Tuesday, April 28, 2015

New Recipes for dinner!

One new recipe and one from the old recipe file.  This is a little late because it was one of our Lenten favorites from years past along with a new side dish picked up from a Pinterest pin.  These two combined for a great meal.  Even  though there was only 3 of us at dinner, we made the full recipe of scallopsthat is shown as 6 dishes.  I might try to make this is one large dish next time and let everyone select how much they would like.  The scallops are low in calories, so a family sized portion would work out fine.   

The potato recipe has been shared already with my mother in law to take for a pot luck. It is a great side dish casserole for family dinners and gatherings.  Is there a graduation party or shower in your future that you need a side dish?  This one is worth a try.

Cheesy Potato Casserole

2 lbs hash brown cubes (country style)
3 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cube butter (1/2 cup or stick)
1 can cr. chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
½ c. milk
2 cups crushed corn flakes


Mix hash browns, cheese, salt, and pepper and pour into a 9x13 pan. Mix butter, soup, sour cream, and milk - pour over hash brown mixture. Top with corn flakes and a little melted butter. Bake 1 hour at 350.

Scallops Au Vin

1 1/2 lbs fresh scallops
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp dry white wine
 2 tbsp butter

If scallops are large, cut in half; divide evenly into 6 (10 oz.) custard cups.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Divide mushrooms over scallops. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp parsley and 1 tbsp wine over mushrooms in each dish.  Dot each with 1 tsp butter.

Bake uncovered at 450 degrees fo 12 to 15 minutes until done.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sunday Supper

I love it when a complete dinner comes together with a little team effort.  One Sunday we decided to give a couple of recipes a try.  Hubby loved the idea of crockpot potatoes so I gave him  that to put together.  I wanted to give Ina's Lemon Chicken another try.  It was good the first time, why not try it again.  One issue we had we has was that my chicken breast did not have the skin on as the recipe suggested, but I decided to go ahead with the skinless breast knowing that it was probably healthier.  It is very difficult to find at our big grocery store, boneless chicken with the skin on.  That is something you have to special order and that is when we go to our little neighborhood store who has the real meat cutters working in the butcher shop.  They have the best quality of meats and prices lower than the big corporate store and have no issues with special orders. 

To round out dinner we had some fresh asparagus in the refrigerator just waiting to be roasted.  Roasting vegetables is one of the best ways to bring out the natural sweetness of the vegetables.  As a former picky eater, and some people would still say I am, roasting vegetables has been a way that I have added new ones to my repertoire!

The potatoes were wonderful.  It is amazing all of the stuff you can cook in your crockpot.  Just pinned a recipe on Pinterest for bread made in the crockpot.

Crockpot Cheesy Ranch Bacon Potatoes

adapted from Damndelicious.net

6 slices bacon
3 pounds red potatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 tablespoon Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix
2 tablespoons chopped chives

To cook the Bacon, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread bacon in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until brown and crispy, about 12-14 minutes. Let cool before crumbling; set aside.
Line a slow cooker with aluminum foil, leaving enough to overhang to wrap the potatoes on top, and coat with nonstick spray. Place a layer of potatoes evenly into the slow cooker. Top with cheese, Ranch Seasoning and bacon, repeating 2 more times and reserving 1/2 cup cheese.
Cover potatoes with aluminum foil and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Cover and cook until melted, about 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with chives.


Lemon Chicken Breast (adapted from Ina Garten)

1/4 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 lemon


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don't allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.
Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn't browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.
Note: Now Ina has the chicken breast deboned but leaves the skin on, I didn't!

Balsamic Roasted Asparagus

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lay asparagus stalks on sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt over stalks.  Roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Remove to platter and then drizzle balsamic vinegar over top.  Serve.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Alma Rudder's Crockpot Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

This recipe is a keeper!  We scoured over our recent Pinterest post and various cook book's we have hanging around and found a crock pot recipe for Ham and Scalloped potatoes to use up the ham from Easter that didn't make the Split Pea Soup.  In our Fix It And Forget It Crock pot cookbook there was a recipe that had 7different names of people who had submitted the same recipe.  This is how these cookbooks are created, reader submissions, so if there are a lot of name attached, it must be good.  At the very bottom of this recipe there was a variation for a creamier sauce by adding milk with the condensed soup that was submitted by an Alma Weaver.  So hubby though we should give this recipe a try.  And if you know my husband he likes to change names around a bit and have a bit of fun.  So he said it was Alma Rudder's recipe.   

So now you are wonder who Alma Rudder is or was, right?  Well if you are around our age or older you grew up watching various soap opera's when you could.  In my house my sisters were big soap fans.  If I remember right there was a few they would watch together and then some that maybe one would watch and the other didn't. There was The Doctor's, As the World Turns or The Edge of Night. Then there  was one in particular that I would watch and when it was just me living at home I would catch my Mom and even my Dad watching.  It was Another World!  And I watched it until the show ended in 1999.  Well come to find out, Hubby watched Another World when we were in College together!  He has this memory for people's names and some how when he saw the variation by Alma Weaver he was reminded of the evil Alma Rudder, Mac and Rachel Cory's housekeeper who came to avenge the death of her brother!  And that is my husband, a man with a good memory for names and a good sense of humor.

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

6 to 8 slices of ham
8 to 10 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
2 onions, thinly sliced
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
Approximately 1 cup of milk

Slice potatoes and onions with a mandolin slicer for thinness.  Put half of ham, potatoes and onion in crock pot.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese.  Repeat layers.

Combine soups and milk and spoon over top.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Cover. And cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Baked Pasta

So over the Easter weekend, we were back to the family of four at the dinner table. Our college freshman was home for about a week and when she wasn't out to dinner with her friends she was with us.  Generally when she comes home she has a bunch of dinner request. This time she made a couple of request, but was also happy to give a few new recipes a try.  This recipe was great on Saturday night after a busy day prepping for Easter Dinner.   

When making this be sure to pull the spinach out ahead of time to defrost. Easy to make, just using the broiler to melt the cheese.  This is very filling and will go great with a side salad.  

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Pasta

Adapted from Women's Day

1 pound of Orechette pasta
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion
Kosher salt and pepper
4 clove garlic
3/4 c. lowfat sour cream
4 oz. lowfat cream cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan (2 oz)
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 package frozen leaf spinach
1 can can artichoke hearts
4 oz. mozzarella

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain the pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Heat broiler. In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, cream cheese, Parmesan, lemon zest and lemon juice; stir in the onion mixture.
  4. Add the pasta to the bowl and toss to coat. Stir in the spinach, artichokes and 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid (adding more liquid if the pasta seems dry). Fold in 1/2 cup mozzarella.
  5. Transfer the pasta mixture to a broiler-proof 2 1/2- to 3-qt casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and broil until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Our college freshman nutrition major

Our. High school freshman with the big appetite!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Dessert anyone? How about four of them?

Easter dinner at our house revolved around the desserts.  Two things came into play- my Mom was coming for dinner and she loves anything lemon and I had given up sweets for Lent so I wanted something chocolate.  My hubby also likes choices.  One or two desserts are not enough for him and    we also had extra company just for dessert so we needed the selection.  As soon as I pinned my chocolate recipe, my niece sent a text asking when her Uncle was going to make it.  She immediately got the dessert invite!  So we grew from 8 people for dinner to 12 for dessert. 

The Lemon cookies and the cheesecake bars were made on 
Friday  by me.  The chocolate and the coconut desserts were started on Saturday night and finished up before dinner on Sunday. None of our dessert selections disappointed us and with plenty of leftovers we will be savoring Easter for days.

Cheesecake Lemon Bars from 

Lemon Ricotta Cookies


  No Bake Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake 
found on www.beyondfrosting.com

Coconut Cream Pie 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Artichoke Gratinita

While looking through our big binder of recipes yesterday I found a great recipe that we first made in 2008.  It is a simple side dish from Giada De Lauerntiis that went really well with our Shrimp with Linguinie and Lemon Oil and our Cannellini Beans with Arugula that we have posted about earlier.  These three recipes would be a great flavor mix to finish off our Lenten dinners.

Yesterday was also a day to start making desserts and sweets for Easter Sunday.  I had spent the afternoon making cookies and lemon bars, recipes to be posted later, and doing a little spring cleaning of our coat closets.  (This means washing winter coats I really don't want to see again until November or December.)  With our daughter home for the holidays from school I asked her to put this recipe together for me.  This was a great help with all the other dinner preparations going on. She is also reminding us on how to handle food safely after just finishing a class on food safety that will have her certified in this area.  Wait until she starts analyzing our diet.  We might be in trouble then. 

Artichoke Gratinita 


  • tablespoons olive oil
  • 1   minced garlic clove
  • pound frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • tablespoons chopped fresh  parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon  red  pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup   Marsala wine wine
  • tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan


    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
    Warm the olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the artichoke hearts, parsley, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until the artichoke hearts are starting to brown at the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and wine and simmer for 3 minutes. Transfer the artichoke mixture to a 2-quart baking dish.
    Melt the butter in the same skillet used to cook the artichokes. In a small bowl mix the melted butter with the bread crumbs. Stir in the Parmesan  and top the artichokes with the bread crumbs. Bake until the top is golden, about 10 minutes.