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Jan’s Recipes

Each month on this page we’ll be adding a favorite recipe or
two provided by Jan…so keep checking back.

Click here to view some of Jan's past recipes!

For all the chicken recipes listed below, Jan recommends using Springer Mountain Farms chicken! Springer Mountain Farms is a family-owned poultry producer based in Baldwin, Georgia, that was built on strong family values and promises the healthiest, most flavorful, and top quality chickens on the market. Visit their website at https://www.springermountainfarms.com to find where you can purchase Springer Mountain Farms chicken!


April 2020

SMOKED MOZZARELLA CHICKEN WITH PASTA

  • 8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 thin slices smoked deli ham
  • 4 slices smoked mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto
  • grated Parmesan cheese, optional
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, pound chicken breasts with a meat mallet to ½-inch thickness; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Dip chicken in bread crumbs to coat both sides; shake off excess.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook four minutes. Turn; cook two minutes longer. Top with ham and mozzarella cheese; sprinkle with sage. Cook until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 165 degrees, 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
  4. Add pesto to pasta and toss to coat. Serve chicken with pasta. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

AMISH SUGAR COOKIES

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugars. Beat in eggs until well blended. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; gradually add to creamed mixture.
  2. Drop by small teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

March 2020

PINA COLADA ZUCCHINI BREAD

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon each coconut, rum and vanilla extracts
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or chopped pecans
  1. Line the bottoms of three greased and floured 8x4-inch loaf pans with waxed paper and grease the paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and extracts. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the zucchini, pineapple and walnuts.
  3. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Gently remove waxed paper.

TORTELLINI CARBONARA

  • 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 8 bacon strips, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Pour off drippings.
  3. In same pan, combine cream, cheese, parsley and bacon; heat through over medium heat. Stir in tortellini. Serve immediately.

February 2020

THE BEST CHEESY SCALLOPED POTATOES

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 blocks (4 ounces each) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1 block (4 ounces) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • Minced chives, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, mustard, salt and pepper; cook until onion is tender, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic; cook until fragrant. Whisk in flour; continue whisking 3-5 minutes.
  2. Whisk in milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until thickened slightly, 8-10 minutes. Gradually stir in 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese; stir in Monterey Jack cheese. Add potatoes and toss to coat. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Transfer potato mixture to a greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour. Top with bread crumbs; return to oven until potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. If desired, sprinkle with chives.

LEMON PUDDING DESSERT

  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 3 cups cold whole milk
  • 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant lemon pudding mix
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut butter into flour until crumbly. Press into an ungreased 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake until light brown, 18-22 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in one cup whipped topping. Spread over cooled crust.
  3. Beat milk and pudding mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Carefully spread over cream cheese layer. Top with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

January 2020

BACON CHEESEBURGER SLIDER BAKE

  • 2 packages (17 ounces each ) Hawaiian sweet rolls
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can (14½ ounces) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, drained
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 24 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

Glaze:

  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Without separating rolls, cut each package of rolls horizontally in half; arrange bottom halves in 2 greased 13x9-inch baking pans. Sprinkle each pan of rolls with 1 cup cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until beef is no longer pink and onion is tender, breaking up beef into crumbles, 6-8 minutes; drain. Stir in tomatoes, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until combined, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Spoon beef mixture evenly over rolls; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Top with bacon. Replace tops. For glaze, in a microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Microwave, covered, on high until butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Pour over rolls; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown and heated through, 20-25 minutes.

RAWHIDE'S WHISKEY CAKE

  • 1 package spice cake mix with pudding (regular size)
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3/4 cup 2 percent milk
  • 3/4 cup whiskey
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/3 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, divided

Glaze:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon water
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
  2. Combine the first six ingredients; beat on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed two minutes; fold in one cup nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan; sprinkle with remaining nuts. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 60-65 minutes. Cool in pan.
  3. For glaze, mix all ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; simmer ten minutes. Cool three minutes. Pour one-third of glaze over top of cake, allowing some to flow over sides. Let stand one hour. Remove from pan to cool completely; cover.
  4. The next day, reheat glaze; brush half over cake, cooling before covering. Repeat the following day, using remaining glaze.

December 2019

ITALIAN STUFFED SHELLS

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups 4 percent cottage cheese
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 24 jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained
  1. In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat, crumbling beef, until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in water, tomato paste, bouillon and oregano. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine egg, cottage cheese, one cup mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Stuff shells with cheese mixture.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange shells in a greased 13x9-inch or 3-quart baking dish. Pour meat sauce over shells. Cover; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes longer.

GRILLED HULI HULI CHICKEN

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup sherry or chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh gingerroot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 24 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 5 pounds)
  1. In a small bowl, mix the first six ingredients. Reserve 1-1/3 cups for basting; cover and refrigerate. Divide remaining marinade between two large shallow dishes. Add 12 chicken thighs to each; turn to coat. Refrigerate, covered, for eight hours or overnight.
  2. Drain chicken, discarding marinade.
  3. Grill chicken, covered, on an oiled rack over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 170 degrees; baste occasionally with reserved marinade during the last five minutes.

November 2019

SHRIMP AND NECTARINE SALAD

  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon

Salad:

  • 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups torn mixed salad greens
  • 2 medium nectarines, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  1. In a small bowl, whisk orange juice, vinegar, mustard and honey until blended. Stir in tarragon.
    In a large skillet, heat one teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add corn; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from pan.
  2. Sprinkle shrimp with lemon pepper and salt. In the same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Stir in corn.
  3. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Drizzle with 1/3 cup dressing and toss to coat.
  4. Divide mixture among four plates. Top with shrimp mixture; drizzle with remaining dressing. Serve immediately.

CRISPY ONION CHICKEN

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (6 ounces) cheddar or original French-fried onions, crushed, divided
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
  1. In a shallow bowl, combine butter, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, place 1/2 cup crushed onions. Dip chicken in butter mixture, then coat with onions.
  2. Place in a greased 9-inch square baking pan. Top with remaining onions; drizzle with any remaining butter mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a thermometer reads 170 degrees.

October 2019

SPICE COOKIES WITH PUMPKIN DIP

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • additional sugar

Pumpkin Dip:

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin pie mix
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  1. Cream butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and molasses. Combine next six ingredients; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Chill overnight.
  2. Shape into 1/2-inch balls; roll in additional sugar. Place two inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees until edges begin to brown, about six minutes. Cool two minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  3. For dip, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in pumpkin pie mix. Add confectioners' sugar, cinnamon and ginger; mix well. Serve with cookies. Refrigerate leftover dip.

FAVORITE CHICKEN POTPIE

  • 2 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 1 3/4 cups sliced carrots
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 4 sheets refrigerated pie crust
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place potatoes and carrots in a large saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, covered, 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Stir in flour and seasonings until blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir two minutes or until thickened. Stir in chicken, peas, corn and potato mixture; remove from heat.
  3. Unroll a pie crust into each of two 9-inch pie plates; trim even with rims. Add chicken mixture.
  4. Unroll remaining crusts; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in tops.
    Bake 35-40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

September 2019

TERIYAKI CHICKEN THIGHS

  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons cold water
  • hot cooked rice, optional
  1. Place chicken in a four-quart or five-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, mix sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and pepper; pour over chicken. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender.
  2. Remove chicken to a serving platter; keep warm. Transfer cooking juices to a small saucepan; skim fat. Bring cooking juices to a boil. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir into cooking juices. Return to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with chicken and, if desired, rice.

PUMPKIN COOKIES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add pumpkin; mix well. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in walnuts.
  2. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the frosting ingredients until light and fluffy. Frost cookies. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

August 2019

CHICKEN PARMESAN

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • ½ bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
  • pinch of sugar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1½ pounds) – and Springer Mountain Farms chicken is highly recommended!
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, water drained
  • freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente
  1. Coat a sauté pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil gets hazy, add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves; cook and stir for 5 minutes until fragrant and soft. Add the olives and some hand-torn basil. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like tomatoes), cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes; season with sugar, salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little assembly line. Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet, until they are about ½ inch thick. Put the flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, combine the eggs and water, beat until frothy. Put the bread crumbs on a plate, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large oven-proof skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for four minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.
  5. Ladle the tomato-olive sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil. Bake the Chicken Parmesan for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with spaghetti.

SMOKIN' POTATO SALAD

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for the grill
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (5 to 6 potatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 cup diced celery (from 2 to 3 stalks)
  • ½ small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chopped capers
  • juice of ½ lemon
  1. Preheat a grill to medium. Oil the grill grates well.
  2. Slice the potatoes lengthwise about ¾ inch thick. Place the potatoes in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons canola oil, the paprika and 2 teaspoons each salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  3. Place the potatoes on the grill, cover and cook 5 minutes, then rotate them 90 degrees F and cook 5 to 10 more minutes. Flip the potatoes and repeat on the other side. They should be slightly puffed and golden brown. Remove and allow to cool completely. Dice into ¾-to-1-inch pieces.
  4. In a large glass bowl, combine the diced potatoes, celery, red onion and cilantro. In a medium glass bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, the capers and lemon juice. Adjust the salt as needed.
  5. Fold the mayonnaise mixture into the potato mixture until coated. Cover and refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes. Stir and adjust the seasoning as needed.

TRISHA YEARWOOD'S NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE-PRETZEL-PEANUT BUTTER SQUARES

  • 1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 2 cups pretzel rods, crushed into crumbs
  • 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup plus ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1½ cups milk chocolate chips
  1. In a medium bowl, add the melted butter, pretzel crumbs, confectioners' sugar, and one cup of the peanut butter and stir together until well combined. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish.
  2. Combine the chocolate chips and the remaining ¼ cup peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate and peanut butter are melted and smooth; two intervals should be enough.
  3. Mix to blend, then spread over the peanut butter-pretzel layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

July 2019

GRILLED SHRIMP SCAMPI IN A FOIL PACKET

  • 2 pounds thawed frozen peeled and deveined large shrimp, tails removed
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • pasta, rice or grilled bread, for serving
  1. Prepare a grill for high heat.
  2. Layer two 18-inch-long pieces of foil on top of each other. Put the shrimp, butter, wine, garlic and lemon zest and juice in the center of the foil. Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes, ¾ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Bring the long sides of the foil together in the middle and fold them over each other to seal. Fold each of the short sides up, making sure the packet is completely sealed.
  3. Place on the grill and cook until the shrimp are fully cooked and the sauce is bubbling, about 9 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve over pasta, rice or grilled bread.

OLD-FASHIONED MACARONI SALAD

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pound large elbow macaroni
  • 4 ounces ham steak, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks chopped celery, including leaves
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar chopped pimentos, drained
  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickled relish
  • kosher salt and pepper
  1. To make the hard-boiled eggs: Add the eggs to a medium-sized saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring up to a boil over medium heat. Cover with a lid and turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for 14 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water. Peel the eggs and chop. Reserve.
  2. While the eggs are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and add the macaroni. Cook until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. In a large serving bowl, combine the eggs, ham steak, celery, shallots and lemon juice. Add the macaroni and stir to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, pickled relish, and salt and pepper, to taste. Add the dressing to the macaroni and toss to coat. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Cover and chill for 2 hours for the flavors to meld.

TRISHA YEARWOOD'S BANANA PUDDING

  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon plus a pinch salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 30 to 40 vanilla wafers
  • 3 to 4 medium ripe bananas
  1. Separate the yolks from the whites of 3 of the eggs; set aside the whites. Add the remaining whole egg to the yolks.
  2. In a saucepan, whisk together ½ cup sugar, the flour and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir in the whole egg and 3 yolks, and then stir in the milk. Cook uncovered, stirring often, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. Spread a thin layer of the pudding in a 1½-quart casserole dish. Arrange a layer of vanilla wafers on top of the pudding. Thinly slice the bananas crosswise, about 1/8 inch thick, and arrange a layer of banana slices over the wafers. Spread one-third of the remaining pudding over the bananas and continue layering wafers, bananas and pudding, ending with pudding.
  5. To make the meringue, beat the reserved egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are stiff. Gradually beat in the remaining ¼ cup sugar and continue beating until the whites will not slide out of the mixing bowl when it is tilted.
  6. Spread the meringue over the pudding with a spatula, making a few decorative peaks on top, and bake until the meringue is lightly browned, 5 minutes.

June 2019

CHICKEN CACCIATORE

  • 4 chicken thighs along with 2 chicken breasts with skin and backbone, halved crosswise – and Springer
  • Mountains Farms chicken is highly recommended!
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • ¾ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  1. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with one teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.
  2. In a large heavy sauté pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and sauté just until brown, about five minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, sauté it in two batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and sauté over medium heat until the onion is tender, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about three minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.
  3. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about three minutes. Spoon off any excess fat from atop the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the basil and serve.

PASTA SALAD WITH ASPARAGUS, CORN, AND SUN-DRIED TOMATOES

  • kosher salt
  • ½ pound fusilli pasta
  • 1 cup chopped blanched asparagus
  • 1 cup blanched corn kernels
  • ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated garlic
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs; drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add the asparagus, corn and sun-dried tomatoes to the bowl with the pasta.
  3. Make the dressing: Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, garlic, parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Pour over the pasta salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for up to 3 hours.

TRISHA YEARWOOD's CHARLESTON CHEESE DIP

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • one 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 8 butter crackers, crushed, such as Ritz
  • corn chips, crackers or bagel chips, for serving
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, green onions and cayenne pepper. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking dish, such as a 9-inch pie pan. Top the mixture with the cracker crumbs and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and top with the bacon. Serve immediately with corn chips, crackers or bagel chips.

May 2019

TRIPLE-CITRUS-GLAZED GRILLED SALMON

Triple Citrus Glaze:

  • ¾ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • pinch kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Grilled Salmon:

  • extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 4 (6-ounce, 1-inch thick) salmon fillets
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  1. Glaze: Bring all of the ingredients to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, stirring to melt the preserves and to keep the mixture from burning.
  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the glaze reduce until syrupy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust the seasonings with salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
  3. Salmon: Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the fillets with olive oil just before grilling, then season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Grill the salmon for about 4 minutes per side, brushing with the glaze during the final few minutes of cooking. Transfer the salmon to serving plates and brush them with the remaining glaze before serving.

SUMMER CORN SALAD

  • 5 ears corn, boiled or grilled
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh cilantro, to taste
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Remove kernels with paring knife and place in large bowl.
  2. Add tomato, onion, and green pepper. Toss to combine.
  3. Add lime juice and olive oil. Snip in cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

TRISHA YEARWOOD'S SWEET AND SALTINES

  • cooking spray
  • 35 to 40 saltine crackers
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 and 1/3 cups)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line 1 large or 2 small jelly-roll pans with aluminum foil, spray with nonstick spray and arrange the saltines salt-side down in a single layer. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and boil until it turns a caramel color, a few minutes. Remove from the heat and pour over the crackers, covering them evenly.
  3. Put the jelly-roll pan into the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until just bubbly, watching carefully. Remove from the oven and pour the chocolate chips over the crackers. When the chips melt a bit, spread them over the crackers with a knife.
  4. Transfer the pan to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until completely cold. They will form one big sheet. Break up into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

April 2019

BLT PIZZA

  • 1 prebaked 12-inch pizza crust
  • ½ cup Miracle Whip
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 12 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1½ cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  1. Place the crust on an ungreased 12-inch pizza pan. In a small bowl, combine the Miracle Whip, basil, garlic powder, and onion powder. Spread over crust. Set aside ¼ cup bacon. Sprinkle cheeses and remaining bacon over crust.
  2. Bake at 425 degrees for 8-12 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, and reserved bacon. Cut into wedges.

BANANA BRUNCH PUNCH

  • 6 medium ripe bananas
  • 1 can (12 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • ¾ cup thawed lemonade concentrate
  • 3 cups warm water, divided
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 can (46 ounces) pineapple juice, chilled
  • 3 bottles (2 liters each) lemon-lime soda, chilled
  • Orange slices, optional
  1. In a blender, cover and process the bananas, orange juice, and lemonade until smooth. Remove half of the mixture and set aside. Add 1½ cups warm water and 1 cup sugar to blender; blend until smooth.
  2. Place in a large freezer container. Repeat with remaining banana mixture, water, and sugar. Add to container. Cover and freeze until solid.
  3. One hour before serving, remove punch base from freezer. Just before serving, place in a large punch bowl. Add pineapple juice and soda. Stir until well blended. Garnish with orange slices if desired.

CRUMB-TOPPED SALMON

  • 1½ cups soft bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine first eight ingredients. Toss with melted butter.
  2. Place salmon in a 15x10x1-inch pan coated with cooking spray, skin side down. Top with crumb mixture, patting gently. Bake until golden brown and fish just begins to flake easily with a fork, 12-15 minutes.

March 2019

GARLIC-ROATSED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH MUSTARD SAUCE

  • 1½ pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • dash of salt
  1. Place Brussels sprouts in an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Combine oil and garlic. Drizzle over sprouts and toss to coat.
  2. Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees until tender, 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, combine the cream, mustard, pepper and salt. Bring to a gentle boil; cook until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. Spoon over Brussels sprouts.

CARMEL PECAN ROLLS

  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 7 to 7½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 packages (¼ ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs

Topping:

  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ to 1 cup chopped pecans

Filling:

  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. In a saucepan, combine the first six ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool to 120°-130°. In a bowl, combine 2 cups flour and yeast. Add cooled cornmeal mixture; beat on low until smooth. Add eggs and 1 cup of flour; mix for 1 minute. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn the dough onto a floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Combine the first three topping ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Pour into two greased 13x9-inch baking pans. Sprinkle with pecans; set aside.
  4. Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll each into a 12x15-inch rectangle. Spread with butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over butter. Roll up dough from one long side; pinch seams and turn ends under. Cut each roll into 12 slices. Place 12 slices, cut side down, in each baking pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool 1 minute; invert onto a serving platter.

CARIBBEAN-SPICED PORK TENDERLON WITH PEACH SALSA

  • 3/4 cup chopped peeled fresh peaches
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Caribbean jerk seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 pork tenderloin (1 pound)
  1. In a small bowl, combine the first nine ingredients and set aside. In another small bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, jerk seasoning, thyme, rosemary and seasoned salt. Rub over pork.
  2. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 9-11 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145 degrees. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with salsa.

February 2019

ARTICHOKE AND LEMON PASTA

  • 2½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • ½ pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 4 cups uncooked bow tie pasta (about 12 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed quartered artichoke hearts, well drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Fill a 6-quart stockpot three-fourths full with water; add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and cook, uncovered, 1-2 minutes or just until crisp-tender. Remove asparagus and immediately drop into ice water. Drain and pat dry.
  2. In the same pot of water, cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Return pasta to pot.
  3. Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add artichoke hearts; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add to pasta.
  4. Add asparagus, goat cheese, parsley, lemon peel, lemon juice and the remaining salt and oil. Toss to combine, adding enough reserved pasta water to coat. Heat through. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

THREE-BEAN BAKED BEANS

  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 5 bacon strips, diced
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) pork and beans, undrained
  • 1 can (16 ounces) butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, cook and crumble beef with bacon and onion over medium heat until beef is no longer pink. Drain.
  2. Stir in sugars, ketchup, barbecue sauce, molasses, mustard, chili powder, and salt until blended. Stir in beans. Transfer to a greased 2½-quart baking dish. Bake, covered, until beans reach desired thickness, about 1 hour.
  3. Freeze option: Freeze cooled bean mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary.

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast
  • ½ cup Buffalo wing sauce
  • ½ cup ranch or blue cheese salad dressing
  • 2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
  • French bread baguette slices, celery ribs or tortilla chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread cream cheese into an ungreased shallow 1-quart baking dish. Layer with chicken, wing sauce, and salad dressing. Sprinkle with cheese.
  2. Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with baguette slices.

January 2019

APPLE DUMPLING BAKE

  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples
  • 2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup Mountain Dew soda
  • vanilla ice cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel, core and cut each apple into eight wedges. Unroll both tubes of crescent dough; separate each into eight triangles. Wrap a triangle around each wedge. Place in a greased 13x9-inch baking dish.
  2. In a bowl, mix sugar, butter, and cinnamon until blended. Sprinkle over dumplings. Slowly pour soda around the rolls (do not stir).
  3. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown and apples are tender, 35-40 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream.

GUACAMOLE TOSSED SALAD

  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • ½ small red onion, sliced and separated into rings
  • 6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 large ripe avocados, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups torn salad greens
  1. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion and bacon. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Pour over tomato mixture and toss gently. Add avocados.
  3. Place greens in a large salad bowl. Add avocado mixture and toss to coat.

MAKEOVER STREUSEL-TOPPED SWEET POTATOES

  • 6 medium sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup reduced-fat butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Topping:

  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat butter, melted
  1. Scrub and pierce sweet potatoes. Place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 15-18 minutes or until tender, turning once.
  2. When cool enough to handle, cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp, leaving thin shells. In a large bowl, mash the pulp with butter and eggs. Stir in juice and vanilla. Spoon into potato shells.
  3. Divide between two 13-inch x 9-inch baking dishes coated with cooking spray. Combine the topping ingredients and spoon over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees.

December 2018

TEQUILA-LIME FRUIT SALAD

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons tequila or additional lime juice
  • 2 cups cubed fresh pineapple
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups chopped peeled kiwifruit
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
  1. In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Stir in lime juice and tequila.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the fruit. Drizzle with syrup and toss gently to coat.

MUSHROOM STUFFING

  • 4 bacon strips, diced
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package (16 ounces) corn bread stuffing
  • ½ cup chopped celery leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towel. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of drippings.
  2. Sauté celery and onion in drippings until tender. Add mushrooms, sage, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the stuffing, celery leaves, parsley, and bacon. Combine eggs and broth. Stir into stuffing mixture.
  3. Spread in a greased 13x9-inch baking dish (dish will be full). Dot with butter. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and stuffing temperature reaches 165 degrees. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer or until lightly browned.

SAUSAGE, EGG, AND CHEDDAR FARMER'S BREAKFAST

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces bulk pork sausage
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1½ cups frozen cubed hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Whisk eggs, milk, parsley and salt. Set aside. In a 9-inch cast-iron or other heavy skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink. Remove and drain. In same skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add potatoes and onion. Cook and stir until tender, 5-7 minutes. Return sausage to pan.
  2. Add egg mixture; cook and stir until almost set. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook until cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes.

November 2018

HEIRLOOM TOMATO AND ZUCCHINI SALAD

  • 7 large heirloom tomatoes (about 2½ pounds), cut into wedges
  • 3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium sweet yellow peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon each minced fresh basil, parsley and tarragon
  1. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, zucchini and peppers. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, oil, sugar and salt until blended. Stir in herbs.
  2. Just before serving, drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat.

CHICKEN AND CHEESE TORTILLA PIE

  • 1 can (10 ounces) green enchilada sauce
  • 8 corn tortillas (6 inches) 2 cups coarsely shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup sliced ripe olives
  • salsa, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small skillet, warm enchilada sauce over medium heat. Dip four tortillas, one at a time, in sauce to coat both sides. Arrange on bottom of a greased 9-inch pie plate, overlapping to fit.
  2. Layer with 1 cup chicken, 1 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons olives. Repeat tortilla and chicken layers. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and olives.
  3. Bake 10-15 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. If desired, serve with salsa.

GARLIC-CHIVE BAKED FRIES

  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons dried minced chives
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut potatoes into ¼-inch julienne strips. Rinse well and pat dry.
  2. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with the remaining ingredients. Toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer in two 15x10x1-inch baking pans coated with cooking spray.
  3. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once.

October 2018

PUMPKIN APPLE STREUSEL MUFFINS

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apple
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 18 muffin cups or use paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin and oil. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stirring just to moisten. Fold in apples. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping evenly over muffin batter.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

DOUBLE LAYER PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (9-inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.
  3. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.

September 2018

JAMBALYA

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 10 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (16-ounce) can crushed Italian tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon file powder
  • 1¼ cups uncooked white rice
  • 2½ cups chicken broth
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in a large heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the sausage and chicken pieces with Cajun seasoning. Sauté sausage until browned. Remove with slotted spoon, and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil, and sauté chicken pieces until lightly browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, sauté onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic until tender. Stir in crushed tomatoes, and season with red pepper, black pepper, salt, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce and file powder. Stir in chicken and sausage. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.

LOUISIANA SWEET POTATO PANCAKES

  • ¾ pound sweet potatoes
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  1. Place sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan of boiling water, and cook until tender but firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, and immediately immerse in cold water to loosen skins. Drain, remove skins, chop, and mash.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Mix mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, milk and butter in a separate medium bowl. Blend sweet potato mixture into the flour mixture to form a batter.
  3. Preheat a lightly greased griddle over medium-high heat. Drop batter mixture onto the prepared griddle by heaping tablespoonfuls, and cook until golden brown, turning once with a spatula when the surface begins to bubble.

August 2018

FRESH SOUTHERN PEACH COBBLER

  • 8 fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine peaches, ¼ cup white sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, ¼ cup white sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
  4. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.

MOUNTAIN APPLE COBBLER

  • 2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges each
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle caffeinated citrus-flavored soda (such as Mountain Dew)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Unroll the crescent roll dough, and separate the sheets into individual triangles. Roll each apple wedge into a triangle of dough, and place them into the baking dish, seam sides down.
  3. Mix the melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl, and spoon evenly over the dough-wrapped apple slices. Pour the soda over the rolls.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is browned, the apples are cooked through, and the cobbler is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes.

July 2018

EASY SOUTHERN FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds green tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup canola oil for frying, or as needed
  1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
  2. Beat eggs and water in a shallow bowl. Place flour and cornmeal in 2 separate shallow bowls. Season cornmeal with salt and pepper.
  3. Dip each tomato slice into flour, then dip into egg mixture. Press tomato into cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess. Transfer tomato to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tomato slices, arranging tomatoes in a single layer.
  4. Heat about ¼ inch canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat until oil begins to shimmer. Fry tomatoes in batches until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel-lined plates. Repeat with remaining tomatoes.

SOUTHERN BAKED YELLOW SQUASH

  • 3 pounds yellow summer squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup dry bread crumbs
  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
  2. Place the squash in a large saucepan, cover with water, and boil until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain the squash well, place in a large mixing bowl, and mash until slightly chunky. Stir in ½ cup of bread crumbs, onion, eggs, ¼ cup of butter, sugar, salt, and pepper until thoroughly combined, and spread mixture into the prepared baking dish. Drizzle the top of the casserole with ¼ cup melted butter, and sprinkle ¼ cup bread crumbs over the butter.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the casserole is cooked through and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour.

June 2018

SOUTHERN DILL POTATO SALAD

  • 10 unpeeled red potatoes
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, or to taste
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover them with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through but still firm, about 20 minutes. Remove from the water, let cool, and cut the potatoes into chunks. Set the potatoes aside.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the sour cream, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, onion, celery, celery salt, and salt and pepper until well mixed.
  3. Place the potatoes and eggs in a large salad bowl, and sprinkle with dried dill. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and eggs, and mix lightly. Cover and refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes. Serve cold.

SWEET CORN CAKE

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup masa harina
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1½ cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  1. In a medium bowl beat butter until it is creamy. Add the Mexican corn flour and water and beat until well mixed.
  2. Using a food processor, process thawed corn, but leave chunky. Stir into the butter mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, sugar, cream, salt, and baking powder. Add to corn flour mixture and stir to combine. Pour batter into an ungreased 8x8 inch baking pan. Smooth batter and cover with aluminum foil. Place pan into a 9x13 inch baking dish that is filled a third of the way with water.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven F (175 degrees C) oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use an ice cream scoop for easy removal from pan.

May 2018

ROASTED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH FRESH PLUM SAUCE

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs, or more to taste
  • 2 firm plums, pitted and each cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cold butter
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Generously season pork tenderloin with salt and black pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook tenderloin until browned on all sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer tenderloin to a plate.
  3. Sauté onion with a pinch of salt in the same skillet until just softening, 3 to 5 minutes. Add shallots, reduce heat to medium, and cook and stir until shallots and onion are golden brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir thyme into onion mixture; place tenderloin over onion mixture, and set plum quarters, skin-side down, around pork tenderloin. Transfer skillet to preheated oven.
  5. Cook until pork is slightly pink in the center, about 20 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). Transfer pork and plums to a plate.
  6. Place skillet over medium-high heat and pour water and balsamic vinegar into onion mixture. Bring mixture to a boil while scraping the browned bits of food off of the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until liquid is reduced by half, 5 to 10 minutes; remove from heat. Whisk butter into mixture until melted and sauce is shiny. Pour sauce over pork and plums.

CORN AND BLACK BEAN SALAD

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (8.75 ounce) can sweet corn, drained
  1. In a small bowl, mix together balsamic vinegar, oil, salt, sugar, black pepper, cumin, and chili powder.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together black beans and corn. Toss with vinegar and oil dressing, and garnish with cilantro. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

April 2018

GREEK OVEN-ROASTED POTATOES

  • 8 large potatoes, peeled, cut into large wedges (about 6-7 wedges per potato)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (more garlic can also be used)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (to taste)
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • sea salt
  • fresh coarse ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees.
  2. Put all the ingredients into a baking pan large enough to hold them. (You may want to spray the baking pan with Pam.) Season generously with sea salt and black pepper. Make sure your hands are very clean and put them in the pan and give everything a toss to distribute. The garlic will drop into the water/oil solution but its flavor will permeate the potatoes, and this way, it won't burn.
  3. Bake for 40 minutes. When a nice golden-brown crust has formed on the potatoes, give them a stir to bring the white underside up, season lightly with a bit more sea salt and pepper and just a light sprinkling of oregano.
  4. Add ½ cup more water if pan appears to be getting dry, and pop back into oven to brown other side of potatoes. This will take about another 40 minutes. Do not be afraid of overcooking the potatoes, as they will be delicious. Note: You can melt a bouillon cube in the water; if you do, make sure to cut back some on the salt.

CROCK POT PULLED PORK

  • 4 pounds pork roast (shoulder or butt)
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  • 1 (18-ounce) bottle of favorite barbecue sauce (such as Sweet Baby Ray's)
  • barbecue sauce, for serving (optional)
  1. Slice one onion and place in crock pot. Put in the roast and cover with the other onion, sliced. Pour over the ginger ale. Cover and cook on low for about 12 hours. (See note below regarding amount of time needed.)
  2. Remove the meat, strain and save the onions, discard all liquid. With two forks, shred the meat, discarding any remaining fat, bones or skin. Most of the fat will have melted away.
  3. Return the shredded meat and the onions to the crock pot, stir in the barbecue sauce. Continue to cook for another 4 to 6 hours on low.
  4. Serve with hamburger buns or rolls and additional barbecue sauce. Any leftovers freeze very well. Note: Shoulder or butt are recommended because the meat shreds very well. Other cuts do not shred as readily. It is a fattier cut, but the fat melts away in the cooking and is poured away when you discard the liquid. Note: If you have a large crock pot (5 or 6 quarts), you may need to revise the times downward, especially after the barbecue sauce is added. Use your best judgment on timing. You might want to turn your roast over after it's cooked a while, to ensure more even cooking. This may depend on the size and shape of the roast and the size of your slow cooker.

March 2018

CLASSIC BAKED MACARONI & CHEESE

  • 1 (8-ounce) package macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded good quality
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs, buttered
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions; set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan melt butter. Add flour mixed with salt and pepper, using a whisk to stir until well blended. Pour milk and cream in gradually; stirring constantly. Bring to boiling point and boil 2 minutes (stirring constantly). Reduce heat and cook (stirring constantly) 10 minutes. Add shredded cheddar little by little and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts. Turn off flame.
  4. Add macaroni to the saucepan and toss to coat with the cheese sauce. Transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
    Note: You can also freeze this recipe in zip-lock bags for later use. Once you have mixed the macaroni along with the cheese sauce allow to cool to room temperature before adding to your freezer. You can pull it out the night before and allow macaroni and cheese to reach room temperature; then add the macaroni and cheese to a buttered baking dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs and then bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling.

SIMPLY SOUR CREAM CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

  • 1 pound chicken breast, diced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas, softened
  • 1½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese or 1½ cups Mexican blend cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies or 2 fresh chili peppers, minced
  1. In a frying pan, cook chicken and onion together in oil over medium-high heat until chicken is just done. Divide cooked chicken evenly between 8 tortillas; add 1½ tablespoons cheese to each tortilla.
  2. Roll enchiladas and place seam-side down in a 9"x13" baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with no-stick cooking spray.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan; stir in flour to make a roux, stir and cook until bubbly, and gradually whisk in chicken broth then bring to boiling, stirring frequently.
  4. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and green chilies. Pour sauce evenly over enchiladas.
  5. Top with remaining ¾ cup cheese (a baking dish may be double-wrapped and frozen at this point) and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce near edges of baking dish is bubbly.

February 2018

BOURBON CHICKEN

  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned. Remove chicken.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium Heat until well mixed and dissolved. Add chicken and bring to a hard boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Serve over hot rice and enjoy. (This is named Bourbon Chicken because it was supposedly created by a Chinese cook who worked in a restaurant on Bourbon Street.)

SOUTHERN FRIED OKRA

  • 1 pound fresh okra, cut into pieces (don't use the top of the stem but the bottom is wonderful to eat)
  • 2 to 3 cups cornmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups buttermilk (regular or low-fat milk is fine, too)
  • salt and pepper
  • oil
  1. In a big bowl beat egg with a fork, pour milk in and combine. Pour the cornmeal in another big bowl.
  2. Pour enough oil in a big skillet, halfway up, or you can use a deep fryer. Set heat to Medium-high.
  3. Put some okra pieces in milk mixture and then coat in cornmeal batter. Fry in skillet 10-15 minutes, occasionally turning/stirring them around. They are done when crispy and golden brown but not black.
  4. Drain on paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Repeat with rest of okra until all gone.

January 2018

NO BAKE REESES SQUARES

  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar (3 to 3½ cups)
  • 1½ cups peanut butter
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag milk chocolate chips
  1. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and peanut butter and mix well.
  2. Blend in melted butter until well combined.
  3. Press mixture evenly into a 9"x13" pan.
  4. Melt chocolate chips in microwave or in double boiler.
  5. Spread over peanut butter mixture.
  6. Chill until just set and cut into bars. (These are very hard to cut if the chocolate gets rock hard.)

BANANA CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 1½ cups bananas, mashed, ripe
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/8 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • chopped walnuts to garnish

Frosting:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3½ cups icing sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a 9"x13" pan. In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream ¾ cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in banana mixture.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.
  5. For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth. Spread on cooled cake. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over top of the frosting, if desired.

December 2017

CLASSIC CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

  • 1 (3¾ pound) whole chicken
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 2 teaspoons bacon drippings (2 teaspoons butter plus ¼ teaspoon salt may be substituted)
  • 1 cup milk
  • garnishes: chopped fresh parsley
  1. Bring chicken, water to cover, garlic powder, thyme, 1½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour. Remove chicken; reserve broth.
  2. Cool chicken 30 minutes; skin, bone, and shred chicken. Skim fat from broth. Add chicken, bouillon, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper to broth. Return to a simmer.
  3. Combine flour and poultry seasoning in a bowl. Cut in shortening and bacon drippings with a pastry blender until crumbly. Stir in milk. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll to 1/8-inch thickness; cut into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Drop dumplings, a few at a time, into simmering broth, stirring gently. Cover and simmer, stirring often, 25 minutes. Garnish, if desired.

SOUTHERN-STYLE COLLARD GREENS

  • 12 hickory-smoked bacon slices, finely chopped
  • 2 medium-size sweet onions, finely chopped
  • ¾ pound smoked ham, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 (32-ounce) containers chicken broth
  • 3 (1 pound) packages fresh collard greens, washed and trimmed
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon pepper
  1. Cook bacon in a 10-quart stockpot over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until almost crisp.
  2. Add onion, and sauté 8 minutes; add ham and garlic, and sauté 1 minute.
  3. Stir in broth and remaining ingredients.
  4. Cook 2 hours or to desired degree of tenderness.

PECAN PIE

  • 1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups pecan halves (or chopped pecans may be substituted)
  1. Unfold and stack 2 piecrusts; gently roll or press together. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.
  2. Stir together eggs and next 5 ingredients; stir in pecans.
  3. Pour filling into piecrust. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until set. Serve warm or cold.

November 2017

SHRIMP AND GRITS

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup yellow whole-grain cornmeal
  • 2 strips bacon
  • 2 red and/or orange bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon hot cayenne pepper sauce
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  1. Make grits: In a large pan, bring milk, 3 cups water and ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil. Add cornmeal in a steady stream, whisking, until no lumps are visible. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring and scraping pan every 10 minutes, until tender, 35 minutes. Uncover; cook 5 minutes longer, stirring.
  2. While grits cook, fry bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning, until crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Let cool; crumble.
  3. Add bell peppers, white parts of scallions, 1/8 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper to skillet with bacon fat. Sauté until bell peppers are crisp-tender, 7 minutes. Stir in shrimp, pepper sauce and ½ cup water. Sauté until shrimp turn almost opaque, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Remove grits from heat; stir in cheese. Divide among 4 bowls; top with shrimp mixture. Garnish with bacon and scallion greens.

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 medium-size green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices
  • vegetable oil
  1. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl; stir well. Dredge tomato slices in cornmeal mixture.
  2. Fry tomato slices, a few at a time, in ¼-inch hot oil in a large skillet until browned, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Arrange on a serving platter; serve immediately.

CHOCOLATE-PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE CAKE

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package devil's food cake mix without pudding
  • 2½ cups whipping cream, divided
  • 1 (10-ounce) package peanut butter morsels
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • garnish: chopped roasted peanuts
  1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour into 2 lightly greased 8-inch round cake pans. Bake according to package directions. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely.
  2. Combine 2/3 cup whipping cream and peanut butter morsels in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until morsels melt and mixture is smooth; remove saucepan from heat. Stir in vanilla extract, and cool 25 minutes.
  3. Beat 1 1/3 cups whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Stir one-third whipped cream into peanut butter mixture. Fold into remaining whipped cream. Spread between cake layers; cover and chill.
  4. Bring remaining ½ cup whipping cream and 1 tablespoon butter to a boil in a small saucepan. Add chocolate morsels; remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Stir until morsels melt and mixture is smooth.
  5. Pour glaze over cake; garnish, if desired. Serve warm, or chill and serve at room temperature.

Option for Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Parfaits: Cut cooled cake layers into cubes. Layer 8 Parfait glasses evenly with two-thirds peanut butter mixture, cake cubes, and half of chocolate mixture. Top with remaining peanut butter mixture and chocolate mixture; sprinkle each parfait with chopped peanuts, if desired.


October 2017

SPINACH-RAVIOLI LASAGNA

  • 1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach, thoroughly washed
  • 1/3 cup refrigerated pesto sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth may be substituted)
  • 1 (25-ounce) package frozen cheese-filled ravioli (do not thaw)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Italian six-cheese blend
  • garnishes: chopped fresh basil, paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Chop spinach, and toss with pesto in a medium bowl.
  2. Combine Alfredo sauce and vegetable broth. Spoon one-third of Alfredo sauce mixture (about ½ cup) into a lightly greased 2-quart or 11x7-inch baking dish. Top with half of spinach mixture. Arrange half of ravioli in a single layer over spinach mixture. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining Alfredo sauce.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Garnish, if desired.

GREEN PEAS WITH CRISPY BACON

  • 4 bacon slices
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 (16-ounce) bags frozen sweet green peas, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • garnish: orange rind curls
  1. Cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp; remove and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 teaspoon drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.
  2. Sauté shallots in hot drippings over medium-high heat 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in orange rind, orange juice, pepper, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Add peas, and cook 5 minutes; stir in mint and butter.
  3. Transfer peas to a serving dish, and sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Garnish, if desired.

KENTUCKY BANANA PUDDING

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 (12-fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (12-ounce) package vanilla wafers
  • 4 bananas, sliced
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, cornstarch, egg, evaporated milk and regular milk. Mix together well and stir until thick. Remove from heat; add vanilla and mix well.
  2. In a large bowl or casserole dish, arrange a layer of cookies. Pour pudding mixture over cookies and top with a layer of sliced bananas. Refrigerate until chilled.

September 2017

APPLE DUMPLINGS

  • 2 apples (Granny Smith)
  • 2 cans (8 ounces) crescent rolls
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 1 (12 ounce) can Sprite or Mountain Dew
  1. Peel and core apples and cut into 8 slices. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9x13-inch pan lined with cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in a large bowl, then add sugar and stir. Stir in vanilla and pour entire mixture over the wrapped apples.
  3. Pour Sprite or Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan.
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
  5. Serve with vanilla ice cream, and sauces from the pan over the top.

SKINNY PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE BREAD

Batter:

  • 1½ cup pureed pumpkin
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup Stevia Cup For Cup sweetener
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cream filling:

  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. For the batter: With an electric mixer, beat the pumpkin, applesauce, egg, and egg whites on medium speed until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, Stevia, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Slowly mix the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture.
  2. For the cream cheese filling: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, egg whites, and flour until creamy and smooth.
  3. Grease 2 8x4x2-inch loaf pans. Divide half of the batter between the two pans. Pour half of the filling in one pan and the other half in the second pan and smooth with the back of a spoon. Top with the remaining batter.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Don't overbake or your bread will be dry on the edges. Cool and remove from pans. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

PUMPKIN DREAM CAKE WITH CINNAMON MAPLE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (15 ounces) can pumpkin
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk

Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 12 ounces (1½ packages) cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease 3, 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl/stand mixer, cream butter, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla, pumpkin, and vegetable oil. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk.
  4. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Optional: Remove pans from oven and place in freezer for 45 minutes to cool.
  6. For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. Add confectioners' sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth.
  7. Assemble the three layers with a thick layer of frosting in between each layer. Then apply a thin crumb coat on the top and sides. Pop back in the freezer to harden the crumb coat for about 10 minutes.
  8. Apply one final thick and even layer around the outside of the cake. Store in the fridge until ready to ser

August 2017

BROWN BUTTER RUM BANANA BREAD

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups mashed banana (about 5 medium)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup rum
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9X5-inch bread pan by spraying it on the bottom and less than halfway up on the sides with cooking spray or by greasing it with butter.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Mix in the banana and sugar.
  3. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted add the rum to the pan. Continue to cook while stirring constantly. Remove from heat when you see golden bits of butter in the bottom of the pan. Butter/rum will continue to cook slightly once removed, so you don't want it to become too dark while on the stove. You could end up with burnt butter and burnt butter doesn't taste good in anything. The alcohol in the rum will burn off and you will see the butter foam as it cooks. Just continue to gently stir and stay focused on making sure the butter becomes golden to slightly amber in color. This will probably take 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat if you feel it is cooking too fast.
  4. Add butter/rum mixture to banana mixture and thoroughly incorporate. Add banana mixture all at once to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Don't worry, there will probably be some lumps.
  5. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. If desired, cover loaf with some tin foil in the last 15 minutes of baking should it begin to darken too much.
  6. Remove from oven and place pan on wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the bread from pan and allow to cool completely on the rack. The bread slices best once it has been wrapped in plastic wrap and left to sit overnight.

CRISPY ROASTED PARMESAN POTATOES

  • 1½ pounds baby potatoes, halved (about 20-24 potatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Parmesan Mixture:

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan (the sand-like type)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder (or sub with onion powder)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano or thyme
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Dipping Sauce (Optional):

  • ¾ cup sour cream, or substitute with plain yoghurt, or a combination of both
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green onions/scallions, plus more for garnish (or chives)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix Parmesan Mixture in a bowl.
  3. Drizzle oil in 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Tilt pan to spread all over the base.
  4. Use a spoon to scatter the Parmesan Mixture over the base. Spread as evenly as you can. Once sprinkled, do not touch - don't try to spread it.
  5. Place potatoes cut side down, pressing firmly. Optional: drizzle top of potatoes with a touch of oil or spray with oil, then sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake potatoes for 35-40 minutes or until they are soft and the parmesan crust is deep golden (you can check through the glass).
  7. Rest for five minutes. Then use an egg flip to cut between every four or so potatoes (i.e. cutting through the Parmesan crust which bonds between each potato), then scoop up four or so potatoes and flip them upside down so the cheese side is up on a serving platter.
  8. Serve with Dipping Sauce, if desired, and sprinkle over extra green onions if desired.

AUSTRALIAN SAUSAGE ROLLS

  • 1 frozen package puff pastry
  • 1½ pounds pork sausage
  • ¾ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Be sure to follow the directions on the puff pastry package so your dough is thawed and ready to use. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Unfold dough onto a lightly floured surface. You should have 2 big squares. Cut each square in half so that you now have 4 long rectangles.
  2. Combine the sausage, bread crumbs, milk, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper in a large bowl or food processor and mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Divide the sausage mix evenly into 4 sections and make a long tube down each rectangle pastry.
  4. Roll the pastry up over the sausage and pinch the seam together so you have 4 long logs. Cut each log into 4 sections. Then place the sections on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking sheet. Mix together the egg wash and brush each roll with it. Then sprinkle on a little paprika.
  5. Bake at 425 for only 5 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 and bake 30-35 more minutes. (You may want to drain some of the grease from the sausage out of the pan part way through the baking time) They should look puffed and golden and the sausage in the center should be cooked through.
  6. Remove from pan onto some paper towels to cool.
  7. These are traditionally eaten in Australia plain or dipped in ketchup. But other dips that might be good with these would are marinara, Alfredo sauce, country gravy, or cheese sauce.

July 2017

BANANA BREAD CRUMB CAKE

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk

Crumb Filling and Topping:

  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour

Optional Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl mash bananas.
  5. Mix in butter until combined and then stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla until mixed well.
  6. Stir in milk and flour until combined.

Crumb Filling/Topping

  1. Prepare crumb filling/topping by combining all the ingredients together, cutting them together with a fork or pastry cutter until a coarse crumb forms.
  2. Pour ½ of the batter into the prepared pan. Top with ? of the crumb mixture. Cover the filling with the remaining batter and top with remaining crumb mixture.
  3. Bake for 50-55 minutes until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes. If desired mix powdered sugar and milk together and drizzle on top. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

PEANUT BUTTER BON BONS

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  1. Mix graham cracker, powdered sugar, and coconut together. Add butter, vanilla, and peanut butter and stir until completely combined. Roll or press mixture into 1-inch balls.
  2. Refrigerate if desired (to set) or serve them immediately. Dip in your favorite chocolate!

BANANA DREAM CAKE

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/8 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 4 ounces applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 cup mashed over ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
 
Icing:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ (12 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 5¾ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • cinnamon, for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour 3 8-inch round cake pans.
  3. In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with lemon juice, set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, cream ¾ cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla, sour cream, and applesauce. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Stir in banana mixture.
  6. Divide batter (about 2½ cups batter in each pan) into prepared pans. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean
  7. Remove pans from oven and immediately place in freezer for 45 minutes. (This keeps the cake moist by immediately stopping the baking so the cake does not continue to bake when you remove it from the oven.)
  8. For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add confectioners' sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth.
  9. Assemble the 3 layers with a thick layer of frosting in between each layer. Then apply a thin crumb coat on the top and sides. Pop back in the freezer to harden the crumb coat for about 10 minutes. Then apply a thick even layer around the outside of the cake. Sprinkle on a little cinnamon around the outside and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

June 2017

CINAMMON-APPLE PORK CHOPS

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat butter, divided
  • 4 boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 medium tart apples, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add pork chops; cook 4-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145 degrees. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  2. Remove chops; keep warm. Add apples, pecans, brown sugar mixture, and remaining butter to pan; cook and stir until apples are tender. Serve with chops. Yield: 4 servings.

TOMATO-ONION GREEN BEANS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, place green beans in a large saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cook, covered, 5-7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain; add to onion. Stir in tomato paste and salt; heat through. Sprinkle with parsley. Yield: 6 servings.

BALSAMIC-SALMON SPINACH SALAD

  • 1 salmon fillet (6 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat balsamic vinaigrette, divided
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ cup cubed avocado
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower kernels, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  1. Drizzle salmon with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette. Place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Cut salmon into two pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss spinach with remaining vinaigrette. Divide between two plates. Top with the salmon, avocado, walnuts, sunflower kernels, and cranberries. Yield: 2 servings.

May 2017

SAUCY PEACH-BALSAMIC CHICKEN

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup sherry or additional reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup peach preserves
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown chicken on both sides in butter. Remove from the skillet and keep warm.
  2. Add broth and sherry to the skillet, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in the preserves, garlic, and tarragon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar. Return chicken to the skillet; cover and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees. Yield: 4 servings.

OVEN-ROASTED SPICED CARROTS

  • 2 pounds medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash ground cloves
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss carrots with oil. Mix seasonings; sprinkle over carrots and toss to coat.
  2. Arrange carrots in a single layer in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Roast 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Yield: 8 servings.

CREAMY HAM PENNE

  • 2 cups uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 package (6½ ounces) reduced-fat garlic-herb spreadable cheese
  • 1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  1. In a large saucepan, cook penne according to package directions, adding broccoli during the last 5 minutes of cooking; drain. Remove and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, combine milk and spreadable cheese. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Add the ham, pepper, and penne mixture; heat through. Yield: 4 servings.

April 2017

SKILLET BEEF TAMALES

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/3 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 cups salsa
  • ¾ cup frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 corn tortillas (6 inches), halved and cut into ½-inch strips
  • ¾ cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 5 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
  1. Preheat In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook beef and peppers over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain. Stir in salsa, corn, and water; bring to a boil.
  2. Stir in tortilla strips. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 10-15 minutes or until tortillas are softened. Sprinkle with cheese; cook, covered, 2-3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream.
  3. Freeze option: Freeze cooled meat mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary. Serve with sour cream. Yield: 5 servings.

SHRIMP ORZO WITH FETA

  • 1¼ cups uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1¼ pounds uncooked shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. Cook orzo according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Stir in shrimp. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 4-5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.
  2. Drain orzo. Add orzo, cilantro, and pepper to shrimp mixture; heat through. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Yield: 4 servings.

AVOCADO SALSA

  • 1-2/3 cups (about 8¼ ounces) frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 cans (2¼ ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 medium ripe avocados, peeled
  • Tortilla chips
  1. Combine corn, olives, red pepper, and onion. In another bowl, mix the next seven ingredients. Pour over corn mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  2. Just before serving, chop avocados; stir into salsa. Serve with tortilla chips. Yield: about 7 cups.

March 2017

CHEESE POTATO AND SMOKED SAUSAGE CASSEROLE

  • 3 cups Idaho potatoes, peeled, boiled, and cut into cubes when cool, approximately 1 pound
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ pound Velveeta cheese, diced
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 pound skinless smoked sausage
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  1. Cut skinless smoked sausage in half, lengthwise, and then chop into ½ inch "half-moon" cuts. Cook in a frying pan for about 15 minutes, turning frequently to just slightly brown. Meanwhile, put cooked and diced potatoes in 2 quart casserole. Add cooked meat and give it a gentle toss.
  2. Mix all remaining ingredients (except for shredded cheddar cheese and the paprika) in a saucepan over medium heat until warm, melted and smooth. (Use a whisk and stir constantly.)
  3. Pour white/cheese sauce over potatoes and meat. Sprinkle shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top, and then sprinkle paprika evenly over the top.
  4. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 35-45 minutes. (Watch, until golden brown on top.)
    Note: Instead of the smoked sausage you can substitute ½ pound hot dogs, sliced into ½-inch slices OR ½ pound ham diced into ½-inch dices OR 12 ounce can of Spam diced into ½-inch dices.

OVEN-BAKED PARMESAN CHICKEN STRIPS

  • large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 8 to 10 strips
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs (like Progresso)
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  1. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine milk and egg.
  3. In a plastic zipper bag, combine Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, basil, pepper and paprika.
  4. Dip chicken strips first in milk mixture, then toss to coat evenly in the breadcrumb/cheese mixture.
  5. Place on baking sheets and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden.

MAPLE SALMON

  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound salmon
  1. In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.
  2. Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork.

February 2017

EASY OVEN-BAKED COD

  • 1½ cups plain breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves
  • zest of lemon
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 (6-8 ounce) cod fish fillets
  • olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line your pan with aluminum foil and lightly brush with olive oil, or use a bit of cooking spray.
  2. Combine parsley, garlic, lemon zest, and coarse salt on the cutting board. Finely chop, then combine with the breadcrumbs in a shallow plate.
  3. Brush top of each fillet with olive oil. Press fillet into the crumb mixture. Place fillets in baking dish, crust-side up. Bake until firm, about 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Serve with lemon wedges.

RED LOBSTER-STYLE CHEDDAR BAY BISCUITS

  • 2½ cups Bisquick baking mix
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¾ cup cold whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Brush on top:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine Bisquick and cold butter. (Don't combine too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter about the size of peas.)
  3. Add cheddar, milk and ¼ teaspoon garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.
  4. Drop 9 equal portions onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until tops are light brown.
  5. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a bowl. Stir in ½ teaspoon garlic powder and parsley flakes.
  6. Use a pastry brush to spread garlic butter over tops of biscuits.

OVEN-ROASTED GREEK POTATOES

  • 8 large potatoes, peeled, cut into large wedges (about 6-7 wedges per potato)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (more garlic is a good thing, less garlic is a not good for this recipe)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (to taste)
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • sea salt
  • fresh coarse ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees F.
  2. You may want to spray the baking pan with Pam. Put all the ingredients into a baking pan large enough to hold them. Season generously with sea salt and black pepper. Make sure your hands are very clean and put them in the pan and give everything a toss to distribute. The garlic will drop into the water/oil solution, but its flavor will permeate the potatoes and this way it won't burn.
  3. Bake for 40 minutes. When a nice golden-brown crust has formed on the potatoes, give them a stir to bring the white underside up. Season lightly with a bit more sea salt and pepper and just a light sprinkling of oregano.
  4. Add ½ cup more water if the pan appears to be getting dry, and pop back into oven to brown the other side of the potatoes. This will take about another 40 minutes. Do not be afraid of overcooking the potatoes- they will be delicious.
    Note: You can melt a bouillon cube in the water; if you do, make sure to cut back some on the salt.

January 2017

FANTASTIC TACO CASSEROLE

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (1¼ ounce) package taco seasoning
  • 1 (15 ounce) can refried beans
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, divided (or mixed Cheddar, Jack etc.)
  • 1 cup salsa (mild is good but if you would like to kick it up a notch, go for it)
  • green onions, chopped
  • 1 (2-1/3 ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 cups corn chips (coarsely crushed or chopped)
  1. Brown ground beef and drain. Add taco seasoning and cook according to package directions, adding proper amount of water.
  2. Put corn chips on bottom of 8”x8" dish.
  3. Cook refried beans on stove until hot. Add 1 cup cheese and 1 cup salsa. Stir until combined. Pour beans over corn chips in dish. Add beef to top of beans. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Sprinkle green onions and black olives over cheese.
  4. Bake in a 375 degree oven until the cheese is sufficiently melted.
  5. Take out of oven and sprinkle chopped tomatoes on top. Wait 1-2 minutes and then serve.

CLASSIC POTATO SALAD

  • 8 medium potatoes, cooked and diced
  • 1½ cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • celery ribs, sliced
  • cup onion, minced
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs
  • paprika
  1. Boil peeled potatoes in salted water until done. Cool to room temperature. Place diced potatoes in large bowl.
  2. Mix mayonnaise, cider vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in another bowl. Add to potatoes. Add celery and onions and mix well. Stir in eggs. Sprinkle a little paprika on top.

LOADED POTATO AND BUFFALO CHICKEN CASSEROLE

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 8-10 medium potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes (you can leave the skin on if you want)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 6 tablespoons hot sauce

Topping:

  • 2 cups Fiesta Mexican blend cheese or 2 cups Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese blend
  • 1 cup crumbled cooked bacon
  • 1 cup diced green onion
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, hot sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  3. Add the potatoes and stir to coat. Add the potatoes to a greased baking dish. When scooping the potatoes into the baking dish, leave behind any extra olive oil/hot sauce mix.
  4. Add the diced chicken to the “left behind” olive oil/hot sauce mix and stir to coat all the chicken. Allow to marinate as the potatoes bake.
  5. Roast the potatoes for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until cooked through and nice and crispy on the outside. Once the potatoes are fully cooked add the marinated chicken. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
  6. In a large bowl mix all the topping ingredients together. Top the raw chicken with the topping.
  7. Bake 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the topping is melted and bubbly delicious. Serve with extra hot sauce and/or ranch dressing.

December 2016

GRANDMA'S GINGERBREAD PANCAKES

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground dried ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup molasses 1½ cups water
  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon in a bowl; set aside. Beat the egg in a separate mixing bowl with the vanilla and molasses until smooth. Whisk in the water until completely incorporated. Stir the flour mixture into the molasses mixture until just combined -- a few lumps are okay.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle over medium-high heat. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto the griddle, and cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry. Flip, and cook until browned on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter.

AMAZINGLY GOOD EGGNOG

  • 4 cups milk
  • 5 whole cloves
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2½ cups light rum
  • 4 cups light cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Combine milk, cloves, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil. Strain to remove cloves, and let cool for about an hour.
  3. Stir in rum, cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

EASY PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE

  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 12 ounces peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  1. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish, set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine sugar, milk, and butter. Bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the marshmallow creme and peanut butter. Gradually stir in the flour. Spread into the prepared pan, and let cool.

November 2016

PUMPKIN WAFFLES WITH APPLE CIDER SYRUP

Pumpkin Waffles:

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • ¼ cup butter, melted

Apple Cider Syrup:

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat a waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, salt, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin, milk, and egg yolks. Whip the egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form.
  3. Stir the flour mixture and ¼ cup melted butter to the pumpkin mixture, stirring just to combine. Use a whisk or rubber spatula to fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter, stirring gently until incorporated. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Cook waffles according to manufacturer's instructions.
  4. To make the syrup, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a saucepan. Stir in the apple cider and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil; boil until the syrup thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the 2 tablespoons of butter until melted. Serve warm.

WILD MUSHROOM CORNBREAD DRESSING

Cornbread:

  • 1¼ cups yellow cornmeal
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk

To Make the Cornbread:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put an 8-inch cast iron pan in the oven for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter and milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and spray with nonstick spray or brush with butter. Scrape the batter into the hot pan and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and just baked through.
  4. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let sit out overnight if using for dressing.

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1.5 pounds cremini mushrooms
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • Cornbread, broken into small pieces
  • 3 to 5 cups homemade chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth, warmed in a medium saucepan
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

To Make the Dressing:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat the oil in a 9-inch cast iron pan over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and their liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a large plate or baking sheet.
  3. Heat butter and oil in large pan over medium high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Return the mushrooms to the pan and cook for one minute longer.
  4. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a large bowl. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl, then add a bit of hot stock to temper them; set aside. Add the cornbread and 2 cups of the stock to the mushroom mixture and stir to combine. The mixture should be quite wet; if it appears too dry, begin adding the remaining stock, a half cup at a time. Stir in the egg mixture, sage, thyme, and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Scrape the dressing into a large well-seasoned cast iron pan and bake in the oven until firm and the top is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.

FRESH PUMPKIN PIE WITH COOKIE DOUGH CRUST

Pie Dough:

  • 1¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping and rolling out the dough
  • 3 tablespoons organic sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

To Make the Pie Dough:

  1. Mix the flour, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the butter and mix to coat the butter with the flour mixture.
  2. Using your fingertips, quickly rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. (Or, instead of your fingertips, use a pastry blender.)
  3. Stir the yolks and ice water together in a small bowl. Using a fork, add and stir in enough of the yolk mixture until the dough clumps together.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times until it is smooth.
  5. Shape the dough into a thick disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until the dough is chilled but not hard, 1 to 2 hours.

Filling:

  • 1 sweet or cheese pumpkin, or butternut squash (about 2 and ¼ pounds)
  • one 14-ounce can non-GMO condensed milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

To Make the Filling:

  1. Cut the pumpkin into quarters and scrape out the seeds. Using a sturdy vegetable peeler, peel the pumpkin, and cut the flesh into chunks about 1 and ½ inches square.
  2. Place the chunks into a large saucepan and add enough cold water to barely cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer until the pumpkin is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Drain the pumpkin well in a wire sieve. Using a spatula, firmly press the pumpkin to extract excess moisture. Once the pumpkin has cooled, transfer it to a blender and puree until smooth with a thickness similar to canned pumpkin; 2 pounds of pumpkin should yield about 2 cups of puree.
  4. Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degree. Place a large rimmed baking sheet on the rack to heat.
  5. Unwrap the dough. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12 to 13 inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan. If the dough breaks, just patch it together. Fold the dough itself under so the edge of the fold is flush with the edge of the pan. Flute the dough. Refrigerate the dough-lined pan to chill for 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. Whisk the cooled pumpkin, condensed milk, eggs, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, vanilla, and ginger together. Pour the filling into the dough-lined pan and place on the hot baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking until a knife inserted into the center of the filling comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool. Cut into wedges and serve.

October 2016

CLASSIC BEEF CHILI

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle beer
  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onions and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add ground chuck, and cook, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain beef mixture well, and return to Dutch oven.
  2. Add tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, thyme, and oregano, and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to high. Stir in beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, and beer, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

EASY APPLE CRISP WITH HONEY

  • 4½ cups peeled, cored and sliced Granny Smith apples
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a medium casserole dish.
  2. Evenly spread the apple slices in the prepared dish. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice and water. Pour over the apples. Drizzle apples with honey, and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. In a bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, oats, and butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the apples.
  4. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until apples are tender and topping is lightly browned.

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
  2. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
  3. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

September 2016

PEANUT BUTTER CUP BANANA CUPCAKES

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • ½ cup butter, room temperature or margarine
  • ½ cup peanut butter (use creamy if you want to pipe on the cupcakes)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup cocoa powder

Addiitional:

  • 24-26 Reese's Cups
  1. Beat together the peanut butter, bananas, and the sugar until creamy.
  2. Mix in the vegetable oil, eggs, buttermilk, and baking soda.
  3. Gradually mix in the flour until batter is formed.
  4. Line 2 muffin tins (for 24 total cupcakes) and place an unwrapped Reese's Cup in the bottom of cup. Pour ¼ cup of batter over each Reese's Cup.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let cupcakes cool on a wire rack.
  7. Meanwhile, whisk together in a stand mixer the peanut butter and the butter.
  8. Gradually whisk in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Whisk in the cocoa. Add the vanilla and the milk in between the powdered sugar to help keep the consistency smooth (only adding as much milk as needed for desired consistency; don't add it all at once).
  9. Pipe or spread the frosting over top of the cupcakes.

MISSISSIPPI POT ROAST

  • (1) 3-5 pound chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix
  • 1 stick butter (½ cup)
  • 10 sliced pepperoncini peppers
  1. Heat a large skillet on high and add the oil.
  2. Season the roast with salt and pepper.
  3. Once the skillet is nice and hot, add the roast.
  4. Allow the roast to cook on each side about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Transfer the roast to your slow cooker.
  6. Sprinkle packets of dry ranch dressing and onion soup mixes over pot roast.
  7. Top with a stick of butter. (Use a little less if roast is only 3 pounds.)
  8. Place pepperoncini peppers around roast.
  9. Cover and cook on low for eight hours. Shred once done cooking.

CHEWY PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, parchment, or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl, microwave the honey and the peanut butter together in 30-second increments until easy to mix together. Stir in the vanilla if desired.
  3. Mix in the oats.
  4. Spread granola on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely. Crumble into bite sized pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Makes eight servings.

August 2016

ROASTED BEET AND CITRUS SALAD WITH MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

  • 3 small red beets, peeled and sliced into 6 wedges each
  • 3 small golden beets, peeled
  • 4-5 cups mixed greens
  • 1 blood orange, peel removed and sliced into rounds
  • 2 Valencia oranges, peel removed and thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 ruby red grapefruit, peel removed and thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 fennel bulb, shaved
  • 2-3 tablespoons pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • optional: 2-3 tablespoons microgreens
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon or honey mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil plus more for coating the beets
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the beets in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Place the beets on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Let cool.
  3. Layer together the mixed greens, beets, orange and grapefruit slices, and shaved fennel.
  4. Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle over the vegetables.
  5. Sprinkle with pistachios and microgreens, and serve. Makes six servings.

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY POPCORN

  • 8 cups popped popcorn (pop about ¼ cup kernels for this small batch)
  • 1 cup white chocolate, divided
  • 1½ tablespoons Welch's Natural Grape Jelly Spread
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  1. Divide Popcorn into two separate bowls.
  2. Over medium low heat on the stove top, melt ½ cup white chocolate with 1 tablespoon peanut butter. Stir until smooth. Pour over 1 bowl of the popcorn. Use a rubber spatula to mix well and coat thoroughly. Spread out on a silicon mat or parchment paper to let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the remaining ½ cup white chocolate with 1½ tablespoons grape jelly over medium low heat on the stove top. Stir until smooth. Pour over the other bowl of popcorn, and stir with rubber spatula to coat well. Spread out on silicon mat or parchment paper to let cool.
  4. Once both batches of popcorn are cooled enough that the coatings are set, mix them both together in a bowl and serve!

July 2016

PICKLED CUCUMBER SALAD

  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
  1. Add all the ingredients, except the cucumbers, to a small pot and bring to a boil over low heat.
  2. Turn off the heat, add the cucumbers and let sit for 1 hour.
  3. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

PARMESAN HEIRLOOM CHERRY TOMATOES

  • 2 pints heirloom cherry tomatoes, red and yellow
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
  • cracked black pepper
  • sea salt
  • ¼ cup chopped herbs, any combination of basil, parsley, and chives
  • 2 tablespoons oil to drizzle
  1. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise
  2. In a bowl, toss with the panko, Parmesan, herbs, cracked pepper and salt
  3. Spoon in 6 ramekins
  4. Drizzle with Oil
  5. Bake at 375 degrees until a slight brown shows on some of the tomatoes (about 15 minutes).
  6. Serve hot. Makes six serving.

ROSEMARY ROASTED SQUASH AND MUSHROOM SALAD

  • ½ of a butternut squash
  • plate of spinach
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 5 chestnut mushrooms
  • dozen cherry tomatoes
  • handful of pine nuts
  • handful of pumpkin seeds
  • handful of pomegranates
  • 1 lime
  • rosemary
  • olive oil
  • salt
  1. For this one serving recipe, start by cutting the skin off the squash, then chop it into bite sized cubes. Place these in a 400 degree oven with 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary, olive oil and salt. Roast for about twenty minutes, until they're nice and tender.
  2. About 5-8 minutes before the squash is finished, add the mushrooms to the baking tray with a drizzle more olive oil and a sprinkling of rosemary and salt – before you cook them you'll need to peel them and sliced them into pieces though.
  3. Just as the mushrooms and squash finish cooking throw the pumpkin seeds and pine nuts into the pan so that they can roast for a few minutes to get crunchy.
  4. While these cook chop the cherry tomatoes into quarters and the zucchini into thin half-moons. Then fill your plate with the spinach before adding the tomatoes, zucchini and pomegranates, before sprinkling everything from the baking tray on top. Finally drizzle some olive oil on top, squeeze a lime over it, and then toss and enjoy!

June 2016

HAWAIIAN CHICKEN KABOBS

  • 1½ pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 (15¼ ounce) can unsweetened pineapple chunks
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 large green pepper, 1 inch pieces
  • 12 medium mushrooms
  • 18 cherry tomatoes
  • hot cooked rice
  1. Put chicken in large shallow dish.
  2. Drain pineapple, keep ½ cup juice. Set pineapple aside.
  3. Mix juice with the next 7 ingredients in small pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over chicken. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade, reserve marinade.
  5. Alternate chicken, pineapple, green pepper, mushrooms, and tomatoes on skewers.
  6. Grill kabobs over hot coals 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Turn and baste frequently with marinade.
  7. Serve over hot rice. Makes 6 servings.

PICKLED CUCUMBER SALAD

  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced

Add all the ingredients, except the cucumbers, to a small pot and bring to a boil over low heat. Turn off the heat, add the cucumbers and let sit for 1 hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


May 2016

SPINACH & MEAT STUFFED PEPPERS

  • (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 1 (6 ounce) bag Baby Spinach
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese or ¾ cup Romano cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 4 medium bell peppers (any color)
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook tomato sauce, parsley, red pepper flakes, and 1/3 of garlic in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat, simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Cook onion and remaining minced garlic in 1 tablespoon hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes until onions begin to turn golden. Add ground meats, cook, stirring often, 6 to 8 minutes or until all pink is gone. Drain well, set aside.
  3. Wipe skillet clean with a paper towel. Cook spinach in 1 tablespoon hot oil over low heat until wilted. Remove from heat. Stir ½ cup cheese, basil, and reserved tomato and meat mixtures into spinach.
  4. Cut peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Drizzle remaining olive oil evenly inside peppers, season with salt and pepper as desired. Spoon meat mixture evenly into peppers and place in a lightly greased baking dish.
  5. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over peppers. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

PICKLED GREEN BEANS

  • 6 to 7 ounces green beans
  • teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon raw brown (turbinado) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 large garlic clove, quartered
  1. Rinse green beans and break off stem ends. Put them into a pint jar, standing them up and squeezing as many into the jar as you can. There should be ½ inch of head space in the jar, so you may have to trim down some of the beans. Once you've cut them down to fit, take them out of the jar and sterilize the jar in a boiling water bath for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a jar grip, carefully remove the jar from the water and tip out all water.
  2. Place coriander seeds, mustard seeds, peppercorns and bay leaf in jar and fill with beans, standing them up in the jar. Push dill sprigs down into the jar.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegars, water, sugar, salt and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer 2 minutes. Pour into jar with green beans. The beans should be covered but there should still be ¼ to ½ inch head space. Push garlic down into the jar. Seal jar and allow to cool, then refrigerate for up to 2 months. For best results wait 2 days before eating.

April 2016

GRILLED BARBECUE PEACH CHICKEN

  • ½ cup peach preserves
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ cup barbecue sauce
  • 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine peach preserves, vinegar, ground ginger, salt, pepper, and barbecue sauce. Microwave for 1 minute stirring halfway through.
  2. Place chicken in a zip-top bag, or container that has a lid. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Seal bag or container and refrigerate for 6-24 hours. Occasionally turn chicken in bag or container for best taste and coverage.
  3. Lightly grease the grill before heating. Heat grill to medium. Turn chicken every 4 or so minutes until fully cooked.

MANGO CHICKEN SALAD

  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ¾ cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Major Grey's mango chutney
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 roasted chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken (about 2½ pounds), shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1 mango, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut on a rimmed baking sheet; toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes; cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, chutney, mustard, turmeric, and cayenne; season with salt and pepper. Add chicken and mango; toss. Serve on spinach, sprinkled with toasted coconut. Makes 4 servings.

March 2016

SHARE-A-LOAF BANANA BREAD

Homemade banana bread is a heartwarming gift, and this recipe makes two loaves so you can give one away.

  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 ripe bananas (makes about 2 cups mashed)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Puree bananas in blender. Add lemon juice, oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla and blend until smooth.
  3. Add to flour mixture and mix well.
  4. Grease and flour two 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pans.
  5. Pour batter evenly in the two pans.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

EASY PEACH COBBLER

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups fresh peach slices
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
  1. Melt butter in a 13x9-inch baking dish.
  2. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).
  3. Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.
  4. Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.

ORANGE, AVOCADO, AND ALMOND SALAD

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest, grated
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • dash of hot pepper sauce
  • 1 package baby greens salad mix
  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 oranges, or satsumas, peeled and segmented
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  1. In a small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, orange zest, sugar, tarragon, garlic, salt, fresh cracked pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix baby greens, onion, orange segments, and avocado in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss. Sprinkle with almonds just before serving.

February 2016

DEEP FRIED ONION BALLS WITH CAJUN RANCH SAUCE

  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 small packet powdered ranch dressing and seasoning mix
  • 5 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, divided
  • 4½ tablespoons cayenne pepper, divided
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk, add more if needed
  • 2 bags onion boilers, peeled
  • 1 bottle canola oil
  1. Pour oil into deep fryer and preheat to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl add the sour cream, ranch packet, 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning, and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Mix well. Chill.
  3. In a medium bowl, add the flour, egg, and milk. Mix well.
  4. Add 4 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning to the batter.
  5. Add 4 tablespoons of cayenne.
  6. Add salt and black pepper. Mix well.
  7. Take each onion boiler and coat with batter.
  8. Deep fry 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. Drain on paper towel.
  10. Enjoy with Cajun ranch sauce!

APPLE CRANBERRY CRISP

  • 6 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 package fresh cranberries, 12 ounces
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup tapioca, quick cooking
  • 1½ cups oatmeal
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine apples, cranberries, and sugar. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes. Mix in tapioca and let sit for 15-20 minutes until tapioca has absorbed fruit juice. Spread mixture in a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  3. In a bowl, combine oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter until crumbly. Spread mixture over the apple-cranberry filling.
  4. Bake 45-55 minutes until apples are tender when tested. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

SALMON PATTIES

  • 1 (12-ounce) can of pink salmon
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ¼ cup of chopped onions
  • ¼ cup of chopped bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of yellow corn meal
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of Texas Pete Hot Sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 slice of crumbled up white bread
  • ¼ cup of flour, added slowly, as needed to adjust consistency
  1. Open the canned Salmon and place in a colander in the sink to drain. Remove any large bones if not wanted. (They are edible however.) Flake the salmon with a fork.
  2. Place the flaked salmon in a large mixing bowl. Add two whole eggs, chopped onions, chopped bell peppers, corn meal, salt, garlic powder, mayonnaise, Worcestershire Sauce, Texas Pete Hot Sauce, and ground black pepper. Crumble the slice of bread and toss it in the bowl.
  3. Gently mix the ingredients together, don't over work. If the mixture is very moist, add flour as needed to adjust consistency.
  4. Divide and shape the mixture into four patties. Set aside.
  5. Heat a skillet to medium heat and add shortening or oil for frying. Place the patties in the skillet, brown the bottom. Carefully turn the patties over and brown the other side. When brown on both sides, remove from skillet and drain on paper towel. Serve while warm and enjoy!

January 2016

QUICK AND SPICY ROTISSERIE CHICKEN AND BLACK BEAN STEW

The ingredients in this recipe are all basic, simple items that you probably have on hand most of the time (and if not, you can find something to substitute). You can use canned chipotles in adobo sauce for tons of flavor and some warm heat. (Buy it canned, then store it in a freezer bag and just lop off a hunk for recipes as you need it.) If you don't have or like chipotles, you can use tomato paste and chili powder or whatever other warm spicy item you have in your cupboard like sriracha, red pepper flakes, or chipotle powder. The secret to this quick stew (only 20 minutes from start to finish) is that the chicken already has so much flavor that adding just a little spice and a little acid (the lime juice) makes the flavors taste far more complex.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) chipotles in adobo sauce, finely chopped, sauce included (or tomato paste if no spice is desired)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, hot
  • 1½ cups water, hot
  • 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 cups shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ½ large avocado, cubed
  • 1 medium tomato, cubed, seeds removed, or tomato salsa
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • lime wedges, to garnish
  1. In a large, heavy pot over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook until starting to get tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chipotles, then stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the stock, water, beans, corn and chicken and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the lime juice, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into 4 serving bowl, then top with avocado, tomato or salsa, and cilantro, and offer lime wedges on the side. Makes 4 servings.

SOUTH-OF-THE-BORDER CHILI

  • 1 pound ground turkey (or beef)
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with puree
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. In a medium saucepan, cook ground turkey (or beef) over medium heat, stirring often until brown.
  2. Add onion and cook until onion is tender.
  3. Add water. Stir. Mix in kidney beans, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Makes 6 servings.

CREAMY AVOCADO HUMUS

  • 1 large avocado, peeled and seeded
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 large jalapeno, seeded, deveined and roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Blend into smooth. Makes 2½ cups or 40 (2 tablespoon) servings.


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