Archives for November 2008

Hawaiian Coleslaw

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The most fun you can have with a cheap package of ramen noodles! I don’t really know why it’s called Hawaiin, but we’ll go with it.

I didn’t get a picture of the ingredients, but here’s what you’ll need:

1 bag of coleslaw mix
small bunch green onions
1/3 jar (8-12oz size) toasted sunflower seeds (like Planter’s brand)
small package of sliced or slivered almonds
package of chicken flavored ramen noodles

For the dressing:
1/2 cup oil
2-3 Tbs. sugar
salt and pepper
seasoning packet from the ramen

Break the noodles into a 9″ pan and add the almonds. Toast at 350 degrees to brown them. Stir every little bit. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

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Mix up the dressing and stir everything together. Enjoy!

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Honey Mustard Chicken Wings – Crockpot version

These were really good. My kids licked them up. I modified a Rachel Ray recipe from her cookbook 30-Minute Get Real Meals.

I have to say though, chicken wings are expensive. I bought a large pack that had 20 wings in it. It cost me over $7 for that pack of wings. Kind of singed my wing feathers to pay it, but I did. Next time I might use legs or even thighs for this recipe.

The original recipe calls for 12 wings, but since I was making them for dinner for my family of six, I bought the big pack. In addition to the wings, you’ll need oil, salt and pepper and the ingredients for the sauce.

Season the wings with salt and pepper and brown them in hot oil.

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I don’t care how good you are at taking pictures, there’s no pretty way to photograph a chicken wing.

Gather up the sauce ingredients:
1/4 – 1/3 cup spicy deli mustard
1/2 cup orange juice
2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled
2 Tbs. hot sauce
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 Tbs. honey

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I didn’t measure anything for the sauce, but just eye-balled it. I made a bit more than what the recipe called for because I had more wings. The actual recipe calls to heat this sauce on the stove, then remove the ginger and pour it over the wings in the skillet, popping the skillet into the oven to let the wings finish cooking. I think this would give a nice glaze to the wings. But I changed the recipe for my needs.

Here’s what I did. After the wings browned, I put them in the crockpot. Then I poured the sauce ingredients into the hot skillet and let it cook a minute.

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Remove the ginger and pour the sauce over the wings in the crockpot.

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I cooked mine on high for several hours. There were no leftovers because the kids loved them.

Sugar Scrub

I’ve been feeling a little flaky lately. My skin, that is. Cold weather makes me itchy and the perfect solution is Sugar Scrub. The store bought variety is expensive, but it’s very easy to make at home and it’s much cheaper too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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1 cup sugar
1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil
essential oil

The amount of oil you use depends on how oily you like it. Obvious, I know. You can use the cheapest olive oil you can find. I used peppermint essential oil. I also keep lavendar and orange on hand. There are lots of yummy scents to choose from though. Again, the amount is just personal preference. You really don’t need the essential oil at all, but it does make it nice.

Mix it all up in a glass bowl. You don’t want to use plastic because the scent would be absorbed by the container.

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This makes a great gift. Just put it in a small plastic container (you wouldn’t want to use glass in the shower) I like to use those Ziploc bowls, but this time I was just making it for myself and didn’t have a nice container so I used an old yogurt container. Recycling at it’s best.

Smooth it onto your skin while you’re in the shower, working it into your elbows, knees, feet and other rough places. Rinse off in the warm water and you’ll be smooth as silk.

Chicken Enchiladas

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Super easy and yummy. You can keep the ingredients on hand to have anytime.

What you’ll need:

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cooked chicken
tomato sauce
cheddar cheese, shredded
green chilies, diced
salt and pepper
garlic powder

Shred up the cooked chicken and mix it with cheese and green chilies. I don’t have amounts, but just go by what I think looks good. I use most of one can of green chilies. The whole can would be good, but I’ve got a couple of picky eaters who pick out all the green chilies, so I make it easier on them by using less than a can.

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I think I ended up throwing more cheese in the bowl after I took the picture.

Mix a can of tomato sauce with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

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Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread a layer of the sauce in the dish.

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Put some chicken mixture in a tortilla and roll it up, placing it in the pan. Repeat until you’ve used up the chicken mixture. I ended up having more tortillas then would fit in my dish, so I had to use a second dish. I also had to mix up more sauce. If you have extra and don’t want to bake it up now, you can freeze the chicken and cheese mixture to use later.

Pour sauce over all the enchiladas.

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Add extra cheese on top.

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Bake them at 350 degrees for about an hour or until they’re hot and bubbly. I bake mine covered with foil, because my kids freak about things that get too brown. You’ll have to be your own judge of proper enchilada brownness.

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Spicy Pumpkin Pie

pumpkin pie done

I love pumpkin pie. I will eat many pieces of it, even having it for breakfast. Pumpkin is a vegetable, right? I do like my pie spicy though and this one takes care of that.

What you’ll need:

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2 eggs
1 can pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 2/3 cup milk (or 12 oz can evaporated milk)
1 unbaked pie shell

Beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the sugar and then pumpkin, mixing well. Add the spices and mix until the spices are well distributed. Add the milk and mix. (I used 2/3 cup of half and half and 1 cup of milk) Pour the great smelling mixture into an unbaked pie shell. Sometime I’ll share how to make a very easy homemade crust, but I was too lazy for that this time so I used a Pillsbury refrigerated crust.

Bake the pie at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake another 45-50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Try not to eat it all yourself.

Mexican Beans and Rice

This recipe was given to me by a friend a long time ago. What more can you ask for from a recipe? It’s yummy, healthy, cheap and fast. It’s vegetarian and can even be vegan if you forgo the cheese and sour cream garnishes.

Here’s what you’ll need:
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Mexican Beans and Rice
  • 2-3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3 cups brown or white rice, cooked
  • cheddar cheese, shredded
  • sour cream, if desired
  1. Cook onion and garlic in oil in a large skillet until onion is soft.
  2. Add spices, beans and salsa. Cook several more minutes until it's all hot.
  3. Serve beans over rice. Top with cheese and sour cream, if desired.

Chicken Pot Pie

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Comfort food at its best!

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Gather up:

cooked chicken
can of chicken broth
can of cream of chicken soup (or celery soup)
bag of frozen stew vegetables
pre-made pie crust (one day I’ll give the recipe for my homemade crust, but I was too lazy to do it this time)

Pour the frozen vegetables over the top of the chicken that you’ve placed in the bottom of the casserole dish. No need to thaw the veggies. You can also use canned mixed veggies, but I prefer the frozen kind. I’m a sucker for those little pearl onions.

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Mix the broth and cream of chicken soup. Add pepper. I like a generous sprinkle of pepper. Pour this mixture over the top of the veggies and chicken.

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Unfold the crust and spread it out over the casserole dish. I know a round crust doesn’t fit a rectangle dish, but it’s ok. I just trimmed up the edges and placed them in the corners, so as not to leave them naked. I always have an urge to express myself on pie crust. You have to vent it, right? Get out your knife and draw a design in the dough (I chose leafless trees) or you can be boring and just cut in a few slits.

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Bake it uncovered at 350 degrees for about an hour. Enjoy!

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No Bake Cookies

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These cookies take me back to being a little girl. I remember them like I remember cheese sandwiches on white bread with Miracle Whip and iceberg lettuce or applesauce with red hots stirred into it.

Now we make them often when we have a need for chocolate that needs to be met quickly.

What you’ll need:
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
a bit of salt (the recipe says 1 tsp, but i just shake some in)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter (I never measure this either, just add a big glob)
3 cups quick cook oats

Boil all the ingredients except the oats for three minutes. Add in the oatmeal and drop by teaspoons full onto wax paper. It takes them a little while to set up. I like them while they’re still glossy and a bit soft, but they are good the next day too.

Bowtie Pasta with Feta and Lemon Pepper Chicken


I invented this dish many years ago by heavily modifying a Fettuccine Alfredo recipe I have.

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Bowtie Pasta with Feta and Lemon Pepper Chicken

Serves: 6-8 servings

  • 1½ - 2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts or tenders
  • 1 lb. bowtie pasta
  • broccoli, cauliflower and carrots (I like to use those steam in the bag fresh kind)
  • feta cheese 6-8oz, crumbled
  • lemon pepper
  • 3-4 Tbs butter
  • 1½ – 2 cups half and half, warmed for a minute or two in the microwave
  1. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with lemon pepper and grill it.
  2. While the chicken is grilling start the pasta cooking.
  3. Steam the vegetables in the microwave, or add to the pasta during the last few minutes of cooking.
  4. Drain pasta.
  5. Combine pasta and veggies.
  6. Add the butter and warmed half & half to the pasta. Stir in the feta.
  7. Slice finished chicken in thin strips. Serve on top of pasta.
  8. Serve with additional lemon pepper, if desired.


Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil and Tomato and Onion Salad

You will impress the people you cook for when you serve them this dish. It has everything you could ever want:
– It’s fast – cooks in about the time it takes to get the water boiling and cook the spaghetti
– It’s cheap – who doesn’t like that?
– The flavors are perfect together, like a symphony

I took the recipe from Rachael Ray, but she does say she didn’t make it up. It’s a classic and with good reason. She calls it Spaghetti con Aglio e Olio, but since I’m kind of lazy, I just say it in English.

I do admit to being afraid of anchovies before I made this recipe. (Don’t leave me now! Hang in there, it will be okay!) I’d never bought them or eaten them, but Rachael promises that they don’t taste like fish when they’re cooked up in this recipe – and she’s right! They are outstanding. Don’t leave them out. Even my kids know they’re in there, but the still love this dish. (I kept the anchovies a secret until they tried the dish and liked it.)

I wish I had more step-by-step photos for you, but I was in a hurry to fix this for my hungry family after church and forgot to take any pics.

You’ll need:
1 lb. spaghetti (I like angel hair or vermicelli)
1/3 cups olive oil (RR says 5 times around the pan)
8 cloves of garlic, chopped
8-10 flat anchovy fillet
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (a small pile in the palm of your hand)
fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the Tomato and Onion Salad:
6 Roma tomatoes (or any garden fresh, vine-ripe tomato)
1 small white onion
more flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper (I like Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper)

Add a loaf of crusty bread and extra oil for dipping it in.

I’m going to add this in two different recipes to make it simpler.

Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil

Serves: 6-8 servings

  • 1 lb. angel hair
  • ⅓ cups olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 8-10 flat anchovy fillet
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. While that cooks, chop the garlic.
  3. In a skillet over medium -low heat add the olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and anchovies.
  4. Stir this every once in a while, using the back of the spoon to break up the anchovies. They will melt into the oil and become very yummy.
  5. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet.
  6. Add parsley
  7. Toss to coat.
Tomato and Onion Salad

Serves: 4-6 servings

  • 6 Roma tomatoes (or any garden fresh, vine-ripe tomato)
  • 1 small white onion
  • flat-leaf parsley
  • drizzle olive oil
  • salt and pepper (I like Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper)
  1. Slice the tomatoes and onions thin.
  2. Chop up some parsley – just a handful.
  3. Drizzle some olive oil over the tomatoes and onions.
  4. Add a bit of salt and pepper and stir in some of the parsley.

That’s it! It sounds like a lot of steps but it really does come together fast and it tastes like a bit of Italian heaven!

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