Thursday, June 25, 2009

Stuffed Krispie Chicken

This is a yummy almost Cordon Blue like chicken. I like it because it turns out moist and deliciously cheesy on the inside and nice and crispy on the outside. This is actually a modified dutch oven recipe that I got from an enrichment meeting years ago.

Stuffed Krispie Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
4-6 slices Swiss cheese (1 slice per chicken breast)
2 cups Rice Krispies cereal, crushed
1/4 cup oil
Lawry's seasoned salt

Pound each chicken breast very flat; sprinkle both sides with seasoned salt. Top each breast with a slice of Swiss cheese. Roll up chicken breasts as tightly as possible and secure with 2 toothpicks. Dip rolled up breasts in oil and then in crushed Rice Krispies. Arrange chicken rolls in a 9x13 baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover with foil and bake at 325 for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake till golden brown another 10 minutes.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day Pasta Salad (aka Manly Pasta Salad)

I've been making this pasta salad for my husband on Father's day for quite a few years now and he loves it. Actually we all love it! It has such great flavors. This recipe is the half recipe so you can double it if you are making it for a crowd.

Father's Day Pasta Salad (aka Manly Pasta Salad)

8 oz ditaliti pasta, half a 1 lb box (if you can't find it small shells work too)
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup red onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup yellow or white onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup medium cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup Swiss cheese, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup good qualitly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup dill pickles, diced
1/2 cup hard salami, diced
1/2 cup large pitted black olives, chopped up a bit
1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to your desired spiciness)
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 tablespoons creamy horseradish sauce
2 oz diced pimentos (half a 4 oz jar), drained and rinsed
about 3/4 cup mayonnaise (I use Best Foods Mayo made with Canola oil)

The Night Before:
Boil pasta until al dente, approximately 10 minutes. Do not overcook the pasta or it will fall apart when the salad is tossed together. Rinse pasta until cool. Drain well and let it dry out slightly.

Add pasta to a large bowl. Carefully fold in celery, red onion, yellow or white onion, cheeses, dill pickles, salami, and black olives. Refrigerate the mixture, uncovered, overnight (or refrigerate at least 2 hours if making the same day).

The Day Of:
Mix together in a small bowl: garlic salt, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, and celery salt. Sprinkle this spice mixture over the chilled pasta mixture. Fold the spices in till it is mixed all the way through. Fold in the pimentos, minced garlic, and horseradish sauce. Fold in 3/4 cup of mayo to start, add more as needed. Refrigerate again for 30 minutes to 1 hour and its ready to go.

Crockpot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

This is one of my hubby's favorite dinners so I made it for him on Father's Day. It turned out great. I am convinced that the crockpot is the best way to cook a pork shoulder roast - it always turns out so moist and tasty.

Crockpot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

6-7 lb pork shoulder roast
chicken broth
2 bottles of your favorite barbecue sauce
hamburger buns or large rolls split in half

The Night Before:
Around 10:30 or 11pm the night before I want to serve this I put the pork roast into the crockpot with the fattiest side up. Pour in enough chicken broth to come half way up the side of the pork roast. Set to low and cook for about 17 hours or until about 3:30 or 4pm the next day.

The Day of:
Once pork roast has cooked for about 17 hours remove roast from crockpot onto a cutting board. Pour chicken broth and drippings out of the crockpot and discard. Shred the good meat from the roast, discarding the fat and gristle. (As I shred the pork I put the shredded meat into a large bowl and sprinkle it with chicken broth to keep it nice and moist.) Once all pork is shredded place meat back into the crockpot and add 1 bottle of barbecue sauce, stirring to mix it in. Heat on high till meat is heated through. Serve on hamburger buns or split rolls with additional barbecue sauce on top of the meat.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Peanut Butter Pie

Oh this is such a yummy no-bake pie! Mmmm! The recipe is from Pioneer Woman Cooks. It's super easy to make and delicious with whipped cream and chocolate syrup drizzled on it. So rich and yummy and peanut butter chocolaty!

Peanut Butter Pie

Oreo cookie pie crust (either homemade, recipe below, or store bought)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
8 oz tub Cool Whip, thawed

Beat the peanut butter with the cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add in Cool Whip and beat mixture until smooth, scraping sides as needed. Pour filling into crust, evening out with a knife or spatula. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with whipped cream on top and chocolate syrup drizzled over it.

Homemade Oreo Crust:
25 oreos
4 tablespoons butter

Crush Oreos until they are fine crumbs. Pour melted butter of the top and stir with a fork to combine. Press into a pie pan and bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and cool completely before pouring in filling.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Banana Bread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Okay it is obvious. I. Must. Stop. Eating. Banana. Treats... Oh I just love banana goodies though. These banana bread bars were SO good, especially with the cream cheese frosting. So rich. I actually have a teensy bit of a stomach ache right now because I ate too much. And I still have 5 bananas just begging to be turned into banana bread. But I'm going to stop. I must stop. I'm going to freeze my overly ripe bananas and make banana bread at some future date and so as to not widen my butt too much by making it now.

Banana Bread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup sugar
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 3)
1/3 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup flour (+ 2 T. for high altitude)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.

Mix bananas, sugar, oil, and eggs in a large bowl with a spoon. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix flour mixture into the banana mixture, stirring to combine, but don't over mix. Add in the mini chocolate chips.

Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting. Cut into bars.

To make frosting:
Mix butter, cream cheese, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar with a spoon and mix until very smooth.


This is Pioneer Woman's "Best Lasagna Ever" and frankly I agree. Mmm. Mmm. It is a hearty lasagna with great flavor. And it's not fussy. No strange ingredients or expensive cheeses, it uses cheapo, green bottle, Kraft Parmesan cheese! This will be my go-to lasagna recipe from now on.


1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 lb Jimmy Dean Hot Breakfast Sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
2, 6 oz cans tomato paste
2, 14.5 cans whole tomatoes, with juices
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons dried basil
10 oz package lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups low fat cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Kraft Parmesan Cheese
4 tablespoons dried parsley
1 pound sliced mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

In a skillet combine ground beef, sausage and garlic. Cook until browned, draining off half of the fat. Pour in the cans of whole tomatoes (I squished up the tomatoes in my hands before adding), tomato pastes, 2 T. parsley, basil and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix together thoroughly and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes; stir occasionally.

In the meanwhile boil the lasagna noodles. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the water. Cook according to package directions to "al dente". When noodles are finished, drain, rinse with cold water, and lay the noodles flat on a sheet of aluminum foil that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

While meat and noodles are cooking, in a bowl mix: cottage cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 T. parsley, and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Set up your assembly line: meat mixture, sliced mozzarella, cottage cheese mixture, lasagna noodles. Lay 4 noodles on the bottom of a deep 9x13 pan (I have a stoneware 9x13 that worked great) that has been sprayed with non-stick spray; overlap the noodles a little to make them fit. Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture evenly over the noodles. Lay 1/2 pound of mozzarella slices on top of the cottage cheese.

With a spoon make a line through the meat mixture so you'll distribute it evenly. Spread a little less than half of the meat mixture over the slices of cheese. Spread the meat around to distribute it evenly over the mozzarella cheese.

Repeat the layering process, begin with another layer of 4 noodles, top with remaining cottage cheese, top cottage cheese with another 1/2 pound of mozzarella slices, and finish with the rest of the meat mixture.

Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella on top and then generously sprinkle with Kraft Parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Uncover and bake an additional 3-5 minutes to brown cheeses on top.

** You can cover and refrigerate unbaked lasagna for 2 days. Lasagnas also freeze incredibly well so if you could make it in a disposable foil 9x13, cover with plastic wrap, then cover with foil and freeze it. Frozen lasagnas usually take at least 2 hours to cook through.

Diner-Style Strawberry Pie

This recipe is from my favorite cooking magazine Cook's Country. This magazine is an off shoot of Cook's Illustrated, but I like it better because all the pictures are in color and that makes me happy. The pie filling for this pie is absolutely wonderful and I think I'm going to serve it warm on waffles with the lovely cream cheese topping. I did have some trouble with it not setting up as firmly as I hoped, but it was so yummy that I didn't mind.

Diner-Style Strawberry Pie

2 pounds frozen whole strawberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
1 9" pie shell, baked and cooled

4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream

In a large saucepan cook frozen strawberries over low heat for about 3 minutes, or until strawberries just begin to release some of their juices. Turn heat up to medium high and cook stirring frequently until mixture reaches a thick jam like texture - for me it took about 30 minutes. Turn off heat. Measure out the strawberry sauce to make the mixture measures 2 cups. Pour it back into the saucepan and set it aside.

In a small bowl combine lemon juice, water, and gelatin. Let it stand till gelatin is softened and mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir gelatin mixture, sugar, and salt into the strawberry sauce in saucepan. Heat to a simmer, about 2 minutes. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and let it stand until it reaches room temperature (about 30 minutes).

After strawberry sauce has cooled to room temp add sliced fresh strawberries, folding to combine. Spread strawberry mixture evenly into prepared pie shell and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours.

To make topping:
Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer (stand or hand mixer) until smooth. Add cream and whip until it forms stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate topping till ready to serve on top of individual pie slices.

Friday, June 12, 2009


The other night I made omelets because my daughter asked for breakfast for dinner (her favorite). The kids just had scrambled eggs, but I followed this video and made my hubby and I great omelets that were perfectly cooked. I've always found omelets intimidating, but this method worked great. The bottom was not too browned and the middle was cooked through. Success. They were so good.


Omelet (ingredients for 1 omelet):
1/2 tablespoon butter
3 eggs, beaten (or 1 egg and 3 egg whites for lower fat option)
1 tablespoon water

1/2 tablespoon butter
1 green onion, sliced
about 1/3 cup diced ham
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/3 - 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

In a small skillet cook the green onions and mushrooms in a tablespoon of butter, once they are cooked add the ham and heat through. Set filling aside to add to omelets.

For each omelet, mix together beaten eggs, water, salt and pepper in a bowl. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet. Add the egg mixture and push in the sides of the eggs as they cook letting the raw egg fill in the part you just pushed in. Watch the video for reference on this step. When the egg will no longer flow and its almost set in the middle add the filling mixture. Let it cook a minute to melt the cheese. Fold over in pan and slide onto a plate or slide partially onto a plate and then flip over the half still in pan to fold over.

*Of course use any filling ingredients you want. My favorite omelet at The Cheesecake Factory, "the California omelet", has avocado, sauted mushrooms, green onion, diced tomatoes, sour cream, and a combination of monterey jack, cheddar, and swiss cheese. Oh so good. Other combinations I like:
- sauted mushrooms, asparagus, green onions, and Swiss
- diced ham and cheddar
- diced tomato, green onions, and monterey jack

This is a picture of a mostly egg white omelet (1 egg + 3 egg whites, 1 T. water, and cooked in 1 teaspoon butter). It turned out really well and is yummy and healthy for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Best Banana Bread

Oh I think I've found my favorite banana bread recipe at last. The recipe comes from, but I added the vanilla and cinnamon because it gives it a little something something. This bread is just so moist and wonderful and I can't stay away from it. It is so good with peanut butter spread on it (my kids love it that way).

Best Banana Bread

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed very ripe bananas (for me it was 5 bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan.

In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter and brown sugar until creamed together. Beat in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Add vanilla and mix in. Slowly mix in flour mixture and beat until all flour is incorporated, but don't over mix. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes. Loosely cover top with foil to prevent excess browning on top and bake for an additional 15 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted right in the middle comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto a rack and let cool longer - I think this bread is SO yummy warm with butter or peanut butter spread on it.

Nutrition Info (in case you're interested)
12 servings
230 calories per slice
fat 8.9 g
protein 3.7 g
carbs 35.1 g
fiber 1.6 g

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Basil Parmesan Chicken

I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to cook chicken and this is definitely fits the bill. I got this recipe from Yummy Fun and think it is fabulous. The parmesan mixture on the chicken is so darn good!

Basil Parmesan Chicken

4 chicken breasts
dry Italian seasoning mix
sliced tomato (I used 2 roma tomatoes sliced fairly thin)

Basil Parmesan Sauce:
1/3 cup mayonnaise (reduced fat works great)
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
1 clove garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
handful fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped

Parmesan Noodles:
8 0z angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
garlic salt, to taste
fresh grated Parmesan, to taste

Lightly oil a 9x13 baking dish (I used probably 2 teaspoons of oil and spread it around with a paper towel). Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Rub a generous amount of dry Italian seasoning mix on both sides of each chicken breast. Place chicken into the 9x13 baking dish and lay tomato slices on chicken.

In a bowl combine mayonnaise, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, garlic, fresh basil, lemon pepper, seasoned salt, and artichokes. Scoop this mixture evenly onto the chicken breasts. Cover baking dish with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

While chicken is baking cook angel hair pasta according to package directions. Rinse and put into a big bowl. Toss noodles with olive oil and then add garlic salt and Parmesan cheese to taste. Serve chicken over noodles.

Ranch Turkey Wraps

This is a great wrap. I am a huge fan of avocado and turkey together and the ranch spread is very yummy. These are great for a summer picnic. Thanks to Put a Lyd on It for this recipe!

Ranch Turkey Wraps

1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup ranch dressing
thin sliced deli turkey
thin sliced monterey jack cheese
1 avocado, sliced thin
1 medium tomato, sliced thin
alfalfa sprouts
10 inch tortillas or wraps

In a bowl beat together the cream cheese and ranch dressing. Spread cream cheese mixture over tortillas. Layer with turkey, cheese, avocado, tomato, and alfalfa sprouts. Roll up tightly and cut in half. If transporting for a picnic wrap up wraps tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate till ready to pack.