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, November 27, 2014

Butterscotch Pie

This is such a good pie that is different from the normal pie.   Easy to make.   You can buy a graham cracker crust and whip cream if you don't want to take the time to make it.






BUTTERSCOTCH PIE
(serves 8)

Ingredients:
*1 1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*6 tablespoons butter, melted
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 cup light brown sugar, packed
*4 tablespoons cornstarch
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup heavy cream
*1 1/2  cups whole milk
*2 eggs yolk, beaten
*1 tablespoon butter
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 cup heavy cream
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 tablespoon powdered sugar
*1 butter finger candy bar, crushed

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon & butter together.
~Press into a 9 inch pie plate.
~Bake for 2 minutes.
~Remove from oven.
~In a double boiler, over medium heat, mix brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, 1/2 cup heavy cream & milk together, stirring until mixture thickens.
~Mix in egg yolks, and keep stirring until it thickens.
~Remove from heat, and add 1 teaspoon vanilla & butter, stir until well mixed.
~Pour into pie crust.
~Bake for 5 minutes or util golden brown.
~Remove from oven and cool completely.
~In a large bowl, whip 1 cup heavy cream until stiff peaks are just about to form.
~Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla & powdered sugar.
~Spread whip cream over top of pie.
~Sprinkle butter finger crumbs over top of whip cream.




Monday, November 24, 2014

Hungarian Goulash

I like to brine my meat in kosher salt water for an hour before, just to make it more tender.  This is definitely a comfort food.  I often make my own egg noodles for this.



HUNGRIAN GOULASH
(serves 8-10)

Ingredients:
*3 pound roast of your choice, cut into cubes
*1 teaspoon kosher salt
*1 teaspoon black pepper
*2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*2 tablespoon olive oil
*2 large sweet onions, sliced and separated into rings
*8 ounces, sliced fresh mushrooms
*6-8 cloves of garlic,  sliced
*1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
*1/2 red bell peppers, chopped
*1/2 cup sweet red wine
*2 cups beef broth
*2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
*1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
*1/2 cup water
*1 cup sour cream
*2 teaspoons dried parsley
*4-5 cups egg noodles, cooked.

Directions:
~In a gallon size zip-loc bag, kosher salt, pepper & flour and mix well.
~Add roast beef chunks and toss, coating all the meat.
~In a dutch oven, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
~Once oil is hot, add roast beef in a single layer.
~Brown beef on all sides.
~Remove beef and set aside.
~Reduce heat to medium-low.
~Add 2 tablespoons olive oil
~Add onion, mushrooms, garlic, green pepper & red pepper.
~Cover and let veggies cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
~Add wine and cook for 2 more minutes, scraping drippings form bottom of the pan.
~Add beef broth, paprika, water and tomato paste.
~Return beef to dutch oven.
~Stir until everything is mixed well.
~Cover, reduce heat to low.
~Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
~Remove from stove.
~Once the mixture is no longer boiling, stir in sour cream & parsley.
~Serve over cooked egg noodles.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pumpkin Dump Cake

It's that time a year where I see everything pumpkin.  Pumpkin screams falls and just makes people smile.   There is a very easy dessert for you to try.




PUMPKIN DUMP CAKE
(serves 12)

Ingredients:
*1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
*1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
*4 large eggs
*1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 (18.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix
*1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
*1 cup butter, melted

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan  or two 8 inch round pans with a cooking spray.
~In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves & salt until it is mixed completely.
~Sprinkle dry cake mix over the top of the pumpkin mixture, gently pat down.
~Sprinkle pecans over cake mix.
~Drizzle with melted butter.
~Bake for 70-80 minutes, or until done (cake is done, when you insert a toothpick or knife and it comes out clean).


Monday, September 22, 2014

Salisbury Steak

A good comfort food.  This makes enough gray to go with a side of  mashed potatoes.   A nice green vegetable and you have made a wonderful dinner.


SALISBURY STEAK
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*1 1/2 pounds ground beef
*1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed french onion soup
*1 (10.5 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
*1/2 cup dry Italian bread crumbs
*1 large egg
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1 small onion, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
*1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
*1/2 cup water
*1 (0.6 ounce) envelope Au Jus gravy mix

Directions:
~In a large bowl, mix together, ground beef, 1/3 cup french onion soup, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, egg and pepper.
~Shape into 6 oval patties.
~Place in refrigerator for 1/2-1 hour.
~Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
~In a large oven proof skillet over medium heat, brown both sides of patties.
~Remove from skillet and place on a plate.
~Pour off excess fat from skillet.
~In hot skillet, whisk Au Jus, water & remaining french onion soup together.
~Whisk in Worcestershire sauce, cream of mushroom soup & mustard powder.
~Place patties back into pan.
~Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
.

Variation:
`Cook covered on stove for 30 minutes instead of the oven.
`Add sliced mushrooms into the gravy just before you put it in the oven.



Friday, September 19, 2014

Mini Key Lime Pies

I like to make mini pies because it's easier to share with more people.  Creamy and delicious.  If you don't like whipped cream, just omit it.



MINI KEY LIME PIES
(makes 20-24)

Ingredients:
*1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*6 tablespoons butter, melted
~2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
~3/4 cup sour cream
~20-25 key limes, juiced (about 3/4 cup)
~Zest from the limes.
~1 cup heavy cream
~1 teaspoon key lime juice
~1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners.
~Mix graham crackers, sugar and butter until well blended.
~Press a heaping tablespoon graham cracker crust into cupcake liners (you will have extra.  I just freeze my extra)
~Bake for 4-5 minutes.
~Remove from oven.
~Turn oven down to 325 degrees.
~In a large mixing bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice & lime zest, until creamy.
~Pour over graham cracker crusts.
~Bake for 5 minutes (do not brown).
~Cool.
~In a large bowl, whisk heavy cream, powdered sugar & lime juice together until peaks form (do not overbeat).
~Cover cheesecakes with the whip cream.
~Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Garlic Soft Dinner Rolls

Soft, warm and garlic, what else do you need.




Garlic Soft Dinner Rolls
(makes 12)

Ingredients:
*1 tablespoon active-dry yeast
*1/2 cup warm water
*1/2 cup warm milk
*1 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
*1 large egg
*2 tablespoons vegetable oil
*1 teaspoon salt
*3 1/4 cups bread flour
*2 tablespoons butter
*2 garlic cloves, sliced
*1teaspoon garlic salt

Directions:
~Put butter and garlic in a small saucepan.
~Melt butter over low heat.
~Remove from heat and set aside.
~In a small bowl, whisk yeast, water, milk and sugar together.
~Set aside and allow yeast to proof (about 10 minutes).
~In a large mixing bowl, mix egg, vegetable oil and salt.
~Mix in yeast mixture.
~Mix in flour until just mixed.
~Knead on a lightly floured surface for 8-10 minutes, or until smooth and slightly tacky.
~Grease a large bowl with butter and place bread dough into bowl.
~Cover bowl with plastic wrap and keep in a warm, draft free area and allow to rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
~Dust a clean surface with a little flour.
~Place dough on top.
~Divide dough into 12 pieces.
~Tucking the edges underneath, roll the dough into balls.
~Line a 9x13 with parchment paper and spray with a cooking spray.
~Arrange the rolls in the 9x13 inch pan, spaced a little apart.
~Allow the rolls to rise in a warm, draft free area until about double in size (about 30-40 minutes).
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~With a pastry brush, gently brush half of the garlic butter over the rolls.
~Bake for 15-17 minutes.
~Brush remaining garlic butter over rolls.
~Sprinkle garlic salt over hot rolls.
~Remove from oven and lift the rolls using the parchment paper.
~Eat right away or allow to cool on a wire rack.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Brown Gravy & Meatballs

So delicious.  Fairly easy to make.  Even though I put them in the slow cooker for a few hours, you can just eat it once you have the meatballs & gravy made.  I will normally double the batch for a party.




BROWN GRAVY MEATBALLS 
(makes about 20-24 meatballs)

Ingredients:
*1 pound ground beef (I prefer lean ground beef)
*1/8 pound ground pork
*1 teaspoon sea salt
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*1 onion, chopped very small 
*1 teaspoons Italian seasoning
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*1/2 teaspoon red hot sauce
*1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
*1/3 cup whole milk
*1/4 cup freshly finely grated Parmesan cheese
*1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
*2 (10.5 ounces) beef broth
*1/2 small onion, chopped very fine
*1 garlic clove, minced
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1/2 cup cold water
*4 tablespoons corn starch

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.
~In a large bowl, mix ground beef, ground pork, salt, 2 cloves garlic, 1 small onion, Italian seasoning, dried oregano, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, milk, Parmesan cheese & bread crumbs. 
~Using a cookie scoop, scoop up meatballs and roll into a ball in your clean hands.
~Place on cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
~Remove from oven and place in slow cooker.  
~In a large saucepan, bring beef broth, 1/2 onion, 1 garlic clove & black pepper to a full rolling boil.
~In a small bowl, whisk water & corn starch.
~Pour in beef broth & whisk until gravy thickens.
~Carefully pour over meatballs. (you can serve it at this point if you want)
~Cook in slow cooker on low for 2-3 hours.
~If gravy has thinned down to much, add a little more corn starch water about 15 minutes before removing from the slow cooker (1/3 cup water + 1 1/2 tablespoon corn starch)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

If you like chocolate peanut butter cups and chocolate, you are going to love this recipe.  I can't make it unless I make it for a party, because I'd probably eat way more than any one person should.




Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
(serves 24)

Brownie Ingredients:
*8 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
*1 cup butter
*1 teaspoon instant coffee
*5 large eggs
*3 cups granulated sugar
*1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Peanut Butter Filling Ingredients:
*3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
*1/2 cup butter
*1/8 teaspoon salt
*2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
*3 tablespoons whole milk
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting Ingredients:
*1 cup milk chocolate chips
*1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
*1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Brownie Directions:
~Preheat oven 350 degrees.
~Spray a 9x13 inch glass baking pan with cooking spray.
~Place chocolate & butter in a microwave-safe bowl.
~Microwave on high until the chocolate & butter is melted, stirring every 30 seconds.
~Remove from microwave and stir in instant coffee.
~In a mixing bowl, place eggs, sugar & vanilla in it.
~Beat on high for 2 minutes.
~Reduce speed to low, beat in chocolate mixture.
~Beat in flour and salt until just combined.
~Pour into prepared pan.
~Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until brownies are done.
~Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Peanut Butter Filling Directions:
~In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, butter and salt together until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
~Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  I add a small bit of the powdered sugar & milk at a time, mixing well between each addition.
~Spread over cooled brownies.

Chocolate Frosting Directions:
~Melt the milk chocolate & semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter together in a microwave safe bowl, stirring every 20 seconds, until chips are melted and smooth.
~Pour chocolate mixture evenly over top of the peanut butter layer.
~Refrigerate and allow chocolate to set 30-45 minutes.








Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rootbeer Float Pie

If you like root beer you are going to love this pie.   If you don't like the gingersnap crust, just use a graham cracker or vanilla wafer crust.






ROOTBEER FLOAT PIE
(serves 8)

Ingredients:
*1 (1 8 ounce) container of cool whip, thawed
* 1/2 cup cream cheese, thawed or whipped
*1 cup root beer (I like to use IBC)
*1/2 cup heavy cream
*1 (3.4 ounce) vanilla instant pudding
*1 1/2 cups crushed (very fine) ginger snaps
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 cup butter, melted


Directions:
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~In a medium bowl, mix crushed ginger snaps & sugar.
~Mix in melted butter, until mixture is mixed well.
~Press mixture into the bottom of an 8-10 inch cake pan.
~Bake for 5 minutes, remove and let the crust cool completely.
~In a large bowl, whip cream cheese until soft.
~Mix in pudding, heavy cream & root beer
~Whisk in until mixture starts to thicken up.
~Pour evenly over ginger snap crust.
~Cover and freeze for 8-12 hours.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Canning Blueberry Pie Filling

Blueberry pie is my second favorite pie.   I like to go out picking when they are fresh.  Canning fresh blueberries will help you make wonderful pies all year long.   If you notice these aren't as dark of purple as most blueberry pie filling.  That is because I didn't put any food coloring in my blueberries.   If you prefer the darker color just add some blue food coloring & a few drops of red food coloring.






CANNING BLUEBERRY PIE FILLING
(makes 8 quarts)

Ingredients:
*30 cups blueberries (about 10 quarts)
*6 cups granulated sugar
*8 cups cold water
*1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
*2 cups clear jel
*1 tablespoon salt
*1 tablespoon cinnamon
*2 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:
~Sterilized 1 quart canning jars, lids & rings.
~Rinse blueberries to remove any dirt.
~In a large pot, whisk sugar and Clear Jel (I buy my clear jel off the internet).
~Stir in water.
~Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken (it will turn clear).
~Stir in lemon juice, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg.
~Gently fold in blueberries.
~Simmer for another minute.
~Remove from heat.
~Fill pie filling into jars, leaving a 1-inch head space.
~Wipe any residue from the tops of the jars (will not seal if tops are not clean).
~Put on lids & rings (tighten by hand).
~Process in a hot water bath canner for 15 minutes.
~Remove from bath and allow to sit until cool.
~Listen for the pings, they are your friend and tell you that they sealed.
~Once cooled, press on top of lid.  If there is no bubble, then it sealed.  If it didn't seal, make a pie or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
~Store in a cool, dry place.


How to bake pie:
~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~Line pie dish with one pie crust.
~Pour blueberry pie filling into crust.
~Top pie with another pie crust.
~Crimp & flute edges.
~Make slits in pie crust.
~Bake on a lower shelf for 30 minutes.
~Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes.
~Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting. 













Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blueberry Crisp

This may sound a little strange with sour cream in it, but it's really good.   Very easy & quick to make.





BLUEBERRY CRISP
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*4 cups fresh blueberries
*1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*1/2 cups of oatmeal (not the instant type)
*1 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
*1 1/2 cups sour cream
*2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spray an 8x8 baking pan with a cooking spray.
~Pour blueberries into prepared pan.
~Sprinkle 1 tablespoon lemon juice over top of blueberries.
~In a medium bowl, mix flour, oatmeal, sugar & cinnamon together.
~Mix in remaining lemon juice & sour cream until mixed well.
~Drop by tablespoons over blueberries.
~Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over flour mixture.
~Bake for 40 minutes or until topping is a golden brown and blueberries are bubbling.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Piggy Candy

This recipe if for all you bacon lovers.   This is good just as is, or on top of ice cream, dipped in chocolate or on top of salads.






PIGGY CANDY

Ingredients:
*1/2 pound of a good quality bacon, cut thick
*1/2 cup light brown sugar
*pinch of cayenne pepper
*1/2 teaspoon chili powder
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*pinch of nutmeg

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.
~Place a cooling rack over the foil.
~Spray cooking rack with a cooking spray.
~Line cooking rack with bacon, in a single layer.
~In a medium bowl, mix brown sugar, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cinnamon & nutmeg together.
~Coat the top side of bacon with half of  the brown sugar mixture.
~Press sugar, lightly down on bacon.
~Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
~Remove from oven and turn the bacon over.
~Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar mixture over the bacon, and press down.
~Bake another 20 minutes or until bacon is crisp.
~Remove from oven and place bacon on a sheet of parchment paper.
~Once bacon is cool, break into pieces.
~Store in an airtight sealing container in the refrigerator.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Canning Blueberry Syrup

Yummy.  So good on homemade waffles, pancakes or even over ice cream.  I love to can.  That way I just make a mess once.  Homemade syrup is out of this world good.  If you don't want to process your own blueberries just buy some 100% pure blueberry juice.



CANNING BLUEBERRY SYRUP
(6 pints)

Ingredients:
*18 cups fresh blueberries (makes about 5 1/2 - 6 cups juice)
*4 cups warm water
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
*Zest from 2 lemons
*6 cups granulated sugar
*8 cups warm water
*Juice from 2 freshly squeezed lemons

Directions:
~Remove any stems or leaves from blueberries (only if you plan on using the pulp).
~Mix blueberries, 4 cups water, cinnamon and lemon zest into a large pot.
~Bring to a low boil over medium heat.
~Boil for 5 minutes.
~Line several layers of cheesecloth over a deep bowl (I like to put a large rubber band over the ends of the cheesecloth and the bowl).
~Gently pour blueberry mixture over cheesecloth.
~Allow to drip for 3-4 hours.
~Discard blueberry pulp (I use it to make a blueberry cake or blueberry crisp).
~Bring water to a boil in canner.
~Sterilize jars, lids & rings.
~In a large stainless steel pot, combine sugar and remaining water.
~Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
~Cook sugar water until the temperature reaches 230 degrees (about 10-15 minutes).
~Add blueberry juice.
~Turn heat to high.
~Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
~Boil for 5-6 minutes, stirring often.
~Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice
~Ladle syrup into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
~Wipe rim clear of any residue (will not seal if this step in not done).
~Place lid and ring on jar.
~Place in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
~Remove from water and allow to cool on the counter or table (I always put a towel over the surface first).
~Allow to sit for 24 hours before storing.
~Make sure all the jars have sealed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Blueberry Cobbler

I love all things blueberry.  This is a quick and easy dessert to make.  It's good  warm or cold.  We have wonderful blueberry farms in Michigan with the best tasting blueberries.





BLUEBERRY COBBLER
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*5 cups fresh blueberries
*3 tablespoons granulated sugar
*1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*2/3 cup all-purpose flour
*1/8 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 cup butter, softened
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*1 egg
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with a cooking spray.
~In a medium bowl,  lightly mix 3 tablespoons sugar, orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and blueberries together.
~Pour into prepared pan.
~In a small bowl, mix flour, salt & 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon together.
~In a medium bowl (i use the same one that I used to toss the blueberries in), beat butter & 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
~Add the flour mixture and mix just until ingredients are combined.
~Drop mixture by tablespoons into blueberry mixture.
~Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the topping is a golden brown and blueberry mixture is bubbling.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Spinach and Cheese Panini

Very quick to make and good too.  The best part is it's low in calories.  A little shaved turkey or chicken would be really good and even more filling.  It's only about  150 calories without the meat.




SPINACH AND CHEESE PANINI
 (makes 1)

Ingredients:
*1 cup baby spinach (stems removed)
*4-6 cherry (or grape) tomatoes, sliced
*2 small mushrooms, sliced (optional)
*1/8 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
*1 sandwich thin (I like the honey wheat)
*sprinkle of dried oregano
*sprinkle of dried basil

Directions:
~Slice sandwich thin.
~Arrange spinach over bottom of sandwich thin.
~Place tomatoes over spinach.
~Sprinkle oregano & basil over the tomatoes.
~Place sliced mushrooms over the tomatoes.
~Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top.
~Put top bun over cheese.
~Spray a small skillet (or a Panini maker) with a cooking spray.
~Cook over medium-low heat.
~If using a small skillet, place a heavy skillet or aluminum lined brick on top of the sandwich.
~Cook until both sides are a golden brown (if using a skillet, you will have to flip the sandwich).

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Veggie Pasta

One pot easy meal.  Great for a side dish or for a meatless meal.  Grill some chicken to put over it is also very good.



VEGGIE PASTA
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*1 (12 ounce) box of linguine
*2 large tomatoes, diced
*1 large sweet onion, cut into slices
*6 garlic cloves, sliced
*1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
*1/2 green pepper, sliced & seeds removed
*1/2 red pepper, sliced & seeds removed
*1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it).
*3 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
*1 teaspoon dried basil
*5 cups chicken stock (or vegetable)
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*2 tablespoons butter
*1/2 -1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
~Throw linguine, tomatoes, onion, garlic, mushrooms, green pepper, red pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, basil & chicken stock into a large pot.
~Drizzle olive oil over top.
~Cover and bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
~Stir salt, pepper & Parmesan cheese into mixture, making sure that any liquid remaining is mixed in well too.



Variation:
`Cook in slow cooker method:
 ~Bring chicken stock to a boil.
 ~Pour chicken stock into slow cooker, add linguine, tomatoes, onion, garlic, mushrooms,  green pepper, red pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano & basil.
 ~Stir every hour if possible.
 ~Add salt, pepper & Parmesan cheese into mixture & serve.



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chicken Chimichangas

Mmmmm!   Great with a side of Mexican rice.  Not too spicy, but you can make it spicier.   You can add rice or beans to the chimichangas if you would like.  I make my own chicken broth for the enchilada sauce, but if you want to make it quicker, use store bought.  You can bake this to make it less fattening.





CHICKEN CHIMICHANGAS
(makes 6)

Ingredients:
*1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
*4 cups water
*2 carrots, peeled & cut in half
*2 celery stalks, with tops
*1 small yellow onion, peeled & cut in half
*1 garlic clove, cut in half
*2 tablespoons vegetable oil
*2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
*3 tablespoon chili powder
*1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
*1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
*1 yellow onion, diced
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
*1 tablespoon, chili powder
*1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1 -2 (4 1/2 ounce) cans chopped green chilies, drained
*6 (10 inch) flour tortillas.
*1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
*3 cups vegetable oil for frying.

Directions:
~Place chicken breast, water, carrots, celery, small onion and 1 garlic clove into a medium saucepan.
~Cover and bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat to low and cook until chicken is done (about 30-40 minutes).
~Remove chicken breast and shred (I use my kitchen aid mixer to do this).
~Strain chicken stock through a sieve (discard veggies).
~Set chicken stock aside.
~In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano.
~In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
~Whisk in flour and whisk continuously for 1 minute.
~Add in mixed seasonings.
~Slowly add in 2 cups of chicken stock.
~Whisk until mixture comes to a boil.
~Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
~Remove enchilada sauce from heat and set aside.
~In a small bowl, mix 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
~In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
~Add diced onions, cook until translucent.
~Add in minced garlic & mixed seasonings.
~Add shredded chicken and mix well.
~Stir in green chilies and heat through (about 3-4  minutes)
~Remove from heat.
~In a large skillet, heat 3 cups oil, to 360 degrees.
~Heat flour tortillas (wrapped in wet paper towels) for about 10-15 seconds.
~Spread around 3/4 cup of chicken mixture down the center of a flour tortilla.
~Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheddar cheese over chicken mixture.
~Fold ends in over chicken mixture, then roll tortilla up.
~Using tongs, carefully place chimichangas folded side down into oil (do not do more than 2 at a time).
~Cook until golden brown, and turn cooking all sides until they are golden brown (about 2-3 minutes).
~Remove from heat and drain on paper towel.
~Top with enchilada sauce.

Variations:
`Reduce the amount of chicken mixture by 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup rice or refried beans.
`Top with sour cream.
`Top with diced jalapeno peppers.

**You can bake this to make it less calories if you prefer.
   ~Heat oven to 400 degrees.
   ~Spray wrapped tortillas with cooking spray.
   ~Bake for 20-30 minutes (flipping half way through) or until tortilla  is a golden brown.

Monday, May 12, 2014

No Bake Raspberry Lemon Mini Cheesecake

If you like lemon flavor & you like cheesecake, you are going to love this.  Very easy to make.  It's only time consuming, because it needs to be refrigerated for at least 3 hours.   The little bit of raspberry sauce on top, makes it irresistible.





NO BAKE RASPBERRY LEMON Mini CHEESECAKE
(30 mini cheesecakes)

Ingredients:
*1 pint fresh raspberries
*1/4 cup granulated sugar
*2 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
*2 tablespoon cornstarch
*1 cup very cold wateru*20 sheets graham crackers (2 cups)
*3/4 cups butter, melted
*2 tablespoon granulated sugar
*2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
*1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
*1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 (8 ounce) container cool whip, thawed


Directions:
~In a medium saucepan, combine raspberries, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and orange juice.
~In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch and water until smooth.
~Add mixture to saucepan and bring mixture to a boil.
~Turn down stove to a simmer and simmer mixture for 4-6 minutes, stirring continuously until it starts to thicken.
~Puree sauce with a blender until smooth.
~Strain through cheesecloth or a sieve to remove seeds.
~Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
~Fill cupcakes pans with paper liners.
~Place graham cracker into a large resealable plastic bag.
~Crush with rolling pin or meat mallet until you have very fine crumbs or use a food processor.
~In a medium bowl, mix graham crackers crumbs, melted butter and 2 tablespoons sugar together.
~Press crumb mixture into the bottom of the paper liners.
~Chill in freezer for 15 minutes.
~In a mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
~Beat in sweetened condensed milk, scraping the sides of the bowl.
~Beat in lemon juice & vanilla until well mixed.
~Gently fold in cool whip.
~Pour filling into liners to the top.
~Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
~Remove from cupcake pans & spoon raspberry sauce over the cheesecakes.

Variation:
`Make in a 9-inch springfoam pan









Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pizza Lasagna Casserole

A little bit of pizza and a little bit of lasagna makes for a very yummy casserole.   This recipe can also be cooked in a slow cooker.  If you like a little more kick to your food, use spicy Italian Sausage in place of sweet Italain sausage.





PIZZA LASAGNA CASSEROLE
(serves 12)

Ingredients:
*1 pound lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
*1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
*1 pound ground beef
*1 yellow onion, chopped
*4 garlic cloves, minced
*1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste
*2 (12 ounce cans) tomato sauce
*1/2 cup water
*1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
*2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
*2 bay leaves
*1 tablespoon sugar
*2 teaspoons salt
*1 teaspoon pepper
*1 pound ricotta cheese
*1 egg
*1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
*1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*1/4 cup sliced pepperoni
*1/2 pound fresh small mozzarella cheese balls
*1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or 1/4 pound Mozzerella cheese cut into pieces)


Directions:

~In a large pan, cook sausage, ground beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until browned.
~Drain off any grease.
~Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, 1 tablespoon parsley flakes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, sugar, salt & pepper.
~Bring to a boil, simmer and for 1 hour.
~In a large pot, bring water to a boil.
~Season water with a little salt and drop lasagna noodles in water.
~Boil for 10 minutes and remove from stove.
~Drain any water off of it.
~Mix tomato mixture over the noodles.
~In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, 1 tablespoon parsley & oregano.
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~Mix ricotta cheese mixture & fresh mozzarella cheese balls into noodle mixture until just until lightly mixed.
~Pour into a 9x13 inch pan.
~Sprinkle shredded mozzarella evenly over casserole.
~Place pepperoni over cheese.
~Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes.
~Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes.
~Remove from oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Variation:
`Slow Cooker Method: 
~In a large pan, cook sausage, ground beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until browned.
~Drain off any grease.
~In a large bowl, mix everything together (do not cook noodles a head of time).
~Pour into slow cooker & cover.
~Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-7 hours.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Chocolate-Coffee-Cupcakes

Chocolate & coffee, what more could you want?  The flavors go wonderfully together.  Take these cupcakes to a party and they'll be gone before you know it.




CHOCOLATE-COFFEE-CUPCAKES
(makes 24)

Cupcake Ingredients:
*2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
*2 cups granulated sugar
*1i cup unsweetened cocoa powder
*1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 cup vegetable oil
*1 cup strong brewed coffee
*3 large eggs, room temperature
*1 cup sour cream
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Coffee Filling Ingredients:
*1 (8 ounce) container cool whip, thawed
*1 (3.4 ounce) box chocolate instant pudding
*1/2 cup whole milk
*1/2 cup powdered sugar
*1/4 cup very strong brewed coffee, cooled
*1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

Frosting Ingredients:
*1/2 cup butter
*4 cups powdered sugar
*1/4 cup very strong brewed coffee, cooled
*2 tablespoons heavy cream

Coffee Filling Directions:
~In a mixing bowl, whip cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk & pudding until smooth.
~Mix in coffee until well blend.
~Fold in whip cream.
~Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1/2 hour.

Cupcake Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Line muffin pans with paper liners.
~In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder & salt.
~Add vegetable oil, coffee & eggs into dry mixture.
~Mix on medium speed until smooth.
~Mix in vanilla & sour cream.
~Spoon batter evenly into muffin pans (2/3 full).
~Bake for 15-18 minutes or until done.
~Remove from pan and allow to cool on wire racks.
~Place coffee filling into a piping bag and place a #4 tip on bag.
~Squeeze about 1 tablespoon filling into each cupcake.

Coffee Frosting Directions:
~In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy.
~Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup, mixing a little between additions.
~Mix until smooth.
~Mix in coffee & heavy cream until well blended.
~Frost cupcakes and serve.



















Monday, April 7, 2014

Kettle Corn

My husband & daughter love this.   If you make this, you will never want to buy it again.  It's so easy, quick & inexpensive to make & so fresh.  The only draw back, is make sure you remove it from the heat as soon as the popping slows down.  It will burn if you don't!




KETTLE CORN
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*1/4 cup vegetable oil
*1/4 cup granulated sugar
*2/3 cup unpopped popcorn kernals
*salt to taste, around 1/4 teaspoon

Directions:
~In a large heavy bottom stainless steel skillet, pour in vegetable oil & popcorn.
~Heat over medium heat.
~Cover, and wait for one or two kernals pop, shaking every few seconds.
~Pour in sugar and stir until mixed well.
~Cover again.
~Shake vigorously while popping.
~Once the popping has slowed way down, remove from heat and dump onto clean counter top or a large bowl.
~Sprinkle with salt and stir with a large bowl.
~Once cooled a little, I like to remove any unpopped kernals before serving.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with coleslaw

You can make it easier buy using your favorite BBQ sauce, but I think making your own makes it over the top tasty.  I do love no fuss slow cooker meals, especially when making it for a party.  Making your own hamburger buns will even make this better.



PULLED PORK SANDWICHES
(serves 8-10)

Pulled Pork Ingredients:
*2 teaspoons olive oil
*1 (4 pound) pork shoulder roast
*1 tablespoon butter, melted
*1/2 sweet onion, chopped very fine
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*1 1/4 cup ketchup
*1 1/4 cup tomato sauce
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*1/2 cup Italian red wine vinegar
*1/4 cup dark molasses
*1\2 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
*1/4 teaspoon chili powder
*1/4 teaspoon paprika
*1/4 teaspoon celery seed
*1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
*1/2 - 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you want it)
*1/2 teaspoon sea salt
*1/2 teaspoon pepper
*1 teaspoon dried thyme
*1 teaspoon yellow mustard

Coleslaw Ingredients: (optional)
*1/2  head green cabbage, shredded
*1 carrot, grated
*1/2  red onion, thinly sliced
*1/8 cup dijon mustard
*3/4 cups mayonnaise
*1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (can use white vinegar too)
*Juice from 1/2 small lemon
*1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
*1/4 teaspoon celery seed
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

*8-10 hamburger buns


Coleslaw Directions:
~Combine all ingredients and mix well.
~Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.


Pulled Pork Directions:
~Pour vegetable oil into a skillet over medium-high heat.
~Place pork roast into skillet and cook about 2-3 minutes on both sides.
~Remove from heat.
~Place melted butter, onion, garlic, ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, molasses, liquid smoke, chili powder, paprika, celery seed, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, thyme & mustard into the slow cooker.
~Stir ingredients together.
~Place seared roast into slow cooker.
~Cover and cook on high for 6-7 hours.
~Remove pork roast from slow cooker
~Shred meat using two forks.
~Return meat to slow cooker.

Making the Sandwich:
~Spread butter on the inside of all of the hamburger buns.
~Toast buns, butter side down, in a large skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown.
~Spoon bbq pork onto bottom buns.
~Spoon desired amount of coleslaw over top of cheese.
~Place top bun on and enjoy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Banana Cream Pudding

What do you get when you cross a cheesecake with banana pudding?  Once awesome dessert.  It's gone every time I take it to a party.



BANANA CREAM PUDDING

Ingredients:
*1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
*1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
*1 (3.5 ounce) pacage instant banana cream pudding mix
*1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
*1/2 cup heavy cream
*3 cups whole milk
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 (8 ounce) container cool whip, thawed
*4-6 bananas, sliced
*1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers

Directions:
~In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy.
~Mix in sweetened condensed milk, banana cream pudding, vanilla pudding, heavy cream, milk & vanilla until smooth.
~Gently fold in cool whip.
~Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan with about half of the vanilla wafers.
~Place banana's evenly over the wafers.
~Spread pudding mixture over the bananas.
~Crush 12-16 vanilla wafers (I use a food processor for this).
~Sprinkle vanilla wafer crumbs over top of pudding.
~Chill for a couple hours and serve.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Classic Pepperoni & Mushroom Pizza

I love to make homemade pizza for my family.  It took me a lot of trials & errors to get the curt the way I wanted and to cook it so it looked and tasted like one from the pizzeria.   To me buying high quality pepperoni, mozzarella cheese & parmesan cheese makes this pizza outstanding.   You need to invest in a pizza stone or use glazed quarry tiles to make a good crusty pizza.



CLASSIC PEPPERONI & MUSHROOM PIZZA

Ingredients:
~One store or pizzeria bought pizza dough or make your own pizza crust.
~1-1/2 cups pizza sauce (I like to make my own).
~Pepperoni, as much as you like on a pizza (use good quality pepperoni)
~1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
~1/4 cup fresh mozzarella ball, crumbled
~1/2 cup fresh sliced mushrooms (optional)
~1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded & divided
~1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:
~Place pizza stone or glazed quarry tiles in cold oven.
~Preheat oven to 500 degrees for 30-45 minutes before place putting pizza on stone.
~Flour a pizza paddle (large thin wooden cutting board or a cookie sheet upside-down).
~Form pizza dough into a 12-inch circle or rectangle.
~Place on the floured pizza paddle/cookie sheet.
~Drizzle pizza sauce in a circular motion over pizza (don't saturate with sauce).
~Place shredded mozzarella cheese over pizza dough.
~Sprinkle 1/8 cup parmesan cheese over pizza.
~Place crumbled mozzarella cheese ove pizza.
~Place pepperoni over pizza.
~Place mushrooms over pizza.
~Slide pizza onto stone, started from the back of the pizza stone.
~Bake for 3-4 minutes.
~Turn off oven.
~Turn on to Broil.
~Cook for another 2-4 minutes, careful not to burn it.
~Remove from oven.
~Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.
~Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

You can make the dough like I do or buy store bought tortillas if you want to make it easier.  I prefer homemade tortillas.   If you decide to make them with store bought tortillas, you will only have to deep fry them & sprinkle the sugar on them.





CINNAMON TORTILLA CHIPS
(makes 70-80 chips)

Ingredients:
*2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon kosher salt
*2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
*1-2 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
*1 cup hot water
*2-3 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
*cinnamon sugar

Directions:
~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 water and mix until the dough comes together.
~Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead 30-40 times.
~Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
~Divide dough in 16 equal pieces.
~Roll each piece into a ball.
~Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
~Roll each dough into a very thin semi-round tortilla.
~Line a cookie sheet with paper towels.
~Heat oil in a heavy sauce pan to 350 degrees.
~Cut tortillas into small triangles.
~Carefully place in hot oil and cook for 30-60 seconds per side, or until a light golden brown.
~Remove from oil and place on cookie sheet.
~Sprinkle both sides with desired amount of cinnamon sugar.
~Repeat until all tortillas are cooked.


Variations:
`sprinkle lightly with sea salt for a sweet/salty taste.
`omit cinnamon sugar and sprinkle with sea salt.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Stuffed Chicken Breast

Who doesn't love stuffed chicken breasts?  It takes a little work, but isn't hard.  You will impress your family and friends with this recipe.




STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*3 tablespoons water
*3-4 cups fresh spinach, stems removed
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*1/2 small onion, chopped
*1 egg white
*2 teaspoons water
*1/2 cup italian bread crumbs
*1/2 cup all purpose flour
*3 tablespoons olive oil
*4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
*1/2 pound fresh ricotta cheese
*3 cups fresh spinach, stems removed
*1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
*1 egg, beaten
*2 teaspoons italian seasoning
*1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
*1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce (I make my own)

Directions:
~ In a large skillet, sauté spinach, onion & garlic in water over medium heat, until spinach is wilted.
~Remove from heat and place into a large bowl and allow to cool.
~Add ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, italian seasoning and 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese to spinach mixture and mix well.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Pound out chicken breasts until around 1/2 inch thick.
~In a small bowl whisk egg white & water together.
~Mix bread crumbs & flour in large plate.
~Dip chicken breasts into egg white mixture.
~Drag one side of chicken into bread crumb mixture.
~Add olive oil to skillet that was used for spinach.
~Place chicken in pan, breaded side down.
~Cook for 3-4 minutes.
~Remove from skillet.
~Place chicken on a clean surface, breaded side down.
~Fill chicken breasts with stuffing and fold in half (secure with toothpicks if needed).
~Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.
~Place stuffed chicken into prepared pan.
~Pour spaghetti sauce over chicken.
~Cover with aluminum foil.
~Bake  30 minutes or until chicken is done.
~Remove from oven and remove aluminum foil.
~Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over chicken and return to oven.
~Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.







Thursday, February 13, 2014

Spaghetti Sauce

Homemade spaghetti sauce has so much flavor and is so easy to make.  The best thing is you can make it ahead of time and fresh or can it.  You then have it ready anytime to you want it.




SPAGHETTI SAUCE

Ingredients:
*2 teaspoons olive oil
*1 medium onion, chopped
*6 garlic cloves, minced
*2 (28 ounce) cans whole Italian peeled tomatoes (I use the tomatoes I can)
*1 1/2 teaspoons salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1 teaspoon granulated sugar
*2 bay leafs
*1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
*1 teaspoon dried basil

Directions:
~In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté garlic and onion in the olive oil, until onion is translucent (careful not to burn the garlic).
~Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
~Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 - 3 hours or cook in slow cooker for 5-6 hours.
~If you like your spaghetti sauce smooth (my family does), use an immersion blender or blender to blend up the tomatoes.  
~Serve over spaghetti or chicken.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spinach Orzo Salad

I love these mixture of flavors.  Very easy to make.  If you are like my family (minus me) you might want to leave out the olives.  Great by itself or to go along with some chicken.





SPINACH ORZO SALAD
(serves 6-8)

Ingredients:
*3 tablespoons olive oil
*3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
*1 garlic cloves minced
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*dash of red pepper flakes
*1 pound orzo pasta, cooked for 6 minutes
*1 red bell pepper, diced small
*1 yellow bell pepper, diced small
*1 (6 ounce) jar marinated artichokes, drained & chopped (keep liquid)
*5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
*1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced thin
*4 green onions, chopped
*1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced 
*2 small tangerines, peeled & sectioned
*8 ounces baby spinach leaves, lightly chopped

Directions:
~In a small sauce pan, over low heat, heat up olive oil & minced garlic for 3-5 minutes.
~Remove from heat and allow to sit for at leaf 10 minutes.
~In a large bowl, add chopped vegetables, fruit & cheese.
~Add spinach and mix well.
~Add cooked, drained hot orzo pasta.
~Stir into veggie & fruit mixture.
~Pour artichoke liquid & red wine vinegar into olive oil.
~Add salt & red pepper flakes into olive oil mixture.
~Pour over salad and mix well.  
~Chill and enjoy.

Variations:
`add 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
`add 1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sweet & Sour Pork

This takes a little time, but is not hard to make at all.  Very good.  I use a butterfly pork chop and brine it before making this recipe.  It makes for very tender pork.  I like to serve it over rice.





SWEET & SOUR PORK
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*1 pound butterfly pork chop, cut into 1-inch cubes
*1/2 cup kosher salt
*4 cups water
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*3 tablespoons ketchup
*2 tablespoon soy sauce
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/3 cup pineapple juice
*1/3 cup white vinegar
*1 garlic clove, minced
*1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon corn starch
*5 tablespoons water
*1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*1/3 cup corn starch
*1 teaspoon black pepper
*2 eggs whites, lightly beaten
*1 tablespoon vegetable oil
*1/3 cup water
*1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into 1-inch diagonal pieces
*1/2 red bell pepper, cut into small cubes
*1/2 green bell pepper, cut into small cubes
* 3/4 cup fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
*3-4 cups ole for deep-frying, or as needed

Directions:
~In a medium bowl, marinated pork in 4 cups water & 1/2 cup kosher salt.
~Marinate for 1 hour, remove pork and rinse.
~In a small bowl, combine sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pineapple juice, vinegar & garlic.
~In a separate bowl, mix 5 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon & 1 teaspoon cornstarch.  Mix until cornstarch is dissolved.
~In a heavy pot or wok, heat the oil to 375 degrees.
~In a medium bowl, combine flour, 1/3 cup cornstarch & black pepper.
~Stir in egg whites & enough water to make the batter thick enough to stick to the pork .
~Dip pork chops into bater.
~Carefully drop in, and cook until a golden brown (do this in batches so you don't overcrowd the pot or wok).
~Remove and let drain on paper towels.
~In a small saucepan, bring sweet & sour sauce to a boil, over medium heat.
~Add carrots, green peppers, red peppers & pineapple to sauce.
~Bring to a boil again and pour in cornstarch mixture,  stirring until thickened.
~Place pork over hot rice & pour sauce over it.

Helpful Hint:
`if you prefer your veggies to be more tender; put veggies into a microwavable bowl with 1 tablespoon water.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for a 2-3 minutes.  Then put them into a the sauce before adding the cornstarch mixture.  

Variation:
-I will often skip the batter and just dust the pork with flour.   

Monday, January 27, 2014

S'more Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats meet S'mores.  I don't image it's low in calories, but oh how delicious.




S'MORE KRISPIE TREATS
(serves 24)


Crust Ingredients:
*1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I make my own)
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 cup butter, melted

Rice Krispie Ingredients:
*1 cup light corn syrup
*1 cup granulated sugar
*1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
*1 cup peanut butter
*6 cups rice krispies
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*2 cups milk chocolate chips

Marshmallow Ingredients:
*5 large egg whites
*1 1/2 cups sugar

Crust Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spay a 9x13 inch pan with a cooking spray.
~In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs & sugar.
~Mix in melted butter until combined.
~Press mixture into the bottom of prepared pan.
~Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
~Remove from heat and set aside.

Rice Krispie Directions:
~In a large saucepan combine corn syrup, sugar & unsweetened cocoa.
~Cook over medium heat, stirring often until sugar & cocoa is dissolved and just short of a boil.
~Remove from heat.
~Stir in vanilla & peanut butter. Stir until peanut butter is melted.
~Add rice krispies and stir until well coated.
~Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler. 
~Spread melted chocolate chips over crust.
~Press mixture into pan over the chocolate
~Let cool completely.

Marshmallow directions:
~In a double boiler, combine egg whites & sugar.  
~Bring mixture to 160 degrees, whisking constantly.
~Place mixture into a large mixing bowl.
~Whisk on high speed until mixture doubles in size and form's stiff peaks (about 10-14 minutes).
~Spread marshmallow over the rice krispies.
~Place under a broler for 1-2 minutes, or until top starts to turn a golden brown (be very careful not to burn, check often).
~Cut into squares and enjoy.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Homemade frosting is so easy and quick to make.  It makes any cake taste better.  Once you try this, you may never buy store bought again.



CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
(makes 4 cups)

Ingredients:
*1/3 cup butter
*2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
*2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
*1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*2 1/4 - 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions:
~Mix all ingredients until smooth and to your desired consistency.
~Spread on cake, cookies or brownies.





Friday, January 17, 2014

Moist Yellow Cake

I have tried many, many homemade yellow cakes.  They are normally to heavy and they dry out way to quick.   This one is wonderful.  It stays moist for days.  We normally like chocolate frosting on it, but put whatever flavor you like.




MOIST YELLOW CAKE
(serves 12)

Ingredients:
*2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
*1 teaspoon salt
*3 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
*1 1/4 cups buttermilk
*3 teaspoons vegetable oil
*1/2 cup butter, softened
*1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
*3 large eggs

Ingredients:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spray a 9x13 inch pan (or 2-10 inch) with a cooking spray.
~Dust pan(s) lightly with flour.
~In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt & baking powder.
~Add butter, milk, oil & vanilla to flour ingredients.
~Mix on medium speed for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, scrapping the sides of the bowl, to incorporate it well.
~Add eggs and mix for another 2 minutes.
~Pour into prepared pan(s).
~Bake for 20-30 minutes or until take springs back when touched lightly the center.
~Let cake cool completely before frosting.  If using the round pans, allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes and flip gently onto a wire rack and allow to cool.


 Helpful Hints:
`If you plan on making a layer cake, line the prepared cake pan with waxed paper.  Remove paper when you remove cake from pans.
`I always wrap 10 take with plastic wrap until it cools completely.  This helps keep the cake extra moist.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pita

I am a chicken cordon blue fan as long as it's homemade.   The mixture of the ingredients just go together wonderfully.   One day I decided to make it into a pita and boy was it good.    Simple to make and it doesn't take much time.


CHICKEN CORDON BLEU PITA
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*2 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 2-inch thickness
*1 cup buttermilk
*1/4 cup all-purpose flour
*1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
*1 teaspoon paprika
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1 tablespoon butter or oil
*4 slices baked deli ham, cut thin
*4 slices swiss cheese
*1/4 cup chicken stock
*1/2 teaspoon chicken granules
*1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
*1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
*4 pita breads

Directions:
~In a medium bowl, place chicken & buttermilk.
~Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.
~In a shallow pan, mix flour, bread crumbs, paprika, salt & pepper.
~Place a slice of ham & cheese on each pita.
~Let butter melt in a large skillet over medium heat.
~Remove chicken from buttermilk and let any excess drip off.
~Coat chicken in breadcrumb mixture.
~Place chicken into skillet and cook for about 5-6 minutes and then flip and allow to cook on other side for another 5-6 minutes, or until chicken is done.
~Remove from skillet and put over cheese.
~Pour chicken stock in the same skillet that the chicken was cooking in.
~Use a whisk to stir chicken stock and chicken drippings.  Cook until it starts to boil.
~In a small bowl, blend cornstarch with the heavy cream.
~Whisk slowly into the skillet.
~Cook, stirring until thickened and pour evenly over the chicken.
~Top with shredded lettuce.
~Fold pita in half and enjoy.

Variations:
`Add chopped tomatoes, when adding lettuce.
`Substitute a tortillas for the pita.
`Leave off sauce to make it more figure friendly.
`In a small skillet, sprayed with a cooking spray, heat up pita bread.  Once heated add cheese, ham, chicken & sauce.