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Tag Archives | Main Dish

Quick Quiche with Ham and Veg

Easy quiche with a ‘makes it own’ crust

Bisquick wonder

I’ve been baking with Bisquick for several decades.  One of my favorite ways to use it is in this easy quiche.  It makes its own crust so you don’t have to prepare pastry.  While it bakes, some of the Bisquick in the sauce sinks to the bottom and creates a crust like lining.  The rest of the egg mixture cooks into a delicate quiche with the filling and melty cheese suspended inside.  I like it for a simple brunch, a dinner entree or a Saturday morning breakfast.

Recipe: Quiche Quiche with Ham and Veg

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 40 Minutes | Yield: 6 servings | Level: Easy


  • 3/4 cup 1/4-inch sliced asparagus
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup diced ham
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup Bisquick
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

Special Equipment – 9 ½-inch deep dish pie plate or 10-inch pie plate

1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2 Grease a 9 ½-inch deep dish or 10-inch pie plate.

3 Evenly sprinkle the asparagus, peas, ham, cheese and scallions in the bottom of the pie plate or baking dish.

4 In a blender, add the milk, Bisquick, eggs, salt and pepper and whirl.  You can also whip this in a large bowl with a wire whisk and a little elbow grease.  Pour over the vegetables and ham.

5 Sprinkle the parmesan over the top.

6 Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Let set for 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe also fits in a 8-inch square pan.

This dish spruces up leftovers such as meat and vegetables by turning them into a new dish.
Quick Quiche-with-Ham-and-Veg

Dish Designer

  • Exchange the asparagus for mushrooms, peppers, broccoli or green beans.
  • Exchange the ham for crumbled crisp bacon, finely diced chicken or browned sausage.
  • Exchange cheddar for jack, Gruyere, swiss or Monterrey jack.
  • Omit the ham for a vegetarian dish.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: April 28, 2012

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Asian Pencil Asparagus with Chicken

Stir fried asparagus with chicken and carrot served on Asian rice

Chinese cooking classes

I love fine restaurant quality stir fry.  With the skills and experience I gained while living in Asian for several years and my Chinese cooking classes, I’m sharing some basic techniques that will make you an expert at this delicious and healthy cooking.  Let’s not get this confused with the Chinese food you get at buffets aplenty.  They are often loaded with grease and sit in soggy sauces. I had the opportunity to cook a 10-course Chinese banquet for some international executives.  They had traveled the world and eaten at some of the finest Chinese restaurants.  Their comment was, “Who cooked this dinner?  It is the best Chinese food I have ever eaten.”  Here is some information about how to cook the rice.  Simple techniques make the difference between mediocre and fabulous Chinese cuisine.

Recipe: Asian Pencil Asparagus with Chicken

Prep Time: 12 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Yield: 4 servings | Level: Easy


  • 3 cups Calrose riceChicken-Marinate-Asian Pencil Asparagus
  • water
  • salt
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 3/4-inch piece of fresh ginger root
  • 1 bunch of pencil thin asparagus, cut in 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper

Special Equipment – Wok, Rice Cooker

1 Cook the rice in a rice cooker or medium sauce pan.

2 In a medium bowl combine the chicken, cornstarch, garlic and soy sauce and combine.

3 Prepare the asparagus, carrots and ginger before stir frying.

4 Once the rice is cooked, begin stir frying while it steams for 10 minutes. Heat the wok or a large frying pan on high heat with 1 Tbsp of oil swirling it around the pan to thinly coat.  When the oil is shimmering, slide the meat into the wok and stir fry the meat until the pink is gone, then scoop it back into the bowl.

5 Scrap the bottom of the pan to remove the bits remaining and throw away.  These bits will burn when you stir fry the vegetables.

6 Add the last tablespoon of oil and once hot, add the ginger and stir fry 30-45 seconds.  Add the carrots and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.  Then add the asparagus and continue to stir fry until the vegetables are crisp tender, about 2 minutes depending on thickness.

7 Add back the chicken and the chicken broth.  Stir and cook just long enough to heat the broth and cook any residual raw meat juices.  Check for salt and pepper then slide onto a waiting platter.  Serve immediately with rice.

Chicken Broth—Use homemade, canned or boxed. If not, use reconstituted chicken paste or bouillon.

Rice-Cooker-Asian-Pencil-AsparagusCooking Rice—Place the rice in the rice cooker pot. At the sink, fill it up with cold water amply covering the kernels. Rice is coated with talc which keeps the kernels dry and separated in the packaging. With a loose-fisted hand, swish the rice around to loosen the talc. The water becomes milky. Drain out the milky water and repeat this process until the water is just about clear. It takes several rinses, sometimes rinsing even 6 or 7 times, but it’s worth it. Fill the pot with enough water to cover rice with 1 inch of headspace. I use my finger tip to measure it. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and set your rice on to cook. Once it is done let set to steam for at least 10 minutes before serving to rebalance the moisture.

Rice Cooker—No rice cooker? Use a medium sauce pan and use the same technique to wash the rice. Add water, and salt and heat to a boiling. Then simmer for 17-20 minutes. Don’t remove the lid. When it is done, take off the heat and let set for 10 minutes.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange pencil thin asparagus for a larger size. Peeling recommended to ensure the stems are tender.  Cut the sticks into 1-1 ½ inch lengths depending on width so they stir fry evenly with the carrots.
  • Exchange asparagus for fresh green beans.
  • Exchange carrots for orange bell peppers.
  • Exchange chicken for pork.

Inspiration—Ying Ling Lui
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: April 27, 2012

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Chorizo Crowned Bakers

Spicy sausage with vegetables served over a Idaho baked potatoes

‘Coins in the couch’ creation

Sometimes you just want to find something delicious to eat after church without planning and executing a big pot-roasted dinner.  Here is one of those ‘coins in the couch’ creations where you craft a meal out of items you foraged from your fridge and pantry.  Combining Ciara’s Mexican chorizo and vegetables with my Idaho bakers and some sour cream and cheese, voila!
The juicy, zesty sausage sacue blends with the potato as a colorful palette against the steaming hot meat mixture cooled by the cheese and cream. Creates a ramped up Idaho baker in a cool and spicy sacue combo.

Recipe: Chorizo Crowned Bakers

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 60 Minutes | Yield: 4 servings | Level: Easy


  • Chorizo-Idaho-Bakers-Sauce4 large Idaho Baking Potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 1/2 large or 1 small green pepper
  • 1 lb of Mexican Chorizo
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • sour cream

1 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2 Wash the potatoes and give each a poke with a knife to release steam.  Place them in the oven and bake at 425 degrees until when squeezed with an oven mitt, they easily give way and the peel is crusty, about 1 hour.

3 In the meantime, heat a wok or large fry pan on high heat and add the oil.  Add the onions and green peppers.  Stir fry until they are crisp tender.

4 Squeeze the chorizo out of the skins right into the wok.  Stir around with the vegetables breaking it up while mixing.

When the sausage is cooked, add the tomatoes and continue to cook just until heated through.  Adjust for salt and pepper.

6 Spoon the hot and spicy chorizo sauce mixture over a split baker and top with cheese and a dab of sour cream.

Idaho Bakers are potatoes grown in the fertile soil of Idaho.  ‘Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil give Idaho Potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance.’  When hot out of the oven, split open and gently squeeze for a tasty, fluffy, steaming delicious baked potato.  More at

Dish Designer

  • Exchange chorizo for Italian or Spanish sausage.
  • Exchange chorizo for ground beef but add a little crushed red pepper.
  • To shorten the potato baking time, cook them for 5-8 minutes in the microwave then transfer to a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes to finish baking and add texture to the peel.
  • Exchange fresh tomatoes for 1 cup of canned diced tomatoes.
  • Exchange green for red, orange or yellow peppers.
  • Exchange baked potatoes for rice, pasta or noodles.

Inspiration – Ciara Dresser
Cooking with Sauces
Written: by
Photographs: by Helen Horton
Updated: April 23, 2012

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Cinchy Chicken Fricassee

Chicken simmered in rich chicken gravy and served over rice.

The best chicken gravy

A simple take on chicken fricassee, I learned to make this dish while in college from, Kris, one of my Freshman year roommates.  Over the years, I have simplified the sauce and eliminated the biscuit style dumplings.  This is a comfort food favorite of my sons so I like to break out the frying pan and make a batch when I visit them.  It isn’t unusual for guests to say, “This is the best chicken gravy I have every tasted.”  And the sauce is a cinch.

Recipe: Cinchy Chicken Fricassee

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 55 Minutes | Yield: 8 servings | Level: Easy


  • ½ cup biscuit mix
  • 2-3 Tbsp oil
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • seasoned salt, such as Lawry’s
  • pepper
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 soup can of milk (not canned milk)
  • hot cooked rice

1 Place the biscuit mix into a bowl.  In a large fry pan, heat the oil on medium high.

2 When the oil is shimmering, dip the chicken thighs into the biscuit mix and place into the frying pan.  Season with salt and pepper. Brown both sides of the meat, 3-4 minutes on each side.  Remove the chicken to a plate.

3 Scoop the condensed soup into the pan.  Using the empty soup can, fill with milk and gradually add to the soup scraping off the browned bits into the sauce.  Stir until combined.

4 Add back the chicken and dash with a little more seasoned salt. Bring sauce to a boil then simmer for 35-45 minutes until the chicken is tender stirring the sauce around 3-4 times while it cooks.  Serve with rice.Chicken-Fricassee-back-to-pan

Use one of the emptied soup cans to measure the milk.

Fricassee is a stewed poultry dish.  It is usually made with the bird cut into pieces and cooked in gravy to tenderize the meat and infuse flavor in the gravy or sauce.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange chicken thighs for breast meat, or mixed chicken pieces.
  • Exchange biscuit mix for flour.
  • Add dumplings by dropping small scoops of biscuit dough on the simmering sauce and continue cooking until fluffy.
  • Exchange rice for mashed potatoes or noodles.

Inspiration – Kris, College roommate
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: April 15, 2012

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Pork Chops with Pink Mushroom Sauce

Moist tender pork chops simmered in country gravy.

Comfort food

This is an easy way to whip up scrumptious tender pork chops with some fresh ingredients and help from condensed soup.  It is definitely comfort food, easy to make and a crowd pleaser.  You can use any cut of pork chop, which ever you like.

Recipe: Pork Chops with Pink Mushroom Sauce

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 40 Minutes | Yield: 4 servings | Level: Easy


  • 4-6 pork chops, 4 large or 6 small
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • salt and pepper

Pink Mushroom Sauce

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 Fire up a frying pan to med high.  Dredge chops with flour and season with salt and pepper.  Add oil and then the chops browning on both sides.
2 Toss in the onions and cook till softened.

3 Meanwhile mix all the pink mushroom sauce ingredients together in a bowl then glop over the chops. It will be pretty thick.

4 Turn the heat down to simmer and cover.  Simmer for about 20-30 minutes.  Stir the sauce around about 3 times during braising.  As it simmers, the moisture and steam will loosen the pink sauce and create a tasty gravy.  The chops become very tender and coated with sauce.  Serve the sauce over rice or baked potatoes.

Pink Sauce – A pink sauce is made of some combination of cream/milk and tomato. Here the blend of a cream soup with ketchup makes the sauce turn pink. Once cooked, the pan drippings turn the pink sauce into a rich caramel color.

Doubling and Freezing – If you have another frying pan you can have a double recipe going at the same time without adding much time to the prep. Once it is done, cool the second pan and put one chop with some sauce in a quart freezer bag and freeze. It will give you 4-6 individual main dishes ready to go. On a busy night, defrost and heat the chop and bake a potato in the microwave. Add a leftover veg or a garden salad and you have a quick, easy individual dinner.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange pork chops for boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • Exchange cream of mushroom for cream of celery or chicken soup.

Inspiration – Kim Duncan
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 2, 2012

Continue Reading · 1

Meyer Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

Succulent roast chicken infused with lemon and thyme.

Moist and Tender Roast Chicken

Making an impressive and juicy roast chicken is a basic but easy skill. Rotisserie chickens purchased at local markets are easy to buy but it really isn’t hard to bake one (or two) at home. When your family or guests come through the door, the whole house is permeated with the savory aroma. Roast twin chickens for other quick fix meals later in the week. The carrot rack converts into a side dish infused with the chicken flavor. This is a perfect menu for Sunday dinner.

Recipe: Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 90 Minutes | Yield: 6 servings | Level: Easy


  • 1 5 lb roasting chicken, washed
  • 8 large fresh carrots
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Meyer Lemon, cut in 8 chunks
  • 1 medium onion, cut in 8 chunks & no peeling necessary
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Special Equipment – Large Roasting Pan
1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2 In a roasting pan, line up the peeled or unpeeled carrots in the bottom creating an edible rack for the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3 Salt and pepper the bottom of the chicken and lay it on the carrot rack.

4 Put the lemon and onion chunks in a medium bowl and add in a few sprigs of thyme, olive oil plus some salt and pepper. Roll around until everything is coated with the oil and seasoning, then load into the chicken cavity.

5 Using the olive oil left in the bowl, brush or rub it over the top and sides of the chicken. Lay a couple of sprigs of thyme on the top and salt and pepper over all. Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the roaster and put a lid on or cover tightly with foil.

6 Roast for 15-20 minutes then reduce heat to 350 for 60-75 minutes until the inside temp measures 180 degrees or the leg moves easily.

7 Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before carving. Use pan drippings to make a gravy or glaze.

Meyer, a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, is a little sweeter and a more delicate citrus than a regular lemon.

Twin Chickens – i have a roaster large enough to handle 2 chickens. When I roast, I do 2 at the same time because it doesn’t really take any longer to roast 2 chickens. If you have a crowd coming for dinner, you’ll need 2. If not, once the extra chicken is cool, debone and use for other recipes later in the week or freeze to use on a salad or in other chicken recipes. When you defrost the chicken it is very juicy to the point that you won’t believe it had been frozen.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange thyme for fresh rosemary.
  • Exchange Meyer Lemon for regular lemon.
  • Create rack with carrots and celery stalks.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written: by
Photographs: by Helen Horton
Updated: March 18, 2012

Continue Reading · 7

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