Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Turkey Tenderloin with Apricot Sauce

I love getting new cook books, and this last Christmas, my sister-in-law gave me a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble (one of my favorite place to be as long as I have a gift certificate!) and I picked up the really fun cook book “Robin to the Rescue”. You have probably seen her on food network, and I really like the way she cooks- she does a lot of prep early in the week, so the meal doesn’t take long. Anyway, I have had this Turkey Tenderloin in my freezer forever that I haven’t know what to do with, so I was happy to find a recipe to use it in. (I didn’t realize they are so much like chicken- I basically couldn’t tell the difference, so if you don’t have turkey, just use chicken and I’m sure it would turn out great.)

Turkey Tenderloin with Apricot Sauce
(Robin Miller)

Cooking Spray
1 ¼ lb turkey tenderloin
Salt and pepper

Apricot Sauce
2/3 cup apricot preserves (I actually didn’t have any, so I used orange marmalade and it turned out all right)
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons soy sauce

*Robin bakes hers, but you know how much I love the Crockpot, so…. I just seasoned the turkey, threw it in the Crockpot, poured the sauce over the top and cooked it on low for 5-6 hours. (EASY! And the house stayed cool.) Also- I wrapped up a couple potatoes for the side dish and threw them in. Slick as a whistle!

But, This is what she did:

1. Preheat the oven to 400. Line roasting pan with foil and spray.
2. Season turkey with salt and pepper.
3. In small bowl, combine sauce ingredients. Pour over turkey. Roast until thermometer is at least 160 degrees, 35-40 minutes basing frequently with sauce.
4. Let the turkey rest for 10 min before cutting in crosswise into ½ inch thick slices.
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Alfredo Casserole

This is a fast and easy recipe for the pasta lover. My friend said they made this for her wedding luncheon. It’s delish!

Alfredo Casserole
Pasta (Bowties are fun)
Alfredo Sauce (from package or Ragu)
1 can cream of chicken
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup cottage cheese (optional)
Parmesan (in and on the top)
Italian dressing packet
Shredded or cubed cooked chicken breast

*To cook chicken, fry it up with a little Italian dressing and water. Combine all in ingredients in 9x13 dish and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake at 350 until bubbly (about 20-30 minutes).

Festive Franks

I bought this little appetizer cook book at a dollar store that was going out of business… and well, I wonder if any of the recipes would turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised. It is a really fun, cheap appetizer that tasted great.

Festive Franks
1 can (8 oz) crescent roll dough
5 ½ teaspoons barbecue sauce
1/3 cup finely shredded cheese
8 hot dogs
¼ tsp poppy seeds (optional)
*Note: I only had 4 hot dogs, so I actually didn't cut my crescents in half- that is why the are bigger... also sorry for the sloppiness. :)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray large baking sheet and set aside.
2. Unroll and separate dough. Cut each triangle in half lengthwise to make 2 triangles. Lightly spread BBQ sauce over each triangle. Sprinkle with cheese.
3. Cut hot dogs in half and lay on eat the large end of each triangle. Roll up triangle starting with the large end. Place on baking sheet at sprinkle with poppy seeds.
4. Bake 13 minutes or until dough is golden brown. Cool a few minutes on baking sheet. Serve with additional sauce for dipping.

Momma Kaye's Spanish Rice, as promised...

Momma Kaye’s Spanish Rice (For a picture refer to tostadas)

“Any left over rice you have from Sunday dinner.” (This recipe make a lot, so probably at least 3 cups of cooked)

1 lb ground beef

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 an onion diced

1 clove garlic diced

1 jar of salsa

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tsp cayenne

1 can diced tomatoes

“Anything else tomatoey you want to add”- not too much liquid though.

Grated cheese

*Sauté onion and garlic on oil. Brown hamburger. Drain grease and add all the other ingredients but the rice. Heat through and dump in rice. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, and sprinkle with cheese.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Easy Shmeazy Lemon Baked Fish

My friend caught a wonderful fish for me yesterday! She told me this is how they bake their fish, and as she was telling me, I had to go home and bake it that night because my mouth was just watering! It was so tender and tasty!

Easy Shmeazy Lemon Baked Fish:
1 good sized rainbow trout
1/2 cube butter
2 tablespoons lemon pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt

*Gut the fish... sorry to be so bold, but that it what you do. :) Lay it on a nice big peice of tin foil on top of a baking sheet, cut the butter into small cubes and place it around and inside the fish. Pour a little lemon juice on it, and sprinkle it with lemon pepper and salt. Fold the tin foil tightly around the fish and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. (It is really easy to slide the skin off and de-bone it after it has baked.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

AMAZING Shredded Chicken Tostadas

Ok... so this TOPPED anything I have ever been served at a Mexican restraunt! It was amazing! I don't mean to brag so much, but you really do need to give this one a try if you like Mexican food! It was pretty easy, but it was like 5 recipes in one, so it sounds a lot more complicated than it is. Also, I promise I do try to make my recipes a lot more clear than this one turned out to be. Sorry if it gets confusing, but I hope you will still give it a shot! Here is what I did...

AMAZING Shredded Chicken Tostadas:
Fried Corn Tortilla Shells (about 10)
Shredded Chicken
Spanish Rice
A bit of cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and Lime Zest on top
*Layer tortilla, beans and Spanish rice three times, and top with the remaining ingredients.

This is kind of a modge podge, but bare with me... it will be worth it!
First of all, I was looking on a site I really like and "The Pioneer Women" gives a really great step by step instruction on how to deep fry your corn flour tortillas at: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/01/leftover_brisket_make_tostadas/
(It is also a great recipe, but we're going to do things a little differently) so...

1. deep fry your tortillas first.
2. make guagamole (you can do it however you dare well please :) but I have to admit I cheated a little bit and used a guacamole seasoning packet and two alvacadoes. (Shhhh... don't tell!) :)
3. Heat up some beans is a pinch of garlic salt. I used two cans of kidney and one can of pinto beans, but any beans will do- refried or black beans would probably be best, but I was all out. :)
4. Shedded chicken. You can use a can, grill it, or boil it... whatever floats your "tostada" boat, but her is what I do. Chicken is so expensive now days, so I like to stock up when it is on sale. Last week it was .98 per lb. for the bone it chicken breast- I don't like that as much as the boneless, but its cheap and really flavorful in the crockpot. I just put the whole package in the crockpot and let it simmer on low all day in about 1 cup of Italian Dressing (that gives it a good flavor.) After is has cooked, I de-bone, take of the skins, and shred it. Then I can use all that chicken to make tons of other dishes, like chicken salad, chicken noodle soup, even just in sandwiches. So anyway, there is my "cheap chicken" secret! :)
5. Make some salsa.... ok, I know this is starting to sound a little complicated, but again you can do it however you want... even use that store-bought bottle from the fridge. This is what I did:


1/2 red bell pepper diced
1/2 green bell pepper diced
4 red tomatoes diced
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 salsa seasoning packet.... I KNOW! I have really been cheating today, but it gave it such a good flavor. It was my first time trying these packets, and I have to admit, they were worth it! Shame on me! :)
*Stir it up and refridgerate

6. I have to admit this recipe is not quite complete because my mom made some incredible Spanish Rice, but she is just not a recipe gal- she can whip just about anything up from her head, but I'll have to find out what she did because it added so much and it was delicious! So the Spanish Rice recipe is coming soon.... If you can't wait, I think plain rice would suffice, or just do without. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Barbecued Crockpot Pork Chops

I have mentioned before how much I love a good Crockpot meal! This turned out to be really tasty- a big hit with my man! :)

Barbecued Crockpot Pork Chops:

4 pork chops
1 cup ketchup
1 cup hot water
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. paprika

*Place pork chops in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl. Pour over chops. Cover. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low 6-7.

Fresh Green Beans, One Way


My Friend Nicole recommended this site to me and I absolutely love it! I have found some really fun recipes and she lays them out really nice with pictures of each step and everything. I found this one and thought I would give it a try. It will be especially nice for all you lucky people with gardens and fresh beans coming on! Enjoy!

Fresh Green Beans, One Way

1 lb green beans
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons bacon grease (can substitute 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt (can substitute regular table salt; use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)
Ground black pepper

Snap the stem ends of green beans, or cut them off in a big bunch with a knife if you’d like. Just don’t tell Granny. Melt bacon grease in a skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for a minute. Then add green beans and cook for a minute until beans turn bright green. Add the chicken broth, chopped red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Turn heat to low and cover with a lid, leaving lid cracked to allow steam to escape. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until liquid evaporates and beans are fairly soft, yet still a bit crisp. You can add more chicken broth during the cooking process, but don’t be afraid to let it all cook away so the onions and peppers can caramelize.

Have a wooden spoon handy to protect your fair share. :)

(My bean snipping recruits!) I love any help I can get! Especially since I sliced my finger really bad cutting up watermelon. That is why I haven't posted for a while. It has made most of what I do in the kitchen a little tough. :) It is healing up though and I love my helpers! :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Homemade Granola

I found this recipe at http://mykitchencafe.blogspot.com/and I can't even remember who gave me the link, but it has tons of great recipes. I was so happy with how this turned out and you can't beleive how good it is sprinkled over some yogurt... now that is how a person should start their day! :) (I think my taste buds are changing as I get older, because that would not have appealed to me nearly so much in my younger years. :) You have got to try this though if you are any kind of a granola fan! :)

Homemade granola

6.5 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
2.5 cups unsweetened, desiccated coconut (I used basic sweetened coconut because I had it on hand)
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
1 1/4-1 1/2 cups sliced almonds (or whole, chopped, slivered or a combination - I used slivered)
1 1/4 cups pecans (whole or chopped to the size you like)
1/2 cup high-quality honey
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well to distribute oil and honey evenly. Spread a thin layer of mixture on two rimmed baking sheets (half sheet pans) lined with parchment paper (I used my silpat liners). Bake for 15-20 minutes stirring mixture and rotating sheets half way through until mixture is an even golden brown. Be careful to watch granola: it will quickly turn from golden to burnt and will continue to cook as it cools when you take it out of the oven. Mixture will be moist when it comes out of the oven but will crisp and clump as it cools. Keeps for 1-2 weeks.

• Substitute any of the nuts for other nuts such as cashews, walnuts or peanuts (it's nice to leave some of the nuts whole as it varies the texture)
• Add additional dried fruit such as apricots or dates
• Add 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• For extra-nutty granola increase proportion of nuts

BBQ Chicken Pizza

This is a fun and easy variation on pizza! I know there are a ton of ways to do it, but this is my take on it. :) Enjoy...

BBQ Chicken Pizza
1 large pizza crust (home-made or store bought)
1 cup (or more) BBQ sauce (any kind)
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
2 stems green onion
2 diced tomatoes
Mozzarella cheese grated or sliced (enough to cover pizza)

*Let Pizza crust cook for a few minutes before putting on toppings so it isn't too doughy. Spread BBQ sauce, chicken, onions, tomatoes, and cheese evenly throughout pizza. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until top is golden. Slice and serve!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fish n' Chips

I'm not crazy about fish. I think it goes back to my grade school days when mom made fish patties for breakfast and we all went to school smelling like stinky fish. Every single one of us got made fun of and had a rotten day; my little sister even went home "sick". We laugh about it now, but was pretty traumatizing, so by all means, don't make this for breakfast. (Who does that anyway? I LOVE my mom!) But I really do enjoy a good very boneless fish every once in a while. I was excited to come across this "fool-proof" recipe. It was tasty, too! (I don't think the picture does it justice, and I think Doug is beginning to be weirded out by how I keep taking pictures of all our food. :)

Parmesan Fish Baked
(I used tilipia, but cod would be really good.)

At least 4 fillets (4 ounces each)
2/3 cup mayo
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

*Place fillets in an 8 inch square baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the mayo, cheese, onions, and Worcestershire. Spoon and spread over fillets. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

"Chips" or homemade French-fries
I am sure there is a fancier way to do this, but I just cut potatoes into thin wedges, heat just under a cup of oil in a pot, on medium high. When it is warm I carefully drop them in, let them sizzle for about 2-3 minutes. Put them on a paper towel covered plate and sprinkle them with salt and season salt. (This should not me an everyone day of the week meal. :) Pretty greasy, but it would seem that yummy things usually are. :)
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Sunday, July 13, 2008

French-Italian Chicken Salad

My friend, Eloise, served this at a baby shower and it was so good that I had to get the recipe. I have added quite of few things, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. This is a great fresh flavor on a hot day, and you don't have to heat up the house! It also makes a big batch for left-overs. Hope you enjoy.

French-Italian Chicken Salad
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
3/4 cup French Salad Dressing
1 cup Mayo
2 tbsp mustard
1 cup chopped celery
1 tsp dill or Italian Herbs
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

(All this stuff is optional- put in what you like)
1/4 cup chopped onion (I saute' a green onion because Doug likes it best like that)
1/2 cup chopped pickles
two diced tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced olives
1/2 cup sliced grapes
1/2 cup grated cheese

*Stir together all the ingredients and serve over lettuce on French Bread or a tortilla shell. (I bet it would be good in a pita, too.) Regular bread would also be fine.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I absolutely love Crockpot's-- I love how you can just throw everything in and have it always turn out. I love having a warm meal, ready to eat and you only had to take about 5-10 minutes of prep-time that morning. They are the best! And on top of that—I love soup! J This is a recipe I made up last night after looking at a few different versions. It turned out really good! *Add some "heat" if you like that- any kind of pepper would be good in this- it's just something I don't handle very well.

Chicken Torilla Soup (Crockpot or stove top)

1 cup cooked shredded chicken

1 can black beans (undrained)

1 can kidney beans (undrained)

1 can diced or stewed tomatoes

1 cup salsa (homemade is best, but either works)

1 diced green bell pepper

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup grated cheese (I used mozzarella, but any kind would work)

Sour cream, grated cheese, and tortilla chips for serving

*Crockpot: Combine all ingredients in Crockpot and stir together, except sour cream and a bit of grated cheese for the serving. Cook on low 3-4 hours or high for 2.

*Stove top: Combine all ingredients into large pot, simmer on medium heat for about 20-30 minutes, or until heated through.

Also- you can use more beans if you want the soup to go further and refried beans if you want it thicker.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fun Twist on Fajitas

Fajitas are one of my old standby's, but this last time, I added kidney beans, and used shedded meat that I had leftover from a roast. I was really pleased with the results. It was a yummy twist on an already yummy meal. :)
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Yummy Cake

I actually don't make a lot of desserts, but I got this recipe in an e-mail, and it sounded good (you can't go wrong with "1st prize" right?) so I whipped it up and it really was delicious! I had fun making it look pretty, too! I think the frosting was my favorite.

First Prize Cake

1 box white cake mix

4 eggs

½ cup oil

1 can mandarin oranges drained

*mix ingredients thoroughly and bake as directed on box.

Done when tooth pick comes out clean

1 box vanilla pudding

1 large can pineapple


*Place pineapple in bowl pour vanilla pudding over top, let sit, stir should gel, When cake is cool mix pineapple mixture with cool whip and frost cake. Refrigerate until serving.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Lemon Pepper Pork Chops with Cilantro/Cantalope Salsa

This is a recipe I found and kind of modified. I thought it tasted delicious and I would highly recommend it. I was so surprised at how yummy the cantaloupe was in it! A totally unexpected flavor! Try it out!

Lemon Pepper Pork Chops with Cilantro/Cantalope Salsa

In a frying pan:

Saute' thinly slices strips of pork chops in 1 tbs oilive oil and 2 tbs of lemon juice. Sprinkle with 2 tsp lemon pepper and salt and pepper.

In a Bowl, stir together:

3-4 sliced tomatoes

1 ½ cup sliced cantaloupe

½ cup green pepper

2 green onion stalks

2 tbs minced cilantro

1 tsp salt

2 tbs lemon juice

1 can black beans

*Serve over rice.