Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chicken Stir Fry Lettuce Wraps

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
12 to 16 Boston lettuce leaves (about 2 heads)

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add half the chicken; cook, stirring constantly, until opaque throughout, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to pan, along with the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender and golden, about 4 minutes (reduce heat if browning too quickly).
Reduce heat to medium; add garlic, ginger, and red-pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch mixture; remove from heat. Add chicken and any accumulated juices; toss to coat. Serve in lettuce cups.
(recipe and Picture from

Friday, July 30, 2010

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Veggies and Peanut Sauce

8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 ounces snow peas, tough strings removed
3 medium carrots, halved, and shaved with a vegetable peeler 1 container (14 ounces) firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Add snow peas, carrots, and tofu to pot; immediately drain pasta mixture, and set aside.
In pasta pot, stir together peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Add reserved pasta mixture; toss gently, adding reserved pasta water a little at a time to create a thin sauce that coats spaghetti (you may not need all the water). Season as desired with salt and pepper. Serve.
(recipe and picture from

Thursday, July 29, 2010

French Breakfast Puffs

1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease 15 medium muffin cups, 2 1/2x1 1/4 inches. Mix shortening, 1/2 cup sugar and the egg throughly in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg alternately with milk. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Mix 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Roll hot muffins immediately in melted butter, then in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Serve hot.
(recipe and picture from

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

For those kiddos in your life... Fish Sticks Marinara

2 cups frozen broccoli spears, thawed, drained
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
12 frozen breaded fish sticks
1 container (15 oz) marinara sauce or 2 cups tomato pasta sauce (any variety)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (1 oz)
6 slices mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 350°F. In ungreased 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish, arrange broccoli. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with basil and garlic. Place fish sticks on broccoli. Spoon marinara sauce over fish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Arrange mozzarella cheese on top.

Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
(recipe and Picture from

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Baked Crescent Churros

Who says you have to go to an amusement park to get a really yummy churro?! These are simple and so good! Have fun!
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Unroll dough; separate into 4 rectangles. Press each to 6x4-inch rectangle, pressing perforations to seal.
Brush tops of 2 rectangles with some of the melted butter; sprinkle with about half of the sugar mixture. Top each with remaining rectangle; press edges lightly. Brush tops with melted butter. With sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut each rectangle stack lengthwise into 6 strips. Twist each strip 3 times; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Brush tops with any remaining melted butter; sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.
(recipe and picture from

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Strawberry- Peach Pops!

1 cup soymilk or almond milk
1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
1 container (6 oz) Fat Free peach yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
10 paper cups (3-oz size)
10 craft sticks (flat wooden sticks with round ends)

Place soymilk, strawberries, yogurt and honey in blender or food processor. Cover; blend on high speed about 1 minute or until smooth.
Fill each cup with about 1/4 cup yogurt mixture. Place cups in freezer until partially frozen, about 45 minutes.

Insert sticks; freeze until firm, about 1 hour 30 minutes. To serve, remove cups.craft sticks (flat wooden sticks with round ends).
(Recipe and picture from

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Creamy Pesto Dip

Are you in need of a fast and easy weekend BBQ recipe?! This recipe is great and fast! ENJOY!
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

1/3 cup pesto
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Cut-up raw vegetables, if desired

Stir together all ingredients except raw vegetbles. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 48 hours. Serve with raw vegetables. (recipe and picture from

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lip Smackin Lemon Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 small pkg. lemon instant pudding mix
1 pkg. Dream Whip dry mix
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 TBS. flour
4 eggs
Mix together and beat well. Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 in a bundt pan.

2 cups powdered sugar
juice from 3 lemons
3 TBS. lemon extract

When cake is ready to remove from the oven, bring glaze to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove cake from oven and poke it all over with a toothpick. Spoon glaze over cake so it will soak down while they are both hot! ENJOY! (recipe from Peacocks on My Porch)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nutella Cookies

I didn't make these with nuts, but you can add them if your heart desires! ENJOY!
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
Sift together flour, salt and baking powder and set aside. Cream butter, Nutella and both sugars, beat in vanilla and egg. Stir in flour mixture, blending well. Shape mixture in 3/4 inch balls. Place on greased baking sheets and bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. (recipe from Niki Sepulveda)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Super Easy Pepperoni Breadsticks

2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup chopped turkey pepperoni
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup pizza sauce

Heat oven to 425ºF. Mix Bisquick, cold water and pepperoni until dough forms; beat 20 strokes. Turn dough onto surface dusted with Bisquick; gently roll in Bisquick to coat. Knead 5 times.

Roll dough into 10-inch square. Cut in half. Cut each half crosswise into 14 strips. Twist ends of strips in opposite directions. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, pressing ends onto cookie sheet to fasten securely. Brush generously with butter. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Heat pizza sauce until hot. Serve breadsticks warm with sauce for dipping. (recipe and picture from

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Grilled Taco BBQ Chicken

2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Heat closed medium-size contact grill for 5 minutes. In shallow bowl, mix taco seasoning mix and oregano. Brush chicken with oil; coat with taco seasoning mixture. Place chicken on grill. Close grill. Grill 4 to 6 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut.

Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat barbecue sauce, chili sauce and cumin to boiling over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Serve sauce with chicken.

Oven Directions: Heat oven to 375°F. Line shallow baking pan with foil or spray with cooking spray. Place coated chicken in pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut.
(recipe and picture from

Monday, July 19, 2010

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sandwiches- SUPER EASY!

3-4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
1/3 cup Italian dressing
12 small French sandwich rolls (3 inches long)
1 small container of basil pesto

sliced cheese such as provolone, swiss or pepper jack
1 jar (7.25 oz) roasted red bell peppers, drained, cut into strips
Place chicken in 3- to 4-quart slow cooker. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 7 to 8 hours.

Remove chicken from cooker; place on cutting board. Discard liquid in cooker. With 2 forks, shred turkey. Return chicken to cooker. Stir in Italian dressing and let chicken warm for 20-30 minutes with dressing on it.

Cut rolls horizontally in half. To serve, spread bottom half of each roll with pesto and cheese; top with 1/3 cup turkey and some of the roasted peppers.
(picture from

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 large globe eggplants (about 2 pounds total), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 pound whole fresh mozzarella, cut into large chunks

In a food processor, puree tomatoes; transfer to a medium saucepan and stir in olive oil. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened, 30 minutes. Season tomato sauce with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, in a colander, toss eggplant with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Press slices between a double layer of paper towels to dry. Dredge eggplant in flour (shaking off excess), then dip in eggs (allowing excess to drip off), and sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet; set aside. In a large skillet, pour enough vegetable oil to come halfway up side. Heat oil over medium-high until pinch of breadcrumbs dropped in skillet sizzles. In batches, fry eggplant until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to rack to drain.

Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Layer half the eggplant over sauce and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Top with 1 1/2 cups sauce, then remaining eggplant. Finish with remaining sauce, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and mozzarella. Bake until lightly browned and bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes.

To Freeze: Assemble dish but do not bake; wrap tightly with foil and freeze, up to 3 months. Thaw completely, then bake as directed. (recipe and picture from

Friday, July 16, 2010

Eggplant, Tomato, and Mozzerella Salad

During the summer months, I LOVE fresh produce and herbs. I also LOVE going to the Farmers Market or local farms to find these fresh treasures! ( I would grow them myself, but Farmers Markets thrive because of people like me! I cannot grow a thing!) I really have never cooked with egglant until now, and I have to say..... I am IN LOVE! More Eggplant recipes to come!

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 pound sliced tomatoes
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush two rimmed baking sheets with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil each. Arrange eggplant slices on sheets. Brush tops with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until eggplant is golden and tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
On a serving platter, layer eggplant with sliced mozzarella and tomatoes. Top with basil leaves and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and balsamic vinegar.
(Recipe and picture found at

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Grilled Parmesan Potatoes

4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Progresso® Italian style bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

Heat gas or charcoal grill. Cut 2 (30x18-inch) sheets of heavy-duty foil. Divide potato slices evenly onto foil sheets. Sprinkle with salt.

In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients; sprinkle over potatoes. Bring up 2 sides of foil so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again, allowing space for heat circulation and expansion. Fold other sides to seal. Place packets, seam side up, on grill. Cover grill; cook over medium heat 18 to 23 minutes, rotating packets once, until potatoes are tender.

To serve, place packets on plates. Cut large X across top of each packet; carefully fold back foil to allow steam to escape.
(recipe and picture from

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Caramel Cream Brownie Trifle

1 box Betty Crocker® fudge brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box

1 box (4-serving size) chocolate fudge instant pudding and pie filling mix
2 cups milk
1/4 cup caramel topping
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
Heat oven to 350ºF. Bake brownie mix as directed on box, using water, oil and eggs, in 13x9-inch pan. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Make pudding mix as directed on box for pudding, using milk; refrigerate. Cut brownies into 1-inch pieces. Thoroughly stir caramel topping into whipped topping.

In 3-quart glass bowl, layer half each of the brownies, pudding, walnuts and whipped topping mixture; repeat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving but no longer than 24 hours. Store covered in refrigerator.
(recipe and picture from

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Slow Cooker Swiss Steak

1 1/2 lb boneless beef round steak
1/2 teaspoon peppered seasoned salt
6 to 8 small red potatoes, cut into fourths
1 1/2 cups ready-to-eat baby-cut carrots
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained
1 jar (12 oz) beef gravy
Chopped fresh parsley, if desired

Cut beef into 6 serving pieces. Spray 12-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef with seasoned salt. Cook in skillet 6 to 8 minutes, turning once, until brown.

In 4- to 5-quart slow cooker, layer potatoes, carrots, beef and onion. In medium bowl, mix tomatoes and gravy; spoon over mixture in slow cooker.

Cover; cook on Low heat setting 7 to 8 hours. Sprinkle with parsley. Note: This recipe was tested in slow cookers with heating elements in the side and bottom of the cooker, not in cookers that stand only on a heated base. For slow cookers with just a heated base, follow the manufacturer’s directions for layering ingredients and choosing a temperature.
(recipe and picture from

Monday, July 5, 2010

Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Chipolte Mayo

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 slices pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese
8 Pillsbury® Oven Baked frozen crusty French dinner rolls
1/4 cup chipotle or regular mayonnaise, if desired
8 leaves leaf lettuce
1/4 cup your favorite salsa

Heat gas or charcoal grill. Mix Parmesan cheese and taco seasoning mix. Coat chicken with cheese mixture.

Carefully oil grill rack. Place chicken on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 10 to 12 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut, turning once or twice. Cut each chicken breast in half crosswise; top each with half slice of cheese to melt. To heat dinner rolls, place 4 rolls each in separate foil packets on grill during last 6 to 7 minutes of cook time until hot.

Spread mayonnaise on bottom halves of rolls. Top each with lettuce leaf, cheese-topped chicken, salsa and top half of roll
. (recipe and picture from

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Slow Cooker Lasagna- So Easy and Really Good

1 pound bulk Italian sausage
3 cans (15 ounces each) Italian-style tomato sauce
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
15 uncooked lasagna noodles

Cook sausage in a skillet over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomato sauce, basil and salt.

Mix 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. (Refrigerate remaining mozzarella cheese while lasagna cooks.)

Spoon one-fourth of the sausage mixture into 6-quart slow cooker; top with 5 noodles, broken into pieces to fit. Spread with half of the cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture. Top with 5 noodles, remaining cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture. Top with remaining 5 noodles and remaining sausage mixture.

Cover and cook on Low heat setting 4 to 6 hours or until noodles are tender. Sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover and let stand about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted
. Cut into pieces. (recipe and picture from

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cheese Stuffed Burgers with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

3 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 ounces blue cheese (or other soft cheese, such as Brie)
8 rolls or buns, split
2 cups packed baby spinach
2 tomatoes, cut into 8 slices
Sauteed mushrooms (optional)

Heat grill to medium-high. In a large bowl, gently fold together beef, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Form into 8 equal-size mounds.
Shape cheese into 8 equal-size disks. Press a small well in the center of each beef mound. Place cheese in well; wrap beef around cheese, pinching to seal.

Lightly oil grates. Place burgers on grill; cover. Cook until grill marks are visible on first side, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn burgers with a spatula; cook until grill marks are visible on other side and meat is just slightly pink in the middle, 4 to 6 minutes more for medium-rare.

To serve, layer bottom roll halves with spinach, burgers, tomato, and mushrooms, if using, dividing evenly. Spread top roll half with roasted red-pepper sauce, as desired.

1 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup drained (jarred) roasted red peppers
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and puree until evenly colored and almost smooth. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.(Recipe and picture from

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Flag Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Strawberries for garnish
Blueberries for garnish

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Combine all ingredients until incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl and then beat on med-high speed for 3 minutes. Divide batter equally in half between two bowls. Use red food coloring to color one bowl of batter to desired color of red. Wilton brand gel colors have the brightest color and are good to use here.

To make flag striped cupcakes alternately place a spoonful of red batter and then a spoonful of white batter in the cupcake holder. The batter is thick, so it won't spread on its own. A great tip is to set out a little bowl of water where you're working. Dip your finger in the water and then gently spread the batter out. The water will make it so the batter doesn't stick to your fingers.

Bake cupcakes according to the cake mix package directions.

Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoon at a time. Frost cooled cupcakes with frosting. Garnish with strawberry fans and blueberries.
(recipe and picture found at
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