Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies

I forgot to take a picture before we ate all of these. They are SO good and actually have a really nice presentation. They would be great for any holiday party. For any other time of the year you could use green food coloring and leave out the candy canes. They taste exactly like Cutlers Mint Cookies (for you Utah people)

4 squares unsweetened chocolate (4oz)
1 C butter
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1t vanilla
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 t baking powder

2 C powdered sugar
4 T butter, softened
1 1/2 t peppermint extract
1 T milk
pink food coloring

Chocolate Glaze:

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (about a cup)
6T real butter

1/2-1 C crushed candy canes
Preheat oven to 350

For the brownies: You will want to use a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan.

Give the 4 squares chocolate a rough chop and place in a microwave-safe bowl with the 2 cubes of butter. Melt on 30-45 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Set aside. In a stand mixer or with electric beaters, beat eggs for about 3 minutes until thick and frothy. Add sugar and vanilla and beat to combine. Then add in the melted chocolate and butter. Combine flour and baking powder and whisk into brownie batter by hand until just combined. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness and don't over bake! When brownies are done, cool on a cooling rack. When completely cool, pop in the fridge to chill. (makes the frosting spreading easier)

Next layer is the frosting. Combine all frosting ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Add extra milk by teaspoonful if you need a little more. Spread evenly over cooled/chilled brownies and place back in the fridge to chill again while you do the final step.

Chocolate Glaze: Place chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 30 second intervals until smooth. Set aside for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, so it can cool off just a bit. Then quickly spread on top of brownies. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes and place back in fridge until chocolate is set.


Easy Chili

1 lb Ground Beef
1 Can Tomato Soup
2 Cans Small Red Beans
Onion or Dehydrated Onions
2 tsp Chili powder (more if you want it spicier)
Salt and Pepper
Brown Ground Beef and Onion, Drain. Add the beans, with their juice and the tomato soup. (Add water if you want it thinner) Add Chili powder and Salt & Pepper and simmer a few minutes to heat through.
Can serve plain or with chips or Frito's and grated cheese.



Fattening but SO delicious!

2 Tbsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups flour
vegetable oil for frying

Dissolve yeast in water. Add milk, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour. Beat on low, scraping the bowl, for 30 seconds. Then beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in remaining flour until smooth. Cover and let rise in warm place until double (50-60 minutes. Dough is ready when indent remains). Turn onto floured surface. Roll and lightly coat with flour. Gently roll dough 1/2 inch thick with floured rolling pin. Cut with floured donut cutter and place on baking sheet leaving plenty of room for donuts to rise. Cover and let rise until doubled (30-40 minutes). DO NOT LET SIDES TOUCH!! Slide doughnuts into hot oil (350 degrees) with wide spatula. Turn as they rise to surface. Fry until just golden (1 minute each side). Carefully remove and drain. Dip in creamy glaze and cool on rack and glaze again.

Glaze: (I usually double or triple)
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
4-6 Tbsp hot water

Heat butter until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in water 1 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.

For chocolate glaze, melt 4 ounces of milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips with butter and continue with glaze recipe. (i don't own a donut cutter, so I just used a Mason jar ring and made round donuts...YUMM!!!)


Apricot Chicken

8 oz. Russian dressing
1 cup jam
1 packet onion soup mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the dressing, jam and onion soup mix. Grease glass pan & lay chicken inside (I use 3 breasts but you can use up to 6). Then pour sauce over the chicken and bake uncovered for an hour. Best served with rice and extra sauce on top!!



Coconut Pecan Sweet Potatos

3 c. mashed sweet potato
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. butter
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
Bake sweet potatoes in oven until soft, then peel and mash. Add butter first, so it will melt, and then the other ingredients and mix well. Pour in oven safe pan/bowl.
Top with below recipe and bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes.

1 c. coconut
1 c. pecans, chopped
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. melted butter
Melt butter. Stir in other ingredients and sprinkle over top of potato mixture

I've been making this for Thanksgiving for about 4 years now....everyone loves the yummy topping and it's WAY better then the canned version with marshmallows!!


Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Last year I watched Paula Deen make this and decided to bring it to our big extended family Thanksgiving Feast and it was a huge hit! I just finished making it again for tomorrow! It really does look this impressive!!


  • 2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
  • 1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
  • 1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional


Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layered in a punch bowl.


Turkey Tortilla Soup

Turn that leftover turkey from Thanksgiving into soup.

  • 3 6-inch corn tortillas, cut in strips
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 cup red or green salsa
  • 2 14-ounces cans reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups cubed cooked turkey (12 ounces)
  • 1 large zucchini, coarsely chopped
  • Lime wedges (optional)
  • Sour cream

1. In a large skillet cook tortilla strips in hot oil until crisp; remove with spoon and drain on paper toweling.

2. In a large saucepan combine salsa and chicken broth; bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Add turkey and zucchini; heat through. Serve in bowls topped with tortilla strips, lime wedges, and cilantro.

Makes 4 servings.


Golden Squash Soup

2 apples
2 1/2 pounds banana squash (1 large piece)
1 cup chicken broth
2 TBS butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 TSP salt
1/4 TSP pepper
2 TSP mild curry powder (optional)
1 cup apple juice
1 cup cream
Salt to taste

Peel, core and cut apples in half. Place apples and squash face down on greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Scoop out squash. place squash and apples in a blender and mix until well blended; set aside. In a large cooking pot melt butter over low heat. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and curry powder. Mix well. Add apple juice, cream and squash mixture. Stir and heat through. Do not boil. Salt to taste. Serve hot. Makes about 8 cups.

Easy Minestrone Soup

1 lb pork sausage
4 cups water
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 (10 oz) can beef broth
1 (10 oz) can bean with bacon soup
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 TBS sugar
2 cloves of garlic, minced or 1 TSP garlic salt
1 TSP dried oregano
1 TSP salt
1/2 TSP pepper

Brown Sausage in large pot. Drain any grease; add remaining ingredients and stir together. Simmer uncovered over low heat for at least 1 hour.
Makes 10 cups


Mexican Lasagna

I'll be honest, I was kind of scared to try this! But I'm glad I did... it was incredible!

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 large onion, halved and cut into thin wedges
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
2 cups (16 oz) fat-free ricotta cheese
1 cup (8 oz) reduced-fat sour cream
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, if desired
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups salsa
8 corn tortillas (6-inch diameter), cut in half
1 1/4 cups shredded low-fat Monterey Jack cheese (5 oz)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Spray large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove to a medium bowl. Wipe skillet with paper towel. Spray with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add to chicken in the bowl.

3. In another medium bowl, stir together ricotta, sour cream, green chilies, cilantro, cumin and salt.

4. Spread 1 cup of the salsa across bottom of prepared baking dish. Arrange half of the tortillas evenly over salsa. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over tortillas. Top with half of the chicken mixture. Top with 1 cup of the remaining salsa and 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layering with remaining tortillas, ricotta mixture and chicken mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup salsa and 3/4 cup cheese.

5. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through. Loosely cover with foil if the cheese browns too quickly.


"Healthified" Caramel Vanilla Cheesecake

15 chocolate or vanilla wafer cookies, crushed (1/2 cup)
2 packages (8 oz each) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 egg whites or 1/2 cup fat-free egg product
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups lowfat vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup fat-free caramel topping
Pecan halves, if desired

1. Heat oven to 300°F. Spray springform pan (9x3 inches) with cooking spray. Sprinkle cookie crumbs over bottom of pan.

2. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar, egg whites and vanilla. Beat on medium speed about 2 minutes or until smooth. Add yogurt and flour. Beat on low speed until smooth.

3. Carefully spread batter over cookie crumbs in pan. Bake 1 hour. Turn off oven; cool in oven 30 minutes with door closed. Remove from oven; cool 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

4. Drizzle caramel topping over cheesecake. Garnish with pecan halves. Store covered in the refrigerator.

"Healthified" Mac & Cheese

2 cups uncooked regular or whole wheat elbow macaroni (8 oz)
2 cups fat-free (skim) milk
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 cups shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese (8 oz)

1. In 3-quart saucepan, cook and drain macaroni as directed on package. Return to saucepan; cover to keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 2-quart saucepan, stir milk, flour, mustard, salt, black pepper and red pepper with wire whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese until melted.

3. Add cheese sauce to cooked macaroni; mix well. Spoon into baking dish.

4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are bubbly.

Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole

6 beaten eggs
10 slices of bread
1 1/2 C. milk
2 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 lb sausage
salt and pepper
yellow mustard (optional)

Brown and crumble the sausage. Drain remaining fat.

Spread mustard on one side of the bread and cut bread in quarters. Beat eggs and milk together with salt and pepper to taste.

Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick cooking spray. Layer bread, cheese and sausage in crockpot. Pour milk and egg mixture over everything. Cook on low 8-12 hours.

*Put this in the night before...or have breakfast for dinner.

Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup

2 potatoes
3 T. Butter
2 C. chopped white onion
2 T. all-purpose flour
4 C. chicken stock
2 C. water
1 1/2 C. instant mashed potato flakes
1 t. salt
3/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. basil
1/8 t. thyme
1 C. half & half
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 lb. bacon cooked and chopped
2 green onions, chopped

Peel and dice potatoes and boil until almost tender. Drain, Meanwhile, cook bacon and chop onions. Melt butter in skillet and saute onion until tender. Mix one cup of water with 2 T. flour. Add this mixture to the butter/onions. Stir to blend well. It should thicken the mixture some.

Put drained potatoes, chicken stock, 1 cup water and onion mixture in crockpot. Add bacon, half & half, pepper, basil, salt, and potato flakes. Stir.

Cook on LOW for 6 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours. Serve with cheddar cheese and bacon on top and green onions if desired.

Cream of Potato Soup

1 Cup Diced Celery
1 Cup Diced Onion
4 Cups Peeled and Cubed Potatoes
3 Cubes Chicken Bouillon
¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
½ tsp Celery Salt
1 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
½ Cup Butter
6 Tbsp Flour
2 Cups Milk
1 Cup Half & Half
In a large pot combine celery, onion, potatoes, bouillon cubes, pepper, celery salt and parsley. Add enough water so that vegetables are submerged, cover and cook until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat, set aside.
In a small skillet melt butter. Once melted add butter and flour and stir until a paste like consistency in formed. Add milk all at once and stir on low heat until it thickens.
Add milk and flour mixture to the vegetable mixture and stir gently. Stir in half and half.
Serve with grated cheese and bacon bits.


Chicken Spinach Lasagna

Wow, I'm finally posting! Apparently I am incapable of taking cool pictures of food like everyone else seems to be able to do. Oh well, this was really good regardless, even my 5 year old son and very picky hubby ate it!

Chicken Spinach Lasagna

1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 (10 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 1/2 oz.) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1/3 cup mayo
6 lasagna noodles, cooked
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped pecans

(**NOTE** I left out both the jar of mushrooms and the pecans)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. In a large bowl, combine spinach, chicken, cheddar cheese, onion, cornstarch, salt, pepper, soy sauce, soup, sour cream, mushrooms, and mayo. Put a layer of noodles in the bottom of a greased 9X13 lasagna pan. Spread half of the spinach mixture over noodles. Place another layer of noodles on top and cover with the remaining spinach mixture. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, then pecans on top. Bake for 1 hour. Serves 12.


Favorite Soup Recipe Challange

Attention all "What's Cookin" cooks!
The leaves are falling, the weather is getting cooler, the smell of burning fires is in the air, and soup season is officially here! I am in need of some good soup recipes.
I challenge you to post your favorite soup recipe(s). The more the merrier!
Chicken noodle, chowders, vegetable, chili...anything counts!
P.S. If you wish to be a "What's Cookin cook" and would like to contribute to our recipes,
please leave a comment!


BBQ Chicken Calzones

1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 cup barbecue sauce
2 tubes (10 ounces) pizza dough
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded, low-fat Cheddar cheese
1 egg white, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Sprinkle with the cornmeal. Coat a medium nonstick skillet with nonstick spray. Set over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft. Add the chicken and barbecue sauce. Stir to mix.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll 1 piece of dough into a 7-inch circle. Place 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture on one side of the circle, spreading to within 1 inch of the edge. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the Cheddar. Brush the edges of the crust with some of the egg-white mixture. Fold the circle in half. Pinch the edges to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling to make a total of 4 calzones.

Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the calzones with the remaining egg-white mixture. With a sharp knife, make 3 slashes in the top of each calzone.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown. To serve, cut each calzone in half. These are incredibly delicious... and easy to make!


Creamy Italian Chicken

Sorry, I don't have a picture!
But just try this one, your family will love it!

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package dry Italian Seasons Dressing Mix
1 8 oz cream cheese
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 can cream of chicken soup

Place chicken in crock pot and pour melted butter, and sprinkle italian dressing mix over the top.
Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4.
Remove chicken from crock pot and set aside. Add cream cheese and stir until incorporated, then add cream of chicken soup and mix well.
Add chicken back into crock pot (you can shred the chicken first if you prefer)
Cook on high 15 minutes then serve over rice



Pot Stickers

Wonton Filling

1/2 cup finely chopped cabbage
Coarse salt
6 ounces ground pork, not all lean
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


24 rectangular (3 1/2-by-3-inch) or square wonton wrappers
1 recipe Wonton Filling
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 scallions, finely chopped (optional)
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce, for serving

In a medium bowl, toss cabbage with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Wrap cabbage in a double layer of paper towels; firmly squeeze out excess liquid. Return cabbage to bowl; add pork, scallions, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Mix well with a fork. Refrigerate leftover filling up to 2 days.

Work with one wrapper at a time, and keep the rest covered with a damp towel. Spoon one rounded teaspoon of filling in center. With dampened fingers, wet the four edges. To make a triangle, fold wrapper in half over filling, making sure the ends meet and filling is centered; press edges down firmly to seal.

Moisten one tip on long side of triangle. Then bring together both tips on long side, overlapping them slightly; press tips together to seal.

Fold remaining top corner back. Transfer to an oiled plate; cover with a damp towel to keep moist. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add half the wontons and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, about 1 minute per side. Carefully add 1/2 cup water (oil may sputter), cover, and steam until translucent and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and wontons. Sprinkle pot stickers with scallions, if using, and serve with soy sauce.


Beef and Bow Ties

2 cups cooked bow-tie (farfalle) pasta (4 oz)
1 1/2 lb boneless beef sirloin steak, about 3/4 inch thick
1 lb asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
2 medium onions, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups beef flavored broth
1 cup tomato puree
3 tablespoons chopped fresh or 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
3 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.

2. Meanwhile, remove fat from beef. Cut beef with grain into 2-inch strips; cut strips across grain into 1/8-inch slices; set aside.

3. Spray 12-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add asparagus, onions and 1 cup of the broth; cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated. Remove vegetables from skillet.

4. Add beef to skillet. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is brown.

5. Stir in asparagus mixture, remaining 1/2 cup broth, the pasta and remaining ingredients except cheese. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until hot. Sprinkle with cheese.

"Healthified" Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander or cumin
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
8 corn or flour tortillas (6 or 7 inch)
1 medium tomato, chopped (3/4 cup)
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
Salsa, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.

2. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender. In medium bowl, stir broth, flour, coriander and pepper with wire whisk until blended. Slowly add to hot mixture in skillet, stirring constantly. Cook and stir 5 to 6 minutes, until mixture boils and thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream until well blended.

3. In another medium bowl, mix chicken, corn, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the chiles, cilantro and 1/2 cup of the sauce. Place 2 tortillas at a time on microwavable plate; cover with paper towel. Microwave on High 10 to 15 seconds or until softened. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each warm tortilla. Roll up tortillas; arrange, seam sides down, in baking dish. Top enchiladas with remaining sauce. Cover with foil.

4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until sauce is bubbly. Remove from oven. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Just before serving, top with tomato and green onions. Serve with salsa.


Spicy Parmesan Meatballs & Pasta

3/4 cup bran cereal
1 lb extra-lean (at least 90%) ground beef
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (1 oz)
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion, undrained
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
6 oz uncooked whole wheat angel hair (capellini) pasta
Additional shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, if desired

1. Place cereal in resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag and finely crush with rolling pin or meat mallet (or finely crush in food processor).

2. In large bowl, mix cereal, ground beef, 1/4 cup cheese, the Italian seasoning, garlic powder and 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce until well blended. Shape into 16 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs.

3. Spray 12-inch skillet with cooking spray. Cook meatballs in skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned. Drain if necessary. Add remaining tomato sauce, tomatoes and red pepper to skillet; turn meatballs to coat.

4. Cover; cook over medium-low heat 15 to 20 minutes, stirring sauce and turning meatballs occasionally, until meatballs are thoroughly cooked and no longer pink in center.

5. Meanwhile, cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Serve meatballs over pasta. Top each serving with additional Parmesan cheese and parsley.


Baked Rigatoni

16 oz Rigatoni
1 pkg. Italian Sausage, cooked (ground or finely sliced)
1 1/2 Tbsp. dried Thyme
2 cups whipping cream
1 can sliced olives
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes (Italian or garlic flavored; use the whole can, juice and all)
1 1/2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cups crumbled Feta Cheese (one small container)
2 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated

Bake at 375. Butter large casserole dish. Cook pasta, drain and put in dish. Cook sausage and drain fat. Mix everything, except cheese; add dash of salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and mix in cheeses and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Let cool for approximately 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


Chicken Georgia

Chicken Georgia

by Paula Deen

but changed some by Shari!

4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) butter

4 skinless boneless chicken breast

1-2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms, (or canned if you don't have fresh on hand)

1 onion, diced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 ounce grated mozzarella cheese (or 8 oz if you like it smothered)

Melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes. Add chicken and cook 10 minutes on each side, or until tender. Transfer chicken to platter and sprinkle with grated cheese. Top with mushroom mixture. Cook and let stand 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes Ease of Preparation: Easy Yield: 4-6 servings

My family just loves this recipe! I make it twice a month and has become one of my 'ol standbys'!

Chicken Parmesan

Sorry no picture..but it was very very good. Even my kids liked it and they are pretty picky.

1 lg.can tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
4 basil leaves, sliced
2T. olive oil
Salt to taste
4 chicken breast
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. seasoned bread crumbs
4 slices of mozzarella or provolone cheese

Place oil in a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, add garlic and let sizzle for a few minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic brown. Add tomato sauce and basil. Let simmer on low heat at least 1/2 hour. Salt to taste. Meanwhile, dip chicken breast in egg, then bread crumbs until coated. Fry in olive oil on a high heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan and place in a baking dish. Place one slice of cheese on each chicken breast. Pour sauce over the chicken and bake in a 350 oven for 20 minutes. Serves 4.

I served it with pasta!


Oreo and fudge ice cream cake

1/2 Cup Hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed and divided
1 pkg (4 serving size) Jello Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix
8 Oreos, chopped
12 Vanilla ice cream sandwiches

Pour fudge topping into medium bowl. Add 1 cup of the Cool Whip, stir with wire whisk until well blended. Add pudding mix, stir 2 minutes. Gently stir in chopped Oreos, set aside.

Arrange 4 ice cream sandwiches, side by side on a 24 inch long piece of foil. Top with half of the Cool Whip mixture. Repeate layers. Top with remaining ice cream sandwiches. Frost top and sides with remaining Cool Whip. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to loosely seal packet.

Freeze for at least 4 hours.


Let's make a DEAL.

Okay. We are slacking ladies (Chez, you are exempt). Heaven knows we are all busy- but selfishly I am needing new recipe ideas from all you wonderful cooks!!!

Let's make a deal to each post at least one recipe in the next 30 days.

We can do that right?? ☺ One little recipe??? It only takes a second.

There are 8 chefs- so that would be 8 new recipes in one month!!

I know we could all use that!!

So start thinking of your next post, okay?

Pretty please?

Oh-- and on a completely random note- if you don't already have Google Reader- GET IT. It is a great way to keep up with the new recipes that are posted on this blog! Just go to on the top left hand corner you will see "images, maps" etc. Click on "more" and scroll down to READER. You can manage all the blogs you want to read on there. Google reader will notify you whenever a new post comes up, so you don't have to keep checking the blog to see if there is something new! It saves so much time.

I can't wait for your recipes!! Get going!

Seriously GO!!! ☺


Pumpkin Roll

Yes, another Pumpkin recipe by me.
I love fall and baking with Pumpkin.
I omitted the walnuts and it was still delicious. Enjoy!
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 15x10x1 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper. Grease and flour the paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs on high for five minutes. Gradually add white sugar and pumpkin. Add flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Spread batter evenly in pan. Sprinkle walnuts evenly on top.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately turn out onto a linen towel dusted with confectioners sugar. Peel off paper and roll cake up in the towel, starting with the short end. Cool.
  4. To Make Filling: Mix confectioners sugar, vanilla, butter or margarine, and cream cheese together till smooth.
  5. Carefully unroll the cake. Spread filling over cake to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up again. Cover and chill until serving. Dust with additional confectioners' sugar, if desired.


"Healthified" Fettuccine Alfredo

1lb uncooked fettuccine
2cups whole milk
1tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4teaspoon salt

Dash freshly ground black pepper

Dash ground red pepper (cayenne)
2tablespoons butter
2teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufch√Ętel)
cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Cook fettuccine as directed on package, omitting salt. Drain; return to saucepan. Cover to keep warm; set aside.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, stir milk, flour, salt, black pepper and red pepper with wire whisk until smooth. In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly (do not burn). With wire whisk, stir milk mixture into butter mixture in saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until mixture thickens and boils.

Stir in cream cheese until melted. Stir in Parmesan cheese until melted. Pour over fettuccine; toss to coat. Sprinkle with parsley.

The good news is, kids love it too!!! Thumbs up to that!!!


"Healthified" Shepherd's Pie

1 1/4lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2cup fat-free milk
1tablespoon no-trans-fat margarine or butter
3/4teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1lb lean ground sirloin
1medium onion, chopped
1cup frozen peas & carrots
1/2teaspoon dried thyme
1/2cup fat-free reduced-sodium beef broth
1/4cup red wine (I used Red Wine Vinegar)
1/4cup tomato paste

1.Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 6-cup ovenproof casserole with cooking spray; set aside.
2.In medium saucepan, cover sweet potatoes with enough water to cover by 3 inches. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until tender. Drain potatoes; return potatoes to saucepan. Stir in milk, margarine, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Mash until smooth; set aside.
3.Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir sirloin 5 to 6 minutes until browned. Drain fat from pan; transfer beef to medium bowl. Return skillet to medium-high heat; add onion, peas and carrots, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
4.Return beef to skillet; stir in broth, wine and tomato paste. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the liquid is almost evaporated. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Transfer beef mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Spread sweet potato mixture evenly over top of beef mixture. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned.

Add salt and pepper to taste when eating... healthy and delicious!!


Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

  • For the Crust:
  • 20 chocolate wafer cookies, (half a 9-ounce package)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • For the Filling:
  • 2 packages bar cream cheese, (8 ounces each)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

To create swirls, drag the blade of a paring knife through the chocolate and pumpkin mixtures several times to make a marbled pattern.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, blend cookies with sugar until finely ground (you should have about 1 cup crumbs); add butter, and pulse until moistened.
  3. Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan, and press gently into bottom. Bake until fragrant and slightly firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. Place cream cheese in food processor; blend until smooth. Add sugar, canned pumpkin, eggs, flour, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt; process until combined. Set aside.
  5. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted. Add 1 cup pumpkin mixture; stir to combine. Set aside.
  6. Pour remaining pumpkin mixture into prepared pan. Drop dollops of chocolate mixture onto pumpkin mixture; swirl. Bake until cheesecake is set but jiggles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes.
  7. Cool in pan. Cover; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days). Using overhang of foil or parchment paper, transfer cake to work surface. With a knife dipped in water, cut into 16 squares. Serve.


Grilled Chicken with Warm Mango Salsa

What you'll need:

1 pound of chicken (2-3 breasts)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 medium red onion, small diced
1 small jalapeno, chopped fine
1 medium tomato, small diced
1 large mango, small diced
juice of 2 limes
2/3 cups chopped fresh cilantro
Pam Spray


1. Preheat grill or grill pan over high heat (or turn on your George Foreman!). Spray Chicken lightly with Pam Spray and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill til cooked through.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick pan over med-high heat. Spray with Pam and add onions. Season onions with salt and pepper to taste and cook til almost tender.

3. Add jalapeno, tomato and mango to the pan. Cook, tossing often until just heated through.

4. Add lime juice and cilantro and adjust seasonings if necessary.

5. Slice or shred chicken and serve topped with warm salsa!


Parmesan Knots

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (fresh is best but you can use the can kind)
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
dash pepper
3 cans (12 oz. each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (I used “original flakey”)

In a small bowl, combine oil, cheese, parsley, oregano, garlic powder and pepper; set aside.

Cut each biscuit in half. Roll each portion into a 6″ rope; tie in a loose knot. Place on greased baking sheets.

Bake at 450 degrees for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown; immediately brush with the Parmesan mixture. Serve warm or freeze for up to 2 months. (NOTE: To use frozen biscuits, bake according to package directions.)

NOTE: I took the biscuits out of the fridge about 30 minutes before I made the rolls so that the dough wasn’t so cold. This made the dough more soft and easy to roll into ropes. Also, I made the rolls literally RIGHT when we were almost ready to eat so that they were hot. I would definitely recommend that. They are STILL good when cool, but best when warm. ENJOY!