Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Chicken on Hangers"

3-4 Chicken breasts, boneless/skinless
1 lb. bacon slices, cut into thirds
1 bottle Zesty Italian salad dressing (You can use Fat-Free too)

Cut chicken breasts into 1" strips. Pour salad dressing into a gallon-sized ziploc bag and put chicken into bag. Seal and refrigerate overnight. (When you are ready to make your skewers, I would recommend bamboo - these are called "chicken on hangers" because my uncle made them for his family and didn't have bamboo skewers so he used coat hangers.) Weave a piece of chicken on the skewer and alternate with a 1/3 slice of bacon until skewer is filled. Grill or broil. These are a little bit of work, but worth it. The taste is great! (If you don't have time for skewers, just marinate the chicken breasts in the Zesty Italian and grill. I usually give them 2 days in the marinade if the breast is left whole) These skewers are great when served with the Easy Rice Pilaf.

Super Easy Rice Pilaf

1-1/2 cups uncooked white rice (not Minute Rice)
1 can Campbell's Beef Consume soup
1 can Campbell's French Onion soup
1 stick of butter

Mix rice and soups in a covered casserole dish. Put stick of butter on top, cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours. A simple side dish that has wonderful flavor!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Baked Chicken Stuffed with Pesto and Cheese

I got this recipe off of Trisha Cannon's blog and it sounded so good I had to post it. If anyone tries it out this week let me know how it tastes. I'm going to try to do it too.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup pesto
1 cup packed finely grated mozerella cheese
1/3 cup low fat sour cream (not fat free, use low fat)
about 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1 cup chicken stock or canned chicken broth
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine pesto, mozerella cheese and sour cream until well combined. In a flat bowl put the parmesan cheese. Spray 9x13 pan dish with nonstick spray. Pound chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness, or as thin as you can get it, the thinner the better.
As each piece of chicken is flattened, spread 1/6 of pesto cheese mixture evenly over one side of the chicken. then roll up eack piece end to end, starting with the widest end, rolling as tightly as you can. Tuck in any loose ends, you can use toothpicks to help if you need to (it won't look perfect, no worries). Coat each piece of stuffed chicken into the parmesan cheese. Put chicken into casserole dish (arrange pieces in a row, with pieces almost touching the sides).
Pour enough chicken stock to barely cover the bottom of the dish (less than 1/2 cup) and cover tightly with foil. Bake chicken for 30 minutes, then remove foil. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake for 15-20 more minutes, until the top of chicken is slightly browned. Don't overcook.
When you take the chicken out you will have a yummy looking combo of stock, pesto and cheese in the bottom of the dish. You can serve the chicken just like it is, or you can make this creamier sauce.
Pour liquid from pan into a saucepan and add the rest of the chicken stock that you didn't use. Bring to simmer for 10 minutes or so, until sauce is slightly reduced and cheese is melted. Mix flour (I only used about 2 tsp) with a small amt of cold water, then wisk it into the sauce until sauce thickens.
We just poured the sauce over the chicken, but I think next time I might cook up a little wheat pasta to serve the sauce over with the chicken!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ravioli with peas and shallots....

This recipe comes from my October issue of RealSimple. It's a good one, though my hubby wanted it to have more sauce. I may add some cream next time I make it.

1 1/2 lbs. cheese ravioli (either fresh or frozen)
2 Tbs. butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 bag fresh or frozen peas (about 10 oz.)
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Cook ravioli according to package. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water before draining, for later use.

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. About 2-3 minutes. Add the peas, lemon zest, salt , pepper, and reserved pasta water. Cook partially covered, until the peas are heated through. About 3-4 minutes.

Divide the ravioli among bowels and top with pea mixture.

Side*** this recipe took a total of 15 minutes. Can't beat that!

Monday, September 22, 2008

chicken pitas....

I'm back with a meal idea for leftover marinaded chicken....
4-5 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 avocado (i use more like 2-3)
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 c. ranch dressing (homemade makes the difference!)
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 c. mozzarella cheese
pita bread

Mix ranch dressing, sour cream, and mayonnaise together. Add chicken mashed or cubed avocado, mozzarella, and bacon. Microwave until warm. Serve in pita bread.

Peachy Chicken

3 chicken breasts, halved (we cut ours into smaller pieces)
1/2 c. flour
salt and pepper to taste
2 TBS. butter
2 TBS. cooking oil
1 1/2 c. orange juice
2 TBS. vinegar
2 TBS. brown sugar
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
16 oz. can peach halves, drained (we really like the peaches so we use the 29 oz. can)

In a plastic Ziploc bag add flour, salt, and pepper. Place chicken in bag and shake until coated. In a pan, heat butter and oil. Brown chicken on all sides. Place browned chicken in a greased casserole dish. In a medium bowl, combine orange juice, vinegar, sugar, basil, and nutmeg. Pour over chicken. Cover with foil and bake @ 375 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes or until tender. Baste often. Then place peach halves between chicken pieces, baste well, and bake uncovered for 15 minutes longer.
I like to serve with brown or wild rice, but white works, too.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

yummy chicken marinade....

2 c. 7-up (substitute any soda)
1 c. oil
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 Tsp. garlic salt
1 Tsp. horseradish

Mix together and add chicken or veggies or both! Marinade overnight. I usually grill up extras and use the marinaded meat in different meals! Soooo scrumptious!

Broccoli Chicken Casserole with Ritz Crackers

  • 2 1/2 c cooked and cubed chicken
  • Cooked rice (I just do the 1 c of rice and 2 c of water. I think that makes four servings)
  • 1 bag of frozen broccoli
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 1 pkg ritz crackers
  • Cheese

In a bowl combine sour cream, cream of mushroom soup, and milk.

Pour cooked rice into the bottom of 9X13 pan (I usually spray with cooking spray first). Layer cooked chicken on top of rice, then layer frozen broccoli on top of chicken (Mark likes tons of broccoli so he likes the whole bag. You don't have to use it all if you don't wan to). Pour sour cream and soup mixture over broccoli. Then I sprinkle lots of cheese over that. Crush the ritz crackers (I keep them in their little brown package while I crush them), then spread over top of cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 50-60 minutes. This is one of Mark's favorite, and my kids will eat it too. Good way to get them to eat broccoli.

Cauliflower-Cheese Soup


1/3 cup water or chicken stock
1 cup cauliflower, chopped
1 cup cubed potatoes
1/2 c finely chopped celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup chopped onions
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
Add fresh garlic

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients but cheese. Cook until tender. Put in blender or food processor and puree. Pour back into pan, add cheese and stir until melted. Serve warm. Delicious!

Butter Frosting

I got this recipe out of the Better Homes and Garden cookbook. It works great on my chocolate zucchini cake.

3/4 c butter
9 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 c milk
2 tsp vanilla
food coloring (optional)

In a large mixing bowl beat butter till smooth. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in 1/4 c milk and the vanilla.

Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar. Beat in enough additional milk to reach spreading consistency. If desired, tint with food coloring. For chocolate butter frosting prepare as above, except beat in 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder into butter and reduce powdered sugar to a total of 8 1/2 cups.
Works on any cake. Way better than any frosting you can buy at the store.

Mary Jo's Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

This is the recipe that everyone always wants so I'll just post it. Mary Jo is Mark's aunt and she is the best at making cookies. I love this recipe. Makes a ton so I usually half it and it still makes a lot.

  • 1 lb. butter
  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 2 c white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 1/2 c flour
  • 5 c oatmeal
  • 2 c chocolate chips
  • 3 c nuts (optional)
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and soda. Mix well. Add flour and oatmeal.
Bake at 400 degrees 6-9 minutes. It turns out the best not to let them get too overdone. I pull them out before they even start turning golden, and they are so moist and chewy! YUM! I also have a habit of putting in more chocolate chips than just 2 cups.

Chicken Curry

Best recipe for someone with a cold. SO EASY.

  • 1 or 2 medium chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 2" cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp. coriander
  • Salt (about 2 tsp) and vinegar (about 1 tsp)to taste
I start out by putting olive oil in the bottom of a pot, then add onions and spices, and saute. Then I add chicken (I have even just pulled chicken straight out of the freezer) and stewed tomatoes, and dump in enough water to cover the chicken. Get boiling, turn down heat, simmer for an hour. Serve over rice.

Carrot Chowder

This is a recipe created by Melanie Zimmerman. I think we have all made it before, but I thought I'd post it anyway because it is always a favorite this time of year. Great Halloween dish!
  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cans cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 c celery chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 c tomato juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp butter
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 1/2 c coarsely grated carrots
Brown hamburger, green pepper, celery, and onion. Drain. Add salt, sugar, tomato juice, garlic salt, butter, water, pepper, both cans cream of celery soup, and grated carrots. Simmer till done (usually about 20-30 minutes). Serve with rolls or great in a bread bowl. I don't have a picture, but next time I make it I'll be sure to take one to post.

german pancake goodness...

May I preface, none of the recipes I post are my own. I gather them from wherever I can!

1/3 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
5 eggs
Place butter in 9x13 pan. Put in hot oven until butter melts. Mix milk, flour, salt, and eggs then pour over melted butter. (i use my blender or beaters to mix the ingredients) Bake at 450' for 15-20 minutes. Serve with syrup, fruit, powdered sugar, etc...

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring butter, sugar, and buttermilk to a slow boil while stirring constantly. After it comes to a boil add baking soda. Be careful not to let it spill over your pan, as the soda makes it bubble and rise. When cooled a bit, add vanilla. DELICIOUS!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Zucchini Pizza Pictures

Guys, I really loved this dinner. I've already posted this recipe but I hadn't tried it yet. We did improvise and put the toppings we like on it. I browned my hamburger with onions and mushrooms. Then we layered store bottled pizza sauce, meat combo, cheese - at least twice. We also put pepporoni slices on. Also, we used an especially large zucchini and so it took a lot longer to cook in the oven. I would suggest to plan on 1 1/2 hours in the oven if it is really large. Soooooo yummy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kahlua Pig

1 6 lb. pork butt roast
1 1/2 TBS Hawaiian Sea Salt
1 TBS liquid smoke flavoring
1 C. apple cider

Pierce pork all over with a carving fork. Rub salt over meat. Put meat in crockpot. Combine liquid smoke and apple cider and pore over meat. Cover and cook on low until done. Remove form pot and shred. Add drippings as needed to moisten.
This is a good sandwich meat.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cabbage Rolls

  • Meat: Bake @ 350 for 3 1/2 hours
  • 2 1/2 lbs hamburger
  • 1/2 c. tomato
  • 1 tbs. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/3 c. crushed soda crackers
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. minute rice
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Quart tom. juice
  • 1 1/2 c ketchup
  • 2 tbs. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 8 oz tom. sauce
One head of cabbage

Directions: boil the cabbage and take apart so you can wrap the meat mixture in them. Mix everything that is in the meat section and then roll it into an oval shape, then wrap one piece of cabbage around the meat. Place the cabbage roll into a casserole dish. Mix the sauce mixture together and then pour over cabbage rolls. Cover and then put in the oven!

Freeze or Refrigerate the remaining sauce after your done eating. When you want Spaghetti then do the following:
Add a couple of the big cooked sausages and cut them up. Put the sausage in the sauce and let it boil. Makes really good spaghetti sauce.

This recipe is from Julie Hamilton. Great for parties!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  • 1 C butter
  • 2 1/2 C sugar
Add to creamed butter & sugar:
  • 4 eggs one at a time
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 3 C. flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 C buttermilk (in place of buttermilk: 1 tsp lemon juice & 1 C milk)
  • 3 C zucchini grated

Mix all together and place in a greased & floured 9X13 pan - Bake for 30-40 minutes @ 350 degrees (It took longer than that in my oven so just do the toothpick thing to make sure it's done) It won't disappoint. I usually make a chocolate butter frosting to put on top.

Apricot Jam

  • 2 quarts (8 cups) crushed fruit (we crush in our blender)
  • 2 quarts sugar
  • 2 T. lemon juice (If I don't have this I don't worry about it).
  • 1 large package (6 oz) orange jello

Wash fruit, remove pits, crush or blend, put in pan and heat till almost a boil. Add sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes. Add orange jello, stir well. Pour hot jam into bottles that have been sterilized, wipe top of jars clean. Put sterilized lids on jars tightly, wait for jars to seal.

Zucchini Bread

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oil (I use 1/2 oil & 1/2 applesauce on this one)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup nuts
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (though I put closer to three)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • walnuts (however many you like)
  • Chocolate Chips (optional)

Beat eggs till foamy, add oil, sugar, & vanilla. Sift dry ingredients, stir, then add nuts & zucchini. I also like to add some chocolate chips, however many I think it needs. Stir, then pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake @ 350 for 1 hour, (stick a toothpick in to make sure its done)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cream Cheese Chicken

In saucepan combine two cans of cream of chicken soup, 1 12 oz pkg. cream cheese, and 1 cube butter. Heat on low till melted. Add one package of Italian seasoning salad dressing. Add 4-8 chicken breast (more if you need too - this can make a lot) Good to make on those days you want to freeze a meal or give a meal to a sick neighbor. Bake 275-300 degrees for 3 hours - if you want to make it before church cook it on 275 or put it in your crock pot for several hours until the chicken is cooked through.
The package of Italion salad dressing is the key ingrediant in this recipe. Don't leave it out or you will be disappointed. Serve over rice.

Sour Cream Chicken in Crock Pot

  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 big carton of sour cream
  • 1 can mushrooms (juice too)
  • 2 heamping tsp. flour
  • salt and pepper

Mix the above ingredants and pour over how many ever chicken breasts you want to make. (I know my grammer is terrible - but, that's exactly how I would say it). Cook in the crock pot until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over Rice. A Taylor Family favorite when served with warm rolls.

Sante Fe Chicken

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • Stir the above three ingrediants in up in your crock pot.
  • Add 4 boneless chicken breasts and 1/2 cup more salsa
  • Cook on low for 3 hours and then add 1 block of cream cheese.
  • Cook for one more hour
  • Serve over rice with flour tortilla's.

As you can see I love south west cooking. I have made this recipe several times and just love it. Definately one of my fav's. Plus, it's in the crock pot which really helps on a busy day.

Zucchini Pizza

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 c shredded cheese
  • 1 can olives
  • 11/2 C spaghetti sauce

Cut Zucchini lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Brown hamburger. Cover with spaghetti sauce. Put hamburger mixture in zucchini - top with cheese and olives. Cover with tin foil and bake for one hour.

I have to admit that I have not tried this recipe - but after looking it over I think it would be good and I am going to try it next week for dinner. I think you could add ground sausage, pepporoni or any other traditional pizza toppings (mushrooms, onions, etc).

Easy Lasagna

1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 container (16 ounces) cottage cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion
1/2 cup water
2 cans (26 ounces each) chunky spaghetti sauce
1 box (12 ounces) oven-ready lasagna noodles, uncooked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, combine egg, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, cottage cheese, and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Set aside.

In a large frying pan, brown beef and onion together until beef is done. Drain any excess grease. Add water and all but 1 cup of spaghetti sauce to beef. Spread reserved spaghetti sauce into bottom of a greased 9X13 pan. Layer 5 to 6 lasagna noodles over sauce, overlapping or breaking to fit, if necessary. Spread half the cheese mixture over noodles. Spoon 1/3 of the beef mixture over cheese layer. Repeat layers once. Add one more layer of 5 to 6 noodles and spoon remaining 1/3 of beef over top. Cover and bake 50 minutes. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over top. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.
This is a family favorite. It is out of the great recipe book 101 Things to do with a Casserole. I would highly recommend that book to anyone.


Healthy Pancakes

1 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 scoop vanilla weigh protein powder
1 cup milk (or more depending on how thin you like them)
3 eggs
1/3 C Olive Oil (so you don't have to put butter on top)
*1 tbsp. Ground Flax Seeds (or however much you want)

I think the rest is self explanatory, make them like normal pancakes. Top with sugar free syrup.


Chicken Enchilada Casserole

  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 can milk (soup can)
  • 1 small ctn. sour cream
  • 2 pcs. chicken, cooked and cup up
  • 1 env. chili powder or taco seasoning
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • cheddar cheese
  • 4 tortilla shells

Mix up first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Flaor to taste with the seasonings. Add in a little bit of the enchilada sauce. In 9'13 pan, put a layer of ripped up tortilla shells, You will be layering this like lasagna. Put a layer of the filling. Repeat until filling is gone. Pour rest of enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle cheese on top. Cook at 375 until cheese melts and sauce is boiling (about 1/2 hour) This reipe is pretty forgiving, feel free to use more tortilla shells or chicken.

Potato Soup

  • 8 or more medium potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 sliced carrots
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 TBS dry parsley
  • 2 Chicken bullion cubes
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 5 Cups Water

Boil the above ingredients and ten simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. . .

  • 1 can evaporative Milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • shredded cheese

Then add the evaporated milk and butter. Sprinkle each bowl with cheese.

You can also add 1 can of corn if desired. It is also could with chopped ham if you must have meat for dinner.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 2 can's beef broth
  • 2 can's chicken broth
  • 1 small can chopped green chiles
  • 4 big cans of white chicken
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 TBS worchester's sauce
  • 3 14oz cans mexican stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 3 cups water if desired

Saute' onion in Tsp of oil. Add everthing esle. Simmer 1 hour garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve with Chips, cheese, sour cream and Avocado.

This makes enough to feed two families of five. Maybe it makes more. It's great to make on the day's your taking dinner into someone else. Or freeze at least 1/2 maybe more for another day.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Zucchini Relish

10 cups ground or grated zucchini
4 cups ground onion
5 Tbls. salt
Mix together and let stand overnight. Next morning, drain and rinse in cold water in a big colander

Put zucchini/onion into a large cooking kettle. Add these spices and cook for 30 minutes

1tsp. cayenne pepper
2 1/4 cups vinegar
5 cups sugar
1 1/4 tsp pepper
1tsp nutmeg
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp celery seed
2 red peppers diced
2 green peppers diced

The last 5 minutes, add 2 Tbls. cornstarch to a 1/4 cup of water to dilute
Add this to zucchini and spices to thicken slightly. Pour mixture into pint jars. Process in a hot water bath for 10 mins.
Makes 15-17 pints

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chicken Parmigiana

We don't really have a recipe to follow, more like directions, but we like this, and our kids like it so its a hit for us.

We use just 1 chicken breast to feed our family but for those of you with bigger families you might want 2 or 3. Once you pound it though you might be surprised on how little chicken you really need.

Put boneless, skinless chicken breast in large zip lock bag. Take a hammer and lightly pound to flatten it out (get it as thin as you can), then sprinkle some flour into the bag with the chicken and try to spread it around.

In a square bowl or pan dump some bread crumbs along with some Parmesan cheese (freshly grated), some Italian seasoning and mix together, we don't have a measurement, just eyeball it for however much chicken you have. Add an egg (or two depending on how much chicken) to another bowl or pan. Take chicken and dip well into the egg then dip into the bread crumbs and Parmesan mix till completely covered on both sides.

Then place chicken in a greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then flip over for 15 minutes. After it has been baked we like to broil it to get it a little crispy on the edges.

While the chicken is baking cook up some thin spaghetti noodles and spaghetti sauce and place over chicken, then sprinkle on a hefty amount of mozzarella cheese. Its pretty good, and pretty easy. Hopefully this makes sense.