Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fruit Salad with Strawberry Glaze

A woman in our ward brought it to the Christmas Party and made three HUGE bowls of it. It was gone so fast that almost half of the people didn't even have a taste. She gave me the amounts for a very large group... so I sized it down. You may have to adjust the sizes as you make it.

Strawberry Glaze (Maria's or Rosetta's)- found in the produce section
1 pkg (qrt) of Strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 group of Grapes
3-4 bananas
NOTE: some people add pineapple chunks (20oz can, drained) and/or mandarian oranges (15 oz can, drained)

Cut strawberries and grapes in half. Cut bananas in slices. Then pore Glaze on fruit and mix. Chill 1 hour before serving.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Parmesan Chicken

Parmesan Chicken Recipe


1 clove garlic, minced
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup or 1/4 pound), melted
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or 2/3 cup if you are using a Microplane zester)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
A large pinch of Italian seasoning (herb mix)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 lbs of skinless, boneless, chicken meat, cut into pieces no larger than 2x2 inches

1 Preheat oven to 450°F.

2 In a bowl, combine the minced garlic with the melted butter. In another bowl mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, salt, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Dip chicken pieces into garlic butter, then into crumb mixture to coat.

3 Place coated chicken pieces on to a 9x13 baking dish. Try to leave a little room between each piece. Drizzle with remaining garlic butter and bake uncovered 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Note that the chicken will get much more browned on the bottom side than on the top.

Serves 4-6.

NOTE: I accidentally used Pork with this (not thinking) and it took longer to cook but it was still really good.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tamale Pie Casserole

1 can creamed corn
1 12-16 oz. slightly thawed frozen corn
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup salsa
1 small can tomato sauce
1-2 chopped onions
1/2 tsp. salt
12-15 corn tortillas
1 rotisserie chicken (or you can use beef)
Cheddar and Monterrey cheese ( goes on top... so put as much as you like)
1 big tomato

Saute onions and chicken until nice and juicy. Add corns, spices, salsa, tomato sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes. take a greased 9x13 pan and put 1/3 of sauce on bottom. Then layer a few tortillas on top. pour 1/2 of the rest of the sauce on top of that. Again, layer a few tortillas until well covered, then layer the last bit of the sauce on top. Take the big tomato... cut in slices and place on top like pepperonis... Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover with foil. Cook for 30-35 minutes. Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Crockpot Applesauce Chicken

My husband found this website:, "A Year of Slow Cook: Crockpot". It is excellent. I am trying out recipes he is selecting and amazed at the tasteness and quality of the recipes. Here is one we tried tonight and really liked!

--4 frozen chicken breast halves or thighs (I used 2 of each)
--1 1/2 cups of applesauce
--1 T dried onion flakes, or 1 yellow onion, chopped finely
--1 T apple cider vinegar
--1/4 tsp cinnamon
--1/2 tsp black pepper
--2 cloves garlic, minced
--1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, I used them, and added more to the adult servings)

The Directions.

A 3 or 4 quart crockpot is the best size for this, but I did use a 6 quart. If your pot cooks fast, err on the lower end of cooking time.

Put the frozen chicken pieces into your crockpot. Add the onion (if you are using the dried onion, wait and add it to the applesauce). In a bowl, mix the applesauce, vinegar, garlic, and spices together. Pour on top of the chicken.

Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, or on high for 3-4.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Saucy Mexican Chicken

We tried this recipe tonight and we absolutely LOVED IT! I have found using Kraft Foods recipes (from their magazine) has been a "hit and miss" with finding tastey foods. This one was easy, fast and good. :)

What You Need!
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 small breasts)
1 jar (16 oz.) Chunky Salsa
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Make It!

COOK chicken in nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 4 min. on each side or until browned on both sides.

ADD salsa and beans. Bring to boil; cover. Simmer on medium-low heat 5 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF).

TOP with cheese. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

Prepare using 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Quick Bruschetta for Two

I love this recipe. I generally quadruple it though.

1/4 c. diced tomatoes

2 T. shredded mozzarella

1 T. chopped fresh basil (1/2 t. dried)

2 t. shredded parmesan cheese

2 t. zesty Italian dressing

2 thin slices French bread (1/4 in. thick)

Combine tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, Parmesan and dressing and spoon evenly over bread. Broil until cheese is melted. Watch closely because bread burns quickly.

Cappellini Pomodoro

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 lbs. plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (I just use grape tomatoes from Costco cut in halves with seeds and everything)

1 oz. fresh basil leaves, minced

1/3 C. olive oil

3 oz. parmesan cheese

12 oz. dry angel hair pasta, cooked

¼ tsp. pepper

Heat olive oil and add garlic; cook until it turns white. Add tomatoes and pepper and heat through, stirring constantly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Tomatoes should not lose their shape. Remove from heat. Transfer hot, cooked pasta to large bowl. Toss pasta gently with tomato mixture, basil and half of parmesan cheese. Serve immediately and pass remaining parmesan.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chicken and Dumpling Casserole

I love this casserole- it takes a little more time than I usually spend on dinner, but it's worth it. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

1/2 C. onion, chopped
1/2 C. celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/4 C. butter
1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 C. chicken broth
1 package frozen green peas
3 C. chicken, cooked & cubed

2 C. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 C. shortening
2/3 C. milk

(If you don't feel like making your dumplings from scratch, you could substitute 2 C. bisquick baking mix, 1 tsp. basil, and 2/3 C. milk instead)

In large saucepan, sauté onion, celery, and garlic in butter until tender. Add flour, sugar, salt, basil, pepper, and broth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute until desired thickness; reduce heat. Add peas and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish.

For dumplings, combine dry ingredients; cut in shortening; stir in milk all at once until dough just follows. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto casserole (to make 12 dumplings). Bake uncovered at 350° for 30 minutes. Check on dumplings- lift up one in the middle of the pan and see if it's still doughy on bottom. If needed, cover and bake 10-15 more minutes until dumplings are done.

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PS: Just found out that there is a limit of 10 addresses, so first come first serve! There are 7 spots left as of today . . .

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Parmesan- Dijon Chicken

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3/4 cup Progresso® dry bread crumbs (any flavor)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 3/4 pounds)

1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Mix butter and mustard in shallow dish until well mixed. Mix bread crumbs and cheese in large plastic bag.
2. Dip one piece of chicken at a time into butter mixture, coating all sides. Then place in bag of bread crumbs, seal bag and shake to coat with crumb mixture. Place chicken in single layer in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.
3. Bake uncovered 20 to 30 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.

Prep time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 min
5 servings

Parmesan Bread Pork Chops

1/3 cup Italian style bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
4 pork boneless butterfly loin chops, 1/2 inch thick (1 1/4 lb)
1 egg, beaten
2 cups diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained (from 28-oz can)
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 small green bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)

1. Mix bread crumbs and cheese. Dip pork in egg, then coat with crumb mixture.
2. Spray 12-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Cook pork in skillet about 5 minutes, turning once, until brown.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pork is slightly pink in center.

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 17 m4 servings

Chicken-Green Bean Casserole

3 cups of frozen French-style green beans
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
2 cans (5 ounces each) chunk chicken, drained
1/2 cup sour cream
1 package (6 ounces) chow mein noodles
Paprika, if desired

1. Heat beans, soup and chicken to boiling in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream.

2. Serve hot chicken mixture over noodles; sprinkle with paprika

Serves 4
Prep: 2 min
Cook: 5 min
I usually double the recipe and sometimes put it over rice. Great short and quick meal, my kids love this. There are some variaties of this that are more "casseroly" and they are good too.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dinner Meat Loaf "Muffins"

These go well with green beans and mashed potatoes.

1 t. olive oil
1 c. finely chopped onion
1/2 c. finely chopped carrot
1 t. dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. ketchup, divided
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 c. finely crushed saltines (about 20)
2 T. mustard
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. black pepper
2 large eggs
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add chopped onion, carrot, oregano, and garlic; saute 2 minutes. Cool.
3. Combine onion mixture, 1/2 c. ketchup, and remaining ingredients (except cooking spray) in a large bowl.
4. Spoon meat mixture into 12 muffin pan coated with cooking spray. Top each with 2 t. ketchup. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 "muffins")

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pork Chops in Cream Sauce

Sorry the picture is kind of small, but it is the best I could find. I really like this recipe.. I have varied it a little as I have made it more often. If you love Pork this will be for you!

6 loin pork chops
1 beef bouillon cube
½ cup water
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup water
2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
½ cup dairy sour cream
1 Tablespoon ketchup
1 garlic clove minced

In a large skillet, brown pork chops. Add ½ cup water, brown sugar, onion, ketchup, garlic and bouillon cube. Cover; simmer 30-40 minutes or till tender. Remove chops to serving platter and keep warm. In a small bowl, combine flour with ¼ cup water; slowly add to cooking liquid, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened. Stir in sour cream, heat thoroughly. DO NOT BOIL. Serve sauce over chops.
Makes 6 servings.

Sides to add with it.... Rice or mashed potatoes.

Twice Baked Potatoes

4 Large baking potatoes, scrubbed and trimmed
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Bacon bits
Parsley flakes

Bake potatoes @ 350 for 1.5-1.75 hours. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides into a mixing bowl. Mash adding milk, butter, cheese, salt and pepper. Beat until fluffy. Spoon mixture back into potato shells. Place on Cookie sheet an bake @ 350 for 20-30 minutes.
Serves: 8

Friday, September 25, 2009

Crock Pot Spaghetti

I usually do horrible at crock pot recipes but this really turned out good. I did add 1/2 cup of water with all the other ingredients at the beginning and then an extra 2 cups of water when I added the noodles. I didn't want the spaghetti to burn. Just be careful not to add toooo much water or the noodles will taste weird.


1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tbsp. dry onions
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 (4 oz.) can mushrooms
3 c. tomato juice
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 (4 oz.) pkg. spaghetti, broken in pieces

1. Brown ground beef in skillet. Place in crock pot.
2. Add all remaining ingredients (except dry spaghetti) and stir together.
3. Cook on high 4 to 5 hours. Add dry spaghetti and stir in. Cook on high for 1 hour more.
AND of course coat with Parmesan Cheese to make it "Cheezy".

Serves 3-4. See comments on how to double this recipe.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Friendship Amish Bread

This is one of my favorite recipes. It takes a lot of patience (well for me). My neighbor used to make the BEST Amish Bread and I have been working on trying to replicate it for 4 years! Hopefully I will get as good as her.
NOTE: There are some variations of this recipe but I usually pick the most simple and then "sugar" it up! I usually butter the top up and sprinkle LOTS of cinnamon on the top and that really makes it good.

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe

Day 1 - receive the starter (the recipe for the starter is below)

Day 2 - stir

Day 3 - stir

Day 4 - stir

Day 5 - Add 1 cup each flour, sugar and milk.

Day 6 - stir

Day 7 - stir

Day 8 - stir

Day 9 - stir

Day 10 - Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Divide into 4 containers, with 1 cup each for three of your friends and 1 cup for your own loaves. Give friends the instructions for Day 1 through Day 10 and the following recipe for baking the bread.

After removing the 3 cups of batter, combine the remaining cup of Amish Friendship Bread starter with the following ingredients in a large bowl:

2/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Using a fork beat by hand until well blended. You can add 1 cup raisins and 1 cup nuts (optional).

Grease two loaf pans with butter, sprinkle with sugar instead of flour.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour (individual oven temperatures vary). Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans. Makes two loaves of Amish Friendship Bread.
Amish Friendship Bread Starter

This is the Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe that you’ll need to make the Amish Friendship Bread (above). It is very important to use plastic or wooden utensils and plastic or glass containers when making this. Do not use metal at all!


1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110°F)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk (110°F)


1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes. Stir well.

2. In a 2 quart glass or plastic container, combine 1 cup sifted flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or the flour will get lumpy when you add the milk.

3. Slowly stir in warm milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Loosely cover the mixture with a lid or plastic wrap. The mixture will get bubbly. Consider this Day 1 of the cycle, or the day you receive the starter.

For the next 10 days handle starter according to the instructions above for Amish Friendship Bread.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Carolina Coleslaw

A good coleslaw is a little tangy, a little sweet, and is a must-have with with the Easy North Carolina Pulled Pork Barbeque. This is a great, basic recipe. My two pickiest eaters liked it: my hubby and my 2 year old!

1 small head of cabbage, chopped/shredded into small pieces

1c. light mayonnaise
2-3 T. sugar
1/4 c. vinegar
1-2 T. finely minced onion
1 pinch cayenne pepper
dash of garlic powder
1 t. salt
pepper, to taste

Place shredded cabbage in serving bowl. Mix Sauce ingredients together well, pour over cabbage and mix. Cover, place in fridge till serving (make sure to mix again before serving as the sauce tends to settle at the bottom). Coleslaw tastes best when it has had time to sit and let the flavors blend (3-24 hours), so it is great to make this side ahead of time and get it out of the way. Real coleslaw enthusiasts insist it should be made the night before, but I only remembered to make mine a couple hours ahead of dinner-time. It was more flavorful and a better texture the next day for lunch. Enjoy!

Serves about 10

Easy North Carolina Pulled Pork Barbeque

Ever been to a pig-pickin'? If, not, you've missed out! This is a simple slow-cooker recipe for those of you who, like me, enjoy that vinegar-based, "pulled-pork" barbeque that is a North Carolina specialty. Real barbeque is cooked for hours and hours in an outdoor cooker with hickory chips. This recipe is a fantastic, easy substitute for the real stuff! This is usually eaten on a sandwich, using any soft bun you like. I served this with coleslaw, pickles and grapes. This sauce is also a really good marinade for grilled chicken.

2.5 lb. pork roast (or pork shoulder)

1 T. paprika
1 T. pepper
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 T. salt

2 c. vinegar

1/2 T. brown sugar
1 t. cayenne pepper
1-2 t. red pepper (depending on how hot you want it!)
1/2 T. hot sauce (opt.)
1-2 T. ketchup
1 t. Liquid Smoke (opt., but good: found in a smallish bottle near Worcester Sauce at WalMart)

Mix the rub ingredients together and rub onto your roast. For best flavor you can put the rub on the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight (I didn't do this, but I'm sure it tastes even better).

The next morning, put your roast in your slow cooker. Pour the 2 c. of vinegar around the roast. Yes it smells terrible, and will for half of the day, but it's worth it! Do not bother with the other ingredients for now. Put the lid on, and cook on low for 10-12 hours. Meat can be cooked on high and will be done in 4-5 hours, but will be less tender. Mine was mostly frozen, so I cooked it on high for 2 hours, then turned to low for 4 hours.

Once your meat is done, remove it from the cooker, and shred it finely with a fork. Add in remaining sauce ingredients to the vinegar in the slow-cooker, mixing well. Liquid Smoke gives things a slightly smokey, outdoor-wood-chipped-barbeque flavor. Put your shredded pork back in the pot, mixing well. The meat really soaks up the sauce, so you may find yourself making more sauce if needed. Keep pork on low or warm for another 30 min. or until ready to serve. Serve with more sauce if desired.

Serves 6

Baked Spaghetti Squash, Lasagna-Style

I really enjoy spaghetti squash. If you haven't tried it, it's very mild, and takes on the flavor of whatever you put on it. There are simpler, lighter ways to eat it than this that are also delicious, but this recipe is family-friendly (and the presentation is pretty cool). It's good and cheesy, and healthier than lasagna or baked ziti, though it tastes similar. If I'm going to consume vast amounts of cheese, I feel better if it's on top of a vegetable! This recipe includes a homemade sauce, but you could absolutely use your favorite pre-made spaghetti sauce for an easy, great meal.

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 T. minced garlic
1 sm. can mushrooms
1 28 oz can stewed or diced tomatoes, drained well
1 c. tomato sauce, or your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 T. dried basil
2 t. sugar
black pepper
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray sheet cake pan with cooking spray (I lined my sheet with foil first for easy clean up). Add a small amount of water into your baking dish. Place squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet. *Be careful when cutting your squash--it can be pretty tricky to cut through the hard outer shell.

2. Bake squash approx. 45-60 minutes, or until squash easily can be scraped out of the shell with a fork. Squash should be soft, not crunchy when it's done. Remove from oven, and cool.
3. Meanwhile, in a large pan, use your olive oil to saute the onion and garlic until golden. Add in mushrooms, then tomatoes, sauce, sugar, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then simmer for at least 15 minutes until your sauce has cooked down and is not watery.
4. Remove squash pulp with a fork, placing in a bowl and reserving the shells. Layer each shell with a spoonful or so of the sauce, a layer of spaghetti squash, then cheese. Layer another layer of sauce, then squash, then sauce again, ending with a good layer of Mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan and basil. If your shells didn't survive baking, you can use a casserole dish.
Bake for 20 min. in preheated oven, or until cheese is melted.

Makes 8-10 adult servings.

*It would be nice to make this dish ahead of time, as it takes so long for the squash to cook and it's hard to predict when it will be done. It's challenging to time the whole thing if you like to eat at a certain time. Next time, I would just cook the squash ahead of time, pull the pulp from the sides (leaving it in the shells) and refrigerate it till I was ready. I would probably add 10-15 min. to the cooking time once I layer it with cheese and bake it again. You can also choose to freeze half of this recipe if it is too much.

Pork Chops with Maple Mustard Glaze

This can be easily doubled.

1 T. butter
4 (4 oz) boneless pork loin chops, trimmed
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 t. fresh sage
1 t. fresh thyme
2 t. heavy cream (half & half works too)

1. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle pork chops evenly with salt and pepper, add pork to pan. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from pan; keep warm.

2. Add broth and next 4 ingredients (through thyme) to pan. Bring to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in cream, and reduce heat to medium. Return pork to pan; simmer 3 minutes or until pork is done, turning once.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Apple Chocolate Chip Bread

This recipe won best bread at the NC Apple Festival this year, can't wait to give it a try!

Makes 2 loaves

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups cubed Granny Smith apples
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9X5 inch loaf pans. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and baking soda. In large bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar and continue beating until well blended. Stir in oil, vanilla, apples, pecans, and chocolate chips. Stir in sifted ingredients. Pour into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove loaves from pans and cool.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chicken, Rice, Broccoli, and Mushroom Casserole

There is nothing especially adventurous or amazing about my take on this dish from For the Love of Cooking; it is welcome-home comfort food, and it was gobbled up promptly and enjoyed by everyone. The water chestnuts add a delicious, subtle crunch to an otherwise soft and creamy dish. This is a good way to get some more veggies into my kids. This recipe makes a lot: a full-to-the-brim 13 x 9" casserole dish. I chose to make the full amount, and freeze some of it in another dish for later. I froze about 1/4 of it, and still fed 4 adults and 3 kids with the part I cooked (everyone went for seconds--that always warms my heart). :)

1 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 lb. mushrooms, quartered
1-2 stalks celery, diced
2 c. uncooked rice (about 6 cups cooked)
2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed
1 6-8 oz. can of sliced water chestnuts, diced.
1-2 c. broccoli florets
1 10 oz. can of Cream of Chicken soup
1 10 oz. can Cream of Celery soup
1 10 oz. can Cream of Mushroom soup* (these soups could easily be changed for what you have)
1/4 c. light mayonnaise
1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, grated (opt.)
salt and pepper to taste
bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare rice per instructions, adding chicken bouillon and parsley to water for flavor. In a heated pan add 1/2 tbsp oil and cook mushrooms until golden brown - remove from pan. Add the other 1/2 tbsp of oil to the pan and cook onions and celery until soft. Steam broccoli until just fork tender, then cool. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.

Put into a baking dish, top with bread crumbs, and heat uncovered for 30 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes prior to serving. I served this with a green salad, jello, and rolls. Enjoy!

Makes approx. 10-12 servings

Cafe Rio Cilantro-Lime Rice

1 c. long grain rice
2 c. water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 t. butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t. lime zest

2 T lime juice
2 t. sugar
3 T fresh cilantro

1. In saucepan combine rice, water, bouillon, butter, garlic and lime zest. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender and water is absorbed.
2. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over rice.

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

3-5 lb pork loin or pork roast
1 1/2 cans Coca Cola (2 c. or 16 oz) (I used Coke Zero and it worked fine)
1 c. sugar
7 oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 t. dry ground mustard
2 t. ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced

1. place can of peppers in bowl and cover with coke. Once the peppers are no longer coated with adobo sauce, remove them and throw away (you can leave a few in if you like it super HOT!)
2. Combine all ingredients (except pork) in a blender and mix.
3. Place pork roast in crock pot and pour sauce over the top. Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 7-9 hours. Carefully turn roast over halfway through cooking.
4. Remove pork and shred, then throw back in a mix with juice. use slotted spoon to remove.
5. serve on rolls, in flour tortilla, lettuce wrap or with Cafe Rio Cilantro-Lime Rice.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mustard Green Beans

This is one of our favorite ways to fix green beans!

1 lb. green beans
1 T. butter
1 T. coarse grained mustard
Salt and pepper

Steam beans until crisp tender. Drain. Melt butter in heavy skillet. Stir in mustard. Toss beans in mixture to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Fried Rice

This is a Rachel Ray recipe that Kyle and I are big fans of. It's fresh tasting and won't give you the "I just ate at a Chinese restaurant" feeling!

2 c. water
1 c. white rice (brown works too)

3 T. vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 t. ground ginger
1/2 c. shredded carrots
1/2 c. red bell pepper, diced
4 scallions
1/2 c. frozen peas
1/4 to 1/3 c. soy sauce

Bring water to a boil. Add rice, reduce heat, cover and cook over medium-low heat until tender, 15-18 minutes.

Heat a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 T. oil to pan. Add eggs and scramble, then move them off to the side of the pan and add rest of oil to the center. Add garlic and ginger, then carrots, pepper, and scallions and quick-fry veggies, 2 minutes. Add rice and combine with veggies. Incorporate the scrambled eggs and continue to cook another 2 or 3 minutes. Add peas and soy sauce and stir-fry 1 minute more, then serve. Yield: 4

Chicken and Orzo with Mushroom, Peas, and Parmesan

Orzo is new to me: it's a type of pasta that has a rice shape to it. It's very light, delicate, and yummy! It can be found in the pasta section of the store. This dish has no sauce, but with the parmesan cheese it's got a slight creamy quality that tastes a little like alfredo, but without all the fat and calories. I opted to serve chicken with this dish, but you can leave out the chicken for a vegetarian option.

3 small chicken breasts, sliced
1 T. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced (opt.)
salt and pepper

1 lb. box of Orzo pasta
chicken bouillon granules or salt

6-8 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 small onion, minced
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated
2 T. chopped fresh parsley (I used 1/2 T. dried)

Cook Orzo according to directions, but add your chicken bouillon and/or a good amount of salt to your water to give the orzo flavor. While you're waiting for the water to boil and the pasta to cook, warm garlic and oil in a pan over med-high heat. Add in chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper and cook until lightly browned and juices run clear. Remove from pan and set aside (my above-the-stove microwave is a perfect place to put it and keep it warm).
Add more olive oil into pan if needed, and sauté the mushrooms and onions, seasoning with salt, till golden brown. When they are almost done, add in your thawed peas to warm them, just for a minute or so.
Whenever your orzo finishes cooking (after about 10 min.), drain it and put it back into the pot or into your serving bowl. Add in the Parmesan cheese while the orzo is hot, stirring well so it will melt. Add in your mushrooms, onions, and peas, salt and pepper as needed. Mix thoroughly.
After serving up the orzo, I placed a few chicken slices on top, then garnished with Parmesan cheese, and served with a green salad. Enjoy!

Makes 4-5 adult-sized servings.

Below is a picture of the minced garlic that I love, and pasta box--the lid is up, so it looks bigger than it really is. You buy the garlic already minced, and store it in the fridge. It lasts a LONG time, and while not as fresh as the real stuff, is really easy to use and perfectly adequate in cooked dishes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Chicken Divan

I LOVE this meal! It was a family favorite growing up and now my husband and kids love it too. I frequently make it when I take dinners to people and often get requests for the recipe. Maybe it will become apart of your family's favorites too!

1 bunch fresh cooked broccoli
3 cups cooked de-bonded chicken pieces (I boil 3-4 defrosted Costco chicken breasts for 1 hour then break apart)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayonnaise (Best Foods)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs (optional)

Cook broccoli, drain, and arrange in 9x13 baking dish. Lay chicken pieces on top of broccoli. Combine cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice and curry powder and pour over broccoli and chicken. Top with cheese and bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Slow Cook Burritos

These are so easy and yummy!
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 cup salsa
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. cumin
2 Tbs. chopped chilies (or green peppers diced)
2 chicken breasts

Layer chicken, salsa, and beans. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 6 hrs (or high for if you don't have that much time). Shred chicken before serving and stuff tortillas with mixture. You can even add some cut tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and avocado.

Chicken Queso Dip (slow cooker)

This is a crowd-pleaser! I've served this more times than I can count for parties, showers, dinner, etc. Serve with corn chips. When done in a slow-cooker, allow at least 3-4 hours to complete if meat is thawed.

Combine the following in your slow cooker:
2-3 chicken breasts
1 sm. can green chilis
1 lrg. can red enchilada sauce

Cook on low until chicken is cooked through and is easy to shred--2-6 hours, depending on if meat is thawed or frozen and on your slow cooker. Shred the chicken (as fine as you have patience for).

Add to slow cooker:
1 block cream cheese
1 (8-10 oz) bag of Cheddar Cheese
1/2 red pepper, diced small
1/2 green pepper, diced small

Stir in and mix well. Cook for 1 more hour or so on lowest heat setting, stirring occasionally. Stir and serve warm! I serve it right from the crockpot. Makes 6+ servings. I double the recipe for parties.

Shrimp Jambalya

1 lb shrimp (peeled, w/o tails)
1 T. olive oil
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 cups quick brown rice (I use 2)
1/8 t. Cheyenne pepper or Cajun seasoning
2 c. chicken broth
1 large can diced tomatoes

1. Saute shrimp, olive oil, scallions, peppers and garlic in medium saucepan.
2. When peppers are tender, add chicken broth, tomatoes, Cheyenne pepper, and rice (more for soupy v. dry). Boil on low for 30 minutes. Then serve.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Garlic Chicken

2 t. crushed garlic
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. dry bread crumbs
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Warm garlic and olive oil to blend the flavors. In separate dish, combine bread crumbs and parmesan. Dip chicken in oil mixture and then bread crumbs. Place in shallow baking dish. Bake at 425 for 30-35 minutes. This is so fast and easy and I always have the ingredients on hand. I like red mashed potatoes and veggies with this meal.

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

3 T. honey
3 T. soy sauce
3 T. Balsamic vinegar
1 t. fresh ginger
1 t. crushed garlic
2 t. olive oil
4 (6 oz.) mahi mahi fillets
salt and pepper to taste
1 T. vegetable oil

In pie pan, stir together honey, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and olive oil. Season fish with salt and pepper. Put in dish. Cover and marinate at least 20 minutes. Heat vegetable oil in skillet over med-high heat. Remove fish and fry 4-6 minutes on each side. Remove. Pour marinade in skillet; cook unitl it becomes a glaze and pour on fish. Serve immediately. I love mahi mahi--such a mild taste for fish and my kids love it, too. I like to serve it with fresh green beans and couscous or wild rice.

Salmon and Fruit

14-16 oz salmon (or halibut) filets, about 1 inch thick
1 T. olive oil
1/4 t. lemon-pepper seasoning
3/4 c. chopped fresh strawberries (or peaches or nectarines)
1/3 c. chopped and peeled kiwi (or apricots)
1 T. snipped fresh cilantro
1 T. orange or apple juice
1 fresh jalapeno chili pepper, seeded and chopped (or 1/2 t. pepper)

1. Thaw fish, rinse, pat dry with paper towels, cut into 4 serving-size pieces. Brush both sides with oil and sprinkle with lemon-pepper. But in greased pan and broil for 8-12 minutes until flaky (turn pan 1/2 way through).
2. While cooking, in medium bowl combine fruit, cilantro, juice and pepper and set aside.
3. Serve fish with fruit and garnish with cilantro if desired.

**Note: cut pepper while wearing latex gloves because juices can burn skin.

I'm not a huge seafood fan, but I am trying to learn to like it since it is apparently so healthy for you. But this is as great recipe because the fruit salsa completely covers up any fishy taste so you can just enjoy the delightful seafood texture.

Shredded Beef Soft Tacos

This is another recipe from Myra. She makes the easy crock-pot roast below, and the Mexican rice and Pico de Gallo, homemade refried beans (let me know if you want that recipe), and serves it with chips and salsa. It's an excellent, flavorful dinner. Most of the prep can be done in advance. It's one of Cameron's favorite meals, which says a lot!

Mock Tender Roast or shoulder roast cut of beef
Brown Gravy powdered mix packet
garlic salt
squeeze of lime (opt.)

Toppings suggestions:
Shredded Lettuce
Grated Cheese
Sour Cream
Pico de Gallo (onion, tomato, cilantro)

Put 1/2" or so of water in the bottom of your crock-pot, mix in 1 packet of brown gravy mix. Place your meat in, and season it with garlic salt, pepper, and lime juice. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. When meat is cooked, shred it finely with a fork.

Use warm flour or corn tortillas to make soft tacos, quesadillas (we make these for the kids so it's less mess, while we eat soft tacos), or burritos, adding your favorite toppings.

Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies

This frosting would be good on a cake too! I only made HALF of this recipe to frost my pan of brownies, and I am telling you, it is soooo GOOD! The frosting tastes similar to the insides of Reese's Pieces, so if you like those, you'll love this.

Make brownies from your favorite mix, cool completely. Frost with:

Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk, or as needed

  • Cream the butter and peanut butter together till well-blended (and try to ignore the fact that you are about to eat all of that fatty buttery goodness). Add in the sugar gradually, mixing well. Finally, add in the milk. Mix just till blended and creamy. If you overmix, it may start to look grainy. Supposedly you can fix that by microwaving it for a couple seconds and then mixing it a bit more.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sticky Chicken/Sweet and Sour Chicken

3 lb chicken strips
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
corn starch
oil for frying

1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c ketchup
2 T soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 c vinegar

1. Combine chicken and garlic and let sit 1 hour.
2. Dip chicken in egg and roll in corn starch.
3. Brown in small amount of hot oil and place in 9x13 pan.
4. Mix together sauce ingredients and pour over chicken.
5. Bake at 325 for 1 hour, stir occasionally.
6. Serve over rice with stir fry veggies (can buy frozen).

Oven Fried Chicken

Oven Fried Chicken

1/4 c butter, melted
1 tsp salt
1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp paprika
2 lbs chicken legs

1. Dip chicken in butter and coat in remaining ingredients.
2. Lay chicken skin side down on pan and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
3. Flip chicken over and bake 25 minutes more.

I love this meal! I like to serve this with grapes, deviled eggs, pork-n-beans, and mashed potatoes/biscuits.

Americanized Egg Rolls

Per your request here is my egg roll recipe. I don't have a picture and I probably won't make them any time soon since egg roll wraps are made with eggs and hence 2 of the 5 family members can't eat it. But we all miss them terribly.

Egg Rolls

1 onion, diced
1/4 lbs ground hamburger
1 can chop suey vegetables (my favorite part so I often add more)
1 can pineapple tidbits
1 small head of finely shredded cabbage (I never add all of it, just an amount that looks proportionate).
1-2 pkg egg roll wraps.

1. Brown the hamburger and onions together.
2. Drain hamburger and add remaining ingredients.
3. Place a heaping spoonful of mixture in center of egg roll wrap.
4. Wet edges of wrap with water or with scrambled, but raw, eggs.
5. Fold like an envelope.
6. Fry in hot vegetable oil, turning when sides are brown.

**We heat up brown sugar and ketchup together in the microwave as a sweet and sour sauce, but we just add each to taste, I have no idea what measurements to use.

**Even when I buy the smallest heads of cabbage I can find, I never add all of it and so this is a great recipe to use in the same week you make another cabbage recipe (of which I have none).

Mexican Rice and Pico de Gallo

This version of Mexican rice and Pico de Gallo is from my friend Myra, who moved here from Mexico. It's authentic and delicious! This is not spicy at all--I'm sure you can spice it up with jalapeno or chili powder if you like yours with a kick. I jotted down measurements as I watched her cook, so they are all approximate--feel free to adjust to your taste.

Mexican Rice

1 1/2 c. rice
2 T. diced onion (or dried onion flakes)
olive oil
1/4 green pepper, sliced into chunks
1/2 c. or so Hunts Tomato Sauce
2 t. chicken bouillon granules
1 t. garlic salt
1-2 T. cilantro, chopped

In your pot, sauté the rice and onion in olive oil until rice turns a tannish color (approx. 3-4 min.) Add the tomato sauce and stir it in.
Add in water, according to your rice directions (for mine it's approx. 2 1/4 c. )
Add in chicken bouillon, garlic salt, and cilantro, to taste. Add in chopped bell pepper. Stir well to combine, then cook according to regular rice directions. Bring to a boil, put lid on and turn down on low heat for 20 minutes or until done.

Pico de Gallo (great for chips or to top Mexican entrees)

1 1/2 c. seeded, diced tomatoes
1/4 c. minced white or red onion
1 T. minced jalapeno or serrano peppers
1 T. minced garlic (can substitute garlic powder or salt)
juice of 1-2 limes, to taste
handful of cilantro, chopped (plus some as garnish if desired)
salt and pepper

Mix together and serve!

Chicken and Black Beans Taquitos

I made these for dinner tonight. Yum! This recipe is from a friend of mine, who has it posted on her blog,, along with some other fantastic recipes. From Shaina:

"This recipe is from a Taste of Homes Cooking Light recipe book. My kids love it. While you are at it, make a double batch and freeze the rest. I love preparing once, and using again and again.

Chicken and Black Bean Taquitos

1 ½ tsp olive oil
1 pound ground chicken (or 1-2 cups of cooked chicken, diced)
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small can of diced green chiles
1 Tbsp cumin and chili powder
10-20 flour tortillas (depends on how much filling you use for each taquito)
Cooking spray

Heat oil, brown chicken. Place chicken, cheese, beans, green chiles and seasonings in food processor and pulse until beans are coarsely chopped.
Spoon about 3 tbsp of mixture in a skinny line across lower third of each tortilla and roll up nice and snug. Slice in half, secure with toothpicks if needed, and flash freeze on a cookie sheet until frozen. Then, remove from freezer, place in a Ziploc freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

To bake them, line the taquitos on baking sheet, spray with cooking spray, and Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until golden. We like to serve these with a side of spanish rice. Also, Tostitos has a jar of Monterey Jack Cheese Sauce that makes a perfect dipping sauce for these taquitos."

Monday, September 7, 2009

Chicken Flautas

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 yellow/white onion
2 garlic cloves
1 T. vegetable oil
3 1/2 oz. monterey jack, shredded
12 corn tortillas
salt and pepper
1-2 T. vegetable oil

Cook chicken, shred. Set aside. Chop onion finely and crush garlic. Heat oil in frying pan, add onion and garlic. Saute over low heat 5 minutes. or until onion has softened. Add chicken; salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Remove from heat, cool a few minutes. Soften tortillas by heating 30 seconds in microwave. Place spoonful of filling and spoonful of cheese in tortilla. Roll tightly and place on lightly greased cookie sheet with lip. (jelly-roll pan) With pastry brush, brush a light coat of oil over all of rolled tortillas. Bake at 300 degrees for about 25 minutes. (Ok, I've never actually timed it. Just keep an eye on them until they are crisp and golden.) Serve with guacamole, sour cream and salsa.


Welcome to our recipe-sharing blog! I'm so excited to gather your tried and true recipes here! Thanks for participating, and please keep the recipes coming so that we can really make good use out of this blog. When you can, please try to post at least one recipe a week to ensure that our collection gets going and keeps growing. You won't get the boot if you forget, but it will keep our blog from being a truly awesome resource if you don't. :)

When you post a recipe, please remember to use the "label" box at the bottom of your post to list main ingredients and other pertinent descriptive tags. This will help us categorize and find recipes later, especially once we get a lot. Ex: breakfast, dinner, main course, side course, chicken, eggs, healthy, dessert, low-fat . . . you get the idea. As you choose labels to add, refer to what labels have already been used and pull from them when applicable to avoid doubling up on categories (ex. "fast" and "quick"). While writing your post, in the bottom right corner of the box you'll see a section for labels, with the words "Show All" next to it. Click on the words, and it will give you a list of labels that have already been used to get you started and to avoid doubling up on categories. Feel free to create new labels as needed, though. After you finish writing your recipe and posting it, you can go into "Edit Posts", look for the "Label Actions" box right above where all the blogs are listed. By checking the box next to your recent post, and using the "label actions", you can easily choose to add or remove labels onto your blog right from that main page.

It's always nice to see a picture of what you will be making. If you have pictures, or can find pictures of your dish, that's a nice perk. If you make someone's recipe that doesn't have a picture, grab your camera and we'll add it on! Feel free to invite others to this blog. The more family-friendly recipes, the better! (PS: All recipes are welcome, as long as you like them!)

Thanks for sharing!

Chicken and Apples in Honey Mustard Sauce

This is a recipe I got off of a fantastic website, here: (the picture is from there, too). I hope I don't get in trouble for posting it! I made it a month ago, and the entire family loved it! I love meat and fruit cooked together, so this is a top recipe for me.

Chicken and Apples in Honey Mustard Sauce Recipe

Preparation time: 30 minutes.


  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • 2 Tbsp seasoned dry breadcrumbs
  • 4 4oz chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small unpeeled apples, cored and cut into eighths (use Golden delicious, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Pippin, or McIntosh apples, seecooking apples chart)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Fresh parsley


1 Whisk cider, cornstarch, mustard, honey, salt and pepper (to taste) in a bowl. Set aside.

2 Spread bread crumbs on a piece of wax paper, lightly coat chicken with crumbs.

3 In a large non-stick skillet, heat the oil and add the chicken breasts. Cook over medium heat until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn chicken, add apples, and cook until browned on the other side.

4 Add chicken broth, cover and simmer until chicken is tender, about 15 minutes.

5 With slotted spoon, remove chicken and apples to serving plates. Whisk cider mixture again and add to skillet. Cook and stir over high heat until lightly thickened and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon over chicken and apples, sprinkle with parsley.

Serve with rice. Serves 4.

Below is a picture of how my meal turned out! Really yummy--I think I used Fugi apples.