Sunday, November 21, 2010

Seafood lasagna

Jason LOVES seafood, which inspired trying this recipe... myself?  not so much.. However, both Jason and my nieghbor, Keith, loved it enough to eat 2 pieces each and wanted leftovers for work! 

Recipe from Pampered Chef.  (Recipe says you can assemble the night before too...)

Lasagna noodles
1 can condensed cream of shrimp or cream of celery soup.
1/4 cup milk
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup (1 ounce) fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
5 tablespoons fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons dried
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups green onions with tops, sliced
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, pressed
12 ounces frozen, cooked medium shrimp, thawed
1 (8 ounce) package flake or chunk style imitation crabmeat
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook the pasta according to directions.

Mix soup and milk in a small bowl and set aside.

Mix ricotta and egg, add parmesan, parsley and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Heat oil (or not), then add the onions, bell pepper, and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes until veggies are soft, then take off heat.

Cut each shrimp in half crosswise (if using small shrimp, omit this step) Coarsely flake crab. Add seafood to vegetable mixture and stir.

To assemble: Spread 1/4 cup of the soup mixture over the bottom of the dish. Top with 3 noodles. Spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with half of the vegetable-cheese mixture and 1 cup of mozzarella.

Repeat layers of noodles, ricotta mixture, vegetable-seafood mixture and mozzarella.

Top with remaining 3 noodles; spread with the soup mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover the dish. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Remove cover, then bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Remove from oven. Let stand for 5 to 15 minutes before serving.

Yield: 12 servings

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The things I do for love! Collard Greens...

Jason has been mentioning he misses collard greens from when his family lived in Kentucky and would have family get togethers.  So today, I decided to whip some up... serving them with lazy foods (Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese and some of the homemade corn bread I posted last week.. made fresh today :)

Recipe from SouthernGirl3 at


  • 1 bunch collard greens - rinsed, trimmed and chopped (This means cutting out the center stem from each leaf and rolling what's left and trimming into 1 inch strips.)
  • 2 smoked ham hocks
  • 2 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed chicken broth (I just used 3 cans of Swanson chicken broth in place of both this condensed broth and water.)
  • 21 fluid ounces water
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the collard greens and ham hocks in a large pot. Mix in the chicken broth, water, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 2 hours.

Quick Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki


1lb boneless skinless chicken
16oz bag frozen stir fry vegetables
1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 c. teriyaki sauce, divided
1/2 bag baby carrots, cut in half
2 head broccoli, crowns only
2T cornstarch
Instant rice

Cut up chicken into bite size pieces.  Add chicken, veggies, broth, 6Tbsp of the teriyaki sauce, and carrots into crockpot.   Stir well.  Cook on high 2 1/2 hours or low for 6.  (During the last hour of cooking, add broccoli to the crockpot and stir in).  **15 minutes before serving, mix the remaining 2Tbsp teriyaki sauce with the 2 Tbsp Cornstarch.  Slowly stir into the crockpot.  Cook another 15 minutes before serving.

Serve over rice with soy sauce.

Friday, November 19, 2010

White Chicken Chili

Another easy recipe from Pampered Chef.  Great to make after making the Roast Chicken & Garlic.

White Lightning Chicken Chili Recipe
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded (or 3. leftovers from Roast Chicken & Garlic)
6 cloves roasted garlic (or 6 garlic cloves pulled from juices in Roast Chicken & Garlic recipe)
1 cup onion, chopped
1/3 cup fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
3 cans (15 oz ea) Great Northern beans, drained, rinsed and divided (or 2 cups dry beans, soaked & cooked)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 can (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
2 Tablespoons Pantry Southwestern Seasoning Mix
1/4 cup lime juice
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon cold water
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, snipped

1. Chop onion and jalapeno peppers using Food Chopper.

2. Drain 1 can of beans. Transfer to Bowl. Gently squeeze garlic from papery skins into beans in bowl; mash using potato Masher. Drain remaining 2 cans of beans and set aside.   (If using cooked dry beans, just estimate 1/3 of them to mash with the garlic)

3. Heat oil in Generation II 6-Qt. Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeno peppers; cook 4-5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add chicken, mashed bean-garlic mixture, whole beans, chicken broth, Seasoning Mix and lime juice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes.

4. Combine cornstarch and water, stirring until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to chili and continue cooking 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

5. Snip cilantro; stir into chili just before serving. Ladle chili into soup bowls using Nylon Ladle.

Yeild: 8 servings

Also good with sour cream and/or Jack cheese AND the cornbread previously posted.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Corn Bread like you have never had!

We were watching the Cooking Channel and Jason saw this recipe and asked me to try it.  It is really good and super easy, but time consuming.  Jason says it has a much different texture than most cornbread.

Recipe from Chuck's Day Off TV Show

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water, about 110 to 115 degrees F

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for dusting

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1 cup corn flour (This is NOT the same as cornmeal!)

  • Vegetable oil, for coating the bowl

  • Egg Wash

  • Combine the water, sugar, and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and mix on low speed until well combined. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Cook's Note: Kneading the dough can also be done by hand.  (**Personal note:  I made two batches.. one with my kitchen aid mixer, and one by hand.  The one by hand turned out better!)

    Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
    Knock the air out for 30 seconds by punching it down. You can now shape the dough into a ball, then place it onto a flour-dusted baking tray lined with parchment paper. Brush the top of the cornbread with egg wash, sprinkle the top with flour and coarse salt. Let it sit in a warm spot for 1 hour.
    Preheat the oven at 400 degrees F.
    Bake the cornbread for approximately 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

    Cook's Note: You can tell if it's cooked by tapping its bottom. If it sounds hollow it's done, if it doesn't then pop it back in for a little longer. Once cooked, place the bread on a rack and allow it to cool for about 1 1/2 hours.

    The bad...

    Attempted a homemade mac and cheese recipe tonight.. had all the making of being great.. but it was not.  No recipe posting for that... ugh!

    Cheesy Smashed Potatoes

    Recipe from an old Kraft Food & Family Magazine.. really easy!

    1lb red potatoes
    1 cup cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces
    1/4 cup sour cream
    1 cup cheddar cheese

    Put potatoes and cauliflower in a pot.  Cover with water.  Bring to a boil, cook about 20 minutes.
    Drain.  Put potatoes and cauliflower back into pot.  Mash with a potato masher.  Add sour cream and cheddar cheese.  Mix until smooth and creamy.

    The good.. Roast Chicken with Garlic

    Awesome Roast Chicken & Garlic (with what to save to make White Chicken chili later this week)
    Recipe from Pampered Chef
    If you have this stoneware/roaster lid set, you can make 2 whole chickens in it. (I didn't make the sauce because we were starving!  lol)

    1 roasting chicken
    2 whole heads garlic, unpeeled
    1 small bunch fresh parsley, divided
    1/2 tsp. Salt
    1/4 tsp. Coarsely ground black pepper
    1/4 tsp. Paprika
    1 medium carrot
    1 stalk celery

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold running water; pat dry with paper towels. Trim any excess fat from chicken.

    2. Slice off top quarter of each garlic head to expose garlic cloves. Separate cloves and discard loose papery skin but do not peel cloves. Place 10 cloves in cavity of chicken. Snip enough parsley to equal 1 Tbl; set aside. Place remaining parsley in cavity of chicken. Tie ends of legs together using cotton string. Rub outside of chicken with salt, black pepper and paprika.

    3. Coarsely chop carrot and celery.  Place in 9x13" Baker. Place chicken over vegetables. Lift wing tips up toward neck then tuck under back. Sprinkle remaining garlic cloves around chicken. Place Rectangular Lid/Bowl over Baker.

    4. Bake chicken 1 hour and 15 minutes. Carefully remove Lid/Bowl from Baker, lifting away from you. Continue baking 15-30 minutes or until Pocket Thermometer registers 180°F in meaty part of thigh and juices run clear. Remove chicken to a Cutting Board. Tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes before carving. Remove meat from half of chicken; wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days for use in White Lightning Chicken Chili.

    5. Meanwhile, remove garlic cloves from Baker. Wrap and refrigerate 6 cloves for later use in White Chicken Chili. Gently squeeze the flesh from skins of 6 additional cloves, mash. Strain juices from Baker into Bowl; discard vegetables. Skim fat from juices and discard. Add remaining juices to mashed garlic in saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in reserved 1 Tbl chopped parsley. Carve remaining half of chicken into thin slices. Serve sauce with chicken.

    Yield: 4 servings

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Pumpkin Spice Cake

    Pumpkin Spice Cake


    3 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 can (15 ounces) solid pack pumpkin
    1 package (18.25 ounces) spice cake mix


    1 cup powdered sugar
    3-4 teaspoons milk
    1 orange
    12 pecan halves (optional)

    1. For cake, brush  a Stoneware Fluted Pan with vegetable oil using pastry Brush. In a bowl, combine eggs and pumpkin; whisk until smooth. Add cake mix; whisk until thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Pour batter into pan, spreading evenly.

    2. Microwave cake on HIGH 14 minutes or until Cake Tester inserted near center comes out clean. (Cake will be slightly moist on top near center.) Let stand in microwave 10 minutes. If necessary, loosen cake from sides of pan; invert onto serving plate. Cool at least 30 minutes.

    3. For glaze, in Small Bowl, combine powdered sugar and 3-4 teaspoons milk to make a thick glaze. Zest orange. Spread glaze over top of cake. Arrange pecan halves evenly over top of cake, if desired; sprinkle with orange zest. Let stand until glaze is set before slicing.

    Yield: 12 servings

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Crockpot Apple Crisp

    Recipe from Courtney Dyar... so good! 

    -6 medium cooking apples (peeled, cored, sliced)
    -1 & 1/2 c flour
    -1 c brown sugar
    ...-1 tbsp cinnamon
    -1/2 tsp nutmeg
    -1/4 tsp ginger
    -3/4 c butter or margarine, soften

    1. Grease crockpot, arrange slices in bottom.
    2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, spices and butter. Crumble on top of apples.
    3. Cook on High for 3-4 hours, until apples are tender.
    4. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    My first ever pumpkin roll....

    Again, not being a pumpkin fan, I'm going to trust Jason and Michael who said it was super good.  Was nervous because I've never made a roll of any kind.. wasn't too bad...


    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    • 1 cup pumpkin puree
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
    • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup confectioners' sugar


    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch jelly roll pan or cookie sheet.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir in pumpkin puree, eggs, and lemon juice. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Spread the mixture evenly.
    3. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 15 minutes.
    4. Lay a damp linen towel on the counter, sprinkle it with confectioner's sugar, and turn the cake onto the towel. Carefully roll the towel up (lengthwise) with the cake in it. Place the cake-in-towel on a cooling rack and let it cool for 20 minutes.
    5. Make the icing: In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and sugar with a wooden spoon or electric mixer.
    6. When the cake has cooled 20 minutes, unroll it and spread icing onto it. Immediately re-roll (not in the towel this time), and wrap it with plastic wrap. Keep the cake refrigerated or freeze it for up to 2 weeks in aluminum foil. Cut the cake in slices just before serving.

    Nutritional Information open nutritional information

    Amount Per Serving  Calories: 316 | Total Fat: 14.1g | Cholesterol: 100mg

    Busted.. lol

    No, I did NOT make all the things I posted today... just over the past week or so... did try a few recipes that were NOT good, so I'm not even going to post them!  Enjoy!

    Cool Veggie Pizza...

    Another Pampered Chef recipe from back in the day when I demo'd.

    1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls
    1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
    1-1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
    1 teaspoon Dill Mix or dill weed
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 cups of a variety of fresh vegetables: zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, green or red peppers, green onions, seeded tomatoes, seeded cucumbers, etc.
    1 oz. (1/4 cup) shredded cheddar cheese, if desired

    Preheat oven to 350° F.
    Spread crescent roll dough onto 13-inch baking stone and pinch seams together (you can probably use a cookie sheet as well). Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
    Blend cream cheese, mayonnaise, dill weed, salt and pepper. Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of cooled crust. Coarsely chop or crinkle cut chosen vegetables.
    Sprinkle layer of each vegetable over pizza. Top with grated cheese, if desired. Refrigerate before serving.

    Yield: 8-10 appetizer servings

    Rueben Casserole

    Courtesy of Family Circle Magazine.  Jason and co workers said it was AWESOME.. I hate sauerkraut.. so I dunno!  lol
    2 Tbsp Unsalted butter
    1 med. onion, sliced and halved
    14.5 oz sauerkraut, drained
    1 tsp. caraway seeds
    1 c. dry wine
    1 1/2lbs all purpose potatoes
    14 oz kielbasa, cut on the diagonal
    8 oz shredded swiss cheese
    2 tsp cornstarch

    Heat oven to 375. Coat 10x10 dish with cooking spray.

    Melt butter over medium heat, add onions and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Put onion in bowl with sauerkraut and caraway seeds. Toss to mix well. Return skillet to heat, add wine and heat about 1 minute.

    Slice potatoes thin. Layer about 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the dish. Top with 1/2 of the kielbasa and 1/2 of the sauerkraut mixture.

    In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch and cheese. Pour 1/2 the wine over the sauerkraut in your baking dish, then top with half of the cheese. Add a second layer of potatoes, the rest of kielbasa and sauerkraut. Pour the remaining wine over it. Add last of potatoes on top and cover with remaining cheese.

    Spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover dish. Bake covered for 40 minutes. Remove foil and cook another 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

    Another old school... Chicken Broccoli Braid

    Again from pampered chef....
    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

    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

    Old School Taco Ring

    Courtesy of Pampered Chef

    Taco Ring


    1 lb ground beef
    1 pkg taco seasoning mix
    1 cup (4 oz) cheddar cheese
    2 Tbsp water
    2 8 oz refrigerated crescent rolls
    Green bell pepper
    Chopped onion
    Pitted ripe olives
    Sour Cream


    Preheat oven to 375
    Brown ground beef and drain grease.
    Stir in taco seasoning, water and cheese.
    Unroll crescent rolls  and separate.  Arrange triangles in a circle on a round baking stone with wide ends overlapping in center and points toward the outside.  There should be about a 5 inch diameter in the center.
    Scoop meat mixture evenly onto widest ends of dough at center of ring.  Bring points in and over and tuck underneath the wide end.
    Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

    You can garnish with anything you'd put on a regular taco!

    Easy Potato Soup in the Crockpot

    Courtesy of Baby Bow Lady on

    I doubled the recipe.. I think it was better the second day...

    Yields: 4 servings

    3/4 cup real bacon bits
    1 small red onion, chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon seasoning salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    3 cups water
    3 Tablespoons chicken bouillon
    10 red potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
    1 cup half-and-half cream
    2 teaspoons dry parsley
    Shredded Cheddar cheese
    Chopped green onions

    Put potatoes in crockpot. Add flour, and toss to coat evenly. Add bacon bits, red onion, garlic, salt, basil, pepper, chicken bouillon, parsley, and water. Cook on low approximately 7-9 hours, or on high 4-5 hours. 15 minutes before serving, add the half and half. Garnish with cheddar cheese and green onions.

    THE best Homemade Pizza recipe I've tried so far!

    Courtesy of (yes.. real webiste.. awesome website for cheap, easy meals!)

    Breadmachine Pizza Crust

    • 1-1/4 cups water (plus 1 or 2 more tablespoons if necessary)
    • 3 tablespoons olive or other vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 4 cups  bread flour or all purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
    Measure the ingredients into the bread pan in the order listed. Make a well in the flour and sprinkle the yeast into it. Set the machine to it’s Dough Cycle. After the dough has mixed a few minutes add a spoonful or two of water if the dough seems very dry. On my machine the Dough Cycle lasts 1-1/2 hours. The dough will be risen and puffy in the bread pan when it is done kneading and rising. Punch it down (with out hurting your fist on the paddle); and remove it from the pan. Knead it a few times to get it deflated properly. Divide the dough in half. Divide the dough in half. Let the dough halves rest for about 10 minutes to relax the gluten, making it easier to roll out. Press the dough into 2 – 14″ or 16″ pizza pans. I oil the pans a little first, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
    Top the dough with your favorite sauce and pizza toppings. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. Cut each pan into 12 slices of pizza. Serve hot.

    And the sauce? 

    • 2 tablespoons oil
    • 2 tablespoons dry onion
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 12 oz can tomato paste
    • 2 cans filled with water
    • 1 teaspoon basil
    • 1/4 teaspoon oregano (optional)
    • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    This sauce is so easy, so cheap and so good, you won’t believe it. Heat the oil in a 2 quart size saucepan. Add the dried onion and garlic. Stir the onion and garlic around in the oil for about 30 seconds, or until they start to smell good. Add the tomato paste. Now fill the empty can with fresh water and add it to the pot. Do it again, so two cans of water have been added. Stir it all up until the sauce is smooth and thick. Add the seasonings. Cover and simmer for about 5 or 10 minutes depending on your time and fuel situation. After the flavors have mingled long enough to know each other better, you are done.
    The uses for this sauce are endless. I use it anywhere I would usually use canned or jarred spaghetti sauce. For instance, on spaghetti, as the sauce for pizza, over leftover grains, in lasagna etc. This is a very versatile marianara sauce. If desired it can be prepared ahead of time, and refrigerated until needed. It keeps in the fridge for a week. For variety you can add a can of mushrooms, a spoonful of dry celery or green pepper, and even a can of chopped tomatoes or zucchini in tomato sauce, for chunky goodness. Use your imagination, this recipe is really just a starting point. Where you go with it, is up to you.

    Too easy Beef and Noodles...

    Ok.. not exactly the big hunks of beef in it... but still super good.  Original recipe called for 1 tsp pepper, but it was too much.. so add at your own risk!

    1 16oz bag of egg noodles
    6 packages of brown gravy mix
    1lb roast beef lunch meat

    Cook noodles as directed.  Make gravy as directed (I only added about 3/4 c water per package of gravy because I wanted thicker gravy).  Once gravy is thick, cut lunch meat into small pieces and add to gravy.  Serve beef/gravy over noodles.

    Like I said, not gourmet, but still pretty good and very quick to pull together on a busy night!