Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Super Easy Manicotti

About 12 string cheese
Your favorite Spaghetti sauce
Manicotti noodles
Grated mozzarella Cheese

Boil the noodles according to package directions.  Drain and cool enough to handle.  Spoon some sauce over the bottom of a casserole dish.  Stuff each noodle with 1 string cheese.  If the Manicotti has fallen apart just wrap around the cheese and tuck under the edges.  Spoon more sauce on top and cover with the mozzarella.  
Bake at 350 just until the top cheese is about melted. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chicken Gyros

Greek Souvlaki has the best Gyros ever! I've had the lamb kind, but I prefer the chicken. A few weeks ago, I saw some pitas at Costco for really cheap and had a craving for a gyro. I decided to buy the pitas and search for a good gyro recipe. I found this one on the Taste of Home website ( The chicken tastes exactly like the one at Greek Souvlaki. I left the onions out because I'm not a fan of onions and I always have them take them off anyway. Note: I doubled this recipe for my family.


  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced garlic, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled cucumber
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill weed
  • 2 whole pita breads
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced


  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the lemon juice, oil, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, mustard and oregano; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 1 hour. In a small bowl, combine the cucumber, yogurt, dill and remaining garlic; cover and refrigerate until serving.
  • Drain and discard marinade. In a large nonstick skillet, saute the chicken for 7-8 minutes or until juices run clear. Spoon onto each pita bread. Top with yogurt mixture and onion; fold in half. Yield: 2 servings.
The yogurt sauce wasn't my favorite. It had chucks of cucumbers and I thought it might be good, but it wasn't really. I think my favorite part of a gyro is a fresh pita and yummy sauce. The pitas at Costco aren't as yummy as the fresh kind, but they worked. The next time I make this, I'm going to try this recipe for the suace.

Tzatziki Sauce


  • 1 cup plain yogurt (if you can find the extra-thick Greek yogurt it's best)
  • 4 garlic cloves; roasted and finely chopped (see below)
  • 1/2 lemon; juiced
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber without seeds
  • Salt to taste


1. Place whole, un-peeled garlic gloves in a small, un-oiled skillet over medium low heat and cook for about two minutes per side - until lightly browned. Peel and chop finely.

2. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

Note: The sauce is better if you allow it to sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before using.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Salmon and Wild Mushroom Casserole

*Courtesy of Josi Kilpack in "Blackberry Crumble"
I don't like salmon so I substituted chicken

1 12oz package wide egg noodles
4 tbsp butter plus 2 tbsp (divided)
1 (14 oz) can salmon*
1/2 onion chopped
3 celery ribs, diced
4-8 oz wild mushrooms (oyster, shitake, etc.) washed and sliced
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp flour
1 tsp double mustard powder
1 cup milk
1 can chicken broth
1 cup crushed oyster or saltine crackers

Preheat oven 350.  Butter a 2 qt casserole dish.  Cook the noodles according to the package directions (don't forget to add salt to the water). Drain, then return to the pot and toss with 2 tbsp. butter. Set aside.
While the noodles are cooking, open and drain the can of salmon. Remove any round bones and discard them.  (Other bones are soft enough to mix with the fish) Mash the salmon with a fork, set aside.
Melt 4 tbsp butter in a large skillet over med. heat.  Add the onion and celery and saute until transluscent, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the mushroom and salt.  Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms give up their juices, about 4 minutes.
Add flour to the skillet and stir well.  Add mustard powder.  Stir until combined.  Cook 2 min.  Slowly add the milk and broth, stirring constantly (remember to scrape up any browned flour on the bottom of the pan for extra flavor).  Stir until thick and bubbly.  Add the salmon.  Turn off the heat.  Salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the vegetable-salmon mixture over the buttered noodles and mix until combined.  Pour into the casserole dish.
Melt remaining 2 tbsp butter and toss with cracker crumbs. Spread buttered crackers on top of the casserole.  Bake 30 min.
* Could use canned chicken in place of salmon*