Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Healthy Penne Casserole (aka "Tofu Stuff")

Mandy: Don't fear the tofu!!!

1 pkg. silken tofu
16 oz. penne pasta
1 jar pasta sauce (I use Ragu Sundried Tomato & Sweet Basil)
1 egg
1 tbsp. (or so) dried or fresh parsley
1/2 cup parmesan
1 pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
Cook pasta as directed on package to al dente so they don't overcook.
Drain the water from the tofu (don't be afraid!).
In a small bowl, combine the tofu, parmesan, parsley, & egg. Stir well.
In a casserole, layer the sauce, tofu mixture, pasta, & cheese as follows:

  • A little sauce
  • 1/2 of the pasta
  • All of the tofu
  • A couple handfuls of cheese
  • More sauce
  • The rest of the pasta
  • The rest of the sauce (make sure it covers all of the pasta!)
  • The rest of the cheese (make sure it covers all of the sauce!)

Bake, covered, for 45 minutes or until warmed through.

This dish makes a lot & keeps well, so you can heat it up for leftovers.

P.S.: It doesn't taste like tofu!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chicken with Capers & a side of Green Beans

I found this on BHG.com because I was looking for a way to use a jar of capers I had on hand. I posted the recipe, plus any changes that I made when I was trying it last night. I did a half recipe; it took about 15 minutes, I think.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 lb.)
1 Tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
4 Tbsp. olive oil
salt & pepper
1/4 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs (I used chicken flavored stuffing & it worked, even though the crumbs weren't "fine" or anything)
8 oz. green beans, trimmed
2 lemons, 1 sliced and 1 juiced (because I did a half recipe, I used just 1 lemon: half for juicing & half for slicing)
1 Tbsp. capers

Place one chicken breast half between sheets of plastic wrap. Lightly pound with flat side of meat mallet to even thickness. Repeat. (I dispensed with this step & the recipe worked fine.)
Brush chicken with mustard (I just spread some around with my finger--I'm so technical sometimes); sprinkle evenly with salt, pepper, and bread crumbs to coat. (To do this without making a huge mess, I just did the mustard, salt, pepper, & bread crumbs on one side, then put the breasts with that side down in the heated oil & did the mustard, salt, pepper, & bread crumbs on the other side. Let me know if you find an easier way to do this part!)
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken. Cook 4 minutes per side or until no pink remains (170F). Transfer to plates.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to skillet. Cook green beans in oil 4 minutes or until crisp-tender; add lemon slices the last minute. Transfer to plates.
Add juice and capers to skillet; heat through. Drizzle on chicken.
Makes 4 servings.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fluffy Chocolate Dessert (aka Catfood)

1 large angel food cake
1 12 oz package of semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoos sugar
16 oz Cool Whip
6 eggs, separated

Melt chocolate chips, egg yolks, and sugar in a double broiler. Cool. Fold into beaten egg whites. Fold into Cool Whipe. Tear cake into bite siz pieces and fold into chocolate mixture. Place in a 9x13 Pyrex Dish and refrigerate over night.

*This dessert has been nicknamed catfood ever since I was a little girl and my Grandma made this for Thanksgiving one year. My older cousins, not wanting me to share in the bliss that is eating this dessert, decided to tell me it was catfood so I wouldn't try it. It took me awhile, but I figured things out and now it is one of my favorite desserts!*

Strawberry-Cranberry Jello Salad

This is for you Cat!

1 Large Strawberry Jello
1 small can cryshed pineapple drained
1 apple shredded
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 - 1pound can whole cranberry sauce

Dissolve jello with 1/2 cup less water then directed. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and pour into mold. Refrigerate until firm.

*Hope this works with your un-used Jello molds. This recipe is from my grandma.

Grandma's Chicken Rolls

1 can (8) Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1 3 oz package cream cheese softened
2 Tblsps butter or margarine, softened
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tblsp or a little more chopped green onions
1 Tblsp milk
a few fresh mushrooms thinly sliced
2 cups chicken (cooked, boned and diced) (can works too)

1/4 cup (or a little more) melted butter
Parmesan Cheese

Blend cream cheese, butter and milk until smooth. Add Salt, pepper, onions, and milk. Fold in chicken and sliced mushrooms. Unroll crescent rolls and separate into triangles. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the chicken muxture onto the roll. Fold the ends of the rol around the chicken mixture, pinching to seal (part of stuffing may show). Rolli n melted butter and Parmesan cheese. (To cut down on fat you can just place them on a lightly sprayed baking sheet and brush with butter and sprinkle with the cheese).

Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with gravy made from diluted cream of chicken soup.

*This is great comfort food for fall. I remember requesting these every week from my Grandma because they are soooo yummy! If you don't like mushrooms, don't worry, you can't even taste them..in fact you could probably leave them out. Enjoy!*

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Elders' favorite chocolate chip cookies

I was printing this out for the Elders, so I thought I'd post it. These cookies have made me famous among the missionaries all over the area! I made the instructions pretty idiotproof for them, so that's why they're so verbose.

1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
1 ½ cups butter or margarine, softened (I use shortening)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
chocolate chips, to taste (I usually use about half a bag)

· Heat oven to 350.
· In large bowl with electric mixer, beat white sugar, brown sugar, & butter (shortening) until light & fluffy (usually about 2 minutes).
· Beat in vanilla & eggs until well blended.
· Gradually beat in flour, baking soda, & salt. (I usually add the flour a cup at a time & stir for awhile in between.)
· Stir in chocolate chips.
· Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets by rounded tablespoonfuls (I have a cookie dough scoop from Bed, Bath, & Beyond that works great for this) 2 inches apart.
· Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown (I do 8, but your oven might be different). Cool on cookie sheets 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

* HIGH ALTITUDE: Decrease shortening to 1 cup, white sugar to ¾ cup, & brown sugar to 1 ¼ cup.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Busy night chicken & penne

up to 4 chicken breasts (for just my husband & me, I only use 1)
penne pasta
1/2 cup Kraft Light Italian dressing, divided
1/4 cup parmesan
broccoli cuts
red bell pepper, diced (I usually use about 1/3 of a pepper)

Cook the pasta.
Meanwhile, cut up the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add 1/4 cup of the dressing to a saucepan; heat on medium-high until it just starts to bubble. Add chicken.
Cook chicken in dressing until cooked through; add broccoli & peppers & cook until tender. (If using frozen broccoli, add broccoli just after chicken.)
Drain water from pasta & return to pot. Add chicken mixture, parmesan, & remaining dressing to pot; stir well. Serve.

This dish takes hardly any time at all (10-15 min. if the chicken is thawed already), is low in fat & high in antioxidants, & the red & green of the veggies makes for great presentation!

This recipe comes from the Kraft Food&Family magazine.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Witch's Hat Calzones

This recipe is from Better Homes & Gardens.

1 3.5-oz. pkg sliced pepperoni
4 oz. cream cheese, softened (a lot)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 8-oz. pkgs refrigerated crescent roll dough (total of 16 crescents)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 Tbsp. water
pizza sauce, warmed

Toppings (optional):
parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning
red pepper flakes
black olives

Cut out designs in 6-12 slices of pepperoni. Jack-o-lanterns are pretty easy because the pepperonis are already round, but you can do stars, moons, triangles, etc. (If you have an hors d'oeuvres cutter, use it.)
Chop up remaining pepperoni.
In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese, pepperoni, & parmesan. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425.
Lightly grease a large baking sheet; set aside.
Unroll packages of crescent dough; separate dough into individual triangles. (If you don't have a huge baking sheet, just do one package at a time.)
Place half of the triangles on the baking sheet.
Mix together the egg & water in a small bowl.
Brush the edges of the triangles with the egg mixture.
Place a heaping tablespoon of the pepperoni-cheese mixture in the center of each triangle.
Top with remaining triangles. Press edges together so they seal.
Pierce dough a few times with a fork to vent.
Brush dough with egg mixture.
Fold short edge up, forming a hat brim.
Decorate "hats" with some of the pepperoni shapes &/or olives & sprinkle with parmesan, Italian seasoning, &/or red pepper flakes.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden.
Serve with warm pizza sauce.

These look so cool, you have to see them for yourself! Your kids will love helping you decorate them.

Mummy Dogs

This recipe is from Better Homes & Gardens

12 hot dogs
1 package breadstick dough (12-count)

Preheat oven to 375.
Remove hot dogs from package & pat dry.
Unroll breadstick dough from package.
Stretch dough for each breadstick out to 12 inches & wrap around the hot dog, leaving some of the hot dog showing.
Press 2 capers into the breadstick dough for eyes. (Press hard; the capers don't stick all that well sometimes)
Place Mummy Dogs on a greased baking sheet & bake for 12 minutes or until breadstick dough is golden brown.
Serve with mustard & ketchup, especially if you can find the kind that are crazy colors!

These were a huge hit at the Bloomington University Ward Halloween Party. To see how cute these can be, watch the video!

Amazing Mustard Pork Chops

2 pork chops, about 1-pound total weight
2 teaspoons infused oil (I used Olive Oil)
1/2 cup hard cider (Apple Cider works just as well)
1 tablespoon grain mustard (Something like Grey Poupon or a spicy mustard)
1/3 cup heavy cream (no skimping!!)

(1 Package Gnocchi to serve alongside)

Cut the fat or rind off the chops, and then bash them briefly but brutally with a rolling pin between 2 pieces of cling film/plastic wrap to make them thinner.
Heat the oil in a pan, and then cook the chops over a moderately-high heat for about 5 minutes a side. Season with Salt and Pepper. Remove them to a warmed plate.

Pour the cider into the pan, still over the heat, to deglaze the pan. Let it bubble away for a minute or so then add the mustard and stir in the cream.

Let the sauce continue cooking for a few minutes before pouring over each plated pork chop. If you're having gnocchi with, make sure you turn them in the pan to absorb any spare juices before adding them to your plates.

(This recipe is from Nigella Lawson on the Food Network. I made it and absolutely love it even with cheaper mustard and apple cider. The gnocchi are absolutely perfect in this recipe, especially when they soak up the yummy sauce. Enjoy!)

Friday, October 26, 2007

7-up Marinade

¼ c. oil
½ c. soy sauce
1 can 7-up
¼-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Up to 5 pounds of Chicken or beef

Mix up all ingredients and place in a large Ziploc back with your choice of meat. Marinade over night for best flavor and grill. We often use this for chicken and slice it over a salad. This is also fabulous on flank steak for fajitas. Yum!!
-Tiffany Packard

Monday, October 1, 2007

Poppy Seed Chicken

1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups sour cream (low fat works)
2 cups cooked and cubed chicken
1 (8 ounce) box of Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Heat Oven to 350 F

Mix soup and sour cream. Add Chicken.

Mix crackers with butter and poppy seeds. Divide cracker mixture in half and mix one half with the chicken mixture. Spread half of the remaining cracker mixture in a greased 9x13 pan. Spread chicken mixture over cracker crumbs. Put remaining cracker mixture on top. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes.

From "Remedies for the 'I Don't Cook' Syndrome"

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread or Muffins

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (or a little more) chocolate chips (can substitute nuts if you like)

Heat Oven to 350 F

Cream sugar and Butter. Add eggs and beat well. Sift or mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Add bananas, vanilla, and chips.

For muffins, spray or grease muffin cups or use cupcake liners in muffin pans. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

For bread, put batter in a paper lined or well-greased and floured 5x9 in loaf pan or two 41/2x81/2 inch pans/ Bake 1 hour.

Chicken, Dill, and Pasta Salad

3/4 Cup Mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon dried dill weed
1 tablespoon onion salt
2 cups cooked and cubed chicken, cooled (can also use canned chicken)
2 cups halved red grapes
2 cups chopped celery
1 package (12 oz) large shell macaroni, cooked, drained, and cooled.
**I've used bow-tie and penne pasta before, works great**

In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, dill weed, and onion salt.

In a glass salad bowl, combine chicken, grapes, celery and macaroni. Stir in mayonniase mixture. Chill before serving.

Recipe from "Family Dinners: Easy ways to feed your kids and get them talking at the table"

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cafe Rio Dressing and Sweet Pork

1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet (make as per recipe)
2 tomatillos (tomato like vegetable with a husk around them)
½ bunch of cilantro
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeño (Use the seeds too if you like it spicy. You could substitute a few drops of green tobasco for the jalapeno.)

Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients well. Refrigerate.* be warned... this makes a ton of dressing, but it will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Café Rio Sweet Pork

3-4 lbs pork roast (can substitute chicken)
-1 cup brown sugar
-3 cups salsa*Mix ingredients in a crock pot and let cook for 10 hours on low.

Cilantro-Lime Rice and Beans

Cilantro-Lime Rice

1 cup uncooked rice
1 teaspoon butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, lime peel, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice.

Black Beans
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 cup tomato juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Recipe by Rachael Ray

1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, 1 stick melted, 1/2 stick softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon plus 2 pinches salt
1 2/3 cups flour
4 ounces cream cheese, chilled
1 cup confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon vanilla, the baking powder, the baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour.
3. Using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop 12 generous mounds of batter, spaced evenly, onto each baking sheet. Bake until springy to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the cream cheese. Add the confectioners' sugar and the remaining 2 pinches salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; mix on low speed until blended, then beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
5. Spread the flat side of 12 cakes with the cream cheese frosting. Top each with another cake.

Pudding Cookies

Pudding Cookies

1 cup butter
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
1 (3 ounce) box instant pudding mix (any flavor)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream butter and sugar, add egg and instant pudding. Beat well, add sifted flour and baking powder. Roll into small balls, flatten with fork on a cold greased tray. Bake 350°F degrees for 15-20 minutes.

You can add chocolate chips, strawberries, etc. Delish

Tofu Stirfry

Sarah H.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


There is really no recipe, so this will have to do...

Harina de Maiz (tortilla mix, cornmeal flour, I prefer MASECA)
**Mix according to directions on package (USE VERY WARM WATER) and add salt to taste. Dough should not be sticky, but should be a little tacky and not dry. You should be able to form a ball in your hand very easily. If you push it down, the dough shouldn't crack. Once made, cover with a damp clean dish cloth and set aside for about ten minutes.

For filling use shredded mozzarella cheese and/or refried beans. It is easier if you mix the cheese and the beans together first before filling the pupusas. I use canned refried black beans from the mexican aisle (Goya is always a good brand) and those taste almost authentic.

Before you start, make sure you heat either a good size frying pan or skillet to medium high heat (really hot, water should sizzle when dropped but not instantly evaporate).


I do it like an assembly line so it is easier. You will need a small bowl of vegetable or canola oil, your premade MASECA, and your filling. Take a small handful of the MASECA and form into a ball. Use your thumbs to create a little basket from the ball, this is where you will place your filling. Add about a spoonful of filling (depending on the size of your ball and desired pupusa this may vary, you should have enough filling to create a hearty pupusa, but not so much that you can't seal up your basket). Seal up the filling inside your "basket" and then use a little oil on your hands to form the basket back into a slight ball and then into a fat tortilla. Place on the hot skillet/pan and turn when light brown on one side. Cook so that the pupusa is nice and golden brown all over.

Serve warm with "curtido" (coleslaw) and salsa. Add sour cream if you want. ENJOY!

I learned this by watching, so sorry if the recipe is hard to follow. Good luck and Buen Provecho!

Mandy V.

Curtido (what you put on top of Pupusas)


1 med. green cabbage, shredded
1 lg. carrot, shredded
3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 c. water
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red chili flakes

Mix together vinegar, water, salt, oregano and chili. Put cabbage and carrot in a large bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over cabbage mixture. Toss to completely cover cabbage mixture with vinegar mixture. Cover, chill, preferably overnight to blend flavors. Serve over pupusas or as a side dish.

**I usually just use the coleslaw mix that is pre shredded and it works just fine. Be sure to chill well before serving so the flavor blends. Also, I tend to add a little more oregano to jazz it up a bit.

Mandy V

Salsa Verde (Green Salsa)

Salsa Verde

1 1/2 lb tomatillos
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 Jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
Salt to taste

1 Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cut in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.

2 Place tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, Jalapeño peppers, sugar in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt. Cool in refrigerator.

Mandy V.

Easy Valentine's Day (or any day) Chicken

5-7 Chicken breasts or other chicken pieces...enough to cover the bottom of a 9''x13'' pyrex
1 medium bottle Russian Salad Dressing
1 medium jar Apricot Preserves (or Apricot and Pineapple Jam)
1 packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix

In a pot over medium-low heat mix the jam, dressing, and soup mix until well blended and liquidy.

Place chicken in glass baking dish, pour mixture over chicken.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 F for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Delicious when served over white rice.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Chicken and Wild Rice soup

1 package (4.3oz) Rice A Roni Long Grain & Wild Rice Original
1¼ cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
1 cup cream
3 cups chicken broth
6 chicken tenders or 3 chicken breasts
Olive oil for cooking chicken (approx 2-3 Tablespoon)

Empty contents of Rice A Roni (including the packet of flavoring) into a baking dish. Add water and bake at 325 for 45 minutes – 1 hour. In a large pan, heat oil and then add bite-size pieces of chicken and cook thoroughly. In a separate (large) pan, melt butter and sauté vegetables. Add the flour to the pan. Then slowly add the chicken broth to blend smooth. Add the cream and then the rice mix and then the chicken mixture. Can be made ahead.

Chicken Pot Pie

3-4 boneless chicken breasts cooked and chopped
1/3cup butter
1cup chopped onion
1cup chopped celery
1 small potato chopped
1/2 bag frozen mixed veggies of your choice
1/2 cup flour
2 cup chicken broth
1 cup half and half (I use fat free)
1teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 refridgerated pie crust (not frozen)

Melt butter and saute onions and celery at medium for 10 mins. sprinkle flour and add chicken broth; stir till smooth. Add half and half, cook over medium. Stir till think and bubbly. Add chicken, salt, pepper and veggies. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 11x7 casserole dishUnfold pie crust and press out any creases. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon flour over crust, roll out crust using rolling pin. Place crust over mixture. Fold under extra dough and crimp. With a sharp knife cut 2 slits in crustBake at 400 for 30mins

*If edges get too brown you can cover with foil

Homemade Mac and Cheese

1 and 2/3 cups dry elbow noodles cooked and drained
2 Tablespn cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup water
2 Tablespn butter
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375, Grease a 2qt casserole dishCombine cornstarch, salt and pepper in medium saucepan. Stir in evap. milk, water and butter. Cook over medium heat. stirring constantly, until mixture comes to boil. Boil for 1 min Remove from heat Stir in 1.5 cups cheese until melted. Add macaroni, mix well. Pour into casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.Bake for 20-25 mins

Enchiladas Suizas

2 onions diced
8oz green chiles
1 clove garlic
2Tablespn butter
2Tablespn flour
1.5 cup chicken broth
1/4lb monteray jack cheese
2 scallions chopped
12 corn tortillas
1.5 cup shredded chicken
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste

Chop onions and chiles. Mince garlic. Melt butter and saute onions in butter.Stir in flour and chicken broth. Add chiles, garlic, salt and cumin. Simmer for 15mins. Briefly fry torillas in oil. Drain on papertowels. Dip tortillas in sauce. Put a little chicken on eat and top with some cheese. Roll up and place seam down in a casserole dish. Pour remaining sauce over them, pour cream over them and sprinkle with remaining cheese and scallions. Bake at 350 till hot and bubbly

Pumpkin Gooey Cake

Paula Deen

Cake: 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling: 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan. To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
2/3 cup Evaporated Milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmegDIRECTIONS
PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F.
COMBINE graham cracker crumbs, butter and granulated sugar in medium bowl. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes (do not allow to brown). Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
BEAT cream cheese, granulated sugar and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs, pumpkin and evaporated milk. Add cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg; beat well. Pour into crust.
BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until edge is set but center still moves slightly.

Red Velvet Cake

1/2 c butter
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 ounces red food coloring (typically 2 1-oz. bottles; yeah it's a lot)
2 TBSP cocoa
2 1/4 c cake flour (you can use regular, but cake flour is better)
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP white vinegar
1 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda

Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs. In a small bowl, stir food coloring and cocoa together evenly to make a paste, then add the paste to the creamed mixture. Separately, mix flour and salt. Alternate additions of flour/sale and buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with flour/salt. Add the vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine soda and vinegar. Beware, it will foam up a bit. Add the soda/vinegar mixture to the batter, blending gently rather than beating. Bake 25 to 30 mins. at 350 degrees in two 8-inch greased and floured round cake pans. Cool on racks. If desired, split each layer into 2 layers (use a very sharp knife or even dental floss; I usually don't bother and just do two layers).Frost with a cream cheese frosting.

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Slow Cooker Lasagna

12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 jar (28 ozs.) spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup water
1 carton (16 ozs.) ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

Break noodles in half. Place half of the noodles in the bottom of a greased 4-quart slow cooker. Stir Italian seasoning into meat and spread half over the noodles in the slow cooker. Over the beef, layer half the sauce and water, half the cottage cheese and half the mozzarella cheese. Repeat Layers. Cover and cook on low heat 4-5 hours. Do not cook more than 5 hours. Makes approx. 8 servings.

Roasted Garlic Dressing

6 tablespoons olive oil
10 large garlic cloves,unpeeled
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons apple cider (I never have this on hand, and just sub apple juice)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss oil with garlic in small baking dish. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake until garlic is golden and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic from skins. Reserve oil. Transfer roasted garlic to processor. Add honey, vinegar, cider and mustard and blend well. With processor running, slowly add reserved garlic oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Yellow (Vanilla) Cake

18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 cup sour cream at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 18 by 13 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.

Icecream Sandwich Dessert

Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

19 ice cream sandwiches
1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 jar (11-3/4 ounces) hot fudge ice cream topping
1 jar (11-3/ ounces) caramel ice cream topping
1 cup salted peanuts (optional)

Cut one ice cream sandwich in half. Place one whole and one half sandwich along a short side of an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. pan. Arrange eight sandwiches in opposite direction in the pan. Spread with half of the whipped topping. Spoon fudge topping by teaspoonfuls onto whipped topping. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup peanuts. Repeat layers with remaining ice cream sandwiches, whipped topping, caramel ice cream topping instead of fudge and peanuts (pan will be full). Cover and freeze for up to 2 months. Remove from the freezer 20 minutes before serving. Cut into squares.Yield: 15 servings.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Blueberry Pumpkin Poundcake

Blueberry-Pumpkin pound cake

3 cups plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 1% milk
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon canned pumpkin
2 1/4 teaspoons 1% milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

-Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. -To prepare cake, coat 10 inch bunt pan with cooking spray; dust with 2 teaspoons flour, set aside. -Lightly spoon 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 3 cups flour and next 6 ingredients (through cloves), stirring with a whisk. Place butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Gradually add granulated and brown sugars and 1 teaspoon vanilla, beating until light and fluffy (about three minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and sour cream, and beat well. Beating at low speed, add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in blurberries. -Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick insterted comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. After 15 cool on a wire rack or cutting board. -To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients, stirring until well blended, drizzle over cooled cake.

Best Dessert Sauce EVER

Best Ever Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Heat butter, sugar, and cream over very hot heat for 12-15 minutes. Stirring until well blended and slightly thickened. Do not let the sauce boil!! When thick add vanilla and a dash of nutmeg. Serve hot.

Orange Julius

½ can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 C. milk
1 C. water
¼ C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
14-20 ice cubes

Add all contents to blender. Blend. Serve.

Corn Bread and Honey Butter

1 jiffy yellow cake mix (with required ingredients)
1 jiffy cornbread mix (with required ingredients)

Prepare both mixes in separate bowls according to respective directions. Gently combine batters and put in large roasting pan. (I usually just use a 9X13 baking dish.) Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Honey Butter
Recipe from the Friend magazine (May 2006)

¼ Cup honey
2 Tbsp. soft butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. cool whip, thawed

Mix the ingredients together until smooth and serve on cornbread or toast or frenchtoast or whatever.

Chicken Pesto Pasta

Trader Joe's has the cheapest fresh basil and alreadytoasted pine nuts! I love this recipe. The amount ofbroccoli is up to you, I just buy a fresh head, chopit, dunk it in boiling water and toss it in. Chicken Pesto Pasta
Boil 1 lb. pasta (like penne)- Boil on medium low
In a separate pot boil 1.5 lbs of chicken until tender. Shred chicken.

Combine 4 T cream cheese and 2 c chicken broth in a saucepan on low for 7-10 minutes, or until melted together.

In a blender or food processor combine 3 cloves of garlic, 2 cups fresh basil, 6 T grated parmesan, 4 T extra virgin olive oil, 4 T pine nuts, 1 tsp. salt.

Add extra oil if it is way too clumpy or cheese if it is too runny like water.

Blanch chopped broccoli in boiling water for a minute or so.

Toss pasta with cream cheese sauce, pesto, cooked chicken and broccoli.

Bacon Ranch Chicken

6 slices bacon
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. ranch dry salad dressing mix
1 ¼ cup whole milk (I used whole milk when I made this)
3 cups dried medium noodles
1 Tbsp. finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Cut bacon into narrow strips. In a large skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels; discard all but 2 Tablespoons drippings.

2. In the same skillet cook chicken in reserved drippings until tender and no longer pink, turning to brown evenly. Sprinkle flour and salad dressing mix over the chicken in the skillet; stir well. Stir in milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Stir in bacon. Meanwhile cook noodles according to package directions. Serve chicken with noodles; sprinkle with Parmesan. Makes 4 servings.

Chicken in Lime Butter

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup butter
1 tablespoon lime juice (I usually use the juice of one lime)
½ teaspoon dill weed
¼ teaspoon minced chives

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, cook chicken in oil over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.

Add butter and lime juice to the skillet; cook and stir until butter is melted. Stir in dill and chives. Drizzle over chicken.

Chopped Salad

Romaine lettuce (red leaf can be used, but romaine is better)
Bacon (cooked and crumbled … just a few slices, to taste)
Swiss cheese (or provolone works too … cubed or grated)
Craisins (a handful or two)
Sugared almonds (again, a handful or two)
Girard’s Champagne dressing (don’t use the “light” version)

Toss salad ingredients. Dress salad lightly with dressing and serve.
Note: It’s better not to pour the dressing directly on top of a serving of salad. The dressing is strong if it’s not mixed into the salad

Make Ahead Burritos

Yields: 14-16 burritos

1 lb. cooked beef, pork, or chicken (I have used 2-3 chicken breasts)
1 (16 oz) jar of salsa
1 (16 oz) can of refried beans
taco seasoning mix, optional
16 (8 inch) tortillas
16 oz Monterey jack or cheddar cheese cut into sticks

Shred meat (should have about 3 cups). In large skillet, combine meat, salsa, beans, and seasoning mix. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through. Heat tortillas. For each burrito, place spoonful of meat mixture on tortilla near one edge. Top with a cheese stick. Fold in sides, and roll up starting with the meat/cheese end. Eat what you want and freeze the rest.

To freeze: Wrap frozen burritos individually in foil. (In our house, they tend not to last all that long, so I’ve just thrown them into a gallon size Ziploc bag, and they’ve been eaten prior to getting freezer burned.)

To cook: Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes (if serving right after preparing or taking them from the refrigerator.) They’ll need a lot more time if they’re taken from the freezer (probably about 45 minutes … unless you tried micro-defrost to speed the process … haven’t tried that, but you might.) Also, if you’re in a hurry, they can be microwaved … they won’t end up crispy like the baked ones, they’re still good.
Frying option: If you prefer “chimichangas” instead of burritos, you can fry these. Just cook in oil over medium heat turning often for about 10-15 minutes.

A few additional notes: I thought the taco seasoning made the burritos a little too spicy, so you can tinker with it and cut back on the seasoning or omit it entirely. The beans and salsa are seasoned enough without all of the extra spice.
Also, you can cook the meat anyway you like. My friend, Wendy, who gave me the recipe usually grills the chicken and that gives the meat a nice flavor. The last two times I’ve made these, I have just thrown chicken in the crockpot in the morning with salsa and shredded it right before assembling the burritos. You can also use leftover roast beef or pork. This recipe is super flexible.
Lastly, the recipe called for 8” tortillas. Well, good luck finding that stated on any package. I could have guestimated, but I just ended up using the yummy uncooked Costco tortillas instead. Since the tortillas were bigger, I ended up getting only 14 burritos instead of the 16 the recipe should yield, but seriously, what’s 2 more burritos? J So, I just cooked the Costco tortillas as usual (although I was careful not to let these get too dark) and then assembled the burritos.

Rosemary Chicken Breasts, Brown Butter and Balsamic Ravioli

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6-8 oz. each)
1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 stems rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pkg. (12-16 oz.) fresh ravioli
3 T. butter, cut into small pieces
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 handfuls grated parmesan cheese
¼ c. fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Marinate the chicken: coat in vinegar, then olive oil. Season with rosemary, salt & pepper, let stand 10 min.

Cook ravioli 6-8 minutes, then drain water.

Heat non-stick medium skillet over med-high heat, add chicken and garlic to the pan. Cook chicken through, turning occasionally (10-12 min). When chicken has cooked halfway (5-6 min), prepare butter for ravioli. To a cold skillet, add butter and turn on med. heat. Let the butter brown, then add cooked ravioli. Heat pasta through, then add balsamic vinegar and cook 1-2 minutes. Add cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper to the pasta and remove from heat.

French Toast Souffle

10 C (1-inch) cubed sturdy white bread (about 16 (1 oz) slices)
Cooking spray
8 oz 1/3-less-fat-cream cheese, softened
8 large eggs
1 1/2 C 2% reduced-fat milk
2/3 C half-and-half
1/2 C real maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tb. powdered sugar
3/4 C maple syrup

Place bread cubes in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Beat cream cheese at medium speed of mixer until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add milk, half-and-half, 1/2 cup maple syrup, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture over top of bread; cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 375°. Remove bread mixture from refrigerator; let stand on counter for 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until set. Sprinkle the souffle with powdered sugar, and serve with maple syrup.
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 slice of souffle and 1 tablespoon maple syrup)

Tortilla Soup (like Cafe Rio)

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried cumin
1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
Few dashes Worcestershire sauce
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
1 lime
1 cup cooked white rice
Kosher salt
Sour cream, for garnish
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno and sweat until soft and translucent. Add spices and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant and aromatic. Add tomatoes, chicken, Worcestershire, and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes.Cut the lime in half, squeeze juice into the pot, and then add the juiced halves as well. (If you have some leftovers and want to reheat the soup for another day, take the limes out--they will get pretty bitter if you heat them up in the microwave.)Add white rice and cook 5 minutes longer to warm rice through. Season, to taste, with salt.Ladle into bowls and garnish with sour cream and cilantro. (Why stop there? Try adding tortilla chips or Fritos, shredded cheese, pico de gallo--whatever you would put in a taco!)Enjoy!

Toasted Ravioli

2 eggs
Splash of milk or half-and-half
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
12 large fresh spinach and cheese ravioli, about 3/4 pound (or whatever kind you like)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 roasted red peppers, drained
1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

Beat eggs and a splash of milk in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Combine bread crumbs with cheese and parsley in a second dish. Coat the fresh pasta in egg then bread crumbs. Heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat in a skillet then toast the ravioli until deep golden, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.In a small sauce pot heat the remaining extra-virgin olive oil and the garlic and red pepper flakes over medium low heat. Grind the roasted peppers in the food processor and add to garlic after it sautes for a couple of minutes. Stir in tomatoes and season the sauce with salt and pepper.When ready to serve, transfer sauce to a small bowl. Surround the sauce with toasted ravioli for dipping and serve.