Friday, February 27, 2015

APPLE OAT CRISP

4 cups peeled, sliced apples
1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar (depending on tartness of apples)
2 tsp cinnamon, divided
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a baking dish; set aside.

In a bowl combine the apples, granulated sugar, and cinnamon; arrange in baking dish.

Mix the eats, salt, flour, and brown sugar together; mix in butter using a fork until crumbly. Spread over the apples and press down lightly.

Bake at 350  30 to 40 minutes until top is browned and apples are tender.




Thursday, February 26, 2015

COCA-COLA CHICKEN BREASTS

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon oil
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 (12 ounce) can cola
1 cup ketchup
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water

Saute onion in oil until tender.

Add chicken and brown lightly.

Add ketchup, cola, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Cover and simmer over medium heat for 25-30 minutes or until juices run clear. If sauce needs to be thickened, blend cornstarch and cold water.

Move chicken from pan to warm plate.

Gradually add cornstarch mixture to sauce, simmer until thickened.

Add chicken to pan to reheat, if needed.

Note: File Photo

COPYCAT RECIPE FOR OLIVE GARDEN'S ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP

If you love this soup at the Olive Garden, try making it at home.

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  • Add Italian sausage to the skillet and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in sausage and spinach until spinach begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream until heated through, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with bacon.

Yield: 6 servings
NOTES
Adapted from The Recipe Critic
I got this recipe from Damn Delicious

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

MASHED POTATOES AND CARROTS

2 lbs potatoes, peeled and chunked
2 medium carrots, scraped and chunked
1 1/2 - 2 tbsp butter*
1/4 - 1/2 cup cream*
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the potatoes and carrots into a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring mixture to a boil and boil until tender, approximately 15 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Place the potatoes and carrots in a large mixer bowl; add butter and cream. Beat on low speed 1 minute then increase speed and beat until well blended.

Season with the salt and pepper to suit your taste.

Garnish as desired.

*According to your preference.

Note: File Photo


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

CHICKEN SALAD FROM HIDDEN VALLEY

As all of you know if you follow my blogs, I do not each chicken. However, I know many of you (including my family) do so here is what I am told is a tasty chicken salad from the folks at Hidden Valley.

  • ½ cup sliced almonds toasted
  • ¾ cup Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dressing
  • 1 can (8.5 ounces) petite peas
  • 1 medium shallot finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 cups cooked chicken diced
  • 1 juice of lemon

  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and toss until well coated. Chill covered for 1 hour before serving.

Yield: 5 servings


BANANA SPLIT CUPCAKES

Here is another old reliable recipe from my Mr. Food files.

1 (14-ounce) package banana bread muffin mix
1 (16-ounce) container vanilla frosting
1/2 cup hot fudge
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
12 maraschino cherries
Banana chips for garnish, optional
Preheat oven according to package directions. 


Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups.
 
Make muffin mix according to package directions. Spoon batter into muffin tins, filling each cup about 3/4 full. 
 
According to package directions, bake the cupcakes; let cool completely.
 
Spread vanilla frosting over each cupcake, drizzle with hot fudge, sprinkle with walnuts, and top each with a cherry and banana chips, if using.

Monday, February 23, 2015

DOUBLE CHEDDAR BISCUITS

5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted before measuring
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
4-oz (about 1 cup) shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, room temperature
4-oz (about 1 cup) shredded sharp orange cheddar, room temperature
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with foil and grease foil lightly; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cayenne; add grated cheeses then work in well using your fingers. Add the cold butter. Working quickly, rub butter into the flour mixture using your fingers until the mixture resembles the texture of oatmeal with some large marble-size pieces.

Stir in the cream; add buttermilk and stir just until liquid is absorbed. Dough will be in chunks and pieces. Turn out onto a lightly floured board. Press with hand and knead firmly until it forms a cohesive dough.

Roll dough out to a half-inch thickness. With a fork dipped in flour, pierce the dough all the way through at 1/2-inch intervals. Cut out 2 1/2-inch rounds and place 1/2-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Gather scraps and repeat process. (It is okay to do up to this step ahead and refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 hour.)

Bake on center rack of oven for 16 to 18 minutes until well browned.

Yield: Approximately 2-dozen biscuits.


Note: I got this recipe some years ago from a Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

RASPBERRY PRETZEL SALAD

I love raspberries and I love pretzels so this, to me, is a perfect salad.

1¾ cup crushed pretzels
¾ cup butter, melted
3 Tbls sugar
8 oz light cream cheese
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 8 oz containers Cool Whip (I used lite)
1 5.9 oz package Raspberry Jello
2 cups water
16 oz frozen raspberries
additional pretzels to crush for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix pretzels, melted butter and sugar together. Press into a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool.

Whip cream cheese until light and fluffy; beat in sugar. Stir in one 8 oz container of Cool Whip until thoroughly combined; spread over cooled pretzel crust.

Bring two cups of water to a boil. Dissolve Jello in water. Stir in frozen raspberries. Let mixture become partially jellied before pouring over cream cheese mixture.

Chill until firm and set.

Top with remaining Cool Whip.

Sprinkle on crushed pretzels and serve.

Note: Now that I am diabetic I make the following changes for a diabetic-friendly salad:
  • substitute Splenda granulated for the sugar
  • Use sugar-free Cool Whip
  • Use sugar-free raspberry jello
  • Be sure raspberries are frozen without any sugar

Note: This is a recipe I got from Recipe Lion years ago.

SWEET AND CREAMY CORN

2 bags (16-oz each) frozen whole-kernel corn
1 brick (8-oz) cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, cut-up
2 tbsp sugar
chopped fresh parsley for garnish, optional

Combine all ingredients except parsley in a 4-quart slow cooker. 

Cook on high, stirring a couple of times, for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or on low for 4 to 5 hours until cream cheese is melted and flavors are blended.

Note: Recipe and picture are from Land 'O Lakes butter.


Monday, February 16, 2015

QUICK FLUFFY FROSTING

1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 envelope Dream Whip whipped topping mix
1 pkg (4-serving size) instant pudding - flavor of choice

Pour milk into a deep narrow-bottom mixer bowl; add whipped topping mix and pudding mix. Beat at low speed until well blended. Gradually increase beating speed to high and whip until mixture will form soft peaks, 4 to 6 minutes.

Keep frosted cake stored in the refrigerator.

Yield: Approximately 3 cups of frosting.

Note: File Photo

Friday, February 13, 2015

EASY LEMON COOKIES

1 box (2-layer size) lemon cake mix
1 carton (8-oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 large egg
1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the cake mix, whipped topping, and egg until blended. Mixture will be very fluffy.

Place powdered sugar in a small bowl.

Drop cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls (or use a small cookie scoop) into the powdered sugar; roll to coat completely.

Place cookie dough two-inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes or until just lightly browned around edges.

Cool in pan for a couple of minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container. These cookies are best when eaten within a couple days of baking.

Variation: This recipe also works good with strawberry cake mix.

Note: File Photo

Thursday, February 12, 2015

FRUITY CALIFORNIA WALNUTS SALAD

Note: This recipe is from California walnuts.

  • 3 crisp apples (about 1 pound)*
  • 2 cups (1 20-ounce can) drained canned pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup chopped California walnuts
*Note: Use any crisp eating apple such as Granny Smith, Red Delicious or Golden Delicious, all one kind or a combination. Once sliced, Golden Delicious will keep without discoloring--especially useful if you are making the salad ahead of time.
  1. Halve and core apples, then cut in 1/2-inch cubes. Place apple cubes in large bowl.
  2. Add pineapple chunks, yogurt, raisins and walnuts. Toss until ingredients are evenly combined and coated with yogurt. Cover and chill until serving.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

MARINATED LAMB CHOPS

This is an easy recipe but the chops do marinate for 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp minced onion
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 (4-oz each) lamb loin chops, trimmed
Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine the cilantro, parsley, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, coriander, and garlic in a gallon-size ziptop plastic bag. Add the chops, seal and turn to coat chops. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.

Remove chops from marinade and discard the marinade.

Sprinkle both sides of the chops with salt and pepper.

Add chops to skillet (in 2 batches, if necessary) and saute' for 2 minutes or until browned on one side.

Transfer chops, browned side up, to a broiler pan coated with the cooking spray. Bake at 450 degrees for 6 minutes or until of the desired doneness.

Yield: 4 servings

Note: File Photo

Monday, February 9, 2015

LEMON-MUSTARD PORK CHOPS

I have had this recipe for a few years. I probably got it from Simple and Delicious - not sure.

4 (6-oz each) boneless pork loin chops
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp dried crushed rosemary
1/4 tsp salt
fresh lemon wedges for serving, if desired

Preheat broiler.
Lightly grease or spray a broiler pan; set aside.

Drizzle lemon juice over the chops.

In a small bowl, combine the parsley, mustard, garlic, lemon peel, rosemary and salt; brush on both sides of the chops.

Place chops on the prepared broiler pan and broil 4 to 5-inches from the heat for about 5 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer inserted in chops reads 145 degrees.

Allow chops to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with the lemon wedges, if desired.




UPSIDE DOWN STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (4-serving) package vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and halved
  • 4 graham crackers, crumbled

  • In a medium bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form; set aside.
     
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy. Add pudding mix, milk, sugar, and lemon juice, and continue beating until smooth.
  • Add whipped cream and stir until well blended. Place strawberry halves in a 9-inch pie plate. Spoon cream cheese mixture over them and top with crumbled graham crackers.
     
  • Serve, or cover and chill until ready to serve.

  • Note: This is a Mr. Food recipe I have had for years. It is very easy and quite tasty.

    Friday, February 6, 2015

    APPLE-BUTTER PECAN COBBLER

    2 cans apple pie filling
    1 box (2-layer) butter pecan cake mix
    brown sugar
    butter
    cinnamon
    pecans
    halves

    Place pie filling in a casserole dish or cake pan.

    Sprinkle the dry cake mix over the top then sprinkle a thin layer of brown sugar over cake mix. Dot with some thin pats of butter over the top and sprinkle a little cinnamon overall.

    Place pecans over the top.

    Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.

    Note: File Photo



    JOE'S CRAB SHACK CRAB CAKES

    Disclaimer: A friend sent me this recipe to share with you. I cannot vouch for this recipe and whether or not it tastes like the crab cakes at Joe's. I do not eat seafood so I have never made these or tasted a crab cake at Joe's. Here is the recipe for those of you who are interested:

    2/3 cup mayonnaise
    5 egg yolks
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    2 teaspoons black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon blackening seasoning
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    1/2 cup crushed, chopped parsley
    2 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
    2 lbs crabmeat


    Mix all ingredients together.
    Make into 4 oz. patties
    Coat with flour and fry in 1 inch of oil until golden brown.


    My friend said the recipe is from Dani Marcum.


    Thursday, February 5, 2015

    TEX-MEX CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP

    Not sure if I got this old recipe from BH&G or from Kraft Foods.

    1/2
     pound ground raw chicken or turkey
    1/4
    cup  chopped onion
    2
    cloves  garlic, minced
    2
    cups  milk
    1
     10-3/4-ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
    1
     7-ounce can whole kernel corn with sweet peppers, drained
    1
    medium  tomato, chopped (3/4 cup)
    1
     4-ounce can diced green chiles, drained
    2
    tablespoons  snipped fresh cilantro or parsley
    1/4
     teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
    1
    cup  shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
     Fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)

    1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven cook ground chicken or turkey, onion, and garlic until chicken or turkey is brown and onion is tender. Drain fat from pan.
    2. Stir in milk, cream of chicken soup, corn, chopped tomato, chili peppers, cilantro or parsley, and ground red pepper. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cheese; cook and stir until cheese melts. Garnish each serving with additional cilantro or parsley, if desired. Makes 4 servings.


    AVOCADO AND CORN SALSA

    1 tbsp lime zest
    1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    2 tbsp canola or olive oil
    1 tsp Dijon mustard
    1/4 tsp crushed dried red pepper
    2 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) corn kernels
    1 cup halved grape tomatoes
    1 small avocado, peeled and diced
    1/3 cup diced red onion
    2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
    2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
    salt and pepper to taste

    In a large bowl, whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, oil, mustard, and red pepper. Stir in the remaining ingredients until mixed together.

    Yield: 6 servings

    Note: File photo