Friday, September 26, 2014

Swiss Chicken

This is my go to recipe when I want real comfort food that has that good old fashioned homemade taste but yet so quick and easy to make. Many of you probably already make this or have your own version of it. But I make it only one way and because it comes out so incredibly moist and delicious, I have never changed it. This is simple and so incredibly good, that I want to share my version.

Swiss Chicken

2 pounds chicken breast tenders
1 pack of Sargento Baby Swiss sliced cheese
1 (10 ounce) can Campbells cream of chicken soup (undiluted)
2 cups Pepperridge Farm herbed seasoned stuffing mix (blue bag)
1/2 cup butter, melted
Pepper and light salt

Spray bottom of a casserole dish with non stick cooking spray. Arrange chicken tenders in the dish packed very closely. Salt and pepper lightly. Next spoon a little of the soup on each breast and spread with spatula. Lay cheese slices on top of chicken, overlapping to cover it completely. Spoon the rest of the soup over cheese and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Completely cover entire top with a thick layer of DRY stuffing mix. Then drizzle melted butter all over the top of the dry mix.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour and 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Photographs are copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Eight Cheese Baked Cavatappi

This is a delicious and quick to make mac and cheese that is so cheesy and creamy. So simple, yet the blend of cheeses give it that gourmet taste. I use Cavatappi pasta because it has just the right amount of ridges that make the cheese cling tight and it just the right size for that perfect bite. Quick to make and delicious ...what more could you ask for? Go ahead on the photo...get ...a napkin!

Eight Cheese Baked Cavatappi

1 pound cavatappi pasta, uncooked
1 quart of heavy cream
1 cup Monterrey Jack, grated

1 cup Sargento 6 cheese Italian Blend (because it's the perfect blend of Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan and Fontina, plus Romano and aged Asiago)

1 cup Sharp Cheddar, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water; add the cavatappi and cook according to the directions on the package. Drain very well and pour into a 9 x 13 lightly greased or sprayed baking dish.
Heat heavy cream in a saucepan, add the Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and the Italian blend cheese and stir until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally add the nutmeg and stir well to blend. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked cavatappi. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Lodge Pre-seasoned cast iron skillet sale

So many of you ask me what type of cookware I use that allows me to get my pork chops, cornbread, fried chicken and other things so crisp and golden brown. The answer is cast iron. My Mom cooked in it and it is all that I use to make my pineapple upside down cake, fried chicken, chops, steaks and especially cornbread!

I only use Lodge Pre-seasoned cast iron skillets and I have featured them here when I see them offered to the fans at Welcome Home at a discounted price. The price on the big 12 inch skillet is only $23.99 while supplies last.

This is a quality cast iron skillet made here in the USA by Lodge. I see these at Cracker Barrel and other retailers for $40 so this is a great price for this size skillet. It's a cast iron skillet, like the one your grandmother used, and yet it still ranks as one of the best cooking utensils ever made. It gives you a nearly non-stick surface, without the possible harmful fumes generated by preheating chemically treated nonstick cookware. And it's an excellent source of nutritional iron.

Made of cast iron
Assist handles for easier handling
Pour spouts for draining
Pre-seasoned and ready-to-use right out of the box
Virtual Non-stick surface
Works with glass top or induction stove tops
Brutally tough for decades of cooking

Can Be Used With A Variety of Heat Sources. At home in the oven, on the stove, on the grill or over the campfire. This skillet may be used on various heat sources including gas, electric, induction and ceramic-glass top stoves and ovens. Seasoned cast iron can also be used on the grill or outdoor fire and coals for camp cooking.

Pre-Seasoned with soy-based vegetable oil that is baked into the pores of the iron to prevent rusting and to eventually provide a natural, non-stick cooking surface. And it's safe for glass top and ceramic top stoves because of it's smooth rounded bottom.

Remember, the proceeds from anything you buy here at Welcome Home, goes to the NO KILL Advocacy Group to save the lives of dogs and cats who are killed unnecessarily while waiting for their forever homes. If you look at the link you will see Welchome08 is there to let Amazon know you are from Welcome Home.
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Soft Shell Crabs

For all my true seafood lovers out there...I bring you Soft shell Crabs today! Oh My goodness! If you have never tried them you have no idea what you're missing!

Soft-shells are actually just blue crabs that have shed their shells in a massive warm-weather growth spurt. If they stay in the water, they grow new, larger shells, but when they’re harvested, that process comes to a halt and the crabs stay soft and edible. 

Soft-shell crabs are sold live when in season and we just love them here in Maryland. What people don’t know is that it’s actually really easy to make at home. It’s incredible in summer food—a classic.  I am convinced that Maryland restaurants cook the best soft-shell crabs in the world - after all, we invented the recipe. Crispy, crunchy and beautifully browned, with sweet succulent crab meat inside.

Soft Shell Crabs
4 soft shell crabs

1 cup buttermilk

½ cup four

½ cup panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

½ teaspoon pepper

After the crabs have been cleaned soak them in the buttermilk for about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, mix together the flour, panko, Old Bay, and pepper in a platter for dredging.  Heat the butter for frying.

Remove the crabs from the buttermilk and allow the excess to drain off then dredge in the flour mixture.  Make sure they’re coated very well.

Add each crab to the butter and cook until the shell looks pink, and the coating is nicely browned.  If cooking more than 1 at a time, don’t overcrowd the pan. When nice and golden brown, transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

Serve on a sandwich with Lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise!  YUM! 

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home 2014
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Jumbo Streusel Muffins

It's getting near the time that we bring out those left over cans of pumpkin from last year!  I always seem to have a can or two so today I decided to try this Star butter flavored Olive Oil with my Pumpkin muffins to see how they turned out!  Oh My Goodness!  They are so moist and the topping is to die for!   I made a dozen of the jumbos because they are just the right size for that mug of hot coffee!  You can't have more muffin than coffee nor can you have more coffee than muffin, right? These are the perfect size.  I have even added a link for the size I used so that you can order it for only $8.95 at Amazon! 

Jumbo Streusel Muffins
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1-15 ounce can pure pumpkin (not pie filling and not puree)
2/3 cup water


1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons melted butter
pinch of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees put your muffin liners in your muffin pan.  I used a jumbo tin and jumbo lines. (See below).
In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients and set aside, (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves).  Set aside.
With an electric mixer, combine the oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin. Mix until not quite combined. Finish mixing with a rubber spatula. Add water and blend until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and again mix with the electric mixer until just combined enough to moisten. Finish mixing the batter with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 with the batter. Set aside while you make the topping.
Stir together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, butter, and salt.  I use my finger tips so that I don't break up too many lumps.  Top each muffin cup with a spoonful of topping, spreading so the tops are evenly coated and press down slightly. 
Bake at 350 for 25-32 minutes.  If you decide to make regular size muffins change the time to 18-24 minutes for regular size muffins, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.  Makes 12 jumbo and 20-24 regular muffins.

You can find Star Fine Foods Butter Flavored Olive Oil at these stores: Raley’s, Walmart, Stater Bros., 
Food Maxx and online at

Click on this link and check out this great price for a Wilton 6-Cup Jumbo Muffin Pan at Amazon!  

Need liners for your jumbo pan?  Click here:

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home 2014

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!
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Friday, September 12, 2014


One of the many never before seen recipe in the magazine!

It's finally here! And as promised, it is gorgeous and bright and colorful and informative, and fun, and full of brand new recipes you have been waiting for! 

The first issue has now been released and I know you'll love it.  You'll find recipes of course.....lots of them. Most are from my Mom's collection with big vibrant pictures to match every dish. I have how to's and lots of kitchen tips and advice. I have a Recipe Swap Corner and in our first issue we learn step by step on how to make a wonderful recipe from one of the fans here at Welcome Home!

I have a Fur-Baby corner of course...and an Ask the Cook segment where I answer a tough question each month from one of the readers. And we have fun gifts and gadgets and other cool items at discounted prices when you buy through Welcome Home.

Each issue is just full of great recipes and how to's and I am certain you will instantly see the value that your $2 a month brings. And it's exclusive. It's only for you. It is so private that no one can even find it out there unless you know me....or know of me. Unless you know my mission and why I do what I do at Welcome Home you will never see this online publication. As always, some of the proceeds from The Welcome Home Kitchen Magazine will help me save the lives of dogs and cats who are killed unnecessarily while waiting in Kill shelters for someone to come and adopt them. And some of the proceeds will help me feed the homeless.

That's right....only subscribers who pay the $24 annual subscription (only $2 an issue) will be able to see this online's that private. So, there are some steps I will walk you through next so that you can see it for the first time in just a few minutes.

IMPORTANT:  First set up a Gmail account.  You can keep the email address and account you have now.  This gmail account is just your key to the magazine.

Step 1: If you do not already have a free gmail address, you want to create one first. This is the most important step.  You do NOT have to change your existing email address. What you have now can stay the same. You just need to create a new Gmail account to access the magazine IF you do not already have one.Get paper and pen so you can remember what username and password you choose and then go to this link and create a new Gmail address:

Again, you can keep your same email address to use as you always have. This is Gmail address is just the key to get to the magazine.

Step 2: Under the cover photo collage here at the blog, click on the tab that says, MY STORE. Or click on this link:

Step 3:   Click on the little tab that says BUY FROM 2CO

Step 4: Enter your name and your new Gmail address and your other information and then go to the next step. Enter your payment information for the $24 annual subscription. You can choose a credit card you'd like to use or you can click on PayPal.  If you do not want to use either method, contact me at and we can make other arrangements.  Please rest assured that this is the safest online payment processing system online today.  No need to worry.

Step 5: Complete your order and within seconds you will receive a receipt and email confirmation at the Gmail address you created and typed in when you were ordering.

Step 6. Within a few minutes, as soon as I get your purchase confirmation, I will send you an invitation to become a private member of The Welcome Home Kitchen to your new Gmail address. Click on the orange button that says ACCEPT.  You must still stay logged into your gmail account when you go to the magazine.  Then you will be directed to the link of the new magazine. And you're all set.

Step 7:  Each month....around the 1st of the month, you will be notified that a new issue has just been released. You will always have access to all past issues just by visiting and each month will shown so you can go back and find whatever you are looking for.

And it will only get better. As I listen to your suggestions, I will add new features. Like contests and give-a-ways. Best recipe submitted by a fan. Best fur baby picture submitted by a fan. An open forum for you to chat with other members and so much more. I am open to new ideas and suggestions! 
Please help me save lives...and enjoy this bright new magazine today.
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Vanilla Cupcakes with Espresso Butter Cream Frosting

I call these my grown up cupcakes and they are always a big hit for those who love chocolate and coffee flavors blended together....or those who love Mocha. These were a huge hit this weekend for my friends Baby Shower. I think you will be surprised at just how good they are! 

Vanilla Cupcakes with Espresso 

Butter Cream Frosting

1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 1/4 cup Sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup whole milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla extract and mix well. Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until incorporated. Add half of the milk and mix well. Next add another third of the flour, mix, and then add the remaining milk. Finally, add the remaining flour and continue beating until well mixed. Using a measuring cup and pour batter into a lined or greased cupcake pans.

Espresso Buttercream Frosting

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
pinch of fine grain sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tablespoon instant espresso granules dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water
3-6 tablespoons heavy cream

In a large bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar/cocoa powder mixture, and continue creaming until well blended. Add salt, vanilla, 2 tablespoons heavy cream and espresso/water. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.


3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Chocolate covered coffee beans

Place semisweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Heat the chips on 50% power in 30 seconds increments until chocolate is melted. Drizzle over cupcakes and finish with a couple of chocolate covered coffee beans.

Photographs are copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Monday, September 08, 2014

Panko-Crusted Fried Green Tomatoes

I love these things and I can hardly wait until the end of summer when I can go to my garden find the perfect tomatoes and fry them up!  I grew up eating them and loved the way my Mom use to make them with a crusty corn meal coating. But I wanted to try them coated in crispy panko this time and boy am I glad I did!  Moist and juicy on the inside with just that light crunch to make them so delicious!  My Mom would have loved them this way!

Panko-Crusted Fried Green Tomatoes

3 tablespoons of Star Fine Foods Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Vegetables
1 tablespoon of butter
3-4 medium-sized firm green tomatoes
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 eggs

1/2 cup milk
2 cups panko bread crumbs

Slice green tomatoes about 1/2 inch think and lay them out on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and set them aside for about ten minutes.  

In a medium-sized bowl combine flour, salt, garlic powder and black pepper, stir to combine well. In another medium bowl whisk the eggs with the milk. In a third bowl, place the panko breadcrumbs.

First dredge the tomato slices in flour mixture, shaking off excess.  Dip in egg mixture making certain to completely coat the tomato slice.  Dip in panko breadcrumbs turning to coat evenly. 

In a large heavy skillet, melt the oil and the butter over medium high heat until it starts to sizzle lightly. Fry in the tomato slices until crisp and golden brown on each side.  Drain on paper towels, serve! 

You can find Star Fine Foods Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Vegetables at these locations:

Raley’s, Savemart, Food Lion, select Walmarts and online at

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home 2014

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!
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Thursday, September 04, 2014

Chicken Caprese

Sounds like something you would order at a nice Italian restaurant doesn't it?  I make it at home and it is one of the easiest and most delicious dishes you'll ever make. Tender succulent chicken covered in pesto and topped with vine ripened tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.  It’s so good!  It's my go to recipe I make when I have dinner guests I really want to impress. Serve it with a nice Cesar salad and a side order of roasted asparagus and you've made a meal to remember! 

Chicken Caprese

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup or more of basil pesto (make your own or use your favorite brand)
2-3 ripe tomatoes, sliced (Roma tomatoes are perfect for this dish)
1 block fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into rounds
fresh basil--I used a mini leaf basil but you can use any kind
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Mix breadcrumbs with 2 teaspoons of garlic olive oil and set aside.

Rub each chicken breast with a little olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper to taste.  Lay chicken breasts flat on baking sheet. 

 Spread about a tablespoon of pesto sauce on top of each breast.  Next, lay slices of tomato and cheese on top of each breast and top each tomato with about a tablespoon of moistened breadcrumbs. 

Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for  about 30 minutes or until temperature reads 165 degrees.

Homemade Fresh Pesto Sauce

1/2 pound (about 3 cups) of basil leaves, washed and dried
4 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cups walnut halves
1-1/4 cups Star Fine Food Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp salt
1  1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic 

Heat walnuts and pine nuts in skillet over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes constantly stirring until golden brown . Remove from heat and allow to cool. Chop the garlic cloves finely, sprinkle a teaspoon of salt on top and mash to a fine paste with a fork. Place garlic and half of the basil leaves in the bowl of a food processor and Process for 15 seconds. Add the rest of the basil leaves and with the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan cheese and toasted nuts and puree for one more minute.  Makes about 2 /2 cups.

You can buy Star Fine Food Infused Olive Oils at Walmart, Raley's, Savemart and online at

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home 2014

 Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!
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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

♥ Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

For all you chocolate and raspberry lovers out is the perfect cupcake. Rich chocolate cupcakes so moist...and then that little raspberry surprise inside. Topped with a wonderfully light butter cream frosting! You'll love these cupcakes!

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon. coarse salt
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 1/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tablespoon plus 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over med-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on med-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 min. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filing each 3/4 full. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 min. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

Once cooled, then core the cupcake and fill with raspberry filling. I use an apple corer to make the hole for the raspberry filling. I use a piping bag or small spoon to fill the cupcakes with the filling. Then frost with buttercream frosting.

Raspberry Filling                                                                                 

1 (10 oz.) bag of frozen raspberries, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Puree the raspberries in a blender. Press the puree through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Heat the strained raspberries in a small pot with the sugar and cornstarch until mixture boils, stirring constantly until thickened.

Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5-6 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency.

 Photography is the copyrighted and the property of Welcome Home.

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