Friday, June 29, 2012

Cheddar and Bratwurst Crescents

'Cheddar and Bratwurst Crescents'
Source: Adapted from Mama Loves Food


4 bratwurst
8 slices of American or Cheddar Cheese
2 packages crescent rolls, 8 count
mustard for dipping (we used Horseradish Mustard)


1. Heat oven to 375. Place bratwurst on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes (turn once at the 20 minute point).

2. Cut each bratwurst in half lengthwise and then cut each piece in half width-wise (this should give you 16 pieces of bratwurst).

3. Unroll crescents and separate into 16 triangles.

4. Place a piece of bratwurst on each crescent, and top with half a slice of cheese.

5. Roll crescents starting from the wide end and ending at the narrow end.

6. Bake (at 375) for 11 to 13 minutes or until crescents are a golden color.

7. Serve with mustard.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mexican Pizza

'Mexican Pizza'
Source: Adapted from The Country Cook


1 pound ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 can (14 oz.) re-fried beans
1 can (12 oz.) Enchilada Sauce
1 package flour tortilla shells
1 package shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 medium tomato, diced
sliced green onions


1. Heat oven to 350.

2. In a medium pan, brown ground beef. Drain. Add taco seasoning and water (per directions on package).

3. Place tortillas on a greased baking sheet in a single layer. Bake 4-5 minutes, flip and bake another 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown.

4. In a microwaveable-safe bowl, heat re-fried beans for 45 seconds, stir, and heat for another 30 seconds.

5. Assemble pizzas. On each baked tortilla, spread a layer of re-fried beans, then place a layer of seasoned ground beef. Spoon a bit of the enchilada sauce on top of the beef and top with shredded cheese.

6. Place the pizzas back onto the baking sheet and bake for 3-4 minutes (just until the cheese melts).

7. Top with diced tomatoes, green onions and sour cream.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nacho Mac N’ Cheese

'Nacho Mac N’ Cheese'
Source: Adapted from Life's Ambrosia


2 cups dried elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups grated medium cheddar cheese
1 cup grated jack cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 tomatoes, diced
2 avocados, pit and skin removed, diced


1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta 7–8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

2. In the same pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Stir in onions and jalapenos. Cook just until softened, about 3 minutes.

3. Return macaroni to the pot and reduce heat to medium low. Stir in the remaining butter. Once butter has melted stir in milk, eggs, cheddar and jack cheese, kosher salt, cumin and chili powder.

4. Cook for 10–15 minutes or until the sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Do not allow the sauce to boil or it will curdle.

5. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Let stand a little longer if the sauce still appears a little thin. Stir and spoon into bowls. Top each bowl with diced tomatoes and avocados.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce

'Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce'
Source: Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything


1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic (1/2 teaspoon minced)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper


1. Place milk and bread crumbs in separate, shallow bowls. Cut chicken breasts into smaller pieces using kitchen shears (or a knife). You can also pound your breasts with a meat mallet to make them thinner.

2. In a large skillet, heat butter to medium heat. Dip chicken in milk, then coat with crumbs. Cook chicken in butter, on both sides, until juices run clear (about 10 minutes). Remove to a large plate and cover to keep warm.

3. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds over medium heat. Add the chicken broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and stir to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in cream and sun-dried tomatoes; boil and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat.

4. Add Parmesan cheese, basil and pepper. Stir sauce and cook until heated through. For a thicker sauce, cook a little longer (5-7 minutes). Spoon sauce over chicken, and serve.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Beef and Bean Crescent Pockets

'Beef and Bean Crescent Pockets'
Source: Adapted from Pillsbury


1/2 lb ground beef, cooked, drained
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed, drained (from 15-oz can)
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix (from 1-oz package)
2 cans (8 oz) crescent creations seamless dough OR regular crescent rolls
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)


1. Heat oven to 375. In 10-inch skillet, mix beef, beans and taco seasoning. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

2. Separate dough into 8 long rectangles (if using crescent rolls, press perforations to seal). Spoon beef mixture down center of each rectangle; sprinkle with cheese.

3. Starting with short side, roll up; pinch edges to seal. Place seam side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Stuffed Shells

'Stuffed Shells'
Source: Adapted from 101 Cookbooks


1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 bunch of chives, minced
20-25 jumbo dried pasta shells
1 jar of preferred pasta sauce
parsley, chopped (for garnish)


1. Heat oven to 350.

2. Cook the shells according to package instructions in salted water until al dente. (If you overcook, the shells will tear as you fill them). Drain and let cool long enough to handle with your hands.

3. While pasta is cooking, combine the ricotta, egg, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until combined, then stir in the mozzarella and chives. Set aside.

4. Spread 1/3 of sauce across the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 in baking dish. Fill each shell with ricotta, and arrange in a single layer in the pan. Spoon remaining sauce over the shells, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover for the final 15 minutes or until the shells are cooked through. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve hot.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Macaroon Kisses

'Macaroon Kisses'
Source: Adapted from Rook No 17


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cups butter, softened
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon juice from a fresh orange
10 cups sweetened flaked coconut, divided in to 6 cup and 4 cup portions
1 bag Hershey Kisses (48 pieces)


1. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

2. Beat butter, cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, vanilla and orange juice and beat till smooth.

3. In 1 cup increments, mix flour in to the butter mixture. Add the 6 cups flaked coconut and beat to combine.

4. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour. While dough is chilling, remove wrappers from the Kisses.

5. Heat oven to 350. One at a time, scoop dough into 1.5" balls (about the size of a large walnut). Roll dough between your palms, then roll in the bowl of remaining coconut (4 cups).  Arrange on an ungreased baking sheet at least one inch apart (cookies will spread slightly).  A standard cookie sheet should accommodate a dozen cookies at a time.  Bake 12-14 minutes, until the cookies puff and are very lightly browned.

6. Remove from oven. Immediately press one Kiss into each cookie.  Return pan to oven and bake for an additional minute.

7. Remove pan from oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes. With a thin spatula, gently move cookies on to a rack to finish cooling.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shrimp Tacos

'Shrimp Tacos'
Source: Adapted from Clean And Delicious


1 lb of frozen shrimp, defrosted, peeled, & deveined
6 oz Greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/2 a head of cabbage, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
8 flour tortillas
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Mix yogurt, cayenne, lime juice, cilantro (or parsley), & salt in a small bowl, set aside.

2. Heat two teaspoons of olive oil in a medium skillet and add cabbage. Cook for about four minutes or until the cabbage is just barely wilted. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

3. Cut shrimp into thirds to make little bite size pieces. Sauté in remaining two teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper over medium heat just until done (3-5 minutes, or until completely pink).

4. Place tortillas on a microwave safe plate and warm in microwave for 12-18 seconds. Prepare a scoop of cabbage on the warmed tortillas then top with shrimp, and cilantro sauce.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pop-Pop's Oatmeal and Biscuits

'Pop-Pop's Oatmeal and Biscuits'
Source: My Grandfather


1 cup Quaker oats original oatmeal
1 cup water
2-3 tablespoons milk
sugar to taste (I use about 3 tablespoons)
biscuits of choice (I use Grands!)


1. Heat oven to 375. cook biscuits according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, pour water and a dash of salt in a small pan. Bring water to a boil and stir in the oats. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

3. Remove biscuits from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Transfer oats to a bowl and add milk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

4. Sprinkle desired about of sugar over oats (I like mine very sweet, so I use about 3 tablespoons). Tear 2-3 biscuits into small pieces and stir into oatmeal. Add more biscuits while eating if desired.

**You can of course use instant oatmeal or even flavored oatmeal if you so choose. I've just always made it this way. Either way, you have to wait for the biscuits to cook, so the instant oatmeal won't save much time**

Monday, June 18, 2012

S'more Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

'S'more Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies'
Source: Adapted from Smells Like Home


2 cookie dough rolls at room temperature (32 oz each...I used Toll House)
8 graham cracker squares, broken into halves
4 marshmallows, snipped in half lengthwise
1 full-size Hershey’s bar, divided between each of the prospective cookies


1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Lay half of the graham crackers out on the baking sheets  (two crackers per sheet).  Top each cracker with 3-4 pieces of chocolate then top the chocolate with two marshmallow halves, laying them side-by-side. Lay the remaining graham crackers on top, completing the s’mores.

3. Sandwich the s’mores between two large spoonfuls of room temperature cookie dough and carefully work the dough around the s'more (be patient and go slowly so as not to break the crackers). Use the remaining dough to wrap around the sides of each s’more; the result should resemble a small cookie brick.

4. Space the cookies at least 4 inches apart on the two baking sheets.  Bake for 20-24 minutes or until the tops and edges are lightly browned and the edges just lift off the pan with a spatula.  (While baking, the s’mores will press down under the weight of the cookie dough and will sink further while cooling.  It's ok if the cookies don’t completely cover the s’mores).

5. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool for at least 10-15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Kansas City Dogs

'Kansas City Dogs'
Source: Adapted from Pillsbury


8 turkey hot dogs
1 cup refrigerated barbecue sauce with shredded pork (from 18-oz container)
8 hot dog buns, split
1/2 cup pickle slices
2 medium green onions, sliced (2 tablespoons)
Mustard, if desired


1. Heat gas or charcoal grill.

2. Place hot dogs on grill over medium heat. Cook uncovered 10 to 15 minutes, turning frequently, until hot.

3. Place sauce with pork in medium microwavable bowl; cover loosely. Microwave on high 45 to 60 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until hot.

4. Place hot dogs on buns. Spoon about 2 tablespoons sauce with pork on each bun. Top with pickles, onions and mustard.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pistachio-Crusted Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce

'Pistachio-Crusted Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce'
Source: Adapted from Taste Of Home


4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios


1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Heat oven to 375. Place fillets on a greased baking sheet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread with mayonnaise and sprinkle with pistachios.

2. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook and stir shallot in oil over medium-high heat until tender. Add cream, lemon peel, salt and cayenne; bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve with salmon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Provolone Pepper Jack and Ham Grilled Cheese

'Provolone Pepper Jack and Ham Grilled Cheese'
Source: My own creation


2 Slices of bread
2-3 slices of deli ham
2 slice of provolone cheese
1/4 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 tomato, sliced


1. Place sliced provolone on one slice of bread. Top with ham, shredded pepper jack, 2 slices of tomato, and finally the other piece of bread. Spread the outside of both slices with butter.

2. Melt butter (or use cooking spray) in a small skillet on medium heat. Grill sandwich until golden brown on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side). 


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chicken Caesar Salad Squares

'Chicken Caesar Salad Squares'
Source: Adapted from Pillsbury



2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast or 1 can chicken breast in water, drained (12.5 oz)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or Italian cheese blend (2 oz)
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon bacon pieces
2 tablespoons Caesar dressing
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice


1 can crescent rolls  (8 oz) OR 1 can Crescent Creations seamless dough (8 oz)


1/4 cup Caesar dressing
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce


1. Heat oven to 375. In medium bowl, mix filling ingredients until well blended.

2. If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate into 4 rectangles. Place on ungreased cookie sheet; press each into 6x4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut into 4 rectangles. Place on ungreased cookie sheet; press each into 6x4-inch rectangle.

3. Spoon about 1/2 cup chicken mixture onto center of each dough rectangle. Bring the 4 points of each rectangle up over filling; firmly pinch to seal, forming a square.

4. Bake 16 to 21 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Garnish each with 1 tablespoon Caesar dressing and 1/4 cup shredded lettuce.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Breakfast Banana Split

'Breakfast Banana Split'
Source: Adapted from Bake At 350


1 banana
3 strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup yogurt (any flavor)


1. Slice banana length wise and place in a dish.

2. Spoon yogurt between banana slices and top with sliced strawberries.

3. Spoon desired amount of Nutella into a small plastic bag and microwave for 10-15 seconds. Push Nutella down into the corner of the bag. Snip off a small piece of the corner and drizzle over entire dish.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Chili Mayo Grilled Shrimp

'Chili Mayo Grilled Shrimp'
Source: Adapted from Skinny Taste


2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons scallions, chopped fine
1 1/2 tablespoons Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
1/2 teaspoons Sriracha (or to taste)
40 large raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
fresh cracked pepper
oil spray


1. Combine the mayo, scallions, sweet chili sauce and sriracha sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Soak wooden skewers in water at least 20 minutes (or use metal ones to avoid this step).

3. Place shrimp on skewers. Season lightly pepper.

4. Heat a clean, lightly oiled grill to medium heat. When the grill is hot add the shrimp, careful not to burn the skewers. Grill on both sides for about 6 - 8 minutes TOTAL cooking time or until the shrimp is opaque and cooked through.

5. Set shrimp aside on a platter and quickly brush mayo sauce onto the shrimp; serve immediately.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cheesy Grits with an Egg

'Cheesy Grits with an Egg'
Source: Adapted From Dinner Vine


1/2 cup ground white grits (NOT instant) 1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk (or half & half)
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
dash dried thyme
dash paprika
2 eggs, for frying or poaching  
Crusty bread
 2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)


1. In a medium pot combine water, butter and salt and pepper until a gentle boil begins, then add the grits slowly, stirring.

2. Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and cook for 20 min, stirring every few minutes. After 20 min, add the milk (or half-&-half) and cook 10 minutes longer covered and stirring occasionally.

3.Add the cheeses and combine well.

4. Prepare eggs however desired...poached, over-easy, or fried.

5. Toast bread and lightly spread with butter.

6. Dish cheesy grits into bowl, topping with a little dried thyme. Place egg atop grits and sprinkle with paprika & freshly chopped parsley. Use toast for dipping.

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