• Fried Rice


    Here’s a great recipe for leftover chicken or turkey or use a rotisserie chicken. The leftovers are great too!

    The recipe is adapted from the November 2009 issue of Southern Living.


    • 2 TBSP vegetable oil, divided
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 c. diced onion
    • 1/2 c. diced red bell pepper
    • 1 c. cooked chicken, cut up
    • 1 1/2 c. frozen mixed vegetables, partially cooked
    • 3 c. cooked rice
    • 1/4 c. soy sauce
    • 1 tsp. Asian chili-garlic sauce


    1. Heat 1 TBSP oil in large skillet over medium high heat; add eggs, and gently stir 1 minute or until softly scrambled. Remove eggs from skillet and chop.
    2. Heat remaining 2 TBSP oil in skillet; add onion and bell pepper, and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add cooked chicken and mixed vegetables; stir fry 2 minutes.  Add rice, soy sauce, and chili-garlic sauce; stir fry 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in eggs.

    Fried Rice:


  • Easy Chicken and Dumplings


    This is a tasty, hearty, and super easy version of the slow cooked classic: chicken and dumplings.  Be sure to use low sodium broth, and if you don’t I would suggest using half broth half water, otherwise it will be too salty (trust me–there is plenty of salt in the rotisserie chicken, cream of chicken soup, and dumplings).

    This dish makes for a great weeknight meal, as it only took about 30 minutes to prepare, and that’s from start to finish!

    Recipe is adapted from the January 2010 issue of Southern Living.


    • 4 c. LOW SODIUM chicken broth
    • 3 c. shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken)
    • 1 10.75 oz. can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
    • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
    • 1 10.2 oz. can refrigerated jumbo buttermilk biscuits
    • 1 c. carrots, diced
    • 1 c. celery, diced
    • pepper, to taste


    1. Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Increase heat to medium-high and return to a low boil.
    2. Place biscuits on a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat each biscuit to 1/8 inch thickness; cut into 1/2 inch wide strips.
    3. Drop strips, 1 at a time, into boiling broth mixture.  Add carrots and celery. Cover and reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent dumplings from sticking.
    4. Season with pepper.

    Easy Chicken and Dumplings:


  • Easy Homemade Mac-N-Cheese


    I’m not ashamed to admit that I like boxed mac-n-cheese, especially with some chipotle Tabasco sauce. I’ve made homemade mac-n-cheese before, and most of the time the result is disappointing.

    The most important thing I’ve learned is the type of cheese you use is extremely important. Regular mild cheddar doesn’t melt well and doesn’t have any flavor, so your mac-n-cheese will have an odd consistency and be bland.  Even if you don’t like sharp cheese for regular eating use it for you mac-n-cheese…I promise you will love it and you won’t taste the sharpness. I used Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar, I totally recommend it.

    This recipe is adapted from the October 2009 issue of Southern Living.


    • 2 c. milk
    • 2 TBSP butter
    • 2 TBSP all purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 10 oz. block of Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
    • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (optional)
    • 10 oz. package elbow macaroni, cooked


    1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.
    2. Preheat oven to 400.
    3. Microwave milk on high for 1 1/2 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt butter over medium-low heat; whisk in flour until smooth.  Cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute.
    5. Gradually whisk in warm milk and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened.
    6. Whisk in salt, black pepper, 1 c. shredded cheese, and red pepper until smooth; stir in cooked pasta. Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased 2 qt. baking disk; top with remaining cheese. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

    Homemade Mac-N-Cheese:


  • Crispy ‘n Sweet Chocolate-Hazelnut Dumplings


    This recipe comes from the October 2008 issue of Southern Living.  They are absolutely delicious, but I think they need to be eaten pretty soon after they are made.


    • 1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
    • 1 c. Nutella
    • 3 TBSP flour
    • 1/2 (16oz) package of won ton wrappers
    • Vegetable oil
    • Powdered sugar


    1. Combine cream cheese, Nutella, and flour in a bowl.
    2. Working with one won ton wrapper at a time, moisten the edges with water. Place 2 tsp. of the filling in the center; fold over to create a triangle; seal the edges.  Repeat.
    3. Heat a good amount of oil to 375.  Fry dumplings until golden brown.  Remove and place on paper towels.
    4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

    Note: to make sweet pumpkin dumplings, omit cream cheese, Nutella, and flour; combine 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin, 1/4 sugar, 2 TBSP brown sugar, 2 TBSP honey, and 3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice; then follow above.
    Crispy ‘n Sweet Chocolate-Hazelnut Dumplings:


  • Quick Turkey Chili


    This chili recipe comes from the October 2008 issue of Southern Living, and is one darn good chili! The chili went really well with the extra cheesy grilled cheese too and a tossed green salad!


    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 lb. ground turkey
    • 2 TBSP chili powder (I used 1 TBSP chili powder and 1 TBSP ancho chili powder
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 3 TBSP tomato paste
    • 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
    • 1 (16-oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • 2 c. chicken broth
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. pepper
    • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
    • Garnish: sour cream


    1. Saute chopped onion in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender; add garlic, and saute 1 minute.
    2. Add turkey, chili powder, and cumin, and cook, stirring often, 8 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in tomato paste, and cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and next 5 ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Garnish, if desired.

    Quick Turkey Chili:


  • Extra Cheesy Grilled Cheese


    Grilled cheese is delicious, and this recipe adds another dimension. By adding parmesan/pecorino Romano to the butter the sandwich develops a really nice crunch. This recipe is adapted from a recipe in the October 2008 issue of Southern Living.


    • 1/4 c. butter
    • 1 TBSP parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese
    • bread
    • cheese slices of your choice
    • Butter for pan


    1. Combine butter and parmesan/pecorino in a small bowl.
    2. Heat some butter in your skillet over medium high heat.
      Place cheese slices on your bread. Butter one side of the bread; when skillet is hot add sandwich cheesy butter side down; then butter the top of the sandwich with the cheesy butter. When bottom is golden brown, flip.

    Extra Cheesy Grilled Cheese:


  • Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars


    Brace yourselves. There are going to be quite a few dessert recipes in the next few days. -s has a couple of work functions where it’s been requested that he bring desserts. This recipe comes from the Southern Living, September 2006 issue. These cheesecake bars are EXCELLENT! There are a couple of things we did do differently and a couple we will do differently next time, and I’ll note those changes at the end.

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup butter, softened
    • 3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1/3 cup sour cream
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 (12-oz.) package NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Mini Morsels, divided


    1. Beat first 3 ingredients at medium-low speed with an electric mixer until combined. Increase speed to medium, and beat until well blended and crumbly. Pat mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.
    2. Bake at 350° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
    3. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition. Add sour cream, vanilla, and 1 cup chocolate morsels, beating just until blended. Pour over baked crust.
    4. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
    5. Microwave remaining chocolate morsels in a 2-cup glass measuring cup on HIGH 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Drizzle over cheesecake. Cover and chill at least 4 hours; cut into bars.

    Notes and Tips:

    1. To avoid cracking use the traditional water bath for the cheesecake. Simply place the pan in a larger pan filled about half way with water.
    2. We used a slightly smaller pan (our other 2 large pans were otherwise occupied) than the recipe calls for. The crust was the correct thickness, but the cheesecake was too thick for even cooking. So next time, we will use a bigger pan and make 1.5 of the crust recipe. I think one recipe of the crust in a bigger pan will make the crust too thin to hold up to the cheesecake.
    3. Cut the bars and then drizzle with chocolate.
    4. The best way to drizzle: put the melted chocolate into a ziploc bag, cut a small amount of the bag off in one of the corners and then pipe the chocolate onto the bars.


    Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars:


  • East-West Flank Steak


    This recipe comes from Southern Living, but I’m not positive about the year published…I think it was April 2004. The flavors of the steak are excellent. The steak should marinate at least 8 hours in the fridge, but we usually do an over night marinade. It’s really easy to prepare and cook, and it’s perfect for those hot summer nights. Serve the steak with some grilled zucchini or veggies of your choice. The important thing to keep in mind when slicing flank steak is to slice against the grain, because if you slice with the grain, you will have stringy shoe leather meat.

    The leftovers work great as a topper for salads, tacos, and even a steak and egg dinner. We’ve prepared this recipe numerous times, and it’s always a crowd pleaser.


    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 2 TBSP brown sugar
    • 2 TBSP lime juice
    • 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger
    • 1 tsp. dried crushed red pepepr
    • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 4 green onion, finely chopped
    • 1 (2 pound) flank steak, trimmed


    1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a shallow dish or large zip-top freezer bag; add steak. Cover or seal, and chill 8 hours, turning occasionally.
    2. Remove steak from marinade, discarding marinade.
    3. Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes; cut into thein slices diagonally across the grain.

    East-West Flank Steak:


  • Cuban Mojo Chicken with Mandarin-Black Bean Salad


    These recipes come from Southern Living and are excellent and perfect for a hot day, lighter dinner, and entertaining.

    Cuban Mojo Chicken:

    • 1/4 cup fresh oj
    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspon ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • Chicken


    1. Combine: first 7 ingredients in a zip-top plastic freezer bag or shallow dish; add chicken. Cover or seal, and let stand for 20 minutes. Make Mandarin-Black Bean Salad while chicken marinates…see below.
    2. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade. Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
    3. Grill chicken
    4. Pour marinade into a saucepan and boil for 2 minutes
    5. Cut cooked chicken diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices and drizzle with cooked marinade.

    Mandarin-Black Bean Salad:

    • 2 c. mandarin orange segments, well drained
    • 1 c. canned black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 3/4 c. diced jicama
    • 2 TBSP chopped red onion
    • 2 TBSP seeded, minced jalapeno
    • 2 TBSP shredded fresh mint leaves
    • 1/4 tsp salt


    1. Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl. Let stand until ready to serve, tossing occasionally.

    Cuban Mojo Chicken with Mandarin-Black Bean Salad: