• Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken


    As I am always on the lookout for tasty crockpot recipes, I found this one at A Year of CrockPotting. It was tasty, and the sauce would make an excellent sauce for enchilladas–stuff tortillas with stewed chicken and smother with the cream cheese sauce…definitely will make these.


    • 1 can of cream-of something soup
    • 1/2 c, chicken broth
    • 1 packet of dried Italian salad dressing mix
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tsp. paprika
    • 1 lb. chicken breasts, bite size pieces
    • 8 oz. block of cream cheese


    1. Combine soup, broth, salad dressing mix, garlic cloves, and paprika in crockpot. Then add the chicken.
    2. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours, add the sour cream, stir and cover for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cream cheese is melted. Serve over rice.

    Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken:


  • Greek Pasta Salad


    This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks: Stop and Smell the Rosemary. This pasta salad is delicious and a definite crowd pleaser. You can keep it vegetarian or grill up some chicken and top the salad with the grilled chicken. It’s also a great picnic or potluck dish as it can sit at room temperature with no problems.


    • 2/3 c. olive oil
    • 6 TBSP fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 TBSP fresh oregano, minced
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. pepper


    • 12 oz. pasta
    • 1 1/2 c. grape tomatoes, halved
    • 3 ribs celery, chopped
    • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
    • 5 green onions, chopped
    • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
    • 1 1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
    • 12 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
    • 20 Greek olives, pitted (optional)
    • 12 pepperoncini, chopped (optional)
    • Grilled chicken breasts (optional)


    1. Whisk oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper until combined. Set aside.
    2. Cook pasta according to directions on box. Combine pasta, tomatoes, celery, cucumber, green onions, bell peppers, parsley, and feta (if using olives and/or pepperoncini add now) in a large serving bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours to allow flavors to blend. Serve with grilled chicken if desired.

    Greek Pasta Salad:


  • Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce


    We fell in love with Latin cuisine when we lived in Houston. It’s bold and flavorful, and just down right delicious.

    Here’s my version of flank steak with Chimichurri sauce.

    Flank Steak Marinade:

    • 1 flank steak (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
    • 1/4 c. olive oil
    • 1/4 c. lemon juice
    • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/8 tsp. pepper


    1. Combine all ingredients in a ziploc bag and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.
    2. Grill, until desired doneness. Slice.

    Chimichurri Sauce:

    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 2/3 cup lemon juice
    • 3/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
    • 6 large cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1/2 tsp. salt


    1. Combine all Chimichurri sauce ingredients and serve over flank steak.

    Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce:


  • Dilled Potato Salad with Asparagus


    Originally I was going to make Dilled Chicken Fricasse with New Potatoes and Asparagus for dinner, but -s decided he really wanted to smoke chicken legs. I really needed to use up the asparagus and potatoes, and since the dill in our garden is exploding, we needed to use some of that too. So I created this delicious potato salad. It’s served room temperature, and it doesn’t have mayo, which makes it a good dish to bring for a picnic or potluck where the dish is going sit out for a while.

    It wasn’t until we were eating dinner that I realized the flavor components of the potato salad are very similar to the dilled chicken fricasse recipe…no wonder I loved it!


    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 shallot, minced
    • zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/4 tsp. salt (plus more for the potatoes and asparagus)
    • 1/4 c. chopped fresh dill
    • 3 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 1/2 lbs. new potatoes
    • 1 lb. asparagus


    1. Combine the garlic through the olive oil in a small bowl and set aside.
    2. Cook the asparagus (either in boiling water or in the microwave), until for tender. Depending on the size of the potato, either halve or quarter them and season with salt.
    3. Steam the asparagus, until fork tender. Cut the asparagus into 2 inch pieces and season with salt.
    4. Combine the potatoes and asparagus in a bowl and pour dressing over. Toss to combine and serve room temperature.

    Dilled Potato Salad with Asparagus:


  • Taco Meat


    I found this recipe at A Year in the Kitchen. It was really good, just a too salty for our tastes, so next I’ll reduce the amount of salt. Recipe below has the adjusted salt amount.

    Use the spice mixture to flavor ground beef, ground turkey, or chicken, and then you’ve got great flavored meat for any Mexican dish…salad, tacos, enchiladas, nachos etc.

    Spice Mixture Ingredients:

    • 2 TBSP dark mexican chili powder
    • 2 TBSP ancho chile powder
    • 2 TBSP cumin
    • 2 tsp. coriander
    • 2 tsp. onion powder
    • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp. cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp. dry oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. salt (start with this amount…can always add more salt)


    • 2 tsp. olive oil
    • 1 lb. ground beef, chicken
    • 1 red onion, minced
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 c. chicken broth


    1. Combine the spice mixture in a bowl and set aside.
    2. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add meat, onions, and garlic until saute until meat is browned and nearly cooked through. Add spice mixture and broth, and simmer for about 8 minutes.
    3. For our taco salad, I served it family style with ice berg lettuce, black beans, pickled jalapenos, meat mixture, cheese, red onions, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, and cilantro (can add olives, corn, salsa etc.).

    Taco Meat:


  • Salmon Sandwiches


    I found this recipe at Taste and Tell, and she got it from Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook. It’s more about the sauce than the fish, and the sauce tasted delicious!


    • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
    • 1/8 c.sour cream
    • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
    • 6 fresh basil leaves
    • 1/2 c. chopped dill
    • 3/4 TBSP chopped scallions, white and green parts
    • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
    • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
    • 1 1/2 tsp. capers, drained
    • Salmon, grilled, baked or broiled
    • Greens
    • Rolls


    1. Place the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, basil, dill, scallions, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until combined. Add the capers, pulse two or three times.
    2. Prepare salmon as you like. Spread the sauce on the roll, top with salmon and greens.

    Salmon Sandwiches:


  • Kung Pao Chicken


    This recipe comes from the December 2005 issue of Cooking Light. I’m not sure what makes it Kung Pao…it was good, but not craveable.


    • 1 TBSP canola oil, divided
    • 4 c. broccoli florets
    • 1 TBSP ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World), divided
    • 2 TBSP water
    • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
    • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch strips
    • 1/2 c. fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    • 2 TBSP hoisin sauce
    • 2 TBSP rice wine vinegar
    • 2 TBSP low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tsp. cornstarch
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 TBSP coarsely chopped salted peanuts


    1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli and 2 teaspoons ginger to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add water. Cover; cook 2 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Remove broccoli from pan; keep warm.
    2. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in pan; add remaining 1 teaspoon ginger, crushed red pepper, and chicken. Cook 4 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned, stirring frequently.
    3. Combine broth and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, and stir with a whisk. Add broth mixture to pan; cook 1 minute or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Return broccoli mixture to pan; toss to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts.

    Kung Pao Chicken:


  • Sun-dried Tomato Pasta


    I found a recipe on the box on angel hair pasta, which interested me. I adapted that recipe to create my own version, and the result was a delicious sun-dried tomato pasta. Great dinner for a summer day, as it’s full of flavor and doesn’t require much kitchen time. -s’s only complaint that it was a little on the dry side, but it’s not meant to be saucy. You could always add a bit of pasta cooking liquid or some more olive oil too.

    Next time, I’ll add more sun-dried tomatoes and possibly some grape tomatoes. Artichoke hearts would also be a delicious addition…kind of a play on spinach and artichoke dip, but lighter, healthier and in pasta form.


    • 1 box of whole grain angel hair pasta
    • 4 oz. of sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil (use more if you like), drained and chopped
    • 3 TBSP olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 6 oz. bag of fresh spinach, cleaned and roughly chopped
    • 2 c. grated pecorino romano cheese
    • 1/2. c. basil, chiffonade
    • Additions: grape tomatoes and/or artichoke hearts


    1. Cook pasta according to the directions on the box.
    2. Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and spinach in a large bowl (if adding grape tomatoes and/or artichoke hearts, add them now).
    3. Add the hot pasta, and toss gently. Add the cheese, and toss gently. Sprinkle basil on top and serve.

    Sun-dried Tomato Pasta:


  • Beef with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Feta


    It’s Thursday, and time for another crock pot recipe. I found this recipe at a great food blog dedicated to crock potting. I changed the cut of beef to top sirloin, since we can’t get tri-tip in our neck of the woods, and I also changed the cooking time. It was pretty good, and everyone actually ate it…even our youngest who has not been the best dinner eater of late. I created a quick couscous salad to serve along with the beef, which was really good.


    • 1 lb. tri-tip or sirloin, cut into bit size pieces
    • 1/6 c. white wine
    • 4 oz. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
    • 4 oz. garlic and herb feta cheese cheese
    • Cooking spray


    1. Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Add beef to crock, then add wine, tomatoes, and feta cheese.
    2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours.
    3. Serve over couscous salad.

    Quick Couscous Salad Ingredients:

    • 1 c. couscous
    • 1 1/2 c. water
    • 1 tsp. olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
    • 1/2 basil, chiffonade


    1. In a covered saucepan bring couscous, water, olive oil, salt and pepper to a boil. Remove from heat, keep covered and let stand for 10-15 minutes.
    2. Fluff the couscous with a fork.
    3. In a bowl combine couscous, tomatoes, and basil. Mix well and adjust seasoning if necessary.

    Beef with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese:


  • California Raisin-Confetti Pasta with Chicken


    Here’s another one of this dishes that reminds me of mom’s home cooking. My mom made this dish a lot when I was growing up, because we all liked it. Not sure where she got the original recipe…perhaps the San Francisco Chronicle. The dish has olives in it, and since -s claims to not like olives I don’t cook this very often. With -s out of town, I was going through my old recipe cards, came across this one, and new I should make it. It was pretty darn tasty…just as I remember.

    You can make this vegetarian by omitting the chicken and adding extra tomatoes, nuts, raisins, and olives.


    • 1 lb. pasta
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 lb. chicken breasts, but into bite size pieces
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 1/2 c. chicken stock
    • 1/2 c. white wine (you can substitute the stock here if you don’t like/use wine)
    • 1 1/2 c. grape tomatoes, chopped
    • 1/3 c. raisins
    • 1/3 c. nuts
    • 1/3 c. olives, chopped
    • 1/2 c. parsley, minced


    1. Get pasta water started, and cook pasta according to directions on the box.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick pan, heat olive oil over high heat. Add chicken, salt, and pepper and saute for 5 minutes; then add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken mixture and put in a bowl and keep warm.
    3. Return pan to stove over high heat add the stock, wine, and tomatoes and boil for 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Add raisins, nuts, olives, and parsley, and cook for 2 minutes. Return chicken to pan, toss to coat and heat through. Serve over pasta.

    California Raisin-Confetti Pasta with Chicken: