Archive for September, 2009

Apple Sour Cream Bundt Cake
Apple Sour Cream Bundt Cake


1/2 cup nuts, finely chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 medium apples, peeled and sliced thinly

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup sour cream

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt


COMBINE nuts, cinnamon and brown sugar.

BEAT sugar and butter or margarine until fluffy. Add sour cream, eggs, flour, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla and salt and beat well.

SPREAD half the batter in a greased and floured Bundt cake pan.

SPRINKLE with a third of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

LAYER apples on top of mixture.

SPRINKLE another third of the sugar and cinnamon mixture on top of apples.

SPREAD remaining batter evenly on top of apples and sugar mixture.

SPRINKLE with remaining sugar mixture.

BAKE at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until pick comes out clean when inserted in middle.

COOL for 10 to 15 minutes.

LOOSEN edges with knife.

PLACE cake plate on top of pan, and carefully invert, turning the cake onto the pan.

This recipe found here: Apple Sour Cream Bundt Cake

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twice baked potato
Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes


4 medium russet potatoes
8 ounces 90%-lean ground beef
1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
1 cup water
1 cup reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 scallions, sliced


Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Place in the microwave and cook at 50% power, turning once or twice, until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. (Or, use the “potato setting” on your microwave and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.)

Meanwhile, brown meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Increase heat to high, add broccoli and water to the skillet, cover, and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the broccoli; add to the meat.

Carefully cut off the top third of the cooked potatoes; reserve the tops for another use. Scoop the insides out into a medium bowl. Place the potato shells in a small baking dish. Add 1/2 cup Cheddar, sour cream, salt and pepper to the potato insides and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add scallions and the potato mixture to the broccoli and meat; stir to combine.

Evenly divide the potato mixture among the potato shells and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Microwave on high until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes.

Vegetarian variation: Replace the ground beef with a soy-based substitute or omit the beef altogether and increase the broccoli to 1 1/2 cups and the cheese to 1 1/4 cups.

This recipe found here: Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes

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baked chicken pastina

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina


* 1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
* 1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
* 1 cup shredded mozzarella
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup bread crumbs
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
* 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Recipe found here: Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

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Barbecue Chicken

Barbecue Chicken


* 2 chickens (or 4 whole bone-in chicken breasts) halved lengthwise
* 1 1/2 cups Italian dressing, recipe follows
* 1/4 cup Neelys Barbecue Seasoning, recipe follows
* 1 cup Neelys Barbecue Sauce, recipe follows


Rinse chicken halves in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken in a large bowl or baking dish, coat with Italian dressing and evenly season with Neelys seasoning. For best results, allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

If Cooking Inside:

Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and brush chicken with Neelys Barbeque Sauce.

Place into a preheated 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes.

If Grilling Outside:

Thirty minutes before you’re ready to cook, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat the grill to a medium temperature, about 275 degrees F preferably over hickory and charcoal.

Place the chicken halves on grill, meat side down. Cover grill and cook for about 50 minutes. Flip chicken over and let it brown until the chicken becomes golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. The wing and the drumstick should become very tender and will easily pull away at the joints. Brush the chicken with Neelys Barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Neely Italian Dressing:

* 2 tablespoons ground mustard
* 2 garlic cloves, smashed
* 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 2 tablespoons Neelys Barbecue Seasoning
* 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
* 1 cup canola oil
* Salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, except the oil and salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Neelys BBQ Seasoning:

* 1 1/2 cups paprika
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 3 3/4 tablespoons onion powder

Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until combined. Keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Neelys BBQ Sauce

* 2 cups ketchup
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
* 5 tablespoons light brown sugar
* 5 tablespoons sugar
* 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
* 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
* 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups

Recipe found here: Neely’s Barbecue Chicken

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pasta salad

Pasta Salad

Pasta, your choice (ravioli, corkscrew, tortellini, etc.)

VEGETABLES (your choice, any or all) :
Fresh or marinated mushrooms
Marinated artichoke hearts
Black olives
Sweet pickles
Green onions
Red Bermuda onions
Snow peas
Red peppers, either fresh or roasted
Green beans
Small baby corn

MEATS (your choice) :
Salami, cut into thin strips
Ham, cubed into sm. pieces
Turkey or chicken, cubed into bite size pieces
Italian or your favorite kind of sausage, cooked and cut into sm. pieces

CHEESE (your choice) :
Swiss or Cheddar or Monterey Jack or whatever you like
1 bottle Ranch style creamy dressing or make your own from the dry packet
Parmesan cheese to taste (optional)

Cook your choice of pasta until al dente and drain. Put into a large bowl that will hold everything. Sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese and about half the bottle of Ranch-style dressing. Throw in a little mayonnaise (don’t you love the measurements!!) to your taste. Blanch in hot boiling water for 1 minute, all the fresh vegetables (such as snow peas or broccoli or green beans or asparagus) so that they have a beautiful green color. Combine all the other vegetables of your choice and mix them in with the pasta. Add the meat and/or cheese and mix again, trying not to mash up the pasta (use a gentle, folding motion).

Your end result is a pasta salad, served room temperature or cold, great for picnics and buffets, large crowds. Wonderful in the summertime when you don’t feel much like cooking.

By the way, you can add the entire bottle of Ranch-style dressing if you like, it all depends on how big of a salad you are making. What you don’t want is a soupy mess, so keep the proportions small enough so that you have a thick sauce-type consistency enrobing the pasta and vegetables.

I call this “clean-out-the-refrigerator” pasta salad, as it’s a great way to use up all those odds and ends that lurk about your refrigerator. You are limited only by your creativity in whatever combinations you choose!

Recipe found here: Pasta Salad

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