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.

CITRUS BROCCOLI TOSS

2 tbsp butter
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
Salt to taste, optional
Pepper to taste, optional

In a skillet, over medium heat, melt butter. Add the broccoli to the skillet and saute until crisp tender. Sprinkle with the orange and lemon peel, salt and pepper, if desired. Toss mixture to coat. Heat through.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

OH-S0-EASY CHEESY CHICKEN MACARONI

1 pkg (14-oz) Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese Dinner
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup sour cream

Prepare the macaroni and cheese as directed on package. Add the chicken and sour cream to the macaroni and cheese. Mix well, heat thoroughly, adding a tablespoon or two of milk, if needed.

VERY QUICK AND EASY SHRIMP APPETIZER

8-oz block cream cheese
1/4 cup seafood cocktail sauce
1/3 cup tiny frozen cooked shrimp, thawed
Assortment of party crackers

Place the block of cream cheese on a serving plate. Pour the cocktail sauce over the top of the cream cheese. Top the cocktail sauce with the shrimp. Place an assortment of party crackers around the cream cheese block.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

ITALIAN SKILLET DINNER

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can (15-oz) crushed tomatoes
1 cup hot water
1 pkg (9-oz) refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 carton (15-oz) lowfat ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet, cook onion, basil, oregano, and garlic salt in oil for two minutes. Add the tomatoes and hot water; bring to a boil. Add tortellini; cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir together the ricotta cheese, egg, and Parmesan cheese. Drop spoonsful of spinach and then ricotta mixture over the pasta. Top with mozzarella. Cover; cook 10 minutes longer or until the ricotta mixture is set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

HONEY PARTY PUNCH

2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup honey
4 cups cranberry juice
2 cups orange juice
1 cup lemon juice
1 quart ginger ale
Ice cubes
Sliced lemons, limes, oranges, and or strawberries, optional

Combine the boiling water and honey. Stir to dissolve honey. Chill mixture. In a large punch bowl, combine the juices. Stir in the honey water. Just before serving add the ginger ale and ice cubes. Float fruit slice garnishes on top, if desired.

Yield: Serves 12

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mom's Watergate Salad

1 can (large) crushed pineapple, well drained
1 pkg (4-serving size)pistachio instant pudding mix
1 carton 8-oz frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup colored miniature marshmallows

In a large bowl, add the pineapple to the dry pudding mix. Mix very well. Add the whipped topping and mix well. Fold in the nuts and marshmallows. Chill until serving time. Keep any leftovers refrigerated.

LAZY DAY COBBLER

2 stick butter
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tsp baking powder
2-quarts sweetened fruit

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or dish. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and milk. Pour mixture over the butter. Spoon the fruit over the batter. Bake about 35 minutes or until browned.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

MICROWAVE HAMBURGER CHOW MEIN

1 cup sliced celery
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 can cream of celery soup
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (3-oz) chow mein noodles
1 small can water chestnuts, sliced

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with the onion until no longer pink.

In a 2-quart casserole dish, combine the celery, soup, soy sauce, pepper and water chestnuts. Add the meat mixture and mix in well. Sprinkle chow mein noodles over the top of the casserole. Microwave 8 to 10 minutes or to a temperature of 175 degrees.

MICROWAVE ZUCCHINI AND TOMATOES CASSEROLE

1 1/2 lb thinly sliced zucchini
2 cups whole cherry tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp minced onion flakes
1/2 tsp parsley flakes

Mix all ingredients together in a 1 1/2-quart microwaveable dish. Cover and microwave 12 to 14 minutes.

Monday, July 20, 2009

EASY BEEF STROGANOFF

1 lb ground beef
2 cans cream of onion or cream of celery soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp paprika
dash of fresh ground black pepper
Hot cooked noodles or rice

Brown ground beef in a large skillet; drain well. Return meat to skillet and add the soup, sour cream, paprika, and pepper. Mix together well. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower temperature and allow to simmer for 5 to 6 minutes. Serve over hot buttered noodles or rice.

TEXAS ARMADILLO EGGS

2 TO 3 cans crab meat
2 cans jalapeno peppers (about 17 peppers)
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped mushrooms
1 tbsp garlic (from a jar)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tbsp margarine
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
cracker meal for breading

Saute onion, mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper in margarine. Add the drained crabmeat and mix well. Slice jalapenos lengthwise and remove the seeds (very important to remove seeds). Slice down one side only! Generously stuff the jalapenos with the crab meat mixture.

In a small bowl, combine the eggs and milk. Dip the stuffed jalapenos into the egg mixture then roll in the cracker meal. Repeat the process so each pepper is dipped and rolled twice. Drop into a preheated deep-fryer of oil and cook until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on paper toweling.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

TOFU TACO DIP

1 box (10.5-oz) silken tofu, softened
1 pkg (1.25-oz) dry taco seasoning mix

Put both ingredients into the blender or food processor; mix until smooth. Chill prior to serving. Serve with corn chips or tortilla chips.

NOTE: Variations: Replace taco seasoning mix with dry Ranch Dressing Mix or Dry French Onion Soup Mix. Serve with chips and/or fresh veggies.

SUNNY BROCCOLI SALAD

1 cup mayonnaise
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar, depending on your taste
2 tbsp white vinegar
7 cups chopped fresh broccoli
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
8 slices bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled

In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, onion, raisins, sugar, and vinegar together. Add the broccoli and mix well to coat. Refrigerate until serving time. Before serving add the sunflower seeds and bacon; toss.

Yield: 12 to 16 servings

Friday, July 17, 2009

MIDDLE EAST PEAR SALAD

1 can (29-ounce) pear halves, chilled & drained
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
Ground cinnamon for garnish
Lettuce leaves

Place lettuce leaves on serving plate and top with pear halves, cut side up. Combine the yogurt and sugar together in a small bowl; mix well. Spoon yogurt mixture into the pear cavities. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top.

FISH PARMESAN

1 1/2 lb white fish (tilapia is a good choice)
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp basil
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine

Spray baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, paprika, pepper, oregano, and basil together in a shallow bowl or pie pan. Coat fish pieces with the melted butter. Coat tops evenly with the bread crumbs mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until fish flakes.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

GERMAN SKILLET DINNER

1 tbsp butter
1 can (16-oz) sauerkraut, undrained
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 lb lean ground chuck, lightly browned and drained
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Spread the sauerkraut out evenly over the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle the rice over the sauerkraut and the onion over the rice. Top rice with the ground meat, salt, pepper, and tomato sauce. Cover skillet and cook over low heat 25 to 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.

PECAN STICKY MUFFINS

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

TOPPING:

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

Grease 12 muffin cups; set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl, beat the eggs, milk, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.

Into each of the muffin cups, spoon 1 teaspoon of the butter, 1 teaspoon of the brown sugar, and 1 heaping tablespoon of the pecans. Top each with 1/4 cup of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until muffins test done with a wooden toothpick. Invert pan onto a piece of aluminum foil and let stand for 2 minutes. Remove the pan. Serve the rolls warm.



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

ARKANSAS CHEESE COOKIES

These cookies are quick to stir together and only bake 15 minutes. However, the dough does need to be refrigerated overnight, making this a great make "ahead" recipe.

1/2 lb butter
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cup chopped nuts

Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Stir in the flour, nuts, and vanilla. Roll dough in a damp cloth and refrigerate overnight. Slice thin and bake 15 minutes.

TOSSED TUNA SALAD

9 1/4-oz can tuna, chilled and drained
3 cups torn fresh spinach and/or lettuce
1 can (16-oz) bean sprouts, drained and rinsed
1 can (5-oz) water chestnuts, drained and sliced
2 tbsp sliced green onions, separated into rings
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1 medium tomato, cut into 6 wedges

In a large salad bowl, using a fork, break tuna into large pieces. Combine all ingredients except tomato and toss to mix well. Garnish with the tomato wedges.

Yield: 6 servings

Sunday, July 12, 2009

TUNA SALAD PITA POCKETS

2 pita breads, cut in half
3 cans (5-oz each) chunk light tuna, drained and flaked
1 tbsp minced onion
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest, optional
mayonnaise
4 lettuce leaves

In a small mixing bowl, combine the tuna, onion, carrot and lemon zest; stir with a fork to blend. Add enough mayonnaise to make mixture of the texture to suit your taste. Line each half of a pita pocket with a lettuce leaf. Divide the tuna salad into 4 parts and use to stuff the lettuce lined pita pockets.

SUPER CHEF'S SALAD WITH HAM

2 large eggs
2 hearts of romaine lettuce (or other lettuce) cut into thick shreds
1 can (1 lb) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 med cucumber, sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4-oz fully cooked ham cut into strips
Your favorite salad dressing

Put eggs in a small saucepan with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer and simmer for 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain eggs, rinse with cold water, and peel. Cut peeled eggs into wedges.

In a large salad bowl, put the romaine lettuce. Top with the chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, cheese, and ham. Add the egg wedges and your favorite dressing.

Yield: 4 servings.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

HOMEMADE POPPY-SEED DRESSING

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt, or less is okay for salt restricted diets
1/3 cup white vinegar
4 1/2 tsp onion juice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 1/2 tsp poppy seeds

Combine the sugar, mustard, salt and vinegar. Stir in the onion juice. Slowly add the olive oil, beating constantly until dressing is thick. Add poppy seeds and beat for a few minutes. Store in the refrigerator door. If dressing separates, pour off the clear mixture and slowly beat it; return beaten clear mixture to the poppy seed mixture.

Yield: 2 cups

FIZZY CHAMPAGNE SORBET COCKTAIL

Assorted sorbets such as lemon, coconut, peach
Champagne

Place 6 martini glasses in the freezer for 30 minutes or until quite cold. Remove from freezer right before serving and add 5 to 6 mini scoops of the sorbets to each glass. Top with champagne for a pretty, tasty, and cool cocktail.

QUICK AND EASY THAI BEEF SALAD

1 bag (16-oz) coleslaw mix
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
3/4 lb thick sliced deli roast beef
fresh mint chopped, if desired for garnish
fresh chopped cilantro, if desired for garnish

In a large salad bowl, combine coleslaw mix and cucumber.

In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, oil, sugar, and soy sauce. Bring mixture to a boil. Pour boiling dressing over the coleslaw mixture and toss to coat thoroughly.

Cut beef crosswise into strips. Add to coleslaw mixture and toss to combine. Top with garnishes, if desired.

Note: This salad is also a good salad for diabetics. This recipe divided into 4 servings contains 19 g carbs and 17 g protein per serving.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

FROZEN PEANUT BUTTER PIE

This pie is in the Quick Fix Recipes because it only takes 10 minutes to prepare. It does, however, need to be frozen before serving.

8-oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup extra chunky peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
8-oz carton extra creamy frozen whipped topping, thawed
9-inch graham cracker crust

In a medium mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on low speed until soft and fluffy. Mix in peanut butter and sugar until incorporated. Slowly add milk, beating until well blended. Fold in thawed whipped topping. Spoon mixture into the graham cracker crust mounding in center. Freeze until firm. When solid enough, cover with foil.

Note: This pie will keep in the freezer for several weeks.

FLOUNDER IN A BAG DINNER

1 tbsp flour
1 large size (14 x 20-inches) Oven Cooking Bag
8 to 10 (2 lb) flounder fillets
seasoned salt
1 cup shredded Colby cheese
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch diagonal slices
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp butter, diced
paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shake flour into cooking bag and place bag in a 13x 9 x2-inch baking pan. Sprinkle fish with seasoned salt and cheese. Roll each fillet starting at the narrow end. Place fish rolls, seam side down in the center of the bag, forming two rows. Combine zucchini, tomato, mushrooms, and green onion; add basil, pepper and garlic powder. Mix vegetables and spices to blend. Arrange the vegetables around the fish rolls.

Sprinkle the fish with paprika and dot with the butter. Close bag with it's tie. Make 6 small slits in the top of the bag to vent. Bake about 25 minutes or until the flounder flakes easily with a fork.

SAUSAGE BALLS

3 cups biscuit baking mix
1 lb bulk sausage
1 cup American cheese, shredded
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, crumble the sausage. Add the biscuit mix and cheeses; mix together well. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

COFFEE CARAMEL NUT TART

This tart is quick to assemble but does need to refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp instant coffee granules
1 pkg (14-oz) caramels, unwrapped
4 cups toasted pecans
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 9-inch prepared graham cracker crust

In a large microwavable bowl, stir together the cream and coffee granules; add caramels. Microwave mixture on high 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Cook and stir until caramels are completely melted. Stir in pecans and cinnamon. Spoon mixture into the prepared crust. Refrigerate for about an hour or until firm. Drizzle with melted chocolate or chocolate ice cream topping, if desired, before serving.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

QUICK AND EASY FIESTA TACO SALAD

6 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1 lb ground beef
1 can (15-oz) chili beans
1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped or shredded
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 medium pkg tortilla chips, crushed
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (pepper Jack is even better)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Invert 3 6-oz custard cups on each of the baking sheets; place about 3-inches apart. Spray the tortillas with nonstick cooking spray and drape one tortilla over each inverted cup. Bake at 425 until lightly browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Let stand until cool.

Meanwhile, brown the beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir meat to crumble. Drain the meat to remove excess fat. Return meat to the skillet and add the chili beans. Simmer mixture, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

Invert the tortilla bowls and layer with lettuce, beef mixture, green onions, and tomatoes. Sprinkle with chips and cheese.

APPLE SPICE SNACK CAKE WITH CARAMEL SAUCE

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups chopped, peeled apples
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

CARAMEL SAUCE:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan; set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add apples and mix well.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Add to the apple mixture and mix well. Fold in the pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cut into squares to serve with the caramel sauce.

To make the sauce while the cake is baking: In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar, brown sugar, butter and whipping cream. Bring to a boil and boil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Pour sauce over cake before serving.

Monday, July 6, 2009

FROZEN CREAMY STRAWBERRY MINI PIES

Note: This is a quick and easy recipe. It does, however, need to freeze for about 4 hours.

8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup cold milk
1 pkg (3.4-oz) vanilla flavor instant pudding mix
1 1/2 cups thawed frozen whipped topping
20 vanilla wafer cookies, coarsely broken into pieces
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup strawberry ice cream topping

Beat cream cheese until creamy in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer. Gradually beat in the milk. Add the dry pudding mix and beat 2 minutes. Stir in the whipped topping, vanilla wafers, and strawberries. Swirl in the ice cream topping.

Spoon filling mixture into 12 paper-lined muffin tins. Freeze 4 hours. Remove paper liners before serving.

OLD FASHION HASHED BROWN POTATOES

1 1/2 lbs (about 4 medium) baking potatoes, peeled and shredded
2 tbsp grated onion
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 tbsp butter flavor shortening

Rinse and drain potatoes thoroughly. In a medium mixing bowl, combine potatoes, onion, salt and pepper. Mix well. In a large skillet, melt the shortening. Add potato mixture to the pan and spread out evenly. Cook over medium-high heat for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Using a spatula, turn potatoes after about 6 to 8 minutes.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Sunday, July 5, 2009

RICE WITH BLACK-EYED PEAS AND CORN

2 cups water
1 cup white rice
1 cup cooked black-eyed peas (1 can, drained will work)
1 cup cooked corn (1 can whole kernel, drained will work)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

In a medium saucepan, heat the water to boiling; add rice. Reduce heat to low and add the black-eyed peas, corn, and cilantro leaves. Continue to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the water is absorbed and rice is tender.

4 servings: Per serving = 240 calories, 52 g carbs, 8 g protein

CRUNCHY TILAPIA STICKS

1 lb tilapia, cut into 1 1/2-inch strips
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup crushed corn flakes cereal
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Spray a foiled-lined baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour milk into a small shallow bowl. In another small shallow bowl, combine the corn flakes, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt. Dip tilapia strips into the milk then dredge in the cornflake mixture to coat. Lay on the prepared baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish is cooked through.

ITALIAN SHRIMP AND VEGETABLE FETTUCCINE

8-oz cooked spinach fettuccine (or other favorite pasta)
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
12-oz shrimp, uncooked, peeled, deveined
3 cup frozen broccoli heads, thawed and cut into small clusters
1 1/2 cups fresh zucchini, sliced thin
2 tbsp water
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
8 ripe olives, halved
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
grated Parmesan cheese, if desired

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and keep warm. Meanwhile, mix together the Italian dressing, lemon zest, and garlic; set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, over medium heat, heat the oil. Add shrimp to oil and cook about 2 to 3 minutes until pink and firm. Remove shrimp from the skillet using a slotted spoon. Increase heat to medium-high and add broccoli and zucchini to skillet; saute about 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of water; cover and simmer about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Stir in the dressing mixture and cook another 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, olives, basil leaves, shrimp, and fettuccine. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Note: This is also a great recipe for diabetics.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

ORANGE SUGARED PECAN HALVES

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
4 cups pecan halves

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, orange juice, butter, corn syrup, cinnamon and cloves. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, to 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Stir in the pecans. Pour onto a greased baking sheet that has sides; spread to a thin layer. Allow to cool completely then break into separate nuts.

INDIVIDUAL HAM & MACARONI CASSEROLES

Preheat broiler. Spray 5 ramekins with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2 cups small shell macaroni
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup + 5 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup diced cooked ham

Cook pasta according to package directions. During the last minute of macaroni cooking, add the peas.

Whisk the milk and flour together in a large saucepan. Stir mixture together over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese and the 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Add the pasta and peas to the mixture. Stir in the ham.

Spoon 1 cup of the mixture into each of the prepared ramekins. Top each with 1 tbsp of the grated Parmesan cheese. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and broil until the tops are lightly browned.

Note: This is a great way to use leftover ham.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

FIESTA ARTICHOKE DIP

1 pkg (1-oz) taco seasoning mix
1 cup mayonnaise
8-oz cream cheese, softened
2 cans (14-oz each) artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the taco seasoning mix with the mayonnaise and cream cheese. Add the artichoke hearts, half of the green onions and the cheese; mix well. Spoon the artichoke mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with the remaining green onions. Serve with tortilla chips.

CHEESY PARTY MIX

4 cups corn bran cereal
1 1/2 cups thin pretzel sticks, broken into halves
1 cup salted peanuts
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp onion powder

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the cereal, pretzel sticks, and peanuts. Pour the butter over the cereal mixture, mixing well. Sprinkle the cheese and onion powder over the mixture and toss well to thoroughly coat. Spread mixture into an ungreased 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan and bake at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.