Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Glazed Cornish Hens

4 Tbsp. apricot preserves **
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 fresh or frozen (thawed) Cornish hens

Mix preserves, vinegar, soy sauce and Dijon mustard together in a small bowl until well blended. Set aside.

Remove package (containing neck, etc.) inside of each Cornish hen and discard. Rinse hens thoroughly and pat dry. With poultry shears or a sharp knife, split birds in half through the breast bone and back.

Place hen halves in greased baking dish with the bone sides down.

Stir sauce again until mixed thoroughly.

With basting brush, brush about 1/3 of the sauce on the hens. Sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper.

Pour chicken broth in bottom of baking dish - being careful not to rinse off basting sauce.

Roast at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Brush with half of the remaining sauce. (If needed, add a little more chicken broth or water to bottom of roasting pan.)

Roast 10 more minutes. Brush with remaining glaze, adding about 2 Tbsp. water if the pan starts to get too brown.

Roast about 10 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 180 degrees F.

Remove from oven and let stand for about 5 minutes.

** I have also used grape jelly and seedless raspberry jam and they were equally good in sauce. Can also use to glaze chicken pieces.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sweet Potato Casserole

This is a family favorite that has been passed down through my family for years. My mother made this for every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and after I got married, it soon became a tradition at my holiday meals, as well.

Now, this is my son-in-law's absolute favorite dish at Thanksgiving and Christmas. He doesn't really care what else we're having, "as long as we're having Sweet Potato Casserole"! (Even my son with a Gluten allergy and egg allergy loves this when I substitute egg replacer for the eggs and rice flour for the all-purpose flour!)

I always save mine for last on my dinner plate because this is pretty much like eating dessert! Hope your family enjoys as much as mine does!

3 cups sweet potatoes, mashed
3/4 - 1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup milk


2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup All-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup melted margarine or butter

** See note below

Drain sweet potatoes and pour into medium mixing bowl. Mash potatoes thoroughly with a fork or potato masher.

Add sugar and eggs to mashed potatoes.

Add vanilla flavoring, melted butter or margarine and milk to potato mixture.

Pour into desired size of butter greased baking dish or casserole dish. Set aside while you mix topping ingredients.

Pour brown sugar, flour, chopped pecans and melted butter or margarine in medium mixing bowl.

Mix with fork until well-blended.

Spoon mixture over top of potatoes in baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown.

**Note: I double the amounts of topping ingredients if using a 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish because there is a bigger surface area to cover and you want to have enough of this delicious crunchy topping so that you get some in every bite.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms

These are a delicious little appetizer or "finger food" for the holidays! They are just the right size and there is no way to stop at just one! They keep calling you back for more! ENJOY!

1 lb. pkg. of hot sausage **
1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese or neufchatel cheese
2- 16 oz. packages medium mushrooms

Crumble sausage in skillet and brown thoroughly over medium high heat.

While sausage is browning, remove stems from mushrooms and clean mushrooms well with a damp paper towel to remove all loose dirt.

Drain browned sausage thoroughly. Place in food processor and chop sausage until very fine.

In medium bowl, combine sausage and cream cheese and mix with a fork until well-blended.

** Can also add several dashes of ground cayenne pepper for a little extra spice if you use Regular sausage, or if you want even the Hot sausage to be a little spicier.

Spoon sausage mixture into mushroom caps - mounding slightly.

Place on cookie sheet or in baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30-40 minutes or until mixture bubbles.

Serve immediately on a serving dish with appetizer toothpicks!

Note: These may also be prepared ahead and refrigerated until ready to bake and serve.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Baked Spaghetti

2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. dried parsley ( or approx. 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley)
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 small bay leaves
2 lbs. ground beef
8 ounces uncooked angel hair spaghetti
*1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
*1 cup grated cheddar cheese

* Or, can use 2 cups Cheddar Jack cheese blend

Chop onion and green pepper.

Chop garlic.

In a medium stockpot, combine tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, chopped onions, peppers, and garlic, parsley and all seasonings. Add bay leaves and stir gently.

Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat, cover and let simmer for approximately 45 minutes.

While the sauce mixture is simmering, Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook until desired brownness.

Drain any fat from browned ground beef and add beef to sauce.

Stir until well-combined.

Cook pasta according to the package directions and drain well in colander.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cover the bottom of a 13" x 9" pan with sauce. Add a layer of half of the cooked pasta.

Top with approximately 3/4 cup grated cheese mixture.

Repeat layers.

End with a final layer of sauce on top.

Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes.

Top the spaghetti with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and return to oven for about 5 more minutes -- or until cheese is completely melted.

Cut into squares and serve with salad and garlic bread.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Southern Pecan Chicken

1 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (I use food processor)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup melted butter

Place Bisquick, paprika, salt and creole seasoning in medium mixing bowl.

Add finely chopped pecans to dry ingredients.

Combine all dry ingredients well.

Pour buttermilk into small bowl. Dip chicken breasts in buttermilk.

Remove chicken breasts from buttermilk and roll in the pecan coating mixture.
Place chicken breasts in baking dish. 

Pour melted butter over top of coated chicken breasts.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes or until chicken tests done with meat thermometer.