Monday, March 31, 2008

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite things to order when we go out to a restaurant. I was really happy to find this recipe that takes minimal time and ingredients and tastes just as good. I have omitted the use of the flour coating in the past to reduce calories. Just beware that the sauce will obviously be a lot thinner.

Chicken Marsala


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded 1/4 inch thick
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 container of mushrooms (sliced)
1 cup Marsala wine
½ cup chicken broth


1. Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, basil, and oregano. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture.

2. In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown.

3. Turn over chicken pieces, and add mushrooms. Pour in wine and chicken broth. Cover skillet; simmer chicken until juices run clear, and the mushrooms are tender. The sauce should thicken on its own from the flour on the chicken, however, if you need to thicken it a little more, dissolve a tablespoon of either flour or corn starch with a little bit of water and add to the sauce and bring to a boil.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Black-Bottom Cupcakes

I suddenly had a craving for these cupcakes out of the blue one day. We used to sell them at our high school bake sales and they were always a hit. ahhh...the good ole days...when I could eat three and not gain a pound. Anyhow, its a great classic recipe! If you haven't ever had a black-bottom cupcake, you are missing out! I made these with my niece for Easter and they were mixed, prepared, in the oven, and cleaned up in less than 15 minutes.

Black Bottom Cupcakes

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line muffin tins with paper cups or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt until light and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Stir together until well blended. Fill muffin tins 1/3 full with the batter and top with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Chicken Cordon Bleu is my savior. It has never failed to give me great recipes. I found this recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu on their site and it had over 1000+ 5 star reviews. It did not fail to produce an incredible dish! The best part is the creamy wine sauce that you spoon over the chicken. I made the chicken with broccoli and mashed potatoes and we used the sauce on both as well. This is my new favorite chicken recipe!

Chicken Cordon Bleu


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 slices ham
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup heavy whipping cream


1. Pound chicken breasts if they are too thick. Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast within 1/2 inch of the edges. Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks. Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl, and coat the chicken pieces.
2. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Add the wine and bouillon. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
3. Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the breasts to a warm platter. Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl, and whisk slowly into the skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened, and pour over the chicken. Serve warm.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I haven't had pineapple upside down cake since I was a kid and my mom used to make it for us. I decided to make it for my Mother-in-Law's birthday dinner. It was incredibly easy and came out very moist. The original recipe was made in a cast iron skillet but since I don't own one I just used a 9x13 pan.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Print this Recipe
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 (20 ounce) can sliced pineapple
10 maraschino cherries
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix

1. Melt the butter over medium high heat. Remove from the heat and pour on the bottom of 9x13 pan. Spray the sides of the pan with cooking spray.

2. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly to cover the butter in the bottom of the pan.

3. Next, arrange pineapple rings around the bottom of the pan, one layer deep. Place a maraschino cherry into the center of each pineapple ring.

4. Prepare the cake mix as directed by the manufacturer, substitute some of the pineapple juice for some of the liquid in the directions. Pour the batter over the pineapple layer.

5. Bake as directed by the cake mix directions. Cool for 10 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a plate. Do not let the cake cool too much or it will be stuck to the pan.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Chicken Francaise

My friend Laura gave me this recipe after I complained that I was in a recipe rut. She adapted it from a few different recipes she had used through the years. Oh my goodness! It was amazing! I'll definitely add this to our chicken rotation.

Chicken Francaise

4 chicken breasts, skinned and boned and seasoned with garlic salt
1 cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup wine
3 cloves garlic, pureed
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice


1. Pound your chicken until 1/4 inch thin. Dip the chicken in the flour then set aside.

2. Make the batter by beating the eggs briskly, then adding in the lemon juice, parsley, wine, garlic, and parmesan.

3. Coat a heavy skillet with margarine, butter or olive oil and place over medium-high heat.

4. Dip the floured chicken pieces generously in the batter and place in the heated skillet. Cook until golden brown on each side, about 5 minutes each side. Remove chicken from the pan and drain excess oil.

5. Make the wine sauce by melting the margarine in the pan, then stirring in the wine and lemon juice.

6. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, spooning the wine sauce over all and cook 1 minute longer.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Strawberry Cream Cheese Tarts

I saw this recipe while watching Paula Dean's Food Network show and was intrigued by the use of vanilla wafers as the crust of the cupcake. The mix ended up being for more than 12 cupcakes like the recipe called for. When I took them out of the oven they were puffed up over the cupcake liner and I was concerned how the heck I would have any room for the pie filling. Once they cooled, they sunk in. I'm not sure if they were supposed to do this or if I did something wrong but either way it made for a perfect place for the pie filling. They were great but I think next time I'll add another teaspoon of vanilla.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Tarts
Source: Food Network's Paula Dean

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
12 vanilla wafers
1 (21-ounce) can strawberry filling, or other pie filling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a paper cupcake liner in each cup of a muffin pan.
2. Beat cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Place a vanilla wafer, flat side down, in each muffin cup. Spoon cream cheese mixture over wafers.
4. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow tarts to cool completely. Serve with blueberry filling on top, or pie filling of your choice.
5. Chill for at least an hour to set

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Baked Potato Soup

I love Houlihan's Baked Potato Soup! I used to travel 45 minutes just to get myself some, so when I found this copycat recipe I knew I had to give it a try. It turned out just as tasty as the original.

Houlihan's Copycat Baked Potato Soup

1 cup skim milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp tabasco sauce
3/4 tsp dried basil
1 cup instant potato flakes
1/4 cup chicken broth
5 cups water
1/3 cup flour
2 cups yellow onion - diced
1/2 cup margarine
4 large potatoes
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400. Prick washed potatoes & bake until a fork pierces the center easily. Remove potatoes from oven & allow to fully cool. Remove skin & cut potatoes into 1/2" cubes. Set aside.

2. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onions & saute over low heat for 10 mins or until onions are translucent. Don't allow onions to burn.

3. Add flour to onions & cook 4-5 mins, stirring well until flour is absorbed.
4. In a separate container, combine water, chicken broth, potato flakes, and seasonings. Stir or whisk thoroughly to eliminate lumps. Add slowly to onion mixture, stirring constantly so no lumps form.
5. Increase to med. heat & continue cooking until the soup begins to gently simmer. Add milk & cream, stirring until smooth and slightly thickened. Simmer for 15 mins. Do not boil. Soup should just simmer lightly.
6. Add cubed baked potatoes & stir to combine. Remove from heat & serve. Top each serving with grated Cheddar cheese, sliced scallions [green onions], & bacon pieces.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Garlic Cheddar Chicken

Mmmmmm...everything is better with cheddar! This recipe is similar to the Garlic Chicken recipe I posted previously except for the addition of cheddar. I didn't realize that the recipe was for 8 pieces of chicken until after I mixed up the ingredients and I was only planning on making 4. So remember to half everything! Its cheesey goodness in every bite!

Garlic Cheddar Chicken


1/2 cup butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded thin


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, and cook the garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.
3. In a shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano, pepper, and salt.

4. Dip each chicken breast in the garlic butter to coat, then press into the bread crumb mixture. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Drizzle with any remaining butter and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture.

5. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.