Thursday, April 8, 2010

Feta-Topped Chicken

from Betty Crocker

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 T balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1 t Italian seasoning
1/4 t seasoned pepper
1 large Roma (plum) tomato, cut into 8 slices
1/4 c crumbled feta cheese (1 oz)

1.  Set oven control to broil.  Brush both sides of chicken breasts with dressing.  Sprinkle both sides with Italian seasoning and seasoned pepper.  Place on rack in broiler pan.
2.  Broil with tops 4 inches from heat about 10 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170 degrees F).  Top with tomato and cheese.  Broil 2 to 3 minutes longer or until cheese is lightly browned.

High altitude (3500-6500 ft):  Broil chicken about 15 minutes.  Top with tomato and cheese.  Broil 1 to 2 minutes longer.

You can use 1/2 teaspoon each of dried basil and oregano leaves in place of the Italian seasoning.
Special Touch
Feta cheese crumbles are available in a variety of flavors. Some have sun-dried tomatoes, basil or cracked pepper added. Any of these would be delicious in this recipe, I used Garlic & Herb.

So I learned when I pulled this out of the oven that my husband doesn't really like feta cheese (and I thought I was being so good--as it is better for you than many other cheeses), but he liked this recipe!  Instead of brushing the chicken with the dressing, I marinated it.  Very good meal.

Raspberry-stuffed French Toast with Custard Sauce

from Kraft Foods

Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Makes: 7 servings

4 oz (1/2 of 8 oz pkg) Neufchatel or cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar (the original recipe called for 1/2 cup, I didn't miss anything by reducing it)
2 t vanilla
1 t ground cinnamon
3 eggs (original recipe called for 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites--my frugalness outweighed calorie-cutting)
5 cups skim milk, divided
1 loaf French bread (16 oz), ends trimmed, cut into 14 slices
1 pkg (12 oz) frozen unsweetened raspberries (I used a berry mix)
1 pkg (3.4 oz) vanilla flavor instant pudding.

BEAT first 4 ingredients in large bowl with mixer until well blended.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Gradually beat in 2 cups milk.

ARRANGE 7 bread slices on bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray, cover with half the berries and remaining bread slices.  Pour Nuefchatel mixture over bread.  Let stand 30 min.

HEAT oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake French toast 40 minutes or until golden brown.  Towards the end of the cooking time, bring remaining 3 cups of milk just to a boil in saucepan; gradually add dry pudding mix, whisking until well blended.  Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, microwave remaining raspberries in small microwaveable bowl on high for 20-30 seconds, or until warmed.

SPOON pudding over individual servings of French toast, top with berries.

*Yummy!  Every bit I put on my children's plates disappeared!  My baby at 1 1/2 servings (these are large servings).  My only complaint, I didn't start dinner until late and then didn't realize that the bread had to sit for 30 minutes and then bake for 40 minutes.  We were all very hungry.  Ivan sat in front of the oven just waiting for it to come out until I distracted him--it was adorable.  Very decadent!  This makes a special breakfast (even though we had it for dinner).

Turkey Tetrazzini--my take

  •    8 ounces (1/2 package) uncooked spaghetti
  •    1 T olive oil
  •    2 celery stalks, diced
  •    2 T minced onions (I used dried because that's what I had)
  •    2 T butter
  •    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  •    1 chicken bullion cube
  •    1 c water
  •    1 cup milk
  •    3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  •    2 cups chopped cooked turkey


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish (I used a 2 quart size).

2.  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and place in the prepared baking dish.

3.  Saute celery and onions in olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  When vegetables are soft, add garlic and butter.  Cook for a minute or so more

4.  Add flour and stir until a nice, nutty rue is formed. Mix in water, bullion cube and slowly add milk.

5.  Cook and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Stir in about 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and remove from heat.

6.  Mix milk mixture and turkey with spaghetti. Top with remaining cheese. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until surface is lightly browned.

*I was trying to find a way to use left-over turkey and pulled this idea from a combination of sources.  Let me say, both my 5 year old and 3 year old said magical words when I served it (it is so nice to be appreciated!)  My one your old didn't say anything, but had 3 helpings and the next day it disappeared at lunch time.  At least it won on the taste test, but I will admit that it is very rich, a little too much so for my liking.  Next time, I will use skim milk and try using a little less butter and oil.  If your a mushroom fan, I believe mushrooms are usually including in a recipe like this.  I sprinkled mine with a little bit of dried tarragon before serving.  Bon appetite! 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Strawberries and Cream Dessert Squares

from Betty Crocker

1 pouch (16.5 oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg

1 cup white vanilla baking chips (6 oz)
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 T cornstarch
1/3 cup water
10 to 12 drops red food color, if desired

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray bottom only of 15x10x1-inch or 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.  In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough forms.  Press evenly in bottom of pan.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

2.  In small microwavable bowl, microwave baking chips uncovered on High 45 to 60 seconds or until chips are melted and can be stirred smooth. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in melted chips until blended. Spread mixture over crust. Refrigerate while making topping.

3. In small bowl, crush 1 cup of the strawberries. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch. Stir in crushed strawberries and 1/3 cup water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in food color. Cool 10 minutes. Gently stir in remaining 3 cups strawberries. Spoon topping over filling. Refrigerate 1 hour or until set; serve within 4 hours. Store covered in refrigerator.

Deviled Eggs

  • Ingredients: (measurements are estimates)
  •    12 eggs
  •    1/2 cup Miracle Whip
  •    2 teaspoons white sugar
  •    1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  •    1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  •    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •    bacon crumbles, optional
  •    paprika or fresh parsley for garnish


1.  Cook hard boiled eggs. Drain. Cool the eggs under cold running water in the sink. Peel and halve lengthwise. Separate the yolks from the whites, placing the yolks in a bowl; arrange the egg whites with the rounded side down onto a serving platter.

2.  Mash the yolks with a fork. Add the bacon, Miracle Whip, sugar, vinegar, celery salt, and pepper; stir until thoroughly combined. Spoon the mixture into the egg whites. Garnish with parsley or sprinkle with paprika.

*This is the reason we dye eggs at our house for Easter.  We used pre-cooked bacon crumbles in half the eggs, and left the bacon out of the other eggs; we liked them both ways.  Fresh bacon would have been even better probably.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Taken from allrecipes


  •    1 tablespoon salt
  •    1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  •    6 cups water
  •    8 eggs


1.  Combine the salt, vinegar, and water in a large pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the eggs one at a time, being careful not to crack them. Reduce the heat to a gentle boil, and cook for 14 minutes.

2.  Once the eggs have cooked, remove them from the hot water, and place into a container of ice water or cold, running water. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week.

*We thought we'd give this a try for our Easter eggs this year.  They turned out great!  I think the most important part of this is putting the hot eggs in ice water to cool.  They peeled like a charm (and oh what beautiful colors!)  The yolks were cooked all the way through and were a pretty yellow color (no unsightly greenish-hue).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Raspberry-Pretzel Salad


  3 C broken pretzels
  3 T sugar
  1 cube butter/margarine, melted
Mix together, bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes, cool.

Beat together
  1 8 oz. cream cheese, softned
  1 C sugar
Add 8-10 oz cool whip.  Mix by hand until fluffy
  Dissolve large Rasp. Jell-o in 2 C. boiling water.  Add approximately 20 oz frozen raspberries.
Pour over filling as it starts to thcken.  Chill overnight.

*The picture is deceiving, this jell-O is wonderful!  I'm not a big jell-O fan, but when it is made like this, it's like eating dessert. You can use frozen raspberries, mixed berries, or in this case, I added fresh strawberries.  Great tradition for holidays!

Dinner Roll Dough

(Taken from Toastmaster Bread Maker Guide)

Place following ingredients into bread maker pan:
1 egg, plus enough water (80 degrees) to make 1 1/2 cups plus 2 T
1/4 c oil
1/2 c sugar
1/2 t salt
4 1/2 c flour
3 1/2 t Red Star Active Dry Yeast or 2 1/2 t Red Star Quick Rise Yeast/Bread Machine Yeast

1.  Set bread machine on dough setting.  
2.  When cycle is complete, place dough on a lightly floured surface.
3.  Divide dough into 8 pieces, then each of those into 3 pieces (to make 24 rolls) and shape.
4.  Placed in a greased baking pan.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.
5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until done. 

*We love making rolls using the bread maker.  Tasty, simple, soft, and goes well with so many meals.

Turkey in a Bag


     large size turkey bag
  •      12 pounds whole turkey
  •      salt and pepper to taste
  •      2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  •      3 stalks celery
  •      1 large onions, quartered
  •      1/2 apple
  •      garlic powder
  •      paprika
  •      rubbed sage
  •      rosemary


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2.  Rinse turkey and remove giblets. 

3.  Place apple in cavity, sprinkle inside with rosemary and sage inside cavity.

4.  Sprinkle turkey with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.  Paprika will help the turkey brown.

5.  Sprinkle the bottom of a turkey size oven bag with flour. Place turkey, celery and onions in the bag. Seal bag and poke several holes in it with a fork.

6.  Bake 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until internal temperature of the thigh meat reaches 180 degrees F (85 degrees C).

*This turkey was delicious; however, for a 14 lb turkey, it only took just over 2 hours to cook.

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownie

Brownie Base:
1 box brownie mix, water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray (or use foil or parchment paper).

2.  In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, pouch of chocolate syrup, water, oil and eggs until well blended. Spread in pan. Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

3.  In medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base.

*Heavenly, but of course they better be with these ingredients!