Cooking Party

Last night I had a couple of friends over for dinner and to have some fun in the kitchen.   One of them was Jenny Carden, a Pampered Chef consultant and contributor to Dixie Chik Cooks. 

There’s nothing like relaxing in the kitchen with good conversation and good wine.

Here’s what we made:

Bacon Wrapped Gorgonzola Stuffed Dates


Grape Tomato and Onion Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette


Cuban Bread with Italian Dipping Oil


Classic Lasagna


Red Velvet Whoopie Pies – a recipe by Sweet Pea’s Kitchen


And, by the way, Jenny made the Whoopie Pies and these turned out perfect.  The kiddies couldn’t keep their hands off them. 

Below is my recipe for lasagna, which has been my go-to recipe for years.  I played around with certain ingredients years ago and finally discovered a couple of things that have become my staples – that really make the difference – in this dish.  And sometimes I tweak it here and there, but for the most part the recipe is a good, solid foundation for a great lasagna. 

Later I will be posting the other recipes that we made, but for now-

Here’s me (right) and Jenny (left)…..she’s such a cutie – and she LOVES to cook so you know we had fun.


And here’s my friend Tresia enjoying a Whoopie Pie – I just love this girl.


I want to do dinner parties every week!  And have somebody come clean up after us!

Here’s the recipe for the lasagna:

Classic Lasagna


1 lb ground round

1/2 lb ground Italian sausage

1 12 oz package lasagna pasta

1/2 cup beef broth

1 12 oz container ricotta cheese

2 eggs

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 16 oz can petite diced tomatoes

2 tbsp dried basil

2 tbsp dried oregano

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 onion, diced

2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce, divided

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

4 cups mozzarella cheese

1 package of sliced provolone cheese (you can find it where the shredded cheese is -sliced for sandwiches)

1 tbsp Lawry’s seasoned salt

1 tbsp Sea salt

1 tsp pepper

Olive oil



Preheat oven to 350°.  Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat, and add garlic.  When fragrant add onions and saute for about a minute or two.  Add sausage and ground beef, mashing and stirring until all crumbled and browned.  Add 2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce, both cans of tomatoes, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Bring to a slow boil, then cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.  Taste periodically and adjust salt/seasonings to your preference.

Next, mix ricotta, eggs, and parm in a medium mixing bowl.  Salt and pepper to your taste.  I add about 1 tbsp of sea salt and 2 tbsp coarse pepper.  But that’s me.

In a 9×10 baking pan (we used the Pampered Chef stoneware), pour 1/2 cup of the sauce and spread on the bottom.  Layer lasagna noodles, followed by ricotta mixture, then sauce.  Next, lay on top of the sauce 3 1/2 Provolone slices, followed by more pasta, ricotta, sauce and next mozzarella.  Continue repeating until the dish is almost full.  Cover very tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour, then uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.  Let it rest for about 15 minutes, then you can cut and serve. 

Finally, I just had to mention the stoneware we cooked the lasagna in.  This is not an advertisement, I promise.  This is me telling you that Dixie Chik found something she profoundly needs in her kitchen.  Dramatic? Yes.  Necessary?  I think so.

I have one stone – which is the pizza stone I got 6 years ago.  And although I use it all the time, and I love it, I found a new PC stone friend last night.  And she wants me to buy her. 

She’s the Deep Covered Baker in Cranberry.  I had no idea what a difference baking in stone would make.  But oh my….it did.  It honestly, and I’m not kidding, made a big difference in how evenly the lasagna cooked overall- no burnt edges. 

I actually have a Pampered Chef “show” online open until Monday, 2/7.  So, for the first three Dixie Chik fans that order online, Jenny will give away a free 2010 Fall/Winter Season’s Best Cookbook, which will not be available after the end of February.  To browse the online catalog and/or order all you have to do is go here and enter “Shea Goldstein” (moi) as the hostess.

Happy Cooking!

~Dixie Chik~

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Moroccan Chicken Pitas With Date Tabbouleh And Mint Yogurt Sauce

I knew it would be fun to think up something to make with this week’s challenge ingredient – dates – based on the fact that you typically see them in sweets and breads and I’m just not a sweets kinda girl.  So, that being said, it was definitely a challenge. 

After making my recipe, I now know I will be using dates more often! 

Here’s what I came up with:

Moroccan Chicken Pitas With Date Tabbouleh And Mint Yogurt


For the chicken:

1 package pita bread

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon coriander

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cumin

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2 tsp minced garlic

1 teaspoon ginger

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients, from paprika down, in a small dish and stir thoroughly to combine.  It should look like this:

And this smells awesome, by the way.

Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken breasts pretty thin – about 1/2 inch thick.  Generously rub the spice mixture on all sides of chicken breasts, cover and let it sit in the refrigerator for about an hour.

For the tabbouleh:

2 bunches fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1/3 cup quinoa, cooked

2 cans petite diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 lemons, juiced

4 Mahjool dates, pitted and diced small

About 1/4 cup olive oil – (I didn’t measure!)

Sea salt

Combine all ingredients and adjust salt and oil to your preference.  Cover and chill while the chicken is marinating – but first you should do like I did and dip a handful of pita chips in it.

For the Mint Yogurt Sauce:

1 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 small cucumber, diced

1 tbsp mint

1/2 lemon, juiced

Combine everything in a small glass bowl and chill. 

When the chicken has marinated, prepare grill to medium heat.  Grill the chicken until done – at least 165°.  I like mine very done, even with some crispy edges.

Half the pita bread, and split open.  Fill the halves with chicken, tabbouleh and finally the yogurt sauce. 

This is good…very good.


Nutritionella wasn’t able to participate this week because she cut her hand on her food processor and had to go to the emergency room!!  We hope it heals very quickly.  Check out her post about it, as well as the other blogger’s challenge recipes:


And Love It Too!

Marci Gilbert

From The Little Yellow Kitchen

Happy Monday!

~Dixie Chik~

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Ingredient Challenge Monday

This is Challenge #4!  It has been so much fun coming up with the ingredients, and seeing all the recipes whipped up by my foodie challengers. 

This week’s ingredient is…..


So after we decided other ingredient….it got me wondering.  What are dates?  Where do they come from?  I mean, I’ve heard of them, but never really dug into what a date is.  Does it grow on a vine? a tree? in the ground?  I know….I should already know this.

So I did a little reading and here’s what I found out:

  • Dates grow on a tree called a date palm. 
  • Dates dry in stages – and if they are allowed to dry (or ripen) on the tree for a long time, they develop sugar crystals on the outside. Interesting…sun-made candy? Nope, apparently at this point it tastes pretty much like leather.
  • Date trees can stay in production for over 60 years.
  • Dates are really berries.
  • They contain more than 20 different amino acids.
  • They contain selenium, which lowers the risk of certain cancers, boosts immunity, and heart-healthy.For some reason, I was thinking there was a link between dates and figs??  Anyway, enough of the education.

Here’s a run-down of our Ingredient Challenge history – make sure to check out our recipes if you haven’t seen them yet so you can keep up 🙂

Ingredient Challenge #1 – Pomegranate

Ingredient Challenge #2 – Kale

Ingredient Challenge #3 – Quinoa

Here’s where you need to go to see all the recipes:


And Love It Too!

Marci Gilbert

From The Little Yellow Kitchen

Check back on Monday and see what we come up with!

Happy Weekend –

~Dixie Chik~

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Dixie Chik’s First Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Lauren and Chrissy of From The Little Yellow Kitchen for my very first blogger award!  I’m honored – and so excited!  Thank you girls for making me feel so stylish.  If you haven’t visited their site yet, click here…..then here.

In order to accept this award, I must perform 4 duties:

1.  Make a post & link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2.  Share 7 things about yourself.
3.  Award 10 recently discovered great bloggers.
4.  Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won!

7 Things About Dixie Chik


 1.  I’m scared to death of flying.  I’ve flown 100+ times but hyperventilate and freak out every time.

2.  Seeing any of the white of my eggs runny makes me want to vomit.

3.  I’m extremely punctual.  To the point that its annoying.

4.  I don’t care for sweets.  I loved chocolate until I turned 30, now I could never have another dessert and be just fine.  Weird, right?

5.  I stopped using my first name, Kimberly, in the 6th grade when a friend of mine asked me if she could call me Shea (my middle name) because she liked it better.

6.  Tulips and Calla lillies are my favorite flowers.

7.  I’m a registered nurse.

My 10 Nominations



Happy When Not Hungry

And Love It Too!

Bacon And Soufflé

Como Water

Cooking With Coley

Life As A Foodie

The Firehouse Chef

 Dad’s In The Kitchen

So This Brunette Walks Into A Kitchen…

 Thanks again to From The Little Yellow Kitchen for my award! 

Happy Cooking,

~Dixie Chik~



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Quinoa-Mushroom Burgers

Back a few years ago, my husband and I went on a low cal diet to lose weight for a caribbean vacation.  It was at that point that I first discovered Boca Burgers – about 100 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving.  They taste good, they’re filling, and there’s a ton of things you can do with them.  Needless to say, they became a staple in our lunch and dinner rotations.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I love a good *real* burger – heard of Milo’s by chance?  If you aren’t in Alabama probably not, but it’s the epitome of burger heaven.  Google it.

I still buy them every now and then, but I decided to try to make my own veggie burgers to see how close I could get to a smoky beef flavor without the beef.  And because I like to play in the kitchen.

Quinoa-Mushroom Burgers

1 lb mushrooms

1 cup beef broth

1 tbsp ground flax seed

2 tbsp hot water

1 cup quinoa, cooked

3/4 cup hummus (chickpea dip)

1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 garlic clove

2 tbsp sea salt

2 tbsp coarse ground pepper

Heard of flax seed? 

It’s apparently huge in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which may lower cholesterol and help in fighting certain cancers.  I started buying it several years ago after I was diagnosed with IBS.  I didn’t take the prescribed IBS med very long (it did absolutely nothing), but I have continued to use this now and then.  The flax used in this recipe is GROUND flax, and when mixed with hot water can be used as a substitute for an egg in most recipes…..good little tidbit, right 😉  I’ve had to do this several times when I discover I’m out of eggs, and you can’t tell the difference. 

Anyway, onto the recipe.

Wash and dry the mushrooms. 

Bring the cup of beef broth to a boil, then add mushrooms and turn the heat down to medium. 

Boil for about 10 minutes, remove from heat and drain.   Combine the flax meal with 2 tbsp of hot water with a spoon.

Set aside.

In a food processor, add the hummus, mushrooms, flax meal mixture, and rest of the ingredients.  Pulse a few times, then scrape the sides with a spatula.

Put mixture in the fridge for at least an hour.

Remove the burger mix from fridge, and form into patties.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Place 3 patties at a time (do not crowd them), cooking about 8 minutes, then flip and cook another 8 minutes.  They will be nice and brown on the bottom.  The key is cooking them SLOW.  These are not beef burgers; you can’t rush them.  They are sensitive and need your time and attention.  Needy little things, aren’t they?

Remove from heat and let them rest for about 5 minutes.  Then serve them up like you want them-

This one had Muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo mixed with tabasco and pepper.  You can do whatever you want.  Obviously I chose the heat road.

It’s your burger.



Dixie Chik

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