Thursday, December 17, 2009

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN TACOS

1 can (12.5 oz) chicken breast meat, drained
1 tbsp dry taco seasoning mix
1 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup sliced red onions
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper strips
1/2 cup red bell pepper strips
4 flour tortillas (6-in size), warmed
fresh cilantro, chopped

Sprinkle drained chicken meat with 1 teaspoon of the taco seasoning mix; set aside. In a 10-inch non-stick frying pan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the onions and peppers to the oil; sprinkle with the other two teaspoons of the taco seasoning mix. Stir-fry over medium heat until the vegetables are crisp tender. Carefully toss the chicken into the onions and peppers until heated through. Stir about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture onto one side of each of the warmed tortillas; fold over. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.

Monday, December 14, 2009

ORANGE TERIYAKI GLAZED SALMON FILET

1/3 cup orange marmalade
3 tbsp teriyaki marinade
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 lb salmon filet, approximately 1-inch thick

In a small saucepan combine the orange marmalade, the teriyaki marinade, and the fresh pepper. Stir the mixture together over low heat until the marmalade is melted and the mixture is well combined. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Take out 3 tablespoons of sauce and set the rest aside.

Place the salmon with the skin side down in a glass baking dish. Brush the 3 tablespoons of the sauce of the top of the salmon. Marinade in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.

Prepare the grill for direct cooking by oiling the grid. Grill the salmon over medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side or until the salmon begins to flake with a fork. Serve with the remaining sauce.

Yield: 4 servings at 283 calories, 23 g protein, and 19 g carbs per serving.


Friday, December 11, 2009

GELATIN COOKIES

3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 pkg (3-oz) fruit flavored gelatin (your choice)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl,cream the shortening and sugar together until smooth. Add the dry gelatin mix, eggs, and vanilla; mix well. In a seperate bowl mix the baking powder, flour, and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix together well. Roll the dough into 3/4-inch balls. Press onto a greased cookie sheet with a small glass, the bottom dipped in sugar. (Rub a small amount of shortening on the bottom of the glass to get sugar to stick the first time. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned.

Note: You can add a couple of drops of food coloring to enhance the color of the gelatin, if desired.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

TEXAS COW PATTIES

1 stick butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 cups quick oats
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium saucepan combine the butter or margarine, sugar, cocoa, and milk; heat to boiling over med-high heat and boil for 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the vanilla, peanut butter, and oats. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper to cool.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

LAYERED TACO FLAVORED BEAN DIP

2 cans (10 1/2-oz each) bean dip
1 envelope (1 1/4-oz) taco seasoning mix
6 green onions, finely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
Chips or celery for dipping

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the bean dip and taco seasoning mix until well blended. Spread the mixture in the bottom of a glass pie plate. Sprinkle the green onions over the bean dip mixture. Stir the sour cream into the mayonnaise until blended; spread over the onions. Top with the ripe olive slices. Cover and chill. Serve with corn chips, tortilla chips, or celery.

Note: This is an easy dip to make the night before to take to office parties, church socials, pitch-ins, etc.

Monday, November 30, 2009

CHINESE VEGETARIAN NOODLES

1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger (1 tsp ground ginger)
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder (or less to suit your taste)
1/4 cup vegetable broth
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp corn oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1/2 lb rice stick noodles (ethnic food section), softened in hot water and drained

Make a curry seasoning by mixing together the following:, garlic, ginger, curry powder; set aside.

Make a basic Chinese sauce by mixing together the vegetable broth, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper; set aside.

Heat a heavy skillet over high heat; add the oil and heat until hot, about 30 seconds. Add the curry seasoning and stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the onion lices and stir-fry for a minute or until barely tender. Add the red and green peppers; stir-fry for another minute. Add the cabbage and cook for 2 or 3 minutes until everything is crisp tender. Add the Chinese sauce and the noodles. Carefully toss to mix. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Best served hot.

Monday, November 23, 2009

UPDATED VERSION OF GRANDMA'S CHICKEN POT PIE

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tbsps Italian salad dressing
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
1/4 lb Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Put the Italian salad dressing into a large skillet and add the cubed chicken. Cook the chicken over medium heat for 5 minutes or until cooked through. Stir in the vegetables, soup, and the cheese. Put the mixture into a 9-inch square baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Unfold the pastry sheet and place over the chicken mixture; fold the edges of the pastry under and press down onto the edges of the baking dish. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg. Cut slits in crust to vent. Set baking dish on a cookie sheet (to catch any boil-over that might happen). Place casserole in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is browned and mixture is bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Yield: 6 servings

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CINDY'S CRAB TOASTS

1 small can flaked crab
1 stick butter or margarine
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 small jar Old English Cheese Spread
1 pkg English muffins
seasoning salt to taste
lemon pepper to taste
garlic salt to taste

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, mayonnaise, cheese spread, and seasonings well. Add the crab to the mixture. Split the muffins and spread the crab mixture on the muffins. Freeze on an open pan and then store sealed in zip-top freeze bags. When ready to use, cut into fourths and broil until bubbly, being careful not to burn.

Note: Keeps well in freezer.

Yield: 48 appetizers

Monday, November 16, 2009

SPIRITED EGG NOG

1 can or carton (32-oz) egg nog, chilled
1/2 cup of rum or brandy
whipped cream
ground cinnamon

In a glass pitcher, combine the egg nog and the rum or brandy; stir to combine well. When serving, garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon. Be sure to refrigerate any leftovers!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

ROMAN STYLE CAULIFLOWER and BROCCOLINI

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
8 oz broccolini
4 leaves of chard, torn
2 tbsps olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz tofu, cut into small cubes
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste

Bring saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower florettes; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broccolini flowers and cook for another minute. Add the chard leaves and cook another minute. Remove mixture from heat, drain, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the garlic and cook about 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Add tofu; cook for a minute. Turn heat to high; add the drained vegetables. Season to suit your taste. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the vegetables start to brown. Add the lemon zest; cook for two minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook for one minute.

Friday, November 13, 2009

TANGY LOW FAT THOUSAND ISLAND SALAD DRESSING

This homemade salad dressing is low-fat and has only about 15 calories per tablespoon.

1 cup lowfat plain yogurt
1/4 cup ketchsup
2 tbsps sweet pickle relish
1/4 cup low-fat milk

Mix all the ingredients together and store in a small jar with a lid. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve over your favorite green salad.

Hint: This dressing is also a good low-fat spread for hamburgers.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

QUICK AND EASY APPLE CRISP

1/3 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
6 medium, tart apples

Peel and core apples; cut into thin slices. Place the slices, spread level, in a baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Blend the flour and brown sugar together; cut in the butter until mixture is crumble. Sprinkle the mixture over top of the apple slices. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the top is browned and the apples are fork tender.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

CREAMY CHICKEN BROCCOLI RICE BAKE

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 1/2 cups minute rice, uncooked
1 1/4 cups milk
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed enough to break up
8-oz Velveeta style cheese, cubed
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12 x 8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking oil spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken pieces, rice and frozen broccoli. Stir in the milk, cheese, and mayonnaise until well blended. Spoon into the prepared casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Friday, October 30, 2009

QUICK AND EASY ONION BURGERS

2 lbs lean ground beef
1 egg
1 envelope dry onion soup mix

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix together well. Grill or fry to desired doneness. Serve on whole wheat buns with your favorite condiments.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

FRUIT SALSA

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
1 kiwi
1 large orange
1 cup fresh strawberries
2 tbsp brown sugar

Chop all the fruits with a food chopper or in a food processor. Stir in the brown sugar and mix well. Serve with cinnamon tortilla chips.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sorry, Folks!

I apologize for the lack of new postings on this site. We are currently out of state and I am taking my turns staying at my mother-in-law's bedside during her final days of life. We are in the country and have some trouble getting good laptop computer time and internet access. Be patient as things should be back to normal before much longer.

Linda

CORNBREAD BEEF CASSEROLE

1 lb ground beef
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp chili powder
1 can (16-oz) pinto beans
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cans (8-oz) tomato sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 pouch Mexican cornbread mix

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12 X 8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a 10 or 12-inch skillet crumble and cook the ground beef with the crushed garlic and onion until the meat is browned; drain off excess fat. Stir the chili powder and the tomato sauce into the meat mixture. Spoon the meat mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the meat mixture. Spoon the pinto beans over the cheese. Prepare the cornbread mix according to the package directions and pour the batter over the beans. Bake at 400 degrees approximately 25 minutes or until the cornbread is browned.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

MAPLE & PUMPKIN SPICE POPCORN

2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice mix
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans or almonds, optional
5 cups freshly popped popcorn in a glass heatproof bowl

In a small saucepan combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly. Stir in the butter until it is melted into the hot mixture. Remove from the heat and add nuts, if using. Pour the hot mixture over the popcorn and stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until all the corn is coated. Allow to coat before serving. Serve once cooled or store in an airtight container.

Monday, October 12, 2009

CAST A SPELL CHICKEN BREASTS

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Japanese (Panko) bread crumbs
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, oregano, parsley, paprika, salt and pepper in a pie plate.

Dip the chicken into the melted butter then dredge in the pie plate mixture to coat. Place on the prepared pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender and juices run clear.

EASY SEAFOOD PIZZA

1 roll (8-oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup seafood cocktail sauce
1/2 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper, seeded, and chopped
4 oz flaked or imitation crabmeat, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Unroll the crescent dough and separate it into triangles. On a 12 or 13-inch pizza pan or baking stone arrange the triangles in a circle with the points in the center. Using a lightly floured pizza roller or rolling pin, roll the dough into an even circle by pressing the seams together to seal into one piece of dough. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and cool completely. In a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and dill weed. Add the lemon zest to the cream cheese mixture and mix well. Spread the mixture evenly over the cooled crust. Spread the cocktail sauce over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the cucumber, bell pepper, and crabmeat over the cocktail sauce. Sprinkle with the parsley. Cut pizza and serve.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

AGGIE'S HOMEMADE BROWNIES

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
8 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
4 beaten eggs
1 cup butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the sugar and eggs; mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into the mixture. Stir to blend. Stir in the cocoa, then the melted butter, vanilla, and nuts, if using. Bake in a baking pan that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

OLD FASHION HOOSIER GERMAN CABBAGE

1 medium head cabbage, grated
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/3 cup white vinegar
3 tbsp sugar

In a large skillet or a saucepan, cook the cabbage in the boiling water with the salt for two minutes. Drain water from the cabbage. In a small bowl combine the egg, vinegar, and sugar. Pour the egg mixture over the cabbage, cooking while stirring, only until the egg congeals. Remove from heat and season with more salt and black pepper, if desired.

Often served with barbecued chicken and with ham.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

CHICKEN FAJITA PITA

4 pita pockets
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken
1 green bell pepper
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp lime juice

Cut the chicken into strips. Core and seed the bell pepper and slice into thin strips.
In a large skillet, heat the canola oil. Add the chicken and lime juice to the skillet and stir-fry until the chicken in tender and cooked through. This will take about 8 minutes. Add the bell pepper strips and cook another 3 or 4 minutes, until the pepper is tender. Stuff the mixture into the pita pockets. Add some picante sauce or other garnish, if desired.

BEEF AND ZUCCHINI SKILLET

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 small hot peppers, seeded and chopped
1 large cubed zucchini, peeled and diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 small can V-8 Juice

In a large skillet cook the ground beef, onion and peppers until the meat is no longer pink and the peppers are soft. Pour the mixture into a colander to drain. Using a paper towel wipe the skillet. Return the meat mixture to the skillet. Add the carrots and juice. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer. When the carrots start to get tender, add the zucchini and tomatoes. Simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Friday, October 9, 2009

BARBECUE-JELLY MEATBALLS

2 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 small onion, chopped
1 bottle your favorite barbecue sauce
1 small jar grape jelly

In a large mixing bowl, using your hands, mix the ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion until well mixed. Form the mixture into small meatballs and brown in a large skillet.

In a large saucepan, combine the barbecue sauce and jelly. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the jelly is dissolved. Add the meatballs to the mixture, lower the heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.

DELIGHTFUL FRUIT SALAD

1 pkg (4-serving size) lemon pudding and pie filling mix
1 pkg Dream Whip
1 can (approx. 16-oz) fruit cocktail, drained
1 can (approx. 16-oz) mandarin oranges, drained
1 can (approx. 16-oz) can peach slices, drained
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Make the pie filling mix according to package directions but using 1 3/4 cups water; cool.

While pie filling cools, make the Dream Whip according to the package directions (or whip 1/2 pint whipping cream.) Fold the whipped mixture into the cooled pie filling. Gently fold in the fruit cocktail, oranges, peaches, and marshmallows.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

ARTICHOKE PEPPER SPREAD

1 can (14-oz) artichoke hearts, drained
1 jar (6-oz) marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (4-oz) diced green chili peppers, drained

Place all the drained artichoke hearts in a blender container or food processor. Cover and process until finely chopped. Stop machine and scrape down sides of bowl when necessary. Transfer artichokes to a medium saucepan; stir in the cheese and chili peppers. Cook, stirring, over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until heated through and the cheese has melted. Serve warm with party breads and/or assorted crackers.

LEMONY LAMB CHOPS

2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 shoulder lamb chops, 3/4-inch thick
2 tsp canola oil
1 lemon, cut into wedges

In a small bowl mix the lemon pepper seasoning with 2 teaspoons of the ground cumin; rub onto both sides of the chops. Heat the canola oil in a nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook the chops 3 to 5 minutes per side depending on your desired doneness. Serve with lemon wedges.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

EASY SAUTEED SHRIMP

2 tbsp butter or butter flavored shortening
1 large garlic clove, cut into quarters
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 lb small fresh shrimp that are peeled and deveined

In a small skillet melt the butter or shortening; add the garlic and dill weed. Cook while stirring over low heat until the garlic starts to turn light brown. Discard the garlic. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, over medium heat for around 5 minutes or until color is opaque. Drain the shrimp on paper toweling. Serve immediately.

QUICK AND EASY CREAM OF SPINACH SOUP

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
dash of ground nutmeg
4 1/4 cups milk
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and water squeezed out

In a large saucepan melt the butter; add the chopped onion. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the onion is tender. Stir in the flour, mixing well to avoid lumps. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Gradually blend in the milk while stirring. Continue to cook, stirring, for about a minute or two until thickened. Stir in the spinach and remove from the heat.

Monday, October 5, 2009

CARAMEL APPLE BREAD PUDDING

10 slices cinnamon-raisin bread, cubed
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 medium Granny Smith apples, diced
1 cup caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the bread with the melted butter. In a 9-inch square baking pan that has been sprayed lightly with nonstick cooking spray, layer half the apples, half the bread mixture, and half the caramel sauce. Repeat the layers. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until the apples are tender and the bread is golden brown.

A BLOODY MARY MOCKTAIL

For the many folks out there who don't drink alcohol, this Mocktail is for you.

3 cups V8 vegetable juice
1 tsp prepared horseradish
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
celery sticks with small leaves attached, if desired

Mix the V8 juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce together. Pour over ice to serve. Garnish by putting a celery stick in the glass, if desired.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

QUICK ZITI SKILLET

1 lb ground beef
1 jar (28-oz) pasta sauce (your favorite)
3 cups uncooked ziti
grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, cook the ziti according to the package directions; drain well.

In a medium skillet using medium-high heat, crumble the ground beef and cook until browned. Drain in a colander to get rid of the excess fat. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel. Return the beef to the skillet and add the cooked ziti and the pasta sauce. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

GOLDEN ONION RINGS

6 onions, peeled & sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1 egg
2 tbsp vegetable oil + oil for frying

Separate the onion slices into rings and place in a large bowl of ice water.

heat oil in deep fryer to 375 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, salt, milk, egg, and vegetable oil. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
Dip a few of the rings at a time into the prepared batter. Drop into the hot grease and fry until golden brown.

HOMEMADE BAR-B-Q HAMBURGERS

This is an old Midwestern recipe.

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 can tomato soup
1/4 soup can of water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp prepared mustard

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onion until the onion is tender and the beef is no longer pink. Drain well and return to the skillet. Mix the soup with the water, using a wire whisk. Whisk until smooth then pour over the beef and onion. Add the salt, chili powder, brown sugar, and mustard; stir to blend in well. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve on buns with pickles, red onion slices, or other condiments of your choice.

Friday, October 2, 2009

QUICK AND EASY CREAMY RICE

1 can (10 3/4-oz) cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups uncooked minute rice
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

In a medium saucepan mix the soup and chicken broth together with a whisk. Over medium-high heat bring to boil, stirring frequently. Stir in the rice and cheese. Cover the pan and remove from the heat. Let stand without lifting lid for 10 minutes. Fluff mixture with a fork. Serve topped with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

WE ARE BEEF EATERS!

In our recent poll "Which do you cook most often?", we proved that we are still beef eaters! Only 1 voted poultry, no one voted for pork or seafood, all the rest voted for beef.

CHILI CON QUESO APPETIZERS

4 eggs
1/2 cup Thick & Chunky style salsa
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 green onion, chopped
sour cream, if desired
additional salsa, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 24 muffin cups; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix eggs, salsa, flour, and chili powder together well. Stir in the cheese and green onion.

Spoon about 1 full tablespoonful of the mixture into each of the prepared muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees about 10 minutes or until golden brown. May be served warm or at room temperature.

Serve with small bowls of additional salsa and/or sour cream, if desired.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

QUICK BROILER APPETIZERS

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup Mayonnaise-style salad dressing
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
dash of garlic powder
18 slices party rye bread, lightly toasted

Combine the cheese, salad dressing, bell pepper, and garlic powder. Spread the mixture on the toasted bread slices. Broil until lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Watch carefully and do not burn.

QUICK AND EASY TURKEY STIR-FRY

1 tbsp canola oil
1 bag (16-oz) Asian-style frozen vegetable combination, thawed
1 can ( 10 3/4-oz) condensed gold mushroom soup
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups cubed cooked turkey (or chicken)
4 cups hot cooked rice

In a medium skillet, over medium heat, heat the canola oil. Add the thawed vegetables; stir-fry until crisp tender. Add the soup, soy sauce, and garlic powder. Heat to boiling; add the turkey (or chicken) and heat through. Serve over the hot cooked rice.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

MICROWAVE RANCH DIJON HALIBUT STEAKS FOR 2

1/2 cup ranch salad dressing
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 halibut steaks (at least 1-inch thick)

In a small bowl, combine the salad dressing mustard. Brush 1/4 cup of the sauce on the fish, covering both sides. Reserve the remaining sauce.

Arrange the halibut on a microwave-safe baking dish. Arrange so the thickest portion of the fish is toward the outer edge of the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and cut a vent slit. Microwave on high for 4 to 7 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with the reserved sauce.

RICE AND TOMATOES WITH CREAM CHEESE

3 cups minute rice
8-oz cream cheese, softened
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (save juice for another use)

In a saucepan, cook the rice as directed on the package. Cut the cream cheese into small pieces. When the rice is done, stir in the cream cheese until melted. Add the tomatoes, gently fold in and serve.

Yield: 8 servings

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

HOMEMADE CARAMELCORN

28 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
2 tbsp cold water
2 1/2 quarts freshly popped corn

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Lightly butter a cookie sheet that has sides; set aside.

In a large glass measuring cup, put the caramels and water. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes; stir. Continue microwaving on high for another 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the sauce is smooth and the caramels melted. Immediately pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn; toss until popcorn is well coated. Spread onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Break into bite-sized pieces.

EASY SPINACH-PARMESAN DIP

1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup mayonnaise style salad dressing
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 can (8-oz) water chestnuts, drained & chopped
1/8 tsp ground red pepper

In a medium bowl, blend the salad dressing and sour cream together. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and red pepper. Add the spinach and water chestnuts, stir to blend well. Cover and chill. Serve with assorted crackers and/or fresh vegetables.

Yield: 4 cups

Monday, September 28, 2009

QUICK PIZZA CASSEROLE

6 oz fettucine, broken up
1 pkg (3 1/2-oz) sliced pepperoni
1 jar (15 1/2-oz) pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can (4-oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can (2.25 oz) can sliced pitted ripe olives, drained
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Bring 8 cups of hot water to boiling. Add the fettucine, boil gently for 8 to 10 minutes until tender. Drain; return to the pan. Cut the pepperoni slices in half and add to the fettucine. Stir in the pizza sauce, 3/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, olives, and the Parmesan cheese. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese over the top. Bake in a 400 degree oven about 15 minutes or until heated through.

QUOTES WE CAN APPLY TO COOKING

Here are a couple of quotes that aptly apply to cooking. Especially when we have to hurry to prepare meals. So remember these when you are worried to try something new or think feeding your family fast food would be easier!

The first quote is from Mary Tyler Moore. I doubt she was talking about cooking but I believe it certainly applies. "Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow."

The second quote is from actor George Clooney. Again, I doubt he was talking about cooking but it definitely applies. "The only failure is not to try."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

MARY'S BANANA MUFFINS

1 egg
1 cup mashed bananas
2 cup biscuit baking mix
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp canola oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease the bottoms only of 12 muffin cups.

Beat the egg slightly; stir in the bananas, baking mix, sugar, milk, and oil just until moistened. Evenly divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes.

EASY TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE

1 pkg (about 8 oz) egg noodles, cooked
1 can tuna
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
crushed potato chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the tuna, soup, butter, salt, and milk; whisk until smooth. Fold in the noodles and pour the mixture into a casserole dish that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Sprinkle crushed potato chips on top, if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until bubbly and heated through.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

ASPARAGUS AND TOASTED ALMOND CHICKEN SALAD

2 1/2 cups 1-inch cut pieces asparagus
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp lemon juice (fresh preferably)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cups chopped roasted chicken breast
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted

Steam the asparagus for a couple of minutes until crisp tender.

Combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, curry powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl using a wire whisk. Add the asparagus, bell pepper, parsley, almonds, and chicken; toss to coat.

Yield: 4 servings

Friday, September 25, 2009

LINGUINE PASTA CARBONARA

8 oz linguine
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Cook linguine as directed on the package. Drain but do not rinse; return to the pan. Whisk together the eggs, butter, and milk; toss with the linguine. Add the remaining ingredients and heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Serve sprinkled with additional cheese, if desired.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

QUICK AND EASY FILLO PEANUT BUTTER CUPS

1 box (15) mini-fillo shells
15 miniature peanut butter cups
1 small can whipped cream
chopped peanuts for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place 15 paper baking cups on the foil putting a fillo cup into each one, if desired. Fillo cups do not have to be put in paper cups. Place a peanut butter cup into each shell. Bake for 5 minutes or until the chocolate softens. With a small spatula, flatten and even out the chocolate in the cup. Let stand at room temperature until cooled. Top each with whipped cream. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE KEBABS

1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsps dried oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 24 strips
18 slices zucchini, (1/2-inch thick)
1 fennel bulb, cut into 12 wedges
12 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Nonstick cooking oil spray

In a plastic ziptop bag combine the lemon juice, oregano, olive oil, chicken, and zucchini. Be sure bag is sealed, shake well to coat, and refrigerate for 20 minutes to marinate. Remove from the refrigerator and remove the mixture from the bag. Discard the marinade.

Prepare the indoor or outdoor grill.

Cook the garlic cloves in some boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and allow to cool.

To prepare kebabs: Thread 4 chicken strips, 3 zucchini slices, 2 fennel wedges, and 2 garlic cloves alternately onto each of 6 (12-inch) skewers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place kebabs on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Cook 8 minutes, turning once, or until chicken is done.

Yield: 6 kebabs

THYME FOR BASMATI PILAF

2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp bottled minced garlic
1 cup basmati rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 tsp dried thyme

In a medium saucepan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat; add the garlic and saute for a minute. Add the rice and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat, stir in the green onion and thyme.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

EASY VEGETABLE STIR-FRY

1 cup chicken broth (vegetable, if you prefer)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup baby carrots
1 1/4 cup broccoli flowerets
1 1/4 cup cauliflowerets
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
Toasted sesame seeds, optional

In a small bowl, stir the broth, cornstarch, and soy sauce until the mixture is smooth.

Heat the vegetable oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, ginger and garlic. Stir-fry until the vegetables are crisp tender. Add the broth mixture to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the mixture boils and thickens. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

VEGGIE STUFFED MUSHROOMS

1 lb (approx 20) large white mushrooms
1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli
1/4 cup finely chopped or grated carrot
1 tbsp finely chopped onion
1/2 cup crushed seasoned croutons
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Clean mushrooms and cut a thin slice off the stem and discard it. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop enough stems to make a fourth of a cup. Place chopped stems in a small mixing bowl.

Place mushrooms, cap side down, in a deep baking dish. With the stems in the mixing bowl, combine the broccoli, carrot, and onion. Stir in the crushed croutons, salt, and cheese. Add the butter and mix well. Spoon the vegetable mixture evenly into the mushroom caps. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until the stuffing is light golden brown. Serve warm.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

PORK WITH CURRIED ORANGE SAUCE

4 (1 lb total) boneless center-cut loin pork chops
3/4 tsp curry powder, divided
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
nonstick cooking oil spray

In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the curry powder. Sprinkle the mixture over the pork chops.

In another small bowl, combine the remaining curry powder, orange marmalade, horseradish, vinegar, and red pepper.

Heat a skillet that is coated with nonstick cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the pork to the skillet and cook three to five minutes on each side or until the pork loses its pink color. Remove from pan and set aside to keep warm.

Add the marmalade mixture to the pan and cook for a few seconds while scraping pan to loosen the browned bits. Spoon sauce over the pork chops.

CHEESY SALSA DIP

1 lb Velveeta-style cheese, cubed
1 jar (8-oz) your favorite salsa
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

In a microwave-safe bowl, put the cubed cheese product and salsa. Microwave on high for about 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted. Stir after 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Add the cilantro; stir in to mix well. Serve dip with tortillas and/or corn chips.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Quick and Easy Noodles Romanoff

8-oz pkg egg noodles
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles well and return to the pan. Add the sour cream and Parmesan cheese. Toss noodles lightly to coat with the sour cream and cheese. Serve immediately while still hot.

CHEDDAR SLOPPY JOES

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 small carton Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 can (14 1/2-oz) can diced tomatoes
6 hamburger buns

In a large skillet brown the ground beef and drain. Add the onion and bell pepper, saute until tender. Stir in the cheese and tomatoes; stir and cook over medium-low until the liquid cooks out. Serve on the buns.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN FAJITA PIZZAS

4 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups Mexican-style shredded cheese
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper*
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup ripe olive slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the tortillas on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the shredded cheese on each of the tortillas. Bake 4 to 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Toss the chicken and salsa together; spread on the warm tortillas. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the chicken mixture. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Top the pizzas with the chopped bell pepper, chopped tomatoes, and ripe olives.

TURKEY AND VEGETABLE WRAPS

2 cups diced smoked turkey breast (or leftover turkey)
2 cups salad greens
1/2 cup canned corn, drained
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
3 tbsp ranch dressing
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, salad greens, corn, bell pepper, green onions, and ranch dressing. Toss the mixture well to coat. Warm the tortillas according to the package directions. Top each of the tortillas with a cup of the turkey mixture; Tuck in one end of the tortilla then roll up.

Friday, September 18, 2009

YOUR OWN BACON, EGG, & CHEESE ENGLISH MUFFIN SANDWICH

1/4 cup egg substitute
1 Whole-wheat English muffin, split and toasted
1 slice low-fat cheese
1 slice already cooked bacon; halved

Spray a small skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the egg substitute and cook until set, stirring or turning occasionally. Spoon mixture onto 1/2 of the English muffin. Top egg with the cheese slice and bacon. Place other half of the English muffin on top to form a sandwich.

EASY SEAFOOD SALAD

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 lb sea scallops
1/2 lb lump crabmeat, all shell pieces removed
1 1/2 cups diced seeded tomato
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
3 tbsp minced green onions
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp minced jalapeno pepper, seeded
6 cups gourmet salad greens

Steam shrimp and scallops, covered, for 6 minutes or until done. Allow to cool. Cut the shrimp and scallops into quarters. Combine shrimp, scallops, crabmeat, tomato, cilantro, green onions,lime juice, and jalapeno pepper in l bowl. Serve the mixture over the salad greens.

WEEKEND WAFFLES

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup soy flour
1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups low-fat milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large egg yolks
2 large egg whites
dash of sugar
nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
Fresh fruit, optional

Lightly spoon the flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flours, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine the milk, oil, and egg yolks; add to the flour mixture, stirring until smooth.

Place the egg whites in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add the sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter.

Coat waffle iron with the nonstick cooking spray; preheat. When hot, spoon 1/3 cup batter per 4-inch waffle onto the iron. Spread batter to the edges. Cook until the steaming stops; 5 to 6 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve with syrup and fresh fruit, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings of two waffles

Thursday, September 17, 2009

APPLE GLAZED CHICKEN BREASTS

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup apple jelly
3 tbsp chicken broth
2 tbsp thinly sliced green onions, including tops

Preheat broiler. Line pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a small saucepan, blend the jelly and broth. Heat the mixture, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the jelly melts. Reduce the heat and add the green onions, salt and pepper; stir to mix well. Remove 1/3 of the mixture and set aside.

Put the chicken breasts on the foil lined broiler pan and brush with the apple jelly mixture. Broil for about 20 minutes or until the juices run clear. Turn frequently while cooking and baste with the jelly mixture.

Heat the reserved jelly mixture in the microwave. Drizzle over the cooked chicken before serving.

PEANUTTY OKRA

1 cup all-purpose baking mix
1/2 cup finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb fresh okra, cut into 1/4-inch pieces OR 1 pkg (16-oz) frozen cut okra, thawed
Peanut oil for frying

In a large bowl, stir together baking mix, chopped peanuts, salt and pepper. Add the okra, tossing to coat; gently press the mixture onto the okra.

Pour oil to 2-inches deep in a cast iron skillet or use a deep fryer. Oil should reach 375 degrees. Fry the okra in batches for about 4 minutes or until golden. Drain okra on paper towels on a cookie sheet.

Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

LIGHT AND DARK BEAN SALAD

1 can light red kidney beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 chopped dill pickle
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Drain the beans and save the liquid. Place beans in a large bowl and add the celery, onion, pickle, and eggs. Stir to mix. Add the mayonnaise and any of the reserved liquid you need to mix well.

MICROWAVE CHOCOLATE AND JAM BARS

TOPPING:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate mini-chips, divided
2 tbsp chopped pecans

BASE:
1/2 stick butter, softened
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup jam

To make topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and brown sugar. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until fine crumbs form. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chocolate mini-chips and the pecans. Set bowl aside.

To make base: In a small mixer bowl, combine butter, sugar, and brown sugar; beat until creamy. Beat in egg. Gradually beat in the flour and salt. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips from the topping list. Spread the mixture into a greased 8-inch square microwave-safe dish. Microwave on High power for 4 minutes. Rotate dish after 2 minutes (if microwave doesn't have a turntable). Top with the jam. Sprinkle the topping over the jam. Microwave on High 3 to 5 minutes longer, rotating once, until the jam bubbles around the edges. Cool completely by setting on the counter. Cut into bars.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MOCHA PUDDING

This pudding goes together in minutes. However, it does need to chill for a couple of hours.

1 container (15-oz) fat-free ricotta cheese
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp espresso powder
12 chocolate-covered coffee beans

Combine the ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup of the yogurt, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, and espresso powder in a food processor or blender container. Process just until smooth. Divide the pudding evenly into 4 dessert dishes, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

Before serving top each dish of pudding with one tablespoon of the remaining yogurt. Top the yogurt with 3 of the chocolate-covered coffee beans per dish.

HOMEMADE SPICE RUB

1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp salt
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Mix the brown sugar and the spices together. Seal in a jar with a lid or an airtight container. Use on chicken, beef, pork, or fish before grilling, broiling, or baking.

Friday, September 11, 2009

MICROWAVE CHOCOLATE OATMEAL MUFFINS

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup quick oats, uncooked
6 tbsp sugar, divided
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk chocolate baking chips
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
powdered sugar for garnish, if desired

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, half the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the chocolate chips.

In a small bowl, combine the eggs, canola oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, and the remaining half of the sugar. Stir the mixture to blend. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the flour mixture is moistened.

Spoon the batter into paper lined microwave muffin cups. Fill each cup about 2/3s full. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes or until done. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Yield: 15 muffins

Thursday, September 10, 2009

HONEY-PECAN CHICKEN

2 tbsp lite soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 cups wheat cereal squares, crushed
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
Vegetable oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a small shallow bowl, stir together the soy sauce and honey; set aside.

Line a baking sheet with sides with aluminum foil and spray with the vegetable oil spray; set aside.

Combine the cereal crumbs and pecans in a pie plate or shallow dish. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with the salt and pepper. Dip chicken in the honey mixture then dredge in the crumbs mixture to coat. Place chicken on the prepared baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

QUICK AND EASY BROCCOLI CHOWDER

1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped broccoli
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1 can (10 3/4-oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/8 tsp ground red pepper

In a medium saucepan bring 1/2 cup water to boiling; add broccoli and onion. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes or until the broccoli is crisp tender. Stir in the soup, milk, cheese, and red pepper. Cook and stir about 4 minutes or until heated through.

EASY CHEESY TORTELLINI

7-oz pkg cheese filled tortellini
1/2 lb pasteurized process cheese spread, cubed
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Cook tortellini according to the package directions and drain.

In a saucepan, over low heat, combine the milk, nutmeg, and the cubed cheese. Cook the mixture until the cheese spread is melted. Toss the tortellini with the cheese mixture.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

BUTTERED CITRUS CIDER

6 cups apple cider
1/2 medium unpeeled orange, sliced
8 whole allspice
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange peel strip
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

In a large saucepan, combine the cider and orange slices. Place the allspice and cloves, cinnamon sticks and orange peel on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Pull cheesecloth up to form a bag and tie with kitchen string; add to the cider. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Discard the spice bag from the cider saucepan. Pour cider into mugs and dot with the butter mixture. Use extra cinnamon sticks as stirrers, if desired.

BANANAS FOSTER

4 firm bananas
lemon juice
6 tbsp butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp banana liqueur
3 tbsp rum
whipped cream
ground cinnamon for garnish, optional

Peel bananas and brush with lemon juice. Melt the butter in a skillet. Stir the brown sugar into the butter and cook, stirring until sugar is melted. Add bananas in a single layer. Saute about 3 or 4 minutes; turn once. Pour the liqueur over all. Over low heat, heat rum in a small saucepan until warm. Pour over the bananas and then remove the skillet from the heat.

Carefully ignite the mixture in the skillet using a long stemmed match or fireplace lighter; shake pan back and forth. Spoon the flaming liqueur over the bananas until the flames die out. Serve immediately with the whipped cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Caution: Be care to remove pan from heat before igniting. Always be cautious when working with live fire.

Friday, September 4, 2009

CINNAMON AND SUGAR BISCUITS

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 tsp double-acting baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon, or more as desired

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or two butter knives until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Add milk and stir just enough for the dough to hold together. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly. Roll the dough out to a 3/4-inch thickness. Cut with a floured biscuit cutter or a glass, cutting straight down without twisting. Place biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar that has been stirred together in a small bowl. Bake at 425 degrees for 6 to 9 minutes.

SPICY SHRIMP WITH REMOULADE SAUCE

SAUCE:
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 tsp grated lime rind
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp capers, chopped
dash of ground red pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until combined. Set aside or refrigerate.

SHRIMP:
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp olive oil
Cilantro sprigs for garnish, if desired

In a medium bowl, combine cumin, paprika, coriander, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Add shrimp and toss well. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the shrimp to the skillet. Cook about 3 minutes on each side or until done. Do not overcook. Remove shrimp and keep it warm. Repeat the procedure with the remaining oil and shrimp. Serve shrimp with the Remoulade Sauce. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

DEBBIE'S SPICED CIDER

8 cups apple cider or juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 3-inch cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp ground allspice
dash of salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Additional cinnamon sticks for garnish, optional

In a large saucepan, combine the cider or juice, brown sugar, 3 cinnamon sticks, allspice, salt, and nutmeg; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Discard the cinnamon sticks. Use the additional cinnamon sticks as stirrers in the mugs, if desired.

Yield: approximately 1/2 gallon

STOVE TOP CHICKEN WITH WINE SAUCE

4 (1 lb) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup butter
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley*
3/4 cup whipping cream

Pound each chicken breast to about 1/4-inch thickness. On waxed paper or in a pie plate, mix together the flour, salt, and pepper. Coat the chicken with the flour mixture and shake off excess flour. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook over medium-high heat about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until browned and cooked through. Remove from the skillet and cover with foil to keep warm. Add the mushrooms and wine to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes. Add the parsley and whipping cream to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, a couple of minutes or until the sauce thickens. Serve the sauce over the chicken.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

SNOWCAPPED INDIVIDUAL BROCCOLI & HAM

1 pkg (10-oz) frozen cut broccoli
2 cups fully cooked ham, chopped
1/4 cup onion
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 egg whites
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Thaw broccoli in a colander under hot running water. Drain well and evenly divide among four 10-oz custard cups. Combine the ham with the onion and 1/4 cup of the mayonnaise; spoon over the broccoli in the custard cups.

For the topping, in a small mixer bowl with mixer on high beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir the remaining half cup of the mayonnaise and the mustard together. Fold the mayonnaise mixture into the egg whites. Spoon the egg whites over the ham. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the egg whites. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.

CHICKEN VEGGIE STIR-FRY

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tbsp canola oil
2 green onions, sliced
1 tbsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 pkg (16-oz) frozen Oriental mixed vegetables
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water

Slice the chicken breasts into 1-inch strips. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles when dropped onto pan. Add the oil. Place chicken in skillet and stir-fry about 5 minutes. Add the green onions and garlic; cook while stirring for 2 minutes. Stir in the salt and ginger. Add the mixed veggies and the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and cook until vegetables are heated through. This will take about 3 to 4 minutes.

Blend the cornstarch and water together until smooth. Add to the skillet and bring to a boil. Boil until the sauce is thickened. Remove from the heat and serve while hot. Serve over white rice.

Monday, August 31, 2009

CHEESY ITALIAN PIE

1 pkg refrigerated unbaked pie crusts
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped spinach
1 lb lean ground beef
2 cans (8-oz each) pizza sauce
2 beaten eggs
1 cup ricotta OR cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp dried marjoram, crushed
all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Remove pie crusts from refrigerator, remove from box and set stand at room temperature while you make the filling.

Put the spinach in a colander. Run hot water over spinach for about 5 minutes or until partly thawed. Drain well and squeeze out excess moisture.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the ground beef until no longer pink. Drain off the fat and rinse meat with hot water. Wipe the fat from the skillet with a paper towel. Put meat back into skillet and add the pizza sauce and spinach; stir to mix.

In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, ricotta or cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, and marjoram. Sprinkle flour on pie crusts, according to the package directions. Line a deep dish 9-inch pie pan with one of the crusts. Spoon the cheese and egg mixture into the crust. Top the cheese mixture with the beef mixture. Place the remaining crust over the beef mixture. Seal the edges and flute. Cut 3 or 4 slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

COOK'S DEVILED STEAKS

1 envelope (3/4-oz) brown gravy mix
2 tbsp prepared horseradish
1 can (4-oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
4 (5-oz each) beef tenderloin steaks
1/4 cup beef broth or red wine

Prepare gravy according the the package instructions. Add the horseradish and mushrooms to the gravy and mix well. Keep warm.

Heat a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes on each side (or longer for well done). Remove steaks from the skillet and keep warm.

Add the broth or wine to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly for a minute to deglaze the pan. Pour the juices into the gravy and mix well. Serve the gravy with the steaks.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

GRILLED CHICKEN MEDITERRANEAN STYLE

1 cup olive oil based Italian salad dressing
1 can (6-oz) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 tsp salt
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness

Preheat grill.

In a medium bowl, blend the salad dressing, orange juice concentrate and salt. Remove 1/3 of the mixture and save for basting.

Pierce chicken with a fork; add to the marinade and turn to coat well. Drain and discard the marinade.

Brush grill rack with oil. Grill chicken for about 15 minutes or until juices run clear. Baste frequently during cooking with the reserved marinade. If you prefer you can broil instead of grilling.

TORTELLINI BROCCOLI SALAD

1 pkg (7-oz) cheese tortellini
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 jar (6-oz) marinated artichokes, drained
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
2 1/2 tsp chopped fresh basil
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
6 cherry tomatoes, halved

Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain. Rinse and drain again. In a large bowl, combine the tortellini with the broccoli florets, parsley, artichokes, and green onions; toss lightly to mix. Pour the Italian dressing over the tortellini mixture and sprinkle with the fresh basil. Toss gently to coat. Cover salad and chill until serving time. Toss gently again just before serving. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the salad and garnish with the cherry tomatoes.

Note: This is an excellent make ahead salad as it can be prepared 6 to 8 hours before serving, if need be. Also, you can add leftover, cooked chicken to make an excellent entree salad.

Friday, August 28, 2009

TURKEY LETTUCE WRAPS

2 large leaves of leaf lettuce
2 slices turkey bacon, cooked
6 thin slices smoked turkey breast
2 thin peeled avocado slices
2 thin tomato wedges
1 tbsp Blue Cheese salad dressing

Top the lettuce leaves evenly with the bacon, turkey slices, avocado slices and tomato wedges. Drizzle the dressing over the meat and vegetables. Roll each lettuce leaf up tightly, securing it with a toothpick, if desired.

Yield: 2 wraps

Note: Be careful with the toothpicks to prevent choking. Toothpicks should be removed before you start eating.

NEW RED POTATOES WITH PARSLEY

1 1/2 lbs small new red potatoes, scrubbed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1/2 tsp pepper

Peel a strip of the peeling off around the middle of each potato. (You can omit this step, if desired.) Place the potatoes in cold water and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the oil. Saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until tender (don't allow garlic to burn!) Add the broth and 3/4 cup of the parsley to the skillet; mix well. Bring mixture to a boil. Place the potatoes in a single layer in the skillet. Return to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove the potatoes to a serving bowl using a slotted spoon. Add the pepper to the skillet and stir to blend. Pour the sauce over the potatoes. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of the parsley over the potatoes.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

CRUSTY POTATO WEDGES

1 lb red potatoes, scrubbed (about 8 potatoes)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray. Cut potatoes into wedges. In a large bowl, combine the mustard, paprika, cumin, and salt. Stir to mix well. Add the potato wedges to the seasoning in the bowl and toss to coat potatoes well. Spread the potatoes in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Leave a little space between wedges so all sides can brown. Bake wedges 20 minutes, turning about halfway through the baking process. Potatoes should be tender and crusty.

TOMATO MOZZARELLA SALAD WITH BASIL

Dressing:

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Salad:

1 1/4 lbs tomatoes, sliced
4 oz mozzarella cheese, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

To make the dressing: In a bowl whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper together to mix well.

Arrange the sliced tomatoes on a serving platter. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the tomatoes, then sprinkle the basil over all. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.

Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

QUICK AND EASY CRACKER APPETIZERS

Graham crackers
Whole-Grain crackers
1 tub cream cheese
orange marmalade
jalapeno jelly

Spread the crackers with the soft-style cream cheese. Top the cream cheese on the Graham crackers with the orange marmalade. Top the whole-grain cream cheese crackers with the jalapeno jelly. With this one quick and easy recipe, you have appetizers for two very different tastes to serve your guests.

QUICK AND EASY SPANISH RICE

2 tbsp olive or canola oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 can (4-oz) chopped mild green chiles, drained
1 cup minute rice
2 cups canned tomatoes
2 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
dash of chili powder

Heat oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, green chiles, and rice. Saute until rice is browned and vegetables are tender; about 5 minutes. Add the undrained tomatoes and the vinegar to the skillet; stir to mix well. Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper; mix well.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

TURKEY & MACARONI CASSEROLE

1 pkg (14-oz) pkg macaroni and cheese dinner mix
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen mixed vegetables
1 lb bulk turkey sausage
1/2 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 pkg (3-oz) cream cheese, cut-up

Cook macaroni from mix in a large amount of boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Add frozen vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes longer. Drain the mixture and return to the saucepan.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook turkey sausage and chopped onion until the sausage is cooked through and the onion is tender. Drain, if needed.

To the hot macaroni-vegetable mixture, add the cheese sauce from the boxed mix, milk, butter, and the cream cheese. Stir until the butter and cream cheese have melted. Stir in the turkey-onion mixture and heat through.

Yield: 4 servings

SESAME VEGETABLES

2 red bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
2 medium zucchini
4 carrots
1 tbsp olive or canola oil
1/2 small head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 tsp vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Cut bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots julienne-style. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add oil. Add bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots. Stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add cabbage, salt and pepper. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Mix the vinegar and water in a measuring cup; add to the skillet. Stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add sesame seeds to the mixture. Stir-fry for another minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables to a serving bowl. Serve immediately while hot.

Monday, August 24, 2009

CREAMY SPAGHETTI WITH TURKEY SAUSAGE

6 oz uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
3/4 pound Italian turkey sausage links, remove casings
2 tsp olive oil
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil, thinly sliced
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and add the sausage. Cook for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook an additional 10 minutes or until the sausage is no longer pink and the onion is tender. Add the tomatoes and basil, heat through. Add cream and bring the mixture to a boil. Drain the spaghetti and toss with the sausage mixture. Garnish with the Parmesan cheese.

GRILLED ZUCCHINI WITH CHEESE

1 lb zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 lb shredded mozzarella

Preheat broiler or prepare indoor or outdoor grill.

Brush the olive oil on the zucchini slices. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and oregano over the oil. Top with the shredded mozzarella cheese. Grill or broil for about 5 minutes until zucchini softens and cheese melts.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

BUTTERSCOTCH FLAVORED COFFEE

8 cups hot freshly brewed coffee
1 cup butterscotch baking chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 tbsp sugar, or sugar to taste
Whipped cream
additional butterscotch chips for garnish, if desired

In a 2-quart heat-proof pitcher, pour in the butterscotch chips; add the hot coffee. Stir together until the chips are melted. Add the heavy cream and sugar, stirring to blend. Pour coffee into serving mugs. Top each mug with some whipped cream and a few butterscotch chips, if desired.

Yield: 8 cups

CHICKEN APPLE SAUSAGE

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, diced
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp sage
1 lb lean ground chicken

In a large bowl, combine the apple, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and sage. Crumble the ground chicken over the mixture and mix well. Divide mixture into 8 equal parts and form into patties. Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the patties to the heated skillet and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side or until no longer pink and cooked through. Drain on paper toweling, if needed.

Per pattie: 92 calories, 4 g carbs, 9 g protein

You can freeze these patties either before or after cooking, if desired. Wrap individually for convenience.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

MICROWAVE PIZZA DIP

1 jar (8-oz) pasteurized process cheese spread
1 can (8-oz) pizza sauce
8 to 10 slices pepperoni, diced

In the microwave heat the cheese spread about 30 seconds for more easy removal from jar. In a small microwave safe bowl, mix the cheese spread and pizza sauce together. Microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until heated thoroughly, stirring halfway through cooking. Stir the diced pepperoni into the dip and stir to mix in well. Serve with bread sticks, fresh vegetables, or crackers.

QUICK AND EASY CABBAGE-APPLE SAUTE

1 tbsp canola oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 lb coarsely chopped cabbage
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute a couple of minutes or until transparent. Add the cabbage and saute 3 to 5 minutes until cabbage is just tender. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and apple. Saute another minute or two and serve while hot.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

GRILLED LEMON GARLIC CHICKEN

This chicken marinates overnight. It is in the quick fix recipes category because the marinade preparation only takes minutes and the chicken grills quickly the next day.

8 skinless boneless chicken breasts
juice of two lemons
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup canola oil
8 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. In a large glass baking dish, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, canola oil, garlic, thyme, parsley, chives, oregano, salt and pepper; add chicken and cover. Refrigerate overnight.

Remove chicken from refrigerator, drain and discard the marinade. Grill chicken until cooked through. Garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon slices, if desired.

RED WHITE AND BLUE CAKE AND BERRIES

1 vanilla pound cake, homemade or store bought
powdered sugar glaze
fresh strawberries
fresh blueberries

Slice pound cake into individual slices. Pour powdered glaze over the slice of cake. Garnish with the fresh strawberries and blueberries.

Note: Use a large star cookie cutter and cut cake slices into star shapes, if desired.

To make a powdered sugar glaze, mix a pound of powdered sugar with a small amount of milk or cream and a half teaspoon of butter flavoring or vanilla extract. Use as much milk or cream as needed for the consistency you prefer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

TROPICAL CHEESE SPREAD APPETIZER

1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese
1 can (8 1/4-oz) crushed pineapple with juice
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped pecans or macadamia nuts
Assorted crackers and party breads

In a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and pineapple with juice; mix until well blended. Add the cheese and blend in well. Stir in the coconut, apricots, and nuts; mix well. Chill until serving time. Serve with an assortment of crackers and/or miniature party breads.

ITALIAN TOTE ALONG SANDWICH

1 loaf (1 lb) Italian bread
1 pkg (3-oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup basil pesto
4 oz thin sliced provolone cheese
1/2 lb sliced salami
8 bottled banana peppers, stemmed, seeded, sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives, drained

Split loaf of bread in half horizontally. Scoop some of the soft bread from the bottom half but leave at least a half inch thick bottom. Spread the cream cheese on each cut side of the bread. Spread the pesto over the cream cheese on the bottom half of the bread. On the bottom half, layer the provolone cheese, salami, banana peppers, red onion slices, and sliced olives. Drizzle a little Italian dressing on sandwich over the olives if desired. Place the top half of the bread atop the sandwich and press down lightly.

Wrap sandwich tightly in plastic wrap for toting to a picnic, etc. Before serving, cut in six sections and top each with a cherry tomato on a long pick, if desired. If taking for lunch, cut into sections of desired size and wrap each separately. Store extras in refrigerator.

Monday, August 17, 2009

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN SKILLET

1 tbsp canola oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 can (10 1/4) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups uncooked instant brown rice
2 cups fresh broccoli broken into small florets

In a heavy 10-inch skillet, over medium heat, heat the canola oil. Add the chicken until well browned on both sides; remove from skillet.

Stir the soup, water, paprika, and pepper together in the skillet. Heat to a boil. Stir rice and broccoli into the soup mixture in skillet and reduce heat to low. Return the chicken to the skillet. Sprinkle additional paprika and pepper over the chicken. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender.

SWIRLY CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKES

3 cups vanilla ice cream
3 cups milk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate fudge syrup, divided
4 maraschino cherries with stems attached

In a blender container combine the ice cream, milk, and vanilla. Process until thick and smooth, about 1 minute.

Divide fudge syrup among four parfait glasses, covering the bottom and drizzling syrup in a spiral pattern around the inside of each glass. Divide the ice cream mixture evenly among the four parfait glasses. Swirl some chocolate fudge syrup over each serving. Place a maraschino cherry atop each milkshake.

NOTE: In a hurry, stir the fudge topping into the glasses rather than swirling the insides of the glass.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

BARBECUE CHICKEN GREEN SALAD

1/2 lb chicken strips or tenders
1/4 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
4 slices ready to serve bacon
1 large tomato
1/2 small yellow onion
8 cups mixed salad greens
1 cup whole-kernel corn, drained
1/3 cup ranch salad dressing

If using an electric stove, preheat broiler. Gas broiler does not need to be preheated. Spray broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a bowl, pour the barbecue sauce over the chicken and toss to coat. Broil 10 minutes or until cooked through, turning once during cooking process. Cut strips into thirds.

Heat bacon in microwave, crumble; set aside.

Coarsely chop the tomato. In a salad bowl, combine the tomato, onion, salad greens, and corn. Toss to mix ingredients. Pour the ranch dressing over the salad and toss. Divide salad among serving bowls or plates and top with chicken and sprinkle with bacon.

SAUTEED ZUCCHINI AND YELLOW SQUASH

1 lb zucchini
1 lb yellow squash
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
dash of garlic powder
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp snipped chives, optional

Slice zucchini and squash into 1/4 inch thick slices. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the squash, zucchini, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Cook 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in chives before serving, if desired.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

HERBED BAKED TOMATOES

3 large tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp unflavored bread crumbs
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a baking pan. Place tomatoes in pan, cut side up. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients; spread on tomatoes. Bake 15 minutes.

SHORTCUT CUTOUT COOKIES

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 of an 18-oz roll of refrigerated sugar-cookie dough

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Knead the flour into cookie dough until completely blended together. Roll out dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out cookie shapes and put about 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Reroll the scraps and cut more cookies. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes or just beginning to brown around the edges. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Frost or decorate as desired.

Friday, August 14, 2009

ROTEL NACHO CHEESE DIP

1 can Cheddar cheese soup
1 can Rotel chilies and tomatoes
1 small box Velveeta cheese
1 lb ground beef

Brown ground beef and drain. Mix soup, chilies and tomatoes, cheese, and beef in a crockpot. Let cheese melt and get hot. Serve over tortilla chips.

ARKANSAS DOWN-HOME FRIED CORN

1 tbsp bacon drippings or butter
4 cups whole-kernel corn (6 to 7 ears cut from the cob)
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup water

In a large skillet, heat the bacon drippings or butter over medium heat. Add corn, sugar, salt, and water; saute 5 to 7 minutes. Serve hot.

Yield: 8 servings

Thursday, August 13, 2009

RASPBERRY FLAVORED CHOCOLATE FONDUE

3/4 cup heavy cream
pinch salt
6 oz milk chocolate, chopped
6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 1/2 tbsp raspberry extract
1 tbsp corn syrup

In a small saucepan combine the cream and salt. Bring mixture to a boil and remove from heat. Add milk and semisweet chocolates to the saucepan mixture. Cover saucepan and let sit for 3 minutes. Remove the cover and whisk mixture until smooth. Whisk in raspberry extract and corn syrup. Serve immediately with pound cake or angel food cake cubes or with fruit. Stir the fondue often and reheat if necessary.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

EASY GRILLED VEGETABLES

1/2 cup mayo style salad dressing
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
2 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
2 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise
2 bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into fourths

If using an electric broiler, preheat. If using an outside grill, cook over hot not flaming coals. No need to preheat a gas broiler.

Mix the mayo style salad dressing and the Italian dressing until they are well blended. Lightly score the cut sides of the vegetables and brush one side with the salad dressing mixture. Place, salad dressing side up, on broiler pan about 4-inches from the heat. Broil 6 minutes. Turn vegetables, brush second side with the dressing mixture and return to broiler for another 5 to 6 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

GRILLED CORN WITH CAYENNE AND LIME BUTTER

6 fresh ears of corn still in the husks
6 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp cayenne pepper
juice of 2 limes
pinch of salt

Being careful not to rip husks, pull back and remove silks from the corn. Carefully fold the husks back over the corn. Soak corn in husks in a sink of cold water for 10 minutes. Remove from water and drain well.

Place corn on a medium-high hot grill and cook about 12 minutes, turning often to prevent burning. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, combine the butter, cayenne pepper, lime juice and salt. When the corn is cool enough to handle, pull back the husks but leave them attached as handles. Brush the butter mixture over the corn and serve.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

MOCHA CHOCOLATE MOUSSE PARFAITS

1 3/4 cups cold milk
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 pkg (4-oz) chocolate flavor instant pudding and pie filling mix
8-oz frozen whipped topping, thawed

Microwave 1/4 cup milk and coffee granules on High for 30 to 45 seconds. Stir to dissolve coffee granules.

In a medium mixing bowl, gradually add the coffee mixture and the remaining milk to the cream cheese while beating at medium speed of an electric mixer. Beat until well blended. Add the pudding mix and beat at low speed 1 to 2 minutes or until well blended.

Spoon mousse into 6 parfait glasses alternating with whipped topping. End with whipped topping and sprinkle with chocolate shavings or chocolate coated coffee beans.

PARMESAN CHEESE CRAB CAKE SANDWICHES

1 pkg (8-oz) crab delight flakes, rinsed and chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup oil
Bottled tartar sauce
8 toasted sourdough bread slices

In a medium bowl, mix together the crab flakes, Parmesan cheese, eggs, bell pepper, green onion, and Dijon mustard. Mix together well to combine and shape into 8 patties. Coat patties with the bread crumbs.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook approximately 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

To make into sandwiches spread tartar sauce on bread slices. Place two crab cakes on a bread slice and top with a second bread slice to make 4 double meat sandwiches. Cakes can also be eaten as an entee instead of sandwiches.

Monday, August 10, 2009

CHEESY MASHED POTATOES

2 cups instant mashed potato flakes
1 jar (8-oz) pasteurized process cheese spread
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup chopped chives

Prepare the potatoes according to the package directions, omitting milk. Heat the cheese spread according to the label directions; mix into the potatoes. Add the sour cream and chives; stir to blend well.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

QUICK AND EASY PECAN CHICKEN BREASTS

4 (about 1 1/4 lb total) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup creamy Italian dressing
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter

Place chicken in a ziptop plastic bag and pour the dressing over the chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator from 1 hour to overnight. Drain and discard marinade.

In a shallow bowl or pie plate, combine the bread crumbs and chopped pecans. Dredge the chicken breasts through the crumb mixture pressing to coat well.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add chicken to skillet and cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until tender and cooked through.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

HONEY-PEANUT SQUARES

1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
6 cup regular Cheerios
1 cup honey
1 cup peanuts

Butter a 9 x 13-inch pan and set aside.

In a large saucepan bring the sugar and honey to a boil but do not boil. Remove from heat. Stir in the peanut butter, peanuts and cereal. Press mixture into the prepared pan. Cut into squares.

MICROWAVE ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE

1 large tomato
6 large slices zucchini
1 celery stalk
1/2 stick oleo
2 large slices of yellow onion
1 large green bell pepper
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Into a bowl, cut all the vegetables into 1/2-inch pieces. Add salt and pepper as desired. Melt oleo in a casserole dish in the microwave. Stir the vegetables in and toss to coat well. Cover the dish. Cook in the microwave on high until vegetables are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings

Saturday, August 8, 2009

CRISPY RICE & GRANOLA TREATS

1 package (10-oz)regular marshmallows
1/4 cup butter
4 cups granola with raisins
1 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup shelled unsalted sunflower seeds

Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil leaving foil hanging over the short sides. Butter the foil and set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine the marshmallows and butter. Cook and stir the mixture until the marshmallows are melted. Stir in the granola, cereal, and sunflower seeds. Press mixture into the prepared pan. Cool. Remove foil lining with uncut bars from the pan. Cut into 24 bars.

MAYO-PARMESAN BREAD

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp snipped chives or parsley
8 to 10 slices French or Italian Bread, about 1/2-inch thick

In a small bowl combine the Parmesan cheese and mayonnaise. Stir in the chives or parsley; set aside.

Place bread slices on the rack on an unheated broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat about a minute or until toasted. Turn bread over and spread with the remaining mayonnaise mixture on the untoasted side. Broil, 3 to 4 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yield: 4 to 5 servings.

Friday, August 7, 2009

BREAKFAST WRAPS

3/4 lb sausage, crumbled
4 green onions, sliced
2 apricots or peaches, pitted and sliced
4 eggs, beaten
4 burrito-size flour tortillas

In a greased medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage until browned, stirring to break up. Drain meat and wipe skillet of excess fat. Return meat to skillet; add onions and fruit. Cook another minute and remove from the skillet. Again, wipe skillet with paper toweling. Spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray and add the eggs. Cook eggs, stirring constantly until thoroughly cooked. This will take a couple of minutes. Heat tortillas by wrapping in paper towels and heating for a few seconds in microwave. Divide the egg mixture and sausage mixture evenly between the four tortillas. Roll tortillas to wrap around sausage and eggs.

ITALIAN TORTELLINI SALAD

1 pkg (7-oz) cheese filled spinach tortellini
8 oz provolone cheese, cubed
1 small tomato, coarsely chopped
1/2 small green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup sliced pitted ripe olives, drained
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain tortellini in a colander. Place colander in a large bowl of ice cold water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Drain well. Transfer tortellini to a serving bowl. Add cubed provolone cheese, tomato, pepper strips, olives, and green onions. Pour dressing over the mixture. Toss gently to coat. Top with grated Parmesan and toss lightly.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

BROCCOLI MAC AND CHEESE

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
2 slices bacon
1 cup frozen broccoli cuts
2 tbsp water
1 jar (8-oz) pasteurized process cheese spread

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside.

Meanwhile place bacon inn a 1 1/2-quart microwaveable casserole dish. Cover and cook on high 1 to 2 minutes until bacon is crisp; drain and crumble. Using a paper towel, wipe out the casserole dish. Combine broccoli and water in the casserole dish. Microwave broccoli on high for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp tender; drain. Stir the cheese into the broccoli and microwave for 1 minute. Stir in the cooked macaroni and microwave another 2 or 3 minutes until heated through, stirring once. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon over the top.

Yield: 4 servings

PINEAPPLE BANANA SHAKE

1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1/3 cup frozen vanilla yogurt
1/2 ripe banana, peeled & sliced
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a blender container and blend until smooth.

Yield: 1 serving

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

PAN GRILLED SALMON with BEANS-SPINACH SAUTE

3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp sage
2 tsp canola oil
1 can (cannellini beans, rinsed and drained)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp salt, optional
3 cups baby spinach
4 (about 3-oz each) skinless salmon fillets
red pepper flakes, optional

In a deep wide skillet, heat half the canola oil. Add the onion, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the sage. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for approximately 5 minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add the beans, broth, and salt,if using. Simmer mixture approximately 10 minutes. Stir the spinach into the beans mixture and cook another 2 to 3 more minutes. Remove from heat.

Rub the salmon with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon sage. Heat the remaining half of the oil in a skillet. Place salmon fillets in the skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully turn the salmon and cook another minute. Remove to serving plates and spoon the spinach-bean mixture evenly over each fillet. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired.

FRUIT-GLAZED CUSTARDS

3 large eggs
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup hot water
1 tsp vanilla
dash salt
1/2 cup red-current jelly
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp cornstarch
Fresh strawberries, raspberries, peaches, etc

Beat eggs slightly in a medium mixing bowl. Add the milk, hot water, vanilla, and salt; mix thoroughly. Arrange six 6-oz custard cups on a rack in a wok that has 1 1/2 to 2 inches simmering water. Pour custard mixture evenly into the custard cups. Cover with a sheet of waxed paper and add the wok cover. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the custards are firm and knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Remove custards from wok and sit on a wire rack to cool. Chill in refrigerator while making fruit glaze.

To Make Glaze:

In a small saucepan combine the jelly, orange juice, and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Allow to cool.

To serve, unmold the custards onto individual serving dishes. Pour the glaze over tops of the custards and garnish with the fresh fruit.

Monday, August 3, 2009

QUICK AND EASY MARSHMALLOW FUDGE CANDY

1 pkg (12-oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chunky peanut butter
4 cups miniature marshmallows

In a microwave safe 2-quart bowl, microwave chocolate chips and peanut butter together on medium setting for 2 to 3 minutes or until the chocolate is melted, stirring after each minute. Fold in the marshmallows and spread the mixture in a buttered 9-inch square pan. Chill until firm. Cut into approximately 24 pieces.

CRISPY TILAPIA IN MINUTES

1 1/2 lb tilapia fillets
3 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 cup milk
1 cup purchased pico de gallo
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 firm ripe avocado

On a sheet of waxed paper, mix together the cornmeal, chili powder, cumin, and garlic salt. Place milk in a pie plate. Dip the tilapia fillets into the milk then dredge through the cornmeal mixture. In a large nonstick skillet, over medium heat, heat the oil. When oil is hot, add the tilapia fillets and cook two to three minutes per side. Top with the avocado mixture for serving.

To make the avocado mixture, coarsely chop the avocado. Stir in into a small bowl with the pico do gallo and the chopped cilantro.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

BIBB LETTUCE WITH HOMEMADE CREAMY ITALIAN DRESSING

1 cup mayonnaise
1 carton (8-oz) dairy sour cream
2 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp celery salt
3/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
4 small heads Bibb lettuce
Milk, if needed

To make dressing: In a small mixing bowl, combine salad dressing or mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, vinegar, sugar, Italian seasoning, celery salt, dry mustard, garlic, and pepper. Using a wire whisk or rotary beater, mix until smooth. Transfer dressing to a container with a lid, cover and chill until serving time. Just before serving, cut each lettuce head in half lengthwise. Arrange halves on a serving platter. If desired, arrange some tiny tomatoes on the plate as a garnish. If dressing is too thick, add a small amount of milk until of desired consistency. Pour dressing over the salad.

Serves 8.

QUICK AND EASY CHEESY CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

1 jar (12-oz) chunky salsa
2 cups (8-oz) cubed Velveeta cheese
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
4 8-inch flour tortillas
1 can (2 1/4-oz) sliced pitted ripe olives, drained and chopped
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium saucepan combine the salsa and Velveeta. Cook, stirring occasionally over medium heat until the cheese melts; set aside 1 1/4 cups of the sauce and keep warm. Stir chicken into the remaining sauce. Divide the chicken mixture evenly among the four tortillas and spoon down the centers. Roll up tortillas. Place the filled tortillas, seam side down, in a greased 8-inch square baking dish. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. To serve, spoon the reserved sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and chopped olives.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

BLUE CHEESE BURGERS

1 beaten egg
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 tsp prepared mustard
1/8 tsp pepper
dash of garlic powder
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
6 hamburger buns, split
olive oil

In a medium bowl combine the egg and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the bread crumbs, mustard, pepper, and garlic powder. Add the ground beef and mix well. Divide the mixture into 12 patties about 1/4-inch thick. Place about 2 tablespoons of the blue cheese atop 6 of the patties. Spread to within 1/2-inch of edges. Top with remaining patties. Press meat around edges to seal well.

Place patties on a grill of medium-hot coals and grill for about 14-15 minutes, turning once during cooking.

To prepare buns, brush insides with olive oil. Place on grill to heat until toasted. Serve patties on buns with your choice of condiments.

PARMESAN POTATO CHIPS

3 OR 4 small baking potatoes
2 tsp margarine, melted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Dash of black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Scrub potatoes and slice in thin slices. You should have about 2 cups of sliced potatoes. Arrange slices in a thin layer in a lightly greased 15 x 10-inch baking pan. Brush with the melted margarine. Sprinkle the cheese and pepper over potato slices. Bake, uncovered, in a 450 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are brown and crisp.

Yield: 4 servings.

Friday, July 31, 2009

ROASTED CHICKEN SOUP

2 cups roasted chicken, shredded or diced (Can buy chicken in deli)
2 tsp olive oil
2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
8 cups chicken broth
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
3/4 cup curly noodles

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to brown, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the onions are tender and caramelized, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.

In a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the broth, pepper, carrots, and celery to a boil. Stir the noodles and chicken into the broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes until the pasta is tender. Stir in the onions; soup is ready to serve.

TURKEY AND CHEESE WRAP

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp chili powder
4 whole wheat wraps
2 cups alfalfa or bean sprouts
1/2 lb cooked turkey, cut into strips
4-oz cheddar cheese, cut into strips
1 small red onion, cut in half from top to bottom then sliced into thin slices
1 firm ripe avocado, cut into thin strips

In a small bowl, mix the chili powder into the mayonnaise. Spread 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto each of the four wraps. Layer over the mayonnaise mixture on each wrap, 1/2 cup of the sprouts, 1/4 of the turkey strips, 1/4 of the cheese strips, 1/4 of the red onion, and 1/4 of the avocado. Roll up the wraps and enjoy!

PARTY APPETIZER FOR KIDS

Break graham crackers into squares so they are "kid-sized". Top with peanut butter. Sprinkle some miniature semisweet chocolate chips over the peanut butter. (Adult kids like these, too!)

GRILLED NACHO PIZZAS

4 pocketless pita rounds
olive oil nonstick cooking spray
1 1/3 cups canned fat-free refried beans
sliced pickled jalapeno peppers, optional
1 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese
4 tbsp whole-kernel canned corn
salsa, for garnish
fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish

Spray one side of the pita rounds with the olive oil spray. Grill on a hot grill for about a minute or until bottoms are lightly charred. Remove from grill and arrange on a platter or cookie sheet with the grilled sides up. Divide the refried beans evenly between the 4 pitas and spread over top. Add some jalapeno peppers, if using. Top with 1 tablespoon of corn kernels per pita. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the corn. Return to the grill and cover. Grill for a minute or until the cheese melts. Top with the salsa and cilantro, if desired.

Note: You could add a small amount of cooked diced or shredded chicken or some browned ground beef, if you want meat on your pizza.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

QUICK AND EASY TUNA STUFFED PEPPERS

2 to 3 bell peppers, depending on size
1 can (12-oz) chunk light tuna, drained
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp Italian salad dressing
1/4 cup finely diced celery

Cut peppers in half from the top to bottom; remove seeds and veins. In a small bowl, combine the tuna, mayonnaise, salad dressing, and celery. Divide the tuna mixture evenly among the pepper halves.

PORK BURGERS WITH PEPPERS AND MUSHROOMS

2 small red and/or green bell peppers
1 banana or jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 lb ground pork
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp fresh ground pepper
8-oz fresh sliced mushrooms
4 flat breads
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Slice half the peppers into rings and set aside. Chop the remaining peppers.

In a bowl, combine the chopped peppers, pork, 2 teaspoons of the Worcestershire sauce, and 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper. Shape mixture into 4 equal patties.

In a large hot skillet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, cook the patties over medium high heat for about 12 minutes, turning once. (Internal temperature should reach 160 degrees.) Transfer to a plate and cover.

In the same skillet patties were cooked in, cook the pepper rings and mushrooms for 3 minutes. Lightly sprinkle with salt, if desired.

Wrap breads in paper towels and cook in the microwave on high for about 30 seconds. For the sauce, combine the mayonnaise, the remaining Worcestershire sauce, and some black pepper, if desired. Place the burgers on the breads top with the pepper mushroom mixture. Pass the sauce for individuals to add the amount they prefer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

QUICK BAR COOKIES

This old recipe is from Indiana cook.

1 can (15-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup flaked coconut
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
17 graham crackers, crushed
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all the ingredients and mix together well. Pour into a well greased 9 x 9-in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cut into bars.

Georgia Delicious Punch

This is an old recipe from Good Hope, Georgia.

7 pkg gelatin (pick a flavor to coordinate with your party, etc color scheme)
7 cups sugar
7 cups boiling water
1 cans (1-qt each) pineapple juice
2 small cans frozen lemonade concentrate
2 qt ginger ale

Dissolve gelatin and sugar in boiling water; add the pineapple juice. Prepare lemonade as directed on package and add to the punch mixture. Add the ginger ale just before serving.

Yield: 2 gallons

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

PEG'S LINGUINE IN FRESH TOMATO SAUCE

10-oz linguine noodles
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup fresh basil, chopped (reserve 1 tablespoon)
1 pint small tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup halved, pitted kalamata olives, optional
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cook linguine according to the package directions; drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, basil, and tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes; add the sugar and chicken broth. Cook 3 to 4 more minutes to soften the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Stir in the linguine and olives, if using. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and the reserved tablespoon of fresh basil.

Yield: 4 servings

CORN FLAKES SALMON CROQUETTES

1 can (15 1/2 oz.) salmon, drained, cleaned and flaked
1 egg
1 cup corn flake crumbs, divided
2 tbsp Butter Flavor shortening
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup milk
Canola oil for frying

In a medium bowl, combine the salmon, egg, half the corn flake crumbs. Mix well and set aside.

In a 1-quart saucepan, melt the butter flavored shortening. Add the celery and onion. Saute over medium heat until tender. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper. Blend in the milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from the heat. Blend milk mixture into the salmon mixture. Shape scant 1/3 cupfuls into cone or ball shapes. Roll in the remaining corn flake crumbs to coat.

In a deep fryer or a deep skillet pour enough oil to about 2-inches in depth. Heat oil to 350 degrees. In the hot oil fry a few of the salmon croquettes at a time for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn once or twice during cooking. Line a cookie sheet with paper toweling and place croquettes on the paper towels to drain. Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven at 175 degrees.

NOTE: You can make Tuna Croquettes by substituting a can (12 1/2-oz) tuna for salmon.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

EASY ZESTY MOZZARELLA CHICKEN

1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tbsp milk
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano
8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup butter
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1 cup (4-oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

In a shallow bowl, combine the egg white and milk. In another bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Dip each chicken piece in the egg white mixture then into the crumb mixture. Melt butter in a large skillet and brown the chicken on both sides until no longer pink and the juices run clear.

Meanwhile, heat tomato sauce and basil in a small saucepan until warm through. When the chicken is done, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the pieces. Remove from the heat and cover for 2 to 3 minutes for the cheese to melt. Pour the tomato basil sauce over chicken to serve.