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486 posts categorized "19) Just Kid-Friendly & Family-Style Food"

06/25/2024

~ Two Basic Marinades/Sauces for Chinese Stir-Fry ~

The definition of a stir-fry is straightforward: To fry small morsels of meat, poultry, fish, shellfish and/or vegetables rapidly, in a wok or skillet, over a high heat, in a small amount of oil or fat, while stirring constantly. The concept is an easy one to grasp. Stir-fries were invented by the Chinese, but, it was Chinese Cantonese chefs, who specialized in stir-frying, that were amongst the first to immigrate to other Asian and European countries, our USA, then countries all around the world, where, over a relatively short period of time, they put the word stir-fry in the global...... View full recipe for "~ Two Basic Marinades/Sauces for Chinese Stir-Fry ~"

05/30/2024

~ Spring Chicken w/Garlic-Butter Pasta & Asparagus ~

This winner of a weeknight chicken dinner is taken straight from pages of my working parents' playbook. Before heading out the door in the morning, my mom would put four chicken breasts, doused with store-bought Italian dressing, in a bowl, and, at the end of the work day, dad would dredge the breasts in bread crumbs and sauté them in a skillet, while mom cooked a box of kid-friendly pasta and readied some fresh green beans. It was simple and straightforward, nothing fancy, but, it was a dinner we all liked, right down to the vegetable. If we four could...... View full recipe for "~ Spring Chicken w/Garlic-Butter Pasta & Asparagus ~"

05/20/2024

~ Mexican-Style Adobo Rice (Meatless Spanish Rice) ~

Mexican rice became a staple on our family's table back in the 1980's. Whenever we ate in a Mexican restaurant, remarkably, our three kids would eat the side-dishes: the muli-colored veggie-bejeweled rice, the murky-earthy slightly-soupy refried beans, and, the bright-green garlic-laced guacamole. Without complaint or prodding, they'd slather and scoop 'em onto and into tacos, fajitas, carnitas (or whatever else they were eating), along with red or green salsa and the bottled hot-sauce du jour. Go figure, and, "shut my mouth wide open." I started stocking my pantry with whatever Texican-type ingredients I could find in our Central, PA grocery...... View full recipe for "~ Mexican-Style Adobo Rice (Meatless Spanish Rice) ~"

04/25/2024

~ Strawberry, Steak, Blue-Cheese and Arugula Salad ~

Strawberries aren't just for dessert, and, if the Northeast ever gets a break in the weather, the local strawberry season will be just around the corner. That said, the California-grown Driscoll's strawberries I found in the grocery store yesterday are plump and sweet, and, one of the man-sized flank steaks my husband picked up at Sam's Club today are going to team up for a hearty, sweet-and-savory, main-dish salad for a delightfully-carnivorous Sunday dinner this evening. Strawberries are no stranger to salads -- spinach and strawberry salads with poppyseed dressing were trendy on restaurant menus back in the 1970's. Because...... View full recipe for "~ Strawberry, Steak, Blue-Cheese and Arugula Salad ~"

04/20/2024

~Tangy-Sweet Strawberry White-Balsamic Vinaigrette~

Strawberries are no stranger to salads -- spinach and strawberry salads with poppyseed dressing were trendy on restaurant menus in the 1970's. Those salads caused me to experiment with strawberries, when appropriate, in place of tomatoes, in salad recipes using a variety of other greens and proteins too. It was only natural that I would experiment with sweet and savory salad dressings containing strawberries too. This vinaigrette recipe is the one that captured my strawberry loving heart. My Strawberry, Steak, Blue-Cheese and Arugula Salad (pictured in the background), is not only perfect for Spring, it's dazzling dressed with this vinaigrette:...... View full recipe for "~Tangy-Sweet Strawberry White-Balsamic Vinaigrette~"

04/15/2024

~ The Japanese Take on Salisbury Steak: Hambagu ~

Japanese hamburger steak. If it doesn't sound very Japanese, it's because its origin is not. It's an...... View full recipe for "~ The Japanese Take on Salisbury Steak: Hambagu ~"

04/10/2024

~ Melanie's Perfectly-Cooked 18-Minute Flank Steak ~

When I want a perfectly-cooked, rare- to medium-rare steak, one that gets cooked indoors, next to the elegant filet mignon, the rustic flank steak is my choice. That said, in terms of taste, texture, versatility and price, without compromise, hands-down the flank steak wins on all points -- which is why I purchase one or two almost every week. In my food world, there's plenty of room for premium Delmonicos, NY strips, porterhouse and T-bones too, but, in terms of cooking steak indoors vs. grilling steak outdoors, those cuts typically "just don't do it" for me like filet or flank....... View full recipe for "~ Melanie's Perfectly-Cooked 18-Minute Flank Steak ~"

04/05/2024

~My 18-Minute Philly-Dilly Flank-Steak Cheesesteaks~

Knowledge is power. As the 2018 "Dilly-dilly" Bud Light, Super Bowl commercial spiked in popularity, then filtered into the mantra for the Eagle's super-bowl victory parade in the form of "Philly-dilly", my curiosity caused me to research it -- and I'm glad I did. I'm here to report "dilly" is a real word, and, as per Merriam-Webster, it's a noun that comes from an obsolete adjective that refers to something "delightful", "remarkable" or "outstanding", which describes with perfection: My latest take on the cheesesteak -- The Philly-Dilly. If you have never eaten a cheesesteak sandwich in Philadelphia proper, you've never...... View full recipe for "~My 18-Minute Philly-Dilly Flank-Steak Cheesesteaks~"

03/25/2024

~Greek Hummus, Steak & Arugula-Salad Pita-Pizzas~

Everyone knows anything one can sandwich between two slices of bread can be tucked into a pita pocket to eat on the run. Almost everyone knows that the flat round pita (or any flatbread) is a great foil for all sorts open-face knife-and-fork sandwich meals too. What all busy moms know is: if the ingredients on the pita are amicable to being baked in the oven, and you refer to it as pizza, it's a sure-fire way to get children to venture into trying just about anything. It's called "bending the rules for the common good", and, when my kids...... View full recipe for "~Greek Hummus, Steak & Arugula-Salad Pita-Pizzas~"

03/20/2024

~The McDonald's-Style Big Mac Cheeseburger Salad~

When my foodie friends (people who like to cook, can cook and cook often), start talking about a yummy salad made in the style of McDonald's iconic Big Mac, I listen. I listen because these are friends I listen to, and, because I have been known to indulge in an occasional Big Mac. Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun is, in my opinion, the yummiest cheeseburger creation in the takeout-lane of the drive-thru fast-food circuit. September 1968 -- The Bic Mac was invented in Pittsburgh by a McDonald's Franchise Owner named...... View full recipe for "~The McDonald's-Style Big Mac Cheeseburger Salad~"

03/05/2024

~ T.G.I. No-Fuss-Friday Greek Pizza for Mel Tonight ~

I'm Mel -- I pretty much cook all week -- on weekends too. I cook for my family, friends, and, friends-of-friends. I even cooked on TV for about a decade, and it's all fun, but, every once in a while, I have occasion to cook just for myself. Tonight is such a night, and, I am going Greek -- it's also really easy and super-good. Why cook for myself when I don't have to? Because, with little effort, calorie for calorie, my food tastes much better than over-priced, lack-luster take out or delivery -- and in the case of tonight's...... View full recipe for "~ T.G.I. No-Fuss-Friday Greek Pizza for Mel Tonight ~"

02/29/2024

~ Greek-Style Flank Steak Salad or Pocket Sammies ~

I'm going Greek today. It happens a few times a year -- my lust for lemon and garlic and oregano combined with crumbly feta cheese and/or creamy Greek yogurt takes over. Thank goodness I have a few excellent recipes go to. Sometimes I'm inclined to quash my craving by incorporating shrimp, other times I choose lamb, chicken is not off limits, but, one of my all-time favorites is flank stank. When duly-marinated and rare-cooked via broiling or grilling, it is a carnivorous Greek goddess's dream come true. I adore this hearty, main-dish salad topped plenty of crunchy herb-bread croutons, and,...... View full recipe for "~ Greek-Style Flank Steak Salad or Pocket Sammies ~"

02/25/2024

~ Creamy-Coconut & Spicy-Hot Jamaican Pork Curry ~

Throughout the Caribbean, porcine reigns supreme, and, when it comes to perfectly-balanced, bright, slightly-sweet and spicy-hot curry blends, the Jamaicans have cornered the market. That said, the world is full of curries, they are all different, and, for the home cook, it's almost impossible to prepare an authentic curry outside of the region it's prepared in, within its country of origin. Why? Because outside of the United States, curry is not a store-bought dried spice blend or wet paste that produces a predictable end result. They're hand-made, mortar-and-pestle pulverized, dry or pasty concoctions of spices or herbs, the amounts of...... View full recipe for "~ Creamy-Coconut & Spicy-Hot Jamaican Pork Curry ~"

02/20/2024

~Pork Butt Blade Steaks w/Peachy Keen BBQ Sauce~

Known as pork steaks, pork butt steaks or pork blade steaks, these bone-in steaks are cut from the shoulder of the pig -- the same part of the porcine used to make pulled pork. Similar in taste and texture to close-kin country-style spareribs*, they were invented in St. Louis, MO, and are a Midwest staple. As a country-style spare rib lover living in central Pennsylvania, I ask my butcher to custom-cut these inexpensive, lesser-to-unknown-here steaks for me. Perhaps this post will help them to catch on "here in the counties", and start showing up in our local markets. *Country-style ribs...... View full recipe for "~Pork Butt Blade Steaks w/Peachy Keen BBQ Sauce~"

02/15/2024

~Moist & Juicy Breaded & Deep-Fried Chicken Cutlets~

Breaded chicken cutlets are a big time-saver for a working parent. By keeping a bag on-hand in the freezer, after a quick thaw in the microwave, any number of kid-friendly meals can be put on the family dinner table in less than an hour. That said, the chicken cutlets found in the frozen-food section of the grocery store, are, for the most part: terrible. From way-too-much-cardboard-esque-breading to skinny, dried-out and rubberlike, I find them reprehensibly unpalatable. When I was raising three boys, after trying two (maybe three) brands of frozen, breaded chicken cutlets, and proceeding to throw all the remains...... View full recipe for "~Moist & Juicy Breaded & Deep-Fried Chicken Cutlets~"

02/10/2024

~ Japanese Teriyaki Meets American Chicken Wings ~

Chicken wings are all-American and teriyaki is an all-Japanese method of cooking. Trust me when I tell you, if you walk into a restaurant in Japan, you aren't likely to find teriyaki chicken wings on their menu. That said, Japanese teriyaki sure does turn out a really good version of American chicken wings, however, unlike our traditionally-prepared wings, which are typically plunged into the hot oil of a deep fryer, teriyaki wings, in order to render their signature fall-off-the-bone tender interior with a slightly-crispy, sticky exterior, they require a kinder, gentler treatment. As a lover of Asian fare, teriyaki-in-general is...... View full recipe for "~ Japanese Teriyaki Meets American Chicken Wings ~"

01/31/2024

~ Open Sesame: Japanese Teriyaki Steak Skewers ~

Place a platter of these appetizers on the cocktail table and I'll bet they disappear before bets can be taken on how long it will take them to disappear. Put a platter of them on the dinner table alongside a fresh vegetable stir-fry and some steamed white rice, and, when served as a family-friendly dinner, they won't last any longer. A bottle of teriyaki sauce has been a staple condiment in my pantry for as long as I've had a pantry, standing right next to the elites: Heinz ketchup, French's mustard, Hellman's mayonnaise and Lee & Perrin's worcestershire sauce. That...... View full recipe for "~ Open Sesame: Japanese Teriyaki Steak Skewers ~"

12/20/2023

~ Over-the-Top Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies ~

Amongst the foodie cravings I get, chocolate isn't in my top ten. That said, I confess to a weakness for Reese's peanut butter cups and Snickers bars. There's just something about the combination of mellow milk chocolate and salty peanuts or peanut butter that I find hard to resist. I love it enough to keep a bag of mini-Reese's cups and a bag of snack-sized peanut-butter Snickers bars in my freezer. A bite-sized nibble of either one and I am a happy woman. Two things transpired this week: I replenished my supply of mini-Reese's cups via Amazon. My candy delivery...... View full recipe for "~ Over-the-Top Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies ~"

12/15/2023

~ The Difference Between Chow Mein and Lo Mein ~

Chinese-American fare. It's a favorite in our house. About once a week, we either order take-out or delivery from our two favorite places, or, I take the time to make some. Each of us has our favorite menu item -- the one that we crave and can't wait to plunge our chopsticks into. For me, it's chow mein or lo mein -- two of China's most iconic dishes. "What exactly is the difference between the two?" When I got asked that very question last night, I decided to transcribe the discussion into a blog post today -- while it's still...... View full recipe for "~ The Difference Between Chow Mein and Lo Mein ~"

11/05/2023

~ My Mom's Old-Fashioned Home-Canned Peach Pie~

The Summer peach season is long over, but, in my kitchen, that is not a reason to not bake a peach pie. Yes, you can use canned peaches to make a peach pie, and, if the peaches are home-canned with love, the pie is just as good, if not better, than a pie made with fresh peaches. I'm not joking. Women have been doing it for generations. They water-bath-canned large quantities of fruits and vegetables so the family could enjoy them during the cold weather months. My mother's pantry was never without home-canned peaches. My grandmother had a green thumb,...... View full recipe for "~ My Mom's Old-Fashioned Home-Canned Peach Pie~"

10/25/2023

~ Mojo-Marinated Cuban-Style Pulled-Pork Shoulder ~

My experiences with Cuban food, all good ones, are limited to a few trips to Miami. I know that "mojo (MOH-hoh)" means "sauce" in Spanish, and, in Cuban cooking, it specifically applies to a sauce made with olive oil, garlic, fresh cilantro, mint and oregano leaves, cumin and bitter orange juice. I also must say that without more than a few well-written recipes in the seven Cuban cookbooks, that I purchased during my visits to Florida, I'd stand little chance of bringing the unique taste of Cuban spice into my home kitchen -- they've all contributed to my recipes: Pulled...... View full recipe for "~ Mojo-Marinated Cuban-Style Pulled-Pork Shoulder ~"

10/20/2023

~ Nothing Fancy: Old-Fashioned Autumn Apple Pie ~

The best apple pie recipes aren't fancy -- they're special. Just put one in the oven and see what happens. Word travels fast. Everyone wants a slice of old-fashioned appleiscious goodness. "It's as easy as apple pie." Truth told, that's a kind of misleading statement. Baking a really good apple pie is not as easy as "A, B, C", "one, two three" or even "snap, crackle, pop". Too many people think that just because they've baked an apple pie it automatically qualifies for awesome apple pie status. It does not. I have encountered more than a few nasty renditions: from...... View full recipe for "~ Nothing Fancy: Old-Fashioned Autumn Apple Pie ~"

08/25/2023

~Oatmeal Peanut-Butter Milk-Chocolate-Chip Cookies~

At 4:30AM I took my poodle outside. The sun wasn't up, but the dairy cows in the pasture next-door, affectionately referred to by me as the think-tank, were laying down on the ground, and, just as they often do, making snorting noises. The thing about cows is, when they are laying down, whether you believe the "old wives tale or not, nine out of ten times you can expect rain or a rainy day. While walking my pooch back to the house, I decided to bake cookies today. Oatmeal, peanut butter & chocolate chip: 3 favorites in 1 cookie. 1/2...... View full recipe for "~Oatmeal Peanut-Butter Milk-Chocolate-Chip Cookies~"

07/25/2023

~ Beefy, Cheesy, Fully-Loaded Mexican Tortilla Pizza ~

I haven't eaten at a Taco Bell in years, but, it's worth mentioning the first time I ate a Mexican pizza was the first time I ate at a Taco Bell -- and I liked it a lot. My personal-sized snack pizza came as a pleasant surprise. It contained refried beans, nicely-seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, a few small-diced tomatoes and red enchilada sauce -- all sandwiched between two slightly-crispy flour tortillas. It wasn't my choice to stop at their drive-thru window on that day, but, I must admit, it indeed inspired me to make many a Mexican snack pizza...... View full recipe for "~ Beefy, Cheesy, Fully-Loaded Mexican Tortilla Pizza ~"

07/20/2023

~ New Mexico-Style Cheese, Corn & Bean Enchiladas~

Whenever we traveled out of town for a few days, the moment we crossed the Centre County line and got within 20-30 minutes of home, we'd discuss what we were most hungry for (the food we missed the most on our trip always won). We'd order it for pick up, from one of our favorite eateries. Typically, that revolved around a pizza shop, a Chinese takeout place, or, a Mexican joint. When it came to the latter, I usually ordered up a plate of seriously cheesy enchiladas. Enchiladas are one of those Tex-Mex specialties that taste a bit different everywhere...... View full recipe for "~ New Mexico-Style Cheese, Corn & Bean Enchiladas~"

07/15/2023

~ Spicy New Mexico-Style Ground Beef Enchiladas ~

Enchiladas are one of those Tex-Mex specialties that taste a bit different everywhere you eat them. In a Mexican-American restaurant or in the home kitchen, they are lightly-fried corn tortillas that have been dipped in a deep reddish-brown chili-powder-based sauce before being filled, rolled up and baked. The filling can consist of a seemingly endless variety of meats (beef, chicken or pork), fish or seafood, cheese and/or beans and/or various other vegetables (for a vegetarian option). In my Happy Valley kitchen, the two kid- and tailgate-tested favorites for my New Mexico-style Red Chile Enchilada Sauced enchiladas are ground beef, lots...... View full recipe for "~ Spicy New Mexico-Style Ground Beef Enchiladas ~"

06/30/2023

~ Seriously Simple & Sweet: Fresh All Strawberry Pie ~

When it comes to freshly-picked, home-grown strawberries, past eating them out-of-hand, as a strawberry dessert lover, I'm a purest at heart. Today's recipe is a perfect example. I'd rather bake a smaller-sized pie that's loaded with lots of strawberries, than add another ingredient to them (because I don't have enough strawberries) to fill a bigger pie dish. Note: I have nothing (zero) against the quintessential strawberry-rhubarb pie concoction (we grow rhubarb in our garden too), I just prefer to indulge in a slice of pie containing all of one or all of the other. Period. My memories of fresh strawberry...... View full recipe for "~ Seriously Simple & Sweet: Fresh All Strawberry Pie ~"

06/25/2023

~How to: Make a Better Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie~

Chocolate pie. The kind our grandmothers made before they had too-many-to-mention options for high-quality, super-expensive brands of chocolate, cocoa powder and extracts imported from all over the world. Two generations ago, when a mom wanted to surprise her family with a chocolate pie for dessert, she simply opened her pantry door, and, without hesitation, reached for a can of Hershey's cocoa powder and/or a few squares of Baker's unsweetened chocolate. She cooked the pie filling on the stovetop, poured it into a baked pie shell, chilled the pie in the "icebox" and served it with freshly-whipped cream on top. Those...... View full recipe for "~How to: Make a Better Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie~"

06/20/2023

~ In a Pie Shell: A Pie Filling is Thicker than Pudding ~

What's the difference between pie filling and pudding? That was the first question I should have wanted to find an answer to when I wanted to make my first chocolate pie. Why? Because it wasn't exactly a success. I was about sixteen and wanted to surprise my mom with a chocolate pie for her birthday. I filled a store-bought pie shell with mom's recipe for chocolate pudding and put it in the refrigerator. Topped with whipped cream, it looked lovely, and it was indeed edible enough (very tasty actually), but, it was, as you'd imagine, a mess to serve. What...... View full recipe for "~ In a Pie Shell: A Pie Filling is Thicker than Pudding ~"

06/15/2023

~ How to: Make Old-Fashioned Very Vanilla Pudding ~

Exotically fragrant, vanilla is said to be the world's most popular flavor (and is the second most expensive next to saffron). One would be hard pressed to find an American kitchen pantry that doesn't contain at least one bottle of pure vanilla extract and/or a whole vanilla bean or two. Why? Something wonderful happens when any form of pure vanilla gets added to all sorts of sweet or savory dishes. My very vanilla pudding recipe is a spin-off of my grandmother's vanilla pudding recipe, and, it is the base recipe and starting point for all three of my favorite pudding...... View full recipe for "~ How to: Make Old-Fashioned Very Vanilla Pudding ~"

06/10/2023

~ How to: Make Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding ~

When I was raising three boys in the '70's and '80's, chocolate was, hands down, their favorite pudding flavor. Just like today, grocery store shelves were full of convenient pudding options (boxes and boxes of instant and quick-cooking pudding, and, ready-to-eat lunch-box-size pudding cups). While I was often tempted to succumb to their wishes and buy those boxes, I resisted. I grew up eating homemade, creamy, dreamy, rich real-deal pudding -- my memories prevented it. As for the pudding cups, I admit, I allowed them, on occasion, as a school lunchbox treat. Don't succumb to boxes of instant or quick-cooking...... View full recipe for "~ How to: Make Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding ~"

06/05/2023

~ How to: Make Old-Fashioned Butterscotch Pudding ~

My three favorite flavors of pudding are butterscotch, chocolate and vanilla (in that order). They're all creamy and dreamy, but something wonderful happens when brown sugar and butter team up to make real-deal butterscotch. Homemade pudding (from scratch, not a box), was something my grandmother made often -- just for me. I'm in my early 60's, that was back in the latter 50's, and: there is no letting go of homemade pudding memories. Whether it was butterscotch, chocolate or vanilla, she'd always leave me an ample sample, in the bottom of her enamelware saucepan and on the wooden spoon, because:...... View full recipe for "~ How to: Make Old-Fashioned Butterscotch Pudding ~"

03/30/2023

~ Wake up to Grands Brand Cinnamon-Roll Waffles ~

If you are a fan of cinnamon-rolls with ooey-gooey cream cheese frosting, it's time for you to meet the easiest, best holiday or special occasion breakfast ever. Easiest. Best. Period. You will not be calling anyone twice to the table that morning. That said, you will need a Belgian-style waffle iron to make these, meaning a waffle iron with deep grids. To make the waffles using a regular waffle iron, substitute a tube of Pillsbury's regular, smaller--sized cinnamon rolls. One pre-made ingredient + one Belgian waffle iron = amazing. 1 tube Pillsbury Grands cinnamon rolls w/cream cheese glaze ~ Step...... View full recipe for "~ Wake up to Grands Brand Cinnamon-Roll Waffles ~"

01/10/2023

~Easy Buffalo-Style Glazed Rock Cornish Game Hen~

In my food world I am always game for finding one more way to shovel Frank's RedHot Buffalo-Wing Sauce into my family's and tailgate friends deep-fried chicken-wing loving mouths. This lip-making, finger-licking knife-and-fork recipe for one of the simplest of things in the poultry world to cook, the Cornish game hen, is a keeper. Pair it up with some deli-style coleslaw, potato- or macaroni-salad, or, mac-and-cheese, it's game on for a super-fun weeknight gameday dinner! The Cornish game hen, also known as the Rock Cornish game hen, is the USDA's approved name for a particular variety of broiler chicken. Connecticut...... View full recipe for "~Easy Buffalo-Style Glazed Rock Cornish Game Hen~"

01/05/2023

~ Easy Cornish Hen Glazed w/Arby's Original Sauce ~

Arby's Original Sauce. Their unique blend of ingredients creates a sweet, tangy, and spicy ketchup-based barbecue-type sauce that gives all of their beef and chicken sandwiches extra special appeal. In my opinion, whether you're a fan of their sandwiches or not, their barbecue sauce is addictive. It's so addicting, most customers enjoy the guilty pleasure of pocketing a few packets of this lip-smacking sauce on our way out their door -- and there's not shame in that. That said, I bring tidings of great joy -- they've started selling it and their Horsey Sauce online! The Cornish game hen, also...... View full recipe for "~ Easy Cornish Hen Glazed w/Arby's Original Sauce ~"

12/15/2022

~ My Easy Teriyaki-Glazed Rock Cornish Game Hen ~

Teriyaki sticky-chicken wings and teriyaki steak or chicken chicken skewers have been two of my family's and tailgate-family's favorite game-day appetizers for decades. Because of everyones love for the tantalizing flavor of teriyaki sauce, I came up with a couple ways to put teriyaki flavor in my family's main-dish meal rotation too. My recipes for teriyaki-style slow-cooker baby-back spare-ribs and easy teriyaki-glazed rock Cornish game hens pleased everyone -- the husband, the kids, and, more importantly me because both are so easy to make. The Cornish game hen, also known as the Rock Cornish game hen, is the USDA's approved...... View full recipe for "~ My Easy Teriyaki-Glazed Rock Cornish Game Hen ~"

12/10/2022

~ Boxed Scalloped Potatoes, Ham & Peas Casserole ~

The day after a big holiday, us cooks aren't typically motivated to do much more than reheat some leftovers, put our feet up and relax. My mom made this super-easy day-after-the-holiday main-dish casserole twice a year, after Christmas and after Easter, when she had leftover ham. Our family of four loved it -- creamy-cheesy scalloped potatoes chocked full of diced ham and tender peas. It's almost too easy to be a recipe, but, it's so easy and comforting-good it's worth sharing. So easy & comforting-good this not-a-recipe is worth sharing: 1 7-ounce boxes Betty Crocker's cheesy scalloped potatoes 2 1/4...... View full recipe for "~ Boxed Scalloped Potatoes, Ham & Peas Casserole ~"

11/30/2022

~ Easy Barbecue-Glazed Rock Cornish Game Hen ~

Do you love slightly-sticky, finger-licking good barbecued chicken but find it a kinda unruly mess to serve? I know I find it a kinda unruly mess to serve. When I make it outdoors on the grill, cleaning the sticky grill grids is a task I can live without. Plus, there doesn't seem to be a way to please everyone's preference for breast-, thigh-, leg- or wing- meat without overbuying. Then, one day, I got it in my head make barbecued chicken indoors using the Rock Cornish game hen, instead of chicken parts. Who doesn't love a mini-chicken all to themself?...... View full recipe for "~ Easy Barbecue-Glazed Rock Cornish Game Hen ~"

11/20/2022

~ Elegantly Easy -- The Roasted Cornish Game Hen ~

Whether you are new to cooking and looking for something easy yet elegant to impress a small group of people with or a seasoned-pro looking for something easy yet elegant to impress a few quests with, you really should consider Cornish game hens. There's more. If you are a hungry single person in search of an easy, made-from-scratch entree, you really should consider a Cornish game hen. When I was a young chick (a new bride about 45 years ago), Cornish game hens were trendy and commonly served -- everyone, kids and adults alike, loves a succulent, personal-sized mini-chicken. I...... View full recipe for "~ Elegantly Easy -- The Roasted Cornish Game Hen ~"

10/20/2022

~ Fall Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Ground Beef Chili ~

Generally speaking, I'm not a Crockpot kinda gal, unless the end absolutely justifies the means with no compromise. In the case of this recipe, and almost any chili recipe, because chili is best when cooked low and slow over a long period of time, the end definitely justifies the means -- because that's what slow cookers are designed to do. There's more. This chili recipe, which is chocked full of sweet potatoes slow-cooked in a scrumptious blend of tomatoes mixed with aromatic spices is perfect for Fall. Which is why my family refers to this chili as my "Fall chili"....... View full recipe for "~ Fall Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Ground Beef Chili ~"

10/05/2022

~ One-Pan Shrimp & Shells in Tomato-Cream Sauce ~

Why is this is one of my favorite in-a-hurry shrimp-loving dishes? Glad you asked. In my food world, lightly-sautéed shrimp are perfect when paired with some perfectly-cooked pasta that's been enrobed in a slightly-spicy tomato-cream sauce. There's more. It only requires few on-hand ingredients, and, there's little-to-no prep -- all of us cooks like to hear those words. Thirty minutes later, this quick-and-easy super-delicious family-friendly meal is on the dinner table. I like to serve it with garlic bread, and sometimes I make a salad too, but, even if this is the only thing on the table, there won't be...... View full recipe for "~ One-Pan Shrimp & Shells in Tomato-Cream Sauce ~"

09/15/2022

~ Hail to the Grill-Panned Shrimp Caesar Pasta Salad ~

We Americans love our Caesar salad. Over the course of the past four decades, the Caesar salad has overwhelmingly become America's favorite salad. If you are a lover of a crisp and tangy classic Caesar salad, and, you love your Caesar salad with plump, tender grilled shrimp (or chicken) tossed into it, there's more. If you are a lover of pasta salads too, you are gonna fall in love with this recipe. Adding pasta and a protein to a Caesar salad makes sense on many levels. Besides stretching it to feed a crowd, it turns it into a hearty and...... View full recipe for "~ Hail to the Grill-Panned Shrimp Caesar Pasta Salad ~"

09/10/2022

~Hail to the Grill-Panned Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad~

If you are a lover of a crisp and tangy classic Caesar salad, and, you love your Caesar salad with juicy, grilled chicken tossed into it, there's more. If you are a lover of pasta salads too, you are gonna fall in love with this recipe. Adding pasta and a protein to a Caesar salad makes sense on many levels. Besides stretching it to feed a crowd, it turns it into a hearty and refreshing main-course salad perfect to to serve at any almost any gathering -- a picnic, potluck or tailgate. We Americans love Caesar salad. Over the past...... View full recipe for "~Hail to the Grill-Panned Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad~"

09/05/2022

~ Hail to the Grill-Panned Chicken Caesar Sandwich ~

Over the past four decades, the Caesar salad has become America's favorite salad. It altered the lettuce industry, as the demand for romaine has skyrocketed, and, it turned the chicken-topped Caesar salad into the most ordered chicken item on restaurant menus -- even more than chicken wings and chicken fingers. If you are a lover of Caesar salad, and, you love your Caesar salad with juicy, grilled chicken tossed into it, you are gonna fall in love with my sandwiches. A bit about the chicken: Experience has taught that chicken sandwiches made with boneless, skinless breast are usually a "miss",...... View full recipe for "~ Hail to the Grill-Panned Chicken Caesar Sandwich ~"

08/18/2022

~ Four Fab Recipes Using Lipton Onion Soup Mix ~

It's said to have been created by an unknown French cook in Los Angeles in 1954 and was intended to mimic the taste of French onion soup. The recipe became such a popular addition to the fare served in martini-drinking social circles, it got printed in a local newspaper. Shortly after, in 1955, the Lipton company promoted it on the TV show "Arthur Godfry's Talent Scouts", touting it as "Lipton California Dip", and followed that up with ad campaigns in supermarkets and on television. In 1959, the recipe was added to the Lipton instant onion soup package, where it remains...... View full recipe for "~ Four Fab Recipes Using Lipton Onion Soup Mix ~"

08/15/2022

~ The Lipton 1954 Classic French Onion Dip Recipe ~

Lipton's Classic French Onion Dip. It's made from one packet of Lipton's boxed French Onion Soup Mix stirred into one 16-ounce container of sour cream This beloved all-American flavor-infused concoction is meant as a dip for potato chips and vegetables -- it deserves to be served with a sense of pride. The packed contains a mix of dehydrated onion, onion powder and other herbs and seasonings, which can be used to flavor burgers, meatloaf and roasted potatoes too. From California Dip in 1954 to French Onion Dip in 1960 -- Lipton cornered the market on it. It's said to have...... View full recipe for "~ The Lipton 1954 Classic French Onion Dip Recipe ~"

07/18/2022

~ Rethink Plain Rice -- Make a Flavorful Pilaf Instead ~

When I was growing up, in a saucepan, my mom would lightly-toast a cup or two of white rice in a few pats of melted butter. In went some diced onion, carrot. celery, salt and pepper. When the veggies began to soften, steaming hot chicken or vegetable stock went in, the lid went on the pot, then, the mixture gently simmered until the rice was cooked. After 20-25 minutes, and a quick "fluff", voila: our rice side-dish was served. Technically, our rice pilaf was served. That's my experience with pilaf, also referred to as pilau in many culinary circles. Pilaf...... View full recipe for "~ Rethink Plain Rice -- Make a Flavorful Pilaf Instead ~"

06/20/2022

~ Fully-Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes -- Three Ways ~

A twice baked potato is exactly what the name implies: It's a potato that gets baked in the oven twice. After the first bake, the potato is sliced in half and the light, fluffy soft-center is carefully scooped out, leaving the shell/the potato skin undamaged. The cooked center is then mashed, mashed-potato-style, with butter, salt, pepper and/or various seasonings or seasoning blends, and, creamy options like sour cream, yogurt and/or cream cheese. Then the fun begins: Add-ins, absolutely anything you want, usually family-friendly favorites (like the combination of bits of crispy chopped bacon and blanched chopped broccoli topped with shredded...... View full recipe for "~ Fully-Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes -- Three Ways ~"

06/08/2022

~Detroit-Style Brick Cheese Pizza is All About the Pan~

Long story short, Detroit-style pizza is a rectangular-shaped deep-deep-dish pan pizza -- it is a descendent of the rectangular-shaped Sicilian-style pizza. That said, in the case of this specialty pizza, it really is all about the pan -- the man pan. Without the pan, one can't really appreciate the full experience. Luckily, the pans are easy to fine online and very affordable too. Read on: Lloyd Pans & Kitchenware, a Wisconsin-based company, manufacturers several styles of pans for pizzerias all over the world, including all of the top 10 pizza chains in the USA. Their pans revolutionized how pizzas are...... View full recipe for "~Detroit-Style Brick Cheese Pizza is All About the Pan~"

05/20/2022

~The Difference between Frozen-Custard & IceCream~

The Summer holidays are just around the corner. Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day -- they are indeed our country's Summertime patriotic big-three, but, all are also associated with laid-back atmospheres full of fun activities shared family, friends and, of course, food. Whether it be an outdoor picnic in the grass under a shade tree at the park, or on a blanket on a sandy beach, or eating from grill-to-table around the backyard pool or on the patio, or, simply story-telling in the night-air gathered around the campfire, nothing screams Summer like a scoop or two of home-churned...... View full recipe for "~The Difference between Frozen-Custard & IceCream~"