Parmesan Chicken

4 Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1¼ lbs.)
½ c Real Mayo
1 Clove Garlic
¼ c Parmesan Cheese
Seasoned croutons, crushed (I like Caesar croutons for this)
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. Mix mayo, garlic, & cheese well
  3. Coat chicken in mayo mix
  4. Roll in crushed croutons
  5. Bake 20 minutes until cooked through

*FLAVOR FAVORITE - I serve this with a side of spaghetti or pasta with Farmer's Market Sauce*

Ground Beef Stroganoccili

1 pound Ground Beef
1 tablespoon Flour
1 cup Beef broth (or water)
1 packet Onion Soup & Dip Mix (I use Lipton brand)
1 cup Sour Cream
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup Broccoli Florets (frozen or fresh)

  1. Brown the hamburger.
  2. Scoot hamburger to the sides & brown the flour in the oil that pools in the center.
  3. Add beef broth & Onion soup. Stir until smooth.
  4. Mix in Sour cream & soup.
  5. Add broccoli & stir until broccoli is thawed (or cooked)
  6. Serve over pasta!

Sweet & Sour Chicken

2-3 pounds chicken breast, cubed or cut in strips
2 T Olive Oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pkg. onion soup mix (I like Lipton brand the best)
12 oz orange marmalade, peach preserves, or apricot preserves
8 oz Russian or Catalina dressing
2 green onions, sliced

1. Pan fry the chicken in the oil & garlic.
2. Mix together the soup mix, marmalade, & dressing.
3. pour dressing over chicken & heat through.
4. Top with sliced green onions & serve over rice.

*FLAVOR FAVORITE - Cook rice in beef broth & add frozen stir-fry veggies*

~~In a pinch I have used orange juice mixed with a bit of cornstarch instead of the jam. Your sauce may need a bit of sugar, but it will still be yummy!~~

Chili Cheeserittos

1(6oz) can tomato paste
3 cups water
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon minced dried onions
1 can of refried beans
2 c prepared rice
2 lb of shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Mix ingredients for the chili sauce together in a saucepan.
  2. Simmer over medium heat until needed
  3. Mix the beans, rice, & cheese together.
  4. Put a large dollop of bean mixture on each tortilla & top with a ladle of chili sauce.
  5. Heat in oven or microwave until cheese is just melty
  6. Eat! Yum!

Treva's Oriental Hamburger Bake

1.5 lb hamburger
1 Onion, chopped
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 soup can of Minute Rice, uncooked
3/4 soup can of water
LaChoy noodles

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Brown Hamburger and onion together.
  3. Combine all ingredients except LaChoy noodles in casserole dish
  4. Cover & bake for 1 hour
  5. Serve with LaChoy noodles.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 14 oz. Can Chicken (you could also use a boiled, shredded chicken breast)
½ T Chili Powder
¼ t Cayenne Pepper
1 T Parsley
2 T Brown Sugar
¼ t Black Pepper
¼ t cumin
1 Can Chopped Green Chili (4.5 oz)
½ Onion, chopped

6 c water
2 T Chicken Bouillon granules
1 Carrot, chopped
1 Stalk Celery, chopped

6 Tortillas (6-inch)
Vegetable Oil
Shredded Cheese (Chihuahua, mozzarella, or cheddar)

  1. Sauté first nine ingredients until onion is translucent (add oil if desired, but not usually necessary).
  2. Add second four of ingredients and bring to a boil for about 20 minutes.
  3. Heat oil over medium heat & fry tortillas on both sides.
  4. Divide soup into bowls & top with hot tortilla & shredded cheese.

Mom's Chili Con Carne

1 pound Hamburger
1 onion, chopped
1/2 c mild chili powder
1 can petite diced tomatoes
48 ounce jar Great Northern Beans

  1. Fry hamburger & onion together
  2. Stir in chili powder, tomatoes, & beans.
  3. Simmer 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
  4. Serve with warm tortillas.

*FLAVOR FAVORITE - stir in grated cheese until melted*

Corn Syrup Substitute

Maybe you're trying to avoid all that corn syrup stuff, or maybe you're simply out of the stuff. Either way, give this little recipe a try to whip up a good substitute for just waht you need.

1 1/4 c sugar
1/4 c water

  1. Heat sugar & water in a small saucepan until sugar is completely dissolved & appears clear rather than white or milky.
  2. Raise heat to a simmer for about 3 minutes or until syrup is somewhere between "thread" stage and "soft ball" stage. You can use the "Cold Water Test" to tell when it has reached the soft ball stage.

Cold Water Test
  1. Fill a glass with cold, but not icy, water.
  2. Spoon a few drops of the syrup into the water.
  3. Form the drops into a ball using your fingers.
  4. Remove the ball from the water, if it flattens & runs off your finger, it is just about right.  If it simpy mixes with the water & cannot be formed or lifted, cook the syup a bit longer.

Perfect Pie Crust FAST

I use the word "perfect" loosely to describe this pie crust. It won't peel apart into yummy, flaky layers like your Grandmother's did, but it also won't make your hair turn grey in the process. AND it is so delicious that I can flatten & cook the leftovers & serve them as a treat with cinnamon sugar!

This recipe makes two pie crusts. If you're not making a double crust pie, slip half of the dough into a freezer bag, press all of the air out, & save it for later. It freezes very well!

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 t salt (omit if using salted butter)
2 T sugar (omit if making dough for savory or meat fillings)
1 1/2 sticks butter chopped into pieces
1/2 c Crisco
1/4 c vodka (use the good stuff, Absolut at least, and don't worry, the alcohol bakes out)
1/4 c water, very cold

  1. Mix half the flour & the rest of the dry ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Add in the butter & shortening & process until it's well mixed.
  3. Add the rest of the flour & process until incorporated (it doesn't have to be coated with butter, just mixed in)
  4. Dump the flour mixture into a large bowl, add the water & vodka and mix until it is all moistened & there aren't any pools of liquid left. The dough will be sticky.
  5. Divide the dough into two even pieces.
  6. Place each ball between pieces of parchment & press or roll out to the desired size.
  7. Remove one piece of parchment from the crust.
  8. Position the crust in your pan, parchment side up, then peel off the other piece of parchment.
  9. Fill crust with filling & use the method above to place the top crust.

Self-rising Flour Substitute

I usually have this flour on had, but it tend to be very old & not terribly useful anymore. Fortunately, there's an easy substitute.

  1. Measure one level cup all-purpose flour.
  2. Remove 2 teaspoons flour.
  3. Add 1 1/2 t baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  4. Mix well.

Baking Powder Substitute

Inevitably, you will run out of baking powder at the height of baking season. Usually the night before Thanksgiving or on Christmas day when it is really impractical to go out for such a tiny thing. How do you cope?

For each teaspoon of Baking Powder required, substitute 1/4 teaspoons baking soda mixed well with 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar.

For each tablespoon of Baking Powder required, substitute 3/4 teaspoons baking soda mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar.


When you are baking rice dishes or casseroles, minute rice is really necessary if you don't want to have crunchy bits of inedible rice in your meal. But I hate the texture of minute rice & I refuse to buy it, so what do I do?

Minute rice is just partially cooked rice, so all you have to do is partially cook your rice before adding it to your recipe. Here's what to do:

  1. Mix your rice together with twice as much hot water in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
  3. Simmer rice for 7 minutes or half the time required to fully cook the rice.
  4. Drain well & use as a one-for-one substitute for minute rice. (If your recipe calls for 3/4 cup in cooked minute rice, use 3/4 cup partially cooked regular rice.)

Cake Flour Substitution

If you are like me, you have tons of all-purpose flour, but your recipe calls for something else. Well, never fear, The Dinner Babe is here!

To make 2 cups cake flour, sift together:
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c cornstarch

To make 1 cup cake flour:
  1. Measure 1 cup all purpose flour.
  2. Remove 2 tablespoons flour.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
  4. Sift together.

To make 1/2 cup cake flour:
  1. Measure 1/2 c all-purpose flour.
  2. Remove 1 level tablespoon flour.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
  4. Sift together.

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

1 1/2 pounds Chicken Breast
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup White Wine
1 cup Chicken Broth

1 stick Butter
2 cloves Garlic
2 cups Heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated or crumbled

1 Box Fettuccine or other pasta (12 ounces)

  1. Brown chicken in olive oil
  2. Add wine & broth, simmer covered until done (10-15 minutes)
  3. In a separate pan, melt butter & warm garlic (DO NOT brown garlic. It will get bitter)
  4. Add cream & pepper.
  5. Bring to a simmer - do not boil.
  6. Add Cheese & simmer until slightly thickened ( 7-8 minutes)
  7. Remove chicken from pan, slice, & lay on a bed of pasta.
  8. Top with cheese sauce & enjoy!

Pizza Casserole

1 pound ground beef
4 cloves garlic - chopped
1 onion - chopped
1/2 t salt
1/2 t sage
1/4 t brown sugar
1/4 t pepper
dash ginger
dash ground anise

4 oz pepperoni - chopped
1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes - drained
1 c shredded mozzarella
  1. Brown beef with the garlic, onion, salt, sage, brown sugar, pepper, ginger, & anise
  2. Add the chopped pepperoni to the pan & heat through
  3. Place meat mix in a baking dish & top with the tomatoes then the cheese
  4. Pop in the oven until the cheese is brown & melty
  5. Enjoy with crackers or chips!

My First Post

So, my friend Deann just posted a great recipe for brownies on her blog. She's a stay-at-home mom, & I remember that she always had something good cooking (my daughter used to go over to her house to get a snack)! At the time I really envied her abilities, & now that I get to stay home with my little ones, I expend a great deal of effort getting wonderful meals around for my husband & kids (okay, so sometimes they're not all that great, but I do try hard). Always looking for dinner ideas myself, I thought I would share with you all what I make for dinner. Eat & Enjoy!