Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Easy Breaded Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup Italian-style salad dressing
2 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350*. Dredge chicken breasts in salad dressing, then coat completely with bread crumbs. Place coated chicken breasts in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

If you want it crispier -- boost the temp to 400 and shorten the cooking time by 5 or 10 minutes. Or, boost to 425, do for 20 minutes total, and turn halfway through.

Original recipe yield: 4 servings

*** I found this recipe on line and have no idea where. My original copy says "Angela's Easy Breaded Chicken - Allrecipes."

*** My Notes: I like the crispy version. Simple to make and delicious. For even easier clean up place on top of a piece of aluminum foil.

Meatloaf the Stephanie Way

1 pound of ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped and browned
1 tsp garlic powder
1 egg
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (seasoned can be used)
2 TBSP Italian Seasoning Mix
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in large bowl being sure to mix well. I find it easiest to use my hands rather than a spoon. Place in appropriate sized loaf pan. Cook in oven preheated to 350*.

Optional: My husband loves it when I put a layer of cheddar cheese in the middle of the loaf. I've also made "Meat Muffins" so that he can have cheese in his and I can have mine without.

Makes 4-5 adult sized servings.

***My Notes: This is totally my recipe. I don't actually follow a set recipe I'm more of a dump-it-in-until-it-looks-good kind of cook. All that to say if you don't like the flavorings play with it. = ) Also, I like mine more tomato-y than Joel does so I pour ketchup over the top of my serving.

Zesty Baked Salmon

4 to 6 salmon steaks
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 to 8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms, sautéed in 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Arrange salmon steaks in a buttered 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Combine salad dressing mix, lemon juice, and water; pour over salmon. Cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Top salmon with sautéed mushrooms and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Continue baking uncovered for another 10 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6.

***Found at:

*** My Notes: I haven't made this, yet. When I do I will use a salmon fillet placed on top of aluminum foil. Cut the cooked salmon into serving pieces and then carefully lift pieces leaving the skin stuck to the foil. I'm sure it would also be good with boneless chicken breasts.

Fake Lasagna

*** Found in Pampered Chef Celebrate! Cookbook under the title "Party Pasta Bowl" but to me it sounds like a fake, or simple, version of lasagna. Thus the new name.

1 package (16 ounces) uncooked mostaccioli or ziti
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound lean (90%) ground beef
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tsp Italian Seasoning Mix
1 jar (48 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 egg
1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
Additional snipped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 35o*. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, cook and stir onion, beef, and garlic over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Remove from heat; drain. Sprinkle with seasoning mix. Stir in sauce and tomatoes.

In small bowl, lightly beat egg. Add ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, parsley and pepper. Grate Parmesan cheese; set aside 1/4 cup. Stir remaining Parmesan cheese into ricotta mixture.

To assemble casserole, place cooked pasta in casserole dish. Add 6 cups of the meat sauce; mix well. Spread ricotta mixture evenly over pasta. Top with remaining meat sauce. Bake 1 hour. Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Continue baking 10 minutes or until bubbly. Garnish with additional parsley.

Yield: 12 servings.

* Note in cookbook: To prepare this dish ahead of time, assemble casserole 2-3 hours in advance, cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes then bake, uncovered, as recipe directs.

*** My Notes: I have not yet tried this recipe. But when I do I will cut it in half, use whatever pasta I happen to have, use store bought grated Parmesan and dried parsley.

Lemon Pepper Marinade

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
fresh course ground black pepper, to taste
grated zest of one lemon

Mix all the ingredients and use the marinade immediately with meat or fish in your choice of a zip-lock plastic bag or container. Cover or seal and marinate in refrigerator. Use this as a basting sauce as well, but bring to a rolling boil before using after using as a marinade. With or without marinading first, you will find that if you are grilling, this works best for most fish.

Original Recipe Note: if you want to add a sweeter caramelizing effect. Add 1-2 tablespoons of orange blossom (or clover is alright) honey to the marinade recipe.

*** I found this recipe on line and have no idea where. I apologize to the original author.

*** My Notes: I have not used this recipe, yet. When I do I will leave out the rosemary. Also for cooking I will cover a pizza pan with aluminum foil and place a salmon fillet on the foil. Top with marinade and broil. When I serve I will cut the fillet into serving sizes and carefully lift it off the foil leaving the skin stuck on the foil. Also, I think this marinade would work well with boneless chicken breasts.

Honey and Mustard Pork Loin

***Edited 2/26/08 for "My Notes."

2 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
salt and pepper
1 small clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard or country-style
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme, crumbled
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water

Grease slow cooker with a little oil or use a cooking bag to make cleanup easier.

Wash and trim the pork and pat dry; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place pork in the slow cooker. Combine garlic, mustard, honey, brown sugar, vinegar, and thyme; pour over the pork. Turn pork to coat thoroughly. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours, or on HIGH for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours. Remove pork to a plate, cover with foil, and keep warm.

Pour the juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until reduced by about one-third. Combine the cornstarch and cold water; whisk into the reduced juices and cook for 1 minute longer. Serve pork sliced with the thickened juices.

Serves 6.

Found at:

*** My Notes: I didn't care for this recipe. My husband liked it OK but it wasn't stellar. Partly because the slow cooker caused so much water to come out of the tenderloin it basically boiled. What a waste for a tenderloin! Also, even after I reduced the leftover liquid the sauce was very mild. Again, my husband thought that was fine. I wanted a stronger sauce.

I think this recipe would be great if you roast the tenderloin and use the sauce as a baste. Also, leave out the dried thyme. I thought the thyme and mustard were competing flavors rather than complementing.

For Mike: one you requested and one you didn't

*** As printed in Maxine's Magic in the Kitchen, a cookbook my maternal grandma self-published in the early 1980s.

Fried Squirrel

1 or more young squirrels, cut up in pieces
vegetable oil - enough to make 1/2 inch depth in frying pan
flour enough to flour squirrels
salt and pepper to taste
milk to dip squirrel pieces in
1 tsp onion, minced
1 TBSP parsley, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup light cream
1/4 stick of butter
3 extra TBSP flour

Select young squirrels, dip pieces in milk, roll in flour seasoned with salt and pepper and fry in hot vegetable oil until brown and done. Drain pieces on paper towels and set aside. To make gravy, pour off vegetable oil, reserve about 3 TBSP and the browned flour left in the pan after frying squirrel pieces. Add 1/4 stick of butter and remaining ingredients to the skillet. Stir over low flame until hot and slightly thick. Makes one cup of gravy. Serve with a dish of white rice, wild rice or potatoes, green vegetables and a salad.

Hog's Head Cheese

Reserve the head, feet and ears of 1 hog. Remove eyes and brains. Slit head in half. Wash and scrape thoroughly, and remove excess fat. Singe pig feet, wash and scrape. Singe, wash, and clean ears thoroughly with hot water. Cover meat with hot water and boil until meat drops from bones. Remove all bones, and run meat through food chopper. For 5 pounds of meat use the following:

2 cups broth in which meat was boiled
3 tsp salt
3 tsp black pepper
3 cups finely chopped green onions
2 cups finely chopped parsley

Mix thoroughly. Put into pans. Press with weight and refrigerate overnight. Slice, store in glass jars and cover with vinegar.

*** My Notes: For the record I don't believe my Grandma EVER in her life made the Hog's Head Cheese!! I have NO idea why she included it in the cookbook. I know that she did cook squirrel on occasion. = )

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ground Beef Stroganoff

1/2 pound of ground beef
1 can (10.5 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4-1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
pasta (1 handful for each serving. I generally use 5 handfuls and have leftovers.)

Brown ground beef. Drain on a paper towel-lined bowl to remove grease. Wipe grease out of skillet with a paper towel. Meanwhile boil 4-6 servings of your favorite dried pasta (elbow, egg noodles, penne or any medium sized pasta works great).

Pour soup, milk and garlic powder into skillet. Combine well. Cook over medium heat until sauce bubbles. Return ground beef to skillet. Stir well to combine meat and sauce. Just before serving add sour cream to taste (amount depends on how many you are serving and how health conscious you are.) = )

Drain pasta and add to meat sauce. Sprinkle plated servings with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

My Notes: Substitute rice for the pasta. Serve with salad or green beans.

Seafood Chowder

Taken from The Pampered Chef Celebrate! Cookbook.

4-5 medium red potatoes, cut into 1 -inch cubes (about 1 pound)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 cans (6.5 ounces each) minced clams, drained, reserving clam juice
1 TBSP butter or margarine
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half (light cream)
1 pound fresh bay scallops
1 pound frozen, cooked medium shrimp, thawed, rinsed, and tails removed
Snipped fresh parsley

Prep vegetables. Drain clams, reserving clam juice. If juice does not measure 1 cup, add enough water to equal 1 cup.

Melt butter in dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender. Add vegetables, reserved clam juice, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cover. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, place flour in small bowl. Gradually whisk half-and-half into flour until smooth.

Add clams, scallops and shrimp to chowder; gradually whisk in flour mixture. Return to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Cover until ready to serve. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with parsley.

Yield: 12 servings (15 cups).

My Notes: I cut this recipe in half. Also, I usually omit celery (I don't like it) but have also substituted dried celery. This is a great soup for Company. Just add more veggies to stretch the number of servings. = ) I also omit the parsley or use dried parsley. If cost of the seafood is an issue I think you can reduce the amount of the shrimp and scallops without losing too much flavor.

Chicken & Broccoli Braid

Taken from The Pampered Chef Main Dishes Cookbook.

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic glove, pressed
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip)
2 tsp Dill Mix ***
1/4 tsp salt
2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 TBSP slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 375*. Combine chicken through salt.

Unroll 1 package of crescent dough; do not separate. Arrange longest sides of dough across width of rectangle cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining package of dough. Press dough lightly to seal perforations. On longest sides cut dough into strips 1.5 inches apart, 3 inches deep. (There will be 6 inches in the center for the filling.)

Spread filling evenly over middle of dough. To braid, lift strips of dough across mixture to meet in center, twisting each strip one turn. Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Tuck ends up to seal at end of braid.

Brush egg white over dough. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake 25-28 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cut and serve.

Yield: 10 servings.

*** If not using store bought Dill Mix you can make your own using 1 tsp dried dill weed, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp parsley, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder.

My Notes: When it's just my family, I don't bother with the egg wash and almonds. This is a great recipe for Company. The number of servings really depends on how big you cut the pieces. I rarely get 10 pieces from this because I cut generous servings. = )

Monday, January 14, 2008

Balsamic - Marinated Chicken, My Version

You can find the original recipe here.

2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP honey
2 TBSP canola or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
2-4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Pour into large heated skillet. Cook uncovered, stirring often. Cook until chicken is done and sauce has reduced to desired level.

Makes 4-5 generous servings.


* I like to brown my chicken pretty good. Not burn but definitely brown and done. Also, I occasionally add teryaki or soy sauce. I find the sauce already has an Asian flavor to it so these store-bought sauces just add to it.

* Before cooking chicken I like to saute 1 medium onion. I also saute about 1 cup of chopped carrots until they are slightly browned but not completely cooked. Set carrots and onion aside. Use same skillet for chicken.

* When chicken is almost done add carrots, onions & about 1 cup of raw bite-sized broccoli. The amounts of vegetables really depends on how many you are feeding and how much you like each vegetable. I always serve this dish over rice.

Balsamic - Marinated Chicken, Original Version

This is the original recipe as it appears in Southern Living 2005 Annual Recipes, page 219. My version can be found here.

2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP honey
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt, divided
6 (6-8 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp pepper

Combine first 3 ingredients and 1 tsp salt in a zip-top bag or shallow dish, and add chicken. Seal or cover, and chill 2 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Sprinkle evenly with pepper and remaining 1 tsp of salt.

Heat a large ungreased cast-iron skillet or gill skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook chicken, in batches, in hot skillet 3 to 4 minutes on each side o until browned. Place chicken in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until done. Makes 6 servings.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ingredient List: January 2008

*** Find the Monthly Menu: January 2008 here.

Meat: Fresh its/Vegetables
22 Boneless Chicken Breasts
7 lb. Ground Beef
2 lb. Pork Loin
Roast Beef
2 Salmon Fillets
1/2 lb. Scallops
1/2 lb. Shrimp
2 pkg. Sliced Pepperoni 8oz each
1 roll Jimmy Dean Sausage

Dry/Canned Goods
1 can Minced Clams
1 French's French Fried Onions
4+ Cups Seasoned Dry Bread Crumbs
3 cans Pineapple Chunks 20 oz
6 cans Green Beans
Balsamic Vinegar
Italian Salad Dressing
Baking Powder
5 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup 10.5 oz
7.5 cups Rice
1 Spaghetti Sauce
1 Diced Tomatoes
14.5 oz Mayonnaise/ Miracle Whip
5 Tomato Sauce 8 oz
4 Tomato Paste 6 oz
Barbecue Sauce
4 Cornbread Mix
4 TBSP Dijon or Country-style mustard
1 can Pinto Beans
1 Italian Salad Dressing Mix Envelope

Dried Thyme
Curry Powder
6+ Bouillon Cubes
Onion Powder
Dried Parsley
Dried Dill
Ground Cumin
Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
Ground Black Pepper
Italian Seasoning Mix (NOT the dressing envelope)
Ground Mustard

5 lb. Red Potatoes
5 lb. Russet/Eastern Potatoes
10 medium onions
3 Lemons
1 Red Bell Pepper
10 oz. Button/Baby Bella/White Mushrooms
1 bunch Parsley
10 lb. Baby Carrots
Bananas, Apples, Or other fruit to eat "as is"

Monthly Menu Plan: January 2008

*** You'll find the ingredient list here.

Wednesday: Easy Breaded Chicken, Carrot Casserole, Salad
Thursday: Ground Beef Stroganoff, Salad, Green Beans
Friday: Balsamic Chicken, Broccoli, Carrots, Onion, Rice (my version)
Saturday: Pizza, Pineapple Chunks, Salad

Sunday: Chicken Blue, Ham, Pasta, Broccoli, Carrots
Monday: Fake Lasagna, Salad, Cheese Biscuits, Fruit
Tuesday: Seafood Chowder, Cheese Biscuits
Wednesday: Chicken and Dressing, Green Beans
Thursday: Lemon Pepper Salmon, Steamed Broccoli & Carrots, Rice
Friday: Taco Cornbread Stuff, Salsa, Salad, Fruit, Sour Cream
Saturday: Chicken & Broccoli Braid, Fruit

Sunday: Roast, Potatoes, Carrots, Rolls, Gravy
Monday: Honey & Mustard Pork Loin, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes
Tuesday: Chicken Curry, Pineapple, Onion, Carrots, Rice
Wednesday: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Cheese Biscuits
Thursday: Zesty Baked Salmon, Steamed Broccoli, Carrots, Rice
Friday: Chicken Soup, Crackers, Fruit
Saturday: Pizza, Pineapple, Salad

Sunday: Balsamic Chicken, Broccoli, Carrots, Onion, Rice (my version)
Monday: French Toast, Sausage, Syrup
Tuesday: Chicken and Dressing, Green Beans
Wednesday: Hamburger Gravy, Biscuits, Fried Potatoes
Thursday: Chili, Cheddar Cheese, Cornbread, Fruit
Friday: Ground Beef Stroganoff, Salad, Green Beans
Saturday: Barbecue Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Cheddar Biscuits

For more menu ideas head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie here and here.

Stephanie's Mommy the kitchen.

On my other blog, I get a lot of visitors from google because of my Monthly Menu: A Work in Progress post. I'm sure these ladies are looking for menus with shopping lists and recipes, even though none of them ever leave a comment (hint.hint.).

So I've decided to start a separate blog just for my menus and recipes. I considered including them in my regular blog but I don't think that would work as well.

If you find my menus and recipes helpful please let me know by email or comment.


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