Friday, May 29, 2009

Honey Mustard Dressing

This is a great salad dressing recipe. I listed the ingredients I use for our salad with this dressing. This dressing is also great as a dip for chicken tenders (recipe on blog or frozen kind). For my family of 6 I double the recipe. -Kristin

green leaf lettuce (or something similar), chopped
purple cabbage, shredded
green onions, chopped
chow mien noodles
slivered almonds
grilled chicken breasts or frozen chicken tenders, baked

Salad Dressing Ingredients:

6 T. honey
3 t. vinegar
8 t. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip (I do a combo using both)
2 T. Dijon
1/2 t. olive oil

  • Mix all together and serve as dressing over salad or as a dip for chicken.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

This is a recipe I adapted and changed a bit from Cooking Light. This is a great, quick lunch or dinner or something a little different to bring to a potluck. For the Caesar dressing I used Aldi's Garlic Caesar. I think it is one of the best Caesar dressings around, so if you have an Aldi try to get that dressing. -Kristin

My family LOVES this!-Sarah

2 c. diced, grilled chicken breast
6 oz. uncooked penne pasta
1/2 c. diced green onion
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
4 c. chopped green leaf or romaine lettuce
6 to 12 oz. turkey bacon, diced and fried (the amount depends on you)
5 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1/2 c. Caesar dressing

  • Cook pasta according to directions.
  • Combine all the rest in a large bowl and serve.

Shredded BBQ Chicken

This is so yummy! I love that it goes in the crock pot and makes a bunch. My family would eat this meal again and again. It's going to be a summer staple at our house. The website I found this recipe at is called, she has a ton of great recipes, check it out.-Sarah

4-6 chicken breasts (I also used some boneless chicken thighs)
18 oz. BBQ sauce
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce

  • In a bowl mix 2/3 of the bottle of BBQ sauce, and the remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken in crock pot and cook on low about 6 hours or high about 3.
  • Remove chicken when cooked through and pour juices into a bowl.
  • Shred chicken and place back in crock pot. Pour remaining BBQ sauce over shredded chicken and add as much of the reserved juice as you would like.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Banana Blueberry Muffins

My family loves muffins. I try to always have some made for snacks or a quick breakfast. These are great, I love the banana and blueberry combo! -Kristin

1 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. wheat germ
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
5 T. butter, melted
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
3 mashed bananas
1/4 c. milk
3 T. applesauce
1 t. vanilla
1 c. frozen blueberries
  • Mix together the flours, wheat germ, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  • In a separate bowl beat together the butter and sugars until creamy.
  • Add the eggs, bananas, milk, applesauce and vanilla; beating till creamy.
  • Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients.
  • Fold in blueberries.
  • Paper line or grease a 12 cup muffin tin and bake at 375 for 25-28 minutes.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Peanut Buttter Reese's Pieces Cookies

YUM, YUM, YUM!!!!! We loved the peanut butter cookie with the yummy Reese's in there. The dough makes it a thicker cookie which I loved about this cookie. The dough makes it so much different then just a pb cookie with candy pieces. These are my new favorite cookie!...I think I say stuff like that a lot, but I just love new recipes! -Kristin

3 c. flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
11 T. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 c. peanut butter (creamy or crunchy or a combo)
1 t. vanilla
10 oz. package Reese's Pieces Baking Bits
1/2 c. M&M's (optional)

  • Cream together the butter and sugars.
  • Add the eggs, peanut butter and vanilla and beat until creamy.
  • Beat in the salt and baking soda, mix well and then add the flour.
  • Stir in the candy.
  • The dough is thick so I used my hands and grabbed a ball of dough and flattened it on the cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mandarin Chicken

This is a new family favorite! The chicken and sauce is so wonderful, keeps you craving more! The sauce gets into every bite of the rice and the flavor is just so addictive! My family thought I was amazing for making this meal. I doubled this recipe for our family of 6. -Kristin

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 T. sugar
garlic powder

2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. soy sauce (low sodium)
1 T. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. ginger (the jarred kind)
1/4 c. water
4 t. cornstarch

cooked rice
green onions, chopped (opt.)

  • Season both sides of the chicken with the sugar and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder.
  • Grill until no longer pink inside.
  • Remove from the grill and cut into bit sized strips and set aside.

  • For the sauce, combine the sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic and ginger. Pour into a sauce pan and heat the mixture until almost at a boil.
  • Combine the cornstarch and water.
  • Once the sauce starts to boil add the cornstarch mixture and stir until thickened.
  • Add the grilled chicken and simmer until thickened. It will get very thick, just keep stirring.
  • Serve over rice and top with chopped green onions if desired.

Rhubarb Muffins

We love rhubarb and I am always trying to find new recipes to make with it. This muffin recipe is awesome! It is nice to have a recipe for rhubarb that is not a dessert. -Kristin

1 1/2 c. chopped rhubarb
1 T. sugar
1 c. flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 egg
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 T. canola oil
1 c. milk
1 t. vanilla

  • Preheat oven 400. Line muffin pan with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Place chopped rhubarb in a small bowl. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar and toss.
  • In a large bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
  • In another bowl combine remaining ingredients and whisk well.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir till just combined.
  • Fold in rhubarb.
  • Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick placed in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  • Makes 12 muffins.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Peanut Butter Jelly Muffins

Muffins rock! These are so yummy...they are a light, fluffy like, moist muffin, not too hearty. Do not use natural style peanut butter in this recipe; it won't have enough sugar or fat to help the muffins rise. -Kristin

1 c. flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar (regular or dark)
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 c. milk
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
2 T. butter, melted
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. strawberry jam or other of your choice

  • Mix together the flours, sugars, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.
  • Make a well in center of mixture and add the milk, peanut butter, eggs, butter and vanilla. Mix those ingredients and incorporate in. Stir just until moist.
  • Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
  • Fill only half full with batter.
  • Place about 1 t. jam into center of each and cover up the rest way with the batter.
  • Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.
  • Makes 12.

Banana Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins

These are delicious!!! -Kristin

1 egg
1/3 c. oil
1/2 c. sugar
2-3 mashed bananas (about 1 1/3 c.)
2 c. flour
1/2 c. oats
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. chocolate chips
  • In a large mixing bowl beat egg, oil and sugar until smooth.
  • Stir in bananas.
  • In a separate bowl combine flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • Stir dry mixture into wet and then fold in chocolate chips.
  • Lightly grease or paper line a 12 c. muffin pan.
  • Bake at 375 for 17-20 minutes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

M&M Cookies

I'm on a quest for the perfect M&M cookies. So far this recipe is the winner! With the same ingredients you can make the cookie how you like them. In one picture I mixed the M&M's right into the dough and made them just like chocolate chip cookies. In the other picture I made small balls of dough and placed M&M's on the top of the balls and baked the cookies. Up to you, both are delicious! -Sarah

1 1/2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 t. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
  • Cream butter, add sugars and beat until well mixed. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl mix flour with baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture
    If stirring M&M's into dough use about 1 1/2 cups. If pressing them into balls make sure to flatten the ball lightly to press M&M's into dough and help them bake more evenly.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Banana Sour Cream Pancakes

This is a recipe I adapted from Barefoot Contessa. I changed it a bit and am posting it the way I made them, they are delicious! The hint of lemon flavor from the zest combined with the banana is incredible. A really special treat! Makes 16. -Kristin

1 1/2 c. flour
3 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. sour cream
3/4 c. plus 1 T. milk
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
zest of one lemon
3-4 bananas diced finely (not mashed though)

3 bananas sliced (for topping if desired)

  • Mix together all the dry ingredients and set aside.
  • In separate bowl whisk together the sour cream milk, eggs, vanilla and zest.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
  • Grease and preheat griddle till water dances on top when sprinkled.
  • Drop by large rounded spoonful and then distribute a rounded tablespoon of diced bananas on each pancake. Cook until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip pancake and cook another minute or so until browned.
  • Serve with sliced bananas and syrup.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fruit Pizza

I've been making this delicious dessert since I was a teenager and it has a special memory for me and my husband. I love that it tastes as good as it looks and it's not too sweet, as some dessert pizza's that I've tried are. -Sarah

1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups flour
-Cut butter into dry ingredients until well mixed and press into a pizza pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Do not brown the edges. Cool completely.

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
-Beat until smooth. Spread over crust.

fresh fruit
-Slice fruit and arrange over cream cheese layer. You can do this in a pretty pattern or just sprinkle the chopped fruit all over the pizza, which works great if your making a rectangle shaped dessert.

1 cup apple juice
2 T. cornstarch
1 t. lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
-Cook until clear and cool until it's room temperature. Drizzle glaze mixture over fruit. This is a delicious topping to the pizza and adds a beautiful glaze but also helps to seal the fruit and keep it from browning.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Crock Pot Chili

This is my families favorite chili recipe. -Kristin

2# ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced or a couple jarred jalapeno slices diced
1/4 c. chili powder
2 t. garlic powder
2 1/2 t. oregano
2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
4 t. chicken bouillon
1 t. sugar
1/2-1 t. red pepper flakes, opt. (less or more depending on your preference for spice)
2 (16oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
2 (16oz.) can diced tomatoes or tomato puree
2 (16 oz.) cans chili beans (mild, medium or hot- your choice. I do one mild and one medium)
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

  • Brown beef with the onion, green bell pepper and jalapeno. Drain grease and add to crock pot along with remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
  • Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours.
  • Serve with optional toppings.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Smashed Potatoes

This is the way that I've made smashed potatoes for years, they are easy and so delicious! You can adjust the seasonings to your liking and serve them with or without gravy. -Sarah

Red potatoes, washed unpeeled and quartered
sour cream
garlic powder

  • Boil potato quarters until very tender and drain.
  • With a potato masher mash the potatoes until desired texture. These can be made smooth or chunky with chunks of potato in them. The skins will break up and mix into the potatoes.
  • Mix in remaining ingredients. The sour cream thins them out a little and gives them a creamy texture and great flavor.

Monday, May 11, 2009


This is a new discovery for me. I have heard a lot about it and was anxious to try it, first some background information. Pronounced keenwa, it was an ancient super food for the Inca Indians, originating in South America. Recently growing in popularity due to it's nutritional value. It has a whopping 14 g. of protein for a heaping 1/2 cup (uncooked). It is gluten-free, high in Magnesium and iron. I like to use it in place of rice, but am finding new ways to use it all the time. Here is the recipe for my favorite way to cook up a batch. -Sarah

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 t. salt

  • Place quinoa in a strainer and rinse. (unrinsed quinoa can have a bitter flavor, so rinse it well)
  • Place rinsed quinoa, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 20 minutes until cooked through.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Steak Sauce

This is so delicious! My Mom made this when I was growing up and I still remember how it made the house smell. I have played around with the amounts and the original recipe is the best. My family loves it on steak, chicken and burgers! -Sarah

1/8 t. garlic powder
5 oz. Worcestershire sauce
8 oz. tomato sauce
2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. dried rosemary or 1 T. fresh rosemary
1/2 t. dried thyme leaves
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup vinegar
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 cup ketchup
2 T. dried onion

  • Simmer all for 20 minutes. When cool press through a metal strainer. This isn't necessary but it removes the rosemary and onion, making it a smooth sauce.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Spinach Salad with French dressing

This was a favorite salad of mine as a kid, the dressing tastes great with the spinach.-Sarah

bacon, coked and crumbled
hard boiled eggs, sliced
mushrooms, sliced

French Dressing
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup + 2 T. sugar
3 T. ketchup
1/8 t. salt
2 T. vinegar
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. minced dried onion

  • Mix all the salad dressing ingredients together and chill.
  • Serve with salad.

Crock Pot Shredded Chicken Chili

Awesome!!! This is soooo fantastic. The flavor is amazing and the chicken is so tender and delicious. The next day for leftovers I served this over baked potatoes and that was awesome too! -Kristin

1 onion, diced
16 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
16 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
16 oz. can tomato sauce
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with mild green chillies
4-6 t. chili powder
5 t. paprika
3 t. ground cumin
2 t. onion powder
2 1/2 t. garlic powder
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. salt
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Optional toppings:
sour cream
green onions
tortilla chips, crushed
  • Combine and mix in the crock pot the beans, onion, sauce, diced tomatoes and all of the seasonings. (I have not tried this, but the original recipe I adapted this one from said that a package of taco seasoning could be used in place of the seasonings.)
  • Place chicken on top and cover.
  • Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for about 6 hours.
  • A half and hour before it is finished take the chicken out and shred it and then return it to the chili and stir in.
  • Serve with optional toppings.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Greens and Beans

This is a must try. I hesitated for awhile because I have never used kale and wasn't sure if this would have enough flavor...I wish I hadn't waited so long. This has awesome flavor, I love the kale, and it is the perfect, quick lunch!
For a green, kale is unusually high in fiber. This helps create the bulk you need to fill you up and to keep you full for a good amount of time. Kale is also an excellent source of nutrients, especially vitamin A, C and calcium. Kale is KING of the greens I have eat up!-Kristin

4 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4-1/2 c. broth (chicken or veggie)
1 head of kale, stemmed and chopped
A pinch of red pepper flakes
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

  • Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Once oil is heated through add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant.
  • Stir in tomatoes and beans and season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Allow them to cook for about 2 minutes or so until heated through.
  • Add the kale and broth and pop a lid on.
  • Cook until kale is wilted and nice and tender. (about 8-10 minutes)
  • Serves 2-3.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Black Bean and Pineapple Salsa

This is so different and delicious! My family loved it, but agreed that it didn't taste like salsa. -Sarah
3 cups cooked black beans (2 cans drained and rinsed)
1 pineapple, cut into small chunks
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 limes, juiced
kosher salt
Anaheim pepper, finely diced (use as much as you like, using the seeds will make it hotter)

Mix all together, adjusting flavors to your liking. Serve with tortilla chips.