Monday, December 31, 2018

A New Twist on Pumpkin Pie

Now this is one you have to try!  A friend brought this to my home for dinner recently.  I had never heard of a pumpkin pie with a cream cheese layer.  It was divine!  It is a recipe handed down in her family for generations.

Cream cheese bottom layer:

12 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Pumpkin top layer:

just under 2 cups of canned pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
a dash of salt
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
3 eggs

Use a generous sized pie pan and preheat oven to 359.

Combine all cream cheese layer ingredients and mix until well blended.  Pour into the bottom of the pie shell.

Combine remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour slowly over the cream cheese layer to avoid marbling.

Bake for 65 to 70 minutes.

Friday, December 28, 2018

French Toast

This morning I had French Toast for breakfast.  Not the fancy, gourmet recipes for French Toast prevalent today.  I made them the way I grew up eating them for breakfast!

Here is the "real" French Toast recipe!

whole wheat sandwich bread
a mixture of raw eggs and milk

For one person, use 2 slices of bread.  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium to high heat and coat with butter.

Let bread soak in the milk and egg mixture for a minute or two.  Then place in heated skillet.  Sprinkle top of each side of the bread with cinnamon.

Cook about 3 minutes per side.  Serve with maple syrup.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Cranberry Orange Salad

This unique and delicious recipe is from my daughter-in-law's family and is a Christmas and Thanksgiving tradition.

Equal amounts fresh cranberries and oranges

That's it!  Use the whole orange, peeling and all.  Cut the oranges in chunks.  Place the cranberries and orange chunks in a food process along with the sugar and process until in fine pieces.  Start with 3/4 cup sugar and add more to suit your preference.  Mix well.

This is a colorful dish that is a sure winner!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Azuke Bean and Spinach Soup

This delightful soup is from one of my Moosewood cookbooks, Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health.  If you are not familiar with the Moosewood restaurant and their many cookbooks, you are missing a lot!  The Moosewood restaurant is in a small town in upstate New York and over the years, they have published numerous cookbooks that are just fantastic.  I have at least half a dozen of them in my collection.

This recipe calls for using vegetable broth.  Not being a strict vegetarian, I use chicken broth.

1 1/2 cups dried azuke beans
1 quart vegetable broth
4 cups water
5 cups chopped, fresh spinach
1/2 cup diagonally sliced scallions
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar

In a large pot, bring the beans, broth, and water to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer with the pot lid slightly ajar for about 50 minutes.

When the beans are soft and tender, but not falling apart, stir in the spinach, scallions, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.  Add more water or broth for the consistency you like.  For the best color and freshest flavor, serve this soup as soon as the spinach is wilted.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Oatmeal Muffins

One of my newer cookbooks, The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, has many wonderful recipes of cookies, cakes, muffins, pies, and other sweets that has quickly become one of my favorites.  This recipe is a sure winner!   I encourage you to get a copy of this cookbook.  The Magnolia Bakery was started in New York City by two young women who were unhappy with their day jobs and had a passion for fine baking.  It became an instant success.

2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking oats)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease well a 12 cup muffin tin (although I got 16 muffins!)
In a medium bowl, mix the oats and the milk and set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, making a well in the center.  Stir in the liquid ingredients and the oatmeal mixture until just combined, being careful not to overmix.  Batter may be lumpy.
Fill muffin cups about three quarters full.  Bake for 16 to 18 minutes until lightly golden.  Don't overbake.

Success tips:  All ingredients should be at room temperature before mixing.  Use large eggs.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Delicious Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

One of the things I have enjoyed most since switching my blog to all recipes, is during the process of deciding which recipes to include, I often run across old, old ones and think, "Now how could I have forgotten about THIS one???"  That is the case with this one.  I haven't made it in years but I still remember how delicious it is.  Serve this one to guests to make a big impression!  Although I have two tube pans, I like to use my Lodge cast iron tube pan when the recipe calls for one.  The cake just falls out easily with no crumbling and it is easy to clean.

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups flour
6 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Beat together the first five ingredients until blended.  Combine and add the remaining ingredients and beat until nicely blended.  Don't overbeat.  Spread batter into a greased 10 inch tube pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pan.

When cool, remove from pan and frost top and sides with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting (below).

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting:

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together chocolate and butter until blended.  Bear in sour cream and powdered sugar until blended.  Beat in vanilla.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

A different kind of snack

I admit it.  I'm a chocoholic.  When I come home, hungry and sometimes stressed out, I grab something sweet. . . chocolate or whatever sweet I can find.  Yes, I know better.  That's when I looked for something different.  Something that would satisfy my hunger and also be nutritious.

I don't recall where I heard about this idea or maybe I dreamed it up.

Combining several varieties of dried beans, soaked and cooked, with my "old stand by" sauce that I use for stir frying, I came up with a pleasing quick snack.

Here's how to prepare it:

Choose 3 or more types of dried beans.  Go for variety in color and size, such as kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and maybe cannellini or other white bean.  Use equal amounts of each.  After soaking, cook until tender, but not mushy.

While they are cooking, combine olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.  Now you are thinking, 'okay, but what amounts?'  That is a matter of taste!  Start with half cup olive oil, a little less lemon juice, and salt.  From there, adjust to your own taste.

Combine beans and the sauce, just enough to coat the beans but not so that they are drowning in the sauce!

This keeps in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days.  I call it my guilt-free snack!

I always have a large supply of a variety of dried beans on hand.  I should own stock in Bob's Red Mill!  I use them in soups, salads, and other recipes.  My Adzuki Bean casserole is a real winner!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A new smoothie recipe

I make a lot of smoothies.  I do it to get more nutrition.  After all, you probably wouldn't sit down to eat a large bunch of spinach or kale, an apple, a banana, a couple of kiwi fruits, an orange. . . But put them in a Vitamix and blend and you have a tasty, highly nutritious drink.  For the most part, I don't follow smoothie recipes.  I just throw in whatever fruits and vegetables I have laying around.  I've never been disappointed in taste or nutritional value.

But I ran across this recipe recently and it caught my attention.  It's great!  It has a mild, sweet taste and is packed with vitamins.  Try it!

1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 mango, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup water.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Confetti Chowder

Even though it is still hot and humid here in Western New York State, my thoughts are slowly turning to my favorite fall and winter recipes!  This one is a sure winner.  It comes from my 10,000 Tastes of Minnesota cookbook, copyright 1990, published by the Women's Club of Minneapolis.

3 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1 (10 oz) package frozen peas, thawed
2 (11 oz) cans corn
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or few dashes powdered thyme)
2 cups shredded cheddar

Cook and stir cabbage, carrots, celery and onion in butter in large saucepan or Dutch oven until crisp tender.  Add peas, corn, milk and seasonings.  Simmer over low heat about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  In a food processor, blend about 2 cups of hot milk mixture and cheese until smooth.  Return this to the pan;  mix well.  Adjust seasonings.  Heat thoroughly but do not boil.
6 servings.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Apple Nut Dessert

I have probably made this one dozens of times over the years.  It is delicious and easy to make.

1 egg beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped, peeled apples
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Beat together the egg and sugar.  Add the dry ingredients.  Add remaining ingredients in order given above.  Stir thoroughly.  Pour into greased pie pan.  Bake 30 minutes at 325.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Cheeseburger Chowder

Here is another old favorite from my kitchen.  It comes from the Better Homes and Garden All Time Favorite Recipes cookbook, copyright 1979.

1 lb. ground beef
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (2 cups)
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 tbs. green bell pepper, chopped
1 tbs. instant beef bouillon granules
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups milk
3 tbs. flour
1 cup shredded Cheddar

In 3 quart saucepan brown beef.  Drain off excess fat.  Stir in potatoes, celery, onion, pepper, bouillon granules, salt and 1 1/2 cups water.  Cover and cook till vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Blend 1/2 cup of the milk with the flour.  Add to saucepan along with remaining milk.  Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.  Add cheese; heat and stir just till cheese melts.


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Apple-Cranberry Casserole

How could I forget about this one?  I used to make it a lot.  This one comes from my Junaluska Joy cookbook,  copyright 1982.

Combine the first four ingredients and spread into a buttered oblong baking dish.

3 cups chopped, unpeeled apples
2 cups whole cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Combine and sprinkle the following over the fruit mixture:

1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups oatmeal, uncooked
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 chopped nuts

Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The right wood for smoking meat

I've been smoking meat now for five seasons.  I did my research and considered myself quite skilled.  In the dozens of times I've fired up my smoker (a Weber Smoky Mountain), I've never ruined  any of the meat and have been pleased with the results, as have those who I served.

I bought bags of chipped wood at either Lowes or Home Depot but recently decided to go with wood chunks.  The chunks don't have to be soaked, as the chips do, and they last longer during the smoking process.

Then I discovered a website when I was searching for an online vendor for buying wood chunks in bulk.  Man!  Did I have a lot to learn! sells several unique types of wood chunks, ones I can't find locally.  One example is wood from barrels of whiskey from Kentucky distilleries.  This is an excellent choice for beef and pork.  Then there is peach wood, hickory, and apple.

I learned their wood is stored indoors in a climate controlled building, rather than outside.  Storing the chunks outside exposes the wood to bugs, critter feces, and other unpleasant things.  Indoors, in a cool, damp room protects the moisture content, which in turn, means better smoking.

Uh, well, mine have been stored in a big plastic tote in my three season room off my living room.  That means it is hot, really hot, in the summer, and freezing cold in the winter.

There really IS a difference in this wood and the smoked meat.  Check out this website and let me know if you use any of their wood.  I have noticed a big improvement in my meat!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A great, quick barbeque rub

A typical scenario at my house.  I remember to take meat out of the freezer to cook on the grill, but forget to check for an appropriate rub or marinade in the pantry or fridge.  This recipe to the rescue!  This one comes from Steven Raichlen's Barbeque Bible, copyright 2006.  I can mix it up in no time with ingredients I usually have in stock.  It's good on all meat but I particularly like it on steak.

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

Thoroughly combine all ingredients together.  Store in a jar, away from heat and light.  The rub will keep for several months.  Makes 1 cup.

I don't have to worry about how long it lasts!  It doesn't last more than a month in my house!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Pasta with Spinach and Apricots

I'm a big fan of the Moosewood cookbooks and own several.  This is a quick and easy, yet very delicious recipe.  You can find it in the The Moosewood Restaurant Table, copyright 2017.  You'll find lots of other tempting recipes you'll want to try in this one!

3/4 cup sliced or chopped dried apricots
3 tablespoons minced garlic
11 oz baby spinach (8 cups packed)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 pound farfalle or other short pasta
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, thinly slice or finely chop the apricots and set them aside in a small bowl.  Mince the garlic and rinse the spinach in a colander.  Crumble the feta cheese and set aside.

When the water is boiling, ladle out enough water to cover the apricots in the bowl.  Stir the pasta into the boiling water and cover the pot so it will quickly return to a boil.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into a large heavy skillet.  Saute the garlic just until golden.  Add the spinach with any water clinging to the leaves.  Fold the spinach over itself until it is all wilted but still bright green.

When the pasta is al dente, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.  Place the pasta in a serving bowl and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Stir in the feta and enough of the hot pasta water to make it saucy.

Stir in the spinach mixture and the drained soaked apricots.  Sprinkle with pepper.  Toss everything together.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A 5-star chocolate bundt cake!

Who doesn't like chocolate cake???  I like bundt cakes.  Their shape is eye appealing, given the pan they are baked in, there is just one layer (only one pan to clean!), and the frosting (glaze) is quick and easy to put on the cake.  I have maybe a half dozen bundt cake recipes I've tried and they are all delicious.  This one takes top prize!

2 sticks butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
4 large eggs
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325 and prepare bundt pan.

Whisk flour cocoa, baking soda salt.  Mix together the milk and sour cream.

In electric mixer, beat butter and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla.  Reduce speed, add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with milk and sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour.  Bake for 55 minutes.

For the glaze, place chocolate in bowl.  Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Pour over chocolate.  Let stand 2 minutes.  Add butter and mix until smooth.  Let stand, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.  Pour over cake.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Feta Cheese Patties

This is a recipe I found in a bargain table vegetarian cookbook a number of years back.  I really like it but found, for my tastes, I use a little less onion than the recipe calls for.

2 large carrots
1 large zucchini
1 small onion
2 oz. feta cheese
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper
herb sprigs to garnish

Grate the carrots, zucchini, onion, and feta cheese coarsely.

Mix together the flour, cumin seeds, poppy seeds, curry powder and parsley in large bowl.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the carrot mixture to the seasoned flour, tossing well to combine.  Stir in the beaten egg.

Heat the butter and oil in a skillet (I prefer cast iron!)  Place heaped tablespoonfuls of the carrot mixture in the pan, flattening slightly with the back of the spoon.  Fry gently for about 2 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden brown.  Drain on paper towels and keep warm until the mixture is used.

Serve immediately garnished with sprigs of fresh herbs.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Honey Baked Chicken

My copy of The Dinah Shore Cookbook (copyright 1983) is worn, stained and tattered from many years of use.  There are dozens of recipes there that have become my favorites.  This is one of them.  It is delicious and easy to prepare.

One whole chicken, cut up
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon chutney

Preheat oven to 350.
Place chicken pieces in shallow baking pan, skin side up.
Combine and mix well the remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.
Bake for 1 1/4 hours, basting every 15 minutes until chicken is tender and nicely browned.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A marinade for all meats!

I'm a big fan of Steven Raichlen.  He has written numerous cookbooks on barbecue, smoking, and grilling.  It's hard to say which of his books is my favorite.  However, his Barbecue Sauces Rubs and Marinades is a true winner.  He calls this one "The only marinade you'll ever need" and I agree with him.  I have used it quite a few times on chicken and steaks.  This is one you will enjoy.

If you have a large cut of meat, I recommend doubling the recipe.

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)  I leave these out when I make this
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, oregano, dill, and/or cilantro
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Set aside a portion to use for basting prior to marinating.

He recommends using within 2 hours of making.  I have a London Broil cut of meat in the fridge right now that I just poured this over for dinner tomorrow night.  It will go on my Weber Grill.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Baby Back Ribs in the Smoker

Everyone knows how much I love smoking meat in my Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker.  Whether it is a brisket, chicken, baby back ribs or a pork butt, it is hard to say which is my favorite or which recipe I like the best.

Take Baby Back Ribs - I have several recipes - and they are all delicious.

Today I have Baby Back Ribs in the smoker and my neighbors are enjoying the aroma as much as I am!  Here is the way I am preparing them this time:

Prepare the smoker.  I use the minion method for charcoal.  I throw in 4 or 5 chunks of apple wood.  Put water in the water bowl.

I rinsed the ribs, cut them in half so they would fit into my smoker.  Next I rubbed mustard all over them, somewhat sparingly.  After that, I put a generous portion of Stuart's Spices ( Hog Rub and pressed it into the meat.

Now they are ready to go in the smoker.  I adjusted the vents on the bottom to keep the internal temperature of the smoker at 225 to 250 consistently.  These will probably be done in about 5 hours or so.  After 3 hours of smoking, I began spraying apple juice over them once an hour.

I am a big fan of Stuart's Spices here in Rochester - and they do mail orders for out of town customers.  They make their own spices on site so they are fresher than the ones you buy in the store.  I've found that their mixes for smoking meat are as good or better than my tried and true recipes I use.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Chicken with mixed garden vegetables

This is one of my favorites, a stir fry from my Easy Chinese Stir Fries cookbook by popular Asian cookbook author, Helen Chen.

Aside from the time to chop the vegetables, it really goes together quickly and tastes great.

1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 carrot, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 celery stalks, cut on the diagonal into 1/8 inch slices
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 pound bok choy, cut into 2 inch chunks (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
2 slices ginger, unpeeled
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and wine.  Add the chicken cubes and mix well.

In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat - heat until the oil is hot but not smoking.  Test by dipping a carrot into the oil, it should sizzle.  Add all the vegetables and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.  Add the broth, stir, and cover. Reduce the heat to medium and steam until the vegetables are tender crisp, about 2 minutes.  Transfer the vegetables and the juices to a platter.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the same pan and heat over high heat.  Add the ginger and salt and stir until the ginger sizzles.  Stir up the chicken mixture and add it to the pan.  Cook, stirring, until the chicken turns white and is almost done, 2 to 3 minutes.

Return the vegetables and any juices to the pan, mix thoroughly, and cook until vegetables are heated and chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute.  Taste and add more salt, if needed.  Remove and discard the ginger.  Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a platter.  Serve immediately.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Chicken with Artichokes and Mushrooms

This comes from an old cookbook of mine, Fiesta, published by the Junior Women's Club of Pensacola, Florida in 1987.  It is simple to put together and is a real guest pleaser!

4 chicken breasts, boned and halved
salt, pepper, paprika
1/2 cup butter
1 (15 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup sherry (I use any white wine)
1 - 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or bouillon

Sprinkle the chicken with salt pepper, and paprika.  Saute in melted butter until brown, then place in casserole.  Add artichoke hearts.  In the same skillet, saute mushrooms and add to the casserole.  Sprinkle flour into the remaining butter in skillet.  Mix slowly while adding wine and bouillon.  Pour over chicken casserole.  Cover and bake in 375 oven for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


Here is one I brushed aside for a long time.  Aebleskiver?  I can hardly pronounce it, why would I want to try it?

But I did and I'm glad I did!

Even the dogs got into the excitement.  It isn't often that I beat egg whites in my mixer so that caught Morgan and Bailey's attention.  What is all that loud noise about, Sherry?  And my new aebleskiver cast iron pan was something out of the ordinary to them.

These wonderful Danish pancake rolls are cooked in a special pan with round holes.

This recipe leaves a lot of room for your own creativity.  I chose to place fresh blueberries in the center of the batter and then cover them with enough batter so that they were enclosed.  You could also use jelly or applesauce, or whatever you like.

When the batter begins to bubble along the sides, it is time to turn.  The Danish use a knitting needle, but a fork, butter knife, or wooden kebob stick would also work.

Here is the basic recipe:

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 egg whites, beaten till they form peaks
1 tablespoon sugar'
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups buttermilk

Separate the egg yolks and whites.  Beat in a mixer till the whites form stiff peaks.

Combine other ingredients and beat well.  Folk in the egg whites.

Place about a teaspoon or more oil in each hole in the pan.  Heat.

Carefully turn the balls over several times while cooking so that they are nicely browned all around.

This recipe makes a LOT!  Definitely enough for a family of 4 or more.

In the process of switching them from the pan to the plate, I dropped one on the floor.  Before I could get to it, two dogs devoured it!  Hope it didn't burn them!

I sprinkled these with powdered sugar.  You could also use syrup or jelly.

These were a pleasant surprise.  They are delicious and I think you will like them too  A nice addition to your weekend breakfast.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Broccoli Salad

This is a recipe I ran across recently and I just had to try it!  It's so good, even someone who doesn't like broccoli would like it!  And it packs a lot of nutrition.

1 large head broccoli
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons almond slivers
1 large apple, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest


1 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon water

Combine the ingredients for the salad.  Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and combine with the salad.  Will last in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Two delicious muffin recipes

These are two muffin recipes that I've had for years.  Both are very good.

3 Grain Pear Muffins

1 1/2 cup finely chopped, peeled pears
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup raisins
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375.  Stir pears, milk, oil and egg in a bowl.  In separate large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, whole wheat flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add liquid ingredients and stir well until blended.  Divide the batter between 12 greased 2 3/4" muffin cups.  Bake 35 minutes or until nicely browned.

Pineapple Oatmeal Muffins

8 oz can crushed pineapple
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sour cream or buttermilk
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Combine undrained pineapple, oats, and sour cream.  Let stand 15 minutes.  Cream shortening, sugar, and peel together thoroughly.  Stir in egg.  Sift flour with baking powder, soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with oat mixture  Bake in well greased, large muffing pans in 400 degree oven about 25 minutes.  Yield:  about 1 dozen large muffins

Friday, March 23, 2018

Black Bean Salad

As much as I like to cook and bake, many times I just can't get motivated to cook a meal just for myself.  I definitely want to eat nutritious meals.  Salads to the rescue!  Sometimes it is nice to be able to open the fridge, pull out a dish, scoop out how much I want to eat and enjoy!  I can make a salad that will keep for 2 or 3 days and still taste good.  With the dozens of salad recipes I have, there is enough variety to keep me from getting in a rut with mealtime.  While this recipe calls for canned black beans, I prefer using dried beans in recipes.

I like this Black Bean Salad because of the variety in texture, color, and it is a highly nutritious recipe.  Try it!

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 oz) cans whole kernel corn, drained
8 green onions, chopped
2 jalepeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 (4 oz) jar pimentos (optional - I eliminate this from the recipe)
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime juiced
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

In a large bowl,  combine all ingredients except the garlic salt.  Mix well.  Season with garlic salt, toss, and chill before serving.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Pork Chop Casserole with Apples

This is one of my old, old favorites.  The card it is written on in my recipe file is yellowed and the ink somewhat faded, so you know it's old!

salt and pepper
flour and oil
4 pork chops
3 apples, peeled and cored
4 tablespoons brown sugar
dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup orange juice

Salt, pepper, and flour the pork chops.  Brown chops in oil.  Cut up apples into a casserole dish.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and nutmeg.

Pour orange juice into casserole.  Top with browned chops.  Cover.

Bake at 350 for 45 to 60 minutes.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Harvest Asparagus Tomato Soup

This is one I haven't made in awhile, which is a shame, because it is very good!

1 1/2 cups cooked asparagus
5 cups chicken stock
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
2 cups canned tomatoes
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons flour

Combine all soup ingredients except butter and flour.  Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Whirl in food processor (or use a hand blender right in the pot) until fairly smooth.

Blend butter and flour together.  Stir into soup.

Simmer 20 to 30 minutes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Shrimp Spread, a delicious appetizer

Growing up on Florida's Gulf Coast, I took for granted being able to have fresh seafood.  And by "fresh", I mean that it slept in the Gulf last night!  Having lived in New York State for more than 40 years, I really miss the seafood that I grew up eating.

Here is a wonderful appetizer that is always a crowd pleaser.

finely chopped boiled shrimp
Worcestershire Sauce
Cocktail Sauce

Mix together well and spread on crackers.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Corn and Black Bean Salad

This recipe comes from my "Bless Your Heart, Saving the World One Covered Dish at a Time" cookbook!  Yes, it is a Southern cookbook!  It is filled with really great recipes.

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 (15 oz) can white whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15 oz) can yellow whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 cup sliced red onion
2 cups chopped (fresh) tomatoes
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

To make the dressing:  In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper until sugar dissolves.

To make the salad:  In a large bowl, combine the corns, black beans, red and green pepper, onion, tomato, and cucumber.  Toss to mix.  Add the dressing to the salad.  Cover and chill 4 hours before serving.

This one's a winner!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake

I found this recipe on the internet.  It is positively delicious!

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
6 Granny Smith apples (about 2 cups chopped)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted
4 large eggs

1 to 2 tablespoons water
1 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

In a large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and eggs.  Whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in dry ingredients just until combined.  Do not overmix.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the apples.  Spoon batter into a 12 cup nonstick prepared bundt pan and smooth the top.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes.  [In my oven 50 minutes was plenty of time]

Cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes.

Make the glaze:  Whisk together the confectioners sugar and enough water to form a thick yet pourable glaze.  Drizzle over cake, using wax paper underneath to catch the drip.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Chicken Queen Elizabeth

This is a superb dish that you would be proud to serve to important dinner guests.  It comes from an old cookbook of mine, Favorite Restaurant Recipes, copyright 1982.

6 servings

6 chicken breast halves, boned, skinned and pounded thin, seasoned with salt and pepper
6 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
6 thin slices Swiss cheese
6 thin slices ham
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs


1 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes, partially drained
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon white wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch of garlic powder
pinch of freshly ground pepper

Freshly cooked rice
apricot halves for garnish

Preheat oven to 325.  Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Top each with 1 teaspoon parsley, 1 slice cheese, and 1 slice of ham.  Roll tightly.  Brush with some of the butter and sprinkle with 1/2 of breadcrumbs.

Arrange compactly, crumbed side down, in 6 inch square baking dish.  Pour remaining butter over top and sprinkle with remaining crumbs.  Cover and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove cover and continue baking until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Set aside and keep warm while preparing sauce.

For sauce:  Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan over medium high heat and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer sauce for 3 to 5 minutes.

Spoon rice over serving platter.  Arrange chicken over top.  Cover with sauce and garnish with apricots.

This one is a sure winner!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Apple Cheddar Soup

I'm not sure where I found this recipe.  It has been in my "big binder" of recipes for a long time.  I really like it and I think you will too.

1/2 stick butter
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/2 large onion, chopped
6 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup flour
3 cans (14.5 oz. ea.) chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded cheddar

Garnish:  1 McIntosh apple, cored and chopped into small cubes

In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add potato and onion; cook until potato is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in food processor, puree together 6 apples, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper.

Stir flour into sweet potato mixture; cook, stirring for one minute.  Stir in chicken broth, salt and apple puree.  Bring to rolling boil over high heat; boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

With a hand blender puree ingredients in saucepan until very smooth.  Whisk in cheese until melted.

Garnish with chopped apple at serving.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Coconut Cream Pie

This is an old favorite that is really delicious and quick and easy to put together.

1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup coconut
3/4 stick butter
2 cups milk
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Blend all the above in a blender.  Pour into a pastry lined pie pan.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 for 30 more minutes.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Hearty Beef Stew

This is a new recipe I like.  It caught my eye because it is quite different from the stew I make.  This recipe is from Ellie Krieger's Comfort Food Fix.  She has numerous cookbooks on the market and I particularly like this one.

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 pound lean stew beef, cut into cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small rutabaga or turnip, peeled and cubed
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large russet potato, cubed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups reduced sodium beef broth
2 cups green peas

Place  the flour, salt, pepper, and paprika in a large sealable plastic bag.  Add the beef and shake to coat well.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large (at least 6 quart) saucepan or soup pot over medium heat.  Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes.  Transfer the meat to a plate, leaving the juices in the saucepan.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot.  Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden, but not browned, about 10 minutes.  Add the rutabaga, carrot, and potato and cook until the vegetables soften slightly, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste and cook 1 minute more.  Add the wine, bring to a boil, and reduce for 3 minutes.  Add the beef broth, return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low.  Cover and simmer until the meat is tender, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Add the peas and cook 5 minutes more.  Remove from heat and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Males 4 servings.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Hamburger Pie

This is another old, old favorite.  Don't know why I haven't made it recently.  It is a sure winner.

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup milk

Stir together dry ingredients; cut in shortening.  Combine egg and milk, add to flour mixture.  Roll half of dough; place in a deep 9 inch pie plate.

2 lb. ground meat
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
dash of Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
salt to taste

Brown meat and onion; add remaining ingredients.  Place in pie shell.  Roll remaining dough to make top crust.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Blend butter and flour; gradually stir in remaining ingredients.  Serve over meat pie.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Gourmet Quickie (beef)

This is a really old recipe from my extensive recipe file!  I've made it so many times over the years.  It is easy and quick to put together and everyone likes it.  Serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable.

Combine:  ground beef, ketchup, thyme, salt and pepper, one or two eggs and grated onion

Form into patties and dredge in flour.  Saute.  Remove from pan and make sauce with:
red wine, bouillon, ketchup, thyme, grated onion, mushrooms.

Pour over patties and serve.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Mediterranean Gratin of Tomatoes, Potatoes, Feta, and Olives

This delightful dish comes from my Passionate Vegetarian cookbook by Crescent Dragonwagon.  She comes across as quite a colorful person and I enjoy reading her cookbooks as much as I do trying recipes.  I have featured her recipes earlier in my blog and this probably won't be the last!

She offers one variation to this: Arrange a scattering of steamed, just barely limp fresh spinach over the tomatoes.

4 to 5 medium potatoes scrubbed
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 fresh tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
2/3 cup coarsely crumbled feta cheese
1/2 to 2/3 cup Breadcrumb Topping Provencal (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Spray a medium-large gratin dish with cooking spray.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, drop in the potatoes, turn down the heat and cook until potatoes are half done, about 15 minutes.  Drain and slice into 1/4 inch rounds while still hot.

While potatoes cook, heat about one third of the oil in a skillet.  Add the onions, lower heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the onions are so soft, they are droop and starting to brown.

Arrange half the tomatoes in the gratin dish.  Sprinkle with salt (remembering that both the feta and olives are both salty), plenty of pepper, and the thyme.  Scatter about one third of the onions over the tomatoes and top with half he cooked potato slices, still warm.  Scatter with half the olives and feta and another round of seasoning.  Repeat the layering with tomatoes, seasonings, onions, potatoes, olives, feta, and seasoning.  Top with the final third of the onions.

Sprinkle with breadcrumb topping, patting it gently over the gratin.  Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the crumbs.

Bake until the crumbs are golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

Breadcrumb topping:

About 1/3 loaf leftover bread to yield 3 cups crumbs, crisp or soft
3 to 5 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian parsley leaves
1 tablespoon basil leaves

Tear the bread into large pieces and place in the food processor.  Pulse to make fine crumbs.  You need 3 cups.

Combine the crumbs, garlic, oil, parsley, basil, and pulse.  Then run the machine to get fine crumbs.

You are going to love this one!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Looking forward to smoking meat again!

Winters are long and harsh in New York State.  By the middle of January this year, I had a bad case of cabin fever.

Four years ago, I got hooked on smoking meat.  I had wanted to try it for years but it seemed so complicated.  WRONG!  In 2014, I bought the middle size Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker, even assembled it myself!

Since then I have smoked chickens, baby back ribs, briskets (Oh, they are really wonderful out of the smoker!), roast beef, and pork butt.

While some people use their smoker all year, I don't.  I enjoy sitting by the smoker, enjoying the aroma and taking in the warm, sunny sky.  That is part of the experience!

It really is easy to be an expert smoker in no time.  My first try was a whole chicken, which is the easiest to prepare and smoke.  In my opinion, the Weber Smokey Mountain is the best smoker, although there are other good ones out there.

So go ahead.  Try it.  You'll be glad you did.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Marinated Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli

The Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY is known far and wide for their vegetarian cuisine.  While I have never been to the restaurant, I do have several of their cookbooks.  Everything I have ever made from these cookbooks is a true delight.  No, I am not a vegetarian!  But there are a lot of wonderful meatless meals I like.

This recipe comes from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen.  If this book is not in your cookbook collection, you don't know what you are missing!

3 medium sized sweet potatoes


1/2 cup walnut oil (or olive oil)
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dried mustard
1 tablespoon honey
freshly ground black pepper

1 large bunch broccoli, cut into small spears

Optional garnishes:  thin slices of green apples; chopped, toasted pecans

Peel sweet potatoes, cut them in halves or quarters, then into thin slices.  Steam them.  Meanwhile, prepare the marinade.

Combine the marinade ingredients in a medium large bowl.  As soon as the sweet potato slices are tender, add them, still hot, to the marinade, and mix gently.

Steam the broccoli until bright green and just tender.  Rinse under cold water and drain completely.  Lay the broccoli spears carefully on top of the salad.  Cover tightly and marinate for several hours.

Within 15 minutes of serving, mix in the broccoli from on top.  Serve garnished with thin slices of green apple and chopped, toasted pecans.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pear and Parsnip Soup

This is a favorite that I make a couple of times in the winter.

You can adjust the ingredients to make as little or as much as you want.  I like leftovers to freeze in individual servings!

4 or 5 medium parsnips - peeled and chopped
4 or 5 pears - peeled, seeded, and chopped
about 64 oz chicken broth
salt - pepper to taste

Place the parsnips and pears in a large saucepan with the chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer, covered.

Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, till parsnips and pears are tender.  Using a hand blender, blend all ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired.  This makes a very nice soup for a cold evening.