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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Saute : 1 Tb butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
**Add and bring to a boil: 2 cans chicken broth or 4 c. water and 4 bouillon cubes
**Add: 1 (10oz) pkg. cheese torellini
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 c. stewed tomatoes
**Cook for 5 minutes.
**Add and let simmer for 5 minutes: 1/2 bunch spinach, lightly steamed and chopped (I just use the frozen boxes)
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped ( I just add a pinch of basil)
salt and pepper to taste
** I've also added chicken to this soup to make it "meaty". Costco chickens work great!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Have you ever seen a "de-boned" turkey??

Last night cooking class was a "Non-Traditional" Thanksgiving Dinner.
Chris started out the evening showing us how to de-bone a turkey. He really had to wack and cut and pull. It was enough to convince me I will never attempt that stunt at home! After he de-boned it, chopped off the legs and wings....he beat the breast flat, (the class toook athe recipe over at this point) turned the dark meat into burger, added sausage and seasonings, wrapped the turkey up, tied it, seared it, baked it for Turkey Roulade. I took some home and Mike LOVED it!
After we're grouped into teams. Rob sends us to our stations and gives us a recipe to do. This is what our stations look like BEFORE....And AFTER! Space gets small! I was with Kay Neves last night. We got Pumpkin Flan as our recipe.

Chris was showing us different toppings for Pizza appetizers.

As you can see, it gets pretty crowded in the kitchen! They had a pretty aggressive menu for us last night. We start class at 6:30 p.m. and I got home at 10:00 p.m. As you know, a lot of Thanksgiving dishes have to be baked, and we were all jockeying to get the oven and stove top!

These pizza's were sooo yummy!!AND WAAAA-LAAA! THE FINAL PRODUCTS!!!Toasted Hazelnut Salad with Dried Cranberries & Hazelnut Vinaigrette (I am so making this!) Deviled Eggs
Spiced Cranberry Bread Pudding
(CAN YOU SAY YUM-O!!! This WILL become a tradition at my house for Thanksgiving from now on!)

Pumpkin Flan.
Rob and Chris said if they were to give me a "grade," it would be an "A"! Of course because I made it, I had to pick it apart and not be satisfied!

POTATO HEAVEN!!! My favorite section of the buffet!
Red potatoes with bacon and cabbage
(left in back--Great St. Patty's day dish! )
Purple potatoes with cream and salt and pepper
(they taste just like regular ones.)
Sweet Potatoes with Sweet Compound Butter
(Another Thanksgiving WILL DO this year! Try to imagine whipped butter with crushed red pepper and syrup! Sounds odd?? DIVINE!)
The Turkey Roulade.
My top picks for the night were: salad, bread pudding, all the potatoes, and the pizza! Try eating all of that at 9:45 at night! It was like eating Thanksgiving Dinner! And they going right to bed....or should I say, right to my THIGHS!! GOBBLE! GOBBLE!
I feel silly! I posted this on the wrong blog!! BUT! Since it does relate to recipes and cooking...if you'd like any of these recipes...leave a comment!

Spiced Cranberry Bread Pudding
DO AHEAD! Can be made up to 4 days in advance!
In a large saucepan, bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. Frozen Cranberry Juice Cocktail Concentrate
1/2 c. orange juice
2 tsp finely grated orange peel
Mix in 3 c. Cranberries (12 oz--thaw if frozen) and return to simmer.
Reduce to med/low heat; gently simmer 3 minutes (cranberries should not break).
Pour cranberry mixture into strainer set over bowl and drain.
Return syrup to same pan.
Boil until very thick and reduced to a generous 1/2 c. (about 7 min).
Fold berries into syrup. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.
Spray 2 quart deep baking dish (see pic) w/ cooking spray. Line with parchment paper.
Cut crust off of 12 slices of white sandwich bread. Place one layer on bottom of dish.
Spread 1 tsp. of Apricot Preserves on each slice and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Spoon 1 Tbsp cranberries (with as little syrup as possible-reserve syrup) on each slice.
Top with another layer--PRESERVE side down. Repeat layers.
With reserved syrup in a medium bowl, Whisk until blended:
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp Grand Marnier (I don't use)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c. sugar
Add and stir until sugar dissolves:
2 c. heavy whipping cream
Pour custard over dish. Let stand 15 min to an hour, occassionally press bread to submerge. Preheat oven to 350*
Place pudding in a cake pan. Add about an inch of lukewarm water to cake pan.
Bake until puffed and firm to touch, about 45 minutes. (Insert knife, should come out with a little egg on it...don't overcook!)
Remove from water. Let cool 10 min. Serve warm with some reserve syrup drizzled over portions.
Sweet Potatoes with Sweet Compound Butter
Bake sweet potatoes. Whip 1 c. butter. Stir in 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 c.-1/2 c. maple syrup. Serve over potatoes!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chicken and Broccoli Braid

This recipe was posted on my friend Jill's blog. I thought it would be fun to try!


2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
4 oz. (1cup) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. all-purpose dill mix
1/4 tsp. salt
2 pkgs. (8oz. each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tbls. slivered almonds

Directions:Preheat oven to 375F.
Chop chicken and broccoli using food chopper; place in 2 qt. batter bowl. Chop bell pepper using 5" utility knife; add to batter bowl. Press garlic over vegetable mixture using garlic press. Shred cheese using cheese grater and add to vegetable mixture; mix gently. Add mayonnaise, dill mix, and salt; mix well using scraper. Unroll 1 package of crescent dough; do not separate. Arrange longest sides of dough across width of 12" x 15" rectangle baking stone. Repeat with remaining package of dough. Using roller, roll dough to seal perforations. On longest sides of baking stone, cut dough into strips 1 1/2 inches apart, 3 inches deep using a pizza cutter (there will be 6 inches in the center for the filling). Spread filling evenly over middle of dough. To braid, lift strips of dough across mixture to meet in center, twisting each strip on turn. Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Tuck ends under to seal at end of braid. Brush egg white over dough using pastry brush. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake 25-28 minutes or until deep golden brown.Substitute 1 tsp. dried dill weed for The Pampered Chef Pantry All-Purpose Dill Mix, if desired. Yield: 10 servings Approximately 410 calories and 27 grams of fat per serving

Friday, November 14, 2008

Baked Cream Corn

This is a wonderful side dish--especially good for Thanksgiving!

3 to 4 cups frozen white corn
2 to 3 cans corn (yellow)
1 cup cream or evaporated milk
1 to 2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Heat all ingredients in a large saucepan. In a separate pan, make a roux with 4 Tbsp. butter and 1/2 cup flour. Add to corn mixture and stir. Simmer until it is thickened. Put into a greased 9X13 pan and cover top with shredded parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until browned on top.

Crockpot Ribs

I got this recipe from the blog "A Year of Crockpotting" and they were delicious!! A friend of mine tried them too (since our local grocery was having a buy one get one free deal on ribs) and have rave reviews as well! It is John McCain's recipe.

4lbs of ribs (I used baby-back)
1 T kosher salt
1 T pepper
1 T garlic powder
4 lemons

Mix dry ingredients and rub over meat. Squeeze the juice from 4 lemons over the top. Cook on low 8-10 hours in the crockpot.

These were super simple and the meat fell off the bones...very yummy. I'm excited to eat the leftovers tonight!

Homemade Granola

OK. I made this yesterday and it turned out very yummy. The house smelled great too!

  • 8 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat germ
  • 1 1/2 cups oat bran
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups raisins


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment or aluminum foil.
  2. Combine the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, sesame seeds and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.
  3. Bake until crisp and toasty, about 20 minutes. Be careful not to burn. Stir once halfway through. Cool, then stir in the raisins. Storing in an airtight container.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Crock Pot Chicken Stroganoff

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (12 ounce) container sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
* I also added a splash of milk

Place chicken in crock pot. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours or until chicken is tender. Serve over cooked noodles or rice.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Peanut Butter Cookies

submitted originally by Melanie from the Sisters Cafe (recipe from Kitchen Cafe)
1 ¼ cup flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ salt
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter¾ cup sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup peanut butter chips
½ cup chocolate chips
Sugar in a bowl for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degreesIn a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, and the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter chips and chocolate chips. Drop Tbsp size rounded cookie dough into bowl of sugar to coat. Place on ungreased cookie sheet leaving several inches between for expansion. Slightly flatten cookies with back of fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will look underdone. Cool for 1 minute on pan then remove to a rack to cool completely. These are DELICIOUS.. and can be blamed for my recent 3lb. weight gain.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Spaghetti with Zesty Bolognese

(Adapted from Kraftfoods.com)

This is a great twist on the classic spaghetti. Tastes alot more fresh than the ragu:)


1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 lb. ground beef
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbsp. Cream Cheese
12 oz. spaghetti, uncooked
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan

Optional: oregano, basil, and bay leaves and garlic salt)

COOK onions in italian dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Increase heat to medium-high. Add meat; cook, stirring frequently, until browned. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste.
(I add garlic salt to almost every meal) Stir in tomato sauce and tomatoes (and 1/2 tsp of oregano, basil, and 1 bay leaf if you'd like). Add one tsp. sugar-- a tip I learned somewhere that you should do for any tomato based sauce-- don't know why)

Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 min. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese until well blended.

MEANWHILE, cook pasta as directed on package.
SPOON sauce over pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cheeseburger Soup

I got this recipe from my friend Marilynn... I should recruit her to join this blog, but then I might not have any good recipes to share :). This soup is very kid friendly and great for fall and winter!

Cheeseburger Soup

1/2 lb. ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine, divided
3 cups chicken broth (2 cans)
4 cups diced peeled potatoes
1/4 cup flour
8 oz. processed American cheese (Velveeta), cubed
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup sour cream

In a saucepan, brown ground beef. Drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, saute onion, carrots, celery, basil, and parsley in 1 Tbsp. butter until vegetables are tender. Add broth, potatoes, and beef and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter and add flour. Cook and stir for 3 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese, milk, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat. Blend in sour cream and serve.