Monday, February 28, 2011

Blue Cheese Wedge Salad

There is something about an iceberg lettuce wedge salad. Simple, yet elegant.

For Chris’ birthday, my friend Kate made homemade blue cheese dressing for our salads. It was the BEST blue cheese I’ve ever had! She got the recipe from her friend Cozy. So, thanks Cozy! We love your dressing!!!


4 Tablespoons crumbled Blue Cheese, about 2 ounces (I used 4 ounces of Gorgonzola, so I would add per your taste for blue cheese)

1 cup Sour Cream

1 cup Mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar

1 teaspoon Horseradish

2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Salt and Pepper to taste

1) Mash the blue cheese into the sour cream.  If you want it less chunky you can whirl in the food processor.

2) Stir in the mayonnaise and remaining ingredients.

3) Chill.

Cut a head of iceberg lettuce into desired sized wedges. Place one wedge on each salad plate. Spoon dressing over lettuce. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and bacon crumbles. Top with fresh cracked black pepper.

wedge salad 01

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Teriyaki Pork Sandwiches

I love Yoshida’s Gourmet Teriyaki sauce! And it makes an awesome sandwich!

Place one boneless pork roast in your crock pot and cover with bottled teriyaki sauce.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until done.

Shred with two forks and add more teriyaki sauce if necessary.

Place on a hamburger bun. Top with toasted sesame seeds, sliced green onions and a slice of fresh or canned pineapple.

teriyaki pork 01

Monday, February 21, 2011

“Cranberry Bliss” Bars

I have to admit I’ve never had a Cranberry Bliss bar at Starbucks. But when my friend Annalise, of Sweet Anna’s, posted this recipe as one of her absolute favorites I just had to try it! It is the perfect marriage of cranberries, orange, cream cheese and white chocolate in a rich, little bar…

And she was right, they are even better a little frozen!

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup good-quality white chocolate chunks
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
zest of one orange (about 1 tablespoon)
1 cup good-quality white chocolate chunks
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Line a 9x13" baking dish with foil or parchment paper and butter the foil.
Melt the butter in a medium bowl and stir in the brown sugar until smooth.  Set aside to cool to room temperature while you prep the rest of the ingredients.  In another medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
Once cool, beat together the butter mixture, eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Add in the flour mixture and beat until incorporated and then stir in the 1 cup white chocolate chunks and 1/2 cup cranberries.
Spread the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, until lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool completely.
In a large bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and orange zest until smooth.
In a small bowl, melt the white chocolate in the microwave (30 seconds, stir well, and then 10 seconds at a time more, stirring in between, until smooth).  Beat half of the melted white chocolate into the cream cheese frosting until smooth.
Spread the frosting on the cooled bars in the pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup dried cranberries over the top and then drizzle the whole pan with the remaining melted white chocolate.
Store in the fridge until cool, cut into bars or triangles and serve.  

cranberry bliss 01

Egg Drop Soup

Our family loves going out to Chinese food! Our favorite meals always start with a cup of egg drop soup. But it’s missing when we eat Chinese at home… Until now.

Egg drop soup is soup-er (sorry about the pun) easy to make!

1 14oz can of chicken broth

1 cup of water

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1/8 teaspoon white sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water

1-2 eggs (depending on how egg-y you want your soup)

1 tablespoon cold water

Heat chicken broth, water and green onion in a medium saucepan until almost to a simmer over med-high heat.

egg drop soup 01

Mix sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce and 1/4 cup cold water in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.

egg drop soup 02

Reduce heat and stir soy sauce mixture in to the broth. Bring to a boil on high and boil for 1 minute. Then reduce heat to med-low.

egg drop soup 03

Beat eggs with the 1 Tablespoon of water.

Using a fork, stir the eggs into the soup. Cook until the eggs are opaque.

egg drop soup 04

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rice Pudding

This was one of my parents’ favorite desserts when I was a kid and I HATED it! But I know this is one of those comfort foods that I should like. Not to mention, that I think it would look great in my new dishes! :o)

I don’t know if it’s my new favorite but it tastes pretty good in my cute little melamine bowl! I’m sure it will taste even better in my farm dishes…

Heat oven 325.

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup raisins

2 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups hot cooked rice

ground nutmeg

Beat eggs in ungreased 1 1/2-quart casserole. Stir in sugar, raisins, milk, vanilla, salt and rice. Bake uncovered 60-75 minutes, stirring halfway through baking. After stirring, sprinkle with a bit of nutmeg. Bake until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean.

rice pudding 01 rice pudding 02rice pudding 03 rice pudding 04 rice pudding 05

Serve warm or cold. Refrigerate any leftover pudding.

rice pudding 06

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cookie Dough Bites

I love eating chocolate chip cookie dough! There are just some days that I NEED to eat chocolate chip cookie dough!!! I found this recipe and realized that it was just what I had been looking for… Frozen cookie dough bites whenever I like and no raw eggs. (I kinda have this thing about eating raw eggs. It’s getting better, but I still like to play it safe…)

By the way, these would also work if you have an egg allergy. I baked up a few and they turned out alright…

1 stick softened butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

Mix together until smooth.

cookie dough 011 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup plain yogurt

Mix well into butter and sugars.

cookie dough 021 cup all-purpose white flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix until well combined.

cookie dough 03

Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips.

  Drop by spoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm.

cookie dough 04Store in a ziploc bag in the freezer until ready to eat.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Smoothie On A Stick

We love making smoothies! I also love popsicles! After having purchased a nifty little popsicle mold from Daiso, I thought why not combine the two???

smoothie 02

All you do is whip up a smoothie in the blender, pour it into the molds, freeze, run under some hot water to release them, and eat!

smoothie 01 This smoothie is orange-pineapple juice, frozen bananas and frozen strawberries

smoothie 03

All smooth!

smoothie 04

Into the molds…

smoothie 05

Out of the freezer and ready to eat!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chicken Pomodoro Pizza

The gardening bug has bit! Winco had their basil plants again and I just had to pick one up. All that lovely basil smell wafting through the living room brought back memories… When Chris worked at the Olive Garden, my favorite dish was the chicken capellini pomodoro. I decided to try to mimic that on a pizza. It turned out pretty darn tasty!

pizza 08 My inspiration!

First make up a batch of pizza dough. I use my Easy Peasy Bread recipe.

Roll half of the dough into a circle large enough for your pizza.

You will need:

2 cooked and sliced chicken breasts

3 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

1/8 cup chopped fresh basil

pizza 01

fresh chopped garlic

Italian seasoning (I like Papa John’s garlic herb blend)

olive oil

crushed red pepper

mozzarella cheese

parmesan cheese

Brush crust with olive oil.

pizza 06

Put garlic, Italian seasonings and red pepper on crust.

pizza 03Sprinkle with a bit of mozzarella cheese. Then top with tomatoes, basil, chicken, mozzarella and parmesan.

pizza 04

Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the crust is golden.

pizza 07

Lemon Jelly Roll

While I was still feeling confident and adventuresome, I tried tackling a jelly roll. I flavored it with lemon extract, filled it with my super yummy lemon curd, frosted it with Devonshire cream and made it pretty and sparkly with a sprinkle of candied lemon peel! It turned out even better than I had expected… And as a bonus surprise, my hubby said he liked the candied lemon peel the best!

I think this would be perfect for a spring or summer tea party!


1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

4 egg yolks

1/2 tsp vanilla (or other extract)

1/3 cup sugar

4 egg whites

1/2 cup sugar (or superfine sugar )

powdered sugar, sifted

1/3 cup lemon curd

Combine the flour and baking powder in a small bowl.

jelly roll 05 Beat egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar, beating to stiff peaks (tips stand up).

jelly roll 02soft peaks

jelly roll 03 

stiff peaks

Beat egg yolks and vanilla on high speed for 5 minutes or till thick and lemon colored. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and beat on high until sugar is nearly dissolved.

jelly roll 01jelly roll 04 jelly roll 06 Fold yolk mixture into egg whites. Fold gently until just combined.

jelly roll 08 Sprinkle flour mixture over egg mixture. Fold gently until just combined.

jelly roll 09 Spread batter into greased and floured (or sugared) 10x15x1 jelly roll pan.

jelly roll 07jelly roll 10  Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or till cake springs back when lightly touched near center.

Loosen the sides of the cake and turn cake onto a kitchen towel sprinkled generously with sifted powdered sugar.

jelly roll 11jelly roll 12  Roll cake up in towel and place on wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.

jelly roll 13jelly roll 14  Unroll cake and spread with lemon curd. Roll cake back up.

jelly roll 15jelly roll 16  Frost with Devonshire cream and top with candied lemon peel.

jelly roll 17

Slice and serve. Chill any leftover cake in fridge.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Dates

My sister made these little treats at Christmas and I fell in love! I love dates and I adore bacon, so how could these not be the perfect marriage of the two??? I made them today for our Super Bowl get together and they made the Green Bay victory even sweeter! It doesn’t hurt that they are super easy either…

First cut up your bacon into pieces just long enough to wrap around the dates with just a bit of overlap. Use thin sliced bacon.

Then break some toothpicks in half to secure the bacon. You don’t need a whole toothpick, but if you’re choosy about appearances you can use whole ones.

bacon dates 01

All you do is wrap each pitted date with a slice of bacon and secure it with a toothpick.

bacon dates 02

Then place them on a baking sheet covered in parchment or foil.

Bake at 375 until bacon is crispy but not burnt.

Remove from pan and let drain on paper towels before serving.

Let them sit about 5 minutes to cool a bit before you serve them.

bacon dates 03

Jalapeno Popper Dip

We love poppers, but I don’t love making them! They are a lot of work and are gone in a flash! So when my friend posted this recipe I also knew (like she did) it would be a keeper!

I made a few changes but it turned out great! We like them pretty hot and spicy! Serve it hot from the oven with tortilla chips! I also think it would be good spread on a toasted bagel for lunch…

1 8oz package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayo (I would use less, I don’t like mayo)

1 can diced chilies (for a more spicy dip, I would use canned diced hot chilies or jalapenos)

3 fresh jalapenos, finely chopped (leave in seeds for more spice)

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup finely shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream and mayo until smooth.

jalapeno dip 01

Stir in chilies and jalapenos.

jalapeno dip 02

Spread in a glass pie plate. (At this point you can bake it right away or let it sit covered overnight in fridge.)

Just before baking, mix the bread crumbs and cheese in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of dip.

jalapeno dip 03

Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through. After it’s heated through, you can place it under the broiler for a browner top if you want.

jalapeno dip 04