Saturday, February 27, 2016

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken And Veggies

The easiest one pot recipe ever. Simply throw everything in and that’s it! No cooking, no sauteeing. SO EASY! 

Adapted from Damn Delicious 

Paula Smith 

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (trim excess skin from chicken thighs) 
16 ounces baby red potatoes, halved
16 ounces baby carrots ( I used whole carrots, peeled & cut into chunks) 
16 ounces green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves ( I added 1 tsp. Chopped chives to sauce)

1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, ketchup, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and pepper.
Place chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots and soy sauce mixture into a 6-qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, basting every hour. Add green beans during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
OPTIONAL: (  I definitely broiled them to crisp up the skin. )Preheat oven to broil. Place chicken thighs onto a baking sheet, skin side up, and broil until crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
Serve chicken immediately with potatoes, carrots and green beans, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Hudson's Maurice Salad

Although I have never been to Detroit, this recipe reminded me of my childhood in Pensacola, FL. Lunch at The Old Firehouse Restaurant, having their Chief's Salad or the lunch counter at Woolworths when out shopping Momma & MeMomma.

I will be using grated onion in lieu of the onion juice, and tonight will be Muenster cheese in lieu of the Swiss cheese.

This salad was born in Detroit at the JL Hudson Department store, and is now served at Macy's. If I had to guess, I would say I've eaten hundreds of these salads in my life, and hope to have a hundred more. One of my all time faves. I remember when I was little, how excited I would be to go shopping with mom, and then have lunch. Of course, it was always a Maurice salad with extra olives. And fresh baked bread. Ahhhh. The simple pleasures of life.
2 t. white vinegar
1 1/2 t. lemon juice
1 1/2 t. onion juice (I will use grated onion)
1 1/2 t. sugar
1 1/2 t. Dijon mustard
1/4 t. dry mustard
1 c. mayonnaise
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 hard cooked egg, diced
salt to taste
14 oz. ham, cut into strips
14 oz. cooked turkey breast, cut into strips
14 oz. Swiss cheese, cut into strips
1/2 c. slivered, sweet gherkin pickles
1 head Iceberg lettuce, shredded
12-16 pimento stuffed green olives
Combine the first 6 dressing ingredients and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add remaining dressing ingredients and mix well. Combine the ham, turkey, cheese and pickles together in a large bowl. Toss together with the dressing. Divide the lettuce among plates, top with salad and garnish each plate with 2 olives.
(serves 6-8)

Check it out here: Southern Plate

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Lasagna Insalata Soup

 Lasagna Soup Insalata


1 lb mild (or hot) Italian sausage, casing off

1/2 cup baby-cut carrots, coarsely chopped

8 oz trinity mix (fresh diced onions, bell peppers, celery)

1 (24-oz) jar pasta sauce

1 (32-oz) carton unsalted chicken broth
1/2 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
1/4 -1/2 tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes 

1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pesto

1 (9-oz) package mini cheese ravioli

1 (8-oz) baby kale salad kit (baby greens, cheese, toppings, dressing)
6 tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese 


  1. Preheat large stockpot 2–3 minutes on medium-high. Brown sausage 5–7 minutes, stirring to crumble meat, or until no pink remains. Chop carrots. Stir carrots and trinity mix into sausage; cook and stir 4 minutes. 
  2. Reduce heat on pan to medium-low. Stir in pasta sauce, broth, peppers and pesto; simmer 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until hot.
  3. Stir pasta into soup; cook 4–5 minutes or until pasta is tender. Meanwhile, chop salad greens.
  4. Divide soup into serving bowls. Top each bowl with 1/3 cup salad greens, then sprinkle with salad toppings, and drizzle with dressing. Finish with 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese and serve.

 Cinnamon Peach Crescents


1 large firm, ripe peach
1 (8-ct) can honey butter crescent rolls
6 tablespoons cinnamon sugar butter, divided
1 tablespoon pine nuts, finely crushed 


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Peel peach and cut into 8 wedges. Separate crescents into triangles and place on work surface; spread 2 teaspoons cinnamon butter on each triangle; place peach wedge on wide part of dough and roll up.
  2. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Bake 15–17 minutes or until golden and peaches have softened. Carefully remove crescents from pan.
  3. Crush pine nuts. Spread remaining 2 teaspoons butter over rolls and sprinkle with pine nuts. Let stand 5 minutes to cool. Serve. (Makes 8 servings.) 

  • Complete your meal with garlic bread and ice cream to serve with the peach crescents.
  • Use a firm, ripe peach for the crescents. This will help ensure it doesn’t fall apart during baking.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Peanut Butter Pie & more...

Meal Plan Monday @ Southern Plate

My eldest son loves anything peanut butter...potato candy, double peanut butter cookies, homemade Reese's squares, peanut butter blossoms; to name a few. Peanut Butter Pie & a yellow layer cake with Peanut Butter frosting are ranked right up there with Jeremy's favorites.

1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For meringue:
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
6 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) deep-dish pastry shell(baked)
Combine peanut butter and confectioner's sugar until mealy. Sprinkle 1/2 of
mixture in bottom of baked pie crust.
In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, flour, salt, and milk. bring to boil over
medium heat, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat,
blend 1/2 cup hot mixture into beaten egg yolks; return egg mixture to custard.
Return to heat and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and add butter and
vanilla. Pour 1/2 custard in pastry shell. Top with remaining peanut butter
mixture and then remaining custard. Prepare meringue. Top pie and bake at 350
for 12-15 minutes until golden.
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar, 1
Tbsp. at a time until stiff peaks form. Stir in vanilla and top pie.

Peanut Butter Frosting


    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    • 1 tablespoon margarine
    • 1 cup peanut butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring 


  1. Combine the sugar, milk and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and place the pan in a larger pan of cold water.
  4. Add the margarine, peanut butter, and vanilla flavoring.
  5. Beat until mixture thickens to spreading consistency.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Momma's Stuffed Meatloaf

Check it here also: Southern Plate Meal Plan Monday

Momma's Stuffed Meatloaf
Stuffed Meatloaf Alberta George (Momma)

 I make Momma's Stuffed Meatloaf...both at home and at work. My grandson makes it frequently after learning to make it at my home.
1-1/2 lb.Ground chuck 
1 package Onion Soup Mix
 2 Eggs 
1/3 cup Water 
1/3 cup A-1 sauce 
1/3 cup ketchup 
1 cup Bread Crumbs 
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices deli ham ( I use honey ham)

Mix first 7 ingredients & pat into rectangle. Layer with sliced Swiss cheese and Deli ham. Roll up jelly roll style and place in loaf pan odor 13 X 9 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 45 min to 1 hour. Combine topping ingredients & spread over top of meatloaf. 
1 cup Ketchup,
1/3 cup brown sugar, 
1/3 cup worcestershire. 
 Bake 10 minutes after adding topping.

Let stand 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan & slice. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Ravioli Puttanesca

Default Ravioli Puttanesca

This is great for a quick meal and is so tasty! Hope you enjoy!

Ravioli Puttanesca
Adapted from
Woman's Day Magazine

1 lb. cheese ravioli
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/3 c. pitted Kalamata olives (about 15), chopped
1 tbsp. capers, rinsed and chopped
1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced
4 c. baby spinach
black pepper
1 c. fresh basil leaves, torn
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, for serving
Cook the ravioli according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat the oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until the garlic starts to sizzle, about 3 minutes. Add the olives and capers and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the tomatoes and toss to combine. Add the ravioli, spinach, and 1 teaspoon black pepper; toss until the spinach begins to wilt, 2 minutes. Fold in the basil and serve with grated cheese, if desired.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole

Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole
From the kitchen of Paula Smith

1 lb. ground round
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 can petite diced tomatoes with juice
1 - 15 oz. can all natural beef broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
2/3 cup white long grain rice
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. Minced garlic
1/2 tsp. Perfect Pinch Italian seasoning
1 small head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 package pre cooked bacon slices

In large skillet, brown ground beef & red onion, drain. Add tomatoes, beef broth, tomato paste, rice & seasonings. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover & cook 10 minutes. In 3 qt. Casserole, layer 1/2 of chopped cabbage. Top with 1/2 of the beef mixture. Repeat layers. Top with bacon. Cover loosely with foil. 
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover & bake 15 more minutes. 

A Wreath of Love

An online friend in another state is undergoing chemo after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer last fall.
I messaged her about the possibility of the board members contributing to make a rag wreath as a Wreath of Love during this journey. Elsa responded, I am NOT crafty at all!
So, suggested that we give all the opportunity to contribute and I would make the wreath. Board members responded wanting this to happen for Elsa, some sent scraps of material, others sent $$ and I began work on tying the scraps of fabric to the wire frame. Another made & sent the bow for the wreath. (Thanks, Eileen! )
Several weeks of working on it & this is the Wreath of Love for Elsa that is now hanging in her home! Love & prayers to surround you, Elsa, throughout this journey...Contessa Cafe.

February 2016 Newsletter

February 2016 Newsletter



You happen upon them when least expected...
friends from days gone by, sometime since you've seen them...
Yet that bond of friendship is rekindled in a moment...
Cherished memories recalled...some happy times, others trying
times that you have been through together.
Old friends and new friends are necessary in life...
They are the family we choose.

Paula 2011


Chicken Saltimbocca Casserole

Adapted from recipe by Gabriele Lanhan

You'll need 2 packages of THIN chicken breasts (cutlets)
a few slices of prosciutto
a half bag of fresh spinach
an 8 oz package of fresh sliced mushrooms
1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secret's Savory Herb and Garlic (called for in recipe)


sub: 1 tsp. Chicken base, 1 shallot, minced, 1-2 tsp. Minced garlic, 1 tsp. Kosher salt, 1 tsp. Fresh ground pepper, 2 tsp. Each finely minced fresh herbs: Rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme

1/2 C White Wine 
1/4 C Olive oil
8 oz shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
spray a 13x9 " pan with cooking spray (I use olive oil in a spray bottle)
put 2 layers of chicken in pan, cover with prosciutto, top with spinach, sprinkle with a little kosher salt and coarse black pepper
top with mushrooms
whisk together olive oil, wine and savory herb envelope then pour over everything.
Lay a piece of foil over (not tight)
bake for 30-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through
Uncover, top with cheese and bake for 5 minutes more.


Chopped Antipasto Salad

Adapted from Buca di Beppo
  1. Place the lettuce, pepperoni, mortadella, red onion, Provolone, 1 diced Roma tomato, cucumbers, Gorgonzola, feta, chopped pepperoncini and oregano into a mixing bowl. Toss.
  2. Add the dressing and toss again until fully incorporated.
  3. Mound salad mixture on a chilled plate, getting as much height as possible.
  4. Place the remaining tomatoes around the outside of the salad.
  5. Garnish with whole pepperoncini and olives, and serve.
*Gluten-Free Tip: Be sure to use GF deli meats and a GF Italian salad dressing.
Southern Living


1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits 
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 
1 pound unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp (4 1/50 count) 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
Vegetable cooking spray 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 
1 1/4 cups low-sodium fat-free chicken broth 
1/2 cup chopped green onions 
garlic cloves, minced 
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce 
2 cups firmly packed fresh baby spinach 


1. Prepare Parmesan Grits: Bring 1/2 tsp. salt and 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually whisk in grits. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in cheese and pepper. Keep warm.
2. Prepare Creamy Shrimp Sauce: Peel shrimp; devein, if desired. Sprinkle shrimp with pepper and 1/8 tsp. salt. Cook in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or just until shrimp turn pink. Remove from skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Add oil; heat 30 seconds. Whisk in flour; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whisk in broth and next 5 ingredients; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened. Stir in shrimp and spinach; cook 1 minute or until spinach is slightly wilted. Serve immediately over grits.

From Posed Perfection

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onions
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. cream cheese
1 sm. can chopped green chiles {reserve a little to garnish}
1/2-1 can diced tomatoes
1 sm. can tomato sauce
1/4 -1/2 tsp. cumin
1/3 cup salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 pkg. farfalle pasta (1/2-3/4 pkg)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in large skillet, cook onions in olive oil until translucent. Add in ground beef and cook until done. Drain off any fat. Cut cream cheese into a few pieces and add to beef. Stir in green chiles, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa and cumin. Allow the sauce to heat thoroughly. Mix in the cooked pasta {you may not need all of it if you want the pasta dish to be more saucy}. Top with shredded cheese and serve.

Skillet Blackberry Cobbler
From jiffy
Don't make this in anything but a big black skillet~it won't turn out the same!
1 box of 2 refrigerated pie crusts (I prefer Pillsbury)
2 (14-16 oz) bags frozen blackberries
1 stick butter, melted
1⅓ cups sugar (for berries)
½ cup flour
¾ cup sugar (for crust)
½ stick butter, cut into small cubes
½ cup water
1.Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2.Unroll one pie crust and place in bottom and up sides of 12 " cast iron skillet.
3.Pierce bottom and sides of crust with a fork.
4.Bake 7 minutes; remove from oven.
5.Increase oven temp to 400 degrees.
6.In a large bowl, mix melted butter, 1⅓ cups sugar, and flour.
7.Put berries in bowl with butter/sugar/flour mixture; toss until berries are covered and mixture is crumbly.
8.Gently pour berries into skillet; sprinkle water over berries.
9.Unroll second pie crust over top of berries, sealing at the edges of the skillet.
10.Scatter the small pieces of butter on top of the crust.
11.Sprinkle ¾ cups sugar on top of crust.
12.Cut tiny slits in top of pie crust.
13.Bake approximately 45 minutes or until bubbly at edges and beginning to brown on top.
14.(I highly recommend a pie shield to keep edges of crust from burning.)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

By Request aka Chicken Saltimbocca Casserole

By Request 
Gabriele Lanhan

By Request...per Gabriele
Good Lord in Heaven above where has this recipe been all of my life!!!! Share!!!

You'll need 2 packages of THIN chicken breasts
a few slices of prosciutto
a half bag of fresh spinach ( I used one bag of fresh baby spinach) 
an 8 oz package of fresh sliced mushrooms
1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secret's Savory Herb and Garlic (I used 1 tsp. Organic chicken base, 1 tsp. Minced garlic, 1 tsp. Each kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, 2 tsp. Each  fresh herbs of parsley, rosemary & thyme)
1/2 C White Wine
1/4 C Olive oil
8 oz shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 375
spray a 13/9" pan with Pam
put 2 layers of chicken in pan, cover with prosciutto, top with spinach, sprinkle with a little kosher salt and coarse black pepper
top with mushrooms
whisk together olive oil, wine and savory herb envelope (or herb/seasoning mixture) then pour over everything.
Lay a piece of foil over (not tight)
bake for 30 minutes ( I baked for 35-40 minutes) check chicken temp with thermometer
top with cheese and bake for 5 minutes more.

ETA: I plan to use minced garlic, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, fresh rosemary, thyme & parsley in lieu of the season packet. Making tonight with a side of risotto.