Monday, August 13, 2018

Chicken Salad

This is the recipe I use most often when making chicken salad, it's always happily gobbled right up with gusto by all of us. This tastes delicious served on crackers for a simple snack or on rolls for more of a meal. The sour cream lightens up the heaviness of the mayonnaise, giving it a fresher taste.

Chicken Salad

4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
3/4 - 1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 - 1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 TBSP. lemon juice
1/2 - 1 cup sliced green onions, green tops only

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Chill for at least 1 hour to let flavors marry. Cover and chill any leftovers. Serve on crackers or on rolls.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Deviled Ham

This simple recipe is my favorite ham spread served on rolls or on bread for a sandwich.

Deviled Ham

1 1/2 lbs. minced ham
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 TBSP. dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. hot sauce
1 TBSP. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. white vinegar

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix well. Chill in fridge at least 1 hour to let flavors marry. Serve on rolls or bread for quick and delicious sandwiches. Cover and store any leftovers in the fridge.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Marinated Potato Salad

Hands down, our absolute favorite potato salad recipe, ever! So flavorful, never bland or dull and so delicious. Make sure to plan ahead since as marinating overnight really gives the best results.

Marinated Potato Salad

2 1/2 lbs. potatoes, russet, red or yukon
1/2 cup vinegar (plus 2 - 4 TBSP. water, opt.)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1-2 tsp. dried minced onion
3 hard boiled eggs, diced
1/2 - 3/4 cup mayonnaise (to taste)
3/4 cup (or so) diced dill pickle
3/4 - 1 cup cooked crumbled bacon
3/4 - 1 cup cheddar cheese, in 1/4 inch cubes

In large pot of boiling water, boil whole potatoes until cooked through. Drain and let cool about 20 minutes. While still warm but not too hot to handle, peel and cube potatoes. Place in large bowl. In small bowl, combine vinegar (and water if using), sugar, salt, pepper and dried minced onion. Whisk to mix well. Pour over still-warm cubed potatoes. Mix gently with spatula to evenly coat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours (but overnight is best!) The next day, add in the diced eggs, mayonnaise, pickles, bacon and cheese. Mix well to combine. Cover and chill at least 1 hour to let flavors marry. Cover and chill any leftovers.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

My Mom's favorite macaroni salad that is so delicious and creamy!

Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

2 cups 2% or whole milk, divided
2 cups mayonnaise, divided
1 TBSP. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup finely grated yellow onion
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery

In small bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup mayonnaise, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to boil. Add 1 TBSP. salt and pasta to water and cook to package directions. Drain pasta and pour into large glass bowl. Stir in vinegar and mix well until distributed and absorbed. Let pasta cool 10 minutes. Stir in the milk/mayo mixture and stir to evenly combine. Then let cool completely.
Once cool, stir in onions, carrots and celery. Add remaining milk and mayonnaise and mix until evenly distributed. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour for up to 2 days. Adjust seasonings and serve.
(**if you prefer a sweeter style macaroni salad, increase brown sugar up to 1/2 cup)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Sunshine Sheet Cake

A simple and fabulous cake with the bright and sunny flavors of orange and pineapple that is always a hit whenever I serve it.

Sunshine Sheet Cake

1 (15.25 oz.) yellow cake mix
4 egg whites
1/3 cup oil 'or' applesauce
1 (15 oz.) can mandarin oranges, undrained
1 (3.4 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (12 oz. - 16 oz.) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, well drained (opt.)

Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease a 13 x 18-inch baking sheet. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg whites, oil and undrained mandarin oranges. Beat with an electric mixer until well mixed, about 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared baking sheet. Bake @ 350* F for 20-25 minutes, until top springs back when lightly touched in the middle. Place pan on wire rack and let cool completely. For topping: Whisk together the pudding mix and undrained pineapple. Mix until well combined. Fold in Cool Whip until well combined. Spread evenly over top of cooled cake. If desired, top with drained mandarin orange pieces. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Maraschino Cherry Sheet Cake

Another great sheet cake to add to the arsenal. Even though I don't like maraschino cherries, I love this cake, it's delicious!

Maraschino Cherry Sheet Cake
Cake:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract (opt.)
3/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
4 egg whites
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
1 cup cup chopped maraschino cherries
Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3-6 TBSP. maraschino cherry juice
sliced almonds 'or' multi-colored sprinkles (opt.)

Cake: Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease a 13x18-inch baking sheet. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-5 min. Add vanilla and sour cream, mix well to combine. Add the egg and mix well. Add egg whites and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In a measuring glass cup, combine the milk and maraschino cherry juice. To the creamed mixture, add dry ingredients alternately with the maraschino cherry juice and milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Just mix until combined without overmixing, scraping down sides of the bowl between additions. Stir in chopped maraschino cherries. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake @ 350* F for 22 - 26 min. or until top springs back when lightly touched in the middle. Place pan on wire rack and cool completely.
Frosting: In a large bowl, combine butter and shortening and beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, and 2 TBSP. maraschino cherry juice and beat until well mixed. Add additional maraschino cherry juice as needed, 1 TBSP. at a time, to get the frosting to a spreading consistency, without being too thin. Spread frosting evenly over top of cooled cake. Scatter sliced almonds over top, or multi-colored sprinkles if desired.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Italian Bread Crumbs

I love a simple pantry staple you can make yourself. I usually have a lot of  bread heels from the loaves and random pieces of stale bread and this is a great way to use them up. These bread crumbs makes an especially delicious coating on pork chops, chicken or whatever, they're fabulous! And I know some people hate that "green can" of Parmesan but I feel like it works really well with this bread crumb coating, but if you really hate it, feel free to use freshly grated Parmesan in its place.

Italian Bread Crumbs

6 cups bread crumbs**
2 cups grated Parmesan (green can)
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
freshly ground black pepper to taste
scant 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 TBSP. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Mix all ingredients together and store in the freezer in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

**To make bread crumbs, pulse stale bread in food processor until crumbs. Then measure out what you need and proceed with the recipe.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sausage Tortellini Soup

I re-worked a recipe I found online and this was the end result. I made this in my 7 quart slow cooker and it filled it right to the very top edge and was it ever delicious!! My non-soup loving husband even declared it his favorite, so I'm certain to be making this again.

Sausage Tortellini Soup

2 lbs. country sausage or sweet Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
2 cups sliced or diced carrots
3 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
4 - 6 potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups beef broth
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 - 3 (13 oz.) pkgs. frozen cheese tortellini

In a large frying pan, brown sausage. Add onion and carrots, cook until onions are tender. Drain. Place in 7 - 8 quart slow cooker. Pour the diced tomatoes, juice and all, into blender and puree until smooth. Pour into the slow cooker. Add potatoes, beef broth, oregano, basil salt and pepper to slow cooker. Stir. Cover and cook on 'HIGH' for 6 hours. About 30-45 minutes before serving, stir in the tortellini using 2 or 3 packages, as you prefer. Once the tortellini is cooked through, serve. Top each bowl with shredded Parmesan.
Makes 10 - 12 servings

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Mammy's Chicken Pot Pie

My Mom often makes this for our big family dinners and it's always a favorite. This recipe makes a lot as my Mom is so often called upon to cook for large numbers since I come from a very big family. Comfort food at it's best and enough to feed a crowd, it's also delicious when served with mashed potatoes on the side.

Mammy's Chicken Pot Pie

4 large chicken breasts, cubed
1 med. onion, finely diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 - 4 lbs. russet potatoes
3 - 4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 ½ – 2 cups frozen peas
3 (10 ¾ oz.) cans cream of chicken soup
1 ½ – 2 cups chicken gravy (homemade or from a packet)
¼ – ½ tsp. salt
pepper to taste
crust:
3 cups flour
1 ½ cups shortening
¾ tsp. salt
¾ – 1 cup very cold water
For the filling:
In a large pan, heat oil over medium to high heat. Saute the chicken and onion until the chicken is done and onion is tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat ans set aside. Peel and cube the potatoes. Cook in boiling, salted water about 7-10 minutes until done. Drain and set aside. Cook the diced carrots in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain and set side. Mix the cream of chicken soup with the gravy, salt and pepper. Stir in the cooked chicken, potatoes, carrots and peas. Divide evenly between two greased 9x13-inch baking dishes.
For the crust:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, shortening and salt. Cut the shortening in until the mixture resembles large peas. Stir in just enough water to bring it all together into a soft dough. Turn it out onto a floured surface and pat into a rectangle. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Roll out each piece into a large enough rectangle to top each casserole dish. Place on top of each dish, rolling the edges to fit, crimping the edges against the side of the dish. Bake @ 425* F for 30-45 minutes until the filling is hot and bubbly and the crust is browned.
Makes about 18 - 22 servings.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Simple Spanish Rice

I have several children that hate rice, and yet when I bring this dish out they scarf it down and happily request seconds. Funny how that works sometimes.

Simple Spanish Rice

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
2 cups chicken broth 'or' vegetable broth
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 TBSP. canola or olive oil


In medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add in garlic and onion. Saute 1-2 minutes until softened.
Add in uncooked rice. While stirring, cook for about 5 minutes until rice is golden brown.
Slowly add in broth and tomato sauce into rice. Stirring to combine, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. When done, fluff with fork and serve.