Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chinese Chicken Salad

A family friend sent me this recipe years ago after my Mom raved about it.  Since we're still enjoying salads during our heat wave in Texas, I thought I'd share it with you.  It's so full of crunchy goodness!!
I'm giving ingredients for a two person salad:

1 head of Romaine lettuce
2 chicken breasts, cooked
1-2 green onions
2 T. Sesame seed
1 t. poppy seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Rice noodles (found near the chow mein noodles)

Cut up the lettuce, chicken & onions & place in a bowl.

Toast the almonds, Sesame & poppy seeds.


(You will have some left over for another salad.)

1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. sugar (I used 1/4 c. of sugar substitute)
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Mix all in a blender.

Assemble the salad

Pour enough dressing over salad & mix.  Sprinkle the almonds, Sesame & poppy seeds & Rice noodles on top.  I also added some grape tomatoes to my salad.  I think sliced strawberries would be delicious, too.

Now, enjoy a bite of crunchy goodness!!

I'm sharing this with Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's & Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

If you're looking forward almost instant gratification cinnamon rolls, you need to try this yummy recipe.  I saw it awhile ago on & she got it from  I adapted it slightly & hope you give it a try!

1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 t. salt
4 t. active dry or rapid rise yeast
2/3 c. warm milk (100-110 F.)
3 T. oil
1/2 t. vanilla
1 egg


2 T. butter, room temp
2/3 c. brown sugar
3/4 t. cinnamon


1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 T. milk
1/2 t. vanilla

In a large bowl (I used my Kitchen Aid mixer), combine the flour, sugar & salt.  Dissolve the yeast in a small bowl with 1 T. sugar & the warmed milk.  Stir the milk mixture, oil, vanilla & egg into the flour mixture.  Mix well, until very smooth.  Let rest for 15 minutes.

As the dough rests,  mix the topping ingredients together in a small bowl until crumbly. 

Divide the batter between 12 greased muffin cups.  Sprinkle the topping evenly on top of the batter & press the mixture down into the dough with your fingertips.  ( I forgot to do this because I was talking on the phone with my daughter!!!  You know how that goes...we all try to do two things at once!)

Place pan into COLD oven, then set the temperature to 350 degrees.

Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned & the center of the muffin springs back when lightly pressed.

Cool for at least 30 minutes before mixing the icing together.  Drizzle the icing onto the muffins.

Now have yourself a delicious muffin.  Leftovers can be frozen  & reheated.

I'm sharing this with Muffin Monday & Tea Party Tuesday & Pink Saturday.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Potato, Ham & Swiss Frittata

I wanted a quick meal for dinner & thought to whip up a frittata, which is really quite filling & a one-skillet meal.  You can vary the ingredients on this to what you like.  I happened to  have some ham, baby dutch potatoes & Swiss cheese.   I served it with Caprese Towers from Stonegable, which are such a beautiful addition to a meal!   Here's the recipe for the frittata,  slightly adapted from Cook's Illustrated.

6 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
 1/2 cup chopped ham
1 cup potatoes, cut in 1/2" cubes
1/3-1/2 cup Swiss cheese, cut up
2 scallions , sliced thin on the bias


 Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, about 5 inches from heating element; heat broiler. Whisk eggs, milk,  1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl until well combined, about 30 seconds. Set eggs aside.
    Heat about 2 t. olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick ovensafe skillet & brown the potatoes over medium heat until golden brown & tender, about 10 minutes. Stir Swiss, scallions, and ham into eggs; add egg mixture to skillet and cook, using spatula to stir and scrape bottom of skillet, until large curds form and spatula begins to leave wake but eggs are still very wet, about 1 minute. Shake skillet to distribute eggs evenly; cook without stirring for 30 seconds to let bottom set.
       Slide skillet under broiler and broil until frittata has risen and surface is puffed and spotty brown, 1 & 1/2 to 2 minutes.   When cut into with a paring knife, eggs should be slightly wet and runny. Remove skillet from oven and let stand 5 minutes to finish cooking.   Using spatula, loosen frittata from skillet and slide onto platter or cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve.
        NOTE:  I covered the rubber handle of my non-stick skillet with a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil to protect it from the heat under the broiler.

        I am sharing this with On the Menu Monday at Stonegable.

        Wednesday, August 24, 2011

        Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts

        We have a local grocery store that has give aways if you spend $20.00 or more.  One week, they offered their Parmesan crusted chicken breasts.  Naturally, I took home the free chicken & it was delicious!  I asked them today how to make it & I duplicated it at home for dinner.

        My dear hubby has been undergoing chemo for almost a year now & the week after chemo, he loves to eat pasta.  When I saw this recipe for Fresh Tomato Pasta with Herbed Breadcrumbs "Montreal" at Savoring Time in the Kitchen, I knew I would make it for him.   I left off the breadcrumbs, but the pasta with fresh tomatoes was amazing!

        Here's the recipe for the chicken:

        I had 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (Free!!) that I slathered with about 1/3 cup lite mayonnaise that had a few drops of hot sauce & 1 T. minced green onion (the grocery store used chives, but I didn't have any).

        Next, you sprinkle some dry Parmesan cheese on each side along with freshly grated Parmesan.  That's it!!!!

        Now, put in a greased baking dish & into a preheated 375 degree oven.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until no longer pink inside. 

        The chicken is so moist & delicious.  I hope you try this easy recipe along with the wonderful pasta dish.  What a perfect, Summer meal!

        NOTE:  For those who don't like mayo, try slathering butter on the chicken  instead!

        I am sharing this with Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's & Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.

        Monday, August 22, 2011

        Dutch Baby

        I saw this recipe on Cook's Country, which is part of America's Test Kitchen, and wanted to try it.  It's a fairly easy recipe & while the dutch baby was baking, I fixed the rest of our breakfast.  The recipe doesn't have any sugar in it, therefore, it really needs some powdered sugar, sweetened strawberries or syrup.  Here's the recipe:

                                                                                                  It looks like a giant popover !!

        2 T. vegetable oil (I really didn't need that much)
        1 c. flour
        1/4 c. cornstarch
        2 t. zest & 2 T. juice from 1 lemon
        1 t. salt
        3 large eggs
        1 1/4 c. skim milk
        1 T. unsalted butter, melted & cooled
        1 t. vanilla
        3 T. confectioners' sugar

        Adjust oven rack to middle position & heat oven to 450 degrees.  Brush surface & sides of large skillet with oil.  (I used a 10" stainless steel skillet).  Place skillet on oven rack & heat until oil is shimmering, about 10 minutes.

        Combine flour, cornstarch, lemon zest & salt in large bowl.  Whisk eggs in another bowl until frothy & light, about 1 minute.  Whisk milk, butter & vanilla into eggs until incorporated. Whisk one-third of milk mixture into flour mixture until no lumps remain then slowly whisk in remaining milk mixture until smooth.

        Carefully pour batter into heated skillet & bake until edges of Dutch Baby are deep, golden brown & crisp, about 20 minutes.  Remove to wire rack & sprinkle the Dutch Baby with the lemon juice & confectioners'  sugar.  Cut into wedges to serve.  For an added treat, serve with an array of berries & sweetened whipped cream. 

        NOTE:  The Dutch Baby will deflate after it sits.  It's supposed to!

        I am sharing this with Pink Saturday. 

        Serves 4                                           M-m-m, the finished product!

        Thursday, August 18, 2011

        Chocolate Nut Crackle Sauce

        I cut this recipe out of a magazine YEARS ago.  It's like the Magic Shell sauce that you buy, only BETTER!!  It hardens on ice cream & is SO good.  Of course, if you're making it for kids, you may want to leave out the nuts.  Here's the recipe.

        1/4 cup butter or margarine
        1 cup medium-fine chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds
        1 6 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips

        Melt butter or margarine in heavy skillet over moderate heat.  Add nuts & cook, stirring to prevent burning, until light golden brown.  Remove from heat & stir in chocolate pieces until  melted & smooth.  Heat to serve over ice cream (sauce will crackle & become firm). 

        To give, put in a jelly jar with instructions to heat the sauce before serving.

        Makes 1 1/4 cups.

        Serve over  my Vanilla Bean Ice Cream recipe for a scrumptious treat!!!

        NOTE:  I re-heat the sauce in the microwave on medium power until melted.

        I am sharing this with Foodie Friday & On the Menu Monday at Stonegable & Tea Party Tuesday  & Rock 'n Share Party, Crazy Sweet Tuesday

        Monday, August 15, 2011

        Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

        Recently my grandsons wanted to make "that vanilla ice cream", so when they came over we whipped some up.  This recipe is so easy & they just love it!  I am sharing this with Tea Party Tuesday at Sweetology.

        3 cup whipping cream
        1/2 cup milk
        1 cup sugar
        1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

        In a saucepan over medium low heat, combine all ingredients, except vanilla bean.  Stir occasionally until sugar dissolves.  Cool slightly.  With a small knife, scrape tiny black seeds from bean into cream.  Discard bean.  Chill thoroughly.  Follow directions for your ice cream maker.
        NOTE:  In place of vanilla bean, substitute 1 T. vanilla.

        Happy Ice Cream Taster!!

        Sunday, August 14, 2011

        Tortilla Soup

        The name of this  Rachel Ray soup is actually, are you ready?... Why-the-Chicken-Crossed-the-Road Santa Fe-Tastic Tortilla Soup!!!!  I have never been to Santa Fe, but I thought my tastebuds would like to make the trip. The trip was well worth it if you love spicy soups!! This recipe was rated #28 in Rachel's Top 100.  This soup is not exactly a "30 Minute Meal", as it took me closer to an hour with all the chopping, grilling, etc.   I am particpating in  the Celebrity Chef Cook Along at Happier than a Pig in Mud.  Go there & check out all the other great Rachel Ray recipes.


        • Vegetable or corn oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons
        • 3 ears corn on the cob or 2 ears fresh-frozen cobs, defrosted
        • 1 red bell pepper, split and seeded
        • 1 pound chciken breast tenders (I used skinless, boneless breasts)
        • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
        • 1 teaspoon cumin
        • Salt and pepper
        • 1 small to medium zucchini, small dice
        • 1 medium yellow skinned onion, chopped
        • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
        • 1 to 2 chipotle in adobo peppers (medium to hot heat level), chopped -- available in small cans in Mexican and Spanish food section of market 
        • 1 can stewed tomatoes, 28 ounces
        • 1 can tomato sauce, 8 ounces
        • 3 cups chicken stock
        • 4 cups blue corn tortilla chips, broken up into large pieces (I just used regular tortilla chips)
        • 1 cup shredded cheddar or pepper Jack cheese
        • 1/2 cup sour cream

        Optional garnishes:

        • 1/4 red raw onion, chopped
        • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley leaves
        • 1 ripe avocado, diced and dressed with the juice of 1/2 lemon


        Heat a grill pan to high and a soup pot to medium high. Drizzle oil on corn and place on grill. Add red pepper to grill with corn. Char vegetables 10 minutes, total, turning occasionally. Remove to cool, 5 minutes. Remove charred skin from the pepper.  (I did all this on my gas grill).

        While vegetables cook, dice chicken. Add 2 tablespoons oil to hot soup pot. Add chicken to pot. Season with poultry seasoning, cumin, salt and pepper. Lightly brown chicken on each side. Add zucchini, onions and garlic and chipotle peppers. Cook vegetables with chicken 5 to 7 minutes to soften. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock. Bring soup to a bubble, reduce heat to medium low.
        Scrape corn off cob and add to soup. Chop grilled red pepper and stir into soup. Add chips to soup in handfuls and fold in. Serve soup immediately with scatter of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Top with any or all of the suggested garnishes.

        As a side note:  You can freeze the leftover chipotles by placing individual ones on wax paper, placing on a tray, freeze until firm & then place in freezer proof bag.

        Thursday, August 11, 2011

        Grilled Pesto Chicken

        I saw a recipe for this in our local newspaper, but I've adapted it to be grilled & changed it so much, that now it's a new version.  This makes for a beautiful, colorful presentation.   If you like pesto, or make your own, this one's for you!

        Basil Pesto

        You can double or triple this recipe & freeze the leftover in ice cube trays.  That way you can pop them out when frozen & store them in a freezer proof bag & have pesto when you need it.

        2/3 c. coarsely chopped basil leaves
        1/3 c. grated Parmesan
        1/3 c. olive oil
        2 T. pine nuts or sunflower kernels (you can also use walnuts or almonds)
        1/8 t. pepper
        1 clove garlic, peeled

        Put all in a blender or food processor & blend or pulse until smooth.  If needed, add a little more oil to make it spreadable.

        For the Chicken

        4 chicken breast halves, I used skinless, boneless
        3/4 c. Italian dressing
        2 T. lemon juice
        salt & pepper
        1/3 c. basil pesto, thinned with a small amount of chicken broth to make it spreadable, if needed
        2-3 T. chicken broth
        1 tomato , diced for garnish
        cooked brown rice or pasta
        16 spears fresh asparagus, washed & trimmed & drizzled with olive oil or spray

        Place the chicken breasts in a glass dish & pour the Italian dressing & lemon juice on top.  Cover & marinate, refrigerated up to 3 hours. 

        Remove the breasts from the dish, pat dry & season with salt & pepper.  Discard the marinade.

        Heat your grill to medium-high.  Sear the breasts for 2 minutes, turn a quarter-turn, on same side & grill 2 minutes more.  Now, flip the breasts over & spread the pesto on top of each breast.  Repeat the searing.  If your breasts are very thick, you may need to put them on the part of your grill where you can turn down the burners.  Cook until no longer pick in the center.  NOTE: While the chicken was cooking, I also grilled my asparagus.

        Remove the chicken & asparagus to a platter, add chicken broth & let rest for 5 minutes.

        Using the remainder of the pesto, toss your brown rice or pasta with it.  You may need to add a little more olive oil or chicken broth.
        Arrange the chicken on each plate, drizzle with the pan juices & garnish with the tomato.  Divide the rice or pasta on each plate & top with the asparagus spears. 

        Makes 4 servings

        I am sharing this with Foodie Friday & On the Menu Monday & Full Plate Thursday .

        Wednesday, August 10, 2011

        Meatball Subs

        We love meatballs subs & I'm not opposed to buying frozen meatballs for a quick & easy meal.  This can be thrown in the crock pot & you'll have a great meal when you come home.

        French baguette (for a homemade version, check here.)

        Frozen meatballs, beef or turkey

        Grated Mozzarella cheese for topping

        Quick Marinara Sauce:  (or use your favorite jarred sauce)

        1-2 T. olive oil
        1/2 small onion, chopped
        2-3 cloves garlic, minced
        a sprinkle of crushed red peppers, optional
        1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
        salt & pepper & basil to taste

        In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion & saute until translucent.  Add garlic & crushed red peppers & cook about 30 seconds.  Add tomatoes & seasonings.  Bring to a boil & then simmer.  Add this point, I put it in a crock pot & throw in the frozen meatballs & cook on low all day.

        When ready to serve:

        Cut the bread into portion sizes & split them horizontally.   You can lightly toast them, if desired.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese & then fill the bread with enough meatballs & sauce.     These are very messy & you may need a fork for eating!  I sprinkled fresh basil on top...Yum!!!

        I am sharing this with Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's.

        Monday, August 8, 2011

        Double Cinnamon Bread

        How can I even think about baking in our 100+ degree temperatures??  I guess I just had a craving for cinnamon bread & wanted to try Pam Anderson's daughter's recipe.  And NO, not that Pam Anderson!!  I'm talking about the one who is a cookbook author & used to work for Cook's Illustrated.   This one is SO easy because it's all done in a food processor &  there's no kneading involved!!  M-m-m-m,  this will make your house smell heavenly & your loved ones will think they ARE in heaven when they taste a slice.  It makes great french toast, too.  Here's the recipe from my kitchen, courtesy of Maggy Anderson:

        2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
        1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed to tepid
        1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter melted but not hot
        4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 teaspoons for the swirl
        2 tsp salt
        1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/4 cup for the swirl
        2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus 2 teaspoons for the swirl
        1 egg, beaten

        Sprinkle yeast over warm milk (like a baby's bath water); let stand until yeast dissolves and starts to expand, about 5 minutes; whisk in butter.

        Meanwhile, pulse 4 cups of flour, salt, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and 2 teaspoon of the cinnamon in the work bowl of a food processor. Add milk mixture; process until it forms a soft, rough mass, about 30 seconds. (Dough will firm up as butter solidifies.)

        Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface to form a smooth ball; place into a vegetable cooking spray-coated large bowl and then cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place until dough doubles, 1 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on room temperature. Mix remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with remaining 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and flour.  Set aside. 

        Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface, stretching it into a 20-by 9-inch rectangle; brush with egg and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. With the 9-inch side facing you, roll dough into a tight cylinder & place seam side down  in a vegetable cooking spray-coated 9-inch loaf pan.
        Cover pan with a damp towel; let rise until almost doubled in size, 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, depending on room temperature.

        Ten to 15 minutes before baking, heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush dough with remaining egg wash and bake until crust is brown and interior registers 190 degrees, about 45 minutes. Turn loaf onto a wire rack to cool. (Cooled loaf can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature a day or two or wrapped loaf can be placed in a zipper-lock bag and frozen up to 1 month.) Slice, toast, serve.

        I am sharing this with Tea Party Tuesday at Sweetology & Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's & &

        Friday, August 5, 2011


        Years ago, when my daughter was in high school, one of her girlfriend's gave me her family's salsa recipe.  It's the only one I've ever used since.   It's really quick & easy & my hubby's favorite.   I hope you give it a try! 

        1-2 green onions
        1/4 onion
        2 jalapenos (remove the seeds & ribs for less heat)
        1/2 bunch cilantro
        1 can Rotel
        1 can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
        1 can stewed tomatoes
        salt & pepper
        garlic salt or powder
        dash of ground cumin

        Chop the first 4 ingredients in a food processor.  Add the rest of the ingredients & pulse until it's the consistency that you like.  Serve with your favorite chips.

        I like to mix some of this salsa with some sour cream & use it as a dressing over taco salad.

        Wednesday, August 3, 2011

        Chicken, Black Bean, Corn & Tomato Salad

        After reading an article from  & discovering that we all need to eat more beans to reduce the amount of belly fat, I tried this delicious meal.  It's also a cool & refreshing Summertime meal.  I hope you try it!

        12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts,
             poached (I grilled it)
        1 - 15 ounce can black beans, drained & rinsed
        1 large vine-ripened tomato or 2 plum
           tomatoes, cored & diced
        1 c. frozen corn, thawed
        1 T. EVOO
        3 cloves garlic, minced
        2 t. dried oregano
        1 1/2 t. ground cumin
        2 T. sherry or apple cider vinegar
        1/2 t. salt
        1/2 c. chopped scallions
        1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley (I think cilantro would be better)

        Shred or chop chicken & combine with black beans, tomatoes & corn in a salad bowl.

        Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic & saute until just beginning to color, about 30 seconds.  Add oregano & cumin; stir until fragrant, about 10 seconds.  Remove from heat; add vinegar & salt.  Pour over the salad.  Add scallions & parsley; gently toss to combine.

        Note:  Next time I will add a minced jalapeno.  I also think some cooked brown rice or barley would be a good substitute for the corn.

        Makes 4 servings at 250 calories; 6 g. fat; 26 g carbs; 24 g. protein; 6 g. fiber

        Recipe source:

        I am sharing this with On the Menu Monday at Stonegable. Recipe of the Week

        Monday, August 1, 2011

        Frosted Soft Sugar Cookies

        Wow, I tried these cookies recently & couldn't believe how addictive they are!!  I'd like to re-name them "Happy Kids Cookies" for they make little & big kids very happy.  Four of my 6 grandkids helped me frost & decorate them.  I hope you try them, for there's a little bit of kid in all of us!!

        4 1/2 c. flour
        4 1/2 t. baking powder
        3/4 t. salt
        2 sticks butter, softened
        1/2 c. shortening (I used butter-flavored)
        1 1/2 c. sugar
        3 eggs
        5 t. vanilla

        In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder & salt & whisk together.  In bowl  of mixer, combine the butter, shortening & sugar & beat until soft & fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each & scraping down the bowl   Blend in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients mixing until incorporated & evenly mixed.  Cover & chill for 1 hour.

        When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.  Scoop the dough into about a 2" ball & roll.  I used my ice cream scoop for this part.  Flatten the cookies slightly & space them about 2-3" apart.  Bake 10-12 minutes.   Don' t overbake!  The cookies should remain very light in color.  Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes & then transfer to a wire rack to cool.


        4 c. powdered sugar
        1/4 c. butter, softened
        2 t. vanilla
        5-6 T. milk (plus more, if needed)
        food coloring

        Cream together the powdered sugar & butter with an electric mixer.  Add the vanilla & milk.  The frosting should be fairly thick.  Divide into bowls for coloring & tint.  Spoon the frosting onto the cooled cookies.  (Add a little milk if the frosting thickens.)  Top with sprinkles before the frosting sets.
        Store in an airtight container.  These cookies will stay soft & delicious for several days, if they last that long!!!

        Yield: about 3 dozen good-sized cookies

        This recipe is slightly adapted from Annie's Eats.  I am sharing this recipe with Tea Party Tuesday & Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage  &    Recipe of the Week.

        Here are the happy kids!

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