Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cranberry Chicken

8 oz Catalina dressing
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
1 lb can whole berry cranberry sauce
4 chicken breasts

To Freeze:
Mix together everything but chicken.  Place sauce and chicken in a freezer bag.  Freeze in freezer.

Serving day:
Place in crockpot for 5-6 hours on low.  Whalaa!

If you want to make multiples at one time....I have doubled the recipe and then actually made it into 3 freezer meals since I'm trying to make it the size of what my family would eat.  I also use one can of whole berry cranberry sauce and then one can of just the cranberry sauce so there aren't too many cranberries.  Great meal to make once the salad dressing goes on sale.  You can get the dressing on a good deal for about $1.50/bottle.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

I found this recipe out of my cookbook, Top Secret Restaurant Recipes.  It has been a favorite for years.

1/2 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup corn syrup
2 1/2 T. grated Romano cheese
2 T. dry pectin (like the canning pectin)\
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp dried parsely
pinch of dried oregano
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in blender and mix well.  Chill at least 1 hour before using.

Salad:  romaine lettuce, sliced red onion, croutons, peppercini, olives - or whatever you like.

Spicy Honey Chicken

My family loves this chicken.  They all ooh and aah over it every time I make it.  You can't go wrong here!  I found this at Our Best Bites.
Spicy Honey Chicken

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 2lbs
2 t. vegetable oil

2 t granulated garlic
2 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t coriander
1 t kosher salt
1 t cumin
1/2 t chipotle chili powder

1/2 C Honey
1T Cider Vinegar

Combine the rub spices in bowl and mix well.

Use kitchen shears (or a pair of clean scissors) to trim off any excess fat from the chicken pieces.Pat dry. Drizzle oil over chicken and rub in with your hands to lightly coat all the pieces. 

Then toss chicken with the spice rub to coat all sides well. Use your hands and get in there! Grill chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

While chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave so it’s not so thick. Add the vinegar and combine well. Reserve 2T honey glaze for later. Take the rest and brush on chicken (both sides) in the final moments of grilling.

I’m gonna warn you that this can make a hot mess, literally. It’s sugar, and it’s gonna drip. But the smelly smoke is worth it for a minute or two. Just leave your grill on for a few minutes after the chicken is done to burn off any excess glaze. It’s totally worth it once you taste this stuff.
If you don’t have a bbq, try it on an indoor grill pan or use your broiler. Just be sure to open a window in case you burn your glaze!

Drizzle the  reserved extra couple tablespoons of glaze on top of cooked chicken.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Onion soup mix 1 pouch
2 eggs
Ketchup (tomato sauce) 1/2 cup
Italian bread crumbs 1/2 cup
Ground beef 2 lbs

Mix together and form into a loaf.  Cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees OR MY the crockpot on low for 2.5-3 hours.  

I like to just make a 1 lb loaf for our family.  It works out perfect!  This was a freezer meal from our group.  It freezes great!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tortellini con Beschiamella

This is a family favorite recipe that we got from the Richaels.  I always double the recipe because it goes quick!

1/4 cup butter
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
dash nutmeg
1/2 cup ham, chopped
1 14-16 oz pkg of frozen cheese tortellini

For sauce:  In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.  Add flour, salt, and nutmeg and stir just until bubbly.  Slowly add  milk.  Over medium heat, bring to boil, stirring constantly.  Boil for 1  minute and remove from heat.  Add ham.  Pour sauce over cooked tortellini and serve with grated Parmesan cheese

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Best Spanish Rice

I was looking for a quick and easy recipe for a mexican side dish yesterday and found this recipe!  I made it and then thought..dang it made too I'll have lots of leftovers!  Nope, it was a hit!

2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chunky salsa

1.  Heal oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Stir in onion and cook until tender.  About 5 minutes.

2.  Mix in rice into skillet, stirring often. When rice begins to brown, stir in chicken broth and salsa.

3.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed.

This recipe comes from

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough and Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks

I found this recipe on Pinterest (and HERE is the link to it) and had to tried it.  It is so yummy!  This is my new favorite go-to recipe for pizza dough and the bread sticks were yummy also!  Marne told me this is her favorite it is a must try!



for the pizza dough-
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey {or sugar}
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
3 cups bread flour {give or take 1/2 cup...depending on the heat & humidity}
for the cheesy garlic bread sticks-
1/2 recipe Fail-Proof Pizza Dough from above
2 tablespoons softened salted butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese {use the real stuff!}
1/4 pound grated mozzarella cheese
{salt & pepper, if desired}


For the pizza dough--
1.  In a large mixing bowl, stir yeast and honey into warm water. Sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles form and mixture starts to foam. 
2.  Pour in salt, oil and half the flour and mix. Once that flour is incorporated, start adding flour in bit by bit until you get the pizza dough to the consistency you want: slightly tacky, but when you touch it it doesn't stick to your hands.
3.   Knead for 6 minutes. Turn a timer on and walk away! Resist the temptation to stop earlier than 6 minutes! That seems to be the magical number. The dough should be smooth and easy to work with. And the bowl should be clean! Lightly grease the bowl & the dough so it doesn't dry out, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise 1-2 hours. That's it! Use as desired.
For the Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks-
1.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone inside. {If you don't have a pizza stone, use an upside down cookie sheet...a tip I got from Natalie!}
2.  Mix butter and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
3.  Spread pizza dough out into a 12-inch circle on parchment paper. {This makes it easier to transfer to the pizza stone.}  ***HOWEVER, I just rolled it out on the hot stone and it worked fine for me ***
4.Spread the butter and garlic mixture over dough and top with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Top with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, if desired or other spices of your choosing.

5.Bake 9-10 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Remove from oven and cool 1-2 minutes before cutting. Serve hot, with marinara.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Kung Pao Chicken

We love this dish!  I am not sure where I found it.

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1" pieces
1 T. cornstarch
2 tsp sesame oil
3 T. green onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 T. rice wine vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts

Combine chicken and cornstarch in a small bowl and toss to coat.  Heat sesame oil in wok (or large deep-dish skillet) over medium heat.  Add chicken and stir fry 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink inside.  Remove chicken from wok.

Add green onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger to the wok and stir fry for 15 seconds.  Combine vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar in small bowl.  Mix well and add the sauce to the wok.  Return chicken to the work and coat with sauce.  Stir in roasted peanuts.  Heat thoroughly.  Top with additional green onions if desired and serve over rice.

Chopped Cobb Salad

I found this recipe in a cookbook at the library titled, Bubby's Brunch Cookbook by Ron Silver.  I tried this chopped Cobb salad and my family loved it.  There were no leftovers!

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup canola oil

To make the dressing combine 1/4 cup water, the vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and garlic in large bowl.  Stir until combined.  Then slowly pour in olive and canola oil.  (Or if you are like me....just throw it in the blender and mix it at once!)

As far as the salad goes, you can do it however you would like.  The recipe suggests using 1 head romaine, 1 bunch watercress, 2 heads Beligian endive, and 1 bunch of argula.  I used spinach, red leaf and romaine lettuce.  I tossed the greens together and arranged it in the middle of a platter with the other ingredients in individual piles around the greens.

The other ingredients (besides salad greens) may include:
grilled chicken breasts in slices,
4 large boiled eggs, sliced
6 slices of bacon, chopped
2 ripe avacados, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
(or add and subtract whatever you like)

You can serve the dressing on the side or drizzle it over the salad.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sauteed Yucca

Another Brazilian food.  My husband loves this.  Ate it all the time on his mission.

1 lb yucca root, skin removed and sliced in to 2 - 3 inch cylinders
salt and pepper to taste
3 TBS unsalted butter

1.  Place yucca into a saucepan and cover completely with water.
2.  Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to medium heat and simmer just until fork tender.
3.  Drain water and then when cool enough to handle, split cylinders and removed fibrous root in the center of the yucca root.
4.  Heat and saute pan over medium heat.  Add butter to melt and saute cooked yucca just until golden.  Season with salt to taste and pepper if desired.

Cilantro Lime Rice (authentic)

I made this in my Brazilian cooking class.  It has a different taste than the other Cilantro Lime Rice recipe on this blog...but still very yummy!  This method of cooking makes the rice makes it PERFECT every time!

1 cup long grain rice
2 TBS canola or vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 TBS fresh lime juice
1 TBS lime zest
3 TBS fresh cilantro, chopped

1.  Rinse rice, drain and reserve.
2.  Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat.  When oil is hot add well drained rice and coat evenly with oil.  Saute for 2-3 minutes.
3.  Add water and salt to pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Allow water to evaporate to level of rice.  As soon as you see air pockets on the top, place tight lid on pot, reduce heat to lowest setting and cook for 18 minutes.
4.  Fluff with fork and gently fold in lime juice, zest and cilantro.

- For better results of releasing juice from lime, roll in on a hard surface under your palm putting pressure on it.
-For a tight seal on the lid, put a piece of tinfoil over the pot and then the lid on top pressing down.

Brazilian Cheese Rolls

I took a Brazilian cooking class and learned to make these.  My husband says they taste authentic!

1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup tapioca flour (NO SUBSTITUTES!)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.  Place egg, milk, oil, tapioca flour, and salt in food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Add cheeses (reserve a little Parmesan to sprinkle on top) and pulse 2 times.  Immediately pour batter into a nonstick mini muffin filling each 3/4 full.  Sprinkle a bit of Parmesan cheese on top.
3.  Bake for 15-20 minutes util puffed and golden.  Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before removing rolls from pan.  Serve warm.

**TIP - I was told that it is BEST if the cooking ingredients are at room temperature.