Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Loaf

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup PLUS 2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 egg whites
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a non-stick 9x5" loaf pan, set aside.
Mix pumpkin, 1 cup sugar, brown sugar, 3 of the egg whites, milk and oil in a large bowl.
Add flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice & salt, stir just until moistened. Set aside.
Beat cream cheese, remaining 2 tbsp. sugar & remaining egg white w/wire whisk until well blended.
Spoon 1/2 of pumpkin batter into pan; spoon cream cheese mixture evenly over the batter.
Cover w/remaining pumpkin batter.
Bake 1 hour - 1 hour 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Run knife around edges of pan to loosen the bread; cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan to wire rack & cool completely.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tortellini & Corn Chowder

3 slices turkey bacon coarsely chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 rib celery chopped
1 small red bell pepper chopped
2 c. fresh or frozen corn kernals
2 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
1/3 c. flour
3 c. milk
1/3 c. chopped basil (fresh) or 1 tsp. dried
1/4 t. salt
8 oz. fresh or frozen cheese tortellini cooked and drained

Set a dutch oven to medium heat.  Add bacon and cook for 1 minute until it releases some of its moisture.  Add onion, celery and bell pepper then cook 5 min. or until veggies are soft.  Add corn and broth.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 min.  Place flour in medium bowl and gradually add milk, whisking until smooth.  Pour into dutch oven and stir well until blended.  Add basil and salt.  Cook, stirring for 3 min. or until soup thickens.  Add tortellini and cook until heated through.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie Empanadas

2 tbsp. butter
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp. flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 lb. shredded, cooked chicken
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (10 oz.) box frozen peas & carrots OR mixed vegetables
2 refrigerated 9" pie crusts

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion & cook for 3 minutes. Add the flour & cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Still stirring, slowly add the broth. Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes, stirring.
Add the vegetables, chicken, salt & pepper. Remove from heat.
Cut each pie crust in half to form 4 half circles (at this point you can fill to make large empanadas OR cut each half circle again to make mini empanadas). Spoon the chicken mixture over the bottom half of each half-circle, leaving a 1/2" border Using your fingers, wet the border w/water . Fold the top of each crust over the chicken to form a 1/4 circle. Press to seal. Make a slit in the top of each empanada. Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, September 12, 2011

PW Homemade Mac & Cheese

4 cups dry macaroni
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard (or more to taste)
1 lb. cheddar or other desired cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspons seasoned salt (or more to taste)
1 tsp. ground black pepper

Cook the macaroni until very firm. The macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. (If you're in a hurry & don't want to bake the macaroni and cheese, cook it now until it's done.) Drain.

In a small bowl, beat the egg.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F & butter a large oval or rectangular baking dish.

In a large pot, melt the butter & sprinkle in the flour.

Whisk it together over med-low heat. Cook for 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Don't let it burn.

Pour in the milk.

Add the mustard & whisk until smooth. Cook for 5 minutes or until very think, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low.

To temper the egg, slowly pour 1/4 cup of the sauce into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the egg. Whisk until smooth.

pour the egg mixture into the sauce, whisking until smooth.

Add in all but 1/2 cup of the cheese & stir until melted.

Add the seasonings. Taste the sauce & add more as needed. Do not undersalt or you'll regret it the rest of your life!

Pour in the cooked, drained macaroni & stir to combine.

Serve immediately or pour into the baking dish & top w/the remaining cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly & golden on top.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Spring Rolls/Egg Rolls

1 lg. shallot, sliced
2 carrots, grated
4 scallions, sliced
2-3 tsp. garlic, minced
1 cup sliced bamboo shoots
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. white pepper
1 pkg. egg roll OR spring roll wrappers

FOR EGG ROLLS: 1 lbs. cooked meat (crumbled pork, diced chicken, etc.)
2 cups shredded cabbage

FOR SPRING ROLLS: 3 1/2 oz. dried bean-thread vermicelli or rice sticks.
chopped cilantro
Put noodles in a lg. bowl of warm water & soak until soft & translucent (about 12-15 mins.). As the noodles become pliable, spread them out w/your fingers to ensure quick, even soaking. Drain noodles of as much water as possible. Chop w/kitchen shears so they are easier to handle. Put noodles & next five ingredients in a lg. bowl, along w/the cilantro. Mix w/your hands til well mixed. Add soy sauce, sugar & pepper, mix well. Set a dry wok over med-hi heat. Add noodle filling mixture & stir-fry until the veggies release their moisture & become tender & noodles are soft & clear; about 4 minutes.
Transfer filling to a large bowl & let it cool at room temperature. Gently separate the spring roll wrappers from the pack. Keep the wrappers covered w/a dampened paper towel as you make the spring rolls. Place 2 wrappers, one on top of the other, on a flat work surface. Place about 3 tbsp. of filling in the center of wrapper. Fold & moisten edges w/water to seal shut.

Deep fry at 360-375 degrees for about 3 minutes.

FOR EGG ROLLS: simply cook meat & then add to cabbage, remaining veggies, soy sauce & spices. Fill egg roll (or wonton) wrappers & seal. Cook the same as Spring Rolls

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jen's Ham Balls

Ham Balls:
2lbs. Ham loaf
1lb. Hamburger
1lb. Pork burger
4 eggs
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1.5 cups of milk

Mix together and form into medium sized balls.

1 can tomato soup
3\4 cup brown sugar
1\4 cup vinegar
1 T. Mustard

Pour over balls and bake at 350 for a hour to hour an a half.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chewy Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies are a little more work than average, but worth every step! The recipe is from America's Test Kitchen.

Makes 2 dozen cookies

The final dough will be slightly softer than most cookie dough. For the best results, handle the dough as briefly and gently as possible when shaping the cookies. Overworking the dough will result in flatter cookies.

  • 2 1/4cups (11 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2teaspoon baking soda
  • 1teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar , plus 1/3 cup for rolling
  • 2ounces cream cheese , cut into 8 pieces
  • 6tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter , melted and still warm
  • 1/3cup vegetable oil
  • 1large egg
  • 1tablespoon milk
  • 2teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside.

  • 2. Place 1½ cups sugar and cream cheese in large bowl. Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside. Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later). Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft homogeneous dough forms.

  • 3. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each (or use #40 portion scoop). Using hands, roll dough into balls. Working in batches, roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and evenly space on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using bottom of drinking glass, flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with 4 teaspoons of sugar remaining in shallow dish (2 teaspoons per tray), discarding any remaining sugar.

  • 4. Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Mexican Chicken Spaghetti

  • 1lb of pasta
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • medium onion
  • bell pepper
  • 1 stick butter
  • small box velveeta
  • 1 can Rotel
  • Cream / milk / chicken stock (whatever you have on hand)

Cook 1lb of noodles and set aside (If you use penne then I can usually freeze half of this for another night)

4 chicken breasts cooked or you can use rotisserie chicken

Saute 1 medium onion and 1/2 a bell pepper (red or yellow) in a stick of butter

Add one small box of velveeta cubed into small pieces

Add one can rotel tomatoes with mild chilies (you can drain if you want it to be milder, I leave the juice in and it's got a bit of kick to it)

Use either cream or milk or chicken stock to thin the sauce down to desired consistency once cheese is melted

Add cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces

Toss with spaghetti and serve or place into casserole dish with penne noodles and top with shredded cheddar cheese and bake until bubbly at 350.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

  • 2 Tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb diced ham (I use leftovers, but you could easily buy the precooked and chopped kind)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breasts, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 4 T butter
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 14 oz chicken broth
  • 3 cups cooked rice (I use brown OR pasta, I've tried both and like them equally!)
  • 1 c shredded cheddar
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella or swiss (I usually use whatever I have on hand)
Preheat oven to 350.

Heat oil in a large, rimmed skillet over medium heat.

Add the onions and peppers and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender.

Then add the garlic, chicken and ham and cook for another 5 minutes until heated through.

Add the butter until it is melted, then stir in the flour, salt and pepper until combined.

Slowly stir in the chicken broth, then mix in the rice. (if you're using noodles, precook them and mix in here)

Transfer mixture to a 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle the top with your cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. For the last 10 minutes cover with foil.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup shortening (I used oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon; gradually mix into the creamed mixture. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light brown. Cool on wire racks.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Reeses Peanut Butter Egg Cookies


2 sticks softened butter
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1 Cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
2 large eggs plus 1 egg white
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Cups chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs, 12 total eggs, you can also use regular Reeses Peanut Butter Cups 
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a stand or electric mixer beat the butter, sugars and corn syrup until well combined….light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
2.  In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with the chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs.  Mix only until just combined.  Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes until just turning golden around edges.  Let cookies cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  Eat with tall glass of milk!!
4 dozen cookies

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jami's Buffalo Chicken Lasagna


...- 12 Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles, uncooked
- 1 lb. Skinless Chicken Breast (cubed)
- 3 Cups Hunt's 4 Cheese Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 Cup Texas Pete Buffalo Style Wing Sauce
- 1.5 Cups Water
- 15 oz. Nonfat Ricotta Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Egg Substitute
- 1/2 Cup Blue Cheese Crumbles (or 2% Pepperjack Cheese)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Spray skillet with Non-Stick cooking spray
Cook chicken over medium high heat for 4 minutes or until almost done
Stir in sauces & water
In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese and egg substitute
Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray
Spread 1 Cup of sauce in the bottom of pan
Arrange 4 noodles over the sauce
Spread more sauce then a layer of ricotta mixture
Add another layer of sauce and repeat the whole profess until you end with a layer of sauce.
Cover and bake 70 minutes
Uncover and place cheese on top, then back another 15 minutes uncovered
Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving

Brown Sugar Pork chops

1/2 cup brown sugar packed
1/2 cup apple juice
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

combine in sauce pan bring to a slight boil.
2 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 cup water

whisk into mixture. brush on 6 pork chops

grill as desired
bake 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes

(from AllRecipes)

Honey Garlic Chicken

4 chicken breasts
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup soy sauce
3T ketchup
2 cloves crushed garlic
1teaspoon ground ginger
20 oz can pineapple tidbits
2 T cornstarch
1/4 cup water

mix honey, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic, ginger, juice from pineapple in bowl. pour over chicken in slow cooker. cover, cook 4 hours on high. stir in pineapple before serving. can thicken sauce with cornstarch and water to serve over chicken.

(From AllRecipes)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pesto Lasagna

1 lb ground Turkey (browned)
1 16 oz package lasagna noodles
1 16 oz package frozen spinach (thawed)

Pesto Sauce:
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic (peeled and cut in half)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
Blend in a blender or food processor until smooth.

In a 13x9 pan assemble lasagna noodles, 1/2 pesto sauce, 1/2 spinach, 1/2 ground turkey (you can mix them together first to make it easier) noodles, rest of pesto, rest of spinach, rest of turkey top with mozzerella cheese if you desire. Bake 350* for 30-45 minutes.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Laura's semi-adapted version of HVR Honey Pepper Drummettes

  • 2 dozen chicken drummettes OR CHICKEN BREASTS!
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 packet (1 ounce) Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • ¼–½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Wash and dry the drummettes. Reserve in a Glad® Food Storage Bag.

In a small saucepan heat together the honey, dressing mix, mustard, black and cayenne peppers. When the honey is completely melted, cool slightly. Pour this mixture over the drummettes. Marinate 4–24 hours. Bake uncovered, in a 375°F oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until brown and glazed. Turn drummettes once after 40 minutes of baking.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Crockpot Chicken Tacos (With Leftovers for Tortilla Soup!)

  • 1 envelope Taco Seasoning
  • 6 pieces Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 jar Salsa (16 0z)

Dump everything into a crock pot and give it a little stir to blend the seasoning with the salsa. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. When done, the chicken should shred easily when stirred with a fork.

For tacos, serve the chicken with soft flour tortillas, lettuce, shredded cheese and sour cream. This is very versatile and can be used for enchiladas, nachos, tostadas, etc. Any leftover chicken can then be used for tortilla soup (make it the next day or freeze the chicken to use at a later time).

Here is my own version of our favorite soup at the now-defunct Tia’s Tex Mex.

Tortilla Soup Ingredients:

approximately 1 cup of leftover chicken taco meat
1 32. oz box of chicken broth
1 can of Milder Ro-Tel (tomatoes with chilies)
1 can of corn
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice

Dump everything in a pot and simmer for about 30 minutes. Garnish with crumbled tortilla chips and shredded cheese (Mexican blend).


Monday, January 10, 2011

Melissa's White Bean Sausage Rigatoni

* 2 cups dried rigatoni (8 ounces)
* 1 15-ounce can white kidney (cannellini), Great Northern, or navy beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 14.5-ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
* 8 ounces cooked smoked turkey sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
* 1/3 cup snipped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed
* 1/4 cup shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)


1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; return pasta to saucepan.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine beans, undrained tomatoes, sausage, and dried basil (if using). Cook and stir until heated through. Add bean mixture and fresh basil (if using) to pasta; stir gently to combine. To serve, sprinkle each serving with cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Nikky's Cheesy Potato Soup

Let me just say this is my recipe and has no real recipe LOL. I throw things together to make it taste awesome ;)

5-6 peeled and diced potatoes
fat free milk
2 bouillon cubes
corn starch
cooked and chopped bacon
Velveeta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

put diced potatoes in pot with enough water to cover and the two bouillon cubes.
When potatoes are soft, fill the rest of the pot with the fat free milk
Bring to a boil
mix a couple Tbs corn starch with cold water and add to soup to thicken
add Velveeta, bacon, salt and pepper to your tastes
Enjoy :)