Diva Tasting: Complete Menu for Group….

So Cassie and I are cooking for the whole High School this week.  I thought I’d share our menu and shopping list.  These recipes are for 6-8 not for the large group we are serving.
SHOPPING LIST & Recipes 
PASTA ALFREDO
3 Rotisserie Chickens
3 Bags Frozen Peas And Carrots Thawed
6 Large Alfredo Sauce
1 Large Ricotta Large
4 Teaspoons Spices
4 Cups Parmesan or Mozzarella Cheese Shredded
4 Cups Heavy Cream
4 Boxes Pasta
Garlic Bread\TEXAS TOAST
Directions:
Cook Pasta in salted water
Bone Chickens
In a large bowl mix Alfred sauce, ricotta, cream and spices blend well. Fold in shredded chicken, cheese, fold in pasta and spread evenly in baking dishes. Pour into a 9x13x3 baking pan. Bake at 350 Degrees until Cheese is bubbling. About 1 Hour.
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TURKEY N DRESSING
ROASTING BAGS LARGE
TURKEY BREASTS 10 Lbs feeds 8-10
Butter
Garlic Powder
Wash turkey and pat dry. Season with butter and spices. Place in large cooking bag and cook on 300 degrees for about 3-4 hours.
CHICKEN GRAVY
Ingredients
1 Jars Gravy Mix
1 Packs Dry Gravy Mix
1/4 Cup Butter
1 Pinch Salt
4 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
8 Cups Chicken Broth
Sea Salt And Pepper To Taste
Directions
  1. In a large pot pour gravy mixes and jars and bring to a low boil on medium heat.
  2. Stir in fresh rosemary. Place flour in a lidded jar with half cup of the chicken broth…shake well to combine. Add flour mixture to pot and cook and stir for about 3 minutes.
  3. Whisk in broth, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
  4. Turn heat to medium high and bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer a few minutes until sauce starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Skim off any extra fat from the surface of the sauce.
DRESSING:

1 Cup Salted Butter

1 Box Self Rising Cornbread Mix

2 Med. White Onions, Chopped

2 Stalks Celery, Chopped
1 Bags Of Herb Dressing
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons Dried Sage
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
6 Cups Chicken Stock
Directions
Prepare corn bread as directed on package. Cool, and crumble.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onions, and celery in butter until tender, but not brown.
Place corn bread and bags herb dressing in a large bowl. Season with sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper remaining herbs and spices. Mix in chopped parsley, cooked vegetables and. Stir in  chicken stock. This mixture should be a bit mushy. Transfer to a greased 9×13 inch pan.
Bake at 325 degrees F. for 1 hour until brown on top.
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GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
Ingredients
2 Large Packages Frozen Green Bean Cuts
1 (10.75 Ounce) Cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup More to Taste
1 Pound Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated
1 (6 Ounce) Can French-Fried Onions
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat a large saucepan of salted water to a boil; add green beans and cook just until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
  3. Mix green beans and cream of mushroom soup together in a bowl; spread into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese over green been mixture and top with French-fried onions.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and browned, about 30 minutes.
MASHED POTATOES
3 Bags Frozen Mash Potatoes Thawed
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 (8 Oz) Pkgs Cream Cheese Softened
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Cup Half-And-Half
DESSERTS
Ice Cream Delight
22 Ice Cream Sandwiches Cut in Half
1 (16 Oz. Cool Whip Thawed
2 Large Pkgs of Instant Chocolate Pudding
4 Cups Heavy Cream
1 (8 Oz ) Cream Cheese
1 Jar Chocolate Sauce
2 Cups Pecan Nuts Chopped
Direction:
  1. In a large bowl mix pudding, cream, cream cheese until well blended. Fold in whipped topping and blend.
  2. Cut ice cream sandwiches in half. Place along bottom of a high-sided 9×13-inch serving dish. Repeat until bottom is covered.
  3. Spread with half of the whipped topping. Pour chocolate sauce on top. Sprinkle with half of the nuts.
  4. Repeat layers with remaining ice cream sandwiches, whipped topping, and nuts. The pan will be full. Cover and freeze. Will last for up to 2 months. Remove from freezer 20 minutes before serving. Cut into squares.
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Pineapple Dump Cake
Basic Dump Cake dessert Queen Version
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
1 Box Butter Cake Mix
1 Can (about 20 Oz) Crushed Pineapple
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup (2 Sticks) Butter, Melted
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease or spray, baking dish.
2. Empty the cans of pineapple (even the juice) in a medium bowl with brown sugar; mix well. Dump pineapple mixture into the 9×13 baking dish.
3. Distribute dry cake mix evenly over fruit in the 9×13” baking dish. Pour melted butter evenly over the dry cake mix (you can help this by using a rubber spatula to spread the melted butter).
Top with chopped nuts.
4. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until fruit begins to bubble up through the cake mix and the top is golden brown. Serve warm or chilled. Ice Cream is nice poured on top.
Cake Mix Peach Cobbler 
Ingredients
2 Cans Sliced Peaches In Syrup Or 24 Ounces Fresh Or Frozen Fruit Of Your Choice
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Box Butter Cake Mix
1 (12-ounce) Can Of Ginger Ale or Mellow Yellow, (A Flavor That Complements The Fruit Of Your Choice).
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Arrange cut-up fruit on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle Brown Sugar on Top and fold into fruit.
In a medium bowl, mix the dry cake mix with the soda of choice until batter is smooth. Spread over the fruit evenly.
Bake for about 1 hour, until cake tests done in the center. Serve while warm with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

Diva Tasting: Yogurt Coffee Cake…

Yogurt Coffee Cake
Ingredients
Pecan Topping:
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
1/4 Cup White Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
Coffee Cake:
1 Serving Nonstick Cooking Spray
1 Cup Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Unsweetened Applesauce
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1/3 Cup Sour Cream
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Large Eggs, Beaten
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
Directions
  1. Stir together pecans, white sugar, and brown sugar for the pecan topping in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly spray a fluted tube pan (such as Bundt(R)) with cooking spray.
  3. Combine brown sugar, applesauce, coconut oil, and butter for the coffee cake in a large bowl. Mix with a spatula until butter is almost completely mixed in, with some chunks remaining. Mix in yogurt, sour cream, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Add all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, remaining 1 teaspoon baking soda, and salt; stir until batter is well mixed and a light brown color. Stir in raisins until evenly distributed in the batter; batter will be thick.
  4. Scoop 1/2 of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out evenly so it is flat. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the pecan topping. Repeat with remaining batter and pecan topping.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 48 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and then flip carefully so the sugary pecan-topped side remains on top. Serve warm.

Diva Tasting:

Broccoli Casserole
Ingredients
Crumble:
1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
1 Teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice Powder
3 Tablespoons Cold Butter
Filling:
1 Head Broccoli
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 Small Onion, Sliced
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 Cups Sour Cream
1 Cup Half n Half
2 Cups Grated Cheddar Cheese, Divided
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Mix flour, bread crumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and five-spice powder together in a bowl. Cut in 1 1/2 tablespoons butter using your fingers until mixture resembles pebbles. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Cut the stem off the broccoli and use a spiralizer to cut into ribbons. Cut the head into florets.
  4. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add cornstarch, pepper, and nutmeg; mix well until roux begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add milk, stirring continuously, and continue to cook until sauce begins to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes more. Mix in 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese. Stir in broccoli until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour mixture into a baking dish.
  5. Top mixture with remaining Cheddar cheese. Sprinkle crumble mixture evenly over the top. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until the crumble has browned and sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Diva Tasting: Rose Timbale…

Rose Timbale
Serves 4
1 Bunch Of Cleaned Chard
2 Cups Of Robiola Cheese (or Substitute A Mixture Of 1 ½ Cups Mascarpone And ½ Cup Ricotta),
1 Box Of Wavy Lasagne
1/2 Lb Of Romanesco Broccoli,
½ Cup Grana Padano Cheese,
Lemon,
Thyme,
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil,
Salt And Pepper To Taste
Directions
Preheat oven to 350F
Step 1: Prepare the robiola spread
Combine the robiola or substitute cheese mixture with ½ cup of grated Grana Padano cheese, salt, pepper, and few thyme leaves, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and the zest of half a lemon until a cream forms.
Step 2: Cook the greens
Roughly chop the Swiss chard and sauté it in a pan with a pinch of salt for 2-3 minutes.
Boil the Romanesco broccoli florets in salted water for 2 minutes and strain.
Step 3: Cook the lasagna sheets
Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook the Wavy Lasagne pasta sheets for 8 minutes, then soak them in iced water for 1 minute, and lay them on a clean tea towel. Cook and fill them two at a time so that they remain flexible and do not tear while being filled.
Step 4: Make the rose rolls
Spread the Wavy lasagne sheets with the robiola mixture, top with the Swiss chard and the Romanesco broccoli, then fold them over to form rolls. Cut them in half.
Step 5: Assemble the timbale and bake
Arrange the rolls upright in a casserole dish (8×8). Sprinkle the timbale with grated cheese, drizzle a bit of oil on top and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Diva Musing: Reason for the Season…

We thought we’d post various thoughts on the holiday perspective from different people’s thoughts.  Here is our first for the season….

The Real Reason for the Season
Learning the True Values of Christmas

By Dale A. RobbinsWinter in the farmlands of Indiana can sometimes be snowy and bitterly cold. This Christmas eve was no exception. I was only 5 years old, but I remember it well. It was my first recollection of the cherished holiday.

A freshly cut pine tree sat in front room of the small farmhouse, decorated with popcorn strings and other homemade ornaments. But beneath the tree was a conspicuous absence. There were no presents. It had been a difficult year for my dad — a farmer by day, and a factory worker by night. Time and money were both in short supply.

Mother was especially discouraged that Christmas eve had arrived without any gifts for her three children. She was in tears when dad got home from work that night. But he brought encouraging news. His boss had given him an unexpected Christmas bonus.

Though the hour was late, my parents were determined to find a way to provide Christmas for the kids. Dad phoned the owner of the dime store in our small, nearby town and explained his situation. In a gesture that would be unheard of today, the merchant actually arose from bed and drove through the drifting snow to meet dad at the store.

All of us were still up when dad got back sometime after midnight. None of the presents were gift wrapped, but it really didn’t matter. By now it was Christmas morning, and we were anxious to see what papa Santa had brought us. Besides candy and other things, he had dolls for my two older sisters, cap firing six shooters for me, and a new lamp for mom. We kids sat around the Christmas tree, playing and giggling. What had seemed to be a grim Christmas eve hours earlier, was now long forgotten.

Although just a little boy, this experience gave me several lasting impressions about Christmas. For one thing, though nothing was said, I figured it out by myself — this business about Santa Claus was apparently make-believe. If there was a Santa, his real name was Daddy.

But more significantly, this loving act by my father taught me something about the real values of Christmas. For many years afterward, I would often reflect upon my father’s love that inspired him to venture out into the blizzardy night, returning with presents for us, yet nothing for himself. I could still vividly remember his own happiness as he sat nearby, watching as his family enjoyed their toys and gifts.

At this early age, I learned the profound truth that Christmas is really about the joy of giving, not merely receiving. Christmas was created by a loving Heavenly Father, who so loved the world, that He gave us the most noble and sacrificial of all gifts. He sent His own Son, in the form of a babe, gift wrapped in a humble manger, who would give His life as an atonement for our sins.

The real spirit of Christmas is giving, loving, caring and serving — just as our loving Father in Heaven has provided to us. So let each of us hold dear these values to our hearts, and use this season as an opportunity to give blessing to others, and to share the love of Christ with our friends and family — for Jesus is the reason for the season.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

 In loving memory of my dad, Myron F. Robbins

Diva Tasting: Banana Bread…

Banana Bread II
Ingredients
1 Cup Butter, Melted
1 Cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts (Coated with flour for even distribution)
2 Medium Bananas, Sliced
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the butter mixture until smooth. Finally, fold in the sour cream, walnuts and bananas. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Diva Tasting: Muffin Recipes for the Holidays Or Any Day …

Muffin Recipes for the Holidays Or Any Day 
Fall Muffins
Ingredients
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup White Sugar
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 Cup Butter, Melted
2 Eggs, Beaten
1 1/4 Cups Half n Half®
1 Cup Chopped Cranberries
1 Cup Diced, Peeled Apple (Optional)
1/2 Cup Fig Jam
1 Cup Chopped Toasted Walnuts
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease muffin pans or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, white sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Make a well in the center, and add the melted butter, milk and eggs, mix until smooth. Stir in the cranberries, apple, figs, and nuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Cups should be at least 3/4 full.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
Sweet Potato Muffins Dessert Or Breakfast
1 1/2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
4 Cups Canned Shredded Sweet Potato
1/2 Cup Raisins (Optional)
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease muffin tins to hold 12 muffins.
  2. Whisk together brown sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in a small bowl.
  3. Mix together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt, and grated sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the egg mixture. Stir the egg mixture, gradually incorporating it with the flour mixture. Stir in the raisins and walnuts
  4. Spoon the batter into the tins. I like to fill each tin to the rim to make a large cap. Bake the muffins for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Take the muffins out of the oven and run a paring knife carefully around each muffin, then invert the pan, and knock one edge against your work surface to release the muffins. Serve the muffins right away.