Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cheese and Onion Enchiladas

Don't let the neon orange enchilada sauce scare you! It tastes really good!

Good thing Eddie likes to take leftovers for lunch...

Check out the oozing cheese... Mmmmm...


1 tablespoon oil
2 cups thickly sliced onion
6 large flour (8-inch) tortillas
1 (8 ounce) block of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 (10 ounce) can La Preferida Red Chile mild enchilada sauce

Sauté onions in oil until tender. Pour a small amount of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 12 x 2 inch casserole dish. Place one sixth of the cheese and one sixth of the onions on each tortilla. Roll up and place in casserole dish. Cover with remaining enchilada sauce. Sprinkle extra grated cheese on top if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Yield: 6 enchiladas

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash and Onions

Since it's Fall, there are butternut squash recipes all over the internet right now. I decided that I had to try it. I think that I've eaten butternut squash in a Lean Cuisine or WW Smart Ones entree before, but I had never cooked it myself. It turned out pretty good! We liked it alot.


peeled, cubed butternut squash
thick sliced onion (Vidalia, of course)
brown sugar
black pepper
olive oil

Mix squash and onions in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a good amount of brown sugar and black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Spread squash and onions in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake at 475 degrees for about 25 minutes. Stir and turn at least once during cooking time.
Notes: I only used enough squash for the 2 servings that we needed (half the squash I bought). The squash shrinks up a good bit, so use a little more than you think you need. For my amount, I used 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

When we have a family potluck or holiday meal here in the south, there will always be an abundance of casserole side dishes. We like everything covered in cheese, cream of whatever soup, and cracker crumbs!

Sometimes, it's nice to have a healthy salad in the mix. File this one until your next holiday meal if you want something fresh and green.


1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard
4 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 (10 ounce) bag of mixed salad greens
2 pears, peeled and diced
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Place all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together until combined. Place salad greens in a large bowl. Add diced pear, blue cheese and pecans. Just before serving, pour in salad dressing and toss gently.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
When I take this to a gathering, I keep the salad ingredients separate until just before serving. Then mix them up and toss with the dressing (which I take already mixed in a little jar).
By the way, the dressing can actually cover more salad greens than included in the recipe, so use more lettuce if you need it for a larger group.
I used Romaine this time, but usually get some other fancy greens to mix in at the holidays.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Yellow Rice, Ro-tel, Black Beans & Chicken

This is hardly a recipe, more of a list of things to serve together. It's easy to keep most of it on hand for a quick meal.


1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes and green chiles
1 package yellow rice
2 cups shredded cooked chicken

Mix black beans and Ro-tel in a small sauce pan and heat. Add any spices you like. I sometimes add cumin and/or chipotle chile powder.

Cook rice according to package directions.
Cook chicken and shred or use leftover chicken of some kind.

To serve: Place rice portion on plate and top with chicken and then black bean mixture. Top with cheese if you like.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Smoky White Bean Stew

Another item that will freeze well...

Eat some the day you make it and freeze the rest.


1 tablespoon oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound smoked sausage, diced
2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 cups water
4 cups coarsely shredded cabbage or pre-shredded coleslaw mix with carrots
2 (15 ounce) cans Great Northern beans (don’t drain)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until onions are tender. Stir in sausage; cook until lightly browned. Add chicken broth, water, cabbage, beans, garlic and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.

Yield: 6 servings
Note: I used pre-shredded cole slaw mix with carrots. I like the extra color of the carrots and purple cabbage

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas


2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 (2.25 ounce) cans sliced ripe olives
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
1 (10 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
8 flour tortillas
1/4 cup milk

In medium saucepan melt butter. Sauté onion and garlic until tender. Stir in 1 1/2 cans of the ripe olives, the green chiles, sour cream and soup, mix well. Reserve 3/4 cup sauce, set aside. Fold in chicken and 1 cup of the cheese to remaining sauce. Fill tortillas with chicken mixture and roll up. Place seam side down in greased/sprayed 12 x 9 baking dish. In small bowl, combine reserved sauce and milk. Spoon over tortillas.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbly. Before serving, sprinkle with remaining cheese and olives.

Yield: 4 large servings
Okay, so I only made 7 enchiladas, instead of 8. It just looked like 8 would be such a tight squeeze. But, a little less filling in each one and roll them real tight and I'm sure that 8 will fit.
Tip: Spread all the tortillas out on a clean countertop and divide filling evenly amongst them. Then roll up and place in dish.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Third Coast Salad

I've copied the ingredients of the house salad at Third Coast Grille restaurant. I'm not sure they use onion, but I like it. I should use a purple onion next time for the color...


lettuce of your choice (Romaine is good)
chopped Roma tomatoes
diced cucumber
thinly sliced onion
mandarin orange slices, drained
sunflower seeds
poppy seed dressing

Mix ingredients in the portions and proportions desired.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

I have pictured the Spicy Caribbean version in the notes at the end.


1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and brown sugar; cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until soft. Add broth, water, salt and pepper; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, evaporated milk and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender (in batches, if necessary); process until smooth. Return to pot. Serve warm.

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Variation: For Spicy Caribbean Pumpkin Soup, add 1/2 tablespoon McCormick Perfect Pinch Caribbean seasoning in addition to the cinnamon. (This seasoning used to be called Jerk seasoning, I think McCormick just recently made the change. It is a sweet and spicy seasoning.)

Be very careful when blending hot soup!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Roasted Green Beans

If you haven't tried this before, you should. It was even better than I expected.

I sometimes make asparagus the same way, but green beans were better.
Toss fresh green beans in olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread them out a pan in an even layer. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir and flip them once about halfway through. Let them get some browned spots. Yum!!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

I love pumpkin! You will see a few pumpkin recipes in the near future.

Again, this is a coffee cake that serves as dessert, too. It's not super sweet, so it is a nice breakfast treat.

It's a new recipe that I tried for the first time the other day. It turned out really good and tasted even better the next day. It tasted even better the day after that when Eddie brought home Pumpkin Pecan ice cream from Brewster's to go on top!


3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) , softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin

For the topping, combine all topping ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix until crumbly. Set aside.

Butter and flour 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Set aside.

Sift 2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup of butter in a large bowl until creamy. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar, beating until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Mix in entire can of pumpkin and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, add the dry mixture. Mix until just blended. Pour half of the batter into the bottom of the pan and spread it out carefully. Sprinkle on half the topping mixture. Pour and spread remaining batter on top. Sprinkle the rest of topping evenly over batter.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean and topping is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe from:

Friday, October 16, 2009

French Onion Soup

There's a quicker way to make French Onion Soup...

Use the microwave.


6 tablespoons butter
4 large yellow onions, sliced vertically (about 5 cups)
2 cans condensed beef consommé (Campbell’s)
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 to 8 slices French bread, 1/2 inch thick, toasted (number of slices needed to top soup bowl depends on diameter of bread)
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

In a 3 quart casserole place butter and onions; cover. Microwave on high for 18 to 20 minutes, or until tender, stirring 2 times. Add consommé, hot water, wine, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Re-cover. Microwave on high for 8 to 9 minutes, or until boiling. Divide soup among four individual 15 ounce casseroles or soup bowls. Top each bowl with 1 to 2 slices French bread. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese. Microwave until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.

Yield: 4 large servings

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stuffed Bell Peppers

First, this is a cool pan meant for meatloaf. Obviously, I use it for Stuffed Bell Peppers, too. The top pan has holes so that any fat can drain off and into the bottom pan. There's about an inch between the two pans when they are stacked.

Instead of just slicing the bottom of the peppers enough to stand straight, I cut enough so there are holes so that fat can drain through. This matters most when you are using something other than lean ground beef.

Here they are just out of the oven...

Here's one on my plate with Sundried Tomato Orzo. (Just stir Classico Sundried Tomato Pesto into the cooked and drained orzo.)


1 pound lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups corn bread stuffing (Pepperidge Farm)
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup diced onion
1 egg
1/2 cup chili sauce (Heinz)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pesto (Classico)
4 large green bell peppers

Mix all ingredients except bell peppers in a large bowl. Divide into four portions; set aside. Cut tops off of bell peppers; remove seeds. Cut bottom of bell pepper so that it will sit up straight. Put bell peppers in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Heat in microwave for 2 or 3 minutes. Place a portion of meat mixture in each bell pepper and top with extra chili sauce. Place in a casserole dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Yield: 4 servings

Tips: Since I'm cooking for only two, I just buy and cook two bell peppers. But, I go ahead and mix up the entire meat mixture and freeze two of the portions for another time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chicken Marsala


2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (8 ounce) container sliced mushrooms
1 cup Marsala wine (or substitute Marsala cooking wine)
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour, turning to coat. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook about 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm. Add mushrooms, wine, broth and lemon juice to pan; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced and thickened somewhat. Return chicken to pan; turning to coat well. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done.

Note: Mix a little water and cornstarch and add to liquid if it does not thicken to your taste. I usually do this to make the sauce thicker.

Yield: 2 servings

Monday, October 12, 2009

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Using more apples while they are in season...

The flavors in this recipe go great with ham.


3 medium to large sweet potatoes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter
1/2 apple, diced (I used a Gala)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Place potatoes on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, heat pecans in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes or until toasted. Remove from skillet. Set aside.

Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add apple and raisins; sauté 2 to 3 minutes or until apple is tender. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Remove from heat.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop pulp into a large bowl, leaving shells intact. Add apple mixture to pulp in bowl; stir until blended. Spoon mixture into 4 of the shells. Place on baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Top with nuts.

Yield: 4 servings

Note: Using an extra potato will give you extra mixture to overstuff the shells.

Go ahead and buy a big bag of pecans and put the rest in the freezer. You'll find more uses for them with the upcoming holidays.

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cake

It's apple time!

This is called a breakfast cake, I guess because it's kind of like a coffee cake, but it's great for dessert, too.


1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups peeled and chopped baking apple (McIntosh or Granny Smith)

Beat 1 1/2 cups sugar and next 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer 4 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to sugar/cream cheese mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Stir together remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Toss 2 tablespoons of cinnamon/sugar mixture with the chopped apple. Gently fold apples into batter. Spoon batter into a lightly greased 9 inch springform pan; sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until cake pulls away from sides of pan.

Yield: 10 - 12 servings

Note: Use a serrated knife for cutting into wedges. Best if served warm. I prefer to refrigerate the leftovers.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Soy Orange Scallop Saute


1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 medium onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 pound sea scallops
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon orange zest
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon white wine
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons butter

Sauté first 4 ingredients in 2 tablespoons hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until tender. Remove from pan, and keep warm.

Sauté scallops in remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium heat 6 minutes, turning at least once, or until done. Remove scallops from pan, and keep warm.

Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce, orange zest, and next 3 ingredients to skillet. Bring mixture to a boil, and cook over high heat about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in butter and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce until well blended. Serve immediately over vegetable mixture and scallops.

Yield: 4 servings
You can use bay scallops in this, too. Reduce the cooking time to about 4 minutes instead of 6. I didn't add the white wine this time since I wasn't opening a bottle to drink.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. I had a really good day, it included several of my favorite things.

1 - My husband, Eddie, came home from work at lunchtime to spend the rest of the day with me. He said he didn't want me to have a 'regular' day at home on my birthday.

2 -He brought me candy corn!

3 - We went to Panda Express for lunch (Chinese fast food).

4 - We went shopping at a thrift store, Value Village, in Buford. I have now convinced Eddie that thrift shopping is a good thing. He bought 3 sweaters for himself and the following items for me.

A Coldwater Creek suede jacket... Had to be about a $100.00 when purchased new. It's hardly been worn, still seems really new. It was $5.29.

Nine West ankle boots... There are no ankle boots on their website for less than $99.00. These appear to have been worn maybe once, there was hardly any wear on the soles. You can see how new they look on the top... $4.99!!

5 - Dinner at Third Coast Grille (local seafood restaurant).

It was a great day!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Smoky Tomato Bacon Pasta

I can't remember where I found this recipe on the internet. But, where ever it was, they said it was from The Deen Family Cookbook. It was so yummy! Bacon makes everything better!

I cut the amount of pasta in half from the original recipe. With double the pasta, you wouldn't have nearly enough sauce for my taste. I also used cream cheese from a tub instead of a block. That's my version of the recipe below.


1/2 pound bacon
1 cup diced onion
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
salt and pepper
4 ounces soft cream cheese (from a tub)
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp and brown. Transfer it to a paper towel lined plate. Pour off all but 1/4 cup bacon fat from skillet.

Add the onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes, then crumble in the bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and chunky, about 10 minutes. Spoon in the cream cheese in pieces and stir until melted.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with the sauce and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Monday, October 5, 2009

Smoky Chicken Chili

This is a recipe that I found on I adjusted it a little by adding a tablespoon of sugar to offset the acidity of the tomatoes.


2 poblano chile peppers, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium-size sweet onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (14 ounce.) cans zesty chili-style diced tomatoes (Del Monte)
3 cups shredded or chopped smoked chicken
1 (15 ounce) can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12 ounce) can or bottle of beer (you can substitute chicken broth)
1 (1.25 ounce) envelope white chicken chili seasoning mix (McCormick)
1 tablespoon sugar

Sauté first 4 ingredients in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in diced tomatoes and next 6 ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.

Yield: about 6 large servings

FYI: Poblanos are not hot chile peppers, it's like using green bell pepper, they just have a different taste. You could substitute green bell peppers if you wanted.

I served this chili with baked corn tortilla chips and strips. I just happened to have corn tortillas in the freezer from a disaster dish I made a few months ago. I just played around with the shapes and seasonings...


small corn tortillas
cooking spray (like Pam)

Spray large baking sheet. Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges and place on baking sheet in a single layer. Spray with cooking spray and top with salt.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until crisp.

Optional: Sprinkle with other spices such as pepper, chipotle chili powder (hot), smoked paprika.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chicken and Dumplings

Old-fashioned home-cooking taste... Easier preparation.


3 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 3 cups shredded cooked chicken)
3 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chicken base (Better than Bouillon)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk

Cook chicken any way you like (poach, bake, grill or sauté). Once it has cooled, pull apart into narrow shreds.

Pour canned chicken broth and 1 cup water into large pot. Add chicken base and black pepper. Add shredded chicken. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or fork until mixture is crumbly. Add milk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface (your countertop). Roll out to 1/8 inch thickness; sprinkle lightly with flour, and cut into 2 x 1 inch strips.

Drop strips, one at a time, into boiling broth/chicken mixture, stirring gently, until all strips are added. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, 20 minutes.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
My tips:
1 - I poach the chicken in water or chicken broth, takes about 10 minutes.
2 - After cooking, I put the chicken in the fridge to cool, much faster than just waiting.
3 - I use the chicken base to bump up the flavor. It has more seasoning and some salt, it's better than just the canned chicken broth.
4 - Making the dumplings from scratch like this is much easier than you think.
5 - Use a pizza cutter to cut the dumpling dough into pieces.
6 - Get a helper when you start adding dumplings to the pot. It will seem like too many to fit, but it's not. A helper can stir and move the dumplings around in the pot so there's room for you to add more dumplings.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Clothing Reconstruction

Since I'm not supposed to be a housewife, but a working woman, I am always searching the internet for things to do with all of this free time. In searching for something recycled (equals inexpensive) and crafty to do, I ran across several sites about clothing reconstruction. The idea is that you use old clothes of your own or clothing purchased from thrift stores and make something new and different. Here are my first attempts... Helps to have a sewing machine... I am using my Mom's old sewing machine from the '60's, it's as old as I am.

This is a lightweight sweater, basic t-shirt style, with an attached tie around the neck, a larger size than I would wear. Purchased for about $4.00.

So I turned it around backwards, to utilize the existing tie at the back of the neck. Cut off the sleeves, made it into a halter, hemmed the edges, took in the sides and this is what I got.

This is a lightweight silk sweater, mock turtleneck, sleeveless... Again, about $4.00.

Now, it's another halter. The tie around my neck was the trim from around the sleeve openings, slides through a tunnel at the top.

Now, my husband needs to take me out somewhere. I don't wear this kind of thing to the grocery store!