Thursday, November 29, 2007

Balsamic Pork & Tomato

4-6 thick cut pork chops (I buy the fat Costco ones)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup stock (beef or chicken)
1 beef bouillon cube1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup (or more) balsamic vinegar
2 crushed cloves of garlic

Throw it all in the crock pot and cook on low for 7 hours... all depending on how tender you want it. Another way to do it is substitute beef onion dry soup mix for the bouillon and onion-- you still need the stock.I always shred the pork a little & serve it over rice since it is very saucy.

From my friend Amy Pearson

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tortellini Soup

I found this in the blogosphere. I altered it a bit and made it for the first time this week. It's simple and tasty -- a perfect fall meal! It's even filling enough to eat without sides.

15 oz. fresh tortellini
32 oz. chicken broth
4 garlic cloves, minced
14 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1/2 lb. reduced-fat ground sausage
1 tsp. basil
1 pkg chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated
14 oz. can tomato sauce

Brown the sausage and garlic in a small skillet. Drain fat and dump into large soup pot. Add chicken broth, stewed tomatoes and basil. When the soup is boiling, add tomato sauce and tortellini and cook for 10 minutes. Add spinach and parmesan cheese and simmer for another 10 minutes. Done!

French Silk Pie

This is from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. It's the best french silk recipe I've found, and I absolutely love it!

Shortbread Crust:
1/3 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 cups finely crushed Pecan Sandies (about 18 cookies)

Mix butter and sugar. Add crushed cookies and toss to mix well. Spread into 9-inch pie plate, pressing onto bottom and up sides. Bake in 375 oven for 5 minutes, until edge is slightly brown. Cool on wire rack before filling. {I usually end up sticking mine in the freezer for about 10 minutes.}

Pie Filling:
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup chocolate pieces - 6 oz. {I use Hershey milk chocolate chips}
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 beaten egg yolks
3 T. whipping cream

In a heavy medium saucepan combine the 1 cup whipping cream, the chocolate pieces, butter, and sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Gradually stir half of the hot chocolate mixture into beaten egg yolks. Return egg mixture to chocolate mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened and begins to bubble (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in the 3 tablespoons whipping cream. Place the saucepan in a bowl of ice water, stirring occasionally, until the mixture stiffens and becomes hard to stir (about 20 minutes). Transfer the chocolate mixture to a medium mixing bowl. Beat cooled chocolate mixture with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Spread filling into cooled shortbread crust. Cover and refrigerate for 5 to 24 hours. Serve topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.


Using basic roll dough, roll very thin and cut into 2.5" triangles. Fry in skillet filled with 1/2 cup hot oil, turning once. Serve immediately.

Cinnamon Rolls

Use 1/2 recipe basic roll dough and roll 1/4" thick. Spread all over with softened butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture consisting of 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar and 4 T. cinnamon. Roll up and cut into 1/2" thick slices with serrated knife. Let rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Bake at 350 for 18-25 minutes. Can drizzle with water/powdered sugar glaze.


This is a Stratton family Conference tradition. Love, love, love!

Use 1/2 recipe of basic roll dough, roll into 1" diameter balls. Dip in melted butter. Roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place in bundt pan, 2 layers deep. Let rise 1 hr. Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes.

Basic Roll Recipe

3/4 c. warm water
2 T. yeast (2 pkgs)
1/2 tsp sugar

Stir until dissolved and let rise in small bowl

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. melted butter
1 c. water

Mix in large bowl

3 eggs

Beat and add to above mixture. Add yeast mixture to large bowl.

2 tsp salt
7 cups flour

Mix all together for 7 minutes in bread mixer at high speed. Let rise 1 hour; punch down. Cover and refrigerate overnight. {Does not have to be refrigerated but is best that way.}

Divide dough into 2 equal parts. Roll out each part into a circle. Use a pizza cutter to cut into 16 equal pieces. Roll up from larger end to shorter end. Place in pan seam side down. Let rise 3 hours, until double in size. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Brush with butter.

{I also like to only raise/cook half the batch and put the other half straight into the freezer on the baking sheet for 4 hours. When frozen, take rolls and put into ziploc bag in the freezer. Voila! Homemade Rhodes rolls}

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Caramel Apple Pie

2 pie crusts for a 9" or 10" pie

6 cups apples (Jonathan or Granny Smith)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
4 T heavy cream
4 T butter

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup flour
3 T sugar
1 T butter
2 toffee bars (Skor or Heath)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put bottom crust in pie plate.

Peel and slice apples. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and add apples. Toss to mix. Add vanilla and cream. Melt butter in heavy skillet. Add apple mixture and cook approximately 8 minutes, to soften apples. Turn into pie shell.

Streusel Topping:
Combine the flour and sugar. Mix in butter with fork until coarse crumbs. Stir in the crushed toffee bars. Sprinkle over pie. Add top crust. Seal, flute edge and vent top. (I'll also take left over pie crust dough and cut out small leaves or apples to decorate the top. This makes it a little fancier if you're trying to impress your guests!) Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar (I use cinnamon sugar). Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 45 minutes longer.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Caramel Apple Crisp

Apple Filling:
5 large Granny Smith Apples (Braeburn also work great)
peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I just use my food processor to slice them up)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup water

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup quick oats
1 cup butter, softened

Caramel Sauce:
1 (14 oz) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1 5 oz can evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss apples with sugar flour cinnamon, lemon juice and water. Spread evenly into a 9 x 13 pan. In another bowl mix together the crumble topping ingredients (flour, brown sugar, oats and butter). In a heavy sauce pan over low heat melt the caramels with the evaporated milk. Heat, stirring frequently until the mixture has a smooth consistency. Drizzle 3/4 of caramel mixture over the apples, spoon crumble on top and then drizzle the remaining caramel over the crumble. Bake for 45 minutes or until apple mixture bubbles and topping turns golden brown.

Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs

OK, these are really yummy -- but they are a heart attack waiting to happen! One serving is approximately 970 calories with 77 grams of fat. So, this is a maybe once a year recipe!

1/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 lbs boneless beef short ribs (I used bone-in)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup beef broth
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chili sauce
2 Tbsp catsup
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp chili powder

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a Ziploc bag. Shake to coat. Brown ribs in butter in a large skillet. When browned, place ribs in a slow cooker. In the same skillet, combine remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring. Pour over ribs. Cover and cook on low 9-11 hours. Approximately 1-2 hours prior to serving, drizzle your favorite BBQ sauce over the top!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cranberry Fluff

This is a Thanksgiving tradition started by Michelle. CJ requested that I post it, so here it is:

2 cups raw cranberries, ground (Mix with ½ cup sugar and chill overnight)
2 cups diced apples
3 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Add ingredients to cranberries; fold in whipped cream.


1 cup butter (NOT MARGARINE!)
2 ¼ cups brown sugar
Dash salt
1 cup light corn syrup
1 15-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter in heavy 3 quart saucepan. Add sugar and salt; stir thoroughly. Stir in corn syrup; mix well. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over medium heat to firm ball stage (275* F.), 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour into buttered 9x9x2-inch pan. Cool and cut into squares.

I do not use a thermometer to watch the temperature; I find it cumbersome and my caramels turn out too hard. Instead I have a bowl of ice water on the stove and after about 10 minutes of stirring/cooking I spoon caramel into the bowl. It will set up quickly. If I like the consistency I know it is done.

Orson Gygi has great chocolate, called Peter's Superlative Chocolate, that I use to dip the caramel in. The chocolate is a bit softer and more tempermental but has a GREAT flavor and I get rave reviews.

Ritzy Chicken

Combine the following ingredients and marinate chicken overnight:
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
5 chicken breasts

½ cup crushed Ritz crackers
½ cup butter
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Roll chicken in Ritz crackers and place in 9x13 pan. Pour half melted butter over chicken. Bake 350* for 45 minutes. Pour remainder of butter and poppy seeds over chicken. Bake 15 more minutes.

Sunday Roast Beef (beef or pork roast)

Place Roast in Crockpot with:

¼ cup butter or margarine
Dash garlic salt
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
1½ pounds of meat
¼ cup white grape juice or pear juice

Cook for at least 5 hours (or until tender)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Peanut Butter Candy

Peanut Butter Candy

1 c. light Karo
1 c. peanut butter
1 1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 1/4 c. powdered milk

Put in a bowl. Mix all together. Roll into 1" balls.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Aunt Marilyn's Popcorn

This is the greatest caramel popcorn ever! We love it as is or you can bake it to make it crunchy. You could add nuts or raisins or m & ms but we love it plain and eat it quickly!

Make 2-3 batches air popped or regular (not microwave) popcorn and pick out and discard the unpopped kernels as opposed to saving them and pouring the syrup over them. Put in a mixing bowl large enough to stir the popcorn with the syrup on it. Set aside and
make syrup:

1 cup sugar
1 cup light Karo
1/2 cup water

Boil in a large skillet or large heavy saucepan over high heat stirring often (that is so you watch it as it goes quickly when it starts to turn color and can scorch easily) until it begins to turn yellow. Turn off heat and add

1 cube butter (butter is the best)
1 t. baking soda
1t. salt

Remove from heat and stir carefully together to incorporate butter into syrup and pour over popcorn in bow. Stir to coat all the popcorn and pour out onto waxed paper sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and mold or spread out to cool. Or, put on sprayed jelly roll pans and bake in 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Annette's Jello Popcorn Balls

1 - 6 oz. box Jello (not sugar-free) , any flavor
2 cups sugar
1 cup Karo
1 t. vanilla

Bring to boil and boil for 2 minutes. Pour over 2 batches popcorn free of old maids. Stir together and mold into balls or blobs and put on waxed paper sprayed with Pam. (Remove from waxed paper before eating.)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Chicken Breasts Parmesan

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg
3/4 c. plain yogurt
2 T. lemon juice
3/4 c. bread crumbs
3/4 c. fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 t. seasoning salt

Preheat oven to 350. Rinse chicken and dry with paper towel. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg. Mix in the yogurt and juice. In another shallow pan, mix the bread crumbs, cheese and seasoning. Dip the chicken in yogurt mixture and then crumbs. Place slightly apart on cookie sheet covered with foil. Bake for 35 minutes.

Crustless Spinach Quiche

9 oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach, squeezed to drain
2 T. flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. mayo
1 c. sliced mushrooms
5 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled (or 2 T. bacon bits)
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 c. grated swiss cheese
1/2c sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9" pie pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, toss spinach and flour until well mixed, set aside. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk and mayo. Stir in mushrooms, cheeses, spinach mixture, onions and bacon. Pour into pan, back for 1 hour. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Chicken Fajita Pizza

I use Mandy's Quick Pizza Dough Recipe.... see below.

3 cups all-purpose flour *
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 cup warm water

Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in oil and warm water. Spread out on a large pizza pan. Top as desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

* I substituted one cup of whole wheat flour for one cup of white. Yummy!

  • Toppings: Pizza sauce, grilled chicken (seasoned with fajita spices), sliced red and green bell pepper, onions and roma tomatoes. Top with some mozzarella cheese. SO GOOD!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Banana Bread

This is a Martha Stewart recipe and one of my favs.

1 3/4 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 c. mashed bananas (about 3 small bananas)
1/3 c. butter, softened
2 T milk
2 eggs
1/2 c. nuts (optional)

Combine all dry ingredients. Stir in butter, milk and eggs. Add banana and mix until just blended. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes.

I use the mini loaf pans when I make this (they make great sized give-aways). This will fill about 3 mini loaf pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Pumpkin Pie Cake

This is the perfect cross between a yummy pumpkin pie and a yummy yellow cake. My friend Carrie made this for me just last week, and I've already made it once - going on twice. It's SO yummy! And until I can get her to join the recipe blog, I'll be posting for her.

1 package yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup out for topping)
1 egg
1 stick butter or margarine, melted

After reserving out 1 cup of the cake mix, combine remaining cake mix with egg and melted butter. Press into a 9 x 13 pan.

1 ½ c. pumpkin (unseasoned, solid pack)
¾ c. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. ginger
1—12 oz. can evaporated milk
2 eggs

Mix together well and pour over crust.

1 c. reserved cake mix
½ c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 T. butter
Chopped nuts (optional)

Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in margarine. Crumble over the filling.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour (good served warm OR cold!)

Southwestern Monte Cristos

A Rachael Ray from her 365:No Repeats Cookbook.

8 slices white sandwich bread
½ c. hot pepper jell or chili sauce, tomatillo or tomato salsa, or taco sauce – whatever you have on hand
8 slices honey-baked ham
8 slices Pepper Jack cheese
8 slices of smoked turkey
2 eggs, beaten
A splash of milk
1 T. unsalted butter

  1. Spread the bread with a light layer of pepper jelly (or whatever you have), then build sandwiches using 2 slices each of ham, cheese, and turkey per sandwich. Beat the eggs with the milk and the remaining 2 teaspoons of hot sauce and season the mixture with a little salt.
  2. Heat a griddle pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter in the skillet. Dip each sandwich in the egg coating and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side to melt the cheese and warm the meats through.
  3. Cut them corner to corner and serve alongside the stoup for dipping and munching.

Can serve with Black Bean Stoup.

Black Bean Stoup

A Rachael Ray Recipe (from her365: No Repeats Cookbook) that I LOVE and could eat once a week at least! So much flavor for black beans!

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 dried bay leaf
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 celery ribs with greens, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
3 - 15 oz. cans black beans
2 T. ground cumin
1 ½ t. ground coriander.
Salt and black pepper
2 to 3 T. hot sauce
1 qt. chicken or vegetable stock or broth (I use less because I like it a little thicker)
1 – 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
½ c. sour cream
2 to 3 scallions, chopped (I omit these, and it tastes just as good… not a big onions fan!)

  1. Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO to the hot pot, then add the bay leaf , jalapeƱos, garlic, celery, and onions. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the bell peppers and continue to cook.

  2. Drain 2 cans of beans and add them. With the remaining can, pour the juice and half the beans into the pot. Use a fork to mash up the beans remaining in the can. Stir the mashed beans into the pot and season with the cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the hot sauce.

  3. Add the stock and tomatoes to the stoup and bring to a bubble. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes over low heat.

  4. Ladle up the black bean stoup and top with sour cream and scallions.

Can serve with Southwestern Monte Cristos or with Pancheri Cornbread (shown w/ the pic)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Request: Tres Leches

Does anyone have a recipe for tres leches? I'd like to try making one and would rather try a recipe from one of you, instead of one from allrecipes or Food Network.

Angel Chicken

Another Michelle original.

6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup butter
1 .7-oz pkg italian salad dressing mix
1 can condensed golden mushroom soup
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 of an 8-oz tub cream cheese with chives and onion

Place chicken in a 3 1/2 or 4 quart crock pot. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the dry italian dressing mix. Stir in mushroom soup, white wine and cream cheese until combined. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. {You can also just cook it in a Pyrex pan at 350 for about 25 minutes, until chicken juices run clear.} Serve chicken and sauce over hot cooked pasta.

Carrot Cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 oz. carrot baby food
  • 1 8 oz. can crushed pinapple (drained)

Mix all the above ingredients together. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 in a non-stick sprayed 9x13 baking dish.

Top with cream cheese frosting (to follow) and garnish with crushed walnuts if desired (I don't).

Note: The first time I made this the store didn't have enough carrot baby food. So I used half carrot and half sweet potato. It turned out so well that that's how I make it every time. Also, I usually take the cake straight from the oven to the freezer. Seems to make it even more moist - if that's possible.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanillia
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Cream together and enjoy!