Saturday, December 13, 2008

Smoky Orange Chicken

This is a really simple way to prepare chicken and it smells awesome. I am always looking for sauces and marinades that are lower in sodium and ARE NOT BBQ SAUCE! This fit the bill. This recipe makes enough for 3 meals so I often freeze them for a busy night.

10 chicken breasts
1 jar of orange marmalade
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp liquid smoke

Combine orange marmalade, soy sauce, and liquid smoke. Season chicken with pepper and a teeny pinch of salt. Brown chicken in a large skillet in batches til brown on both sides but raw in the middle. Place all the chicken in the skillet and top with sauce. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Tis the season for cookies! I do not have the patience to make batch after batch of cookies so I tend to make bars cookies. This is a simple and quick recipe when you have to bring a dozen cookies somewhere.

1 c peanut butter
6 tbsp butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 c flour
2 c chocolate chips

Cream peanut butter, butter, sugars, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Add flour. Stir in 3/4 c chips. Spread in 13x9 pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining chips. Let stand for 5 minutes. Spread chips.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sausage Stars

Tis the season for appetizers! This one is really tasty but I haven't eaten them since Christmas 1997. You see, I was 8 weeks pregnant that Christmas and I made these for a Christmas party. The smell and the raw sausage was too much for my tender tummy. That "pregnancy" is now a 10 year old girl who LOVES to cook so we're going to make these next week. Hopefully she'll love them!

1 pound bulk sausage
1 1/2 c cheddar
1 1/2 c monterey jack
1 c ranch dressing
1/2 c chopped red pepper
1 pkg. won ton wrappers

Brown and drain sausage. Combine all ingredients except won tons. Spray muffin tins with Pam. Press won tons into cups. Spray again. Bake for 5 minutes at 350. Remove from tins, fill and bake 5-7 minutes. Serve HOT!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Caramel Apple Cider

I hate coffee. I know, it's not normal but I really hate it. In our coffee-obsessed culture I have found alternatives so I can still carry around my Starbucks cup and look cool. In the fall, I love their Caramel Apple Cider. This is as close as it gets!

1/4 c heavy cream
1/4 c brown sugar
3 c apple cider
1/2 water

Bring cream and brown sugar to a boil. Stir in the cider and water. Heat until it begins to steam, about 4-5 minutes.

1/2 c heavy cream
1 Tbsp brown sugar. In a chilled bowl, whip heavy cream with brown sugar until soft peaks form. Add to the top of each cup of cider.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pineapple Bars

Good change from brownies or other typical bars. These are really good in January when you need some sun!

2 c flour
2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
1 can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat over to 350. Beat together and pour into greased and floured 13x9 pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 3/4 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Beat until creamy. Frost bars when cool.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Marshmallow Krispie Brownies

These are a little tricky since you can't under-bake them as I love to do! I would reccomend a glass baking pan instead of metal. Also make sure you allow them to cool all the way before adding the top layer.

19-21 oz brownie mix
10 oz mini-marshmallows
1 1/2 c chocolate chips
1 c peanut butter
1 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 c rice krispies

Prepare bownie mix according to directions for fudge-like brownies. Sprinkle baked brownies with marshmallows and return to oven 3-5 minutes. Cool. Combine chips, peanut butter, and butter til melted. Stir in cereal. Pour over marshmallows. Refrigerate til set.

Monday, September 22, 2008


These are so so so so good! They are a zillion times yummier than regular Oreos. Use food coloring to tint the filling any color you want.

2 boxes devils food cake mix
4 eggs
2/3 c oil
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 c butter
3/4 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
food coloring

Preheat oven to 350. Beat cakes mixes, eggs, and oil. Batter will be really stiff. Roll into one inch balls and flatten slightly. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Beat cream cheese and butter. Add sugar and vanilla. Add food coloring and spread on cookies. Make sandwiches.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hawaiian Egg Rolls

I hated my deep fryer. It totally smelled up the kitchen so we could only use it outside. Hated it so I sold it in my garage sale. This was one of the only recipes I ever needed it for but it works just as good in a deep skillet.

10 fresh spinach leaves
1/2 tsp ginger
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb chopped ham
4 water chestnuts
1/4 undrained crushed pineapple
2 Tbsp green onion
1 Tbsp soy sauce
7 egg roll wrappers

Saute spinach and ginger in oil. Combine remaining ingredients. Add spinach. Place 3 Tbsp on the mixture in the center of an egg roll wrapper. Roll and moisten edges to seal. Fry in oil til golden.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Beef Burgundy

I made this for our small group Christmas party a few years back and it was yummy! It's a great party meal since it bakes for so long and smells just divine.

1/4 c olive oil
2 1/2- 3 lbs lean sirloin, cut in chunks
3 Tbsp flour, plus some for dredging
salt and pepper
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
2 lg carrots, peeled and chopped
1 lg onion, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
5-6 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
one bottle French burgundy wine
2 c beef stock
5 Tbsp butter, divided
1 c frozen pearl onions
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 mushrooms
1 Tbsp orange zest
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/4 c flat leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 375. In a oven proof stock pot with tight fitting lid, heat olive oil til very hot. Dredge beef in flour and add to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, brown meat evenly. Remove to a plate. Add chopped bacon to pan. Cook bacon til it starts to crisp. Add carrots, onions, and bay leaf. Cook veggies 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add beef back to the pot. Pour in wine and beef stock. Cover pot and transfer to the oven for 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skilelt, melt 3 Tbsp butter. Add 3 Tbsp of flour and whisk to make a roux. Transfer to a small dish and reserve. Return pan to heat and add 1 Tbsp of butter. Add pearl onions and sugar. Cook until evenly caramelized, set aside. Cook mushrooms in butter til tender. Add citrus zest. Reserve.

Remove beef from oven. Place over medium heat on the stove top. Whisk in roux to thicken and add pearl onions and mushrooms. Stir in parsley. Serve over almond rice pilaf.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Avocado Corn Salsa

It's summer so it's time for salsa recipes. This one is particularly good with those Hint of Lime tortilla chips. Next time you make corn on the cob, throw an extra few on the grill for this salsa. You could also roast it under the broiler but who would want to do that in the summer?

2 ears of corn, roasted
2 avocados, diced
1/2 c red onion, chopped
1/2 c red pepper, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
2-4 dashes hot pepper sauce
2 tsp cumin
1/4-1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 c chopped cilantro (Kim, you can leave this out and it's still good!)
2 Tbsp lime juice

Cut the kernels off the cob and mix with all the ingredients. Keep covered and refrigerated but serve quickly as the avocado will turn brown.

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad

I hate pepperoni. I know, it's un-American but I really do hate it! But I love pasta salads and am always scouting new ones. I tried this a few summers ago as an alternative to the traditional oil and vinegar salads and it was a hit. I even liked the pepperoni!

10 plum tomatoes, chopped
3 medium green peppers, chopped
2 c cubed mozzarella
3.5 oz sliced pepperoni
2 oz can sliced black olives
1/2 c onion, chopped
1/3 c tomato juice
1/4 red wine vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp fresh basil, shredded
2 c rotini pasta, cooked and cooled

Combine tomatoes, green peppers, cheese, pepperoni, olives and onions. In a small bowl, combine tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, and garlic. Pour over tomato mixture. Add pasta and basil and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Skillet Shrimp and Rice

This is like a jambalaya. But there's no sausage. Or okra. And it's not spicy. OK, so it's not really a jambalaya, but it's yummy! The girls love it and it's super duper easy!

1 pkg bacon bits
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lg. green pepper, chopped
2 c brown rice
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
3 1/2 c chicken broth
2 tsp Old Bay
1 lb frozen, cooked shrimp

In a large skillet saute onion, garlic, and green pepper in butter or olive oil until soft. Add rice and cook 1 minute, while stirring constantly. Stir in tomatoes, broth, and Old Bay. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until rice is tender~about 15 minutes.

Thaw shrimp under cold water and remove tails. Add to the skillet, cover, and simmer another 5-7 minutes. Top with bacon bits.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Roasted Spring Veggies

This is the perfect side dish with any grilled meat or fish.

1 lb green beans
1 lb baby carrots
3 medium red onions, cut in eighths
2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c olive oil
1 1/2 tsp italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl whisk together olive oil and seasonings. Chop veggies into pieces and toss to coat. Roast for 40-45 minutes, stirring once during cook time.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Marinated Steak Sandwiches

Can't have too many marinade recipes.

3 T white wine
2 T sugar
2 T honey
1 t dry mustard
1 t salt
1 t celery salt
1 t tarragon
1 t onion powder
1/2 t pepper
1.2 c olive oil

Combine all ingredients. Place in bag with your choice of steak. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Grill and serve on toasted buns with lettuce and tomato.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

My sister-in-law hates my cooking. But she LOVES mushrooms so I made these for Christmas Eve and she loved 'em.

12oz Stouffer's spinach souffle, defrosted
2 1/2-3 lbs mushrooms
1/2 lb Italian sausage
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp onion
3/4 c water
2 1/3 c stuffing
1/4 c parmesan

Brown sausage, drain. Clean and de-stem mushrooms. Saute onions in butter. Add water and heat to boiling. Turn off heat. Add stuffing and stir. Add spinach, sausage, and parmesan. Stir well. Place mushrooms on cookie sheet and fill with spinach mix. Sprinkle with extra parmesan. Bake 10-15 minutes.


If you are from the midwest you know exactly what sliders are. White Castle burgers. Yum. When I was very pregnant with Amelia I forced friends to eat some with me in hopes of going into labor. Christine called me the next morning to inform me that I was the only one NOT in labor. These are as good of a recreation as I have found. Be sure to blot the meat before you put the cheese on or you will have a greasy mess!

1 lb ground beef
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 egg
1/3 c bread crumbs
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp water
3/4 lb Velveeta
12 dinner rolls

Preheat oven to 400. Mix meat, soup mix, egg, bread crumbs, pepper, and water. Press into 13 x 9 pan and bake 10-15 minutes. Drain and blot. Slice Velveeta over the meat and melt. Serve on buns with chopped onion and pickle chips.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Grilled Mac and Cheese with Veggies

Tim is addicted to BBQU. Loves it. This is by far the best recipe we've tried from there and it isn't even meat! The perfect side dish for any grilled meat!

Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
2 cups (about 8 ounces) elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 ears sweet corn, shucked
1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons butter
Freshly ground black pepper
6 to 8 New Mexican green chiles or Anaheim or California peppers, or
2 to 4 poblano peppers
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups half-and-half, light cream, or milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated smoked cheese, preferably smoked Cheddar
1/4 to 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (preferably homemade)

Bring 8 quarts of lightly salted water to a rapid boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 7 to 8 minutes. Drain the macaroni in a large colander, rinse with cold water until cool, and drain again. Toss the macaroni with the oil to prevent sticking.

Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

When ready to cook, lightly brush the corn and onion with half of the melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Place the corn and onion on the hot grate and grill until nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side (8 to 12 minutes in all) for the corn, and 3 to 4 minutes per side (9 to 12 minutes in all) for the onion, turning with tongs as needed. Add the chiles and peppers to the hot grate and grill until the skins are charred, 3 to 5 minutes per side (6 to 10 minutes in all) for the New Mexican chiles, or 3 to 5 minutes per side (12 to 20 minutes in all) for the poblano peppers, and 4 to 6 minutes per side (16 to 24 minutes in all) for the bell peppers. Transfer the corn and onion to a cutting board and let cool.

Transfer the grilled chiles and bell peppers to a baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Let the peppers cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes (the steam trapped by the plastic wrap helps loosen the skin from the peppers). Scrape the skin off the cooled peppers, then core and seed them.

Cut the corn kernels off the cobs using lengthwise strokes of a chef’s knife. Thinly slice the onion quarters crosswise. Cut the chiles and peppers into 1/4-inch dice. The recipe can be prepared to this stage up to 2 days ahead.

Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and cook until soft but not brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the corn kernels and grilled onion, chiles, and bell peppers. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the half-and-half and increase the heat to high. Let the mixture boil for 3 minutes, stirring well; it should thicken. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mustard and cooked macaroni, followed by the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste; the mixture should be highly seasoned. Spoon the macaroni and cheese into the cast iron skillet or oiled aluminum foil pan. Sprinkle the top of the macaroni with the bread crumbs and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter over the bread crumbs. The recipe can be prepared to this stage up to 24 hours ahead.

Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-high. If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium-high. If using a charcoal grill, preheat it to medium-high, then toss all of the wood chips or chunks, if desired, on the coals.

When ready to cook, place the macaroni and cheese in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat, and cover the grill. Cook the macaroni and cheese until the sauce is bubbly and the top is crusty and brown, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Serve at once.