Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fun, quick, and dippable!

Pizza Pinwheels

  • 1 (8 ounce) can refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 24 slices pepperoni, chopped
  • 1 (14 ounce) can pizza sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. On a large baking sheet, pinch the 8 crescent roll dough triangles into 4 rectangles. Seal really well!! Layer each rectangle with a couple teaspoons of the chopped pepperoni and even amounts of mozzarella cheese. Roll tightly lengthwise and slice each into 4 or more pieces.
  3. Roll should look like this before slicing into 4 pieces.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  5. Serve with pizza sauce or ranch for dipping.
We thought these were fun and easy! We don't like pepperoni so I just chopped up some turkey deli meat and used a couple teaspoons on each roll-up, along with a couple T cheese (ham would be great, too). You have to be careful not to over-fill, or log will be messy. These are great for a lighter main dish or a fun appetizer/after-school snack. To make rolls easier to work with, freeze can or crescent rolls 15 minutes before working with them.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Roasted veggies that taste good

Roasted Vegetables with Chicken in a Sweet Onion Sauce

  • red potatoes, cut into bite-size chunks
  • sweet potatoes
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • baby carrots
  • tomatoes (I kind of thought these got too soggy though- it's personal preference)
  • mushrooms
  • green or red pepper or both
  • 1-2 chicken breasts
  • Vidalia Sweet Onion Dressing (I buy this at Sam's Club), or Honey Mustard, or any dressing you love
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place potatoes, carrots and onions on greased baking tray. Drizzle with dressing, salt and pepper.
  3. Cook for 20 minutes, then add the tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender, turning veggies in the pan every 15 minutes so they don't burn on the bottom.
  4. I cooked my chicken in the crock pot with a little dressing and then just cut it up last and added to the cooked veggies, tossing with a little more dressing.
We thought this was very tasty. A nice twist on a classic meal. Supposedly you can roast a ton of veggies one night and have them to eat for the whole week. I thought I cut up a lot but we ate them all! This onion dressing is really good, but this would be tasty with a lot of dressings, including ranch and honey mustard. We also like this dressing mixed in with tuna fish and eat it in sandwiches or with crackers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chocolate pastry of sorts

Easy Chocolate Croissants
  • 1 8-count tube refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.

  2. Unroll the dough and separate it into 8 triangles. Place about 10 chocolate chips on the bottom third of each triangle and roll the dough up around the chocolate.

  3. Transfer the croissants to a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper, if desired, for easier cleanup). Bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

These are similar to those yummy Arby's chocolate pastries. Same deal- chocolate melty good stuff with the non-sweet pastry. These are versatile; I used 2 squares of cookies 'n creme candy bar and it was really good that way. You can try squares of Hershey chocolate, with or without a marsmallow or two for another good treat. Another recipe I saw used pie crust, using a cookie cutter to cut two shapes, add the chocolate on one, top with the other, seal, and bake. I'd like to try that sometime, too. These disappeared really fast at our house.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Italian Shells

Italian Turkey Stuffed Shells
(picture and recipe from

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes (cut up and big pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (I used about half)
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil (I cut in half)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (I also cut this in half)
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 4 cups shredded Italian Style cheese (I used 2 cups from the Italian Blend cheese package)
  • 12 large shell pasta and drain
  • 1 pound of cooked browned ground turkey (or beef)


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Brown and drain the ground turkey.
    3. Boil the water and cook the Large shelled pasta, drain and rinse with cold water.
    4. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until translucent, about three minutes.
    5. Stir in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, mushrooms, and 4 cups of the shredded cheese. Cook until the cheese has melted, stirring occasionally. While the sauce is cooking, add the cooked turkey.
    6. Place the pasta in a 9x13 inch glass dish sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon the mixture into the shells, saving sauce to spoon around the shell pasta.

    Cover the top of the dish with foil. Bake in the preheated oven about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with green salad or green beans and bread.

  • I saw this recipe on Good Things Utah. We thought it was great! I halved the cheese, didn't melt it before putting it in the oven, browned the onions with the ground turkey instead of separately to save time. The ground turkey is pretty healthy and cheap, too. It tasted good in this recipe! I cut the seasonings in half just to make it less potent for the kids. Season to preference.

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    Another BBQ-ed Crockpot Chicken recipe

    Slow Cooker BBQ Beef
    • 4-6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 1 (18 oz.) bottle of barbecue sauce
    • 1/2 cup prepared Italian salad dressing
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    1. Place chicken in crock pot.
    2. In a bowl mix 2/3 of the bottle of barbecue sauce, Italian Salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over chicken.
    3. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low.
    4. Shred chicken and place back in crock pot. Drain any excess juice if desired.
    5. Add remaining 1/3 of bottle barbecue sauce to chicken and mix.
    6. Makes at least 8 sandwiches.
    We loved this meal! One of my favorite meals is just a good sandwich on a good roll. I halved the recipe and used 2 large chicken breasts and it made plenty. I always put frozen breasts right in the crock pot to save time. Tastes wonderful on these rolls. Just make the roll size a big larger.

    Saturday, November 8, 2008

    Some more yummy Panda Express style

    Bourbon Street Chicken
    (adapted from

    • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
    • 2 T. vegetable oil
    • 2 T. cornstarch (or enough to coat cubed chicken)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1/4 t. garlic powder
    • 1/4 t. ginger (I just do a sprinkle- I'm not a ginger fan)
    • 1 t. crushed red pepper flakes (or less, depending on heat preference)
    • 1/2 c. apple juice
    • 2/3 c. brown sugar
    • 1/4 c. ketchup
    • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
    • 1 c. water
    • 2/3 c. soy sauce

    1. Cut chicken breasts into bit sized pieces, and lightly dust with cornstarch. Heat oil in your wok or frying pan and fry chicken until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
    2. Combine all sauce ingredients into frying pan and bring to a boil. Add chicken. I also added a mix of 2 T cornstarch with 1 T water to thicken up the sauce. When it thickened, I turned down to low. I served veggies on the side with rice. This amount fed 3 adults. The sauce is very generous, which we prefer with the rice.
    We loved this, and I enjoyed the fact that I always have these ingredients on hand. It is a sweet and spicy combination. Next time I'll probably do just 1/2 t. red pepper flakes because it was a bit spicy for the kids.

    Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken Recipe:
    (Serves 4-6)

    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    1/4 cup apple juice
    1/4 cup light brown sugar
    2 Tablespoons ketchup
    1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
    1/4 cup cornstarch

    Place chicken breasts in the bottom of slow cooker.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, apple juice, brown sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, water and soy sauce.  Pour sauce on top of chicken.  Replace lid and cook 6-8 hours on low.  Remove chicken and shred or cut into chunks.  In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/4 cup of sauce from the crock pot.  Whisk together and pour back into the crock pot to thicken the sauce.  Return chicken to the slow cooker and let warm until ready to serve.  Serve over rice and garnish with additional red pepper flakes.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Making cheesecake a great snack

    Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
    (recipe from, taken from cookbook)


    • 1 & 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 2/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
    Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a 9″-square baking pan (mine was round). Line pan with parchment paper (I used tinfoil), leaving enough to extend over the sides. Butter the parchment paper. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter until crumbs are moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Press crust mixture into bottom of pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Set pan on wire rack to cool.

    Cookie Dough

    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    Using an electric mixer, mix butter, brown sugar, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract at medium speed until smooth. Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour. Mix just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.


    • 10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar just until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating just until blended. Pour batter into baked crust. Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls over the top of the filling.
    Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until set. Transfer to wire rack.

    For chocolate topping, melt 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave. (Tip: put the chocolate chips into a zipper bag and heat on 50% power for a few minutes. Cut the corner off the bag and squeeze the bag to make drizzling less messy). Use a teaspoon to drizzle chocolate over top of bars. Cool bars in pan completely, about an hour.
    Using the edges of the parchment paper, remove bars from pan. Cut into bars (clean the knife after each cut) and serve. Best in fridge for a couple of hours.

    These really don't take that long, though it seems like they could. Prep time was about 30 minutes for everything, and then the 35 minutes in oven. These are so fun and good! The cookie dough isn't dough-ey, it is cooked, but it is soft and a good texture with the cheesecake filling. These make a lot if you cut them in little bars, and they are so fun to eat! Yummy!