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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Easter Basket Cookies

This next post is a nice springtime treat to make at Easter.  I always made these when my children were young and they enjoyed helping with the decorating.  I originally made these in the 4th grade for a cookie contest and won a ribbon with a penny on it!  The original recipe is called "Candy Cookies."  They are a cook on the stove no bake cookie.

For the cookies:
     6 T.  cocoa
     1/2 c. butter
     2 c. sugar
    1/2 c. milk
     3 c. oatmeal
    1/2 c. peanut butter
    1/2 c. coconut

Put first 4 ingredients in a saucepan.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Mix in remaining ingredients.  Drop large spoonfuls onto a piece of waxed paper.  Press an indention in the middle for the "nest."  Let cool in the refrigerator.

For the nest:  Fill each nest with :  coconut for grass. chocolate eggs/jellybeans/peeps.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Cherry Cream Pie

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to blog lately due to some time spent in the hospital.  I am home now, but not exactly cooking up a storm=mainly chicken cup of soup.  So I thought I would share one of my sweetheart's favorite family recipes.  This is an easy dessert to make and a great way to celebrate the coming of warmer weather and spring.   The ingredients are quite simple but the results are extremely wonderful.

2 cans condensed milk
2/3 c. lemon juice
2 t. vanilla
1 t. almond flavoring
Mix all ingredients together very well until thick.
Fold in:
1 c. whipped heavy whipping cream

Pour into a prepared graham cracker crust.  Top with:
1 can cherry pie filling.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Miso Ginger Tummy Taming Soup

I have been in a battle with bronchitis and sinuitis for the last few months.  Finally seeking relied I went to the doctor.  I came home with antibiotics that totally have messed with my stomach.  This makes dinner and lunch and breakfast all a challenge.  Tonight I noticed a carton of Miso Ginger broth I purchased at Trader Joes in my pantry.  With a few more ingredients it made a tummy soothing soup.

1 carton Miso Ginger Broth (32 oz.0
1 T. finely chopped fresh ginger
2 c. chopped carrots
1 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped mushroom
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 c. pea pods
1/2# steak, diced
1/2 . rice
2 T.  oil

Heat oil in dutch oven or soup pot.  Add meat and vegetables and ginger.  Stir on medium high heat for around 10 minutes.  Add the broth.  Bring to a boil.  Add rice, reduce to low and cover pot for 15-20 minutes. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Stuck Home In the snow Casserole

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have not had a bit of snow this winter.  Lots of rain,  and mild temperatures.  But when I watch the news I really feel bad for those areas that are being hit by snowstorm after snowstorm after snowstorm.  So here is an easy casserole to make up for those who are really snowed in and need to use whatever is in the pantry. 

Chicken, boneless, cut into cubes
1 c.   Sour Cream (don't have that? Use plain yogurt or even mayo)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 bag croutons (don't have that?  Cut some bread into cubes and toast in the oven)
1-2 c. grated cheese
2 c. Broccoli (don't have that?  Use whatever veggies you do have)
Spray a casserole dish and place chicken on the bottom.  Top with broccoli.  Mix cream of mushroom soup and sour cream.  Pour on top of broccoli and chicken.  Bake 40 minutes at 350.  Sprinkle croutons and cheese on top and bake another 10-15 minutes.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Steak Diane

This is a recipe from a very old Betty Crocker cookbook I was given when I was a teen.  But this recipe is one of those easy standards that you will keep in your file for years to come.  It is quite delicious and comes together quite quickly.  If you just realized that your sweetheart did not plan on taking you out, and now it is getting late for a romantic dinner-this is your go to meal.  And make him help you make a salad and set the table!  On the other hand, if you are home alone make this, savor the moment and celebrate the wonderfulness that is you!

2 beef sirloin or tenderloin
1/2 c. thinly sliced mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. lemon juice
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. + 2 T. butter
2 T. parsley
Cook and stir mushrooms, onion, garlic, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce in 1/4 c. of the butter until mushrooms are tender.  Stir in parsley.  This is your sauce-keep it warm.

Melt 1/4 c. butter in skillet.  Add steaks.  Cook on medium to medium high heat to desired doneness.  Serve with sauce on top.

Monday, February 9, 2015

90 Minute Cinnamon Rolls

This weekend my grand daughter spent the night.  Both she and my sweetheart have a special love for cinnamon rolls.  I could bake 5 dozen and never eat a one.  But Saturday morning I got up and made these yummies.  This is a recipe I got from a church cookbook probably 25 years ago.  For a long time it was my go to cinnamon recipe.  Then I started trying out other ones and forgot all about this recipe.  I came across it recently in a bunch of recipes I had stored.  Why did I ever give up on this recipe?  It is simple, easy and takes a good 90 minutes less than most other cinnamon roll recipes.

This recipe can be made with regular yeast or the quick rise type.  It makes 6 large cinnamon rolls-perfect for breakfast!

2 pkg. yeast
1 c. warm water
6 T. sugar
1 t. salt
4 T. melted margarine
2 eggs
4-41/2 c. flour

for inside of rolls
4 T. meltedbutter
2/3 c. sugar
2-4 t. cinnamon

Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Whisk in sugar, salt and melted margarine.  Then whisk in eggs.
Mix in flour.  Knead until smooth--about 5 minutes.  Roll out into a large rectangular shape, about 13' x 9'.   Cover dough with melted butter-spread with a pastry brush.  Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Roll dough up, starting at the long end.  Cut into rolls and place in a greased 13 x 9 pan.  Allow to raise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.   If desired top with vanilla/ white frosting while warm.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Knife and Fork Turkey Burger

This is a totally different turkey burger.  It is served on a slice of toasted french bread, covered in a pan gravy...knife and fork required!   A comfort dinner great for a cold day.  I served it with some homemade cranberry sauce and brussel sprouts (because my sweetheart loves them.)

For the burgers:
1# ground turkey
1 egg
1 c. bread crumbs
1/2 t. poultry seasoning
2 T. chopped or grated onion
2 T. parsley
MIx all together well.  Form into 4 patties.  Cook in 2 T. olive oil in a heavy frying pan.  Cook 12 minutes on each side.  Remove patties from pan and keep warm.

Cook:  4 slices bacon and save

To the pan the patties were cooked in add 2 T. butter, and stir till melted.  Scrap up the scraps in the pan, and stir around with the butter.  When the butter starts to get frothy, add in 2 T. flour.  Whisk well.  Add 1 1/2 c. chicken broth and 2 T. worchestershire sauce.  Whisk well on medium heat until thickened.  This is your gravy.

Toast:  4 slices french bread.

Put a burger on top of each slice.  Cover with gravy.  Sprinkle with bacon. 

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.