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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

No Pectin Blackberry Jam

Now the blackberry bushes are full of it is time to make yet another batch of jam.  It will be so nice this winter to open a jar and taste summer!  This makes about 1 1/2 pints.

4 1/2 c. blackberries
2 c. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
Mix well in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 35 minutes.  Put into hot sterilized jars.  Put in a water bath for 15 minutes.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Blueberry Cheesecake Pie

We have an abundance of blueberries in the garden right now.  My sweetheart loves pies with cream cheese and with some leftovers from crepes I made this recipe up.  Delicious taste of summer.

For the graham cracker crust:
1 3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. melted butter
Mix all ingredients together in a 10" pie plate.  Press against the bottoms and sides.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.

For the filling:
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
Beat well together.
In another bowl beat
1 c. heavy whipping cream
Beat until stiff peaks form.  Fold whipped cream into cream cheese.  Spread on the cooled graham cracker crust.

For the topping:
2 c. blueberries
2 T. cornstarch
1/3 c. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
Mix cornstarch and sugar well in a saucepan.  Add blueberries and lemon juice and mix well.  On medium high heat bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  It will thicken.  Cool.  Spread on top of cream cheese layer in the pie and refrigerate.  If your filling is very thick, you can add a little water to make it a better consistency.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Spaghetti Bruschetta

A light simple pasta dish for those hot days.  This recipe will make enough for 2 servings.  I chose to prepare it without meat but you could add meat if your prefer.

1 c. cooked spaghetti
1 shallot, or 1/4 red onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c. chopped fresh basil
2 t. olive oil
Mix all ingredients well.  When serving top with a splash of

balsamic vinegar

If desired you can also add some fresh mozzarella balls or sprinkle with mozzarella.  I also added some black olives.

One Hour French Bread

It really is too hot for baking but I just couldn't pass up this recipe to go with the Spaghetti Bruschetta we are having for dinner tonight.  Guess we will just have to eat in front of the fan!  This recipe makes one large loaf or two small ones.  This recipe comes from
In a bowl whisk together:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast*
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt 
  • Let sit for 5 minutes then mix in: 
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled 
  • When dough is no longer sticky, knead for 5 minutes until smooth.  Cover for 20 minutes and let rise.
  • Shape into 1 or 2 oblong loaves.  Brush with and egg white that has been whipped frothy. Cut 3 to 4 slashes across the top of the loaf.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • 1 egg white, optional (for brushing)

Monday, August 6, 2018

New Potato Salad with Fresh Green Herbs

A nice, tangy potato salad fixed with yogurt, lemon juice and fresh chopped herbs of your choice.  I chose parsley, celery and just a hint of dill.  This recipe comes from Saladish, a great cookbook full of new and unusual salads.

Lemon dressing:
1/2 c. plain yogurt
2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. chopped scallions, or red onion
Grated zest and juice from one lemon
about 1-2 c. fresh herbs
Whisk all ingredients together.

1 1/2# small new potatoes
salt and pepper

Put potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and boil 10 minutes.  Drain and cool.
Cut potatoes in halves or quarters and mix with dressing.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Homemade Hamburger Buns

These buns are not to hard to make, delicious and sturdy.  We had them with some grilled hamburgers, but they would be excellent with some pulled pork or chicken.  The original recipe comes from  As you can probably tell from my posts, I have been exploring their website and recipes lately.  Great recipes to be found there!
Whisk together:
3/4 c. warm water
1T. yeast
2 T. soft butter
1 egg
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/4 t. salt
Slowly mix in 3 1/2 c. flour.  Knead until smooth.  Put in a buttered bowl and let rise for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until doubled.  Stir down the dough.  Shape into 8 balls.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Let rise 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Bake buns for 15 minutes.  If you want to add sesame seeds to the top, before baking brush with an egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 T. water.)
Then brush with seeds.  If you do not put seeds on, when the buns come out of the over brush with some butter.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Greek Nachos

A light dinner just perfect on a hot day.  For this recipe you can use pita chips or buy pita bread, cut into triangles and crisp in the oven for chips.

12 oz. pita chips
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. diced red onion
1 c. sliced kalamata olives
1 chicken breast, diced
2 t. oregano
6 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1 T.olive oil
In a saucepan put oil chicken and saute until no longer pink.  Sprinkle with 1 t. of the oregano.  In a food processor put 1/2 the cucumber, yogurt, garlic and remaining oregano. Process until smooth.
This is your tzatziki sauce.  Place chips on a baking sheet.  Top with chicken.  Drizzle with sauce.  Top with onion, olives and feta cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

Razzleberry Jam

Razzleberry is a mixture of raspberries and blackberries.  What a delicious combination.  Unfortunatley, they are not usually ripe at the same time.  If you are lucky enough to get both fresh...use them!  If not some frozen raspberries mixed with fresh blackberries will work.  If you are using fresh berries you should only have to cook the jam 5-10 minutes.  If you are using any frozen berries it will take a bit longer.  This only makes about 2/3 of a pint jar, so if you want a bigger batch double or triple the ingredients.

2 1/2 c. raspberries
2 1/2 c. blackberries
1 c. sugar
1 T. lemon juice

Put all ingredients in a large saucepan or dutch oven.  Mix well.  Over medium high heat bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Lower heat and simmer until jam thickens.  With fresh berries this should take 5-10 minutes.  With any frozen berries it will take 25-30 minutes. If you want seedless jam, put over a colander with cheesecloth and press out the juice.   Pour into hot sterilized jars.  Top with sterilized lids, but in a water bath for 10 minutes.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Chicken, Asparagus and Parmesan Puff pastry Pie

This is a recipe I reinvented using ingredients from my own pantry and refrigerator.  It is flakey, light and yummy.  Prep is simple --especially with frozen puff pastry dough.  Just be sure to give your dough a chance to defrost before using it.  If you don't want to use white wine, just use an additional 1/2 c. chicken broth.

2 chicken breasts, cooked and cooled
1/2# asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
1/4 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1/2 c. white wine
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. cold water
2 T. cornstarch
1-2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. butter
1 egg, beaten
refrigerated puff pastry sheets
Melt butter in saucepan.  Add onion and garlic.  Saute until tender.  Stir in parsley.  Stir in wine and chicken broth.  Cut chicken into small pieces and add to broth.  Bring to simmer.  Simmer 5 minutes.
Mix cold water and cornstarch.  Add to chicken mixture.  Cook until thickened, remove from heat.
On a baking sheet place 2 sheets of puff pastry.  Spread chicken mixture on top, leaving a 1 1/2" border.  Brush border with beaten egg.
Place another sheet of puff pastry on top.  Press borders to stick together.  Make 8 slits in the top.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Spanish Potato Salad

This potato salad differs from most you have probably had.  It is rich with the flavors of paprika, cumin, wine vinegar and olive oil. An it contains tuna for protein.  It makes a great side salad or even a main course.

  • 2 oz fingerling potatoes or small red potatoes
  • 10 oz  French green beans, trimmed
  • 6 oz small tomatoes (such as campari tomatoes or small Roma tomatoes), cut into wedges
  • 1/3 cup pearl red onions or small shallots, quartered
  • 15 oz can quality tuna, drained
  • 2 to 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white or red wine vinegar
In a large saucepan cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil.  Boil for 10 minutes.  During the last 3 minutes add in the green beans.  Drain and cool.  In a bowl combine th olive oil, vinegar, spices, garlic and onion.  Stir in the potatoes and green beans.  Then stir in the

Monday, July 30, 2018

Raspberry Turnovers

I found this recipe on King Arthur Flour's website, and after trying their blueberry hand pies with incredible success I just had to try these.  The last batch of raspberries were picked from the garden this morning so it was perfect timing.  These are light and super flakey, and delicious on their own or with some ice cream.

For the raspberry filling:
2 1/4 c. raspberries
 1/2 c. sugar
2 T. King Arthur Clearjell or 3 T. cornstarch
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. vanilla
In a saucepan whisk together the sugar and clearjell or cornstarch.  Stir in raspberries, cinnamon and vanilla and continue to stir until all ingredients are combined.  Put over medium low heat and cook not over 5 minutes...just until the mixture thickens a little and the raspberries break down.  Put the filling in the refrigerator while you make the dough.

Turnover dough
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1 c. cold butter
1/2 c. plain greek yogurt or sour cream

In a bowl  whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Cut the butter into cubes and add to the flour.  Using a pastry blender work in the butter until it is in small pieces--about the size of peas.
Stir in the yogurt.  You will have to stir a bit, and it will not come totally all together.  Turn out the dough onto a floured counter or board and press the dough together until most of it is joined.  Pat into a rectangle.

 Watch that your board stays floured under the dough at all times or it will stick.  Sprinkle flour on top of the dough and gently roll into a 8" x 10" rectangle.  Fold the left side over toward the center and the fold the right side over that--sort of like a business letter.

 Turn the dough, open fold side toward your and roll out again into an 8" x 10" rectangle.  Fold again into the business letter fold.  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes roll the dough out into a 16" square.  Cut into 16  4" x 4" squares.

Turn a square with the point towards you.  Place about 2 teaspoons of jam just off center (you will be folding the turnover over this.)  Whisk one egg with 1 T. water.  Brush along all edges.

  Fold the turnover by having the top point meet the bottom point.  Using a fork that has been dipped in flour, press along the two open edges of the turnover.  Then taking a knife, or pizza cuttter, trim just a bit off along each of those edges.  This will clean up the look of your turnover and help it get a flakier rise.

If desired, brush the entire crust with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Portobello and Penne Primavera

This is a recipe that originally came from Hello Fresh.  It called for orecchiette pasta. I had recently found some mini penne at the grocery store and substituted that. It has a simple sauce, and is a lovely dinner with a simple salad or bread.

12 oz. mini penne pasta
16 oz. portobello
12 oz. asparagus
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 garlic clove
1 yellow or patty pan squash, sliced and cut in 1/4s
1/4 c. chopped chives
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
8 T. sour cream
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 T. olive oil

In a large saucepan, bring some water to boil.  Add asparagus and cook 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add pasta to pan and cook about 10 minutes.  In a large saucepan add oil.  Heat over medium heat and add onion, garlic, squash and red pepper.  Saute about 5 minutes.  Add asparagus, sour cream, parmesan cheese and half the chives.  Stir in about 1/4 c. of the pasta water and all the drained cooked penne.  Serve pasta sprinkled with remainder of chives.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Refrigerator Cookies

There is nothing easier than a refrigerator cookie.  Just mix it up, roll it into a log, refrigerate for an hour and then slice and bake.  The chocolate chip and macadamia combination in this cookie make it especially delightful.

3/4 c. butter
2/3 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 c. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped macadamia nuts
Beat together the butter and sugars until well combined.  Beat in vanilla and sugar.  Add flour, soda and salt and beat slowly to combine.  Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.  On a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper roll all the dough into a log.  Wrap sides tightly and roll again to get a good shape.  Place in a refrigerator for one hour or longer.  Unwrap paper, slice into 1/2" slices and place on a baking sheet.  Bake at 325 degrees for 14-15 minutes.

Gruyere Stuffed Bread Loaves

Every month King Arthur Flour has a bakealong recipe for followers to try.  I have been wanting to attempt these since they appeared in March.  The bread is crusty, and chewy and oh so cheesy.  Great with a nice dinner salad.  You have to begin the loaves the day before you make them, as the recipe calls for a starter that must sit overnight.  Just keep that in mind as you are planning to make them.  If you would like more information and pictures go the and search gruyere stuffed bread loaves.

For the starter:
1/2 c. cool water
1/2 t. yeast
1 1/4 c. bread flour
1 t. salt
Mix all ingredient together well.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature overnight.

Whisk together :
1 1/4 c. water
1/2 t. yeast
3 1/4 c. bread flour
1 t. salt
Mix until it leaves the side of the bowl and is not too sticky to handle.  Knead for 5 minutes until smooth.  Place in a buttered bowl, covered and allow to rise for 1 1/2-2 hours.

Spray a large piece of parchment with cooking spray.  Stir down dough. I just ran a floured spatula through the dough several times.  Spread on parchment paper into a 9" x 12" rectangle.

2 1/2 c. grated gruyere cheese
1 T. olive oil
1 T. finely minced garlic

Spread oil onto bread surface. Sprinkle with garlic.  Then cover the surface with the grated cheese.
Roll the dough into a long log.  Pinch ends shut.  Place parchment and log on a baking sheet and allow to rise for 1-1 1/2 hours.  You want it puffy but not doubled in size.

Cut the loaf into 2 pieces for 2 loaves or 4 pieces for smaller loaves.  The dough will be very sticky so a pizza cutter or serrated knife works the best for cutting.  Place cut pieces onto a new piece of parchment on baking sheets, cut side up.  Shape into nice rounds.  Spritz with water.

Bake at 425 degrees--20-25 minutes for smaller loaves and 25-35 minutes for larger ones.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Orange Chicken Meatballs

My sweetheart loves orange chicken, so why not orange chicken meatballs?  This dish comes together in about 30 minutes and is great served over rice with some nice stir fried veggies on the side.

For the meatballs mix together:
¼ c. milk
½ c. panko breadcrumbs
Let sit for 5 minutes then mix in:

1½ lb. ground chicken
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. green onion, minced
2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
¼ tsp. ground ginger
Form into meatballs and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

For the orange sauce:  In a large saucepan mix
  • ½ c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ c. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. freshly grated orange zest
  • ½ c. granulated sugar or honey
  • ⅓ c. white or rice vinegar
  • ¼ c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook 5-6 minutes.  Whisk together:
  • 1 tbsp. cold water
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • Add to sauce and whisk to combine and thicken.  Add meatballs to sauce to coat.  Serve over rice.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

BBQ Chicken Bacon Kabobs

It is hot here in the Pacific Northwest...too hot to heat up the kitchen.  So tonight we will use the barbecue and cut down on the heat in the house.  The chicken for this recipe should marinate in the BBQ sauce for about and hour before grilling.

  • 2 large chicken breasts cut into 1 1/2" - 2" chunks, salted lightly
  • 1 1/2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce
  •   3-4 pieces of bacon cut into 1"- 1 1/2" segments, cooked until almost done
  • fresh pineapple cut into 2" chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 onion, cut into thick slices
  • Place chicken in bowl with BBQ sauce.  Let marinate in the refrigerator for one hour.  IF you are going to use wooden skewers place them in water to soak for an hour at this time.
  • Thread chicken, bacon, pineapple, pepper and onion on skewers.  Leave a small space on the skewers betwwen the meat and vegetables.
  • Grill on BBQ until chicken and bacon are cooked well. 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Chicken Avocado Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce

It is a hot evening and a dinner that comes together quickly without a lot of time at the stove is perfect.  You could even cook this on a griddle on the barbecue if wanted.  The sauce is light and limey with a touch of cilantro.
For the chicken:
  • 1 pound chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic crushed or minced
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  • 1/2 t. oregano 
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • squeeze of lime 

cilantro lime sauce  Blend in a food processor

  • 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • Serve on tortillas with a little sauce, and some sliced avocado.  You can also add lettuce, tomato and additional cilantro if you like.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Smoky Sloppy Joe Cups

These little cups are easy to make and super kid friendly.

1# ground beef
1/2 c. barbecue sauce
2 T. chopped onion
2 T. chopped green pepper
2 T. yellow mustard
1 1/2 c. shredded smoked Cheddar cheese
1 can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 in a can)

Open biscuits and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. In the middle of each biscuit, press down with a 1/2 c. measuring cup.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and press down again.
Brown ground beef, onion and green pepper together.  Drain off grease.  Add barbecue sauce and mustard.  Cook about 2-3 minutes to mix well.  Spoon this mixture onto the top of each biscuit and sprinkle with about 1-2 T. of the cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 3-5 minutes until the cheese melts.

Carne Asada Marinade

On a hot day like today a meal that is cooked on the barbecue is a real blessing.  Just warm up some tortillas, slice some lettuce, onions and peppers and your main dish is ready.  It is best to marinate the meat for at least 8 hours.

1 flank steak
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. lime juice
1 c. chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves mince
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 T. olive oil
1 t. cumin
1 t. paprika
1 t. oregano
1 t. chili powder
Whisk all ingredients together.  Pour over meat in a glass baking dish or put in a large ziplock bag. Marinate at least 8 hours.  Grill on a hot grill to desired doneness and slice thin against the grain.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

No Pectin Raspberry Jam

After the success of my strawberry-rhubarb jam, and with the abundance of raspberries in my garden, I was inspired to move on and try another batch of jam.  The great thing about these jam recipes I am trying is that they only make 2 pints.  That is just the right amount for a small family or 2 people.

5 c. raspberries
2 c. sugar
1 T. lemon juice

In a heavy pot crush the raspberries and then mix in the sugar and lemon juice.
Cook on high for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.   Lower the heat to medium or medium low, so it is simmering and cook an additional 25 minutes.  Pour into hot jars and water bath for 15 minutes.