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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Apple Cranberry Stuffing




This  year I have decided to try a different stuffing with my turkey.  This recipe has lots of tart thanksgiving flavors.  If desired, you and add cooked sausage to it. Tangy and delicious!

  • 7 cups cubed and toasted bread
  • 1½ cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1½ cups grated carrot (2 to 3 large carrots)
  • 1¼ cups chopped celery
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 large Honeycrisp apple, cored & coarsely chopped
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored & coarsely chopped
  • 1¼ cups dried cranberries
  • ½ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Melt butter in a pan and ad onion, carrot and celery.  Saute for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Mix bread with apples, cranberries, and all spices.  Mix in the butter, celery mixture and then add stock until dressing is moist.  You can then stuff your bird with the stuffing, or put in a buttered baking dish.  If baking in a dish bake at 350 for 30 minutes, covered.  Uncover, dot with butter and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Cranberry Orange Nut Loaf


It's that cranberry time of the year..tartness full of Vitamin C.  Lovely in breads, muffins, scones and
sauces.  This is a great loaf to serve with a cup of tea for breakfast, or even as a dessert.

  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 Tbs butter, melted
  • 1 large orange
  • 2 cup fresh cranberries,  chopped
  • ¾ cup walnuts, chopped

In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cranberries.  In another bowl whip the eggs and then mix in the butter, and juice and zest from the orange.  Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir in nuts.  Put into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 375 degrees for 55-60 minutes.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Ham and Potato Chowder


This is a nice creamy comfort soup for a cold windy day.  Served with a wedge of cheese and some bread it is a perfect meal.

5 potatoes, cubed
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 c. chopped celery
3 c. milk
1/4 c. flour
2 c. diced ham
1/4 c. butter
 1/2 t. thyme
Put potatoes in a large pot, cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are very tender.
Drain.  In the same pot melt butter, add in onion, celery and ham.  Saute for 10 minutes.  Stir in flour and potatoes.  Mash potatoes with a masher.  Stir in milk and thyme.  Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer until thick.  If it becomes to thick add more milk.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Chicken Broccoli Wild Rice and Cheese Casserole


The name tells it all..cheesy chicken, rice and broccoli bake in a creamy casserole topped with french fried onions.  Comfort food at its very best.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 c. cooked wild rice
16 oz. steamed broccoli
2 c. grated/shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 c. water
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c. french fried onions

Combine all ingredients except onions.  Pour into a 8 x 8 baking dish.  Top with onions.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Baked Chicken and Garlic Orzo


A chicken dish with flavors of garlic, lemon, and oregano...yum!  This is prepared in a cast iron pan or other pan that can go into the oven.  If you do not happen to have one, you can cook the chicken in the skillet and then transfer all the ingredients to a baking dish to put into the oven.

1 T. olive oil
4 chicken breasts
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. white wine (optional)
10 oz. uncooked orzo
14 oz. chicken broth
2 T. chopped parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. oregano
1 t. lemon pepper seasoning
 paprika
Put oil in  skillet with onion, garlic and chicken breasts.  Cook about 5 minutes on each side.  Add white wine, broth, orzo, parsley, oregano and half of the lemon pepper seasoning.  Use the other 1/2 of the seasoning to sprinkle on top of the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with paprika.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Hamburger Vegetable Beef Soup


This soup comes together with easy ingredients and is ready in less than an hour.  Serve it up with some warm bread for a great comfort food dinner.

2 c. frozen hash browns O'Brian (with peppers and onions)
2 c. frozen mixed vegetables
4 c. beef broth
2 T. beef or vegetable concentrate
1 pkg. AuJus mix
1# ground beef
1 T. Worchestershire sauce
1 c. diced celery
1 T. olive oil

Put potatoes and celery in a soup pot or dutch oven with olive oil and allow to cook over medium high heat for about 5-10 minutes.  Add ground beef and continue to cook until meat is no longer pink.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Simmer 30 minutes and serve.

One Hour Dinner Bread


Yes you can make this in an hour.   I made it to go along with the vegetable soup I made this week.

5 1/4 cups white bread flour
2 – 4 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. (rounded) saf-instant yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp. oil
2 cups warm water (somewhere between 100 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit)
1. In a bowl with your mixer, mix dry ingredients.  Add oil and water.  Mix for 1 minute ..the dough should be very sticky. 
2. Mix for 5 minutes.  (Do not add any more flour after the dough has finished mixing.)
3. Spray kneading surface with a small amount of flour and turn dough out onto surface.  Knead dough briefly until it is smooth.
4.  Shape into two balls and place on a sprayed cooky sheet.  Allow to rise for 25 minutes.
5.  Make two slashes across each loaf with a knife.
6.  Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.  Brush crust with butter when it is done.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Instant Pot Tex Mex Stew



Pressure cookers are a wonderful way to cut down the time in preparing a meal.  The new ones are easy to use..no more difficult than a crock pot.  This is a Tex Mex stew that can be served as is or over rice.  It only takes 30 minutes to cook in the presssure cooker.

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Mix together the chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika and cinnamon.  Mix 4 t. of this mixture with the stew meat.  Set the pressure cooker to saute.  Add the olie oil, pepper, onion, and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes,  then stir in the remainder of the spices.  Turn off the saute function.  Mix in the water, tomatoes, and stew meat.  Put  the lid on the pressure cooker and set to cook for 30 minutes.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes after it has finished, then release the steam.  Stir in the apple cider vinegar and cilantro.  Serve in bowls with the rice (or not) topped with cheese(optional), grren onions, and corn chips.  I also put a dab of sour cream on top.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Cheeseburger Gnocchi


Gnocchi has become available easily in the grocery stores..look for it in the pasta aisle.  The great thing about gnocchi is its short cooking time.  It is a great alternative to pasta.  This dish is a great comfort food meal that will appeal to the whole family.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 (16 oz) package potato gnocchi
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 cups diced onion (about 1 whole onion)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (10-oz) can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef broth (or water)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
Melt butter in a large skillet.  Add gnocchi and brown on all sides for about 5 minutes.  Remove from pan.  Add ground beef, onion, and garlic to pan and cook until the hamburger is not longer pink.  Drain off any grease/fat.  Add cumin, paprika, mustard, and tomatoes.  Stir well.  Add in broth and gnocchi.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add cream and cheese.  Stir well.  Place on low heat and allow cheese to melt or put under broiler to melt.  Sprinkle with green onions.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Homestyle Turkey and Stuffing Meatloaf


Forget about those breadcrumbs in your meatloaf..this delicious turkey meatloaf uses stuffing mix for a real comfort food dinner.  Mix it up, pop it in the oven and in an hour it is ready.  Cook up some mashed potatoes and veggies for an easy comfort food dinner.


  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 (6 oz.) box stove-top stuffing
  • 1 jar turkey gravy
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic.  Cook about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.  Mix vegetables from saucepan with turkey, stuffing mix, thyme, sage, eggs, 2 T. gravy and milk. Stir until all blended together with a spoon or your hands.  Put into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 40-60 minutes.  Heat remaining gravy and serve over top of meatloaf slices.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Spiced Pumpkin Bread


This is a great, not too sweet, moist and spicy pumpkin bread that is great as a snack or for breakfast.  The recipe makes 2 loaves, one to keep. and one to share!

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
Blend together with a mixer the sugar and oil.  Beat in eggs. Beat in pumpkin.  Add flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Mix well.  Stir in nuts.  Pour into 2 loaf pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for about 1 hour and ten minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Denny's Club Sandwich


A club sandwich is a good lunch, a great dinner, can be eaten alone or with chips or a bowl of soup, or...you get it..it goes with lots!  This is really quite easy to put together, and the only cooking you have to do is make some bacon and toast some bread.  Even the beginning cook can master this!

For each sandwich you will need:
3 slices sourdough bread
2-3 slices cooked bacon
4 tomato slices
2 slices turkey breast (from the deli)
2 lettuce leaves
2-4 slices tomato
mayonnaise

Toast all the bread.  Lay one slice on a plate, and spread mayonnaise on the bread. Top with turkey slices, a slice of lettuce, and another slice of bread.  Spread mayonnaise on this slice of bread and top with bacon, lettuce, and tomato.  Top with final slice of bread.  Cut in half and serve.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Homemade Kahlua


My sweetheart loves kahlua, so today I made a big bottle homemade just for him.  This recipe makes quite a bit and is ready as soon as it cools to enjoy.

1 quart water
3 1/2 c. sugar
12 t. instant espresso
3 t. vanilla
1 fifth vodka

Bring water and sugar to boil.  Stir in coffee and vanilla.  Allow to cool.  Add vodka.  That's it!  It is ready to enjoy!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Pumpkin Mini Donuts


This is an original recipe from King Arthur Flour for baked pumpkins-using a donut pan.  To make a few more donuts, I baked them in a mini muffin pan and they appear as mini donuts.  The recipe makes about 4 dozen mini donuts-enough for a crowd!
For the dough:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons flour

  • Shake in a bag:
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 T. cinnamon
Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.  Beat together the oil, eggs. pumpkin, spices, salt and baking powder until well combined.  Mix in flour.  Spoon into muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Shake in the bag with the cinnamon and sugar.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup


A fall breakfast fit for a king!  Yummy pumpkin pancakes with a hint of cinnamon covered in a homemade apple cider syrup.  Add a side of sausage and you have an incredible fall breakfast everyone will love.  If you don't want to make the syrup..these are great with maple syrup too!

For the pancakes:
MIx together:
1 c. flour
1 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
In another bowl mix:
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 c. pumpkin
2 T. vegetable oil
Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients.   Pour by 1/4 c. onto hot griddle and cook.

For syrup:
In a saucepan combine:
3/4 c. apple cider or apple juice
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. corn syrup
2 T. butter
1/2 t. lemon juice
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
Bring to a boil over medium heat, simmer 20 minutes.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Ham, Potato and Corn Chowder


It is just cool enough today to turn on the heat for a bit to warm up the house, and to get out the soup pot for the first soup of the season.  We are having this with a side of the wonderful pretzel bread I posted.

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 pound potatoes, diced small
  • 8 ounces ham, diced
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • Melt butter in a large soup pan.  Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots.  Saute for about 6 minutes. Add flour and thyme.  Stir in chicken broth, ham, half and half, potatoes, creamed corn and  other corn.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer and cook until potatoes are tender.

Pretzel Bread or rolls or sticks!


This is a very versatile recipe..you can make it into 2 loaves of delicious pretzel bread, or a dozen pretzel rolls or nice thick pretzel sticks.  Any way you make it....it's going to be yummy.

for the pretzel dough:
  • 2 ¼ t. yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 TBS whole milk
  • 3 TBS brown sugar
  • 4 TBS butter, melted
  • 1 t. salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • For the water bath:
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda 
  • Topping:
  • Kosher salt to taste 
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 T. water
  •  
  •  
  • Whisk yeast, water, salt and sugar well until yeast dissolves.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Mix together the melted butter and milk.  Whisk into the yeast mixture.  Mix in flour --you want your dough to remain just a little sticky.  Knead.  Put in a oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise for one hour.  Uncover dough and work to get out any air bubbles.  Shape into 2 round loaves, or 12 round rolls, or 12 oblong sticks.
  • Bring water to a boil then add baking soda slowly.  Put bread, rolls or sticks into the water for about 30-60 seconds.  Place on a cooky sheet that has been sprayed wiht cooking spray.  Brush with egg mixture then sprinkle with salt.  
  • Put into a preheated 400 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Taco Casserole with a Crust


This is very simple to just put together in a hurry..and is a sure hit if you have children you are feeding.  I put a little sour cream on top.

2 c. crushed tortilla chips, plain or flavored
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
4 oz. cream cheese, sofened
1/2 c. salsa
1# ground beef
1 1/2 c. thinly sliced lettuce
1 c. chopped tomatoes
1 c. chopped olives

Brown ground beef until no longer pink.  In an 8" x8" baking dish, spray with cooking spray.  Pour chips into baking dish.  Press down on chips to crush them.  Top with cooked ground beef.  Mix salsa and cream cheese.  Pour over ground beef.  Top with grated cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Top with lettuce, tomatoes and olives.  Serve.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Apple Spice Cake


Fall is a great time to bake some apple treats.  Tonight I made up this apple cake for a nice fall dessert.  This recipe can easily be halved if you don't need so much cake.

  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs , room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups grated apple
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  •  
  • In a mixing bowl cream together the oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla.  Add in the apples, applesauce, and sour cream and mix well.
  •  Put the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices into the bowl.  Beat until well mixed.  Pour into a 13" x 9" baking dish that has been also floured.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

  • Cool and dust with powdered sugar or frost with cream cheese frosting.

  • For the frosting:  Beat together

    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
    • 8 oz cream cheese , softened to room temperature
    • 3 cup powdered sugar , sifted
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1-2 tablespoons cream

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Garden Turkey Melt


This is a delicious sandwich serve up on a crusty ciabatta roll that makes a great lighter dinner or hearty lunch.  Serve with a side of potato salad, chips or anything else that suits you!

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained, chopped, and patted dry
  • 2 8 ounce loaves Cibatta, French or Italian bread loaves (not baguettes), halved lengthwise
  • 6 ounces sliced mozzarella, swiss or cheddar cheese (8 slices)
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces sliced smoked turkey
  •  
  • Mix the mayonnaise, rosemary and garlic.  Stir in spinach and artichoke hearts.  Cut rolls in half.  On one half of the roll, place a slice of cheese, several spoonfuls of the mayo mixture, turkey, and tomato.  Top with other half of the roll.  Place on a cooky sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and ingredients warmed.