Cooking for a Cause

Sunday, March 21, 2010

One of the things that has inspired me the most since starting this blog, is how many different reasons people get in the kitchen.  For some it is the personal joy of learning the art of cooking, for some it is enjoying those family moments over dinner, for some a way to save money or even to eat healthier, and for others it is about serving a cause - providing meals to the sick and injured, or those less fortunate than ourselves.

Recently, I was inspired by a lady named Nancy Clark, who is using cooking to serve another purpose - raising money for Horizon International ( ).  Horizon International is a non-profit Christian organization that helps orphans affected by HIV/AIDS.  The first time I heard her speak about her mission trip to work with this organization, I was just in awe.  So, I immediately asked her to be interviewed for this blog. 

I hope you enjoy and if you feel moved, as I have - please donate to the cause (information within the interview)

1)  Tell us a little about Horizon International and your upcoming trip.
     On March 2008, the Kyasa Kids, an African orphan choir sponsored by the Horizon International, danced and sang at our Northview Church.  By Jan. 2009, my husband Win and I became field representatives for this mission organization that works through partnerships in some of the hardest HIV/AIDs-hit areas in southern Africa ( ).   God impressed on us to use these years of our lives to "defend the fatherless and care for the afflicted."  So we did and it is an exciting journey. 

2)  I was inspired by your decision to raise money for the trip, by cooking some of your favorite family recipes.  Tell us what you are baking and how people can donate.
     As I have prayed for the women of Zimbabwe, I realized how they would love to bake but they are experiencing a famine in their country presently.  I thought that I could bake to raise awareness of their plight - all the money will go directly to these incredible women to give their children bread when I travel to Zimbabwe.
     I have a suggestion donation of $8.00 for my Rhubarb Bread and $10 a dozen for potato rolls.  If a check is designated to Horizon International, you receive a receipt for tax deducation.  Just call Nancy Clark at 1-513-258-1176 or 1-317-564-4488 to order!
     If you are not local to the area (Fishers, Carmel, Noblesville, Indianapolis, etc. in Indiana) please still feel free to donate directly to Horizon International ( ).

3)  Where did you learn to bake these items?
     In the 1980s, our family with 3 young children lived in a huge parsonage in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as Win was the pastor of a church 2 blocks away.  Many University students attended our church so we invited them to lunch often on Sunday after church.  I made dozens of Potato Rolls with dinner and Rhubarb bread for dessert - they loved them! 
4)  Where did you learn to first cook or were inspired to cook?
     Soon after we were married in 1970, my husband attened Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and I taught high school nearby our New England town.  Jeanette Scholer, a professor at the Seminary, offered to teach the seminary wives how to bake bread on 3 Saturdays and I was desperate for ideas to become a 'home maker.'  Her inspiring and practical lessons changed my life; I baked our bread and goodies from then on.  That inspired me to read every cook book that proclaimed inexpensive/nutritious meals because we lived on a parson's salary.
5)  What is your favorite comfort food?
     Absolutely - Vegetable Soup -- yum!!

6)  What are your favorite memories associated with cooking?
     Seeing mashed potatoes in the mixer and Mom giving me the beater to lick, smelling a pot roast simmering, sitting around our kitchen table and eating together with my Mom, Dad and sisters.

7)  Do you have a memorable kitchen disaster?
     Oh lunch at the parsonage I made a thick tomato soup and left it on very low heat during church only to discover that without stirring the soup it burned on the bottom and the smell permeated the parsonage!  But one student explained, when he saw my dismay, that he thought that was how it was supposed to be...his home kitchen always smelled burned.  :)  So I scopped off the good soup and served it with a smile (and aired out the house).
8)  Can you give our readers one tip that you have learned about cooking?
     Jesus ate with people often and in the classic story of Mary and Martha, He clearly told the girls to not fret over the meal details but rather enjoy His presence and others in the home.  So I cook and bake, but TRY TO not get stressed over the mishaps and disasters.  Cooking is about loving people, not impressing them with my ability.

Thank you Nancy for the interview!  And, check out Nancy's recipe for Meatloaf (yum!)

If you would like your story to be highlighted on Mama's Recipe Swap and would be interested in being interviewed, please email me your information and a short quip about your cooking story (via the email book on the right).  I'd love to hear from you!

Stay tuned, because next Friday we have our next interview with Tree from the blog Mother of Pearl It Is, and her families' cooking stories.  :)

Reuben Sandwich Ring

Easy entertaining!

Submitted by:  Vicki Marshall
Taken from:  Pampered Chef

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                               Cook time:  20 min or until brown

     -  2 pkgs of crescent rolls
     -  1/2 lb chipped corn beef (from deli)
     -  8 oz can of sauerkraut (drained and patted dry)
     -  1/2 c. Thousand Island dressing
     -  Swiss cheese slices

1)  Preheat oven.  On round stone seperate crescent rolls into triangle pieces, place square edge of triangles on inside edge of stone (pointy sides are off of stone).  Line stone and make a circle (wreath-like)
2.) Combine beef, sauerkraut and Thousand Island in a bowl.  Use a cookie scoop and scoop mixture onto each triangle.
3)  Lay 1/2 swiss slice over filling in each triangle.  Take point of crescent and fold over filling and tuck under square side (facing center of circle).
4)  Bake at 350 degrees until brown.

Chicken Buffalo Dip

Easy - yummy and has a kick! 

Submitted by:  Vicki Marshall

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                        Cooking time:  20-30 min

     -  2 cans of chicken, drained
     -  2 (8 oz) cream cheese
     -  2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
     -  1/2 - whole bottle of tabasco (depending on taste)

1)  Can put all ingredients in SLOW COOKER on LOW for a few hours until melted or Preheat oven to 350 degrees and heat for 20-30 minutes.
2)  Serve with tortilla chips.

Italian Hillside Garden Soup

A twist on the traditional vegetable soup!  My favorite soup!

Taken from:  "Crock Pot: Recipe Collection"

     -  1 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
     -  1 c. chopped green bell pepper
     -  1 c. chopped onion
     -  1/2 c. sliced celery
     -  1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained
     -  1 can (15 1/2 oz) navy beans, rinsed and drained
     -  1 medium zucchini, chopped
     -  1 c. frozen cut green beans, thawed
     -  2 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth
     -  1/4 tsp. garlic powder
     -  1 pkg (9 oz) refrigerated sausage or cheese filled tortellini pasta
     -  3 Tbl. chopped fresh basil
     -  Grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese

1)  Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add bell pepper, onion and celery.  Cook and stir 4 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Transfer to 5 quart CROCK POT slow cooker.
2)  Add tomatoes with juice, navy beans, zucchini, green beans, broth and garlic powder.  Cover; cook on LOW 7 hours or on HIGH 3 1/2 hours
3)  Turn CROCK POT slow cooker to HIGH.  Add tortellini and cook 20-25 minutes longer or until pasta is tender.  Stir in basil.  Garnish each serving with cheese.

Country Cobbler

Ooey- gooey goodness!  Best comfort food dessert - make ala mode or let it fly solo....either way SO simple!

Submitted by:  Tia Bach and Dana Newbrough

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                              Cook time:  45 min

     -  1 stick butter
     -  3/4 c. flour
     -  1 c. sugar
     -  2 tsp. baking powder
     -  1/8 tsp. salt
     -  3/4 c. milk
     -  1 large can pie filling

1)  Preheat oven.  Melt butter in a glass 13"x9" baking dish. 
2)  Mix rest of ingredients into butter to make batter.  After mixed thoroughly, put 9-12 large spoonfuls of pie fillings on top of batter - do not mix.
3)  Place in oven and bake for ~45 min.

Note:  Double all ingredients (except pie filling) for extra rich cobbler with a thicker cake topping - my favorite way to make it!

Meat Loaf

Friday, March 19, 2010

The perfect comfort food and Sunday dinner!

Submitted by:  Nancy Clark

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                              Cook time:  1 1/2 hours

     -  1 lb. hamburger
     -  1 egg
     -  3/4 c. cracker crumbs
     -  1/2 c. milk
     -  1 tsp. salt
     -  1 tsp. chopped onion
     -  pepper
     -  1 tsp. dry mustard

     -  1/2 c. ketchup
     -  2 tsp. prepared mustard
     -  3 tsp. brown sugar
     -  1 c. water
     -  1/4 c. vinegar

1)  Mix together all ingredients and form in loaf; place in loaf pan, leaving space for sauce around it (think a moate of sauce around the meatloaf)
2)  Combine ingredients of sauce and pour in moate around meatloaf and on top.  Bake for about 1 1/2 hours.


Monday, March 15, 2010

As a new Mom I have found the kitchen to be a wonderful and rewarding place, as well as a stressful and often dreaded place.  I love that victorous feeling of making a meal that just makes the whole house smell good, or one which is worthy of not just seconds, but thirds.  I love feeling like I accomplished something - esp. if that something is laced in chocolate, butter or fried goodness (let's be honest, those rank high).  However, as a budding cook that did not inherit the natural cooking gene of my mother, my time in the kitchen has had its trials and tribulations.  Prior to being an at-home mother over a year ago, I worked as a teacher and would get home about 5:30 pm and had lesson plans/papers to grade until bed time.  Dinners meant boxed meals or GASP fast food (I know, I am dissappionted too).  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed cooking but who wants to start a meal at 6 pm.  So, I reserved "real" cooking for the weekends.

So when I decided to be a stay-at-home Mom to my daughter, Samantha, I also decided that I was going to hone my cooking skills and use boxed dinners for emergencies only (well my emergencies can be a sick child or a bad headache - boxes still have their place in this household).  However, I want to be more health conscious and it was a nice way to save money for our family, now that we were minus one paycheck - Taco Bell adds up!  I also wanted to begin those family meals with my daughter that are such a part of my childhood memories. 

So I got to cooking....and cooking...and cooking...

I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying it, but I am still a work in progress.  I do not profess to be a chef or an expert.  I am just a southern girl that loves grits, biscuits, gravy and anything fried - though I try to tame the latter.  I love cooking comfort food (which doesn't always equate BAD FOR YOU - I promise)!  I just think that good food makes you feel good and a good meal pulls a family together. 

Every Sunday I sit down to plan the week of meals, make my grocery list and cut coupons.  Though after 14 months of being a Mama I find that I needed fresh recipes and new ideas.  So I thought, what better resource than other MAMAS!  So, this thought is what brought me here - to "Mama's Recipe Swap."

I want to provide a site where not chefs or experts exchange meals, but Mamas share the comfort food, the quick and easy and the budget friendly recipes that their family loves.  Where people can share the great stuff that they made and get some great ideas as well.  I'll share some of mine (those that are tride and true in my household) and some that have been passed down among my family - to you.  In turn, send me yours.  I will give you credit and would love to post a picture of your creation. 

As Mamas - whether you are a working Mom, a stay at home Mom or a single Mom - we all need to come together and celebrate all that we do - in the kitchen and out of it.  We need to share ideas and recipes so that we don't get sick of the kitchen, yet can get excited about it.  Providing a meal for your family is important and an act of faith and love.  So many of my memories throughout my life are tied to food and mealtime and if you think back, I bet yours are too.  So share those recipes and memories if you choose via the email box on the right hand side of this blog.

If you want to know a little bit more about me, check out my family blog at  God Bless!

Shrimp Scampi

My husband's favorite and he's super picky!

Submitted by:  Tia Bach

     -  1 lb. medium shrimp
     -  4 cloves garlic
     -  1/2 c. butter
     -  2 Tbl lemon juice
     -  1/2 tsp. tarragon
     -  1/2 tsp. A1 steak sauce
     -  1/2 tsp. Worcestershire
     -  1/4 tsp. hot sauce
     -  Fravorite type of noodle (cook according to package directions)

1)  Peel and devein shrimp.  Cook garlic in butter in skillet for ~4 min.
2)  Add lemon juice and next 4 ingredients.  Bring to a boil and add shrimp.  Cook ~5 min. or until shrimp is pink.
3)  Throw in cooked noodles or rice to coat.

Mexican Corn Bread

Now this is good eating, especially with BBQ and slaw.  Throw in a hot platter of home fries, and oh man, you've got heaven.  :)

Submitted by:  Angela Silverthorne

      -  3 eggs, beaten
      -  1 c. onion, chopped
      -  3 jalapeno peppers, chopped
      -  1/2 c. oil
      -  1 c. cheddar or sharp cheese, grated
      -  1/2 c. milk
      -  1 1/2 c. self-rising corn meal
      -  1/2 tsp. salt
      -  dash garlic salt
      -  1 (17 oz) can cream style corn

1)  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all ingredients and put into 8"x10" baking pan. 
2)  Bake for 45-55 minutes.

Cinnamony Carrot Cake

All I can say is YUM, YUM, YUM!!

Created by:  Amber Morgan

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                       Cook time:  35-40 min

     -  1 (18.5 oz) package yellow cake mix
     -  1 1/4 c. water
     -  1/2 c. (1 stick) butter melted, cooled
     -  3 eggs
     -  2 cups shredded carrots
     -  2 tsp. ground cinnamon
     -  4 c. powdered sugar
     -  1/2 c. (1 stick) butter softened
     -  1/3 c. sour cream
     -  3/4 tsp. vanilla

1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all cake ingredients except carrots and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Beat as directed on cake package.  Stir in carrots and cinnamon.
2)  Pour batter into greased 13"x9: baking pan.  Bake for 35-40 min or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely.
3)  Combine all frosting ingredients in large bowl.  Beat at medium speed scraping bowl often, until creamy.  Spread cooled cake with frosting.

The Best Coconut Cake

If you love Coconut Cake, but you don't have the time to make the "traditional" version - try this for a spin.  SO easy and so delicious!

Submitted by:  Janie Silverthorne

     -  1 box white cake mix
     -  2 pkgs frozen coconut, thawed
     -  2 (8 oz) cartons sour cream
     -  2 c. sugar
     -  1 (9 oz) container frozen whipped topping

1)  Mix cake according to package directions.  Bake 2 layers.  Cool and then splite layers to make 4.
2)  Mix together coconut, sour cream and sugar.  Set aside 1 cup of mixture.  Spread the rest over the layers. 
3)  Mix reserved cup of coconut mixture with whipped topping and spread on cake top and sides
4)  Refrigerate at least 3 days before cutting and keep refrigerated after.  Can last 2 weeks.

Sour Cream Pound Cake

A recipe passed down the family line - a classic!

Created by:  Carol Newbrough

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                     Cook time:  1 1/2 hours

     -  3 c. sugar
     -  2 sticks butter or margarine
     -  6 eggs
     -  3 c. flour
     -  1/2 tsp. vanilla
     -  1/2 tsp. almond extract
     -  1/4 tsp. baking soda
     -  1 c. sour cream

1)  Preheat oven.  Grease and flour bundt or angel food cake pan.
2)  Mix together sugar and butter until creamy and smooth.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.  Then gradually add flour, beating well after each addition.  Then add vanilla, almond extract and baking soda.  Last, but not least, add the sour cream.
3)  Pour into a baking pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours.  Cool slightly before taking out of pan - if you use a bundt pan, invert the cake to cool

Paul Newman Cake

This cake is absolutely heavenly!  Save it for company though, or you will end up eating the WHOLE thing!  ENJOY!!

Submitted by:  Vicki Marshall

     -  1 German Chocolate Cake Mix
     -  1 can Eagle Condensed milk (sweet milk)
     -  1 jar caramel topping
     -  1 large container Cool Whip
     -  2-3 Heath bars, crushed

1)  Bake cake as instructed on box.  While warm, poke holes on top of cake.
2)  Pour sweet milk over cake.  Pour most of jar of caramel topping over cake.  Refrigerate until cool.
3)  Top with cool whip and crumble candy bars on top.  Drizzle reserved caramel over cake.
4)  Refrigerate until served.

Special K Bars

These are SO easy to make and a favorite for kids and adults.

Submitted by:  Vicki Marshall

     -  1 c. sugar
     -  1 c. white karo syrup
     -  1 c. peanut butter
     -  6-8 c. cereal (Special K or Cornflakes)
     -  1 tsp. vanilla

1)  Combine sugar and syrup.  Bring to a full boil over medium heat and boil 1 minute.
2)  Remove from heat and add peanut butter and a little vanilla
3)  Pour over cereal and mix well.  Press into a well buttered 9"x13" pan.  Drop by spoon onto wax paper or buttered cookie sheet

Pineapple Sirloin Skewers

Taken from:  Quick Cooking magazine, Karen Hamlin

Marinate time:  overnight                           Prep + Cook:  20 min.

     -  1 can (8 oz) pineapple chunks
     -  6 Tbl. soy sauce
     -  2 Tbl. brown sugar
     -  2 Tbl. vegetable oil
     -  2 tsp. ground ginger
     -  1 tsp. minced garlic
     -  1/2 tsp. pepper
     -  1 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into 1 in. cubes

1)  Drain pineapple, reserving juice.  Refrigerate pineapple.
2)  In a small bowl, combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, ginger, garlic and pepper.  Reserve 1/3 cup marinade for basting and 1/3 cup for serving; cover and refrigerate.
3)  Pour the remaining marinage into a large resealable plastic bag; and beef cubes.  Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
4)  Drain and discard marinade from beef.  On metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternately thread beef and pineapple chunks.  Grill, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 min on each side or boil 4-6 in from the heat until beef reches desired doneness, basting frequently with one portion of the reserved marinade.  Serve with remaining marinade.

"I like to add mushroom to the skewers and serve the yummy kabobs over hot cooked rice"

Millie's Cheese Cake Bars

This scrumptous dessert was a favorite from my childhood and brings back great memories of Knoxville, TN, boating on the lake, and Miss Millie.  After she died, I carried on her legacy with these bars and kept those great memories alive. 

Created by: Miss Millie :)
Submitted by:  Angela Silverthorne

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                        Cook time:  30 min.

     -  1 Box yellow cake mix
     -  3 eggs
     -  1 stick butter, melted
     -  8 oz cream cheese, softened
     -  1 box powdered sugar (4 cups)

1)  Stir together the cake mix, 1 egg and the butter until well mixed.  Pat onto bottom of well greased pan.
2)  Mix softened cream cheese, 2 eggs and powdered sugar with a hand mixer until it is smooth.  Pour on top of the other mixture in the pan. 
3)  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar on top for decoration.  Cool and enoy!

Blog Highlighted

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I feel honored to have asked to be interviewed by a fellow blogger, after she visited my site.  Check out the interview and her blog via this link.

Thanks, Tree!  I love your blog and will keep following it as well.

Pineapple Jerk Chicken and Rice

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spicy and fragrant!  Great for a dinner party or a dinner with your hubby!  So easy!

Submitted by:  Dana Newbrough
Taken from:  Everyday with Rachel Ray (

Cook time:  30 min.               Prep time:  15 min                  Serves: 4

     -  2 cups brown or white uncooked, long grained rice
     -  4 Tbl. extra-virgin olive oil
     -  1 onion, chopped
     -  1 jalapeno chile - stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
     -  1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
     -  Salt and pepper to taste
     -  1 large can of cut pineapple, drained

    -  1/2 c. jerk marinade, such as Lawry's
     -  1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
     -  1/2 c. chopped, fresh cilantro

1)  In a large pot of boiling, salted water (~4 cups - refer to specific package directions), cook the rice; stirring occassionally until tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain.
2)  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 Tbl. olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and jalapeno and cook until the onion is browned (~ 7 min); transfer to a bowl.
3)  Add the remaining 2 Tbl. olive oil to the same skillet and increase the heat to medium-high.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then add to the pan and cook until browned, 5-7 min. 
4)  Add the pineapple and jerk marinade and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 2-3 min.  Stir in the onion mixture, black beans and cilantro; cook until the beans are heated through, about 1 min.  Season with salt and pepper and serve over rice.

-  Use cilantro leaves and stems for texture and flavor
-  Leave in the jalapeno seeds for extra heat
-  Roll up hot leftovers in a wrap with some sour cream.
-  Great to pair with a crisp, pear-scented pinot gris.

Cheesy Bacon and Ham Casserole

Monday, March 8, 2010

Rich, Southern goodness!  You can't say you don't like grits, until you have had this take on them!! YUM!  My husband swears he does not like grits, but he LOVES this (and so does my little girl). :)

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                              Cooking time:  45 minutes
Makes 8 serving

     -  1/2 lb bacon
     -  1/2 lb chopped, cooked ham
     -  3/4 c. quick-cooking grits
     -  1 (16 oz) velveeta, cubed
     -  1/4 cup butter or margarine
     -  6 large eggs, lightly beaten
     -  1/2 c. milk
     -  2 tsp. baking powder
     -  1/2 tsp. pepper

1)  Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp.  Remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 Tbl. of drippings in the skillet.  Crumble bacon and set aside.
2)  Cook ham in reserved drippings in skillet over medium heat, until brown.
3)  Cook grits according to package directions.  Remove from heat; stir in cheese and butter until melted.  Stir in bacon, ham, eggs and remaining ingredients.
4)  Pour into a lightly greased 13"x9" baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until set.

Note:  Casserole can be prepared a day ahead; just cover and chill.  Remove from refrigerator the next day and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Bake as directed.

Spaghetti with Spicy Turkey Meat Sauce

A new take on your favorite spaghetti dish!

Submitted by:  Dana Newbrough
Taken from:  Everyday with Rachel Ray

Serves:  4             Cook time:  30 min

     -  1 lb. spaghetti noodles
     -  2 Tbl olive oil
     -  1 onion, chopped
     -  2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
     -  1 lb. ground turkey
     -  Salt and pepper to taste
     -  1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
     -  1 tsp. crushed red pepper
     -  1/4 c. chopped parsley
     -  2 Tbl grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1)  In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente; drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.
2)  Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat; add the onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes.
3)  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.  Increase heat to medium-high, crumble in the turkey and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the turkey is just no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring occassionally, until thickened - about 15 minutes.  Stir in parsley and cheese.
4)  Toss the pasta with the sauce and 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water, adding more water to thin the consistency, if desired.  Serve immediately with more cheese.

Chicken with Tarragon Cream

Taken from:  Everyday with Rachel Ray  (

Cook time:  30 minutes

     -  Salt and pepper to taste
     -  4 pieces of skinless, boneless chicken breast
     -  1 Tbl. olive oil
     -  white mushrooms, sliced
     -  1 shallot, finely chopped
     -  1 Tbl flour
     -  1/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
     -  3 Tbl. chopped fresh tarragon
     -  1 Tbl Dijon mustard
     -  2 Tbl. butter
     -  1 c. Chicken stock or broth

1)  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden - about 12 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
2)  Add 2 Tbl of butter to the skillet and lower the heat to medium.  Stir in the mushrooms and shallot and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle in flour and cook; stirring for 1 minute.  Whisk in the remaining 1 cup of chicken stock, sour cream, tarragon, mustard and any chicken juices.
3)  Slice the chicken and spoon the sauce on top.

Jalapeno Spinach Dip


Submitted by:  Holly Holbert

     -  4 cans of spinach
     -  1 large onion, diced
     -  1/2 c. jalapenos in a jar (more or less depending on the heat you want)
     -  1 block of cream cheese (low fat or reduced fat)
     -  1 Tbl olive oil
     -  Tortilla chips

1)  Combine onions and jalapenos; saute in oil.  (USE VENT FAN!!)  Peppers can overpower the kitchen!
2)  Strain spinach.  Combine spinach, cream cheese, peppers and onions.
3)  Simmer until cream cheese melted.  Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Bacon Chicken

Submitted by:  Karen Newbrough

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                                     Cook time:  10-15 min

     -  6 slices of bacon
     -  1 Tbl. Oleo
     -  1 Tbl. olive oil
     -  6 boneless chicken breasts
     -  1 onion, chopped
     -  6 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped
     -  1 clove garlic, minced
     -  1/2 tsp. salt
     -  1/8 tsp. pepper
     -  1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1)  Cook bacon in skillet until crisp.  Crumble bacon and set aside
2)  Pour grease out of skillet, but do not wash or wipe.  Add oleo and olive oil to skillet.  Saute chicken breasts in this mixture over medium heat, turning once until chicken is cooked and no longer pink in the center.  Place chicken in a greased 12"x8" baking dish.
3)  Cook onions, mushrooms and garlic in drippings remaining in skillet.  Cook until onions softened, then stir in salt, pepper and bacon.  Spoon over breast of chicken and sprinkle with cheese.
4)  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Chili Cheese Corn Muffins

Friday, March 5, 2010

Taken from:  Everyday with Rachel Ray

Preheat oven to:  425 degrees                                 Cook time:  25 min.

      -  2 1/2 c. flour
      -  1 Tbl + 2 tsp. baking powder
      -  1 tsp salt
      -  1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
      -  3/4 c. frozen corn, thawed
      -  1 (4 oz) can diced mild green chiles, drained
      -  1/2 c. + 1 Tbl. grated Parmesan cheese
      -  1 c. milk
      -  1/2 c. mayo

1)  Preheat oven.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne.
2)  Stir in the corn, chiles and 1/2 c. Parmesan.  Stir in the milk and mayo.  Spoon the mix into a nonstick muffin pan.
3)  Bake for 15 min, then sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Bake until golden brown, approximately 10 min more.

Carmel-Soaked French Toast


Submitted by:  Karen Newbrough

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                                 Cook time:  45-50 min
Refrigerate overnight

     -  1 1/2 c. brown sugar
     -  3/4 c. butter
     -  1/4 c. + 2 Tbl. light corn syrup
     -  10 ( 1 1/2 in. thick) french bread slices
     -  1/4 c. butter, melted
     -  4 large eggs
     -  2 1/2 c. milk
     -  1 Tbl vanilla extract
     -  1/4 tsp. salt
     -  3 Tbl sugar
     -  1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
     -  Optional garnish:  fresh fruit

1)  Stir together brown sugar, butter (3/4 c) and corn syrup in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring constantly for 5 min or until bubbly.  Pour evenly into a greased 13"x9" baking dish.  ARrange bread slices over syrup.
2)  Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and salt; gradually pour over bread.  Cover and chill overnight.
3)  Stir together sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over bread.  Drizzle evenly with 1/4 c. melted butter
4)  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until golden and bubble.  Let stand for 10 minutes

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

MY GO-TO COMFORT FOOD OF CHOICE!  The best banana bread ever -- of course, the chocolate helps.

Submitted by:  Angela Silverthorne and Tia Bach

Preheat oven to:  325 degrees                                        Cook time:  ~ 1 hr

     -  1 c. sugar
     -  1 stick of butter, softened
     -  1 1/2 c. mashed bananas (~ 4 bananas - let them get slightly brown on outside and soft; easier to mash!)
     -  2 large eggs
     -  2 tsp. vanilla extract
     -  2 c. all-purpose flour
     -  1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
     -  1 tsp. baking soda
     -  1/2 tsp. salt
     -  1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

1)  Cream sugar and butter.  Beat in mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla.
2)  Combine dry ingredients and stir into the egg mix until well moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips.
3)  Pour batter into greased and floured loaf pan.  Cover loosely with tent of aluminum foil
4)  Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
5)  Cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan.

Oven Fried Chicken with Corn Relish

Preheat oven to:  425 degrees                            Cook time:  30 min.

     -  3/4 c. Original Bisquick mix
     -  1/4 tsp. pepper
     -  3/4 c. reduced-fat ranch dressing
     -  4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1/2 breasts if not thinly sliced)
     -  2 Tbl butter, melted
     -  2 c. frozen corn

1)  Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Grease 13"x9" pan.  In shallow dish, mix Bisquick mix and pepper.  In another dish pour in dressing.
2)  Coat chicken with dressing, then with bisquick.  Press coating on generously so that it sticks to chicken.  Plan in pan and drizzle with melted butter.
3)  Bake uncovered for ~30 minutes or until juices of chicken run clear when thickest part is cut.
4)  Cook corn according to pkg. directions; drain.  Stir in rest of ranch.  Spoon onto plate and over chicken.

Chicken Tetrazzini

By:  Tami Soetenga

Preheat oven to:  400 degrees                          Cook time:  1 hr, 10 min.

     -  1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
     -  3 c. milk
     -  1 can (14.5 oz) reduced salt chicken broth
     -  1/2 tsp. dried thyme
     -  1 Rotisserie chicken, shredded
     -  6 Tbl. butter
     -  1/2 c. flour
     -  3/4 c. dry white wine
     -  3 c. Parmesan
     -  1 lb. linguine
     -  1 pkg (10 oz) frozen peas, thawed and drained
     -  Salt and pepper to taste

1)  Preheat oven.  Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.
2)  Melt 2 Tbl. of butter in a saucepan.  Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.  Cook; transfer to bowl and set aside.
3)  Make sauce by doing the following:  In a saucepan, melt 4 Tbl. butter, add flour and cook; whisking ~1 min.  While still whisking, gradually add milk, broth and wine.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Add 2 cups Parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper.
4)  Cook pasta 2 min. less than package directions; drain.
5)  Mix pasta with sauce, chicken, peas and mushrooms.  Will fill 2 shallow 2 quart dishes.  Sprinkle with Parmesan.
6)  Bake for 30 minutes and let stand for 10 minutes.

Orange Tapioca Salad

A Great Summer Twist on a traditional fruit salad!  SO REFRESHING!

Submitted by:  Dana Newbrough
Taken from:

Refrigerate:  6 hrs                              Serves:  5+

     -  3 c. Water
     -  1 (3 oz) pkg Orange gelatin
     -  1 (3.4 oz) Instant vanilla pudding
     -  1 (3 oz) pkg tapioca pudding
     -  1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
     -  1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
     -  1 (8 oz) whipped topping, thawed
     -  1/2 bag of minature marshmallows

1)  In a saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Whisk in gelatin and pudding mixes.  Return to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and cool completely.
2)  Fold in the rest of the ingredients.  Refrigerate for at least 6 hours - overnight.

Interviews and Cook Book Give-aways coming...

If you have a great story you want to share about memories in the kitchen, with food or funny stories of kitchen catastrophies, please send them to  Provide your full name and a picture (if you would like) and I will post these stories. 

Sharing stories like this is a great way to laugh and share those memories that are SO important to us!

Lastly, a cook-book giveaway coming in the next week - so keep posted!

Don't forget to keep sending those recipes and pictures!  And don't forget - these recipes are easy, nutritious, and are not fufu -- we love gourmet meals, as long as they don't break the budget!  :)

French Onion Soup

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Submitted by:  Vicki Marshall

     -  1 large onion
     -  2 cans of beef broth
     -  Croutons or thick slices of french bread (slightly toasted)
     -  Shredded mozzarella
     -  Salt and pepper to taste

1)  Slice onion and saute in skillet with butter.
2)  Pour beef broth over onions and cook for 30 minutes. 
3)  Put in oven proof bowls; add handful of croutons (or french bread slice) and mozzarella on top
4)  Place under broiler until melted.  Serves 4.

Baked Cinnamon Apples

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                                Cook time:  35-45 min.

     -  8-10 tart apples, peeled and sliced (Gala, Macintosh or Granny Smith)
     -  1/2 c. light brown sugar
     -  2 tsp. cinnamon
     -  2 Tbl. butter
     -  1 c. honey
     -  1/4 c. apple juice
     -  2 Tbl. lemon juice

1)  Sprinkle lemon juice over sliced and peeled apples; toss to coat
2)  In casserole dish, melt butter and stir in brown sugar, honey, cinnamon and apple juice.  Stir well.
3)  Add apple slices and stir to coat with mix.
4)  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 min - stirring often

Add ice cream or frozen yogurt to make into a yummy dessert!

Oven Barbequed Pork Chops

Submitted by:  Dana Newbrough
Inspired by: Southern food

Preheat oven to : 350 degrees                               Cook time:  1 hour

     -  6 pork chops, 3/4 - 1 inch thick
     -  1 medium onion, thinly sliced
     -  1/4 c. Apple Cider Vinegar
     -  3/4 c. water
     -  1 Tbl. brown sugar of honey (or 1/2 of each)
     -  1 Tbl. Worchestershire sauce
     -  1/2 c. ketchup
     -  1 tsp. salt
     -  1/4 tsp. pepper
     -  Dash of cayenne pepper

1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place pork chops on bottom of 13"x9" baking pan.
2)  Place sliced onions over pork chops.  Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl; pour over pork chops.
3)  Bake uncovered for 1 hour, or until pork chops are tender.  Serves 6.

Chocolate Eclair Cake

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mouth-watering good!  Tastes just like an Eclair!

Submitted by:  Mitzi Kukahiko
Needs to be prepped day before!

     -  Graham crackers
     -  2 small pkgs of Instant Vanilla pudding
     -  3 1/2 c. milk
     -  8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
     -  Icing (below)
     -  1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
     -  3 Tbl. milk

     -  2 (1 oz) squares of unsweetened chocolate, melted
     -  2 tsp. light corn syrup
     -  2 tsp. vanilla
     -  3 Tbl. butter, softened

1)  Grease bottom of 13"x9" pan.  Line bottom with graham crackers.
2)  Prepare pudding with milk.  Beat at medium speed until well blended.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Por half over graham crackers. 
3)  Cover with another layer of graham crackers.  Repeat with rest of pudding and cover with more graham crackers.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and then frost with Eclair Icing.

Icing prep and Frosting:
1)  Put all ingredients in a small bowl; beat until smooth
2)  Spread over graham crackers and refrigeration for 24 hours.


Bob Evans recipe!  Constantly receive requests for when guests come into town!

Preheat oven to directions on Crescent roll package.  Set cooking time accordingly.

     -  1 lb. favorite sausage (I love the hot!)
     -  mustard
     -  2 pkgs of crescent rolls
     -  Shredded cheese optional

1)  Cut sausage into patties and grill until no longer pink. 
2)  On large, flat cooking sheet lay out crescent roll triangles.  In center of triangle, spread a little bit of mustard (and add cheese if desire), then place down suasage pattie.  Fold each corner onto center of patty so that they are overlapping. 
3)  Cook according to crescent package instructions and voila!  Makes about 10 crescent/sausage "biscuits."

Sauted Spinach


     -  1 Tbl. olive oil
     -  1 bag of Spinach leaves
     -  2 garlice cloves finely chopped or 2 tsp. minced garlic
     -  1/2 Tbl. lemon juice
     -  Red Pepper flakes

1)  Wash and dry spinach leaves.  Chop and remove steams.  Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
2)  Place dry spinach leaves in skillet.  Add garlic, lemon juice and red pepper flakes (to your liking).  Place cover on skillet and let steam down 2-5 minutes. 

Crock Pot Potato Casserole

Cook time:  Low 8-10 hours or High 5-6 hours

     -  1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
     -  1 c. (8 oz) sour cream
     -  1/4 c. chopped onion
     -  1/4 c. (1/2 stick) plus 3 Tbl. butter, melted, divided
     -  1 tsp. salt
     -  2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and chopped
     -  2 c. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
     -  1 c. stuffing mix

(Photo shown with glazed chicken and sauted spinach)

1)  Combine soup, sour cream onion, 1/4 c. butter and salt in a small bowl.
2)  Combine potatoes and cheese into Crock Pot.  Por soup mixture over potatoes and cheese; mix thoroughly.  Sprinkle stuffing over and drizzle with remaining butter.
3)  Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours or on high 5 to 6 hours or until potatoes are tender.

Speedy Chicken Soft Tacos

Submitted by:  Dana Newbrough

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                                   Cook time:  25 min.

     -  1 lb chicken, breasts cut into fajita strips
     -  1 Tbl. olive oil
     -  1 small yellow squash, chopped
     -  1 small zucchini, chopped
     -  1 small onion, sliced
     -  1 Tbl. chili powder
     -  1/2 tsp. salt
     -  1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
     -  1/2 c. sour cream
     -  Favorite salsa
     -  Shredded cheese

1)  Thaw and cut chicken into fajita-style strips.  Heat oil in large nonstick skillet and cook chicken over medium-high heat about 3-5 min.
2)  Add squash, zucchini, onion, chili powder, salt and cayenne; stir to combine.  Add sour cream and reduce heat to medium; cook another 5-8 min or until vegetables are tender.
3)  Fit soft tortillas with mixture.  Wrap tortillas forming a burritos (I like to tuck in both ends) and place seam down on bottom of greased casserole dish. 
4)  Cover lightly with your favorite salsa and cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 min to melt cheese.
5)  Serve with Mexican rice.  Additional toppings once out of oven:  sliced black olives and shredded lettuce.
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