Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CRISPY RANCH CHICKEN

2 cups crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 envelope (1-oz) ranch salad dressing mix
2 egg whites, beaten
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a large baking sheet that has sides with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the cereal, cheese, and salad dressing mix in a large bowl.

Place the beaten egg whites in a medium bowl. Dip each thigh in the egg whites and then in the cereal mixture; coat evenly.

Arrange chicken on the prepared baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and juices run clear when pierced.


PASTA PRIMAVERA

16 ounces thin spaghetti
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large stalks broccoli
1 medium zucchini
2 medium carrots
1/4 cup butter
3 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups cherry tomato halves

Cook spaghetti according to the package directions and drain. Add the olive oil and toss until well coated. Place in a large serving bowl.

While the pasta is cooking, cut broccoli into florets; set aside. Peel off tough stems and cut stalks into thin slices; set aside.

Julienne zucchini and carrots; set aside.

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat for 1 minute; add oregano and onion. Saute for two minutes.
Add the veggies and saute for 3 minutes or until crisp tender.

Stir the half-and-half and Parmesan cheese into the skillet; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the pasta and toss to combine. Place in a bowl and arrange tomatoes on top.


PINEAPPLE CHICKEN

This is a recipe I have had since 1991. It was in a little Pillsbury booklet.

1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup ketchup
1 can (20-oz) pineapple chunks, drained; reserve 3/4 cup of liquid
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 whole chicken breasts, skinned, boned, cut into 3 x 1-inch strips (now we can buy boneless skinless)
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp sesame seed
Hot cooked rice for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, combine the onion, sugar, garlic powder, ketchup, reserved pineapple liquid, lemon juice and soy sauce; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a plastic bag or shallow bowl, toss the chicken strips with the flour to coat. In a large skillet, over medium heat, cook the chicken in hot oil 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

Arrange the chicken and pineapple in the prepared baking dish; top with the sauce and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is hot and sauce is bubbly. Serve over or beside the hot cooked rice.

Yield: 6 servings

Note: Stock photo


Monday, September 29, 2014

ROASTED POTATO TRIO

2 sweet potatoes
4 yukon gold potatoes
8 new potatoes
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Peel and cube the sweet potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes.

Scrub the new potatoes and cube.

Place potatoes in a large saucepan; add enough lightly salted water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Drain well.

Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a large nonstick baking sheet.

Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the tarragon, salt, and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees until browned and crisp, about 25 minutes.

Serve while hot.

Note: For variety you can substitute rosemary for the tarragon.



Saturday, September 27, 2014

SAUSAGE, PEPPER AND ONION PIZZA

1 lb refrigerated pizza dough
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1 onion, sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced
salt and pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Position oven rack in lower third of oven and place an inverted baking sheet on top; preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Using oiled hands, stretch the pizza dough to fit a parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove meat from pan and pour out any remaining grease. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the onion and peppers to the skillet; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and rosemary.

Scatter the sausage, onion, and peppers over the pizza dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Drop dollops of the ricotta over the pizza and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over all.

Set the pizza baking sheet on top of the inverted baking sheet in the oven and bake until the crust is crisp and golden-brown, about 20 minutes.




TINY HOT POTATO SNACKS

7 small yukon gold potatoes
1 cup broccoli florets
2-oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
3 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tbsp finely chopped pickled jalapeno
salt and pepper
butter-flavored cooking spray
chili powder

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer. Simmer potatoes about 25 minutes until fork tender. Drain and allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan of boiling water, cook the broccoli until crisp-tender - about 5 minutes; drain. Chop broccoli fine and place in a medium bowl.

Slice 6 of the potatoes in half and scoop out half of the flesh from each piece; add scooped out part to the broccoli.

Peel and finely chop the remaining potato and add to the potato/broccoli mixture. Add the cheese, 2 tablespoons of the yogurt, and the jalapeno; mash coarsely with a fork and season with the salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Arrange the potato halves cut side down on a baking sheet and lightly coat them with the cooking spray; invert and season with the salt and pepper.

Divide the potato/broccoli stuffing mixture among the potato halves. Lightly coat with the cooking spray and sprinkle with the chili powder.

Bake potatoes at 425 degrees about 20 minutes or until golden.

Before serving, garnish with the remaining yogurt and sprinkle with a dash more chili powder.


Friday, September 26, 2014

TUNA BALL

At your next party why not have a tuna ball to go with the usual cheeseball?

1 brick (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 pkg dry onion soup mix
1 can (6 1/4-oz) white albacore tuna, drained
chopped parsley for rolling
chopped pecans for rolling

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together well. Shape mixture into a ball and roll in the nuts and/or chopped parsley. Chill 4 to 6 hours before serving.

Serve with assorted crackers, chips, or raw veggies.




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

AMBROSIA MACAROONS

1 large egg white
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 pkg (14-oz) sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup very finely chopped dried pineapple
Parchment paper
35 maraschino cherries, drained, cut in half horizontally, patted dry with paper towels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.


In a large mixer bowl, beat the egg white at high speed using a whisk attachment, if available. Beat egg white until foamy; gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form.

Gently stir the butter, lime juice, orange zest, vanilla, and salt into the egg white. Stir in the flour.

Stir in the coconut and the pineapple just until blended.

Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls 1-inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Place 1 cherry half, cut side down, into the center of each macaroon.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown, switching cookie sheets after 6 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes. Transfer the macaroons to the wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: Approximately 6 dozen macaroons.


Note: For Christmas use half red maraschino cherries and half green ones for a Christmas look.


1-2-3 CHERRY POKE CAKE

2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
1 (16-oz) loaf-style frozen pound cake, thawed at room temperature
3/4 cup boiling water
1 pkg (3-oz) cherry JELL-O
1/4 cup cold water
1 oz semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups cherry pie filling, divided

Pierce cake with skewer at 1/2-inch intervals, plking skewer all the way through the cake.

Place JELL-O in a small bowl and add the boiling water; stir 2 minutes or until JELL-O is completely dissolved. Stir in the cold water, spoon over the cake.

Refrigerate cake for 1 hour.

While cake is chilling, make chocolate curls for garnish using the semisweet chocolate.

Invert cake onto a platter or tray and cut cake in half horizontally. Spread the bottom half of the cake with 1/3 cup of the whipped topping and cover topping with 1 cup of the pie filling. Add the top layer.

Frost top and sides of cake with the remaining whipped topping. Garnish with the remaining pie filling and the chocolate curls.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CHEDDAR, TOMATO & SPINACH SCONES

This is a recipe I got from a Cabot Cheese ad a year or so ago.

Ingredients:
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, fluffed with whisk before measuring
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar or Cabot Sharp Light Cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup chopped moist sundried tomatoes*
1/2 cup Cabot 2% Plain Greek-Style Yogurt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. Place rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425ยบ. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or stack two sheets together (to keep bottom of scones from over-browning).

2. In mixing bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisking to blend. Stir in cheese, spinach and tomatoes.

3. In small bowl, whisk together yogurt, egg and oil until well combined. Stir into flour mixture until no dry ingredients remain.

4. Turn dough out onto floured cutting board. Sprinkle top with more flour and knead about six times. Press dough into 1-inch-thick circle (about 7 inches in diameter). Cut circle into 8 WEDGES. Transfer scones to prepared ungreased baking sheet.

5. Bake in upper third of oven for 10 to 14 minutes or until golden. Slide spatula under bottoms to release if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*If your sundried tomatoes seem leathery, cover them with boiling water and let stand for a few minutes until softened, then drain and chop. If substituting oil-packed sundried tomatoes, blot excess oil with paper towels.

Yield: 8 scones


Monday, September 22, 2014

CINNAMON CHEESECAKE BARS

I got this recipe months ago from busymoms. Easy and tasty!

  • 2 tubes of crescent rolls
  • 2 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar plus 1/2 cup sugar for the topping
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Flatten one tube of crescent rolls in bottom of ungreased 9×13″ pan.
  3. Mix cream cheese with 1 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread mixture evenly on dough. Place the remaining tube of rolls over filling and with fingers press perforations together.Drizzle melted butter over top layer of dough.
  4. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of melted butter.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool. Refrigerate well before serving.
  6. Enjoy!



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM ANGEL FOOD CAKE

Even though this cake has to be refrigerated for an hour it goes together very quickly and makes a great do ahead dessert.

3 cups fresh strawberries, divided
4 oz Neufchatel cheese, softened
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
2 cups whawed frozen whipped topping
1 (10-in.) prepared angel food cake, split in half horizontally

Chop strawberries to make 2 cups. Refrigerate remaining whole berries to use later for garnish.

Beat the Neufchatel cheese, sugar, orange zest, and orange juice with electric mixer until well blended. Add topping and blend on low just until blended. Gently fold in the chopped berries.

Spread approximately 2/3 of the whipped mixture over the bottom layer of the cake; place top of cake over the mixture. Spread the remaining whipped mixture over the top of the cake.

Refrigerate cake for an hour.

Before serving, arrange the remaining whole berries atop the cake.

Note: This picture and basic recipe are from Kraft Foods.


Monday, September 15, 2014

ROASTED NEW POTATOES

2 lb new red potatoes, halved lengthwise
6 slices bacon, chopped
3 tbsp Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
1/3 cup mayonnaise*
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the potatoes with the bacon and salad dressing; spread out on a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring after 25 minutes. Potatoes shoud be tender and crisp around edges.

Meanwhile combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and garlic.

Spoon the potatoes onto a serving platter and top with the mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle the cheese and parsley overall.

*Personal note: I recommend the mayonnaise with olive oil.



Sunday, September 14, 2014

BOW-TIE PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS

2 cups uncooked bow-tie pasta
1 lb fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup orange bell pepper strips, sliced thin
1/4 cup julienned oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 cup shredded Italian-blend cheese

Cook pasta according to the package directions but without the salt.

Add the asparagus to the pasta during the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain pasta/asparagus well.

Meanwhile cook the peppers and tomatoes in a large skillet on medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp tender; stir frequently.

Add the drained pasta mixture, broth, cream, and oregano to the skillet; mix well.  Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Top with the cheese; cook a couple minutes until cheese begins to melt.

May add a cup of cooked chicken when adding the pasta, if desired. (If you are a regular follower of my blogs you know I don't add chicken!)




Friday, September 12, 2014

CLASSIC EGG SALAD

6 hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper

Peel eggs and chop. In a mixing bowl combine the eggs with the remaining ingredients until blended.  Serve on bread with a lettuce leaf for egg salad sandwiches or serve with crackers.

Yield: 4 servings

Note: This is a Kraft Foods recipe.



Thursday, September 11, 2014

BEEF AND TATER BAKE

This is a recipe from a 2010 Simple and Delicious magazine.

  • 4 cups frozen Tater Tots
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of broccoli soup, undiluted
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 can (2.8 ounces) French-fried onions, divided
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

  • Preheat oven to 400°. Place Tater Tots in an ungreased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in broccoli, soup, tomato, 3/4 cup French-fried onions, 1/2 cup cheese, milk, garlic powder and pepper; heat through. Pour over Tater Tots.
  • Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining onions and cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. 
  • Yield: 12 servings.


  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    EASY APPLE CAKE

    About 5 to 7 apples, peeled, cored & thinly sliced
    1 (9 ounce) package yellow cake mix
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    1 stick real butter

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Cut apple slices crosswise in half.
    3. Place in pan; sprinkle with dry cake mix.
    4. In small bowl, combine sugar & cinnamon; sprinkle over cake mix.
    5. Drizzle with butter.
    6. Bake 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
    7. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired!



    Tuesday, September 9, 2014

    SAUSAGE MACARONI SKILLET

  • 1 pound mild ground Italian sausage
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sweet red pepper
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • In a large skillet, cook the sausage, onion and peppers over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
    Add macaroni and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 7-8 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Stir in chili sauce and milk; heat through.
    Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. 
    Yield: 5 servings.
    Note: This is a TOH recipe.


    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    EASY PEANUT BUTTER BARS

    Sharing a recipe from Jim Rose Circus today. He posted on facebook and said, "Feel free to share."

    Ingredients
    1 cup salted butter (melted)
    2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
    1 cup peanut butter
    1/2 tsp. vanilla
    1 (11 oz) bag milk chocolate chips

    Instructions
    1. Combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl. Stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
    2. Pour peanut butter mixture into a 9 x 13 pan.
    3. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave (at 50% power) for 1-2 minutes. Stir chocolate and pour over the peanut butter mixture. Spread chocolate with a spatula. To even out chocolate, tap pan on the counter.
    4. Refrigerate bars for one hour. Cut while bars are still cool. Enjoy.


    Monday, September 1, 2014

    SOUTHERN FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1/2 cup flour, divided
    1/2 cup cornmeal
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    3 medium-size green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices
    Canola or coconut oil for frying
    Additional salt to taste, if desired

    In a shallow bowl, combine the egg and buttermilk; set aside.

    In a shallow bowl or pie plate, combine 1/4 cup of the flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper.

    Place remaining flour on a plate and dredge tomatoe slices in the remaining flour then dip them in the egg mixture then dredge in the cornmeal mixture.

    In a large, deep, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron), pour oil to about 1/2 inch deep. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Drop the tomatoes, in batches - don't overcrowd- into the hot oil and cook 2 minutes per side (or until golden brown). Drain on paper towels.

    Sprinkle with additional salt, if desired.


    ITALIAN BREAD SALAD

    4 cups cubed French bread
    6 tbsp olive oil
    3 tbsp red wine vinegar
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp salt
    3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper
    1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
    4 to 5 large plum tomatoes, chopped
    2 cups chopped smoked ham
    1 pkg (8-oz) fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
    3 green onions, chopped

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

    Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

    Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and both peppers.

    Reserve 1 cup of the bread cubes. Scatter remaining cubes on a serving platter; top with the lettuce, tomatoes, ham, and cheese. Drizzle the dressing overall and toss. Allow to stand for 15 minutes before serving.

    Before serving, sprinkle with the reserved bread crumbs and the green onions.

    Yield: 4 servings

    STIR-FRIED OKRA

    1 medium-size sweet onion, chopped
    1 tsp mustard seeds
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper
    2 tbsp canola oil
    1 pkg (16-oz) frozen okra, thawed*
    3/4 tsp salt

    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onion, mustard seeds, cumin, and red pepper. Saute mixture for 5 minutes or until onion is tender.

    Add the okra to the skillet and saute 15 minutes or until okra is lightly browned; stir in the salt.

    *May use 1 lb fresh okra.

    Note: File photo