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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Brown Sugar Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon-lime soda
2/3 cup vinegar
3 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
2 T soy sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper

Place Chicken in a crockpot. Combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl, mix together then pour over chicken in crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice with sauce.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rhubarb-Blackberry Sauce

I am a sucker for recipes for Rhubarb ever since I had my first taste of Rhubarb pie, I've never been able to get away from my love affair with Rhubarb. This one is great because of the lack of sugar(unusual for rhubarb), the blackberries add a great flavor as well, who would have thought 2 of my favorite things would be good in anything together besides jam.

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream, homemade or store-bought
In a small pot, combine rhubarb, 1 cup blackberries, and butter. Cover tightly, and cook over the lowest possible flame for 8 minutes, or until rhubarb is tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Add remaining blackberries and heat through. Pour over ice cream and serve.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chicken & Green Chile Soup

Janelle requested that I share this recipe.
It is basically a yummy chicken version of Taco Soup.

4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 quart bottled tomatoes (or 28 oz can)--pureed
1 can (14 oz) diced or stewed tomatoes
1 can chicken broth (or 2 cups made from bouillon)
1 can diced green chiles
2 cans corn drained
1 can beans (pinto, black, or kidney)
1 diced onion
3/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp lemon juice

Garnishes: tortilla chips, grated cheese, & sour cream

Cook chicken breasts using your preferred method, then cut into chunks. Cook onions in a bit of oil in a large soup pot (at least 4 quarts). Add all the rest of the ingredients to the pot and heat thoroughly. Serve with tortilla chips, grated cheese, and sour cream.

French Onion Soup

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE French onion soup! Did I mention that I love it, and when I found this recipe for a freezer version I fell in love with it! What better way to enjoy the soup season that with a recipe like this you can freeze in individual sizes and warm up whenever you like.

  • 10 medium yellow onions (about 4 1/2 pounds) , halved, peeled, and thinly sliced
**Note: To cut onion slices, halve through the root end; peel back skin. Place halves, cut sides down, on cutting board. Trim both ends; thinly slice onion lengthwise. To slice onions quickly, use a food processor fitted with a slicing blade (instead of a knife).

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine or chicken broth
  • 4 slices toasted multigrain bread
  • 4 ounces sliced Swiss cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large roasting pan, toss together onions, oil, sugar, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover tightly with foil; cook until steamed, about 30 minutes. Uncover; cook, stirring every 30 minutes, until onions are golden brown and caramelized, 1 to 1 1/4 hours more.
  2. Transfer onion mixture to a large saucepan (reserve roasting pan); stir in broth and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until liquid has darkened, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, deglaze the roasting pan with wine: Place the pan over medium heat; add wine. Scrape bottom of pan with a wooden spoon or scraper to loosen any browned bits. Simmer until reduced and syrupy, about 2 minutes. Pour liquid (and browned bits) into soup. Season with salt and pepper. (If freezing, let cool completely before transferring to airtight containers, leaving 1 inch at top.)
  4. If desired, make the cheese toast: Heat broiler. Place bread on a baking sheet; top with Swiss cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Cut each slice into four triangles.
  5. To serve, divide soup among bowls; garnish each with two triangles of cheese toast, if desired. Or go for the traditional toast crouton and parmesean/asiago cheese to top it off.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mac & Cheese

  • 1 pound short pasta, such as cavatappi or macaroni
  • Coarse salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups shredded (12 ounces) sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup finely grated (2 ounces) Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups very coarse fresh breadcrumbs

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water 1 to 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain, rinse with cool water, and return to pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Add milk, cayenne, nutmeg, and 2 teaspoons salt; bring to a simmer. Cook, whisking, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in cheeses until smooth. Pour over pasta; toss to coat. Divide among baking dishes.
  3. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter; toss with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over pasta. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; freeze up to 3 months.
  4. To cook, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place frozen dishes on a baking sheet; remove plastic. Cover with foil. Bake until bubbling, 60 to 70 minutes for large dishes, 40 to 50 minutes for small. Remove foil; continue baking until golden, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Zucchini Bread

This is by far my favorite Zucchini bread recipe! It might be because it is my mom's recipe, and it is what I was raised on, but I have tried numerous recipe's and I have yet to find one that I love as much as this one! I hope you enjoy it also!

3 eggs
1 C. oil
2 C. sugar
2 C. grated Zucchini
3 tsp. Vanilla
3 C. flour
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
3 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 C. Nuts (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed. Pour into greased loaf pans and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, but check loaves after 45 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf will come out clean when the loaf is done.
will make 5 mini loaf pans or 2 regular loaf pans.

Mini loaf pans will take 45 minutes to cook
normal loaf pans will take 1 hour

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I had never tried Pesto until 2 summers ago when I grew fresh basil, and ever since then I love Pesto sauces. Here is one that I have done, and Love it!

  • 1 cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 cups (4 ounces) lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts evenly on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until golden and fragrant, tossing once, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil; add basil, and submerge with a spoon. Immediately drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water until cool, then pat basil completely dry in paper towels.
  3. In a food processor, combine nuts, basil, and garlic; season generously with salt and pepper. Process until nuts are finely chopped. With machine running, pour oil in a steady stream through the feed tube; process until smooth. Use immediately, or freeze. To freeze, spoon pesto into an ice-cube tray (2 tablespoons per cube); cover with plastic wrap. Freeze overnight, then transfer cubes to a resealable plastic bag; keep up to 6 months. Defrost pesto at room temperature, about 20 minutes (or at 30-second intervals in the microwave). Mash with a fork before using in recipes.
** I have also made this and added some parmesan cheese to the mix, and it tastes awesome!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lasagna Primavera

This meal is one you can make ahead of time and freeze to use on a night you just don't feel like cooking! I feel like that is the mode I am in right now. Hope you enjoy it!

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for foil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
  • 1/2 pound carrots (4 to 5), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 package (9 ounces) no-boil lasagna noodles (12 to 16 noodles)
  • 1 pound part-skim mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium; add flour and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes (do not let flour mixture darken); whisk in milk. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add spinach, peas, and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Set sauce aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper.
  3. In the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, spread a thin layer of vegetable sauce. Layer noodles, half the remaining vegetable sauce, another noodles, half the ricotta mixture, half the mozzarella, and half the Parmesan; repeat.
  4. Cover dish with lightly oiled aluminum foil, and place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes, uncover, and bake until bubbling and browned, about 20 minutes more. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies


  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling Ingredients

  • 2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.

2. Beat together first 3 ingredients and 1/2 cup granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Stir in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly stir flour mixture into peanut butter mixture until fully incorporated.

3. Scoop dough onto prepared cookie sheets, 1 rounded tablespoonful at a time, about 2 inches apart. (Dough should yield about 24 cookies.) Press cookies flat with the back of a fork dipped into remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle cookies with any remaining sugar, if desired, and bake 12 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Remove from oven, and cool 5 minutes on pan; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. Spread about 1 tablespoon Creamy Peanut Butter Filling onto flat side of 12 cookies, and top each with another cookie, flat side down, to make a sandwich.

They are always better the next morning after they've softened up a bit.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Crunchy Carmel Corn

I found this recipe on Martha's site and loved that it was so low in sugar, which makes it so much easier to want to make it knowing that the whole batch only has 1/2 C. Sugar total! What could be better right? Hope you enjoy it as well!

  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking sheet
  • 10 cups plain unsalted popped (from 1/2 cup kernels or a 3.3-ounce bag microwave popcorn) popcorn
  • 1 cup cashews, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • Coarse salt

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter a large rimmed baking sheet; set aside. Place popcorn in a large bowl; if using cashews, add to bowl and toss to combine. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring butter, sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring constantly. Working quickly, drizzle popcorn with sugar syrup, and toss.
  3. Spread popcorn evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden and shiny, about 40 minutes. Transfer hot popcorn to parchment-paper-lined baking sheet; let cool. Store in airtight container up to 1 week.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Peach & Raspberry Crisp

4 to 5 pounds firm, ripe peaches (10 to 12 large peaches)
1 orange, zested
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups plus 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 pint raspberries
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the inside of a 10 by 15 by 2 1/2-inch oval baking dish.

Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in cold water. Peel the peaches and slice them into thick wedges and place them into a large bowl. Add the orange zest, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the raspberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more tablespoon of flour. Pour the peaches into the baking dish and gently smooth the top.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of the peaches and raspberries. Bake for 1 hour, until the top is browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and reheat in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until warm.

Hazelnut-Encrusted Salmon

1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 T. grated organic lemon zest
Dash of sea salt and fresh pepper
4 skinless salmon fillets, 6 ounces each
2 T. olive oil
4 cups mixed organic baby greens (I prefer a combination of red & green lettuces)
Lemon wedges

Grind the almonds in a food processor-do not over grind and turn into a
paste. Mix the hazelnuts, parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper on a plate.

Dry the salmon; dredge the fillets on both sides in the nut mixture.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the salmon and cook
for about 5 minutes on each side, making sure that the salmon is cooked

Arrange 1 cup of greens per plate. Transfer the hot salmon fillets to the
plates. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve immediately.

"House" Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (Maille or Grey Poupon)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
squeeze of a half lemon (optional)

Mix and shake well before tossing lightly on greens. Add a little bit at a time to avoid overdressing.


Tomato Soup

4 lb tomatoes, halved lengthwise
6 garlic cloves, left unpeeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350°F.

Arrange tomatoes, cut sides up, in 1 layer in a large shallow baking pan and add garlic to pan. Drizzle tomatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast tomatoes and garlic 1 hour, then cool in pan on a rack. Peel garlic.

Cook onion, oregano, and sugar in butter in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, and stock and simmer, covered, 20 minutes.

Purée soup in batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids), then force through a sieve into cleaned pot, discarding solids. Stir in cream and salt and pepper to taste and simmer 2 minutes.