Saturday, January 31, 2009

HAM AND CHEESE ROLL

8 oz American Cheese, grated
8 oz cream cheese
dash hot sauce
dash of garlic powder
1/2 cup very finely chopped nuts
1 tbsp Dr. Pepper
2 small pkgs shaved ham slices (ie Buddig)

Lay ham slices out in a pattern overlapping each other. Mix the other ingredients together until well blended and put over the ham. Roll ham up to make a log. Cover with more ham if needed to be sure all cheese is covered. Refrigerate until serving time. Cut into thin slices and serve with assorted crackers or party breads.

QUICK FIX CHICKEN PARMESAN

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 cans (14.5 oz ea) Italian-style stewed tomatoes
2 tbsps cornstarch
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce, optional
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken in an oblong baking dish. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes at 425 degrees; drain. In a 2-qt saucepan, combine the tomatoes, cornstarch, basil, oregano and the pepper sauce, if using. Cook the tomato mixture, stirring constantly, until thickened. Pour the hot sauce over the chicken and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top. Return chicken to oven and bake, uncovered, for 5 more minutes. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

Serve over hot spaghetti if desired.

Note: File Photo

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CASHEW CHICKEN-PEA SALAD IN 15 MINUTES

1 cup leftover (or deli) chicken, diced
1 pkg (16-oz) frozen peas, thawed
1 can (8-oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
3/4 to 1 cup unsalted whole cashews
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Dash of garlic powder

In a large salad bowl, place all of the ingredients and toss well to coat. Serve immediately.

Note: If you are an oddball like me and don't eat chicken, this is a great salad without any meat.

MICROWAVE LAYERED CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE

You can make this fudge in 10 minutes. However, it will need to chill for a couple of hours.

1 cup peanut butter bits
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk, divided
1/2 stick butter (4 tbsps)
1 cup semisweet chocolate bits
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Lightly butter or spray an 8-inch square pan. In a small microwave-safe bowl, place the peanut butter bits, half the sweetened condensed milk, and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cover with plastic wrap. In another small micro-wave safe bowl, place chocolate bits, remaining sweetened condensed milk, and 2 tablespoons butter.

Microwave the peanut butter bit mixture on high for 3 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir until creamy smooth. Pour into the prepared square pan and spread evenly. Microwave the chocolate mixture on high for 3 minutes. Remove from the microwave, stir until creamy and pour over the peanut butter mixture in the pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the top and press in lightly. Chill at least 2 hours to firm. Cut into 16 squares.

Option: If you prefer, stir peanuts into the chocolate before spreading over the peanut butter layer.

Note: This is a file photo!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

WILD RICE TUNA SALAD

1 pkg (6-oz) long-grain and wild rice mix
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 tbsps finely chopped onion
1 (12-oz) can solid white tuna in spring water; drained and flaked
1 cup salted cashews
Lettuce leaves

Cook the rice mix according to the package directions. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, celery, onion, tuna, and cashews. Stir to mix well. Chill. Serve on lettuce leaves.

Monday, January 26, 2009

RANCH BEEF SKILLET SUPPER

1 lb lean ground beef
1 box (8-oz) seasoned rice & black beans
1 can (14.5-oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 box (10-oz) frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup packed cilantro
1 cup (4-oz) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Cook beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up clumps with a spoon. Cook about 4 minutes or until beef in no longer pink in the center. Stir in the rice and beans, tomatoes, corn, and 2 1/2 cups water. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Meanwhile, chop the cilantro. When serving, sprinkle the cilantro and cheese over the top.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER DROPS

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup peanut butter, chunky or creamy--your choice
2 1/2 cups crisy rice cereal

In a large saucepan, stir together the sugar, milk, and peanut butter. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar and peanut butter have melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the cereal. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Cool until firm.


REFRIED BEAN SOUP

1 can (28-oz) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 can (31-oz) refried beans
1 can (14.5-oz)chicken broth
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
5 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips, optional
Sour cream, optional
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, optional

In a large saucepan, bring the tomatoes, onion and garlic to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the refried beans, broth, and cilantro. Simmer the mixture for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place tortilla strips on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for for 12 to 15 minutes until crisp. Dip soup into bowls and top with crisp tortilla strips. Add sour cream and cheese over the crisp strips, if desired.

PINEAPPLE GINGER PORK CHOPS

1 can (20 oz) unsweetened pineapple tidbits
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
4 bone-in pork loin chops
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup water

Drain pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup of the juice; set aside. (Refrigerate remaining juice for other uses.) Combine the pepper and ginger; rub it over both sides of the chops. In a skillet, melt the butter, add the pork chops and brown for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Add orange juice, 1 cup of the pineapple, and the 1/4 cup of reserved pineapple juice. Bring skillet mixture to a boil. Reduce heat; cover the skillet and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the meat is tender and cook through. Remove the pork chops from the skillet and keep warm. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, salt, and water until smooth. Stir the mixture into the pan juices and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for a couple of minutes until thickened. Serve mixture over the pork chops.
Note: File Photo

LEMON DREAM PIE

This recipe goes together in about 10 minutes but needs to chill for about an hour.

1 tbsp water
1 pkg lemonade unsweetened Kool-Aid style drink mix
1 tbsp frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 pkgs (3-oz each)cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
1 Graham cracker pie crust
2 tbsps seedless raspberry jam, warmed; optional garnish
thin lemon slices, optional garnish

In a small mixing bowl, combine the water and the lemonade soft drink mix until the mix is totally dissolved. Stir in the lemonade concentrate. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and the soft drink mixture until fluffy. Fold in the whipped cream. Spread the mixture into the Graham cracker crust. Chill for at least an hour until set before cutting. If desired, use the raspberry jam to drizzle on the serving plates before placing the pieces of pie on the plates. Top each slice with a thinly sliced lemon slice that has been slit to twist into a decorative design and add a couple of mint leaves if desired.

Note: File Photo

Friday, January 23, 2009

STRAWBERRY LEMONADE (ALSO WITH DIABETIC INSTRUCTIONS)

2 pints fresh strawberries, pureed
1 1/2 cups sugar*
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups lemon juice

Heat water and sugar slowly until sugar dissolves. Mix the water with the strawberry puree then add the lemon juice. Stir to mix well. Chill in the refrigerator and serve over ice.

*Use 1 1/2 cups Splenda Granulated for diabetics.

AMISH STYLE TACO SQUARES

This recipe is from an Old Order Amish lady that lives in Indiana. Her family travels by horse and buggy and they do not use electricity. The state of Indiana is one of the states with several Amish communities that still practice old-fashion Amish ways. And they are always good cooks!

2 cups biscuit mix
1/2 cup cold water
1 lb hamburger
1 tbsp chopped onion
1 green pepper
1 cup pizza sauce
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup salad dressing

Combine the biscuit mix and the water. Stir the mixture with a fork until blended. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Brown the hamburger with the onion and chopped green bell pepper. Add the taco seasoning and pizza sauce. Spoon the hamburger mixture over the warm crust. Combine the sour cream, cheese, and salad dressing. Spread the sour cream mixture over the meat mixture. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly at 375 degrees.

10 MINUTE CREAMY PUMPKIN PIE

This pie goes together in about 10 minutes. It will need to refrigerate for about 2 hours.

1/2 cup cold milk
1 pkg (6 serving size) vanilla instant pudding & pie filling mix
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 1/2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 Graham cracker pie crust

In a large bowl, beat the milk, pudding mix and spice together with a wire whisk for 1 minute or until very thick. Whisk the pumpkin into the mixture. Gently stir in the whipped toppping. Spread the mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Serve topped with whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon.

*If you do not have pumpkin pie spice, use 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/8 tsp ground cloves.

Note: This is a computer picture not an actual picture of a pie I made from this recipe.

HUNT'S BEEFY SKILLET RAVIOLI

Prep 15 min Cook 15 min

1 lb lean ground beef
1 can (26 oz) Garlic & Herb Spaghetti Sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) Diced Tomatoes with Sweet Onion
9 oz pkg refrigerated cheese-filled ravioli
2 tbsps shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley

Brown ground beef in a large skillet, drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce and tomatoes; blend well. Bring mixture to a boil. Add the ravioli to the skillet and spoon the meat and sauce over the ravioli until it is well coated. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the ravioli is tender. Sprinke with the cheese and the parsley.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

POACHED FISH

1 medium onion, sliced
3 slices lemon
1 bay leaf
black pepper
1 lb fresh fish fillets

Heat about 1 1/2-inches of water to boiling in a skillet. Add onion, lemon, bay leaf, and pepper. Reduce heat to simmer. Add fish fillets to the skillet. Simmer until fish fillets flake easily with a fork, should take 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets.

MINI WARM CHOCOLATE DATE CAKES

1 cup dates, finely chopped
2 tbsps finely chopped toasted hazelnuts or walnuts
1/3 cup butter
6 oz buttersweet chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsps flour
2 tbsps hazelnut or other liqueur
1 tsp vanilla extract

Butter 6 (3/4 cup size) custard cups. Sprinkle dates and nuts in bottom of cups, evenly dividing among the six cups. In a small saucepan, stir butter and chocolate over low heat until melted. Cool. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With electric mixer, beat eggs, egg yolks, and sugar on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Beat in the flour. Gently fold in the chocolate mixture, liqueur, and vanilla; blend well. Pour the batter evenly into the six custard cups and place on a baking sheet. Bake approximately 12 minutes or until set around the edges but still soft in the center. Cool for 5 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edge of each cup. Invert cups onto dessert plates. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

OATMEAL PIE

Yes, you can bake a quick pie. Buy a ready made pie crust and it is easy. It mixes quickly and only bakes for 30 minutes.

3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup milk
2 tsps melted butter
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
2/3 cup flaked coconut
9-inch unbaked pie shell

Beat eggs until lemon colored. Gradually add both sugars, beating well. Blend in the milk, butter, salt, and vanilla. Stir in the oats and coconut. Pour mixture into the pie shell. Bake until set around the edges, approximately 30 minutes. The center will be soft. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.



Tuesday, January 20, 2009

SAUTEED CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOMS

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 tbsps butter
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1 cup sliced green onions
8-oz fresh mushrooms, sliced*
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 can (10-oz) cream of mushroom soup

Pound each chicken breast to 1/4-inch thickness. Mix flour, salt, and pepper together in a shallow bowl. Coat chicken well with the flour mixture and set in refrigerator while preparing the onions and mushrooms.

Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic, onions, and mushrooms and saute for about 3 minutes. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon. Get chicken from the refrigerator and add to the skillet. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes each side. Add broth and soup to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Return the mushroom mixture to the skillet and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Serve immediately while hot.


*You may substitute 1 cup canned mushrooms that have been drained.

Serve this chicken dish with some hot buttered pasta or rice.

MICROWAVE LASAGNA

6 Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles; do not boil.
1 egg
15-oz carton ricotta cheese
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 jar of pasta sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozarella cheese, divided

Using vegetable oil spray, spray the bottom of an 8x8-inch square glass baking dish.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs. Stir the ricotta cheese, parsley, and Parmesan cheese into the egg. Stir the mixture well to blend.

Cover the bottom of the dish with 3/4 cup of the pasta sauce. Lay two lasagna noodles over the sauce. Spread half the ricotta cheese over the noodles, going all the way to the sides to completely cover the noodles. Put half cup the mozarella cheese over the ricotta. Repeat the same process then top with the last two lasagna noodles, pasta sauce and mozarella.

Cover the dish with microwaveable plastic wrap and cut a small slit in the top to vent. Microwave on high for 15 to 20 minutes. Place on a microwave turntable or turn by hand every 5 minutes during the cooking process. Let stand, uncovered, for a few minutes before cutting. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and add a sprig of fresh parsley to each piece before serving, if desired.


EASY CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 tbsps cold water
1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups cold whipping cream
2 tsps vanilla extract
Fresh berries for garnish, if desired

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water. Let mixture stand 2 minutes to soften. Add boiling water; stir until gelatin is completely dissolved and mixture is clear. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl, mix sugar and cocoa. Add whipping cream and vanilla to the mixture. Beat at medium speed, scraping bottom of bowl occasionally, until mixture is stiff. Pour in the gelatin mixture and beat until well blended. Spoon mousse into dessert dishes. Refrigerate about 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh berries before serving, if desired.


EASY CORN CHOWDER

6 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1 cup chopped onion
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cans (approx. 15 oz. ea) diced potatoes, drained
1 can (15 oz) creamed corn
1 can (15 oz) whole-kernel corn
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups chicken broth

Saute the onion and bell pepper in the bacon drippings cooking until tender. Remove to a large saucepan or small stockpot, scraping the skillet to get all the flavor. Add the diced potatoes, creamed corn, whole-kernel corn and seasonings. Slowly stir in the milk until well blended. Add the chicken broth. Heat over low heat until thoroughly heated through but do not boil. Sprinkle crumbled bacon over the top.


Monday, January 19, 2009

ROMAINE LETTUCE SALAD

1 head romaine lettuce, cut or tear into 1" pieces
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
1/2 cup sliced green olives
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup your favorite bottled Italian salad dressing
1 tbsp dry Italian salad dressing mix
3 med tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuce, olives, onions, and cheese. Toss lightly. Cover and refrigerate. Before serving pour the dressing over the salad, sprinkle with the dry dressing mix and garnish with the tomato wedges.

QUICK BREAKFAST TOAST TREAT

This Banana Peanut Butter Toast makes a special breakfast treat in a hurry.

1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 tsp honey
1/4 to 1/3 cup Grape Nuts cereal
1/4 med banana sliced
1 slice toast, preferably whole-wheat

In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter and the honey together until well blended. Stir in the cereal. Spread the mixture over the top of the toast. Top the mixture with the banana slices.

CRAB CAKES WITH LIME SAUCE IN MINUTES

This recipe goes together in about 15 minutes. Cooking time is 8 to 10 minutes.

1 medium lime
1 cup mayonnaise
1 envelope dry Italian Seasoning Mix
2 tbsps Dijon Mustard
2 cans (6-oz each) crabmeat, drained and flaked
25 Ritz-style crackers, finel crushed, divided
2 tbsps chopped green onion
1/4 cup sour cream

Grate the lime peel and squeeze juice from the lime. Mix half the juice, half the mayonnaise, the salad dressing mix, and the mustard in a medium bowl. Stir until well blended. Add the crabmeat, half the cracker crumbs, and the onion. Mix together lightly. Shape into 16 patties, about 1/2-inch thick. Coat the patties with the remaining cracker crumbs. Spray a large skillet with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Cook patties, in batches, over medium heat about 2 minutes or until browned on each side and heated through. Meanwhile, mix remaining mayonnaise, lime juice, lime peel, and sour cream together in a small bowl. Mix to blend together well. Serve crab cakes with a dollop of the sour cream sauce over the top.


DEEP DISH TURKEY (OR CHICKEN) POT PIE

This recipe takes about 10 minutes to make and 30 minutes to bake. (Also a great way to use up holiday leftovers.)

1 2/3 cups hot water
1 pkg (6-oz) stuffing mix (your favorite)
3 cups chopped or shredded turkey (or chicken)
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 jar (12-oz) turkey (or chicken) gravy

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 2-qt casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Add the hot water to the stuffing mix, stir just until moistened and set aside.

Place the turkey (or chicken) and the vegetables in the prepared casserole dish. Pour gravy over the top and stir gently to mix. Top mixture with the prepared stuffing.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until heated through and stuffing mixture is lightly browned.


Note: You have meat, vegetables, and grains all in one dish. Add a simple salad, fresh fruit, etc and you have a tasty, quick, easy meal.