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.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

French Toast

My family all loves a good hardy French Toast.  Believe it or not, fresh bread does not make the best french toast.   You want your bread to be a little stale.    I love the custard style egg mixture that you dip the bread in.   It makes amazing french toast.



FRENCH TOAST
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*1/2 cup heavy cream
*1/2 cup milk
*3 tablespoons honey, warmed up
*4 eggs
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*8 slices stale bread, cut 1/2 -1 inch thick
*4 tablespoons butter

Directions:
~Cut bread and let is air out for at least 1 hour.
~Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
~In a pie plate, whisk heavy cream, milk, warmed honey, eggs, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg & vanilla.
~Dip bread into egg mixture, and let soak for about 20-20 seconds per side.
~Place bread on the wire rack, to drip off excess egg mixture.
~Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet/griddle over medium-low heat.
~Place 2-4 slices of egg soaked bread into the skillet/griddle at a time.
~Cook approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
~Remove from pan and place on a cookie sheet.
~Keep in warm oven until all the french toast is made.
~Repeat until all of the bread has been cooked up.
~Serve hot with syrup or cinnamon sugar, top with whip cream if desired.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

B & B Crushed Potatoes

These are very simple and oh so good.  I prefer yukon gold potatoes, but use whatever potato you like.






CRUSHED BOILED/BAKED TATERS
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 teaspoon salt
*12 yukon gold potatoes
*3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
*1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

Directions:
~Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
~Season the water with 1 teaspoon salt.
~Add potatoes, and cook until fork-tender.
~Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
~Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over a large cookie sheet.
~Put the cooked potatoes on prepared cookie sheet, leaving room between the potatoes.
~Gently press each potato down with a potato masher, just until it's slightly mashed.
~Rotate the potato to the other side and gently mash again.
~In a small bowl, mix olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper & rosemary
~Brush the tops of each potato with the remaining olive oil.
~Sprinkle the potatoes with the kosher salt, pepper, garlic salt & rosemary.
~Bake potatoes for 25 minutes.

Variations:
`add crumbled cooked bacon, (the last 5 minutes of cooking or after it's cooked)
`add chopped green onions, after it's cooked
`add a dollop of sour cream, after it's cooked
`add shredded cheddar cheese, (the last 5 minutes of cooking or after it's cooked)
`add a pinch of dried thyme to olive oil.
`add 1/8 teaspoon onion powder to olive oil.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Crispy Bread Bowls

My family loves chili in bread bowls.   The crust on this recipe is crispy & and the bread is dense.   I love that I can mix this up the night before and bake them the next day.





CRISPY BREAD BOWLS
(makes 6 small or 4 medium)

Ingredients:
*3 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup whole wheat flour
*1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
*2 teaspoons active dry yeast
*2 1/4 teaspoon salt
*2 tablespoon vegetable oil
*1 1/2 cup warm water

Directions:
~Measure warm water into a large mixing bowl.
~Sprinkle yeast into water & lightly stir.
~Let sit for about 5-10 minutes.
~Stir in all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, dry milk, salt & vegetable oil until mixed.
~Knead dough until it is smooth.
~Cover the dough, rise in a warm, draft free area for 1 hour.
~Divide the dough into 6 pieces.
~Roll each piece into a ball.
~Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
~Sprinkle with a little corn meal (optional)
~Place bread dough on a greased cookie sheet.
~Cover with greased plastic wrap.
~Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.
~Remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before are ready to eat.
~Uncover and let rise for 1 hour.
~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~After bread has rose, slash the top surface several times with a sharp knife.
~Bake 24-28 minutes, until the bowls are a deep brown and have a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
~Remove from oven, and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.
~Slice off top of bread and scoop out inside (I keep the insides of the bread to make stuffing).
~Fill with soup and enjoy.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Stuffed Tomatoes

This is not the 'tuna stuffed' tomato that I grew up having.  I do love tuna stuffed tomatoes, but this is out of this world good.  I also love that it's vegetarian.  They are only 185 calories each.





STUFFED TOMATOES
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*4 large tomatoes
*1 (10 ounce) container chopped frozen spinach, thawed
*1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
*3/4 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
*1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
*1 tablespoon, freshly squeezed lemon juice
*1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
*1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
*a pinch nutmeg
*1 egg yolk
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Optional
*1/4 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
*1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
*3 teaspoons olive oil
*1 teaspoon dried basil

Directions:
~Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
~Carefully drop tomatoes into boiling water for 1 minutes.
~Remove from water and put into a large bowl of ice water.
~Squeeze liquid from spinach.
~In a large saucepan, spray a cooking spray into the bottom of a large sauté pan.
~Sauté mushrooms, over medium-high heat, until they begin to brown.
~Add chicken/vegetable stock to the mushrooms.
~Reduce heat to medium.
~Add minced garlic, thyme, italian seasoning & lemon juice.
~Cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
~Remove from heat, and cool.
~In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, mushroom mixture, spinach & egg yolk together.
~Mix in salt, pepper, thyme & italian seasoning.
~Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
~Peel tomatoes & slice off the tops.
~Carefully scoop the pulp out of the tomatoes into a small bowl.
~Set pulp aside.
~Carefully stuff the tomatoes with the cheese-mushroom mixture.
~Place place stuffed tomatoes into an oven proof baking pan.
~Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil.
~Bake for 30 minutes.
~While the tomatoes are cooking, whisk spicy brown mustard, vinegar, olive oil & basil into a small bowl.
~Remove tomatoes from oven when done, drizzle mustard mixture over the tomatoes & serve.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Steak Teriyaki Wraps

Very good & easy to make.   This would be even good & lower calorie without the wrap.  It's also very good served over rice.  If you want to make it quicker, buy pre-made teriyaki sauce.




STEAK TERIYAKI WRAPS
(serves 4)

*1 tablespoon cornstarch
*1 tablespoon cold water
*1/4 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 black pepper
*1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
*1 pound lean steak 
*1 (8 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
*1/2 red bell pepper, seeded & sliced into strips
*1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded & sliced into strips
*1/2 green bell pepper, seeded & sliced into strips
*1 medium sweet onion, sliced
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*4 tortilla wraps or 4 low carb tortilla wraps
Directions:
~In a small saucepan over low heat, cornstarch, cold water, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar & 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
~Let sauce simmer for about 20 minutes, until it thickens.
~Remove from heat & set aside.
~Sprinkle salt & 1/4 teaspoon pepper over steak.
~In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil/vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
~Cook steak for about 2 minutes on each side and remove from pan.
~Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil/vegetable oil to skillet.
~Add peppers and saute for about 2 minutes.
~Add mushrooms & onions saute for another 4-5 minutes.
~Place the steak back into the pan, reduce heat to low.
~Add the teriyaki sauce & let simmer for 1 minute.
~Divide evenly among the 4 tortillas & serve hot.

Variations:
`substitute steak with boneless, skinless chicken
`omit tortilla and serve of rice
`omit tortilla and wrap in a large lettuce leaf 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grilled White Fish with Strawberry Mango Salsa

I love fish & I love salsa, so this is the perfect recipe for me.  Very quick and tasty. The grilled fish is tasty even without the salsa.  This recipe is a mere 160 calories per serving.



GRILLED WHITE FISH WITH STRAWBERRY MANGO SALSA
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*3/4 cup fresh strawberries, finely diced
*3/4 cup fresh mangos, finely diced
*1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
*1 teaspoon dried basil
*1 tablespoon, freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*4 (4 ounce) fish filets (I use cod or tilapia)
*1 garlic clove, minced
*1/4 cup olive oil
*1 teaspoon dried basil
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon ground pepper
*1 tablespoon, freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
*1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Directions:
~In a medium bowl, mix strawberries, mangos, red onion, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt & 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
~Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
~In a large bowl, combine minced garlic, olive oil, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon lemon juice & parsley.
~Place the fish filets into a zip-loc bag.
~Pour the olive oil mixture over the fish.
~Seal & refrigerate for 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes.
~Preheat grill to high.
~Oil grate.
~Remove fish from marinate, and drain off excess liquid.
~Grill fish 5-6 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
~Remove from heat, plate, and spoon strawberry-mango salsa over fish.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream

I love just about anything with raspberries in it.   I love the creamy texture of this ice cream.  A little homemade hot fudge syrup over it and it's outstanding.




RASPBERRY SWIRL ICE CREAM
(makes 1 quart)

Ingredients:
*1/4 cup granulated sugar
*1 1/2  cups fresh raspberries
*1 cup whole milk
*1/8 teaspoon salt
*3/4 cup sugar
*2 cups heavy whipping cream
*5 egg yolks
*1 vanilla bean
*2 cups cool whip (optional)

Directions:
~Place raspberries & 1/4 cup sugar in a blender.
~Cover and process on high, until liquified.
~Place a sieve over a medium bowl.
~Pour raspberries into sieve and let drain to get rid of all the seeds.  I use a wooden spoon to help push it through.
~Cover raspberry sauce and put in the refrigerator.
~Slit vanilla bean down the center.
~In a medium sauce pan, heat whole milk, salt,  3/4 cup sugar & vanilla bean over medium-low heat until milk is steaming, but not boiling.
~Remove from heat, cover and allow to sit for one hour.
~Prepare an ice water bath in a bowl large bowl.
~Set another bowl inside of the large bowl.
~Set a sieve over the smaller of the two bowls.
~Pour whipping cream into the smaller bowl.
~In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, until they are smooth.
~Reheat milk mixture over medium-low heat (do not let boil).
~Remove from heat.
~Remove vanilla bean.
~Remove 1 cup of milk mixture and in a slow stream pour it into the yolk mixture, whisking continually.
~Slowly add egg mixture into the hot milk, whisking continually.
~Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it's thick enough to coat the back of a wood spoon (you can run your finger through the mixture over the back of the coated spoon and if the mixture stays in place and does not run, it should be thick enough).
~Strain the custard mixture through the sieve and into the chilled heavy cream.
~Allow custard to sit in ice bath, stirring occasionally until completely chilled.
~Place a plastic wrap over custard and refrigerate for a least 4 hours.
~Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer's directions.
~Fold in raspberry sauce.
~Fold in whip cream.
~Transfer into a freezer-safe covered container.
~Freeze for 4 hours.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Banana Nutella Bread

My youngest daughter LOVES nutella.  I am always looking for new recipes for her.  This was a definite hit.




BANANA NUTELLA BREAD
(makes 2 loafs or 4-6 mini loafs)


Ingredients:
*4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
*2 teaspoons baking soda
*1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
*1 teaspoon salt
*2 teaspoons cinnamon
*6 overly ripe bananas, mashed
*1 (6 ounce) container plain greek yogurt
*4 large eggs, beaten
*1 1/2 cups butter, melted
*2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 cup slivered almonds
*1 cup nutella

Directions:
~Mash bananas in a large bowl, set aside.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Grease & lightly flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans or 8-12 mini loafs.
~Sift the flour, baking soda, sugar, salt & cinnamon together in a large bowl.
~Mix the yogurt, eggs & vanilla into the bananas.
~Stir in the melted butter into the banana until well mixed.
~Gently fold the banana mixture into the dry mixture until just combined.
~Stir in almonds.
~Spoon nutella into a microwave safe bowl.
~Microwave for 20-30 seconds, just to make nutella more spreadable not melted.
~Stir the nutella into the batter, just until it looks swirled, not completely mixed.
~Pour evenly into bread pans.
~Bake 55-60 minutes for large loaf or 25-30 minutes for mini loafs.
~Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
~Remove and cool on a wire rack (I wrap bread in plastic wrap as it cools.  This keeps it very moist).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lasagna Soup

When I make Lasagna, it's an all day project, but well worth the work.  It's one of my most requested recipes.  This soup although it really doesn't taste like my lasagna, it's still awesome.   It's easy to make and is wonderful on a chilly fall or winter day.




LASAGNA SOUP
(serves 10)

Ingredients:
*1 pound lean ground beef
*1/2 pound Italian sausage
*1 large yellow onion, chopped
*1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
*1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
*4 garlic cloves, minced
*2 teaspoons dried oregano
*1/2 teaspoon dried basil
*1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
*1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
*2 bay leaves
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
*1 (32 ounce) box chicken stock
*1 (28 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
*1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
*2 cups, broken lasagna noodles or 8 ounces fusilli pasta or 8 ounces small shells
*1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
*8 ounce ricotta cheese
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
*2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded


Directions:
~Mix parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes in small bowl.
~Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.
~In a large dutch oven, combine ground beef, italian sausage, onion, green pepper, red pepper & garlic.
~Cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the ground beef & italian sausage, until meat is browned & in crumbles.
~Drain any grease off.
~Stir in oregano, basil, 1 tablespoon parsley flakes, red pepper flakes, sugar, bay leafs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, brown sugar, chicken stock, diced fire roasted tomatoes & tomato sauce.
~Bring soup to a low boil.
~Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
~Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
~Cook noodles until done & drain.
~Put desired amount of noodles into individual soup bowls.
~Ladle soup over noodles.
~Put a dollop of the ricotta cheese mixture in each soup bowl.
~Top with mozzarella cheese.

***If you wan't to make this extra yummy.  Put the soup into oven proof bowls and place under oven broiler for 3-4 minutes until the cheese in brown & bubbly.

***Do not add noodles until ready to dish up soup, or the noodles will soak up the extra liquid.

Variations:
~Add some toasted garlic bread to soup.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tomato Squash Casserole

I love to make this for meatless Monday's or any as a side dish with just about anything.  It is super simple to make and so very good.  I do believe it's around 200 calories per serving.  The calorie count for this recipe is 86 calories per serving.





TOMATO ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE
(serves 8)

Ingredients:

*1 large Vadalia Onion, thinly sliced
*2 zucchinis, sliced 1/4" thick
*2 yellow squash, sliced 1/4" thick
*2 cups cherry tomatoes
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
*1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
*1 teaspoon italian seasoning
*3 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~In a large oven proof skillet (I like to use my cast iron pan), layer onions on the bottom of the pan.
~Next layer zucchini & yellow squash over the onions.
~drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the onions.
~Drop cherry tomatoes over the squash.
~Spread minced garlic over the squash.
~Sprinkle salt, pepper, thyme & italian seasoning over veggies.
~Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.
~Drizzle olive oil over everything.
~Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Overnight Dutch Oven Bread

This is the easiest bread to make.   No need to knead it, but you do need a dutch oven.  I just start it in the the morning or early afternoon and have it for dinner the next day.  It is great with a bowl of soup or chili.  You must let this bread cool completely, before cutting.  If cut to soon, it will be doughy.  This also makes for some awesome french toast.   I love the rustic look of this bread.



OVERNIGHT DUTCH OVEN BREAD

Ingredients:
*6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
*1/2 teaspoon active-dry yeast
*2 1/2 teaspoons salt
*2 2/3 cup cold water
*6-8 quart dutch oven
*butter

Directions:
~Combine flour, yeast & salt into a large bowl.
~Mix in water until well incorporated (dough will be wet & sticky).
~Cover & seal the bowl with plastic wrap.
~Allow to rise for 12-16 hours at room temperature.
~Once the dough has darkened & has bubbles over it, it is ready.
~Place dough on a lightly floured surface.
~Using floured hands, keep tucking the dough underneath to form a ball, do this until the dough is a semi-smooth ball (3-5 times).
~Dust a cotton towel (not a terry cloth) with flour.
~Place the dough seam side down on the dusted towel.
~Dust the top & sides of dough with flour.
~Place another cotton towel over the top of the dough.
~Let rise for 2 hours or until double in size.
~When the dough has been rising for 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 450 degrees.
~Place the ungreased dutch oven  with lid on in the oven as the oven heats up.
~When the dough has finished rising, carefully remove dutch oven from oven.
~Remove the the lid.
~Remove top towel.
~Carefully (so you don't burn yourself) flip the dough into the hot pot, seam side up.
~Cover and bake for 40-50 minutes.
~Remove the lid and bake another 5-10 minutes, or until bread is a deep chestnut brown.
~Remove bread from pot, and rub a small amount of butter over the top while it's still hot (I sometimes sprinkle garlic salt after I butter it).
~Cool completely on a wire rack, before slicing (if you slice it before it's cooled the bread will become doughy).


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mexican Chicken Wraps

Very tasty and easy to make.   I love mexican food but hate the calories.  This is not to bad.   Regular Flour tortilla = 290 calories   -  Low Carb = 247 calories.




MEXICAN CHICKEN WRAPS
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*1 cup cooked rice, cooled to room temperature
*1 cup chicken, cooked & shredded
*1 green onion (white & green sections, finely sliced 
*1/2 red bell pepper, diced
*1/4 green bell pepper, diced 
*1 tablespoon dried cilantro
*1 lime, juiced    
*1/2 tablespoon chili powder
*1 teaspoons ground cumin
*1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
*1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
*1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
*6 large flour tortillas
*sour cream (optional)

Directions:
~Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin, cilantro. garlic salt and lime juice.
~Sauté red pepper and green pepper for about 3 minutes.
~Add onion and sauté for another minute or two.
~Add chicken, green onion, red pepper and green pepper to rice mixture. 
~Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving 1/2 inch border around edges.
~Arrange chicken and rice mixture down the center of each tortilla.
~Top with sour cream if desired.
~Roll tortillas, leaving edges open and slightly flatten the wraps with the palm of your hand.
~Spray seam-side of the wrap lightly with cooking spay.
~Heat a large griddle over medium heat for 1 minute.
~Place wraps seam side down, and cook until golden brown and crisp 9about 2-3 minutes per side).
~Serve warm.

                                                                                         

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cinnamon Pretzels

These are very addicting.   I love the taste of salt & sweet.  I think I could eat the entire bag all by myself.  Yummy!   Yummy!  Yummy!


CINNAMON PRETZELS

Ingredients:
*1 (15 ounce) bag tiny twist pretzels
*2/3 cup vegetable oil
*1 tablespoon cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
~Pour pretzels into a roasting pan.
~In a small bowl, mix vegetable oil, cinnamon, nutmeg & sugar, until well blended.
~Pour over pretzels & mix until well coated.
~Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
~Remove from oven & let cool.
~Store in an airtight container, if you have any leftover.

Variations:
`substitute nutmeg with pumpkin pie spice.