Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Corn And Mac Bake

I knew before I made this dish that it would be a big hit with Randy. You see it has all of his favorite foods, corn, macaroni and yellow cheese. I couldn't ask for anything better than that. It is simple and easy to put together and it does taste wonderful as well.

Corn and Mac Bake
(Country Weekly Magazine)

1 can whole grain corn
1 can cream style corn
1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
1 cup cubed cheddar cheese
1 cup macaroni (uncooked)

In a greased baking dish, put whole grain and cream style corn (do not drain the whole grain corn). Add stick of melted butter, cubed cheddar cheese and the cup of macaroni. Mix and bake at 350 degrees until it is bubbly and set. No additional salt is needed in the recipe as the cheese does provide enough salt.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dressed Up Cake

You may ask what is with the title of this post. Well that is thanks to Randy. I had told Randy I had made a cake and he said he had to add some things to it. I didn't quite understand it because this is not just a plain cake, its a pineapple upside down cake. Randy managed to take a simple pineapple upside down cake and make it very pleasing to the eye.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
(Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy)

For the cake:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature if using hand mixer
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk

For the topping:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 to 6 slices fresh pineapple, cored, or 1 cup drained pineapple chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 1/2 inch or 10-inch cake pan with cooking spray. I used a square baking dish instead.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt three times and set aside.
Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in the pan and spread evenly over the bottom. Sprinkle in the brown sugar and press down in an even layer. Arrange the pineapple in an even layer on top of the sugar, breaking up the pieces if necessary.
Make the topping. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. ( I do not have a stand mixer so I used the hand mixer. I am hoping to get a Kitchen Aid soon). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to beat at high speed while you gradually add the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. At low speed, slowly add the sifted dry ingredients alternating with the milk. Beat until smooth.
Spread the batter over the pineapple. Bake for 35 to 40 minute, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes.
Using oven mitts, reverse the pan onto a large serving plate and allow to the cake to cool before serving (it can be served warm but not hot).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Anyway You Slice It

Looking to have a baked potato sometime. Well then this is the way to go. I have had this recipe in my recipe book for quite sometime and this is the first time I have made it. I sure have been missing out by not having tried this recipe sooner. You would not believe how flavorful these potatoes were. I was quite impressed. This is definitely the way to have your baked potatoes from now on. Give this recipe a try, you will be so glad that you did.

Sliced Baked Potatoes
(Great American Recipes)

4 medium potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, chives, thyme and sage)
4 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tablespoon parmesan cheese

Peel potatoes if the skin is tough, otherwise just scrub and rinse them. Cut potatoes into thin slices but not all the way through. Use a handle of a spoon to prevent the knife from cutting all the way through the potato. Put potatoes in a baking dish. Fan them slightly. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with butter. Sprinkle with herbs. Bake potatoes at 425 degrees for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheeses. Bake potatoes for another 10 to 15 minutes until lightly browned, cheeses are melted and potatoes are soft inside. Check with a fork.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lots of Stuff

Friday was my day off from work and I spent the afternoon with my sister Darcy and my nephew Justin in Watertown. We went to the bookstore, we did end up getting books for ourselves and a few books for Justin. For lunch we decided to go to Red Lobster. We had a wonderful day together, it would be nice to be able to do this more often. When it came time to decide what to make for dinner, I had already had the idea of making pizza. I usually use the Betty Crocker pizza crust mix but this time I wanted to make my own crust. So I got to work getting all the ingredients out and the toppings that I would be using. I did ask Randy what he wanted on his pizza for toppings and he said it didn't matter but could I make it a stuffed crust. That would be easy, but after the pizza was done there just didn't seem to be a lot of stuff on top and the crust needed some more cheese. Next time I will know to add a lot more toppings and more cheese to the crust. But all in all the pizza did turn out very tasty.

Homemade Pizza Crust
The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook

1 package active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup very warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour

In measuring cup, dissolve yeast in water. In a large bowl stir flour, salt and yeast mixture until blended. Cover bowl with waxed paper and let dough rest 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. I do not have a pizza stone so I used a baking sheet. It worked out pretty well. I sprinkled the pan with some cornmeal before shaping out the dough. After the dough was spread out on the pan, I then started constructing the pizza. Using jar pizza sauce I spread that out evenly on the crust except for toward the edges so I would have enough left to stuff with cheese. Then placed the toppings on, which were mushrooms, black olives, pepperoni and mozzerella cheese. I put the cheese all around the edge of the dough and folded the crust over.
Bake pizza on bottom rack of oven for 25 minutes or until crust is golden and crisp.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chinese Chicken (Picture)

I am back. It has been a few days since I have posted anything. On Tuesday we had a power outage at 7:20 that morning. The power outage affected over 5,000 people in the surrounding areas. There was a breaker failure at a substation. All power was restored to everyone around 6:30 that evening.
I did have plans that morning to make some dinner for Randy that night. I was thinking of a chicken recipe in the Quick And Easy cookbook I have. Well I had to put aside my plans of making it until this morning.
Everything went well with the recipe. Until it came time for me to upload the pictures I had taken of the finished meal. I have to use our other computer when I do that and I had trouble logging into that one. So I will have to post the pictures at a later time but in the mean time here is the recipe.

Chinese Chicken
(Quick & Easy Cookbook)

4 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large skinless chicken breast

Mix together all but chicken. Salt and pepper to taste; pour over chicken. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Serve over rice.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Yesterday Randy and I spent the day watching football games with his parents. For those of you who are not football fans, it was the NFC and AFC championship games. The winner of the these games will play in the Superbowl on February 1st in Tampa Florida. I did not do any cooking yesterday but my mother in law did make a delicious venison stew. We were lucky enough that she made a big dish of this so we were able to take some home. I already have some ideas of what I will be making the rest of the week so make sure to check back and see.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Spinach Quiche

What to do with a can of spinach? That is the question that I asked myself. It didn't take me long to figure out what I would make. This being something I know Randy has never had I thought it would be a nice surprise for his dinner.

Spinach Quiche

1 can drained spinach
1/4 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
1 1/2 cups fat free milk
3 eggs
3/4 cups biscuit and baking mix
1/4 cup cooked bacon (chopped into bite size pieces)

Spray a 10 inch pie dish. Put spinach into bottom of dish. Add the shredded mozzerella on top. In a separate bowl, mix together milk, eggs and biscuit and baking mix.
Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Just in case anyone was wondering. Randy really enjoyed the meal.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Vanilla Pudding Pie

When you get an idea for something to make or something new to try, just go for it!

I joined the Biggest Loser weight loss program at work and I haven't made anything sweet in awhile. I know Randy was enjoying all the treats I had been making and I wanted to make a special dessert for him. While looking on I saw a recipe for vanilla pudding. This may come as a surprise to some but I have never made pudding before, I always just used the instant kind in a box. Glad I made the decision to make my own pudding, nothing compares to something being from scratch and with love put into it as well. No more instant pudding for me. I will be making my own from now on.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

2 cups milk
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat milk until bubbles form at edges. In a bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Pour into hot milk, a little at a time. Stirring to dissolve. Continue cooking until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Do not boil. I turned the heat down to low so this wouldn't happen. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter. After these ingredients are mixed in well, place in refrigerator to chill before serving.

Instead of just making Randy a dish of pudding, he got a whole pie instead. Here is the recipe for the crust that I used.

Unbaked Graham Cracker Crumb Crust
The New Goodhousekeeping Cookbook

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (I placed eight crackers in a ziploc bagged and crushed them)
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick) melted
3 tablespoons sugar

In a pie plate or bowl mix the crumbs with remaining ingredients. Press mixture onto the bottom and up the side of the pie plate. Chill pie crust well.

After the pudding and the pie crust have chilled for some time, you can now assemble the pie. Spoon the pudding into the pie plate and spread around with a spatula. I placed some maraschino cherries on for garnish and placed back in the refrigerator to set some more.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Peanut Butter-Banana Crunch Trifles

I found this recipe in a supplement that is put out by Better Homes and Gardens.

Peanut Butter-Banana Crunch Trifles

1 3/4 cups plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
2 large bananas sliced
2 cups lightly sweetened multigrain clusters (I used 1/2 cup of walnuts chopped instead)

In a medium bowl whisk together yogurt, peanut butter, and honey until smooth. I did not have the proper dishes to place this in as you are to layer the ingredients but I tried to do my best using a bowl instead. I placed the chopped walnuts and bananas into the yogurt mixture and stirred well. Placing the mixture in a bowl I then proceeded to layer with some more walnuts and bananas, and more of the yogurt mixture on top. I finished it off with some sliced bananas and pieces of walnut. I did sample some and this is very tasty.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

This is a recipe that I created by getting ideas from other muffin recipes.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 tablespoons butter (3/4 stick)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
2 large ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/3 cup fat free milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a twelve cup muffin tin.

2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder. I melt the butter in the microwave for 15 seconds until it is soft to blend in with the above ingredients.

3. In a small bowl, blend bananas, eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Make sure it is mixed very well.

4. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture until everything is moist. The batter will be lumpy, this is how it is suppose to be.

5. I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the batter and place in the muffin cups. I find this is just the right amount of batter to make a nice size muffin.

6. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Remove muffins immediately from pan and place on wire rack to cool.

Monday, January 12, 2009

California Pork Chops A Do Over

Tonight for dinner I wanted to make California Pork Chops. This is something that my mom use to make when I was younger. I did go grocery shopping this morning and I forgot to get the cream of chicken soup that this recipe calls for. I decided since I still wanted to make the pork chops that I would try it without the soup. It had a good flavor to it but it just wasn't the same without the soup to go over top. Sometimes it is ok to cheat on a recipe but that was not the case with this recipe. So....I will be making these pork chops over again....soup included!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cornbread Topped Chicken Pot Pie

I had Friday off from work and I was thinking about what to make for dinner. I knew that we had some chicken in the freezer and vegetables in the pantry, along with quite a bit of other things. I looked at a few recipes on the Betty Crocker website and that is when I saw this recipe. I had a box of cornbread mix in the pantry and had been wanting to make that up and now I had just the recipe to use that in. I made a few changes to the recipe to accomadate what I had for vegetables to use. I was alittle hesitant at first when I was making this because Randy doesn't really like pot pies. I was hoping that it being homemade would change his mind. Well it was a success and I am thinking of making it again and the next time I should put some venison in it. Then I would really know that it would be a hit with Randy. I myself was very impressed with the flavor the cornbread as the topping. You should give it a try, I know you will like it as much as I did.

Cornbread Topped Chicken Pot Pie

3 medium size pieces of chicken (cut into bit size pieces)
1 large onion (chopped) 1 cup
1 12 ounce jar chicken gravy
1 can peas
1 can corn
1 pouch cornbread mix
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter melted
1 egg

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2 1/2 quart round baking dish with cooking spray. In a nonstick skillet, cook chicken and onion over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes. Stirring occasionally, until chicken is brown.

Stir in gravy. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook about 5 minutes until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from heat, add vegetables. Make sure to have all ready drained the vegetables in a colander. Stir and keep warm.

In a medium bowl mix the cornbread mix, milk and egg until moistened (batter will be lumpy). Spoon chicken mixture into the baking dish. Drop batter by spoonfuls around edges of warm chicken mixture.

Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sweet-and-Sour Scallops

I was looking through the Taste of Home magazine for different recipes to try and I came across this one. I decided that I would make this for Randy to have for dinner.

Sweet-and-Sour Scallops
Taste of Home Simple & Delicious December 2008

2 cans (8 ounces each) pineapple chunks
1 pound sea scallops (I used bay scallops instead)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Drain pineapple, reserving juice; set pineapple and juice aside. In a large skillet, saute scallops in oil until firm and opaque; drain. Remove from pan and keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, ground mustard and salt. Whisk in the soy sauce and reserved pineapple juice until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the tomatoes and reserved pineapple; heat through.
I cooked up some white rice and served this over top.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Let It Snow

I woke up this morning and it was snowing, as the weather report predicted. I went to get the newspaper from the mailbox and shoveled some of the driveway and I cleared off the porch and front steps. We are expected to get 4 to 6 inches, so I am sure I will be back out again before I leave for work to shovel again. This is the north country so we can always expect snow and to have more than what the weather forecast predicts. I just hope its not too much more. As the snow keeps falling I am in the process of looking for some new and interesting recipes to try.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

I got the inspiration to make blueberry muffins after reading the post from my friend Shelby of The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I was going make them for breakfast on the weekend but things didn't quite go as planned. I ended up making the muffins late Sunday evening. I was going to use fresh blueberries which I did have but I opted to use something else
instead. I am sure some of you will be able to guess but you will have to wait until you scroll down to read the ingredients. The muffins turned out very moist and flavorful too.
Blueberry Muffins
The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook (page 481)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter or margarine (3/4 stick) I prefer to use butter in all my recipes
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (something I did not have)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (I used blueberry fruit spread)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a six cup muffin pan. I wanted more than six muffins so I used a twelve cup pan. I also used cupcake papers, this is something I always do when I make muffins.
2. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With pastry blender or 2 knives used scissors fashion, cut in butter or margarine until mixture resembles fine crumbs. In small bowl, beat egg, milk, lemon peel, and vanilla until blended. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fold blueberries into batter.
3. Spoon batter into muffin pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove muffins from pan. Serve warm or let cool on wire rack.
If frozen blueberries are used, do not thaw before adding them to the batter.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Thinking Ahead

I was at work this evening looking through some different magazines that had a variety of different recipes in them. I found quite a few new ones that I would like to try. I tend to sometimes try the easy and less lengthy things to make but I am going to stray away from that and try some more challenging recipes. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cookie Making Day

Here is the pictures from December 21st when I got together with my mom, sisters Darcy and Michelle and my nieces Torrie and Hailey. We all made different kinds of cookies that were put into containers for us to take home with us the next day when we celebrated our Christmas. I really had a wonderful day baking and spending time with family.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Football, Family Go Wii

This afternoon Randy and I got the Christmas tree out of the house. We planned on watching the football games later in the day and Randy's parents came over to watch the games and to have dinner with us as well. I cheated on the food and instead of making anything we ordered chicken wings from the store down the road and cooked up a frozen pizza. My mother in law made her chili dip so we did have something homemade. We watched most of the first game between the Cardinals and the Falcons but then the game was beginning to be a blowout so we decided to play a game on the Wii, (Game Party 2). We played darts and shuffleboard. It is always nice to be able to spend time with family, whether it is having some friendly competition playing a video game or just getting together and visiting with one another.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Farewell to 2008 and Welcome 2009

It is goodbye to the year 2008 and a hello to the year 2009. I have not been in the kitchen to make anything today. I was busy taking down the Christmas decorations. It is a tradition for Randy and I that we wait until after the first of the year to take down the decorations. Now the house seems pretty bare with all the decorations gone. I am off this weekend and I plan to do some cooking and baking. And, yes I have not forgotten about the Christmas cookie post, so I will be putting that up this weekend as well. Happy New Year to all!