Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Make It From Scratch Is Up!

The latest edition of Make It From Scratch is up at Green Style Mom. Check it out for all of the fun ideas everyone is sharing!
Just to let you know, I will be hosting the one-year anniversary edition of Make It From Scratch on February 12th at Its All For The Best. Get your entries in the works now.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Simple Pizza Sauce

Pizza sauce is a nice thing to have handy in the freezer for pizza, pizza subs or bread sticks. It is very simple to throw together and freezes well.

Pizza Sauce

1 15oz. Can Tomato Sauce

1/2 t. dried Oregano

1 t. dried Basil

1 t. dried Parsley

1/8 t. Garlic Powder

Mix all together and heat through. Store leftovers in refrigerator for up to 10 days.


~For a thicker sauce, I use 1 4oz. can of Tomato Paste and 3/4 to 1 Cup of water in place of the Tomato Sauce. Stir the water in slowly until you reach the desired thickness.

~Freeze in small containers or in freezer bags.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Link It Up!

Tuesday means it's time for the Make It From Scratch Carnival! It's up over at To Motherhood and Beyond this week. There are so many great entries, so get over there now and get inspired!

It's snowing here today and I thought this would be a nice time to share this cool (pun intended) list of recipes and crafts at Family Fun. They're all snow and snowman inspired and too cute for words!!!

I know that Christmas is barely over, but any good cook knows that you have to plan ahead. Family Fun also has some fabulous Valentine's Day ideas for you. They're sure to motivate you to plan the treats for your loved ones today!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Fewer combinations will get my mouth watering quicker than peanut butter and chocolate. I don't care for PB&J and I don't like peanut butter alone, but pair it with chocolate and I am the one who melts!
These bars are so very simple to make, the recipe makes a generous quantity and everyone loves them! If you like peanut butter cups or buckeyes, treat yourself to this homemade version. They are rich and make wonderful lunchbox treats or classroom treats (just make sure no one has peanut allergies first!). This is also a great thing for the kids to help you make since there is no cooking involved.
Peanut Butter Bars
Bottom layer:
1/2 C melted Butter/Oleo
2 C Peanut Butter
2 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
1/2 C Brown Sugar
Mix all ingredients well (this can be done with the dough hook on most stand mixers); press into a foil-lined 9x12 inch pan.
Top Layer:
12 Oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate (chocolate chips work well)
4 T. Margarine/Oleo
Melt Chocolate and margarine together in microwave at 30 second intervals stirring each time until smooth. Spread over peanut butter mixture. Chill for about 30 minutes. Cut into 24 to 36 bars (depending on how big you like them). Chill at least 90 minutes more. Lift from pan with foil lining. Store in refrigerator.
~You may have to cut the bars again after they are finished chilling, but they are easier to cut the first time when they are only partially chilled.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Beginning A Culinary Career

If you are passionate about cooking or want to begin a career in the culinary arts, the restaurant industry or hospitality, a great place to start is with a top-notch culinary institute. Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts in Dallas is one such place. Dallas Culinary Arts offers a number of exciting programs that will afford you the skills and real-world experience that you will need to begin an entry- to mid-level position in the food-service industry.

Some of the courses offered in the program cover the basics of knife techniques, sanitation, nutrition and menu development. Other courses concentrate on the basics of pastry doughs, fillings, cake decorating and cake assembly. International cuisine is also covered with in-depth studies of ingredients and cultures. Management, quantity-preparation and restaurant operations are some of the other areas that are well covered in the curriculum. The classrooms at the institute are current with the latest restaurants and allow for one-on-one interaction between students and teachers.

Paying for any education can be tough, but financial aid for the Dallas Culinary Arts program is available for those who qualify. The institute participates in several programs that begin upon application and continue through graduation. The financial-aid staff at the institute will help you through every step of the entire application process. Early application is recommended for financial aide. Students also have the opportunity to work part-time while studying at the institute.

The experience gained at Dallas, Atlanta Culinary Schools and LV Culinary Schools will prepare you to take on a career as a cook, apprentice chef, caterer and more. The institute's career-assistance program aides students with interviewing skills, resume writing skills and networking techniques. Can you imagine yourself working as a personal chef or in the grand kitchen of a luxurious resort? The career-placement program continues even after graduation helping graduates to secure jobs locally and internationally and even aides students who wish to start their own business.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Simple Supper: Chicken Paprikash

Want a super simple supper that is cheap to make? Something easy to prepare that everyone will LOVE??? Give Paprikash a try!

Paprikash is a classic Eastern European dish complete with light and fluffy dumplings to top it off. YUM!

Chicken Paprikash
4-5 Lbs. Chicken (you can use boneless, but bone-in gives it better flavor. I recommend thighs for this dish)

1 T. Paprika

1t. Salt

1/2 t. Ground Black Pepper

4 T. shortening or oil

1 Medium Onion, chopped

1/2 C water

8-16 oz. Sour Cream


1 Egg

3C Flour

1 t. Salt


Melt shortening in large skillet. Season both sides of chicken with paprika, salt and pepper. Place chicken in skillet and brown on both sides. Then add onion; drain off fat. Add the water, reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes until chicken is very tender.

Meanwhile, put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Combine egg, flour and salt to large mixing bowl and mix using wooden spoon or a stand mixer with a dough hook. Slowly add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until dough is the consistency of thick, sticky cake batter. Drop by teaspoons into boiling water and allow to boil until they float- about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

Remove chicken from bones. Return chicken to pan and add sour cream to your liking. Add dumplings and serve.


* My guys LOVE the dumplings, so I make 3 to 4 times the dumpling recipe when I make this.

~ Serve with salad!

Make It From Scratch #47 Is Up!

Click on over to Walkabout to check out the latest edition of Make It From Scratch! You won't want to miss this one!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu is nothing more than a fancy french name for Chicken, Ham and Cheese. The three together make a fabulously melty main dish that goes well with green beans, peas, broccoli, California blend or just a simple salad.

These freeze well and would make a nice meal for a new mom. Wrapped individually in wax paper and frozen, they would make a great item to heat up for a quick lunch.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 Boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts



8 Slices Swiss or Swiss-American (white American) Cheese

4 Slices Deli Ham

1/2 C. Oil or Cooking Spray

Plain Bread Crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray or grease a 11x7 baking dish. Pound chicken breasts out to 1/4 inch thickness. Salt and pepper top side of pounded chicken. Top each breast with 2 slices of cheese and one slice of ham. Roll each breast up and secure closed with a toothpick if necessary. Coat outside of each breast with cooking spray or oil; salt and pepper to taste. Roll each breast in bread crumbs to coat and place seam-side down in greased baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sorry I'm Late.

Sorry this is so late, but I had another post to write so I could get it out of my system.

Check out the Make It From Scratch Carnival at The Common Room. Click on over and check out the wonderful entries this week!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Easy, Versatile Stir fry

This is by far my favorite Stir fry! I learned to make it in Home Ec. class in high school. Since then, I've tried stir fry at restaurants, but I've never had one that compares to this.
The thing I like best about it is how versatile the recipe is. You can make it with practically anything meat or veggies you might have on hand. It is perfect for leftover chicken or pork! I also make it with shrimp (the cheap little salad shrimp are perfect!) to eat during Lent. You can even make it without meat for a vegetarian version!
You can even buy the bags of frozen stir fry veggies and it will save you tons of time! I've kept the ingredients below to carrots, broccoli, corn and celery since they are common veggies found in our home. You can also add 1 small can of Water Chestnuts, Red Bell Pepper cut in strips, Peas or Snow Peas and Bean Sprouts.
Stir fry
2 Qt. Water
2 T. Salt
2 T. Oil
1.5 to 2 Lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken; cut into 1/2 inch strips
3-4 C. Broccoli pieces (can be fresh or frozen)
3 Carrots, peeled and chopped or 1.5 C. Baby Carrots, chopped.
1 can (or 1 small bag frozen) Kernel Corn
2 stalks Celery, chopped.
3/4 C. Soy Sauce
3/4 Cup Sherry
3 tsp. Corn Starch
3-4 C. Cooked Rice or Noodles
In a large pot, bring water and salt to a boil. Heat oil in wok or large frying pan. Cook chicken strips in oil until cooked through; set aside. Par boil all veggies in water for about 30 seconds; drain well. Add veggies to hot oiled (you may have to add a bit more oil after cooking chicken) wok or frying pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until crisp. Add cooked chicken pieces to veggies. Mix sherry and soy sauce. Pour 1 Cup of soy sauce mixture over veggie mixture. Add corn starch to the remaining soy sauce mixture and mix well. Add corn starch mixture to veggie mixture and stir to thicken. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve over cooked rice or noodles.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Homemade Croutons

Croutons are a wonderful addition to any salad or soup. My kids also like to eat croutons as a crunchy, munchy snack.

I do buy croutons occasionally, but I really like to make my own. Not only is it cheaper to make your own, but you can control the ingredients and the flavor. I make mine with real butter, but you could certainly use margarine, oil or extra virgin olive oil if you like.

I start by saving leftover or stale bread, buns, rolls and biscuits in the freezer or refrigerator. I have noticed that the heel ends of bread make wonderful croutons because the crust gets particularly crispy! You can also buy day-old bread for this purpose. Sometimes I buy an extra fresh loaf just for croutons.


4 C. Bread or Bread Scraps, cubed
4-6 T. Butter or Oil
1 t. Onion Powder
1 t. Parsley
1/4 t Garlic Powder
Begin by cubing your bread or bread scraps and setting them aside. Melt about 1 to 2 Tablespoons of butter for each cup of cubed bread. Add seasonings to the melted butter and mix well.

In a large bowl, drizzle butter over cubed bread and toss well. Spread mixture in a sheet or jelly roll pan and bake at 425 for 10 to 15 minutes. Watch closely as they can burn easily. When they start to brown, remove from oven and mix to turn pieces over so they will brown evenly. Return pan to oven for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Store in a tightly covered container or in a zip-top bag.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Make It From Scratch Is Up!

The newest edition of the Make It From Scratch Carnival is up at Keeping Feet! Check it out and make sure you resolve to make it from scratch this year!!!

Happy New Year and thanks for reading!!!