Friday, November 21, 2008


There must be 100's of versions of this casserole, but its always a favorite. Here is mine.

1 package frozen hash browns (you can also use Potatoes O'Brien)
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 can water
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup onions (omit of using Potatoes O'Brien)
1 stick butter (melt and save 1/4 for top)
1-2 cups cornflake crumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Place potatoes in 9x13 greased pan. In a separate bowl, mix together: cheese, soup, water, sour cream, onions and butter. Pour over potatoes. Cover with layer of cornflake crumbs. Pour remaining butter over the top and bake 350 for 1 hour.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I had a tube of crescent rolls in the fridge I was trying to figure out what to do with. So I logged on to and I found this recipe, tried it and thought it was very good. It only took me 20 minutes to cook dinner! Awesome!
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 cup salsa
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
Shredded lettuce, as desired
Diced tomato, as desired
Sour cream, as desired
Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll dough; separate into 8 triangles. Place in ungreased 9-inch square pan or 10-inch pie plate (I would grease the edges because mine stuck) press over bottom and up sides to form crust. (Bake crust for 10 minutes)
In 10-inch skillet, cook beef over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in salsa and taco seasoning mix; simmer 5 minutes. Spoon meat mixture in crust-lined pan; sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 10-15 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted. Served topped with lettuce and tomato.
I would also add black beans, olives, green chili's..or jalapeno's. The original recipe said to fill the crust unbaked and bake for a total of 20-25 minutes. Mine came out brown at crust, but uncooked at bottom. So next time I will bake it for 10 minutes or so before I fill it.

Monday, November 17, 2008


4 chicken breasts
1 (12-14 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped (reserve 1 T of the marinade)
4 T fresh thyme
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1-2 cups brown rice (depends on how much rice you like!)

cook the brown rice.

heat oil in a large saute pan. season chicken with your favorite poultry seasoning (i like the mccormick montreal seasoning, the label says it's for steak, but i use it for every meat...) cook chicken breasts until done.

meanwhile, combine chopped artichoke hearts, marinade, thyme, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper (to taste) in a medium bowl. set aside.

once chicken is cooked through, set aside, covered. in the same saute pan, heat the artichoke mixture until cheese starts to melt.

after the chicken has rested for about 5 minutes, place on a bed of rice with the warmed artichoke mixture on top.

for variations, try mixing up the fresh herbs - you could use rosemary or sage. or add mushrooms or kalamata olives. and instead of brown rice, try wild rice -

a jamie busch original


10 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (from about 3 purchased roasted whole chickens)
2 cups roasted red and yellow bell peppers, drained, patted dry, and coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups paper-thin slices red onion
3/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup drained capers
1 1/2 cups (about) Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
24 butter lettuce leaves (from about 3 large heads)
1 (4-ounce) piece Parmesan, shaved with vegetable peeler
Toss the chicken, bell peppers, onion, parsley, almonds, and capers in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to moisten. Season the chicken salad with salt and pepper, to taste.
Arrange 1 large lettuce cup and 1 small lettuce cup on each plate, overlapping slightly. Spoon the chicken salad into the lettuce cups. Drizzle more vinaigrette over the salads. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve.
Do-Ahead Tip: The chicken salad can be prepared 4 hours ahead and refrigerated. Just before serving, spoon the salad into the lettuce cups.
Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil
Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually add the oil and blend until emulsified.
Yield: 1 3/4 cups
Giada DeLaurentis, the Food Network

Friday, November 14, 2008


I had this dip at a party last night and it was so good. Not at all healthy, but a good party dip.

1 (10 oz) can chunk white chicken in water ***
1 clove garlic, minced
2 packages cream cheese, softened
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
3 tbs chopped jalapeno
1 small can chopped green chili's

*** Canned chicken kinda scares me, so I would use 2 decent sized chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or chopped.

Preheat oven 350. In a bowl combine all ingredients, mix thoroughly. Pour into your casserole dish and bake for 30-45 minutes until warm and bubbly.
Serve with Tortilla chips, Frito's, Crackers, Veggies.
You can also put this in a crock pot!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


2 small heads Boston lettuce, torn into pieces
4 stalks celery, sliced on the diagonal
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cups (about 1/2 pound) green grapes, halved
small blue cheese wedge, sliced thin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced thin

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, celery, onion, grapes, and blue cheese.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Divide the salad and chicken among individual plates. Serve with the vinaigrette.

adapted from a recipe by:
Kate Merker
Real Simple, AUGUST 2007

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


My family (and I!) love this recipe! it's so easy, so flavorful, and great for entertaining. the cleanup is a snap, because you cook almost everything in one pot/pan. I also make extra bread crumbs, I love to snack on it while I'm cooking!!

1 small loaf French or Italian bread, torn into small pieces (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 1/2 pounds strip steak (I usually buy a NY steak)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

Heat oven to 400 ° F.

Toss the bread in a bowl with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until slightly golden and crispy, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the parsley and capers; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil and the garlic in a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Season the steak with the salt and pepper and cook until browned, 2 minutes per side. Transfer the steak to a baking dish and roast to the desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare. Let rest at least 4 minutes before slicing.

Add the cauliflower and 1/2 cup water to the skillet and cook, covered, until the cauliflower is tender and the water has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Divide the steak, cauliflower, and garlic among individual plates. Spoon the bread crumb mixture over the top.

Tip: Cooking the garlic in its peel flavors the cooking oil and leaves you with a tender, roasted clove inside. Eat it with the steak or spread it on toast for a quick, delicious hors d'oeuvre.

Kate Merker, Real Simple, APRIL 2007

Sunday, November 9, 2008


1 10-ounce box couscous
1 pound ground beef
Kosher salt and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 scallions, trimmed and sliced
4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, quartered
1 seedless cucumber, sliced into half-moons
3 tablespoons tablespoons fresh lemon juice
(i also added feta)
1 8-ounce container hummus (optional)

Place the couscous in a medium bowl and pour 1 1/2 cups hot tap water over the top. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
Form the beef into 12 small 1/2-inch-thick patties. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the cumin, and oregano.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook to desired doneness, 4 minutes per side for medium.
Combine the couscous, scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, lemon juice, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the remaining oil in a large bowl.
Divide among individual plates. Serve with the burgers and hummus, if desired.

4 servings

Sara Quessenberry
Real Simple, APRIL 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I make this salad all the time. Its really, really good. I cut the sugar in the recipe by 1/2. I also add a tbs or so of cranberry juice in the dressing if I have it. I also do not use the butter, but buy already toasted almonds. I use baby spinach in the bag..
This is a dish I always bring or make for Thanksgiving.

1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I bake this cake around this time every year. Its great for Thanksgiving.. or Mommy groups served with coffee.. its super easy, yummy and looks amazing!
1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin, divided
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
4 eggs
1-1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) Whipped Topping, thawed
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup Chopped Pecans
HEAT oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) round baking pans. Beat cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs and 1 tsp. spice in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Pour into prepared pans.
BAKE 28 to 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 min. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely. Beat cream cheese in small bowl with mixer until creamy. Add sugar, remaining pumpkin and spice; mix well. Gently stir in COOL WHIP.
CUT each cake layer horizontally in half with serrated knife; stack on serving plate, spreading cream cheese filling between layers. (Do not frost top layer.) Drizzle with caramel topping just before serving; sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate leftovers
Tip: I use DENTAL FLOSS to cut through the cake(s) creating the 4 layers.
Just pull off 12-14 inches of floss. Wrap around your fingers to make taught. Place the floss at the edge of the cake, making sure it is as close to being in the middle as possible and pull! It cuts clean and slow and you can really see where you are going.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


These are my favorite cake like pumpkin bars. Yummy!

4 eggs
1 2/3 c. sugar
1 c. oil
1 16 oz can pumpkin
2 c. flour
2 ts. baking powder
2 ts. cinnamon
1 ts. salt
1 ts. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350. Beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until creamy. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Pour into greased cookie sheet or baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.