Sunday, August 30, 2009

♥Grandma's Creamy Bread Pudding ♥

Click to print this recipe  
Getting a little cool outside? Are you feeling like you need a little comfort food? I've got just the medicine you have been looking for. This bread pudding recipe is the best I have ever eaten - and I mean EVER! Easy to prepare and heavenly when it hits your taste buds, this recipe will become one of those favorites you grab to make when the wind is whipping around the snow, there is a log crackling in the fireplace and the cat wants to curl up in your lap.

6 eggs
2 cups half-and-half
5 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound loaf of raisin bread with cinnamon. Pull apart slices into about 1.5" cubes. You can also cut with a knife but if the little ones want to help this is a great job for small hands. Place bread in large mixing bowl.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the eggs well. Add milk, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, and mix well. Pour this mixture over the bread cubes and lightly mix.
Pour the bread mixture into a greased 9x13-inch glass baking pan and place inside large roasting pan. I use one of those large, disposal (I keep it for this purpose alone and it has lasted for years) aluminum turkey size roasters you can get at Walmart. Fill aluminum baking pan with warm water until it is about half way up the sides of the glass pan. Bake about one hour or until the top is lightly browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream or swimming in half and half.
This will make you swoon!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

♥Crisp Pineapple Apricot Chicken Stir Fry♥

Stir fry brings certain visions that dance through your head: healthy, crunchy, colorful, crisp, Asian, quick, easy. Well, all of it is true. This recipe gives you all of that and more, the satisfaction in knowing that your meal didn't come out of a box or can

  • 1 (15 ounce) can apricot halves, drained and chopped, juice reserved
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cut into strips
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed
  • 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 3 green onion, sliced


  1. Stir together apricot juice, soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl until the cornstarch has dissolved; set aside.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a wok over high heat. Stir in ginger, and cook until it begins turns golden brown, about 10 seconds. Add the chicken; cook and stir until the chicken turns white and begins to firm. Stir in the stir-fry vegetables, and continue cooking until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the vegetables are hot.
  3. Stir in the apricots, pineapple chunks, and apricot juice mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook until the sauce thickens and clears, about 1 minute. Stir in green onion before serving.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

♥Peaches 'n Cream Bavarian Molded Salad♥

Another selection from my recipe box that is quick, easy, low in calories and fun to make! What is go great about this is that your family will be so impressed and you'll know that you whipped it up in minutes! I ♥ peaches. They are one of those fruits that we don't use all that often, do we? Usually strawberries, cherries, and blueberries are the norm for cold salads making this peach delight a treat for sure!

Monday, August 24, 2009

♥Fresh from the Oven Apple Crisp 'n Cream♥

This is one of those recipes that is such a good standby! Apples are filling our farmer's markets right now - red, green, crunchy and delicious! I used to make this for my boys so they'd have a warm treat when they would walk in the back door after school. It never lasted long and I bet yours won't either!
Piled high in deep bowls, swimming in half and half or topped with vanilla ice cream, there is NO way anyone could refuse!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

♥Spicey Honey Mustard Popcorn♥

Now, there is just me in the house, so I don't make a large batch of this nummy treat, but on occasion I have doubled and tripled it depending on the size of the crowd! Low in calories, it is a snack that dieters ♥.

1 quart popped popcorn
2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white or black pepper

Preheat oven to 325° F. Spread popcorn on a baking sheet. Drizzle honey over popcorn and sprinkle with dry mustard, cumin, salt and pepper. Bake about 9 minutes and toss just before serving. Serve warm.

Yield: 1 quart

Friday, August 21, 2009

♥Everything But the Kitchen Sink Layered Salad♥

  • 1 pound bacon
  • large bunch of romaine lettuce - rinsed, dried, and chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas, thawed
  • 10 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • small container of grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup green or red pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Crumble and set aside.
  2. In a large flat bowl, layer lettuce, onion, peas, eggs, tomatoes, cauliflower, peppers and any other fresh veggies you have available.
  3. Prepare the dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, sugar, sour cream and Parmesan cheese with a dash or two of black pepper. Drizzle/spread over salad and refrigerate until chilled, preferably over night. Top with the cheddar cheese and sprinkle with diced bacon.

I recommend a trifle bowl for a really pretty presentation, but any straight-sided glass container will do.

Layer evenly in any order that you think is pretty. What I have written in my recipe is only a suggestion. Also, I vary the fresh veggies depending on what I have in the house at the time but to make this really pretty, you need a lot of color and texture.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

♥Rich 'n Creamy Apple Pancakes♥

Fall is just around the corner and apples are ripe for picking. This recipe will make four servings; however, I usually double the ingredients because these are such a yummy hit!


  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup shredded tart apple
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. In a large bowl, combine butter, egg, half and half and apple. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar. Stir flour mixture into apple mixture, just until combined.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

♥Garlic 'n Herb Chicken-in-a-Blanket♥

This is one of those recipes that flatter family or guests because it looks like you spent a lot of time in the kitchen just for them! Eazy to do, delicious to eat and a meal that you can prepare ahead of time and pop into the oven when you get home. Love it!


1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
ground black pepper (optional)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
1 container (4 ounces) garlic & herb spreadable cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Heat the oven to 400°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork or whisk.

Season the chicken with the black pepper, if desired. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until it's well browned on both sides. Remove the chicken to a plate. Cover the plate and refrigerate for 15 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 14-inch square. Cut into 4 (7-inch) squares.

Spread about 2 tablespoons cheese spread in the center of each pastry square. Top each with 1 tablespoon parsley and 1 chicken breast. Brush the edges of the pastry squares with the egg mixture. Fold the corners of the pastry squares to the center over the chicken and press to seal. Place the filled pastries seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Brush the pastries with the egg mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Let the pastries cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

♥Tropical Pina Colada Cheesecake Bars♥

Quick, easy and fun to make. A great little treat to finish off a summer BBQ! I like these because I usually have all of the ingredients on hand. None are off-the-wall like so many recipes we think we'd love to make but would need to go out to purchase something that we'd use only once in a blue moon
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice, reserved from canned pineapple
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
    Remaining ingredients
  • 1 cup canned pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare crust, combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Add butter, oil, and 1 tablespoon water; toss well. Press mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

To prepare filling, combine cottage cheese and the next 7 ingredients (through salt) in a food processor, and process until smooth. Add eggs, and process until blended. Spread cheese mixture over cooled crust. Bake at 350° for 33 minutes or until set. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled. Top with pineapple and coconut. Cut into 16 bars.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fiesta Corn 'n Pepper Refrigerator Relish

Quick and easy, this is fun to make and looks darling with its rich colors peeking out at you with a red, gingham ribbon tied around the neck of the jar. This makes a sweet hostess gift to bring along to the last-of-the-summer BBQs on Labor Day.


6 cups cooked whole kernel yellow corn (9 to 12 medium ears)

1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper (1 large)

1 cup diced green bell pepper (1 medium)

1 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)

2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons celery seed

2 teaspoons mustard seed

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch


1. Mix chopped vegetables; set aside. Mix remaining ingredients, except water and cornstarch, in 6-quart saucepot. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Add vegetables; return to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. Spoon off any foam.

2. Mix water and cornstarch; stir into corn mixture. Cook 3 to 5 minutes on medium heat until mixture starts to thicken, stirring occasionally.

3. Ladle into 4 hot sterilized pint or 8 half-pint canning jars. Cover jars with metal lids and screw on bands.

4. Refrigerate relish. Store in refrigerator up to 3 months.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

EZ Peasy Apple Dumplings Smothered in Ice Cream

It won't be long and our Farmer's Markets will be filled with crisp, fresh, juicy apples. Like the old saying goes: Nothing says lovin' like somethin' from the oven. One goodie I absolutely l♥ve is baked apples. A little less work than a pie but packed with all the same goodness and flavor. This recipe is so easy because it uses pie crusts already made for you. I always have a couple of packages in my freezer for those times when I want to make something special but don't have the time or just don't want something quick but delicious. You are gonna ♥ these, I promise☺


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, divided
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 (15-ounce) packages refrigerated pie crusts
  • 8 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut up
  • Vanilla ice cream or half and half


Bring 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/4 cup butter. Set syrup aside.
Combine 2/3 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
Cut pie crusts in half, and roll into 8-inch circles. Place 1 apple in center of each circle. Sprinkle each evenly with sugar mixture; dot evenly with 3 tablespoons butter.
Fold dough over apples, pinching to seal. Place in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Drizzle with syrup.
Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm smothered vanilla ice cream or floating in half and half.
♥ In order to prevent the sauce from burning on the bottom of your baking pan, place your pan of apple dumplin's inside a pan with a bit of water inside - much like you would do when you bake bread pudding. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Peanut Chicken Stir Fry Salad with Lime

This is so quick and easy to make, almost fun! I really like it when I can put a dish on the table that looks delicious and colorful! This one fits the bill and is great to prepare when you really don't want to spend much time cooking. After all, summer is winding down so staying in the kitchen is a no-no. Get outside and have some fun!


  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon bottled chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts or cashews
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • Lime wedges (optional)


Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add chicken to broth mixture, stirring to coat. Let stand 3 minutes.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Drain chicken, reserving marinade. Add chicken to the pan; cook 4 minutes or until done, stirring frequently. Stir in the reserved marinade. Reduce heat; cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Remove pan from heat.

Combine greens and basil in a large bowl. Add chicken mixture, tossing to coat. Place 1 1/4 cups salad mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons onion and 1 1/2 teaspoons peanuts or cashews and for color, a smidgen of dried cherries a bite of sweetness here and there. Serve immediately. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.