Saturday, June 13, 2009

Chicken Lasagna

This lasagna was soooo good and I bet you can guess where I got this recipe. Yep...Mandi. Let me explain on why I have all these recipes if I haven't already. Mandi made a cookbook for everyone in her family and yes, I'm an extended part of that if she likes it or not, so she emailed it to me too. I need more Mandi!!!

Lasagna brings back memories of high school. My group of friends and I used to go to Blair's parent's house and make the best lasagna. (Blair you still have that recipe???) We would invite the group of guys we hung out with and try to win their hearts over. LOL You know they say that food is the key to a man's heart so we just started a little early. What great fond memories!!!

Chicken Lasagna

4 chicken breasts
3 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp Tony's seasoning
1 cube chicken broth or 1 cup
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp basil
1 can (16 oz) stewed tomatoes (blended in food processor)
2 cans 6 oz tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce
1 package lasagna noodles
1 (10oz) Monterrey Jack cheese
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs beaten
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp parsley
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 lb mozzarella cheese

Boil 2-3 cups water; add chicken and first 4 ingredients. Simmer 30 minutes covered. Shred chicken and add next 6 ingredients to meat and simmer uncovered until thick (45-60 minutes) stirring occasionally. Cook noodles, drain and rinse in cool water. Combine Monterrey Jack cheese with milk and next 4 ingredients. Place 1/2 the noodles in the pan, spread 1/2 cheese mixture, ass 1/2 mozzarella cheese and 1/2 meat mixtures. Repeat layers. Bake 375 for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Baking is my happy place

I know I've been writing a lot about recipes and food but I'm really enjoying being a wife to a husband who comes home every night. I love to cook and be the domestic diva that I am. :-) Last night we had a party for all the scouts that were in town for mini-camp. Since the guys always work late we decided to do desserts and cocktails for a little after work winddown.

I love to bake so I was pumped when Jon thought that we'll just do desserts instead of a meal. I inherited the love of baking from my mother-in-law. Besides my grandmother, she's one of the best bakers I've ever known. Her recipes are just amazing! There is a dessert called Strawberry Pretzel Salad that she makes that is my favorite!! I've made it multiple times and has always been delicious.....until yesterday. Monday morning I decided to do all my baking so I didn't have to rush around yesterday with baking. My intentions were good but it didn't happen that way. I started off making the pretzel salad but it turned out all wrong. It's a layer of pretzels as the crust, a cream cheese mixture in the middle, and the top is strawberries and jello. Well, my jello somehow seeped to the bottom. I was ticked! I then decided to go to the store yesterday morning to redo the dessert but it happened again!!! Needless to say I had a lot of pretzel salad and NO ONE ate it!!!! They were too interested in my chocolate trifle and cake balls. :-)

The party was a success and I loved seeing all the guys. I have a feeling this isn't going to be our last get together. We're bringing Southern hospitality up to the North. :-)

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

8 oz cream cheese
bag of pretzels
large container of cool whip
2 (3 oz) boxes of strawberry jello
2 (10 oz) cartons of sliced strawberries
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tbsp regular sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter
2 cups pineapple juice

  1. Melt butter in a 9x13 glass dish. Mix 2 cups of crushed pretzels and 1 tbsp spoon of sugar to butter in dish. Smooth out pretzels into layer for the crust. Bake at 350 degrees at 8 minutes. Let cool completely.
  2. Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar then add cool whip. Once pretzels are cooled, spread cream cheese mixture onto crust.
  3. For the top layer, put pineapple juice into medium size sauce pan. Add jello and heat until Jello dissolves. Remove and add strawberries. Pour over cream cheese layer. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next recipe was a HUGE hit. It's kind of time consuming but very worth it!

Cake balls

cake mix (any flavor)
frosting (any flavor)
almond bark (chocolate or vanilla)
any topping (coconut, nuts, sprinkles, etc)

Bake cake according to directions. Let cool. (you may want to put it in the fridge to cool off. It's easier to roll up in a ball that way) Once cooled, crumble cake into a bowl and mix in frosting. Use a small ice cream scooper or melon baller and make small balls. Place them on cookie sheet that is covered in wax paper. Melt bark and dip balls into them. Decorate immediately after dipping. I suggest to freeze balls before dipping in bark. It's easier to dip that way!

Another big hit.....

Sweetheart Trifle

1 chocolate cake mix
1 (10 oz) peanut butter chips
4 1/4 cup milk, divided
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla
2 boxes instant chocolate pudding mix
1 (12 oz) carton Cool Whip
4 Nestle Crunch bars, crumbled

Prepare cake mix and bake in 13x9 inch pan according to directions on box.. In heavy saucepan combine chips, 1/4 cup milk and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chips are melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature. Combine remaining milk and pudding mixes and beat on low speed for 2 minutes. To assemble, crumble 1/2 of cake into 4 quart trifle bowl. Layer with 1/2 of peanut butter mixture, pudding, Cool Whip and candy bars. Repeat layers. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Serves 12-15

That's about all the desserts I made. Oh no....I did do fruit with a yummy dip. All the dip is marshmallow creme and cream cheese blended together. YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!!!!

I did make a yummy wine punch for the wives.

White Sangria Fizz

1 cup fresh OJ
1/2 cup sugar
1 (750 ml) bottle dry white wine
1 1/2 cups sparkling water, chilled
Garnishes: lime, orange and lemon wedges

Stir together OJ and sugar in a large pitcher until sugar dissolves. Stir in wine. Cover and chill 8 hours. Stir sparkling water into wine mixture just before serving. Yield: 7 servings.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Genius...Pure Genius

So I tried another one of Mandi's family's recipes and I can't even express how much I loved this recipe and what wonderful memories it brought to my mind! If you're from the NOLA area you all know about the delicious stuffed artichokes. They are heavenly! Mandi is the one who introduced them to me and I was hooked from the first bite. I remember going to her house in Marrero and Ms. Laurie making them for us. Those were the days! Oh...if you don't know...Mandi was my roommate in college.

Anyway, when I made this Snap Bean Casserole recipe the other day I had no clue what it would taste like. I just read the recipe and it sounded good so I made it. Low and behold it tasted like a stuffed artichoke! it tasted so good and what a wonderful surprise it was for me. So now when I'm craving a little taste from home I have a wonderful recipe to bring me back. :-)

Oh and Mandi....if you have more recipes like this PLEASE send me them!!!!!!

Snap Bean Casserole

2 cans French style green beans
1 cup Italian cheese, grated
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
5 pieces of garlic
1 large can of artichoke hearts

Chop artichoke hearts. Add egg, cheese, oil, garlic, crumbs, and beans. Bake in casserole at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Thats it! SOOOO EASY!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sausage and Tomato Rigatoni

One of my favorite websites to go to for recipes is Kraft Foods. On their website you can sign up to get magazines sent to your house with wonderful recipes in it. Here's one that I cooked the other night and it was really good. It calls for Italian sausage. For people who are like me and don't like sausage and never tried Italian sausage before just try it. It has a sweet flavor to it and is really delicious.

4 cups rigatoni pasta (8oz) uncooked
1 lbs Italian sausage, cut into chunks
1 medium red onion, sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing (I couldn't find this so I used Red Wine Vinaigrette)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook pasta as directed on package
  2. Meanwhile, brown sausage in large nonstick skillet; drain. Stir in onions and tomato paste; cover. Cook 15 minutes or until onion are tender and sausage is cooked through (170 F), stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing.
  3. Toss sausage mixture with pasta. Sprinkle with parsley and cheese.

Makes 4 servings, about 2 cups