Incredible Baked Meatballs


1 lb lean ground beef o
2 eggs, beaten with 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup panko or bread crumbs
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh basil


Mix all ingredients with hands.
Form into golf ball sized meatballs.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


This lasagna is loaded with gobs of cheese, from the mozzarella cheese, to the cottage cheese, to the parmesan cheese.
SERVE: 8-10


2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 15 oz can water
1 12 oz can tomato paste
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
16 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
16 oz cottage cheese, small curd, (or ricotta cheese)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper
1 16 oz box lasagna pasta


Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large pan, add olive oil, chopped onions and garlic. Saute until onions are soft and translucent.
Add ground beef and cook until completely browned, drain fat. Return to pan.
Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes.
Cook pasta according to package directions, rinse and set aside (I usually add a tsp of oil to the water so the pasta doesn’t stick to each other).
In a 14 x 11½ x 2¼ baking dish, or two smaller size baking dishes, put a small amount of meat mixture in the bottom of dish. Spread around.
Add lasagna noodles (approximately 5-6, and they will overlap onto each other).
Next, spoon half of the cottage cheese on top of the pasta and spread covering the pasta.
Spoon meat mixture on top of cottage cheese.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Next add ? of the mozzarella cheese.
Repeat with another layer of pasta, cottage cheese, meat mixture, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese.
Final layer is pasta, topped with remaining meat mixture and remaining mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and cook for approximately 1 hour.
Serve with salad and garlic bread.

Chicken & dumpling casserole


2 C. chicken broth (I used the water my chicken cooked in)
2 lbs. of chicken ( I used all thighs, my preference)
1 10.5 oz. can cream of chicken soup
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 C. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. milk

How to make it

Place the chicken in a pot and cover with water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 1 hour. Remove chicken from pot, save the water, and let cool. Shred the chicken and place in the bottom of a 11x7 baking dish. 
Whisk together the flour, milk and butter, pour over the chicken. 
Whisk together the broth, soup, salt and pepper, pour over the casserole
, DO NOT STIR. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
 Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Cucumber, Onion, and Tomato Salad!

Oh my hubby and I love to make this.  Make sure it's good and cold!


3 Tomatoes, 
3 cucumbers, 
1 onion, 
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar,
 1 teaspoon of cracked pepper, 
2 table spoons of sugar (TOTALLY YOUR CHOICE), 
2 teaspoons of salt, 1 cup of water,

 1/4 cup of olive oil, mix well...thats it.
Important: Let it chill for 1-2 hours... 
Make sure it's cold....
That simple...

Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3 cups half-and-half
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions :
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake it, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, combine the half-and-half, eggs, sugar, flour and salt and mix well. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in 3/4 cup of the toasted coconut and the vanilla extract. Reserve the remaining coconut to top the pie.
Pour the filling into the pie shell and chill until firm, about 4 hours.
Top with whipped topping and with the reserved coconut.

New York Cheesecake

    5 large eggs, room temperature
    2 cups (one pint) sour cream, room temperature
    4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
    8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

    Generously butter the inside of a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil tightly around the outside bottom and sides, crimping and pleating the foil to make it conform to the pan. This will help to prevent water seeping into the pan when you put it into the bain-marie. Position the baking rack in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 300* Fahrenheit.
    In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sour cream until well blended.
    In a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese with the butter until smooth and creamy. Add this to the egg-sour cream mixture and beat until smooth.
    Add the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat thoroughly, about 2 minutes.
    Pour into the prepared springform pan and place in a roasting pan (or other pan) large enough to prevent the sides from touching. Place in the oven and carefully pour in enough very hot tap water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
    Bake for 2 hours, 15 minutes, or until the cake is very lightly colored and a knife inserted in the center emerges clean. Remove from the water bath and carefully peel the aluminum foil from around the pan. Let stand at room temperature until completely cool, about 4 hours. Refrigerate, covered, until well chilled. For best flavor and texture, this cheesecake is best chilled overnight.

Cracker Barrel Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

This is a small batch of Chicken and Dumplings you can make and it doesn’t even have to be THANKSGIVING! It taste just as good as the big ole batch!


1 (3 -6 lb) frying chickens ( any whole chicken will do)
2 quarts water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper ( I use coarse ground and double it)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening ( I use Crisco sticks)
3/4 cup buttermilk ( I add 1 tbsp. vinegar to 1 cup milk let sit 5 minutes, then measure 3/4 cup)


  1. Place chicken in a Dutch oven. Add water and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil.
  2. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour or until tender (should almost fall off bone).
  3. Remove the chicken from the broth and cool. Bone the chicken and cut meat into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Bring the broth to a boil and add pepper.
  5. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the shortening. Add the buttermilk, stirring with a fork until moistened.
  6. Knead the dough 4 to 5 times (never done), and pat to 1/2-inch pieces and drop into boiling broth (I do not pat it out, just pinch off pieces). Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Stir in the chicken and serve. I make it in the pressure cooker, much quicker and easier.
  8. I pressure it for only 30 minutes.
  9. It can also be done in the crockpot with 3-4 cups water but someone has that book so at this time I cannot give cooking times.
  10. Good Luck! Hope you enjoy.

Crack Potatoes

One of our favorite dips is Cheddar Bacon Ranch dip, or what I refer to as "Crack".  I usually only make it during football season because it is HIGHLY addictive.
This casserole has all the goodies you’d find on a loaded baked potato with a little bit of ranch added in. 
 All you need to do is mix the ingredients into a baking pan and you’re done. 
 Makes for a quick and easy holiday party dish.


2 (16oz) containers sour cream (I used one light and one fat free)
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (2%)
2 (3oz) bags real bacon bits
2 packages Ranch Dip mix
1 large (28 - 30oz) bag frozen hash brown potatoes - shredded kind


Combine first 4 ingredients, mix in hash browns. Spread into a 9x13 pan. 
Bake at 400 for 45-60 minutes. 
I mean really??  That's it?  These are absolutely devine.  
That's the only thing you need to know about this dish.

Cracker Barrel's Hashbrowns Casserole -Copycat

I don't know if this is Cracker Barrel's actual hash browns casserole recipe, but it is close. This recipe can feed a large crowd and is good for a brunch.


2 lbs frozen hash browns
1/2 cup margarine or 1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (10 1/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
1/2 cup onion, peeled and chopped
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Preheat oven to 350°F and spray an 11 x 14 baking dish with cooking spray.
Mix the above ingredients together, place in prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until brown on top.

White Chicken Enchiladas

8 flour tortillas, soft taco size
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used half of a rotisserie chicken)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese. Roll up in tortillas and place in pan seam side down. 

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter.  Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute. 
Add broth and whisk until smooth. Allow sauce to thicken. 
 Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and chilies.

Pour sauce over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese. 
Bake 20-25 minutes and then broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese. 

Creamy Broccoli, Chicken, and Bacon Pasta

Creamy Broccoli, Chicken Breast, and Bacon Fettuccine Pasta in homemade Alfredo sauce. Easy, delicious pasta dinner!


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb chicken breast, boneless and skinless
salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cups heavy cream
2/3 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheese (use Parmesan, or Mozzarella, or 4-cheese mix)
8 oz fettuccine (for gluten free version, use gluten free brown rice fettuccine)
2 cups cooked broccoli florets
7 strips cooked bacon
salt and pepper


Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. 
Cook chicken breast on high heat for 2 to 4 minutes on each side, until browned,
 then remove the skillet from heat and keep the chicken covered to continue cooking it in its own steam until no longer pink.
 Remove chicken from the skillet. 
You can also use pre-cooked chicken. Cut chicken into thin slices.
Add minced garlic to the skillet. 
Add heavy cream, milk, bring to boil. Add cheese and stir till it completely melts.
Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain.
Add cooked pasta, cooked bacon, cooked broccoli and mix everything in. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Top with sliced cooked chicken.

Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cream Cookies

These easy cake mix cookies are full of chocolate chips and Oreo cookie chunks. They are perfect for the cookie lover in you.


1 vanilla cake mix (15.25 oz.)
8 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups Oreo cookie chunks
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup chocolate chips


Combine the cake mix, butter, egg, and vanilla. Beat until a soft dough forms. Add the cream cheese and beat again. Stir in the cookie chunks and chips by hand.
Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes. Roll into 36 balls. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. Do not over bake. The cookies will seem under done, but will continue to set up as they cool. Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes. Remove to wax paper lined counters. Tap the tops of the cookies to even out. Let cool completely before moving. Store in a sealed container. Makes 36 cookies.



4 Sticks Butter
4 cups Sugar
4 cups All purpose flour; Can use cake flour if desired
8 large Eggs
8 ounce Cream Cheese
2-3 Tablespoons Vanilla extract
1 cup Brown sugar
1 cup Pecans; (some should be crushed)
Caramel Syrup; (like you put on Ice Cream)
Original recipe makes 12 Servings


Preheat oven to 300 degrees

I leave my cream cheese, butter and eggs out to reach room temp.

In Mixer, cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until smooth, add eggs one or two at a time, then add flour one cup at a time.

Last, add 2 to 3 tsp of vanilla flavoring.

Grease and flour your tube pan (not a bundt pan)

Pour in batter

Sprinkle pecans and brown sugar on top, lightly press into the batter.

Bake on 300 degree for 1 hour and 15 minutes, (you may want to tent the top with foil if it is browning to fast or nuts are scorching)

increase heat to 325 and bake another 30 minutes.

You can test for doneness with a wooden skewer. If you insert and cake is not done (still wet), allow to bake a little longer until skewer can be inserted and comes out dry. Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes before removing from pan. When you invert onto a plate, you may lose a few nuts, Then, drizzle with a jar of caramel to your liking.


As you can see there are some ingredients missing that are in most cakes such as milk, baking powder, baking soda, salt etc... Feel free to tweak your cake to your liking, but this is what I found works best.

Cheesy ground beef and rice casserole

Quick Recipe
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Cup Long Grain White Rice
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Carrots, sliced
½-1 lb Ground Beef, cooked
Cheddar or colby jack cheese, sliced about 9 pieces
Semi Homemade
1 Cup Uncooked Rice
2 Cups Water
½ to 1 lb (depending on preference) ground beef, cooked
1 cup carrots, sliced
Pacific Foods Mushroom gravy 13.9 ounces
½ cup milk
Colby Jack or Medium Cheddar Cheese for topping
From Scratch
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup minced white button mushroom
3 tablespoons flour
½ cup cream
½ cup chicken broth
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
2 Cups Water
½-1 lb Ground Beef, cooked
1 Cup Carrots, sliced
Cheddar or colby Jack Cheese, sliced- about 9 slices
1 Cup Long Grain White Rice


Quick Recipe
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x9" baking dish with nonstick spray.
Stir together the soup,rice, water, carrots, and beef. Place in the baking dish and bake for 90 minutes. Top with cheese slices and bake a few more minutes or until melted.
Semi Homemade
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x9" baking dish.
Whisk together the water, mushroom gravy, and milk.
Add the mushroom mix, rice, cooked beef and carrots to a bowl and stir to combine. Dump into an 8x9" baking dish and bake, uncovered for 90 minutes. Add slices of cheese and return to the oven for another couple of minutes or until the cheese is melted.
From Scratch
In a medium pan over medium heat, add the butter and melt. Whisk in the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Add the flour, whisking continually and cook for 30-60 seconds. Add the cream and broth and cook until thick. Season and remove from heat.
Heat the oven to 350 and spray an 8x9" baking dish with nonstick spray.
Place the cream mixture, rice, water, beef and carrots into the dish and stir to combine. Bake for 90 minutes, add the cheese and bake for a few more minutes or until melted.

bacon wrapped avocados

brown sugar bacon with a hint of spice all wrapped around a creamy piece of avocado. the appetizer that's making the others jealous.


4-6 strips of bacon
1 avocado
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2-1 teaspoon chili powder


heat the oven to 425
in a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and chili powder. set aside
line a baking sheet with tin foil.
cut open the avocado and remove the pit. slice about 3/4" slices lengthwise through the avocado, and then cut through the middle to cut all of the slices in half so that you have thick chunks of avocado.
cut each slice of bacon in 3-5 pieces and wrap each piece around the avocado. roll in the brown sugar mixture and place on the baking sheet.
bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes. remove from the oven to a platter and stick a tooth pick in each for serving.

i pit my avocados by smacking my blade into the pit and giving it a quarter turn. the pit pops right out leaving the perfect flesh behind.

depending on the size of your avocado pieces and length of your bacon you may get a different number of chunks of bacon. i wrap an end around the first piece of avocado just to measure and then cut all of the bacon together accordingly.

Le Cordon Bleu, regarded as one of the world’s leading culinary art institutes

Le Cordon Bleu, regarded as one of the world’s leading culinary art institutes, provides training from world class chefs in classic French culinary techniques.***
Founded in Paris in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu is considered today the largest network of culinary and hospitality schools in the world with more than 50 schools in 20 countries and 20,000 students of over 90 nationalities are trained every year. Le Cordon Bleu combines innovation and creativity with tradition through its certificates, diplomas and bachelors and master degrees, including an online degree in gastronomic tourism.***

Le Cordon Bleu provides culinary training at schools across the United States. Le Cordon Bleu also provides online classes.***

Over the past 100 years Le Cordon Bleu has produced numerous famous graduates such as Julia Child, Dione Lucas, Nathalie Dupree, Nancy Silverton, Allen Susser, James Peterson, Lydia Shire, Ming Tsai and more.***

Le Cordon Bleu provides bachelor’s degree and associate’s degree programs as well as diploma and certificate programs in subjects such as culinary arts, patisserie and baking, hospitality & restaurant management and culinary management.***

the International Culinary Center is one of the most award-winning schools for a professional fast-track culinary or wine education

Founded in 1984 as The French Culinary Institute, the International Culinary Center is one of the most award-winning schools for a professional fast-track culinary or wine education. With campuses in New York City and Silicon Valley, California, ICC has trained more than 15,000 alumni, including culinary rock stars Bobby Flay, David Chang, Dan Barber, and Christina Tosi.****

Whether the focus is Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, Cake Design, Farm-to-Table, Bread Baking, Italian Cuisine, Culinary Entrepreneurship,or Wine Studies, ICC graduates leaves with the credentials, confidence, and global connections for a rising career. ICC has a 91.5% graduation rate.****

ICC is the school for serious cooks and culinary entrepreneurs. The school is known for its original curriculum, small student-to-teacher ratio and individual workstations, along with career support not found at larger schools.****

ICC’s legendary deans—Jacques Pépin, Jacques Torres, and José Andrés—and entrepreneurial alumni, have racked up more than 137 Michelin stars. IACP has named ICC the “Best Vocational Cooking School of the Year” multiple times, and ICC holds the highest honor, School of Excellence, by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).****

Students at ICC can earn a college degree + culinary diploma by transferring ICC credits to The New School, a highly respected NYC university.****

Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park,the oldest culinary school in America

The CIA is the world’s premier culinary college. As a true not-for-profit college, it provide the world’s best professional culinary education. Students come to the CIA for  gold-standard education programs, expert faculty, world-class campuses in the U.S. and Singapore, and outstanding career opportunities. The  programs are for anyone with a passion for food—from students striving to become the next Charlie Palmer (CIA Class of ’79), Grant Achatz (CIA Class of ’94), or Cat Cora (CIA Class of ’95) to professionals looking to advance their skills to food lovers seeking the best in education for the home cook.***

The oldest culinary school in America is also oftentimes considered to be the very best. Its main campus is located in Hyde Park, New York, though it also has satellite campuses in San Antonio, Texas, St. Helena, California (which also appears on this list), and Singapore.***

Started as a non-profit college, the Institute’s stated mission is to offer the best professional culinary education in the world. It boasts the largest staff of ACF Certified Master Chefs, and more than 300 companies actively recruit its graduates each year. In fact, its long list of successful alumni includes Charlie Palmer and Grant Achatz, among many others.***

The Institute offers certificates, Associate, and Bachelor degrees in Culinary Arts, Culinary Science, and Baking and Pastry Arts. Many students choose to complete both an Associate and a Bachelor degree, though the Institute does require students complete the Associate before pursuing the Bachelor.***

Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), the best culinary school

Founded in 1975 by Peter Kump, the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) has become the largest culinary school in New York City. The Institute, which is often considered one of the best in the world, credits to its success its “Global Curriculum,” dedicated chef-instructors, clear focus, and entrepreneurial spirit ***

In 2015, ICE was named “Culinary School of the Year” by the IACP, an honor the school previously received in 2003, 2008 and 2011. The win coincides with ICE’s 40th anniversary and move to an unprecedented culinary school facility at Brookfield Place in Manhattan. ICE’s new 74,000 square foot location extends over a single floor and features Hudson River views.***
 Designed for both creativity and community, the new school features: 12 state-of-the-art teaching kitchens, the nation’s first education-focused bean-to-bar chocolate lab, a hydroponic herb and vegetable garden, a culinary technology lab, a waterfront demonstration kitchen and dedicated facilities for both wine and mixology training. No other culinary school in New York City offers as many opportunities for experimentation and innovation.***

Additionally, ICE is the first culinary school in the nation to use iPads in the class, with kitchens and classrooms designed for a rich interactive digital and social media experience.***

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