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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas-Christmas Goose with Raisin Stuffing

Your family will love this special recipe for the holidays.

1 lg. yellow onion, chopped
1 lg. tart apple, chopped
1/4 + 1/3 separate C. chicken broth
6 C. toasted fresh bread crumbs
1/2 C. chopped raisins
1/4 C. slivered almonds; toasted
1/4 C. minced parsley
1 tsp. dried sage leaves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 7-8 lb. goose, giblets removed


In a small saucepan, combine the onion, apple, and 1/4 C. broth. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until onion and apple are tender. In a large mixing bowl, combine onion mixture, breadcrumbs, currants, almonds, parsley, sage, salt, and pepper. Toss 1/3 C. broth with breadcrumb mixture. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse goose; drain, and pat dry. Prick the skin on the lower breast, legs, and around the wings with a skewer. Stuff goose. Then, place goose, breast-side-up, on a rack in large roasting pan. Insert a roasting thermometer in its thigh without touching bone. Spoon remaining stuffing into a lightly greased 1 1/2-qt. casserole; cover and refrigerate. Roast goose for 2-2 1/2 hours or until the thermometer registers 175 degrees, drain fat often. Bake the covered casserole of stuffing along side the goose during the last 30 minutes of roasting. Let the goose stand for 15-20 minutes. Carve the goose and discard the skin.

Christmas-Sugar Plum Cookies

1 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. confectioners' sugar
1 C. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
5 C. flour
1 tsp.baking powder
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. canned plums,finely chopped.drained
green and red colored sugar


Cream butter and sugar. Add confectioner's sugar and vegetable oil; mix well. Add vanilla extract and egg; mix well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt. Add to first mixture; blend well. Fold in plums. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. Grease fingertips, roll dough into walnut size balls. Dip into colored sugar and place on cookie sheets, spacing 2 inchs apart. Press down slightly with bottom of sugared glass. Bake for 12 mins. Cool on cookie sheets 5 mins. Then cool completely on a wire rack.

Christmas- Fast and Fancy Fruitcake

Don't show up to Christmas dinner empty handed. Spread your good cheer with this easy fruitcake.

2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 2/3 C. mincemeat
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 C. mixed candied fruit
1 C. walnuts, coarsely chopped
glazed cherries, optional


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a 9-inch tube pan; line with waxed paper and grease again (or use generously greased and floured 10 inch bundt pan.) Sift together flour and baking soda; set aside. In large bowl, combine eggs, mincemeat, sweetened condensed milk, fruit, and nuts. Add dry ingredients; blend well. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour and 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes. Turn out of pan. Remove waxed paper. If desired, garnish with glazed cherries.

Tip: To store cake, cool thoroughly; wrap well in aluminum foil and refrigerate or freeze.

Christmas- Famous Eggnog

What Christmas party would be complete without eggnog? Make this recipe with or without the alcohol depending on your guests.

4 eggs, separated (use only Grade AA)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 C. (1 quart) homogenized milk
1 C. bourbon or brandy, optional

In large mixer bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and light. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, salt, vanilla, and milk. In small bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks; gently fold into sweetened condensed milk mixture. If desired, stir in bourbon or brandy. Chill. Pour into chilled punch bowl or serving cups. Garnish with nutmeg. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Christmas - Church Windows

1 bag chocolate chips, melted
1/2 bag mini colored marshmallows
1 small bag walnut pieces
Powdered sugar


Mix together melted chocolate, marshmallows and walnuts. Take a piece of wax paper and sprinkle it liberally with powdered sugar put one third of mixture on top of sugar and shape into a roll fold the wax paper around the roll making sure powdered sugar is in between mixture and paper all over. Do the same to other two and put into the refrigerator. When chilled cut into about 1/2-inch round.

Friday, December 12, 2008

White Chocolate Brownies

Speckled with white chocolate, this black and white brownie is deliciously different.

6 oz imported white chocolate, cut up
3/4 C. sugar
1 stick butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Dash of salt
6 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut up
1/2 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 2-quart glass bowl, combine white chocolate pieces, sugar, and butter. Heat in microwave oven on high about 1 1/2 minutes, or until melted and smooth when stirred. With a whisk or fork, beat in eggs and vanilla until well blended. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and stir until well mixed. Stir in bittersweet chocolate and walnuts. Spread evenly in a buttered, foil lined 7x11 inch baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Do not over-bake. Let cool, then cut into 24 pieces.

Yield: 24 servings

Godiva Brownies

These decadent brownies are the ultimate in gourmet chocolate cooking.

3 (1.5 oz. each) Godiva Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 C. butter
5 eggs, at room temperature
1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. Godiva Liqueur
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
2 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 3750 F. Grease 15x10x1-inch jellyroll pan. Place chocolate and butter in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50% power) for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave 30 seconds more or until chocolate is softened. Stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes. Beat eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla in mixing bowl until thick and lemon-colored, using electric mixer at high speed. Add liqueur and chocolate mixture, mixing well. Add flour, mixing just until combined. Stir in walnuts. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes or until no imprint remains when touched lightly with finger. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 24 bars. Store bars in an airtight container.

Blonde Brownies with Brown Sugar Frosting

If you're not a big chocolate fan, but crave a sweet treat, these brownies are perfect for any sugar craving.

1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. butter (no margarine)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Brown Sugar Frosting:
1/3 C. butter (not margarine)
2/3 C. packed brown sugar
3 Tbs. milk
2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 C. chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat sugars, butter, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with a wooden spoon. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Spread in an ungreased 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake 20-23 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 45 minutes. Frost with Brown Sugar Frosting. Immediately sprinkle with pecans. Cut into 6 rows by 6 rows.

To make frosting, melt butter in a 2 quart saucepan over very low heat. Stir in brown sugar. Cook over low heat 2 minutes. Stir constantly. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Mixing well using a wooden spoon after each addition. Mix until smooth and spreadable. If necessary, add more milk, a few drops at a time.

Chocolate Chip Brownie Double Decker

This recipe mixes a brownie batter with a chocolate chip batter that combine to create bar cookies that offer the best of both.

Shortening or butter for greasing pan

Chocolate Chip Layer:
12 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Brownie Layer:
12 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 6 equal pieces
3/4 C. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 C. all-purpose flour

Position the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan.

To begin the chocolate chip layer: In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Slide the pan from the heat and add the brown sugar. Whisk until no lumps remain. Set the butter mix aside to cool while making the brownie layer.

To make the brownie layer: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Slide the pan from the heat and add the cocoa powder. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add the sugar and salt and whisk until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition just until blended. Whisk in the vanilla with the second egg. Sprinkle the flour over the chocolate mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until the ingredients are blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly with an offset or rubber spatula. Set it aside while you finish the chocolate chip layer.

To finish the chocolate chip layer: In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk until it's well-blended. Once the butter mixture has cooled, add the egg and vanilla to it and whisk until blended. Pour in the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until the ingredients are blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop the dough over the brownie batter in large scoops and spread it evenly with an offset or rubber spatula. Bake until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out with small, gooey clumps of brownie sticking to it, about 40 minutes. Don't over-bake or the brownies won't be fudgy. Transfer the baking pan to a rack to cool completely.

Using a bench scraper or a knife, cut the brownies into small squares measuring about 2 inches each. The cooler the double-deckers are, the cleaner the cutting will be, but these fudgy treats will always leave some sticky crumbs on the knife.

Note: After baking, cooling and cutting into squares, these can be frozen up to 1 month. There's almost no thawing necessary - about 20 minutes - because these brownies are delicious even when partially frozen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Caramel Brownies

This classic recipe is easy to make and adds that sticky sweetness to every bite.

1 pkg. Kraft caramels
1 small can Carnation milk
1 box German chocolate cake mix
3/4 C. margarine, melted
1 C. chopped nuts (or more is desired)
1 pkg. chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap caramels and place in double boiler and melt with 1/4 can of Carnation milk; set aside. Mix cake with melted margarine, rest of Carnation milk, and nuts. Place half of this dough in the bottom of a 13x9x2 glass pan and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly on top of the cooked dough. Then, pour caramel mixture over the top. Place the rest of the dough on top in pieces. Bake for 20 minutes more. Cook and place in refrigerator to set caramel.

Chocolate Rasperry Brownies

The perfect combination of chocolate and fruit makes this brownie a sweet treat.

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 C. Crisco shortening
1/2 C. Smucker's Red Raspberry Preserves
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. Smucker's Red Raspberry Preserves (for glaze)
1 Tbs. powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8x8-inch baking pan with cooking spray. In a large saucepan, over low heat, melt the chocolate and shortening together; stir to combine. Remove from heat. Stir in preserves, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt. Spread batter in prepared baking pan; bake for 30-35 minutes or until firm but not dry. While brownies are still warm, carefully spread the preserves on top of the brownies. Let cool. If desired, sprinkle cooled brownies with powdered sugar. Cut into squares.

Yield: 16 servings

Chocolate Filled Peanut Butter Brownies

Using peanut butter cup candies, these brownies get stuffed with a sweet surprise center.

1 1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. butter or regular margarine, melted
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. all purpose
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
36 1-inch chocolate covered peanut butter cup candies (from 15 1/2 oz. bag)
1/2 C. milk chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. If you are using a dark or a non-stick pan, heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and lightly dust with flour, the bottom and sides of a 13x9 inch baking dish.
Beat brown sugar, butter, peanut butter, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, or beat using a wooden spoon. Mix until well blended.

Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut 12 of the candies into fourths (about 3/4 C.). Stir cup up candies and the milk chocolate chips into the batter. Spread into prepared baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately press remaining 24 candies into the brownies in 4 even rows of 6 candies each. (Here I quickly score the top so I know where to press the candies. It just seems to make it a bit easier.) Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. For brownies, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.

Yield: 24 brownies

Double Espresso Brownies

1 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
4 tsp. baking cocoa
3 tsp. instant espresso coffee (dry)
1/2 C. water
3/4 C. butter or regular margarine
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/3 C. buttermilk
1 egg

Espresso Frosting:
1/4 C. baking cocoa
1/2 C. butter or regular margarine
1/3 C. buttermilk
4 1/2 C. powered sugar
1 tsp. instant espresso coffee (dry)
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of a jelly roll pan; 15 1/2x10 1/2x1-inch; with shortening. Dust lightly with flour. Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, and espresso (dry) in a large bowl. Heat water and butter to boiling in a 1 quart saucepan. Pour over flour mixture. Beat with wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in baking soda, buttermilk, and egg. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake 18-23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Spread Espresso Frosting over brownies. For brownies, cut into 10 rows by 5 rows.

To make frosting, heat cocoa, butter, and the buttermilk to boiling in a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar, espresso (dry) and vanilla using a wire whisk until smooth and spreadable

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Green Papaya Salad

2 medium green (unripe) papayas
6 cloves garlic
6 small, Thai chili peppers, or 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed
1 tablespoon palm sugar, or brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 2" lengths
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 head Bibb lettuce, leaves removed and washed

Cooking Instructions
1. Peel, half lengthwise and seed the papayas. Cut them into long, thin shreds, or shred them in a food processor and set aside.
2. In a large mortar, combine the garlic and chilis and pound them into bits with a pestle. Add the sugar and fish sauce and combine with the pestle.
3. Add the papaya and green beans and pound for about 3 minutes to slightly crush them. Use a spoon to scrape the sides of the mortar and rotate the mixture as you work.
4. Add the cherry tomatoes and pound for a minute to release some of their juices.
5. Stir in the peanuts and lime juice.
6. Place a few leaves of lettuce on each plate and spoon the salad onto the lettuce.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

AfterThanksgiving Casserolle

When there are leftovers (because there always are…) keep this recipe on hand to empty the fridge.

1 C. butter
1 C. onions, diced
1 C. celery, diced
1 C. green pepper, diced
1 4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
3 10 3/4 oz. cans condensed cream of chicken soup
3 C. diced turkey
1/3 C. slivered almonds
1 3 oz. can chow mein noodles, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish and set aside. Sauté onion, celery, and green pepper in butter. Add mushrooms, cream of chicken soup, diced turkey and almonds. Line prepared casserole dish with 1/2 can chow mein noodles. Add turkey mixture and cover with remaining noodles. Bake for 40 minutes

Thanksgiving Day-Southern Pecan Pie

This southern pecan pie recipe is perfect for a delicious dessert on Thanksgiving.

9 inch pie shell
1 C. pecan halves
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 Tbs. butter, melted
1 C. light corn syrup (Karo)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. sugar
1 Tbs. flour

Arrange pecan halves in bottom of pie shell. Beat eggs. Add butter, corn syrup, and vanilla. Stir well until blended. Combine sugar and flour and blend with egg mixture. Pour over nuts in pie shell. Let stand until nuts rise to the surface. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Nuts will glaze during baking.

Thanksgiving-Apple,Sausage andPecan Stuffing

1 lb. Jimmy Dean pork mild sausage
3 C. onions, chopped
2 c. celery, chopped, including leaves
1 C. butter (2 sticks)
1 14-oz. bag + 1 sm. bag Pepperidge Farm herb seasoned stuffing
3 red apples, washed, cored, and chopped
1 C. golden raisins
1/2 C. chopped pecans (or almonds or walnuts)
2 packets G Washington's Seasonings
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 C. homemade turkey stock (recipe follows), divided use
salt and pepper to taste

Cook sausage in skillet until browned. Drain and set aside. Saute onions and celery in butter until onions begin to golden.

In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry stuffing, the onions and celery, sausage, chopped apple, raisins, nuts, seasoning packets, and cinnamon. Begin blending, with your hands, add 1 C. broth at a time until you get to the desired stuffing consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding salt and pepper to taste.

Put the stuffing in a casserole dish with foil over (refrigerate until ready to bake). Remove from refrigerator, let stand 15 minutes and then bake the last 45 minutes with the turkey or until heated through.

I make turkey stock by putting the bagged contents that come inside the turkey in a pressure cooker, top with water, 1/2 an onion studded with 6 whole cloves, 2 garlic cloves, a sprig of parsley, 1 celery stalk cut in half, 1 bay leaf, salt and pepper. I pressure cook for about 45 minutes. I take out the turkey neck and pick off all the tender meat and place in a bowl. I then strain the broth. Discard everything else and use the stock and turkey meat to add to the stuffing

Thanksgiving Day-Apple Cinnamon Glazed Turkey

This is a recipe that you'll love to bring to the Thanksgiving table. The sweet glaze add the perfect amount of flavor to the turkey.

10 apple-cinnamon herbal tea bags
1 C. boiling water
2 C. corn syrup
2/3 C. brown sugar
1 small turkey or large turkey breast (about 5 lb.)
1 tsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place tea bags in a cup and pour in boiling water. Steep tea for 4 minutes. Remove tea bags and combine liquid with corn syrup and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Mix well and bring to boil. Follow the cooking directions for the turkey, basting several times using the apple-cinnamon glaze while cooking

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Zesty Marinated Asparagus

Spicy and cool this dish makes an excellent side for summer dishes.

2 lbs. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 C. balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch asparagus just until tender, about 1 minute. Plunge into a bowl of cold water to cool. Drain asparagus and place in a large, resealable plastic bag. Pour in vinaigrette and seal bag. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, turning bag occasionally. Just before serving, drain asparagus, reserving vinaigrette. Arrange on a serving platter and sprinkle with lemon zest, parsley, salt, and pepper. Serve reserved vinaigrette in a small dish on the side.

Parmesan Asparacus

2 lb. asparagus spears
1 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 C. fresh bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash hot pepper sauce
2 Tbs. butter or margarine
2 Tbs. olive oil
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


Cook the asparagus in a small amount of water until crisp-tender. Drain well. Combine 1 1/2 C. cheese and the bread crumbs on a plate. In a shallow bowl, stir together eggs, salt and pepper sauce. Dip each asparagus spear in egg mixture and roll in crumbs to coat well. Chill 20 minutes. In a skillet, heat butter and oil on medium-high heat. Brown the spears in a single layer, turning carefully. Remove and keep warm while browning the remaining spears. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

Carrot Casserole

Celery soup provides the base for this otherwise orange casserole.

5 C. cooked carrots
1 C. diced onions
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1 can celery soup
1/4 C. milk
Seasoned croutons
1 Tbs. butter

Sauté onions in butter until tender. Add cheese, celery soup and milk. Stir in with carrots and pour into a greased casserole dish. Top with crushed croutons, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Pasta with Eggplant Sauce

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, cubed
1 lb. eggplant, peeled, cubed
2 lb. tomatoes, cubed
1/2 C. dry red wine
2 Tbs. fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dry)
2 Tbs. fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dry)
Salt and pepper to taste
12 oz. spaghetti, cooked

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is soft. Stir in bell pepper, eggplant, tomatoes, wine, basil, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Serve sauce over noodles.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving-Cranberry Cherry Relish

1 1-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries (3 cups)
1 10-ounce package frozen sweet cherries (2 cups)
2 firm ripe pears, such as Bosc or Anjou, peeled and cubed
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cinnamon

1. Combine cranberries, cherries, pears, vinegar, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon in a large heavy saucepan and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring often to prevent sticking.

2. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is tender and the relish has thickened, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool.

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Thanksgiving Day-Portebello Mushroom Gravy

Portobello Gravy
You can make this rich, earthy gravy with fresh shiitakes as well as Portobellos. Leave the mushroom pieces in for a chunky-style sauce or strain them out for a velvety consistency.

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 30 minutes

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped cleaned Portobello mushrooms (2 medium)
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they begin to release their juices, about 10 minutes.

2. Add broth, tamari (or soy sauce), thyme and sage; simmer for 10 minutes. Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir into the sauce and simmer, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes more. Season with pepper. For smooth gravy, pass it through a fine sieve (discard mushrooms and onions). Serve hot.

Thanksgiving Day-CornBread and Sausage Stuffing

1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage (about 4 links), casings removed
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 pounds prepared cornbread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 12 cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 to 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 9” x 13” baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add onion and celery; cover, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add cornbread, parsley and sage.

3. Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour 1 cup over the stuffing mixture and toss gently (the cornbread will break into smaller pieces). Add as much of the remaining broth as needed, 1/2 cup at a time, until the stuffing feels moist but not wet. Spoon the stuffing into the prepared pan and cover with foil.

4. Bake the stuffing until thoroughly heated, about 25 minutes. Serve warm.

Thanksgiving Day-Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Arrange sweet potatoes in an even layer in a 9” x 13” glass baking dish. Combine maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper in small bowl. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes; toss to coat.

3. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender and starting to brown, 45 to 50 minutes more.

Thanksgiving Day- Southwestern Rubbed Turkey

Southwestern Rubbed Turkey
Smoked paprika is the key to the turkey rub in this recipe. Roasting the bird breast-side down for the first half keeps the breast meat succulent and moist. To toast cumin seeds, place them in a small skillet over medium heat and stir occasionally until fragrant, about two minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool, then grind them in a spice mill or blender into a fine powder.

Serves: 12
Preparation time: 4 hours

2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons, plus 2 cups water, divided
1 12-pound turkey, giblets removed

1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix paprika, ground cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a small bowl; stir in 2 tablespoons water to make a paste. Rub the mixture all over the turkey, particularly under the skin and onto the breast meat.

3. Place the turkey breast-side down on a roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Add 2 cups water to the pan. Roast for 1 1/2 hours.

4. Remove the turkey from the oven and turn it over – either use silicon oven gloves or cover the bird with foil and use cloth oven mitts to turn it over. Continue roasting, basting occasionally with pan juices, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone registers 180 degrees F, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours more. If the bird is browning too deeply, tent it with foil while it continues to bake. If the pan runs out of juices, add about 1/2 cup water, scrape up any browned bits, and use this liquid for basting. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before carving.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Baked Sweet Potatoes

sweet potatoes (recommended: one per person)
diet butter or regular butter
salt and pepper
cooking spray
aluminum foil

Peel your sweet potatoes. Slice potatoes in half lenghtwise, then a few more times[ like you are making home fries ]. Tear aluminum foil in medium size pieces, spray the foil, arrange potatoes on foil, lightly sprinkle with salt, pepper, cinnamon, and a dab of either butter. Seal the aluminum foil starting at one end and across the top, then before sealing the other end add water and seal. When i do this part i just hold it under the tap and add enough water to each serving pack to keep them from drying out, maybe 1/4-1/2 C. or more depending on how much you put in each one. You can then arrange them in the oven around all your other things that are cooking or put them on the top rack of your grill and cook till tender.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

This is the easiest way I have found to make candies sweet potatoes and I wanted to share this recipe with all of you.

6 lg. sweet potatoes
2 C. sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Peel and slice potatoes. Put into baking dish. Pour sugar over potatoes, dot with margarine and sprinkle with nutmeg. Cover with foil and place pan in 350 degree oven. Cook 1 hour, then remove foil and cook 15 minutes more. If potatoes make too much juice, pour off some, and then cook a few more minutes. Juice will then get syrupy.

Cinnamon and Honey Sweet Potatoes

5 lg. sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 Tbs. orange juice
1/4 C. honey


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-inch baking dish with nonfat cooking spray. Arrange potato slices in bottom of dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon, ginger, orange juice and honey. Bake, covered, in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes until potatoes are soft and tender.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Turkey Stuffing

Always make at least double the stuffing you need for the turkey and cook the extra stuffing in a casserole dish. For an extra taste delight, sprinkle some of the turkey juice or canned broth over the stuffing.

1/4-C. butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 C. fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 C. celery, finely chopped
1/4-C. bacon bits
4 C. multigrain bread, dried and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4-tsp. salt
1/4-tsp. pepper
1/4-tsp. paprika
2 Tbs. poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
2 Tbs. dried parsley
1 1/4 c chicken or vegetable broth

Brown garlic in butter. Add mushrooms and sauté. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook until they begin to soften. Stir bacon bits into mixture, then lower heat to medium and add bread cubes and seasonings. Continue cooking for approximately 5 more minutes stirring continuously. Add hot vegetable stock and mix well. Cover and cook over low heat for at least 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until bread cubes have broken down. (The secret to a good turkey stuffing is in the slow cooking and the frequent stirring). 3 - 4 C. of stuffing

Old Fashion Stuffing

White bread, turkey giblets, oysters and mushrooms make this a truly classic recipe.

3-4 loaves of white bread (or 5 if you like leftovers)
Chicken broth
Turkey giblets
2 bunches celery
1 or 2 onions
2 Tbs. butter
1/2 tsp. sage
Oysters (optional)
Mushrooms (option)


The night before, break the bread into small pieces (about 1 inch squares) into 2 huge bowls or pots. Let the bread sit overnight to dry out. The next day, after you remove the turkey's giblets, boil the giblets in water in 2/3 qt. sauce pan until cooked (about 20/30 minutes). Remove giblets for later use or discard. Set giblet cooking water aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop onion and celery and place into food processor until minced. Melt 2-3 Tbs. of butter in large saucepan. Sauté onion and celery until heated through. Do not brown! (Sauté mushrooms also at this time if using them).

Depending on how much stuffing you want and how much celery and onion you've chopped, you may have to sauté the onion and celery in two parts. Once cooked, pour the onion/celery mixture directly over the dried out bread. Pour 1/2 tsp. sage over bread/onion/celery mixture. Using the reserved giblet cooking water, pour slowly over bread. The bread will shrink as you do this. Be careful not to pour too much water in. Mix thoroughly and smell/taste for perfect stuffing. If you need more liquid, open a can of chicken broth and pour over bread. If you need more spice, add more sage. If you are using oysters, add them now.

Once stuffing is of a consistency that it will stick together and does not look too dry, do not add more liquid. Either stuff in turkey to be baked in oven, or put in 9x13 pan. If using oysters, it is recommended that you bake the stuffing in a pan so as to ensure the oysters will be cooked through. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour. You want the stuffing to have a nice brown crust on top.

Thanksgiving Day- Sausage Stuffing

The Thanksgiving day feast is not complete without the perfect stuffing. This one is easily adaptable to your taste.

1 lb. bulk breakfast sausage
3/4 C. finely chopped onion
1 1/2 C. finely chopped celery
1 C. (combined) margarine and drippings from sausage
8 C. bread cubes
5 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper


Cook sausage. Drain. Melt margarine. Add enough to sausage drippings to make 1 C. Sauté onions and celery in margarine/dripping mixture until onion is tender. Do not brown. Stir in about 1/3 bread cubes. Put in big bowl and add remaining bread cubes, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Watch your hands, it's hot. Mix well. Stuff turkey. You can also omit the sausage, increase the bread cubes to 9 C., and add a tsp. or two of salt. You can also add apples, giblets, oysters, etc. This recipe is very adaptable. When cooking extra stuffing in the oven, place in a buttered casserole dish, and place in a pan of hot water. Cover and baste with turkey drippings occasionally

Meatball Soup

Seasoned meatballs simmered in tomato and bay leaf with rice

2 lbs. ground beef
Medium onion, diced
1/2 tsp. oregano or to taste
½ clove fresh garlic, minced
Small bunch of cilantro, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 whole bay leaf
2 16 oz. cans of beef broth with 4 cans of water
1 16 oz. can of tomato, diced or 3 whole tomatoes, diced
2 C. regular rice or 2 C. instant rice pre-cooked

Take the raw meat and blend in the onion, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste. Form 24 to 30 meatballs. Brown the meat in the minced garlic. In a 4-qt. cooking pot, add the broth, water, tomatoes and the bay leaf. Add the cooked meat balls and bring to boil then reduce the temp to low heat covered for 60 minutes remove the bay leaf add the rice and cook according to the time on the package (if using instant rice add and simmer for 10 minutes). Serve with flour tortillas or cheese crisp

Meatball and Tortellini Soup

4 C. chicken stock, low sodium
1/2 C. onion, chopped
1/2 C. sweet bell pepper,(red, green and yellow), chopped
1 C. celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 C. zucchini, diced
1 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 C. Italian parsley, chopped
2 C. canned tomatoes,chopped and undrained
1 lb. frozen mini meatballs
2 tsp. season salt
1 8-oz. pkg. 3-cheese tortellini
2 Tbs. grated parmesan

Place all ingredients except meatballs, tortellini and Parmesan, in a large pot. On high heat, bring to boil, about 10 minutes. Add tortellini and meatballs and turn heat down to medium and simmer for about 10-12 minutes or until pasta and veggies are tender. Take off heat. Gently stir in 2 Tbs. parmesan cheese. Serve garnished with slices of pepperoni and fresh grated Parmesan cheese, and garlic bread.

Mushroom Meatball Soup

2 10 3/4 oz. each cans condensed cream of mushroom soup undiluted
2 2/3 C. milk
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/8-1/4 tsp. pepper
1 12 oz. pkg. frozen cooked Italian meatballs, thawed
1 4 1/2 oz. jar sliced mushrooms drained

In a large saucepan, whisk the soup, milk, oregano and pepper until blended. Add the meatballs and mushrooms. Cover and cook until heated through.

Yield: 6 servings

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Apple Caramel Cake

Real chunks of tart apples add fresh flavor to this sweet cake.

2 C. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, about 8 oz. each, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch chunks (about 3 C.)
1 C. chopped pecans

Caramel Glaze:
1/2 C. butter or margarine
1 C. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 C. milk
Softly whipped heavy cram (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13x9x2 inch baking pan. In medium size bowl, stir flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon to mix well; set aside. In large bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, beat oil, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla 3 minutes. Stir in flour mixture just until moistened; fold in apples and pecans. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake 50-55 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven’ set cake, in pan, on wire rack.

In 1 quart saucepan over medium high heat, bring butter, brown sugar, and milk to boil, stirring until sugar melts; boil 1 minute. Spoon half of glaze over arm cake, setting remainder aside; let cake stand 5 minutes.

Cut warm cake into 3x2 inch pieces; serve accompanied by remaining glaze and, if desired, whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon.

Slow Cooked Chilli

2 lb. ground beef, brown and remove grease
1 1/2 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped green pepper
2 garlic cloves finely minced
1 28 oz. can stewed or diced tomatoes, undrained
2 16 oz. cans kidney beans, 1 light, 1 dark, undrained
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cumin
2 Tbs. chili powder


After ground beef is prepared and drained, add all other ingredients and simmer for 7-10 hours. If too spicy, add a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Eggplant Mozzarella

In this low-fat, vegetarian dish, a layer of mozzarella covers lightly-breaded eggplant in a spaghetti sauce with green onion, mushroom, and cottage cheese.

1/2 C. chopped green onion
1/2 C. sliced mushrooms
1/4 C. water
2 C. spaghetti sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1 small eggplant, peeled and sliced
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1 Tbs. water
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. olive oil
1 C. low-fat cottage cheese
1 C. shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese (4 oz.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large saucepan over low heat, cook green onion and mushrooms in 1/4 C. water, until tender. Add spaghetti sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle salt over sliced eggplant; set aside to drain about 10 minutes. In a shallow bowl, beat egg white and water together. Dip eggplant in egg mixture, then into flour. In a large non-stick skillet, heat a few drops of oil over medium heat. Add eggplant slices and cook until browned, turning once; drain on paper towel. Continue until all slices are cooked. In a 13 x 9-inch casserole, spread about 1/2 C. sauce. Add a layer of eggplant, top with 1/2 C. cottage cheese and more sauce. Repeat until all ingredients are used, ending with sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Yield: 9 servings

Chicken and Cheese Casserole

This simple layered dish makes dinner a snap!

2 or more thin chicken breasts
1 C. marinara sauce
2 C. multi-cheese mozerella, romano, cheddar
1 C. bread crumbs, cornflake crumbs, or flour
1 Tbs. Italian spices

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Oil baking pan with olive oil. Put chicken breasts on bottom of pan cover with bread crumbs. Add marinara sauce and sprinkle with spices. Add cheese on top. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Haloween-Candied Apples

This is a fun, seasonal recipe that the whole family can enjoy! If they are old enough to be careful, let the kids help dip the apples into the coating.

1 1/2 C. sugar
2 tsp. vinegar
2/3-C. water
1 package cherry Kool-aid
10 apples

Mix sugar, vinegar and water. Boil until mixture reaches 300-degrees; cool. Stir in Kool-Aid. Put apples on sticks and dip into mixture quickly. 10 Servings.

Roasted Pumpkin Sead

Don't waste the seeds after cooking your pie or making jack-o-lanterns. Instead, roast and salt the seeds for a delicious and nutritious snack. Let the children slosh through the fibers in pursuit of the slippery seeds. It is so much fun.

1 qt. water
2 Tbs. salt
2 C. pumpkin seeds
1 Tbs. vegetable oil or melted, unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 250°F. Pick through seeds and remove any cut seeds. Remove as much of the stringy fibers as possible. Bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the seeds and boil for 10 minutes. Drain, spread on kitchen towel or paper towel and pat dry. Place the seeds in a bowl and toss with oil or melted butter. Spread evenly on a large cookie sheet or roasting pan. Place pan in a preheated oven and roast the seeds for 30 to 40 minutes. Stir about every 10 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Cool the seeds, then shell and eat or pack in air-tight containers or zip closure bags and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Popcorn Balls

1/4 C. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for buttering hands
1 ten oz. bag miniature marshmallows
1/4 C. light-brown sugar, firmly packed
3 qt. popped popcorn
1 C. M&Ms (optional)

Melt butter in a large heavy pot over low heat. Add marshmallows and brown sugar, and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Pour popcorn and M&Ms into pot; toss well. With buttered hands, shape into 2 1/2-inch balls. Set on parchment-lined baking sheet to dry slightly.

Yield: about 12

Spooky Cup Cake Delight

2/3 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 C. all purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. milk

12 oz. whipped topping, thawed
1/4 C. confectectors' sugar
red decorator gel, or desired color

Gummy googly eyes
Halloween sprinkles
Colored sugar


In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating after each addition. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake in 350-degree oven for 25 minutes. Let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all three ingredients and mix well. Cut the center chunk out of each cupcake and set aside. Fill cavity in cupcake with a large dollop of frosting. In the front of the cavity, stand a gummy eyeball. Decorate with halloween sprinkles and colored sugar. Cover leftovers loosely and refrigerate.

More Like This:
Halloween Crispy Marshmallow Ghosts
Halloween Rocky Road Brownies
Halloween Worms

Preparation Time
10 minutes

Cooking Time
25 minutes

Heaven and Hell Cake with Chocolate Garnache

This is a fantastically elaborate cake that everyone is sure to love! So sticky sweet and delicious and perfect for a Halloween theme party like "Angels and Devils."

Angel Food Cake:

2/3 C. cake flour
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. egg white (about seven or eight)
Pinch salt
1 tsp. cream of tartar
2/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Devils Food Cake:
1/2 C. cocoa powder
1 C. strong coffee
1/2 C. shortening
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. cake flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda

Peanut Butter Mousse:
12 oz. cream cheese
1 3/4 C. powdered sugar
2 C. peanut butter, at room temperature
3/4 C. heavy cream

Ganache (Frosting):
2 lb. milk chocolate, chopped
2 C. cream

Angel Food Cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut a circle of parchment paper or wax paper to fit the bottom of a 9" cake pan. Do not grease the pan or paper. Sift together the flour and powdered sugar and set aside. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer. Beat slowly while adding the salt and cream of tartar and continue beating for 1 minute or until soft peaks form. Increase speed to medium, add sugar into whites by Tbs. until all is incorporated, then beat about 1-1/2 minutes longer. When egg whites have stiff peaks, add vanilla and almond extract.

Remove bowl from mixer and sprinkle half of the powdered sugar-flour mixture and fold in again, using a minimum number of strokes so the egg whites do not deflate. Gently spoon the mixture into the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown. Do not over bake or the cake will sink in the center.

Devil's Food Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil and flour a round 9" cake pan. Sift the cocoa powder into the mixing bowl, then drizzle in the coffee while whisking to make a smooth paste. Set aside. (Might be more liquid than paste.)

Combine shortening, sugar, vanilla, and eggs and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Alternately add the cocoa-coffee mixture and the flour mixture to the sugar-egg mixture and continue beating until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Test for doneness.

Peanut Butter Mousse: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese until light and creamy. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar, then the peanut butter. If mixture looks lumpy, add 2 Tbs. of heavy cream. Continue beating until thoroughly incorporated and fluffy. Transfer mixture to another bowl and set aside. Place heavy cream in the electric mixer bowl and whip until stiff. Carefully, but thoroughly, combine both mixtures. Set aside.

Ganache (Frosting):
In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil and stir in the chocolate. Remove from heat, cover pan and let the chocolate melt. Whisk to combine thoroughly then let cool to room temperature.

When both cakes have cooled, carefully slice them in half horizontally with a long, serrated knife so that you now have four layers. Place one layer of the devil's food cake on a cake plate and spoon 1/3 of the peanut butter mousse on the top. Place a layer of the angel food on top of the mousse and spread with another 1/3 of the peanut butter. Continue layering until you have four layers of cake and three layers of mousse. Whisk the ganache and spread with a spatula over the top and sides to frost generously. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving. Serve chilled; slice with a warm, wet knife.

Tip: Slice thinly! It's rich!

Haloween-Spider Cake

When this cake is cut into, it spurts green goop, just like a real spider when stepped on.

1 pkg. yellow cake mix (plus ingredients required)
1 pkg. green Jell-O
1 container chocolate frosting (or black if you can find it)
8 black licorice sticks
2 big green gumdrops
6 little gumdrops

Prepare cake mix according to box instructions. Bake it up in 2 metal bowls, 1 bigger than the other. Meanwhile, prepare green Jell-O according to box instructions. Once unmolded, cut the bigger one (the "body") in half, horizontally. Carefully, scoop out an adequate cavity in each half and fill with well-whipped set green Jell-O. Reattach the halves. Frost black, arrange on serving platter. Use licorice stix as legs. Use 2 BIG green gumdrops and 6 little ones as eyes.

Halloween-Grave Diggers Cake

1 4 oz. box instant chocolate pudding
2 C. milk
6 oz. whipped topping, thawed
1 box cake mix, any flavor

Gummy skeletons
Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies
Candy corn
Jelly pumpkins
Ghosts, spiders and bats Peeps


In medium bowl, blend pudding mix, milk, and whipped topping for 2 minutes. Let chill. Make cake according to package directions. Cool for 2 hours. Frost and decorate as desired, using ingredients as suggestions.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Budget-Hamburger Cabbage Casserole

This versatile dish can be cooked in the crockpot or the oven for maximum flexibility!

2 lb. ground turkey
2 medium onion chopped
1 C. uncooked instant rice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 10 oz. cans tomato soup
1 C. water
6-8 C. shredded cabbage
1 large bell pepper
1 C. celery chopped
3 garlic cloves crushed

Cook meat and onion over medium heat 8-10 minutes until it is brown, then drain and stir in remaining ingredients. Put in Crockpot and cook on low 6-8 hours. You can also spoon into ungreased 22 qt. casserole dishes. Cover, then bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Budget-Hamburger Pie

This is always a favorite at my dinner table. This is especially good for children.

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 medium yellow onion
1 10 oz. can condensed tomato soup
1 15 oz. can cut green beans
4-6 servings of mashed potatoes
1 C. shredded cheese (Colby, cheddar, American, etc.)


Cook ground beef and onion until beef is browned and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Combine soup and green beans with cooked meat. Heat on medium/low for 10 minutes. Pour beef mixture into very large pie pan. Top with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees until cheese is melted.

Budget- Four Layer Hamburger And Marcoroni Casserole

Frozen macaroni and cheese, ground beef and taco seasoning mix make a surprise-filled casserole enhanced with sour cream, crushed tortilla chips and shredded cheddar cheese. Each layer packs lots of zesty flavor.

2 12 oz. pkg. Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese, defrosted, divided
8 oz. lean ground beef
2 Tbs. Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
2 Tbs. sour cream
1/2 C. diced tomato
1/3 C. crushed potato or tortilla chips
1/2 C. 2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine beef and seasoning mix in large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Combine one package macaroni and cheese and sour cream in medium bowl; spread over bottom of 8-inch-square baking dish. Top with beef mixture. Spread remaining package macaroni and cheese over beef mixture; top with tomato, potato chips and cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly around edges.

Budget Meal-Hamburger Rice Casserole

Special Budget Recipe
I make this hamburger rice casserole recipe on a cold wintry night; the kids love it!

1 lb. hamburger meat, cooked and drained ($3.29)
1 C. rice, uncooked ($0.70)
1 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup ($1.00)
1 medium onion, chopped ($1.39)
6 Tbs. soy sauce ($0.72)
2 Tbs. brown sugar*
4 C. boiling water*
Salt and pepper to taste*


Brown hamburger meat and chopped onion until hamburger is no longer pink and set aside. Pour boiling water over uncooked rice in a 2-3 qt. casserole dish. Add in cream of mushroom soup; stir until it is dissolved into water and rice. Next add soy sauce and brown sugar. Finally, add hamburger meat and onion and mix well. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Halloween Fun Popcorn Crunch

Take a break from the candy bars for this fabulously different snack.

8 C. popcorn
1/2 C. salted pumpkin seeds
1/2 C. dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 C. banana chips, broken into pieces
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. corn syrup
1/4 C. water
1/4 C. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

In large buttered bowl, combine first 4 ingredients; set aside. In medium saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and water; bring to a boil. Cook, covered 3 minutes. Uncover and cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches a hard, ball stage, 4-5 minutes. Add butter and vanilla; cook, stirring 1 minute. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss quickly to coat. Turn mixture out onto greased baking sheet and spread using buttered hands. Cool and break into pieces.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

GroundBeef Stroganoff with Noodles

A hearty meal for a hungry family.

1/2 C. minced onion (optional)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can (8 oz.) mushroom pieces with 1/2 of liquid reserved
1 lb. ground beef
2 Tbs. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tall can evaporated milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 (8 oz.) packages uncooked wide egg noodles
4 C. sour cream
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs. chopped chive
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 tsp. pepper (optional)
2 large cloves of garlic crushed, or equivalent dried garlic
4 Tbs. margarine or butter

Cook onion and meat until browned. Add flour, salt, pepper, mushrooms, and reserved liquid. Cook 5 minutes. Add soup and simmer 10 minutes. Add evaporated milk and heat, stirring, until heated through. Serve over plain Noodles Romanoff. Cook egg noodles as directed on package. Drain. Mix sour cream, half of Parmesan cheese, chives, salt, pepper, and garlic together in bowl and set aside. Stir margarine into noodles. Stir in sour cream mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Serve from pan or platter.

Beef Storganoff Casserole

This savory beef dish has been a family favorite for many years…and with good reason!

1 lb. Ground beef
1 can Cream of mushroom soup; condensed
8 oz. Sour cream
1 can (small) black olives; sliced
1 can (small) mushroom stems and pieces
12 oz. Egg noodles

Cook egg noodles according to directions and set aside. Cook ground beef until it is no longer pink. Drain off grease. Add soup, sour cream, olives, mushrooms, and noodles and cook until heated through.

ThymeBeef Stroganoff

This easy, crockpot beef is creamy and flavorful.

2 lb. beef round steak, trimmed fat
1/2 lb. fresh white mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch scallions, choped
1 medium onion, sliced
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
3/4 C. dry sherry
3/4 C. homemade or canned beef broth
3/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp garlic pepper
1 1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. quick-mixing flour, such as Wondra

Cut the beef into thin slices across the grain. Place in your electric slow cooker. Add the mushrooms, scallions, onion, thyme, sherry, broth, dry mustard, and garlic pepper. Mix well. Cover and cook on the low heat setting about 8 hrs, or until the beef is tender, stirring once, if possible. Increase the heat setting to high. Mix together the sour cream and flour until thoroughly blended. Stir a little of the hot liquid from the slow cooker into the sour cream mixture; then stir the sour cream mixture into the slow cooker, mixing well. Cover and cook on high 30 to 40 mins, or until thickened slightly

Friday, October 10, 2008

Florentine Ravioli

1 20-ounce package frozen cheese ravioli or tortellini (4 cups)
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 16-ounce bag frozen chopped or whole-leaf spinach
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; cook ravioli (or tortellini) according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add salt, crushed red pepper to taste, spinach and water. Cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach has thawed, wilted and heated through, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Divide among 4 bowls, top with the pasta and drizzle 1 teaspoon of the remaining oil over each portion. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of Parmesan.


Fettuccinne with Shitake Mushroom and Basil

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (1 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine or spaghetti
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil for cooking pasta.

2. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

3. Meanwhile, cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 9 to 11 minutes or according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

4. Add the pasta, the reserved cooking liquid, Parmesan and 1/4 cup basil to the mushrooms in the skillet; toss to coat well. Serve immediately, garnished with remaining basil.


Athenian Pasta Primavera

2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 medium zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound whole-wheat penne
1 1/2 cups baby peas (if frozen, rinse under warm water and drain)
1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 ounces)
1 pack of penne noodles

1. Put a large pot of water on to boil.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Add bell pepper and zucchini to the onion. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are just beginning to soften, 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, 1 minute more. Stir in wine and pepper; simmer until most of the wine has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, cook penne in the boiling water according to the package directions, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot.

5. Stir the reserved cooking liquid and the vegetables into the pasta along with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, peas, mint and feta.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

White Chicken Chilli

This dish uses hot pepper sauce made from jalapeños; it's milder than the red hot pepper varieties. Stirring frequently toward the end of cooking time prevents the bean-thickened broth from sticking to the bottom and scorching.

2 tsp. olive oil
1 1/2 C. chopped onion, about 1 large
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 C. fat-free, less-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
5 tsp. green hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/4 lb. ground chicken or turkey
2 Tbs. stone-ground cornmeal
1 19 oz. can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained


Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic to pan; cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Add broth, hot pepper sauce, salt, and chicken/turkey to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes. Add cornmeal and beans to broth mixture, stirring with a whisk; simmer 15 minutes. Mash about 1/4 cup beans against side of pan; simmer 5 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring frequently.

Spicy Chicken Chilli

Easy delicious chili with only a few ingredients.

1 48-oz. jar Great Northern Beans
1 16-oz. jar salsa (mild, medium, or hot depending on taste)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 8-oz. pkg. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 8-oz. pkg. jalapeño cheese, cubed
1 C. water


Add all ingredients to a large pot, heat over low heat until cheeses melt. Stir in water for desired consistency (no more than 1 cup); heat until warmed through.

Chipotle Steak Chilli

1 1/2 lbs. beef shoulder top boneless blade steaks or flat iron steaks (I use top sirloin)
1 Tbs. canola oil
2 C. chopped onions
1 C. chopped green sweet peppers
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 oz. cans kidney beans or pinto beans or black beans, rinsed and drained (I mixed kidney and pintos)
1-2 tsp. chopped chipotle chilies in adobo
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 C. water
4 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
12 tsp. black pepper
shredded cheddar cheese optional
sour cream optional
chopped onions or scallions optional
avocados, slices optional


Cut beef into 34 cubes. In a 4 quart Dutch oven, brown meat, half at a time, in 1 Tbs. hot cooking oil. Remove meat, reserving drippings in pan. Cook onion, sweet pepper and garlic in drippings until tender drain fat. Return meat to Dutch oven. Stir in chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce. Stir in beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, chili powder, basil and black pepper. Bring to boiling reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 1 hour or until the meat is tender.

Cincinnati Chilli

2 lb. ground beef cooked, seasoned with onions and garlic to taste
2 (15 oz.) cans tomatoes or tomato sauce (I use tomatoes)
5 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. red pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
up to 4 Tbs. chili powder (to taste)
1/2 oz. bitter chocolate
2 Tbs. vinegar
1 bay leaf
5 pieces of cloves
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
optional: kidney beans

Throw it all in the crock pot and cook all day. Easy!

Crockpot Chunky Pork And Sausage Chilli

This hearty southwestern stew is chunky with pork, sausage, and beans.

1 lb. boneless pork country-style ribs, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 lb. fully cooked smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 C. beer (room temperature), or water
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in 4-qt. slow cooker; mix gently. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8-10 hours until pork is tender.

Tips: Serve from the slow cooker directly over hot cooked rice, with cornbread or with corn tortillas, and accompany with celery and carrot sticks. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Crockpot Stuff Apples

A great way to use up apples in the fall after a visit to the apple orchard, this recipe is yummy for dessert or a snack.

6 medium tart red apples
1 C. light brown sugar
1/4 C. golden seedless raisins
1/4 C. soft butter
2 C. very hot water
3 Tbs. orange juice, concentrate

Wash, core and stem the apples, but don't peel them. Stand them in a buttered mold and stuff them with 2/3 C. of the brown sugar, and the raisins. Fill the tops of the core cavities with butter and sprinkle the remaining sugar over the tops. Place the mold in the slow cooker and pour the hot water into the cooker (not in the mold). Sprinkle the orange juice concentrate over the apples. Cover and cook on low for 3-5 hours, or until the apples are tender.

Fruity Chicken Salad

This is a yummy and healthy salad.

3 C. chopped cooked chicken breast
3/4 C. chopped celery
l/3 C. seedless red grapes, halved
l 20-oz. can pineapple chunks in juice, drained
l/4 C. chopped pecans
l/2 C. reduced-fat mayonnaise type salad dressing
l/4 tsp. salt
lettuce leaves (optional)
freshly ground pepper (optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, tossing well. Add salad dressing and salt, stirring gently until well-blended. Cover and chill. If desired, serve on lettuce-lined plates and sprinkle with pepper.

Sweet and Chunky Chicken Salad

A sweet, but healthy chicken salad. The sweet secret is dried cranberries. Awesome on homemade bread or on crackers simply spread cream cheese on the bread or crackers, and top with chicken salad.

1 10 oz. can chunk chicken, drained
2 Tbs. mayonnaise
1/8 C. chopped dill pickle
1/8 C. chopped onion
2 Tbs. sunflower seeds
1/4 C. dried cranberries

Without breaking up large chicken pieces, empty canned chicken into medium bowl. Stir in mayonnaise, pickle, onion, sunflower seeds, and cranberries; mix until well blended and very large chicken chunks are broken up.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

SnowPea with Wild Mushroom and Ginger

Excellent side dish, especially if you can find a variety of wild mushrooms.

1/2 tsp. canola or sesame oil
3 C. mushrooms, mixed (shiitake, chanterelles, oyster, etc.), sliced
2 Tbs. ginger root, peeled and sliced into 1/2" match sticks
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1/2 tsp. cardamom, ground
1 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. soy sauce, low-sodium
3 C. snow peas, fresh or frozen
15 oz. canned baby corn

Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add oil. Sauté mushrooms, ginger root, ginger powder, and cardamom for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dissolve cornstarch in vinegar and soy sauce. Add cornstarch mixture, snow peas and baby corn to sauté. Heat 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve. Don't over-cook the vegetables.

Low Fat Kung Pau Chicken

This dish is a great week night dish to make for those pressed for time. The measure of spices in this recipe make fore a medium hot dish, which of course, can be adjusted for a more mild or fiery dish.

1 lb. chicken breasts without skin, cut in 1" pieces
1 Tbs. cornstarch
2 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbs. wine vinegar
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1/3 C. unsalted peanuts
4 C. hot cooked rice

Combine the chicken and cornstarch in a small bowl. Toss to coat evenly. Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium high heat. Add chicken and stir fry 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink in the center. Transfer to a small plate. Add onions, garlic, red pepper, and ginger to pan. Stir fry for 15 seconds. Remove from the heat. Stir together vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in small bowl. Pour over green onion mixture. Add chicken and the peanuts. Heat through until sauce glazes and adheres to the chicken. Serve over hot rice.

Easy Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

3 large sweet potatoes
1 lb. ground turkey
1 onion
1 can of corn
"I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray
Skim milk
Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake sweet potatoes until soft all the way through. Brown turkey with chopped onion then drain any fat. Peel the sweet potatoes, then spray with "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray. Add a little milk, then mash. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. In casserole dish, layer turkey, then corn, then potatoes. Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Zuchinni Crust Pizza

With zucchini baked into the crust topped off with a light sprinkle of veggies and cheese, this is a nutritious and delicious meal.

3 C. shredded zucchini
3/4 C. egg substitute
1/3 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 small tomatoes halved and thinly sliced
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. julienned green pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

In a bowl combine zucchini and egg; mix well. Add flour and salt; stir well. Spread on to the bottom of a 12 inch pizza pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Sprinkle with mozzarella, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, oregano, basil and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until onion is tender and cheese is melted.

Chicken Pasta with Tomato Sauce

For this recipe, you can use any pasta you'd like, but I recommend bucatini. It's a long, wide spaghetti shape that is hollow through the middle. It's great for trapping sauce!

1/2 pkg. bucatini pasta
1 chicken breast
1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped
1 C. grated Parmesan
2 C. frozen broccoli, defrosted

1 large can chopped or crushed tomatoes
1/4 C. red wine
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano


Cook bucatini according to package directions, drain and set aside.

To make the sauce, add tomatoes and their juice, red wine, salt, pepper and oregano into a large saucepan. Heat on medium-high until bubbly and slightly reduced. The sauce should thicken a bit - about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, salt and pepper the chicken breast and cook in a small fry pan in about 1 Tbs. olive oil until done - about 5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness.

When chicken is done, dice into small pieces. When all components are ready, combine in a large pot. Add half of the Parmesan and stir to combine. Add the rest of the Parmesan to finish and garnish with some small basil leaves

Quick Vegetables Pasta Soup

This is an excellent recipe to use up leftover broth from a roast – it makes it extra-flavorful.

1 quart beef broth (left from the roast combined with water or add canned broth if necessary)
1 C. tomato sauce
1/2 C. minced onion
1 C. cabbage
2 C. mixed vegetables of your choice
1/2 tsp. dried basil, thyme or oregano (or mixed)
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. uncooked small pasta shells or noodles
1 C. leftover shredded or cubed roast beef

In a large pan bring everything but the pasta or noodles to a boil. Add pasta and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Add meat and heat through. This is good with garlic bread. This can easily be put in a crockpot on low around lunch time and be ready by supper. Save the noodles or pasta out until the last 1/2 hour.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Banana Spice Cake

This sugar-free cake has fabulous banana and almond flavor with cinnamon and cloves.

1/2 C. butter (1 stick) softened at room temperature
1/2 C. cream cheese (full fat), softened
1 C. granulated Splenda
1/2 C. Diabetisweet
1 tsp. Brown SugarTwin
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 C. almond flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. sugar free banana extract
1 tsp. sugar free vanilla extract

Cream butter, cream cheese, and sweeteners well. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Mix almond flour with baking powder and spices. Add egg to mixture a little at a time while beating. Add banana and vanilla extracts. Pour into greased 9-10" Springform pan (or 9" round cake pan) and bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

Strawberry Banana Split Cake

Who can resist a sweet blend of strawberries, pineapple, and banana on a sweet, graham cracker crust?

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C. butter or margarine, melted
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter or margarine, softened
2 C. confectioners sugar
1 Tbs. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large firm bananas, cut into 14inch slices
2 8 oz. cans crushed pineapple, drained
2 qts. fresh strawberries, sliced
2 C. whipping cream
1/4 C. confectioners sugar
1 1/2 C. chopped walnuts

Combine the crumbs, butter and sugar and press into an ungreased 13 X 9 X 2 in. dish. Chill for 1 hour. In a mixing bowl, cream butter, confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla. Spread over crust chill for 30 minutes. Layer with bananas, pineapple and strawberries. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add confectioner's sugar beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over fruit. Sprinkle with nuts. Chill until serving.

Fiesta Banana Cake

Moist and dense, this is a subtly flavored cake with delicious walnut crunch. Perfect for your next fiesta!

1/2 C. shortening
2 C. cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/3 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. sour milk
1 C. mashed ripe bananas
2 eggs, unbeaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. chopped black walnuts

Soften shortening in large mixing bowl. Sift flour, soda, baking powder, salt and sugar together. Add dry ingredients to softened shortening. Add 1/4 C. sour milk and mashed bananas to all ingredients and mix until flour is dampened. Beat for 2 minutes at low speed of mixer. Add eggs, vanilla and remaining milk. Add nuts and beat 1 minute longer. Pour into two greased and floured 8 inch round cake pans or one 13x9x2 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Ice with caramel icing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Salmon Burger

These make a great alternative to the boring beef burger.

14 3/4 oz. can salmon, drained
1 C. toasted wheat germ
1/3 C. sliced green onions
3 egg whites
4 Tbs. water
2 Tbs. fat-free mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce, as desired
1 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil
5 whole-wheat hamburger buns
1 medium size ripe avocado, sliced
1 medium tomato, sliced
1 C. spinach leaves, rinsed, well-drained


In medium bowl, combine salmon, 1/2 C. wheat germ and green onions. In small bowl, beat together 2 egg whites, 2 Tbs. water, mayonnaise, salt and hot pepper sauce; add to salmon mixture, mixing well. Shape into 5 patties, each about 1-inch thick. In shallow dish, place remaining half-C. wheat germ. In second shallow dish, beat remaining egg white with remaining 2 Tbs. water until frothy. Dip salmon patties, one at a time, into wheat germ, then into egg white mixture, then again into wheat germ. In large nonstick skillet, heat oil. Cook patties over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and heated through. Serve patties on buns with avocado, tomato slices and spinach.

Salmon with Potatoes

This crockpot recipe slow-cooks the creamy salmon mixture so you don't have to worry about it.

4 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
3 Tbs. flour
salt and pepper
1 can (16 oz.) salmon, drained and flaked
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
1/4 C. water

Place half of the potatoes in greased slow cooker/ crock Pot. Sprinkle with half of the flour, salt and pepper. Cover with half the salmon; sprinklr with half of the onion. Repear layers in order. Combine soup, and water. Pour over potato- salmon mixture. Dust with nutmeg. Cover and cook on low for 7-10 hours.

Quick Bake Salmon

This delicious baked dish is made easy with prepared sun-dried vinaigrette dressing.

4 salmon fillets (4 oz. each)
2 C. chopped fresh spinach
1 C. sliced mushrooms
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/3 C. Kraft Special Collection Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing

Place salmon fillets, skin sides down, in 13x9-in. baking dish sprayed with no stick cooking spray. Mix remaining ingredients until well blended; spoon over salmon. Bake at 375 F for 20 to 25 minutes or until salmon flakes easily when tested with fork.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mapple Apple Crisp

A little maple flavoring gives a great twist to apple cobbler.

5 apples - peeled, cored, and sliced
3/4 C. maple syrup
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. rolled oats
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1/2 C. butter or margarine; softened

Preheat oven to 375. Place apples in an 8x8" baking dish. Toss apples with syrup. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, oats, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over apples. Bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes, until topping is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Real And Healthy Chinese Cooking-DIY

Fall-Oatmeal Apple Crisp

Fall recipe served warm with vanilla ice cream for a special treat!

4 C. flour
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. oatmeal
3/4 lb. butter or margarine, at room temperature
12 apples
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 C. cornstarch
1 1/2 C. cold water
1 1/2 C. sugar


Peel apples and slice into wedges and sprinkle with cinnamon.

In sauce pan combine cornstarch, cold water, and sugar. Heat on medium high heat to a boil stirring continually. Mixture will become a thick syrup. Remove from heat.

Mix flour, brown sugar, oatmeal and shortening together by hand. Press half of mixture in bottom of 10X12 greased pan. Place apples evenly on top. Pour syrup over apples. Then top with remaining oatmeal mixture to make crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Indian Curry Chicken with Coconut

Ghee is a clarified butter popularly used in India to give a dish great flavor and aroma.

6-7 chicken breast fillets
60g (2oz.) ghee

Coconut Curry Sauce:
30g (1oz) ghee
2 onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 stem lemon grass, chopped finely
2-3 small red chilies, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cardamom
2 tsp. curry powder
340ml can coconut milk

Melt ghee in pan, add chicken, fry gently until golden brown and tender; drain, slice. Serve topped with coconut curry sauce. For sauce, melt ghee in pan, add onions, garlic and lemon grass, sauté until onions are soft. Add chilies, cinnamon, cardamom and curry. Cook, stirring, about a minute. Stir in coconut milk and simmer, uncovered 5 minutes. Remove from heat, blend or process until smooth, strain and reheat

Creamy Ranch Potatoes

The perfect side dish that everyone loves. So easy to throw together and always a favorite.

2 lb. small red potatoes, quartered
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 envelope dry ranch dressing mix
1 can condensed cream of potato soup

Place potatoes in a 3 1/2-quart crockpot. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and ranch dressing mix. Stir in soup. Add to potatoes. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours or on high for 3 1/2-4 1/2 hours. Stir to blend before serving.

Million Dollars Sauteed Mushrooms

These mushrooms will become a favorite. They are tender and tangy and go great with any grilled meat or burgers!

2 pkgs. sliced mushrooms
1/4 C. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs. butter or margarine
1 grind black pepper
1/2 sm. shallot, minced


Place mushrooms in skillet with a tablespoon of water and cover and cook through. Remove water from pan and add remaining ingredients and cook until shallots are translucent.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Honey Mustard Meatloaf

With a little honey and a dash of Dijon mustard, this meatloaf will taste like no ordinary meatloaf.

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground meat
1/3 C. dry bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 tsp. basil leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 Tbs. Dijon style mustard
3 Tbs. honey
2 Tbs. green onions - chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Combine ground meat, bread crumbs, onions, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir in eggs, mixing lightly, but thoroughly. Shape into loaf. Place loaf in baking pan, or on a baking sheet (with sides).Combine honey and mustard, brush half of the mixture on loaf. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Brush with remaining honey and mustard mixture. Bake for 20 to 30 more minutes.

Super Spiral Spinach Meatloaf

1 1/2 - 2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground bulk sausage
1 egg slightly beaten
1/2 C. finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 - 1/2 C. seasoned bread crumbs
splash of EVOO and worcestershire sauce
chicken broth as needed for moisture
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
1/8 tsp. dried rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
1 can spinach (or one carton frozen and thawed)
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese


In a large bowl, combine all ingredients up to the spinach. Blend well. (Using clean hands works best.) Lightly dampen workspace and put down 2 sheets of wax paper to make a space appx. 19x16-inches. Spray wax paper with cooking oil spray. Place meat mixture onto wax paper and spread out to make a rectangle a little smaller than the wax paper. After getting it evenly spread, place sliced pieces of mozzarella and drained spinach all over. Start from the end towards you and using the wax paper start rolling in jelly roll style. When you get to the end, tightly seal all edges together. Place seam side down in a greased 9x13-inch baking pan. Cook in a preheated 375-degree oven for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees for the rest of the cooking time: 35 -45 more minutes. Let rest before cutting.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fast Never Fruit Cobbler

A quick, easy cobbler made with your favorite canned fruit for homemade taste any time.

1 lg. can peaches, undrained (may substitute with any canned fruit)
1 stick butter
1 C. milk
1 C. sugar
1 C. flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While oven is heating, melt one stick of butter in an 11x19-inch baking pan in oven. In a large bowl, combine sugar and flour. Add milk. Stir until smooth. Pour over melted butter in pan. Spoon peaches over top of batter. Top with remaining juice. Bake at 350 until golden and bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream or your favorite topping.

Marvelous Mini Meatloaf

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 6-oz. pkg. stuffing mix (Stove Top works well)
1 C. water

Choose ONE seasoning package from the following list:
1. 1 tsp. Italian seasonings, 3/4 C. spaghetti sauce, 3/4 C. mozzarella cheese
2. 2 tsp. chili powder, 3/4 C. salsa, 3/4 C. shredded cheese (mexican mixture)
3. 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves, 3/4 C. chopped roasted red pepper, 3/4 C. crumbled feta.
4. 1 tsp. garlic powder, 3/4 C. BBQ sauce, 3/4 C. shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix together meat, stuffing mix, water, and your chosen seasoning until blended well.
3. Fill 12 greased muffin cups and make an indentation in the center of each with a spoon.
4. Spoon in the rest of your chosen add-ins into the indentations.
5. Bake for around 30 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
6. Top with remaining cheese and continue baking until cheese is just melted.

Garlic Chicken

This simple chicken dish paired with a green vegetable or large salad make a healthy, well-balance meal.

3-5 tsp. garlic paste (in a tube)
2/3 C. low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 tsp. olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
2 Tbs. flour
1 Tbs. butter
1/4 C. snipped chives

In small bowl, whisk garlic paste, broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper; set aside. In large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Add chicken to pan and sauté 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer chicken to plate. Whisk garlic mixture to combine and pour into skillet. Bring to a boil and return chicken to pan. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add butter and chives to sauce. Spoon sauce over chicken when serving.

Salsa Swiss Steak

A savory meal that is made in a crockpot. Takes about 8-10 hours to prepare.

2 tsp. oil
1 1/2 lbs. top round steak, cut into 5 pieces
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 medium onion - halved and sliced
1/2 medium green pepper - cut into strips
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 C. thick and chunky salsa

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Place steak in skillet; cook 4 to 6 minutes or until well browned, turning once. Transfer steak to 4- to 6-quart crockpot. Top with onion and bell pepper. In same skillet, combine soup and salsa; mix well. Pour over vegetables and steak. Cover; cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Remove steak pieces from crockpot; place on serving platter. Stir sauce well. Serve sauce with steak.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day-Water Melon Minty Cooler

A twist of mint and a dash of cinnamon give this blender melon treat a unique flavor.

6 C. cubed watermelon, frozen
1 C. fresh mint leaves
1 C. boiling water
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 C. milk

Freeze watermelon cubes 1-2 hours. Add boiling water to mint leaves and steep 10 minutes. Discard leaves and chill water 1-2 hours. Combine frozen watermelon and mint liquid in blender with remaining ingredients. Process 15 seconds until smooth.

Labor Day-Watermelon Smoothie

This is a very quick way to enjoy a smoothie in the summer. It's refreshing and keeps you cool through the summer.

1 C. cut up seedless watermelon
1 or 2 Tbs. sugar
Ice cubes


Combine watermelon, sugar and ice in blender and blend until smooth or well blended. Serve it up in glasses.

Labor Day-Three Beans Salad

With green, yellow wax, and kidney beans, this filling salad is also quite pretty.

2 C. green beans
2 C. yellow wax beans
2 C. kidney beans
1 medium onion, sliced thin
¼ C. chopped green pepper
2 Tbs. parsley leaves
1 tsp. celery seed

1 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. pepper
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
2/3 C. white vinegar

Toss together in large bowl and pour the following dressing over all. Heat together in saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Mix with beans and refrigerate until serving time. This will keep in refrigerator at least a week.

Labor Day-Cherry Tomato Salad

If you are lover of those sweet and tiny cherry tomatoes then you will love making and tasting this salad. This is great for a barbecue or a light lunch.

1/3 C. light or regular mayonnaise
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 C. red onions, very thinly sliced, then halved
2 Tbs. minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar and mustard in a salad bowl. Add the tomatoes, onions and parsley, then toss well. Season to taste.

20 Minutes Chicken Parmesan

A delicious, lightly-breaded Parmesan chicken without all the fuss.

8 each Chicken breast halves
1 Egg
1/2 C. Bread crumbs
2 tbs. Butter
1 3/4 C. Spaghetti sauce
1/2 C. Mozzarella cheese
1 tbs. Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. Parsley

Remove the skin from chicken breasts. Slightly beat the eggs. Shred the mozzarella cheese. Grate the Parmesan cheese. Chop the parsley. Using palm of hand flatten chicken to even thickness. Dip chicken into egg then into crumbs to coat. In skillet over medium heat, in hot margarine, brown chicken on both sides. Add spaghetti sauce. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheeses and parsley. Cover, simmer for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Tomato Chicken Parmesan

This quick, delicious Italian breaded chicken is smothered with cheese and served on a tomato-based pasta sauce.

2 eggs, beaten
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
7 oz. seasoned bread crumbs
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
12 oz. pasta sauce
6 slices Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190 degrees C). Pour beaten eggs into a shallow dish or bowl. In another shallow dish or bowl, mix together the grated Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Dip chicken breasts into beaten egg, then into bread crumb mixture to coat.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add coated chicken and saute for about 8-10 minutes each side, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Pour tomato sauce into a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Add chicken, then place a slice of Monterey Jack cheese over each breast, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is completely melted.

Almost Parmesan Chicken

Without the breading, this easy version is much lighter in calories.

4 skinless and boneless chicken breast halves Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
4 slices mozzarella
1-1/2 C. spaghetti sauce
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Lay the chicken breast halves in a baking pan and season with salt, pepper and oregano. Cover the chicken with the mozzarella slices. Pour the spaghetti sauce over the cheese, sprinkle with Parmesan, cover loosely with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the cover and slide under the broiler to brown the top.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sweet Simmered Beef With Onions

This Japanese recipe has a rich and complex sauce with fried rice.

1 1/2 C. (2 rice cooker C.) short-grain or medium-grain white rice
2 C. dashi stock (fish stock)
2 Tbs. sake
3 Tbs. mirin
1 1/2 Tbs. sugar
1 medium onion, peeled, cut into thin wedges
7 oz. sirloin beef, sliced thin across the grain
3 Tbs. shoyu (soy sauce)
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Rinse the rice in several changes of cold water until the water is clear. In a bowl, combine rice with 1 3/4 C. cold water (2 1/2 rice cooker C.). Soak the rice for 1 hour. Cook the rice in its soaking water in a rice cooker or a pot with a heavy bottom. When the rice is ready, combine the dashi, sake and mirin in a medium skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook until it is soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the beef strips and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shoyu and cook 2-3 minutes more. Pour the eggs over the beef and onion and cook, covered, 1-2 minutes. Divide the cooked rice among large serving bowls and top with the beef, onion and egg mixture. Pour a generous amount of the remaining cooking broth over each serving. Serve the dish with chopsticks and a spoon.

Coconut Brownies

Spice up your normal brownie recipe with the addition of some flaked coconut.

1/2 C. butter
2 C. sugar
4 eggs
3 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 C. sifted flour
1/2 C. cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. flaked coconut
1/2 C. chocolate chips
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 C. chopped walnuts, optional

Melt butter over low heat, then remove. Add 2 C. sugar. Beat. Add eggs and vanilla. Blend. Add flour, cocoa, salt. Mix. Stir in coconut. Pour into greased 9X13 pan. Sprinkle remaining ingredients over top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool in pan and cut into bars. Do not overcook! The coconut in this recipe makes them nice and moist.

Pineapple Chicken

Rice and chicken dish that's sweet and yummy! It looks great and is very colorful and easy to make. I was playing around with pineapple and chicken and came up with this, it has all of my favorite items in it.

1 box instant five-minute rice
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
equal parts of olive oil & butter
salt & pepper to taste
1 red onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1-2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
2 large cans pineapple chunks
pineapple juice

Prepare rice according to box directions. In a large skillet add butter and olive oil. Salt and pepper chicken to taste, add to pan, and cook chicken until done and golden brown. In the meantime, prepare your other ingredients, by dicing them. In a different large skillet add butter and oil to the pan for the veggies. Add the veggies and cook, add pineapple and juice to veggies while they are still a bit crunchy.
Mix together a rue of pineapple juice & cornstarch to thicken the sauce, and add to veggies. Serve rice and chicken side by side, and place sauce over both or either side.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Zucchini Casserole

With shredded carrots and onions, this zucchini casserole is rich and satisfying.

4 to 6 C. zucchini, cubed and cooked
¾ C. shredded carrots
½ C. chopped onions
6 Tbs. butter
2 ½ C. Cheddar cheese croutons
1 (10 ¾ oz.) can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
½ C. sour cream

Cook zucchini and drain. Sauté carrots and onions in 4 Tbs. butter until tender. Remove from heat; stir in 1 ½ C. croutons, soup and sour cream. Gently stir in zucchini. Pour into 1 ½ quart casserole. Melt remaining butter and stir in remaining croutons; toss gently. Top the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Black Rasperry Cream Pie


1 purchased 9-inch graham cracker crumb pie shell
1 egg white, beaten
1 cup whipping cream
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 10-oz. jar black raspberry spread
Fresh black raspberries, lemon peel twist, and/or mint leaves (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush pie shell with beaten egg white. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

2. In a medium mixing bowl beat whipping cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Add black raspberry spread. Beat on low speed just until combined. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon mixture into pie shell. Cover and freeze for 4 to 24 hours or until firm. Garnish with fresh black raspberries, lemon peel twist, and/or mint. Makes 8 servings.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mango Medley Madness

The ingredients list may seem odd, but somehow they go together wonderfully and create a beautiful looking and delicious fruit salad that is truly refreshing.

5 mango, peeled and diced
6 fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 C. blackberries
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced

Combine mangos, strawberries, and blackberries in a bowl. Toss with cilantro and lime. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Chicken Taco Salad

This healthy salad is a Weight Watchers recipes, which means it's good for the diet and filling for the stomach.

4 serving olive oil cooking spray (5 one-second sprays per serving)
8 medium corn tortilla(s), cut into 4 wedges each
1/2 tsp. table salt
4 C. romaine lettuce, shredded
1 lb. cooked, skinless chicken breast, shredded
1 C. tomatoes, diced
1/2 C. shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese
1/2 C. fat-free sour cream
1/4 C. salsa
1/2 tsp. ground cumin, or Adobo seasoning
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange tortillas on baking sheet; spray tortillas with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Arrange tortillas in bottom and up sides of 4 salad bowls. Place 1/4 of lettuce, chicken, tomatoes and cheese in each bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, salsa, cumin and pepper sauce. Drizzle about 3 Tbs. dressing over each salad.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

No Bake Peanut Butter pie

A delicious frozen dessert could not be easier.

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 1/2 C. confectioners' sugar
1 C. peanut butter
1 C. milk
1 (16 oz.) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts

Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into two 9 inch graham cracker pie shells. Cover and freeze until firm.