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

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

French Dip

Pretty easy to make and very tasty.  I like mine medium rare and the cooking time will reflect that.  If you like your's medium or well done just add another 5-10 minutes of cooking time.  I know that french dips normally do not have cheese on them, but I prefer it that way.  I also use steak, because I don't like roast beef.



FRENCH DIP
 (serves 5)

Ingredients:
* 1bay leaf
*1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon onion powder
*1/2 tablespoon Kosher Salt
*1 tablespoon ground black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon ground Oregano
*1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
*1 (2 - 2 1/2 pounds) Sirloin steak
*1/2 beefy onions soup mix, dry
*1 large yellow onion, sliced thin,
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*1 cup Beef Consommé
*1/2 cup Beef Stock
*2 1/2 teaspoons Soy Sauce
*1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
*1/2 cup hot water
*Sturdy bread (I use french), cut into 5 pieces
*butter (enough to spread on the insides of the bread)
*5 slices of provolone cheese (optional)

Directions:
~In a skillet, over medium heat add 1 teaspoon of butter and sliced onions.
~Cook until they are soft and start to turn a golden brown golden. Stirring occasionally (about 4-6 minutes).
~Add minced garlic and cook another 2 minutes, stirring often.
~Stir in beefy onion soup mix.
~Add beef consommé, beef stock, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, bay leaf and water.
~Bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat to low.
~Simmer for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
~Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
~In a small bowl, mix  rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, pepper, oregano and thyme.
~Rub it all over the surface of the sirloin steak.
~Place a roasting rack in a rosting pan.
~Place sirloin steak on rack and bake for 20-25 minutes (add another 5-10 minutes for medium or well done).
~Remove from oven and place roasting rack on a cutting board.
~Cover sirloin steak with aluminum foil, to keep it warm.
~Pour some of the hot au jus sauce in to the roasting pan.
~Scrape drippings off of the bottom of the pan.
~Return au jus and drippings in the rest of the au jus sauce.
~Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
~Pour ah jus through a mesh strainer.
~Discard bay leaf.
~Keep onions on the side.
~Keep au jus sauce warm while cutting sirloin steak..
~Spread butter on the insides of the bread, and grill face down until bread is toasted.
~Remove from heat and plate bread.
~Thinly slice sirloin steak.
~Pile sliced meat of one side of the bread.
~Place onions and over meat.
~Place a slice of provolone cheese over onions (optional).
~Pour au jus into small bowls.
~Dip sandwich into au jus sauce.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Chicken Fried Steak

A quick and easy southern dish to make.  You can make it even if you aren't southern.  






CHICKEN FRIED STEAK
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*4 cube steaks (around 1/2 pound each)
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1 teaspoon corn starch
*1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*3/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon onion powder
*1 teaspoon garlic powder
*1 1/4 cups buttermilk
*1 egg
*1 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
*2 1/2 cups vegetable oil
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*3 1/2 cups whole milk
*1/2 cup chicken stock

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
~Pound cube steaks to about 1/4 inch thick.
~Sprinkle 1/4 salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper over steaks and pat down.
~Sift  flour, baking powder, corn starch, pepper, salt, onion powder and garlic powder together into a shallow bowl.
~Whisk buttermilk, egg and hot sauce together.
~Dredge steak in flour mixture, completely coating them.
~Shake any excess flour off.
~Dredge in egg mixture, completely coating them.
~Dredge once again in flour mixture, completely coating them (keep remaining flour).
~Pat the flour down and place steaks on a plate to rest for 15-30 minutes.
~In a large deep cast iron pan, heat vegetable oil to 325 degrees (it's important for the oil to be the right temperature).
~Fry the steak until a golden brown and aren't sticking on the bottom of the pan 3-5 minutes per side.
~Remove steaks from oil and place on a cooling rack.
~Place into warm oven to keep hot while cooking the gravy.
~Drain all but about 1/4 cup of the oil.
~Return cast iron pan to stove over medium-low heat.
~Whisk remaining flour (about 1/4 cup), 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper into oil.
~Whisk for about 50-60 seconds.
~Whisk in milk and chicken stock.
~Whisk until gravy is thick about  4-6 minutes.
~Plate steaks and spoon gravy over steaks.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Salted Caramel-Coconut-Pecan Cheesecake

This cheesecake is out of this world.  It takes a long time, because of the cooling time.  If you take it out of the oven before it's cooled, it WILL crack.  It will still taste awesome, but just won't look as pretty.  Warning: this is not a low-cal dessert!
If you don't want to take the time to make the caramel sauce, you can buy the type you like.





SALTED CARAMEL-COCONUT-PECAN CHEESECAKE

Toppings Ingredients:
*1 cup flaked coconut
*1 cup pecans
*1 tablespoon butter, melted
*hershey's syrup

Caramel Sauce Ingredients:
*1 cup granulated sugar
*6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
*1/2 cup heavy cream
*1 teaspoon sea salt

Crust Ingredients:
*15 graham crackers, crushed (can use chocolate grahams too)
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*2 tablespoon butter, melted

Cheesecake Ingredients:
*4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature 
*1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
*3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
*4 large eggs, room temperature
*1 cup sour cream, room temperature
*1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
*1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Toasted Coconut Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spread coconut onto a baking sheet.
~Bake in preheated oven for 5-10 minutes or until toasted.  Turning once.
~Remove from oven and set aside.
Toasted Pecan Directions:
~In a small bowl mix pecans and butter until pecans are coated.
~Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
~Spread onto a cookie sheet.
~Bake in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes until aromatic (careful not to burn).
~Remove from oven and set aside.
Caramel Sauce Directions:
~In a medium saucepan, heat sugar over medium heat, stirring continuously.
~Sugar will start to turn tan or light brown and then melt, stir continuously.
~Add butter, stir until butter is melted, 1-3 minutes.
~Stir as you slowly add heavy cream.
~Allow mixture to boil (no stirring) for 1 minute.
~Remove from heat.
~Immediately stir in salt. 
~Set aside and allow to cool.  
~Store in a glass jar (I use a canning jar) until really to use.
~Store in refrigerator once it's cooled.
Crust Directions:
~Spray a 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray.
~In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon and butter together.
~Press into bottom of prepared pan.
~Set aside.
Cheesecake Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~In a large mixing bowl, mix softened cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.
~Mix in milk until mostly mixed.
~Mix in one egg at a time, gently mixing between each addition (do not overheat).
~Mix in the sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth.
~Pour over graham cracker crust.
~Place springform pan into a large baking pan.
~Pour water into baking pan (not springform pan) about 1 inch deep.
~Bake for 1 hour.
~Turn oven off, but do not open door or remove cheesecake.
~Allow to cool in oven for 6 hours.
~Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.
~Before serving, sprinkle cheesecake with toasted coconut and toasted pecans.
~Heat up caramel sauce if needed, just enough to make it pourable.
~Pour desired amount of caramel over top of cheesecake.
~Drizzle with hershey's chocolate (optional).



Friday, October 6, 2017

Taco Soup

I make soup at least once a week during the chilly seasons here in Michigan.  Most soups are so easy to make.   I like to throw this one in a slow cooker, but in can be simmered on top of the stove too.




TACO SOUP
(serves 8)

Ingredients:
*1 pound ground beef
*1 large yellow onion, chopped
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*1 (16 ounce) can chili beans with liquid
*1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
*1 (15 ounce) can wale kernel corn, drained
*1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
*1 quart stewed tomatoes (I make my own)
*1(1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning (I use mild, but if you like it spicy use spicy)
*1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
*1 (15 ounce) can beef stock or broth
*Corn chips or nacho chips broken up  (enough to sprinkle over top of soup once it's served)
*Sharp cheddar cheese (enough to sprinkle of top once it's served)
*Sour Cream (optional, a dollop over everything once the soup is served)

Directions:
~In a large skillet, cook onions,  ground beef, salt & pepper until ground beef is almost completely browned.
~Add in garlic and cook until ground beef is browned.
~Drain grease.
~Pour ground beef into slow cooker.
~Add in chili beans, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes,  taco seasoning, cumin, and beef stock/broth.
~Mix until well blended.
~Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
~Ladle soup into 8 bowls.  Top with  corn chips/nacho chips, cheddar cheese and sour cream.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Apple Coconut Bread

I love most anything with coconut in it.   This is soooo good.  To make it even better add about 1/2 cup chocolate chips.  I've also been known to add a glaze over the top of it while it's still warm.




APPLE COCONUT BREAD
(makes 1 loaf)

Ingredients:
*1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*2 tablespoons granulated sugar
*3 medium apples, peeled and chopped
*1/3 cup light brown sugar
*2/3 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 cup butter, softened
*2 large eggs
*2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon ground  cinnamon
*1/4 cup milk
*1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut

Directions:
~Preheat ove to 350 degrees.
~Spray a 9 x15 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
~In a medium bowl, mix diced apples, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoon granulated sugar until apples are well coated.
~In mixing bowl, beat light brown sugar, 2/3 cup granulated sugar and butter together until smooth and creamy.
~Beat in eggs, 1 at a time.
~Stir in vanilla extract.
~Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into butter mixture.
~Mix until just blended.
~Mix in milk until batter is smooth.
~Stir in coconut and apples.
~Pour into prepared pan.
~Bake for 55-60 minutes.
~Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
~Allow to cool on a wire rack.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Bacon Cheese Sloppy Joe's

This amped up version of sloppy Joes is just plain awesome.  Of course adding bacon can only make it better.  





BACON & CHEESE SLOPPY JOES
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*1 ground beef
*1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1/2 green bell pepper, chopped small
*1/2 red bell pepper, chopped small
*1/2 cup tomato sauce
*1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1 tablespoon cornstarch
*1 cup beef stock or broth
*6-8 slices provolone cheese
*6-9 slices bacon
*6 hamburger buns (homemade makes this even better)

Directions:
~Cook bacon, until crispy.
~Remove from pan and set aside.
~In a large skillet, add ground beef, onions, green bell pepper, red bell pepper and minced garlic.
~Break up meat as it cooks.
~Cook until hamburger is browned and done.
~Stir in tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
~In a small bowl, mix beef stock/broth and cornstarch together.
~Stir into hamburger mixture.
~Cook for another 5-10 minutes until the sauce thickens.
~Toast insides of buns until golden brown (optional).
~Add provolone cheese to sloppy joe's mixture and stir until melted.
~Scoop sloppy Joe's onto each bun bottom.
~Top with 1 to 1/2 slices of bacon.
~Place top bun over sandwich.








Hamburger Buns

So light, soft and delicious.  Will make any burger better.  Sometimes I like to add a little bit of garlic salt to the top of the bun before baking.




HAMBURGER BUNS
(12 buns)

Ingredients:
*2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
*1/2 cup all purpose flour
*1 cup warm water
*1 large egg, beaten
*3 tablespoons butter, melted
*2 tablespoon granulated sugar
*1 1/2 teaspoon salt
*3 cups all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon olive oil or melted butter
*1 egg, beaten
*1 tablespoon whole milk
*1 teaspoon sesame seeds
*1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

Directions:
~Melt butter, and set aside.
~In large mixing bowl, whisk yeast, 1/2 cup flour and water together.
~Allow to sit until yeast proofs (becomes foamy) for about 15 minutes.
~Whisk in cooled melted butter, 1 egg, sugar and salt.
~Knead in 3 cups flour (I use my dough hook) until dough is sticky and elastic (will not stick to your fingers).
~Drizzle olive oil into a large bowl.
~Form dough into a round ball and tun dough in bowl so that the dough is lightly coated in olive oil.
~Place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
~Allow to rise in a draft free warm area for 2 hours.
~Flatten dough by pushing down in the middle of it.
~Transfer onto a lightly floured service.
~Flatten dough out into a rectangle.
~Cut into 12 equal pieces.
~Form each piece in to a round shape, gently tucking ends underneath.
~Place on a baking sheet with about 1/2 spacing between each bun.
~Sprinkle a small amount of flour over each bun to prevent plastic wrap from sticking to them.
~Drape a piece of plastic wrap one the baking sheet.
~Allow buns to rise for 1 hour or until doubled int size.
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~In a small bowl mix sesame seeds and poppy seeds together.
~In a small bowl, beat egg and milk together.
~Very gently brush egg was over top of dough.
~Sprinkle seed mixture over top of buns.
~Bake for 15-18 minutes or util lightly browned on top.
~Let cool completely.
~Slice in half crosswise before using.






  1. .

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter and Chocolate are one of my favorite mixtures.  I normally will add Heath Toffee Bits to it, but you can add chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, mint chips or omit them all together.




CHOCOALTE-PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES
(serves 16)


Chocolate Layer Ingredients:
*1/2 cup butter
*1 cup granulated sugar
*2 large eggs
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
*1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon baking powder
*3/4 cup Heath English Toffee Bits

Peanut Butter Layer Ingredients:
*1/2 cup butter
*2 large eggs
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
*1/2 cup Heath English Toffee Bits

Chocolate Layer Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Coat a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.
~Melt butter and pour into a mixing bowl.
~Stir in sugar until well mixed.
~Add eggs and vanilla extract.
~Beat in unsweetened cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder, just until mixed (do not over mix).
~Spread batter into prepared pan.
~Sprinkle toffee bits over chocolate layer.

Peanut Butter Layer Directions:
~Melt butter and pour into a mixing bowl.
~Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
~Add flour, salt and peanut butter and mix until just mixed (do not over mix).
~Gently spread batter over top of chocolate layer.
~Sprinkle remaining toffee bits over peanut butter layer.
~Bake for 25-30 minutes or until brownies are done.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Butterfinger Icebox Cake

I do enjoy icebox cakes.   They are easy to make and so good.   This is my favorite one.



BUTTERFINGER ICEBOX CAKE
(serves 12)

Ingredients:
*1/4 cup light brown sugar
*1/8 cup heavy cream
*1 tablespoon butter
*dash of salt
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 (3.5 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding
*1 3/4 cup whole milk
*18 fun size butterfingers
*1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
*1/3 cup light brown sugar
*1 cup powdered sugar
*1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
*1/3 cup light brown sugar
*1/2 cup heavy cream
*1 (12 ounce) container cool whip
*chocolate graham crackers (2-3 packages)

Directions:
~Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/8 cup heavy cream, butter, and salt in a small saucepan.
~Cook over medium-low heat, whisking for 3-4 minutes, until sauce gets thicker (careful not to burn it).
~Add vanilla and cook another 40-60 seconds.
~Remove from heat and allow it to cool completely.
~Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
~In a mixing bowl, whisk butterscotch pudding and 1 3/4 cup milk until pudding mix is dissolved.
~Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until pudding sets.
~In a food processor, grind up butterfinger bars into small crumbs.
~In a mixing bowl, whip cream cheese until light and fluffy.
~Mix in 1/3 cup brown sugar.
~Add powdered sugar until well mixed, scraping sides when needed.
~Mix in cooled caramel sauce and 1/2 cup heaving whipping cream.
~Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
~Fold in 2 cups of crushed butterfingers into mixture (you should have about 1/2 cup left for top)
~Fold in 1/2  of cool whip.
~Line bottom of prepared pan with a single layer of the graham crackers.
~Spread 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture over top to the graham crackers.
~Layer 1/2 of the pudding over cream cheese mixture.
~Put another layer of chocolate graham crackers over pudding mixture.
~Layer another 1/3 of cream cheese mixture over graham crackers.
~Layer remaining pudding over cream cheese mixture.
~Add another layer of graham crackers.
~Add remaining cream cheese mixture.
~Refrigerate cake for at least 3 hours.
~Remove from refrigerator and spread remaining cool whip over cake.
~Sprinkle remaining butterfinger crumbs over top.





Saturday, September 9, 2017

Antipasto Pasta Salad

I love this pasta salad.  It's easy to make.  It makes a lot.  It's filling and it's very tasty.  Great for picnics or potluck dinners.



ANTIPASTO PASTA SALAD
(serves 12)

Ingredients:

*1 (16 ounce) bag of bow tie pasta
*1/4 pound Genoa Salami, chopped into bite size pieces
*1/4 pound pepperoni sausage, chopped into bite size pieces
*1/4 pound sharp cheese, chopped into bite size pieces
*1/4 cup asiago cheese, chopped into bite size pieces
*1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
*1 green bell pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
*1 (2.2 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
*1 (16 ounce) container grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced
*6 green onions, sliced (I slice up part of the greens to)
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*1 cup extra virgin olive oil
*1(.7 ounce) package dried italian salad dressing mix
* 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
*1 tablespoon dried oregano
*1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
*1 tablespoon dried parsley
*2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
~Bring a large stock pot of water to a full boil.
~Salt with about 1 teaspoon salt.
~Add bow tie pasta, and cook until al dente.
~Drain pasta and rinse with cool water.
~Set aside.
~In a large bowl, combine salami, pepperoni, sharp cheese, asiago cheese, red pepper, bell pepper, olives, tomatoes and green onions.
~Mix in pasta.
~Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes.
~In a small saucepan heat olive oil and minced garlic until oil is hot.
~Remove from heat and allow to cool.
~Add balsamic vinegar, oregano, basil, parsley, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to olive oil.
~Whisk until well mixed.
~Pour over pasta salad and mix well.
~Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Stuffed Cabbage Soup

Super easy and quick to make.   If you like Cabbage Rolls (stuffed cabbage) you are going to love this.   The soup is thick like a stew, but you can thin it out with chicken or beef stock if you prefer your soup thinner.   I shred the cabbage very small, because that's how the family likes it, but you can leave it in bigger pieces if you prefer.





STUFFED CABBAGE SOUP
(serves 8)

Ingredients:
*1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
*1/2 pound ground pork (optional)
*1 large yellow onion, chopped
*4 large cloves of garlic, minced
*2 medium carrots, chopped small
*2 stalks of celery, chopped small
*1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1/2 head of cabbage, shredded or chopped
*2 (14.5 ounces) beef broth
*1 quart of stewed tomatoes
*1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
*1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
*1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
*2 bay leafs
*1 teaspoon dried paprika
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*1/2 teaspoon dried basil
*1 tablespoon dried parsley
*1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
*1 cup dry white rice
*2 cups chicken stock or beef stock (if needed to thin soup out)
*1 teaspoon salt (if needed)

Directions:
~In a large stock pot, over medium heat, add beef, pork, onions, carrots, celery, garlic and pepper.
~Cook until beef and pork are browned, breaking up beef and pork as it cooks.
~Drain any excess grease.
~Pour in 2 cans of beef broth, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, cabbage, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, oregano, basil, parsley, and thyme.
~Bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in rice.
~Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until rice is cooked, stirring occasionally.
~Add salt, if needed.
~Add chicken stock or beef stock, only if you want to thin out the soup.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Pumpkin Cake

Yummy!  If you love pumpkin, you are going to love this.  Very moist and light.






PUMPKIN CAKE
(serves 12)

Cake Ingredients:
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 cup cake flour
*1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*3/4 cup butter, softened
*2 cups granulated sugar
*3 large eggs
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
*1/4 cup oil
*1 cup whole milk

Frosting Ingredients:
*2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
*1 cup butter, softened
*1 teaspoon maple flavoring
*2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*7 cups powdered sugar
*1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
~Grease and flour 3, 8-inch pans.
~In a large bowl, mix all purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.
~In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
~Beat in eggs one at a time.
~Mix in vanilla, pumpkin puree and vegetable oil.
~Mix in flour mixture, and milk alternately into pumpkin mixture.
~Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans.
~Bake for 35-40 minutes until done
~Remove pans from oven.
~Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes
~Remove from pans.
~Wrap each layer with plastic wrap.
~Freeze for 40-60 minutes.
~In a large mixing bowl, cream cheese and butter util smooth.
~Mix in maple flavoring, vanilla and cinnamon.
~Beat in powdered sugar  and beat until smooth.
~Place first layer of cake on a cake pan.
~Apply about 3/4 cup of frosting over top of cake.
~Add second layer of cake.
~Apply another 3/4 cup of frosting over top of cake.
~Add final layer of cake.
~Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.
~Sprinkle pecans over top of cake (optional).
~Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Canning Salsa



I do love salsa and chips, but salsa is also good over chicken or potatoes.   My family likes the salsa veggies to be cut small, but you can cut them into bigger chunks if that is what you prefer.  Delete or add jalapeño peppers if you like mild or hot salsa.  Remember the more seeds you leave in the hotter
it will be.  This recipe is more on the milder side.



CANNING SALSA
(24 pints or 12 quarts)

Ingredients:
*1/2 bushel of Roma tomatoes
*3 large green bell peppers, chopped and seeded
*2 large yellow bell peppers, chopped and seeded
*2 large orange or red bell peppers, chopped and seeded
*3 large banana peppers, chopped and seeded
*3 jalapeño peppers, chopped (remove seeds if you want.  I do not)
*2 large red onions, peeled and chopped
*1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
*2 cup apple cider vinegar
*1 large garlic bulb, minced
* 2 tablespoons salt
*2 tablespoons ground cumin
*1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
*1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste (only use if salsa is to runny)

Directions:
~Bring a large saucepan of water to boil.
~Place tomatoes into boiling water for 3-5 minutes to loosen skins.
~Place tomatoes into a sink of cold water to cool down.
~Peel tomatoes, and cut into small pieces.
~In a large stock pot or roaster pan, add all ingredients, except tomato paste.
~Bring mixture to a boil.
~Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
~Place salsa into sterile jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head space.
~Make sure top of jar is free from any residue.
~Place lids and rings on jars (do not tighten rings to tight).
~Cook in hot bath for 15 minutes for pints jars and 20 for quart jars.
~Remove from hot bath, and allow to sit for 24 hours before storing.
~Make sure all lids have sealed and tighten rings (if there is a bubble in the lid, then it didn't seal).


Monday, June 19, 2017

Maple-Orange-Cranberry Syrup

I love this syrup.  It's great on any pancake, french toast or waffle.  You might even like it over ice cream.  It's easy and quick to make.


MAPLE-ORANGE-CRANBERRY SYRUP

Ingredients:
*1 cup pure maple syrup
*1 cup fresh cranberries
*orange zest from one orange
*juice squeezed from one orange
*1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 teaspoon butter

Directions:
~Bring syrup, orange juice, orange zest, cinnamon and cranberries to a boil, over medium heat.
~Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3-4 minutes until cranberries pop.
~Crush cranberries with a wooden spoon or spatula.
~Simmer very low for another 5-10 minutes.
~Strain through sieve (this is optional, but I like my syrup without pulp).
~Add butter to liquid and stir until melted.

Variations:
`substitute fresh cranberries with cranraisins.   Add 1/4 cup orange juice to recipe.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Cranberry Orange Muffins

I love the combination of orange and cranberries.   These muffins are so moist and delicious.   Easy and quick to make.  If you don't have applesauce you can replace it with vegetable oil



CRANBERRY ORANGE MUFFINS
(makes 12)

Ingredients:
*1 cup dried craisins
*3/4 cup orang juice
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 cup granulated sugar
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 large egg
*3/4 teaspoon fresh squeezed orange juice
*1/4 cup plain apple sauce
*1 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
*3/4 cup slivered almonds

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
~In a small saucepan,  heat up 3/4 cup orange juice and craisins over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.
~Remove from heat and allow mixture to come to room temperature.
~In a medium bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
~Drain cranberries and gently mix into dry ingredients.
~In mixer bowl, beat egg, fresh squeezed orange juice, applesauce, orange rind and almonds.
~Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just moistened.
~Spoon dough into muffin pans 3/4 full.
~Bake for 15-20 minutes.
~Remove from pan and allow to cool on cooling rack.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Loaded Steak Fries

I'm not a big fan of restaurant loaded fries, because normally they are to cheesy for me.  Yes, I said it.  To cheesy!   When making your own, you can control the cheese.  So if you like a lot of cheese, add some more.  I also like to make my fries, but you can buy store bought.  It just won't be as good.





LOADED STEAK FRIES
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*5-6 russet potatoes for steak fries, or use 1 (32 ounce) frozen steak fries
*8 slices bacon, cut into bite size pieces and cooked until crisp
*2 teaspoons butter, melted
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon onion powder
*1 teaspoon paprika
*1/4 teaspoon cumin
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*3/4-1cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
*1/4-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
*3 green onions, chopped
*1/4 cup banana peppers (optional)
*2-3 tablespoon sour cream

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~Cut the potatoes in equal wedges (peel only if you want to).
~In a small bowl, whisk  butter, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.
~Mix potato wedges into mix.
~Pour potatoes onto a large baking sheet or a large cast iron skillet.
~Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until crispy and golden in color.
~Remove from oven.
~Sprinkle cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese over the top of the potatoes.
~Place under broiler for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese melts.
~Remove from oven and sprinkle with bacon, green onions, sour cream and banana peppers.
**dip in ranch or bleu cheese dressing can even make it better!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

STRAWBERRY LEMONADE CAKE

Very moist, light and  tasty cake.  The frosting is creamy and full of flavor.  If you like strawberry lemonade, you will love this cake.  I generally will use lemonade instead of water that is called for in at the cake mix.






STRAWBERRY LEMONADE CAKE
(serves 24)

Ingredients:
*1( ounce) box lemon cake mix
*1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
*1 (16 ounce) container lemon frosting
*1 (21 ounce) can strawberry pie filling
*1 (8 ounce) tub whipped topping (cool whip or another brand), thawed
*2 cups strawberries, diced

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spray a 9x13 inch pan with a cooking spray.
~Make and bake cake as directed on package (I often use lemonade instead of water)
~Remove cake from oven.
~Allow cake to cool for 6 minutes.
~Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the warm cake.
~Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top of the cake, allowing the milk to soak into pour into the holes.
~After removing top and foil from frosting, heat up in a microwave for 30-35 seconds.
~Stir frosting and pour over top of cake.
~Spread frosting over cake with a knife or spatula.
~Allow cake to cool completely.
~Refrigerate until cake is cool.
~Place strawberry pie filling in a large mixing bowl.
~Using a fork, mash up strawberry pie filling.
~Gently fold in whipped topping into pie filling.
~Spread over top of cooled cake.
~Sprinkle the diced strawberries top of cake.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Poppy-Sesame Seed Dressing

I love this dressing over a spinach strawberry salad or just about any salad that has fruit in it.  Another dressing that is so quick and easy to make.  I do like to refrigerate it for a couple hours before using it to let the flavors come together.







POPPY-SESAME SEED DRESSING
(serves 6-8)

Ingredients:
*2 tablespoons seassame seeds
*1 tablespoon poppy seeds
*1/4 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 cup olive oil
*1/4 cup white vinegar
*1/4 teaspoon paprika
*1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
*1 tablespoon minced onion

Directions:
~In a medium bowl, whisk all the ingredients together.
~Pour into a glass container with a lid.
~Chill for 2 hours before using.
~Whisk or shake well before pouring on salad.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

I am a big fan of homemade salad dressing.  Vinaigrette's are always a quick and easy dressing to make.





BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE DRESSING
(8-10 servings)

Ingredients:
*grated lemon peel, from one lemon
*1/4 teaspoon dried basil
*2 tablespoons onion, minced
*1/2 - 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
*1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
*1/3 - 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
*2 tablespoons djion mustard
*1 teaspoon honey
*1 pinch salt
*1 pinch ground black pepper

Directions:
~Blend all of the ingredients until smooth (I use my immersible blender).
~Pour into a glass jar with a lid.
~Refrigerate until ready to use (I refrigerate for at least 2 hours before I want to use it).
~Shake vigorously until thoroughly combined.
~Pour desired about over salad.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Pizza Soup

My family loves soup and they love pizza.  I thought it might be fun to mix the two.  Add whatever topping you like on your pizza.




PIZZA SOUP
(serves 6-8)

Ingredients:
*1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
*1 large yellow onion, chopped
*1 green bell pepper, chopped
*1 red bell pepper, chopped
*1 cups mushrooms, slice (optional)
*3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced very thin
*1 large tomato, chopped
*1 (15 ounce) jar pizza sauce (I make my own)
*1 (6 ounce) tomato paste
*1 cup water (add more water if soup is to thick)
*3 cups beef stock
*1/2 pound pepperoni, sliced and cut in quarters
*1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
*1 tablespoon, parsley flakes
*1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
*1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
*2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
*1 1/2 cups cooked macaroni noodles, 1 cup cooked rice, or croutons
*12 slices of mozzarella or provolone cheese or 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Directions:
~In a medium skillet, cook sausage, chopping it as it cooks.
~Once sausage is cooked, drain grease and set aside.
~In a large stock pot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
~Sauté red pepper, green pepper,  mushrooms and onion for around 2 minutes.
~Add garlic and cook for another 30-60 seconds.
~Add tomato, pizza sauce, tomato paste, water, beef stock, pepperoni, cooked Italian sausage, Italian seasoning, parsley flakes, marjoram, and oregano.
~Bring to a boil.
~Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 40-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
~While soup is simmering, cook macaroni noodles as directed on box, drain and set aside.
   Cook rice as directed on bag, set aside.
   If making your own croutons,  bake until crispy and set aside.
~You can serve this three ways.
   1) Add cooked rice to soup and mix.  Ladle soup into oven safe bowls and top with cheese and put under broiler for 2-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.
   2) Add macaroni into oven safe bowls.  Ladle soup over noodles and top with mozzarella cheese. Place under broiler for 2-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.
~Ladle soup into oven safe bowls and top with croutons and then cheese.  Place under a broiler for 2-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.






Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spicy Chicken Stuffed Peppers

Just a little different twist on the original stuffed pepper.  I love the cilantro rice in it.  If you are not a big fan of cilantro just omit it.  If you don't want spice just omit or cut down on the chipotle peppers.





SPICY CHICKEN STUFFED PEPPERS
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
*1/8 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)
*1/2 teaspoon chili powder
*1 teaspoon cumin
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/8 cup olive oil
*1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
*1 yellow onion, chopped
*6 cloves garlic, minced
*2 tomatoes, chopped
*1 cup white rice
*1 cup water
*2 large red or green bell peppers, halved and deseeded
* 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
*2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
*sour cream (optional)

Directions:
~Chop two of the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
~In a large zip-loc bag, mix 1/8 cup cilantro, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper,objhb 1/8 cup olive oil and chopped chipotle peppers with adobo sauce.
~Place chicken breasts in bag and seal.
~Make sure chicken is coated well and marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
~Chop 2 more chipotle peppers with adobo sauce and set aside.
~Heat up 3 tablespoons olive oil a large skillet.
~Add onions and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
~Add minced garlic and cook for another 30-60 seconds.
~Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes on each side.
~Add chopped tomatoes, the chopped chipotle peppers and sauce.
~Mix so everything is combined.
~Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
~Remove pan from burner.
~Shred chicken in pan or remove and shred with a mixer (I do it in the pan).
~Add rice and water.
~Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~Place peppers on a oven safe pan, cut side up.
~Stuff bell peppers with chicken mixture.
~Top with shredded cheese.
~Bake for 20-25 minutes.
~Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining chopped cilantro.
~Add a dollop of sour cream if desired.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Chicken Burrito Bowl

I love Chipotle burrito bowl, but I don't like to make the trip there.  This is my version of the burrito bowl.   Pretty yummy to me.






CHICKEN BURRITO BOWL
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves.
*1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped  (or 2 teaspoons dried)
*2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
*1 (ounce) package of taco seasoning mix
*1/4 cup olive oil
*1 teaspoon butter
*1 lime, juiced
*2/3 cup basmati rice or white rice
*1 1/2 cups water
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*3 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)

Toppings of your choice
*black beans
*pinto beans
*corn
*cheddar cheese
*grilled red and green peppers
*grilled onions
*chopped lettuce
*sour cream
*salsa
*guacamole



Directions:
~In a gallon size zip-loc bag, place chicken breasts,  1/4 cup cilantro, chipotle peppers and adobe sauce, taco seasoning mix and olive oil.
~Seal, and shake until chicken is well coated.
~Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
~Remove from refrigerate and allow to sit for 20 - 30 minutes before grilling
~In a 2-quart saucepan, heat butter over low heat, stirring until melted (do not let it get brown).
~Add rice and lime juice, stir for 30 seconds.
~Add water and salt
~Bring to a full boil.
~Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until rice is tender.
~Add 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro and fluff rice.
~In a large skillet heat up butter.
~Cook chicken for about 4-6 minutes on each side, until chicken is done.
~Slice chicken into bite size pieces and cover to keep warm.
~Place rice and grilled chicken into bowl and add your favorite toppings.








Thursday, March 16, 2017

Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Banana Bread

One of my favorite breads.  I love to add coconut and nuts to make it really over the top good.  It's so moist.  I normally will only add the chocolate chips into the bread.  I then put the batter into the pans. Once in the pans I add the cocoanut and walnuts into one of the batters.  I do this because not everyone loves coconut like I do.



CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE-CHIP BANANA BREAD
(makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients:
*1 cup butter, softened
*2 cups granulated sugar
*4 large eggs
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*4 bananas, mashed
*1 1/4 cups sour cream
*3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
*2 teaspoons baking soda
*1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
*2 cups milk chocolate chips
*1/2 - 1 cup shredded coconut (1/2 cup if you are only adding to one loaf, 1 cup if for both)
*1/2 - 1 cup walnuts, chopped (1/2 cup if you are only adding to one loaf, 1 cup if for both)

Directions:
~Preheat ove 350 degrees.
~Lightly grease two bread pans.
~In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
~Mix in eggs, one at a time.
~Mix in sour cream.
~Mix in vanilla and bananas, mix until well blended.
~In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda and unsweetened cocoa.
~Mix into wet ingredients until well blended.
~Stir in 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, coconut and nuts.
~Pour into prepared pans.
~Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips over top of dough.
~Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into bread comes out clean.


Poor Man's Beef Barley Soup

Super easy soup to make and it is ready in about an hour and a half.  Like all soups it is even better the next day.


POOR MAN'S BEEF BARLEY SOUP
(serves 6-8)

Ingredients:
*1 teaspoon vegetable oil or olive oil
*1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
*1 large yellow onion, chopped
*3 medium carrots, chopped or sliced thin
*3 stalks of celery, chopped
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*1 cup mushrooms, chopped (optional)
* 1 quart stewed tomatoes
*1 cup water
*1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed thoroughly
*1 (32 ounce) container of beef stock
*1 bay leaf
*1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
*1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
~In a large stock pot, warm up oil over medium heat.
~Add carrots, celery, onions, garlic, mushrooms and hamburger.
~Cook until meat is browned, stirring and breaking up meat as it cooks.
~Drain any grease from pan.
~Return meat mixture to stock pot.
~Add stewed tomatoes, water, barley beef stock, bay leaf, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper.
~Bring soup to a boil.
~Reduce heat to medium-low, cover stock pot and simmer for about 1 hour or until veggies and barley are tender.
~Remove bay leaf and serve.

Variation:
`Substitute barley with rice.
`Add yellow squash soup, when you add the tomatoes.
`Add fresh tomatoes when they are in season rather than stewed tomatoes.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Turkey Feta Spinach Burgers

Oh my, these are so good.   Now if you are not a big fan of turkey burgers you can substitute the ground turkey with ground beef or ground chicken.   I would give it a try at least, because it's nothing like your typical turkey burger.







TURKEY FETA SPINACH BURGERS
(makes 4)

Burger Ingredients:
* 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
*1/2 small onion, chopped
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
*1/4 cup water
*2 ounces feta cheese
*1/4 - 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
*1 pound ground turkey (chicken or hamburg)
*1 egg, beaten
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon paprika
*1/4 cup dried bread crumbs (optional)
*1 teaspoon olive oil
*red onion, sliced (optional)
*black olives, slice (optional)
*4 hamburger buns, (I like to toast mine)

Tzatziki Ingredients:
*1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
*1 teaspoon kosher salt
*1 cup plain greek yogurt
*1/4 cup sour cream
*1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
*1 teaspoon dried dill weed
*1 teaspoon olive oil
*1/2 garlic clove, minced
*1/8 teaspoon ground oregano
*1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Tzatziki Directions:
~In a small bowl, combine cucumber and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
~Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.
~Place colander over a bowl.
~Pour salted cucumber into colander.
~Squeeze the cucumber until the liquid as drained from the cucumbers.
~Allow to sit.
~In another bowl, mix yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, dill weed, oregano, and pepper.
~Stir drained cucumber into sour cream mixture.
~Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (I do mine the night before).

Burger Directions:
~In a large saucepan, sauté onions in butter until onions are translucent.
~Add minced garlic and cook for another 1 -2 minutes, stirring often.
~Add water and chopped spinach.
~Cover and cook until spinach is wilted.
~Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 -15 minutes.
~Mix egg, feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, ground turkey, salt, pepper, paprika, bread crumbs and spinach mixture together.
~From into four patties.
~Plate, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (you can still this, but it helps keeping the patties from falling apart).
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees or set grill to medium high.
~Spray a cookie sheet with a cooking spray or lightly oil grill grate.
~Brush tops of pattie with olive oil.
~Bake for 35-40 minutes or until burgers are done or grill or 15-20 minutes.
~Place burgers on buns.
~Put a dollop of tzatziki sauce over burger and place top bun on burger.

Variations:
`Place a slice of cheese over burger right after removing it from heat.
`Place chopped olives over top of burger after it's removed from heat, but before you put the top bun on.
`Mix in 1/2 cup of cooked rice into meat before cooking.



Thursday, March 2, 2017

Apple Fritter Bread

If you love apple fritters, you are going to love this bread.  Very easy to make and pretty to look at.



APPLE FRITTER BREAD
(1 loaf)

Ingredients:
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*2 tablespoons granulated sugar
*2 large apples or 3 medium, peeled and chopped
*1/3 cup light brown sugar
*2/3 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 cup butter, softened
*2 large eggs
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
*3/4 cup heavy cream
*1/2 cup powder sugar


Directions:
~Preheat over to 350 degrees.
~Spray an 9x5 nah loaf pan with cooking spray.
~In a medium bowl, mix sliced apples, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar until well incorporated.
~In a medium bowl, beat light brown sugar, 2/3 cup granulated sugar and butter together until smooth and creamy.
~Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until well mixed.
~Stir in vanilla.
~Sift flour and baking powder into a small bowl.
~Mix flour mixture into butter mixture until just blended.
~Mix in milk until batter is smooth.
~Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan.
~Pour half of the apple mixture over the batter.
~Lightly press the apple mixture into the batter.
~Pour remaining batter over apple layer.
~Top with remaining apple mixture.
~Lighty press the apples into the batter.
~Bake for 55-60 minutes or until bead is done.
~In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and heavy cream together until smooth.
~Drizzle over bread once it has cooled for 15-20 minutes.



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pasta

A nice quick comfort food.   It  is one of my favorite pasta dishes.  I like to have some warm french bread with it.  If you don't want to take the time to roast your garlic and tomatoes, you can just minced garlic and cherry tomatoes in when you put the spinach in.   I just like the taste better when it's roasted.








CREAMY PARMESAN CHICKEN PASTA
(serves 4-6)

Ingredients:
*1/2 pound bacon
*1 pound chicken breasts, sliced rather thin
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
*3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
*1 teaspoon paprika
*1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
*1 tablespoon roasted garlic
*1 (10 ounce) cherry tomatoes, roasted
*2 cups fresh spinach
*1 1/2 cups heavy cream
*2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
*2 1/4 cups mini penne (uncooked)

Directions:
~Cook penne in boiling as directed on box (about 7 minutes).
~Drain and set aside.
~In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until done and crisp.
~Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.
~Once the bacon as cooled, chopped it into bite size pieces.
~Drain grease from pan, leaving bout 3 tablespoons in pan.
~Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning.
~Cook chicken in skillet,  flipping when half way done.  Cook until no longer pink (about 4-5 minutes per side).
~Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
~Add spinach, roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic.
~Cover and cook until the spinach is wilted.
~Add heavy cream and bring to a low simmer.
~Cook until sauce is thickened.
~Add parmesan cheese.
~Stir until the cheese has melted.
~Add cooked pasta, chicken and bacon, a mix well.
~Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5-8 minutes before serving

I roast the garlic and tomatoes at the same time.

*Roasted garlic:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 inch from he top (thin end) of the cloves (exposing the individual cloves).
Drizzle a couple teaspoons olive oil over cut end of garlic.
Wrap in aluminum foil.
Place on a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until garlic is tender.
Allow garlic to cool and then squeeze out roasted garlic.

*Roasted tomatoes:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place tomatoes on cookie sheet.
Drizzle with a little olive oil.
Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Bake for 20 minutes.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Cheeseburger Crescent Roll

I love the crescent roll with the filling.   I normally make potato chips or onion pedals to go with it.






CHEESEBURGER CRESCENT ROLL
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*1 pound ground beef
*1 small onion, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, sliced paper thin or minced
*1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon pepper
*2 cups sharp shredded cheese, divided
*1/4 cup sour cream
*1 (8 ounce) refrigerated Crescent Dough
*1 egg white
*1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Directions:
~In a large skillet, cook ground beef, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and mushrooms, until ground beef in no longer pink and crumbled.
~Add sour cream and 1 cup cheese.  
~Mix until cheese is melted.
~Set aside.
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~Unroll dough into 1 large rectangle on ungreased cookie sheet. 
~Press into 13x8-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations and seams to seal.
~Spoon hamburger mixture in 4-inch-wide strip lengthwise down center of rectangle. 
~Top with remaining shredded cheese.
~With scissors or sharp knife, make cuts 1 inch apart on long sides of dough rectangle to within 1/2 inch of sausage mixture. 
~Fold strips of dough up over hamburger mixture to meet in center; pinch to seal.
~Brush egg white over top of crescent roll.
~Sprinkle sesame seeds over top.
~Bake 18 -22 minutes or until golden brown. 
~Remove from cookie sheet; cut into crosswise slices. 
~Serve warm.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Cherry-Coconut-Nut Bread

Light and moist and easy to make.    Great for Valentine's Day or Christmas, or anytime of the year.  If you are not a big fan of coconut or nuts, just omit them.  The frosting on the top is optional.  I personally like it better without it.






CHERRY-COCONUT-NUTBREAD
(serves 8-10)

Ingredients:
*1 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 cup whole milk
*1/2 cup vegetable oil
*1 large egg
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries
*1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
*1/2 cup shredded coconut
*1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
*1 tablespoons butter, melted
*1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons reserved maraschino cherry juice
*1/4 teaspoon almond extract


Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Grease (or spray with a cooking spray) a 9"x5" bread pan.
~In a medium mixing bowl, mix granulated sugar, milk, oil and egg together.
~In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
~Mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, until just combined (do not over mix).
~Drain cherries, reserving the liquid for later use.
~Chop cherries (coarse or fine however you like it).
~Fold chopped cherries, coconut and nuts into batter.
~Pour batter into prepared bread pan.
~Bake for 55-60 minutes or until bread is done.
~Allow bread to cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the bread pan.
~Continue cooling bread on a wire cooling rack.
~In a small bowl,  mix powdered sugar, melted butter, cherry juice and almond extract, until smooth.
~Spread glaze on cooled bread.
~Once glaze has set, slice the bread.




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Peanut Butter Cup Parfait

Easy, although a little time consuming.  It is a light, tasty and very pretty dessert.  Sometimes I will put a graham cracker crust for the bottom layer, but it's not necessary.





PEANUT BUTTER CUP PARFAIT
(makes 4-6)

Ingredients for chocolate pudding layers:
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
*1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon corn starch
*1/8 teaspoon salt
*3 cups whole milk
*2 tablespoons butter
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for peanut butter pudding layers:
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1  cup whole milk
*1 cup heavy whipping cream
*1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for whip cream layers:
*2 cups heavy cream
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions for chocolate pudding layer:
~In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt.
~Place over medium heat, and stir in milk.
~Bring to a boil, over medium heat, whisking constantly.
~Whisk until mixture thickens enough to coat a metal whisk or spoon.
~Remover from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
~Place plastic wrap directly over pudding and refrigerate until cool.

Directions for peanut butter pudding layer:
~In a medium saucepan, whisk granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt.
~Add milk and heavy cream.
~Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.
~Cook until thicken and will coat whisk or a metal spoon.
~Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract, until smooth.
~Place plastic wrap directly over pudding and refrigerate until cool.

Whip cream directions:
~Add heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla into a chilled bowl.
~Whisk until cream forms into peaks (do not over beat).


Time to put the dessert together once it cools:
~Use a large glass bowl or single parfait glasses.
~Place a layer of chocolate pudding.
~Place a layer of whip cream.
~Place a layer of peanut butter pudding.
~Repeat all three layers.
~Top with one last layer of whip cream.
~Top with a piece of fruit or chopped peanut butter cups.




.







French Bread

This is great for a sub sandwich or with any soup.   It's one of my favorites.




FRENCH BREAD
(makes two loafs)

Ingredients: 
*1 cup warm water
*1 tablespoon white sugar
*1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
*1 teaspoons salt
*2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 egg yolk
*1/2 teaspoon water

Directions: 
~In a mixing bowl, gently stir warm water, sugar and yeast.
~Allow it to proof (about 5 minutes).
~Stir in salt and flour.
~Knead dough until no longer sticky and dough is smooth.
~Place into a large greased bowl, turning to coat all sides.
~Cover with plastic wrap or a clean damp cloth.
~Allow to rise in a warm, draft free area until dough is doubled in size (about 1 hour).
~Punch dough down.
~Divide dough in half.
~Roll each dough section into a 8x12 inch rectangle.
~Roll each half of dough tightly, starting at the 12 inch side.
~Gently roll ends to until tapered.
~Place on a large greased cookie sheet leaving room between the dough for the bread to rise.
~Make slashes across the dough about 2 inches apart on both loafs.
~Allow to rise in a warm area for 40 minutes.
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~Mix egg yolk and 1/2 teaspoon water together.
~Gently brush egg yolk mixture over the tops of the dough.
~Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Roast Beef Soup

Super easy soup to make.  You can cook it on the stove or in a slow cooker.  Nice comfort food on those cold winter days.




ROAST BEEF SOUP
(serves 8)

Ingredients:
*2 1/2 pound sirloin roast (or a roast of your choosing), cut into 1 inch cubes
*1/4 cup flour
*1 teaspoon ground pepper
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
*1 teaspoon garlic powder
*4 large carrots, sliced
*2 celery sticks, sliced
*1 large onion, sliced thin
*2 tablespoons olive oil (or oil of your choice)
*1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
*1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
*1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
*4 cups beef stock/broth
*2 cups egg noodles

Directions:
~In  large zip-loc bag, combine roast, flour, pepper, salt, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
~Add cubed roast and seal bag.
~Shake until well coated.
~Heat oil over medium high heat in a large stock pot.
~Add coated roast and cook until brown, stirring often (around 5-7 minutes).
~Add carrots, celery, onion, dry onion soup mix, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock.
~Bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 4 - 5 hours or until roast beef is tender and veggies are tender.
~Add egg noodles and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until noodles are tender (stirring once in a while).
~Serve hot.

Variation:
`cook in slow cooker:  Cook roast as directed above.  Place roast in slow cooker and add the rest of the ingredients, minus the noodles.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Add cooked noodles and stir.   Cook until noodles are tender. Serve hot.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Barbecue Steak and Cheese Sub

I make my own garlic buns for this.  A little more work, but so worth the effort.  



BARBECUE STEAK AND CHEESE SUB
(makes 4)

Ingredients:
*1 tablespoon butter
*4 good sturdy sub rolls (I make my own), split in half
*2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
*dash of salt
*1 tablespoon butter
*1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
*2 red bell peppers, sliced
*2 pounds rib steak or new york strip steak, thinly sliced or cut into cubes
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*salt & pepper to taste
*8 slices of provolone cheese
*1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
*1/2 cup barbecue sauce (I make my own)

Directions:
~Place onions, 1 tablespoon butter and a dash of salt into a skillet.
~Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring often (onions will be caramelized).
~Remove from heat and place into a small bowl, set aside.
~In same pan, cook mushrooms until soft.
~Remove from heat and place into a small bowl.
~In the same pan, cook red peppers until soft.
~Remove from heat and place into a small bowl.
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Season steak with salt and pepper.
~In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter.
~Place sub buns inside of buns down into melted butter.
~Cook until toasted.
~Place bottom halves of toasted buns in a 9x13 inch pan.
~Place olive oil into large skillet (I use the same one that I toasted the buns in).
~Cook steak for 4-8 minutes, depending on how done you like your steak.
~Remove from pan and set aside.
~Place 2 slices of provolone cheese on each bun.
~Place steak over top of cheese.
~Add mushrooms, onions and peppers over the steak.
~Drizzle barbecue sauce over steak and veggies.
~Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over veggies.
~Place top bun on sandwich.
~Bake for 5-6 minutes or until cheese melts.









Garlic Sub Roll

A really nice soft, but sturdy sub roll.  Great for any sandwich, but steak and cheese is my favorite.





GARLIC SUB ROLL
(makes 4)

Ingredients:
*1/2 cup warm water
*1/2 cup warm whole milk
*3 teaspoons active dry yeast
*2 tablespoons granulated sugar
*1 egg, lightly beaten
*1 tablespoon butter, softened
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
*2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
*butter
*garlic salt

Directions:
~In a large mixing bowl, place warm water, warm milk, sugar a yeast.
~Allow yeast to proof (about 5-10 minutes).
~Add egg, butter, salt, garlic salt and mix slightly.
~Add in flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing slightly between additions.
~Knead dough for 5 to 10 minutes.
~Place in a well oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean damp cloth.
~Allow dough to rise in a warm, draft free area until dough is doubled in size (about 1 hour).
~After dough has rose, divide dough into 4 equal parts.
~Flatten out to a rectangle.
~Roll length wise and place into well oiled baking dish.
~Allow dough to rise for 30 minutes.
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
~Rub a little butter over top of hot bread.
~Sprinkle a little garlic salt over top of bread.
~Remove from pan and allow to cool on a rack.