Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chicken, anyone???

Chicken, the ever-inexpensive meat....but how many ways CAN you fix chicken? Let me share a few of my ideas:

Chicken & Rice Casserole
  • 8 pieces chicken drums or thighs or combination
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 to 1 1/2 soup cans water
  • 1 Tbsp. dry onion flakes
  • 2 tsp. beef boullion
  • 1 cup long grain rice
Wash chicken pieces (I prefer to remove the skin too). In 9 x 13 pan or baking dish, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Add chicken pieces. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Spicy Roast Chicken: (can be made in oven or crockpot)
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Combine spices and rub all over chicken, being sure to get under the skin wherever possible and the inside cavity. Bake in oven (covered) at 325 for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours depending on size of chicken OR place in crockpot, cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Oven Fried Chicken:

  • 3 to 4 lbs. chicken parts (breasts, thighs, drums),
  • 1 1/2 c. mashed potato flakes,
  • 1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese,
  • 1 tsp. paprika,
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt,
  • 1 tsp. salt,
  • 1 tsp. pepper,
  • 2 eggs,
  • 1/2 c. margarine.

Mix potato flakes, cheese and spices together. Beat eggs and 2 Tbsp. water with fork. Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture then roll in mashed potato flakes mixture. Place in a foil lined cake pan. Melt margarine and pour over chicken. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, turn chicken pieces and bake another 30 minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie:

  • 1 pkg ready made pie crust (2 crusts),
  • 1 16 oz. pkg frozen mixed veggies,
  • 1 to 2 c. cut up cooked chicken,
  • 1 can cream of potato soup,
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup,
  • 1/3 c. milk,
  • 1 tsp. seasoning salt.

Put bottom crust in pie pan. mix rest of ingredients and put into pie pan, put top crust on according to directions. Be sure to cut slits in top crust. Bake at 375 for 45 to 50 minutes

Chicken strips

2 lbs. chicken breast, sliced into strips.

Sauce: 4 eggs, 1/3 c. water, 1 cup Louisiana hot sauce (the strips are NOT spicy hot), 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder.

Dredging mix: 2 c. all purpose flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt.

Dip chicken strips into sauce, then into flour mixture. Fry a few pieces at a time (depends on the size of your fryer) until they are done, takes about 4 or 5 minutes.

Country style Oven fried Chicken:

1 c. flour

2 tsp. garlic salt

2 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning

1/2 c. milk

1 egg, beaten

2 to 3 lb. chicken parts

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. In another bowl whisk together milk and egg. Roll chicken in flour mixture, then dip in egg mixture and roll again in flour mixture. Heat about 1/4 to 1/3 c. vegetable oil in a large skillet. Fry chicken in batches until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Put chicken in a large cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until juices run clear.

Chicken Alfredo


  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 2 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • salt and pepper


  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper (may also use black pepper)

16 oz. cooked spaghetti, linguini, fettucini or angel hair pasta


Cook chicken in olive oil with garlic and salt and pepper. While chicken is cooking, melt cream cheese and butter together in saucepan. Stir until smooth. Stir in milk, Parmesan cheese and pepper. Pour chicken and juices over spaghetti in a serving dish, then top with sauce and sprinkle parsley on top.

Chicken Parmesan

  • 1/2 c. dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 - 5 chicken breast halves
  • 3 Tbsp. margarine
  • 1 c. spaghetti sauce
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • hot cooked spaghetti

Cut chicken into serving size pieces. Combine bread crumbs and grated Parmesan. Melt margarine in an electric skillet at 350 degrees. Dip chicken in egg then roll in bread crumbs and place in skillet. Brown on each side, then top with spaghetti sauce and cover. Cook at 250 degrees for 25 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over chicken. Cover and continue cooking for another 3 to 5 minutes. Serve over hot spaghetti with extra spaghetti sauce.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rainy day -> comfort food -> CHOCOLATE CAKE!!!

Another cold, rainy day encourages the desire for some comfort food. How about some of our favorite chocolate cake recipes?

Chocolate Macaroon Bundt Cake
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. cocoa
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 c. cold water
  • 1/2 c. sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk (reserve the egg white for the filling)
  • 1/2 c. butter or margarine

Macaroon filling:
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 c. flaked coconut
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
In small bowl beat egg white until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Stir in the rest of ingredients by hand.

In large bowl, combine all ingredients for the cake, beating at low speed until moistened. Beat at medium speed for 3 minutes. Pour 1/2 batter into greased and floured bundt cake pan. Drop spoonfuls of coconut filling over the batter, then pour rest of cake batter on top. Bake at 350 for 55 to 65 minutes or until cake tests done. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes in the pan before removing to a rack and cooling completely. Top with a vanilla or chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Magic Cake
  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. cocoa
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. strong black coffee
  • 1 c. soured milk (put 1 tsp. lemon juice in a 1 cup measure, add milk to equal 1 cup)
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add rest of ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Batter will be thin. Pour into a greased & floured 9 x 13 cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes until cake tests done.

We like to frost this with
Chocolate Lover's Frosting
  • 3 c. powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/2 c. cocoa
  • 1/2 c. margarine, softened
  • 5 to 6 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix 1 cup powdered sugar, cocoa, margarine and 2 Tablespoons milk. Beat slowly until mixed well. Add rest of powdered sugar and milk and mix well, then whip at high speed until fluffy and light.

Chocolate Sheet Cake
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. margarine
  • 1 c. water
  • 3 Tbsp. baking cocoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
Mix flour with sugar and salt and set aside. Melt margarine water and cocoa together in a saucepan; bring to a boil then add to flour mixture, beating on low speed until mixed. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Batter will be very thin. Pour into a greased/floured 15 x 10 x 1 inch cookie sheet/jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Sheet cake frosting
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans (optional)
Melt together margarine, cocoa and milk in sauce pan. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and pecans if desired. Pour over hot sheet cake.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake (forget about the zucchini in it, this is great! Hubby's favorite!)
  • 1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 2 cups peeled & grated zucchini
  • 1/3 c. chocolate chips
Cream margarine, oil and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and milk. Beat until well blended. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in zucchini. Pour batter into greased and floured 9 x 13 cake pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake at 325 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes until cake tests done.

  • 1/4 c. margarine
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. chocolate chips
Melt together in pan, stirring until smooth. Pour over hot cake.

Dad's Favorite Buttermilk Chocolate Cake
  • 1/2 c. cocoa
  • 2 tsp. soda
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. margarine or butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together cocoa, soda, and water and let stand. Cream together sugar and shortening and add eggs and beat well. Mix flour and salt and add the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Add the vanilla and the chocolate mixture and beat well with mixer. Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13 inch cake pan or two 8 or 9 inch layer pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until cake tests done. Let layers cool about 10 minutes before removing from pans.

Creamy Chocolate Frosting
  • 1/3 c. margarine or butter
  • 1/2 c. cocoa
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • Warm coffee or milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Melt margarine or butter and add cocoa and powdered sugar. Then add enough warm coffee or milk to make it spreading consistency. Add the vanilla and mix well.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cold, rainy days...

Wow, you'd THINK that with it being JUNE 7TH that we'd have some warm weather, wouldn't ya? Nope, cold and rainy today. I think I can count on one hand the number of days we've had above 70 degrees so far this year!! Anyway, what's better than hot soup on a cold day??

Taco soup
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes and diced chilies
  • 1 cup sweet corn kernels
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • 1 pkt. taco seasoning
  • 1 pkt. ranch dressing mix
Mix all together, bring to a boil, then serve. OR you can cook it in your crock pot for 4 hours on low.

Creamy Broccoli Soup:

  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh broccoli OR 16 oz. bag frozen broccoli;
  • 2 cups water;
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped;
  • 1 medium onion (about 1/2 cup) chopped;
  • 2 Tbsp. margarine or butter;
  • 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour;
  • 2 1/2 c. water;
  • 1 Tbsp OR 3 cubes instant chicken boullion;
  • 3/4 tsp. salt;
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper;
  • 1/2 c. whipping cream, evaporated milk or milk.

Cut up fresh broccoli into flowerets and bits of stalk. Heat 2 cups water to boiling in saucepan. Add broccoli, celery and onion. Cover and boil until tender about 10 minutes, do not drain. If you prefer, put vegetables and some liquid in blender and blend until desired consistency (I don't do this step). Heat margarine in large saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 45 seconds. Gradually stir in 2 1/2 c. water, whisking or stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Add boullion and stir to dissolve. Add vegetables and cooking water, heat back to boiling, then remove from heat and stir in cream or milk. Serve.

Crockpot Bean Soup

  • 1 lb. navy beans
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 meaty ham bone, smoked ham hock or 2 cups diced cooked ham
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Heat beans in water in a large pot. Boil gently for 2 minutes; turn off heat and let stand 1 hour. Pour into crockpot. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 12 to 14 hours until beans are very soft. Remove bay leaf and ham bone. Cut meat off bone; return meat to beans. Serve hot.

Potato Soup

  • 4 to 6 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 - 8 cups water
  • 6 - 8 tsp. instant chicken boullion or 6 to 8 boullion cubes
  • diced ham
  • 1 small onion, diced and sauteed
  • 1 cup milk, evaporated milk or cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Cook potatoes in water until just fork tender. Add rest of ingredients and season to taste.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A meal for a busy day!

This week is going to be a bit busy for us. I'll be putting in most of our garden AND baking and decorating a graduation cake for Friday. I chose an easy meal for today: Spicy Roast Chicken, Copycat KFC Macaroni Salad, tossed salad and corn.

Spicy Roast Chicken
  • 1 - 2 large whole chickens (ours are homegrown and weigh about 7 - 8 lbs.)
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (you can cut this down if you don't care for the "heat")
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Combine all the spices and rub under the skin of the chicken. Rub a bit on the inside too, and any leftover on the skin. If you are making a single chicken, you can roast it in your crockpot; just put it in the crockpot, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. I make two chickens since I have a large family and I put them in my turkey roaster, cover and bake at 350 degrees for 2 to 2 1/2 hours (remember, I use huge chickens. For smaller chickens, 1 1/2 to 2 hours should do.)

Copycat KFC Macaroni Salad (from www.recipezaar.com)
  • 16 oz. dry elbow macaroni, cooked, drained and cooled
  • 2 Tbsp. instant minced dry onion
  • 2/3 c. chopped celery
  • 2/3 c. chopped sweet pickles (I use drained sweet pickle relish)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped pimento (optional)
  • 1/2 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 c. sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 - 1 1/2 c. Miracle Whip
  • 2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar (I cut this down to 1 Tbsp.)
  • 1 tsp. onion salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
Combine dressing ingredients and set aside. Combine rest of ingredients in large bowl and stir in dressing until well mixed. Chill before serving. Store in refrigerator.