Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

The Menu:
Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

The Original Recipe:
These were so simple to make. I am loving having my grill back out to cook supper. I thawed the chicken out the night before, and in the morning I added the marinating ingredients (I let it marinate all day). Then instead of kabobs, I just put some foil on the grill and dumped them on there to cook. So easy! They were delicious and a kid pleaser!

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

Rachel ~ burns_toast via babycenter


1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup ranch dressing

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to


1 tablespoon white sugar, or to taste


5 skinless, boneless chicken breast

halves - cut into 1 inch cubes


1. In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Place chicken in the bowl, and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers and discard marinade.

3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill skewers for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear

Friday, May 27, 2011

Balsamic Chili Chicken (Grilling)

The Menu:
Balsamic Chili Chicken

The Original Recipe:
I have a grilling cookbook called "Company's Coming Year-Round Grilling" So far everything I have grilled from this book has come out very good. This one didn't disappoint. I will make these again! I served it with my Pasta Salad as a side.

Balsamic Chili Chicken
(via cookbook with my adaptations in the directions)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbl.s olive oil
3 tbls. sweet (or regular) chili sauce
1/2 tsp. dried Rosemary (2 sprigs fresh chopped)
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1/2 tsp. powder)

Bone-in Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks

Combine first 6 ingredients in Ziploc plastic bag. Mix well and add chicken to marinate in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight. Grill chicken on greased grill. Close lid and cook for about 10 minutes per side until no longer pink.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fried Oreos, Fried Twinkies, Fried Hot Dogs, Fried Banana's, and Fried Onion Rings

The Menu:
Fried Foods!!

Fried Oreos

Fried Twinkies

Fried Hot Dogs

Fried Onion Rings

The Original Recipe:
My oldest son is 14, and he was watching the Travel Channel one day. He loves to watch Man V. Food and all those other food related shows (the boy likes to eat!). Naturally upon watching a show like that, he wanted to know what fried Oreo's taste like. So, I googled a recipe for Fried Oreos and came up with a website called, thekitchn.com. There, they posted a recipe for Fried Dough and instructions on how to make the fried Oreo's. The rest of the fried food was easy enough to follow suit. I fried all the sweet's first (the kids loved that!), and then I did the hot dogs and onion rings last. I didn't want the taste to interfere with the sweet stuff. This batter is DELISH!! I used Canola Oil in my deep fryers and it worked well. I cannot believe how incredibly easy this was to make. It does make a TON of batter, so if you aren't going to fry a whole bag of Oreos or a whole bag of anything, you will have a lot leftover. I think I made atleast 12 Oreos, 6 Hot dogs, 4 Twinkies, 1 Banana, and a whole bunch of Onion Rings. I still have about 3 cups of batter left!! The fried banana was the bomb! Yes, the bomb!! Just add some powdered sugar and it's a GREAT dessert. The Hot dogs were good, too. I was suprised I liked the sweet batter on them. Of course the Oreo's and Twinkies were good as well as the Sweet Onion.
I will, for sure, be doing this again (as fair season is upon us and this is so much cheaper to do!). I will probably even make some funnel cakes next time, first, in order to use up more of the batter.

Funnel Cakes via thekitchn.com

makes 4, 12" cakes

4 large eggs

2 2/3 cups milk

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar

5 cups AP flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder

Powdered Sugar for dusting

Heat oil in an electric deep fryer or cast iron pan to 375°F. You will need at least an inch and a half of oil. We chose to use the electric fryer, which recycles its heat quicker and kept the fried foods smell and heat out of the house! Line plates with paper towels, the process will go fast once you start!

Mix egg and milk together with a wire whisk or fork until combined. Stir in other ingredients until batter is smooth.

Fry Tip: If you will be frying more than 4 funnel cakes or if you wish to make the batter up to an hour in advance, increase the amount of baking powder by 1 teaspoon to help give it lift during its long wait before frying.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and squeeze batter in a random, yet overlapping pattern. (It's all mainly a haphazard process, but crossing the batter back over itself will help it stick together when it's time to flip.) Once it's floating and golden brown (usually 60 seconds in), flip using tongs, allowing the other side to cook.

Continue cooking until desired color is achieved and remove from grease and set on a paper towel lined plate. Apply powdered sugar liberally to the top, add fruit toppings if desired and enjoy!

Note: You can use an actual funnel for this process, or even a zip top bag with one corner snipped off. Just as long as the better is able to get into the oil quickly and efficiently, that's all that really matters.


Fried Sweets via thekitchn.com

makes 40-50 snacks depending on size

1 recipe funnel cake batter

Assorted sweets, frozen for at least 1 hour prior

• Candy bars (we preferred miniature ones)

• Filled sandwich cookies

• Filled pastries

Peanut oil

Powdered sugar

To start, you'll need a roll of paper towels, a wet towel and a dry towel. This process goes even quicker than the aforementioned funnel cake making, so you'll want to be ready to drain the oil from your foods, wash your hands and dry them all in a hurry.

We set our oil to 360°F and mixed up our batter. We kept it in a Pyrex bowl with a handle and kept it uncovered. Set out plates with paper towels, ready to catch the grease. Unwrap your snacks (you are more than welcome to make your own, more healthier versions, but part of the love of street foods is eating things that you know are ultimately bad for you right?) and set them out on a plate ready to go.

With one hand, dip your snack into the batter, roll to coat and scrape excess batter on the side of bowl. Place in fryer gently. We found it easiest to drop 6 Oreos in the batter bowl at once so they could go into the fryer in rapid succession. You can use tongs for this part, but we're more the "get dirty hands on" type and we'll stick by our guns and say using our hands worked better than tongs would have any day of the week. Just make sure to keep one hand dry at all times.

Flip foods that don't flip themselves after 30-60 seconds. Things like candy bars and Twinkies seemed to flip themselves right over and we didn't have to bother. If your deep fryer has a basket, keep it moving so the batter doesn't stick to the wire mesh.

Remove from oil, drain excess oil and place on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy while still warm!

We have to say the mini candy bars were our favorite hands down. Dipped Oreos seemed like a waste of some good double stuff (which isn't a sentence you get to say very often), but the candy bars melted right through and became little nuggets of goo... in that good way! Baby Ruth's were the favorite of the night and became a soft soup of tasty heaven.

We did try our hand at battering full size candy bars and besides being awkward to coat fully, they seemed like a huge mouthful of food. We preferred the ratio of breading to chocolate on the smaller bite size candies.

Cheesy Garlic Herb Bread

The Menu:
Cheesy Garlic Herb Bread

The Original Recipe:
I found this on OurBestBites.com. I used a different type of loaf bread I bought from Walmart deli section that they had reduced, so it was a bit harder and worked well for this. However, I don't recall what it was though. But, it worked! YUM! This is a great Appetizer! I did the pesto with some provalone cheese!

Cheesy Garlic-Herb Bread

Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 loaf (16-24-oz.) crusty bread (we recommend sourdough)

8 oz. mozzarella*

1 of the following toppings:

–1/2 c. pesto

–1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil mixed with 3-4 cloves pressed garlic (allow to stand for at least an hour before brushing onto the bread)

–1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil mixed with 3-4 cloves pressed garlic and 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

–1/2 c. butter mixed with 3 tablespoons Garlic Bread Seasoning

–1/2 c. butter mixed with 2 cloves pressed garlic, 1 tablespoon each fresh, chopped basil, rosemary, and parsley

*If you want to lighten things up a little, you can leave out the cheese and sprinkle to top of the bread with kosher salt and a little freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Slice bread into 1 1/2″ slices, not cutting through to the bottom. Rotate the loaf 90 degrees and slice the bread again every 1 1/2″ so you have 1 1/2″ pieces that are still attached to the bottom of the bread.

Place the loaf on the prepared baking sheet. Gently spread the desired filling into the cracks. Gently stuff the cheese into the cracks (you can just put the cheese going in one direction rather than on all four sides of each piece). Brush a little of the remaining filling on top of the loaf and sprinkle with a little remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until the bread is toasted on top and the cheese is melted. Allow to stand a few minutes before serving.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hawaiian Ham Skillet

The Menu:
Hawaiian Ham Skillet

The Original Recipe:
This comes from Taste of Home website. I had leftover ham from Easter that was frozen, so I searched the internet for something different to make. I wanted something that was more spring-like and not a heavy wintery soup. This worked out perfect. It made enough to feed our family of 6, too! I sliced it up and served it over brown rice. It was so good. I got 2 thumbs up from my husband and kids tonight.

Hawaiian Ham Skillet

Pineapple tidbits give island appeal to this sweet-and-sour ham dish from Ona Nelson of Muskegon, Michigan.

6 ServingsPrep/Total Time: 30 min.


1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened pineapple tidbits

1 pound boneless fully cooked ham, julienned

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1-1/2 cups cold water

2 tablespoons vinegar

4 teaspoons prepared mustard

2 medium green peppers, julienned

Hot cooked rice


•Drain pineapple, reserving juice; set aside. In a skillet, stir-fry

ham until golden. In a bowl, combine brown sugar and cornstarch.

Stir in water, vinegar, mustard and pineapple juice until blended.

Add to the ham; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2

minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Add green pepper and

pineapple; simmer for 5-8 minutes. Serve over rice. Yield: 6


Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (prepared with sugar substitute and calculated without rice) equals 151 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 38 mg cholesterol, 832 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 14 g protein.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Baked Penne Pasta

The Menu:
Baked Penne Pasta

The Original Recipe:
I found this on menus4moms.com. It is great! I am not a big pasta fan or I should say spaghetti sauce fan. I hardly make spaghetti or lasagna or any pasta dish that requires spaghetti sauce in it. However, when I found this recipe I knew I would like it. It tones down that spaghetti sauce flavor just enough to make it savory and really good! I am glad I gave it a try because it is a keeper!

Baked Penne Pasta

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. oregano (I used fresh from the garden!)
3 tsp. garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
12 oz. penne pasta , cooked
3/4 cup brown gravy (I used a brown gravy packet and used 1 cup water, more than called for but it worked!)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup half and half (I used 2% milk)

Cook beef, drain and rinse with hot water to remove excess fat. In a large fry pan saute garlic over low heat 1-2 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except mozzarella cheese and pasta. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add pasta and pour into 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle Mozz. cheese on top. Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp

The Menu:
Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp

The Original Recipe:
I still had some rhubarb in my fridge, cleaned, and in a Tupperware bowl waiting to be used. I absolutely loved this Crisp. I hesitated to post this because while I really liked the Rhubarb Crunch that I made because it had a bottom layer crunch in it, I just loved this because it was the perfect balance between sweet and tangy. I loved the topping because it was crispy and buttery. Man, I have about eaten the whole thing myself! It is just very satisfying to my taste buds! I have used the previous recipe to make my own.

Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp

6 cups rhubarb, cleaned and chopped
1 cup strawberries, crushed
3/4 cup sugar
1tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup flour

3/4 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 stick butter, melted (I used blue bonnet and it has a great butter flavor)

In bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cinnamon and flour. Stir to combine. Place in 8x10 baking dish.  In another bowl combine flour, brown sugar, oats and butter for topping. Sprinkle topping mixture on top of rhubarb in baking dish. Bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lamb Shoulder Blade Chops

The Menu:
Lamb Shoulder Blade Chops

The Original Recipe:
I have only had lamb once in my life about 8 years ago. I only had a small piece, but I remember it being so delicious! My husband apparently has the same memory. It was a piece of lamb from a lamb leg. We have no idea how it was cooked only that we both thought it was so tender and melt in your mouth. We were at the store,and we saw some lamb shoulder blade chops. Well, I thought it was a good idea to get them. I have cooked pork shoulder blade chops before, and they are not my favorite. So I googled lamb shoulder blade chops, and I found that is really isn't a great piece of meat, even for a lamb. I found a few recipes using mint jelly, but I didn't have that. I found out also that braising is the way to go. So, I threw together some things that I thought would taste good with this lamb, and I wanted rosemarry. I knew that I wanted to use it fresh from my garden, and so I did! These were very good! The braising reduced the fat in these chops, which left little morsels of yummy lamb. I would definitely make these again using my recipe. I wouldn't change anything! AND I would buy lamb shoulder blade chops again.

Lamb Shoulder Blade Chops

2 Lamb shoulder blade chops
2 tbls. butter (margarine, whatever!)
1 half onion, sliced
1 small green pepper, sliced
10 oven roasted tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
2 sprigs rosemarry, leaves diced up
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven 350. Season chops on both side with salt and pepper. In oven safe pan, melt butter and sear chops on both sides until a bit brown. Remove from pan onto plate. In same pan, saute onion and green pepper. Add garlic, tomatoes and rosemarry. Stir to combine. Add chops and any accumulated juices back to pan. Add water. Cover with foil tightly and bake for 45 minutes. Let rest for 5  minutes before serving.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Zucchini Casserole (side dish)

The Menu:
Zucchini Casserole (side dish)

The Original Recipe:
I cannot find the original recipe, so this is my way of making this side dish. It's really good. My kids even liked it! Which says a lot when you can see "green" things floating around in your food. My kids are so funny sometimes. The faces they make, and then after they taste it, they are surprised 9 times out of 10 that they actually like the food that mommy makes.

Zucchini Casserole (side dish)

1 box stove top stuffing
1 small to medium zucchini (about 2 cups), shredded and squeezed to get some of the juices out
2 carrots, shredded
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chicken broth mixed with 1 tbls. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. dried sage (or I used 5 leaves fresh sage, chopped)

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Make stuffing according to directions, set aside. Meanwhile, mix zucchini, carrots, sage, sour cream and chicken broth mix together in bowl. Pour mixture into an 8x10 baking dish, add stuffing to the top of the mix in casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Tuna Melt Pressed Panini

The Menu:
Tuna Melt Pressed Panini

The Original Recipe:
This is a recipe by Rachael Ray. It was DELICIOUS!
I seem to say that about alot of recipes, but this was so simple to throw together even though, in my opinion, there are a bunch of ingredients. I loved the lemon zing with the saltiness of the olives, and the flavorful capers. Yum!! I changed it, so see my recipe below!

Tuna Melt Pressed Panini via Rachael Ray

•2 tins Italian tuna (5.6 ounces), drained

•1 can artichoke bottoms or hearts in water (14 ounces), drained and chopped

•1/4 cup loosely packed soft sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced

•1/4 cup pitted Italian or kalamata black olives, sliced

•1/4 cup caper berries, sliced or halved or 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed

•1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (a handful), finely chopped

•2 large shallots or 1 small red onion, finely chopped

•1 cup baby arugula

•Juice of 1 large lemon

•Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for liberal drizzling


•1/2 pound deli-sliced provolone cheese, divided

•1 loaf ciabatta bread, split lengthwise horizontally

Heat a panini press or cast iron skillet for pressing the sammie. If using a skillet, you will need another heavy skillet to press with, or a brick wrapped in foil.

Flake the tuna into a bowl. Add the chopped artichokes, sundried tomatoes, olives, caper berries or capers, parsley, shallots and arugula. Dress with lemon juice and liberal drizzle of EVOO. Mix to combine the salad thoroughly; season with pepper, to taste.

Arrange half of the cheese, overlapping the slices, on the bottom half of the ciabatta bread. Top with the salad in an even layer, then arrange the remaining cheese and top with bread. Cut the loaf into four sections and press a few minutes to melt the cheese and heat through.

The Way I Made It My Own:
I changed a few things, and I didn't use panini bread. I used a tortilla! Genius!!  I am not a big bread fan, but I do like tortillas. You can add more filling to the middle and you get less bread to "fill" your belly! I think that equals more flavor!

Kowboys Tuna Melt via 4Kowboys

• 1 large can Albecore Tuna, drained

•1 can artichoke bottoms or hearts in water (14 ounces), drained and chopped

•1/4 cup loosely packed Kowboys Oven-roasted Tomatoes, thinly sliced

•1/2 can (4.25oz.) chopped black olives

* 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed

•1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (a handful), finely chopped

• 1 small red onion, finely chopped

•Juice of 1 large lemon

•Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for liberal drizzling


1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

•1/2 pound deli-sliced provolone cheese, divided

• 2 small soft flour tortillas (you need more to finish the bowl, but for a serving size, 2 is good)

Heat a skillet or grill swiping with some EVOO.

Flake the tuna into a bowl. Add the chopped artichokes, oven roasted tomatoes, olives, capers,parsley, onions, red pepper flakes, add lemon and give a  liberal drizzle of EVOO. Mix to combine the salad thoroughly; season with pepper, to taste.

Arrange half of the cheese, overlapping the slices, on the half the bottom of the tortilla shell. Top with the salad. Fold tortilla over, and place on hot skillet. Hold tortilla top down until bottom of tortilla is nice and brown, flip over carefully, and toast the other side.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Rhubarb Crunch

The Menu:
Rhubarb Crunch

The Original Recipe:
I found this on food.com. YUM! It had just enough sweetness to balance the fresh rhubarb. A friend of ours from church gave us a bunch of rhubarb, and I still have strawberry rhubarb jam from last year and wanted to make this into a pie or crumble. This was the way to go! I had never really made rhubarb anything before. I just cleaned it, and chopped it. It turns to a bit of mush once cooked, so the bigger chopped pieces weren't a problem.

Rhubarb Crunch


1 cup flour
 3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
 1/2 cup margarine, melted
 1 teaspoon cinnamon
 4 cups rhubarb, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
 1 teaspoon vanilla


Mix flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, margarine and cinnamon until crumbly: Press half of this mixture into a 9" greased pan.

Cover with chopped rhubarb.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, and water.

Cook until thick and clear in a small saucepan.

Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Pour over rhubarb. Top with remaining crumbs.

Bake at 350°F for 1 hour.

*In the reviews it was noted to only use 1/4 cup sugar instead of 1/2 cup.

© 2010 Food.com. All Rights Reserved. http://www.food.com/2072

Monday, May 02, 2011


The Menu:

  Where I come from, we hunt mushrooms. Yes, we hunt them. We go out in the woods with a shopping bag in hand to place them in, and stoop down low, as to pounce on them as soon as we see them popping up from under the leaves. It is quite an act, I assure you. It takes us hours to  find just a half a bag full anymore. I do believe we might have a compitition in the woods that we choose to hunt in. It's a matter of who gets there first. I love morrels. I have hunted for them ever since I was young, but it wasn't until I was older that I started to clean and fry them up in some butter and garlic, and really enjoy eating them. I cannot believe I missed out on their fabulous taste when I was younger. Or wait, maybe that was the trick. To get the kids to hunt them while the adults enjoyed them? Hmmm.. I will need to think about that one some. At any rate. Here they are. In all their glory... Fresh, and then fried... and then devoured only by me... That's it--that's my payback. I eat them. All of them. *(smile!)

   I do caution you to not hunt for Morrels unless you know exactly what you are looking for. I will not take responsibility if you hunt these and do not find the right ones and then cook them, and eat them and get poisoned. No, no, no, I think you should read up on them, and even take a buddy with you, if you plan to hunt them. Four eyes and two brains are better than what one person has. OR what I really think is that you should do the easy thing and just buy them in the store. This way you are safe.

Here is a link to more about Morrel's:
The Great Morrel also what to look for in The False Morrel

 Fried Morrels

Soak Morrels overnight in heavily salted water. Rinse well, and cut in half. Morrels should be hollow inside clear up into the tops. There is such a thing as a false Morrel, and they are not hollow. You should not eat those, they are poisonus. Ok, so once the morrels are cleaned and sliced. Coat them with some flour. Then in a heated skillet with lot's of butter and a bit of olive oil, along with lots of fresh garlic, add morrels. Fry until brown. They will get soggy. They don't usually crisp up, but they will get browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain off excess oil. Enjoy!! They would taste great mixed in with some thin cooked spaghetti covered with some basil, butter, parmasean cheese and topped with the mushrooms. So, in that case, don't drain the excess, just mix it right in with your noodles.Yum!

Salmon Pattie Sandwiches

The Menu:
Salmon Pattie Sandwiches

The Original Recipe:
Sometimes you just don't want to cook. Right? It's not just me is it? I mean, I love to cook, but sometimes...
Anyway, this is a really easy recipe for Salmon Pattie Sandwiches with a really easy sauce. My whole family likes these, even my non-seafood loving husband. (eek! I cannot believe I have been married for 10 years to someone who doesn't like seafood! Boy is he lucky! tee-hee!) Enjoy!

Salmon Pattie Sandwiches


1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbls. creole seasoning

Mix 3 ingredients together until well combined. Set aside.

2 cans Wild Alaskin Salmon
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
2 green onions, chopped small
salt and pepper to taste (about 1/3 tsp. each)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Mix all in a bowl and form into patties. Add a bit of Peanut oil and fry on each side until crispy brown and heated through. Set aside and keep warm.

1 large Sweet Onion, sliced into rings
1 slice of your favorite cheese (we chose American)

 In same pan as patties cooked, fry the onions until caramelized.

On bun of choice, add pattie, topped with caramelized onion, cheese, and sauce. Serve.