Thursday, November 27, 2008

Holiday favorites

This is my brothers favorite thing at the holidays!

Aaron's Christmas Cookies

2 cups Captain Krunch
2 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups colored mini marshmellows
1 8oz jar roasted peanuts
1 1/2 lb almond bark

Melt almond bark and pour over all the other ingredients, mix well.  Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.  Let set up.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My comfort food

My comfort foods are pretty basic.  I love Chicken and dumplings, Beef Stroganoff, and my Mom's bread pudding.  I also love the hot artichoke dip that I've posted before, mostly because it reminds me of the holidays and parties, when you could always smell it cooking in the quiet right before everyone arrived.

Bread Pudding

4 cups milk
2 cups fresh bread cubes, packed
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325-350.  Scald milk; add bread cubes and sugar.  Allow to stand 5 minutes.  Slowly pour mixture into bowl of beaten eggs, stirring constantly.  Add vanilla.  Place mixture into a well buttered 2 quart casserole and sprinkle with nutmeg.  Bake with casserole in a pan of hot water for 1 hour, or until knife comes out clean.

We serve hot with a little milk or cream poured over it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Comfort Food

Octamom posted about comfort food this morning. It made me think about whether or not I'd ever posted my absolute favorite, amazing, birthday requested meal on our blog. After a quick scan of previous entries I did not find our recipe for Swiss Steak.
When I was young I used to spend every summer in Idaho with my grandparents (we lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico at the time). Grandma was the best cook ever and she made so many wonderful dishes that utilized the homegrown tomatoes and peppers from Grandpa's garden (a small one acre patch that was divided between the east and west sides of their house). This recipe is very simple and easy.

Here is Grandma Canfield's recipe for Swiss Steak.

2 pounds cube steak
2 quart jars of stewed tomatoes
1 large sweet onion, sliced thin
2 large bell peppers, sliced thin

Dredge the cube steak in flour and brown in oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Smother the browned steaks with the tomatoes, onion, and peppers. Cover and simmer for about an hour our until the steaks are tender.

We always serve Swiss Steak with pan browned potatoes (I'm not sure why they're called that). You begin with several moderate sized potatoes (not tiny, not quite baking size either). Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Use a sharp knife to score the top of the potatoes with a diamond pattern. Brush the cut side of the potatoes with butter or oil and place them in a buttered or oiled pan cut side up. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Steamed green beans with sweet onion slices are the preferred vegetable side dish to serve with the steaks. Peach cobbler usually rounds off the meal (we freeze sliced peaches when they are in season so that we have plenty to use throughout the rest of the year).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wedding Pasta Salads

When my Husband and I got married my parents did the catering, these were the salads that we used.  At least the sauce for the curry salad.  Now they are catering a friends daughters wedding and I thought I'd post these while I was thinking of them.  I absolutely love these salads during the summer!

Chicken Pasta Salad

1 lb rotini, cooked
2 cups cooked chicken or turkey
2 large cans chunky pineapple
2 cups celery
3/4 cup chopped green onions
2 cups seedless grapes

slivered almonds, green pepper and salt & pepper to taste

1 cup mayonnaise (I only use Miracle Whip)
3 Tbs lime juice
1/2 tsp curry

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Stir in dressing.  Chill 3-4 hours.  Add nuts just before serving.

*optional dressing :  lemon juice and mayonnaise

Mostaccioli Salad

1 lb bag mostaccioli noodles  (cooked and drained)

Add to noodles:

2 med. Sliced cucumbers

1 med. Sliced onion


1 ½ C oil

1 ½ C sugar

1 ½ C vinegar

1 T onion flakes

2 tsp prepared mustard

1 tsp salt

1 ½ tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 T parsley

Mix dressing and pour over noodles, onion and cucumbers. Let chill overnight and stir often. Takes on more flavor as it sets. It is still good after 2 to 3 days. Makes a lot!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Raspberry Cake

1 package white cake mix
1 (3 oz) package raspberry gelatin
1 (10 oz) package frozen raspberries, thawed
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup hot water


1 (12 oz) container whipped topping, thawed
1 (10 oz) package frozen raspberries, thawed

*I'm just reading my directions as I'm typing and they call for sweetened, frozen raspberries. I used plain old raspberries and we loved it.

In a large bowl, combine dry cake mix and gelatin powder. Add raspberries with juice, eggs, oil, and water. Beat until well blended. Pour into a greased 9*13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35- 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

For frosting, fold whipped topping into raspberries (I used real cream, whipped it and then fold the berries into the cream). Spread over the cake. Refrigerate for 2 hourse before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

Very Pink Strawberry Cake

This was my favorite cake as a child, in fact it came from a Strawberry Shortcake birthday card that I got one year.  But just a warning, it is very pink, and my parents remember this as being terribly sweet, which I think was from the icing.  On Janet's blog she talks about the cake she made for Jake's birthday and the frosting being whipped cream and frozen raspberries, you could probably do the same here just use the strawberry liquid or the other half of the strawberry package.

Very Pink Strawberry Cake

1 white cake mix
3 tbsp flour
1 (3oz) package strawberry gelatin
1 cup salad oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 small package frozen strawberries (thawed)

Mix cake mix, flour and gelatin.  Add oil. Beat in eggs.  Add water and strawberries.  Mix well.  Bake in two loaf pans greased and floured (we used round cake pans too) or 9x13 for 40 - 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Very Pink Strawberry Icing

2 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp strawberry liquid
1 cup powdered sugar

Melt butter, add strawberry liquid.  Mix in powdered sugar until spreading consistency.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Honey Oatmeal Wheat Bread

This is our family's favorite bread. It's simple to make, delicious, and with a yield of 3 loaves it's enough to last a couple days.

3 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup warm water
3 pkgs. yeast (6 3/4 tsp)
1/2 cup honey or brown sugar (we always use honey)
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp salt
3-4 cups whole wheat flour (we use more like 5 cups)
4-5 cups bread flour (we just use enough to make a soft dough... don't even bother measuring)

1. Pour boiling water over oatmeal in large mixing bowl. Cool to lukewarm (or it will kill yeast).

2. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until foamy (or until oatmeal is lukewarm).

3. Add yeast to oatmeal mixture. Add honey and oil. Blend well. Add salt. Add whole wheat flour, stirring well after each addition. Gradually add bread flour, forming a soft dough. *

4. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 5-10 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until double.

5. Punch down and form dough into 3 loaves. Let rise about 20 minutes.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Put on rack or board for cooling.

* I do steps 3 and 4 differently.

Add honey, oil, salt, and 3 cups whole wheat flour to oatmeal. This helps the oatmeal cool faster. Stir until well moistened. Add yeast mixture. Stir until yeast mixture is incorporated into dough. Add more wheat flour if desired. Stir until it begins to get stiff. Turn out onto well floured surface (several scoops of flour) and knead bread flour into dough until dough is no longer sticky and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and pliable.

I measure only the first 3 cups of wheat flour and only because I'm afraid the yeast mixture won't incorporate if the batter is any thicker than that.

Ezekiel Bread

Submitted to Taste of Home magazine by Roger Hawley in Valley Park, Missouri:

"If your Bible's handy, read Ezekiel 4:9 to find the inspiration for this recipe and it's title. This tender, chewy multigraing bread has a hint of sweetness."

3 pkg. active dry yeast (roughly 6 3/4 tsp)
5 cups warm water, divided
1 Tbsp plus 2/3 Cup honey, divided
2/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup toasted wheat germ
6 - 8 cups bread flour

Dissolve yeast in 3/4 cup warm water and add 1 Tbsp honey. Add the remaining water and honey, the oil, sugar, salt, whole wheat flour, wheat germ and 3 cups bread flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining bread flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turn dough to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Shape into four loaves. Place in 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pans (greased). Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 -35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

*I'm assuming the use of human or cow excrement to generate the 350 degree temperature is optional.

Here's a dinner roll recipe for you Janet!

Hawaiian Dinner Rolls


  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1/4 cup warm pineapple juice (70° to 80°)
  • 1/4 cup water (70° to 80°)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, cubed
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3-1/4 cups bread flour
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut


In bread machine pan, place the first 10 ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed). Just before final kneading (your machine may audibly signal this), add coconut. 
    When cycle is complete, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cover with plastic wrap; let rest for 10 minutes. Divide into 15 portions; roll each into a ball. Place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 15 rolls.

*I found this recipe on the Taste of Home Website, I keep meaning to try it bit haven't yet.  But I know Janet is looking for bread recipes so I thought I'd post it.

Devil's Delight Cake

I'm just trying this recipe, but I can't imagine that it won't taste great.  I'll let you know if by chance it doesn't taste as good as it sounds.

Devil's Delight Cake

1 pkg. (18.25 oz.) devil's food cake mix (with pudding in the mix)

4 eggs

1 c. water

½ c. vegetable oil

1 c. chopped nuts

1 c. mini marshmallows

1 c. Hershey's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

½ c. raisins (I don't put these in!)

Confectioners' sugar


Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour Bundt pan.  In  large mixer bowl

combine cake mix, eggs, water and oil;  beat on low speed just until

blended.  Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes.  Stir in nuts,

marshmallows, chocolate chips and raisins.   Pour batter in to pan.  Bake 45

to 50 minutes or until you do the toothpick thing!  Cool 10 minutes; remove

from pan to wire rack.  Cool completely.  Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar

on top.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Banana Pumpkin Bread

This was a great bread, Andy though thinks it should be called cake instead!  Sorry Janet, this probably won't be a recipe for you.

Banana Pumpkin Bread

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup honey ( I used 1/2 cup brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 9x5 inch loaf pan.  I used a bundt pan instead.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, eggs, oil, pumpkin, honey and sugar. Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pie spice and cinnamon, stir into the banana mixture until just combined. Fold in the chips and walnuts if desired. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Really Good Hashbrowns

I have to give a little back story!  A couple years after my husband and I married, our names were given to Andy's Uncle Charlie and Aunt Debbie in the Christmas Gift Drawing.  That year we were staying in in Nevada so out gift was mailed to us.  I was a little shocked to have gotten 2 cases  of dried hashbrown potaotes.  It turns out that these are THE gift to get in the family, and after tasting them I understood.    The brand is Nonpareil, and they come in what look like school milk cartons.  They are already seasoned and you just rehydrate them before cooking.  They are hard to find here (only at Winco) but they do have a website

I took this to a lot of Mom's group brunches!   When we have it at home I usually serve it with eggs.

Here's what I do with them!

1 container of hashbrowns, rehydrated
1 small onion, diced
1/2 to 1 green bell, chopped
1 ham steak chopped (great use for leftover ham)
about 1  cup shredded cheese (I use chedder)

In a skillet heat about 1-2 tbls of olive oil, add hashbrowns, onions, pepper and ham.
Saute until the hashbrowns are as crisp as you wish.
Shortly before serving top with shredded cheese.  Leave on heat just until cheese is melted.

**this keeps well in a warm oven.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Crock Pot Mushroom and Beef Stew

I haven't posted a recipe for a very long time. Thanks to all who have kept up! WOW! Anyway. I just got dinner in the crock pot and I have no idea how this recipe will turn out, but I wanted to post it up before I forget, in case I like it. SO don't try it until I update the results tonight!

1 pound cubed stew meat
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg brown gravy (the recipe I was following called for onion soup, I improvised)
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms (recipe said 2 4oz cans, drained)
1/2 onion finely chopped
3/4 cup roughly chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp Season All
1 tsp pepper

Put everything in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours (well, I'll be on high for a couple hours, then switch over to low until family is hungry tonight). Serve over hot egg noodles.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another Soup!

My husband and I are in a very fall mood and almost craving soups.  Here's another really good one I just made!  The only trick is you have to melt the cheese in the white sauce first otherwise the texture is not so good, trust me!!

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

    • 1 medium head cauliflower, broken in florets
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
    • 1 chicken bouillon cube
    • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 3 cups milk
    • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon each cayenne pepper, curry powder and white pepper


In a large saucepan, combine the cauliflower, onion, broth and bouillon. Cover and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk. Cook and stir until bubbly. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes longer or until thickened. Reduce heat; add cheese and seasonings. Pour into cauliflower mixture. Simmer slowly for 30 minutes (do not boil). Yield: 6-8 servings (2 quarts). 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Vegetable Beef Soup

This is one of our favorite soups. The kids really like the broth and I usually add abc noodles so they think of this a "kid" meal.

2.5 lbs beef roast or stew meat (I use bottom round), cubed
2 pkgs frozen mixed vegetables
1 64 oz can of vegetable juice (like V8, but cheap)
2 cans beef broth
2 cubes beef boullion
1 pkg italian dressing mix

Place all ingredients in crock pot or large stock pot. I usually start with a frozen roast (suprise, suprise) and when it's thawed in the crock pot I remove the meat, cube it, and return it to the soup. If you don't have enough liquid to cover the goodies add some water. If the soup needs salt after it's cooked I sometimes add another boullion cube. I also add ABC noodles the last 15 minutes or so. Some days we feel like Barley Beef Soup and omit the noodles but add a couple handfuls of barley at the beginning of the cooking time. Usually we cook this for about 8 hours but it can be ready much faster... the beans get nice and mushy the longer it cooks... we like that, you may not.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Really yummy light pie!!!

This is another Taste of Home recipe that we really like, especially in the summer!  It's really good even without the spreadable fruit.

Light Lemon Pie


    * 1 package (.3 ounces) sugar-free lemon gelatin
    * 1/2 cup boiling water
    * 3/4 cup cold water
    * Sugar substitute equivalent to 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
    * 1 cup (8 ounces) 1% cottage cheese
    * 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen reduced-fat Cool Whip® whipped topping, thawed
    * 1 reduced-fat graham cracker crust (8 inches)
    * 1/2 cup 100% strawberry spreadable fruit
    * 8 large strawberries, halved


In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in cold water and sugar substitute. Refrigerate until partially set.
    In a fine strainer, drain the cottage cheese. Place cottage cheese in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl; stir in gelatin mixture. Fold in whipped topping.
    Pour into crust. Refrigerate until set. Just before serving, cut into slices; garnish each with 1 tablespoon spreadable fruit and two strawberry halves. Yield: 8 servings. 

Maple Oat Nut Scones

I love these at Starbucks and had to share the recipe once I found it.  I think the key to these is the blending of the oats for the texture.  

Starbucks Maple Nut Oat Scones Recipe

For The Scones

1 cup oats (quick or old-fashioned)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 1/2 tablespoons cold butter (small pieces)
1 large egg
1/2 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
1/2-3/4 teaspoon maple extract
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Maple Glaze

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
5 teaspoons water

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Using a food processor or blender, finely grind the oats.

In a mixer mix the flour, oats, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the maple syrup and butter and mix well.

In a small bowl beat the egg with the cream and maple extract. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix well.

Add the pecans and mix just to incorporate.

Place the dough on a floured surface. Knead and pat the dough into an 8 to 10 inch circle and cut into 8 wedges.

Place the wedges on the baking sheet and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until light brown.

Remove the scones from the oven to wire rack. Let cool about 3 to 5 minutes.

Mix the glaze ingredients until smooth. Adjust the amount of water to get to the desired consistency. I like the glaze to be rather thick. Spread lots of glaze over each scone and dry about 15 minutes before serving.

This recipe makes 8 Starbucks Maple Oat Nut Scones. 

Here's what we had for dinner tonight!

Tonight I made Cube steak and mashed cauliflower.  It was so good.

Cube Steak

This recipe started, as a recipe from Andy's Grandma, but it's changed a little over time.  I listed her original amounts, but I just dump until the total liquid just covers the cube steaks.

2-4 steaks (I've always used cube steak)
1 c water ( I use apple juice or plain soda)
1 c catsup
1/4 c vinegar
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs mustard

These are also in her recipe but I've never added them to mine.
2 tbs onion, chopped
2 tbs green pepper, chopped

My cooking instructions:

Brown steaks in skillet (one that you have a lid for), when browned on both sides remove from skillet.  Mix remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Return steaks to skillet and simmer till steaks are done.  If desired remove steaks and thicken sauce with a little corn starch mixed with water, to make gravy.  

Grandma's cooking instructions:

Brown steaks if desired.  Mix other ingredients and bring to a boil in a sauce pan.  Pour over steak in a baking dish and bake at 325 for 1 to 2 hours. 

This just seemed like over kill to me,  I bet this would work in the crockpot though!

Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower or 1 bag frozen cauliflower florets

Cook cauliflower till very soft, I steamed my fresh cauliflower for about 15 - 20 minutes.  Drain well!

If you have a food processor put cooked cauliflower in that, I used my blender, but some people use potatoe mashers in the pan.

Add 1 cup grated cheese (or more if you like) and about 1/3 to a 1/2 cup sour cream.  Blend, mash, whatever until about the consistancy of mashed potatoes.  If it gets to thin you can thicken with a little bit of instant potato flakes.  In fact you can also just add these at the begining to to get a little more of a mashed potato feel.  Salt and pepper to taste.   

I also put it back in the pan and on the burner, or zap it in the microwave a little to reheat it after blending it.

a couple variations:

  • milk or cream instead of sour cream
  • feta or crumbled blue cheese instead of chedder
  • one recipe I saw suggested adding a little dill
  • and ultra healthy is chicken broth instead of any dairy and (horror) no cheese

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another Great, fast and easy soup!

Kielbasa Cabbage Soup

3 cups coleslaw mix
2 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 teapoon caraway seed ( I don't have any so I just seasoned with pepper and garlic)
2 tablspoons butter
1 carton (32oz) chicken broth
3/4 to 1 pound fully cooked kielbasa sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 medium unpeeled golden delicious apples, (I would use granny smith next time)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
dash of salt

** I added potatoes to mine. I sauted them with the veggies and simmered the whole soup just till they were done.

In a large saucepan, saute the coleslaw mix, carrots, onion, celery and caraway seeds in butter for 5-8 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Yield: 6 servings (2 quarts).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Janet, do you remember this cake from college?

I haven't made this cake in ages, but I 'm so excited I found this recipe again.

Laisy Daisy Cake

1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup oats
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup margarine
2 egg whites or 1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup oats
3 Tbs milk
2 Tbs margarine, melted

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour an 8 or 9 inch square pan.

In a small bowl add boiling water and oats, stir and set aside. In a large bowl beat the sugars and margarine until well blended. Add egg whites and vanilla, beat well. Add dry ingredients and oat mixture.

Pour batter into pan and bake 55-65 minutes for an 8 inch pan or 50 - 60 for a 9 inch pan, until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs on it.

In a small bowl combine all the topping ingredients; mix well. Spread over the top of HOT cake. Broil about 4 inches from heat, 1-2 minutes or just until topping is bubbly. Cool completely.

A yummy twist on regular lasagna!

White Lasagna

* this recipe calls for cooked noodles, however I have done this with uncooked noodles. I just make extra sauce (double it) and cook for about 1 hour or until the noodles are soft. You could also use a bought jar of Alfredo sauce and thin with chicken broth.

* This also only makes about an 9x9 inch pan, increase ingredients for a bigger batch.

1 Tbs butter
1 1/2 Tbs flour
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 clove garlic
1/8 tsp white pepper (regular works it just doesn't stay as white a sauce)

1/2 a medium onion, sliced thinly
2 cups fresh mushrooms
1 Tbs olive oil
1 (14.5 oz) can of artichoke hearts drained and chopped

8 lasagna noodles cooked and drained
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, divided ( I use more like a cup)
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Melt butter in a saucepan; stir in flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk and broth, cook stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Stir in garlic and pepper.

Saute onions and mushrooms in oil, stir in artichokes, set aside.

In a greased casserole, spread 1/4 of the sauce. Place a layer of noodles, top with more sauce, 1/2 of the artichoke mixture, and 1/2 of the mozzarella, and 1/3 of the Parmesan. Top next with more noodles, you should have used 1/2 the noodles by now. Add another 1/4 of the sauce, the rest of the artichoke mixture and another 1/2 of the mozzarella and 1/3 of the Parmesan. Finish with the final layer of noodles, sauce and remaining Parmesan.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more or until lightly browned.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Mint Chocolate Bark

This is a great, easy candy to make, especially if your looking for a gift around the holidays!

Mint Chocolate Bark

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 drops green food coloring (or more depending on the strength of you food coloring)

* I love chocolate and orange, so this year I'm going to try orange extract and a little yellow and red food coloring to make orange (ooooh for Halloween) maybe for Christmas I won't use any food coloring.

Step 1
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper; set aside. Melt the semisweet chips in a heatproof bowl set atop a pot of simmering water over medium-high heat. Stir continuously until smooth. Pour the chocolate onto the cookie sheet and spread it to about a 1/4 inch thickness with the back of a spoon.

Step 2
Using the same method, melt the white chocolate chips with the oil. Stir continuously until smooth. Add peppermint extract and food coloring; stir well. Pour the mixture over the chocolate layer and spread to about and 1/8 inch thickness. Draw the tip of a butter knife through the layers to create swirls. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Step 3 remove the bark from the pan. Peel off the waxed paper. Set the bark on a cutting board and cut it into 2 dozen bars with a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Zucchini Bake

I thought this sounded like an good recipe to post for the fall ( if we ever leave the 90 degree days behind)
This is a pretty informal recipe because it came from my family and changed depending upon the mood.

Zucchini Bake

1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 package saltine crackers, crumbled
1/2 cup butter, melted
bacon, cooked and crumbled
grated cheddar cheese 1/2 to 1 cup

Layer in a baking dish, pour melted butter over first four layers. Top with grated cheese and bacon. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes.

Spinach Salad Supreme

This is a wonderful dressing for spinach!

Spinach Salad

1 lb fresh spinach
6 strips bacon

1 can mandarin orange segments
fresh mushrooms
hard boiled eggs, sliced


1 Tbls bacon drippings
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp sugar
1 small onion grated
1 cup mayo
1/4 cup salad or olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup Parmesan

Make dressing by beating all the ingredients together. When serving toss salad with dressing and top with crumbled bacon.

Frog Eye Salad

Don't even think that this is a healthy salad, but it is good. I also thought this could be fun to post since Halloween is coming up, and it has kind of a creepy name.

1 1/3 cups Acini Pepe (tiny round pasta usually found in a box)
1 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks, drained (reserve 1/4 cup juice)
1 3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 pkg (3.4 oz ) vanilla instant pudding
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, drained
2 cans (11 oz each) mandarin orange segments, drained.
2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Cook pasta according to package. Rinse with cold water, drain well. (If you don't have a mesh colander you can use cheese cloth or a paper towel to help drain the little pastas without loosing them through the holes.)

In a large bowl, beat reserved pineapple juice, milk, sugar and pudding 2 minutes.

Gently stir in pasta and remaining ingredients; cover. Refrigerate at least a couple hours before serving

Friday, August 29, 2008

And now a treat just for people!

Super, super delicious!
This is actually an easy recipe, it just looks impressive when your done.

Chocolate Mousse

4 oz semisweet chocolate
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream

Melt Chocolate in top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir until smooth. Cut butter into small pieces, whisk into chocolate until melted. Stir in vanilla and sugar. Remove pan from over hot water. Let cool slightly while whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Stir about 1/3 cup whipped cream into chocolate, then fold mixture into remaining cream.

Refridgerate 1 hour.

Dog Treat - recipe request

Here are all the recipes that I found for dog treats when we first got our puppy!

*When I make treats for Belle, I put them in the dehydrator so that they don't have to be refrigerated and will last longer.

Bread Machine Chicken Flavoured Treat Recipe

1 cup chicken stock
1 cup Bread or all-purpose flour
2 cup Whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Non-fat dry milk powder
1 1/2 teaspoon Yeast

Use dough cycle. Roll dough to 1/2" thickness. Cut with cookie cutters or a pizza cutter. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place about one hour. Bake at 325-degrees for one hour. When all are baked, turn off oven and leave overnight. Store in airtight container.
Copyright © The Dog's Kitchen,

Classic Baby Food Dog Treats

· 3 Jars Baby Food -- Chicken
·1/4 C Wheat Germ
·1/4 C Dry milk powder

Combine ingredients in bowl and mix well. Roll into small balls and place
on well-greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork. Bake in
preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes until brown. Cool on wire racks

Gourmet Baby Food Doggie Cookies

3 Jars Baby Food -- beef or carrots
1/4 C Cream Of Wheat
1/4 C Dry milk powder

Combine ingredients in bowl and mix well. Roll into small balls and place on well-greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes until brown. Cool on wire racks and STORE IN REFRIGERATOR. Also freezes well. Another Prodigy member made these substituting cream of wheat for wheat germ and then used tablespoon to make cookie sized drops on plate. Microwaved for 4 minutes on Medium High. Suggested keeping an eye on them in microwave and perhaps start out for only 3 1/2 minutes. They do come out soft. Also suggested using Beef/Vegetable Dinner Baby Dinner instead of Beef or Chicken.

Banana Biscotti

* 5 cups flour
* 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
* ½ teaspoon baking soda
* 1 egg
* ¼ cup vegetable oil
* 1 ½ cups banana, pureed
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* water

Preheat oven to 325F. Place dry ingredients in large bowl. Make a well in the center. Blend egg, oil and banana together. Add into the dry ingredients in well. start combining together. Add water, one teaspoon at a time as needed. Knead by hand on table until mixed thoroughly. Form into logs approximately 2" - 2 1/2" high. Flatten so that log is 6" -- 7" wide by 1" high. Place on non-stick baking sheets or lightly greased ones. Bake 30 - 40 minutes. Remove and cool for 10 minutes. Slice into 1/2" - 3/4" slices. Place on baking sheets and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Store in airtight container.

Frozen Peanut Butter Yogurt Treats

1-32oz. container of vanilla yogurt
1 cup of peanut butter

1. Put the peanut butter in a microwave safe dish and microwave until melted.
2. Mix the yogurt and the melted peanut butter in a bowl.
3. Pour mixture into cupcake papers and freeze.
My dogs LOVE these after a nice long walk on a hot summer day!!!!

Fruity Yogurt Treats

2 mashed kiwis or a jar of fruit baby food
8 oz. strawberry(or any other flavor)yogurt

Mix together, freeze in ice cube tray. serve. Plus: these don't damage gums and teeth like ice does!

Oatmeal Crunchies

Dry Oatmeal
Peanut Butter

Mix oatmeal and peanut butter in a bowl until the oatmeal clumps into balls. -Roll the mixture into small balls and place on a cookie sheet. -Freeze overnight or until hard.

Peanut Butter Cookies for Mutts
(Canine Connections)

1/2 stick butter or margarine 2 eggs
1/2 c. peanut butter 2 T. sugar
pinch of salt 2-3 "handfuls" whole wheat flour

Melt butter in saucepan, add two eggs and stir briskly until it is one glutinous mass. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter, sugar, salt, and flour. Bake in an 8x8 square pan for 15 minutes or until brown on edges. Cool and serve in small quantities.

Peanut Butter Cookies

2 c. whole wheat flour 1 c. wheat germ
1 c. peanut butter 1 egg
1/4 c. vegetable oil 1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine flour, wheat germ, and salt in large bowl then mix in peanut butter, egg, oil, and water. Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface till about 1/2 inch thick...then cut out the biscuits using a cookie cutter -- but Mom uses a dog-bone cutter but any neat cutter will do (or make squares). Put the biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes for the smaller sized cookies and up to 35 minutes for larger shaped ones. Store in the fridge...if they last that long.

Peanut Butter Treats for Dogs (and People)
(Pomerama Recipes)

3 c. whole wheat flour 1/2 c. rolled oats
2 tsp. baking powder 1-1/2 c. milk
1-1/4 c. peanut butter 1 T. molasses

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine flour, oats and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix the milk, peanut butter, and molasses until smooth, add to dry ingredients. Knead dough with hands, it will be stiff. Roll out to 1/4" thick and cut into shapes. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn off oven and leave in oven until cool. Store in airtight container. Yields 30 servings. Posted to Prodigy Bbs by Linda Satterfield, submitted by Ursula R. Taylor.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Recipe Request

Ok, it's not actually something we're planning on eating for dinner and I'm sure no one else on here would want it for dinner either.... but.... I'm looking for new recipes for dog treats. Does anyone have some they'd like to share?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gingerbread Waffles

Fall is in the air (if not in the actual temperature) and these spicy waffles are the perfect fall dessert (or breakfast). I like them served with fried apples and they would be terrifically decadent if you served them with fried apples and ice cream. This recipe was a wedding present from Genaura along with a very pretty waffle heart shaped waffle iron. We used to make waffles every Saturday morning... right up until that second baby came along!

2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp soda
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 egg white, stiffly beaten

Sift dry ingredients together. Combine molasses, milk, and beaten egg. Add to dry ingredients. Mix well. Fold in egg white. Pour on moderately hot waffle iron. Bake 3 minutes.

Broccoli Salad

This salad is one of the most requested potluck dishes I make.

2 bunches broccoli- broken
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 - 1 cup sunflower seeds
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled


1 cup mayonaise
2T white vinegar (I usually use apple cider vinegar)
1/2 cup sugar

mix together and serve

Oatmeal Blackberry Scones (to eat with your cider)

3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)

Cut together until mixture resembles coars crumbs.


2 cups oats
zest of one orange

Mix well, then add all at once:

3/4 cup buttermilk (I just add a glug of vinegar to milk)

Mix until a ball forms and then add 7/2 package frozen blackberries.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tuscan Bean Soup

This was a really fast and good, light but filling soup!

1 package peeled baby carrots, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 Tblsp olive oil, divided
2 - 15oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 32oz box reduced sodium chicken broth
2 to 3 tsp dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1 - 5oz pkg baby spinach
black pepper
* We have also added ground beef or Italian sausage for a little extra in the soup.

In a large sauce pan cook and stir carrots and onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat for 3 minutes. Add beans, broth and seasoning. Bring to boiling; slightly mash beans. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add Spinach; toss with tongs 1-2 minutes, just until wilted. Remove from heat. Ladle soup; top with spinach, sprinkle with pepper.

Serves 4

Cranberry Cider Mix

Hi with school starting again (and finally getting into the blog again) I was reminded of this recipe. Last year at Christmas I gave this to my daughter's teacher as a gift. The original recipe also comes with instructions on how to make easy apple looking gift bags to put the cider mix in. So for her teacher I gave her the cute apple bag in a basket with two oranges. Oh and the spices are easy to find and not very expensive at Cost Plus World Market.

Cranberry Cider Mix

12 cinnamon sticks broken (a hammer works well)
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 T whole allspice
1 T nutmeg
1/2 t ground cloves (you can also use whole cloves)
*You will also need 2 oranges and a bottle of apple cider to make the spiced cider.

Mix all ingredients together, and store in an air tight container. Include instructions with the gift.

Instructions: In a large sauce pan or crockpot, combine 2 quarts apple cider, 1 quart water and the cranberry cider mix. Heat till warm. Add 2 sliced oranges. Makes 3 quarts.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Peppermint Pie

This is an incredible pie, light but rich and wonderful!

Bob's Peppermint Pie
This recipe came from Paula Deen's show

1 envelope plain gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whipped
8 ounces peppermint candies, soft type (I found these in a tin a Cost Plus World Market around Christmas)
1 prepared chocolate cookie crust
Crushed hard peppermint candies, for garnish

Soften gelatin in water and set aside. Put 1/2 cup heavy cream in a small saucepan with candies and cook over low heat until candy melts. Add gelatin mixture and mix well. Let cool and fold in whipped cream. Pour into crust, sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies, and chill thoroughly.

Great Pumpkin Dessert

Here's a good dessert I found, however trust me, do not forget the sugar!

Great Pumpkin Dessert

1 small can of pumpkin
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 can evaporated milk (12oz) - At the holidays I'm going to use eggnog!
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 yellow cake mix
1 1/2 cups walnuts
3/4 cup melted butter

In a bowl mix together the first five ingredients. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix on top of pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle with walnuts and then drizzle with melted butter.

Bake at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean in the middle. To serve top with whipped cream or ice cream.

Freezer Pickles (that we always eat before they have a chance to freeze)

This is a recipe from Grandma Canfield's recipe box. We've enjoyed these pickles every summer of my life. They are so simple, so basic, so fresh, and so good that they are a staple in our refrigerator the entire summer growing season.

2 quarts cucumbers (I just fill the big green tupperware bowl)
1 onion, sliced
2 Tbsp salt

Mix until the salt is dissolved. Let stand 2 hours, drain.


1 1/2 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup vinegar (whatever type you fancy)

Pour over pickles. Put into containers and freeze or keep in the refrigerator.

We also sometimes add pepper to taste. Bell peppers make an interesting addition. Chris is trying to get me to add carrots to this morning's batch. I have never yet frozen these pickles, but Grandma assures me they're delicious after freezing as well as fresh from the refigerator.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Strawberry Cream Cookies

Here's a new cookie recipe I've found. So so good!

Strawberry Cream Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
seedless strawberry jam (I used lemon and lime curd instead)

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar,and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Add flour and blend. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer until dough is easy to handle.

Shape dough into 1in balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Using a wooden spoon handle, press a hole in center of each cookie; fill with 1/4 teaspoon jam. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool on wire racks.

Chai Tea

This is so good, and it makes a large batch so it's perfect for company. It's also a lot cheaper that buying chai tea lattes. Plus for me I can use decaf which is really hard to find at coffee places.

Chai Tea

2 quarts water (8 cups )
8 bags black tea (you could really use any plain tea)
3/4 cup sugar
16 whole cloves
5 cinnamon sticks ( like it much better with 2)
8 slices fresh ginger (I used a couple dashes of ground ginger)

Combine ingredients in crockpot. Cover and cook on high 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

Strain mixture; discard spices. Can be served warm or refrigerated for up to 3 days. (I think it goes a little longer really)

To serve mix with milk. The recipe suggests 1 cup milk for all the tea, just before serving. We however drink it by the individual glass and do about 3/4 tea to 1/4 milk, but it's just a matter of taste. I also really like it cold in the summer.

Easy Meatloaf

My husband loves meat loaf but I really don't. So when I found an easy meatloaf to make for him I was thrilled. He says this is really good.

Stuffing Meatloaf

2 pounds ground beef
1 package stuffing mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup water

Mix together in a gallon freezer bag (that's what the instructions said) and when well mixed press into an ungreased loaf pan. Cook 1.25 - 1.5 hours at 350 degrees or till internal temp is 160 degrees.

Apple Cream Cake

This is a wonderful recipe from the cook book Fast Fixes with Mixes. It sounds a little odd, but it's great, and easy.

1 package yellow cake mix
3 cups sliced and peeled tart apples
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, optional

Prepare cake batter according to package, pour into a greased 13x9 inch pan. Combine apples, walnuts, sugar and cinnamon; spoon over batter. Pour cream over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 - 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pecan Carmel Sticky Rolls

These are the caramel sticky rolls you drool over at the farmer's markets. They bake up golden and delicious and look very impressive.

Use 1/3 batch of Grandma Ethel's roll dough (we sometimes use all the baking dishes in the house and end up with about 4 dozen rolls to share when using the whole dough recipe).

1 Cup pecans, chopped (sprinkle in the bottom of bread pans (3) or 9x13" dish, or 1/4 sheetcake)

Heat slowly in large saucepan:

1 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Cup butter
2 Tbsp corn syrup (light)

Roll your dough out into a 15 x 20" rectangle (or something like that). Spread it with butter and sprinkle cinnamon and either white or brown sugar generously on the dough. Roll the dough from the long side. Slice 1 1/2" thick. Pour caramel mixture over the nuts in the bottom of pans. Place rolls on top of caramel. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Grandma Ethel's Rolls

Although I've never met Grandma Ethel, and am not in fact related to her, I have offered more than one prayer of Thanksgiving that she made these rolls and shared the recipe with her family. I am also very grateful to Amy and Andy for sharing the recipe with me. This is a very stiff dough and it can be a bear to knead, so let me reassure you... the rolls are worth every last aching muscle you may aquire... and you probably needed a good upper body workout anyway! :-) A final note.... yep, you probably will use most of a bag of flour. Don't start the recipe unless you have a full bag in your pantry. It is possible to cut the recipe in half (or less) but the kneading time remains the same and these are so good we like to have a ton of rolls that we can share or freeze.

6 Cups warm water
2 Tbsp (heaping) yeast
1/2 Cup butter, melted
2 Cups dry milk
14 Cups flour, divided (It takes more than this to finsih the rolls, probably 17 cups or more total)

1 1/2 Cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 Tbsp salt

Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add rest of ingredients and 7 cups of flour. Beat on low until well mixed (I just beat by hand). Add remaining flour until stiff (once it gets hard to stir I put a pile of flour on the counter and turn the dough out of the bowl, continue adding flour while kneading until the dough isn't sticky). Knead until the dough is smooth (about 20-25 minutes). Place the dough ball into a greased bowl and let rise until doubled in size (I use an antique dish pan). Punch down and let rest for 10 minutes. Form into rolls. Let rise until double. Brush with butter after baking.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes
Cinnamon rolls 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes
Bread loaf 375 degrees 20 minutes

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Green Pork Enchiladas

I finally remembered my password to access the blog! Yea! Blond moments seem to come so much more frequently now than they did before children....

This is our favorite use of our new favorite (and cheap) pork cut. I usually make 3 large pans of enchiladas because we can eat them for several days before we're tired of them. You can cut the recipe in half and get a good 1/4 sheetcake pan of enchildas or a 9x13 pan plus a few extras.

3-4 pounds of extra lean country style pork ribs (not really ribs, actually a shoulder cut)
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 can (4oz) chopped green chiles
2 large (28oz...I think) cans green enchilada sauce
1/2 - 1 lb sharp cheddar cheese (or monteray jack, or whatever you like)
corn tortillas (I buy the package of 3 doz, but there are some left over)

Place roast, onion, green chiles, and 1 can of enchilada sauce in crockpot. Cook 6-8 hours on low or until meat pulls apart when pulled with 2 forks. Brush a layer of enchilada sauce over the bottom of your cooking dish (whichever dish you choose). Warm remaining enchilada sauce in a small skillet on the stove. One at a time place tortillas in warm sauce and remove them when they are pliable (otherwise they will split when you begin working with them). As you remove the tortillas fill them with a spoonful of meat mixture and top with a scant handful of cheese, then roll the tortillas and place in the baking dish with the seam side down. You could also choose to layer your enchiladas and place the tortillas flat in the baking dish and then layer the remaining ingredients (tortilla, meat, cheese, tortilla, meat, cheese, tortilla) and then brush sauce over the top layer of tortillas and sprinkle with more cheese. Bake them in a moderate oven (350 - 375 degrees) until the cheese in bubbly.

This meat filling also makes great tamales. I just follow the recipe on the bag of masa for directions on making the masa shell of the tamales. You can use a jar of green salsa instead of enchilada sauce when cooking the meat mixture if you prefer that flavor (we switch back forth depending on my mood and pantry contents).

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yummy Steak Topping

My friend was telling me about her absolute favorite food and I just had to try it last night with her!

First, you prepare a steak however you like it. We added a little garlic salt and pepper and my husband grilled it.

In a frying pan, we sauteed a container of sliced mushrooms in butter (maybe close to 1/4 cup), added two green onions sliced, and maybe three minced garlic cloves. Keep stirring until it's all tender and serve it over the steak.

Oh my gosh. How will I ever eat a plain steak again? I don't even like mushrooms very much, but this was so good and simple! :) I highly recommend it. It also makes your kitchen smell Heavenly.

Monday, June 02, 2008

More Greek Food

Ok, here are the recipes for tzatziki and greek salad.


Greek yogurt
Grated cucumber (squeeze to get most of the juice out before mixing into the yogurt)
Crushed garlic cloves - two or three depending on how garlicky you want it
Extra Virgin olive oil
Dash of vinegar and a dash of lemon juice

Add all this together to taste and leave in fridge to settle and get cold.

Rustic Greek Salad

Red onion
Kalamata Olives
Extra Virgin olive oil
Feta Cheese

Cut cucumber and tomatoes into medium to large chunks and the red onion into rings. Mix with the Kalamata olives and virgin olive oil and salt and pepper so it's all covered and then place the whole feta cheese on top (could sprinkle with dried Oregano). Optional - add a little lemon juice to the olive oil.

Greek Lamb Marinade

I tried this out to make gyros and it turned out great! Of course, I don't have the nifty rotisserie greek restaurants do, so I cut some lamb steak into thin strips, soaked it in the marinade, and sauteed it. Then I put it on some pita bread with some tzatziki and sliced red onion. I'll dig up the tzatziki recipe - it was really good and authentic according to the friend who gave it to me.

3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 tsp. bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Stir it up, pour it over the meat. Soak it for a few hours or so. Enjoy! My kids even liked it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Chicken Fingers With Lemon Sauce

I tried a new recipe out of a friend's magazine tonight and it was so good, even though I messed up the sauce a little. My boys were distracting me and I ended up adding too much chicken broth, but it still tasted good - it was just runnier than it should be.

My husband's first comment was, "Are you going to make this again?" "Do you want me to?" "Yeah ......" He really liked it. It's not too difficult either!

So here it is.

1 jar (10 ounces) lemon curd (I found it next to the jams and jellies)
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
Vegetable oil for frying

In a small saucepan, combine the lemon curd, broth, soy sauce, and ginger. Cook and stir until combined and heated through; keep warm.

In a shallow bowl, combine buttermilk and lemon peel. In another bowl, combine flour and cornstarch. Dip chicken in buttermilk mixture, then coat with flour mixture.

In an electric skillet, heat oil to 375. Fry chicken a few strips at a time, for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with lemon sauce.

Yield: 4 servings (1 1/4 cups sauce).

Lucky for us, the kids didn't want any! :-D

Monday, March 17, 2008

Olive Garden Soup

We had lunch at Olive Garden and my daughter LOVED the soup, so I had to figure out how to make it. A little bit of research and this is what we came up with. It turned out nicely, if I do say so myself! And so easy if you have a cuisinart or some kind of food processor. Next time we'll try the crockpot, but here's the stovetop version:

2 lbs Hamburger
1/2 sm bag of baby carrots
4 celery stalks
1 med. yellow onion
2 cans tomatoes (chopped or stewed)
1 can kidney beans
1 can white beans
1 can black beans (or whatever you have:)
8 cups water
8 tsp granulated beef buillion (or use broth and skip the water)
15 oz spagetti sauce or up to 26 oz to taste
8 oz pasta (OG uses little salad noodles, I used bowtie)
spices to taste:
parmesan cheese on top if desired

1. Brown Hamburger.
2. In lg stockpot, add hamburger, carrots, celery, onion and tomatoes. Simmer 10 min (med/med-low).
3. Add remaining ingredients and cook med/med-low for 45 min. until carrots are tender.

This makes a lg stockpot full of soup, so you can half it :)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Fruit Dip

Beware ... You might not enjoy fruit plain after this.


7 oz. marshmallow cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. maraschino cherry juice

Beat all ingredients until fluffy with an electric mixer. Serve with a pretty arrangement of fruits including sliced apples, pears, strawberries, bananas, pineapple, oranges, etc. My two favorites are banana and strawberry with this dip. You can add more or less of the juice for your liking and you can also add other flavorings if you prefer.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Easy One Rise Rolls

These really are the easiest rolls ever and really good, but much better if eaten within the first day or two (fyi:) They can also be stuffed with the chicken crescent recipe yumminess instead of buying expensive refrigerator dough.

1 3/4 C warm water
1/2 C oil
1/2 C sugar
3 Tbs. yeast

2 eggs
5-5 1/2 C flour*
1 tsp salt

Knead until smooth, divide dough into 4 balls (3 if you're doing chicken crescents). Roll each into an 8" circle, cut into 8 wedges (6 for chikn crescents). Roll into crescents. Place on greased cookie sheet or one sprinkled with corn meal (but I didn't grease mine and they didn't stick:). Let rise for about 15 min. Bake at 375 for 10-12 min.

*Can also use part whole wheat flour.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

M&M Cookies with some alterations...namely more flour. I used more like 3 C. I hate flat cookies:) Picky Davy raved! Also, I used cute Valentine M&M's:)

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2-3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups candy-coated milk chocolate pieces

In a large bowl, mix sugar, eggs, shortening, and vanilla thoroughly. Add flour, salt, and baking soda to creamed mixture. Blend well. Add M&M candies.
Drop dough by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 9 to 11 minutes, to your liking.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Lunch TOday - Tuna and Noodles

I know it's supposed to be what's for dinner, but I just had a yummy little simple lunch and it's nothing amazing or gourmet, but lately easy, quick, and healthy have been perfect. I'm not even sure if this counts as a recipe, but sometimes just the idea of combining everyday stuff helps me out. So here you go:

6-12 oz bag of pasta; however hungry you are (I used wide egg noodles)
1-2 cans tuna, drained
2-3 tbs butter
1+ cup shredded cheese (we used mozerella)
salt and pepper

Boil water and add noodles, cook to al dente, drain. Return noodles to hot pot, melt butter and cheese in with noodles. Add tuna (I have a 2 and 5 yr old, so I had to keep the tuna and noodles separate for them), salt and pepper and enjoy. I recommend serving with fresh veggies and/or apples. It's a lot like Tuna Casserole, but without the added sauce you save about 100 calories and my kids only eat regular Tuna Casserole every 3rd time if I'm lucky. BUT even my newly picky 5 yr old said this was good food.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Two Easy Meatball Recipes

I fell in love with Costco meatballs when I was three days overdue with my second son. After weeks with no appetite, there was a heavenly smell at my friends wedding reception and I followed the scent to some BBQ meatballs. They really hit the spot! But I was a tired pregnant mom and there was no way I could duplicate this delicious recipe. Or so I thought.

I asked the mother of the groom if I could please have the recipe. She said, "Ohhhhhhhh ... All right. Costco meatballs..."

"Uh huh ..."

"And Bullseye BBQ sauce."

"That's it?"

"That's it."

I felt like I had hit the recipe jackpot! A delicious and easy recipe! These are really more of an appetizer food, but no one in my family objects when I include them as a dinner food. Just follow the instructions on the package, pour on a good coating of sauce, and bake them in the oven. They are so good!

Looking through a cookbook my sister gave me, there is a recipe for Sweet and Sour Meatballs. There are detailed directions as to how to form your own meatballs, but who wants to do that? I just used the sauce portion with some Costco meatballs and cooked them in the same fashion, served them over rice, and we had a broccoli cauliflower mix on the side for dinner tonight.

So here is the sweet and sour sauce. I imagine it has many uses.

1/2 cup brown sugar (I used honey instead to taste)
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/4 cup barbeque sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Stir it and pour it over some meatballs. Depending on your preference, you might want to double the sauce.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Easy Lasagna

One day I was commenting to the checker at the grocery store about how much easier it is to make lasagna with those no boil noodles and she said, "Do you want to know an easier way?" I said, "Yeeeeeeees ......"

She said, "Use cheese ravioli."

This cuts out the step where you spread on ricotta or cottage cheese. Also, I usually slice the mozzarella cheese to make it easier to spread the ricotta on and that's kind of a pain. When you make it with frozen ravioli, all you have to do is layer it like this:

thin layer of sauce to prevent sticking (or I think you can use a little olive oil too)
Layer of grated parmesan on top

Bake at 375 for about 50 minutes covered and then 10 minutes uncovered. It should be bubbling by then. Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

This is so easy, it's almost ridiculous. And it is sooooo good! I buy the frozen ravioli from Costco which gives me a large two layer lasagna and there is still enough ravioli leftover for a few servings. Then I buy a big bag of shredded mozzarella cheese from Costco and some Boboli pizza packs to have on another night to make sure I use the cheese up.

You can use any kind of sauce you want for the lasagna, but I would like to share my mom's recipe because it is really good.

1 lb. ground beef
1 large can stewed tomatoes (I used crushed tomatoes in thick puree instead)
1 can tomato sauce (your average soup can size)
1 packet Spagetti Sauce Mix (Last time I used McCormick's thick and zesty sauce, I believe)
1 tsp. garlic powder

Brown the beef, pour in the tomatoes and sauce (don't drain the tomatoes), then the seasonings. I recently had it over spaghetti and my friend who comes over every week for dinner was begging for more the next week. :)

Or you could make it really easy on yourself and use your favorite sauce in a jar. I love having such an easy lasagna recipe because I feel more motivated to make a decent salad since I'm not exhausted.

I hope you enjoy it! Another thing I wanted to mention: There was a place I went to called The Brick Oven that put pepperoni in their lasagna. It was really good. Just throw in a layer of that if you're a pepperoni fan.

Turkey Noodle Soup

I know turkey season is past us now, but there's always next year. This year I made a turkey for Thanksgiving, scraped off as much meat as I could and wasn't sure what to do with the carcass. I threw it in the garbage and felt wasteful, but afterwards, I learned I could have used it to make stock. You take the carcass, put it in a pot of water with a bunch of carrots, celery, and onions, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper and let it boil for a few hours. Discard all the veggies and bones and POOF you have a bunch of flavorful stock to help start soups, add to rice, mashed potatoes, gravies, crock pot stuff ... it freezes and it's useful.

Now back to the turkey soup.

3 cups of Turkey stock (or chicken or water)
1 large can of cream of chicken soup
1 large can (or so) of water

Add poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, salt, pepper (spices you like) until broth is yummy.
Add bite size turkey chunks, chopped carrots, chopped celery, chopped onion and cook until veggies are done. Add noodles, cook until they're done.

Now this made me SO much soup, like 3 meals worth. If you want to freeze the soup, first, I would recommend only adding noodles to the part you are eating that night and cool the rest in the fridge (this is important if you don't want to be cleaning frozen turkey soup mess out of your freezer when the name brand freezer bags rip open cuz the soup you put in was too hot). When the soup is cool, freezer bags work fine. Then when you are ready to cook it up again, put the frozen block of soup in a pot, bring to a boil, add noodles, cook and serve.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Catalan Tortilla

I was flipping through The Totally Garlic Cookbook that my friend Jessica gave me years ago and this recipe gave me the perfect opportunity to chip away at my 15 pound bag of yukon gold potatoes, my healthy supply of garlic, and the onions I needed to use before they go bad. It was so good and it was quite different from what we normally eat. So here's the recipe!

Catalan Tortilla (it has nothing to do with torillas - it's actually an omelette)

Olive Oil
3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
10 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
8 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat medium baking dish (I did a large baking dish) lightly with olive oil. Arrange alternating layers of potato slices, garlic, onion, and salt and pepper to taste, drizzling each layer lightly with olive oil. Bake 45 minutes, stirring several times (I timed it to go off every 15 minutes so I wouldn't forget to stir). Remove from oven and stir to separate.

In large heavy skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add potato mixture in even layer. Pour eggs over potatoes. Cook over medium-high heat, shaking skillet to prevent sticking. When eggs are set around edges, slide omelet out onto plate, loosening edges and bottom, if necessary, with spatula. Place another plate on top and invert. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to skillet. When hot, slide omelet back into pan and cook 1 minute longer. Cut into wedges to serve.

I don't have a good stove or pan for making omelettes, so I ended up scrambling it. Doesn't really matter because I don't think it changes the taste. Omelettes just look prettier. I decided this dish makes a good breakfast or dinner. The ingredients are pretty healthy too! I added a little fresh parmesan cheese and that made it extra yummy. I hope you try it and like it! :) Also, my yukon potatoes are pretty small so I ended up using 6 instead of 3 as the recipe calls for. I love it when I find a new dish to add to my favorites!

Caribbean Chicken Rice

This is a recipe from my friend Yvonne called "Caribbean Chicken Rice". It is soooooooo yummy!

1 package saffron rice
2 1/2 cups water
2 TBS butter or margarine
1 bunch of green onions chopped into small pieces (include the green stems)
1/4 cup of red and green peppers diced into small pieces
1/4 cup of chopped sweet onions
1 small can of chunky or tidbit pineapples - drained
1/4 c coconut shreds
Cayenne pepper (season to taste)
1 clove of garlic
1 lb of browned chicken strips
or 1 lb of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Combine all of your ingredients in a 2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil stirring thoroughly. Reduce heat, cover and simmer over low heat for 25 - 30 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat, stir and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Stir and serve.

Citrus Mustard Pork Roast

Citrus Mustard Pork Roast

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tsp. finely shredded orange peel
1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3- to-4 pound boneless pork top loin roast (double loin, tied - sometimes I buy two roasts and tie them together when I can't find a double one or I have the butcher do it for me)
2 medium oranges
Orange juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar (I prefer honey)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup dry white wine or orange juice

1. In a bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of the mustard, citrus peels, pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt.

2. Untie roast, trim fat. Spread mustard mixture on roast. Retie roast. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer. Roast in a 325 oven for 1 3/4 to 2 hours or till thermometer registers recommended temp. for pork (the book says 155). Cover with foil and let stand 15 minutes. The meat's temp will rise 5 degrees during standing.

3. Meanwhile, for sauce, peel and section oranges over a bowl to catch juices. Add enough orange juice to equal 1 cup. In a saucepan, stir together remaining mustard, orange juice, cornstarch, honey, and lemon juice. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Gently stir in orange sections and wine (or 1/4 cup OJ). Heat through. Serve sauce with meat.

I like to serve it with garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed asparagus. I boil some yukon gold potatoes with about 4 cloves of garlic, drain them, add butter, gorgonzola cheese, fresh parmesan cheese, milk, a little cream, and use an electric mixer to get them nice and smooth. First I blend the butter in well before I add the other ingredients.

For the sauteed asparagus, I put some olive oil in a pan with two cloves of minced garlic on medium heat, just until I can barely smell the garlic, then I add the asparagus, keep it moving for a few minutes to avoid burning the garlic, then I turn it down to low and cook it for another few minutes. I put them on a plate, salt them, squeeze some lemon over them, and add a little fresh parmesan cheese. I think it tastes pretty good!

How to Make Roasted Garlic

How to Make Roasted Garlic

Years ago I fell in love with "focaccia con cambozola" - a flatbread at Cucina Cucina that is served with roasted garlic and cambozola cheese. For a long time, I would drive by and wonder what that Heavenly smell was. It was the garlic. It was love at first bite and though I had been skeptical of garlic's illness fighting abilities, that was the first winter I didn't get a single cold. Those were my college days, so I irresponsibly went there once a week with my friends to indulge myself. Mmmm ... Either it really does fight colds or no one would get close enough to me to get me sick.

Anyway, there came a time when money was scarce, but I really craved roasted garlic. I had no idea how to make it and when my husband and I were living in our first apartment in Puyallup (well, our first apartment we lived in without a roommate), we went to the fair and this one booth was selling various garlic products including a "garlic roaster" - a ceramic, garlic-shaped dish made especially for roasting or storing garlic. I was so excited and it came with instructions! If I could just get Cucina Cucina's focaccia bread recipe, I would have it made, so I had to improvise. It's really not a true focaccia bread - more like a lightly seasoned thin pizza crust.

This is how you roast a head of garlic:

1. Cut off the top (the pointy part) to expose the cloves
2. Spread butter on top
3. Drizzle with a little olive oil
4. Place in a cold oven in a covered dish (I tried covering a small dish with foil and poking a couple small holes in it and that worked great)
5. Turn oven to 300 degrees and set timer for 45 minutes
6. Uncover and baste with olive oil
7. Cook uncovered for 9 minutes (9 is what works in my oven - the directions said 10, but that gave me overdone, bitter garlic)
8. Baste again and cook another 9 minutes
9. Baste again and cook another 9 minutes.

At this point, some of the cloves will usually start to emerge out of the skin. Wait until it's cool enough and you can either scoop the soft cloves out with a butter knife or turn it upside down and squeeze it. That's fun, but it gets your hands all oily. It took me a while to perfect this process, but it has been awesome for putting in potatoes, sauces, even guacamole, hummus, and especially for spreading on a yummy bread of your choice. I like to put it on some warm french bread with some butter, sprinkle on a little fresh parmesan cheese, and dip it in a combination of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I just had some tonight and I will probably reek for the next few days. It's worth it! My brother roasts whole garlic cloves by sauteeing them in a pan, but I haven't mastered the art yet. I'll let you know when I do. I like the fact that you don't waste any of the head, but it involves peeling all of the cloves. It takes less time, but I am in my comfort zone with the oven roasting method and I like the aroma while it's cooking. You do have to plan ahead.

I hope these directions are helpful to someone! :) One more tip - for spreading on bread, mash the garlic with a fork while it's still warm.