Friday, February 29, 2008

Chicken Bakes

This is my version of a popular recipe. I am going to write the amounts that I use for my small family. This is really easy to double for more.

1 pkg pillsbury croissants (8)
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup dried stuffing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
1-2 large chicken breast (cooked and shred)
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4-1/2 cup frozen peas (optional...I like the added color and taste)

combine chicken, cream cheese, 1/2 can of cream of chicken soup, milk, peas and sour cream. Stir. roll out croissants. Put a heaping spoonful of filling in each croissant, roll as directed. Melt butter. brush each side of croissant with butter, roll in finely crushed dried stuffing mix. Bake at 350 for 15- 20 minutes (until golden). Warm up remaining soup, pour over chicken bakes. We also like to have rice or salad on the side.

Super Easy, Super good. I have loved all the pictures, because it really helps me have a "game plan". I will try to be better about taking pics when I cook meals I am going to post!! :0

Coffee Cake

***This is for an 8X8 pan recipe but you can double it and put in in a 9X13.

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 egg

Topping: (don’t’ forget to double this too if you double the batter)
1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp firm butter (do not melt this or it won’t work)

Heat oven to 375. Grease pan (8X8 for single batch, 9X13 for double). Blend all batter ingredients. Beat vigorously for 1/2 minute and spread in pan. Mix topping together separately and sprinkle on top of the batter. Be careful not to overload it in the center or it will sink. Bake 25-30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted comes out clean.

Orange Julius

So yummy and easy!!!

6 oz orange juice (1/2 normal can)
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg (optional)
12-14 ice cubes

Put all ingredients in blender and mix.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Chicken Salad Panini

1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
6 oz cooked chicken finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped green onions (optional)
3 Tbsp mayo or salad dressing (I like the poppy seed dressing)
1 large tomato thinly sliced
4 slices provolone cheese (or whatever you like)

1) Heat oven to 400. Grease large cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray. Unroll dough onto cookie sheet. Starting at center, press out dough into 15x10-inch rectangle. Brush oil over dough. Sprinkle evenly with Italian seasoning.

2) Bake 10-13 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix chicken, onions and mayo.

3) Cut baked crust in half crosswise. Spread chicken mixture on 1 half. Top with tomato and cheese, cutting to fit if necessary. Cover with remaining half of baked crust, seasoning side down. Cut into 4 sandwiches.

4) Heat 12 inch skillet over medium-low heat. Place 2 sandwiches in skillet; cook about 2 minutes, pressing down with pancake turner, until bottom crust is deep golden brown. Turn sandwiches; cook about 2 minutes, pressing again with turner, until cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining 2 sandwiches.

TIP: Because the crust will also be grilled, bake it just until it starts to brown so it won't get too dark when you grill it.

Though a skillet works fine for finishing these sandwiches, an electric contact grill--one that has two surfaces and closes--is ideal for the job. The times may differ so watch the panini closely.

Navajo Tacos

3/4 c. oil
1 can "Grands" biscuits (the biggest ones you can find)
1 can Chili (we used the "Nalley" brand)
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet. In the meantime, heat up chili in a small pot. Flatten each biscuit with your hands to desired thickness. Fry each flattened biscuit for about 20 seconds on each side or until golden brown. (To keep the biscuits warm until you are ready to serve, place them on a cookie sheet in the oven at about 200 degrees) Top each biscuit with chili, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, olives, salsa, or any other topping you would like to add!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Alfredo Chicken Pasta Toss

4 cups uncooked rotini, penne or bow-tie pasta (8 oz)
1 1/2 cups frozen sweet peas
1 cup shredded carrots
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb chicken cut into thin bit-size strips
1 jar (16 oz) Alfredo sauce
2 tsp dried basil leaves

1) Cook and drain pasta as directed on package, adding peas and carrots during last 5 minutes. Drain. Return to pan.

2) Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken, cook 9-11 minutes, stirring frequently, until chicken is no longer pink in center.

3) Stir chicken, Alfredo sauce and basil into pasta mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until thoroughly heated.

Chiken Broccoli Divan

So, I'm not a broccoli fan at all, but I'll eat it in this. Real easy and quick recipe.

1 lb. chopped, cooked drained broccoli
1 1/2 cups cooked, cube chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup breadcumbs - fine and dry
4 Tbsp melted margarine

Arrange broccoli in bottom of 11X7 baking dish. Top with chicken. In a small bowl, combine soup and milk, pour over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese. In a cup, combine bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

*I usually buy the Birdseye broccoli from Walmart. It steams right in the bag.
**I also buy dried bread crumbs in the can...I like the Italian style, but plain works too.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Cafe Rio Lisa's Style

This is my sister's recipe.

4 chicken breasts
olive oil

1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
1 can Pato tomato sauce (in a yellow can)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 large garlic clove, minced

corn tortillas
cilantro, chopped
Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing (recipe below)

1. Brush chicken breasts with olive oil & grill on BBQ (or on the stove) - don't overcook.
2. Let chicken sit for 5 minutes; cut into very small pieces.
3. Add chicken to a skillet. Add tomato sauce, Pato sauce, garlic and brown sugar.
4. Stir to mix and cover to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
5. Wrap a stack of corn tortillas in paper towel. Heat in microwave until hot. I also like to use the tortillas mentioned in the "Perfect Tortillas" post.
6. Serve chicken on tortilla and garnish with chopped cilantro & tomatillo dressing.


1/2 C mayonnaise
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C buttermilk
1/2 C cilantro
2 tsp. Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Mix (dry)
1 large garlic clove; minced
1/2 tomatillo
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1. Mix all ingredients in a blender.
2. Scrape down sides & mix again.
3. Store in air-tight container in refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Easy Pork Fried Rice

This is kind of a no-brainer "recipe" but my family loves it with the Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe that Martha already posted.

2 cups white rice
2 eggs (fried)
1 cup chopped ham
5 strips bacon
3 green onions
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup diced carrots

In large frying pan cook sliced bacon. Add ham, onions, and carrots. When carrots are softening add eggs (already cooked works better). Add rice and about 1-3 TBS soy sauce (i just shake it on until it looks lightly coated), stir together. A few minutes before serving, add the peas...just to warm them (nobody likes mushy peas). Add and subtract whatever you like. One of those things that just can't go wrong!!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lemon Blossoms

18 1/2-oz pkg. yellow cake mix
3/12-oz pkg. instant lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup oil

4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
3 TBS oil
3 TBS water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, and oil. Blend well for 2 minutes. Pour a small amount of batter, filling each cup half way. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn out onto a tea towel.
To make glaze, add lemon juice, zest, oil, and 3 TBS water to powdered sugar. Mix with spoon until smooth.

With fingers, dip cupcakes into glaze while cakes are still warm. Place on wire rack with waxed paper underneath to catch dripping glaze. Let glaze set (took about 45 minutes) then store in a container with a tight-fitting lid

Poppy Seed Chicken

This is my husband's family's favorite dish. I think you might be disowned if you don't like it. :)

6-8 pieces chicken
2 bags ritz crackers
1/2 stick butter
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup

Preheat oven to 350. Boil chicken and cut into pieces. Crush Ritz crackers. Melt butter and add to crackers, mix in poppy seeds. In a seperate bowl mix sour cream, cream of chicken soup, chicken, and half of the cracker mixture together. Put in a 9x13 pan and top with remaining crackers. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Chicken Parmigiana

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 ounces dried bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

1 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce

shredded mozzerella cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Dip chicken into egg beat, then bread crumbs. Place coated chicken on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Pour 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce into a 9x13 baking dish. Add chicken and pour on remaining sauce. Sprinkle cheeses on top and bake for 20 minutes more.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Curried Chicken and Vegetables

This is one of our favorites, because we love curry. And it's simple. We have a family of 4 so I usually only use 3-4 chicken breasts and less rice. I keep all of the other ingredient amounts the same. For a healthier option, I will omit the first couple of steps (coating the chicken with flour and cooking it in butter) and I just cook the chicken, without the flour, in olive oil or cooking spray. It is still really good.

Makes 8 servings.

6-8 chicken breast halves, cut in 1” pieces
¼ cup flour (for chicken)
½ teaspoon salt (for chicken)
1/8 teaspoon pepper (for chicken)
¼ cup (½ stick) butter or margarine
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 green pepper, halved, seeded and diced
¼ cup flour (for sauce)
1 teaspoon salt (for sauce)
1/8 teaspoon pepper (for sauce)
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
1 14 ounce can tomatoes + 1 can water
2 teaspoons instant chicken broth
6 cups hot cooked rice

1. Combine ¼ cup flour, ½ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a plastic bag. Add chicken pieces; shake well to coat.

2. Melt butter or margarine in a large skillet; sauté chicken fillets until brown on both sides. Remove from skillet.

3. Sauté onion and green pepper until almost tender in same skillet. Stir in the ¼ cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and curry powder. Add tomatoes, instant chicken broth and water; bring to boiling.

4. Lower heat; simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Remove the cover and simmer 5 minutes longer, or until sauce thickens.

5. Return chicken fillets to sauce and cover. Simmer 15 minutes longer, or until chicken is tender. Serve with hot rice.

From: Great Chicken Recipes from Family Circle (and modified by Linda Johnson)

Monday, February 18, 2008


I got this recipe from my cousin. It is really good!!

1 loaf of frozen bread dough, thawed
mozarella cheese, shredded
"Barilla" brand spaghetti sauce

You can use any toppings you want. Here are some suggestions:

You can also add:
bell peppers
italian sausage
fresh tomatoes

Make about 2 equally-sized dough balls (they should each be a little smaller than a softball). Spread each dough ball out on a lightly floured surface as if you were making a pizza (spread it out as much as you can without tearing it). Put as many toppings as you would like in the middle then mix it all together with cheese. Carefully fold the dough over the toppings and pinch the edges together. Make a couple little slits in the top of the dough, spray the top lightly with cooking spray, then bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes (or until golden brown). Heat the spaghetti sauce in a small pot and simmer until calzones are done. You can serve the calzones with the sauce on the side then dip the calzone into it OR you can pour the sauce over the calzones and top with cheese (thats the way we like it!). For all you meat lovers out there, you can brown some hamburger and add it to the spaghetti sauce to make it extra rich and meaty.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Chicken & Pasta

This is quick, easy, & yummy!

1 lb. chicken tenders
2 cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz. cream cheese
1 pkg. dry italian salad dressing mix
1 pkg. bow tie pasta

In a greased crock pot layer chicken, soup, & cream cheese. Sprinkle salad dressing mix on top. Cook on low 6-8 hrs. Stir occasionally. Serve over cooked bowtie pasta.


Makes approx. 16-18 long breadsticks. Allow about 2 – 2 ½ hours to prepare.

3 c. warm water
2 T. yeast
4 T. sugar
2 t. salt

Mix above ingredients and add 7 – 8 c. flour.

Mix until it makes a soft dough. Let rise until doubled. Melt 1 cube butter on jelly roll pan as oven heats. Roll out 1 ½ times the size of the jelly roll pan, 3/8” thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut dough in strips. Grab a strip by each end and twist, fold in half, and then twist again. Swish in the melted butter, place close together on pan. Sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese. Raise 15 minutes. Bake 15-20 minutes at 400°.

Cutting the dough into strips

After the twisting, before the baking

Finished product

Recipe from Patti Klefbeck

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Outback Steakhouse Ranch Dressing

(we absolutely love this)

1 tsp. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix - buttermilk
1 C. Mayonnaise
1/2 C. Buttermilk
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Combine all ingredients, mix well, put in covered container & chill for at least 30 mins.

Tex-Mex Chili

Tex-Mex Chili

1-2 pounds ground turkey or beef or even cubed steak

1 jar amrinara sauce

1 package tex-mex chili seaoning

1 can each(15-16oz.) of black beans, white beans, red beans drained and rinsed

Cook meat and drain

add marinara sauce and 1 cup water and seasoning

heat to boil for 2 minutes

stir in all three beans

bring to a boil cover reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

This is so easy and fast to make and really good! The picture is my daughter Bella cooking it with me!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Peach Cobbler

So EASY! My husband "doesn't like cobbler", but I got him on this one. He LOVES it.


2 (16 ounce) can peaches (if your ambitious you will opt to do fresh peaches, I'm not.)

1 yellow cake mix

1 1/2 sticks butter

1-2 tsp cinnamon

sprinkle of brown sugar and nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Pour peaches and juice (drain one can) into 9x13 pan.

3. Pour cake mix over the top. Pat cake mix down until it mixes with the juice.

4. Take butter and use a grater to shave butter evenly over the top. If you want you can just slice it and layer it on the cake. (if you use the grate make sure it is frozen or very firm.)

5. Sprinkle your cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar on top.

6. Put in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until brown.

Serve with whipping cream or vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Spanish Rice

This can be used as a main dish or a side. It is also good served in tortillas, with sour cream and guacamole. We love it with the ground turkey. It tastes the same, and it’s a little healthier too.

1 lb. ground turkey or ground beef
1 t. salt
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 large green pepper sliced
1 T. chili powder
1 cup uncooked rice
1 14 ½ oz. can tomatoes
1 ½ c. water
Grated cheddar cheese

Brown turkey or beef in large frying pan; drain off excess fat. Stir onion, green pepper, and chili powder into frying pan; sauté just until vegetables are soft. Stir in rice, tomatoes, water, and salt; heat to boiling, stirring lightly to mix; cover. Simmer, adding more water if mixture seems dry, 45 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Serve with grated cheddar cheese.

Chicken Tortellini Soup

Chicken Tortellini Soup
Mmm...So good! Really, sometimes I get thrown off by the number of ingredents but this one is so easy!

2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 chicken breasts
1 large onion, chopped
2 or 3 stalks celery, diced
2 or 3 carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. sage
1 (28 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can chicken broth
1 c. cooking wine or beef broth
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 small pkg. fresh tortellini (Buitonni or similar)
Grated Parmesan for garnish

Saute chicken in olive oil. Saute celery, onions, and carrots in olive oil (in soup pan) until soft. Add shredded chicken, garlic, and spices. Mix in tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, etc. Simmer 1 hour. Cook tortellini. Rinse, drain, and add to soup. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cheese Enchiladas

Cheese Enchiladas
3 cans cream of chicken soup
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 chopped onion (I usually use 1-2 T. minced)
flour tortillas
Chicken (optional) - We prefer it now with chicken. I usually use the canned chicken - it's already cooked and shreds much easier

Mix together in large sauce pan the soup, 1 1/2 cups cheese, sour cream and chicken. Heat through. Butter 9X13 dish. Lay flour tortillas open. Spread mixture on tortillas, add a little more cheese. Roll up. Place in dish. Pour rest of mixture over enchiladas and top with more cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

***I never make the whole recipe. I usually cut everything in thirds. That makes about 4-5 enchildads. If your cooking for more you may want to do two-thirds. It also freezes well, so you could do the whole thing and put half of it in a separate dish and freeze before cooking.

Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato

This is a copy cat recip of course, but pretty close to the real thing. This is the only way I'll eat sweet potatoes.

Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/2 cube butter (melted)
Mix above ingredients and set aside.

3 c. baked, peeled and mashed sweet potatoes
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/3 c. butter (melted)
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix the rest the ingredients above. Pour into dish. Sprinkle top with brown sugar mixture. Bake for 30 min. at 350F.

*It makes a lot, so I usually put it in two 8x8 and freeze one.

Yummy Salad

Yummy Salad
I don't really know a title for the salad - it's just yummy!!!

Lettuce of choice - red, green, spinach...whichever you prefer
Toppings of choice:
(almonds, craisins, shredded parmesan, macintosh apples (diced), red onions, carrots, green onions, diced chicken...basically whatever sounds good)

1 c. olive oil
1/2 c. Four Monks red rasberry/white wine vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt 3/4 c. sugar
1 T. poppyseed (I don't usually add this because I don't have it)

Toss lettuce with whatever toppings you prefer. Mix dressing together thoroughly. I usually mix the dressing in something I can just put a lid on and shake. When ready, pour dressing on top and serve!!!

Sugar Cookies

These are my all time favorite sugar cookie recipe. They are so soft. Enjoy!

Easy Sugar Cookies
2 c. sugar

1 c. shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sour cream or vanilla yogurt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp. baking powder
5 c. flour

Cream together sugar and shortening. Then add eggs, sour cream (or yogurt) and vanilla. Mix in baking soda, baking powder and flour. I sometimes put in fridge for jut a bit to set, but it is not necessary. Roll out and cut. Bake at 350F for 8-11 min.

*The key to these is roll them out thick enough. If they're too think, they'll be crispy. Also, don't let them brown in the oven. If they just start turning brown, they're plenty done :)

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Ready in 30 minutes
Servings: 4

1/4 cup refrigerated ranch-style dip
1 prebaked Italian pizza crust (12 inch)
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup chopped plum (Roma) tomatoes (about 3 medium)
1/4 cup BBQ sauce ( I use Bulls Eye, but use whatever you love)
2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend (8 oz)
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper (optional)

Set oven control to broil. Spread dip evenly over pizza crust. Sprinkle with chicken and tomatoes. Drizzle with BBQ sauce; sprinkle with cheese and bell pepper. Place pizza on rack in broiler pan.

*Broil 4-6 inches from heat 6-8 minutes or until pizza is golden brown and cheese is melted.


*I used a Pillsbury dough crust. I baked for 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Then I topped with all ingredients and baked another 8 minutes. For the last 3 minutes I turned the oven to broil.

I didn’t follow the directions for amounts…I just used what seemed to look good on the crust.

For the chicken I used chicken tenders and cooked them about 6-10 minutes in a skillet on medium and flipped about half way.

Ravioli Lasagna

This is super easy.  I got from a friend, so I can't take credit.  I'll take a picture next time I make it and add to this post.

1 jar spaghetti sauce (recommends Classico Tomato & Basil)
16 oz small curd cottage cheese
25 oz pkg cheese ravioli (can do spinach or meat also)
4 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c parmesan cheese

Grease 9x13 pan.
Cook and drain ravioli according to package directions.
Spread 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce to cover bottom of pan.
Layer Ravioli, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, spaghetti sauce--2 layers
End with mozzarella cheese on top.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese.
Cook at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

**If you want the top to be a little crispy, cook for 35 min (or until bubbly) and then broil for 5 min.

Sweet N Sour Chicken

Sweet & Sour Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 or 2 eggs, beaten
sauce (recipe follows)

1. Cube chicken
2. Dip the chicken breasts into the egg, then roll them in the cornstarch. It may be easier to put cornstarch in a bag then put chicken in it after it's been in the egg. Just shake the bag.
3. In a small amount of oil, fry the chicken until just browned.
4. Place the chicken in a shallow baking pan, pour the sauce over it, then bake it uncovered at 325° F (160° C) for one hour, turning the chicken every 15 minutes.

3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons catsup
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Mix all ingredients together.

Serve with rice or pasta

*Sometimes I double the sauce recipe and keep some aside to put on rice after it is done.
*Also, you can add green peppers, red peppers, pineapples, or onions

Perfect Tortillas

Has anyone ever tried these? These are, hands down, the best tortillas out there. I was just introduced to them at Christmas and Mexan cooking has never been the same. Ryan, me and the kids just love them. They are perfect for making cheese quesadillas (which is our favorite), or add lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and a yummy dressing (creamy tomatillo from Cafe Rio)for a salad. You can buy them at Costco, maybe Sam's Club. They are uncooked so you heat your skillet to warm, put them in, flip them, and they're done. Remember good old Cafe Rio - these are just as good! Try them and tell me what you think.

Apricot Chicken

Have a try at this. It's probably not new for some, but if you haven't tried it it's so good and oh so easy!!!

Apricot Chicken
1 8 oz bottle Russian salad dressing
1 18 oz jar apricot jam
1 package dry onion soup mix
4-5 chicken breasts

Mix dressing, jam and onion soup mix together. Place chicken breasts in a 9X13 glass baking dish. Pour sauce over. Backe at 350 for 1 hour uncovered. Then cover with foil for 1/2 hour. Serve with rice or pasta.