Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chocolate Pizza

As you know I am a retired elementary school teacher. I fondly became known as the "Chocolate Pizza" teacher, because I would make my famous chocolate pizza recipe as a reward for my students. Even to this day when I run into some of my former students, (who are now graduated from college, married, and even have their own children), they always ask if I still make my Chocolate Pizza. And I do! So here is my famous Chocolate Pizza recipe for you to enjoy with your family. (Warning: This does contain peanut butter.)
Chocolate Pizza
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup regular peanut butter
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 (12 oz.) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together white and brown sugars. Add melted butter and mix together. Add the egg and vanilla and mix again. Next, add the peanut butter and mix. Finally add the flour and mix well to form a soft dough.

Divide the dough in half and spread on 2 greased, small pizza pans (12 1/4 x 1/2). Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of dough. Then place mini-marshmallows on top of chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until done (marshmallows will be golden brown).

**I always divide the dough to make 2 pizzas so I can have one for my family and one to share with a friend, but you can just make 1 large pizza. Either way, this pizza is delicious!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quick, Easy Ghirardelli Brownies

If you don't have time to make Brandi's Brownies (and you need them quick), try making a box of Ghirardelli Brownies. We love the Double Fudge. Looks delicious, huh? Just follow the directions on the box. You don't need to add anything else.
My son and wife like the Triple Chocolate Ghirardelli brownies. They are delicious too, but they are hard to find. My daughter-in-law gets them at Costco. I guess that's why I can't find them--we don't have a Costco in Columbia, South Carolina. :-(

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Brandi's Brownies

My daughter-in-law, Brandi, makes the best brownies. They are a "choco-holic's" dream--chewy, chocolate brownie with a creamy chocolate, chocolate icing. MMMMMM! I can taste them now.
Brandi's Brownies
2 sticks butter
2/3 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter. ( I use the mircowave, but be careful not to burn the butter--45 seconds should do it.) Add cocoa, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, and salt. Mix until blended. Pour into 9X13 greased pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. (Don't bake longer than 25 minutes or they may be dry.)

1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup butter (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients together with a hand mixer and spread on top of brownies.

Great Grape Salad

They had grapes on sale at the grocery store--and I love a sale, especially when I have a recipe that goes with what's on sale. Here is a grape salad that is different, yet very tasty. Every time I make it, someone always wants the recipe.Great Grape Salad

2 pounds red seedless grapes (halved)

8 ounces of sour cream
8 ounces of cream cheese (softened)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar

Wash and slice grapes. Pat completely dry and set aside. Make sure grapes are not wet. If they are, they will make the salad soggy!

With a hand mixer, blend together softened cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Fold grapes into mixture. Put into medium sized casserole dish. Sprinkle brown sugar and nuts on top. Refrigerate until chilled.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

While waiting at the doctor's office, I was reading a Cooking Light magazine and found this great recipe. I am so excited about sharing it with you because it is so, so delicious! My family loves it and it is really healthy for you. I think you will love it, too. I hope you will share your comments about this one. I want to know what you think. I think it's fantastic!

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

2 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 - 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts


Cooking spray

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well and add chicken. Toss and let stand about 5 minutes or more. Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt. Heat grill pan over medium high heat. (I use a George Forman Grill.) Coat pan with cooking spray. Cook chicken 6 - 8 minutes on each side until done. (This is great cooked on an outdoor grill, too.)

Avocado Salsa

1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes (about 2 - 3 tomatoes)

2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon slat

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 avocado peeled and finely chopped

Combine all ingredients except avocado in a medium bowl. Right before serving, add avocado and stir gently to combine. Spoon salsa on top of chicken breasts and serve with your favorite sides.

Italian Pasta Bake

Italian Pasta Bake Here's another good and easy casserole to make. You can even make it the day before (even 2 days before) and keep it in the fridge, unbaked, until you're ready for it. You will need to add an extra 5 - 10 minutes of baking time when you bake it. This is my favorite casserole to take to someone who has just had a baby or who has just gotten out of the hospital. Serve it with a salad and some bread and you've got a whole meal for your family or friends.

Italian Pasta Bake
1 pound ground beef
1 small chopped onion (optional)
3 cups rotini pasta
1 jar (26 - 28 oz.) of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I use Ragu Robusto, Garlic and Onion)

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 package (2 cups) mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse. Set aside.
Brown meat and chopped onion in a large skillet and drain off grease. I usually add some salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the meat while it is browning. Stir in spaghetti saurce and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Add rinsed pasta and mix well. Spoon into a 9x13 baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese and the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 for 20 - 25 minutes.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

Here is a chicken casserole recipe that our family loves. It is also a great casserole to take to potluck suppers or to make for a friend in need.

Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

2-3 boneless chicken breasts (boiled and cut in pieces)
To give the chicken a good taste, boil the breasts in water with salt, a piece of celery, and an onion. Boil for about 45 minutes until done. Set aside

1 8oz. package of Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing Mix
Toss with 1 stick of melted butter. (I usually use less butter.) Set aside

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 8 oz. sour cream
Mix together in a bowl. Set aside.

1 cup chicken broth
Use water from the boiled chicken.

Directions: Layer ingredients in a 9x13 pan: 1/2 of the stuffing, chopped chicken, 1/2 cup chicken broth, soup and sour cream mixture, remainder of the stuffing, and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until bubbly and brown.

If you're like me, you never have sour cream when you need it. My sister-in-law makes a similar chicken casserole, but without the sour cream. Sometimes she will use turkey (when she makes a turkey breast) instead of chicken and if she doesn't have any broth, she uses the canned broth. It is really delicious, too. Here's how to make it:

Mix an 8 oz. package of Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing Mix with 1/2 stick of butter. Put 1/2 of the stuffing mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Put chicken or turkey on the top of the stuffing mixture. Mix together 1 can of cream of chicken and 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and put on top of the meat. Pour 2 cans of broth over the soup mixture (don't mix anything) and put the rest of the stuffing on top. Bake at 350 for 40 - 45 minutes.

When my sister-in-law makes this with turkey, she serves it with cranberry sauce. You should try it and then you can have Thanksgiving everyday!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Don't throw away those over-ripe bananas!
Here's a banana bread recipe you'll love--especially since it has chocolate in it.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3-4 small ones)
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease bottom of a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a large bowl. Using a mixer, blend well on medium speed. Stir in chocolate chips and pour into loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 60 - 70 minutes until done. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.

**You can also add 1/2 cup of your favorite chopped nuts to batter if you like.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Golden Mushroom Soup Recipes

I have a couple of great recipes using Campbell's Golden Mushroom Soup. They are easy to put together, but you need to plan ahead because they take more cooking time than some of my other recipes. Hope you will try them. One is with chicken, the other with beef, but they are both delicious!

Golden Mushroom Chicken

4-6 boneless chicken breasts
2 cans of Golden Mushroom soup
1/2 cup of milk
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

Peheat oven to 350. Put chicken breasts in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. In a medium bowl, mix soup and milk. Pour over chicken. Cover dish and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Makes a great gravy so serve with rice or pasta and your favorite sides. Yummy!

The second recipe is a great recipe for Sunday. Just put it in the oven before church and it will be ready when you get home. Now I like that!

Golden Mushroom Beef Stew

1-2 pounds of stew beef
6-8 potatoes, peeled and quartered
3-6 carrots, peeled and cut (I just use a small bag of the baby carrots)
1 packet of onion soup mix
1-2 cans Campbell's Golden Mushroom soup (I use 2 cans)

Preheat oven to 300. Brown the stew beef chunks in a pot. Pour onion soup mix over the beef and mix well. Add the potatoes and carrots. Top with the Golden Mushroom soup and mix together. Bake covered for 3 hours in a 300 degree oven.

I always put everything in a 9x13 pan, cover with foil and bake for the 3 hours.

Peach Cobbler

I love summer recipes--especially when it is a peach recipe. Did you know that South Carolina grows more peaches than Georgia? As a matter of fact our state fruit is the peach. Here is a peach cobbler recipe that is easy and delicious.

Peach Cobbler

4 - 6 cups of fresh sliced peaches
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 stick butter melted

Preheat oven to 375. Place fresh sliced peaches in a baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
Put flour, sugar, and egg in a small bowl. Mix until lumpy. Spoon over top of peaches. Pour melted butter on tope. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes until bubbly and browned on top.

I love to serve this with vanilla frozen yogurt on top.
My favorite is Edy's Yogurt Blends. The peach is my favorite flavor and it tastes great on the the peach cobbler, too.

To peel the peaches easily, put the peaches in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let this sit about 3 - 5 minutes and pour off water. When you go to peel the peaches, the skin will peel off very easily. Then you can slice and put in baking dish.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cucumber Cooler

Now that it is summer, cucumbers are in abundance and they are cheap! Here is a great recipe that is delicious any time of the year.

Cucumber Cooler

1/4 cup of white vinegar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of celery seed
3 - 4 medium cucumbers thinly sliced

Mix all ingredients except the cucumbers in a medium bowl. Add the cucumbers and mix together. Chill in the refrigerator before serving.

**I like to make it the night before and let it sit overnight.

This is my youngest son's favorite recipe. He is actually the King of Cucumber Cooler. No one makes it better than him--according to him! :-)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pork Chop and Potato Casserole

Pork Chops were on sale at the grocery store so I made one of our favorite recipes. It is so easy and so delicious! All you need is 6 pork chops (I like the sirloin grillers--they are usually cheaper). Be sure to preheat your oven at 400 degrees. Brown the pork chops in a pan with a tablespoon of oil. Thinly slice 4-6 potatoes and put in bottom of a 9X13 pan. Chop an onion on top of potatoes. Put browned pork chops on top of potatoes and onions. Mix 1 cup of milk with a can of cream of mushroom soup and pour on top of of pork chops.

Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Then put grated cheese on top and bake for another 30 minutes.

When they're done you have your meat and potatoes all ready.

Just add your favorite sides and enjoy!

Pork Chop and Potato Casserole

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 boneless pork chops
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of milk
4-6 thinly sliced potatoes
1 small chopped onion
1 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Brown pork chops and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the soup and milk. Put sliced potatoes in a 9x13 baking dish. Put onions on top of potatoes, add pork chops and pour soup mixture over the top. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Then sprinkle cheese on top and bake uncovered for 30 more minutes.