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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Onion Soup in Crock Pot
Slow Cooker Onion Soup

This onion soup is made with Sam Adams dark beer.
First cooked in a slow cooker then finished
to cheesy goodness under the oven broiler.
This is by far one of my favorite comfort foods.

1 large red onion
1 sweet white onion
1 large yellow onion
4 fresh cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons cheap balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Coleman's dried mustard
12 ounces Sam Adams dark beer
4 cups low sodium beef stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
Gruyere cheese for melting
Toasted bread for serving

Peel and slice onions really really thin.
Use a mandoline if you have one, I don't!
Mince garic and place in slow cooker with
sliced onions, brown sugar, dried mustard,
unsalted butter and vinegar to taste.
Cover crock pot and let cook for one hour,
Add into the slow cooker the flour, dark beer,
beef stock, salt and ground black pepper.
Turn the temperature of the slow cooker to low
and let cook sitting on the counter for 8 hours.
Dish out soup portions into oven safe bowls.
Cover each bowl with a piece of toasted bread,
a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and gruyere cheese.
Place the bowls under the broiler until cheese melts.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Christmas Time Rum Balls

One of the no-bake cookies I make every year
around Christmas is a small chocolate ball
of sugar, walnuts and is spiced up with rum.
These rum balls are really good when allowed to
sit in an air tight container for a week or two.

1 (16 ounce) box of vanilla wafer cookies
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup dark rum

In a big bowl mix all ingredients.
Using your hands form mixture into
walnut sized balls and store in an
air tight container for two weeks.

Flour Tortilla Gyro Wraps

Lately I've been on a flour tortilla kick.
Not making them from scratch although I could
but simply buying one of those big sized bags
of them at the grocery store to save time.
One of my favorite things to do with them
is to simply lightly butter them and saute
them into a crispy brown taste treat.
Sometimes a spinkle of cinnamon and sugar.
Today I made some chicken gyro wraps.

For each wrap
1 pre-made flour tortilla
1/2 teaspoon vanilla Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon prepared horseradish
4 slices from a fresh cucumber
1 slice3 of a reallygood dill pickle
2 slices deli chicken or turkey
1 slice deli chedder cheese

Place flour tortilla flat on a paper plate,
and cook on high setting in microwave oven
only for a few seconds to soften it.
Spread horseradish on it and then place
a slice of chicken or turkey on it,
then a slice of cheese, a spread of yogurt
and a few slices of fresh cucumber and pickles.
Fold or roll the filled tortilla into a wrap.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Microwaved Scrambled Egg

A scrambled egg was one of the first things
I cooked over thirty years ago in a microwave oven.
You must remember when microwaves first came out
there were very few recipe books on what to cook
or how to cook in them at the time.
Can you believe there was no microwave popcorn?
So I ventured into the cooking of a scrambled egg
using the microwave oven and created this recipe.

1 large brown egg
a dash of cold water
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Crack egg in a mixing bowl, add water and whisk.
Butter the inside of a two cup glass or plastic bowl.
The butter is to prevent the egg from sticking to the bowl.
Pour egg mixture into bowl and microwave on high setting
for about two minutes or until puffed up and set.
Season with more butter, salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade Cinnamon Sugar

I thought everyone knew how to make a
cinnamon sugar mixture to have on hand.
Until today when one of my nieces saw me
sprinkling some homemade cinnamon sugar
from my trusty old shaker jar on a toasted
and buttered English muffin and asked me how to.
It's super easy to make with only two ingredients,
ground cinnamon and white granulated sugar.
It's the measurements of those ingredients
that make a good tasting mixture or a mess.

1 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a mixing bowl combine sugar and cinnamon.
The mixture should be light brown in color.
Put cinnamon sugar mixture in a shaker jar,
seal tight and store in the spice rack or pantry.

Deep Fried Onion Things

These Onion Things are flavored onion rings.
Marinated overnight in a spicy mixture
and then deep fried to crispy goodness.
I slice up a mess of white onions and
let them sit overnight in a sweet and
spicy red wine vinegar sugar marinade.
Then dredge the onion rings in flour
and fry them until crispy and golden.
The kids can't get enough of these!

2 sweet onions, peeled and sliced
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
flour for dredging
oil for deep frying
salt for sprinkling to taste

In a mixing bowl combine red wine vinegar,
brown sugar and onions, cover bowl with
plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove onions from refrigerator and drain.
Dredge onions in flour to coat evenly.
Preheat oil for deep frying to 360 degrees F.
Fry onion in batches until crispy brown.
Sprinkle fried onions with salt to taste.

Spiced Brown Sugar Bacon

This is a good appetizer and easy to make.
You can use just about any spices you desire.
I like black pepper with dried chives.

12 smoked bacon slices
1 teaspoon dried chives
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Arrange bacon side by side on sheet.
Sprinkle bacon with dried chives,
and black pepper to taste.
Sprinkle bacon with brown sugar.
Place baking sheet in oven to bake until
bacon is cooked as crisp as you like.
About ten minutes should do it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Garlic Bread

You can make the best tasting garlic bread
that is much better tasting and cheaper
than buying a grocery store already made.
Serve this garlic bread along side a juicy
grilled steak, clam chowder or a tomato pasta.

1 whole fresh baked Italian bread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika

Cut the whole Italian bread in half lengthwize.
Spread both halves with butter, oil and seasonings.
Place seasoned bread halves back together
and wrap seasoned whole bread in aluminum foil.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven, slice and serve warm.

Microwave Oven Baked
Whole Pumpkin Appitizers

A microwave oven makes cooking a pumpkin
as easy as pie, ( tacky pun intended ).
You simply cut the top off, remove seeds
and cook it until the pumpkin is tender.
I've used cooked pumpkin in desserts and tried
to be creative in making a pumpkin bread pudding.
Cut the whole pumpkin up into serving size pieces,
add sugar and spices ( another tacky pun ).
The kitchen is filled with the aroma of
a freshly baked homemade pumpkin pie.

1 cooking pumpkin
cold water for cleaning
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
Whipped cream on the side.

Wash outside of whole pumpkin to remove any dirt.
Using a sharp knife or reciprecating saw,
cut the top off of the pumpkin and remove seeds.
Cut the pumpkin into serving size pieces.
Season pumpkin with sugars and spice, ( another pun? ) Microwave on high setting until pumpkin is tender.
Serve with whipped cream on the side.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Brown Butter and Sugar
Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are just about the best tasting
chocolate chip cookies you can make.
The secret ingredient is browned butter
which takes the flavor to a higher depth.
Add in chopped walnuts but toast them first.
You'll be asked for the recipe by everyone.

1/4 cup Vegetable Shortening
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
16 ounces chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place butter in a saute pan and allow to brown,
this should take about two minutes or so.
Add to browned butter the vegetable shortening,
it should melt rather quickly then stir in the
brown sugar, remove from heat and let mixture cool.
In a mixing bowl combine egg and vanilla extract.
In another bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt.
Add cooled butter sugar mixture to egg mixture,
then add flour mixture to the wet ingedients.
Stir to make a cookie dough, add in chocolate chips.
With wet hands, shape dough into 1-inch balls.
Place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.
Flatten cookie dough down to 1/4" with a glass jar.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove cookies to cooling rack after 1 minute.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ants on a Celery Log

This is a celery stick appetizer that is
stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese and
creamy peanut butter topped with dried grapes.

6 stalks of celery
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup softened cream cheese
1/2 cup dried dark raisins

In a mixing bowl combine peanut butter
with cream cheese and raisins.
Stuff mixture into celery sticks,
cut stuffed celery into serving pieces.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Spiced Apple Chips

Use tart Granny Smith apples to make a
spicy good tasting and good for you snack.
This does take some time but most of it
in letting the apple slices dry out in the oven.
Using soy sauce for the saltiness is a good thing.

2 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons maple syrup.
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl combine maple syrup,
soy sauce, sugars and spices nicely.
Wash and core but do not peel apples.
Slice the apples as thin as you can.
Place apple slices on a baking sheet
and drizzle with maple sugar mixture.
Place baking sheet in oven for about
two hours or until apple slices are dry.
Remove to store in an air tight container.

Chicken, Chick Peas and Spinach

This is a quick meal to prepare that is
balanced with flavor and presentation.
The chicken is sauteed with chick peas and
topped with fresh spinach for a good
tasting and eye appealing meal.

For each plate:
1 (4 ounce) chicken breast
juice of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup cooked chick pes
1 cup fresh baby spinach
salt to taste

Preheat a saute pan on medium heat.
Place chicken breast in a sealable plastic bag,
along with 1 tablespoon olive oil,
lemon juice and red pepper flakes.
Seal bag and flatten chicken breast with a mallot.
Add in olive oil and butter to the saute pan.
Remove chicken from plastic bag and place in saute pan.
Cook for 2 minutes then turn chicken breast over.
Add chick peas to saute pan and top with baby spinach.
Cook just until the spinach wilts and chicken is done.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cream Cheese Crab Dip

This is one of my secret recipes to make
the best tasting appetizer crab dip ever.
This crabmeat dip tastes great stuffed
into a stalk of peeled celery, yes I said peeled.
Make this crab dip a few hours ahead and refrigerate.
Stuff crab mixture into peeled celery sticks,
cut stuffed celery into serving sized pieces.

2 7 oz. cans crab meat
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 cup real sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
dash of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Soften cream cheese and combine in a mixing bowl
with mayonnaise, sour cream, Tabasco, Worcestershire,
cayenne pepper, salt, garlic and Old Bay seasoning.
Stir in picked over crab meat and serve.

Holiday Cream Cheese
Bite Sized Appetizers

With the holidays approaching in the months ahead
I thought an easy and tasty appetizer recipe
would be a good thing to post about today.
My Grandmother would buy from our local bakery
a loaf of red, and green colored white bread.
Cut the colored bread slices into bite sized pieces
and make white sugar sweetened cheese filled
little bite sized sandwiches as appetizers.

1 loaf of red colored white bread
1 loaf of green colored white bread
Cream cheese for spreading

Fill bread slices with cream cheese
like making a peanut butter sandwich.
Slice the stuffed bread into bite size pieces.
Place appetizers on a serving platter and cover
with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

Microwaved Puffed Corn Cereal

This cereal has a clean homemade fresh taste
that is far better than any boxed cereal.
Simply cook up a bag of microwave pop corn,
place it in a cereal bowl and pour on the
cold milk with sugar added if desired.
It doesn't get much simpler that that!

1 serving bag of microwave popcorn
1 cup or more cold milk
do not salt the popped corn!
do not add melted butter!
this is simply popped corn and milk,
sugar sweetened if you desire.

Ricotta Cheese Sauce

So simple to make and so very good tasting,
use this cheese sauce on any cooked pasta.
The ricotta cheese breaks down into a rich
and creamy cheese sauce that's simply amazing.

1 cup ricotta cheese
dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon dried chives

Combine ricotta cheese, salt and chives
in a glass mixing bowl, cover loosely with
plastic wrap and microwave on high setting
for 30 seconds, serve over warm cooked pasta.

Yellow Corn Oatmeal

Made with corn meal and oats,
this creamy and tasty good porridge
is good to make on a cold day.
I like to flavor this with cinnamon.

4 cups cold water
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 cup rolled oats
salt to taste
1 tablespoon butter

Place cold water in a saucepan,
stir in the corn meal and oats.
Season with salt to taste.
bring to a boil over high heat,
while continuously stirring.
Add in the butter and serve warm.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Really Good Reuban Sandwich

A Reuben sandwich is a sandwich of corned beef,
Swiss cheese, with dressing and sauerkraut.
Corned beef makes for a great sandwich.
Grilled, butterede rye bread with some
freshly made mayonnaise chili sauce.
This is a genuine winner of a sandwich.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. American chili sauce
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. finely grated yellow onion
1/2 tsp. prepared horseradish
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 tsp. unsalted butter, softened
8 slices rye bread
8 slices Swiss cheese
2 cups drained sauerkraut
1 lb. thinly sliced corned beef

Whisk together mayonnaise, chili sauce,
parsley, onion, horseradish, Worcestershire,
salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
Set Russian dressing aside.
Spread 1 tsp. butter on each slice of bread;
turn over and top with Russian dresssing.
To 4 of the slices add 2 slices of cheese,
1/2 cup sauerkraut, and 4 oz. corned beef each.
Top each with remaining bread slices.
Heat a 12″ skillet over medium heat,
and working in batches, add sandwiches.
Cook, pressing constantly and turning once,
until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Beef Stew with no Onions

Some people just don't like the taste of onions,
so I came up with a tasty beef stew recipe
without onions or even any garlic at all.
The trick was to find an ingedient that would
add a little tart sweetness that onions add in.
I found one secret ingredient that adds a lot
of flavor and a little heat to replace the onions.
(One whole Ancho chili pepper.)
This beef stew takes about two hours or so,
to make on a slow simmer and will feed
the entire family for a day or three.

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds beef sirloin tips
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon MSG (optional) 2 celery stalks, 1/2" slice
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
6 white potatoes, peeled and diced
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes 1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomato
1 cup cold water
1 whole ancho chili pepper
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
grated parmesan cheese for serving
crusty white bread for serving

I'm tired of typing right now so I guess
your on your own in making this beef stew.
I know you can do it making this recipe your own.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Home Made Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract is used in baking,
it's easy to make your own.
Simply place vanilla beans in a jar,
fill with vodka and let it sit.

4 vanilla beans
1 cup cheap vodka

Cut vanilla beans in half and
then slice down the center.
Insert beans into a glass jar with lid.
Fill jar up with vodka, cover and let sit
for a good eight weeks to make vanilla extract.
Every week, give glass jar a shake or two.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Baby Back Pork Ribs
Baked in a Plastic Bag

I saw these on sale at the grocery store,
printed on the bag it said to bake these
pork ribs right in the plastic bag!
I thought it to be a neat thing to do.
So I bought a couple racks and followed
the baking instructions printed on the bag.
Removed the paper stickers from the plastic,
cut a slit to vent cooking bag and baked
these ribs for a little over the 60 minutes
they said was the correct cooking time.
I removed the ribs from the oven and let
them sit un-opened for 10 minutes,
then opened the cooking bag to reveal
some mighty tender looking baby back ribs.
I had a little trouble in cutting each
rib apart from the rack only because
the meat was so tender and fell apart.
The taste was a little bit to salty for me,
but in a pinch I would make these again.
Easy to prepare and clean up was a breeze.

1 rack baby back ribs-
In a plastic cooking bag
A side dish of cole slaw
A side dish of baked beans
A dessert of your liking

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place ribs on a baking sheet and
cut a slit in the center of the cooking bag.
Place in oven and bake foe about 1 hour,
remove ribs, cut into serving pieces and
serve with sides for a really good meal.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

When you want a warm chicken pot pie
and you want it Now!
Try this easy to make pot pie meal.
By using canned soup and biscuits,
this really is a snap to prepare and
tastes almost as good as made from scratch.

1 (15 ounce) can chicken vegetable soup
1 (6 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 cup frozen peas and diced carrots
1 can refrigerator biscuits
1/4 teasoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a bowl combine the canned soups,
frozen peas and carrots, mix well.
Season with black pepper to taste.
Place mixture in a baking dish.
Open canned biscuits and place them
on top of the chicken soup mixture.
Place a piece of aluminum foil on top of biscuits, then place dish in oven
and bake for about 25 minutes.
Remove aluminum foil from top of biscuits
and bake for another 10 minutes or until
biscuits are browned and pot pie is heated through.
Serve pot pie warm with a glass of white wine
or a glass of white grape juice if desired.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Eggs Over Waffles

This is a good tasting meal to make for
breakfast, lunch or a late night snack.
It takes about ten minutes to prepare.
I like the way the egg yolks are runny
and make for the perfect waffle sauce.

For each serving:
1 frozen waffle
2 large eggs
vegetable spray
1/4 teaspoon dried chives
1 teaspoon unsalted butter

Spray an 8" saute pan with cooking oil.
Place pan on medium heat and drop eggs
into pan without breaking the yolks.
I crack the egg into a cup and then very
carefully pour the whole egg in the pan.
Sprinkle some dried chives over eggs.
Place the waffle in a toaster oven to brown,
butter waffle and place it on a serving plate.
When eggs are cooked with yolk still runny,
slide eggs over waffle, add more butter to taste.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Microwaved for Breakfast Oatmeal

This quick to make oatmeal dish takes just
two minutes to prepare using the microwave,
and has endless add in stuff to make this your own.
Maple syrup, butter, milk, cinnamon sugar, raisins,
Fresh or dried fruit, or even sardines if you like.

Ingredients per serving:
4 tablespoons oatmeal
1 cup cold water
1 teaspoon sugar

Place oatmeal water and sugar in a serving bowl.
Microwave on high setting for two minutes or so.
Stir in your favorite add ins and serve warm.

Old Fashioned Fried Potatoes
Home-Fried Potatoes

Also known as Diner Fries, these are crispy brown
on the outside while creamy soft on the inside.
The secret for these home fries having that
old fashioned amazing flavor is in using
real bacon grease as the cooking oil for these.

4 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
into bite sized pieces
2-3 tablespoons bacon grease
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Heat bacon grease in a large skillet over medium heat.
Place the diced or cubed potatoes in skillet and saute
until browned on all sides, turning once in awhile.
Remove to drain excess grease on paper towels,
season with salt and ground black pepper to taste and serve,
with prepared tomato ketchup on them or on the side.

Roasted Fresh Grapes

Some of the best tasting grapes have seeds in them,
but this is much easier to eat using seedless grapes.
Roasted grapes are sweet and the skins a little bitter,
Add sugar and spices to create a fine dessert.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and pound cake.

2 pounds seedless fresh grapes
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove grapes from stems and rinse
under cold water removing any bad ones.
Place whole grapes in a small roasting pan.
Sprinkle sugar, cinnamon and salt over them
and pour butter and maple syrup all around.
Place in oven and bake uncovered for 45 minutes.
Remove and let cool a little before serving,
with a slice of pound cake and ice cream.

Roasted Fresh Pears

I had a few pears laying around and wanted
to make some type of a fresh fruit dessert.
i simply through them on a baking sheet,
drizzled maple syrup and cinnamon sugar
over them and baked them until tender.
This was amazing tasting and great with
a scoop of vanilla ice cream for lunch.

6 ripe pears, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 rounded teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt or to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Butter an 8" baking pan.
Arrange the quartered pears skin-side up
on the buttered baking pan. In a separate bowl,
whisk together the maple syrup, melted butter,
lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, and kosher salt.
Pour over the pears and place in oven
to roast for about 20 minutes.
Remove pan from oven, use a spoon or
tongs to flip the pears, then return
to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Serve while still hot with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Naan or Pita Bread

A simple recipe to make,
a simple dry pan fried bread.

1-1/2 cups all purpose white flour
1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cup cold water
salt to taste

Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl.
Add in the 1/4 cup of ghee into a hole made in the dough.
Mix well and gradually add enough water to bind the dough.
knead the dough on a greased counter top for 5-8 minutes.
Place it back in the bowl and let it rest for 2 hours.
Take a small ball from the dough and roll it out
thoroughly on a greased or floured counter top.
Gently pull at the corners of the dough until
it's thin enough that you can see through it.
Slowly stretch the dough a bit on all the ends.
In a greased skillet, cook 1-2 minutes
on each side until browned and ready to go.

A Chicken in Every Pot

A one pot meal that is easy to make,
and the chicken in nice and juicy.
Vegetables are tender and tasty.
In this recipe you use a store made
rotissorie chicken add fresh vegetables
for making an almost home made meal.
Notice no added salt in this? there's
enough salt in the rotissorie chicken,
to season the vegetables really good.
I serve this tasty cooked chicken meal
with cooked egg noodles or cooked rice.

1 whole rotissorie chicken
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut up
2 celery stalks, cut up
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
6 cups cold water 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Pull off chicken wings and legs,
cut chicken breast in half and
place the chicken parts in a soup pot.
Add in carrots, onion, celery, pepper
and cover with cold water.
Bring to a boil, then lower heat
to simmer for about 1 hour, serve.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ritz Cracker Snacks

My Grandmother used to make these.
I guess you could use any cracker,
she used Ritz crackers and until this day
I remember how good the combination
of the salty and buttery Ritz crackers
taste great with creamy peanut butter.

Ritz crackers
Creamy peanut butter

Place a teaspoon of peanut butter
in between two Ritz crackers.
These will stay crispy good in an
air tight container for a week or so.

Crock Pot Cranberry Pork Chops

I find this to be a good one pot meal to make
as the cold weather is upon us in New England.
Easy to prepare using a slow cooker,
the pork chops are tender and tasty good.
Try this slow cooker pork recipe soon.

6 Boneless Pork Loin Chops
3/4 cup Russian salad dressing
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
6 Bacon Slices, cooked and chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
1 can (16 oz) whole cranberry sauce
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Place pork chops in a (4-5qt) slow-cooker.
In a bowl mix together dressing, soup mix,
cinnamon, bacon, orange juice and cranberries.
Pour mixture over pork chops in slow cooker.
Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours.
I like to serve this with cooked white rice.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Garlic Mashed White Potatoes

With twenty cloves roasted garlic
these mashed spuds are a taste treat.
The garlic gets all buttery sweet
from roasting them in olive oil.
Using fresh herbs just before serving,
is one secret in this fine tasting side dish.

20 cloves,(2 heads)fresh garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups cold water
6 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Make two cups using aluminum foil,
by placing foil inside a muffin tin,
making sure you have a big enough piece of foil
to be able to fold and seal over the top.
Pour olive oil into the foil cups.
Cut the bottom off of the heads of garlic,
and place the garlic cut side down in foil cups.
Fold foil, twist and seal making a small pouch.
Place muffin tin in oven and bake for 20 minutes
In the mean time cook potatoes until fork tender,
drain and set aside to dry a bit until ready to mash.
Remove garlic from oven, set aside to cool.
Add roasted garlic to potatoes along with milk
salt, ground black pepper and chopped parsley.
Mash potatoes into a creamy or chunky side dish.

Kielbasa and Kraut

This one pot meal is great for serving
when the weather is getting colder.
It's super easy to prepare in one hour.
This is one of my all time favorites,
a really good winter time comforting meal.

6 cups cold water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large polish kielbasa, cut into serving pieces
6 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 pound prepared saurkraut
1 teaspoon caroway seeds
3 tablespoons butter

In a large soup pot with lid,
add in the water, kielbasa,
potatoes and saurkraut.
Sprinkle in the sugar and caroway seeds.
Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat to simmer,
for 1 hour or until the potatoes are fork tender
Melt in the butter on top just before serving.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Easy as Pie Apple Pie

Making and baking a home made apple pie takes
a bit of work and flour gets everywhere.
Here's how I go about making an apple pie,
with a lot less work and much less time.
You still have to peel and season the apples,
but by using a store bought pie crust
there's a lot less mess and time invovled.
The center of the pie is covered with no
crust making this more of a tart than a pie.

6 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt 1 store bought pie crust
2 tablespoons butter for dotting

Remove pie crust to room temperature.
Peel, core and cut apples into slices.
Combine apple slices in a mixing bowl
with flour, cinnamon, sugar and salt.
Place pie crust in a 9" pie plate,
the excess dough over the sides.
Arrange the seasoned apple slices
in the prepared pie plate, dot with butter.
Fold the excess pie crust dough into the
center if the apples making an apple tart.
Bake for 45 minutes or until done.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Crispy Oven Baked Chicken

This tasty chicken is just as crispy as fried but
it's baked and gets it's crunch from corn flakes.

1 chicken cut up, skinless -
2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 wings and 2 thighs
2 cups crushed corn flakes
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Non-stick cooking spray

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
Lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place crushed corn flakes in a mixing bowl,
add in salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika,
garlic powder and oregano, mix well.
In another bowl combine Dijon and mayonnaise.
Coat one piece of chicken at a time with
mayonnaise mixture to lightly coat and then
dredge chicken in corn flake crumbs,
making sure the chicken is evenly coated.
Repeat until all chicken is coated.
Coat each piece of chicken with cooking spray.
Place baking sheet with chicken in oven
and bake for about 1 hour, remove and
allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Celery Stick Appetizers

These celery stick appetizers are easy to make.
My Grandmother used to make these at Christmas.
Years ago she used plain cream cheese in these
but can you imagine using the really good tasting
flavored cream cheeses in the grocery stores of today.

Celery stalks, peeled Cream cheese, softened
Seasonings of:
dried chives, parsley,
garlic, pimentos, and pineapples.

Cut celery stalks 2" sticks.
In a bowl mix together the softened
cream cheese and seasonings of your choice.
Fill the insides with cream cheese.
Serve celery appetizers at room temperature.

Make Canned Soup Your Own

Store bought canned soup has come a long way
from the salty calorie laden cans of years ago.
Today you can find good for you canned soups.
In this recipe I take a can of soup and make it
into an almost homemade soup that is really
good tasting and good for you at the same time.
Adding fresh ingredients also lowers
the per serving sodium content of the soup.

1 (15 ounce) canned soup of choice
(I used Progresso's minestrone)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 carrot stick, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 cups cold water 1 cup uncooked elbow pasta

Open a can of soup, set aside.
In a soup pot place olive oil,
garlic, celery, onion and saute
for about 5 minutes until tender.
Add to the pot the cold water and pasta.
Raise to high heat and bring to a boil,
then lower heat to a simmer and cook
until pasta is almost to serving texture.
(the water should almost be evaperated now)
Add into the pot the can of soup and turn off heat.
Cover soup pot and let sit on burner for 30 minutes.
Serve with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese,
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil,
and a good slice of crusty Italian bread.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chicken and Rice Soup

I thought it was chicken parts that I had
sitting in a plastic bag in the freezer but
as it turned out it was a few pieces of leftover
cooked turkey I had stored away to make soup with.
I always think I'll remember what's in the freezer bag,
and almost always never do, so remember folks,
to write on the freezer bag what your putting inside.
So I made turkey and rice soup, you get the idea.
This is real home-made tasting soup.

6 cups cold water
2 or 3 pieces chicken or turkey
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
a dash or two ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
2 dried bay leaves
1 cup uncooked rice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Prepare vegetables and put in a soup pot along
with chicken, carrots, celery, onion,
bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer
and cook for about 45 minutes.
Remove chicken from pot, set aside to cool.
Stir in rice and simmer for another 45 minutes.
(Do not allow rice to boil for it will explode)
Cut chicken into small pieces suitible for soup
and stir into the rice and vegetables in the pot.
Remove the bay leaves and add in the tablespoon
of butter just before serving.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Gourmet Steak Sauce

The best grilled steak deserves a good sauce
and this steak sauce takes it to a new level.
Not too sweet or salty and really good tasting.
This really dresses up a good rib-eye steak.

1/4 cup tomato ketchup
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and use
as a dipping sauce for grilled steak.

Avocado Mousse

This is delicous tasting and with only
five ingredients is also a snap to make.
It's a creamy chocolate avocado mousse.
A gourmet dessert to impress family and friends.

2 large ripe,firm Hass avocados
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup clover honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
shaved dark chocolate for garnish

Scoop out the avocado and put in a food processor,
Along with the cocoa, honey, and vanilla extract.
Pulse to a puree until very smooth,
scraping down the sides occasionally.
Spoon avocado mousse into dessert glasses,
cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate,
at least five hours or overnight.
Garnish with chocolate shavings when serving.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Smashed Red Potatoes

These spuds are first cooked in the microwave oven
and then simply pan fried in a bit of olive oil,
the result is that the potatoes are creamy inside
and the skin is crispy browned on the outside.
Served with sour cream, butter, and parsley.

For each smashed red potato:
Preheat a skillet to medium high heat.
Wash potato under cold water and pat potato dry,
using a paper towel works good for this.
Place potato in microwave and cook for
about 2 minutes or so until almost tender.
Use a potato masher to smash the potato flat.
Add a little olive oil to skillet
and then put in the smashed potato.
Cook until browned on both sides.

White Toast Cereal

One of my all time favorite comfort foods
is simply white bread that has been toasted,
placed in a bowl with some cold milk.
Simple and simply delicious tasting.

2 slices white bread, toasted
1 cup milk, about
1 teaspoon sugar or to taste

After toasting bread cut into 1/2" dice.>br> Place diced bread into a srving bowl.
Sprinkle in some sugar and pour in milk.
I can't express how good tasting this is.

Pear Pancakes

Using one fresh pear and a cup of mix,
makes over a dozen really good tasting pancakes.
These are on the small side for ease of flipping.
The fresh pear stays a little crunchy while the
great pear flavor really comes through.

1 fresh ripe pear
1 large egg
1 cup cold water
1 cup pancake mix

Preheat griddle to medium high heat.
In a mixing bowl place water and egg, mix well.
Peel pear and place peels in a small
food processor along with the two
teaspoons sugar, pulse until chopped fine.
Add chopped peels to the mixing bowl.
Slice around the core of the pear,
then chop pear to small dice.
Add pear and pancake mix to mixing bowl.
Mix well, you might need a little more
pancake mix to make the correct batter.
Some people add in some vegetable oil,
I didn't add any oil this time and the
pancakes didn't stick to the griddle.
Place batter one inch apart onto griddle
about two tablespoons for each pancake.
Cook each pancake for about a minute
or until you see air bubbles in the batter,
flip and brown other side, remove and serve.
I like maple syrup and or butter on these.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pasta and Bean Soup

Pasta e fagioli, meaning pasta and beans,
is very often pronounced pasta fazool.
Some people add meat while others do not.
The first time I made this was from a recipe
on a page of a Progresso soup company book.
That recipe contained cooked smoked ham
and to this day that is what I think that
pasta fagioli should taste like.
In this recipe however I also add in
some ground beef for a more hearty soup.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup cooked smoked ham, small dice
1 cup cooked ground sirloin beef
1 celery stalk< peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups diced canned tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups cooked soup pasta
Grated parmesan cheese for serving
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Place on medium heat in a large soup pot,
olive oil, ham, beef, celery, carrots,
onions, garlic, chicken stock, tomatoes,
bay leaves, oregano and ground black pepper.
Cook for about 30 minutes or until vegetables
are crisp tender and beef is cooked through.
Add in the pasta and more chicken stock if needed.
Cook until pasta is al-dante (to the tooth).
Remove bay leaves and serve with grated cheese
a a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pretzel Munchkin Bites

These bite size balls of baked pretzel dough,
are really easy to make and aren't fried.
You bake them into golden brown snacking goodness.
These are salty bite size pretzel poppers.
I like to serve these with a mustard sauce.

1 1/2 cups warm water, (100 degrees F.)
1 tablesppon white granulated sugar
2 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablesoons unsalted butter, melted
10 cups cold water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt for topping to taste

Combine the water, sugar and salt in the bowl
of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top.
Allow to sit for 5 minutes until it foams a bit.
Add the flour and unsalted butter and using the
dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until combined.
Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is
smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl,
I did this for approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove the pretzel dough from the mixer bowl,
and coat the bowl with vegetable oil.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover with
plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for
an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Line sheet pans with parchment paper.
Bring 10 cups of cold water and the baking soda
to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan.
In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly
floured work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces.
Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope.
Cut each pretzel dough rope into 1-inch pieces.
Place the pretzel pieces into the boiling water
and cook in batches for about a half a minute.
Remove the pretzel pieces from the water
and place them on the baking pan,
making sure they aren’t touching.
Brush the top of each pretzel piece with
the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and
sprinkle with the pretzel salt.
Bake until they get dark golden brown in color,
approximately 6 to 10 minutes or so.
Cool pretzel bites on a wire rack.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Apple Crisp Bread Pudding

I could write a book about bread puddings.
There must be a few dozen recipes here,
and each time I make bread pudding it
almost always comes out great tasting.
In this one I used Granny Smith apples
that stay crispy good inside the pudding.
I added almost no sugar in this recipe,
only a sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar.

1 tablepoon butter, softened
1/2 cup dried brown raisins
3 Granny Smith apples
8 slices hearty white bread
3 large eggs
4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
cinnamon-sugar to taste

Butter bottom and half way up sides
of a deep casserole dish with a cover.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place raisins on bottom of dish,
peel and cut around the core of apples,
slicing them into bite size pieces,
add apple pieces into casserole dish.
Cube slices of bread and add on top of apples.
In a seperate bowl crack in eggs, add milk
and stir in vanilla until blended well.
Pour egg mixture over bread in casserole.
Use a poyato masher to get the milk to soak
up into the bread really well and good.
Sprinkle top with cinnamon-sugar to taste.
Cover and bake for about 90 minutes or so.
Remove bread pudding to cool for 30 minutes
before serving with your favorite ice cream.