Asparagus with Lemon Rind and Rosemary

I grew up in the heart of the Midwest. I remember driving through the country to my Uncles farm and stopping in the ditch to pick huge bags of asparagus, which we would then have for dinner that night along with corn on the cob and usually, burgers. Asparagus and the heartland of America go hand in hand. What is funny is that we tend to make it in the most simplistic form; boiled or steamed with butter, salt and pepper. It's excellent and it's probably my favorite way to make it, however I am of course always interested in 'new' versions as well.

This recipe grabbed my interest because it used a number of my favorite herbs and foods for flavor; you have lemon, rosemary and garlic. Great on chicken, awesome on baby potatoes, it looks like a winner for asparagus as well!


1 pound asparagus
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 (2-inch) lemon rind strips
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (1-inch) rosemary sprig
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Snap off tough ends of asparagus.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, rind, garlic, and rosemary; sauté 3 minutes or until asparagus is lightly browned. Add 1/2 cup water to pan; cook 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender and liquid almost evaporates. Discard rind and rosemary. Sprinkle asparagus with salt and pepper; toss well.Print Friendly and PDF


Lettuce, Craisin, Feta and sugared Almond Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yesterday morning I got this salad in my brain and it would not leave me alone. It called out to me (in my brain) to be made and I found myself mentally taking inventory of what I had in the refrigerator at home to throw something together.

It's the kind of salad you don't measure. You toss together the ingredients and add a balsamic vinaigrette and serve. Quick and simple - especially when you use a store bought dressing. I was craving this salad so strongly yesterday that when I realized the only ingredient I was missing was balsamic vinegar, I didn't want to take time to make it. Instead, stopping by the grocery store on the way home from work I bought 1 bottle of Balsamic Vinaigrette and of a Raspberry Vinaigrette and I mixed them 5 parts to 1 part as I wanted just a *hint* of sweet raspberry vinaigrette but I really was craving the tang of the Balsamic mixed with the feta.

You can use pecans for this - sweetened or unsweetened. I happened to have made those sugar-free sugared almonds a couple weeks ago (that I posted here on An American Housewife) and I simply crushed 1/2 cup of those with the end of a wooden rolling pin. They were an incredible addition but you can use pecans or walnuts - toasted or not. Up to you!

Play with the recipe and make it your own!

1 bag mixed lettuce, washed and ready (your favorite mix)
pecans or almonds - sugared, toasted or raw
feta cheese - crumbled
Balsamic Vinaigrette
and/or Raspberry Vinaigrette

Use about a handful of nuts, handful of craisins and as much feta as you prefer. Before serving, toss with the vinaigrette.Print Friendly and PDF


Mango Sorbet Cake - Quick and Simple but Oh So Elegant!

This is a recipe I found and added to my files about two or three years ago. It's light and cool and oh-so-pretty but it's so easy when you cheat and start with a boxed cake mix. You don't have to though! If you have a favorite white cake recipe, by all means make it and use it. If you are pressed for time or just don't 'do' homemade cakes, then count on Betty Crocker to save the day.

Mango Sorbet Cake

1 box white cake mix
water, oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
1 pint (2 cups) mango sorbet, softened
1 pint (2 cups) strawberry sorbet, softened

1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
2 tablespoons lime juice
Garnish, if desired
Lime peel twists
Fresh strawberries

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom only of 15x10x1-inch pan with baking spray with flour. Line with waxed paper; spray waxed paper.

In large bowl, make cake mix as directed on box, using water, oil and egg whites. Pour into pan. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack; remove waxed paper. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Cut cake crosswise into 3 equal sections. On long serving platter, place 1 section, rounded side down. Spread mango sorbet evenly over top. Place another cake section onto the sorbet; press down. Spread with strawberry sorbet. Top with remaining cake section; press down. Cover lightly; freeze about 2 hours or until firm.

In large bowl, beat whipping cream, powdered sugar, grated peel and juice with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Frost sides and top of torte. Freeze about 1 hour or until firm. Just before serving, garnish top with lime peel and strawberries. To serve, let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Cut torte in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise 7 times to make a total of 16 slices.

Print Friendly and PDF


Back from Vacation and Ready to Go! Let's Start with a GIVEAWAY! FRUIT2o Contest!

Last night we arrived home from our annual family vacation at the beach and I'm ready to roll! Let's start with a contest! How would you like to win a pack of delicious Fruit2o flavored water!?

There's a better, tastier way for you and your family to get your full complement of water each day. Available in 6 full flavored varieties, Fruit2O originals combine natural fruit flavor in crystal clear water without any sugar, carbs or calories.

If you win, you'll get 6 delectable blends of fruit flavors with several nutrients found in 2 servings of fruit in each bottle. A great new way to get the water and nutrients you need anywhere, anytime—all with 0 calories and the fabulous flavor of fruit you expect from Fruit2O.

Choose from Cranberry Raspberry, Strawberry Kiwi, Peach Mango, Cherry Acai, Citrus or Blueberry Pomegranate.

Acquired by Sunny Delight in 2008, they are working with a marketing company, who is working with me to bring you this contest! All you have to do is comment below with your favorite flavor OR for those who don't want to leave their name/info below, just email me your favorite flavor of Fruit2o water and you'll be automatically entered to win!! You MUST list your favorite flavor and make sure I have a working email address to reach you by. Drawing held Tuesday, April 27th so hurry to win and spread the word through Twitter and Facebook that a whole PACKAGE of all the varieties of Fruit2o are being given away to one lucky winner tomorrow morning!

Print Friendly and PDF


On Vacation!

Posting may be sporadic this week as time allows
Check back Monday, April 26th
Thank You!!!
Print Friendly and PDF


Grilled Ribeye with Bleu Cheese Dressing

A thick grilled ribeye topped with a dollop of bleu cheese dressing... pure heaven. My kids love to top theirs with ranch dressing, although it must be said that they put homemade ranch dressing on well, almost everything; including scrambled eggs, pizza, chicken and pork chops. I've found almost nothing they don't think can be improved with a little ranch.

For those of you with a craving for a nice grilled steak tonight - this one is for you.

Ribeyes with Bleu Cheese Sauce

1 thick, ribeye steak per person
1-2 T fresh cracked black pepper
1-2 tsp. flake salt

Bleu Cheese Sauce
1 stick butter, softened
6-8 oz. bleu cheese,crumbled
8 oz. sour cream
*optional black pepper

Sprinkle your steaks with salt and pepper. Grill them to your favorite level of 'doneness'. While the steaks are cooking, prepare the sauce. Melt the butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the bleu cheese and turn off the heat; then stir in the sour cream. Do not boil the sauce as the sour cream will separate. I like to add fresh cracked black pepper to our sauce. You decide if you want to.Print Friendly and PDF


Sugar Free Candied Almonds

In 2010 this recipe was posted when Brown Sugar Twin was one of the few brown sweeteners available.  By 2018 I was using Ideal Brown because BSTwin was no longer available.  Well, soon after this, Ideal no longer made their Brown version either! 

Wanting a snack that was sweet and salty but yet healthy... not chips, I dug through a few recipes and used them to make up my own version with things I had on hand. For people who are low carbing, diabetic or just want a sugar free snack, I thought these were quite tasty!

Sugarfree Candied Almonds

1 1/2 - 2 c whole raw almonds
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/3 cup granular natural sweetener of choice
2 T brown sweetener of choice

dash of salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F; spray a 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan with cooking spray or line pan with foil. Pour almonds in a mixing bowl; add beaten egg white, toss to coat. Combine your granular sweetener and brown sweetener; sprinkle over nuts, toss to coat. Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with salt. Bake 30 minutes or until nuts are toasted, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool on waxed paper; store in airtight container.

Print Friendly and PDF

Use Eggs Past the Stamped Date to Make Your Hard Boiled Eggs

When it comes to hints and tips in the kitchen I'm always happy to pass some along because what seems like common sense to one person is an eye opening hint to another. Take 'old eggs' for example.

Unless those eggs in your refrigerator are 3 months old... don't toss them. Regardless of whether the sell-by date on your carton of eggs has passed, you can generally keep them in your fridge for three to five weeks, the USDA says.

Grandma knows and now you do too that you want to use eggs that are at least a week or two old to make your hard boiled eggs.

Fresh eggs will not peel easily when hard boiled.
Eggs that are at least a week or two old peel instantly, in large pieces.

Ignore all the false myths about vinegar, piercing with a needle, starting with a certain temperature of water, etc. The one and only hint you need is never use freshly bought or laid eggs for hard boiling.


Print Friendly and PDF


Making it right now... Crab Stuffed Chicken Breasts - Delicious!

You all know I can't follow a recipe precisely, but instead I use them as a 'guide' of sorts. I have fun with my food and play with it. I hope you do the same! This recipe serves 6 so if you don't need to make that many, go ahead and half everything.

One of the things I'm doing different tonight is not using any butter in the chicken/stuffing portion and I'm using pure crab with no cracker fillers. This cuts down on the calories and almost makes it low carb when you don't add the sauce to yours. (I'm serving the sauce for the kids but my husband and I will skip this part tonight in anticipation of the swimsuits we'll be wearing next week on vacation... ha ha).

Crab Stuffed Chicken Breasts

* 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons butter, divided
* 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
* 3/4 cup milk
* 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons chopped onion
* 1-1/2 (6 ounce) cans crabmeat - drained, flaked and cartilage removed
* 1-1/2 (4.5 ounce) cans sliced mushrooms, drained
* 1/2 cup crushed saltine crackers
* 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1-1/2 pinches ground black pepper
* 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
* 1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
* 3/4 teaspoon paprika

To Make White Sauce: Melt 3/4 of the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in flour until smooth, then gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring all to a boil; boil, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large skillet melt remaining butter and saute onion over medium heat until tender. Add crab, mushrooms, cracker crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of the prepared white sauce. Heat through.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Pound chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness. Spoon about 1/4 of the crab mixture onto the edge of each chicken breast; roll up and secure with toothpicks. Place chicken rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish, then top with remaining white sauce.

Cover dish and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Sprinkle with cheese and paprika and bake, uncovered, for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove toothpicks and serve.Print Friendly and PDF

An Oldie... Watergate Salad

I don't often add whipped cream 'salads' to my site because my website is a collection of recipes that I've found or made up that I actually use or have an interest in. I am not a fan of jello or fruit salads and I find most to be stomach turning. But! I know others like them and this is one that my Mother loves. Who knows, maybe when I'm 75 I'll like them. As of right now I would eat this if it were the pudding, (fresh) whipped cream and the crushed nuts together but once the marshmallows and... gulp... crushed pineapple are added, I just can't do it.

For those that have loved this salad/dessert for years... this one is for you. Certainly not me! Ha.

Watergate salad

1 - 8 oz. cool whip
1 box (small) of pistachio pudding mix
1 - 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple
1 c of mini marshmallows
1/2 c of crushed pecans (optional)Print Friendly and PDF


Beef in Cream

I just made some fresh coffee and settled down with one of my 3 ring binders that I've filled with handwritten and typed recipes from over the years. I glanced down at the random page I opened and saw Beef in Cream. I personally love to dip cold roast beef into ranch dressing and although this isn't ranch dressing, I know the perfect pairing of beef and cream. Copy this one down to your files.

Beef and Cream

4 lb. pot roast
2 T shortening/oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c water

Brown the meat slowly in hot oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add water. Cover. Simmer 3 hours. Remove meat from kettle and allow to stand for 20 minutes. Slice thinly and serve with;


1/2 c butter - melt
2 c heavy cream
2 large garlic cloves - minced
1/4 c lemon juice
1 1/2 t salt
3/4 t pepper

Heat the butter in a saucepan and as soon as it starts bubbling and browning add cream garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat 3 minutes. Spoon half the sauce in a heat proof glass dish. Arrange the beef slices and then cover the rest of the sauce over the top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Heat in a 350 degree oven until heated through - about 30 minutes.Print Friendly and PDF

Cucumbers in Sour Cream (or mayonnaise)

In honor of sunshine and the summer that is right around the corner, here is a simple recipe for a favorite of many; Cucumbers in Sour Cream. It's great for sugar-free and low carb diets as it uses Splenda as the sweetener.

Cucumbers in Sour Cream

1 large cucumber, thin sliced
1/2 c sour cream or mayonnaise
1 t Splenda
1 T vinegar
pepper - dash to taste

In a shallow bowl place the cucumber. Add the remaining ingredients, mix and chill. This makes 2-4 servings.Print Friendly and PDF


Cherry Poppy Seed Winks

Most people like cookies but only some make them from scratch anymore and only a handful will make them from scratch year round. I think that's just awful. The store bought cookie dough tastes like chemicals and preservatives and cannot compare to the taste of homemade. Still, some will say it's a matter of not having time to make 'real' cookies. That's not really true either as it only takes a couple minutes (literally!!!!) to toss some ingredients into a mixing bowl and turn on the mixer. Spending 4 minutes longer can give you the taste of Grandma's Cookies verses chemicals and sugar.

What is really awesome is if you can take 30 minutes on a Sunday afternoon or evening and mix up the dough for 4 or 5 of your favorite cookie recipes. Pat into disks or rounds and place in freezer bags. Later in the week or months you can grab the homemade dough out of the freezer, slice and bake... just as quick as you please but without that funky store-bought taste.

Cherry Poppy Seed Winks

1 c powdered sugar
1 c butter or marg.,softened
1 t vanilla
1 egg
2 c flour
2 T Poppy seed
1/2 t salt
1/2 c cherry preserves

Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, beat powdered sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg. Blend well. Add flour, poppy seed and salt. Mix well and drop by heaping teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

With your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon, make an imprint in the center of each cookie. Fill each center with 1/2 teaspoon of preserves. Bake for 20 to 25 min. or until edges are light golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Makes 30 cookies.Print Friendly and PDF

That Eight Glasses of Water Thing? Myth.

Don't believe one person can make a difference in this world? Well, fifteen years ago someone in the marketing department of a bottled water corporation thought of the "Eight glasses of water" angle to sell their product and look how it caught on! If you try to find a study or basis for the 8 glasses of water myth; you can't.

You Don’t Need Eight Glasses of Water

Besides water, even caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea and soda count toward your daily fluid intake. You don’t necessarily have to add eight glasses of water to what you already drink during the day to stay hydrated and healthy, according to Dartmouth Medical School and many, many others. Even juicy foods like apples and leafy greens count toward a healthy total fluid intake, notes Parenting magazine. Here is what I taught my children and here is what I'll tell you; "What color is your urine?" If it's very dark, then you need more water or liquids in your diet. If it is so clear there is hardly any color at all, then you are drinking too much water. A nice light yellow, straw color is good.

Print Friendly and PDF


Mango Yogurt Cake - Start with a Cake Mix

I can't believe it's been almost two years since I 'clipped' this electronic recipe and haven't yet got to make it! I adore mango-anything and this is so delicious looking and light I couldn't wait to make it. Instead, I found the recipe around the same time I was starting a new job and balancing the job, the kids schedules, school, sports, running our household, the finances, our taxes, planning vacations, cooking, cleaning, laundry and more.... well, I forgot all about it!

But tonight I found it in my files and with the sun peeking through the clouds and Spring having sprung - it's time to bring it out. Hopefully you all can get more use out of it than I've obviously gotten over the past 1 1/2 years!

Mango Yogurt Cake

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
1 cup nonalcoholic margarita mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
4 eggs
1 jar (1 lb 8 oz) sliced mango in extra-light syrup, well drained, diced
Remaining diced mango
1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) whipped topping
2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Original 99% Fat Free mango yogurt

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with baking spray with flour (do not use dark or nonstick pan). In large bowl, beat cake mix, margarita mix, oil, lime peel, eggs and 1 cup of the diced mango with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Pour into pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In blender, place remaining 1/4 cup diced mango. Cover; blend until smooth. In medium bowl, fold together whipped topping and yogurt; frost cake. Spoon small dollops of pureed mango over frosting, then swirl with back of spoon. Store in refrigerator.Print Friendly and PDF


Fudge made with chocolate chips and marshmallow creme

Thanks to Google for a last minute photo!

Tomorrow is Easter and just in case you can't get enough chocolate... here is a chocolate fudge recipe. Made with chocolate chips and marshmallow fudge it's not as fussy as the authentic cocoa, sugar and butter variety.


2 sticks butter
4 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 t vanilla
1 jar Marshmallow creme
1 cup walnuts (optional)
18 oz chocolate chips

Put the butter, sugar and milk in a pan, bring to a boil and slow boil, stirring constantly for exactly 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Slowly add the marshmallow creme, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Mix with an electric mixer - not by hand. Stir in nuts if you choose to use them. Pour in to a 9 by 13 pan and cool to room temperature and cut.Print Friendly and PDF


Velveeta Cheese Roll

Why do I feel a little embarrassed to post recipes that involve that oddity of foods; Velveeta? I didn't grow up in a household that used or bought it, but when I married my husband (a die-hard Velveeta fan) it became a staple of our home as well. It's a processed food, but it melts so smooth and is so perfect for many recipes that sometimes you just got to give in! *Grin*

Velveeta Cheese Roll

1 2 lb box Velveeta cheese
1 8 oz pkg. Cream cheese
chopped jalepeno peppers
chopped green olives w/pimentos
chopped green onions

Let Velveeta and cream cheese sit out till softened.
Roll out Velveeta between two sheets of wax paper into a rectangle.
Spread cream cheese in a thin layer on top of Velveeta.
Sprinkle remainder of the ingredients on top of cream cheese.

Next, start rolling from the wide side of the rectangle, jelly roll style. This is difficult and it's not a nice, simple, tight roll. Do your best.
Wrap in wax paper, then aluminum foil and chill.

Turn out onto a serving platter and serve with crackers.Print Friendly and PDF

Zucchini Puff

A great way to get eggs into your diet is to make an omelet, puff or casserole. Eggs, vegetables and cheese are a great combination and works for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner! This one has bacon in it - which we love - but you can leave it out of course if you are watching your diet very closely.

Zucchini Puff

3 medium size zucchini, scrubbed and sliced
1 medium size onion, chopped
½ cup minced bacon
2 tablespoons butter
6 or 7 eggs
¼ cup grated
Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Lightly brown onion and bacon. Pour off excess fat. Add sliced zucchini and butter. Cover and steam 5 minutes. Beat eggs slightly with salt and pepper. Add grated cheese and mix. Pour into skillet with vegetables. Cook over medium heat until set and then flip and cook the other side until golden.







Print Friendly and PDF

Strawberry Margaritas with Sugared Rims

If you happen to have a craving for Strawberry Margaritas by the pool this weekend... well, this one is for you.

Strawberry Margaritas with Sugared Rims

1 (8 oz.) package frozen strawberries, partially thawed
5 cups ice
3/4 cup tequila
1/2 cup thawed limeade concentrate
1/3 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons orange liqueur (Grand Marnier, Triple Sec)
Lime juice
sugar crystals
Garnishes: lime slices, fresh strawberries

Process first 6 ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Dip margarita glass rims in lime juice; dip rims in sugar crystals, coating well. Pour margarita mixture into glasses. Serve immediately. Garnish, if desired.Print Friendly and PDF