Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thai Coconut Green Curry with Chicken and Zucchini

We are adventurous eaters, nothing too crazy, but we do like to try foods from lots of different ethnic backgrounds.  Thai is a great one, because of the variety of food choices.  I always told people that I didn't like curry, but come to find out, it is not that I don't like curry, I just didn't like the ONE curry dish I tried years ago.  This is a great recipe to try if you are just getting your feet wet on trying NEW things.  It's spicy, but NOT tongue numbing, and you can adjust the amount of curry paste you add.  Give it a try and if you do, send me a comment!
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 C. onions, finely chopped in semi circles (1 medium onion)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 (4 oz.) can green Thai curry paste (less if you don’t like the heat)
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into bite size pieces (about 2 breasts or 6 tenderloins)
  • 1 lb. chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into bite size pieces (about 3 thighs)
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans coconut milk
  • 1 T. fish sauce
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • ½ T. sugar
  • 2 zucchini, cut into semi circles about ½ in thick
  • ¼ C. fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • Cooked rice, for serving
  1. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, sauté the onions in the vegetable oil until soft about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and the curry paste and cook for two minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and stir fry for two minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk and incorporate the curry paste into the milk.
  5. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer until the chicken is cooked through about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the zucchini and allow to simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Serve in a bowl with cooked rice on the side.  Place sambal (chili paste) on the table for those who like extra heat!
Tips and Tricks:
  • I use Maesri brand curry paste and Chaokoh brand coconut milk, they can be found at most international food stores.
  • This freezes great!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sausage Cornbread Dressing

This is a cornbread dressing recipe that I got out of a school cookbook.  I added a few of my own touches, but it is fairly easy to make and has great flavor.

  • 2 boxes of Jiffy cornbread, prepared, cooled, and crumbled
  • ½ loaf of French bread, stale, cut into cubes
  • ½ C. (1 stick) butter
  • 1 C. onions, chopped
  • 1 C. celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch of green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. pork breakfast sausage
  • 1 T. of Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • 1 t. sage
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans chicken broth (you won't use it all)
  1. In a Dutch oven, sauté onions, and celery over medium heat in the butter until soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add sausage and chop it up while it cooks for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the green onions, Creole seasoning, and sage and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add some cornbread, chicken broth, and then some french bread, alternating and scrapping the bottom of the Dutch oven often. (you might not need all the cornbread, I usually only use about 3/4 of the pan of cornbread and about 1 ½ cans of the chicken broth.  Keep adding until it feels like the proper consistency.)
  6. Cook for 10 minutes and continue scrapping.
  7. Remove the dressing from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  8. Place the dressing in a casserole dish or baking pan.
  9. When you are ready to serve, bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Tips and Tricks:
  • Make the cornbread the day before you make the dressing.
  • You need a really sturdy spoon to stir this dressing.  It gets thick as it cooks, but it’s important to keep it moving.
  • I have served this at a pot-luck dinner and skipped the baking step.  I put it in a crockpot and kept it warm for hours.  It still tastes great.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Snickerdoodle Cookies

These are great cookies.  The recipe is from "Two Peas and their Pod".  It is a cross between a shortbread cookie and a sugar cookie, but it has lots of cinnamon flavor, the cinnamon chips are the trick.
  • 2 ¼ C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 2 t. cream of tartar
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ¼ C. granulated sugar
  • ¾ C. packed brown sugar
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) box of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 C. (12 oz. bag) Cinnamon chips
  • ¼ C. sugar/½ t. cinnamon, mixed together for rolling
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sifted flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla with a hand mixer.
  4. Add the vanilla pudding and then add the eggs, one at a time and continue to beat.
  5. Add the flour mixture about ½ C. at a time.
  6. Stir in the cinnamon chips.
  7. Scoop the cookie dough and roll into balls.  Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar and then place on a cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  9. Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet and allow to cool on a baking rack for 2 minutes before serving.
Tips and Tricks:
  • Cinnamon chips are fairly new, but the brand I used is made by Hershey's.  You can find them by the chocolate chips.
  • I use a 1 ½ inch scoop to make a 3 inch cookie.
  • I use parchment paper on my cookie sheets.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chicken with Fig Preserves and Chili Powder Glaze

This is an easy entree.  It cooks quick and couldn't be easier to make.  It has such great flavor, everyone will think you worked REALLY hard to make such a delicious meal.  {Your secret is safe with me.  ; )  }
  • 8 chicken thighs or drumsticks, or a mix
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • ½ C. fig preserves
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • ½ t. Sriracha hot sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place all of the ingredients, except the chicken, into a gallon sized plastic bag and squeeze all of the ingredients together inside of the bag.
  3. Place the chicken in the bag and squeeze the glaze over the chicken.
  4. Line a cookie sheet or baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray, place the chicken on the foil and spoon the excess glaze over the chicken.
  5. Bake the chicken for 30 – 40 minutes. 
Tips and Tricks:
  • The Sriracha is not necessary but I like a little heat.  If you don’t, then don’t add it.
  • You can use any type of preserves for this recipe.  I really like the fig, but I think apricot would be good as well.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Summer Corn Salad

Can't get easier than this, a quick fix side dish for lunch, dinner, or pot luck.
  • 1 lb. frozen sweet corn, white or yellow or mixed
  • ½ C. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ C. cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ C. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ C. olive oil
  • ½ T. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • 1/8 t. cayenne pepper
  1. Boil the corn in a medium sized pot with ½ C. water for 5 minutes.  Drain and reserve.
  2. Combine the last 6 ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Toss the corn and Parmesan cheese together with the other ingredients.
  4. Refrigerate to serve cold or serve at room temperature. 
Tips and Tricks:
  • I use Green Giant corn.  I think it tastes better.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fried Rice

This is a recipe I found from a blog called "Iowa Girl Eats".  I changed it up a bit after reading some other recipes for fried rice.  This was a quick fix meal that we really enjoyed.
  • 2 C. leftover prepared rice
  • ¼ lb. of salami or ham, sliced and cut into squares
  • 2/3 C. frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 shallots or ¼ of an onion, chopped
  • ½ C. celery, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 3 t. sesame oil, divided
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 2 T. fish sauce 
  1. Whisk egg with 1 t. of sesame oil in a small dish then set aside.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add salami or ham and then stir fry until it starts to brown, about 2 minutes.
  3. Heat remaining teaspoon oil in the wok and then add frozen mixed vegetables, shallots, celery, and green onions. Stir fry until tender, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.
  5. Push vegetables to the side of the wok then add egg and sesame oil mixture into the center and scramble.
  6. Add the rice, fish sauce, and soy sauce to wok then toss well to combine.  Cook for 2 minutes until all the ingredients are hot.
Tips and Tricks:
  • I don’t use a frozen vegetable mix for this recipe because I don’t like it.  I use 1/3 C. of frozen lima beans and 1/3 C. of frozen corn.
  • I know the salami sounds crazy, but I found a recipe which called for a Chinese sausage that was described and sounds a lot like salami.  I tried using what I had, salami, and the fried rice had a GREAT flavor.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Broccoli Casserole

This is a traditional southern casserole: cream of mushroom soup, cheese, butter, mayonnaise, etc.  This is a Paula Dean recipe that I tweaked.
  • 1 (32oz.) bag of broccoli florets, frozen
  • ¼ C. (½ stick) butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ C. mayonnaise
  • ½ C. sour cream
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, beatened
  • 1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 t. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • ½ t. black pepper
  • 1 sleeve of Club or Ritz crackers, crushed 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil water in a large pot and add the broccoli florets to the boiling water for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain the broccoli, allow to cool, and then chop.  Reserve.
  4. In a small sauté pan, over medium heat, sauté the onions in 2 T. butter until soft, about 10 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl add all of the ingredients, except the crackers and the remaining 2 T. butter, and mix well.
  6. Spoon the ingredients into a 13”x 9”x 2” baking dish and cover with the cracker crumbs.
  7. Melt the remaining 2 T. butter and pour over the crackers.
  8. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the crackers are browned and the casserole is bubbly.
Tips and Tricks:

  • I don’t like chopped broccoli, but if you do, you could use chopped broccoli for this recipe.  I use fresh broccoli sometimes and I use about 1 lb. of broccoli florets, which is about 4 C.
  • I use Cream of Celery soup instead of Cream of Mushroom for this recipe.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Deviled Ham Spread

I am a Southern lady and I have made deviled eggs many times, but this was my first attempt at making deviled ham and I am SO glad that I did.  I had deviled ham, pimento cheese, and deviled eggs as an appetizer at High Hat Restaurant recently.  I was determined to make my own.  This is combination of recipes.  I hope you enjoy.
  • 1 lb. ham, cut into slices or cubes
  • 1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ C. mayonnaise
  • ½ C. green onion, finely chopped
  • 2 T. honey
  • 2 T. sweet relish
  • 2 T. Crystal hot sauce
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. Creole mustard
  • 1 T. paprika
  • ½ T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t. salt
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped and well incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, once or twice while processing.
  2. Place the deviled ham in a bowl and cover.
  3. Refrigerate overnight or at least for 4 hours, before serving with assorted crackers or thinly sliced pieces of a baguette.
Tips and Tricks:
  • Leftover ham is great for this recipe, but if not use a ham steak, it works the best.
  • The honey is the secret ingredient for this recipe.  You may be tempted to leave it out, but you will be sorry if you do.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pickled Shrimp

I've been on a Southern foods kick lately.  My Mom used to make pickled crabs when I was younger and this recipe reminds me of that.  These are much easier to eat, than the crabs.  This is a combination of a Paula Deen recipe and a recipe I found in Southern Living.  
  • 10 C. water
  • 1 orange (cut in fourths)
  • 1 lemon (cut in half)
  • 1 onion (cut in half)
  • 1 head of garlic (cut in half)
  • 2 T. concentrated liquid Shrimp and Crab boil
  • 2 lbs. of Fresh Shrimp
  • 2 T. salt
Pickling liquid:
  • 2.5 oz. can of black olives, sliced (½ C.)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of one lemon, 2 T.  
  • ¼ C. olive oil
  • ½ C. apple cider vinegar
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 T. capers with their juice
  • ½ t. red pepper flakes
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  • Bread rounds, for serving
  • Mayonnaise, for serving
  1. In a large pot, put water, lemon, orange, onion, garlic, and crab boil (NO SALT).
  2. Bring to a boil, and then add shrimp.
  3. Bring to a boil again and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat.
  5. Add salt and let the shrimp bathe in the salt water for 5 minutes.
  6. Strain, when cool enough to handle, peel the shrimp.  Reserve.
  7. Combine all of the pickling liquid ingredients together in a medium size bowl with a cover.
  8. Add the shrimp and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.
  9. You will need 3 bowls for serving: large, medium and small.  Place the bread rounds in the large bowl, the pickled shrimp in the medium bowl and mayonnaise in the small bowl.  

Tips and Tricks:
  • Zest the lemon first, and then squeeze the lemon for the juice.
  • My Dad swore that the reason his shrimp would always peel easily is because he put the salt in AFTER the boiling.  It works.
  • This makes the perfect canapé.  People can place what they like on the bread rounds.  I put a little pickling juice on the bread and then a little mayo, finally I place a shrimp, some onion slices, a garlic slice, a few capers and black olives.   

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Broiled Parmesan Grouper

This is a quick fix meal.  My brother caught a huge grouper, so that's how this recipe is making an appearance on the blog.  I found this on  I made a few adjustments.  
  • 2 lbs. fresh grouper fillets
  • 2 T. lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
  • ½ T. kosher salt
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • ¼ C. mayonnaise
  • ½ C. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ C. (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 T. Crystal hot sauce
  • 2 T. fresh dill, chopped
  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Cover a baking dish or cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Place the grouper fillets on the sheet and squeeze the lemon juice over the fillets.  Season with the salt and pepper.
  4. Broil for 4 – 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets (they should begin to flake with the pressure of a fork).
  5. Combine the remaining ingredients together and reserve.
  6. Remove from the broiler and spread the cheese mixture over the fillets and return to the broiler for 1 minute or until brown and bubbly.
  7. Remove and serve hot.
Tips and Tricks:
  • A 1 inch fillet is the perfect thickness for this recipe.  If your fillets are thicker (mine were), you may need to allow them to cook longer.
  • Any fresh herb will work with this recipe.  Dill gives the fish a nice fresh flavor.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Opa! Dip (7 layer Greek Dip)

I tried making this dip more than once.  The first time I made it the first layer was made with Greek yogurt and roasted red peppers.  The whole dip looked like a pink porridge, NOT appetizing.  I found two other recipes, combined them and came up with this.  I NAILED it.  This dip will be devoured by all Greek food lovers.  Great for those upcoming tailgate parties!
  • 1) 1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1) ½ T. Greek seasoning
  • 1) 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1) 1 T. fresh lemon juice, or juice of ½ of a lemon
  • 1) ½ t. lemon zest
  • 2) 1 ½ C. hummus (I use a 10 oz. container)
  • 3) 1 medium cucumber seeded and diced (1 C.)
  • 4) (4 oz.) feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 C.)
  • 5) ¼ of a medium red onion, finely chopped (1/3 C.)
  • 6) (4 oz.) Kalamata olives, chopped (1/2 C.)
  • 7) (2 oz.) sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (1/4 C.)
  1. Combine the 1) ingredients with a large bowl with a mixer until light and fluffy. 
  2. Spread in the bottom of a pie plate or a small shallow baking dish.  The cream cheese mixture should cover the bottom of the dish.
  3. Layer each of the other ingredients, in order, to create the 7 layers.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours before serving.
  5. Serve with pita chips, fresh vegetables, or flat bread.
Tips and Tricks:

  • I like to serve this dip with the BIG Wheat Thins.  You need a chip that has a flat edge to scrap the dip up and out of the dish.
  • I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese for this recipe.
  • If you don’t have Greek seasoning, you can use dill weed instead.
  • The cup measurements after each ingredient are approximate.  Don’t stress about it being exact.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Raspberry Pie

This is a great fruit pie recipe.  You can make it with any berry, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or even a mixture of all.  It is a combination of the recipe that I got off the side of the pie crust box and one I found online.
  • 1 (9 in.) refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 1/3 C. sugar
  • 2 T. quick-cooking tapioca
  • ¼ C. cornstarch
  • 5 C. fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
  • 1 T. butter
  • 2 T. milk
  • 2 t. sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roll the pie crust into a 9 inch pie plate and gently press the crust into place around the pie plate.
  3. Combine the sugar, tapioca, cornstarch, and raspberries together in a large bowl.  Allow the berry mixture to rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Place the berries in the pie crust and dot with butter. Cover the pie with the other crust.  Seal the edges carefully.
  5. Cut four slits into the crust and then brush with the milk and sprinkle the sugar over the top.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown and filling is bubbly. (If the edges of the pie start to get too brown cover them with foil.)
  7. Remove and allow to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. 
Tips and Tricks:

  • I use Pillsbury Pie Crust, which can be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, usually by the can biscuits.
  • I serve this pie with vanilla ice cream.  Pie a la Mode!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Muffaletta Torte

This recipe was given to me by my co-worker, Jeff's wife, Mary Beth.  She made it for a shower and after one bite I had to have the recipe to make it for myself.  I made it for a birthday party and I had 3 people ask me for the recipe.  It's THAT kind of recipe.  ; )
  • 2 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 C. Asaigo cheese, shredded
  • 2 T. butter, softened
  • ½ t. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ lb. Genoa or hard salami, sliced thin and finely chopped
  • ¼ lb. ham or mortadella,sliced thin and finely chopped
  • 1 C. olive salad mix, drained 
  1. Combine the cream cheese, Asaigo cheese, butter and cayenne pepper in a food processor until well combined and soft.
  2. To make the torte, line a container that holds at least 3 C. with foil or plastic wrap.  Spray with cooking spray and then add the drained olive salad (just use enough to make a thin layer).
  3. Using a greased spatula, spread 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture in a layer on top of the olive salad, add the ham layer, spread 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture, add the salami layer and then the last 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Cover the container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
  5. When you are ready to serve, place the container on the serving dish and invert.  Carefully peel away the plastic wrap or foil.
  6. Serve with crackers.
Tips and Tricks:

  • I chop the salami and ham in the food processor.
  • I serve this with Wheat Thins.  They are sturdy enough to cut thorough the torte, so you don’t need to use a knife for spreading.  
  • I use the Rouses or Boscoli brand olive salad mix.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Shot for America!

I made these for 4th of July, I know I should have made them earlier so you could have seen this post PRIOR to July 4th, and they were a BIG hit. We ate several of these little jigglers.  The Malibu gives a great flavor and they aren't as strong as my usual Jell-O shots.
  • 1 (6 oz.) red, any flavor you like, Jell-O
  • 1 (6 oz.) blue, any flavor you like, Jell-O
  • 1 ½ C. Malibu rum
  • 4 ½ C. boiling water
  • 4 envelopes of Knox gelatin
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk

1.  Spray a 9”x13”Pyrex pan with nonstick spray.
2.  Make the blue layer: In a medium bowl, mix the blue Jell-O with 1 envelope of the unflavored gelatin. Add 1 ½ C. boiling water and stir to dissolve. When dissolved, add ½ C. Malibu and stir.  Cool to room temperature and pour into the prepared pan. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until quite firm.
3.  Make the white layer: In another bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup boiling water. In a separate small bowl, sprinkle 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin over ½ C. Malibu. Let stand for a few minutes and then add ½ C. boiling water to dissolve the gelatin. Add to the milk mixture and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature. Pour the white layer over the firmed-up blue Jell-O layer. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until quite firm.
4.  Make the red layer: In a medium bowl, mix the red Jell-O with 1 envelope of the unflavored gelatin. Add 1 ½ C. boiling water and stir to dissolve. When dissolved, add ½ C. Malibu and stir.  Cool to room temperature and pour over the firmed-up white layer. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until firm.
5.  Slice into individual servings (small enough to hold in your hand), scoop out with a small spatula, and serve. For a more festive look, turn some of them upside-down so you have both red and blue showing on your serving platter.

Tips and Tricks:
  • These can be made alcohol free.  Skip the last step, just add 2 C. of boiling water.
  • For a more festive look, turn some of them upside-down so you have both red and blue showing on your serving platter.
  • You can change this recipe up!  Red, White, and Green for Christmas, Green, White, and Orange for St. Patrick’s Day.  Red, White, and Pink for Valentine’s Day.  You get the idea!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Chicken Spaghetti

Get the troops together when you make this recipe.  It serves at least 12!  The other nice thing about it, it freezes great.  My sister-in-law's Mom, AnnaMae, introduced my family to this recipe MANY years ago.  It's a favorite!
This is just one of the MANY casserole dishes I filled with this recipe.
Boiled Chicken:
  • 2 chicken fryers, cut into pieces
  • 2 onions, cut in half
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into fourths
  • ½ T. kosher salt
  • ½ T. Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning
Chicken Spaghetti:
  • ½ C. (1 stick) butter
  • 1 lb. thin spaghetti
  • 2 C. onions, chopped
  • 1 C. bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 C. celery, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ T. kosher salt
  • ½ T. Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning
  • 1 ½ lbs. Velveeta, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 can petit pois peas
  1. Fill a gumbo pot half way with water and set to boil over high heat.  Add the chicken, onions, celery, salt and Creole seasoning and allow to boil for 45 minutes.
  2. Using a strainer spoon, remove the chicken pieces from the pot and set aside to cool.
  3. Add the spaghetti to the chicken stock and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, but save the stock. (You can freeze the stock and use it for other recipes.)
  4. In a Dutch oven, melt the stick of butter and sauté the onions, bell pepper, and celery, on low for about 20 minutes.
  5. If you are making this to eat now, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. While the trinity is wilting, remove the skin and bones from the chicken and cut the chicken into small bite size pieces. Reserve.
  7. Add the garlic and cook for one minute and then add the cubed Velveeta.
  8. Stir frequently, when most of the cheese is melted, add the Rotel tomatoes.
  9. When all of the cheese is melted, add the chicken, then the spaghetti and finally the peas.
  10. Stir well to incorporate the mixture with the pasta.
  11. Spray 2 baking pans or CorningWare 13”x 9”x 2” with cooking spray and transfer the Chicken Spaghetti into the baking dishes. 
  12. Bake for 1 hour or until bubbly and golden brown.
  13. Allow the dish to set for 5 minutes and then serve.
Tips and Tricks:
  • These 2 pans will serve at least 12 people. 
  • I usually make this the day before I want to serve it.  It freezes well, but don’t bake it until you are ready to serve it.
  • I use Dubon or LeSueur petit pois peas.
  • This recipe is LABOR INTESIVE, but it is worth it.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pain Perdu Casserole

Pain Perdu was a breakfast that my Dad made for me ALL the time. Pain Perdu, is French for “Lost Bread”.  It was a way to “do something” with the stale bread that would be wasted.   This is a take on what my Dad made, but it is a recipe from "The Pioneer Woman".

  • 1 loaf crusty Sourdough or French bread, preferable stale
  • 8 large eggs
  • ½ C. heavy cream
  • 2 C. whole milk
  • ½ C. sugar
  • ½ C. brown sugar
  • 2 T. vanilla extract
  • ½ C. flour
  • ½ C. brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • ¼ t. salt
  • ½ C. (1 stick) butter, cold, cut into 16 pieces

  • Maple syrup and powdered sugar, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, milk, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Slice the bread into small bite size cubes and place in a 10” by 15” casserole dish or baking pan.
  4. Pour the custard over the bread and allow the custard to soak into the bread for 10 minutes before putting the casserole dish into the oven. (You can press down on the bread, so it absorbs more of the custard.)
  5. Make the topping while the bread absorbs the custard; combine all the topping ingredients in a medium size bowl with a pastry cutter, if you have one, just use a large fork, if you don’t.  The topping should look like small peas when you are finished.
  6. Sprinkle the topping over the bread custard mixture.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes for a soft pudding like consistency or for 1 hour for a firmer consistency.
  8. Serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup.
Tips and Tricks:
  • This can be made ahead of time.  Pour the custard over the bread and cover tightly and place in the refrigerator overnight.  Make the topping and place it in a Ziploc bag until you are ready to bake the next day.   
  • This makes 10 large sized servings.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mini Caprese Bites

This is a take on a Caprese salad.  It is a one bite hors d’oeuvres that is great for a summer BBQ appetizer or even nice for a cocktail party.  They are easy to make (just time consuming) and this recipe makes about 50 “bites”.

  • 1 pt. grape tomatoes
  • 20 basil leaves, torn into small bite size pieces
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
  • ¼ C. of balsamic vinaigrette
  • ½ T. Sea salt
  1. Make the balsamic vinaigrette and marinate the cheese cubes in the vinaigrette for several hours, if possible.
  2. Cut each grape tomato in half.
  3. Using toothpicks, place a tomato, a cube of mozzarella, then a piece of basil.
  4. Sprinkle sea salt over all and drizzle with the leftover vinaigrette.
Tips and Tricks:

  • DO NOT refrigerate the grape tomatoes.  They taste best at room temperature.
  • I can’t leave anything alone, so I changed this recipe.  I made this with mini pepperonis for added flavor (everyone liked it).
  • I made my own balsamic vinaigrette, but you can use bottled vinaigrette when you are crunched for time.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs

This is a yummy recipe from "Tracey's Culinary Adventures".  It is an easy fix meal or appetizer.  These meatballs are so flavorful, you won't believe they are turkey!
Meat mixture:
  • 2 lbs. of ground turkey
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T. ginger, grated
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • ½ t. cayenne pepper
  • ½ t. ground allspice
  • ½ C. Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ C. Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 T. all-purpose flour
  • ½ C. canola oil
  • 2/3 C. rice vinegar
  • ½ C. brown sugar
  • 2/3 C. water
  • ½ C. soy sauce
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up) and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl and use your hands to combine until everything is incorporated, but don’t over mix.
  3. Roll the meatballs and place on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes or until browned.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow the meatballs to cool while making the sauce.
  6. Whisk the ingredients together in the order they are listed in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes until the sauce slightly thickens.  Reduce the heat to a simmer.
  7. Add the meatballs to the sauce and warm for 5 – 10 minutes.
  8. Stir occasionally, very gently, the meatballs are very fragile
  9. Serve over egg noodles or rice as a meal, or in a chaffing dish or crockpot as an appetizer.
Tips and Tricks:
  • I make these meatballs with a 1½ inch scoop, if I'm serving them as a meal.  The meatballs are smaller than a traditional Italian meatball.  This recipe will make about 30 meatballs.  If I'm making them for an appetizer I use a 1 inch scoop and it makes about 50 meatballs.
  • Fresh ginger IS necessary. It gives these meatballs a wonderful taste.
  • If you don’t have allspice, you can substitute ¼ t. ground cinnamon, 1/8 t. ground cloves, and 1/8 t. ground nutmeg.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

BBQ Chicken Pizza

This is a quick dinner and it was easy!  We had half of the pizza leftover for lunch the next day.  You can make it with any toppings YOU like.  This combination worked well for us.
  • 1 can of pizza crust
  • 1 C. BBQ sauce
  • 1 C. chicken breast, shredded or chopped into cubes
  • ½ red onion, sliced thin
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/3 C. banana pepper rings
  • 1 (2 oz.) can black olives, sliced
  • 2 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Unroll the pizza dough on a half sheet pan (17”x 12”) that has been sprayed with cooking spray, press the dough flat to cover the entire pan.
  3. Bake for about 7 minutes, or just until the dough is lightly browned.
  4. Remove from the oven and build the pizza.
  5. Spread the BBQ sauce over the partially baked pizza crust and sprinkle the rest of ingredients over the sauce in the order they are listed, finishing with the cheese.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  7. Remove the pizza from the oven and allow it to sit for 5 minutes, then cut into pieces and serve.
Tips and Tricks:
  • You can roast a chicken breast in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour for this recipe or just use the chicken breast off of a Rotisserie chicken.
  • I use Pillsbury THIN Pizza Crust.  I prefer a thin crust pizza, but Pillsbury makes a Traditional crust, also.
  • I use Sweet Baby Ray’s Spicy and Sweet BBQ sauce or Kraft Spicy Honey, but you can use whatever sauce you like.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Cheesy Creole Tomato Pie

Creole Tomatoes and Vidalia Onions are a summer staple.  This is a great recipe that uses these as an entrée that isn’t a salad.  It’s great as a make ahead recipe because it can be served at room temperature.

  • 1 (9 in.) refrigerated pie crust
  • 3 medium Creole tomatoes, sliced ¼ in. thick (about 2 lbs.)
  • 1 small Vidalia onion
  • ½ t. kosher salt
  • 1/3 C. Panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ C. mayonnaise
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  • 1 T. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 T. fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 C. (¼ lb. or 4 oz.) Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 C. (¼ lb. or 4 oz.) Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 T. olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Roll the pie crust into a 9 inch pie plate and gently press the crust into place around the pie plate.  Pierce with a fork in several places on the bottom of the crust and in a few spots on the side.
  3. Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes or until lightly brown.  Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool while preparing the pie ingredients.
  4. Cut the onion in half to create a semi-circle and then slice thin, cut the core off of the top of the tomato and discard and then cut into slices.
  5. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the salt.
  6. Combine the mayonnaise, egg yolk, garlic, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl.
  7. Sprinkle 1/3 of the breadcrumbs in the bottom of pie plate, cover with half of the tomato slices, half of the sliced onions, and half of the herbs.  Drizzle half of the mayonnaise mixture and then cover with half of each of the cheeses.
  8. Sprinkle another 1/3 of the breadcrumbs over the cheese, and then the rest of the tomato slices, the rest of the sliced onions, and the rest of the herbs.  Drizzle with the rest of the mayonnaise mixture and cover with the rest of the cheeses.
  9. Finish with the remaining bread crumbs and drizzle the olive oil over the whole pie.
  10. Bake for 1 hour (the top should get nice and brown).
  11. Remove and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.  This pie is best at room temperature.
Tips and Tricks:
  • DO NOT refrigerate the Creole tomatoes.  They taste best at room temperature. 
  • If you can’t get Creole tomatoes you can use Beefsteak tomatoes and it you can’t get Vidalia onions, you can use sweet onions or red onions instead.
  • If you don’t have Panko breadcrumbs, unseasoned breadcrumbs work well also.
  • I use Pillsbury Pie Crust, which can be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, usually by the can biscuits.