When you have a big family dinner planned it’s hard to give all your dishes your full attention. So take help where you can, and go the semi homade route. This quick recipe is an excellent side dish and if you substitute the chicken stock for vegetable stock it can be vegetarian too.
- 1/2 stick of butter or 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 red or yellow onion, chooped
- 1 package (6 ounces) Ocean Spray Craisins® (dried cranberries)
- 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 package (14 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Herb Seasoned Stuffing mix
- Poultry seasoning optional
- Pre heat the oven to 350°F degrees.
- Heat the butter or oil in a 3 quart sauce pan over medium heat.
- Add the apples, celery and onion and cook for 5 minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
- Add the stock to the saucepan and heat to a boil.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Add the stuffing and dried cranberries and mix lightly.
- Add additional poultry seasoning to taste. (This is optional, as the stuffing mix is already seasoned.) Spoon the stuffing mixture into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover the baking dish with foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the stuffing mixture is hot. (For crunchier stuffing, bake uncovered.)
Rejoice chocoholics! Have I got a cupcake for you! I’ll give you the scratch recipe, but feel free to go the semi homade route and start with your favorite box of chocolate cake mix. The frosting is made with all the extra help you can get. So no judgements made here. These are great to share with your friends, families or co workers. The holidays are coming up, make a batch for your next holiday party.
- 2cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup hot coffee
- 1 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 jar (12 ounces) chocolate fudge topping
- 1 box (4-serving size) chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
- package (14.3 oz) Oreo chocolate creme sandwich cookies, crushed
- Pre heat oven to 325 F degrees.
- If you are using a packaged cake mix, prepare as directions state. Otherwise go to next step.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add oil, coffee and milk and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat 2 more minutes. Expect batter to be thin.
- Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
- Spoon into muffin cups, filling cups half full.
- Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when gently touched. Cool in pans 3 minutes. Remove from pans; use end of wooden spoon to poke 3 holes into each hot cupcake.
- In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate fudge topping uncovered on High 20 to 30 seconds or until thin and pourable. Spoon over warm cupcakes. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the frosting mixture.
- In medium bowl, beat pudding mix and milk with whisk about 4 minutes or until soft set. Fold in whipped topping with spatula.
- Stir all but 1/2 cups crushed cookies into pudding mixture.
- Spoon frosting mixture on tops of cupcakes. Top with remaining crushed cookies.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
My favorite cooking shows to watch when I was growing up were “30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray” and “Semi Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee.” These ladies taught me to cook meals quicker and to use ready made help to make recipes easier. To this day I still like to incorporate concepts I learned from these cooks.
- 1 pound of lean ground beef
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 16 ounces of nacho cheese sauce
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas, defrosted if frozen
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, defrosted if frozen
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend or cheddar cheese
- 1 28 ounce bag Ore Ida frozen mini tater tots
- Prepare 13″X 9″ baking dish by greasing with cooking spray. Set aside baking dish. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 F degrees.
- In a skillet, cook ground beef over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink; drain fat. Add onions and cook an additional 2 minutes. Stir in cheese sauce.
- Place meat and cheese mixture in prepared baking dish.
- Layer peas and corn on top of meat mixture.
- Layer shredded cheese on top of peas and corn.
- Lastly, layer evenly tater tots on top of casserole.
- Baked uncovered 50 minutes or until tater tots are crispy and golden brown and mixture is bubbling.
After weeks of health issues and doctor and specialists appointments, I just want to think about something else. ANYTHING else. These days, I have been making easy recipes. Some are so embarrassingly easy I just can’t get the nerve to post them on this blog. This recipe is probably one of them. Don’t be too hard on me. Remember, I’ve not been well lately.
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 1 can cream of chicken
- 1 can cream of mushroom
- 1 empty soup can of water
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 1 pack Lipton onion soup mix
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
- Prepare a 9″ x 13″ baking dish by greasing with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix rice, cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, water, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
- Pour rice mixture in prepared baking dish.
- Place chicken breasts on top of rice mixture.
- Salt and pepper each chicken breast.
- Spoon equal amounts of dry onion soup mix on top of each chicken breast.
- Cover dish with foil.
- Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. No peaking!
- Garnish with chopped parsley. (Optional)
Do you need to make a large batch of cookies? Do you like dark, semi-sweet and white chocolate chips? Have I got a recipe for you. Toss those ready made cookie dough tubes. You can make your own triple chocolate chip cookies from scratch. These cookies will have a crispy bottom and a soft center. Just the right amount of chewy and crispy.
Now you may be looking over the recipe ingredients and are thinking that’s a lot of sugar and butter! Just remember this recipe will make 5 dozen cookies or more depending on how generous you scoop your dough. That’s 60+ cookies! Feel free to share with your family, friends, and neighbors. Just don’t forget to save some for yourself!
- 3 sticks of salted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Prepare baking sheets using a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add vanilla extract and eggs. Beat until light and fluffy.
- Stir in flour and baking soda until mixed well. If using an electric mixer, stop at this time.
- Stir in the chocolate chips using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.
- On your prepared baking sheets, drop cookie dough by tablespoonfuls or using a cookie scoop.
- Bake 10 minutes or until the cookies are light brown. The centers will be soft. Cool for a minute before transferring cookies to a cooling rack to completely cool.
Yes, it’s another chicken wing recipe from me. I can’t help myself. I just love trying out all different flavors of chicken wings. This recipe is fairly simple and for a change I had all the ingredients so, why not? If you like sweet and spicy, then you are going to love these wings. Best of all the spice level is up to you.
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken wings (about 20 pieces)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha ( or more if you like it really spicy, less if you can’t handle too much spice)
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- green onions for garnish
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425 F degrees and place metal rack on top of large baking pan. Be sure to use cooking spray on the rack so the chicken skin does not stick.
- In a large bowl or Ziploc bag, toss chicken wings with oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place wings on wire rack and cook 45-50 minutes, until crispy and golden.
- While chicken is baking, add honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, Sriracha, garlic and ginger into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer until the flavors meld and the sauce reduces slightly for about 10 minutes.
- Transfer baked wings to a large bowl and toss with glaze.
- Return to rack and broil for 2-3 minutes until glaze is caramelized.
- Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
At my local supermarket, I came across a pack of organic chicken breasts and drumsticks. I thought how strange there were no thighs or wings. But I also thought, how perfect this was for my son and me. He loves drumsticks and I love chicken breasts. While I was at the supermarket, I kept smelling the fresh out of the rotisserie chicken they were packaging up. As I do not own a rotisserie, this was my inspiration to try to come up with a baked chicken with rotisserie flavors. So this is what I tried. Considering I had breasts and drumsticks to cook together, they came out surprisingly moist and tender.
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- olive oil
- 1 whole cut up chicken (My chicken pack came only with 2 breasts and 4 drumsticks)
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil.
- In a small bowl, make spice rub by combining brown sugar, garlic powder, chili powder and salt. Mix well.
- Rub chicken with olive oil.
- Rub spice mix over chicken pieces covering both sides.
- Place chicken on prepared baking sheet.
- Add an extra drizzle of olive oil over chicken pieces.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 400F degrees. This initial high heat will help brown the chicken.
- Then lower the heat to 350 F degrees and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes more until the juices run clear (not pink) when poked with a sharp knife or the internal temperature of the chicken breasts is 165 F degrees and of the drumsticks are 170 F degrees.
- Remove from oven and transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Yes, once again I’m making chicken wings. Most the Vietnamese chicken wing recipes I’ve seen call for fish sauce. As my son and I are allergic to most things seafood, I cannot use it as it is too strong. So, believe it or not, that is why I am using Worcestershire sauce for the unami in this recipe. Thus, the reason why I call it Vietnamese “style.” These wings are sweet, sticky and a little bit spicy. Good news is this recipe is quite simple, uses only a few ingredients, no oil frying required and done in less than 45 minutes. For my vegetarian friends, maybe you can substitute fried or pan seared tofu as the sauce itself is quite tasty.
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken wings
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons sweet soy sauce Kecap Manis
- 2-3 tablespoons Sambal Oelek Chili Paste (start with 2 tablespoons and add more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- cilantro chopped for garnish
- lime wedges (optional)
- Preheat oven to 475 F degrees.
- For easier clean up, cover a baking sheet in foil or use a silicone mat as the sauce becomes quite sticky.
- Lay out the chicken wings in a single layer in prepared baking pan.
- Season the chicken wings on both sides using salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned or cooked through.
- While the chicken wings bake, prepare the sauce.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the sweet soy sauce, chili paste and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to mix well.
- When the chicken is fully cooked, transfer the wings to a large bowl. Add half the sauce and, using tongs, toss to thoroughly coat. Return the wings to the lined sheet pan and arrange in a single, even layer.
- Bake for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned. Remove from the oven. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
- Optional: Serve with a lime wedge. I like how the lime juice offsets the sweetness of the soy sauce.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! This recipe is like a mash up of my Mexican Casserole and a tamale pie recipe I’ve tried in the past. And for my fellow home cooks who like quick recipes, the 35 minutes baking time is the longest you have to wait. I love shortcuts, so if you do not have all the required spices in your cupboards you can also use a packet of taco seasoning. Since there is only two of us at home to eat this, I used half the meat and only one box of the Jiffy cornbread mix and an 8×8 baking pan. Otherwise I used the same amount of all the other ingredients. For my vegetarian friends, omit the ground beef and add pinto beans.
- 2 (8.5 ounce) boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend; separated into 1/2 cup and 1 cup
- 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies (optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can black beans (15 ounce)
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 can (2.25 ounces) sliced black olives
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 can (10 ounce) Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
- 1 1/2 cup chunky salsa
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Meanwhile in a large bowl, prepare Jiffy cornbread mix by combining mix, eggs and milk. Stir well then add 1/2 cup grated Mexican cheese blend. Set aside. (If you like some extra spice, add a small can of diced green chilies to the cornbread mixture.)
- In a skillet add olive oil and cook ground beef over medium high heat until cooked through. Drain any grease. Add onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until onions are tender.
- Add remaining ingredients to the meat mixture in skillet. Mix well and remove from heat.
- In a 9X13 baking pan, add meat and vegetable mixture. Top with 1 cup grated Mexican blend cheese.
- Add prepared cornbread mixture on top of cheese layer. Be sure to spread out evenly.
- Bake in oven for 33-35 minutes or until cornbread turns golden. Enjoy with your favorite beverage.
Okay. I admit it. I am a picky eater. You will not find green bell peppers or yellow onions in my fajitas. I love every type of bell peppers except green. I will always substitute whenever a recipe calls for green bell peppers. As for red onions, they just happen to be my favorite type of onion. I always have them on hand. Don’t get me wrong, I like yellow onions too. But I ALWAYS have red onions. So feel free to substitute your favorite colors of the rainbow for this dish. You can even omit the chicken and use sliced portabella mushrooms and add other vegetables to make a fantastic vegetarian fajita.
- 1 large onion sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper sliced
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into strips
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons Mexican seasoning (chili powder, crushed red peppers, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and paprika)
- 1 lime, juiced
- tortillas and your favorite fajita sides for serving
- lime wedges for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
- Place onions, peppers and chicken in 9×13 baking pan or dish.
- Drizzle and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle Mexican seasoning over dish. Top with lime juice. Toss to coat.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway.
- Serve with tortillas and your favorite fajita sides. Add lime wedge to each plate for garnish and extra lime juice if wanted.
Makes 3-4 servings.