Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lemon Bars

When I was a kid, a couple friends and I decided we would have a "bake sale" to earn some money. When the day approached, I baked and baked and baked all kinds of delicious goodies. My mom helped me find recipes, and I think I can honestly say that I made everything pretty much by myself (I was in my teens . . . so maybe I shouldn't have said "kid"!). Anyway, for that bake sale, my mom introduced me to this fabulous thing called "lemon bars". I had never had them before but I fell in love! I probably ate more of them than I sold - I was officially addicted to lemon bars. Well, since that time, I've lost the recipe I used as a kid. I really honestly can't find it. And there hasn't been a lemon bar recipe that is quite the same. Maybe someday I'll find it's equal {or probably not - it's probably just the "kid" in me that thinks it will never be recreated . . . who knows!}. But in the meantime, I'll enjoy these beauties instead!

Lemon Bars

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten {I used egg substitute - much better for your heart!}
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons lemon juice {I used freshly sqeezed juice, and the pulp from the lemon - it adds a little more flavor but you would never know the pulp was in there!}
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Cream the flour, butter, and sugar. Press mixutre into 8 or 9 inch square pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350oF. Cool.
Mix eggs, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and baking powder; mix. Pour over cool crust and bake 25 minutes at 350oF. Sprinkle siften powdered sugar on top as soon as removed from the oven. Cool thoroughly before cutting into bars.
Note: If desired, 2 Tbls. lemon juice and 1 Tbap. grated lemon rind may be used.
Makes 16-18 bars.

I found this recipe at

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Baked Chicken

This wasn’t {I’ll be honest} our very favorite recipe. Not that anything was specifically wrong with the recipe, I just felt that it needed some added flavor. Unfortunately, I didn't add the pimentos {couldn't find them in the store - I'm sure I just didn't know where to look} so that could have made a lot of difference. I don't know because I have never had pimentos, at least to my knowledge! So I made this without and it really needed something. I added salt and paprika to mine, and that helped, but still more of something was needed - I can't figure what. So please leave your comments and let me know what you think I could do to it. {please excuse all the pictures. I had a little fun with the camera!}

Baked Chicken Salad

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 c. cooked chicken

3/4 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. lemon juice {I used about 2 Tbsp. of juice - I'm kinda a citrus fan - and also used the lemon pulp - still wasn't enough for me}
1 c. chopped celery {since I'm not a celery fan I only used about 1/2 cup - was still too much for me}
1/2 sm. onion, diced

1/4 c. chopped pimento {I didn't have any - sad day - this is probably why we didn't love this recipe!}
1/2 tsp. pecan or almond, chopped {I think I put in about a tablespoon - I like nuts!}
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped {I only had two in my fridge so that's what I used!}

2 c. crushed potato chips

Mix together all ingredients except potato chips.
Top with crushed chips.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until bubbly.

I found this recipe at:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lazy Lasagna

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a "recipe borrower." I love to "borrow" other people's recipes and make them, sometimes "perfect" them to my tastes, and claim them as my own. However, I try to be sure and give credit where credit is due. For example, today's recipe comes from the Kraft kitchen. And if you ever have a recipe that you are just dying to share with me {which I will inevitably post on this blog} please send it my way!
Moral of the story, I'm not very creative. I'm trying though. Actually, I'm working on perfecting a few small things {and when I say small, I really mean small!} Someday you will see a lot more original creations {by moi!} on here. For now, I'm gonna keep borrowing recipes.

Lazy Lasagna
Prep Time: 10 min Total Time: 1 hr 10 min
Makes: 8 servings

1 container (24 oz.) Low Fat Cottage Cheese
1/2 cup cholesterol-free egg product
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce {I used more than this - 1 jar + 1 can Garlic & Basil Tomato Sauce - and I wish I would have used even more}
2 cups frozen BOCA Ground Crumbles {I used ground turkey for this - I have a hard time buying "ready cooked" meat when it doesn't take very long to cook my own. And the turkey is a bit healthier than normal ground beef.}
2 cups rotini pasta, uncooked

Heat oven to 350°F. Mix cottage cheese, egg product and 1 cup mozzarella; set aside. Combine sauce and crumbles; spread 1/2 onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray.
Cover with layers of pasta and 1/2 of cottage cheese mixture; top with remaining sauce and cottage cheese mixtures. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella; cover with foil.
Bake 1 hour, removing foil after 30 min. Remove from oven; let stand 10 min. before cutting to serve.

Substitute: 2 beaten eggs for the egg product.

Note: this recipe is called "lazy" because you do not have to cook the noodles. I repeat, do not cook the noodles ahead of time. It'll be so quick - you may never go back to regular lasagna! Also, if you're a "two-people" family like we are, I would highly recommend cutting this recipe in half and making it in an 8x8 pan. We even had company over when we ate this dish and we were eating it for leftovers for weeks after! {ok, so maybe not quite that long, but it sure felt like it!}

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Classic Chicken Pot Pie

This is a favorite pot pie recipe at our house. In fact, since Dan first found this recipe and made it for me, I can't hardly stand the frozen-heat-in-your-oven varieties. This tastes sooo much better! And you get more for your buck too. Now, there are lots of great things you can do with this recipe to spice it up and change it up, which makes it sooo fun! I love chicken, so that's all we've ever done. But . . . . oh, I'll include my "other ideas" at the end after you've seen the recipe!

Classic Chicken Pot pie recipe
Makes: 4-6 servings
(Unfortunately, I don't know where Dan found this recipe. He found it after a vigil world wide web search and we don't have the original site anymore . . . at least that I can find . . . sorry about that!)
2 (15oz) cans mixed vegetables, drained
1 (10oz) can cooked chicken, drained
1 (10-3/4oz) can cream of chicken soup
¼ tsp. thyme or sage
2 (9-in) frozen ready-to-bake pie crusts, thawed

Preheat oven to 350oF. In medium bowl, combine vegetable, chicken, soup and seasoning; mix well.
Fit one pie crust into 9-inch pie pan; pour vegetable mixture into pie crust. Top with remaining crust, crimp edges to seal and prick top with fork. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is hot.
Allow pie to cool slightly before cutting into wedges.

Now possible variations:
  • You can always use homemade crust. Certainly an option and definitely cheaper. You can also use the crusts that can be bought in the refrigerator section {instead of frozen}. It'll still be yummy. Promise.
  • You could use beef chunks and cream of mushroom soup instead of chicken. Or cream of celery. Or you could use hamburger. Or make an entirely veggie pie. Oh, and I guess you could use your own chicken instead of canned. You could fry it first, or boil it, or bake it. Ooh, all sorts of endless possibilities!
  • I've successfully used both frozen and canned veggies. This last time we made it, I used frozen mixed veggies that included green and Lima beans. I don't usually like frozen green beans, and I'm honestly not a fan of Lima beans. But it was good in the pie! Next time I want to try adding some fresh broccoli to the mix. I used to hate broccoli . . . but I'm learning to like it.
  • Both spices are fabulous in this! Either one works great; and over the top I sprinkled some Italian Seasoning. Oh, it was so delish!
That's it for possibilities right now. I wouldn't want to give you all the ideas. You must use your own creative genius to discover the others. {Wait, are there others?}

I'll share one last photo of this delicious pie! I just couldn't resist playing around a bit:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mediterranean Artichoke Pasta

I found this recipe on and thought I'd give it a try. It is a little different. If you aren't used to the flavor of artichokes {which we weren't} then the flavors may take you by surprise a little. Overall, we really liked it. It did make a lot for the two of us {by the time we had leftovers for the third time I was tired of it} but it was still yummy. I think it is best right after it's been cooked when it's nice and warm.

  • 8 oz. penne pasta, uncooked {as you can see from my pic, I used egg noodle pasta instead . . . and it still tasted great! ;) }
  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, quartered {we didn't end up using the whole can - we were a little leary since we'd never used artichoke's in anything before - and I'm glad we didn't. It would have been over-kill for me. We also cut them up in smaller sections - but if you are a real artichoke lover, then don't change anything about this recipe!}
  • 1 can (2-1/4 oz.) sliced pitted ripe olives, drained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package. Drain; return to saucepan.
Add remaining ingredients; mix lightly. Cook 5 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.


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