Saturday, February 25, 2012

Summer Fruit Sampler & Dip - Pampered Chef

I'm thinking summer again....just dreaming.... but daylight savings time is just around the corner.  So summer is close behind!  Yeah!!!!  This recipe is from Pampered Chef.  Use any kind of fruit you want and just add the dip.  It's creamy and has just enough sweetness to it to make the fruit taste yummy!

Dip Ingredients:
1 orange
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup light strawberry preserves
1 1/2 cups thawed, frozen light whipped topping

Zest orange with Lemon Zester. Finely chop zest to measure 2 tsps.
Combine sour cream, preserves and orange zest. Fold in whipped topping until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chicken Piccata - Cuisine At Home

I love working with chicken.  It's lower in calories and better for you than beef.  This recipe is easy, easy, easy.  You can save it for that special occasion, or as a week night treat.  Add the vegetable of your choice, a light salad and either rice pilaf or baby reds and you have a wonderful meal.  If you have never flattened chicken for a recipe like this, see my recipe for Chicken Marsala on this blog.  There's a short video showing you exactly how to get those chicken breasts nice and flat.

The Recipe:

Chicken PiccataSource:  Cuisine at Home, complimentary issue
Ingredients:2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half and pounded into cutlets
salt and black pepper
all-purpose flour
nonstick spray
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup dry white cooking wine
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. drained capers
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
fresh lemon slices
chopped fresh parsley

Instructions:1.  Season cutlets with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.  Coat a saute pan with nonstick spray, add oil, and heat over medium-high.
2.  Saute cutlets 2-3 minutes on one side.  Flip cutlets over and saute the other side, covered, 1-2 minutes.  Transfer cutlets to a warmed platter; pour off fat from the pan.
3.  Deglaze pan with wine and add minced garlic.  Cook until garlic is slightly brown and liquid is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.
4.  Add broth, lemon juice, and capers.  Return cutlets to pan and cook on each side for 1 minute.  Transfer cutlets to warm plates.
5.  Finish sauce with butter and lemons.  Once butter melts, pour sauce over cutlets.
6.  Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately.
Makes:  2 servings

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Dream Bars-Family Circle

This recipe is just plain "sinful".... LOL!.... but if you have a sweet tooth, this will curb that craving for a good long time.  I found this in Family Circle magazine (January 2009).  I told you I cut out everything.  I feel sorry for my kids when I go to that big kitchen in the sky.  They will have enough recipes to last a lifetime.The good thing is I'm a pretty organized lady.  All recipes are categorized in file folders in my desk.  Actually they will probably have a great time going through all of them.  Anyways, back to the recipe.  If you love chocolate and peanut butter and nuts and peanut butter cups and caramel sauce this one is for you.  It's pretty rich, so a little goes a long way.  But for that special occasion, this one is a winner.  Enjoy!!!

    • ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 (18 ¼ ounce) boxes brownie mix
    • ¼ cup water
    • 13; cup oil
    • 3 eggs
    • ½ cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
    • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
    • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
    • 3 tablespoons milk
    • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
    • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • whipped cream, chopped peanuts, chocolate-peanut butter candies and caramel sauce, to garnish
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line pan with foil, allowing sides to overhand; spray foil. In small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar. Mix in melted butter. Press crumb mixture into prepared pan. Bake until golden, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Cool in wire rack.
  2. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for cakelike brownies (adding 1/4 c. water, 1/3 c. oil and 3 eggs. Fold in chopped nuts. Pour batter into crust-lined pan. Return to 350 degree oven; bake until brownie is just set and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  3. With electric mixer in medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add peanut butter and confectioners' sugar; beat until just blended (it will look lumpy). Add milk; beat lightly to loosen mixture.  In separate bowl, whip 1 cup of the cream and gently fold into peanut butter mixture. Spread mousse evenly over cooled brownie. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. Heat remaining 1/2 c. cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until just boiling. Remove from heat; add corn syrup and chocolate chips.  Cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Stir until smooth. Pour glaze over chilled mousse and spread to cover completely. Return to refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  5. Run a small knife around inside of pan and lift out brownie. Heat knife under hot running water and trim edges. Slice brownie, rinsing knife after each cut, into 5 strips and 1 1/2 inches wide. Cut each strip into 5 pieces about 1 1/2 inches square. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with whipped cream, nuts, candy and caramel sauce.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Greek Chicken Wings with Cucumber Dipping Sauce-Taste of Home

I love Greek flavors.  They love using olive oil and lots of lemon juice.  Of course it wouldn't be perfect without "garlic"!  These wings are wonderful alone, but with the cucumber dipping sauce makes them FABULOUS!

The Recipe:

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 pounds frozen chicken wingettes, thawed
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled cucumber
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dill weed
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • Dash salt
  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the lemon juice, oil,
  • honey, oregano, garlic and salt. Add chicken wings; seal bag and
  • toss to coat. Refrigerate overnight.
  • In a blender, combine the sauce ingredients; cover and process until
  • smooth. Transfer to a small bowl; cover and refrigerate until
  • serving.
  • Drain and discard marinade. Place wings on a rack in a greased 15-in.
  • x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 35-40
Click here to find out more!© Taste of Home 2011 Tasteofhome Logo

Paper-bag Flowers - Martha Stewart

What a neat idea for a summer party... the flowers are made out of paper bags!  I found this in an old issue of Martha Stewart Living... follow the link for instructions on how to make these festive party favors!

Dipped Strawberries-Taste of Home

I must be thinking about summer today...I love fresh strawberries and when they're dipped.... OMG.... a great little idea for a baby or wedding shower.  There's nothing better than chocolate and strawberries... my mouth is watering right now.

The Recipe:
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries with stems
  • 1-2/3 cups vanilla or white chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening, divided
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • Wash strawberries and gently pat until completely dry. In a
  • microwave, melt vanilla chips and 1 tablespoon shortening at 70%
  • power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second
  • intervals, stirring until smooth.

  • Dip each strawberry until two-thirds of the berry is coated, allowing
  • the excess to drip off. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet;
  • refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.

  • Melt chocolate chips and remaining shortening; stir until smooth. Dip
  • each strawberry until one-third is coated, allowing the excess to
  • drip off. Return to baking sheet; refrigerate for 30 minutes or
  • until set. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.

Crostata with Raspberries - Giada De Laurentiis

Another great recipe from Giada De Laurentiis...I first tried this recipe a few years ago.  Another quick one.  I love quick recipes! A light crust with my favorite preserves, "raspberry"! Try it this summer with your own home-made raspberry preserves.  A great compliment to breakfast or even a wonderful dessert....

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • Flour for dusting, as needed
  • 1 jar (3/4 cup) raspberry preserves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting, optional


Mix the flour, sugar, and lemon peel, in a food processor. Add the butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add salt. Pulse in the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until moist clumps form. Gather the dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to an 11-inch round. Transfer the dough onto a heavy baking sheet that has been lined with a silpate or parchment paper. Stir the lemon juice into the preserve and spread the preserves on top of dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the dough border over the filling to form an 8-inch round, pleating loosely and pinching to seal any cracks in the dough.
Bake the crostata until the crust is golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool. Sprinkle with the almonds and dust with the powdered sugar, if you wish. Slide a metal spatula under the crust to free the crostata from the baking sheet and serve.

Angel Biscuits...another Betty Crocker great!

Hi everyone...busy week and not able to post any new recipes or crafty things.  I hope you enjoy this recipe.  It is easy and tastes wonderful....These wonderful biscuits are from our dear friends at Betty Crocker.  They are light and creamy and with a little jam or butter they are a great compliment to any meal.

The Recipe:
1 package quick active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)
1 T. sugar
2 cups Bisquick Original baking mix
1/4 cup half-and-half

  1. Disolve yeast in warm water in medium bowl. Stir in sugar. Stir in baking mix and half-and-half until dough forms.
  2. Turn dough onto surface generously dusted with baking mix; gently roll in baking mix to coat. Shap into ball; knead 10 times. Roll 1/2 inch thick. Cut with 2-inch cutter dipped in baking mix. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes or until soft and puffed.
  3. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.  12 biscuits.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

7 Layer Dip....the best!

Breakstone Ultimate 7-Layer Dip
I guess tonight I'm into salsas, and dips....I think I'm craving veggies and fruits...this dip is an old time favorite.  It works great for home get-togethers, BBQ's and just about any event where you need a quick dip.  I haven't met anyone who can turn this one down!

The recipe...
  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup BREAKSTONE'S Sour Cream
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup KRAFT Mexican Style Shredded Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sliced pitted ripe olives
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • Crackers, tortilla chips or anything else you want to dunk
  • Mix beans and taco seasoning mix. Spread onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate or quiche dish.
  • Layer all remaining ingredients except chips over bean mixture; cover. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled.
  Dip can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator up to 2 days.


Orange and Tomato Salsa....another great salsa

Orange and Tomato Salsa....
What a fresh idea.  A little tart, a little heat and everyone's favorite cilantro.  How could you go wrong.  Use as a compliment to chicken or fish or a dip for tortilla chips.... yummmy!

The recipe...
  • ½ cup Sunkist® fresh orange segments, diced
  • 1 cup Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. red onions, small diced
  • 1 tsp. jalapeño, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro leaves, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Combine Sunkist fresh diced orange segments, tomatoes, red onions, jalapeño, cilantro and salt.
  • Toss gently to mix thoroughly.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Strawberry Salsa....yummmy!!!

Strawberry Salsa.....what a yummy idea.  Our friends at Taste of Home shared this recipe in their July/August 2008 issue.  Can be used on fish, chicken and tortilla chips.

The recipe...
  • 2-1/2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup prepared Catalina salad dressing
  • Dash hot pepper sauce
  • Pepper to taste
  • Tortilla chips

In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, green pepper, onions and parsley. Stir in the salad dressing, hot pepper sauce and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips. Yield: 3 cups.

Love this quilt and bed pillows

I'm always clipping, tearing, cutting articles and pictures of things that interest me.  I absolutely love this quilt and the bed pillows.  The stripes and the solids against the backdrop of white and yellow make it so pretty. The picture is from Country Sampler (May 2010).  All Country Sampler back issues are available on their website. 

Summery Purse...

What a cute purse for summer...just think summer is right around the corner.  We have had a beautiful winter this year in the northland.  Very litte snow and great temperatures.  This bag cold be whipped up in no time for that summer wedding or just for the fun of making it.  Bright colors and patterns would make this a special addition to your purse collection.

You can find the pattern at:

Heart Warming Back Porch Press

This is an oldy, but goodie....for those quilters in the group, this is a very cute in-between jacket.  I made mine using different patterns of black and white.  It turned out very cute and have worn it forever.  Simple instructions for this one!  Back Porch Press has other very cute quilting patterns.
I believe this one is out of print, but you can still purchase it through the following websites...

Bluejean Patchwork Bag by Indygo cute!

Yet another design by Indygo Junction....great ideas!  You can find the pattern at:

Purse Pattern - Color Me Crazy

A cute purse idea from Indygo Junction...I purchased this pattern when it was called The Sangria (IJ772) it has since been changed to Color Me Crazy (IJ777).  A fun purse with lots of color...
The pattern can be purchased at

Snowman, Scarecrow, Pumpkin, and Santa Craft

It's a little soon to be thinking about next autumn, Halloween, Christmas or next winter.  But it's never too early to start thinking about what gifts you will need to make for the fall and winter holiday season.  This is McCalls pattern M4942.  The pattern can be purchased through McCalls Patterns at the link below... have fun creating these adorable holiday crafts...

Line Art & Yardage Information
Line Art

HOLIDAY DECORATIONS: Package includes patterns and instructions for pumpkin A, scarecrow B, santa C and snowman D; all views are approximately 11" W x 14" H and have contrast sections.
NOTIONS: Thread; Pumpkin A - One Skein of Embroidery Floss, Glue Gun, Raffia, Doll Beads and Polyester Fiberfill; Scarecrow B -Two 3/8" Buttons for Eyes, One Skein of Embroidery Floss, One Silk Leaf and Flower, Glue Gun, Raffia, Doll Beads, Powder Blush and Polyester Fiberfill; Santa C - One 11/4" Button To Cover, Two 3/8" Buttons for Eyes, 1/2 Yd. of Twine, One 11/4" Jingle Bell, Glue Gun, Holly Spray, Raffia, Doll Beads, Powder Blush and Polyester Fiberfill; Snowman D - Two 1/2" Buttons for Eyes, Embroidery Floss for Mouth and Nose, Glue Gun, Holly Spray, Bird, Pipe, Glitter, Doll Beads, Powder Blush and Polyester Fiberfill.
SUGGESTED FABRICS: Views A, B, C, Contrast 4D - Cotton and Cotton Blends • Calico • Novelty Print; Contrast 1B - Burlap; View D, Contrast 1, 3 D - Felt; Contrast 2D - Flannel. Additional Fabric may be needed to match stripes, plaids or one-way design fabric. *With Nap **Without Nap ***With or Without Nap

Fabric widths given in inches.
Pumpkin A
45" ***, 3/8 Yd.
Contrast 1A (Leaf)
Fabric Remnant, 14" x 81/2"
Contrast 2A (Eyes and Mouth)
Fabric Remnant, 7" x 5"
Contrast 3A (Stem)
Fabric Remnant, 7" x 31/2"
Paper-backed Fusible Webbing A
Remnant, 7" x 5"
Fusible Fleece A
Remnant, 7" x 81/2"
Scarecrow B
45" ***, 3/8 Yd.
Contrast 1B (Hat)
Fabric Remnant, 12" x 15"
Contrast 2B (Scarf)
45" ***, 1/4 Yd.
Contrast 3B (Nose)
Fabric Remnant, 41/2" x 21/2"
Paper-backed Fusible Webbing B
Remnant, 41/2" x 21/2"
Santa C
45" ***, 3/8 Yd.
Contrast 1 C (Hat and Tongue)
45" ***, 5/8 Yd.
Contrast 2C (Hat Band)
Fabric Remnant, 191/2" x 41/2"
Contrast 3C (Face and Nose)
Fabric Remnant, 7" x 6"
Contrast 4C (Moustache)
Fabric Remnant, 121/2" x 6"
Paper-backed Fusible Webbing C
Remnant, 7" x 6"
Fusible Fleece C
Remnant, 171/2" x 13/8"
Snowman D
54" ***, 1/4 Yd.
Contrast 1D (Hat)
Felt Remnant, 19" x 12"
Contrast 2D (Scarf)
45" ***, 1/4 Yd.
Contrast 3D (Nose)
Felt Remnant, 31/2" x 12"
Contrast 4D (Band)
Fabric Remnant, 21/2" x 12"

Fabric widths given in centimeters.
Pumpkin A
115cm***, 0.35m
Contrast 1A (Leaf)
Fabric Remnant, 35cm x 21.8cm
Contrast 2A (Eyes and Mouth)
Fabric Remnant, 18cm x 12.5cm
Contrast 3A (Stem)
Fabric Remnant, 18cm x 8.8cm
Paper-backed Fusible Webbing A
Remnant, 18cm x 12.5cm
Fusible Fleece A
Remnant, 18cm x 21.8cm
Scarecrow B
115cm***, 0.35m
Contrast 1B (Hat)
Fabric Remnant, 30.5cm x 38cm
Contrast 2B (Scarf)
115cm***, 0.25m
Contrast 3B (Nose)
Fabric Remnant, 11.3cm x 6.3cm
Paper-backed Fusible Webbing B
Remnant, 11.3cm x 6.3cm
Santa C
115cm***, 0.35m
Contrast 1C (Hat and Tongue)
115cm***, 0.60m
Contrast 2C (Hat Band)
Fabric Remnant, 49.5cm x 11.3cm
Contrast 3C (Face and Nose)
Fabric Remnant, 18cm x 15cm
Contrast 4C (Moustache)
Fabric Remnant, 32cm x 15cm
Paper-backed Fusible Webbing C
Remnant, 18cm x 15cm
Fusible Fleece C
Remnant, 44.5cm x 3.5cm
Snowman D
140cm***, 0.25m
Contrast 1D (Hat)
Felt Remnant, 48cm x 30.5cm
Contrast 2D (Scarf)
115cm***, 0.25m
Contrast 3D (Nose)
Felt Remnant, 8.8cm x 30.5cm
Contrast 4D (Band)
Fabric Remnant, 6.3cm x 30.5cm

Sweatshirt Makeovers (Sewing with Nancy)

For those gals that love to work with sweatshirts....this is a must have.  When my Mom was still alive, I would visit her in Duluth every other weekend.  When I arrived, Sewing With Nancy was on her TV.  Nancy has many techniques for the begnner and seasoned seamstress.  I purchased this booklet from Sewing with Nancy after watching the sweatshirt makeover episode.  This publication can be purchased through Nancy's website.  It also might still be available at a fabric store near you.
Also, I have included Nancy's episode on the sweatshirt makeovers.... I hope you find new and interesting ways of making over those always available sweatshirts.

Kitty Sewing Machine Cover....

Over the years I have collected thousands of patterns that I think are cute.  Because I love to sew, my sewing machine is always out.  I found that if I put it away, I wouldn't sew anything because it was always a hassel to pull everything out over and over again. So now my sewing machine is a permanent fixture in my laundry room.  When I get the urge, I remove the sewing machine cover and I'm ready to go.  I thought this cover was a cute addition.  The pattern can still be purchased through McCalls patterns at the link below.

My Favorite Kitchen

I love this kitchen... when I saw it in "Taste of Home" magazine, I cut it out.  This was a holiday magazine, so there's a lot of holiday decorations.  I don't need a kitchen quite this large, but the layout is wonderful.  I love the color of the walls and the wood floor makes everything pop!

 For more information on the design, you can check out this link...

Chicken Marsala...easy & wonderful!

This recipe originated on an old HGTV show called "All in Good Taste"...this show aired in the '90's.  It was a great resource for some wonderful recipes.  I tried this one right after I watched it.  It is wonderful.  It is easy and everyone raved about the flavor.  This recipe turns you from a cook into a "Chef"!  Serve with garlic smashed potatoes, asparagus, and a light salad.  What a wonderful dinner...
The recipe...
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup Marsala cooking wine
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom Topping:
12 ounces fresh mushrooms
(white button and crimini work well)
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup Marsala cooking wine
Salt & pepper to taste
Parsley garnish

  1. Flatten chicken breasts between two sheets of waxed paper.  (I used a plastic bag, see video below)
  2. Dredge the chicken breasts in flour. Shake off the excess flour.
  3. Dissolve tomato paste in the Marsala wine.
  4. Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet and saute onion in the skillet.
  5. Add the floured chicken breasts to the skillet, and brown on both sides.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and pour the Marsala-and tomato-paste mixture over the chicen breasts.
  7. Cook until the sauce thickens.
  8. Remove the chicken breasts to a platter.
  9. To prepare the mushroom topping, thinly slice white button and crimini mushrooms
  10. Add butter, olive oil, and garlic clove to the pan.
  11. Add the mushrooms and saute for a few minutes.
  12. Pour in 1/4 cup Marsala wine. Salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Allow the mushrooms to absorb all the liquid. Spoon the mushroom topping over the chicken breasts, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve.
When making Chicken Marsala, you need to flatten the chicken breasts.  Here's a short video showing how to do it... This method is also used for Chicken Piccata and Turkey Piccata...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Oriental Napa Salad-"The Best"

Like everyone else, we share a lot of recipes at work.  One of my fellow employees brought this wonderful salad for an office party.... needless to say everyone wanted the recipe.  I add chicken to this salad and turn it into the main course.  Add some warm buns and you've got a great supper!

The Recipe...
1 Napa cabbage, shredded
3 T. butter
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup oil
3 T. soy sauce
5 green onions, sliced fine
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 packages ramen noodles, crushed
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
2 chicken breasts (cooked and cooled)
1 small can mandarin oranges
Carrot slivers (optional)

Saute almonds and ramen noodles in butter until they start to brown. Add sesame seeds. Stir constantly until brown and crisp.  Set aside.  Mix cabbage and onions in serving bowl; in separate container mix oil, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar.  Shake well.  Refrigerate until 20 minutes before serving time.  Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and chicken to marinade.  Add noodle mixture and toss just before serving.  Sprinkle with mandarin oranges and carrot slivers. (optional)