29 October 2009

October Cooking Club

October's theme was comfort food. It was very fitting since the weather lately has been cold and dreary. We had a great time chatting and eating some delicious food.

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
prepared by Kristin

-1 to 2 rolls of Ritz crackers (I used about 1 and a 1/2)
-1/2 cup butter or margarine
-2 Tbsp poppy seeds
-3-4 cooked chicken breasts - cut up
-8 oz sour cream
-1 can cream of chicken soup
-1/4 cup chicken broth (can use from cooking chicken)

1) melt butter and crush crackers combine and add poppy seeds
2) mix sour cream, soup, chicken broth well, then add chicken
3) layer half the cracker mixture then all the chicken mixture then top with remaining cracker mixture
Bake 350' 30 min.

photo from Bakerella

Red Velvet Cake Balls
prepared by Kristin

-1 box red velvet cake mix
-1 container cream cheese icing
-1 box chocolate confectioner's coating (or chocolate bark)

Make cake as directed on box and let cool. Then use a mixer or crumble by hand entire cake. Add in icing until you are able to form little balls with your hands (I only used about 1/2 the container). Put balls on wax or parchment paper on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. (You can also place in freezer to speed up the process). Melt chocolate in microwave and using toothpicks pick up each ball and roll in chocolate. Place back on wax paper to harden. You can use any mix of cake and icing as well as any chocolate coating. Pictures can be found at http://www.bakerella.com/

photo from The Pioneer Woman

Chicken Spaghetti

prepared by Jenn H.

-1 package boneless skinless chicken breasts
-2 cans cream of mushroom soup
-3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
-1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
-1/2 cup finely diced white onion
-4 oz jar diced pimentos, drained
-3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
-2 cups reserved chicken broth from pot
-1 tsp Lawry's seasoned salt
-1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-salt and pepper to taste

Boil chicken breasts in a large pot until cooked throughout. I like to season my water with salt, pepper and garlic powder. While chicken is cooking, combine soup, 2 cups of the shredded cheese (we're saving the last cup for later), the pepper, onion, pimentos and seasoning in a large mixing bowl. After chicken is done, use two forks to shred the chicken and add to mixture in the bowl. Cook the noodles in the same chicken broth until al dente. Before draining the noodles in the sink, pour 2 cups of the broth into the chicken mixture. Then finish draining the noodles and add to the mixture. Place the mixture in a large baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Cover and freeze up to six months, or cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

photo from kraftfoods.com
Jello Poke Cake
prepared by Jenn H.

-8oz tub of cool whip topping, thawed

-two 9" round baked white cakes

-2 boxes strawberry jello (4 serving size)

Take your two 9" round cakes while still in their pans (after they've cooled) and pierce cakes with a straw at 1/2-inch intervals. Stir boiling water into 2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Gelatin in medium bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Carefully pour gelatin evenly over cake layers. Refrigerate 3 hours.
Dip one of the cake pans in warm water 10 sec.; unmold onto serving plate. Spread with about 1 cup of the whipped topping. Unmold second cake layer; carefully place on first cake layer. Frost top and side of cake with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Decorate as desired. Store leftover cake in refrigerator.

05 October 2009

Awesome Appetizers!

Our theme for September cooking club was appetizers. We enjoyed some wonderful company and some amazing appetizers. Our theme next month is comfort food. Perfect choice as the weather starts to get colder.

Crab Ragoon: prepared by Dawn

-2 cans crab meat (drained well)

-2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese

-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

-3 green onions (finely minced)
-3 Tbsp mayo

-1 clove garlic (finely minced)

-1 pinch pepper
-wonton wrapper

Mix first 7 ingredients together. Set aside. Place wonton wrappers in muffin cups and spray with cooking spray. Put tablespoon of crab mixture inside. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Watch after about 13 minutes so top corners of wonton wrappers don't burn. Makes about 45 ragoons. Recipe can be easily divided.

Cream Cheese 'n Herb Cucumber Bites: prepared by Melissa

-1 carrot, shredded (about 1/2 cup), divided

-1/2 cup Philadelphia chive and onion 1/3 less fat than cream cheese

-2 cucumbers, cut lengthwise in half, seeded

Reserve 2 Tbsp. carrots. Mix remaining carrots with cream cheese; spoon into cucumber shells. Top with reserved carrots. Cut each cucumber half into 5 pieces to serve.

Pumpkin Fluff Dip: Prepared by Jenn H.

-1 (16 oz) container Cool Whip, thawed

-1 (5 oz) package instant vanilla pudding

-1 (15 oz) can solid pack pumpkin

-1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

-Nilla wafers or graham cracker sticks

In a large bowl, mix together instant vanilla pudding, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in the thawed whipped topping. Chill in the refrigerator until serving.

Acorn Cupcakes: Prepared by Jenn H.

-prepared cupcakes

-1 tube chocolate decorating frosting

-Hershey Kisses

-mini vanilla wafers

-vanilla frosting

-finely chopped walnuts

Pipe a dot of chocolate decorating frosting on the flat side of the chocolate candies. Place a mini vanilla wafer on top, flat side down. Pipe a small dot of chocolate frosting in the center of each cookie as the stem. Spread the vanilla frosting on top of the cupcake and make smooth. Roll the edge of the cupcake into the chopped nuts to coat the side. Arrange 3 of the acorns on top of the cupcake and place an additional acorn at the base of the cupcakes.

Rice Krispie Pumpkin Treats: Prepared by Jenn H.

-4 Tbsp. margarine

-10 oz bag white mini marshmallows

-6 cups rice krispies cereal

-red and yellow food coloring

-green fruit roll-up

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Microwave the marshmallows and margarine on high for about 90 seconds. Stir the mixture and add 15 drops of yellow food coloring and 8 drops of red food coloring. Microwave an additional 60 seconds. Stir in 6 cups of rice krispies. Spray or butter your hands and mold the mixture into 2 1/2" balls. Set to the side. For the stems and vines, roll green fruit roll-up like a log and slice into 1/2" pieces. Use a toothpick and make an opening and place the stem on top of the pumpkin and squish the rice krispies to hold it. Take the leftover green fruit roll-up and slice into long thin strips. Curl them around the pumpkin and press the top into the hold with the stem.

Loaded Baked Potato Rounds: Prepared by Jenn H.


-sour cream

-bacon, cooked and crumbled

-green onion or chive, finely chopped

-shredded cheddar cheese





-garlic powder

-grated Parmesan cheese (the powdery stuff)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash your potatoes and then slice into 1/4" rounds. Melt some butter. Using a basting brush, brush the front and backs of the potato rounds with butter. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Take the potatoes out and flip them over. Evenly cover the potatoes with the Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Return to the oven for about 5 minutes. Pull them back out, flip over one last time. Top each potato round with a little cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream, bacon and green onions.

Cucumber Sandwiches: Prepared by Jenn H.

-1 English cucumber (long and thin, usually wrapped in cellophane)

-1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

-2 Tbsp mayonnaise

-1 envelope Good Season's dry Italian salad dressing mix

-2 Pillsbury refrigerated French loaf

-dry dill weed

*Note: I used Pampered Chef bread tubes. I don't think they sell them anymore but I found mine on ebay. They come in different shapes too, like heart, flower, star, etc.

Mix cream cheese, salad dressing mix and mayo together and refrigerate at least 2 hours to blend the flavors. Slice cucumber thinly and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Spray bread tube pans generously with Pam. Push bread dough with wooden spoon down into tubes and cover the top with lids. Stand tubes upright on oven rack. Bake at 385 for approx 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly - remove top and bottom lids and push bread out standing up on cooling racks to cool completely.

To assemble:
Slice bread into 1/4 inch slices; spread cream cheese mixture over each bread slice, top with a cucumber slice, and sprinkle the dried dill weed lightly over the cucumber. This should make about 24 (+/-) sandwiches depending on thickness of bread slices.

You can do all the prep work the night before and then assemble about an hour before serving. You don't want to assemble too early or the bread will get soggy. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

Sour Cream Taco Dip: Prepared by Tiffany O'Sheal

-1/2 package taco seasoning (or more to taste)
-16 oz. sour cream (I used fat free)

Mix together and serve. Keep refrigerated. Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Cheese Dip: Prepared by Sandi

Rye Party Puffs: Prepared by Jen F.

Salsa: Prepared by Christy

Bacon Wrapped Chestnuts: Prepared by Sandi

20 May 2009

California Club Pizza

Jennifer B.

1 tsp vegetable oil
1 pkg (13.8 oz) refrigerated pizza crust
2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
2 plum tomatoes
1/4 medium red onion
1 medium avocado
1 lemon
6 slices bacon, thinly sliced, cooked and drained (optional, see Cook’s Tip)

1.Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly brush Large Bar Pan with oil using Chef's Silicone Basting Brush. Unroll dough onto bottom of pan, gently stretching and pressing dough to cover bottom. Top crust with chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 16-18 minutes or until crust is golden brown; remove from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack.

2.Meanwhile, slice tomatoes in half lengthwise using Utility Knife; scrape out seeds and dice. Slice onion using Ultimate Mandoline fitted with thin slicing blade. Cut avocado in half using Utility Knife, avoiding pit; twist halves apart and remove pit. Dice avocado and place into Classic Batter Bowl. Add tomatoes and onion. Juice lemon to measure 2 tbsp juice; add to batter bowl and stir gently using Small Mix ‘N Scraper®.

3.Distribute tomato mixture evenly over pizza. Sprinkle with bacon, if desired. Cut pizza into squares with Pizza Cutter. Serve using Mini-Serving Spatula.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 340, Total Fat 16 g, Saturated Fat 8 g, Cholesterol 55 mg, Carbohydrate 28 g, Protein 22 g, Sodium 570 mg, Fiber 3 g

Cook's Tip: To cook bacon, cut into 1/4-in. pieces; cook in (8-in.) Sauté Pan over medium-high heat 10-12 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; drain on paper towels.

Poppy Seed Chicken Recipe

Laura T.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I cut into cubes and boil until cooked
thru, and I boiled with 1 diced celery stalk but you can omit the celery)
1 can Campbell's cream of chicken soup
1-8 oz container of sour cream
*for a healthier option, can substitute fat-free soup and sour cream*
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
1/2 c melted butter
*for a healthier option, can use less butter*
1 box Rotelle pasta

Cook noodles by directions on box. Drain. Put in bottom of casserole dish.
(If it looks like too many noodles...you can always make an easy pasta salad
with the others...Wishbone Italian salad dressing, some diced onions/green
peppers, sliced ripe olives, cheese chunks and chopped pepperoni slices)

Mix together chicken, soup, sour cream and poppy seeds. Spoon on top of
noodles. Crush 1 sleeve of Ritz crackers and add melted butter. Put on top
of soup mixture.

Preheat oven to 350°, bake for 20 min or until it bubbles.

(you can also serve over rice)

PHILADELPHIA 3-STEP Mini Cheesecakes

Melissa G

(From- http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/philadelphia-3-step-mini-cheesecakes-55102.aspx?pf=true)

PHILADELPHIA 3-STEP Mini Cheesecakes
Prep Time:
10 min
Total Time:
3 hr 30 min
12 servings


2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
12 OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
1 kiwi
1/2 cup blueberries
1/3 cup raspberries

*for a slightly healthier alternative, reduced fat Oreos, fat-free cream cheese and Splenda can be used*


HEAT oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each just until blended.

PLACE 1 cookie on bottom of each of 12 paper-lined muffin cups; cover with cream cheese mixture.

BAKE 20 min. or until centers are almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours. Peel kiwi; cut into 6 slices, then cut each slice in half. Place 1 kiwi piece on each cheesecake. Top with berries.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

At 12 servings, these mini desserts are sure to be a crowd pleaser at your next gathering.
Cheesecake Squares
Line 8-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Mix 1-1/2 cups finely crushed OREO Cookies or HONEY MAID Honey Grahams with 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter; press onto bottom of prepared pan. Prepare cheesecake batter as directed. Pour over crust. Bake and refrigerate as directed. Use foil handles to remove cheesecake from pan before cutting into 16 squares. Top with fruit. Makes 16 servings.

02 May 2009


from Christy B.
March Cooking Club

1 16 oz frozen bread dough, thawed (I get the Pillsbury pizza dough even thought it isn't 16oz)
4 oz thinly sliced ham (I just use Oscar Myer lunch meat)
1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves, divided
1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves, divided
3 oz sliced provolone cheese
1 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Pat the bread dough into an approximately 10x15 inch rectangle on the prepared baking sheet. Arrange the ham slices lengthwise down the center. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of the basil and 1/4 tsp of the oregano. Arrange the provolone slices over the seasonings, sprinkle with the mozzarella and the remaining basil and oregano. Bring the long edges of the rectangle to the center and press the edges to seal. Seal the ends. Invert so that the seam side is down on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until light brown. Makes 12 slices.

29 April 2009

Cornell Chicken

Eileen C.
Some history on "Cornell Chicken" can be found here. The original Cornell Chicken recipe called for an egg to emulify the sauce, this recipe uses Dijon mustard, and in my opinion tastes even better than the original recipe.

2 quarts water
3 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup salt
2 (3 1/2-to 4-pound) whole chickens , halved -or- chicken pieces *you can use boneless skinless chicken but I think this tastes much better with skin & bones

1 tbsp ground poultry seasoning
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 cup olive oil


1. For the chicken: Whisk water, vinegar, and salt in large bowl until salt dissolves. Add chicken and refrigerate, covered, for 1 to 3 hours. Do not marinate longer than this or the flavor is too strong.

2. For the sauce: Combine poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard, sage, and rosemary; whisk together.

3. Preheat grill with all burners on high for 15 minutes, then turn all burners to medium-low.

4. Remove chicken from brine and arrange on grill skin-side up and baste with sauce. Grill, covered, until chicken is well browned on bottom and meat registers 120 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes, basting with sauce halfway through cooking. Flip chicken skin-side down and baste with sauce. Continue to grill, covered, until skin is golden brown and crisp and thigh meat registers 170 to 175 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes longer. If chicken flares up a lot when cooking, turn one side of the grill burners off and place the chicken on that side. The heat from the other two burners will cook the chicken with out the flare-ups. Then at the end turn all burners on to crisp up the chicken.

Buffalo Wing Poppers

from Eileen C


20 jalapeno peppers
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup diced cooked chicken (I used equivalent amount canned chicken)
1/2 cup blue cheese salad dressing (I used ranch)
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce

Directions: Cut peppers in half lengthwise, leaving stems intact; discard seeds. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pipe or stuff into pepper halves. Place in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 20 minutes for spicy flavor, 30 minutes for medium and 40 minutes for mild. Yield: 40 appetizers.

Notes: I cooked these about an hour and they still were extremely spicy! Next time I would prob use less wing sauce, so they weren't so spicy, and I think I'd prefer cheddar to mozzarella. Also, I might just leave the chicken out altogether.

Sweet Iced Tea

Eileen C.

For cooking club, I made Michelle's recipe that can also be found in the cookbook. It came out amazing, the only thing I think I did slightly wrong was I used Salada Decaffeinated Black Tea- just because that is what I had around- but it is a little bitter, and I think it would have been better to use Lipton. I am so excited I now can make real "sweet tea".

2 family-sized tea bags (equivalent to 8 regular sized tea bags)
3/4 to 1 c. sugar

Fill 2 qt saucepan three-quarters of the way with water (6 cups water). Boil water. Remove boiling water from stovetop and add two family size tea bags to the pot. Allow to steep approximately 15 minutes. If you desire stronger tea use more tea bags or allow to steep longer. While tea is steeping, in the pitcher you will use to serve the tea, mix together sugar and approximately 4 cups of water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. It is important to dissolve sugar before adding tea. Once tea has steeped for desired length, remove tea bags and add tea to dissolved sugar mixture. Fill remainder of container (1 gallon or approx 4 L) with cold water and stir. Pour into a glass of ice.

29 March 2009

Beer Bread recipe

Melissa G

Apparently, this recipe is comparable to Tastefully Simple's recipe, and Eileen C says she has a similar recipe in the cookbook. Just another reason to pick up a copy of our wonderful cookbook!

* 3 cups self-rising flour
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 (12-ounce) beer or other carbonated beverage of your choice
* melted butter, optional

Stir together all ingredients; spoon dough into a lightly greased loafpan. Optional, pour a little melted butter over top. (I also mix honey in with the butter, which tastes so delicious. :)
Bake at 375° for 55 to 60 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool on wire rack.

28 March 2009

Dried Tomato and Chicken Cheese Ball

Melissa G (originally submitted by Mary Dearing on


I made this for a Pampered Chef party I hosted, and it was so easy, not to mention that it tasted
good. :)

5 oz. can white chicken, drained
8 oz. softened cream cheese
2 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese
5 tsp. Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto Mix

Combine first 4 ingredients. Chill overnight to blend flavors. Serve with crackers. Makes about 1 1/2 cups spread.

17 March 2009

"Turn on the Lite" night-March Cooking Club pics, part 2

"Turn on the Lite" night-March Cooking Club pics, part 1

Very St. Patty's Day, don't you think? Those cool-looking green boxes there? We got goody bags! Who doesn't love swag, especially when it comes in a nice green box like that? :)

Capri Chicken

Laura T

-1 c. low-fat ricotta cheese
-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. pepper
-4 boneless, skinless chicken
breast halves
-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
-2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
-1 c. crushed tomatoes
-4 slices low-fat mozzarella cheese

In a blender or food processor, combine the ricotta with the oregano, salt and pepper. Process to blend. Rub the chicken with the garlic powder. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 12 minutes per side. Place the chicken breasts, side by side, in a large baking dish and allow to cool. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spoon 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture and 1/4 cup of the tomatoes onto each chicken breast. Top each chicken breast with 1 slice of mozzarella. Bake for 20 minutes.

Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies

Melissa G
This is also a recipe, intact, that I got from www.bhg.com. However, my recipe didn't make 4 dozen, probably because I made the cookies too big or something. Anyway, here is the link:



  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat the margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, baking soda, ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; beat until combined. Beat in egg and molasses. Beat in as much of the all-purpose and whole wheat flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Combine the granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Roll balls in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 to 11 minutes or until set and tops are cracked. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen.

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings Per Recipe about 4 dozen
  • Calories 50,
  • Total Fat (g) 1,
  • Saturated Fat (g) 0,
  • Cholesterol (mg) 4,
  • Sodium (mg) 42,
  • Carbohydrate (g) 9,
  • Fiber (g) 0,
  • Protein (g) 1,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

16 March 2009

Oven-Fried Chicken

Oven-Fried Chicken
submitted by Eileen C

2 cups buttermilk
2 T Dijon mustard
2 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half crosswise
2 1/2 cups crushed corn flakes
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
generous dash cayenne pepper (use 1/8 tsp if you want this REALLY spicy)
2 T vegetable oil

1. Whisk buttermilk, mustard, 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. black pepper, and hot sauce together in large bowl. Add chicken, turn to coat well, cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

2. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray cookie sheet or glass baking dish with cooking spray.

3. Gently toss corn flakes, bread crumbs, remaining 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, remaining 1/2 tsp. black pepper, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, poultry seasoning, paprika, and cayenne in shallow dish until combined. Drizzle oil over crumbs and toss until well coated. Working with one piece at a time, remove chicken from marinade and dredge in crumb mixture, firmly pressing crumbs onto all sides of chicken. Place chicken on prepared pan, leaving 1/2 inch of space between each piece. Bake until chicken is deep golden grown, juices run clear, and instant-read thermometer inserted registers 160 degrees, about 25-30 minutes.

*You can marinate the chicken the night before and mix up the crumb mixture minus the oil the night before. Then when you're ready to cook it all you gotta do is add the oil to the crumb mixture, coat the chicken in the crumbs and bake it.

Chicken with Lime Sauce

Melissa G

-4 sm. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves,
cut into small or bite-sized pieces
-1 T. lime juice
-3/4 c. apple juice
-2 tsp. cornstarch
-1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
-Cooked rice to serve on the side

Thaw chicken and cut into small or bite-sized pieces. I cut up the chicken so that more people could partake of the recipe, but if I were making it at home, I would leave the chicken breasts intact.

Mix together ingredients for sauce and put into crock pot. To make the sauce, combine lime juice, apple juice, cornstarch and bouillon. Add chicken and thoroughly coat with sauce. Cook in crock pot on low for 6-8 hours or on high for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve rice on the side or top with chicken.

This is my version of a recipe I found on www.bhg.com. Here is the link:

Thank you, Christy! :)

I just want to send out a big thank you to Christy B. for graciously hosting this month's Cooking Club. She was a wonderful hostess, and she sent us home with these amazing goody bags. Thank you, Christy!

Also, for those of you who were able to attend, please send me your recipes, so that I can get them posted to the blog.

Next month, we're doing ethnic and hometown favorites, and I'll be sending evites out for that shortly.

04 March 2009

Chocolate Waffles & Caramel Banana Topping

Chocolate Waffles
Submitted by Tiffany O'Sheal. Original recipe was found at HowStuffWorks

Yield: Makes about 6 waffles
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat waffle iron; grease lightly.
2. Sift flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and salt into large bowl. Combine milk, eggs, oil and vanilla in small bowl. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients until moistened.
3. For each waffle, pour about 3/4 cup batter into waffle iron. Close lid and bake until steaming stops.

Caramel Banana Topping
Submitted by Tiffany O'Sheal. Original recipe was found at Real Mom Kitchen

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 medium bananas, sliced
In 1-quart saucepan, mix all topping ingredients except bananas. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally; remove from heat. Gently stir in bananas until well coated. Keep warm. (This topping makes enough to cover 3 large belgian sized waffles)

27 February 2009

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" pics part 3

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" pics part 2

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" pics part 1

Berry Granola Bars

Amanda M
From Cooking For 2

-2 T. brown sugar
-1/8 tsp. vanilla
-1 egg
-2/3 c. oats
-2 tsp. corn syrup
-3 T. flour
-1 tsp. molasses
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/8 tsp. baking soda
-1/4 c. chopped pecans
-2 T. dried blueberries
-2 T. dried cranberries

In a small bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, corn syrup, molasses and vanilla. Combine the oats, flour, cinnamon and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture, and mix well. Stir in pecans, blueberries and cranberries. Press into an 8 X 4 loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes, or until set and edges are browned. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yields ~8 bars.

24 February 2009

Baked French Toast Casserole

Melissa G

Originally found on:
  • 1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
  • Butter, for pan
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • dash salt
  • Praline Topping, recipe follows
  • Raspberry Syrup, recipe follows

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch thick each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 45 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with Raspberry Syrup.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Cook Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Difficulty: Medium
Yield: 6-8 servings

Praline Topping:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2-teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Spread over bread as directed above.

Raspberry Syrup:
1 cup raspberry preserves
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur (recommended: Framboise)

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir until warm and thinned out like syrup.

22 February 2009

Heart Healthy Blueberry Muffins

Rachel A
(I seem to remember seeing this recipe in the cookbook, too.-Melissa G)

For Muffins:
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 T. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
a few dashes of cinnamon (to your liking)
½ c. egg beaters
1 c. vanilla soy milk
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. Splenda brown sugar
4 oz. cinnamon or strawberry applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1-½ c. frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400°.

Mix together:
baking powder

In another bowl, mix together:
egg beaters

Add dry ingredients to wet, blending just until mixed. Batter will be lumpy. Add blueberries.

Combine all ingredients until crumbly

Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Top with streusel. Bake 12-15 mins, until toothpick comes out clean.

Orange-Honey Rice Pudding Parfaits

Laura T

1/2 c. arborio rice
3 c. milk
2 oranges - zest in long strips (can do it with a vegetable peeler)

For rice:
Combine rice, 2-1/2 c. milk, zest from 1 orange in a bowl that is heat safe. Place bowl over pan of simmering water. Cover. Stir occasionally Cook for 50-60 minutes. Remove orange zest.

1 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. honey
1 lg. egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
Strawberry or Raspberry preserves

For custard:
In small sauce pan heat cream, 1/2 c. milk, and zest from 1 orange until simmering. In a bowl, whisk sugar, honey, egg, vanilla and salt. In a slow stream add hot milk to the sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Return mixture to sauce pan over medium heat and stir constantly until thickened.

Pour custard over rice and remove orange zest. Stir. Refrigerate.

*Toasted Granola*
2-1/2 c. granola
1/4 c. honey
3 T. melted butter
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

For granola:
Preheat oven to 325°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all granola ingredients. Spread on pan and bake 15-20 min. Let cool on pan.

I used 2 oz shot glasses but anything can be used. I put 2 teaspoons of rice on the bottom and a layer of raspberry preserves followed by the granola and another teaspoon of rice. Topped with a small piece of orange for garnish.

Chicken Spaghetti

Jenn H

This is a recipe from January Cooking Club that I neglected to get posted, but better late than never, right?
-Melissa G >:)

1 pkg. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 4-c. bag of shredded, sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 c. finely diced green pepper
1/2 c. finely diced onion
1 4-oz. jar finely diced pimentos, drained
3 c. dry spaghetti, broken into 2-in. pieces
2 c. reserved chicken broth from pot
1 tsp. Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Boil chicken breasts, and shred with two forks. Cook spaghetti in the same chicken broth, until it is al dente, but do not overcook it. When the spaghetti is cooked, combine it with the remaining ingredients, except for one cup of sharp cheddar cheese.

Place the mixture into a casserole dish, and top with the remaining cup of sharp cheddar cheese. Cover and refrigerate for up to two days, freeze for up to six months or bake immediately at 350° for 45 minutes, until bubbly. If the cheese topping begins to get too cooked, you can cover it with foil.

This is where Jenn got the original recipe:

19 February 2009

Thank you

I just wanted to send out a thank you to Tiffany for graciously hosting February Cooking Club, and thank you to everybody who was able to make it last night. It was fun, and of course, the food was delicious. For those of you who gave or sent me recipes, I'll be working on that tomorrow. Hope everyone is having a good day.
Melissa G :)

18 February 2009

Jimmy Dean Breakfast Casserole

from Sandi A.

*this was always a hit at playgroup parties

Jimmy Dean Breakfast Casserole
recipe can also be viewed here

1 pkg.Regular Flavor Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage
10 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups cubed bread
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped (optional)
1/2 cup thin-sliced green onions (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F. In large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink. In large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, mustard and salt; stir well. Distribute half the bread evenly in a buttered 9" x 13" x 2" baking dish. Sprinkle with half the pepper, half the cheese, half the sausage and half of each optional ingredient. Repeat layering using remaining bread, pepper, cheese, sausage and optional ingredients. Pour egg mixture evenly over casserole. Bake uncovered for 55-60 minutes, or until eggs are set. Tent with foil if top begins to brown too quickly.

Note: May be assembled ahead and refrigerated up to 12 hours before baking.
Serving size: 6 servings

Biscuits with Dirty Sausage Gravy

from Eileen C
as seen on Food Network's "Two Dudes Catering"
recipe can be found here
Recipe courtesy John Shook and Vinny Dotolo
*please note they also have a recipe for homemade biscuits, I did not make the recipe for biscuits, I did store bought instead.

Sausage Gravy:
1 tablespoon butter
1 log package sausage (recommended: Jimmy Dean)
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
I also added about 1 heaping tablespoon of flour to thicken it up.

For the sausage gravy:
In a large heavy bottom pot melt the tablespoon of butter and brown the sausage for about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Once at a simmer, add the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and maple syrup. Simmer the gravy for 15 minutes and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Assemble by placing a biscuit on a plate and covering it with about 1/2 a cup of the sausage gravy.

Breakfast Quiches to Go

from Shannon E.
she found this recipe here

2 (8 ounce) cans Pillsbury® refrigerated garlic butter crescent dinner rolls
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 Eggland's Best eggs
1 small onion, chopped
1 (9 ounce) box Green Giant® frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 16 (2 3/4x1 1/4-inch) muffin cups with CRISCO® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.

Separate each can of crescent dough into 8 triangles. Press 1 triangle on bottom and up side of each muffin cup.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in onion, spinach, salt and pepper until well mixed. Fold in cheese. Fill each cup to the top with egg mixture (do not overfill).

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and edges of rolls are golden brown. Remove from pan. Serve warm.

High Altitude (3500-6500 feet): Bake 18 to 23 minutes.
Submitted by
Diane Denny, Jacksonville, FL
Bake-Off® Contest 43, 2008
Bake-Off is a registered trademark of General Mills ©2009
2009 © and ®/™ of General Mills
Eggland's Best is a registered trademark of Eggland's Best, Inc.
®CRISCO is a trademark of The J.M. Smucker Company

14 January 2009

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Melissa G (Linda Larsen is the lady who submitted it to the website originally)

I found this recipe online at


Five ingredients, including frozen peas and refrigerated Alfredo sauce, make this pasta entree casserole recipe super easy.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes


  • 3 cups penne or medium shell pasta
  • 16 ounce jar four cheese Alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas
  • 1 cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 1-1/2 quart glass casserole with cooking spray and set aside.

In large pot, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, drain and return to pot. Add alfredo sauce and peas to drained pasta and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is combined, about 3-5 minutes.

Place in prepared dish and top with a mixture of soft bread crumbs and melted butter. Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes or until casserole is bubbling and bread crumbs are browned.
Serves 4-6.

13 January 2009

February Cooking Club

Hey Cooking Club,
Join us next month for "Breakfast at Tiffany's." That is so awesome. Tiffany came up with that one. Tiffany O will be hosting at her home, the usual time, so bring your favorite breakfast foods, and don't forget to RSVP! :)

January Cooking Club pics part 2

January Cooking Club pics

Thank you

I just want to send out a quick thank you to Jennifer B for graciously hosting this month's Cooking Club. It was a blast! Hope everyone had a good evening. :)