Monday, May 31, 2010

Fiesta Quiche & Norma's Pie Crust

Every once in a while we have an evening where the boys have already eaten their dinner and I only need to cook for David and I. Quite often we'll just have soup and sandwiches or eggs and toast but tonight I wanted to bake a quiche. This is something we both enjoy but we know the boys have no interest in.
My sister gave me a new cook book for Mother's Day that she had bought at a fund raiser titled, Goodness Gracious Recipes for Good Food and Gracious Living. The painted pictures on each page are beautiful and in each section of the book is a Grace Note. It was enjoyable to read lovely to look at. In the main dish section of this book is a recipe for Fiesta Quiche. Let's give it a whirl!

Fiesta Quiche & Norma's Pie Crust

Ingredients for Filling
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 onion, diced ( I used 1/4 cup scallions)
  • 1 (7 oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack and/or Cheddar cheese ( I used Kraft Mexican cheese)

Ingredient's for Norma's Pie Crust

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1cup shortening (Norma and I both swear by Crisco)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons cold water

1.) Mix the flour, shortening, and salt with a pastry blender. Beat together the egg, vinegar and cold water. Add to the flour mixture, mixing well, but do not knead. Divide dough in half. (Save 1/2 for 1 crust pie and use 1/2 for this quiche.) Roll on a floured surface until large enough to fit on a 9-inch pie plate. Carefully place the dough in the pie plate, crimping edges.

2.) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

3.) Combine the eggs, milk, salsa, onion, chiles, and cheese in a large bowl until well mixed. Pour into a pie shell. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until light golden brown and set in the center. (In my oven it took 45 - 50 minutes) Let stand at least 5 minutes before slicing.

David and I both had 2 slices (It was 8:00 pm and we were starving!) with a spinach salad. It was delicious! The left overs will be delicious for breakfast or lunch tomorrow don't you think?

David and I both rated this a 4 spoon - yummy and useful - recipe.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Taking It Easy

For the weekend we thought we would take it easy...just post a quote, picture or short food article.

Thanks so much for joining us in our kitchens!

Life expectancy
would grow by leaps and bounds

if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.

~Doug Larson

Friday, May 28, 2010

Brown Sugar Pork Chops and Southwest Quinoa Salad

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! 

I thought it might be festive to try out some new picnic-style recipes as we head into a long, holiday weekend.  I chose this pork recipe because I am determined to finally be able to cook pork without something going haywire.  (I'm known to throw my silicone potholders when pork fails me.)  The salad recipe is another yummy way to serve our quinoa, and is based on a "Texas Cavier" salad recipe given to me by one of my best friends. 

We rate the Pork Chops a 4 Spoons, because it was good, but not outstanding or special.  On the other hand, we loved the Quinoa Salad and rated it a Big 5 Spoons!


Grilled Brown Sugar Pork Chops
adapted from AllRecipes
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. bourbon
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 c. water
4 boneless pork chops

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.

In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, bourbon, oil, soy sauce, ginger, salt , and pepper. Bring to boil. Combine water and cornstarch in small bowl, and whisk into brown sugar mixture. Stir until thick.   Allow to cool a few minutes, and pour sauce over the chops to marinate.

Brush grate lightly with oil before placing pork chops on the grill. Cook over hot coals for 10 to 12 minutes, turning once, halfway through.  


Southwest Quinoa Salad
3/4 c. quinoa
1 Tbsp. butter
1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15oz) can blackeyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 (15oz) can corn, drained
1/2 can black olives, sliced
1 large tomato, diced
1 avocado, diced
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
1/2 red onion, medium-sized and diced finely
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste
Rinse the quinoa thoroughly under cold water, and drain. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the quinoa, stirring until the water has evaporated and the quinoa is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the broth, about 10-15 minutes. Cool quinoa in refrigerator at least 10 minutes.
Combine beans, blackeyed peas, corn, olives, tomato, avocado, cilantro, and onion in a large bowl.  Stir in cooled quinoa.  Whisk lime juice, oil, vinegar, and seasonings and pour over all.  Stir to combine.  Refrigerate an hour or more before serving.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Amazing Slow Cooker Orange Chicken & Peach Cobbler

Amazing Slow Cooker Orange Chicken



  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate


  1. Heat the shortening in a skillet over medium-high heat. In a bowl, mix the flour, condensed soup, seasoned salt, pepper, and salt. Dip chicken in the mixture to coat, and fry in the skillet until golden brown.
  2. Place chicken in a slow cooker. Mix the chicken broth, brown sugar, and orange juice concentrate in a bowl, and pour over chicken in the slow cooker.
  3. Cover, and cook 2 to 3 hours on Low or 1 to 2 hours on High.

We both rated this dinner 3spoons, the orange chicken was USEFUL and YUMMY and we actually had seconds, but it wasn't something I would cook a whole lot. I will do it again though. We served it over rice, but you can eat it by alone or however you would like.

I also cooked this peach Cobbler I found on the foodnetwork website by Paula Deen

Peach Cobbler:


  • 4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Ground cinnamon, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.


Put the butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.


Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping.


Pour mixture over melted butter.


Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Sprinkle top with ground cinnamon, if using. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.


(we tested half with oatmeal on top-- and approve!)

To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

This cobbler got a standing ovation!!! It was a 5spoon with no doubts, and we would make it again. It was EASY and fast and very very yummy... it's gone already!!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Camp Fire Bundles Saved My Sanity!

Just between you and me...

While I love to cook and love even more to eat....I sometimes don't have the energy to cook. Last night was a prime example of this...I had spent a tough day at work (you know the kind where every rude person in your town sits in your section (I'm a waitress) and you have to bring them their diet cokes when what you really want to do is pour it on their heads?)

Then I came home to 4 unruly kids (they have discovered the hose outside and are trying to make it a daily habit to take mud baths outside before I figure out what they are doing.)

So sometimes - I just want to sit and read...let Hubby watch the kids while supper takes care of its self and takes enough time to cook - that I can relax.

That's just what I did! Love this recipe - and love that I was able to finish about 1/3 of this book while sitting outside and letting my oven do all the work! :) It was fabulous!


I found this recipe in the Taste of Home Best Barbecues Holiday issue - the little cookbooks that you can usually find while standing in line at checkout of most super markets.

It was originally meant for grilling - but since that required more energy than I was willing to put in...I cranked up the oven to 350 and it worked out GREAT!

Campfire Bundles
Taste of Home Best Barbecues
Recipe By: Lauri Krause Jackson, Nebraska


  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 each large green, sweet red and yellow pepper
  • 4 medium potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 6 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 small head cabbage, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 to 1-1/2 pounds smoked Polish sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • Place the first eight ingredients on three pieces of double-layered heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Top with sausage; dot with butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold foil around mixture and seal tightly.
  • Grill, covered, over medium heat for 30 minutes. Turn and grill 30 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. Yield: 6 servings.


I used vegetables that I had on hand: Cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, red and green bell pepper and sweet onions.


I put a little of everything on the foil and sprinkled salt and pepper on it...


Added a little bit of Smart Balance, folded it up and then wrapped it in another sheet just to make sure that it was spill proof.
(You might need to follow the directions and use 3 sheets as a few of my packets spilled out juice and got stuck to the cookie sheet)

Then I slapped them on a cookie sheet in the over for 30 minutes at 350. I grabbed my book and coffee and sat and read.

It was glorious!

After 30 minutes...I flipped them over and ran back outside to my book.

It was also glorious!


The kids probably give this 4 spoons...2 of them ate everything - 1 wouldn't touch it (Miss Maddy) and the other powered through it like a champ.

I give this the biggest 5 spoons that I can.

It was fantastic....I think the next time that I make it - I try it with Italian sausage...I wonder if it would be done in an hour in the oven.

My favorite part besides the time that it allowed me to refresh myself:

another great use for cauliflower!



also blog's at

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cheese Tortellini Salad with Fresh Spinach

When your Spinach is growing this prolifically in your garden, you start hunting up recipes to cook with this rich, green, vitamin filled goodness.

I found this delicious salad recipe in the May issue of The CO-OP Advantage.

  • 1 1/2 lbs. cheese filled tortellini
  • 3 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup scallions
  • 2-3 Tbsp. fresh chopped basil
1.) In a medium sized pot, bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook until al dente, about 7 - 9 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and cool. Set aside.
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. cracked pepper

2.) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together ingredients for dressing.

3.) Add the sliced tomatoes, cooled tortellini, basil and scallions, and marinate 15 minutes, mixing often. Tear the spinach into bite sized pieces and add it to the tortellini. Mix well and serve.
This is a delicious (inexpensive too!) salad to put together for your Memorial Day Barbecue! I bet it would be wonderful for lunchboxes during the week as well.

The adults at the barbecue gave this salad a 5 spoon rating. The kids were funny! Is it cooked? The pasta's cold. No thank you. Oh well. I have all summer to keep introducing our boys to the fine points cold pasta salads. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Taking It Easy

For the weekend we thought we would take it easy...just post a quote, picture or short food article.

Thanks so much for joining us in our kitchens!

Cooking is like love.
It should be entered into
with abandon or not at all.

~Harriet van Horne

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Open Face Chicken Panini

This is one of my favorite recipes from Weight Watchers in 20 minutes. It is quick and easy to make and my whole family loves it. The recipe is for an open-faced sandwich but I make it as a regular sandwich. Either way it tastes good!


4 (5 ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbs. coarse-grained Dijon mustard
2 (4 ounce) ciabatta rolls, split
1/2 cup lightly packed baby arugula
1 large tomato, sliced


Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Hat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to plate.

Meanwhile, combine the rosemary and mustard in a cup. Slowly whisk in the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Brush the cut sides of the rolls with the rosemary-mustard mixture. Place a chicken breast half on each roll half and top evenly with the tomato and arugula.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bok Choy Salad

Lately, I seem to keep bumping into Bok Choy.  No, not literally, but I've been hearing a lot about its great nutrition and anti-cancer qualities.  I also seem to be in a produce rut.  I do eat a fair amount of fruits and veggies, but I'm noticing that I keep buying the same ones over and over again.  I need some variety, people!  So, with Bok Choy on the brain, I set out to find a non-stir fry recipe to feature it. 

Enter:  Bok Choy Salad.  Basically, it's your regular green salad with an Asian flavor spin.  I topped it with different items and a homemade dressing, and we had it with dinner last night.  Verdict?  Yum!  When Bok Choy is raw, its leaf texture is like raw spinach.  The texture of the stalk is like celery, but without the pesky strings.  The flavor is only slightly bitter compared to regular lettuce. 

Bo gave this a 4 Spoons; I gave it a 5.  I loved that it was a salad with different flavors that had some nutrient power to it.  I'll definitely be making the salad and the dressing again.


Asian-Style Vinaigrette Dressing
1/2 c. Sesame Oil *
1/4 c.  Rice Wine Vinegar (Mirin) *
1/3 c. Sugar
3 Tbsp. low-sodium Soy Sauce
Whisk all ingredients or shake them in a jar with tight-fitting lid.  Makes about 1 cup.
* Note:  the original recipe called for white vinegar and olive oil.  I opted for mirin and sesame oil to add more flavor.
Bok Choy Salad
1-2 Baby Bok Choy per person
green onion
dried cranberries
mandarin orange segments
chow mein noodles
Chop all ingredients into bite-size pieces and arrange in serving dishes.  Top with dressing.
The ingredient lineup:
Baby Bok Choy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Guest post: Chicken with Glazed Pears

Brandy asked me if I would be interested in doing a guest post. I said I would love to since I love to try( yes I said try) to cook new stuff and I had just gotten a new cook book for Mothers day. I Live in AL and it is extremely hot in my kitchen that I usually cook with my crock pot, but this recipe sounded so good that I had to suffer through it.

This recipe is from Audra Behling.


6 Tbsp. Olive Oil
6-10 Chicken Breast Cut into bite size pieces
Salt and Pepper
Flour for Dusting
2 Large onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves of Garlic, thinly sliced
4 Sprigs Thyme
4 sprigs of Rosemary
1 LB Small Red potatoes Halved
2 1/3 C Chicken Stock Divided
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 C Packed Brown Sugar
3 Pears, peeled, cored, and cut into wedges


Heat Olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot medium-high heat. Season Chicken with salt and pepper. Dust the chicken with flour. Add the chicken to the hot oil and brown on all sides. Add onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Add Garlic, thyme, and rosemary and cook for another 2 min. Add potatoes and cook till they start to brown. Add 1/3 Cup of Chicken stock and reduce for 2 min. Stir in the remaining chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Stir well, cover and reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 45 min, or until the chicken is cooked. While the chicken is cooking, combine butter and brown sugar in a skillet. Place pears in the pan, increase the heat to medium high. Shake the pan to make sure all the pears are coated with the Glaze. Cook until the fruit is easily pierced with a knife. Serve chicken and potatoes with glazed pears on top. Makes 6-10 servings.




I scaled this down to fit my families needs but I wish I wouldn't have after it was all over. I give this 5 spoons my husband gave it 4. He thought it was weird to have pears on top of his chicken, I think it gave it the extra umph that made it GREAT!


on behalf of

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Can a Recipe be a 5 Spoon even if You Can't Eat It?

This week I wanted to make tapas...Spanish for I want to eat a little of everything...but at the last minute I made this recipe instead. Why? Because it looked good!

Have you ever been moved to cook something based on a picture? Check out the recipe at and you will see what I mean.

Tapas will have to wait til next week. This week I wanted some Orange Coriander Chicken! But it wasn't meant to be...a few onions got in the way.

Orange-Coriander Roast Chicken With Red Onions


By Kate Merker, April 2008



  • 4 small red onions, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings
  • 2 3 1/2-pound chickens
  • 3/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • kosher salt and pepper


  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Arrange the onions in a metal roasting pan. Place the chickens on top and tuck the wings under the backs.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the marmalade, oil, coriander, 2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread the mixture over the chickens and roast until they are cooked through, about 1 hour and 15 minutes (internal temperature of 165° F).
  3. Transfer the chickens and onions to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes. Strain the pan drippings into a bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Skim the fat from the surface and discard. Serve the chickens and onions with the remaining juices.


Here's where it all started to go down hill...Hubby ran out to get me 4 small onions...and instead came home with soft ball size. I thought of my love of sauteed onions...and decided that it would be alright to use all 4. Big Mistake. The onions were so pungent that once I was able to get them all sliced...I literally had to leave the eyes were burning - tears so strong and steady you would have thought Friends was ending again.


After opening a few windows and drying my tears - I was able to inspect (I found 3 pin feathers), wash, and drain my chicks. I made sure to put them right side up and tuck back the wings.


Mixed up orange marmalade, coriander, oil, salt and pepper and slathered it on.


Now Hubby tells me that this chicken is definitely a 5 spoon recipe...but the smell of the onions was so overwhelming while they cooked (I got such a headache) that I couldn't eat it. My kids also thought it was fantastic - as long as I took it off the bone for them.

What do you think?

Can a recipe be a 5 spoon even if you can't eat it?

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