Friday, May 29, 2009

Lemon Fusilli with Arugula

1 Tbs. good olive oil
1 Tbs. minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 cups heavy cream
3 lemons
Salt and pepper
1 pound dried fusilli (spiral) pasta
½ pound baby arugula (or 2 bunches of regular arugula, stems removed and leaves cut into thirds)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pint grape or cheery tomatoes, halved

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds, then add the cream, the zest and juice of 2 lemons, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 Tbs. salt and the pasta, and cook al dente according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until the pasta has absorbed most of the sauce. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl and add the arugula, Parmesan, and tomatoes. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it ¼ inch thick crosswise, and add a few slices to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.

*I made this for dinner last night and we really enjoyed it. I used heavy whipping cream and spinach instead of heavy cream and arugula since I couldn't find those ingredients. I also cooked the tomatoes in a lightly oiled pan until they split since I'm not a fan of raw tomatoes. This is just as good the next day, just heat it back up.

Recipe from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa, At Home cookbook

Thursday, May 28, 2009


1 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half
2 cupschicken stock or bouillon
1/2 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup carrots, julienned
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar


Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

serves/makes 4

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


1 box of chocolate cake mix (I like devils food)
1/2 cup of butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla
1 bag of large marshmallows (cut each marshmallow in half and set aside)
Chocolate frosting (you can make it or by it canned - one can will do for this whole recipe and its easy!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. With an electric mixer, cream butter (apx. 2 minutes)
3. Add cake mix, eggs and vanilla - mix until blended
4. Drop by spoonful onto cookie sheet lined with parchment (I use a medium cookie scoop)
5. Bake @ 350 for 8- 9 minutes
6. Remove cookies from oven and quickly place 2-3 marshmallow halves sticky side down on top of the cookie
7. Place pan back in oven for 1 minute
8. Remove cookies again and use the back of a buttered spoon to lightly flatten and spread the melted marshmallow across the top of each cookie
9. Allow to cool and frost with the chocolate frosting, making sure to cover all the marshmallow
10. Eat, eat, and try to share :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Red Velvet Cake Balls

1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)

1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)

1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)

wax paper

1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.

2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)

3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50. You can get even more if you use a mini ice cream scooper, but I like to hand roll them.)

4. Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)

5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)I also only melt a few pieces of chocolate bark at a time because it starts to cool and thicken. It's easier to work with when it's hot.
*These are so amazing... I actually used those large chocolate melting chunks instead of bark... it was so easy!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce

Hey girls....We had this dish for dinner last night and really enjoyed the sauce. It would also be delicious to add mushrooms and serve it over steak. If anyone is looking to add to their cookbook collection I strongly recommend anything in the Williams-Sonoma series. They have great books devoted to specific foods like Chicken, Soup, Salad, Cookies, Pies and Tarts, etc. I bought "Italian," "Cake," and "Hors d'oeuvres" gently used online at for a combined price of under $15.00. These books also make great gifts!

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons canola or olive oil


1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
3/4 cup heavy (double) cream
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard (Another word for whole-grain mustard is "stone-ground mustard." This is easy to find at the grocery store. I prefer Grey Poupon stone-ground mustard).

Place a large baking dish in the oven and preheat to 150 degrees.

Rinse the chicken breasts and pat them dry with paper towels. Using a meat pounder, lighty pound the breasts to an even thickness of just under 1/2 inch. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the oil. When the foam begins to subside, add the chicken breats without crowding and cook, without moving them, until just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook until firm to the touch and there is no sign of pink in the center when tested with a knife, 2-2 1/2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken breats to the baking dish in the oven.

To make the mustard sauce, return the frying pan to medium-low heat and add the shallot (or 3 Tbs of onion). Cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Add the wine and raise the heat to medium-high. Simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the flavorful bits from the bottom and sides of the pan, until the wine is rduced to about 2 tablespoons, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring frequetly, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and imediately whick in the mustard just until smooth.

Transfer the chicken breast to warmed individual plates. Top each with 2 or 3 spoonfuls of the sauce and serve at once.

Williams-Sonoma: Chicken (I really recommend this book! It is my favorite chicken cookbook).

Our Best Bites

Hey everyone! I have so many yummy recipes to post, but I found most of them HERE, so go to the site instead. I have tried the Spicy Honey Chicken(I use chicken breasts and the old recipe), Texas Sheet Cake, Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread, and tons more and it is all SOOO DANG GOOD! So, if you need some ideas for dinner tonight, make sure and check out this site!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Delicious White Bread

This bread is so good toasted with some homemade jam or use it for a sandwich! I LOVE it! I love bread WAY too much. Enjoy!

In a large mixing bowl add:
5 c. hot water
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. canola oil
2 T. salt

Mix for 20 seconds.

1½ c. bread flour (The flour is called Better for Bread flour and it is usually in a yellow package. I get the Gold Medal brand.)

Mix for 30 seconds.

3 T. yeast

Mix for 30 seconds.

10 c. bread flour

Mix and knead all together until mixed thoroughly. (It's easiest to use your bare hands.)

Rest dough for 20 minutes in bowl.

After 20 minutes is up, pre-heat oven to 170 degrees or lowest oven temperature. Then roll out dough onto a non-stick surface and use rolling pin to smooth it out. The dough will be sticky. I use non-stick cooking spray and spray it on the counter and the rolling pin as well as the top of the dough. Some people use flour, but I prefer non-stick cooking spray. After the dough is rolled out smoothly, cut the dough in half and then cut those halves in half, so you have 4 separate equal sections of dough. Spray the bread pans with non-stick spray. Roll each piece of dough (like a fruit roll up) and create 4 large loaves and put into bread pans.

Bake at 170 for 20 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN!!! The bread will sink if you do.

Increase oven temperature to 325 and bake for 30 more minutes. (Because all ovens are different, check bread after 25 minutes)

*If you make small loaves, only bake for 20 minutes.

I hope you like it! If you want, you can use 5 c. bread flour and 5 c. whole wheat flour for healthier bread. It still tastes good, but just not AS good. :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chicken Tetrazzini


  • 9 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup dried Italian-style breadcrumbs


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Spread 1 tablespoon of butter over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Melt 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a deep large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot pan and cook until pale golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool slightly. Coarsely shred the chicken into bite-size pieces and into a large bowl.

Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil to the same pan. Add the mushrooms and saute over medium-high heat until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates and the mushrooms become pale golden, about 12 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl with the chicken.

Melt 3 more tablespoons butter in the same pan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, cream, broth, nutmeg, remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Increase the heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Drain. Add the linguine, sauce, peas, and parsley to the chicken mixture. Toss until the sauce coats the pasta and the mixture is well blended.

Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Stir the cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the pasta. Dot with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown on top and the sauce bubbles, about 25 minutes.

Taken from Giada De Laurentiis

Friday, May 8, 2009

Best Carmel PopCorn Ever!

You will need:
2 Bags Popped Popcorn
1/2 cup of Brown Sugar
1 Stick Of Butter
12 Big Marshmallow's

I Double The Recipe

Mix With Rubber Spatula Melt All Together And Poor Over Popcorn, And Let Stand For 10 Minutes... And Enjoy

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Green Chili Quiche

This quiche is super easy and requires no crust. I love it. Feel free to use it as a base and add other veggies like spinach, onions, mushrooms or anything else you think sounds good in a quiche. Have fun.

10 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Blend above ingredients. Pour in a mixing bowl, then add the following:

1 pint small curd cottage cheese
1 lb. Monterrey Jack cheese
1/3 cup melted butter
1 small can diced green chilies

Bake in a 9x13 inch pan for 35-45 minutes (350 degrees). Serve with sour cream and salsa. Serves 12-15 people.

Yummy Crepes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the milk and egg. Beat well to combine.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Homemade Oreo Cookies

2 pkg. German chocolate cake mix or Devils Food Cake 
1 1/2 c. shortening
4 eggs

Mix well, roll into half inch size balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet. 
For the Frosting you can either use Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting or make the one below:

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1/4 c. butter
1 tbsp. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar

Angela's Butter Noodle Pasta (easy)

Angel hair pasta (desired amount)
1 T. Butter (about)
1 C. Grape tomatoes cut in half
1 C. avocado cubed
Italian Seasoning (couple dashes)
Lawry's Salt (couple dashes)
Garlic Salt ( dash)  

Once pasta is cooked add butter, all the seasons, and then the tomatoes and avocado. Mix together. The seasonings are to your preference. This is one of those recipes that goes off of taste. Add as little or as much tomatoes and avocado as you like.  Enjoy!

Yogurt Pie

2 cartons of flavored yogurt (pick your favorite)
some fresh or frozen fruit that will go on top. (optional)
1 carton of whipped cream
a pre-made graham pie crust

Mix the yogurt, and whipped cream together in a large mixing bowl.

pour into pie crust, freeze until desired.
garnish with fruit or whip cream.

Shepherds Pie with Scallion Cheese Crust

Shepherds Pie with Scallion-Cheese Crust


For the filling:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound minced British lamb
  • 1 pound minced beef
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped very small
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms
  • 1 level tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 level tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh beef stock
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the crust:

  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup scallions, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 cup mature Cheddar, coarsely grated

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or deep saute pan. Brown the lamb and beef. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon. Add the onions to the pan and saute until the onions are tinged brown at the edges - about 5 minutes. Add the chopped carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, tomato puree, thyme, parsley and cinnamon. Stir and saute for 2 minutes. Next, stir in the flour, which will soak up the juice, then stir in the wine and the beef stock. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Return the meat to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover, turn down the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes until the lamb is fully cooked.

Peel the potatoes, cut them into large even-sized pieces and place into a pot of cold, salted water. Bring the water to a boil and cook potatoes until they are tender, about 10 minutes. (Potatoes are done when a knife can easily go through.)

When the potatoes are done, drain off the water, return them to the saucepan, cover with a clean tea cloth to absorb the steam and leave them for about 5 minutes. Next, add the butter and mash them to a puree. Season with salt and pepper. When the meat is ready, spoon it into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and level it out with the back of the spoon. After that, spread the mashed potato evenly all over. Sprinkle the scallions on top of the potato, scatter the cheese over the scallions and bake the pie until the top is crusty and golden, about 25 minutes.

*I made this for dinner last night and I thought it turned out really good. I made some modifications to make it more what I wanted.  I used only ground beef. I added frozen sweet corn and baby peas to the meat mixture right before I spooned the meat into the casserole dish. The meat mixture is a little soupy so I drained a lot of the liquid. I only added a sprinkle of cinnamon and thought it was the perfect amount.  I made my own recipe of mashed potatoes so they would have more flavor. Next time I am going to add celery with the carrots. Hope you enjoy this dish.