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.