Friday, November 30, 2007

Buffalo Chicken Dip

My daughter-in-law, Emily, brought a variation of this over on Thanksgiving as an appetizer. She served it with tortilla scoop chips. It is delicious!

2 cups - cooked chicken, diced or chopped
1/4 cup hot sauce (or to taste)
12-18 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat Oven: 350°

In a large bowl combine: chicken, hot sauce, cream cheese, dressing and ½ of the shredded cheese. (Adjust the amounts of hot sauce and/or cream cheese to make the dip mild, medium or hot per your own taste.)

Pour mixture into a greased baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake at 350º F for 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips and/or bite-size raw vegetables

Veggie Pizza Appetizer

This recipe has been around forever, but sometimes it's good to resurrect these old tried and true ones. I got this from a friend after we attended a weekend retreat together many years ago. Through the years I have tweaked it a bit, changing the main ingredients to low fat varieties when available. Here are the basics.

1 - (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 - (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 and 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 - teaspoon dill weed (fresh or dried)
2 - cups assorted fresh vegetables, chopped (any combination of broccoli, green onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, sliced black olives, or whatever you like)
2 - Tablespoons of shredded parmesan, cheddar or mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

Unroll crescent rolls and place on large baking pan.
Press seam lines to seal.
Brush top of layer with an egg wash (an egg yolk mixed with a teaspoon of water)
Bake 10-12 minutes until light brown.
Cool completely.

Combine remaining ingredients except vegetables; mix well.
Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over top of crust.
Sprinkle chopped vegetables over top of crust.
Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of vegetable layer.
Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to one day ahead.
Cut into small squares for serving.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


This is my Mom's chili recipe. If you prefer a hotter, spicier chili, use hot (instead of mild) beans and extra chili powder. On cold wintry nights it really warms you up. Serve with crusty bread.

3-stalks of celery cut into thin slices
1-large onion, chopped
2-pounds of lean ground beef
2-cans Brooks mild chili beans
2-medium size cans tomato sauce (about 15 ounces)
2-beef bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1-Tablespoon sugar

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray. Place onions and celery in frying pan and saute over medium heat until translucent. Add ground beef, sprinkle with teaspoon of salt and cook until meat is browned. Drain fat from the pan. Transfer cooked meat, onions and celery to a soup pot. Add beans, bouillon, chili powder, sugar and tomato sauce. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer (covered) for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, to avoid sticking.

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

This dip is very popular at holiday parties. Serve bagel chips or bruschette (small toast rounds) for dipping. The bacon may be omitted, to make it a vegetarian dish.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

8- slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1- ten ounce package of frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
1- fourteen ounce can quartered marinated artichoke hearts (drained)
1- five ounce container garlic herb-flavored cheese spread
1- cup shredded parmesan cheese
1-eight ounce container sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Place crumbled bacon in a medium bowl. Add spinach, artichokes, cheese spread, parmesan cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise and mix well. Spoon mixture into a medium casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Souper Dip

I promised Drew that I'd post this recipe. It's a tasty hot dip recipe that my friend Joanna gave me many years ago. It makes a lot, so if you are preparing for a small group, you might want to half this recipe. When I make it I use small crocks (like onion soup is served in) to bake it in, but it can be baked in any casserole (or 2). Allow room at the top of the dish for expansion during baking, so that it doesn't overflow.

Preheat oven to 350.

2 pounds of bulk sausage (original Bob Evans works well)
2 pounds of Velveeta (cut into cubes)
1 package of dry onion soup
8 ounces of cream cheese
1/2 cup of white wine (optional)
1 medium can of chopped tomatoes
1 pinch of oregano
1 pinch of chili powder

Brown sausage in a large frying pan, over medium heat, until cooked and crumbled. Drain fat from the pan. Lower heat and add cubed Velveeta to the pan. As the cheese melts, stir in the remaining ingredients until all the cheese has melted and the mixture is well-combined. Spoon into 2 two quart casserole dishes (or 4-6 small crocks), lightly sprayed with Pam. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pork Tenderloin in a Teriyaki Sauce

Pork tenderloin is very lean and tender. Even though the tenderloin is a small piece of meat, a little goes a long way, because there is no waste and very little shrinkage during cooking. The glaze used in this recipe has a very good flavor. I fixed this for dinner last Sunday and it was a big hit. Serve with caramelized onions, baked potatoes and fresh green beans.

1/3 cup honey
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 pork tenderloins (about 3/4 lb. each)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Mix first five ingredients
3. Place tenderloins in roasting pan, cover and roast for 15 minutes
4. Remove from oven, pour glaze over the meat
5. Reduce oven temperature to 350 and continue roasting (basting every 10 minutes), uncovered until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees - about 35 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest 25 minutes before slicing.

Friday, October 12, 2007

24 Hour Layered Salad

This salad is my favorite for family get-togethers. It is supposed to be refrigerated for 24 hours before serving, to allow all the flavors to meld, but it's not necessary to wait that long if you get a late start. This makes enough for 10 - 12 people. Here is what goes into it.

In a 9" x 13" pan, layer

1 small head of iceberg lettuce torn into bite-size pieces
1 small cauliflower, also cut into bite-size pieces (use just the florets)
2 cups of Hellmans' mayonnaise ("frost" it over the first 2 layers)
2-3 onions, chopped fine
2/3 - 1/2 cup of shredded or grated parmesan cheese
1 pound of cooked, crumbled bacon

After all is layered in the pan, cover tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours

Chicken Marinade

This chicken marinade really gives a good flavor to chicken, as well as tenderizing it.

1 cup water
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
dash of garlic powder

I usually put all the ingredients in a gallon size ziploc bag, add the chicken and refrigerate overnight. This recipe makes enough to cover about 2-3 boneless breasts.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Chicken Breasts in Cream Sauce

This chicken recipe tastes delicious when baked slowly in a 300 - 325 degree oven. The meat gets very tender. Put all the ingredients in a 9" x 13" pan, cover with foil, and forget about it for a couple of hours. The cream sauce becomes an easy gravy for mashed potatoes, noodles, or whatever you choose to serve as a side with the chicken.

6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Packages of sliced dried beef (prepackaged in the deli section of your grocery)
8-10 Slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 Can of cream of mushroom soup
2 Cups of dairy sour cream
1/3 Cup of dry white wine (optional)

If the chicken breasts are large, cut into single serving portions (about the size of the palm of your hand). Spray your baking pan with Pam. In a medium bowl combine the mushroom soup, sour cream and wine. Line a single layer of the dried beef slices along the bottom of your baking dish. Place the chicken on top of the dried beef. Pour the sour cream mixture over the chicken. Sprinkle crumbled bacon, generously, on top of the sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 300-325 oven for 2 hours. Remove foil and continue to bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes until slightly brown around the edges.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Gerry's Rutabaga & Carrots

Rutabaga (sometimes called yellow turnip) is one of my favorite vegetables. It has a peculiar look (roundish in shape and rock hard) and a unique, slightly bitter, taste. In this area, rutabagas are only available through the fall and winter months. Aside from being delicious, it is low in calories and high in dietary fiber, calcium and potassium. This recipe, developed by my cousin Gerry, combines the natural sweetness of carrots with the rutabaga and the outcome is excellent. This recipe serves 8-10.

2 pounds carrots
2 pounds rutabaga
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh dill

Pare and cube rutabaga. Peel and chop carrots into chunks.
Boil carrots and rutabaga for 30 minutes or until done.
Mash together with remaining ingredients.
Garnish with additional fresh dill, if desired.
May be prepared a day ahead and reheated in the microwave.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Caramelized Chicken

This chicken recipe is very flavorful and always popular. Keep a lot of wetnaps handy, because the sauce is pretty sticky.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

3-4 pounds of chicken (boneless breasts or whatever your preference)
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of soy sauce
2 Tablespoons of ketchup
1 cup of honey
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the olive oil, soy sauce, ketchup, honey and garlic in a medium size bowl. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and place in a 9 x 13 pan. Pour the olive oil mixture over the chicken. Bake for 2 hours in the preheated 325 degree oven. Cover with foil for the first hour of baking. Remove foil and continue baking until the chicken is caramelized. After the chicken is baked, the residual sauce in the pan may be poured over the chicken on the serving platter.

Potato & Sour Cream Casserole

This is my Mom's recipe. It always tastes best when she fixes it, but it doesn't keep me from trying my hand at it. There are many variations of this potato dish (sometimes called 'funeral potatoes' for their prevalence at church suppers!), but this one is my favorite.

1 two pound package of frozen hash browns, thawed
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
3 Tablespoons of butter, cut up (optional)
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (average size; I use Campbell's)
1/3 cup of milk
1 pint of dairy sour cream
1/2 cup of chopped onions
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 cup of crushed potato chips or corn flakes
3 Tablespoons of melted butter

In a large mixing bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. Spread in a lightly sprayed 9" x 13" pan, or an oven-friendly large frying pan (like Calphalon brand). Sprinkle the crushed potato chips over the top and drizzle the melted butter over all. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour in a 350 degree oven. I cover it for the first 35 minutes of baking. This recipe goes well with the caramelized chicken recipe that will be posted next.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Easy Shortbread Dessert

This recipe makes a delicious dessert when you don't have much time or many ingredients in the house. Essentially, you only need butter, sugar, flour and a medium size jar of jam/preserves to complete this one. The result is a rich crumbly dessert bar that is fine by itself, or can be served with a scoop of ice cream or sorbet. I like to make these with apricot or peach jam and then serve with peach ice cream, or use raspberry jam and serve with a scoop of raspberry sorbet. Whatever combination you choose, here's the recipe.

1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks) of butter, softened
4 cups of flour
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 eighteen ounce jar of apricot jam or preserves (or the fruit flavor of your choice)

With an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour and continue mixing until well-combined, but crumbly. Place 2/3 of this mixture, evenly, into a 9x13 ungreased baking dish. Press it down firmly with your hands to form a kind of crust. Spoon the jam all over the top of this layer, spreading gently (to about 1/4" of the edge), so as not to pull up the bottom layer. Sprinkle the remaining third of the crumbly dough over the jam layer. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until set. The top should not get brown. Allow to cool before cutting into bars/squares. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Summer Salad - Broccoli Slaw

Earlier this Summer I was visiting my cousin Kathy in Virginia. She served this delicious broccoli salad as part of her lunch buffet. It could easily be the main course for a summertime luncheon. It does just fine on its own but if you wanted a bit more substance,you could add some diced cooked chicken. Serve it with a basket of rolls and butter, add a tall glass of iced tea, and you're done!

16 ounce bag of broccoli slaw (near the bags of lettuce)
1 cup toasted slivered almonds
4 oz sunflower seeds
4 scallions, sliced
1 package ramen noodles, crushed (save the seasoning packet for another time)

4 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
4 TBSP rice wine vinegar
4 TBSP salad oil
2-3 TBSP sesame oil
2-3 TBSP soy sauce
Combine dressing ingredients.
Toss with the rest of ingredients shortly before serving.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Summertime Dessert/Ice cream sandwiches all dressed up

This dessert is a nice and easy summertime treat. Ice cream sandwiches are layered in a 9x13 pan and are almost unidentifiable when this dish comes together into an elegant frozen dessert. Keep in mind that, because you are working with ice cream, you'll have to work quickly assembling this dessert. Here's what you'll need.

19 full size frozen ice cream sandwiches
3/4 cup of peanut butter (any variety)
16 oz. can of chocolate syrup or fudge sauce
1 cup of salted peanuts
12 oz. thawed Cool Whip (regular,light or fat free)

Heat chocolate syrup in the microwave for about one and a half minutes, or in a saucepan until hot. Do not boil. Remove from heat source and add peanut butter. Stir until combined. Cool to room temperature.

Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with 9 and 1/2 frozen ice cream sandwiches. Arrange to form an even bottom layer. Spread 1/2 of the cool whip over the sandwich layer. Drizzle or spoon 1/2 of the syrup/peanut butter mixture over the cool whip. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the peanuts. Repeat with the next layer of i.c. sandwiches, Cool Whip, syrup mixture and peanuts. Cover with saran wrap and place in the freezer for at least two hours. When ready to serve, cut (while frozen hard) into 3" squares.

If you prefer pecans and butterscotch to peanuts and peanut butter, this recipe easily adapts. Replace the peanut butter with butterscotch topping and the peanuts with chopped pecans. I have made it both ways and it is always enjoyed on a warm summer day. This recipe serves 12. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Chicken and Biscuits Casserole

This is a tasty dish that can come together quickly, when you need something in a hurry. It also lends itself to a lot of variation. You can add some broccoli, green pepper or other vegetables to it, making it a one dish meal. Or, on a Lenten Friday, you might switch out the chicken for a couple of cans of tuna fish and use just mushroom soup. I'll post the basic recipe here, but have fun with it!

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of butter/or a coating spray such as Pam

  • 5-6 cups of chopped, cooked chicken

  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup (10 and 3/4 ounce size)

  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup (same size)

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of sour cream (may use lowfat if desired)

  • 3/4 cup of milk

  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar (mild or sharp)

  • 8 prepared large flaky biscuits (Pillsbury Grand work well)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 13 pan/baking dish (or comparable size).

  2. Heat butter in a small skillet over medium heat until melted. Stir in chopped onion and saute until translucent.

  3. Combine the onion, soups, sour cream and milk in a large bowl and mix well. Add the chopped chicken and stir until coated.

  4. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

  5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with one cup of the shredded cheddar. Arrange biscuits in a single layer over the top. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the biscuits.

  6. Return to oven for another 20 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown and the cheese has melted.

Serve with a side salad, cranberry sauce, and perhaps a cooked vegetable. This is comfort food at its best. This recipe serves 6-8.

Tip: If you are in a time crunch and/or don't have leftover chicken to use, Tysons and other companies sell pre-packaged cooked, chopped chicken that is available in the deli department of your local grocery.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday Morning Blueberry Muffins

These blueberry muffins are so good that you'll want make enough on Sunday morning to last all week. The ingredients are easily doubled. They freeze really well, too.

Muffin Ingredients:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of flour
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of milk (approximately)
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
Topping Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1/4 cup of butter, cut up
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
Muffin Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin pans with muffin paper liners.
2. Combine dry muffin ingredients - 1 and 1/2 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
3. Place the 1/3 cup of vegetable oil in a 1 cup measuring cup, add the egg, and enough milk to fill the cup.
4. Mix the liquid mixture with the combined dry ingredients just until blended (do this by hand, with a spoon, not with a mixer).
5. Gently fold the blueberries into the mixture.
6. Fill the muffin cups right to the top.

Topping directions
Combine the 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of flour, 1/4 cup of butter, and the cinnamon in a small food processor and pulse for about 20 seconds, until crumbly. (If a food processor is not available you can accomplish this by placing all ingredients in a bowl and running a couple of knives through it, until it resembles coarse crumbs.)

Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of the topping mixture on each muffin, before baking.

Bake muffins for 22-25 minutes in the preheated oven. When done, they'll be golden brown and the blueberries will be runny.

To test for doneness, you may insert a toothpick in the middle of a muffin, while the pan is still in the oven. When you pull it out, it should be clean of any batter.

This recipe makes 12 good size muffins.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Cherry Season

Many thanks to Ryan for the invitation to help maintain Jesuit Recipes. I look forward to contributing some tried and true recipes that are favorites with my family. Because Ryan first mentioned the idea to me in December, 2006, and it is now late June, 2007, I won't waste even more time with small talk and background information. Briefly, my name is Loretta and my son Drew, also a Jesuit Scholastic, is a friend and classmate of Ryan's. Although he has given me his blessing to do this, I sense that the thought of his mother- out there among the bloggers- gives Drew pause. Understood, no sharing of cute childhood stories. So, without further delay...

It's cherry season here in Ohio so I'm posting two dessert recipes that are annual favorites, cherry tarts and cherry cobbler. The tarts are kind of ambitious, and take a little time to create. If you are looking for something simpler, but equally good, scroll down to the cobbler recipe. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream - heavenly.

Individual Cherry Tarts

(This recipe makes approximately 36 small tarts. If you want fewer, the ingredients for both filling and crusts can be cut in half)

Filling ingredients:
  • 6 cups of fresh pitted pie cherries (substitute 3 cans-about 15/16 ounces each-of unsweetened pie cherries if fresh are not available)

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup of corn starch

  • dash of salt

  • 2 Tablespoons of butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract

  • 5 drops of red food coloring (optional)
Shortbread Crust ingredients:
  • 3 sticks (1 and 1/2 cups) of butter

  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar

  • 3 cups of flour

Mixing Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare the tart crusts first before the filling.

Cream the butter and powdered sugar (add slowly, or you'll find yourself in a cloud of dust) with electric mixer until well-blended. Gradually add the three cups of flour until completely combined and the dough is sticking to itself and forming a ball in the bowl. With your hands, shape the dough into a ball and cut in half. Wrap half the dough in saran wrap and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to shape it. Roll out the other half between two sheets of saran wrap to 1/4 to 1/8 thickness. Remove the top sheet of saran wrap and cut the dough with a 3" cookie cutter into approximately 18 circles. Repeat with the refrigerated dough. Lightly grease small (not mini) muffin/cupcake pans. Place one circle of pie crust into each prepared well of the pan and gently shape it to conform to the pan. Once this has been completed, place the muffin pans in the refrigerator until the filling is ready.

Filling preparation:

In a large saucepan combine granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add the cherries and whatever juice has accumulated from them. Stir and let rest for about 5 minutes. Stir again to make sure the dry ingredients have been completely mixed into the cherries, before turning on the heat under your pan. Heat cherry mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat slightly, and continue stirring, as it boils for a full minute. At this point, the liquid will have thickened and become translucent. Remove from heat and add almond extract, 2 Tablespoons of butter, and red food coloring (if desired).

Remove muffin tins with prepared crusts from the refrigerator and place about 2 Tablespoons of filling in each crust. This will vary, depending on the size pan you are using, just do not overfill, as the filling does rise a bit during baking. When all the crusts are filled, bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until filling and crust look "set". Because the crust is a shortbread crust, not your typical pie crust, it is not supposed to brown. It will be completely baked and still look very white. Keep an eye on them, you don't want them to turn brown. When they look done, remove from oven, but leave in the pan on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, place each tart on the cooling rack to cool completely, before serving. Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
These tarts can be wrapped and frozen for later use.

Cherry Cobbler

Preheat oven to 400.

  • 2 and 1/3 cups of Bisquick
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1Tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of melted butter

Mix all biscuit ingredients with a spoon until combined. Reserve until cherry mixture is prepared.


  • 4 cups of fresh pitted pie cherries

  • 1 and 1/4 cups of granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract

  • 3 Tablespoons of cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Mix sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a 2 quart saucepan. Stir in cherries and extract. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Continue to stir and allow to gently boil (reduce heat slightly, if necessary) for one minute. Pour into ungreased 2 quart casserole. Immediately drop 6 large spoonfuls of biscuit mixture onto hot cherries, forming six serving size portions.

Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool about half an hour before serving. Enjoy!

Let me know if anything is unclear about any of the recipes I post. Also, please always feel free to tweak the ingredients of my posts to suit your individual tastes. Thanks for reading!