Friday, February 14, 2014

Moist Sour Cream Cookies

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes per baking sheet
Yield: 3 dozen
Rating: 7.5/10

1/2 c margarine
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c sour cream

2 3/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Combine margarine and sugar until fluffy.  Incorporate eggs, one at a time.  Add sour cream.  

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Slowly mix into margarine mixture.

Drop by golf ball-sized spoonfuls onto a parchment-covered baking sheet, about 6-8 per sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  (The bottoms of the cookies will be just beginning to brown.)  Allow cookies to cool.


4 Tb margarine (or butter)
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or almond)
1 Tb milk or until you reach desired consistency
Food coloring (optional)

Ice when cookies are somewhat cool.


Original Recipe Credit: Karen Failla
Modified by: Teishi Kennedy,

Cranberry-Orange Dip

1 - 8oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tb frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 Tb sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Zest of one orange
1/2 c pecans, chopped
1/2 c dried cranberries

Combine all ingredients with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Refrigerate at least one hour.  Serve with crackers.

Serves 12.


Original recipe credit: Megan Anderson Okerlund

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken

Difficulty: Embarrassingly Easy
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 3-8 hrs
Yield: 4-6
Rating: 8/10

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 - 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
2 Tb butter
1 envelope dry Italian Dressing Seasoning
8 oz cream cheese (or 1/3 less fat Neufchatel)

Place chicken in bottom of Crockpot and add remaining ingredients except cream cheese.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.  Shred chicken with a fork, add cream cheese, and stir.  Let stand in Crockpot until heated through.  Serve over rice.  (I prefer brown rice for its body.  It stands up to the chicken nicely.)

The Italian Dressing makes this recipe plenty salty.  Do not add additional salt and pepper until after tasting.  

Also, do not open the lid of a Crockpot while cooking.  It is said that every time you open the lid, you loose 20 minutes of cooking time.


Original recipe credit:
Modified by: Teishi Kennedy,

Roasted Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Yield: 4
Rating: 10/10

Olive oil
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
10 oz bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed*
4 oz log goat cheese, cut into 8 rounds
8 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat it with cooking spray.  

Carefully cut each breast almost in half horizontally, leaving about 1/2 inch of meat uncut.  Peel back the top half clam shell-style.  Set aside.

Place the thawed spinach in the center of a kitchen towel and twist it tightly around it.  Over the sink, squeeze the spinach to remove any water.*

Spread a quarter of the spinach over the bottom half of each breast, them top with 2 rounds of goat cheese and 2 sun-dried tomato halves.  Flip the top half of the chicken breast over the fillings.  (If you overstuff, use a toothpick to hold the breast halves together.)

Drizzle the chicken lightly with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes, then increase heat to broil.  Watching it carefully to prevent burning, broil the chicken for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.

* I often used fresh spinach leaves rather than frozen.


Original recipe credit: J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press
Modified by: Teishi Kennedy,

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Best Banana Bread

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 3 large loaves
Rating: 9/10

Cinnamon-Sugar mix:
1/4 c white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 c butter, softened
3 c white sugar
3 eggs
5-6 very ripe bananas, mashed
16 oz sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 c flour
Walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease three large loaf pans (I use butter-flavored Crisco).  

In a small bowl, create cinnamon-sugar mix.  Sprinkle half of this mixture into the bottom of the pans.  This makes a sweet and lightly crunchy crust on the bread.  Yum!

Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Add bananas and sour cream.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  Use a whisk to avoid flour clumps in your bread.

Combine wet and dry ingredients and divide into prepared loaf pans.  Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of the batter.  Bake for one hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool slightly in pans and then turn out onto cooling racks.


Original recipe credit: Luci Taylor, friend of a friend
Modified by: Teishi Kennedy,

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rigatoni with Steak Sauce

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Yield: 6 servings
Rating: 9/10

4 Tb olive oil
2 (12-ounce) rib-eye steaks, cut into bite-size cubes
Salt and pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce (Favorite: Trader Joe's Arrabiata Sauce)
16 ounce rigatoni pasta
Parmesan cheese

Heat 2 Tb of oil in a heavy, large frying pan over high heat.  Sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper.  Cook the steaks until they are brown but slightly rare in the center.  Transfer the steak to a plate and set aside.  

Add 2 Tb of oil to the same pan.  Saute the onions and carrots until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes, with additional salt and pepper, to taste.  Add the garlic and oregano, and saute for 1 minute.  Add the sauce.  Cover and simmer over medium-low heat to allow the flavors to blend, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.  Add the rigatoni and boil until tender but still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes.  Drain.

Toss the cooked rigatoni with the simmering sauce.  Add steaks and any accumulated juices from the steaks.  Toss.  Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese and serve.


Original recipe credit: Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network
Modified by: Teishi Kennedy,