chicken artichoke bacon pizza

1 Italian pizza crust
1 cup Alfredo sauce
2 cooked chicken breasts, diced
8 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (6 ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup asiago cheese, shredded
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup scallion, chopped

Spread pizza crust with Alfredo sauce. Top with remaining ingredients.
Bake in a preheated 375F degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with scallions before serving.


Photo: guillotinehead

Butternut Squash Soup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (1 teaspoon dried)
1 small butternut squash, chopped
6 1/3 cups chicken stock
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 pound of chopped cooked bacon , lobster, or crab. (no imitation)

Melt butter over moderate heat in large saucepan. Add the onion and rosemary and cook until soft (approximately 5 minutes).

Add chopped squash, chicken stock, heavy cream, salt, and white pepper and Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for approximately 2 hours - or until squash is tender.

Use blender to puree the hot soup.
add meat and chives to use for garnish.

Photo: by GodsMullet @

P.F. Chang's China Bistro Garlic Noodles

3 teaspoons minced garlic
3 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound fresh Chinese noodle or vermicelli
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
4 ounces Cantonese stir fry sauce (see recipe below)
1 Japanese cucumber or English cucumber
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Cantonese Stir Fry Sauce:
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon chicken base powder (no MSG)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons shaohsing wine or sherry
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Cook pasta. Rinse and cool down. Set aside. Toss in red chile flakes and cilantro.

Wash cucumber. Slice diagonally into 1/4-inch thick slices. Slice into strips. Set aside.

Heat wok thoroughly, add oil, then minced garlic. Stir fry briefly. Do not burn garlic or it will take on an acrid smell and taste. (If this happens, throw it out and start over.)

Add sugar and vinegar.

Add noodle to wok, stirring and tossing to mix until noodle is heated through.

Place on plates and surround with cucumber strips.

NOTE: Chinese noodle is available fresh frozen, and can be cooked like any fresh pasta. Bring water to boil, and noodles, separate. Drain and shock in cold water. Toss with salad oil. Uncooked fresh pasta can be frozen indefinitely.

Cantonese Stir Fry Sauce:
1. Very concentrated. Use sparingly when stir frying vegetables or tossing with noodles.
2. Recipe doubles.
3. Refrigerates well, up to a month.
4. Stir thoroughly before using.

Servings: 2

bacon cheeseball

1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese
1 pound cream cheese
1 pound bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1/2 pound 
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese
1 pound cream cheese
1 pound bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1/4 pound blue cheese
Pinch of garlic salt
Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Chopped pecans (optional) 

With all ingredients at room temperature, mix well.
Shape into 2 medium balls or 4 logs.

Serves 20.

Panera bread Broccoli Cheese soup

1 tablespoon butter, melted
½ medium onion, chopped
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup flour
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock or bouillon
½ pound fresh broccoli
1 cup carrots, julienne
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese

Sauté onion in butter. Set aside.

Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the chicken stock
whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions.
Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes.
Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now.
Pour in batches into blender and puree.
Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended.
Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

Source:Mary6311 at Photo:

Blueberry Streusel Scones

Blueberry Streusel Scones:

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
6 tsp. chilled, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) blueberries
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream

Streusel Topping:

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in middle of oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

For the Scones: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives.
The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Gently fold in the blueberries. In a small measuring cup combine the cream, beaten egg and vanilla.
Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough or the scones will be tough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches round and about 1 ½ inches thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into four pie-shaped wedges (triangles). I sometimes cheat and use a mini muffin pan, just grease it well! Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream or milk.

For the Streusel Topping: In a small bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until crumbly.
Top each scone with a teaspoon or two of the streusel mixture. Cover and refrigerate any leftover streusel mixture.

If you don't want to use the streusel, a lemon glaze can be placed on top after baking,
    ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
    1 lemon, zest finely grated
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Bake the scones until nicely browned, about 18 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. These are best eaten the day they are made but can be covered and stored for a few days.

Source:, photo:

Raw Broccoli Salad

1/2 pound broccoli florets, fresh and raw
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted cashew pieces
Pinch granulated garlic
Pinch white pepper
6 to 7 pieces chopped cooked bacon
1 avocado, cut into desired sized cubes

In a bowl, combine sugar, vinegar and mayonnaise.

Combine the all of the remaining ingredients, and mix with prepared sauce until well coated.
Makes 4 servings.

Monte Cristo

6 slices cooked turkey
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices cooked ham
6 slices American cheese
18 slices wheat bread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
1 large egg, beaten
Oil, for deep frying
Powdered sugar
Red raspberry jelly
Assembly of sandwiches: bread, turkey, Swiss cheese, bread, ham, American cheese, bread; cut in half diagonally. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together to blend well. Add water to the egg and add to the flour mixture mixing well.
Dip each sandwich half into the batter and deep-fry (oil must cover the sandwich) in oil pre-heated to 360 degrees F and fry until golden brown.
Remove from oil to paper towels. Sprinkle with the powdered sugar.
Serve with warm/room temperature jelly, if desired.

Bennigan's Turkey O'Toole®

photo:Kir Kanos

Pretzel Rolls

2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 1/4 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup butter - softened
3 tablespoons baking soda
2 quarts water
1 large egg yolk

In a small bowl, whisk the yeast and 1/4 cup of the water until smooth.
In the bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the remaining 1 cup water, the bread flower, yeast mixture, salt, and butter. Mix at slow speed for three minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the hook as necessary the mixture blends evenly. When the ingredients are well combined, increase the mixture speed to high and continue mixing and occasionally scraping until the dough is firm and elastic (about 8 minutes). If the mixture is too firm for the mixer to handle, finish kneading it by hand.

Turn the ball of dough out onto a lightly flowered work surface and let rest for five minutes, loosely covered with a kitchen towel. Line a baking sheet that will fit in your freezer with parchment paper and set aside.Cut the dough into eight equal pieces, approximately 4 ounces in size. Roll each into a five inch long cylinder about one inch in diameter. With the palms of your hands, roll each cylinder into a rope about 12 inches long, of even thickness throughout the entire length. Tie the rope into a loose knot in the center, then tuck the ends under the middle and mold gently into an attractive shape. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

When the pretzel dough is shaped, let it sit in a very warm, moist place to rise until almost doubled in size, about 30 to 50 minutes. Freeze the shaped, risen pretzel dough uncovered on the baking sheet for at least 2 hrs. and up to 24 hrs; the dough should be frozen solid.

Before removing the pretzels from the freezer, combine the baking soda and water in a large sauce pan and bring it to a simmer. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the pan from the freezer and, using a large flat skimmer, dip each frozen roll in the simmering water for about 3 seconds, letting the excess water drain before returning it to the baking sheet. Brush the pretzels with the egg and water mixture, then sprinkle coarse salt over them. Immediately place the baking sheet in the hot oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for 8-12 minutes more.

Source: Bennigan's

Pan Gravy




 For each cup of gravy use:

2 tbsp. Fat
2 tbsp. Corn starch (add a tbsp. Water to reduce starch)
1 cup liquid ( any form of preferred bouillon, or meat stock)

Skim meat stock for fat and place into a small sauce pan, add liquid and corn starch. Bring to a boil and set aside off heat, whisk until thickened.

If not thick enough: add small amount of reduced starch stir until thick.
If too lumpy: pour gravy through a strainer before serving
If too greasy: skim gravy with a lettuce leaf or paper towel

Flavor Boosters: celery, onion, garlic salt, peppercorns (white or black), if using meat stock, add flavored bouillon., and various spices depending on meat or vegetables.

Milan Cookies

Cookie recipe:
12 tbsp. Butter, soft, ( no substituting)
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp. Vanilla extract
2 tbsp. Lemon extract
1 ½ cup flour
6 egg whites

Cookie Filling:
½ cup heavy cream
8 oz. Chocolate chips ( milk chocolate or semisweet)
1 orange, zested

Cream the butter with a mixer til' smooth, slowly add sugar to butter and mix thoroughly. Add the eggs gradually and the extracts. Mix until smooth.
Add flour and mix until incorporated.

With a ¼ plain tip or a cookie scoop, pipe 1 inch sections of batter onto cookie sheet or parchment lined sheet, spacing them 2 inches from each other.

Bake in 350 f degree oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Let cool slightly on pan.

Cookie Filling:

In a saucepan over medium heat, scald cream. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a small bowl. Whisk to melt chocolate and add zest and blend well. Let cool ( It will thicken as it sits)

Spread a thin amount of filling onto the flat side of the cookie while the filling is still soft and press the flat side of the second cookie on top. Repeat until out of ingredients.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Nutmeg, ( powder is fine, but fresh taste better)
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 tbsp. Vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini (skin on)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tbsp. Orange zest

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda together.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat until well blended. Stir in oil vanilla, zucchini, pecans, chocolate chips, and orange zest. Stir in sifted ingredients.

Pour into 2 greased 9 by 5 loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove loaves from pans and cool. Chill loaves before slicing. Serve with whipped cream and ribbons of zucchini for extra flair.

Cheddar Biscuits

These are very quick and easy to make, will never hear a complaint about them.

2 ½ Bisquick baking mix
5 tbsp. Cold butter
1 cup of heaping cheddar cheese
¾ cup of cold milk (2% works best)
¼ tsp. Garlic powder

3 tbsp. Melted butter
1 tbsp. Garlic powder
¼ tsp. Dried parsley flakes
¼ tsp. Sea salt or coarse salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees F

Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a large fork. DON'T mix thoroughly. The butter should be small chucks about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk, and ¼ tsp. Garlic.

Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

Drop roughly ¼ cup portions of dough onto an non greased cookie sheet. I use an ice cream scoop. Bake for 15 – 17 minutes or until the tops are slightly brown.

Mix topping ingredients together and brush over the biscuits, use all the butter.

Serve immediately

Makes 12 biscuits

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

photo by: Heather K. 
I sometimes cheat and use a store bought graham cracker crust when I don't have time or just feeling' lazy. This cake is always a home run in our house and guests are always going for seconds. This recipe is for two cheesecakes, if one is only need just split all the ingredients in half except for the graham cracker crust.

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup of ground pecans
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
6 tbsp melted butter, (if using margarine, use stick NOT tub style)

Cheesecake Filling:
1 ½ lbs. Cream cheese (softened)
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 tbsp. Flour
1 tbsp. Vanilla extract
2 vanilla beans
2 tbsp. Heavy cream
4 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

For crust:

In a bowl, mix together the crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and ground pecans. Add butter and mix well. Press firmly and evenly into the bottom and ½ inch up the sides of a 9 inch pie pan or a spring-form pan. Bake about 8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

Cheesecake filling:

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Add sugar a little time, until gone then add flour and vanilla extract. Add eggs and cream, beating on low until it is all completely combined. Split open vanilla beans and scrape out the seeds and guts inside the bean, then add to batter. Save the split beans for garnish. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle rack until set, about 55 – 70 minutes depends on your oven and elevation. The center will be slightly soft.

Remove from oven, if using a spring-form pan, loosen outer ring, and for both let cool in the pan.
Refrigerate the cake for 6 hours, then remove outer ring. Top with the vanilla beans and a peppermint leaf.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Orange Sweet Potatoes

                                                                                           Picture provided by: Taste of Home
 This recipe is for everyone, even the ones that turn their noses up at sweet potatoes. Even my son, who HATES sweet potatoes, ate at least 4 of these last thanksgiving and has been requested for this years gathering. You can break down or increased ingredients, depending on how many people you want to feed. I never have leftovers, even when I make too much! 

1 tbsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. cinnamon
8 big sweet potatoes
12 oranges
1 bag of mini marshmallows
1 cup of brown sugar
2 sticks of butter
1/4 cup of orange juice, use only enough to make mashed potatoes creamy
Boil peeled potatoes until tender and drain. While potatoes are cooking, juice oranges, save orange juice and save empty halves, set aside both.
2 sticks of butter is not completely needed, but our family are butter eaters, so.... just put in enough that will satisfy your guests. Mash or whip potatoes with butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange juice and brown sugar to your desired thickness. 
Spoon potato mixture into empty orange halves. Make sure to save room for the marshmallows the will be placed on top. 
Place desired amount of marshmallows on top of orange and place in an 350 degrees oven until melted and lightly browned. 
Serve Immediately. 

Use the left over orange juice to drink or use as water in a jello mold. Happy Eating!

Thanksgiving Thankful Tree

I'm always trying to get my son to do crafts that don't require a lot of time to do but long enough to get him away from the television. Children can make a beautiful tree of hand print leaves or leaf cutouts that displays what the children are thankful for. This tree makes a great Thanksgiving decoration. We made ours out of twigs and foam sheets. 

Vase is from Wal-Mart for $4.00,
Vase fillers from the Dollar Tree for $2.00,
Foam sheets from Wal-mart $2.00,
Packaging twine $1.00, 
Twigs are from our yard. 
Spending time with the entire family,  priceless.
Sorry had to put that in there. We even made two for our dogs since they are family too. :) 

Supplies needed:
  • Construction paper  or foam sheets. (fall colors)
  • Crayons or markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue or a glue stick
  • substitute brown paper for twigs ( from hobby store or from your own yard)
  • string if twigs are used.
  • favorite vase, if using clear vase, use rocks to keep the twigs in place.
If using brown construction paper or foam sheets, cut out a tree trunk and branches. Trace hands on construction paper or foam sheets. Then cut out the tracings. These will be the leaves. 
Have each person write their names and what they're thankful for on each of the hand prints.
Glue or staple the tree trunk on a large piece of construction paper or onto a cork or bulletin board. If using twigs for tree, either glue to the leaf if you use paper or cut a small hole and pull string through it if using foam paper and tie to twig or glue or staple the hand print leaves to the tree.
If you don't want to use hand prints, use cut-out leaves.
Template  provided below.