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

Ridgecrest Recipes – Orange Ginger Shrimp Wraps

For the past several years Ridgecrest has had the honor of hosting the fall meeting of our LifeWay Trustees. It’s a great opportunity for our trustees and senior LifeWay leadership to experience all that Ridgecrest has to offer.

During this year’s meeting, our catering team once again did an awesome job with the food. In fact, I believe we all ate way too much! Today’s recipe was served the first night at a dinner reception held over at Camp Ridgecrest it was delicious. The recipe actually came to us via our food service manager’s son. If he’s got any more as good as this one, sure hope he passes them along to dear old dad!


  • 2 pounds large peeled/deveined raw shrimp
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 3 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 12 8″ flour tortillas


  • Mix orange marmalade, soy sauce and ginger. Marinate shrimp in mixture for 4-6 hours.
  • Toss shredded cabbage in 1 cup white cilantro sauce (recipe below) and store in refrigerator.
  • Saute shrimp until just done (as soon as they turn pink).
  • Arrange 4-6 shrimp and 2 tablespoons of cabbage in flour tortilla and wrap.
  • Serve with remaining white cilantro sauce.

White Cilantro Sauce

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon each cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper
  • Mix all ingredients and chill for at least 2 hours

After trying this one out, be sure and let us know what you think!



Ridgecrest's Oreo Pie

If you spend any time at all around me, you will quickly learn that I love pretty much any dessert with chocolate in it. Fortunately, or unfortunately you might say, my wife is the same way. In fact, we try to keep a bag of Hershey dark chocolate nuggets with almonds around the house just to stave off our chocolate cravings after dinner. Things can actually get pretty crazy when the Hershey bag is empty. Lynn has been know to pop open a bag of chocolate chips just to satisfy those chocolate cravings!

Since we don’t want anyone else having to stoop to such desperate measures, I thought a good chocolate dessert recipe was in order for this month’s Ridgecrest Recipe. Of course this is not just any chocolate dessert, it’s a recipe for Oreo Pie! Don’t know about you, but I love Oreo’s. So much so that I’ve started packing a bag of Oreo’s to take with me on mission trips. Trust me, nothing like a couple Oreo’s after dinner when you’re 6,000 miles away from home!


  • 2 cups Oreo crumbs
  • 2 cups chocolate pudding
  • 2 cups whipped topping
  • 16 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup milk


  • Whip together cream cheese, sugar and milk
  • Layer Oreo crumbs, cream cheese mixture and chocolate pudding in an 8″x8″ casserole dish
  • Top with whipped topping and sprinkle with Oreo crumbs
  • Chill, serve and enjoy!

Be sure to let us know how you liked it!


Ridgecrest Recipes – Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

Personally, I am not a big fan of Oriental food. This is something my family gives me a hard time about and my co-workers politely tolerate. When someone asks me “where do you want to go for lunch”, my standard reply is “anything but Chinese”. I know, I know, I’m a picky eater…but it’s just the way I am…

That being said, you’re probably wondering why I’m writing a post about teriyaki chicken. Well…simple reason. This is good stuff! Next time you’re looking a for a little different way to prepare chicken for the family, give this one a try:



  • (6) 4-6 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups La Choy Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup Kitchen Bouquet
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 2 green bell peppers (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice


  • Mix teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, pineapple juice, Kitchen Bouquet, water and lime juice together. Marinate chicken overnight in 1/4 of the sauce mixture. Reserve remaining sauce.
  • Grill chicken on open flame grill until 3/4 done.
  • Layer chicken in casserole dish.
  • Add pineapple chunks and sliced bell peppers to remainder of sauce and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Top chicken with sauce, cover and bake at 400 degrees until internal temp of 160 degrees is reached.
  • Remove from oven and serve!

Just a quick warning. Don’t take the easy way out and only use plain teriyaki sauce. It’s all the other stuff that helps give it the great flavor!

Bon appetite!

Top 10 Posts – 2nd Quarter 2012

I think it’s safe to say we’ve entered the dog days of summer and I’m already looking forward to fall. This means the 2nd quarter is behind us and it’s time to share our 10 most read posts over the past 3 months. Hopefully this will help you find a worthy post you might have missed in the past…

  1. 3 Steps To More Productive Brainstorming – Brainstorming with your planning team is a great way to ensure you provide an event your attendees will find engaging and worthwhile.  Here are 3 steps to take that will go a long way to making your next session more productive.
  2. What’s A Hollow Square – As in any industry, hotels and conference centers sometimes have a language all their own. Here’s a little help in translating…
  3. 8 Ideas For Promoting Your Church Retreat –  If you don’t also spend time on strategically promoting your retreat, you may end up with a great retreat that no one attends. With that in mind, here are 8 ideas for helping to promote your upcoming church retreat.
  4. Ridgecrest Recipe:  Rutland Chicken – Have you been looking for something new to do with chicken?  Enjoy and then let us know what you think!
  5. 5 Things To Do AFTER Your Meeting Is Over – Everyone has gone home and you want to relax but here are a few things that still need to be done and will definitely help you in planning future meetings and/or retreats.
  6. Creating A Standout Womens Retreat – A podcast interview with Chris Adams and Betsy Langmade, 2 of LifeWay’s long-time women’s leaders sharing what they’ve learned about planning women’s events.
  7. Meeting Planner Survival Kit – Many planners need to be prepared to address last minute needs and emergencies. Here is a starter list of items you need to have in your meeting planner survival kit to be prepared at your next event.
  8. 3 Tips To Creating An Unforgettable Event – Here are 3 tips on how to turn your event into an unforgettable experience.
  9. 5 Tips For Programming Effective Youth Camps – Brian Mills serves as student pastor Long Hollow Baptist Church and is passionate about reaching young people for Christ. Here are his thoughts on how to program your youth camp for maximum spiritual impact.
  10. 7 Tips For Getting The Most From A Site Visit – Once you decide to make a site visit, here are 7 tips to help you maximize your time.

Which post have you found most helpful?


Ridgecrest Recipes – Caramel Apple Cheesecake

I just attended the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference at Ridgecrest and for dessert at the closing banquet they served this cheesecake and believe me, you want to try this one at home.  People at the event loved it so much they were even taking the leftover pieces from other tables.  Please let us know what you think.

1-1/2 cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (about 8 whole crackers)
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 package (14 ounces) caramels
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans, divided
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups chopped peeled apples
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of prepared pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
  • In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, cook and stir caramels and milk until melted and smooth. Pour 1 cup over crust; sprinkle with 1/4 cup pecans. Set remaining caramel mixture aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1 tablespoon flour and remaining sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Combine the apples, cinnamon and remaining flour; fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour into crust.
  • Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Reheat reserved caramel mixture if necessary; gently spoon over cheesecake. Sprinkle with remaining pecans.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until center is just set. Remove pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Yield: 12 servings.


Ridgecrest Recipes – Helen's Salad

Time for us to share another delicious Ridgecrest recipe. (How did you like the chocolate waffles by the way?) Now that summer is upon us, it’s time to be thinking about fun stuff like Sunday afternoon cookouts and utilizing all those great vegetables from your garden. Named after the employee who created this salad back in the 90’s, Helen’s Salad is a great option for those summer BBQ’s by the pool. Try it out and let us know what you think!




  • 1 cup broccoli florets, raw
  • 1/2 cup red grapes
  • 1/2 cup green apples
  • 1/2 cup red apples (cut in 1/2″ cubes w/peel left on)
  • 1/2 cup Granny Smith apples (cut in 1/2″ cubes w/peel left on)
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts

Sweet Mayo Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sugar (+/- to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Whip together and chill for at least 30 minutes

Toss all ingredients and mix with sweet mayo dressing. Chill. Serves 8.

Ridgecrest Recipes – Pecan Crusted Pork Loin

Last month we introduce a new, monthly series on the blog called “Ridgecrest Recipes”. The first offering was for Rutland Chicken (read here) and hopefully you tried it out at home with your family. This month we’re featuring a pecan crusted pork loin with a delicious pan sauce.

Once you’ve had a chance to experience this great pork loin option, please stop back by the blog and let us know how you liked it.


Pecan Crusted Pork Loin

  • 3- 4 lb. boneless pork loin
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth

Pan Sauce – Heat all drippings from roasted pork loin (including pecans), chicken stock, red wine, and 1 T. flour. Let simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Sauté chopped pecans with butter, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Then season pork loin with remaining dry spices and coat with seasoned pecans. Roast at 350 degrees until internal temperature of 155 is reached. Let pork rest for 30 minutes and slice into 1/3 inch thick portions. Top pork with pan sauce and serve.