November 27, 2013

Turkey, gravy and leftover ideas!

See my post from November of 2012 to get a great roasted turkey and gravy recipe and a few ideas for leftover turkey.

September 22, 2013

The Best of Fall

  • Fall is here! The transition from summer to fall for me means turning the oven back on, making comfort foods, soups, and casseroles and baking again after a break during the hot months of summer.
  • Enjoy this list of fall favorites from previous posts.
  • New recipes to come soon - stay tuned!
Main dishes   -

Lazy Lasagna (1st recipe that week)
Spinach and potato hash brown quiche (3rd recipe that week)
Taco pie with green chilies and black beans (1st recipe that week)
Pot roast (3rd recipe that week)
Baked Spaghetti
Beef Veggie and Tater Tot Bake (1st recipe that week)
Spinach and Sausage Calzones
Easy Beef and Bean Burritos
Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage
Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza - can make dough ahead of time! (1st recipe that week)
Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup
Sausage and Cheese Ravioli Bake
Four cheese pizza with spinach (1st recipe that week)
Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Bake
Ranch Beef and Bean Chili
Creamy Sausage and Tomato Pasta
Any of the soup recipes from my soup post!

Breads and breakfast -

Sweet potato waffles with optional sweet nut topping
Overnight oatmeal pancakes
Baked Oatmeal
Pumpkin French Toast (extra recipes at the end of this week)
Waffles with caramelized apple topping (extra recipes at the end of this week)
Pumpkin Cream Cheese-Filled Muffins
Pumpkin Pancakes
Garlic herb knots/rolls
Crusty Dutch Oven No-Knead Bread

Dessert -
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake with Ginger Pecan Crust

June 11, 2013

Favorite Summer Grill Recipes

Here is a selection of my favorite grilled recipes from past posts. Enjoy!

Pork -

Grilled Pork Chops with Tomatillo, Corn & Avocado Salsa (recipe 1)
Marinated Pork Chops
Savory Grilled Pork Chops

Chicken -

Grilled Asian Chicken with Ginger Rice (recipe 3)
Grilled Basil Chicken Sandwich
Greek Grilled Chicken Pitas
Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad
Greek Grilled Chicken Salads (a different recipe from 2nd one!)

Vegetarian -

Grilled Veggie & Mozzarella on Ciabatta (recipe 3)
Black Bean Burgers
Summer Veggie Kabobs
Grilled Eggplant, Pesto & Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich
Grilled Veggies with Feta on Ciabatta
Grilled Zucchini, Fresh Mozzarella & Tomato Sandwich
Grilled Zucchini & Squash with Corn & Tomatoes (side dish)
Grilled Summer Veggie Pizza
Grilled Veggie Quesadillas
Grilled Eggplant Sandwich

Seafood -

Grilled Cajun Shrimp & Scallops

Beef -

Marinated Steaks with Pepper Rub

While we're thinking of summer, don't forget about the Zucchini Recipes! post for ideas on how to use this plentiful summer veggie.

June 8, 2013

Week 64, Recipe 1: Simple Beef Enchiladas

  • Recipe modified from The Food Network - The Pioneer Woman
  • Double this and freeze a pan for later!


  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 28-oz can enchilada or Mexican red sauce
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 10-14 corn tortillas
  • Two 4-oz cans diced green chilies
  • 1 c. chopped green onions
  • 3 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro, for garnish


For the sauce:
1. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the canola oil and flour. Whisk and let simmer 1 minute.
2. Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce the heat and simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

For the meat:
1. Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Drain the fat, add the salt and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and set aside.

For the rest:
1. In a small skillet over medium heat, heat a layer of canola oil. Lightly fry the tortillas just until soft. Do not crisp. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with all tortillas. Do not skip this step. It really makes a difference!
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.
4. Dipping the tortillas one at a time into the pan with the rest of the sauce, coating both sides and set the sauce-soaked tortillas in a pile on a plate.
5. Working your way down the pile of tortillas one at a time, place on some of the meat mixture, chilies, & green onions. Top with a generous portion of cheddar. Roll up the tortilla to contain the filling inside.
6. Place the tortilla seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and pour the remaining sauce over the top. End with a generous sprinkling of cheese and any other bits of chiles, green onions you have left over from the filling.
7. Bake the enchiladas for 20 minutes, or until bubbly. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top and serve with rice, chopped lettuce and tomato, sour cream, avocado slices, etc.

Week 64, Recipe 2: Spicy Kale Lasagna

  • Recipe modified from Annie's Eats
  • I recently said on Facebook that I'd never made anything with kale that I would make again in a hurry. But this lasagna recipe is a keeper. I like that it's meat free but you could add some cooked sausage in with the kale layer if desired.
  • Make the night before and leave in fridge until ready to bake. Or make and freeze, then put it in your oven frozen and set your timer before you leave. Make 2 pans while you're at it so you have one for later!
  • My kids ate this, kale and all, with no complaints and enjoyed it! It's not too spicy for kids. In fact, I increased the red pepper to 1 1/2 tsp to give the sauce a little more flavor.
  • I'm not sure this would be as good with store-bought sauce. It doesn't take much to make this sauce and it's really good! Make it ahead of time if you want for a quicker prep later.
  • 1 lb kale, spines removed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, (preferably with basil or herbs
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • Chopped fresh basil (a small handful will do), optional
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 4 c. cottage cheese (ricotta would also work well or you could use a mixture of both)
  • ¾ c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ¾ tsp. pepper, or more to taste
  • 16 noodles cooked al-dente and rinsed with cool water
1.To prepare the kale, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the kale to the pot and boil for 2 minutes then drain and rinse with cold water until cool enough to handle. Give the kale a spin in the salad spinner (if you do not have a spinner, wrap the kale inside a clean kitchen towel and wring out as much excess liquid as possible)
2. Chop the kale, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
3. To make the tomato sauce, combine the oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and 1 teaspoon of salt in a cold saucepan. Heat over medium-high, stirring frequently. Let cook for 30 seconds once bubbling then mix in the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce, reduce heat and let simmer 15-20 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste and fresh basil, if using.
4. To make the cheese mixture, strain all of the liquid out of the cottage cheese (use a fine mesh strainer and stir cottage cheese in strainer to let the liquid run out). Mix in ½ cup of the Parmesan, 1½ cups of the mozzarella, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper.
5. Preheat the oven to 375. To assemble the lasagna, spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and add a thin layer of the sauce to the bottom. Cover with a layer of noodles, then half of the cheese mixture, half of the kale, and half of the remaining sauce. Add another layer of noodles, the remaining cheese mixture, and the remaining kale. Top with the remaining noodles, then the remaining sauce.  Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan.
6. Bake for 45 minutes, until bubbly and browned.  Let stand at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving to let extra liquid absorb.

Week 64, Recipe 3: Creamy Chicken Pot Pie


  • Love this creamy chicken comfort food. I doubled the recipe and froze the filling in a quart-sized bag. Had every intention of making pot pie again but used it the following with my creamy chicken and biscuit recipe. Both are so good!
  • Recipe modified from Pillsbury's Classic Chicken Pot Pie

  • 2 pie crusts, frozen (and thawed for 10 minutes or so before putting top on), refrigerated or homemade
  • 1/3 c. butter
  • 1/3 c. chopped onion
  • 1/4 c. chopped celery
  • 1/3 c. all-p flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1 3/4 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 1/2 c. shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 c. frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat and add onion and celery. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in flour, celery seed, salt and pepper until well blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened. Add more salt and pepper to taste.         
3. Stir in chicken and mixed vegetables. Remove from heat. Spoon chicken mixture into bottom pie crust. Top with second crust; seal edges with fingertips. Cut slits in several places in top crust.
4. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. During last 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Week 64, Recipe 4: Taco Salad with Seasoned Ranch Dressing

  • A quick, easy meal! I love this seasoned Ranch dressing I found on the neartonothing blog. It really makes the salad.
  • No need to buy taco seasoning. Make your own and store in an airtight container: 1 tbsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper).
  • Lettuce (crisp kind is best)
  • 1 lb ground beef, seasoned with taco seasoning
  • Chopped tomatoes, green peppers, red or green onions, black olives, etc.
  • Shredded cheese
  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Beans - black or kidney, drained & rinsed
  • Tortilla chips, to crush in salad
  • Dressing (mix all ingredients to combine and refrigerate until ready to use; make ahead of time if possible to flavors have time to combine) -
    • ½ c. sour cream
    • ¼ c. ranch dressing
    • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
    • Dash of hot sauce, to taste (optional)
  1. Assemble the dressing (see above) and salads and serve dressing over the top. Enjoy!

Week 64, Recipe 5: Chicken & Black Bean Enchilada Bake

Didn't get my own pic of this one. Photo is from, same place the recipe came from!
  • A great casserole that's also freezer friendly. Double it and freeze a pan!
  • I used brown rice and it turned out great but I think white would be better. We left out black olives for our family's tastes but if using, add 1 15-oz can.
  • 2 cups white long grain rice
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
  • 15-oz can mild green enchilada sauce
  • 15-oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles or plain, if preferred
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Cook rice according to package directions.
3. In a large bowl, combine chicken, enchilada sauce, olives (if using - see NOTES), tomatoes, sour cream, salt, pepper and cumin into a large bowl, mixing to combine.
4. To assemble, pour cooked rice into prepared baking dish and layer beans on top of rice. Pour chicken mixture over rice and top evenly with cheddar cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until cheese is melted and rice is hot.

June 3, 2013

Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Topping

  • The cake recipe is modified from Taste of Home. I labeled this recipe "gluten-free" because I actually made it g-free for a friend of mine who was coming for dinner. I simply used g-free grahams instead of regular and it turned out great! Regular grahams would also be just as good if you don't need it g-free. :)
  • You need to make the strawberry topping ahead of time (at least 2-3 hours before serving) so it has a chance to cool completely in the fridge. It does not taste good warm but tastes delicious once cooled and lasts for several days so use it on your waffles if you have extra!
  • The cake is GREAT for entertaining because it can be made ahead of time. It needs at least 24 hours to chill in the fridge so make it the day/night before you need it.


  • 3/4 cup ground pecans
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 c. (16 oz) sour cream
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
STRAWBERRY TOPPING (modified from The Shiksa):
  • 2 c. chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch

1. Combine pecans, crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom of a 10-in. springform pan. Set aside. 
2. For filling, beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add eggs, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat well. Spoon over crust. 
3. Bake at 350° for about 50 minutes or until filling is almost set. Let stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, for sour cream topping, combine the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Spread over cheesecake and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate 24 hours. 
4. Just before serving, loosen and remove sides of springform pan and serve with the strawberry topping (see instructions below) on the side.

DIRECTIONS - Strawberry topping

1. Put chopped strawberries and sugar into a small saucepan. Add 1/3 cup water and stir. Heat mixture over medium high heat until it boils. Stir, then reduce heat to medium.
2. Mix cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water until a thick liquid forms. Pour the liquid into the pan, stirring continuously, and continue to stir until well blended.
3. Cook the strawberry mixture over medium for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until it becomes thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Leave as is or puree if you want a smoother topping. Chill in fridge until ready to use (chill at least a few hours).

Buttermilk Waffles (or Pancakes) with fresh Strawberries & Cream

  • This is my go-to recipe for waffles and pancakes. Its my grandmother's recipe.
  • I often substitute half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour. Regular whole wheat will also work fine but I have found they are lighter if you use the whole wheat pastry flour.
  • Add a touch a cinnamon if desired.
  • The recipe below will make approximately 4-6 regular sized waffles so double as necessary.
  • 2 c. flour (see NOTES above)
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 c. buttermilk
  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Fresh, sliced strawberries or other topping as desired
Sweet Cream topping:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat waffle iron and combine all dry ingredients for waffles/pancakes in a large bowl and whisk.
2. In another medium-sized bowl, combine wet ingredients.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir with a wood spoon or spatula until just mixed and no dry flour remains.
4. For topping, whip cold heavy whipping cream with the whisk attachment on your stand mixer until starting to become stiff. Add sugar and vanilla and continue to whisk until hard peaks form (when you lift whisk attachment up out of the cream, a peak of the whipped cream forms and stays).
5. Serve warm waffles with a large dollop of cream and sliced strawberries

Strawberry Dream Cake

  • I looked and looked for a strawberry cake that didn't use strawberry Jell-O for flavoring. This one did the trick and was delicious!
  • Since strawberries are in season, freeze your own fresh ones by hulling them with a hard straw (something similar to the hard straws used in those reusable cold beverage containers like Starbucks) then washing the strawberries. Pat them dry then arrange in a baking dish top side down and freeze until frozen through, about 2 hours. If freezing more than what you need for the cake, store the frozen strawberries in a ziplock bag until ready to use for smoothies, shakes, etc.

  • 10 oz frozen whole strawberries (about 2 c.)
  • 3/4 c. whole milk, room temp
  • 6 large egg whites, room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 c. cake flour
  • 1 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
Frosting -
  • 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 c. confectioner's sugar
  • 12 oz cr. cheese, cut into 12 pieces and softened
  • pinch salt
  • 8 oz fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
1. For the cake: adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 350. Grease two 9-in round cake pans with butter or shortening (use a LOT) and then flour them really well. You want to be sure the cakes won't stick.
2. Transfer frozen strawberries to a bowl, cover, and microwave until they are soft and have released their juice, about 3 minutes. Place in a fine-mesh strainer set over a small saucepan and firmly press fruit until you have at least 3/4 c. juice. Reserve the strawberry solids for the frosting.
3. Bring the strawberry juice to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6-8 minutes. Cool a few minutes then whisk in milk until combined.
4. Whisk strawberry milk with egg whites and vanilla in a bowl. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until one pea-sized pieces remain, about 1 minutes. Add half of milk mixture, increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low, and remaining milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give batter a final stir by hand.
5. Scrape equal amounts of batter into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean, 20-25 minutes (do NOT overbake), rotating pans halfway through baking. Cook in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes before removing cakes  (loosen any stuck edges and gently turn pans upside down) from pans and cooling completely, about 2 hours.
6. For frosting, use the stand mixer and mix butter and sugar on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add reserved strawberry solids and salt and mix until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.
7. To assemble cake (do this right before serving or up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerate but bring to room temp before serving): pat sliced strawberries dry with paper towels. When cakes are cooled, spread 3/4 c. frosting over 1 cake round. Press 1 c. strawberries in an even layer over frosting and cover with additional 3/4 c. frosting. Top with second cake round and spread remaining frosting evenly over the top and sides of cake. Garnish with remaining strawberries and serve.

May 18, 2013

April 15, 2013

Main dishes perfect for spring!

No time lately to post new recipes so in the meantime, I'm reposting from the month of April from 2010, 2011, and 2012 so you can find some great recipes for this in-between winter and summer transition.

From April 2010 including shrimp, black bean & avocado salads, pita sandwiches with homemade falafel, slow cooker sloppy joes, strawberry pancake roll-ups, roasted eggplant and red pepper sandwich, strawberry pancake roll-ups and more!

From April 2011 including southwest shrimp salads with lime vinaigrette, pasta with asparagus and bacon (pictured above), calzones, smoked salmon egg salad, soup, pork tenderloin and more!

From April 2012 including a few soups, parmesan crusted chicken, pot roast, muffin tin frittatas, chicken sesame stir fry, pesto pasta bake, pan-fried pork chops, and more!


March 28, 2013

Scalloped Potatoes & Ham plus more ideas for leftover Easter ham

Photo from The Pioneer Woman
  • 3 lbs russet or yukon gold potatoes, washed thoroughly
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 whole yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cups diced ham
  • 1 1/2 c. half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/4 c. all-p flour
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 c. grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • chopped parsley (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or grease a large casserole dish.
2. Heat butter in a large skillet. Add onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they start to turn translucent. Then add ham and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until starting to brown a little. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Combine half-and-half and cream in a microwave-safe container and cook for a minute or so, until no longer cold. Whisk in flour and black pepper and set aside.
4. Combine the two grated cheeses and set aside.
5. Using a mandoline or slicer, slice potatoes into very thin 1/8-inch slices. To assemble: layer 1/3 of the potato slices in the buttered casserole dish, sprinkle on 1/3 of the ham/onion mixture, then 1/3 of the cheese, then pour on 1/3 of the cream mixture.
6. Repeat this twice more, ending with a sprinkling of cheese and a pouring on of the rest of the cream mixture. Cover dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until bubbly and hot. Let sit 5 minutes before cutting into squares. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired. 

March 27, 2013

Carrot Cake

  • Just in time for Easter, this dessert will impress all. It's so good!
  • The pic is of Oren's 1st birthday carrot cake (which Nana made!) but I usually make it as a sheet cake in a 13x9 inch pan which is what the recipe below is for. Should you want to make a layered cake in round cake pans, I would at least double the recipe below, using any leftover batter and frosting for cupcakes.
  • Recipe is from Cooking Light.

Cake (for a 13x9 inch pan, see notes above if you want to do the 3-layer like in the picture):
  • Cooking spray
  • 9 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs - 2 egg whites & 2 entire eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 c. all-p flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c. lowfat buttermilk
  • 2 c. finely shredded carrot

  • 1/2 c. (4 oz) block-style cream cheese (low fat is fine), softened
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 3/4 c. powdered sugar, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. To prepare cake, coat pan(s) with cooking spray and line bottom with wax paper (you only need to use the wax paper if you are doubling the recipe to do the layered cake; for the 13x9, just grease it well). Coat wax paper with cooking spray, set aside.

3. Place 9 tbsp softened butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 5 min or until well blended. Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract.

4. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. Stir in carrot. Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Sharply tap pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (that's for a 13x9 so less for a round cake pan). Cook until toothpick in center comes out clean or almost clean. Cool in pan 10 min on a wire rack then remove from pan (if doing the 3 layers; otherwise leave in the 13x9 inch pan). Carefully peel off wax paper; cool completely on wire rack. Freeze cake for 30 minutes before frosting to reduce the amount of crumbs that come loose while you frost.
5. To prepare frosting, place the cream cheese, butter,  vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 2 c. powdered sugar, beating at low speed until smooth (do not overbeat). Stir in the remaining powdered sugar, 1/4 c. at a time, until desired thickness is reached. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Spread frosting over top (and sides if doing layers) of cake. Garnish with orange sprinkles if desired. Store leftover cake in the fridge.

Egg Recipes

Great for an Easter brunch or for breakfast/dinner this week, click here to find delicious recipes for frittatas, quiche, muffin cup eggs, breakfast burritos, and more.

March 5, 2013

Week 63, Recipe 1: Crispy Chicken Salads


  • Yum! An easy filling dinner and the kids ate up their crispy chicken strips with veggies and dip instead of on a salad.
  • I found a copy cat recipe for Shake n Bake, modified it a bit, and used that as my seasoning.
  • Chicken breasts - about 1 lb or 2 large
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Stuff for salads - crispy lettuce, tomatoes, cubed cheese, chopped green or red onions, croutons, cooked and crumbled bacon (optional), yellow/red/orange peppers, etc.
  • Homemade Shake n Bake coating (combine in a ziplock bag and toss to mix):
    • 2 c. panko bread crumbs
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1/2 tbsp salt
    • 1/2 tbsp paprika
    • 1/2 tbsp celery salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp dried basil
    • 1/2 tsp dried parsely (I left this out because I didn't have any)

1. Mix all ingredients for the coating in a ziplock bag and toss to mix.
2. If your chicken breasts are thick or are thick just on one side, pound to an even thickness by placing under plastic wrap on a cutting board and using the flat side of a mallet to pound to an even thickness throughout. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Place beaten egg into one shallow bowl and the coating in another.
4. Dip chicken breasts into egg then the coating and fry the chicken over medium high heat oil in a large sauce pan (enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer) until browned on one side. Turn, and cook the other side.
5. Remove breasts to a cutting board and let cool a few minutes before slicing them at the diagonal into thin strips. Serve over your salad with dressing of choice.

Week 63, Recipe 2: Creamy Sausage and Tomato Penne

  • Recipe modified from the blog From the Girl Who Ate Everything
  • My husband asked me to make this again soon!
  • 1 lb ground sausage (regular Italian or spicy would be fine - turkey or pork)
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 16 oz can Italian style diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 5-6 big leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • 12 ounces penne pasta
  • Grated Parmesan for topping
  • Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook the pasta in salted water just until al dente, according to package directions.
2. While pasta is cooking, cook the sausage in a large skillet until starting to brown, breaking it up and stirring every so often. Then add 1/4 c. water and cover the skillet until the water starts to simmer. Turn down heat a bit and stir every so often until the water has evaporated and the sausage is cooked through.
3. Add the onions and garlic to the sausage and saute for a few minutes.
4. Add the can of diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce and bring to a low simmer.
5. Add in the cream and bring to a low simmer for a few minutes.
6. Stir in the fresh basil and then mix the pasta in with the sauce. Top each serving with some Parmesan cheese if desired.

Week 63, Recipe 3: Sunday Short Ribs with Cream Sauce

  • Recipe modified from The Pioneer Woman blog
  • I call them Sunday Short Ribs because they seem fancy although the recipe is really easy and could be made any day of the week! They bake on a low heat in the oven for 3 hours hours so you will need to plan ahead.
  • These are sooooo good. Fall off the bone, tender, tasty beef with a light cream sauce. YUM.
  • 12 whole shortribs
  •  salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine (something you'd drink, not cooking wine)
  • 32 oz beef broth or stock
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 16 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter


1. Heat olive oil in a heavy pot (Dutch oven works great) over high heat. Sprinkle short ribs on both sides with salt and pepper. Quickly sear both sides of the short ribs, using tongs to flip them halfway through. (Just sear about 1 1/2 minutes per side.) Remove the shortribs to a plate.
2. Pour wine and beef broth into the pot. Add rosemary. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pot to deglaze. Return the shortribs to the pot, reduce heat to low, then cover the pot and place in the oven at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
3. After they have cooked, carefully remove the shortribs from the pot again. Stir in mustard and cream, then raise the heat and allow it to bubble up and gently simmer for a few minutes, or until it has thickened a bit. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Return the shortribs to the sauce, put on the lid, and turn off the heat.
4. Meanwhile, melt the 1 tbsp of butter in a skillet and saute the mushrooms, adding a little olive oil if necessary.
5. To serve, place a mound of mushrooms on a place, then shortribs on top of the mushrooms, then drizzle with cream sauce.
Posted by on November 15 2009