Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ham & Chicken Roll-ups

I have to give full credit to my sister, Jennifer, for this recipe. I have adapted it a bit to accommodate the ingredients I had on hand, but the idea is all her. Her recipe used leftover roast, with the onions & drippings included, because that is what she had. I have to admit, this recipe is a bit Rachel Ray, a handful of this and a bit of that. But basically, this is the recipe, adapt as needed. Next time I have a roast I am making this again and will post about it then.

Ham & Chicken Roll-ups (printer friendly recipe)

1 tsp vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
Leftover Ham
Leftover Chicken
A handful of shredded cheese (I used a Pizza mixture)
1 chicken bouillon cube, crumbled
1/4 C water or milk
1 egg
1 baking powder biscuit recipe made according to directions*

1. Heat oil over Med-high heat. Sautee onion until softened and browned.
2. In a food processor (I love this appliance!) Place the onion, ham, chicken, cheese, bouillon cube, and water or milk. Pulse a few times to mix the hot onions in. Add the egg. Mix until thoroughly combined, and the mixture resembles a thick puree.
Not beautiful, but oh so yummy!

2. Mix up biscuits according to recipe and roll out to about 1/4" thick into a rectangle. Spread Ham & Chicken mixture over the dough with it going to the short ends and going withing 1" of the edge. If you have some dough leftover shape some regular biscuits, if you have the mixture leftover, cook in the microwave about 3 minutes (to cook the egg) then refrigerate and use as a sandwich spread.
This photo is of my Gluten version, since I didn't remember the camera until the GF ones were already on the pan, but you get the idea.

3. Roll up like a cinnamon roll and slice about 1" apart.
Also a Gluten version photo
4. Place rolls on a greased cookie sheet. Since I do regular & GF versions I use tin foil to create a pan within a pan and cook them together. I ended up rolling my regular versions too thick so they took forever to cook. I was really glad for the tin foil insert so I could remove them when they were done and allow the regular ones to cook the rest of the way.
5. Bake on 425-degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until browned. Enjoy!

*I used a GF mix we are not big fans of in an effort to get rid of it, next time, hopefully, the mix will be gone and I will use Carol Fenster's recipe, which we love.

We ate it as a main course, but I think it would work for an appetizer also, just spread the meat mixture really thin and roll a thin rectangle so you would have smaller ones.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grape Chicken Salad

I love Chicken Salad!!! I love it in every form I have ever had. Unfortunately, Chicken Salad is not the most beautiful thing to photograph, thank goodness it does taste yummy. I got this recipe many years ago and it is still a favorite. I did however add onions, because, frankly, I love onions.

Grape-Chicken Salad
2 C chicken (I used canned this time)
1 C diced celery
1/2 C sliced almonds, toasted
2 C purple grapes, sliced in half
1 C Miracle Whip
Dash Pepper
Salt (opt)

Mix all together and chill. After it chills, taste and decide if it needs some salt.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

30-min Veggie Tossed Pasta

Tonight we had a million things going, and as much as I wanted to eat out, I swore we wouldn't. That said, I also wasn't up to cooking anything fancy or that took a lot of time. After looking through a couple of Rachel Ray cookbooks I came across a recipe that took veggies & tossed it with penne with pesto and some other things. Well, I was even too lazy for pesto (plus, I don't have fresh herbs -- yet). But I remember a recipe I hadn't made forever that is similar and decided to do a mix of the two, but instead of fresh veggies, I used a frozen package of PictSweet Deluxe "Steamables" Spring Vegetables seasoned with black pepper. It turned out fabulous. Even the picky one ate it all up. Yeah! Even better it took less than a 1/2 hour from start to eat.

30-min Veggie Tossed Pasta
1-lb pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp butter
1 med onion, sliced & sliced again (it will look chopped & sliced)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp dried basil, crushed*
1 tsp dried parsley, crushed*
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 pkg frozen package of "Steamables" Spring Vegetables seasoned with black pepper, cooked according to package directions.
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
Black Pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package directions
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil & butter over med-high heat. Add onion. Saute a couple minutes. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, & parsley. Saute a few more minutes until onion is tender, but not slimy. Add vinegar. Allow to cook 1-2 more minutes. Add vegetables and allow to cook until pasta is ready.
3. Drain pasta and toss with a little olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Pour vegetables over pasta and toss. Add more pepper if desired.

*Use 1/4 C of fresh basil and 1 Tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped if you have them.

I think this would be fantastic with chicken or broccoli, which I usually use. I however, loved the combo of asparagus, yellow squash & zucchini with the pasta. My 3 favorite veggies.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Grandma's Baked Beans

Growing up we lived far away from my Grandparents most of the time. Consequently, we only visited a couple times a year usually for holidays or other important family events. As a child I never really got to know my grandparents and as an adult I moved even further away from her, and there were times when I wondered if she knew me. Usually when we visited my dad's parents my Grandmother would make Baked Beans which I tended to eat the whole weekend. Once I was grown and moved out I called my Grandmother and got the recipe. It has become my go-to recipe for potluck picnics and it is always a hit. When my Grandmother passed away and our family gathered we all talked about the food we loved that Grandma made and we realized that whenever we visited she always had our favorites. I realized then that my Grandmother not only knew me but cooked food just for me (she also made these pecan bar cookies that were to die for) because she knew I liked it. Anyway, whenever I make this recipe I think of her and I feel loved. I hope you enjoy it also.

Grandma's Baked Beans
1 lb ground beef*
1 small onion, minced*
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can butter beans, drained**
1 can pork and beans
1/2 C barbecue sauce
2/3 C brown sugar
1/4 C molasses or honey***
1/2 C ketchup
2 tsp mustard
1/2 lb bacon, cooked & crumbled****

This is my quick method.
1. Brown ground beef and add onion, cook until tender.
2. While browning drain beans

Don't they look pretty

TIP: When opening a can of beans, open from the bottom, then you don't need a spoon or spatula to get the beans off the bottom of the can, the can just drains cleanly.
3. Measure sauces & seasonings

I use a 2-cup measuring cup and just add all the (except sugar) to that, starting with the BBQ sauce. Then I just take a spatula & clean it out. It is a lot easier than finding different measuring cups. If you notice, my mustard is approx.

4. Dump the ground beef mixture, bean mixture, pork & beans, sugar, sauce & seasoning mixture together & stir well.

Pour into a 3 qt casserole dish, top with bacon. Bake at 350-degrees covered for 45 minutes. Uncover, and bake for 15 more minutes

Pour into a crock pot and cook on high for 3-4 hours.

*I often replace this with a can of black beans drained, or if I double the recipe I do 1/2 ground beef & 1/2 black beans. If you use black beans either sub onion powder for the onions (which I did this time) or saute some onions and toss in. You can also add a beef boullion cube if you would like
**I didn't have butter beans so I used Great Northern
***I have used either. Molasses gives it a deeper flavor and a little more smokey, honey makes it sweeter. Whichever you prefer. For me, it just depends on the day.
1 can pork & beans, undrained
****TIP: When frying a lot of bacon, if you use a griddle and cover the bacon with tin foil, the bacon grease doesn't splatter everywhere and you can fry the whole pound quickly.

Online Quilt Show

A friend sent me a link to an online quilt show. Basically, bloggers post a link to the favorite quilt they have done. If you love quilting, like I do, you should check it out! There are some amazing quilts.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Potato Logs & Sauce

This is one of my favorite treats, and really while this post has a recipe for potato logs, it is all about the sauce. "Fry Sauce" to be exact. It is somewhat of a Utah/Idaho thing, but it should be everywhere. You should try it, you just might be hooked.

Potato Logs
4-5 Russet Potatoes, sliced lengthwise, skin on
2 Tbsp oil
Season salt, or any combo of spices.

1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees
2. On a large cookie sheet place 1 Tbsp oil and spread over pan.
3. In a Gallon Zip-loc bag pour remaining oil and add potatoes. Close bag and toss.
4. Lay potatoes out on pan so the skins are down. Sprinkle seasoning over potatoes. Bake for 45 minutes.

Fry Sauce
Measurments are approx, since I use color to determine ratio
1/2 C Ketchup
1/3 C Mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
1 tsp Horseradish, opt.
1/2 tsp relish, opt.

1. I measure based on color, so here goes. Place ketchup in small bowl, add mayo and horseradish. Mix. Add more mayo or ketchup until it is salmon pink in color. I didn't have enough may in the above photo so I had to add more. I didn't do relish this time.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mini Cupcake Bites

A while ago I went to a church activity and they served these cake pops that my friend had gotten from Martha Stewart, they were so delicious! Anyway, fast forward to yesterday when La Petit Chef sent me a "menu" with cupcake bites in little cupcake liners. They were so adorable and once I saw the recipe I realized, "I can make this GF so easy!" Another bonus, they will hold up in the freezer well. So off I ran to the store and got candy coating and I made GF & regular ones today. My kids even helped, it was a lot of fun, albeit time consuming, it took all aftenoon to make both versions!

Mini Cupcake Bites (printer friendly recipe)
1 9x13 chocolate cake*, cooled
2 C cream cheese frosting (recipe below) or 1-16oz tub cream cheese frosting
Flavoring (mint, raspberry, etc), opt.
Nuts, finely chopped, opt.
2-3 pkgs Chocolate Chips or Chocolate candy coating (use coating if you are keeping them out of the fridge or freezer, chips will soften)
Candy Coating in your favorite colors

1. If using Cream Cheese Frosting recipe below divide it so you only have 2 C, or if you are doing both, seperate it out before starting the recipe to guarantee you have enough.
2. Crumble cooled cake into a large bowl. Add frosting and with a wooden spoon or your hands mix until thoroughly blended.
3. If you want to flavor only some, or add nuts, spoon some out into a smaller bowl and add your flavoring or nuts.

4. Roll into balls smaller than your cupcake liners. 5. place on parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheets and place in freezer for a few minutes until firm but not frozen.

5. place on parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheets and place in freezer for a few minutes until firm but not frozen.
6. Melt 1 pkg chocolate chips until smooth, you will need to melt more but do 1 pkg at a time so it doesn't harden as you work with it.

7. Place liners in mini cupcake tins and spoon approx 2 tsp-1 T chocolate into bottom.

8. Add ball pushing the ball down until the chocolate rises to the top of the liner. It is important it is at the top of the liner, otherwise it will be more difficult to coat with the candy coating later -- as I learned from experience. Repeat until all the liners are filled.
9. I only had 24 spaces in my tins so as I finished them I moved them to a cookie sheet. Place the chocolate balls in liners into the freezer to allow the chocolate to harden.
10. Holding the bottom of the cupcake dip in melted candy coating and cover with sprinkles. Double check the ingredients of sprinkles if you are GF. I also used melted cinnamon chips for some of them, yum! 6. Keep in an airtight container for several days, or freeze.

*I made Incredibly Rich GF Chocolate Cake and only 1x it which is enough for a 9" round. If you want a 9x13, double the recipe. If you don't need GF, I made Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake which lived up to its name and is my new regular chocolate cake recipe. You must try it!

Cream Cheese Frosting
(from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook)
1 8-oz block cream cheese
1/2 C butter
1 16-oz pkg powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1. With an electric mixer beat cream cheese and butter until fully blended and smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in Vanilla.
Yields: 3 C

Incredibly Rich GF Chocolate Cake

Originally I was going to post this cake recipe with the Mini Cupcake Bites. I needed a chocolate cake and found this one, the original called for coffee or water, and since we don't do coffee and I wanted more flavor than just water I decided to try adding a little cocoa to the water. It turned out so moist, rich and delicious I decided it needed to be a post all on its own. Especially since I would need to find it again. It isn't frosted since I was making the Cupcake bites, but growing up we often made cake and ate it without frosting and I think this cake is perfect for that, if you like frosting add your favorite, or check out the cream cheese frosting in the mini cupcake bites recipe.

Incredibly Rich GF Chocolate Cake (printer friendly recipe) 
(slightly adapted from Carol Fenster)
2x for a 9x13 pan
3/4 C water
1 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 C flour blend
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 C packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C milk or substitute
1/2 C butter (or substitute), softened
1 large egg

1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
2. In a small bowl or 1 C liquid measuring cup heat water and 1 1/2 tsp cocoa in microwave for about 1 min, until it boils. Remove from microwave, stir and allow to cool a little.
3. Using an electric mixer mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl until fully blended. Add hot cocoa water and mix until blended.
4. Pour into a greased 9" round. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Set on racks until cool.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

La Petit Chef

I came across this site a few days ago and thought it was interesting. It is a blogger recipe site where you can add your blog to the site and then your recipes are searchable by others. I typed in "Gluten-free" and there were a variety of GF recipes including a woman from South Africa who blogs exclusively gluten free. Got to love that. So anyway, it is worth checking out. A lot of the recipes are fancier than what I normally cook, but they are from all around the world so it is facinating to see what people are cooking. They also send you a "menu" each day if you want, today's dessert was chocolate cake mix cookies that looked yummy. While not GF I might have to consider doctoring them. Check it out.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Chicken Pasta Bake

This is a take on my 4-Cheese Pasta Bake that I make a lot. But this is my toss in the pan version. Basically, I had some leftover pasta in the fridge that needed to be eaten, but not enough to just throw sauce over, so I looked in the freezer to see what I had and added a few more things. I didn't really measure so just dump and eat. The best thing I found in the freezer was some zucchini marinara I made last August, which is basically spaghetti sauce with zucchini. YUM!

Chicken Pasta Bake (printer friendly)
Cooked Pasta (about 3 C)
1 cooked chicken breast, chopped
1/2 pkg cream cheese (or substitute - I like Tofutti), chopped
1/2-1 C chopped spinach, depending on how much you like spinach
Spaghetti Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese (opt)

1. Put pasta in baking dish, chicken cream cheese and spinach. Stir spaghetti sauce into mixture. Top with Mozzarella Cheese.
2. Bake, covered, in a 350-degree oven for about 30-minutes or until the cheese is melted. I ended up having to finish in the microwave since some of my ingredients were frozen, but it was still yummy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Strawberry Pie

I love spring and strawberries! I usually make freezer jam but not this year, this year we are just making pie. This is my mother's recipe and it is divine. Enjoy!

Strawberry Pie (printer friendly recipe)
1 Baked Cookie Crust
1 1/4 C water
1/2 C sugar
2 T cornstarch
1/2 pkg strawberry or trop. punch Kool-aid, unsweetened
Strawberries, cleaned & hulled

Prepare Cookie Crust and allow to cool while making the rest of the pie. Place water, sugar, cornstarch and kool-aid in a saucepan and cook until thickened. Allow to cool until barely warm. Then either 1- Stir in berries & pour in crust (my preference) or 2-put berries in crust and pour sauce over. Refrigerate until set. If you want a firmer sauce add more cornstarch.


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