Monthly Archives: September 2011

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes


We just love potatoes in this house. Mashed, smashed, roasted, boiled, baked, twiced baked, cold, hot. One of my Star’s favorite lines from The Lord of the Rings is “Po-Ta-Toes, boil ’em mash ’em stick um in a stew.” 🙂

This recipe is so versatile, in which you can add different ingredients and change it up. Sometimes I will add Old Bay seasoning, fresh garlic, or chipotle powder to make it a little spicy. Depending on how I make them, I will top them with different cheeses, such as mozzarella, mexican, or cheddar. You cannot mess this recipe up. Make your own creation, have fun!


1 1/2 pounds potatoes (red or white skin)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh minced rosemary (approximately 2-3 sprigs, you can substitute for dried)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (you can omit this ingredient)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and add to bowl.

Add the fresh rosemary. To remove the rosemary leaves, hold the top of stem with the leaves pointing upwards. With your other hand run your fingers down the stem pushing gently against the rosemary leaves. Gather together and mince.

Next add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.

Toss until well coated. Place on baking sheet and spread out into one layer.

Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until crisp. Flip during cooking to ensure even browning.


Creamy Chicken Artichoke and Mushroom Bake


I had mushrooms and artichokes and created this dish. You might think it is a strange combination, but it is yummy! Nice and creamy with a little tang from the artichokes. It creates a great sauce with plenty left over, in which I am considering making it into a dip or even this would be great to add to cooked pasta or rice. Once I figure out what I am going to use this sauce for, I will post the recipe.


4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 Package of sliced mushrooms
1 Can Campbells cream of mushroom soup
1 Can Artichokes (drained and cut into bite size pieces)
3/4 Cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
3/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Pinch garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and place chicken breasts. Whisk together soup, mayonnaise, chicken stock, Parmesan cheese and garlic. Gently stir in the artichokes and mushrooms.

Pour mixture evenly over the chicken breasts.

Bake for 45 minutes. If you have smaller chicken breasts, adjust your cooking time (probably will only need to bake for 30 minutes).

Chili Dip


This is the dip that is requested of me for every party, baby shower, bridal shower, BBQ, let’s just get together and drink, you name it and this dip must attend. It is so simple and easy and has only three ingredients.


1 Package 8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese
1 Can Hormel chili without beans
1 Bag shredded cheddar cheese
1 Bag of Tostitos Scoops

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread cream cheese in casserole dish.

Add the Hormel Chili on top.

Add shredded cheese and bake for approximately 20 minutes, till the cheese is bubbly.

Serve with Tostitos Scoops!

Potato Salad


I love this potato salad! I love how I added the gherkin pickles and their juice. It gives it a little bit of sweetness to this dish. I have also made this salad with dill pickles, and it is just as delicious. I originally found this recipe from the Food Network site by Tyler Florence. I took his recipe and made a few changes. It has now become the potato salad that I must (or should I say am required) bring to any party.

2 pounds small red potatoes, skin on (or Yukon gold potatoes) cut into bite size pieces
2 large eggs
Pinch of Kosher salt
1/2 bunch sliced scallions, white and green parts
2 cups Hellman’s mayonnaise
1/4 cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet gherkins pickles with 1/4 cup juice, about 3 – 4 pickles
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 bunch dill, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
Freshly ground black pepper

Put the potatoes into a big pot of cold salted water. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile cook the eggs in boiling water for 12 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and let cool. Continue cooking the potatoes until a paring knife poked into them goes in without resistance, about 3 minutes longer. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool.

Stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, pickles and their juice, parsley, scallions, dill and lemon juice in a separate bowl large enough to hold the potatoes. Peel the cool eggs, chop and add them to the mixture. Add the potatoes and toss to coat with the dressing. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

This is best if you refrigerate overnight.

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas


I love using the Crock Pot on days when I know things will be busy after work. It was “back to school” night and I knew I would not have time to make dinner for everyone. I just added all the ingredients set it to low and let it cook all day. When I got home all I had to do was shred the chicken breasts in the pot and warm up some tortillas. Bam! Dinner is done!


2 Pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 Packet of Ortega Fajita Seasoning
1/2 Cup chicken stock (or broth)
2 Teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 Jar of your favorite Salsa

Place chicken breasts, seasoning, chicken stock and salsa in crock pot. I added some sliced jalapeno peppers. You could also add sliced peppers and onions. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.

Once cooked, shred chicken in pot. Place in warm tortillas and top with your favorite toppings i.e., sour cream, cheese. Enjoy!

Ham and Potato Casserole


I had some left over deli ham and I was wondering, “what can I make besides the usual egg dish? I began surfing the web and found a lot of recipes. This is one that is a combination of few in which I customized into my own. I love that there are so many great recipes you can find online and with just a little bit of creativity, you can come up with a recipe that is your own. So, I encourage you to surf the web looking up recipes and then add your own flair to it!

When my 14 year old daughter (Shannon) saw this finished meal, she said to me (with her disgusted look) “no thanks Mom, what else can I have?” Ugh! I remember the days growing up when your mom gave you dinner, you ate it! There were no other options. You either eat or don’t eat. Actually, I remember some times my Dad (God rest his soul) making me sit at the table and I had to have at least three bites or I could not leave the table. I said to Shannon, “just try it, add some hot sauce if you want.” Yes, she is a hot sauce freak! She will put it on pretty much anything. After much debate, I got her to try it with the hot sauce and she said “wow, this is really good.” I made her repeat that three times. 🙂 Hmmm….maybe I can get her to try more things, if I just mention “put hot sauce on it.”

Anyway, this is a great recipe in which you can add any other ingredients; peppers, onions, mushrooms, sausage. Be creative! I hope you enjoy this recipe!


4 Cups diced cooked potatoes
1 3/4 Cups diced ham
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 Cups milk
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 Teaspoon paprika
1/2 Teaspoon onion powder
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & Pepper

Combine potatoes and ham, transfer to a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.

In saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter; blend in flour until smooth and bubbly.

Gradually add milk; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Stir in shredded cheese and paprika.

Season sauce with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.

Pour over ham mixture.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes.

Pumpkin Dump Cake


This recipe was shared with me from my brother Mark. It is one of his favorite desserts and now has become one of ours as well! So simple and absolutely delicious.


1 29 oz. Can pure pumpkin
1 12 oz. Can evaporated milk
3 eggs (room temperature)
1 Cup sugar
1 Teaspoon salt
3 Teaspoons cinnamon

1 Box yellow cake mix
1 Cup chopped pecans (if desired)
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix first six ingredients until well blended and pour batter into a 9 x 13 greased pan.

Sprinkle cake mix (dry, it is best to crumple in hand as doing it, as to avoid clumps) on top and then cover with pecans. We made it this time without the nuts, as our children do not like them. 🙂 Pour melted butter over top.

Bake 50 minutes. If desired, top with whipped cream when serving. Refrigerate when cooled. It is good cold, but we like it best warmed, so feel free to microwave.

Banana Bread


This is a recipe from my Grandmom Wish, dating back to 1930. I have decided to post this for my friend Teresa. She has been wanting to have this recipe for a while, but I have always been hesitant in sharing as I feel like it was a “secret recipe.” 🙂 I then decided, why not share this with everyone because it IS such a great recipe. If you like nuts and raisins, feel free to add some into the batter. We hope you enjoy this as much as we do. We welcome comments, so please let us know.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


1/4 Cup unsalted butter
1 Cup sugar
1 Egg (at room temperature) *Tip – whenever you are baking, it is always best to have your eggs at rooms temperature as they seem to disperse better through the batter
3 Bananas Mashed (best way is with a fork)
1 1/2 Cups flour
1 Teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of Kosher Salt

With a mixer, cream butter and sugar until combined. Add egg and mashed bananas. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients into the wet and mix until completely combined.

Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for approximately 35 – 40 minutes.

Chicken Cordon Bleu


This is Joe’s original creation! This dish is different from the typical chicken cordon bleu recipe that is normally baked in the oven. Joe cooks this on the stove top. It has multiple steps, but is well worth the work.


4-5 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4-5 Slices Virginia Ham (or use your favorite ham)
4-5 Slices of Swiss cheese (sliced thick)
1 1/2 Cup of flour
2 Teaspoons McCormicks Paprika
1 Cup white wine
1 Packet or cube of chicken bullion
1 Pint of heavy cream
2 Teaspoons of corn starch
1/4 stick of butter

Butterfly chicken breasts and roll one slice of swiss and ham together. Place in center of chicken breast and insert one toothpick on each end to hold together. Repeat above for each chicken breast.

On separate plate blend flour and paprika together with a fork. Meanwhile melt butter in large skillet on medium high. Evenly coat the chicken breasts in the flour and paprika mixture. Mix the corn starch and heavy cream until smooth, set aside for later. Place chicken into skillet and brown on all sides. Reduce heat to medium, add wine and bullion. Cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until chicken is done.

Remove chicken and cover to keep warm. In the same skillet, slowly add cream mixture to the remaining wine. Simmer until thick, stirring frequently.

Remove the toothpicks from the chicken. Plate and serve with the cream mixture on top.

Crab Cakes


This recipe comes from Joe’s Mom, which he has tweaked just a bit. In our dining experience, we have found it quite difficult to find a restaurant that serves good crab cakes that are not mostly filler. This recipe is all jumbo lump crab meat. We hope you enjoy these crab cakes as much as we do!


1 lb. Jumbo lump crab meat
1/2 stick of melted butter
1 egg (beaten)
2 Tablespoons Hellman’s Mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper

2 slices of bread
Seasoned Bread Crumbs

Preheat over to 500 degrees.

Remove crust from bread and pinch into tiny pieces.

Mix the wet ingredients with the crab meat and lightly combine. Add the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and bread and gently mix. Make into balls.

Not a great picture, some of these pictures have a yellow tone to them, not sure why, either I take bad shots or I'm thinking I need a new camera....hint, Star

Shape balls of crab mixture into patties about a half inch thick and lightly coat both sides with seasoned bread crumbs.

Place in 9 x 12 glass baking dish and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

“Oven fry” on middle rack in oven for approximately 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

My Star loves to have his crab cakes with french fries and cole slaw