Saturday, January 26, 2013

Spinach Artichoke Dip



1 can drained artichokes, chopped
1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise
3 oz. cream cheese
1/3 c. shredded mozzarella
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1/2 to 1 t. garlic salt
something to dip with (I prefer Stacy's Pita Chips)


Cook spinach according to package directions and drain.  Mix all of the ingredients together.  Pour mixture into a greased 1 quart baking dish and bake at 325 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  YUM!

- Sarah

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pineapple Casserole

So good!  This recipe was given to me by someone in college (I can't remember who) when I went to a Thanksgiving party with my Interior Design friends.  Some have scoffed, but be prepared to fall in love.

Photo from:


1 (20 oz.) can chunk pineapple, drained (reserve 3 T of juice)
1/2 c. sugar
3 T flour
1 c. cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 c. melted butter
15 crushed Ritz crackers


Mix first 5 ingredients together (including pineapple juice).  Put mixture into a 1 quart casserole dish.  Toss Ritz cracker crumbs in melted butter.  Spread cracker mixture on top of casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, until the edges are bubbling.  It's good warm or cold.

- Sarah


Photo and Recipe from:


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 medium sweet white onion, diced
  • 1/2 large bell pepper (green, red, or yellow), seeds and veins removed, diced
  • 1/2 lb dry lasagna noodles (requires 9 lasagna noodles - unbroken)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 28 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 28 oz can (16 oz) stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 6 oz can (3 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 lb Ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 lb Mozzarella cheese (large flat square slices)
  • 3/4 lb freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Garlic Powder
  • Oregano
  • Italian Spice
  • Salt
  • Garlic Salt
  • Parsley diced (fresh flat leaf preferred)
  • 1 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • White wine vinegar

Cooking Utensils
  • Large skillet (for browning beef, onions, green pepper)
  • 6 Qt pot (for noodles)
  • 3 Qt pot (simmer sauce)
  • 13" x 9" x 2" lasagna pan (preferably a stainless lasagna pan. Do Not Use Aluminum Pans - the aluminum will react with the acidic tomato sauce, leaching the aluminum and ruining the taste of your lasagna sauce.)
  • Large colander (drain/blot beef, drain noodles)
  • Large baking pan (to wash and cool noodles)
  • Large slotted cooking spoon
  • Large cooking spoon
  • Paring knife


1 Brown lean ground beef in skillet until lightly browned and cooked through. Put a few layers of paper towels in large bowl. With slotted spoon, remove browned beef from skillet draining off excess beef fat and put on top of blotting towels. After all the browned beef has been removed from the skillet, drain off and dispose of excess beef fat. Wipe skillet clean with paper towel. (If your ground beef is sufficiently lean, there won't be any excess fat to drain.)
Add diced green pepper and onion to skillet. Brown for a few minutes on medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add browned beef back to the skillet, lower the heat to low and continue to cook for 5 more minutes stirring frequently.
2 Transfer browned beef, green pepper and onions to 3 Qt. pot. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste. Open stewed tomatoes and dice, then add to 3 Qt. pot. Add oregano, parsley, Italian Spice Mix to taste, probably 2 teaspoons of each. Add a pinch of garlic powder and a pinch of garlic salt, to taste. Add a dash of white wine vinegar. Add sugar a tablespoon at a time, until desired level of sweetness, no more than 1/4 cup of sugar. Note that it is hard to follow a pure recipe when it comes to pasta sauce. One Italian spice mix is not like the other, nor is one can of tomato sauce not like the other. So you really do need to taste the sauce as you are adding the spices, sugar and vinegar.
Stir and allow sauce to simmer 15-45 minutes to thicken (do not scorch bottom, stir frequently). Remove from heat.
3 Cook lasagna noodles in 6 Qt. Pot per cooking directions (al dente). (Note noodles may be cooked in advance.) Stir often to prevent from sticking and be sure that water remains at a boil during the entire cooking to prevent noodles from sticking. I add Tbsp of salt to the water so the noodles are more flavorful. Drain in colander and place in a cool water filled pan to keep from drying out and sticking together.
4 In dry lasagna pan, ladle one cup of sauce and spread along the bottom of the pan. Apply a layer noodles 3 length wise (edges overlapping). Ladle in sauce sparingly into center trough of 3 noodles. Apply a layer of mozzarella cheese slices on top of lasagna sauce. Place ricotta cheese dollops every 2 inches in center of noodles on top of mozzarella cheese slices, sprinkle grated parmesan cheese in thin even layer on top of ricotta cheese. Apply second layer of noodles, topping again with sauce and cheese. Finish with another layer of noodles. If you have extra sauce and cheese you can spread that over the top. Tent lasagna pan with aluminum foil (not touching noodles or sauce). Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
Note - Flavor improves for second service and may be reheated in convention or microwave. Leave aluminum tent on for storage (Do not allow aluminum to touch the sauce.)
Yield: Serves 8.

This sauce is really yummy and I think I might try it next time I want to make spaghetti sauce.

- Sarah

Sausage, Kale, and Bean Soup

I know.  How many soups can I post with kale and beans?  Well, they are all a bit different and yummy, so why not?  And this one is super easy and basic.  I don't have my own picture so here's one from the website:

Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Katie Stoddard


  • 4 ounces Cajun smoked sausage, chopped (such as Conecuh)
  • 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 6 cups coarsely chopped kale (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 (16-ounce) can navy beans, drained and rinsed 


Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add smoked sausage to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth and diced tomatoes; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the kale. Reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes or until the kale is tender. Stir in beans, and cook 1 minute or until soup is thoroughly heated.

- Sarah

Recipe from:

Crockpot Chicken and Sausage


  • 3 carrots, cut in 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans navy beans, drained
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 lb. fully cooked Polish sausage or other smoked sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • cooked rice


In small saucepan, bring carrots, onions, and water to a boil. Simmer covered 5 minutes. Transfer to 3 1/2 to 4 quart crock pot. Stir in tomato paste, wine, and seasonings; add beans. Place chicken on top of bean mixture. Place sausage on top of chicken. Cover. Cook on low heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or high heat for 3 to 4 hours. Before serving, remove bay leaves and skim off fat.
Serve as a stew or with hot cooked rice. 4 to 6 servings.


*Recipe from:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Beijing Wings

These delicious and easy wings came from the "Cook This, Not That" book that we love! A great alternative to fried and slathered wings (which are good on occasion!)

1/2 c low sodium soy sauce
1/4 c brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger (I have used fresh and dried in the past)
2 lbs chicken wings
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp Sriracha (could use hot sauce)
Juixe of 1/2 lime

Combine the soy sauce, half the brown sugar, garlic and ginger in a bag. Add the wings and coat. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 450. Remove wings from the bag and lay out on a rimmed baking sheet with lightly oiled tin foil. Roast for 15 minutes until meat is firm and cooked through.

Heat the butter, sriracha, remaining brown sugar, and lime juice in a nonstick skillet. When the butter melts, add the wings and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until the sauce clings tightly to the chicken.



Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kale Chips

Some of you may have already had these before, but Kale Chips are an awesome, quick and healthy snack, side, or appetizer! A great alternative to potato chips.

Simply get some kale, rinse it off, tear off the leaves and place then on a nonstick baking pan.  Either sprinkle some olive oil or spray olive oil on to the leaves.  Toss them with a little salt and pepper and mix the olive oil into the leaves.  Here you can add whatever flavors you'd like: garlic powder, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, etc etc.  You get the picture! Put. The baking sheet into a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes, but watch them; you don't want them to burn!

As you'll see below, they shrink up so don't be afraid to add a lot at first.