Wednesday, June 30, 2010

4th of July Salads

Potato Salad
**This is my moms recipe for Potato salad and is the Best ever. I am asked for this recipe everywhere I take it. You will not be disappointed. If you like a little crunch, you could always add celery and/or onion.**
3 medium to large Russet Potatoes (I like to use red potatoes and just keep the skin on them, but you have to use more potatoes because they are smaller)
1 dozen eggs
2 single packets, or 1 side of the double packet "Buttermilk Recipe" ranch packets
1-2 cups Mayonaise

Boil the potatoes until cooked through. Cook the eggs until hard boiled. Cut the potatoes and eggs in to cubes. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle Ranch packet dressing on to the potatoes and eggs. Stir well. Now add mayonaise until the desired consistency.

Apple Snicker Salad
**This salad disappears QUICKLY at all functions**
3 Apples. I usually use a mix of golden and red
3-4 snickers candy bars
1/2 - 1 stick cream cheese
1/2 cup - 1 cup powdered sugar
1 8oz cool whip

Cut up apples in to small cubes. Cut up Candybar into small cubes (I usually do 4 long slices down the length of the candybar and then cut small cubes going the opposite way). Then place in a medium - large sized bowl

Blend the cream cheese and powdered sugar together. Stir into the cut up apples and candybar mixture.

Then fold in the cool whip. Chill in fridge until ready to serve.

Cookie Salad
**This recipe comes from my friend Tonya. I know it may sound wierd to add mandarin oranges (or at least that is what I thought when I first heard of it, but it is really yummy.)
15 Keebler Fudgestriped cookies lightly crushed
1 15oz can mandarin oranges
1 small vanilla pudding
1 cup Buttermilk to make vanilla pudding (my friend uses the powdered buttermilk and then adds milk)
1 8oz Cool whip

Take your cookies and put them in a baggie and lightly crush them. You don't want them to be crumbs, but you don't want the pieces to be too large either.

Make the pudding with the buttermilk. Fold in the cool whip and oranges. Place in fridge to set up. When ready to serve, add the cookies and stir lightly.

** If you are interested in the Strawberry or Rasberry Pretzel salad from the picture go to this link on the web page.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bruschetta Appetizer

**Here are pictures of the ingredients we used, a plate of them made just fresh, and a plate where we added avocado to them (Yum), and some that were cooked under the broiler.**

This was a yummy lunch on a hot day. Above is a picture of the ingredients you need. The only thing we did was add a layer of regular salsa that has more liquid first.

So, get out your piece of bread. Spread a think layer of salsa. Then put a spoonful of the chunky salsa on top of that. Then top with some parmesan cheese.

We ate them cold, just like this. You can put them under the broiler if you want and they will be yummy that way too, but why heat up your house.

Crock Pot Lasagna

**This recipe came from a class at church a while back where we learned about crock pot cooking. What a yummy and easy dinner. It really is delicious and has great flavor.**

Crock Pot Lasagna
1 lb ground beef (optional for vegetarians)
**You could replace with vegetables or just use the red sauce**
1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 6oz can tomato paste
2 15oz cans tomato sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 12oz box lasagna noodles
1 12oz Cottage Cheese - You could probably sub Ricotta cheese, I like Cottage cheese better.
1/2 cup or more as desired Parmesan Cheese
2 cups or more as desired Mozarella Cheese

First, brown your meat over medium heat with the onion and garlic. Continue to cook until the meat is no longer pink. When the meat is done, drain any fat that may be in pan. Then add the oregano, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Stir until mixture is well blended and warm.

My mixture did about 2 1/2 ladles of sauce per layer and I did 3 layers. So put a layer of red sauce on the bottom of the crock pot, then add a double layer of noodles. I had to break mine to get them to fit along the sides. The middle ones went down perfectly.

Then add a layer of cottage cheese, parmesan cheese and then mozarella cheese. Repeat this for 2 more layers ending with the cheese.

Put in your crock pot on low and cook for about 4 hours depending on your crock pot.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

**These are one of my favorite sandwiches although I totally prefer them in a whole wheat pita pocket. In this picture they were made for a baby shower so we used a nicer bread which is a croissant. Please note that you can used canned chicken too if you desire.**

Chicken Salad Sandwiches -- This recipe filled 15 croissants

4 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken
1 cup celery
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sliced water chestnuts
1 1/2 cups grapes
1 cup pineapple tid bits
Add everything to a large bowl. Stir in **dressing, then stir until it is all mixed in well and evenly. I like to make mine the day or night ahead and chill overnight then serve.

3/4 cup miracle whip
3/4 mayonaise
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp curry
**mix all dressing ingredients together

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lemon Herb Turkey Breast in the Crock Pot

During the summer months, I hate to turn on my oven! It's just too hot! That's when my Crock Pot saves the day.

This bone-in turkey breast is found in the frozen section of your supermarket. I used a 7.53 lb breast, so adjust your recipe if you choose one of a substantially different size.

My home smelled like Thanksgiving all day (YUM!), the kids kept coming in the kitchen to smell the air & say "I can't wait for dinner!", and my husband had a huge smile on his face when he came in the door after work. The meat was moist & so tender it fell right off the bone when we took it out of the Crock Pot.

We served this with a whole grain rice & bulgar wheat pilaf, broccoli & corn. We had about 1/3 left over which we mixed with the rest of the dinner leftovers & made a super yummy casserole for the next day - woohoo!!

Lemon Herb Turkey Breast in the Crock Pot

1 bone-in, skin-on whole turkey breast, thawed if frozen (5-7 lbs)
1 small onion, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbls finely chopped fresh italian parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried sage leaves
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbls olive or vegetable oil

Preheat crock pot on high. Place onion slices in bottom of crock pot & pour in 1 cup of chicken broth.

Grate peel from lemon. Cut lemon into quarters, set aside. In small bowl, stir together lemon peel, garlic, parsley, salt, sage, pepper & oil.

Loosen skin covering turkey breast and pull away from breast meat, leaving skin attached at neck. If necessary, use kitchen shears or sharp knife to loosen.

Rub herb/oil mixture evenly over turkey breast, under skin. Replace skin & place turkey, breast-side down, in crock pot. Place lemon quarters in neck opening.

Cover & cook 1 hour on high. Lower temperature to LOW and cook all day (8-10 hours).

Remove from Crock Pot carefully - the turkey breast will fall apart - to cutting board. Separate meat from bone & serve.

When removing turkey breast from the packaging, separating the breast skin from the meat, and rubbing on the herb/oil mixture - do all of this in your kitchen sink to avoid a juicy, wet mess on your kitchen counters & floor!! (Can you tell I learned this the hard way years ago?!?)

Place the Crock Pot next to the sink before you begin. When you're done preparing the turkey breast, move it directly to the Crock Pot.

If any juice gets on your counters, be sure to clean them thoroughly. Make sure you also clean your sink thoroughly! (This is a "thing" of mine - poultry juices can be dangerous!)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quick n Easy Pesto Pasta

**This was one of those "need something (or want something) fast and easy tonight." NO FUSS! I went to cupboard and saw this packet, and I saw that I had a half of a bag of pasta left, so it was decided. We will try this. The flavor was soft so I think most kids will like it. I was cooking for 4, so this is what I used.**
Basil Pesto Pasta

1 pkg Knorr Pesto sauce mix
3/4 cup non fat milk (The recipe on the pkg calls for water)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 chicken tenderloin pieces (the smaller ones, not the breasts)
1/2 pkg of penne pasta (although you could use whatever you want)

Cook Pasta according to package directions.

In a skillet, cook the chicken until it is not longer pink. Slice into bite sized pieces. Add the Pesto seasoning packet, milk, and oil. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.

Right before serving, mix the pasta and the sauce together, then serve.

As side dishes, you could do fruit, and I served it with zuchini also sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

Sunday, June 20, 2010



1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup flour
4 fresh eggs
1 egg white (for brushing top of eclair)

Combine the water, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil. Add the flour all at once. Stir vigorously until the forms a ball. Set aside and let it cool down. I waited 30 minutes

Add 1 egg at a time to the dough mixture until it is completely mixed in. Continue this until all 4 eggs have been added.

If you want round cream puffs. Place a large heap or small heap on a lightly greased cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. They will puff up while cooking and be round. The size of the heap will determine the size of the cream puff. Usually they at least double or triple in roundness. Lightly brush egg white over top.

If you want eclairs, place the mixture in a baggie and cut off a corner of the baggie. Cut out a large cut for big eclairs and a small cut for small eclairs. Lightly brush egg white over top.

Bake them at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes for large eclairs and less time for smaller pastries. Start with 15 minutes and go from there.

When they are completely cooled, cut off the tops so you can fill them with the custard. Reserve the tops to place back on after they are filled. The chocolate frosting will then go on top of that.

Custard filling
I used the cook n serve vanilla pudding. If you have a favorite custard you can use that. Use the box instructions and keep in refrigerator until it is set.

Chocolate frosting
**Use your favorite chocolate frosting** OR
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 TB butter
2 TB light corn syrup
2 TB milk

Put in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until it is all melted and blended in together.

Pour over the tops of the eclairs. It will thicken and set.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Hello to our wonderful fans....
We have expanded our blog to Facebook. If you have a Facebook account, please find us there by following the link on the right column of our blog. Then tell all your friends about us too.

Thank you!!
Janis and Kathryn

Thursday, June 17, 2010

7-UP Chicken Marinade

SO good!! This is a marinade recipe for grilled chicken, meaning I've never baked it or cooked it in a skillet. I suppose you could, I've just never tried it. Besides, the grill brings out the flavors so well & makes those caramelized dark bits on the outside that I just couldn't do without!

You can marinate the chicken up to 24 hours in advance. I'd suggest marinating for as long as you can before you grill it to be sure the flavor is saturated.

7-UP Chicken Marinade

1 can 7-UP (or Sprite)
1 cup soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder or minced garlic
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Place chicken pieces in a zip-top bag that is resting in a large bowl. Pour in marinade ingredients. Firmly seal the zip-top bag & store in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.

NOTE: The soda will fizz up quite a bit, so pour it in slowly & hold the bag firmly. I put the zip-top bag in a bowl first before starting this recipe & leave it in there while the chicken is marinating, just in case of leaks.

Soak the chicken in the marinade for up to 24 hours before grilling.

Grill boneless skinless breasts on a medium grill for 6-8 minutes per side.

You can also use chicken tenderloins for this recipe.

We serve it with a salad, corn on the cob & garlic bread. Enjoy!

Baked Potatoes.....In the crock pot!

YES, you can cook potatoes in a crock pot!!

**Do you feel like baked potatoes, but don't want to turn on your oven. You can wrap them up and just place them in the crock pot. I fold them up and put the bulk of the foil on the bottom so that it isn't sitting directly on the crock pot pan. I was afraid that it may make the potato hard on the bottom if it sat there that long. Whether it does or not, I don't know. I put the crock pot on high, and went to my daughters soccer game for a couple hours and came back and the potatoes were all ready to eat.**

**OR my favorite way, but it requires the oven, is to rub them in olive oil, and sprinkle a nice course salt all around them like Kosher salt and place them on a baking sheet and bake in the oven. It creates a yummy tasting skin.**

**I wish I could give you guys an exact timing for cooking but I can't. I didn't pay attention, and some times I just do things and then realize later that I could have blogged that. Next time I do it I will make sure to time it.**

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hawaiian Haystacks

I think everyone has a recipe for Hawaiian Haystacks, right? Please share yours too!

This is a go-to summer meal for our family. We probably have it 2-3 times each month when it's hot & heavy meals aren't on the menu.

There is a crock-pot option to this meal & I'll include that at the bottom.

This one uses my food storage soup & broth and pre-prepped chicken from my freezer. It's the recipe I use most often.

Hawaiian Haystacks
Serves 6

4 10.75 oz cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups chicken broth
2-4 cups cooked & shredded chicken or 2-3 cans chunk chicken, drained
5-6 cups cooked long-grain rice

Chow mein noodles
Sunflower seeds
Green pepper
Green onion
Pineapple chunks
grated Cheddar cheese
slivered Almonds
shredded Coconut

  1. Combine soup & broth in a saucepan to make sauce. Stir well to blend.
  2. Add chicken. Simmer 8-10 minutes, until heated through. You can add more broth just before serving if the sauce is too thick.

3. Serve over prepared rice.
4. Serve other ingredients buffet style, in separate bowls.

Crock pot: for chicken sauce

1 26 oz can cream of chicken soup
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, frozen (or boneless skinless thighs)
1/2 - 1 cup liquid (water, milk, chicken broth)

Set on high for first hour, then switch to low & let it cook all day.
When chicken is cooked, shred with forks in the sauce.

Spoon chicken sauce over rice & top with favorite toppings.

2nd variation
This is from my friend Lisa C.

In a skillet, I sauté in butter green onions and a little garlic salt

I add to the butter and onions, cream cheese, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup to make a very nice thick gravy mixture. Add pepper to taste. NOTE- there were no measurements given, so I would do about 1/4-1/2 stick of cream cheese and 1/4-1/2 cup sour cream per can of cream of chicken soup. Your going to have to see what you like

When the chicken breasts are fully cooked, I cut into pieces and add to the gravy. At this point it is ready to be served over rice, but can be warmed in a crockpot for later if need be.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Homemade Croutons

**If you have a special event coming up, homemade croutons would make a great addition to a wonderful salad. I made these, and my husband said, "Why are you cutting all that bread?" I said, "I'm making homemade croutons." He said, "What a waste, just go buy some." Then the next day when I cooked them to take to the baby shower, he said, "Do you have to take all of them?"**

**This crouton recipe came from my friend Angela who is a wonderful cook. She told me to cook them about an hour before serving and I wished I would have listened. I was afraid because I had never made these before, so I wanted them made way in advance so if something went wrong, I had time to prepare. WELL, right when they come out of the oven you put them on some wax paper or foil to cool, and they are light and crunchy and yummy! I found that by time I got to the shower, they were not so crunchy and more chewy. The flavor was still ok, but for sure these are best to use within an hour or so of taking out of the oven. **

Homemade Croutons
1 loaf of day old french bread in the deli section (buy 1-2 days in advance to get it day old)
1 cup olive oil - divided
1/2 cup parmesan cheese - divided
2 TB minced garlic - divided
**These ingredients are as close to what I used without measuring. I just kind of take stuff and dump it in**

Cut up the french bread into cubes. I ended up using an electric knife. If you are cutting them up a day ahead, just put them in a ziploc. About an hour before you are going to make the croutons, pour them out onto a jelly roll pan and let them sit out. It will make it so they are not so soft. Take half of the cubes and put them in a large zip loc baggie. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese into bag, and about 1 TB minced garlic. Then drizzle 1/2 cup of olive oil over bread. Seal bag and shake really well. Spread out onto a jelly roll sheet or cookie sheet. Do the same thing again with the second half of bread cubes, and spread those on baking sheet too.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Then lay out on foil or wax paper to cool.

Good Idea: Prep chicken for later...

I was thinking that we don't just need great recipes on-hand, we also need good ingredients on-hand. I've found it's always easier to whip up a quick meal when I've already done a few steps. So here's a "Good Idea" for you -

Even though I hate this job, it's always SO worth it to have pre-cooked & prepared chicken in my freezer.

I stew chicken in water with dried minced garlic or onion. I use whatever chicken is on sale, but most often I use these 4 lb bags of flash-frozen boneless, skinless breasts. They're the easiest to work with & have the least amount of waste (bone, skin, tendons, etc).

When the chicken is done & prepped, I store 2 cup & 4 cup quantities in zip-top storage bags in my freezer. It's a life-saver to be able to pull a bag out in the morning & have chicken ready to go at dinnertime!

Here's what I do:

Bring water & dried minced garlic or onion just to a simmer in a large stock pot. Add chicken pieces.

Bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes or so, until the chicken pieces are just cooked through. (The chicken will continue cooking when you use it in a recipe later. You don't want raw though - just barely cooked through - no pink.)

Take the chicken pieces out & place on a cutting board to cool slightly - just so you can handle them without burning your fingers.

Cut away the waste pieces (like bones, skin, tendons, etc) and prepare the rest by hand-shredding or cutting it into cubes.

I usually shred half the batch & cube the other half.

Put shredded or cubed pieces into a measuring cup. When you've reached the desired amount, pour the prepared chicken into a zip-top bag. Label the outside so you know how much you have.

Zip the top & squeeze out the excess air, then place in your freezer.

You can freeze the bags flat or roll them. Either way, they take up very little freezer space.

You can also add green chilis to the bag if you plan to use the chicken in a Mexican-flavored dish or spoon in some minced garlic if you plan to use it for an Italian-flavored dish.

I've also pre-cooked & spiced ground turkey for future use. I like to cook it with onions & green peppers and with taco spices. You can also pre-mix meatloaf & put it in a zip-top bag. Just defrost & bake.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Zucchini Bread

**This recipe was handed down from my mom. It is the only zuchini bread recipe I have ever made. I think next time I will make it without beating the eggs until they are light and foamy and see what happens with the texture if anything. **

Zuchini Bread
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups grated zuchini
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3-5 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
In a mixer, beat eggs until light and foamy. Add oil, sugar, vanilla and zuchini. Mix lightly but well. In a seperate bowl mix flour, salt, soda, baking powder and cinnmon. Stir to combine ingredients. Slowly add to zuchini mixture and mix until all ingredients are mixed in. If you are using nuts, hand stir them in now.

Evenly distribute mixture between 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on your oven.

Remove from pans immediately to cool.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Deli Rolls

**This was a nice light alternative for dinner and serve it with some fresh fruit and it makes a perfect summer night meal.**

For the kids: I added cream cheese and some ranch seasoning with sliced cheddar cheese and smoked turkey and lettuce.

For the adults: I used the chive flavored cream cheese, chipotle flavored cheddar cheese, smoked turkey and lettuce.

If I would have had more vegetables on hand I would have added some red bell peppers, and tomato to the adult ones. YUM!

As you can see there are alot of possiblilites for making these. If you like horseradish, (which I don't) you could use that with the roast beef, cheese and other vegetables. You can even make a peanut butter and jelly roll for the kids.

I hope this inspires you to be creative and have a nice, light dinner

Deli Rolls
Flour tortillas
tomatoes (optional)
bell peppers (optional)
Deli meat of your choice. Turkey, ham, chicken, roast beef.....
Cream cheese

Spread cream cheese over entire tortilla. layer cheese, meat and any vegetables on the 2/3 of the tortilla. Leave the last 1/3 free. As you roll the ingredients will shift a little and you don't want alot of bulk at the end. If you make these ahead of time, you can wrap in saran wrap or foil and refridgerate until ready to serve. Then you can slice them in wheels. If you are making them last minute, just slice them in wheels keeping the seam side down so they stay rolled up and closed.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Caramel Popcorn

**This is a family favorite snack and really easy to make**

Caramel Popcorn
3 bags microwave popcorn - popped and all kernels removed
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup light karo syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda

In a large saucepan, bring the butter, brown sugar salt and karo syrup to a boil.

Once it has reached a boil let it boil for 3-4 minutes for more chewy carmel corn or 5-6 minutes for more crunchy carmel corn. Make sure to set a timer and let it cook the entire time after it has begun to boil. Turn heat off after boiling the desired time. Add the vanilla and baking soda. **BE CAREFUL.....The vanilla will make it spit out at you**

Put all the popcorn in a LARGE stock pan. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and stir until evenly coated.

Lay out on wax paper to cool. You can baggy up the popcorn after it has cooled.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Quick & Easy Macaroni and Tuna Casserole

** I almost didn't post this, but then I thought that there are some people out there who want a super fast dinner with no frills and no fuss. This is one of those meals. So, hopefully this will help someone who needs a fast meal. I make this recipe with 1 box and it JUST serves my family of 2 adults, a 12 year old girl, and a 4 year old girl. Notice I put girls. I think boys eat more. :)**

Macaroni and Tuna Casserole
2 boxes Kraft Macaroni and cheese
1 can solid white tuna albacore in water DRAINED
1-1 1/2 cups cheese
crushed potato chips

Cook macaroni according to directions on box. Add the butter, milk and cheese packets. Stir well. Add the can of tuna. You can at this point leave it in your large saucepan and sprinkle cheese on top and then the chips or transfer to a casserole dish, sprinkle with cheese and chips and then serve.

Red Chicken Enchiladas

**I call these Red Enchiladas because I have a white enchilada recipe made with the cream of chicken soup and these are red enchiladas made with the red enchilada sauce. I don't usually roll these up like enchiladas. I just kind of layer everything and make a casserole.**

Red Enchiladas
15-18 corn tortillas
4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
1 small can roasted green chiles (optional)

1 large can La Victoria red enchilada sauce mild
4 cups Grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour red enchilada sauce into something large enough to dip the tortillas in. Add the green chiles to the shredded chicken and stir well. In a greased 9x13 layer 5-6 corn tortillas that have been dipped in the enchilada sauce. Place half of the meat mixture on top of the tortillas, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place a layer of cheese over the chicken. I always just eye this part, so I am going to guess about 1 1/2 cups per layer. Repeat this again, and then cover with a layer of tortillas and sprinkle about 1 cup of cheese on top. Bake covered for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 15 minutes.


Related Posts with Thumbnails