Monday, December 27, 2010

Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry
from Wanda Bruenstetter's Amish Cookbook Vol 2

3 T Butter or Margarine
1/2 chopped onion
1 1/2 t Curry powder
3 T flour
3/4 t sugar
1/8 t ground ginger
1/2 t salt
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Chicken Broth
2 Cups Cooked Chicken
Cooked Rice

Sautee onion in butter with curry powder.  Stir in remaining dry ingredients.  Slowly add broth and milk, whisking until smooth.  Cook until comes to a boil and boil about a minute stirring often.  (Making a nice "gravy").  Add cooked chicken (I used canned) and heat through.  Serve over rice!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake
(Recipe from All

1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/3 cup butter, melted

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed gingersnap cookies, pecans, and butter. Press into the bottom, and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake crust 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Set aside to cool. 

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending well after each. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Blend 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the remaining mixture

Spread the pumpkin flavored batter into the crust, and drop the plain batter by spoonfuls onto the top. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect.

 Bake 55 minutes in the preheated oven, or until filling is set. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Allow to cool before removing pan rim. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Turkey with Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans

Turkey with Sweet Potaotes and Green Beans
Recipe loosely from Betty Crocker Slow Cooker Cookbook

*Disclaimer, at the time of posting this the recipe was cooking away in the crockpot....we havent eaten it yet but I dont see how it can be bad!

1 pkg turkey thighs (couldn't find turkey thighs, so I used drumsticks, three since that's all we need) skin removed.
3 sweet potatoes peeled and cut up
1 pkg (10-12 oz) frozen cut green beans
1 jar turkey gravy
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp parsley
1/8 tsp pepper

Layer in crockpot: potatoes, green beans, and turkey.  Mix gravy, flour, and seasonings, pour over turkey and veggies.  Cook on low 8-10 hours until turkey is done!

UPDATE:  Ok this was so so.  I thought the turkey was dry.  Thought it all lacked flavor.  Not really impressed.  It wasnt horrible by any means, just not amazing.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is also a concotion of mine comprised from different recipes.

1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 tub "Garden Vegetable" cream cheese spread
Abt 1/2 cup Mozarellla cheese, shredded (I do a "good handfull")
Abt 1/2 cup Parmesean cheese, grated (Also a "good handfull")
Abt 1/4-1/2 cup mayo (Enough to make it creamy)

Beat together cheeses.  Stir in veggies and enough mayo to make it good and creamy, but not too thin.
Bake at 375* until bubbly and starting to brown.

Creamy Penne with Italian Sauage and Spinach

Creamy Penne with Italian Sausage and Spinach

Okay, this recipe is "made up" after looking up a couple different recipes.

About 1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled and cooked. (if your package is more than that fine, my pkg was about 1.25 lbs...I used just half the sausage, I cooked it all then froze half of it for another day)
About 1lb Penne Pasta, cooked and drained.

1 can chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed and drained.
1/2 pkg cream cheese
About 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

Cook sausage.  At the end of cooking time add onion and garlic (just to taste, I added about 1 tsp dried minced onion and a good couple tsp of minced garlic).  Then add chicken broth and tomatoes.  Bring to simmer and start to cook down a little.  Add spinach.  When it returns to a simmer add cream cheese.  Stir until good and melted and creamy, then add pasta and Parmesan.  The pasta will absorb some of the liquid and make it less runny. 

Friday, October 22, 2010


Applesauce (modified from original recipe from Ball Book of Home Preserving)

12 lbs apples, peeled and quartered.  As you peel and quarter them place in bowl of water with lemon juice (1/4 cup to 4 cups water).  I'm a "lazy" peeler and dont mind a few peels left on.  But I wouldnt leave them ALL on there.

Place apples in stock pot with just a little water, not much just enough to prevent sticking.  Cook until mushy.

Here is where I differ from most people...I don't use a food mill.  I just mash mine with a potato masher.  We like it chunky.

Then I add 4 Tbsp of lemon juice.  And here is where you add sugar if you want.  Recipe calls for 3 Cups.  I do it either sugar free, or only add about 1 1/2 cups.  You can also add cinnamon or any other spice here too.

Heat up until its good and hot and bubbly again.  Then ladle into hot jars (I use pints).  Leave a good head space.  Cap.

Lastly process in boiling water bath for 20 minutes for pints (sorry dont have the numbers on quarts).

VIOLA!  Applesauce!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Apple Butter

Apple Butter
(From Ball Compelte Book of HOme Preserving)

6 lbs apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
3 Cups Water
5-6 Cups Sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves (I was out and didnt want to go back to the store so I omitted)

In large, stainless steel stockpot, combine apples and water.  Bring to a boil, then reduc heat and boil gently, stirring occassionally, until apples are soft (abt 30 minutes).

WOrking in batches transfer to food mill or food processor.  Process until uniform texture, do not liquefy.  (I like my chunky, so I just used a potato masher).  Measure 12 cups of puree.  (I didnt do this, just used whatever was there).

In pot combine apple puree, spices, and sugar.  Stir until sugar dissolves.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat and boil genlty until mixture thickens and holds shape.  (To test this drop a spoonfull onto a chilled plate, if its ready it will hold shape and a liquid ring will not form around it).

Ladle into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Remove air bubbles.  Wipe rim.  Place cap and band on and tighten.  Process in boiling water bath 10 minutes.

Apple Pie in a Jar Jam

Apple Pie in a Jar Jam
(From Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)

3/4 Cup Raisins or dried Cranberries
6 Cups chopped, cored, and peeled apples
Grated zest and juice of one lemon
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 box powdered pectin
9 cups sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Chop raisins (can use food processor).

In large, deep, stainless steel stock pot, combine apples, lemon zest, and juices.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.  Reduce head and boil genlty until apples begin to soften, stirring occassionally. (abt 10 mintues).  Remove from heat and stir in pectin until dissolved.  Stir in raisins.  Return to high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil stirring constantly.  Boil for one full minute.  Remove from heat, add spices.  Skim off foam.

Ladle into hot prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Remove air bubbles.  WIpe rim of jar and place lids on jar with band and screw down until snug (dont over tighten).

Process in boiling water bath for ten minutes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

No Bake Cookies (AKA Mud Cookies)

No Bake Cookies- Mud Cookies
Not sure the true origin but I use the recipe by grandmother used.

1 stick butter or margarine
2 Cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter (we use super chunky)
3 cups oatmeal (we use quick oats)
dash of salt

In a large pot mix butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa and bring to a rolling boil.  Boil for three minutes.  (be careful here if you boil too long they get too hard and crumbly too short and they dont set up.  I dont use a candy thermometer like some do but just be sure and watch your time.  If either of these happen they are still yummy just not as pretty and easy to eat/serve.)  Remove from heat and immediately add other ingredients and stir until blended.  Drop by spoonful onto wax paper (or I use a silicon baking sheet).  Let sit until cooled and set up(if you can) and enjoy!

I have to make these a couple times a week minimum for my family!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
Original recipe from (though after my modifications...which came from the reviews)

1 teaspoon sugar ( I used 2 Tablespoons Honey)
1 1/2 Cups warm water
1 Tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour ( I use much more wheat, abt 3 Cups)
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour ( I only added abt 1/2 cup to help it bind up)
I also added a couple "shakes" of italian seasoning.

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy. 
Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour until dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the remaining all-purpose flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. (I did this in the Kitchen Aid)
Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 
When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crust, or leave whole to make one thick crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled. 
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Roll a ball of dough with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further. Then, drape it over both of your fists, and gently pull the edges outward, while rotating the crust. When the circle has reached the desired size, place on a well oiled pizza pan. (I precooked it for a few minutes to just "seal" it up so it wouldnt be soggy.  I also use a pizza stone)
Top pizza with your favorite toppings, such as sauce, cheese, meats, or vegetables.
Bake for 16 to 20 minutes (depending on thickness) in the preheated oven, until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges, and cheese is melted on the top. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Suasage Hash

Sausage Hash

1lb pork sausage (just whatever you like for breakfast!)
Abt 2 Cups cubed potatoes
1 Large Carrot Shredded (or baby carrots slice, whatever works)
Salt and Pepper to taste
(actual recipe calls for bell pepper and I think onion, I'm too lazy to chop everything like that just to have hubby pick 'em out!)

Cook potatoes.
Brown sausage in a large skillet.  Towards the end of browning add carrots (and other veggies).  Add cooked potatoes and salt and pepper.  Cook just until its all mixed up good.  And viola!  Sounds super plain but the spiciness in the sausage really gives it flavor.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf

1 lb ground turkey (my pkg was like 1.2 lb, it worked)
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 cup ketchup
1 egg
seasonings - like italian seasoning, curry powder, chili powder, etc. (I chose curry powder, abt 1-2 tsp)

Mix all together and bake for about an hour at 375*.  I topped mine with more ketchup during the last 15 minutes or so.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Turkey/Brown Rice "Hash"

Turkey Brown Rice "Hash"
(Had this at a potluck and mixed and matched at home to re-create it)

1lb ground turkey, browned (my packaged was like 1.2lbs...close enough)
2 Cups (or so) cooked brown rice
1 Can whole kernal corn
1 Can black beans
Chili Powder
Salt & Pepper

Brown turkey in a deep skillet, at this point I added a couple shakes of chili powder.  Cook rice.  (I cooked mine in chicken broth, cause thats how I roll).
Add rice to cooked turkey.  Add corn and beans.  Salt and Pepper to taste.  Cook just a bit longer to heat through.  Top with cheese if ya want (of course we did!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tator Tot Casserole

Tator Tot Casserole
(origin unknown, this is how mom made it and I grew up making it)

-Photo when Blogger lets me upload it!-

1 lb ground beef (turkey could work too)
1 can mixed veggies
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
Cheese (your choice, I use slices because they are easy, or you can grate cheese or slice cheese, just need a thin layer
1 bag Tator Tots

Brown ground beef, drain if needed.  Add mixed veggies (do not drain!) and soup.  Mix together and pour in 9x13 pan.  Top with cheese, then tator tots.  Bake at 350*ish until hot and bubbly and tots are getting crispy and brown!

Special Delivery Chicken

Special Delivery Chicken
(Recipe from Taste of Home)

-Photo next time I make it, it went too fast!-

2 Cups Cooked Cubed Chicken (I cooked up probably more than that)
2 Cups Sour Cream
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup

1/2 Cup Margarine
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed

Mix the first three ingredients together in a casserole dish (I used 9x13 a smaller deeper one would be fine too).  Mix margarine and crackers and sprinkle on top.  Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes until bubbly!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spinach-Artichoke Cheesy Tortellini

Spinach-Artichoke Cheesy Tortellini
Recipe from Rachel Ray


1 (10 ounce) box frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, grated
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream (I just used milk)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 (14 ounce) can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup grated parmesan cheese or romano cheese (I was totally out which I realized AFTER I started the recipe so I just threw in a hand full of mozzarella)
1 lb cheese tortellini(I used half cheese, half spinach and ricotta)
My family must have meat so I threw in a hand full of cooked shrimp at the end.  Chicken would work good too.

Heat a deep skillet over medium heat with the oil and butter.
When butter melts, add garlic and grated onion. Saute for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour into the skillet and cook for 1 minute.
Whisk in the broth, then the cream and bring to a bubble.
Season the sauce with nutmeg and reduce heat to low.
Separate spinach into pieces as you add it to the sauce.
Stir in the artichokes and cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper
Cook the tortellini in salted boiling water according to package directions, about 7 minutes.
Drain and toss with the spinach artichoke sauce.

Inside Out Stuffed Peppers

 Inside Out Stuffed Peppers
(recipe from

1 (19 ounce) package Italian Sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces (I "skinned" mine)(I used about 1 lb)
1 green pepper, sliced
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup frozen corn (I didnt have any so used a can at the last minute, which was way more than it called for)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups cooked rice (I used brown rice)

In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook sausage and peppers until sausage is browned. Add tomato sauce, corn and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes or until sausage is fully cooked. Serve over hot rice. 

This was good.  Kind of plain, but easy and good.  A sprinkling of cheese would have been good on it too. 

Baked Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Style

Baked Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Style
(recipe from

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 (14 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes (I used home canned marinara and left out the spices)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 cube vegetable bouillon
black pepper to taste
1 (15 ounce) can black olives, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with a thin layer of cooking spray. Place squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet.  Bake squash 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife can be easily inserted. Remove from oven, and cool. (I microwaved mine cut side down in a bit of water for about 10 minutes)

Meanwhile, spray a non-stick saucepan with cooking spray. Over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic until golden brown. Stir in tomatoes, basil, bouillon cube, and black pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until you have a medium thick sauce.
Remove squash strands with a fork, reserving the shells. Layer each half with a spoonful of the sauce, a layer of spaghetti squash strands, olives, and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers until shells are full, or until all of the ingredients are used. Top with Parmesan cheese. 

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until Parmesan cheese melts. 

Since my family are "meat lovers" I added some cooked Italian sausage to the sauce. 

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
(recipe from

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts (I was out of nuts so I left them out)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt, mix well. In separate bowl, combine sugar and eggs, beat until well blended. Add oil and vanilla; beat until combined. Stir in zucchini. Add flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon evenly into loaf pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans; cool completely on wire rack.
I've made chocolate zucchini bread before but this is by far the best recipe I've tried.  

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Carrot Cupcakes

Carrot Cupcakes
I got this from my friend Kendra (Busy Moms=Easy Meals on FB) who said she got it from Food Network.

No picture because they didnt last that long!!

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup natural applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts (I didnt have any so I threw in some pecans I had)
4 ounces 1/3 fat cream cheese (recommended: Neufchatel) (I just used regular since its what I had)
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (was out of this too!)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. I just sprayed my silicon pan with cooking spray, minimal sticking.

Sift together the first 6 ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar and eggs until well combined. Whisk in the applesauce, vanilla and carrots. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in 1/4 cup of the chopped walnuts.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and lemon zest until smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts. The cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator.  We like icing alot so I doubled the recipe, it wasnt TOO much, just right.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Egg Rolls

Egg Rolls
(recipes from

1 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 quart peanut oil for frying
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 ounces shredded carrots
8 (7 inch square) egg roll wrappers (I'm not sure how they came up with this but I doubled it and used about 30!)

Season pork with ginger and garlic powder and mix thoroughly. Heat mixture in a medium skillet, stirring, until pork is cooked through and no longer pink. Set aside.
In another large skillet heat oil to about 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) or medium high heat. (I used a castiron pot and deep friend them)While oil is heating, combine flour and water in a bowl until they form a paste. In a separate bowl combine the cabbage, carrots and reserved pork mixture. Mix all together.

Lay out one egg roll skin with a corner pointed toward you. Place about a 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the cabbage, carrot and pork mixture on egg roll paper and fold corner up over the mixture. Fold left and right corners toward the center and continue to roll. Brush a bit of the flour paste on the final corner to help seal the egg roll. (I only put a couple Tablespoons, thats all that would fit)

Place egg rolls into heated oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or rack. Put on serving plate and top with sesame seeds if desired.
I wanted to freeze mine so I cooked them just a tad shy of "golden brown" so that when I pulled them out of the freezer I could either fry or bake to heat them up and finish browning)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lemon Angel Food Cake

Lemon Angel Food Cake (with Lemon Honey Yogurt Sauce)
Giada DeLaurentis





  • 12 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar. Using an electric hand mixer, beat on medium speed until frothy. Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat on high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 to 4 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks, about 2 minutes longer. Sprinkle the flour over the egg white mixture. Using a spatula, carefully fold in the flour until incorporated. Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10-inch nonstick angel food cake pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and a skewer inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall of the pan comes out clean. Invert the pan on a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

Using a spatula, loosen the cake around the sides and middle. Release the cake and place on a serving plate. .

Here is the sauce that we left off, just because I was out of yogurt.  I just ate/served mine with fresh strawberries.


  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
In a small bowl whisk together the yogurt, honey, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour into a serving pitcher.

Chili Garlic Roasted Broccoli

Chili Garlic Roasted Broccoli
Rachel Ray, Express Lane Cook Book



  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, eyeball it
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend (recommended:Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick Grill Mates) ( I think I left this out and just used salt and pepper)
  • 1 large head broccoli, cut into thin, long spears

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, chili powder and grill seasoning in the bottom of a large bowl and add the broccoli spears. Toss to coat broccoli evenly then transfer to a large nonstick baking sheet. Roast the broccoli until ends are crisp and brown and stalks are tender, 17 to 20 minutes.

This was a new way to do broccoli for us, and we WILL be doing it again.  Both my "boys" ate every bite.  Isaac chose it first on his plate and even picky Klay ate it.  There were NO leftovers.  We've been trying to do more fresh veggies so this was awesome for us.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Iced Mocha

Ok so this barely qualifies as a recipe...but good nonetheless.

Hot brewed coffee (I used a chocolate 'flavored' variety)
Chocolate Syrup

Brew coffee good and strong.  While still hot mix with sugar in a quart jar...I used about a 1/3 of a jar of coffee and about 3/4 cup sugar.  I added a squeeze or chocolate syrup and a splash of vanilla.  Then I added enough milk until it was the right color.  I chilled overnight, then shook it up and served it over ice.  YUM!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rachael Ray's Pasta With Broccoli and Sausage W/Ricotta Surprise

Rachael Ray's Pasta With Broccoli and Sausage W/Ricotta Surprise

1 lb short-cut pasta, such as penne (I didnt have penne, so I used tri-color rotini)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 lemon, juice and zest of
fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan
1 lb bulk sweet Italian sausage
1 large head broccoli
1 medium onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese or pecorino romano cheese, plus some to pass at the table (I just used plain Parmesan, its what I had)

Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Heads up, you will need to use about 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking liquid for the sauce before you drain the pasta.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, salt, and a lot of freshly ground black pepper. Reserve the ricotta mixture on the countertop and let it come up to room temperature. The flavors of the cheese and lemon will develop as the cheese warms up.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add the sausage and break it up with the back of a wooden spoon into a small bite-size pieces. Really go at breaking the meat up; it will make a difference in the end. Cook the meat until brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. 

While the sausage is browning, prepare the broccoli. Cut the broccoli tops into small florets. Remove the fibrous outer layer of the stem (just square it off using your knife), then thinly slice the tender center portion of the stem.

Once the sausage is browned, remove it to a paper-towel-lined plate. Return the skillet to the heat and add all of the broccoli and the chopped onion. Spread the veggies out in an even layer in the pan, season with some salt and pepper, and let the broccoli brown up a bit before stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and continue to cook 2 minutes more. Add the sausage back to the skillet along with the chicken stock. Ladle in some cooking water from the pasta and bring up to a simmer. Cook until the broccoli is tender and the liquids have reduced slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, parsley, and cooked, well-drained pasta. Toss to combine and simmer 1 last minute to allow the pasta to soak in the sauce and flavors. Turn the heat off, add the grated cheese, and toss to combine.

To serve, place a large dollop of the pepper-lemon-ricotta mixture into each of 4 shallow bowls and bury it with the hot pasta. Once you are at the table, mix it up with a fork to distribute the ricotta cheese. Serve with extra grated cheese.  (I didnt want to serve it in the bowls like that so I just mixed it all in and served it that way.  Probably wasnt as pretty but tasted good.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Honey Whole Wheat Bread
(Recipe from Betty Crocker Cookbook)

3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/3 Cup Honey
1/4 Cup Shortening
3 teaspoons salt
2 pkgs yeast or (4 1/2 teaspoons)
2 1/4 Cups very warm water
3-4 cups all purpose flour

Okay so now this recipe proceeds into all the intricate details of making bread (I'll post those if you need me to).  But for me...I dumped it all in my bread machine in the "order suggested by manufactuer" and hit the dough cycle.  I started with 3 cups all purpose flour and just watched it as it came to a dough and added more.  When it went off, I divided it in half (recipe makes two loaves) put one in my loaf pan and the other made about 5 big buns.  Let rise until I was satisfied with the size and baked until golden brown!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Balsamic Chicken with White Beans and Wilted Spinach

Yay, back to blogging, back to cooking more too!!  This was something "different" for us, but everyone liked it.  Isaac was gobbling up the onions in the beans/greens like nobody's business.  I actually cooked the chicken in a grill pan rather than just a skillet and gave it a more grilled flavor.  We will def be making this again.

Recipe from Rachel Ray Express Lane Cooking cookbook.

Balsamic Chicken with White Beans and Wilted Spinach

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (eyeball it)
4 tablespoons EVOO
1 tablespoon grill seasoning, such as McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning, a palmful
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (eyeball it)
Salt and black pepper
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup white wine (eyeball it)
2 cups chicken stock
1 14-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
1 12-ounce sack baby spinach or 3/4 pound from the bulk bins, washed and patted dry
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, a couple of generous handfuls, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon

In a shallow dish, combine the balsamic vinegar, about 2 tablespoons of the EVOO, and the grill seasoning. Coat the chicken breasts in the mixture, and set aside to marinate while you start the white beans and wilted spinach.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of EVOO, twice around the the pan. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes [I add a little extra to make it a little bit spicy], salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are a little brown, 3 to 4 minutes. [Takes more like 7-8 on my stove.] Add the white wine and chicken stock, bring up to a bubble, and cook for 5 minutes.

Heat another large skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the chicken breasts and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and let rest a few minutes.

Add the cannellini beans to the skillet with the onions and stir to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the beans are heated through. Turn off the heat and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the spinach, parsley,and lemon juice. Toss and stir until the spinach wilts.

To serve, place a portion of the white beans and wilted spinach on each serving plate. Thickly slice each chicken breast on an angle and arrange over the beans and spinach.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Peachy Keen Chicken

I recently got a new toy tool, a electric pressure cooker.  It supposedly "makes slow food fast."  I've only used it this once but I am impressed so far. 

(Photo coming soon...)

Peachy Keen Chicken
Recipe from "Slow Food Fast" Cookbook

6 Small, Bonless, Chicken Breasts
2 Cans sliced peaches
2 Tablespoons Teriyake Sauce
2 Tablespoons Water
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

Mix peaches and teriyake sauce in pressure cooker.  Dip chicken breasts in mixture and and place on top (or settle down in amongst the peaches and sauce).  Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.  Release pressure.  Remove chicken and mix cornstarch and water to thicken the sauce.  Cook on high (or brown setting) (with the lid off) to thicken up the sauce.  Serve over cooked rice.

This recipe was very easy.  It was kind of bland, so next time it needs something.  But it was a great starter recipe...I think I'll add bell pepper and use pineapple next time.  And the rice was bland since there wasnt enough sauce to coat it all, so next time I'll do fried rice.  I served it with steamed broccoli. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Savory Lentil and Canadian Bacon Soup

This was my first time cooking with lentils!

Savory Lentil and Canadian Bacon Soup

1 package dried lentils, sorted and rinsed (16 oz or 2 1/4 cups)
2 cans vegetable broth (14 1/2 oz each) (I bet you could use chicken broth or whatever you had on hand)
1 package sliced Canadian bacon, coarsely chopped (6 oz) or you could use 1 1/2 cups chopped ham
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (1 cup) (I just used baby carrots since its what I had)
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces ( 1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 medium stalk of celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (1/2 cup)
4 cups water
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low 8-9 hours or until lentils are tender.  (Or high 3-5 hours).  Stir before serving.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Angel Food Cake

We currently have an ABUNDANCE of eggs...our hens are laying 28 or so a is a good use for some of them!  And SO much better than any mix!!  Freezes well too!
Recipe from

Angel Food Cake

1 1/4 Cups Cake Flour (I only had all purpose so I used the substitution of removing 2 Tablespoons per cp of flour)
1 3/4 Cups Sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Cups Egg Whites
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract (I left this out, we arent huge almond fans).

Sift flour, sugar, and salt, 4 or 5 times.  You want it really nice and fine and light.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.

Stir in vanilla.  Fold in dry ingredients.  You want to carefully fold these in because you do not want your egg whites to fall, you want to make sure they stay light and fluffy.

Carefully pour into a 10 inch tube pan.  Bake at 325 for about an hour until golden brown.  Dont preheat the oven.  Invert pan and cool completely.  Run knife along edges and bottom when removing the pan.  It will stick but its supposed to, you'll just have to "cut" it out.

Note: I had trouble getting my eggs stiff enough, the first time it was a total flop.  The second time was MUCH better but still fell a little bit.  But still good.

Fantasy Fudge

This is the one and only fudge recipe I've ever made.  Its pretty fail proof and easy and oh so good.  I made it twice this Holiday season, the second time it was this weekend for dear hubby's birthday, he likes it better than cake!  This is the recipe always on the back of the Marshmellow Creme jar!

Fantasy Fudge

3 Cups Sugar
3/4 Butter or Margarine (works well with both, but if you are going to be "bad" go all the way and use butter!!)
1 small can (5oz)  or 2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 jar (7 oz) Marshmellow Creme
12 squares semi-sweet chocolate (I use chocolate chips instead...2 Cups)
1 Cup Chopped nuts (if you dont have them no biggie)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook sugar, butter, and milk in a saucepan until it comes to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.   Boil 4 minutes, or until candy thermometer reaches 234*F (my thermometer broke and I havent replaced it, timing it works well for me).  Remove from heat and stir in marshmellow creme, chocolate, nuts, and vanilla. 
Spread into pan that is carefully lined with foil (hanging over the edges so you can lift it out).  I use a silicone baking pan, pops out perfectly.  Or if you arent overly concerned with presentation any pan will work fine.  Let cool about 4 hours or until totally set.  Remove from pan and cut into 1 inch squares! 

Note:  I didnt have nuts but did have leftover M&Ms that I just sprinkled on top and pressed in a little while it was still warm!