Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cranberry Salsa

I know my blog has not been too festive this year. Sadly I have not been baking wonderful holiday treats because I don't want them around my house. I'm trying to avoid gaining the holiday 15. But this recipe screams holidays to me. My sister in law, Alyssa, has made this for our family the last few Christmas'. It is so good! It is different than anything I have ever tasted.

Cranberry Salsa

1-12 oz bag of cranberries
1 Anaheim pepper, seeded
2 limes, juiced
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch green onions
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar

Put above ingredients in a food processor and blend well.

To make it "Holiday style":

Blend 8 oz cream cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, and 1/4 cup mayo and spread onto a platter. (It is also really good over just cream cheese). Cover with cranberry salsa. Serve with chips or crackers.

**Leave out a few cranberries and cilantro leaves to garnish with.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Pesto Butter

I tried this recipe for dinner last night and we really liked it. The pesto butter is delicious! The chicken is nice and moist. We will definitely be making this again soon!

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Pesto Butter
recipe courtesy Ali Broadbent

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
garlic salt

In a food processor combine basil, parmesan cheese, garlic and butter. Process until well combined. Pound the chicken flat. Place the pesto butter in the middle of each chicken breast. Roll up and secure with toothpick. Dip the chicken in the egg then in the breadcrumbs. Place in a greased 9X13 pan. I used Panko breadcrumbs which didn't have any seasoning in them so I sprinkled a little garlic salt on top of the breaded chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. The last 5-10 minutes I took the chicken out of the oven. The butter had melted in to the bottom of the pan so I spooned it over the chicken breasts. It added a nice flavor and also helped them get nice and golden brown.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pizza Twist

We love anything pizza related and this recipe did not disappoint. It was quick and easy and very good.

Pizza Twist
recipe courtesy Michele Steel

2 tubes Pillsbury French loaf bread
Favorite pizza toppings
Mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
Italian seasoning
Garlic salt
pizza sauce for dipping

Open both loaves, make a slit long ways down the center of each, and roll each out flat. Fill with toppings, except for the sauce. Pinch dough closed around toppings and lay seam down on greased pan. Twist the loaves together 1-2 times. Spread egg over the top, make sure to cover all of the dough. Sprinkle with seasoning and garlic salt. Bake at 350 for 25-32 minutes. Pull or cut apart and serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Salsa Chicken Soup

I love soup and luckily so does my husband. I am always looking for good soup recipes. I had this soup at a friends house in October and couldn't wait to make it. The soup reminds me of some taco soups that I've tried but has it's own unique flavor. When I tried it at my friends it was a little salty, so I used low sodium chicken broth and it wasn't salty enough. I would use regular chicken broth, but don't add any salt until you taste it.

Salsa Chicken Soup
Recipe courtesy Jodie Heiselt

1 Tbsp oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1/3 c salsa
1 can corn, drained
1 lb. cooked chicken, diced
1 avocado, diced
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
tortilla chips
green onions and lime for garnish

In a large saucepan heat oil. Add onions and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in broth, diced tomatoes, and salsa. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in corn and chicken, heat through. Top with chips, avocado, lime and green onion if desired.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Barbecue Spareribs

I grew up eating these spareribs. They are so delicious. They are tender and juicy and the barbecue sauce is wonderful. I made them for the first time today for my husband. He didn't understand why we've been married almost 6 years and I haven't made them for him before. I didn't have an answer. These are very easy to make and they freeze wonderfully.

Barbecue Spareribs

5-10 lbs boneless ribs
1 cup ketchup
2 cups kraft barbecue sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
dash of pepper
1 cup fruit juice (pear juice is best)
1 cup apple sauce
2 Tbsp sugar

Mix together above 7 ingredients and set aside. Put ribs in a glass baking dish. I had about 7 lbs. of ribs and used two 9X13 pans. Bake ribs in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup water together and add to ribs. (I doubled the salt mixture and divided it between the two pans). Cover the pans with tin foil. Bake for two more hours. Drain off the greasy water. Pour sauce over ribs and bake for 30 minutes longer.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs
recipe courtesy America's Test Kitchen

2 slices high-quality white sandwich bread
1/3 cup buttermilk
3/4 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground pork
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 large egg yolk
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil
4 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
1 pound spaghetti

Remove and discard the crusts from the bread, then tear the bread into small pieces. Mash the bread pieces and buttermilk to a smooth paste in a large bowl, using a fork.
Add the beef, pork, Parmesan, parsley, yolk, garlic, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper to the mashed bread. Stir the mixture gently until combined and uniform. Form the mixture into 1 1/2 inch round meatballs (about 12 meatballs).
Pour the oil into a skillet until it measures a depth of 1/4 inch. Heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the meatballs in a single layer and cook until nicely browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a paper-towel-lined plate and discard the oil left in the skillet.
Place the skillet with any browned bits over medium heat and add the tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce the heat to low and add the meatballs. Continue to simmer, turning the meatballs occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes.
While the meatballs are simmering, add 1 tbsp salt and the spaghetti to boiling water. Cook, stirring often, until the spaghetti tastes almost tender but is still firm to the bite.
Top the pasta with the spaghetti and meatballs and enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Slow Cooker Tamale Pie

This recipe caught my eye in my Taste of Home magazine because it won the grand prize in a slow cooker contest. It was really easy to put together and tasted really great.

Slow Cooker Tamale Pie
recipe courtesy Taste of Home

1 lb ground beef
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained
1 can (11 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 pkg (8 1/2 oz) corn bread/muffin mix
2 eggs
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
Sour cream and additional cilantro, optional

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the cumin, salt, chili powder and pepper. Transfer to a 4 qt slow cooker; stir in the beans, tomatoes, corn, enchilada sauce, onions and cilantro. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until heated through. (I cooked mine in the oven at 200 degrees for about 6 hours).
In a small bowl, combine muffin mix and eggs; spoon over meat mixture. Cover and cook 1 hour longer or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with sour cream and additional cilantro if desired.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oven Baked Chimichangas

I made these chimichangas a few weeks ago and they were a hit. My husband has requested them pretty much every night since then. The outside gets nice and crunchy, but not too greasy, and the filling is delicious. Both times I made them I tried a salsa verde recipe, neither were fabulous, so I won't post one until I find the right one. But if you have a recipe you love use that one or you can buy some at the store.

Oven Baked Chimichangas
adapted from Food Network Magazine

2 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Kosher salt
1 small tomato, chopped, plus more for topping
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup sour cream
1 15-ounce can refried beans
4 10 inch flour tortillas (I used the large tortillas)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salsa verde sauce, for topping
shredded lettuce, for topping

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Melt the butter with 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet; transfer to a bowl. Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp oil in the skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and 1 tsp salt; toast 30 seconds. Add the tomato and cilantro and cook until slightly dry, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken and sour cream and warm through. Remove from the heat.
2. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with some of the butter-oil mixture. Spread 2 tbsp refried beans down the center of each tortilla, leaving a 2-inch border on both ends. Top with 1 cup chicken mixture and 1/4 cup cheese. Fold in the ends and roll up.
3. Put the chimichangas seam-side down on the baking sheet; brush with the butter-oil mixture. Bake 8 to 10 minutes per side, brushing again after you flip. Top with the sauce, more cheese, lettuce and tomato.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kira's Brownies (Texas Sheet Cake)

When I was in college I had a roommate that made these brownies. They were and still are my absolute favorite!!

Kira's Brownies

2 sticks butter
1 cup water
3-4 Tbsp cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp soda
2 eggs

In a medium saucepan combine butter, water and cocoa; bring to a boil. In a separate bowl combine sugar flour and salt. Add the cocoa mixture to the sugar mixture; mix well. Then add milk, vinegar, soda and eggs; mix well. Pour the batter in to a large greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Chocolate Frosting

6 Tbsp milk
2-3 Tbsp cocoa
1 stick butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

In a medium saucepan bring milk, cocoa and butter to a boil. Pour in to a separate bowl and add powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Frost cake once cool. Top with chopped nuts.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Poppy Seed Salad/Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

I love this poppy seed salad. It is simple and easy but very delicious. The salad dressing is what really makes it so good. You can usually find a bottle of the dressing already prepared in my fridge, which I use whenever we have salad.

Poppy Seed Salad

1 bunch romaine lettuce, washed and drained
1 bunch iceberg lettuce, washed and drained
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 can tidbit pineapple, drained

Tear the lettuce into bite size pieces. Add oranges and pineapple. Right before serving pour on desired amount of poppy seed salad dressing and toss.

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard
1/8 - 1/4 cup grated onion
1/4 cup vinegar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp poppy seeds

Add first 6 ingredients in a blender and puree. Add poppy seeds last and blend for only a few seconds.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lion House Banana Nut Bread

There are probably a million recipes out there for banana bread. I have tried a few, and have found this one to be my favorite. It is easy, moist, and delicious.

Lion House Banana Nut Bread

6 large or 8 medium bananas, very ripe
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup oil
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Grease well and flour 2 large loaf pans; set aside. Peel bananas and place in large mixing bowl; mash bananas well. Add eggs, sugar, and oil; mix until well blended. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add to banana mixture. Mix until blended. Add nuts and mix briefly. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
*You can make 6 small loaves instead of 2 large. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer's Salsa

Recipe courtesy Summer Pererro

My friend Summer introduced me to this salsa about 6 years ago. It is so good - I can't believe I haven't posted it yet. It is always a hit whenever I take it anywhere.

Summer's Salsa

1 can black beans (rinsed & drained)
1 can white, whole kernel corn (rinsed & drained)
2-3 large tomatoes - diced
2 ripe avocados - pitted and diced
small bunch of green onions - finely chopped
small bunch of cilantro - finely chopped
cumin to taste
1 packet of Good Seasons Zesty Italian dressing - prepare as directed (To cut the fat I only add 3-4 Tbsp oil when preparing the dressing and substitute water for the rest of the oil.)

Mix first seven ingredients together in a large bowl. Prepare dressing and mix in just before serving.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Connie's Chicken Salad

My mom's friend Connie had a catering business and this was her chicken salad recipe. My mom would help her make it for weddings and showers. It is different than any other chicken salad I have tried and I really like it. It is excellent served on croissants - especially if they are homemade.

Cook 1/3 cup rice in 2/3 cup water with 1/2 tsp boullion. Cook until water is absorbed.


1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup under cooked broccoli, chopped
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup sliced olives
Cooked rice from above


1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1 Tbsp Dejon mustard
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Mix everything together and chill. Just before serving add 2 to 3 chopped tomatoes.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Garlic Parmesan Orzo

Before I made this recipe I had never tried Orzo before. I am now a big fan. This recipe was a yummy side dish. I loved that it was quick and easy and the pasta was rich and creamy. I did cut back on the butter. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup butter and I only put in 1/4 cup. I'm sure it would be even better if you used the full amount of butter, but it still was really good and I felt better about eating it with half the butter. I also added more Parmesan cheese. I can never get enough Parmesan!

Garlic Parmesan Orzo

2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
3 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or more if desired
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Cook orzo according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute garlic in butter until tender. Drain orzo; add to skillet. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, milk, parsley, salt and pepper; heat through.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting

I love anything with apples in it, so when I came across this recipe I was very excited to try it. I laughed because it was very similar to an Apple Cake recipe I had copied down from Paula Dean years ago, but never made it because my husband is allergic to apples. So when I invited a few girlfriends over one night I decided it would be a perfect time to try it out. It was so delicious! The cake was moist, the apples were tender, and the caramel sauce was to die for. I liked it so much I made it the next weekend for a family gathering.

Apple Spice Cake
recipe courtesy Martha Stewart

1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3 to 4 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 cups)
1 cup chopped assorted nuts, such as pecans and walnuts
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Caramel Sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan; set aside. (Make sure you grease the pan very well, the second time I made it some of the cake stuck to the pan.
In a large bowl sift together flour,
cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a separate bowl combine vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs; mix on high speed until lemon yellow.
Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until just incorporated.
Add apples and, if desired, nuts, to batter; mix to combine. Add
vanilla, mixing until incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted
in the center comes out clean, 75 to 90 minutes.
Remove from oven, and cool slightly on a wire rack.
Invert cake onto rack; turn cake right-side up to cool completely on
rack, and serve drizzled with caramel sauce

Caramel Sauce

1 cup light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 t vanilla
pinch of salt

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook,
stirring, until thickened to desired consistency.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Oven Roasted Broccoli

I am a fan of broccoli. My husband is not. So I really don't serve broccoli a lot at our house, but when I came across this recipe I had to try it. It did not disappoint. It was a terrific side dish. The bread crumbs and cheese were a great combination with the broccoli.

Oven Roasted Broccoli
recipe courtesy Alton Brown

1 pound broccoli, rinsed and trimmed
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or sharp cheddar (I used parmesan)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the broccoli florets into bite sized pieces. Cut the stalk into 1/8 inch thick, round slices. Place the broccoli into a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, garlic, kosher salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spread the panko bread crumbs in a 13X9 inch metal cake pan and place in the oven for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove the panko from the oven and add to the broccoli mixture. Toss to combine. Sprinkle mixture back in the cake pan. Roast until broccoli is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss in the cheese and serve immediately.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Japanese Chicken Salad

This is one of my favorite salads. Not only does it taste delicious but the dressing is low fat, so I don't feel as guilty when I eat a lot of it. You can prepare the chicken as described below or to make it really fast and easy I like to use left over chicken from this recipe.

Japanese Chicken Salad
recipe courtesy Cathy Richards

1-5 oz. can LaChoy Rice noodles-not chow mein noodles
3-4 chicken breasts-sprinkled with powdered ginger and garlic salt, wrapped in foil and baked for 1 hour at 350, cooled and shredded.
1 head lettuce-shredded (I use red or green leaf lettuce or a combination of the two if I double the recipe)
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup shredded cucumber
1-2 oz. package slivered almonds, toasted
2-3 green onions, sliced

Combine above ingredients together in a large bowl. Toss with salad dressing - recipe below.

1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
Heat until sugar dissolves — cool

(All ingredients, except noodles and dressing, may be prepared in advance, covered and stored.)

Warm Broccoli Cheese Spread

Wow I can't believe it has been a whole two months since I've posted a recipe! Some of that time I was on vacation, but still that is no excuse. Hopefully I can get back in to the swing of things and post some yummy recipes if any one is still out there after my hiatus.

I tried this warm broccoli cheese spread the other night for book club and it was a hit. It was really easy and fast to put together and tasted delicious!

Warm Broccoli Cheese Spread
adapted from Taste of Home

1 package low fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup (8 ounces) reduced-fat sour cream
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, drained and patted dry
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and salad dressing mix until blended. Fold in the broccoli and 1 1/2 cups of cheese.

Spoon into a shallow 1 quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Serve warm with crackers.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cheesy Rolls

Lately I cannot get enough of frozen dinner rolls, like Rhodes Rolls, but I just buy the generic brand at our grocery store. They are not just plain frozen rolls though. My friend Stephanie brought some rolls over where she had put melted butter on top of the rolls after they had risen, then sprinkled them with a little kosher salt, baked them, then she brushed them with a little more butter once they were out of the oven. They are divine!!! Seriously you need to try it.
This recipe also uses frozen dinner rolls and it too is fabulous!! My other friend Stefanie gave me the recipe and I decided to try them out for a girls luncheon we had and they were a hit. Super easy, super delicious!!

Cheesy Rolls
recipe courtesy Stefanie Carter

Use equal parts:
Mayonnaise (I used light)
Butter, softened
Parmesan cheese, grated (I probably added twice as much parmesan cheese)

(To give you an idea of how much to do I think I used about 2 Tbsp of mayo and butter to cover my 7 rolls that I made below.)

Lay your frozen rolls out in a greased pan.

Once rolls have defrosted, but haven't rise, top with mixture.

Let rolls rise following package instruction and bake as directed.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce

I pulled this recipe out of a Cook's Illustrated magazine awhile ago and was excited that I finally got around to trying it. I changed the recipe slightly. I don't love sun-dried tomatoes, and I didn't want to buy a big jar to only use a little, so I didn't. I also did not read the recipe very well and bought diced tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes. So I used the diced and the sauce was still really good.

Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce

3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 ounce proscuitto, minced
1 small onion, diced fine
1 bay leaf
Pinch red pepper flakes
Table salt
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 ounces oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped coarse (I omitted these)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp dry white whine
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp crushed tomatoes (from 28 ounce can)
1 pound pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add proscuitto, onion, bay leaf, pepper flakes, and 1/4 tsp salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and beginning to turn light gold, 8 to 12 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly darkened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup wine and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add 2 cups crushed tomatoes, and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil. Add pasta and 1 Tbsp salt and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water; drain pasta and transfer back to cooking pot.
Remove bay leaf from sauce and discard. Stir cream, remaining 2 Tbsp crushed tomatoes, and remaining 2 Tbsp wine into sauce; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add sauce to cooked pasta, adjusting consistency with up to 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Stir in basil, top with parmesan and serve.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


My mom used to always make this recipe for us while growing up. It is so delicious. Really it is like eating cake for dinner. I shared this recipe with a few co-workers and they loved it too. This goes really well with my White Chicken Chili.


2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix eggs, milk, and butter together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix Bisquick, sugar, cornmeal, and baking powder. Combine dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir with a fork until all ingredients are wet, be careful not to overmix. Pour into greased 8X8 pan. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Crunchy Pork Chops

I tried this recipe awhile ago and liked it, but my pork was a little tough. I wasn't able to follow the instructions exactly because I didn't have a thermometer. This time I made it and had a thermometer and the pork was great! My husband kept talking about how much he liked it and was excited when we had leftovers for the next day. The topping wasn't as crunchy the 2nd day. They were definitly better right out of the oven.

Crunchy Pork Chops
courtesy The America's Test Kitchen

1 (5-ounce) box plain Melba toasts, broken into rough pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp sugar
6 Tbsp mayonnaise
4 boneless rib pork chops, 3/4 to 1 inch thick

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the Melba toasts, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, and sugar in a zipper-lock bag. Seal the bag and pound to coarse crumb, leaving some crumbs the size of small pebbles.
Add 2 Tbsp of the mayonnaise to the bag and work the mayonnaise into the crumb mixture. Transfer the Melba crumb mixture to a large plate,
Working with one chop at a time, coat with 1 Tbsp mayonnaise using your fingers, then coat thoroughly with the crumb mixture. Press on the breadcrumbs to make sure they stick, then lay the chop on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. (I sprayed the wire rack with Pam).
Bake the pork on the wire rack until the coating is golden brown and the center of the chop registers 135 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 16-22 minutes. (Mine took a little longer). Transfer the chops to a clean plate and let rest until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145-150 degrees before serving, 5 to 10 minutes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Garlic Chicken Pizza

Garlic Chicken Pizza

Favorite pizza dough recipe (I used my deep dish recipe)
Garlic alfredo pizza sauce (recipe below)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup chicken, cooked and chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped

Prepare pizza crust as directed. Spread 1/2 cup sauce on each pizza. Sprinkle with cheese, chicken, green onions, and tomatoes. Bake as directed.

Garlic Alfredo Pizza Sauce

2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in flour and garlic powder. Slowly add cream. Stir until thickened and bubbly. Add salt and mix well.

(My husband does not like tomatoes or green onions - so I made half without for him).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fudge Krispies

When I was young whenever we went to visit my grandparents my grandma would make these for us. I had not made the recipe in a long time and tried it out this past weekend on some friends. They were so good, we ate the whole pan. Plus they are so easy to make. I think it took me 10 minutes tops (not including the chilling time).

Fudge Krispies

1 pkg (2 cups) milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
4 - 4 1/2 cups Rice Krispies (depending on how chocolatey you want them to be)

Combine chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup in large glass bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir ingredients together. Microwave another 1-2 minutes more until melted and creamy. Stir in vanilla, powdered sugar, and Rice Krispies. Spread into 13X9 dish. Chill until firm. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ground Beef Fricassee

My mom always made this recipe for our family when we were growing up. It was one I took to college and made for my roommates. I had one roommate in particular who loved it. She would always request that I make it for her. This is a great comfort meal. It is still one of my favorites!

Ground Beef Fricassee

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, diced
3 Tbsp green pepper, diced
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 beef bouillon cube
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Cook ground beef in a skillet until lightly browned, using fat if necessary. Add onion, celery, and green pepper. Cook until onion is soft and translucent. Blend in flour, then add hot water in which bouillon cube has dissolved. Cook and stir until slightly thickened. Add remaining ingredients. Cover. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Oven Fries

My husband and I love french fries. I know they are not good for you at all, so I feel a little better about eating them when I make them myself. This is a great recipe. If I'm feeling like being extra healthy I'll use a little less oil. The fries are still good, not quite as good if you use all that it calls for though.

Oven Fries
courtesy America's Test Kitchen

3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 10 to 12 evenly sized wedges
5 Tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, cover with hot tap water, and allow to soak for 10 minutes. While the potatoes are soaking, coat a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with 4 Tbsp of the oil. Sprinkle the baking sheet evenly with 3/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
Drain the potatoes, spread them out over paper towels, and pat them dry thoroughly. Toss the dried potatoes with the remaining 1 Tbsp oil. Arrange the potatoes, cut-side down, in a single layer over the prepared baking sheet. Cover the sheet tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes.
Remove the foil and continue to bake until the sides of the potatoes toughing the pan are crusty and golden, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes.
Using a metal spatula, scrape to loosen the potatoes from the pan, then flip each wedge over. Continue to bake until the fries are golden and crisp on both sides, 10 to 15 minutes longer, rotating the pan as needed if the fries are browning unevenly. Transfer the fries to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Poppy Seed Bread

I apologize for my long hiatus. The holidays were a wonderful and crazy time and I feel like I'm just now getting back in to normal life. This recipe is more of a holiday recipe, but I didn't get a chance to post it before now, so here it is. I grew up with my mom making this wonderful bread around the holidays. It is delicious!


3 cups flour, sifted
2 1\2 cups sugar
1 1\2 t. salt
3 eggs
1 1\2 cups milk
1 1\8 cups vegetable oil
1 1\2 t. poppy seeds
1 1\2 t. vanilla extract
l 1\2 t. almond extract
1 1\2 t. butter flavoring


3\4 cup sugar
1\4 cup lemon juice (or orange juice)
1\2 t. vanilla extract
1\2 t. almond extract
1\2 t. butter flavoring

Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Line the pans with wax paper, then grease and flour wax paper. Preheat oven to 350. Mix all bread ingredients together, then beat for 2 minutes. Pour into pans and bake for 1 hour. Mix glaze ingredients together. Heat in microwave just to melt sugar (2 to 3 minutes). Remove bread from pans. Pour glaze over hot bread or use pastry brush.