all sorts of recipes, from me to you…

Monday, October 5, 2015

Tuna, Olive & Wheat Berry Salad

You’ll give your jaws a workout eating this grain!

I like most grains, but had never cooked wheat berries  before ~ it’s a good thing to finally be on the wheat berry bandwagon!

Wheat berries are the entire wheat kernel, containing lots of fiber and nutrients. Prepared, they’re nutty, chewy and robust, working well in hearty salads, stews, cereals and stir-fries.

This is a slightly adapted Cooking Light recipe.  I wasn’t sure if it would win Bill over ~ it only did a smidgen.  

For me, it was a healthy, tasty salad, a little chewy, with a little tang and delicious.  

Next time, I will add dried cherries, some celery, or maybe chopped apples or cherry tomatoes.

Tuna, Olive and Wheat Berry Salad

1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup Sun Dried Tomato dressing
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup cooked wheat berries
¼ cup red onion, chopped
10 olives, sliced
2 (6 ounce) cans albacore tuna, drained


Whisk first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl.
Stir in remaining ingredients and toss to coat.
Serves 4



Friday, October 2, 2015

Easy Spicy Parmesan Baked Catfish

Now that it’s cooler, Bill took a well-deserved break from standing over a hot grill, and I baked this great recipe.

Usually, I dredge the fish in cornmeal; this time I combined Parmesan cheese and flour with seasonings.  Cut back on the cayenne pepper, paprika and garlic if spicy isn’t your thing.

The flavor of this catfish is deliciously spicy, the breading has a crunch, with the fish being sweet tender and flaky.

This delicious catfish is easy to prepare, with the bonus being not an overwhelming amount of calories like fried catfish, and no greasy mess to clean up!

Spicy Parmesan-Baked Catfish


1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg, beaten
½ cup lowfat milk
4 catfish filets
¼ cup butter, melted
3 cloves garlic, minced
Non-stick cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375°.
On a plate, combine first 6 ingredients; up to egg.
In a small bowl, whisk egg and milk until blended.
Dip fish in the egg mixture, dredge in flour mixture.
Place fish on a baking pan coated with non-stick cooking spray.
In a small pan, sauté garlic in butter.
Drizzle butter over fish.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Serves 4



Monday, September 28, 2015

Roasted Honey-Dijon Acorn Squash

Acorn squash:  
Like its name suggests, resembles an acorn in shape; has dark green ridged skin on the outside, and deep yellowish orange flesh on the inside.

It is a great winter squash for roasting, with this recipe complementing it deliciously.

After preparing the squash, fill the cavity with a blend of butter, honey and Dijon mustard, then slide it into the oven for a great side-dish to accompany turkey, ham, chicken, or roast goose.

There you have it ~ a delicious single-serving bowl for everyone around your table!

Roasted Honey-Dijon Acorn Squash


2 acorn squash
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 375º.
Cut off stem from squash, set squash on its side and cut in half vertically.
Scrape out seeds and stringy material from the cavity, with a large spoon.
Mix butter, mustard, honey, and salt and pepper in a small bowl until blended.
Fill each squash cavity with 2 tablespoons of butter mixture.
Bake until squash is tender, 1 hour to 1½ hours.



Monday, September 21, 2015

Chicken Pasta Caprese

Tastied up, that’s what this great dish is!

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It’s simply a big bowl of pasta tossed with sautéed chicken bites, fresh basil, sweet cherry tomatoes, and cubed mozzarella.

It’s all about the mozzarella chunks, melting when they come in contact with the hot pasta and chicken ~ that’s what makes the dish so delicious.

If you’ve got a lot of those glorious end-of-summer tomatoes in your garden, this is the recipe for you, thanks to The Skinnytaste Cookbook.

Give it a try, it’s a favorite of ours!

Chicken Pasta Caprese


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into ½” cubes
½ teaspoon dried basil
Kosher salt and seasoned pepper, to taste
Cooking spray
9 ounces pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2½ cups halved grape tomatoes
¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
4 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes


Heat a large non-stick skillet over high heat.
Season the chicken with the dried basil, salt and pepper.
Spray skillet with cooking spray, add chicken.
Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes on each side.
Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions, drain, reserving about ½ cup of the pasta water.
Meanwhile, increase the heat under the skillet to high, add oil and garlic, cook, stirring just until golden.
Add tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, reduce heat to medium-low.
Cook, stirring, until tomatoes become tender, 5-6 minutes.
Add pasta to the tomatoes; if too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water.
Add chicken, toss well.
Remove pan from heat, stir in fresh basil and cheese, and serve hot.
Serves 5


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

I love potatoes, any variety, don’t you?

They’re filled with minerals and vitamins, and are the ultimate comfort food for me. That is, unless they involve soup, no potatoes in any kind of soup for me!

Bill and I are satisfied with boiled potatoes or baked potatoes, with a dab of butter, and salt and pepper, but when it’s time to splurge, this is one of my go to potato recipes:  twice-baked potatoes packed with sour cream, Parmesan cheese, onion, horseradish, cheddar cheese, a little butter, salt and pepper, and bacon, topped with chopped chives. 


Plus, these potatoes can be prepared ahead of time, and refrigerated until time to reheat for your serving. They’re great to make ahead and freeze for when unexpected company drops in also. 

Truthfully, I could make a meal of just these delicious spuds, a perfect little meal of comfort food!

Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes


4 large russet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
¼ cup onion, minced
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
8 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 tablespoon milk, or more
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
Fresh chopped chives and paprika, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Scrub and pierce potatoes, bake for 1 hour, or until fully cooked.
Remove potatoes from oven and let cool slightly.
Cut potatoes in half and scoop out potato, place in a large bowl, being careful, so as not to tear the skins.
Add butter, salt and pepper to potatoes, mash until smooth.
Add sour cream and mash again.
Add horseradish, onion, Parmesan and bacon, stirring well.
Stir in 1 tablespoon milk.  It you like it creamier, add more milk, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.
Add more salt and pepper, if needed.
Fill empty skins with potato mixture.
Divide cheddar cheese every among potatoes.
Garnish with a sprinkling of chives and paprika.
Return to oven and reheat until hot. Or refrigerate them to reheat later before mealtime.



Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breasts Dijon

Our Italian butcher, here in town, makes the best Chicken Dijon ever.  It’s the shops’ biggest seller, and for good reason ~ it is delicious, and the smell of garlic as it’s baking is over the top with aroma!

Not a pretty pic, but it was delicious!

Richie won’t share the recipe ~ this is how close I came to it.

I realized too late, I should’ve lightly pounded the chicken to flatten or cut it in half horizontally.  

This turned out close to the shops’, but there are some spices missing that I haven’t figured out yet.  And he probably adds more garlic.


Meanwhile, this was very good, Bill and I were happy and it suffices!

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breasts Dijon


2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon garlic powder


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Butter a baking sheet or rack.
Mix oil, mustard thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Add chicken breasts and coat both sides, set aside on a plate.
In a shallow bowl, combine panko, Parmesan and garlic powder.
Dredge chicken in Parmesan mixture, coating heavily, patting it into the meat.
Place chicken on prepared rack set over a baking sheet.
Bake until chicken is golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes, depending upon how thick chicken is.
Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.



Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Better than Robert Redford aka Chocolate Lush for Labor Day

It might be “Girdle Buster,” “Almost a Sin,” “Chocolate Delight,” “Better than Robert Redford,” or maybe, it’s “Better than Sex,” you get the idea…

Whatever you call it, it’s an “oldie, but goodie” for all you chocoholics out there, that’s known to us as Chocolate Lush.  

Lush in pan

Great flavors mingle together in your mouth with every decadent bite.  Be adventurous and make it with your favorite pudding.  I think lemon is great, but the chocolate version rules here.  

The pecan crust is what makes it special.  It goes with any flavor pudding, and contains no sugar, making it a perfect balance for the sweet layers topping it.

Spread over the crust is a smooth layer of powdered sugar, cream cheese, and Cool Whip.  Topping that is the layer of cream chocolate pudding, then more Cool Whip is spread over the pudding.  

Finally, scatter a few chopped nuts for the finish.

Ooooohhhhh,  it’s a heavenly thing ~ maybe it should be called Heavenly Lush!

And, perfect for a Labor Day holiday dessert!

Chocolate Lush


Bottom layer:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1½ cups flour
¼ cup chopped pecans, plus more for garnish
1½ sticks butter, softened
Mix all 3 ingredients, spread in 13” x 9” pan.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden.
(Can be refrigerated overnight.)

Second layer:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 cup powdered sugar
1 (9-ounce) Cool Whip, divided
Using electric mixer, blend cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, and 1 cup Cool Whip.
Spread over first layer.
Place in refrigerator and let set 1 hour or overnight.

Third layer:
2 small boxes instant chocolate pudding
3 cups cold milk
Mix pudding with milk.
Beat until dissolved and spread over second layer.

Top layer:
Spread with remaining Cool Whip.
Scatter ½ cup chopped pecans over all for garnish.
Cover and refrigerate for several hours.