Thursday, January 31, 2013

Asian Meatballs

While people are heading to New Orleans for the Super Bowl, I'm here in the extremely frozen tundra (-7 was the high today).  I made these Asian meatballs tonight to get into the Super Bowl spirit.  And you get to see Fred.  Fred is my voodoo toothpick holder that I adore.

Asian Meatballs

2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 large egg
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1 cup blackberry preserves
3/4 cup Hoisin sauce

Combine the meatball ingredients in a large bowl.  I found that mixing by hand is easier than trying to use a spoon.  Roll into 1" balls and place on a lightly greased jelly roll pan.  Bake at 325° for 45 minutes.  Place in a pan with heated sauce.  There's just enough sauce to coat the meatballs.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Parmesan Chicken Shells

Honestly it's not national chicken just seems that way here.  I couldn't decide what groceries to get last week and nothing sounded good.  I knew my freezer was over crowded with chicken.  The good news is that it's not anymore.  The bonus of this recipe was I made exactly the right amount of shells to go with the stuffing.  

Parmesan Chicken Shells

20 large pasta shells cooked per package directions
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
pasta sauce - either red or alfredo

In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients except the pasta shells.  Blend until well mixed.  Using a tablespoon scoop, fill and use to stuff each shell - it's a perfect fit.  Place in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350°.  Serve with heated pasta sauce and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Egg does not want to stick to corn starch, however corn starch will stick to everything.  Or so I can see in my stove area that I needed to clean after my adventures in Chinese (although Americanized) cooking.  I refrained from taking a picture of my work area because it's one of those things I prefer to forget but it was worth it in the long run.  I added in Chili Garlic Sauce for a little kick.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

3 chicken breasts, cubed
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup corn starch
2 large eggs, beaten
Peanut oil

In a large fry pan, heat peanut oil.  Salt & pepper chicken cubes, dip into the corn starch and then in the beaten egg mixture before lightly browning in fry pan.  Place cooked pieces in a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Sauce ~

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce

Whisk together well and pour over chicken pieces.  Bake for 15 minutes at 350°, turn over in pan and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Caramel Snack Mix

So yesterday I had 3 apples in the refrigerator looking for a new home and I had a dehydrator sitting downstairs collecting dust so I paired them up and made just plain apple bits.  Well I couldn't just leave them that way (this is after I probably nibbled on a half apple)....

Caramel Snack Mix

8 cups popcorn
4 cups Crispix cereal
3 dehydrated apple bits (I cut mine in quarters before dehydrating)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
4 cups miniature marshmallows

Combine popped popcorn, Crispix and apple bits in a large bowl.  In a smaller, microwaveable bowl, melt butter.  Combine melted butter with dark brown sugar and top with marshmallows.  Microwave for another minute or until marshmallows are softened.  Mix together well and pour over popcorn mixture.          
Combine well so everything in bowl is covered.  Store in a airtight container.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chicken Parmesan Sub

Such an easy meal and has lots of flavor.  I took a lazy route and bought sub buns which is a good thing since every available bit of counter/table space is overflowing at the moment.  It seems that getting organized sometimes means making a mess.

Chicken Parmesan Sub

Sub buns, cut in half, buttered and toasted to a golden brown

Chicken strips ~

2 chicken breasts, cut into strips

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Soak chicken breast strips in buttermilk for 15 minutes.  Combine all the bread  crumbs and spices in a bowl.  Dip chicken in crumbs and place on a greased baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes at 325°.  

For each sandwich ~

2 tbsp marinara sauce
2-3 slices fresh mozzarella

Place chicken strips on toasted buns.  Place marinara sauce on top of strips and top with mozzarella slices.  Bake for a 5 minutes until mozzarella melts.

Serve with extra marinara sauce.

To make buttermilk if you don't have on hand ~

Place 1 tbsp lemon juice in a glass measuring cup
Fill with milk to 1 cup measurement
Allow to sit for 5 minutes

Saturday, January 26, 2013

BBQ Chicken Pizza

As the temperature was heading down and resting at 0, I decided it was time to attempt a BBQ chicken pizza.  Having a hot oven on a cold night never is a bad thing either.  I did enjoy it even though I was attempting more of a flat bread crust...I'll keep working on that.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Crust ~

1 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp
2 tsp salt
3 cups flour

Combine warm water, yeast and sugar and let sit for 10 minutes.  Add in salt and extra virgin olive oil and stir into flour.  When well combined, cover and let sit for 15 minutes.

Pizza Toppings ~

2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1/2 cup BBQ sauce ~ make sure it's a good sauce
1 cup Cheddar Jack shredded cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
3 slices bacon, cooked and diced (optional)
1/4 cup red onion, diced (optional)

Stir 1/2 cup BBQ sauce into cooked chicken.  Get all your other ingredients ready to go as you preheat your oven and pizza stone to 400°.  When heated, spread out the dough and baste with 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce.  Add chicken and bacon, onions (if desired) and cover evenly with the three cheese.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Grilled Ham with Cranberry & Chipotle Cheese

This sandwich has many layers of flavor.  It is sweet, salty and has a bite...perfect comfort food.

Grilled Ham with Cranberry & Chipotle Cheese

2 slices of your favorite bread ~ I used 12 grain wheat
1 tbsp peach preserves
ham thinly sliced
Cranberry & Chipotle cheese (or pepperjack)
Softened butter

Assemble just like a grilled cheese sandwich.  Butter the outside slices of bread and place one piece face down in a frying pan.  Spread a layer of peach preserves and top with your ham slices.  Place slices of Cranberry & Chipotle cheese on top of the ham and top with a second piece of bread, butter side on top.  Grill until a nice golden brown, carefully flip and grill the second side.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Italian Herb Bread

Along with my Tuscan Sausage Soup, I made this Italian Herb Bread.  I love the smell of bread baking.  The smell alone warms the house on a cold day.  The only problem I have is waiting for a few minutes before slicing into it so I can watch butter melt into the bread and enjoy the flavors.

Italian Herb Bread

2 cups bread flour

1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp bread machine active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp extra light virgin olive oil

1 large egg slightly beaten
1 tbsp water

1 tsp Italian seasonings, crushed
Combine warm water, brown sugar and yeast in a large measuring cup and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  White you're waiting for the yeast to bloom, put the  flour, salt, garlic powder and olive oil in bread machine and set to dough setting.

When done, remove from machine and put on a baking stone that has a thin coating of corn meal.  Cut an inch deep down the length of the dough with a sharp knife.  Let rise for about a half hour in a warm area.

Brush top of bread with the mixture of 1 beaten egg, 1 tbsp water and Italian seasonings.  Bake until a golden brown.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pinterest Fans ~

I started a new Pinterest board a couple minutes ago (literally) for Potluck recipes ~  Feel free to join and pin your favorites.  Leave me your email addy here or email me at and I'll get you added.

Happy posting and eating~

Tuscan Sausage Soup

Mother Nature is being evil to the tundra (please note when it's this cold out, I no longer reside in the northern plains or valley - it is now the frozen tundra).  Not even climbing above 0 degrees Fahrenheit.  If it was Celsius, I would see my neighbors running around outside wearing's freakin' cold.  Good time for soup because the odds are in favor of it being cold at work also so soup is a good lunchtime meal to bring.  

Tuscan Sausage Soup

1 1/2# mild Italian sausage, browned and grease removed on paper towels
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1 - 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 - 19 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup Ditalini pasta
1 tsp parsley
1 bay leaf
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

You can make this in the crock pot or on top of the stove.  Cook Italian sausage in a large frying pan.  Be sure to drain off all of the grease on paper towels.  Combine all ingredients (except pasta) and cook until carrots are tender.  Add in pasta and cook until al dente.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mexican Chicken Dip

Looking for a snack to make for watching the 49ers & Falcons today?  Try this Mexican chicken dip.  For a large group, I'd recommend doubling the recipe.

Mexican Chicken Dip

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
2 tbsp chopped green chilies
1 tbsp taco seasoning
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
tortilla chips

Cook chicken and let cool before fork shredding it.  Combine the chicken in a medium sized dish with the cheeses, chilies and taco seasoning.  Place in a greased dish that is suitable for serving in also.  Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with an additional 1 cup of shredded Mexican cheese.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

I like new discoveries in the grocery store.  Blueberry infused Craisins might not be all that new but they were to me so I had to buy a bag.  That lead to oh I have this bag of Craisins and now what I am going to do with them.  I do enjoy the flavor combination of blueberries and lemon.  I first thought about making a cookie recipe but decided I had nothing planned for breakfast so it would be a coffee cake or muffins but having a lemon in the refrigerator tipped the scales towards muffins.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup blueberry Craisins

Cream together softened butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Add in eggs, milk and fresh lemon juice.  Gradually mix in dry ingredients and when combined gently fold in the blueberry Craisins.

I made large muffins ~ fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake at 325° for 22 minutes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spice Rubbed Crock Pot Chicken

Easy meals packed with lots of flavor are the best.  Relatively easy clean up makes it even better.  I have my can of smoked paprika always out on my work space because it's one of my favorite spices so it became the main ingredient for my spice rub.  This is a recipe that you coat the chicken, place it in the crock pot and walk away from until you're ready to eat.  It turned out really juicy and tender.

Spice Rubbed Crock Pot Chicken

4 chicken breasts, skin on, bone in
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
5 tsp water

Rinse off chicken breasts.  Combine all of the spices in a small bowl, stir and add in water until it forms a spreadable paste.  Spread all over chicken breasts, top, bottom and a little under the skin and place the chicken breast in the crock pot.  Repeat until all are coated.  Place the cover on your crock pot, turn on medium heat and allow to cook for 4 hours.  I never opened it until the end when I checked the temperature to make sure they were cooked properly.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Raspberry Honey Roasted Potatoes

While I was laying down on the couch with the flu with the tv on but it was very mind numbing, I was thinking of recipes to try making when I felt better.  I had a little note pad next to my phone, tissues and remote control that I'd scribble ideas down in. One of the recipes I had made this summer was roasted veggies with raspberry honey and raspberry vinegar and I had always meant to try it with here it is ~

Raspberry Honey Roasted Potatoes

4 Yukon Gold potatoes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp raspberry honey
1 tbsp raspberry vinegar
1 tbsp parsley
salt & freshly ground pepper (optional)

Peel and dice all the potatoes and place on an olive oil greased baking sheet.  Drizzle 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil on top and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until fork tender.  Remove from oven and drizzle 3 tbsp raspberry honey and  1 tsp raspberry vinegar on top and return to oven for an additional 5 minutes.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Beef Stroganoff Soup

This is another recipe that I made while laid up with the flu.  It was perfect because I could add a few ingredients gradually and lay down and rest before getting up and adding in more.

Beef Stroganoff Soup

1 1/2" beef stew meat, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 oz baby bella mushroooms, sliced small
1/4 cup onions, small diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp dill weed
1/2 cup cream
1 cup sour cream
2 cups dumpling egg noodles

In a dutch oven, heat olive oil as you cut up the meat.  When heated, toss in meat and cook without browning.  Add in onions, mushrooms and garlic and cook until onions are translucent.  Stir in flour and coat everything well before pouring in beef broth and add in the bay leaf.  Allow to cook for 3 hours.  Add in dill weed, cream and sour cream.  Stir until mixed well.  Add in dumpling egg noodles and cook until tender.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Blackberry Pancetta Quesadilla

The flu had side lined me for the past couple of days.  Luckily I had lots of frozen soup to eat because that was the extent of my energy level.  I opened my refrigerator this morning to figure out what to make for breakfast and came up with the odds and ends to make a breakfast quesadilla.  I am one of those people that own a quesadilla maker but you could easily make this in a frying pan. 

Blackberry Pancetta Quesadilla

For each quesadilla ~

2 flour tortillas
1 oz brie, sliced
1 tbsp blackberry jam
3 slices pancetta

Layer with brie, pancetta and top with blackberry jam.  Heat quesadilla maker or frying pan before you begin.  Cook until brie starts to ooze out.  Allow to cool for 1 minute before slicing.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Frangelico Chocolate Pudding

I wanted to try making my own pudding from scratch at least one time. I will never go back to boxed pudding again. Plus the added hint of Frangelico to give it a hazelnut flavoring just made it all the better.  Now it's time to put some more foods I want to make on my bucket list.

Frangelico Chocolate Pudding

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp Frangelico

3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup milk

In a large saucepot, bring the warm water, cocoa, salt and sugar to a simmer. Add in cream, chocolate chips and 1 cup of milk. Heat until a simmer again. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup milk until smooth. Whisk into the chocolate mixture and keep stirring until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and Frangelico. Pour into 4 small serving dishes that hold at least 1/2 cup each. Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap so a skin doesn't form.

Serve with whipped cream and chopped hazelnuts.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cheeseburger Soup

Snow again...despite warmer than normal temperatures I was kind of hoping for Spring even though it's a little early to have those kind of thoughts except in the Gardening area on Pinterest. Oh well...I'll cuddle up with a bowl of hot soup.

Cheeseburger Soup

1 pound extra lean ground beef
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup carrots, peeled and small diced
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and small diced
1 tbsp celery flakes
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
8 oz Colby cheese, grated
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Lightly brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Make sure as much grease as possible is drained off. In a large pot or crock pot, melt butter and stir in flour to make a paste. Gradually mix in chicken broth and milk. Add in ground beef, carrots, potatoes and celery flakes. Cook until the vegetables are soft and then add in the cream and shredded cheese. Taste and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Raspberry Honey Wheat Rolls

I did make bread but in a cloverleaf bun form yesterday.  I traded in my usual plain honey for raspberry honey and made a raspberry honey butter to have with them.  The best part was playing basketball with the 1 1/2" dough balls into the muffin tins.  I wish I would have made every basket when I played on the high school girls basketball team like I did with these.

Raspberry Honey Wheat Rolls

1 cup warm water
1/4 cup raspberry honey
3 tsp active dry yeast
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp salt
2 cups bread flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Combine raspberry honey and warm water and stir until honey has dissolved.  Add in yeast and let sit for 10 minutes.  In the meantime, combine the flours and salt in a medium sized bowl.  In a large bowl, mix the slightly cooled melted butter and egg.  Add in the yeast after the 10 minutes and stir.  Gradually add in the flours and salt mixture.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.  Pour olive oil into the bottom of the large bowl and roll the dough ball in it.  Cover and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.  Grease your muffin tins (I used large ones) and place 3 - 1" dough balls in each.  Allow to rise again.  Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush some raspberry butter on top.

Raspberry Butter

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tbsp raspberry honey

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Cinnamon Apple Muffins

Sunday morning arrives and I have no idea what to make for breakfast.  I have no bread in the house because I know I can make better than any bread from the grocery store and cheaper too.  I might make some later to go along with a soup that I'm planning on making in the crock pot but that didn't help me out now.  I did have a single apple in the crisper and one container of Greek yogurt that has an approaching expiration date...the combination screamed out muffins.

Cinnamon Apple Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
6 oz Greek yogurt
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup apple, diced
cinnamon & sugar for topping

Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and whisk lightly.  In a small bowl, stir yogurt, egg and buttermilk until blended.  Gently fold in wet ingredients into flour mixture.  Add in apples last.  Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake for 15 minutes at 350°, remove from oven and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Return to oven for another 7 minutes.

I always have cinnamon sugar on hand.  It comes in handy for baking or just on buttered toast.

Cinnamon Sugar

1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Pepperoni Cheese Ball

I love cheese in all forms so combining two types of cheese together in something besides a grilled cheese sandwich (I actually opt for three cheeses in those) is a dairy nirvana for me.  Adding in Italian flavors is just like icing on the cake...

Pepperoni Cheese Ball

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups applewood smoked mozzarella, shredded
2 oz pepperoni, diced small
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Mix together softened cream cheese and mozzarella cheese. Add in the pepperoni, and spices. Shape into a ball shape in bowl and cover
with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove and roll in chopped

Return to refrigerator. Remove 15 minutes before
serving.  Serve with crackers.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Prosciutto Blackberry Rolls

This is a nice treat or side that covers your 4 basic food groups but it gives you a taste of savory and sweet in one bite.

Prosciutto Blackberry Rolls

1 can crescent rolls
8 slices prosciutto
8 pieces of brie, cut small
4 tsp blackberry jam

Separate rolls into 8 sections. Place a slice of prociutto in the center of the widest part. On top, place a bit of brie and 1/2 tsp of blackberry jam. Roll up and bake for 15 minutes at 325°.   

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cranberry Orange Brie Bites

Need a fun appetizer or snack to serve?  I made these on New Years Eve using the Cranberry Orange Jam I made ~

Cranberry Orange Brie Bites

15 mini Phyllo Cups
1 small brie
15 tsp Cranberry orange jam

Cut up brie to fit into bottom of phyllo cups. Place 1 tsp of jam on top of the brie.

Bake and enjoy!

Servings: 15

Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

BBQ Chicken & Bacon Dip

My kitchen seems to have an excess of cream cheese and frozen cranberries at this time of year so you'll probably be seeing a few more recipes that use either of them.

BBQ Chicken & Bacon Dip

2 chicken breasts, braised and shredded
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup bbq sauce
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tbsp green chilies
1 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese

Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Scoop mixture into a greased pie pan and bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Serve with your favorite crackers.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Buttermilk Waffles with Strawberry Sauce

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful night whether it was out celebrating or sleeping.

I'm starting off the new year with two new recipes for brunch this morning.  I didn't want to waste a day off and I caught a glimpse at morning television and decided my day was better spent in the kitchen.

Buttermilk Waffles

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
4 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla

Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until light and fluffy. Gradually mix buttermilk, egg yolks, melted butter  and beaten egg whites into dry ingredients.

Bake per your waffle makers instructions.

Makes 11

Strawberry Sauce

1 pound strawberries, quartered
1 tsp lemon juice
dash lemon zest
1/4 cup sugar, to start - add more depending on sweetness of berries

In a medium saucepan, cook strawberries, lemon juice and zest and 1/4 cup sugar until it starts to thicken.  Taste and adjust sugar amount accordingly.  Blend with a stick blender for a minute and allow to cool slightly before serving.