Lilo and Stitch Sandwiches

every time i watch lilo and stitch i dream of returning to hawaii.   i love hawaii. the casual culture, the sun, the sand, the surf…..the pineapple!  thank heavens costco gets me my pineapple fill.  if you love pineapple, grilled chicken and teriyaki sauce, these sandwiches will be a favorite in your family.   alooooooooha!

lilo and stitch sandwiches (sweet as lilo with a kick from stitch)

4 chicken breasts-p0unded 1/4″ thick
1 bottle Teriyaki sauce (Lawry’s brand is good)
3/4 c. brown sugar
4 slices deli ham
1 can sliced pineapple (or you can use fresh which would be even better)
4 slices Pepper Jack cheese
4 large hamburger buns

Place in a large Ziploc bag. Combine Teriyaki sauce and brown sugar until sugar dissolves. Add 1/2 of the mixture to the bag with the chicken and seal tightly. Place bag in refrigerator for at least 4-5 hours. Separate remaining Teriyaki mixture into 2 separate bowls (to prevent cross contamination use 2 separate brushes too)– one for the pineapple, one for the chicken. Open pineapple can and save a little of the juice in a bowl. Place chicken and pineapple on the grill (medium heat). Brush with Teriyaki sauce every few minutes until chicken and pineapple are done– try to only flip the chicken and pineapple once. Either on the grill or in a frying pan, cook ham with a little of the pineapple juice until it becomes nice and hot. Slice open hamburger buns and place a piece of cooked chicken on each bottom bun. Top with cheese, ham, grilled pineapple, and bun top. Serve immediately with remaining grilled pineapple.

Serve with pina coladas and dream of a secret beach on kauai!


Skippyjon Jones Chicken

with this week being teacher appreciation i wanted to share a recipe that would remind us of our wonderful teachers.   of course there is “apple” pie but i needed a main dish.   i use skippy peanut butter in this peanut chicken recipe and a “skippy”jon jones picture book was sitting on the desk…………was it fate?  coincidence?   desperation?   ok, so i’m totally stretching here, but if you make this recipe and your kids like it, you can now refer to it as:

the skippyjon jones chicken for teacher appreciation week to remind you of the amazing teachers at manila elementary!!!! ………..or just go with peanut chicken.   no matter what you call it, just enjoy!!!!!

Peanut Chicken

1 lb chicken                      1 cup chicken broth

2 Tbsn soy sauce           2 Tbsn water

1 Tbsn corn starch       ¼ tsp crushed red pepper

½ cup pnt butter         1 Tbsn oil

2 cloves minced garlic or ½ tsp garlic pwdr

¼ tsp ground ginger

1 med onion, thinly cut

8oz. linguini

2 green onions sliced

Med bowl stir chicken broth, soy sauce, water, cornstarch, pepper, then blend in peanut butter.

Heat oil in skillet, stir fry garlic, ginger, onion.  Add chicken, cook till done.   Mix sauce with chicken, cook until thick.   Pour over pasta, sprinkle with green onions.

Cheesy Cashew Chicken

friend had a baby?  neighbor is sick?  dinner for a friend…just because?

everyone has THAT ONE RECIPE they always make if they are taking dinner to someone, right?   THIS is my recipe!   it’s down home comfort food that sticks to your gut and is the perfect meal for any occasion.     it’s best served with a side of mashed potatoes, even though i’d be happy just licking the sauce straight from the plate!    say cheeeeeeeeese!

Cheesy Cashew Chicken

Melt 4Tbsp butter in 9×13 pan and lay 6 chicken breasts in pan.

Mix together:

1 can cream of chicken

1 can cream of mushroom  1 cup beef broth

½ c parmesan cheese         ¼ tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp parsley flakes       ½ tsp pepper

Slice 8oz. mushrooms and sprinkle over chicken.

Pour ¾ of sauce over chicken and bake at 325 for two hours. Put remaining sauce in fridge.

Take out of oven, pour rest of sauce and sprinkle with:

Small can of cashews

3/4lb shredded Monterey jack cheese

Return to oven for 20-25min until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown

Mom’s Never Fail Fall Apart Roast

nothing like some down home cookin’ this recipe does just what it says. the roast comes out tender and falls apart every single time. i can’t imagine cooking a roast any other way.  just a warning this makes the whole house smell good, so don’t cook it if someone is on a diet.  they will go nuts!

Never Fail Fall Apart Roast

Eye of round roast                     ¾ tsp pepper

1 can cream of mushroom soup   1 tsp garlic salt

1 env dry onion soup mix

2 beef bouillon cubes dissolved in ¾ c water

Between 10:30pm and midnight:

Rinse roast and place in crockpot on low.  Pour everything else on roast and cook until 3:00-6:00pm the next day.  First thing in the morning pour a small bag of carrots into crock pot to cook all day.

When almost ready to eat remove roast and carrots to a plate and cover in foil.  Pour gravy into a saucepan.  Whisk 2-3 heaping Tbsp of cornstarch in ½ c water and stir into gravy.  Whisk until it thickens then serve with mashed potatoes and carrots.

if your family prefers to mash their own potatoes on their plates you can just cut up potatoes and put them in the crockpot the same time you put the carrots in early in the morning.

If you don’t like bits of onion and mushroom in your gravy you can quickly strain it after taking the roast out and before adding the cornstarch. Then it’s just creamy and smooth for the kids.  it’s not as full of flavor, so i prefer to leave all the yummy extras in it, but if you have picky kids……it’s an option.

if you have leftover roast and gravy it makes a wonderful stew the next day!  toss the meat and gravy into the crockpot the next morning, add a can of cream of celery, a can of tomato sauce, some diced potatoes, carrots and you’ll have a great stew for dinner.  if you don’t have leftover gravy you can use another can of cream of mushroom with the the other ingredients and it will still be delish!

Mushroom Chicken

so all you NON-Fungi loving peeps…..this recipe can be made without mushrooms at all, so don’t write it off based on the title.  you could re-name it: Melanie’s Favorite Chicken and Gravy 😉 he he he

we’ve just always called it mushroom chicken because i put tons of mushrooms in the gravy!  i cut them really big so the kids can easily flip them onto my plate, but you are free to add or take away mushrooms at your leisure without it affecting the overall recipe.  (it just won’t be nearly as good without those sauteed little bites of heaven!)

Mushroom Chicken

combine:  3/4 cup flour,  1-1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper

melt 6TBSP of butter in deep frying pan

coat 4 to 6 chicken breasts in flour mixture and brown both sides in butter.  remove from frying pan and place in a 9×13 dish.   do not throw away leftover flour!

add to drippings:

1/4 cup butter, 2 TBSP chopped onion, and sliced mushrooms

(you may use onion flakes or just sprinkle some onion powder instead of using fresh onion.  just depends on how much your family likes onion)

saute the butter, mushrooms and onion for about 3min.  until mushrooms are golden.  stir in 6-8 TBSP of the flour mixture and mix well.   add 2 cups chicken broth:  cook and stir until smooth.  making sure the lumps of flour are blended in.  obviously if you prefer your gravy a bit thicker you can add more flour.

when mixture is smooth, add:   2 TBSP lemon juice,  1/2 cup cream  (you can add regular milk or half and half,  if you don’t have the cream but……hello?  cream is the better choice.)    i’m sure you all understand the concept of good, better, best 😉

mix sauce and pour over the chicken in 9×13 pan.  cover and bake at 350 for 1hr.  serve with homemade mashed potatoes and pat yourself on the back for making an entire meal from scratch!   it really is easier than you think and your family will love this recipe.

our family adores mashed potatoes so i add a lot more butter, cream and chicken broth to my pan so we have oodles of gravy.   you’ll learn to adjust how much works for your family, but the recipe above works best for around 4 chicken breasts with normal amount of potatoes.   we just prefer to pile it high and pour it on!

Coconut Crunch Bread


the first time i ever tried this recipe i went ‘COCONUTS’ over it!  it’s so de-lish it beat out zucchini bread as my new favorite bread.   (and i LOVE zucchini bread)

i had a friend ask for the recipe this morning and i figured you guys might want it as well?   it’s not a main dish but serve it with a side of protein filled eggs and bacon, then voila! dinner is served.  🙂

Coconut Crunch Bread

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

2 tsp coconut flavoring

3 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk (you can make your own by using 1 cup milk with 1 tsp lemon juice: let stand 5 min.)

1 cup coconut

1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)

blend eggs, sugar, oil and flavoring.    sift flour, salt, powder and soda together and blend in wet ingredients.   add buttermilk, then coconut and nuts.

grease 3 medium bread pans or one bundt pan.

bake at 350 for around 40min.   with 5min. of cooking time left, mix the following topping together in a saucepan:

2 TBSP butter-let melt, then add

1/2 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 tsp coconut flavoring

when sugar is dissolved and the glaze looks clear, spoon it over the hot bread from the oven.  i usually poke the loaves with a fork or knife several times so there are holes for the glaze to drizzle down in.  it’s so yum you’ll just grab a fork and start eating right out of the bread pan!


Chicken Dorito Casserole

thanks to my sweet friend marilynn for bringing me this delish recipe!  it’s no surprise my family gobbled it up……it’s doritos, it’s chicken, it’s cheese…it’s perfect!

Chicken Dorito

1 pound chicken breast halves
10 oz. Doritos
2   8 oz. cans cream of chicken soup
1   8 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 C picante sauce (salsa)
1/2 C milk
2 C grated cheddar cheese 
1 T chili powder
1-2 T oil 

Cut chicken into small pieces and fry with oil and 2 T of the salsa, until
browned and cooked through.  (If you are in a hurry or have leftover chicken
from something else you can skip this step and just add cooked and shredded
chicken to the following soup mixture.) In a bowl mix soups, milk, chili
powder, and the rest of the salsa.  Add chicken.  Spray 9 x 13 pan w/Pam and
layer chips, sauce, then cheese, twice.  Cover with foil and bake @ 350
degrees for 35 - 40 minutes.  Uncover last 5 minutes and enjoy!

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