Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Easy Caesar Dressing

I got off easy. My job for new years eve was making Caesar salad. Here is an easy dressing. I do not do anchovy's as a personal preference.

Easy Caesar Dressing

2 anchovy fillets (or to taste)
2 fresh garlic cloves (or to taste) (I have used pre minced or chopped before also)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup half and half or milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
milk or half and half, for thinning if necessary

  1. In a small mini food processor, process/mince the anchovy fillets and garlic together until finely minced (do this together and firstly, otherwise it will not get minced properly with the other ingredients).
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients, and process for 30 seconds, or more until well mixed.
  3. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  4. Thin milk or half and half for a thinner consistency if desired.
  5. Store in fridge, covered in a glass container for 3 or more hours before using (the flavors become stronger when left in the fridge for a longer time).
  6. Toss desired amount of dressing with Romaine lettuce and croutons.
  7. Sprinkle with more grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas food

Just wanted to share some food porn of some of the wonderful food my chef husband prepared. No recipes since I did not do any of the cooking. My daughter made the holly leaves on the beef wellington. My mom (who is a great cook up there with my husband) made the clams casino, which are also one of my favorite.
The soup was so good. It was a hot soup and you spooned some on the baguette to eat it, it was a great combination.

Pear soup with baguettes and blue cheese

Beef Wellington

Clams Casino

Monday, December 22, 2008

Crescent Chicken Rolls

This dish is by no means diet food between the butter, rolls and cheese but it is so good !
I would have these as a kid and now my kids love them. I usually double the recipe since my kids usually eat four each.
I sometimes just put the sauce on the side and not on top when baking it

Crescent Chicken Rolls

1 (8 ounce) can Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup grated cheddar cheese or swiss cheese (or any cheese of choice)
2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup half-and-half cream or milk
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely chopped onions
  1. Set oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Butter a casserole dish (any size to hold crescent rolls).
  3. In a saucepan, mix half and half cream, 1/2 cup grated cheese and undiluted chicken soup.
  4. Heat just until the cheese melts (do not boil).
  5. Pour half of the cream mixture on the bottom of prepared casserole dish.
  6. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  7. Add in the chopped chicken and onion; mix well until combined.
  8. Roll up 1 (scant) tbsp of mixture in the crescent rolls, and place seam-side down on top of the creamed mixture in the casserole.
  9. Drizzle the remaining cream sauce on top
  10. Bake for 30 minutes

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Swiss Chicken Casserole

This is one of my favorites.

Swiss Chicken Casserole

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
6 slices Swiss cheese
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup milk (or white wine, I use white cooking wine)
2 cups herb-seasoned stuffing cubes (not stove top stuffing, these are bread stuffing cubes in a bag)
1/4 cup butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Arrange chicken in a greased 12 x 8 x 2 baking dish.
  3. Top with Swiss cheese slices.
  4. Combine soup and milk or wine and stir well.
  5. Spoon mixture over chicken and sprinkle with stuffing mix. Drizzle butter over crumbs.
  6. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crab Enchiladas

These are a family favorite. Just keep a eye on them since you do not want them to get too crisp on the outside.

Crab Enchiladas

8oz of cream cheese (softened)
2 cups of cheddar cheese (or any cheese you like…I sometime use a Mexican mix and use more than the recipe calls for since I love cheese)
8 oz of imitation or real crabmeat
8 flour tortillas
I also usually add some onion powder and chili powder (to add some spice) to the mix.

  1. mix first 3 ingredients together well (mix will be thick)
  2. spoon into 8 flour tortillas and roll to closeplace in baking dish
  3. cook @ 350 for 20 minutes
  4. Top with your preference…cheese, salsa, Enchiladas sauce, sour cream or guacamole

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pork Loin with Cranberry glaze

This was served at our mom's club holiday dinner/party. It was so good !! I am sure you could also do this with chops or boneless chicken.

Pork Loin with Cranberry glaze

1 can whole cranberry sauce
1/2 Cup soy sauce
1 Cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
4 Tbsp lemon juice
  1. mix and heat till sugar melts
  2. pour over pork loin and marinate at least 3 hours
  3. bake at 350 1 hour

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My favorite meatloaf

I am usually not a meatloaf fan but this is the best. It has a ton of flavor.

Kitchen Sink Meatloaf

1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt salt and pepper to taste
1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Lightly grease a 5x9 inch loaf pan.
  3. In a bowl, stir together the egg, ketchup, barbecue sauce, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, onion, and garlic, seasoned salt, and salt and pepper.
  4. Mix in ground beef, bread crumbs, and Cheddar cheese. Spread into the loaf pan.
  5. Bake 55 minutes in the preheated oven, to a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees F

Friday, December 12, 2008

Crockpot Bacon and Cheese Chicken

I found this recipe on a great blog A Year of Crockpotting

This was really tasty and easy. I like the sauce before the cheese and bacon so you could very well just do the sauce minus the cheese and bacon and serve over rice. I served it with corn and a side salad.

Crockpot Bacon and Cheese Chicken

2 T olive oil
4-6 chicken breast halves, or equivalent bird pieces (I used 8 breast tenders)
12 pieces cooked and crumbled bacon
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup Ranch salad dressing
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Put the 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the bottom of your crock and spread it around. If you are using thighs or fattier cuts of meat, this step is probably optional.
  2. Put the chicken in the crock on top of the oil.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the teriyaki sauce and the ranch dressing.
  4. Pour sauce over the top of the chicken. Add the shredded cheese and the crumbled bacon to the crock, getting between the chicken pieces, if you can.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4. The cooking time will depend on how thick your chicken pieces are, and if they are fresh or frozen

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Whole Chicken in the Crockpot

I love this easy recipe. I usually make two whole chickens, one to eat for dinner and they other one we pick and freeze the meat for casseroles (less expensive then using boneless breasts). The broth also makes a great gravy, just thicken it up.

WARNING - The one in the picture looks very dull because I am using it to make homemade chicken stock/broth, which will be frozen in ice cube trays and then put in baggies for use in soups, gravies, casseroles. So no seasoning ..yet

Whole Chicken Crock Pot Recipe

For variety, eliminate the onion and substitute a quartered lemon or two, stuffed into the chicken cavity.

4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper (I usually never use this)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large roasting chicken (with pop-up timer if possible)
1 cup onion, chopped
  1. In a small bowl, combine the spices.
  2. Remove any giblets from chicken and clean chicken.
  3. Rub spice mixture onto the chicken.
  4. Place in resealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight. (skip the overnight step if you are in a rush)
  5. When ready to cook, put chopped onion in bottom of crockpot.
  6. Add chicken.
  7. No liquid is needed, the chicken will make it's own juices.
  8. Cook on low 4-8 hours.

Vanilla Wafer Cookies

Easy and yummy. I made them into small balls and then pressed them down with a fork to make a bit of a pattern on the top. These taste more like a soft vanilla wafer.

Vanilla Wafer Cookies

1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  2. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  3. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  4. Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Homemade syrup and dip/dressing

In my goal of avoiding high fructose corn syrups I have moved to making my own syrup for pancakes/waffles and honey mustard dressing which my kids usually use to dip their meats in at dinner.
The syrup I think is so much better then most bottled brands


1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1 TBS butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla (try to get one without HFCS. The Aldi brand does not have any)

Put sugars and water in to a saucepan.
Cook just until all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
Add butter and vanilla.

I keep mine in a small container in the fridge and then just put some in a mug and heat it in the microwave.

Honey Mustard Dip/Dressing

1 1/2 cups Mayo (Hellmann's is a good mayo without alot of extra junk)
1/4 cup mustard ( I used Zesty Deli Brown)
1/2 cup Honey

Wisk together. Refrigerate for 2 hours

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My favorite holiday treat

I was at a Christmas party a couple years ago and someone brought these. I could not stop eating them, they were so good. I now usually only make them during Christmas because I can eat the whole tray myself I love them so much

Easy Cracker Candy

24 candies

40 saltines
1-2 cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar or packed dark brown sugar
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
  2. Place the crackers side by side in a foil-lined jelly-roll pan (I spray the foil with non-stick spray).
  3. Combine the butter and brown sugar in saucepan.
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  5. Cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Pour the mixture over the crackers.
  7. Bake 5 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the baked crackers.
  9. Let stand 5 minutes then spread the melted chocolate over the top.
  10. Sprinkle with nuts if desired.
  11. Chill in the refrigerator until set.
  12. Invert onto a flat surface; remove the foil and break into pieces.

Store, covered in an airtight container in refrigerator.
Note: You can skip the chocolate chips- it's still delicious

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

BLT pizza

We really liked this. The basil flavor was wonderful. I made the dough homemade in the breadmaker but you can also do this with a premade crust.

BLT Pizza

SERVES 6 , 1 pizza

1 (16 ounce) pizza crust or your favorite homemade pizza crusts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (Can also use turkey bacon)
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (Can also use Monterey Jack instead )
3/4 cup mozzerella, shredded
1 1/2 cups lettuce, shredded
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced

  1. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, basil, garlic powder and onion powder; refrigerate for 1/2 hour or more.
  2. Place the crust on an ungreasted 12-inch pizza pan.
  3. Spread mixture over curst.
  4. Set aside 1/4 cup bacon and sprinkle remaining bacon and cheeses on crust.
  5. Bake at 425 for 8-12 minutes or until cheese is melted. If doing a homemade crust, I bake mine at 375 for about 25-30 or until done.
  6. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, and reserved bacon.
  7. Cut into wedges and serve.