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!!