Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Caesar Chicken Pasta Salad

3 cups hot cooked penne (I use whole wheat pasta)
2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup fat-free or light caesar dressing
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
shredded fresh parmesan cheese
4 roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast sliced

Combine all ingredients and toss.  Can be served hot or cold! 

Caesar Chicken-Pasta Salad from Cooking Light

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gold Medal Sizzling Fajitas

1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
Dash hot sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds meat (boneless, skinless chicken breast, skirt steak or peeled and deveined shrimp)
1 medium onion, halved and sliced lengthwise
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 lime, juiced, for topping
Sour cream, for topping
Salsa, for topping
Guacamole, for topping
Cheddar cheese, shredded, for topping

In a heavy duty resealable plastic bag, combine 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, hot sauce, salt, pepper and your choice of meat. Seal and toss the bag around to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator. *Cook's Note: 15 minutes for shrimp, 20 minutes for chicken and 1 hour for skirt steak.

Preheat your cast iron servers in a preheated 400 degree F oven for at least 20 minutes, to get a good sizzle when you plate the fajitas.

Heat the outside grill or a large indoor grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove the meat from the marinade and place it on the hot grill, discard the marinade. Cook chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side, skirt steak about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare and about 2 minutes for shrimp. Slice the chicken and steak into strips if you are using.

In a large skillet heat up the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and fry the onions and bell peppers until crisp-tender with some salt and pepper.

Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them in the oven with the servers for 15 minutes.

When you are ready to serve, remove the cast iron servers from the oven and quickly arrange the meat and peppers and onions on it. It will immediately start to sizzle from their fat and moisture. Serve sizzling immediately with the warm tortillas and other accompaniments.
*recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

Sweet and Sour Meatloaf

2 or more pounds of beef

1 egg

5 tbsp. ketchup (divided) 3 tbsp go to sauce

2 tbsp. prepared mustard

1/2 c. dry bread crumbs

2 tbsp. onion soup mix

1/4 tsp salt & pepper

1/4 c. sugar

2 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tbsp. cider vinegar

Cook at 350 for 50 mins

Small bowl combine sugars, vinegar, and remaining ketchup and drizzle over meatloaf  and cover for remaining 10 mins.

White Chicken Chili (easy)

From Taste of Home

1 Medium onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 cooked chicken breasts, cubed
2 cans (14oz each) chicken broth
1 can (4oz) chopped green chilies
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
3 cans (14.5 oz each) great northern beans. drained and divided
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
choppened jalapeno pepper, optional

In a saucepan cook the onions and garlic over medium heat in olive oil for 10 minutes or until onions are tender. Add chicken, chicken broth, green chilies, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low. Mash one can of beans with a potatoe masher until smooth. Add to saucepan. Add the remaining beans. Simmer for 20-30 min. or until heated thoroughly.
Top each serving with cheese and jalapeno pepper (if desired).
Makes 2-1/2 quarts.

Cheryl's Homemade Yogurt

Cheryl Huntington is my silly but sweet mother-in-law and she taught me this wonderful recipe. She loves to use as many all natural ingredients as possible as she's very much into organic and healthy recipes and foods. So milk products that aren't homogenized are recommended but not necessary.


-1 gallon of either whole milk, 2% or nonfat milk (the level of fat in the milk affects the texture of the yogurt so richer milk will make it creamier, but if you want healthier yogurt, it will still work. You can also use half and half which will make it super creamy or a combo of milks. It's up to you.)
-1 C nonfat powdered milk
-1 to 1 1/2 C fructose or regular white sugar (depends on how sweet and/or healthy you want it).
-1-2 small cartons of yogurt with the flavor of your choice. (It seems silly to use yogurt to make more yogurt but the culture is what we're after here. You can find culture in a health food store but it's just easier to use a small carton of yogurt as your culture starter).
-1 1/2 TBSP Danncy's Mexican vanilla. This brand makes all the difference. Trust me. It's hard to find too, but it is available online.
-2-3 TBSP of extract to match the flavor of your culture starter. So if you are using a strawberry yogurt starter, you'll want a strawberry extract. Or you are welcome to experiment with mixing flavors.

Heat the milk in a large kettle and check the temperatures with a candy thermometer stirring slowly to keep from scorching. You don't want to stir it too fast because too many air bubbles will change the texture of the yogurt. These are the three numbers you'll need to keep your eye on: 150, 180 and 115 degrees. Bring the milk to 150 degrees slowly at a medium to low heat. You don't want to boil it or it will make the yogurt taste burned. When it reaches 150, separate 2 cups of the heated milk into a bowl and mix in the dry powdered milk and the sugar. You mix it separately and then pour it back into the kettle. This makes it so you don't add too many air bubbles into the mixture. Then keep stirring slowly until it reaches 180 degrees. Hold it there for about 5 minutes. You'll need to have an ice bath ready in the sink to then bring the yogurt to 115 degrees before adding the culture and flavorings. Too high a heat will kill the culture and too low a heat may not incubate it well. When it reaches 115, separate 2 Cups into another bowl again and add the culture and other flavorings. Stir well. Pour back into the kettle mixture and incorporate, again without too much vigorous stirring. It is now yogurt. But it must incubate first. You may either just take the kettle itself and stick it into a box on a heating pad set to medium heat or pour mixture into mason canning quart jars. These make for nice gifting as well. Let stand for 12 hours. After 12 hours, place in fridge to cool. The top of the yogurt may seem gritty. You can just scrape that off and toss it or eat it if you'd like. The whey may separate slightly so a good stir once the yogurt is set is all it really needs. Eat and enjoy over fruit, pancakes, waffles or cereal. You may never go back to normal yogurt again.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oriental Chicken Salad

1 large head cabbage (sliced)
1 bag fresh spinach (sliced)
1 bunch green onions (sliced thin)
4 chicken breasts (cooked & shredded)
1 c. Trader Joe's orange flavored Crainsins

2 pkgs Oriental-flavored Ramen noodles (crushed)
1/4 c. sesame seeds (toasted)
1/2 c. slivered almonds (toasted)
Bake all the above at 350 for 10 minutes, let cool before using.

1 c. oil
2 T. vinegar
3 T. soy sauce
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. pepper
2 seasoning packets from Oriental-flavored Ramen noodles
Mix all the above in a blender.

Mix salad first, then topping, pour dressing over top right before serving!

Custard French Toast w/ Raspberry Sauce

1 stick butter
1 loaf of sliced sourdough bread
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 c. milk
6 eggs, plus 3 additional egg yolks
1 T. vanilla
2 c. heavy whipping cream

1 pkg. frozen or fresh raspberries
1/4 c. sugar
1 T. cornstarch

Melt 1 stick of butter in 9X13 pan. Cut crusts off sourdough bread & layer 2 layers thick in the pan.

Whip the sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla, & cream together & pour over the bread in the pan. Cover with foil & soak overnight in the refrigerator.

Next day, Preheat oven to 350º, take foil off & bake for 1 & 1/2 hours. Make sure tops are nice & brown.

While baking, make the raspberry sauce. Mix the raspberries, sugar, & cornstarch in a saucepan & stir over heat until thick.

Serve Custard french toast with the warm raspberry sauce on top.

Poppy Seed Dressing

1 1/2 C. Vegtetable Oil
3/4 Rice Vinegar
1 C. Sugar
1 Medium Red Onion (you can use white too)
2 tsp. Salt
2 T. Poppyseeds
2 T. Dry Mustard

Blend all ingredients together and refrigerate.

Cucumber Baguette

1 C. Mayo
1 (8 oz.) Cream Cheese
Packet Ranch Dressing
Red Bell Pepper

Mix the first three ingredients together until smooth. Spread on thin slices of baguette. Top with thin sliced cucumber and two very fine bell pepper slices.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wonton Salad.

Wonton skins, 1/4 to 1/2 pkg.
Slivered almonds, 2 tbsp. toasted
1 head shredded lettuce
3 to 4 boiled chicken breast, cubed
4 green onions sliced
2 tbsp. sesame seeds toasted

4 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tbsp.pepper
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp accent
4 tbsp. rice vinegar
1/2 cup oil

Combine lettuce, green onions, almonds , chicken pieces and sesame seeds. Chill. Mix all ingredients for dressing and chill. To fry wontons, drop in 2 to 3 inches of oil and fry until barely brown. Drain and break into bite size pieces. Add wontons to chilled salad. Mix dressing well and add to salad
. Toss.
And Enjoy!

Bonnie's CCC's...the BEST!!

2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 C. Butter, softened
3/4 C. Brown Sugar
1/4 C. White Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 small box of Vanilla Instant Pudding
2 1/4 C. Flour
2 C. Chocolate Chips, or to taste (i like milk chocolate)

Cream the eggs, vanilla and butter. Add the sugars and mix. Add baking soda and pudding and mix. Add 2 cups of flour and mix. Coat your chocolate chips with the remaining 1/4 C. of flour and add. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. (In my oven they take about 12 just watch them.) Eat as many as possible!

Macadamia Nut Crusted Chicken

4- 8 ounce skinned and de-boned chicken breast
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
3 cups of Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
3 Whole eggs
Salt and Pepper to taste

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine milk and eggs and mix well.In another mixing bowl combine the chopped nuts and panko and mix well.
Take the seasoned chicken and lightly flour the chicken. Dip the chicken into the egg and milk mixture then put into the mixture of panko.
The chicken should be well coated in the panko mixture.
Heat a large size sauté pan with oil. Once oil is hot add the chicken and sauté on both sides until golden brown.
Transfer the pan to a 350 degree oven and continue cooking for and additional 12 minuets. Or until chicken is done.

Note: This recipe goes with two more recipes: The Shoyu Cream Sauce and the White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes. Place the Chicken when done on top of the mashed potatoes and top everything off with this yummy sauce!!! The Sauce makes the meal! This is just like my favorite meal at Kona Grill here in Arizona.

Corn Salsa

1 Can Corn
1 Can Black Beans
1/2 Red Onion, small chop
1-2 Avocados
1 Bunch of Cherry Tomatoes (Use as much or as little as your family will like, I quarter them, so they are not over-whelming)
1/2 Bunch Scallions, chopped
2-3 Limes, juiced (Try one, and then add to taste, it always varies)
A Drizzle of Olive Oil
Spike (sometimes if for whatever reason, if it is lacking that "Umph", I had a dash or two of Spike, which usually helps)

Tortilla Soup

5 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (i used canned)
3 cloves Garlic
1 Onion
3 T. Butter
3 T. Flour
6 C. Milk
6 C. Chicken Broth
1 Can Creamed Corn
2 tsp. Cumin
1 pkg. Fajita seasoning
1 T. Cilantro
1 Can Herdez Salsa
1-15 oz. Tomato Sauce
1-12 oz. Tomato Paste

Mix garlic, onion, butter and flour together in a big saucepan until brown. Then add all the remaining ingredients. Best if cook on low for a couple hours for more flavor. While soup is cooking fry a corn tortilla and cut into strips for top of soup. I also top my soup with Sour Cream, Avocado, Monterey Jack Cheese, Cilantro and a Lime wedge. Yummy!!!

Lemon Spritz Cookies

110 grams butter, room temperature
90 grams sugar
3 egg yolks
1/4 tsp lemon oil
Zest of 1 lemon
180 grams flour
2 grams salt

Cream the butter, sugar, lemon zest and lemon oil together until well combined. Add the yolks and mix until combined. Add the flour and salt and mix.

Place the soft dough into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe rosettes onto a sheetpan lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350F for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden.

Let them cool completely and fill with the lemon buttercream.

Lemon Buttercream

75 grams egg whites
150 grams sugar
225 grams butter, room temperature
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp lemon oil
Juice of 1 lemon

Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place the bowl over a double boiler. Whisk the egg whites and sugar until the sugar starts to melt and the egg whites appear very white and light, almost like a light marshmallow. It should be very hot to the touch.

Remove the bowl from the heat and place in electric mixer. Whip until meringue forms and the bowl feels cool.

Add the softened butter one tablespoon at a time. Add the juice, oil and zest. It might appear as the buttercream is separating. Continue whipping until it comes together.

Cafe Rio Recipes


2-3 lbs. Pork Loin (lean cut)
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced green chilies
3/4 can enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso brand, mild)
1 c. brown sugar

Put the pork in a heavy duty ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry). Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

Put shredded pork and sauce in crockpot and cook on low for 2 hours.


1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.


2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro.


1 (7 oz.) can Salsa Verde (Herdez Brand)
4-5 fresh Tomatillos (chopped)
1 1/2 packets Hidden Valley Ranch Mix
1 C. Sour Cream
1 C. Mayo
1-2 jalapenos (usually seeded, but can leave seeds in depending on desired spiciness)
1 T. Sugar
Juice of 1 Lime
Cilantro (handful)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth. Refrigerate. (I think it's better if you make this the day before and leave refrigerated.)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Let's Get Started!!

I am so excited for this blog!  I can't wait to try out everyone's recipes.  I figured I would start off on the right foot with a dessert!  I made these at the easter egg hunt. Enjoy!

Lemon Blossoms
Paula Deen

1 box yellow cake mix
3 1/2 oz. package instant lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil

4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tabelspoons water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 

Spray the mini muffin tins with vegetable oil cooking spray.  Combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil and blend well with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Pour a small amount of batter, filling each muffin tin 1/3.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Turn out onto a tea towel.  To make the glaze, sift the sugar into a mixing bowl.  Add the lemon juice, zest, oil, and 3 tablespoons water.  Mix with a spoon until smooth.

With fingers, dip the cupcakes into the glaze while they're still warm, covering as much of the cake as possible, or spoon the glaze over the warm cupcakes, turning them to completely coat.  Place on wire racks with waxed paper underneath to catch any drips.  Let the glaze set thoroughly, about 1 hour, before storing.