The Blog Was Looking Lonely....

so I thought I'd add the following easy, fast recipe for pizza crust:

1 package dry yeast dissolved in 1 c. lukewarm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. olive oil
2  1/2 c. flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water.  In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Add water/yeast mixture and olive oil, stirring to combine.  Knead until smooth and well-blended.

Let rise for 10 minutes in a warm place, free from draft.

Spread a few tablespoons of olive oil on a cookie sheet or pizza pan, then pat out the dough on the cookie sheet.  Add pizza sauce, cheese and the toppings of your choice.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is lightly browned.

Wendy Says: I always use at least a cup of whole-wheat flour, and the crust is still soft and delicious. 



so i have never been ambitious enough to ever post on here... but one day i was making these AMAZING sandwiches (which i thought of myself) and i actually took pictures. :) go me!
what you need:
-fresh mozzarella
-hungry people

cut the mozzarella, apple, tomato, and avocado all into thick slices. Next, toast the bread and then assemble... and there you have an AMAZING sandwich. :)


Ritz Chicken

Okay, I haven't posted in ages, but here's a good quick, easy recipe for you all.  I got it from a cookbook I got as a bridal shower gift.  It's pretty much just a collection of the Huffman family's favorite recipes.  (Note, I do not know who they are, but somehow one of my mother's recipes ended up in there.)

There are no exact measurements to this, so it's a little bit of trial and error.

Chicken breasts (as many as you need for however many people you have)
Ritz crackers* (1.5-2 sleeves should do it for three to four chicken breasts)
Grated parmesean cheese (in the bag or fresh, not in the can)
Garlic powder
Seasoning salt

Cut your chicken breasts up into strips or nuggets, whatever you want.  You could probably even leave them whole.  Crush up the crackers and add the remaining ingredients (except butter).  I use a  big ziploc bag with the zipper closure, makes things so much easier.  Melt some butter in a dish.  Dunk the chicken in the butter, toss the pieces in the bag, close it up and shake to coat.  Put chicken on a cookie sheet.  Preheat your oven to 350.  Bake chicken for about 30-40 minutes.

*I use the low sodium Ritz.  You add quite a bit of salt with the seasonings.


Spinach and Strawberry Salad

I used to be very against fruit in a green salad but this has won me over! I got his recpie from my "aunt" Stacia. I say "aunt" because I am a year older than her! :) Thanks Stacia!

In a bowl combine:

Bag of spinach or you can use romaine (or use both!)

mushrooms (sliced)

sugared almonds (optional)

red onion

strawberries (sliced)


1/2 cup of sugar

1 cup of olive oil

1/3 cup of white or rice vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp poppy seeds (this can be optional!)

and some of the red onion chopped

add all of the ingredients into a processor or I use my blender and mix it together.

It is so good and I have been using it with the Parmesan Chicken dish instead of the lemon vinaigrette salad. A very nice fresh and light summer salad. I have cut the dressing recipe in half before . It just depends on how much of the salad you want to make.

Parmesan Chicken

I got this one from the Barefoot Contessa. It is a little more work but totally worth it. My husband loves this one and actually asks me to cook it. Just so you know I usually cut the recipe in half and that is plenty since you are pounding the chicken flat. Anyway, on to the recipe!

4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of flour
1 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp of ground black pepper
2 extra large eggs
1 tbsp. of water
1 1/4 cups of seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
good olive oil
salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry

Recipe for a Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4 inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Combine the flour, salt and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup of grated parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each HOT chicken breast. Serve with extra grated parmesan.

**I also cut the chicken breasts in half before I coat them with the mixtures. They seem to cook more evenly that way. Also, if you happen to use plain bread crumbs (as I have!) add some italian seasoning to the flour mixture.**


Fruit Dip

I've been thinking about the whole food/memory assignment for a while now, and I've realized that almost ALL of my memories have to do with food. One of my strongest food memories is from two years ago. The night we brought Julianne home from the hospital, a friend in the ward offered to bring dinner over. This was exceedingly kind of her since she herself was due in only a few weeks. I'd obviously been eating hospital food for a few days, and was craving real food. Something with substance, something with nutrition, something with flavor. I was grateful for their offer, but silently hoped they wouldn't bring McDonald's. When she and her husband showed up, they came with TRAYS of food. GOOD food. A huge pan of chicken enchiladas. Rice. A platter of fresh fruit. It was exactly what I wanted. That night, Damien and I were watching "Gladiator" on TV and eating the fruit, which was accompanied by this amazing dip whose ingredients I could not figure out. So I called. I asked. It's not anything fancy, but it was absolutely perfect that night.

Fruit Dip
1 cup sour cream
A few spoonfuls brown sugar
A couple of teaspoons cinnamon (to taste)

Stir to combine and enjoy.



We made chicken enchiladas last night (see recipe below), to which I have some memories attached.  I think food can be strong memory keepers for us.  It reminds us of good times, bad times, special times.  So your next assignment is to share with us a dish that you have memories with and share those memories with us, too.  

And thanks to Jenny for that photo!  I haven't tried that recipe yet, but I want to because it looks SO good!  I've been wanting to take photos and post them with my dishes but haven't gotten around to it.

Chicken Enchiladas

I got this recipe from my college roommie Eva. Whenever I make it for my family I always think of her and the delicious things she made us whilst in college. When I got married this was one of the recipes I tentatively tried out on my husband, hoping with crossed fingers and bated breath that he would like it, and he did! When we were first married we made it all the time. He would hold the tortillas while I spooned the filling in and then he'd roll them up and put them in the pan. So, I always think about that, too, when I make these.

You Will Need:
3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 can cream of chicken soup
Milk (enough to fill soup can 1 time)
1 small can green chilis
A whole heap of grated cheddar cheese.

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix chicken, soup, milk, chilis and half the cheese. Spoon mixture into tortillas, roll them up and stick them in a 9x13 pan. Pour remaining mixture over the enchiladas and cover with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Makes up to 10 enchiladas.

*This can also be adjusted so that you can make more or less. When I make it for us I only make about 5 and put them in a 9x9 pan. Be sure to spray the pan so they don't stick!


Not A Recipe...

I tried something out, it worked, and I thought I would pass it along. Last time (okay, the only time) I made the sweet yeast rolls, a thought struck me. Could I underbake them by a few minutes, freeze them and then finish them in the oven when I want to serve them, a la those bagged frozen heat & serve dinner rolls? The answer, my friends, is yes. Yes, I can. And so can you. I think I took them out of the oven about three minutes early (would've been a good idea to write it down, huh?), and after they cooled I froze them in a ziploc bag. When I wanted to serve them, I baked them at 350 degrees (F) for 7 or 8 minutes. They tasted exactly like the freshly-made ones. So, you can bet I'm never paying $3 for a bag of ten frozen rolls again. Or at least not until I need them and haven't made a new batch and don't have time to make them at that moment. But, you know, other than that- and a few other forseeable scenarios- NEVER AGAIN.


Brown and Wild Rice Italian Chicken Salad

After just having a baby, I have not been in the mood to cook and make things in the kitchen... So I came across this website and found this recipe, ( It's super easy to make, if you have things on hand and no cooking needed! It's fabulous and it's also my husband's latest favorite dish (we'll see how long that lasts). I'm also posting a picture, doesn't it make it even more tempting?

Brown and Wild Rice Italian Chicken Salad

2 Cups uncooked brown rice

8 oz cooked wild rice (I get it precooked at Trader Joes)

1 ½ Cups cooked shredded chicken breast

3.5 oz package of crumbled feta cheese

10 oz package of grape tomatoes, quartered

10 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

½ Cup-3/4 Cup Italian Dressing (I used Ken's Italian)

Pinch of salt and pepper

Fresh Baby Spinach leaves

1. Cook brown rice according to package directions (use rice cooker, if available, much quicker). Let cool or refrigerate. Once cool, place all ingredients except spinach, into a large bowl. Lightly toss to coat. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste and serve over a bed of fresh baby spinach leaves. Drizzle top with additional dressing if desired. Serve cold.


Tangy Pork

Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

2 small onions, thickly sliced and separated into rings

3—4 tablespoons olive oil

2 lbs. boneless pork loin, cut in to 1-inch cubes

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons vinegar

¼ cup brown sugar

Hot cooked rice

  1. Sauté onions in 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. When tender and lightly browned, push to outside edges, stirring occasionally.
  2. Into middle of skillet add 1 tablespoon of oil and pork cubes (this may need to be done in batches). Sprinkle with salt and sauté until browned on all sides and loses pink color inside (about 3-4 minutes).
  3. Watch onions so that they don’t burn, but they should become quite dark. Stir in brown sugar and vinegar, heat to boiling over high heat, stirring until brown sugar dissolves and mixture thickens. Onions will look almost burnt, but will be tender, caramelized and delicious. Serve over rice.

Allison Tiek’s Party Rice

I love this. Ryan doesn't care. It is incredibly easy (maybe that's partly why I love it so much!)

Allison Tiek’s Party Rice

Serves: 4

Time: 30 minutes

1 10 ounce package of Saffron Yellow Rice

1 can black beans

8 ounces fresh salsa

2 chicken breasts

1 bag of tortilla chips

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. While rice is steaming, cook chicken. Shred chicken; add black beans, salsa and chicken.
  2. Eat with chips.

Sorry that all of these recipes are showing up funny. I'm currently typing up all of my recipes and organizing them in to a book of my own and when I copy and paste them they come out chaotic. I don't know how to correct it.

The Best Enchiladas Ever

These are amazing. Because they are so time consuming, this is a birthday dinner item. It is also the husband's favorite. That and fettuccine alfredo which is ultimately, the easiest dinner you can make. Also the most unhealthy (you know, more cream).

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Serves: 4

Sauce and Filling:

1 ½ tablespoons vegetable or corn oil

1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)

3 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

12 ounces chicken, cut into thin strips

2 cans tomato sauce (8 ounces each)

½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 can (4 ounces) pickled jalapenos, drained and chopped

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

Tortillas and Toppings:

10 six-inch corn tortillas

Vegetable or corn oil cooking spray

3 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (3/4 cup)

¾ cup sour cream

1 avocado, diced

5 romaine lettuce leaves, shredded

  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and simmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with spices, about 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and ¾ cup water; stir to separate chicken pieces. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked and flavors have melded, about 8 minutes. Pour mixture through medium-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on chicken and onions to extract as much sauce as possible; set sauce aside. Transfer chicken mixture to large plate; freeze for 10 minutes to cool, then combine with cilantro, jalapenos, and cheese in medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 300 degrees.
  3. TO ASSEMBLE: Smear entire bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish with ¾ cup chili sauce.
  4. Place tortillas on two baking sheets. Spray both sides lightly with cooking spray. Bake until tortillas are soft and pliable, about 4 minutes.
  5. Place warm tortillas on countertop. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place 1/3 cup filling down center of each tortilla.
  6. Roll each tortilla tightly by hand and place in baking dish, side-by-side, seam-side down.
  7. Pour remaining chili sauce over top of enchiladas. Use back of spoon to spread sauce so it coats top of each tortilla.
  8. Sprinkle ¾ cup of grated cheese down the center of the enchiladas.
  9. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake enchiladas on lower-middle rack until heated through and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and serve immediately, passing sour cream, avocado, lettuce and lime wedges separately.


Un-Fried Chicken

My husband's favorite dinner changes weekly, but when I asked him, this was his current favorite. Most of you probably have this recipe, but in case you don't, here it is. It is from In The Kitchen With Rosie: Oprah's Favorite Recipes by Rosie Daley.

Light vegetable oil cooking spray
6 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
3 whole chicken breasts, halved and skin removed
3 1/2 cups ice water
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1 cup dried Italian bread crumbs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Coat a baking sheet with 3 sprays of the vegetable oil.
Put the chicken in a large bowl with the ice water. Put the yogurt in a medium bowl. Set both bowls aside.
Toss all the breading ingredients into a large, tightly-sealing plastic bags. Seal and shake well to mix.
Remove two pieces of chicken from the ice water. Roll each piece in the yogurt. Put the chicken in the plastic bag, reseal and shake to coat thoroughly. Transfer the breaded chicken to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process until all 12 pieces are breaded. Spray the chicken lightly with the vegetable oil.
place the baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for one hour, turning the pieces every 20 minutes to allow even browning.
Serve hot or at room temperature.

Wendy Says: I love serving this with baked or roasted sweet potatoes. Serious yum.


Chicken Pot Pie

This comes from Betty Crocker's Cookbook.

1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas and carrots
1/3 cup butter or stick margarine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 1/2 to 3 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey
Pastry for 9 inch two-crust pie

1. Rinse frozen peas and carrots in cold water to separate; drain.

2. Melt butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in flour, onion, salt and pepper.  cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat.  Stir in broth and milk.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Stir in chicken and peas and carrots; remove from heat.

3. Heat oven to 425.

4. Make pastry.  Roll two-thirds of the pastry into 13 inch square.  Ease into ungreased square pan, 9x9x2 inches.  Pour chicken mixture into pastry-lined pan.

5. Roll remaining pastry into 11 inch square.  Cut out designs with 1 inch cookie cutter.  Place square over chicken mixture.  Arrange cutouts on pastry.  Turn edges of pastry under and flute.

6. Bake about 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Since I am pastry impaired I used ready made pie crusts I found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store (by the biscuits and roll out cookies).  I didn't take the time to roll it out to the correct dimensions, so it didn't fit very well and wasn't very pretty, but tasted delicious anyway.  I also used dried onion instead of fresh.  If you use dried onion be sure to reconstitute it according to the package.  


Mama Jarman's Taco Salad

Here is my husband's favorite meal. Whenever I tell him we're having it he goes "Yesssssss!" We don't have it all that often because I only kind of like it, but I guess the infrequency of it makes it even more of a treat for him. It's really simple.

Salad greens; we usually just get a bagged salad
Veggies; tomato, cucumber, carrots, etc. (whatever you like)
Grated cheddar cheese
About a half pound of cooked ground beef.
Dorritos cheddar chips

Combine all the ingredients in a big salad bowl, breaking up the chips on top. Serve with Ranch dressing.

There's a debate in the Jarman family as to whether or not you combine everything in one bowl or if you let people build their own salad, but I have it on authority from Mama Jarman herself that it should all be combined in one bowl.


Um, yeah...

So, I really planned to be a better moderator of this here blog, you know introducing new people and having fun things for you all to do, but I have been neglectful.  I apologize.  Thankfully there's no better time than the present to change my ways!

Thank you to everyone who has posted recipes!  It has made dinner time at my home much more interesting!  Hopefully you are all trying new things out, too!  

So here's your first fun-ish thing:  We had my husband's favorite meal tonight for dinner and I thought it would be fun if you all shared your husbands' favorites.  Um, except for you, Kelly... unless you secretly got married over the weekend...  You can share YOUR favorite.  :)  I think everyone else is married, right?  Okay.  So, hop to it.

And, finally, we commandeered Kelly's crock pot cookbook a couple weeks ago and have been wearing our slow cooker out trying a ton of recipes.  I've posted two of the recipes we have really liked so far.  They were really easy.  Hope you like BBQ!

Happy cooking!

BBQ Pulled Pork

This is also from Incredibly Easy Recipes from Rival Crockpot.

1 pork shoulder roast (about 2.5lbs)
1 bottle (14 oz) barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 medium onion, chopped

1. Place roast in slow cooker.  Cover; cook on low 10-12 hours or on high 5-6 hours.
2. Remove roast from slow cooker; discard cooking liquid.  Shred pork using 2 forks.  Return port to slow cooker.  Add barbecue sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar and onion.  COver; cook on low 2 hours or on high 1 hour.  Serve shredded pork on hamburger buns or hard rolls.

*On a tip from my sister, we only used about half of a medium/smallish onion.  It was really good.  I had it on a bun and my husband ate it like taco with lettuce, cheese, sour cream and tomatoes.  It was good both ways.  It makes a lot and we ended up sticking most of it in the freezer.  Hopefully it freezes well!

Cheesy BBQ Chicken

This recipe comes from Incredibly Easy Recipes from Rival Crockpot.

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs)
1 bottle (26 oz) barbecue sauce
6 slices bacon
6 slices Swiss cheese

1. Place chicken in slow cooker. Cover with barbecue sauce.  Cover; cook on low 8 to 9 hours.
2. Before serving, cut bacon slices in half.  Cook bacon in microwave or on stove top, keeping bacon flat.  Place 2 pieces cooked bacon on each chicken breast in slow cooker.  Top with cheese.  Cover; cook on high until cheese melts.

*When we made this we shredded the chicken, omitted the bacon, and served it on bread with the Swiss cheese on top.  It was really good and really good for left-overs.  


Egg Drop Soup

5 cups chicken stock/broth
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 2-inch piece ginger root, peeled
1 garlic clove
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 green onion, thinly sliced
sesame oil

In a large pot, combine stock and soy sauce. Grate in ginger and garlic, stir. Bring to a boil. Let boil 4 or 5 minutes, then reduce to a simmer. Stirring soup in a circular motion, slowly pour eggs into soup in a continuous stream. Let simmer undisturbed until egg is cooked (approx. 1 minute). Pour into serving bowls, top with green onion and a small drizzle of sesame oil.

Goes Well With: Chinese food, obviously.
Tips: If you can't foresee using the rest of your ginger root anytime soon, put it in a ziploc bag and pop it in the freezer. It'll keep forever(ish).


Black Bottom Cupcakes

Black Bottom Cupcakes
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 c. sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 c. mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 c. veggie/canola oil
1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with liners of lightly spray with nonstick spray.
In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, egg 1/3 c. sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of salt until light and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside. In a large bowl mix together the flour, 1 c. sugar, cocoa, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Slowly add, water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Fill muffin tins 1/3 full with the batter and top with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture. Bake in oven for 20-25 min.


Strawberry and Mandarin Orange Salad

This salad is so fabulous, I can hardly wait for strawberries to get back in season for this salad. I think the dressing is what really makes the salad!




can mandarin Oranges (drained)

*bacon crumbles

*shredded montery jack cheese

*candied pecans



1/2 c. veggie/canola oil

1/3 c. sugar

1/4 c. red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic finely minced

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of paprika

dash of white pepper

Just combine all ingredients in the salad, and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Combine dressing ingredients and mix well. Add to salad before serving or serve it on the side. Enjoy!

Dixie Christensen's Cold Water Pie Crust

My mother was a champion pie crust maker. I observed her making many pies while growing up, but only started making pie crusts from scratch a few months ago. Here's my mother's recipe, with some clarifications from me, since her original recipe has just the very basics:

1 1/2 C flour
1/3 tsp salt
1/2 C shortening

Sift flour and salt together in bowl. Add shortening to flour mixture using a pastry cutter until mixture becomes somewhat granular. Add cold water a little at a time (probably not more than a few tablespoons), and work into dough. This is best done with your hands. The dough should be a little stiff. Roll out on well floured surface to size needed. Rub flour over the rolling pin as well. Bake as directed in the recipe you are using.

Makes enough for a 9" two crust pie.

Comments from Connie: Roll dough very thin for a 9" crust. You would probably want a thicker crust for a quiche.To pick up crust from the floured surface, peel it back slowly over the rolling pin that has been placed across the crust. Use rolling pin to lift crust to pie plate. Don't overwork the dough, as pie crust becomes tough the more it is handled. With my limited experience, I've found that the process is "trial and error".


quiche lorraine

the reason why this makes such a good dinner is because of the bacon. bacon is easy to cook, easy to thaw (easy to freeze, but really, what isn't?) and a pie crust is easy to buy or easy to make. ryan and ava love quiche!

1 partially baked pie crust
8 ounces (8 slices) bacon, cut in to 1/2 inch pieces
2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
pinch nutmeg
4 ounces gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 cup)

to cook the bacon:
preheat oven to 400 degrees. line baking pan (with sides) with bacon. cook for 6 minutes. rotate pan and put back in for another 6 minutes.

whisk all ingredients save the cheese and the bacon in a bowl. spread bacon and cheese evenly over the bottom of the shell and pour quiche mix in until it reaches about 1/2 inch below crust rim. cover the edges of the crust with foil, or they'll burn. bake until lightly golden brown, a knife blade inserted about one inch comes out clean, 32 to 35 minutes. transfer quiche to rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

i'm not quite sure how this will work out with a store bought pie crust, since i've never used one of those before.
happy eating!


Peanut Butter Cookies

I love these because they're not overly sweet.

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in egg, then stir in vanilla. Gradually blend in sifted ingredients. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet, criss-cross with fork tines.

Bake 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool slightly and remove from pan.

Wendy says: What's better than peanut butter cookies? Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Upgrade! Try making them with chunky peanut butter, too. Yum.
Technical notes: I use unsalted butter and up the salt to 1/2 teaspoon. I also use coarse salt. For those of you living in high altitudes, um, good luck. I never quite figured out baking in high altitudes.


ravioli with sun-dried tomato cream sauce

serves 6

2 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 14-ounce can chicken broth
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (the dried kind)
1 pint (or more) of cream
3 or 4 fresh basil leaves, slivered
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
25 ounces frozen ravioli (preferably Rosetto brand)

Prepare pasta. Meanwhile, blanche garlic in butter (about 1 minute). Add broth and tomatoes, bring to boil. Simmer uncovered over medium heat until tomatoes are tender (10 to 15 minutes). Remove tomatoes from pan, dice and return. Add cream and bring to boil, stirring. Simmer over medium heat until sauce is thick enough to lightly coat spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes (At this point, sauce may be covered and refrigerated for a day. Add a little cream when reheating, if necessary). Add basil, salt an pepper. Drain pasta well. To serve, spoon a little sauce on to heated plates. Top with pasta and spoon more sauce on top. Serve with remaining sauce separately.

Note: 2 teaspoons dried basil may be used in place of fresh. If using dried basil, add 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley.

Note: This may also be used as a sauce over sauteed chicken breasts.

Prep time: 30 minutes


Chocolate Cake In The Slow Cooker

When my family went to Scotland almost ten years ago we stayed on an island called Jura.  We stayed in the only hotel on the island and I think we were the only guests.  We stayed for a week and every night we had a chocolate cake for dessert that was SO heavenly.  I have often dreamed of it, wishing I could go back there.  Well, a couple weeks ago we made this recipe and much to my delight it tasted JUST like the Scotland cake.  It's delicious served hot with vanilla ice cream.  

1 package (about 18 ozs) chocolate cake mix
1 cup (8oz) sour cream
1 cup chocolate chips (we used semi-sweet)
1 cup water
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 package (4 serving size) instant chocolate pudding and pie mix filling

1. Lightly grease inside of slow cooker
2. Combine cake mix, sour cream, chocolate chips, water, eggs, oil and pudding and pie filling mix in slow cooker; mix well.
3. Cover; cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH 3 to 4 hours.  Serve hot or warm with ice cream.

*My crock pot has four settings, 4 and 6 hours (high) and 8 and 10 hours (low).  I set mine to six hours and it was done in three.  It started to smell like it was burning so I turned it off, but it tasted fine.  So, just keep an eye on it.


Potato Corn Chowder

Combine in large saucepan or medium size pot:
1/4 C butter
2 1/4 C water
2/3 C chopped celery (optional)
3 chopped green onions (optional)
4 C diced potatoes (about 4 to 5 medium potatoes) Leave the skins on if you want.

Bring to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes. Don't let the potatoes get mushy. While potatoes are simmering, make a white sauce.

6 T butter, melted in the pot that you are using to make the white sauce
Gradually stir in 6 T flour
2 1/2 C milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Simmer until slightly thickened.

Add white sauce directly to cooked potatoes. Don't drain potatoes.

Add: 2 C grated cheddar cheese and 2 cans, drained, corn.
Heat through. May also add bacon pieces as garnish. A thick soup that serves well in a bread bowl. Serves about 6 people

Cook's note: Use real butter in this recipe, not margerine. Margerine will not thicken up the white sauce. Use whole or at least 2% milk.

Marinated Flank Steak

This has been a family favorite for a long time. It's an easy company dish that's good any time. The recipe is from a friend who is a believer in "easy is better"

Tenderize 1 to 1 1/2 lb flank steak by generously sprinkling with meat tenderizer on both sides, forking it into meat. I also use a meat tenderizing mallet to flatten out the steak so that it cooks more evenly.


5 T soy sauce
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 C water
1/2 C brown sugar
1 T lemon juice.

Reserve some of the marinade for use when serving.

Put steak and marinade in a covered container - large zip locks works well. Refrigerate at least 6 hours, turning steak (or baggie) over a couple of times. Can be marinated overnight.

On preheated hot grill, BBQ or grill pan (indoors), cook steak approximately 10 minutes per side for rare. Add additional time, if you prefer medium. Don't overcook. Let stand for a few minutes before slicing. Slice thinly on the diagonal with the grain. Arrange on platter and pour reserved marinade over the top. Serves about 4 to 6 people.

Cook's note: Recently, I changed up the marinade by substituting part of the soy sauce with a bottled marinade like "Yoshida's" teriyaki marinade. Don't use too much of the bottled stuff because the extra sugar will crust up on the meat while cooking and sometimes cause burning of the meat. In a pinch recently, I used the juice of an orange when I didn't have a lemon on hand. We actually like it better.

Filled Cookies

I got this recipe from a friend who is a great cook.

1/2 C shortening
1 C sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
jam or pie filling

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs. Blend well. Add dry ingredients. Blend. Add vanilla. Blend well. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to about 1/16" thick. Cut to desired shape, two for each cookie. For decorative effect, cut top cookie in center, i.e. heart, start, etc. Place bottom cookie on greased, or non-stick, cookie sheet. Spread teasponful of filling on cookie. Put on top cookie. Press edges together with fork tines. Bake 8 to 10 minutes.

Optional: After baking, glaze with thin glaze of confectioners sugar and water brushed on with a pastry brush. I think the glaze gives the cookies a finished look.

These are good for special occasion cookies since they are a little labor intensive. I generally cook them for around 8 minutes since I like a softer cookie.


Variation of Sarah Salad

1 head of romain lettuce (or whatever your favorite is)
swiss cheese (grated)
4-5 green onions
6 slices of Turkey Bacon
1/2 cup of frozen peas
Salt and Pepper to taste
miracle whip

Fry up the turkey bacon, cool and set aside. Thaw the peas in the some warm water. Wash and cut up the lettuce put in a big bowl. Cut up the onion and the turkey bacon, add to the lettuce. Now add peas and grate however much swiss cheese you want right into the bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Now add equal parts of miracle and whip and mayo, not a lot, just enough to coat all the ingredients.

Very light and tasty. I usually eat just that for lunch or dinner.

Peanut Butter Chicken

2 Tbsp. Sesame seed oil
1/2 c. teriyaki sauce
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar (or dark brown, whatever you have)
2 cups of water
1 1/2 Tbsp. corn starch
Chicken Tenderloins

Cut up chicken into bite size pieces. Heat up sesame oil in frying pan and put the chicken in. Cook them thoroughly and then add the teriyaki sauce and brown sugar. Stir and then add peanut butter. In a separate cup, add the water and cornstarch, mix well and add to the pan with the chicken. Cook until sauce is thick and serve over rice.

Sounds different, but it is so yummy!

Chicken Over Pasta

1/2 Cube of butter
1/2 (8oz) onion and chive cream cheese
1 can golden mushroom soup
1/2 c. canned chicken broth
1 pkg. dry Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
Parmesan cheese (optional)
6 frozen Chicken

Melt butter and cream cheese. Stir in the soup, broth and dressing and heat until warm. Place the chicken in a crock pot and pur heated mixture over top and cook 4 to 6 hours. Serve over angel hair pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

This is sooo delicious and easy to make! Serve with bread and a green salad is good with it too. You can use unfrozen chicken as well. I usually use the fresh chicken tenderloins. Great for leftovers. Enjoy!


Mustard-Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

This could be one of the best chicken dishes on the planet. It is DELICIOUS. It came from Real Simple Magazine, which you will learn is one of my favorite places to get recipes.

1 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces (I buy a cut-up chicken to save myself some work)
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
salt and pepper
4 small carrots, cut in half crosswise
1 medium fennel bulb, cut into wedges
1 red onion, cut into wedges
8 sprigs thyme (I use 1-2 teaspoons of dried thyme)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees (F).

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Combine the mustard, soy sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat.

Combine the carrots, fennel, onion, thyme, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a roasting pan.

Nestle the chicken among the vegetables.

Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 45 to 50 minutes.

Divide the chicken and vegetables among individual plates.

Wendy says: Spring for the whole-grain mustard. It's worth it.
Goes well with: brown rice, risotto, quinoa, couscous
This meal is freezable.

Sweet Yeast Rolls

These are not my mom's famous rolls. No point in posting that- no one can make 'em as well as she can. These are quite good, though. I'm going to try subbing in some whole wheat flour next time and see how they turn out.

1/3 c. honey
6 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. instant potato flakes
1 c. room temperature water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter

Mix all of the above ingredients in a large bowl.

1 pkg. active dry yeast
3/4 c. warm water

In a small bowl, mix yeast and warm water until yeast is dissolved. Add yeast mixture to the batter you mixed in the large bowl.

3 1/2 to 4 c. flour

Slowly add flour to the mixture. Mix well. Knead dough so that it forms into a smooth ball. Grease large bowl and place ball of dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and wait for the dough to double in size. This may take up to 4 hours. Punch the dough down and knead it a few times.

Now you can form your rolls into whatever style you prefer. The girl who gave me the recipe forms hers into clover rolls by putting three small balls into each cup of a muffin tin. Cook at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Rolls should have a hint of a golden color to them. Makes 24 rolls.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

These are so easy and so yummy.  Aidan often asks for them for breakfast.

Make up a batch of your preferred pankcake batter.
Peel and grate an apple and add to batter.  (If I'm just making enough for me and Aidan I use only half an apple.)
Add some cinnamon.  I don't really measure it.   A couple shakes of the cinnamon.  

Mix well.



There is a recipe for Apple Cider Syrup that goes with this, but I left it at my mom's house, but you can put maple syrup on it, too.  Just as good.


Pumpkin Muffins

These muffins are the BEST EVER. They are moist and delicious and easy. Really.

Pumpkin Muffins
source: Barbara Brown

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients in food processor or with mixer at medium speed. Pour into prepared muffin cups and bake about 25 minutes.



We use this frosting for just about anything.  It's a must for the Crazy Cake or slathered between to graham crackers.

Mix together:
1 stick of butter
1 cup of powdered sugar
1/4-1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Once mixed together, add milk and powdered sugar alternately until you reach the right consistency.  

Crazy Cake

This is a chocolate cake that my mom has been making since I was a wee one.  It is a family favorite.  It's called Crazy Cake because you don't use any eggs!  Crazy!  There are two sizes: large (9x13 pan) and small (loaf pan).

Large Recipe
In an ungreased 9x13 pan mix the following ingredients well: 3 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 6 tablespoons cocoa, and 2 tsp baking soda.  To that add: 8 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 cups cold water, and 2 tablespoons vinegar.  Mix together well.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

Small Recipe
In an ungreased loaf pan mix the following ingredients well: 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, and 3 tablespoons cocoa.  To that add: 5 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Mix together well.  

Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

For frosting see this recipe.

Pork Fried Rice


1 cup bean sprouts
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms (3 oz)
3 cups cold cooked rice
1 cup cut-up cooked pork
2 medium green onions sliced (2 tablespoons)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons soy sauce (*We found 3 tablespoons to be WAY too much.  My sister made it with 1 1/2 tablespoons and said it was perfect.)
Dash of white pepper

1. Rinse bean sprouts with cold water; drain.  2.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat; rotate skillet until oil covers bottom.  Cook mushrooms in oil about 1 minute, stirring frequently, until coated.  3.  Add bean sprouts, rice, pork and onions.  Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring and breaking up rice until hot.  4. Move rice mixture to side of skillet.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to other side of skillet.  Cook eggs in oil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until eggs are thickened throughout but still moist.  Stir eggs into rice mixture.  Stir in soy sauce and white pepper.

*The recipe says to use cold rice, even day old rice, because it prevents it from getting mushy.  We didn't have day old rice, so we made some in the microwave and then stuck it in the fridge until it had cooled down a little.  That worked just fine.


Sweet & Sour Sauce

My son loves "Chinese chicken" so I was looking through my cookbooks to see if I could find an orange chicken recipe, which I couldn't find, but I did find this recipe for sweet and sour sauce in my Betty Crocker cookbook.  It was delicious and my son loved it, so win-win!

1/2 Cups packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, drained and juice reserved
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

1.  Mix brown sugar and cornstarch in 1-quart saucepan.  2.  Add enough water to reserved pineapple juice to measure 1/2 cup; stir into sugar mixture.  Stir in vinegar and soy sauce.  3.  Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Stir in pineapple and bell pepper.  4.  Use sauce immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 1 year.  Serve over pork, poultry of seafood.

*We had it over chicken we just cooked in a pan.  It was really delicious.  Mm mm!