January 3, 2010

Apricot Chicken

Posted in Chicken tagged , at 11:45 pm by RootsAndRings

Growing up, this is what I always requested for my birthday meal. It’s delicious. I especially love making it since Stephen and I are only two people which means we get to eat it two days in a row. I serve it with brown rice and rolls. You’ll want the rolls to sop up the apricot goodness.

4-5 chicken breasts
11 oz. jar of apricot preserves
11-14 oz. bottle of Italian dressing
1 envelope of onion soup mix

In a medium sauce pan combine preserves, dressing, and soup mix. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until preserves are melted. Put chicken breasts in a baking dish and pour mixture on top. Cover with foil. Cook in a 350 degree oven for an hour. Uncover and cook an additional 15 minutes. Wipe your drool off the floor.

September 1, 2009

The Pasta With No Name

Posted in Pasta tagged , , , , , at 3:55 pm by RootsAndRings

So a couple weeks ago I made this random pasta dish and it turned out really well. I made it again last night, and again I liked it. So I thought that maybe I should share it with you since it’s so easy. The problem is that I don’t really measure much or keep track of cooking times. But I don’t think you can mess it up. It makes a very large pot of pasta. We have it for dinner, then lunch the next day, and then lunch the following day. And if you are better at portion control than us, you could probably get more than 6 servings out of it.

1 package of angel hair pasta
1 package of bacon, cooked- crispy!
1 large onion, halved and sliced
5 or 6 tomatoes, seeded and diced
a bunch of basil, torn or minced or however you like it
a small package of pine nuts, toasted

Pretty simple. While your bacon is sizzling away, cook all of your onions in some butter. You can make as much onion as you want. They cook down a lot so always put in more than you think you’ll want. You could cook them in olive oil but it won’t taste as good. Once they are translucent and tender, turn to medium/low and keep cooking them. We want them golden and sweet and delicious. Boil your pasta. I like to throw a bunch of garlic salt in the water to help give the pasta some flavor. Once your pasta is done, drain it and put it back in your big pot. Add everything- the chopped up crispy bacon, the pine nuts, the tomatoes, the onions. I add a drizzle of olive oil and some butter. But not too much of either because you don’t want slimy food. Mix it all up. This takes some elbow grease. And that’s it. Told you it was easy!

July 31, 2009

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Posted in Breads tagged , , , at 2:59 pm by RootsAndRings

Learn how to make these before you have children. Seriously. These are so good. And they aren’t labor intensive so even us non-bakers can handle it. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 T. water
2 eggs
3 crushed bananas (works best when they are old)
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1-1.5 c. chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350. Cream butter, sugar, and water until smooth. Add eggs and beat well. Mix the mashed bananas. Then mix in flour and baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips. Easy as pie! Well, easy as muffins… Ha. I’m hilarious. Put into greased muffin tins and bake for 15-18 minutes.

July 30, 2009

Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Posted in Desserts, Freezable tagged , , , at 1:10 pm by RootsAndRings

This is a recipe from Kroger. No joke. They didn’t steer me wrong with the Chocolate Chip Cookie Truffles so I had no reason to doubt them. This is the first cheesecake I’ve ever attempted. It is magically delicious. It is insanely rich so start with a small piece. Not kidding. I’m a chocoholic and can usually handle richness… but this is RICH. Mine came out really dense and thick. But that’s the way I like my cheesecake so it’s perfect.

9 oz. chocolate wafer cookie (I assumed the meant Oreos so I bought an 18 oz package of Kroger brand Kiddo’s and used half)
1 T. sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9 inch springform pan with 3 inch high sides. Chop cookies in food processor until finely ground, blend in sugar. Add melted butter and process until smooth. I had to stop and stir a few times to get it going. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom (not sides) of pan. Bake about 5 minutes. Mine burned a little, but now in hindsight, I think I baked mine for 9 minutes… Hmm… Take pan out of oven and let cool while preparing filling. Maintain oven temp.

10 oz. dark chocolate (bittersweet), chopped (I used Ghirardelli chocolate chips)
4 8 oz. pkgs. of cream cheese, room temp. (I used 2 regular cream cheeses and 2 low fat, you know, because I’m watching my figure)
1 1/4 c. plus 2 T. sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs

Stir chopped chocolate in double boiler until melted and smooth. (I microwaved. Shut up Martha, that’s how I roll.) Let chocolate cool slightly – lukewarm but still pourable. Blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in food processor until smooth. I did this little by little so my processor wouldn’t freak out and explode. I don’t know it it helped, I like to think it did. Blend in eggs, one at a time. At this point if it looks like your processor is going to overflow, we’re in the same boat. Don’t worry, it didn’t. Now add the chocolate to the mixture and blend until all mixed. Pour filling over crust and smooth the top. Bake until center is set and just appears dry, about an hour. Cool for 5 minutes and then run a knife around the edges to loosen. Chill overnight.

3/4 c. whipping cream
6 oz. dark chocolate (bittersweet), chopped
1 T. sugar

Stir all ingredients in medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour over center of cheesecake and spread to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Chill until topping is set, about an hour.

Release pan sides. Transfer to platter. Let stand 2 hours at room temp before serving (if you can wait… we couldn’t). Enjoy.

Cheesecake 2

May 13, 2009

Crockpot Taco Stoup

Posted in Beef, Crockpot, Soups/Stews tagged , , , , at 10:07 pm by RootsAndRings

I’m stealing Rachael Ray’s term “stoup” – thinner than a stew, thicker than a soup! If you like soup, add more water. If you are Stephen, or are married to Stephen, leave as is. As most soups, tastes even better the next day!


2 cans of kidney beans
2 cans of pinto beans
2 cans of corn (I only used 1)
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 regular can Rotel (I don’t do spicy so I substituted plain diced tomatoes)
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 pkg ranch dressing mix (I’ll repeat: mix! The powder, not the dressing!)
1 lb. ground beef (I used venison)

Brown your meat. Drain the fat. Put the meat in your crockpot. Pour taco and ranch mixes in pot. Mix well. Drain and rinse all 4 cans of beans. Add those to the pot. Add entire cans of corn and tomatoes and Rotel — do not drain! Stir. Cover and cook on low about 8-10 hours. You can cook it on high for 4-5 hours. Serve with some shredded cheddar, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips.

Lazy Day Lasagna

Posted in Beef tagged , , , at 9:46 pm by RootsAndRings

This is from a cookbook that a local high school sold. I made it in college one night for some friends and, to this day, is my friend Jim’s favorite lassagna. He has requested that I post this for him so he can make it for his wife. Jimbo, I hope it’s as good as you remember it!


12 oz. cottage cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella
2 eggs
1 tsp. onion powder
1/8 t. pepper
1/2 t .dried basil
1/2 c. chopped parsley (much less if you’re using dried)
32 oz. jar of spag. sauce
1/2 c. water
1 3/4 lb. gr. beef
16 oz. uncooked lasagna noodles
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Brown ground beef. Drain the fat. Mix the first 7 ingredients. Mix spaghetti sauce and cooked ground beef. Layer in 9×13 baking dish as follows: Meat sauce, 6 noodles, 1/2 cottage cheese mix, meat sauce, 6 more noodles, rest of cottage cheese mix, and 6 more noodles. Top with meat sauce. Pour water around the edges. Cover with foil. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes and shakes some Parmesan cheese on top.

April 22, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Truffles

Posted in Desserts tagged , , at 3:10 pm by RootsAndRings

I’ve attempted truffles before and failed miserably. I swore I’d never do it again. But I got this recipe in the mail from Tollhouse. It looked super easy so I gave it a shot. Besides the fact that the needs to stay refrigerated, these are perfect. My Meme once said that broken cookies don’t have any calories because they fall out. So I guess we’re in the clear!


1 pkg cookie dough; I used Toolhouse. (They gave me the recipe, the least I could do was use their brand!)
3 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used 3.5-4 oz)
1 c. chocolate chips (Calls for semi-sweet. It’s great that way but next time I’ll try dark chocolate)
1 T. vegetable oil

Bake your cookies according to the package. Make sure they are thoroughly cooked, but not burned. Crispy cookies work best. Once cooled, crumble your cookies into a food processor. Grind them up- not into a powder though! Add cream cheese and blend/chop/process?/whatever until thoroughly mixed through. It will look like chocolate dough. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Roll into 1″ balls and cool on cookie sheet in fridge. About 45 min-an hour. Before they are ready, heat chocolate chips and oil in a microwave save bowl. Let it cool on the counter. Then, dip each ball into your chocolate and put it back on the cookie sheet. Make sure you don’t have too much dripping chocolate. Refrigerate until hardened. Enjoy!