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!

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.