Sunday, July 31, 2016

Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken

Love this type of recipe where you can throw everything together and forget about it, leaving a delicious aroma as it cooks.

Many who reviewed this recipe were concerned about the lack of liquid and added chicken broth or salad dressing.  I would agree that adding a little chicken broth isn't a bad idea . . . neither is adding more onion and some fresh chunky sliced mushrooms. 

During the end step in the oven (I would use a normal oven temperature like 350 instead of broiling), I would take some of the juices and make a gravy.  I'd also use boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins which is my personal preference.  Use what you like and adjust the recipe accordingly.  

This recipe, from the Betty Crocker website, would be a great one for a beginner cook to try out and impress your guests who will think you worked in the kitchen cooking for hours.


1 large onion, halved, cut into thin slices 

1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cut-up whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 lb)

Spray 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray and place onion and garlic in slow cooker.
Mix thyme, basil, oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl and rub each piece of chicken with the herb mixture. 

Arrange chicken pieces over onion and garlic.
Cover and cook on High heat setting 3 hours 30 minutes (or Low heat setting 6 to 7 hours) or until juice of chicken is clear when thickest pieces are cut to bone (at least 165°F).
Set oven control to broil and line broiler pan or cookie sheet with foil.  Place chicken skin side up on pan. 

Broil with tops 6 inches from heat 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Cherry Dump Cake

It doesn't get easier than dumping three ingredients in a pan and baking it.

Can't wait to serve it warm with some ice cream!

Gotta love dump cakes!


After making this dump cake, I need to make a few notes to add to the recipe.

First of all, after dumping all ingredients into the pan, stir until the cake mix is moistened.  We found that just dumping them into the pan left some spots "floury" after baking and left too many crunchy pieces throughout the cake.

Otherwise, the taste was excellent, but was very sweet and almost needs whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to offset the sweetness.

We really liked it and will be making it again!


2 (20 ounce) cans cherry pie filling
1 (18 1/2 ounce) box chocolate cake mix or 1 (18 1/2 ounce) box devil's food cake mix, unprepared
3⁄4 cup butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dump cherry pie filling into 13 x 9 inch cake pan.
Spread out evenly in pan.
Sprinkle cake mix evenly over filling.
Drizzle butter over top.
Bake for 1 hour.
Serve in pan.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Cobblers, Crumbles, Crisps and More from Martha Stewart

One of my fond childhood memories involves wandering around the woods by my house to pick blackberries.  We'd come home with a bucket of berries for my neighbor Dot to make her famous blackberry cobbler.  She would put the cobblers together with smiles and love, singing along the way . . . she was a special lady. Cobblers, crumbles and crisps remind me of her.

Martha Stewart has put together a collection of these wonderful recipes that remind me of those good old days.  Click here to go there.

Friday, July 22, 2016


I was first introduced to churros as a young adult while also discovering the joys of the flea market.  It was immediate love for the crunchy sweet treats that were drenched in sugar and cinnamon.  

The recipe and photo comes from Pati Jinich's website. After seeing her prepare the sweet treats on her cooking show on Create TV, Pati's Mexican Table, I had to find her recipe since I lost my recipe a long time ago and missed making them.

Check out her recipes for authentic Mexican food on her website and check out her show if you get Create TV.

Canola oil for frying, plus 1/4 cup
1 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon
2 cups water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
Cajeta or dulce de leche optional dipping sauce

In a large, heavy and extended casserole, or cast iron, high-sided skillet, heat about 1 1/2-inches of canola oil over medium heat until the oil temperature reaches 350 degrees (or test with a piece of tortilla or bread; it’s ready when the oil bubbles actively all around it). It will take awhile to heat, so get this started before making the dough.

On a large plate, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, 1/4 cup oil, vanilla extract, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and salt. 

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 

Add the flour all at once, turn off the heat and use a wooden spoon to stir vigorously until the mixture forms a dough as smooth as possible with no flour lumps. It will take about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip or a churro press. Pipe the dough into about 6 to 8-inch pieces (or if you want to replicate a churro store, pipe a rope-like dough of about 24-inches) and carefully place in oil. 

Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes, until golden and crisp, flipping in between. Use tongs to remove them and place on a paper towel lined baking sheet or drying rack.

While the churros are still very hot, toss them in the sugar and cinnamon mixture to coat. If desired, serve with cajeta or dulce de leche as a dipping sauce and Mexican hot chocolate on the side.

Recipe and Photo Source

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Italian Crescent Pie

Love meat pies!  My mom makes one with cheddar cheese and green beans mixed in with the ground beef that was a much requested meal during my childhood.


1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion 
1 cup Muir Glen™ organic fire roasted tomato pasta sauce 
6 oz. (1 1/2 cups) shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream 
1 (8-oz.) can Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted


Heat oven to 375°F. 

Cook ground beef and onion over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Stir in pasta sauce; cook until thoroughly heated.

Combine mozzarella cheese and sour cream; mix well.

Pour hot beef mixture into ungreased 9 1/2 or 10-inch glass deep-dish pie pan or 11x7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish. 

Spoon cheese mixture over beef mixture.

Unroll dough over cheese mixture. (If using pie pan, separate dough into 8 triangles; arrange points toward center over cheese mixture, crimping outside edges if necessary.) 

In small bowl, mix Parmesan cheese and butter. Spread evenly over dough.

Bake at 375°F. for 18 to 25 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Sicilian Meatballs


2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup fresh grated Pecorino cheese with black peppercorns
1/4 cup finely diced onion
3 tablespoons minced parsley
1 large egg
1 clove garlic minced
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 pound ground pork sausage
1/2 pound ground veal
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons currants or chopped raisins


Preheat oven to 350F

Lightly oil a baking sheet.

In a bowl soak the breadcrumbs in the milk; let stand a couple of minutes.

Mix in all remaining ingredients in order given and combine well.

Wet your hands and form mixture into meatballs then flatten slightly so they are disk shaped.

Place them on the baking sheet and cook until nicely browned; internal temp of 155F

Serve on bed of tomato sauce or just plain as a second course.

Recipe courtesy of CiaoItalia -- Mary Ann Esposito

This recipe is featured on Season 18 - Episode 1812.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Foil Packs

Whether you make this meal in a foil pack or as a casserole, the prep is quick and easy, using a few different ingredients.

I would make this as a casserole by placing the ingredients in a casserole dish and bake covered in a 400 degree oven (which may need to be tweaked a bit).  The foil pack method is attractive as a no-mess alternative.

Many reviewers of this recipe used sliced potatoes instead of brocolli with great results.  Some used italian dressing instead of ranch.  Of course I would add fresh mushrooms!


3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, each cut in half lengthwise
1 cup ranch dressing
1 bag (12 oz) frozen broccoli florets, cooked 
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
6 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled


Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 6 sheets of heavy-duty foil with cooking spray.

Place 1 boneless skinless chicken breast half in center of each sheet of foil. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper. Top each with 2 tablespoons ranch dressing, 1/4 cup cooked Green Giant™ Valley Fresh Steamers™ broccoli florets, 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese and 1 tablespoon crumbled cooked bacon.
Wrap each foil pack.  Bring 2 sides of foil up over chicken-broccoli mixture so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again.  Allow space on sides for heat circulation and expansion. Fold other sides to seal. Place foil packets on ungreased large cookie sheet.

Bake 30 minutes. (Some reviewers reported having to bake longer for 50 minutes)

Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. 

Serve with additional ranch dressing, if desired.

The photo and recipe is from

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Best Ever Cole Slaw

Chick-Fil-A recently discontinued cole slaw from their menu.  It was a blessing in disguise since they also decided to release their recipe.

The Captain and I have made this cole slaw many times and it is THE BEST we have ever had!  Now we can make it anytime . . . and we do often!

The recipe is quick and easy to put together, but the wait time in the refrigerator is the killer.  Two hours!!  That is the only thing I don't like about this recipe.

Reprinted from:

Yield: 8 servings
Start to finish: 10 minutes

Approximate values per serving: 158 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated), 8 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, 10 g sugar, 298 mg sodium


4 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mayonnaise
20 ounces finely shredded green cabbage, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped carrots


Whisk vinegar, sugar, mustard and salt together until sugar is dissolved. 

Whisk in mayonnaise. Add cabbage and carrots. Mix to combine. 

Refrigerate 2 hours and serve.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Grilled Shrimp with Garlic

We have been experimenting with grilling shrimp, using different marinade and rub methods.  The results have been delicious and easy.  

Here is another grilled shrimp recipe that sounds spicy, yummy and easy courtesy of Bobby Flay and the Food Network.


3/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
24 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Special equipment: wooden skewers soaked in water


Heat the grill to medium.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the oil, 2 tablespoons of the thyme, ancho powder and chopped garlic. 

Skewer the shrimp and brush with marinade.

Cook the remaining 1/2 cup of the oil in a small saucepan with the sliced garlic until the sliced garlic is lightly golden brown. 

Remove the garlic slices with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve the oil.

Increase the heat of the grill to high.

Remove the shrimp from the marinade and season with salt and pepper.  

Grill until golden brown on each side, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. 

Remove the shrimp from the skewers, transfer to a platter and drizzle with some of the reserved garlic oil and the garlic chips. 

Sprinkle with the remaining thyme and garnish with oregano leaves.


Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay, 2007

© 2016 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Pink Lemonade Stand Cake

Yummy lemon cake and cream cheese frosting!

This cake sounds super special and worth the fuss in making it.  I would not suggest this cake for a beginner baker.

Such a pretty cake!


1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons seedless strawberry jam, warmed
2 tablespoons thawed pink lemonade concentrate
2 tablespoons grenadine syrup
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons grated lemon peel
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons thawed pink lemonade concentrate, divided
Pink sprinkles


Preheat oven to 350°. 

Line bottoms of three greased 8-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.

Whisk the first five ingredients until blended in a small bowl . 

Cream butter, sugar and lemon peel in a large bowl until light and fluffy. 

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

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beating well after each addition.

Transfer batter to prepared pans. 

Bake 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

For frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter, cream cheese and lemon peel until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar and 1/3 cup lemonade concentrate. If necessary, refrigerate until spreadable, up to 1 hour.

Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Brush 1 tablespoon lemonade concentrate over cake; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cake layer; brush remaining lemonade concentrate over top.

Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

Decorate with sprinkles. Refrigerate until serving. 

Yield: 12 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 slice (calculated without optional decorations): 732 calories, 39g fat (24g saturated fat), 172mg cholesterol, 291mg sodium, 91g carbohydrate (68g sugars, 1g fiber), 7g protein

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Cream Cheese Frittata

Cream cheese in a frittata is something I have never heard of, but it sounds delicious!

Love the combination of ingredients, however, you can add or remove ingredients to suit your taste.  Adding sliced tomato sounds good to me!

The recipe comes from Martha Stewart, so it has to be a good thing . . .


2 teaspoons olive oil 
2 ounces mushrooms, sliced 
1 small red bell pepper, ribs and seeds discarded, chopped into 1-inch pieces 
1/2 small onion, finely chopped 
1 small garlic clove, minced 
3 large eggs 
1/4 cup half-and-half
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (1/2 bar), cubed 
2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup) 
2 slices white sandwich bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (1 cup) 
Coarse salt and ground pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Heat oil over medium heat in a small (8-inch) ovenproof nonstick skillet. 

Cook mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, and garlic about 5 minutes, until almost tender. 

Transfer mixture to a bowl, cool slightly. (Reserve skillet.) 

Add eggs, half-and-half, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bread, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to mixture in bowl . . . stir until combined. (There may be a few chunks of cream cheese remaining.) 

Pour egg mixture into reserved skillet; and bake until set, about 30 minutes. 

Heat broiler, and broil until top is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. 

Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Frico with Potatoes and Montasio Cheese

This recipe comes from Lidia on Create TV.  We just watched the program that featured this frico and it looked so delicious that we had to find the recipe.

It is one of those versatile recipes that you can add whatever ingredients your family loves.  I would definitely add mushrooms!


    • 1 medium baking potato, 1/2 pound
    • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 small onion, sliced (1/2 cup)
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
    • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 1/2 pound Montasio Cheese, shredded


Boil the potato in a pan of gently boiling water until it is easily pierced with a sharp knife, all the way through, but still intact and not mushy. Drain and cool the potato, remove skin, and slice into neat ¼-inch thick rounds.

Pour the olive oil into the skillet and cook on medium heat.  Add the sliced onion and scallions. 

Cook for a minute and scatter the potato rounds in the pan. Toss the potatoes with the onion and scallions and season with salt and black pepper. 

Cook for about 5 minutes, tossing frequently, until the potato rounds are lightly crisped and golden.

Pile the shredded Montasio on top of the vegetables. Slide a metal spatula under some of the potatoes and flip them over, incorporating some of the cheese. Turn all the slices over and over this way, until the cheese shreds are well distributed. With the spatula, clean the sides of the skillet and smooth the vegetables and cheese into a neat pancake-like disk, filling the pan bottom.

Lower the heat and let the frico cook about 5 minutes undisturbed as the cheese melts and crisps, until the bottom is very brown and nicely crusted.

Shake the pan to loosen and put a large plate on top and invert, dropping the frico onto the plate, then slide it back in the skillet, top side down. Cook until the second side is crisp and brown, about 5 minutes more.

Slide the frico onto the plate and blot up excess oil from the cheese with a paper towel. Slice into 6 wedges and serve immediately.

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