Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pecan Pralines

Pecan Pralines
2 c sugar
1 c half and half
1/3 stick of butter
1/8 t baking soda
1 1/2 c whole pecans

1. Combine everything except pecans in a medium saucepan over medium heat; stir constantly until it comes to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir until it reaches 240*, or "soft ball stage".
3. Stir in pecans, remove from heat, and stir until creamy, cloudy, and thick.
4. Drop on to parchment paper or a buttered cookie sheet and let cool.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate
2 c chocolate chips*
6 c milk**
1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream, half & half, or a combination of both
1 t vanilla
1- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring once or twice.
*Use dark, white, milk, semisweet, or a combination, depending on your taste.
**Use whole milk for a creamier texture.
Makes about 10 servings.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Deep-Fried Doughnuts

Deep-Fried Doughnuts
1/3 c lukewarm water
2 T (or 2 pkgs) yeast
2 T + 1/4 c sugar, separated
1/4 c butter
2 c lukewarm milk
2 t salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 c mashed potatoes
6 cups flour, separated

1. In a small bowl, combine water, yeast, and 2 T sugar; let sit for 10 minutes.
2. In the meantime, melt butter in a medium pan; add milk.
3. Take the pan off of the heat and stir in 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and eggs; transfer to stand mixer.
4. Beat in mashed potatoes and then add the yeast mixture. Add 3 cups of flour, mix until well incorporated, and then add remaining 3 cups of flour. Mix well.
5. Cover the dough and let rise for an hour.
6. Roll out the dough and cut out doughnuts; cover and let rise an additional hour.
7. Heat oil to 375* and fry each doughnut for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side.

2/3 c water
2 T butter
1 t vanilla
pinch of salt
4 c powdered sugar

1. Bring water to boil in a small pot; add butter and stir until dissolved.
2. Take off heat and stir in vanilla, salt, and sugar.
3. Once cooked, immediately place doughnuts in glaze and coat well.
Makes about 40 doughnuts.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Herb-Crusted Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce

Herb-Crusted Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce
1/2 c garlic & herb breadcrumbs
2 t roasted garlic and bell pepper seasoning (McCormick Perfect Pinch)
1 t dried chives
1/4 c milk
3 T butter
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c chicken broth
1/4 can Italian diced tomatoes, drained
1 c half and half (or heavy whipping cream)
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 T basil
pepper, to taste
pasta, opt

1. Mix breadcrumbs, garlic pepper seasoning, and chives in a shallow bowl; place milk in a separate shallow bowl.
2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
3. Dip chicken in milk and then coat with breadcrumb mixture; cook chicken in butter until browned and cooked through (about five minutes on each side). Remove and keep warm.
4. Throw the garlic in that same skillet and sauté for about a minute; add chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to deglaze the pan.
5. Stir in tomatoes and cream; bring back up to a boil and stir for a minute.
6. Reduce heat to low; add Parmesan, basil, and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until heated through and thickened (about 5-10 minutes).
Serve chicken over pasta, smothered in cream sauce.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cinnamon Pumpkin Spice Cake

Cinnamon Pumpkin Spice Cake
1 box French vanilla cake mix (or white or yellow)
1 T cinnamon
2 c buttercream frosting
1/2 c pumpkin puree
2 t pumpkin pie spice

1. Prepare cake mix per box instructions and add cinnamon. Bake as instructed and let cool.
2. Combine buttercream frosting, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice; spread evenly on cake.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Creamy Pumpkin Pie

Creamy Pumpkin Pie
1- 8 oz block [light] cream cheese, softened
2 c canned pumpkin
1 c sugar
1/4 t salt
3 eggs, separated
1 c milk
1/4 c butter, melted
1 t vanilla
1 t pumpkin pie spice
2 prepared pie crusts

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese; beat in pumpkin.
3. Stir in sugar and salt; add one whole egg and two egg yolks, milk, and butter, beat until just combined.
4. Stir in vanilla and pumpkin pie spice; pour in to crust and bake for 50-60 minutes, until center is firm. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cranberry Relish

Cranberry Relish
1- 12 oz pkg fresh cranberries
1 1/2 c sugar
zest of 2 oranges
3/4 c fresh squeezed orange juice (5-7 medium oranges)
1 T peeled, finely minced or zested fresh ginger

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries pop open, about 10-15 minutes. Cool and refrigerate, covered.
Makes about one pint.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Southwestern Layered Beef Casserole

Southwestern Layered Beef Casserole
1 T vegetable oil
3/4 c uncooked rice
1- 10 oz can Rotel
1/2 c chicken broth
1 t salt, divided
1/2 t pepper, divided
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
1 T chili powder
2 cloves minced garlic
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1- 8 oz can tomato sauce
1- 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 c shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 c frozen corn, thawed
2 green onions, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease a 9x13 pan.
2. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat; add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until light brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Transfer rice to greased pan; stir in Rotel, broth, 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper.
4. Place beef, onion, bell pepper, 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper in the skillet and cook over medium heat until beef is cooked through and vegetables have softened.
5. Stir chili powder, garlic, cumin, and coriander in to the beef mixture and cook until fragrant, about a minute; stir in tomato sauce and cook until slightly thickened.
6. Add beef mixture to pan and spread evenly over rice mixture; layer on beans, cheese, and corn.
7. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake for 60-70 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Uncover, sprinkle with onions, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake

Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake
1 3/4 c graham cracker crumbs (about 1 sleeve)
3 T brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 c butter, melted
3- 8 oz pkgs [light] cream cheese, softened
1- 15 oz can pure pumpkin
4 eggs, separated
1/4 c sour cream
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 t vanilla
2 T flour

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. In a medium bowl, toss together crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon; stir in butter.
3. Press evenly in a 9" springform pan; set aside.
4. Beat cream cheese; add pumpkin, 3 whole eggs, 1 egg yolk, sour cream, sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
5. Stir in vanilla and flour; beat until just combined.
6. Pour filling in to crust and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let sit until cheesecake comes to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
1- 10 oz can cream of broccoli (or mushroom) soup
1/3 c [light] mayonnaise
2 T milk
1 1/4 c shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 t sugar (or Truvia)
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t nutmeg
2 c cooked broccoli
1 1/2 c cooked quinoa (3/4 c dry)
about 3 T Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease an 8x8 pan.
2. In a medium bowl, combine soup, mayonnaise, milk, Cheddar, sugar, pepper, and nutmeg; stir in broccoli and quinoa.
3. Pour in to greased pan and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
Serves 4-6.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pesto Ranch Chicken

Pesto Ranch Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1- 8 oz jar of pesto
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
1/2 c chicken broth

1. Place chicken in a slow cooker.
2. In a separate bowl, mix pesto, ranch mix, and chicken broth; pour over chicken.
3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or on high for 3-4 hours).
*I use some of the extra liquid in the slow cooker to make quinoa.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

French Bread Pizza

French Bread Pizza
2 loaves French bread
1 or 2- 14 oz jar(s) of pizza sauce (depending on how saucy you like it)
pizza toppings (pepperoni, Canadian bacon, bell peppers, onions, pineapple, mushrooms, olives, etc)
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 500* and line two cookie sheets with foil.
2. Cut each loaf of bread in half lengthwise, lay two halves on each cookie sheet cut-side up, and spread 1/4 of your sauce on each half.
3. Top each half with 1/2 c cheese and sprinkle with your favorite toppings.
4. Bake one cookie sheet at a time for 5-7 minutes each.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Spicy Sausage Pasta
1 T olive oil
1 lb smoked sausage
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 c chicken broth
1- 10 oz can Rotel*
1/2 c heavy whipping cream [or 1/2 & 1/2]
2 c penne pasta
salt and pepper, to taste
1 c shredded Cheddar cheese
2-3 green onions, sliced

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and toss in sausage and onions; cook until onions are soft. Add garlic and heat until just warmed.
2. Stir in broth, Rotel, cream, pasta, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in cheese; top with green onions and serve.
*This determines the heat level - original is plenty spicy, hot is almost unbearable; mild would also work well.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Black and White Cupcakes

Black and White Cupcakes
1 1/2 c flour
1 c sugar
1 c + 2 T cocoa
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 c sour cream
3 eggs
3/4 c chocolate pudding (or about 3 Snack Packs)
1/2 c butter, melted
1 c chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350* and line two muffin tins with cupcake liners.
2. In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together until well combined; add the wet ingredients and mix well, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full and bake for 15-18 minutes, until they pass the toothpick test.
Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

White Chocolate Frosting
8 oz [light] cream cheese, softened
1/4 c butter, softened
1 t vanilla
1 c white chocolate chips, melted
2 1/3 c powdered sugar

1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together; add vanilla and melted chocolate; stir well.
2. Gradually add powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
1 1/2 T cornstarch
1 T sesame oil
2 T rice wine vinegar
2 T [low sodium] soy sauce
2 t sugar
2 green onions, sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 t ginger
1/2 c dry roasted peanuts
[brown] rice

1. Place a medium-sized skillet over medium heat; place cornstarch in a ziplock bag, add chicken, and shake to coat.
2. Pour sesame oil in to the skillet and let it heat up before adding the chicken; cook chicken for about 5-7 minutes, until cooked through. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl and mix well.
3. When the chicken is done, remove it from the skillet and set it aside.
4. Add green onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, and ginger to the skillet and heat for about 30 seconds before pouring in the sauce mixture.
5. Place the chicken back in the skillet and toss everything together; stir in the peanuts and heat everything through.
Serve over rice.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Easy Fried Rice

Easy Fried Rice
3 T sesame oil
1 c frozen stir-fry vegetables (thawed)
1 onion, diced
2 t minced garlic
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 c cooked [brown] rice
1/4 c [low sodium] soy sauce

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat; add vegetables, onion, and garlic; cook until tender.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low, move the vegetables to one side of the skillet, and pour the eggs in to the other side; cook and scramble the eggs.
3. Add rice and soy sauce and stir everything together; heat until warmed through.
(Sorry the coloring is wonky in this picture.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fresh Blueberry Muffins

Fresh Blueberry Muffins
1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/4 c + 2 t sugar, separated
2 eggs
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c milk
2 1/2 c fresh blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350* and line a muffin tin with muffin liners.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and 1 1/4 cup sugar well until fluffy; beat in eggs one at a time.
3. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt together; alternate adding the flour mixture and milk in to butter mixture. Be careful not to over mix.
4. Gently fold in blueberries; scoop batter in to muffin cups and sprinkle the tops with remaining sugar.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
Makes 18 muffins.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Baked Stuffed French Toast

Baked Stuffed French Toast
8 oz [light] cream cheese
3 T sugar
8 slices cinnamon swirl bread
4 eggs
1/2 c milk
fresh fruit and syrup (opt)

1. Whip cream cheese and sugar together; spread evenly on to one side of each slice of bread.
2. Place 4 slices (cream-side up) in a greased 8x8 baking dish; sandwich with remaining slices.
3. Whisk eggs and milk together and pour over bread; cover and refrigerate overnight.
4. Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes, until center is firm and top is golden brown.
Serve topped with fruit and syrup.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


1 t yeast
3/4 c lukewarm water
1 1/4 t sugar, separated
1 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
2 c flour
2 T olive oil
2 1/2 T Greek yogurt

1. Combine yeast, water, and 1/4 teaspoon sugar in a glass bowl; let sit for about 10 minutes, until frothy.
2. In a separate bowl (I like to use my Kitchenaid with the hook attachment), mix the remaining teaspoon of sugar with the salt, baking soda, and flour; stir in oil, yogurt, and yeast mixture to form dough.
3. Cover the dough in a warm place for 3-4 hours, until doubled in size.
4. Knead the dough and then separate into 6- 8" circles.
5. Place pizza stone in the oven; preheat oven to 500* and then switch it to broil.
6. Wet your hands slightly before handling the dough and placing it on the pizza stone.
7. Bake for 2-3 minutes, flipping halfway through, until puffed up and golden. You should be able to fit 2-3 of the naan on the stone at a time. Wait a few minutes between batches to allow the stone to heat back up again.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Basic Hummus

Basic Hummus
1- 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
2 cloves garlic
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place beans in a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover, and cook over medium-high heat until the beans start to float.
2. Meanwhile, in a small pan, sauté garlic in a bit of olive oil.
3. Combine beans, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Baked Sweet Potato Bites

Baked Sweet Potato Bites
3 medium sweet potatoes
olive oil
1 T salt
1 t fresh black pepper
1 t garlic powder
1 t paprika

1. Preheat oven to 500* and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Cut each sweet potato into small, bite-sized pieces; lay half of the potatoes on each cookie sheet.
3. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on seasonings, and toss together.
4. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating about three times during baking.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Buttermilk Cookies

Buttermilk Cookies

1/2 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c buttermilk
3 T butter, softened
3 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 c milk
1 t vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375* and grease a cookie sheet.
2. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar; beat in egg and vanilla.
3. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; alternate adding dry mixture and buttermilk into wet mixture.
4. Drop dough on to cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
5. To make the frosting, whip together butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Slow Cooker Sausage Tortellini Soup

Slow Cooker Sausage Tortellini Soup
1 lb ground sausage, cooked
1- 8 oz block [light] cream cheese, cubed
2- 14.5 oz cans Italian diced tomatoes
4 c chicken broth
about 2-3 cups fresh spinach
1- 19 oz bag frozen cheese tortellini

1. Throw everything except the tortellini in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Add tortellini for the last half hour. Stir it all once or twice while it cooks.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing Dip

Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing Dip
2- 8 oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 c blue cheese dressing
1 c Frank's Buffalo Sauce
1 c Cheddar cheese
2- 12.5 oz cans chicken breast, drained

1.Preheat oven to 350*.
2. Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl; stir in dressing, Frank's sauce, and cheese.
3. Add chicken and transfer to a 9x13 pan.
4. Bake 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Whipped Cream

Whipped Cream
heavy whipping cream

1. Place [metal] mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
2. For every 1/2 cup of whipping cream you put in the bowl, add 1 tablespoon of sugar.
3. Whip on high until fluffy, soft peaks form. Voila!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Grilled Stuffed Burrito

Grilled Stuffed Burrito
1 c cooked rice
1 c shredded, cooked chicken
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 green onions, sliced
1 bell pepper, diced (I used orange)
1/4 c chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1/2 T chili powder
1 t cumin
1/2 t garlic salt
7 burrito-sized tortillas
2 1/3 c Cheddar cheese
sour cream (opt)

1. Combine everything from rice to garlic salt in a large bowl; mix well.
2. For each tortilla, spread 1/3 cup of cheese around the middle, leaving about a 1/2" border all around. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of sour cream in a line down the middle of the cheese.
3. Layer 1 cup of chicken mixture over sour cream; fold one side of the tortilla over the mixture, fold in both sides, and roll up tortilla. Flatten it a little bit with the palm of your hand.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat; heat each tortilla, seam side down, for a few minutes on each side until browned and crisp. Serve warm.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Belgian Waffles

Belgian Waffles
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 c milk
1 c butter, melted
1 t vanilla
2 c flour
3/4 c sugar
3 1/2 t baking powder

1. Preheat waffle iron.
2. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks (save whites in a small bowl); add milk, butter, and vanilla and stir well; stir in flour, sugar, and baking powder.
3. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and then fold them gently in to the batter.
4. Bake according to waffle iron directions.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken
2 chicken breasts
4 T + 3/4 c greek yogurt (or [light] sour cream), separated
8 T mozzarella cheese, separated
3/4 c roasted red peppers, separated
1 egg
6 T panko breadcrumbs (I use Italian style)
1/4 c feta cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375*; line with foil and grease a cookie sheet or 9x13 pan.
2. You can either butterfly the chicken breasts or pound them (in a baggie or between two sheets of plastic wrap) until they are about 1/4-1/3" thick. [I butterflied them and then took a mallet to them.]
3. Combine 4 Tablespoons yogurt, 4 T mozzarella, and 1/2 cup peppers; halve mixture and spread on either breast; roll up chicken and secure with toothpicks.
4. In a shallow dish, whisk egg; in another shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs and remaining mozzarella; dip chicken in egg wash and then in breadcrumb mixture.
5. Bake for 30 minutes.
6. In a food processor, combine remaining 3/4 cup yogurt and 1/4 c red peppers; drizzle over chicken and top with feta cheese.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted Red Peppers
4-6 red bell peppers
a few tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 500* and line a cookie sheet with foil.
2. Bake peppers for 40-50 minutes, rotating twice. Skins will be charred.
3. Let sit until cool enough to handle; peel off skin and slice into strips.
4. If not using right away, place in an airtight container and drizzle with olive oil.
Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chicken Bacon Broccoli Skillet

Chicken Bacon Broccoli Skillet
1 pkg [turkey] bacon, diced
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 onion, diced
1 head broccoli, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 c cooked rice
2- 10 oz cans Rotel
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 c chicken broth
1 c Cheddar cheese

1. Fry up the bacon in the largest skillet you have; drain and set bacon aside.
2. Dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces and season generously with salt and pepper; place in skillet in a single layer and cook each side for 2-3 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside with bacon.
3. Place onion and broccoli in the same skillet and cook over medium-high heat until onions have caramelized and broccoli is tender; add garlic and heat until fragrant.
4. Stir in bacon, chicken, rice, and Rotel; reduce heat to low.
5. In a small pot, melt butter and whisk in flour; stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
6. Pour cheese sauce over skillet, stir well, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mac & Cheese

Mac & Cheese
2 c macaroni
2 c milk
1 T butter
1/2 t mustard powder
1 t salt
1/8 t nutmeg
1 1/2 c grated cheese (I used 1 cup Cheddar and 1/2 c Parmesan, but the possibilities are endless)
Italian style breadcrumbs (opt)

1. Give the pasta a quick rinse and drain; place it in a medium pot with milk, salt, butter, mustard powder, and nutmeg.
2. Slowly bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once milk has mostly been absorbed, stir in cheese. 
3. Take off heat and continue to stir until cheese is well incorporated.
Serve immediately, topped with breadcrumbs.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

King Ranch Chicken

King Ranch Chicken
1/4 c butter
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1- 10.75 oz can cream of chicken soup
1- 10.75 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1- 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes and chiles
2 c cubed cooked chicken (about 2 breasts)
12 corn tortillas
2 c shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 325* and lightly grease a 9x13 pan.
2. In a large pan, melt butter and saute pepper and onion until tender.
3. Add soups, Rotel, and chicken and stir until well blended.
4. Alternately layer tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese in the pan - two layers each.
5. Bake for 40 minutes.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Baked Cheddar Chicken

Baked Cheddar Chicken
4 chicken breasts
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 c milk
2 c grated cheddar cheese
1-2 T parsley
1- 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
heaping 1/4 c sour cream
2 T butter

1. Preheat oven to 400* and grease a 9x13 pan.
2. Cut chicken breasts into 2-3 strips each; grind crackers in a food processor with salt and pepper.
3. In three separate shallow pans place milk, cheese, and cracker crumbs; dip chicken in milk, then cheese, then crumbs.
4. Place chicken in pan and sprinkle with parsley.
5. Cover pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes; remove foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
6. In a small saucepan, heat soup, sour cream, and butter until warm; drizzle over chicken just before serving.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mini Pizzas

Mini Pizzas 
24 oz can pasta sauce
5 burrito-sized tortillas
1-2 c cheese (mozzarella or Cheddar)
pepperonis (opt)

1. Preheat oven to 425* and grease the cups of a muffin tin.
2. Pour pasta sauce in to a bowl and rinse out the can; use the top of the can to cut out circles in the tortillas (you should be able to get about five circles out of each tortilla).
3. Place one tortilla circle in each of the muffin cups and push down the center; spoon a heaping tablespoon of sauce in to each tortilla bowl.
4. Top with cheese and pepperonis; bake for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
5 lb potatoes
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c chicken broth
3 T butter, separated
1 c [light] sour cream
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/3 c milk
3 oz [light] cream cheese

1. Wash and cube potatoes (you can peel them also, but I like the skins in there for texture); throw them in the slow cooker with the garlic, chicken broth, and butter.
2. Cook on high for 4 1/2-5 hours; add remaining ingredients and roughly mash together.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Texas Brownies

Texas Brownies
1 c chopped pecans
1 c butter
1/2 c chocolate chips
2 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c cocoa
4 eggs
1 t vanilla
3/4 t salt
1- 10.5 oz bag marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 350*; place pecans on a cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes. Keep the oven on.
2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter and chocolate chips together stirring every 30 seconds until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
3. Whisk in sugar, flour, cocoa, eggs, vanilla, and salt; pour batter in to a greased 10x15 jelly roll pan.
4. Bake for 20 minutes; top with marshmallows and bake for another 9 minutes, until marshmallows are golden brown. Meanwhile make the frosting recipe that follows.
5. Drizzle frosting over marshmallows and sprinkle with pecans.

1/2 c butter
1/3 c cocoa
1/3 c milk
2 c powdered sugar, sifted
1 t vanilla

1. In a medium pan, heat butter, cocoa, and milk over medium heat until butter is melted; stir constantly for another 2 minutes until it starts to thicken up.
2. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla.

      Tuesday, March 19, 2013

      Mediterranean Couscous

      Mediterranean Couscous
      1 1/2 c water
      1 t + 2 T olive oil
      1 c uncooked couscous
      juice from 1 lemon
      1 t salt
      pepper, to taste
      1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
      5 T diced kalamata olives
      5 T chopped parsley
      1/2 c feta cheese

      1. In a medium pot, bring water and 1 teaspoon oil to a boil; stir in couscous.
      2. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 2 minutes; uncover and fluff with a fork.
      3. In a small bowl, whisk remaining oil with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
      4. To the couscous, add tomatoes, olives, parsley, and feta; toss in dressing and serve warm.

      Tuesday, March 12, 2013

      Don't Peek Chicken

      Don't Peek Chicken
      4-6 chicken breasts
      1 box Uncle Ben's Original Long Grain & Wild Rice
      1- 1 oz pkt ranch dressing mix (not ranch dip mix)
      1- 10.75 oz can cream of celery
      1- 10.75 oz can cream of mushroom
      1 1/2 c water

      1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease a 9x13 pan; arrange chicken in the pan.
      2. In a medium bowl, mix rice (and seasonings), dressing mix, soups, and water; pour over chicken.
      3. Cover with foil and bake for 2 1/2 hours. Don't peek! (hence the name...)

      Tuesday, March 5, 2013

      Pot Roast

      Pot Roast
      2 T olive oil
      2 onions, roughly chopped
      2 lb (or about 10) carrots, roughly chopped
      3-5 lb chuck roast
      salt and pepper
      3 c beef broth
      2 t rosemary
      2 t thyme

      1. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; add onions and, covered, brown.
      2. Remove onions to a plate and set aside; add carrots to pan and heat for about 2-3 minutes, covered, until browned. Reserve the carrots with the onions.
      3. Generously salt and pepper roast; turn burner up to high heat. If needed, add some more olive oil to the pan before adding the roast.
      4. Sear roast for about a minute on each side until it's brown all over; place in slow cooker.
      5. Combine broth, rosemary, and thyme in a small bowl.
      6. Deglaze the pan by adding about cup of broth mixture (it may smoke a bit) and scraping the bits off of the bottom; pour contents over roast.
      7. Add vegetables to slow cooker and then pour in remaining broth mixture.
      8. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until fall-apart tender.

      Tuesday, February 26, 2013

      Carrot Cake

      Carrot Cake
      2 c flour
      2 c sugar
      2 t baking soda
      1 T cinnamon
      1/2 t allspice
      1/2 t ginger
      1 t salt
      4 eggs
      1 c vegetable oil
      1/2 c milk
      3 c grated carrots (about 6-8 carrots)
      1 1/2 c chopped pecans (opt)
      2- 8 oz pkgs [light] cream cheese, room temperature
      1/2 c butter, room temperature
      4 c powdered sugar
      2 t vanilla
      1/2 c chopped pecans (opt)

      1. Preheat oven to 350*; grease and flour 3- 9" round pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
      2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and salt; add eggs, oil, and milk.
      3. Use a hand mixer to blend everything well; fold in carrots and pecans.
      4. Pour into pans and bake for 40 minutes; let cool for 5 minutes, remove from pans, and place on waxed paper to cool completely.
      5. For the frosting, add everything except the nuts into a medium bowl and beat with a hand mixer until fluffy; fold in pecans.
      6. Layer the cakes with frosting in between each and then cover the outside with frosting as well.

      Tuesday, February 19, 2013

      Nutella Granola Bars

      Nutella Granola Bars
      2 c oats
      1 c shredded coconut
      1 c almonds
      3/4 c Nutella (or peanut butter)
      1/2 c honey
      1/4 t salt
      2 t vanilla
      1 1/2 T canola oil
      1 c chocolate chips

      1. Preheat oven to 350* and line a 9x9 or 9x13 pan with wax paper.
      2. Spread the oats, coconut, and almonds on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes.
      3. Put the oat mixture in a medium bowl and set aside.
      4. In a small saucepan, heat Nutella with honey and salt until melted and smooth; take off heat and stir in vanilla.
      5. Pour Nutella sauce over oat mixture and toss to combine; stir in oil and let cool slightly before stirring in chocolate chips.
      6. Press mixture firmly into pan and refrigerate for a few hours to harden before cutting into bars.

      Tuesday, February 12, 2013

      Spritz Cookies

      Spritz Cookies
      2 sticks butter, softened
      1 c powdered sugar
      1 egg
      1 t vanilla
      1/2 t almond extract
      1 t baking powder
      1 3/4 c flour

      1. Preheat oven to 350*.
      2. In a Kitchenaid with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar; add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and blend well.
      3. Sift the baking powder and flour into the batter and mix well; refrigerate for an hour.
      4. Using a cookie press, press the cookies onto a cookie sheet; bake for 10-12 minutes, or until browning on the edges. Top with royal icing.

      Tuesday, February 5, 2013

      Banana Coconut Muffins

      Banana Coconut Muffins
      4 over-ripe bananas
      1 c butter, melted
      1 1/3 c sugar
      2 eggs
      1 t vanilla
      1 1/2 c coconut flakes, separated
      2 1/2 c flour
      2 t baking powder
      1/2 t salt

      1. Preheat oven to 375* and line a muffin pan with liners.
      2. In a large bowl, combine bananas, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and 1 cup coconut.
      3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; fold in to wet mixture.
      4. Pour batter in to muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining coconut; bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cook on wire rack.

      Tuesday, January 29, 2013

      Pizza Casserole

      Pizza Casserole
      45 oz jar spaghetti sauce
      1 lb box of pasta (rotini, macaroni, etc), cooked
      1 lb ground beef, browned
      3-4 c shredded mozzarella
      1 pkg pepperonis

      1. Preheat oven to 350*.
      2. In a 9x13 pan, spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce
      3. Layer half each of the pasta, beef, remaining sauce, cheese, and pepperoni; repeat.
      4. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes; uncover and bake for 15 more minutes.
      5. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

      Tuesday, January 22, 2013

      Easy [Sour Cream] Cheesecake

      Easy [Sour Cream] Cheesecake
      2 blocks [light] cream cheese, softened
      1 c sugar
      1 t vanilla
      3 eggs
      1/4 c [light] sour cream (opt)

      1. Preheat oven to 325* and grease a pie plate.
      2. Place the cream cheese in a medium bowl and beat well with a hand mixer.
      3. Add sugar and vanilla and blend well; add eggs one at a time as you continue to mix.
      4. Pour in to the plate and bake for 35 minutes; take it out and spread the sour cream over the top.
      5. Put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Top as desired.

      Tuesday, January 15, 2013

      Chicken Noodle Casserole

      Chicken Noodle Casserole
      12 oz egg noodles
      1 1/2 T salt, separated
      3 T butter, separated
      1 [red] bell pepper, diced
      1 onion, diced
      3 T flour
      2 1/2 c half & half
      2 1/2 c chicken broth
      3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
      2 c Cheddar cheese, shredded
      1 1/2 c frozen peas
      1 1/4 t pepper
      25 Ritz crackers, crushed

      1. Preheat oven to 425* and lightly grease a 9x13 pan.
      2. In a large pot, boil noodles, with 1 tablespoon salt, until just al dente; drain, rinse with cold water for a few minutes until cool, drain again, and set aside.
      3. Put the pot back on the stove over medium-high heat. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and add bell pepper and onion; saute until soft. Place in a bowl and set aside.
      4. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the pot over medium heat; whisk in flour until incorporated; whisk in half & half and broth and then bring to a boil.
      5. Reduce heat back to medium and simmer until it starts to thicken up; add chicken and heat through.
      6. Take off heat and stir in cheese until smooth; add noodles, peppers and onions, peas, remaining 1/2 tablespoon salt, and pepper.
      7. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and top with crackers; bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.