Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pasta with Mushroom Garlic Sauce

An easy to prepare and comforting vegetarian dish. Use any combination of mushroom varieties and add extra spices if you like.

Pasta with Mushroom and Garlic Sauce

1 lb linguine, cooked and drained
6 T. butter, divided
10 cloves garlic, minced
6 c. mushrooms (any combination), washed and sliced
2 teas. dried basil
salt & pepper, to taste
3 T. olive oil
fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese for garnish

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned. Next, add the mushrooms, basil and salt & pepper, cook until mushrooms are tender. Add remaining butter and olive oil to the skillet and stir until butter is melted. Mix with cooked pasta and sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Serves 4.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pear & Walnut Salad

Use your favorite dressing with this; ranch and raspberry vinaigrette work well. Take the time to toast the walnuts, it truly does add to the flavor.

Pear & Walnut Salad

10-oz. salad greens, torn to bite-sized pieces
2 medium pears, cored and sliced
1 c. seedless red grapes, halved
1/2 c. crumbled blue or feta cheese
1/2 c. toasted walnuts
Dressing (your favorite)

In a large salad bowl, toss the greens, pears and grapes to mix. Drizzle with dressing.
Top with cheese and walnuts. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chicken Manicotti

A nice change from the ground beef version of stuffed manicotti. If you have extra filling left after stuffing the pasta, just spoon it on top of everything before covering with the sauce.

Chicken Manicotti

1 (32 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
1 c. water
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 lb. chicken breast, cut into cubes
1 c. ricotta
1 teas. Season Salt
14 uncooked manicotti shells
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute the onion, garlic and green pepper in a small amount of olive oil until tender. Mix together the spaghetti sauce, water, onion, garlic and green pepper Spread approximately 1/3 of the sauce into a deep baking dish.

In another bowl, combine chicken, ricotta and Season Salt. Mix to blend. Spoon some of the chicken mixture into each of the manicotti shells and place into sauce-lined baking dish. Pour remaining pasta sauce evenly over shells to cover completely.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake about 1 hour or until shells are tender. Sprinkle with cheese and bake, uncovered, about 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Peppermint Pattie Brownies

Be careful not to over bake, there is nothing worse than a burnt brownie. Cool Completely before cutting.

Peppermint Pattie Brownies

24 small peppermint patties, chopped
1-1/2 c. butter, melted
3 c. sugar
1 T. vanilla extract
5 eggs
2 c. flour
1 c. baking cocoa
1 teas. baking powder
1 teas. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, using a mixer, cream together butter, sugar and vanilla. Add in eggs and beat until well blended. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and blend well. Reserve 2 cups of this batter and set aside. Spread remaining batter into bottom of prepared dish. Sprinkle chopped peppermint patties in a single layer on top of batter. Carefully spread reserved 2 cups of batter over top of peppermint patties.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 - 50 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chip & Dip Pork Chops

Use any flavor potato chips you like-it's all good. This works with chicken too.

Chip & Dip Pork Chops

6 boneless center cut pork chops (or chicken breasts)
1 bag barbecue potato chips, crushed
1/4 c. sour cream
2 cloves garlic
6 teas. butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking dish.

Cover each pork chop with sour cream and then dip into crushed potato chips. Place into prepared baking dish, single layer.

In a small saucepan, place butter and garlic and allow to melt and cook just one minute to bloom the garlic. Then drizzle over pork chops. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until tender.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Chocolate Strawberry Sandwich

Very easy dessert! If you don't have a panini grill, just lightly fry the pound cake slices on both sides in a pan. Then immediately spread the cake with the filling and arrange strawberries on top; cover with another cake slice. Allow to sit for a minute or so and the filling will warm up.

Chocolate Strawberry Sandwich

1/4 c. Nutella
12 (1/2-inch) thick slices pound cake (from 1 (10.75-ounce) loaf
6 fresh strawberries, hulled and very thinly sliced
Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray

Heat a panini grill to medium according to the manufacturer's instructions. Spread the chocolate-hazelnut spread over 1 side of all of the pound cake slices. Arrange the sliced strawberries over 6 cake slices. Cover with the remaining cake slices, chocolate side down.
Spray panini grill with nonstick spray and grill each panini until the pound cake is crisp and golden and the fillings are warm, about 2 minutes. Cut each panini in half and serve.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pimiento Cheese Spread

There is nothing like a pimiento cheese sandwich! This spread tends to suck the moisture right out of bread, so make-up your sandwiches just right before you serve them.

Pimiento Cheese Spread

1 lb. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 (7 oz.) jar chopped pimientos
2 T. finely grated onion
salt and pepper, to taste
Dash cayenne pepper
2/3 c. mayonnaise

Blend all ingredients together and mash-up with the back of a fork until desired consistency. Best if refrigerated overnight.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Our local candy store sells hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries for $14.99 per pound. Outrageous considering how insanely simple they are to make! The secret to a good coating is to make certain the berries are completely dry before you dip them. You can either leave the stem on and dip the strawberries 3/4 way for a fancier look OR stem the berries and use a skewer to dunk them completely into the chocolate.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

4 dozen lg. strawberries
12 oz bag chocolate chips (either semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
1 T. Crisco

Rinse the strawberries and pat to dry. Line a tray with waxed paper.

Microwave the chocolate chips and Crisco at 50% power for 2 minutes. Stir and continue heating at 50% power until completely melted. Stir well.

Dip each strawberry into the chocolate, allowing the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Set on the waxed paper lined tray.

Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow the chocolate to set. Can be made up to a day ahead. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Perfect Roasted Chicken

Brining ensures that the chicken meat will be juicy and tender. To brine the chicken, combine 1 cup salt and 5 quarts water in a large container. Stir well to dissolve the salt. Submerge the chicken (giblets removed) in the brine, making certain it is completely immersed. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours. When ready, rinse well and pat dry.

Perfect Roasted Chicken

3 T. olive oil
5 cloves crushed garlic
1 lg. roasting chicken, soaked in brine
1 lemon
1 small bunch fresh rosemary
coarse salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rub the olive oil and three of the crushed garlic cloves over the chicken. Cut the lemon in half and place in the cavity of the chicken, along with the remaining garlic cloves and some of the rosemary. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken and insert the remaining rosemary under the skin. Place chicken on a rack in a heavy roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes at 450, turn oven temperature down to 350 and roast for an additional 90 minutes (instant read thermometer should register above 154 when it is thoroughly cooked).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Icebox Lemon Pie

So refreshing on a hot summer day. Best of all, it's no-bake! If you prefer Key lime pie, simply substitute the same amount of frozen lemonade concentrate with frozen limeade concentrate and the fresh lemon juice with fresh lime juice.

Icebox Lemon Pie

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (6 oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1 prepared graham cracker crust
1 c. whipping cream
1/4 c. powdered sugar

Using a mixer, combine the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until blended. Add the lemonade and lemon juice and mix well. Spoon filling into the prepared crust and chill until set, about 6 hours.

Whip the cream with the powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Serve the pie with the whipped cream on top.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Depression Beef & Cabbage

This recipe came from a Depression-era cookbook and is very similar to stuffed cabbage-without all the work of traditional stuffed cabbage. I always make mine in the crockpot, but can also be oven baked, covered at 350 for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Depression Beef & Cabbage

1 medium cabbage, shredded
1-1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 c. rice (not Minute)
1 (10-3/4 oz.)can tomato soup
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
3/4 c. water
salt & pepper, to taste

Place half the cabbage in the bottom of a greased slow cooker. Next, layer beef and onions on top of the cabbage. Pour rice over the meat and onions and then put the rest of the cabbage on top of the rice.

In a bowl, combine the tomato sauce and tomato soup together with water. Pour over the cabbage.

Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top; cover and cook on low all day (8-10 hours). Do not stir during cooking.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Blueberry Tart

A favorite summertime dessert-always a hit. If you want to make this ahead of time, loosen the sides of the pan after cooling so that the filling won't stick.

Blueberry Tart

1 c. + 2 T. flour (divided)
2/3 c. + 2 T. sugar (divided)
1/2 teas. salt
1/2 c. butter, cubed
1 T. white vinegar
5 c. blueberries
1/2 teas. ground cinnamon
1/2 teas. almond extract
Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 375. Grease a 9" tart pan (use one with a removable bottom) with cooking spray.

Using a mixer or food processor, combine 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt until combined. Add butter and mix until crumbs form. Sprinkle with vinegar and mix just until blended. Using fingers, press dough into bottom of prepared tart pan.

Top crust with 3 cups of the blueberries. Mix together the 2 tablespoons flour, 2/3 cup sugar and cinnamon; evenly sprinkle over berries. Drizzle with the almond extract.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven and immediately top with remaining blueberries. Dust top with powdered sugar.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fruit Dip

Serve with an assortment of fresh fruit.

Fruit Dip

8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. powdered sugar
2 T. sour cream
1 pint (12 oz.) strawberries, hulled

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Strawberry Soup

My favorite way to serve this is in china teacups with powder sugar-dusted ladyfingers on the saucer. The following ingredients will make 2 servings, so multiply the ingredients as needed.

Strawberry Soup

1 lb. strawberries, hulled
3 T. honey (or sugar)
2 T. sour cream
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. fresh tarragon leaves

Put all ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lemon Pastries

These are so delicious!...and so easy to make! Especially good in the morning with a hot cup of tea.

Lemon Pastries

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. lemon juice
2 (8 oz) tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 teas. vanilla
1 T. milk

Blend cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice; set aside.

Unroll crescent rolls and divide into triangles; spread with cream cheese mixture. Roll-up crescent-roll style.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk (add more milk as needed for consistency). Spoon over pastries.

Keep stored in refrigerator.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Salmon Cakes

Usually, we don't care very much for canned salmon, but these are really good! Maybe it's frying them in oil that does the trick? Really great for when you only have minutes to get dinner on the table. There is also a recipe for an optional dipping sauce to serve alongside.

Salmon Cakes

2 (6 oz.) cans salmon, drained
2 eggs, beaten
10 saltine crackers, crushed
salt & pepper, to taste
olive oil

Mix together salmon, eggs, crackers and salt and pepper. Form into patties. Heat the oil in a skillet; saute patties on both sides until golden brown.


1/2 c. sour cream
1-1/2 T. Dijon mustard
1 T lemon juice
2 teas. dill weed

Whisk together and serve alongside salmon cakes.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Crunchy Corn Chip Chicken

I'm trying to get away from chicken casseroles made with condensed soup, but I really like this one, so it's going to be a keeper. This bakes at a high temperature, so keep an eye on it, especially near the end of cooking time, so it doesn't burn.

Crunchy Corn Chip Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1-1/4 oz. pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 c. barbecue corn chips, crushed

Arrange chicken in a casserole dish; set aside.

Combine soup, one cup of the cheese and taco seasoning; spread over chicken.

Bake at 450 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with crushed corn chips and remaining cheese. Return to oven for another 5 minutes until cheese melts.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Baked Zucchini Gratin

A great way to use-up all that extra zucchini this summer!

Baked Zucchini Gratin

1 onion, sliced
2 lb. zucchini, sliced
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. cracker crumbs
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Saute the onion in a little olive oil until tender.

Layer the zucchini and onions into a greased 2-quart dish. Drizzle with half of the butter; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

In a separate bowl, combine remaining butter, cracker crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over top.

Bake, uncovered at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pizza Sandwiches

A variation of grilled cheese using mozzarella, pepperoni and fresh tomato-all dipped in warm pizza sauce...Yum!

Pizza Sandwiches

8 slices Italian bread
8 slices mozzarella cheese
8 slices tomato
4 teas. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teas. garlic salt
24 slices pepperoni
softened butter
pizza sauce, warmed

On 4 slices of bread, layer 1 slice mozzarella, 2 slices of tomato, 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese, a dash of garlic salt and 6 slices of pepperoni. Top with remaining mozzarella and bread. Spread outside of sandwiches with butter.

On a hot griddle, heat sandwiches for about 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve with warm pizza sauce for dipping.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pistachio Cake

If you really like pistachios, then chop up about a cupful and toss them into the batter. You don't have to use a 9X13 pan; we like icing in the middle of the cake, so I use the layer cake pans. Just adjust the cooking time.

Pistachio Cake

1 (18.25-oz.) package white cake mix
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 c. 7-Up (or Sprite)
3 large eggs
2 (3-oz.) packages instant pistachio pudding mix
2 (1.3-oz.) envelopes whipped topping mix (Dream Whip)
1-1/2 c. milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

Using a mixer, combine cake mix, oil, soda, eggs, and one package of pudding until smooth. Pour batter into prepared baking dish.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until cake tests done.

Beat Dream Whip, milk, and pudding until stiff; pour over cooled cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.