Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cowboy Cookies

Cowboy Cookies

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

A chewy cookie with lots of flavor!
Slightly adapted from: Ace Cooks, Bakers, and Miracle Makers cookbook

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
2 c. quick oats
1 c. butter (softened)
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and oats; set aside. Cream butter. Beat in sugar and brown sugar. Add vanilla. Beach in eggs one at a time, then gradually stir in dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips, raisins, and coconut.

Place dropfuls of dough on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-11 minutes (baking time will vary based on your oven). Cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Apple Orchard Chicken Salad

Apple Orchard Chicken Salad

Serves 2.

A fresh, crisp and healthy addition to your weekly dinner menu.
Source: Taste of Home magazine

2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 5 oz. each)
3 T. apple juice concentrate
1/8 c. vegetable oil
1 T. vanilla yogurt
4 c. torn mixed salad greens
1 c. chopped apples
1/2 small red onion, cut into rings
1/4 c. pecans, if desired
1/4 c. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Grilled chicken on an indoor grill coated with nonstick cooking spray for 5-7 minutes or until juices run clear.

Meanwhile, for dressing, combine the apple juice concentrate, oil and yogurt in a jar with a tight-fitting lid; shake well.

On four plates, arrange the salad greens, apples, onion, pecans, and cheese. Slice chicken; place over salads. Drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.

A Note From The Little Lady: The Mr. preferred ranch dressing with his.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Banana Oat Bars

Banana Oat Bars

Makes 10 bars.

A perfect on-the-go, healthy breakfast!
Slightly adapted from: Steph Chows

2-3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 c. quick oats
1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. flax seed (or, as I used, oat bran)
1/3 c. coconut, optional
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. fine grain sea salt
1 t. baking powder
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/3 c. raisins, dried cranberries, or dried fruit of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine bananas, vanilla extract, and applesauce. Stir in cinnamon, salt, and baking powder; then stir in flax seeds and coconut. Add in whole wheat flour and oats. Lastly, fold in chocolate chips and raisins.

Pour batter into a greased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Cut into bars.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Maximizing Make-Ahead Meals

Maximizing Make-Ahead Meals

My blog has a strong focus on make-ahead meals and freezer meals, but I never considered dedicating a post to how to go about doing it until just recently when a few people, and then a few more different people, prompted me to do so.

I rely on freezer meals every week. The last thing I feel like doing when I get home from work is figuring out what we're going to eat. By preparing meals ahead of time, I can pick something the night before and have very little responsibility besides throwing it in the oven. Give these recipes a try, which I selected in hopes on maximizing ingredients. And then enjoy the benefits!

Here's what we'll be making:

Chicken Enchiladas (halve recipe)
A dip to freeze for last-minute entertaining

1. First, go shopping for the ingredients. I listed amounts, in case you want to pull from things you already have:

Produce Section:
1 bag fresh spinach (2 handfuls for lasagna, 1 c. for spinach-stuffed chicken)
2 onions (1/2 c. chopped for lasagna, 1 for rigatoni, 1/2 c. for meatloaf)
1 green bell pepper (1/2 for rigatoni, 1/2 for dip)
Garlic - buy it pre-minced in the jar to save time mincing, if desired

Meat Section:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1-1/2 lbs. (2 for spinach-stuffed, 1 large or 2 small for enchiladas)
3 lbs. ground beef (1 lb. for rigatoni, 2 lb. for meatloaf)
Bacon (4 strips for meatloaf, 2-3 strips for dip)

Dairy Section:
Cottage or Ricotta cheese (1 c. for lasagna)
small container Egg Beaters (1/4 c. for lasagna)
Eggs (2 for meatloaf)
2 c. bag shredded Parmesan cheese (1/2 c. for lasagna, 1/4 c. for spinach-stuffed, 1/2 c. for dip)
2 c. bag shredded mozzarella cheese (1/4 c. for spinach-stuffed, 1/2 c. for dip)
4 c. bag shredded cheddar cheese (1 c. for rigatoni, 1-1/2 c. for enchiladas, 1 c. for meatloaf, 1/2 c. for dip)
16 oz. container sour cream (1/4 c. for spinach-stuffed, 1/3 c. for rigatoni, 1/2 c. for enchiladas, 1/2-3/4 c. for dip)
Small carton heavy cream (1/3 c. for rigatoni)

Lasagna noodles
1 can/jar marinated artichokes (1/2 c. for lasagna, rest for dip)
Spaghetti sauce (7 oz. for lasagna)
28 can (or two 14 oz. cans) tomato sauce (28 oz. for rigatoni)
1 jar salsa (2/3 c. for rigatoni)
Flour tortillas (6-8 for enchiladas)
1 can cream of chicken soup (1 can for enchiladas)
1 can chicken broth (1 c. for enchiladas)
1 small can diced green chiles (1/2 can for enchiladas, rest for dip)
French onion soup mix, dry (1 packet for meatloaf)
Ketchup (1/3 c. for meatloaf)
Mayo (1/2 c. for dip)
Bread crumbs (3/4 c. for meatloaf)
Tortilla chips (to have on hand for dip)

2. Pick a day shortly thereafter when you can dedicate a few hours to making your meals.

3. Start by cooking the chicken for the enchiladas. Place breast(s) - 1 large or 2 small, about 3/4 lb. - in a baking dish. Cover with water; then cover dish with foil. Place in oven at 350 - it's okay if it's not preheated. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Set a timer! You'll be busy and I don't want you to forget about it.

4. While chicken is baking, make Spinach- and Cheese-Stuffed Chicken. Follow directions on the recipe's post. When chicken is prepared, wrap individual breast in plastic cling wrap. Then wrap breasts together in foil, writing with a Sharpie marker what the meal is and the cooking directions, i.e. "Spinach- and Cheese-Stuffed Chicken; Bake at 350 for 1 hour." Obviously, you will transfer to a baking dish beforehand. Place in freezer (they say the back - where it's coldest - is best). Your first make-ahead meal is complete!

5. Next up, meatloaf and rigatoni. Place 2 lbs. of ground beef in a bowl, for the meatloaf. Place remaining beef (1 lb.) in a large skillet. Add garlic, onion, and green pepper to skillet and place on stove over medium heat. Stir occasionally, but don't stress yourself out over this. The meat and veggies don't need constant supervision. While rigatoni meat cooks, start boiling water for the pasta (add noodles and cook to package directions when the water begins to boil). While the beef begins to brown and water heats up, follow directions on meatloaf post and add remaining ingredients to the meatloaf bowl. Form into four meatloaves (two different meals!); wrap individually in plastic wrap. I freeze as-is from this point, but if you like labeling, place them in a gallon-size freezer bag and write name and directions on there. Place in the freezer. Your second meal is done!

6. If it's been an hour, remove chicken from oven. You can leave resting in water if you need to, but remove foil so it can begin to cool.

7. Hopefully you were keeping an eye on the beef and pasta. :) Let's finish the rigatoni recipe. Drain any fat from ground beef, if necessary. Add tomato sauce and salsa; season with salt and pepper. Follow the remaining directions from the post; transfer to a baking dish. Because this is a warm dish, allow to cool at room temperature first. Then, cover with foil (don't forget to label!), move to refrigerator for a bit, and finally place in freezer. The quick transition from heat to freezing cold can create condensation on the inside of the foil. Your third meal is done!

8. Wash skillet and saucepan and return to stove. Fill saucepan with water, bring to a boil, and cook lasagna noodles for Spinach & Artichoke Lasagna. Place spinach in skillet and cook down, as directed in post.

9. If chicken is done, cut/shred into bite-size pieces and place in a bowl for enchiladas. In another bowl, place ingredients for lasagna. Follow directions to complete lasagna. Allow to cool at room temp; then cover with foil, label, and move to refrigerator and then freezer.

10. Complete chicken enchiladas. Allow to cool at room temp, and then - you got it - cover, label, and do the fridge-freezer dance.

11. Use some of your leftover ingredients to make an easy dip for an on-hand appetizer. In a bowl, combine:

remaining artichokes (chopped)
remaining green bell pepper (chopped)
2-3 strips of bacon (cooked and crumbled)
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan
1/2 c. shredded cheddar
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
remaining diced green chiles (drained)
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2-3/4 c. sour cream (what looks right, consistency wise; I'm guessing it'll be closer to 3/4 c.)
dash of hot sauce or Worcestershire, if desired

Mix ingredients well and transfer to a pie plate. Cover with foil and freeze. When ready to bake, thaw, remove foil, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. If frozen, increase baking time to 60 minutes, but leave foil on for first 30 minutes.

12. Did you make it this far? I hope! If you feel worn out, you'll appreciate it when you can pull dinner from the freezer for six different meals, plus an appetizer!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Spinach & Artichoke Lasagna

Spinach & Artichoke Lasagna

Serves 2.

Don't you love it when you find a healthy recipe that you love the taste of? This dinner definitely fell into that category for us.
Adapted From: Betty Crocker's Healthy Choices cookbook

4 oz. lasagna noodles
1 c. ricotta or cottage cheese
1/4 c. Egg Beaters
1/2 c. marinated artichokes, chopped
2 handfuls of fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/4 t. salt
7 oz. spaghetti sauce
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small rectangular baking dish. Cook and drain noodles as directed on package.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook spinach. It will greatly reduce in size. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a bowl, mix together ricotta/cottage cheese, Egg Beaters, artichokes, onion, salt, and cooked spinach. Spread 1/4 c. of the spaghetti sauce in the baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the noodles. Layer with spinach mixture, another layer of noodles, another layer of spinach mixture, and then the last of the noodles. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce on top.

Cover loosely with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Buffalo" Mini Meatloaf

"Buffalo" Mini Meatloaf

Serves 4.

This meatloaf is buffalo in flavor, and also, quite literally, buffalo meat. The flavors are subtle enough to add a new taste, while still keeping the classic meatloaf vibe.

1 lb. ground bison
1/4 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 c. chopped onion
1-oz. dry Ranch dressing pkg.
1 egg
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1/8 c. Buffalo wing sauce
1/4 c. crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Form into four mini meatloaves.

Place in a baking dish that has been coated with nonstick spray.

Bake for 45 minute-1 hour.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

Serves 4-6.

Happy first day of autumn! I love this time of year -- the crisper, cooler days; football season; and the excitement of the looming holidays ahead. And who doesn't love the foods of fall? Kicking off this autumn season, here's an apple crisp for your enjoyment. Sweet and tart apples tossed in cinnamon and sugar, topped with a cinnamon-y, sugary streusel topping. Yum.
Source: Cooking Light magazine, October 2000

1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/3 c. regular oats
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 c. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
4 apples (I used 2 Granny Smith and 2 Pink Ladies)
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, brown sugar, oats, and 1/4 t. cinnamon in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly.

Combine apples and remaining ingredients (lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg) in a large bowl; toss well. Spoon apple mixture into a greased 8-inch square baking dish or 9-inch circular baking dish. Sprinkle with crumb mixture. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Bright Side of Disaster

The Bright Side of Disaster by Katherine Center

What do you do when you're engaged to the man you think you are meant to spend the rest of your life with and then he leaves you? Oh, and your pregnant and due any day. The Bright Side of Disaster is an easy, brainless read that was a perfect choice after I had just finished reading some deeper, heavier books.

Booklist review from

Jenny Harris is nesting in her Houston home with her fiance, Dean, awaiting the birth of their child, to be followed by their wedding. But Dean grows more distant, especially after a coworker dies in a plane crash, and Jenny ends up becoming a single mother. Determined to take good care of her child, she tries to forget about Dean, relegating him to the past. Coping with a baby takes all Jenny's time, so when her perfect single neighbor takes an interest, Jenny is flattered but exhausted. Then, when she finally decides to take a chance and get to know him, Dean comes back into her life. In her stellar first novel, Center paints an accurate and humorous view of motherhood, from the physical changes to lack of sleep and exhaustion as well as the changes in friendships and feelings about men. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chicken Broccoli Supper

Chicken Broccoli Supper

Serves 2.

We loved this! And it was super easy to prepare, which makes every cook happy. I prepped and froze for an easy, busy-night dinner.

1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cubed
1 head fresh broccoli, chopped (about 1 to 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. chicken broth
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the soup, broth, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir in chicken, broccoli, macaroni, and Cheddar cheese. Transfer to a greased loaf pan. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover, stir, and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Long Island Iced Tea

Long Island Iced Tea

Makes 1 drink.

A classic. Split with a friend and add extra cola if you'd like to avoid the potential effects of a Long Island Iced Tea. :)
Source: Maran Illustrated's Bartending

1 measures vodka
1 measure gin
1 measure light rum
1 measure tequila
1 measure triple sec
2 measures lemon juice
1 measure simple syrup
2 measures cola
1 lemon wedge

Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
Add the vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a shaker.
Shake the mixture vigorously for 5-10 seconds.
Pour the mixture into the glass.
Add the cola and garnish with a lemon wedge.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Spinach- & Cheese-Stuffed Chicken

Serves 2.

We really enjoyed this tender chicken with its creamy filling. You can do all the prep work ahead of time and bake later in the day, or even wrap and freeze until you're ready to pull it out for dinner. Just be sure to thaw before baking.

2 chicken breasts
1 c. (not packed) fresh spinach leaves
1/4 c. sour cream
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
Rotisserie seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Holding a knife horizontal to the cutting board, split chicken breasts but do not go all the way through.

In a small bowl, mix sour cream, minced garlic, and shredded cheeses.

Stuff chicken breasts with, first, a layer of spinach leaves, and, second, a layer of the of the sour cream mixture. Season with Rotisserie seasoning, or any other poultry seasoning of your choice.

Bake for 1 hour; serve.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Private Family Matter

A Private Family Matter by Victor Rivas Rivers

I don't typically go for nonfiction. Or memoirs. Why? I have no idea, really. But I guess I was open to new ideas when I picked up this book, which I had read good reviews about prior to making a trip to the library. I'm glad I did. It's an amazing story about someone overcoming the most dreaded childhood upbringing. Disproving the odds, he tackles the demons of his past, keeping his sights set on laying the foundation for a healthy future.

From Publishers Weekly on

Rivers's childhood toy, a broken GI Joe action figure, spoke only one phrase: "I've got a tough assignment." The author, an advocate against domestic violence, took on this motto early in life to help himself endure the "war zone" of his upbringing. His story starts in Cuba, where his mother's "gift of sight" didn't help her see through the seductive elegance of Tony Rivas, nephew of Batista's minister of agriculture. As Rivers tells it, his mother's natural radiance was soon beaten down by her demanding, jealous and moody husband. The family moved to Chicago to escape Castro, yet young Victor could not escape his father, who began beating him when he was only 15 months old. An imaginative child, Rivers steeled himself against brutal whippings by emulating tigers, "tensed and ready to pounce or flee at all times." By the time Rivers was 15, he fought back, throwing Rivas to the floor. But when the older man returned with a knife and, experiencing deep feelings of guilt, yelled, "Kill me!" Rivers ran away. Helped by a series of "angels"—a schoolmate's lawyer father, supportive teachers and coaches, a family that informally adopted him, and his own brothers—Rivers overcame his rage and self-loathing. He tells this inspiring story of emergence from isolation and despair into love and community with passion, optimism and tenderness. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Raspberry-Nectarine Pie

Raspberry-Nectarine Pie

Serves 8.

Summer is only here for one more week. Take advantage of what's left by making this pie.
Crust recipe source: My grandmother, Mimo
Pie recipe source: Cooking Pleasures magazine, August/September 2005

2 sticks butter
4 T. sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. sugar
3 T. quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cardamom
5 large firm, but ripe nectarines, sliced (about 7 cups)
1 pint (2 cups) raspberries
1 T. lemon juice

Place oven rack on lowest level; place baking sheet on rack. Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Meanwhile, make pie crust by melting butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in flour. Divide into two sections, one for top crust and one for bottom. From one crust into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.

Press the other crust evenly into a pie plate, pushing up the sides of the plate.

In a large bowl, stir together 1 c. sugar, tapioca, nutmeg, and cardamom. Add nectarines, raspberries, and lemon juice; stir gently to combine. Spoon filling into pie crust. Refrigerate while rolling out lattice.

On a lightly floured surface, roll remaining dough into a 12-inch round. Cut into 5 (1-1/4") strips. Place 3 strips lengthwise over pie; trim edges. Fold edge of crust over edges of strips. Brush dough with milk; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar.

Place pie on baking sheet; bake at 425 for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. If crust is brown, cover with foil, leaving center open for steam. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake an additional 15 minutes, or until juices are bubbly and crust is a rich golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Serves well with ice cream or whipped cream.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Greek Rice Salad

Greek Rice Salad

Serves 4.

A fresh twist on rice that will be a welcome addition to any dinner table or potluck spread.
Slightly adapted from:

1/2 c. quick-cooking brown rice
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/8 c. lemon juice
1 vine-ripened tomato, diced
3/4 c. diced cucumber
1/4 c. diced red onion
1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese
1-1/2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. lemon zest
1/4 t. minced garlic
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

Cook rice according to package directions. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, toss avocado and lemon juice together. Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Fold in cooled rice.
Serve immediately, or chill for up to 1 hour.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Woo Woo

Woo Woo

Makes 1 drink.

Refreshingly simple.
Source: Cocktail Bible

2 measures vodka
2 measures peach schnapps
4 measures cranberry juice

Fill a rocks glass with ice. Pour the vodka, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice over the ice. Stir well to mix.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken (Marinade)

Teriyaki Chicken (Marinade)

Serves 4.

This is fantastic teriyaki marinade! We loved it and I will be using this recipe time and time again. It would also work well with pork.
Source: Ace Cooks, Bakers, and Miracle Makers cookbook

1/4 c. canola oil
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 T. ketchup
1 T. cider vinegar
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or pork chops or pork loin)

Whisk all ingredients together. Pour over chicken. Marinate overnight, turning chicken over a couple times.
Grill and serve!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Sweet By and By

The Sweet By and By by Todd Johnson

I enjoyed this book but it wasn't the best book I've ever read. What surprised me the most was that it was written by a male, but followed the relationships of women in such an emotional, deep, insightful way that the whole time I was reading, I just assumed it was written by a woman. With only pages left until the end, I made the realization that it was, in fact, written by a man. And boy was I impressed. I didn't think it was possible, but Todd Johnson did it. I wonder if he grew up with a hoard of sisters...

Publishers Weekly review from

Johnson's bittersweet and often humorous hen-lit debut portrays the lives of five very different Southern women: compassionate Lorraine, bossy Margaret, grief-stricken Bernice, ambitious April and brusque Rhonda. At the center of this character-driven novel is Lorraine, a nurse at the nursing home where Margaret and Bernice live. As the three women drift into friendship, hairdresser Rhonda arrives to take a part-time job, and the older women begin to change her life. Lorraine's daughter, April, meanwhile, is also gradually drawn into the circle. The story unfolds slowly over decades and life milestones, giving the characters plenty of time to reveal themselves. Johnson has a sure ear for Southern speech, though the dialect can become tiresome, and the narrative's lack of plot makes the novel feel overlong. Nevertheless, the underlying message of the power of love and friendship resonates, as does its depiction of the way in which people leading unremarkable lives can have a tremendous impact on those around them.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010



Serves 1.

This was such a fun little thing to make. Obviously you can use regular syrup, sausage patties, cheese, and eggs if it's what you have on hand. It won't be as healthy, but I would imagine it will still be better than McDonald's offerings.
Source: Hungry Girl

1 t. light whipped butter (or light buttery spread), melted
2-1/2 T. sugar-free pancake syrup
1-1/2 T. whole wheat flour
1/4 t. baking powder
1 veggie sausage patty (such as Morningstar Farms)
1 slice fat-free American cheese
1/4 c. liquid egg subsitute, such as Egg Beaters

To make pancake batter, combine melted butter, pancake syrup, whole wheat flour, and baking powder. Mix thoroughly.

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Add batter to form 2 small pancakes. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, flipping carefully, until golden brown. Transfer to a plate.

Respray the skillet and return to medium heat. Pour in egg substitute and allow to spread out evenly. Do not scramble. Once mostly cooked through, flip carefully and allow the other side to finish cooking. Gently fold in half once, and then fold again. Place cheese slice on top and allow to melt.

Meanwhile, cook sausage patty according to package instructions.

Build sandwich by placing sausage patty on one pancake, and topping with cheesy eggs and other pancake.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Creamy Spinach Casserole

Creamy Spinach Casserole

Serves 2.

This was absolutely delicious! Fairly quick and easy to prepare for a weeknight, but would also hold its own as a side dish on the holiday table.

2 c. spinach (not packed)
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 t. minced garlic
1 t. olive oil
1 c. cubed day-old bread
1 egg white
1/4 c. heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add spinach and allow the heat to reduce it in size.

Meanwhile, in a small baking dish (about the size of a loaf pan) that has been coated with nonstick spray, evenly spread cubed bread. Add spinach mixture evenly over bread.

In a small bowl, whisk egg white and heavy cream together. Pour over bread and spinach mixture.

Bake 18-20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

A Note From The Little Lady: I used a mini whole wheat bagel for the day-old bread in this recipe and it worked fabulously.

Friday, September 3, 2010

John Colllins

John Collins

Makes 1 drink.

This is a brother drink of Comrade Collins. Their older, well-known brother is Tom Collins. If you like citrus flavors, you will love the Collins boys. To keep things straight: Tom=Gin; John=Rye Whiskey; Juan=Tequila; Comrade=Vodka.
Source: Maran Illustrated Bartending

1-1/2 oz. rye whiskey
2 oz. lime juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. club soda
1 lime wedge

Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
Add the rye whiskey, lime juice, and simple syrup to the glass.
Top the drink with club soda, garnish with a lime wedge, and stir the drink.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Saucy Pork Chops

Saucy Pork Chops

Serves 2.

A super easy meal to throw together that freezes well, cooks easily, and tastes great.
Source: 5-Ingredients or Less cookbook

1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 c. ketchup
3 t. Worcestershire sauce
2-3 pork chops
1-1/2 c. prepared rice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix soup, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce together; set aside.

Arrange pork chops in an ungreased 8x8 baking pans; pour soup mixture over the top. Cover and bake for one hour.

Serve each pork chop on a serving of rice; spoon remaining sauce on top.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Butterfly House

The Butterfly House by Marcia Preston

A dark and dreary book with a compelling story. One of those books that you don't really want to be reading it, but you can't seem to put it down. The story leaves you feeling sorry for the characters, slightly creeped out, and saddened... but you keep reading. Does this make it a good book or a bad book? Probably a good book, but just prepare yourself for a tough read.

In clear, luminous prose Marcia Preston brings readers the story of three women, connected by friendship, family secrets and a single moment that binds them together forever.

As a child, Bobbie Lee found refuge from her lonely life at her best friend's house. Rockhaven was a place of magic, colored by the butterflies that Cincy Jaines's mother, Lenora, studied. Her friendship with Cincy and Lenora soon became Bobbie's compass. But the tangled intimacies between them began to unravel, and in one night, Rockhaven became a place of unspeakable tragedy.

Now, a decade later, the long shadows of that night continue to haunt Bobbie, despite her attempts to hide from the past. When a stranger with ties to Lenora and Cincy arrives at her doorstep, she is forced to confront the memories she has tried to avoid, and the dark secret at the heart of the tragedy slowly emerges.