Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken

Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken (from

3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 lemon, quartered
2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 (8 ounce) package rotelle pasta
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place chicken in a lightly greased baking dish. Squeeze lemon over both sides of the chicken breasts and season both sides using 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 40 minutes, or until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink inside.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, season the chicken broth with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and add lemon juice and pasta. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes.
Cut cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and stir into cooked pasta, along with the cream and lemon zest. Cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly before serving.
This was really yummy. I would probably double the recipe for a family bigger than ours! I made Jennifer's flat bread to go with it and it turned out great!

Monster cookies

2 cups brown sugar
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
9 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 tsp. soda
3 cups peanut butter
6 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips

Cream sugars, vanilla, butter, soda and eggs. Mix in corn syrup and peanut butter. Fold in oatmeal and chocolate chips. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

I got this recipe from My Kitchen Cafe. It was really good. She said she had a little trouble with the caramel. It worked great for me, though, and I think it was because I'm too impatient to use "moderately low" heat. I use "moderately high". And this made a huge 9X13 pan. I don't have a spring form pan, so I used my glass 9X13. She said she would bake in a water bath next time to avoid the top cracking. So I tried that. I baked it in a slightly larger glass pan with water about 1/2 way up the side of my 9X13. The top looked perfect. Her picture is prettier than mine. Go look!

1 crumb-crust recipe (recipe below)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1/2 cup sour cream3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make crumb crust as directed in separate recipe, using chocolate wafer cookies or chocolate teddy grahams (I used chocolate graham crackers) instead of graham crackers.Preheat oven to 350°F.Cook sugar in a dry heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring slowly with a fork, until melted and pale golden. This step takes a good 10-15 minutes on the stovetop. After the sugar turns pale golden, cook without stirring, swirling pan, until deep golden. Remove from heat and carefully add heavy cream (mixture will vigorously steam and caramel will harden). Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until smooth. Stir in sour cream.Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy, then beat in chocolate mixture on low speed. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and bake in a water bath in middle of oven 55 minutes or a little longer or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken. Run a knife around top edge of cake to loosen and cool completely in springform pan on a rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.) Chill cake, loosely covered, at least 6 hours. Remove side of pan and transfer cake to a plate. We like to eat it cold. Makes 8 to 10 servings (or alot more, since it is so rich!)

Crumb Crust
3 cups (10 oz) finely ground cookies such as chocolate wafers or chocolate teddy grahams or chocolate graham crackers
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 24-centimeter springform pan or a 9X13. Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.

Flat Bread

Jennifer got this recipe from this site. She has made it and I have now, too. It is yummy. Her family commented to her that it tasted like something from a restaurant. My family loved it as well, in fact, I had to make it again the next night. Jennifer brushed hers with olive oil and some herbs. She also used it as pizza crust and said that was terrific as well. The first night I made it, I put oil, garlic salt and mozarella on it. The second night, I made 2 pan, one with oil, garlic salt and cheddar cheese. The other with butter, cinnamon and sugar. Yum, yum, yum.
The good thing is that it makes enough for four pans, and you can make as many as you want and refrigerate the rest of the dough for later and use it within two weeks.
Makes 4 1lb loaves. This recipe is easily doubled or halved
2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbl granulated yeast
1 1/2 tbl salt1 tbl sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used 4 cups whole wheat flour)

1. Mix the yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil with the water in a 5-qt bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container
2. Mix in the flour without kneading, using a large wooden spoon.
3. Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature for about 2 hours. You can use the dough at this point, or refrigerate and use over next 12 days. If you refrigerate at least overnight, you’ll develop better flavor in the dough. If you only want to make 1 flatbread, just pinch off a grapefruit sized piece of dough to use…keep the remaining covered loosely in the refrigerator. You can freeze the dough as well…but I haven’t tried it, because honestly, it’s so good that the dough never goes unbaked for more than 4 days. (This comment is from the original recipe, I haven't tried freezing it, either).
To bake, roll out onto counter with lots of flour and put on a pre-heated pan (I used my stone and also a regular cookie sheet) Pre-heat oven and stone to 500 degrees. Brush with olive oil, or butter, and sprinkle with your choice of herbs, pizza toppings, cheese, or whatever you want. Bake at 500 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Watch carefully so it won't burn at such a high temperature. Go to the original site to see the Pear and Gorgonzola Flatbread with Baby Arugula and Shaved Parmesan that she made. I'm not that brave yet.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dinner Ideas

Jen, Amy, and I have all tried this Bourbon Chicken. It is good! Only thing we did different was add cornstarch to the sauce to thicken it a little.

Jen tried this Slow Cooker Italian Beef and said it was great.

Chicken and White Bean Stew

This was good! I saw it here.
The only thing I did different was add an extra can of beans.

Chicken and White Bean Stew
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound red potatoes, cut into cubes
One 32-ounce container (4 cups) chicken broth
1 whole rotisserie chicken
Two (or three) 15.5-ounce cans small white beans, rinsed
5 ounces arugula (5 cups).....I used fresh baby spinach instead
Salt and pepper

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until cooked but not crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and chicken broth and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, pull the meat off the rotisserie chicken; discard the skin and bones. Add the chicken and white beans to the stew and cook until heated through. Just before serving, stir in the arugula (I did spinach) and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Raisin Oatmeal

This may look like just your ordinary oatmeal. But it's not!!! My friend Marsha (a different Marsha than my sis) gave me this recipe. And if she can get all 7 of her kids to eat this, then I definitely needed this recipe. Warning: You may feel like you are eating an oatmeal cookie for breakfast! (But as Marsha says: "At least it's oatmeal, right?!")

Put in a microwave safe bowl:
1/4 C. softened butter
and 2 eggs, beaten
3 C. quick oats
1 tsp. salt
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. milk
and as many raisins as you want
Stir and cover with Saran Wrap. Cook in your microwave for 5 minutes. Stir. (It is hot, so be careful taking the saran wrap off). Cover again and cook for 4 more minutes. Serve in bowls with milk.
Even my one year old ate this. And he never eats his oatmeal.
And here's another variation for your oatmeal. This one's Camilee's. After you have cooked your oatmeal, like you normally do, and have your milk all stirred in, add small chopped fresh apples and chopped pecans. It is yummy. It gives it a sweet crispy, and crunchy nutty taste. I really like it.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I know we've all had these before, but I thought I would still post these. I first made them for Landon when we were dating, and I'm pretty sure this meal sealed the deal! He absolutely loves these and I make them quite often.

Meat mixture
1 lbs hamburger
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 can re fried beans
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin

Cook hamburger and onion till done; drain. Stir in beans and spices.

Enchilada Style Sauce
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 c. milk
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 1/2 c. shredded cheese

Melt butter. Stir in flour. Add other ingredients. Cook to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute.

Place some meat mixture in a flour tortilla. Roll and place in a 9x13 inch pan. Pour sauce over filled burros. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pizza Dough

Aaron and I like to make homeade pizza, but we have never quite loved it. We can never quite get the crust crisp and never tastes quite right. We were always baking it just on a cookie sheet. I tried everything , like rolling it thinner, poking holes in it, baking the crust a while first and then putting the toppings on, using a pizza pan with holes in it, but it NEVER worked.

For Christmas, Aaron gave me some pizza stones. Okay, so they aren't exactly pizza stones, but pretty much the same thing. He researched on-line and found that if you just go to a tile place and buy untreated, unglazed quarry tiles, like terra-cotta. They were $3.50 a piece. I tried a new pizza dough recipe and I love it. But the thing that I found that made all the difference in the world was the cheese. Of course I always just bought the pre-packaged moz. cheese and didn't think a thing of it. I knew I wasn't going to have enough, so I called Aaron to stop on his way home to get some cheese. He stopped by Sprouts and they only had fresh grated mozz. cheese that you buy by the pound. Not thinking it would make a difference I put pre-packaged on one and the fresh grated on the other. Holy Cow, it made all the difference in the world. I didn't think to take a picture, but the pre-packaged pizza looked like a plastic play toy, compared to the fresh which looked like a restaurant pizza. The taste was so much better too!! We are glad Aaron decided to go by Sprouts!

Pizza Dough - Yields 4 - 14" pizza's (recipe from my friends in MA who made the best pizza)

3 cups semolina flour (makes all the difference in the world too!)
4 1/2 C bread flour (or white)
2 T sugar
1 T salt
3 T SAF yeast
3 T olive oil
3 1/2 C hot water

Mix dry ingredients in mixer for 15 seconds. Pour water and oil in mixture all at once. Mix for 10 minutes. Dough should be somewhat sticky. Let rise until doubled in size. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape on a floured surface. Place dough on a pizza peel (sometimes called pizza paddle- used to insert and remove pizza from stone) that has a thin sprinkling of cornmeal. This keeps the dough from sticking to the peel when transferring pizza to the oven - also place cornmeal on pizza stone that is preheated in oven. If you are going to cook it immediately, flour can be used in place of cornmeal. While pizza is on pizza peel put toppings on and transfer to stone.

I just watched the pizza, but it was about 15-20minutes until it was done.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Easy Bake Recipes

We don't have an easy bake oven at our house, but I know my sister-in-law does so I was happy when I found these recipes that are probably a lot cheaper than buying easy bake mixes. So click here if you need these recipes for your kids.


I think these biscuits were the best biscuits I've ever had! And I didn't make them. Camilee's husband, Jason, made biscuits and gravy for us when we were visiting them a while back. I had them e-mail me the recipe:

Buttermilk Biscuits

1/2 C. cold butter
2 1/4 C. Self-rising soft-wheat flour (we used regular white flour plus added 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder, and 1 1/4 tsp. salt)
1 1/4 C. cold buttermilk (we used 1 1/4 c. milk plus 1 1/4 tbsp. vinegar mixed--let stand for 5 minutes before using)
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Cut butter into dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and resembles small peas. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding flour as needed. Press or pat dough into a 3/4 inch rectangle (about 9x5 inches). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over onto itself into 3 sections, starting with 1 short end (fold dough rectangle as if folding a paper into thirds to put into an envelope). Repeat this process 2 more times beginning with pressing the dough into a rectangle. Press dough into a 1/2 inch thickness and cut out biscuits. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven, brush with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Italian Bread

I got this recipe from Camilee, who got it from her friend Sarah. This was a hit. My whole family loved it. They kept snitching into it before the rest of our dinner was ready. And then asked it we could have it tomorrow, too. I served it with meatballs and sauce. Camilee made it with Chicken Parmesan.

This makes 3 loaves. You can double it, though. 3 was plenty for 2 meals for my family, plus some.
3 C. warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 tsp. salt
7 C. flour or a little more
Dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Add 4 cups flour and mix a little. Let rest for 15 minutes. Beat in salt and remaining flour, knead just til soft, turn out on to your counter and knead by hand a little, but not too much. The dough should be soft, but not sticky. Return to an oiled bowl and let rise til double. Punch down and divide into three balls. Form each ball into a short stubby loaf and place on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed and sprinkled with cornmeal. Place 2 loaves sideways on each cookie sheet. Let rise until double. Mist with water and bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes, until it is light golden brown. Mist with water twice more during baking. Brush with egg whites about 5-10 minutes before it is done.

I formed to loaves like Jen taught me to do for bread making, with a little oil on the counter. It sure makes it easy.

I sliced the bread, buttered it, sprinkled garlic salt and mozzarella cheese and put it under the broiler for a few minutes. You can eat it plain, too though. We all did before it was done.

Note: Cam made this with 5 cups whole wheat flour and 2 C. white flour. It didn't rise as well and was a little flatter. The wheat must be too heavy for this recipe.


Directions for making bacon in the oven.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Angie Judd's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Angie Judd is famous in our house. My kids have never met her, but they sure know her name by the delicious recipe we have been making for years. The best thing about these cookies, besides their yummy taste, is that they freeze so well. They are delicious out of the freezer (if they last long enough to freeze).

Angie Judd's Chocolate Chip Recipes
Jennifer Kartchner

1 1/3 C. shortening
4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 C. butter
6 C. flour
2 C. sugar
2 tsp. soda
2 C. brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
24 oz. chocolate chips

Combine wet ingredients first, then add the dry ingredients. Bake at 350° for 9-10 minutes. Don't overbake!
And I must be honest, I didn't make these, Steve and the kids did.

Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies

This is another Martha Stewart recipe. They were really good.
11 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature ( 1stick plus 3 Tbsp). plus more for the pan
1 2/3 C. plus 2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 C. packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 C. sugar
1. Preheat oven to 325. Line a buttered 8 inch square baking pan with parchment, allowing a 2 inch overhang. Butter lining (not overhang). I was fresh out of parchment, so I just sprayed a pan with cooking spray.
2. Whisk together 1 2/3 C. flour, the baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
3. Put 9 tablespoons butter and the brown sugar in a separate bowl. Mix with beaters until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. add 2 eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix until combined. Add flour mixture, mix until well combined.
4. Put cream cheese, sugar, remaining 2 Tbsp. butter, 2 Tbsp. flour, 1 egg, and 1/2 tsp vanilla into another bowl. Mix with beaters until smooth.
5. Pour half of the blondie batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Spoon two-thirds of cream cheese mixture on top, and spread evenly. Drop dollops of remaining batter on top (spacing about 1 inch apart) and spread. Top with dollops of remaining cream cheese mixture, about 1 inch apart.
6. Gently swirl cream cheese mixture into batter with a butter knife, running the knife lengthwise and crosswise through layers. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, 45-47 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Blondies can be stored between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cream Wafers

Camilee made these while I was visiting her this past week. They were yummy. Addicting. I couldn't get enough! They are so light and delicate tasting, but so good.

Mix and refrigerate for one hour:

2 C. flour
1 C. butter
1/3 C. cream

Roll dough out (1/3 at a time with remaining dough in refrigerator), 1/8 inch thick on floured (we used alot of flour) surface. Cam found they are easier if they are a little thicker, and they tasted just as good. Cut into 1 1/2 inch rounds. Dip both sides into sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Prick 4 times with a fork. Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes or until set, not brown. Remove from pan immediately. Cool completely.

Cream Filling:
3/4 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. butter (softened, not melted)
1 tsp. vanilla
food coloring

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Fresh Squeezed OJ

Nothing better than fresh squeezed OJ straight from Germaine's orchard! We are enjoying it immensely! We'll sure be sad when they're gone.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Nutty Chocolate Balls

Just when I was thinking I should stop eating sugar and chocolate so much, I ate one of these chocolate things (Jen gave them to me so this is her fault) and decided I wanted to try and make them. Well, mine didn't taste anything like them, but they were good anyway. I couldn't think of a better name for them than "Nutty Chocolate Balls" - maybe somebody else can???

Here's how I made them:

I started off by taking a large package of instant pudding (5.9 oz) and beating it with 1 1/2 or 1 2/3 cups milk, and then adding about 6 oz. of cool whip, and beating it again until it was nice and smooth. Then I dropped plops of it onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Each plop was about 2 tsp. in size. I made about 2 dozen plops and stopped even though there was a ton of pudding/cool whip stuff left.

I froze them for about 30 minutes so they were firm enough to stick a piece of a macadamia nut in the middle and shape into balls. This part was VERY messy and hard to do. I think next time I would freeze it all together in a bowl and scoop out balls with a watermelon baller, or something like that.

I put them back into the freezer for a few minutes and then pulled them out and quickly rolled them in Rice Krispies. Actually, it wasn't rice krispies, it was Crispy Rice - the cheap brand! The crispy rice on the outside made them easier to handle. Then back into the freezer for another 15 minutes or so to firm them up again while I melted the chocolate for dipping. Next time, I would freeze them overnight before dipping so they would be frozen solid. By the time Jon and I were dipping the last of them into the chocolate they were falling apart (since the melted chocolate was hot and they weren't frozen solid.)

Here they are after rolling them in Crispy Rice! See how messy they were?

After dipping them in chocolate, we immediately rolled them in finely chopped walnuts - pecans would work as well - and put them in the freezer to get them firm again, and then put some of them in the refrigerator. And here's the finished product!

Here's what the inside looks like when they are refrigerated (the chocolate shell on the outside was nice and hard, and the inside was nice and creamy):

I liked the refrigerated ones best, but here's what the inside looks like when they are frozen (you can see the macadamia nut):
And here's the leftover pudding/cool whip mixture that I froze overnight. I tasted it and it tastes like a fudgesicle, so now I wish I would have put a popsicle stick in it before freezing.

Maybe sometime: Even though I liked the nuts (macadamia and walnuts), I wouldn't mind trying just the pudding/cool whip ball dipped in chocolate -- no nuts and no crispy rice.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Jalapeno Cornbread

This cornbread is so yummy! It's my mom's recipe, and I love it. It was so good when I made it, I didn't want to combine it with my beans, which is what I usually do. I wanted it all by itself so I could enjoy how delicious it is. I cut the veins and seeds out of the jalapeno's because I don't like them hot, but you can leave them in if you do like it hot.

2 eggs
1 1/8 C. cornmeal
1/3 C. salad oil
3 Tbsp.sugar
3 Tbsp. minced yellow onion
1 tsp. salt
1/3 C. minced green bell pepper
2/3 C. flour
1 ½ Tbsp. minced jalepeno peppers
2 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ Tbsp. diced pimientos
1 tsp. baking soda
2/3 C. whole kernel corn (fresh or frozen)
1 C. buttermilk

Heat oven to 350ยบ. Grease an 8” x 4” loaf pan or 8” x 8” square pan. Combine cornmeal, sugar, salt, flour, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix buttermilk, eggs, and oil with an electric mixer. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and stir well.
Stir in the onion, green pepper, jalepenos, pimientos and corn. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. If using a square pan, check bread for doneness after 30 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 12 servings