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.