Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chicken Caesar Wraps

My friend Erica made these a couple weeks ago and I loved them! She said it was a Costco recipe, but she changed it up by using chicken instead of tuna. I made them for dinner this week. The herbed cheese this calls for is something like Alouette garlic and herbs spreadable cheese, that comes in a little tub. I was going to buy that to make this, but it cost almost 5 dollars. Instead, I used Philadelphia chive and onion cream cheese which is about half the cost. These make a great summer meal.

Chicken Caesar Wraps
Erica Starr
6-10 to 12 inch tortillas
1 cup herbed spreadable cheese (I used Philadelphia chive and onion cream cheese)
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 cups cooked cubed chicken
2 cups seeded and diced tomatoes
½ cup Caesar salad dressing
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Spread each tortilla with spreadable cheese to within 2 inches of edges.
2. Sprinkle romaine evenly over each tortilla.
3. In a bowl, toss together chicken, tomatoes, and dressing. Spoon chicken mixture over the lettuce on each tortilla.
4. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Roll tortillas burrito style. Cut in half and serve.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sour Cream Banana Sheet Cake

I'm not a cake decorator, so I like making sheet cakes. They don't need to look pretty, they only need to taste good. I've had this recipe for many years, but I decided to adapt it to sheet cake form and add cream cheese frosting. My husband said it's one of the best cakes he's ever had! I refrigerated the leftovers, and it tasted great cold too. I topped it with some chopped walnuts.

Sour Cream Banana Sheet Cake
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups mashed banana

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13in x 18in baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Cream butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time; add vanilla.
3. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. In another bowl combine sour cream and milk.
4. Add dry ingredients to butter and sugar mixture alternately with sour cream and milk. Begin and end with dry mixture.
5. Add mashed banana mixing until just blended. Spread on to prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth. Spread on cooled cake.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Meal Idea - Open Faced Tuna Melt

Sometimes I don't feel like making dinner. I'm sure that doesn't happen to anyone else, right? :) On one of those nights, I do something easy like this...English muffins, tuna (I mix mine with a little mayo and sweet pickle relish), and cheese. Put it under the broiler until the cheese melts, then top it off with some chopped olive.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Garlic Croutons

Homemade croutons are the best! They are far superior to store bought. Luckily this recipe makes a lot, because they're so good you'll just want to snack on them! They last about 2 weeks in an airtight container.

Garlic Croutons
1 16oz. loaf of French bread, cut into cubes
6 TBSPs butter, melted
2 TBSPs olive oil
2 tsp Good Seasons Italian salad dressing mix

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
2. Combine butter, oil, and seasoning in a small bowl, and mix well.
3. Place bread cubes in a large bowl. Slowly pour the butter mixture over the bread cubes and toss to coat.
4. Spread out bread cubes on prepared pan, and bake for 40 minutes (or until lightly browned and crisp) stirring every 10 minutes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Easy Baked Manicotti

Cheesy stuffed pasta is one of my favorite meals. I really like the addition of pesto in this recipe. It's an easy alternative to dried herbs, and has a better flavor in my opinion. You can find pesto in a jar on the pasta aisle.

Easy Baked Manicotti
adapted from
2 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
1 3/4 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the powdered kind)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup pesto
12 manicotti shells, cooked, rinsed in cold water

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spread 3/4 cup sauce onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish. Mix ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, and pesto until well blended; spoon into a large resealable plastic bag. Use scissors to cut small corner from bottom of bag.
3. Fill manicotti shells by squeezing cheese mixture into both sides of each shell; place in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce; cover with foil.
4. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle on remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Return to oven and bake for 10 more minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serves 6

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

I took this dish to a Cinco de Mayo party yesterday, and had a few requests to put it on my blog. I kinda followed a recipe from, but made a few changes, like my addition of mango. Make sure you cut the apples up last and then stir them in immediately so they won't turn brown. The cinnamon chips were really fun to make. I made some extras when I got home for my kids. Even by themselves they are a fun treat. I sprayed the tortillas with spray butter, 10 times on each side, but you could also use butter flavored cooking spray.

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 16oz. pkg strawberries, diced
2 green apples, diced
3 TBSPs fruit preserves, any flavor (I used apricot)
1-2 TBSPs sugar, if desired

1 cup sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon
8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
Butter spray

1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, mangoes, strawberries, apples, fruit preserves, and sugar. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Combine 1 cup of sugar and the cinnamon in a big ziplock bag. Spray each flour tortilla with butter spray. Cut into wedges with a pizza cutter and shake each triangle in the bag of cinnamon and sugar until coated. Arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheets.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Summer Zucchini Casserole with Ham

I meant to post this recipe last week, but I forgot. This is what I made with my leftover Easter ham. After dinner my husband said, "You need to make this every time we have leftover ham." Winner! This was originally a meatless dish that called for 2lbs. of zucchini instead of 1lb. It would also be good with chicken, or other flavors of stuffing (I like cornbread).

Summer Zucchini Casserole with Ham
adapted from
1 pound zucchini, sliced or chopped (whichever you prefer)
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped ham
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated carrots
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 (6 ounce) package chicken-flavored dry stuffing mix

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Boil the zucchini and onion in 1/2 cup of water for 5 minutes; drain well.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the ham, soup, sour cream and carrots. Stir in the zucchini and onion and mix well.
4. In a separate medium bowl, combine the butter and stuffing mix. Spread half of this mixture into the bottom of a 3 quart baking dish. Spoon the zucchini mixture over the stuffing, then top off with the other half of the stuffing.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until stuffing is golden brown.

Serves 8

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Orange Cream Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for my daughter's birthday. I thought they sounded good and wanted to try this recipe. We loved them! It's a really easy recipe because you use a cake mix, with a few add ins. These can also be made as plain vanilla cupcakes if you substitute vanilla for the orange extract. I'm wondering how lemon extract would taste too. I'll definitely be using this recipe again next time I need some white cupcakes.

Orange Cream Cupcakes
1 box of white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup sour cream
1 cup evaporated milk
2 tsps orange extract
Orange buttercream frosting
Jellied orange slice candies

1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Line two, 12-cavity cupcake pans with liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and beat on high with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Spoon into prepared cupcake pans.
3. Bake for 15-18 min or until tops spring back lightly. Cool completely before frosting.

On the blog that I found this cupcake recipe on, she used a can of frosting and added 1/2 tsp of orange extract. I like to make my own frosting, so here's the frosting recipe I used.

Orange Buttercream Frosting
adapted from
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp orange extract
1 TBSP cream

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together butter and sugar. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add orange extract and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more.

I bought this stand at World Market on sale for $10! Isn't it cute?!