Saturday, December 31, 2011

FUN AND EASY INDOOR S'MORES

8 Graham cracker squares
2 tsp Nutella
1 banana, slice into 1/4-inch slices
4 large marshmallows

Spread the Nutella over 4 of the cracker squares; set aside.

Arrange the remaining 4 Graham cracker squares on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Arrange 4 banana slices on each of these cracker squares.  Place one of the marshmallows atop each of the banana covered crackers.  Broil for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until the marshmallows are toasted (watch carefully to prevent burning).  Remove from broiler and top immediately with the Nutella crackers, Nutella side down.  Press lightly to mash the marshmallow onto the bananas.

Friday, December 30, 2011

CHILI SPICED PECAN PEANUT MIX

2 cups pecan halves or large pieces
2 cups roasted peanuts
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking pan, combine the peanuts and pecans.  In a small bowl combine the egg white with the butter, chili powder, red pepper, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and the hot sauce, stirring to combine well.  Pour the butter mixture over the nuts in the pan, stirring to coat all the nuts well.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the nuts are toasted.  Remove from oven and set pan on a wire rack.  Cool nuts completely in the pan.  Store in an airtight container.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

TACO SLOPPYJOES

1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14.5-oz) tomatoes
2 tbsp catsup
2 tsp taco seasoning mix
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
4 to 6 hamburger buns
1 cup shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
shredded lettuce for garnish
diced tomatoes for garnish
black olives for garnish
taco sauce, if desired

In a large skillet saute the ground beef, onion, and garlic together until the beef is browned and crumbled.  Drain off excess fat.

Add the tomatoes, catsup, taco seasoning, salt, and Dijon mustard.  Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until mixture is dry.  Spoon the mixture onto the buns and top with the lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, olive, and taco sauce if desired.

LAZY COOK'S LASAGNE

6-oz lasagne noodles, cooked according to pkg directions
1/4 tsp oregano
1 can (15.5-oz) spaghetti sauce of your choice
1 cup cream-style cottage cheese
1 pkg (6-oz) sliced Mazzarella cheese

Blend the oregano into the spaghetti sauce.

Spray a 10 x 6-inch baking dish, that has 1 1/2 to 2-inch sides, with nonstick cooking spray.

Layer half the lasagne noodles topped with half the cottage cheese, followed by half the sauce and half the cheese.  Repeat the layers with the remaining halves of the ingredients.  Bake in a moderate 375 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes, until heated through and bubbly.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

Yield: 4 servings

For a complete meal serve with a salad and crusty whole-grain bread.

MEATBALLS AND VEGETABLES

1 bag frozen meatballs, partially thawed OR your own cooked meatballs you have made ahead
1 can (10 1/2-oz) cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 pkg (9-oz) frozen French-style green beans
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen corn

In a large skillet, stir the soup and milk together until smooth.  Place the frozen beans and corn in the skillet; add the meatballs.  Place lid on skillet and heat to boiling over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to low and cook 5 minutes.  Stir and cook another 5 to 10 minutes until heated through.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

EASY ALMOND CLUSTERS

2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
1 pkg (18-oz) creamy frosting mix
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter in the milk.  Remove from the heat and stir in the frosting mix. 

Cook mixture over low heat for a couple minutes until smooth and glossy, while stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and stir in the almonds.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper and allow to stand until firm.

NOTE: You can make with chocolate frosting mix, if desired.  You will need to use 2 more teaspoons of milk with the chocolate fudge frosting mix.

TOASTED ENGLISH MUFFINS WITH PECAN SPREAD

1 tsp grated orange peel
3-oz cream cheese
2 tbsp low-fat milk
1/4 cup chopped pecans
6 English muffins that have been split and toasted

In small mixer bowl combine the orange peel, cream cheese, and milk; beat until smooth and creamy.  Stir in the chopped pecans.  Spread the mixture over the toasted English muffins.

To serve as appetizers cut each muffin half into 4 edges for a total of 48 appetizers.  Can also serve each half as a breakfast or brunch item.

Monday, December 26, 2011

BLUE CHEESE-WALNUT WAFERS

I have listed this recipe in my Quick Fix files because it only takes minutes to put together and only 12 minutes to bake.  The dough does, however, have to chill for an hour.  Remember that when planning to make this appetizer!

1 pkg (4-oz) blue cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
couple dashes of salt
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

Place the blue cheese, butter, flour, and salt into a food processor and process until blended.  Scrape down the sides, once during processing.  This mixture will be sticky.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the chopped walnuts until well blended.  Divide the mixture in half.  Shape each half into an 8-inch long log.  Wrap in heavy-duty plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove dough from refrigerator and slice each log into 1/4-inch slices.  Place the slices on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 12 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Yield: approximately 54 wafers

Saturday, December 24, 2011

SPICY PORK STEW

1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tbsp canola oil
20 to 24-oz frozen mixed vegetables of your choice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 to 1/2 tsp (depending on taste) cajun seasoning
1 can (4 1/2-oz) diced green chiles
1 tsp cumin
1 cup water
fresh cilantro for garnish

In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Lightly sprinkle the meat cubes with salt and pepper; add to the oil and cook 4 to 5 minutes until browned.  Stir in the vegetables-except for 1 cup you reserve, cajun seasoning,and cumin. 

Place the reserved vegetables, garlic, and green chiles into a blender container and blend until smooth; pour mixture into the Dutch oven.  Bring the stew to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the meat is done and the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

To serve, ladle into soup bowls and top each with a couple sprigs of the fresh cilantro.

Yield: 4 servings

Note:  Yummy served with crusty, lightly toasted bread.

Friday, December 23, 2011

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN PRIMAVERA

1 tbsp canola oil
3/4 to 1 lb boneless skinless chicken strips
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 carrot, julienned
1 small red onion, chopped
1 can (14 1/2-oz) chicken broth
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups uncooked minute brown rice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken strips and cook, stirring, until browned.  Add broccoli, peas, carrots, and onions; cook and stir until the vegetables are tender-crisp.  Stir in the broth, basil, and pepper.  Bring to a boil and stir in the rice.  Return to a boil and reduce the heat to low.  Cover skillet and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Stir in the cheese before serving.

Yield: 4 servings

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

SNICKERS BAR COOKIES

1 large roll of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
5 to 6 Snickers candy bars, sliced into 1/4-inch slices

Preheat the oven to the temperature on the chocolate chip cookie dough package.

Press the dough onto the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.  Bake according to directions on the dough package.

Remove from oven and immediately arranged the sliced candy over the top of the baked layer.  Return to the oven and bake only until the candy is softened enough to spread.  Remove from oven and spread the candy over the top of the crust.  Cool completely before cutting into 24 squares.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

BROCCOLI WITH ORANGE TARRAGON SAUCE

2 lbs fresh broccoli
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp grated orange rind
1/4 tsp tarragon
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup orange sections

Separate broccoli into serving-size spears.  Place spears in saucepan with a small amount of water to steam.  Cover and cook up to 10 minutes until crisp tender.

In a heavy saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the flour, stirring constantly to blend.  Add the orange juice and cook until thickened, continuing to stir constantly.  Stir in the orange rind and the tarragon.  Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the sour cream.

Drain the broccoli and arrange on a serving platter.  Spoon the orange sauce over the top.  Garnish with the orange sections.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Samantha & Santa's Lip Smackers

20 large marshmallows
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 cups crispy rice cereal

Combine the marshmallows, butter, and chocolate chips in a microwav-proof mixing bowl.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Marshmallows will puff up.  Stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.  Return to the microwave and microwave for another 30 seconds until marshmallows and chocolate chips are melted.

Remove mixture from the microwave and stir in the cereal, one cup at a time.
Grease a cookie sheet with butter.  Then butter your hands.  Shape mixture into whatever shapes you prefer and decorate if you desire.

To store, if you have any left, keep in an airtight container or bag in cellephane bags to give as gifts.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

BUTTERSCOTCH-APPLE-WALNUT MUFFINS

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups chopped Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 12 muffin tin cups or line 12 cups with paper liners; set aside.

In a bowl mix the flours, cinnamon, and baking soda together; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl beat the eggs and add the canola oil, both sugars, vanilla extract, and apples mixing well.  Add the flour mixture and mix just until moistened.  Stir in the butterscotch chips and walnuts.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake muffins for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Muffins are done when a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.


DECORATIVE WHITE CHOCOLATE CRUNCH

1 box (14-oz) Honeycomb cereal
1 pkg (12-oz) thin pretzel sticks, broken into halves
12-oz pecans
2 lbs white almond bark
decorative candy sprinkles

Mix the cereal, pretzels, and pecans together in a large heat-resistant bowl. 

Melt the almond bark in top of a double boiler over hot water, stirring frequently to smooth.  Pour the melted candy over the cereal mix in the bowl.  Stir well to be sure all the cereal, pretzels, and pecans are coated.

Spread the mixture out on a large sheet of waxed paper and sprinkle with the decorative candy sprinkles.  Use colors and shapes to fit the occasion.  For example, red and green for Christmas, pastels for Easter, favorite colors for birthdays or other celebrations.  All to cool completely then break apart into bite-size pieces and store in a airtight container.

Note:  Bag up in cellophane bags and tie with pretty ribbons to give as party favors, class treats, etc.

Friday, December 16, 2011

SNOWFLAKE FUNNEL CAKES

4 eggs, beaten
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 cups milk
1 tsp salt
2 cups canola oil
powdered sugar for dusting

In a mixing bowl combine the eggs and milk.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; add to the egg mixture and using a rotary mixer, beat until smooth.  Pour the mixture into a pitcher and chill.

Heat the canola oil to 360 degrees in a deep fryer if you have one or a large skillet.

Remove batter from refrigerator and stir with a large spoon and test to see if it flows easily through a funnel.  If too thick, add a small amount of milk.  If too thin, add a little flour.

Cover the end of a funnel with your finger and pour 1/2 cup batter into funnel.  Hold over the hot oil and release your finger and drop batter into the oil while moving funnel to form a snowflake shape.  BE CAREFUL WHEN WORKING WITH HOT OIL!  Oil will splatter when batter hits it! Cook snowflake approximately 3 minutes until a golden brown; turn and cook approximately 1 minute on other side.

Remove from the oil and drain on paper toweling.  Transfer to a paper plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar 'snow'; sprinkle with sparkle or colored sugar, if desired.

Yield: 8 large snowflakes


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WINTER SALAD WITH TOASTED ALMONDS AND RASPBERRY DRESSING

DRESSING:
2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
2 cups wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp honey
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Puree raspberries in blender or food processor; strain through a sieve and discard seeds. Pour into a jar.  In a jar with a tight filling lid combine 1/3 cup of the raspberry vinegar with the olive oil, honey and garlic; shake vigorously until well mixed.

SALAD:
8 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 large red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup seedless grape halves
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Arrange the salad ingredients on individual salad plates or in a large salad bowl.  Serve with the above raspberry dressing.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

PARMESAN CHIVE BISCUITS

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
6 tbsp chopped fresh chives
3 garlic cloves, crushed
cayenne pepper to suit your taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix flour, Parmesan cheese, and the baking powder in a mixing bowl.  Cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly.  Add the oil, honey, eggs, milk, chives, and garlic mixing well.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle with the cayenne pepper.  Bake at 400 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield:  Approximately 18 biscuits.

ICE CREAM SANTAS

All the ingredient quantities will depend on the number of people being served.  For each person being served you will need:
1 large scoop vanilla ice cream (or chocolate, depending on your Santa's skintone!)
sugar ice cream cone*
canned whipped cream
M&Ms
small heavy duty paper plate or a dessert plate

Note:  Children love making their own and the directions are very simple:

Place scoop of ice cream on plate. 
Place a cone upside down atop the ice cream to make Santa's hat.
Use the whipped cream to make Santa a beard and to trim the bottom of the cap as well as a blob on top.  Use the M&Ms to make Santa's eyes, nose, and mouth.

*The sugar cones with the chocolate coating inside add a bit of extra flavor and make the cone a little more sturdy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

CANDIED FRUIT COOKIES

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup assorted chopped candied fruit
1 cup chopped pecans
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients mixing together well; let stand for 5 minutes.

Drop by teaspoonfuls 1-inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.  Baked at 325 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden. 

Remove cookies to a wire rack t cool completely.

Yield: 60 cookies

Friday, December 9, 2011

SPICY CARROT SOUP

4 cups chopped carrots
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken broth
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 orange, juiced
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

Saute carrots onion and garlic in butter in for 5 minutes in a large saucepan over high heat.  Sprinkle the chopped parsley, curry powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper; stir in the chicken broth.  Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Puree the mixture in blender then return to saucepan. 

Process the cream, egg yolks, and orange juice in a blender until smooth.  Add this mixture to the saucepan mixture and stir constantly.  Heat until slightly thickened and heated through. 

To serve ladle the soup into serving bowls and sprinkle the chopped green bell pepper.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Thursday, December 8, 2011

LACEY ALMOND COOKIES

1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease and flour cookie sheets; set aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan combine the almonds, butter, sugar, flour, and milk; cook over low heat until the butter is melted, stirring constantly.

Using a teaspoon, drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets putting only 4 to 6 cookies per sheet (depending on how big your cookie sheets are).

Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 6 minutes or until the cookies are light brown and the centers are bubbly.  Let stand on the cookie sheets for 1 minute.  Remove gently to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 60 cookies

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CREAMY PECAN CHICKEN SALAD

2 cups chopped cooked chicken (great use for leftover chicken)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup (more if desired) mayonnaise
1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped
salt to taste, optional
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

In a mixing bowl combine the chicken, celery, and pecans.  Add the mayonnaise, whipped cream, and salt, if using; mix together well (adding more mayo if needed).  Drizzle with the lemon juice and mix gently.  Chill until serving time.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

This salad is great to use as stuffing for tomatoes, on breads for a sandwich, or on a lettuce leaf with tiny breads or crackers.

SWEET TEA CONCENTRATE WITH LEMON

2 cups boiling water
3 tea bags
2 cups sugar
3 lemon rinds
juice of 3 lemons

Pour the boiling water over the tea bags in a teapot.  Steep, covered, 20 minutes.  Remove the tea bags.  Add the sugar and lemon rind, stirring to completely dissolve sugar.  Allow to stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Remove the lemon rind; add the lemon juice.  Mix well.

To serve, combine 1 part concentrate with 3 parts water in a pitcher.

May be served over ice or hot.

Yield: 8 servings

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DELICIOUS COCOA FROSTING

2 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp milk

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Beat until combined, creamy, and of spreading consistency.  Use to frost brownies or cake.

Yield: 2 cups.

Note: Add powdered sugar a dab at a time, if frosting is too thin for your use.  Add milk, a teaspoon at a time until thin enough for use, if necessary.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

TRI-COLOR ROTINI SALAD

1 pkg (8-oz) tri-color rotini pasta, cooked according to pkg directions, drained
1 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
1 small bottle (8-oz) your favorite Italian salad dressing
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 cups broccoli flowerets
1/2 cup ripe olives

Mix all the ingredients together until well blended.  Chill until serving time.

Yield: 8 cups

Thursday, December 1, 2011

HOT CHOCOLATE MIX

1 can (8-oz) cocoa (I use Hershey's)
2 lb powdered sugar
8 cups non-fat evaporated powdered milk
1 container (18-oz) non-dairy powdered creamer

In a large bowl combine all the above ingredients.  Store in an airtight container or put in pretty jars for gifting.  To serve put desired amount into a cup and add boiling water.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

SPINACH FETTUCCINE ALFREDO

8-oz spinach fettuccine noodles
1/4 cup butter
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp salt
couple dashes of freshly ground black pepper
1 pkg (3-oz) Shredded Parmesan cheese

Prepare the fettuccine noodles according to the package directions; drain.

Over low heat, melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan.  Stir in the cream, salt, and pepper; heat thoroughly. 

Add the drained fettuccine noodles and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, stirring until thoroughly heated.  Serve with the remaining cheese.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Note:  To add more vegetables to your diet, melt an additional 2 tablespoons butter in a 10 to 12-inch skillet.  Add 2 cups frozen (thawed) vegetables and saute until vegetables are tender.  Stir into the fettuccine as prepared above.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

SKILLET ZUCCHINI

2 tbsp canola oil
3 cups sliced medium zucchini
2 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 pkg (3-oz) shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat; add the zucchini, mushrooms, and bell pepper.  Cook mixture, while gently stirring, over medium-high heat approximately 5 minutes until the veggies are crisp-tender. 

Remove skillet from the heat and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top.  Cover skillet and let stand a couple of minutes before serving.

Yield: 4 servings.

Monday, November 28, 2011

MUSHROOM RISOTTO

2 tbsp canola or olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
3-oz Shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup half and half cream

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms and onion and cook until tender.  Stir in the rice and water; bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and the half and half cream.

Serve with the remaining cheese.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Sunday, November 27, 2011

SPICY BAKED ARTICHOKE DIP

1 cup (4-oz container) grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 can (14-oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 can (4-oz) green chilies, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp green onion slices
2 tbsp chopped tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Very lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate or a quiche dish; set aside.

Mix the cheese, mayonnaise, artichoke hearts, chilies, and garlic together.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and sprinkle the green onion slices and chopped tomatoes over the top.  Serve with assorted crackers.

Yield: 2 cups dip  (Doubled Recipe Pictured)


Friday, November 25, 2011

SAUSAGE BALLS WITH ONION AND CELERY

2 lbs bulk sausage, uncooked
1 1/2 cups biscuit/baking mix (such as Bisquick-my favorite!)
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup very finely chopped green onion
1/2 cup very finely chopped celery
1/2 tsp garlic powder
dash of Cajun seasoning, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together well.  Form mixture into balls, approximately 1-inch in diameter.  Bake for 15 minutes on ungreased baking sheet that has sides, until golden brown.


Yield: Approximately 70 appetizer balls.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

EASY FRESH CAULIFLOWER SOUP

1 (approximately 1 1/4 lbs) cauliflower
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp thyme
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
dash of nutmeg
dash of pepper
2 cups half-and-half cream
1/2 cup shredded cheese
Chopped parsley for garnish

Core the cauliflower and remove leaves; seperate into small flowerets.  Combine cauliflower and onion, thyme, chicken broth; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until tender.  This will take about 10 minutes, more or less.  Remove the cauliflower and reserve approximately a third of it.

Transfer the remaining cauliflower mixture to a food processor (or blender) and whirl until it is a smooth puree.

In a 3 or 4-quart saucepan melt the butter over medium heat; stir in the flour, salt, nutmeg, and pepper.  Gradually stir in the cream and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils.  Blend in the cauliflower puree and the cheese.  Heat stirring occasionally, until soup is steaming and the cheese melts.  Add the reserved cauliflower and cook until heated through, less than 5 minutes.


To serve, sprinkle some of the fresh chopped parsley.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

GINGERBREAD WAFFLES

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup canola oil

In a mixing bowl blend the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and sugar; set aside.

In another mixing bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, molasses, and canola oil.  Stir the mixture well then add to the flour mixture.  Stir mixtures together until blended.

Cook in a preheated, oiled waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.  Serve with butter and syrup or topping of your choice.

Yield: 14 waffles.

Monday, November 21, 2011

CHEESY POTATOES WITH GREEN ONIONS

Approximately 6 cups cubed red potatoes
1/3 cup chopped green onions, including tops
1 carton (16-oz) French onion dip
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a bowl combine the potatoes, green onions, dip, pepper, and garlic powder.  Transfer mixture to a 1 1/2-quart baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Sprinkle the cheese over top of the potatoes.

Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese melts and potato mixture is heated through.

Yield: 6 servings.

BUFFALO SHRIMP NIBBLES

 2 1/2 tbsp butter
3 1/2 tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
2 dozen deveined extra-large shrimp with tails on
4 ribs celery, cut into sticks
lime wedges for garnish

Preheat broiler.
Line a baking sheet with rim with aluminum foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave or on stovetop in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat; stir in the pepper sauce and garlic. 

Place the shrimp on the prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle shrimp with 3 tablespoons of the butter mixture.  Broil, turning once, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through.  Toss in the remaining sauce. 

To serve, arrange the shrimp on a serving platter and serve with the celery sticks and remaining butter sauce.  Garnish with the lime wedges, if desired.



CREAM CHEESE PEAR AND ALMOND TORTE

Note: This recipe is listed on this quick and easy blog because it only takes a small amount of your time.  It does, however, need to be chilled for around 3 hours.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar*
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 brick (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 large fresh pears, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup sliced plain almonds

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Beat the butter and 1/3 cup of the sugar in a small bowl with mixer until light and fluffy.  Add both of the flours and mix well.  Press this mixture onto the bottom and an inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat the cream cheese and 1/3 cup of the remaining sugar in the same bowl, using an electric mixer, until well blended.  Add the egg and vanilla; mix well.  Spread this mixture over the bottom of the crust. 

Mix the last 1/3 of the sugar with the cinnamon.

Place the sliced pears in a large bowl and toss with the sugar/cinnamon mixture to coat the pears. Arrange the pear slices over the cream cheese filling mixture and sprinkle with the almonds.

Bake torte at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake another 25 minutes or until the center is set.  Allow to cool completely then run a thin knife around the sides of the torte to loosen from pan.  Remove the sides.

Refrigerate the torte for at least 3 hours before serving.

To serve, slice into 12 equal wedges.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

ALMOND CHICKEN CASSEROLE

1 cup diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 can low-sodium cream of chicken soup
1 hardboiled egg, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 tsp minced onion
1/2 cup crushed potato chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray an 8-inch square baking dish; set aside.

In a large bowl combine the chicken, mayonnaise, and soup until well blended.  Stir in the egg, celery, almonds, and onion.  When well blended, transfer to the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the crushed potato chips over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Friday, November 18, 2011

RICE AND CRANBERRY PILAF

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp sugar, optional
1 1/2 cups instant brown rice
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 tbsp toasted sliced almonds

In a saucepan bring the broth, orange juice, and sugar, if using, to a boil.  Add the brown rice and cranberries; stir to blend.  Reduce the heat to simmer and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes; remove from heat.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Remove lid and stir in almonds before serving.


Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 144 calories, 5 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 199 mg sodium.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

BAKED HASH AND EGGS

2 cans (15-oz each) corned beef or roast beef hash
4 to 6 eggs
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cream or milk per egg
1 tbsp butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 1 1/2-quart oval or oblong casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Spread the hash over the bottom of the prepared baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven but do not turn off oven.  Using the bottom of a custard cup, made a hollow in the hash for each egg.

Dot the hash with the butter. Break an egg into each of the hollowed out spots.  Season eggs with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover each egg with a tablespoon of the cream or milk.  Return to the oven and bake another 20 minutes or until the eggs are set.

To serve cut the hash around the eggs and using a spatula lift to serving plates.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SPINACH AND POTATO BAKE WITH GROUND BEEF

1 lb extra-lean ground beef
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 tsp grated fresh nutmeg
1 lb russet potatoes, cooked and mashed
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup low-fat milk
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet with the onions and garlic; drain well.  Return to skillet and add mushrooms, cooking until tender.  Stir in the spinach and the nutmeg; cover skillet.  Heat mixture until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Combine the mashed potatoes, sour cream, and milk.  Add to the ground beef mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly puffed and the cheese is melted.

Yield: 6 servings

Note: This is a great way to use leftover mashed potatoes after the holidays!

Monday, November 14, 2011

RAISIN-ORANGE SCONES

1 pkg (2-crust size) piecrust mix
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp finely grated orange peel
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1/2 cup chopped raisins

In a small mixing bowl combine the buttermilk and raisins.  Let stand for 5 minutes to plump raisins.

While the raisins soak in the buttermilk, stir together the piecrust mix, sugar, orange peel, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl.  Make a well in the center of this mixture.  Add the buttermilk and raisins to the well, all at once.  Using a fork, stir just until the dry mixture is moistened.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 12 strokes.  Roll dough out into an 8-inch circle; cut into  8 or 10 equal sized wedges.  Transfer the wedges onto lightly greased or sprayed baking sheet.  Bake uncovered, 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

*If you don't have buttermilk, you can make it by putting 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice into a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 1/2 cup.  Let stand about 5 minutes before using.

MALTED COCOA MIX

1 box (8-qt size) nonfat dry milk powder
1 bag or box (16-oz) powdered sugar, sifted
1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups instant malted milk powder
1 3/4 cups powdered nondairy coffee creamer
miniature marshmallows, optional for serving

Combine the dry milk powder, powdered sugar, cocoa, malted milk powder, and nondairy coffee creamer in a large bowl.  Stir until mixed well.  Store in an airtight jar or canister.

Yield: approximately 16 cups of hot cocoa

To make individual serving:
Place a third cup of the above mixture in a mug.  Add 3/4 cup of boiling water and stir to dissolve.  Top with miniature marshmallows, if desired.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

SAND BALLS WITH HONEY

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
sifted powdered sugar for rolling

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, powdered sugar, and honey at medium speed until well combined.  Beat in the flour, walnuts, vanilla extract and the salt.  Mix together thoroughly, this may require using your hands. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls and place 1 1/2-inches apart on greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 325 degrees for 14 to 16 minutes or until the cookies are just lightly browned.  While still warm, roll the cookies in powdered sugar.  Cool on wire racks and roll in powdered sugar a second time.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Saturday, November 12, 2011

PAPRIKA CHICKEN

2 tbsp olive or canola oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
6 (1 1/2 to 2 lbs total) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp hot Hungarian paprika*
1 tsp paprika*
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream (I suggest reduced-fat for health reasons)
Hot buttered noodles, optional

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion to the skillet and cook until softened.  Add the chicken to the skillet; cover and cook 5 minutes.  Stir in the bell pepper, tomatoes, Hungarian paprika, and the parika.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes.

In a small bowl stir the cornstarch, salt, and pepper together.  Blend together with the sour cream; add to the skillet and cook 5 minutes, uncovered to allow the sauce to thicken.

Serve with the hot buttered noodles, if desired.

RICE AND BLACK BEAN SALAD

2 cups cooked rice, cooled to room temperature
1 can black beans, drained
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Mexican-Blend cheese
1 tbsp snipped fresh parsley
1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
1 tbsp lime juice

In a large bowl combine the rice, beans, tomato, cheese, and parsley.  Pour the Italian dressing and the lime juice overall.  Toss mixture to coat well.


Yield: 4 servings

Friday, November 11, 2011

BARBECUE GROUND BEEF MIXTURE FOR A CROWD OR TO FREEZE

4 lbs ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 bottle (14-oz) catsup
1 cup water
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard

Place the ground beef in a large skillet with the chopped onion.  Cook the mixture until the meat is brown and crumbly and the onion is tender.  Pour into a large colander and drain mixture well.  Return to the skillet and add the remaining ingredients. 

Bring the mixture just to bubbling, reduce heat to low and simmer for a half hour.  If serving a crowd, place mixture on buns and set out an assortment of toppings.

Can be placed into pint or quart size zip-top freezer bags and frozen for a quick meal later.  If you freeze, label bags with contents and date before freezing.  To thaw place in the refrigerator overnight or all day to thaw and heat on low to medium heat in a saucepan.

Yield: 5 pints

Thursday, November 10, 2011

EASY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER SUNDAES

For 4 sundaes:
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
1 pint vanilla ice cream
4 long-stemmed maraschino cherries
cookies, if desired

Stir the peanut butter and chocolate syrup together until well blended.  Divide the ice cream evenly between 4 dishes.  Spoon the syrup mixture over the ice cream.  Top each with a maraschino cherry. Serve with a cookie, if desired.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

EASY MINIATURE PIZZAS

1 can (10 3/4-oz) tomato soup
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
4 English muffins, split
4 to 8 slices Mozzarella cheese, cut in half*

In a saucepan combine the undiluted soup with the minced garlic and the oregano.  Stir with a wire whisk and heat over low to medium-low heat to blend the flavors.  When mixture comes to a boil, remove from the heat. 

Place the cut sides of the English muffin halves on a broiler tray.  Spoon the soup mixture onto the muffins and spread to cover the tops.  Place the cheese slices over the tops, using 4 to 8 slices depending on the amount of cheese you prefer. 

Broil 5-inches from the heat until the cheese melts.  Watch carefully to prevent burning.

Yield: 8 mini pizzas or 4 adult servings or 8 child servings.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

EASY ITALIAN-FLAVORED BREADSTICKS

1 can (8 count) refrigerated breadstick dough
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
dash of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 egg white, beaten
1 tbsp water (cold works best)

Preheat oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Spray two cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a small bowl combine the oregano, basil, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and garlic powder; mix well and set aside.

Beat the egg white with the water; set aside.

Unroll the breadstick dough and separate at perforations.  Cut each into two strips lengthwise.  Brush the dough with the egg white/water mixture.  Remove 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture and reserve.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese mixture over the egg white wash; fold strips in half lengthwise and twist to form a twisty breadstick.  Press ends together to seal.

Brush twists with the remaining egg white wash and sprinkle with the reserved cheese mixture.  Arrange on the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. 



Best served warm!

Monday, November 7, 2011

ITALIAN-FLAVORED POTATO SALAD

This is a great light potato salad that does not use mayonnaise.

5 to 6 medium new red potatoes, cooked, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped red pepper
3 to 4 plum Roma tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup olive oil
3 to 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 jar (5 3/4-oz) pimento stuffed olives, drained and sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Lettuce leaves to line bowl, optional

In a large bowl combine the potatoes, garlic, red pepper, tomatoes, olive oil, basil leaves, olives, oregano, salt, and pepper; toss to coat well.  Cover bowl and refrigerate until serving time.

Serve the salad in a large lettuce-lined bowl, if desired.  Or serve on individual lettuce-lined plates, if desired.



Saturday, November 5, 2011

CHICKEN BITES AND MUSHROOMS with BROWN RICE

1 lb boneless skinless ckicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tbsp olive or canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 to 12 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how much heat you like)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 cups cooked brown minute rice

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Lower heat to medium and cook garlic less than a minute.  Add the mushrooms, green onions, ginger, red pepper flakes, and half the salt and half the pepper; cook about 3 minutes, stirring often.  Add the chicken and sprinkle the remaining halves of the salt and pepper.  Cook chicken, while stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes until cooked through.

Stir the soy sauce, vinegar, and cilantro into the chicken mixture.  Cook for a couple of minutes.  Serve with the brown rice.

Friday, November 4, 2011

SALAD DRESSING (MAYO-TYPE) BISCUITS

2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup milk
2 tbsp salad dressing
1 pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together until blended.  Place on a floured surface and knead lightly.  Cut biscuits with a 2-inch biscuit cutter or glass that has been dipped in flour.  Place cut biscuits in a lightly greased pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

BREAD DIPPING SAUCE

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper to suit taste
Crusty bread
Yield: 1 serving
For more servings, multiply the ingredients by the number of servings needed.

HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SAUCE

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
4 tbsp baking cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Cook over low heat while stirring until the butter is melted and the cocoa is blended in.  Turn up the heat to medium-high and bring to a full boil.  Stirring constantly, allow to cook at a rolling boil for 30 seconds.

This is a great chocolate sauce to serve over ice cream, pound cake, etc.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

BACON AND CHEESE CRESCENT APPETIZERS

1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
8 slices lean bacon cooked, crumbled
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp milk
2 cans (8-oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Set out a baking sheet.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, bacon, Parmesan cheese, onion, parsley, and milk  until well blended.

Separate the crescent roll dough into 8 triangles per can for a total of 16.  Cut each triange in half lengthwise.  Spread each piece of dough with a generous teaspoon of the cream cheese fillling mixture.  Roll dough up starting at the short side of the triangle.  Place, point side down, on the ungreased baking sheet. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

Yield: 32 rolls



Note: Instead of cutting the dough triangles in half, you can leave them whole and instead of appetizers, use them with a cup of soup for a light lunch.

Friday, October 28, 2011

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN POT PIE

1 pkg (15-oz) refrigerated pie crust
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 -3 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken*
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line a deep-dish 9-inch pie pan with a sheet of the pie crust; set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook a couple minutes until tender.  Add the flour, salt, and pepper; stir until well blended.  Gradually stir in the broth and milk, cooking while stirring until bubbly and thickened.

Add the chicken and mixed vegetables; mix well.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Spoon the mixture into the crust lined pie pan.  Top with the second crust, seal edges tightly and flute as desired.  Cut slits for steam escape in the top crust.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 425 degrees until the crust is golden brown.  If edges start to get too brown, cover edge with foil strips.


Let stand 5 minutes before cutting to serve.

Yield: 6 servings

*Turkey may be substituted.  This is a great way to use up leftover holiday turkey!

SPARKLING STRAWBERRY LEMONADE WITH OR WITHOUT ALCOHOL

3 cups quarted fresh strawberries
1 cup cold water
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 (6-oz) can frozen lemonade concentrate, undiluted
2 cups chilled sparkling water or Champagne, if preferred

In a blender combine the strawberries, cup of cold water, and sugar; process until smooth.  Combine the strawberry puree and lemonade concentrate in a pitcher, stirring until the lemonade dissolves.  Add the sparkling water and serve over ice.  Garnish with a fresh mint sprig or a lemon slice, if desired.


CHILI CHEESE SPIRALS

Note: These spirals go together in minutes.  They do, however, need to chill for an hour before serving.

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (4-oz) sliced green chiles
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 can (2.25-oz) chopped ripe olives, drained
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup salsa of your choice

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, shredded cheese, chiles, green onions, bell pepper, and chopped onions.  Spread a half cup of the cheese mixture over each tortilla and roll up.  Wrap each roll tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove from refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap.  Slice each roll into 6 even pieces.  Serve with the salsa for dipping.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE

1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (15-oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce
4 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
8-oz thin whole-wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet over medium heat cook the ground beef and onion until the beef is crumbled and browned; drain well in a colander.  Wipe skillet out with a paper towel and return beef and onion to the pan.  Stir in the undrained tomatoes and the tomato sauce.  Add the bay leaves, Italian seasoning and the Worcestershire sauce.  Cover skillet and simmer about 25 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.  Discard bay leaves before serving.

Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.


To serve, spoon the sauce over the hot spaghetti and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

QUICK CHEESE BISCUITS

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp butter
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in the cheese.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Using a fork, stir the milk into the flour mixture until a soft dough forms.  Caution:  Do not overmix the dough!

Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons, 1-inch apart, onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 450 degrees about 15 minutes or until the biscuits are firm to the touch.


Variation: To make biscuits for an Italian dinner, replace the Cheddar cheese with Parmesan cheese and add half a teaspoon of dried basil.

QUICK AND EASY VEGGIE SAUTE

2 medium zucchini squash
3 medium yellow squash
1 large onion
2 medium carrots
1 large green bell pepper
3 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary

Scrub the zucchini and yellow squashes and cut into 1/4-inch round slices.  Peel onion and cut into 1/4-inch slices.  Julienne the carrots and bell pepper.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the squash, onion, bell pepper, carrots, salt, pepper, basil, thyme, and rosemary.  Cook, gently stirring constantly, until the veggies are tender, approximately 10 minutes.  Do not over-cook or veggies will be mushy.  Remove veggies from the skillet immediately using a slotted spoon for serving.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

CHOCOLATE-CHIPOTLE FONDUE

4 (4-oz) sweet dark chocolate baking bars, chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup canned dulce de leche
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper powder
1/3 cup Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
For dipping: candied fruit, fresh fruit, marshmallows, angel food cake squares, pound cake cubes, etc
In a medium saucepan combine the baking chocolate, heavy cream, and dulce de leche; cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the chipotle powder and Kahlua. Pour the mixture into a fondue pot and place over the fondue burner. Serve with the dippers.
Yield: 3 1/4 cups

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

PORK TENDERLOIN WITH COUSCOUS

1 (1 1/4-lb) pork tenderloin
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup apricot preserves
2 tbsp honey mustard
1 box (10-oz) couscous
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds

Line broiler pan with aluminum foil.

Brush the tenderloin with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.   Place on the foil-covered broiler pan.  Broil 5 to 6-inches from the heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until browned, turning once.

Combine the preserves and honey mustard.  Spread the mixture over the tenderloin.  Continue broiling for another 10 minutes or longer until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 155 degrees.  Turn meat once during this time.  Remove from oven, cover with foil and let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the couscous according to the package directions.  Fluff the couscous; stir in the diced apricots and sliced almonds. 

Slice the pork and serve with the couscous.

Yield: 4 servings

DRESSED UP POTATO CHIPS

1 bag (13-oz) thick wavy potato chips
1 bag (14-oz) caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 bag (12-oz) chocolate chips
2 tbsp butter-flavored shortening
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

Line wire racks with parchment paper.  Spread the whole chips in a single layer on the prepared wire racks.

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, combine the caramels and cream, stirring constantly until smooth; remove from the heat.  Drizzle caramel mixture over the chips.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips with the shortening and microwave on high setting for 1 1/2-2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute.  Allow mixture to cool slightly; drizzle the chocolate mixture over the caramel drizzled chips; sprinkle with the pecans. 

Allow to cool until the chocolate and caramel are set before serving.


Yield: Approximately 9 dozen dressy chips.

QUICK AND EASY NUTELLA MOUSSE CRUNCH

1 jar (13-oz) Nutella or other brand of hazelnut spread
1 carton (8-oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 pkg (6.88-oz) bittersweet chocolate-dipped biscotti (or your favorite biscotti)

Being sure to have removed the foil wrap, microwave the Nutella, uncovered, on High for 30 seconds.  Fold the Nutella into the thawed whipped topping in a large bowl; leave some chocolate streaks.  Using a cake decorating piping bag or a plastic bag with a hole cut in the corner, pipe the mixture into 6 individual parfait serving dishes.  Crush some biscotti and sprinkle over the tops for a crunch effect.  Serve the remaining biscotti with the mousse.

Monday, October 17, 2011

CRANBERRY RELISH SALAD

Note:  This is a quick to make salad.  It does, however, need to refrigerate for several hours to firm up.  It is a great salad to make a day ahead, making it perfect for the holidays.

1 pkg (3 oz) cherry gelatin
1 pkg (3 oz) raspberry gelatin
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 can (12 oz) lemon-lime soda
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple with juice
2 pkgs (10 oz each) frozen cranberry-orange sauce

In a large bowl, dissolve the gelatins and sugar in the boiling water.  Add the soda, pineapple with the juice and the cranberry-orange sauce (relish).  Pour into an 11 x 7 x 2-inch dish and refrigerate overnight or until firm. 

Yield: 12 servings.

Friday, October 14, 2011

EASY TRI-BEAN SALAD

1 can cut green beans, drained
1 can wax beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 small white onion, sliced and separated into rings
1/2 cup vinegar
3 tbsp water
1/2 cup sugar*
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 tbsp canola or extra-virgin olive oil
In a large bowl, combine the wax, kidney, and green beans; toss gently to combine well. Gently stir in the bell pepper, onion, and celery.
In a small bowl combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pepper; stir briskly with a fork until the sugar is dissolved. Add the oil to the vinegar mixture. Stir briskly with fork to combine well (or use a small wire whisk).
Pour the dressing mix over the bean mixture, tossing with a large spoon to coat beans well. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill until serving time. Before serving, give beans a good stir to combine any dressing that has settled to the bottom.
*You can make this a DIABETIC friendly dish by substituting an equal amount of Splenda granulated for the sugar. Taste will be the same.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

LAYERED CHEESE 'TEXAS FUDGE'

1/2 lb Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 lb Colby Jack cheese, grated
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup picante sauce (heat of your choice!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the cheeses in a bowl.

Very lightly spray a 9 x 11-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Layer half of the cheese mixture in the dish.

Combine the beaten eggs and the picante sauce; pour over the cheese in the dish.  Top with the remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly then cut into 1-inch pieces and serve on warmed tortilla chips.

Monday, October 10, 2011

FRESH TOMATO AND BASIL LINGUINE

8-oz uncooked linguine
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil that's chopped fine
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook the linguine according to the package directions.

While linguine cooks, mix the tomatoes, olive oil, basil, garlic, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.  Add the cooked and drained linguine and the Parmesan cheeses to the tomato mixture and toss to coat.
Serve immediately while linguine is hot.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Yield: 4 1-cup servings.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

ZUCCHINI-PINEAPPLE MUFFINS

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canola oil
3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup crushed pineapple that's been drained
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line muffin cups with paper liners or spray cups with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil together well. Add the zucchini and mix well. Add the flour mixture to the zucchini mixture and stir until smooth. Stir in the pineapple and the walnuts, if using. Pour batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Friday, October 7, 2011

QUICK AND CRUNCHY COLESLAW

1 bag (1 lb) coleslaw mix*
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup slivered toasted almonds
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup Italian Salad Dressing

In a large bowl toss the coleslaw mix, onions, bell pepper, almonds and pepper together until mixed. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving.

Yield: approximately 10 servings

*Also works well using broccoli slaw instead of the coleslaw mix.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

STUFFED ZUCCHINI SQUASH

1/4 tsp salt
4 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
2 cups prepared cornbread stuffing from your favorite mix
1 can (7-oz) corn
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly grease a cookie sheet with sides; set aside.

Fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven about halfway full of water; add salt and bring to a boil. Drop the 8 zucchini halves into the boiling water and boil 6 to 8 minutes until tender. Drain water from zucchini. Using a spoon, scrape the seeds out of the zucchini and invert on paper toweling to drain.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix the 2 cups of prepared stuffing, the corn, and mozzarella cheese together. Lay the zucchini halves out on the prepared cookie sheet; mound the stuffing onto the hollowed zucchini halves and bake at 400 degrees 10 minutes or until hot and the cheese melts.

Monday, October 3, 2011

WHIPPED SWEET POTATO BAKE

3 cans (15-oz each) sweet potatoes, drained
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine the sweet potatoes, butter, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Beat the mixture with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Spoon into the prepared baking dish. Top with the mini marshmallows. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and the marshmallows are lightly browned.

Friday, September 30, 2011

GROUND BEEF ROMANOFF

1 lb lean ground beef 1 pkg (5.5-oz) Noodles Romanoff 1 can (10 1/2-oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup 1 tbsp instant minced onion 2 tbsp chopped pimento In a nonstick skillet brown the ground beef until cooked through, stirring to break up; drain off excess fat. Prepare the Noodles Romanoff according to the package directions, increasing the milk to 1 cup. Stir in the ground beef, undiluted mushroom soup, minced onion, and pimento. Heat the mixture to boiling; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

LEMON-BUTTERED SPINACH

1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped spinach
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lemon juice

Cook spinach as directed on package. Drain; stir in the butter and lemon juice.

Yield: 4 servings (skimpy servings--I recommend doubling the recipe)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CHICKEN WITH BROCCOLI AND CHEESE

1 tbsp butter
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1 can broccoli cheese soup
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 cup small broccoli florets

In a nonstick skillet, over medium heat, brown the chicken in the butter. Brown on both sides, cooking about 10 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat. Stir in the soup, milk, and pepper. Heat mixture to boiling and add the broccoli florets. Reduce the heat to low, cover skillet and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the chicken is fork-tender and broccoli is tender. Stir occasionally during cooking.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

TUMBLEWEEDS

1 pkg (12-oz) butterscotch chips
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 can (12-oz) peanuts
1 can (4-oz) Shoestring Potatoes

In a double boiler over very hot water, melt the butterscotch chips with the peanut butter. When completely melted and smooth, remove from the heat. Stir in the peanuts and the potatoes until mixed in. Drop by teaspoonsful onto waxed paper. Allow to cool before trying to handle. Store in an airtight container.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

BEEFY BROCCOLI & CHEESE SOUP

2 cups chicken broth
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 to 1/2 lb ground beef
1 cup milk
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
4-oz sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp oregano
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
hot pepper sauce to taste, optional

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; add broccoli and onions. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.

While the above cooks, brown the ground beef in a small skillet and drain well. Rinse with hot water to rid of excess fat and drain in a colander.

Gradually stir the flour into the milk in a small bowl until well blended. Slowly stir into the broccoli mixture, add the drained beef and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.

Add the shredded cheese, oregano, salt, pepper, and got sauce if using.



Yield: 4 to 5 servings

Friday, September 23, 2011

MOCHA-FLAVORED COFFEE GIFT JAR

1/2 cup instant coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup powdered milk or coffee creamer
2 tbsp cocoa

Mix all ingredients together and put in a decorative jar.

Directions: To use, put 2 rounded teaspoonsful in a cup of hot water.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

CHEESY FISH FILLETS

2 lb white fish fillets ie cod, blue hake, etc
1/2 cup French salad dressing
1 1/2 cups finely crushed cheese crackers
2 tbsp butter, melted

Cut the fish fillets into serving portions.

Pour dressing into a shallow bowl and dip the fish into the dressing.

Put the cheese cracker crumbs into a pie plate and dredge the dipped fish through the crumbs, coating well.

Place the fish fillets on a greased cookie sheet and drizzle the butter over the fish.

Bake at 500 degrees for 12 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with a fork.

Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

QUICK AND EASY CARROT SALAD

2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups chopped apples
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine all the ingredients together and mix lightly.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

LOW-FAT DILL DIP

1 carton (12-oz) low-fat cottage cheese
2 1/2 teaspoons dill
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Put all ingredients into blender container; blend at low speed. Put dip into a small bowl with a lid and chill. Sprinkle with finely chopped green onion tops if desired for garnish before serving. Serve with fresh vegetables or whole-grain crackers.

SPICY CHICKEN NACHOS

1/2 lb cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1/2 cup water
3-oz picante sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
6 flour tortillas
canola oil as needed
6 slices Monterey Jack cheese (or grated)
sliced Jalapeno peppers for garnish, if desired
sour cream

In a saucepan combine the chicken, water, picante sauce, pepper and poultry seasoning; heat thoroughly. Fry the tortillas lightly in the canola oil and drain on paper toweling. Divide the chicken mixture evenly atop the fried tortillas and sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Heat broiler and place under broiler until the cheese melts. Cut each tortilla into fourths. Garnish with the jalapeno peppers, if desired. Serve with sour cream.

Monday, September 19, 2011

TWISTED PIZZA STICKS

1 can (11-oz) soft breadsticks (refrigerated section)
24 thin slices of pepperoni
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup pizza sauce, heated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Separate and unroll the breadsticks.

Place 3 slices in a single layer over one half of each breadstick. Fold remaining half of the breadstick over the top; seal the ends and twist into a figure eight. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Combine the Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder; sprinkle evenly over the breadsticks.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

Serve with the pizza sauce.

Yield: 8 twisted pizza sticks

Saturday, September 17, 2011

MORNING GLORY MARYS

2 1/4 cups tomato juice
1 1/2 cups carrot juice
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
2 drops hot pepper sauce
Dash of celery salt
Ice cubes
3 lemon or lime wedges, for garnish
3 celery stalks, for stirrers

Put the juices, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, hot pepper sauce, and celery salt into a large pitcher; stir together well and refrigerate to chill. When ready to serve, pour into glasses over ice cubes. Pour into 3 glasses and garnish each with a lemon or lime wedge and a celery stalk for stirring.

Yield: 3 (10-oz) servings
97 calories per serving

EASY MOCHA BROWNIE CAKE

1 pkg (22.5-oz) fudge brownie mix
2/3 cup water
2 eggs
1/4 cup instant (or regular) coffee
15 pecan halves for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the brownie mix, half the water, eggs, and coffee. Beat for 1 minute, scraping down the sides and the bottom of the bowl often. Add remaining water and beat for another minute. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes. While cake is still warm, spread a can of prepared fudge frosting over the top. Press the pecan halves over the top center of each square.

Yield: 15 squares

Friday, September 16, 2011

CRAB CAKE SANDWICHES

1 garlic clove
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups cooked crabmeat
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
4 buns or split rolls
lettuce for garnish, optional

Preheat broiler.

Make aioli: Squeeze the garlic clove through a garlic press into the mayonnaise. Add the lemon juice and parsley. Blend well and set aside.

Mix the crabmeat with the breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup aioli. Mix and form into 4 even-sized cakes. Place on a baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Broil on center rack of oven until golden and heated through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn once during cooking. Spread aioli on buns and add the crabcakes. Garnish sandwich with lettuce, if desired.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

QUICK AND EASY FRUIT FILLED SUGAR COOKIES

1 pkg (20-oz) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1/4 cup your favorite jam or jelly

Preheat oven to 350 degree.

Slice 24 (1/8-inch each) cookies from the dough. Refrigerate remaining dough. Place the slices on ungreased cookie sheets. Spread each of the slices with a half teaspoon of the jam or jelly. Spread to within 1/4-inch of the edge.

Slice the remaining cookie dough into 24 (1/4-inch) slices. Cut a design out of the center of each slice. Place these slices atop the jam or jelly covered cookies. Press edges together to seal each cookie so jam won't escape.

Bake filled cookies at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for a minute. Using a thin spatula, remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 2 dozen filled cookies

Note: You can bake the designs from the centers until lightly browned, if desired. Sprinkle baked mini cookies with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CREAM CHEESE BROCCOLI

1 large bag frozen broccoli spears
1 stick butter
1 pkg 8-oz cream cheese

Steam broccoli until tender; drain. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and cream cheese together. Place broccoli in a casserole dish and pour the hot melted butter mixture over the broccoli.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

ALMOND COLESLAW

2 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced cucumber
3 tbsp minced onion
1/4 tsp salt
dash of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 to 3 tbsp light cream
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

In a large bowl combine the cabbage, celery, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, salt, and pepper. Cover and chill. Just before serving combine the light cream and mayonnaise. Toss the dressing and almonds into the cabbage mixture.

Monday, September 12, 2011

REUBEN SANDWICHES

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp chili sauce
12 slices rye bread, buttered
1/2 lb sliced Swiss cheese
1/2 lb sliced cooked corned beef
1 can (16-oz) sauerkraut, drained

Mix the mayonnaise and chili sauce; spread on 6 slices of the bread. Layer cheese, corned beef, then sauerkraut on the mayonnaise slices. Top the sauerkraut with the other six remaining bread slices.

Yield: 6 sandwiches

Note: Replace the mayonnaise/chili mixture with coleslaw for a different sandwich.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

QUICK AND EASY PARMESAN BREAD

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1 loaf French bread, halved lengthwise

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together the cheese, butter, and Italian seasoning. Evenly spread the cheese mixture on the cut sides of the bread. Place side by side on a baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yield: 12 servings

KIELBASA SKILLET DINNER

1 lb smoked kielbasa, cut into thick slices
1 can (10.5-oz) condensed French onion soup
1/4 cup water
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 can (8-oz) diced tomatoes, do not drained
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups uncooked minute rice
fresh parsley for garnish, if desired

Lightly spray a 10-inch deep skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook the sausage until browned, stirring often. Spoon off any excess fat.

Add the undiluted onion soup, water, mixed vegetables, tomatoes, and pepper. Heat the mixture to boiling; reduce the heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir in the rice and remove skillet from the heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Using a fork, fluff the rice before serving. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

Friday, September 9, 2011

SIMPLE CREAMY SHRIMP FETTUCCINE

1 lb peeled, deveined shrimp
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
8-oz pkg fettuccine noodles
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add shrimp to boiling water. Boil for 1 minute or until the shrimp turn pink. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon; keep warm.

Continue boiling the liquid and add the broth and garlic. Boil until the liquid is reduced to about a half cup. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cream, basil, and salt. Simmer the sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine noodles according to the package directions; drain well. Place the noodles in a large bowl.

Add the shrimp to the saucepan and heat for a minute. Spoon the shrimp and sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over all.

Yield: 4 servings

Thursday, September 8, 2011

ENGLISH MUFFIN BROCCOLI PIZZAS

2 cups small broccoli fowerets
1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
1 can (10 1/4-oz) cream of broccoli soup
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
6 English muffins, split
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small saucepan, over high heat, cook the broccoli and bell pepper in boiling water for around 3 minutes. Drain well.

In a small bowl combine the undiluted soup, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Place the 12 muffin halves on a baking sheet and spread the soup mixture evenly over the muffins. Top the mixture with the broccoli flowerets and bell pepper strips. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the tops.

Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve immediately while still hot.

Yield: 12 mini pizzas

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ROSEMARY-LEMON GRILLED CHICKEN BREASTS

1/2 cup lemon juice
6 tbsp canola or extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary*
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 (1 lb total) skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Preheat grill and spray rack with nonstick cooking spray.

In a bowl combine the lemon juice, oil, onion, rosemary, lemon peel, salt, and pepper; mix together well. Place half the oil mixture into a large (1 gallon) zip-top plastic bag.

Pierce each piece of chicken several times with a fork. Place the chicken breasts in the bag of marinade and seal bag. Place in refrigerator and turn once or twice; drain.

Place the chicken on a medium-hot grill. Grill for 10 minutes and turn. Brush with half of the reserved sauce. Grill, brushing frequently with the remaining sauce for another 10 minutes or until the juices run clear when meat is pierced.

Yied: Serves 4

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

15 MINUTE DOUBLE CHOCOLATE FUDGE

Note: This fudge takes about 15 minutes to make. But it does need to chill for a couple of hours.

1 pkg (12-oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 pkg (11.5-oz) milk chocolate chips
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans, optional

In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt the semisweet chocolate chips with 2/3 cup of the sweetened condensed milk, 1 tablespoon of the milk and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla extract. Remove from the heat and stir in half of the pecans. Spread evenly into a 9-inch foil-lined square pan.

In another heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt the milk chocolate chips with the remaining sweetened condensed milk, milk, and vanilla. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining pecans. Spread over the fudge in the pan. Chill until firm, approximately 2 hours. Turn the fudge out onto a cutting board. Remove the foil from the fudge and cut into small squares.

To store, cover loosely and keep at room temperature.

Yield: approximately 2 1/2 lbs

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN-BROCCOLI DIVAN

2 pkgs (10-oz each) frozen broccoli spears*, cooked and drained
3 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken**
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 can cream of broccoli soup, undiluted
2/3 cup milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4 tbsp fine dry bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Arrange the broccoli spears over the bottom of the baking dish. Top the broccoli with the chicken.

In a bowl, combine the cream of chicken soup and the cream of broccoli soup; stir in the milk until mixture is well combined. Pour the soup mixture over the chicken and sprinkle the cheese over all.

In a cup combine the bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over the cheese. Place dish in oven and bake at 450 degrees about 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Yield: 8 servings

*2 lbs fresh broccoli spears may be used
**Works just as well with turkey rather than chicken.

Monday, September 5, 2011

QUICK CHILI WITH CORN

1 can (approx 1 lb)chili without beans
3 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 can (12-oz) corn with sweet peppers, drained
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cookin spray.

Pour the can of chili into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the onion over the chili. Top the onion with the drained corn and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Sunday, September 4, 2011

CREAM CHEESE FETTUCCINI ALFREDO

1 brick (8-oz)cream cheese
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
8-oz fettuccini, cooked and drained
fresh parsley sprigs for garnish, optional

In a large saucepan stir the cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, butter,and milk together over low heat until smooth with cheeses melted. Add the cooked noodles and toss to coat. Garnish with the parsley sprigs, if desired.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

CREAMY CHILI DIP

1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (approx. 1 lb size)no beans chili
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded colby longhorn cheese
sliced black olives for garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a shallow baking dish, lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, spread the cream cheese over the bottom. Layer the canned chili over the cream cheese. Mix the two cheeses together and sprinkle over the chili. Bake at 350 degrees for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and chili is heated through. Sprinkle sliced black olives over the top, if desired. Seve with tortilla chips or whole grain crackers.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Salted Peanut Cookies

2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups salted peanuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Thoroughly mix the shortening, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Blend the flour, baking soda, and salt together; blend into the sugar mixture. Stir in the peanuts.

Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2-inches apart on ungeased baking sheet/s. Using the bottom of a glass that has been greased and dipped in sugar. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

GRILLED MINUTE STEAKS ON ONION ROLLS

8 minute steaks, 1/4-inch thick
8 onion rolls
butter
bottled blue cheese dressing
salt to taste
pepper, optional

Place the steaks on grill, 2-inches from the hot coals. Cook approximately 5 minutes, turning once. Season with salt and pepper.

Split the onion rolls and brush with butter. Place cut side down on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the rolls from grill and spread desired amount of blue cheese dressing on the cut side of one of the rolls.

To serve, place steaks on the rolls. Add any condiments you desire.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BEAN 'N BACON SALAD

2 cans (16-oz each)whole green beans, drained
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp yellow mustard
2 tsp vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
4 slices bacon, crisply fried and crumbled
Crisp salad greens
Paprika

Combine the beans, onion, canola oil, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper together. Toss lightly, cover, and chill.

Mix the eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, 2 teaspoons vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Just before serving, drain the bean mixture and toss with the bacon. Serve on a crisp bed of the salad greens. Top bean mixture with the egg mixture and sprinkle with paprika.

Yield: 6 servings.

TASTY MICROWAVE POPCORN

2 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 to 4 quarts popped corn

Mix corn syrup, brown sugar, and margarine together. Microwave on high 3 to 4 minutes. Add the baking soda and microwave on high another 30 seconds. Pour liquid over the popped corn.

NOTE: I usually recommend using butter over margarine. However, since butter burns easier, in this recipe I recommend margarine.

Monday, August 29, 2011

BROCCOLI RITZ CASSEROLE

1 1/2 sticks butter
1 pkg Ritz-syle crackers
2 lb pkg frozen broccoli, cooked until crisp tender
1 small box Velveeta-type cheese, cubed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt the butter; crumble the crackers into the butter. Add the cooked broccoli to the crumb mixture. Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and put broccoli mixture into the casserole dish. Sprinkle the cubed cheese evenly over the top and bake until the cheese melts, about 15 minutes at 375 degrees.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

GRUYERE CHEESE-APPLE SPREAD

This recipe takes only a few (maybe 5) minutes to prepare. It does need to chill for an hour before serving.

1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 tbsp milk
2 tsp prepared mustard
1/3 cup shredded peeled apple
2 tbsp finely chopped pecans
2 tsp chopped chives

In small mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, Gruyere cheese, milk, and mustard; beat at medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in the apple, pecans, and chives. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour. Serve with assorted crackers.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

EASY CHICKEN CACCIATORE

4 to 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup wine vinegar
1/2 lb uncooked whole-wheat spaghetti

Season chicken breasts with the pepper and salt. Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking olive oil spray and brown chicken on both sides.

In another skillet, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, and wine vinegar and bring to a boil. Cook mixture for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Add the chicken to the sauce and cook for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Serve the chicken and sauce over the hot pasta.

NOTE: Serve this dish with a green salad for a healthy meal.