©Life of a Foodie and Her Family 2008-2013, Lynn Tabor



Chicken Manicotti

Chicken Manicotti

1 jar (26 to 30 oz) spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup water
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 lb uncooked chicken tenders (not the breaded kind) I am subbing chicken breasts and will cut them to size
14 uncooked manicotti shells (8 oz box)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
chopped fresh basil if desired

Heat oven to 350

In a bowl mix spaghetti sauce and water. Spread about 1/3 of the sauce in an ungreased 13x9 baking dish.

Sprinkle garlic powder on chicken. Insert chicken into the uncooked manicotti shells, suffing from each end of shell to fill if necessary. Place shells on the spaghetti sauce in the baking dish. Pour remaining sauce evenly over the shells, covering completely. Cover tightly with foil.

Bake about and hour or until shells are tender. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Sprinkl with basil.


Baked Sesame Chicken

Baked Sesame Chicken

2 tbs soy sauce
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
2 tbs all purpose flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken (I used 3 and cut them in half)
2 tbs unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400

Place soy sauce in a dish. On a place, mix together the sesame seeds, flour, salt and pepper. Dip the chicken pieces in the soy sauce to coat, then dredge in the sesame seed mixture. Arrange in a baking dish, then drizzle with melted butter.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until chicken is done and juice run clear.

Baste with drippings once during the cooking time.

Sesame seeds before toasting

Nice and toasted to a light brown


Ready to go in the oven


All done and ready for dinner later, smells good!



Whole Wheat English Muffins

Whole Wheat English Muffins, from

Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Container: griddle or baking sheets
Servings: 12

1/4 cup warm water
1 package dry yeast (or 1 tablespoon)
2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more as needed
1 cup white flour, or use all whole wheat --muffins will be more dense
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (I like to warm the milk a bit in the microwave for 30 seconds)
3 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
1 egg
cornmeal as needed

Sprinkle yeast over warm (about 105° F. is ideal) water and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix flour(s) and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix milk, oil and honey. Add egg and stir until well blended. Stir in the yeast mixture.

Add liquid to about half of the dry ingredients and mix well, with a stand mixer or by hand. Mix in remaining dry ingredients. Dough will be soft and somewhat sticky.

Turn dough out onto floured work surface and knead for several minutes. If too sticky to knead, add flour, a tablespoon at a time.

Put dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let rise in a warm place (see TIP) until doubled in size. Rising time will depend on temperature; allow about 1 hour.
Turn risen dough out onto a work surface that has been liberally dusted with cornmeal and pat or roll to about 1/2" thick. Cut into approximately 3 inch rounds with a cookie cutter, tin can, or jar lid. If you wish, combine the scraps of dough into more muffins, handling as little as possible.

Cover the muffins with a towel and let rise for 20-30 minutes.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. Sprinkle with corn meal. Using a spatula, carefully transfer muffins to hot griddle. Cook about 5 minutes on each side, turn and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. Outsides should be golden brown and crusty, insides should be soft, but not gooey. You might need to sacrifice a muffin or two as doneness tests.

Remove to cooling rack as they finish cooking. Cook the rest in batches.

English muffins are traditionally split open with a fork, rather than cut, and then toasted, but they will be good however you do it.

TIP: To create a warm place for rising dough, microwave a glass of water for 2 minutes then put the bowl of dough into the microwave with the hot water. Heat from the water will provide an appropriate temperature--and the dough does not need to be covered, since it will not dry on the surface in this humid environment.

I am attempting to make the dough in my bread maker on the dough setting. I put all my wet ingredients in then the dry. Hopefully this works because I hate making bread by hand.


Dough is all done in the bread maker


Patted it out


All cut out and ready to rise


After 30 minutes they are nice and puffy


Close up


On my lovely new griddle!


Close up


All done!


Now doesn't this look yummy???


Of course I had to try one and they are GREAT!!! I have a feeling these will be a favorite and a whole lot better than any store bought muffin!


Life is better with chocolate

I felt the need to whip up something for dessert, so I grilled up some poundcake (make sure you butter it good!) added fresh Florida strawberries and made a thick ganache.


Chicken & Rice Casserole

1 (10.75 ounce) can Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/3 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice or brown rice
2 cups fresh or frozen vegetables
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground poultry seasoning
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
black pepper

Stir the soup, water, rice, vegetables and onion powder in a 12 x 8 inch shallow baking dish.

Top with chicken. Season chicken with black pepper. Cover.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes or until done. Top with cheese.



Pink Lemonade Spritzer, adult version

Pink Lemonade Spritzer, courtesy of Semi Homemade Magazine

Makes 6 servings

1/2 cup citron vodka
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
4 tbs Country Time pink lemonade mix
1 can (12 oz) lemon lime soda
Garnish: pink sanding sugar
8 cups of ice

In a large pitcher, combine vodka, pineapple juice and lemonade mix stirring well. Add lemon lime soda stirring well.

In a shallow dish, add a small amount of water or lemonade spritzer. In another small dish add the sanding sugar. Dip rims into the liquid mixture then into the sanding sugar to garnish if desired.

Divide between 6 glasses. Pour lemonade over ice and serve immediately.


Pink Lemonade Spritzer (kids version)

Pink Lemonade Spritzer, courtesy of Semi Homemade Magazine

Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
4 tbs Country Time pink lemonade mix
1 can (12 oz) lemon lime soda
Garnish: pink sanding sugar
8 cups of ice

In a large pitcher, combine pineapple juice and lemonade mix stirring well. Add lemon lime soda stirring well.

In a shallow dish, add a small amount of water or lemonade spritzer. In another small dish add the sanding sugar. Dip rims into the liquid mixture then into the sanding sugar to garnish if desired.

Divide between 6 glasses. Pour lemonade over ice and serve immediately.


Basic Pizza Dough (1 pound)

2/3 cups water
4 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 tbs dried italian herbs

Add water, oil, salt, bread flour, and yeast to bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough/manual cycle.

When cycle is complete, remove dough from machine to a lightly floured surface. If necessary, knead in enough flour to make dough easy to handle.

I actually doubled it so that we will have 2 pounds of dough.

We will be making pizza on the grill.

Monkey Bread with Frozen dough - with pictures

Monkey Bread with frozen bread dough

2 (1 pound) loaves of frozen white bread dough
1 cup sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1/4 cup 2% milk
1 tbs butter
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cooking spray

Thaw dough in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight.

Combine 1 cup sugar and the next four ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove sugar syrup from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Cut each loaf into 24 equal pieces (I think I cut them smaller).

Combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon in a shallow dish. Roll each piece of dough then layer dough in a bundt pan coated with cooking spray. I also added some pecans.

Pour sugar syrup over dough; cover and let rise in a warm place for 35 minutes or until doubled in size.

Place on cookie sheet (to catch drips). Cook uncovered at 350 for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Immediately place a serving plate upside down on the top of the pan and invert bread onto the plate.

Remove the pan and drizzle any remaining syrup over the bread.






Oh since it is Valentines day, I added some festive sprinkles.




Cheesy Beef Spirals

2 cups uncooked rotini
2 pounds ground beef
2 small onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jar spaghetti sauce (26 oz)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 pound velveeta, cubed
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile in a large sauce pan, cook the beef, onions and garlic over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place 1/2 cup of meat mixture in a greased shallow 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Drain pasta; place half over sauce. Top with half of the remaining meat sauce; spread with sour cream. Top with velveeta and remaining pasta and meat sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover; bake another 5 to 10 minutes longer until bubbly.


Sloppy Joe Casserole

Sloppy Joe Casserole

1 pound lean ground beef (at least 80%)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 can 15 oz tomato sauce
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 pouch (6.5 oz) betty Crocker cornbread/muffin mix
1/3 cup milk
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350.

In a skillet, cook the beef and onion over medium-high heat until beef is cook through. Drain then stir in tomato sauce, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce and mustard. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes stirring frequently until boiling. Keep warm

In a small bowl, stir cornbread mix, milk, oil and egg just until moistened. Batter will be lumpy.

Spoon HOT beef mixture into an 8 inch square glass baking dish.

Sprinkle with 3/4 cup of cheese.

Spoon cornbread batter evenly over top.

Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese over hot casserole.

UPDATE: 3 out of 4 loved it!



Turkey Fajita Wraps

Turkey Fajita Wraps

2 cups Thick & chunky salsa
2 large bell peppers (I used 1 red and 1 green) cut into long strips (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups frozen whole kernal corn
1 tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tbs fresh lime juice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 pounds turkey breast cutlets, cut into 4 inch long strips (I am subbing chicken)
16 flour tortillas (8 inch) warmed
Shredded mexican cheese blend

Stir the salsa, peppers, corn, chili powder, cumin, lime juice, garlic and turkey (or chicken) in a crock pot.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or until the turkey is cooked through. (or 3 to 4 hours on high)

Spoon about 1/2 cup of the turkey (or chicken) mixture down he center of each toritilla. Top with cheese. Fold the tortilla around the filling.


A fun look into my spice drawers

A fun look into my spice drawers, yes I actually have two kitchen drawers filled with spices. Is there some sort of support group for Spice-aholics? I just had to refresh a few jars since they were about empty.





Provolone Chicken

8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 slices provolone cheese, halved
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
10 3/4 fluid ounces white wine (I am subbing chicken stock unless I get my butt to the store)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 (16 ounce) package herb seasoned stuffing mix (not Stove Top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Arrange chicken breast halves in a single layer in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Top each breast half with a half slice of Provolone cheese.

In a medium bowl, blend cream of chicken soup and white wine. Pour over the chicken.
In a separate medium bowl, mix the butter and stuffing mix. Top the chicken with the stuffing mixture.

Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.


Herb Bread

Herb Bread recipe from Bread World

Makes 1 loaf. Do not make loaves larger than recommended by bread machine manufacturer. Use the 1-pound recipe if your bread machine pan holds 10 cups or less of water.

I used the 1.5 pound loaf.

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Water (70 to 80 degrees)
1-1/2 tablespoons butter softened
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups Bread Flour
2 tablespoons Dry Milk Powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1-1/2 teaspoons Bread Machine Yeast

Measure all ingredients into bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer.

Select basic/white bread cycle; medium/normal crust color setting.

Remove bread from pan; cool on wire rack.

Nutritional Information: Per Serving:Serving Size: 1 slice (1/12 of 1 1/2-lb recipe)calories 150; total fat 2g; saturated fat 1g; cholesterol 4mg; sodium 215mg; total carbohydrate 28g; dietary fiber 1g; protein 5g

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo (crockpot)

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo (crockpot version)

1/2 pound smoke sausage, sliced
1 cup onion chopped
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
8 cups water
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
dash of hot sauce
4 cups hot cooked rice
3/4 cup sliced green onions

Brown sausage, onion, and bell pepper in a skillet. Drain fat.

In the crockpot, combine sausage mixture, shredded chicken, water, flour, celery and seasonings.
Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.

Serve over rice and garnish with green onions

Makes 8 - 10 servings.

While putting this together a few minutes ago, I decided to use 4 cups of water and 4 cups of stock. (One box of Kitchen Basic Chicken stock)


Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan

1 pound chopped fresh broccoli
1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of broccoli soup
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Place the broccoli in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain.

Place the cooked broccoli in a 9 inch pie plate. Top with the chicken. In a bowl, mix the soup and milk, and pour over the chicken. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Mix the melted butter with the bread crumbs, and sprinkle over the cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly brown.

I usually double this recipe and make it in an 11x7 glass baking dish.


Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread

3 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch bundt pan.

Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix.

Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. If using nuts and raisins, arrange them in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.

In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes.

Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate.

Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

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