Saturday, March 30, 2013

Baked Ziti

  • 1 pound dry ziti pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
  • 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Apple stuffed french toast.

  • Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 35 min.
  • Yield: 6 Servings


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 12 slices Italian bread (1/2 inch thick)
  • 2 large tart apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup


  • In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup; cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish; top with half of the pecans, a single layer of bread and remaining pecans. Arrange apples and remaining bread over the top.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and nutmeg. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Serve with French toast. Yield: 6 servings.

After-Holiday Ham on biscuits

  • Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Yield: 10 Servings


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cups milk
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley


  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk just until moistened. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead 8-10 times.
  • Pat or roll out to 1/2-in. thickness; cut with a floured 2-1/2-in. biscuit cutter. Place 2 in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute ham and onion in butter for 3-4 minutes or until onion is crisp-tender. Stir in the bouillon, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Combine flour and milk until smooth; gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Gently stir in eggs and parsley.
  • Split warm biscuits in half horizontally; top with ham mixture. Yield: 4 servings.

Cinnamon Roll Bunnies

  • Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 tube (12.4 ounces) refrigerated cinnamon roll dough
  • 12 M&M's miniature baking bits
  • 4 pink jelly beans
  • 24 pieces black shoestring licorice (1 inch)
  • 1 drop red food coloring
  • Brown decorating gel or color of your choice


  • Separate dough into eight rolls. Place four rolls on a greased baking sheet. Using a 2-in. biscuit cutter, cut 3/4 in. into both sides of remaining rolls to form ears and bow ties. Place ears at the top and a bow tie below each cinnamon roll; pinch to attach. Slightly flatten rolls.
  • Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside 1-1/2 teaspoons icing. Spread remaining icing over bunnies. Place a baking bit in the center of each bow tie; add remaining baking bits for eyes. Place a jelly bean in each center for nose; attach licorice pieces for whiskers.
  • Tint reserved icing pink with red food coloring; pipe mouths and outline ears. Pipe edges of bow ties with decorating gel. Yield: 4 servings.

Bunny Biscuits Recipe.

  • Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
  • Yield: 5 Servings


  • 1 tube (7-1/2 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 10 raisins
  • 20 slivered almonds
  • 1 tube pink decorating icing
  • 5 red-hot candies or red candied cherries


  • Gently shape five biscuits into oval shapes; place on a greased baking sheet about 2 in. apart. Cut remaining biscuits in half. Shape biscuit halves to form ears; press firmly to attach to whole biscuits. On each biscuit, press on two raisin eyes and four slivered almond whiskers.
  • Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until biscuits are browned. Cool slightly; use icing to frost ears and attach candy noses. Yield: 5 servings.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Quinoa Fruit Salad

1 cup quinoa (I used Red Quinoa) ** (what can be used for a substitut for Quinoa--Small grained rice or couscous are close)
2 cups water
Pinch of salt

For the Honey Lime Dressing:

Juice of 1 large lime
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

For the fruit:

1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1 1/2 cups chopped mango
Extra chopped mint, for garnish-optional

1. Using a strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let quinoa cool to room temperature.

2. To make the Honey Lime Dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk the lime juice, honey, and mint together until combined.

3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, blueberries, strawberries, and mango. Pour honey lime dressing over the fruit salad and mix until well combined. Garnish with additional mint, if desired. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Note-Use your favorite fruit in this salad. Blackberries, peaches, kiwi, raspberries, pineapple, grapes, etc. are great options!

Smothered Chicken

3 to 4 lbs. chicken

1 c. all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. margarine
2.1-oz. env. chicken noodle soup mix
10-3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
12-oz. can evaporated milk
1 t. poultry seasoning
dried parsley to taste

Dredge chicken pieces in flour;
sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Melt margarine in a large skillet over medium heat.
Fry chicken until golden on both sides;
transfer to a greased 13”x9” baking pan.
Sprinkle with soup mix;

pour mushroom soup over top.

Combine evaporated milk, seasoning and parsley
in a small saucepan over medium heat;
heat through without boiling. Pour over chicken.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes,
(after 15 minutes, I spooned the juices over the chicken)
or until juices run clear. Serves 4.

Drizzled Party Popcorn

8 cups popped popcorn
1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Chips
2 teaspoons shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil), divided
1/2 cup REESE'S Peanut Butter Chips


1.) Line cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan with wax paper. Spread popcorn in thin layer on prepared pan.

2.) Place milk chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon shortening in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth when stirred. Drizzle over popcorn.

3.) Place peanut butter chips and remaining 1 teaspoon shortening in separate microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth when stirred. Drizzle over popcorn.

4.) Allow drizzles to set up at room temperature or refrigerate about 10 minutes or until firm. Break popcorn into pieces. About 8 cups popcorn. Popcorn is best eaten the same day as prepared, cups popcorn. Popcorn is best eaten the same day as prepared, but can be stored in airtight container.

Note: Recipe amounts can be changed to match your personal preference.

Recipe from Hershey’s Kitchen

Chocolate Fruit Dip.


•1-1/2 cups plain yogurt
•2 tablespoons fat-free milk
•10 miniature marshmallows
•2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
•Assorted fresh fruit

•Line a strainer with four layers of cheesecloth or one coffee filter and place over a bowl. Place yogurt in prepared strainer; cover yogurt with edges of cheesecloth. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
• In a small heavy saucepan, combine the milk, marshmallows and chocolate chips. Cook and stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Transfer to a small bowl; cool to room temperature.
• Remove yogurt from cheesecloth and discard liquid from bowl. Gradually stir yogurt into milk mixture. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with fruit. Yield: 1 cup.

Nutritional Facts 1/4 cup (calculated without fruit) equals 88 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 12 mg cholesterol, 47 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 4 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 fat, 1/2 starch.

7Up Biscuits


2 cups baking mix 

½ cup sour cream
½ cup 7-Up or other lemon lime soda
3 Tbsp butter, melted


In a bowl, combine the baking mix and sour cream. Add the 7-Up and combine. The dough will be very tender.

Sprinkle some additional baking mix on your working surface and shape dough into a 9 inch square.

Cut dough into 9 squares. I like to use my pizza cutter to do this.

Pour 2 of the Tbsp of melted butter into a 9 inch square baking dish. Be sure the butter coats the bottom of the pan.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes until golden. Brush tops of biscuits with remaining melted butter. Serves 9

Spiced Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits

1 8oz block cream cheese softened
1 15oz can of pumpkin puree
1 box vanilla instant pudding (4 serving size)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or ground cinnamon)
1 cup heavy whipping cream very cold
1/3 cup powdered sugar
20 ginger snaps coarsely crushed (plus 8 whole gingersnaps for garnish)

In a medium sized bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric hand mixer for 1 minute. Add pumpkin, pie spice (or cinnamon) and powdered vanilla pudding mix. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Set aside. In a separate, chilled bowl, beat whipping cream until frothy. Add powdered sugar and beat to stiff peaks. In 8 clear glasses, put a layer of pumpkin mixture, a few crushed ginger snaps and a layer of whipped cream. Continue layering, finishing with a dollop of whipped cream and a whole cookie on top. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 hours before serving.

Cinnamon Roll Bundt Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1/4 c sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 bx 3.4 oz instant vanilla pudding
1 c sour cream
1/2 c oil
4 eggs
3/4 c chopped nuts
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c chopped nuts
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 c cream cheese frosting (i bought pre-made frosting on the cake aisle)
Mix together the cake mix (, the pudding, sour cream, oil and eggs. Add 3/4 cup of chopped nuts. In small bowl, combine 1/4 c sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon. Fold into cake batter; avoid overmixing. Mixture will be thick.
In small bowl, mix brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped nuts and cinnamon.
Put 1/2 of the cake mixture into a bundt pan. On top of the cake batter, sprinkle the brown sugar mixture.
Put remaining cake batter in the bundt pan on top of the brown sugar.
Bake at 350 for 55 minutes.
Let cool in pan for short time (about 10 minutes) and then invert onto serving platter. (I tend to make sure the cake is loosened from the sides of the pan using a soft spatula before doing "the flip.")
Take about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of cream cheese frosting from container and put into microwave safe bowl. Heat for about 30 -45 seconds, or until the frosting is melted.
Drizzle melted frosting over the cake.
NOTE: You may use the Decadent Supreme Cinnamon Cake Mix that is now available and eliminate the yellow cake mix and the cinnamon-sugar add-in to the batter. I adjusted this recipe to use a yellow cake mix because the Decadent Supreme mixes are not easily found in all grocery store locations.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Marshmallow Peep martini

1-1/2 ounces fluffed marshmallow vodka
1/2 ounce vanilla syrup, plus extra for rim
1 ounce cream

Pour a small amount of vanilla syrup onto one plate and sprinkle sugar onto another plate. Dip rim of glass in syrup and then into sugar to coat.
Put vodka, syrup and cream in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Strain into glass.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Homemade Baked Egg Rolls

These egg rolls are crazy-easy to make, and definitely a crowd pleaser.

You’ll need:

egg roll wrappers
a bag of cole slaw mix
a can of mushrooms
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground ginger
a splash of soy sauce
salt and pepper
cooking spray or olive oil in a mister (I use olive oil in a mister)


mung bean sprouts
can of tiny cooked shrimp
anything else you think would be good inside of the egg rolls

homemade egg rolls

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Put your cole slaw in a large microwave-safe bowl, cover, and microwave 3-6 minutes.

homemade egg rolls

2. Chop your mushrooms and put them in a mixing bowl. This is also when you’d put in the bean sprouts, shrimp, or other fillings.

homemade egg rolls

3. Splash in some soy sauce.

homemade egg rolls

4. Add the garlic. I used a HEAPING teaspoon but I like garlic.

homemade egg rolls

5. And sprinkle in the ginger.

homemade egg rolls

6. By now your cole slaw mix should be cooked. Drain it to get out any excess liquid as no one likes a soggy egg roll.

homemade egg rolls

7. Then combine the cole slaw mix with the rest of the ingredients.

homemade egg rolls

8. Place a bit of filling in the center of each wrapper. (See that little bowl? That has water in it, which you’ll need for sealing the edges.)

homemade egg rolls

9.Fold in two of the corners.

homemade egg rolls

10. Put a bit of water on the top edges with your finger. Fold up the bottom, and roll as tightly as you can to the edge.

homemade egg rolls

11. It helps if you sort of tuck it as you are rolling.

homemade egg rolls

12. Voila!

homemade egg rolls

13. Repeat for the rest of the wrappers, and place the egg rolls on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray or olive oil (mmm… olive oil). Spray the tops of the egg rolls with the oil, too.

homemade egg rolls

14. Bake 15 minutes, then flip the egg rolls over and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving (this will let the wrappers get a little more crisp too).

homemade egg rolls

15. Serve with soy sauce mixed with rice vinegar for dipping, or your favorite dipping sauce (spicy mustard? duck sauce?).

Wonder cake

A box of Angel Food Cake mix (just the contents of the box, no need to follow the directions on the box), and combine it with a 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple in its own juice. (No need to use a mixer, just stir it by hand) When you do this, something magical happens. The mixture starts to froth and it turns into an amazingly airy, fluffy bowl of deliciousness right before your eyes. Once it’s all mixed up, simply pour it into a 9 x 13 baking dish and bake it at 350 for 30 minutes