Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cottage Fries

"These easy cottage fries crisp up quite nicely in the oven and resemble fat, succulent potato chips."
4 baking (russet) potatoes, sliced into 3/8
-inch thick rounds
salt and freshly ground black pepper to
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 pinch herbes de provence, or to taste (or just use any herbs you like: Rosemary, Thyme, Marjoram, etc)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2.Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
3.Combine potatoes, salt, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and herbes de provence in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes and stir to evenly coat.
4.Place potatoes on baking sheet, spaced evenly, and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
5.Remove from oven, flip over each potato slice, and return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Continue cooking and flipping until potatoes are well browned, about 30 minutes. Potatoes should be crispy around edges, but still soft in the center.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Crunchy Onion Potato Casserole

2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup butter
1 recipe Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1 can (15.25 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1 can (2.8 oz) French-fried onions

  1.   Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 3-quart saucepan, heat milk, water and margarine to boiling. Stir in contents of both pouches of potatoes (from potatoes box) just until moistened; let stand 1 minute. Stir with fork until smooth. Stir in corn.
  2.   Spoon half of potato mixture into dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 each of the cheese and onions. Top with remaining potatoes; sprinkle with remaining cheese and onions.
  3.   Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and onions are golden.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chocolate Eclair Cake

2 pkg Vanilla instant pudding
2 c milk
1 - 8oz tub cool whip
14 graham crackers

2 squares unsweetened chocolate (or 6 T cocoa and 2 t melted butter)
3 T melted butter
3 T milk
2 t light karo syrup
1 t vanilla
1-1/2 c pwdr sugar

In buttered 9x13 pan, layer the bottom with whole graham crackers.  Mix pudding, milk and cool whip.  Pour over graham crackers. Layer another layer of whole graham crackers.

Melt chocolate and butter.  Blend other ingredients together.  Spread over top layer of graham crackers.  Refridgerate 24 hours. (I like the graham crackers not as soft, so I don't refridgerate that long)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ranch Chicken

Ranch Chicken

6-8 Chicken breasts
1 cup Corn Flakes
1 cup Shredded Parmesan
1 cube butter (melted)
1 packet of Ranch Dressing Mix

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together Corn Flakes, Parmesan and Ranch packet. Cut the chicken in half, dip the chicken in the melted butter then in the corn flake mixture and place into baking dish. Pour the remaining butter on top and bake for 45-50 minutes uncovered.

Louisianna Chicken

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour

Cajun Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 small yellow pepper (chopped)
1 small red bell pepper (chopped)
3/4 small red onion (chopped)
3 whole garlic cloves (minced)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 pints whipping cream
1 T chicken boullion
4 tablespoons fresh basil (thinly sliced)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 (12 ounce) package bow tie pasta
1 cup mushroom (sliced) - optional

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add yellow and red bell peppers, mushrooms, and onion to same skillet,until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper to skillet and saute 3 minutes. Add whipping cream and chicken boullion. Simmer until sauce re-heats and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.   Add basil and 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese to sauce, stirring to incorporate.  Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, simmer; sauce will reduce and thicken.

Wash and drain chicken breasts.  Pound until very thin (the thinner the chicken breasts the better).  Mix breadcrumbs, flour, and Parmesan cheese together. Place milk in dish for dipping.  Dip chicken in breadcrumb mixture and then in milk and then back in breadcrumbs. Place in fry pan that the oil has been heated and fry at medium high temperature until golden crisp and cooked through.  Add more oil as needed. Remove and drain chicken; keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook bow-tie pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain and return to pot. Add sauce and toss to coat.  Place pasta with sauce on plate, and top with chicken breast. Serve, passing additional Parmesan separately.

Sometime, for convenience, I will just make the pasta and sauce without the chicken.  It's much easier and just as good!

By the way, this is a "vaulted" recipe in our home, which means it's a 11 or 12 out of 10!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Swiss Vegetable Casserole

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Cream of Mushroom Soup or make your own

1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen vegetable combination (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots), thawed

1 can (2.8 ounces) French fried onions (1 1/3 cups)

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (Or I would suggest cheddar)

Stir the soup, sour cream, black pepper, vegetables, 2/3 cup onions and 1/4 cup cheese in a 2-quart casserole. Cover the casserole.
Bake at 350°F. for 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Stir the vegetable mixture.  Top with the remaining onions and cheese.
Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
For Cheddar cheese lovers: Use Cheddar cheese instead of Swiss cheese.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Corn Dogs

1/2 c corn meal
1/2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/8 c sugar
1/2 t salt

1/2 c milk
1 egg, beaten
12 hot dogs

1/3 c flour for coating dogs (optional, try if your batter doesn't stick to the hot dog)

Oil for Frying

Combine dry ingredients.  Beat together milk and egg and add to dry ingredients.  Mix together. Pour batter in a tall 2 cup glass.  Make sure hot dogs are dry using paper towel and place hot dogs on pop-cycle sticks or something similar.  Roll hot dogs in flour and tap away excess flour.  Dip hot dogs into batter, using a twirling motion and coating each hot dog well.  Allow excess to drip away. Immediately place in hot oil.  (about 350 degrees)  Fry until golden brown.  Allow to cool slightly before eating.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Twinkie Cake

No picture this time either.  But imagine with me a yellow cake with a white icing.  There you go!    Only this tastes like a Twinkie!

1 yellow cake mix (prepared as directed in a 9x 13)
If doing a two layer cake, line pans with wax paper for easy removal

5 T flour
1 C milk
1 C sugar
1/2 t salt
1 stick margarine
1/2 c crisco
1 t vanilla

Mix flour and milk together.  cook in microwave stirring every 30 seconds until thick like paste.  Cool well.  Beat sugar, salt, margarine, crisco and vanilla until fluffy.  Add cooked mixture and beat until fluffy.

You can either just put the frosting/filling on top of the cake, or you can make it look authentic and use two layers and make a filling.  If you make a 9x13 cake, let cool.Cut into two layers (dental floss works well for this).  Return bottom half to pan.  Cover with filling and then place other half of cake on top. 

Best if you can let it set in the fridge for 2 hours, or overnight.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Party Cheese Ball

Photo courtesy of

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Tbsp. finely chopped onions
1 Tbsp.  chopped red bell peppers
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp.  lemon juice
Dash ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 cup  chopped PLANTERS Pecans, toasted 
BEAT cream cheese and Cheddar in small bowl with mixer until well blended.
ADD all remaining ingredients except nuts and crackers; mix well. Refrigerate several hours.
SHAPE into ball; roll in nuts. Serve with RITZ Crackers.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sausage Cheese Balls

Photo courtesy of

3 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1 pound bulk pork sausage
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 ounces)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
Barbecue sauce or chili sauce, if desired

  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease bottom and sides of jelly roll pan, 15 1/2x10 1/2x2x1 inch.
  2. Stir together all ingredients, using hands or spoon. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Place in pan.
  3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm with sauce for dipping.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Strawberry Blossoms

12 large, fresh strawberries
3 oz. cream cheese
2 T pwdr sugar
1 T sour cream

1. Remove stems from strawberries to form flat base
2. Pointed end facing up, cut with a knife, first in half withing 1/4" of the base.  Do not cut all the way through the base.  Next, cut each half into 3 wedges to form 6 petals.
3. In a small bowl, combine and beat together other ingredients. Using a pastry bag, or you can cut the tip off a ziplock bag, fill the strawberries.

A great summer treat!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Speedy Morning Burritos

4 eggs
3 Tbsp.  Ranch Dressing
4 slices Fresh Shaved Smoked Ham, chopped
1/4 cup Mild Salsa, divided
1/4 cup Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese, divided
2   flour tortillas (6 inch) 
  BEAT eggs and dressing until well blended. Stir in ham and 2 Tbsp. each salsa and cheese.
POUR into nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray; cook on medium heat 2 to 3 min. or until set, stirring occasionally.
SPOON onto tortillas. Fold in opposite sides of each tortilla, then roll up burrito-style. Top with remaining salsa and cheese.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


1-2 Chicken Breasts, cubed
1/2 small green pepper
1/2 small red pepper
1/2 onion
1 small tomato (optional)
1 T cumin
1 T fresh minced garlic
1 c shredded cheddar cheese

Sour Cream for serving

In a large sauce pan, stir fry all ingredients until the meat is cooked and vegetables are tender. Top with cheese and continue to heat until cheese is melted.  Serve immediately on tortillas and top with sour cream if desired.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Strawberry Lemonade

1 can frozen lemonade drink mix
8 oz frozen strawberries, sugar added

In a blender, blend strawberries until smooth.  In a pitcher, combine blended strawberries, container of lemonade, and 3 and 1/3 containers of water.  (The lemonade package says 4 and 1/3, but I only add 3 and 1/3)  Stir until well mixed.

To serve, put a tablespoon of lemon juice in a small bowl.  In a separate bowl, place 1/4 c sugar.  Dip the top rim of glasses into lemon juice, then immediately into sugar.  Repeat if necessary.  Allow sugar to dry for a few minutes.  Then, pour in the lemonade and enjoy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken 
-Blog Chef
1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” pieces)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons green onions (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
Combine chicken and cornstarch in a small bowl and toss to coat. Heat sesame oil in wok (or large deep-dish skillet) over medium heat, add chicken and stir fry 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Remove chicken from wok.
Add green onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger to the wok and stir fry for 15 seconds.
Combine vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and add the sauce to the wok.
Return chicken to the wok and coat with sauce. Stir in roasted peanuts. Heat thoroughly. Top with additional green onions if desired and serve over white rice. (Or fried rice, in my case!)
The fried rice took about 10 minutes total – I love recipes like this! I think next time I’ll add a little oyster sauce and a tad more soy sauce – other than that, it was perfect!

Fried Rice
2 cups enriched white rice (I used Minute Rice)
4 cups water
2/3 cup chopped baby carrots
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
soy sauce to taste
sesame oil, to taste
Cook rice according to package directions. In a small saucepan, boil carrots in water about 3 to 5 minutes. Drop peas into boiling water, and drain. Heat wok over high heat. Pour in oil, then stir in carrots and peas; cook about 30 seconds. Crack in eggs, stirring quickly to scramble eggs with vegetables. Stir in cooked rice. Shake in soy sauce, and toss rice to coat. Drizzle with sesame oil, and toss again.

Recipe found HERE

Saturday, June 2, 2012

No-Bake Stuffed Peppers


No-Bake Stuffed Peppers
2 medium bell peppers (any color – I used yellow)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon basil
1-15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups rice, cooked
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Cut peppers in half lengthwise. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, drop the peppers in and boil for 5-6 minutes. In a small bowl, mix tomato sauce, basil and sugar and set aside. Brown meat and onion in a large skillet; drain. Stir in 1/2 the tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of the rice and the salt. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes; stir in cheese. Spoon meat mixture into peppers and place into skillet. Pour remaining tomato sauce around peppers; cover and simmer. Top with additional cheese, if desired. Serve on top of remaining rice.

Recipe found HERE

Friday, June 1, 2012

Creamy Taco Mac


Creamy Taco Mac
1 lb. lean, ground beef
8 oz dry pasta + 1 cup reserved pasta water
1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
4 Tbsp mild taco seasoning (one packet)
3 oz cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
salt & pepper
cheddar cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta per directions. Reserve one cup of pasta water.
Over medium heat, brown ground beef and drain off fat. Add taco seasoning and diced tomatoes. Allow to simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Add cooked pasta, reserved water, cream cheese and sour cream. Give it a good stir until cheese is melted and incorporated.  Simmer over low heat for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper, as desired. Top off with cheddar cheese for extra cheesy goodness.

Recipe found HERE