Forget Take-Out … Thirty-Minute Pizza with Homemade Crust

Two versions of Thirty-Minute Pizza –  Thin OR Thick Crust !!

Yup – takes about 30 minutes!  You make the pizza crust, let the dough rise for 10 minutes, add your favorite pizza toppings and you’ll be eating hot, fresh, delicious homemade pizza in less time than it takes to wait for delivery!  

Having a party which includes children?  Prepare dough ahead and let each child make their own individual pizzas.  They’ll have a great time!

Here’s my Latest Thing – invite The Girls over for a night of wine & fresh pizza. Soo much fun!

small red heart

From our last party…fresh mozzarella, sauteed red peppers & onions, pepperoni and arugula   


Meatball Version – Got leftover meatballs & sauce….?     

My Grandchildren’s Version – Each put on exactly what they wanted on their half of the pizza.  And just look at those flying hands!  

Fresh Mozzarella and Fresh Basil – The first Thirty Minute Pizza I ever made.

Follow this link to ‘Popover Pizza’ a.k.a. ‘Upside Down Pizza’, which was one of my twins sons favorites when they were young!

6 - Popover Pizza a.k.a. Upside-Down Pizza -

For the meatball pizza I used whatever I had in the fridge; some meatballs, spaghetti sauce and various cheeses.  Once my pizza was fully ‘fitted out’, it was popped onto the lowest shelf in the oven. After 14 minutes I was happily stuffing my face with hot, delicious pizza. And, get this, I’m not usually a big pizza fan.  But I’ve been known to have three pieces of Thirty Minute Pizza.

Recently I doubled the pizza crust dough recipe, put the dough in two large resealable plastic bags and refrigerated them. Actually, I made the dough two days ahead, so on the night of the party, the dough had risen so much that the bags were near to bursting.

My plan was for each of the four ‘kiddos’ who attended the party to make their own individual pizzas.  And it worked like a charm.  I gave each child a small piece of parchment paper, a hunk of dough and some ‘pizza fixings’. The mini individual pizzas, still on the parchment paper, were placed on a cookie sheet and baked on the lowest rack of the oven for about 13 minutes. The kids had a great time making their pizzas AND they actually ate almost all of them – which was pretty unusual since they usually eat like birds..    ; o )

small red heart

Thin Crust Version – note cooking time is slightly less than Thick Crust Version !

To double the Thin Crust Version – do NOT double salt. Use 1 tsp. ..  double all other ingredients

Oven at 425F     Bake on lowest rack for 12 – 14 minutes.

Ingredients and Method          

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour   – plus a bit extra when kneading the dough
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. quick rise (or bread machine) yeast – OR 1 packet
  • 3 Tbs olive oil    ++  I used olive oil infused with basil
  • 1/2 cup very warm water   –  120 to 130 degrees    ++  Water should feel very warm..but not quite hot.

Sauce & Toppings of Your Choice!

  • pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce or  etc.
  • meatballs, cut in half or thirds
  • pepperoni
  • cooked ground beef
  • peppers, onions etc.
  • fresh mozzarella, grated mozzarella, grated Parmesan, grated Romano etc .  OR – pepper jack cheese, grated 5-cheese Italian mix…. whatever you have
  • Don’t be afraid to try things like ham and slices of canned pineapple etc. YUMMY!
  • Or make a White Pizza with Alfredo sauce & cheese.   Or mix it up and add sliced tomatoes and fresh basil.


In a good-sized bowl place 2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. sugar and 1 packet quick rise (or bread machine) yeast, which equals 2 1/4 tsp.  Mix dry ingredients with a fork.

Add 3 Tbs olive oil and 1/2 cup very warm water   –  120 to 130 degrees  ++  Water should feel very warm..but not quite hot.  Mix ingredients together with a large spoon.  Towards the end it might seem as if there’s not enough water but just keep mixing in the rest of the flour and it’ll turn in a really nice dough.  ++  Dough will be a stiff.

Sprinkle a little flour on the counter or a clean dish towel.  Knead dough for about four minutes. Dough should be nice and elastic by this time.  Place the bowl you were using over the ball of dough and let rest for 10 minutes.

++   You’re going to find this dough easy to work with.  Because the dough is warm and fresh, it won’t keep shrinking back every time you try to form the it.  

After letting dough rest, I suggest using your fingers to press dough into shape.  Add whatever toppings you wish.  Bake pizza at 425F – ON THE LOWEST SHELF OF YOUR OVEN – for 12 to 14 minutes, or until bottom is slightly browned and the crust is just a bit brown.  ++ I cook the Thin Crust pizza for about 12 minutes but ovens differ.

++  I like to use a 11 1/2 inch nonstick pizza pan with holes on the bottom because it makes a crisper crust.  You can also use a cookie sheet.  If your cookie sheet isn’t nonstick, I recommend using parchment paper – it makes it much easier to remove the cooked pizza.

Thicker Crust Version – note cooking time is slightly different !

To double the Thicker Crust Version – do NOT double salt.   Use 1 tsp. ..  double all other ingredients

Ingredients and Method          

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour   – plus a bit extra when kneading the dough
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. quick rise (or bread machine) yeast – OR 1 packet
  • 3 Tbs olive oil    ++  I used olive oil infused with basil
  • 2/3 cup very warm water   –  120 to 130 degrees    ++  Water should feel very warm..but not quite hot.


++  Bake on lowest rack of oven set at 425F – for 12 – 15 minutes.  

++ I cook the Thicker Crust pizza for 15 minutes but ovens differ.  The pizza dough should be slightly browned on the bottom and the crust will just be a bit brown.  

++  I like to use a 11 1/2 inch nonstick pizza pan with holes on the bottom because it makes a crisper crust.  You can also use a cookie sheet.  If your cookie sheet isn’t nonstick, I recommend using parchment paper – it makes it much easier to remove the cooked pizza.


Quick and Delicious Popover Pizza – a.k.a. Upsidedown Pizza

Back in 1999, when I was such a neophyte with computers that I didn’t even know how to use spell check, I made a cookbook containing many of my twin sons’ favorite recipes. The cookbook, aptly named The Roy Family’s Favorite Recipes, was a big hit with my guys and they  still use it, and a subsequent Christmas cookbook, fairly often.

Popover Pizza was always a big favorite of my sons’ – and their friends.  If you happen to have leftover meatballs and sauce, prepare the Popover Pizza with that. Don’t happen to have leftovers?  All you’ll need is a pound of ground beef, a jar of prepared spaghetti sauce and an onion. Plus a few spices like oregano – whatever you’d like.

The meat and sauce are spread on the bottom of 9′ x  13′ pan, lots of shredded mozzarella cheese is sprinkled on top, then the popover batter is poured over the mozzarella, followed by a sprinkling of shredded Parmesan.  Pop the Popover Pizza into the oven for 30 – 45 minutes, or until the the popover ‘crust’ is puffed and  lightly browned. Et voila, dinner is served.

PS  – As I type this I’m staying with two of my grandchildren while my son M. and his wife are vacationing in Spain. Yesterday I broke out my son’s copy of The Roy Family’s Favorite Recipes and made Popover Pizza.  Judging from the stains and drips on the page, it seems Popover Pizza is  big hit with the new generation of Roys as well.  Enjoy!!

Follow this link to ‘Forget Takeout Pizza – Thirty Minute Pizza with Homemade Crust


small red heart

Oven at 400F         Buttered 9′ x 13′ pan            Bake for 35 – 45 minutes


  • 2 – 3 cups leftover meatballs and sauce     ++  chop meatballs into chunks
  •      Don’t have leftover meatballs and sauce?
  •                1 lb. ground beef
  •                1 small onion, chopped
  •                1 jar purchased spaghetti sauce
  •                1 /2 tsp. dried oregano, basil or Italian herbs
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup milk     ++ Full fat or 2% is best
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese


Butter a 9′ x 13′ pan

– If you have leftover sauce and meatballs, spread 2 – 3 cups of sauce and chopped up meatballs on bottom pan.

– No Leftovers?  —  Fry 1 lb. ground beef and one onion, chopped, in a large skillet. Remove any fat from pan and discard.  Add one jar spaghetti sauce, some herbs, such as 1 /2 tsp. dried oregano, basil or Italian herbs –  any herbs and spices you wish.   Simmer sauce, uncovered, for 10 minutes to 15 minutes – stirring occasionally.  Spread beef and sauce mixture on bottom of pan.

Sprinkle two cups shredded Mozzarella cheese over meat and sauce.

  Popover Topping

In a medium bowl beat -on high – 1 cup milk, 2 large eggs and 1 Tbs. olive oil until foamy, about a minute.  Add 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 tsp salt   Beat on high until mixture is thoroughly blended. Slowly pour batter over mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan.

Bake at 400F for between 35- 45 minutes.  The meat and sauce with be bubbling and the popover topping should be lightly browned and puffy.  If you check and the popover topping isn’t puffy and lightly browned, just bake it a bit longer.  ++  The amount of time needed will depend upon your oven – and your pan. If using a glass pan, you will probably need the full 45 minutes simply because glass doesn’t conduct heat in the same way as metal.  (I’m making a note to myself to tell my son that!)   

6 - Popover Pizza a.k.a. Upside-Down Pizza -

A New Spin on an Old Favorite – Mushroom Ravioli Lasagna with a Light Basil & Bell Pepper Tomato Sauce

Mushroom Ravioli Lasagna  - My Yellow Farmhouse

My son Dan recently dropped by and I told him I’d made a new dish called Mushroom Ravioli Lasagna.  He wanted to try it for himself… and the first words out of his mouth were, “Why did you make so much”?  Hey, I prefer to make A LOT.  It’s just as easy to make a lot as it is too make a little.  And everyone loves leftovers, especially if you have children who seem to eat 18 hours a day.  I guess I’m still thinking like the woman who used to feed twin sons…. plus all their friends.  And now I just feed the neighbors!   ; 0 )

Mushroom Ravioli Lasagna with a Light Basil & Bell Pepper Tomato Sauce is easier, at least to me, than preparing a regular lasagna with lasagna noodles.  And the mushroom ravioli gives this Italian staple a whole new spin.  The tomato sauce has a fresh, light taste and is a cinch to prepare. I used several types of bell pepper, a bit of red onion, two cans of VERY good quality crushed tomatoes, one can of tomato sauce, some roughly chopped basil – plus salt and pepper.  Then I let the sauce simmer for about an hour, which thickened it up perfectly and allowed the flavors to meld.

While the sauce was simmering I mixed the ricotta, parmesan, eggs and fresh Italian parsley, and cooked the mushroom ravioli al dente.  All that was left to do was make the layers, which I thought was a lot of fun.  (Maybe I need to get out more, huh?)


A few of my sister-in-laws (I have six) visited Saturday night, when I prepared this lasagna. The wine was flowing and we had a lot of fun.  Due to my broken ankle, one of them had to drain the ravioli and place the lasagna in the oven… And take it out, of course.

I hope you like this Mushroom Ravioli Lasagna with a Light Basil & Bell Pepper Tomato Sauce as much as we did.  Enjoy!

Follow this link to -‘Not Your Grandmother’s’ Turkey (or Chicken) Tetrazzini – Prepared with Tortellini Instead of Spaghetti !


small red heart

Oven at 425 degrees F  for 45 minutes           13″ x 10″ deep casserole dish

Do NOT Cover Lasagna with Foil !    

Allow lasagna to stand for 10 minutes after removing it from the oven.



  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • ½ cup each; chopped red pepper, chopped green pepper, chopped orange pepper ++ Or any combination – to equal  1 1/2 cups.
  • ¾ cup chopped red onion
  • 2 cans (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes ++  I used Sclafani brand for the first time & was very impressed with the quality.
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce  ++  I used Hunts – Basil, Garlic & Oregano
  • 2 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ground fresh pepper – to taste


  • 4 cups (32 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 1 (16 oz.) package shredded Mozzarella  ++ DIVIDED  Mix 2 1/2 cups into the ricotta mixture – the rest will be sprinkled top. 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (or Romano) cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (a.k.a. Italian parsley)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. black pepper


  • 3 packages (9 0z.) fresh mushroom-stuffed ravioli, cooked according to package directions    ++ I used Buitoni Riserva Pasta Agnolotti Wild Mushroom, located in the refrigerator aisle of your grocery store.
  • 1 tsp. salt and 1 Tbs. olive oil in water
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil… to mix with cooked ravioli.  Helps it not to stick. (I forgot to do this…)


Add 1 Tbs. olive oil to a large stock pot or Dutch Oven.  Add ½ cup each; chopped red pepper, chopped green pepper, chopped orange pepper ++ Any combination – to equal  11/2 cups and ¾ cup chopped red onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until peppers and onion begin to soften. (They’ll cook more in the oven.)

Add 2 cans (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes, 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce, 2 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh basil, 1 tsp tsp. salt and ground fresh pepper, to taste.  Simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, for one hour. Do NOT cover pan.  Sauce will reduce by about 1/3.

I highly  recommend using a splatter guard!

splatter guard

While sauce is simmering, prepare ricotta/mozzarella mixture.  In a medium bowl mix 4 cups (32 ounces) ricotta cheese, 2 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2 eggs, 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (a.k.a. Italian parsley), 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. black pepper.  Set aside.


Cook al dente, according to package directions.  Drain well and mix with 2 Tbs. olive oil so the ravioli won’t stick together.  Set aside.

Putting It All Together    ++  See photos below !

In a large casserole – or 13″ x 10″ pan – spread about 1  cups tomato sauce.  Layer about 14 mushroom ravioli on top, depending upon the size of the ravioli.  Spread HALF the ricotta/mozzarella mixture on top of ravioli.  Cover with more tomato sauce. Add your second layer of ravioli, other half of ricotta/mozzarella mixture and your final layer of ravioli.  Spread remaining tomato sauce on top.

At this time you can sprinkle on the remaining shredded mozzarella BUT I suggest you wait until the lasagna has been cooking for about 25 minutes, then sprinkle on the shredded mozzarella because this helps the mozzarella to not overcook and turn brown.  Enjoy!

Mushroom Ravioli Lasagna - My Yellow Farmhouse

Got Leftovers? Make a ‘One Pan’ Biscuit Topped Pie!

Got Leftovers - Make a Pie with Biscuit Crust - (2)Don’t have time to shop?  Or, perhaps, its snowing and you prefer, like me today, just staying inside all snuggly?   Maybe you need to put a meal together in a hurry?  Never fear!! You can prepare a pretty darn delicious meal with whatever you find in your fridge, freezer or cupboard.  I promise!

Example, this yummy One-Pan Biscuit Topped Pie was prepared with leftovers and a few items I found in my pantry and fridge. Found – two cans of tuna, so that’s what I used. Have leftover chicken?  Use that.  Have leftover ham or pork?  Use that.  You get the picture!

What else did I find .. a can of mushroom soup and a container of turkey broth. I also had lots of all-purpose flour, so I decided to prepare a ‘One Pan’ Pie topped with biscuit strips, which I hadn’t made in years.

My friend, Chef Mimi, reminded me that leftover stew would be wonderful made into a biscuit topped pie.  Thanks Mimi!   Check out Mimi’s latest recipe – Thai Chicken Curry with Zucchini ‘Noodles’.

I believe the inspiration to top the pie with biscuit strips came from this recent post!

Follow this link to recipe for not one – but two – biscuit recipes!

USE - Southern-Style Biscuits No. 2 -

OK, now for the refrigerator.  I found some chunks of cooked potato and just a bit of fresh Italian parsley. So out they came.  ++ If you find some cooked rice or cooked macaroni, add that to your collection of ‘found things’.  I also dug up half a bag of frozen mixed vegetables- perfect.  ++  Now’s a good time to use-up any leftover peas or cooked broccoli you have lying around !!

Oh yeah!  I could already imagine the finished casserole coming out of the oven … the filling all hot and bubbly with lightly browned strips of biscuits crisscrossing the top.

small red heart

INGREDIENTS      Oven at 375 F

       Pie Filling

++  I used a 9 1/2″ cast iron skillet but any oven-proof skillet would work just as well.  OR – a medium oven-proof casserole.

  • olive oil – about 1 Tbs.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • about a cup of cooked potatoes — or rice — or macaroni ++   Use whatever you have.  And if you have more than a cup – so much the better!
  • 2 cups veggies   ++ Veggies should be cooked or you can use frozen, but uncooked veggies won’t work.
  • 2 cans DRAINED tuna  – OR – about 1 cup cooked meat or fish   ++ Again, if you have more than a cup, that’s fine.
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup  ++ Hey – it’s leftovers.. whatever works, right?
  • 1/2 cup turkey or chicken stock – OR – 1/2 cup hot water and 1 bullion cube
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground pepper – to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt with parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. browning sauce   ++  I use ‘Gravy Master’.  Browning sauce adds flavor and color.

       Biscuit Crust

++   To save time you can just drop scant tablespoons of biscuit dough on top of hot filling instead of cutting it into strips. 

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup CHILLED butter  (1/2 stick)
  • 6 Tb. milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sesame seeds – optional


Add about 1 Tbs. olive oil to skillet. On medium heat cook 1 medium onion, chopped, until tender.  Add 1 cup (or so) cooked potatoes, rice… whatever you may have.  Add 2 cups veggies, two cans tuna – OR – 1 cup cooked chicken, pork, ham, fish etc., 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 cup turkey or chicken stock, (OR – 1/2 cup hot water and 1 bullion cube), 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. salt, freshly ground pepper, 1/2 tsp. garlic salt with parsley, 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp. fresh parsley, minced and 1/4 tsp. browning sauce.

++  If you add cooked rice – or more of some of the ingredients – add a bit more stock.

Gently stir the ingredients until well mixed, lower heat and allow to simmer about 5 minutes.  Turn off heat but leave skillet on burner.

Got Leftovers?  Make a 'One Pan' Biscuit Crust Pie!

Now for the biscuits – this is super quick and easy!!  In a medium bowl place 1 cup flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder. Mix briefly with a fork. Add 1/4 cup CHILLED butter  (1/2 stick), cut into large pieces. Using either your fingers or a pastry blender (a.k.a. a pasty cutter), cut the butter into the flour until the mixture looks crumbly.  (I recently learned its not necessary to have every single smidge of butter mixed in.  The biscuits are actually flakier if you can see tiny bits of butter.)   Add 6 Tb. milk and mix until just combined.

pastry blender
Pastry cutter


Don’t have time to bother making the strips?  Drop biscuit dough by scant tablespoons onto hot filling.


Place dough on a well-floured surface – either a dish towel (tea towel) or even the counter. Pat into a 9″ circle (if you’re using a 9 1/2″ – 10” skillet) and cut into 8 strips.

Got Leftovers?   Make a 'One Pan' Biscuit Topped Pie! -

Starting with the middle strip – ‘cause it’s the longest – place it in the middle of the skillet on top of the hot filling.   Add 2 biscuit strips to the right and 2 strips to the left of the first – for a total of 5 strips. Now add the three remaining strips diagonally to the first 5.

++  You don’t have to do the ‘over and under thing’, I just wanted to ’cause it reminded me of my Memere – who was an AWESOME cook and baker.  And she also had an amazing green thumb!

Got Leftovers?   Make a 'One Pan' Biscuit Topped Pie! -

Beat 1 egg in a small bowl and brush over biscuit strips.  ++  I couldn’t find my brush, so I used my fingers, which worked just as well !!  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

I baked my ‘One Pan’ Biscuit Crust Pie for 22 minutes until the filling was bubbling and the biscuits strips were browned.  ++ I’d ere on the side of cooking the pie a bit longer if you’re not sure – just keep your eye on the biscuit crust to make sure it’s not over-browning.  Enjoy!!

I’ve got my Cranky Pants on at the moment simply because I spent the whole day trying to work on this post.  Between the site crashing and then not saving my work…. well, you can just imagine . . .

 The good thing is, I’m enjoying a beer AND I’m going to eat more of this pie!    ; o )


Mini Shepherd’s Pies (Also known as Cottage Pies)

Mini Shepherds Pies - - and I do mean 'pies'!

If you have parchment paper, place a strip, long enough so that it hangs out on each side, in each section of the muffin tin.  This will help when you remove the mini pies.

I had planned to share these with my neighbors…. but ended up eating them all – that’s how much I love them!  I based both the ground beef filling and creamy mashed potatoes on my recipe for Shepherds Pie, with a few adjustments.   – –

Mini Shepherds Pies are easy to make!  The recipe calls for purchased pie crust and – if you’re short on time – a 24 oz. container of ready-to-eat mashed potatoes can be used.  Making these mini pies is fun and easy – and so is eating them.

Ingredients and Method
  • 1 box refrigerated pie crusts
  • 24 oz. refrigerated mashed potatoes  –  OR  –  homemade mashed potatoes
  • Homemade Mashed Potatoes
  • 5 cups cubed Yukon Gold potatoes   ++ Peeled and cut into 2″ chunks
  •  3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 – 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1/3+ cup milk or Half and Half     ++  I used Half and Half
  • Ground Beef & Vegetable Filling
  • 1 Tbs. butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 medium-sized onion, chopped  ++ About 1/3 cup
  • 1/2 lb. ground (minced) beef  ++ I used 80%
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn     ++ No need to thaw
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas    ++ No need to thaw
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste    ++ Freeze tomato paste in 1 Tbs. portions in a ziploc bag. 
  • 1 beef or chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 tsp. pepper

Place 5 cups chopped, peeled Yukon Gold potatoes in a medium-sized saucepan.  Add enough cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Lower heat and cover saucepan. Allow potatoes to simmer for 25 – 30 minutes or until potatoes can easily be pierced with a sharp knife.  ++  It’s better to cook the potatoes longer than end up with lumpy potatoes!!  I know – Been There – Done That!

Mini Shepherds Pies - My Yellow

While potatoes are cooking, begin beef/veggie filling.  Place 1 Tbs. butter In a large non-stick skillet.  Add 1/3 cup chopped onion. Cook onions, stirring often, over medium heat until they soften.  Add 1/2 pound chopped (minced) beef.  Continue to cook until beef loses its pink color.  ++ Break up any large chunks of beef.   ++  Remove any extra grease, although I leave about 2 Tbs. – for the flavor.

Add 3/4 cup still-frozen corn and 3/4 cup still-frozen peas, 1/3 cup water, 1 Tbs. tomato paste, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/3 tsp. pepper and either a chicken or beef bouillon cube.

Mini Shepherds (Cottage) Pies - (2)

Continue cooking, stirring often, for an additional 4 to 5 minutes… until most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Set aside.

Now it’s time for the mini-pie crusts.  This is fun!  ++  Remove the pie crusts from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before so the crusts will be soft enough to work with.

Unroll pie crusts. Roll each crust into a 12″ circle, which only takes a second ’cause the crusts are almost that big already.  Using a 4″ circle (I used the 4″ top of a plastic food container – or you could use a piece of cardboard) cut out 12 circles.

Mini Shepherds Pies - My Yellow Farmhouse.comMini Shepherds Pies - My Yellow (2)


Place one pie crust circle in each of the sections of a 12-cup muffin tin.  Gently press pie crust to fit.

Bake at 400F for 8 minutes.  ++ Lower oven temperature to 350F once you’ve removed muffin tin with bottom crusts from oven.

Finishing the mashed potatoes

Mini Shepherds  Pies - - and I do mean 'pies'!

Drain cooked potatoes. Mash down with a potato masher.  Add 2 – 3 Tbs. butter, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and approximately 1/3 cup milk – or ‘Half ‘n Half‘ – or Single Cream – and beat with a mixer until the potatoes are creamy but still stiff enough to hold their shape on top of the beef filling.

Putting it all together

Mini Shepherds Pies - My Yellow (3)

Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, put a portion of the meat/vegetable filling in each section.  Top with 1/4 cup mashed potatoes.  ++ If you have extra mashed potatoes, add a bit more to each mini-pie.

Sprinkle with a bit of paprika to give the Mini Shepherds Pies a bit of color.  You know, part of finding a particular food delicious is often due to it’s color, so adding a bit of paprika not only makes things taste better but also gives them better eye-appeal.  You can also sprinkle on a bit of cheese!

Mini Shepherds Pies - - and I do mean 'pies'!  myyellowfarmhouse.comMini Shepherds Pies - - and I do mean 'pies'!


Bake the Mini-Shepherds Pies at  350F  for 25 – 30 minutes.  Potatoes and crust will be slightly browned.     

++ Let stand 10 minutes before serving, which helps the pie crust to not fall apart when you remove the mini-pies.  Enjoy !!

Mini Shepherds Pies - and I do mean 'pies'!

++  Recipe adapted from

Crispy Tuna Patties

I’ve been making Tuna Patties for a long time – I’ve even cooked them on a wood stove! But I’d never written down the recipe before. You know… it’s like making meatloaf or meatballs – a bit of this & a bit of that…. until it just feels right.

Crispy Tuna Patties are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside – rather like a good crab cake! This recipe comes together quickly, so it’s good for lunch as a sandwich with tartar sauce and crispy lettuce. Or as a quick dinner, if served with a veggie or salad. Enjoy!

 My friend Naomi substituted canned salmon for tuna when she prepared these patties and, for an extra ‘taste sensation’, she served them with a delicious  remoulade sauce.  Sounds like a great idea to me!

Click here for ‘AnnaShortcakes’ terrific recipe for Remoulade Sauce!

small red heart

Ingredients           Makes 4 Crispy Tuna Patties

  • 2 (5 oz.) cans solid white Albacore tuna
  • 1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
  • 4 Tbs. minced Bermuda onion
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (If you don’t have a food process or blender, mince some fresh bread, minus the crusts.)
  • 4 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt
  • a few shakes pepper
  • flour – for dredging tuna patties
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil – for frying


In a medium-sized bowl, mix 2 (5 oz.) cans solid white Albacore tuna, 2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning, 4 Tbs. minced Bermuda onion, 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (If you don’t have a food process or blender, mince some fresh bread), 4 Tbs. mayonnaise, 1/8 tsp. salt – or ‘to taste’ – and a few shakes pepper.

(Today I made half the recipe (two tuna patties) and used only one can of tuna.)

Crispy Tuna Patties - My Yellow Farmhouse

Form into 4 patties – each about 1/3″ thick. Place some flour on a plate and ‘dredge’ both sides of each tuna patty in the flour.

Crispy Tuna Patties -dredged in flour

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 4 Tbs. olive oil. Gently place the four tuna patties into the frying pan. Cook a few minutes (or until the patties are golden brown & crispy). Turn and cook on the other side until golden brown & crispy.

++ Makes sure your skillet is good and hot before you add the tuna patties! 

++ If tuna patties don’t seem to be browning enough, raise the heat a bit!

You may want to consider serving Crispy Tuna Patties with my Oven Roasted Parmesan Potatoes. With the addition of fresh greens beans with almonds –  or a salad – you have a delicious and inexpensive meal!

Link to ‘Oven-Roasted Parmesan Potatoes’

Oven Roasted Parmesan Potatoes - My Yellow

My Friend Naomi’s ‘Crispy Salmon Patties’

Naomi's Salmon Patties - My Yellow Farmhouse

Breaded Chicken Cutlets with Pimento-Parmesan Cream Sauce

When my sons were still living at home, my family enjoyed this chicken dish immensely. And now my sons prepare it for their families. Breaded Chicken Cutlets with Pimento-Parmesan Cream Sauce is pretty easy to make – yet it’s delicious enough for company.

In the last 20 years I honestly believe the size of chicken breasts has doubled. With that in mind, I cut each boneless chicken breast in half to make chicken cutlets. I also made another slight tweak in the recipe which makes the sauce creamier.

++ Recently, I saw that someone had posted the original recipe for this, called Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce, on Pinterest, and included the 1/2 cup fresh basil.  I, myself, have never bothered with the basil but, by all means, add it if you wish.

Ingredients & Method                 Serves 4

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cut in half and pounded between plastic wrap ’till about 1/2″ thick
  • 1/4 cup milk or cream (I use cream.)
  • 1/2 cup Italian-flavored bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbs. butter  &  2 Tbs. olive oil – for frying
  • Knorr bouillon cube – or – 2 regular bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (4 oz.) jar diced pimentos – drained
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil – optional !
  • 1/4 tsp. salt – or ‘to taste’   
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (I highly suggest using fresh Parmesan.)
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbs water   ++ OPTIONAL 


Cut each boneless chicken breast in half and pound each piece between plastic wrap ’till about 1/2″ thick. I used a rolling pin because I couldn’t find my meat mallet… You can also use a cast iron skillet. Or, as one chef put it, his “hard-cover copy of Les Miserables“!!

Breaded Chicken Cutlet with Parmesan-Pimento Cream Sauce

Pour 1/4 cup cream (or milk) into a shallow bowl. Place 1/2 cup breadcrumbs on a plate. Dip each chicken piece first in the milk (dip both sides), then in the bread crumbs – set aside. If you have an extra moment, press the breadcrumbs into the chicken a bit – it helps the breadcrumbs to adhere. You can also sprinkle the chicken with a bit of paprika if you like, but it’s not necessary.

Breaded Chicken Cutlet with Parmesan-Pimento Cream Sauce

In a large skillet, add 1 Tbs. butter  &  2 Tbs. olive oil. Using medium heat, cook each piece of chicken for 3 – 3 1/2 minutes a side, turning once. (Feel free to add a bit more butter or oil…) 

Breaded Chicken Cutlets with Parmesan-Pimento Cream Sauce

Set cooked chicken aside and keep it warm.

Breaded Chicken Breast with Pimento-Parmesan Sauce

To the same skillet, add 1/2 hot water and the bouillon cube(s)

Bring to a boil, mixing in the browned bits at the bottom of the skillet. Lower heat – add 1 cup heavy cream. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.


  • 1 (4 oz.) jar diced pimentos – drained 
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil – optional !
  • 1/4 tsp. salt – or ‘to taste   
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (I highly suggest using freshly grated Parmesan)

Simmer. stirring, for another minute or two – until mixture thickens slightly.

++ OPTIONAL  For a thicker sauce, mix 2 tsp. cornstarch with 2 Tbs water, add to skillet and continue to simmer, stirring, for another minute – or until thickened. (I like my sauce nice ‘n creamy!)

Breaded Chicken Cutlet with Parmesan-Pimento Cream Sauce

Pour some sauce over the chicken, and pour the rest into a gravy boat to be passed at the table.  Enjoy !!

Chicken with Creamy Parmesan and Pimento Sauce - My Yellow

Skillet Chicken Dinner

 Skillet Chicken Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse

I never realized how many times I actually ‘goof up’ while cooking…. until I started writing this blog. Example – Jessica Seinfeld recently wrote a new cookbook, and I planned to use one of her recipes as a springboard for my Skillet Chicken Dinner. All went well until I realized I’d bought skinless chicken thighs. Change of plans…… Instead of baking the Skillet Chicken Dinner in the oven, I simmered it on the stove. And, as usually happens, the results of my ‘goof’ turned into something unexpected and delicious. The potatoes had a nice, firm texture and the chicken was really tender. Big Bonus – after ‘prep’, the meal cooked in just 35 minutes!

Ingredients and Method            Serves 4 – 5       Cooking Time – 35 mins.

  • 4 large potatoes (or 5 medium) – sliced into 1/4′ rounds  (It’s not necessary to peel the potatoes. I advise cutting off the ends of the potatoes and discarding them.)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 10 BONELESS chicken thighs ……OR………4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cut in half
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt…. 1/4 tsp. pepper….1/8 tsp. paprika….1/8 tsp. garlic salt with parsley…1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash with Garlic & Herbs… 1/8 tsp. poultry seasoning (I like Bell’s
  • 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs….2 tsp. fresh, chopped parsley…. 2 tsp softened butter   (If you chose to do the ‘extra step’ (see directions below) double the bread crumb topping.)
  • 2 packages turkey gravy  (I like Durkee)
  • 2 tsp. seasoning and browning sauce  (I like Gravy Master)

Place the sliced onion into a large skillet, making an even layer of the onion slices.

Pour 1 cup water over the onions.

Skillet Chicken Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse

Layer on the sliced potatoes. Drizzle potatoes with about 1 Tbs. olive oil

In a small bowl, mix  1 1/2 tsp. salt…. 1/4 tsp. pepper….1/8 tsp. paprika….1/8 tsp. garlic salt with parsley…1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash with Garlic & Herbs… 1/8 tsp. poultry seasoning.   Sprinkle about 1 tsp. of the spice mix over the sliced potatoes.

USE - potatoes - Skillet Chicken Dinner 009Add the chicken to the skillet – sprinkle with the rest of the spice mix.  Cover the skillet and SIMMER for 25 minutes. (You may have to lower the heat more than once to make sure the ‘simmer’ doesn’t turn into a boil.)

After 25 minutes – turn the chicken over.     Simmer for another 10 minutes.    Check to make sure both the potatoes and chicken are cooked – they should be.

Remove skillet from heat.  Using a large spoon, remove most of the liquid and put it into a measuring cup. Add enough water to equal the amount of liquid in your gravy package directions. (I recommend using 2 packages. I also recommend putting in 2 tsp. Gravy Master – it gives your gravy a nice rich color.)

In a small bowl mix 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs….2 tsp. fresh, chopped parsley & 2 tsp. softened butter. (Use a spoon to ‘smoosh’ the butter into the other ingredients.) Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top of the chicken.

Skillet Chicken Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse

Place the skillet under the broiler – but only if you your handle is heatproof. Otherwise I advise sliding the potatoes and chicken into a casserole. Broil briefly – just until the breadcrumbs are slightly browned – then sprinkle with a bit of fresh parsley.  Enjoy!

++ Extra Step !   If you’d like both the chicken AND the potatoes to have a nice breadcrumb topping, then once the Skillet Chicken Dinner is cooked, separate the potatoes and chicken into two parts. Place chicken and potatoes side by side in a large, flat casserole  Double the ingredients for the breadcrumb/butter mixture and sprinkle on top. Broil briefly – just until the breadcrumbs are slightly browned, then sprinkle with a bit of fresh parsley.  Enjoy !

USE - skillet chicken dinner - plated 003

Rotini with Creamy Red Sauce, Italian Sausage and Chicken

++ The casserole in the photo was prepared using approximately 1/2 of my Rotini with Creamy Red Sauce, Italian Sausage and Chicken.

Rotini with Creamy Red Sauce, Italian Sausage and Chicken was inspired by  ” jjbegonia’s Weeknight Chicken Riggies”. 

++ Update – December 2013

My sons and their families spent the weekend of December 15th  here at my farmhouse, and we celebrated our ‘Roy Christmas’.  We had so much fun being together – and this year there’s a new baby in the family!!   (Our ‘Roy Christmas’ is usually two weeks before Christmas Day because one of my sons lives several states away.)  I served Rotini with Creamy Red Sauce, Italian Sausage and Chicken, as well as Grammy Brouillette’s French Canadian Meat Pies – of course! 

I’ve made three changes to the Rotini recipe simply because, like most people who love to cook, I really enjoy fiddling with recipes.   So – now you have two ways to prepare this dish !

1.  I took the casings off the Italian sausage and cooked the loose sausage-meat.

2.  Instead of three boneless chicken breasts – I used one (1 1/2 lb.) package of chicken breast tenders, cut into 1″ pieces.

3.  I added 1 (small) box of cherry tomatoes, cut in half.   

This is a great pasta dish to make for guests because it’s yummy & it makes a lot !  And – the best part – you can prepare ahead and easily keep it warm in the oven, which gives you time to enjoy yourself.

I add red wine to my sauce. BUT, if you skip the red wine and add a bit of vodka, you have a delicious “Vodka Sauce”. Believe me, you won’t taste the vodka –  it just gives the sauce another layer of flavor.  Whether you add red wine or vodka, the alcohol content completely disappears during cooking, so there’s no concern about serving this dish to nondrinkers or children.

+ Recipe feeds approximately 6 – 7 people

+ To make less – prepare half the recipe, which is shown in the photo at the top of the page.

+ I kept the Rotini with Creamy Red Sauce, Italian Sausage and Chicken warm and also served it from one of those ‘portable ovens’. I highly recommend acquiring one if you entertain often. (They’re pretty inexpensive !!)

This isn’t a great photo – there was a lot going on, so I didn’t have to time to ‘light the shot’.  Rotini with Italian Sausage and Chicken - My Yellow

Ingredients and Method

  • 1 to 1 /14 boxes — (16 oz.) Rotini, cooked al dente      ++ I.E. – the center of the pasta should be chewy… not soft.)   ++ There’s plenty of sauce if you chose to cook 1 1/4 boxes.)
  • 2 packages (14 oz) Italian sausage — 1 HOT  &  SWEET – cut into chunks.   (Or – take the meat out of the casings and cook it loose.)
  •  olive oil – you’ll need several tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts – cut into bite-sized chunks.    OR 1 package ( 1 1/2 lbs.) chicken breasts tenders.
  • 1 large green pepper, roughly chopped or sliced
  • 1 large red pepper, roughly chopped or sliced
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped or sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 jars (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce   (I like ‘Bertolli Tomato & Basil’.)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup red wine …..  OR  ….. 1/4 vodka   Feel free to add more wine or vodka ‘to taste’
  • OPTIONAL – 1 (small) box of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 to 1 cup HEAVY cream    (Light cream works just as well….)
  • 2 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped   ++ Add as much, or as little, basil as you like!
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese – to sprinkle on top


Cut sausage into chunks (or, take meat out of the sausage casings).    Set aside.   Cut 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 1″ pieces – set aside.

 Rotini with Creamy Red Sauce and Italian Sausage and Chicken

Chop (or slice) 1 large red pepper, 1 large green pepper & 1 large onion.   Set aside.   Mince 3 cloves garlic – set aside.

Rotini with Italian Sausage and Chicken.jpg

Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet. Brown sausage pieces (or loose sausage meat). ++  The sausage does NOT need to be fully cooked. It’s going to cook more in the sauce. Place the browned sausage into a large saucepan or stockpot.

Rotini with Italian Sausage and Chicken.jpg

Remove most of the fat left in the frying pan – but not all.

Deglaze the skillet with 1/2 cup water.  Add the chicken chunks and simmer (uncovered) for 4 – 5 minutes – stirring often – until chicken is no longer pink. ++ Don’t overcook chicken – you don’t want tough chicken!   Place cooked chicken (and any juices) in the stockpot already containing the cooked sausage.

Now add a few tablespoons olive oil to your frying pan. Cook the chopped (or sliced) pepper and onions until they are crisp tender.  Add 3 cloves minced garlic and cook another minute or so.

Place the cooked onions, peppers and garlic in the stockpot containing the cooked sausage and chicken.

Rotini with Italian Sausage and Chicken - for a crowd 019

Add to the stockpot;   2 jars (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce, 1 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/2 cup red wine ( OR  ….. 1/4 cup vodka ) and 1/3 – 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  (Optional – 1 (small) box cherry tomatoes, cut in half.)  

Simmer – uncovered – for 1/2 hour, stirring often so the sauce doesn’t stick.     ++ While sauce is simmering – cook Rotini according to package directions.

 Red Sauce - Rotini with Italian Sausage and Chicken.jpg

After simmering sauce gently for a half hour, add 3/4 – 1 cup cream. (Any type of cream will do !) Simmer on low for 1 – 2 minutes. ++ Be sure to ‘simmer’ – you don’t want to curdle the cream!   Add 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil. ++ I like to add the basil at the last minute so you really get all the fabulous fresh basil flavor, which seems to ‘get lost’ if it’s cooked too long.

Rotini with Italian Sausage and Chicken.jpg

 Rotini with Creamy Red Sauce and Italian Sausage and Chicken

+ These two photos show only HALF the recipe

Place the cooked and drained Rotini into a large serving bowl or casserole.

Add the creamy red sauce – mix until well-blended. Sprinkle on 1/3 – 1/2  freshly grated Parmesan cheese – and serve.

Rotini with Creamy Red Sauce with Italian Sausage and ChickenOr………you can bake your Rotini with Creamy Red Sauce, uncovered, at 350F for 15 – 20 minutes, which actually intensifies the flavor.

If you want to keep your Rotini with Creamy Red Sauce warm for a while – just lower the heat to 225F & cover the casserole with aluminum foil.        Andiamo a mangiare !

Gemelli Pasta Bake with Parmesan & Mozzarella and Rustic Italian Bread

++ For my recipe for Rustic Italian Bread – please follow this link –

Rustic Italian Bread -

A meal featuring saucy/cheesy baked pasta with a warm slice of homemade rustic Italian bread is always a sure winner. This recipe is a snap to make and it can be put together ahead of time – which is always nice, especially when you’re having guests.

In my case, I was at our house in the Pocono Mountains, with plans to leave the next day, when I decided that I’d rather cook up something with whatever was in the refrigerator rather drag it all home. If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I love “digging in the fridge” and making “what’s for dinner” using whatever I find. I found a bit of left-over spaghetti sauce that I’d made following ChgoJohn’s recipe for basic meat sauce. (It makes quite a bit, so I’d frozen some). I also found some left-over red and green pepper, an onion, some left-over bottled spaghetti sauce – and – digging further, I found a box of  pasta in the cupboard. We had run out of Parmesan, so I ran to the store – while there, I also purchased a bag of shredded Mozzarella.

I often bring my bread machine to the Pocono house, and my grandchildren love both making – and eating – homemade bread. So I decided I’d make – for the very first time – an Italian bread using the bread machine for the dough and then baking the bread in the oven. I’d never made Italian bread before and I was so happy with the results.  In fact, the bread looked so beautiful it almost looked fake!

And – I gotta say – the pasta turned out yummy, though I only ate a small bit ’cause I wanted to freeze both the bread and the pasta for my son and his family when they returned to the Pocono house. And were they ever glad because on their next trip they brought along a bunch of nieces and nephew. From what I was told, the pasta – and especially the bread – were big hits!

Pocono House - view from LodgeView from the fabulous new lodge built by the ‘association’ where we have our home in the Pocono Mountains. I LOVE sitting here – you can bring something to eat, and, better yet… something to drink!   So very peaceful….

gemelli pasta - from frites and fries.comGemelli (pasta), which comes from the Italian word for twin, resembles two strands of pasta twisted together. These small pasta twists keep their shape and hold the flavor of sauce beautifully while retaining a firm “al dente” texture – which makes Gemelli perfect for a baked pasta dish.     (Photo courtesy of Frites and

Ingredients for Gemelli Pasta Bake with Parmesan & Mozzarella

Oven at 350 F

Cook  . . .  covered – for 30 minutes.   Uncover….cook for another 15 minutes

++ If the pasta has been refrigerated, it’ll take a bit longer to cook. (Here’s what I do to tell if it’s hot enough – I put a CLEAN finger in the middle – if it’s hot in the middle, then it’s ready!)

  • olive oil – about 2 Tbs.
  • 1/2 to 3/4 green pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 – 3/4 red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 (24 oz) jars of spaghetti sauce    (I like Bertolli “Tomato & Garlic”.)
  • ++ If you have some left-over sauce with meatballs or sausage, chop up the meatballs/sausage and add to the pasta. Or – you could add some left-over chicken or ground beef.
  •  3 – 4 cups UNCOOKED Gemelli pasta, cooked according to package directions for al dente.
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese PLUS 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top       (I highly recommend you buy freshly grated Parmesan – it just tastes so much better!)
  • 1 bag shredded Mozzarella – DIVIDED
  • salt & pepper to taste

Follow the package instructions for cooking Gemelli pasta al dente. Once cooked, drain  in a colander & rinse to prevent further cooking.  While your pasta is cooking, heat some oil olive in a large skillet, and cook the green pepper, red pepper and onion just until they’re just “crisp tender”. If adding left-over sauce with meatballs etc. – add it now. If adding raw ground beef or chicken, remove the veggies and continue cooking until no longer pink. Reintroduce the veggies and add sauce. Mix well.

Gemelli Pasta Bake - Sauce

Pour your sauce into a big bowl. Add the pasta, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan and 1/2 the bag of shredded Mozzarella & combine.

Gemelli Pasta and Sauce

Pour into a large casserole dish or a 13′ x 9″ pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan and the rest of the bag of shredded Mozzarella.

Gemelli Pasta Bake - My Yellow

Bake at 350 F – covered – for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 15 minutes – or until heated through.

If the pasta has been refrigerated, remove it from fridge about 20 minutes before cooking. – it might still take a bit longer go heat up – say 40 minutes covered   &   15 more uncovered.    Enjoy !

Gemelli Pasta Bake -

Always Moist Barbequed Chicken, Corny Bread and Easy-Cheesy New Potatoes

“Always Moist Barbequed Chicken”

Corny Bread - Made in a Bread Machine - My Yellow

“Corny Bread – Made in Bread Machine”

Easy-Cheesy New Potatoes - My Yellow Farmhouse. com

Easy Cheesy New Potatoes”

Easy-Cheesy New Potatoes - Brooklyn Farmgirl's version of my recipe

Easy Cheesy New Potatoes” – – –  Brooklyn Farm Girl’s’ version – – – prepared with fresh radishes and broccoli straight from her rooftop garden.  Check out Pamela’s blog at!!

Some friends came over tonight to help take my outdoor furniture out of the barn – and into the yard, where it belongs! The weather today was amazing – mild with no humidity…. the kind of day that just screams – BAR–B– QUE !!

I haven’t made my Always Moist Barbequed Chicken in a while, although it’s always a real favorite whenever I make it. (And it was a big hit tonight.) The secret lies in the marinade, and, in cooking the chicken in a  250 F oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours so the meat is partly cooked before it goes on the grill. So you can say goodbye to slightly raw – or dried out – barbequed chicken!

The Easy-Cheesy New Potatoes is something I “invented” tonight – and the Corny Bread recipe is from a cookbook that came with my bread maker. Even though there’s a half cup of cornmeal in the ingredients, it doesn’t taste like cornbread. It’s just incredibly moist and light! .

“Always Moist Barbequed Chicken”     Oven 'Barbequed' Chicken - My Yellow

The “Always Moist Barbequed Chicken” is marinated for several hours – or overnight – so I’m giving you those directions first.

Ingredients   – (Uses 4 Large Chicken Breast Halves – bone-in and with skin.)

  • 4 bone-in chicken breast halves with skin
  • 3/4 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • dash of pepper

Combine the Italian salad dressing with 2 Tbs. soy sauce, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder and a dash of pepper. If you like, you can add some other ingredients to your marinade, such as a bit of cayenne pepper are some cumin, for example.

Place the chicken in a bowl, a pan or a large zip lock bag, and pour the marinade over it. Marinate overnight – or for several hours, turning occasionally.

About 1 1/2 to 2 hours before you plan to barbeque (depending on the size of the chicken breasts) set your oven at 250 F, drain away the marinade and place the chicken in a low sided casserole or pan. (You can turn the chicken a few times but it’s not necessary.)

At the end of the cooking time, the chicken will look like this – all ready to be barbequed!

Always Moist chicken - Cooked in Oven

OK – you’re all set!  Set your gas grill at medium. Slather chicken breasts with your favorite sauce, grill until the skin as brown as you like and enjoy!  (If fat from the chicken makes your grill flame up – lower heat a bit.)

++ Tip from Emril Legasse – spread on your barbeque sauce at the last-minute or it might crystallize and char!  My chicken breasts charred a bit because I turned up the heat when the skin wasn’t browning quickly enough for me…. and the next thing I knew, it had gotten slightly charred.    Oh well, we live & learn !

'Corny Bread' - made in a bread machine - My Yellow Farmhouse.comCorny Bread – Made in the Bread Machine

The “Corny Bread” takes several hours, so allow yourself enough time. (Not that you have to do any of the kneading etc.!)


  • 2 Tbs. milk. . . .and add lukewarm  water to make 1 cup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tbs. butter, softened a bit
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 tsp. yeast – bread machine yeast !
  •  ++ OPTIONAL – 1/2 cup canned corn – drained  OR  1/2 cup frozen corn – ADDED LATER!

Place all the ingredients – EXCEPT THE CORN – in your bread machine’s baking pan    in the order listed above.  Select the “Basic” and “Regular Crust” settings.  My bread machine lets me know when I should add ingredients such as nuts – or corn. If you’re bread maker doesn’t have this feature, you can add the corn towards the end of the kneading cycle.  (My machine takes 3 hours and 50 minutes to knead and bake the bread.)

Easy-Cheesy New Potatoes - My Yellow Farmhouse. com“Easy Cheesy New Potatoes”

My sister-in-law says I could make a delicious meal out of mud. And by that she means I can take a bit of this and a bit of that and – voila – some good eatin’ !  I take that as a very nice complement – thanks Sue !!  These “Easy Cheesy New potatoes” were NOT made out of mud but out of what I happened to have on hand. I love the flavor and texture of new potatoes – like strawberries, they taste like spring or early summer.


  • 6 – 7 medium new potatoes – unpeeled
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 5 shakes of Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt – or to taste
  • 2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
  • some sliced cheese to place on the top – about 1/2 cup – as much as you want
  • (I happened to have Marble Jack cheese, which is a combination of Colby and Monterey Jack)

Scrub potatoes a bit under running water, then cut into chunks of about 1″. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook potatoes until they are fork tender. (According to my brother-in-law, I didn’t cook them enough. According to his wife, they were fine…)

Easy - Cheesy New PotatoesOnce potatoes are cooked, drain and set aside. With the heat off, mix 2 Tbs butter, 2 Tbs. olive oil, 5 shakes Tabasco sauce, 2 Tbs. parsley and 1/4 tsp. salt in the pan. Add in the potatoes and mix well. (If the potatoes begin to break up a bit… that’s fine.)

Place potatoes in a casserole. Put some sliced cheese on top and broil until the cheese is melted – that’s it ! (The cheese tends to melt quickly because the potatoes are already hot!)    Enjoy !

Oven 'Barbequed' Chicken - My Yellow'Corny Bread' - made in a bread machine - My Yellow

Easy-Cheesy New Potatoes - My Yellow Farmhouse. com


“A Little Help From My Friends” Saffron Rice with Chutney Shrimp and Caramelized Onions

I had absolutely no plans to post a recipe today. I was just hungry. And my “larder” wasn’t exactly full. So, I checked out what I did have … a bag of “Carolina Rice”  yellow rice mix made with saffron, a pound of frozen shrimp…. and a jar of Old Major Grey’s mango chutney. I also had some onions and my usual stash of frozen parsley,

++ I so recommend buying fresh parsley, chopping it and freezing it in a freezer bag. Parsley not only adds flavor – it also adds color. And our eyes are the first thing we use to decide if something looks YUMMY!!   I use frozen parsley all the time!

As I did with my recipe for Tex-Mex Casserole with Crescent Roll Crust, I used what I happened to have in the house –   and I have to say – I LOVE THE RESULTS !!  My kitchen smells so good that I’m surprised my neighbors haven’t arrived bearing empty plates to be filled!

++ If you’re not a big fan of shrimp, then use 1 pound of chicken breast, cut into strips. (I’m gonna try that myself!!)

Ingredients - Saffron Rice & Shrimp


  • 1 or 2 bags – depending upon your appetite – Carolina Rice’s “Yellow Rice Mix with Seasonings” – “Made with Real Saffron” – made according to package directions. (One bag serves 2 – 3. Two bags serve 3 – 4, again depending upon your appetite.)
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 pound frozen shrimp – THAWED – – – or fresh shrimp. The frozen shrimp I buy has a bit of shell left on the tails. I just leave the shrimp “as is” because I like to pick up the shrimp by the tail and “suck out” all the deliciousness in one go!
  • 1 Tbs. of chopped frozen parsley (OR 2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt with parsley – I like McCormick “California Style – Coarse Grind”
  • 3 Tbs. mango chutney – I like Old Major Grey’s
  • 1  BIG onion, sliced – if you don’t have a BIG onion, then use an onion and a half
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 1/2 tsps. sugar

Prepare one or two bags of  Carolina Rice “Yellow Rice with Saffron”. At the end of the cooking time, remove from heat, take off lid and cover with a paper towel. ++ This makes the rice much more fluffy!

Place shrimp, if frozen, in a colander and run lukewarm water over the shrimp until it’s thawed. (I don’t recommend thawing shrimp in water ’cause they’ll absorb the water.)

Saffron Rice with Shrimp - thawing shrimp

Place 1 Tbs. butter in large skillet and cook shrimp over medium-high heat for about 3 – 4 minutes. (There will be a bit of “juice” but that’s a good thing!)

Saffron Rice and Shrimp2

Lower heat, add 1/2 tsp. garlic salt with parsley, 1 Tbs. frozen chopped parsley (2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley) and 3 Tbs. mango chutney. Allow to simmer a few minutes, stirring a bit, until the sauce is reduced and chutney has been incorporated into the sauce.

Saffron Rice and Chutney Shrimp3

Remove shrimp from heat and start preparing your caramelized onions.

Saffron Rice and Chutny Shrimp4


In another large skillet place 1 Tbs. of butter and the sliced onions. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until onions are softened

Add 1 1/2 tsp. sugar and continue cooking, stirring occasionally – just keep your eyes on it so they don’t burn!

Saffron Rice and Chutney Shrimp

(As you can see, I didn’t cook the onions until they were very caramelized. Let’s call this “a hint of caramelization” !)

Add your cooked shrimp to the “hint of caramelized” onions and cook another minute or so, just to rewarm the shrimp

Saffron Rice and Chutney Shrimp 6Place the saffron rice on a pretty platter or plate. Pour the shrimp/onion mixture on top.  Enjoy!!

Saffron Rice with Chutney Shrimp and Carmelized Onions-

Savory Cajun Pork Chops

 Because these pork chops are cooked quickly, they’re tender and juicy – not to mention flavorful !!

I just love Louisiana. I love New Orleans, I love the bayous, I love the cities and the small towns, I love the people, I love the music, I love the atmosphere & I love the food. I’ve visited there three times and I can’t wait to go back again!!

During our 2nd visit to Louisiana we visited Bayou Teche. As per usual, I had a great conversation with a woman behind the counter of a small store. She told me how to make Alligator Sauce Piquant – for which we Northerners can substitute chicken. (I actually made it (with chicken) when we lived in Malta for Mardi Gras – and it came out pretty darn good, if I say so myself !)  I’ll post that recipe another time ! Today – it’s Savory Cajun Pork Chops!

       Photo taken on my third to Louisiana – I’m addicted to everything Cajun!

Trip to Louisiana - 2012

Many Cajun/Creole dishes start with the Holy Trinity, which is bell peppers, onions and celery. Also many Cajun/Creole dishes ask you to make a roux, which is simply oil (or butter) and flour which you cook, stirring, until the mixture resembles the color of peanut butter – or darker.

The woman in the store along Bayou Teche advised me to make roux with butter. She said, “It’s always better with butter” – and she knew what she was talking about ’cause this time I used butter, butter and only butter – and I never had my roux come out even close to how it came out this time!

+++ This recipe for Savory Cajun Pork Chops serves 4 – 6, depending upon the size of the chops – and your appetite.

+++ I only add 1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper because not everyone likes their food spicy. But be sure to add more if you want that real Cajun Kick !

+++ Just as a suggestion – I served the Savory Cajun Pork Chops on a bed of Chicken Flavored Rice-a-Roni. You’ll probably want to make two boxes for 4 – 6 people.


  • 6 bone-in pork chops – about 4 lbs.  (Of course, you can use boneless pork but the flavor of pork or beef is often better when the meat is ‘bone-in”.)
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning – adds flavor and some “heat”
  • 2 – 3 Tbs. olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped – leaves and bottom part cut off
  • 3 – 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 5 Tbs. flour
  • 1 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes with basil & oregano
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper – or “to taste”
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ++ IF YOU USE BONE-IN PORK CHOPS !  Unless you have a very large skillet, you might need a Dutch oven or a stock pot (extra large saucepan) to complete the recipe.

Cooked Pork Chops - USE FOR BLOGSprinkle both sides of the six pork chops with some Montreal Steak Seasoning. Over medium-high heat, fry chops in a few tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil until browned on one side. Turn over and brown on the other side. Remove chops to plate/platter and keep warm if possible.

Holy Trinity - Crisp Tender

Add a bit more oil to the skillet, then add your Holy Trinity veggies & the minced garlic. Cook only until Crisp Tender – you don’t want mushy veggies. Once veggies are crisp tender, remove from skillet and set aside.

Making the RouxMAKING THE ROUX

Don’t be upset if the roux doesn’t get as brown as shown. This is the first time my roux came out “like it’s supposed to” and my Cajun food always tasted great. (Probably not by a true Cajun standards… but pretty delicious anyway!)

++ Tip   Have both the 5 Tbs. of flour and the 28 ounce can of stewed tomatoes opened ready to go.

Lower the heat a bit. In the same skillet, melt 4 Tb. butter and allow to brown a teeny, tiny bit. Add 5 Tbs. flour.  Cook, stirring, until the mixture becomes a lovely shade of brown. ++  This might take a few minutes, but, all of a sudden – it starts to turn brown!

Once your roux is browned and beautiful – add 28 oz. can of stewed tomatoes, 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1/4+ cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp. pepper and 1 tsp. salt.

Holy Trinity & TomatoesReintroduce the veggies. Mix everything together and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until bubbly and slightly thickened.

If you don’t have a really large skillet, at this point you may have to pour out your veggies/tomato/spices mixture into a large stockpot or Dutch oven because you’re going to now add the six cooked pork chops. Continue to simmer 1 – 2 minutes until everything is heated through.  ++ Don’t overcook the pork chops, because it can make them tough.  Enjoy !!

Savory Cajun Pork

Tex-Mex Casserole with Crescent Roll Crust

Although I intended to post a recipe for soup, I changed my mind once I began searching through my refrigerator. As I “dug around”, I found ground beef, crescent rolls, a left-over green pepper, half an onion, some button mushrooms, a half a bag of shredded cheese and some sour cream. My mind started “percolating” even more as I rummaged through my cupboards and found a can of tomato paste, a can of diced tomatoes and a can of cannellini beans. Bingo – with a little imagination and a dash of spices, this could turn into something deliciously Tex-Mex!! (I also had a small can of black olives, which I forgot to put in. Maybe they weren’t meant to be part of the recipe!!)

I think you’re gonna like this Tex-Mex Casserole with Crescent Roll Crust – it’s hearty, spicy and filling.   And – you might already have most of the ingredients. Enjoy!

++ UPDATE  A ‘Reddit” reader from Texas commented that, in Texas, they use Pinto beans or even black beans & they don’t use mushrooms. I appreciate their input… I’ll just consider this my version of “Tex-Mex”.   Hey – I like mushrooms !!  ; o )

Oven at 350F        Large Casserole       Cook for 25 – 35 minutes


  • 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 can (19 oz.) cannellini or kidney beans – DRAINED and RINSED
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce with basil, garlic & oregano
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano – DRAINED
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheese – any type will do – I had Four Cheese Pizza Style
  • 1 package Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • paprika – for color, if desired

Place 1 Tbs. olive oil In a large skillet and, over medium heat, cook pepper and onion until softened – about 8 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and cook for another few minutes, then add 1 lb. ground beef. Continue cooking and stirring until ground beef is totally cooked. Add the next nine ingredients – rinsed, drained cannellini (or kidney) beans through to 1/4 tsp. pepper.

Pour approximately HALF of the mixture into a large casserole – or 10″ x 13″ pan. Sprinkle two cups shredded cheese over the meat mixture, and then spread on the rest of the meat mixture.

Unroll the crescent rolls and place them on top of the meat in a single layer. Sprinkle crescent rolls with a bit of paprika, for color, if desired. 

Cook in a 350F oven for between 25 – 35 minutes. Beef mixture will be bubbly and the crescent rolls will be a deeper brown and less fluffy than usual.   To be sure the crescent rolls are fully cooked, use a fork and lift up a section in the middle. If the crescent rolls aren’t fully cooked, just continue to cook a few minutes more until they are.   Enjoy !! 

Tex-Mex Casserole - My Yellow

‘Chinese’ Meatballs – A Great Make-Ahead Appetizer!

For the last several years I’ve hosted a “Women Only Pre-Holiday Madness Party”, usually on the first Saturday of December. We always have tons of fun!  Everyone brings whatever they want to drink – and an appetizer to share, so there’s lots of “nibbling” going on all night. And, of course, the beverages are flowing!  I invented these Chinese (or Sweet and Sour Meatballs) for one of those parties and they were a BIG hit.  Take my word for it – these are delicious!

++  Makes 25 – 1 1/2″ appetizer-size meatballs


  • 1/2 cup dry purchased bread crumbs (“Italian” is fine.)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 lbs. (90 % lean) ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. teriyaki sauce
  • 2 (8 oz.) cans crushed pineapple – divided
  • 2 Tbs. minced onion
  • 1 tsp. maraschino cherry juice
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  •  2 Tbs.  cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • rest of juice & pineapple from 1st can  &  all of 2nd can
  • 2 Tbs. maraschino cherry juice
  • 10 or so maraschino cherries

FOR MEATBALLS – In a medium bowl, mix bread crumbs and milk, then add ground beef, egg, 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp. Teriyaki sauce, 1/4 cup DRAINED crushed pineapple – (reserve rest of pineapple and juice), 2 Tbs. minced onion, 2 tsp. maraschino cherry juice, 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

Form into meatballs 1 1/2 ” across. Place each meatball about 1 1/2″ apart on a baking sheet, and bake in a 375 F oven for 20 minutes.

FOR SAUCE – In a large frying pan, place the rest of the ingredients – beginning with the cup of packed brown sugar down to the 10 maraschino cherries. On medium-high heat, bring sauce to a boil, while stirring.

Once sauce boils, immediately lower heat. Add cooked meatballs and continue cooking – at a simmer – until sauce is slightly thickened and coats meatballs.

++ These can be made ahead and served the next day.  I reheat them gently in an electric frying pan and serve them right from the pan so they remain warm.  Of course, they can also be warmed up & served from your slow-cooker.  Enjoy!!

'Chinese' a.k.a. 'Sweet and Sour Meatballs' - from 'My Yellow'

“A Little Help from My Friends” Creamy Curried Rice with Chicken

Absoutely USE FOR BLOG

This recipe comes together in about 40 minutes due to “a little help from my friends” – namely a box of curried rice and a purchased cooked chicken. I don’t know about you – but I’m a BIG FAN of supermarket roast chickens because they’re always tender and delicious – and pretty affordable.

Use for Blog - fixed

The creamy curried rice also makes an excellent side dish, minus the chicken – which is actually how I served it recently. Then I thought, “Hmm. with the addition of some chicken, this would make a quick & easy meal!”

Serves 2 – 3+ as a main dish       Adjust curry powder to taste!


  • 3 cups water (Package calls for 2 cups….)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 package GOYA  – Curry Rice with Carrots and Onions
  • 2 cups mixed frozen vegetables
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  •  3 to 4 cups COOKED sliced chicken
  • 1 Tbs. curry powder – or to taste
  • 1/3 tsp. salt

In a medium saucepan, over high heat, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Lower heat and add 1 Tbs. olive oil and contents of Curry Rice package. Stir rice and water – cover pan.

Allow water/rice to simmer for 15 minutes. In the meantime, slice the chicken, measure out 3 – 4 cups and set aside. After 15 minutes, stir rice and add 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables. Raise heat until mixture begins to simmer once again, then lower heat. Cover and continue simmering for another 10 minutes – or until the vegetables are fully cooked.

Add 3/4 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup water, 1 Tbs. curry powder and 1/3 salt. Mix well, add 3 to 4 cups sliced COOKED chicken. Once chicken has warmed up – you’re ready to eat.   Enjoy!

Three-Cheese Mac and Cheese with Shrimp

Always loved Mac ‘n Cheese… always have… always will. I’m really happy with how this Three-Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese with Shrimp turned out!!! It’s super creamy, and has the added treat of lightly marinated shrimp.

This recipe came about because of two experiences; one yucky, and one delicious. First, the yucky experience. Not long ago, I ordered Shrimp, Macaroni ‘n Cheese at a local chain restaurant. I usually enjoy their food but not this time. The Shrimp, Macaroni ‘n Cheese was so nasty that I couldn’t even eat it. It was a gooey mess that tasted like it’d been made with wallpaper paste. (The waitress saw my still-full plate and didn’t charge me for the meal. Of course, I still had my “bar bill” !)

Now, on to the “yummy” experience. This past October some good friends invited me over for drinks and a fire. Although I hadn’t expected a meal, my friend Sue cooked up a bunch of great dishes – my absolute favorite was her Three-Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese. When I asked her how she made it, she dug into her trash and pulled out the recipe, posted on our local supermarket’s (Big Y) bag of Mac & Cheese Blend. So, that’s the recipe I used as the basis for my Three-Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese with Shrimp. I love the addition of the marinated shrimp ’cause I’m a great believer that even a good thing can always be made better.

When you see the ingredients, you’re gonna think, “Heart Attack on a Plate”! Don’t let the ingredients scare you – it’s super rich, so you don’t need to eat a lot. And it’s great for guests – I know ’cause I’ve served it to guests and they loved it – and that was before I got the idea of adding the marinated shrimp.  Enjoy!!

Possible - auto adjusted

I feel I should warn you…. this makes A LOT … and it’s so rich that a bit goes a long way. This recipe is great for a family – or a crowd, so if you don’t need a HUGE amount, then divide the recipe in half !!

Oven at 350 F          Use at 10″ x 13″ casserole        Cook for about 25 minutes


  • 16 oz. bag of medium-to-large PRECOOKED shrimp (I buy frozen.)
  • 2 tsp. Italian Dressing
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 16 oz. box of elbow macaroni – MINUS ONE CUP OF UNCOOKED MACARONI !!!
  • 6 Tbs. butter (3/4’s of a stick of butter)
  • 4 Tbs  flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup light cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Purchase an 8 oz bag)
  • 1/4 cups shredded Swiss Cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups cut-up American Cheese (I don’t think they sell it shredded. Just ask the deli for about 1/2 pound, and then cut it up to equal 1 1/4 cups.)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt with parsley
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (The rest of the 8 oz. bag.)
  • 1 cup “smashed up” butter crackers…. such as Ritz

If, like me, you buy frozen precooked shrimp, make sure you allow the shrimp to drain in a colander for a while to remove any excess liquid. If the shrimp have tails, cut them off, then cut the shrimp into 2’s or 3’s, depending upon the size of the shrimp.(Shrimps for my European friends!) Place the shrimp in a medium-sized bowl, and mix in 2 tsp. Italian Dressing and 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce – set shrimp aside.

Cook the elbow macaroni (minus the 1 cup) according to the package directions. While macaroni is cooking, start making the sauce. In a medium-sized pan, over medium heat, melt 6 Tbs. butter. Once butter is melted, add 4 Tbs. flour, and stir with a whisk (or spoon) until well-blended. (Mixture will be frothy.) Continue to cook, stirring, for another minute. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups whole milk and 3/4 cup light cream. Continue cooking and stirring for about three minutes – mixture will be slightly thickened.

Add 1 cup sour cream and mix until thoroughly blended, then add the Cheddar, Swiss and American cheeses. Remove from the heat. The sauce and cheese mixture is probably gonna look pretty thick and globby at this point – but that’s what you want. Add 1/2 tsp. garlic salt with parsley and 3/4 tsp. salt. If your pan is large enough, stir in the shrimp, but you’re gonna need a large bowl in order to mix the sauce & shrimp mixture with the macaroni.

Pour cheese sauce/shrimp/macaroni mixture into a large casserole. Sprinkle on 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese – which should finish the 8 oz. bag. Sprinkle 1 cup “smashed up” butter crackers over the cheese. (An easy way to break up the crackers is to put a bit more than half-a-sleeve into a gallon storage bag, then “smash” the crackers with your hand, a can or the side of a hammer.)

Cook in a 350 F oven for about 25 minutes – or until the edges of the casserole are slightly bubbly……… I think a nice baby spinach salad with sliced apples, walnuts, thinly sliced Bermuda onion and mushrooms would be great with this.   Enjoy!

Oven “Barbecued” Chicken

Barbequed Chicken - FIXED - MARCH 2013 - USE FOR BLOG

Plump chicken breasts and legs are marinated before being broiled, then baked in the oven, resulting in chicken that’s moist, tender and flavorful. You know, recently I’ve been thinking how my mom used to broil chicken – and how delicious it was. And I’ve also been thinking how no one seems to use their broiler for cooking anymore….  So, drag out that broiler pan and cook yourself up some of this oven-barbecued chicken. It’s yummy!

You’ll need a broiler pan, sprayed with non-stick spray (or spread on some vegetable oil).  (This will keep help keep the chicken skin from sticking.)   

++  Don’t have a broiler pan – use a large baking pan and put a cooling rack in it. 

++  Don’t have either a broiler pan or a roasting pan – that’s OK.  Use a 13″ x 9″ pan. The Oven-Barbecued Chicken will be delicious which ever type pan you use.


  • 6 pieces of chicken – breasts or thighs – or a combination of both. (Not boneless.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup Italian salad dressing – (I like Wish Bone Robusto Italian)
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce – (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar)

FIRST STEP – –  Marinate Chicken

In a small frying pan, cook 1/2 cup chopped onions for a few minutes. (They don’t need to be fully cooked.)  In a bowl large enough to fit six pieces of chicken, put the cooked onions, Italian salad dressing and barbecue sauce – mix everything together. Add the six pieces of chicken and turn to coat.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for several hours – or overnight – turning the chicken at least once.

About an hour before you plan to eat, remove chicken from the barbecue sauce mixture. DON’T THROW OUT THE SAUCE!!

 SECOND STEP  – – Broiler on LOW       Pan placed on highest rack in oven.

Place the chicken, skin side down, on greased broiler pan. Baste chicken with some of the barbecue sauce mixture. Place broiling pan 5 – 6 inches below the broiling element and broil for 10 – 15 minutes. (If chicken starts to burn, broil for only 10  minutes or so.)

Turn chicken over and baste with more barbecue sauce. Broil that side for 10 – 15 minutes. (Again, if skin starts to burn, broil for only 10 minutes or so.)

THIRD STEP – –  Oven at 350 F

Turn off broiler.  Remove chicken and broiler pan from oven.  Place oven rack in the center of the oven and set temperature at 350 F.

++ Place broiler pan – with the broiled chicken – in the oven.  Bake chicken for about 25 minutes – or (using a meat thermometer) cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 170 F.

++  If you happen to have a broiler pan, I recommend using it ’cause the chicken will be less crowded and will cook faster.  Enjoy!!

Oven 'Barbecued' Chicken -
Oven ‘Barbecued’ Chicken

Fish with Mushroom-Sherry Sauce & Redoing My Kitchen

Allow me to start this post with a disclaimer – of sorts. Although I made fettuccine tonight to serve with the Fish in Mushroom Sherry Sauce ’cause I just had a real hankerin’ for fettuccine – I honestly believe it might be better with baked potatoes or rice. Also, the recipe looks so much more yummy photographed with fettuccine than with a baked potato! So, you decide…!!

Right now I’m in the midst of having my kitchen redone by two of my brother-in-laws, which is another whole story in itself !! Actually, I really did love my kitchen the way it was, but it was just too dark and dated with the cherry cupboards etc. And my kitchen doesn’t have lots of sunlight, so it really needed some “lightening up”. (This photo is minus “Objects d’Art” plus my usual clutter!!)


My plan is to make my kitchen reminiscent of what a kitchen might look like in Provence, France, complete with white walls with touches of yellow and this fabric (from Provence) made into curtains.

Provence - sunflowersThis is how my kitchen looks at this moment. And all my cooking things are strewn all around the living room!!

2nd day2Therefore, anytime I need ANYTHING – I have to run into the living room to dig it out of a box!! So, it’s been an interesting evening of cooking. And you’ll just LOVE this!  The background for the photo at the top is this page is paper my brother-in-laws laid down so my counter wouldn’t get paint on it….  I think the photo of Fish with Mushroom-Sherry Sauce turned out pretty well…. considering!

++  To see photos of my finished kitchen, here’s the link:


Oven at 350    30 minutes   10″ x 13″ pan – or slightly smaller –  or a casserole dish

  • ALMOST any kind of white-fleshed fish –  I don’t recommend Talapia since the cooked fish falls apart too easily.  I used Flounder myself for this recipe.  I suggest buying 6 – 10 pieces if using Flounder because the pieces tend to be small.
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 3 Tbs. flour
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Knorr bouillon cube OR 2 cubes, if using another brand
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushroom – I recommend Baby Bella – which are brown on top
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup cooking sherry
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 2 cups FRESH white bread crumbs
  • paprika – for color

Over medium heat, in a medium-sized pan, melt 4 Tbs. butter. Watching carefully, allow the butter to brown slightly. (Have the flour nearby, so you can add it the minute the butter is slightly browned.) Add 3 Tbs. flour, and cook – stirring constantly – for about 1 1/2 minutes. (The mixture will be foamy in the beginning.)

Add 1 1/4 cups water, 1 cup heavy cream and the Knorr bouillon cube. (I HIGHLY advise having a whisk. It’s invaluable when sauces turn “lumpy”!) Whisk the butter/flour and liquid mixture for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until sauce thickens.

Add 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, 1/3 cup cooking sherry, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes.

USE FOR BLOG - raw fish

Lay the fish at the bottom of your pan/casserole, and pour the sauce over it. Basically, you’re done, except for the buttery bread crumb topping. (I use my little food processor and make up bread crumbs from left-over bread, then put them in a baggie in the freezer so I always have fresh breadcrumbs.)

Melt 2 Tbs butter in a skillet. Add 2 cups fresh white bread crumbs and stir until all the breadcrumbs are coated. Sprinkle the buttered bread crumbs on top of the fish, then sprinkle on a bit of paprika for color. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

I would suggest serving this recipe with a bright, green veggie like stir-fried broccoli or green beans. Enjoy!

Fish with Mushroom Sherry Sauce - My Yellow Farmhouse

Shepherd’s Pie

Please excuse the ‘lousy’ photo.  I’ve gotten much at taking photos!!

My new recipe for Shepherd’s Pie was a big hit last night with my “Taste Testers”, who call themselves my “Guinea Pigs”, but they never refuse an invitation to come over to try something new!! And, knowing I was going to have guests arriving gave me a good reason to FINALLY put away the last of the Christmas platters and bowls etc. which had been sitting on my dining room table for two weeks!!

There’s nothing quite like good, old comfort food and, for me, Shepherd’s Pie is up there on the top of the list. This’ll warm the “cockles of your heart”, so to speak. (I just looked up what, exactly, is the true meaning of  “warming the cockles of your heart”.  And it means –  it makes you happy!)

Onions, red wine and just a bit of tomato paste, among other things, gives this Shepherd’s Pie a bit of a “flavor boost”.  On top of the beef/vegetable mixture goes creamy mashed potatoes – made with lots of butter and – surprise – an egg!   So, break out your potato peeler and your oven-proof skillet, and give this recipe a try.  I believe this will end up being one of your family’s favorites!

Oven at 375 F          Bakes for about 30 minutes

                 Oven-proof skillet  or  10″ x 13″ pan        Servings – Approx. 8


  • 9 cups cubed (cut into 1 1/2″ pieces) raw potatoes, peeled
  • 6 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 – 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 BIG onion, chopped – about 1 cup
  • about 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 lb. hamburg / minced beef
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 2 Tbs. flour
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (I prefer Knorr)
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper – or – to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas – still frozen..
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 cups FRESH breadcrumbs
  • paprika

Place the peeled, cubed potatoes in a large saucepan and add just enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover and lower heat. Allow potatoes to simmer for about 30 minutes – or until potatoes are easily pierced with a sharp knife.

While potatoes are cooking, prepare the meat/vegetable layer. In a large frying pan, add 2 Tbs. olive oil and cook chopped onions over medium heat until they become translucent – about 8 minutes.

++ If you have a large – covered – frying pan which is oven-proof, you’ll be able to prepare AND bake in the same pan!!) 

Add the ground beef and continue cooking until the meat is no longer pink.  ++  As long as there’s not more than, perhaps, 2 Tbs. of grease in the pan after cooking the beef, just leave it in. Otherwise, scoop out the extra with a big spoon.

Add 1 Tbs. butter and 2 Tbs. flour to the onion/beef mixture. Cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. ++ The addition of the butter and flour helps to thicken the sauce once you add the wine and water.

Add 1/4 cup red wine, 1 1/2 cups water, 1 chicken bouillon cube, 2 Tbs. tomato paste and 1/4 tsp. pepper. ++ You shouldn’t need salt, if you’ve used the Knorr cube, but taste it and see…. add some salt if you wish.

Now add 1 1/2 cups frozen peas and the drained can of whole kernel corn. Continue cooking – and stirring – for another two minutes or so, until the mixture has thickened up a bit. Turn off the heat under the frying pan – and turn on your oven to 375 F.

Sheperd's Pie - My Yellow

Now it’s time to mash up those cooked potatoes. I like to start with a potato masher, then give ’em “the big, creamy finish” with an electric mixer. So, mash those ‘spuds’ down ’til there’s no more chunks. Add 2 Tbs. butter, 1/2 cup milk, 1 egg, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and whip the potatoes with your electric mixer.

++  If the mashed potatoes don’t seem creamy enough, continue adding milk – up to another 1/2 cup – until the potatoes are nice and creamy. 

Spread the mashed potatoes – evenly – on top of the meat/veggie mixture.

FOR THE BREAD CRUMBS – In a medium skillet, over medium heat, melt 2 Tbs. butter (I know, I know… this is NOT diet food here….) and throw in 2 cups of fresh breadcrumbs.

++ I make a bunch of fresh breadcrumbs, then put them in a zip-lock baggy in the freezer. Voila – fresh bread crumbs whenever I need them!

Turn off the heat and stir until the breadcrumbs are evenly mixed with the melted butter. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the potato mixture, and sprinkle on a bit of paprika for color.   Bake at 375F for about 30 minutes.   Enjoy!!!

Shepherd's Pie - My Yellow

Turkey Strata (Casserole) – Uses Left-Over Turkey and Stuffing

This is so delicious – and so easy  !!  (My photos do NOT do it justice.)

While working on this post, I’m enjoying a good-sized portion of this delicious Turkey Strata! I gotta say – it’s yummy!! Since the Turkey Strata can already be in the oven when your guests arrive, you’ll have time to clean up your kitchen and meet them with a smile and a glass of wine! The “clean kitchen” part would be exceptional for me… my kitchen is usually a disaster when my company arrives. But they’re used to it… and the meal is always good !

Oven at 350 F      Bake for 30 minutes      Serves 4 – 5 people     

Ingredients & Method

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3/4 cups sliced onions
  • 3 – 4 heaping cups baby spinach leaves  (Feel free to add more spinach !)
  • 1/2 can mushroom soup
  • 1 packet turkey gravy – (I like McCormick)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning – (I like Bell’s)
  • 3 cups left-over stuffing – or prepare a packaged stuffing – (I like Stovetop Turkey)
  • 3 cups cooked chicken/turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/8 cup Italian-flavored breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
  • paprika

In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, cook the sliced onions in the olive oil for 2 minutes. Add baby spinach and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside. In a medium-sized saucepan, over medium-high heat, mix the 1/2 can of mushroom soup, the packet of turkey gravy, milk, water, parsley, poultry seasoning, salt & pepper. Whisk – or stir – until mixture comes to a boil. Lower heat and, still whisking, cook for a minute. Add the bite-sized chicken/turkey to the sauce mixture.

To assemble the Turkey Strata, use a 9′ x 9″ pan or a medium-sized casserole and begin by making a layer of HALF of the stuffing. Spoon HALF the turkey/sauce mixture on top of the stuffing. Now, make a layer of the onion/spinach mixture. (There is only one layer of the onion/spinach mixture.)


Make your final layer of stuffing, and spoon the second – and final layer – of the sauce/turkey mixture on top of the stuffing.

Sprinkle with 1/8 cup bread crumbs and 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan. For color, sprinkle on some paprika. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. The crumb topping should be slightly browned around the edges and the filling should be bubbling!       Enjoy !!

Turkey Strata (Casserole) - Uses Leftover Turkey and Stuffing! - My Yellow

Beef ‘n Mushroom Pie

Recently I prepared Beef ‘n Mushroom Pie a day ahead and brought it to my aunt’s home, where it was quickly & easily reheated.  I served it with ready-made sweet potatoes – sooo good !!   I love this pie – it’s like a “meat & potato meal” in a pie.
It’s already been a year since I began my blog – and Beef ‘n Mushroom Pie was the first recipe  posted!


Well, after promising many of you for almost a year that I’d “get moving” and begin posting recipes –  I’m FINALLY posting my first one. (I can’t guarantee how well this first blog is gonna come out because I can’t be bothered reading lots of instructions!!) I’ve got zillions of recipes I want to share, and I know many of you have complained that you’re tired of always cooking the same things. So, consider me here to shake up your culinary life!! I made this Beef ‘n Mushroom Pie recently when some friends invited me over for an evening of “pizza and a bonfire”. (And, of course, some “beverages”!) The pie was a big hit!! (It’s a Pillsbury Bake Off winner from about 20 years ago.) I changed the recipe slightly, such as using four cups of potatoes instead of two. With the extra potatoes, you’ll get at least six good-sized yummy portions!!  The recipe calls for a pound of left-over roast beef, but, since people don’t prepare roast beef as much as they used 20 years ago, I just buy a one pound “hunk” at the deli counter of my local grocery store. Oh…if you’re wondering how the party went… well, we were in the hot tub at 1:30 a.m.!!! —-  Believe me – this pie has so much flavor, with so little effort!

  • 1 lb. cubed COOKED roast beef, about 3 cups   ++ Buy a 1 pound “hunk” at the deli counter.
  • 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can UNDILUTED mushroom soup
  • 1 (6.5 oz.) can sliced mushrooms, DRAINED
  • 1/4 tsp. salt-free seasoning – such as Mrs. Dash (I like Garlic & Herb)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt with parsley
  • a few dashes of pepper
  • 2 – 4 cups sliced potatoes, cooked      ++  I used 4 cups
  • 1 pkg. refrigerated pie crust (containing 2 crusts)
  •  1 egg, beaten

Oven at 375 F   Bake pie for 45 minutes

In a large skillet, cook cubed beef, chopped peppers & onion in a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the mushroom soup, mushrooms and spices. Mix well. COVER and simmer for 10 minutes.

Line a deep pie plate with a crust. (It’s a good idea to take the crust out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before you want to use it!)

Pour in the hot filling. Now it’s time to add the potatoes, which have been cooked and drained. Just layer them on top of the hot mixture.

OK – you’re almost done!! Place the top crust on top of the potatoes. Fold the top crust over the bottom crust and “crimp” the edges of the crust. You can do this with a fork (don’t press too hard or you make the edges to thin) or with you can crimp it with your fingers.

Now for the “beauty part” – the part that makes everyone go “Wow, how’d you get your pie to look like that?” Beat an egg in a small glass or bowl, then, using your fingers as a paint brush (use a pastry brush if you want, but you’ll only have to wash it after!), spread SOME of the beaten egg (you won’t need it all) all over the top crust.

++If you end up with “puddles” of egg wash in some of the grooves, just dab it out with a bit of paper towel.

Bake at 375 F – in the center of the oven – for 45 minutes. Enjoy !!

++ If baking the pie ahead of time, allow the cooked Beef ‘n Mushroom Pie to cool for about 25 minutes, then cover with foil & store in refrigerator.  ++  To reheat pre-baked pie, remove foil & bake in a 350 F oven for about a half hour.

++ When reheating, if you’re not sure the pie’s fully heated – here’s what I do… I stick a CLEAN finger in the center. If it’s hot – it’s ready!   (Yeah,  that’s a bit unorthodox but hey, it works.)  

Beef n Mushroom Pie - My Yellow Farmhouse.jpg