Monday, September 22, 2014

Chicken Terrific

Chicken Fantastic

Wow, I've done it again! I've been a slacker with the blog. Sorry! This time I was on vacation. My in-laws visited and we just had the most wonderful time. There stay was too short, but we enjoyed every day of it.

They brought me the most precious gift too. One I want to share with you. More on that in a bit!

I'm so excited that Fall is finally here. It's my most favorite time of year to cook and bake. I'm giddy with all the great recipes I have in store for you all.

First, this casserole. Let me tell you, when I was making this I was thinking to myself..."this doesn't look very good".  I know it was called Chicken Terrific, but it wasn't looking so terrific. It was kinda a goopy and beige looking. I was hoping I just hadn't wasted all these ingredients on something that no one was going to eat. I really had my doubts, but this was really good. I was waiting with anticipation while my crew took their first bites and they all really loved it.

It's throw it all in a bowl and mix it together kind of recipe. If you are against "cream of" soup recipes, then stop right here. There are two can's of "cream of" in this and boxed stuffing mix! Blasphemy! I use them. I know some others poo-poo their noses up at them, but not me. I'm a busy working mom and I'll take shortcuts when I can.

I varied this from the original recipe just a bit. I added more chicken and omitted the water chestnuts, pimento and onions. You can leave them in or take them out or substitute them. This is a very forgiving recipe.

Chicken Fantastic 1

Now back to the great gift I got from my in-laws. My mother-in-law had asked me and my mom for a hand written recipe quite awhile back. She had mentioned something about Flickr books and I honestly thought that I was going to get some kind of a personalized recipe book from her, but what I got was so much more special. I got this:

Cutting board

A beautiful cutting board with my mother's recipe on one side and mine on the other, in our own handwriting! How crazy wonderful is that?

Cutting board 1

It's an instant heirloom I tell ya. Wouldn't this make a terrific gift for Christmas? If you've got old recipes from your mom, or your grand mom wouldn't this be a terrific present to pass down? I just LOVE it! Thank you again Mom! You always pick the best gifts! Here is a link to the store - Sister Specialty Shop.

Chicken Terrific
Original recipe from Cooking with K
Printable recipe
3 cups cooked chicken, diced (I used 4 cups which was the meat from one rotisserie chicken)
1 (6 1/2 oz.) pkg. wild rice
1 (2 oz.) jar pimento, diced (I omitted)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup minced onion(I omitted)
1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional, I omitted)
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 16oz can French green beans, drained
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, grated

Stuffing Topping
1 box of herb seasoned Stove Top Stuffing
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all the ingredients and place in a 9 x 13 dish. Top with cheese.

Combine Stuffing and butter, mix thoroughly. Sprinkle on top of the chicken mixture.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

German Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Are you sick of zucchini?

Do you have too many? Is your garden mass producing? Are you pawning them off on your friends and neighbors? Are you bringing them to work just to get rid of them?

You need to use them up right? You can't let them go to waste. You need an idea? You need to find a delicious way to use up all that green goodness. Well I have the solution.

German Chocolate Zucchini a Bread. Yes, you read that right.

It's like German Chocolate Cake and Zucchini bread had a most moist and perfect loaf of scrumptiousness.

I really need to let you know how incredibly moist this bread was. I have a hard time calling it a bread, it's really more cake like, and it makes 2 loaves! 2 loaves! One to eat and one to share, or you can just hoard them both for yourself. Trust me, you will want too!

If you don't want to make tie in a loaf pan, you can make this in a 9x13 or a bundt pan. Very versatile!

It's my new favorite way to use zucchini! Make it!

You can also try my Chocolate Zucchini Cake. Equally delicious!

German Chocolate Zucchini Bread
adapted from a recipe at The Better Baker
Printable recipe
Makes 2 loaves
4 eggs
2-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup oil or applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup baking 4-serving size cocoa
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
3 cups grated zucchini, peeled or unpeeled
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease and flour 2 loaf pans (I use Baker’s Joy). This recipe can also be make using use a 9" X 13" or a large Bundt pan.

In a large bowl beat eggs, sugar and oil with an electric mixer. Add in the vanilla and mix to combine. Add all the ingredients into another bowl and combine (a whisk works well). Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, a little at a time, until well blended.

Stir in zucchini, nuts and coconut. If you’d like you can save a little of the nuts/coconut and sprinkle them over the top before baking.

Pour into prepared pans. Bake 30 - 50 minutes, depending on which pan you're using. Just check with a toothpick stuck in the middle - if it comes out clean, remove bread from oven, but be careful not to over bake. I used 2 loaf pans and it took 55 minutes to test done. Let stand in pans for 5 - 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks until room temperature.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Muffuletta Dip (Giveaway winner too!)

Yes, I've been a bad, bad blogger once again. I suck, I admit it.

I'm just so terribly busy in my real life, not that this isn't real life, but you know what I mean right?

It hasn't been because I haven't been cooking and baking. I have been. Honestly. I bring you this recipe as proof.

This is our new favorite dip! It's so good!

I posted a picture of it on Facebook and got some great feedback, so I knew I had to share this with you all.

If you're not familiar with Muffuletta let me explain. The Muffuletta is a sandwich that is very popular in New Orleans. Here is a little info:

The muffuletta is both a type of round Sicilian sesame bread and a popular sandwich originating among Italian immigrants in New Orleans, Louisiana using the same bread. It's a large, round, and somewhat flattened loaf with a sturdy texture, around 10 inches across. It is described as being somewhat similar to focaccia. A traditional style muffuletta sandwich consists of a muffuletta loaf split horizontally and covered with layers of marinated olive salad, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham, and provolone.

So it's a delicious sandwich and now it's a delicious dip! I tweaked this a bit from the original recipe. (Don't I always?). I added pickles cause it just seemed like the right thing to do. The original also called for 1/2 green and 1/2 black olives, but my boys don't like green olives so I used only black. Feel free to substitute whatever you'd like. It's a very forgiving dip!

Feel free to scoop up any leftovers and use them as a filling on a sandwich. I can tell you that's what one of my boys did and he loved it!

I promise you this will become one of your favorites. Football season is just around the corner and you know that means it's dip time!

Oh before I forget...the winner of my last giveway!!

Robin Weiss!!

Robin I sent you an email! Congrats!

Let's all go make some dip!

Muffuletta Dip
Printable Recipe
Adapted from a recipe at the Lettered Cottage
½ lb. deli-style ham - chopped
¼ lb. salami, any variety – chopped
¼ lb slicing pepperoni - chopped
2 cups Italian blend cheese - shredded
1/2 cup green onion - chopped
4 pepperoncini , chopped (optional)
½ cup chopped pickles
1 cup black olives, chopped
1 cup mayo
1/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing
1/2 - 1 cup Roma tomatoes - seeded and chopped

Whisk mayo and dressing together in a large bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients together except the tomatoes. Refrigerate for at least an hour to overnight. Adjust the mayo/dressing amounts to make as creamy (or not) as you prefer.

Add tomatoes right before serving. Serve with crackers.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Honey Bun Cake and a little giveaway

Honey Bun Cake

Yes it's been over a month since I’ve been back to this little space on the Internet. I took a month off. Yes I did. I’m totally allowed.

I truly enjoyed the last 4 weeks when I was at home. Work, well work is another story. Did I mention that I work full time? Yes, yes I do. 31 years at the same company. I have never been busier during these past 31 years as I am right now. I'm working like a crazy woman. So tired at the end of the day that blogging was the last thing on my mind.

I didn’t do a whole lot of baking. I didn’t use my oven very much.

I did hang outside a lot. I worked in my garden. I caught 3 woodchucks that ate all of my cucumbers and zucchini. I was so mad. Still am. They have been relocated far, far away from my garden the litter buggers.

I spent quite a few nights by the fire. I took some photos. I grilled a lot, I lazed about, I read, I met a friend from Georgia, I had a 4th of July party, I got a pedicure, I wore flip flops all the time.

I enjoyed it all. Really I did.

I’m back now. I have some pretty pictures to share with you all as well as some delicious food.

Sorry I was away for so long, but I needed this time.

Did you miss me?? I missed you all.

So in addition to this Honey Bun Cake recipe I’m having a little giveaway. It’s just a small one. It involves pampering. Who doesn’t need more of that in their lives right? Scroll to the end to read more on the giveaway.

Now on to this cake. This cake is your perfect morning cake to go with a cup of coffee or a bug cuppa tea. It's moist and soft and covered in a sticky glaze that really is like eating a big sticky bun! My kids loved it!

Honey Bun Cake 1

Honey Bun Cake
recipe adapted from The Country Cook
Printable recipe
1 box yellow cake mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
8oz container sour cream

For filling:
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

2 cups powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine cake mix, oil, eggs , and sour cream. Beat on low speed for a few seconds, then on medium just until batter is fully combined and all large lumps are gone. (about a minute)

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread evenly (batter will be thick). Sprinkle all of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly across the surface. Cover with remaining cake batter, spreading evenly (spreading can be a bit difficult because the batter is thick — if some of the topping shows through or ends up mixed in with the top layer, it’s totally fine). Bake cake for about 30-40 minutes, until center is set.

Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, milk , and vanilla in a medium bowl. Pour over  the warm cake and spread evenly. Glaze will set as it cools.

The Giveaway.

With warm weather comes sundresses, short shorts and tank tops, but after this winter your skin may need some extra TLC. Body Benefits by Body Images introduces two unique takes on a bath-time favorite to get you fresh and clean in the shower while smoothing and toning skin.

· Skin Smoothing Beauty Massager – a skin-tingling, dual-function sponge creates a rich lather while the massager polishes for softer, younger-looking skin

· Skin Toning Beauty Massager – a nodule-covered side that improves the appearance of dimple-prone skin while the sponge scrubs for a deep clean.

Both of these skin-improving beauty massagers are now available at retailers nationwide for $3.99. For more information please

To win a set of these:
1 lucky winner will be chosen. Contest only open to folks in the USA.

Answer this question:

What's your favorite thing about summer?

If you don't have a blog, please leave me an email address to contact you (no email and I'll move on to the next name).

There are three ways to enter: (1) leave a comment on the blog (2) If you haven't already, go “like” The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on Facebook or (3) Already a fan? Just leave a comment here or on Facebook to let me know! Facebook comments will count as entries.

Giveaway ends on Wednesday, July 30th midnight eastern standard time.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Baked Blueberry Lemon French Toast

Hello foodie friends. I'm trying to drag myself away from the yard and garden long enough to make something delicious to share with you all.

Guess what? It's breakfast time again.

I know I've posted quite a few breakfast recipes over the past few months. I can't help it. I just love them! I especially love the make-ahead recipes cause I can leisurely throw them together on a Saturday night and sleep in a bit later on Sunday morning. Pop it in the oven and in less than an hour we have a delicious poppin' hot breakfast.

I used up the second to last bag of my summer blueberries of 2013 for this recipe. I can't wait for blueberry picking 2014! I'm loading up baby!

Please try this scrumptious recipe. Using the King Hawaiian Rolls gives it just a touch of extra sweetness. It's perfect for a lazy Sunday morning breakfast.

Baked Blueberry Lemon French Toast 
recipe from Damn Delicious
Printed recipe
1 (12-count) package King's Hawiian Sweet Dinner Rolls, cubed
1 cup blueberries
2 cups milk
4 large eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
Zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

For the Crumb Topping
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Place a layer of bread cubes evenly into the baking dish. Top with blueberries in an even layer, repeating 2 more times and ending with a layer of bread. (I didn't do this. I just put the bread down and threw all the blueberries on top)

In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, maple syrup, lemon zest, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour mixture evenly over the bread cubes. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crumb topping, combine flour, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add cold butter and toss to coat, using your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the bread cubes. Place into oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Friday, June 13, 2014

4 Ingredient Moist and Delicious Chocolate Cake

My oldest son turned nineteen last week. Nineteen! I can hardly believe it. We stopped the big birthday parties at age 18, so we were planning on taking him out to dinner and then having cake at home later. I drove 30 minutes to visit a dairy farm to buy him a fruit tart (which was amazing by the way) and then realized that my youngest son wouldn’t go ten feet near a fruit tart. I know it wasn’t his birthday, but I wanted him to have something sweet to eat too so I went looking for an easy chocolate cake recipe on Pinterest.

There were lots and lots of recipes to choose from. I chose this one from Eat, Live, Run.

4 ingredient cake that is moist and delicious. 4 ingredients. No eggs, no oil. It’s crazy right?

I was skeptical about this recipe. I read the reviews. Those that made it really liked it, so I decided to give it a try.

Let me just preface this to say I made this cake 2 times in 24 hours! It was that good. It was that easy. You literally can throw this cake together in like 2 minutes.

My son had 4 friends unexpectedly show up at the house when we were about to have cake. Now that little fruit tart wasn’t going to cut it so I was glad I had this cake. All the guys loved it. Most of them had 2 pieces. You know you’ve got a good recipe on your hands when big teenage guys devour it.

Yes it uses a boxed cake mix and instant pudding. I’m ok with that. I make cakes from scratch all the time, so using a boxed mix is allowed. Heck , when you are in a hurry it’s welcome! Speaking of hurried… I said I made this cake 2 times in 24 hours. My youngest informed me that he needed to bring in something for a class party the next day! Yikes. Good thing I had everything on hand to make it again. He took it to school and came back with an empty cake carrier and told me “you should have made 2 cakes, everyone loved it”.

There is no oil, there is no eggs! Just 4 ingredients!

This recipe is a keeper!

4 Ingredient Most & Delicious Chocolate Cake
Printable recipe
recipe from Eat, Run, Live.
1 box – chocolate cake mix (18.25 ounces)
1 small package (3.4 ounces) instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I don’t measure, just sprinkle until the top is full!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan.

In a large bowl combine the pudding mix and the milk Whisk for 1 minute, just until it thickens up a bit. Add the cake mix (just the dry mix–don’t add anything else) and stir well to combine. This batter will be very thick! I used use an off-set spatula to spread it out evenly. Scatter chocolate chips on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until edges pull away from sides. Cool, cut, eat!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vegetable Quiche

I know Mother's Day was ages ago but I'm just now getting around to posting about it. When I'm home I'm usually outside weeding or watering or taking care of something in the yard. I love the extra daylight hours. I always feel like I'm getting gypped out of time when I come home from work during the fall and winter. Spring and summer make me feel like I'm gaining that time back. Makes me happy.

I made a lovely brunch for my Mom for Mother’s Day. I hadn’t done a brunch before. Usually I'd make dinner or just recently over the past few years we went out, but I was feeling the breakfast vibe and wanted to test out a few recipes so brunch it was!

Let me just tell you I am in love with this quiche recipe. I followed basic foolproof quiche instructions from The Kitchn and then tweaked it to my likings.

It was everything a quiche should be. The ratio of veggies to custard egg mixture was perfect. I doubles the recipe and made two. We loved it so much I'm thinking that I might make Sunday's quiche day. Cook one up and use it for breakfasts through the week.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can use whatever veggies (or meat) that you like. I used leeks, mushroom and julienned zucchini. I have a nifty julienne tool so my zucchini was like thin string of  spaghetti. It cooked really quickly too! I topped it off with some grape tomato slices and a few sprigs of fresh thyme just so it looked pretty too. It was Mother's Day after all.

Just make sure to cook your veggies before they go into the quiche. You don't want watery mushroom or spinach to ruin it.

I used a combination of mozzarella and cheddar in my quiche too cause it's what I had on hand but a nice Gruyere or Swiss would do nicely too.

Vegetable Quiche
Printable recipe
1- 9 inch pie crust
2 cups filling ingredients (whatever you like, i.e,  bacon, mushrooms, onions, spinach, etc)
1-2 cups (3 oz - 6 oz) grated cheese, like Gruyere, Swiss, or Cheddar
3 large eggs
¾ cup milk
½ cup half and half or heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
teaspoon Italian seasonings
½ teaspoon fresh thyme

9-inch cake or pie pan - straight-sided is traditional, but a pan with sloped sides works fine.

Blind-Bake the Crust: Line a 9-inch pie plate with parchment and spray the sides with non-stick spray. Roll out the pie crust and fit it into the tin. Heat the oven to 375°F. Line the pie crust with parchment and fill with pie weights or beans. Make sure the weights are snug against the sides of the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or just until lightly brown. Remove the weights and parchment. Let cool.

While the crust is baking, prepare your quiche filling. Make sure all ingredients are cooked through and are fairly dry. (i.e., make sure spinach has wilted and that cooked mushrooms have released all their moisture.)

Sprinkle half the cheese over the bottom of the pie crust and top with the fillings. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, salt, pepper Italian seasonings and thyme until frothy. Pour the custard into the pie crust.

Bake the quiche at 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes, until the edges are set but the quiche still jiggles just a little in the center. Cool for at least 20 minutes. Quiche can be served cold, room temperature, or warmed. If serving warm, heat in a 300°F oven until just warm to the touch.