Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mixed Fruit & Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Mixed Fruit and Brown Sugar Oatmeal
A classic hot oatmeal with dried fruit and brown sugar by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 2

  • 1 cup Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 tbsp Dried Cranberries
  • 1 tbsp Golden Raisins
  • 1 tbsp Dried Cherries
  • 1 tbsp Dried Blueberries
  • 2 Dried Prunes, chopped
  1. In a tall pot, bring water and salt to a boil, add oats and reduce heat to a simmer (caution as oats will rise in pot, keep an eye on it).
  2. Cook 12 - 20 minutes or until desired consistency, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cover and remove from heat, let stand 3 minutes.
  4. Add brown sugar and fruit, serve.

Fluffy Cheesecake

Fluffy Cheesecake
This is a simple, no-bake cheesecake by my best friend Marchelle.  Not a traditional cheesecake, as the texture is much more fluffy and light, serve as is or with a berry topping.
Makes 2 pies

  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 8 oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk 
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/3 cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Graham Cracker Crust
  1. In a large bowl, cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  2. Add condensed milk, vanilla and lemon juice, mix till smooth and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream till soft peaks form (for best results, refrigerate metal bowl and whisks before hand).
  4. Gently fold whipped cream into cream cheese filling, till combined.
  5. Pour into crusts, refrigerate overnight to set. 
  6. Top with fresh berries before serving (if desired).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Iced Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
A classic oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips, raisins and brown butter icing by Lacey Johnston (icing by Paula Deen).
Makes 30 - 40 cookies.

  • 3/4 cup Salted Butter, softened
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1/2 cup Golden Raisins
  • 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chunks
  • 2 tbsp Whole Milk
  1. Preheat oven to 375* degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer till fluffy (about 1 minute).
  3. Add brown sugar, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves, mix till combined.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla, mix till combined.
  5. Beat in half the flour, mix till combined.
  6. Add the other half of the flour, mix till combined (batter will be thick).
  7. Add milk and fold in oats with wooden spoon.
  8. Fold in raisins and chocolate chunks.
  9. Using two spoons, place spoonful's on ungreased cookie sheet 2" apart.
  10. Baking for 8 - 10 minutes or until edges just begin to brown (overcooking will result in dry, hard cookies).
  11. Let cool on wire rack.
  12. Meanwhile, for icing, melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. 
  13. Cook till golden, stirring frequently, about 3 - 5 minutes.
  14. Remove from heat, add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (best if sifted), 1 tbsp vanilla and 2 tbsp water.
  15. Whisk till smooth and drizzling consistency, add more water if necessary.
  16. Drizzle over the top of cooled cookies.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Braised Pork with Rosemary Sugar and Cranberry Relish

Braised pork with rosemary sugar and cranberry relish
A very festive dish, in both cooking and presentation with a pork tenderloin with a rosemary sugar rub and orange cranberry relish by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 4

  • 1 lb. Pork Tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 8 Green Onions, cut into 2" lengths
  • 2 Carrots, cut into matchsticks (optional)
  • 12 oz. Cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2/3 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  1. Preheat oven to 350* degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of the sugar, rosemary, salt, pepper and ginger.
  3. Add the pork, turn to coat, rub well with rosemary sugar.
  4. Meanwhile, in a non-stick Dutch oven or roasting pan, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the pork to the pan, along with the garlic, cook 2 minutes per side (for 4 turns), remove pork and set aside on plate.
  6. Add the scallions and carrots to the pan, cook for 3 minutes or until the carrots begin to color (if skipping the carrots, add scallions for 30 seconds, stirring frequently).
  7. Stir the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cranberries, orange juice and bay leaf into the pan, bring to a boil.
  8. Return the pork to the pan, reduce to a simmer, cover with lid or foil (if using roasting pan).
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until pork is 160* degrees internally.
  10. Remove pork from pan and let rest for 5 - 10 minutes before slicing.
  11. Remove and discard the bay leaf, slice pork into 1" rounds.
  12. Serve the pork with carrots and top with cranberry relish.
Pork prior to baking in oven - without carrots

Monday, December 5, 2011

Porcini & Asparagus Penne

Porcini & Asparagus Penne
A simple pasta dish with earthy vegetables, lightly tossed in a garlic Parmesan sauce by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 2

  • 1/2 cup Porcini Mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 cups Penne
  • 1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  1. Cook pasta according to package direction, drain and set aside.
  2. Using same pot, add olive oil over high heat.
  3. Saute mushrooms and asparagus 4 minutes or until mushrooms are browned and asparagus is tender.
  4. Add garlic, cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  5. Add butter, lemon juice and Parmesan, return pasta to pan.
  6. Toss to coat, salt & pepper to taste.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Hamlamburger with cheddar, lettuce, onion and tomato
Hamburgers made of 1/2 beef and 1/2 lamb, a more flavorful twist on a summer time classic by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 4

  • 1/2 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1/2 lb. Ground Lamb
  • 1 piece Toast (preferably potato or white bread), finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/8 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp A1 Steak Sauce
  1. Mix all ingredients with hands in a large bowl.
  2. Roll into 4 balls, make 4 patties, pressing thumb into middle of each.
  3. Over medium-high heat, in a non-stick skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil.
  4. Cook for 4 - 5 minutes.
  5. Flip and place cheese on top (if desired), cook 4 - 5 minutes more.
  6. Set on paper towels to drain excess fat before serving.
  7. Top with lettuce, tomato, onion and condiments of your choosing.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Restaurant Review: Oswego Grill

Oswego Grill
Location Visited: Wilsonville OR USA

The Oswego Grill has two locations in Oregon, the original in Lake Oswego and the newly opened location in Wilsonville.  They serve lunch and dinner and I have not yet dined as a dinner guest but have gone twice for lunch and the crowd is mostly business professionals and middle - upper class suburbanites.  I would not recommend this restaurant for young children.  The atmosphere is dark, dark wood tones accompanied by dark greens and black, booths with more of a 'mood lighting' and black cloth napkins (it may seem like a small thing but their napkins are terribly cheap.  While they are cloth, which is preferable, the fabric seems to smear rather than absorb and leaves you feeling like you need to wash your hands after you finish eating).

Starter - Iceberg Wedge Salad
Their Iceberg Wedge Salad with apple wood smoke bacon, blue cheese dressing and blue cheese crumbles is massive.  The lettuce is fresh and crisp, the bacon is smoky and the blue cheese is abundant and pleasantly subtle.  I can only eat half of this, you could practically have it as an entree but the price is very reasonable, something to the tune of $6.

Lunch Entree - Widmer Beer Battered Fish & Chips
A great, classic cod fish & chips.  The fish is the star with a good fish to batter ratio.  The batter is crisp and flavorful without overpowering the soft fish flavor. The french fries are partially skin-on, well fried and seasoned.  I did move my fish off of my fries right away so the fries didn't get soggy underneath the fish however.  Comes with a house made tartar sauce, which was pretty good but nothing to remember.  The coleslaw was terrible, some of the most bland coleslaw I have ever eaten, had two bites and pushed it aside.

Dessert - Strawberry Shortcake
An old-fashioned classic, reinvented for the fine dining experience. Made with fresh strawberries, scratch made biscuits and fresh whip cream.  The biscuit was sugar coated which was quite nice, the strawberries were sweet and the strawberry sauce was wonderful, helping to moisten the dry biscuit.  I did find myself wanting more whip cream, due to the biscuit being a bit dry and the large amount of strawberries served with it.

My overall thoughts, I enjoyed the meal quite a bit.  The food was consistent both times I have visited and I would go again.  Not sure if I would order the strawberry cheesecake again, I think it is one of those dishes that looks better than it tastes, but overall, good food and good atmosphere.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
A classic Banana Bread made with fresh apple sauce in place of butter by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 8 - 12.

  • 4 Apples, cored and cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 Bananas, mashed with fork
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Chocolate Chips (optional)
  1. Spray loaf pan with non-stick cook spray, set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325* degrees F.
  3. In a blender, puree apples, water and cinnamon, set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix baking soda, sugar, baking powder, flour, salt with fork.
  5. Add applesauce and eggs, mix with electric mixer till well combined.
  6. Gently fold in bananas and chocolate chips.
  7. Pour mix into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.
  8. Let cool for 10 - 15 minutes before removing from pan, then let cool on wire rack.
  9. Slice and serve, store leftovers in foil in refrigerator. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sweet Orange Salmon with Glazed Vegetables

Sweet Orange Salmon with Glazed Vegetables and Mashed Potatoes
Sweet orange salmon with a mix of spices, simply broiled.  Served with brown sugar glazed vegetables and mashed potatoes with sweet butter sauce by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 2

  • 2 Salmon Filets, about 1" thick, skin on
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Orange
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 Carrots, peeled
  • 1/2 cup Cauliflower Florets
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Milk
  1. Preheat oven to a broil (500* degrees F), line a baking sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Slice carrots in half lengthwise and then crosswise.
  3. In a small bowl, zest the entire orange, about 1 tsp. In a separate bowl, juice the orange. Set both aside.
  4. Bring to a boil 1" water, milk, fresh orange juice and a pinch of salt (the milk will preserve the white color of the cauliflower).
  5. Add carrots, cover and cook 4 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, mix 1 tbsp brown sugar, orange zest, cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt and ground black pepper with a fork till well combined. 
  7. Rub dry mixture over salmon flesh, place fish skin side down on the prepared baking sheet. Place in over and broil 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.
  8. Return to carrots, add califlower, cover and cook an additional 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  9. With same pan, add 2 tbsp butter and 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar over medium-high heat.  Mix till combined and bubbly, return vegetables to pan.  
  10. Toss well to coat and cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until sugar starts to glaze vegetables.  
  11. Serve vegetables and fish immediately, use remaining pan sauce from vegetables and drizzle over mashed potatoes if desired.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Baby Red Potatoes with Chive Butter

A simple, rustic side dish of potatoes using only 5 ingredients a great alternative to mashed potatoes by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 2 - 4

  • 20 Baby Red Potatoes, washed with skins on
  • 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Chives, freshly snipped
  • Kosher Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  1. Place whole potatoes in a stock pot, fill with cold water just until potatoes are covered.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Drain, set aside.
  4. Melt butter in stock pot, return potatoes to pot along with other ingredients.
  5. Toss till coated, serve whole.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes served over Green Bean Pasta Salad
The tomatoes take on a sweet taste with a hint of garlic, a perfect side for any summer dish.  Best when picked straight from the garden by Daniel Williams.
Serves 2

  • 6 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 clove Garlic, very thinly sliced
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400* degrees F, line a small baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. Cut tomatoes in half using a serrated knife, place on parchment, cut side up.
  3. Place 1 slice garlic on each tomato.
  4. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chicken Rotini Casserole

A chicken casserole with a classic pairing of vegetables and cheese in a cream sauce, baked to perfection by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 4 - 8

  • 1 large Chicken Breast
  • 1 box Rotini
  • 1 Shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks Celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 15 oz. Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar, shredded
  1. Boil chicken for 10 minutes or until cooked through to proper temp., shred with fork and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook rotini as directed on package, drain and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. In same pot pasta was cooked, add butter over high heat, till it begins to melt.
  5. Add shallot, carrot and celery, cook till onion becomes tender but not brown.
  6. Add flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and dry mustard, stir till flour is completely mixed in and pan is dry.
  7. Add chicken stock, milk and peas, stir constantly with a wire whisk until sauce begins to thicken.
  8. Add chicken back to pan, cheese and rotini, remove from heat. Stir till combined.
  9. Pour into casserole dish.  If desired, sprinkle top with a thin layer of bread crumbs and drizzle with melted butter.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes, uncovered.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

A twist on an Italian favorite, recreated with taco filling, vegetables, beans and tortilla shells by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 6 - 8

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef or Lamb
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup Green Onions, sliced
  • 1/2 White Onion, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Black Olives, sliced
  • 15 oz. Black Beans, drained
  • 16 oz. Refried Beans, heated
  • 14 oz. Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
  • 3 oz. Jalapeno Salsa
  • 1 pkg 8" Flour Tortillas
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350* degrees.
  2. In a large pan, brown beef or lamb till no longer pink, drain and set aside.
  3. In same pan, add olive oil and cook onion and bell pepper till tender over high heat.
  4. Add meat back to pan, add water and taco seasoning, let cook 2 minutes or until liquid is mostly gone.
  5. Add black beans, tomatoes, salsa and olives, let cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
  6. In a large casserole dish, spread a thin layer of refried beans to prevent sticking.
  7. Layer 6 tortillas, a layer of refried beans, 1/2 of meat mixture and 1 cup of cheese.
  8. Top with 3 tortillas, a layer of refried beans, remaining meat mixture and 1 cup cheese.
  9. Top with 3 tortillas and remaining cheese, cover with foil and bake 25 minutes.
  10. Remove foil, add green onions and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.
  11. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.  Serve with sour cream, lettuce and tortilla chips.
Mexican Lasagna Filling

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

A classic smoothie recipe using ripe bananas, fresh juice and strawberries by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 1.

  • 1 Banana
  • 4 (large) Frozen Strawberries 
  • 1/4 cup Yogurt
  • 1 scoop Strawberry Sorbet
  • 2 tbsp Agave Nectar
  • 1/2 cup Prune Juice
  • 3/4 cup Orange Mango Juice
  1. In a blender, blend till smooth.  If you have a BlendTec, use the 'smoothie' setting. 
  2. Serve immediately.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tomato & Basil Bruschetta

A simple bruschetta with all the classic Italian flavors a top of a crispy baguette by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 2 - 4

  • 1 Baguette
  • 1 1/2 cups Tomatoes, freshly diced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  1. Slice baguette on a sharp diagonal to maximize surface area, about 1/2" thick.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss together all ingredients (excluding cheese), mix till combined.
  3. Allow ingredients to marinate with each other for 10 - 20 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Drizzle top of bread with olive oil and toast till golden.
  5. Spread tomato mixture on top of toast, sprinkle with Parmesan.
  6. You can serve it cold or to serve hot, once assembled, place bruschetta on baking sheet, and toast in toaster oven just until cheese begins to melt, serve immediately. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tomato & Spinach Rotini

A pairing of classics, tomatoes and spinach with cheese and ground beef tossed with rotini pasta by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 2 - 4

  • 2 cups Rotini Pasta
  • 1/2 lb. Ground Beef
  • 6 oz. Fresh Spinach
  • 14 oz. can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 8 oz. can Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
  • White Pepper, to taste
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook ground beef over medium-high heat in a large skillet until browned, drain excess fat, return to pan.
  3. Add garlic, saute 1 minute.
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Return heat to medium-high, add spinach and cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove from heat, add pasta and cheeses, toss well to coat and serve.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Homemade Apple Juice

Homemade apple juice, unpasteurized, no sugar added (yes, real apple juice is suppose to be that color) by Lacey Johnston. Note: My blender of choice for juicing is the Blendtec, if you juice regularly or make smoothies, I highly recommend it!
Makes 2 - 3 cups

  • 4 Gala or Red Delicious Apples
  • 1/3 cup Cold Water
  1. Core apples and cut into 1" chunks.
  2. Add apples and water to blender, blend till smooth, about 60 seconds. 
  3. Using a mesh strainer or cheesecloth (at least 40 grade), strain apples.
  4. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before drinking.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quick Strawberry Frosting

A quick and easy way to make homemade, strawberry frosting without preservatives or artificial coloring.  You can use Jam or Jelly but I prefer the Jam because the hint of seeds lets people know it is made with real strawberries. By Lacey Johnston.
Frosts 2, 9" cake rounds

  • 1/4 cup Strawberry Jam (best if homemade)
  • 5 tbsp Butter, softened
  • 4 tsp Milk
  • 16 oz. Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter on low speed with electric mixer for 30 seconds.
  2. Add all other ingredients, beat on medium-high or until well mixed and desired consistency. If too thick, add more milk.  If too thin, add more powdered sugar. If too sugary, add 2 tbsp more butter.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Organic Mango Smoothie

A very refreshing, tropical smoothie. Perfect for mornings or after a workout by Lacey Johnston. Note: You will not need ice, the frozen fruit and sorbet keeps everything chilled.
Serves 1.

  • 1 Banana
  • 8 slices Organic Frozen Mango
  • 1/8 cup All Natural Mango Sorbet
  • 1/4 cup Organic Orange Mango Juice
  • 1/8 cup Organic Plain Yogurt (I prefer Nancy's brand)
  • 1 tbsp Agave Nectar
  • 1/4 cup Organic Whole Milk
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender.
  2. Mix until smooth, drink immediately.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich

A hot teriyaki chicken sandwich with pineapple and other classic fixings by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 4

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, pounded out flat
  • 4 - 8 Pineapple Rings
  • 1 Tomato, sliced into rings
  • 1 Red Onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • 4 Pub Buns (Hamburger buns)
  • Mayonnaise 
  • 4 slices Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
  1. In a ziplock bag, marinate chicken with teriyaki sauce, olive oil, pineapple juice and garlic for 1 - 4 hours in refrigerator.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade, discard marinade.
  3. In a hot non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, cook chicken for 4 minutes. 
  4. Flip, cook 4 minutes more or until chicken is done (160 degrees F), salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Meanwhile, toast buns till slightly golden, add cheese to melt.
  6. Spread mayo on bottom bun, add chicken, pineapple, tomato, onion, lettuce, top with bun with melted cheese.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fried Eggs on Toast with Ham

A quick and easy breakfast with gooey egg yolk and honey ham by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 1.

  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 slices Honey Ham
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 slices Bread (I prefer Potato)
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. In a non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat.
  2. Add 2 eggs, being careful not to crack the yolk.
  3. Meanwhile, toast bread.  Place ham slices on plate and toss in toaster oven to heat.
  4. Just as egg whites begin to turn solid white and edges start to slightly bubble, parsley, salt & pepper eggs.
  5. Flip gently, not to break the yolk. Cook 1 - 2 minutes more until whites are cooked but yolk is still runny. 
  6. Butter toast, add ham and top with egg.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spaghetti with White Clam Sauce

A dish inspired by the Spaghetti with White Clam Sauce from The Spaghetti Factory by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 4 - 6

  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1 clove Garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 cup Romano Cheese, grated
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 16 oz. Clam Juice
  • 12 oz. Chopped Clams with Juice
  • 1/2 White Onion, diced
  • 1 pkg. Spaghetti
  • Half & Half
  1. You will need 5 cups liquid for the sauce.  In a large measuring cup, add clam juice, drain clams reserving their juices and then add half & half until you have 5 cups liquid. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, drain, set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt butter and sauce onion until tender over medium-high heat.
  4. Add garlic, cook 1 minute more.
  5. Add seasonings and flour, stir till pan is dry and flour is no longer visable (about 30 seconds).
  6. Add liquids, clams and cheese. Reduce heat to medium.
  7. Stir constantly with a flat bottom wire whisk until sauce begins to thicken. If sauce doesn't thicken within 10 minutes, in a small bowl mix together 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp flour till smooth, add to sauce (should thicken quickly after that).
  8. Add pasta to pan, toss to coat. Serve.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rice Crispy Treats with Chocolate Peanut Butter Topping

A childhood favorite my Mom used to make, classic rice crispy treats with a chocolate and peanut butter topping.  I am allergic to peanut butter and tree nuts so I use Sunbutter Natural, which tastes EXACTLY like peanut butter and is actually healthier for you. Topping recipe by Kathy Johnston.
Serves 15 - 20

  • 6 cups Rice Crispy Cereal
  • 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 10 oz. Mini Marshmallows
  • 12 oz. Chocolate Chips
  • 12 oz. Sunbutter Natural or Peanut Butter
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and marshmallows over low heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Meanwhile, grease a large bowl. Add cereal. 
  3. Once marshmallows are completely melted, add to bowl of cereal. 
  4. Quickly but carefully stir cereal till combined with marshmallows.
  5. Grease a serving spoon with PAM, evenly spread cereal mix into a greased casserole dish, set aside.
  6. In a small pan, melt chocolate and Sunbutter (or peanut butter) till smooth, stirring frequently.
  7. Pour melted mixture over the top of the rice crispy treats. 
  8. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until chocolate peanut butter topping is set.
  9. Cut into squares to serve, I recommend you store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Thousand Island Dressing

My grandmother's family recipe for thousand island dressing, the best thousand island I have ever tasted, the store bought versions don't even compare! by Jeannie Gibson.  Note: Grandma doesn't measure and neither do I, for this recipe I have guessed on the measurements, so feel free to experiment, she always taught me to go by color and taste.
Makes 1 - 2 cups

  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Sweet Pickles, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Pickle Juice
  • 2 stalks Celery, chopped
  • Pinch Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl till smooth.  
  2. If too light (in color), add more ketchup.
  3. If too red (in color), add more mayonnaise.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chicken Chili

A hearty chili made with white meat chicken instead of ground beef by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 2-3.

  • 1/2 White Onion, chopped
  • 1 stem Celery, sliced
  • 1 Chicken Breast, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1/4 cup Frozen Corn
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 24.5 oz. can Diced Tomatoes
  • 14 oz. can Tomato Sauce
  • 15 oz. can Red Kidney Beans
  • 15 oz. can Black Beans
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 15 oz. can Nalley's No Meat Chili*
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
*This is the way my Mom used to make homemade Chili, she added the Nalley's for flavor but you can substitute it by adding the following; 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, 2 tbsp Tomato Paste, 15 oz. can Pinto Beans and 1 tbsp Taco Seasoning.
  1. In a large Dutch oven, add 2 tbsp olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
  2. Add chicken and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove chicken with slotted spoon, set aside.
  4. Add remaining olive oil, return heat to high.
  5. Add onion and celery, saute till onion becomes tender. Add garlic, cook 30 seconds.
  6. Add bell pepper, corn, cooked chicken, tomato sauce, tomatoes, beans, seasonings and meatless chili, bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cook for 1 hour.
  8. Add corn, uncover and continue to cook 15 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan (Parmigiana)

A traditional preparation of Eggplant Parmigiana with a simple pan fry and bake of tomato sauce and cheeses by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 4

  • 1 Eggplant (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Pasta Sauce
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz.) Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/8 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup Pasta Sauce
  • 1 box Whole Wheat Spaghetti
  1. Preheat oven to 400* degrees F.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  3. Wash and peel eggplant, cut into 1/2" rounds.
  4. In a small bowl, combine water and egg, dip eggplant slices into egg mixture and then into flour, turning to coat both sides.
  5. Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium heat with olive oil.
  6. Cook eggplant for 2 - 3 minutes per side or until golden, drain on paper towels.
  7. In a large casserole dish, spread about 2 tbsp of pasta sauce into bottom of dish.
  8. Place eggplant in a single layer, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and parsley.
  9. Top with 1 cup spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
  11. Toss cooked pasta with remaining 1 cup pasta sauce, serve with eggplant slices.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Black Bean Succotash

A bright, colorful mix of crisp and tender vegetables with the protein of black beans.  Pairs very well with mashed sweet potatoes and fish or chicken by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 2 - 4

  • 1 Pablano Pepper, seeded
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded
  • 1/4 cup Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Frozen Corn
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Zucchini, seeded
  • 1 Yellow Squash, seeded
  • 1 clove Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  1. Chop all the veggies into cubes, a tiny bit larger than a corn kernel.
  2. In a non-stick skillet, add butter and olive oil over high heat.
  3. Add onion and peppers, cook about 3 minutes or until onions begin to soften.
  4. Add remaining veggies and black beans, cook about 3 minutes or until squash is crisp tender. Stirring gently as needed.
  5. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste, cook 1 minute.
  6. Serve immediately. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

German Pancakes

German pancakes just like you would get in a restaurant, huge cakes that creep up the sides of your pan and take over your plate.  With a touch of vanilla and cinnamon, these cakes can be made sweet or savory by Daniel Williams.
Serves 1.

  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Bread Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  1. Add cold butter to your cast iron pan or enamel dish, place in oven and preheat with oven to 425* degrees F.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together all ingredients with whisk till smooth.
  3. Remove hot pan from oven and pour batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until risen and golden.
  5. Serve with butter, syrup and powdered sugar for a sweet cake, serve with lemon and butter for a savory cake.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

A very rich, creamy side dish with loads of potatoes and three cheeses.  My Aunt Lynne introduced me to this recipe and it is wonderful! Pairs well with ham, peas, steak and carrots by Better Homes & Gardens.
Serves 6 - 8

  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/4 cups Milk
  • 3/4 cup Sharp Cheddar, Gruyere and Swiss (mixed evenly), shredded
  • 3 Russet Potatoes, thinly and evenly sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 350* degrees F. Grease a casserole dish, set aside.
  2. In a saucier over high heat, cook onion in butter until onions begin to soften and become translucent. 
  3. Add garlic, cook 30 seconds more.
  4. Stir in flour, pepper and salt, reduce heat to medium.
  5. Add milk and cheese, cook and stir until thick and bubbly.
  6. Place half the sliced potatoes in prepared dish, cover with half the sauce.
  7. Repeat potato and sauce layer.
  8. Bake, covered with foil for 40 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and bake 30 minutes or until potatoes and done (top should be slightly golden).

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tuna Noodle Casserole

My mom's recipe with my personal twist, it's a casserole packed with noodles, cheese, tuna and vegetables.  Makes great leftovers the next day by Kathy and Lacey Johnston.
Serves 4 - 6.
  • 1 box Tri-Color Rotini
  • 1/2 cup Saltines, crushed or Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 3 stocks Celery, sliced
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 2 (6 oz.) cans Tuna packed in water, drained
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1/4 cup Roasted Sweet Red Peppers, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Crimini Mushrooms, chopped (optional)
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375* degrees F.
  3. In large saute pan, saute celery, mushrooms and onion in butter over medium-high heat till tender.
  4. Stir in flour, salt, dry mustard and black pepper till flour is disolved.
  5. Add milk, cook and stir until slightly thick and bubbly.
  6. Remove from heat, add cheese, tuna, red peppers and noodles, stir till combined.
  7. Transfer to casserole dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs and then drizzle with melted butter.
  8. Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chicken & White Bean Stew

A very comforting stew, perfect for cold days with lots of veggies and chicken in a creamy broth by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 4
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans Chicken Stock
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 Celery Sticks, sliced
  • 2 Carrots, chopped into rounds
  • 1/2 cup Frozen Peas
  • 1/2 cup Cannellini Beans, drained
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 2/3 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  1. In a large dutch oven over medium heat, cook chicken for 5 minutes in olive oil. Stirring frequently.
  2. Remove chicken with slotted spoon, set aside.
  3. Add butter to pan, increase heat to medium-high.
  4. Add celery, onion and carrots, saute until onion is tender but not brown.
  5. Add dried herbs and flour to pan, stir till flour is dissolved.
  6. Add chicken stock, milk, water, beans and peas.
  7. Return chickn to pot and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 10 - 12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wacky Cake

An egg and butter free chocolate cake that won't make you miss either ingredient. Super moist and super easy to make.
Serves 10.
  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 6 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup Cold Water
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350* degrees F, grease 8" square baking dish, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients, pour in wet ingredients and stir until smooth.
  3. Pour mix into prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let stand until completely cool.
  6. Sift powdered sugar over the top, serve in squares.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mom's Taco Casserole

A beef taco casserole with lots of corn, cheese and tortilla chips.  A huge kid favorite that adults love too by Kathy Johnston.
Serves 4 - 6.
  • 1 bag Tortilla Chips
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning
  • 8 oz can. Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 bag Frozen Corn
  • 1 tbsp Dried Basil
  • 2 tbsp Parsley Flakes
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Water
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 325* degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet, brown beef, drain and return to pan.
  3. Add salt, pepper and dry seasonings.
  4. Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil.
  5. Add corn and water (up to 1 cup), reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.
  6. Arrange chips in casserole dish in a single layer, pour half meat mixture over chips.
  7. Repeat layer and top with cheese.
  8. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until chips are golden and cheese is melted.