Sunday, December 21, 2008

Butter Pecan Fudge

This is from Taste of Home. I first made it maybe 2 or 3 years ago and now we make it every year - it's very rich but absolutely delicious!

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup pecan halves, toasted and coarsely chopped

In a large saucepan, combine the butter, sugars, cream and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Stir in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in pecans. Spread into a buttered 8-in. square dish. Cool to room temperature. Cut into 1-in. squares. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 1-1/4 pounds.

Double Chocolate Fudge

This is my version of another recipe. It makes SO much - great for giving as gifts. I often cut the amount of nuts in half and only add them to half the mixture so I have with and without nuts.

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup butter, divided
2 3/4 c. milk chocolate chips
4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 jar marshmallow creme
1 can evaporated milk
4-1/2 c. sugar
2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Line a 13-in. x 9-in. pan with foil and butter the foil with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside. In a large heat-proof bowl, combine the chocolate chips and marshmallow creme; set aside. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the milk, sugar and remaining butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 4-1/2 minutes. Pour over chocolate mixture; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in walnuts. Pour into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 6 pounds.

Sugar Cookies (Best Ever!)

We've been making this recipe for as long as I can remember!

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tb. cream or milk
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, cream and vanilla and mix until blended. Add dry ingredients. Divide into 3 or 4 rounds and roll out. Cut with seasonal cookie cutters. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-8 min. until barely golden. Ice with your favorite frosting and top with sprinkles. Make 5-6 dozen.

Sweet Potato, Sausage, & Kale soup

This is my version of a recipe I found.

1-2 Tb. olive oil
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (may want to omit if using a spicy sausage)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. kielbasa sausage, chopped (can use less)
5 c. sweet potato, peeled & chopped
2 c. water
1 qt. chicken stock
1 bunch kale, washed and torn
1 can cannellini beans or white beans, drained and rinsed

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until tender and almost translucent. Add salt, pepper, red pepper, and garlic. Cut sausage into bite size pieces and add to pan. Cook until sausage is lightly browned. Add sweet potato, water, and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes. Gradually add kale and cook until tender. Stir in beans and cook until thoroughly heated.

Raspberry Coffee Cake

This is a favorite from Light 'n Tasty. I often make it for Christmas.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup reduced-fat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened fresh or frozen raspberries
1 tablespoon sliced almonds

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon fat-free milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Combine the egg, yogurt, butter and vanilla; add to dry ingredients just until moistened.

Spoon two-thirds of the batter into a greases 8-in. round baking pan (I use a springform pan. Combine the brown sugar and raspberries; sprinkle over batter. Spoon remaining batter over the top. Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched and is golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients. Drizzle over coffee cake. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 8 servings.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


2 3/4 c. - 3 c. flour
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 c. buttermilk (or sour milk)
1/4 c. oil or butter
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. dried currants, raisins, or cranberries

Combine dry ingredients and fruit together and wet ingredients separately. Add together. Drop by Tb. on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees fr 12 -15 min.

Italian Butter

1 stick softened butter
1 Tb. Italian seasoning

Combine and chill 1/2 hr.

Delicious on baked potatoes, hot cooked pasta, or garlic bread.

Crock Pot Turkey Breast

1 - 6lb. turkey breast, frozen
1 can cranberry sauce
1 c. orange juice
1 tsp. rosemary

Combine all and put in greased slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 9 hrs. or until internal temp is 170 degrees. Remove from crockpot and let stand 10 min. before slicing.

-Turkey breast, onion, and garlic
-Turkey breast, 4 strips bacon (layed on turkey), onion, 2 c. chicken broth, 1 clove garlic, pepper to taste, 1/2 c. honey
-Turkey breast, 2 c. water, 2 stalks chopped celery, 1 onion, 1/4 c. butter, 1/2 - 1 tsp. seasonings (salt, pepper, rosemary, whatever desired)


8 slices rye bread
1/2 lb. deli style roast beef or turkey
1/2 c. sauerkraut, rinsed & well-drained
4 slices swiss cheese
1/4 c. thousand island dressing

Butter outside of all bread slices. On 4 slices of bread, layer the meat, sauerkraut, cheese, and salad dressing. Top with remaining bread. Grill sandwiches in griddle on both sides until cheese is melted.

Chicken Finger w/Honey Sauce

12 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast
2 beaten egg whites
1 Tb. honey
2 c. crushed corn flakes
1/4 tsp. pepper

4 tsp. prepared dijon mustard
1/4 c. honey
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Cut into strips about 3 in. long and 3/4 in. wide. In small mixing bowl combine egg white and honey. In a shallow bowl combine the cornflake crumbs and pepper. Dip chicken strips into egg mixture then roll in the crumb mixture to coate. Place on an ungreased baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake at 450 degrees for 11-13 min or until no longer pink.

For sauce - combine all ingredients. Makes 4 servings.

Chicken Enchiladas

1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
2 Tb. butter
2 c. chopped cooked chicken
1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper OR 1 - 4 oz. can jalapenos
3 Tb. butter
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. ground coriander
3/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 c. plain yogurt OR sour cream
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
12 - 6 in. tortillas

In lg. saucepan cook onion and green pepper in the 2 Tb. butter until tender. Combine in a bowl with chopped chicken and jalapenos (if using). Set bowl aside

In same saucepan, melt 3 Tb. Blend in flour, coriander, salt, and cayenne (if using). Stir in chicken broth all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in yogurt and 1/2 c. cheese. Stir 1/2 c. sauce into the reserved chicken mixture. Dip ea. tortilla into remaining hot sauce to soften; ill each with about 1/4 c. of chicken mixture. Roll up and place in greased 9x13 pan. Pour remaining sauce over rolls. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 25 min. or until bubbly.

Smoked Sausage Cheese Soup

This is my Grandma J.'s recipe - such a yummy treat.

2 c. water
1 c. corn
1 c. chopped potato
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped carrot
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 beef bouillion cubes
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubes
1/2 lb. smoked sausage, cut into bite-size pieces

Place all ingredients except cheese in lg. pan or crock pot. Stir gently; bring mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat until vegetables are tender, about 2 hours. Just before serving, bring soup back to a boil and add cheese. Stir until blended and cheese is melted. Do not boil after adding cheese. Serves 4-6

Mandarin Spinach Salad

This is a delicious salad - one my mom makes frequently!

1 bunch or bag Spinach
Green Onion
Mandarin Orange

1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tb. vinegar
1/4 c. oil
1-2 Tb. honey

Cauliflower Pea Salad

This recipe is from my mom.

1 med. head cauliflower, broken in small pieces
1 10 oz. package frozen peas
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 Tb. onion

Mix all together.

1 c. mayonnaise
3 Tb. milk
2-3 tsp. seasoned salt

Combine and toss with vegetables. Chill overnight.

Mixed Green Salad w/Beets

This takes a little time but is worth it - it's so good!

1 package mixed greens
1 beet (roasted, peeled, and sliced - takes about 30 min.)
Blue Cheese

1/4 c. white wine vinegar
1 c. oil
1 roasted shallot (do with beet)
1 roasted clove of garlic (do with beet)
1/4 c. orange juice
orange zest

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving Sandwich

I came up with this for our 2nd Thanksgiving celebration and we decided this might be the best sandwich we've ever had!

1 loaf sourdough bread
1 lb. turkey (leftover or deli - thick sliced, mesquite smoked)
1/2 lb. sliced cheese (swiss, provolone or your favorite)
6 Tb. cranberry sauce or chutney
9 pieces cooked sliced bacon
1 apple thinly sliced
Spread (3 Tb. mayonnaise, 3 Tb. dijon or brown mustard, 2 tsp. honey combined)

Butter outside of bread (two slices per sandwich). Lightly smear spread on inside of one piece and top with turkey, bacon, apples, cheese, spread cranberry on other piece of bread. Cook on hot griddle until golden brown and melty - turning once.

Makes about 6 sandwiches.

Tomato Caprese on Bread

This is an original.

1 loaf crusty french or italian bread
3 tomatoes, sliced
1 lb. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
fresh basil
Olive oil
Balsmic vinegar
Fresh ground Pepper

Cut bread into 1/2 in. pieces. Drizzle w/olive oil. Top w/slice of tomato, fresh basil, salt & pepper, drizzle of balsamic vinegar and thin slice of mozzarella. Place under broiler until melty and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Pumpkin Cranberry Crumb Muffins

This is my original recipe inspired by a recipe for quick bread.

2 eggs
1 c. pumpkin puree (probably a little more - I used all that I had left from the pumpkin pancakes)
1/2 c. oil
1 c. sugar
2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4-1/2 tsp. nutmeg (I fresh grate it)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. fresh cranberries (rough chop 1/2 of them) - could probably use frozen

Combine eggs, pumpkin, and oil. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, spices, soda, and salt. Add cranberries and toss to coat. Add wet ingredients and stir until combined - don't overmix.

In a small bowl mix together:
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. quick oats
3 Tb. melted butter

Spoon muffin batter in lined muffin tin and sprinkle about 1 tsp. of topping on each muffin. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-22 min. Makes 20-24 muffins.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Amy posted about this recipe on her blog and the original is a Martha Stewart. It's AMAZING! Best pancakes we've ever had.

1 1/4 c. flour
2 Tb. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (I just grate some fresh in)
pinch of cloves
1 c. milk
6 Tb. pumpkin
2 Tb. melted butter
1 egg

Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Combine wet ingredients in separate bowl or measuring cup. Pour wet into dry and stir or whisk to combine. Makes 6-10 pancakes.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cottage Cheese & Chive Muffins

My sister has a muffin book and this is from it.

2 c. self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 c. cottage cheese - be very generous
1/4 c. skim milk
3 Tb. fresh chives, chopped

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter. Add wet ingredients and chives. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 min.

Vegetarian Chili

This is my original take on making chili without meat - inspired by the vegetables I had on hand.

1 med.-lg. onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
2 cans tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 c. water 1 can corn (or frozen)
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1 can white or red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and small cubed (about 3 c.)
3 sm.-med. zuchini, small cubed
1 Tb. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1/2-1 tsp. oregano
salt to taste (about 2 tsp. - 1 Tb.)
1/4 tsp. red pepper

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 8 hrs. or until vegetables are tender and chili is bubbling. Top with cheese and sour cream (I like plain yogurt & a little sour cream combined). Enjoy.

If you like SPICY - add diced tomatoes w/green chiles! It would really make this better!

You could easily substitute different beans or other vegetables.

Cherry Pie (double crust)

1 c. sugar
3 Tb. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
6 c. frozen sour cherries
1 tsp. vanilla extract (could also use almond extract)
2 Tb. butter

Combine all ingredients except the butter. Pour into prepared crust. Dot with butter and top with top crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 min. Reduce oven temp. to 350 degrees and continue to bake until crust is golden and filling is thick and bubbly, 40-50 min. longer.

Blueberry-Raspberry Pie (double crust)

1 c. sugar
2 Tb. cornstarch
2 Tb. quick-cooking tapioca
1/2-1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2-1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
8 c. berries (I use frozen unsweetened blueberries & raspberries)
1 Tb. butter

Combine all ingredients except butter and pour into prepared crust in pie pan. Dot with butter and top with top crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until filling is thick and bubbly.

Pie Crust

2 1/2 c. flour
2 Tb. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. cold butter
3 Tb. ice water

Stir together flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until well combined - no lg. pieces of butter. Add water and mix with a fork until dough pulls together. Makes 2 crusts and a little more.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Black Bean Tart

1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tb. butter
4-6 Tb. water

Combine dry ingredients and then cut in butter. Add water until it forms a ball.

2 cans black beans, rinsed & drained
2 Tb. sour cream
1 pack frozen corn, thawed
1 Tb. oil
1 c. chopped red pepper
1/2 c. chopped green onion
1/4 - 1/2 c. fresh cilantro, minced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded & chopped
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 c. monterey jack cheese
sour cream, opt.

Press crust into bottom and up the side of an ungreased 9 in. tart pan. Chill 15 min. Line un-pricked crust w/double thickness of foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 min., remove foil and bake for 8-10 min. longer until golden.

In blender, combine 1 c. beans, sourcream, 1/2 tsp. salt until smooth. Spread over crust. Saute corn in oil until tender. Remove from heat and add pepper, onions, cilantro, jalapenos, cheese, peppers and remaining beans. Pour on top of puree. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Serve w/sour cream if desired.

Muddy Buddies (or Puppy Chow)

9 c. Chex cereal
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter on high in the microwave for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes. Pour over cereal in a ziploc bag and toss to coat. Add powdered sugar and toss again. Spread on wax paper to cool.

Garlic Tomato Bruschetta

1/4 c. olive oil
3 Tb. chopped fresh basil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 med. tomatoes, diced
2 Tb. parmesan cheese
1 loaf french bread

Combine oil, basil, garlic, salt & pepper. Add tomatoes and toss gently. Sprinle w/cheese. Refrigerate for 1 hr. Bring to room temperature. Before serving, cut bread into 24 slices and toast uner the broiler until lightly browned. Top w/tomato mixture and serve immediately.

Apple Dip

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. brown sugar
3 Tb. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients and mix until creamy and smooth. Serve w/ apple slices. Can add toffee bits for extra flavor and texture!

Chex Mix

8 c. chex cereal
1/4 c. butter
1 1/4 c. seasoned salt
4 1/2 tsp. worcestshire sauce
1 c. mixed nuts
1 c. pretzels

Melt butter w/salt and worcestshire. Add remaining ingredients. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degress - stirring every 15 minutes. Spread out on brown paper or wax paper to cool.

Banana Salad

This is my great-grandmother's recipe. I treasure the handwritten copy of this recipe in my collection! It is amazing!

2 egg yolks
6 Tb. sugar
2 Tb. flour
pinch of salt
1 c. milk
2 Tb. vinegar
2 Tb. butter
1 pkg. dream whip
Bananas, sliced
Peanuts, chopped

Beat egg yolks. Add sugar, vinegar, salt, flour, and milk. Cook until thick. Add butter. Let cool. Add dream whip. Slice bananas. Put layer of banana, layer of dressing, layer of peanuts, until all are gone. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top.

Ramen Noodle Slaw

2 pkg. ramen noodles, crushed (discard seasoning packet)
2 # slaw or chopped broccoli
1 carrot, shredded
3 green onion, diced
1/2 c. slivered almonds
1/2 c. sunflower seeds

Combine all ingredients and toss with dressing.

1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. sugar (I use less)
1/3 c. vinegar

Squash Casserole

This in one of my favorite recipes of my MIL's.

2-3 c. cooked squash
1/4 c. med. onion
3/4 c. crushed crackers
1 c. grated cheese
2 eggs
Dash nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 stick butter

Cook squash and onion until tender. Drain and mash. Add the remaining ingredients and pour into a greased 2 qt. casserole dish. Bakd at 325 degrees for 45 min. Additional crumbs an cheese may be sprinkled on top before baking.

Sweet Potato Cornbread w/Orange or Maple Butter

This is so yummy served warm!

1 c. flour
1/2 c. cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs
1 c. mashed sweet potato
1/4 c. oil
3 Tb. maple syrup
1/2 c. buttermilk

Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, soda, salt, & cinnamon. In separate bowl combine eggs, sweet potato, oil, syrup, and buttermilk. Add wet mixture to dry and stir just to combine. Pour into a 9 in. greased pan and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Serve with orange or maple butter.

1 stick butter, softened
grated zest of 1 orange

1 stick butter, softened
2 Tb. maple syrup

Twice Baked Cranberry Sweet Potatoes

5 med. sweet potatoes
1/2 c. cranberry relish
1/2 c. dried cranberries, chopped
2 Tb. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Bake potatoes at 325 degrees for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hrs. until tender. Cut each potato lengthwise and scoop pulp into a bowl reserving the shell. Mash pulp and stir in relishm cranberries, butter, and salt. Spoon potato mixture back into the shells and place in a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with walnuts. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-35 minutes until heated through.

2 Cheese Spinach Casserole

This is such a yummy side dish - even kids like it!

1 c. flour
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 sm. onion, chopped
2 cloves garli, minced
2 Tb. parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 c. monterey jack or cheddar cheese
1 - 10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach chopped, squeezed and dried

Saute butter, onion, and garlic. Combine all ingredients and transfer to a greased 8x8 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 min. uncovered.

Creamy Brussel Sprouts or Green Beans

1 med. onion, quarter and thinly sliced
3 clobves garlic, minced
3 Tb. butter
2 lbs. brussel sprouts trimmed and halved OR 2 lbs. green beans
1 tsp. fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme)
3/4 c. chicken broth
3/4 c. heavy cream
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. finely shredded paremesan
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Grease 1 1/2 qt baking dish. Saute onion and garlic in butter until softened. Stir in brussel sprouts and thyme. Cook for 3-4 minutes of until onions begin to brown. Add broth. Bring to boil. Cook, stirring occasionally for another 3-4 minutes until broth is nearly evaporated. Add cream & nutmeg. Cook for 4 min. until begins to thicken. Transfer to a baking dish. Stir in 1/2 the cheese and all of the salt & pepper. Sprinkle w/ remaining cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20-25 min. until sprouts are tender.

Corn Casserole

This is not good for you but it's so tasty! I like to take it to pitch-ins. :)

2 cans cream style corn
1/2 stick butter
1 c. sour cream
1 Tb. sugar
2 eggs
salt & pepper to taste
1 box jiffy mix

Combine all ingredients and pour into a 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.

Curried Split Pea Soup

This is my take on Alton Brown's recipe.

2 tablespoons butter
1 med. chopped onion
1/2 - 1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tblsp. minced fresh garlic
1 3/4 c. dried green or yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
5 c. chicken broth (can use 4 c. broth & 1 c. water)
1 Tblsp. curry powder
6 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled (opt.)

Place the butter into a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and sweat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sweat for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, making certain not to allow onions or garlic to brown.

Add the peas, chicken broth, curry powder, and bacon pieces. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook at a simmer until the peas are tender and not holding their shape any longer, approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Using care and a stick blender, puree the soup until the desired consistency. Watch out for hot splatters.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

This is my original recipe that was inspired by a regular creamy broccoli soup recipe.

2 Tb. Butter
1 med. onion, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

Saute together until starting to tenderize. Then ADD:

4 c. chicken stock
8-9 c. broccoli, chopped (I include some of the stalk)

Boil until broccoli is tender - 10-15 minutes. Then puree all or part (we prefer part) in blender or using an immersion blender.

In a separate saucepan:
3 Tb. butter
3 Tb. flour
2 c. milk
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese (can use whatever cheese you like)

Cook butter and flour for 1-2 minutes then slowly add milk. Whisk together and add cheese. Cook until thickened and cheese is melted. ADD to the broccoli pot. Season with:

1 - 1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp. or less of fresh ground nutmeg (can use powdered)

Serve w/baquette or other bread.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Amy's Asian Lettuce Wraps

This is a recipe that my friend, Amy, came up with!

4 cups water
2 cups uncooked white rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup chopped peanuts
2 carrots, shredded
3-4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil (opt.)
1/4 teaspoon hot chile paste
1 head iceberg lettuce leaves, separated

In a saucepan combine the water and rice. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, until water is absorbed. Set aside and keep warm. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Cook the turkey, green onions, and garlic for 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly brown. Add the peanuts, carrot, Hoisin, and soy sauce, stirring frequently until heated through. Remove from heat, and stir in the sesame oil and chile paste. To serve: spoon a small amount of rice into each lettuce leaf, top with the stir-fry mixture, and drizzle with additional soy sauce or hoisin, if desired. Wrap the lettuce leaf to enclose the filling.
Serves 3-4.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Easy Chocolate Fondue

2 c. (1 pint) heavy cream
1 - 12 oz. package milk chocolate chips
1 - 12 oz. package semi-sweet (or dark) chocolate chips
Liqueor or Vanilla Extract (opt.) - I opted without this week and it was great!

In a double boiler, start to warm the cream. Keep water in underneath pan at a gentle rolling boil. Add all the chocolate and stir until melted and creamy. Transfer to a fondue pot to keep warm and serve with an assortment of fruit, cookies, and cakes. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cucumber Salad

This is one of our favorite, simple ways to eat cucumbers!

2 cucumbers, sliced
1/8 tsp. fresh ground pepper (I use a lemon pepper grinder)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbls. white balsamic vinegar

Toss and let sit until ready to eat. Enjoy!

Couscous Sausage Stuffed Peppers

I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart.

1 Tbls. olive oil
1 med. onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic , minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. fresh ground pepper
12 oz. sausage
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes
3/4 cup couscous
4 bell peppers (or several smaller ones), halved lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed
3/4 c. cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, salt, and pepper; cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add sausage to skillet. Cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until lightly browned. Add tomatoes and 1 cup water; cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in couscous.

Fill pepper halves with couscous mixture. Pour 1/2 cup water into a large baking dish; arrange stuffed peppers in dish. Cover with foil, and bake until peppers are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil, and sprinkle Monterey Jack over the tops. Return to oven; bake, uncovered, until cheese has melted and peppers are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sauteed Greens

2 Tb. Olive Oil
2 Tb. Butter
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/2-2 lbs. Greens (Kale, Beet, Mustard...)
Fresh Lemon or Lime juice

Add olive oil and butter to large saute pan and melt. Add garlic and saute for a minute until starting to turn golden then add greens. Saute until wilting (a few minutes). Remove to serving bowl and squeeze a little fresh citrus juice over and season to taste.

Couscous Pilaf

1 1/2 c. & 2 Tb. chicken stock
1 carrot finely diced
1/4 c. frozen peas
1 c. couscous
1 Tb. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Put chicken stock in pan with carrots & peas. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until carrots are tender. Remove from heat. Add couscous, stir & then cover until stock is absorbed (about 5 minutes). Uncover and fluff with a fork. Add butter and seasoning.

**Check your couscous for specific instructions - may vary a bit. Adjust accordingly.**

Bleu Cheese Butter

3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon fresh chives (optional)

Combine ingredients and serve a dollop on top of finished steaks.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza

This is a family favorite! I adapted this alot from a Pampered Chef recipe.

1 cups (2 sticks) butter
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 package (11.5 oz.) dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla with mixer until creamy. Add eggs; beat well. Stir together dry ingredients and gradually add to butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll dough into a 1/4 in. thick circle on baking stone (or press into bar pan). Bake 12-15 minutes until edges are set and cookie is lightly browned - it will still be soft. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes. Loosen cookie from stone and cool completely.

2 squares white chocolate for baking
2 Tb. milk
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. whipped topping
1 lb. Strawberries
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. vegetable oil

Melt white chocolate and milk in microwave on High for 1 min. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Microwave and additional 10-20 seconds if needed. Cool slightly. Combine cream cheese and sugar - mix well. Gradually stir in white chocolate mixture; mix until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture over cooke.

Arrange Strawberries and/or any other desired fruit over cream cheese mixture. Combine chocolate chips and oil and melt in microwave for 30 seconds or until choclate is melted and smooth. Drizzle over fruit. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Cut into wedges.

Marinara Meat Sauce

Olive oil
1 lb. sausage or ground beef
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 tsp. Italian Seasoning (can use combo of fresh herbs especially basil and oregano - increase amount)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

Brown meat with a little olive oil. Add onion and saute until starting to soften. Add garlic and continue to saute until onions are almost translucent. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10-20 minutes. Serve over pasta w/parmesan cheese.

Garlic Cheese Breadsticks

I adapted the pizza dough recipe I use to make these.

1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
3 cloves minced garlic
1 -2 tsp. italian seasoning
1 egg white, beaten

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the rest of the ingredients (except egg white) in and mix. Dump onto a floured surface. Knead into a smooth dough (five minutes or so). Divide dough and roll into breadsticks. Brush with egg white. Sprinkle with additional cheese, italian seasoning, sesame seeds, or sea salt. Bake at 450 degrees F. for 8-10 minutes until the crust looks crispy and lightly browned.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Egg Salad

I taste and adjust accordingly.

6 boiled eggs, diced
1 Tb. dill relish
1 Tb. mayonnaise
1 tsp. fresh dill, snipped
1 squirt mustard
pinch salt
pinch sugar
pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and chill until ready to serve.


This didn't get as crispy as I would like but the flavor is really good!

9 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups wheat bran (or wheat germ or oat bran)
1 c. coconut
1 c. sunflower seeds
1 c. chopped almonds
1 c. chopped pecans
1 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. ground flax seed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup honey
1 cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups raisins or sweetened dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment or aluminum foil.

Combine the oats, wheat bran, cocunut, flax, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.

Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 30 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Cool, then stir in the raisins or cranberries before storing in an airtight container.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Chicken Salad

I taste and adjust accordingly.

2 cooked chicken breasts, diced or shredded
1 Tbl. fresh dill, snipped
1/2 c. green or red seedless grapes, quartered
3 scallions, chopped
1/4 tsp. salt (could use seasoned salt instead)
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1-2 Tbl. Mayonnaise (the real stuff!)
2 Tbl. toasted pecans, finely chopped (opt.)
1/8 c. celery, finely diced (opt.)

Combine all ingredients. Chill until serving. Great with crackers or served on croissants.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Black Bean & Corn Salad

This is also great served with chips.

2 cans black beans
1 can corn
2 c. fresh tomato, diced
1 med. onion, finely diced (or can use green onions)
1 med. bunch cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Juice of one lime

Combine all ingredients and toss gently.

Loaded Potato Salad

This is my original recipe.

8 med-lg. potatoes, boiled & cubed
10 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
¼ c. onion, finely chopped
1/3 c. celery, chopped
½ c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbl. fresh chives, chopped
2 tsp. fresh dill
1 tsp. salt
Combine all ingredients.

2/3 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. yellow mustard
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Combine and pour over the salad. Gently mix to combine.

Macaroni & Cheese

This is a slight variation on Ina Garten's recipe. Sooo good!

Vegetable oil
1 lb. elbow macaroni or cavatappi
4 c. milk
8 Tbls. unsalted butter, divided
1/2 c. flour
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
8 oz. extra-sharp cheddar, grated
4 oz. smoked cheddar
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
3/4 lb. fresh tomatoes
1 1/2 c. fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, cheddars, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

Thinly slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Note: To make ahead, put the macaroni and cheese in the baking dish, cover, and refrigerate until ready to bake. Put the tomatoes and bread crumbs on top and bake for about 40 to 50 minutes.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Chocolate Chip Almond Muesli Cookies

I came up with these cookies to use some ingredients I had on hand (almond butter and muesli). We really liked them!

1 c. butter
1-1/2 c. brown sugar
14 oz. almond butter (could use peanut butter)
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. muesli
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (white chocolate would be also delicious!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, sugar, almond butter, vanilla, and eggs. Add flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the muesli and chocolate chips. Drop by Tablespoonfuls on baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown on the outside. Cool slightly before removing to cooling rack.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in thin strips
2 bell peppers (green and red or yellow), cut in strips
1 med. onion (red or sweet), cut in strips
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Saute chicken in oil until done. Remove from pan. Add peppers and onions to pan and saute until tender crisp; add chicken back with seasonings.

Put pepper and chicken mixture in warm tortillas and top w/cheese, salsa, guacomole, lettuce, and tomato.

Onion Rings w/Spicy Dipping Sauce

This is a Rachael Ray recipe.

Vegetable or canola oil for frying
2 large sweet Vidalia onions
2 cans evaporated milk, 5 ounces
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
Coarse salt

Dipping sauce:
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Heat 1 inch of vegetable or canola oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.
Cut onions across into 1-inch rings and separate. Discard the outer layer of skin on your rings. Pour evaporated milk into a small, deep bowl. Mix flour with seasonings in a pie plate or shallow dish. Dip individual rings in milk, then coat in flour. And repeat for a double dip. Fry in a single layer in hot oil until golden brown. Remove to brown paper bag or paper towel lined surface to drain. Salt while hot, to your taste.

For dipping sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir.

Mushroom & Swiss Sirloin Burgers w/Balsamic Mayo

This is a Rachael Ray recipe.

1/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/3 pounds ground sirloin
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Steak Seasoning Blend or, coarse salt and pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling plus 1 tablespoon, 1 turn of the pan in a slow stream
4 crusty rolls, split
4 portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
Coarse salt and pepper
4 slices Swiss cheese
3 tablespoons aged Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise or reduced fat mayonnaise
Coarse black pepper
1/4 pound baby spinach
2 vine ripe tomatoes, sliced
2 scallions, chopped
4 romaine leaves, optional

Preheat grill pan or large nonstick skillet. Saute onions in a small pan over moderate heat for 3 to 5 minutes until tender. Combine meat with Worcestershire sauce, Sauteed onion and steak seasoning blend or salt and pepper. Form 4 large patties. Drizzle patties with a touch of extra-virgin olive oil. Quick toast your split rolls, then add burgers to grill. Grill burgers 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium well doneness.

Heat a small to medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a little oil and mushrooms. Season mushrooms with a little salt and pepper and saute until just tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Pile mushrooms on top of burgers just before you are ready to take them off the grill or out of the pan. Fold each Swiss cheese slice in half and rest on top of mushrooms. Place a loose tin foil tent over the burgers and turn heat off under pan or grill. Allow the cheese to begin to melt down over mushroom and burgers, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Combine balsamic, mayonnaise and coarse cracked black pepper in a small dish. To assemble, place burgers with mushrooms and Swiss cheese on bun bottom. Slather tops of buns with Balsamic black pepper mayonnaise and baby spinach. Set burger tops in place and serve with sliced vine ripe tomatoes, drizzled with oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and garnished with scallions.


2 avocados
1/2 c. salsa (can use fresh)
1/3 c. plain yogurt or sourcream
Lime Juice to taste
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 bunch cilantro

Mash avocado, add the rest of the ingredients. Serve with chips.

Fresh Salsa

This is our favorite salsa recipe. You could add jalapeno if you like it spicier. I adapted this recipe from Pampered Chef.

6-8 tomatoes, diced
1/2 med. onion finely diced (I like red or sweet)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper

Combine all ingredients and serve with tortilla chips.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Mexican Lasagna

This is my original recipe (inspired by Rachael Ray) and it was a hit this week!

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef (could also use turkey)
1 med. onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 peeled carrots, shredded
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 can (8oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz.) refried beans (I like black beans)
1/4 c. cilantro, finely chopped
3 Tb. chili powder
1 Tb. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 flour tortillas (wheat of white)
1 (16 oz.) jar salsa
3 c. shredded cheese
1 1/2 - 2 c. crushed tortilla chips

Brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, refried beans, and carrots. Stir together. Add chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and cilantro. Spray 9x13 w/nonstick cooking spray.

Layer the following:
2 tortillas (will overlap in middle)
1/3 of meat mixture
1/3 jar of salsa
1 c. cheese
Repeat layers 2 more times and top with crushed tortilla chips.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minues until bubbly and cheese is melted. Slice and serve. Can top with fresh cilantro, diced tomato, lettuce, sourcream, and/or more salsa if desired.

Serves 8

Monday, March 24, 2008

Egg & Potato Scramble

This is my original recipe when I had an abundance of eggs and some leftover ham.

2-3 Tb. butter
2 c. shredded potato
1/2 c. ham, bacon, or sausage
6 eggs
1/4 c. milk, half & half, or cream
1 tsp. salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2 c. shredded cheese (I like sharp cheddar)

Melt butter in skillet. Add potatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender; add meat and cook 1-2 minute longer. Combine eggs, milk, salt, & pepper. Pour egg mixture into skillet and scramble with potato & meat. When mostly cooked, add cheese and finish scrambling.
Serves 4

1) Add fresh herbs with egg mixture.
2) Omit meat.
3) Add onion with the potato.
4) Do a breakfast bowl - split a biscuit in half, put egg potato scramble on top (omit meat), and finish with sausage gravy.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tomato & Asparagus Salad

This is excellent served with brunch. It's very pretty and fresh.

1 bunch asparagus, blanched and cut in 1/2 in. pieces
2 c. tomatoes, cut into bite size pieces (cherry, yellow, roma - whatever you have)

2 oz. olive oil
1 oz. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine asparagus & tomatoes in bowl. Mix dressing ingredients together and pour over vegetables. Gently toss and allow to marinate 1-2 hours before serving.

Serves 4

Hashbrown Casserole

Originally from - changed very slightly.

1 (30 oz.) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 sm.-med. finely chopped onion
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray one 9x13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, butter, salt, pepper, onions, soup and cheese and pour into prepared pan or dish. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

Serves 8

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lentil Soup

1 c. dry lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 lb. bulk sausage, browned
1 c. sliced carrots
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 bell pepper, diced (I like red), opt.
1 med. onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 c. chicken stock (or 1 qt. plus 2 c. water)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tps. dried sage
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. pepper (I use lemon pepper, fresh ground)
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until tender.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

French Silk Pie

This is my BIL's favorite pie. :) This is from allrecipes but I altered it slightly.

2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked

In the top of a double boiler, heat chocolate, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale yellow and very fluffy. Blend in the melted chocolate and vanilla. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, taking 5 minutes for each egg. Pour filling into baked pie shell. Refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

I top with shaved chocolate (white & dark) and/or fresh whipped cream!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

White Fish w/Orange Sauce (from Jenna)

You cook the fish however you like (pan sear or broil).

Take the following ingredients, mix them together over heat until slightly thickened and then pour over fish.

2 Tsp Margarine or Butter
1 Tsp Flour
1/2 C Orange Juice
2 Tsp Lemon Juice
1 Dash Nutmeg
1/4 Tsp Salt -- Optional

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Italian Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf

This is my orginial twist on the classic meatloaf.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. pork or turkey bulk sausage
1 1/2 c. oatmeal
2 eggs
1 1/3 c. milk
1 med. onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1 Tb. Italian Seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. pepper
4 deli slices provolone cheese
4 deli slices mozzerella cheese
Pasta sauce, if desired

Combine meats, oatmeal, eggs, milk, onion, parmesan, and seasonings. Spray two sheets wax paper w/nonstick cooking spray. Pour meat mixture on to one and cover with the other sheet. Press meat out to 1/2 in. thick rectangle, then remove top wax paper. Arrange cheese slices on top - keep it 1 in. from sides and ends. Gently roll the meatloaf, using the bottom wax paper to help. Seal ends and bottom seam and place in a greased 8x8 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour - 1 1/4 hour or until no longer pink inside. During last 20-30 minutes, top with tomato pasta sauce if desired.

Makes 1 lg. meatloaf

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Black Bean & Rice Soup

This is my creation - I didn't get the meat out in time for the other recipe I had planned to try. It was a happy coincidence. :)

2 Tb. olive oil
2 med. carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 med. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 qt. (4 c.) vegetable, chicken, or beef stock
2 cans black beans
1 can tomatoes, undrained
1 c. rice (I like a rice medley that has some seasoning already in it)
2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin

Saute veggies in olive oil until slightly tender. Combine remaining ingredients and cook until rice is done (time will depend on what kind of rice you use). Enjoy! Makes 6 servings

Friday, February 1, 2008

Blueberry Muffins

1 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 beaten egg
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. canola oil
1 tsp. lemon peel, finely shredded
1 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen

In a med. bowl combine flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in center of dry mixture; set aside. In another mixing bowl combine egg, milk, vanilla and oil. Add mixture all at once to the dry mixture - stir just until moistened. Fold in blueberries and lemon peel - do not overmix. Spoon batter into greased or lined muffin pan filling 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 min. until golden. Makes 10-12 muffins.


1 c. flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 Tb. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
2/3 c. milk

Combine flours, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in center and add milk. Stir until moinstened.

Tuen dough oonto a lightly floured surfacee. Quickly knead dough by gently folding and pressing dough 10-12 strokes or until nearly smooth. Lightly roll dough to 1/2-in. thinkness. Cut dough with 2 1/2 in. biscuit or any cookie cutter.

Place biscuits 1-in. apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-12 min. or until golden. Serve hot. Makes 10-12 biscuits

Quinoa & Cucumber Salad

Appeared in Everyday Food Jan./Feb. 2008

1 c. quinoa, rinsed
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 Tb. red wine vinegar
1 Tb. olive oil
1/2 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 c. packed fresh parsley leaves

In med. saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 c. salted water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover and cook until water has been absorved and quinoa is tender - 11-13 min. Transfer to a med. bowl and cool to room temp.

To quinoa, add vinegar, oil, cucumber, scallions, and parsley, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Serve at room temp. or chilled.

Serves 4

Mocha Chip Meringues

This appeared in Everyday Food Jan./Feb. 2008

3/4 c. sugar
1 Tb. cornstarch
3 lg. egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
3 Tb. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (I think mini would be best)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two lg. baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt on med. speed until frothy. Beating constantly, add sugar mixture slowly, beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, 6-8 minutes total (scrape down the bowl halfway through). Add espresso powder and cocoa; beat until well blended. With a rubber spatual, fold in chocolate chips.

Drop batter by level tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 in. apart. Bake until crisp, about 40 min. rotating sheets halfway through. Cool completely on sheet, about 20 min. Makes 48

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sloppy Joe

This is my take on the sloppy joe.

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. onion, diced
1/2 c. green pepper, diced (opt.)
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes (petite diced would be really great!)
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
3 Tb. quick oats
1 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
dash of cayenne pepper

Brown beef, onion, and green pepper together. Add all other ingredients and simmer for 20 -30 minutes. Serve on buns. Makes 6-8 sandwiches.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Beef and Black Bean Soup

1 lb. ground beef, browned
4 c. chicken stock
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 c. onion, diced
3 med. carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 cans (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 c. rice

Place beef in slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients except beans and rice. Cover and cook on high 1 hour. Reduce to low and cook 4-5 hours or until vegetables are tender. Add beans and rice. Cook 1 hour longer on low or until heated through.

Lentil Tomato Stew

4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
2 cans (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1/2 c. dry red wine
3/4 tsp. dried basil
3/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
3/4 tsp. italian seasoning
1 lb. dried lentils, rinsed and drained (remove any rocks)
1 lg. onion, diced
4 med. carrots, diced
4 med. celery ribs, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
fresh basil or parsley for garnish

Combine water, tomatoes (w/juice), paste, wine, basil, thyme, pepper, and italian seasoning in slow cooker. Add lentils, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and salt. Cover. Cook on low 10-12 hours or high 4-5 hours. Serve with parsly or basil sprinkled on top (if desired).

Whole Grain Waffles

I found this on and thought it looked delicious and healthy!

2 eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cups skim milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Beat in whole wheat pastry flour, flax seed meal, wheat germ, all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt until batter is smooth.

Preheat a waffle iron, and coat with cooking spray. Pour batter into waffle iron in batches, and cook until crisp and golden brown.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Balsamic-Glazed Salmon Fillets

Courtesy of

4 (5 ounce) salmon fillets
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons white wine
2 teaspoons honey
3 tablespoons and 1 3/4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2-3/4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Coat a small saucepan with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook and stir garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Mix in white wine, honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for about 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Arrange salmon fillets on foil-lined baking sheet. Brush fillets with balsamic glaze, and sprinkle with oregano.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 14 minutes, or until flesh flakes easily with a fork. Brush fillets with remaining glaze, and season with salt and pepper. Use a spatula to transfer fillets to serving platter, leaving the skin behind on the foil.

4 servings

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Slow Cooker Italian Style Chicken

I found this on

4 chicken breasts, boneless, cut into bite size pieces
1 - 16 oz. can of tomatoes, chopped
1 large green sweet pepper, diced
1 small cooking onion, diced
1 medium rib of celery, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, optional
2 cloves of garlic, chopped; OR 2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Combine all ingredients, except grated cheese, in slow cooker. Cook chicken and sauce on low 6 to 8 hours. Remove bay leaf and sprinkle with grated cheese before serving. Good over rice or pasta.
Shared by Ness

Curried Turkey Burgers

This is a Rachael Ray recipe.

1 lb. ground turkey
2 Tb. curry powder
2 shakes Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. onion, grated
Cilantro, chopped - a palmful
Coarse salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients. Form 4 patties and grill until cooked through.

Makes 4 burgers

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Orange Rosemary Chicken

This is my original recipe which we will be testing out this week. :)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 Tb. olive oil
2-3 Tb. fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried rosemary (can also use fresh)
4 slices fresh orange (leave rind on)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine olive oil and orange juice. Sprinkle chicken breast with salt and pepper and place in greased 8x8 pan, pour oil mixture over the chicken and sprinkle with rosemary. Place the orange slices on top of the chicken breasts. Cover tightly and bake for 15 min. Uncover and bake for 10-15 min. or until juices run clear.

Italian Oven Chicken

This is my original recipe we will try this week.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 Tb. Olive oil
1 Tb. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tb. Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a greased 8x8 pan and drizzles with olive oil and seasonings (turn over after seasoning first side). Bake covered for 15 min. Uncover and bake 10 min. more or until juices run clear. Top with parmesan cheese and return to oven for 5 min.

Fruity Yogurt

Adapted for our taste.

1 c. plain yogurt
1 c. mixed berries
1 Tb. milled or ground flaxseeds
dash of ground ginger
dash of ground cinnamon
dash of vanilla extract

Combine 1st three ingredients in a small bowl. Spoon into parfait glass. Sprinkle with ginger and cinnamon. Chill.

Serves: 1-2

Cucumber Cilantro Salsa

Adapted from another recipe to our taste.

1 lg. cucumber, peeled and shredded
1 lg. tomato, chopped
2 Tb. minced red onion
½ tsp. ground cumin
2 Tb. chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Toss lightly. Cover and chill for at least 1 hr. before serving.

Pesto Presto Cilantro

This uses my husband's favorite ingredient - cilantro! I found this recipe in a book (can't remember the name).

1 ½ c. packed fresh cilantro
6 Tb. Olive oil
2 Tb. Fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced

Put cilantro and oil in food processor and process until cilantro is well chopped. Add remaining ingredients. Serve right away or cover and refrigerate.

Garlicky Greens w/ Ginger & Lemon

Not an original.

3 Tb. Chicken broth or olive oil
1 lg. bunch (about 1 lb.) greens (kale, chard etc.), cut crosswise w/stems removed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp. powdered ginger
pinch of salt
2 Tb. Fresh lemon juice

Heat broth or oil in a saute pan over med. heat. Add the greens, garlic, ginger, and salt, stirring until the greens wilt, about 1 ½ min. Remove from the heat and drizzle on the lemon juice.
Serves: 4

Brussels Sprouts A L’Orange

Adapted from another recipe.

1 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 tsp. grated orange rind
dash of ground cinnamon
dash of ground cloves
dash of ground ginger
butter to taste
Salt to taste

Steam 10-12 min. Add orange rind, cover, and steam for another 3 min. Sprinkle on seasonings and add butter, remove from heat.
Serves: 4-6

Firecracker Slaw

This recipe is not an original - I can't remember the name of the book it's from.

1 lb. red and green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 med. carrots, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 Tb. Fresh lime juice
2 Tb. Apple Cider vinegar
4 tsp. flaxseed oil
Cayenne to taste
½ tsp. celery seed

Combine all ingredients. Cover & shake. Refrigerate 4-6 hours before serving, shake periodically.
Serves: 6-8