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.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Grilled Veggies

This is good cooked on the grill, campfire or in the oven. Don't forget to add or omit veggies to your liking.

(serves 4)

*1 zucchini, sliced
*1 yellow squash, sliced
*1/2 cup mini carrots
*1/4 cup onion, sliced
*1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
*1/2 cup yellow pepper, sliced
*1 tablespoon minced garlic
*1/8 teaspoon dried basil
*1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
*dash of cayenne pepper
*salt to taste
*2 tablespoon olive oil

~Preheat oven to 350, Gill on medium.
~In a medium bowl mix all veggies.
~Sprinkle seasonings over veggies and mix.
~Drizzle olive oil over veggies.
~Rip off a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil
~Dump veggies in center of foil.
~Fold foil to make a packet over veggies.
~Bake in oven 30-40 minutes. Bake on grill for 20-30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Bake on a tripod over campfire 30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stuffed Pepper Soup

My family loves soup.   I make many different types.   This is very good.  It's a thicker soup, kind of like a chili.

(serves 6)

*1 pound ground sirloin
*1/2 green pepper, chopped
*1/2 red pepper, chopped
*1 medium onion, finely chopped
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes (I can my own tomatoes and use a quart size)
*1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
*2 cups chicken stock
*1/4 teaspoon thyme
*1/4 teaspoon sage
*1 teaspoon italian seasoning
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon pepper
*1 cup white rice
*2 cups water
*2 cups cheddar cheese (optional)

~In a large dutch oven or large stock pot brown ground sirloin.
~Drain fat.
~Add red & green peppers, onion & garlic.
~Cook until onion is translucent.
~Add tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, thyme, sage, italian seasoning, salt & pepper.
~Cover & simmer for about 45 minutes, until peppers are tender.
~In another saucepan, add 2 cups water & 1 cup rice. (I do this during the last 25 minutes of the soup simmering)
~Cover and bring water to a boil, over medium-high heat.
~Once water comes to a boil, reduce heat to low, keep covered and simmer for 20 minutes.
~Once rice is done, fluff with a fork.
~Add rice to soup, and serve.
~Top with cheese if desired.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kicking Sweet Potato Fries

A much healthier alternative to regular fries. Very tasty with just a hint of kick. Add more spice if you want it to be really spicy.

(serves 6)

*6 sweet potatoes, cut into fries
*1 teaspoon sea salt
*1 teaspoon cajun seasoning 
*1 teaspoon paprika
*1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
*1 teaspoon garlic powder
*2 tablespoons canola oil
*1 teaspoon chipotle tabasco pepper sauce

~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~In a gallon size zip-loc bag, add all the ingredients.
~Shake the bag until the potatoes are well coated.
(if you don't have a bag, use a large bowl and mix until potatoes are well coated).
~Spread the fries in a single layer, on a well greased (I use cooking spray) baking pan.
~Cook for 15-30 minutes on one side, or until crispy on one side. (Time depends on how thick you cut your fries)
~Carefully turn over fries, and cook another 15-30 minutes until crispy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Brazilian Lemonade

Very good and nothing like the lemonade I've ever had.  I was told that the reason it's called lemonade (even though there are no lemons in it), is because there are no lemons in Brazil.  I was told that they call limes, "lemons".  True or false I really don't know.  This is sweet so you want small glasses of it.

(serves 6-8)

*4 limes (juicy, with thin smooth skins)
*1 cup white sugar
*6 cups water
*6 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

~Mix water & sugar in a small sauce pan.
~Heat water until sugar is completely dissolved.
~Put sugar water in a container and place in refrigerator, until completely chilled.
~Wash limes with dish soap (to remove any wax and pesticides).
~Rinse all soap off of limes.
~Cut the ends off the limes.
~Cut each lime into 8ths.
~Place 1/2 of the limes in your blender.
~Add 1/2 of the sugar water.
~Put lid and blender, and pulse 6-8 times.
~Place a fine mesh over a pitcher.
~Pour the mixture through strainer and into the pitcher.
~Use a spoon to press remaining liquid into the pitcher.
~Throw away the remaining pulp & rinds that are in the strainer.
~Repeat with the remaining limes & sugar water.
~Add sweetened condensed milk.
~Serve immediately over lots of ice.

Helpful Hint:
`if it tastes bitter add some more sugar & milk.
`This does NOT keep well, so don't make a head of time.  You can get everything ready and just mix when ready to use.
`You can also just zest the limes, then peel them.  This will cut down on any chance of it being bitter because you aren't blending any of the pith in it.
`Do not over blend the limes, it will cause the drink to become bitter because of the pith.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cajun Seasoning

Whenever I can, I like to make my own seasoning. Than doesn't happen often, but I can do it with this one. Add more red pepper flakes if you like it really spicy, less if you like it less spicy. I consider this a medium heat spice.

(makes 1/4 cup)

*1 teaspoons salt
*2 teaspoons garlic powder
*2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
*1 teaspoon black pepper
*3 teaspoons paprika
*1 teaspoon onion powder
*1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
*1 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
*3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

~Stir all the seasonings together in a small bowl, until well blended.
~Store in an airtight container.
~Use as recipe calls for.

Cranberry Sauce

Homemade cranberry sauce is so much better than what you get from a can. It's so easy and quick to make.  This one is more tart.  If you like it sweeter try the "Cranberry Relish" that I posted.

(serves 12)

*12 ounces cranberries
*1/2 cup white sugar
*1/4 cup brown sugar
*1/4 cup orange juice
*1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

~Dissolve sugar, orange juice & lemon zest, in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
~Stir in the cranberries and cook until the cranberries star to pop (about 12 minutes).
~Remove from heat.
~Place in a bowl and let cool.
~Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Cheesy Garlic Rolls

Yummy!  These are so good.  I love having the garlic & cheese in every bite.

(makes 12 large or 18 medium)

*1 tablespoon yeast
*1 1/2 cups warm water
*1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
*1 teaspoon salt
*4 to 5 cups flour
*3 tablespoons vegetable oil
*1/2 cup butter, softened
*2 tablespoons garlic spread seasoning
*1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

~Combine yeast, water & sugar in a large mixing bowl.
~Allow to sit and proof for about 10 minutes.
~Add salt & vegetable oil.
~Add 4 cups flour and mix until combined.
~Add more flour if needed.  You want a soft dough that barely sticks to your fingers.
~Knead the bread dough for 3-4 minutes.
~Grease a large mixing bowl.
~Place dough into greased bowl, flip over so both sides get some butter on it.
~Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a clean damp towel.
~Let rise in a warm, draft free area for 1 hour.
~In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup softened butter with 2 tablespoons garlic spread seasoning.
~Roll bread dough into a rectangle 18" long & 6" wide.
~Spread garlic butter spread over entire area of bread dough.
~Sprinkle cheese over garlic butter spread.
~Roll up jelly-roll style.
~Cut into 12 equal pieces (18, if you want smaller rolls).
~Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray, or grease with butter.
~Place each slice of bread into muffin pan.
~Cover with a clean damp towel.
~Allow to rise for about 20 minutes.
~Place in oven.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees (yes the bead goes in as it's preheating).
~Once the oven has reached 350 degrees, bake for 20-22 minutes.
~Cover lightly with foil durning the last 10-12 minutes of cooking.

Garlic Spread Seasoning:

*1/2 cup parmesan cheese (one of the few times I don't use fresh)
*2 teaspoons kosher salt
*2 tablespoons garlic powder
*2 teaspoons oregano
*2 teaspoons basil
*2 teaspoons marjoram
*2 teaspoons dried parsley
*1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

Garlic Spread Directions:
~Combine all the ingredients and store in a jar, in refrigerator.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Iced Caramel Cappuccino

1/2 the calories & a fraction of the cost of a Starbucks drink.   Autumn really enjoyed it.

(serves 2)

*1 cup strong coffee (double strength), chilled
*1 cup whole milk
*3 tablespoons white sugar
*4 tablespoons caramel topping
*2 1/2 cups ice
*whip cream (optional)

~Put chilled coffee, milk, sugar, caramel & ice in a blender.
~Cover & blend on highest speed until all of the ice is crushed.
~Pour into glasses.
~Top with whipped cream if desired & drizzle a little more caramel on top.

`substitute caramel topping with chocolate syrup.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mexican Pizza Pie

A very quick and easy to make dinner.  Easy to change up as you like.  I just use a refried bean mixture for Autumns, but leave the beans off of mine.

(serves 4)

*1/2 pound ground beef
*1 medium onion, diced
*1/2 green pepper, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1 tablespoon chili powder
*1 teaspoon ground cumin
*1/2 teaspoon paprika
*1/2 teaspoon oregano
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
*8 flour tortillas
*1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
*1 cup monterey jack cheese
*3 green onions, chopped
*2 roma tomatoes, diced
*1/4 cup pepper rings, finely chopped (optional)
*1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
*1 cup salsa

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray (or oven proof skillets).
~In a large skillet, cook ground beef, onion,  green pepper & garlic over medium heat.
~Once beef in cooked through, add chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt & pepper.
~In a medium skillet, sprayed with a cooking spray place tortilla in pan and cook over medium heat for a minute on each side.
~Lay tortilla on prepared cookie sheet.
~Cover with a layer of refried beans.
~Spread 1/4 of the seasoned ground beef over each tortilla, then cover with second tortilla.
~Bake  for 10 minutes.
~Remove from oven, and let cool slightly.
~Cover each pizza with cheddar & monterey jack cheeses.

~Place tomatoes, green onions, & jalapenos on top of each one.
~Return to oven and bake for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
~Remove from oven, and let cool slightly before slicing each one in half.
~Dap sour cream on top if desired.
~Spoon a little salsa over if desired.

Vegetarian Variations:
~Omit ground beef and seasonings to refried beans.
~Substitute ground beef with ground bocca crumbles.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chocolate Covered Cherries

This is one of my favorite candies. I only make them at Christmas and sometimes for Easter times for obvious reasons. They are a little time consuming, and a little messy, but well worth the effort.

(makes 35)

*35 maraschino cherries with stems
*1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
*1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup
*1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
*1 - 1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
*1 pound milk chocolate (or merckens chocolate).

~Drain cherries and set on paper towels to dry.
~In a mixing bowl, combine butter, cherry juice, and corn syrup until smooth.
~Stir in 2 cups powdered sugar and knead to for a dough (if it seems to thin add a little more powdered sugar)
~Refrigerate while chocolate is melting.
~Melt chocolate over low heat (or double boiler).
~Stir often until chocolate is melted and smooth.
~Spoon a small amount of chocolate into the bottom of each bonbon mold.
~Tilt the tray to coat the sides and create a hollow chocolate shell, making sure there are no holes in the bottom or sides of the shell.
~Slide the molds into the freezer until the chocolate shells have set, about 15 minutes.
~Wrap each cherry in about 1 teaspoon of dough.
~Place in set chocolate molds.
~Place back in freezer for 5 minutes.
~Pour chocolate over cherries, making sure the edges are sealed and that there are no gaps in the chocolate.
~Place chocolate covered cherries back in the freezer for about 10 minutes, or until they are set.
~Flip the molds over on a flat surface, tapping them lightly, until all the candies have been released from the molds.
~Store in a cool, air-tight container.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Glazed Ham

My daughter Tonia, loves honey baked ham. I don't make it often, so it's a real treat for the family when I do.

(serves 15)

*1 (5-7 pound) ready-to-eat spiral ham
*15-20 whole cloves
*1/8 cup dark corn syrup
*1 cup honey
*1/3 cup butter
*1/4 cup brown sugar

~Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
~Sick the whole cloves all over the ham.
~Line roasting pan with aluminum foil.
~Place ham in foil lined pan.
~Melt butter in a double boiler or in a glass bowl over a pot of hot water.
~Mix in the corn syrup & honey.
~Keep the glaze warm while ham is baking.
~Brush the glaze over ham.
~Bake for 1-2 hours.
~Baste every 15 minutes.
~Remove from oven.
~Turn oven to broil.
~Add brown sugar to glaze.
~Baste ham one last time.
~Broil for 3-5 minutes.
~Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Frozen Raspberry & Cream Pie

This recipe is a little time consuming to make, but not hard.  Very light, creamy and oh so good.


*2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (omit crust for gluten free)
*2 tablespoons butter, melted
*5 teaspoons sugar
*3 eggs, separated
*1/4 cup water
*1 cup white sugar
*1/8 teaspoon salt
*1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter
*1 teaspoon water
*1 1/2 cups cool whip
*1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
* 1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries, thawed

~In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, butter & 5 teaspoons sugar.
~Press in an tart pan, coated with cooking spray.
~Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
~In a small saucepan, whisk egg yolks, 1/4 water, 1/2 cup sugar and salt.
~Cook over low heat until yolk mixture reaches 160 degrees, or until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.
~Remove from heat and place pan in a bowl of ice water, whisking quickly for 2 minutes, set aside.
~In a medium bowl, combine egg whites & cream of tarter and 1teaspoon water.
~Beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form.
~In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
~Gradually beat in egg yolk mixture.
~Fold in cool whip.
~Fold in egg white mixture.
~Mash raspberries in a small bowl.
~Spread 1/2 of the mixture over graham cracker crust.
~Spoon half of the berries over top.
~Spread the rest of the cream cheese mixture over berries.
~Spoon the rest of the berries over cream cheese mixture.
~Cut through with a knife to swirl raspberries.
~Cover & freeze for 5 hours or until firm.
~Remove from freezer 15 minutes before cutting.

`top with a raspberry sauce

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Wrap

This is a recipe that I got from my nieces Tina & Deanna.   Super simple to make and very good.

(serves 8)


*4 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
*1 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon pepper
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 cup red seedless grapes, cut in half
*1 cucumber, peeled, & diced
*1/4 teaspoon vinegar
*1/2 cup mayonnaise
*1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
*1/4 teaspoon dill weed
*8 flour tortilla wraps

~Whisk together vinegar, mayonnaise, minced garlic & dill weed in  large bowl & set aside.
~Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
~Sprinkle cut up chicken breasts with garlic powder, salt & pepper.
~Peel & cut up cucumber into bite size pieces.
~Drop cucumber into mayo mixture.
~Slice grapes in half and drop into mayo mixture.
~Gently place chicken into hot olive oil.
~Cook until chicken is done, no pink in center.
~Remove from heat and drop into mayo mixture.
~Mix throughly.
~Place over tortilla wraps & serve.

`Add dried cranberries to mixture.
`Omit tortilla wrap and serve over a bed of lettuce.
`Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
`substitute flour tortillas with sun dried tortillas.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cream of Broccoli Soup

A very quick and easy soup to make. A nice way to warm up on a cold Michigan day.

(Add a little cheese to make it even better)

(serves 5)

*2 tablespoons butter
*1 onion chopped
*1 garlic clove, minced
*1 stalk celery, chopped
*1 medium carrot, shredded
*3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
*10 cups broccoli florets
*3 tablespoons butter
*3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (use rice flour for gluten free)
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon pepper
*1 cup whole milk
*1 cup half & half

~Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium sized stock pot.
~Sauté onion, celery, garlic, and carrots until veggies are tender.
~Add broccoli and broth, bring to a boil
~Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
~Pour a small amount of soup into a blender, maybe 1/4 full.
~Carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses, then puree.
~Pour pureed soup into a bowl.
~Repeat this step until soup is all pureed.
~In a small saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter, over medium heat.
~Stir in flour, salt & pepper, stir in continuously for 1 minutes. Be careful not to burn.
~Slowly add milk.
~Stir until the sauce thickness and is bubbly.
~Add to soup.
~Serve hot, add cheese if desired.

-Substitute chicken stock for vegetable stock.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Raspberry Orange Pork Chops

is so good.   You can eat this as is or slice it up make put it in a tortilla or over a salad.  The raspberry-orange sauce would be really good on top of ice cream too.

(serves 4)

*4 butterfly pork chops
*1 egg
*1/2 cup milk
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1 cup italian bread crumbs
*zest from one orange
*1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
*1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1 teaspoon parsley flakes
*1/2 cup raspberries
*1/8 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
*1/8 cup white sugar
*1/4 tablespoon cornstarch
*1/2 tablespoon water

~In a small sauce pan, comine raspberries, orange juice & sugar together.
~Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
~Dissolve corn starch into the water.
~Continuously whisk into boiling fruit mixture.
~Cook for 2 minutes, whisking the entire time.
~Remove from stove, and let sit.
~Whisk egg & milk together in a small bowl.
~Combine bread crumbs, orange zest, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, pepper & parley flakes together in a medium bowl.
~Pound the pork chops to about 1/4 inch thickness.
~Heat olive oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat.
~Dip the pork chops into the egg-milk mixture.
~Dredge into bread crumb mixture, making sure they are fully coated.
~Carefully drop into hot olive oil.
~Cook 3-5 minutes on each side, or until pork is cooked through.
~Remove from pan, and plate.
~Spoon fruit sauce over pork chops.

`Substitute pork with chicken.
`Substitute pork with veal.
`Substitute raspberries with strawberries.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Asian Orange Chicken

I very seldom go out for Chinese food because most of their food gives me a headache (I'm thinking it's the MSG).   So I've resorted to making my own.   I thought this turned out very good.  This recipe is a little time consuming and has a few extra steps, but well worth the effort.

(serves 4)

*1 1/2 cups water
*freshly squeezed orange juice, 2-3 tablespoons
*freshly squeezed lemon juice, 4 tablespoons
*1/3 cup rice vinegar
*2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
*zest of 1 orange, 1 tablespoon
*zest of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon
*1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
*grated ginger root, 1/2 teaspoon
*1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
*2 green onions, chopped
*1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
*2 tablespoons cornstarch
*1 tablespoon water
*2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
*1/2 cup flour
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon pepper
*1/2 tablespoon corn starch
*1/8 teaspoon baking powder
*5 tablespoons olive oil

~Pour 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce in a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat.
~Stir in orange zest, lemon zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, green onion, & red pepper flakes.
~Bring to a boil.
~Remove from heat, and cool completely.
~Place chicken & cooled sauce into a zip-loc plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
~Shake flour, 1 teaspoon corn starch, baking powder, salt & pepper in gallon size zip-loc bag.
~Add cut up chicken seal bag & shake to coat chicken.
~Put in refrigerator for 1 hour (this step is optional)
~Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
~Place a cooling rack in a cookie sheet.
~Heat the olive oil in large skillet (I like using my cast iron pan), over medium heat.
~Place chicken into skillet, and brown on both sides, and cooked through.
~Place on cooling rack & place in oven.
~Carefully wipe out skillet of any drippings.
~Add sauce that chicken was marinating in.
~Bring to a boil over medium heat.
~Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch & 1 tablespoon water together a small bowl.
~Stir into sauce.
~Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, for 5-10 minutes.
~Remove chicken from oven.
~Place chicken over cooked rice.
~Pour sauce over chicken.

`Add steamed broccoli.
`Add sauteed green peppers, red peppers, and carrots, all sliced thin.
`Serve of fried rice.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Basket Cookie

Very easy to make, put looks so fancy and like you put a lot of work into it.  The shells do take a while to cook, just because you can only put two or three on a cookie sheet at a time.

(Makes 18)

*1/2 cup butter softened
*1 cup white sugar
*3/4 cup flour
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*4 egg whites, beaten
*1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
*2 cups powdered sugar
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*2 tablespoon raspberry jam
*1 (8 ounce) container cool whip, thawed
*24 raspberries

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
~Grease the outsides of 12 drinking glasses or small bowls (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter).
~In a medium bowl cream butter & white sugar together.
~Mix in the flour, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and the eggs whites, mix until smooth.
~Drop about 1heaping tablespoon of dough onto the cookie sheet.
~Use a spoon to spread the dough into very thin circle about 5" in diameter.
~Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until the cookie are very lightly browned at the edges, but set in the middle (do not over bake).
~Remove from oven.
~Immediately slip a spatula underneath the cookie, to remove from cookie sheet (or pick up parchment paper and gently peel off)
~Carefully drape them over the greased glasses to harden into a small wavy basket.
~Allow to cool.
~In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese & powdered sugar together until smooth.
~Mix in 2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 tablespoon raspberry jam.
~Fold in cool whip, until thoroughly mixed.
~Spoon about 1/8-1/4 cup of the cream cheese mixture into each cookie bowl.
~Top each filled bowl with a raspberry.

`substitute raspberries & jam with strawberries