Monthly Archives: December 2013


Chili – submitted by Jess L.

1 lb. ground beef
1 package of sliced portabella mushrooms
1 onion- chopped
1 red pepper-chopped
1 yellow or orange pepper-chopped
1 jalapeno- chopped remove seeds
1 pablano pepper- chopped remove seeds
1 can chili beans- add in all including juices
1 can black beans-drained
1 can kidney beans-drained
1 large can diced Tomatoes
1 Large can tomato sauce
3 gloves garlic
(Seasonings to taste, I just put them in so I am not 100% sure how much)
chili powder-about 1 tbsp
cumin- about 1 tsp
red pepper powder-to taste, I use little
garlic salt

Brown beef and drain, add all peppers, onions and mushrooms to large skillet and heat until soft and giving off lots of juices. Poor everything else into a crock pot add cooked indigence and and simmer on low for 6-8 hours. ( I add my seasonings to the pan of peppers when sauteing them, it releases a lot of the flavor)
Sour Cream, Cheese, Crackers


Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Chocolate Truffle Cookies – submitted by Sonia W.

4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened
chocolate, chopped
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. In the microwave or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, and the butter stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whip eggs and sugar until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and the chocolate mixture until well mixed. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually stir into the chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining 1 cup chocolate chips. Cover dough and chill for at least an hour or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Roll chilled dough into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets so they are 2 inches apart.
3. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Parmesan Chicken Manicotti

Parmesan Chicken Manicotti – submitted by Terri S.


7 pieces Manicotti, cooked according to directions
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 egg
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and black pepper
1 can Italian style crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
6-8 basil leaves


1. In a medium bowl, combine cooked shredded chicken, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, oregano, salt and pepper together and stir until well mixed.
2. Stuff each cooked manicotti with about 1/4 cupful of the chicken and cheese mixture carefully so that the manicotti doesn’t tear.
3. Add the crushed tomatoes to a saucepan and cook over low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan and 1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves and stir frequently, until it starts to bubble. Simmer until heated through.
4. Spray baking dish with cooking spray and place the stuffed manicotti in it. Pour about 1 cup of sauce over the manicotti. Sprinkle with Italian cheese blend and parmesan cheese. Place basil leaves on top.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Toffee Bars

Toffee Bars – submitted by Mara O.

Prep Time

10 Minutes

Total Time 1:15

Makes 32 bars


1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg yolk

2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

2/3 cup milk chocolate chips

½ cup chopped nuts, if desired


Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, vanilla and egg yolk. Stir in flour and salt. Press in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.

Bake bars 25 to 30 minutes or until very light brown (crust will be soft). Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips on hot crust. Let stand about 5 minutes or until chocolate is soft; spread evenly. Sprinkle with nuts.

Cool bars 30 minutes in pan on wire rack. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows.

Makes 32 bars

Egg Tagliatelle with Ham and Peas

Egg Tagliatelle with Ham and Peas – submitted by Mara O.

(or Tailgate Pasta for Rochelle)

Makes: 4 servings


Salt and pepper

1 pound egg tagliatelle

3 tablespoons EVOO

4 tablespoons butter

2 large shallots, chopped

2 large cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 pound mild ham, cut into 1/8-inch cubes

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup heavy cream

Freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup thawed frozen peas or blanched fresh peas

3 – 4 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

Grated parmgiano-reggiano, for tossing and topping


Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the butter to melt until foaming. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add the ham and cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir the wine into the ham mixture and cook, swirling, to reduce by half. Stir in the cream and season with nutmeg. Stir in the peas and tarragon. Remove the sauce from the heat.

Add the pasta and some cheese to the sauce; toss, stirring in the reserved cooking water to thin the consistency if desired. Season with salt and pepper and top with more cheese.

Chocolate Mint Candies Cookies

Chocolate Mint Candies Cookies – submitted by Rochelle H.


3/4 cup butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 tablespoons water

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 (4.5 ounce) packages Andes mints


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar, butter and water, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from heat, stir in the chocolate chips until melted and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl, and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll cookie dough into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, be careful not to overbake. When cookies come out of the oven, Press one mint wafer into the top of each cookie and let sit for 1 minute. When the mint is softened, swirl with the back of a spoon or toothpick to make a pattern with the green filling of the mint wafer. For smaller cookies, break mints in half.

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan – submitted by Rochelle H.


For the sauce:

1 (28 ounce) can Italian stewed tomatoes

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 green bell peppers, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 T oil

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste


For the chicken:

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

About 1 cup of Italian season bread crumbs

1 – 2 eggs, beaten

oil for frying

1 ½ cups of shredded mozzarella



In a stock pot or large kettle, sauté the onions, peppers, garlic in oil. Pour in tomatoes, and reduce heat. Add sugar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer about 40 minutes.  Blend the sauce in a blender.

Put eggs and bread crumbs in two separate bowls.  Dip chicken breast in beaten eggs. Transfer breast to breadcrumb mixture, pressing the crumbs into both sides. Repeat for each breast. Set aside breaded chicken breasts for about 15 minutes.   Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Cook chicken until golden brown and chicken is cooked through.

Pour the sauce into a 9” x 13” baking dish, reserving some for the top of the chicken.  Place the cooked chicken on top of the sauce.  Coat the top of the chicken with the remaining sauce.  Put ¼ cup of cheese on each chicken breast.

Bake at 350 until the cheese is melted.

Lime Coconut Snowballs

Lime Coconut Snowballs – submitted by Terri S.


Cook Time: 12 minutes


Butter Cookie Dough
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into sixteen 1/2-inch pieces, at cool room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut , pulsed in food
processor until finely chopped, about fifteen 1-second


1. FOR THE COOKIES: In bowl of standing mixer fitted with flat beater, mix flour, lime zest, sugar, and salt on low speed until combined, about 5 seconds. With mixer running on low, add butter 1 piece at a time; continue to mix until mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet, about 1 minute longer.
Add vanilla and cream cheese and mix on low until dough just begins to form large clumps, about 30
2. Use hands to roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake one batch at a time in 375-degree oven until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
3. FOR THE GLAZE: Whisk cream cheese and 2 tablespoons lime juice in medium bowl until combined and no lumps remain. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar until smooth, adding remaining lime juice as needed
until glaze is thin enough to spread easily.
4. Dip tops of cookies into glaze and scrape away excess, then dip into coconut. Set cookies on
parchment-lined baking sheet; let stand until glaze dries and sets, about 20 minutes.

Sausage and Spinach Lasagna

Sausage and Spinach Lasagna  – submitted by Susan B.


  • 2 eggs
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 10 oz. box chopped frozen spinach (thawed, excess liquid squeezed out)
  • ¼ c. shredded parmesan cheese


  • 1 lb. pork sausage
  • 24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
  • ¼ c. shredded parmesan cheese (for top)
  • ½ lb. mozzarella cheese
  • ½ lb. uncooked lasagna noodles



  • In a skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink. Drain.
  • Mix first 5 ingredients together.
  • Grease 13×9 pan (can also use two 8×8 pans) – cover with a little sauce
  • Layer noodles, cheese/spinach mix, mozzarella, sausage, and sauce
  • Repeat layers, ending with sauce
  • Sprinkle ¼ c. parmesan cheese
  • Cover and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees


  • Can bake directly from frozen, will take at least 90 minutes at 350 degrees
  • May wish to remove the cover and continue baking until the top is browned, about 10-15 min.
  • Also excellent as a meatless dish, just omit the sausage


Tater Tot Hotdish

Tater Tot  Hotdish – submitted by Jessica B.


2 lbs. ground beef

kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

1 10 oz. can low-sodium cream of mushroom soup

1 cup sour cream (low fat is okay)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 32 oz. package frozen tater tots



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.

Brown ground beef. Season with salt and pepper, while browning. Drain.

Spread ground beef in the prepared baking dish. Whisk together soup and sour cream. Spread over ground beef in an even layer.

Sprinkle one cup of cheddar cheese over the soup layer.

Top with tater tots.

Bake 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.


To cook from frozen:

Thaw beef mixture.  Top with frozen tots and cook as above.

Hot Roast Beef/Ham Sandwiches

Hot Roast Beef/Ham Sandwiches – submitted by Sonia W.


  • 12 whole Dinner Rolls Or Small Sandwich Buns (I Used White & Whole Wheat)
  • 1 pound Thinly Shaved Roast Beef Or Ham (or Both!)
  • 1 pound Cheese (Provolone, Swiss, Mozzarella, Even Cheez Whiz!)
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 3 Tablespoons Grated Onion (or 1 Tbsp Dried Onion Flakes))
  • 1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Spicy Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Horseradish Mayo Or Straight Prepared Horseradish
  •  Dash Of Worcestershire
  •  Optional Dressing Ingredients: Sriracha, Hot Sauce, Dried Onion Flakes Instead Of Fresh, Garlic Powder, Pepper, Etc.)

Preparation Instructions

Slice rolls in half. Mix together mayo, grated onion, poppy seeds, spicy mustard, horseradish, and Worcestershire. Taste it and adjust ingredients however you wish.

To assemble, spread dressing on top and bottom buns. Lay on roast beef or ham, then one or two slices of cheese (I cut them to fit the small buns.) If you’re using Cheez Whiz, spread a layer on the top bun.

Wrap each sandwich in a foil square, and either keep in the fridge or bake right away. To bake the sandwiches, put them on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The buns should be slightly crusty and the cheese should be melted.

Great for a crowd!

From: The Pioneer Woman

Brown butter & sea salt chocolate chip cookies

Brown butter & sea salt chocolate chip cookies – submitted by Sonia W.
Serves: 24 cookies
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips (I used all semi-sweet because my husband ate all the milk chocolate)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan
over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this
process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan.
Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty
aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few
3. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk,
vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until
combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Chill your dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator, or place in freezer for 30 minutes if you are super
5. Once dough is chilled measure 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. It doesn’t have to be perfectly rolled.
Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart and sprinkle each dough ball with a little bit of sea
6. Bake the cookies 9-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will
look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Cool the cookies on
the sheets and sprinkle with a little extra sea salt if desired. Remove the cooled cookies from the
baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe by Ambitious Kitchen at