Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lemon Butter Slice n Bake cookies with Lemon and Vanilla bean Glaze

This recipe came from an old Taste of Home Recipe jazzed up a little!
This was my first slice and bake cookie and to my surprise I was shocked at the melt in your mouth airy consistency these cookies had. They are buttery and light with just a touch of lemon and perfect for Santa, dessert after a big meal or even with a cup of coffee the next morning!!! I hope you enjoy them!

You will need:
3/4 cup of soft butter
1/2 confectioners sugar
1 T of grated lemon peel
1 C. flour
1/2 C cornstarch
Christmas nonpareils

1 C confectioners sugar
2 T of fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp real Vanilla
a pinch of ground Vanilla beans (optional)

Cream butter and sugar till fluffy with a mixer. Add in grated lemon peel. mix flour and corn starch together and slowly mix them into the mixer.  cover this and refrigerate for about an hour. Remove from fridge,  and roll into about a 2 in  diameter log. and then roll in the nonpareils till completly coated and press them down firmly. Wrap in plastic and refridgerate overnight.  Heat oven to 375..... Remove cookies from fridge and  begin to slice in 1/4 in slices with a sharp knife. (i use a thin sharp tomato knife). Place them on a cookie sheet about 1/2 in. apart....they will not spread so they can be close together but not touching! Bake for about 10 min. they will put and just slightly begin to brown on the edge then remove from oven and let cool on sheet about a min. Then move to racks to cool completly.
Now to put on the icing!! The best part in my opinion!
 in a small bowl, place the confectioners sugar and squeeze in the lemon juice and stir. Add the vanilla and the beans and stir again. you want this to be a thick glaze so it wont run. Place a thin layer of glaze on each cooled cookie!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

1 lb of shrimp....peel them
Put all of this on top of shrimp and stir:
2 cloves of garlic minced
5-8 dashes of green Tabasco sauce
5 dashes of lousiana hot sauce
salt and pepper and a few flakes of red pepper
melt a tablespoon of butter in pan till it starts to bubble and add shrimp. Cook till pink and then pick the shrimp out of the pan and set aside leaving behind as much garlic as you can.
In the pan add 1/2 of a diced onion and let cook till soft.
Add 1 can of petite diced tomatoes and 1 small can of tomato paste as well as about 1/2 cup of red wine (maybe a little more)  as well as 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of sugar then let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Right at the end I add just a pinch of baking soda and stir. ( it will bubble but it will also reduce a lot of the acidity and make for a smoother sauce)  While that is simmering I boil (in salted water) about 3/4 of a box of whole wheat pasta and just before done I drain them and save just about 2/3 of a cup of pasta water and set aside. Mix the pasta and sauce together and stir and add as much of the pasta water as you think you need to get the consistency you want for the sauce. Taste to see if you need to add a little more salt or pepper. I added a few more flakes of red pepper because I liked it really spicy! Let this sit for about 10 min. Then plate the pasta, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and top with shrimps and serve! I served with a green salad and garlic bread! It was fantastic!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Little Breakfast cups

These are truly genius by design and really quite simple. It is now one of my kids favorite breakfast ideas. In fact that was what Grant decided he wanted tonight. We did them with Prosciutto and smoked Gouda tonight and that may be my new favorite. I was doing the Black Forrest ham with Swiss before that! I set the recipe up for six but you can easily add or subtract to make how many you want! The best part is that they are so versatile that the possibilities are endless!!!
Here is the basic idea:
You will need:
6 eggs
6 slices of bread with crust trimmed
6 slices of Black Forrest ham or prosciutto ( or other fine deli meat)
6 slices of Swiss or Provolone or smoked Gouda (what ever you like)
salt and pepper
little bit of butter
heat oven to 350.
trim the bread of crust and then flatten completely. butter lightly both sides of the bread and gently place into muffin cups. do the best to to make the bread fit the cup without tearing it. Bake the bread cups for about 5 min. or until just toasted. place whatever deli meat you have chosen into the cup then the cheese and then ever so gently you crack the egg right on top of the cup and sprinkle it with just a little salt and pepper. Repeat this process for the other cups and then place in the oven to bake. They usually take about 15 min but you are looking to see that the egg whites have turned white and that the yolk isn't too jiggly. You can bake them till the yolk is completely set if you like your eggs well done. remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Serve and Enjoy!!!

Stationery card

This is our Christmas card this year...Sorry I have been such a slacker on the blog here lately but i'm going to try to get up some great holiday recipes for you and your family in the next few days!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

White Chicken Chili

This recipe makes a feast! Its makes my soup pot completely full so we are only able to eat about 1/2 then I freeze the rest for another night!! It freezes really well! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
1 rotisserie chicken deboned (or 4 chicken breast oven roasted and diced)
1 can of Chicken Broth
4 Cans of cannellini beans or Great white Northern beans ( I like bushes cannellini beans)
1 can Cream of chicken Soup
16 oz of Dairy fresh Sour cream
1 can of Rotel
1 small can of chopped green chilles
1 Pound  of Velveta cheese cubed
1 small bag of frozen white corn
1 package of Mc Cormick White chicken Chilli mix
1/2 stick of butter
1 onion cubed
2 celery ribs chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 a bell pepper chopped
2 chicken bullion cubes
put chicken bullion cube in 1/4 C of really hot water and set aside. Saute onion, celery, and bell pepper, and garlic in butter. when veggies are semi-soft add the seasoning mix. cook till soft and then pour in the chicken bullion and water and then stir. Add chicken broth and chicken and stir again. Then begin adding all the rest of your ingredients. Do not drain anything....just pour it all in! Keep your pot on med -low and stir often till everything is melted and well incorporated. Then let keep on very low for about 30- 40 min to let all the flavors melt together. Stir it from to time so nothing sticks to the bottom. ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Spiced Pecan Pancakes

When Chris (my husband) works late, we often have breakfast for supper. It is one of my favorite things and one of his least favorite things for supper. Tonight we had pancakes and on my last trip  visiting my sister in Baltimore she introduced me to this pancake mix put out by Williams Sonama that is a pumpkin spice mix and also a seasonal item. Well it was the most fantastic pancake mix I had ever used/tasted. I thought I definitely need more of this stuff but I hesitated to stock pile cans of it like I was expecting a nuclear war because at $15 a pop I just wasn't sure I needed it that bad. So with a little thought to it I said I bet I can do something like this and gave it a try!! It turned out pretty dang close if I say so myself!! So here is the recipe for all my friends to enjoy! ( This recipe was made for 1 adult and 2 children...about 6 nice size pancakes. double it if you want to feed more)
1 1/4 cups of Krustez pancake mix
1/2 can of Libby's pure pumpkin
1 egg
3/4 cup of milk ( maybe a little more...depends on the consistency you like)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a little less than a 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
Mix milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and egg together with a whisk. then add your pancake mix and gently whisk in the pecans. once its all mixed together, have your pan hot and ready to go. ( mine is usually set to just below medium ) Put a small pat of butter in the pan and just as it gets melted  pour in a pancake. ( I used a cookie keeps them all about the same size and i jiggle the pan to get a good even spread) when the pancake starts to bubble at the edges then you very gently flip it over. it will rise in the center and it should be done....slap on some butter and maple syrup and you have just a little bite of heaven!!!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chicken, Artichoke and Spinach with Pasta in a Sundried tomato cream sauce

This recipe is simple to through together if you have all the ingredients on hand! The best part is that it taste like you spent hours making it!
3 boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into bite size strips/cubes then lightly salted and peppered)
1 jar sun dried tomato cream sauce (sun dried tomato Alfredo sauce)
2 Tbsp of white wine
1 can artichokes quatered
1 1/2 cups cooked orzo ( or another small pasta that you prefer)
1 bag of fresh spinach
1/4 C of parmesean cheese
1 bag of Sargento Italian cheese mix

place raw chicken in bottom of 9x13 pan and then mix cream sauce with wine and pour over the top of the chicken. place artichokes on top and put 1/2 of your Parmesan and half the bag of Italian cheese on top and bake for 30 min at 375 degrees. remove from oven and stir in the orzo and spinach. put the rest of the cheese on top and but back into the oven till cheese is melted. (about 8 min) Remove from oven and serve.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Basil Pesto and Gnocchi

I know awhile back when someone mentioned making pesto i thought that stuff just looks gross. The more I thought about it and thought about checking it out .... I loved the ingredients that went in. I just couldn't justify pureeing them all together! But baby let me tell you when I was so fantastic that it will  (to quote a friend of mine) "make your tongue slap your brain out".
2 cloves of garlic
a little less than 1/4 of a cup of pine nuts
a little less than 1/4 of a cup of walnuts
3 loosely packed cups of basil leaves
1/2 cup of fresh Parmesan cheese shredded
1/4 cup of Parmesan Reggiano (if you can get your hands on this stuff it adds such a rich buttery flavor)
salt and pepper
a good bit of olive oil (1/4 to possibly 1/2 of cup)
and a food processor
1 package of potato Gnocchi ( I buy the market pantry brand at Target)
Now into the food processor goes the pine nuts and walnuts and the peeled cloves of garlic. pulse them a little bit then add your basil leaves and Parmesan cheeses and  pulse them in too. now through the feeder tube pour the olive oil in  a slow steady stream and watch the mixture to get thick and soupy.add a little salt and pepper and taste....... and its done! Follow the direction for boiling the Gnocchi and make sure you salt your boiling water! then drain your Gnocchi and pour about 3/4 of a cup of the pesto sauce over the warm gnocchi!
This stuff was amazing but the more I think about it....i think it would be good on so many things from chicken to just a crispy warm slice of a baguette. hmmm. Me and pesto are now BFFs!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Easy roast beef sandwiches

I know I posted two soup recipes so for a bonus here is an easy Roast Beef Sandwich recipe we love!
1 tsp of butter
1 Package Hormel Roast beef with au jus (from the refrigerated section)
1 yellow bell pepper sliced thin strips
1 red or orange bell pepper sliced thin strips
1 onion sliced thin strips
12 -15 basil leaves
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp of mayo
fresh spring mix lettuce
provolone cheese
1 package of hoagie rolls

Place butter, bell pepers and onion in a frying pan and simmer till soft. while those are bowl mix mayo, pinch of salt and pepper with about 5 basil leaves torn and place in fridge.  Warm the package of roast beef in in the microwave for a minute or so just so the juices are all melted and then dump it into the simmering pan of veggies and let the roast get warm. Break it apart into the vegetables and once its all really hot, pull  the veggies and beef out and  of the pan and place on a plate. Turn the pan down to low simmer and let the sauce in the pan reduce by at least half.
To assemble the sandwiches:
Slather one side of open hoagie with mayo mixture. on the bottom side place cheese and then stuff the meat and veggie mix in between. Then press in the lettuce and one or two of the basil leaves into the sandwich. Drizzle a little pan sauce over the sandwich. Press the sandwich together and ENJOY!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash soup

Boy its been a while since I had time to post a new recipe!  I know I posted a soup last time too but I knew I had not posted in a while and this was just bursting with Fall! So I couldn't help but share it!

1 Large onion just cut in half from root to tip, skin remove and root trimmed
5 large cloves of garlic tips trimmed but left in skins
3 small butternut squash cut in half and seeds scooped clean
1 potato (skin on) just sliced in half
2Tbsp of butter
2Tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup of 1/2 and 1/2
few snips of thyme
1 tsp of parsley
pinch of nutmeg

melt butter just slightly and add olive oil. On a large rimmed pan lined with aluminum foil place butternut squash skin side down, garlic cloves, potatoes, onion on cookie sheet. Brush all the veggies with butter/oil mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil. Roast in the oven at 375 for half an hour and then flip the butternut squash  over where the skins are now facing up and roast for another 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for awhile.  Once cool place onion in a soup pot and squeeze garlic from its skin into the pot and use a large spoon to spoon out the insides of the potato and the butternut squash. Add your 1/2 and 1/2 and use an immersion blender (or regular blender if you don't have an immersion blender) to turn the soup till smooth. you may need to add more 1/2 and 1/2 to get the right consistency. Warm the soup just till hot while stirring. Toss in your herbs and nutmeg and taste to see if you need more salt and pepper. I had to add salt and a dash of pepper to mine. 
Now everyone know you need a grilled cheese with soup. I used a smoked Gouda and some Camembert cheese to really take it up a notch and it was fantastic. Grilled cheese possibilities are absolutely endless!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Home Made Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup
1 Package of sweet grape tomatoes cut in half
5-6 fresh medium sized tomatoes rough chopped
3 T of olive oil
salt and pepper
1 and 1/2  cans of chicken broth
2 T of butter
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1tsp of chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tsp of thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup of 1/2 and 1/2
1/4 tsp of baking soda

cut up tomatoes and place in a roasting pan with rim. coat in olive oil salt and pepper and place in a 375 oven for about 45 min and then for 10 min keep them under the them so they don't burn. Pull from oven and let sit. In a heavy duty soup pot place butter and melt. Throw in your onion and garlic. cook till soft and just starting to brown add 1 and 1/2 cans of chicken broth and scrape up brown bits on bottom. add your thyme, rosemary and  and tomatoes and stir. Use and immersion blender and blend all the ingredients till smooth. Throw in your bay leaf and let simmer about 15 min. add the little bit of baking soda and stir till it stops fizzing. This is an old trick that cuts down on the acidity of the tomatoes and gives it a much smoother taste! Add in your 1/2 and 1/2 while stirring. Then do a little taste test to see if you need to add some additional salt. If you find it to your tastes..... then serve!! The green garnish you see in the pic on top of mine is a little fresh Basil. I can't resist the combination of a little basil in my tomato soup! And of course you can't forget the grilled cheese with this....that is a perfect combination!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Breakfast for dinner! Cinnamon Pecan Crescents and Ham and Swiss Breakfast Cups

Cinnamon Pecan Crescents
1 roll of refrigerated crescent rolls
butter at room temp
2 T brown sugar
1 tsp of white granulated sugar
1 tsp of  cinnamon
2 T chopped pecans

This is SO simple!
Mix brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon and set aside.
 Unroll each crescent roll and spread a little butter across the whole thing.
Then put about a tsp of sugar mixture on there and sprinkle a little pecans and roll em up.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake till golden brown at 350 degrees.
Simple and these are fantastic!!


6 slices of bread with crust trimmed off
6 eggs
6 slices of cheese ( I like swiss)
6 deli cut thin slices of ham ( i usually get a little black forest ham from the deli)
salt and pepper
Muffin pan ( i have a stone muffin pan that this works fantastic in!)

Take your trimmed bread and flatten it the best you can. Spread a little butter all over the slice and form it very gently into the muffin cup. Do this for all 6 slices of bread and then bake theses cups in the oven at 350 till toasted lightly. pull from oven and then place in each cup a slice of cheese and slice of ham (do not try to put too much. sometimes i can only fit 1/2 piece of cheese and just a small shaving of ham). Then you are going to crack and egg into each cup very gently. sprinkle each cup with a little salt and fresh cracked pepper and place the cups into the oven @ 350 degrees and let bake about 10 min....longer if you like your eggs really set. Pull from oven when eggs are set to your desired level. use a fork to go around the edge the gently lift the cups from the muffin pans!

These are both great finger food breakfast that both of my kids LOVE!! Sorry I didn't have a picture to post for these but my kids ate them so fast I didn't even get a chance to take one!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

List of ingredients:
1 pound of peeled fresh gulf shrimp
1/2 tsp pepper flakes
2 tsp olive oil
1tsp salt
1/2 black ground pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tbsp of butter
3/4 cup of white wine
1 green onion chopped
1 C of chicken broth with 1 tbsp of flour whisked in
2 tbs of minced shallot
1 garlic clove minced
2tbsp of lemon juice
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of chopped parsley
about 3/4 of a package of any style pasta boiled al dente and ready to go. (Don't forget to boil pasta in salted water! it makes a difference!)

place shrimp in a ziplock bag with the first six ingredients and let marinade for about an hour in the fridge. 

Melt Butter in pan and get hot. Add shrimp and saute till pink then dump on a plate and set aside.  add white wine chopped green onion and shallot and garlic clove and let simmer down a bit. whisk in your chicken broth and lemon juice and let simmer for a while. The flour will help it thicken just a bit. Add 1tbsp of the chopped parsley and the last 2 tbsp of butter and stir it in and then toss your pasta in the sauce. I cover this and let sit for about 10 minutes so the sauce marries with the pasta. 
Plate the pasta and add the shrimp on top...sprinkle each plate with the last tablespoon of parsley!
Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!! Good Luck and What's for supper?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My recipe for the best Chicken n Dumplings

 Okay the worst part about "my version" of Chicken and Dumplings is that it is a two dinner process. I mean that is a bonus for me.... two dinners for the price of one! You need to buy a whole chicken to roast... and on that night you need to roast it. How do I roast mine? Well in a small bowl i mix about 2 tbsp of melted butter, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of salt, some pepper, 2 tsp of poultry seasoning, 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar or 1 tbsp of lemon juice and some fresh herbs  like thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage all chopped roughly and  thrown in. Mix it well and then rub it under the skin of the chicken and all over the skin outside.Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the bottom of the pan your cooking in ( i use a stone ware circle baker). Do not pour the water over the chicken! Wash your hands and cook the chicken for an hour breast side up at 375 degrees. Okay so serve what you want with this ( recommend something filling for sides so you have plenty of leftover chicken) and then after dinner pick all the chicken from the bones and discard the for the juices in the bottom of the pan....SAVE it ALL! once cool pour this through a sieve/strainer into a ziplock bag and you can freeze till ready to make the chicken and dumplings!

NOW FOR THE CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS! I make this to serve 4 people.
1 ziplock bag of of reserved chicken juices from roasted chicken
all the left over chicken you picked off the bones
2 cans of chicken broth
1 pack of mary b's frozen dumplins (super sav usually has them)
1cup of water
and a little fresh thyme and parsely
salt and pepper

Put everything but the dumplings in a very large soup pot...let it come to a boil and stir. add the dumplings one at a time and in an alternating criss-cross pattern so they don't stick together and reduce heat to a med-low. once they are all added you can stir gently and then cover and simmer on low for about 15-20 min. taste and see if you think it needs salt and pepper. I usually have to add just a little salt. ENJOY!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Roasted red pepper pasta and chicken

A friend of mine asked me one day " Do you just make this stuff up?" and after I thought about it for a second I realized "why yes, yes i do sometimes just make this stuff up". Like this dinner here for example. You should give it a try! This is fabulous because you get the roasted taste from the bell peppers and sweetness from the tomatoes and peas.  Really a great summer dish!
3 boneless skinless breast cut in 2-3 inch cutlets.
2 tbsp of balsamic vinagar
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 tblsp of Herbs de provence (of you dont have this use a little italian seasoning)
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp salt
1tsp pepper
few tbsp of Parmesan cheese
1/2  c white wine
2 garlic chopped
2 oz of cream cheese
1/3 cup of 1/2 and 1/2
1/2 c of fresh green peas
about 4 or 5 slices of roasted red pepper from the jar chopped
few slices of sundried tomatoes (not in oil) find them in the produce section of target or walmart.
about 2 cups of whole wheat pasta boiled al-dente and ready to go.(don't forget to salt your pasta water before makes the pasta taste better!)

Place your cut up chicken in a ziplock bag and the next 6 ingredients into the bag with the chicken and let it sit for about 30 minutes to marinade. (good time to cook the pasta and to maybe make a green salad?) 
Alright now swirl some olive oil in the pan and heat. put in the garlic and let it brown a little and then remove the garlic and cover with plastic so it can finish softening. Add the chicken and brown evenly on both sides. place on a plate and top with Parmesan cheese. pour in the white wine and scrape up the brown bits let that reduce a little and then add the 1/2 and 1/2 and cream cheese and whisk it around till a sauce forms. add your sun-dried tomatoes, red peppers, the garlic you let roast and soften and green peas. taste to see if it needs a little salt and pepper... i added a little of both then let this simmer for 5 minutes and then add your pasta and toss. plate your pasta and add the chicken pieces to the plate! ENJOY!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mustard Herb Chicken~Orzo~Brussel Sprouts

How about this for supper?
Ingredient list for the whole meal:
2 boneless skinless chicken breast
3 minced garlic cloves
olive oil
few sprigs of thyme( i keep an herb garden all summer...once you start using fresh herbs its hard to go back to dried!)
1 cup of orzo
2 tbsp of honey mustard (I saved some packs from mcdonalds left over from lunch and used them)
5 tbsp of half and half
1 package of brussel sprouts
1/2 c of chicken broth
2 tbsp of butter
1/2 white wine

For the chicken mix the olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl. pour/rub over chicken really good. Cook in a skillet with a little olive oil. pull chicken and set aside. pour the white whine in and deglaze the pan scraping up all the bits from the bottom and let that simmer down to reduce a bit. and while it does cut the bottoms off the brussel sprouts and begin cooking your orzo (salt your water before you boil the orzo, it always makes pasta taste better!). throw brussel sprouts in a pan with 1 tbsp of butter and a little olive oil at a med heat and salt and pepper them. let them come to a good sizzle and shake them around  and let them roll in the pan. once they begin to brown a little throw in the chicken broth and cover for about 15 min till they get dark green and soft. Now back to the pan that was deglazing~ you need to put in your honey mustard and 3-4 tbsp of half and half and 1 tbsp of butter and whisk it all around making a sauce. drain your orzo and add some of the sauce you just made to it plus a little more half and half to make it creamy.  place the chicken in the remaining sauce and coat it. when you plate it make sure you drizzle all the sauce till its gone....cause trust me it is that good!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

hiding the figs to make the jam

No one in our household cares for figs but if I throw in a little Jello then it is a whole new ball game! Today I spent the day making this variation of fig jam which my boys love.  Below you find the recipe and may be surprised to find some variations you want to try! Let me know how they turn out!

 8 cups of figs, tops trimmed and cut in halves
6 cups of sugar
4 small or 2 big boxes of strawberry jello
6-8 pint jars cleaned and ready to go
1 huge pot  with water to cover your jars at a boil

put everything in one big pot and stir as you bring to a boil. I set the heat right at medium and as it got hot i brought it down just a little. It gets hot pretty fast. Now you can leave the figs in halves if you like chunks in your jam, but i took out my immersion  blender and pretty much turned mine into a puree. This mixture needs to cook down for about 45min to 1 hour. And yes you have to keep stirring it! Have your jars ready to go!
once your mixture cooks down your going to begin putting it in the jars almost to the rims. Wipe the tops of the jars clean and put on the lids. Screw the lids down tight and place them in the boiling water (make sure the tops are covered by the water). Boil them for about 20min. Remove with tongs and place on towels to cool. If you hear a "ping" or "ting" sound....well that would be the sound of success.
*If you want to puree your figs and do not have and immersion blender then just throw them in a food processor before you put them in the pot.
* Alright now for the flavor variations: I have tried Strawberry, Raspberry, and the Blackberry fusion Jello. These are all fantastic. I thought about cherry but none of us really like anything cherry flavored so I didn't do it. Let me know if you get brave and try out any new flavors!
Good luck and "Whats for supper?"