Monday, August 6, 2012

The Whole She Bang!

It's not very often that we give you the whole menu at once.  But here was Sunday's dinner for over 20 people from beginning to end; some tried and true, some exciting and new.

Cajun Chicken Sandwiches


6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz. each)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t. celery salt
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/2 t. lemon-pepper seasoning
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. pepper
6 kaiser rolls, split and toasted
12 slices tomato
6 lettuce leaves
Spreadable cream cheese


Flatten chicken to 1/2 in thickness.  Brush both sides with oil.  Combine the seasonings; rub over both sides of chicken.  Arrange in a 13 x 9 in baking dish.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.  Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray before starting the grill.  Grill covered over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.  Serve on rolls with tomato, lettuce, and cream cheese.

Cook's note:  I believe the source of this was a Taste of Home magazine.  I cooked the chicken on the grill using Reynolds Non-stick foil (such a great product!!!) until done and then just seared it for a second on the grill.  I think that chicken cooked directly on the grill can dry out quickly.  The creamed cheese cools the Cajun spices a bit.  All in all, this is a really fresh tasty sandwich.

Awesome Ham Pasta Salad


8 oz. ziti pasta
1 lb cooked ham, cubed
1 large red bell pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 large green bell pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
15 small, sweet pickles, chopped, juice reserved
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sour cream
2 1/2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1 T. white vinegar
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente, drain.

In a large bowl mix together the drained pasta, ham, peppers, onion, pickles and tomatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, beef bouillon granules, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and 1/2 c. of the reserved pickle juice.  Fold into the salad and toss gently until even coated.  Chill overnight to allow the flavors to blend.  (Recipe recommends serve near room temperature, but I didn't do that due to the mayonnaise in the dressing.)

Cook's Note:  Source is, posted by Karena.  Well, Jonathan is allergic to eggs, yet he devours everything in sight, often before we can stop him, we tried using Vegan mayonnaise.  It tasted really good and wasn't that much more price wise.  I loved that you could make this salad the night before, very handy for pot luck!

Nina's Cucumber Salad


1/2 c. reduced fat sour cream
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. chopped, fresh dill
3 cucumbers, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion
Coarse salt and ground black pepper to taste


Mix sour cream, lemon juice and dill together in a bowl.  Add cucumbers and onions; stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.

Cook's note: posted by Brandilynn7

Cool Lavender Lemonade


7 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. frozen lemon juice from concentrate, thawed
4 mint sprigs
3 lavender sprigs (2 T. dried lavender flowers may be substituted)
Garnishes:  Lemon slices, lavender and mint sprigs


Bring 7 c. water to a boil over medium-high heat.  Stir in 1 c. sugar, stirring constantly 1-2 minutes or until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat.  Stir in lemon juice concentrate, mint sprigs, and lavender sprigs.  Let stand for at least 2 hours.

Pour lemonade mixture through a wire mesh strainer into a large pitcher, discarding herbs.  Serve over ice.  Garnish, if desired.

Cook's note:  Source (Southern Living March 2006).  I was very excited to use some of the fresh herbs from my garden.  The mint in my garden is taking over the back yard.  But this was quite yummy.

Slow Cooker White Chocolate Raspberry and Cream Cake


1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake
1 box (4 serving size) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 whole eggs
1 egg, separated
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. frozen raspberries
1 box (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4  c. sugar


Spray 4 1/2 qt. slower cooker with baking spray with flour.

In large bowel, dump cake mix, removing and setting aside 1/2 c. of the dry mix.  Add pudding mix, melted butter, 2 whole eggs, 1 egg yold and water to cake mix in large bowl.  Stir until well mixed.

In small bowl, sprinkle 1/4 c. of the reserved cake mix over frozen raspberries.  Stir to coat.  Fold raspberries into cake mix mixture.  Pour batter into slow cooker.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, remaining 1/4 c. cake mix, the sugar, and 1 egg white.  Use knife to fold cream cheese mixture into batter in slower cooker, leaving ribbons of cream cheese running through batter.

Cover, cook on High heat setting 2 to 3 hours or until cake is set in center.  Turn off slow cooker; remove cover.  Cool completely before serving.

Garnish with barely sweetened, fresh whipped cream and fresh raspberries for a stunning presentation.

Try using a chocolate cake mix instead of white for a fun twist on this delicious recipes.

Cook's note:  Source Betty Crocker, from blogger Brooke McLay from Cheeky Kitchen.

I used fresh raspberries because I could.  It worked great.  Also, I doubled it because we have so many people.  I turned it to low part way through and had to watch the cooking time.  We served it with vanilla bean ice cream and it was yummy!


  1. Thanks for posting this, Mom! It was a great dinner. The only problem? I thought I forgot my camera (it turned out to be in my purse all along...d'oh!). So, I used my Mom's camera...which I am unfamiliar with. As a result, I didn't take very good pictures. The Slow Cooker White Chocolate Raspberry and Cream Cake was awesome...and topped with vanilla ice cream, it looked quite scrumptious...but all of the pictures I took made it look like crap! So, sorry there's no picture to share of that one!

  2. You can look at the other pictures you took when you come over and see if there is one you like.....if we can pull away from the boys for a bit!