Friday, December 19, 2014

Coffee-Toffee Thumbprint Cookies

I had been given some caramel fudge and thought I would try to find a recipe to use it. This is what I found.  O.K. I probably won't make them again, but they were certainly worth making.

Coffee-Toffee Cookie Dough:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup toffee bits (also known as Heath or Skor bits)
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Caramel Filling:
18 soft caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Make the cookies:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until well combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
3. In a second mixing bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, baking powder, salt and toffee bits. Add to the wet mixture and beat on low speed until combined.
4. Roll the dough into 1-inch round ball, and arrange on prepared baking sheets. Using your thumb, press a deep indent into the middle of each ball.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden-brown. Let cool on a baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
Fill the Cookies:
1. While the cookies are cooling, place the caramels and cream in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on High for 30 seconds, or until melted and smooth. If necessary, continue to microwave in 10-second increments until the caramels are melted, stirring between bursts.
2. Spoon a small amount of caramel into the center of each cookie. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before serving to allow the caramels to set.

Overnight Pumpkin-Pecan Waffles

I found this recipe on pinterest and knew I needed to try it.  I love waffles and pumpkin is right at the top of my favorite flavors. I thought the texture was not as good as my mom's recipe.  You can find that recipe here

1/2 cup warm water
1 package of active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 cups all purpose flour
2 large eggs
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
Maple syrup
1. Combine warm water and yeast in a large bowl, let stand until slightly foamy, about 15 minutes.
2. Heat milk and butter over medium heat until butter melts. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and pumpkin puree.
3. Add pumpkin mixture to bowl with yeast, then whisk in the flour until combined. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature. Batter may be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days
4. Preheat waffle iron. Whisk eggs into risen batter then fold in the pecans. Make waffle according to manufacturer's instructions. Serve with syrup. 
* On the first waffle (pictured), I forgot to put in the pecans so I just added them after the waffle was cooked.  The rest I added a few to each waffle as I cooked them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ritz Cracker Delights

Stacy learned to make these while she was in college and we have been making them every Christmas since that time.  Don't know why we only seem to make them at Christmas. They are awesome and would be good any time of the year.  You can also use white chocolate bark instead of the dark chocolate. You decide. I like them both. This is worth the calories and the trouble.  Jud doesn't mind dipping the ritz filled crackers, so I let him. He is so good at it.

chocolate bark
ritz crackers
peanut butter
Place the dark or white chocolate in the top of a double boiler.  You can also melt using your microwave.
Make sandwiches using two ritz crackers with a thin layer of peanut butter in the middle.  After you have made several dozen of these sandwiches your chocolate should be melted and you can start dipping.  Judson does this part because he is just better than me at this part.  I'm o.k. with that. Set them on wax paper to harden, if you can wait that long.  Then you can store them in a container to enjoy whenever one calls your name.  Be careful, though, because more than one may call your name.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Homemade Pizza

We have some good friends who are vegetarian. When they come to visit, I am always looking for something they will enjoy. This was a big hit.  I made Alex Guamaschelli's basic pizza dough and then put out toppings from which everyone could choose.

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 package)
1/2 cup warm water about 110 degrees F)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling dough
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper ( I used black pepper) I don't mind the black flecks
1 scant tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus some additional for coating the bowl/greasing the trays
In a large bowl, combine the yeast and warm water. Stir to dissolve the yeast and allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes.

Using a sieve or strainer, sift about 1/2 of the flour over the yeast mixture and blend until smooth with your hands. Add the salt, pepper, and honey. and mix to blend. Sift in the remaining flour and mix to blend.

Lightly flour a cutting board or flat surface. Turn the pizza dough onto the floured area and knead for 3-5 minutes. The flour should feel smooth and the ingredients fully integrated. Place the dough inside a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place, about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Press gently on the dough and turn it onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, rolling each quarter into a loose ball. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest for an additional 15 minutes. Flatten each ball, 1 at a time, and roll it into a 6-inch found. Place each round in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Tip: Brushing the dough with olive oil can create a barrier that will help to prevent the topping from making the crust soggy.

Toppings I provided:
1. marinara sauce or pesto sauce
2. spinach 
3. mushrooms
4. oven roasted tomatoes or sun dried tomatoes
5. Canadian bacon
6. Cheese (mozzarella and cheddar)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Short Rib Tacos

I have put this on my blog before, but it is worth have more than once. It is really good. It is a recipe from Paula Deen

Printable Version
4 dried ancho chilies, steemed, seeded, and ribs discarded
1 medium onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
6 pounds beef short ribs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Warm corn tortillas
Mexican crema or sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
slices of avocado for garnish- optional
I used the crema recipe that I use for my fish tacos. I think if you type in fish tacos at the top of this page you will find the recipe.
Soak the ancho chilies in boiling water until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain and discard the liquid. Transfer the softened chiles to a blender or food processor. Add the onion, garlic, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, beef broth, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Puree until smooth. I only used about 2 pounds of beef short ribs so I divided the recipe by 3. Next time I will divide it in 1/2 because I think it could have used a little more liquid.
Pat ribs dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown the ribs in 3 batches, turning occasionally, about 7 minutes per batch. Transfer the browned ribs to a slow cooker.
Pour the sauce over the ribs (liquid should reach about 1/2 way up the sides of the meat.
Cover and cook 7 hours on high until very tender.( I used a crock pot and cooked it on high for about 4 hours) Allow the ribs to cool slightly in the sauce.
Remove the ribs from the sauce. Discard the bones and shred the meat into a large bowl. Skim the fat from the surface and discard. Mix the sauce into the meat and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the meat and sauce into warm corn tortillas and serve with Mexican crema and chopped fresh cilantro. My crema recipe has cilantro in it so I did not add extra. We did add some avocado on top even though the recipe doesn't call for it.

These ribs can also be cooked in a 350 degree F oven for 3 1/2 hours.

Roast Pork Loin with Rood Vegetables

This is a recipe from ina-garten and you can find it Here
I forgot to take a picture with the root vegetables. This was what was left and I took a picture the next day so you could see it.
 As usual I cut everything down for two people.

Printable Version
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 (3pound) boneless pork loin, trimmed and tied
3 small fennel bulbs, tops removed
8 carrots, peeled, and thickly sliced 
10 small potatoes (red or white-skinned), cut in quarters
2 yellow onions, thickly sliced
4 tablespoons good olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
With a mortar and pestle, or in a food proce3ssor, fitted with a steel blade, grind together garlic, 1 tablespoon slat, and thyme leaves. Add the mustard. Spread the mixture over the loin of pork and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the fennel bulbs in thick wedges, cutting through the core. Toss the fennel, carrots, potatoes, and onions in a bowl with the olive oil, melted butter, salt and pepper to taste. Place the vegetables in a large roasting pan and cook for 30 minutes. Add the pork loin to the pan and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. The meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the pork should read exactly 138 degrees. ( I think I like mine a little more done) Remove the meat from the pan and return the vegetables to the oven to keep cooking. Cover the meat with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the strings from the meat and slice it thickly. Arrange the meat and vegetables on a platter. Sprinkle with walt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Creamy Pico de Gallo Shrimp

I got this recipe from Becky Upchurch. She found it in the May 2012 issue of Express News. Can't believe I am just now trying it.  It will be my go to shrimp dish. I used a serano pepper that we got from a friend. Thanks Bill and Becky. I cut this recipe in 1/2.

Printable Version
12 large wild-caught (16-20 count) shrimp--cleaned (I used about 8 because I was just making it for 2)
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup purple onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 fresh jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 Tablespoons dry white wine
1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 Tablespoon cilantro, diced
1/2 cup heavy cream
Juice and zest of 1 lime
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
In a hot pan, melt butter and sear shrimp for 30 seconds on each side. Remove shrimp and set aside. In same pan, saute' onion, garlic, jalapeno until onion becomes soft. 4 minutes. Deglaze pan with wine. Let wine reduce by 1/2. Add tomato, cilantro, cream, lime zest, juice of lime, salt pepper and shrimp. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly. Taste for seasoning. Serve over rice.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Ritz cracker crusted chicken

We had a whole sleeve of ritz crackers that were crumbs. I decided to put them in the food processor and make them into a meal to coat the chicken. It was a great success. I may just have to keep some in the pantry for just this purpose.

salt and pepper to taste
1 egg for coating chicken
ritz crackers that have been processed into a fine meal
canola oil for frying
Pound the chicken into an even pieces
Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken
Coat both sides of the chicken with an egg that has been beaten
Dredge chicken in the cracker crumbs
Fry on both sides

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Angel Biscuits

I have had this recipe for a very long time. It is pretty easy to find on the internet so I'm not sure where it originated. I love this recipe, because when I want to have homemade bread and don't have time to let bread rise, this is the way to go.  I didn't have buttermilk, so I just used the milk I had (1%) and added a little lemon juice. You can also use vinegar. Let it set long enough to curdle. 

Printable Version

1 package yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup oil (I used Canola oil)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon melted butter
Sift dry ingredients. Add yeast, that has been dissolved in warm water, oil, and buttermilk. Knead 5 times. Pat out on floured surface and cut with biscuit cutter.
Bake 400 degrees - 15 minutes. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Crispy Potato Patties with Creole Shrimp

Here is another recipe from my "Good Housekeeping" November 2014 issue. I made this recipe just how it is in the magazine. I cut everything in 1/2 since I was only making it for the two of us.  

Printable Version
3 cups cold leftover mashed potatoes
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
2 large stalks celery

1 small green or red pepper
4 cloves of garlic 
1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
 1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes
1 pound large (16-20 count) shelled, deveined shrimp
2 teaspoons Louisana-style hot sauce
Sliced green onions, for garnish
1. Form potatoes into patties. Brush tops with egg and sprinkle with 1/2 of bread crumbs, pressing to adhere. Turn patties over and repeat on other side. Place patties on large platter and freeze 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop celery, bell epper and garlic.
2. In 4 quart saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil on medium-high heat. Add celery, pepper, and Creole seasoning. Cook 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Add garlic. Cook 2 minutes, stirring. Add tomatoes. Heat to simmering. Reduce heat to maintain simmer. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. While sauce simmers, in 12-inch skillet, heat 1/2 cup oil on medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add potato patties to pan. Cook 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown, adjusting heat as necessary. Transfer to paper towel lined platter.
3. To saucepan, add shrimp and hot sauce. Cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are opaque throughout and cooked, stirring occasionally. Serve shrimp mixture over potato patties; garnish with green onions.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Chicken-Mushroom Risotto

I found this recipe in the November 2014 issue of Good Housekeeping. My sweet sister-in-law always buys me a magazine to leave in the guest room when I go visit her. What a great idea! These were recipes to use with left-over turkey, but I used a baked chicken from the grocery store.

Printable VersionIngredients:
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 T. olive oil (divided use)
12 oz. mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, button, oyster, and shitake, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded chicken
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used all chicken broth)
2 T. butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1. In 2-quart saucepan, heat broth on low heat. In a deep 12" skillet, heat 2 T oil on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and pinch of salt. Cook 4-5 minutes or until softened, stirring twice. Add chicken; stir 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
2. In same skillet, heat remaining oil on medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 2 minutes, stirring. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring. Add wine or broth, cook 2 minutes or until mostly absorbed, stirring.
3. Stir in hot broth, 2 ladles full at a time, waiting until mostly absorbed before add next 2 ladles full. Stir frequently. Cook 22-30 minutes or until rice is just tender, stirring and adding broth.
4. Add butter and turkey mixture to rice. Cook 2 minutes, stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
Serves about 4 large servings--740 calories, 40 grams of protein, 88 grams of carbs, 27 grams of fat (8 grams saturated fat, 6 grams fiber, and 495 mg sodium.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Apricot Scones

I had made a recipe of Ina Garten's recipe but used apricots instead of strawberries. You can find her recipe here

Printable Version
4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar, plus additional for final sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
3/4 cup small-diced dried apricots
zest of one orange
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 4 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 T. baking powder, and 2 t. salt. Blend in the cold butter at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and quickly add them to the flour and butter mixture. Combine until just blended.. Toss the apricots with 1 tablespoons of flour and add them to the dough along with the orange zest. Mix quickly. The dough may be sticky.
Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is well combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4 inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut into squares with a 4-inch plain or fluted cutter, and then cut them in half diagonally to make triangles. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Brush the tops with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the outsides are crisp and the insides are fully baked.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Company Fish Roll-Ups

I did not choose to roll the fish. I used more of the filling. If you choose to roll-up the fish, you wouldn't want to use but about a tablespoon of the filling.

Printable Version
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup cheese, divided use
10 oz pkg. spinach thawed and squeezed dry
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
6 sole, haddock, or flounder fillets ( I used tilapia, but I'm not sure if I could have rolled it.)
Grated peel and juice of 1/2 lemon
3 cups cooked rice (I used this recipe)
Lemons for garnish
Directions for Cheese Sauce - Melt butter and remove from heat. Stir in flour, paprika, and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Add 1/3 cup of cheese sauce to spinach and green onions. Blend well. Sprinkle both sides of fish with lemon juice. Divide spinach on fillets, foll up. Place seam side down in baking dish. Sprinkle roll-ups with lemon zest. Spoon remaining cheese sauce over roll-ups. Bake 350 degrees 30-35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake until cheese melts. Garnish with green onions. Serve with rice. Garnish with lemon twists.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Pirate Pasta

Don't have a clue why this is named Pirate Pasta. Giada said her mother made it for them when they were children and told them there were treasures in the pasta to find. You can find her recipe Here  I cut this recipe in 1/2, but I gave the the whole recipe. I still had some left-over for lunch some day this week.

Printable Version

Kosher salt
1 pound Penne pasta
1 cup grated Romano cheese (6ounces)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, such as cremini, button or shitake, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup medium green olives (about 18) pitted and halved
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
One 10-ounce or two 5-ounce cans tuna in olive oil, such as Tonnino, drained
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, 8-10 minutes. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Place the pasta and 1/2 cup cheese in a large bowl and toss until coated.  In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to brown, 5-6 minutes. Add the olives, tomato paste, capers, red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the tuna. Using a wooden spoon, break up the tuna into 1-inch pieces. Add the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the garlic and discard.  Pour tuna mixture over the pasta. Add the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and the basil, and toss until coated, using the reserved cooking liquid to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Everything you buy at Costco is huge, but you can take out just the number that you want for the meal. Perfect. I decided to put them in the crock pot with 2 cans of Campbell's French Onion soup. I pulled out enough for 3 meals. (about 27-30 for two people)

meatballs from the frozen food section
2 cans of french onion soup
cornstarch for thickening
1. Place all of the meatballs (27-30) in the crock pot
2. Pour over two cans of Campbell's French Onion Soup
3. Put the crock pot on low and cook for 4-6 hours.
4. The first night I served it right out of the crock pot over rice (it was a little thin)
After the meal, I thickened the gravy with cornstarch and water and put it in the refrigerator for the second meal.
The third night I will probably make meatball sandwiches

Bacon and fried green tomato sandwiches

I saw a recipe for these sandwiches and knew I had to have one.  We went to the market and I bought some green tomatoes for this recipe. The secret to getting good grill marks on this sandwich is to add mayonnaise instead of butter to the outside. I know it sounds strange, but I saw this in the newspaper and decided to try it because the butter either gets too brown, or it doesn't get done and is soggy. The mayonnaise is perfect and you really don't taste the mayonnaise.

2 slices of bread per sandwich
1 1/2 slices of cooked bacon per sandwich (cut the whole pieces in 1/2. They fit perfectly)
2 slices of fried green tomatoes per sandwich
mixture of 1/4 cup corn meal and 1/2 cup flour
pimento cheese
1. Preheat grill pan to high
2. Cook the bacon as you like it cooked
3. Dredge the sliced green tomatoes on both sides in the flour/cornmeal mixture
4. Fry the tomato in canola or vegetable oil until golden brown on both sides and set aside
5. I put the pimento cheese in the microwave for about 15 seconds to make it easier to spread.
6. Grill the bread with the mayonnaise side down until golden brown
7. Spread the pimento cheese on the inside of the grilled bread
8. Top the pimento cheese with bacon and then fried green tomatoes

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fried Talapia

These were really big filets, but we didn't have any trouble getting it down. O.K. I had a little trouble.

Ingredients for two filets:
2 fish filet (I used talapia)
1 1/2 cups Panco bread crumbs
1/2 cup pecans that have been processed in a food processor
1 beaten egg
1. Place the panco bread crumbs and pecans that have been processed in 1 pan -mix together
2. Place the beaten egg in another pan
3. Dredge the filet in egg and then in Panco
4. Put the Canola oil or whatever you use to fry and fry on both sides for about 3 min. on medium heat.

Buttermilk Pie

 I usually use a frozen pie crust from the grocery store, but I forgot to buy one so I made my own. I will print the recipe that I used
Jud and I went to Eastside Cafe for our anniversary meal and we had this pie for dessert. It made me want to try strawberries on my regular buttermilk pie recipe.  Great addition.

Ingredients for 2 pies:
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup melted butter
pinch of salt
1 cup of buttermilk
Beat eggs, add sugar mixed with flour and a pinch of salt. Add buttermilk to melted butter and then add this to the egg mixture. Mix well and pour into 2 raw pie shells. Bake 325 degrees 1 hour and 10 minutes.
I cut this recipe in 1/2, but you could certainly make 2 and freeze one of them.

Ingredients for pie crust:
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Cut in 6 tablespoons butter and gradually add 3-4 tablespoons milk.
Add flour salt and baking powder to a mixer with the paddle attachment.  Add the 6 tablespoons of butter that has been cut in small pieces. When the butter in mixed well, add the tablespoons of milk to the mixer. Mix until it forms a ball. Remove and place on a floured surface. Roll into a large circle and place in the pie pan. Pour in the buttermilk pie ingredients and bake 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pesto Tortellini Bake

This recipe comes from Six Sisters and you can find it Here
I made it just like the recipe, but next time I will make two changes that I will add to the recipe I put on my blog. That way, I will remember to make the changes next time.
1. Less tortellini
2. More pesto cream sauce

Printable Version
1 1/2 cups milk
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup pesto
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
10 oz. cooked tortellini
1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 cup shredded and cooked chicken
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped into small pieces
1 cup shredded mozzarella
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Simmer 1 1/2 cups milk, pesto and garlic in a skillet on medium heat. Remove from skillet and stir in grated Parmesan
3. Dump in tortellini, tomatoes, chicken, artichoke hearts, zucchini, and mozzarella. Mix until combined
4. Pour pesto butter sauce over the top of mixture until everything is covered. Add salt and pepper to taste. I added extra mozzarella cheese on top.
5. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

These are the copy cat version of Red Lobster's Cheddar Biscuits. You can find the recipe that I copied Here  Once I found them, I couldn't stop myself from making them.

Printable Version
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup shredded)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, cold
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled for 5 minutes
For the Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, garlic powder and cayenne. Stir in the cheddar cheese; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk and melted butter until the butter forms small clumps.
  4. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix gently with a rubber spatula just until a dough forms and no dry ingredients remain. Use a greased ¼-cup measuring cup to scoop out portions of dough. Place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little more than an inch between biscuits.
  5. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 12 minutes. While the biscuits are in the oven, stir together the 2 tablespoons melted butter, garlic powder and parsley. Remove the biscuits from the oven and immediately brush with the topping mixture. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top back at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

 You can find the Pioneer Woman's recipe Here
I only used two layers, but next time I will cut the layers in 1/2 and I will use a box cake mix.  My store bought cake was lacking in taste.

1 whole Store-bought Angel Food Cake or Pound Cake
Cool Whip, thawed in the refrigerator
Slice the angel food cake (rectangular) in half lengthwise. Use a found or square cutter to cut out pieces. Cut the pieces in half through the middle so that they are the same shape, but shorter. I did that, but I felt they could even be shorter. Spread Nutella on three thin slices of cake. Stack on top of one another and set on a dish in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until the Nutella is set. Remove from the freezer and ice with soft Cool Whip, then place back into the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Note from Pioneer Woman:  Make the cakes ahead of time, then store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. To serve, just pull them out 5-10 minutes before you need them!  I thought they needed more than 10 minutes. I would probably set them out before dinner and serve for dessert.  I would give it at least 30 minutes. The Nutella was very hard.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Baked Coconut Shrimp

I found this recipe Here I served mine with mango salsa. Love that salsa with pork, chicken, or seafood. I could actually eat it as a side dish with almost anything. You can find the mango salsa recipe here

1 lb peeled, deveined large shrimp (it's a lot easier if you buy it already peeled and deveined!)
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut
3 egg whites
Directions:Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Rinse and pat dry the peeled and deveined shrimp. In one bowl, mix the cornstarch, salt, and cayenne pepper. In another bowl, beat the 3 egg whites until they are foamy. In a third bowl pour the 2 cups of coconut. One shrimp at a time, coat it first in the cornstarch mixture (covering it completely), then dip it in the egg mixture, and then roll it in the coconut. Place it on the baking sheet and repeat until you run out mixture. (I completely coated about 30 shrimp).
Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until shrimp is pink on the outside and the coconut is lightly browned.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Watermelon Salad

Last year, my daughter took me out to eat for my birthday.  We ordered several things to share. Watermelon salad was one of the items that we ordered. I have thought about that salad several times over the year. This week, we bought an awesome watermelon and I knew it was time to try to find a recipe for that salad in my memory. It may not be quite as good, but it does the memory justice. You can find the recipe Here
I used goat cheese because I prefer that to feta. 


  • 3 cups watermelon, cut into 2×2 inch cubes (approximately 2/3 of a medium watermelon)
  • 1 5oz bag organic baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup mint, chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup Maple Dijon Vinaigrette (recipe below)


  1. Make vinaigrette below and set aside.
  2. Over a steady cutting board, hold one side of the watermelon with a kitchen towel, using the other hand and a large knife to cut in half, lengthwise. Cut the halves lengthwise again. Being very careful, slide your knife under the pink flesh on each watermelon quarter and separate the flesh from the rind. Cut watermelon into cubes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine arugula and pumpkin seeds. Toss with vinaigrette, to taste.
  4. Portion arugula and pumpkin seed mixture onto plates. Top each plate with watermelon cubes, feta and a touch of mint.
  5. Drizzle each plate with a bit more vinaigrette.

Maple Dijon Vinaigrette:


  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon shallot, minced
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients through shallot in a small bowl. Stir briefly together.
  2. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I bought a pound of shrimp for my coconut shrimp and didn't need but 1/2 for us, so I made the watermelon salad today and put shrimp on top.  I placed the raw shrimp on a baking sheet. I added a little olive oil, salt and pepper on top and baked it at 400 degrees F. for about 5-10 minutes. Just until they are pink.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

You can find the recipe Here  I took this picture before I put on the icing.  I cut the cake in 1/2 and wrapped it in foil to freeze for a later time.

Printable Version
1 (15.25 oz) package lemon cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) box instant lemon pudding
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F .
In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the poppy seeds and pour batter into a bundt pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan for about 90 minutes before inverting onto a plate. If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar or top with lemon glaze.
Lemon Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Just whisk to combine.

Salmon with Horseradish Sauce

Found this recipe Here. I think my Salmon was too thick because it did not get ready in the 10 minutes the recipe mentioned. I probably cooked it a total of 15 minutes and it was perfect.  I used the rub that I use for my fish tacos. You can find that rub Here. I really liked the horseradish sauce.

1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon horseradish sauce
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
3 (3 oz pieces) of Fresh Salmon
Salmon (or fish) Seasoning
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat
In a small bowl, combine the mayo, parsley, horseradish sauce, mustard and black pepper and mix well. Set aside.
Once the oil is heated, cover your salmon front and back with fish seasoning and place it in the skillet. Put the lid on and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the salmon and cook another 5 minutes.
Once it is done and easy flakes, take it out of the pan and let it cool for a few minutes. Serve with the Tangy Horseradish Sauce.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Brunch Egg bake

Jud loves to have a breakfast casserole that he can pop in the microwave in the morning. I found this recipe Here

Printable Version
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded mozorella cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 (4.5 ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained (I used fresh mushrooms about 4oz. that I cooked with the onions and peppers)
1/3 cup green onions diced
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cups diced fully cooked ham
8 eggs
1 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Combine cheddar and mozzorella cheese in a small bowl. Place 3 cups of cheese mixture into a 9"X13" baking dish. (I sprayed the dish with cooking spray)
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir mushrooms, onions, and red bell pepper until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Spread vegetables over cheese mixture. Top mushroom mixture with ham; sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese mixture.
Beat eggs in a bowl; mix in milk, flour, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper.
Slowly pour egg mixture into baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.( I cooked mine more like 55 minutes

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Drunken Noodles

I could not find the Thai Chilies so I used 1/2 of a large jalapena. Again, I forgot to take a picture until the dish was almost totally gone. Here is what was left of a large wok filled with pure goodness.  My daughter-in-law loves Thai food so for her birthday I tried to make one of her favorite dishes. I was a little uncomfortable so my daughter came and helped me with the dish. She is the real cook of the family.  Love cooking with that girl. Find the recipe Here

  • 1 package chinese noodles
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ¼ cup tequila
  • 2 tbsp black soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chicken breast cut in small thin pieces
  • ½ green bell pepper, cut in thin long pieces
  • Thai Chiles to taste, chopped
  • Thai basil leaves, for garnish
  • 2 small tomatoes cut in wedges
  • green onions for garnish
  1. Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, stirring frequently. Drain.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together black soy sauce, tequila, light soy sauce, fish sauce and brown sugar.
  3. In a large skillet melt the butter then add sesame oil. Add garlic and Thai chiles and saute for a few seconds. Add raw chicken and cook until no longer pink. Then add green bell pepper and the soy sauce mixture and cook for a couple minutes.
  4. Add cooked noodles, tomatoes and toss to coat noodles. Transfer to a big bowl or plate and garnish with green onions, and basil. Serve warm. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Layered Italian Sandwich

This is a combination of two recipes that I found. 1st one was in a sandwich cookbook that I downloaded. It is called"Sandwiches."  It is gooseberry Patch classic by Vickie and Jo Ann.  Since it is a download, I'm not able to give you the link.  They make their own bread, but I just used sandwich bread.  I also found a recipe in the Austin American Statesman for grilled cheese sandwiches. The writer used mayonnaise instead of butter to put on the outside of the sandwiches.  Never would have thought of that, but it was great.
3-4 thin slices of homemade salami (recipe here)
2-3 thin slices of ham
2 slices of your favorite cheese (the recipe calls for provolone)
5 slices of pepperoni
mayonnaise for the outside of the bread
1. With a knife or spatula, put a thin layer of mayonnaise on one side of the bread -- save it to the side with the mayonnaise side facing up.
2. On the other slice layer the above ingredients, placing cheese on the bottom and top of the layers.
3. With the grill on high, place the bread with the mayonnaise on top with the mayonnaise facing you. Place the mayonnaise side down on the grill.  While that is cooking, put a thin layer of mayonnaise on the side facing you. Cook 3-4 minutes per side until the cheese is melted and oozing goodness out the sides.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Contessa's Shrimp Salad

I took this picture before I added the capers. I took another picture, but the food was 1/2 gone and didn't look very good. Trust me, the capers are a great addition.  I copied this recipe out of a magazine, but when I went on, I couldn't find it.
I just bought 1 pound of shrimp and cut the other ingredients to match the amount of shrimp.  Now I wish that I had bought 2 1/2 pounds because left-overs would be appreciated.

Printable Version
Ingredients for Shrimp:
2 1/2 pounds shrimp (peel and devein)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Ingredients for the Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh dill, minced
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons red onion
Directions for shrimp:
Peel and devein shrimp. Place on a sheet pan with olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss the ingredients and spread shrimp in a single layer. Roast 6-8 minutes. Cool 3 minutes.
Directions for sauce:
Whisk together mayonnaise, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Add cooled shrimp to sauce. Add dill, capers, and red onion. Toss well. Set at room temperature 30 minutes. We did not wait 30 minutes. We waited about 3 minutes. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Countdown to School

I made this countdown calendar for the start of school for 2 grandsons.  There are 23 pockets, but I think next time I will cut it in 1/2 and put grommets in the bottom half and have two. I bought the over-the-door shoe holder at Target for about $8. Then I found some things that I thought they would like. Many of them came from Below 5 and Target's cheap isle. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cherry Pie Bars

  • Cherry cloud bars are light, fluffy cloud-like cakes bursting with delicious cherry pie filling and lightly glazed. These bars are simple to throw together. We dished it into bowls and made it more like a cobbler than bars.

Printable Version
  • Ingredients
    1 cup of butter, softened (but not completely melted)
    2 cups of sugar
    4 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp almond extract
    3 cups all purpose flour
    2 cans of cherry pie filling (can use just 1 if you need to)
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
  • Method:
  • In a mixing bowl, cream your butter, sugar- add eggs and almond extract, beating well to mix. Add flour & Salt, Mixing Well.

    Spread half of the batter in a greased 9x13 pan, Spoon the Pie Filling over the batter Randomly drop tablespoons remaining batter over the pie filling (*do not mix the pie filling INTO the cake)

    Bake for 35 min or until your toothpick comes out clean

    If you wish to add a glaze mix 1 c. Powdered sugar, 1 tsp almond extract, 2 tsp milk and drizzle over the baked bars after they have completely cooled.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Warren's Chicken Bites

I found this recipe Here.  Fortunately, I started these really early because I was going to take them to an outdoor concert. I found that they need to cook more like 1 hour, turning them after 30 minutes.


  • 8 chicken tenders or breast cutlets, flattened and cut in half
  • Two 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 16 slices bacon


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Top each piece of chicken with 1 teaspoon cream cheese and 1/4 teaspoon chopped jalapeno. Roll up each filling-covered chicken piece and wrap with 1 slice of bacon, securing with a toothpick. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Cook Notes: You can also cook these on an outdoor grill: Grill for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Patty Melt

OMG this will not be the last time I make these.  Jud was smoking our brisket for our July 4th celebration and he made-up some hamburger patties. We had seen this on Pioneer Woman and decided we wanted some. You can find that recipe Here.  At the time, I was pretty sure I didn't need a recipe.  Now that I look, I did fine. We had two slices of Monterey Jack cheese and I used that instead of Swiss Cheese. Other than that, it was pretty much the same.  I did use my new pannini press that I got for Christmas. These were awesome.

Stuffed Salmon

This is so easy and delish.  We went to H.E.B. today and they were offering this salmon as samples. We loved it and decided that we wanted this for dinner. It couldn't be easier.  You put it in a 400-450 degree oven for 15 minutes, I think.  You just buy a package and it tells you the directions on the package. It is salmon stuffed with crab stuffing. Those tomatoes were from the Farmers Market at Lakeline Mall. They were THE BEST TOMATOES I HAVE EVER HAD. Oh how I would love to be able to grow tomatoes like these.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Peach Snack Cake

I found this recipe on Pinterest Here. Jud liked it better than me.  I thought it was good, but not great. I was looking for great.

Printable Version
  1. 1 cup granulated sugar plus 3 teaspoons, divided
  2. 2 1/2 cups sliced peaches
  3. 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  4. 2 cups flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  8. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Spray an 8-x-8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. 1. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons sugar and corn starch. Toss peaches in the mixture and coat evenly. Set aside.
  3. 2. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup sugar, flour, salt and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together milk and butter. Slowly pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until incorporated.
  4. 3. Pour cake batter into prepared baking dish. Press sliced peaches into the cake batter and place some on top. Put in the oven and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  1. Peach Cobbler Snack Cake will keep up to 3 days stored in an airtight container.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo

I have had some Orzo in my pantry for at least a year so I decided it was time to make a dish using the orzo. Here is what I found.

I would probably double the homemade tomato sauce. I did not have marjoram, so I used fresh basil.

Printable Version
8 ounces orzo
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, (not oil-packed) divided
1 plum tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram, divided
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
1-9-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed---I used canned
1/2 cup finely shredded Romano cheese, divided
1. Cook orzo in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, 8-10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
2. Make the tomato sauce--Mix 1 cup water, 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, plum tomato, garlic, 2 teaspoons marjoram, vinegar and 2 teaspoons oil in a blender. Blend until just a few chunks remain.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden outside and no longer pink in the middle, 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
4. Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a boil. Measure out 1/2 cup sauce to a small bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes to the pan along with the orzo, artichoke hearts and 6 tablespoons cheese. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 1-2 minutes. Divide among 4 plates.
5. Slice the chicken. Top each portion of pasta with sliced chicken, 2 tablespoons reserved tomato sauce and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and marjoram.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sweedish Meatballs

I thought Swedish meatballs had rice in it.  I never like those, but this recipe does not have rice in the meatballs. They were really good.  I had enough left-over from this recipe for 2 more meals. Next time, I will make some rice or buttered noodles to serve with these.

Printable Version
1 cup breadcrumbs                                 2 cups beef broth                                2 slices fine chopped bacon
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar                             4 Tablespoons butter w/ divided use    3 eggs
salt and pepper                                       1 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon allspice                                  3/4 ob ground pork
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg                               1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup beef broth                                   2 Tablespoons flour

1. Mix together bread crumbs and next 5 ingredients (first column). Stir in 1/3 cup broth. Set aside.  Melt 1 Tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add onions and saute' 3 minutes. Place in a large bowl and set aside to cool.
2. Return to a clean skillet to heat and add chopped bacon.  When bacon is crisp remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place in the bowl with the onion.  Reserve bacon grease.
3. Mix meats, eggs, onion, and bacon. Combine then fold in the bread crumbs and refrigerate 1 hour. ( I only had 30 min. and it worked fine). 
4. Roll into balls and add to skillet with remaining 3 Tablespoons butter. Brown on all sides then remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat with all meatballs. (I made one batch like this but the other batch I baked at 450 degrees F on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
5.Add 2 Tablespoons bacon grease to a clean pan. When heated add flour. Stir one minute then add 2 cups broth. Simmer 5 minutes and stir in sour cream.

Coconut Curried Chicken

I know you will be surprised to hear that I did not make this according to the recipe.  You can find that recipe Here. They use the microwave to cook this. I used the stove-top. The following will be how I made it.

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
1 T. tomato paste (I forgot this in my recipe)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons curry powder (The recipe calls for 2 Tablespoons)
1/2 cup canned light coconut milk (I used the whole can)
1 small onion, chopped
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Pour canola or vegetable oil into skillet on medium heat. Add chicken, curry powder, garlic, onion, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Cook until almost cooked through, about 5 minutes.
2. Add coconut milk and tomato paste and cook until sauce is slightly thickened and the chicken is cooked through.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pecan Chicken

I found this in my recipe box and I cut it out of the paper. It says that the source is Nancy Leonard, Big Valley Orchards/Knight Ridder.

We really like it on Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells. I used them the two nights ago and forgot to take a picture. So today I toasted some hamburger buns and put it over them. Love this recipe. Great way to use left-over rotisserie chicken.
Italic is what I do;  normal is like the recipe states.
Printable Version

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 teaspoons chicken bouillon (granules or powder)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
Hot toast, biscuits, or Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells, for serving.
Whole pecans, for garnish (optional)

Melt butter and mix in bouillon. At this point I cooked my celery for about 2 minutes just to soften it.  It is probably not necessary, especially is you like the crunch. Blend in flour and poultry seasoning. Gradually add milk and lemon juice; cook over medium heat , stirring constantly, until thickened.
Stir in celery, chopped pecans, and chicken and cook 2-3 minutes. Serve over hot toast, biscuits or Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells and garnish with whole pecans, if using.

Note from Author:  Makes 4-5 servings. Approximate nutritional values per serving, based on 4 servings: 520 calories, 39 g fat, 16 g carbohydrate, 28 g protein, 131 mg cholestrol, 641 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Rocky Road Cookies

This recipe is from Carole Walker's "Great Cookies" cookbook.

Printable Version
2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk or sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups almonds
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2- 2 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows
1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons boiling water
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift or stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set Aside.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar in a steady stream and beat 1 minute longer. to combine well. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Add vanilla.

Reduce speed to low, and add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk or sour cream. Start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix just until blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the almonds and chocolate chips.

Using a small ice cream scoop, portion out 6-8 cookies in mounds onto parchment lined cookie sheets Space them out evenly. Bake for 10 minutes, or until just starting to set on top. Remove from the oven and press nine or ten mini-marshmallows at random onto the tops. Return to the oven and bake for another 2 minutes or just until the marshmallows start to soften. WATCH CAREFULLY. Do not allow the marshmallows to become too hot or they will melt. These cookies are best slightly under baked.
Let rest on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes or until firm enough to handle before loosening with a large metal spatula. Remove to a wire cooling rack. I baked the cookies a total of about 10 min. removing the at about 8 min. to put the marshmallows on the cookies to return to the oven for another 2 minutes.

Combine the chocolate chips and butter in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Melt together, stirring occasionally. Add the boiling water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to a pouring consistency. Using a spoon or squeeze bottle, drizzle the glaze over each cookie. Let stand on the cooling racks until the glaze sets. Store in airtight containers, layer between sheets of wax paper for 5 days. Can be frozen.


It is hard to believe that I have never posted this recipe.  When Jud and I married over 40 years ago, one of my friends gave me this recipe for my recipe box and I have been making it often.  It is one of the few recipes that I can make w/o a recipe.  There are many times that I cut corners with this recipe and just use a jar of marinara sauce.

Printable Version
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup minced onion
1 clove of garlic
1- 6 ounce can tomato paste
1- #2 can of tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 pound mozorella cheese
Ricotta cheese or cottage cheese (I used ricotta cheese this time, but I really prefer the cottage cheese)
2 teaspoons salt
Cook lasagna noodles according to package. Brown ground beef. Add onions and garlic. Drain greese and add tomato products, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Simmer 15 minutes. Layer as follows:
1. Meat mixture
2. Noodles
3. Mozorella cheese
4. Cottage cheese
Repeat ending with meat mixture. Top with grated cheddar cheese. Bake 350 degrees 30-35 minutes.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Crab Cakes

I did not make these as sliders like the recipe but Here is the link.
I will print how I made the recipe because I cut the recipe in 1/2 for the two of us.  It made 4 nice patties.

Printable Version
8 oz crab meat (get the best you can afford)
1/4 red bell pepper, small diced
2 scallions, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon lemon, juiced
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/8 cup mayonnaise
1 medium egg
1 teaspoon Worcstershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash cayenne pepper
In a large bowl, combine all crab cake ingredients. Mix ingredients with your hands. Shape into small patties and place on a plate and refrigerate until ready to cook. ( Can be made 1 day ahead). When ready to cook crab cakes, drizzle about 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, carefully place crab cakes, in batches, in pan and fry until browned, 4-5 minutes per side. Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on the other side until golden brown, another 4 minutes.  I made tartar sauce to have with my crabcakes, but I'm sure the spicy mayo would be great.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Slow-Cooker German Potato Salad

This recipe was found in Eating
Well Magazine. Here is the recipe.
I cut this recipe in 1/2 for the two of us. The following, is how I made it.

Printable Version
2 slices bacon
1/6 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1/4 teaspoon each of salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds potatoes--I did not use fingerling potatoes.
1 cup diced celery
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 sprig of dill, chopped
1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crispy, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to cool. Place in refrigerator until ready to use. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings.
2. Take the drippings off the heat and add the vinegar to the pan. Scrap up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Whisk mustard and flour in a small bowl, add the vinegar mixture and whisk until combined. Whisk in salt and pepper.
3. Combine potatoes, celery, onion and the dressing in a 5-6 quart crock pot. Stir until the vegetables are well coated. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
4. To serve, stir in the dill and bacon.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Caramelized Salmon

I found this wonderful recipe on Here
As you can see by my picture, we like salmon. I ate this whole piece by myself. So easy and fast.

Printable Version Ingredients:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt, pulsed gently in a food processor
a few dashes of freshly crushed black pepper
16 ounces salmon, cut into 4 pieces, with skin
olive oil
1. Combine the sugar, salt, and black pepper in a shallow bowl. Dip each filet into the mixture and coat the entire surface of the salmon with the sugar/salt mixture
2. Heat about 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the salmon, skin side down in the pan, and saute for about 5 minutes. If you're worried about the burnt sugar in the pan (or if there's too much oil/liquid) just drain it off or spoon it out of the pan. If there's a lot of oil splattering, turn the heat down. I would not recommend going higher than medium heat.
3. Flip each salmon filet (carefully! keep the skin on because it helps the filet hold together) and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Flip to the side and saute each of the sides for another 2-3 minutes, if the filet is thick enough.
4. Preheat the broiler to 450 degrees. Sprinkle the top of each salmon filet with a teaspoon or two of additional sugar/salt mixture. Transfer the pan from the stove top into the oven. Let the salmon broil for 5 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure it is not burning. The sugar in the pan might look burnt, but that's okay as long as the tops of the salmon are looking golden brown. When the salmon is finished cooking, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes (that sugar gets HOT). Gently peel of the skin and discard before eating. If you leave it on it will stick to your plate and you will have to scrub to get off the sugar.
Note-If you're using regular table salt, start with just 1/2 tablespoon and add more salt as necessary. As you can see, I cut the sugar/salt recipe in 1/2.