Monday, April 18, 2011

Hot Fudge Cake

Hot Fudge Cake

1 ¾ cups packed brown sugar, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons baking cocoa, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 ¾ cups boiling water
Vanilla ice cream

In a bowl, combine 1 cup brown sugar, flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking power and salt.

In another bowl, combine the milk, butter and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until combined.

Spread evenly into a 3 quarter slow cooker coated with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

In a bowl, combine the remaining brown sugar and cocoa; stir in boiling water. Pour over batter (do not stir).

Cover and cook on high for 4 to 4 ½ hours or until a toothpick inserted near the center of cake comes out clean. Serve warm with ice cream.

Yields: 6 to 8 servings

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

4 medium tomatoes
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 ½ cups cooked rice
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon garlic salt

Cut a thin slice off the top of each tomato. Scoop out pulp, leaving ½ inch shells; discard seeds. Chop pulp and set aside. Sprinkle the insides of tomatoes with salt; invert onto paper towels to drain.

In a small skillet, sauté onion in 2 tablespoons butter until tender. Add reserved tomato pulp; cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat; stir in the rice, cheese, parsley, basil and garlic salt.

Stuff into tomato shells; dot with remaining butter. Place in a greased i9 inch square baking dish. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.

Yields: 4 servings

Buttermilk Mac N Cheese

Buttermilk Mac N Cheese

6 eggs
3 ¼ cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 ½ cups buttermilk
½ cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 package (7 oz) elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the cheese, buttermilk, butter and salt. Add macaroni; mix well. Pour into a greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160.

Yields: 8 to 10 servings

Cinnamon Snaps

Cinnamon Snaps

¾ cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
¼ cup molasses
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
Additional sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Add egg and molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Roll into 1 inch balls, then roll in additional sugar.

Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set and tops are cracked. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Yield: 4 ½ dozen

Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Pepperoni Pasta Bake

3 cups uncooked wagon wheel or spiral pasta
1 can (4 oz) mushroom stems and pieces, undrained
1 package (3 ½ oz) sliced pepperoni, quartered
¾ cup chopped green pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jar (14 oz) spaghetti sauce
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and place in a large bowl. Add the mushrooms, pepperoni, green pepper and onion. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste and cheddar cheese; mix well.

Transfer to a greased 3 qt baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Yield: 6 servings

Italian Sausage Strata

Italian Sausage Strata

½ cup butter or margarine, softened, divided
12 to 16 slices day-old bread, crusts removed
½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 cups sliced onions
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound bulk Italian sausage, cooked and drained
3 cups (12 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
5 eggs
2 ½ cups milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustartd
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Using ¼ cup butter, spread one side of each bread slice with butter. Place half of the bread, butter side down, in a greased 13x9 inch baking dish.

In a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms and onions in remaining butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon half of the mushroom mixture over bread in prepared pan. Top with half of the sausage and cheese. Layer with the remaining bread, mushroom mixture, sausage and cheese. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, Dijon mustard, nutmeg and ground mustard. Pour over cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, covered at 350 for 50 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with parsley.

Yields: 12 servings

O’Brien Sausage Skillet

O’Brien Sausage Skillet

1 package (28 oz) frozen O’Brien hash brown potatoes
1 pound fully cooked kielbasa or polish sausage, cut into ¼ inch slices
2 medium tart apples, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

Prepare potatoes according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté the sausage, apples and onion in oil for 10 minutes or until apples and onions are tender; drain.

Spoon the sausage mixture over potatoes, sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Yields: 6 to 8 servings

No Fail Fudge

No Fail Fudge

1 teaspoon plus ½ cup butter, softened, divided
3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
½ cup baking cocoa
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup M&M miniature baking bits

Line an 8 inch square pan with foil and grease the foil with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa and salt. Melt remaining butter; add milk and vanilla. Stir into sugar mixture until blended; whisk until smooth. Stir in M&M’s. Immediately spread into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Using foil, lift fudge out of pan. Discard foil; cut fudge into 1 inch squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yield: 1 ½ pounds

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 package (10 oz) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, partially thawed
1 medium firm banana, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ice cubes

In a blender, combine all ingredients. Cover and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Pizza Soup

Pizza Soup
3 points per serving (8 servings)

14 oz pizza sauce
42 oz water
1 bell pepper
½ small onion
15 oz canned diced tomatoes
8 oz raw chicken sausage
¼ lb turkey pepperoni
1/3 cup uncooked macaroni

Use a 5 or 6 quart crockpot for this recipe. Wash and prepare veggies. Dump them into the crockpot. Cut up the sausage into small pieces. Add to crockpot. Cut up the pepperoni; add it too. Add basil and oregano. Pour in the pizza sauce, and follow with three empty jars of water. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours or 3-4 hours on high. Thirty minutes before serving, add the dry pasta and turn to HIGH.

Grasshopper Pie

Grasshopper Pie

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons shortening
1 cup finely chopped walnuts

35 large marshmallows
¼ cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons green crème de menthe
3 tablespoons clear crème d cacao
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
Chocolate curls, optional

Line a 9 inch pie plate with foil; set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the chocolate chips, cream and shortening; cook over low heat until chips are melted. Stir in walnuts. pour into prepared pie plate; spread evenly over bottom and sides of plate. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.

In a large heavy saucepan, combine the marshmallows, milk and salt; cook over low heat until marshmallows are melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; stir in crème de menthe and crème de cacao. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until slightly thickened.

Carefully remove foil from chocolate crust and return crust to pie plate. Fold whipped cream into filling; pour into crust. Refrigerate overnight. Garnish with chocolate curls if desired.

Serves 6-8

German Chocolate Pie

German Chocolate Pie

1 package (4 ounces) german sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ cups milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked

2/3 cup evaporated milk
½ cup sugar
¼ cup butter, cubed
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut, toasted
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla; set aside. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and milk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly.

Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in chocolate mixture. Spoon into pastry shell.

In a small saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, sugar and butter. Cook and stir until butter is melted and mixture just comes to a boil. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot liquid into egg; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.

Remove from the heat. Stir in coconut and pecans. Pour over filling. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 8 servings

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, divided
½ cup sugar
1 carton (12 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 chocolate crumb crust (8 inches)
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot fudge ice cream topping, divided

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add 1 cup peanut butter and sugar; mix well. Fold in 3 cups whipped topping; spoon into crust. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat 2/3 cup hot fudge topping for 30 seconds. Pour over peanut butter layer and spread to edges of crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Spread remaining whipped topping over pie. Cut into slices. Place the remaining hot fudge topping and peanut butter in two separate plastic bags. Cut a small hole in the corner of each bag; pipe topping and peanut butter over each slide of pie.


8 servings

Chicken with Herbed Dumplings

Chicken with Herbed Dumplings
Sandy via The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook

Makes 6 to 8 servings

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 T olive oil, divided
3 T unsalted butter
½ yellow onion, peeled and diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup dry sherry
5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch slices
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
¾ cup frozen peas

Herbed Dumplings
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
7 T chilled butter
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley
1 cup milk
½ tsp kosher salt

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425.

To prepare the chicken, rinse the chicken breasts, pat them dry, and cut into 1 inch strips. Season with salt and pepper and divide into 3 batches. Heat 1 T of the olive oil in a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (or small dutch oven). Add the first batch of chicken and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with the remaining 2 batches, adding another tablespoon of olive oil for each batch. Set the chicken aside.

In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour. Slowly add the chicken stock, cream, and sherry, whisking often, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and add the carrots, bay leaf, nutmeg, oregano and thyme. Generously season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. Return the chicken strips to the skillet and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Mix in the peas.

To prepare the dumplings, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut the chilled butter into tablespoon-sized slices. Using a pastry blender and working quickly, so the butter remains cold, cut in the butter until the pieces are pea-sized. (You can also transfer the flour mixture to a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the butter, and pulse 5 or 6 times.) Gently mix in the rosemary, using your hands or a spatula. Add the milk and mix gently just until the ingredients are wet.

Using a large spoon, scoop up some of the dumpling mixture and drop it on top of the hot chicken mixture. Repeat until all the dumpling mixture is used (you should have about 10 dumplings). Sprinkle the tops with the kosher salt and put the skillet into the oven. Bake until the dumplings are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. If you want to brown the tops of the dumplings more, brush the tops with melted butter and turn on the broiler for the last few minutes, keeping a close eye on the dumplings at this point. Serve from skillet.

Sandy’s Notes; For the liquid, use ¾ cup heavy cream and two cans of reduced-sodium chicken broth, skip the dry sherry. Increase the vegetables. Next time sub a can of evaporated skimmed milk for the heavy cream.

Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

• 2 cups crushed sour-cream-and-onion-flavored potato chips
• 1 egg
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 6 chicken breast fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
• 1/3 cup butter, melted
• Honey Mustard, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the crushed potato chips in a shallow dish. Beat together the egg and milk in a shallow bowl. Dip the chicken cubes into the egg mixture and then dredge them in the chips. Place the chicken nuggets on a baking sheet and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. The chicken nuggets can be frozen after baking. Serve with your favorite sauce, such as honey mustard or ranch dressing.
Honey Mustard:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice or juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons orange juice (more or less as needed)
Combine all ingredients except orange juice; stir well. Thin to pouring consistency for dressing or dipping consistency for dips with orange juice. Cover and chill for 2 or 3 hours.
Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Flavorful Mashed Potatoes

Flavorful Mashed Potatoes
Taste of Home

4 pounds red potatoes (about 12 medium)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup fat-free milk
½ cup reduced fat sour cream
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 ¼ teaspoons salt

Scrub and quarter potatoes; place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain. In a large bowl, mash potato mixture. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Yield: 12 servings

Sausage Bean Soup

Sausage Bean Soup

¾ pound bulk Italian sausage
½ cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (15 ½ oz) butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ½ oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 ½ oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14 ½ oz) beef broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, cook sausage, onion and garlic until the sausage is browned; drain. Add beans, tomatoes, broth and basil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Sprinkle each serving with parmesan cheese.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Chocolate Chip Banana Cream Pie

Chocolate Chip Banana Cream Pie

1 tube (18 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cups milk
5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
3 medium firm bananas
1 ½ cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Cut cookie dough in half widthwise. Let one portion stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to soften (return the other half to the refrigerator for another use). Press dough onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 375 for 11-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in milk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil, cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Spread 1 cup filling into prepared crust. Slice bananas; arrange over filling. Pour remaining filling over bananas. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

In a chilled mixing bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners’ sugar and remaining vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over pie. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yields: 6 to 8 servings

Chicken Fajita Tortilla Soup

Chicken Fajita Tortilla Soup
Food Network (Rachel Ray)

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 packages chicken tenders, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
• 1 tablespoon coriander, a palm full
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, 5 to 6 sprigs
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
• 1 large bell pepper, quartered and thinly sliced
• 1 jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced
• 1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
• 1 quart chicken stock
• 1 bag white corn tortilla chips
• 1 cup shredded pepper Jack or sharp white Cheddar
• 1 ripe avocado, diced
• 1 lime, juiced
• 4 scallions, chopped
• Handful fresh cilantro leaves or fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Heat a large skillet with extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add chicken, begin to brown 4 minutes, add coriander, thyme, salt and pepper, to taste, onions, bell pepper and jalapeno, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and stock, heat through.
While the soup is working, lightly crush some tortilla chips and divide among 4 bowls. You need a couple of handfuls per bowl. Top the chips with a little cheese. Toss the avocado with lime juice. Top the chips with ladles of soup. Garnish soup with avocado, scallions and cilantro or parsley

Corn and Crab Chowder

Corn and Crab Chowder
Food Network (Rachel Ray)

• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan in a slow stream
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced
• 2 ribs celery, chopped
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
• 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning blend, found near seafood department or, on spice aisle in your market
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth
• 1 quart whole milk
• 3 cups corn kernels, scraped fresh from the cob or, frozen kernels
• 8 ounces cooked lump crab meat, fresh is available in plastic tubs at many fish counters
• 4 small bread boules, 6 inches, hollowed out, preferably sour dough, optional
• Oyster crackers
• Hot cayenne pepper sauce
• Sliced scallions
Heat a deep pot over moderate heat. Add oil and butter. As you chop your veggies, add them to the pot: potatoes, celery, onion, and red bell pepper. Add bay leaf to the pot. Season vegetables with salt and pepper and Old Bay seasoning. Saute veggies 5 minutes, then sprinkle in flour. Cook flour 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and combine. Stir in milk and combine. Bring soup up to a bubble. Add corn and crab meat and simmer soup 5 minutes. Adjust the soup seasonings. Remove bay leaf. Ladle soup into bread bowls or soup bowls and top with oyster crackers, hot sauce and sliced scallions.

Quick Creamy Tomato Soup

Quick Creamy Tomato Soup
Food Network (Rachel Ray)

• 2 (15-ounce) containers, chicken or vegetable stock/broth (preferred brand: Kitchen Basics)
• 1 (28-ounce) can concentrated crushed tomatoes
• 1 cup heavy cream
• Coarse salt and black pepper
• 20 leaves fresh basil, cut into chiffonade, for garnish
• Soup toppers, for garnish, recipe follows
Combine broth and tomatoes in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. When soup bubbles, stir in heavy cream and reduce heat to low. Season with a little salt and pepper and simmer gently 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. With an immersion blender, puree soup. Serve bowls of soup with basil chiffonade and floating soup toppers.
Soup Toppers:
• 4 slices crusty bread, 4 inches across, 1/4-inch thick-slice artisan breads at counter in market
• 2 cloves cracked fresh garlic, optional
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 pound shredded cheese to compliment your soup: provolone, Asiago, cheddar, Gruyere, Swiss, etc.
Toast bread slices in your toaster until golden. Rub the toasted bread rounds with crushed garlic, if using. Arrange bread on cookie or baking sheet. Drizzle each slice with extra-virgin oil and top with a grind of black pepper and a layer of shredded cheese. Place under hot broiler to melt cheese until toppers are golden brown in color.
Yield: 4 servings Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 1 minute

Vanilla Buttermilk Pound Cakes

Vanilla Buttermilk Pound Cakes

13.5 ounces all purpose flour (about 3 cups)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups low-fat buttermilk
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350

Weight or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt); stir with a whisk. Place sugar, butter and vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and buttermilk to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Spoon batter into 5 (5 ¾ x 3 ¾ inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pans 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from plans. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Yields: 5 loaves, 6 servings per loaf (serving size: 1 slice)

Veggie, Rice and Cheese Supreme

Veggie, Rice and Cheese Supreme
Clean Eating Magazine

2 ½ cups water
1 cup brown rice
1 tsp olive oil
1 small zucchini, halved and cut into ¼ inch slices
1 small yellow squash, halved and cut into ¼ inch slices
2 cloves garlic minced
½ tsp basil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
¾ cup shredded reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese (about 4 oz)

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add rice, lower heat and cover. Simmer until rice is done, about 25 minutes.

When the rice has 5 minutes of cooking time remaining, pour olive oil into a nonstick skillet and place over medium heat. Add zucchini, yellow squash and garlic to the pan. Sprinkle with basil, salt and pepper, and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add cooked rice on top of vegetables, cover with lid, turn heat to low and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir veggies and rice together and top with cheese. Replace lid for about 1 minute until cheese is melted.

Smashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Chives

Smashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Chives
From Cooking Light

3 pounds peeled baking potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 ¼ teaspoons salt, divided
2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup (6 ounces) goat cheese
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup 2% reduced fat milk
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

Place potatoes in a saucepan, and cover with cold water to 2 inches above. Add ¼ teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender; drain. Return the potatoes to pan over low heat; add remaining 1 teaspoon salt and butter to pan. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher to desired consistency.

Add cheese and pepper to potato mixture; stir until cheese melts. Stir in milk; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in chives.

Yields: 12 servings

Autumn Chowder

Autumn Chowder

2 bacon strips, diced
¼ cup chopped onion
1 medium red potato, diced
1 small carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
½ cup water
¾ teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 cup milk
2/3 cup frozen corn
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 ½ teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cold water
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp; remove to paper towels. Drain, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings. In the drippings, sauté onion until tender. Add the potato, carrot, water and bouillon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are almost tender.

Stir in the milk, corn and pepper. Cook 5 minutes longer. Combine the flour and cold water until smooth; gradually whish into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in cheese until melted. Sprinkle with bacon.

Yields: 2 servings

White Bean and Pasta Soup

White Bean and Pasta Soup

1 ½ cups dry great northern beans
¾ pound Italian sausage links, casings removed
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
2 tablespoons dried currants
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup uncooked small shell pasta
Grated parmesan cheese

Place beans in a dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid.

In the same pan, cook the sausage, onion, carrot and garlic over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the broth, water, currants, basil and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomatoes and pasta, bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve with parmesan cheese.

Yield: 12 servings (3 quarts)

Mexican Chicken Manicotti

Mexican Chicken Manicotti

1 package (8 ounces) manicotti shells
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 ½ cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1 small onion, diced, divided
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies, divided
1 can (10 ¾ oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup salsa
2/3 cup milk

Cook manicotti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, 1 ½ cups Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, half of the onion and 6 tablespoons chilies. In another bowl, combine the soup, salsa, milk and remaining onion and chilies. Spread ½ cup in a greased 13x9 inch baking dish.

Drain manicotti; stuff each with about ¼ cup chicken mixture. Arrange over sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over shells.

Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining Monterey Jack cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Yield: 7 servings

Peanut Butter Banana Pudding

Peanut Butter Banana Pudding
Country Woman Magazine

4 cups milk
1 package (3 ounces) vanilla cook and serve pudding mix
1 package (3.5 ounces) butterscotch cook and serve pudding mix
1 ½ cups peanut butter, divided
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 medium firm bananas, sliced

In a large saucepan, combine milk and pudding mixes until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in ½ cup peanut butter until blended. Refrigerate until chilled.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and confectioners’ sugar; cut in remaining peanut butter until crumbly. In individual dessert bowls, layer half of the pudding, half of the crumb mixture and half of the bananas. Repeat layers.

Serves 12

Aunt Liz’s Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

Aunt Liz’s Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
Cooking Light

Bake a frozen casserole, covered, for 55 minutes at 350; uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly

2 cups chopped chicken breasts
2 cups uncooked spaghetti noodles, broken into 2 inch pieces (about 7 ounces)
1 cup (1/4 inch thick) slices celery
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup fat free, less sodium chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (10.75 oz) cans condensed 30% reduced sodium, 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted)
cooking spray
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine broth, salt, pepper and soup in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add soup mixture to chicken mixture; toss. Divide mixture evenly between 2 (8 inch) square or 2 quarter baking dishes coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with ½ cup cheese over each casserole. Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Yields: 2 casseroles, 4 servings each

Chicken Stew with Biscuits

Chicken Stew with Biscuits
Food Network (Ina Garten)

• 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
• 2 chicken bouillon cubes
• 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
• 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
• 3/4 cup flour
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 2 cups medium-diced carrots (4 carrots), blanched for 2 minutes
• 1 10-ounce package frozen peas (2 cups)
• 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
• 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
For the biscuits:
• 2 cups flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
• 3/4 cup half-and-half
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
• 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley. Mix well. Place the stew in a 10 x 13 x 2-inch oval or rectangular baking dish. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Add the half-and-half and combine on low speed. Mix in the parsley. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and, with a rolling pin, roll out to 3/8-inch thick. Cut out twelve circles with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter.
Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the biscuits on top of the filling. Brush them with egg wash, and return the dish to the oven. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are brown and the stew is bubbly.
Note: To make in advance, refrigerate the chicken stew and biscuits separately. Bake the stew for 25 minutes, then place the biscuits on top, and bake for another 30 minutes, until done.

Shrimp and Potato Stew

Shrimp and Potato Stew
Food Network (Emeril)

• 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined, shrimp shells reserved
• 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
• 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus 2 tablespoons
• 3 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
• 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 links (12 to 16-ounces) andouille sausage, diced
• 1/4 cup sliced green onions
• 1 long red chile pepper
• Cooked white rice, for serving, optional
Season the shrimp with the Essence and transfer to the refrigerator until needed.
Heat a large saucepan and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When hot, add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring, until fragrant and pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 10 cups of water and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, skimming any foam that rises to the surface, for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids. Set shrimp stock aside.
In a heavy bottomed Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the 1 cup vegetable oil and, when hot, whisk in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until a roux is formed the color of dark peanut butter, about 7 minutes. Add the onion and cook until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and 2 tablespoons of parsley and cook for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, 8 cups of the reserved shrimp stock, the salt, cayenne, and black pepper and bring to just to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are very tender and the sauce is thickened, 30 to 40 minutes. Add the andouille sausage and cook partially. Drain some of the fat and add shrimp, remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, green onions and red chile pepper and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve immediately over hot white rice in shallow bowls.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
• 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
• 2 tablespoons salt
• 2 tablespoons garlic powder
• 1 tablespoon black pepper
• 1 tablespoon onion powder
• 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William Morrow, 1993.

Creamy Chicken & Noodles

Creamy Chicken & Noodles
Dottie (hokiesmom) via Gooseberry cookbook Slow Cooker Recipes

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 10 ¾ oz cans of cream of chicken soup
½ cup butter, sliced (one stick)
4 10 ½ oz cans chicken broth
24 oz pkg frozen egg noodles

Combine first 4 ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and let cook on low setting for 8 hours. One hour before serving, remove chicken, shred and return to cooker. Stir in frozen noodle; cover and cook on low for one hour.

Serves 4-6

Roman-Style Chicken

Roman-Style Chicken
Food Network (Giada)

• 4 skinless chicken breast halves, with ribs
• 2 skinless chicken thighs, with bones
• 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 teaspoon
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 red bell pepper, sliced
• 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
• 3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
• 1/2 cup white wine
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
• 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
• 1/2 cup chicken stock
• 2 tablespoons capers
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a heavy, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Keeping the same pan over medium heat, add the peppers and prosciutto and cook until the peppers have browned and the prosciutto is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, and herbs. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.
If serving immediately, add the capers and the parsley. Stir to combine and serve. If making ahead of time, transfer the chicken and sauce to a storage container, cool, and refrigerate. The next day, reheat the chicken to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the capers and the parsley and serve.

Herbed Mashed Potatoes

Herbed Mashed Potatoes
Recipe from

3 large potatoes (Idaho or russet)
about 2/3 cup Basic Chicken Stock or low-sodium canned
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup freshly chopped herbs (thyme, chives, sage or parsley
2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream

Peel the potatoes and cut them in half. Place them in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pricked with a fork, about 30 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain.

Bring the stock to a boil, and turn down to a simmer.

Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork, or use a food mill. Slowly add the stock until the desired consistency is reached.

Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the sour cream and herbs.

Lemon-Rosemary Chicken Brochettes

Lemon-Rosemary Chicken Brochettes
Recipe from

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
8 pearl onions, unpeeled
2 small yellow summer squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 small zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
8 cherry tomatoes
12 bamboo (soaked in water) or metal skewers

To make the marinade, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Place the chicken in a separate bowl, toss it with half of the marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the onions, rinse them under cold water and peel.

Add the onions, summer squash, and zucchini to the remaining marinade and set aside at room temperature for a few minutes or refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the grill to medium high

Thread the chicken and vegetables, including the cherry tomatoes, onto the skewers. Grill the brochettes on each side until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 4 to 6 minutes per side.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto
Recipe from

6 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh sage
2 ½ - 3 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash
salt to taste
2 cups Arborio rice
½ cups white wine
6 to 8 tablespoons grated parmesan
freshly ground black pepper
chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley or sage for garnish

Pour the broth into a saucepan and bring to a simmer; adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.

Warm the olive oil in a deep sauté pan. Add the garlic and sage and sauté for a few minutes.

Add the squash, sprinkle with salt, and stirring, cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and stir until the rice opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the white win and cook until it evaporates, just a few minutes.

Add a ladleful of the simmering broth (about 1 cup) and stir until the broth is absorbed. Lower the heat. Continue to add broth, a ladleful at a time, until the rice kernels are al dente in the center and creamy on the outside, 20 to 25 minutes in all.

Stir in 4 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the remaining grated cheese.

Note: If you do not want to take a chance of overcooking the squash with the rice and having it break down, which is the old fashioned Jewish-Italian way, you can cook it separately in the vegetable broth and add it to the rice long with the last addition of the broth.

Roasted Garlic and Scallion Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Garlic and Scallion Mashed Potatoes
Recipe from

1 garlic bulb, unpeeled (about 6 cloves)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
4 large potatoes (Idaho or russet)
about 1 cup Basic Chicken Stock (see recipe), or low-sodium canned
¼ teaspoon salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons freshly chopped scallions

Preheat the oven to 350. Place the garlic cloves in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with olive oil. Place the dish, uncovered, in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the garlic is golden brown and soft.

Remove from the oven and let cool.

Peel the potatoes and cut them in half. Place them in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pricked with a fork, about 30 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain.

Bring the stock to a boil, and turn down to a simmer.

Squeeze the roasted garlic clove to release each clove of garlic. Mash the garlic with a fork and throw the skins away.

Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork, or use a food mill. Add the roasted garlic. Slowly add the stock until the desired consistency is reached.

Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the scallions.

Crab Chowder

Crab Chowder
Recipe from

1 slice uncooked bacon, diced
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups claim juice or fish stock
6 small red potatoes
1 pound crab meat
2 cups reduced fat (2%) milk
1 red pepper, diced
1 teaspoon, chopped dill

Put the bacon in a soup pot and heat over low heat. Add the onion, celery, thyme and bay leaf, turn the heat up to medium, and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

Dice the potatoes and add them to the soup pot with the clam juice. Simmer until the potatoes are just tender about 10 minutes. Add the milk, peppers, crab and dill and cook until the crab is just heated through. Remove the thyme and bay leaf. adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

Winter Chicken Stew

Winter Chicken Stew
Recipe from

3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch cubes
freshly ground black pepper
flour for dredging
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small yellow onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups red wine
2 cups diced, canned tomatoes with their juices
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 large russet potatoes, diced

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge it in flour and shake off the excess.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the meat on all sides. Adjust the heat so that the chicken browns well, but does not burn.

Add the onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and cook 2 minutes more. Add the red wine. Stir with a wooden spoon to release any caramelized bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan and cook until the wine is almost completely evaporated.

Add the tomatoes with their juices and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so that the stew simmers and cook until the meat is tender, about 1 hour.

Add the carrots, parsnips and potatoes and cook until the vegetables are completely tender, about 20 minutes more. (The potatoes will fall apart and thicken the sauce). Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaf and serve in a deep tureen.

Flounder with Lemon and Fresh Herbs

Flounder with Lemon and Fresh Herbs
Recipe from

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 flounder fillets, about 4 to 6 ounces each
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup flour for dredging
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth or fish stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped, fresh chives

Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet until hot. While the oil is heating, season the flounder with salt and pepper and dredge it in flour.

Saute the flounder over high heat, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a warm platter and keep warm.

Quickly add the chicken broth or fish stock to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon to release any caramelized bits that may be stuck to the pan. Cook until the broth has reduced by half. Add the lemon juice. Pour the sauce over the flounder, sprinkle with parsley and chives and serve.

Note: You may have to sauté the flounder in two batches. If so, use a clean pan for each batch. Make the sauce in one of the pans.

Root Vegetable Gratin with Ham and Gruyere Cheese

Root Vegetable Gratin with Ham and Gruyere Cheese
(recipe from

3 cups 2% milk
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
pinch ground nutmeg
4 russett potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
nonstick cooking spray
¼ pound sliced, baked ham, chopped
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
½ cup plain bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, garlic, bay leaf, nutmeg, potatoes, carrots and parsnips and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down so that the mixture simmers, season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes.

Drain the vegetables over a bowl. Retain 1 cup of the milk mixture and discard the bay leaf.

Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray and arrange half of the sliced vegetables in it. Sprinkle the ham and half of the cheese over the vegetables. Cover with the remaining vegetables. Pour the reserved milk over the vegetables and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs.

Cover loosely with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue cooking until the cheese and bread crumbs begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Cheeseburger Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Cheeseburger Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
Serves 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
1 red onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup ketchup
2/3 cup bread crumbs
2 large eggs
½ cup bread and butter pickle chips, chopped
1 ½ cups ground beef
8 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/3 inch cubes
2 pounds new red potatoes
¾ cup heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly oil a rimmed baking dish. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine the ketchup, bread crumbs, eggs and pickles; mix in the onion. Crumble in the beef, add the cheese and mix together. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and shape into a 4 by 12 inch loaf. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 about 35 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, halve the potatoes and place them in a large pot with enough salted water to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, return to the pot and mash with the cream.

4. Let the meatloaf rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with the mashed potatoes.

Swiss Potato Bake

Swiss Potato Bake
Grace (TigMode)

1 (2 pound) package frozen southern style hash brown potatoes
8 oz (2 cups) shredded swiss cheese
¼ cup margarine or butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Heat oven to 350. Spray 13x9 inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In sprayed baking dish, combine potatoes and cheese; toss to mix. Melt margarine in large saucepan. Stir in four; cook over medium heat until bubbly, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Add salt, onion powder, pepper and nutmeg; mix well. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Pour over potato mixture. bake at 350 for 55 to 65 minutes or until mixture is set and top is lightly browned.

Special Green Bean Casserole

Special Green Bean Casserole
(From Recipezaar)

2 teaspoons melted butter
2 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 small grated onion
1 cup sour cream
2 cans French style green beans, drained
½ lb swiss cheese, grated
1 cup corn flakes, crushed

Saute onion in butter. Add flour, salt, sugar and pepper. Mix in sour cream, beans and cheese. Pour into 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with corn flakes. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Creamed Corn with Chives

Cream Corn with Chives
Katie (Katiedid)

2 cups frozen corn
2 T chopped fresh chives
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic-pepper blend
2 T light sour cream

In medium saucepan or microwave safe dish, cook corn as directed on package. Drain; return to saucepan. Add all remaining ingredients; toss to coat. Heat until just thoroughly heated.

Garlic-Onion Mashed Potatoes

Garlic-Onion Mashed Potatoes
Katie (Katiedid)

2 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T butter or margarine
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
½ cup warm milk

In a covered large saucepan, cook potatoes in a moderate amount of boiling, lightly salted water for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Drain. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook onion and garlic in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes or until onion is lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mashed potatoes with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed. Beat in onion-butter mixture, salt, pepper and enough warmed milk to make potatoes light and fluffy. If desired, season to taste with additional salt and black pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Yields: 6 servings

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
2 (10.75 oz) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 onion, finely diced
2 (10 oz) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces

1. Place the chicken, butter, soup and onion in a slow cooker and fill with enough water to cover.
2. Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on HIGH. About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.

Oven Roasted Green Beans

Oven Roasted Green Beans
Katie (Katiedid)

2 pounds green beans, trimmed
4 tsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Place a jelly roll pan in oven for 10 minutes. Place beans in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat. Arrange green beans in a single layer on preheated baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Katie’s Notes: Preheating the banking sheet helps the beans cook faster, but is not necessary. I usually even turn my oven up to 450 because we like our beans to get good and roasted until they start to brown, I end up baking them probably more like 20 minutes. I also usually just put the beans on the baking sheet if I don’t preheat it and then just drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper without measuring.

Ghirardelli Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies

Ghirardelli Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies

Yields: 2 dozen cookies

1 bag (11.5 oz) Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 bag (12 oz) Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup (4 oz) chopped walnuts

In double boiler over hot water, melt the bittersweet chocolate chips and butter. In large bowl with electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until thick; stir in chocolate mixture. In small bowl, stir together flour and baking powder; stir into chocolate mixture. Gently mix in semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts.

Using a sheet of plastic wrap, form dough into two logs, each 2 inches in diameter and about 8 inches long. As dough will be very soft, use plastic wrap to dough in log shape. Wrap tightly. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 375. Unwrap dough; with sharp knife, cut into ¾ inch slices. Place slices 1 ½ inches apart on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until shiny crust forms on top but interior is still soft.

Cool on baking sheet. Enjoy the moment of timeless pleasure.