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Nov 16, 2009

Citrus Salad with Bacon & Red Onion

From: Kraft Foods

4 cups packed mixed salad greens
4 cups packed baby spinach leaves
1 large navel orange, peeled, thinly sliced and halved
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup thin red onion rings
3 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cooked, crumbled
1/3 cup KRAFT Light Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

COMBINE all ingredients except dressing.
ADD dressing just before serving; toss to coat.

My Notes: Since I salivate at the mere thought of cheese, I will add gorgonzola to this next time. And maybe some sunflower seeds.

Catalina Cranberry Chicken

From: Kraft Foods

4 lb. bone-in chicken pieces (breast halves and/or thighs)
1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
1 bottle (8 oz.) KRAFT CATALINA Dressing
1 env. onion soup mix

HEAT oven to 350°F.

PLACE chicken in 2 (13x9-inch) baking dishes.

MIX remaining ingredients; pour over chicken.

BAKE 50 min. or until chicken is done (165°F).

Sep 18, 2009

Crunchy Coleslaw Salad

From Marie Shipp (my grandmother-in-law, aka. GG)

Crunchy coleslaw salad

1 bag coleslaw
5 green onions chopped
3 oz sunflower seeds
1/4 c slivered almonds
1 pkg. ramen noodles (uncooked - sans seasoning packet)

put almonds and noodles in 250 degree oven for 30 min.

Combine slaw, onions, sunflower seeds in bowl, add almonds and noodles


1 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 red wine vinegar
3 tsp. soy sauce
(makes enough for 2 salads)

Sep 6, 2009

The Best Meatballs

From Kraft Foods

Ok, these really are the best meat balls. I have searched high and low for a great meat ball recipe and alas, I have found it! It is aptly named, no?

2 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1-1/4 cups water
2 eggs

HEAT oven to 400ºF.

LINE 2 (15x10x1-inch) pans with foil; spray with cooking spray. Mix ingredients until blended; shape into 32 (1-1/2-inch) balls, using 1/4 cup for each.

PLACE 16 meatballs in each prepared pan. Bake 16 to 18 min. or until done (160ºF).

COMBINE half the meatballs with Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce or Creamy Brown Gravy. (See Tips.) Cool remaining meatballs; freeze for later use. (See Tips.)


Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce

Mix 1 jar (14 oz.) spaghetti sauce, 2 oz. cubed PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese and 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil in large skillet; cook on medium-low heat 3 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Add 16 hot meatballs; stir to evenly coat. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese before serving. Makes 4 servings, 4 meatballs and 1/3 cup sauce each.

Creamy Brown Gravy

Mix 1 jar (12 oz.) beef gravy, 1/2 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream and 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley in large skillet; cook on medium-low heat 3 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Add 16 hot meatballs; stir to evenly coat. Makes 4 servings, 4 meatballs and 1/3 cup sauce each.

How to Freeze Meatballs

Loosely pack cooled meatballs in freezer-weight resealable plastic bags. Lay bags flat in freezer so meatballs freeze individually. Store up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator several hours or overnight before using as desired.

My notes: I made the tomato basil sauce and it was positively scrumptrulescent.

Also, I don't have a lot of baking sheets. In fact, I only have a pizza pan. So I used my pizza pan and a pyrex dish. The meatballs from the pyrex dish were good but they lacked the brown crispy bits the ones from the pizza pan had. I thought it was because I hadn't lined it with foil. My mom thought it was because the sides were taller. Meh. Either way, i will use baking sheets in the future.

Grilled Steak with Onion and Blue Cheese Sauce

From the Pioneer Woman

I can't really do this recipe justice in repeating it back to you (you being me, when i pull up this blog to remember how much of what goes into my favorite recipes).

The Pioneer Woman is the better, more talented, funnier and prettier version of me. She's all about her kids, cooking and photography ... maybe I will be like her when I grow up. She is awesome and amazing, if you haven't heard of her before the above link goes to her site and you can explore all of her domestic spunkiness there.

So, here's what you (me) get.

4 T butter
1 LARGE white onion
3/4 cup heavy cream
blue cheese - 1/4 cup? or MORE!
large, juicy, delicious steaks!

Once again, go to this website for complete instructions. DO.IT.NOW!!!

Aug 27, 2009

Bacon & Caramelized-Onion Asparagus

From: Kraft Foods

3 slices OSCAR MAYER Center Cut Bacon
1-1/2 lb. fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
1 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup KRAFT Light Ranch Dressing

COOK bacon in nonstick skillet 3 to 5 min. or until crisp, turning frequently. Drain bacon on paper towels. Discard drippings from skillet. (Do not wash skillet.)

PLACE asparagus in microwaveable casserole or 10x4-inch dish. Add water. Microwave on HIGH 4 to 5 min. or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Meanwhile, add onions to skillet; cook and stir 5 min. or until tender. Stir in dressing.

DRAIN asparagus; top with sauce and crumbled bacon.

MY NOTES: Instead of using 3 measly pieces of bacon, I used a whole package. Since using a whole package of bacon produced that much bacon grease to cook the onions, I drained the onions after they were cooked. Why drain the bacon grease before cooking the onions and deprive yourself of all the bacony flavor? I also used a whole onion - albeit a small onion but it certainly yielded more than a half cup.

Aug 24, 2009

Angel Chicken

Angel Chicken: from Kraft Foods
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup KRAFT Tuscan House Italian Dressing and Marinade
1/4 cup dry white wine
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces(substitute 3 chicken breasts)
1/2 lb. angel hair pasta, uncooked
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

MY NOTE: I made this totally different than the original Kraft Foods recipe, so if you are looking for authenticity, try clicking on the above link. You will be redirected to the Kraft Foods site where you can use or abuse the original recipe.

Combine cream cheese, soup, dressing, and white wine in a sauce pan on the stove. Stir frequently over medium heat.

Meanwhile prepare noodles according to package directions.

Also meanwhile, (is that grammatically correct? hello? is anyone out there?) throw chicken boobs on to the gas grill, straight from the freezer.

Sauce will thicken on the stove and wine will reduce while the water is boiling and the boobs are cooking.

When chicken is cooked all the way through, remove from grill and let sit for a few minutes to let the juices redistribute. Then cut chicken into cubes. For those of us with small children, cubes should be approximately small enough to be chewed by a two year old.

Toss noodles with a little olive oil so they don't stick together.

TO serve: Put noodles in large, shallow bowl. Then top with chicken, then top with sauce, finally garnish with parsley and perhaps, if you feeling it, some quartered cherry tomatoes.

Bon Appetit!

Jun 28, 2009

Citrus Rice Salad

From: Giada de Laurentiis


Rice Salad:

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups brown basmati rice, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 medium orange, zested
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the Rice Salad:
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes until lightly golden. Cool completely, about 15 minutes
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock, salt and oil to a boil over medium-high heat Stir in the rice. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat, and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Using a fork, fluff the rice and place in a large serving bowl. Add the parsley, orange zest, half of the lemon zest, green onions, and 1/4 cup of the almonds. Toss well.
For the Vinaigrette:
In a blender, combine the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, and cumin. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Pour the vinaigrette over the rice mixture and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with the remaining lemon zest and almonds.

Trinidadian Chicken Stew

from: Giada De Laurentiis


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, halved
  • 4 small skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 whole peeled canned tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups water


In a heavy bottomed 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until very dark, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, ginger, 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the chicken is brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and break up with a wooden spoon. Add the thyme, 2 tablespoons of parsley, carrots, potatoes, and hot water. Cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 40 to 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with the remaining parsley.

Jun 3, 2009

Basic Dijon Salad Dressing

from my mom

2 T vinegar (red wine or balsamic*)
4 T oil (EVOO or vegetable or canola*)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t sugar
1/4 t pepper
1 t dijon

Combine all in an air tight container and shake shake shake your booty until its all thoroughly mixed.

*whichever you have hanging around your cupboard and/ or you prefer

Baking Powder Biscuits

from Food Network Test Kitchens



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, sliced
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter


Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with two layers of parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt until evenly combined. Rub 2 tablespoons of the butter into the flour with your fingertips, until it is completely absorbed. Work the remaining butter into the flour until it is in even pieces about the size of a pea. Gently stir the milk into the flour mixture with a fork to make a loose dough.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Pat the dough by hand into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds like a business letter. (For a flakier biscuit repeat this folding a second time.) Pat the dough into a 5 by 8-inch rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Use a 2- to 3-inch round cutter to make 6 biscuits, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Press together the scraps of dough, cut 2 more biscuits, and place them on the baking sheet.

Make a glaze by mixing the cream and melted butter together in a small bowl. Lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with the glaze. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before serving.

MY NOTES: I didn't make the glaze and they turned out awesome! My hubs even said, upon his first bite, "Wow! These tastes exactly like the ones my mom makes!" Success!

Parmesan Pizza Crust

from Beth Boyd via Frank Sorelle

makes 2 pizza crusts

2 pkg dry active yeast
2 c warm water
6-7 c flour (i used whole wheat but you can also use all purpose)
2 t salt
2 t sugar
1/2 c parmesan cheese
1/2 c vegetable oil
cooking spray
olive oil

COMBINE yeast and water - let stand 5 minutes

COMBINE yeast mixture with 3 cups flour, salt, sugar, cheese and vegetable oil in a large bowl. Then BEAT at low speed until blended

STIR in enough remaining flour to make medium stiff dough

Let RISE 45 minutes or until double in size (don't rush) in an oiled bowl

PUSH it out with fingers and prick with a fork

BAKE, 425 degrees, 8-10 minutes (with olive oil and garlic)

ADD toppings and BAKE 10-15 minutes

ADD cheese and BAKE 5 minutes

NOTES: I am still new at baking so leave questions in your comments and I will try my best to answer them.

Jun 2, 2009

Cilantro Salad Dressing

from: my mom!

Makes 2 cups or 16 - 2 Tablespoon servings. 

3 cloves garlic
1 T ginger
1 bunch cilantro (without stems)
1/2 c lemon juice
1 T vinegar (i used white but you can use whatever you like)
1/2 t cumin
3/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 or 2 T honey
1/2 c parmesan cheese
1/2 c canola oil
1/4 c EVOO

Put all ingredients in food processor or blender and turn that puppy on until you have a smooth salad dressing.

This dressing is so addictive you will find yourself eating more salad just for the dressing.

The following nutrition info is for using this as a salad dressing. 

Nutrition Facts

  16 Servings

Amount Per Serving
  Calories 116.0
  Total Fat 11.3 g
      Saturated Fat 1.6 g
      Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5 g
      Monounsaturated Fat 6.8 g
  Cholesterol 2.5 mg
  Sodium 167.7 mg
  Potassium 33.0 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 3.4 g
      Dietary Fiber 0.1 g
      Sugars 2.4 g
  Protein 1.4 g

  Vitamin A 1.4 %
  Vitamin B-12 0.7 %
  Vitamin B-6 0.9 %
  Vitamin C 7.1 %
  Vitamin D 0.0 %
  Vitamin E 7.8 %
  Calcium 4.8 %
  Copper 0.9 %
  Folate 1.0 %
  Iron 1.1 %
  Magnesium 0.7 %
  Manganese 1.5 %
  Niacin 0.3 %
  Pantothenic Acid     0.6 %
  Phosphorus     2.7 %
  Riboflavin 1.3 %
  Selenium 1.3 %
  Thiamin 0.5 %
  Zinc 1.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dark Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

from Amy Claire Kingston, who is my hero!

Ingredients for the cheesecake:
1 1/2 cups crushed oreo cookies (about 18)
1/4 cup margarine, melted
3 (8oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1 (12oz) package dark chocolate chips, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine cookie crumbs and margarine.

Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan and set aside.

Combine cream cheese and milk, mixing at medium speed with electric mixer until well blended.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Blend in chocolate and vanilla; pour over crust.

Bake at 300 for 1 hour 10 minutes.

Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing sides of pan.

Spread topping (see below) over top and sides of cheesecake.


Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Ingredients for Orange-Chocolate Topping:
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 (6oz) package dark chocolate chips, melted
2 teaspoons orange extract

Melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly. Beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add chocolate and orange extract, mixing until well blended.

NOTE: This cheesecake wields great power. With great power comes great responsibility. Be wise, my friends. Upon serving this cheesecake you will become very popular. After trying this cheesecake, your nemesis is now your friend, your foe is now your confidant. Tread prudently.

Feb 9, 2009

Zucchini Bread

From: a hybrid between my mom, my aunt mollie, my BFF beth

2 eggs
1/2 c oil
1 c granulated sugar
1 c grated zucchini
1/2 t lemon juice
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 t salt
1/8 t baking powder
1-1/2 c whole wheat flour (or substitute all purpose flour)
2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t baking soda

-Preheat oven to 350

-Grease loaf pan

-In a large bowl, BEAT eggs until light and frothy

-MIX in oil and sugar

-STIR in zucchini, lemon and vanilla

-COMBINE flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, nuts

-STIR into egg mixture

-BAKE 45 minutes

MY NOTES: I combined my friend, beth's, recipe and my mom's - which was already a combination of her own and my aunt mollie's. I have to say, this turned out to be the best zucchini bread I ever wrapped my lips around! I added five more minutes to the bake time but that will vary no matter where you are. I also adjusted many of the measurements bc the original recipes were for two loaves and I only have one loaf pan. So instead of halfing quarter measurements I rounded up or rounded down.

Feb 8, 2009

Easy Peezy Dinner ideas

Lately, I've not had the energy to make a proper dinner. It was really hard for me to consider what to eat instead. Here are some options I finally came up with...

Loaded Potatoes
(with the leftovers of that) loaded hot dogs
Frozen pizza and salad
Spaghetti and frozen garlic bread
Sausages and cous cous (one of my hubs time favorite meals!)

then of course there is the old stand by: PB&J

Hope this helps you figure out what NOT to cook!