4) Tomato and Artichoke Dip..... This is WONDERFUL! I loved this and it was very easy to make. I served it with Greek Pita flat bread wedges and a basket of Tostitos Bite size chips and it disappeared faster than anything on the table. I ended up giving the recipe to three people at
card club because they wouldn’t discuss the cards they made until I promised to make a copy of the recipe and give it to them. (I also mentioned the book and where to buy it since there were several other items on the table that I had made from it.)
5) Slush.... I was excited to try this but had to refrain since the twins were home for the summer already. The 2 cups of tequila in only 7 cups of water and about another cup of orange juice sounds like it would be very tasty. This is on my list of things to try to celebrate the beginning of Kindergarten (in mid August).
6) Super Salsa.... I liked this recipe but it is so similar to the salsa I usually make that I would probably not bother with unless I needed a couple different types. I made a double batch for Card Club and after everyone left Hubby polished off the rest so it was very popular and not too hot for the touchier palates. Hubby says it is yummy so I am sure he will ask for it in the future! Really good with those bite sized Tostitos chips and flour tortilla wedges. I had planned to use it as a garnish for taco salad but didn’t have any left from 2 batches to get to do that. Oh well, I just made some guacamole instead. Variety, right?
7) Hot Crab Dip.... I made the mistake of using the fake crab (couldn’t find the real stuff at our Grocer) and this wasn’t as good as I am sure it would be with the real crab. The sauce was dreamy creamy and tasted wonderful, but the texture of the fake crab was too dense and chunky. If you have had fresh lump crab meat you know it is pretty soft and flexible. Fake crab is not. I will not make that mistake again - this would be a meal unto itself if made right! The toasted french bread
rounds made a good pairing with the “dip” even though I would call this more of a “spread”. Delicious (made correctly!)
1) Broccoli Salad.... I finally have the recipe for the delicious broccoli salad that a well known coffeehouse/deli in Rockport, Texas makes and serves!!! Actually, this is BETTER than their Broccoli Salad! I loved this and the family actually had seconds! The twins love “little trees” but yummed this up before anything else on their plates - a total first for veggies! It was easy to make and tasted oh so good.
2) French Onion Soup.... This is delicious and easier than most of the french onion soup recipes I have tried. Hubby loves this so much that I made him a bigger bowl than everyone else and he still wanted more. Very easy and very yummy. I have made this twice - the second time I used fresh nutmeg I grated myself and it tasted even better to us. The combination of the cheesy bread and hot soup just make winter evenings more cozy.
3) Oriental Salad.... Very Yummy! Everyone loved the ramen noodle crunch in this salad. I cut out the melting the butter in the saucepan by adding it to the baking sheet (one with edges all around) and putting it in the oven for a couple of minutes to melt as the oven warmed up. (It doesn’t take long so you need to keep an eye on it and be careful not to slosh it out of the pan as you move the pan out of the oven to the potholder so you can add all the ingredients to it.) Since this makes a large salad it is very attractive in a huge salad bowl and is perfect for a salad at a backyard BBQ get together!
4) Ken’s Taco Boats... this is a meal! My family loves tacos and taco salad so this was an immediate fav. Because of the apple cider vinegar I cut the hot sauce out. Besides, the twins don’t do that well with spicy stuff. It was delicious and I know we will be making them again. We tried this with the cumin as directed and again with a bit more but decided the written recipe was better. Just a personal preference - cumin is a very potent spice and a little goes a long way for us.
1) Strawberry n’ Cream Bread... As soon as I read the name I knew I had to try this bread! It is sooo yummy and makes a terrific dessert when served with ice cream or tea time treat when spread with more cream cheese. In fact, this is the bread “dessert” my inlaws requested for Mother’s Day lunch!
2) Apple Butter Crescents.... I don’t think there is an easier recipe in this book and it is really good. Because it is so easy, the twins can put it together themselves and create a very tasty treat. They liked them as their desserts and called them “Apple Butter Treats” but we enjoyed them with dinner too. I thought they were an excellent side with ham steak and pork tenderloin. Yummy and fun to make.
3) Zucchini Fritters... This was so good and Hubby declared it his favorite dish in the whole cookbook (that was surprising after the whole French Onion Soup thing!) and has said I can make these any time. The only thing that took a while was the grating the zucchini but I think the food processor would take care of that. I have a large Rival fryer and the only thing that I recommend is to be sure and use fresh oil. These are such a delicate flavor that they will pick up flavors from old oil. Very good with seafood (as a change from hush puppies) and as a snack or appetizer for a party but they do need to be warm and microwaving them makes them chewy. They are good with parmesan cheese sprinkled on them too.
4) Cheddar Bay Biscuits... This has always been one of my favorite ways to use Bisquick. I use colby jack cheese to make these but the cheddar version is delicious. Very good for breakfast with ham and eggs or for dinner with sausage kielbasa. Another good recipe for kids to make because it is so easy to put together . Definitely Caitlin’s favorite recipe in the whole book.
1) Pork Tenderloin in Rosemary Sauce.... WOW! This is FANTASTIC!! I loved how easy it was to put together (I’m all about easy to prepare!). It took a bit longer than 15 minutes for my tenderloin to be done but it was worth the wait. The sauce was wonderful and even got used over mashed potatoes! It was a big hit with the whole family (Andrew doesn’t like sauce on anything but declared the meat itself a big hit!) I will be using this recipe over and over. Since I usually have fresh rosemary and thyme in the garden I used that instead of dried and I think the flavors were even more terrific. Yummy!
2) Chicken and Cheddar Quiche.... This is very good. I tried a couple of variations and discovered the cheddar is the best cheese to use for this because of the taste requirements. Also, I used the Sweet Sue Chicken (in a foil pouch in the same section of the grocery store as Tuna) for the chicken and this made it an extremely fast meal to put together. Definitely a nice light supper for summer and a perfect brunch main dish. I served it with a green salad and french bread and it was a hit.
3) Taco Casserole... Definitely did not like the corn in this recipe. Both twins immediately said “yuck” to the texture of the corn in their tacos. Since we make taco salad frequently they voted this recipe out of our kitchen. (Aargh, It was in Pirate Talk, thar matey!)
4) French Onion Chicken... Hubby liked this but the kids did not. Since Andrew has a thing about sauces he was really unhappy about this arriving on his plate. It still got the three “no thank you” bites but that was it. I think next time I will cut up the chicken tenders to bite size pieces and serve it over bow-tie pasta. A yummy concoction but a few changes might make it even better.
5) Mexican Chicken Casserole... The nacho cheese doritos add a nice bit of crunch. I used tyson frozen fajita chicken strips (thawed) instead of boiling and deboning a chicken (major yucky, in my book) and this turned out very good. I wasn’t sure whether the twins would eat it or not until they saw the doritos. That was the magic key. Because you back this the cheese gets nice and gooey - something I love! Very good flavor combination and good with a green salad and a very tall glass of
iced tea (or Slush!)
Vegetables & Side DIshes...
1) Stir Fry Green Beans .... this was Andrew’s favorite dish out of the entire cookbook. He loves green beans and because there was no juice or sauce he almost ate the entire serving bowl! Next time I will make a double batch so everyone else can have some too. This was so easy to make and since I used fresh beans from the produce section he got to help wash and get them ready to cook. I used 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup chicken broth (the kind that comes in a box with a pour spout) and next
time I think I will add a bit more of the chicken broth. Very good, very popular - no leftovers!
2) Squash Patties... I tried these thinking they would be similar to the Zucchini Fritters and was disappointed. They were good but not what we were expecting. Since you cook the squash first they were pretty slimy and then you fry them in hot oil and Hubby likened it to fried okra - crunchy on the outside, slimy on the inside. Not a big hit here.
3) T.H.S.A.S.V.Mashed Potatoes Family Recipe.... This is more like a twice baked mashed potato pie. The cream cheese and butter and sour cream are definitely not diet material but oooh sooo creamy and rich! I liked this very much. You don’t need a gravy or sauce for these potatoes. They are delicious just out of the oven.
4) Cashew Rice.... this was a hit with Hubby and friends but I didn’t care for it. Of course, I don’t like cashews and this is full of them so that is the main reason. They add a nice crunch and flavor
(according to everyone else) and the rice was a nice compliment to baked chicken.
5) Horseradish Mashed Potatoes... I made these to go with a cajun fish dinner and all I can say is they were very Horseradishy! A little bit of sinus clearing goes a long ways and while these were tasty I had quite a bit of leftovers. This gets more potent the longer you have them in the refrigerator! Two days later, Hubby opened them up to reheat them for leftover night and was almost knocked off his feet. He did heat them up but they were too strong for anyone to each much of. Definitely different.
6) Augratin Potato Casserole... I liked this very much. It was super easy to prepare and super easy to cook. I made it the night before, stuck it in the fridge, and set it out at 4pm the next day to warm up and then put it in the oven at 5pm - dinner was ready by 6:30! I grilled up some skinless Eckridge sausage, made a caesar salad, warmed some french bread and sat back and listened to the raves! I loved this and will make it again and again.
7) Quick Oven Bake... Now, I use bacon grease for my refried beans but I don’t usually use it with ground beef soooo I used some canola oil to fry up the ground meat in this recipe. I wasn’t sure exactly what to do with the canned biscuits since they aren’t mentioned in the instructions so I just winged it. I unrolled them and tucked them over the top of the chicken mixture and baked it in the oven. It was like a pot pie and was delicious. I am sure that is the reason for the increase in the oven temperature at the end of the bake cycle. Very tasty but obviously missing some instructions.
1) Pineapple Delight Cake... aahhh! What a wonderful cake! Moist and delish! I loved how easy it was and how terrific it tastes! I served it warm with homemade whip cream and a dash of chocolate syrup (because Chocolate and Pineapple is my ultimate favorite flavor combination!) and it was Heaven!
2) Cherry Dessert... a big hit but hated to only use half of the cake batter. Made mini cupcakes and used the cool whip and more cherries to make cute mini versions that the kids liked.
3) Creme de Menthe Cake... yummy but a bit strong so the flavor can get wearing quickly. Not many returns for “seconds” since the first piece was enough. I did have to provide take home portions though.
4) Chocolate Mess Cake... this stuff made my house smell so mouth -wateringly good that I had to almost threaten visitors to get them to leave!! (That includes the UPS Man! He delivered a computer Hubby had ordered and brought the boxes into the house and started sniffing the air like a blood hound in a cartoon! He said it was the yummiest smelling house he had been in in a long time!) Very moist, very easy, very good! Like hot fudge with ice cream. Very decadent!
5) Peach Pie.... I love peach pie - it takes me back to JrHi Home Ec and my kitchen’s final project - homemade peach pie! Use pie weights and parchment paper to stop the crust from bubbling when you first bake it. Use foil or crust guards around the edges to keep them from burning. This is a wonderful peach filling recipe and I have already made this pie a couple of times. It looks pretty and tastes delicious served by itself or a la mode.
6) No Bake Lemon Squares... I made this for the twins’ last day of preschool and left it for the teachers in the teacher’s lounge. They loved it. It was a very easy dessert that turned into a very easy “thank you” treat. I served the cut squares on individual plates and garnished with a couple of sliced strawberries and whole blueberries and a dollop of cool whip. It looked like lemon dessert from a fancy restaurant but was super easy to prepare.
Cookies & Candies...
1) Microwave Pecan Brittle...I loved this! It was easy and tasted great. I highly recommend a bigger bowl for the microwave portion though. When this heats up it really bubbles up and if the bowl is too small it will bubble over creating a HUGE mess. Not only that but IT IS HOT!! So a bigger bowl will help keep you from having a mess and from scorching your fingers through the mitts because you have more bowl space at the top edges. I also made this with peanuts and it made wonderful peanut brittle. Add a few drops of food coloring to make it even more special (colored with food coloring worked for making it a nice addition to Easter baskets).