Sunday, November 30, 2008

Smoked Turkey & Chipolte Cream Wraps

This recipe was dug up in a Rachel Ray Magazine. Looking for a way to spice up lunch a bit. It did the trick. Even better the next day.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped (I omitted - not a fan of mint)
1 TBSP finely chopped chipolte chiles in adobo sauce
1 TBSP fresh lime juice
Four 10 inch flour tortillas
1 lb. deli-sliced smoked turkey
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, scallion, mins, chipolte chiles and lime juice. Season with salt.
2. Heat a heavy pan - I used my cast iron skillet - over medium heat. Add 1 tortilla, cook for 15 seconds. Flip and cook for another 15 seconds. Transfer to a plate and cover with a dish towel. Repeat with the remaining 3 tortillas.
3. Spread each tortilla with 2 TBSP of chile cream and top with 1/4 of the turkey, spinach and red pepper, then roll up. Wrap in wax paper and fold ends to secure. Refrigerate. Cut in half and serve.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Acini De Pepe Salad

Also known as frogs eye salad. I got this recipe from my friend, Debbie. It has become an instant hit at family get togethers. My sister-in-law requested it for Thanksgiving. Especially because my 2 year old nephew loves it I happily obliged!

The night before:
1. Mix together in a saucepan:
3/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 cups liquid drained from cans of pineapple & mandarin oranges
2 TBSP flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Bring to a boil on medium heat - stir constantly. Cook until thick. Remove from heat.
2. Cooke pasta - 1 lb. Acini De Pepe - according to package. Do not overcook.
3. Drain pasta well. Run cold water over pasta & drain again. Combine pasta and thick fruit
juice mixture together. Chill overnight.

Before serving:
1. Fold into chilled mixture:
1 package of mini marshmallows
2 containers lite cool whip - 16oz. total
2 cans of pineapple chunks - drained
2 cans of mandarin oranges - drained
save some fruit for the next step
2. Decorate the top of the salad with fruit pieces & some marachino cherries.

This makes A TON. Probably can make 1/2 for 6-8 people.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Double Chocolate Little Cinnamon Spice Cakes with Caramel Butter Cream

I love baking ~~ and I've wanted to try out all of my new kitchen gear. So for no reason today I tried this out. I found it on this on This is a great blog with great recipes and pictures. Who knew I'd have so many uses for a cupcake carrier.

1 devils food cake mix
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
4 eggs
8 oz. sour cream
1 pkg. chocolate pudding mix, 4 serving size
1 package cinnamon chips

20 soft caramels, like werthers or kraft
1/4 cup milk
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 sticks softened butter
3 cups powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together cake mix oil, water, eggs, sour cream & pudding on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in cinnamon chips on low. Fill 24 traditional cupcake cups 3/4 full. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from center. Remove and let cool completely.

2. Place caramels and milk into a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes. Place egg yolks and powdered sugar in the stand mixer with the wisk attachment. Whisk until well combined. Transfer to a covered bowl and refrigerate until chilled, a couple hours or overnight. When chilled, beat butter and caramel in stand mixer until whipped. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until fluffy. Make sure beat very well. Spread on cooled cupcakes and serve.

Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Rice Casserole

So, I've seen this recipe on numerous blog of late so I thought I"d give it a try! Check out this great blog for other recipes - this is where I dug this up -Thanks Erica!

I made it for myself so I am the only judge. But, I enjoyed it. Easy to do, good for a weeknight. I am also thinking it will come in handy when there is leftover ham around.

2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1/2 lb. diced ham
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
4 TBSP butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
14 oz. chicken broth
3 cups cooked rice of choice (I used white long grain)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella or swiss cheese

To shred the chicken, I seasoned with salt & pepper. Put on a microwave safe dish, covered loosely with plastic wrap. Microwaved for approx. 7 minutes. After it cooled, it shredded very easily. I used about 3 breasts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat oil into a large 5 qt. rimmed skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, ham and chicken. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Melt butter then stir in flour, salt & pepper until combined. Slowly stir in chicken broth until well combined. Stir in cooked rice. Transfer into a 9X13 baking dish. Tope with cheddar and mozzarella or swiss. Back for 20-25 minutes. Beware towards the end if cheese starts to ooze to cover with foil.

I served with greenbeans.

6-8 servings.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Simply Traditional Lasagna

I am on the search for an awesome lasagna recipe. I made this one this past Sunday. It turned out really well & was super easy to make. Had a little crowd for the Steeler game & it was basically all gone. I would make this again for sure. I'll write as I found it on but note the moderations that I made.

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. bulk italian sausage (I used 1/2 sweet, 1/2 hot)
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup sliced olives (I omitted b/c we really don't like olives)
1 pinch basil
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. dried sage (I didn't have)
2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 TBSP minced garlic
1 TBSP dried onion flakes
2 (14 oz) jars marinara (I used double this amount)
1 16 oz. lasagna (used the ones that say you don't have to boil)
8 oz. ricotta cheese ( doubled)
1 lb. shredded mozzarella
(I added some spinach into the ricotta)

Brown the beef & sausage in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drain excess grease. Stir in the water and black olives, and season with basil, garlic powder, oregano, sage, pepper, minced garlic & onion flakes. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the marinara sauce & remove from heat (I used 28 oz).

Preheat oven to 375.

Place a layer of meat & sauce in the bottom of a 9X13 inch baking dish. Cover with a layer of dry noodles. Spread a layer of ricotta cheese over the noodles, sprinkle with mozzarella. Cover with a layer of meat - I added a layer of sauce. Repeat - ending with a layer of meat & sauce on top. Reserve 1/2 cup of mozzarella for later.

Bake for 45 minutes in preheated oven but check after 30 minutes depending on how thick lasagna is. Lasagna is cooked when you can easily stick a knife into it. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, return to the oven for about 10 minutes to melt.

I let cool about 15 minutes before serving.
Another little tip - I put the 9X13 pan on a cookie sheet so it wouldn't bubble over into the oven.

Again - yummy!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Apple Crisp

One of my favorite things to make in the fall. Like apple pie without the crust.

10 cups all purpose apples, peeled, cored & sliced
(I used rome & green granny smith - 10 apples)
1 cup white sugar
1 TBSP flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water (I omitted this)
1 cup quick cooking oats (regular works if you have it)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar (don't be afraid to try Splenda brown sugar)
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.
Place sliced apples in a 9X13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tbsp flour & ground cinnamon together, sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all. I omitted the water & it turned out fine.

Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda & melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

This turned out delicious! I served with some frozen yogurt. Truly, I couldn't stop eating it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I found this post on this blog I've been finding interesting recipes on this site. It was very good. Easy to put together. Then as it baked, I made the rice. A great replacement to take out.

Chicken:3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 c cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c canola oil

3/4 c sugar
4 T ketchup
1/2 c vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 t garlic salt

Preheat oven to 325.
Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks and season with salt and pepper.
Put the cornstarch into one bowl, and the eggs into another.
Roll the chicken pieces into the cornstarch, followed by the eggs. Heat the oil in a saucepan then add the covered chicken pieces and brown, but do not cook through. Place the chicken in a single layer in a baking pan.

Mix together the sauce ingredients and pour over the chicken. Bake for one hour, turning chicken every 15 minutes.

If you would like extra sauce, mix another batch of sauce ingredients and bring to a boil in a saucepan. Turn down to medium heat and continue to cook 6-8 minutes, until thicken and reduced. Stir constantly.

I served the chicken over white rice.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Boilermaker Tailgate Chili

I dug up this chili repice on Allrecipes.Com. We've made it in the past - it's the best chili recipe I've found yet. We made it early on in the day and enjoyed it during the Steelers game (too bad they didn't coorporate).

2 lbs ground beef chuck 1/4 cup chili powder
1 lb bulk Italian Sausage 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
3 (15oz) can chili beans, drained 1 TBSP minced garlic
1 (15 oz) chili beans in spicy sauce 1 TBSP dried oregano
2 (28oz) cans diced tomatoes with juice 2 tsps. ground cumin
1 (6oz) can tomato paste 2 tsps. hot pepper sauce
1 large yellow onion, chopped 1 tsp. dried basil
3 stalks celery, chopped 1 tsp. salt
1 green bell pepper, seeded & chopped 1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 red bell pepper, seeded & chopped 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 green chili peppers, seeded & chopped 1 tsp. paprika
1 tsbp. bacon bits 1 tsp. white sugar
4 cubes beef bouillon 1 (1o.5 oz) bag corn chips - Fritos
1/2 cup beer 1 (8 oz) package shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
2. Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green & red peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover & simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occcasionally.
3. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper or chili powder, if necessary. We moved it to the crock pot at this point to simmer/ heat for a couple more hours.
Great topped with Fritos & cheddar cheese.
Excellent the next day.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Spicy Peanut Penne with Chicken

My 1st attempt at blogging a recipe. I dug this up from an awesome blog that I must admit I can't find again to give credit. If this is yours - shout out - please! Looking for some quick weeknight meals & this caught my eye -

Cook 1 lb of penne pasta - I used wheat & it turned out well.

Cut up 2 chicken breasts in bite sized pieces.
Season with salt & pepper.

Add chicken to frying pan, cook through.
About 1/2 way through add 1/2 of a small onion.
Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, add:
1/4 - 1/2 cup reduced fat peanut butter
2 Tbsp. Honey
2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
2 garlic cloves
Juice of one lime
1 tsp cilantro ( I didn't have on hand, so it was omitted)
3-5 fresh chives, chopped
Put this mixture aside.

Whisk 2/3 cup skim milk & 1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch.
Put over medium low heat - 5 minutes, until thick.
Take off of heat & add to the peanut butter mixture.

Drain pasta.
In a bowl - add pasta, peanut butter sauce & chicken.

This turned out really well - will definetly make into my regular rotation.