Wednesday, April 29, 2009


How many of you know about this website? I just ran across it today . . . not even sure how . . . but enjoy!

I am making the parmesan chicken and alfredo sauce tonight, I will take pictures while I am doing it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chicken Parmesan with Alfredo Sauce

This recipe came from my craving one day for really creamy, yummy parmesan chicken when I was behaving myself and losing weight. I loved it and my craving was satisfied . . . well, it was satisfied after several meals of leftovers!

Chicken Parmesan

breasts or thighs, de-boned and split

Coating or Dip

  • 1/4 c. Dijon mustard, (I tried the cheap stuff from Wal-mart and it just didn't have the zing as the Grey Poupon, maybe if you used more)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. onion powder
  • 2 oz. parmesan cheese (my favorite is the fresh grated with the black label from Costco)

Beat it well and set aside for coating meat.

(this can be multiplied and the extra frozen in one meal portions for later)

Bread Crumbs

Dig up all the old stale bread, crackers, chips you have around. It will all add to the flavor and crunch! Make sure they are very dry, break it up by hand to small enough pieces to fit into the food processor and go to town!

Dip the chicken in the buttermilk mixture, then the bread crumbs. Place on a rack over a shallow pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until done, check the temperature.

Quick ! While that is baking make the Alfredo Sauce and cook your pasta!

Alfredo Sauce

  • 1 c. or 8 oz. fat free cream cheese
  • 2 oz. parmesan cheese (Same black label from Costco)
  • 1 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. onion powder
  • 1 - 3 T. Dijon Mustard
  • 1t. basil (optional)

Mix and simmer over medium low heat until nice creamy and
yummy. (Some times I have to add a little cornstarch to thicken it a little).

Prepare your favorite pasta according to pkg. directions.

We usually put the chicken on top of the pasta and pour it over the top . . but funny thing is we didn't this time . . . suit your mood. It is good mind you . . . good!

Ready for the freezer and an easy quick meal later!

The bread crumb mix will actually keep for several months on the shelf. The dip thaws well, but the Alfredo Sauce is not quite as smooth and creamy after thawing.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I used up all my cream cheese so I will be making it today and tomorrow and do more fun stuff with it at the end of the week  . . . I'm making the ice to make a batch and take pictures.

I'm too cheap to buy any!

Does any one need tips on making good whole wheat bread?  My brother was told by others that it isn't possible to make good bread with 100% red wheat, silly boy believed them.  I used to do it all the time and now I need to do it with all that is going on economically

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No Bake Cheese Cake!

I am making ice so that I can make ice cream, so I decided to use my cream cheese to make cheese cake today. That of course means that I will have to make more cream cheese tonight!

I was going to make up the recipe as I went along, but then found one on the back of the unflavored gelatin box. It confirmed that I was on the right track, which made me feel pretty good. It was also nice to not have to "guesstimate" on ingredient amounts.

I did use my homemade cream cheese and didn't want to take the time to make a crust, though my quality control team (husband) and I both thought a graham cracker crust would have made it better.

No Bake Cheese Cake

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2 t.)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. boiling water ( I heated it in microwave to good & hot)
Mix until gelatin is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

Beat until smooth:
  • 2 c. (2-8 oz. pkgs. ) cream cheese
  • 2 t. vanilla
Add hot mixture gradually the cream cheese mixture while beating. Pour into
prepared crust in 9 " pan. Chill until set.

It passed quality control!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Summer's Coming . . . Time to Make Ice Cream!!!

I love good ice cream.  It should be yummy, creamy and have to die for flavor.  On the other hand, it can be so fattening!  Being on the "fluffy" side, physically, I am always looking for ways to satisfy my sweet tooth.  This was the answer I finally came up with!

Vanilla Ice Cream

Mix in a thick bottomed pan:
  • 3 1/2 c.   sugar
  • 1/4 c.      flour
  • 1/2 t.      salt

Add, mix and heat while stirring until thick:
  • 4 c.          1% or 2% milk

Mix in food processor or blender, then mix into hot mixture:
  • 8 oz.        fat free cream cheese, room temperature (you can use 
  •                  2 c. cream cheese for even richer, creamier results.
  • 2c.           milk (same kind as in the hot mixture)
  • 1 - 2 t.    vanilla

In separate bowl beat:
  • 4             eggs

Slowly pour a small amount ( 1 - 2 c.) of the hot mixture into the beaten eggs while beating with a whisk or mixer to temper the eggs.  After tempering eggs, slowly add egg mixture to the hot mixture while beating.  Cook for one minute to rethicken.

I usually do this the night before I want to freeze the ice cream so that I can chill it in the fridge over night.  This will speed the freezing process a lot!

ICE-- I have 10 - 12 ice trays that I fill and freeze the day and night before so that I don't have   to buy it.

Freezing the mixture.

Most freezers have instructions . . . read them?!?  If you don't happen to no where that little pamphlet that came with your freezer is (like me), or you haven't done this before, I will try to explain it.

  • Pour the mix into the canister of the freezer.  
  • Add milk to take it up to 2/3 full.  
  • Put the dasher in, place the lid on the canister.
  • Put canister into the bucket and place the motor on, fitting it into the notches to hold it in place.
  • Put a layer of ice into the bucket all around the canister, about 2-3 inches deep.  
  • Sprinkle rock salt around on top of the ice.  No, table salt won't work very well, I tried it.
  • Keep layering the ice and rock salt until it is up to  about an inch from the top of the canister.
  • Plug it in where you can hear the motor running but it isn't so loud that it drives you crazy!!!
  • Check it once in a while to add ice and salt as it melts down.
This make up really well with different flavors, and chopped or blended fruit.

While it it freezing, get the toppings ready!!  =-0  !



1 c. cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 c. buttermilk (or just mixed pdr. milk from your food storage)
1 t. lemon juice
1/4 t. granulated garlic
1/4 -1/2 t. beef buillion
1 T. roasted, minced dry onion
1/2 t. seasoned salt
optional: several drops of hot sauce for sparkle and slow everyone down eating it all!

Toss it into the food processor or blender, give it a good whirl. This makes pretty mild dip, you can pump up the goodies if yo want it to really zing.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Now That You Can Make EASY Cream Cheese . . . What the Heqq (heck) Do You Do With It?


I have been using cream cheese for many more things that you would never dream of! I will be sharing as many of my ideas as I can think of today and in the next few days.

I started using the low-fat cream cheese from the store years ago, to save calories, have better flavor, add calcium to my diet, and I found that the dips/dressings keep better than made with mayonnaise.

You will also notice in my cooking, I use considerably less salt than is often called for in recipes. I do have a problem with too much salt, BUT, I have noticed that while cutting way down in my salt intake, I have discovered what most food actually tastes like. The biggest problem that I have run into with this new healthier way of eating, is that when I eat out, all I can taste is the salt, not the food . . . makes a person wonder just what they are doing to us! My philosophy is: you can always add salt, can't take it out.

I do add lemon or lime juice to perk up flavor. A little trick I learned from the native Mexicans in the area years ago. Fajitas, etc. will never be the same!!

Ranch Dressing and Dip (using pkg mix from store)

8 oz. or 1 cup Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1 cup buttermilk
1 pkg hidden Valley mix

Mix in blender or food processor. This should be pretty thick for dipping. Just add more buttermilk to make it easier to pour for salad. It will thicken in fridge.

Ranch Dressing and Dip (from pantry items)
8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup buttermilk
1 T parsley
2 T. chives
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1 t. seasoned salt ( Lawry's is my favorite)

Mix in blender or food processor. This should be pretty thick for dipping. Just add more buttermilk to make it easier to pour for salad. It will thicken in fridge.

Stuffed Green Olive Dip or Spread
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup liquid ( this varies, I use some buttermilk and
sometimes a little juice from the olives
to give it salty, bitter taste of the olives)
Blend up in blender or food processor. I make this thick for a spread (really yummy on crackers or bagels!

Next will be:
Toasted Onion Dip
Green Onion Dip
Green Goddess Dressing
Italian Cheese Spread (favorite when we went up to the Cove Fort Days)
Herb Cheese Spread
More if I remember them, I seem to remember more that I have done once I get to messing around in the kitchen!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


So here is another article about cheese. I have made it until the cows came home, I know bad joke. I decided it should sound as easy as it is. By the end of this "journaling" you will see that timing is not very critical. I have had a "clean break", gotten a call and left it for hours and

it was fine when I came back to it. I left the cheese in the press for hours and came back to it the next morning. It was fine. So relax, get brave andhave some fun!

I promise you will be pleasantly surprised. By the way, I have been using fat-free, non-instant milk powder that was canned in 1988. Really!

I have a very busy life. Overhauling the yard and the house, all while I spend plenty of time with the kids & grandkids, filling assignments at church and keeping life going all around me. I cook, run errands, bake (trying to get my bread back to what it used to be!) In other words, I am busier than I was when I was raising my family. You CAN do this if you need to. Not many of us like powdered milk, so here is a way to get that down the hatch and your family will be happy about it!

The green lettering is how long each step took. The blue is my life as it went on while making cheese. The black lettering is the actual instructions.

1. FIVE MINUTES--Mix non-instant milk powder with water in blender. Pour into a pan, let it for an hour or so and then scoop foam off top. Texture of the cheese will be better.

2. FIVE MINUTES --Mix with seasoned buttermilk, cover place in comfortable spot for a few hours for culturing. ( I set the buttermilk out the night before to "season".

3. DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU NEED TO DO--Go do something else: scrub potatoes, grate them and start breakfast, load dishwasher, pick beans and set them cooking in crock pot with ham hocks, eat breakfast, plant veggies in front yard flower boxes, try to put the truck into reverse and break the gear shift lever (not kidding), figure out how to unload, spread and level the rest of the 1,700 lbs. of gravel, with the truck in the way, put the clean dishes away.

4. ONE MINUTE--Check the milk by tasting it with a clean spoon, I like to have a little “buttermilky” taste. Five to ten hours later, depending on the temperature of the room, dissolv

e the rennet in ¼ cup cool water, stir into the cultured milk, blending well. Cover and leave it ALONE, UNDISTURBED on the back of your counter. I put a sign on it to keep my hubby, or anyone else that might happen by from checking it out. When my kitchen has been very cool, I rig up a lamp and towel to keep temperature above 70°. Time to go to bed, read a good book, have sweet dreams!

5. TEN MINUTES--Next morning I get up ten minutes early to check for a clean break. If you don’t have it, let it sit longer until you do.

If you have it, cut into ½ to ¾ inch cubes. Leave in pan and stir it very gently on in awhile (maybe each half hour to hour). So fix breakfast, feed the kids, load the

dishwasher, start the laundry, get the kids to school, in other words, go on with your life. Making cheese doesn’t have to disrupt your life! The whey will gradually seep out of the white blob and you will have curds and whey, just like Little Miss Muffet!

6. TEN MINUTES-- When the curds are getting pretty floaty in the whey, pour the pan out into a strainer lined with cheese cloth. Cover to keep the surface from drying out while it continues to drain. I wrap the sides with saran wrap. When it slows way down, hang up the cloth and let it continue draining. The longer it drains, the harder the cheese will be. I find I actually tend to leave it too long and have had a hard time pressing it into a block.

7. TEN MINUTES-- When you have let it drain long enough, dump it into a bowl, sprinkle with salt and stir around. The recipes call for about 1 teaspoon of salt for 1 to 1 ½ # of cheese. You can taste the curds occasionally to see when you have enough for your taste. Let the salt dissolve good and then let your kids try "squeaky cheese". My kids loved it when they were little and now the at least the grandsons do, the granddaughters haven't had a chance to try it yet.

8. FIVE MINUTES--If you are going to make cream cheese (must be soft curds), whirl in a food processor to make it nice and creamy. If youare going to make a block, place into a cloth lined press and weight it down for a few hours.