I have been married to a wonderful Christian man since 1976. The Lord has blessed us with two daughters and two sons. I consider each day the Lord gives me on the earth yet another chance to serve Him.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Onion Rings

These are crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside with a great flavor. They are a little time consuming, but well worth the effort.


ONION RINGS (serves 4)

Ingredients:
*1 large onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon paprika
*1 teaspoon garlic powder
*1 teaspoon seasoned salt
*1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
*1 egg
*1 cup butter milk
*1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
*1-2 cups Panko crumbs
*1 quart oil, for frying

Directions:
~Heat the oil in a deep-fryer (or large frying pan, cast iron is best).
~Separate the onions into rings, and set aside.
~Ground up panko crumbs in a blender, or food processor.
~In a paper bag (or a bowl with a cover), put flour, baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, & cayenne pepper. Close bag and shake, mixing all ingredients.
~Dip the onion slices into the flour mixture until they are coated; set aside.
~Whisk the egg, buttermilk & seasoned salt into a medium bowl.
~Add flour mixture (that is in bag) to the egg/milk mixture, using a fork to mix.
~Dip the onion rings into the batter, coating entire onion.
~Place onion ring on a wire rack (I keep paper towel under rack) to drain until the batter stops dripping.
~Dip in four mixture again.
~Dip in egg wash again.
~Place onion ring on wire rack again, until batter stops dripping.
~Spread the bread crumbs out on a cookie sheet. (I only put half of the bread crumbs on the plate. Once those get pretty gooey, I throw those out and use the rest of the dry ones)
~Place the onion rings one at a time into the Panko crumbs, scoop the crumbs up over the topto the onion to coat.
~Give the onion rings a tap to remove the excess crumbs.
~Fry the onion rings a few at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
~Place on paper towels to drain.
~Season with a shake of seasoning salt, if necessary.


Variation:
`Substitute Pano crumbs for Italian bread crumbs.
`Substitute onion for sliced zucchini.
`Substitute onion for whole dill pickles.
`Add the same seasonings you are adding to the flour, to the butter too.
`Bake onion rings instead of frying (not as good, but better for you). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place them on a cookie sheet. Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil on them. Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for another 10 minutes.

Helpful Hint:
Heat oven to 200. When onion rings come out the of the oil, place on a papertowel lined cookie sheet. Place cooked onion rings in oven. This will keep them warm while you are make the rest of the onion rings.


DIPPING SAUCE


Ingredients:
*1/2 cup mayonnaise
*1 tablespoon ketchup
*2 tablespoons horseradish sauce (cream style is best)
*1/2 teaspoon paprika
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:
~In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients.
~Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. If you don't it will taste more mayonnaise than the yummy dipping sauce.

Variation:
`Substitute mayonnaise for sour cream..

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Soup is such an easy dinner to make. It doesn't take long to make. Make some homemade bread to go with it and it makes for one yummy comfort food dinner.


CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP (serves 8-10)

Ingredients:
*2 teaspoons butter
*1 cup carrots, sliced thin
*1 cup celery, chopped
*1 cup onion, chopped
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*12 cups chicken stock
*1 teaspoon pepper
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*3/4 teaspoon sage
*1 bay leaf
*1/8 teaspoon thyme
*1/4 teaspoon dried basil
*1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
*1 teaspoon dried parley
*2 1/2 cups wide egg noodles (I use homemade egg noodles.  It has been posted on my blog)
*3 cups chicken, shredded or cubed

Directions:
~In a dutch oven or large saucepan, melt butter.
~Add carrots, celery, onions, & garlic. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
~Add the stock & seasonings.
~Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
~Stir in chicken & noodles
~Simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until noodles are tender


Variations:
`add 1 cup zucchini or yellow squash, chopped

Helpful Hint: If the soup is not as thick as you like it; in a small bowl mix 1/4 cup water to 1/3 cup cornstarch. Stir until completely dissolved. Gradually add to soup, stirring constantly, until soup thickens.

If soup gets to thick add 1/2 cup more of chicken stock.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chicken Stock




I love making my own stock, I have control over how much salt is in it and it tastes so much better than store bought. It makes for a great chicken noodle soup base or anything else that calls for chicken stock or broth and it freezes well.


CHICKEN STOCK

Ingredients:
*1 whole chicken (I cut it up, but you don't have to, include gizzards & livers)
*1 large onion, peeled & quartered
*4 stalks celery, cut in half, include leaves
*2 large carrots cut in fourths
*1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon pepper
*1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
*1 bay leaf
*12-14 cups water

Directions:
~Place chicken pieces, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, water, & seasonings in a large pot or dutch oven.
~Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours
~Remove chicken, set aside. (Use chicken for soups, pot pies, enchiladas, chicken salad, etc.).
~Remove vegetables, discard.
~Strain stock.
~Skim fat off the surface.

Helpful Hint: To make a clear soup, you may want to clarify the stock. To do this: In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup cold water, 1 egg white, and crushed eggshell (yes, you read that right). Add strained stock, and bring it to a boil. Remove from heat, let stand for about 5 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth.

You can freeze left over stock. Put 2 cups of stock in a zip-lock sandwich bag, and seal. Lay it flat on a cookie sheet. Once it is frozen, put all the sandwich bags into a gallon size bag and return to freezer.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tender Fried Pork Chops

I love pork chops, but only when they are tender and juicy. The trick to keeping them juicy is, don't let the chicken stock run dry.


Tender Fried Pork Chops (serves 4)

Ingredients:
*4 center cut or butterfly pork chops
*1/2 teaspoon sea salt
*1/2 teaspoon pepper
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/2 teaspoon onion powder
*1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
*2 cup chicken stock
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)


Directions:

~In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, & cayenne pepper
~Rub in on both sides of pork chops.
~Let marinate for 10-20 minutes.
~Heat up olive oil in a large frying pan, over med-high heat.
~Place all four pork chops into pan.
~Cook both sides until golden brown.
~Turn down heat to low and add a small amount of chicken stock, and cover.
~Add water/chicken stock whenever pan is starting to get dry. (you may not use all of the chicken stock)
~Cook about 30-40 minutes or until tender.
~Throw your mushrooms in the pan the last 10 minutes, along with a the little bit of chicken stock


Variation:
`Substitute chicken stock for water
`Substitute chicken stock for wine.
`Substitute mushrooms for 1 quart of raspberries. (let them cook down to a sauce and put over cooked pork chops)
`Brown pork chops on both sides and bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Turn oven town to 225 degrees and bake covered for another 25 minutes. Important to make sure it doesn't run dry of liquids.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole

This is one of those recipes that I will normally put together (minus the baking time) the day before I need it. I make this when we have 'Rotisserie Chicken (posted 6/14/10) or Turkey.



SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE (12)

Ingredients:
*4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (4 med-large)
*1/2 cup butter, melted
*1/3 cup milk
*1 cup sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla
*2 eggs, beaten
*1 cup brown sugar (light)
*1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*1/3 cup butter
*1 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degree.
~Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
~In a large bowl, mix mashed sweet potatoes, butter, milk, sugar, vanilla & eggs.
~In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and flour.
~Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly.
~Stir in pecans.
~Sprinkle pecan mixture over the sweet potatoes.
~Bake 25 minutes, uncovered.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Smashed Red Skin Potatoes

This is a nice side dish for just about any meat. My family loves mashed potatoes and I don't think I make them enough for them. I like that I don't have to take the time to peel the potatoes for this recipe. This nice change of pace from your regular mashed potatoes.


SMASHED RED SKINNED POTATOES (serves 6)

Ingredients:
*8-10 red-skin potatoes
*1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/4 cup sour cream
*4 tablespoons butter
*1/4 cup milk
*1 spring of fresh rosemary
*1 clove garlic, minced
*1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:
~Wash potatoes & cut into half.
~Place the potatoes into a large pot, and fill with enough water to cover.
~Add 1 teaspoon crushed garlic and salt into the water.
~Bring to a boil, and cook until potatoes easily pierce with a fork.
~Drain the potatoes.
~Add butter, and mash until butter is melted.
~Add sour cream, minced garlic, milk, pepper, & rosemary.
~Mash potatoes until smooth.

Variations:
`Add 1/4 cup green onion tops, chopped very small.
`Add 1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon.
`Add 1/4 cup cheddar cheese

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake screams summer to me. I make shortcake several different ways. I've made Angel Food Cake, Scottish Shortbread, Pound Cake & Sweet Biscuits. Today I'm making the biscuits because that was number one on my survey. If someone else wants me to post the recipe for the others, just let me know.


STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE (serves 8)

Ingredients:
*1 to 1 1/2 quarts of fresh strawberries
*1/4 cup white sugar
*3 tablespoons water
*2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
*4 teaspoon baking powder
*3 tablespoons sugar
*1/3 cup lard
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 egg
*2/3 cup buttermilk

Directions:
~Hull and slice strawberries and put into a large bowl.
~Mix 1/4 cup sugar and water with strawberries and set aside.
~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake pan.
~In a medium bowl comine the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons white sugar and the salt.
~Cut the lard into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
~Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the beaten egg and buttermilk.
~Spread the biscuit batter into the greased and floured pan.
~Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
~Let set for 5 minutes and remove from pan.
~Cool on a wire rack
~Cut cooled biscuit in half, making two layers.
~Place half of the strawberries on top of one layer.
~Put second layer on top of strawberries.
~Put the rest of the strawberries over the second layer of biscuit.
~Top off with homemade whipped cream.

Variation:
`Before cooking biscuit, drop dough into 8 equal dollops onto cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.
`Substitute lard for shortening.
`Substitute strawberries for raspberries.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Whipped Cream

If you are expecting this to taste like 'Cool Whip' you will be disappointed. I think it tastes much better and once again, easy to make.






WHIPPED CREAM (serves 6-8)

Ingredients:
*1 cup heavy cream (also called heavy whipping cream)
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla
*1  tablespoon powdered sugar

Directions:
~Place metal bowl or mixing bowl and whisk into the refrigerator for 1/2 hour or in freezer for 10 minutes (it will whip quicker if bowl is cold).
~Add heavy cream, powdered sugar & vanilla in chilled bowl.
~Beat until peaks form.
~Do not overbeat.  


Variation:
`Use flavoring of choice, depending on what you want it for. (example: orange flavoring for an orange parfait or maple to go along with pancakes. I would decrease the amount of flavoring in half for those examples.)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Very easy to make. I especially love this when it's strawberry season. So flavorful. I like to make the dressing at least a couple hours before I need to use it.


STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD (serves 5)

Ingredients:
(Dressing)
*2 tablespoons sesame seeds
*1 tablespoon poppy seeds
*1/4 cup white sugar
*1/2 cup olive oil
*1/4 cup white vinegar
*1/4 teaspoon paprika
*1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrin for gluten free)
*1 tablespoon minced onion
(salad)
*1 (1o ounce bag) fresh spinach, rinsed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces.
*1 quart strawberries, cleaned, hulled & sliced
*1/4 cup almonds, blanched & slivered

Directions:
~In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients.
~Chill for 1-2 hours before using.
~In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries, and almonds.
~Pour dressing over salad, and toss.
~Refrigerate 15 minutes before serving.

**Just put about half of the dressing on the salad. Mix and see if you want more.

Variations:
`Substitute white vinegar with balsamic vinegar
`Add 1/4 cup blueberries
`Add feta cheese
`Add sunflower seeds
`Add mandarine oranges
`Add small amount of sliced red onion
`Add crumbled bacon

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is one of my favorite ways to have chicken. It's a easy dinner to make and it will look like it took your hours. It's extremely juicy


CHICKEN BORDON BLEU
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
*6 slices swiss cheese
*6 slices ham, cut thin
*3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon paprika
*6 tablespoons butter
*1/2 cup chicken stock
*1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
*1 tablespoon cornstarch
*1 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:
~Pound chicken breasts to about to approximately 1/2 inch thickness.
~Place swiss cheese and ham slice on each chicken breast, within 1/2 inch of the edges.
~Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks.
~Mix the flour and paprika in asmall bowl.
~Coat the chicken pieces.
~Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides.
~Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
~Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the chicken breasts to a warm platter.
~Pour chicken stock into pan that had chicken cooked it.
~Use a whisk to stir chicken stock and chicken drippings. Cook until it starts boiling.
~Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl, and whisk slowly into the skillet.
~Cook, stirring until thickened, and pour over the chicken.
~Serve warm.

Variation:
`Substitute chicken broth for dry white wine.
`Omit ham
`Cook chicken with out the cheese & ham in it. When it's done, place ham & cheese on top. Put warm/hot white sauce on top of that.
`Substitute swiss cheese withmozzarella cheese.
`Use string to tie up chicken instead of toothpicks.
`Stuff chicken with a little cooked rice, along with ham & cheese.
`Substitute butter for olive oil.
`Substitute flour for bread crumbs.




Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spaghetti

When you make this sauce it will seem like a lot, but it cooks down about half of it's starting amount. You will find that most tomato based recipes I use my homemade stewed tomatoes. If you don't can, use the store bought stewed tomatoes. You should try to can your own tomatoes in the fall, the taste is well worth the effort.




SPAGHETTI (serves 8)

Ingredients:
*1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
*1 pound ground beef
*1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste
*1 quart stewed tomatoes
*2 (6.5) ounce tomato sauce
*1 cup water
*1 large yellow onion, chopped small
*1 green pepper, chopped small
*1 red pepper, chopped small
*1 teaspoon black pepper
*1 tablespoon sugar
*3-4 cloves garlic, minced
*2 teaspoons oregano
*2 teaspoons basil
*1 teaspoon salt
*3 tablespoon parsley flakes
*3 large bay leafs
*1 pound spaghetti
*fresh grated parmesan cheese

Directions:
~In a large skillet, brown sausage, beef, onion, green pepper, red pepper, and garlic over medium heat until no longer pink.
~Drain excess grease from hamburg/sausage mixture.
~Add stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, pepper, sugar, oregano, basil, salt, parsley flakes, & bay leafs.
~Turn heat down to low, and simmer uncovered for 4-5 hours. (I prefer to use a slow cooker for 6-7 hours).
~Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
~Add spaghetti noodles (gluten free if needed), and cook for 8-10 minutes or as box directs.
~Drain pasta.
~Plate your spaghetti and put sauce over pasta or mix altogether before serving.
~Sprinkle fresh grated parmesan cheese over top of spaghetti.

Variations:
`Add mushrooms
`Substitute water with 1/2 cup red wine
`Substitue black pepper for 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
`Make meatballs instead of meat sauce.

Vegetarian Style Spaghetti:



`Cook everything (minus meat) together in a large sauce pan.
`Let in cook down for 4 or 5 hours until sauce is cooked down to desired thickness.
`Add Boca Crumbles, for the last 1/2 hour.
`Mix with noodles or serve on top of noodles.
`Add a little fresh grated parmesan cheese over top.

(instead of boca crumbles, add fresh veggies of your choice

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Strawberry Pie

This is my daughter Tonia's favorite dessert. Add a dollop of homemade whipped cream on top, and you have a nice refreshing summer dessert.




STRAWBERRY PIE (serves 8)

Ingredients:
*1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked and cooled
*1 1/2 quarts fresh strawberries
*1 cup sugar
*3 tablespoons cornstarch
*3/4 cup water


Directions:
~Arrange half of strawberries in the baked pie crust.
~In a medium sauce pan mash the remaining strawberries.
~Add sugar and mix.
~Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
~In a small bowl mix together cornstarch and water.
~Gradually add cornstarch mixture to the boiling strawberry mixture.
~Reduce heat and simmer until strawberries thicken, about 10-12 minutes. Make sure you are continually stirring it, to avoid scorching it.
~Pour mixture over strawberries in pie crust.
~Chill in refrigerator for several hours. Make sure the pie is set before cutting.

Variation:

`Paint a thin layer of melted chocolate on the crust, before filling.  Let chocolate set for about 10-15 minutes (this helps avoid soggy crust).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Strawberry Jam

I never seem to make enough strawberry jam for my family. It's easy to make, so much better than store bought. We love it on pancakes, waffles, toast, ice cream, PB & J sandwich, or right from the spoon.



STRAWBERRY JAM (makes about 5 jelly jars)

Ingredients:
*2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled (4 cups, crushed)
*4 cups white sugar
*1/4 cup lemon juice (I use fresh squeezed, when possible)
*1 teaspoon butter

Directions:
~In a large bowl, crush strawberries.
~In a heavy duty saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice.
~Stir over low heat until all the sugar in dissolved.
~Turn heat up to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil.
~Add butter once it starts to foam. (It will help decrease the foam)
~Stir often until the mixture reaches 220 degrees. It will turn a dark red and be syrupy (about 20 minutes after it starts to boil.) ***It will burn in a second once it starts the boiling stage, if not stirred enough
~Once reached 220 degrees, boil an extra 2 minutes.
~Pour hot jam into sterile jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
~Wipe tops of jars making sure any jam residue is removed.
~Seal
~Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.
~Remove from water bath and let cool, listen for that much loved ping sound. (This means it sealed. If you feel a bubble in the lid after it's cooled, this means it did not seal. Either start the water bath process over again, with a new lid, or just store in fridge.)

Variations:
`add raspberries and blueberries with it for a mixed berry jam.
`freeze jam instead of doing the bath process. I use the Ball Plastic Freezer 8 ounce Freezer Jars"
Helpful Hint: Place three plates in a freezer. After about 10 minutes of boiling place one teaspoon of the liquid of the jam onto the cold plate. Return to freezer for a minute. Run your finger through the jam on the plate. If it doesn't run back together it's ready to be canned or froze.

Use a long handled wooden spoon to avoid splashes of sticky hot jam.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

I like this on toast, ice cream and I also like to take a cracker, spread a little cream cheese on it and top it off with the strawberry rhubarb jam.



STRAWBERRY RHUBARB JAM
(makes 5 jelly jars)

Ingredients:
*6 cups rhubarb, chopped small
*2 cups sugar
*1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored jello
*2 cups crushed strawberries

Directions:
~In a large saucepan, stir the fresh rhubarb and sugar together.
~Cover, and set stand overnight.
~Mash rhubarb mixture with a potato masher.
~Add strawberries to rhubarb mixture.
~Bring the rhubarb, sugar, & strawberries to a boil over medium heat.
~Turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes.
~Mash mixture once again with potato masher.
~Remove from heat.
~Stir in dry strawberry jello.
~Transfer into sterile canning jars.
~Wipe top of jars, making sure the are clean and free of any jam.
~Place canning lid on jar.
~Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes.

Variation:
Freeze jam instead of the hot water bath. I Ball Plastic Freezer 8 ounce Freezer Jars".

Strawberry Syrup

This is a delicious syrup. This would even be good to put on top of ice cream. Very easy to make. Store unused syrup in the refrigerator. You could 'can' this or freeze it if you want to make extra.

STRAWBERRY SYRUP (2 cups)

Ingredients:
*1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped small.
*1 cup sugar
*1 orange finely grated orange zest
*Juice squeezed from one orange

Directions:
~In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil.
~Turn the heat to low and simmer until the strawberries are soft and and the syrup is thickened. About 20 minutes.
~Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before serving.

Variations:
`If you don't like the pieces of strawberries in the syrup, strain the hot syrup through a mesh strainer. You will still want to let it cool before you use it.
`Replace strawberries for raspberries.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Zucchini Grinders

I have a vegetarian in my house, who loves these. I'm not a vegetarian, but thought they were pretty tasty. Omit what veggies you dislike and enjoy.


ZUCCHINI GRINDERS (serves 4)

Ingredients:
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 garlic clove, minced
*1/4 cup black olives, chopped
*1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
*2 medium zucchinis, cubed small
*1/4 cup red onion, sliced
*1/2 green pepper, sliced
*red pepper flakes, just a pinch (more if you like it spicy)
*salt & pepper to taste
*1 1/4 cup of Marinara sauce (I like to make my own)
*1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
*4 sub buns (good sturdy type is best)

Directions:
~Heat oven to 350 degrees.
~Split bun and put in oven cut sides up for 1 minute. Just enough to very lightly toast it.
~In a medium skillet put olive oil, zucchini, garlic, olives, mushrooms, onions, & gren pepper.
~Cook until zucchinis are lightly brown & tender.
~Add Marinara sauce, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper. Cook until heated through.
~Put some mozzarella cheese on both sides of bun (this helps so the bun doesn't get soggy).
~Spoon zucchini mixture on one side of bun.
~Top with more cheese.
~Place grinder on cookie sheet.
~Lightly place a small piece of aluminum foil over cheese
~Cook for 10 minutes.
~Remove aluminum foil, and cook for another 5 minutes or until buns are warm and cheese is melted.

Tuna Fish Salad

Don't let the ingredients scare you, they really do go well together and makes for a good tuna-fish sandwich.


TUNA-FISH SALAD (serves 2)

Ingredients:
*1 (5 ounce) can white tuna, drained and flaked
*4 tablespoons mayonnaise
*1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
*1/2 tablespoon sweet relish
*1/2 tablespoon onion, minced
*1/2 tablespoon celery, chopped very small
*pinch garlic powder
*1/8 teaspoon curry powder
*1/2 teaspoon dill weed
*salt & pepper to taste
*1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
*4 slices of your favorite bread

Directions:
~Stir together in a medium bowl, tuna, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, onions, & celery.
~Mix in seasonings.
~Let set for 5 minutes before putting using.

Variations:
`Substitute mayonnaise for miracle whip
`Substitute onions for 1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
`Substitute sweet pickle relish for dill pickle relish
`Put a slice of american cheese on it and pop in in the oven until cheese is melted.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fluffy Pancakes

I think I spoiled the family when I started making pancakes from scratch. They do not care for boxed anymore. These are very fluffy and very good.  I added blueberries when I took this picture.


FLUFFY PANCAKES (makes about 14-6" pancakes)

Ingredients:
*3 cups flour
*2 tablespoons sugar
*1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
*3 teaspoons baking powder
*1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 cup butter, melted
*1/2 cup milk, room temperature
*3 cups buttermilk, room temperature
*3 eggs, room temperature
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:
~Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
~In a separate bowl, beat together butter, milk, buttermilk, eggs & vanilla.
~Mix the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, using a whisk or fork.
~Stir just until it's blended together, breaking up the big lumps.
Smaller lumps will disappear while it cooks.
~Oil a griddle and lightly oil.
~Cook pancakes over medium heat.
~Brown on both sides, serve hot

Variations:
`Add 1 cup of your favorite fruit
`Add 1 cup pecans, chopped small

Helpful Hint: You can flick water across the surface of the hot griddle, if the water dances (or beads up), it's ready to cook on.

If you like thinner pancakes, then you will want to beat until all lumps are gone and may want to add 1/2 cup milk.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Double Decker Cheeseburger

This makes for a very sloppy but tasty cheeseburger. I think the sauce is what makes it. We eat the double decker if that's all we are eating. It's too big if you are eating sides with it. We just cut it down to a single patty and with no middle bun.

(Double Burger)


(Single Burger)

DOUBLE DECKER CHEESEBURGERS (serves 4)

Ingredients:
(sauce) [this is really enough sauce for 8 burgers]
*1/2 cup mayonnaise
*2 tablespoons french dressing (I think kraft is best)
*4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
*1 tablespoon onion, finely minced (I use white onion)
*1 teaspoon white vinegar
*1 teaspoon sugar
*1/8 teaspoon pepper
(burgers)
*4 sesame seed buns
*4 extra bun halves (or 4 slices of thick bread)
{this is for the middle bun}
*1 pound of ground beef
*salt & pepper to taste
*4 teaspoons onion, finely chopped
*1 cup lettuce, shredded
*4 slices, American cheese
*12 slices, hamburger dill pickles

Directions:
(sauce)
~mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
~store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
~I think you should make this at least an hour before using it.
(burgers)
~cut the top off of the extra bun halves down to about 3/4 inch. This will be your middle bun.
~Place the top and bottom bun face down of the hot griddle. Cook until golden brown, remove, and set aside.
~Divide the hamburger into 8 equal parts (about golf ball size).
~Press into thin patties.
~Salt & pepper meat.
~Cook the patties in your hot pan for 1-2 minutes on each side.
~Remove from heat

Build burger in the following way:
-Bottom bun, 1/2 tablespoon sauce, on toasted side of bun
-next put 1/2 teaspoon onion,
-next 1/4 cup shredded lettuce,
-next American cheese.
-next place hamburger over cheese.
-next goes middle bun.
-next the second hamburger patty on top of the middle bun
-next 1/4 cup shredded lettuce on top of second burger
-next 1/2 teaspoon onions.
-next 3 dill pickles
-next top bun, spread 1/2 tablespoon sauce on the toasted side of bun.
- Now the top bun is now ready to be placed over pickles and ready to eat.


Variations:
`substitute beef with turkey
`substitute sauce for thousand island dressing (not near as good, but if you are busy it will do)
`Add another slice of cheese to the top layer
`Add a couple slices of bacon on top layer
`Add a few saute mushrooms


(Veggie Burger)

**Substitute beef with a veggie burger or black bean burger, if you have a vegetarian in your house.

Helpful Hint: When you buy your hamburger, divide it up and freeze it. It seems to cook better (doesn't fall apart).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

French Baked Potatoes

This was one of my son Nathan's favorite type of potato when he was young. It still may be. It is so easy to make. This is usually deep fried, but I like it much better the way I make it.


FRENCH BAKED POTATOES. (serves 4)

Ingredients:
*4 medium sized Idaho potatoes, cleaned
*1 tablespoon butter, softened (or spray pan with a cooking spray)

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Cut potatoes in half lengthwise.
~Spread butter on a cookie sheet.
~Place potatoes cut side down on top of butter.
~Cut a small slit on top of each potato.
~Bake in the preheated oven for 30-50 minutes until the bottom of the potato is a golden brown and crispy and potato is tender.

Variation:
`Deep fry potato in oil (350 degrees) until potato is done.
`Put a little butter and fresh rosemary into the slits on top of the potato.
`When potato is done, and plated, add butter, sour cream, chopped chives, crumbles bacon.


Helpful Hint: Try to keep the potatoes all around the same size, this helps with even cooking of the potatoes.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

This is for all those who have family that just eat the stuffing out of the stuffed peppers and leave the peppers behind. If you cut the veggies up small, you can even sneak them pass the kids. I've made this many times and kids love it. It's also a good dish for a pot luck dinner.




STUFFED PEPPER CASSEROLE (Serves 8)

Ingredients:
*1 1/2 pounds ground beef
*1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
*2 cups water
*1 green bell pepper, chopped
*1 or 2 red bell peppers, chopped
*1 medium yellow onion, chopped
*2 cloves garlic, chopped
*2 (8 ounce) tomato sauce
*1 quart of stewed tomatoes (or large can)
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1 teaspoon pepper
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
*2 cups shredded Colby & Monterrey Jack cheese

Directions:
~Place the rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat, cover and cook 20 minutes.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~In a large oven proof skillet, cook green peppers, red peppers, onions, garlic and beef.
~Cook until beef is evenly browned.
~Drain beef and return to pan. (If you don't have an oven proof pan put into a 9X13 inch pan)
~Mix in cooked rice, tomato sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
~Sprinkle cheese over meat & rice mixture.
~Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Vegetarian Variation: Substitute ground beef for Boca Crumbles. (one day I'll post a vegetarian Herb-Stuffed Pepper recipe)

Helpful Hint: If you are making this dish for a friend, make it up to the oven part. Then when they are ready to eat it, they can pop it into the oven for the 20 minutes. It's hot and fresh when they are ready to eat it.
You can also freeze it at this point for future use.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fish Tacos

I know, I know, the first time I heard this I must admit, I thought "Yuck". But once I tried it, Yummy! This is one of my top 5 favorites. The white sauce is phenomenal!

(beer battered with corn tortilla)
(pan-seared with flour tortilla- I make my own)

FISH TACOS

Ingredients:
*1 pound of cod, talapia, orange roughy, or halibut, cut into large bite sized pieces or into small strips
*1 (12 ounce) package corn tortillas
*1/2 medium head cabbage, finely shredded (lettuce if you don't care for cabbage)
*1/2 quart oil, for frying
(fish batter)
*1 1/4 cups flour
*2 tablespoon cornstarch
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 egg
*1 cup beer
(white sauce)
*1/2 cup plain yogurt
*1/2 cup mayonnaise
*fresh squeezed juice from one lime
*1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, minced (I use one)
*1/8 - 1/2  teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you like it really spicy put the full amount)
*1/2 teaspoon cumin (use gluten free if needed)
*1/2 teaspoon dill weed
*1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions:
(white sauce)
~In a medium bowl, mix together yogurt & mayonnaise.
~Stir in lime juice, until well mixed, will be sightly runny.
~Add jalapeno, oregano, cumin, dill and cayenne.
~Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
(fish batter)
~In a large bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
~Blend egg and beer, then stir into the flour mixture.
~Heat oil in deep fryer or deep frying pan to 375 degrees.
~Coat the fish pieces lightly with flour.
~Dip into beer batter.
~Fry until crisp and should be a golden brown.
~Drain on paper towels.
~Fry tortillas with a little pan in a small fry pan. Just for a few seconds on each side. Do not make to crisp.
~To serve; place fish first in the warm tortilla, top with shredded cabbage, and then top it off with the white sauce.

Variations:
`Substitute beer for buttermilk
`Substitute plain yogurt for sour cream
`Pan-sear fish in olive oil and season with a little fajita seasoning or seasoned salt instead of deep frying it. (Just a tad bit healthier)
`Coat fish with flour, egg wash, then dip in Panko, cumin, salt & pepper mixture. Pan-sear
`Substitute cabbage for lettuce
`Add lime slice to top taco for garnish.
`Add avocado slice to top taco.
`Add shredded cheese to top of taco.
`Add chopped tomatoes to top of taco.
`Add fresh corn cut from the cob to top of taco.
`Bill puts tarter sauce on it in place of the white sauce.

Helpful Hint: If you don't have buttermilk, add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Let set for 10 minutes.