Saturday, October 16, 2010

CREAMY CHERRY CHEESE ANGEL CAKE

2 pkgs (3-oz each) cream cheese, softened
2 pints whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 can cherry pie filling
1 angel food cake

Slice the angel food cake into slices to cover the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch pan. Blend the cream cheese, whipping cream, and sugar until smooth. Increase speed and continue beating until the mixture becomes thickened. Spoon about half of the pie filling into the mixture and blend well. Spread the mixture evenly over the cake slices. Top with the remaining pie filling.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

YUMMY CHERRY SALAD

1 can cherry pie filling
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can (20-oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup nuts

When cream cheese is softened, mix with the sweetened condensed milk, mixing together thoroughly. Stir in the whipped topping. Add the pie filling and pineapple. Mix well. Fold in the nuts.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

QUICK SKILLET MEAL SUBS FOR STUFFED PEPPERS

1 lb lean ground beef
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups chopped bell peppers
2 cans (14.5-oz each) Italian-style diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste
8 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 tsp salt
2 or 3 twists of fresh ground black pepper
1 cup uncooked instant brown rice

Spray a large, deep nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add beef to saucepan and cook until browned through. Drain the meat to remove excess fat. Return the meat to the skillet with the garlic, cooking for about a minute. Add the bell peppers and cook approximately 3 more minutes until peppers are crisp tender. Stir in the tomatoes, water, tomato paste, two tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil; stir in the rice. Remove from the heat, cover, let stand for five minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 6 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese over the mixture before serving.

Monday, October 11, 2010

GARLIC CANNELLINI BEAN DIP

1 can (15-oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 tsp ground cumin
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro

In a food processor combine the beans, vinegar, garlic, salt and cumin. Add the cover and process until smooth. Add the yogurt, parsley, and cilantro. Replace cover and process just until blended.

This dip is great with assorted crackers, pita chips, tortilla chips, or fresh veggies.




HOMEMADE TOASTED MUESLI

2 cups old fashion oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup finely chopped dates
2 tbsp oat bran
1 cup bran flakes
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup dark raisins
1 tbsp sugar or Splenda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the oats, sunflower seeds, and almonds in a 15 x 10-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until almonds are golden brown.

Put the chopped dates and oat bran in a large mixing bowl. Stir until dates are coated with the oat bran. Add the toasted oat mixture, the bran flakes, wheat germ, raisins, and sugar or Splenda. Stir gently to combine all ingredients. May be stored in an airtight container for breakfast with milk. Running late for an important meeting or school? Grab a baggie and take some for a quick breakfast on the run.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

RICE PILAF WITH TOMATOES AND GREEN ONIONS

2 Boxes (6.09-OZ each) Near East Rice Pilaf
2 tbsp butter
2 cups sliced green onions (both the white & green)
3 1/2 cups water
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, if desired

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the chopped green onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Remove onion to a bowl and set aside.

Using the same saucepan, add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice and seasonings from the boxes. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the dried thyme, replace lid and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the rice is done. Remove from the heat but let stand with lid on for 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked green onions and the tomatoes. Remove from pan to a serving bowl or individual plates and sprinkle with fresh parsley, if desired.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

SHRIMP CREOLE FOR TWO

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 rib of celery, sliced thin
1 minced garlic clove
2 tsp canola or extra virgin light olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley or 1/2 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp seafood seasoning
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (more if desired)
1/2 lb uncooked medium shrimp that have been peeled and deveined
Hot cooked brown rice for two

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil to hot. Saute the bell pepper, onion, celery, and garlic in the oil until tender. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chicken broth and tomato paste; add to the skillet mixture. Stir in the parsley, thyme, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Bring the skillet mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir in the shrimp. Cook on simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked and mixture has slightly thickened. Serve over the hot brown rice.

Monday, October 4, 2010

WESTWARD HO GUACAMOLE

1 cup mashed ripe avocado
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/3 cup mayonnaise

In a small bowl combine the avocado, lemon juice, salt, and chili powder. Stir in the mayonnaise until blended. Serve with corn or tortilla chips.

Poll Results

No surprise here. We all seem to feel we are most rushed to get breakfast cooked and served to our families.

Friday, October 1, 2010

NO BAKE ORANGE GOODIES

1 lb powdered sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1 can (6-oz) frozen orange juice, thawed and undiluted
1 lb vanilla wafers, crushed into fine crumbs
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 cup grated coconut

Combine powdered sugar, butter, orange juice, vanilla wafer crumbs, and nuts together well. Shape mixture into balls. Roll balls in the coconut.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

QUICK AND EASY RICE MEAL

1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15-oz) stewed tomatoes, chopped
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
2/3 cup water
3/4 instant brown rice
1/2 tsp thyme
dash hot pepper sauce
1 can (10 3/4-oz) tomato soup
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet combine the kidney beans, undrained stewed tomatoes, mixed vegetables, water, thyme, hot pepper sauce, and rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 12 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in the soup and heat through. Stir in the almonds and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top. Serve immediately.

serves 4

Monday, September 27, 2010

FRENCH DRESSING PARTY DIP

1 block (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup bottled French Salad Dressing
2 tsp onion, chopped very fine
2 tbsp catsup

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix until well blended. Refrigerate until serving time.

This dip is great with assorted crackers, chips, and fresh vegetables.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

CARAMEL PECAN BROWNIES (BLONDIES)

12 vanilla caramels (from a package of wrapped caramels)
1/3 cup butter
2 tbsp milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

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

In a 2-qt saucepan, combine the caramels, butter, and milk. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, just until the caramels melt. Remove from the heat. Stir in the sugar; add the eggs and vanilla stirring well until blended. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the mixture in the saucepan, stirring until blended. Stir in the pecans. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, at 350 degrees. Cool before cutting into bars.

Apples vs Pears

In our recent survey asking if you prefer apples or pears, 66% chose pears.

Friday, September 24, 2010

ZUCCHINI CORNBREAD CAKES

1 small zucchini
1 pkt (6 1/2-oz) cornbread mix
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
canola oil for frying

Shred the zucchini and microwave on medium-high for 2 minutes. drain well. In a small mixing bowl combine the zucchini, cornbread mix, egg, and milk. Mix well and let stand about 5 minutes.

Heat the canola oil in a pan with deep sides. Use only enough oil to coat the pan, you do not want to deep fry the cakes. When the oil is hot, drop batter into the pan by heaping tablespoonsful. Cook approximately two minutes on each side. Remove from the pan to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Yield: Approximately 14 cakes.

Note: This picture is a file photo.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CANADIAN BACON AND PINEAPPLE PIZZA

1 (10-oz) prebaked Italian bread crust shell
1/2 cup prepared sweet and sour sauce
3/4 cup unsweetened pineapple tidbits, well drained
1 pkg (7-oz) Canadian bacon, diced
4-oz shredded Mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place the crust on an ungreased pizza pan or a baking sheet. Spread the sweet and sour sauce evenly over the top of the crust. Evenly distribute the pineapple tidbits over the sauce. Sprinkle the Canandian bacon over the pineapple. Top with the shredded cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for approximately 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SPINACH CORN MUFFINS

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped*

Combine the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In another mixing bowl, beat the egg. Add the milk and oil to the egg and beat to mix. Fold the egg mixture into the cornmeal mixture just until moistened. Gently fold in the spinach, cheese, and jalapeno peppers.

Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into the prepared muffin cups until each is about 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for a couple of minutes before removing from the pans. Cool on wire racks.

*Use jalapeno pepper amount at your discretion. If you don't like much heat, use only one. Always wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly when handling jalapeno peppers. Never touch your eyes or sensitive skin before giving your hands a good washing first.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

EASY MICROWAVED CURRIED CHICKEN WITH APPLES

2 tbsp butter
2 tsp curry powder
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 cups peeled and finely chopped Granny Smith apples
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
1 can (4-oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup frozen peas
dash of paprika
Hot cooked brown rice, optional

Place the butter in a microwave-safe dish; cover and microwave on high 45 seconds or until melted. Stir the curry powder into the melted butter; add the onion and chopped apples. Stir mixture until apples are coated. Cover and microwave on high for 2 or 3 minutes until the apples are crisp tender, stirring once during cooking. Stir in the chichen soup, milk, chicken cubes and mushrooms. Cover and microwave on high until the chicken is no longer pink, approximately 10 minutes. Add the peas and sprinkle with the paprika; cover and cook another 3 minutes until the peas are tender. Serve over the hot cooked brown rice, if desired.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

HAM AND CHEESE ROLL

8 oz grated American cheese
8 oz cream cheese, softened
dash of red pepper
dash of garlic salt
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 tbsp Dr. Pepper
2 small pkgs shaved ham (Buddig-style)

Lay ham slices out overlapping each other in a square pattern. Mix the American cheese, cream cheese, red pepper, garlic salt, nuts, and Dr. Pepper together. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the ham. Roll into a log. Use more ham until all the cheese is covered. Refrigerate until serving time.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

CAULIFLOWER AND CHICKPEA SOUP

2 tsp canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 med carrots, sliced
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/2 cups chicken broth or bouillon
2 3/4 cups water
2 medium potatoes, diced
3 cups cauliflower florets
1 can (15 1/2-oz) chickpeas
1/2 pkg (10-oz size)frozen chopped spinach

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and carrots to the oil and cook until onion is golden and tender. Stir in the garlic and the curry powder. Cook one minute. Stir in the broth or bouillion, water, potatoes, cauliflower, chickpeas, and spinach. Continue to cook for about 20 to 25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

MEAT AND VEGETABLE FRIED RICE

2 tsp canola oil
1 bag (1-lb) frozen broccoli stir-fry blend
2 cups cooked chicken or pork cut into strips
2 tsp minced garlic
2 cups brown minute rice, cooked according to the package directions
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp cider vinegar
3 green onions, sliced

Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over high heat. Add the frozen stir-fry vegetable mix and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken or pork and the garlic; cook another couple of minutes. Stir in the rice and heat through.

In the center of the rice mixture, make a well. Add the eggs to the well and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the soy sauce and vinegar. Sprinkle the green onions overall.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SPINACH PESTO OVER PASTA

6 bacon slices
10 oz pkg spaghetti or fettucini noodles
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped spinach
2 cloves garlic, minced
dash of fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet cook the bacon until crisp. Drain the grease off bacon but save 2tablespoons of the drippings*. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Cook the spaghetti or fettucini as directed on package.

While the pasta is cooking, cook the spinach according to package directions in a medium saucepan. Place the undrained spinach, reserved bacon drippings, garlic, and pepper in a blender or food processor. Cover and process until smooth. Add the undrained cottage cheese, replace cover and blend until smooth.

Arrange the pasta on a large serving platter. Pour the spinach pesto over the pasta; toss to mix well. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon and the Parmesan cheese over the top before serving. Serve immediately.

*For a healthier dish, substitute olive oil for the bacon drippings.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

QUICK AND EASY ROCKY ROAD CAKE

1 box (2-layer size) dark chocolate cake mix
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp milk

Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions and bake in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. When cake is done (a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean), remove from the oven and sprinkle the marshmallows evenly over the top. Return to the oven for a couple of minutes until the marshmallows are softened. Remove from oven again. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over top of cake.

In the microwave or a small saucepan, melt the chocolate chips with the milk until chips are completely melted and mixture is well blended. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the marshmallow and nuts. Cool before cutting.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

QUICK AND EASY CHERRY CRISP DESSERT

2 cups white cake mix
2 cups canned cherry pie filling
1 box coconut pecan frosting mix
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour (or spray with a baking nonstick spray)a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Spread the pie filling evenly over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the dry cake mix over the pie filling. Sprinkle the frosting mix over the cake mix. Pour the melted butter evenly over the top of the frosting mix. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown.

Use topped with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Friday, August 20, 2010

QUICK AND EASY VEGETABLE NOODLE SOUP

2 1/2 quarts water
2 envelopes dry onion soup mix
2 cups sliced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 large potato, scrubbed and diced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 oz medium egg noodles

In a large saucepan or a Dutch oven bring the water to a boil; stir in the dry onion soup mix, stirring well until blended. Add the celery, carrots, tomato, potato, and parsley. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp tender. Return the soup to a boil and add the noodles. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 7 or 8 minutes until the noodles are fork tender.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

QUICK AND EASY MICROWAVE TACO BURGERS

1/3 cup taco sauce
1/4 cup very fine dried bread crumbs
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 lb lean ground beef
4 hamburger buns
4 lettuce leaves
4 slices pepper jack cheese

In a mixing bowl combine the taco sauce, bread crumbs, chili powder, and garlic salt. Crumble the ground beef into the mixture and mix together well. Shape the mixture into four equal sized patties. Place the patties in an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Cover loosely with paper toweling or waxed paper. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Drain off excess fat, turn the patties over and return them to the microwave. Cook an additional 3 to 6 minutes or until the burgers are no longer pink. Remove from the microwave and drain the patties on paper towels. Add a slice of the pepper Jack cheese to each pattie. Place a lettuce leaf on the bottom part of each hamburger bun. Place the patties on hamburger buns atop the lettuce. Top with the top of the buns.

Suggest condiments: pickle, onion slices, salsa, tomato slices, etc


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

EASY APPLE DESSERT

1 can apple pie filling
1/2 box yellow cake mix, dry
1 stick butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray an 8 X 8-inch baking pan or dish with a nonstick cooking spray. Empty the can of pie filling into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the pie filling. Cut the butter into portions and dot over the top of the cake mix. Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly over the top (may use more cinnamon or apple pie spice, if desired). Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

This is great served as is. It is especially good served warm with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

TURKEY AND VEGGIE POCKET SANDWICHES

1/2 cup Ranch Salad Dressing
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups Deli Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, cut into strips
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1 small tomato, diced
2 whole wheat pitas, cut in half to make 4 sandwiches
4 pieces leaf lettuce

Line each pita half with a piece of the lettuce.

In a small bowl combine the Ranch Dressing, mayonnaise, turkey strips, carrots, cucumber, and tomato. Divide the mixture evenly between the 4 pitas, stuffing mixture into the lettuce.

Monday, August 16, 2010

CARROT RAISIN SALAD WITH MARSHMALLOWS

3 cups shredded carrots
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
2/3 cup golden or regular seedless raisins
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup mayo-type salad dressing

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the carrots, raisins, celery and walnuts. Gently stir in the marshmallows. Fold in the salad dressing. Chill until serving time.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

GARLIC, CHEESE, and BACON MASHED POTATOES

Approximately 1 1/2 lb potatoes with thin skins, quarted but not peeled
Enough water to cover potatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
6 slices bacon, cooked crispy, drained, and crumbled
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 sprig fresh parsley for garnish, if desired

Place potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain.

Mash the potatoes. Add the mayonnaise, milk, bacon, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix together well. Stir in the cheese. Garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings
Note: This is a file photo.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

LUNCHBOX PINEAPPLE BARS

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup quick oats (not instant oatmeal)
5 tbsp cold unsalted butter
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 tbsp sliced almonds
1 cup all-fruit pineapple spread

Using a food processor or a pastry cutter, combine the flour, brown sugar, and oats processing until blended. Add the butter and the almond extract to the flour mixture; pulse or cut until crumbly. Remove a half cup of the mixture and set aside in a small bowl. Add the almonds to the half cup mixture.

Press the remaining mixture onto the bottom of a 9-inch square pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or lightly buttered. Spread the pineapple over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture with the almonds over the top of the pineapple layer. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. The top should be golden brown. Set pan on a wire rack to cool before cutting into 12 bars.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A NOTE FROM LINDA

Thank you for continuing to visit my site during my absence. First I had computer problems then health problems. It is good to be back to blogging with you. I trust you have had a great summer!

BEETS BAKED IN ORANGE SAUCE

3 cups cooked (or drained canned) beets, sliced (not pickled beets)
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp butter, melted

Place the beets in a casserole dish. Combine the flour, sugar, orange juice and butter. Pour flour mixture over the beets. Cover and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Note: This is a file photo.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

EASY BAKED FRITTATA

6 tbsp canola oil
4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb fully cooked ham, cubed
12 whole eggs
6 tbsp low-fat milk
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
2 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese
1 1/2 cups your favorite chunky salsa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the canola oil. Add the hash brown potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with the garlic salt and the pepper. Cook for about 8 minutes until almost browned. Add the ham to the potatoes. Cook another couple of minutes, turning occasionally with a spatula.

Blend the eggs, milk, salt, oregano, and basil while the ham and potatoes are cooking.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place the potato mixture evenly in the casserole dish. Gently stir the egg mixture into the potato mixture. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the cheese over the top of the casserole. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the eggs are set.

Turn the oven to broil and cook for about 2 or 3 minutes until nicely browned. Watch carefully while the oven is on broil. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before cutting. Cut into squares and place on serving plate.

Heat the salsa and serve spooned over the frittata.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

TACO SALAD NO-BAKE CASSEROLE

1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 can refried beans
1 small can tomato sauce
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 small can green chilies, chopped
2 cups chopped lettuce
1 cup chopped onion
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
1 bottle mild taco sauce
2 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese
1 bag taco chips
sour cream for garnish, if desired

In a large skillet cook ground beef until no long pink; drain well. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel and return meat to skillet over a low heat. Add the refried beans, tomato sauce, taco seasoning mix, and green chilies. Continue cooking slowly, stirring frequently until heated thoroughly. Spread the taco chips on the bottom of an oblong casserole dish. Spoon the ground beef mixture over the chips. Drizzle the taco sauce evenly over the beef mixture. Layer the remaining ingredients as follows: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, black olives, and shredded cheese. Serve topped with sour cream, if desired.

Monday, May 17, 2010

TURKEY (OR CHICKEN) CRUNCH CASSEROLE

3 cup diced or shredded turkey (or chicken)
1 can (4-oz) mushroom pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (1 low-sodium, 1 low-fat)
1 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup crunchy Chow Mein noodles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, mushroom pieces, chopped celery, chopped onion, and the poultry seasoning. In a smaller bowl, combine the two cans of soup with the milk using a wire whisk.

Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon the turkey mixture into the casserole dish. Pour the soup and milk mixture over the turkey mixture. Sprinkle the Chow Mein noodles over the top.

Bake casserole in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

PICANTE CHICKEN CASSEROLE

2 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 tsp dried onion flakes
10 corn tortillas
1 can cream of celery soup
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen broccoli, thawed
1 cup picante sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 11-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Quickly dip half the tortilla shells in water then cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with the tortillas.

Combine the chicken, soups, onion flakes, broccoli, and picante sauce together in a bowl. Spread half the chicken mixture over the tortilla shells. Top with half the cheese. Repeat the process ending with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

CHEESY CHICKEN NOODLE BAKE

3-oz of medium egg noodles cooked and drained
1 can (10 3/4-oz)low-fat cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken (leftover works well; so does a deli chicken)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the chicken soup, milk, pepper, vegetables, chicken, noodles and Parmesan cheese. Mix together well and pour into a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven and top with the Mexican blend cheese before serving.


Friday, May 7, 2010

ORANGE MARSHMALLOW FRUIT DIP

1 pkg (8-oz) low-fat cream cheese, softened
1 jar (7 to 8-oz) marshmallow cream or fluff
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tsp fresh finely-grated orange peel

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until well blended. Serve with fresh fruit for a light dessert or as a party food.

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups


Thursday, April 29, 2010

FRIED ZUCCHINI CAKES

1/3 cup biscuit/baking mix
1/4 cup American or Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups grated zucchini
2 tbsp butter

In a medium mixing bowl combine the biscuit mix, cheese, salt and pepper until blended. Add the beaten eggs to the mixture then the zucchini. When mixed well, shape into 8 to 10 patties.

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet and add the patties. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until done to your liking.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

QUICK AND EASY WALDORF SALAD

3 cups chopped red and/or green apples
1/2 cup mayonnaise or mayo style salad dressing
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a large mixing bowl, combine the apples, mayonnaise, walnuts, and raisiins. Stir together to blend well. Fold in the whipped topping. Chill until serving time.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Monday, April 26, 2010

PEANUT BUTTER BUTTERSCOTCH FUDGE

1 pkg (6-oz) butterscotch chips
1 cup peanut butter
1 regular can sweetened condensed milk (ie Eagle Brand)
1 cup chopped salted peanuts

In the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling water, melt the butterscotch chips. Add the peanut butter; stir well to mix and melt the peanut butter. Add the sweetened condensed milk; mix well. Pour into a buttered pan and allow to cool. Cut into small squares once the candy has cooled.


Friday, April 23, 2010

PORTOBELLA MUSHROOM ROMAINE SALAD

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh or dried rosemary

In a small skillet saute the garlic and rosemary in the olive oil for one minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil; simmer for four minutes. Chill.

2 heads Romaine lettuce, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
6 Portobello mushroom caps, sliced into 1/4" slices
1 cup shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
salt, to taste, if desired

Coat the sliced mushrooms with the above Balsamic dressing and set aside.

On a large serving plate or in a shallow bowl layer the ingredients as follows: lettuce, mushroom slices, shaved cheese, tomatoes, pepper, and salt if desired. Drizzle with the remaining Balsamic vinegar and the olive oil.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

CREAMY ZUCCHINI CELERY SOUP

3 green onions, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp butter
4 ribs of celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 cups water
3 vegetable bouillon cubes
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1 lb red potatoes, diced
3 cups milk
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

In a large saucepan melt the butter. Add the onions and garlic to the saucepan and saute until tender. Add the celery and carrots; cook while stirring for about four minutes. Stir in the 2 cups of water, bouillon, salt, and thyme. Add the potatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for around 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the milk and add the zucchini. Return the mixture to a boil. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and the 1/4 cup of cold water until smooth. Using a whisk, gradually add the cornstarch mixture to the soup. Return to a boil and cook for two minutes or until slightly thickened.

Yield: 6 servings.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

QUICK AND EASY HAM AND CHEESE HASH BROWNS

1 tbsp butter
3/4 cup chopped cooked ham
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1 tbsp chopped pimento
1 can (10 3/4-oz) condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 tsp prepared mustard
4 cups frozen shredded or diced hash brown potatoes

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the ham, onion, bell pepper, and pimento to the skillet. Cook until the veggies are tender-crisp. In a small bowl, add the milk to the soup along with the mustard and stir until blended. Add the cheese mixture and the potatoes to the skillet. Heat the mixture to a boil; reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for ten minutes or until the potatoes are tender, stirring often.

Note: These potatoes make a great breakfast or brunch dish. They can also be used as a side dish with beef, chicken, etc.

Monday, April 12, 2010

QUICK,WHOLE WHEAT APPLE SPICE MUFFINS

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey
3/4 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup melted salt-free butter
1 cup grated apple
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups; set aside.

In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, salt and baking powder; combine well; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add the honey, milk, melted butter, grated apple, cinnamon and ginger, mixing well. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture blending well. Pour the mixture into the prepared muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the muffins center comes out clean.

Friday, April 9, 2010

ANGEL HAIR SHRIMP SALAD

2 1/2 cups cooked angel hair pasta (approx. 5-oz uncooked)
3/4 cup chopped plum tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped green onions
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped pitted black olives
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano
3/4 lb cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

In a large salad bowl, combine the angel hair pasta, tomato, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, green onions, lemon juice, olives, olive oil, thyme, black pepper, oregano, shrimp, and garlic. Sprinkle with the cheese and fresh parsley.

Yield: 5 servings of 2 cups each.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

BANANA-MOCHA MILK SHAKE

3 medium bananas
2 cups (1 pint) coffee ice cream
1 cup milk
1/4 cup chocolate syrup

Peel bananas and place in a blender container with the ice cream, milk, and chocolate syrup; process 1 minute or until smooth--stopping to scrape down the sides. Pour into 4 chilled glasses and serve immediately.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

BROWN SUGAR BANANAS OVER POUND CAKE OR ICE CREAM

1/4 cup butter
4 medium bananas, peeled & sliced
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
Pound cake or ice cream for serving

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the sliced bananas, brown sugar, maple syrup, and ground cinnamon. Saute mixture for 5 minutes or until the sugar melts. Serve over pound cake or ice cream. Top with the whipped cream and toasted coconut.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

QUICK AND EASY MIXED BERRY TART

1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry
1 egg, beaten
1 to 2 tbsp granulated sugar
8-oz cream cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp grated orange zest
3 cups assorted berries ie strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
1/3 cup melted apple jelly

On a floured surface, roll out the sheet of pastry to a 14" x 11" rectangle. Fold the edges over to form an 11" x 7" rectangle. Prick the inside of the rectangle with the tines of a fork. Brush the beaten egg over the edges and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes or until golden brown; cool.

Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and orange zest together and spread the mixture over the center of the crust. Combine the berries with the melted apple jelly and spoon over the cream cheese mixture.

Monday, March 29, 2010

STRAWBERRY DREAM PIE

Note: This is a very quick pie to make but it does require chilling. It is an excellent recipe to be made ahead.

1 graham cracker pie crust
3 egg yolks
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 can strawberry pie filling, chilled
whipped cream
fresh strawberries for garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until they lose their shape. Stir the sweetened condensed milk and the lemon juice into the egg yolks. Pour the mixture into the graham cracker crust and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool; cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least 3 hours or as long as overnight.

Before serving top with the pie filling. Cut pie and add a dollop of whipped cream to each slice. Top the whipped cream with a fresh whole berry for a garnish, if desired.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

QUICK SAUCY CHICKEN STIR-FRY

3 tbsp canola oil
1 cup broccoli flowerets
1 cup cauliflowerets
3/4 cup 2-inch julienned carrots
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Hot cooked brown rice to serve 4

Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green onion, and garlic and stir-fry about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the vegetables from the pan.

Add the last 2 tablespoons of the oil and the chicken strips to the pan. Stir-fry the mixture about 5 minutes or until tender. Reduce the heat and return the vegetables to the pan with the chicken. Add the salad dressing, soy sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes, if using. Simmer one to two minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve over the hot rice.

Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY JAM IN MINUTES

1 qt ripe strawberries
4 cups sugar (or Splenda for diabetics)
3/4 cup water
1 box sure-jell or other fruit pectin (for diabetics they make one for sugar substitute products)

Mash the strawberries, being sure you have 2 cups. Put into a large bowl and add the sugar OR Splenda granular. Set aside for about 10 minutes if using sugar or 15 minutes if using Splenda, stirring occasionally.

In a small saucepan stir the fruit pectic into the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Stir the hot mixture into the fruit mixture in the bowl. Stir together for about three to five minutes until the sugar or Splenda is completely dissolved.

Pour the jam into freezeable plastic containers to a half-inch from the lid. Cover with lids and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Store one container in the refrigerator (it is now ready to use) and freeze the remaining containers.

Yield: 6 cups

Note: Jam may be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks. May be kept in the freezer for a year. Thaw frozen jam in the refrigerator.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

QUICK AND EASY TANGY COLESLAW

1 pkg (16-oz) cabbage/carrot slaw mixture
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
3 tbsp sugar or Splenda granular
1 tbsp + 1 tsp prepared horseradish
2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt

Combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar OR Splenda, prepared horseradish, dry mustard, and salt in a medium to large bowl. Add the slaw and toss together well. Cover and chill before serving.

Note: This makes a great dressing for pork sandwiches, wraps, etc.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

CHOCOLATE SCOTCHEROOS

1 cup sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
1 pkg (12-oz) chocolate chips
1 pkg (12-oz) butterscotch chips
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 cups crispy rice cereal

In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup. Cook the mixture over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the peanut butter until melted, mixing well. Add the crispy rice cereal and stir until well blended. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. In the microwave or on the stove over hot, not boiling, water, melt the chocolate chips with the butterscotch chips. When completely melted and blended, spread the mixture evenly over the cereal mixture. Allow to cool. Cut into squares or rectangle bars.

Note: In extremely hot weather, keep refrigerated.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

TEX-MEX MADE EASY DISH

4 cups water
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pkg (1 1/4-oz) taco seasoning mix, divided
4 cups uncooked instant rice
2 cans (8-oz each) no-salt added tomato sauce
1 lb lean ground beef
1 can (16-oz) fat-free refried beans
1 pkg (8-oz) reduced-fat shredded Mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saucepan, combine the water, chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, salt, and pepper along with half the packet of taco seasoning mix. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat. Stir in the rice and allow to stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce.

Meanwhile, cook the ground beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until thoroughly browned, stirring to crumble. Drain and rinse with hot water. Return to the skillet and stirring in the remaining half of the taco seasoning mix.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread half the rice mixture into the bottom of the pan or dish. Spread the beans evenly over the rice mixture. Top rice with the beef mixture and sprinkle beef with half the package of cheese. Spread remaining rice mixture over the cheese; top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until cheese melts and casserole is bubbly.

Serve with salsa, sour cream or other condiments, if desired.

Friday, March 12, 2010

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN FAJITAS WITH CREAM CHEESE

1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
3 tbsp canola oil
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 small onion, sliced into rings
2 garlic cloves, minced
8-oz container soft cream cheese with herb and garlic
16 (6-in size) flour tortillas, warmed
Your favorite salsa, optional

Saute half of the chicken strips in 1 tablespoon of the canola oil until cooked through and tender; remove from the skillet. Repeat with another tablespoon of the oil and the other half of the chicken.

Saute the bell peppers, onion, and garlic in the last tablespoon of the oil until crisp tender. Add the chicken back to the skillet and mix well.

Spread approximately 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese over each warmed tortilla. Place about 1/2 cup of the chicken/vegetable mixture in the center of each tortilla. Roll up the tortilla and place on serving plates. Serve with the salsa, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings of two fajitas each.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM PARFAIT PIE

1 baked pastry crust or graham cracker crust
1 pkg (4-serving size) strawberry gelatin
1 1/4 cup boiling water
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 cup strawberries, halved or sliced
Whipped cream for garnish, if desired
Whole strawberries for garnish, if desired.

Mix the gelatin and boiling water. Spoon in the ice cream, stirring until melted. Place in the refrigerator until thickened but not set (15 to 20 minutes). Remove from the refrigerator and stir in the strawberries. Pour mixture into the pastry shell or graham cracker crust. Before serving pipe a decorative border of whipped cream around the outer edge of the pie. Top whipped cream with whole strawberries, if desired.


Monday, March 8, 2010

SOUTHWEST CHICKEN SKILLET

1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
2 cans (10-oz each) diced tomatoes and green chilies
1/2 cup water
2 or 3 green onions, thinly sliced (reserve some for garnish)
1 cup shredded Mexican Blend cheese
Sour cream, if desired

In a large nonstick skillet, over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken and cook around 5 minutes, or until no longer pink, stirring frequently. Stir in the rice, tomatoes, water, and onions. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir mixture, top with the cheese and reserved green onion. Cover and cook another 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. Top with sour cream before serving, if desired.

Friday, February 26, 2010

CITRUS BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

2 pkgs (7-oz each) blueberry muffin mix (I used Martha White)
2/3 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp orange juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp grated orange peel

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the milk, egg, lemon juice, orange juice, lemon peel and orange peel. Stir together to blend then add the muffin mix; stir together just until moistened. Fill the prepared muffin cups about 2/3 full each. Bake 12 to 16 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan about 2 to 3 minutes then add the glaze to the warm muffins.

Glaze: Mix together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of lemon or orange juice. Drizzle over the warm muffins.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

ORZO VEGGIE CHICKEN SOUP

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp butter
3 cans (14 1/2-oz each) reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/2 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup cubed or shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup uncooked orzo
1/4 tsp pepper
minced fresh parsley*

Melt the butter in a large saucepan; add onion and saute until tender. Add one can of the chicken broth, celery and carrot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chicken, orzo, pepper, and the other two cans of chicken broth; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until orzo and veggies are tender. Sprinkle with the parsley.

*Substitute cilantro if you want a little spice.

Friday, February 19, 2010

DOTTIE'S FRUIT COCKTAIL CAKE

1 can fruit cocktail
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9 x 13-inch baking pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the fruit cocktail, including juice, sugar, and eggs. Sift together the flour, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and baking soda. Mix into the fruit cocktail mixture. Blend together well. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until done.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar, serve with a dollop of whipped topping and fruit, or frost with your favorite frosting.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN CORDON BLEU READY IN 30 MINUTES

1 tbsp butter
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 can (10 3/4-oz) Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup, undiluted
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp dry white wine
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup chopped cooked ham
4 cups hot cooked medium egg noodles, tossed with butter

In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until browned; set aside. To the skillet, add the soup, water, wine, Swiss cheese and chopped ham. Heat the mixture to boiling, stirring often. Return the chicken to the pan; reduce heat to low. Cover the pan and cook for 5 more minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and its juices run clear, stirring occasionally.

Serve over the hot buttered noodles. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

QUICK AND EASY DATE PUDDING

Sauce:
2 cups brown sugar
3 cups boiling water
1/2 stick butter

In the pan you plan to bake the pudding in, mix the above ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for 10 minutes.

Batter:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped dates
2 tsp vanilla

Sift the sugar, flour, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add the melted butter, milk, and vanilla. Stir to blend. Stir in the chopped pecans and chopped dates. Drop the mixture by spoonfuls into the hot syrup. Mix slightly and place in a preheated 375 degree oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Friday, February 12, 2010

CHICKEN MARINARA STIR-FRY

1 tbsp cornstarch
1 can (14 1/2-oz)diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8-oz)tomato sauce
1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry red wine (or additional chicken broth)
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp salt
1-lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp canola oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, julienned
1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into cubes
Hot cooked spaghetti
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Drain the tomatoes, pouring the juice into a medium bowl. Set the tomatoes aside. To the juice in the bowl stir in the cornstarch and add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, wine-if using, basil, thyme, and salt; combine until smooth. Set mixture aside.

In a large nonstick skillet or Chinese wok, heat the canola oil. Stir-fry the chicken and garlic in the hot oil until it is no longer pink. Remove chicken and keep warm.

In the same skillet, stir-fry the onion and bell pepper for 4 minutes. Add the eggplant to the skillet and stir-fry for another 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Stir the sauce in the bowl and add to the pan. Bring mixture to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the chicken and tomatoes to the skillet and heat through. Serve over the hot spaghetti; sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 4-servings

Note: This dish is also suitable for diabetics as it contains 17 carbs to 30 g protein per cup, including the spaghetti. Even better for you if make it with whole-wheat spaghetti.


Friday, February 5, 2010

VEGETABLE QUESADILLAS

1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 8-in flour tortillas
2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar/Monterrey Jack cheese blend
3/4 cup your favorite salsa
sour cream

Coat a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, and green onions to the skillet and saute until tender. Add the corn, tomatoes, basil, salt, and black pepper; cook another 2 to 3 minutes until heated through. With a slotted spoon, spoon the filling evenly over 1/2 of each tortilla. Sprinkle the cheese over the veggies and fold the tortilla over. Lightly spray the tops of each tortilla with the nonstick cooking spray. Bake, uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes at 400 degrees, or until golden brown. Serve with the salsa and sour cream.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

TINY HAM FILLED TOMATOES

1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp sour cream
1 can (4.5-oz) deviled ham
2 tbsp horseradish

Wash tomatoes, thinly slice off tops, remove some pulp and dry tomatoes with paper towels. In a small bowl combine the sour cream and horseradish; add the deviled ham. Stir mixture to blend well. Stuff the tomatoes with the ham mixture and refrigerate until serving time.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

BANANA SPLIT CAKE

CRUST:
2 cups crushed graham crackers
1 stick butter, melted

Mix the cracker crumbs and butter together and press into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan.

2 eggs
2 sticks butter
2 cups powdered sugar

Combine ingredients in a mixer bowl and beat well for 15 minutes. Pour this mixture over the crust in the pan.

3 to 4 bananas
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1 large carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 large jar maraschino cherries, drained, halved
1/2 cup chopped pecans or peanuts

Spread the bananas evenly over the powdered sugar mixture. Top the bananas with the crushed pineapple (use drained juice to dip pineapples, if desired). Spread the whipped topping over the pineapple. Sprinkle the cherries and nuts over the top.

Note: If you don't want to use raw eggs, you can substitute 1/2 cup egg substitute.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

MICROWAVE JUBILEE

1 lb ground beef

Crumble beef into an 8-inch square microwave-safe dish. Microwave on medium high for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.

2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp diced green chilies
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce
1 pkg (1 1/4-oz) taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup water

Place the butter in a 1-quart glass measuring cup or bowl. Melt in the microwave; add the onions and chilies; cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, taco seasoning mix, and water; cook another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

2 eggs
1 cup half & half cream

Beat the eggs and add blend in the half and half. Slowly add this mixture to the tomato sauce mixture while stirring constantly.

1 pkg (6-oz) corn chips
8-oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Place half the corn chips in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Top with half the ground beef, half the cheese, and half the sauce mixture. Repeat with the remaining chips, beef, cheese, and sauce. Place in the microwave and cook for 15 minutes on a rotating disk or turn 1/4 of a turn every 5 minutes.

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese,
sliced black olives, if desired

Top the casserole with the above ingredients and microwave a couple of minutes or until cheese melts.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

QUICK AND EASY SCALLOP CHOWDER

2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced baby carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped unpeeled red potatoes
1/4 tsp oregano
2 bottles (8-oz ea) clam juice
1 lb bay scallops
2 cups cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter or margarine. Add the onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, potatoes, and oregano to the butter. Saute the mixture for 10 minutes then add the clam juice and scallops. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the cream, salt, and pepper. Cook the mixture until heated through. Stir in the parsley before serving or put chowder in serving bowl and sprinkle parsley on top.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN NOODLE CASSEROLE

1 can (10 3/4-oz) cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables or California blend
2 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken
2 cups curly egg noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish, stir together the mushroom soup, milk, pepper, Parmesan cheese, mixed vegetables, chicken, and noodles. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top.
Yield: 4 servings

Monday, January 18, 2010

BAKED BEEF AND POTATO LOAF

2 cans sliced potatoes, drained
1 tbsp dried onion flakes, divided
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup quick cook oats
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp catsup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a glass loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Layer the drained potatoes, sprinkled with 1 teaspoon of the dried onion flakes and the black pepper, in the bottom of the prepared loaf pan.

In a small mixing bowl, mix together the ground beef, oats, milk, catsup, salt, garlic powder, and the remaining dried onion flakes. Spread this mixture over the potatoes. Place in the preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the beef mixture is done. Sprinkle with the grated cheddar cheese, if desired.

Monday, January 11, 2010

BUTTERED PARMESAN RICE

3 cups water
1/4 tsp salt, optional
1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice
1/2 cup butter (not margarine)
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley

In a large saucepan that has a lid, bring the water and salt (if using) to a boil; stir in the rice. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. While the rice cooks, in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter and cook until browned but not burned.

Place the hot rice in a serving dish and top with the grated Parmesan cheese. Pour the browned butter overall cover with foil or a plate and let stand for about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the fresh parsley over the top before serving.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

CINDY'S FAVORITE CHEESE BREAD

1 cup butter or margarine
12-oz grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 loaf French Bread, sliced in half lengthwise

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Mix together the butter or margarine, cheeses, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Place bread in broiler with the cut sides down. Brown until lightly browned. Remove from the broiler, turn, and spread the cheese mixture on the cut sides. Return to the broiler and broil until brown. WATCH CAREFULLY AS THE CHEESE WILL BURN. You only want the cheese mixture to become bubbly. Remove from the broiler and cut into slices to serve.

Variation: Replace the cheddar cheese with Mozzarella cheese.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

HOMEMADE BLENDER SALAD DRESSING

1 large egg
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp paprika
dash of cayenne pepper

1 cup canola oil
1 tbsp lemon juice

Put the egg, vinegar, salt, dry mustard, paprika, and cayenne pepper in blender container; blend until well mixed. With the blender running slowly, gradually pour half of the canola oil into the blender container. Stop blender and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula when needed.

Add the lemon juice to mixture in the blender container and slowly pour remainder of the canola oil into the mixture with the blender running slowly.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yield: Approximately 1 1/4 cup

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

CHERRY PARSON

2 pkgs dessert topping mix
1 cup cold milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 bakery angel food cake
slivered toasted almonds
slivered maraschino cherries
8 to 10 stemmed maraschino cherries for garnish

Combine the dessert topping and milk in a mixing bowl and beat well. Gradually add the powdered sugar to the topping mixture. Beat the softened cream cheese into the mixture adding small amounts at a time. Cut the cake into 3 layers. Place the bottom layer on a cake plate and spread with a layer of the topping mixture. Repeat with the middle layer. Add the top layer and spread with more topping mixture then cover the sides of the cake with the remaining mixture. Decorate the sides of the cake with the slivered toasted almonds and slivered cherries. Refrigerate for a few minutes. Garnish the top with stemmed maraschino cherries before serving. This makes a very pretty quick dessert.