21 June 2011

Sugar Cookies

Courtsey of Kari Vaughn Furnish

Makes 4 dozen teaspoon cookies


2 3/4 of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup of butter, softened
1 1/2 cup of white sugar
1 egg
1 or 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract ( i usually do 3 or 4 because i like to taste the vanilla in the cookies.)


Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F now if you don't put cookie mixture in refrigerator for a little while.

In a small bowl, stir together flour baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla.

Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.

(This is a step I added because it helps you with the next step if you want them to look good and to add stuff to them while they are cooking.) Cover the bowl and put in the fridge until the mixture is it firm and not smooth.

Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place onto un-greased cookies sheets or parchment paper covered cookies sheets. I like the covered parchment paper cookie sheets - easier to get off and not mess up the cookies. I push my cookies down out with the balls with my palm and i put sugar on top of them to get more of a sugar taste.

Bake 8-10 minutes but my oven takes 10-15 minutes in the preheated oven really don't take out until the cookies are golden brown because if they are not golden they are not cooked fully. But that might be my oven though.

Let stand on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before removing to cool on wire racks or a plate. I have waited and let them stay on the cookie sheet when on parchment paper and it is still easy to get them off.

Artichoke Pasta Sauce

Courtesy of Melissa Dodge

This is my own variant where I use the slow cooker. It's SO tasty and easy and goes amazing with any kind of pasta.


3 14oz cans diced tomatoes (with or without basil, oregano, and garlic)
2 14oz cans artichoke hearts drained and quartered
4-6 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cup whipping cream
Italian seasonings (basil, oregano, parsley ect) and salt and pepper to taste
a drizzle of olive oil


Add oil and garlic to the slow cooker (on high) and stir until heated. Add two cans of tomatoes (drained), the remaining can (undrained), the artichoke hearts, and the seasonings/ s+p.

Cover and cook on low (6-8 hrs) or high (3-4 hrs).

Stir in whipping cream and let heat through.

While it's heating, cook pasta, then dish up. It goes really well with a little parm on top! :)

Grilled Mango Cilantro Lime Chicken

(or Margarita Chicken)
Courtesy of Teri Maselo

Ok this is a recipe I came up with myself and LOVE! I try not to use any salt but this recipe definitely needs a bit to bring out the flavors even more. You will want to make this a few hours before you are ready.


8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/4 cups olive oil
2 cups fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups fresh Mango
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp fresh garlic
3 limes
1 tbsp lime zest


First clean the chicken and remove all the excess fat. Poke some holes into the top with a fork. Put in large baking dish.

In a small bowl add olive oil, salt and garlic. Finely chop cilantro (leaves only) and add in. Peel and cut Mango and puree the "Meat" of the fruit, add into the oil mixture. Cut the limes in half and squeeze the juice out into the oil mixture and add in zest. Pour mixture over chicken and cover with plastic wrap. Marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Cook over medium high heat on the grill until juices run clear :)

19 June 2011

Pasta Sauce


Sweet (or what ever kind) sausage (if desired)
Meatballs (if desired)

3 cans tomato puree
1 1/2 cans water

1/2 cup sugar, level
1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder, rounded
1 tsp oregano, rounded
1 tbsp parsley, rounded
1 1/2 tbsp onion powder, rounded
1 tsp sweet basil, rounded
1 tsp salt, level
4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, rounded
4 large bay leaves


Empty the 3 cans of tomato puree into a large stock pot. Use 1 can to add an additional 1 1/2 cans of water. Bring to a boil.

While you wait for the sauce to boil add all DRY ingredients EXCEPT SUGAR!! Stir with wooden spoon to combine all dry ingredients.

Once sauce comes to a rolling boil add sugar and stir well.

Cut up cook and add sausage at this point if desired.

Turn down heat to LOW and simmer for 3 to 4 hours. Put the pot lid on at an angle so steam can escape. Sauce will cook down and thicken.

Makes A LOT of sauce. We've never measured how much. We have a family of 7 and this sauce can see us through at least 4 meals. We eat a lot of pasta :)

After sauce is done cooking, let it cool down with the lid on. Place in refrigerator for up to 10 days. After 10 days it starts to turn acidic and isn't good any more. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Aunt Linda's Easy Chili


1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef (80/20 works well)
2 cans red kidney beans, drained
2 jars 32 oz each marinara sauce (or 8 cups of your own sauce)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp prepared minced garlic)
4 tsp chili powder, level (or more depending on taste)


Cook ground beef until almost all pink is gone. Use edge of spatula to chop finely during cooking.

Add garlic and onions and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and then add to large stock pot.

Add kidney beans, sauce and mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and add chili powder. Mix well and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours. Try to stir every 15 to 20 minutes. Don't let the bottom burn.

Serves 6


Use 1/2 lb ground beef, 1/2 lb ground pork and 1/2 lb ground turkey to replace ALL ground beef.

Potato Soup


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup flour
1 can 14.5 oz chicken broth
1 can 12 oz evaporated milk
2 large or 3 medium baking potatoes, cooked
Cooked and crumbled bacon
Shredded cheddar cheese
Green onion (optional)


Melt butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally for 1 to 2 minutes until onion is tender. Stir in flour. Gradually stir in broth and evaporated milk.

Scoop pulp from 1 potato and mash (save skin). Add mashed pulp to broth mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until mixture comes just to a boil.

Dice saved skin and the other potatoes and add to soup. Heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

Top each serving with bacon, cheese and green onions if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Pesto Sauce


2 cups fresh or 1 cup dried basil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup toasted nuts (pine, walnut or almond)
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste


I use a very small 2 cup food processor to make this.

Put the toasted nuts in the food processor and process until finely ground. Add the basil, Parmesan cheese and garlic and process again until the basil is ground down. Slowly add the oil and process until a thick paste forms. If the pesto feels like it needs a little more oil add at 1 tbsp at a time until it is the consistency you like.

Store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

17 June 2011

Chicken & Bow Tie Pasta


1 1/2 boxes bow tie pasta, cooked
5 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces & cooked
2 8 oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tsp Pesto Sauce (heaping)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350.

Mix milk and cream cheese until well blended. Add Parmesan cheese & Pesto Sauce, blending well. Add salt & pepper and blend well.

Put cooked chicken and bow tie pasta in a very large bowl or a stock pot. Add cream cheese mixture and blend well. Add bread crumbs a little at a time and mix in until the consistency is to your taste. Everything should still be a little bit "wet".

Spray a large baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour chicken & pasta into baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake, uncovered on middle rack at 350 for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

Feeds 6 to 7

Calphalon Cutlery Bonus Offer

Chocolate Mousse


1 cup (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp butter cut into pieces
2 tsp instant coffee (if you like the coffee taste)
1 tbsp hot water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipping cream


Microwave semi-sweet chips and butter in a medium bowl on High for 1 minute. Stir. Not all of the chips will be completely melted. If you need to you can continue to microwave at 10 to 15 second intervals until all chips are melted.

**If you are doing the coffee option: Dissolve the instant coffee in the 1 tbsp water and stir into the chocolate.

***If you aren't using the coffee you can go on to the next step.

Stir in the vanilla extract and then let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Whip cream in a mixer bowl on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold gently into the chocolate mixture. Spoon into tall glasses or leave in bowl. Refrigerate until set.

Makes 2 servings.

Eggplant Wraps

**Makes enough for 2 wraps.


  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 heaping tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/2 tsp oregano

Mix dressing ingredients and chill to combine flavors.


24 thin slices eggplant cut approximately 1 inch x 3 inches
4 thin slices tomato
1/4 cup very thin slices red bell pepper
1/4 cup very thin slices yellow onion
Crumbled feta cheese
2 10 inch wraps
Enough lettuce for your taste
Salt to taste


Following ingredients will be BROILED!! Put the oven rack in the very top position.

Use a large baking pan and cover with foil. Lightly oil the foil with olive oil. Place the slices of eggplant on the foil and lightly salt, then pepper. Broil for 2 minutes. Remove pan. Turn over eggplant. Salt & pepper again. Broil again for 2 minutes. Eggplant will be limp, but that's ok.Remove eggplant from pan and lay out on a plate and place in the refrigerator so it can cool down. Remove foil from pan, put on a new foil sheet and re-oil.

Place slices of tomato, red bell peppers and yellow onions on the oiled foil. Salt & pepper the veggies. Broil for 2 minutes. Remove pan. Turn over veggies. Salt & pepper again. Broil again for 2 minutes.

Remove veggies from pan and lay out on a plate and refrigerate until cool. (Much easier to work with when everything is cooled off.)


Take 1/2 of the dressing (or use enough for your taste) and spread down the middle third of the wraps. On the bottom third of the wraps place the lettuce and press down. Take 12 slices of the eggplant and place on each wrap. Take 1/2 of the red bell pepper and yellow onion and place on top of the eggplant on each wrap. Top off with feta cheese.

Fold left and right sides in. Working from the bottom and holding the sides in roll the wrap up. Wrap in foil and refrigerate until ready to eat.


As of 27 May 2011: I made this for my hubby's lunch for today. He totally loved it!! This man is very picky about his food so I know this is a hit.

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Poultry Stuffing

**This is the recipe that my Mom has used for over 40 years. Tastes great every time!!

***This recipe makes enough to stuff a 20 to 22 pound bird.


3/4 cup minced onion
1 cup butter (4 sticks) (real salted butter is best), really really soft
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
9 cups bread cubes
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp pepper

We added 1/2 roll cooked Jimmy Dean Original Sausage for a little spice.


This makes A LOT!! Use your largest bowl or a big stock pot. You're going to mix this with your hands.

Put all the ingredients into the bowl/stock pot. Add the softened butter and use your hands to mix it all together. Make sure that EVERYTHING is coated with butter.

If you have leftover stuffing after you stuff your bird put remaining stuffing in a casserole dish and refrigerate until about an hour before your turkey is done. Cook leftover stuffing for 1 hour at the current oven temp.

Herbed Roasted Potatoes


6 lg potatoes, quartered & thin sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup butter
4 tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese (heaping)


Preheat oven to 425.

Melt butter in oil in pan over medium high heat. Add minced garlic and saute, but don't let the garlic brown. Add potatoes and stir until they start to brown.

Add spices and mix well with potatoes until they are well coated. Turn off heat and add Parmesan cheese and mix well.

Transfer potatoes to a baking pan and cook at 425 for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, stir and cook again for 30 minutes.

Serves 7 to 8.