March 28, 2010

Mexican-Style Casserole

Preparation time: 30 minutes including cooking the rice. Serves 8

2 pounds of ground chuck
1 onion, chopped
One 30-32 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon of chili powder
2 packages of taco seasoning
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
One 14 ounce can of whole kernel corn including the liquid
4 cups cooked rice
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices of bacon, partially cooked

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
Heat a large skillet or soup pot over medium heat and add the meat and chopped onion
Cook over medium - high heat, stirring until very little pink remains in the meat
Add tomato sauce, corn with the liquid, chili powder, taco seasoning, white pepper and garlic powder and heat until the mixture begins to simmer
Stir in the cooked rice and then pour the contents into a 9 X 13 inch baking pan
Cover the casserole with the cheese and lay the bacon strips over all
Cover the casserole for the first 15 minutes of baking time and then uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until the cheese is melted and the ingredients are thoroughly heated

Italian Sausage Lasagna With Spinach

A Favorite Lasagna Recipe From Restaurant
Preparation time: 45 minutes for cooking the sauce and pasta. Baking time is 65 minutes with a standing time of 10 minutes. Serves 8.

Ingredients for Italian Sausage Lasagna:
1 pound of Italian bulk sausage (or substitute Polish sausage, breakfast pork sausage or ground chuck)
Lasagna sauce (recipe below)
One 15-16 ounce container of ricotta cheese
One 10 ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed and the moisture squeezed out (take it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator the night before)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (use your Microplane grater)
3 eggs
8 ounces of lasagna noodles,cooked and draine 2 cups of shredded Mozzarella cheese

Ingredients for Lasagna Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup minced celery
1/3 cup minced onions
2 minced garlic cloves
1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (10-14 ounce) can of tomato soup
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or a pinch more)
1 Bay leaf

Instructions for Italian Sausage Lasagna and Sauce:
In a heavy saute pan, brown the meat over medium heat
While the meat is browning, heat 5 quarts of water in an 8 quart pot with 1-2 tablespoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil Remove the meat from the pan and drain
When the water is boiling, add the lasagna noodles one at a time and cook according to package directions
Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in the same pan as the meat was cooked in, add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic
Saute until the vegetables are soft
Add the remaining ingredients and heat to boiling over medium heat
Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally Remove and discard Bay leaf
Before adding the meat to the sauce, spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch lasagna pan (baking pan)
Combine the meat with the remaining sauce

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, Parmesan cheese and eggs until well blended
In the lasagna pan, layer half of the noodles, half of the meat mixture and half of the spinach mixture over the thin layer of sauce, then repeat the process
Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours if desired
Bake the lasagna, uncovered, in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for 50-55 minutes or until heated through
Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese and bake 5-7 minutes longer or until the cheese melts
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving

Serve the Lasagna with a side dish of freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the perfect added touch.

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

1 to 1-1/2 pounds chicken pieces
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup lemon-line soda (diet is fine)
2-3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon pepper (regular black or cayenne)


Place chicken in slow cooker. Mix all remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Serve over rice or noodles.

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice

From Pillsbury Slow Cooker Recipes

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Makes about 8 servings.

1 20-oz can pineapple chunks in unsweetened juice
1 cup fresh baby carrots, cut in half
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (Kikkoman's is my favorite!)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/3 cups uncooked regular long-grain white rice
2 2/3 cups water
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cornstarch


1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Place pineapple chunks in small bowl; cover and refrigerate.

2. In 4 1/2 to 6 quart slow cooker, combine carrots, onion, garlic, and ginger root; mix well. Top with chicken. In small bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, and reserved pineapple juice; mix well. Pour over chicken.

3. Cover; cook on low setting for 7 to 9 hours.

4. About 35 minutes before serving, cook rice in 2 2/3 cups water as directed on package. Stir pineapple and bell peppers into chicken mixture. Increase heat setting to high; cover and cook 20 minutes.

5. In small bowl, blend 1/4 cup water and cornstarch until smooth. Stir into chicken mixture. Cover; cook on high setting for an additional 10 minutes. Serve chicken mixture with rice.

Serve with: If you're taking this dish to a potluck or if you just want more crunch to it, add chow mein noodles instead of rice.

Slow Cooker Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh sage
2 springs fresh Italian parsley
40 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 lb whole chicken
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 loaf French bread,sliced


1. Place 1 sprig thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley in chicken cavity. Place celery in stoneware. Put chicken on top of celery. Add garlic around chicken. Chop remaining herbs sprinkle herbs, salt and pepper over chicken.

2. Cover cook on Low 8 - 10 hours or on High 4 - 6 hours. To serve, place chicken, garlic and celery on serving platter. Squeeze roasted garlic out of skins onto toasted French bread slices and spread with knife

Blackened Shrimp Alfredo

4 servings

8–10 fresh basil leaves (rinsed)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons blackening seasoning
1 pound peeled/deveined shrimp (thawed, if needed)
1 large zip-top bag
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces fettuccine pasta
8 ounces steak-topper vegetables (fresh presliced
mushrooms, onions, bell peppers)
1/3 cup cream sherry
1 (15 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan/Romano cheese

Fill large saucepan half full of water. Cover and bring to a boil on high for pasta. Chop basil finely (2 tablespoons); set aside.

Heat large saute pan on high 1–2 minutes. Place Italian seasoning, blackening seasoning, and shrimp in zip-top bag; seal tightly and shake to coat.
3. Place oil in saute pan; swirl to coat. Arrange shrimp flat in pan in a single layer (wash hands); cook 2 minutes without turning, to sear shrimp on one side.

Stir pasta into boiling water. Boil 7–8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender.

Add vegetables to saute pan. Rotate shrimp to top; cover and cook 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.

Stir in remaining ingredients (including basil); cook 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is smooth.

Drain pasta; return to saucepan. Add shrimp mixture to pasta, toss to coat, and cook 1–2 more minutes, stirring often, or until flavors are blended and sauce is thoroughly heated. Serve.

Chicken Enchiladas with a twist

* 2 Chicken breast halves shredded
* 1 can Cream of mushroom soup , cream of chicken or celery can be used
* 1 cup Pace Salsa mild
* 3 cups Cheese shredded
* 1/2 cup Enchilada sauce mild
* 8 Flour tortillas
* 2 tablespoons Salt


Cover chicken with water, add salt and boil until cooked. Shred once cooled. Save broth. Prepare cream of mushroom as indicated using broth. Add the salsa and chicken and stir. Remove from heat and add 1 cups of cheese. Taste for salt, but you probably won't need any. Fill the tortillas with about 2 spoons of the chicken mixture and roll. Place in pan. Top with enchilada sauce and remaining cheese. Bake at 350 until cheese is melted. Enjoy!!Servings: 8 enchiladas
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Turkey and Egg Brunch Bake

Serve 12 a special morning entree with ease. Featuring a colorful, fresh tomato topping, this casserole is made the night before.

Prep Time: 40 Min
Total Time: 10 Hr
Makes: 12 servings

Egg Bake
1 1/4 lb bulk Italian-seasoned lean ground turkey
5 cups frozen country-style shredded hash-brown potatoes (from 30-oz bag)
1/2 cup sliced green onions (8 medium)
2 jars (4.5 oz each) Green Giant® sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can (2 1/4 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
3 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (12 oz)
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups fat-free (skim) milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic, minced
6 medium Italian plum tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves

1.Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish and 10-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray. In skillet, cook ground turkey over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until no longer pink. Remove turkey from skillet; drain on paper towels.
2.In large bowl, mix potatoes, onions, mushrooms, olives, 1 tablespoon basil and 2 cups of the cheese. Stir in turkey; spoon evenly into baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
3.In large bowl, beat eggs. Stir in milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt; pour over potato mixture in baking dish. Cut sheet of foil large enough to cover baking dish; spray with cooking spray. Cover baking dish with foil, sprayed side down. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
4.When ready to bake, heat oven to 350°F. Bake covered 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until center is set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
5.Meanwhile, spray 8-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add garlic; cook and stir over medium heat 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are tender. Stir in 2 tablespoons basil.
6.To serve, cut egg bake into squares; serve with warm topping.

Wild Rice and Turkey Casserole

Nutty wild rice gives interesting depth to this simple casserole of cooked turkey, summer peppers, and shredded cheese.

Prep Time: 15 Min
Total Time: 1 Hr 15 Min
Makes: 6 servings

1 cup cooked white rice
1 cup cooked wild rice
2 cups diced (1/4 to 1/2 inch) cooked turkey breast
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, if desired

1.Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12x8- or 11x7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In baking dish, mix white rice and wild rice; spread evenly over bottom.
2.In large bowl, mix turkey, cheese, milk, bell peppers, eggs, salt and pepper. Spoon over rice.
3.Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and top is lightly browned. Sprinkle with parsley. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
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Classic Turkey Pot Pie

Prep Time:25 Min
Total Time:1 Hr 5 Min

Makes:6 servings

1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked turkey
2 cups Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

1.Heat oven to 425°F. Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie, using 9-inch glass pie plate.
2.In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until well blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened.
3.Stir in turkey and mixed vegetables. Remove from heat. Spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust.
4.Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. During last 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover edge of crust with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
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Roasted Chicken with Wild Rice Soup

Yield: 8 servings for serving size of 1 1/2 cups.

1 (6-ounce) box long--grain and wild rice mix (such as uncle Ben's)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (8 ounce) package mushrooms, halved
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups water
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 (15.75-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (12-ounce) can fat-free evaporated milk
3 cups shredded roasted skinless chicken

Prepare rice according to package directions; set aside. Heat oven
in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and
next 4 ingredients (onion through mushrooms), and saute for 6
minutes or till onion is tender. Lightly spoon the flour into a
dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Stir the flour, tarragon,
and thyme into the onion mixture, and cook for 1 minute, stirring
frequently. Add 2 cups water, sherry, broth, and evaporated milk;
bring mixture to a boil. reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes or
till slightly thick. Stir in cooked rice and chicken; cook for 10
minutes or till thoroughly heated.

Pumpkin Casserole

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 1 hour
Serves: 6

1 (5-6 pound) pumpkin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion, minced
1 green pepper, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup margarine
1 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup beef broth or bouillon
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove lid of pumpkin and retain. Scoop out seeds and stringy portion. Score inside several times and rub interior with salt and pepper. Place pumpkin upside down in a large shallow pan with 1/4-inch water. Place lid of pumpkin in pan beside pumpkin.

Bake for 1 hour, or until tender. Drain.
In a large skillet, saute onion, green pepper, and garlic in margarine.
Add ground beef and seasonings and simmer until meat is lightly browned.
Cook with tomatoes, broth, and wine until liquid is reduced considerably.
Stir in cooked rice and mix thoroughly.
Stuff pumpkin with this mixture.
Top with grated cheese and return to the oven until cheese is melted.

Replace pumpkin lid until serving time. Serve from the pumpkin. The pumpkin pulp may be scooped out and served also.

Chocolate Covered Grasshopper Legs Recipe

6 oz. pkg. chocolate chip morsels
6 oz. pkg. Chinese noodles
1/4 c. peanut butter, creamy

Melt together chips and peanut butter. Stir in noodles to completely coated. Drop by teaspoonful onto waxed paper. Allow to dry. Makes about 2 dozen.


1 c. soft butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. sifted flour
1 c. chopped nuts
1 c. powdered sugar
1 pkg. Hershey Kisses

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light. Add flour and nuts. Blend well and chill. Shape dough around kisses using 1 tablespoon of dough for each kiss. Roll by hand to make a round ball. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet until set, but not brown. Cool. While warm, roll cookies in powdered sugar.


1/4 c. margarine
1 pkg. (10 oz.) or 40 regular
6 c. Rice Krispies
25 Hershey chocolate kisses
1 sm. container Kraft caramel topping

Put marshmallows and margarine in large microwavable mixing bowl. Heat on high power 2 minutes. Stir to combine. Heat on high power 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer, stir until smooth. Add cereal and stir until well coated. Divide into 2 equal amounts. Using waxed paper, press 1 portion into the bottom of a buttered 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Place the unwrapped kisses in a microwavable container and heat on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Stir. Be careful not to burn chocolate. Spread thin layer over Rice Krispies. Add thin layer of caramel over chocolate. Flatten and press remaining amount of Rice Krispies over top of chocolate and caramel. Cool then serve.


1 stick margarine
1 lb. jar peanut butter
1 lb. box powdered sugar
4 c. Rice Krispies
1 sm. Hershey bar
12 oz. chocolate chips
1/2 bar paraffin wax

Mix and roll in small balls margarine, peanut butter, powdered sugar and Rice Krispies. (It's very stiff.) Let chill overnight. Now melt in double boiler: Hershey bar, chocolate chips and paraffin wax. Keep over hot water while dipping. Dip balls into hot chocolate mix and place on wax paper. (They freeze well.)


1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 egg
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
48 milk chocolate Hershey kisses

In large mixer bowl combine all ingredients except Hershey kisses. Blend well at low speed. Shape into balls using rounded teaspoon for each. Roll balls in additional sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and top each immediately with a candy kiss, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around edge. Makes 48 cookies.


1 1/3 c. sifted cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c . sugar
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sweetened applesauce
1 egg
1/2 tsp. chopped raisins
1/2 c. chopped nuts

Sift flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and spices into a large bowl. Add shortening and applesauce. Mix to dampen flour, then beat 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and beat one minute with electric mixer. Pour into a greased 8-inch square pan lined with wax paper. Bake. Let stand about 10 minutes. When done, then remove from pan and cool.


2 tbsp. butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf, crumbled
2 c. catchup
16 oz. bottle Coca-Cola
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. prepared mustard
2 tsp. vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, do not brown. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.


1 sirloin tip roast or boneless chuck roast
1 can Coca Cola
1 med.onion, chopped
15 oz.can whole potatoes
1 bag carrots
4 oz. can chopped mushrooms

Wash meat and place in crock pot; add onion and Coke and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on high for 6-8 hours. In last hour, add potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms and let entire meal cook at least another hour. Meat should fall apart. If you want to cook it on low, it will take around 12 hours. For leftovers, add tomatoes, corn, celery, beans; whatever. Add a gravy mix and you have a good stew or soup.


1/2 lb. bacon, diced
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. molasses
4 (16 oz.) cans pork & beans
1 med. onion, chopped
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tbsp. vinegar

In medium skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Drain. In crock pot, combine bacon and remaining ingredients. Stir until well mixed. Cover crock pot and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours.


6 thick pork chops
2 medium acorn squash
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet or browning sauce
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange peel, grated

Trim excess fat from pork chops. Cut each squash into 4 or 5 cross-ways slices; remove seeds. Arrange 3 chops on bottom of crockpot. Place all squash slices on top; then another layer of three remaining chops. Combine salt, butter, sugar, bouquet sauce, orange juice and orange peel. Spoon over chops. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or until done. Serve one or two slices of squash with each pork chop
Serving Size : 6


1 whole chicken, cooked, skinned, deboned
and cut into bite size pieces
1 can cream of celery soup
1 c. sour cream
3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. green chiles, chopped
1/3 c. jalapenos, chopped
Dash of nutmeg
6 to 8 thick flour tortillas
1 (10 oz.) can green Chile sauce
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Dash of chili powder

Mix together soup, sour cream, cream cheese, dash of nutmeg, dash of chili powder, green chiles and jalapenos. Add chicken and toss.

Spread filling on tortillas and roll up. Place in lightly greased rectangular baking dish, side by side. Cover with green Chile sauce and top with shredded cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Old Fashioned Baked Beans

1 small package navy beans
4 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 scant tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. powdered mustard
1/2 c. molasses
1 (2 to 3 oz.) piece salt pork
1 med. peeled whole onion

Soak beans overnight. In a.m. drain and replace water. Parboil 10 to 15 minutes (not longer). Place onion in crock pot. Drain beans and put on top of onion. Add flavors dissolved in 1 1/2 cups of hot water. Add enough hot water to just cover top of beans. Place salt pork on top. Cover and set crock pot on high. Bring volume of water up about every 3 hours. Cook 6-7 hours.


1 (2 3/4 lb.) med. spaghetti squash, cooked in microwave oven about 12 minutes or baked, then cooled for handling
3 tbsp. flour
1 med. clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (15 oz.) carton low fat Ricotta cheese, drained
1 c. packed spinach leaves
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. Italian style red pasta sauce
6 oz. sliced Mozzarella cheese

Split squash lengthwise. Remove seeds and stringy portion. Use fork to comb squash flesh, pulling it off in long strands. Place in large mixing bowl. Toss with flour, garlic and salt until well combined.

Blend Ricotta, spinach and Parmesan cheese in food processor or blender until smooth.

To assemble, spread 1/2 cup sauce on bottom of shallow 6-cup baking dish. Top with spaghetti squash, arranging evenly and compactly. Spread Ricotta mixture evenly over squash. Spread remaining sauce over Ricotta. Cover with sliced Mozzarella. Place on baking sheet to catch any juices during baking.

Bake on center rack of 350 degree oven, uncovered, until cheese is lightly browned on edges and juices bubble, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cut into squares and serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

Creamy Coconut Lime Pie

recipe is ready in 30-60 minutes Ready in: 30-60 minutes
Serves/Makes: 12

1/2 package (15 ounce size) refrigerated pie crust
1 container (12 ounce size) light frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 container (8 ounce size) reduced-fat sour cream
2 limes
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted, divided
1 package (3.4 ounce size) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
12 maraschino cherries with stems (optional)


Preheat oven to 425ºF. Let pie crust stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Gently unfold crust onto lightly floured surface. Roll to an 11 1/2-inch circle using lightly floured baker's roller. Place crust in deep dish pie plate, pressing dough into bottom and up sides. Prick bottom and sides using pastry tool. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.

Attach open star tip to a decorator; will with 1 cup of the whipped topping. Set aside for garnish. In bowl, whisk remaining whipped topping and sour cream until blended.

Using a lemon zester, zest one lime; juice using juicer. Add zest and juice to sour cream mixture; whisk until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of the coconut and pudding mix; whisk until well blended. (Mixture will be very thick.) Immediately spoon filling into crust; spreading evenly.

Sprinkle top of pie with remaining coconut. Pipe rosettes of reserved whipped topping around edge with decorator. Slice remaining lime; cut slices in half and place between each rosette. Top each rosette with a cherry, if desired. For easier slicing and a cooler serving temperature, refrigerate 30 minutes. Serve.

Spicy Beef Curry Stew for the Slow Cooker

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Hours 10 Minutes
Ready In: 8 Hours 25 Minutes
Yields: 8 servings

"This hearty, spicy beef stew is only for those that can handle the heat. I prefer to make it in the slow cooker, but it can be made stove top also. Great served over mashed potatoes or rice."

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds beef stew meat
salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh

2 fresh jalapeno peppers, diced
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced
tomatoes with juice
2 onion, sliced and quartered
2 cups beef broth
1.Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and brown the beef on all sides. Remove from skillet, reserving juices, and season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir the garlic, ginger, and jalapeno in the skillet for 2 minutes, until tender, and season with curry powder. Mix in the diced tomatoes and juice.
2.Place the onion in the bottom of a slow cooker, and layer with the browned beef. Scoop the skillet mixture into the slow cooker, and mix in the beef broth.
3.Cover, and cook 6 to 8 hours on Low.

Vidalia Onion Casserole

5 med. size onions sliced
1 stick of butter
1 stack round crackers crushed ( Ritz )
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Melt butter and saute onions until limp. Put 1/2 onions in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese and 1/2 of the cracker crumbs. Repeat layer. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 mins.

You can tone this down by using fat free margarine and fat free crackers


Californian Harry Baker invented the chiffon cake in 1927, but he kept the recipe a tightly guarded secret for another 20 years. He finally relented and sold his formula to General Mills. The mystery ingredient? Vegetable oil, which gave the cake richness and a light, moist texture. We spike this one with all the flavors of a Margarita cocktail; the Strawberry Compote with Tequila and Lime is an elegant touch.

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup triple sec
2 tablespoons tequila
2 teaspoons grated lime peel

8 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
4 teaspoons triple sec
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel
Strawberry Compote with Tequila and Lime

For cake: Preheat oven to 325°F. Whisk flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat yolks and next 5 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until smooth.

Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/3 of whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites. Transfer batter to ungreased 10-inch-diameter angel food cake pan; smooth top.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Immediately invert center tube of pan onto narrow-necked bottle; cool cake completely in pan.

Run long knife around center tube and sides of pan to loosen cake. Using center tube as aid, lift cake out of pan; run knife between cake and pan bottom to loosen. Invert cake onto platter.

For glaze: Stir first 5 ingredients in medium bowl until smooth. Spread over top of cake, allowing glaze to drip down sides. Let stand until glaze sets, about 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; let stand at room temperature.) Serve cake with compote.

Makes 10 TO 12 servings.

Black and White Chocolate Cheesecake Supreme

* 2-3 cups graham cracker crumbs (depends how crusty you like your
* 6 tbsp. of butter
* 1/4 cup of sugar
* 1/8 tsp. salt
* 5 8oz.packages cream cheese, softened
* 5 eggs
* 2 egg yolks
* 2 tsp. vanilla
* 1 3/4 cups sugar
* 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 4 oz. dark chocolate
* 6 oz. white chocolate

The Process
*1.* Get out your cream cheese, eggs and cream and let sit while making the crust so that they are at or close to room temp by the time you need them. Preheat the oven to 350F.

*2. *Mix crumbs, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl until combined and press into the bottom and about an inch or two up the sides of a 10″ springform pan (springform pan is /key/, make sure you have one). Apparently, real New York cheesecakes don’t have crust up the side, but I love the crust so I want to have as much as possible.

*3.* Place in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take out to cool. *Turn off the oven. *

*4.* In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add in the sugar, flour and heavy cream and blend until smooth. Do not over-mix as this will create more air bubbles which can contribute to your cake cracking.

*5.* Meanwhile, melt dark and white chocolate in separate sauce pans on the stove.

*6.* Once melted, remove the dark chocolate from heat and pour 1/3 of the batter into the pan. Pour the melted white chocolate into the remaining batter. Mix both until combined.

*7.* Pour 1/3 of the white chocolate mixture into the prepared crust. Drop in spoonfuls of the dark chocolate mixture on top. Pour in the rest of the white chocolate mixture over that. Finally, drop in spoonfuls of the rest of dark chocolate mixture and swirl it all around with a knife, but don’t over mix.

*8.* Place in the oven and turn it on to 400F.Bake for 10 minutes and then turn it down to 200F. Bake for 3 hours. Turn the over off, prop open the door slightly and let cool for 1 hour. Finally, place in your refrigerator and chill for a full 24 hours before removing the springform pan’s side and serving.

New Mexican Spicy Beef Stew

1 cup dried pinto beans, sorted, rinsed, and drained
Santa Fe Seasoning (see recipe below)
1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast, well trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 large onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno chile pepper, minced with seeds
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups red wine
2 cups beef stock
2 cups chicken stock
1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes, undrained
1 smoked ham hock
1/2 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper
11 ounces smoked kielbasa sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 red and/or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch triangles
2 poblano chile peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch triangles*
3 zucchini squash, cut into 1-inch thick rounds
Minced fresh cilantro

* A fresh green chile pepper, sometimes called a fresh pasilla.

In a large soup pot or cast-iron Dutch Oven over medium-high heat, place beans and cover with water. Bring just to a boil; remove from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans; set aside.

Prepare Santa Fe Seasoning; set aside.

Place beef pieces in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add 2 teaspoons Santa F Seasoning; toss well. Add flour and toss to coat.

In a large pot or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat 4 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add beef pieces in batches and brown well; using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil; reduce heat to medium. Add onions and tomato paste; stir 2 minute. Add red wine and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Add beef and chicken stocks, tomatoes, ham hock, and cayenne pepper; reduce heat to low and bring to simmer. Add beef pieces; cover partially and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beans, cover partially, and simmer another 1 hour. Uncover, add remaining Santa Fe Seasoning, and simmer an additional 45 minutes or until beef pieces and beans are tender. Stirring occasionally. Degrease stew if necessary. Remove ham hock; trim off fat. Cut ham into 1/2-inch pieces and add back into stew.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, add kielbasa sausage and cook 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Add bell peppers, poblano chilies, and zucchini; saute another 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Mix sausage and vegetables into stew; simmer 5 minutes longer or until just tender. Sprinkle with cilantro. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with bread.

Makes 6 servings.

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, combine cumin, coriander, chili powder, oregano, thyme, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon.

Margarita Pie

1 1/4 cups finely crushed pretzels
2/3 cup butter melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 (14-ounce can) sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 to 4 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons Triple Sec
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
Lime slices for decoration

Lightly butter a 9-inch pie plate.

Combine crushed pretzels, melted butter, and sugar in a small bowl; then press firmly into bottom and up the sides of the pie plate, creating an even thickness. Refrigerate pie crust while making filling.

In a large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, tequila, and Triple Sec; mix well. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into prepared crust.

Cover pie and either freeze for 4 hours or refrigerate 2 for hours.

If frozen, soften in refrigerator slightly before serving. Decorate with lime slices. Freeze or refrigerate any leftover pie.

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie.

Avocado Pie

1 (9-inch) prepared Graham Cracker Pie Crust*
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 medium-size very ripe Hass avocados, mashed**
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream

* Check out my Graham Cracker Pie Crust Recipe.

** If an avocado is ripe, it will yield to a gentle pressure.

Refrigerate graham cracker crust until well chilled. See how to make Graham Cracker Pie Crust.

In a small bowl, combine lime juice, lemon juice, and unflavored gelatin; let stand 4 to 5 minutes or until softened.

In a large bowl or the food processor, combine gelatin mixture, mashed avocados, and sweetened condensed milk. Pour mixture into prepared graham cracker pie crust.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until the filling is firm.

In a small bowl, whip heavy cream and sour cream together until stiff peaks form. Serve pie topped with prepared whipped cream mixture.

Makes 8 servings.

Frozen Watermelon Margarita

2 1/2 cups seedless (or seeded) watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes, rind discarded before measuring
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
4 ounces tequila
2 ounces orange flavored liqueur
1 1/2 cups ice
Lime wheel or watermelon wedge, for garnish

Put cut watermelon in a plastic bag and place in freezer for a minimum of 2 hours. (If time does not permit this step, add a few extra ice cubes when blending, the difference is not that significant.)
Stuff all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Garnish rim of glass with a lime wheel or a watermelon wedge and serve immediately.

Blackberry Lime Margarita

2 cups blackberries
1/2 cup lime juice
3/4 cups white tequila
2 cups ice cubes
1/4 cup sugar

Puree blackberries in a blender. Force puree through a fine sieve into a small bowl and discard solids. In a cocktail shaker, combine 1/2 cup puree and remaining ingredients and shake well.

Italian Amaretto Margaritas

* 4 fluid ounces amaretto liqueur, plus additional
* white sugar
* 6 fluid ounces frozen limeade concentrate
* 6 fluid ounces tequila
* 1/2 cup orange juice
* 6 cups ice

Dip the rims of 4 margarita glasses in amaretto, then into sugar; set aside. Pour the lime-aid, tequila, amaretto, orange juice, and ice into the bowl of a blender. Puree until smooth, then pour into prepared glasses.

Frozen Avocado Margaritas

* 2 cups crushed ice
* 6 fluid ounces tequila
* 4 fluid ounces lime juice
* 2 fluid ounces triple sec
* 1 avocado – peeled, pitted and diced
* 1 sprig fresh cilantro
* coarse salt to taste

Place the ice, tequila, lime juice, triple sec, avocado, and cilantro into a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into salt-rimmed margarita glasses to serve.

Upside-Down Pizza Casserole

* 2 pkg. Regular Flavor Jimmy Dean® Pork Sausage
2 medium onions, chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 cup all purpose flour, divided
2 cans (15 oz. each) tomato sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 425 F. In saucepan, cook sausage, onion (with green pepper, basil and fennel as if desired) over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink and onions are translucent. Stir in 1/4 cup of the flour; mix well. Add tomato sauce; bring mixture to a boil, stirring continuously. Transfer sausage mixture to lightly greased 9" x 13" baking dish; top with cheese. In a separate mixing bowl, combine remaining flour, eggs, milk, oil and salt; stir until smooth. Stir in Parmesan cheese and pour mixture over sausage mixture in baking dish. Bake 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Yield:8 servings
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Hearty Holiday Chili

* 2 pkg. Regular Flavor Jimmy Dean® Pork Sausage
2 cans (10.75 oz. each) condensed minestrone soup
2 cans (15 oz. each) pinto beans
1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes & green chiles
1 cup water or stock
1 tablespoon chili powder


In large skillet, cook sausage over medium high heat, stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.

Makes 6-8 servings

Spicy Sausage Tater Skins

* 1 pkg. Regular Flavor Jimmy Dean® Pork Sausage
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons finely chopped, seeded jalapeno peppers
1 bunch thinly sliced green onions, divided
2-1/2 cups (10 oz.) shredded hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese, divided
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
4 large baking potatoes, baked
1/3 cup olive oil or melted butter
1 cup sour cream


In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink. Add cumin and chili powder; cover and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; allow to cool slightly. Stir in beans, jalapenos, diced tomatoes, 2 cups of the shredded cheese and all but 1/4 cup of the onions; mix well. Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut baked potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop out centers, leaving a 1/4” shell (reserve centers for another use). Place on cookie sheet, skin-side down; brush with oil or butter; sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake 15-20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Reduce heat to 400 F. Fill each cavity with 1/2 cup sausage mixture; sprinkle filled potatoes with remaining 1/2 cup grated cheese. Bake 10 minutes. Remove and cool slightly before serving. If desired, slice each in half crosswise; arrange on serving platter. Garnish with sour cream; top with remaining green onions.

Yield:Makes 8 halves or 16 quarters
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Southwest Skillets Tortilla

* Tortillas:
12 flour tortillas (8-inch preferred)
1 pound of Monterey Jack Cheese, cut into 12 strips
1 can chili pepper, cut into 12 strips
18 oz pkg Jimmy Dean® Skillets – Southwest flavor, sautéed to packaged

(do not add eggs)
1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk
3/4 pound sharp cheese, finely grated
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper


Divide Skillets mixture into 12 equal portions. Place in center of tortilla, top with strip of cheese and strip of pepper. Roll up, place seam side down in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Sauce Directions:

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and mix in flour, stirring until smooth. Add milk, then cheese, then seasonings. Stir (do not beat) until smooth and thick, over medium heat. Pour over tortillas.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake 45 minutes.

Serve with Picante sauce, Pico de Gallo, and or sour cream on the side


Serves 12

6 Layer Breakfast Casserole

* 6 each Whole Eggs
1/4 c. Heavy Cream
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper, ground
1 package Jimmy Dean® Hot Roll Sausage, cooked, crumbled, drained
1/4 c. Jalapeno Pepper, 1/4 dice
1/2 c. Cheddar Cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
1 tsp. Cumin, ground
4 each Bread, 1/2 slice


Preheat oven to 350 F. Begin by mixing the eggs and heavy cream in a bowl with the salt & pepper. In a separate bowl place the sausage, jalapeno pepper, cheese, garlic and cumin. Now place a third of the amount of egg mixture in the bottom of a 2 quart baking dish. Next, place a slice of bread into the dish. Place 1/3 of the amount of sausage mixture from step 2 onto the slice of bread. Repeat steps 3 to 4 until last slice of bread is on top. Add the remaining 1/3 of sausage ingredients evenly across the top slice of bread. Bake the breakfast casserole in oven for 15 minutes.
Yield:4 portions
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