New Favorite · Vegetarian

Quinoa Omelette Bites

I am a protein breakfast person.  Straight carbs just don’t last for me.  If I eat cereal or toast, I’m starving in an hour. My typical breakfast is either Greek yogurt or an egg, with a strong cup of coffee. My dear friend, Jan, told me about this wonderful recipe.

I modified the original recipe to fit my taste buds and loved the results. The next morning I reheated in the microwave and they were equally as good and  filling.  Hello breakfast for the week!

QUINOA OMELETTE BITES

1 cup quinoa, warm
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
1 egg white & 1 whole egg
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced green or red bell peppers
1/4 cup minced sweet onion

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray.
  • Cook the quinoa according to package instructions.  Chop and microwave, on high, the onions and peppers, for 1.5 to 2 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the warm quinoa with the cheese to melt the cheese.  Add the eggs, garlic, salt, spinach, peppers and onion.  Stir to combine all ingredients.
  • Spoon mixture into mini muffin tins, filling to the top.

  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from muffin tins.  Run a small knife around the edges to loosen and pop out of the tins.

Recipe adapted from Tablespoon.com

New Favorite

Blackberry Brie Bites

Brie and Blackberries is like a slice of heaven. For my last meal, I would definitely choose Brie and a bowl of berries so this recipe sounded perfect to me! It’s relatively simple to make.  Delicious addition to my recipe box!

You’ll notice a glimpse of Fancy Schmancy Asparagus to the right as well.  I used 1/2 of the crescent rolls to make the Blackberry Brie Bites and the other half for the Asparagus.  Win, win!

BLACKBERRY BRIE BITES

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls (8 oz.)
1 round Brie Cheese (8 oz.)
1/4 cup blackberry jelly or jam
24 fresh blackberries
24 large toothpicks (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Separate the crescent rolls into 4 rectangles. Press the seams together and cut into 6 even squares. Press into 24 mini muffin tins.
  • Cut the rind off the Brie.  Cut into 24 small squares. Place one square into each crescent lined tins. Spoon a small amount of blackberry jelly/jam on top of each cheese square. Fold the tips of the crescent rolls over, if desired.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and top with a fresh blackberry on a toothpick.  Serve immediately.

Makes 24 crescent cups.

Recipe from Inside BruCrew Life

Family Favorites · New Favorite

Chicken Enchilritos

Enchilrito…what the heck is that? It’s my interpretation of a chicken enchilada made with flour tortillas instead of corn. The recipe I chose for this dish called it an Enchilada but used flour instead of corn tortillas.  I made, I liked, but would use corn tortillas next time for a truer version of Enchiladas.

The recipe is quite good and hearty.  Serve with a green salad, and if you can, a great Margarita!

CHICKEN ENCHILRITOS

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 to 4 cups of shredded, cooked chicken
2 (19 oz.) cans of Enchilada Sauce
10 count package of flour (or corn) tortillas (8-10″ in diameter)
3.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella (or Monterey Jack) cheese
1 can drained black beans
1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chiles

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Great a 9×13″ casserole dish.
  • In a heated skillet add a small amount of cooking oil and saute onion until soft. Add chicken, one can of Enchilada sauce, 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, black beans and chiles. Stir and heat slightly.
  • Place 2-4 spoonfuls of filling in the center of each tortilla.
  • Roll each tortilla up and place in the casserole dish with the open side down.
  • Pour the second can of Enchilada sauce over the tortillas.
  • Top with remaining cheese and garnish with parsley flakes.

  • Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions and serve with sour cream and salsa.

Note:  The recipe indicates that these can be frozen, leaving off the topping of Enchilada sauce and cheese until it is time to bake.

Recipe adapted from Cooking with Libby

Family · Family Favorites · Holidays

Sweet, Sweet Blueberry Muffins

Warm, sweet blueberry muffins fresh from the oven with melted butter. Oh, my gosh..it’s the best.

The Sweet Blueberry Muffin recipe is one I found (who knows where!) during my college years. I was reading cookbooks like novels in those days. I first tried this recipe on my family when I cooked several items for Easter Dinner. I still remember the wonderful muffins and memories of Easter celebrations at the Farm.

SWEET BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup salad oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or 3/4 cup frozen blueberries (thawed & drained)

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottoms of 12 medium muffin cups.
  • Beat egg; stir in milk and oil.
  • Mix in remaining ingredients, just until flour is moistened. Batter should be lumpy. Fold in blueberries.
  • Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes.
Family · Family Favorites · Home · My Roots

Oatmeal Cake just like Mom used to make

Oatmeal cake with broiled topping is truly a walk down memory lane. My Mother didn’t make this cake often, but when she did, it was a treat.

This time I decided to bake the cake in two 9×9″ pans and freeze one for later…or so I thought. While the cakes and topping were cooling and while I was trying to settle grandson, Evan, into his afternoon nap, the dogs decided to sample one of the cakes. I was so unhappy, I didn’t take the time to snap one of those naughty dog photos!

Luckily one cake remained and it was delicious! The cake is moist and the crunch topping is so yummy.  Top with a dallop of whipped cream.

Thanks, Mom for a great recipe.  And to the dogs…I’ll choose to say nothing.

OATMEAL CAKE

1 cup quick oatmeal
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups flour plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9×13″ (or two 9×9″) cake pans.
  • Mix together oatmeal and boiling water. Let stand 20 minutes and cool.
  • Mix flour, brown sugar, white sugar, shortening, eggs, salt, cinnamon and soda. Add cooled oatmeal.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes. Prepare topping while the cake is baking.

TOPPING:
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup coconut

  • Bring all ingredients to a boil. Spread topping over cake while cake and topping are hot.

  • Put cake and topping under broiler and let topping brown.

Serve warm with whipped cream.

Home · New Favorite

Chicken YUM YUM lives up to its name!

Great friend and neighbor, Maribeth, shared this recipe with me several months ago. She had shared with me that Chicken Yum Yum was a family favorite and I was excited to try it. For some reason, I envisioned a Chinese dish but this is true Americana comfort food. I have made it with cooked chicken breasts (a little drier) or with a whole roasted chicken.  The roasted (or rotissiere chicken from the store) wins, hands down.

This would be a great recipe to assemble the night before (sans the stuffing), adding the stuffing and butter immediately before baking.

I paired the Chicken Yum Yum with roasted broccoli and it was…YUM YUM!

CHICKEN YUM YUM

1 cooked chicken
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 box stove top stuffing
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine/butter

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.  Place evenly in a 9×13″ greased pan.
  • Mix together sour cream and cream of chicken soup and pour over chicken.
  • Sprinkle box of stuffing over soup/sour cream layer.
  • Drizzle chicken broth over stuffing layer.
  • Melt 1 stick margarine or butter and drizzle over the top.
  • Bake for 60 minutes.
Losers!

Slow Cooker Brownie … a Disaster!

A few days ago I was watching the Rachael Ray show with Emeril Lagasse as her guest. He shared a recipe for a slow cooker/crockpot brownie. With a busy day coming up and the need for a birthday dessert, I decided to give it a shot.

I followed the instructions, shown below, to a ‘T’ and anxiously awaited the yummy results, enjoying the smell of chocolate in my home all afternoon.

After the allotted baking time of 3 1/2 hours, the brownies were still liquid in the middle. I have a fairly large crockpot so the brownies were probably thinner than in many smaller crockpots.  Time was running out, so what to do?  I tried baking a little while longer on low with no improvement.  Finally I resorted to turning the crockpot on ‘high’ and you can imagine the burned edges and still uncooked center.

I was NOT a happy camper and kicked myself for not making the recipe shown below but baking, old-style, in the oven.  I think this modification for traditionally baked brownies topped warm, with the chocolate hazelnut spread would be amazing. Skip the slow cooker method.

NOTE TO SELF:  Never try to ‘bake’ a cake or brownie in the crockpot EVER!

SLOW COOKER BROWNIES (NOT!)

1 box of brownie mix
1 cup chocolate chunks, a mix of milk and dark (and I used some white chocolate)
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread

  • Line the bottom of the slow cooker with some aluminum foil and spray it with a little non-stick spray.
  • Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and add chocolate chunks.
  • Pour the batter into the slow cooker, set at a low temperature and cook for 3 hours.
  • Remove lid and cook for an extra 30 minutes to create a crunchy top. When cool, spread hazelnut spread on top and enjoy!

Recipe from Rachael Ray Show with Emeril Lagasse

Family Favorites · New Favorite

Hot Wing Dip…anytime

Hot Wing Dip came into my life thanks to oldest daughter Megan’s friend, Jacqui.  It was instant love for both of us, although Megan prefers Ranch dressing vs. Blue Cheese dressing.  Either way, it’s a hearty appetizer that is great to share at a potluck, tailgate, Olympics gathering, or just because! This time I split the recipe into two 8×8″ or 9×9″ casseroles to share at different events.

Hot Wing Dip has the same impact as hot wings but 1) not as messy and 2) easier to prepare. What’s not to love?

HOT WING DIP

2 bricks cream cheese, softened
16 oz. bottle Franks red-hot BUFFALO sauce
16 oz. bottle Blue Cheese dressing (or Ranch dressing)
6-8 cooked chicken breasts (depending on if you like it creamier or a bit drier)
1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • Bake or steam the chicken, cool. Cut into smaller pieces. At this point you can either shred the chicken or place in a food processor to chop.

  • Combine chicken with cream cheese, sauce, dressing and 1/2 of chopped green onions (white portion). Sprinkle top of dip with chopped green portion of onions. Place in greased 9×13″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes.

Serve hot with corn or tortilla chips, Ritz crackers, and celery.

Family · Family Favorites

Chicken Divine…a family fav!

Chicken Divine is a recipe I discovered in the ’90s.  I wish I could recall where the recipe originated but it had the elements that my young children liked: chicken, rice, broccoli and, of course, CHEESE!  I made, they liked, repeat.

To this day, it is still a favorite and the aroma of the baking chicken with rosemary is wonderful. I sincerely hope your family enjoys as much as ours does!

CHICKEN DIVINE

3 whole chicken breasts
rosemary to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 sliced onion
1 pound fresh or frozen broccoli
3/4 cup raw rice, cooked

CHEESE SAUCE:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup grated, sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sprinkle chicken with rosemary, salt and pepper. Bake chicken at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool. Skin, bone and slice.
  • Prepare the rice.
  • Cook broccoli in water with salt and onion. Drain.
  • Layer chicken, then broccoli, then rice in buttered casserole.
  • Prepare the cheese sauce:   Melt butter, add flour and stir until smooth. Cook 2 minutes. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add cheeses and seasonings. (I have often made 1 1/2 recipes of the sauce to put on top to make it even more moist.)
  • Pour cheese sauce over entire dish. Add more grated Parmesan on top if desired.
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

 

 

 

Family · Family Favorites · Home · My Roots

Good Old Fashioned Apple Pie and a Great Book

Recently our book club read and reviewed ‘Tallgrass’ by Sandra Dallas, a historical novel that addresses the life and times of the small Colorado town and the controversial internment camp that divided the townspeople.  It was an great book and spurred an excellent discussion.  We all agreed that Sandra Dallas, who lives in Colorado and has family ties to Iowa, has an excellent voice for her characters.

Our book club always begins our gathering with a wonderful potluck typically with a theme associated with book. This evening we enjoyed sushi, edemame salad, fried rice, salads, fruit and much more. After brainstorming with my book club buddies, I decided to make an Old Fashioned Apple Pie in honor of Mary Stroud, a key character in the book.

My favorite Apple Pie is, again, from one my all-time favorite cookbooks. I must confess that I don’t make my own pie crust.  I think the Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts are excellent and I’d rather spend time on the good part…the filling!

As I was making this pie and cutting the vents for the top crust, I couldn’t help but think of my Mother and the hundreds, if not thousands, of pies that she baked over the years. I carry on her vent design, simple but effective.

The pie is excellent on its own but always wonderful topped with vanilla bean ice cream, too!

OLD FASHIONED APPLE PIE

Pastry for 2 crust pie
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons flour
dash salt
6 cups thinly sliced, pared tart cooking apples
2 tablespoons butter

  • On lightly floured surface, roll out half of pastry into an 11 inch circle. Use to line 9 inch pie plate, trim. Refrigerate, with rest of pastry until ready to use.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, flour and salt, mixing well. Add to apples in large bowl, tossing lightly to combine.
  • Turn into pastry-lined pie plate, mounding high in center; dot with butter.

 

  • Roll out remaining pastry into an 11 inch circle. Make several slits near center for steam vents; adjust over filling; trim.

  • Fold edge of top crust under bottom crust; press together with fingertips. Crimp edge decoratively.
  • Bake 45-50 minutes, or until apples are tender and crust is golden-brown.
  • Cool partially on wire rack; serve warm.
  • Optional:  Top with vanilla bean ice cream.

Recipe from:  McCall’s Cook Book, 1963