Sunday, October 13, 2013

Feasting, Feasting

So our family gathered last Sunday and really celebrated being together.  Love those kids of mine! Well, we gathered together recipes from various sources.  The menu was a hit by all and included Famous Butter Chicken (posted previously--you can find the original post here), Parmesan Rolls (also posted previously--you can find the original post here), Roasted Broccoli, Pesto Potatoes, Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Dill and Lemon, and Whoopie Pie Cake.

Back in the dark ages, when I went to school we had a class called Home Ec.  We learned the basics of sewing, cooking and nutrition.  I remember the teacher telling us the importance of having different colors on plates; and while I got good grades in the class, that's an area I always fail in.  I must be drawn to orange/yellow foods, so it was good to throw the broccoli on there.  In fact, I was going to go with the old corn standby until I realized that the plate would be nearly monochromatic.  Check out the pictures and tell me what you think.  Do you have an easy time playing the color mix-up game?

Famous Butter Chicken


2 eggs, beaten
1 cup crushed buttery round cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place eggs and cracker crumbs in two separate shallow bowls. Mix cracker crumbs with garlic salt and pepper. Dip chicken in the eggs, then dredge in the crumb mixture to coat.

Arrange coated chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Place pieces of butter around the chicken.

Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Source: submitted by HAULBUR. Currently at 4 1/2 stars and almost 1,800 reviews. You can find it here.

Notes: This is super tasty and easy chicken. Not low calorie though!

Roasted Broccoli 


1 head broccoli
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat over to 375 Degrees.  Chop a head of broccoli (do not rinse immediately prior to preparing!) Mince 2-3 cloves of garlic.  Put broccoli, garlic, 2 T olive oil and a few shakes of salt and pepper in a zip top plastic bag. Shake it up!! Spread out on baking sheet.  Place on top rack and bake for about 30 minutes. Broccoli will be crunchy and delicious.

Source:  Facebook recipe

Parmesan Rolls


36 Rhodes rolls
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/3 - 1/2 c. grated Parmesan (not fresh, bottled kind such as Kraft)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning


Place rolls on jelly rolls sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Mix remaining ingredients and spread evenly over frozen rolls.  Allow dough to thaw and rise until doubled.  This takes 3-4 hours.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or so until rolls are done.

Cook's notes:  I really dislike when recipes are vague, but I've made this one so many times through the years that I don't really notice the details.  I eyeball everything so adjust the seasonings, etc. to taste.  These are rolls worth the experimentation as they always get rave reviews.  The butter melts down while cooking (Hence, using a flat cookie sheet is not a good idea.  Thus the jelly roll pan.) and gives the rolls a buttery, cheesy flavor.  These are a good go to recipe and work with almost every main course.  But they are yellow/orange.  Sigh.

Source:  Who knows?  It was so long ago.  Maybe I've blocked it.  Some ward dinner back in the early 80's.

Pesto Potatoes


5 - 6 medium russet potatoes (I used red potatoes)
Pesto Sauce (we used some of our homemade from an earlier post, found here)
Parmesan Cheese (fresh, grated)


Scrub, but don't peel, potatoes and cut into large cubes (about 3/4") and place all the pieces in a large plastic bag.  Add about 3/4 cup of Pesto sauce to the bag(I probably only used about 1/3 - 1/2 cup). Shake until the pesto is coating all the potato pieces.  Add more pesto as necessary.

Pour the contents of the bag onto a greased cookie sheet.  (I lined mine with Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick foil...which is well worth the price for certain things...because I have had potatoes stick to pans and it's not a pretty picture.  I may have even still sprayed a light spray of cooking spray.  Yes, I have a fear of having to scrape off starchy potatoes that stick like glue from metal pans).  Arrange the potatoes in a single layer and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Bake at 450 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until they are cooked through and look lightly toasted.

Source:  Sarah's brother-in-law, Jabe, brought this to a family dinner.  A man who cooks!  Cool! He found it on a blog called Favorite Family Recipes. You can find it here.

Notes: We used homemade pesto because our recipe is nut free and we have tree nut allergies in our family. However, Classico also has a nut-free option as well. Just be sure to read the ingredients label!

Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Dill, and Lemon


1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1/2 c. thinly sliced green onions
1/2 c. (2 oz) crumbled feta cheese
1/4 c. chopped fresh dill
1 (19 oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Drain and rinse with cold water, drain.

Combine pasta, onions, cheese, dill and chickpeas in a large bowl, tossing gently to combine.

Combine juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Drissle over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat.

Source:  Cooking Light, August 2002. You can find it here.

Cook's Notes:  I left out the green onions.  While Emily was out of town, Sean and Robin were still here, and they don't like onions. I think they would have added a little kick.  The mix of beans and pasta was a little different for me. Sarah liked this recipe a lot better than I did, but the flavors mixed well and really good the next day. Chopped chicken could be added to give the salad more of a main dish feel.

10/14/2013 notes: Here are Sarah's suggestions: use the most flavorful feta you can find. I would suggest adding the lemon juice, salt, and feta to your taste. I took home a bunch of the leftovers and added a little more feta (that I had in my fridge) as well as some additional lemon juice. The lemon juice and dill are the star flavors of this dish and you want them to shine through. You could barely taste the lemon juice with the amount in the recipe as originally written. With the extra lemon juice the flavors all popped and complemented each other.

Whoopie Pie Cake



  1 box chocolate cake mix + 1 egg (prepared per package directions, so oil, etc. will be necessary)
  cocoa powder for dusting the pan


  1 cup butter, room temperature
  2 cups Marshmallow fluff
  3 cups powdered sugar


  1/2 cup heavy cream
  1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 2 9x13 sized pans with butter and dust with cocoa powder and set aside.  Prepare cake according to package directions, but add an extra egg to the mix.  Split the batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake for 15 - 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow cake to cool completely.


Beat butter and marshmallow fluff together until smooth. Turn mixture to low and slowly add in powdered sugar.  Beat at higher speed for 30-60 minutes until smooth.  Spread filling on top of one of the cakes.  Top the filling with the other cake.


In small saucepan bring the heavy cream to almost a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the cake.

Can also be baked in two 9" round pans.

Source:  Originally  via You can find it here.

Cook's notes:  I almost threw these away.  I used dark cocoa to dust the pan and it looked like they were burned.  Niel talked me out of it because he couldn't bear the thought of chocolate cake going straight from the oven into the garbage.  The dark cocoa powder didn't end up tasting burnt at all, but Niel had to rip up part of one cake to prove it to me.

I really didn't measure the Marshmallow fluff and I may have had less than some people would want. The original recipe called for a stand mixture and I don't have one.  I didn't have an issue using my hand mixture. A happy accident for me was that I mixed up the ingredients in the wrong order.  I mixed up the butter and powdered sugar before I added the fluff.  Turns out that fluff has eggs and Johnny isn't supposed to have them.  So allergy note there.

This recipe was by far the star of the show.  Niel's kids were oohing and aahing the minute they saw it on the counter when they walked through the door.  It was, in a word, yummy.


  1. Mom, I added the pictures. Thanks for posting all of these recipes. This was a fabulous dinner...and when I look at that plate, I think to myself, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!"

  2. Oh, and you know me. As for side dishes, they are always an afterthought. I take the easy way out and just make an easy green salad to add some color to my plate. :)