Delicious recipes from the kitchens of the Butler sisters

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Kung pao chicken (with noodles)

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 6 oz skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp crushed dry roasted peanut

For the sauce:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp reduced soy sauce (tamari for gluten free)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp Sambal Oelek Red Chili Paste (or more to taste) I substituted with Sriracha hot chili sauce 
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, balsamic, hoisin, water, red chili paste, sugar and cornstarch; set aside.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat oil in a large, deep nonstick pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium, add sesame oil, garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about  30 seconds. Add the bell pepper, stir in soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened and bubbling, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in zucchini noodles and cook, mixing for about two minutes until just tender and mixed with the sauce. If it seems dry, don't worry the zucchini will release moisture which helps create a sauce. Once cooked, mix in chicken and top with peanuts. 

I added a little chicken broth to mix and put it over angel hair pasta. 

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

Made this for Aaron and Chad tonight and they devoured it:)

i jar (16 oz) alfredo sauce
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups cooked brocolli, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
21 jumbo pasta shells, cooked
1 1/2 – 2 cups spaghetti sauce (optional, but I love the combination of alfredo with tomato sauce!)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix alfredo, chicken, broccoli, and cheeses.  Spoon mixture into pasta shells.
Grease 13 x 9 baking dish with butter or cooking spray.  Evenly spread spaghetti sauce on bottom of baking dish.  Arrange shells in baking pan.  Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until heated thru.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Best Pie Crust


This recipe can be easily doubled for a double crust pie.


  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (not lowfat or light), plus an additional tablespoon or three if needed


  1. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. 
  2. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the butter into the dry ingredients.
  3. With a fork, toss the butter and flour mixture until the butter pieces are all evenly coated with flour. Don't break down the butter pieces in this step, just lightly toss until they are coated with flour.
  4. Spoon the sour cream into the bowl. Using the same fork, mix the sour cream into the butter/flour mixture by pressing the fork down into the sour cream in order to mash the large clumps of sour cream into the flour and butter. A commenter suggested using a pastry blender which will help incorporate the sour cream a bit better. The sour cream won't mix in like a traditional pie crust with ice water. But take care not to overwork the dough trying to get the sour cream mixed in - if the butter pieces get too small and overprocessed, the crust will be tough. 
  5. After a few turns with the fork, it is easiest to use your hands to pull the dough together. It will look a bit shaggy but as you press it together (quickly and firmly so the the butter pieces don't melt), it should start to form a cohesive ball. 
  6. If it still seems overly dry, add a teaspoon or so of sour cream at a time until it comes together. 
  7. It's ok if there are still a few dry spots or cracks in the dough. The mixture should not be overly wet or sticky. At the same time, it shouldn't be falling apart either. It should hold together when pressed (see the pictures below). Many of you have had to add quite a bit more sour cream. That's ok as long as the crust isn't overly saturated (then it will be dense and gummy). Much of that depends on how you measure flour - if you pack the flour into your measuring cup, you'll obviously need more sour cream (try to measure the flour with a light hand). 
  8. At this point the dough can be rolled out on a lightly floured counter or it can also be pressed into a flat disc and wrapped in plastic to be refrigerated for 1-2 days or frozen for up to a month. 
  9. To roll out, lightly flour your countertop and using firm, even strokes, roll from the center outward, turning the dough a quarter turn every few strokes. The less you mess with the dough the better - even rolling - so try not to overwork it. Roll it out to a thin crust as quickly as possible. 
  10. Roll the dough over the rolling pin and unroll it onto the pie plate. Gently lift up the edges of the pie crust and settle it into the bottom of the pie plate without pressing or smushing. 
  11. Trim the edges to within 1/4-inch. Fold the short overhang underneath the top edge of the pie plate and crimp all the way around. 
  12. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using. To blind bake (prebake the pie crust), line the refrigerated crust with foil and fill with dry beans or pie weights. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Gently remove the foil and beans/weights and return to the oven to bake for another 10-12 minutes until nicely golden.
Recipe Source: Adapted and perfected from The Kitchen by Mel's Kitchen

My Favorite Pumpkin Pie


I like to prebake the pie crust; it helps eliminate some of the gummy bottom crust common in pumpkin pie but if that doesn't bother you, you can forego that step and pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell. If you do that, still refrigerate the pie crust for an hour or so after placing it in the pan so it doesn't shrink while baking.

Also, if you are using homemade pumpkin puree, make sure it is as smooth as possible (run it through a blender or food processor again). 


  • 1 single crust pie shell for a 9-inch pie plate (this is my favorite pie crust recipe)
  • Filling:
  • 2 cups (or 15-ounce can) pumpkin puree (see note)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk or half-and-half


  1. Roll out the pie crust (see this post for a step-by-step) and gently place it into a 9-inch pie plate, trimming and fluting the edges. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to a day or so). 
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line the crust with foil and pour in dried beans or pie weights (I've even used wheat berries) until completely full. Bake the pie crust for 15 minutes. Gently remove the foil and weights (or beans) and bake another 10 minutes until the dough no longer looks raw on the bottom. Remove from the oven while preparing the filling.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugars, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and vanilla until well-combined. Add the eggs, cream and milk and whisk until smooth (don't overmix or the pie will have a tendency to crack). 
  4. Place the pie shell on a baking sheet and pour the filling into the warm pie shell.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, without removing the pie, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 45-55 minutes longer until the pie is set and golden on top. If the crust starts to overbrown, cover it with foil strips or a pie shield partway through baking. 
  6. Serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, if desired.
Recipe source: Mel's Kitchen

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Spicy Tuscan Soup

Wow just realized I have posted one recipe in a year. I'm slackin' :) I love this soup from Olive Garden. Made it for dinner last night. Mmm! Ingredients • 1 pound Spicy Breakfast Sausage • 1 whole Medium Red Onion, Diced • 2 slices Bacon, Diced • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced • 3 whole Medium Potatoes • 1 quart Warm Water • 3 cubes Chicken Bouillon • ¼ bunches Kale, Roughly Chopped • ½ cups Heavy Cream • Salt And Pepper, to taste Preparation Crumble sausage into a Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat until cooked through. Drain off the grease and set the sausage aside. Add onions and bacon into the Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium and cook until onions are clear. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and cut into 1/4″ slices. Add warm water, bouillon cubes and potatoes to the Dutch oven and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until potatoes are almost done. Add remaining ingredients as well as the sausage and simmer for 5 more minutes. Let cool and serve with warm garlic breadsticks. Enjoy! Recipe from Delicious Recipe Pins

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Buttermilk Glazed Doughnuts



  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 6 cups vegetable shortening for frying


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cold water


  1. Mix together 1 cup flour, the sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  2. Mix together butter, buttermilk, and eggs in a large measuring cup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry in the mixing bowl, and  beat either using an electric mixer on medium speed or by hand until smooth. Decrease the speed to low, and add the remaining flour. Mix until just combined, making sure to scrape the edges to ensure that all the liquid is incorporated. The consistency should be somewhere between cookie dough and cake batter (moist and tacky).
  3. Add the shortening to a large kettle and attach a candy thermometer to the side. Gradually heat the shortening over medium-high heat to 375F. While it's heating, turn the dough onto a floured work surface. Roll out with a heavily floured rolling pin until the dough is about 1/2" thick. Stamp out the dough rings with a donut cutter (or use two circle cutters with the second being about half the diameter of the larger one). Transfer the rounds to a large wire rack, gather the scraps, and repeat rolling and stamping until all the dough is used.
  4. Carefully drop the dough rings into the hot oil four or five at a time. Use tongs to turn the donuts as they rise to the surface. Fry the donuts until they're golden brown, about 50 seconds per side. Drain on a paper towel-lined wire rack. Let the frying oil return to temperature before adding the next batch. Repeat until all the donuts are cooked.
  5. For the glaze, mix together all the glaze ingredients in a mixing bowl until completely smooth.
  6. Dip the cooked donuts into the glaze until about halfway submerged. Remove the donuts from the glaze, then return to the wire rack set over a baking sheet, allowing to cool on the dry side.
  7. Serve warm if possible.
  8. Enjoy!

Recipe from 12 Tomatoes and adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Iced Pumpkin Crumb Cake



  • 1/2 cup (62 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons or 60 grams) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1 cup (244 grams) pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup (82 grams) pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk*


  • 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners' sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer or milk


Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Generously spray a 9x9 baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Make the crumb topping first: In a small bowl, toss the flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon together.  Cut in the cold butter  using a pastry blender or a fork.   Mix to create clumps and crumbs. Set aside.

Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together in a large bowl until combined.  In a medium bowl, whisk the pumpkin, brown sugar, oil, maple syrup, and milk together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until *just* combined. Try not to overmix the batter. It will be very thick.  Spoon/pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Spread to make an even surface.  Pour the crumb topping evenly on top and gently press them down into the batter.

Bake the cake for 30 minutes.  Check the cake's doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. If the toothpick comes on clean with a moist crumb or two, the cake is done.  If the toothpick has wet batter on it, bake the cake for 5 more minutes.  The cake takes 32 minutes in my oven.

Make the glaze:  Whisk the confectioners' sugar and 1 Tablespoon of creamer/milk together until smooth. Add more creamer/milk to thin, if desired. Drizzle over cake.  Enjoy cake warm or at room temperature. Cover cake tightly and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Cake may be frozen for up to 2 months.

*Instead of nutmeg + ground cloves, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice can be used in addition to the cinnamon.

*I prefer to use buttermilk in this coffee cake.  Buttermilk makes the cake even moister than any other kind of milk.  I highly recommend it.  However, regular cow's milk or dairy-free milk would be just fine. 

Recipe Source: Sally's Baking Addiction

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Peasant Bread

So Delicious!

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta


  • 1 pound Penne Or Rigatoni
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Plus More For Drizzling
  • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Small Bite-sized Pieces
  •  Salt And Pepper
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Finely Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 jar (25 Ounce) Good Quality Marinara Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (more To Taste)
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley
  • 8 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella, Cut Into Medium Cubes
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Shavings
  •  Extra Parmesan, For Serving
  • 12 whole Basil Leaves (chiffonade)

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow to cook without stirring for 2 minutes, or until golden. Stir chicken around to brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.

In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the onions and garlic and stir immediately to start cooking. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden.

Reduce the heat to low and pour in the marinara sauce, red pepper flakes, and the water. Stir until the onions and garlic are mixed in, then add the chicken back into the pan. Add the parsley, stir to combine, then allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 7-8 minutes.

Make sure the sauce is bubbly and very hot, then gently stir in the mozzarella. Let it sit, undisturbed, for 2 to 3 minutes, until you can see that the mozzarella is very soft.

Drain the pasta and pour it onto a platter. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Immediately sprinkle on 1/4 cup Parmesan shavings (or grated Parmesan.) Pour on the sauce, sprinkle with extra Parmesan and the chiffonade of Basil, and serve immediately!

* NOTE: The mozzarella should be very soft but should still be in visible chunks rather than distributed throughout the sauce. It's better for the chunks to be on the firm side than the falling-apart side! You can always heat it a little more to get the cheese to the consistency you want.

Recipe Source: The Pioneer Woman

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Creamy Chicken and Corn Chowder

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded (3 cups)
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled*
  • 1/4 cup butter, diced into 1 Tbsp pieces
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 - 2 jalapenos, seeded for less heat if desired, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced slightly less than 1/2-inch thick (3 cups)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • Green onions and seeded, finely chopped jalapenos (optional), for serving 


  • In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add red bell pepper, onions, jalapenos and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds longer. Stir in flour, and cook 2 minutes stirring constantly. While stirring, slowly add in chicken broth and whisk until well blended.
  • Add potatoes, bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil stirring frequently, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes or just until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in cooked chicken, corn and half and half and simmer, uncovered 10 - 15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Serve warm topped bacon, green onions, and optional jalapeno peppers.
  • Recipe Source: adapted by BHG with some changes from Cooking Classy

Monday, August 4, 2014

Not Your Mamas Meatloaf

This is an amazing meatloaf!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Gelato

Using the ripest, juiciest strawberries will give this gelato the best strawberry flavor. Also, I've doubled the gelato/strawberry base with great results - I had to process it in my ice cream maker in two batches (I have a 2nd bowl for my machine) but if you have a fairly large ice cream maker, you could probably process the entire double batch in one go. Check with your manufacturer's instructions to be sure!

Also, if the fruit you are using is ultra-ripe and really sweet, you might be able to decrease the sugar just slightly. If you want to take this gelato completely over the top, serve it with a few slices of ripe, juice strawberries. Heavenly!


  • 3/4 cup granulated or powdered sugar (I've used either with good results)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sliced very ripe, fresh strawberries


  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Gradually whisk in the milk and whipping cream.
  2. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and thickens, 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cool completely (either by pressing plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerating or nesting the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice and stirring until it is cool to the touch).
  4. Puree the strawberries in a blender until the mixture is very smooth.
  5. Once the gelato base has cooled completely, strain the strawberry mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the creamy mixture. Use a rubber spatula or the back of a large spoon to press the strawberry puree through the strainer so all the pretty strawberry liquid gets strained into the gelato but the seeds are left behind. Stir well.
  6. Cover the gelato by pressing plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate 3 hours or up 24 hours.
  7. Process the gelato in your ice cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions. Scrape the ice cream into a container, cover and freeze for at least two hours or up to 2 days (and I'm guessing even longer than that).

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chicken Taco Pie

This was very good. I had 4 extra kids tonight so made 2. I used ground beef. Everyone loved it.


  • 1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 pound ground chicken or beef
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeno slices
  • Sour cream and additional salsa


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Unroll crescent dough and separate into
  • triangles. Press onto bottom of a greased 9-in. pie plate to form a
  • crust, sealing seams well. Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook chicken over medium heat 6-8
  • minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain. Stir
  • in taco seasoning, green chilies, water and salsa; bring to a boil.
    • Spoon into crust; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 8-10 minutes or until
    • cheese is melted.
    • Top with lettuce, peppers, tomato, green onion and pickled jalapeno.
    • Serve with sour cream and additional salsa. Yield: 6 servings

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Creamy Spinach Tortellini

Very delicious!


  • 1 (20 oz) pkg three cheese tortellini (preferably the refrigerated kind)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (I used 2%, anything but skim works fine)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) chopped fresh spinach
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp dry)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp finely shredded parmesan, plus more for serving
  • Red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)


  • Cook tortellini according to directions listed on package.
  • Meanwhile, in a large and deep skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds, then add flour and onion powder and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. While whisking, slowly pour in milk and cream, then whisk until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to simmer, then add tomatoes, spinach, basil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook several minutes longer until sauce has thickened and spinach has wilted. Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
  • Toss prepared and drained tortellini into sauce mixture (note that as the pasta rests, the sauce will seem thicker and it will sort of soak into the noodles. So, if you won't be serving it for 10 minutes or so you can stir in some pasta water, milk or cream to thin it out if desired). Serve warm sprinkled with additional parmesan cheese if desired and optional red pepper flakes.
  • Recipe Source: adapted by Cooking Classy with some changes