Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lemon Chicken with Potatoes

Looks easy, delicious and economical . . . great for a beginner in the kitchen.

What I would change . . . substitute thighs with boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins.

This recipe comes from Pillsbury.


3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 package (28 oz) boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 lb baby red potatoes, quartered
1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into large pieces
1 lemon, sliced
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Heat oven to 400°F. 

Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.

Meanwhile, in 10-inch nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. 

In small bowl, stir together brown sugar, Italian seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Sprinkle over chicken.

Cook chicken in skillet 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy.

Arrange chicken, potatoes, onions and lemon slices in baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and drizzle over mixture.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and juice of chicken is clear when thickest part is cut (at least 165°F).

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Crunchy Potluck Taco Salad

This salad looks delicious and would also work as a tortilla or taco shell filling with a little extra meat and cheese.

Quick and easy meal, great for beginners in the kitchen.


1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef

1 package Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix
1 head iceberg lettuce, broken into small pieces
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1 bag nacho-flavored tortilla chips, coarsley crushed


Cook beef and taco seasoning mix as directed on seasoning mix package in 10-inch skillet.

Mix lettuce, tomatoes, olives, onions and cheese in a large bowl. 

Stir in beef mixture.

Just before serving, add dressing and chips; toss.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Grilled Three Cheese Potatoes

Those potatoes look delicious!

Love this easy prep recipe that is also versatile.  Change the type of cheese or make additions like fresh mushrooms to suit your family's tastes.

Please note that although this is meant to be cooked on the grill, it can also be baked in the oven.  See note on recipe.

Yield: 6-8 servings


    • 6 large potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    • 2 medium onions, chopped
    • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
    • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
    • 1 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
    • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
    • 1 tablespoon minced chives
    • 1 to 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


Divide the potatoes and onions equally between two pieces of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square) coated with cooking spray.

Combine Parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup each cheddar and mozzarella.  

Sprinkle cheeses over potatoes and onions. Top with bacon, butter, chives, seasoned salt and pepper. 

Bring opposite ends of foil together over filling and fold down several times. Fold unsealed ends toward filling and crimp tightly.

Grill, covered, over medium heat for 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from the grill. 

Open foil and sprinkle with remaining cheeses.

Can also be cooked it in the oven at 350° for an hour.

Recipe and photo source

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mushroom Cheese Bread

This bread is like little french bread pizzas!

Love the ingredient combination, but you know you can add or remove ingredients so it matches your family's tastes.  I would add italian sausage and peppers.

This recipe comes from one of my favorite recipe sources, Taste of Home.

Perfect recipe for a beginner in the kitchen . . . quick and easy!


    • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
    • 1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
    • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
    • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
    • 1 loaf (1 pound) unsliced French bread


Combine the mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and onion. 

Cut bread in half (lengthwise) and spread cheese mixture over cut sides.

Grill, covered, over indirect heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Slice and serve warm. 

Yield: 10-12 servings

Originally published as Mushroom Cheese Bread in Quick Cooking July/August 2005, p37

Florida Gulf Shrimp and Sweet Pepper Stir Fry

Looks delicious!  The Captain and I make a similar recipe that does not including the sesame seeds, onion or orange juice, but we will be tweaking the recipe to make it a cross between this recipe and ours.

What I would change on this recipe . . . take the tails off the shrimp (so much easier to eat), add a pinch of cayenne pepper, use at least one or two poblano peppers (you can never have enough peppers) and garlic.

Don't overcook the shrimp . . . we usually take it off the heat as soon as it turns pink, otherwise it gets rubbery-like.


    • 1 pound Florida shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 3 Florida bell peppers, assorted colors, sliced
    • 1 large onion, sliced
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
    • 1 tablespoon Florida honey
    • 1 cup Florida orange juice
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
    • oil for cooking
    • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Lightly coat shrimp with cornstarch.

Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to pan.

Add the coated shrimp to the sauté pan and cook until almost done, about 3 minutes.  Don't overcook!

Remove the shrimp from the pan, add the peppers and onions and cook 4 minutes.

Add honey, orange juice and soy sauce to the pan.

Turn the heat up slightly and b
ring the liquid ingredients up to a boil.

Turn the heat back down to medium-high until the sauce is thickened (about 3 minutes).  Add shrimp back to the pan.

Serve over rice.

Garnish with sesame seeds.

Recipe and photo source

Chocolate Bundt Cake

When it comes to desserts, I always trust that a Martha Stewart recipe will be delicious!

The cake looks dense and moist and that chocolate ganache looks heavenly.

I want some now with a cup of coffee!


For the cake

    • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup sour cream (4 ounces)
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the glaze

    • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Make the cake: 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

Prepare a 14-cup Bundt pan with butter.

Whisk together flour, cocoa,baking soda, and salt in a large bowl

Mix milk and sour cream in a glass measuring cup.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. 

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

Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the milk mixture beginning and ending with the flour.  Beat until just combined.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. 

Smooth top with an offset spatula. 

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 55 minutes. 

Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool completely.

Make the glaze: 

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. 

Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. 

Pour over chocolate and let stand 2 minutes. 

Add butter, and mix until smooth. 

Let stand, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. 

Pour glaze over cake.


The version of this cake originally featured in the December 2008 issue of Living called for 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. 

The 2008 version of the cake also called for an optional 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, folded into batter after flour mixture is incorporated, and an optional 2 tablespoons Cognac or rum in the glaze, added at the same time as the butter.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Collection of Salad Dressing Recipes

Why use store-brought commercial salad dressing when it is so easy to make homemade dressing?  It is so much better, you control the ingredients and you can tweak it to your family's taste.

Salad dressings are not just for salad anymore . . . I love baked chicken and potatoes drenched in italian dressing and stir fry chicken made with asian salad dressing.  Experiment and you will be surprised with the results!

Chef John's Ranch Dressing

Honey Mustard Dressing

Catalina Dressing

Absolutely Fabulous Greek Dressing

Avocado Goddess Salad Dressing

Rich and Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

Cilantro Lime Dressing

Sweet and Spicy French Dressing

Italian Dressing Mix

Asian Ginger Dressing

Southwest Fiesta Dressing

Creamy Corn Casserole

A corn lover's dream casserole!

This recipe has been listed on All Recipe's website for quite some time and has over 2000 reviews.  Most of the reviews are raves about the casserole and many are now including it in their Thanksgiving Meal . . . that is special!

I would not change a thing until I make it the first time.


While the casserole was baking, it made the house smell better than bread baking!

The casserole itself was delicious and we will make it again and again.  Not that it was too plain, but to enhance the flavor, both The Captain and I agreed some pepperjack or cheedar cheese would be awesome . . . some diced peppers would also be great.


1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 (8.5 ounce) package dry corn bread mix
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14.75 ounce) can creamed corn
1 cup sour cream


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

Lightly grease baking dish (9x9 inch).

Combine butter, eggs, corn bread mix, whole and creamed corn and sour cream. 

Spoon mixture into prepared dish.

Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden brown.

Photo and recipe source

Friday, June 24, 2016

Raspberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars

A delicious looking cheesecake bars recipe from Betty Crocker!



1 pouch Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter, softened 
1 egg 
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened 
1/2 cup sugar 
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
2 eggs 
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup fresh raspberries


Heat oven to 325°F. 

Spray bottom only of 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray.

Mix crust ingredients with spoon until soft dough forms in a large bowl. 

Press dough in bottom of pan. 

Bake 15 minutes. 

Remove from oven to cooling rack and cool 10 minutes.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon peel with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Scrape sides of bowl frequently. 

Add eggs, one at a time and beat until just blended. 

Beat in lemon juice. 

Reserve 1/4 cup filling and set aside. 

Spread remaining filling over cooled crust.
Mash raspberries with fork.  Push mixture through small strainer with back of spoon to make 1/4 cup raspberry puree. 

Stir puree into reserved filling. 

Drop spoonfuls of raspberry mixture on cream cheese layer. 

Carefully swirl into top of cream cheese layer with a knife.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until filling is set. 

Cool 30 minutes on cooling rack. 

Refrigerate about 2 hours or until cooled completely. 

Cut in 6 rows by 4 rows.

Blackened Shrimp Stroganoff

Oh my . . . guess what is for dinner tonight?

The combination of shrimp, fresh mushrooms and roasted red peppers is perfection.  Readers of my blog know how much I love shrimp pasta and always try new versions.  Something tells me this will be my favorite!

After drooling over this recipe, The Captain and I discussed what we would like to change in the recipe.  First off, no capers.  We will also opt to make shrimp stock and use white wine where the recipe calls for the second application of chicken stock.  To begin with, we will be marinading the shrimp for at least two hours to ensure maximum flavor.

Make this recipe uniquely yours by adding ingredients that your family loves, don't use the ones you don't love. Adjust the hot and spicy element of this dish by using a cajun seasoning that suits your taste.

Don't forget a loaf of hot crusty bread to complete this meal.  I will update this post after trying the recipe!


Our first try making this recipe was a comedy of errors.  First of all, we DO NOT RECOMMEND using white wine.  The first batch of making the gravy was ruined by the funky taste and also wasted the beautiful shrimp stock we made.  

We ended up using chicken stock in the second attempt at the gravy, which was delicious.

How do you forget one of the most attractive and delicious ingredients in this recipe?  We forgot the roasted red peppers!!!

All in all, it was still a delicious meal with all the errors and we will be making it again using shrimp stock and roasted red peppers.


    • 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
    • 6 ounces fettuccini pasta
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 3 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
    • 2/3 cup chicken broth
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1 (7 ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers
    • 1 tablespoon drained capers


Combine peeled shrimp, oil, and Cajun seasoning and set aside in a medium bowl. 

Add pasta 
to a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Melt butter over medium heat in a large frying pan.

Cook and stir mushrooms and shallot in butter until tender. Remove from pan. 

Cook shrimp until they turn pink (about 2 to 3 minutes . . . do not overcook). Remove from pan. 

Cook 2/3 cup chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered, until reduced to 1/4 cup (2 to 3 minutes).

Stir together sour cream and cornstarch in a small bowl. 

Mix in 1 cup chicken broth. 

Stir mixture into reduced chicken broth in the frying pan. 

Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. 

Cook 1 minute more. 

Stir in shrimp, mushroom mixture, roasted red peppers, and capers. Heat through, and season to taste. 

Serve over pasta.


You can substitute shrimp broth or white wine for the chicken broth. To make shrimp broth, reserve shrimp shells, and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes.

Photo and recipe source

Rustic Chicken Gratin

This recipe will be an experiment in spices and flavors since I have never used curry and have no idea what it tastes like.  I'm broadening my horizons!

I would make a simple change . . . use fresh vegetables, it is what is preferred. Maybe I'm weird, but I don't usually like the taste of frozen vegetables and prefer fresh.  As far as mushrooms, canned is ok, but I absolutely love fresh mushrooms.

Cheddar cheese?  I will use it the first time, but I'm not convinced this will be as good as it could be with another type of cheese.

Serving Size / Yield
4-6 servings


    • 1 C. butter
    • 1 C. onion, chopped
    • 1 C. flour
    • 1 tsp . salt
    • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
    • 1 (4-oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained
    • 1 (13-oz.) can evaporated milk
    • 1 (10-oz.) pkg. frozen broccoli spears, drained
    • 3 chicken breasts, chopped
    • 2 C. cheddar cheese, shredded
    • 4 C. white rice, cooked


Preheat oven at 375 degrees F. 

Melt butter in skillet, add onions and saute until tender. Remove skillet from heat. 

Stir in flour, salt and curry. 

Drain mushrooms. Add water to 1/2 C. mushroom liquid and add to flour mixture in skillet. 

Blend in evaporated milk until smooth and add mushrooms. 

Cook over medium heat, stirring until sauce thickens. 

Spread cooked rice on bottom of 13-by-9-inch baking dish. 

Arrange chicken and broccoli over rice. 

Pour sauce over mixture and cover with cheese. 

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Garth's Pasta Salad

Love the combination of the two pastas!

This recipe comes from the kitchen of Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood via The Food Network.

Reviewers of this recipe cited not enough dressing or seasoning, so I will use this recipe as a start of a pasta salad.    

With that in mind, I will be adding mayonnaise a spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached, italian dressing or a vinegar and oil dressing. 

Depending on how it tastes seasoning-wise after adjusting salt and pepper, I may add onion powder and/or cayenne pepper (just a pinch of each). Otherwise, the only other thing I would add is some cubed chicken.

Add what your family loves and make this recipe uniquely yours!


    • 12 ounces rotini pasta
    • 12 ounces fresh spinach and cheese tortellini
    • 2 dozen grape tomatoes, halved
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 10 ounces Cheddar, shredded
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil


Add rotini to 4 quarts of boiling water (I always add some salt to boiling water), reduce to a low boil and cook to the desired doneness, about 10 minutes. 

Add the tortellini during the last 6 minutes of cooking. 

Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Toss tomatoes with the salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Add the tomatoes, Cheddar and oil and toss to combine while the pasta is still warm . 

Serve warm.

Photo and recipe sources:

Adapted from "Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen" by Trisha Yearwood © Clarkson Potter 2008. Provided courtesy of Trisha Yearwood. All rights reserved.

Food Network Show: Trisha's Southern Kitchen
 Feeding Hungry Boys


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Layered BLT Dip Recipe

Love this idea for a BLT dip!  I can also see this rolled up in a tortilla with some extra bacon strips for an awesome snack or light meal.

The photo and recipe comes from Taste of Home . . . link follows the recipe.


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup finely chopped lettuce
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Toasted French bread baguette slices


Beat cream cheese, mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese until blended. 

Spread into a large shallow dish. 

Layer with lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, onions and cheddar cheese. 

Refrigerate until serving. 

Serve with bread slices. 

Yield: 20 servings (1/4 cup each).

Originally published as Layered BLT Dip in Taste of Home April/May 2016, p49

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