Sunday, May 31, 2009

Buttermilk Baked Chicken and Double Chocolate Banana Loaf

Tiny fingers sneaking in her to play with the keys, LOL. This chicken recipe was making rounds a few months ago on the Cooking for your Family board. We never buy buttermilk, so I never thought of trying it. Since I had bought buttermilk for the Buffalo Chicken Salad dressing (see previous post for recipe), I decided to see what all the hoopla was about. I'm not too sure what I did wrong, but my chicken was a soggy icky mess. I had to scrape the breading off of my piece. Of course I have this weird problem with eating soggy things, so it could just be me. I poured the sauce over the whole chicken, which I'm sure contributed to the problem. Even if I would have done as the recipe stated and poured it around the chicken, it still would have been soggy. The sauce was killer though, LOL. I really enjoyed it on my mashed potatoes.


Buttermilk Baked Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
3/4 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Dip chicken in 1/2 cup buttermilk and roll in flour seasoned with the salt and pepper. Put butter in 13x9x2 inch baking pan and melt in hot oven (425 degrees). Put chicken in pan and bake 30 minutes. Turn and bake 15 minutes.Mix remaining buttermilk and the soup and pour around the chicken. Bake 15 minutes longer until tender.


This is the best Banana Loaf in the entire world, LOL. I've made this countless times, but never had enough time to take a picture of it. This is now my go to banana bread recipe. I'll occasionally do old school banana bread, but this is my favorite by far. It comes out so moist and the chocolate flavor is heavenly. I found this gem in an issue of the Cooking Pleasures Magazine, I get through the cooking Club of America. I don't often find a recipe that I make almost every month, LOL.


Double-Chocolate Banana Bread
Adapted from Cooking Pleasures Magazine

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 8x4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. Beat sugar, eggs and oil in large bowl at medium speed until combined. Beat in banana and vanilla at low speed. Combine flour, cocoa and baking soda in medium bowl; beat into banana mixture at low speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
3. Spoon batter into pan. Bake 60 to 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

1 (16-slice) loaf
PER SLICE: 215 calories, 9 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 3 g protein, 34 g carbohydrate, 25 mg cholesterol, 90 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

Friday, May 29, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Salad

As some of you know I have and illness that requires steroid therapy at certain times. Well about a month ago, I finished yet another round of steroid therapy. This time was the worst so far. I experience severe facial swelling. So much so, that our neighbor asked Hubby if I had eaten shell fish and had an allergic reaction. To go along with the swelling, I added on an extra 40 lbs. Now the facial swelling is gone, but the 40 lbs is still lingering, like the plague. So I've been trying to get more exercises, when possible and changing a few things in my diet, in hopes of shedding some much needed pounds. While browsing the channel menu on TV, I came across a show who's title caught my attention. Cook Yourself Thin. OK, I love to cook and eat, so I was interested to see how I could keep doing what I love and loose weight. This show is awesome. They show you how to cook favorite recipes that contain 1/2 the calories and keep all the flavor. Did you know that to be the weight I want to be (130 lbs) I should only be eating 1 300 calories a day!!??? I'm sure I eat way over 2 000/day without even thinking about it. So I looked the show up, on line and browsed the recipes. I copied the ones I knew we'd like and tried one the other night, for dinner. This was a quick, simple and delicious recipe. The chicken was tender, spicy and crunchy. The salad was tangy and paired perfectly with the chicken. Hubby really enjoyed it, though he added extra hot sauce to his chicken, LOL. I simply breaded the kids chicken, without the hotsauce and served Mr.B a tossed salad and Queenie some sweet potatoes and water melon. This would be more suited for lunch and would be a great meal to entertain with. I'm excited to show this to my mother in law, who loves buffalo chicken.


Buffalo Chicken Salad
Adapted from Cook Yourself Thin on Lifetime TV

Serves 4
Calories per serving: 480

2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound chicken tenders
1/2 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs or Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 ounce crumbled blue cheese (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 tablespoons nonfat or low-fat buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped6 celery stalks, thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the hot sauce, vinegar, sugar and salt in a shallow dish until well blended. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature.
2. Put the bread crumbs and oil in a shallow dish and toss to combine. Dredge each chicken tender in the bread crumbs, completely coating both sides. Transfer to the rack of a broiler pan or to a metal rack fitted over a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, turning once, until chicken is cooked through and crust is golden brown, about 12 minutes.
3. While the chicken is baking, stir together the cheese, yogurt, buttermilk and pepper. Toss with the lettuce and celery until well coated. Divide the dressed greens and chicken tenders among 4 serving plates and serve immediately

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

S'mores Cupcakes

Yesterday was Memorial Day. We had a backyard BBQ with our neighbors and a few of our friends. It was a blast. I wanted to make a dessert for the kids and wanted to keep with the start of summer theme. I remembered cupcake recipe that I had copied from the Betty Crocker website. I had all the ingredients on had, so I went with it. All I can say is Oh my goodness, these are delicious!! Not too sweet with an ooey gooey frosting. The kids loved them, and someone asked if he could bring the leftovers home, LOL. I really like the frosting and think I may try it to frost a regular cake in the future.


S'mores Cupcakes
adapted from Betty Crocker

Enjoy s'more fun with cupcakes packed with the goodies--graham crackers, chocolate candy and marshmallow creme.

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
Water, oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 bars (1.55 oz each) milk chocolate candy, finely chopped
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons milk
1 bar (1.55 oz) milk chocolate candy, if desired
24 bear-shaped graham crackers, if desired

1 . Heat oven to 375°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
2 . In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Fold in graham cracker crumbs and chopped chocolate bars. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
3 . Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
4 . Remove lid and foil seal from jar of marshmallow creme. Microwave on High 15 to 20 seconds. In large bowl, beat marshmallow creme, butter and powdered sugar on low speed until blended. Beat in enough milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to make frosting spreadable. Spread over tops of cupcakes. Divide chocolate bar into rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally in half and place on top of each cupcake. Top each cupcake with bear-shaped cracker. After frosting has set, store loosely covered at room temperature.

Cindy's notes: I used margarine, since my butter was refrigerated and I was too lazy to wait for it to soften. I will never use it again. It made the frosting very soft and I had to add more powdered sugar and omit the milk.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Porcupine Meatballs

This is a recipe that my Mom use to make when we were growing up. Though it was made with ground beef, it was one of my favorites. I pretty much only eat the rice and sauce, but I sometimes attempt to eat a meatball or two. This is such an easy and inexpensive meal. It happens to be one of Hubby's favorites, which is surprising since it it such a simple meal. The children love this one too, and I love that Mr.B is satisfied with the meatballs, without spaghetti, LOL. The beef lends a nice savory flavor to the slightly sweet tomato juice, which reduces to form a thick sauce.

Porcupine Balls
1 lb hamburger meat
4 C rice, divided
salt and pepper
2 large cans of tomato juice ( I use 1 V8 and 1 tomato)
Mix hamburger meat, 2 C rice and salt and pepper. Form into 1 inch balls. place in a roasting pan and pour in tomato juice. Cover and cook in a 400 degree oven, for 1hr or until meat is cooked through and rice is tender. Cook remaining rice, when balls are just about ready. Serve meat balls and sauce over cooked rice.

Crock pot method: Make meatballs as above, placing them in your crock pot, adding the tomato juice. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs and serve over hot cooked rice.

Cindy's Notes: I sometimes add cut up green peppers and onions to the roasting pan, before cooking

Money Saving Tip: you can use plain ole tomato paste to make tomato juice, if you don't have any on hand. Use 1 part tomato paste to 4 parts water. Thanks Sandy, for the great tip!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast with Roast Tomato Pasta

I took chicken out, yesterday morning, thinking it was chicken breast. Imagine my surprise when I found out it was chicken cutlets, LOL. Since it was thawed I had to use it up. I racked my brain as to what to do with this chicken. I decided to stuff it with cheese and bacon and dredge it in crushed croutons. De-lish! It turned out really well. The chicken was juicy with a crunchy crust, the cheese slightly tangy and the bacon nice and smoky. I served it with a roast tomato pasta. I had seen Rachael Ray make pasta sauce using Cherry tomatoes, by letting them burst in a hot skillet. I thought why not roast them in the oven instead, to caramelize the skins, bring out the natural sweetness and make a great sauce. This turned out really well. It's the first time Mr.B ate all his dinner, in weeks. Queenie wolfed her dinner down too, but mostly because it was a late dinner, LOL. Hubby polished off the remainder, when he got home from work. So my creativity turned out to be an awesome dinner!


Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

4 chicken cutlets
salt and pepper
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 C mozzarella
6 strips of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/4 tsp each onion powder and garlic powder
1 C garlic and herb croutons, crushed to fine crumbs
4 tbs butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl mix cream cheese, mozzarella, crumbled bacon, onion powder and garlic powder. Season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Spread 1/4 of cheese mixture on each cutlet. Roll cutlets like a cigar, dip in melted butter and dredge in crushed croutons. Place in a baking dish and drizzle any remaining butter on chicken. Bake for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 170 dregrees. Remove from oven and cover with foil and let rest 15 minutes.

Roast Tomato Pasta

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 box of short cut pasta, such as penne
2 Tbs fresh basil, torn or 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 C Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes on a rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper. Toss together to coat all tomatoes and cook in oven for 15-20 minutes, until tomatoes burst and begin to roast. Meanwhile cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, making sure to scrape any remaining oil/garlic, from cookie sheet. Using a potato masher, gently mash tomatoes in pasta water, to make a sauce. Add basil, cooked pasta, Parmesan and toss.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Orange Chicken and Quinoa with Raisins

I saw this yummy recipe in my Cooking Pleasures magazine, about a month ago. I saved it to post on the Meal of the Week thread, at Cooking for your Family, when it would be my turn. Thankfully someone else had posted another recipe using Quinoa, so I didn't feel bad buying a big bag of it, for just one recipe. This dish was very interesting. It had amazing flavor. Bitterness from the orange zest, sweetness from the raisins and saltiness from the olives. Surprisingly all went very well together. I added extra zest, which was too much, according to Hubby and Queenie, LOL. Mr.B enjoyed his dinner, as long as there were raisins in every fork full of Quinoa. Hubby liked it and suggested less zest and more raisins next time I make it.


Orange Chicken and Quinoa with Raisins
Adapted from Cooking Pleasures Magazine

Think of this satisfying one-pot meal as an updated version of a homey chicken casserole. Quinoa, a grain with a mild flavor similar to couscous, takes the place of rice or noodles.

1 tablespoon olive oil
12 oz. boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded carrot
1/3 cup raisins2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped green olives

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in medium-large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat until hot. Cook chicken 4 to 6 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.
2. Add quinoa, onion, carrot, raisins, garlic, orange peel, paprika, pepper and salt; stir to combine. Cook and stir 2 minutes to soften vegetables. Add broth and orange juice; cover and bring to a boil. (If desired, place in 1 1/2-quart casserole.)
3. Place in oven; bake 45 minutes or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. If liquid remains, uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and olives.
5 (scant 1 1/2-cup) servings

SERVING: 345 calories, 11.5 g total fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 21 g protein, 40.5 g carbohydrate, 40 mg cholesterol, 545 mg sodium, 4.5 g fiber

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Creamy Dijon Chicken and Mexican Smores

I'm signed up to receive emails from Campbell's Kitchen and this Dijon Chicken caught my eye. It was my turn to post recipes for the Meal of the Week thread, at Cooking for your Family, so I posted this recipe, along with a few others. I must say that this dinner was one of my favorites so far. The chicken was juicy, the sauce creamy, tangy with a slight bite to it. We were out of Tarragon, so I left it out, though Hubby said it would have added great flavor to the dish. I served it with brown rice, blended with some thawed and drained frozen spinach. The sauce went really well with the spinach..... I was afraid that the spinach would be too bitter and therefor ruin the taste of the sauce, LOL. Hubby thoroughly enjoyed dinner and was happy that there was a ton of sauce. Queenie loved dinner too and Mr.B ate the chicken but left the rest (sigh). This will be going on rotation.


Creamy Chicken Dijon
adapted from Campbell's Kitchen

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp. coarse-grain Dijon-style mustard
1 tbsp. dry white wine
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon leaves, crushed
Dash garlic powder

Heat oil in skillet. Cook chicken 10 min. or until browned. Add soup, water, mustard, wine, parsley, brown sugar, onion powder, tarragon and garlic powder. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 5 min. or until chicken is done.

Cindy's notes: I added an additional Tbs of Dijon, to the sauce. I also subbed a splash of white vinegar, for the wine, since I do not like wine.


I seem to be finding some great recipes on Cooking for your Family, lately. Sharon posted a recipe for Mexican Smores, yesterday. You all know me and chocolate. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to satisfy my sweet tooth, with the premise of treating Mr.B to a special dessert, LOL. These are so simple to make and taste really good. The tortillas get slightly crisp and the cinnamon adds a little extra something to the Smores. Mr.B and Queenie both loved them. Though I think more ended up on their hands and face, then in there bellies. These will be filled away in my brain for my chocolate cravings, LOL.


Mexican Smores

chocolate chips
mini marshmallows
cinnamon sugar
olive oil

This is basically a dessert quesadilla. Heat a griddle or large skillet. Brush tortilla with olive oil on each side and sprinkle chocolate chips and mini marshmallows, leaving about 3/4 inch around the edge of the tortilla. Top with another tortilla brushed with olive oil and cook on the griddle until the tortilla is golden brown on each side and chocolate is melted. Remove quesadilla from griddle and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar on both sides, cut into wedges as serve.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lyonnaise Potatoes

I made these potatoes the other night, for dinner. I had seen the recipe on the review thread at Cooking for your Family. I love skillet potatoes and onion, so I decided to try them. Of course it was chaos in here, as usual, so things got forgotten and the potatoes boiled a bit too long. Regardless, I kept on truckin, LOL. For some reason I had forgotten that onions take forever to caramelize, so there was a time period where the potatoes were drained, but the onion wasn't even close to being golden brown. Anyway, several minutes later, the onions were ready, so I threw the potatoes in there and tossed them with the buttery onion. Most of them mashed up, but the bottom ones got all golden and crispy. All in all, they turned out well and delicious. They reminded me of the special home fries Hubby use to make for me, at the restaurant where we met. Hubby loved them, Mr.B is on a dinner strike and Queenie did not enjoy the onion flavor of the potatoes, LOL. I'll be making these again, even if it is for me and Hubby.


Lyonnaise Potatoes
Amy – adapted from About.com

1 cup chopped onion
6 tablespoons butter
3 cups cooked sliced potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
chopped fresh parsley

In a large heavy skillet, heat butter over low heat; add onions and sauté until golden brown. Add cooked sliced potatoes to the browned onions. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Lyonnaise potatoes serves 6.

Amy’s Notes: Slice the potatoes and then boil them about 8 minutes. This needs a lot of salt and pepper. Toward the end, turn the heat up high to brown the potatoes. I also think you could cut the butter down on this, 6 tbsp made this very buttery.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baked TIlapia with Creamy Dill sauce and Spicy Potato Quinoa Croquettes

I made this for dinner a few nights ago. It had been floating around on the Cooking for your Family review thread. We've really started to eat more fish and this recipe was amazing. The lemon kept the fish so moist and the sauce complimented the fish perfectly. It was thick and creamy..... it would even be a great vegetable or chip dip. Hubby loves Cajun seasoning, so I was pretty liberal with his pieces of fish, while I lightly sprinkled my piece, LOL. I really loved the combination of the spicy fish and the cool sauce. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the sauce, LOL.


Hudson’s Baked Tilapia with Dill Sauce
Jo adapted from Allrecipes

4 (4 ounce) fillets tilapia
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, or to taste
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.Season the tilapia fillets with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning on both sides. Arrange the seasoned fillets in a single layer in the baking dish. Place a layer of lemon slices over the fish fillets. I usually use about 2 slices on each piece so that it covers most of the surface of the fish.Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.While the fish is baking, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder, lemon juice and dill in a small bowl. Serve with tilapia.


There has been a lot of buzz lately about Quinoa, so when Aerin posted a recipe using it, on our Cooking for your Family Board, I decided to take the plunge and try it. I really wasn't sure what it would taste like, or what texture it would have. It's a tad expensive, but a bag goes a long way, since it triples in size when it cooks. It is a complete protein, since it contains all essential Omega acids. A very healthy grain. I made potato and Quinoa croquette and they were very delicious. The Quinoa really reminded me of couscous. It didn't have a strong flavor and paired well with the potatoes, onion and spices. The outside of the croquettes were crispy and the inside were slightly creamy. Hubby enjoyed them and so did the kids, so I'm sure we will be rotating these in our menu, from now on.


Spicy Quinoa and Potato Croquettes

1 large russet potato, about 10 ounces
1 cup cooked quinoa (cook 1/3 cup dried quinoa, it will expand 3x's it's size to give you one cup, you can cook it in water or stock)
1 small onion, finely diced
2 tbsp sunflower oil, plus more for cooking
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley and/or cilantro
1 egg1/3 cup cottage cheese, grated Jack or mashed tofu ( I usually use old white cheddar)salt
1 cup fresh or dried bread crumbs.

Boil or steam the potato until tender, then mash it with a fork and mix it with the quinoa. Saute the onion in 2 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes, then add the spices and oregano. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft about 8 minutes, then add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more. Add this to the potato quinoa mixture along with the parsley, egg, cheese, and salt to taste.
Work the mixture together, then divide it into four large or eight smaller portions and shape them into ovals. Press each croquette gently in the bread crumbs. Generously film a nonstick skillet with the oil and set over medium heat. When hot, add the croquettes and cook on both sides until nicely browned.

Cindy's notes: we didn't have any cumin or coriander, so I subbed some curry powder. I also used dried parsley and used olive oil to fry the croquettes.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Winner is.......

I used the Truely Random Number Generator and the winner is........... #6



I'll contact you and you will have 24 hrs to send your your home address, so I can send this out to you.
Thank you to everyone who participated in my first giveaway, and to Lori for posting it on her blog.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chili's gift bag Giveaway!!

As you all know Hubby was a manager at Chili's Bar and Grill. Due to the economy, he had been warned of possible job loss. He saw this as the perfect opportunity to move back to my native country, Canada. Being Native American, Hubby and the children have dual citizenship, so moving back should go smoothly. So a few weeks ago, Hubby gave his 2 week notice. On his last day, the lovely executives at Chili's rewarded Hubby for all his hard work, with gift bags. They contain a notepad/calculator ( great for writting your grocery list and keeping track of your budget in the store), a chili pepper key chain, dog tag, a sports bottle, a pocket coolie and a small book full of different colored post its and post it tabs. And all this comes in a cute little Chili's pouch, that can double as a back pack. We kept one each and I have 1 left.


So, if you're interested in winning this please leave a comment and tell me what your favorite restaurant is and why. Leave your name and email address in the [at] [dot] com format, so I can contact you if you win.

y ends Sunday May 17th at 9pm central time. Winner will be announced Monday .

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu and New Potatoes in Creamy Dill Sauce

I made this for dinner last night. There has been a thread floating around about Chicken and Swiss Cheese on my cooking board, which reminded me I hadn't made this dish in a long time. I love the combination of tangy swiss cheese and smoky ham, with chicken. Hubby requested a jazzed up bechamel sauce to go along with the chicken. It tasted so much better with the sauce, no wonder he is a Chef and I'm not, LOL. The potatoes were really good too. They reminded me of Dill Pickle chips, that I use to eat, when we lived in Canada. The creamy dill sauce paired beautifully with the tender new potatoes.


Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
4 slices Swiss or Provolone cheese
8 thin slices smoked ham
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg; beaten
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 cup milk
1/4 C parmesan cheese
4 slices swiss cheese
fresh ground pepper

Pound chicken breast to1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle each piece on both sides with salt and pepper. Place 1 cheese slice and 2 ham slices on each breast. Roll up each breast using toothpicks to secure if necessary. Dredge each in flour, shake off excess, then in egg and finally in bread crumbs. Place seam side down in baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam. Spray each pice of chicken with Pam. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes until juices run clear. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt butter. Once melted add flour and mix together; let mixture cook for one minute. Slowly whisk in milk; making sure there is no lumps and bring up to a boil. Add Parmesan and Swiss cheese, stiring to melt. Season to taste (salt, pepper). Simmer on low stirring until thickened. Pour over cooked chicken.

New Potatoes in Creamy Dill Sauce
Adapted from Kraft Food and Family Magazine

1-1/2 lb. small new potatoes (about 22), quartered
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup PHILADELPHIA Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. dill weed

MICROWAVE potatoes and water in covered 3-qt. microwaveable dish on HIGH 15 to 17 min. or until potatoes are tender, stirring after 10 min.; drain. Return potatoes to dish; set aside. MICROWAVE cream cheese and milk in microwaveable bowl 1 min.; stir until smooth. Pour over potatoes; sprinkle with dill. MICROWAVE 1 to 2 min. or until heated through; stir gently.

Stove top directions: Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender. Drain into a colander. In same pot melt cream cheese with milk. Add in potatoes and dill and toss to combine.

Cindy's notes: I used regular cream cheese and added 1 Tbs finely grated onion to the cream cheese/ milk sauce.

Turkey Macaroni Casserole

In my never ending search of recipes that use leftover chicken or turkey, I came upon this recipe. I just love easy and simple recipes, that use ingredients that I always have in my pantry. This was great! Creamy, not too cheesy and the peppers, onion and pimento gave it great flavor. I forgot to add the salt, so don't forget that, because it sure did need it, LOL. Queenie loved this..... Mr.B picked at it, but ate most of it and Hubby polished off the rest, when he got home from work. Keeping it in my leftovers file for sure!

Turkey Macaroni Casserole
Adapted from About.com

2 cups uncooked macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cans (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup
2/3 cup milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked chopped chicken or turkey
1 jar (4 ounces) chopped pimiento, drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds*

Cook and drain macaroni, following package directions. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add celery, green pepper, and onion; cook until tender. Blend in soup, milk, and shredded cheese. Cook, stirring, until cheese is melted. Combine cheese mixture with macaroni, pimiento, chicken/turkey, salt, and nutmeg. Transfer to a buttered 3-quart casserole; top with toasted almonds. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Turkey Casserole Recipe serves 6.
*To toast nuts, spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in a 350° oven, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes. Or, toast in an ungreased skillet over medium heat, stirring, until golden brown and aromatic.

Cindy's notes: I only used 1 can of 98% fat free chicken soup and 1/3 C of milk, since i didn't use 2 c of dry pasta. I also subbed in 2 Tbs of butter and 2 Tbs of olive oil, instead of all butter.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Skillet Potatoes with Bacon and Cheddar; and Crispy Baked Ravioli

I receive the Kraft Food and Family Magazine, through the mail. It's free, full of quick easy and yummy recipes, so make sure to go to Kraft Foods to sign up for one. So I got the spring/summer issue and saw a recipe for potatoes with bacon and cheese. I knew these would be right up our ally, so I decided to give it a try. They were good, but very under seasoned. Maybe it's just my need for extra salt, with potatoes and sour cream, I'm not sure, LOL. These were very simple to make and tasted great. I was a bit disappointed that they didn't crisp up a little, but they were good regardless. I over cooked them a tad, trying to wrangle Queenie and cook at the same time, it can sometimes be a challenge.


Skillet Potatoes with Bacon & Cheddar
Adapted from Kraft Food and Family Magazine

4 slices Center Cut Bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes (about 6), thinly sliced
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
6 Tbsp. Sour Cream

COOK bacon in large nonstick skillet on medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon, reserving 3 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Drain bacon on paper towels. Add onions to skillet; cook and stir 5 min. Stir in potatoes; cover. Cook on medium-low heat 20 to 25 min. or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. TOP with cheese and bacon; cook, covered, 1 to 2 min. or until cheese is melted. SERVE topped with sour cream.

Cindy's notes: I used regular Idaho potatoes, since we rarely buy Yukon Golds and regular hickory smoked bacon.


Sometimes I just like light suppers that consist of appetizers and salads. This was the case a few days ago. I had bought some fresh Agnolotti ( similar to ravioli, but half moon shaped), since I had a killer coupon and they were on sale. I knew the package would never feed a family of 4, so I waited to use it when Hubby would be working nights. One of my favorite appetizers when we go out to eat is fried ravioli. I was glad to find a recipe on Baby Center's CFYF board, that required baking instead of frying. I tried this recipe 2 yrs ago and make it on occasion, when I remember about it, LOL. They come out crispy, minus all that extra fat from frying in oil. Mr.B called it inside out pizza and Queenie ate with much vigor. Hubby was lucky to have a few leftover and mentioned making them more frequently.


Crispy Baked Ravioli
Adapted from Jessica’s Recipe

1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk1 package refrigerated cheese filled ravioli (9 ounce)
3/4 cup pasta sauce warmed.

Heat oven to 375F and combine bread crumbs and cheese in a medium bowl. Combine sour cream and milk in a small bowl and dip ravioli in sour cream mixture, then in bread crumbs mixture to coat evenly. Place ravioli on non stick baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until ravioli are crisp and lightly browned. Serve immediately with pasta sauce.

Cindy's notes: I made my own bread crumbs by grating up some stale baguette, with the rough side of my box grater. I added a bit of dried basil, Parmesan and fresh ground pepper. I was out of sour cream, so I dipped the Agnolotti in melted butter, before dipping in the bread crumbs.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast

This is a recipe from one of the Kroger Magazines we get in the mail. I really love French toast, so what could be better than french toast with sweetened cream cheese and fruit?? I knew the kids would love it, but wasn't sure about Hubby. When it comes to french toast or pancakes the plainer the better. I can't even add cinnamon to the French toast batter, if he is having some, LOL. So I made this a few mornings ago, on Hubby's day off. It was well received and everyone ate like bears, LOL. I really enjoyed how the lemon zest added a much needed bright fresh flavor to the cream cheese. It would have tasted bland other wise. I omitted the nuts because I knew the kids would care for them and think it wouldn't have paired well with the dish. So I'm happy I did that, LOL.


Blueberry Stuffed French Toast
Adapted from My Kroger Magazine

6oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs pecan pieces
1 1/2 Tbs light brown sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp lemon zest
8 slices whole wheat bread
1/2 C frozen blueberries, thawed and drained
1 1/4 C egg substitute
3/4 C fat free skim milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
cooking spray

In a small bowl, stir together cheese, pecans, brown sugar, lemon juice and zest; mix well. Spread 1 side of each slice of bread with cream cheese mixture. Place 2 Tbs of blueberries over cheese mixture on 4 slices of bread. Place remaining slices, cheese side down, over blueberries to close. Lightly press together. In a shallow dish, whisk together egg substitute, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger.

Spray large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Dip bread "sandwiches" into egg mixture and add to skillet. Cook each side 3 minutes or until golden brown, flipping once with a large spatula. Remove from pan, cut in half and serve with your favorite pancake syrup. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Cindy's notes: I omitted the pecans, since I knew the kids would not care for them. I also used 2 eggs to replace the egg substitute and 1% milk.

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Let's do Brunch

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Overnight Orange-Glazed Monkey Bread and Gingersnap Chicken with Pineapple rice

Since Hubby started working at Kroger supermarket, we are now receiving little magazines full of coupons and recipes, in the mail. This monkey bread recipe was in the Easter edition and it caught my eye, since it used home made dough, rather than canned biscuit dough. I'm always looking to make things from scratch, as much as possible, so I knew I would definitely be making this. The plan was for breakfast, Easter morning, but I forgot to make the dough, early enough, so I wouldn't be up too late. Which was the case for the past few weeks, I'd remember to make the dough at 9:30 pm. Much too late for wimpy ole me, LOL. So the other night, DH was home,so I made the dough, once Queenie was in bed. It was very simple to make and assemble. The next morning all I had to do was preheat the oven, throw the bread in and make the glaze. The result was fluffy caramel-y flavored bread, due to the brown sugar. The glaze added a nice fresh citrus sweetness. Mr.B and Queenie, both couldn't get enough.


Overnight Orange-Glazed Monkey bread
adapted from Kroger My Magazine

1 pkg(1/4oz) active dry yeast
1/4 C warm water (100-110*F)
1/4 C sugar, divided
3 3/4 C AP flour
2 tsp salt
1 C warm milk (100-110*F)
2 Tbs melted butter
cooking spray

Brown sugar mixture

1 C light brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbs butter, melted and cooled


1 C confectioner's sugar
2 Tbs milk
1/4 tsp orange extract

Mix yeast, warm water and 2 Tbs of sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer; let stand for 5 minutes until bubbly. Add flour, salt and remaining sugar to the bowl. Attach dough hook and turn mixer on low. Mix the milk and 2 Tbs melted butter together, then add to the bowl. Let dough knead for 5-6 minutes; scrape dough into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise one hour.

Spray a fluted bundt pan with cooking spray. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Deflate dough, which will be sticky, and pinch off table-spoon size pieces, roll into balls, dip in melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place evenly around bundt pan; the pan should be 1/3 filled with dough, when finished. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, remove dough from fridge, 30 mins before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake bread for 30-35 minutes; if top gets too dark, cover with foil. Let bread sit 5 minutes, before turning onto a serving plate. Stir together confectioners sugar, milk and orange extract; pour evenly over bread.

Cindy's notes: I didn't have orange extract, so I subbed 2 Tbs of fresh orange juice, for the milk and 1/4 tsp of orange zest for the extract.


A few week's ago, while browsing the What's for Dinner thread on the CFYF board, someone had posted that they were making Gingersnap Chicken with Pineapple Rice. I was intrigued and asked for the recipe. It was simple with few ingredients, so right up my ally, LOL. I wasn't sure if Mr.B and Queenie would eat the chicken since gingersnaps can be quite spicy. I used bone in breasts, so I ate the outer coating, leaving the center plain chicken for the kids. It was crunchy and slightly sweet. The ginger flavor went perfectly with chicken. I knew the rice would be a hit, since we love pineapple. I used brown Minute Rice and substituted green onion for the peppers. I knew Mr.B would refuse to even taste the rice if it had peppers in it.... sigh. It was sweet and salty, very delicious. Queenie could not get enough and Hubby said it was a nice change from regular chicken and rice.


Gingersnap Chicken N Pineapple Rice
Jennifer - from BHG magazine

1 – 15 oz or 2 8oz cans pineapple tidbits
¾ cup uncooked long grain rice
½ tsp salt
½ cup coarsely chopped green sweet pepper
1 cup finely crushed gingersnaps (about 20)
¼ tsp salt
1 egg
1 tbsp water
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into halves lengthwise

Heat oven to 400. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Set pineapple aside. Add enough water to juice to equal 1-3/4 cups. In medium saucepan, stir together juice mixture, rice and the ½ tsp salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 18 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in pineapple and pepper. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes

Meanwhile, lightly coat a 15x10” baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In a shallow dish combine gingersnaps and the ¼ tsp salt. In another shallow dish, use for or whisk to combine egg and 1 tbsp water. Dip chicken pieces, one at a time, into egg mixture, then into gingersnap mixture to coat. Arrange chicken in a single layer in prepared baking pan. Lightly coat chicken with nonstick spray. Bake uncovered for 15-18 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Serve chicken strips with rice mixture. Serves 4.