Saturday, March 30, 2013

Chicken Saltimbocca

I love chicken.
I love chicken recipes.

I saw this one online and decided to try it. I have had saltimbocca in restaurants, but never bothered to try this at home.
It was sooooo easy!

I used breasts instead of cutlets, so I didn't get the super tight roll that I am used to seeing, but that is ok, it's what made it "mine".
I also used ham since I couldn't find procuitto right off and I was annoyed at being at the grocery.

I went back to the original recipe to comment on how delish it was, and that is when I noticed that she had gotten this from a Weight Watchers cookbook. My family and I had no idea we were eating when that happens!

6 Chicken cutlets
1 Tbsp minced fresh sage leaves
½ Tsp salt
6 Thin slices prosciutto
6 Thin slices provolone cheese
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tsp butter
1 Medium onion, finely chopped
⅓ Cup Marsala wine

1. Lightly pound the chicken in a gallon sized ziploc
2. Sprinkle with sage and salt
3. Top with prosciutto and provelone
4. Roll cutlets and secure with toothpicks
5. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight
6. Heat large non stick skillet over medium high heat.
7. Add oil and butter, mix
8. Add chicken rolls, browning on all sides (about 3 minutes each)
9. Tranfer rolls to another plate
10. In the same skillet, cook onions until golden
11. Add Marsala and the browned chicken.
12. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until cooked through



Cooking my much thicker chicken

Oh but the taste was just right!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Chicken Spread

I found this recipe online and adapted it to my needs

The original recipe called for an entire small onion diced. I am anti raw onion. I put in half a small onion, just for the flavor.
I debated using some Onion Onion to get the flavor without that raw onion taste, but for my first go round with this recipe I decided to keep it close to the original.

I tested this on some garlic Triscuits and it was good, an extra layer of flavor.
Bringing this to a friend's house today, and she has little ones, so I will just stick to Ritz, an easier flavor for them.

Oh, the original recipe also called for canned chicken. I am also anti canned chicken. I use pre portioned shredded chicken I keep in the freezer for just these occasions!

I think this recipe took about 5 minutes to make. I will forever be keeping these ingredients on hand  for drop in guests!

8 oz cream cheese (softened)
½ Small onion, finely chopped
4 oz shredded chicken
1 Tbsp Mayo
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce

1. Blend all ingredients with a hand mixer
2. Serve with your favorite crackers


Ingredients. The ugly bag-o-stuff is my previously frozen chicken

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Nana's Egg-A-Muffin

This is my Nana's go to breakfast when she had a lot of us grand kids hanging around. I think I can even remember having these for lunch or dinner every now and again.

It has to be made with Spam to have the same flavor. (it's actually the only way I will eat Spam). Hubby, of course, has to be difficult and refuse to even try it with Spam. He has ham. I need to come up with a new name for his sandwich because it stops being Nana's!

It is important to butter the English muffin after toasting so it has some "give" when you are biting into it. I forgot once, it was messy.

Some people like their Spam cut thick. I, personally, like mine thin so the edges get crispy.

English Muffin

1. Toast English muffin, butter each side
2. Fry Spam until crispy
3. Fry egg, melting a piece of cheese
4. Assemble sandwich


For the cheese, I love a soft cheddar, like Cooper or Hoffman's from the deli. I didn't have any on hand, so I used Kraft singles. They worked alright.

Fry the spam....

and the eggs....

Make sure the English is toasted AND buttered!


Updated picture: January 2014

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Braised Drumsticks

I am always on the lookout for sale meat, just to stretch the budget. Chicken drumsticks always seem to be wicked cheap...sold!

Hubby and girl love when they see them in the grocery cart because they know I will be braising them.

I have this huge issue with under-cooked meat. In an effort to make sure the meat closest to the bone is cooked all the way through, as well as still being juicy and tender, this was my happy medium.

In a 9x13 pan I put the chicken and whatever else I happen to have on hand!

Some options I have used, in any number of combinations: Italian dressing, garlic powder, minced garlic, creole seasoning, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, paprika, rosemary, sage, thyme. ANYTHING!

I add a cup or two of water and a chicken bouillon and am ready to go. (wine works well as your liquid too).
Feel free to add more liquid as it's cooking if you feel it needs it.

Cook these at 250 for about 2 hours. Cover with tin foil and then cook for up to 4 hours longer.
The meat just falls off the bone!

Cooked low and slow for a loooong time

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to store leftover soup

We love soup in our house, we eat gallons of it, especially in the winter.
I was never taught how to cook "small", everything I make feeds an army. As a family of three, that makes for tons of leftovers.
I usually make soup and farm it out to Nana, neighbors, whoever happens to cross my path...but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way.

Eventually we get tired of eating it meal after meal after meal...
and freezing it as a whole meant, you guessed it, more of the same meals.

So, to make it easier, I freeze it in single servings.
This way, we can take it out of the freezer 1 cup at a time. Much more manageable!

You will need: Leftover soup, a muffin tin, and plastic wrap
Place plastic wrap over all of the cups. I needed two sheets. The middle of the pan overlapped, but that is ok. It does not have to be pretty, it exists only for making soup removal easier.

Remove the frozen soup cups and store them in twos in zipper bags. (Labeled!) and then you can reheat just a cup at a time! No more wasted soup!

P.S. The leftover soup here is Caboosta

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bechamel Sauce

What is a bechamel sauce?
Simple is a white sauce. Period.

Bechamel is the base for so many sauces and recipes.
Just off the top of my head:
2. Sausage Gravy
4. Creamed soups

You have probably made it 100 times without realizing what it was called.

Equal parts butter and flour (Roux)
Half and Half

Melt butter, add flour and whisk
Cook for a minute until the flour flavor is cooked out
Slowly add half and half, while whisking


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mornay Sauce

Mornay is a fancy name for a cream based cheese sauce. Yes, exactly the same sauce you use when making homemade macaroni and cheese!

Equal parts butter and flour
Half and Half

Melt butter, add flour and whisk (roux)
Cook for a minute until the flour flavor is cooked out
Slowly add half and half, while whisking
Once at desired amount, add cheese and flavor to taste


Friday, March 22, 2013

Meatballs with Mozzarella

These are classic meatballs with a tasty little surprise on the inside.
Imagine biting into the meaty goodness and having a rush of yum flood your mouth.

These are great for meatball subs on the go, no need to melt cheese on the top.

1 ½ Lbs ground beef
1 Packet onion soup mix
1 Egg
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
Diced hunks of Mozzarella. (one for each meatball, size depends on meatball size)
Salt and Pepper
Garlic (minced)

1. Mix all ingredients (except cheese)
2. Shape into balls, forming the meat mixture around a chunk of cheese
3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes


Abbreviated picture. I made my normal meatball recipe (ingredients not shown)

Wrap the meat mixture around the mozzarella

Bake and serve in sauce!

This recipe was shared on: The Tumbleweed Contessa

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Ahhh meatballs!
In red sauce, Hawaiian, sweet and sour, BBQ, in subs, with pasta, or alone as a meal.

They are such a simple joy!

1 ½ Lbs ground beef
1 Packet onion soup mix
1 Egg
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
Salt and Pepper
Garlic (minced)

1. Mix all ingredients
2. Shape into balls
3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes


Incomplete ingredients because I need to be reminded exactly how BLONDE I really am :::sigh:::

Ready to get in the oven!

Ready to get in my belly!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My deviled eggs

To anyone who isn't in my immediate circle of family and friends, I apologize for this posting.

Let me tell you a story....

My husband and I (was he even my husband yet, I can't remember) were hosting a party and he requested deviled eggs. OK, sure, no problem....
Except I didn't realize we were down on a few ingredients.
OK, don't panic...we are pretty kitchen savvy, we can handle this.

I grabbed a little of this, a little of that, made it to the desired consistency...and we have deviled eggs.

To say they were a hit would be an understatement.

That was the day all other deviled eggs died.

From that moment on, I have been required to bring them to every single function. At a MINIMUM of 2 dozen. Not 1 dozen cut in half to make 2 dozen. No, 2 dozen eggs, cut in half to make 48 eggs. Even then, there is always someone who complains that they didn't get any.

I have seen grown men shove small children out of the way to get to them.
There was an incident, on a boat, where we were tipping to the side and someone was more interested in saving the eggs from going over than worrying about the passengers.

We were invited to a party very close to a wedding we were attending. Someone at the wedding started getting irritated with me at the reception once he found out that I was too busy to make them for the party we were both attending.

I have come so known for my eggs, that anytime our group is together and they see eggs...they assume them to be mine.
This didn't work out well in my favor when someone brought some "healthy, cholesterol free" eggs to a party. I got a big "what the heck did you do so wrong?". Whoops, not mine!

Just as a magician never reveals their secrets, I won't either. Much to the annoyance of family and friends. This is my one and only NO SHARING recipe. Even when my daughter makes them with me, I hide an ingredient and add when she isn't looking. (I am horrible!)

My mother told me that I told her there was vanilla in them. I can honestly say there isn't.
Bad me though, I can't decide if she just imagined that, or if I lied to my mother.

Lesson: Do not lie to your mother!

So, there will be no recipe to go along with this post...just a little insight into my life.
How one missed trip to the grocery store changed my egg life forever!

I do wonder how family and friends are going to feel when I start trying different egg recipes I have been collecting from the net...I should probably make a batch of my own to go with them, to prevent myself from getting lynched.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

German Chocolate Cake

Yet another one of the many (MANY!) random recipe cards I have gathered over the years.

Some hints given by the card:

  • Bake the cake up to 2 days in advance. Cool completely and wrap the layers in plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator until ready to frost.
  • Purchase canned cream cheese or vanilla frosting and mix in 1/2 cup each of coconut and chopped pecans
  • Make quick and easy cupcakes: Prepare as recipe directs through step 8 but pour batter into a 12 cup muffin pan. Bake cupcakes for 15-20 minutes at 350. Spread frosting over cooled cupcakes.

1 (2 layer) package chocolate cake mix
1 (3 oz) package chocolate instant pudding mix
½ Cup vegetable oil
½ Cup water
4 Eggs
1 Cup sour cream
½ Cup butter
1 (1 pound) package confectioners sugar
3 Tbsp milk
1 Tsp vanilla extract
1 Cup coconut, toasted
1 Cup chopped pecans (toasted)

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans
3. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, water, eggs, and sour cream in a large bowl
4. Beat with an electric mixer at low speed until just moistened
5. Beat batter at high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes
6. Pour into prepared pans
7 Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
8. Cool for 30 minutes, remove cake from pans and cool completely
9. While cake is cooling, brown butter in a skillet over medium heat
10. Blend in confectioners sugar. Add milk and vanilla, remove from heat.
11. Mix until creamy. Stir in coconut and pecans.
12. Spread frosting between cake layers and over top of cake.
13. Refrigerate until ready to serve


To flour the pan, I used a smidge of the dry cake mix. This way there is no white marks from flour. Cocoa powder will be just as good.

Monday, March 18, 2013

French Custard Toast

We are not huge breakfast people
(please refrain from tossing the generic "most important meal of the day" comments my way please). It's just the way we are.
When the girl child was young, I made sure she had a hot breakfast every morning. Now, she gets up so early for school she gets sick at the thought. Yay for protein shakes!

On the occasional weekend, we will have a more brunch like meal.
Today was one of those days.
Later this afternoon, we know we will be going to a friend's house where we will eat more than we ever good, filling breakfast will keep us until then.

I got this recipe here, and changed it to suit our needs.
Well, we can call the omission of lemon zest a "change" but it was really just a blonde moment at the grocery (um, actually 2 separate trips to the grocery, and still no lemon! Whoops!)
I only made one pan, which required 7 slices of bread.

It was still more than enough for the 4 of us (darling daughter's friend spent the night). We have more leftover than we will go thru.
Hm. I am sure Nana would like me to bring her some...

12- 1 ½ inch thick slices of day old french bread
4 Large eggs
4 Cups evaporated or whole milk
⅓ Cup sugar
1 ½ Tbsp lemon zest
1 Tsp vanilla extract
½ Tsp salt

1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tsp ground cinnamon

1. Evenly divide bread slices between 2 greased 9 x 13 inch glass dishes
2. In large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, sugar, zest, vanilla, and salt.
3. Pour evenly over bread. Let bread soak for 5 minutes, and then turn each piece over.
4. Cover and chill for 12 hours or overnight.
5. Before serving, preheat oven to 325.
6. Mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over bread.
7. Bake, uncovered, 30-45 minutes. Serve immediately with powdered sugar and syrup


Yeah, see, no lemon

Sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar the next AM prior to baking

Mmm...powdered sugar

You know you want to make this!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Cheese and Wine Bread

Cheese and wine is such a classic pairing!
It just reminds me of how much I want to like wine. My husband and his family are all wine people, and I get so jealous watching them sip and enjoy!

My father in law was one of those incredibly nerdy people who, once he was "into" something, had to know everything he could about it. He went to tastings, classes, read books, built his own credenza (failure) and then bought one that did work.

He knew what paired with what, what years were the best, and always stocked up for special occasions.

 For a few years, he made it his mission to find the wine that would work for me. He tried dry, sweet, white, red, different brands, years, and fruit combinations. Sorry to say, he was unsuccessful. I keep trying sips of whatever hubby orders, but still no luck.

As I made this to go with our spaghetti and meatball dinner, he was definitely on my mind. We lost him in 2007, but he is never far from our minds.
In fact, I might go make another loaf for my mother in law, she would really like this bread.

3 Cups (about) all purpose flour
1 Package active dry yeast
½ Cup dry white wine
½ Cup salted butter
2 Tsp sugar
1 Tsp salt
3 Large eggs
4 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1. In large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups of flour and the yeast. Set aside.
2. In a saucepan, heat wine, butter, sugar, and salt until warm (115-130 degrees, use a thermometer)
3. Add to dry mixture, add eggs
4. Beat at low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl; beat at high speed for 3 minutes.
5. By hand, stir in cheese and gradually add in just enough extra flour to make a soft dough.
6. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic.
7. Place into a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease all surfaces.
8. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk. (about 1 ½ hours)
9. Punch dough down, cover, and let rest 10 minutes.
10. Shape into 8 inch loaf and place in bread pan
11. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
12. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, with foil after the first 20 minutes.

Recipe adapted from here

The bread got 4 thumbs up (the girl child had a friend over for dinner)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Nutter Butter Snowmen

These cookies have been all the rage on Pinterest. I adapted my version from here.

These are just super cute, kid friendly, fun little cookies! I am bringing mine to a party and just KNOW everyone is going to go "awwwww"

Nutter Butter Cookies
White candy melts
M&M Candies
Orange tic tacs
Black decorator icing

1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper, set aside
2. Melt candy melts based on directions
3. Dip cookie in chocolate and place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookies.
4. Add decorations using tic tacs for the nose and M&M for the buttons. Use the decorator icing to dot on eyes and mouth

5. Set cookies in fridge for candy to set



This recipe was shared on: Let's Dish and Tumbleweed Contessa

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Italian Style Breadsticks

From the never ending supply of random recipe cards!

I have to admit, I was a bit rushed when I made these. Instead of digging out all the separate spices, I just grabbed my handy dandy Italian Seasoning to use.

My lovely little card added this hint:
Make ahead...bake the breadsticks up to 2 days ahead. reheat in the microwave on Medium for soft breadsticks. Or, bake in the oven at 400 for 5 minutes to crisp slightly.

¼ Cup grated parmesan cheese
½ Tsp dried oregano
½ Tsp dried basil
⅛ Tsp pepper
1 Egg white, slightly beaten
1 Tbsp cold water
1 (8 count) can refrigerated breadstick dough

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray
3. Combine parmesan, oregano, basil, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well, and set aside.
4. Beat egg white with water and set aside.
5. Unroll breadstick dough, separate at perforations. Cut each strip lengthwise into 2 separate strips.
6. Brush dough with some egg white mixture. Sprinkle with some cheese mixture.
7. Fold dough strips in half lengthwise. Twist each strip to form breadsticks. Press ends together to seal.
8. Brush twists with remaining egg white mixture.
9. Sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture.
10. Arrange on prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.


See how I snuck the Italian seasoning in there like it was meant to be?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Peanut Butter Pie

I have this recipe in my collection, it looks almost like someone photo copied it from a cookbook. There is no identifying information.

I made this and brought it to a family function. I had some and thought it to be very sweet, so only had a little. I "warned" others as they were cutting into it and they all reported back that they did not feel the same way.
Either way, I would slice this smaller than you would a piece of regular pie.

This was super easy to make and would make it again in a heartbeat!


1 ½ Cup graham cracker crumbs
⅓ Cup sugar
6 Tbsp melted butter

2 Cups heavy whipping cream
1 Cup peanut butter
4 oz cream cheese (softened)
¼ Cup sugar
1 Tsp vanilla
1 Cup chocolate chips

1. Start with crust: Mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press into pie pan.
2. Bake at 375 for about 8 minute. Let cool.
3. Whip the heavy cream and set aside
4. Cream together the peanut butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Add vanilla.
5. Fold the whipped cream mixture into the peanut butter mixture.
6. Fold in chocolate chips
7. Pour into cooked crust, chill before serving.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Carmalized Onion Bruschetta

This recipe has been sitting in my "to-do" pile since 2008. Yeah, I printed it from here, and just never got around to it.

But I am now, and that is the whole point, correct?

Serving this to family as an appetizer, and it's all I can do to keep hubby dearest away from eating my onions!

I thought I had balsamic vinegar, but I was wrong. I substituted with some balsamic dipping oil I had on hand. Well, it's always on hand in my house!

½ Cup butter
3 Large red onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
¼ Cup sugar
3 Tbsp raspberry or balsamic vinegar
1 Loaf baguette bread (cut into ½ inch slices)
1 Tub (8 oz) soft cream cheese with herbs or vegetables
2 Tbsp fresh parsley

1. In 12-inch heavy skillet, melt butter over med high heat until sizzling
2. Cook onions in butter 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are softened
3. Stir in sugar and vinegar
4. Cook 9-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and light golden brown
5. Cool onion mixture slightly (about 10 minutes)
6. Set oven control to broil
7. Place bread slices on cookie sheet.
8. Broil with tops 4 inches from heat 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned
9. Turn bread, broil 1-2 minutes longer or until lightly browned
10. Spread about 2 tsp cream cheese on each bread slice
11. Top each with 1 tbsp onion mixture
12. Sprinkle with small amount of parsley



Monday, March 11, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Poppers

I realized that I have a massive stack of recipes printed in 2008. Slowly working my way thru them.

This one originally came from here, and includes a separate recipe for an avocado blue cheese dip. I am incredibly anti avocado, so I am skipping that and serving this with plain blue cheese dressing.
(oh how I WANT to like avocado, everyone else seems to like it. Just a little too...Linda Blair for my tastes)

Helpful Hint: I used pre-made shredded chicken I had on hand

4 Oz cream cheese (softened)
3 Tsp ranch dip mix
1 Large chicken breast, cut into small pieces
3-4 Tbsp buffalo wing sauce
1 tube crescent rolls

1. Preheat oven according to crescent roll package directions.
2. Mix together cream cheese and 2 Tsp ranch dip mix in a small bowl
3. Season chicken with remaining teaspoon ranch dip mix
4. Cook chicken in a non stick skillet
5. Toss with buffalo wing sauce, and set aside to cool
6. Lay crescent rolls out flat and cut each triangle in half with a pizza cutter
7. Gently flatten each triangle and place 1 tsp cream cheese mix in center
8. Top with a spoonful of chicken
9. Bring all three sides of the crescent roll triangle to the top, pinch all three seams to seal
10. Place on a baking sheet and bake according to package directions



Forgot to take a picture right away, so people had already started munching!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Holiday Bacon Appetizers

There isn't much I can say about this recipe. I saw it on the Pioneer Woman's web site.
It looks so incredibly savory, crunchy, and naughty!
I just couldn't say no.

I do like my bacon crispy, so I pulled these out and raised the temp to 350 for my next dish. I flipped each cracker and cooked for an additional 10 minutes.

1 Package club crackers
1 Lb thin sliced bacon
Grated parmesan cheese

1. Lay crackers face up on a cookie sheet
2. Scoop about 1 teaspoon  of grated parmesan cheese onto each cracker
3. Cut package of bacon in half
4. Carefully (so the cheese doesn’t fall off) wrap each cracker in one half of bacon. This should be snug.
5. Place the bacon wrapped crackers onto a baking sheet that has a rack on it
6. Place in 250 degree oven for 2 hours



Wrapped and ready to go

Get a good look, they didn't last long

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sausage and Peppers

This is my go-to when I need to feed a crowd!

It is so incredibly simple, and always is met with rave reviews.

This can be cooked in the oven (350, stirring until everything is tender and brown)
or in the crock pot (low for 6 hours)

1 Large pack of sweet Italian sausage
2-3 Chopped green peppers
2-3 Large onion (cut into chunks)
1 bottle Sesame Ginger marinade

Cut sausages into bite sized pieces
(Freezing them for a little while helps this)
Cut vegetables
Cover with marinade

Serve with rolls.
With the flavor of the marinade, there is no need for mustard with these!

Everyone in the pool!

Tender and ready to eat!
I would have had so much less of a mess if I had not run out of slow cooker liners!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Heaven and Hell

Hubby dearest came up with these for one of the many, many Patriots parties we have had.
Not sure which of the friends named them, it could have been a combination of people...but they say it's a little bite of Heaven (chocolate) and a little bite of hell (cherry).

He starts with a jar of marachino cherries, and drains the liquid out.
He then fills the jar with 151 rum.
*Note: Get cherries with no stem and no pits

After the third day of soaking, he drains the juice (reserved in another jar to make 151 cherry cokes) and fills it again with 151. Soak for another 2 days.
*Note: for less of a bite, you only soak them the once

Once you are done soaking, dry the cherries with a paper towel.
Skewer each cherry on a toothpick
Using dipping chocolate, dip each cherry.

Place in a container, on wax paper, and put in the fridge to set.

Serve (adults only!) and enjoy!

This was shared at this party