Friday, December 21, 2007


Mix equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream. Spread over a serving dish. Top with lettuce, diced tomatoes, and bacon pieces. Serve with bagel chips (or another cracker/chip/bread of your choosing).

Very easy and yummy!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I feel bad that I haven't posted on here in awhile but to tell you the truth, I haven't done a whole lot of cooking or baking in the past couple of months. I haven't made this recipe yet (I am going to this weekend!) but I got it from someone in our bible study who makes them and they are very good and soft!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 cups unsifted flour
2 cups oats, quick or old-fashioned, uncooked
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 t salt
1 ½ cups butter or margarine, softened
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 can solid pack pumpkin
1 cup (but I use the whole package, thus 2 cups instead) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. Cream butter; gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Alternate additions of dry ingredients with pumpkin, mixing well after each addition. Stir in choc chips.

For each cookie, drop ¼ cup dough onto lightly greased cookie sheet (don’t use airbake). Flatten a little. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes (closer to 20 in my oven, even a little less) until firm and lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on rack.

Makes about 45, using the largest Pampered Chef cookie/muffin scoop (which is the fastest way to do this).


These freeze nicely and also keep for a few days, if they don’t get eaten the first day.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

White Chili

White Chili

You will need:
4 garlic cloves
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups sliced green onions
4 oz. can of chopped green chilis, drained
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
2 15 oz cans of navy beans (or if you're like me and want to cut down on sodium buy one 15 ounce bag of navy beans and cook them--this increases cooking time by a lot)
10 oz. cream of chicken soup
10 oz can of chicken broth (or save the water you boiled your chicken in when you cooked it--again cuts down on sodium intake)
1 1/2 cut water
4 chicken breasts, chopped and cooked in boiling water
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 cup of Monterey Cheese (or really whatever cheese you want)

Cook the chopped chicken. Saute the garlic in the olive oil for one minute. Add green onions, green chilis, oregano, and cumin. Saute for four minutes. Put the ingredients in a large pot. Add chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, chicken, beans, water, and cayenne pepper. Boil for one minute. Add cilantro and cheese and simmer with the lid on for 15-20 minutes.

It's good with tortilla chips, sour cream, cheese, etc. Brandon loves it! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Special K Bars

A Classic....

1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups Special K Cereal or Rice Krispies
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine syrup, sugar and butter in pan. Boil one minute.

Remove from heat and add peanut butter, and salt. Pour over cereal and mix.

Press into 13x2-inch pan.

Melt chips and spread over cereal.

Cool and cut into bars.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pumpkin Muffins

Just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, here is a delicious recipe for pumpkin muffins. I just made these for today and they turned out perfectly!

1 pkg cake mix (white or yellow)
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin
1 Tb. cinnamon
1 Tb. pumpkin pie spice
1/3 c. water
chocolate chips (optional)

Mix cake all ingredients (minus chocolate chips) with electric mixer until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips as desired. Spoon into well-greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes (for mini muffin tin, 16-18 minutes) until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Shrimpy Toast

VERY Yummy appetizer!

2 bags frozen salad shrimp (the super tiny ones)
equal parts
shredded Parmesan cheese (NOT grated)
1 loaf french bread

Cut the french bread into slices and preheat the oven to 350. Put the thawed salad shrimp in a large bowl and start with a large scoop of mayo and the same amount of Parmesan cheese. Mix it up and add more until you get a consistency that stays together in a blob but not runny. Mound the mixture on top of the french bread slices and place them on a foil covered cookie sheet. Bake them at 350 for about 20-30 minutes or until the top just starts to get golden brown.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Fudge Cracker Bars

Got this recipe from my mom- very tasty (I know it doesn't sound good but give it a try!)

2 sticks butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups crushed graham crackers (about 24)
1 box keebler club crackers (leave whole, you will use about 2/3 of the box)

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
2/3 cup peanut butter

Spray 9x13 baking dish with PAM.
Line with one layer of whole club crackers and set aside.
In medium size pan, mix butter, milk, sugars, and graham crackers.
Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.
Pour half the filling over the club crackers and spread evenly.
Add another layer ofclub crackers and top with remaining filling.
Top with a third layer of crackers and set aside.

In microwave, melt chips (chocolate and butterscotch) and peanut butter, stirring until smooth.
Gently spread over top of filling.
After this has cooled, cut into bars and serve.
Can be stored in the frig.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Shrimp in Tomato Cream Sauce

This is so yummy and very easy to make. I did not have some of the ingredients on hand so I substituted and it still turned out really well. You can also substitute the shrimp with chicken (cooked beforehand) if you like.

1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 shallots, minced or 1/2 cup minced sweet onion
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup sweet red wine (Apple juice or chicken broth also work great)
3 medium tomatoes, chopped (I used a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound large raw shrimp
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil (I used dried basil)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
12 0z Angel hair pasta, cooked al dente (really, any kind of pasta will work)

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and saute shallots or sweet onions for 2 minutes.
Add garlic and saute another minute. Carefully pour in red wine and cook another minute, stirring constantly. Add chopped tomatoes, oregano, and basil, stirring to combine. Simmer about 5 minutes for flavors to blend.

Add heavy cream to tomato mixture. Continue cooking until reduced and somewhat thickened. Add shrimp and basil to tomato cream sauce and simmer, turning often, only until pink and opaque. (Do not overcook or the shrimp will become tough.) Stir in Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve immediately over cooked angel hair pasta.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Best ever sesame soy chicken

This is honestly the best thing I have eaten in awhile...and it is extremely fast to make!

Prep: 10 min -- Total: 25 min

8 oz angel hair pasta
2 cups broccoli florets (I used a bag of frozen)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
2 Tb. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/3 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts

Cook pasta as directed on box. Add broccoli to the boiling water for the last 3 minutes of pasta cooking time. *since angel hair pasta only takes 3-4 min to cook, I tossed in pasta and then broccoli right afterwards*

Meanwhile, spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat on med-high. Add chicken; cook 6 to 8 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta mixture; place in large bowl. Add chicken mixture; mix lightly. Sprinkle with peanuts after dishing up.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Chicken Azteca

1 15 oz can black beans (I like this kind that has ground cumin in it too)
Garlic Powder shakes
1/4 tsp+ Ground Cumin (or some shakes)
1 c. chunky salsa
2 Chicken Breasts
1 8 oz. package cream cheese

Cooked Rice
Shredded Cheese

1. Combine beans, garlic, cumin, and half cup salsa in crock pot.
2. Arrange chicken on top. Pour other half cup salsa on top of chicken.
3. Cover with lid. Cook on high 2-3 hours high or low 4-6 hours.
4. Remove chicken and place on plate. Cut cream cheese block into little squares to melt while you shred chicken into smaller pieces. Add chicken back to crock pot.
5. Stir and cover again and heat thoroughly so cream cheese melts. (I usually make rice now since it takes about 20 min. for rice to make and by that time the crock pot is ready).
6. Spoon over rice and top with cheese.
7. Enjoy! This is like Nick's favorite meal.

Magic Bars

Servings: Makes 2 to 3 dozen bars
Serving Size: 1/36 of a recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 (14-ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350°F (325°F for glass dish). In small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom of 13X9-inch baking pan.
Pour EAGLE BRAND® evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly with fork.
Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store leftovers covered at room temperature.
Side note: (You don't have to use Eagle Brand)
Other side note: Make sure you do step 1 or else it doesn't turn out as good! Also, I use only about a cup of coconut and maybe only a 1/4 cup chopped pecans- just sprinkle until it looks good!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Breakfast Quiche

This is the quiche I served at Janet's bridal shower.


1/2 pound thick sliced bacon
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, finely diced
2 cups finely diced smoked ham
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
1 tablespoon dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside. Cook spinach according to package instructions. Allow to cool, then squeeze dry.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until soft and translucent. Stir in mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft. Stir in ham and cooked bacon. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine spinach, sour cream, salt and pepper. Divide, and spread into pie crusts. Layer with bacon mixture. Mix together Monterey Jack, Cheddar and Parmesan, and sprinkle over pies. Whisk together eggs, half-and-half and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, and pour over pies.

Place pies on baking sheet, and bake on middle shelf in preheated oven for 40 minutes. The top will be puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Party Potatoes

32 oz. bag frozen shredded hash browns (I just use whatever the bag is- sometimes it is a little less)
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream (you can put less, I usually put about 2)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter (melted)
1/3 cup chopped onion (I leave this out)
About a cup bread crumbs (you can use 2 cups crushed cornflakes- I haven't tried that)
2 T. butter (melted)

1. Put hash browns in 9x13
2. Combine soup concentrate, sour cream, grated cheese, and 1/2 cup melted butter, (if you are using onions, you would add them here).
3. Blend in potatoes.
4. Combine breadcrumbs with 2 T. melted butter. Sprinkle on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 1/2

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Monkey Bread

This is a favorite recipe of ours that is always a hit at brunches!

4 x 7.5-ounce tubes of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each biscuit into quarters. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon. Dip biscuit pieces into sugar mixture or shake in plastic bag to coat. Put pieces in an angel food cake or bundt cake pan. Melt butter and brown sugar; do not boil. Pour over biscuit pieces in cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then turn pan upside-down on a plate. Tear off pieces or cut into slices.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bacon Ranch Potato Salad

Ok- I hate potato salad usually, but I LOVE this.

Seriously bacon and ranch! What better combination is there in life?

2 lbs potatoes (I use red)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1/2-1 cup onions (any kind you like, green, red, whatever is in the bottom of the fridge) chopped up
1 box of freezer microwave bacon cooked and cut up into small pieces

Combine all of the ingredients except for the potatoes and stick them in the fridge for a half an hour. Cut up and boil the potatoes (peel them if you want). Mix the mixture from the fridge and the potatoes and your done. It's super good warm right after you mix it up, but you're supposed to let it cool and then eat it.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

No-Pudge Brownies

So this isn't really a recipe, but these brownies are AMAZING!! I picked some up at Trader Joe's in Madison on my sister's recommendation. She can be a total health freak, though, so I was nervous that they wouldn't be very good. I was pleasantly SHOCKED at how awesome they were! So then I was just scared that I wouldn't be able to find them other than at Trader Joe's; however, the website says that SuperTarget and HyVee in Rochester carry these. I highly recommend them!

All you have to do is add vanilla yogurt (or regular yogurt and some vanilla) to the mix and throw them in the oven for yummy, fudgy brownies. Then enjoy without ANY guilt becuase they're FAT FREE! Could life get any better than this?!?!

Easy Beef Marinade

My friend, Chrissy, made this recipe for me when she visited a while back. She brought some venison (deer meat) with her, as her hubby is a big hunter and this is her mother-in-laws recipe. However, Matt and I have made this marinade several times with random cuts of beef and we love it! The biggest perk is that it is SUPER easy, and it is also a small enough portion that you can reasonably make this for just 2 people.

1/4 c olive oil (could use less if you want)
1/4 c soy sauce
1/8 c balsamic vinegar
2 tsp fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic, minced (or equivalent amount of already minced garlic)

Mix ingredients. Cut beef/venison/other meat into cubes and place in marinade for at least 15 minutes (up to a day before). Put meat and marinade into pot/pan and simmer until meat is cooked thoroughly. The longer you let it simmer, the more tender it should be. Serve with crusty bread to dip into marinade juices.

Chrissy insists that the way this is served is by putting the pot/pan on the table, scooping the meat onto your plate and everybody dipping their bread into the marinade. I love that way of eating...but I understand some people don't!

Also...I love to get the Take 'n' Bake breads to make with this - especially the garlic one. Yummy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tri-Color Rotini

Ok, this is yummy.

1 Package Tri-Color Rotini
Any Veggies you want (I use brocolli, Cucumbers, and tomatoes. You can also add olives and pepperoni but I have not used these)
2 cheddar string cheese sticks
2 mozzarella string cheese sticks
1 pkg. Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing (Made into dressing)

You just make the pasta, cool, chop up the vegetables into little bites and cheese sticks into little slices, pour on the dressing. (She said she sometimes just uses a little bit of dressing and then leaves it on the side so that people can put on however much they want. I think this is what we had. There wasn't much dressing on it- it was perfect!)

Chicken Caprese with Tomato-Basil Cream

I LOVE this recipe! Very yummy and quick to make!

1 c. soft, fresh breadcrumbs (2-3 slices of bread torn and put in food processor to crumble)
1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
1 Tb. chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Tb olive oil
2 Tb lemon juice
4 chicken breasts

STIR together the first 5 ingredients in a shallow bowl. Whist together olive oil and lemon juice until blended. Dip chicken into olive oil mixture, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture, pressing to coat. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet or in an 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs.
BAKE at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve with Tomato-Basil Cream.

Tomato Basil Cream:
1 cup spaghetti sauce
2 Tb light sour cream
1 Tb chopped fresh basil
1/8 tsp sugar (I leave this out of mine)

MICROWAVE all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 2 minutes stirring at 30 second intervals.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Buca di Beppo's Chicken Saltimbocca

The name "saltimbocca" means "jump into the mouth" - because a dish this delicious (pounded with Prosciutto and massaged with sage) gets eaten so quickly that it seems to leap from the plate right into mouth.

4 (5 ounce) chicken breasts
4 thin slices Prosciutto ham
1 tablespoon fresh sage
3 ounces olive oil
1 ounce all-purpose flour
5 ounces artichoke hearts, quartered
1/2 ounce capers
4 ounces white wine
2 ounces fresh lemon juice
2 ounces heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon salt

Lightly salt chicken breasts. Sprinkle evenly with chopped sage. Place sliced Prosciutto on top the chicken and pound it into the breast until the thickness of the chicken measures 3/8-inch.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saute pan. Lightly flour chicken pressed with prosciutto. Place in heated oil, Prosciutto side down. Brown one side, turn and brown the other side. Drain off excess oil, and deglaze with 4 ounces of white wine. Add artichokes, fresh lemon juice, cream and butter and cook until sauce is thickened.

On a large platter, place chicken breasts topped with reduced sauce and garnish with capers.

Serves 4.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cheesy Asparagus

1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup (packed) grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Arrange asparagus on broilerproof platter. Preheat broiler. Beat butter in medium bowl until fluffy. Beat in cheese, basil, garlic and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drop butter mixture by teaspoonfuls over asparagus.
Extra cheese can be added if you love cheese.
Broil asparagus until topping browns, watching closely to avoid burning, about 3 minutes. Serve hot.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Kristen's Fantastic Fudge

Kristen sent me this a while ago and I will lose the recipe if I don't put it somewhere- so what better place than the recipe blog!?

It doesn't get much easier than this: creamy evaporated milk with lots of chocolate!
Foolproof Fudge
3 (6-ounce) packages or 3 cups NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (Optional)
1 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 (12-ounce) can NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
Combine chocolate chips, nuts, butter and vanilla in a large bowl; set aside.
In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and evaporated milk to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue stirring while it boils for 8 minutes.
Pour milk mixture over chocolate mixture and stir to blend. Beat with an electric mixer approximately 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
Pour into a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Allow to cool before cutting. - I line my 9x13 with foil and rub butter on it…that way you can lift it out of the pan quite easily and cut in small squares
Makes 24 pieces.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Buca's Lemon Chicken

Had this with Kristen last night- super yummy!

2 x boneless skinless chicken breasts (6 oz ea) pounded to 1/2 inch
Salt to taste
1 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
4 lrg lemons
1/2 stk unsalted butter softened
A small handful drained capers

Cut three lemons in half and use for fresh lemon juice. Cut the last lemon into wedges for garnish.

Begin to heat the olive oil in a 12-inch saute pan on medium-high heat. While oil is getting hot, lightly season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt. Lightly dust the chicken breasts in the flour. Shake off excess flour. Place chicken in the saute pan.

When the chicken is golden brown, turn over and brown the other side as well. It is important to brown both sides to insure the chicken is completely cooked through. When both sides are nice and brown, add white wine and lemon juice. Continue to cook for approximately two to three minutes. The liquid should reduce approximately half.
Once the liquid is reduced, remove the chicken breasts from the pan and turn off heat.

Finish the sauce by placing the softened butter in the pan. Using rubber spatula, work the butter into the sauce as it melts. Pour sauce directly on top of chicken breasts. Garnish with capers and lemon wedges.
This recipe yields 2 servings.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Brandon Eats Broccoli Casserole

Use this for your finicky veggie eaters. I used this to feed the boards studiers. It was easy and good. The curry gives it a flavor I don't usually use in cooking.

1 bunch broccoli cut into florettes
2 to 4 lg. chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
2 cups instant rice
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 pkg. shredded cheese

Cook chicken in salt water until tender. Combine soup, lemon juice, curry powder, broth, and mayonnaise until saucy. Put broccoli and rice on bottom of casserole, then chicken pieces on top. Pour sauce over this. Sprinkle cheese over all. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Caramel Popcorn

This is my favorite homemade caramel popcorn...Enjoy!

1 bag popped popcorn (butter or plain)
3 TB light corn syrup
6 TB butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp vanilla

1. Remove all unpopped kernels from popped popcorn. Pour into a 17x12x2-inch baking or roasting pan. Keep popcorn warm in 300 degree oven while making caramel.
2. For caramel, in a medium saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils. Continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, without stirring, for 5 more minutes.
3. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Pour caramel over popcorn and stir gently to coat. Bake in 300 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Bake 5 minutes more. Spread caramel popcorn on a large piece of buttered aluminum foil to cool. Store tightly covered for 1 week in refridgerator. You may also freeze this in a ziploc bag or container.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Bertucci's Rigatoni, Broccoli and Chicken with Cream or Wine Sauce

This is from one of my favorite restaurants out east- I like the cream sauce

Servings: 2

3/4 lb quality, Italian rigatoni
2 tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts (4 oz each) boneless & skinless, cut into strips or thinly pounded
flour for dusting chicken
2 cups broccoli florets
1 tsp garlic, chopped
2 lemon slices
1 1/2 cups heavy cream or 1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot full of water to a rapid boil. Cook rigatoni according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet.

Dust chicken with flour and cook until golden on both sides.

Add broccoli florets, garlic and lemon slices. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add the chicken broth, heavy cream (or wine) and cook until liquid is reduced by half (about 2 minutes). Season to taste.

Add cooked and strained rigatoni to sauce, toss until well mixed and serve at once, reserving lemon slices as garnishes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Honestly, this is like the BEST cake. The first time I made it, it looked so big and I told Nick we were going to have to invite someone over because there was no way we could finish it (who was I kidding?). Yet, the very next day it was more than half gone. I made it every week for the next 3 weeks. This cake does not last more than two days, maybe three (that is pushing it) in the Orme household. :)


2 cups sugar
1 ¾ cup flour
¾ cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup boiling water
“Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9 inch round baking pans. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into pans. Bake 30-35 min. Or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with frosting.


1 stick butter
2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter, stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beat on medium speed to spreading consistency. Add more milk if needed. Stir in vanilla. This makes about two cups of frosting.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Red Lobster Biscuits

Garlic Biscuits- Jared's Specialty

2 c. Bisquick
2/3 c. milk
1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 c. melted butter
1/4 tsp. garlic salt

Mix Bisquick, milk and cheddar until a soft ball forms. Beat vigorously for 30 seconds. Drop by balls onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Mix butter and garlic and brush on rolls while still on the pan and hot.

Asparagus Risotto

1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)

Blanch asparagus pieces in large pot of boiling, salted water 2 minutes. Drain. Rinse asparagus under cold water. Drain asparagus well.
Bring chicken broth to simmer in small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and keep broth hot. Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir 3 minutes. Add dry white wine and cook until liquid evaporates. Continue cooking until rice is tender but still slightly firm in center and mixture is creamy, adding chicken broth 1 cup at a time and stirring almost constantly, about 20 minutes. Add blanched asparagus pieces and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 6 tablespoons butter and stir until incorporated. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese. Season risotto to taste with salt and pepper.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Chicken and Rice Bake

I don't have a recipe for this. It's one I just threw together and it happened to taste decent and not kill Albert or any of the Potluck wives/fiances. I'm posting it because a few of you requested the recipe. Sorry if it's vague.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into small cubes
3 gloves of minced garlic
3-4 tablespoons of teriyaki marinade (I use just enough to lightly coat cooked chicken)
1 small can of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1 can of milk
2 cups frozen peas (or however much you want)
2 cups of frozen broccoli (or however much you want)
8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese
enough cooked white rice to cover bottom of 13x9 baking dish
Salt and pepper to taste ( I don't usually add any while I'm cooking it, but some of you sodium addicts might need it)

In a large pot, fry garlic in a small amount of hot oil until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add chicken and cook thoroughly. Turn heat to medium and Add teriyaki marinade to chicken and toss. Add soup and milk and stir until well mixed. Add frozen veggies and cook on medium heat until heated through. Meanwhile spread rice on the bottom of greased baking dish. Pour chicken mixture over rice and top it all off with Cheese. Bake in 400 oven uncovered until cheese is melted and golden brown. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Raspberry Lemonade

I thought I'd add this one since spring and summer are coming up soon -- ignore the fact that it is snowing outside today...

6 large lemons
2 limes
1 cup sugar
6 cups water
1 cup raspberries

In a 2-quart pitcher, combine the juice from 6 large lemons (you need 1-1/2 cups juice) and 2 limes (1/3 cup juice), 1 cup sugar, and 6 cups water. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add 1 cup fresh raspberries. Cover with saran wrap and chill overnight. Serve over ice with lemon and lime slices for garnish. Makes approximately 8 servings.

Chicken Enchilada Dip

I came across this dip at work when some of the ladies in my office bought it from a bake sale/fundraiser they were doing upstairs. It's yummy!

1 can Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup (Campbell's) or Pepperjack soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Rotel
1 can chicken breast (drained)
1 cup sour cream

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and warm up to serve.

Lemon Butter Chicken with Capers

I made this recipe up trying to copy a dish that Andrew and I used to have in Chapel Hill at a nice restaurant called Valentino's.

3 or 4 chicken breasts
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1/3 cup butter (5-1/3 Tb)
1 lemon
2 Tb capers (or more, to taste)

Combine flour, bread crumbs, salt, and lemon pepper seasoning in a shallow bowl or plate. Crack 1 egg and stir to break slightly.

Dip chicken breasts into egg and coat in flour mixture.

In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add chicken one breast at a time. Allow chicken to cook on first side until lightly browned, then flip to other side and cook until done.

Slice one lemon and layer one or more slices on each chicken breast (once flipped to second side). Turn heaat down and squeeze lemon juice into butter mixture in pan. Add 2 Tb capers. Let simmer for three or four minutes more.

Plate chicken breasts with lemon slices on top and pour some of the sauce from pan over each.

Sauceless Pizza

This is a delicious alternative to normal pizza. It takes some work to make but it is worth it for sure!

2 pounds of fresh bread dough (I use 2 boxes of Jiffy Pizza Crust mix)
1/4 pound prociutto ham
1/4 pound genoa salami
1/4 pound pepperoni (from deli or prepackaged)
1 triangle Fontina cheese
2 cups mozarella
1/2 to 1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
Crushed red pepper to taste

Make pizza crust according to directions on box. Make each box separately.

Toss all of the ingredients (all chopped as you prefer and cheeses shredded) in a large bowl. Let sit for 1/2 hour on counter.

Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal (do not use flour!) --or, if using a pizza stone, just sprinkle with cornmeal. Roll out 1 lb of pizza dough large enough to cover pizza pan (12 to 14 inches) and place on cornmeal. Put all of the ingredients from large bowl onto bottom piece of dough and roll out second 1 lb of dough. Cover the ingredients with the second piece of dough and pinch the edges of dough together to keep the filling from leaking out while cooking. Cut a few slits in the top layer of dough and brush with olive oil allowing some to seep into slits. Trim any extra dough around edges of pizza.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Baked Artichoke Dip

This is the dip that I made for January Bunko that I never had the chance to send to everyone (with Carter showing up early and all)!

1/2 cup shredded mozarella cheese
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
Dash of white pepper
1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (I leave this out of mine)

In a large bowl, combine mozarella, sour cream, mayonnaise, 1/4 cup of parmesan, mustard and pepper. Stir in artichoke hearts and onion. Spread evenly into a 9-inch pie plate and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.

Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until heated through. Delicious with sliced french bread.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Banana Bread

My mom makes the best banana bread and this is her recipe slightly modified. I'm not a huge fan of bananas (so I use less) or nuts. It still tastes great, but you can always use more bananas if you want. This recipe makes 2 9x5 pans or 2-12 cup muffin pans. I usually make 1 of each, or you can halve the recipe for 1 pan.

3 very ripe bananas (For more banana taste use 6)
1 tbs vanilla
1 stick butter
1/2 cup veg oil
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup of walnuts (if desired) I don't like nuts in my bread

Preheat oven to 300 deg
Cream together butter & oil and slowly add sugar
Mash bananas and mix with whisked eggs
Add banana mix to butter and sugar
Add vanilla
Mix the flour and baking soda and slowly add to mixture
Add nuts if you like

Pour in well greased pans and bake
For muffin pan, about 25-35 minutes
For 9x5 pan, about 65-75 mins

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Mediterranean Rice Salad

We got this recipe from one of the little recipe cards in Target's produce section and decided to try it. It's great! Cassi, I promise it's easy. All you have to do is cook the rice, toast the pine nuts (bake at 325 for about 3 minutes until they become aromatic and start turning golden colored) chop the other ingredients and mix it all up. I hope you enjoy it, ladies!

**As posted, the recipe is for 2 servings. Adjust accordingly.

What you need:
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup baby basmati rice (in clear plastic cannister at Target - Archer Farms brand)
1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup chopped olives
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons feta cheese
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

What you do:
Cook basmati rice according to package directions using broth in place of water. Fluff with fork and transfer to medium bowl.
Add remaining ingredients; toss gently. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Cassi- This one is truly for you. I've had some requests to put it up, so here it is. Couldn't be easier

1 Betty Crocker bag of Peanut Butter Cookie mix (use this, don't make your own, this is better, trust me)
Whatever the bag tells you to add to the mix
1 bag mini peanut butter cups

Freeze the peanut butter cups. Unwrap the peanut butter cups. Mix up the cookies and put a tablespoon or so sized ball into a mini muffin tin. Cook the cookies according to the directions or until they look done. Once they come out put the peanut butter cup into each of the cookies. Pop the whole pan in the freezer then for a few minutes (this will make it go faster, and easier to handle- you won't have chocolate goo everywhere)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Honeyed Fruit Cocktail

I got this recipe from Walmart and made it for our Wednesday night dinner. The girls thought it was pretty good, hope you like it.

2 large bananas, sliced
2 cups red or green seedless grapes ( I use 1 cup of each)
2 ripe but firm mangoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored (Walmart has this) and cut into bite-size pieces
3/4 cup canned or refrigerated pineapple juice (I used canned pineapples and its juice)
1 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Gently toss banana slices in 1/4 cup pineapple juice, set aside
Combine mangoes, grapes and pineapple in a large bowl
Whisk together remaining 1/2 cup pineapple juice, honey and cinnamon until blended
Pour over fruit and toss
Add reserved bananas and toss gently

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bourbon Street Bread Pudding

Combine all ingredients and let stand in refrigerator overnight.

6 large eggs, beaten
6 cups whole milk 2 cups sugar
10-12 cups 2-inch cubes of day old
French bread
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brandy
1 1/2 cups raisins

Butter and flour 10 1/2x14 1/2x2 inch pan. Pour ingredients into pan. Set pan in larger pan; add hot water well up sides. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Serve warm with Bourbon Sauce.

Bourbon Sauce:
1/2 cup butter In top of double boiler over boiling water, mix
2 cups packed light brown sugar together butter and brown sugar. Stir in half and
2 cups half and half half. Add liquor. Serve over bread pudding.
1/2 cup bourbon or brandy

8-10 servings

Matt's Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto Over Pasta

Matt decided to make us dinner the other night and came up with this recipe. He made the savory version (with garlic salt, not sugar or regualr salt) and put it over bowtie pasta. I thoroughly enoyed it, and I hope you do, too!

Fresh basil (1 cup after chopping)
1tsp minced garlic
½ cup diced sun-dried tomatoes (in olive oil), drained
½ cup pine nuts
½ cup artichoke hearts
1/3 cup Romano cheese, grated (or shredded)
extra virgin olive oil to produce desired consistency (about 1/3 c)
optional boneless skinless chicken breast, raw sugar, salt, or garlic salt to taste

Chop fresh basil, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes with oil, and artichoke hearts
(The chopping can be done in a food processor)

Combine basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes with oil, and artichoke hearts together and mix. Add desired amount of olive oil for desired consistency for spreading pesto over pasta.

For sweeter pesto add raw sugar to taste.
For a more savory pesto you can add salt or garlic salt to taste. Matt used garlic salt.

If you want to add chicken, cut chicken breast into strips. Place the chicken strips into zip lock bag with 2Tbsp of olive oil and a couple of spoon fulls of pesto mix. Mix the chicken with oil and pesto so all the pieces are covered. Let set in fridge for ½ or more so chicken can absorb flavor. Cook chicken in nonstick pan.

Add Romano cheese to presto.
Add pesto (and chicken) to freshly cooked pasta of your choice.

Greek Pasta

So, I don't know what to call this one, but Beth asked me to post it.

1 Box Bow Tie Pasta
1 Bag Spinich Leaves
Some Feta Cheese
Athenos Green with Feta Cheese Dressing

1. Cook Pasta. Drain and rinse with cold water.
2. Rinse Spinich.
3. Put a layer of Spinich leaves, a layer of pasta, and sprinkle some feta cheese and repeat!

(This makes a lot, so you can adjust it to your liking. Also, I have not tried the dressing myself, I eat it plain and like it, but others like the dressing)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Easy Creamy Artichoke Bow Ties

Cassi said I have a lot of ingredients in my recipes, so this is my attempt at a simple recipe (though I would argue that even the ones with lots of things in them are really easy)- here's one that's good for you, vegetarian and very good.

12 ounces uncooked bowtie pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 can artichoke hearts
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add bowties and cook until al dente. Drain and keep warm.
While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place olive oil, butter, and liquid from artichoke hearts in skillet. Cut artichoke hearts into bite-size pieces. When olive oil mixture is hot, add onion and garlic. Saute until soft and lightly browned. Stir in artichoke hearts and saute until heated through. Season with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano.
Remove from heat and stir in cottage cheese and sour cream. Toss mixture with cooked pasta and top with Parmesan cheese.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Chicken Pot Pie

I'd never made anything like this before, so I found a recipe online and modified it to my tastes. It turned out really well and was pretty easy.

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts ( I have inherited my mother's inablity to make pie crust, so I use the frozen ones from the store)
egg wash

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Brush crust with egg wash.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Golden Crusted Pork Chops with Green Beans

I noticed everyone has a story at the top of their recipes- there really isn't a story to write, I just feel like I should be typing something. I always cook with chicken, so I like that this gives me a different meat- pork chops instead. And the below recipe is a great side to the meal!

1 Pkg (6 oz) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken
3 Tbsp. Miracle Whip Dressing
3 Tbsp. Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
6 Pork Chops (2 1/4 lb.)
3 Cups Frozen or Fresh Green Beans
2 Tbsp. Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare stuffing as directed on package. Combine
Miracle Whip and mustard in small bowl; set aside. Arrange chops in 13x9-inch baking dish; brush both sides with the mustard mixture. Top chops with stuffing; cover dish with foil. Bake 10 min. Meanwhile, place beans on large sheet of foil; drizzle with Italian dressing. If using fresh vegetables, also add 2 Tbsp. water. Fold foil over and seal edges to form packet. Uncover chops, place bean packet in oven. Bake an additional 20 min. or until chops are cooked through (160 degrees F). Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley if desired. Makes 6 servings. (I usually will cut the recipe in 3rds to only make 2 servings.)

Cheesy Smashed Potatoes

Ok, these are like my favorite because you don't have to peel any potatoes and it is so easy and yummy!

Prep: 15 min. Total: 35 min.

1 lb. red potatoes (about 3 small potatoes), cut into chunks
1 cup bite-sized cauliflower florets (I usually leave out, but is the "secret" apparantly, I'll try next time)
¼ cup Sour Cream
1 cup Kraft 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Place potatoes and cauliflower in large saucepan. Add enough water to cover. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 20 min. or until vegetables are tender. Drain; return to pan. Add sour cream; mash until vegetable mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in cheese.

Makes 6 servings, ½ cup each.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Neighbor Susie's Oh-So-Yummy Raspberry Torte

So...growing up we had this neighbor. She's a second mom to me. She wasn't able to have kids of her own, so has sort of adopted us as her kids. She used to cook for our family a few days a week. She'd even put the dinner in our oven or crockpot so that we'd come home to the smell of home sweet huh? And with every meal, there was always desert - Susie's specialty! She loved to bake, and every time she baked something for her husband and herself (at least every Sunday), she would share with our family because they couldn't finish an entire cake or pie themselves...!?!?!?! If I could bake like her, I sure wouldn't be sharing with the bratty little neighbor kids! very favorite desert is her raspberry torte. I hope you all enjoy this recipe...and know it was shared with lots of love from Susie to me and now to you!

Heat 1 cup of milk with one pound of marshmallows on low heat until the marshmallows are melted. Stir often.

Let cool.

Fold in 1 quart raspberries, 1/2 c chopped nuts, and 1 pint whipped cream (whipped until soft peaks form).

25 graham crackers, crushed fine
1/ c sugar
1/2 c milk that's Susie's recipe...but I'll fill in a bit more...

Form the crust into a glass pan and pour the marshmallow-rasperry mixture into it. Chill. When it is done, it should be firm, but fluffy...and oh-so-yummy!

Mom's Mandarin Salad

1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar
Sweet-Sour Dressing (recipe below)
1/2 head lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
2 medium stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 green onions (with tops), thinly sliced (about 2 Tbsp)
1 can (11 oz) mandarin orange segments, drained

Cook almonds and sugar over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted and almonds are coated. Cool on waxed paper and break apart. Store at room temperature.

Prepare Sweet-Sour Dressing (see below)

Place lettuce, celery, and onions in serving bowl. Pour Sweet-Sour Dressing over salad. Toss. Add orange sements and almonds. Toss lightly.

Sweet-Sour Dressing
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp snipped parsley
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
Dash of red pepper sauce (Tobasco)

Shake all incredients in tightly covered container. Refrigerate.

Optional changes/extra info:
- can use 1/2 romaine, 1/2 iceberg/head lettuce
- can put the salad in a large ziploc to toss with dressing
- we always use double the sugared almonds - be sure not to burn them! once the sugar melts they burn easily!
- we always serve this with a cod dinner. not sure why, but it seems to be a good pairing.

Semi-Homemade Yummy Lemon Cake

Ok, so a few days ago I was bored, didn't want to study and felt like baking. Except we didn't have much. Since I've inherited much of the pantry from when Jared lived here alone I went on a hunt. I found a lemon cake mix, which frankly I wasn't too excited about because I'm a chocolate girl, but decided I could live with it if I added some goodies. I searched the fridge and found the ingredients to make a lemon buttercream icing and it was wonderful. Jared has been asking for seconds all week. So next time you need an easy cake think of this!


Lemon Box Cake
Just make it.


2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest

Beat butter with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add confectioners sugar, lemon juice, extract, and zest, then mix until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes.

Make sure cake is completely cooled before you frost it.

I think this would also be great as a layer cake with lemon curd in the middle!

Spinach Bisque

This is a recipe from a little restaurant in Galesburg, IL. I finally found it online. It's really good, even if you don't like spinach. Dip hunks of french bread in it to make it a meal. It would also be really good in a bread bowl, I've just been too lazy to make some yet.

4-5 cups Chicken Broth
3 10-oz packages of chopped spinach (frozen boxes)
4 tablespoons of butter
2 1/2 cups Velveeta (I know, I know, but it's still really good)
1 pint of half and half
2 tablespoons onion
4 tablespoons corn starch
Parmesan cheese to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil spinach in 4 cups chicken broth till tender. Meanwhile saute onion in butter in a pot large enough to contain all of the bisque at the end. Add corn starch and stir until blended, then add the spinach in three batches. Stir in cheese and half and half. Add rest of chicken broth if needed. It’s always better the second day… Enjoy!!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Simply Lasagna from Kraft Foods

Here is the lasagna recipe that I got from my Kraft Foods magazine. It is pretty easy to make and I think it tastes pretty good. You can also make it ahead of time and then bake it the day you need it (just take it out of the fridge to warm it up a little or bake it longer).

1 lb. ground beef
2-1/2 cups KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1 container (15 oz.) POLLY-O Natural Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup KRAFT 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
12 lasagna noodles, uncooked

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Brown meat in large skillet on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, mix 1-1/4 cups of the mozzarella cheese, the ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the parsley and egg until well blended; set aside.
DRAIN meat; return to skillet. Stir in spaghetti sauce. Pour water into empty sauce jar; cover and shake well. Add to skillet; stir until well blended.
SPREAD 1 cup of the meat sauce onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish; top with layers of 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup of the meat sauce. Repeat layers two more times. Top with remaining 3 noodles and the remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1-1/4 cups mozzarella cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Cover tightly with greased foil.
BAKE 45 min. Remove foil; continue baking 15 min. or until heated through. Let stand 15 min. before cutting to serve.

Cheesecake Bars

How can we live in Minnesota without some bar recipes?

2 (8 oz.) cream cheese bricks
1 egg, separated
2 tubes crescent rolls from the refridgerator section
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon and sugar mixture
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 11x7 inch pan. Spread one package of crescent rolls on bottom of pan, unrolling the roll and laying it flat into the pan creating an even layer.

Mix egg yolk, cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice together a bowl with an electric mixer. Spread this mixture over the crescent rolls.

Place another layer of crescent rolls over the cream cheese mixture.

Wisk the egg white and brush it over crescent rolls. Then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on top.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Chocolate chips or berries can be added to the cream cheese mixture for a modification.

Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

A few people have asked me for the recipe I use to make this. It takes forever but is so worth it.

1 1/3 cups wild rice
4 chicken breasts, cut into pieces
7 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
3/4 cup white wine

Cook the wild rice according to package directions, but remove from heat about 15 minutes before it's done. Drain the excess liquid, and set aside.

In a stock pot over high heat, combine the chicken and the broth. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Simmer until chicken is cooked and tender. Remove chicken from the pot, and allow it to cool. Strain the broth from the pot, and reserve for later.

In the same stock pot over medium heat, saute the celery and onion in the oil for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cover. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is tender. Return the broth to the stock pot, and add the partially cooked wild rice. Stir in the bouillon, white pepper; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour until smooth. Whisk in the milk, and continue cooking until mixture is bubbly and thick. Add some of the broth mixture to the milk mixture, continuing to stir, then stir all of the milk mixture into the broth mixture.

Mix in the reserved chicken meat and the white wine. Allow this to heat through for about 15 minutes.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Jared's Favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 can crushed tomatoes
3 cans chicken broth
1 broth can water
2 cups frozen whole corn kernels, cooked
1 can chopped green chili peppers
1 can black beans
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 boneless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
crushed tortilla chips
sliced avocado
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
chopped green onions
sour cream

Heat olive oil in large pot.

Place onion, garlic and chicken into hot pan and sauté until chicken is cooked through.

Add chicken broth, water, crushed tomatoes, corn, peppers, beans, cumin, cilantro, chili powder and cook for 30 mins to 1 hour covered.

Taste and adjust spices as needed.

Serve with topping of chopped avocado, cheese, sour cream, green onions and lots of crushed chips.

Garlic Chicken Pizza

1 ready-made pizza crust from refridgerator section
1/4 cup alfredo sauce
3 tablespoons butter melted
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 chicken breast
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
parmesan cheese

Bake crust according to the directions.

Melt butter and mix in garlic powder and the 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic. Rub it all over the crust, out to the edges.

Spread alfredo sauce over the crust like regular pizza sauce.

Sauté the chicken in oil and 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic (use spices you like to flavor the chicken)

Cut up the chicken and spread it over the crust and add the red onion sprinkle some parmesan cheese over the top.

Bake at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes, just watch it, melt the cheese and heat through.