Chicken and Bow Ties

Tonight, I tried a recipe from an old church cookbook and my family LOVED it! My six-year-old daughter said "This is the best dinner ever...it's even better that hot dogs!" which is a HUGE compliment coming from her! My four-year-old daughter (who is difficult to please) said, "I LOVE this dinner! We should save some for lunch..." (She is requesting leftovers?!?)

After receiving these rave reviews, I decided to share:

4 ounces bow tie pasta
2 cans Italian style diced tomatoes
1/2 pound boneless chicken, cut into strips
1 onion, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese (I used Parmesan, but I think Romano would be better)

Cook pasta, drain, set aside. Drain tomatoes, reserving liquid. In a large skillet, add reserved liquid and boil 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, chicken, onion, mushrooms, garlic and rosemary. Cook 6 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally. Toss with pasta and cheese.


Breakfast Casserole

This is a dish that I make the night before Christmas. In the morning when we are opening presents, I pop it in the oven. Then when the presents are opened, breakfast is done!

1 bag frozen Hash browns (can use boiled, shredded potatoes also)
1 dozen eggs, beaten and mixed (add salt and pepper if desired)
1 package ham
1 green pepper
2 cups grated cheese

Layer ingredients together. Bake in a greased casserole dish at 325 for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Watch for the eggs to be cooked and the cheese melted.

Add your own favorite touches like: crumbled bacon, browned sausage, olives, mushrooms or tomatoes. Make it like your favorite omelet!

Sparkling Apple Juice

1 32 oz bottle of Apple Juice, chilled
1/2 liter of Ginger ale, chilled

Combine together and serve.


Funeral Potatoes

I LOVE cheesy, creamy funeral potatoes! This recipe is a little lighter and it still tastes just as yummy--I made it last Christmas and it was great!

¾ cup chopped onion
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (32-oz.) pkg. hash brown potatoes
2 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
1 (10 ¾-oz.) can condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup, undiluted
8 oz. Velveeta Light, cubed
1 (8-oz.) carton light sour cream
Cooking spray
2 cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine first 4 ingredients and 1 tablespoon butter in a large bowl; toss well.
3. Combine soup and cheese in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 6 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring every 2 minutes. Stir in sour cream. Pour cheese mixture over potato mixture, and stir well. Spread mixture evenly in a 13” x 9” baking dish coated with cooking spray.
4. Combine cornflakes and remaining 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle evenly over top of potato mixture. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Makes 12 servings


Crumb-Topped French Toast

I am thinking about doing this for Christmas breakfast...I'm not sure yet, but this is a really fun breakfast.

1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup cornflake crumbs
8 diagonally-cut slices French bread (about 1 inch thick)
1/4 cup margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 450°.
Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir well with a wire whisk. Place cornflake crumbs in a shallow dish.
Dip bread slices into milk mixture, and dredge in cornflake crumbs. Place bread slices on a baking sheet, and drizzle with margarine. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 8 servings


Holiday Recipes

It truly is the "best time of the year!" Which recipes are a part of your Christmas traditions? I'd love to hear! :)


Spanish Rice (microwave recipe)

This is so moist and yummy! My husband doesn't usually eat Spanish rice, but he really likes this recipe.

1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 16-ounce can tomatoes, chopped and drained (reserve liquid)
1 cup long grain rice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chopped green pepper

In 2-quart casserole combine onion, green pepper, and butter. Cook on high power for 2 1/2 minutes (in microwave). Stir once. Add enough water to reserved tomato liquid to equal 2 cups. Add to dish with tomatoes, rice, salt, pepper and chili powder. Cook covered on high power for 5 minutes and at medium power for 18 minutes. Stir once. Let stand covered for 5 minutes.


Roasted Parmesan Potatoes

These are fast and easy and versatile...you can use them as a side dish with dinner or even with an omelet for breakfast...and you can use any type of potatoes, even sweet potatoes! This is one of my favorite recipes to throw together in a hurry!

4 medium potatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Place potatoes in a medium bowl and toss with oil. Combine Parmesan, parsley, paprika, garlic salt and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

3. Add the Parmesan mixture to potatoes in bowl; toss to coat potatoes evenly.

4. Arrange potatoes on prepared baking sheet. Bake, turning once, until potatoes are lightly browned and easily pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes.

Serves 4


Kielbasa Skillet Supper

I bought Polska Kielbasa on sale this week! Here are 2 of my favorite Polska Kielbasa recipes. They are both very quick and easy! This one is my favorite! :D

6 slices bacon
carrots (at least 3), sliced
1 lb. Polska Kielbasa
4 potatoes, sliced
1 chopped onion, sliced

Cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet. Saute sliced potatoes, carrots and onion in bacon drippings (I pour most of it out) until tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Add slices Kielbasa to skillet and heat until warm. Top with crumbled bacon and serve.
Serves 4

Pineapple and Sausage with Rice

Just 3 ingredients, can it get any easier?

cooked rice
1 pineapple chunks, undrained
1 lb. Polska Kielbasa

Cut sausage into slices, put in skillet with half syrup from pineapple. Cook 15 min. until browned, add remaining syrup and pineapple chunks. Serve over rice.


Cake Mix Cookies

This is a fast and easy way to make very yummy cookies!

1 box cake mix (any kind)
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil

Mix ingredients (note: for butter recipies you may not need as much oil but only about 1/4).

Add chips or anything you would like

I enjoy making the devils food cake mix cookies with Andes Mints mixed in (I break them myself instead of buying the chips--it tastes better). I have also made peanut butter cup cookies and heath ones. Be creative!!!

Ice Cream Cake

This is simple and easy. It tastes good as well and the varieties are endless. This is what you will need:

-1 box of cake mix (any flavor you like)
-Ice cream (again any flavor--size depends on how big your cake is. I usually buy just the 1/2 gallon)
-Frosting (any kind you like)

Cook the cake mix according to directions on the box (I usually do the 2, 9 in. cake pan size, but it is up to you)

Let the cake cool and soften the ice cream while you wait (just sit it out)

Take one layer of cake and start putting the ice cream onto the layer, molding it to the layer of cake (you could always melt the ice cream to the shape you want and then refreeze I suppose). Do this quickly then put on the top layer. Let it freeze for about 30-60 min depending on how soft your ice cream was when you finished layering it on.

Pull it out of the freezer and then frost it.


Once frozen, you can top with chocolate or decorate any way you like and then refreeze once more. Allow 12-24 hours to freeze before serving to ensure that the middle is not too soft.


Dilled Salmon in Parchment

Mmmm...I love shallots! The combination of shallots and dill with the salmon tastes delicious!

2 skinless salmon fillets (3 ounces each)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped shallots

1. Preheat oven to 400. Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper into 12-inch squares; fold squares in half diagonally and cut into half-heart shapes. Open parchment; place fish fillet on one side of each heart.

2. Combine butter and lemon juice in small cup; drizzle over fish. Sprinkle with dill, shallots, and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Fold parchment hearts in half. Beginning at top of heart, fold edges together. At tip of heart, fold parchment over to seal.

4. Bake fish about 10 minutes or until parchment pouch puffs up. To serve, cut an "X" through top layer of parchment and fold back points to display contents.

Makes 2 servings


(There is supposed to be a (~) over the n, I don't know how to do that on my keyboard.)

This recipe was in the Friend awhile ago, when they featured recipes from Chile...I tried it out and it's been a favorite in our family ever since! I like the diversity of the ingredients and that, when combined, they taste so delicious!

1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp. chopped garlic
1/4 c. raisins, chopped
1/4 c. green olives, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. flour
1 3/4 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 c. grated cheese
1/3 c. cilantro, chopped
2 pkgs. (8 biscuits each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough
1 egg
1 tbsp. water

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the beef, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until the beef is browned and the vegetables begin to soften. Add raisins, olives, vinegar, flour, allspice and cumin. For spicier empanadas, add cayenne pepper. Cook until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and cilantro.

2. Preheat oven to 375 F. Roll one biscuit into a 4-inch circle. In a small bowl, beat the egg with one tablespoon of water. Brush half the biscuit dough with egg. Scoop 1 rounded tablespoon of meat filling onto the dough. Fold the dough over and press the edges with a fork to seal the dough closed. Repeat with remaining biscuits and place empanadas on a large baking sheet. Brush them with egg and bake them for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 16 empanadas.


Panini Sandwich

I put this together one night for dinner and it has become a family favorite; it's fast, easy and my version of a panini sandwich. I make it without meat, but you could add meat if you wanted.

1 loaf french bread (Target's is my favorite)
garlic cloves
sliced mushrooms
sliced provolone cheese

First, saute the mushrooms in garlic and butter. Then, slice the bread in half lengthwise and crosswise (so you have 2 HUGE sandwiches). Build the sandwich with the cheese, spinach and mushrooms and then grill each sandwich half. Slice and serve.

I grill it on large griddle. You could grill individual sandwiches, if you prefer.

This just gets you started...there are many possibilities!



1 Bag Poncit Noodles
3 pork chops(chopped) or 1 lb. raw shrimp
4 pieces celery (chopped)
1/2 head cabbage (coarsely shredded)
1 small onion (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
soy sauce (about 2 tbs.)

Brown pork, in small about of oil, in a skillet or wok.
Add onions, cook until tender, but not brown.
If you are using shrimp, add now and cook until pink.
Add green pepper and celery, mix well.
Add cabbage and 1/2 cup warm water.
Sprinkle with soy sauce and pepper.
Add noodles. Cover and simmer for 20 mins, folding in noodles.
***IF you can't find Poncit Noodles at your grocery store
use Ramen Noodles instead about 4 packages***

My kids love this! I can't make it enough!

BBQ Pork Sandwiches

1 pork roast
1 Bottle BBQ sauce

Place pork roast in crock pot. Pour 1/2 bottle BBQ sauce over the top. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 6-8 hours. Shred pork. Place pork back into the crock pot and add the rest of the BBQ sauce. Serve on hamburger buns.

Cookie Salad

2 small pkgs. vanilla pudding
1 (16 oz.)container cool whip
2 cans mandarin oranges
1 pkg. fudge stripe cookies
2 C. buttermilk
2 cans pineapple tidbits

Drain all fruit. You can add fresh fruit if you like.
Mix buttermilk with pudding until creamy.
fold in cool whip. break cookies into pieces.
add cookies and fruit. Chill 1 hour before serving.

Hawiian Haystacks

green pepper, diced
radishes, diced
celery, diced
pineapple, tidbits or chunks
frozen corn
frozen peas
cheese, grated
chow mien noodles
carrots, shredded
olives, sliced
Mandarin oranges
cucumber, diced
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can use a whole chicken too)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
4 cups cooked rice

Boil chicken, shred when cooked and return to pan. Add cream of chicken soup and chicken broth to chicken, mix together. Heat over medium heat. When warm, serve over rice. Layer other ingredients on top. Yum!

Easy BBQ Chicken

6 pieces of chicken
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 cup honey

Place chicken in a baking dish. Combine soy sauce, bbq sauce and honey. Pour over chicken. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Aunt Frances' Lemonade

5 lemons
5 limes
5 oranges
3 quarts water
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar

Squeeze the juice from 4 of the lemons, limes, and oranges; pour into a gallon container. Thinly slice remaining fruit and set aside for garnish. Add water and sugar to juices; mix well. Serve over ice and fruit slices. NOTE: I always add the slices directly to the container and let it sit for a while. I think it adds more flavor doing it that way. Enjoy!

Green Chili Enchilada's

1 lb. ground beef
1 jar green chili salsa
1 can green chili enchilada sauce
2 cups grated cheese (or as much as you would like)
flour tortillas

Brown ground beef and 1/2 jar of salsa.
Drain off fat and liquid. Put about
1/4 cup beef and however much cheese
you like on the tortilla. Fold burrito
style and put in a greased 9x13 pan.
Repeat until pan is full. Pour enchilada
sauce over the top. Sprinkle some grated
cheese over the top, cover with foil and bake
at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Beef Stroganoff

2 lbs. ground beef
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 8 oz. container sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
egg noodles

Brown ground beef,salt and pepper meat,
then drain off grease. Boil egg noodles
while meat is cooking. Mix in soup and
sour cream with the meat, cook until warm.
Serve ground beef mixture over noodles. Enjoy!!

Baked Steak

Round steak, tenderized, cut into serving sized pieces
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 T. butter
2 beef boullion cubes
onion, optional, cut into rings.

Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Coat steak
with flour mixture. Melt butter in a pan.
Brown steak pieces. Place steak back into pan after
browning pieces. (I use a cast iron pan) Add enough
water to fill about 1/2 of the pan. Add 2
beef boullion cubes and put onions on top of
the steak. Cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 2-3
hours. Keep checking to make sure that the water
doesn't run out. Add more water if needed. Serve
with mashed potatoes because this yummy meal makes it own gravy.

Sloppy Joe's or Stuffed Green Peppers~Two Meals in One!

2 Lbs. hamburger
1/4 C boiled rice
1 lg. onion, chopped fine
1/2 green pepper, chopped fine
1 pint tomato juice
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1-2 tbs. chili powder (I usually add more rather then less but it is to your taste)
salt and pepper to taste
Brown the hamburger in a large soup pot, drain. In a seperate pan, saute green pepper and onion in oil until onion is clear. Add the rest the ingredients. Boil together until thick, about 1 hour.
***If you like stuffed green peppers you can use this meat recipe for them. Just cut the peppers in half, removing all seeds, and boil for 5 minutes. Pour some tomato juice in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Place green pepper in pan, fill with meat mixture, and cover with foil. Bake for 30-45 minutes. YUMMY!


Chicken Lettuce Wraps

The Ingredients:
--4 chicken breast halves or 10-12 chicken breast tenders
--5 chopped cloves of garlic
--1/2 chopped onion
--1/4 cup soy sauce
--1/4 cup chicken broth
--1/2 t ginger
--2 T balsamic vinegar
The Directions:
--chop up chicken into teeny tiny chunks.
--chop up the onions and garlic, dump into Crockpot on top of the meat
--in a mixing bowl, mix the liquid and spices
--pour sauce on top of meatcover and cook for 4-6 hours on high, 6-8 on low. Stir this a few times to break up the chicken
--serve over lettuce leaves

Boo Cups

In honor of Halloween. Plus, they are just plain cute!


3-1/4 cups cold milk

2 pkg. (3.9 oz. each) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding

1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

20 OREO Cookies, crushed, divided 30 miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips


BEAT milk and pudding mixes with whisk 2 min. Stir in 1/2 each COOL WHIP and cookie crumbs.

SPOON 1 Tbsp. of the remaining crumbs into each of 15 (6-oz.) plastic cups. Cover with layers of pudding mixture and remaining crumbs.

DROP remaining COOL WHIP by spoonfuls onto desserts to resemble ghosts. Add chocolate chips for the eyes.

The Healthier Version:

For a light version of this spooky treat, prepare with fat-free milk, JELL-O Chocolate Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Pudding, COOL WHIP FREE Whipped Topping and SNACKWELL'S Reduced Fat Chocolate Sandwich Cookies - it has 80 fewer calories and 50% less fat per serving.


Instead of dropping spoonfuls of COOLWHIP, use a resealable plastic bag to make the ghosts. Fill bag with remaining COOL WHIP; seal bag. Use scissors to diagonally cut off corner from bottom of bag. Squeeze COOL WHIP from bag to resemble the ghosts.


Toddler Smoothie

I made this for my girls all the time when they were toddlers, they loved it and it is a good way to get in a lot of fruit and a veggie!

6 ounces apple juice
2 large frozen strawberries (or 4 small)
2 frozen peach slices
2 tablespoons frozen blueberries
1/4 cup Gerber rice cereal for baby
2 ounces pears/raspberries baby food (1/2 of a #2 jar)
1 1/4 ounces carrots baby food (1/2 of a #1 jar)

Combine apple juice and frozen fruit in blender; mix on high setting until the frozen fruit is blended. Add rice cereal and baby food; mix on low/stir setting until blended in.
Serve in a sippy cup without a non-spill valve.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

This is the yummy soup I made for Makaela's blessing, 4 years ago! It's a big hit at our house and soup never tastes better than in the fall.
4 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of celery soup
1 (10-ounce) pkg. frozen chopped broccoli
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (we use more)
1. Mix broth and soup in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add broccoli; return to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
2. Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium heat; add onion. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add flour. Cook for 1 minute longer.
3. Gradually stir milk into skillet. Cook, stirring continually, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper; mix well.
4. Stir milk mixture into broccoli mixture. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Top with cheddar.
Serves 6