Time has flown

It has been forever since I last updated this blog. I suppose blogging is not my forte however prior to my last shopping trip I choose 17 new recipes to give a shot and am drawing near the end so I will have many recipes to eventually post. For now here are just a couple. Hope you enjoy them as much as me and my family. They were a particular favorite for my little girl, as they are primarily a "kids" food.

Double Dipped Chicken Nuggets 6 Servings

¼ c. all purpose flour

½ t. seasoned salt

1 cup finely crushed corn flakes cereal

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces

¼ c. margarine or butter, melted

1. Heat oven to 400’F. In plastic bag, combine flour and seasoned salt, shake to mix. Place crushed cereal in another plastic bag.

2. Add chicken pieces to flour mixture in bag; shake to coat. Dip floured pieces in margarine; coat with crushed cereal. Place in ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan.

3. Bake at 400’F for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

Oven-Fried Potato Wedges 4 Servings

¾ t. salt

½ t. sugar

½ t. paprika

¼ t. ground mustard

¼ t. garlic powder

3 medium unpeeled Idaho or russet baking potatoes (8 to 10 oz each)

Cooking Spray

1. Heat oven to 425’F. In small bowl, mi salt, sugar, paprika, mustard, and garlic powder.

2. Gently scrub potatoes, but do not peel. Cut each potato lengthwise in half; cut each half lengthwise into 4 wedges. Place potato wedges, skin sides down, in ungreased 13x9-inch pan.

3. Spray potatoes with cooking spray until lightly coated. Sprinkle with salt mixture.

4. Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. (Baking time will vary depending on the size and type of potato used).

Banana Bars

1/2 butter, softened
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 egg
1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 medium)
1/2 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 15x10x1 inch baking pan; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occassionally. Beat in the egg, mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla until combined. Beat or stir in the flour. Stir in pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading evenly.
2. Bake about 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Icing. Cut into bard.

NOTE: If you are using a pan that is 16x11, shave a couple minutes off of the baking time to prevent the bars from burning.

Powdered Sugar Icing
1 c. powdered sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
1 T. milk or orange juice

1. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 T. milk. Stir in additional milk, 1 t. at a time, until icing reaches drizzling consistency. This makes enough to drizzle over one 10-inch tube cake. Or in this case, the large pan of banana bars.

4 c. chopped, potatoes
2 1/4 c. water
3-4 T. butter
6 T. flour
2 1/2 c. milk
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. salt
1/2 t. onion powder
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup bacon bits or crumbled bacon strips

1. Cook potatoes until tender. Do not drain.
2. In a separate saucepan, combine the butter, flour, milk, pepper, salt, and onion powder. Stir often until thickened.
3. Add sauce to potatoes. Add cheese, corn, and bacon.

12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or thighs
2 T. honey
2 T. vinegar
2 T. orange juice
4 t. soy sauce
1 1/2 t. cornstarch
2 T. cooking oil
4 c. cut-up vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, sweet pepper, onion, or mushrooms
2 c. hot cooked rice

1. Cut up chicken into bite-size strips; set aside. For sauce, in a small bowl stir together honey, vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce, and corn starch; set aside.
2. Pour oil int a wok or large skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Add vegetables to wok; cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from wok. Add chicken, cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Push chicken from center of the wok. Stir sauce; add to center of the wok. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.
3. Return vegetables to wok. Cook and stir about 1 minute or until heated through. Serve over rice.

**Depending on how wet and covered you like your rice, you may consider doubling the sauce. I did not when I made it. It was still good but my personal preference is to have enough sauce so I can stir it in with my rice and have the rice partially coated as well.

1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
1/4 c. oil (any oil except olive oil)
2 T. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and let sit at least 2 hours till sugar dissolves. (All day is fine)

Iceberg, green leaf, and red leaf lettuce
Wonton skins (slice thinly and brown lightly in hot oil)
Green onions, sliced
Celery, sliced
Sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
Sesame seeds
Chicken in bite-size pieces -- may use canned chicken
Break lettuce into small pieces. Add all other ingredients except wontons and toss with dressing. Just before serving, toss in wontons or serve them in separate bowl.

This salad has become my absolute favorite. My sister-in-laws and I hosted a bridal shower this past weekend where we served this salad. It is so delicious! We omitted the sesame seeds and placed both the almonds and wontons in separate bowls for guests to add if they would like. Very simple to make and will be a definite hit!

2 cups uncooked farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1/4 c. olive or vegetable oil
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 t. grated lemon peel
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
3 T. lemon juice
1 can (15-16oz) navy beans, rinsed and drained
Freshly ground pepper, if desired

1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
2. Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook bell pepper, asparagus, lemon peel, salt, and 1/2 t. pepper in oil, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender.
3. Stir lemon juice and beans into vegetable mixture. Cook until beans are hot. Add pasta; toss. Sprinkle with pepper.

I made this to fulfill the "Vegetarian" requirement for my cooking class and much to my surprise my little girl loved it, noodles and all!

Cheerio Treats

For FHE I was in charge of treats and was frantically looking for something quick and that my 15 month old would enjoy. I found marshmallows but no rice krispies so I used cheerios and it was a tasty and healthier choice.

1/4 c. butter
1 (10 oz) package marshmallows
8 c. cheerios

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add package of marshmallows, stirring occasionally until marshmallow is melted. Remove from heat and add cheerios. Stir until cheerios are evenly coated with marshmallow. Press into a greased 9x13 inch dish.

3 c. whole wheat rotini pasta
10 Ritz crackers, crushed
3 T. Parmesan cheese
1 t. dried oregano leaves
1 egg white
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb)
2 c. tomato-basil spaghetti sauce, divided (I used traditional spaghetti sauce)
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package. Meanwhile, combine cracker crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oregano in a dish or bowl. Lightly beat egg white in a separate dish or bowl. Dip chicken in egg white, then roll in crumb mixture until evenly coated. Set aside.

2. Spray nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat on medium heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Spoon 1 cup spaghetti sauce over chicken; top with mozzarella cheese. Cover skillet with lid. Reduce heat to low; simmer 3 minutes or until sauce is hot and cheese is melted.

3. Meanwhile, drain pasta; return to pan. Add remaining 1 cup spaghetti sauce; toss to coat. Cook on medium heat 2 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Spoon onto serving plated; top with chicken.

1 pkg (8 oz) sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 egg whites
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1 (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese, divided
1 pkg (8 oz) manicotti shells (14 shells), cooked, drained
2 c. spaghetti sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Beat egg whites lightly in medium bowl. Add mushroom mixture, spinach, ricotta cheese and half each of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses; mix well. Spoon evenly into manicotti shells.

2. Place in 9x13 inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with spaghetti sauce.

3. Bake 40 minutes or until heated through. Top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses; continue baking 5 minutes or until mozzarella cheese is melted.

**If you do not like spinach, there is a good chance you may still like this dish. I am not a spinach fan but enjoyed it. With me being pregnant I could only tolerate it at dinner time and as a leftover for one day. It is a much healthier variation of manicotti so I would recommend giving it a shot.

*VERY quick, easy, and scrumptious!

1 pkg. (8oz) fusilli pasta
1/2 c. Italian dressing, divided
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
2 c. broccoli florets
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta as directed on package.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 c. of the dressing in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Add vegetables and parsley; cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Drain pasta; mix with chicken mixture and remaining 1/4 c. dressing. Sprinkle with cheese.

2 c. cold milk
1 pkg (4-serving size) Chocolate instant pudding
2 bananas, sliced
3/4 c. thawed Cool Whip

1. Pour milk into medium bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended.

2. Spoon half of the pudding evenly into 4 dessert glasses. Cover with layers of banana sliced and 1/2 c. of the whipped topping; top with remaining pudding and remaining whipped topping.

3. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving

Cucumber Salad

2 medium unpeeled cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/3 c. cider or white vinegar
1/3 c. water
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
Chopped fresh dill weed or parsley, if desired

1. Place cucumbers in small glass or plastic bowl.
2. In tightly covered container, shake remaining ingredients except dill weed. Pour over cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours to blend flavors.
3. Drain cucumbers. Sprinkle with dill weed. Store covered in refrigerator.

My mother makes a pretty amazing New England Clam Chowder but sometimes the "clammy" flavor is just a bit too much for me. I made this recipe for a cooking class I am enrolled in at college and I loved it. Because it is a tomato base rather than cream base it is so much healthier for you. In fact, this particular recipes is low fat. Not only that, but to me it did not seem as "clammy" flavored as other Clam Chowders I've eaten. Let me know what you think!

1/4 c. finely chopped bacon
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cans (6.5oz each) minced or whole clams, undrained
2 medium potatoes, diced (2 cups)
1/3 c. chopped celery
1 c. water
2 t. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 t. dried thyme leaves
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1 can whole tomatoes, undrained

1. In a large pot, cook bacon and onion over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp and onion is tender; drain off fat.

2. Stir in clams, potatoes, celery and water. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

3. Stir in remaining ingredients, breaking up tomatoes with a fork. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.

I must say I have tried many variations and recipes for homemade macaroni and cheese and this one is by far our favorite!

2 T. cornstarch
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 1/2 c. milk
2 T. butter
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 (8oz) elbow macaroni, cooked
1 c. diced ham

In pan combine the first 4 ingredients. Add butter and stir constantly. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, add drained macaroni and pour into a greased dish. Stir in ham. Bake uncovered at 375 for 25 minutes.

4 chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 soup can milk
1 T. parsley
8 c. noodles, cooked

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in crock pot. Cook on HIGH 5 to 6 hours.
2. Serve over noodles or rice. (I used egg noodles)

*This was delicious and had plenty of gravy to coat the noodles so they were not dry and sticky upon taking a bite.

I'm Back!

So I've decided I am pretty terrible at this whole blogging thing. I have every intention of updating but with working, being a full time student, a wife, and a mom I find my time very limited. Anyways....I have made several new recipes the past 1-2 weeks but have neglected to take the pictures. Even though you will not be able to see what the finished dish looks like (until you make it on your own) these are all recipes I will be making again. In other words me and my little family found them to be quite tasty so I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

My Grandfather makes awesome Peanut Butter Milkshakes. He gets asked to make them every so often. I made a point to ask him to make them when they last came to visit. I wrote down the "recipe" and made them recently. If you like Peanut Butter, you will like these!

1 HEAPING Tbsp of Peanut Butter
a touch of vanilla
milk (I fill it to the 1 cup line on my blender with the PB already in there)
ice cubes

First you put the heaping Tbsp of Peanut Butter in the blender, followed by the milk (fill to 1 cup line for plenty of servings). Then I add in some sugar (you just dump it really...) with the vanilla. Sometimes I will add a touch of chocolate syrup to make it a little different. Keep the blender on low and blend the ingredients well, then, slowly add the ice cubes until you reach your desired consistency! I like mine kinda thick, so I blend until it is almost too thick to blend. (smoothie thickness) I am the only one that likes it here in the Clore house, so.... I don't make it much. Tell me what you think of it!

I made this chili on Sunday without getting any really great pictures of it. It looked just like any other chili anyway, so I think I'm safe without a picture of that. Here's the recipe, courtesy of Betty Crocker cookbook.

As a side note from Betty.... make sure the ground beef is hot when you add it to the crock pot for safety reasons.

2 lb lean ground beef (at least 80%)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
28 oz. diced tomatoes, undrained
15 oz tomato sauce
2 Tbsp chili powder (you can add more for a bit more "kick")
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
15 oz. kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Shredded Cheddar cheese, if desired

Cook beef over medium heat until browned. Drain fat

Mix beef and remaining ingredients except beans and cheese in crock pot

Cover and cook Low: 6-8 hours, High: 3-4 hours.

Stir in beans. Increase setting to High if you used Low, or keep it on High. Cook for 15-20 minutes more or until slightly thickened. Sprinkle with cheese!!

When I made this is was quite a thick chili and not too spicy. You can dress it up if you want a little more from it. Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from my best friend's mom. I tried to follow her recipe and add in a bit of my own.

Velveeta cheese (16 oz)
bread crumbs
meat of your choice (I used turkey bacon, my best friend's mom used hot dogs)

Putting this together is pretty simple. You boil some water, add as much macaroni as you think you will need. Once the macaroni is al dente, drain. Add about 1/4 c butter/margarine, milk to bring it to desired consistency and then chop the Velveeta up and add that. Stir until completely mixed. Then add meat of your choice. Then, top with bread crumbs and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes! Yum-o!

Boy do I love Sugar Cookies! I love them around Christmas, but they can be made all year long!! (Thank Heaven for holidays!) Well, here is the recipe my mom gave me that works out GREAT for me! (Which is really saying something)

4 c Flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 c shortening
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 c buttermilk

Sift flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Combine with shortening until it looks like crumbs. In small bowl combine eggs, vanilla, soda and buttermilk. Add liquid to dry with fork. Even work with hands if needed.
Roll to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into desired shape.

Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes ONLY. No longer!! They will not be browned.

Now, Jamie and I have the same cookbook from which to get FABULOUS dinners from!! Yay! I am making an extra resolution to get on here and post all those pictures I have been taking of the meals I've made. There are a few without pictures, but I know I will make them again and then post the pic then. Stay tuned, my goal for this evening is to get these recipes up and start running with the cooking this year!

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