Sunday, January 25, 2015

Chicken Lasagna Casserole

A simple chicken casserole that has the rich, satisfying flavor of a lasagna.
With the temperature heading towards single digits, we decided to forego Doug's and eat at home. Joan prepared this chicken dish, using chicken thighs purchased at Costco. She served it over rice with steamed broccoli and Roma tomatoes and cucumbers covered in a dill sauce.

1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
16-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry and diced (about 2 cups)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat an 8-by-11 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, mozzarella, red peppers, egg, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Set aside
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the chicken, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the prepared baking pan. Pour the cheese mixture over the chicken; stir to combine.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the panko and butter. Sprinkle the panko over the chicken, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, our until the breadcrumbs are browned and the chicken is cooked through.

Makes 8 servings.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Colorful Brunch Frittata

After attending the New Year’s Eve festivities at A.T. Walley’s, Emily and Michael slept in the guest room. New Year’s Day they joined Joan and I at breakfast. Joan made this frittata. She served it with a fresh fruit salad and pumpkin spiced muffins.

Prep: 15 min.    Bake: 55 min. + standing    Makes: 12-15 servings   


1    pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2    pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1    medium sweet red pepper, diced
1    medium sweet yellow pepper, diced
1    small onion, chopped
3    green onions, chopped
3    tablespoons olive oil
2    garlic cloves, minced
3    plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
14    eggs, lightly beaten
2    cups of half-and-half cream
2    cups (8-ounces) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
3    tablespoons minced fresh parsley
3    tablespoons minced fresh basil
1/2     teaspoon salt
1/4    teaspoon pepper
1/2    cup shredded Parmesan cheese


1. In a large skillet, sauté the asparagus, mushrooms, peppers, and onions in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add tomatoes; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, parsley, basil, salt and pepper; stir in vegetable mixture.
Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered at 350˚ for 45 minutes.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bay Scallop Chowder

According to some historians the word "chowder" was created long before the Pilgrims sighted Cape Cod. Fishermen working the fertile waters of Newfoundland since 1497 corrupted the French word for pot, chaudiere, into the word "chowder."

For our New Year's Eve dinner Joan made this classic chowder. Joan served it with a fresh garden salad.

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped unpeeled red potatoes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 (8-ounce) bottles of clam juice
1 pound scallops
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (onion through oregano). Sauté 10 minutes. Add clam juice and scallops. Cook 5 minutes.
2. Add half-and-half, salt and pepper; cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley.

Serves 4

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Farmers' Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast for dinner. Not an unusual occurrence at 88. But always a surprise. This evening Joan decided to use up the leftovers from our ham dinner to create this extra-hearty dish. A fresh garden salad filled out the menu.

3 c. frozen shredded hashbrowns
1 c. shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 c. cooked ham or bacon, diced1/4 c. green onion, chopped
4 eggs, beaten12-oz. can evaporated milk
1/4 t. pepper
1/8 t. salt

Arrange hashbrowns evenly in the bottom of a greased 13"x9" baking pan. Sprinkle with cheese, ham or bacon and onion; set aside. Combine eggs, milk, pepper and salt in a medium bowl; blend well. Pour egg mixture over hashbrown mixture; cover and refrigerate for several hours to overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees until center is set, 40 to45 minutes. If chilled overnight, bake for 55 to 60 minutes.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Recipe can be found on page 25 of
101 Christmas Recipes Gooseberry Patch Cookbook.

Winter Fruit

Winter Fruit
 Joan usually serves this at Christmas Day Brunch.


1     16 oz. pineapple chunks, drained (save juice)
1     16 oz. can peach slices, drained
1     16 oz. can pear slices,drained
2    lg. red Delicious apples (or your favorite kind)
1    pkg. instant vanilla pudding


Drain all the canned fruit, saving the pineapple juice and adding peach juice to make 1 cup of liquid. Place fruit, along with apples that have been cored and diced (leave the peel on for the nice red color), in a large bowl. Mix the dry pudding mix and the reserved juice into the fruit. Refrigerate overnight.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Hint: you can use lite fruit and sugar free pudding.

Hash Brown Casserole

Hash Brown Casserole
Also, known as, Michael’s potatoes.


2-10 3/4 oz.   cans condensed cream of potato soup, undiluted
1 C. (8 oz.)     sour cream
1/2 tsp.          reg. salt or garlic slat
1 pkg. (2 lbs.) frozen hash brown potatoes
2 C. (8 oz.)     Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 C.            Parmesan cheese (opt.)


Mix all together.Pour into a greased 13x9” baking dish. Top with Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered at 360˚ for 55 to 60 minutes or until tender.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Hint: Can be made ahead and just reheat.

Festive Enchiladas

Festive Enchiladas
Zesty enchiladas filled with seasonal flavors
Joan selected this brunch dish to share
with the Recipe Swap in the Syracuse Post-Standard.


2 to 2-1/2 c. cooked turkey, shredded
15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
16-oz. whole berry cranberry sauce , divided
1-1/2 c. salsa, divided
1 c. shredded Colby-Jack cheese, divided
1/2 c. sour cram
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, snipped
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
8 8-inch flour tortillas
1 t. hot pepper sauce
Optional: green onions, sliced


In a large bowl, stir together turkey, beans, one cup cranberry sauce, 1/2 cup salsa, 3/4 cheese, sour cream, green onions and seasonings. Spoon 2/3 cup filling onto each tortilla; roll up tortillas. Place seam-side down in a lightly greased 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Stir together remaining cranberry sauce and salsa; add hot sauce and spoon over tortillas. Cover with aluminum foil; bake at 350 dregrees for 45 minutes. Uncover; top with remaining cheese and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted. Garnish with additional green onions, if desired.

Makes 8 servings.

Note: Can substitute leftover chicken for turkey.