Ridgecrest Recipe – Spinach Balls

RidgecrestRecipes_150x150As we are preparing for our children to head back to school, here is a great snack idea for you this month.


  • 1 pound frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 3/4 cups breadcrumbs
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Press fully thawed spinach into colander to remove excess water.

Mix spinach with remaining ingredients by hand in large bowl.

Form into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until firm.

Ridgecrest Recipe – Mark's Chicken Salad

RidgecrestRecipes_150x150We thought for the summer season, we would share a recipe from our Ridgecrest Kitchen that has won the award for best dish at our local Meals on Wheels competition.


  • 2 lb. Course chopped cooked white chicken
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ¾ c. Dried cranberries
  • ¾ c. Toasted whole pecans
  • ½ c. chopped cooked bacon (cooked well and drained)
  •  Toss together dry ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.


  • 8 oz. Dukes Cole Slaw dressing
  • 2 oz. Dukes Honey Mustard
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 4 oz. sour cream
  • 4 oz. Lea & Perrins white wine Worcestershire sauce

Toss Chicken mixture with dressing. Chill for at least 4 hours.

Ridgecrest Recipe – Chocolate Macaroon Bundt Cake

RidgecrestRecipes_150x150If you’ve ever had the Chocolate Macaroon’s at Ridgecrest, you’ll love this easy bundt cake recipe.  Enjoy!


  •     2 egg whites, reserving one yolk
  •     1/2 cup sugar
  •     2 Tbsp. flour
  •     1 tsp. vanilla
  •     1-1/2 cups coconut
  •     1 cup chocolate chips
  •     2 cups flour
  •     1-1/4 cups sugar
  •     1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  •     2/3 cup cocoa powder
  •     1/2 tsp. salt
  •     1 tsp. baking soda
  •     2 tsp. vanilla
  •     3 eggs
  •     1 reserved egg yolk
  •     3/4 cup milk
  •     1/2 cup butter, softened
  •     1/2 cup sour cream
  •     1/4 cup butter
  •     3 cups powdered sugar
  •     3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  •     3-4 Tbsp. milk
  •     1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10″ bundt pan (nonstick too) and set aside.

In small bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in coconut, 2 Tbsp. flour, 1 tsp. vanilla, and chocolate chips. Set aside.

In large bowl, place 2 cups flour, 1-1/4 cups sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, salt, baking soda, 2 tsp. vanilla, 3 eggs, 1 egg yolk, milk, butter, and sour cream. With same beaters, mix batter on low until combined, then beat on medium high for 3 minutes.

Spoon one-third of cake batter into prepared pan. Drop half of coconut filling by teaspoons in the center of the batter, keeping the filling away from the edges of the pan. Cover filling with one-third of the remaining cake batter and top with rest of coconut filling. Cover with rest of batter and spread evenly to cover.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-65 minutes until cake is set, edges start pulling away from pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then loosen edges and invert cake onto serving plate. Cool completely.

For chocolate glaze, in medium saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, milk, and vanilla. Remove from heat, and beat with wire whisk until blended and creamy. Add more milk or powdered sugar, as needed, to reach desired spreading consistency. Spoon glaze over cake, letting it run down the sides. Store covered at room temperature.

Ridgecrest Recipe – Pork Chops Piccata

RidgecrestRecipes_150x150I love piccata – the yummy flavor from the lemons and the salty goodness from the capers – oh my!

1 egg
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
4 boneless pork chops
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
1/4 cup white grape juice
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a shallow dish, whisk your egg and mustard ,  In another dish (or on waxed paper) place breadcrumbs.  Dip chops in egg mixture and then coat in crumbs.
Heat butter and oil in a skillet.  Add the chops and cook until golden (about 3 minutes per side.)
Remove from pan.  Add shallot and saute 1 minute.  Add juice, water and cook 1 more minute.  Stir in broth, capers and lemon juice.  Add pork chops back to skillet and simmer covered, 3-4 minutes.

Ridgecrest Recipe – Asparagus Ricotta Tart

RidgecrestRecipes_150x150Just in time for Easter, this tart makes a great addition to your dinner table.


15 oz. ricotta cheese

4 large eggs

1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 c. milk

3 Tbsp. snipped chives

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Pre-heat oven to 375o F. Combine ingredients and pour into a 10 inch nonstick oven-safe skillet; top with 8 oz. pencil-thin asparagus spears, trimmed to fit and bake for 40 minutes.

Ridgecrest Recipe – Dijon Oven Roasted New Potatoes

1 Spary Cooking Spray
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Olive Oil
3/4 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Thyme
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 lbs uncooked new potatoes
Pre-heat oven to 425, Coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray
In a large bowl, whisk together mustard, oil, paprika, salt, thyme and pepper; add potatoes and stir to coat.
Transfer to baking dish and roast 20 minutes, stir and roast another 20 minutes or until tender.
1 1/4 cups per serving

Ridgecrest Recipe – Apple Meatballs

We always try a few new recipes out over the holidays for use in the new year and this one was a big hit.


  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup crushed seasoned stuffing
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 2-1/2 pounds lean ground beef


  • 2 bottles (18 ounces each) barbecue sauce
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) apple jelly
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce


  • In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls.
  • In a large skillet, brown the meatballs; drain. Transfer to a greased 3-qt. baking dish. In a large saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes. Pour over meatballs.
  • Cover and bake at 325° for 30 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Yield: 72 meatballs.

Use pretzel sticks instead of toothpicks for serving appetizer meatballs. They taste great and reduce waste and mess.

Ridgecrest Recipe – Swiss Buttercream

As we approach the holidays, I thought it timely to post this terrific frosting recipe perfect for Christmas cakes, cupcakes and cookies.


  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 10 large egg whites
  • 4 cups (8 sticks or 2 pounds) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.
  2. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don’t worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add vanilla, and beat just until combined.
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes. If using buttercream within several hours, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature in a cool environment. Or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator, up to 3 days. Before using, bring buttercream to room temperature, and beat on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Herb Baked Chicken With Creamy Parmesan Polenta

Today’s recipe is another Ridgecrest favorite.  Hopefully after you try it out at home you will agree!

Herb Baked Chicken

8 pieces 6 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 c. Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 c. Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs

Marinate chicken overnight in Zesty Italian Dressing.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Shake excess dressing from chicken and lightly coat with bread crumbs.  Bake chicken to internal temperature of 160F.  Serve with creamy Parmesan polenta.


1 box instant polenta (8 oz. box)
1 t. salt
1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Follow package directions for polenta.  Add Parmesan cheese and salt.

Note:  You may need to add more water and/or salt to adjust for thickness and taste of polenta.

Island Grilled Chicken w/Mango Salsa

As I mentioned in last month’s recipe post (read here), I love it when Ridgecrest gets to host LifeWay’s trustees. Not only are they some great men and women to hang out with, we get to eat a lot of really great food!

Today’s recipe is another trustee favorite. This was the second year in a row that we have served this entree at the outdoor banquet at Camp Ridgecrest. This chicken (along with the orange ginger shrimp wraps) was a big hit. Hopefully after you try it out at home you will agree!


Island Grilled Chicken

  • 8 – 6oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups Knorr Caribbean Jerk marinade and sauce
  • Marinate chicken breasts in 1 cup of marinade for 36-48 hours
  • Remove chicken from marinade and grill (high heat) for 1-2 minutes on each side
  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Transfer chicken to a broiler pan and brush both sides with remaining cup of marinade
  • Bake in oven until done (internal temp of 160F)
  • Remove, top with cold mango salsa and serve

Mango Salsa (combine following ingredients and refrigerate 3-4 hours)

  • 2 cups pineapple chunks
  • 2 cups mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup diced jalapeno