Monday, October 31, 2011

New York Chicken

Sorry for the lame photo. I took it just before my hubby started eating. My father-in-law loves this chicken. It turns out moist and tender and the sauce is great over white rice or egg noodles.

adapted from

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts; trimmed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1 cup chicken broth
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened and cubed
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken and brown both sides; remove to 9x13 baking dish. Reduce heat to med-low and add garlic and rosemary. Slowly stir in chicken broth. Whisk in cream of mushroom soup until combined; cook until hot. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese until smooth; pour over chicken. Bake, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes or until chicken in no longer pink.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Monster Bark

Here's a Halloween treat for grown-ups and kiddos alike. It's a sweet and salty snack and very colorful. It calls for candy corn, but gosh darn it I hate that stuff. I just couldn't bring myself to use it. And I didn't have quite enough Reeses Pieces and I regret not adding peanuts (totally forgot about them). So the bark in the photo is not truly indicative of what this stuff can be.

I went all over kingdom come trying to find those crazy Halloween Oreos. Finally found a package at the 3rd store I tried. I normally don't go for weird-colored Oreos, but they sure make this bark look more festive.

I do wish I'd made the bark a little thinner - it was really hard to break apart. That is why I've given a range for the amount of Almond Bark needed. You can do it to taste. Most packages I've found are 24 oz. But they come in bricks that you can cut apart. I wouldn't use less than 1 1/2 packages.

adapted from Halloween Candy Bark on Tasty Kitchen

32 - 48 oz. vanilla Almond Bark
2 cups pretzel sticks
15 Halloween Oreos, broken into pieces
1 cup Reeses Pieces
1 cup peanuts
1 cup candy corn
Halloween-themed or chocolate sprinkles, optional

Line a jelly-roll pan with waxed paper. Spread pretzels and Oreo pieces evenly in pan. Melt Almond Bark according to package directions and slowly drizzle over pretzels/Oreos; pound flat. Sprinkle with Reese Pieces, peanuts, candy corn, and sprinkles. Refrigerate until solid, about 30 - 45 minutes. Break into pieces.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cheese and Vegetable Soup

I got this recipe from a friend. I'd had it at her house and really loved the flavor. I think it would be good with broccoli and cauliflower, too.


3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cups (32 oz) chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
3 tsp. chicken bouillon granules, cubes, or base
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cups frozen corn
1/4 cup (half a stick) butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a large pot, bring the potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, chicken broth, water, bouillon, and pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and add frozen corn.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for two minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and, stirring constantly, bring to a slight boil (mixture will thicken). Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese until completely melted. Add cheese mixture to vegetable pot and stir to combine.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sweet and Moist Cornbread

This is a very sweet cornbread and it's fluffy like a cake, not dense. It should be called Death by Cornbread for how much butter is in it. I grew up on this stuff. I think my mom got the recipe off a box of Bisquick in the 80's or 90's.


2 cups Bisquick
1 cup sugar
2 heaping Tbsp. yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup milk.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. In a large bowl, beat the eggs then whisk in the milk and melted butter. Stir in dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Pour into baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tender Beef and Bean Stew

I found this recipe in a magazine years ago. It's one of my favorite slow cooker recipes because you just dump it all in and you've got a one-dish meal. It's great topped with shredded cheddar and a dollop of sour cream.


1 lb. lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
1 can (2.25 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 cup chopped onion
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
2 Tbsp. uncooked long grain rice
1-2 Tbsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. beef bouillon granules, cubes, or base mixed with 1 cup hot water
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce

In a 5 quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients except tomato sauce. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until beef is tender. Stir in tomato sauce; cover and cook 30 minutes more or until heated through.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Custard Pear Pie

I found this recipe on At Second Street last year and I finally made it! It was quite popular around here. I love that it uses pears, which are kind of the unsung fall fruit - always overshadowed by all those apple recipes. The almond extract gives it such a unique flavor and Kalleen made the suggestion of baking it in a springform pan instead of a pie plate. I loved that idea. Makes it very easy to serve!

from At Second Street

pastry for 1 crust pie*
3 eggs
1/3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 pears; peeled, cored, and sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out pastry between two pieces of parchment paper. Place pastry in bottom and up sides of pie plate or springoform pan. Trim to fit.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, sugar, almond extract, and melted butter until smooth. Pour into pastry. Arrange pear slices in spokes radiating out from center. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 25-35 minutes or until custard is firm. Cool completely before serving. Garnish with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

*For my crust I used this one on Pioneer Woman, cutting the recipe in half and using all butter. It was delish!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Creamy Chicken and Tortellini Soup

Yay Fall! This is an adaptation from a recipe I found on It went super fast and we barely had any leftovers. It goes great with a crusty piece of Italian or French bread.

adapted from Chicken & Gnocchi Soup on

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 small onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 of a (19 oz.) package frozen cheese tortellini
3/4 cup chopped fresh or frozen spinach (thawed and drained if frozen)
2 cups fat-free half-and-half
salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp. cold water (optional)

In a large pot, combine chicken broth, chicken, onion, celery, carrots, and garlic and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Remove chicken breasts; shred or dice and return to pot. Add tortellini and let cook about 3-4 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook about 4-5 minutes more. Add half-and-half and bring back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, stir in cornstarch mixture to thicken soup slightly.