Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sausage, Pepper & Onion Stromboli

I usually make a deli meat type stromboli. Ben requested something a little different. This recipe sure did hit the spot.

Sausage, Pepper & Onion Stromboli
Source: My Kitchen Addiction

1 batch whole wheat pizza dough
1 lb. Italian chicken sausage links (we used regular because we couldn't find chicken)
1 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 large sweet onion (or 1 small), sliced
6 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 oz. parmigiano-reggiano cheese, freshly grated
Add extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over top
Italian Seasoning

Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.

In a grill pan over medium heat, brown the sausage links until cooked through. Meanwhile, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced bell pepper and onion and saute until the veggies are tender.

Stretch the dough over the baking sheet forming a large rectangle. Arrange teh peppers and onions lengthwise down the center of the dough rectangle. Slice the sausage links crosswise into small 1/4 inch slices and arrange on top of the peppers and onions. Sprinkle with the two cheeses.

To form the stromboli, fold the two long ides of the pizza dough up over the filling and pinch with your fingers to crimp at the top. Roll up the ends and pinch together to seal off the ends. Drizzle some olive oil over the dough and then use a pastry brush to evenly coat the stromboli. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Bake for about 30 - 35 minutes. Let rest for 5 - 10 minutes prior to slicing. Serve slices topped with warm marinara sauce.

Basic Whole Wheat Dough

We had some stromboli making going on at our house today. This was a good basic pizza dough. I like that it uses a wheat crust.

Basic Whole Wheat Pizza

1 cup warm water
1 package yeast (I TBSP)
1 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Start by combining the water and the yeast in a large mixing bowl (if you are using the electric mixer, use the mixer bowl). Add the sugar and stir to combine, dissolving the sugar and the yeast in the water. Add the salt, olive oil, and 1 cup of the whole wheat flour. Beat the mixture until smooth.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and the all purpose flour. Knead for about 5 minute, until the mixture forms a dough (or use the dough hook on the mixer on low speed for approximately 2 minutes until the mixture forms a ball).

Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until the dough doubles in size.

Lightly grease a 15 inch pizza pan or a large baking sheet. Spread the dough on the pan and allow to rise for an additional 15 minutes.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Digging around the internet for a quick easy recipe - I ran into "Benchilada's" on Annie's Eats blog. HMMM, I have a Ben at hime, we like enchilada's. It's one of those recipes where I read the ingredients and become intrigued. Curious how these thing could come together, I gave it a try. It was tasty ~ quick & easy too. "Benchilada's" got a thumbs up from the Ben in my house!

Cheesy Chicken Benchilada's
Source: Annie's Eats

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 oz. reduced fat sour cream
8 oz. Ranch salad dressing
flour tortillas (10-15) – we like Azteca, packs of 10
jar of salsa
shredded mexican cheese (I usually use close to 4 cups, I love cheese!)

Cook chicken breasts by preferred cooking method until cooked through. Set aside to cool a bit.
While chicken is cooling, mix up the sauce. In a large mixing bowl, combine half of the sour cream and half of the Ranch dressing. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the sour cream and Ranch dressing. Stir both until well combined. Shred or chop the cooked chicken and add to the large mixing bowl. Mix well with sauce.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 9 x 13″ pan (and possibly another, smaller pan if needed). Take one tortilla and top with a little less than 1 tbsp. of the sauce from the small bowl. Spread over the tortilla in an even layer. Add some of the chicken mixture to the center of the tortilla. Top with salsa to taste. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, to taste. Roll up tortilla and place, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining ingredients (usually makes 10-15 enchiladas).
Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes (30 for a crispier tortilla). Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.

When reheating, reheat in the oven at 350 for 10 - 15 minutes.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

CeCe's Banana Bread

Ben has been talking about his Grandma's Banana Bread - She was nice enough to share it with him. The family said my execution tasted like here - a HUGE compliment!! Without further ado - Grandma's Nana Bread!

Banana Bread
Source: CeCe Dougherty
As typed by Cece.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chicken Cutlets with Herb Sauce

I love finding these really easy, fast weeknight meals. Most people probably have most of these things on hand at all times!

Chicken Cutlets with Herb Sauce
Source: Back to the Cutting Board

1 TBSP. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold or new/red potatoes, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 lbs. chicken cutlets (can pound out chicken breasts)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine (can use chicken stock)
2 TBSP unsalted butter
2 TBSP chopped fresh herbs - rosemary, chives, parsley or tarragon - (I used dried since I didn't have fresh)

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a baking dish and season with salt. Bake for 15++ (more) minutes.

2. Meanwhile, rinse the chicken and pat dry. Season both sides with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 pepper. Return skillet to medium high-heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on each side and cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a platter.

3. Add the wine to the skillet, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 minutes, constantly scraping the bottom. Add 1 TBSP of butter and stir or whisk until completely combined. Repeat with remaining butter. Remove skillet from heat. Add the herbs and the remaining salt and pepper and whisk to combine.

4. Add the potatoes to the platter with the chicken and sppon the sauce over top.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pizza Dip

We love all things pizza - So I couldn't resist trying this recipe. I made this 2 times this weekend and both times it all went. Served with baquette or pita chips. Both were good!

Pizza Dip
Source: Cater-Hater Blog

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream (I used greek yogurt)
1 tsp. dried oregano (heaping tsp., for more flavor)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup your favorite pizza sauce (or 1/2 cup tomato sauce mixed with pizza seasonings)
1/2 of a pepperoni sausage, chopped small (but not sliced), that will equal about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup sliced green onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, oregano, garlic powder and crushed red pepper flakes. Spread into a 9-inch pie pan. Spread the pizza sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the pepperoni, onions and peppers. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the cheese.
Note: Make sure your cheese doesn't end up in one big clump in the middle. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the dip to ensure that it won't bake together, which will make it hard to get the dip out.
Return the dip to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes until golden.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tangy Slow Cooker Pork

'The Other White Meat' always seems to serve us well. This was no different. So easy & really good.

Tangy Slow Cooker Pork
Source: All Recipes.Com

1 large onion, sliced
2 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 dash hot pepper sauce, or to taste

Arrange onion slices evenly over the bottom of the slow cooker, and then place the roast on top of the onion. In a bowl, mix together water, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and hot sauce; pour over roast.

Cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours, or on High for 3 to 4 hours.

The only addition I made to this recipe - I made a couple slits in the meat and stuffed it with garlic. I threw a couple cut up red potatoes and carrots in which also turned out well.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Blondies

I am always looking for good pumpkin recipes in the fall. This did not disappoint - it's a bonus when you have all of the ingredients on hand. I frozen these and plan to serve at a girls night next weekend.

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Pumpkin Blondies
Source: Annie's Eats

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice (see note)
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups granulated sugar (or brown sugar)
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
½ cup chopped, toasted nuts (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Stir together and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree. With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate and butterscotch chips (and nuts, if using) with a rubber spatula.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.

To serve, lift the cake from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off foil and using a sharp knife, cut into 24 squares.

If you don't have pumpkin pie spice on hand - I dug this up as a way to make from spices:
Measure 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon into a small bowl or cup.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger.
Add 1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice or ground cloves.
Add 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
Stir to blend.
Makes 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Laughing Cow Chicken

I've seen this recipe floating around for a bit. Since I think laughing cow is darn near the perfect snack~ I had to try it! It didn't disappoint. Ben is not a fan of laughing cow cheese.... so, I served this to him without divulging the namesake ingredient. His comment were how moist the chicken was.... cha-ching.... dinner success!

I should be able to get back to taking recipe photos soon... My lovely husband treated me to a new camera for our 1st anniversary!

At any rate, make this & enjoy!

Laughing Cow Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, rinsed & dried
2 Laughing Cow cheese wedges
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup Panko or Italian seasoned bread crumbs - I used a mix of both
Salt & Pepper
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350.

Slit the chicken breast & stuff with the cheese. Secure with a toothpick if necessary.
Season the flour with salt & pepper.
Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour.
Spray the breasts with cooking spray.
Roll in the panko/breadcrumbs.
Cover baking dish with foil.
Bake about 1 hour. Take the foil off for the last 15 minutes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

Ben has been asking for stuffing. I found this recipe on the back of the stuffing box. Easy, quick, most ingredients will be things on hand. Husband approved. Try it!

Bruschetta Chicken Bake
Source: Stove Top Box

1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained (I might try salsa next time, we like tomatoes to be in the smallest form possible!)
1 package Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken (they do have a whole wheat)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in bite sized pieces (I just pounded the breasts out & cut in smaller pieces ~ about 5 pieces)
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 400. Place tomatoes with their liquid in medium bowl. Add stuffing mix, 1/2 cup hot water and the garlic. Stir just until the stuffing mix is moistened. Set aside.

Place the chicken in 13X9 baking dish; sprinkle with basil and cheese. Top with the prepared stuffing.

Bake 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (170).

Serves 4-5.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Garlic Lime Chicken

I found this recipe on Le Petit Pierogi. I've kept it hand for a night just like tonight ~ one of those nights where ~ you have some chicken thawed with no plan for it. And wanted to use only ingredients on hand. It turned out great. I served it with a big salad and some couscous ~ the sauce really spruced up the couscous. It can be baked or pan fried.

Garlic Lime Chicken

3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I used chicken breasts, pounded thin)

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons lime juice (I use the juice of a lime)
2-3 tbsp. chicken stock
2 garlic cloves, minced

In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and parsley. Sprinkle spice mixture generously on both sides of chicken breasts. Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 6 minutes on each side. In another small bowl, combine lime juice, chicken stock and fresh garlic cloves and pour over cooked chicken breasts. Cook an additional 5 minutes or so, or until sauce has started to thicken. Stir frequently to coat evenly with sauce.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Peanut Butter Frosting

The perfect complement to the Reese's Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake ~ and I am sure so many other things....

Peanut Butter Frosting


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Reese's Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

So, for Ben's birthday ~ I decided I wanted to make a cake. After much searching, I settled on this one. And WOW! was it a good choice! It may be my baking masterpiece to date. Rave reviews from the whole family. Happy Birthday Ben!

Reese's Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Source: Annie's Eats

For the cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional)
For decorating
1 ½ – 2 batches
peanut butter frosting
Miniature Reese’s cups, halved and/or chopped

1. For the cake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 9×2” round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Place the pans on a baking sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients). Mix each addition only until it is blended into the batter. Scrape down the bowl and add the melted chocolate, if using, folding it in with a spatula. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. 4. Bake for 26-30 minutes or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans. Transfer to wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
5. To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cardboard circle covered in foil. Spread peanut butter frosting on top of the cake layer. (If desired, sprinkle with chopped Reese’s cups.) Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting. Frost the top and outside of the cake with remaining peanut butter frosting. Decorate with halved and chopped Reese’s cups as desired.

Cheez-It Chicken

Brilliant! Cheez its & chicken!! So easy & really good. Try it! Thanks The Novice Chef for sharing and making Weight Watchers friendly.

Cheez-It Chicken
Source: The Novice Chef

1/2 cup Reduced Fat Cheez-Its, crushed
1/2 cup fat free buttermilk (can use 1 tsp. vinegar and 1/2 cup fat free milk)
3 TBSP. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 lb. chicken breasts (I used chicken tenders)
4 tsp. Canola oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Pour the buttermilk (vinegar/milk mixture) into a large shallow bowl. On a sheet of wax paper combine the Cheez-It crumbs, flour, salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk, then dredge in the Cheez-It mixture, coating completely.

Place the chicken on the baking sheets, drizzle with the canola oil.

If you are using chicken breasts cook for 30 minutes, then turn chicken over and bake until cooked through; 15 - 20 minutes.

If you are using chicken tenders, cook for 15 minutes, then turn chicken over and bake until cooked through; 10 - 15 minutes.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chicken Chimichangas

Football Sundays mean trying new recipes for me. After a search ~ I dug up this Chimichanga recipe from the Foodnetwork. These are really good! Thanks Emeril. I did adapt this a little bit and didn't totally fry them ~ mostly baked. And still very good! (I have to work on my food photography skills... the pics I took do this NO justice!!)

Chicken Chimichangas
Adapt from Food Network ~ Emeril Lagasse

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus 8 cups for frying (I omitted the 8 cups for frying & used a couple more TBSP to just crisp them a bit)
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked chicken breast, shredded while warm (I shredded the chicken by putting the chicken on a plate ~ salt & peppered a bit ~ a bit of buttermilk ~ microwaved for 8 minutes ~ worked perfectly)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 8 (10-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack
  • Wooden toothpicks
  • Chipotle Salsa (Emeril gave a recipe ~ I just bought some & it was great)
  • Sour cream, for garnish (I used Greek Yogurt)
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish (Shredded lettuce instead)

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, oregano, and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the green chiles. Cook mixture for about 5 minutes, or until heated through. Set aside and cool slightly.

One at a time, place the tortillas on a work surface, keeping the remaining tortillas covered with a damp towel. (For pliable tortillas, sprinkle lightly with 1/4 teaspoon water and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 10 to 20 seconds just before ready to stuff, and keep covered until ready to roll.) Spread 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture in a rectangle in the center of the tortilla. Sprinkle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of cheese. Fold the bottom of the tortilla over the filling and then fold the sides over. Fold the top of the tortilla over the folded sides and secure the sides with wooden toothpicks. Place folded side down.

Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a deep stockpot or deep fryer to 360 degrees F. Using tongs, lower the chimichangas folded side down, 1 at a time into the hot oil. (It is helpful to hold the chimichanga with the tongs until it has "sealed" together.) Cook until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and continue with remaining chimichangas. I totally altered this part of the recipe. Instead I put a TBSP of oil in the pan, just put each side of the enchilada in for 1 minute or 2 to crisp. I put them on a baking sheet as done and baked at 350 for about 15 minutes or so to heat through and ensure the cheese was melted inside.

Remove toothpicks from the chimichangas and serve immediately with Chipotle Salsa, sour cream, and fresh cilantro. (Again I used Greek Yogurt & Lettuce.)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Inside Out Ravioli

Ahhh ~ this recipe reminds me of my college days! Our group used to go to Lake Conesus in New York ~ we'd stay at the beautiful cottage of the Riches. We'd water ski, lay out and laugh and laugh. And our course, eat! That's where I was introduced to this recipe. Mrs. Rich used to put this together for us. It was great ~ easy to put together, can do ahead and freeze and goes great with a salad. I have made this one of my go to dishes when making a meal for someone that they can freeze and make when they need a meal. It never fails me.

Inside Out Ravioli
Source: The Rich Family

9 X 13 pan or large casserole dish

1 10 oz. box frozen chopped spinach
4 cups small seashell pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup oil (less!!)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 well beaten egg
Spaghetti Sauce ~ 28 - 32 oz.

Cook spinach and shells. Drain well. Make sure to squeeze the extra water out of the spinach. I put it in a dishtowel and 'wring'. Mix together spinach and shells.

In a separate bowl, mix together cheese, bread crumbs, egg and oil.
Mix spinach and shells with this mixture.
Mix in sauce, reserve a bit to top.

Spread in an greased/oiled baking dish.
Cover with remaining sauce and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Again, can be made ahead and frozen. Just bake as directed.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Chipotle Salsa with Pan-Roasted Tomatillos

My first attempt at salsa. So easy & simple to make. Had a little bit of a kick to it. We thought this would be a great accompaniment to some dishes maybe not the one for chips.

Chipotle Salsa with Pan-Roasted Tomatillos


4 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut in half (about 8 oz.)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 chipotles in adobo (more if you want more heat)


Set a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Lay in the tomatillos (cut side down) and the garlic. When the tomatillos are well browned, about 4 minutes, flip everything over and brown on the other side. The tomatillos should be completely soft.

Scoop the tomatillos and garlic into a food processor and add the chipotles, about 1/4 cup water, and salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp.). Process everything together into a course puree. Thin with additional water if necessary.

Red Chili Chicken and Rice with Black Beans

I just started eating black beans. So I searched for a recipe with them in it. This hit the spot! We really enjoyed this recipe. It can be eaten alone or even rolled into a burrito.

Red Chili Chicken and Rice with Black Beans

Serves 4


2 Tbsp. canola oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1.25-1.5 lbs. total)
2.5 Tbsp. ancho chili powder, divided
1 medium onion, large dice
1 cup rice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 cups chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped green onions, roots and wilted outer leaves removed before chopping (OR 1/3 cup cilantro OR 2-3 Tbsp. epazote or hoja santa)
1/2 to 1 cup salsa, such as
Smoky Chipotle Salsa, or chipotle hot sauce for serving


Heat the oil in a medium-large heavy pot (with a lid) over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with salt and 1 Tbsp. of the ancho chili powder. Place the chicken in the hot oil and brown on each side, 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate, leaving behind as much oil as possible.

Add the onion and rice to the pot. Stir for several minutes, until the rice turns from translucent to opaque. Add the garlic and the remaining 1.5 Tbsp. ancho chili powder. Cook one minute, and then add the broth and salt to taste. Stir well. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

Cut the chicken breast into 1″ pieces. Add them to the pot along with the beans. Re-cover and cook 12 minutes longer.

Sprinkle the green onions and test a kernel of rice. It should have no more than a hint of chalkiness at in the center, in which case you place the cover back on, remove it from the heat and let it stand 5-10 minutes. If it’s not cooked, cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Fluff the mixture with a fork and serve with salsa for each person to spoon on al gusto.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories: 517 / Fat: 10.4g / Saturated Fat: 1.3g / Carbs: 60g / Fiber: 9.3g / Protein: 44g

Saturday, September 5, 2009

White & Chocolate Chunk Butterscotch Cookies

When the worlds align and you happen to have all of the ingredient for something as amazing sounding as this.... you get on it & make it. These are GOOD! I found this on Picky Palate blog. If you haven't checked it out, do so, great ideas!

White & Chocolate Chunk Butterscotch Cookies
Source: Picky Palate


2 sticks softened butter
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 Cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Cups Chocolate Chunk pieces
1 Cup white chocolate chips
1 Cup butterscotch chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined.

2. Place flour, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl; sift of stir to combine. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients along with all the chocolate/chips. Mix until just combined.

3. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet placing about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until edges just barely start to turn golden. Remove and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely. Enjoy!!

About 3 dozen cookies

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

THE Chicken

On a chat board I frequent, the recipe was recommended. Quick, easy & tasty. Made a nice dinner tonight. This will be a go to quicky!

THE Chicken
Source: The Nest - Pittsburgh

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into tenders
1 pack good seasons dressing mix
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic salt


Preheat oven to 400.
Mix together dressing mix, Parmesan & garlic salt.

Cut chicken into tenders, coat in the Parmesan mixture. If it isn't sticking wet the chicken with a little bit of water.

Place on a baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Jasmine Rice-Stuffed Peppers

I've craving stuffed peppers. This is a good recipe. The peppers don't get soggy like some other ones I've had. I can see a merit to both ways ~ crispy peppers or soggier. I'd make these again. I did put some in the freezer - we'll see if they are a good make ahead dish!

Jasmine Rice-Stuffed Peppers
Source: Cooking Light
Yield: 4 servings, 2 pepper halves

4 large green bell peppers
Cooking spray
1/2 cup onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalepeno pepper, minced
1/2 cup uncooked jasmine rice
1 cup fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
2 cups tomato sauce, divided
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, slightly beaten (I must admit to forgetting to put this in! I didn't even notice)
2/3 lb. ground sirloin, extra lean
1/3 lb. ground turkey breast

Preheat oven to 400.

Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise, discard seeds and membranes, leaving the stem intact. Place on a foil lined jelly roll pan, cut sides up.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, garlic, and jalapeno to pan, saute 5 minutes or until onion is lightly browned. Add rice, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely.

Combine rice mixture, 1 cup tomato sauce, 1/4 cup cheese, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until blended. Spoon about 1/2 cup meat mixture into each pepper half. Spoon remaining 1 cup tomato sauce evenly over peppers.

Cover and bake at 400 for 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese, bake 3 minutes or until cheese melts.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

White Peach Sangria Recipe

Who doesn't love Sangria in the summer?? This recipe was a hit at a party we had this past weekend. It was gone way too early into the evening. I got the recipe from & tweaked it a bit. I also made the batch much bigger!

White Peach Sangria

  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry white wine ~~ I used the equivalent of 8 bottles of wine, Pinot Grigio ~ 1.5 liter bottles of Cavit
  • 3/4 cup peach flavored vodka ~ I substituted mostly brandy & a bit of peach schnapps ~ I used about 6 cups
  • 6 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed ~ used about 3 cups
  • 1/4 cup white sugar ~ about 2 cups, used Splenda
A big bag of frozen fruit ~ I used a mix from Costco of peaches, strawberries, honeydew

  1. In a large pitcher, combine wine, alcohol, lemonade concentrate and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add frozen fruit.
  2. Refrigerate sangria until well chilled, at least 2 hours, or overnight to blend flavors. Serve over ice.
  3. Some people liked it just as it ~ others added some fresca to theirs.

Pinwheel Rollups

I am not sure where I got this version of this recipe. There are many variations out there. This was a good one. A hit at a recent party. So easy to make! I see these making an appearance for some upcoming tailgates!

Pinwheel Roll ups

10 large flour tortillas ~ ( I only got about 8 out of it)
1 cup chopped vegetables (red peppers, green peppers, carrots)
1 1/2 blocks cream cheese, softened
1 package dry ranch mix
1/4 cup salsa
A handful or so of shredded mozzarella

  • Mix cream cheese with ranch mix and salsa
  • Spread mixture onto tortilla; top with chopped veggies and cheese.
  • Roll and place in a casserole dish and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Mine were in overnight.
  • Chop off the end of each tortilla and discard; chop tortilla into bite sized pieces and serve. Each tortilla should give you 6-8 pieces.

Down Home Macaroni & Cheese

In planning a party, mac & cheese is usually a hit with the kids. This recipe was a hit with the kids AND the adults. I found it on Kraft.Com. I didn't alter the recipe at all ~ but I did quadruple it ~ and it turned out great. The only thing at the party (besides the keg) that there was absolutely none left! Can't wait to make it again in the fall for a football party.

Down Home Macaroni & Cheese
Source: Kraft.Com

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, divided
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked, drained
1/2 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
6 RITZ Crackers, crushed

I just did this X4! It worked out perfectly ~ A big block of Velveeta, one bag of cheddar.


HEAT oven to 350°F.

MELT 3 Tbsp. butter in medium saucepan on medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook 2 min., stirring constantly. Gradually stir in milk; cook until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Add VELVEETA; cook 3 min. or until melted, stirring frequently. Stir in macaroni.

SPOON into 2-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray; sprinkle with Cheddar. Melt remaining butter; toss with cracker crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole.

BAKE 20 min. or until heated through.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The most simple of recipes are sometimes the best! Chocolate cookies = pure joy!! This is the recipe on the back of the chocolate chips! As I type they bake, filling the house with the best smell!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk and set aside.
With a mix, beat butter and both sugars until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture in two additions until combined.
Stir in 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips
Use a mini ice cream scoop to drop cookie dough on a parchment covered cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes.
About halfway through baking, sprinkle reserved chips on top of the cookies.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Zucchini Cakes

My friend Chrissy has recommended I try these out. With a glut of zucchini in the fridge, I decided to give it a go. They were good. Can be substituted as a vegetarian way to have crab cake taste or just a nice summer meal or side dish.

Zucchini Cakes
Adapted from All Recipes.Com

  • 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning TM
  • If frying ~~ I baked them. Instead of flour topped with panko & baked.
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying
  1. In a large bowl, combine zucchini, egg, and butter or margarine. Stir in seasoned crumbs, minced onion, and seasoning. Mix well.
  2. Shape mixture into patties. Dredge in flour. (I topped with some panko instead of dredging in flour.)
  3. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Fry patties in oil until golden brown on both sides. Instead of frying, I baked at 400 for 12+ minutes.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Another try on the ice cream attachment. Another winner! This may be the household favorite so far. I found this on Dinner and Dessert blog.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Source: Dinner & Dessert Blog, The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

2 cups half and half
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

Whisk together the half and half, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full, rolling boil (it will start to foam up). Remove from the heat and whisk in the peanut butter, stirring until thoroughly blended.

Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Here is a great mix-in for the ice cream:

Peanut Butter Patties

6 TBSP peanut butter
2 TBSP powdered sugar

Mix together the peanut butter and sugar in a small bowl. Line a plate with plastic wrap. Pinch off small pieces of the peanut butter mixture, about 1/2 tsp. each, and drop them onto the dinner plate. Once you've used all of the mixture, freeze the patties.

Mixing them in: Fold the Peanut Butter patties into 1 quart of ice cream as you remove it from the machine. The patties ban be stored in the freezer, well wrapped for up to 1 month.

Blackberry Lime Sorbet

I've continued to look for things to use the ice cream attachment. I discovered this recipe from a great blog: Annie's Eats. My 1st try at sorbet. Loved this ~! Perfect for a hot summer day! Flavors I love.

Blackberry Lime Sorbet
Source: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
4 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
splash of tequila (optional)

In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Puree the blackberries in a blender of food processor with the simple syrup. Press the mixture through a large mesh sieve to remove the seeds, then stir the lime juice into the sweetened puree. Add a splash of tequila, if desired.

Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Cabbage and Herb Slaw with Oranges

This was a great summer side dish. Especially with a grilled meal. Very light. Also useful for those of you with good herb gardens.

Cabbage and Herb Slaw with Oranges
Source: Loves to Eat's Weblog

2 navel oranges
3 TBSP champagne vinegar
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 small head Savoy cabbage, cored & shredded (2 cups)
1 cup flat-leaf parsley
1 cup fresh basil, leaves torn
3 scallions, thinly sliced (2 TBSP)
Course salt and freshly ground pepper

Cut peel and pith from oranges. Slice oranges along membranes to release segments, letting segments and any juices fall into a bowl. Squeeze juice from membranes over segments, and discard membranes. Mix 2 TBSP of the orange juice and the champagne vinegar in a small bowl. Pour in oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified.

Combine cabbage, parsley, basil, scallions, and orange segments in a serving bowl. Add dressing, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Easy Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

So I splurged on the Kitchenaide Ice Cream attachment. A good investment. It is very easy to use. It is going to be so much fun to experiment with some yogurts, ice cream and sorbet. I admit to one minor flub due to my lackadaisically reading the directions. But take #2 yielded some great Mint Chocolate Chip!

Easy Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

2 cups 2% milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract
3 drops green good coloring (optional)
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (I used regular chips & chopped them up)

In a large bowl, stir together the milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla & peppermint extracts until the sugar has dissolved. Color to your liking with the green food coloring.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. After about 10 minutes into the freezing, add the chocolate chips (I added it much later). After the ice cream has thickened, about 30 minutes later, spoon into a container, and freeze for hours.