Favorite Squash

1 lb. summer squash
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. butter
Lawry's seasoned salt

Slice squash (into discs). In microwave safe dish (I use a glass pie pan) combine squash, onion, and butter. Sprinkle with seasoning salt to taste. Cover well with Saran wrap, and microwave on high for 5-10 minutes. Uncover (carefully--steam will be hot) and stir before serving.

**Sometimes I use yellow squash AND zucchini. It's more colorful that way!

Potato Salad

Made this last night for a church picnic today. It's a family favorite.

Potato Salad

10-12 medium red potatoes
5 hard boiled eggs, diced
1 heaping cup sweet pickle relish
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup Miracle whip
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tsp mustard

Boil potatoes with skin on until tender. Let cool; peel and cube. Add chopped eggs, onion, pickle relish, salt and pepper. Mix lightly. In a separate bowl, combine Miracle Whip, mayonnaise, and mustard. Mix well. Add to potato mixture and stir well, being careful not to mash potatoes. Refrigerate. This is best if made several hours or overnight before serving.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Southwest Stir-Fry

Easy and delicious! From my friend, Teresa, in Arkansas. I love that it has so many veggies!

Southwest Stir-Fry

1 envelope fajita seasoning mix (Lawry's is my fave)
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch pieces
1/2 small onion, cut into thin wedges
1 yellow, red, or green pepper, cut into strips
1 small zucchini, bias sliced
1 cup salsa
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
shredded cheese
non-stick cooking spray

Marinade: In medium mixing bowl, combine fajita mix, water, and oil. Add chicken, stir to coat, and let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Spray large skillet with cooking spray. Add pepper, zucchini, and onion. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat.

Drain chicken, discard marinade. Add chicken to skillet (can add more oil if necessary). Saute until no longer pink. Return veggies to skillet. Add salsa, chili powder, corn and black beans. Cook until heated through.

Serve with warm tortillas and shredded cheese.

Baked Barbeque Beans

I've had this recipe for about 15 years...and it's still my favorite one for baked beans.

1 53 oz can pork 'n beans (do not drain)
1 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar (I use less)
2 Tbsp. worchestershire sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 Tbsp. minced onion (you can use the dehydrated kind)
3-6 slices raw bacon (I prefer to use 1 package of Hormel REAL bacon bits)

Mix the above ingredients. Pour into baking dish (9x13). Bake uncovered for 2 hours at 325, but cover if the beans start to dry out.

Apple Dip


Apple Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine and chill. Serve with sliced apples (granny smith, honeycrisp, and fuji are good varieties).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pesto Chicken and Pasta

My family loved this dish from Supper Solutions so much that I figured out how to duplicate it. We had it for dinner tonight and it was delicious.

Pesto Chicken and Pasta

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 8 oz jar pesto (I used Classico)
1 small tomato, chopped fine
1/2 to 1 small onion, chopped fine
minced garlic to taste
feta cheese
1 lb. pasta (bow-tie, penne, etc)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, brown chicken in small amount of olive oil. Add tomato, onion, garlic, and pesto. Let simmer while pasta cooks. Serve chicken over cooked pasta, and garnish with feta cheese (or parmesan would be good too!).

Sides: salad and bread

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Simple Apple Bake

Sometimes in the evenings when I want something sweet, but don't want to bake something (cause I'll end up eating all of it) I make this sweet snack. I feel like its sorta healthy too because of the apple and the oats.

Simple Apple Bake

1 apple, fuji is my fave!
1-2 Tbsp butter
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup oats
walnuts (optional)

Cut the apple into wedges, and then into smaller pieces. In oven proof dish, add apples, butter, brown sugar, and oats. Sprinkle with cinnamon and walnuts. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes. Stir well, and enjoy. It's good with ice cream on top too!

You can also microwave this, which is much faster, and is how I make it in the summer when I don't want to turn the oven on! I like the way it smells though when it's baking in the oven. Heavenly

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

We love these sandwiches! This recipe came from a lady in one of the churches John pastored many years ago, and we still think of Miss Mary every time we enjoy them.

Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

1/2 lb. Black Forest sliced ham (from the deli)
1 package mozzerella slices
24 Kings Hawaiian rolls (2 pkgs)
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup mustard
2 Tbsp. minced onion
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the melted butter, mustard, onion and poppy seeds in small bowl. Slice the rolls in half (easier if you do this as a whole and not individually), then spread the mustard mixture over the top and bottom of the rolls. Layer ham and cheese on the bottom layer, then put the top rolls on. Cover and bake at 350 until the cheese is melted (5-10 minutes).

This is good on nights that we need a quick dinner. It's also great as an appetizer.

Ooey-Gooey Sandwiches

A great kids snack...

Ooey-Gooey Sandwiches

whole wheat bread
peanut butter
chocolate chips

Spread peanut butter on two slices of bread. Add 8-10 (or more) chocolate chips per sandwich. Lightly butter the outside of the bread and cook on hot griddle until the chocolate chips melt.

This is a great after school snack...the chocolate satisfies their sugar craving, and the protein/grains satisfy mom!

Cereal Snack Bars

I got this recipe years ago at a MOPS meeting and it's still one of our favorites. It was explained to me at the time that it uses ingredients from 4 food groups (grains, protein, milk and fruit) and therefore is a healthy snack. It's got a lot of sugar in it too, but I guess it's better than some of the store-bought alternatives.

Cereal Snack Bars

6 Tbsp margarine
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup nonfat dry mil
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins
3 1/2 cups Cheerios

Butter a square pan (9x9x2). In large saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows over low heat, stirring constantly. Stir in peanut butter. Remove from heat and stir in milk and cinnamon. Fold in raisins and cereal. With buttered hands, pat in pan.

*I usually double this.
*Also, this is great in lunchboxes as a sweet treat!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bunco Salad

My friend, Allison, gave me this recipe last week and I made it last night. Very tasty! It's a keeper.

2 heads romaine lettuce
1 bag spinach
1/2 block feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup red onion, optional
3/4 cup Craisins
1 cup pecans, browned in 3 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp parsley

Mix and pour over salad. Delicious.
Hint: I only used one head of romaine (no spinach), and made 1/4 of the was perfect for us and we still had some leftover...which I'll get to enjoy for lunch today! Yum.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Oriental Broccoli Slaw

We're grilling with friends tonight and this is the side dish I'm bringing. I got this recipe at MOPS several years ago and it is one of my summer favorites. Goes great with grilled meat or bbq.

Oriental Broccoli Slaw

4 cups broccoli slaw (16oz bag)
1 pkg ramen noodles, chicken flavor
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp sugar
flavoring packet from ramen noodles

Place slaw in mixing bowl. Break noodles up and add to slaw. Add onions. For dressing, combine all ingredients and pour over slaw, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours (or even overnight). Just before serving, stir in nuts and seeds.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Taco Dip

This recipe came from my aunt. It's very easy to make and yummy to eat. And a good way to use leftover taco meat. I freeze my leftover taco meat until I have roughly a pound, then pull it out of the freezer for an easy appetizer. I'm thinking about having it for dinner tonight. Why not??

Taco Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tub french onion dip
1 lb. ground beef, browned
1/2 to 1 pkg taco seasoning
shredded cheddar cheese
shredded montery jack cheese
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
chopped or sliced black olives

Mix cream cheese, french onion dip, ground beef, and taco seasoning together. Pour into shallow baking dish and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until heated through. Top with shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato and black olives. Serve with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Food Snob II


Ice Cream-Breyers (John won't eat any other kind)
Root Beer-Blue Sky Creamy Root Beer
Milk-from our dairy service
Salad Dressing-Lily's Balsamic Vinaigrette
Frozen Veggies-C&W brand
Canned Tomato products-Hunt's or Muir Glen
Ricotta and Mozzerella cheese-Frigo
Cake Mix-Duncan Hines
Cookies-Golden oreos

Oven-Fried Fish and Baked Hushpuppies

This is definitely not as good as the deep-fried southern version, but it's good and is a much healthier alternative. My kids love the hushpuppies.

Oven-Fried Fish

2 cups crushed corn flakes
3/4 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pam cooking spray
6-10 fish fillets (I buy tilapia)

Combine first five ingredients; set aside. Spray all sides of fish with cooking spray, then coat with cornflake mixture. Arrange fillets in single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spray tops of fillets with cooking spray (this makes the fish extra crispy). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Baked Hush Puppies

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
Pam cooking spray

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Set dry mixture aside. Combine eggs, milk, oil and onion; stir well. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Coat mini-muffin pans with cooking spray. Spoon about 1 Tbsp batter into each muffin cup (cups will be about 3/4 cup full). Bake at 425 for 15 minutes until done. Remove from pans and serve immediately.

**I have one big mini-muffin pan from Pampered Chef, and I usually fill that one plus another one that only makes 12. And sometimes I just cook the fish at 425 along with the hushpuppies. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn't over-cook.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Food Snob

I am an unashamed food snob. I'm 37 years old and the fact is that I know what I like and what I don't. Here are some things that I always buy. Because I'm snobby about it. Maybe you'll find something you want to be snobby about.

Boxed Cereal-Post Shredded Wheat
Hot Dogs-Hebrew National
Peanut Butter-Maranatha No Stir
Iced Tea-Luzianne
Flavored Iced Tea-Celestial Seasonings Cold Brew Rasberry Ice
Hot Tea-Stash Black and Green Organic Chai
Salsa-Baja Gourmet Salsa
Tortilla Chips-Garden of Eatin'
Potato Chips-Boulder Chips Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper
Taco Shells-Garden of Eatin'
Cheese-Tillamook Sharp Cheddar
Spaghetti Sauce-Muir Glen Tomato and Basil
Macaroni and Cheese-Kraft Three Cheese
Instant Oatmeal-Quaker Maple and Brown Sugar
Orange Juice-Simply Orange
Lemonade-Tie between Simply Lemonade and Santa Cruz
Sour Cream-Daisy
Yogurt-Low Fat Vanilla Dannon
Frozen French Fries-Alexia Olive Oil, Rosemary and Garlic
Mayonnaise-Best Foods
Barbque sauce-Sweet Baby Ray's

All I can think of now, but more to come I'm sure.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

If you read my other blog then you know that I wasn't planning to cook dinner tonight. But the chicken in my fridge couldn't last another day, so I made this new recipe from Southern Living (Feb 07). It is superb. A new favorite.

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

8 ounces uncooked rigatoni (I used penne instead)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts
1 (14.5-oz.) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 (8-oz.) container chive-and-onion cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Prepare rigatoni according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, spread oil on bottom of an 11- x 7-inch baking dish; add onion in a single layer.

3. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or just until tender. Transfer onion to a large bowl, and set aside.

4. Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels.

5. Stir rigatoni, spinach, chicken, and next 4 ingredients into onion in bowl. Spoon mixture into baking dish, and sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese.

6. Bake, covered, at 375° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly.

Sausage 'n' Spinach Pasta Bake: Substitute 3 cups cooked, crumbled hot Italian sausage for 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts. Reduce salt to 1/4 tsp., and omit 1/2 tsp. pepper. Proceed with recipe as directed.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Friday, June 8, 2007

Four-Layer Delight Dessert

We're joining some friends for dinner tonight (we do this a lot!) and I get to bring dessert. I'm thinking of making two since we're eating with friends tomorrow night too.

This is John's favorite dessert. So very yummy.

Four-Layer Delight Dessert

1 cup flour
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans
12 oz carton Cool Whip (divided)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 small boxes Jello chocolate pudding
3 cup cold milk

First layer: Mix flour, butter and pecans and pat into bottom of 9x13 Pyrex dish. Bake 15 minutes at 375. Cool completely.
Second layer: Mix 1 cup Cool Whip, cream cheese, and powdered sugar with electric mixer until fluffy. Spread on cooled crust.
Third layer: Mix the pudding and milk for 2 minutes. Spread on top of previous layer.
Fourth layer: Spread with remaining Cool Whip.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

White Bean-and-Tuna Pita

Delicious! And good for you. It's great for a quick and easy summer lunch.

White Bean and Tuna

2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1 20oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 6 1/2 can solid white tuna in spring water, drained
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Stir together first 5 ingredients. Add beans, tuna, and green onions, tossing gently to coat. Stuff into pre-sliced pitas and enjoy. Sometimes I skip the pita and just serve on bed of lettuce with halves of cherry tomatoes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Steak with Bleu Cheese

This is a recipe from a friend and it is most delicious. We're having it for dinner with salad and green beans.

Steak with Bleu Cheese

2 lb flank steak (sometimes I buy a London Broil)
salt and pepper
1/2 stick butter
1 bunch green onions, sliced very thin (just the green parts)
1 tub bleu cheese crumbles

Salt and pepper the meat, wrap well in aluminum foil, and grill to desired doneness. Cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, melt butter and stir in cheese and green onions. Spread butter mixture over steak, slice and serve. This is so yummy and it is especially good the next day as leftovers!

If I buy a London broil, then I just sear it in a pan (both sides), then put in 325 oven until done. Usually about an hour or so. This is how I prepare this dish in the cold snowy months!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Buttermilk Pancakes

I was talking with my friend, Allison, a few months ago, and she told me that her family has pancakes for dinner every Sunday night. It's their tradition. Her husband usually makes 'em using his grandmother's recipe and her kids eat them up. We've sorta adopted their tradition and have been having pancakes on Sunday nights too. They're easy and inexpensive to make and my kids devour them. This is my favorite pancake recipe of all time. It's healthy too!

Buttermilk Pancakes

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs

Soak oats in buttermilk about 10 minutes. Stir in other ingredients and cook on hot griddle.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Pulled-Pork Sandwiches

We're out working in the yard today so we're having pulled-pork sandwiches for dinner. This is a very easy and very delicious meal. I love to make it in the summer because it's a crock-pot recipe, so it doesn't require turning on the oven and heating up the house. I also love to make it for company because it's so simple and feeds a crowd.

Pulled-Pork Sandwiches

1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3-5 lb boneless pork shoulder
hamburger buns or hoagie rolls
barbeque sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's is our favorite!!!)
coleslaw (optional)

In the crock-pot, mix ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, sage, oregano, salt and pepper. Trim fat from pork and cut in half. Add meat to crock-pot and turn to coat all sides with ketchup mixture. Cover and cook on low until very, very tender. About 8 hours on low; 6 hours on high. Transfer pork to a large bowl. Using two forks, pull meat apart until shredded. Pour juices from crock-pot over pork to moisten. Spoon onto buns or rolls. Add barbeque sauce and/or coleslaw if you're from the South. So delicious.

I love the side dishes that go well with this. Sometimes I make baked beans, or potato salad, or asian coleslaw, or corn-on-the-cob, and sometimes we just have chips and a green salad. Tonight it's baked beans (left over from our bar-b-que last night) and corn-on-the-cob.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Fiesta Corn

We're going to a bar-b-que tonight. I'm supposed to bring a couple of side dishes and this is one I'm bringing. So easy and so yummy! It's from my friend, Margo, in Arkansas.

Fiesta Corn

3 cans Mexi-corn, drained
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 diced onion (purple onion adds great color!)
1 diced green pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1 bag chili-cheese Fritos, crushed

Mix all ingredients (except fritos) together in large bowl. Chill until just before serving, then mix in crushed fritos. Start with half the bag of fritos and add more if you need 'em. It's best to serve this to a crowd because the fritos get soggy and it's not so great as leftovers.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

We had this for dinner last night. It is one of my favorites! Very good and very good for you!

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups salsa, divided (see note below)
3-4 tsp chili powder
1-2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8-10 tortillas, white or whole wheat
sour cream
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes

Pour beans into large mixing bowl. Use the back of a fork or spoon to mash them a little. Next add chicken, 1 cup of the salsa, and the spices. I also add about 1/3 cup of the cheese. Mix well. Spread mixture on tortillas, roll up, and place seam side down in lightly greased 9x13 pan. Top with remaining cheese and salsa, cover with foil, and bake at 325 for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, lettuce and tomatoes and more salsa! So yummy!

*I've tried this with so many kinds of salsa. Our *most favorite* is Baja Salsa, but it's made locally so I'm not sure how available it is outside of Colorado. I buy it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, so you might look for it there. My favorite salsa in a jar (on the mexican aisle) is Ortega. I've tried 'em all and this is the one we like best for this recipe. Oh, and I always make this with whole wheat tortillas, but the original recipe calls for white, so I'm sure that is just as yummy. All of the toppings are optional, but the guacamole really makes it exceptionally delicious. Enjoy!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Blueberry Scones

Will asked me a few days ago if we could make blueberry scones. I searched my cookbooks and found a recipe after John came home from a quick grocery run with some yummy blueberries. It was my first attempt and they were most delicious.

Blueberry Scones

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter
1/2- 1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in 6 Tbsp butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add buttermilk (start with 1/2 cup and add more only if needed) and mix gently. Mix blueberries in very gently. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into two balls. Flatten each ball out with hands into a 6-7 inch circle. Cut each circle into 4 pie wedges. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm and enjoy.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Chicken Pot Pie

This is one of many variations I have for this particular dish. This is the easiest though and my kids will actually eat it. It's a great dinner on a chilly night, like, say, a snowy Wednesday in MAY!

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

2-3 chicken cooked breasts, chopped (save broth)
1 or 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 can Veg-all, drained
1/2 small onion, diced (optional)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2-1 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp butter
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust. I've tried 'em all and Pillsbury is the best. They come in a 2-pk, but you only need one, so freeze the other for next time. Sometimes I make two; if I only make one, there are no leftovers.

While the chicken is cooking, I like to steam my chopped potatoes and onion for a few minutes in my steamer basket--I think it helps the potatoes cook and little faster and I think there's nothing worse than biting into an undercooked potato. Combine soup, Veg-all, chicken breasts, chopped potato, onion, and chicken broth in bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into 9x13 dish and dot with butter. Place pie crust over the chicken mixture and bake at 400 for 45-50 minutes. You may need to lightly cover the dish if the crust starts getting too brown.

Monday, May 21, 2007


YUM! We make these almost every morning at our house. If not for a breakfast drink, then for a mid-afternoon pick-me up. So yummy and so good for you.

Strawberry Pineapple Banana Smoothie

5-6 strawberries
1 banana, peeled
1/2 cup fresh or canned pineapple chunks
1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt (I love Horizon or Dannon)
6 ice cubes

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. YUMMY! Makes about 2-3 cups.
If we have extra I'll pour it into popsicle molds and freeze for a cool treat later.

Orange Pineapple Smoothie

1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup fresh or canned pineapple chunks
1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
6 ice cubes

Blend together.

Sometimes I experiment with whatever fruit I have on hand. Blueberries and raspberries are yummy. Bananas go well with almost anything too. I always keep canned pineapple in my pantry and yogurt in my fridge so we can have 'em whenever the mood strikes. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dallas Tacos

I made this for dinner tonight. It is an old favorite. My mom used to make it and she got the recipe from my grandmother. I don't know why it's called Dallas Tacos, but it's so good and easy that I don't really care. I think it's pretty healthy too. And I love how colorful it is. It's a great summer supper.

Dallas Tacos

2 lbs. lean ground beef
28 oz can whole tomatoes
1 can Ranch style beans
1-2 tsp salt

chopped tomatoes
shredded romaine lettuce
grated cheddar cheese
sour cream
guacamole or chopped avacado

Brown ground beef. Drain well. Puree tomatoes in blender and add to meat. Add beans (don't drain) and salt to taste. Mix well and simmer for about an hour for best flavor. You can shorten this time, but flavor is best the longer you let it simmer.

Arrange fritos on plate. Top with meat mixture and toppings of your choice.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Greek Salad

I made this to take to our friends' house last night. It came from a friend in Arkansas (thanks, Leann) and it is our fave!

1 head romaine lettuce (washed, dried, and torn in pieces)
cherry tomatoes, halved
thinly sliced rings of red onion
crumbled feta cheese
kalamata olives
cucumber slices

I dont' know that I measure the above ingredients. We like tomatoes, olives, and feta, so we use lots. Only a few onions though and I can't stand cucumbers, so I omit them.


3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Whisk together and pour over salad. Toss well and serve. It's best if you toss about 15 minutes prior to serving. Don't make and toss ahead of time. Your salad will seriously wilt if you do.

I want to start a Recipe Blog

I've had this idea for awhile now. I have a dozen or so tried and true recipes that are simply too good not to pass on. And, if I post them somewhere in the blogosphere, then they'll be permanently preserved in cyberspace, right??

So here goes. Enjoy!