Saturday, January 31, 2015

Spiced Chipotle Honey Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potatoes

I have had this recipe in my 'to try' file for a long time.  I am SO glad I finally tried it.  We all really liked this.  I was worried that the sweet potatoes may not cook in the time stated, but they really do. 
Spiced Chipotle Honey Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potatoes
serves 6

4 sweet potatoes (10 ounces each), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces Beth sliced into 1/2 in pieces and then cut those circles into 4 pieces
3 Tbs olive oil
4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced Beth used 3 t of puree
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs honey, plus more for drizzling
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs)
chopped cilantro, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, chipotles, garlic, honey, vinegar, salt, cumin, and cinnamon. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 2 teaspoons of the paste. Toss with the sweet potatoes.

Scatter the potatoes on the bottom of a roasting pan, and bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, rub the chicken breasts with the remaining paste.

Stir the potatoes. Carefully place the chicken on top of the sweet potatoes, and continue to roast until the chicken is just cooked through (registers 165 on an instant read thermometer), about 15-20 minutes longer

Divide the potatoes and chicken evenly among serving plates and drizzle with remaining honey and garnish with cilantro. Serve.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Cheese and Green Chilies Biscuits

I have had this recipe in my file to try since 2012.  They are DELICIOUS!  They do make a lot, so I froze half of them.  They remind me a bit of the biscuits from Red Lobster, only with green chilies in them.
Author Joanne Fluke of “Cinnamon Roll Murder”

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, rack in the middle position

3½ cups all purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar (this is important)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup salted softened butter (1 stick, 4 ounces, ¼ pound)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies; drained and patted dry with a paper towel (I used Ortega Diced Green Chiles)
2 large eggs, beaten (just whip them up in a glass with a fork)
1 cup sour cream (8 ounces)
½ cup whole milk
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Use a medium-size mixing bowl to combine the flour, salt, cream of tartar, baking powder and baking soda. Stir them all up together. Cut in the salted butter just as you would for pie crust dough.

Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and the drained, chopped green chilies. Mix everything up thoroughly.
Add the beaten eggs and the sour cream in that order. Mix everything all up together.
Add the milk and stir until everything is thoroughly combined.

Drop the biscuits by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets, 12 biscuits to a sheet.
If you have only one oven, bake one sheet on the upper rack and the other sheet on the lower rack, switching places halfway through the baking time.
Once the biscuits are on the baking sheet (or sheets if you decided to use two) you can wet your fingers with a little water and shape them if you like. (I leave mine slightly irregular so everyone knows they’re homemade.)
Sprinkle the tops of the biscuits with shredded cheese.
Bake the biscuits at 425 degrees 12-14 minutes, or until they’re golden brown on top. For two sheets of smaller biscuits, reduce the baking time to 10-12 minutes. They’re done when they’re golden brown on top.
Cool the biscuits for at least five minutes on the cookie sheet, and then remove them to a wire rack. Let them cool for at least another 2 minutes before you serve them. (I place mine in a towel-lined basket so they stay warm.)
Yield: Makes 12 large Cheese and Green Chiles Biscuits or 18-24 smaller biscuits that are equally delicious.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Charro Beans

Charro beans down here in Texas are very soupy.  These are not, but OHHHHH so good.  We all really liked the flavor of these with the chorizo in them.  Served these with fajitas and Spanish rice. 
Charro Beans

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 med onion, diced
1/2 lb. chorizo, cooked and drained Beth used a 10 oz roll
2 tbl. molasses
1/2 c. salsa, (any temp)
1 tsp. chili powder ( I use more)

In large saucepan, cook sausage over medium heat for 4-5 min, or til browned. Drain, add onion, cook and stir for 4-5 min longer. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover. Simmer 15-20 min to blend flavors. Serve


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dr Pepper Crockpot Pork Chops

My girls don't care for pork chops, so I made these on a night that Jenna would be gone.  Don and I really liked these.
Dr Pepper Crockpot Pork Chops

6-8 Pork chops with or without bone. I did bone in
1 can and a half of Dr. Pepper Beth used diet
12 oz. of ketchup
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in the crock pot (stir).

Cook on low for 6 hours or until the pork chops are cooked through. They will be so tender at this point.

In a separate bowl I added the juice about two cups from the crock pot and added 1-2 tablespoon of corn starch, whisked with a fork to form gravy. You can also use flour if you don't have corn starch on hand.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pistachio Dream Cake

We made this for the Packer playoff game--had to have something green!  I only had a funfetti cake mix that was white and it already had the sprinkles added in.  I also used diet gingerale since I had it in the house.  We all loved this!
Pistachio Dream Cake

1 (18 1/4 ounce) packages white cake mix (Beth used funfetti cake mix)
1 (1 ounce) package Jell-O instant pistachio pudding mix
1 (8 ounce) nonfat plain yogurt
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup carbonated lemon-lime beverage Beth used diet gingerale
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
1 (1 ounce) package Jell-O instant pistachio pudding mix
2 cups reduced-fat whipped topping

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry cake and pudding mixes, yogurt, egg whites and vanilla; beat on low speed for 1 minute.

Gradually beat in soda.

Pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

For frosting, combine milk and dry pudding mix in a mixing bowl; beat on low for 2 minutes.
Fold in whipped topping. Spread over cake.

Store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 20 servings.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Crockpot Jalapeno Popper Chili

This was a great recipe.  Here are the changes I made.  I used frozen chicken breasts and at hour 7 or so, I took them out and cubed them.   I did NOT puree the soup(I forgot to do this before putting the chunks of chicken back in and didn't want pureed chicken)and wouldn't do it again.  I used a full pound of beans, so I used 4 cups of broth(4 cups water and 4 tsp or cubes of bouillon)  I also let everyone add their own bacon.  Will make this again for sure!  Loved it.
Crockpot Jalapeño Popper Chili
Serves 6 - 8

1 yellow onion, diced
1 - 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed, and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (breasts work too - I just find thighs less dry and more flavorful)
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
3-4 cups chicken broth (use 4 if you're doing a full pound of beans)
1/2 or 1 lb dry white beans, rinsed and sorted (I used navy beans)
1 cup frozen corn
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

Add all ingredients except the cream cheese and bacon to the crockpot. Cook on low for 7-9 hours. Shred chicken with two forks.

(optional) Using an immersion blender, briefly pulse a few times to break up some of the beans and thicken the soup - you don't want it smooth, just a few of the beans pureed. Or take about 2 cups of the chili out and blend it in a countertop blender (leave the lid cracked so the steam doesn't make your blender explode)

Add the cream cheese and let melt for about 10 minutes, stir to combine, and mix in crumbled bacon. Salt to taste and serve.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Chocolate Banana Crinkle Muffins

These were some of the best muffins I have ever made!  I got 12 regular muffins and 8 mini muffins.  They were super easy to make--so use those over ripe bananas and make these TODAY!
Chocolate Banana Crinkle Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
heaping 1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 large egg
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/4 cup sour cream (lite is okay; Greek yogurt may be substituted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (from about 3 medium/large bananas)
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (strongly recommended but regular size may be substituted)
about 1 teaspoon granulated sugar for each muffin, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a Non-Stick 12-Cup Regular Muffin Pan and one mini loaf pan (recipe yields 13 or 14 muffins, or one dozen plus one mini loaf; or simply discard excess batter if that's easier) very well with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside.

To a large bowl, add the first 6 ingredients, through optional salt, and whisk to combine; set aside.
To a medium bowl, add the egg, oil, sour cream, vanilla, and whisk to combine.

Stir in the bananas.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir until just combined. Batter is quite thick and is prone to having dry bits hiding at the bottom of the bowl. Make sure everything is incorporated without unnecessarily over-mixing or muffins will be tough.
Stir in the chocolate chips until just combined.

Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or spoon, turn batter out into prepared pans. Each muffin cavity should be filled to about 3/4 full, but not exceeding, or batter could overflow.
Sprinkle the top of each muffin generously with sugar, about 1 teaspoon each. It looks like a lot but I like the visual pop and contrast of the white and dark; noting some absorbs and some is lost to the pan.

Bake at 350F for about 22 to 25 minutes, or until muffins are set, domed, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a crack comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter, noting it's not a perfect test and you may hit melted chocolate chips which shouldn't be confused with raw better. Don't overbake which is very easy to do with dark-colored items and start watching them closely at 20 minutes. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until they've firmed up and are cool enough to handle. Muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. I find the muffins taste better on day 2 after the flavors have married.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Salted Toffee Oyster Crackers

This was a delicious snack that I KNEW I should have doubled right away!  4 cups of crackers = 1 10 oz. package.
Salted Toffee Oyster Crackers

4 cups Oyster Crackers
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup butter
Coarse of Kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper or other seasoning - optional(Beth did this)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil then spray the foil lightly with cooking spray.
Melt butter in a medium sized, non-stick skillet then add brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Stir continuously while bringing the mixture to a boil. Boil on medium heat 3 minutes or until it becomes lighter in color and “fluffier”. Stir often. Turn off the heat and add the oyster crackers.

Working quickly so the brown sugar/butter mixture doesn’t set up, pour the butter/brown sugar oyster crackers onto the prepared baking sheet and try to spread them out to a single layer. (If it is too difficult to spread the crackers into a single layer at this point, don’t worry – it will be possible in a few minutes.)

Sprinkle the crackers lightly with coarse or Kosher salt.

Place the crackers on a middle rack in the hot oven and bake 2 minutes.

Remove the crackers from the oven and smooth them out to a single layer.

Place back in the oven and bake for 3 more minutes.

After a total 5 minutes baking time, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes.

Once they are cool enough to handle, pick up the edges of the aluminum foil that is under the crackers and bring the edges together so the crackers roll together.

Remove from the foil, break into individual pieces and place on foil or parchment paper to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake for Crockpot

Jenna and Kathleen got me this 9 x 13 Crockpot for Christmas.  This was our dessert for the Packer/Cowboy game.  We served it with ice cream.  I can't wait to try other casserole type recipes in this crockpot!

Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake for Crockpot

1 Box Devils Food cake mix
1 Can Cherry Pie Filling
¼ cup melted butter

Dump 1 can of cherry pie filling into large crockpot. Spread out evenly.
Top with dry cake mix.  Then drizzle melted butter over the top.
Cover and cook on low for 2½ to 3 hours.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


I made this recipe to go along with the unstuffed cabbage roll recipe.  I don't remember where I found it, and it has been in my file for many years.  We all really liked this.

Serving Size : 16
Points: 2 Per Serving

1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons margarine
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine pan in order recommended by your machine's manufacturer. Use regular light setting.

This recipe yields a 1 1/2 pound loaf.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 113 Calories; 2g Fat (14.7% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 152mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

White Pizza Sauce

We had a pizza party for the Packers/Cowboys game a week or so ago. I had 2 "regular type" pizzas and Jenna made this one. It was delicious! See her notes at the end.
White Pizza Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or marjoram
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 or 6 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute longer. Add the cream, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the cream thickens and reduces slightly.

Remove from the heat, stir in the thyme, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool completely before using.

Jenna's Notes: We made a 17 inch pizza so I tripled this because the original recipe said it made 1/2 cup. I couldn't get the sauce to thicken, so I did make a thickener with flour and milk and added it to the boiling sauce. I did add 3 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan cheese when I took the sauce off the heat.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Homemade Cheese Bread with Bacon and Caramelized Onions

This recipe LOOKS complicated, but it is not. The little effort of frying the bacon and onions is OH, so worth it!
Homemade cheese bread with bacon and caramelized onions

3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour  (always unbleached)
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 Tablespoons instant yeast
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups shredded cheese Gruyère or cheddar and parmesan, (if using the cheddar and parmesan I would recommend 1 1/2 cups of cheddar and 1/2 cup parmesan because of the salt in the parmesan).
4-5 slices thick cut good quality bacon cut into 1 inch
1 medium-sized onion chopped
Fresh ground black pepper

Add the dry ingredients to the work bowl of your mixer (flour and salt).
In a sauté pan brown the bacon making sure not to over brown.  We are looking for a golden brown not overly crispy.  If the bacon a very crisp it will be over cooked and dry by the time the bread is baked.  Drain the bacon on paper towels.
In the same sauté pan using the bacon fat (if not using bacon just sauté the bacon in olive oil) sauté the onions until lightly caramelized. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and a good healthy grind of fresh black pepper on the onions while they are cooking.   Drain the onions as well.

Drain them well, we don't want the fat in the bread. They also need to be cool.
Now, get your warm water measured.  To that warm (not hot or it will kill the yeast) add the 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and give that a good mix to dissolve.  Next add the yeast to the water sugar mixture.  Proof your yeast.

Add your olive oil to the flour and salt in the work bowl.  Turn the mixer on and add the water/yeast mixture.  Knead until a nice dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Add half of the shredded cheese to the mixer.  Knead until the cheese has fully incorporated into the dough.

Once the dough is done lightly flour your work surface.  Lay your ball of dough out and press it flat with your hands.  Now layer on the remaining cheese, bacon and onions.  Fold the top of the dough down over the cheese/bacon/onion mixture.  Fold the bottom up (like folding a letter).  Next, turn the letter shaped rectangle short side toward your tummy.  Then roll the dough up from one end to the other.  Now knead the dough with your hands to form a nice ball of dough that has the filling completely incorporated.

This kneading is simply to work in the goodies and form a nice ball of dough
Spray your rising bowl or container with non-stick spray and set your dough in there to rise.  This took 90 minutes today. You want the dough to double in size.  Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees

Shape your dough.  If you are making baguettes cut the dough in half and form your baguettes.  If making a boule you can split the dough in half and make two small boules You could egg wash the dough instead but you will get a softer crust.Beth made two regular loaves
Cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes (until nicely puffed).

Bake the dough at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 375 for an additional 25 minutes (These time estimates are for convection ovens, if your oven is not convection you may need to add a few additional minutes).  **Check to make sure the bread is baked through, you may need an extra 5 minutes (both convection and non-convection ovens).

Remove your bread to a rack and allow it to cool for at least half and hour, 45 minutes would be even better.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sourdough Cranberry White Chocolate Blondies

I hadn't made anything with my sourdough starter in a long time. I fed it the night before I made these. They are delicious!

Sourdough Cranberry White Chocolate Blondies

1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup sourdough starter
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar.
Whisk in the sourdough starter until you don't see any of the starter.
Whisk in the egg and vanilla.
Fold in the dry ingredients.
Fold in the cranberries.  Put in a 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 T orange zest
1 T milk
 6 ounces white chocolate chips (or almond bark)Beth will use 3-4 oz next time.
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Whip together the cream cheese, zest, powdered sugar and milk until well blended.
Pour over the cool bars and smooth.
Sprinkle the dried cranberries on top.
Melt the white chocolate chips (or almond bark) and drizzle on top.
Cut the bars while the white chocolate is still soft and enjoy!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll

I am not sure where I found this recipe, but am really glad I made it. I did add the rice along with the other ingredients. We all liked this.

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll

1 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 small head cabbage, chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes Beth pureed these
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

 Heat a  large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef and onion until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes; drain and discard grease. Add cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, garlic, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover , reduce heat, and simmer until cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes.

***Can add 1 cup rice

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sun-Dried-Tomato and Pesto Risotto

Kathleen made this a few days before she went back to school this semester.  This was delicious!
Sun-Dried-Tomato and Pesto Risotto

5 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock, more if needed
1 cup water, more if needed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine We used chicken bouillon
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup dry-packed or oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
3 tablespoons store-bought or homemade pesto
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, more for serving

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth and water to a simmer. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the rice to the pot and stir until it begins to turn opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until all the wine has been absorbed.

Add the sun-dried tomatoes and about 1/2 cup of the simmering broth to the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the broth has been completely absorbed. The rice and broth should bubble gently; adjust the heat as needed. Continue cooking the rice, adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and allowing the rice to absorb the broth before adding the next 1/2 cup. Cook the rice in this way until tender, 25 to 30 minutes in all. The broth that hasn't been absorbed should be thickened by the starch from the rice.

You may not need to use all of the liquid, or you may need more broth or some water.
Stir in the pepper, pesto, and Parmesan. Serve the risotto with additional Parmesan.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Spicy Ranch Dip or Dressing

I first had this at the beginning of December at a ladies dinner for my Sunday School class.  Carol served this as a dip with veggies.  I left her house craving this!  It is great on salad or with veggies, or even with potato chips!  Chipotle in adobo can be found in the Mexican section of the grocery store in a can.  We use a hand blender and puree the whole can and keep it in the refrigerator for recipes when needed.
Spicy Ranch Dip or Dressing
Carol Langford

1 package of dry ranch dressing mix
1 c buttermilk(Beth uses 1 T lemon juice and adds milk to make 1 c)
1 c mayonnaise
1/4 c sour cream
2 T raspberry jam
1 chipotle pepper in adobo(Beth used about 2 t of pureed chipotle in adobo)

Mix all ingredients together.  If you are afraid of too much spice, start with less chipotle and then add more if needed.  We LOVE this!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Orange Poppyseed Dressing

 Kathleen found this recipe and made it.  It was a light and tasty dressing.              

Orange Poppyseed Dressing

Juice & zest of an orange
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra light olive oil
small-medium shallot(We used a sweet onion, about 1/3 c)
1 T good mustard seed
salt & pepper to taste
1-2 teaspoons poppyseeds.

Mix everything but the poppyseeds in the blender or food processor. Mix in the poppyseeds and serve!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Italian Spaghetti Sauce

Kathleen had been hungry for spaghetti while she was home for Christmas break. I didn't have any canned sauce, so used my very first cookbook ever, my Betty Crocker cookbook, and made this simple buy yummy sauce.

Italian Spaghetti Sauce
Betty Crocker Cookbook

1 pound ground beef, 93%
1 onion, large, chopped about 1 cup
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried marjoram leave
1/4 tsp dried rosemary leaves (optional)
1 bay leaf
8 ounce tomato sauce
6 ounce tomato paste

Cook and stir ground beef, onion, and garlic i 10 inch skillet til hamburger is light brown: drain.

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Heat to boiling; reduce heat.

Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour.

Serve sauce over pasta. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chicken Pot Pies

Cindy gave me this recipe and I don't know why I waited so long to make these.  They are easy to make and are DELICIOUS!  We doubled all the ingredients EXCEPT for the chicken and got 7 16 oz ramekins.  We loved these.  They are great reheated in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.
Chicken Pot Pies
Cindy Halle

1 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1/2 c diced, peeled potato(double)
1/4 c celery, chopped
1/4 c butter
1/3 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t parsley flakes
1/4 t dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 t sage
1/4 t pepper
1 c milk
1 c chicken broth
2 c coked chicken, cubed
1/2 c frozen peas
1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion, carrot, potato and celery in butter until tender(10 minutes or so)
Add the flour and seasonings until blended; gradually add milk and broth. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in chicken and peas.  Divide into 3 or 4 16 ounce ramekins.

Cut pastry into the size openings of your ramekins.  Place over pot pie mixture.  Beth filled the ramekins to within a half in from the top and placed the pie topping down inside the ramekin.  Cut a slit in the pie crust and bake for 18-22 minutes at 375.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. 

These can be frozen before making.  To use frozen pies, remove from freezer 30 minutes before baking.  Cover edges of crusts with foil and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 15-20 minutes longer until golden brown.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

We used about 3/4 cup of frozen, whole raspberries instead of strawberries when we made this. We also used Splenda in place of the sugar and Brown Sugar Blend Splenda in place of the brown sugar. You couldn't tell a difference!

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup strong coffee, cooled
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup diced strawberries
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together butter, coffee, sugars, egg and vanilla. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist. Add strawberries and chocolate chips and gently toss to combine.

Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin tray. Place into oven and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Brioche Loaf ( Breadmaker 1 1/2 Lb. Loaf)

Kathleen wanted to make French toast with this type of bread.  I found this recipe for the breadmaker.  We liked it.
Brioche Loaf ( Breadmaker 1 1/2 Lb. Loaf)

By Mercy on

3 large eggs
1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/3 cup milk ( 70º to 80ºF)
3 tablespoons water ( 70º to 80ºF)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Measure all ingredients into bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer.
Process on sweet or basic/white bread cycle; use light or medium/normal crust color setting.
Remove bread from pan; cool on wire rack.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Honey Sriracha Chicken

Kathleen is in love with Sriracha sauce.  We knew we would like this.  We altered the recipe to resemble and sweet and sour chicken that I have made in the oven.  We LOVED this recipe!
Honey Sriracha Chicken
adapted from

3-4 chicken breasts, diced
1/2 c cornstarch
1/2 c flour*


1 cup water
2-3 tablespoons sriracha (depending on how spicy you want it)
5 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup sugar
2-3 tablespoons honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
2 tablespoons corn starch + 1 tablespoon water
optional: crushed red pepper flakes, cooked rice for serving

In a small-medium sauce pan, combine the 1 cup of water, sriracha, soy sauce, garlic, sugar, and honey and stir. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Whisk together the 2 tablespoons corn starch and remaining 1 tablespoon of water until dissolved. Add to sauce pan and stir until thickened. Reduce heat to low.

Add diced chicken and flour to a large plastic bag. Seal the bag and shake to coat chicken. ** Now add the cornstarch and shake well.  Put in a 9 x 13 pan and pour sauce over.  Bake for 50 minutes at 350.  Serve over rice

** This is Beth and Kathleen's changes to recipe.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Nana's Blueberry Muffins

Kathleen made these and they are one of the best blueberry muffin recipes I have ever eaten.  They are THAT good!
Nana's Blueberry Muffins
Recipe by Paula Deen

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 tablespoon vanilla (Kathleen's addition)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until fluffy and pale in color.

Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternating with the milk until well incorporated and being careful not to over mix.

Gently fold in the fresh blueberries.

Scoop batter into the paper lined muffin tin and sprinkle the tops with the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sweet and Sour Sauce

I made this to go with mini egg rolls.  We really liked the flavor.
Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
2/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Set aside. 

In a medium saucepan, combine pineapple juice, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in cornstarch slurry and cook until thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Creme Brulee French Toast

Kathleen made this recipe twice during the week of Christmas.  We used regular bread the first time and Brioche the second.  Two of us preferred the thicker bread, and two liked the regular!  Try it and make your own decision!  Yummy.
Creme Brulee French Toast

1- 1.5 lb loaf Brioche sliced thick (about 8- one inch slices) day old is best
5 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups half and half
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoon sugar
butter for cooking

Beat eggs, egg yolk, half and half, vanilla and sugar together in a 9x13 pan. 
Place the bread in the pan and let the bread soak up the egg on one side for about 5 minutes, then turn and let soak on other side. If the bread does not fit all at once in the pan, let the bread soak, then remove to plate to allow other pieces to fit in pan. Let any excess egg mixture drip off into pan.

Heat frying pan or griddle up to 350 degrees. Melt a small amount of butter in pan. Place french toast pieces in pan and fry until golden on first side. While cooking the first side, sprinkle a small amount of sugar on the uncooked side. Flip and cook other side until golden and sugar is caramelized.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Caution Flag Chili with Flat Tire Toppers

Kathleen made this one night for dinner. It was quick to put together and tasted great! It does have some heat!
Caution Flag Chili with Flat Tire Toppers

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray, Book of 10

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
2 poblano peppers, seeded and thinly sliced We used jalapenos
2 pounds ground sirloin
1 medium onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons grill seasoning
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 chipotles in adobo, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon of the sauce
1/2 cup steak sauce
1 cup beer (1/2 a bottle)Beth used beef broth
1 cup beef stock
1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
1 package corn muffin mix (recommended: Jiffy, made to package directions for corn pancakes, listed on the side of the box)
Softened butter, for greasing a griddle
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, half a palm full
2 scallions, chopped

Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium high to high heat. When oil smokes, add the sliced poblanos and char them a couple of minutes and scoot them off to the side of the pan and add meat. Break up beef and brown it a couple of minutes, drain, then add the onions and garlic. Season the meat with grill seasoning, Worcestershire and chipotles in adobo. Cook until onions are tender, 5 to 6 minutes more, then stir in steak sauce and beer. Cook beer off for 1 minute then add stock and tomatoes and reduce heat to low.

Heat a nonstick griddle pan over medium heat. Butter the griddle then pour in batter to make 3 3/4-inch corn pancakes. Season beans with cumin. Top each poured corn cake with a couple tablespoons of black beans and a little chopped scallion. Flip cakes when bottoms are deeply golden and cook another 1 to 2 minutes on the opposite side. You should be able to make 6 cakes in 2 batches.

Top bowlfuls of the chili with flat tire toppers and serve.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

I thought nothing could be the Cinnabon clone recipe. I found out how wrong I was when I made these for Christmas morning! I made 1/2 the recipe and got 19 rolls.  I made them Christmas Eve about 7 pm and put them in the refrigerator and let them slow rise over night.  This has coffee in the frosting, but I honestly couldn't taste it.  They are light and tender rolls.

Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

1 quart Whole Milk
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Reserved) All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
Plenty Of Melted Butter(Beth used softened)
2 cups Sugar
Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon(Beth used about 2 T to 1 cup sugar)


1 bag Powdered Sugar
2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 cup Melted Butter
1/4 cup Brewed Coffee
1/8 teaspoon Salt

 For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

 Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: dough is easier to work with if it’s been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)

 Preheat the oven to 375°F.

To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.

To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter. Don’t be afraid to drizzle on more butter or more sugar! Gooey is the goal.

Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work; that just means the rolls are going to be divine. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.

Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. One “log “will produce 20 to 25 rolls. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)

Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.

While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt. Splash in the maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.

Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor. They only get better with time… not that they last for more than a few seconds. Make them for a friend today! It’ll seal the relationship for life. I promise.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Breakfast Enchiladas

I made these on Christmas eve to bake on Christmas morning.  Jenna ended up being the cook that day since the rest of us were down with Cedar Fever!  These were excellent--Don gave his stamp of approval.
Breakfast Enchiladas

1 lb bulk breakfast sausage
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
½ cups Chopped Green Onions
2-½ cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Divided
10 whole Flour Tortillas
2 cups Half-and-half
6 whole Eggs
1 Tablespoon Flour
Salsa and Sour Cream, To Serve

In a large pan, cook the sausage, peppers and onions together until the sausage is done. Let cool slightly. Stir together sausage mixture, green onions and 2 cups of cheese in a large bowl. Use a 1/3-cup measuring cup to scoop out cheese mixture onto a tortilla. Roll up tortilla and place seam side down in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Repeat until all the tortillas are squeezed into the pan.

Whisk together half-and-half, eggs and flour. Pour over tortillas. Cover and let sit overnight.

In the morning, preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake, covered, for 30-40 minutes, or until eggs are set. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over enchiladas and bake, uncovered for 10 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Serve with salsa and sour cream.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Eggless Eggnog-No cook

I LOVE eggnog and when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it.  I REALLY liked it and so did Jenna.

Eggless Eggnog (No Cook)

1 sm. box (4-serv. size) instant (sugar free) vanilla pudding mix
4 c. milk
4 c. heavy cream
1/3 - 1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 - 3 tsp. rum extract
Garnish: whipped cream & nutmeg (fresh grated is best)

In a large bowl (or blender) stir together dry pudding mix and 1 C. milk.
When mixture beings to thicken, add remaining ingredients...
(except garnish).

Mix well. Cover and chill for at least 2 - 3 hours.

Garnish with whipped topping and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Yield: 1/2 gallon.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Cracker Barrel Broccoli Cheddar Chicken

This was very good.  Next time I will dice the chicken into small pieces.
Cracker Barrel Broccoli Cheddar Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 can of Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups Ritz Crackers (one sleeve)
4 tablespoons of melted butter (you can use more)
8 ounces frozen broccoli
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Make can of Cheddar cheese soup mix according to package directions (one can of soup mix to one can of milk).
Place chicken  in a baking dish.  Season with seasoned salt.  Pour 3/4 of the prepared soup over the chicken breasts.  Add broccoli to chicken that has been covered with the cheddar soup.

 Melt butter and combine with Ritz crackers, sprinkle buttered crackers over the broccoli.

Add remaining soup mix, and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the chicken is done.

When casserole has been removed from oven sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls

I made this for Kathleen and me for lunch one day. We REALLY liked this.
Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls
adapted from

2 medium sized spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon high heat oil
1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (16 ounce) jar of salsa (use your preferred level of spiciness)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large bell pepper or two small, cored and sliced
1 large red onion, sliced
2 cups corn kernels, frozen and defrosted or fresh or canned
1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped Optional
2 jalapenos, cored and diced
6 green onions, sliced (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese

Prick holes in squash and cook in microwave on high for 15-20 minutes. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds

While the squash is cooking, prepare the filling by warming one tablespoon oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion for a few minutes and then add the peppers and jalapeno. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and cumin and cook to desired softness.   Add corn, beans and salsa and stir until warmed.

Scoop the filling ingredients into the halves of the spaghetti squash. Sprinkle green onion on top and then finish with shredded cheese.

Broil in the oven for about 5 minutes so that the cheese is bubble and golden brown then serve!