Monday, March 31, 2014

Ham and Cheese Omelet Bake

What an awesome breakfast!  As a big fan of breakfast food, I would have this meal any time of day.

Perhaps for breakfast, I would leave out the veggies . . . or I may have to include potatoes.  Lots of room for variation!


(10-oz.) box Green Giant® Frozen Broccoli & Cheese Flavored Sauce
(10.2-oz.) can (5 biscuits) Pillsbury® Grands!® Flaky Layers Refrigerated Original Biscuits
1 1/2
cups milk
teaspoon dry ground mustard
Salt and pepper, if desired
cups diced cooked ham
cup chopped onion
oz. (1 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese
oz. (1 cup) shredded Swiss cheese
(4.5-oz.) jar Green Giant® Sliced Mushrooms, drained


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Cut small slit in center of broccoli and cheese sauce pouch. Microwave on High for 3 to 4 minutes, rotating pouch 1/4 turn once halfway through microwaving. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, spray bottom only of 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Separate dough into 5 biscuits. Cut each biscuit into 8 pieces; arrange evenly in sprayed dish.
  • In large bowl, beat eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper with wire whisk until well blended. Stir in ham, onion, both cheeses, mushrooms and cooked broccoli and cheese sauce. Pour mixture over biscuit pieces in dish. Press down with back of spoon, making sure all biscuit pieces are covered with egg mixture.
  • Bake at 350°F. for 40 to 50 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown and center is set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Cut into squares.

Bake-Off® Contest 41, 2004
Browns Point, Washington

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Corn Fritters

Corn fritters is one of my favorite things.  This recipe comes from Martha Stewart and her television series on PBS, Martha's Cooking School.
Since I love corn fritters so much, I have posted more recipes . . . click here.


  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • Coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups yellow corn kernels (from 2 ears corn)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Honey, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and cayenne. Add milk and egg to flour mixture and stir together to create a batter. Add corn and fold to combine.
  2. Heat 4 inches oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 375 degrees. Working in batches, using a small ice cream scoop or two spoons, drop batter by the tablespoon into the oil. Cook, turning occasionally, until cooked through and deep-golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes; adjust heat as needed to keep oil temperature between 350 and 360 degrees. Transfer fritters to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Season to taste with salt, and serve immediately with honey.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Potatoes au Gratin from The Pioneer Woman

This recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman who effortlessly brings us delicious recipes every week on the Food Network.  I love her cooking style and try not to miss her shows.

I must admit that I don't often make potatoes au gratin or scalloped potatoes from scratch . . . I really love those that come out of the box, which is very unusual for me.  However, I love them made from scratch so much more and plan on not being so lazy and toss the box mix.


  • 4 whole Russet Potatoes, Scrubbed Clean
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  •  Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Freshly Grated

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Smear softened butter all over the bottom of a baking dish.
Slice potatoes, then cut slices into fourths.
In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes.
Repeat this two more times, ending with the cream mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling. Add grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving by the spoonful. Delicious!

Click here for a pictorial tutorial from The Pioneer Woman

I'm sharing this recipe at the following linky parties:

The Chicken Chick

Friday, March 28, 2014

Decadent Strawberry Butter and Strawberry Syrup

It is Strawberry Festival time in my part of the world and the best time to stock up on strawberries since they are ridiculously inexpensive this time of year. 

Imagine a delicious strawberry flavored butter you can whip up in minutes that can be enjoyed on biscuits, muffins, pancakes, waffles, and bread.  

Buttery strawberry goodness on a hot biscuit is perfection . . . you can tell by the photo! This strawberry butter is also awesome on pancakes!  In fact, you don't even need to use syrup.

It was so fast and easy to make!  And yes . . . VERY DELICIOUS!!  My plan is to experiment with different fruits to come up with different flavored butters.

The strawberry syrup makes an awesome strawberry shortcake . . . just add some larger pieces of strawberries to the syrup.

To make strawberry syrup:

Clean and cut up fresh strawberries and cook in equal parts of water and sugar (AKA simple syrup), adding some corn starch until the strawberries were soft. (Start off with very small amounts of corn starch and add more as needed.)  

It always makes more than needed for the recipe, but you'll have a delicious topping for pancakes, strawberry shortcake or ice cream.

Cool the mixture before adding to the softened butter.

To make strawberry butter:

    • 1/2 cup butter, softened 
    • 1/4 cup strawberry syrup 
    • 1-1/2 cups icing sugar {powdered sugar} 


Mix all 3 ingredients in a mixing bowl using a hand mixer or by hand, until the butter is smooth. If too soft, add more icing sugar until it reaches a spreadable consistency. 

To store: place softened strawberry butter into bowl. Cover and store in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before using.

I also make butter logs . . . place mixture on waxed paper and roll out into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and keep in freezer overnight.  

Now you can slice it to make a nice presentation of butter pats.

Broccoli Rice Casserole

This broccoli rice casserole that I have adapted from a Campbell Soup recipe is the perfect side dish or a main meatless meal.

Variations to this casserole . . . use cream of broccoli soup instead of cream of chicken for a richer broccoli flavor.  It is excellent with fresh mushrooms . . . add them with the onion in the beginning step.  Add shredded or cubed cooked chicken before stirring the mixture into the baking dish.  Vary the type of cheese.

You can make a lighter version by using low fat or no fat cream of chicken soup.  Substituting the milk with no fat half and half is one of my tricks for making these types of dishes lighter.

Fresh or frozen broccoli is up to you!  I always go for the fresh if it is available.

My pantry always has at least a couple of cans of Campbell's cream of chicken soup!  It is one of the greatest inventions ever :)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 package (16 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli (or fresh . . . one whole broccoli, florets only, I don't use the stems, but that is up to you)
1/3 cup milk
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups cooked regular long-grain white rice

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat (watch the temperature to make sure the butter doesn't burn) and add the onion. Cook until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.

Add the broccoli in the skillet and cook until it's tender-crisp (when using fresh broccoli, I pre-steam the broccoli, keeping in mind it will continue to cook through the process . . . I don't like it crunchy).  Stir occasionally. 

Stir in the milk, soup, cheese and rice and cook until the cheese is melted. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart shallow baking dish.

Bake at 350°F. for 30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Alabama Corn Sticks (Cast Iron Pan Recipe)

When my first husband and I were married, one of the first things I wanted his mom to teach me was how to make corn sticks.  This is her recipe that I never tweaked . . . it makes the perfect corn sticks.

I love my corn stick cast iron pan and still have it after all these years.  That pan has made tons of delicious and crispy corn sticks!! 

Corn sticks is one of the items that was always made for our corn shucking parties.  I've written about those parties before, but the short version is we went to the corn farms and bought tons of fresh corn on the cob and invited friends to help us prepare them for blanching for eventual freezing. Everyone went home with lots of blanched corn and we had a blast in the process.  If you have ever shucked a large amount of corn, you know how boring that task can be!  Actually, we shucked all types of peas too.

Those corn sticks are the perfect compliment to a bowl of beans!

1 1/2 cup of cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 cup of buttermilk
1 egg, beaten

pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of onion powder

Sift together cornmeal, baking powder, soda, sugar, cayenne pepper, onion powder and salt; stir in buttermilk and egg, mixing well. 

Heat greased cast iron corn stick pans in a 400ºF. oven for 3 minutes or until very hot. 

Spoon batter into pans, filling two thirds full. 

Bake at 400ºF. for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

I'm sharing this recipe at the following linky parties:

 photo SimpleSupperTuesday_zps93ff0e49.jpg

Pint Sized Baker

Feeding Big

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rosemary, Lemon and Garlic Roasted Chicken

My favorite roasted chicken recipe!

It is amazing how something so simple and easy to make is so incredibly delicious and versatile!  Roasted chicken can go from one meal of the roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, broccoli and biscuits, to the beginning of a wonderful casserole the next day.

We make our roasted chicken using this method, varying the herbs, but we love rosemary the best.  The one tip I have that is so important . . . we stuff the cavity of the chicken with whole onion, garlic, rosemary and lemons, as much that will fit in!  Don't forget the onion, it makes a huge difference in the flavor of the chicken.

Another method we use . . . stuff the cavity of the chicken with sour oranges if you have them, or oranges, lemons, garlic, whole onions and oregano.  Baste underneath the skin with cuban mojo before putting in the oven.  Once in the oven, continue to baste the chicken with the cuban mojo every 10 minutes.

Why spend the extra money to buy a rotisserie chicken when roasting a chicken is so easy?


    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus one 4-inch sprig
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • zest from 1/2 lemon, grated
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 lemon, halved
    • 1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, giblets removed
    1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 450° F. Combine 1 tablespoon of the oil, chopped rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.
    2. Use your fingers to carefully loosen the skin from the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. Spread the mixture evenly under the skin. Rub the remaining tablespoon of oil over the skin. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place the lemon halves, rosemary sprig, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt inside the cavity.
    3. Place a rack in a large ovenproof skillet or small roasting pan. Place the chicken in the pan. Tuck the wings beneath the chicken, as if it were placing its arms behind its head. Roast for 20 minutes. Add 1 cup water and roast until the chicken is cooked through and the thigh meat registers 180° F on a meat thermometer, about 40 minutes more.
    4. Use a spatula to loosen the chicken. With a wad of paper towels in each hand, transfer the bird to a cutting board. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

    By  , February, 2006
    Real Simple

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

    Buffalo Chicken and Roasted Potatoes Casserole

    Another awesome chicken recipe!  It seems like since I started the chicken theme a while back, I can't stop myself . . . we love chicken . . . and I still have lots of family recipes that just need photos . . . and those that are in my filing cabinets full of newspaper and magazine clippings.  I always say you can never have enough chicken recipes!

    Anyway . . . I love the flavors of buffalo chicken wings, but I just don't like wings.  So I have been on a mission to find recipes that are similar.  

    This recipe is a combination of buffalo chicken wings and baked potatoes in a cheesy casserole . . . YUMMY!!!  This is a keeper for sure!!

    Just a note about potatoes . . . I have adopted a new way of preparing potatoes. No matter how they will be used in the meal, I cook them partially in the microwave.  I really hate to bite into a potato that is not completely done and they take forever to cook thoroughly.  For this meal, we cubed the potatoes and cooked them in the microwave in a steamer type of container for 2 minutes. Seems to me they soak up the sauce a little better before going into the oven.  

    Makes 10 servings


      • cooking spray
      • 3-6 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (depending on your heat preference)
      • 1/3 cup olive oil
      • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (use less depending on your heat preference)
      • 1 tablespoon paprika
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
      • 8 potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
      • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
      • 3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
      • 1 cup diced green onions
      • Blue cheese dressing for dipping sauce


    Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

    Heat hot pepper sauce, olive oil, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt in a large skillet over low heat, stirring until thoroughly combined. Turn off heat. 

    Toss potatoes in the hot pepper sauce mixture to coat, using a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish. 

    Leave remaining sauce in skillet. Mix chicken into remaining sauce and allow to marinate while potatoes roast.

    Bake potatoes until tender inside and crisp and brown outside, 45 to 50 minutes, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes.

    Reduce oven heat to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).

    Spread chicken cubes over roasted potatoes followed with the cheese and green onions over the chicken. 

    Return to oven and bake until chicken is cooked through and the cheese topping is bubbling, about 15 minutes.

    Adapted from a recipe found on

    Trisha Yearwood's Chicken Broccoli Casserole

    Have you seen Trisha Yearwood on the Food Network?  She's got an awesome southern style of cooking! Love most of her recipes . . . 

    This recipe has so many of my favorite things for a comfort food meal, starting with cream of chicken soup and I can never resist a chicken and rice meal! One thing that is very interesting to me is the combination of sour cream and mayonnaise.

    What an awesome meal with some hot biscuits!

    Makes 10 servings
    Work: 20 minutes
    Total: 1 hour


      • Vegetable cooking spray, for dish
      • 2 cups cooked rice
      • 3 cups chopped cooked broccoli
      • 6 cups shredded, cooked, skinless, boneless chicken breasts (1 1/4 lbs.)
      • 1 can (10 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup
      • 3 cups (10 oz.) shredded cheddar
      • 1 cup sour cream
      • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
      • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
      • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
      • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Evenly spread out rice in dish. Cover with broccoli. 
    2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, soup, 1 1/2 cups cheese, the sour cream, mayonnaise, juice, salt, and pepper. Pour over broccoli and top with remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 40 minutes.

    Nutrition facts per serving:
    374 calories
    25g total fat
    10.5g sat fat
    615mg sodium
    14g carbs
    253mg calcium
    77mg chol
    23g protein
    1g fiber

    Source:  Ladies Home Journal

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

    Cayenne and Garlic Infused Olive Oil

    Give your olive oil some zing by infusing it with other ingredients, like cayenne pepper and garlic.

    Imagine the added flavor when using the infused olive oil in a salad dressing or marinade . . . how about the aroma in the kitchen when using it for browning chicken for a casserole or stir fry?

    It would also make an awesome gift in a decorated container.


    6 dried cayenne peppers

    1 cup extra virgin olive oil

    4 large cloves garlic


    Using a mortar and pestle, grind one of the dried peppers.

    In a saucepan set over low heat warm the olive oil with the ground pepper, the remaining whole peppers and the garlic.

    Cook until the garlic is golden and the oil is fragrant, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

    Photo and recipe source

    Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp (Red Lobster Copycat Recipe)

    Shrimp is my absolute favorite food!  Coconut Shrimp is such a treat that is usually reserved for a special occasion, but I must admit, we go to Outback Steakhouse and have never had the meal at Red Lobster. Having said that, Red Lobster is one of my favorite restaurants and I have never had anything there that I did not like.

    Now we can enjoy Coconut Shrimp more often in the comfort of our home!

    And I must say that the Pina Colada Dipping Sauce sounds much better than the Orange Marmalade type of sauce that I have had at the other place.  We'll see . . .


    Pina Colada Dipping Sauce
      • 1/2 cup sour cream
      • 1/4 cup pina colada nonalcoholic drink mix
      • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple (canned)
      • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

      • 6 -8 cups canola oil (as required by fryer)
      • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1/2 pound)
      • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1 cup milk
      • 2 tablespoons captain morgan Parrot Bay coconut rum
      • 1 cup panko Japanese-style bread crumbs
      • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
      • On the side . . . salsa


    Prepare pina colada dipping sauce first by combining all the ingredients.

    Cover this and let it chill out in the fridge while you make the shrimp.

    Heat oil to 350 degrees.

    Measure 3/4 cup of flour into a medium bowl.

    In another medium bowl mix together the remaining 3/4 cup flour, sugar, and salt.

    Stir milk and rum into flour mixture.

    Let this batter stand for five minutes.

    While the batter rests, combine panko breadcrumbs and shredded coconut into a third medium bowl.

    Butterfly cut each shrimp before you start the battering: Use a sharp knife to slice through the top of the shrimp (where the vein was) so that you can spread the shrimp open.

    Leave the tail intact.

    To batter the shrimp, dip each one in the flour, then the wet batter, then coat each shrimp with the panko/coconut mixture.

    Arrange the shrimp on a plate until all of them are battered.

    Fry the shrimp by dropping six at a time into the hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the shrimp are golden brown.

    Remove shrimp to a rack or paper towels to drain.

    Serve shrimp with pina colada dipping sauce on the side, along with a small dish of your favorite salsa.

    Photo and Recipe Source:
    from their collection of Red Lobster Copycat Recipes

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