Saturday, December 15, 2018

DREAMY PRALINE PIE

This recipe goes together quickly which is why I have posted it here. It does, however, need to chill for about 4 hours before serving.

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 ready-made graham cracker pie crust

2 envelopes whip topping mix
2 3/4 cups cold milk, divided

1 tsp vanilla extract
2 pkgs (4-serving size each) Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding and Pie Filling Mix

In a small saucepan, heat the nuts, butter, and brown sugar together until the butter and sugar are melted and the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds. Spread the mixture over the bottom of the prepared pie shell and allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the whipped topping mix with 1 cup of the milk and the vanilla extract with electric mixer on high speed. Beat for about 6 minutes or until the topping becomes thick and forms soft peaks. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups of milk along with the pudding mix; blending on low speed. When combined, beat on high speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl down occasionally.



Spoon the filling into the crust atop the praline layer. Refrigerate for at least four hours or until serving time. Before serving, add a dollop of whipped cream and/or a pecan half to each wedge for garnish.


Note: File Photo

Friday, December 14, 2018

WORTH A MILLION PIE

This pie needs to chill after being prepared. But it goes together very easily and quickly. This is a great "no-cook" pie!

1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup drained crushed pineapple
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 large carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 9-inch pie shells that have been baked and cooled

In a large bowl combine the milk, crushed pineapple, coconut, chopped pecans, and lemon juice together. Gently stir in the whipped topping. Divide the mixture evenly between the two baked pie shells. Chill before serving.
 Photo: geniuskitchen

Thursday, December 13, 2018

PENNE PASTA CASSEROLE

1 lb lean ground meat (beef or turkey)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 can (14 1/2-oz)diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste
1/2 cup water
3 1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Prepare the uncooked pasta according to the package directions.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

While pasta is cooking, brown the meat and onion in a large skillet until the meat is no longer pink; drain off any excess fat. Return meat and onion to skillet and stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add some garlic powder, if desired. Cook just until heated through.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the cooked and drained pasta with the meat mixture. Stir in 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese. Pour the mixture into the sprayed baking dish. Spread the remaining cup of cheese evenly over the top of the casserole.

Bake uncovered for 20 to 35 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
 File Photo from bigoven. Not this exact recipe.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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


Note: This is a file photo.

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

APRICOT CHICKEN ROLL-UPS

Note: This recipe takes a little longer than most on this site and requires more dirty bowls, etc to be cleaned up. But it is a great easy recipe for company or just family dinners. The good part is while it takes a few minutes of prep time, you will have time to clean up and do other things for the 30 to 40 minutes the chicken bakes.

1 1/3 cups dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 eggs
6 medium sized boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a bowl combine the apricots, cranberries, honey, and ginger; set aside.

Stir together bread crumbs, parsley, flour, cheese, paprika, sugar, salt, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Transfer to a shallow dish. Place eggs in a pie plate and beat lightly with a fork.

Place each piece of chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap and hit with a mallet or the end of a saucer until pounded to no more than 1/4-inch thick. Remove the plastic wrap and discard. Place 1/6 of the apricot mixture into the center of each chickn piece. Fold in the bottom and sides; roll up and secure with wooden toothpicks. Dip the chicken rolls into the egg mixture, wetting all over, then dip in the crumb mixture, covering all. Place chicken in the prepared baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until done.

Yield: 6 servings.
For reference only.

Monday, December 10, 2018

WARM CHICKEN SALAD WITH MANGO

6 to 8 ounces skinless boneless chicken breasts, cute into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup mango chutney
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 cups mixed salad greens
1 cup peeled and chopped mango
thin sliced green onion for garnish, optional

Coat a medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray.  Place sprayed pan over medium-high heat; add the chicken.  Cook chicken while stirring for about 3 minutes or until cooked through.  Stir in the chutney, water, and Dijon mustard.  Continue cooking, stirring, just until hot.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Toss the salad greens and the chopped mango; arrange on serving plates.  Spoon the chicken mixture onto the greens.  If desired, garnish with the green onion.


Yield: 2 servings


Note: File Photo

Saturday, December 8, 2018

CREAMY FETTUCCINE ALFREDO

2 sticks butter
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb fettuccine pasta
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
fresh basil leaves, chopped

In a large bowl that is heat-proof, place the butter. Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter until smooth. Add the cream and the cheese. Stir mixture with a wooden spoon until well blended; set aside.

Cook the fettuccine pasta according to the package directions. Drain pasta well and promply add to the creamed mixture; toss well to coat pasta. Add the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the basil over the top of the pasta and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings
This is a file photo.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

EASY PENUCHE ICING

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

In a saucepan, melt butter; stir in brown sugar. Bring to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Gradually beat in powdered sugar and milk. Place saucepan in a larger pan of cold water. Beat until of spreading consistency. If icing becomes too thick, beat in 1 to 2 teaspoons more milk. Use to ice your favorite cake or cupcakes.

Note: File Photo

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

PENNE PASTA SKILLET DINNER

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 can (14 1/2-oz)beef broth
1 can (14 1/2-oz)Italian-style diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups penne pasta, uncooked
1 1/2 cups frozen leaf spinach, thawed and drained
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with the onion until the beef is no longer pink and the onion is transparent. Stir while cooking to break up beef. Drain thoroughly. Return to skillet.

Add the oregano, garlic powder, and basil to the beef/onion mixture in the skillet; mix together well. Stir in the beef broth, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta; reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is almost tender. Stir in the spinach and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Cover and cook 5 more minutes or until the pasta is of the desired tenderness.

Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Replace cover and let stand a couple minutes allowing cheese to soften over the top before serving.

 Note: This is a Kraft file photo.

Monday, December 3, 2018

SMOKEY SLOPPY JOES

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup catsup
2 tbsp prepared mustard
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 to 4 drops liquid smoke
2 tbsp brown sugar

In a large nonstick skillet, brown the ground beef with the onion and salt. Cook, stirring to crumble, until meat is no longer pink and onion is becoming transparent. Drain off any excess fat, if necessary. Return to skillet and simmer for a few minutes to combine all the flavors. Serve on hamburger buns with your favorite condiments.
Note: This is a file photo.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

ALICE'S 5 CUP SALAD

1 cup Mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chunk pineapple, drained
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Combine the oranges, coconut, and pineapple together; add the miniature marshmallows. Gently fold in the whipped topping. Chill until serving time.

Note: File Photo
 
Note: My mother made hers with sour cream instead of whipped topping.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

TEX-MEX HAMBURGER BEANS

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 can (approx 16 oz)chili beans
1 can (10-oz) enchilada sauce, mild
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder

In a large skillet cook the ground beef with the onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain in a colander and rinse with hot water; drain and return to skillet.

Add the chili beans, enchilada sauce, salt, chili powder, and garlic powder to the meat and onion mixture. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Serve with warm tortillas, if desired.

 Clipart for fun

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

QUICK AND EASY CUCUMBER SALAD

This salad is perfect for picnics as it has no mayonnaise and will keep well. It is a great make-ahead salad.

1 medium cucumber, quartered and sliced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped sweet onion
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp red wine or cider vinegar
3/4 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, and onion.

In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, vinegar, dill, salt, and pepper with a wire whisk. Pour the dressing over the vegetable mixture in the large bowl; toss to coat all vegetables. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes before serving.

Note: Best to serve with a slotted spoon.

Yield: 4 servings.

Note: File Photo

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

GINGERED SQUASH SAUTE

1/2 lb small zucchini squash, sliced
1 lb yellow squash, sliced in half lengthwise
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
1 medium green bell pepper, julienned
4 tsp butter
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, quartered
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp ground ginger

Cut the lengths of yellow squash into 1/2-inch slices. Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the yellow squash, zucchini, onion, and bell pepper for a minute. Cover and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and ginger. Cover and cook another couple of minutes or until heated through.


This is a file photo.

Monday, November 26, 2018

YUMMY BANANA CREAM DESSERT

This recipe has to chill but it does go together in minutes and chills quickly.

1 pkg (4-serving size) instant banana pudding mix, prepared according to pkg directions
1 cup diced bananas
1 cup miniature marshmallows
2 tbsp chopped maraschino cherries

Add the bananas and miniature marshmallows to the prepared pudding; mix well. spoon into dessert dishes and top with the cherries. Chill.

Note: May substitute vanilla pudding for the banana.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

HAWAIIAN-STYLE DESSERT

1 pkg (4-servings size) vanilla tapioca pudding mix
1 small can sliced pineapple
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmy packed
1/4 cup flaked coconut

Prepare the pudding mix according to the package directions. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes. Stir the pudding well and then spoon evenly into 4 dessert dishes. Chill.

Drain the pineapple well, reserving 1/3 cup juice. Cut the pineapple slices in half.

Melt the butter in a skillet and add the brown sugar, stirring until softened. Gradually add the reserved pineapple juice while stirring constantly. Add the pineapple and the coconut and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and just simmer for 4 minutes. Serve the pineapple warm over the pudding.

Yield: 4 servings

Saturday, November 24, 2018

PARMESAN CHICKEN SUPREME

6 round butter crackers, such as Ritz, crushed very fine
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb (4) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
2 tsp canola oil
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup low-fat tub cream cheese with onion & chives

Mix the cracker crumbs and the Parmesan cheese in a pie plate. Rinse chicken in cold water and shake off excess water. Roll chicken in the crumb/cheese mixture until evenly coated. Throw out any left over crumbs!

In a large nonstick skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook 6 to 8 minutes per side or until cooked thoroughly. Remove to a serving platter and keep warm.

Add the chicken broth and cream cheese to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly. Cook, stirring, until thickened-2 to 3 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken to serve.

 Recipe and photo from Kraft Foods.

Friday, November 23, 2018

QUICK AND EASY STRIP STEAKS

You can enjoy a quick "fancy" dinner with these steaks, a salad, and a crusty bread.

4 strip steaks (approx. 12-oz each)
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
2 tbsp cooking sherry*

Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over high heat. Add the steaks and cook, turning only one time, to the desired doneness level. This will take about 10 minutes for medium-rare; adjust time accordingly.

Once steaks are done, sprinkle the salt and a teaspoon of the pepper over them. Remove from the skillet to the serving platter. Set platter on the stovetop and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the onion slices, remaining pepper, garlic, and marjoram to the skillet; cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onion is tender. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the sherry; mix well. Spoon the onion sauce over the steaks and serve immediately.

 * White grape juice may be substituted for the cooking sherry, if desired.


Note: File Photo

Thursday, November 22, 2018

LUAU-STYLE CHICKEN SALAD

4 cups seasoned cooked chicken, diced
1 can (20-oz) chunk pineapple, well drained
1 can (16-oz) mandarin oranges, well drained
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 bottle (8-oz) buttermilk salad dressing
1 firm medium banana
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

In a large bowl, gently toss all ingredients together. Cover and chill for at least an hour. Before serving slice the banana and toss into the salad. Sprinkle the macadamia nuts over the top.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

VEGGIE BAKED FLOUNDER

This recipe is quick and easy but it is also a good recipe for those watching their diets whether for reasons of health or weight. For these reasons, nutritional information is included.

1/2 to 2/3 cup sliced green onions (depending on your taste for onion)
1/2 to 34 cup sliced fresh white mushrooms (depending on your love of mushrooms)
2 lbs flounder fillets*
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp lemon pepper (or black pepper)
2 tbsp chicken broth
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese
1/4 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400.

Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the green onions over the bottom of the pan. Cover onions with mushrooms. Arrange the fish over the vegetables over lapping the thin part over the thick part of the next fillet. Sprinkle with the salt, marjoram, and lemon or black pepper. Combine broth and lemon juice and pour over the fish. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and cheese. Drizzle with the melted butter. Leave uncovered and bake in a 400 degree oven 10 to 15 minutes until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Yield: 6 servings

*Sole also works well.
Per serving: 212 cal, 7 g (4 sat) fat, 86 mg chol, 438 mg sodium, 5 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 31 g protein.
Diabetic exchanges: 4 very lean meat, 1 fat, 1/2 starch

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

EASY CHOCOLATE CRACKLES

These cookies are easy to make and they are delicious with a fudge-like center.

1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tbsp water
1/2 cup shortening
powdered sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Stir together the cake mix, eggs, water, and shortening until well blended. Using your hands, shape the dough into small (about 1-inch) balls. Roll the balls in powdered sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, about 1 1/2-inches apart.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Yield: approximately 4 dozen cookies.

Note: File Photo

Monday, November 19, 2018

PEA-CASHEW SALAD

1 pkg (10-oz) frozen peas, thawed
1 cup diced celery
1 cup cauliflower florets, broken into small pieces
1/4 cup diced green onion, including green leaves
1 cup chopped cashews*
6 strips bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup Ranch Buttermilk salad dressing
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, minced
Line serving bowl with lettuce leaves and ripe tomatoes, if desired

Rinse peas to remove any ice; drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the peas, celery, cauliflower, green onion, cashews, and bacon with the sour cream. Mix the Ranch dressing, mustard, and garlic together until well blended. Pour dressing over the salad and toss gently to mix.

*For a healthier alternative, substitute sunflower seeds for the cashews.

Yield: 4 servings
Note: File Photo

Saturday, November 17, 2018

STUFFED CABBAGE, UNSTUFFED

1 lb lean ground beef
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small head of cabbage, shredded
1 can (28-oz) Mexican or Italian (your choice) tomatoes, undrained
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
dash of fresh ground black pepper

Hot cooked brown rice, if desired.

Spray the bottom of a Dutch oven lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Brown ground beef and onion together in the pan; drain off any excess grease. Stir in the cabbage, cover and cook for 5 minutes until crisp tender. Add the tomatoes. brown sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper stirring to blend together. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If desired, serve over the hot cooked rice.

Yield: 4-6 servings.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

ITALIAN CHICKEN ROLLS

This recipe takes a little longer than some but you can still be eating less than an hour after you start preparation. It is also a good recipe to make ahead, wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate and serve the next day cold, sliced with your favorite creamy salad dressing.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
4 thin slices Provolone cheese
2 thin slices prosciutto or very lean ham
1 tsp paprika
6 tbsp panko crumbs*
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
3 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pound each chicken breast half to a thickness of approximately 1/4-inch. Cut Prosciutto slices in half.

Layer a slice of cheese, then a half slice of prosciutto on each pounded out chicken piece. Roll up and secure with wooden toothpicks (or cooking string).

Mix the paprika, panko, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, oregano, and basil together in a shallow dish. Dip chicken rolls in the butter, using tongs. Roll butter dipped chicken in the panko crumb mixture to coat evenly.

Place the dipped and breaded chicken rolls, seam sides down, in a baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly and is golden brown.

*Japanese bread crumbs. Substitute regular fine bread crumbs if you do not have panko.

Note: File Photo

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

YUMMY CHERRY SALAD

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

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


Note: File Photo of similar recipe.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

QUICK SKILLET MEAL SUBS FOR STUFFED PEPPERS

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

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

GARLIC CANNELLINI BEAN DIP

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

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

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

Monday, November 12, 2018

WESTWARD HO GUACAMOLE

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

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

Sunday, November 11, 2018

FRENCH DRESSING PARTY DIP

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

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

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

 For reference only. Not a brand recommendation.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

CARAMEL PECAN BROWNIES (BLONDIES)

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

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

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

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


Friday, November 9, 2018

ZUCCHINI CORNBREAD CAKES

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

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

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

Yield: Approximately 14 cakes.

Note: This picture is a file photo.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

CANADIAN BACON AND PINEAPPLE PIZZA

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

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

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

 Note: This is a file photo

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

SPINACH CORN MUFFINS

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

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

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

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

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


Note: This is a file photo

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

HAM AND CHEESE ROLL

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

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

To serve, slice and inserted party pick into each slice. Arrange slices on a lettuce lined tray.

Note: File Photo

Monday, November 5, 2018

MEAT AND VEGETABLE FRIED RICE

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

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

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

Note: File Photo

SPINACH PESTO OVER PASTA

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

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

Cook the spaghetti or fettucini as directed on package.

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

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

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

 This is a file photo similar to this recipe. This one is topped with mushrooms instead of bacon.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

QUICK AND EASY ROCKY ROAD CAKE

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

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

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

Thursday, November 1, 2018

QUICK AND EASY CHERRY CRISP DESSERT

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

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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

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

Note: Option - use yellow cake mix and apple pie filling for apple crisp.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

QUICK AND EASY VEGETABLE NOODLE SOUP

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

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

QUICK AND EASY MICROWAVE TACO BURGERS

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

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

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

Note: File Photo

Monday, October 29, 2018

CARROT RAISIN SALAD WITH MARSHMALLOWS

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

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

Note: File Photo

Sunday, October 28, 2018

GARLIC, CHEESE, and BACON MASHED POTATOES

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 27, 2018

LUNCHBOX PINEAPPLE BARS

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

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

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

Friday, October 26, 2018

BEETS BAKED IN ORANGE SAUCE

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

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

Note: File Photo

D'S GARDEN PASTA SALAD

Note: This salad is quick and easy. It does, however, taste better after being chilled for a couple of hours. A good make-ahead dish.

1 pkg (16-oz) whole-grain rotini pasta
1 pkg (8-oz) sliced pepperoni
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/2 cup diced tomato OR cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup Italian salad dressing (sugar-free or low-sugar)

Cook pasta according to package directions omitting any salt and/or butter called for; drain well.

Place the pasta in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and toss together well.  Chill for a couple of hours or so before serving.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

TACO SALAD NO-BAKE CASSEROLE

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

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

PICANTE CHICKEN CASSEROLE

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

CHEESY CHICKEN NOODLE BAKE

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

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

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

Note: File Photo

NO BAKE LEMON PIE

This is one quick to make pie but it does need a couple of hours to chill before serving!

Ingredients
1 Pie Crust
2 cans (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup lemon juice
Directions
Pour two cans of sweetened condensed milk into a mixing bowl
Add Lemon Juice and Stir
Pour into the Pie Crust and refrigerate for a couple hours
Whipped cream for garnish
 
Recipe Source and probably picture, too:geniuskitchen.com

Monday, October 22, 2018

ORANGE MARSHMALLOW FRUIT DIP

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

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

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

Note: File Photo