Attention Family! I've been saying it for years, now I am preparing you for when it happens, I am retiring from cooking in less than 5 years. The only thing I will make is my morning coffee, and that is only because I am too lazy to get dressed and go out for it!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Potato Soup

Just the thing to make the week before Christmas, when A is visiting her BFF (who just had her wisdom teeth out), MK has a cold, K and B are playing on the Wii and chillin, and Dad is working. Easy, satisfying, and cheap!

Potato Soup

6 to 8 russet potatoes
2 large carrots
1 14.5 ounce can chicken stock. low sodium
whole milk or evaporated milk
bay leaf
salt and pepper

Peel the potatoes and scrape the carrots. Chop into small pieces, add to large pot along with chicken stock and water to cover. Put the lid on it and bring to a boil. Add seasonings, look in your spices and see what else would be good - a little onion powder, garlic powder, tarragon. Wait to add salt at the very end, it is easy to over salt. Cook until the veggies are soft. Mash the veggies against the side of the pot with a big spoon, or lightly smash with a potato masher. Add some milk to make it creamy. If you have small amounts of shredded cheese in the fridge, add that too. Taste for seasonings, put out the crackers, serve the soup in mugs, and have Christmas cookies for dessert. Life is good.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Baked Ziti

This is so easy, its almost not worth writing down. I had never had baked ziti before I met your dad. It never caught my eye at an Italian restaurant, and nobody I knew made it. Now I consider it a comfort food. So here is your dad's version of baked ziti - meatless and cheesy.

Baked Ziti

1 pound box of ziti
1 large jar of spaghetti sauce
1 15 ounce container of Pollyo low-fat ricotta cheese
1 pound block of Pollyo mozzarella cheese
dried oregano and basil

Put on a large pot of water to boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon or so of salt to the water. When water boils, add pasta and stir. While waiting for water to boil, and pasta to cook, shred mozzarella cheese, unload dishwasher, set table. When pasta is done, drain and return to pot. Add ricotta cheese (Dad uses half, I use all), spaghetti sauce, and a good sprinkle of oregano and basil. Spray a large, flat casserole with cooking spray, add noodle mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, long enough for the casserole to start bubbling around the edges. Add the mozzarella cheese (all or part, your choice) and cook until the cheese is melty and gooey. While the ziti is in the oven, wash the pot, make a simple salad, slice some bread, and put a trivet or wooden cutting board on the table. Take the ziti from the oven, set it on the table, and you have a lovely dinner and an almost clean kitchen.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Easy Friday Night Supper

This meal is proof that everybody can cook at least one supper, nothing fancy, but really good.

Baked Chicken

Buy split chicken breasts, with bones and skin attached! Place in large baking dish, skin side up. Sprinkle with Montreal Chicken Seasoning. Put in oven set at 350 degrees. Bake for one hour, add an additional 15 minutes if chicken breasts are really large. Done!

Baked Vegetables

Wash 3 medium zucchini, and two fist-sized tomatoes. Peel a large sweet onion. Spray a casserole pan with cooking spray. Slice all the vegetables into 1/4" slices. Layer half the zucchini in the casserole dish. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Layer half the onions on top of the zucchini. Repeat the layers of zucchini, salt and pepper, and onions. Top with the slices of tomato. Put in the oven at 350 degrees along side the chicken. Bake for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, Parmesan, cheddar, blends, whatever you have on hand. Bake for 5 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Serve with a nice loaf of bread and some butter. If you want, bake some sweet potatoes or russet potatoes to serve instead of bread. Set the table, pour the ice tea, and gather around the table for a lovely, easy, home cooked dinner.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

We had this for dinner tonight, it is a family favorite. My sister (Aunt Didi) sent me a recipe for this years ago, and, of course, I tweaked it to make it work for us. So, here goes my version....

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 box wild rice mix
1 cup white rice
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 cups water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray large casserole dish with cooking spray. Mix wild rice and white rice in casserole dish. Sprinkle with seasonings from rice mix. Cut chicken breasts in half through the plane (long way). Put the chicken on top of the seasonings, then turn the chicken over so seasoning side is up. Pour water and Worcestershire sauce around edge of casserole. Dot butter around casserole on top of rice. Spread cranberry sauce on top of chicken. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes uncovered. Serve with salad or green beans for a super easy meal. If you don't need to feed 6 hungry people, make this with 1 pound of chicken, don't use the white rice, and reduce the Worcestershire sauce and water by half. The cranberry sauce is so good on the chicken that you will want to use all of it!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Something new to me...Roasted Asparagus

I have never cooked asparagus in the oven before, but tonight I decided to try it and it was really good! And of course, super easy!

Roasted Asparagus

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash 2 small bunches of asparagus. Snap off ends (at wherever they want to snap). Put in large flat pan. Toss asparagus with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Put pan in oven and roast for 15 - 20 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Yum!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Apple Bundt Cake with Butter Pecan Glaze

Okay, this cake is perfect for fall, and the glaze is yummy! This recipe is cobbled together from a couple so no credits to any....

Apple Bundt Cake with Butter Pecan Glaze

2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups peeled, diced apples
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 and 1/2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup apple juice or apple cider
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your Bundt pan by rubbing a knob of butter all over the inside, including the center post. Combine two tablespoons sugar and one teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl, then sprinkle all around the inside of the Bundt pan. (Roll the pan to cover all the surfaces.) Peel and dice the apples, toss with the other two tablespoons sugar,one teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 cup of flour. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil, applesauce, apple juice, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until smooth, add the remaining flour (2 and 1/4 cups). Stir in the apples by hand. Pour batter into the pan, bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, cake will be dark and firm. Let cake cool for 10 minutes, then put on large plate.

While cake is cooking, make the glaze.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped (yes, pecans, you are after all southerners)
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream (yes, heavy cream, you are after all my children)
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add pecans, brown sugar, heavy cream, and corn syrup. Bring to a rolling boil (this is a boil that cannot be stirred down), boil for two minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, let cool until thickened. Add in vanilla, spoon over warm cake. If you did not put the cake on a large plate, you may end up with glaze all over your kitchen counter. Ask me how I know. Make a pot of coffee, I will be right over.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Aunt Lauren's Minestrone Soup

I love this soup, I love it especially when Aunt Lauren makes it, hers is always better than mine!

Aunt Lauren's Minestrone Soup

1 pound ground beef
3 cloves garlic
2 onions
5 carrots, scraped
3 stalks celery, washed
5 to 6 potatoes, peeled
1 32 ounce carton low sodium beef broth
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup rice
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
black pepper
salt to taste (don't add any salt until right before serving, you may not need much)

Brown the hamburger meat in a frying pan. Drain, and add to soup pot. While meat is browning, chop veggies into bite size pieces. Add to soup pot, along with beef broth, tomatoes, and seasonings. Cook, covered, until potatoes are just about done, then add rice. Serve with Parmesan cheese, crackers, or homemade cornbread if you really want your family to love you. Makes great leftovers. You can add pasta instead of rice if you want, and/or a can of drained, rinsed kidney beans. This soup is no work at all if you have MK around to prep all the veggies!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches

As long as I have the red cookbook out, I am going to post another recipe. This one might have come from Family Fun magazine too, but I am not sure about that. This is an easy recipe that really hits the spot.

Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large can pineapple slices, in pineapple juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
6-8 rolls, (deli sandwich rolls, hamburger buns)

Drain the pineapple, saving the juice into a bowl. Add the soy sauce, honey, molasses, mustard, garlic, and ginger to pineapple juice. Slice the chicken in half to make thinner pieces. Cook the chicken in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, turn pieces over to brown both sides. When chicken is done, add pineapple juice mixture to pan, cook a minute or so. Remove chicken to plate, add pineapple slices to pan. Let simmer in juice for 2 to 3 minutes. Put a slice of pineapple on top of each piece of chicken. Turn up the heat and let pineapple juice reduce a little bit. Serve chicken on a roll with mayo, lettuce, and reduced pineapple juice. If you don't have honey and molasses, just use 2 tablespoons of whatever you have. The sauce is easily adjustable to your personal taste. If you don't have fresh ginger, use a little ginger from your spice cabinet.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


These are great for breakfast. The original recipe came from Martha Stewart Living magazine, and, as usual, I have tweaked it to suit us.


1 and 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil (use corn oil if you have any)

Stir together cornmeal, flour, and sugar. Add wet ingredients (buttermilk, eggs, and oil). Stir just until combined. Add more buttermilk or plain milk if batter needs thinning. Cook in frying pans sprayed with cooking spray. Serve with butter, honey, golden syrup, or regular syrup. My vote goes to honey!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


This recipe is a modification of a recipe published in the AJC years ago. I don't make any claims towards authenticity because I have only spent a lovely 20 hours in Louisiana. Our friends from New Orleans, Gwen P. and her amazing daughter Amanda (the next world famous ballerina/dancer), are some of the nicest people in the world and Gwen makes the best jambalaya I ever tasted. They don't use tomatoes in their jambalaya, the very idea gave them the giggles, but this is a fairly quick dinner to put together.


2 small chorizo sausages
1 large onion
1 bell pepper
3 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic
2 cups rice
32 ounces chicken stock
1 package smoked sausage
1 14 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons of Emeril's Bayou Blast
1 pound shrimp in the shell

You will need two frying pans to make this dish, a small one and a large non-stick one that has a lid. Start by removing the casings from the chorizo and fry it in the small frying pan over medium heat. Chop the onion, bell pepper, and celery into small pieces, add to large frying pan. Cook over medium heat. Mince garlic and add to veggies. When sausage is done, drain on paper towels. Slice smoked sausage into nickle slices. When veggies are soft, add drained chorizo sausage, rice, and chicken stock. Simmer, covered, over low heat for 15 minutes, then add tomatoes, the Bayou Blast and smoked sausage. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, adding water if rice starts to stick. Add shrimp (stir into rice), recover and cook until shrimp is pink. Serve with hot sauce and sliced cucumbers. Dad, B., and I liked our cucumbers in vinegar, the girls like 'em plain.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Broccoli Potato Bake

This recipe is a little more work than mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, but its worth it. It is a good way to finish off leftover broccoli and those half empty containers of ricotta cheese and sour cream.

Broccoli Potato Bake

6 to 8 baking potatoes
1 to 2 cups broccoli florets (fresh, leftover, frozen, leftover and frozen...)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheese

Peel and dice potatoes. Cook in large pot, covered, over medium heat until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain water from pot, using pot lid as strainer. (This will keep you from draining all the water out of the potatoes, which is a good thing.) Mash potatoes, add remaining ingredients, except cheese. Set oven to 350 degress. Spray baking pan with cooking spray, Add potato mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Add shredded cheese to top of casserole, bake another 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

You can bake this right along side a meatloaf, or baked chicken to make a nice meal. You can also add leftover ham to the casserole to make it a one-dish dinner.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Santa Fe Soup

The weather has gotten cooler, it is time to think about soup! This soup is dead easy, brown meat, open cans, and heat it up! I recommend making this in the crock pot, it is easy to adjust the beans to what you have in the pantry.

Santa Fe Soup

1 pound ground beef
2 cans black beans, rinsed
2 cans pinto beans, rinsed
2 cans kidney beans, rinsed
2 cans corn, undrained
1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 package taco seasoning, low sodium
1 package dry mix ranch dressing

Brown the hamburger meat in skillet over medium heat, drain. Put hamburger meat in crock pot, or other large pot. Add remaining ingredients. Cook for 4 hours in crock pot on high, or at least an hour if cooking on the stovetop. Serve with shredded cheese, hot sauce, and sour cream. If you have time, make cornbread, if you don't, serve with crackers or tortilla chips. You can use Rotel tomatoes if you want a little heat and add up to two cups of water if you want it soupier. I would recommend adding at least one cup of water if you are making it on the stovetop. This soup reheats easily, and freezes well.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ham & Rotini Florentine

This is a quick and easy pasta dinner. It's adapted from a recipe on the back of a box of Publix rotini. You can use leftover ham or a hunk of ham from the grocery store. I like it with mushrooms, but not everybody does so you can feel free to leave them out. If you don't have chicken broth, use pasta water. Serve with parmesan.

Ham and Rotini Florentine

1 pound rotini, regular or tri-color
1 - 1 1/2 cups ham, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup bell peppers, chopped (choose your favorite color)
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 package of frozen spinach
3/4 tablespoon garlic, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large pan. Add ham, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, and block of frozen spinach. Cook over medium heat until veggies are soft and spinach is completely defrosted. Add chicken broth (or pasta water) to the veggies. Drain pasta and add to the veggie mix. Stir in parmesan cheese. Taste to see if you need to add salt and pepper.

Serve with a nice bread. Stand out of the way!

Zucchini Pie With Parmesan Rice Crust

This recipe was from a clipping in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, it was adapted from this cookbook: Pot Pies: Comfort Food Under Cover, by Diane Phillips.

OK. This one stretches the definition of potpie. Some might argue it's more like a casserole. But it was so delicious, we had to run the recipe no matter what it's called. You can substitute brown rice for white for a nuttier flavor. Just increase the cooking time by 15 minutes.

Zucchini Pie With Parmesan Rice Crust

Make 8 servings
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups (about 2 ½ pounds) grated zucchini
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 shakes Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup long-grain rice
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13-by-9-inch ovenproof baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Grate the zucchini in the food processor. (What, you don't have one....use a box grater.)

In a sauté pan, melt the butter; add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until it is no longer giving off moisture, about 4 to 6 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Sprinkle with flour and cook, whisking for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the broth, whisking until smooth. Add the cream and bring to a boil.

Pour the zucchini mixture into the casserole dish. Sprinkle with the rice, then the cheese. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the rice is tender and the cheese is golden.

Per serving: 211 calories, 6 grams protein, 13 grams fat (percent calories from fat, 54), 19 grams carbohydrates, 38 milligrams cholesterol, 827 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Mom's notes: This recipe is easier than it might seem, I usually stir the rice and cheese into the zucchini mixture before baking. It also makes really good leftovers! It's a good recipe for potluck dinners.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chocolate Zucchini Cake!

Today's guest blogger is MK. This was her cake of choice for her 14th birthday earlier this week.
ZUCCHINI? Yes, there is zucchini in this cake, but you better not let that fool you. This is an amazing cake, with invisible veggies. (and its healthy, so you can eat that extra piece!) The recipe is from a FAMILY FUN magazine.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 325. In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugars, butter, and oil. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and buttermilk and mix well. In another bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, and salt. (You should grate the zucchini before the next step.) Then, slowly spoon the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix until combined. (taste the batter and say YUM!) Fold in* the grated zucchini and chocolate chips.
Put the batter into your pan of choice. Spray pan with cooking spray first. (I recommend a bundt pan or a 9 x 13) Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until it's done. Test with a cake tester, it should be clean. When it cools, top with chocolate icing or a chocolate ganache.

* fold in means you use a spatula, not the mixer.
Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat the cream and chocolate in the top of a double boiler (over medium heat) until chocolate melts. Remove from heat, and beat until smooth. Whisk in corn syrup and vanilla. Let the icing cool for a few minutes, then spoon over top of cake.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I did not grow up eating a lot of gravy. We had gravy at Thanksgiving, and maybe Christmas. On the other hand, your Dad grew up eating lots of gravy, and he was the first one to show me how to make gravy. Then we got cable and Food Network, and BAM!, now we have gravy whenever we want! Make gravy according to the ratio (yes, there is a ratio) for a few times, then you will be knowledgeable enough to make gravy from pan drippings.

Basic Gravy

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 14.5 ounce can chicken, beef , or vegetable broth(low sodium)

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour to form a paste (this is what is known as a roux). Slowly add the broth, a little at a time, whisking all the while. When you have added all the broth, start seasoning! Garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper are good in all gravies. Try some Worcestershire sauce in beef gravy. How about thyme or sage? The gravy needs to boil to thicken properly, you don't need to stir it constantly, but check it frequently. To finish off the gravy, add 2 tablespoons milk, cream, sour cream, or water. Taste for seasonings, and there you go, gravy!

Do you see the ratio? one tablespoon fat to 1 tablespoon flour, to 1 cup liquid.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hash Browns

Okay, now you have a few baked potatoes in your fridge. Make some hash browns, serve with beer brats and red cabbage, and you have another easy meal.

Hash Browns

3 or 4 potatoes, already baked
1/2 onion
1/2 green bell pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
Put a large frying pan on medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Peel and chop 1/2 onion, add to pan. Chop 1/2 green pepper and add to pan. Mince two cloves of garlic and add to pan. Peel and dice potatoes, add to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until potatoes are brown, and onions and peppers are soft. Don't stir too often, or potatoes will not develop a crust.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Meatloaf and Baked Potatoes

You guys know that not everybody likes meatloaf, right? So, make it for yourself, for comfort food. Spend just a little time putting it together, bake some potatoes in the oven alongside the meatloaf, make a salad, and you have dinner (and enough meatloaf for meatloaf sandwiches the next day)!


2 pounds ground meat (85 % lean beef, or beef and turkey)
1/2 to 3/4 cup oatmeal
1 small or medium zucchini
2 good size carrots, peeled
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
ground pepper
garlic powder
onion powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the ground meat in a large bowl. If you have a food processor, grind the oatmeal. If you don't have a food processor, just use the 1/2 cup of oatmeal. Add oatmeal to meat. Grate the carrots and zucchini in the food processor, or use a chopper and finely chop. Add veggies to meat, along with seasonings. Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray. Mix meatloaf mixture using your hands. Do not over work or compact the mixture! Put the mixture in the pan and shape into a loaf. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let set for 15 minutes (if possible). Serve with ketchup.

After you get the meatloaf in the oven, wash potatoes well and put them in the oven. They will need about an hour to cook. Go ahead and cook a few extra for hash browns later in the week.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Poppy Seed Chicken

This is an easy recipe to take to a potluck or have for dinner. And yes, we eat a lot of chicken, its cheep!!!!

Poppy Seed Chicken

3 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup
16 ounce container of sour cream
2 teaspoons poppy seed
bread crumbs

Put chicken breasts in large frying pan, cover the bottom of the pan with water. Cook 15 minutes on medium. While chicken is cooking, stir together soup, sour cream, and poppy seeds. When chicken is done, cut into bite size pieces and stir into to soup/sour cream mix. Pour mix into buttered casserole dish, (9 x 9) and sprinkle on bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve over egg noodles, add something green like beans, broccoli, asparagus, or salad.

Spaghetti Sauce

Easy-peasy, and better than store bought. Keep bell peppers in your freezer, onions, crushed tomatoes, and spaghetti noodles in your pantry, Italian sausage in your freezer, and you can make this at a moment's notice.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Brown 1 pound Italian sausage in a large frying pan. While meat is browning, peel and chop 1/2 half of large onion, 1/2 half red or green bell pepper, and 3 cloves of garlic. When sausage is browned, drain, add back to pan, add chopped veggies. Add 1 large (28 ounces) can of crushed tomatoes with basil. Season with bay leaf, oregano, basil, and thyme. Cover and simmer over low heat. After 15 minutes, start large pot of water to boil for spaghetti noodles. Cook spaghetti noodles al dente. Taste sauce, adjust seasonings if needed. Drain spaghetti well, serve with sauce, salad, and Parmesan cheese. You can also add mushrooms, grated zucchini, or diced eggplant to the sauce.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cowboy Caviar

This recipe can be made from pantry staples. Mix it up to suit your preferences, serve with Scoops at any party, tailgating, or Sunday afternoon snack. Use Scoops instead of chips because it is juicy - have napkins handy. If B. is making this, he will use the hottest variety of Rotel tomatoes.

Cowboy Caviar

1 small onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 small can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, drained
1 can corn or 1 can shoepeg corn or both :-), drained
1 can blackeyed peas, or black beans, rinsed and drained
small amount Italian dressing

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, blending well.
Pour your favorite Italian style dressing over all and toss well to coat.
Refrigerate overnight. Serve with corn chips.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Okay, today I will give you a few instructions for making this, mostly this recipe involves chopping!

Mediterranean Chicken Salad

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
greek seasoning, use Montreal Steak seasoning if you don't have Greek
1/2 cucumber
1/2 red bell pepper
8 ounces Greek yoghurt
4 to 6 ounces feta cheese
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt, pepper

Trim fat and yuck from chicken breast. Slice in half through the plane to make them thinner-they will cook faster and you will be finished faster! Lightly season both sides of chicken. Cook chicken in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. While chicken is cooking, put Greek yoghurt in large container (preferably one with a lid). Cut feta cheese into small pieces - cut vertical slices through block of feta, turn 90 degrees and cut perpendicular slices through block, now turn block on its side and cut again. Add cheese to container. Peel and dice cucumber - remove seeds from cucumber if they are large. Add cucumber to container. Flip chicken over in frying pan to cook the other side. Wash and seed bell pepper. Cut pepper into small bite size chunks and add to container. Add oregano to container. When chicken is done, cut into small bite sized pieces and add to container. Do not over cook chicken or it will be tough. Chicken is done when there is no pink on the inside of the chicken piece. Stir concoction in container well. If chicken salad seems dry, add more yoghurt, or sour cream, or mayo. Store in fridge. Check the taste before serving, it made need salt and pepper, depending on how much seasoning you used on the chicken. Serve in pita bread that has been cut in half - lettuce and tomatoes make it a really nice sandwich. Serves 4. Make sure you make enough for A. to take to lunch the next day.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Attention to my family....

I've been saying it for years, now I am preparing you for when it happens, I am retiring from cooking in less than 5 years. The only thing I will make is my morning coffee, and that is only because I am too lazy to get dressed and go out for it!

Today's recipe is for Chocolate Chip Mocha Bars. You all have made these so many times that you will not need any extra info besides the basic recipe.

Chocolate Chip Mocha Bars

1 yellow cake mix
2 tablespoons instant coffee
2 tablespoons hot water or leftover coffee
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup melted butter
12 ounces chocolate chips

In mixing bowl, dissolve coffee in hot water. Add cake mix, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, and melted butter. Beat until smooth, batter will be thick. Add chocolate chips. Press into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Cookies will harden some as they cool. Cut into bars and invite me over.