Friday, December 18, 2009

Aunt Karen's Rice and Chicken Casserole

First, cook enough rice to go on the bottom of a 9X13 pan.  (I do 1 1/2 cups dry rice cooked according to directions, which makes abt. 3 cups rice, but some may like less rice.)

2 C. Chicken or turkey, cooked and diced

1 C. Celery, diced

1 small can mushrooms, or abt. 1/3 cup fresh mushrooms, diced

1 Tblspn. Onion, minced

1 Tblspn. Lemon juice

1/2 tsp. salt

1 C. Mayonnaise

1 small can sliced water chestnuts (opt.)

Combine and put over rice.

Top with:  1/3 to 1/2 cups bread crumbs or cornflake crumbs, 1/2 C. sliced or slivered almonds, and either 1 Cup grated cheese or 1/4 to 1/3 C. melted margerine.

Bake at 350 dgrees for about 30 minutes.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Homemade Oreos

These cookies have always been a hit when I make them at home, or when I bring them somewhere, so I thought I would share the recipe with anyone who actually reads this :D

1 package of devils food cake mix
2/3 cup of shortening
2 eggs


8oz package of cream cheese
1 cube of butter (or 1/2 cup margin)
1lb powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Mix together the ingredients for cookies. Roll into quarter sized balls and bake at 350 on a greased cookie cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes (depending on the size) until the cookies have flattened out most of the way. Allow cookies to cool, then frost.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Grandma Ila Reid's Buttermilk Dressing

Grandma Reid’s Buttermilk Dressing (lower salt version)
2 Cups Mayonnaise
2 Cups Buttermilk (or for lower fat and less fuss, you can use 2 cups milk, minus 4 Tablespoons with 4 Tablespoons lemon juice added to the milk. Let milk sit about 5 minutes to curdle.)

Of the following spices, I have one be a salt, and the other one a powder…Grandma often had both spices be salts so it was VERY salty!

1 teaspoon garlic powder or salt
1 teaspoon onion powder or salt
½ to 1 teaspoon black pepper
About ½ Tablespoon dried parsley

Combine all ingredients and whip with a wire beater or use a blender—whatever. Mix until smooth. It will thicken overnight.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Healthy Smoothie Recipe

Dr. Ed Fila’s Scientifically Designed Health Smoothie
The following smoothie has been based on scientific research for the prevention of stroke, heart attacks, cancer. The research relied on came from the following sources: (1) The largest study in the world on prevention of cancer sponsored by the World Health Organization; (2) the largest study in the world on the prevention of stroke and heart attacks; (3) other scientific research.
1 Cup Soy, Rice or Non-fat Milk
6 Ice cubes
2 Tblspns. Welch’s 100% unsweetened grape juice concentrate (must have American Heart Assoc. label to verify there is no corn syrup)
2 Tblspns. Mixed nuts (equal amounts of almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, and flax seeds)
2 Tblspns. Soy protein
1 Tblspn. Udo’s Choice oil blend (buy at health food stores)
½ Tblspn. Psyllium Husks
3 Tblspns. 9 Grain Cereal (buy at Honeyville Grain, Inc.(435) 279-8197, or check local health stores or grocers). It contains red and white wheat, rye, barley, corn, millet, oats flax, and buckwheat. (Whole grains are better)
1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
5 Fresh or Frozen Strawberries
¼ of a Fresh Banana
2 Tblspns. Groats or Rolled Oats (Groats are the oat grain before being rolled)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend well. ENJOY!

Welch’s 100% grape juice has been shown to outperform aspirin in reducing platelet clumping and keeping the blood vessel walls flexible. Do not use the Welch’s grape juice which has corn syrup added.
The Udo’s Oil Blend is a superior source of omega-3 oils which have been shown to prevent strokes and heart attacks. Note: Udo’s Oil is plant based. Some people do not absorb plant based oils very well. Those people should supplement with omega-3 oil from fish.
A handful of nuts daily have been shown to reduce the occurrence of stroke and heart attacks by about 20%. They are also a good source of plant based protein (and tryptophan).
Fruits and vegetables have clearly been shown to reduce both cancer and heart disease. New guidelines recommend eating 9-10 servings of uncooked fruits and vegetables per day. Blueberries and strawberries are very nutrient dense. You can also add other fruits.
Grains have also been shown to reduce heart attacks by 20%, as well as cancer. Uncooked and minimally processed grains are very healthy because they do not significantly increase insulin activity in the body.

Copyrighted Feb. 23, 2005

I do a modified form of this. I leave out the nuts, grains, and oil since I just eat those throughout the day(I take ground flax seed). I don't put in psyillium either, but it's great for those who need to keep their bowels moving. And I sometimes put in soy. This really is an excellent smoothie. Two people from the classes have told me about the health benefits they have noticed from doing this. One talked about her weight loss, and a man told about how it regulated his thyroid function when he went back to the doctor about 4 months after doing the smoothie, and that's all he had done differently.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ultimate Spicy Beef Nachos

This recipe is from The Cook's Country Cookbook, by the same people that did the other cookbook Steph and I love. Seriously, everyone needs at least one cookbook from America's Test Kitchen.

1/2 cup canned refried beans
3 tablespoons shredded pepper jack cheese
1 tablespoon chopped canned pickled jalapenos

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound 90-percent lean ground beef
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 medium canned chipotle chile, chopped, plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1 (9 1/2 ounce) bac tortilla chips
4 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
2 jalapeno chiles, sliced into thin rings

  1. Adjust an oven rach to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. FOR THE BEANS: Pulse all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

  3. FOR THE BEEF: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until simmering. Cook the onion until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beef and cook, breaking the meat into small bits with a wooden spoon and scraping the pan bottom to prevent scorching, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, sugar, chile, and adobo sauce and cook until the paste begins to darken, about 1 minute. Add the water, bring to a simmer, and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture is nearly dry, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and transfer the mixture to a plate lined with sever layers of paper towels. Use more paper towels to blot up excess greace.

  4. TO ASSEMBLE: Spread half of the chips on a large serving platter or a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Dollop half of the bean mixture over the chips, then spread evenly. Scatter half of the beef mixture over the beans, top with 2 cups of the cheese and half of the jalapenos. Repeat with the remaining chips, beans, beef, 2 cups of cheese, and jalapenos. Bake until the cheese is melted and just beginning to brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve with salsa and other desired garnishes.
This was a really good meal, but warning, it's SPICY! Since I'm on a kick to cut red meat out of our diets, I used ground turky breast instead of ground beef. It still tasted really good.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Greek Pasta With Tomatoes and White Beans

I was looking for some new recipes and I found this one this site. It turned out really well.

2 (14.5 oz) cans of Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 (19oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
10oz fresh spinach, washed and chopped
8oz penne pasta
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes and beans in a large, non-stick skillet. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
3. Add spinach to the sauce; cook for 2 minutes, or until spinach wilts, stirring constantly.
4. serve sauce over pasta, and sprinkle with feta.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Orange-sesame Chicken, Mushroom, Broccoli, and Asparagus Stir-Fry

This is another recipe from the Best 30-Minute Recipe cook book. It has an entire section for building your own stir-fry, but it would be really really long to put all of the options on here, so I'll just put the one I make.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into small even pieces
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 pound of broccoli (cut into small pieces)
1/2 pound of mushrooms (cut into small pieces)
1/2 pound of asparagus (cut into small pieces)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (using fresh grated ginger is crucial for flavor)

1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Making the minutes count:
Assemble the sauce while the chicken cooks. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger while the vegetables cook.

1. Stir-fry chicken and prepare sauce:
Toss chicken with soy sauce. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add protein and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up clumps, until lightly browned, 1 1/2 to 5 minutes. (While protein cooks, prepare stir-fry sauce.) Transfer protein to clean bowl.

2. Stir-fry vegetables:
Add 1 more tabelspon of oil to pan and return to high heat until shimmering. Add broccoli to skillet with 1/2 cup water, cover, and steam over high heat for 2 minutes; uncover. Add mushrooms and asparagus and cook, stiring occasionally, until crisp-tenter, 1 to 5 minutes.

3. Combine and simmer:
Clear center of pan and add remaining 1 teaspoon oil, garlic, and ginger. Cook, mashing garlic mixture into pan with back of spatula, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in cooked chicken. Whisk sauce to recombine, add to pan, and bring to a simmer. Cook sauce until thickened, 1 to minutes. Serve immediately.

Monday, March 16, 2009

North Pole Toffee Cake

This recipe was given to me by my dear friend Deidre. I made this cake for Vaughn's birthday. It wasn't very pretty, but it tasted really good.

1 (20 oz.) package chocolate cake mix
1 (12 oz.) carton whipped topping
1/3 c. chocolate syrup
7 toffee bars (Heath or Skor) crushed

Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans. Prepare and bake cake according to package directions. Cool on wire rack. Freeze cake to harden. Carefully cut each layer horizontally to make 4 layers. In a bowl, mix whipped topping with chocolate syrup and 6 crushed toffee bars. Place 1 layer o cake on serving plate and spread with chocolate mixture. Repeat with remaining 3 layers. Frost top and sides of cake. Sprinkle remaining crushed bar on top of cake. Refrigerate and then serve.

Fish Fillets with Lemon Sauce

This recipe was taken out of the April 2009 Runners World Magazine. I made it tonight for Vaughn's birthday and really liked it. It's also a really healthy meal and well balanced for athletes.

  • 1 pound thin fish fillets, such as sole, halibut, or flounder
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay (or other Cajun seasoning)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon curd
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 cups steamed brown rice
  • 2 cups steamed broccoli
Pat fish fillets dry with paper towels. Set aside. Mix together bread crumbs, sage and Old Bay. Mix eggs and water in another bowl. Heat olive oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Dip fillets in the egg mixture; then coat in crumb mixture. Place fish in skillet. Coat the tops of fish with olive oil spray. Flip fillets when brown (about four minutes); brown other side for three minutes. Remove and keep warm. In a small saucepan, gently boil lemon curd and milk over medium heat, stirring frequently. When it forms a slightly thickened sauce, remove from heat (about a minute). Serve the fish over 1/2 cup brown rice, topped with a tablespoon of sauce and a side of broccoli. Serves four.

NOTE: Those are the original instructions. But I did it a little differently. I don't even know what lemon curd is, so I just made the sauce with whole milk, and one lemon zest and juice. It was strong, but really good still. Also, instead of frying the fish, I baked it in the oven at 425 for about 10 minutes. Also, I know fish sometimes sounds intimidating, but you can just buy the raw fillets in the frozen section of the grocery store.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Skillet Jambalaya

This is from the same cookbook that Steph got the skillet lasagna out of. It's my favorite one.

If you can't find andouille, use tasso, chorizo, or linguica sausage. Serve with plenty of Tabasco. We like Old Bay Seasoning in this recipe, but you can use your favorite Creole spice blend instead.

1 pound extra - large (21/25) shrimp, peeled and devined
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 ounces andouille sausage, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 onion minced
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 1/2 cups instant white rice
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 table spoons minced fresh parsley

Making the minutes count:
While the andouille and vegetables cook, mince the garlic and parsley.

1. Season Shrimp
: Season shrimp with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Saute Sausage, Aromatics, and Rice:
Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until simmering. Add andouille, onion, bell pepper, Old Bay, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice, garlic, and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add broth and cook rice: Stir in broth and bring to simmer, scraping up browned bits. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
4. Cook Shrimp: Scatter shrimp over rice and continue to cook, covered, until rice is tender and shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Off heat, let rices sit for 2 minutes. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Santa Fe Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

Tonight was one of those nights when you flip through all the recipes you have and try and find something that you can make for dinner because you need to go to the store. This one was really good and easy.

Serves: 4

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, frozen or thawed
1 can corn, drained (we don't eat caned corn in my house, so I just used frozen)
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup salsa
flour tortillas
Ranch dressing

Place chicken in crock pot. Mix corn, beans, and salsa together and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. When done shred chicken. Place in tortillas with cheese, lettuce and ranch dressing.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Yummy Easy Southwesty Soup

Yummy Easy Southwesty Soup
Jud had me get this recipe from his friends Mom. We all really like it.

2 13 oz. Cans Chicken Breast (2 cups cooked, cubed)
2 Cans White Northern Beans (or do 1 white, 1 black)
1 scant Cup mild or medium salsa
2 Cans 12 oz. chicken broth
3/4 to 1 Tablespoon cumin

2 cups colby jack cheese (cheddar works great too)

Garnish with crushed tortilla chips

Just drain and rinse the beans, and add everything but the cheese and chips. Warm about 1/2 hour on medium-low heat, simmering and stirring occasionally. Turn it down if it starts boiling. Add the cheese at the last, and stir until it is mixed in well. Or you can sprinkle it on top. Then top with chips. Makes 6 generous servings.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Skillet Lasagna

This is a great recipe for company. It's pretty simple but looks really impressive. A word to the wise though. The recipe calls for a 12-inch nonstick skillet. I used my biggest frying pan and it over flowed, so consider cutting it in half if you don't have a big skillet. I got this recipe from my favorite cookbook, The Best 30-Minute Recipe, Amy gave it to me for my wedding and I love it because it explains everything!

Skillet Lasagna (serves 4)

For the jarred tomato sauce, we like marinara, but you can use whatever type you like. Any brand of curly-edged lasagna noodles will work here, but do not use no-boil lasagna noodles. If the pasta is especially dry and shattery, you may need to add extra water to the skillet while the pasta cooks. If you can't find meatloaf mix, use 1/2 pound of ground pork. 85 percent lean ground beef and 1/2 pound ground pork. Like it spicy? Increase the amount of red pepper flakes up to 1 teaspoon. To make things go even quicker you can replace the mozzarella and Parmesan with 3/4 cup of shredded Itallian cheese blend.

1 pound meatloaf mix (see note)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 red pepper flakes
salt and ground black pepper
6 ounces curly-edged lasagna noodles
(8 noodles), broken into 2-inch pieces
1 (26-ounce) jar tomato sauce, such as marinara (about 3 cups)
2 cups water
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (see note)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (see note)
3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh basil

1. Cook and drain meat: Cook meat in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat, breaking into pieces with a wooden spoon, until fat renders, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain meat and return it to skillet.
2. Saute aromatics: Stir in garlic, pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook over medium high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Simmer Lasagna noodles: Sprinkle broken noodles into skillet, then pour in tomato sauce and water over top. Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to maintain vigorous simmer, until noodles are tender, about 20 minutes.
4. Add cheese: Off heat, stir in half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Dot heaping tablespoons of ricotta over noodles, then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and let stand off heat until cheese melts, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with basil before serving.

Making the minutes count:
Mince the garlic and measure out the pasta while the meat cooks.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Focaccia Bread

I used to work at a gourmet pizza place and have a load of great pizza receipes, but I'll start today with my favorite one. Its not pizza, but a bread that you rip pieces off and dip in oil and vinegar, marinara sauce, or ranch. It's super easy and a great (and fairly healthy) way to dress up a meal like spaghetti or lasagne.

Ingredients needed:
Rhodes Dinner Rolls
Oil (I like Olive, but any kind will work)
Fine/Coarse Kosher salt (you can use regular salt, but kosher salt makes it taste better in my opinion, plus its cheap to buy)

optional: Pesto sauce

I use Rhodes rolls, but any kind of frozen dough balls will work. There are two ways to construct the bread - as individual little ones, or rolled together as a big one. I like to do individual ones b/c then Brandon won't take all the deliciousness :). You can let the dough balls sit out all day to thaw and raise, or you can take as many as you want/need and microwave them for about two minutes, flipping them every 30 seconds or so.

1. Roll out your dough as individuals or a big ball.
When rolling, you want to make sure that the dough is thick enough that you can press down on it with a finger and you go through some dough before hitting the counter (um, thats not too clear - you just want it thick, but not too thick).
2. Place on a sprayed cookie sheet.
3. Then, using your fingers, press indents into the bread. It's not like a pizza so you don't have to give it a crust, just make sure that it looks all bumpy all over.
4. Take a spoonful of oil (I like olive, but any oil will work) and spread it around the dough. Not a whole bunch, but a good amount - you need it to give some flavor, plus it keeps the other things on the bread.
5. Take a large pinch of rosemary needles and crunch them up in your palm. Sprinkle over the bread so that there is a good spread all around.
6. Take a pinch of kosher salt (regular salt will work too, you just have to watch how much you put where) and put a smattering all around the bread. Not too much, just a good amount (if you like more salt, put on more, ect.)
7. Then bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or so. When they come out, they should look bubbly with some of the bubble tops golden brown, and the rest a nice cooked golden color. 8. Serve with pizza sauce or ranch.

Optional other way:
Another way to make these is to use pesto sauce. Pesto sauce is a mixture of basil, sometimes garlic, and oil. It's green, it smells really good, but when you use it it looks like bird crap or something equally nasty. But its delicious. And I'm positive it'll be at the grocery store.

When using pesto sauce, follow steps 1-3 the same, but instead of the other ingredients, just spread around a spoonful of pesto so there is a good amount everywhere. Cook the same until the edges are golden-brown, and voila!

Sorry these instructions aren't so exact. Basically, this is a "make it however you like it" sort of receipe. You can put garlic or onions or whatever on the focaccia to make it amazing for you. Good Luck!

Buttercream Frosting

Just in time for Valentine's Day!

I hate store bought frosting in those little tubs. It's loaded with trans fat, not to mention I just don't like the way it tastes. Instead using those frostings, I use this receipe to make my own that tastes SO much better.

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter/margarine (should be soft, not runny)
Mix together
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
Mix in
6 cups powdered sugar
Mix in one or two cups at a time to prevent mess :)
The mixture should be dry and crumbly. If it's runny, add more sugar to firm up a little at a time. If it is a pretty smooth consistency, then you can omit the next step as well.
3 tbsp milk

Then, add food coloring for fun decorating. For chocolate frosting, after the milk, add in 3 tbsp of cocoa.