Friday, December 30, 2011

Vanilla Coffee Creamer


I came across a recipe to make coffee creamer. It is super simple, takes about 2 minutes to make, and tastes so REAL. Not that I mind ummy, yummy fake creamer, but having pronounceable ingredients is always a plus as well. I was hoping it would be a frugal replacement to our regular creamer. I think the ingredients cost about $2 total, and didn't even fill my $3 coffee creamer container, so that didn't really work out. I randomly picked up the sweetened condensed milk at Target, though, so I'm hoping I can get it cheaper at Walmart or Winco next time.

Put the following ingredients into a sealed container and shake, shake, shake:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1 T vanilla

I found sweetened condensed milk at Winco for $1.09.  I also don't measure the milk anymore, but just fill the container all the way up.  It didn't seem too thin at all.  I figure that much milk to be about $.25, so with the vanilla that puts a 32oz container of creamer under $1.50. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Twix Bars

Oops - We ate all of them before I took a picture!

I got the recipe on a site called Peppermint Plum.

48 Club Crackers (a few more than one sleeve)
1 c. graham cracker crumbs (one sleeve)
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. butter
Topping: 3 cups chocolate chips

Place one layer of Club Crackers in a lightly greased 13×9 casserole dish. 
Use your food processor or blender to make graham cracker crumbs, and pour into a heavy sauce pan. Combine remaining ingredients into pan and heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes (continue to stir). It should look (and smell) like caramel. 
Carefully pour mixture over crackers. 
Immediately place another layer of Club Crackers on top, pushing them down into the caramel mixture gently. 
 Melt chocolate chips in microwave and pour on top of crackers.     
Refrigerate until cool, and then cut and serve. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Baked Penne with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes

I've been using this recipe for a while.  LOVE it, but realized that if I were going to wait for a picture to get it posted on the blog, I might not ever share it with you.

It makes 2 8-inch square pans.  One for now.  One to freeze for later.

I'll type the recipe as I got it (Real Simple, Sept. 2010), and in parentheses put my own take on it.

1/8 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped. (If buying from Fred Meyer, I just use the whole jar.  Now that I'm using a Costco size jar, I used 3/4 cup.)
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 28-oz can DICED tomatoes
       (Or, as I have in the pantry, 6 14.5-oz cans of diced tomatoes instead of the
         3 28-oz cans that are listed in the recipe)
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1.5 pounds penne (or other similar pasta)
10 oz baby spinach
4 cups mozzarella, grated
1/2 c grated Parmesan

Put oil in large saucepan (large skillet) and heat over medium heat.  Add garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.  Add crushed tomatoes.  Break up the whole tomatoes by cutting them with scissors in the can or with your hands.  Add to saucepan, along with the vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 1/2 the recommended time.  The pasta will continue to cook while it bakes.  Drain the pasta.

(Now, since I have only 1 pasta size pan, I have changed the directions for assembly to resemble how I do it.)

When the sauce is done simmering, pour it into the big pasta pan (note: make sure the pasta is still draining). Put the spinach in, and stir until wilted.  I usually have to do this in batches, or else the spinach overflows.  NOW, add the pasta, and stir until mixed.  It's a very careful endeavor, as the pot is FULL.

Split 1/2 the pasta mixture between the two 8-inch square baking dishes, so that they are 1/2 way full.  Sprinkle each with 1 cup of the mozzarella.  Dividing evenly among the dishes, top with the remaining pot of pasta mixture.  Sprinkle each with 1 cup of the remaining mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan.

To eat tonight: Bake at 400 degrees, until bubbling and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

To freeze and cook later: Freeze unbaked pasta, tightly sealed for up to 3 months.  To cook, thaw the pasta and bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees until heated through, bubbling, and beginning to brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

Update from Suzanne (1/25/12):

I made this last night and the adults really enjoyed it.  The kids weren't huge fans of the spinach or the tomato chunks, but picked around it and still ate the noodles.  It makes two really heaping 8x8's, so I think you could easily split it into three dishes and get another meal out of it.

Before baking, and still need to spread the cheese.

Final product

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lemon Buddies

This is straight from the Chex box.  They are tangy and sweet, sort of like lemonade. 

9 cups Rice chex
1 1/4 cup vanilla baking chips
1/4 cup butter
4 tsp grated lemon peel (I used the entire lemon)
2 T fresh lemon juice (from half a lemon)
2 cups powdered sugar

  • Measure the cereal into a big bowl.
  • Melt the chips, butter, lemon peel and lemon juice on high for 1 minute and stir. Micro 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth.  
  • Pour over chex.  Stir until evenly coated.
  • Pour into a 2 gallon baggy.  Add powdered sugar.  Shake-shake-shake.
  • Spread onto wax paper to cool.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cake Cookies

Cake cookies are so simple and versatile.  I mentioned them once before in an old post.  You simply take any cake mix, add 2 eggs and 1/3 cup oil, and whatever goodies you like, and drop onto a cookie sheet..  They bake at 350 for 8 minutes or so, but watch carefully, as different doughs vary.


This time I used white cake, made balls, and rolled them in cinnamon sugar.

Both the funfetti cake or cherry chip cake are great on their own.

Chocolate cake mix with chocolate chips, or caramel chips, or PB chips, etc.

White cake with M&M's.

Or my usual, whatever box of cake I happen to have combined with whatever goodies I happen to have.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chicken w/ creamy sun dried tomatoes

2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1/4 cup coarsely chopped olives
2 tablespoons drained capers (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup jarred sun-dried tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (optional)
2 cups regular long-grain white rice, cooked according to package directions (about 6 cups)

Stir the soup, wine, olives, capers, garlic, artichokes and tomatoes in a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Add the chicken and turn to coat.
Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with the basil. Serve with the rice.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spiced Pecans

I forgot to take a picture of this one, and then they were gone.  They are so yummy.  The kids even loved them, and they usually aren't nut fans.  I looked at a couple recipes and combined them.  And didn't write it down, of course.  But this is what I think I put in there.

1# pecans
1 egg white
1 T water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp chili powder

Mix together egg white and water until foamy in a big bowl.  In a different bowl mix together sugar and spice.  (And everything nice.)  Toss pecans in egg whites until coated.  Sprinkle the sugar mixture on top and toss until coated.  Spread out on a cookie sheet or roasting pan.  Bake at 325 for 20 minutes.  Let cool slightly in pan, and then cool the rest of the way on wax paper.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hawaiian Pizza Subs

You will need:
1 package hoagie rolls
Deli ham, about 10 slices, chopped
1 can diced pineapple, drained
-1/2 jar spaghetti sauce
-1 lb mozz cheese

In a saucepan, combine sauce, ham, and pineapple. Simmer for 5 min until hot through. Spread on open hoagie rolls and top with mozz cheese slices. Broil in the oven until cheese is melted and bread edges are toasted. Good one for kids to help with!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Creamy white bean soup

This one was so delicious!!!!

Creamy White Chili

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon oil (I used olive oil)
2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1 can (4 ounces ) chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream

In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately. Melanie said this is especially good served with tortilla chips. Makes about 5 servings.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Classic Chicken Divan

4 cups broccoli florets
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 can broccoli chese soup

1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Place the broccoli and chicken into a round casserole dish.
Stir the soup and milk in a small bowl. Pour the soup mixture over the broccoli and chicken. Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the sauce.
Bake at 450°F. for 25 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

You will need:

med size pot roast (I used a rump roast)

2 cans cream of celery or mushroom

1 package dry onion soup mix

1 1/4 cup water

3 T cooking oil


Heat oil in a skillet and brown each side of the roast.

In a bowl, mix soup cans, onion soup mix, and water

Place meat in the slow cooker and pour sauce over top. Cook on low for 8-9 hours, turning every few hours or so.

The best part about this recipe is that it makes a delicious gravy to go with the meat. Serve with potatoes and you've got dinner ready!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shrimp Scampi

4 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
4 cloves Garlic Cloves, Minced Or Pressed
1 pound Large Shrimp, Peeled And Deveined
1/2 cup White Wine
2 whole Lemons
4 dashes Hot Sauce (I Used Tabasco; More To Taste)
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
8 ounces, weight Angel Hair Pasta
Chopped Fresh Basil To Taste
Chopped Fresh Parsley, To Taste
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


Boil water for pasta; have it ready.
Heat olive oil and melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for two or three minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add shrimp, then stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Squeeze in lemon juice. Add wine, butter, salt and pepper, and hot sauce. Stir and reduce heat to low.
Throw angel hair pasta into the boiling water. Cook until just done/al dente. Drain, reserving a cup or two of the pasta water.
Remove skillet from heat. Add pasta and toss, adding a splash of pasta water if it needs to be thinned. Taste for seasonings, adding salt and pepper if needed.
Top with grated Parmesan and minced parsley and serve immediately.

Hint: I doubled the recipe and cut some of the spices for our family. The kids loved this one!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Autumn Chicken

This was our dinner on Halloween night. Perfect for chilly autumn evenings!

You will need:

about 6 chicken thighs

2 sliced apples apples (called for macintosh but I used fuji)

1 cup apple juice

1 t cinnamon

2 T lemon juice

1/2 onion sliced


In the bottom of the slow cooker, pour in the apple juice followed by the chicken. Place onions around the edges. Mix together apples with lemon juice and cinnamon, then place on top of the cihcken. Cook on low for about 8 hours. Serve over rice.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A New Fave

Chicken Adobo: our new favorite.

Polenta spaghetti casserole

This was one of my own creations. I bought polenta intending to make Polenta Tamale Pie:
But I bought basil and garlic flavored polenta instead of plain, so I made up a different recipe instead:

You will need:
1 2-lb roll of polenta
1 lb spaghetti
1 jar spaghetti sauce (meat sauce would give it extra protein, or non-meat would make this a vegetarian option)
2 cups shredded cheddar

Break pasta into 2 inch pieces, then cook until al dente, mix with pasta sauce in large bowl. Grease glass baking pan and pour pasta into it. Slice polenta into squares and layer on top, then sprinkle cheese. Bake covered at 350 for about 45 min.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Potato Soup

Crock pot Potato Chowder
8 cups diced potatoes

1/3 cup onion, chopped

6 chicken bouillon cubes

6 cups water1

10 ¾ ounce can of condensed cream of chicken soup

8 ounce package of cream cheese

½ lb bacon, cooked and crumbled

Dried parsley or sliced green onions for garnish – optional

Combine potatoes, onion, water, bouillon, and chicken soup in the crock pot.Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until potatoes are tender. Add cream cheese to crock pot and blend.Top with bacon and parsley or onions before serving.

Chicken enchilada soup

Chicken Enchilada Soup
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained1
14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used the kind with sweet onion in it)
1 10-ounce package frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped yellow, green, or red bell pepper (I used red, which is my favorite pepper)
1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce (I used mild)
1 10.75-ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded Pepper jack cheese (4 ounces)
2 chicken breasts

In a 3 1/2 to 5 quart slow cooker, combine drained beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, and bell pepper. Place 2 chicken breasts on top of mixture. In a large bowl, whisk together enchilada sauce and soup. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth. Pour sauce mixture over ingredients in cooker.Cover; cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Remove chicken and cut or shred into bite sized pieces. Add chicken back into soup. Top with pepper jack cheese and serve. Can also be topped with avocado, sour cream, or crushed tortilla chips. Note: if the soup is too thick for you, just add a little more milk after it’s all cooked.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chicken Tetrazzini

There are two ways to make this meal: cassserole style or pasta-bowl style.

Ingredients for either recipe:
1-2 chicken breasts cooked and cubed
1 lb spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces and cooked until aldente for casserole or fully for pasta-style.
1 jar pimentos
1 can mushrooms
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom
3/4 can of water
*Breadcrumbs: for casserole style only
*Extra can of cream of mushroom and extra 1/2 can of water for casserole style

For pasta-style tetrazzini:

Heat the soup, water, cheese, parsley, pimentos, spaghetti and chicken in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until the mixture is hot and bubbling, stirring occasionally.

For casserole style:

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl including extra soup and water. Spoon into large casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 covered for for about 30 min.

Cheddar Garlic Chicken

6 to 8 chicken thighs, skinned
3/4 cup plain or seasoned bread crumbs
4 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
garlic powder
2-4 oz cheddar cheese, diced thinly or grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in the microwave and season with garlic powder, how much you like
In a bowl, mix breadcrumbs and cheeses.
Dip chicken pieces in margarine mixture, then coat with breadcrumb mixture.
Place in a baking dish (if any garlic margarine mixture is left, pour over the chicken).
Place in the oven and bake chicken for approximately 45 min.

Ice cream pie

If I reminiscence back to dinner at my Grandparent's house, it always brings up lasagna, followed by ice cream pie.  It is such a simple recipe that I am surprised every time I have it just how tasty it it.  Plus, as a bonus, you make it the day before you serve it, so it is all ready to go when you need it.

Nut choppers:


1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
3 cups corn flakes
1 cup coconut flakes
1 quart vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

Add melted butter to brown sugar in a large bowl.  Add corn flake, coconut and pecans and mix well.

Pack about 3/4 of the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 10" pie plate.

Spoon in the ice cream.

Sprinkle remaining crumbies on the top, pressing into the ice cream. 

Cover and keep in the fridge several hours, or overnight.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Creamy chicken tortilla soup

You will need:

1 cup salsa
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 can (about 15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 soup can water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 corn tortillas (6-inch), cut into strips
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Stir the salsa, soup, chicken, corn, beans, water and cumin in a 4-quart slow cooker.
Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours or until the chicken is cooked through.
Stir the tortillas, cheese and cilantro into the cooker. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Serve with additional cheese, if desired.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Porcupine meatballs

You will need:

1 1/2 lb ground beef (raw)

1/2 cup rice (raw)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 T minced onion

1 can tomato soup

1 can water


Combine meat, rice, salt, pepper, and onion in a bowl. Shape into meatballs. Mix soup and water together and pour over meatballs in a baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Optional: add a can of diced tomatoes to the sauce. Kids like this one with ketchup on top!

Fish Taco Bake

This one is delicious! It's like fish tacos but baked in the oven. You could even adjust the recipe and make them into enchiladas instead!

You will need:

1-2 lbs halibut or cod

4 T olive oil

1/2 t garlic powder

1 package corn tortillas

12 oz salsa

2 cups grated cheddar

1/3 cup flour

1 3/4 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

black pepper

Puree salsa in a blender and set aside. Cook fish in a large skillet with 2 T olive oil. Remove fish and set aside. Add the other 2 T of olive oil to the skillet. Add the flour and stir into a roux. Slowly add broth and stir until thickened. Reduce heat to low and add cream and salsa. In a baking dish, layer: sauce, tortillas, fish and repeat. Top with cheese and bake at 375 for approx 45 min.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin bread revisited

Marla posted a yummy recipe for pumpkin bread 2 autumns ago.  It is my go-to pumpkin bread recipe now.  Or at least several times a year after I've bought the 3 pack of jumbo cans from Costco.  It is really tasty, but something about the cup of oil in each recipe makes it seems extra not-so-healthy.  So today I made two batches; one using half oil and half applesauce, and the other subbing all the oil out for applesauce.  Both batches turned out great, so I think I'll go with all applesauce from now on.  There is a link above for the original post, and I'll copy it again below.

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (substitute some or all with applesauce)
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

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

Grease and flour two bread pans. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended.

Pour into the prepared pans.

Bake for about 60 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My first slow cooker dessert: peanut butter brownies

I have finally found the answer to all of life's problems: dessert in the slow cooker! For years I meticulously planned meals when friends came over, but never got far enough in the planning to actually make a dessert. Usually after dinner I'd send "Anton and the guys" up to Safeway to pick up something for dessert! But then it occured to me to put something in the crock pot before I even make dinner and by dessert time it's ready to go. Why didn't I think of this years ago? :)

The Ingredients:
--5 T butter
--1/2 cup granulated sugar
--2 eggs
--1 t vanilla
--1/2 cup flour
--1 cup natural peanut butter
--1/4 t baking powder
--1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
--1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Press into bottom of the crock pot and cook on HIGH for approx 2.5 hours, using a chop stick to prop open the lid. Brownies are done when edges start to darken. Keep in mind these will not be the same as brownies baked in an oven, but they were still really good. Serve warm with ice cream!

Mr. Mobley's Stir Fry

Start with some garlic, sesame oil, and a large skillet. Fry up some chicken, then add whatever chopped veggies you have in the house. I used carrots, broccoli, red bell pepper, and snap peas. After chicken is cooked and veggies are slightly soft, pour in an ample amount of the most delicious sauce ever, Mr. Mobley's tahini sauce and simmer for 15 min.

So far I've only found it where it's made, Whidbey Island. Originally I thought you could only get it at the farmers' market but Anton's parently recently found it at the Coupeville grocery store. I've never tried other brands of tahini sauce, but there might be another good one out there.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Linguine with clam sauce (and salmon!)

• 2 – 10 oz cans of clams, drained, juice reserved• 3 cloves garlic, minced• Chopped parsley• 2 tbsp butter• 2 tbsp olive oil• ¾ c. white wine• ¾ c. heavy cream• Juice of ½ lemon• Linguine or spaghetti• Salt and pepper to taste

I added leftover grilled salmon and only used one can of clams.

· Cook pasta according to package directions
· Melt 1 tbsp of the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
· Add the clams and garlic, cook about 3 minutes
· Add the wine and stir. Let cook for 3-4 minutes, until wine has reduced a bit and it doesn’t smell so “alcohol-y”
· Lower heat. Add lemon juice and the remaining butter, stir through and cook a few more minutes
· Add cream, parsley, salt and pepper (you don’t need too much salt because the clams are fairly salty). Cook until heated through
· Serve over pasta

Chicken curry with apples and raisins

1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon curry powder, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound small red potatoes, quartered
1 large tart cooking apple, chopped
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced

In a small skillet, sauté the sliced onion in the olive oil on medium heat, about 7 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon of the curry powder.
Season the chicken with the remaining curry powder, salt, and pepper.
Place the potatoes, apple and raisings in the slow cooker, and add the seasoned chicken and onions.
Cover; cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours (or on High 3 to 4 hours).
Prior to serving, remove the chicken and potatoes and set aside, covering to keep warm.
Add the sour cream to the remaining juices in the stoneware, whisking until smooth. Cook on High for 10 minutes or until warmed throughout.
To serve, spoon the sour cream sauce over the chicken and potatoes and garnish with the cilantro.

Biscuits and gravy

1 (16 ounce) can refrigerated jumbo buttermilk biscuits
1 (9.6 ounce) package Pork Sausage Crumbles
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Bake biscuits according to package directions.
Meanwhile, cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat 5-6 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Stir in flour. Gradually add milk; cook until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Split biscuits in half. Place 2 halves on each of 8 plates; top with about 1/3 cup gravy.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Chicken Spaghetti

The "Pioneer Woman's" chicken spaghetti:

Ginger Chicken

In a bowl, mix together:

1/2 cup orange juice

1 t minced ginger

2t olive or sesame oil

1t vinegar

Marinade raw chicken slices in sauce for 30 minutes.

In large skillet, heat 2 additional T or oil. Add chicken with marinade, plus:

1/4 cup minced onion

1/2 bell pepper sliced

Stir-fry until cooked through. Serve over rice.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mud Pie

Friday my kids made this mud pie, with minimal assistance from me.  (It is meant to be made with gummy worms, but we couldn't find them at the store so went with Swedish Fish.  Logical? No.  Amusing?  Yes.)  Here are a few pictures over on my family blog of the dessert being assembled and then consumed.

1 package Oreos
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 container cool whip, thawed
1 package gummy worms (or whatever)
1 lg package instant chocolate pudding
Milk for the pudding

  1. Prepare pudding as directed and place in the fridge.
  2. Crush about 3/4 of the Oreos.  Stir with melted butter.  Press into a 9x13.
  3. Whip the cream cheese and powdered sugar together.  Fold in cool whip.  Spread into the pan.
  4. Spread the pudding into the pan.
  5. Break the remaining Oreos and sprinkle into the pan.
  6. Squish worms or fish or whatever into the dessert.
  7. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lime Chicken

I made this recipe last week and really enjoyed it.  The lime sauce is so good!  I ended up with a lot of extra sauce after we ate the chicken, but enjoyed it over the extra rice the next day.

This recipe is from A Thrifty Mom blog.  She has the recipe with lots of pictures on her site.

Enough Chicken tenders or breast to feed your family…. I normally make about 8
tenders for my family.
3 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup evaporated canned milk
1 can chicken broth about 1 1/2 cups
 juice and zest of a lime or lemon

Serve over white rice or pasta.

Salt and pepper chicken, Add 3 TB butter to a pan and cook chicken. Once it has cooked thru, and is golden brown take out of pan and set aside. But do not take pan off heat.

Add 2 1/2 TB flour to chicken drippings in the hot pan. Let flour cook and turn a light nutty brown color. Normally about 1 -2 min on medium heat.

Stir in the milk, whisking to eliminate clumps.

Stir in the broth, whisking to eliminate clumps. As it starts to boil it will thicken, add more milk or broth if it becomes to thick.

Add the juice and zest of a lime to the pan and stir in. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.

Turn off stove top, add chicken back to pan.

Top with Parmesan Cheese, and place in a hot oven at 425 degrees till cheese is melted and slightly brown, about 5 min.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Key Lime Pie

I've never made a lime pie before, but we had a pile of limes from Bountiful Basket, so I decided to try it out. The entire family loved it! The title scared the kids a little, so I told them it was lemonade pie, and that did the trick.

Graham Cracker Crust:
Blend together, and then press into a pie plate:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
6T melted butter.

Pie filling:
4 egg yolks, beaten
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup lime juice (I think it took me 8 limes, but I forgot to count.)

Pour filling into crust. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Chill before serving.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Zachary's Lasagne

Jar of pasta sauce (Zachary votes for chunk free)
Box of lasagne noodles (I LOVE the oven ready ones)
Cheese sauce (recipe below)
Ball of Mozzarella (grated)

Cheese sauce:

Melt 1 cube butter in a saucepan. Mix 1/4 cup of flour. Add 3/4 cup parmesan cheese and some salt (to taste.) Gradually stir in 2 cups of milk. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until thickened. Beat 2 egg yolks. Stir a little of cheese sauce into yolks, then dump yolks and sauce back into the pot. Cook on low for 10 minutes. (It will still look pretty thin, but will set in the oven.)

Layer pasta sauce, lasagne noodles, cheese sauce and grated cheese. Repeat.
Sprinkle parmesan on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until cheese starts to brown on top. Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Reece's Cake

I made this cake for Father's Day. Mmmmm.

Bake chocolate cake of your choice, in two 9" rounds.

Peanut Butter Frosting: This made a lot, so be generous when spreading. :)
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup soft butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup whipping cream

Beat butter, peanut butter, vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar and blend. Slowly add enough cream to reach spreadable consistency.

Place first layer of cake on the plate. Spread a layer of frosting in the middle. Top with other cake. Frost the tops and the sides. Decorate with miniature Reece's cups, cut in half, along the bottom and the top. Sprinkle center of the cake with chopped Reece's.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Freezing cooked rice

I got this idea from the Real Simple magazine (April 2011). And while I haven't actually tried it, it seems like it would work.

Don't have the 55 minutes you need to prepare brown rice? Or even 20 minutes for white? No problem. Simply cook it in advance and freeze it for later. (This works well with leftover rice, too.) Here's what to do.

Pack it up. Make a batch of rice and let it cool. (For recipes, go to Spoon meal-size portions into freezer-safe, microwave-safe containers. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Reheat it. When you're ready to eat the rice, remove the container's lid, sprinkle the frozen grains with 1 to 2 tablespoons water, cover the container with a dampened paper towel, and microwave on high for 1 to 3 minutes (depending on the portion size); fluff gently, then repeat. Let stand for 2 minutes before fluffing and serving.

Sturdy Whipped Cream Frosting

Yummy, light, easy. Used only about 1/2 of the batch for the cake, and I put it on thick. Should have taken the photo before putting on the lid for travel, though. Also would be good as a dip for fruit.

1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups heavy cream.

Combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract in a large mixing bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until smooth. While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times while you continue whipping until the cream can hold a still peak. (I used a hand mixer and it worked just fine.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cauliflower Fritters

Mmm, these were garlicy good!

1 head of cauliflower, cut up and cooked
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan (shredded would taste better, but the "shaker cheese" works, too.)
1/4 cup hot water
salt and pepper
olive oil

After the cauliflower is cooked, place in a large bowl. Break it up with a potato masher, into small pieces. Add the flour, garlic, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Stir together. Add enough water so that the batter is a little thicker than pancake batter.

On medium heat, add 1 Tbl of oil to a skillet. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop fritter batter. Place in the pan, and then squish flat with the bottom of the measuring cup. (I could get 4 in a pan at a time.) Cook until golden brown, flip and cook other side. Add a little more oil between each batch of fritters.

I had some extra cheese sauce in the fridge that I warmed up and poured on top, but they are good by themselves, too.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Zanzibar Chicken

You will need:
1 cup chopped onion
1 T olive oil
4 chicken breasts
1 t ginger
1 t cumin
1/2 t tumeric
1 can coconut milk
1/2 t garlic
6 oz tomato paste
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t salt

Saute the onion and oil until soft. Combine with all other ingredients and mix well. Pour over chicken and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

You will need:

1 package tortillas

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

2 T butter

1/2 onion minced

1 small can diced green chiles

4 oz cream cheese, softened in microwave

1 cup mozz cheese grated

1/2 cup half n half


Melt butter in a skillet and cook onions until soft. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add chicken, chiles, and cream cheese. Mix well. Place a large spoonful in each tortilla and wrap. Place in a greased baking pan. Pour half n half over the top, then sprinkle cheese. Bake at 375 for 20 min.