Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Breakfast Never Fail Strata

From: Donna Wells, a good friend of the family

Ingredients:  (the following ingredients are enough to make one layer)

12 slices of buttered bread, cut into small squares
1/2 lb crisp turkey bacon bacon pieces, crumbled
1/2 cup sautéd mushrooms
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
6 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
2 tsp mustard
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion salt
dash pepper

How To: 

The night before:  On the bottom of a greased 9x13 inch baking dish, spread the bread out evenly.  In a mixing bowl, combine the bacon and mushrooms.  Then sprinkle over the top.  Next, layer the cheese.  In a small mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, onion salt, and pepper. Pour over the top of the cheese in the baking dish. 

For a second layer, repeat on top.

Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. 

In the morning:  Bake uncovered until puffed and golden .  For two layers, bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes.  For one layer, bake at 350° for 30 minutes. 

Side Notes: 

Serves 8-12 people

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

From: The Pioneer Woman

How To:  For this one...  better just to click there.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Decadent Chocolate Cherry Cake

From: I hosted a Pampered Chef party once and got a recipe for the cake and then embellished it with my own toppings last night.  It is sinfully simple and wickedly delicious.  Enough said. 

Any ol' run-of-the-mill chocolate cake mix.  Devil's food cake works well.
1 can of cherry pie filling
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
hot fudge topping
maraschino cherries

How to: 

In a mixing bowl, combine chocolate cake mix, pie filling, egg and vegetable oil until batter is smooth and lumps are mostly gone.  Pour batter into a baking pan or stone (preferred) if you have one.  Bake at 350°F until a knife can be cleanly removed when inserted into cake.  Cut and place on plate.  Pour hot fudge over the cake and top with cherries.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Turkey Paninis

From: My friend, Rebecca, got this recipe from her sister-in-law, Jala. It's sinfully delicious!


8 oz. cream cheese, slightly softened (NOT fat free - it just doesn't taste the same)
1-2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 clove of minced garlic or 1 tsp of garlic salt or garlic powder
Sundried tomato deli turkey – 1/8 pound/sandwich (I couldn't find this, so I just got regular ol' deli turkey.
High quality bread, such as ciabatta rolls or sourdough loaf

How To:

Combine the cream cheese and sundried tomatoes. Add the garlic and refrigerate it for up to a day to allow flavor to permeate. (Or don't. Both times I've made this recipe, I didn't plan ahead enough and it was still just as good.) Prior to making the paninis, soften at room temp or in the microwave for 20-30 seconds so it is spreadable.

Oil or butter the outsides of each piece of bread and spread the cream cheese mixture on the insides of each piece. Put the turkey inside and press on a grill pan. Another option is to toast the bread and then spread the cream cheese mixture on the insides and place the turkey slices in between. To heat the turkey slices, toss them in a skillet with a bit of butter for a minute or two until they begin to sear.

Side Notes:

The sandwiches freeze very well.
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 30-35 minutes

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cheesy Grits

From:  This recipe was passed onto me from a business associate of mine.  Yummmm!


3/4 - 1 cup of grits
16 oz box of Jalapeño Mexican Velveeta Cheese
3/4 stick of margarine
3-4 eggs
7 oz diced green chilis
garlic (optional)
garlic powder (optional)
diced onion (optional)

How to

Cook 3/4 to one cup of grits according to package instructions.
Stir in one 16-oz box Jalapeno Mexican Velveeta and 3/4 stick of margarine.
Meanwhile, beat 3 or 4 eggs with 7 oz of diced green chilis.
Optionally, add finely diced garlic, garlic powder, and/or diced onion to taste.
Add this mixture to the grits and cheese.
Mix well and pour into a well-greased 4-qt caserole.
Bake at 350° for 45 minutes covered, then another 30(+) minutes uncovered.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Came from:  This one is my husband's creation.  They are delicious!


red pepper
oregano - 2 pinches
cumin - 2 pinches
garlic - 2 pinches
salt - 1 pinch
pepper - 1 pinch
(Actually, he doesn't measure... he had to wrack his brain when I asked him how much of each spice, so feel free to be creative.)

How to:

Cut chicken, onion, mango, pineapple, and red pepper into bite-size pieces. Stab them with the shishkabob stick and slide 'em down in the most colorful of patterns... Then fire up the grill.

In the mean time, put the spices into 1/4 cup of oil (olive oil sounds good, but the truth is, we're cheap when it comes to groceries, so we used vegetable oil).

Then slap 'em on the grill and while they cook, brush on the oil and spices mix.

When they look like this... 'em! Oh, yummm!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baked Oatmeal

Came from:  My friend, Catherine shared this recipe with me.  She found it on, although when I tried to find it I couldn't.  :(

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup raisins
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking powder

Wet Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1/2 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten

and... Cooking spray

How to: 

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine the milk, applesauce, butter, and egg. Add milk mixture to oat mixture; stir well. Pour oat mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Side notes: 

Catherine only uses 2 tablespoon of brown sugar because otherwise she finds it too sweet.  I also made it without nuts and thought it was good.  Try baked oatmeal for a unexpected morning treat. It's a mix between an oatmeal bar and traditional creamy breakfast oatmeal.  I understand they can be made in a slow cooker, but I haven't figured out how yet.  If you figure it out, email me and let me know. These portions yield: 5 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)

***UPDATED FEB 26, 2011***

This morning we woke up late and I had a craving for baked oatmeal but no time to bake it.  So I cut the portions in half (except the egg, which you can't really cut in half), tossed it all in a pot and brought it to a boil.  Once boiling I simmered until the it took on an "oatmeal" texture and this is what I got.

I'm munching as I type.  Mmmmmm-mmmm-GOOD!!  Plus, it made just enough for myself and my toddler son (exactly what you seen in the picture), and it only took me 10 minutes to cook!  I'm not sure if the baking powder is necessary this way.  Next time I'll remove it and see how it comes out.  I'll keep you posted!

-------------------------- END UPDATED PORTION -------------------------- 

Nutritional Information of original recipe:
(according to the print-out that Catherine gave me)
Calories:281 (24% from fat)
Fat:7.6g (sat 2.8g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.9g)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Came from:  My friend Annie shared it with me and now I'm sharing it with you!


1 lb of boneless skinless chicken
1 box of cream cheese
¼ cup diced green peppers canned with juice and all
6-8 tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese
1 can of green chile enchilada sauce

How to: 

In a skillet cook the chicken with any spices you like. I usually shake salt, pepper, oregano, cumin and garlic salt over mine. Shred the chicken right in the pan if you have cheap pans like we do or do it on a cutting board and throw the chicken right back into the pan. Add cream cheese and diced green peppers. Cook until the ingredients are all melted and fully mixed together. Remove from heat.

In an 11x9 baking dish, pour in a small amount of the enchilada sauce, to cover the bottom of the dish. Pampered chef stoneware is the best for this, but any old baking dish will do.  Then spoon into each tortilla the chicken mix and a small handful of cheddar cheese. Fold and close/roll the tortillas. Lay them face down in the pan so they won’t roll open. Pour on top of the enchiladas the rest of the enchilada sauce. Top with more cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve.

Side Notes:  This meal is mildly spicy.  I wouldn't hesitate to serve to any adults, but we held off from serving it to our son till he's got a little more tolerance for spice.