Thursday, September 24, 2009

Little Doozies

I was looking for a quick dessert to take to church last week, so I made cookies (from the tub). Then, I decided to be a bit creative with the cookies and made them like they do at the Great American Cookie Company. My children were ecstatic and I didn't bring any of them home after the church dinner. So- here is the easy "recipe". This will definitely be a kid favorite!

  • 1 or 2 dozen baked Chocolate Chip Cookies or M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 tub of white "fluffy" ice (yes, it says fluffy on the outside of the tub)

Bake the cookies approximately the same size. Let them cool completely. (In fact, I baked the cookies a few days before and put them in the freezer until I was ready) Put a thin layer of icing on one cookie bottom. Place the other cookie to it- creating a "sandwich". Wipe the icing off of the sides and enjoy!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Quicker Chicken 'n' Dumplins

I made this for the girls tonight. I was a bit skeptical, because for a while it did not look good. However, after following the directions (imagine that) it turned out really tasty. I also liked this one in particular because these are all ingredients I keep around. It would be a great second night meal to do with left-over chicken.

6 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of sliced celery
1 cup of sliced carrots
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons of dried parsley (divided)

2 cups of biscuit/ baking mix
1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
dash ground nutmeg
2/3 cup of milk

3 cups of cooked chicken breast (I did not use that much)

  1. In a Dutch oven or kettle, combine the broth, celery, carrots, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon of parsley. Bring to a boil.
  2. For dumplings, combine the biscuit mix, thyme, and nutmeg in a bowl; stir in milk and remaining parsley just until moistened. Drop the biscuit mix by tablespoon onto the boiling broth. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes; cove rand cook 10 minutes longer.
  3. With a slotted spoon, remove dumplings to a serving dish; keep warm. Bring broth to a boil; reduce heat.
  4. Add chicken; heat through. Discard the bay leaf. Spoon the remaining sauce over the dumplings and serve.
*Cook's note: Putting the dumplings in the broth seems really messy, but they stay together pretty well. It ends up looking like a layer of biscuits on top of the broth. However, it works well!

Cabbage Rolls

Before you totally ignore this recipe, think mini-meatloaf. That is what I told the hubby and girls. . . and they went for it. This was a recipe I found in my mother-in-law's old Presbyterian Cookbook. It can be cooked in the oven, but I made it the night before and cooked it in the crock-pot. Nothing like coming home to a meal that is ready to serve.

1 medium head of cabbage

Meat Filling
1 pound of ground chuck
½ cup of onion
½ cup of celery
½ cup uncooked rice
½ cup ketchup
1 egg


2 small cans of tomato sauce
½ cup of water
1 tsp of cinnamon
2 T of brown sugar

The night before (can do the day of):

Boil about 10 leaves of cabbage until translucent

Mix the beef, onion, celery, rice, ketchup, and egg in a bowl. Make about six to eight balls of the mixture, depending on the serving size you want. Place the round beef mixture into a cabbage leaf, roll, tuck, and fasten with a toothpick. Place in the fridge overnight.

Morning of:

Mix the wet ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Pour about a cup of the mix into bottom of the crock-pot. Remove the toothpicks from the cabbage/ beef rolls, and place in a single layer on the bottom of the crock-pot. Pour the rest of the mixture on top.

Place in crock-pot on low for 6 hours, or in the oven for 275 degrees for 2 to 3 hours.

Cooks Note: Clay does not care for the sweetness of the sauce, so next time I will half the cinnamon and brown sugar.

Basmati Rice Pilaf with Apricots

Last night we had 4 different Indian dishes. I made the Daag Curry Recipe that was posted a few months ago, from Lee Anna Finney Darji, with chicken, potatoes, celery and carrots. It was almost like a stew. Another friend found this recipe on Food Network and brought this rice dish. It was fabulous! She had never had Indian food before, so this was all new-she even made her own garam masala, since it is a bit hard to find in Conway. You never would have known it was her first experience with Indian food- this dish was AMAZING! Everyone should try it sometime!

1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
2 wide strips
lemon zest
2 cups cold water
3 tablespoons unsalted
1 teaspoon garam masala (an Indian spice blend)
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup basmati
rice, lightly rinsed and drained
ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup toasted unsalted pistachios
or cashews

Put the apricots and lemon zest in the 2 cups of cold water. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garam masala, and toast, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and translucent, about 6 minutes.

Stir in the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the water along with the apricots, lemon zest, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, wrap a clean dish towel around the saucepan lid, and cover saucepan. Cook for 10 minutes, set aside for 5 minutes undisturbed, then remove lid and fluff with a fork. Mound the pilaf on a serving platter or in a shallow bowl, tear the mint over, and top with the nuts.

Game Plan: Toast the nuts while the rice cooks.

Cook's Note: Wrapping the lid with a dish towel keeps the steam in the pot, encourages the rice grains to stay separate, and absorbs condensation that would otherwise collect on the lid and drip back into the pan.

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

We had a fabulous Indian dinner last night with friends that included lamb, beef, chicken, apricot rice. All the meats were marinated with vegetables with scrumptious Indian spices. Cucumber Yogurt Sauce is often used to tone down spicy flavors in dishes like this. It is easy to make and should be added to your dishes when you create spicy curry dishes. It can also be served in a gyro in pita bread with tomatoes and lettuce.


1/2 med. cucumber peeled, seeded & chopped fine
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. ground pepper

Stir all ingredients together. Chill until served.

Chicken Salad

One of my dear friends in Conway, Sandra, has been telling me about this chicken salad she recently made for her women's group at church. The girls and I are going to make it this week with some left-over chicken. These are ingredients we usually have around, so I think it will be a great meal.

"This was an old recipe my mom had, and it was a hit at our Women's Meeting."- from Sandra
Chicken Salad

4 c. cut - up chicken
2 c. white grapes, I used purple for color
1 c. sweet pickles
1 c. apples
1 c. celery
1 c. nuts- pecans or walnuts

Mix together and add enough mayo to moisten. I used Miracle whip

Have fun!

Stuffed mushrooms

This recipe came from a friend from Fort Smith, Belinda Ancheta. We played in orchestra together from junior high through college. We have reconnected through facebook in recent months. She sent me this great recipe. It is a great for an appetizer. Thanks, Belinda!

1 pkg. Cream Cheese
1 Onion
1 stick of butter
4 pieces of Bacon
a couple dashes of Italian Seasoning
Swiss Cheese

Leave cream cheese out to soften
Caramelize dice onions with 1/2 stick of butter.
Cook Bacon- While all this is being done, use a pairing knife to scoop out the cap so that more of the filling can be added.
Dice up the stem and the caps excess.
Add to the onion that is being caramelized as well as the rest of the butter.
Add a couple dashes of Italian Seasoning
Crush bacon and add to mix.
Mix in the Package of Cream Cheese
Fill caps with the Filling, top it off with a small slice of swiss cheese. Pop it in the oven at 350 degrees. Wait till the cheese is mooooshy and melted.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Angel Berry Trifle

Okay, so this recipe is a win-win-win-win.

1) It looks beautiful.
2) It's easy to make.
3) It's really, really yummy. Really.
4) It's lowfat (for a dessert), but you can't at all.

So the next time you go to a party whip it up and serve!

Angel Berry Trifle


1-1/2 cups cold fat-free milk

1 package (1 ounce) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix

1 cup (8 ounces) fat-free vanilla yogurt

6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 carton (12 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed, divided

1 prepared angel food cake (18 inches), cut into 1-inch cubes (Walmart has a great sugar-free Angel Food cake)

1 pint each blackberries, raspberries and blueberries (I couldn't find blackberries, so I used strawberries and it was delicous!)


In a small bowl, whisk the milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes or until soft-set. In a large bowl, beat the yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream and vanilla until smooth. Fold in pudding mixture and 1 cup whipped topping.
Place a third of the cake cubes in a 4-qt. trifle bowl. Top with a third of the pudding mixture, a third of the berries and half of the remaining whipped topping. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining cake, pudding and berries. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Yield: 14 servings.

Nutrition Facts

One serving: (3/4 cup)

Calories: 209

Fat: 6 g

Saturated Fat: 5 g

Cholesterol: 10 mg

Sodium: 330 mg

Carbohydrate: 32 g

Fiber: 3 g

Protein: 5 g

Diabetic Exchange: 1 starch, 1 fat, 1/2 fruit, 1/2 reduced-fat milk.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Last month we read a classic, with a new twist. I tried to think of something very British and dainty to make, but I had to go for the gore with this one. Jessica, a fellow bookclub member, and hostess, actually made these into cupcakes. They were great! So, if you read this new book, bake a red velvet cake to go with it!


1 1/2 c. Wesson oil

2 eggs

1 1/2 c. sugar

2 1/2 c. plain flour

1 tsp. soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. buttermilk

1 oz. red food coloring

1 (8 oz.) cream cheese

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 stick butter

1 box powdered sugar

Mix oil, add sugar and eggs. Add milk, vanilla, and food coloring. Then add dry ingredients. Bake in 9x13 inch pan for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Mix the icing and add to the cake when cool.

Patty Melt

Sometimes after a long day of work, comfort food is the best thing. So, tonight we had patty melts. I used my grain-fed beef patties, and I didn't have rye bread, but we made due with wheat. Enjoy!

1 slice American cheese
1 slice
Swiss cheese
1/4 lb
ground beef
1/4 cup
onion, sliced or onion, diced
3 tablespoons
butter, divided
2 slices rye bread

1. Saute onions until golden in 2 tablespoons olive oil until translucent and lightly golden.
2. Remove from the pan.
3. Form the meat patty so it will fit the bread.
4. Grill to desired doneness.
5. Butter bread on one side; put buttered side down on hot griddle, put 1 slice cheese followed by onions then cooked patty, followed by cheese.
6. Butter one side of the other slice of bread and place on top buttered side out.
7. Fry until bread is crisp but not burned (I have trouble with this part), turn over and do the same thing on the other side. Cheese should be well melted.