Saturday, November 01, 2008

Spice Cookies with Pumpkin Dip

It's fall! Now's the time to make these fabulous cookies. I can't be held responsible for what they will do to your waistline, however. You can't eat just one...

1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger and cloves
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup pumpkin pie filling
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add molasses; mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Chill overnight. (* Or for a few hours. Dough won't roll well when warm.)

2. Shape into 1/2-in. balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 6 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

3. For dip, beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add pumpkin pie mix; beat well. Add sugar, cinnamon and ginger; beat until smooth. Serve with cookies. Store leftover dip in the refrigerator.

Yield: about 20 dozen

Friday, October 10, 2008

Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese

This is Aunt Linda's recipe. I have many fond memories of her making this for my visits and serving it along with some homemade applesauce, still slightly frosty from the freezer. Yum!

6-7 oz. elbow macaroni (2 cups)
2 tbsp grated onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper (* I go lighter on the pepper, personally)
3 c. shredded process sharp American cheese (3/4 lb) (* I use Velvetta cut into squares)
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper (*I go lighter on this)
2 c. milk


Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cook macaroni in (1 tbsp) salted water.
Place 1/2 macaroni in ungreased 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with 1/2 onion, salt pepper and cheese; repeat.
Pour white sauce over casserole.
Dot w/butter.
Cover, Bake 30 min.
Uncover, bake 15 min. longer.

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture in smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Serves: 6 for main dish, 8-10 for side dish

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Crock Pot Apple Butter

I have been wanting to try this recipe for awhile, and finally got the chance. It took about 13 hours, but was easy and made the whole kitchen smell great! It tastes just like the Amish stuff I remember.

5 1/2 lbs apples, peeled and finely chopped (I use 3-4 different types of apples)
4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (2 to 3)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Place apples in a large bowl.

2. Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt.

3. Pour over apples and mix well.

4. Place in crock pot, cover and cook on high for 1 hour.

5. Decrease heat to low; cover and cook on low for 9-11 hours or until thickened and dark brown.

6. Stir occasionally.

7. Uncover and cook on low for 1 hour longer.

8. If desired, whisk until smooth.

9. Spoon into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch head space.

10. Cover and freeze.

Makes 4 pints

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chocolate Cherry Bites (cookies)

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tbl instant expresso powder dissolved in 1 Tbl boiling water (optional)
1 Tbl vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teas. baking powder
1/4 teas salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup dried cherries

Grease or use parmchment paper on cookie sheets

Beat butter and sugar for 1 minute, add eggs and beat 1 minute
Add expresso. Add vanilla, Add dry ingreiants that have already been mixed

Drop by rounded Tbl on baking sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees
Cool on sheets 10 minutes before removing

Monday, September 15, 2008

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I found these on allrecipes (where else?), but found they make great jumbo muffins! They are SO good, one regular sized-muffin just wasn't enough.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt (*OR 3/4 cup sour cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (*at least one cup)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, yogurt/sour cream and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. (* I lightly floured the chocolate chips to help keep them from sinking during baking)

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes (for regular muffins, 27 minutes for jumbo) or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

SERVINGS: 16 regular or 8 jumbo muffins

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Absolute Best Ever Lasagna

This was the first time I made this recipe, so we'll see if it's really the "best ever." Stay posted!

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 lb Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 cans whole tomatoes (14 1/2 ounce) undrained and chopped (*I used petite diced)
2 cans tomato paste (6 ounce)
24 ounces cottage cheese or ricotta cheese (* I used ricotta)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 lb mozzarella cheese, divided
12 lasagna noodles (12 to 15)

1. Brown ground beef, Italian sausage, onion and garlic. *Directions don't call for it specifically, but I strained the grease out at this point.*

2. Add salt and next 5 ingredients; stirring until well mixed.

3. Simmer 1 hour.

4. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.

5. Combine cottage cheese, eggs, pepper, 2 tablespoons parsley, Parmesan cheese and 1/2 of mozzarella cheese; In a lasagna pan, layer noodles, meat sauce, and cheese mixture; repeat.

6. Top off with layer of noodles; sprinkle evenly with remaining mozzarella cheese.

6a. Freeze unbaked.

7. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cheese mixture is thoroughly melted.


Jamie's Minestrone

This has been a "keeper" recipe ever since I found it on My notes are within the recipe, which is pretty much the same as posted.

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 cups celery, sliced
5 carrots, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
4 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1 can green beans, 15 oz
2 cups baby spinach
3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried basil)
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup seashell pasta (we like to double this at least)
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese for topping, grated

1. In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, saute for 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently. If desired add red wine at this point. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, the longer the better. (I do it for one hour.)

FOR OAMC: 2a. Cool soup and freeze. A double batch fills 3 ziplock gallon sized bags. FYI: This makes A LOT, so I use a pretty huge pot when I double it.

3. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside.

4. Once pasta is cooked and soup is heated through, place portions of cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Servings: 8

A Mini-OAMC Plan

I did a "mini-OAMC" today, since our weekends are tending to fill up quickly, and it's difficult to make a ton of meals at once.

* Three-Way Chili
* Jamie's Minestrone
* Absolute Best Ever Lasagne *NEW*
* Quick Chicken Curry

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Zucchini Brownies

These are AWESOME. My new favorite way to use zucchini, found at allrecipes. But they really are more of a cake than a brownie. It's a good feeling to watch the girls unknowingly gobble up all that zucchini!

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup margarine (I used butter)
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts. ***NOTE: if the mixture is very dry and crumbly at this point, add in water a couple tablespoons at a time until the batter is moist and will pour into the pan. When I use thawed zucchini shreds, the water in the bag is enough to moisten the batter.***

Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched.

To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa and margarine; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, blend together the confectioners' sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I LOVE this bread! I discovered the recipe last year and have made it countless times since. We've tried several ways to do the chips to keep them from sinking. When I sprinkle them on top, half sunk and half stayed on top. When I mix in the batter, they all sink. Who cares - they still taste great no matter where they land!

2 squares unsweetened chocolate (1 ounce)
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease AND flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth.

2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, grated zucchini, vanilla and chocolate; beat well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and chocolate chips. Add to wet mixture. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean.

Original recipe yield:
2 9x5 inch loaf pans

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fresh Zucchini Pasta

This is badly named Angel's Pasta on allrecipes. Not that my title is much better, but it's a delicious use for all the basil and zucchini I've been growing!

8 ounces angel hair pasta
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 zucchini, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
3 tomatoes, chopped (or 1 [14.5 oz] can diced tomatoes, drained)
12 leaves fresh basil
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Pour in oil and saute garlic until golden. Stir in zucchini, salt and pepper. Saute 2 minutes, then mix in tomato and cook a few minutes more. Chop basil and add to vegetables right before mixing with pasta.

3. Combine pasta and vegetables. Serve topped with mozzarella.

Servings: 4

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Garden Fresh...Year Round

Sometime last year, I learned that you can freeze fresh herbs and use them at a later time. This has worked out very well for me! I used to buy expensive herbs and use only a small portion of them. The rest would spoil before I found another need for it.

Now, I use what I need, vacuum seal and freeze the rest. Freeze it UNCUT, (lesson learned the hard way) and chop it up as soon as it's out of the bag. The herbs will still lend a lot of flavor to your recipe.

Here's some from our garden:

Chicken Cornbread Pot Pie

From: Campbell's Kitchen
Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can (about 8 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups cubed cooked chicken OR 1/2 grocery store rotisserie chicken
1 pkg. (8 1/2 ounces) corn muffin mix
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


For Freezing: We use a Sam's Club Rotisserie chicken, put all the shredded pieces from a chicken split into two freezer bags. Once we're ready to make the meal we take out one of the chicken bags (makes two recipes total) and finish the recipe by following the directions below since it only take 10 minutes of prep time.

Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir the soup, corn and chicken in a 9-inch pie plate.

Stir the muffin mix, milk and egg with a fork in a small bowl until the ingredients are mixed. Spoon over the chicken mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the cornbread is golden. Sprinkle with the cheese.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gnocchi with Sage-Butter Sauce

We bought some pre-made gnocchi at Sam's Club. We ate the first two bags with pasta sauce, but this is the way I made the last bag and will make the rest from now on. Notice that my photo was used on allrecipes! I'm famous!

2 (12 ounce) packages potato gnocchi
1/4 cup butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the gnocchi pasta, and cook until they float to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes; drain.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook until the garlic has softened and is beginning to turn golden brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the sage and salt for a few seconds, then add the cooked gnocchi. Toss gently with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and the pepper. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese to serve.

Servings: 4

Baked Pork Chops

In an effort to use up food we already have, I've been searching my favorite website,, for new recipes. They allow you to search by ingredients. Here's a wonderful find for Pork Chops. I used 6 thin sliced chops, so cut the initial bake time to 45 min. Obviously I served it over mini penne pasta.

6 pork chops
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
2 egg, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup white wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Rinse pork chops, pat dry, and season with garlic powder and seasoning salt to taste. Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl. Dredge the pork chops lightly in flour, dip in the egg, and coat liberally with bread crumbs.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the pork chops 5 minutes per side, or until the breading appears well browned. Transfer the chops to a 9x13 inch baking dish, and cover with foil.

Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. While baking, combine the cream of mushroom soup, milk and white wine in a medium bowl. After the pork chops have baked for an hour, cover them with the soup mixture. Replace foil, and bake for another 30 minutes.

Servings: 6

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chocolate Caramel Bars

I've had this recipe since college, and feel it makes the best chocolate caramel bars in the history of the universe!

2 cups flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup butter, melted
6 ounces chocolate chips
14 ounces caramel candy, Hershey's work well
1/3 cup milk

1. Preheat over 350 degrees. Grease 9x13 pan.
2. Mix first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in butter with fork until crumbly. 3. Press 1/2 into pan. Bake for 10 min.
4. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Drizzle with caramel mixture.
5. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture over top. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown - 20-25 min.
6. Cool 30 minutes. Loosen edges from sides of pan.
7. Cool completely, cut into bars.

Heat caramels and milk over low heat. Stir frequently until smooth.
Microwave on high for 2 min 30 secs in Pampered Chef Micro-cooker, stirring after each minute.

Friday, May 02, 2008

All Purpose Taco Blend

This recipe is from my friend, Lisa. She made us quesadillas using it, and I made grilled stuffed burritos with it last night. Also good for taco salad, taco casserole and whatever else you have in mind!

1 pound ground beef
1 can black beans, canned
1 small can chopped green chiles, undrained
1 package onion soup mix
1 can diced tomatoes, Mex Style, undrained
1 package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup water
1 package Spanish rice mix, cooked

1. Brown beef and add all ingredients
2. Simmer mixture 5-7 min and add water as needed

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Murder Mystery Chicken

Taken from

8 boneless chicken breasts
8 slices swiss cheese
2 cans cream of chicken soup (10 1/2 ounce)
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup crushed croutons, herb seasoned

1. Grease a baking dish.

2. Place chicken breasts in the dish.

3. Top with slices of Swiss cheese.

4. Combine soup and wine, pour over chicken and cheese.

5. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle the top with the crushed croutons.

6. Bake covered at 350 for 1 hour, then uncovered for 10 minutes.

7. Serve over rice.

8. For Once a Month Cooking:.

9. Put together cheese, chicken soup, wine and put chicken on top.Freeze uncooked. When ready to cook, top with croutons or bread crumbs with butter and cook at temp in recipe.

Servings: 8

Wild Rice Soup

Recipe from Kristi
Lori's Notes: Doubling this recipe called for the big dog yellow stock pot. A single recipe would probably have fit into my crock pot. I didn't keep track of how long it cooked, exactly. I didn't realize the rice had to be pre-cooked, so I had everything else boiling while I cooked the rice. Probably 1 hour, and then added the rice and cooked for another hour or so?

Used Kitchen Aid shredder to do carrots and potatoes. Next time, will try on the coarse blade, instead of the thin OR use the food processor. The Pampered Chef mandolin didn't work well.

1/2 c. white rice
1/2 c. wild rice
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
2 c. chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch buttermilk dressing mix
1 c. shredded potatoes
1 c. shredded carrots
1 c. mushrooms, optional
1 c. onion, chopped

1. Prepare rice according to package directions.

2. In a large pot, combine broth, soup, milk, cheese, dressing mix, hamburger, vegetables and rice.

3. Warm over medium heat until thoroughly cooked.

Servings: 6

Lil' Cheddar Meatloaves

I made into the egg-shaped loaves, put on wax paper, flash froze and then we vacuum-sealed them 4 to a pack. We'll thaw them, cover with sauce and bake as directed.

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese(4oz)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon rubbed sage (optional)
1 lb lean ground beef
2/3 cup catsup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard

In a bowl, beat the egg and milk.

Stir in cheese, oats, onion, salt and rubbed sage.

Add beef and mix well.
(It will seem runny at first but will thicken up as you mix.) Shape into 8 equal sized loaves (oval/egg shaped) and place in a greased 9X13X2" baking dish.

Sauce: Combine catsup, brown sugar and mustard.

Spoon over each loaf so they are all covered in the sauce.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

For OAMC:.

To Freeze:Place the meat loaves in the casserole dish (without sauce).

Wrap with foil and freeze.

To Reheat: Defrost overnight.

Mix together the sauce and top each meat loaf with sauce.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until meat is no longer pink in the center.

Cooked meat loaves (already topped with sauce) also freeze very well and then can be defrosted and heated in the microwave for a quick meal.

Servings: 8

Italian Hero Calzones

I altered this from

2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 pound sausage meat, spicy
3 ounces thinly sliced smoked turkey or pepperoni, chopped
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (3 ounces)
2 packages pizza dough (refrigerated or frozen) (10 ounce)
parmesan cheese, finely shredded or grated
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup diced tomatoes, drained

1. Preheat oven to 425f degrees.

2. Lightly grease a very large baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal, set aside.

3. Drain tomatoes well.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, tukey and/or pepperoni, and olives.

5. Stir in the mozzarella cheese.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll each package of pizza dough to a 12 x 9 retangle.

7. Using a round cutter, cut each rectangle into circles.

8. Place a small portion of the meat/cheese mix slightly off centre on each dough circle.

9. Fold dough over mixture, forming a semicircle.

10. Seal the edge of each semicircle with the tines of a fork.

11. Place the calzones on a prepared baking sheet.

12. Brush the tops with the reserved oil from tomatoes and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and, if desired, cayenne pepper.

13. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until calzones are golden.

14. Serve warm.

15. MAKE AHEAD: Prepare and bake calzones as directed.

16. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely.

17. Place the calzones in a freezer container or freezer bag.

18. Seal, label and freeze for up to 2 months.

19. To reheat, preheat oven to 350f degrees.

20. Place the frozen calzones on an ungreased baking sheet.

21. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until heated through.

22. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent overbrowning.

Servings: 6

March OAMC

So Sharon inspired me to get back into the OAMC routine! Here's what we made:
* Italian Calzones
* Lil' Cheddar Meatloaves *NEW*
* Murder Mystery Chicken *NEW*
* Three-Way Chili
* Healthy Chicken Fingers and Fries
* Wild Rice Soup *NEW*
* Chicken Lo Mein

I'll add reviews as we try the new stuff.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Lemonade Cheesecake (low calories)

This is very easy to make, low fat and tastes great!

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Fat Free Cream Cheese, softened
1 tsp. CRYSTAL LIGHT Lemonade Flavor Low Calorie Soft Drink Mix
1/4 cup cold fat-free milk
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP FREE Whipped Topping, thawed
1 ready-to-use reduced-fat graham cracker crumb crust (6 oz. or 9 inch)

BEAT cream cheese and drink mix in large bowl with electric mixer on
medium speed until well blended and smooth. Gradually add milk,
mixing until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spoon into crust.
REFRIGERATE 4 hours or FREEZE for 1 hour until firm.
Garnish with fruit, if desired.

Chicken Lo Mein

Another good recipe I found on Kraft's website.

1 lb. spaghetti, uncooked
1/2 cup KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, strips
1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1/2 cup lite soy sauce
4 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 green and red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 can waterchestnuts

COOK spaghetti in large saucepan as directed on package.

MEANWHILE, heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat.
Add chicken and garlic; stir-fry 3 min. or until chicken is no longer pink.
Add onions, broth and peanut butter; stir-fry an additional
3 to 4 min. or until chicken is cooked through.

DRAIN spaghetti; return to pan. Add chicken mixture and soy sauce; mix.
Spoon onto serving platter; sprinkle with cilantro. Serves 8.

Healthy Chicken Fingers and Fries

This is a healthy recipe I found on Kraft's website. This is sooooo good when you stick it in the toaster or regular oven after it has been frozen.

4 large baking potatoes (about 2 lb.), unpeeled
1/2 cup KRAFT Fat Free Zesty Italian Dressing
1/2 cup KRAFT 100% Fat Free Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 pkt. SHAKE 'N BAKE Original Chicken Seasoned Coating Mix

PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick strips;
place in large bowl. Add dressing and cheese; toss to coat.
Place in single layer on large greased baking sheet.
BAKE 12 min. Meanwhile, coat chicken strips with coating mix.
TURN potatoes over with large spatula; push to one side of
baking sheet. Place chicken strips on other side of baking sheet.
Bake an additional 15 min. or until potatoes are tender and
chicken is cooked through. Serves 8.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Frozen Fruit

My friend Heather in Real Moms always makes this when it's our turn to bring breakfast. It's SO awesome, I had to have the recipe. I made it for our scrapbooking weekend.

6 mashed bananas
1 can crushed pineapple
2-10 oz. cartons frozen strawberries (sliced)
12 oz. frozen OJ
Blueberries (I used one carton of frozen)
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. water

* Thaw frozen ingredients
* Combine all ingredients in a large freezable container
* Freeze overnight
* Set out 1 hour before serving

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes for a Crowd

Another dish I made for the birthday party. I did these the night before and just heated them up in the crock-pot, as the recipe suggests.

10 lbs russet potatoes
1 lb butter, divided
16 ounces cream cheese
3 cups sour cream
1 bunch chives or green onions, chopped (optional garnish)

1. Butter and cream cheese should be allowed to soften at room temperature for ease of use. Leaving them on the counter while you peel the potatoes should be sufficient.

2. Peel potatoes, rinse, and cut into large chunks. Place in a large stockpot and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes and boil till tender.

3. While potatoes boil, blend 1 1/3 cup butter with the cream cheese. (This is best done in a stand mixer.) Add sour cream and mix well. Set aside.

4. Chop green onions, and refrigerate in a ziplock bag till serving time.

5. Drain cooked potatoes and mash or whip to your liking (I like them super smooth, but some people prefer them lumpy.).

6. Add the dairy blend to the potatoes and mix well. You can either do this in your stock pot, or divide it up into more manageable portions.

7. Once it's all mixed, load it into your crockpot and whack it into the fridge.

8. On serving day, dot the top of the potatoes with the remaining butter. Put the crockpot on low setting for 2-3 hours or until heated thru, then turn down to 'keep warm' setting (if your crockpot has one) till dinner time.

9. Can be served directly from the crockpot for buffet, or divvied up into serving dishes for family style dining.

Servings: 20

Classic Macaroni and Cheese

I made this recipe (tripled) for Elise's birthday party and everyone said it was just like Boston Market!

1 lb macaroni
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup diced onions
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
4 cups milk (we use skim)
2 lbs Velveeta cheese, cubed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, in large sauce pan melt butter. Cook onion in butter till tender but not brown.

4. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Cook one minute.

5. Pour in milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, be sure to scrape bottom as it cooks. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes more.

6. Stir in cheese. Heat and stir until cheese is melted.

7. Stir in cooked macaroni. Pour into large 3 quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Servings: 10

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hurricane Punch

Mix the following in a large punchbowl:

10 oz amaretto liqueur
1 1/4 cups light rum
1 1/4 cups dark rum
7 1/2 cups orange juice
7 1/2 cups pinneapple juice
3 tbsp. and 1 tsp. lemon juice
4 limes sliced
10 dashes grenadine syrup
5 oranges sliced
maraschino cherries to garnish

Add ice. Serve

Murder Mystery Bread Pudding

18 inch loaf French Bread
3 cups milk
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup raisins
3 tbsp.butter

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup bourbon

Tear the bread into bite-size pieces in a large bowl. Cover with milk and soak for 60 minutes. Mix well. Add egg and sugar. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon and raisins. Melt butter in a 9x13x2 bakng dish. Coat the pan well with butter. Pour pudding into dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 60 minutes.

Sauce: heat butter and sugar in top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in egg. cool slightly. Add bourbon. Serve warm over pudding or in a suaceboat on the side. 12 servings.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Taco Chili

Here's a recipe I made up by combining some Taco Soup recipes I found.

2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (15.25 oz) cans whole kernel corn, undrained
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with chilies, undrained
2 pkgs taco seasoning
1 can water
1 pkg Mexican shredded cheese
1 bag Fritos

* Brown ground beef and onion
* Combine all ingredients except cheese and chips in large slow cooker
* Cook on low for 4-6 hours
* Serve with cheese and fritos

Servings: 12