Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Peanut Butter Balls

These are delicious!  From Taste of Home.

1 (18 ounce size) jar of peanut butter

2 cups Rice Krispies cereal

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)

In a double boiler over low heat, melt chocolate and set aside. In a medium sized bowl, combine all other ingredients. Blend well until mixture forms a dough. Roll into 1-inch balls. Using a toothpick or fork, dip the balls into the chocolate until well coated. Place onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Campbell's Kitchen Beef Stroganoff

Straight from allrecipes.com, no pictures today.  Note to self- don't use stew meat, it's to tough unless you slow-cook it!


1 pound boneless beef sirloin steak or beef top round steak
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or Campbell's® Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
4 cups hot cooked medium egg noodles
Chopped fresh parsley

Slice beef into very thin strips.
Heat half the oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook beef until browned, stirring often. Set beef aside.
Add remaining oil. Add onion and cook over medium heat until tender. Pour off fat.
Add soup and paprika. Heat to a boil. Stir in sour cream and return beef to skillet. Heat through. Serve over noodles. Sprinkle with parsley.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes

(from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes), via One Ordinary Day

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 c. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a mini muffin tin with paper liners. Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each. Fill liners 3/4 way full and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

(from Elinor Klivan’s cupcakes!)
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3-4 Tbsp. whole milk

In a large bowl, on low speed, beat the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla together with 3 Tbsp. of milk. Add up to 1 Tbsp. more milk if needed to form a creamy, smooth frosting. Spread on cupcakes or spoon into decorating bag with star tip to pipe onto cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Garlicky Cheese Bites

Delicious. From Joy of Cooking.
1 can (8 oz.) Pillsbury refrigerated garlic-flavored breadsticks (or you can use regular breadsticks and sprinkle them with garlic powder)
4 sticks mozzarella string cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce, heated

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 24 mini muffin cups with cooking spray. Unroll breadstick dough. Cut dough crosswise into thirds; separate into 24 strips. Cut each cheese stick into 6 equal pieces (24 pieces total).
Place 1 cheese piece on short end of each dough strip; roll up cheese piece in dough. Pinch and seal dough to completely cover cheese. Place rolls, seam side down, in muffin cups. Turn rolls in cups to coat all sides with cooking spray. Lightly sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from pans to serving platter. Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping.

Caprese Lasagna

This was good... but I messed it up. I should have cooked the noodles first, they were still a little crunchy, and I had added the rest of the chicken broth and baked for another 30 minutes to try and get them to cook. From Lauren's Kitchen.

2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock
A few grates of fresh nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 box oven-ready lasagna noodles
4 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
Half a bunch basil, chopped (about 30 leaves)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.
Place a large saucepot over medium-heat and melt the butter. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk the milk and chicken stock into the butter-flour mixture and bring up to a bubble. Add the nutmeg, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and simmer until thickened, 3-4 minutes.
Assemble the lasagna by ladling a small amount (about 1/4 cup, just eyeball it) of the sauce into the bottom of a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish and laying three lasagna noodles over the sauce. Top the noodles with about a third of the sliced tomatoes, a third of the basil, 1/4 cup of sauce and about a third of the shredded cheese. Repeat until all ingredients are used up, topping the lasagna off with a final layer of sauce and shredded cheese.
Cover the pan with foil and bake the lasagna for 30 minutes. Remove the foil from the baking dish and bake another 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly. When ready to serve, top with the remaining chopped basil leaves.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Chicken Tetrazzini

I have made this quite a few times - it is always delicious. I got it from the Kraft website. I served it with my version of Caprese salad - the store was out of fresh mozzarella and basil, so I did the best I could! Those are tomatoes out of my garden... the few that grew this year. Next year I hope to plant the tomatoes in the ground, hopefully they will grow better!

1/2 lb. (8 oz.) spaghetti, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 medium red pepper, chopped
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
1/4 cup flour
1 can (14 oz.) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1/2 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add chicken, peppers and mushrooms; cook and stir 5 min. or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from skillet; set aside.
PLACE Neufchatel, flour and broth in skillet. Cook and stir with wire whisk until boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 min., stirring frequently.
DRAIN pasta; return to saucepan. Add Neufchatel cheese mixture, chicken mixture and 2 Tbsp. of the Parmesan cheese; mix well. Spoon into 2-qt. round casserole dish; cover with foil. Bake 25 min. Top with mozzarella and remaining 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese; continue baking, uncovered, 2 min. or until mozzarella cheese is melted.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

French Dip Sandwiches

No picture tonight - I forgot! And, technically, I didn't even make these. My mom is staying with us to watch Calvin this week, so she cooked for me. Either way, these were good and easy to make. Also a good recipe for all of those roasts that we have in the freezer.

Recipe from My Kitchen Cafe, adapted from Dinner's Ready.

1 pot roast, anywhere from 2 to 4 pounds
1 green pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
mozzarella slices
1 McCormick Au Jus sauce packet (found in the gravy mix aisle)
Rolls /buns

In crockpot, dissolve Au jus packet in 3 cups of cold water then add the roast (my roast was still partly frozen). Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours (I cooked mine about 8 hours on low before adding the peppers and onion for another hour). One hour before you plan to eat, shred the beef then slice the peppers and onions and add to crockpot. When it is finished, remove meat and veggies with a slotted spoon. Place mozzarella slices on buns and put under low broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Fill the rolls with the meat and veggies, then divide the Au Jus sauce into smaller bowls for dipping.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Creamy Orzo served with Herb-Rubbed Grilled Chicken

I was confused by Giada's recipe, from Smells Like Home, so I made it a little differently. For some reason, I thought that the chicken was cooked in the same pan as the orzo. Next time, I'll do it right! Also, it calls for shallots, but I have no idea what those are and couldn't find them in the store anyway, so I omitted those. I used half of the orzo that it calls for, and I didn't have a garlic clove or fresh parmesan, so I did my best without those (garlic powder and mozzarella/canned parmesan seemed to work just fine).

1 pound orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, juices drained
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
reserved pasta water
2 tsp herbes de provence
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2″

Bring a heavy large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 10-11 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Season pounded chicken on both sides with herbes de provence (1 tsp per breast), salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat and pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Put chicken on grill, turning after 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the cream and peas*. Add the orzo and toss to coat. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the Parmesan to the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Stir the pasta mixture until the sauce coats the pasta thickly, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to maintain a creamy consistency. Season the orzo generously with salt and pepper, and serve.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6-8

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

I made this delicious crock pot meal yesterday from Gina's Weight Watcher's Recipes. I modified it a bit, and we ate it as tacos instead of on rice. Very easy and good flavor.

24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast (I used 3 large chicken breasts)
14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
15 oz can black beans
8 oz frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro - skipped
14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped - skipped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
salt to taste

Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot. Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning. We ate as tacos; you can also serve over rice.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Crockpot Baked Beans

We had a cookout last night for Calvin's baptism, and one of the sides that I made was baked beans. I adapted it from Pat's Baked Beans on Allrecipes.com. They turned out very good!

8 slices cooked, chopped bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion
Minced Garlic or Garlic Powder
2 (16 ounce) can pinto beans
1 (16 ounce) can great Northern beans, drained
2 (28 ounce) can baked beans
1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients in large crockpot. Cook on high until boiling (took approximately 2 hours), then switch to low until ready to serve.

Serves 20.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I made Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole Sunday afternoon. Actually, I made two - one for the freezer, one to eat. It was delicious! I also omitted the pepper and actually ended up using only 2 cups of cooked rice - that's all I had - and since I didn't have garlic, I used garlic powder. It would be better with the full amount, but it wasn't bad. I used diced grilled chicken breasts also, I don't shred chicken if I can help it. I ended up putting a ton of cheese on it - way too much for me, but Jeremy loved it. He's a big cheese fan.

This was also from Lauren's Kitchen.

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, diced

1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb diced ham
2 c cooked, shredded chicken breasts
4 T butter
1/4 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
14 oz can chicken broth
3 cups cooked rice
1 c shredded cheddar

1 c shredded mozzarella or swiss


Preheat oven to 350.I precooked the chicken by cutting it into thin strips (to cook faster) and throwing it into a skillet with a bit of oil. Then I shredded from there.Heat oil in a large, rimmed skillet over medium heat.Add the onions and peppers and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender.Then add the garlic, chicken and ham and cook for another 5 minutes until heated through.Add the butter until it is melted, then stir in the flour, salt and pepper until combined.Slowly stir in the chicken broth, then mix in the rice.Transfer mixture to a 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle the top with your cheese.Bake for 20-25 minutes. For the last 10 minutes place aluminum foil overtop for oozing cheese.

Chicken Scallopine

I tried Chicken Scallopine from Lauren's Kitchen last night. It was fantastic! I didn't get a picture, but here is the recipe. I only used four chicken breasts, omitted the capers, and used chicken broth instead of dry white wine. I felt like such a professional, deglazing the pan and reducing the sauce! I'm excited to try this again with white wine next time.

1 pound linguine
6 boneless, skinless, trimmed chicken breasts
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
12 ounces white mushrooms, sliced thin
1 cup dry white wine
Chicken broth (optional)
1 lemon
1/2 cup heavy cream (can use half & half)
1 heaping tablespoon capers
chopped fresh Italian parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions.Flatten chicken breasts to uniform thickness. Salt and pepper both sides, then dredge in flour.Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken breasts until golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.Throw mushrooms into the pan and stir. Immediately pour in wine, then squeeze juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon. Stir to deglaze the pan, then cook vigorously for 1 minute, until sauce reduces.Pour in cream and stir, then add capers and parsley and stir. Turn off heat. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Don’t undersalt!Place pasta and chicken on a platter and top with every last drop of sauce. Generously sprinkle Parmesan Cheese over the top.


I've decided to start a blog to keep all of my recipe attempts. I love to try new recipes, although working full time with a new baby is going to make this rather interesting! My husband is also rather particular about what he eats, so that will keep this challenging as well.