Saturday, July 31, 2010

Light Chicken Cordon Bleu

8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4oz each), 1/2 t. pepper, 8 slices (1 oz each) lean deli ham, 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese, 2/3 cup fat-free milk or 1%, 1 cup crushed cornflakes, 1 t. paprika, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 1/4 t. salt.

Sauce: 1 can (10 3/4 oz) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted, 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream or low fat, 1 t. lemon juice.

Flatten chicken to 1/4" thickness. Sprinkle with pepper; place a ham slice and 3T. of cheese down the center of each piece. Roll up and tuck in ends; secure with toothpicks. Pour milk into a shallow bow. In another bowl, combine the cornflakes paprika, garlic powder and salt. Dip chicken in milk, then roll in crumbs.

Place in a 13"x9"x2" baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until juices run clear.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk the soup, sour cream and lemon juice until blended; heat through. Discard toothpicks from chicken; service with sauce.

Crescent-Wrapped Drumsticks

8 chicken drumsticks, 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, 1 tube (8oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls, 1 egg, lightly beaten, 2 t.Parmesan cheese, 2 t. Italian seasoning, 2 t. sesame seeds, toasted.

Remove and discard skin from drumsticks. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; stir in the barbecue sauce. Add drumsticks. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees, turning occasionally. Remove chicken from pan; cool slightly.

Separate crescent dough into eight triangles;place in a lightly greased 15"x10"x1" baking pan. Brush dough with some of the beaten egg; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Place meaty portion of each drumstick at the tip of each triangle, with bony portion extended beyond one long side of triangle. Wrap drumstick in dough; place seam side down. Brush with remaining egg; sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake at 375 degrees for 13 - 15 minutes or until golden brown and meat thermometer reads 180 degrees.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hidden Valley Torta

2 packages (8 oz) cream cheese, 1 packet (1 oz) Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing Mix, 1 jar (6 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped, 1/3 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped, 3 T. fresh minced parsley.

Beat cream cheese and salad dressing packet together in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together artichokes, peppers and parsley. In a 3 cup bowl lined with plastic wrap, alternate layers of cream cheese and vegetable mixtures, beginning and ending with a cream cheese layer.

Chill 4 hours or overnight. Invert on plate; remove plastic wrap. Serve with crackers.

Farmer's Casserole

3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 1 cup diced fully cooked ham, 1/4 cup chopped green onions, 4 eggs, 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk or Half and Half, 1/4 t. pepper, 1/8 t. salt.

1. Place potatoes in an 8" square baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese, ham and onions. Beat eggs, milk, pepper and salt; pour over all. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

2. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Yield: 6 servings.

Pinwheels and Checkerboards (cookies)

1 1/4 cups butter, softened, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 3/4 t. vanilla extract, 4 cups flour, 1 t. baking powder, 1 t. salt, 1/3 t. baking soda, Red and Green food coloring, 1 square (1 oz) unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled.

In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture. Divide dough into fourths. Tint one portion red and one portion green. Stir chocolate into another portion. Wrap chocolate and plain portions in plastic wrap; chill for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

For pinwheel cookies, divide red and green portions in half. Roll out each portion between waxed paper into a 9" x 6" rectangle. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove waxed paper. Place one green rectangle over a red rectangle. Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat. Chill for 2 hours or until firm.

For Checkerboard cookies, divide plain and chocolate portions in half. Roll out each portion between waxed paper into 6" x 4" rectangle. Cut each rectangle lengthwise into eight 1/2" strips. Stack the strips in groups of four, alternating plain and chocolate strips and forming eight separate stacks. Form a four-stack block by alternating chocolate-topped and plain-topped stacks. Repeat. Press together gently. Wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Unwrap and cut pinwheel and checkerboard doughs into 1/4" slices. Place 1" apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 9 - 11 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 6 dozen pinwheel and 4 dozen checkerboard cookies.

Almond Eggnog Pound Cake

6 T. butter, divided, 2/3 cup sliced (slivered) almonds, 1 package yellow cake mix, 1 1/2 cups eggnog, 2 eggs, 1 t. rum extract, 1/8 t. nutmeg.

Grease a 10" fluted tube pan with 2 T. butter. Press almonds onto the bottom and up sides of pan; set aside. Melt remaining butter. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cake mix, eggnog, eggs, rum extract, nutmeg and melted butter on low speed for 30 seconds or just until moistened. Beat on medium for 2 minutes or until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
Note: this recipe is prepared with commercially prepared eggnog.

Lovely Cherry Layer Cake

1 package white cake mix

Cannoli Filling: 2 package (8 oz) each cream cheese, softened, 1 carton (15 oz) ricotta cheese, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 t. vanilla extract, 1/2 t. almond extract, 1 jar (16 oz) maraschino cherries, 1 cup miniature chocolate chips.

Frosting: 1 cup shortening, 1 cup butter, softened, 1 package (2 pounds) confectioners' sugar, 3 t. vanilla extract, 4 to 5 T. water, pink and green gel food coloring.

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using two greased and floured 9" round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes; remove cakes from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and ricotta until combined. Add confectioners' sugar and extracts. Drain cherries well, reserving 1 T. cherry juice. Chop cherries. Stir chopped cherries, chocolate chips and reserved cherry juice into ricotta mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until spreadable.

In another mixing bowl, cream shortening and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Add enough water to achieve a spreadable consistency. Tint 3/4 cup frosting pink. Tint 1/2 cup frosting green. Set aside 1 1/2 cups white frosting.

To assemble, split each cake in half horizontally. Place one layer on a serving plate; spread with a third of the filling. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost cake top and sides with remaining white frosting.

To decorate, place round tip #5 and reserved white frosting in a pastry bag; pipe vines on cake. Change to shell tip #21 pipe shell border along bottom and top edges. Use petal tip #103 and pink frosting to pipe the rosebuds. Use leaf tip #67 and green frosting to pipe the leaves. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Note: the use of a coupler will allow you to change tips easily for different designs.

Butternut Cream Pie

1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), 1/4 cup hot water, 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 T. caramel ice cream topping, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. ginger, 1/4 t. cloves, 1 package (5.1 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix, 3/4 cup plus 2 T. milk, 1 pastry shell (9") bakes, Whipped cream and toasted flaked coconut.

Cut squash in half; discard seeds. Place squash cut side down in a microwave safe dish; add hot water. Cover and microwave 13 - 15 minutes or until tender. When cool enough to handle, scoop out pulp and mash. Set aside 1 1/2 cups squash (save remaining squash for another use).

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the squash until blended. Add the sugar, caramel topping, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves; beat until blended. Add pudding mix and milk; beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Spoon into pastry shell. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Garnish with whipped cream and coconut.

Chocoate Cream Cake

1 package Devil's Food cake mix, 1/2 cup butter, softened, 1/2 cup shortening, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 3/4 cup milk, 1 t. vanilla extract.
Glaze: 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup baking cocoa, 3 T. cornstarch, 1 cup water, 3 T. butter, cubed, 1 t. vanilla extract.

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using a greased and floured 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

For filling, in a mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. In a small saucepan, heat milk to 140 degrees; add to the creamed mixture. Beat until sugar is dissolved. Stir in vanilla. Split cake into two horizontal layers; spread filling over bottom cake layer. Top with remaining cake layer.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and water until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 1 - 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla until glaze is smooth. Cool to lukewarm. Spread over top of cake. Let stand until set. Refrigerate leftovers.

Raisin-Walunt Waldorf Salad

1/2 cup raisins, 1 cup boiler water, 4 cups chopped unpeeled red apples, 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced, 2 T. lemon juice, 1 cup (8 oz) vanilla yogurt, 2 T. sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix, 2 T. Splenda (optional), 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a bowl, combine raisins and boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes; drain. Combine raisins, apples, celery and lemon juice; toss. Combine yogurt, pudding mix and sweetener if desired. Pour over apple mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Just before serving, stir in walnuts. Yield: 6 servings

Friday, July 2, 2010

Duo Tater Bake

4 lbs Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes peeled & cubes, 3 lbs sweet potatoes peeled & cubed, 2 carton (8 oz. each) spreadable chive & onion cream cheese, 1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream, 1/4 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, 1/3 cup milk, 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. pepper.

Topping: 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 cup chopped green onions, 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.

Cook Russet potatoes in Dutch oven - over with water and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and cook 15 - 20 minutes. Place sweet potatoes in large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to boil, reduce heat; cover and cook 15 - 20 minutes. Drain, mash with half cream cheese and sour cream and all Colby-Monterey Jack cheese. Drain Russets, mash with remaining cream cheese & sour cream. Add milk, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, mix well.

Spread 2 2/3 cups Russet mixture into each of 2 greased 11 x 17 x 2" baking dishes. Layer with 4 cups sweet potato mixture. Repeat layers. Spread with remaining Russet mixture. Bake uncovered @ 350 degrees 15 minutes or until heated. Combine topping ingredients, sprinkle over casserole. Bake 2 - 3 minutes longer our until cheese is melted. Yields 2 casseroles (10 servings)

Hash Brown Casserole

12 eggs, 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk, 1 t. salt, 1/2 t. pepper, 1/8 t. cayenne pepper, (optional), 1 package (30 oz.) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed, 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, 1 large onion, chopped, 1 medium green pepper, chopped, 1 cup cubed fully cooked ham.

1 In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and cayenne (if desired). Stir in the potatoes, cheese, onion, green pepper and ham.

2. Pour into a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Yield: 12 - 15 servings.

Summer Quiche

6 eggs, 3/4 cup plan yogurt, 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 T. chopped fresh basil, 1/2 T. chopped fresh thyme, 1/4 t. black pepper, 1 small Vidalia onion, diced, 1 small zucchini, diced, 1 small yellow squash, diced, 3 Roma tomatoes , diced, 1 unbaked 9" pie shell.

Preheat oven 375 degrees. In a large bow, combine eggs, yogurt, Parmesan cheese, herbs and pepper. Beat well. Add onion, zucchini yellow squash, and tomatoes, mix well. Pour mixture into pie shell. bake for 35 - 45 minutes or until cooked through (quick should be firm to the touch). Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 - 8 servings.

Creamy Pesto Chicken and Bow Ties

3 cups uncooked bow tie pasta, 2 T. butter, 1 pound boneless chicken, cubed, 1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup, 1/2 cup pesto sauce (if using my pesto recipe then it would be 2 cubes), 1/2 cup milk.

1. Cook past according to package directions. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat butter in skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned, stirring often.

3. Add soup, pesto sauce and milk. Bring to a boil. Cook over low heat 5 minutes or until done. Stir in drained past and heat through. Serve hot and can add any cooked vegetable if desired before serving.

Holiday Coffeecake

2 cups biscuit mix, 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated milk), 3/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 t. cinnamon, divided, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 2 T. firmly packed light brown sugar, 1 T. butter, melted.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, beat biscuit mix, Sweetened Condensed Milk, sour cream, 1/4 cup butter, eggs and 1/2 t. cinnamon until smooth. Pour batter into lightly greased 11 x 7: baking dish.

2. In small mixing bowl, combine pecans, brown sugar, 1 T. butter and remaining 1 t. cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Bake 40 - 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in dish on wire rack 10 minutes.

Zucchini-Orange Bread

1 package (about 17 oz.) cranberry-orange muffin mix, 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (about 6 oz), 1 cup water, 1 t. cinnamon, 1 t. grated orange peel, Cream cheese (optional).

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease 8 x 4 x 3" loaf pan; set aside.

2. Combine muffin mix, zucchini, water, cinnamon and orange peel,in medium bowl; stir until just moistened. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan; bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean.

3. Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove bread from pan to wire rack; cool completely. Serve plain or with cream cheese if desired.

Lots o' Chocolate Bread

2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided, 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened, 2 eggs, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups applesauce, 1 1/2 t. vanilla, 1 t. baking soda, 1 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. salt, 1 T. shortening (do not use butter, margarine or spread or oil).

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 5 (5-1/2" x 3") mini loaf pans. Place 1 cup chocolate chips in small microwave bowl. Microwave on high 1 minute; stir. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is melted and smooth; set aside.

2. Beat brown sugar and butter in large bowl until creamy. Add melted chocolate and eggs; beat until well blended. Add flour,applesauce, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder and salt; beat until well blended. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans.

3. Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until centers crack and are dry to the touch. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely.

4. Place remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips and shortening in small microwaveable bowl. Microwave at high 1 minute; stir. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Drizzle loaves with glaze; let stand until set. Makes 5 mini loaves. Wrap each loaf in plastic wrap to keep fresh and refrigerate. Can freeze for later use.

Cranberry-Pumpkin Spoonbread

3 cups milk, 1 cup cornmeal, 6 T. Butter, 2 T. packed light brown sugar, 1 1/4 t. pumpkin pie spice, 1 t. baking powder, 3/4 t. salt, 1 can (15 oz.) solid packed pumpkin, 4 eggs, separated, 1 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped (you can substitute 1 cup of any dried fruit).

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 11" x 7" baking pan. Bring milk to a simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in cornmeal, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter.

2. Whisk brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt to blend. Stir into cornmeal mixture until well blended; cool. Stir in pumpkin, egg yolks and cranberries until well blended.

3. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold white into cornmeal mixture in three stags, adding about 1/3 each time. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake 35 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve warm. Yield: 8 servings.