Monday, August 29, 2011

Poppy Seed Chicken

This is a great meal to take into another family or serve when you have guests. It is especially yummy with some sort of chicken rice (We like Rice-A-Roni Mushroom Chicken) side, corn on the cob and a fruit salad...

Poppy Seed Chicken

4-6 cups cooked chicken (about 4 breasts)
Put in 9X13 pan.

2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 cup ( 1 cube) butter
12 oz sour cream (1 1/2 cups)
Pour over chicken.

Crush 2 rolls Ritz or Town House crackers and mix with 1/4 cup melted butter and 1 Tbsp poppy seeds. Spread on top of chicken mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Breakfast Cake

This has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember. In fact, it was the recipe I submitted to my Kindergarten class cookbook. And now it is a favorite among my children. Quick and easy, we always have the ingredients on hand...It makes a mundane morning something a little special...

Breakfast Cake

1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp flour
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 heaping tsp cinnamon

Mix batter in given order and pour half into a greased 9X13 pan. Mix filling and sprinkle half over batter in pan. Pour in remaining batter and top with last of filling. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Terrific with eggs and bacon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

This is one of the kids' favorite meals. It is always requested when grandma is in charge of the cooking or on special occasions...and the adults like it too...Plus it's loaded with broccoli...healthy, hearty and yummy!

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

9X13 pan (halfed 8X8)
5 chicken breasts
2 packages (10 oz) frozen broccoli or fresh bunches, cooked 2-3 minutes (follow package directions)

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs mixed with 1 Tbsp melted butter or margarine

Put broccoli in pan. Add chicken. Spread sauce. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chicken Pasta Salad

Light, refreshing...perfect as a side dish or as your whole meal on one of these last (sniff, sniff) hot summer nights...Especially good with yummy rolls. Note: This makes A LOT of salad...I usually half the recipe for my family and it is still oodles...

Chicken Pasta Salad
Bunni Miller

-2 packages (12 oz) corkscrew colored pasta or rainbow twirls, cooked according to package directions.
-1 envelope Ranch dressing mix, made according to package directions. (Include the 30 minute stand time to allow to thicken.)
-4 cooked chicken breasts, cut up
-1 small can (2 1/4 oz) sliced black olives
-10 oz green peas, left frozen
-2 medium tomatoes, diced

Mix together all above ingredients. Add salt and pepper and lots of garlic salt to taste.

*Best if made the day before or at least several hours before eating.* (I am almost never that on top of it...It is fine served immediately too...)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

I never really knew meat could melt in your mouth...until now. This recipe tops the "pleasing the tastebuds" chart with flying colors. It really may be one of the best flavors we have ever tasted. Ever. They are fairly simple to put together, but must be made ahead as they need to marinate for 4-8 hours. Just a heads up you'll need to be making these around breakfast time to serve them for dinner...And you're going to want to have them for dinner SOON. I'm just sayin'.

Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
Kate Jones and Sara Wells

Note: When using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to threading meat & fruit on so they won't burn when cooked on the grill.

8 oz bacon (not thick sliced)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can (16 oz) pineapple chunks
1 recipe Teriyaki Sauce (see below)

1. Cut the bacon into thirds. Count how many pieces you have and then keep that in mind when cutting your chicken. (I just eye-ball it. I end up using three good-sized breasts of chicken.)
2. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
3. Drain the pineapple and place in a bowl or on a plate to avoid cutting your hand by reaching into the can repeatedly. Set up a work station with toothpicks (if making appetizers) or kabob skewers, chicken, bacon, and pineapple, plus a shallow dish for marinating the skewers.
4. Wrap a piece of bacon around a piece of chicken and thread onto skewer, all the way to the bottom. Top with a chunk of pineapple. Repeat process. (I end up with 5 pieces of chicken per kabob.)
5. Reserve 1/2 cup of Teriyaki Sauce and pour the remaining sauce over the chicken. Marinate for 4-8 hours.
6. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees). Place skewers on grill and baste with remaining sauce. Cook for 7 minutes, turn, baste and cook for another 7 minutes.
7. If you would prefer to cook these in the oven, preheat oven to 400 degrees and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook for 20 minutes, turning and basting once.

Teriyaki Sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 Tbsp cold water

1. Combine sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and black pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
2. While the soy sauce mixture is heating, whisk together corn starch and cold water. When the soy sauce mixture comes to a full boil, whisk in cornstarch mixture and stir sauce until thickened and clear. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Strawberry Crepes

Have I mentioned how much I love breakfast foods, especially sweet, pastry, dessert-like dishes? If I could guiltlessly get away with whipping together something like these delicious crepes each morning and not suffer the consequences of a 30-somethings metabolism, I totally would...but since I can't , I try to reserve these for a weekend or special occasion...They are pretty much amazing. Serve these for brunch to visiting guests or for a fun dessert.

(photo courtesy
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted

Add all ingredients and either mix with a wire whisk or blend in blender. Beat until smooth. If using a crepe maker, pour mixture into a shallow pie pan and dip crepe maker into batter. Heat and remove. If using a greased frying pan, pour a small amount into pan and heat on medium until edges begin to look dry. Remove. Yields 16 crepes.

1 pint whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream

Beat with electric mixer until cream is whipped. Fill crepes with cream mixture. Roll and drizzle with strawberry sauce.

Strawberry Sauce:
1 pint strawberries, washed and diced
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract

Bring ingredients to boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Let cool. Blend in blender to puree.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

To die for delicious! We served this for friends and let's just say my neighbor was knocking on my door the next day hoping there were left-overs...Yeah, there weren't...
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping
Adapted from Paula Deen
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cubes butter, softened
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 Tbsp, divided
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Streusel topping (recipe follows)
1/2 cup caramel topping (we used homemade...recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9X13 pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar on medium speed (electric mixer.) Add eggs, one at a time and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 Tbsp sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with streusel topping. Bake 30 minutes or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping.
Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 cube) butter, softened
Combine all ingredients.
Buttermilk Caramel Topping:

3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup real butter (no substitutions)
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
Combine buttermilk, sugar, butter, corn syrup and baking soda in a 4 quart pan. Bring mixture to a boil. and reduce heat to low. (Make sure it is still bubbling...) Cook, stirring very frequently for 7-9 minutes or until the syrup reaches a rich golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chili-Lime Steak with Black Bean/Mango Salsa

Spice up your grilling with this delicious summertime salsa...Southwestern-style eating at its finest...right in your own backyard!
Chili Lime-Steak
Kate Jones and Sara Wells

1-2 lbs boneless steak (we used flank steak)

1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp granulated garlic (I used 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 lime, juiced (about 2 Tbsp lime juice)
1 Tbsp olive oil

1. Combine spices in a small bowl. Add lime juice and olive oil. Stir to combine.
2. Place steak in a shallow 9X13 baking dish. Pour the mixture over the steak and then rub in in with your hands. Allow the steak to stand for 15 minutes. While the meat is standing, preheat the grill.
3. Place the steak on the grill over medium-high heat and cook for 5-7 minutes per side or until the desired doneness is reached. Serve with Black Bean Mango Salsa.

Black Bean/Mango Salsa:
1 can black beans (15.5 oz), rinsed and drained
1 medium mango, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup diced red onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 medium avocado, diced

1. In a large bowl, combine black beans, mango red onion and cilantro.
2. In a small bowl, combine lime juice, vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then pour over black bean mixture. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
3. When ready to serve, gently fold in the diced avocado. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I'm a big fan of cupcakes...Surely I've mentioned that before? But they must be moist and the frosting must be something I would be willing to eat right off the spoon...(aka homemade!) That combination makes for a melt-in-your mouth experience and this red-velvet recipe does not disappoint. Oh-and anything that can be made in "mini" is even better because then the calories don't count...;) These were made for a baby shower.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
(adapted from McCormick)

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 (1 oz) bottle red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, cocoa, soda, and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food coloring, and vanilla. Gradually stir in dry ingredients just until blended. (Do not overbeat!) Spoon batter into muffin cups about 2/3 full. (Recipe yields about 30 regular size cupcakes. So, I usually make several batches of mini ones and then about 12-24 regular ones.)

  • 3. Bake 20-25 minutes (10 minutes for minis) or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

      • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually stir in powdered sugar until smooth.