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Monday, January 26, 2015

Seared Steak With Cheesy Fondue

I apologize that I do not have a picture with this post.  But a pot of  yummy melted cheese fondue just doesn't photograph well enough to do it justice. You will just have to take my word for it..this is a nice leasurely tasty dinner.  You can use whatever you have in the fridge as dippers:  broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, cubed baked potatoes, toasted french bread, use your imagination!  Serve these with seared steak and you have a delicious dinner for 2 or 3 or more!

1 sirloin steak cut in this strips
8 oz. guyere cheese, grated
8 oz. gouda cheese, grated
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. cornstarch
1 c. white wine
1 garlic clove
dash of nutmeg

Heat a heavy fry pan, add 2T. olive oil.  Sear steak in small batches.  Place in a tent of aluminum foil to keep warm.  In a fondue pot, rub the inside with the garlic clove. Discard.  Pour in wine and bring to boil.  Mix cheeses with cornstarch.  Slowly add cheeses, whisking as it melts.  Serve with steak and dippers.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Better Than Chipotle Burrito Bowls

I have been looking for tasty recipes for Meatless Mondays.  This one was featured on the blog, "Damned Delicious."  I love Mexican and since I wanted to do this vegetarian I substituted quinoa for the rice to up the protein.  You could always use some cooked shrimp, chicken or beef and the rice if you prefer meat in your burrito bowl.  Anyway you fix it, this is a quick and delicious dinner.

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa or rice
  • 1 cup salsa
  •  3 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 1 (15.25-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Cook quinoa or rice.  Put rice or quinoa into serving bowls.  Top with remaining ingredients in order listed. Top with the cream sauce.
     chipotle cream sauce
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle paste*
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste

Friday, January 2, 2015

Black eyed Pea Salad

This is a Southern recipe that is supposed to bring good luck if you eat it on New Years Day.  Black eyed peas are a good source of fiber,  so it is good for you too.  I tried "Texas Caviar" this summer at
Dinosaur Bar B Que in Syracuse, New York.  Texas Caviar is very like this salad.  I loved it.  So for 2015 at our house we are starting the New Year with this salad and some smoked pork chops.  I guess some collard greens on the side would be good too.  I cooked up a small bag of dried black eyed peas by boiling them in water for 90 minutes.  I froze the beans I didn't use for another time.

4 c. cooked black eyed peas
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/3 c. chopped cilantro
Mix all these ingredients in a bowl.  Mix dressing, pour over and refrigerate for several hours before serving.

1/4 c. rice vinegar
2 T. canola oil
1 t. sugar

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuscan Bean Soup

Tonight a cold wind is blowing and the temperature has started to drop.  It was dark at 4:30 and it just felt like winter.  BLAH!  Winter is not one of my favorite seasons.  One of the few things that gets me through the winter season is a bowl of healthy warm soup with some warm rolls or bread for dinner.
Besides, after 3 family dinners over the holidays I just want to eat something simple and healthy.  So tonight I made up a nice pot of soup for our dinner.  It will make enough for him to enjoy for lunch as well.   This soup has no meat, and since it is Monday, I guess you could call it a Meatless Monday dinner.  Hmmm...guess I need to start that up again.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow summer squash, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 quart vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juices
  • 3 cups chopped spinach
  • 1  teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Heat the oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Add in the onion, summer squash, zucchini, celery, carrots and garlic.  Saute for about 5 minutes.  Then add in the pepper flakes, thyme and rosemary.  Stir well.  Now add the broth, beans, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Add in the spinach.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients.
This soup is great served with a sprinkling of parmesan or kerrygold dubliner cheese.

Tuscan Pork Roast

Tonight was a good night for a good home cooked meal.  I made this pork roast with a pork sirloin roast I bought at Costco.  I served it with sweet potatoes, a green salad with apples and walnuts, and some home made dinner rolls.  Everyone at the table enjoyed this meal.

1 sirloin pork roast
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped in half
2 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh rosemary
salt and pepper
1/2 c. white wine

Place the roast in a roasting pan.  Make enough cuts in the roast to place a piece of each of the pieces of garlic in.  Sprinkle olive oil over the roast.  Sprinkle rosemary over the top.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour 1/4 c. wine into the bottom of the roasting pan with the roast. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours.  About half way through baking pour the other 1/4 c. of the wine into the roasting pan.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pumpkin Yogurt Cake

This cake has the nice addition of Greek yogurt in its cast of ingredients.  It replaces butter or oil and makes eating cake a little bit healthier.

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup low-fat Greek yogurt -I used Pumpkin Pie flavored
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites or 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-2 T. pumpkin pie creamer or milk
  • 1c. powdered sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 5 oz. cream cheese
  • Beat the pumpkin, yogurt, vanilla and eggs.  MIx in sugar.  Now add in baking soda, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and flour.  Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan.  Pour into pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool.
  • Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and creamer to make frosting.  Frost cooled cake.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Applesauce Bread

Last week we picked apples off our trees so I made a nice big batch of homemade applesauce.  Well, we still have some left so today I baked 2 yummy loaves of applesauce bread.  This will be great this next week on cold morinings for breakfast.

  •  1 cup sugar
  •  3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  •  3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •  1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

  •  Cream butter and sugar.  Mix in applesauce and egg.  Stir in all the dry ingredients.  Put into a sprayed (with Pam) loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes.  Let rest 10 minutes in pan before removing it.
  • Saturday, October 18, 2014

    Fall Harvest Baked Acorn Squash

    Tonight's dinner is a nice light vegetarian meal highlighting the flavors of fall:  an acorn squash baked with maple syrup and cinnamon, then stuffed with a quinoa-apple-walnut stuffing.  I made this recipe on a gray fall day and it seemed to fit right in with the fall weather.  This recipe is for 2, but could easily be doubled or even tripled.

    1 acorn squash
    1 T. maple syrup
    1 t. cinnamon
    1 T. butter
    Cut the squash in half.  Scoop out all the seeds and stringy parts.  Place in baking dish.
    Place 1/2 T. butter in each half followed by 1/2 T. maple syrup in each.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon.
    Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. 
    3/4 c. quinoa
    1 1/2 c. water
    1/2 t. salt
    Put the quinoa, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes.  Stir in:
    1/2 diced apple
    1 c. chopped walnuts
    1 t. cinnamon
    Spoon the stuffing into the baked squash and serve.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    2 ingredient pumpkin muffins

    Truly only 2 ingredients:  1 box of spice cake mix
                                              1 16 oz. can of pumpkin
    Combine the two ingredients with a mixer.  Spray a cupcake pan with Pam.  Put the batter into the cups.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

    Couldn't be simpler and really quite delicious

    Sunday, October 5, 2014

    Pumpkin Chai Latte

    OK maybe you don't want to bake with about a chai spiced tea with pumpkin?  I tried this with my breakfast this morning...and I will definitely make it again.  I used a couple of chai teabags instead of the black tea bags just because I like my chai spicey.

    1/4 c. + 1 T. pumpkin
    2 T. pure maple syrup
    1 1/2 t. vanilla
    1/4 t. cinnamon
    1/8 t. nutmeg
    1/8 t. allspice
    1/8 t. ginger
    2 c. milk
    2 bags of black tea

    In a saucepan heat milk, all spices, maple syrup and pumpkin.  Stir frequently.  Bring just to a boil and then add tea bags.  Steep for 4 minutes and serve.

    Saturday, October 4, 2014

    Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

    I love baking pumpkin things in the fall.  Luckily, my family likes pumpkin.  So here is my latest yummy treat.  You will need a doughnut pan, or one of those mini doughnut baking machines to make this recipe.  This recipe comes from the King Arthur Flour website.

    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    3 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (canned pumpkin)
    1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus a heaping 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground ginger
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    Beat everything together until smooth.
    Add 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, stirring just until smooth.

    Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans.

    Fill the wells of the doughnut pans about 3/4 full, using a scant 1/4 cup of batter in each well.

    Bake the doughnuts for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. If you’re using self-rising flour, bake for the longer amount of time.
    If you’re making muffins, they’ll need to bake for 23 to 25 minutes.
    Remove the doughnuts from the oven, and after about 5 minutes, loosen their edges, and transfer them to a rack to cool.

    While the doughnuts are still warm (but no longer fragile), gently shake them in a bag with cinnamon-sugar.

    Starbucks Pumpkin Muffins

    I am a regular Starbuck's customer, but I have yet to see these in my local Starbucks.  Nevertheless, these are spectacular, delicious, super yummy muffins.  You should make them today and share them with all your loved ones.   They will love you even more!

    This recipe has 3 main steps so it is a bit time consuming.
    • Sweet Cream Cheese

    • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Mix all 3 ingredients well and set aside.

    • Candied Pumpkin Seeds

    • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3 tablespoons shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
    • Combine sugar, water and cinnamon in a small saucepan and bring to boil, stirring constantly.
    • Add in pumpkin seeds.  Boil3 mnutes. Pour on a plate, separating seeds as much as possible.

      Muffin Batter

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 3 eggs 
    • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugr
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
    • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
    Mix sugars, oil, and pumpkin puree.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add in remaining ingredients.
    Beat just until well mixed.  Put cupcake papers in muffin tin.  Fill 2/3's full.  In the center of each muffin place 1 T. of the cream cheese mixture.  Push down into the muffin.  Sprinkle with seeds.
    Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

    Pumpkin Pie French Toast

    Well it is October 1st, and the season of pumpkin is upon us.  Why not start out with a few extra yummy pumpkin recipes for breakfast? Tonight my grand daughter wanted breakfast for dinner so we cooked up some pumpkin french toast and welcomed the fall/pumpkin season!  I found this recipe on the blog "Closet Cooking."

    • 2 eggs
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 1/4 cup pumpkin
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
    • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
    • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 8 slices of bread
    Whip eggs, milk, and pumpkin together well.Whip in vanilla, spices and brown sugar.   Dip both sides of thebread slices into egg mixture.  Cook over medium heat on a griddle or in a frying pan until brown on one side.  Flip and cook the other side.

    Monday, September 8, 2014

    Garden Harvest Cucumber and Tomato Salad

    It is the end of the summer when the garden is bursting with all kinds of veggies.  We seem to have an abundance of tomatoes and cucumbers this year.  So for a quick salad, fresh from the garden, I made up this little salad to go along with dinner tonight.  Light, refreshing and healthy too!

    2 large English cucumbers
    1/2 onion
    2-3 tomatoes

    3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar or balsamic
    2 Tbsp. olive oil
    1 tsp. oregano or basil

    Cut up veggies in slices.  Toss with dressing and serve!

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    Garlic Pesto Chicken with Tomato Cream Penne

    My daughter made this recipe tonight.  It was delicious and made enough for a crowd!  She found the recipe on My Recipes.  It has a savory sauce and nicely seasoned chicken pieces. 

    • 1 bottle(s) Lawrys Herb and Garlic Marinade
    • 2 tablespoon(s) Pesto
    • 2 Boneless Chicken Breasts 
    • 8 ounce(s) Penne Pasta 1/2 box
    • 2 tablespoon(s) Olive Oil 
    • 3 clove(s) Garlic minced
    • 2 tablespoon(s) Pesto
    • 1/2 cup(s) chicken broth 
    • 8 ounce(s) Tomato Sauce
    • 1 cup(s) half-and-half 
    • 1 tablespoon(s) Flour as needed
    •  Pour marinade and pesto in a bowl or glass baking dish.  Cut the chicken into strips.  Place into marinade mixture over night in the refrigerator.
    • Cook Pasta in boiling water until tender.  Drain.
    • Heat the oil in a saucepan.  Saute the garlic over medium heat.  Stir in the other 2 T. pesto, chicken broth and tomato sauce.  Bring to boil , reducing by half.  Mix the half and half and flour and add to tomato mixture.  Stir and thicken.  Add in the chicken and pasta.

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    Let It Bean Salad

    A refreshing change from potato and macaroni salad for summer dinners or a picnic ...also healthy with lots of fiber.  This is a recipe taken from the Looneyspoons cookbook.

    2 c. fresh or frozen cut green beans, cooked and cooled
    1 can red kidney beans, drained
    1 can black beans, drained
    1 can garbanzo beans, drained
    1 c. corn
    1/2 c. red onion, diced
    1 c. diced red or orange bell pepper
    1/2 c. chopped parsley

    Mix all these ingredients together.   Then mix and add dressing.  Cover and refrigerate overnight for the best flavor.

    1/4 c. safflower or olive oil
    1/4 c. vinegar
    2 T. sugar
    1 t. Dijon mustard
    1/2 t. celery seed

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    Lemon Cooler Cookies

    When I was growing up they sold a boxed cookie called Lemon Coolers.  They were light, lemony deliciousness.  Recently on the blog, "Uncommon Designs" I came across a recipe for these cookies.
    They are perfect for the summer.  They only make 3 dozen so portions aren't a problem--anyway they are gone before you even become worried about that.  My gand daughter thought they were so good that we should just sit and eat them all and not worry about sharing with anyone.  To her disappointment, she got 3 and we saved the rest.

    2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
    1 cup powdered sugar
    2/3 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
    3 cups cake flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
    2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
    The topping:
    1 cup powdered sugar
    2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

    Preheat your oven to 350.  Then line cooky sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
    Beat butter, powdered sugar and regular sugar until well creamed.
    Mix in vanilla, eggs, and lemon extract.
    Then add flour, baking powder and salt.
    Finally add in the lemon juice, and the zest.
    Roll into balls and put on cooky sheets.  Bake for 15 minutes.

    For the topping mix the zest and powdered sugar.
    When the cookies are done let them cool for 4 minutes then roll in the powdered sugar mixture and allow to continue cooling.

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

    Snickerdoodle Waffles

    My grand daughter is a big fan of breakfast for dinner.  So one busy evening, I decided that this recipe was just the thing for a simple and quick dinner.  You can use the recipe and make up the batter, or cheat and mix some cinnamon and vanilla into a Bisquick waffle mix recipe.  Then dip and serve.  Watch for smiles all around!
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 4 tsp. baking powder
    • 2 TB sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cup milk warm
    •  1 t. cinnamon
    • 1/3 cup butter melted
    • 1 tsp. vanilla 
    Mix all ingredients.  Cook in waffle maker.  After cooking, dip waffles in melted butter and then cinnamon sugar.  Serve as is or with maple syrup.

    Friday, July 4, 2014

    Lemon Berry Angel Food Cake

    This cake is beautiful but the whipping cream melts fast.  My suggestion is to assemble it and then freeze it.  Defrost shortly before serving and it should stay as nice as when you made it.

    1 angel food cake
    1 jar lemon curd
    whipped cream
    2 c. raspberries or strawberries
    2 c. blueberries or blackberries

    Cut the cake in half, making two layers.  On the bottom layer spread lemon curd-just enough to cover the cut 1/2.  Sprinkle with half the berries.  Cover with whipped cream.  Place remaining layer on top and repeat the lemon cur, berries and whipped cream.  Freeze until almost ready to serve.

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

    Berry Spinach Salad Gone Nuts

    I had this salad at a recent potluck and just had to ask for the recipe.  It combines all the wonderful flavors of summer.  It would be great with some shrimp or grilled chicken or grilled fish added in for a dinner salad.

    1# spinach leaves
    1 c. blueberries
    1 c. sliced strawberries
    1 c. raspberries
    1 c. nuts (I used mixed nuts)
    1/2 c. feta or blue cheese
    Combine all these ingredients well.  Mix with dressing.

    1 T. red wine vinegar
    1/4 c. olive oil
    1/2 t. Dijon mustard
    Mix well and add to salad.