Sunday, May 15, 2011


I have a 2 year old who just split his little lip open and I have managed to calm him down and assess him enough to know he won't get stitches since it is all lip... so I am keeping this short and sweet since he is getting my extra time today for cuddles and comfort so... if you love Red Lobsters biscuits, you will love the recipe for Garlic Cheese Biscuits - so yummy and SO FAST YOU WON'T BELIEVE HOW GOOD THEY ARE! The rest speak for themselves.

Chicken Pasta Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing

2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait Greek fat free honey vanilla yogurt
½ c. milk
3 T. fresh lemon juice
2 t. poppy seed
1 t. salt
1 t. grated lemon peel

2 c. uncooked penne or rotini pasta
2 c. diced cooked chicken
2 c. baby spinach leaves
1 c. red seedless grapes, halved
½ c. thinly sliced celery
½ c. slivered almonds, toasted
In small bowl, mix dressing ingredients using wire whisk until well blended. Cover; refrigerate until ready to use. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Rinse with cold water; drain.In large bowl, mix cooked pasta, chicken, spinach, grapes and celery. Stir dressing; pour over salad and toss gently to coat. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Stir in almonds, reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish, if desired.
Makes 6 servings (1 1/3 cups each)

Garlic Cheese Biscuits

2 c. Bisquick mix
2/3 c. milk
½ c. grated cheddar cheese
¼ c. butter, melted
¼ t. garlic powder

Heat oven to 450. Mix bisquick, milk and cheese in med bowl until soft dough forms. Beat vigorously 30 seconds. Drop dough by HEAPING spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 min, or until golden brown. Mix butter and garlic powder in small bowl and brush over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet. Serve warm. Makes 10-12 biscuits.

Easy Meatballs

1 (12 oz) bottle chili sauce
1 (16 oz) can jellied cranberry sauce
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. brown sugar
1 (24 oz) bag precooked, seasoned Italian frozen meatballs
Cooked rice, noodles or potatoes

Heat oven to 300. Mix chili sauce, cranberry sauce, lemon juice and brown sugar in small bowl. Pour sauce over frozen meatballs in baking pan and bake, uncovered 1 ½ hours. Serve with rice, noodles or potatoes. Serves 4-6


½ c. vegetable oil, or as needed
8 corn tortillas
4 c. shredded lettuce
1 ½ c. grated queso fresco or cheddar cheese
¾ c. sour cream
1 lrg tomato, diced
2 avacados, pitted, peeled and diced
2 c. refried beans, warmed
2 c. cooked shredded chicken, warmed

Line baking sheet with paper towels. In lrg skillet, heat oil until shimmery and hot. Fry tortillas one at a time until firm, 1 minute per side. Transfer to baking sheet and cook 5 minutes.
Place toppings in separate serving bowls. Spread beans on each tortilla and sprinkle chicken over the top. Appx. 6 servings

Cabbage Roll Casserole

1 lb ground beef
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 med onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1-2 c. cooked rice (Brown or white)
2 cans/jars (14 oz) tomato sauce, or 1 of sauce and 1 of diced tomatoes
1 sm (5.5 oz) can tomato paste
1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
1 T. raw honey
½ t. salt
¼ t. pepper
Dash of chili or cayenne pepper
8 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage (1/2 – 2/3 of large cabbage)

Fry ground beef with bit of oil, onions and garlic. Mix in rice. Mix in egg.
In bowl, combine tomato sauce and paste. Stir in vinegar, honey, salt, pepper and chili or cayenne. In lrg casserole dish, layer cabbage, meat mixture then drizzle with sauce. Repeat all layers a second time. End with extra layer of cabbage and sauce over the top. Cover and bake at 350 for an hour. (you can sprinkle some cheddar on the top if you like for the last 5 min). Serve with sour cream.

Chicken with Creamy Dijon Herb Sauce

½ c. chicken broth
6 T, Dijon Mustard
1/3 c. cream cheese, softened
1 T. minced herbs (parsley, basil or chives)
1 T. oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 t. minced garlic

Mix broth, mustard, cream cheese and herbs until well blended and set aside. Saute chicken in oil until browned on both sides (appx 15 minutes). Stir in mustard sauce and garlic. Simmer over med heat 3-5 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Can also bake this recipe. (To make your chicken cook a little faster when sautéing and stretch a little farther, I always pound my chicken out with a meat mallet first).

Wicked Good Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cups

1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3 1/2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup (heaped) semisweet chocolate chips
Whipped cream for topping
Chocolate jimmies for sprinkling
1. Into a medium saucepan, sift together the cornstarch, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder. Slowly whisk in the half-and-half, until the mixture is combined and smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time, until smooth.
2. Cook the pudding over medium heat, whisking continuously, until the pudding starts to thicken and large bubbles form and plop, like slowly bubbling hot lava, on the surface of the pudding. Reduce the heat to low, and continue cooking, stirring continuously for 1 minute. Check the consistency of the pudding by running your finger across the back of the stirring spoon; if it leaves a trail that does not immediately fill in, it is thick enough.
3. Remove from the heat and stir the vanilla, peanut butter, and chocolate chips into the hot pudding until thoroughly melted and combined.
4. Place eight 4-ounce custard cups or ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the pudding into the cups, using a damp paper towel to clean up any drips. Cover the custard cups with plastic wrap. Alternatively, pour the pudding into a large bowl and cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the pudding until very cold, at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
5. To serve, top the chocolate–peanut butter cups with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of chocolate jimmies (also called chocolate vermicelli). If refrigerated in the larger bowl, you can scoop it into small dessert dishes and top with whipped cream and chocolate jimmies.
-For even more fun, make little chocolate bowls out of balloons. You can find the tutorial here:

Monday, May 9, 2011


Ok, so I am doing away with the whole "This Weeks Menu" part of the posts because lately I have been just cooking whichever of the 5 recipes I feel like that day (or have the time for) and that works a lot better for me. Still 5 recipes, just in no particular order!

We had a wonderful Mothers day dinner that was cooked by my husband and brother-in-laws for all the Moms and wives and I was IMPRESSED! I told them they shouldn't have done such a good job because now we are going to ask them to cook for Sunday dinner more often!

My BIL Adam made Chicken Cordon Bleu and a Snickers salad which were WONDERFUL. My hubby Dave contributed the mashed potatoes and the yummy Brownie Trifle. We also had roasted Asparagus which is always a hit in our home. I have included the recipes for the Snickers Salad and the Brownie Trifle.

I am also throwing in a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. Dave and I ate at a wonderful Indian restaurant called "India Palace" on Friday night and I ordered my favorite - Chicken Tikka Masala. I told Dave that "I really have to try to make this" and so this week includes a untested recipe for just that. If you have one that you end up liking better, please send it!

Cheeseburger Meatloaf and Sauce – Paula Deen

1 t. seasoned salt
1 c. crushed Ritz
½ c. sour cream
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 med bell pepper, chopped
1 med onion, chopped
1 t. Paula Deen’s House Seasoning
1 1lb ground beef
2 slices white bread

Preheat oven 350. Mix all ingredients except bread well. Shape into loaf. Place on 1 ½ quart loaf pan lined with bread slices. Bake loaf for 45 min. The bread absorbs the grease and should be discarded after loaf is removed from oven.

1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 c. milk
1 ½ c. grated cheddar cheese
Chopped onions, to taste (optional)
1 bunch parsley (optional)

Heat soup and milk over med heat; add cheese. You can add chopped onions and parsley to sauce. Pour over meat loaf or pass at table. (4 servings)

Chop Suey

Tastes best if made the day before so the flavors can blend.
2 lbs round steak or stew meat, cut into small pieces
1 -2 T. oil
4 c. water
2 onions, chopped
4 cups diced or sliced celery
5 T. soy sauce
¼ c. molasses
2 beef bouillon cubes or 2 t. beef bouillon granules
2 (14 oz) cans chop suey vegetables
1 (14 oz) can bean sprouts
1 (4 oz) can mushrooms (optional)
3 -4 T. cornstarch
½ c. water
6 c. cooked rice
Chow mein noodles

Brown meat in oil. Add 4 c. water and simmer 20 min on med heat. Add onions, celery and soy and simmer on low for about 30 minutes, until meat is tender. Add molasses, bouillon, vegetables, sprouts, and mushrooms. Bring to a boil. Mix cornstarch in ½ c. water. Add to chop suey and continue to cook until thickened. Serve over rice and top with chow mein noodles. Have soy sauce on table. Serves 8-10

Sues Pizza Casserole

3 c penne
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp salt
1 large can of tomato sauce
1 large pepperoni stick
1 lb mozzarella cheese, grated
6 fresh mushrooms
1 can pizza sauce

Cook pasta as directed. Brown beef, onion and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together.

Put in casserole dish and bake at 350 F for 1 hour.

Chicken Tikka Masala

1 c yogurt, plain
1 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh
4 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces.
1 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped and seeded
2 tsp paprika
1- 8oz. can(s) tomato sauce
1 c heavy cream
1/4 c chopped cilantro
salt to taste
1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 tsp cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger and salt. Stir in chicken pieces, cover and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thread marinated chicken onto skewers and discard marinade. Bake in oven for 20 minutes. (Chicken will finish off on the stovetop.)
3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 tsp cumin, paprika and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add chicken and simmer for another 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

ground beef, 1lb
½ c. brown or white rice, uncooked
tomato sauce, 15oz can
diced tomatoes, 15oz can
1 package pre-diced green peppers, onions and celery
1 15oz can low-sodium chicken broth
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Add water as desired

Cook rice separately in saucepan or rice cooker. Brown ground beef. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth and water (if desired). Add the pepper, onion and celery. Add the spices and cook approximately 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, add the rice and cook 2-3 more minutes. Makes approximately 10 1-cup servings.

Snickers Salad

3 Granny Smith apples – chopped into bite size pieces
2 red apples – chopped into bite size pieces
1 pint yogurt (vanilla or raspberry)
6 snickers bars – chopped
1 pint whipping cream

Combine yogurt and cream. Fold in apples and snickers reserving some of the snickers to sprinkle on the top.

Brownie Trifle

1 (19.8 oz) pkg brownie mix
1 (3.5 oz) pkg instant chocolate mousse
8 (1.4 oz) Heath bars, crushed (or the bag of Heath bits)
1 (12 oz) carton Cool Whip, thawed

Prepare brownie mix and bake according to package in 9x13 inch pan. Cool and crumble (I like to cut mine into small chunks). Prepare chocolate mousse according to pkg directions, but do not chill.

Place half of brownie bites in 3 qt. trifle dish or large glass bowl. Top with half of mousse, half of Heath bits, and half of cool whip. Repeat layers ending with cool whip. Garnish with chocolate curls if desired. Chill 8 hrs (for best results. I have chilled for only a couple hours and it is still super yummy!). Serves 16-18

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Night Dessert

Retro or not - my family (especially my father-in-law) loves a good Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. This is my favorite recipe.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

½ c. melted butter
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
1 (20 oz) can sliced pineapple
1 jar, maraschino cherries
1 pkg supreme pineapple cake mix (Duncan Hines – if you can’t find this you can use yellow)
1 (5 oz) pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 c. pineapple juice (juice from can w/ water added to make 1 cup)
½ c. vegetable oil
4 lrg eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Pour butter into 9x13 pan and sprinkle brown sugar on top. Place pineapple slices and cherries. Combine other ingredients and mix on slow speed for 30 seconds then beat on med for 2 minutes. Pour batter into pan being careful not to disturb pattern. Bake for 45-55 min. Cool for 5 minutes then run a knife around edges and turn onto serving platter (I use a baking sheet).