Friday, December 25, 2009

Raspberry Pretzel Jello

A friend brought this to my baby's blessing open house...and I was SO happy--it was delicious! Thanks Tami! We've enjoyed it ever since! You can mix and match the berries (using strawberries or raspberries) and the Jello (using strawberry jello, cherry or raspberry). Any which combination, it is SUPER good and a crowd pleaser for sure!

2 cups crushed pretzels
2 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup melted butter

Pat with a fork into a 9x13" glass dish and bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Beat together & spread over cooled crust:
8 oz. cream cheese (I use the low-fat cream cheese)
8 oz. cool whip (I use the light cool whip)
1 cup sugar
*Create a seal over the crust with this the Jello liquid wont leak down into the pretzel crust.

Dissolve a 6 oz. raspberry (or your choice of flavor) Jello mix into 2 cups boiling water.
Add 20 oz. frozen raspberries (or strawberries).
Pour over mixture (GENTLY so as to not unearth the cream cheese/cool whip mixture).

Chill until firm. You can top with more cool whip if you want.

Church Potatoes (aka Funeral Potatoes)

These are commonly called "Funeral Potatoes" but that is rather morbid--and you can have them at happy times of year. We enjoy them at Easter and Christmas...they go GREAT with a nice ham dinner.

6 potatoes, diced and boiled*
(you can also use frozen hashbrowns, diced or shredded)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 soup can of milk
1 cup sour cream
1 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup grated onion (optional--I use 1 Tbsp. dried minced onion)
salt and pepper to taste

3 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 cups corn flakes, crushed

1. *Peel potatoes, dice into 1/2" pieces, place in large pot with water 1" above potatoes. Boil for 10-12 minutes until just tender. Drain.

2. While potatoes are boiling, mix soup, milk, sour cream, cheese, onion, salt and pepper together. This will be a sloppy mixture.

3. Add the potatoes to sloppy mixture. Toss and coat well. Pour into a 9x13" pan.

4. Toss crushed corn flakes with butter and sprinkle over potato mixture. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly throughout.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Derby Pie

It's THAT time of year. Need a new pie to take to the Thanksgiving table or for your Christmas dinner--or BOTH!? This pie is EXCELLENT! If you like pecan pie--you'll LOVE this one--it's pecan pie with chocolate. It's easy to make, and it's yummy--a real crowd pleaser and requested every year!!

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
4 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine sugar, corn syrup and eggs in mixing bowl. Beat at low until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients and pour into a 9" unbaked pie shell.

3. Bake 45-50 minutes or until set. Remove to rack to cool.

4. Serve with whipped cream or cool whip, if desired.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall-Off-The-Bone Ribs

I've made these a lot lately--for meals to take to people that have had babies, or just need a hand...and they are quite scrumptious. A little more expensive than your normal casserole, but an unforgettable dinner!

*country-style pork ribs
*barbecue sauce (your favorite, but I LOVE "Sweet Baby Ray's Award Winning Barbecue Sauce")

1. In a slow-cooker/crock-pot (a larger crock-pot works best, but a regular one will too) put the ribs in and put some (not too much) BBQ sauce over them.  Add apx 1/2 cup water in with the ribs.

2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4.

3. About 45 minutes before you want to eat, take the ribs out of the crock pot and put them in a 9x13" rectangular baking pan. Now SLATHER LIBERALLY your ribs in the BBQ sauce.

4. Bake for 25-40 minutes at 375...until sauce is nice and carmelized on the ribs.

*Serve with ANYTHING! Stuffing, rice-a-roni, broccoli, green beans, rolls, corn-on-the-cob, salad, etc. This meal is so good...and you have a PERFECT main dish!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Chicken Legs with Carrots and Cauliflower

I found this recipe a few years back and it is SO TASTY. I'm visiting my mother and she requested that I make this for her. REALLY simple and VERY yummy. It's a Martha Stewart recipe and is quite delicious. Thanks Martha!!!

1 lb. carrots (peeled and cut into 1 1/2" chunks OR baby carrots)
1 lb. cauliflower, cut into medium-size florets
1 1/2 tsp. coriander
3/4 tsp. cumin
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 whole chicken legs, skin on
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 475. In a large roasting pan (or roasting stone) combine carrots, cauliflower 1 tsp. coriander, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper; arrange around sides of pan.

2. Place chicken legs along center of pan, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tsp. coriander and 1/4 tsp. cumin, season generously with salt and pepper.

3. Roast, stirring vegetables once, until chicken is well browned and crispy and and instant-read thermometer inserted in thigh (not touching bone) reads 180 degrees, 40-45 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter, and let rest for 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, add lemon juice to pan; with a wooden spoon, stir and scrape up drippings, mix in with vegetables. Serve!

Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4 adults, or 2 adults and several kids (lots of chicken on this)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Easy Homemade Taquitos

I made these tonight, and I got a lot of "Thank you for the yummy dinner"-s. They were super simple to put together, quick and yummy.

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used 2 cans of canned chicken)
1 (10 oz) can mild enchilada sauce (I used 6 small packets of taco sauce from Taco Bell)
1 cup shredded cheese (your choice of type)
2 Tbsp. minced onion
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies (optional)
1 tsp. garlic salt

3/4 cup vegetable oil
24 corn tortillas
Non-stick cooking spray

1. In a large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients; mix well. Set aside.

2. In small skillet, heat oil. Using tongs, dip tortillas in oil, about 4 seconds on each side; drain on paper towels. Keep warm.

3. Place 2 tablespoons chicken mixture onto each tortilla; roll jelly roll fashion. Place seam side down on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

4. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until desired crispness. Good dipped in salsa, sour cream, or guacamole.

*Make the mixture to your family's pleasing--I don't think my kids would have liked it as much if I put a lot of enchilada sauce in it--so I put a few Taco Bell packets in it. I like diced green chilies, but left them out for the sake of my kids. It was really simple to make the mixture how we like....just start with the chicken and cheese, and add the rest as desired. This is NO FAIL!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a great recipe. I like the variation with the blended oatmeal. It's a nice flavor for sure. Enjoy!
1 cup butter
2 cup flour
1 tsp. soda
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups blended oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
4 Hershey bars, grated
12 oz. chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups nuts (optional)

1. Cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs.

2. Blend oatmeal in the blender until a powder. Add to wet ingredients and add the rest of the ingredients.

3. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Makes 60+ cookies!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mexican Lasagna

We just got back from vacation. Do you know that feeling of "I never want to eat fast food again?" Well, I'm there. Just eating out in general doesn't sound appetizing at all. I was glad to get home and do some home-cooking. None of our "norms" have sounded really that great though. So, I've been on a search of recipes. I tear them out from here and there, and I go online and find new ones. Tonight, it was a HUGE success. Something new, different, and yummy--and I HAD all the ingredients I needed! This is a Rachel Ray recipe, and in her words, it is "Yummo"!

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 lbs. ground meat (I used 1 ground turkey, 1 ground beef)
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 red onion, chopped (optional)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
1 cup medium heat taco sauce OR 1 (14 oz) can mexican stewed tomatoes (I pureed these)
1 cup frozen corn kernels (you can use canned corn, drained)
8 (8") spinach flour tortillas (I used regular, not spinach)
2 1/2 c. shredded cheddar OR shredded pepper jack
2 scallions, finely chopped (for garnish--I omitted)

1. Preheat oven to 425. Warm LARGE skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil--twice around the pan. Add the round meat and season with chili powder, cumin, and red onion. Brown the meat.

2. Add taco sauce or mexican stewed tomatoes to meat. Add black beans and corn. Heat the mixture through, 2 to 3 minutes then season with salt, to your taste.

3. Coat a shallow baking dish (I used a Pyrex 9x13") with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cut the torotillas in half or quarters to make them easy to layer with. Build lasagna in layers of meat/beans, then tortillas, then cheese. Repeat: meat, tortilla, cheese again.

4. Bake lasagna 12 to 15 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly. Top with the scallions and serve!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Crock-Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu

My hubby made this for me for Mother's Day and it was superb (maybe because I didn't make it). Either way, it was easy and so tasty.

6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (or as much as you need)*
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
6 slices of ham (1 for each piece of chicken)
6 slices of swiss cheese (1 for each piece of chicken)
1 pkg stuffing mix (Stove-Top or such--with herb pack tossed with crumbs)
1/4 cup melted butter

1. In small bowl, mix together soup and milk. Coat the bottom of the crock-pot with mixture.

2. Lay chicken pieces on the bottom of crock pot--covering with ham and then swiss cheese. Pour remaining soup/milk mixture over chicken.

3. Sprinkle stuffing mix on top, and then drizzle melted butter over top this.

4. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3.

*I used chicken breast tenderloins--about 13 fit in, and then just made sure they were all covered with ham and cheese.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Oriental Chicken Salad with Crunchy Noodles

I've had this salad several time throughout my life--and it was even served at one of my bridal showers. Tonight I co-hosted a wedding shower, and decided to serve this--it was well received. It is great to share with others...for showers, luncheons, bbq's, and any kind of entertaining!

for salad...
2-3 cups chopped/shredded cooked chicken breast (more if you want more chicken or less if you want less)
1 head cabbage, chopped or shredded
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped (optional)
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 packages ramen noodles, oriental flavored
3 tbsp. oil

for dressing...
3/4 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
4 1/2 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
4 1/2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 pkg. ramen noodles oriental seasoning

1. Smash noodles of ramen and brown over medium heat in 3 tbsp. oil. Once noodles begin browning, add almonds (if you start them at the same time, the almonds will burn before the ramen is brown). Remove from heat and set aside.

2. In large bowl, combine cabbage, green onions, chicken and sunflower seeds.

3. Prepare dressing and set aside until you're ready to serve. When ready to serve, add ramen/almond mixture and dressing. Toss well.

If you prepare the dressing too far in advance, it may get thick and wont remix well if refrigerated. If you plan on eating this as left overs, keep in mind that the noodles will not stay crunchy--keep separate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Goopy Jell-O Salad

My friend Shauna came over for Easter dinner (as her family was out of town) and I asked her to bring this as a side. We LOVED it. I had had it before and I knew I liked it, but I wanted to try it out on my kids and my husband (and my hubby is weird about putting things in his Jell-O). It was licked clean. The kids ate all their dinner so they could have more of this.
I thought with BBQ season coming upon us, this might be a good recipe to put OUT THERE so you can all have something refreshing and delightful (and easy-to-make) to take to a BBQ. Thanks Shauna!

8 oz. container cool whip (can use light)
1 box orange jell-o (can use sugar free)
16 oz. container cottage cheese (can use low fat)
1 15-oz. can mandarin oranges, drained and segments cut in 1/2

1. Mix cool whip and jell-o together, add in cottage cheese and then oranges.
2. Put in nice serving bowl. Let set in refrigerator for 15-30 minutes (although it is ready almost immediately).
3. Serve and enjoy!

variations: the options are endless; here are a few...
Add sliced strawberries with strawberry jell-o
Add raspberries with raspberry jell-o
Add sliced strawberries and sliced kiwi with strawberry jell-o
Add crushed pineapple with lime jell-o

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ritz Chicken Casserole

A while ago, I was in a recipe group, and this recipe was passed around. I'm not altogether sure who was the contributor, but whoever you are--THANK YOU. I've made it a couple of times now, and my kids and hubby yum it down (even my SUPER-PICKY eater). It's a great way to use up some left-overs (chicken and rice)'s easy to make, quick, yummy, and the ingredients are in your pantry!

2 cups cubed up chicken (use leftovers or bake up some breasts)
2 cans cream of chicken soup (I use the 98% fat-free version)
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I use the Lite sour cream)
2 cups cooked rice
1 1/4 sticks butter, melted (apx. 11 Tbsp)
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed (this is 35 crackers)

1. Mix soup and sour cream/yogurt together. Add chicken.

2. Toss crushed crackers with melted butter.

3. Place rice on the bottom of a greased 9x13" pan. Spread soup/chicken mixture over the rice. Sprinkle with the crackers (that have been tossed with butter).

4. Bake at 350 uncovered for 30 minutes or until heated through and crackers are golden and crisp.
Add a VEGGIE! I'm thinking some steamed broccoli might be yummy in this. I've even seen it suggested to put some artichoke hearts in. I think maybe even fresh green beans might be yummers in it?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Yummy Uglies

I found this recipe today and tried it. We just finished eating it for dinner, and it was really fun and yummy--like simple sloppy joes in a cup. The kids sure liked it. I'm going to try out some of the variations below. Have fun!

1 lb. ground beef
garlic powder
onion (fresh or dried/minced)
1 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 can refrigerated biscuits (like "Pillsbury Grands")
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. Brown beef with onion (use the amount you desire) and several dashes of garlic powder. Drain fat off meat and stir in the barbecue sauce.

3. Press out the biscuit dough (roll out or use your palm) to stretch each biscuit to 6". Place in muffin cup. Take a large scoop of the meat mixture and place into the biscuit "cup." Sprinkle with cheese.
4. Cook for 13-15 minutes or until brown and flaky. Enjoy!
*Instead of BBQ sauce, try Taco Seasoning for a taco-type ugly and garnish with sour cream and salsa.
*I thought of trying this with a sausage and egg mixture...for a breakfast-type of ugly.
*Use your imagination with these "cups"--several fun ideas come to mind!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chicken & Dumplings

My sister passed this on to me. It is actually Jessica Simpson's recipe and was featured on the Rachel Ray show. We had it tonight...and 5 minutes after eating it, I'm putting it on my blog, so you know it's good. I'd love to hear how you like it...leave a comment after you've tried it and any variations you used!

3 cans of reduced-fat crescent rolls, divided
1 small rotisserie chicken, no skin or bones (or use left-over chicken)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I use the 98% fat free)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (again, 98% fat free)
1 cup chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400. Roll out 2 cans of crescent rolls and separate into the diamond shaped sections. Place a small handful of chicken on each diamond. Fold dough over and press ends together to create dumplings. Place dumplings in a 9x13" baking dish.

2. In a medium bowl, mix chicken broth and soups together until smooth. Pour the soup mixture over the dumplings.

3. With the remaining can of crescent rolls: roll out dough & cut the dough into strips. Make a crisscross pattern on the top of the dumplings and soup mixture. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is a nice golden brown and bubbly.