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, December 28, 2011

Waffle Cones

I love waffle cones.   If you make these make plenty, because when you neighbors smell it they will be knocking at your door.

        (waffle bowls taste just as good)

(makes 8)


*3/4 cup butter
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1/2 tablespoon water
*3 egg whites
*1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*Merkins chocolate (optional)
*Candy Sprinkles (optional)
*Peanuts, chopped (optional)

~Melt butter over very low heat.
~Remove from heat once is melted.
~Beat egg whites in a small bowl.
~Add sugar and mix well.
~Add the egg/sugar mixture into the melted butter.
~Add in the vanilla & water and mix.
~Whisk in flour, until there are no lumps.
~Let batter sit for one hour before using.
~Cook on waffle cone maker, following waffle cone maker instructions.
~Let waffle cones cool completely.
(next steps are optional)
~Melt merkins chocolate.
~Dip cones in melted chocolate.
~Sprinkle chopped nuts or sprinkles on melted chocolate.
~Let chocolate harden before putting ice cream in cones.

`Break up waffle cone into small pieces and mix into your ice cream.
`Break up waffle cone into larger pieces, dip into melted merkins chocolate.  Let chocolate set and serve as a snack.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peppermint Meringue

This just melts in your mouth. It's so light and airy. It's super easy to make, but does take a while to bake and cool.

(makes 24)

*3 egg whites
*1/8 teaspoon salt
*1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter
*1/2 cup white sugar
*1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
*1 peppermint candy cane, crushed fine

~Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
~Line 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
~In a large bowl, beat egg whites, vanilla, salt, and cream of tarter, to form soft peaks.
~Slowly add sugar, beating until egg whites form stiff peaks.
~Drop spoonfuls 1 inch apart on cookie sheets.
~Sprinkle crushed peppermint candy cane over meringues.
~Bake for 1 1/2 hours (meringues should be completely dry on inside but not brown on the outside).
~Turn oven off.
~Open the oven a little, and let meringues sit in oven until cooled.
~Remove from pan.
~Store covered, in a cool dry place.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Peppermint Ice Cream

This ice cream screams Christmas flavor!  If you like the flavor of peppermint, you are going to love this.

(makes 1 1/2 quarts)

*2 1/2 cups heavy cream
*1 1/2 cups whole milk
*8 large egg yolks
*3/4 cup white sugar
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 - 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
*1/2 cup crushed candy canes
*4-6 drops red food coloring (optional)

~Pour milk, sugar, salt & food coloring in a medium saucepan.
~Heat until the sugar & salt are dissolved.
~Pour the heavy cream into a metal bowl & set into a larger bowl of ice.
~Set a fine mesh sieve on top of metal bowl.
~In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
~Slowly pour 1 cup of the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking continually.
~Pour the egg yolks into the saucepan, whisking as you do.
~Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon, until the mixture slightly thickens and coats the back of the wooden spoon (you should be able to run your finger down the back of the spoon and leave a trail).
~Pour custard through the strainer and stir into the cream.
~Let sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until mixture is cooled.
~Cover mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or until completely chilled.
~Add peppermint extract, starting with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon (add 1/4 teaspoon more, until you reach your desire taste).
~Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
~Once froze, fold in peppermint candy.
~Place into an air-tight container and place in freezer for 5-8 hours.

Helpful Hint:
`Place plastic wrap directly over ice cream before covering and placing in freezer.  This will help to prevent freezer burn.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Syrup

This is pretty tasty.  You don't need much on your pancake, because of the sweetness.  Make you don't let it boil at to high of a heat or it will become crystalized.  So yummy on pancakes.

(Serves 8)

*1/4 cup white sugar
*3/4 cup light brown sugar
*2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
*3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 cup water
*1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped into small pieces (optional)
*1/2 tablespoon butter

~Stir the white sugar, brown sugar, flour & cinnamon together in a small saucepan.
~Mix in vanilla & water.
~Add apples.
~Bring to a boil, over medium heat, stirring often.
~Continue to boil and stirring until syrup has thickened to syrup consistency.
~Remove from heat.
~Stir in butter.
~Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cranberry Relish

Whenever I make things with cranberries I think of my friend Adam, who loves cranberries.    This recipe is a lot like my friend Denise's recipe.   She serves her's on cream cheese, so I thought I'd try that.   Super yummy!


*1 cup water
*3/4 cup white sugar
*2 granny smith apple, peeled, cored & chopped
*1 orange, peeled, seeded & chopped
*zest of lemon
*1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries
*1 cup raisins
*1 cup walnuts, chopped

~Combine water, sugar & cranberries in a medium pot.
~Bring water to a boil, and the cranberries start to pop open.
~Bring the heat down to a simmer.
~Add apple, orange, & lemon zest.
~Simmer for 20 minutes.
~Remove from heat.
~Add raisins & walnuts.

Make it an appetizer and serve over a block of cream cheese and with crackers (ritz Christmas crackers would be pretty awesome).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Roasted Veggies & Fruit Mix

If you like roasted vegetables, I'm pretty sure you are going to enjoy this recipe.   The touch of sweetness from the fruit really makes this scrumptious.

(serves 6)

*1 medium yellow squash, sliced into bite size pieces
*1 medium zucchini, sliced into bite size pieces
*1 green pepper, seeded & chopped into bite size pieces
*1 red pepper, seeded & chopped into bite size pieces
*1 rutabaga, peeled, and cubed
*1 small sweet onion, peeled, and chopped into small pieces (optional)
*1 garlic clove, minced
*2 pears, peeled, cored & cubed
*1 macintosh apple, peeled, cored & cubed
*1 jonathan apple, peeled, cored & cubed
*1 red delicious apple, peeled, cored & cubed
*3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*1 teaspoon sea salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~In a large bowl mix all veggies & fruit together.
~Mix olive oil, salt, pepper in a small bowl.
~Drizzle over veggie & fruit.
~Mix well.
~Pour veggies & fruit mixture on a large cookie sheet.
~Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

~Add 1 large sweet potato, peeled & cubed.
~Add whole button mushrooms.
~Add 2 cups pumpkin, peeled, seeded & cubed.
~Add 1 cup baby carrots, sliced
~Add 2 yukon gold potatoes, cubed
~Add 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cubed.
~Substitue sweet onion with a red onion.
~Add 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.

*you can use 3 of the same type of apples if you choose.  I just think mixing them gives a better flavor.

Mock Payday Candy Bar

One of my favorite candy bars, would be a 'Payday'.  Love that caramely nutty goodness.   This here I personally think is even better than the store bought ones.  So fresh and good.

(makes 8)
*5 caramel squares, unwrapped
*1/4 cup whole milk
*1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter
*1 tablespoon light corn syrup
*1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*3/4 cup powdered sugar
*25 caramel squares, unwrapped
*1 tablespoon water
*1/4 cup powdered sugar
*2 cups peanuts, chopped lightly

~Combine 5 caramel squares, milk, peanut butter, corn syrup & vanilla into a medium saucepan.
~Cook over low heat until the caramels have melted.
~Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar and stir well.
~Using a candy thermometer, cook caramel mixture until it reaches 230 degrees, stirring often.
~Remove from heat.
~Let cool for about 5 minutes.
~Add 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and mix with a mixer for about 2 minutes.
~Let mixture cool for 20 minutes.
~Divide candy into 8 equal pieces.
~Form each section into 4 inch logs or balls.
~Place logs on wax paper and allow to cool for 1 hour.
~In a double boiler, add remaining caramels and water.
~Melt until smooth.
~Remove from heat, but keep the hot water under the melted caramel (so it doesn't get hard).
~Using a pastry brush, coat the logs/balls with the hot caramel.
~Place peanuts into a shallow dish.
~Roll logs in peanuts.  If there are area's where the peanuts do not cover the log, apply more caramel and stick roll back into peanuts.
~Allow to cool completely before serving.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sicilian Spicy Chicken Soup

This soup takes a while to cook, but it's so unbelievably good. This soup is best served the day after it's made.  I do not mix the pasta in it until i'm ready to serve it.  Even though I labeled this spicy, it really isn't very spicy.  Just enough to make it good.

(serves 10-12)

*1 (5 pound) whole roaster chicken
*5 celery stalks, sliced
*4 medium carrots, peeled & chopped
*1 large yellow onion, chopped
*2 medium potatoes, peeled & chopped
*1 large green bell pepper
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1 (14-ounce) can imported italian plum tomatoes
*1/2 cup fresh italian parsley, chopped
*3 quarts chicken stock (I make my own)
*3 quarts water
*1 tablespoon chicken granules
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 tablespoon white pepper (more if you like it really spicy)
*1/2 ditalini pasta, as needed when serving
*Fresh grated parmesan cheese (optional)

~Dice celery, onion, potatoes, carrots, garlic & green bell pepper.
~Chop italian plum tomatoes, reserve liquid.
~Place olive oil, 1 teaspoon white pepper & veggies in a large stock pot.
~Allow to sauté for about 5 minutes.
~Add whole chicken, chicken stock, water to veggies.
~Slowly bring to a boil over low heat.
~Using a spoon skim any foam off the rises to the top of the pan.
~Add tomatoes and juice, parsley, salt & chicken granules.
~Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
~Remove chicken and let cool.
~Mash the vegetables in the bottom of the pan with a potato masher or immersible blender.
~Once chicken has cooled, remove and skin & debone.
~Shred chicken and return it to the pot.
~Allow to cool, and store in air tight containers in the refrigerator.
~The next day, bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
~Add ditalini pasta, and cook as directed, drain.
~Well the pasta is cooking, reheat soup.
~Serve some soup & pasta into each bowl.
~Serve with grated parmesan cheese if desired.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Taco Pie

This takes a little bit if you choose to make your own crescent rolls like it do.   If you want to shorten the time up, use store bought crescent rolls.   I personally think making the crescent rolls is worth the effort, it makes the recipe so much tastier.

(serves 8)

*1/4 cup warm water
*1/8 cup white sugar
*1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
*1/4 cup warm milk
*1/2 egg, room temperature
*2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons butter, softened
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 3/4 + 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
*1/8 cup butter, softened
*1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
*1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
*1/2 cup water
*1 cup sour cream
*3 cups mexican style blend shredded cheese
*1-2 cups tortilla chips, crushed

~Place water, sugar & yeast in the pan of the bread machine.
~Let yeast proof for about 10 minutes (or until foamy)
~Add milk, egg, 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons butter, salt & flour to pan.
~Select to dough cycle, press start.
~When cycle finishes, remove bread dough.
~Spray 9X13 inch oven proof pan with a cooking spray.
~Press dough into the bottom on the prepared pan.
~Spread 1/8 cup softened butter over entire surface of bread dough.
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
~Remove from oven.
~Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
~While crust is baking, brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat.
~Drain any grease.
~Add taco seasoning & water, stir.
~Once dough is done, add meat mixture over top of the crust.
~Spoon sour cream over meat.
~Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
~Sprinkle tortilla chips over cheese.
~Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
~Serve as is or top with a little salsa and a dollop of sour cream, chopped green onions, and maybe some black olives .

Monday, October 31, 2011

Parmesan Orzo

Creamy & yummy.   Great side dish with just about any dish.  Add some chicken to eat and have it as a meal.

(serves 4)

*2 tablespoons butter
*1 cup uncooked orzo pasa
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1/8 cup onion, chopped
*1 3/4 cup chicken stock
*1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
*1/8-1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (depending on your taste)
*1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
*salt & pepper to taste

~Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium-heat.
~Stir in orzo, garlic & onion, saute until orzo is lightly browned.
~Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil.
~Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until orzo is done.
~Mix in parmesan cheese & basil.
~Once mixed well, stir in cherry tomatoes, salt & pepper.

-Stir in 1/4 of homemade pesto, when adding parmesan cheese.
-Add feta, when adding tomatoes.
-Add sautéd spinach, after adding parmesan cheese.
-Add mushrooms, add when adding garlic & onions.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Seeds

There are so many ways that you can make pumpkin seeds.   I'll post a few.   The photo is the original salt pumpkin seeds.  You really can put just about any seasonings that you like on and bake them.  


*2 cups whole raw pumpkin seeds
*3 teaspoons butter melted
*1 tablespoon kosher salt

~Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
~Rinse pumpkin seeds and remove any pulp.
~Pat seeds dry with a clean towel.
~Toss seeds, melted butter & salt in a small bowl.
~Stir in pumpkin seeds.
~Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet.
~Bake for 30-45 minutes, until seeds are dry.
~Stir every 10-15 minutes.


*2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
*2 teaspoons butter, melted
*1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
*1/8 teaspoon onion salt
*2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce

~Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
~Rinse pumpkin seeds and remove any pulp.
~Pat seeds dry with a clean towel.
~Toss seeds in melted butter, garlic salt, onion salt, & worcestershire sauce.
~Stir in pumpkin seeds.
~Spread the seeds in a single layer on baking sheet.
~Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until seeds are dry.
~Stir every 10-15 minutes.


*2 cup raw whole pumpkin seeds
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/4 cup white sugar

~Rinse pumpkin seeds and remove any pulp.
~In a small bowl, mix cinnamon & salt together.
~Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
~Spread seeds in a single layer on baking sheet.
~Lightly sprinkle with salt & cinnamon mixture.
~Bake for 5 minutes, stir the seeds, season again with salt & cinnamon mixture.
~Bake for 20 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
~Remove from oven.
~While seeds are still very hot, sprinkle sugar over seeds and mix gently.
~Let cool & serve.


*2 cups whole raw pumpkin seeds
*2 teaspoons olive oil
*1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
*1/4 teaspoon dried basil
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 tablespoon parmesan cheese

~Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
~Rinse pumpkin seeds and remove any pulp.
~Pat seeds dry with a clean towel.
~Toss seeds olive oil, oregano, basil, salt & parmesan cheese together.
~Mix in pumpkin seeds.
~Spread the seeds in a single layer on baking sheet.
~Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until seeds are dry.
~Stir every 10-15 minutes.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fruity Sweet Banana Squash

This is a nice twist on squash.  Even if your kids won't eat squash, they might be willing to give this a try.

(serves 4)

*1 banana squash, peeled and diced
*2 firm, ripe, bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and diced
*1/4 cup butter
*4 tablespoons water
*2 tablespoons butter, melted
*2 tablespoons brown sugar
*2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
*1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
*1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

~Put water & 1/4 cup butter into into a medium size saucepan.
~Add squash & pears to water.
~Bring water to a boil over medium high heat.
~Once water is boiling, cover & reduce heat to low.
~Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until squash is tender.
~Remove from heat, and drain any liquid.
~Mix in banana and cover back on pan.
~In a small bowl, mix butter, dark brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice.
~Drizzle butter mixture over squash & pears.
~Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

For those of you who are not sure what a 'sweet banana squash' looks like:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bacon Vegetable Pasta Salad

This is another salad that is good as a side dish or as a light meal.  We really enjoy this one.

(serves 8)

*1 (12 ounce) package uncooked rotini pasta
*10 slices bacon
*3/4 cup mayonnaise
*4 tablespoons dry ranch salad dressing mix
*1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon seasoned pepper
*1/2 cup milk, or as needed
*1 large tomato, chopped
*1 carrot, peeled & sliced
*1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
*1 cucumber, seeds removed & diced
*1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, diced

~Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
~Stir in rotini pasta and cook for 10-12 minutes, drain.
~Place bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook until evenly brown.
~Drain, cool & crumble bacon.
~In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, ranch dressing mix, garlic powder, seasoned pepper & milk, until smooth.
~Place bacon, tomato, carrot, red pepper, cucumber, rotini, cheese and dressing in a large bowl toss until well coated.
~Cover and chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

-Add 1/2 cup black olives

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Greek Salad

Nice light side dish or lunch.   Quick and easy to put together.  This is a recipe that you want to eat the same day.  I don't think this keeps that well, so I only make enough for one meal.

(serves 4)
*3 tomatoes, chopped
*2 cucumber, peeled, seeded & chopped
*1 small red onion, chopped
*1/4 cup olive oil
*3 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
*1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
*1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
*1/2 teaspoon sea salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
*8 black greek olives, pitted and sliced

~In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, & onion.
~Sprinkle with olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, oregano, salt & pepper.
~Sprinkle feta cheese & olives and serve.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Greek Potatoes

Yummy.  This goes well with gyros.  Very easy to make.

(serves 4)

*1/3 cup olive oil
*1 cup chicken stock
*3 cloves, garlic, finely chopped
*1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
*1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
*1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
*12 red skinned potatoes

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~In a small bowl, mix olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary & pepper.
~Cut potatoes in half.
~Arrange potatoes over the bottom of a 8x8 inch pan.
~Pour the olive oil mixture over potatoes.
~Cover with aluminum foil.
~Bake for 1 1/2-2 hours, turning occasionally, until tender, but not mushy.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Butter is so easy to make and very quick.  I really don't think it's much cheaper than buying butter, but I think it tastes better and you get buttermilk to use for pancakes, oven fried chicken, biscuits or anything else that calls for buttermilk.  I guess if you look at the cost of being able to get butter and buttermilk than it's cheaper than buying it.

Make it fun for the kids and let them cut out shapes for a special dinner.

(makes about 1 cup)

*2 cups very cold heavy whipping cream (organic whipping cream will only make it better)
*1/8-1/4 salt (optional)

~Pour cream in a Kitchen-aid Mixer whip a whip attachment, or a food processor.
~If using a kitchen-aid, put plastic over as much of the bowl as possible (unless you have a splatter guard), blend on speed 8 for about 4-6 minutes.  When the milk separates from the solid, it's ready.
~If using a food processor, blend for 8-10 minutes.  When the milk separates form the solid, it's ready.
~Put a mesh strainer over a small bowl or use cheesecloth.
~Put butter and liquid in strainer.
~Allow all the milk to drain into the bowl.  Keep this milk, it's buttermilk and will be excellent in recipes.  Store in in a covered container in the refrigerator.
~Place butter into a small bowl, press butter with the back of a spoon to further remove any liquid.
~Rinse butter with very cold water to remove any excess milky liquid (this will help so the butter doesn't turn sour).
~Now is the time to knead in the salt if you want.  Salt also helps to make the butter last longer.
~Save the butter in a sealed container in the fridge.

-If you don't a good mixer or a food processor, then more the cream into a quart size canning jar.  Shake vigorously, 20-30 minutes until the milk separates from the solid.  Follow the rest of the directions as listed above.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Chicken Gyro

This is a little time consuming, but so worth the effort.
Make the Tzatziki Sauce the night before and it will be awesome.  I also like to marinate the chicken first thing in the morning.   Spicy potatoes or greek potatoes go well with this recipe.

(serves 4)

Marinade Ingredients:
*3/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing (not vinegar)
*3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
*1 tablespoon dried oregano
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
*4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Cucumber Sauce:
*1/2 seeded, shredded cucumber
*1 teaspoon kosher salt
*1 cup plain greek yogurt
*1/4 cup sour cream
*1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
*1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
*1 teaspoon dried dill
*1 teaspoon olive oil
*1 garlic clove, minced
*1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
*1/8 teaspoon dried mint
*1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
*1/8 teaspoon dried basil
*1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram
*1/2 teaspoon fresh onion, minced
(or use 3/4 teaspoon greek seasoning to replace the above 7 ingredients)
*sea salt to taste
*ground black pepper to taste
*dash of cayenne pepper

*4 large pita bread rounds
*romaine lettuce, cut into 1/4 inch slices
*1 small red onion, thinly sliced
*1 tomato, halved & sliced
*1/4 cup kalamata olives (optional)
*1/4 cup pepperoncini (optional)
*1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Cucumber Directions:
~Toss cucumbers with 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
~Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
~Place salted cucumber into a colander.
~Place colander over a bowl.
~Squeeze the cucumber until the liquid has drained from the cucumbers.
~In a medium bowl, mix yogurt, sour cream, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, rice vinegar, and olive oil.
~Season with garlic, dill, oregano, mint, thyme, basil, marjoram, & minced onion.
~Stir in drained cucumber in to sauce.
~Season with sea salt, ground pepper & cayenne pepper.
~Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (I like mine to sit overnight).

Marinade Directions:
~In a small bowl, mix the balsamic vinaigrette, lemon juice, oregano & 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
~Place chicken into a zip-loc bag.
~Pour marinade over chicken, seal bag, & refrigerate at least 2 hours (I normally marinate mine all day).

~Mix tomatoes, onions, with a dash of sea salt, ground pepper & a dash of garlic powder.
~Allow to sit for 1-2 hours, covered & in the refrigerator.
~Preheat stovetop grill over medium-high heat.
~Remove chicken from marinade and grill, about 6-8 minutes on each side, or until done.
~Discard remaining marinade.
~Remove chicken from grill, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
~Slice chicken into thin strips.
~Brush pita lightly with olive oil.
~Grill pita bread, until warm, turning frequently to prevent burning.
~Spread cucumber sauce over warm pita.
~Arrange chicken, lettuce, onion, tomato, olives & pepperoncini, and feta cheese over pita, fold in half & enjoy.

-if you don't have a balsamic vinaigrette, use 3 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar.
-if you don't have plain greek yogurt, use plain yogurt and strain it for a couple hours to remove the extra liquid.
-add some cheddar cheese over chicken.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fiesta Lime Chicken

I love this recipe.  Just enough kick of lime to it.   A little spicy with the sauce.  I did not have colored corn chips so I used black.  It was still yummy.

(serves 4)

*1 cup water
*1/3 cup teriyaki sauce (I make my own)
*1/2 lime, juiced
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
*4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
*1/4 cup real mayonnaise
*1/4 cup sour cream
*2 tablespoons chunky salsa
*1 tablespoon milk
*1/2-1 teaspoon cajun blackening spice
*1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
*1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
*1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
*1/8 teaspoon cumin
*1 1/2 cups colby jack cheese, shredded
*2 cups multi-colored corn chips, crumbled

~Whisk the water, teriyaki sauce, lime juice, minced garlic, liquid smoke, salt & ginger together.
~Place chicken breasts & marinade into a zip-loc bag and marinade for at least 2 hours.
~Whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, salsa, milk, cajun seasoning, parsley, hot sauce, dill weed & cumin together.
~Cover bowl, and chill until ready to use.
~Remove chicken from marinate and discard marinade.
~Grill chicken for 4-6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
~Brush grilled chicken with mayonnaise mixture.
~Sprinkle cheese over chicken and mayonnaise mixture.
~Broil in oven until melted.
~Serve chicken over a plate of crumbled corn chips.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Teriyaki Sauce

Any recipe that calls for teriyaki sauce, I make my own.   It has far less salt in it and tastes better than what you buy at the store.   It's also so simple to make.

 (Makes about 2/3 cup)

*1 tablespoon cornstarch
*1 tablespoon cold water
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/2 cup soy sauce
*1/4 cup cider vinegar
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

~In a small saucepan over low heat, all the above ingredients.
~Let sauce simmer for about 20 minutes, until it thickens.
~Let sauce cool.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beef Stew

Very easy dinner to make.  This is a good winter meal.  I cube & dice my meat and veggies into bite-size pieces because of my family's preference, but you can cut them up into larger pieces if that's what you like.

(serves 8-10)

*2 1/2 pounds roast beef
*3 tablespoons olive oil
*1/4 cup all-purpose flour (omit for gluten free)
*6 cups beef stock (or broth)
*1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
*1 teaspoon dried parsley
*1 teaspoon pepper
*4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1 packet of lipton onion soup mix (omit for gluten free)
*4 large carrots, peeled & chopped
*5 celery stalks, sliced
*1 large onion, chopped
*2 teaspoons cornstarch
*2 teaspoons very cold water

~Dust roast with flour.
~In a large dutch oven or pot, cook roast in olive oil over medium heat, until meat is brown on both sides.
~Remove meat.
~Pour in 1 cup beef stock, and scrape dripping off bottom of pan.
~Return roast to pan.
~Add the rest of the beef stock, garlic, rosemary, parsley & pepper.
~Bring to a boil, and turn heat down to a low, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
~Remove roast from dutch oven.
~Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
~Cut Roast into bite-size pieces and return to dutch oven (I remove any fat from the meat at this time).
~Add potatoes, carrots, celery, onions & lipton onion soup mix into the pot.
~Cover and cook for 1/2 hour.
~In a small bowl, mix cornstarch & cold water together.
~Stir into the stew.
~Cover and simmer 1 hour.

-After browning the meat, add roast and the rest of the ingredients (minus the cornstarch) into a slow cooker.  Put the roast on the bottom and veggies on top.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  About 1/2 hour before the serving, remove roast from slow cooker and cut into bite-size pieces.  Return to slow cooker, add the cornstarch mixed with cold water into the slow cooker.  Mix, cover and let it finish cooking.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Maple Nut Fudge Candy

This is a little bit of the taste of a maple bun.   It's very rich and so you want to cut it into small pieces.   It's consistency is like fudge.  I keep in in the freezer until ready to serve.

(makes 48 )

*1 cup milk chocolate chips
*1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
*2 cups butterscotch chips
*2 cups creamy peanut butter
*1 cup spanish peanuts
*1 cup butter
*1/2 cup milk
*1/4 cup vanilla pudding mix (not instant)
*1 teaspoon maple flavoring.
*1 (2 pound) package powdered sugar

~Melt chips & peanut butter over a double boiler unti melted.
~Spread 1/2 of mixture in a wax paper lined 9x13 inch pan.
~Put into freezer until set.
~Add peanuts to remaining chocolate mixture.
~Let cool.
~Combine milk, pudding & butter into a medium size pan.
~Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring continually.
~Add powered sugar & maple flavoring.
~Spread over set chocolate flavoring.
~Spread peanut mixture ove top of powdered sugar mixture.
~Allow to chill and cut into bars.

`substitute maple flavoring with vanilla flavoring.
`substitute maple flavoring with caramel flavoring.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Apple Fries

I had these once at a fair.  They were so good.   Not quite as healthy as eating the apple plain, but still a great treat.  These also go well with pork chops.

(serves 2)


*2 granny smith apples, cored, peeled & sliced
*1/2 cup cornstarch, or as needed
*1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
*1/4 cup marshmallow cream
*Dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

~Preheat oil in deep-fryer (or heavy pot) to 375 degrees
~Whisk, cream cheese, marshmallow cream & cinnamon together, until creamy.
~Core, peel & slice your apples (I use my french fry cutter for slicing).
~Put corn starch in a paper bag.
~Place apple slices in bag, close and shake until well coated.
~Remove apple slices from bag & place in a strainer.
~Shake off any excess cornstarch.
~Carefully place apples in hot oil.
~Fry for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.
~Sprinkle fries with cinnamon sugar.
~Dip in cream cheese mixture (this will be enough for at least 4 apples).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chicken Tenders

Kids love chicken tenders, but they really aren't that healthy.  This recipe is so much healthier than the ones you buy in the store.  Let the kids help with this recipe.  Make a bunch up and freeze them.  Freeze them before or after baking for future use.  They go great with the 'crispy french fries' recipe.

(serves 4)

*1 cup all-purpose flour
*1 1/2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1 teaspoon dried thyme
*1 tablespoon dried basil
*1/2 teaspoon onion powder
*1 cup buttermilk
*12 chicken tenderloins

~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Place flour into a shallow bowl or a plate.
~Mix breadcrumbs, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme & basil in a gallon size zip-loc bag.
~Coat chicken, one piece at a time in the buttermilk.
~Next coat it with the flour.
~Return to buttermilk mixture.
~Next drop it into the bread crumb mixture.
~Seal bag & shake.
~Spray cookie sheet & cooling rack/wire with cooking spray.
~Place a cooling rack/wire on a cookie sheet.
~Gently place chicken tenders on the top of the cooling/wire rack in a single layer.
~Bake for 20 minutes, or until chicken in done.

**Dip in BBQ Sauce, Ranch Dressing, Bleu Cheese Dressing, Horseradish Dipping Sauce or just eat plain.  I have posted all dipping sauces at sometime in my blog.

Nutrition Facts may not be exact.

Monday, October 3, 2011

BBQ Chicken Pizza

When I first heard of BBQ Pizza my thought was "Yuck".  The the more I milled it over the more I wanted to try it out.   I do not know if this is how most people make it, but I really enjoyed it.

(serves 4-6)

*1 pizza dough (I make my own and some pizza places sell the dough).
*1 boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cooked & shredded
*1/2 cup green peppers, chopped small
*1/2 cup red onion, sliced thin
*1 - 1 /2 cups barbecue sauce (I make my own)
*1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
*5 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled (optional)
*1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
*Corn meal

~Sprinkle a thin layer of corn meal over pizza pan or a cast iron pan.
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~In a medium bowl, mix chicken and barbecue sauce together.
~Roll out pizza dough to fit pizza pan.
~Spread barbecue sauce with chicken evenly over pizza dough.
~Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over barbecue sauce.
~Sprinkle parmesan cheese over mozzarella cheese.
~Sprinkle green peppers evenly over top of cheeses.
~Spread onions over next.
~Bake on middle rack for 20-25 minutes.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Crispy Oven Fries

I love my fries crispy.  These do the trick.   So much healthier than the double deep fry method.  A cooling/wire rack is imperitive for this recipe.   The air flow under the fries is what makes them so crispy.

(serves 6)

*6 medium Idaho potatoes
*1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1-2 teaspoons seasonings of choice (optional)

~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Place a cooling/wire rack over a cookie sheets (you will probably need 2 cookie sheets).
~Peel potatoes lengthwise.
~Cut each potato into thin strips.
~In a large bowl, toss the fries with olive oil, coating fries.
~Season with salt & pepper.
~Arrange the fries in a single layer, leaving adequate space between each fry.
~Bake for 30 minutes.
~Remove fries from oven.
~Turn oven up to 425 degrees.
~Toss the fries with seasonings of choice.
~Return fries to cooling/wire rack, single layer and adequately spaced.
~Bake another 15-20 minutes, or until crisp & brown.

Flavoring Ideas:
-minced garlic & dried rosemary
-paprika & chili powder
-cajun seasoning
-parmesan cheese
-parmesan cheese & dried oregano
-onion salt & garlic salt
-lawrey's season salt

Helpful Hint:
`If you don't like your fries as crispy, just bake them for about 5-8 minutes for the second bake.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sesame Chicken Salad

Great for lunch, dinner, picnic, or snack.

(serves 6-8)

*1/4 cup sesame seeds
*1 (16 ounce) package of spiral noodles
*1/4 cup vegetable oil
*1/3 cup soy sauce
*1/3 cup rice vinegar
*1 teaspoon sesame oil
*3 tablespoon white sugar
*1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*3 cups chicken breast, cooked, cooled & shredded
*1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
*1/4 cup shredded carrots
*1/3 cup cucumbers, sliced
*1/3 cup red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
*1/3 cup green onions, chopped

~Heat a small pan over medium-high heat.
~Add sesame seeds, stirring often, until lightly toasted.
~Remove from heat, and set aside.
~Bring a large pot of water to boil.
~Lightly salt water.
~Add pasta, cook for 8-10 minutes, or until al dente.
~Drain pasta.
~Rinse pasta under cold water until cool.
~Place drained, cooled pasta into a large bowl.
~Mix veggies & chicken into pasta.
~Combine vegetable oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds, ginger & pepper in a container that you can close.
~Shake mixture well.
~Pour over pasta mixture and gently mix well until pasta is evenly coated.

`omit chicken to make it vegetarian if you choose.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Cream of Mushroom Soup

    This is good just as a soup or to cook a roast, pork chops, meatballs or chicken in.  Very quick and easy to make.

    (serves 6)

    *6 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
    *2 cups chicken stock
    *1 small onion, chopped
    *1 garlic clove, minced
    *1 tablespoon butter
    *3 tablespoons butter
    *3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    *1/4 teaspoon salt
    *1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    *1 cup half & half

    ~Sauté onions, garlic & mushrooms in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
    ~Add chicken stock & thyme to mushrooms and cook for 15 minutes.
    ~Carefully pour mixture into a blender or food processor.
    ~Puree, leaving small pieces of vegetable in it.
    ~In a saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter.
    ~Whisk in the flour, until smooth.
    ~Once smooth, cook for 1 minute whisking continuously.
    ~Add salt, pepper, half & half, and mushroom mixture.
    ~Stir constantly, bringing soup to a boil, and cook until thickened.

    *Add more milk if it becomes to thick.

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Roasted Garlic Basil Cream Sauce with Chicken

    This is a nice recipe when you want something good to eat that only takes short time to whip up.  It is one of my favorites.  I make it very seldom because of the calories & fat in it.

    (serves 4)

    *1 whole garlic bulb (small-medium)
    *1-2 teaspoons olive oil
    *1/4 cup whole milk
    *1/4 cup italian style bread crumbs
    *4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    *6 tablespoons butter
    *1 red pepper, chopped
    *1 cup chicken broth
    *2 cups heavy cream
    *1-1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
    *1/2 cup fresh basil
    *1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    *1 (8 ounce box) angel hair pasta

    ~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    ~Cut top off of garlic bulb, and remove just the outer layer of skin.
    ~Drizzle olive oil over top of bulb making sure all the cut edges are coated.
    ~Wrap in aluminum foil.
    ~Bake for 30-35 minutes or until garlic is soft.
    ~Allow garlic to cool and squeeze out soft garlic into a small bowl.
    ~Set aside.
    ~Put a pot of salted water over medium-high heat.
    ~Bring water to a boil.
    ~Cook noodles as directed on package.
    ~Drain noodles, and set aside.
    ~Pound chicken breast to about 1/4 inch thick.
    ~Place milk in a shallow bowl.
    ~Place bread crumbs into a separate bowl.
    ~Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.
    ~Dip chicken into milk & then in the bread crumbs.
    ~Cook in butter, on both sides, until done (about 10 minutes).
    ~Remove, and keep warm.
    ~Add chicken broth to skillet.
    ~Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen browned chicken bits from pan.
    ~Add red pepper to pan and cook until pepper is tender.
    ~Add in roasted garlic.
    ~Stir in cream; boil for 1 minute.
    ~Reduce heat to low.
    ~Add parmesan cheese, chopped basil & pepper.
    ~Cook sauce until heated through, stirring often.
    ~Plate noodles, place chicken over noodles, and pour mixture over chicken & serve.

    `If you don't have the time or desire to roast garlic, sauté 4 or 5 cloves when you sauté the red peppers.  I personally think the roasted garlic is much better in this recipe.

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Flour Tortillas

    As always, so much better than store bought.   It's super simple to make, just make sure you roll them out thin enough.  Store the extra in a plastic zip-loc bag in the refrigerator.

    (makes 16)

    *2 1/2 cups all-purose flour
    *1 teaspoon kosher salt
    *2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    *1-2 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
    *1 cup hot water

    ~Whisk the flour, salt & baking powder together in a mixing bowl.
    ~Mix in the lard/vegetable shortening with pastry blender or fork, until the flour resembles course crumbs.
    ~Slowly add the water and mix until the dough come together.
    ~Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead 30-40 times,  until the dough becomes smooth.
    ~Cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
    ~Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces.
    ~Roll each piece into a ball.
    ~Allow dough balls to rest for 10 minutes.
    ~Preheat a large skillet (cast iron is best) over medium-high heat.
    ~Roll  each dough ball into a very thin semi-round tortilla.
    ~Cook tortillas one at a time.
    ~Cook until golden & bubbly (20-30 seconds).
    ~Flip and cook until a golden brown on the other side.
    ~Place tortillas in a warmer or between warm towels in a warm 

    Helpful Hint:
    -They cook much better in a dark pan such as a cast iron pan.
    -Make sure you roll them out super thin, almost translucent. 
    -Don't cook tortillas to long or they will become crisp.

    **Don't become discouraged if the first few don't seem to work for you.  You'll get the hang of it, and will be very happy with the taste.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Veggie Bake

    This is so simple, healthy and good.  I'm not a vegetarian, but boy did I enjoy this recipe.

    (serves 8)

    *1 medium zucchini, sliced into bite size pieces
    *1 medium yellow squash, sliced into bite size pieces
    *1/3 cup red onion, chopped
    *1/3 cup mushrooms, sliced
    *1/2 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
    *1/2 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
    *1/4 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
    *1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
    *6-8 ounces fresh baby spinach
    *3 garlic cloves, minced
    *1 teaspoon dried basil
    *1 teaspoon dried oregano
    *3 tablespoon olive oil
    *1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
    *1 teaspoon white sugar
    *1 teaspoon salt
    *1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    *(8 ounce) package lasagna noodles
    *9 plum tomatoes, sliced thin


    ~Bring a large pot of water to boil on top of stove.
    ~Once water is boiling add lasagna noodles.
    ~Boil noodles for 5 minutes, remove from water and drain.
    ~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    ~Lightly coat a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.
    ~In a large bowl, toss together zucchini, squash, mushrooms, spinach, garlic, red onion, 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese & feta cheese.
    ~Mix olive, balsamic vinegar, basil & oregano.
    ~Drizzle over vegetables.
    ~Place 1/2 of the lasagna noodles into the bottom of the prepared pan.
    ~Make a layer of tomato slices over noodles.
    ~Spread a generous amount of veggie mixtures over the tomatoes.
    ~Lay 1/2 of the slices of tomatoes over veggies.
    ~Layer the rest of lasagna noodles over tomatoes.
    ~Layer the rest of tomatoes over noodles.
    ~Layer the rest of the veggie mix over the tomatoes.
    ~Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese over top.
    ~Bake for 40-45 minutes.
    ~Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes, so casserole can sit.

      Friday, September 16, 2011

      Cheesy Bread

      This is sooooooo good, but not necessarily good for you.  It makes  a great appetizer or is also excellent along with soup or pasta dishes.


      *1 loaf of Italian or French Bread (I've posted both recipes on my blog)
      *1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
      *1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
      *1/4 cup green onion, chopped
      *1/4 cup mayonnaise
      *1 tablespoon sour cream
      *2 cloves garlic, minced
      *1/4 cup butter, softened

      ~Mix the both cheeses & green onion in a large bowl.
      ~Stir in mayonnaise & sour cream.
      ~In a separate bowl blend butter & garlic until smooth.
      ~Mix the butter mixture & cheese mixture together.
      ~Preheat oven to broil.
      ~Slice bread in half horizontally.
      ~Put bread crust side down on a cookie sheet.
      ~Spread cheese mixture over bread.
      ~Put in oven and broil until lightly brown, 3-5 minutes.
      ~Remove from oven and let sit another 5 minutes.
      ~Slice bread & serve.

      `add crumbled, cooked, bacon to cheese mixture.
      `add chopped sautéed red & green peppers to top of bread.
      `add chopped olives to cheese mixture.
      `add chopped pepperoni to top of bread.

      Thursday, September 15, 2011

      Italian Bread

      I love a good crusty on the outside, soft on the inside bread.  This one fits that bill.

      (2 loafs)

      *2 cups warm water
      *2 teaspoons active dry yeast
      *4 2/3 cups bread flour
      *1/4 teaspoon sugar
      *2 teaspoons salt
      *1 tablespoon olive oil
      *1 tablespoon corn meal

      ~Combine water, yeast & sugar into a small bowl.
      ~Set sit for 10 minutes until yeast proofs (foams).
      ~Mix flour & salt in a large mixing bowl.
      ~Add yeast water and mix until incorporated.
      ~Mix in olive oil (do not add this at the same time as the yeast-water).
      ~Knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and satiny.
      ~Place the dough into a large oiled bowl.
      ~Turn dough so that it's oiled on all sides.
      ~Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm/draft free area.
      ~Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
      ~Punch down dough.
      ~Sprinkle cooking stone or cookie sheet with corn meal.
      ~Roll into desired shape of loaf.
      ~Place on cooking stone.
      ~Cut about 1/4 inch deep slice, along the top of the loaf, stopping short of the ends.
      ~Cover with with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size, 30-60 minutes.
      ~Place a bowl of water in the oven.
      ~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
      ~Put bread in oven, on bottom rack and bake for 10 minutes.
      ~Reduce heat to 400 degrees, bake another 20-30 minutes.
      ~Bread is done when it makes a hollow sound when you thump on the bottom with your thumb.

      Tuesday, September 13, 2011

      Pizza Sauce

      Very easy to make.  It requires no cooking.  The trick to a better taste is to let the flavors marinate together.  Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

      Pizza Sauce:

      *1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
      *1/2 cup warm water
      *4 tablespoon fresh grated parmesan cheese
      *2 garlic cloves, minced
      *1 teaspoon onion powder
      *1 teaspoon sea salt
      *1/2 teaspoon dried basil
      *1/2 teaspoon black pepper
      *1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
      *1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
      *1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
      *1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

      ~In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients.
      ~Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
      ~Spread over pizza before any other toppings.

      ~Add 2 teaspoons hot sauce
      ~Add chopped black olives.