Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Parmesan

This is a little on the time-consuming side, but oh, so worth it!
You can make the patties ahead of time, even breading them and storing them in the refrigerator until it's time to cook.
Using ground chicken is easier to stuff than whole chicken breasts, but the flavor is the same.
This makes 2 large chicken patties.

1 pound ground white chicken breast
1 egg
salt and pepper
garlic powder
Italian seasoning
4 thick slices mozzarella cheese
1/2 C flour
2 eggs
3/4 C dry bread crumbs or panko
cooking oil (canola or olive)
1/2 C marinara sauce
1/2 C Parmesan cheese
1/4 C chopped Italian parsley

Mix the chicken and the egg in a bowl. Season well with salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
On waxed paper, on a platter or cutting board, divide the chicken to make 4 large ground meat patties. Lay 2 slices of cheese in the center of two of the patties. Carefully top each with the second patty. With fingers, seal the edges well, making sure to conceal all the cheese.
Cover the patties with plastic wrap and place the platter or cutting board, with the patties on it, in the refrigerator and let chill well for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Alternatively, you may freeze the patties for 15-30 minutes. The idea is to get the meat to firm up enough to be able to bread it later.
Place the flour in a shallow bowl or a saucer. Beat the eggs in another bowl. Place bread crumbs or panko to a third bowl.
Remove the chicken patties from the refrigerator or freezer. Carefully dredge each one in the flour, coating it completely. Set on the wax paper-lined platter or cutting board. Carefully coat the flour-dredged patties with the beaten egg. Set on the platter or cutting board. Carefully coat the patties in the bread crumbs or panko, making sure to cover well with crumbs. Add more crumbs as needed to get a good coating. Return the breaded patties to the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 400*
Heat the marinara sauce in a small saucepan on low heat on the stove.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in skillet large enough to fit both patties.
Carefully place the patties in the hot oil and cook, undisturbed for 3 minutes.
Carefully turn the patties over with a spatula and continue to cook for 3 minutes.
Make sure the coating is evenly browned and the patties are staying together.
Remove the patties to a rimmed cookie sheet.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile cook pasta or potatoes; vegetables and make a salad if desired.
Remove the patties from the oven onto individual plates. Top with marinara sauce, Parmasan cheese and parsley. Serve with side dishes as desired.
If melted cheese is desired, you can top the patties with Parmesan cheese after they've baked for 10 minutes.

Simple Raspberry Dessert / Snack

Because sometimes you just want some fruit and chocolate to look elegant while remaining simple.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Small Batch Au Gratin Potatoes

Small Batch Au Gratin Potatoes

1 1/2 T butter
1 1/12 T all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 C 2% milk
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
2 1/2 C thinly sliced peeled potatoes (about 3-4 medium)
1/4 C chopped onion

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Add potatoes and onion.
Transfer to a greased 1 quart baking dish. Cover and bake 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Add more cheese at the end if desired.  Turn up the heat to 400* at the end if potatoes aren’t tender enough.  Also helps with browning.
Sprinkle with chopped fresh or dried parsley if desired.
Omit the cheese for scalloped potatoes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


It's that time of year again that fresh, scratch made gingerbread is in order.

This version is made gluten free by using your favorite gluten free flour mix.  If the mix already has xanthan gum in it, omit the xanthan from the recipe. The lemon juice or white vinegar helps the leavening rise to its best potential. 

Bar-cookie-ish in appearance and wonderful cut into squares and topped with whipped cream.  You can ice it with vanilla frosting or a simple vanilla or maple glaze before cutting if so desired and it makes a nice addition to Christmas cookie plates. 
This is a delightful dessert to eat while watching A Charlie Brown Christmas ; ) 


1 1/4 C gluten free flour mix
1 T ground Ginger
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 C sugar
1 egg
dash lemon juice or white vinegar
1/3 C molasses (good old fashioned black-strap molasses is the best!)
3 T water

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil.  Spray foil with no stick cooking spray.  Place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom and grease it too, if desired.  Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt; set aside.
Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg until well blended.  Add lemon juice or vinegar.  Gradually beat in flour mixture until well mixed.  Stir in molasses and water just until blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan.
Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 15 minutes.  Lift out of pan using foil.  Cool completely on wire rack.  Invert and peel off foil.  Cut into bars.  Serve with whipped cream.  Store in refrigerator.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

A great dish from south of the border that won’t leave its mark north of the waistband.
Say hola to a Mexican favorite. The best part is, we cut the fat in half and still provide a good source of vitamin A, C and calcium. But don’t worry - it’s just as delicioso as ever.
Halve this recipe and make in a smaller casserole dish - for work lunch. It's delicious with a green salad topped with avocado, olives and tomatoes.
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
8 oz fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup fat-free (skim) milk
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
8 yellow corn tortillas (6 or 7 inch), torn into bite-size pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
1 large tomato, chopped (1 cup)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar or Mexican-blend cheese (6 oz)

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix chiles, sour cream and milk until blended. Stir in chicken, tortillas and bell pepper. Stir in tomato and 1 cup of the cheese. Spoon and spread mixture in baking dish.
Cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake uncovered 5 to 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes.

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 270 (Calories from Fat 100); Total Fat 11g (Saturated Fat 5g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 60mg; Sodium 610mg; Total Carbohydrate 22g (Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 4g); Protein 22g % Daily Value Vitamin A 15%; Vitamin C 15%; Calcium 20%; Iron 8% Exchanges 1 1/2 Starch, 2 1/2 Very Lean Meat, 1 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices 1 1/2

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Red, White & Blue Trifle

Because sometimes, you need a red, white and blue dessert. 

1 loaf pound cake (either frozen or fresh)
2 C heavy cream, whipped
1 small package (3.4 oz) instant white chocolate or cheesecake flavor pudding
1 1/2 C cold milk – the package instructs to use 2 C milk.  You want to use less so that it is thicker than normal.
1 pound fresh strawberries (this is the typical size sold in most grocery stores)
2 C frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
Trifle bowl or tall round glass bowl

Cut pound cake into 1-inch cubes.  Measure the first cuts to be sure they are about an inch.  You don’t want them to be too big since this is a “scoopable” dessert.
In a large, very cold mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream until firm peaks form.  Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the trifle.
Using a whisk or a hand mixer, prepare the pudding in a medium bowl, using 1 1/2 C milk, not the 2 C as instructed on the package.  You want to use less milk so that it is thicker than normal.  Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the trifle.
Rinse strawberries, remove stem and leaves and slice the berries.  You want to slice them “lengthwise” so that they look sort of like hearts. Reserve the best looking, most uniform-looking 24 or so slices for the ones that show on the side of the trifle.  Coarsely mash or chop the rest of the strawberries and set aside.
Place blueberries in a bowl in the refrigerator.  They will be ready when you are ready to assemble the trifle, but not too thawed out.  You may use fresh blueberries if desired, but I use frozen because when they thaw, they are softer than fresh and create lovely blue streaks that look pretty in the trifle bowl)
Now that the ingredients are ready and waiting for assembly, gently fold the prepared pudding into the whipped cream and set aside.

Trifle Assembly:
Begin first layer by placing half of cake cubes in the bottom of the bowl.
Spoon a third of the whipped cream / pudding mixture onto the cake layer.
Spoon half of the chopped or mashed strawberries and half of the frozen blueberries on top of the cream / pudding layer.
Place some strawberry slices flat against the bowl's side for appearance.
Place some blueberries against the bowl’s side for appearance as well.

Repeat the layers with the remaining cake, a third of the cream / pudding mixture and the remaining half of the berries, then the remaining third of the cream / pudding mixture.
The last layer will be just the berries and the cream / pudding mixture on top.
It should go like this:
Cake, cream, berries
Cake, cream, berries, cream

Carefully cover the trifle and refrigerate for several hours; let it chill for a minimum of one hour.
Trifle is best when made and consumed the same day because the pound cake gets soggy after a day.  Any leftovers may be refrigerated for up to three days, but the texture will not remain the same as the first day.