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.

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.


*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

~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.

`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

(makes 12)

*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

~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.

(serves 4)

*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

~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


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.

(serves 24)

*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

~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.

(serves 6-8)

*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

~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.

(8-10 servings)

*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

~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.

(serves 6-8)

*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.

~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.

(serves 4)

*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)

~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.

(serves 4)

*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
*cheddar cheese
*grilled red and green peppers
*grilled onions
*chopped lettuce
*sour cream

~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.

(makes 2 loaves)

*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)

~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.

(serves 6-8)

*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

~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.

`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.

(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.

`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.

(1 loaf)

*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

~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.

(serves 4-6)

*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)

~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.

(serves 4)

*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

~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.

(serves 8-10)

*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

~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.

(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.

(makes two loafs)

*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

~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.

(serves 8)

*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

~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.

`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.  

(makes 4)

*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)

~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.

(makes 4)

*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
*garlic salt

~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.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Deep Fried Pizza Balls

 You can make these any size you want.  If you are going to use this for an appetizer, divide dough into 16 balls.   Remember that they will puff up and get bigger when they are fried.   You could bake these to, to make it less calories and fat, but they won't be as good.  If you don't want to make your own crust, buy a good refrigerated one or buy the crust from a pizza place.

(makes 8 large pizza balls or 16 small ones)

*1 cup warm water
*2 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
*1 teaspoon granulated sugar
*1 teaspoon salt
*2 teaspoons olive oil
*2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
*8 slices provolone cheese
*1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
*small bowl of water
*garlic salt (optional)
*1-1 1/2 cups pizza sauce (I make my own)
*4 -6 cups vegetable oil for frying

Pick the toppings of your choice
*1/2 pound pepperoni, chopped
*1/2 pound ham, cut thin and chopped
*1/2 pound sausage, cooked and crumbled
*1/2 pound bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
*1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
*mushrooms, chopped
*onions, chopped small
*green/red bell peppers, chopped small and cooked (I freeze mine and then I don't have to cook it)
*black olives, sliced

~In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water.
~Allow the years to proof, for about 10 minutes.
~In a large bowl, mix flour, salt and olive oil.
~Mix in yeast mixture.
~Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is no longer sticky.  You may need another 1/4 cup flour, but no more.
~Place dough into a well oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth.
~Allow dough to rise until double, about 1 hour.
~Remove dough,  and form 8 balls.
~Heat oil in a large saucepan to 350 degrees.
~Mix all the topping you want to use together including the mozzarella cheese.
~Divide your toppings into 8 equal piles.
~Roll dough balls out into thin circles, on a lightly floured surface. (work on one pizza at a time).
~Place one slice of provolone cheese on rolled out dough.
~Place toppings over the cheese.
~Bring dough up around the toppings to make a ball.
~Place finger into water bowl and rub water over edges of dough.
~Twist lightly or press together, so that dough seals.
~Carefully, place 1 to 2 pizza balls into hot oil.
~Cook for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes or until golden brown.
~Flip and cooker another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on the other side or until golden brown.
~Remove from heat and sprinkle lightly with garlic salt.
~Place on plate and dip in pizza sauce.

`If you choose to bake it. Place in a greased baking dish.  Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, or until dough is a golden brown.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Chocolate Chip Bran Muffins

This is a basic bran muffin recipe.     I love that these are healthy and so good.  You can even make it less calories by leaving out the chocolate chips if you want.  Muffins are about 120 calories each.  Not bad for a muffin.

(makes 12)

*1 1/2 cups wheat bran
*1 cup buttermilk
*1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
*1 egg
*1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
*1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup raisins
*1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper muffin liners.
~In a small bowl, mix wheat brand and buttermilk together.
~Let mixture stand for 10-12 minutes.
~In a mixing bowl, beat applesauce, egg, vanilla and bran mixture until well mixed.
~Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
~Stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, until just blended.
~Fold in raisins and chocolate chips.
~Spoon evenly into muffins cups.
~Bake for 18-20 minutes.
~Remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.


~Substitute dark chocolate chips with milk chocolate or semi sweet chocolate chips.
~Substitute raisins with cranraisins. 
~Omit chocolate chips and or raisins. 
~Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans.