Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Haystack Cookies

Does anyone remember these? I hadn't had one of these babies since I was a kid. So easy and so good!
1 c. butterscotch chips
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. peanuts
2 c. chow mein noodles

In a dish microwave at 50% power, melting the chips and peanut butter (3-5 minutes). Stir in peanuts and chow mein noodles. Drop on wax paper. Put in refrigerator for faster set or let sit overnight on counter.
I omitted the peanuts, and didn't wait for them to sit overnight! They got eaten as soon as they were able to be handled without falling apart!

Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

Ok, another one of Matt's favorites. We usually eat it as a sandwich, but Matt has also ate it over rice. It's really good.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
2 red bell peppers, sliced
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup Marsala wine (ok, so I used a substitute)
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
4 to 6 fresh Italian sandwich rolls, optional

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Some changes being made. . .

I went down to my mom and dad's this past weekend to see my brother and his family. We had a great time while down there, and my sister-n-law,Janeen, had a great idea!! We decided that this blog could be shared by lots of different people. For right now, me and Janeen both will add recipes, but if you have good recipes and would like to share, just let me know!

Monday, July 7, 2008

This is a tasty dish made at my mother-n-law's house, who ate it at her son, Ryan's, house, who got it off of Food Network. Did you understand that? :) Anyway, here is the recipe:

Parmesan Chicken
4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 extra-large eggs 1 tablespoon water 1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving Unsalted butter Good olive oil Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry 1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.
Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.
Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons) 1/2 cup good olive oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Yield: 6 servings

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Chili on Rice...Yum

Ok, so I am apologizing right now!! Yes, I know it has been a LONG time since I posted anything. . . I don't have any excuses. Blogging just didn't sound like fun to me lately, so I am going try to get back into the swing of things! I promise!!

This meal was so yummy. I'll admit that it doesn't look that appetizing, but, actually it is so good!! I got it off of the food network. (You know all of the recipes I cook are from other people! Speaking of, Janeen--can you send me the recipe that you made in Disney, with the zucchini and bacon stuff? OK, thanks!) So, here's the recipe:

Recipe courtesy Kathleen Daelemans
Show: Cooking Thin

3 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion,
diced 1/2 red pepper,
diced 1 large carrot,
diced or shredded 1 clove garlic,
minced 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15-ounce) can whole or chopped tomatoes
1 cup broth (vegetable, chicken, tomato juice or water)
1 (28-ounce) can black beans
1 ear corn, kernels removed
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, peppers, carrot, and garlic, cook stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin, and cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until they smell delicious. Add the tomatoes, broth, black beans and corn to the pot with the vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook 10 to 20 minutes, until flavors are well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve over rice. Note: If the chili seems too thick, thin out with water or chicken stock.

And, I heard that some people, uhmm...Mrs. Gifford :). . .wanted to know the nutritional value of these meals. Here you go! hee hee!

Nutrition Information
Nutritional Analysis per serving
Calories 350
Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Carbohydrates 67 g
Fiber 6.7 g
Protein 12g

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The BEST Tacos

So this one comes straight from my mom. Never have I been of fan of premade taco shells that you buy at the store. They are hard, they break in half as soon as you touch them! No thank you! Tacos were a family favorite in my home growing up, and it was all because of the shell! My mom always bought fresh corn tortillas and fried them herself. It makes the taco so much better!

Brown the meat and add whatever you like to it. This time all I added to it was seasoning salt and kidney beans. (the beans were a request from my son.) Fix all the toppings you like. Now for the shells. I use canola oil, but I think my mom uses Crisco. Heat the oil on medium high heat. Add the corn tortilla, and let it fry for a couple of seconds open (like in the picture below).

Then carefully fold it over (with tongs!) :0 Let it cook on one side and then flip it over to cook the other side. The longer you leave it cooking on one side, the harder the shell will get. I like my taco shells softer than harder, so I only cook it about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side.

(Sheesh, next time I'll have to clean my stove before taking pictures!!)

Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place taco shells on it when done. The extra grease will soak into the paper towels. These are the best tacos! Thanks mom for showing me the secret!!

Try this Pizza. . .

So, I am usually not of fan of pizza unless it is cheese or pepperoni. (Yes, I realize I am very boring!) One day my personal Pampered Chef consultant, Megan :), needed me to sample this pizza for a show she was thinking about making it at. I agreed, and was so glad I did!! It was really good!! I have been making it ever since. Here's the recipe:

Tomato-Basil Squares


refrigerated pizza crust, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 2/3 cup mayo, 2 T fresh basil or 2 t dried basil, 1 garlic clove, 4 plum tomatoes sliced.

Roll pizza crust onto stone or pizza pan. Sprinkle with one cup of the mozzarella cheese. Layer tomatoes evenly over crust. In bowl, mix remaining mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, mayo, garlic, and basil. Using scoop of spoon, scoop cheese mixture evenly over tomatoes. Spread evenly. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

No Fuss Dinner

So, for dinner tonight we had the yummiest lasagna, and I'll admit it. . .I didn't make it. Our family loves the Wal-mart brand frozen lasagna. Unfortunately, I have never perfected the art of making lasagna! I like a nice thick lasagna, and mine always turns out flat! So. . Wal-mart saves the day for us. :)

We also had a strawberry-spinach salad and bread with an herbed oil dip. The salad is one of the best salads and very easy to make. It is so good, that almost all my kids will even eat the salad!

Heres the recipe (which came from a Pampered Chef recipe book):

sliced strawberries; half of a diced, peeled cucumber; sliced red onion (which I don't use); and a bag of baby spinach leaves.

Just toss all ingredients in a bowl, and then for the dressing:

In a small bowl mix:

2 T of lemon juice; 1 T of vegetable oil; 2 T of white wine vinegar; 1/3 cup of sugar; 1 t of poppy seeds

Once thoroughly mixed, pour over salad and toss.

We also had a very yummy bread dip. When we went over to our friend Megan's house the other day, she served the best oil dip! Since the dip she had only could be found in her home town, I tried to make my own. I'll admit I was a little worried since it was my first time making it, but it turned out to be really good.

In a small bowl mix:

1/4 cup of olive oil; 2 cloves of garlic, minced; 1 t of oregano, and 1 t of crushed red pepper flakes.

Microwave for 20 seconds. Let cool for a minute and then add 2-3 t of balsamic vinegar.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Dinner

Some of our favorite friends, the Leyes family, were kind enough to have us over for dinner. Ok, so basically we invited ourselves over for dinner, but we had a great time! The food was so good! We had spiral sliced ham, "funeral" potatoes (which I will let Megan tell you about on her recipe blog, hint, hint) :), macaroni and cheese, zucchini casserole, corn, salad, and bread. For dessert we had freshly baked apple pie and a yummy frozen chocolate cake. It was so good. Matt and I ate so much, we had to roll each other out of there!

I contributed the zucchini casserole to the meal, which is another of our family favorites, and came from non other than my mother-n-law, Janet. I am so lucky to marry someone who's mother is such a good cook! I thought I would share the recipe:


2 good sized zucchinis, 1/2 onion diced, small can of tomato soup, shredded cheese, and salt and pepper.

First, slice zucchinis, then spread in bottom of casserole dish. Next, layer with the diced onions. Spread the tomato sauce, so that it covers everywhere. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover, and put in microwave, for about 12 minutes (may be more or less, depending on microwave), or until zucchini is fully cooked. Remove from microwave, sprinkle as much or little cheese as you like, and cover again. Let sit till cheese is melted.

Dessert was a huge hit, and Megan was kind enough to provide it!! The apple pie was very good and the chocolate cake was great! Personally, I can't get enough chocolate and I know a little girl who can't either!

Mmmm. . .Thanks Megan. . dinner was awesome!!

Easter Brunch

Mmm. . .my family LOVES breakfast casserole. It used to just be a special treat that we would get on Christmas morning at Matt's house. Then I found a really good recipe courtesy of Emeril! It is so good and so easy to make! If your on a diet this might not be the recipe for you! :)
Here's the recipe:

8 oz. of breakfast sausage, 12 to 16 1/2 inch slices of day old French bread, 6 oz of shredded cheese, 10 large eggs, 2 1/2 cups of half-and-half, 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t ground pepper.

Brown the sausage over medium heat. Drain and set aside. Butter a 9 inch baking dish and line the bottom with half of the bread slices. Top the bread slices with half of the sausage, then half of the grated cheese. Make another layer with remaining bread, sausage, and cheese.

In mixing bowl combine the eggs, half-and-half, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the layered bread mixture. Cover and refrigerate for a least one hour and up to overnight.

Remove casserole from fridge and allow to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes. Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Bake casserole, uncovered, until puffed and golden brown, about one hour. Remove the casserole from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe originally appeared in Emeril's "There's a Chef in My Family".

This is one of our family favorites and we do eat it for dinner also!

Monday, March 17, 2008

OK. . .

So. . .here is my first meal! Today is St. Patrick's day, so I figured I had to have something that was Irish, or least something I think is Irish! Since my kids wouldn't eat corned beef, and I couldn't give them cold beer, I decided I needed to come up with Plan B. Kaiden's favorite dish is Shepard's Pie, and I think it is an Irish dish, or from somewhere around there, so that is what we had for dinner!! I also thought about putting green food coloring in the kids' milk, but then decided not to after remembering how the kids were a little grossed out when I made green eggs for a green eggs and ham dish. (I don't know what's wrong with my kids!) The Shepard's pie was a hit, but not as much of a hit as dessert!! For dessert, we had a ice cream pie that I saw on the Internet somewhere!! The whole meal was so simple, and very satisfying!!

Shepard's Pie

Grasshopper Pie

So here are the instructions for the meal:

Shepard's Pie-

(Thanks to my mother-n-law for this simple, yet yummy recipe!)


1 lb of ground beef, 1 can of tomato soup, 1 can of green beans, family size serving of mashed potatoes

Cook the ground beef. Drain the grease. Add the tomato soup and green beans to the skillet and mix.

Put that mixture in a casserole dish and then spread the mashed potatoes on top. (Note about the potatoes: A good cook will make potatoes from scratch, aka my mother-n-law, but I just use instant potatoes. The trick is finding a good instant potato!) I had the oven warmed to make garlic bread, so when I was done making the Shepard's Pie, I put it in the oven to keep warm till we ready to eat! That's it!! It is so easy, yet really good!!

Now for dessert.

Grasshopper Pie


mint chocolate chip ice cream, tub of whipped cream topping, pre-made chocolate cookie crust

This was VERY simple!! I let the whipped cream topping thaw completely out and set the ice cream on the counter to get a little soft. When it was soft, I just spread the ice cream on the crust. Next, I spread on the whipped cream. Then I put the pie back into the freezer to set for about an hour and a half. Again, the recipe I saw online called for crushing Oreo cookies and spreading in a pie tin for the crust, but I am all about easy, so I bought an already made crust in the pie tin from the store!!

This is my Disclaimer!

Welcome to my online cookbook! This was a simple way for me to organize my recipes and get rid of all the scraps of paper and/or junk mail that had recipes scribbled on them. I am not claiming to be a great cook, or even a good cook!! :) However, these recipes are our family favorites, so we think they are pretty darn good!!