Sunday, March 02, 2008

Fried Chicken with Gravy

1 C plus 1 T flour
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces (I use just chicken breasts instead)
1/2 C milk
2 C vegetable oil
1 C water
1 1/2 C half and half or light cream

You'll need a deep 12-inch skillet with a tight fitting lid.

Put 1 C flour with salt and pepper in a large sealable plastic bag. Seal bag, and shake to combine.

Turn chicken pieces in milk in a bowl, then add chicken to flour mixture and seal the bag. Discard the milk. Shake to coat and let stand in bag awhile while oil heats.

Heat oil in skillet over moderately high heat until it registers 360 degrees. Add chicken, skin side down. Cook covered, until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook covered for 5 more minutes.

Transfer chicken to a plate. Pour fat from skillet into a heatproof bowl (just to cook before discarding). Add 1/2 C water to skillet. Return chicken to skillet, skin side up and cook covered over moderate heat until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Pour off and discard all but 1 T of fat from skillet, then stir 1 T flour into remaining fat and cok over moderate heat, whisking, for 2 minutes. Add half and half, whisking, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until sauce is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and spoon over chicken (or mashed potatoes, if desired).

Alfredo Sauce

1/4 C butter
1 C heavy cream
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 C parmesan cheese (freshly grated, if possible)

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese. Whisk quickly, heating through. Serve over noodles.

My Tips:
  • This is the quickest recipe I've found for alfredo sauce. It tastes awesome, but SO unhealthy!
  • Parmesan cheese doesn't melt very well, so you'll still be able to see it when it's ready to eat. Some people have substituted Gruyere cheese and gotten good results. I haven't tried that, though.

Italian Bread (Bread Machine)

4 C flour
1 T light brown sugar
1 1/3 C warm water
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t olive oil
1 pkg active dry yeast

1 egg
1 T water

Place flour, brown sugar, warm water, salt, olive oil and yeast in the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle and press Start.

When done, deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Form dough into two loaves. Place loaves seam side down on the pan you will bake it on. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together egg and 1 T of water. Brush the risen loaves with the egg mixture. Make a single long, quick cut down the center of the loaves with a sharp knife.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.

My Tips:
  • I usually only make one loaf with this recipe, rather than two.
  • Instead of making a plain loaf, I separate the dough into two parts and make a long rope-type shape with each part. Then I twist them together. This makes it look neat when it's done.
  • We usually eat this by slicing the bread into garlic bread-size pieces. We mix butter and garlic (the kind that comes in a glass jar). We butter one side of each piece, put the loaf back together, and heat it in the oven.

Chicken Tettrazini

This recipe is from Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis. The good thing about this recipe is that I had almost all the ingredients on hand already, except for the whole milk and whipping cream. Quite a few steps, but worth it. I recommend having enough parmesan cheese left over to sprinkle on it after you dish in on to your plate.

Here is the recipe!

Pizza Dough

I love this crust because it doesn't get soggy after baking.

1 C water, 75-85 degrees
1 pkg yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 T olive oil
2 1/2 - 3 C bread flour
To make a crispier crust, add additional flour

Mix water, yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil together. Dissolve yeast. Slowly add flour until soft dough forms. Knead for 10 minutes. Divide into two parts, if making two crusts. Let rise in separate bowls for 3-6 hours. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Make sure to preheat for at least 30 minutes.

Roll dough out to desired thickness. Place on a baking stone. Bake until cheese looks done.

This recipe will make one regular crust or two thin crusts.

My tips:
  • Don't get carried away on the sauce. Too much sauce can make a crust soggy and the pizza will be soggy.
  • The first time I made this, I didn't realize it needed 3-6 hours to rise. So I covered it with a towel and put it in the oven at 200 degrees for 5-7 minutes. Then took it out and let it rise for 15 minutes or so. It was just fine.
  • Keep an eye on it while cooking it. Since it's baking at 500 degrees, it can get too done very quickly.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies That Rock

1 3/4 C flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 C butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 C granulated sugar
1/2 C dark brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 C unsweetened cocoa
2 T milk
1 C semisweet chocolate chips

Combine flour and baking soda, and set aside.

Use an electric mixer to cream butter. Add vanilla and sugars, and beat until fluffy. Beat in egg. At low speed beat in cocoa, then milk. With a wooden spoon mix in dry ingredients just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto nonstick or foil-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 12-13 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly before removing from baking sheets.

Note: If you accidentally use baking powder instead of baking soda, they will still taste the same. Ahem.

Friday, February 23, 2007


2 pounds lean ground beef
1 (46 fluid ounce) can tomato juice
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed*
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed*
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup chili powder

1. Place ground beef in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, and crumble.
2. In a large pot over high heat combine the ground beef, tomato juice, tomato sauce, kidney beans, pinto beans, onions, bell pepper, cayenne pepper, sugar, oregano, ground black pepper, salt, cumin and chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. (Note: If using a slow cooker, set on low, add ingredients, and cook for 8 to 10 hours.)

**I use 2 cans of Mrs. Grimes chili beans instead of the kidney and pinto beans.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Twinkie Cake

Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan. Bake a yellow cake according to the directions. Once out of the oven, cool for about 5 minutes, then loosen the sides with a knife and turn the pan upside down onto a cookie sheet. Cut the cake in half horizontally and remove the top layer. Spread the filling and the the top back on.

1 stick of margarine
1/2 C crisco (you must use a solid shortening - not an oil)
1 1/2 C sugar
3/4 C evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla

Beat with an electric mixer for 8-10 minutes until the filling is light and fluffy. It takes a long time to get to that stage.

Graham Cracker Pie

Crush about 2 pkg of graham crackers

Add 1/2 C sugar and 1/3 C melted butter. Mix together and pack into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 6 - 8 minutes.

Prepare two boxes of instant vanilla (or desired flavor) pudding. Spread over graham crackers. Sprinkle a few extra graham cracker crumbs on top. Refrigerate.

Note: I always estimate the ingredients in the graham cracker crust. The only thing to be careful of is to make sure you have enough butter to it sticks together and don't overbake it.

Ham Balls

1 pound prepared ham loaf (can buy in the meat dept at the grocery store)
2 eggs
1/2 C crushed graham crackers

Knead together and press into a loaf pan or make into balls.

1 can tomato soup
1/2 C - 1 C brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard

(topping can be doubled)

Bake at 350 for 60 - 90 minutes.

Twice Baked Potatoes

5 pounds potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 C milk
1/2 C margarine
1 tsp onion salt
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Lawry's Seasoning Salt, to taste (optional)

Mix together and put in a 9 x 13 greased casserole dish. You can optionally put melted butter or dabs of butter on the top. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 - 45 minutes. This freezes well. Thaw before baking.

Hamburger Buns - Bread Machine

1 C. hot water
1 egg
3 T potato flakes
1 C whole wheat flour
2 C white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C margarine or butter (I always use real butter)
2 tsp yeast

Put all ingredients in bread machine. Set on dough setting. When done, form into 12 balls. Flatten them a little with your hand, and then let rise. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes.

Bread Braid - Bread Machine

6 oz. milk, 80 degrees
1 large egg
3 C bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 T sugar
4 T margarine or butter (I always use real butter)
2 tsp yeast

Put all ingredients in bread machine and set to dough settings. When done, roll dough out to 6" x 15". Slice into 2" strips, leaving connected at the top. Braid. Let rise about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until gold brown. After removing from oven, rub with a stick of butter.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Lasanga Casserole

1.5 pounds hamburder
1/3 C chopped onion
1 tsp sugar
8 oz pkg frozen egg noodles
1 C cottage cheese
1/4 C sour cream
1/4 C chopped green onions
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 T melted butter or marg
1/2 C parmesan cheese
15 oz can of tomato sauce
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 T butter

Brown hamburger and onion, drain. Stir in tomato sauce and sugar, then set aside. Boil noodles according to directions and drain. Combine cheeses, sour cream, green onions, pepper, salt and garlic powder, then set aside. Butter a 3 quart casserole dish. Pour in half the meat mixture and layer with half the noodles. Cover with all the cheese mixture. Top with remaining noodles. Pour melted butter over casserole and top with remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Marinated Cheese

1/2 olive oil
1/2 C white wine vinegar
1 jar (2 oz) diced pimento, drained
3 T chopped fresh parsley
3 T minced green onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
8 oz package of chedder cheese (block of cheese)
8 oz cream cheese, cold

In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine olive oil, wine vinegar, pimento, parsley, green onion, garlic, sugar, basil, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously to blend. Set aside.

Cut the blocks of cheddar cheese in half lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 1/4" slices to form squares. Repeat with cream cheese. Arrange cheese squares alternately in a shallow baking dish with slices standing on edge. You can arrange in a single row or 2 long parallel rows depending on the size of your dish. Pour the marinade from the jar over the cheese, cover and refridgerate for at least 6 hours.

To serve, remove slices and place on a serving platter so they are still arranged in an alternating pattern. Spoon some of the extra marinade over the cheese. Serve with crackers.

Baked Beans

I buy only Bush's baked beans and spruce them up with lots of brown sugar and catsup. I estimate it based on my personal taste.

  • If you have not tried dipping potato chips, like Ruffles, into baked beans, you are SO missing out.
  • Baked beans are also awesome with a scoop of mashed potatoes.

Cheesy Potatoes

Mix together and place in a 9 x 13 pan:
2 lbs frozen hash browns
1/2 C melted butter or marg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 T dried onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pint (2 cups) sour cream (see note below)
2 C grated cheese

Mix and put on top of the potato mixture:
2 C crushed corn flakes or potato chips
1/2 C grated cheese
1/4 C melted margarine

Bake 45 - 60 minutes at 350 degrees.

  • I use 1 C ranch-type chip dip in place of 1 cup of the sour cream. It's awesome! Thanks to Momof4GreatKids for that tip!

Potato Casserole

5 pounds potatoes, boiled and mashed
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 C Half and Half
onion salt
garlic salt

Combine above ingredients and place into a 9 x 13 pan. Brush with melted butter and sprinkled with paprika. Can put in fridge until ready to bake. Bake at 350 for 30 - 45 minutes.

  • Recipe can easily be doubled
  • BY FAR my favorite way to make potatoes

Sombrero Spread

1/2 pound ground beef
1/4 C chopped onion
1/4 C catsup
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz can of red kidney beans with liquid, smashed

Brown the ground beef and onion. Add the remaining ingredients and heat thoroughly. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Use as a dip for Tostitos or corn chips of your choice.

Pork Marinade

Dissolve 1/2 C Kosher salt per 4 C of water. Marinate the pork in this overnight.

Rinse, then marinate overnight again in the following mixture:
1/3 C Soy Sauce
1/3 C water
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T honey

  • We use this for our pork chops.

Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 C butter, softened (no margarine)
1/4 tsp vanilla
3/4 C powdered sugar
2 T brown sugar
3/4 C mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 C finely chopped pecans (I personally don't use these)
Some form of graham cracker, like Teddy Grahams or graham cracker sticks.

Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla until fluffy. Add sugars and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and cool in fridge for 2 hours. Then place on a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a ball. You can then unwrap and cover with pecans, if you choose. Store in fridge, covered with plastic wrap.

I serve mine on a platter surrounded by variations of Teddy Grahams: chocolate, regular, and chocolate chip.

Mom's Homemade Ice Cream

6 eggs
2 1/4 C sugar
5 C milk
4 C heavy cream
4 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Beat eggs until thick. Add sugar and beat until very thick. Add remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly and freeze in an ice cream freezer.

  • As you see above, this recipe calls for raw eggs. So if that freaks you out, then you better not make this.
  • If you prefer your ice cream to not be so creamy, you can use Half and Half. Or I've also used 2 C heavy cream and 2 C half and half.

Chicken Casserole

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 large can chow mein noodles
1 C Miracle Whip (not mayo!)
4 C cooked chicken
2 C cooked rice
1 C chicken broth our boullion
French fried onions

Combine ingredients in a large bowl, except for the French fried onions. Put into a 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle FF onions on top. Bake 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Can optionally add mushrooms, celery, broccoli.

Rice Casserole

1 can beef consumme
1 can french onion soup
1 stick of butter
1 C Uncle Ben's Converted Rice

Combine the first three ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the rice, and remove from heat. Pour contents into a small casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Sugar Cookies

1 C butter
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Mix together in a large bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine:
2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tarter

Slowly mix the flour mixture into the first mixture. Roll out of a floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

  • I use Betty Crocker's Cream Cheese frosting with these cookies.
  • These cookies taste better the day after they are baked, in my opinion.
  • These cookies are awesome when cut really thick.