Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Year's Chicken

This has always been a family recipe that Hatley & I really enjoy.  Rebekah made this for the main course at our progressive dinner.  Great job, by the way!
It is always a big hit with the guys.  And, it is simple to make!  Easy + delicious = perfect :)

Serves 12


3 1/2 cups chicken, chopped
1 lb. sausage
1- 6 oz Uncle Ben's long grain wild rice mix with seasonings
2-2 1/2 cups chicken broth (make sure to pay close attention to this, you don't want it to turn out too dry)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup(undiluted)
1 cup herb stuffing mix (Kraft Stove Top brand)
1 T. melted butter

Cut up chicken into small pieces(cooked).  Cook sausage in frying pan.  Follow directions for rice, using broth instead of water.  Stir all ingredients together.  Add additional broth if necessary.  Place in Casserole (9x12).  Toss butter and herb stuffing mix and place on top of casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Holiday Salad w/vinaigrette dressing

Friday night a group of our friends had a progressive dinner party.  It was a great time and thank you to each of you for all you contributed, everything was delicious!!!  
Jay O. & I were co-hosts at Chris's house & I made this holiday salad.  It is definitely a recipe I will be making again!  I HIGHLY recommend it :)
I doubled this recipe for the dinner. 
Servings: Serves 10
Dressing (can be made up to 2 days in advance, refrigerated in an airtight container & whisked before serving):
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 5 cups mixed baby greens or baby arugula
  • 1 head romaine lettuce , coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, about 4 ounces (I used a garlic & herb feta cheese blend)
  • 1 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup red onion , chopped
To make dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, shallots, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil until well blended.  I actually did my dressing in a blender so the shallots would blend in well, I was happy w/the way it turned out.  Either way works!

To make salad: In a large bowl, toss together baby greens, romaine, tomatoes, cashews and dressing. Add feta cheese and 1/2 cup bacon; toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with cranberries, red onion and remaining bacon before serving.
Now enjoy this flavorful salad without any guilt!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cranberry Daiquiri's - the perfect holiday cocktail

This is a family recipe as well.  My Mom & Aunt Kim have always made them during the holiday season, and everyone loves them!  They are almost like a dessert, definitely a tasty treat.

It was funny because my Mom was in a hurry writing down the recipe for us & forgot to add in the fact that you add FIVE cups of water, makes a big difference!!  Jay O. & I knew something was missing :) 

1 can frozen cranberry juice cocktail
2 Tablespoons real lemon
1 1/2 cups rum - 2 cups rum
1 10 oz. frozen strawberries
5 cups water

Blend the strawberries & the rum in the blender.
Mix in Large pitcher or container.
Place in freezer overnight.

*Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites*

I think that this recipe was the biggest hit of the party.  I got the recipe from my Mom & have always loved it!!

This concludes the new food recipes we used.  I also prepared an earlier post, the spinach-artichoke dip, mini caprese salad's on toothpicks, fresh veggies, & Jay O. made venison meatballs.  We had cream puffs & strawberries w/chocolate fondue & bon bon's for dessert. 

We enjoyed the night and the great company!!! 

3 large chicken breast halves (cut into 1 inch pieces)
8 slices bacon cut into 3rds
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
vegetable spray
wooden toothpicks

- Wrap each chicken cube w/bacon & secure with a wooden toothpick.
- Stir together ingredients and pour over chicken.  Marinate all day or over night.
- Coat broiler pan with cooking spray
- Bake at 450 degrees for 10 min, turn chicken over & bake for 10 more minutes.
I tripled the amount of chicken for supper club & doubled the marinade. 

Pesto Torte

This isn't the easiest thing to prepare...but it is delicious & well worth the effort!  And, the colors are perfect for a Christmas party :)  I found snowflake Ritz crackers at the grocery store for serving.

2 pkg cream cheese
1 pkg salad dressing mix (Ranch or Italian)
1 jar pesto
1 jar sundried tomatoes in oil (chopped)


Mix cream cheese and dressing mix.
Layer the cream cheese & pesto in a round tupperware dish lined with plastic wrap/saran wrap.  End with the cream cheese mixture.
Refrigerate overnight. 
Transfer to serving dish and top with the sundried tomatoes.
Serve w/crackers

Party Pizza's

The guys always love these!!!

1 lb. lean sausage
1 lb. spicy sausage
1 lb. velveeta
1 loaf party bread (rye or pumpernickel/whatever the store has available)
I like to sprinkle in red pepper flakes for a punch of spice, optional. 


Cook the sausage in a saucepan lightly coated in olive oil over medium heat, discard most of the liquid.
Cut the velveeta into cubes and add to the cooked sausage. (add in the red pepper flakes if you like)
Stir until melted, then remove from heat.
Let the mixture sit at room temperature until it becomes thick.
Spread desired amount onto each square.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes on a greased cookie sheet if you are making them that day.  If not, freeze and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes when you are ready to serve.  Make sure to take them out of the freezer a little bit before you want to cook them :) 

***Three Pepper Tortilla Rolls***

Jay O. & I are in a supper club & it is at a different person's house every month.  We had it at our house last week, and I have been mad at myself ever since because I took ZERO, ZIP, ZILCH pictures.  There is no excuse!  I think I was too busy preparing & then everyone got there & I was too busy taking things out of the oven/talking/sipping on my daiquiri that it slipped my mind.  whoops!  But, I think the recipes are still worthy of a post even though there are no this one and the next few were things we prepared.  We had heavy hors d'oeuvres & cranberry daiquiri's trying to give it a holiday esque feeling :)

I promise to do my best to take pictures of our Christmas decor before it's too late!!

Three Pepper Tortilla Rolls
1 cup green bell pepper strips
1 cup red bell pepper strips
1 cup yellow bell pepper strips
1/2 cup thin onion slices
1/3 cup margarine
1 tsp cumin
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
10 (6-inch) flour tortillas
You can use whatever color bell peppers you prefer.  For the Christmas party I did red & green only, & I have made them with orange & yellow before, too :)

Saute the bell pepper strips and onion slices in the margarine in a large skillet until softened.  Stir in the cumin.  Drain, reserving the liquid.
Beat the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and Parmesan cheese at medium speed in a small mixing bowl until blended.  Add enough of the reserved liquid to make the desired spreading consistency.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture onto each tortilla.  Top with the bell pepper mixture and roll up.  Cut each tortilla into 4 slices and secure with wooden toothpicks. 
Arrange on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Ham, Apple, & Brie Panini

During the holiday season schedules get hectic and there are so many parties with friends, work parties, and family festivities you have to cook for it tends to make you want to slack for every "normal" meal.  However, during the season of giving it still helps out to make your usual trips to the grocery store to help with your budgeting for gifts :)  Recipes like this one are simple, inexpensive & delicious!!  

I got the recipe idea from the blog "Keeping Up w/the Joneses" and the recipe was found here.   I am cooking this for Jay O. & me tonight & will let you know how we like the final product!  Okay,  I FINALLY made this last night and it was amazzinnng!!!  I LOVED it! 

Doesn't this look mouth watering?! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Brie en Croute (w/crescent rolls)

Last week we had our friends Nathan Rutledge and Jordan Morgan over for dinner & had a very nice evening!  For an appetizer, I prepared this recipe & for the entree I prepared the penne pasta recipe that was my very first post on the blog :)

1 8 oz. brie cheese
1 container crescent rolls
1 Tbsp butter (melted)
dried cranberries
1/2 cup apricot preserves

Peel apart crescent rolls and shape them/connect them into a star.  
Cut a piece of the extra crescent roll and put it in the center of the star so that there are no cracks.
Spread the preserves onto the middle of the star, leaving a little room on the edges so it doesn't bubble out while baking.
Sprinkle desired amount of cranberries onto the preserves.
Place the cheese (rind removed) onto the cranberries.  
Wrap the crescent roll around the cheese and press the crescent together where cracks may show.
Cut out a cute design from the leftover crescent, I chose a star
Spread melted butter over the top, and bake according to crescent roll instructions, then place aluminum foil over it and bake for about 10 more minutes until the cheese is nice and melted!

Serve w/crackers.  I had grapes on the side, too!

Monday, December 6, 2010

*Bon bons - A Tasty Holiday Treat *

This Thursday night Jay O. & I have supper club at our house for the first time, and I prepared these ahead of time to be part of the desserts.  Not too time consuming & my all time favorite!  Sorry the pictures turned out kind of blurry, whoops!

16 oz. powdered sugar
3 cups rice krispies 
2 cups peanut butter
1 stick butter
Semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Butterscotch chips

Melt stick of butter in a sauce pan  over medium heat.  
Stir in peanut butter until it is nice & creamy, remove from heat.
Add in rice krispies & powdered sugar, stir until combined.
Roll the mixture into balls.
Melt the butterscotch chips according to package instructions (microwave 60 seconds, then for 30 second increments stirring in between until melted) and the chocolate chips the same way.
Dip each ball into the chocolate or the butterscotch & roll until covered.
Place the balls on wax paper to dry.
Lastly, place them in your adorable Christmas tins & refrigerate until you're ready to indulge :) 

It is a cute idea to buy small Christmas tins & fill them with the bon bon's & put a bow on the container to take to neighbors, friends or family!  Everyone loves them!!  Jay O. doesn't even like peanut butter & these are one of his very favorite things.