Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chicken Salad Casserole

This is a great dish for a luncheon, served with crackers.

Chicken Salad Casserole
  • 4 chicken breasts, cooked, cooled and diced
  • 3/4 c. chopped celery
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of onion soup
  • 3/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 c. cornflakes, crushed
Mix all ingredients except cornflakes and spread in a buttered casserole dish.  Top with cornflakes.  Bake at 300°F for 45 - 60 minutes.

Layered Christmas Jello Salad

I first found this recipe in an old Jello cookbook many years ago, and I liked it so much that I made multiple pans of it and served it at our wedding reception (18 years ago tomorrow!)

Layered Christmas Jello Salad

  • 2 3-oz. boxes lime Jello
  • 1 3-oz. box lemon Jello
  • 2 3-oz. boxes cherry, cranberry, or raspberry jello
  • 5 c. boiling water, divided
  • 2 c. cold water, divided
  • 15 large or 1 1/2 c. mini marshmallows
  • 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 c. whipping cream, whipped
Mix lime Jello with 2 c. boiling water.  Stir until dissolved.  Add 2 c. cold water and pour into 9 x 13 dish.  Refrigerate until set. 
Dissolve lemon Jello in 1 c. boiling water.  Stir in marshmallows until melted.  Fold in crushed pineapple and whipped cream.  Gently spread on top of lime Jello and refrigerate until set.
Mix red Jellow ith 2 c. boiling water and stir until dissolved.  Add 2 c. cold water and let set until lightly set; spoon over lemon Jello mixture.  Refrigerate until firm.

Party mix (like Chex)

A little different from the regular party mix.  

Party Mix
  • 4 c. Wheat Chex
  • 4 c. Rice Chex
  • 4 c. Cheerios
  • 19 oz. jar dry roasted peanuts
  • 6 oz. Goldfish crackers
  • 8 oz. thin pretzel sticks
  • 1 c. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
Preheat oven to 250°.  Stir first 6 ingredients together. Melt butter, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings together and drizzle over cereal mixture with gently mixing with a spatula or large wooden spoon.  When mixed thoroughly, spread on cookie sheets and place in oven for an hour, stirring approximately every 15 minutes.  Let cool.  Store in airtight container.

Homemade BBQ Potato Chips

In an attempt to satisfy an afternoon craving, we made these.  YUM!
Homemade BBQ Potato Chips

1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. ground mustard
dash of cayenne pepper
2 large Russet potatoes, sliced very thin
Combine spices (I put mine in an extra shaker bottle).  Cook potato slices as desired -- bake or deep fry.  Sprinkle with a little salt and as much of the spice mix as you'd like.  Cool a little before eating so you won't burn your tongue.

Weekly menu plan for December 16 - 22, 2012

December 16 – 22, 2012

breakfast – waffles, oranges, veggie juice
lunch – cheeseburger salad
dinner - Swiss mushroom chicken, steamed broccoli, citrus salad

breakfast – cottage cheese, grapefruit
lunch – egg salad on homemade crackers
dinner - firehouse chili with paleo cinnamon muffins

breakfast – carrot cake pancakes, veggie juice
lunch – bratwurst, side salad
dinner - cheesy chicken & ham over broccoli, salad

breakfast – pumpkin muffins, hard boiled eggs
lunch – pizza soup
dinner - nachos

breakfast – waffles, ½ grapefruit
lunch – beef liver with caramelized onions, side salad
dinner - baked chicken, oven fries, green beans

breakfast – veggie hash, poached eggs, veggie juice
lunch – creamed tuna and peas over paleo biscuits
dinner - BBQ beef roast, au gratin veggies, salad

breakfast – veggie omelet, veggie juice or ½ grapefruit
lunch – leftovers/clean out the fridge
dinner - homemade pizza

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Rugelach cookies

This is a new one that we tried for Christmas cookies this year, and I'm going to have to make more for our Christmas cookie trays because my family is devouring them.  EVERYONE here gave them rave reviews!

Note:  I found that 16 1/2 minutes bake time was perfect, but it'll depend on your oven.

Note 2:  I didn't have apricot preserves so I used peach.  I imagine plum preserves would work just as well, too.  Oh, and we "chopped" the walnuts in the food processor until they were more ground than chopped.  One of my sons suggested we do the same with the raisins next time, too.



2001, Barefoot Contessa Parties!, All Rights Reserved
Prep Time:  10 min
Inactive Prep Time:  1 hr 30 min
Cook Time:  15 min
Level:  Easy
Serves:  4 dozen cookies


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2-pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 9 tablespoons
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves, pureed in a food processor
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash


Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make the filling, combine 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the raisins, and walnuts.
On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 tablespoons apricot preserves and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges—cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Vegetables Au Gratin

Vegetables Au Gratin
* this is a delicious veggie side dish that everyone will enjoy!*
  • 1 10 3/4 oz. can cheddar cheese soup
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 16 oz. bag frozen broccoli/cauliflower/carrot mix, thawed
  • 1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese crackers, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
Mix soup, cheese, and sour cream together.  Stir in veggies.  Put in a greased baking dish.  Mix melted butter and cheese cracker crumbs together with a fork and sprinkle evenly over veggie mixture.  Bake at 375°F for 30 to 35 minutes.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tater Tot Breakfast Bake

This makes a full 9 x 13 pan and would be great for a Christmas morning brunch!

Breakfast Bake
  • 1 lb./2 cups browned bulk pork sausage or diced ham, or crumbled cooked bacon
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • optional toppings:  can of mushrooms (drained & diced), chopped green and/or red pepper, frozen spinach (thawed & drained), diced onion or dry onion flakes
  • 2 lb. bag tater tots
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Layer meat and cheese in a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan/baking dish.  Blend eggs and milk until well mixed; pour over cheese & meat.  Add additional toppings if desired.  Top with frozen tater tots.  Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in preheated oven.

Sugar Plum Muffins

These sound like a cute idea for holiday baking!

Sugar Plum Muffins
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. finely ground almonds or almond meal
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 3/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • prunes (1/2 for each mini muffin, whole for regular size muffins)
  • coarse or regular granulated sugar
Mix first 7 ingredients together.  Whisk wet ingredients and orange zest together; fold into the dry mixture.  Divide among prepared muffin cups (12 regular, 36 to 48 mini).  Top each with a prune (half for mini muffins, whole for regular size) and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake in preheated 350°F oven:  16 to 18 minutes for mini muffins, 20 to 25 minutes for regular sized muffins.

Weekly meal plan December 9 - 15, 2012

breakfast – breakfast bake with ham, veggie juice
lunch – hamburger mushroom gravy over mashed potatoes, Monte Carlo veggie mix
dinner – fire dept Christmas party – taking peppermint stick brownies

breakfast – leftover breakfast bake, veggie juice
lunch – veggie & smoked sausage soup
dinner – meatloaf, veggies au gratin

breakfast – carrot cake pancakes, grapefruit
lunch – leftovers
dinner - chicken alfredo, salad

breakfast – veggie hash, poached eggs, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers
dinner - tacos

breakfast – omelet, grapefruit
lunch – salmon patties and side salad
dinner - smoked ham roast, Waldorf salad, dilled carrots

breakfast – carrot cake pancakes, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers
dinner - beefy mushroom beef roast, potatoes, carrots

breakfast – veggie omelet, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers or stew made from leftovers
dinner - pizza

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekly meal plan for November 25 - December 1, 2012

No grocery money this week, so I planned this week based completely on what we've got in the freezers/fridge/pantry. 

The menu is grain-free...anything requiring flour is made using the almond and/or coconut flours I have on hand.

November 25 – December 1, 2012

breakfast – eggs & veggie juice
lunch – chipped beef, salad
dinner - Western burgers, pickled beets, pea salad

breakfast – omelet, grapefruit
lunch – bratwurst, homemade BBQ chips, homemade pickles
dinner -honey mustard chicken, oven fries, green beans

breakfast – carrot cake pancakes, veggie juice
lunch – salmon salad or salmon patties with salad
dinner - crockpot au jus pot roast, mashed potatoes, dilled carrots

breakfast – hard boiled eggs, grapefruit
lunch – leftovers or chef salad
dinner - baked pork chops, cheesy broccoli casserole

breakfast – ham & egg pie, veggie juice
lunch – beef & bacon smoked sausages, salad
dinner - chili jack cheesy chicken, homemade tomato soup, Monte Carlo veggie mix, pineapple cheese salad

breakfast – kale & eggs
lunch – leftovers/clean out the fridge
dinner - BBQ beef stew, double chocolate zucchini muffins

breakfast – carrot cake pancakes
lunch – leftovers from Friday dinner
dinner - pizza

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekly menu for November 18 - 24, 2012

November 18 – 24, 2012

breakfast – eggs in ham cups, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers
dinner – beef roast, potatoes, carrots

breakfast – breakfast bake
lunch – Sunday night leftovers made into stew
dinner – cheesy beef & spinach skillet, carrots with orange zest

breakfast – leftover breakfast bake
lunch – chef salad
dinner – chicken parmesan, salad

breakfast – carrot cake pancakes topped with cream cheese & honey, veggie juice
lunch – tuna patties with side salad
dinner – taco skillet

breakfast – leftover carrot cake pancakes or omelets, veggie juice
lunch – Thanksgiving
dinner - Thanksgiving

breakfast – veggie hash, poached eggs, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers from Thanksgiving
dinner – leftover turkey & gravy over grain-free biscuits

breakfast – veggie omelet, veggie juice
lunch – beef & jalapeno sausage, veggie soup
dinner – meatball bake, salad

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekly meal plan for November 11 - 17, 2012

November 11 – 17, 2012

breakfast – breakfast bake, veggie juice
lunch – smoked sausage and veggie stew
dinner - broiled steak, parsnip & mushroom soup, broccoli salad

breakfast – breakfast salad, veggie juice
lunch – tuna patties, leftover parsnip & mushroom soup
dinner - Swiss mushroom chicken, salad

breakfast – hard boiled eggs, grapefruit, veggie juice
lunch – creamy broccoli & ham chowder
dinner - stuffed meatloaf, roasted beets & carrots, salad

breakfast – veggie hash, poached egg, veggie juice
lunch – liver with caramelized onions, salad
dinner - rosemary chicken & potatoes, green beans

breakfast – hard boiled eggs, grapefruit, veggie juice
lunch – chef salad
dinner - firehouse chili, “corn” muffins

breakfast – ham & egg cups, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers/clean out the fridge
dinner - ranch baked tilapia, honeyed carrots, broccoli casserole

breakfast – huevos rancheros, grapefruit, veggie juice
lunch – bratwurst, salad
dinner – pizza on spaghetti squash and/or almond meal crusts

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Swiss Mushroom Chicken

This is so good served alongside a salad or on a bun or English muffin!

  • 4 to 6 boneless chicken breasts or breast filets
  • Seasonings:  salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 to 6 thin slices deli ham
  • 4 to 6 slices Swiss cheese
Season the chicken as desired; grill or brown in a pan with olive oil until just done. Place the chicken in a large baking dish. Saute the mushrooms in the butter until tender. Top each piece of chicken with a slice of ham, an equal portion of the mushrooms, then a slice of cheese. Bake at 350ยบ for 15-20 minutes until everything is hot and the cheese is melted.
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Beef & Cheese Spaghetti Squash Bake

Beef & Cheese Spaghetti Squash Bake
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 28 to 32 oz. spaghetti sauce (I made my own from tomato sauce and herbs)
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 large spaghetti squash, cleaned and baked and strands scooped out into a large bowl
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat olive oil in large pan; cook onion, garlic, carrot, and celery, stirring often until onion and celery are clear (not necessarily tender).  Add ground beef and cook until no pink remains.  Add sauce and oregano and simmer for about 15 minutes (I skipped the simmering step.)
Add beef & sauce mixture to spaghetti squash.  Stir to mix well.  Pour into baking dish (I used a 9 x 13 pan) and top with cheddar cheese.  Bake uncovered for 15 minutes, top with parmesan cheese, and bake another 5 to 10 minutes.  Serve.

Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle

This sounds like a good one to have at upcoming holiday dinners!  It offers the traditional tastes of gingerbread and pumpkin in a new way.

Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle
  • 1 gingerbread cake (9 x 13 size) - can be made from a box mix or from scratch
  • 2 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 15 oz. cans pumpkin
  • 2/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 16 oz. or 4 cups whipped topping/whipped cream
  • chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
Break up the gingerbread cake into chunks.  Set aside.
Whip the cream cheese until smooth.  Add pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla and beat well.
In a trifle bowl or large glass salad bowl, layer the gingerbread, pumpkin mixture, whipped cream....repeat twice more for a total of 3 tiers of 3 layers each.  Can garnish with chopped walnuts or pecans.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Weekly menu for November 4 - 10, 2012

breakfast – caprese omelet, veggie juice
lunch – spaghetti squash bake
dinner – primal chicken strips, steamed broccoli, carrot cake muffins

breakfast – veggie hash, poached eggs, veggie juice
lunch – garden tuna salad
dinner -tacos

breakfast – hard boiled eggs, broiled grapefruit, veggie juice
lunch – taco salad from leftover tacos
dinner – crockpot BBQ short ribs, green beans, bacon tomato avocado salad

breakfast – carrot cake pancakes, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers
dinner – cheeseburger salad

breakfast – veggie hash, poached eggs, veggie juice
lunch – smoked sausage & veggie soup
dinner – chicken broccoli alfredo casserole, roasted baby carrots, pickled beets

breakfast – veggie omelet, broiled grapefruit
lunch – leftovers/clean out the fridge
dinner – salmon muffins with homemade dill sauce, broccoli salad, herbed potatoes

breakfast – veggie hash, poached eggs, veggie juice
lunch – bratwurst, side salad
dinner – crockpot chicken wings, corn, oven fries, salad

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weekly menu for October 28 - November 3, 2012

As always, this is a grain-free menu. 

October 28 – November 3, 2012

breakfast - breakfast bake, veggie juice
lunch - leftovers
dinner – crockpot BBQ chicken/coleslaw/mockaroni & cheese

breakfast - egg & bacon waffle sandwich, veggie juice
lunch - leftovers
dinner - deviled Swiss steak/honeyed carrots/salad

breakfast - tomato & basil quiche, veggie juice
lunch - salmon patties/side salad
dinner - chili chicken breasts/steamed broccoli/sweet potatoes

breakfast - breakfast salad, veggie juice
lunch – chicken stew
dinner - Italian meatball bake/salad

breakfast - sausage/spinach/cheddar frittata, veggie juice
lunch – individual chicken pot pies, salad
dinner - parmesan herb chicken leg quarters/steamed peas & carrots/salad

breakfast - veggie hash/poached eggs, veggie juice
lunch – bratwurst, side salad
dinner - ranch baked tilapia, steamed Monte Carlo veggie mix

breakfast - omelet with peppers & onions, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers/clean out the fridge
dinner - crockpot Laredo beef roast, green beans, shredded carrot salad