Saturday, August 8, 2009

pina colada dip

1/2 c. sour cream
3 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. coconut flakes
1/2 c. pineapple, crushed
1 tsp. sugar
your favorite fruit, for dipping

Mix well. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving!

harvest "fall" vegetable soup

the cooler weather has me craving my fall recipes :)

6 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tbsp olive oil
1 cup minced onion
1 cup sliced celery hearts (tender innermost stalks)
1 cup sliced carrot
1 cup seeded and diced green and yellow zucchini
1 sprig fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup red kidney beans, precooked or canned
1 cup sliced leeks, including part of the green
1 cup squash or pumpkin diced into half-inch cubes
2 cups shredded Savoy cabbage
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
Extra virgin olive oil, for garnish
Grated cheese of your choice for garnish
Salt and pepper

In a stockpot over medium heat, sauté the garlic in olive oil. Before the garlic browns, add onion, celery, carrot, zucchini, thyme, bay leaves and vegetable stock. Simmer for a half-hour, or until the vegetables are soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add kidney beans, leeks, squash or pumpkin and cabbage. Simmer for 15 minutes. To serve top with parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and a handful of grated cheese of your choice.

Friday, August 7, 2009

peach cobbler

Heaven Sent!

Cobbler filling:
4 peeled and sliced fresh peaches (boiling them in water for 30 seconds to remove the skins)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. flour

Cobbler crust:
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 tbsp. brown sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp. brown sugar, for topping
Whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Generously butter a 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish. Place the sliced peaches in the dish and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and flour. Mix gently and spread evenly again. Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile combine all dry ingredients for cobbler crust in a bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or your fingers, to make the texture like coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and stir to form a soft dough. Remove fruit from oven and drop rounded spoonfuls of dough on top. Sprinkle with last tablespoon of brown sugar and return to oven. Bake until fruit is bubbly and crust topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.

heriloom tomato salad

I saw this recipe this morning on GTU and it looked so yummy I thought I would share!!

2-3 varieties of heirloom tomatoes
Julienne cut red onion
Fresh basil
Buffalo mozzarella
Kalamata olives
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Seasoning blend consisting of salt, pepper, garlic, sugar, and dried thyme

Place on an attractive plate or in a serving bowl and gently coat tomatoes, onion, mozzarella and olives in oil, vinegar and seasonings.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

antipasta salad with tortellini

My boys love pasta and pepperoni so this is a favorite on hot summer nights!!

2 packages (9 ounces each) of refrigerated cheese tortellini (cooked, drained and rinsed)
1 package Mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can (2.25 oz.) sliced pitted ripe olives, drained
1/2 cup cubed mild or spicy pepperoni
1/2 cup cubed salami
1 cup Italian dressing

Combine all ingredients except Italian dressing in large bowl. Add dressing; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate several hours or until chilled.

pita bread sandwich

This is one of my favorite quick lunches to make!

pita bread, sliced and opened
cucumber, peeled and sliced
tomato, sliced
red onion, sliced
baby spinach leaf
cheddar cheese, sliced
meat- bacon or turkey work great!
sauce- ranch or hummus are yummy!
olives for garnish

Slice pita in half and open center, be careful to not rip bread. Add sauce, toppings, and season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Party pleaser!
3 avocados
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
3-4 hot green chilies, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 lime, juiced
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 sm. onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the tomatoes, cilantro, onion, garlic, lime juice, peppers and salt in a glass or pottery mixing bowl. Immediately before serving, peel and coarsely mash the avocados, stir in tomato mixture. Season with salt and serve.

michelle's zebra cake

This is a really fun and simple cake to take to parties!

4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extrac
t2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with a circle of parchment paper and lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pan. In a large bowl, mix together eggs and sugar until mixture is light and creamy and the sugar has mostly been dissolved. Stir in milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and almond extracts. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Pour into wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Measure out just over two cups of vanilla batter and place it back in the medium bowl. Sift cocoa powder over the bowl and whisk until fully incorporated. Put 3 tbsp of vanilla batter into the center of the pan and let it spread slightly on its own. Put 3 tbsp of chocolate batter in the center of the vanilla. It will push out the other batter and, as it sits for a moment, will also spread itself. Alternating spoonfuls of the two batters, repeat the technique until all the batter has been used up. Bake for 38-42 minutes, until the cake is light gold and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out the cake and remove the parchment paper. Re invert on to a wire rack and let cool before slicing.

Serves 10.

We add frosting on ours to make it more sweet.

jackson's cucumber salad

My boys just love cucumbers. If you can get fresh ones from your local farmers market it makes it even better. I sometimes add cherry tomatoes if I can get them for the FM and Jackson likes to sometimes sprinkle on fresh shredded Parmesan cheese.

1 medium cucumber, sliced with peel
1 small onion, sliced
2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1 cup cold water
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients together and chill before serving.

ramen noodle salad

I got this recipe form my friend Courtney. She made it for book club and I just loved it....Thanks Courtney!!
1/2 head green cabbage, chopped
1/2 carrot, shredded
4 green onions, chopped
1 package ramen noodles (Oriental flavor)
2 Tablespoons slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, or sesame seeds

Dressing (whisk or shake together)

1/2 cup salad oil
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Flavor packet from ramen noodles

Toast the nuts or seeds in a warm oven for 6-8 minutes, watching carefully to prevent over-toasting. Cool. Combine cabbage, carrots and onions.Break up noodles and add to vegetables. Shortly before serving, add nuts or seeds and the mixed dressing; toss well.

waldorf salad

1 cup granny smith apples, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup walnuts

Sprinkle apples with lemon juice after they are cut. Add all other ingredients. Toss to coat all pieces with mayonnaise. Serve in a butter lettuce leaf.


After the Pixar movie came out my boys wanted to know what Ratatouille was so I found this great recipe and tweaked it a bit and it really made a great easy dinner.

1 19 ounce can tomatoes with juice, broken up
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium green or red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup ketchup or chili sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups sliced green and yellow zucchini, with peel, 1/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil

Measure all ingredients into crock pot. Stir and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or high for 4 to 4 1/2 hours. I serve it with some really good crusty bread. Bon Appetit!!

peach fritters

Beat 2 eggs light, then add 1 pint of buttermilk, in which a small teaspoonful of soda has been dissolved, a pinch of salt and enough flour to make a rather thick batter. Have ready peaches, peeled and sliced thin; stir these into the batter, then drop this by spoonfuls into hot oil and fry until a nice golden brown. Serve hot with maple butter or Renee's buttermilk syrup.

swiss, bacon and mushroom meatloaf

12 ounces bacon, diced
4 medium white mushrooms, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup evaporated milk or half and half
6 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup corn flake crumbs

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp but not burned. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and cool. Remove all but a tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet and saute the mushrooms and onions until tender. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, mix the beef, egg, and milk. Add the mushroom/onion mixture, all but a few spoonfuls of the Swiss cheese and all but one tablespoons of the bacon bits. Add the corn flake crumbs and mix well until blended. Shape into a loaf and place in a large loaf pan. Bake at 350 for about an hour, or until cooked through. Drain fat from the pan and sprinkle the reserved cheese and bacon on top. Bake an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

8 hour roast

Easy and delicious!!
1 3 pound roast
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 can of mushroom soup
1/2 to 3/4 cup of water or burgundy cooking wine

Mix onion soup, mushroom soup and water or wine; pour over roast in crock pot. Cook on low for at least 8 hours. Serve over egg noodles or our favorite garlic mashed potatoes.

pot roast

I love recipes that I can make and forget and it's done perfectly at dinner time especially during football season when we are getting home around 8 and everyone is starving. And leftovers make yummy sandwiches the next day :)
3 to 3-1/2 pound beef boneless chuck roast
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
8 small potatoes, cut in half
3 cups baby carrots
1 large onion, coarsely chopped ( 1cup)
1 jar (5oz) prepared mild horseradish
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup water

Trim excess fat from beef. Heat oil in 10 inch skillet over med-high heat. Cook beef in oil about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides.Place potatoes, carrots and onions in 4 to 6 quart slow cooker. Place beef on vegetables. Mix horseradish, salt, and pepper. Spread evenly over beef. Pour water over beef and vegetables. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours or until beef is fork tender.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

stuffed zucchini

yummy yummy yummy!

6 zucchinis
4 Italian sausages or 1 lb. ground beef (we love using Kielbasa in this recipe)
1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp white wine
1/4 tsp ground Italian herb seasoning
Optional: fresh basil or other herbs
1 egg
1/2 C grated mozzarella (we like them smothered)
1/4 C grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper

Slice the zucchinis in half lengthwise. Use a spoon and scoop out the insides leaving the zucchinis about 1/4 in thick. Sprinkle the insides of the zucchinis with some salt to draw out excess moisture. Chop the scooped zucchini insides and set aside.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Brown the sausage or ground beef and break it up into small pieces. Remove into a mixing bowl and set aside. In skillet, add the chopped zucchinis, drained tomatoes, garlic, white wine, dried Italian herb mix, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until all of the moisture has absorbed. Mix in the browned sausage and wait until the filling has cooled.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Drain any moisture that may have come out of the filling before mixing in the cheese and egg. Also drain any moisture that has been drawn out of the zucchinis. Mix the egg and cheeses into the filling and scoop generously into the zucchinis. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the zucchinis have softened.
We serve Ciabatta rolls with it.

lime rice

This is fantastic inside a burrito or as a side dish!

3 cups uncooked rice
4 cups water
4 tsp chicken bouillion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 can green chili's diced
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp zest of lime
2 tbs lime juice
2 tsp sugar
1 tbs butter
1/2 onion, chopped

Saute onion, garlic and butter until the onion is soft. Add water, rice, and remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. After it begins to boil rapidly, reduce the heat to low and cover with the lid and simmer for about 20 minutes.


Fried Scone Recipe

Bread Dough – I like to use Rhodes Rolls. I zap them in the microwave for a quick thaw.
Oil – I use canola oil
toppings – cinnamon, sugar, jam, syrup, etc.

Pour 1 inch of oil into a frying pan set to medium heat. (A tip for knowing when your oil is ready: tear off a tiny piece of bread and when it floats to the top and has bubbly sides it’s ready. You don’t want it sinking to the bottom.) Now stretch out your dough as far as it will go. Now cook about 1-2 minutes per side, watch these, they can burn fast. Then using tongs, place them on plate with paper towels to soak up any excess oil.

renee's buttermilk syrup

Once you have this you won't settle for maple syrup!! It has a flavor similar to light caramel. Try it on waffles, pancakes or over fresh berries...YUMMY!!

1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, and baking soda. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and cook for 7 minutes....syrup starts to "foam" as it cooks so watch for overflow. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla. Syrup will thicken upon standing. Can be stored in plastic container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

butter dips

This is an old family favorite and old family recipe! We make these with tomato soup for dipping or with jam on top for breakfast. Great comfort food recipe! I also make this at our house anytime someone isn't feeling well.

6 T. butter or margarine
3 c. flour
4 tsp. sugar
4 tsp.baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2 and 2/3 c milk

Put butter in 13x9 pan, put in oven and turn oven onto 450 degrees, take out when the butter is melted. Mix dry ingredients, then add milk and mix just until dough forms. Turn dough onto flour covered surface and lightly knead 10 times. Roll into square, cut into strips. Dip each strip into melted butter on both sides. Arrange in pan. Bake 12-15 minutes.

pork tenderloin with rosemary and garlic

This looks like a lot of work, but it's actually quite simple and tastes great!

2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray
Your favorite side vegetable, steamed and seasoned

Preheat oven to 475 F. Combine rosemary and garlic. Make several 1/2 inch slits in pork; place about half of the rosemary mixture in slits. Rub pork with remaining rosemary mixture; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pork on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest portion of the pork. Bake for 20 minutes or until the thermometer registers 160 F. (slightly pink) or desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes, and cut into 1/4 -inch-thick slices. Serves 4.

chocolate tuxedo cake

This is a hit whenever I make it, it is a favorite to take to parties!!

White Cheesecake Layer
1 1/2 lb cream cheese - softened
2 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz white baking chocolate - melted and cooled
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water

Chocolate Layers
1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter - softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 lg eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
1 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 Tbsp butter
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cup confectioner's sugar

Beat cream cheese with confectioners sugar until smooth. Blend in sour cream, vanilla extract and white chocolate. Stir the gelatin into the cold water in a small saucepan and allow mixture to stand several minutes to soften. Then heat mixture gently over a low setting until thoroughly dissolved. Cool briefly, then blend into the cream cheese mixture. Line bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with foil, then coat pan and foil well with a nonstick spray. Pour mixture into prepared pan, cover top of pan and chill until firm.
This cheesecake layer can be prepared up to two days in advance, and held in the refrigerator.

Melt chocolate chips in a small heavy gauge saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Preheat oven to 350F and arrange rack to the center position. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Cream the butter with the sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract and the cooled, melted chocolate. Whisk the flour with the baking soda and salt and gradually stir into the batter. Blend in the sour cream and divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake at 350F about 25 minutes or until layers spring back when lightly pressed in their centers. Cool layers in pans 10 minutes, then loosen and turn out onto a rack to complete cooling.

Makes Two 9-inch layers

Melt chocolate chips and butter in a small, heavy gauge saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and cool 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream and vanilla extract. Gradually add confectioners sugar, beating until frosting is smooth.

Arrange one of the cooled chocolate cake layers in center of a cake plate, top side down. Placing top side (because of its moist surface) down will help to secure cake to plate, preventing layers from slipping after cake is assembled. Release rim of the spring form pan. Holding cheesecake in one hand and chocolate cake layer (on plate) in other hand, quickly invert chocolate layer (plate and all) on top of the cheesecake. Quickly flip the two, now attached layers back over, so chocolate layer is again on bottom. Now, you can easily remove spring form pan bottom from (now top) of cheesecake layer. Arrange the remaining chocolate cake layer (top side down) on top of cheesecake layer. Using a long sharp knife and a slight sawing motion, carefully cut around rim of cheesecake layer to make it even with chocolate layers. Frost sides and top of cake and serve. The cheesecake layer will hold at room temperature several hours.

For best results, serve cake within 3 hours of assembling. Refrigeration will cause the frosting to loose its beautiful sheen.

rum chocolate cake

This is my hubby's FAVORITE cake and it is so yummy and easy that you will LOVE it too!!

1 Package chocolate cake mix (2 layer size)
1 Jell-o chocolate instant pudding mix (4 serving)
4 Eggs
1/2 c Bacardi dark rum
1/4 c Cold water
1/2 c Wesson oil
1/2 c Slivered almonds, optional

1 1/2 c Cold milk
1/4 c dark rum
1 Jell-o chocolate instant pudding mix (4 serving)
1 Dream whip topping mix

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 - 9 inch layer cake pans. Combine all cake ingredients together in a large bowl. Blend well, then beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Turn into prepared pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until cake tests done. Do not under bake. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, finish cooling on racks. Split layers horizontally. Spread one cup filling between each layer and over top of cake. Stack. Keep cake well chilled. Serve cold.

Filling: Combine milk, rum, pudding mix and topping mix in deep, narrow bowl. Blend well at high speed for 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Makes 4 cups.

chocolate chip banana bread

I got this recipe from my old boss Julie, she is the Women's Head Lacrosse Coach for the University of Virginia.
You will love making this recipe like we do -it's so easy!

2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional --we don't like nuts in anything at our house)
1-1 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Sift flour, baking soda and salt together. Cream butter, sugar and eggs in mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture gradually, beating well after each addition. Add bananas; mix well. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Pour into greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 F. for 45-60 minutes or until loaf tests done.

sour cream coffee cake

I got this recipe from Gregory's mom and boy is it good!

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 ½ c. sugar
3 eggs
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 ½ c. sour cream (I use either lite or fat free)

Filling: Mix ½ c. brown sugar, ½ c. finely chopped nuts, 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon.

Heat oven to 350̊. Grease tube pan or two 9x5 loaf pans. Combine butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla and beat for two minutes. Stir flour, baking powder, soda and salt together. Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix, then add the sour cream and mix, then the rest of the dry ingredients and mix. Spread 1/3 of batter in pan(s) and sprinkle with 1/3 of filling. Repeat two times. Bake 60 minutes. Cool 10 minute in pans before removing.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Minestrone Soup

This is a really yummy recipe that's from a cookbook that I like. Don't worry though, I change it a lot! Now, I think all the vegetables are good that are in the broth. So if you want to just combine everything and take out the peppercorns, broccoli stems and the bay leaf then it will be great!!! I'll do the broth ingredients separate just in case~

Makes about 8 servings

2 tbsp olive oil
4 pancetta slices, chopped(I don't use it of course.)
1 1/2 cups chopped green cabbage
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups vegetable broth(you can use canned but I like to make it fresh. look at the bottom)
1 cup peeled, diced potatoes
One 3-inch piece Parmesan cheese rind
1/2 cup bow tie pasta
1/2 cup chopped plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper as needed
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to garnish

1. Get all vegetables ready. Heat oil in a soup pan over medium heat. If you are using the pancetta, then add it and cook, stirring frequently, until the fat has rendered from the pancetta and it begins to color and crisp, about 3 minutes.
2. Add all vegetables. Saute, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent.
3. Add the broth and Parmesan cheese rind. Bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft and tender, about 30-40 minutes. Don't overcook them.
4. When all the vegetables are tender, add the pasta, tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans and continue to simmer until the pasta is fully cooked and all the vegetables are very hot, about 20 minutes. Remove and throw away Parmesan rind. Add salt and pepper. Serve and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Vegetable Broth

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced shallots
10 cups water
3 cups sliced leeks, white, light-green, and dark-green parts
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced onions
1 cup thinly sliced broccoli stems
1 cup thinly sliced fennel( with some tops)
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/3 cup thinly sliced carrot
1/3 cup thinly sliced parsnip
1 tbsp salt, or to taste
4 to 5 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3 sprig fresh thyme

1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and saute, stirring frequently, until they and translucent, 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the broth slowly up to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until the broth has a good flavor , 45-50 minutes.
3. Strain the broth and then add it to the soup.