Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Best Blue Cheese Dressing Ever!

My mother in law Lila taught me this recipe and I still love it!

Take one package of Hidden Valley Ranch Bleu Cheese Dressing mix and follow the directions for mixing.
Add a small package of Crumbled Bleu Cheese or crumble your favorite and add to the dressing.
Refrigerate and enjoy on your next cobb salad!!

The addition of the crumbled bleu cheese makes all the difference.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Elaine's Great Cheesecake

I miss Elaine, she is one of my favorite people! She was my good friend and neighbor when we lived in Houston area for 10 months (yes, that's all I could stand of Texas weather)! She is so inspiring, she painted bold fun colors on the walls in her house and she made great, yummy food! This is her recipe and I don't mess with it....usually!
She told us it came from Sundance resort so it has to be good right?? Well, it is! You should plan to make this sometime soon.

In a food processor Add:
1 3/4 C Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/4 C Melted Butter
1/4 C. Granulated sugar
Mix together and pat into bottom of a large springform pan. Bake at 400 for 8-10 min.

Turn oven down to 325

1 1/2 lbs. Cream Cheese
3 Eggs
3/4 C. Sugar (I have used as little as 1/3 C. and it's still a good cheesecake!)
1 T. lemon Juice (fresh is best)
1 t. vanilla

Beat Cream Cheese till smooth and fluffy. (this step is really important I find that if I get it very smooth now the cheese cake will utterly melt in your mouth!)
Add the eggs one at a time, then add the sugar gradually. (I do this while the mixer is running on low setting) Add the lemon juice and vanilla. At this point do not over mix, once it's all incorporated pour over the crust.
Bake at 325 for 45 Minutes

Remove from oven and set Temp back to 400

once the oven has reached temp add the Sour Cream Topping (believe me you DO want this!)
Whisk together and pour over hot cheesecake

Bake at 400 for 12 Minutes

Sour Cream Topping:
2 C. Sour Cream
1/2 C. Granulated Sugar
1 t. Vanilla

Cool Cake and refrigerate till ready to serve.

Mixed Berry Topping:
1/3 C. Seedless Raspberry preserves (I have also just used whatever jam I have on hand)
2 c. mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, sliced strawberries, raspberries any combination)
In a sauce pan Stir Preserves till melted then add berries. Cook down until it is the consistency you want 5 min to 15 min. (if it is not sweet enough for you you can add 1/3 C. sugar or a couple of Tablespoons of honey ) Let cool ladle over cake before serving!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cheesy tortellini casserole

I can't believe I have never posted this recipe! One of our family favorites.

This recipe can be found here also:



  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups marinara sauce (homemade is good, but canned works too)
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese (or room temp cream cheese works too)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 pound purchased cheese tortellini (I prefer the Costco cheese ones)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced smoked mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish.

Whisk the sauce, mascarpone cheese, parsley and thyme in a large bowl to blend. Cook the tortellini in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Add the tortellini to the sauce and toss to coat. Transfer the tortellini mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top the mixture with the smoked mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheeses on top melt, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Herb Crusted Rib Eye with Balsamic mushroom sauce

I have a small herb garden. One day I was looking for something, anything really, to use the herbs for. I created this receipe on the fly and we really enjoyed it. My inspiration was a few different dishes from a few different restaurants and love of steak!!

2 T. Olive Oil
4 Rib Eye Steaks-room Temp very lightly salted
2 T. fresh Thyme leaves Chopped
2 T. fresh Parsley Chopped
2 t. Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1 box sliced mushrooms
2 shallots sliced thin
2 T. dry Sherry
2 T. Balsamic Vinegar

Crumbled or sliced Gorgonzola Cheese (Optional)

Mashed Potatos

Preheat Oven to 450
Mix Chopped Herbs with Salt and Pepper and set aside
Heat a large skillet on med-high heat and add olive oil.
Sear Steaks until browned on each side, (Reserve skillet it's not done yet!)
Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with foil Put a thin layer of the Herb mixture over each steak.
Bake in the oven for about 8 min for Med. (adjust for thickness of steak, use a meat thermometer to check for desired doneness)
OPTIONAL: Add the gorgonzola for the last minute or two of cooking to melt over the top of the herb mixture.

When the steak is done it needs to sit for 5 min to rest.

While Steak is cooking add the mushrooms and shallots to the skillet. Add a touch more olive oil if needed. Cook for about 2 minutes till the mushrooms and shallots are to taste. Deglaze with the sherry, cook for a minute or two then add the Balsamic and reduce by half.

Remove from heat and set aside.

Serve with Mashed Potatoes

Shells with Crispy Bacon and Spinach

For Christina!
This is the link on Food Network Site.
We swap out the pancetta for Bacon and Small curd cottage cheese for Ricotta.


Picture of Shells with Crispy Pancetta and Spinach Recipe



  • 1 (12-ounce) package jumbo shells pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound thick-cut pancetta, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 pounds frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 cups grated asiago cheese, plus 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the shells:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Remove the pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl. Add the spinach, ricotta cheese, asiago cheese, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Stuff the shells with about 2 tablespoons of the spinach mixture each and place the stuffed shells in a large, buttered baking dish.

For the sauce:

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to very low and add the 2 cups asiago cheese, parsley, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is dissolved. Pour the sauce over the shells. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup asiago cheese. Bake until golden on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Baked Chicken and Rice With Black Beans

Baked Chicken and Rice With Black Beans

Baked Chicken and Rice With Black Beans
Photo: William Dickey; Styling: Rose Nguyen


  • 1 (10-oz.) package yellow rice mix (I did a 5 oz pkg to cut down on carbs and it was just enough rice)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained (I used a regular can of tomatoes and a small can of diced green chili's)
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) grated Monterey Jack cheese (I used colby Jack)


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare rice according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, sauté onion, bell pepper, and carrot in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium heat 10 minutes or until tender.

3. Combine hot cooked rice, onion mixture, chicken, beans, diced tomatoes and chiles, and 1 1/2 cups cheese in a large bowl. Spoon into a lightly greased 3-qt. or 13- x 9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

4. Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Meredith Baldwin, Lawrenceville, Illinois, Southern Living, FEBRUARY 2009

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chalupa Dinner Bowl

I think I would call this Carnitas Dinner 3 ways if it were my recipe! We made it today in the crock pot while at church and YUMMMM! I enjoyed it best as a soft taco with lettuce, guacamole, sour cream and a touch of salsa. You can make it in the taco bowl, nacho style or Soft Taco style. I made it with boneless pork roast so that I would not have to deal with the bone and it was amazing!

Chalupa Dinner Bowl

This pork-and-bean mixture is versatile. Serve it spooned over cornbread or rolled up burrito style in flour tortillas. Make hearty nachos, quesadillas, or tacos too. It can even be used as a meaty addition to huevos rancheros (fried corn tortillas topped with fried eggs and salsa).

Preparation Time: 30 minutes minutes
Cooking Time: 11 hours minutes
Other Time: 5 minutes minutes
Yield: Makes 8 servings

1 pound dried pinto beans
1 (3 1/2-pound) bone-in pork loin roast
2 (4-ounce) cans chopped green chiles
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (32-ounce) box chicken broth
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles with lime juice and cilantro
8 taco salad shells
1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded
Toppings: shredded Monterey Jack cheese, pickled jalapeño slices, halved grape tomatoes, sour cream, chopped avocado

Rinse and sort beans according to package directions.

Place pinto beans in a 6-quart slow cooker; add roast and next 6 ingredients. Pour chicken broth evenly over top of roast.

Cover and cook on HIGH 1 hour; reduce to LOW, and cook 9 hours. Or, cover and cook on HIGH 6 hours. Remove bones and fat from roast; pull roast into large pieces with two forks. Stir in diced tomatoes and green chiles. Cook, uncovered, on HIGH 1 more hour or until liquid is slightly thickened.

Heat taco salad shells according to package directions; place shredded lettuce evenly into shells. Spoon about 1 cup pork-and-bean mixture into each shell using a slotted spoon. Serve with desired toppings.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used RO*TEL Mexican Festival tomatoes and a Rival Recipe Smart-Pot slow cooker. Times may vary depending on the slow cooker used.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rocky Road Fudge

This is the recipe I drag out every Christmas to make my hubby happy! Before you make this you will need to toss a package or two of mini marshmallow's into your freezer for a day or two!
A very long wooden spoon is also helpful!!

Rocky Road Fudge

In a large pot combine:
1 can evaporated milk
2o lg. marshmallows
4 c. Sugar

Bring to a boil. After it reaches boiling cook 5 min stirring constantly scraping bottom.
Remove from stove.
12 oz pkg. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 lb butter
Stir until melted and mixture begins to thicken.
Add 2 cups Chopped Nuts (I use Pecans or walnuts)
Add 1 package of frozen miniature marshmallows
Stir and pour into a large pan and refrigerate till set.

Cut into bars and try to resist....or just ask for forgiveness!

Diane's Mini Cheesecakes

Diane's Mini Cheesecakes
Makes 12 Muffin size Cheesecakes

You will need to go out and get the foil muffin cups for this recipe-sorry but you must do what I say..MUHAHA

Pre-Heat oven to 325
Line a 12 muffin pan with foil liners
Place one vanilla wafer in the bottom of each cup

Mix till well blended:
1 lb. cream cheese at room temp
1/2 C. Sugar
1 t. vanilla
Add one at a time:
2 eggs

Pour into muffin liners to 3/4 full
Bake for 25 min tops should be slightly browned
(they will settle a bit during cooling)

Top with your favorite fruit pie filling
Watch them disapear!

No Crust Quiche

No Crust Quiche

Pre-Heat Oven to 350 (325 for glass)

10 Lg. Eggs
2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese
1 pt. small curd cottage cheese
1 t. baking powder
1/2. t. salt
1 lg. can diced green chili's
1 cube butter divided
1/2 C. flour

Whip the eggs with an electric mixer in a large bowl
Add remaining ingredients saving out 1/2 cube of butter.

Melt the remaining butter in the bottom of your 9x13 pan
Add the mixture to the pan and bake for 1 hour.

OPTIONAL changes: Instead of chili's you could substitue Ham, Bacon, Onions.
Or: Feta Cheese and Spinach leaves. Sun Dried Tomatoes and basil.
the possibilities are endless actually!

Chicken Enchiladas

Just thinking about these makes me wanna go have some!

Chicken Enchiladas:
Pre-heat oven to 425

Mix together
3 C. shredded cooked chicken
1 t. Salt
1 small can chopped green chili's
1 small can corn drained-optional
1/2 can black beans rinsed-optional
Set aside

Combine in a good sized bowl
20 Oz. can of Enchilada Sauce (I use mild, you have my permission to get the spicy stuff as long as I don't have to eat it)
small can of evaporated milk
Set this mixture near your stove.

Heat some oil in a med skillet
When it's hot, fry up 12 Corn Tortillas for a few seconds on each side.
Place each tortilla into the sauce mixture till done

When done Carefully Take the tortillas one by one out of the sauce and fill with approx. 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture. Roll and set in 9x13 pan.
Pour the remaining sauce over the rolled up tortillas in pan.
Sprinkle with 2 C. Cheddar/Monterey Jack mixture of cheese
Bake for 15 min till pan is bubbly and heated through.
Serve Hot with Spanish Rice, beans, or sour cream!

Streussal Topping for Muffins

Every Muffin needs a good topping!

1/2 C. Brown Sugar
2 T. Flour
1 t. Cinnamon
1/4 C. finely chopped Pecans

Add in 2 T. room temp butter and cut in with a pastry cutter.
Sprinkle on top of muffins before baking