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Entree/ Poultry

Spicy Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs

Boneless delight!

Looking for something different to throw on the grill. This recipe can be cooked inside or outside. I think this would also be good served at room temperature for any summer gathering.

Normally I always say anything cooked with a bone is better than boneless. For this recipe I had bone-in, skin on chicken thighs in the freezer and didn’t have time to bone them (or I didn’t want to). Nutmeg Nanny (where I got this recipe) used boneless skinless chicken. Now for this recipe I totally agree with her. You want the spices to soak into the chicken and not lose the spiciness when you pull of the skin (that’s if you don’t eat the skin).

When doing this recipe again, I will double the spices, buy boneless thighs, and remove the skin. I used all the juices that flowed from the cooking of the thighs and poured that over the plated chicken like a sauce.

Doing this chicken boneless also speeds up the cooking time. So when you are in a pinch for time, give this a try.

I normally change up recipe but this one sounded so easy I wanted to make it as stated the first time. Now that I’ve made it I really wouldn’t change anything about the recipe.

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Entree/ Poultry

Peach Whiskey Chicken

I don’t like whiskey but this is really good.

The other day I was watching Pioneer woman out on her ranch in Oklahoma cooking up something good for her family and ranch hands. I imagine myself on one of their horses galloping all over the thousands of acres they own. Don’t know if I could even get on a horse or even if I could stay on one after swinging myself up on the saddle but I can dream anyway.

Anyway, she was making some whiskey chicken that caught my attention and since I had a jar of peach preserves still in my pantry that I bought on a trip to Nashville last year I thought I’d give the recipe a try. Loveless cafe is a neat little breakfast/lunch place just outside Nashville and I’ll go back again next time we are in Nashville.

The two changes I made to PW’s recipe was I didn’t really want to add fresh peaches since this isn’t really peach season and I didn’t really care for the idea of peach chunks in with the chicken. I wanted to add some heat to the dish so I added some thinly sliced jalapeño peppers to the onions and then used some to garnish the dish. Her dish called for chicken pieces with bones and I will probably use bone-in thighs and legs next time I make it.

The Whiskey Chicken can be served on top of mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower or even some pasta or rice would do. The saucy part of this is very tasty and I love what the jalapeños add to the dish.

I hope you will give this a try and if you do, please leave a comment below.

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Entree/ Poultry

Chicken Pot Pie Pop Tart

Pop tart/chicken pot pie tart, which is best?

Honestly, I don’t think I have ever eaten a pop tart in all my years on this earth. My kids had their share of pop tarts I’m sure; they just never appealed to me. If I wanted a crust with fruit filling, I would have made a real pie or strudel.

Kellogg first introduced their non-frosted pop tarts in 1964. That was a year before I graduated from high school, the year Hello Dolly was released on Broadway, the Beatle’s “I want to hold your hand” topped the US charts and Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor married for the first time. Ok, ok, enough, that’s depressing enough thinking I’m that old. But, I can say our youth was definitely the “good old days”.

We (my sister, brother, and I) wouldn’t have eaten pop tarts because our mother and grandmother use to make the best fried pies and yes they were much better than some fake fruit sandwiched between some pastry that was full of preservatives.

I have been thinking of chicken pot pie lately and how comforting it is. What do pop tarts and pot pie have in common? Nothing, except I decided to make a chicken pot pie pop tart and instead of icing drizzled over the top, I’m giving my pop tart a peas and carrot sauce and a cute little cranberry sauce chicken cut-outs. Don’t ask me why but when I have pot pie, I want cranberry sauce; always have, always will and of course, I always want some type of slaw.  The three are inseparable and it wouldn’t hurt to throw in some mashed potatoes.

So, you don’t have to make a pop tart from these ingredients. It’s much easier to pop everything in a pan for a large pot pie. I always use just the broth the chicken cooks in to make the gravy but this time I added about 1/2 cup of heavy cream and I really liked the results. Boiled eggs are a must for the pop pie and when you cook your chicken, do not use boneless chicken parts. Use the whole chicken, debone it and then save the broth for making the filling.

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Entree/ Poultry

Jamaican Jerk Kabobs

Fits into any diet.

No one likes dieting and it’s a “four letter” word as far as I’m concerned.  I’m sure there are things we can all do to improve our diets. Leaving off sugar and breads would be a start for me. I’ve learned from baking things for the blog that I don’t have to eat them (or at least the whole thing) because I can simply take them someplace to share with others.

I found this recipe while looking for South Beach diet recipes and soon realized that it could fit into any diet plan for dieters or non-dieters. If you are wanting to trim a few calories then prepare this recipe with a nice salad and maybe some grilled asparagus and your done. If you want to splurge a little on the calories then make a aromatic pilaf or even lemon rice and lay the kabobs across the top. Either way the favors of this are so intense and Caribbean I think while you are eating this you will find yourself taken away to some wonderful beach, sitting at some outdoor cafe and enjoying the breeze and the sound of the waves hitting the shore.

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Entree/ Poultry/ Salads

Hot Tuscan Chicken Salad

Not your ordinarily Church Lady hot chicken salad.

Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with church lady chicken salad. Everyone loves it and will continue to eat and enjoy it.

When I think of “church lady” I always think of Dana Carvey when he played Church Lady on SNL. He was histerical. There are so many recipes out there that I have labeled “church lady” or “church potluck” and they are wonderful and are always the recipes that people want to know who brought it and how can they get the recipe.

Can we every have too many salad recipes? I love salads whether the are leafy green salads, marinated vegetable salads, egg salad, tuna salad, layered salad and I don’t think you could go wrong with about any salad you would set before me.

I’m sure everyone has had their share of hot chicken salad and who doesn’t love the crushed potato chip topping.

I really wanted to try a different version of the favorite recipe that’s been around for years and while searching I came upon recipe after recipe that had the cream of chicken or mushroom soup added to the dish and either topped with the potato chip topping or crushed corn flakes.


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Entree/ Pasta/ Poultry

Gnocchi with Grilled Chicken and Gorgonzola Sauce

Here I go again trying to recreate a food experience.

When we were in Chicago back in March we walked to one of the local restaurants in Bucktown. I just love visiting our son and his family there because they have so many restaurants you can walk to. I guess I better be honest and say I didn’t walk. It was way toooooo cold and we had the little ones. So, Missy, my daughter-in-law, and I drove the boys and the dads walked because we all couldn’t get in the car with two car seats and four adults. By the time we loaded the kids up and lucked out and found a parking spot right in front of the restaurant, here comes the big guys just in time to help carry everyone in.

Club Lucky is a cool retro bar and Italian restaurant and has been part of the neighborhood for more than 50 years. The lounge is always filled with locals and the night we were there (5:30 ish — remember we have kids) the place was filled with families and lots of kids. When we entered, the bar was right in the front and before we were seated I decided to ask the bartender if he could make an aviation cocktail. Of course, he could. This is a cocktail from early 20th century (been around since 1911). The dining room is decorated in red, black and green with simple designs and has such a homey feel.

The waiter brought us a basket of warm bread right out of the oven with some dipping oil and butter. Yum. It was delicious along with my cocktail. I decided on one of the specials which was Gnocchi with Grilled Chicken and Gorgonzola Sauce with some sauteed spinach mixed in for color. It was wonderful and not too blue tasting either.

It was funny watching the kids eat. Oliver had an order of meatballs which he did a good job eating and then licked the butter out of the little individual containers. Now, Charlie, on the other hand, still ate baby food then (only 10 months old) so his mom was giving him bits of the bread and he was making it to his mouth with some of the bread but then we looked at the floor and it was covered with these tiny specks of bread — where were the birds or the DOG when you needed them?

So, I knew I was going to recreate this dish from my first bite and we had made gnocchi at a cooking class in Italy a few years earlier so I knew it would be a piece of cake! Recreating the recipe that is. The gnocchi takes practice.

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Entree/ Poultry

Chicken Dijon with Parsley Mashed Potatoes

Colonel Sanders move over, this isn’t KFC fried.

Years ago after having my first son, I started working part time at KFC in Louisville, KY. Now I wasn’t slinging hash at one of the storefronts, I worked in the marketing department at the KFC headquarters. I would see the Colonel himself walking the hallways and on occasion our department would get a call and someone was asked to come down and do a tasting of new recipes. I remember sitting in a little stall and someone would push a plate of chicken through a window and I was to taste and answer questions about the product. What a job!

On another occasion we ate at his restaurant, (Claudia Sanders Dinner House) out in Shelbyville, KY. I remember the food being served family style not at all like the KFC you would go in and grab a bucket of chicken to go. Everything here was served family style and I remember feeling like I was sitting in someone’s home. The restaurant burned in 1999 and it has been rebuilt, I think, losing some of its charm. On the particular evening we were there, as we were leaving, The Colonel came to his back porch and waved to the guests leaving his restaurant; I thought that was so cool. It didn’t take much to excite me in those days.

I eventually gave up that job in the marketing department at KFC but never forgot the memories of working there and seeing all the beautiful antiques in the building and occasionally running into The Colonel.

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Entree/ Poultry

Sweet and Sour Dinosaurs

Ok, so your laughing.

Ok, ok, so I was stretching for something to do with these dinosaurs. At Christmas time, while shopping at Sam’s club, I was trying to buy some of my grandsons’ favorites. I knew they both ate chicken nuggets and I thought how cute these little dinos would be.

As it turned out they might have eaten two and here I am with a dino-size box of chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs. What is a GRAN to do but come up with something to use them for after the wee little ones have gone back home. I thought of Cobb Salad, which I did, then maybe Chicken Dino Parmesan. Now, that’s an easy one; put the dinos in a pan and top with a good jar of pasta sauce, cover with cheese and then bake in oven. I don’t intend to give you that recipe and call it an original GRAN recipe; you can figure that one out.

You’ve heard the saying if given a lemon, make lemonade. Well, when you have a whole box of dinosaurs — make Sweet and Sour Dinos.

So, that is what I did with the nuggets and I will share the sauce recipe with you. Don’t feel like you have to buy the nuggets to make it. You could use real chicken breast, cut in small pieces and either bread and fry or just sauté in skillet and then add to the sweet and Sour Sauce.

This recipe is really all about the sweet and sour sauce recipe and you can use it with chicken, pork or shrimp. I hope you like this recipe; I thought it was a cute idea and believe me I thought of those little boys while eating the different shaped dines. Now what am I going to do with all those Goldfish and juice boxes I bought?

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Entree/ Pasta/ Poultry

King Ranch Pasta

Who doesn’t like the flavors of King Ranch!

I’ve always thought I made absolutely the best King Ranch casserole out there.

When we first moved to Texas and I started catering for some of the local companies and I had request for King Ranch casserole. I’d never heard of King Ranch casserole and didn’t realize that it was named after one of the largest ranches in the world and it’s here in Texas.

So, I set about trying to find what I thought would be the perfect recipe. I never found just one and ended up merging several recipes together to come up with what I thought was the perfect sauce. The addition of spices and spinach to the sauce makes this a favorite with King Ranch lovers.

My family never liked casseroles and I cannot believe that in 20 years of catering, I never made the casserole for my family.

I’ve decided to turn my casserole into King Ranch Pasta. NOT a casserole but a creamy mixture of chicken, spices and sauce mixed with pasta and baked in an oven for 30 minutes. If you want to make the casserole with tortilla, see below for those instructions.

Since Thanksgiving is fast approaching, think of this recipe when you have a lot of left over turkey staring back at you from the refrigerator.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Souffled French Onion Soup — If you love French Onion Soup you will love this one topped with a cheese soufflé. Believe it or not, the soufflé does not fall while you are eating the soup.

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Entree/ Poultry

Chicken Fingers from Mitzi’s

Who doesn’t love chicken fingers and with a dipping sauce –  just incredible.

So you want to know who Mitzi is. Well I have no idea but I came across a recipe in Saveur magazine not long ago and it was from Mitzi’s Restaurant in Winnipeg, Canada. Now I might just have to go up there sometime and try these in person.

Don’t you just love it when a restaurant has a favorite menu item that all the locals and visiting tourist rave about and then they ACTUALLY share that recipe. I can’t say I was into sharing recipes when I catered because I really didn’t want anyone being able to make some of the things I did for parties. BUT, I have a new lease on things and that is, why not share them and then people may pass my blog on to other friends and family members .

Mitzi’s is a 33 year old Chinese restaurant and I read that they added the chicken fingers to the menu in 1988 for the kids. Do you remember the chicken nuggets we use to buy for our kids. I’ve seen dinosaurs shaped, stars, teddy bears, and even one nugget shaped liked George Washington that went for $8,100 in an auction (came from a McDonald’s). I don’t know about you but anything that has a shape to it must have all kinds of stuff in it that we do not want to eat. I would bet any chicken fingers on a menu is going to be made of whole chicken and no fillers or anything in there that we can’t pronounce. I really don’t think that can be said for any “nuggets” on the market.

If you want to recreate the excitement of eating a chicken nugget or fingers or even want a good finger licking piece of chicken, try this recipe and then thank Mitzi’s for sharing it.

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Entree/ Poultry

French Country Roasted Chicken


We always love watching the Tour de France every year and after watching it just a few days I found myself laying around the pool day dreaming. I have the best day dreams and in this particular dream I was in France and I’m in a little convertible taking in beautiful panoramic views on roads clinging to the sides of cliffs. It’s so beautiful I can hardly breath. Of course there’s a picnic basket in back seat full of wines, pates, sausages, some smoked salmon, cheeses, fruits and some chocolate for dessert.  (Hey, it’s my day dream so I can put whatever I want in that basket.) We (I guess I included my husband in this daydream) stopped at this quaint little restaurant and had the most delicious roasted chicken along with several glasses of their best wine.

Suddenly I wake up to this heavenly aroma waifing in my direction and realize that the passenger in my cute little car dream is smoking this delicious meal on his new Kamado smoker. And, he’s heading my direction with a glass of wine.

Oh, well. Goodbye France, see you in my dreams or maybe in person some day. I’m going to go create my own little bistro setting and enjoy a dinner that I did not have to cook and watch some more of the Tour de France.

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Entree/ Poultry

Stacked Green Chili & Grilled Chicken Enchiladas

Talk about stacked!

Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakesand Bunnee of Anna+Foodhave chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on and written by Robb Walsh.

This is another “cooks” challenge from  Even though I sometimes feel like we eat nothing but Mexican food here in Texas, I can honestly say I have never made enchiladas or stacked enchiladas before.

For about the first 18 years of living in Texas we pretty much had a standing Friday night date with a Mexican restaurant. In fact, we went exclusively to just one restaurant for most of those years. The waiters knew us, the owners knew us and we pretty much knew what we were going to order before we even got there. JUMBO margaritas were also the first words out of our mouths. And we knew before the night was over, someone would be celebrating a birthday, get the BIG hat, and then get a plate full of whipped cream pushed in their face and a picture made to commemorate the event.

These days we have given up the weekly fix for Mexican food and we are making fresh margaritas instead of making them from a mix or limeade as we had done for years.

I liked making these enchiladas in my individual salad/pasta bowls. Each person had their own serving dish and it made for easier serving.

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