Monday, May 16, 2011

RIP What's Cookin!

When I started this post, it was about 11:50PM on Monday, May 16, 2011. What's really ironic about that is that the first post on "What's Cookin" was posted at around 8AM on Friday, May 16, 2008. Happy third birthday little blog!

I really didn't think this blog would take off. It started mostly as a way to compensate for living so far away from my dear friend Laurie. She and I were seventh grade locker partners, and then when we were both new moms (to girls born four days apart) we were neighbors and on our daily walks together I would invariably ask what she was making for dinner. So I started this little blog, to ask everyone out there what they were making for dinner.

And it never really took off in the same way that I had envisioned it would. But I loved it. I loved trying new things and sharing them with my friends. And I got just enough comments and compliments to fuel my fire and keep me going through the times when I wondered if anyone was still listening.

I am not an amazing cook. Just a mom, trying to feed her kids things that are good, and good for them. And when I started this process I am not even sure I really loved to cook. I didn't mind it, but it certainly wasn't a passion. But kind of is. I love trying new things, and most of all, I love making people smile, and the best way I can do that is to plop a tasty meal in front of them.

Anyway, this is all a long way of saying that I am shutting down "itwasamazing". But....don't fear, I've been in the works of creating something better -- well, if not better in theory at least better looking :) Kayla, over at FrecklesinApril was kind enough to put together a redesign for my blog, and with that it has a new name, Lemon Glaze. I like lemons, I like glaze, and mostly I wanted yellow in my color scheme, so it worked : ) (and also almost ever other single bingle blog name I tried was taken :).

Anyway. I will certainly leave this blog up and if anyone wants to throw recipes up on here they are more than welcome. But I will be doing my posting over on lemonglaze.

Thanks for three good years and hundreds of good recipes!

I promise, you will want to come visit lemonglaze. It's so much prettier! Oh and also my finest recipe I have ever made is over there, these delicious Liege Waffles....they. were. amazing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Teriyaki and pineapple chicken

Teriyaki and Pineapple Chicken

(recipe from
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: HEZZZ1223
Photo By: blahs4life
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes

Ready In: 40 Minutes
Servings: 8
"Bell peppers, pineapple, mushrooms, and chicken combine to make a hearty main dish that also tastes great as leftovers."
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken
breasts, cut into cubes
1 green bell pepper, sliced thin
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 1/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1 onion, chopped
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks,
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, 7 to 10 minutes.
2. Place the green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, teriyaki sauce, pineapple chunks with the juice, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper into the wok, and turn the heat to medium. Bring to a simmer, stir in the flour, and continue simmering 15 minutes until thick.

I give this 4 stars. It was so yummy! we served it over rice,but you could have it in a pita too. i did make a few adjustments. i only put like 1/2tsp red pepper in and it was still a little hot, normally it would have been perfect temperature but for a nursing mom it was a little hotter than i would have liked. second i reduced the flour to like 1/8 of a cup or so, i just added it until it looked thick enough, but having it over rice i wanted the sauce a little thinner. and i left out the yellow pepper, but that's just cuz i didn't have one. and i did saute the vegi's but next time i will just do it like they said because they were a little overdone.

Monday, April 18, 2011

"Give me an orange, Julius!"

That's how it all started back in 1926. Julius Reed had a succesful Orange Juice stand (shop?) in LA, but OJ made his friends tummy hurt, so his friend (who incidentally was also his real estate broker) figured out how to reduce the acidity in the juice, making the juice creamier, frothier, and better. Business quintupled overnight, and people would come and say "Give me an orange, Julius". And thus the Orange Julius was born, and the world is a better place because of it. I kind of forget about Orange Juiluses every once in a while, but Gwen has had a raging fever all day and we needed a treat for family night, so....ta da! There are approximately ten trillion different ways to make an Orange Julius, and here's one of them that's really tasty!

Orange Julius

1- 6oz can frozen orange juice concentrate (hint: orange juice concentrate comes in 12 oz cans, so double this recipe or only use half the can)

1 cup milk

1 cup water

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup sugar

10 to 20 ice cubes (I kind of like it heavy on the ice cubes)

Blend in blender and enjoy!

* I'd say if you are making it for four people to do the half recipe, any more than that do the full can of concentrate and double the remaining ingredients. Enjoy!

Feta Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Feta Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Adapted from

1 pound ground turkey
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced (I used 1/2 cup regular back olives)
1/8 cup pine nuts (or more, or if you don't have them- omit!)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1/8-1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth (or in desperate times, olive juice from the can of olives)

1. Preheat the grill for medium high heat (or plug in ye olde George Foreman)
2. In a large bowl, combine turkey, feta cheese, olives, pine nuts, oregano, garlic, and pepper and liquid of choice. Mix together and form in to patties.
3. Lightly oil the grate (spray with pam), place patties on the grill. Cook for 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through.

I was going to make Tzitki to put on top of the patties but kind of forgot until too late in the game, so I topped with greek yogurt that I had added a little fresh basil to. Certainly sour cream would get the job done as well. I also served with my failed attempt at baked sweet potato fries.

And also I am waiting for an onslaught of salmonella because Ivy got her hands, and subsequently her mouth, into the uncooked turkey patties. Spring break so far has been epic. And not in a good way.

But these burgers, oh my! They were delicious! Certainly you could serve them on a bun, or just plain, or topped with the greek yogurt, or in a pita, the possibilities are endless!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Quick and Easy Chinese Dumpling Soup Recipe

I recently went to a photography workshop, hosted by a dear friend who is an amazing photographer (it's practically a requirement for you to be a good photographer to be friends with me, just so you know). She served a really tasty lunch, including this soup. I harrassed her for over two weeks to get the recipe, and received it today - SCORE! Oh and don't assume that by saying I went to a photography workshop that now I take my own pictures of my food. Totally not true, Marisa got the recipe and I got the photo from : ) I can't wait to check out more recipes from there : ) I can't wait to make this again, tonight! She also served a really yummy salad with it too. I'll get that recipe too....if it's the last thing I do. Quick and Easy Dumpling Soup
4 cups chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium store bought (I like Swanson 99%) 1 slice fresh ginger root, 1/4-inch thick, peeled but left whole

2 scallions, sliced 1 Tbsp shao hsing wine (Chinese rice cooking wine) 2 Tbsp dark soy sauce Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste 24 frozen Chinese dumplings with filling of your choice (do not defrost) Hoisin sauce for garnish (optional)

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the chicken stock, ginger root, scallions, shao hsing wine and dark soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add frozen dumplings, and when the soup returns to the boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Divide evenly into serving bowls, and drizzle a bit of hoisin on the dumplings.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Summer Chicken Salad

We made this for a big dinner the other night where we fed about 120 people. It doubles (and quadruples) easily and we got so many compliments. I think it might be my favorite salad. The box of European Salad Mix was from Costco. For real. So yummy. Try it.

Summer Chicken Salad:

1 Box European Salad Mix
2C Fresh Parmesan
2C Mozzarella
1LB cooked, crumbled bacon
3/4 C Almond slivers
6-8 Chicken Breasts cooked and sliced
2C Craisins
2 Diced Apples

1C Sugar
1/2C Red Wine Vinegar
1t Dry Mustard
1 1/2t salt
1/4C Red Onion Chopped
1C Oil
Combine in blender slowly adding oil

Put all salad ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Make dressing in blender. Pour over salad a little at a time and toss and serve immediately.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chipotle Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

* Photo and Recipe credit to Natalie at

Do you ever find yourself wondering what the point of my recipe blog is since I basically just repost recipes from Don't worry, you're not the only one. The thing is though, last year you probably thought the same thing when I posted a string of recipes from melskitchencafe. So though I go through stints, I sometimes switch things up and start following another recipe blog. So that's why. That and also that the Good Book lets us know that in the mouths of two or three witnesses all things shall be established. So...I like to add my witness to good recipes. Is that blasphemous?

We loved this soup! Probably one of my favorite soups ever. Cleaning up after it was not my favorite thing, however. I curse the frugality in me that will simply not let me buy an immersion blender. I curse even more the frugality in me that returned the immersion blender that was given to me at Christmas and used the money to buy underwear for Gwen. Sheesh. If that's not love, I don't know what is.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

4 whole sweet potatoes, roasted and cubed
2- ½ cups corn, fresh or frozen
8 slices bacon (if you can resist the urge to use the whole package of bacon you are a stronger person than I)
1 cup leeks, sliced and rinsed well (I used shallots, certainly you could use any type of oniony thing you have on hand)
1 whole sweet onion ( I actually bought the sweet onion, impressed? )
2 tablespoons fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried (I only had like half a teaspoon, sad thymes!)
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram or 2 tsp dried
2 boxes chicken stock (32oz each), divided
2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and finely chopped(I'm not messin' around here, FINELY chop them or you will be sad because your mouth might burn off)
1- ½ cup heavy cream (used half and half)

Wrap sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour at 375 degrees F, until fork tender. Once soft, peel and cube.

Fry bacon in a dutch oven or other large heavy bottomed pot. Once crispy, remove and set aside, leaving the drippings in the pot. Add leeks, onion, corn, thyme and marjoram to the pot, stirring constantly until tender. Add cubed sweet potatoes, 1-1 1/2 boxes of chicken stock, and chipotle peppers; simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend 1/2-1/3 of the soup. (Or transfer to a blender and do the same. You'll want to leave some of the corn and potato cubes whole.)

Simmer chowder for another 10 minutes, then add heavy cream and combine well. If your chowder seems too thick, add more chicken stock and/or water to thin until you reach the desired consistency. Top with crumbled bacon.
Tips: Serve with corn chips or a nice crusty french loaf.

* So here's the thing....I liked the amount of heat in this recipe. I really did. It was borderline too much heat for comfort in some bites (probably because I am too lazy to "finely chop" anything), so if you want your kids to eat it I might suggest only using one of those adobo peppers, and to rinse it quite thoroughly-- or pull out their soup before you add those peppers. Also, I didn't have leeks (the shame!) but I did have shallots and just cut one of those up. And I used a whole package of bacon (don't tell), but I drained some of the grease (bonus points for me!). I also substituted half and half for the cream with good results. And I was short on thyme, but it still turned out alright. (I also made lots of very witty thyme puns, but I'll spare you).

Enjoy! It really was good! I'll try to branch out and post a recipe from another source next. Maybe even one from an actual cookbook, that would be exhilarating!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chicken and Roasted Broccoli Salad with Goat Cheese

* Recipe and photo credit to Natalie @ (again!)

I think Natalie and I are kindred spirits. She's like a healthier, more creative, more talented photgrapher, cuter dish owning version of myself. And basically what I mean by that is that I love her recipes and they use ingredients that I usually have on hand, plus she seems super nice. Anyway, we LOVED this. I didn't even call it a salad when I served it at my house. I served it as dinner. Blaine drooled over it, the kids actually enjoyed it. It was awesome.

I used the leftover goat cheese from this recipe. You really don't need much, and it is cheapest at Costco. I also used a yellow pepper because that is what I had on hand (random, right?). Oh also, I used a Costco rotisserie chicken because that's how I roll.

Chicken and Roasted Broccoli with Goat Cheese

For the roasted broccoli and pepper:
1 large head of broccoli (about 1 3/4 lbs), cut into 1-2 inch florets
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste

For the rest of the salad:
4 T olive oil
6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
a couple pinches of crushed red pepper flakes
pinch of dried oregano
juice from 1/2 a lemon (about 2 T), plus additional lemon wedges for garnish
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
3-4 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled

To prepare the broccoli:
Heat oven to 500 degrees and place a sturdy baking sheet on the lowest rack. Place broccoli florets and peppers slices in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper.

Working quickly, remove baking sheet from the oven and spread broccoli and peppers into an even layer, placing the florets cut-side down when possible. Return to bottom rack of the oven and roast 10-12 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through and there are caramelized spots scattered throughout. Be sure not to cook until the tips of the florets turn black.

To prepare the rest of the salad:
Heat 2 T olive oil, sliced garlic, and pepper flakes in a small skillet over med-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is soft and begins to turn golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add chicken to the skillet and cook until heated through, about 3-5 minutes. Remove chicken-garlic mixture from heat; stir in oregano and lemon juice.

Toss roasted vegetables with the chicken-garlic mixture and an additional 2 T of olive oil in a large salad bowl. Gently fold in the goat cheese crumbles and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Sweet Potato Foil Packet Tacos

* Photo and Recipe Credit to Natalie@

These were so fun! Blaine turned up his nose as I was preparing them thinking they were sloppy joes or hobo dinners. Then he couldn't stop "ooooo"ing and "ahhhhhh"ing. He loved them! They were really easy to make and very tasty indeed! I doubled the meat (and beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning) in the recipe, because Heaven knows that a half a pound of ground beef would simply never do in this house.

Sweet Potato Foil Packet Tacos

1/2 lb ground beef or turkey
2-3 T taco seasoning
1/2 cup tomato sauce (4 ounces)
1 can black, kidney, or pinto beans, drained
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 6 cups total)
2 T butter
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole for garnish
6 12-inch long pieces of aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Brown ground meat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in taco seasoning, tomato sauce, and beans. Set aside.

To assemble packets, spray the foil with non-stick spray. Place 1 cup sweet potato cubes in the center of each piece. Top with a small piece of butter (about 1 tsp) and a pinch or two of salt. Sprinkle some chopped spinach over the sweet potatoes, followed by about 1/3 cup of taco meat and sprinkle of cheese. Fold the sides in, then bring the top and bottom ends of the foil together in the center and fold, sealing the packet.

Repeat with remaining ingredients, placing the packets on a rimmed cookie sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Serve with sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole.

Makes 6 servings.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stuffed Acorn Squash

*Recipe and Photo Credit to

Remember how much I love Bountiful Baskets? Well, I kind of got tired of them for a while. Not that I am opposed to fresh fruits and veggies at a discount, it's more like I really wanted to be able to choose my food for a while. I do love the bread though so I've been ordering a basket about once a month and add 40 loaves of bread to my freezer (I think the BB people call me the "bread lady"). Anyway, BB totally bit me in the behind last week. I had gone shopping in the week and bought acorn squash, potatoes, and spinach and then when I picked up my guessed it MORE acorn squash, MORE potatoes, and MORE spinach. It's like they are mind readers. Anywho, I needed some new ideas for how to prepare acorn squash, since I am now the proud owner of about eight of them.

I simply googled "stuffed acorn squash" and found a recipe that looked good, prepared it, and it knocked my socks off! It was a perfect meal and I felt super healthy eating it, in fact, I feel inspired to create a "healthy" category for the sidebar there, just for this post (lookin' at you Ang).

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash
• 1 T butter
• 1 C quinoa
• 2 C chicken/veggie stock or broth (reduced sodium)
• 1 T extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small yellow onion, chopped finely
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 habanero peppers, chopped finely (remove seeds for less heat)
• 1/2 C mushrooms, chopped
• 2 C spinach, uncooked
• 1/2 feta, crumbled
• 1 T parsley, chopped
• 1 T fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375dgs, slice acorn squash in half.

Once sliced (albeit perhaps unevenly), scoop out all the seedsSprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper and put 1/2 T butter in each squash half.

Place on a baking tray and roast at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Make sure squash is tender to the fork upon removal (otherwise, stick it back in the oven for a few more minutes)In the meantime, start cooking your quinoa, according to directions. You can use water, but I find chicken stock/broth to be a bit more flavorful. I generally try to get low-sodium, so I can control levels of salt. And, of course, use vegetable broth if you want to keep this dish vegetarian-friendlyWhile the quinoa is cooking and the squash is roasting, pour your extra virgin olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms, onion, garlic, and habaneros until they’re slightly browned, about 7-10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and squeeze lemon juice over.Now, turn heat to low and add the cooked quinoa to the veggie mixture. Throw in 2 cups of spinach and stir to combine and wilt spinach a bit.

Add in feta cheese and parsley here, as well. Save a little of each for topping, if you want.

Your acorn squash should be looking beautiful by now.
Spoon quinoa mixture into acorn squash halves and top with a little extra feta. And parsley too, if you desire.

Absolutely delicious! And completely vegetarian! I doubled the recipe and was very glad that I did and I served it with this salad, which I dumped bacon bits on (the real kind from Costco), obliterating the vegetarianness of the meal : ) Also, I didn't have habenero peppers but I did have some jalepeno slices (the kind you put on nachos) and chopped a couple of those to put in and what I learned was you definitely want something to give the dish some heat and the jalepeno slices worked great, just work with what you've got. Also, I hope you know that whenever a recipe calls for fresh squeezed lemon juice I squeeze it fresh from the bottle. Now if it calls for zest, that's another story....


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spinach Panini

I've kind of become obsessed with the Sonoma Diet. Not obsessed to the point where I am actually participating in the Sonoma Diet, more just to the point where I check out cookbooks with Sonoma Diet recipes and drool on them. Because, how can you not love a cookbook that strives to have olive oil, feta cheese, purple onions and spinach in every recipe. Those are some of my most favorite things.

Anyway, turns out I had most of the ingredients for one of the recipes tonight so I made it, and it was a thousand million times better tasting than I even thought it would be.

I've been wondering lately why I am not a professional recipe blogger, and I've nailed it down to three reasons. 1 - I never take pictures of the food I make and if I do - - it ain't pretty 2- I am not consistent, at all. And finally 3- I simply pilfer recipes off of other recipe blogs, I do not invent recipes, or even get them from cookbooks. Just directly copy other recipe blogs therefore making a recipe blog created by me completely unnecessary.

Anyway, that being said, I did pilfer the image. Photo credit to this completely random website.
My Spinach panini sandwich didn't really look that much like that (but the picture in the recipe book did). But I do get points because this recipe did come from a cookbook and not another recipe blog, so I'm taking drastic strides to becoming a money making recipe blogger. Baby steps.

This was delicious and took approximately two minutes to make.

Spinach Panini
From: The Sonoma Diet Cookbook

Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
4 6-inch whole wheat hoagie rolls, split; 8 slices whole wheat bread; or 2 whole wheat pita bread rounds, halved crosswise and split horizontally.( I opted for the wheat bread option)
4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves (one product I strongly recommend buying at Costco)
8 thin tomato slices (1 medium tomato)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 Tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves (I wish I could keep a basil plant alive)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

* Lightly coat an unheated panini griddle, covered indoor electric grill, or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray.
* Place your carb of choice on a work surface, divide half of the spinach leaves among said carb of choice. Top with spinach and tomato, sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and pepper. Add red onion slices and basil. Top with feta and remaining spinach. Top with other piece of bread or pita or whatever carb you chose.
* Preheat griddle and put the sandwiches on. Grill 2-3 minutes until bread is toasted.

Eat. Feel happy and healthy. Try to not remember that you ate a whole chocolate chip cookie pie by yourself the day before.

PS Happy 8 year anniversary to me tomorrow. We made it through the seven year wanderlust. Barely. Whew.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Recipe and Photo from:

It's a cookie! It's a pie! It's COOKIE PIE!

And I don't think I have ever had a dessert that was so well received and yet so easy to make. Slap a scoop of vanilla ice cream on this baby and you are golden!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
Recipe from Nestle

1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust, homemade or store-bought.
2 large eggs
1/2 C flour
1/2 C white granulated sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C real butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1 C chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark works best, you might find milk too sweet)
1 C chopped pecans (you are welcome to make it without nuts)

Vanilla ice cream, or sweetened whipped cream for serving (a must! I prefer ice cream)
optional: chocolate sauce (honestly, doesn't really need chocolate sauce, but it looks pretty!)

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack or serve slightly warmed. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

PS I am considering going sugar free for a month starting on February 15th (Valentines Day is also my anniversary there's no way I am going sugar free starting today). So, um, wish me well because I will miss things like this....but I am determined to go to a tropical island sometime in the next year and I want to be able to not have love handles when I do. gotta do what you gotta do.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Potato Soup

No way is this healthy, but it is SO yummy!

Cook and thicken:

1 1/2 sticks butter

6 TBSP flour

2 cups half and half

Then add the following and cook on med heat until cheese melts and soup is hot:

4 cups water

4 chicken bouillon cubes

8 oz Velveeta cheese

6 medium potatoes, cooked and cubed

Serve with toppings like sr. cream, green onion, bacon, shredded carrots, salt and pepper.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Crockpot Italian Beef

This is Mike's new favorite dinner.

Mix in crockpot:
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 large clove of garlic, smashed
1 c water

Place on mixture 3 pound roast.

Cook on high all day, or until meat is tender. Turn it over a couple of times during the day. Shred the meat and let it simmer in the juice for a while. Serve on buns, italian bread, or hard rolls.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Spinach and Swiss Salad

Another great salad recipe, because I care!

One of the girls in my new defunct dinner swap group brought this one, one of the best salads ever!

1 large head iceberg or romaine lettuce, torn
1 (10oz) bag fresh spinach, torn
1/2 red onion, chopped
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms, optional
3/4 cup grated swiss cheese
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled, NOT OPTIONAL : )
1 cup cottage cheese, drain off liquid in small colander

1 C sugar
1 t salt
2/3 C Apple Cider Vinegar
2 C vegetable oil
1 Tbs poppy seeds

Try not to think about how much sugar and oil is in the dressing, I promise you will be happier :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Delish Coconut Bars

We had these at Book Club the other night and they were so delish. I couldn't stop eating them. Luckily I can blame my gluttony on my pregnant belly :)

Gooey Coconut Bars

1 box French Vanilla cake mix (I just used white cake mix)
2 eggs
1 stick butter or margarine, melted

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 box (1 lb) powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups coconut

Heat oven to 375. Spray a 13x9 pan.
Mix first three ingredients and press into bottom and 1 inch up sides of pan.
Mix next 6 ingredients and pour over crust.
Bake for 40-45 min, or until golden brown on top.
Cool completely, then cut into small squares.

From Rachel

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu and a Revolutionary Idea which will CHANGE your life

*Photo and recipe from

I love bread, and I love bowls, but put the two together and I am usually disappointed. I feel like I eat my soup and then just have a big soggy disgusting waste of a mess at the end . And I don't know why this trick never occurred to me before (because I use the trick with other things), but toasting the suckers turned them from a disgusting mess to a toasty delicious, amaaaaazing thing. So the next time you are making bread bowls for soup, or for anything, might I suggest toasting them for 5 minutes in a 400 dg oven, you'll be so happy.

And you will also be happy if you do something similar to your taco shells. Blaine taught me that a long time ago, an untoasted taco shell is like eating a flat corn flavored rock, but a toasted crispy taco shell...nothing better! Just don't let them we often do. They reek to high heaven if they burn. Just sit there and watch them toast in the oven for like 45 seconds.

Moving on....these were divine! I loved them! Not much more to say than that!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bread Bowls

Printable Version with Picture
Printable Version

*Note: if you don’t have apple juice on hand, you can omit the apple juice and increase the chicken broth to 1 3/4 cups.

*Serves 4-6

For the Chicken and Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed (about 2-3 chicken breasts)
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced (I got a garlic press for Christmas!!! !!!!!)
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup apple juice(we only had cider...but pretty much the same thing, right?)
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2-3 cups broccoli florets
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste (I used chili powder)

To Assemble:
4-6 medium round regular or sourdough bread bowls
8-10 thin slices smoked ham
1 cup grated Swiss cheese (I didn't have that much, but oh how I wish I did!)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly coat the foil with cooking spray.

Place the broccoli florets in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tight fitting microwave-safe lid. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes until tender but still bright green. Remove the plastic wrap and set aside.

In a 10- or 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chicken and saute until the chicken begins to brown but isn’t cooked all the way through, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened (when chicken is still slightly pink), about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken/onion mixture and stir to incorporate. Cook, stirring, constantly for one minute.

Gradually add the chicken broth and apple juice, stirring constantly to avoid any clumps from forming. Stir in the cream, Parmesan cheese, mustard and thyme. Simmer for about 5-6 minutes, until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in the broccoli; season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Hollow out the inside of the bread bowls by cutting off the tops and tearing out the insides. I like to leave about a 1/4-inch edge along all sides of the bread bowl. Compress the remaining bread together to firm up the sides and make room for the filling. Place the bread bowls on the prepared baking sheet and toast them for about 5 minutes in the preheated oven.

Remove the toasted loaves from the oven and arrange the ham slices in the bottom of each loaf. Using a slotted spoon, divide chicken mixture evenly between loaves, reserving about 1-2 cups sauce in the pan for serving. Top the chicken mixture in each loaf with shredded Swiss and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Bake the bread bowls until the cheese melts, about 10-15 minutes. Serve each bread bowl with reserved cream sauce.

Hot Artichoke Dip

No those are not my purple fingernails : ) A big thanks to Connie427 at for the picture .... it's not even a picture of the same recipe, but close enough to give you the idea. I really need to bust out the camera some more.

This recipe has been in the Bassett family for longer than I have, Blaine's mom serves it at parties and it's always a hit. I made a feeble attempt to have a party yesterday (thank you four friends who came!), and this was the first and only dish to disappear.

Hot Artichoke Dip

1 6oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (or a big ol' handful of artichoke hearts from the big ol 24 oz jar you got at Costco....!)
1/2 C Parmesan Cheese
1/2 C Sour Cream
1/2 C Mayo
1 T diced pimentos (by the olives usually in an itttttty bitty jar)

Combine, heat covered 30-60 minutes in crockpot or low oven till hot. Serve with tortilla chips or crusty bread

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

take 2 lbs of chicken ( i usually do 2 large chicken breasts, or 3 small breasts)

Cut chicken into bite size pieces, dip in beaten egg and then coat in cornstarch on all sides. Fry in small amount of oil until brown, Sprinkle garlic salt on both sides while cooking.


3/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup wine vinegar ( i do half white wine and half red wine, i also found out substituting it with other types of vinegar is really gross so make sure it is wine vinegar)
3 Tbs Ketchup
1 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 tsp accent
1/2 tsp salt

Stir all ingredients for sauce together and heat in a saucepan. Put chicken in a 9x13 pan. Pour sauce over the top coating chicken. Bake for 50 min, stirring chicken halfway through.
Serve with White rice.

Pasta in tomato cream sauce

8 oz penne pasta
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatos with garlic and onion
1/2 cup fresh basil
3/4 cup half and half
1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese

Cook pasta and keep warm.
Cook tomatoes over medium-high heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat, add basil and cream. Heat through. DO NOT BOIL. Toss with pasta and cheese. Serve immediately.

Another EASY dinner. Could add spinach or mushrooms or whatever.

Fusili with spinach and asiago cheese

This dinner was super tasty and came together in less than 20 minutes. I served it with some grilled chicken breast, but you don't really need the meat.

1 lb fusili pasta (looks just like rotini)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
9 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup grated asiago cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (fresh is best)
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper

Cook pasta until tender. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
Warm olive oil over med-high heat. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add spinach and cook till it wilts. Add pasta and toss. Add cheeses, salt, pepper, and pasta cooking liquid and stir to combine. (I would actually hold off adding the cheese until you've added the water because it kind of melted together. But it was still really good.)

Stuffed Chicken Parmesan

This is the best thing I've ever made. Ever.
And it was pretty easy, looked beautiful when it was done like in the picture. You'll love it.

Prep Time 30 MinutesCook Time 30 MinutesDifficulty EasyServings System US MetricUpdate

Ingredients•6 pieces Small, Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

•8 ounces, weight Chive And Onion Cream Cheese - Softened

•10 ounces, weight Package Frozen, Chopped Spinach: Thawed And Drained

•½ teaspoons Garlic Salt

•1-½ cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, Divided

•6 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese, Divided

•1 whole Egg

•¾ cups Italian-Seasoned Bread/Cracker Crumbs

•1 jar Favorite Pasta Sauce (about 2 Cups)

Preparation Instructions

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2) Place chicken breast between two sheets of cling wrap. Pound chicken evenly all over until about 1/4 inch thick.
3) Mix cream cheese, spinach, garlic salt,1 cup mozzarella and 3 Tablespoons of Parmesan until well blended; spread onto chicken breasts. Starting at one short end of each breast, roll up chicken tightly. Secure with wooden toothpicks, if desired. Set aside.
4) Beat egg in a shallow dish. Mix remaining Parmesan and bread crumbs in a separate shallow dish. Dip chicken bundles in egg, then roll in crumb mixture. Place, seam-sides down, in 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
5) Bake 30-35 minutes. Remove and discard toothpicks, if using. Serve topped with pasta sauce and remaining mozzarella.

Putting the chicken between the Saran wrap before pounding it is the best idea ever. No mess! Also, if you don't have a meat tenderizer, you can use the heavy part of an ice cream scoop.
I didn't have breadcrumbs, so I just mixed up some old crackers my kids didn't like in the food processor and they worked great.

Oreo Truffles

Yesterday at about 2PM Blaine informed me that he was in charge of taking dessert to a church meeting for about 40 people. Extra awesome was the fact that I had been at the store the day before and bought ingredients for delicious Andes Mint Cookies to take to a dinner party I was going to, but I didn't have enough to make the cookies for that many people. Compound this with the fact that we don't shop on Sundays. Luckily the day before I had also picked up a package or oreos to try a new dessert, oreo truffles. So we decided to make those for the church function since they seemed quick and easy. And they were quick and easy, and though I wasn't at the meeting, Blaine says they were very well received! I tried some when he got home and yep, they were delicious! This would be something that it would be easy to keep the ingredients on hand for, in case your husband springs a fun surprise on you like mine did on me yesterday : )

recipe from:

1 pkg. Oreos
8 oz. cream cheese
melting chocolates (or chocolate chips)
  1. Crush the Oreos pretty fine and save 1/3 or so out of the bowl.
  2. Soften the cream cheese and mix the two together until they form an ugly dough.
  3. Roll them into balls and put them in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
  4. Melt a bag of melting chocolates (or chocolate chips, but I find the melting chips so much easier to use and you can do pretty colors!) - I used almond bark
  5. Roll the balls in the choc. and top with a few of the leftover Oreo crumbs and then put them in the *fridge until ready to serve.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Grilled Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa, Nuts and Raisins (if you want)

*Photo and Recipe from

It's 12:20AM and apparently I will be blogging in bold because despite the fact that I disabled the bold feature, it is still being bold and I have not the patience nor the brain capacity right now to fix it : )

But---- this was really easy and really delicious! You'll love it, and it marks my second recipe that I know to use quinoa for, and everybody raves about the first one, pretty much can't go wrong with the quinoa : ) Or shrimp for that matter.


Quinoa with Garlic, Nuts, & Raisins

adapted from Food Network Magazine Apr 2010 (Ellie Krieger)

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
1/4 cup nuts (pinenuts or chopped walnuts/pecans recommended)
2 T preferred cooking oil (grapeseed or coconut)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh parsley or cilantro
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 T fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)

Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the oil and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the garlic to the plate, reserving the oil.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add the pine nuts, garlic, reserved oil, parsley, raisins and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

Serves 3-4.

Grilled Garlic Shrimp
from Perrys' Plate

1 lb large, uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 T butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch Kosher salt
metal or wooden skewers

Combine melted butter and garlic in a small bowl. Let it sit while you prepare the shrimp.

Preheat BBQ grill or stove-top grill pan to medium-high heat.

Rinse shrimp, pat dry, and place on skewers, piercing each shrimp in two places to keep them from moving around too much. Sprinkle shrimp with a pinch or so of salt, then brush the garlic-butter on one side. Place skewers on the grill, butter-side-down. Brush the other sides with remaining garlic-butter. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp are mostly pink. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until fully cooked and pink. Don't overcook them or they'll turn rubbery

* I just sauteed my shrimp in a pan with butter and garlic, and I omitted the raisins because ewwww! Bleck, craisins maybe would be good- but this was plenty good without adding toddler fodder into the mix. And I used olive oil. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Dip

• 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach - thawed, drained and squeezed dry
• 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 7x11 inch baking dish.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Mix in the artichoke hearts, spinach and Parmesan cheese. Season with garlic and lemon juice. Spread evenly into the prepared baking dish.
3. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove the cover, and let the dish bake uncovered for 5 more minutes, or until the surface is lightly browned.

I served this with tortilla chips.