Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ritzy Chicken

I've made a dish called Ritzy Baked Chicken for years.  I even say it's my signature dish- I've made it so much and I kind of made it up.  Well, I think I've found a recipe I like even better.  It's not as easy as Ritzy Baked Chicken, but it's so delicious.  It has almost exactly the same ingredients, but it's just prepared a different way- and it adds cheese.  Everything's better with cheese.  I think you'll really like it!

Ritzy Chicken
4 chicken breasts, each cut into 1/3rds
1 1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers, crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Garlic salt to taste
1 clove garlic
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup melted butter

1 can cream of chicken soup
2 T. sour cream
1 T butter
Milk to thin

Preheat the oven to 400.  In a flat bowl, combine the Ritz crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic salt, garlic and cheese.  Dip the chicken pieces in the butter, then the crumb mixture.  Coat well.  Place in a sprayed 13 x 9 pan.  Do the same with all 12 pieces of chicken.  Make sure they are well coated. Cover with foil.   Bake for about 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes or so until well golden and edges crispy.  Mix together the gravy ingredients in a small saucepan.  Heat through.  Serve with mashed potatoes and the gravy to pour over the chicken and potatoes.

Recipe from Real Mom Kitchen

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Baked Eggs

Need a very quick and easy dinner or breakfast?  Try baked eggs.  They are very yummy served on toast.  I like to serve them with orange julius.  Dinner's ready in a flash!
Baked Eggs
Heat oven to 400.  Spray a casserole dish or pie plate (depending on how many you're doing.  A pie plate holds four eggs nicely.  More than that, you'll need to use a 9x9)  Crack the eggs into the dish.  Salt and pepper.  Put about 1 T. of cream over each egg.  Bake at 400 for about 6 or 7 minutes or until the white is cooked, but yellow is still runny.  Sprinkle grated cheese over the top.  Return to the oven just until the cheese is melted.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Vegan Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

My in-laws eat a vegan diet so we try some fun things with them when we get together. Today we tried this ice cream and it was delicious!


1 1/2 cups almond milk (I used Dark Chocolate Silk-Pure Almond)
2 ripe bananas
2 heaping tablespoons chocolate cocoa (Because I used chocolate almond milk I used 1 TBSP.)
2 Tbsp sugar


In a microwaveable bowl or cup whisk 1/2 cup almond milk with the chocolate cocoa and sugar until fully incorporated. Microwave for 40 seconds and then stir.
Place bananas plus the remainder of the almond milk into a blender along with the cocoa mixture and puree for about 10 seconds.
Place mixture in the ice cream maker and process for 20 minutes or until thick. Serve right away or store in the freezer for later use or to firm up a bit more if desired.

This recipe made 10 scoops of ice cream.
I made a couple of alterations but the original recipe and picture come from

Saturday, January 26, 2013

BLT Salad with Cheese and Almonds

This salad is delish! I am always looking for good combinations of stuff to throw into a green salad. This one is definitely a winner. As I was eating it for the first time, I couldn't help but think how much Dad would like it, so I had to share!
Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup canola or olive oil

2 heads romaine lettuce
4 ounces bacon, cooked and diced
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. To make the dressing, whisk the lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream and continue to whisk. Cover and let stand until ready to use.

2. Tear the lettuce into small pieces into a large salad bowl. Add the bacon, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, and almonds. Toss with the dressing and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with the croutons. Serve immediately.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Beef and Broccoli

Beef and Broccoli is my 2nd favorite dish at a Chinese restaurant.  I was hungry for some, so  searched the Internet for recipes.  I found this one on  Put it in one of those little square boxes with a wire handle, and you'll think it came from your favorite Chinese restaurant!

Beef and Broccoli
2/3 cup oyster sauce
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 cup stock, beef or chicken
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar 
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 - 1 pound beef round steak, cut into 1/8 inch strips  *Tip:  Cut while partially frozen and it is easier to make the thin slices.
3 Tablespoons oil
1 slice ginger root
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 pound broccoli, cut into florets

In a small bowl, whisk together the oyster sauce, sesame oil, stock, soy sauce, brown sugar, and cornstarch.  Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.  Put the steak in a ziplock bag and pour the sauce in with the steak.  Close the bag and mix all together so that meat is all coated.  Put in fridge at least 30 minutes or even overnight.  
When ready to cook, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over med-high heat.  Put the ginger slice and the garlic in the oil.  Cook for about a minute, then remove and discard.  Stir in the broccoli and toss and cook in the hot oil until almost tender and bright green.  It will take about 5-7 minutes.  Remove the broccoli and add some more oil.  Put the beef and all the marinade in and cook about 5 minutes.  Add back the broccoli and cook and stir another 3 minutes or so.  Serve immediately over hot rice.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Creamy Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Sometimes it is the simplest recipes that turn out to be the best. This is definitely true for this delicious, creamy frozen yogurt with a subtle hint of vanilla.  With only three ingredients, it can be thrown together in no time, and makes for a refreshing, guilt-free treat!  To be honest, I liked it better than the homemade vanilla ice cream I made a few weeks ago.  No, really.  I liked the texture better, and the fact that it was super healthy (relatively speaking) was a happy bonus.  My whole family raved. Try it, you won't regret it.

3 cups plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Mix together the yogurt, sugar, and vanilla.  Refrigerate the yogurt mixture for 45 minutes.
2.  Pour the yogurt mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.  Easy, easy . . . and oh, so delightful.  We had no left-overs.

*Notes: Recipe obtained originally from I changed it just a bit.  I doubt that the pre-refrigeration is entirely necessary, but I included it since it was in the original recipe.  I did it and it shortened the freezing time by a little more than half. So instead of taking 45 minutes to freeze, it only took about 20 minutes.  Mom tried it and gave a great recommendation for those who have a 2 quart ice cream maker:  She suggested using 4 cups of yogurt, 1 cup of white sugar, and 1 tsp of vanilla. That way you don't have 1 cup of extra yogurt that you don't know what to do with afterwards.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Easy Crockpot Barbecue Chicken

I got this recipe (using the term "recipe" loosely) right after I was married from a cute older lady as we visited  at a wedding reception.  That's 35 years ago.  I've made it ever since.  It is SO easy and SO good.  She actually made it in an electric fry pan, but it works great in a Crock Pot.  Put chicken pieces  (with bones and skin) or a whole chicken in a crock pot. Pour barbecue sauce over the top.  I like to use Sweet Baby Ray's, but any kind you like is fine.  Turn it on low and cook several hours, depending on your crock pot.  That's it.  Serve with rice or macaroni and cheese or whatever you like. I especially like thighs because the dark meat is moist.  It is yummy and gooey and good.  See, you don't even have to copy this one!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Easy and Delicious Oven Shrimp Scampi

I made this for New Year's.  It was very easy and so delicious.  Serve with rice.
1/2 cup butter
About 20 large, uncooked, tail on frozen or fresh shrimp
1 package Italian Dressing mix
Red pepper flakes, ( to taste, opt.)
2-3 cloves garlic minced or mashed
1 lemon, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350.  Put the butter in a 13 x 9 pan and put it in the oven while it's preheating until melted.  Remove the pan and mix the garlic  and pepper flakes into the butter.  Put the lemon slices on the butter, then lay the shrimp  on the lemon.  Sprinkle the dressing mix over all.  Bake for about 15 minutes until the shrimp are pink.  So yummy!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Several years ago, Shonna and I went on a Mother/ Daugther adventure to New York City.  At my niece's recommendation, we ventured into Harlem to eat at Amy Ruth's.  We were the only white people in the place.  We sampled yummy Southern comfort food, including fried chicken, waffles, collard greens and the most delcious macaroni and cheese I'd ever eaten.  Since then, both Shonna and I have been on a quest to find the perfect Macaroni and Cheese recipe.  Since my husband doesn't much care for macaroni and cheese, I don't try very often, but the other day, I gave it another shot.  It was delicious- moist and creamy and oh, so comforting.  

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
1/2 lb. elbow macaroni
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
1 T. powdered mustard
3 cups whole milk
1/2 onion, diced or equivalent dried onion flakes
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp salt (more to our taste)
Fresh ground pepper (to taste)

1 cup panko bread crumbs
3 T. melted butter
Heat oven to 350
In a large pot, heat water with lots of salt.  Cook the macaroni just to el dente.  Don't overcook.
While the pasta's cooking, melt the butter in a large pan or skillet.  Whisk in the flou and mustard and cook and stir for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf and paprika.  Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove the bay leaf (if you can find the dang thing!)   In a small bowl, beat the egg.  Put a couple of tablespoons of the milk mixture into the egg and stir and stir.  Add a little more milk mixture to the egg and stir and stir.  Do it again.  Then add the egg to the milk mixture.  Put about 3/4 of the cheese into the milk mixture and combine well.  Add the drained macaroni and combine.  Pour into a greased casserole dish.  Top with the remaining cheese.  Mix the bread crumbs with the melted butter and sprinkle on top.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Let set for about 5 minutes before serving.  

Recipe from Alton Brown on

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What's For Dinner?

Happy New Year!  January's meals are planned and here's the list:
1. Aebelskivers (our traditional New Year's breakfast)
2. Wisconsin Cheese and Potato Soup in Bread Bowls
3. Crockpot Barbecued Chicken Thighs/ Baked Macaroni and Cheese/ Green Beans
4. Tacos
5. Bean and Ham Soup/ Grilled Cheese
6.  Carne a Pizzaiola/ Green Salad
7. Crockpot Swiss Chicken
8. Curried Chicken Salad
9.  Baked Potatoes with Chili and Grated Cheese/ Broccoli
10.  Hot Dogs with sauerkraut
11. Chicken in Lime Butter Sauce

New Recipes to Try This Month(I'll share the recipes here if they turn out well):
1.  Easy Shrimp Scampi/ Rice/ Broccoli (we have fresh broccoli in our winter garden right now and it is so good!)
2. Salisbury Steaks/ Mashed Potatoes/ Peas and Carrots
3. Ritzy Chicken/ Mashed Potatoes/ Veggie
4. Beef and Broccoli over Rice (there's that broccoli again!)
5. Blender Whole Wheat Pancakes
6. Chicken Chowder/ Muffins