Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cajun Crackers

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tbs crushed red pepper
1/2 tbs cayenne pepper
1 pack ranch dressing
1 bag oyster crackers

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a large ziploc bag. Pour in oyster crackers and shake to coat. After 2 or so hours, shake to coat again and serve.

Monday, September 20, 2010

One Pan Italian Pasta

I made this easy dish last night. I found the recipe on After it was all said and was basically just spaghetti with zucchini. It was really tasty and I will certainly make it again!

2 lb. Ground beef
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) beef broth
1 cup Water
2 cups Bow tie pasta (farfalle), uncooked
1 medium Zucchini, sliced
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (I used a lot more because reviews said it was bland)
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese


BROWN meat with garlic in large skillet; drain. Return to skillet.

ADD tomatoes with their liquid, the broth and water; mix well. Bring to boil. Add pasta and zucchini; mix well. Cover. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 15 min. or until pasta is tender.

STIR in tomato paste and Italian seasoning until well blended. Sprinkle with cheese

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pecan Pie Muffins

This is a recipe from Tasty Kitchen and it only has 5 ingredients!! They were amazing. It was kinda like eating pecan pie for breakfast and not feeling guilty.

* 1 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
* ½ cups All-purpose Flour
* 1 cup Chopped Pecans
* ⅔ cups Softened Butter
* 2 whole Eggs Beaten

Preheat oven 350 F.

Grease your muffin pan (whatever size) or use the silicone cups. I grease my silicone muffin cups with Crisco or lard.

In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour and pecans. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and eggs together until smooth. Stir into the dry ingredients just until combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Cups should be about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks when done.

Option: when you take them out of the oven, place a slice of butter on top and eat warm. You may also use walnuts instead of pecans.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Farfalle with Sausage and Kale

This is one of my go-to meals.....when I don't know what to make! It is perfect with a fresh Greek salad and everyone likes it (so far)! This recipe is from Cooking it makes me feel like I am eating healthy! Below is the actual recipe and I will put my adjustments in parenthesis.


8 oz. uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta) (I use a whole 16 oz. box)

1/4 c. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced

1 1/2 c. chopped onion

8 oz. hot turkey Italian sausage (I use 14-16 oz. regular Italian sausage)

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 (14 oz.) can fat-free chicken broth

1 (16 oz.) pkg. fresh kale (I just buy it loose in the produce section; cut off thick stalks)

1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 oz. shaved fresh Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)


Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain and reserve some pasta water if needed later. ( I never do this)!

Remove 2 tsp. of oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes and place in large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Slice tomatoes and add to oiled pan with onions and sausage. Cook 10 minutes or until sausage is browned; stirring to crumble. Add garlic to pan, cooking 1 minute. Add seasoning, pepper and broth to pan. Stir in cannellini beans and add kale; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Stir in pasta and reserved liquid, if necessary (I have never needed extra liquid). Pasta is with shaved Parmesan cheese!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


We made this succotash to go with the Pepper-Jack chicken for Grandparents Day lunch. It was so pretty on the plate...and tasted good too!

1 cup of frozen lima beans, thawed
1 medium yellow summer squash, diced
2 cups corn kernels
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
Juice of 1 lime

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the lima beans, squash and corn, season with salt and cook until the squash is just tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Serve with pepper jack chicken if you wish.

Pepper-Jack Chicken

We made this for the main dish of our Grandparents Day lunch. It turned out pretty good and everyone liked it.

4 oz. pepper-jack cheese, shredded
2 cups baby arugula, roughly chopped (we used spinach because that it what we had)
2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing
Kosher salt
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons Cajun spice blend (tony's)
Vegetable oil, for the grill

Combine the cheese and arugula in bowl. Cut a deep 2 inch wide pocket in the thickest part of each chicken breast with a paring knife. Stuff with the arugula mixture. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and the Cajun spice blend.

Preheat the grill to high and brush the grates with vegetable oil. Grill the chicken until blackened and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 155 degrees, 8-10 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board. Serve with succotash if you want.

BLT Tomatoes

This was the appetizer that we made for our Grandparents Day luncheon. They turned out pretty yummy. It tasted just like a BLT!


Hollow out 4 tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and invert to drain. Cook 2 bacon slices with 1 garlic clove; chop, then toss with 1/2 cup chopped lettuce, 1/2 cup stale bread cubes, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and salt and pepper. Stuff into the tomatoes, then brush with the bacon drippings. Bake 20-30 minutes at 425 degrees. Makes 4 tomatoes.

Hazelnut White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake

I made this recipe for our Grandparents Day lunch. I found it on this website. I was really pleased with how it turned out!

  • 3/4 cup vanilla-wafer crumbs
  • 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (toasted, if you like)
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the crust ingredients and mix well. Press the mixture into the bottom and a half inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove it from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees

In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and pumpkin-pie spice with an electric mixer on low speed (at low speed, less air will get into the batter and the cheesecake will be less likely to crack while baking). Add the pumpkin and eggs and beat until well combined. Stir in the white chocolate. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan, then sprinkle on the chopped hazelnuts.

Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour. Then turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for another 30 minutes or longer until set. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and chill. Makes one 9-inch cheesecake.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Green Bean Bundles

I can't believe I am just now posting this recipe.  Green bean bundles are one of my favorites things in the whole wide world!  A little taste of delicousness! I managed to get this recipe from a previous Ruston caterer and it's just the gift that keeps on giving. 

2 cans whole green beans
1 pound bacon
3/4 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
Garlic salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Roll 8 beans in 1/2 slice of bacon; repeat until all beans are used. Put in 13x11 casserole dish. Sauce: melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, garlic salt and black pepper. Pour over bundles. Bake at 350 (covered) for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes.

Poppy Seed Chicken (Kelly's Korner Style)

Jessie sent me this recipe from Kelly's Korner. I've been wanting to try it because I have some poppy seeds in the cabinet that I needed to use.  I baked this for the Smith's, so they were sorta like my guinea pigs.  I did reserve a little pan for Ben and I because I wanted a little taste!

2 or 3 chicken breasts, boiled and cut in small pieces
1 16 oz sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken
1 tbls of poppyseeds
Ritz crackers
1 stick of butter

Mix the first 4 ingredients and put in baking dish. Cover with crushed up Ritz crackers. Melt a stick of butter and pour on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350. Serve over white rice.

This dish tasted much better straight out of the oven because the Ritz crackers were crisp and buttery.  I'm sorry to Kelly & Andy because between our house and yours, the Ritz crackers probably got a mushy:(!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Crash Hot Potatoes

It appears that I have been on a Pioneer Woman recipe streak.  I made her Crash Hot Potatoes and they turned out ok.  I guess I would have liked a little more flavor because they kind of tasted like a plain baked potato.  I do however, love the way they look!

Photo Courtesy Pioneer Woman


* 12 whole New Potatoes (or Other Small Round Potatoes)
* 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
* Kosher Salt To Taste
* Black Pepper To Taste
* Rosemary (or Other Herbs Of Choice) To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.

On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.

With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.

Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.