Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nanaimo Bars

Posted in by blkris | Edit
A friend brought these yummy bars over the other night and they were a fun, new treat.  I had never had anything like these before, which is always a plus.  Here's the recipe.  Thanks again Liz!

From Liz T.


3/4 cup margarine/butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs beaten
1 1/2 cups coconut
3 cups graham crackers finely crushed  (usually about 2 packages)
3/4 cup walnuts (optional, I never add them)

Melt butter in sauce pan, add sugar, cocoa, vanilla and eggs. Cook stiring until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and stir in coconut, graham crackers and nuts.
reserve about 1/3 cup for topping.  Press firmly into 9X13 pan (I butter the pan first)
Refrigerate at least one hour.


1/2 cup margarine/butter -creamed
4 tbsp milk
4 tbsp instant vanilla pudding
3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter, add pudding sugar and milk, blend til fluffy. If too thick add more milk. Spread over crust and top with reserved topping. Refrigerate at least 30 mins or until firm.

My alterations:
I used butter instead of maragarine. I crushed 3 packages of graham crackers and added a little extra coconut. For the filling I just used the whole package of pudding, which was only a tsp or 2 more than 4tbsp's and the full 4 cups of pwd sugar. I also ended up adding at least another tbsp of milk, maybe even two, I didn't measure. 
After it was all put together I tossed it in the freezer for 20 mins to do a quick set.

A lot of other recipes I've seen don't use a crumb topping, they melt chocolate and spread that across the top.
Sunday, May 29, 2011

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
My mother in law makes her own chicken noodle soup and homemade noodles.  My husband has always loved it and we wanted some a while ago.  Of course, I didn't think about asking her until too late, so I found this recipe on the Food Network.  I made homemade noodles to go with it, but still have not found a recipe I really like for that yet.  Hope you like this!


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs (I used a couple dashes of dried thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts chicken stock, (recipe on the Food Network website)
  • 8 ounces dried wide egg noodles (I used homemade, but am still looking for a really good recipe!)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Included in this recipe on the site is a recipe for chicken stock.  I save time and just use the chicken stock I buy at the store!

Macaroni Grill's Pasta Gamberettie Pinoli

Posted in , , by blkris | Edit
This is a recipe my Mom made a few times while I lived at home and it is soooo yummy.  I pulled it out the other day to make and about choked looking at the amount of butter it called for!  I know that in the restaurant, they probably don't skimp on the butter and that is why it is so good, but at home, I was trying to figure out the best way to make it by cutting down on the fat.  So, here  (in pink!)is what my mom and I came up with. (Oh, this was found on a website a long time ago, but I tried to pull it up and it was no longer there.  Sorry!)

Lemon Butter Sauce

4 oz. Lemon juice (3 oz. fresh lemon juice)
2 oz. White wine (1 1/2 oz.; can substitute chicken stock)
4 oz. Heavy Cream (3 oz. )
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 lb. unsalted butter (EEK!!) (1 stick of butter)

1. Heat lemon juice and white wine in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and reduce by one-third.

2.  Add cream and simmer until mixture thickens (approx. 3-4 min.). Slowly add butter until completely incorporated.

3. Season with salt and pepper. 

4.  Remove sauce from heat and hold in warm area.

Preparing Shrimp Pasta
6 oz. butter (about a Tbs. olive oil)
12 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 oz. garlic, chopped
36 shrimp, large, peeled and deveined (I cooked chicken breasts, with seasonings, on the stove)
1 1/2 oz. Pine nuts, toasted
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
6 oz. fresh spinach, cleaned and stemmed
36 oz. Capellini pasta, cooked (I used tri colored farfalle - the bowtie looking pasta and only used about 15 oz.)
18 oz. Lemon butter sauce
1 bunch parsley, chopped (I didn't have enough fresh, so just sprinkled some dried parsley on top)

1. Heat butter in large saute pan over med. high heat.
2. Add mushrooms and saute for 2 min.
3. Add garlic, shrimp, pine nuts, salt, pepper, and saute until shrimp are translucent.  Reduce heat and add spinach; lightly toss with shrimp mixture (be careful not to wilt the spinach).
4.  Mix everything together.  
5.  I would advise eating a really BIG green salad with this or a HEAPING amount of green beans or peas, (or both!) to combat how unhealthy this meal is.  This is a meal I will make once a year (if that), just for something different.         

Greek Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Posted in by blkris | Edit
This is what my hubby cooked for dinner tonight.  Yes, my hubby made it!  He is quite a good chef when he wants to be.  But don't let on that you know or he says his reputation will be ruined and all the guys will make fun of him or get mad at him bc their wives will make them cook :)  The chicken has a very mild flavor and the potatoes soaked up the lemon juice, which, I would normally not think would be very good, but it was!  Oh, and instead of putting this in a roasting pan, my hubby put it in the crock pot before church and about an hour after church, it was ready.  So give or take about 5 hours if using a crock pot.

From: The Complete Guide to Country Cooking Cookbook

1 whole roasting chicken (5-7 pounds)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 tsp dried oregano, divided
4 to 6 baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 C. butter melted
3 Tbs. lemon juice
3/4 C. chicken broth

Place chicken with breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and half of the oregano.  Arrange potatoes around the chicken; sprinkle with salt, pepper and remaining oregano.  Pour butter and lemon juice over chicken and potatoes.  Add broth to pan.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 until juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads, basting frequently.  Cover and let stand 10 min. before carving. 

Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nuts

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
Here's another recipe from Cooking Light Magazine (September 2010).  It was a really good recipe that was just a little bit different from what I normally do.  The kids were not really sure about the stuffing, but my hubby and I liked it!  I never have feta on hand but thought we would try this recipe.  The sour taste of the feta combined with the lemon was very fresh and different.  The magazine says that you could use mozzarella or provolone for a milder flavor though.   Also, if you don't have pine nuts (because they are way over priced!), I would think it would be good without, or maybe you could substitute sliced or slivered almonds for some crunch.

5 Oz. fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 C. (2 oz.) crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbs. pine nuts, toasted
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 (6 oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 C. fat free, lower-sodium chicken broth

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Heat a large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add spinach to pan; cook 1 min. or until spinach wilts, tossing constantly.  Place spinach in a colander; press until barely moist.  Wipe pan clean.
3. Combine spinach, cheese, nuts, thyme, juice, and garlic.  Cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket.  Stuff 3 Tbs. filling into each pocket.  Seal with wooden picks.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
4.  Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat.  Add chicken; cook 3 min. on each side or until brown.  Add broth, and cover pan.  Place pan in oven.  Bake at 350 for 15 min. or until done.  Yield 4 servings (serving size - one half chicken breast).
Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
My hubby found this recipe this morning for an Easter breakfast.  The recipe calls for a 9x13 pan so he cut it in half.  He also added frozen Marionberries to it which added a lot of extra flavor.  Enjoy!

From: Lord Stocking's Bed and Breakfast

3/4 Cup Butter -softened or Crisco can be used too.
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
4 eggs
1 t. vanilla
3 Cups Flour
1 1/2 t. Baking Powder
3/4 t. Baking Soda
1/4 t. Salt
1 to 1 1/2 Cups Sour CreamFilling: 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 T. Flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
Cream Butter & Sugar.
Add eggs 1 @ a time.
Add Vanilla.

Combine Dry ingredients, Add to mixture; alternating Sour Cream with Dry Ingredients.
Spoon 1/3 of Batter into a 9X13 greased or sprayed Baking Pan.
Sprinkle 1/2 of the Filling Mixture over the top, then half the Berries.
Repeat Layers.
Bake @ 350 degrees 45-50 minutes.
Can drizzle w/ a Glaze: 1 Cup Confectionary Sugar w/ 2-3 T. Milk.
Saturday, April 16, 2011

Apple Cake

Posted in by blkris | Edit
Here is a recipe I got from my sis, who got it from a friend.  Thanks again!! 
This is a great recipe for parties.  It serves lots of people and is always a hit.  Don't look closely at the ingredients and don't think about calories when eating or making it though.  This is NOT a low -cal food.  But oh -so comforting and yummy!

From Catherine F.

1 1/2 C. oil (you can decrease the oil by up to 1/2 C. and replace it with water; it is just a little less moist)
2 C. sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 C. sifted flour (I never sift mine!  I use 2 C. white flour, 1/2 C. whole wheat to make myself feel                                    a little healthier!)
1 tsp. salt ( I used sea salt tonight)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 C. peeled and chopped apples
1 C. chopped pecans (optional)

Optional Spices:
1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tsp. ground cloves ( I ALWAYS use the spices.  Don't think it would be as good without them!  But I omit the cloves because I never have them on hand)

-Grease and flour bundt pan.  
-Combine oil, sugar, and eggs and beat well.
-In separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder (and spices if using)
-Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating well; add vanilla.
-Fold in apples and nuts
-Pour into pan
-Bake at 350 for one hour (I check mine at 45 min.)
-After cake has cooled, invert onto a serving plate and cover with glaze.

Beat together:
2 Tbs. butter melted
2 Tbs. milk
1 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 ts. lemon extract
Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
These are a great side to any meal.  Pair it with chicken and green beans and you're done!  My kids eat it up!  If your kids are not a fan of sweet potatoes, try these and they will more than likely enjoy them.  Mine do!

From Come and Get 'Em

2-3 medium sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
dash ground cloves
1/2 t. vanilla
2-4 T. coconut oil (can substitute butter)
1-2 T. agave nectar (optional)

Place sweet potatoes in enough water to cover potatoes plus 1 inch. Cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Turn off heat and drain. Place saucepan back on burner for 30 seconds more to dry potatoes.

Add remaining ingredients and mash until all ingredients are mixed well. Potatoes will be slightly lumpy.

Can be made ahead and frozen in sealed container.

Makes eight to ten 1/2 c. servings.

Great Pizza Dough

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
I have tried a few pizza dough recipes, and I have come to like this one recently.  It makes two pizza crusts, so I freeze the other half, thaw and then use it for another meal!  I try to do different types of pizzas instead of the normal meat, and cheese.  This time I did kind of an alfredo pizza.  I topped the pizza dough with alfredo sauce (Classico is a good brand if you want to buy it), then mozzarella cheese, spinach, artichoke hearts, fresh basil, tomato slices and seasoned, cooked chicken bits.  This was a good, fresh pizza, but I wish I would have added more basil and some salt and pepper.  It was a good change though! 

Recipe from Pioneer Woman


  • 1 teaspoon Instant Or Active Dry Yeast
  • 1-½ cup Warm Water
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ⅓ cups Olive Oil

Preparation Instructions

Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water. Let stand for a few minutes.
In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined, and the dough comes together in a sticky mass.
Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside for 1 to 2 hours, or store in the fridge until you need it.
Note: it’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.
When you are ready to make the pizza, grab HALF the pizza dough (recipe makes 2 crusts) and squeeze the dough toward the bottom to form a nice, tight, pulled ball. You can roll out the pizza with a rolling pin if you’d like, but sometimes it’s just as easy to throw it around and pull and stretch till it feels right. And when the crust is nice and thin, lay it on an oiled baking sheet or pizza pan. Drizzle a little olive oil on the dough and spread it with your fingers. Very lightly sprinkle some salt on the crust.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Top your crust with your toppings of choice. Then bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and toppings are bubbly.
We have made this pizza dough quite a bit since this post.  I have ended up using the whole amount and putting it in a large sized cookie sheet.  It is just the right amount of crust for our taste.  Then I make half and alfredo pizza and the other half a deluxe pizza.  Perfect fit for kids and parents! 
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper and Herb Pasta with Shrimp

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
I had leftover shrimp from my Coconut Shrimp dinner the night before, so I made this recipe.  It was good, but HOT!  I will make it again, but probably reduce the crushed red pepper even more.  If you want your kids to eat this, I would ditch the crushed red pepper altogether.

From Cooking Light magazine

2 Red bell peppers
8 oz uncooked fettuccine
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1 C finely chopped onion
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1/4 C fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 Tbs chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme (I used dried thyme)
1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage (I used dried sage)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs shaved fresh Parmesan cheese

-Preheat broiler.
- Cut Bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes.  Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand.  Broil 15 min. or until blackened. (I got nervous seeing my peppers get black, but don't worry!  The burnt part is just on the skin.  Make sure you let it all get black and burt or else the skin won't peel as easily)  Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly.  Let stand 20 min.  Peel and chop; set aside.
-Cook fettuccine according to the package directions, omitting salt and oil; drain well.  Set aside; keep warm.
-Heat 2 Tbs olive oil and butter (I only used olive oil) in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add chopped onion and garlic to pan, and cook for 4 min. or until the onion is tender, stirring frequently.  Add shrimp to the pan (I even added some cooked chicken), and cook for 2 min.  Add bell peppers and 1/4 C lemon juice to the pan, and cook for 4 min. or until the shrimp are done and half of the liquid has evaporated.  Add chopped parsley and the next 5 ingredients (through 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper) to the shrimp mixture.  Remove pan from heat.
-Combine cooked fettuccine and 1 tsp olive oil in a large bowl; toss well.  Add shrimp mixture, tossing gently to coat.  Top each serving with cheese.

Coconut shrimp with Fiery Mango sauce

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
I "heart" shrimp.  So if it is on sale, a really good sale, or for a special occasion, I get it.  I found this recipe for coconut shrimp in Cooking Light magazine and it turned out great!  Although, I will make sure that I have the shrimp all coated with everything before I start cooking instead of doing it while I go.  Yeah, I know.... duh!  But, when you are juggling two kids, and nursing a baby, you do what you can, right?  The sweet coconut is great with the salty taste of the shrimp and breadcrumbs.  YUM!  My kids didn't eat these, so I just cooked them for my hubby and I and did probably about 3/4 pound of shrimp, paired with green beans and orzo with parmesean and basil.  Delicious!

From Cooking Light magazine Jan/Feb 2010

28 jumbo shrimp (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 C flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 C panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/3 C cornstarch
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt
8 tsp oil, divided
Cooking spray

-Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact, discard shells (or you can save time and get the already cooked and peeled shrimp from the butcher's counter in your store!)
-Place coconut in a food processor; pulse 6 times or until finely chopped.  Add panko; pulse to combine. Place coconut mixture in a shallow dish.  Place cornstarch in a shallow dish.  Sprinkle shrimp evenly with 1/2 tsp salt.  Working with 1 shrimp at a time, dredge shrimp in cornstarch, shaking off excess.  Dip in egg whites; dredge in coconut mixture.
-Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tsp oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add 7 shrimp to pan; coat tops of shrimp with cooking spray.  Cook shrimp 2 1/2 min. on each side or until done.  Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining oil and shrimp.
4 servings

They also had a Fiery Mango Sauce with this, that I actually didn't make.  Didn't have the ingredients for it or the time, and I thought the shrimp was good plain.  But in case you want it, here is the recipe!

1 tsp oil
2/3 C finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (12 oz) can mango nectar
1/4 Scotch bonnet pepper, unseeded
1 1/2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp salt

Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add 1 tsp oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion, ginger, and garlic; saute 3 min., stirring frequently.  Add nectar and pepper; bring to a boil.  Cook 10 min or until reduced to 3/4 C.  Remove from heat; let stand 10 min.  Place mixture in a blender; process until smooth.  Stir in juice and 1/8 tsp. salt.  Cool.

Coconut milk pancakes

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
Ever realize that you don't have any milk left to make pancakes??  Well, if you have coconut milk on hand (which I always do just in case I want to make sticky coconut chicken), you can now make pancakes!  Cooking light has a recipe for them that is really good.  You may be thinking that they will taste too much like coconut, but really, you can't even taste it!  The original recipe calls for light coconut milk, but regular works too.  The light milk is thiner and so it  makes the pancakes lighter and fluffier.  This is how I like my pancakes.  My hubby, on the other hand, likes them thick and dense, which you can get if you use regular coconut milk.  Either way, they are good!  For 4 people, I would double or even 2 1/2 the batch.  1 batch is definitely not enough if you are pancake lovers!

From Cooking Light magazine Sept. 2010

1 C All purpose flour (As always, I use half wheat, half white flour)
1 Tbs sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Whisk together:
1 C light coconut milk
1 1/2 Tbs oil
1 egg

Combine with dry ingredients.
Cook as usual for pancakes.
Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tex-Mex Pork

Posted in by blkris | Edit
A terrific friend gave me a subscription to the Cooking Light Magazine last year for Christmas (Thanks again and great idea by the way if I didn't ever tell you!!).  I have tried some of the recipes, but lately I have been in a need new recipes funk, so I am going back through all the ones I pulled out that I wanted to try.  Tonight I made a dinner that was soooooo easy and it was good too!  My husband (who shows little emotion about lots of things :), even was impressed by this meal.  Looks like it was a winner!  I am not a huge fan of pork, but get sick of chicken.  So, I got some pork chops on sale and had them in the freezer waiting for me to decide what to do with them.  This was a great recipe for them, and a lot less fattening than your normal pork chop dishes.  And, one of the best things besides how easy and quick it was, is that it only had 7 ingredients, 2 of which are optional!  You should try this!

From Cooking Light December 2010

1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 1/2 C refrigerated fresh salsa (DON'T Go "el cheapo" on this.  The salsa will make or break it! We   used the Organic Salsa from Costco.  The best!)
2 C. hot rice (we use brown rice)
1/4 C. light sour cream
3/4 C. cubed avocado (I actually didn't have a ripe one, so we didn't use this tonight and it was still great)

Heat a large nonstick skillet over med.-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add pork to pan; sprinkle with 3/4 tsp kosher salt and 3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper.  Saute for 8 min. or until lightly browned.  Add salsa and 1/4 C. water to pan; bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 min. or until slightly thickened.  Serve pork mixture over rice; top with sour cream and avocado.  Yield 4 servings.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Posted in by blkris | Edit
Here is a great recipe if you are in need of something different than the regular, weekly meals.  I don't make this very often because to be honest, it takes a bit of time to prepare.  I did, however, finally get smart this last time I made it and I did it in phases.  I cooked the stuffing earlier in the day, and then finished it up before dinner time.  Much better idea.  So, note to anyone who makes this... plan ahead.  Sorry to say this is not a great throw together recipe at the last minute, but it does taste yummy! 

Stuffed Peppers

    * 6 green bell peppers
    * 1 tablespoons butter
    * 1 tablespoon olive oil
    * 1/2 cup chopped onion
    * 1/2 cup chopped celery
    * 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
    * 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
    * 1 clove garlic, crushed
    * 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
    * 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
    * 2 teaspoons salt, divided
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
    * 1 egg, lightly beaten
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    * 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (or turkey)
    * 1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice (we prefer brown rice)
    * shredded mild Cheddar cheese, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, optional


Cut tops off peppers; remove seeds and membranes. Chop edible part of tops and set aside. Rinse peppers under cold water. Place peppers in a large pot; cover with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain peppers and set aside.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Sauté chopped green pepper (from tops), chopped onion, and chopped celery for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, crushed garlic, oregano, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine egg with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Gently stir to blend; add ground (either precooked or raw, but if you want to take less time cooking in the oven, cook meat) beef, cooked rice, and 1 cup of the tomato mixture. Mix well. Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place in a 3-quart baking dish. Pour remaining tomato mixture over the stuffed peppers. Bake at 350° for 55 to 65 minutes. If desired, top stuffed peppers with a little shredded Cheddar cheese just before peppers are done; bake until cheese is melted.
Recipe for stuffed peppers serves 6.
Friday, February 4, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu 2

Posted in by blkris | Edit
Found on Mel's kitchen cafe

I have made a couple different recipes for this (as always!), and really like this one, and it was a hit with my family too (which is always a plus!).  They had a really great tip too on this website... they said, "Thankfully Cook’s Country came out with a clever version of how to stuff this classic dish and it peaked my interest. The shredded swiss cheese is rolled up in ham slices and then gently tucked inside a pocket cut into the chicken."  I didn't shred my cheese, but used cheese slices and just rolled those up in the ham and then stuffed them inside the chicken.  It worked great!

Note: To make sure the cheese doesn’t leak out of the chicken while baking, use large (at least 8-ounce) chicken breasts and chill the stuffed chicken breasts in the refrigerator before breading. (I didn't chill mine, and it still turned out fine)

Make-Ahead Tip: The breaded chicken can be refrigerated covered for up to 1 day.

*Serves 4 to 6

25 Ritz crackers
4 slices hearty sandwich bread, white or wheat(I wanted this part to be quick so I used store bought italian bread crumbs)
6 tablespoons butter, melted (I didn't use butter, but used olive oil instead)
8 thin slices deli ham (about 8 ounces)
2 cups shredded swiss cheese
4 thick boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total), see note
Salt and pepper
3 large eggs ( I realized as I was making this that my hubby used the last egg for breakfast! So I omitted this)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pulse the crackers and bread in a food processor until they are coarsely ground. Drizzle in the melted butter (or olive oil) and pulse (I just mixed mine with a spoon) to incorporate together. Transfer the crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the crumbs are lightly browned. Transfer the crumbs to a shallow baking dish (a pie plate works great!). Leave the oven on.

Top each ham slice with about 1/4 cup shredded cheese (Or if you have slices, roll these up in the ham). If your ham slices are too small, shingle two ham slices on top of each other to create a larger slice and roll the cheese up in that. Roll tightly and set aside. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Cut a pocket in the thickest part of the chicken breast and stuff each pocket with 2 (I only used 1) ham/cheese rolls. Pull the top flap of chicken over the rolls and press to seal (you can use a toothpick to gently secure the pocket edge, if you like). Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the stuffed chicken, covered, for at least 20 minutes. (I forgot this step, but it worked fine)

In another shallow dish or pie plate, beat the eggs (or if you don't have eggs, just mix olive oil, enough to dip the chicken in on both sides, and mustard) and mustard. Place the flour in a third shallow dish. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Working with one stuffed chicken breast at a time, coat the chicken lightly with flour and then dip in the egg mixture, covering both sides. Dredge the chicken in the toasted bread crumbs, pressing lightly to help the crumbs stick to the chicken. (The breaded chicken can be refrigerated covered for up to 1 day.)

Transfer the chicken to a lightly greased rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven until the bottom of the chicken is browned, about 10 minutes. Move the chicken to a middle rack in the oven, reduce the temperature to 400 (you don’t have to leave the chicken out of the oven while the temperature adjusts, just put it back in the oven and then reduce the temperature), and bake until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through (160 degrees on an thermometer), about 25-30 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Cook’s Country April/May 2010

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Chive Sauce

Posted in by blkris | Edit
My husband found this recipe a while back when I was still prego, and I thought it tasted so good.  I didn't know if it was because I was pregnant and starving or if it was because it actually was good.  Well, we have had it twice since I have had our baby and yes, it is just a good recipe!

Found on

Recipe Ingredients
 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound), trimmed of fat
 1 teaspoon kosher salt , divided
 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour , divided
 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil , divided
 2 large shallots , finely chopped (I never have these so I just use white or yellow onions)
 1/2 cup dry white wine (I don't like a strong white wine flavor, so I substitute some of this with more chicken broth)
 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
 1/2 cup chopped chives (about 1 bunch)

Recipe Directions
  1. Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even thickness, about 1/2 inch. Season both sides of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place 1/4 cup flour in a shallow glass baking dish and dredge the chicken in it. Discard the excess flour.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour; stir to coat. Add wine, broth and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil, stirring often.
  4. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until heated through and no longer pink in the center, about 6 minutes. Stir in sour cream and mustard until smooth; turn the chicken to coat with the sauce. Stir in chives and serve immediately.

Mexican Tortilla Chicken Soup

Posted in , by blkris | Edit

I have tried a couple of different recipes for Chicken Tortilla Soup, and didn't really like any of them... until I found this one.  I love it because it has a fresh flavor and is very easy!  I have made it a couple different times and like it still.  Hope you do too!

Found on Food Network


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium white onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 3 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped (you can use canned tomatoes in a pinch, but fresh is best!)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola oil, for pan-frying
  • 8 corn tortillas, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips (I just use store bought torilla chips to save time!)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced
  • 1 cup shredded Jack cheese, optional
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges, for serving


Place a stockpot over medium heat and coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, jalapenos, and tomatoes; cook, stirring for 15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked down and pulpy. Pour in the stock, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1-inch of canola oil in a skillet over medium-high flame. When the oil begins to smoke, add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until they are crisp on all sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined platter and sprinkle with salt while they are still hot.

Ladle the hot soup into 4 soup bowls and put a pile of shredded chicken on top of each. Top with the diced avocado and fried tortilla strips (and cheese if using). Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.