Thursday, April 30, 2009



(Sorry. Sometimes I can't help myself)

I don't get to make this yummy, filling, and entirely wholesome dish very often...but one of my local grocers had zucchini and yellow squash ON SALE...and when I saw the combination, this was the first thing that leapt to my mind. I have a few different recipes for Ratatouille, but I wanted to make the one that has become the most famous... Thomas Keller's creation that was animated by Pixar on the movie about a rat than can cook (we love that movie).

I ran into a couple issues right away. The first was that I had a hard time finding those cute little Italian eggplants...the ones that are much smaller than their traditional bulbous cousins...which are great for Eggplant Parmesan and Grilled Eggplant (recipes for later), but terrible for getting those nice small circles of squash that lies in neat concentric circles in the movie. Normally, the size of the eggplant you use is not an issue...after all, ratatouille is more or less a stew of sorts...but to get Ratatouille's (Thomas Keller's) ratatouille, I needed nice, small eggplants.

The second was that I don't own a mandoline, so my slices were slightly thicker than the required 1/16 of an inch. Now, personally, I don't MIND thicker slices of zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant. But you might.

As it turned out, my squashes were all different sizes, so it didn't look as pretty as the movie version...but luckily, when it comes to food, looks aren't everything. And it was very, very yummy.

I DID double this...because it's what I do. And I served it with crusty french bread.

Oh - incidentally, I didn't get this off Thomas Keller's website or out of his book...although I could've. I stumbled on it in Smitten Kitchen's archives...and I checked it against his original, and found it a sufficient. So here is Ratatouille's Ratatouille...Bon Apetite!

Oh, wait...I have another footnote...uhhh...I used A LOT more garlic than the recipe called for...and I actually used ACTUAL GARLIC, not my jar of pre-minced stuff. And because of that, I ran into the same problem I ALWAYS run into when I use real garlic...and that's that I have to peel twice as much as I use because I eat it like candy.

Oh, I see you cringing behind your screens!! Don't think I don't!!! I used to think the SAME WAY...but then I lived in Chicago a couple doors down from this AMAZING Italian lady named Rose who was an AMAZING cook, and an even MORE amazing friend...whom I desperately miss...and she used to eat garlic like that while she was creating her authentic Italian masterpieces.

And one day, after watching her do it, I tried it, and then I was hooked.

For schizel.

Sure...I don't get many kisses...but amazingly, I don't get sick, either. (Although that might be because no one can get close to me for a couple days to spend their germs).


1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced (or more...chomp, chomp, chomp, BURP!)
1 cup tomato puree
2 TBS olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant ("Italian eggplant" works best)
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 red bell pepper (go for length, not width)
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Few TBS goat cheese, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 375

2. Pour tomato puree into the bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the length (if you're need a bigger dish). Drop sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in 1 TBS of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.

3. Trim the ends of the zucchini, eggplant, and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim and core red pepper, leaving edges intact, so you can look through it.

4. On a mandoline, adjustable blade slicer, or with a VERY sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.

5. Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping a bit so the flat surface is visible, alternating veggies.

6. Drizzle reaming TBS of olive oil over vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs and sprinkle thyme over dish.

7. Cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside.

8. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They shouldn't be brown at the edges, and you should see tomato sauce bubbling up around them.

9. Serve with soft goat cheese crumbled on top and some crusty French Bread! Viola!

courtesy Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Thomas Keller and his restaurant, the French Laundry

Bistro Chicken Salad and Roasted Tomatoes

I am running very, very behind. There are many things going on at once, and I'm just having a hard time keeping up. My house is a wreck (it's usually the first thing to go), I'm behind in my blogs, my laundry is seriously about to consume the kids closets, and I'm so irritable I've been picking fights with everyone from my hubby, to my son's fifth grade teacher, to a member of my Bishopric.
I think I need a "time-out".

All of that has absolutely nothing to do with dinner...I just wanted to share.

I made this two nights ago. Sorry I'm only getting it up now...this is a recipe whose bones I found on and then tweaked my way. I served with Roasted Tomatoes (recipe following salad recipe), steamed asparagus, and some Italian bread. I also, like, tripled the recipe so there would be leftovers.

Bistro Chicken Salad

8 ounces farfalle pasta, uncooked
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins (whatever you got)
1/2 cup Italian dressing, divided
20 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup sun-dried tomato halves, sliced
1/4 to 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, sliced
1/2 a red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup asparagus hearts (mine are already quartered, so I just put them in that way. Leave them whole or halve or quarter...whatever your pleasure)
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
4 to 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (depending on taste)
4 cups fresh chopped spinach leaves

1. Cook pasta per package directions; drain but do not rinse

2. Brush chicken with a couple TBS of Italian dressing. Grill over medium/hot coals, brushing occasionally with more dressing, until cooked through. Cut into strips.

3. Toss pasta, chicken, tomatoes, peppers, onion, asparagus, basil, and cheese in a large bowl. Add Italian dressing and toss again (add more to taste, if desired). Place spinach on serving plates; top with pasta and chicken mixture.

Roasted Tomatoes

1 lb. Campari or Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
1 TBS chopped fresh herbs (basil,chives, and/or parsley)

1. Heat broiler. Place tomatoes, cut side up, in a greased broiler pan or foil pan. Top with dressing and cheeses. Cover with foil and place in broiler.

2. Broil about 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and bottoms are browned. take off foil and let cheeses brown for 30 seconds under broiler.

3. Sprinkle with herbs.

inspiration, courtesy me

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dutch Meatloaf

Okay - after all that chicken this month...I was REALLY craving some RED MEAT (let's hear a hallelujah from our hubbies)...

So I made one of my EASIEST and most trustworthy meatloaf recipes....which is really saying something, because, hard is meatloaf?

If you're like me, you a ba-jillion meatloaf recipes, but one of my favorites comes from this recipe book...

Don't let the cover full may look all clean and new...but inside....

It's stained and torn and written in...just like any well-used cookbook should be.

I think the reason I like it so much is that my mother bought it for me back when I first got married and COULD NOT COOK, and this book used really familiar ingredients (most of which I already had stocked in my pantry) and delivered excellent and consistent results.

Dutch Meatloaf is the first meatloaf recipe I ever attempted...and it my go-to meatloaf recipe if I need one on the fly...

I don't really double this, as it serves 6...but I buy meat in bulk and separate it into 1 pound increments. So, the recipe calls for 1-1/2 pounds ground beef, but I thaw and use 2 pounds...and then I estimate the rest of the ingredients accordingly.

We served it with roasted red potatoes, canned biscuits, and a lettuce salad.

Dutch Meatloaf

1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 medium onion, chopped
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 egg
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 cup water
2 TBS brown sugar, packed
2 TBS prepared mustard
1 TBS vinegar (I use apple cider for the extra tang)

1. In a medium bowl, lightly mix beef, bread crumbs, onion, 1/2 can tomato sauce, egg, salt and pepper. Shape into a loaf in a shallow baking pan.

2. Combine remaining tomato sauce with rest of ingredients; pour over loaf.

3. Bake at 350 for 1-1/4 hours, basting loaf several times throughout.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tuscan Chicken Simmer

Last night, I had a bunch of mushrooms to use, so I dug up this recipe that I thought would submit itself well to an addition of mushrooms. And I was right!!

I served this with Fettuccine, store-bought garlic bread, and a little green salad. And I doubled it.

But you knew that.

Tuscan Chicken Simmer

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup pesto
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup Italian Five Cheese blend shredded cheese

and, if you're me,

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1. Heat large nonstick skillet sprayed with Pam on medium-high heat. Add chicken, cover skillet with lid. Cook 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add cream cheese, water, pesto and tomatoes to skillet. Cook, uncovered, 2 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

3. return chicken to skillet. Cook and stir 1 minute or until chicken is coated and heated through. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Florentine Soup

A lot of people are under the impression that soup is a Fall and Winter food...but that's just not true. It is true that there are lots and lots AND LOTS of soups that are ideal for the colder seasons, and there's nothing as satisfying as a hot bowl of soup on a chilly day. But there are lighter soups...soups that aren't as heavy but just as satisfying, and are sometimes even simpler to make, that are perfect for the warmer days of Spring and Summer!!

Now - I've shared another recipe on this site with "Florentine" in it's title, and I thought I'd share what that means. "Florentine" refers to Florence, as in the largest city in the Tuscany region of Italy. It grows from a tradition of peasant eating, rather than fine cuisine. For cooking purposes, "Florentine" refers to foods that are cooked in this style...specifically egg, meat, and fish dishes that contain spinach and, most often, a creamy Mornay-style sauce. Now, not all dishes in Florence contain spinach and a cream sauce...and the connection isn't really clear. I found a cute explanation on Mr. Breakfast, which says:

"The closest explanation comes from an unverified story about the Italian wife of France's Henry II. Catherine de Medici is credited with introducing a number of Italian foods to France, including Italian ices and sherbet. Some "I-didn't-do-my-research" food historians even credit her for bringing pasta to France. As the simple tale goes, Catherine introduced spinach to the Court of France around the year 1550. To honor her Italian heritage, she decided to call any dish containing spinach 'Florentine'.To further obscure the origins of the word, Florentine referred to a kind of meat pie until the late 18th century. And once more, a steak cooked ala Florentine is cooked with olive oil and garlic... with no spinach what so ever. Leave it to the crazy Australians to make matters even worse. Thanks to them, a cookie with candied fruit (and sometimes nuts) is also called a Florentine. Our modern definition of Florentine developed in France in the early or mid- 19th century when spinach began turning up in fancier dishes that mostly likely already had a cream sauce component."

So now that you have your little history lesson...let's cook some soup...

This version is VERY simple to prepare, and is perfect served with anything from slices of baguette bread (make a little antipasti, if you desire!!), to Oyster crackers or Saltines. We're having ours with steamed asparagus, oyster crackers, and a Potato Salad...a lovely vegetable friendly dinner!! This serves 4 people...1 cup if you've got a family like mine...double the recipe.

Florentine Soup

1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 TBS butter
3-1/4 cups milk, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Dash of pepper
Dash of ground nutmeg
2 tsp potato starch (okay - I had a very hard time replacing my potato starch her in South I'm substituting with corn starch. Try to find potato starch if you is FAR SMOOTHER)
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well-drained
4 oz cream cheese, cubed

1. Cook and stir the mushrooms and onion in butter in medium saucepan on medium heat until tender. Add 3 cups of the milk and the seasonings. Bring just to boil, stirring frequently.

2. Add potato starch to remaining 1/4 cup milk; stir until well blended. Gradually add to hot mixture in saucepan, stirring until well blended. Cook until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes.

3. Stir in remaining ingredients; cook until cream cheese is completely melted and soup is heated through, stirring frequently.


American Potato Salad

Not to be confused with German Potato Salad, or Hungarian Potato Salad...

...No, this is a completely different beast.

Potato Salad is one of those things that lends a lot of itself to personal taste. Everyone makes it differently, and those differences are usually based on your ethnic heritage and what part of the country you call home. This is my standard potato salad...and I have A LOT of potato salad recipes...which I'm hoping to share with you over the summer...because potato salad is one of the few ways you can serve such a hearty, starchy vegetable in the oppresive heat of a tropical summer. I hope you alter and adjust it to your personal tastes!!

Anyway - I'm serving this along with simple steamed asparagus and Florentine Soup for dinner tonight. It is a great side...but could be a whole meal if you want. There is no need to double unless you're hosting the Fourth of July picnic.

American Potato Salad

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 TBS yellow mustard
1/2 tsp celery seed 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 cups cubed potatoes, cooked ( I usually use a mixture of Petite Reds and Yukon Golds)
3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced
1/3 cup dill pickle relish
1 can of medium black olives, drained well and halved
5 or 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

1. Mix first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Add remaining ingredients, mix lightly.

3. Refrigerate several hours or over night until thoroughly chilled.

courtesy me!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Belgian Waffles (from scratch)

Okay - so there is some equipment you need before you do this...specifically a Belgian Waffle Maker. Once you have that...the rest is easy...

...and you'll never go back to Eggos again. (Leggo my WHAT?!?!?)

I make these for breakfast, but more often than not I make them for dinner. My kids LOVE having breakfast for dinner, because a normal morning breakfast usually consists of cold cereal and milk, maybe some Pop Tarts, or a toasted bagel. I taught my kids this past summer to make their own eggs, so quite frequently I'll find Joseph at the stove scrambling eggs for everyone...or making omelette's (or, as Nickels calls them, "comets").

Anyway - WHENEVER you serve these, be it breakfast or dinner (or dessert, in the case of my chocolate waffle recipe!)...

you'll leave the table fully satisfied.

This recipe makes about 6 "pairs" of waffles. My kids can eat 4 individual waffles each, so I often double or triple the recipe...

There are ENDLESS toppings for Belgian Waffles...tonight we're using fresh blackberries and powdered sugar, with sides of bacon and eggs, sunny-side up!!

Basic Waffles

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg, separated

1. Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl.

2.Add egg yolks and milk to the dry ingredients and beat together thoroughly.

3. Beat egg white until stiff, stir 1/4 into batter to lighten it and then gently fold in remaining egg white. (DO NOT TAKE SHORTCUTS IN THIS STEP!!! It is essential to light and fluffy waffles!)

4. Pour scant 1/2 cup of batter onto heated waffle maker and cook to specifications (there's usually a little light or beeping sound that lets you know when the waffle is done.

courtesy me!!!

Homemade Mini Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets (but better!)

When there is a big holiday feast, like at Thanksgiving and Easter, you are always surrounded by LOTS of leftovers. And leftovers are great...for a while.

And then before you know're sick and TIRED of leftovers and everything goes bad in your fridge and you have to throw everything away.

Not cool. Not economical. Not in my house.

So, I will TOTALLY be making my Ham and Potato Casserole to help unload some of the ham I have left from Easter, but I needed something quick and easy for Wednesday night (which is always a very busy night in the Jungle), so I whipped up some of these adorable little mini hot pockets and filled them with ham and cheese.

They are SUPER EASY, SUPER YUMMY, and 100% KID-FRIENDLY...meeting all the requirements for a perfect meal at my house.

I served them with baked beans and strawberries...why? Well - my kids LOVE baked beans, and we had some leftover from hamburger night last night (see me sticking with my "leftovers" theme here?), and the strawberries were on sale at Wal-Mart for .98 a box!! WOW!! But if you want better sides, I would have a veggie platter with dip, and maybe some fresh fruit salad.

This is also a great recipe to make with it is easy and fun!! And you can make them with other ingredients...imagine pizza pockets, or taco pockets!! The possibilities are ENDLESS.

This is the exact amount I served last no need to double. Although you might WANT to...'cause these disappear FAST!!
Homemade Mimi Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets

2 cans refrigerated breadsticks (like the Pillsbury kind)
Cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Cup of diced ham
Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oven to 400. Unroll each can of dough and divide into 6 portions (the breadstick dough makes 12 leave every two stuck together, and press together the seams so they become one piece).

2. Lay a portion of ham and cheese down the middle of each piece of dough, keeping away from the very edges. Then, roll up the dough, and fold and pinch the sides together to seal. It will look like a little roll. Repeat for all dough strips. Place pockets on a baking sheet and spray tops with Pam. Sprinkle tops with Parmesan cheese.

3. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

courtesy me!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chicken with Twenty Cloves of Garlic

That title makes you think that this dish is SUPER garlic-y...but it's not. It's WONDERFUL. I LOVE eating the garlic...but I made my husband eat most of it because he has a WICKED cold, and needed the healing and cleansing powers of garlic more than I did.

Quick and flavorful...this dish is AMAZING...and goes great with roasted halved petite red potatoes or whole petite carrots (with tops).

Double if you're me...

Chicken with Twenty Cloves of Garlic

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
20 cloves of garlic, peeled (there is no cheating here with the bottled stuff...seriously, you WON'T regret it...just start peeling)
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Caesar dressing
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Add chicken and garlic, and cook about 4 minutes, turning chicken after 2 minutes.

2. Stir in broth and dressing, cover with lid. Cook chicken 4 minutes on each side or until done.

3. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 1 minute.

courtesy Food and Family magazine

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Dinner Feast

Here are all the recipes for our Easter Dinner Feast.

It's not as grand a feast as my mother used to put's missing several salads, and a roast leg of lamb, and other goodies...but it is good for OUR little family. My mom used to feed us AND lots of extended family, and I only have to feed US...

And my husband has to work on Easter...and whenever he has to work...I don't feel as festive. There have been SOME Easter's (I'm ashamed to admit) that there hasn't been a feast at all. But I know that it is unfair to my children...after all, it's not THEIR fault that daddy runs a multi-million dollar restaurant that doesn't acknowledge holidays...and THEY deserve to have the same type of Easter that I grew up knowing.

So this is our simple Easter feast. It has an appetizer, a simple green salad, asparagus side, baked ham, rolls, and a dessert. I hope you enjoy it as much as WE did!!!

Jerusalem Artichoke and Spinach Dip

2 (10 oz.) boxes frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 (8-ounce) jars artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Baguette bread slices, crackers, or tortilla chips

1. Cook spinach according to package directions; drain well and squeeze out liquid. Saute onions in butter until soft.

2. Combine cooked spinach, onion mixture, cream cheese, artichoke hearts, Monterrey Jack cheese, and garlic salt in a medium bowl; mix well. Place in a greased baking dish. bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return to oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

4. Serve with baguette bread slices, crackers, or tortilla chips.

courtesy Essential Mormon Celebrations: Secret Combinations for Holidays, Homecomings, Potluck Dinners, and More

Ham and Orange Soda Sauce

1 fully cooked spiral-sliced ham
3 cups orange soda
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/3 teaspoon ground allspice

1. The ham is fully cooked and ready to serve. It is best served cold or at room temperature to maintain it's natural juices and tenderness. Remove packaging and and transfer ham to serving platter, let stand no more than 30 minutes to bring to room temperature.

2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large saute pan on medium-high. Cook 8-10 minutes or until mixture has reduced by about 3/4's and the sauce begins to thicken. Warm sauce can be poured over the ham, separating slices to evenly coat, or served over ham slices. Carve ham and serve. Promptly refrigerate unused portions.

courtesy Publix Apron's Simple Meals

Bacon and Caramelized-Onion Asparagus

3 slices bacon
1-1/2 lb fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
1/2 TBS water
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup ranch dressing

1. Cook bacon in nonstick skillet 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp, turning frequently. Drain bacon on paper towels. Discard drippings from skillet, but do not wash.

2. Place asparagus in pan and and steam with water. Steam until asparagus is crisp-tender. Meanwhile, add onions to skillet; cook and stir 5 minutes or until golden. Stir in dressing.

3. Drain asparagus; top with sauce and crumbled bacon.

courtesy Food & Family magazine

Little Nests

1/4 cup butter
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup Fiber-One cereal
1 small package Whoppers Robin's Eggs

1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add miniature marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows are melted.

2. Remove from heat. Add cereal and stir until coated. When cool enough to handle, form into 8 little nests. Place on waxed paper or Pam-coated aluminum foil. After about 1 hour, press in center of each nest to form an indentation. Place three robin eggs in center of each nest. Place on plates, or on 3- or 4-inch doilies and use as place cards, favors, or plate accents.

courtesy Essential Mormon Celebrations: Secret Combinations for Holidays, Homecomings, Potluck Dinners, and More

Seven-Up Cake

(I was so excited to find this recipe...I haven't had this cake since I was a little girl. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!)

1 package of lemon cake mix
1 package lemon instant pudding
3 eggs
1 can 7-up
1 cup vegetable oil

1. Mix well and bake 45-50 minutes at 350 in a greased/floured or bundt pan. Cool and frost (below).

1-1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
3 TBS flour
1 can crushed pineapple, undrained

1. Cook until thickened and clear. Let cool slightly and frost cake.

courtesy Something's Burning...

Easter Story Cookies

We do this EVERY Saturday night before's a great tradition to help little guys remember the true meaning of Easter...

Easter Story Cookies

1 cup whole pecans
1 tsp vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
Ziploc baggie
wooden spoon
mixing bowl

1. Preheat oven to 300. Place pecans in Ziploc baggie and let children beat them with a wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Put baggie of pecan pieces aside for later use.

Explain that when Jesus was arrested, he was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

2. Pass the vinegar around the table and let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp vinegar into a mixing bowl.

Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19: 28-30.

3. Add egg whites to vinegar.

Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave his mortal life to give us eternal life. Read John 10: 10-11.

4. Sprinkle a little salt into each childs hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.

Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.

5. So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing!! Add 1 cup of sugar..

Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because he loves us. He wants us to know Him and belong to Him. Read Psalms 34:8 and John 3:16.

6. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks form (if you have a Kitchen_aid standing mixture that goes up to Power Level 12, it will take infinitely less time).

Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read John 3: 1-3.

7. Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto a wax papered cookie sheet (or aluminum foil sprayed w/Pam).

Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. read Matthew 27: 57-60.

8. Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.

Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27: 65-66.

9. GO TO BED!!!

Explain that although they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

10. On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow!!

Explain that on the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Caesar Pockets

Is this even a recipe?

Just because something is written down...I'm not sure it's automatically earned the "recipe" title. I mean, I feel a little foolish putting this in type.

Seriously, how many of you have already thought it up on your own?

Caesar Pockets

4 cups torn romaine lettuce
6 oz. turkey deli meat, cut into strips
1/4 cup drained roasted red pepper strips
1/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
3 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Caesar dressing
4 pita breads, warmed, cut in half

1. Toss lettuce with turkey, peppers, cheese and dressing.

2. Spoon into pitas.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake

Busy day...needed something quick that required no quick runs to the store. Hmmm...what's in my fridge/pantry? we go...

I doubled, and served with ready-made garlic bread and a salad...

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake

1-1/2 cups pasta, uncooked (I used Farfalle)
1 small bunch broccoli, cut into florets (about 3 cups) OR 3 cups frozen broccoli florets
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 oz. cream cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Heat oven to 375. Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package. Add broccoli last three minutes..

2. Meanwhile, heat large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes or until no longer pink, stirring frequently. Stir in broth, simmer 3 minutes or until chicken is done. Add cream cheese, cook and stir over low heat 1 minute or until melted. Stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella.

3. Drain pasta and broccoli. Add to chicken mixture; mix lightly. Spoon into 8-inch square baking dish; cover.

4. Bake 15 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake, uncovered, 3 minutes or until melted. Let stand 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

courtesy Food and Family magazine