Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rodgers' Belgian Waffle Cookies

I wrote down this recipe in the yellow book in December of 1979. I usually make only 1/2 recipe as it is rather time-consuming to cook them 4 at a time on a waffle iron! Remember to UNDERCOOK them: just barely golden. They will store in an airtight container for weeks.

1 lb. butter
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
6 eggs
2 tsp real vanilla
1 full tsp salt

Cream all of this together and then gradually add 6 cups of sifted flour.
Use about 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of dough for each cookie.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Chicken and Egg Fried Rice

Rachel's mom made this while we were there for Thanksgiving. It tasted good and looked really easy to make, so we got the recipe from her. Enjoy!

Nicean's Favorite Fried Rice
Submitted by Holly Hanson

1 to 2 chicken breasts or 10 chicken tenders, cut into small pieces
8 baby carrots, finely sliced
1/2 white onion, chopped
3/4 cup frozen peas
3 cups cooked brown rice (use your favorite method to prepare this)
3 eggs, scrambled & chopped
1 to 2 garlic cloves, crushed or 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 stick butter, melted

Marinate chicken in soy sauce or if you don't have much time, mix chicken with soy sauce just before cooking. In a large fry pan, cook chicken in small amount of olive oil. Add carots and onion and saute until clear. Add frozen peas and cook until soft.
Add cooked brown rice to the fry pan mixture. Scramble 3 eggs, chop, and add to mixture.
Stir garlic into melted butter and add to the mixture.
Mix together well. Add soy sauce to taste.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Brownie Truffles

One box of brownie mix- the kind with the extra fudge/syrup packet
2 Tbsp of light corn syrup
1/4 c of water

Mix brownie mix, fudge/syrup packet, corn syrup, and water together to form a dough. Roll in to bite size balls and then in to any coating that you please such as nuts, sprinkles, sugar, etc. Store in the refrigerator (or in the freezer if it is longer than a week).

Sam and I had these at a wedding reception we went to last weekend. We really liked them and asked for the recipe. On our way home we brainstormed more ways to make these.

cocoa powder
cinnamon sugar
crushed candy canes
chopped candy
chopped chocolate chips
toffee bits
fruit drizzle
powdered sugar

peanut butter
mint extract
almond extract and chopped cherries
mint extract

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Apple Cinnamon Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops
2 tbls vegetable oil
1 jar (12 ounces) homestyle pork gravy
1/2 cup raisins
1 tbl honey
1 1/2 tbls cinnamon
dash allspice
1 tart cooking apple, thinly sliced
hot cooked rice

In a large skillet, cook pork chops in oil until browned on both sides; season with salt and pepper. Stir in gravy, raisins, honey, cinnamon and allspice. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until pork chops are tender. Add apple; cook 5 minutes or until apple slices are tender. Serve with hot rice.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Single Cookies

Today Rachel thought she'd like to do some baking but didn't want to end up with a whole batch of cookies sitting around the house tempting us. So I got to thinking about how one would make a single cookie in a toaster oven, and decided to do some internet research. Here are a few preliminary results:

A basic chocolate chip cookie:

A cookie that uses a shot glass as its only measure:

A step-by-step guide:

A video:

A good one made from pancake mix with no eggs:

An instant oatmeal cookie:

The obvious solution is to make whatever cookie recipe you're craving and freeze the dough to use one cookie at a time. But sometimes the point of "doing some baking" is the preparation! And so these single-serving cookie recipes fit the bill.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Roasted Vegetable Soup

From Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family.

6 to 8 C chicken stock
1 recipe Roasted Winter Vegetables
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving:
Good olive oil

In a large saucepan, heat 6 C of chicken stock. In two batches,coarsely puree the roasted vegetables and the chicken stock in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pour the soup back into the pot and season to taste. Thin with more chicken stock and reheat. The soup should be thick but not like a vegetable puree, so add more chicken stock and/or water until it's the consistency you like.

Serve with brioche croutons and a drizzle of good olive oil.

Roasted Winter Vegetables

From Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family.

1 lb carrots, peeled
1 lb parsnips, peeled
1 large sweet potato, peeled
1 small butternut squash (about 2 lbs), peeled and seeded
3 Tbsp good olive oil
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 425

Cut carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, and butternut squash in 1- to 1 1/4- inch cubes. All the vegetables will shrink while baking, so don't cut them too small.

Place all the cut vegetables in a single later on two sheet pans. Drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a metal spatula.

Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste, and serve hot.

Serves 8

Use left overs to make Roasted Vegetable soup

*Heather's note: This is one of the tastiest ways I've ever eaten these vegetables. They also look pretty and smell great. I probably used more olive oil and completely forgot the parsley and it was still yummy.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

From the New York Times

Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cottage cheese (not lowfat)
2 cups milk (not skim)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch cayenne
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ pound elbow pasta, uncooked.

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees and position an oven rack in upper third of oven. Use 1 tablespoon butter to butter a 9-inch round or square baking pan.

2. In a blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper together. Reserve ¼ cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta. Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.

3. Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes more, until browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dinner in a Pumpkin

1 large pumpkin
1/2 lb fusilli (spiral) pasta -- I used the dyed kind for a more festive, fall look
1 yellow onion
1 zucchini
1/2 lb ground beef
1 can Italian seasoned diced tomatoes
black pepper
crushed red pepper
garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cut the top out of the pumpkin and remove the guts. You can carve something into the skin of the pumpkin or draw a face on it with permanent marker.

2. Put top back on pumpkin, cover with foil. Put pumpkin on cookie sheet and bake for 45 min to 1 hr.

3. Cook the pasta for 1-2 minutes less than the package directions call for. It should be underdone.

4. Saute ground beef, onion, and zucchini in a frying pan. Season to taste with spices. Vegetables should also be undercooked.

5. Mix pasta, drained tomatoes, and beef mix in a large bowl.

6. Grate LOTS of cheese into it. Dump the whole mix in the pumpkin.

7. Bake for another 30-60 min, until dinner inside is hot, and pumpkin is tender.


Make sure you buy a pumpkin meant for eating. When I made this, the pumpkin I bought was all stringy inside and tasted disgusting.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chicken Paprikas and Quick Potato Dumplings

[This recipe is taken from June Meyer's website: http://homepage.interaccess.com/~june4/hunchicpaprikas.html and the picture is from some flikr account.]

June Meyer's Authentic Hungarian Chicken Paprikas

Every country household had a yard full of chickens. Chicken dishes that could be slow cooked on the stove for supper were plentiful and cheap to make. Paprikas was a weekly dish for supper. A pot of potato dumplings, and perhaps a platter of pickled hungarian peppers and a loaf of crusty home baked bread was all that was need for ones well being. Every meal was eaten with gusto.

Regards, June Meyer.

* 2 onions chopped
* 4 Tbsp. shortening, corn oil or lard
* 3 Tbsp. Hungarian paprika
* 1/8 Tsp. black pepper or whole pepper corns
* 2 Tsp. salt
* 4 to 5 lbs. chicken disjointed, use legs, thighs, breast and back for best flavor
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1/2 pt. sour cream

Brown onions in shortening. Add seasonings and chicken, brown 10 minutes. Add water, cover and let simmer slowly until it is tender. It will smell wonderful!
Remove chicken, add sour cream to drippings in pan and mix well. To thicken gravy, mix into a paste 1 Tbl. soft butter with 1 Tbl.of flour and stir into drippings.
Add dumplings and arrange chicken on top. Heat through,but do not boil, and serve.

Modern Potato Dumplings
Yes, I know this is not traditional. But it is easy, fast and delicious.

* 1 cup of instant potato flakes
* 1 egg
* 1cup of flour
* 1cup of water

Mix in a small bowl.
Drop by spoonfuls into salted boiling water. cook until dumplings look done when cut in half, about 5 or 6 minutes. Drain and place into sour-cream gravy and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

June's Note: If you do not like dumplings, you can serve this with some cooked wide egg noodles.

[Steve's note: We cut the recipe in half and ended up with about four full servings. It took an hour to make, but could probably be streamlined from how we did it. Also, we served it with a frozen cauliflower/carrot/broccoli mix that added a lot of color. It was a easy recipe and very tasty, sort of like a kissing cousin to beef stroganoff.]

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nana's Turkey and Stuffing

Lay out 1 1/4 loaves of white bread on cookie sheets and let the slices dry overnight. Turn them over if you think about it.

Also the night before (to make things go faster in the morning) chop up two big onions and at least 6 stalks of celery. Saute both in about ½ cup of butter in a big pan. Add 2 cups of water and 1 heaping TBSP of chicken soup base (you can substitute chicken broth) and simmer 2-3 min. Let cool and then add 3 eggs and mix well. Pour this into a big pitcher and put in the fridge until morning.

Stack the bread 4 slices deep and slice into long ½ inch thick slices. Dump those in a bowl to be hand torn into pieces (to keep the kids busy and involved: you can also just cut them into cubes with a knife). Divide the bread between two big bowls (to give you room to stir and lift the bread). Sprinkle the bread very generously with sage, generously with thyme and dried parsley, less generously with black pepper. If the bread is so dry the spices won’t stick, you can spritz it with a bit of water.

Slowly pour about ¼ of the celery/onion/egg/broth mixture over the seasoned bread in each bowl and mix well; if the bread is still really dry, repeat. If the bread is fairly moist, pour off some of the liquid and add the rest of the onions and celery to the bread. You want the bread to be moist enough to hold together, but not soggy.

Meanwhile, wash out the thawed turkey (be sure to remove the neck and giblets!) and tip it so the inside drips dry. Start at the head end (the smaller cavity) and fill with stuffing. Slide thin slices of sacrificial apple or potato between the skin and the stuffing (so the stuffing won’t burn). Use thread (about 4 strands in a big needle) and sew the skin closed or use big poultry pins to secure the skin.

Turn the bird over and fill the bigger cavity. Place slices of apple/potato over the exposed stuffing.

Hook the legs back together (usually there is a plastic leg holder on the turkey already. If not, use thread to lash the legs together). Set the bird on a rack in the roasting pan. I then like to pull the wings up and stitch thru the tips, leaving about 4 inches of thread between the wings resting on the breast of the turkey. This keeps the wings from touching the sides of the pan and burning.

Baste the turkey if you want to and bake it. I preheat the oven to 375 then turn it down to 325 and cook it longer than recommended since it is at a lower temp. You may want to cover the breast, wings and legs with foil the last hour to keep them from overcooking.

These amounts are for a 12-14 lb turkey. Leftover stuffing gets put in a foil lined pan and is wrapped in the foil like a tin foil dinner. Bake it for only one hour, not the whole time the turkey is baked.

I find I like fresh turkey, rather than frozen. If you brine a thawed out frozen turkey, that is good and moist as well.

Peanut Butter Crispies (our own recipe)

by Daniel

1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tbsp molasses
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups crushed graham crackers

Melt the sugar into the corn syrup, molasses and salt over low heat. Mix in the peanut butter. Pour over crushed graham crackers. Stir until it all clumps up. If it's still sticky, add more graham crackers. If it's crumbly, take graham crackers out.

Tastes delicious with chocolate melted on top or mixed into a good brand of vanilla ice cream. We all ate it until we felt sick.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Curried Shrimp

1-2 lbs Shrimp, the more the better. Use big ones as the little salad shrimp get lost in the sauce. Precooked and frozen are fine. Thaw them out and dry them off before cooking.

½ cup White Flour (skip the flour or use corn starch for GFCF)

2 C uncooked Rice : 4 cups of water : 1 tsp salt

1 large Onion, diced

1 large Green pepper, coarsely chopped up

2-3 cans Tomato Soup

Curry Powder (Red Hot Chili Powder is optional: add this to the tomato soup if you want the curry to be spicy)

1-2 T Sugar

4-6 T Butter

Start the rice cooking first.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan. I use one with a non-stick coating. Add onions and cook just until golden. Meanwhile, dredge the shrimp in flour and then LIGHTLY fry in the butter with the onions. Sprinkle the shrimp liberally with curry powder and lightly with sugar. Fry a bit more, turn over and sprinkle second side with the curry powder and sugar. Add the green peppers just before you add the cans of tomato soup so they are not overcooked. Add water as needed to keep the sauce saucy. Taste the sauce and add more curry and hot sauce if wanted. Cook only until the sauce is all hot and bubbling. Serve over the rice.
You can make this more of a curry by serving it with small dishes containing finely chopped fresh green pepper, raisins, coconut, chunk pineapple, etc.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mom's Orange (Lemon) Thyme Chicken and Rice

Time: 45 min.
Serves: 2-6 (depending on how much rice you make and how big the people are who eat it)

Chicken: 1 to 1.5 lb boneless or 2-3 lb w/ bones
Flour for dredging chicken: 3-4 Tbs for boneless or more for boned
1 medium onion, diced
5 long sprigs of lemon thyme. Pull off all the leaves to get about 1 Tbs of fresh thyme (use 1 to 2 tsp if it's dried). Set aside 1/2 tsp of it (1/4 tsp if dried) for the rice.
1 c. rice for every two hungry adults you want to serve
1 tsp of orange peel zest (optional)
1 cup of milk (optional)

Start the rice cooking. Use a 2 to 1 ratio of water to rice BUT substitute 2-3 Tbs of orange juice concentrate for 2-3 Tbs of the water. Mix in the reserved 1/2 tsp of thyme leaves.

Sautee the diced onion in about 1 Tbs. of butter or oil.

Dredge chicken in flour mixture (consisting of the flour, the majority of the thyme and the optional orange zest). If you want it to stick well, dip the chicken in milk first.

Add the dredged chicken to the sauteed onions and brown the chicken on all sides (but don't cook it all the way through). Add about 4-6 oz. of concentrated orange juice (from a can of frozen juice) and a cup or two of water (depending on how much gravy you want at the end). Simmer chicken until it's tender and cooked through (about 20 min. for boneless, 5 minutes longer for boned). Put a lid on it if you want more gravy when you're done.

You can make this recipe substituting concentrated lemonade and lemon rind if you prefer, and it will come out much more sour and bitter. But you may like it!

Monday, September 8, 2008

No Knead Bread

Karen and I attended a class on making bread and rolls at our RS SuperSaturday.
We got to sample this bread: nice and chewy with a tough crust, spongy texture and a slightly sour taste. It would be wonderful toasted and dipped in flavored oil. Use it as the basis of your own artisan bread.

Please note that you have to start the yeast sponge about 18 to 24 hours before you want to eat the bread.

No Knead Bread

Makes one 1 1/2-pound loaf

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for work surface

1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Olive oil, as needed

Cornmeal or wheat bran, as needed (optional)

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Coat a second large bowl with olive oil. Transfer dough to oiled bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, but preferably up to 18, in a room about 70° in temperature. When surface is dotted with bubbles, dough is ready.

2. Lightly flour work surface. Place dough on work surface and sprinkle with more flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Sprinkle just enough flour over work surface and your fingers to keep dough from sticking; quickly and gently shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton, non-terry cloth towel with flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran; place dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran. Cover with a second cotton, non-terry cloth towel and let rise until it has more than doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger, about 2 hours.

4. After about 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 500°. Place a 6 to 8-quart heavy covered pot, such as cast iron or Pyrex (a dutch oven is great), in oven as it heats. When dough has fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven. Remove top towel from dough and slide your hand under the bottom towel; turn dough over into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough looks unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover, and bake 20 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking until browned, about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. (My oven bakes this at 475 degrees.)

Note: Recipe courtesy of Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery, and New York Times

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Breakfast Omelet

6 eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
some other spice
2 tbsp Maple Syrup
1/2 cup milk
sliced Swiss cheese
sliced Cheddar cheese

Mix ingredients (except cheese) and beat with a wire whip until fluffy. Pour into pan and heat on medium low until nearly cooked. Don't stir in the pan. Top with the cheese, wait for it to melt, and it's done.
Serve with vegetables on the side.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Zucchini "Pasta"

If you miss pasta, because you don’t eat wheat or you’re on a low-carbohydrate diet, this dish makes a nice stand-in for fettuccine. Be careful not to overcook — it will be al dente with a few minutes of cooking, after which it will quickly fall apart. When made just right, it’s silky and wonderful. You can serve as is, or toss it with a fresh tomato sauce. Use a vegetable peeler or mandolin to make the thin zucchini strips.

2 pounds zucchini (or a combination of yellow and green zucchini)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3/4 cup fresh tomato sauce (optional)

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for serving (more to taste)

1. Using a vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini into lengthwise ribbons. Peel off several from one side, then turn the zucchini and peel off more. Continue to turn and peel away ribbons until you get to the seeds at the core of the zucchini. Discard the core. You can also do this on a mandolin, adjusted to a very thin slice.

2. Cook the zucchini strips in two batches. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the zucchini ribbons and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, tossing and stirring the zucchini, for two to three minutes, until softened and beginning to turn translucent. Adjust salt and add freshly ground pepper to taste, and transfer to a serving dish. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and zucchini. Serve, topping with tomato sauce and freshly grated Parmesan if desired.

Yield: Serves four

Advance preparation: This dish is best served right away. But you can enjoy leftovers, which I like to eat cold, doused with lemon juice and a drop of olive oil.

from NYTimes

Easy Oreo Truffles

These are so yummy. A lady at work made them last Christmas and I devoured most of them. She had a great idea and made them with mint Oreos too. I can't wait till Christmas!

Prep Time:

30 min
Total Time:
1 hr 30 min

3-1/2 doz. or 42 servings, one truffle each
1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

MIX 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls.

DIP balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover melted chocolate can be stored in tightly covered container at room temperature and saved for another use.) Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

from Kraft

Chicken Parmesan Bundles

Prep Time:
35 min

Total Time:
1 hr 5 min

6 servings

4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1-1/4 cups KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided
6 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.), pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
1 egg
10 RITZ Crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)
1-1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, heated

PREHEAT oven to 375ºF. Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and 3 Tbsp. of the Parmesan cheese until well blended; spread evenly onto chicken breasts. Starting at one of the short ends of each breast, roll up chicken tightly. Secure with wooden toothpicks, if desired. Set aside.

BEAT egg in shallow bowl or pie plate. Mix remaining 3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese and the cracker crumbs in separate shallow bowl or pie plate. Dip chicken bundles in egg, then roll in crumb mixture. Place, seam-sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

BAKE 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through (165ºF). Remove and discard toothpicks, if using. Serve topped with the spaghetti sauce and remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.

Heather's tips: let the chicken thaw in the fridge or on the counter if you're using frozen breasts. I found they pound out nicer than if you defrost them in the microwave. I usually need more crackers than they suggest. I've never had them be done at 30 min either, so be prepared to wait a bit longer unless your oven runs a lot hotter than mine does.

from Kraft

Friday, August 29, 2008

Chewy Granola Bars

2 1/2 c. Oats - quick rolled oats (use GF oatmeal)

1/2 c. Rice Krispies (use GF rice cereal)

1/4 c. coconut

1/2 c. M&M minis (these appear to be GF from what I've found online)

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/4 c. honey

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Add all of the ingredients and mix together until combined. Press into a square 8×8 pan. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and score into bars. Let it set completely and then cut into bars. For thinner bars, press mix into a 9×13 pan. They seem to set a little better in the 9×13 pan.

from Make and Takes

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cajun Turkey and Cheese Wrap

1 La Tortilla Factory Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Wrap
1 oz Cajun Turkey Breast, sliced (can substitute any kind of turkey)
2 Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges, Garlic and Herb (substitute with a different spread for GFCF)
Shredded lettuce (I use bagged salad, which also has carrots and other assorted healthy things in it)
5 Grape tomatoes, halved

Spread the Laughing Cow cheese over the entire tortilla. Arrange the sliced turkey down the center of the tortilla, leaving at least 1" at either end empty. Arrange the lettuce and tomatoes on the turkey. Fold the empty ends in, and roll the tortilla. Slice in half and serve.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Easy-- and Filling-- Salad

Bag of mixed greens + any variety of toppings + any dressing


hard boiled eggs
lunch meat
left over chicken or turkey

red onion
canned corn
bell peppers
artichoke hearts

mandarin oranges
pineapple chunks
dried cranberries

Chinese noodles

Some suggestions:

Tropical Chicken Salad
chicken breast (marinate with lime and garlic if you want)
Chinese noodles
dressing: honey, mustard, soy sauce, a little brown sugar

Pizza Salad
artichoke hearts
crumbled feta
crushed red pepper
balsamic vinagrette: make your own with a little balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and spices

Add your own suggestions to the comments or edit this post!


8 lasagna noodles
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 medium onion
10 oz frozen spinach drained and squeezed dry
1 glass jar of pasta sauce (I like to get the kind with lots of chunky veggies)
1/2 pkg cream cheese (or neufchatel for less fat) at room temperature
1 16 oz tub cottage cheese
1/3 C parmesan cheese
mozzerella cheese (approx 1 C)

  • Boil noodles according to package and set to the side
  • Brown the meat with onion
  • Add 2/3 of the pasta sauce and all the spinach to the meat mixture
  • Mix cream cheese, cottage cheese, and parmesan together
  • In 13x9 in baking dish, layer in this order 1/3 meat sauce, 4 noodles, 1/2 cheese, 1/3 meat sauce, 4 noodles, 1/2 cheese, 1/3 meat sauce, and mozzerella
  • (hint-- use enough meat sauce to cover the area of the pan. If there's not enough to cover on the top layer, use remaining 1/3 jar of pasta sauce to cover it)
  • Cover with foil
  • Bake at 350 for 30 min
  • Remove foil for 5 more min or until cheese is bubbly
This is a great one to freeze either before or after you make it. Crank up the heat and allow for more time if you're pulling it straight from the freezer

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Like the NYTimes recipe, I find you get a yummier cookie and better texture if you refrigerate the dough 36 hours and sprinkle a little sea salt on the cookies just before you pop them in the oven. I like to make 5 or 6 cookies to get a reward for all the work of making the dough and then refrigerate the rest.


2 1/8 cups bleached all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark), 7 ounces
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 - 2 cups chocolate chips or chunks (semi or bittersweet)

See Illustrations Below: Shaping Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.

3. Following illustrations below, form scant 1/4 cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball using fingertips of both hands, pull into two equal halves. Rotate halves ninety degrees and, with jagged surfaces exposed, join halves together at their base, again forming a single cookie, being careful not to smooth dough’s uneven surface. Place formed dough onto one of two parchment paper-lined 20-by-14-inch lipless cookie sheets, about nine dough balls per sheet. Smaller cookie sheets can be used, but fewer cookies can be baked at one time and baking time may need to be adjusted. (Dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month—shaped or not.)

4. Bake, reversing cookie sheets’ positions halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes (start checking at 13 minutes). (Frozen dough requires an extra 1 to 2 minutes baking time.) Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight container.

STEP BY STEP: Shaping Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies

1. Creating a jagged surface on each dough ball gives the finished cookies an attractive appearance. Start by rolling a scant 1/4 cup of dough into a smooth ball.

2. Holding the dough ball in the fingertips of both hands, pull the dough apart into two equal halves.

3. Each half will have a jagged surface where it was ripped from the other. Rotate each piece 90 degrees so that the jagged edge faces up.

4. Jam the halves back together into one ball so that the top surface remains jagged.

NYTimes Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Jacques Torres

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour

1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract

1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)

Sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.


Toscana Soup

Prep time: 1 hr

2 3/4 cups chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 medium russet potato
2 cups chopped kale
1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Combine the stock and cream in a saucepan over medium heat.

Slice the unpeeled potato into 1/4 in. slices, then quarter the slices and add them to the soup.

Add the kale.

Grill or sauté the sausage. When cooked and cooled, cut the sausage at an angle into slices about 1/2 in. thick. Add the sausage to the soup.

Add the spices and let the soup simmer for about 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as an entree

Wild Rice Meatball Primavera

Prep time: 45 min.

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (or crushed up Saltines)
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbs oil
2 cups water
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 package (16 oz) frozen broccoli medley (that's with cauliflower), thawed
1 box Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild Rice Fast Cook Recipe (or your local store-brand's version)

Combine turkey, bread crumbs, and egg; mix well. Shape into 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch meatballs (makes about 20-22)

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook meatballs 6-7 min. or until brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels.

Combine water and soup in skillet; bring to a boil. Add meatballs, vegetables and contents of seasoning packet, reserving rice. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add reserved rice to skillet; mix well. Cover; cook 5 min. more or until hot. Remove from heat; stir well. Cover and let stand 5 min. before serving.

Serves 6

Tortellini Bake Parmesano

Prep time: 30 min.

1 package (12 oz) fresh or frozen cheese tortellini or ravioli (probably 8-10 oz. of dry tortellini)
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 jar (26 oz) chunky spaghetti sauce w/ garlic & herb
2 small zucchini, sliced
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 oz) grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse and drain.

Meanwhile, brown beef with onion, garlic, and oregano in large skillet over medium-high heat; drain. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Add spaghetti sauce and zucchini. Cook 15 min. or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Arrange half of pasta in oiled 2 qt. microwavable dish; top with half each of sauce and cheese. Repeat layers ending with cheese; cover.

Microwave on high 8-10 min. or until heated through, rotating dish halfway through cooking time.

Serves 4.
Freezes and microwaves well, so double the recipe and save yourself time later!

Kielbasa and Lentil Stew

Prep time: 30 min.

1 lb. kielbasa or smoked sausage, cut into small cubes
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (8 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, shredded
2 cans lentil soup (19 oz. each OR 10 oz. each condensed [and add 10 oz. water])
1 can (16 oz) crushed tomatoes in puree, undrained
3 Tbs cayenne hot sauce

Cook and stir sausage in 5 quart saucepot over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add vegetables; cook and stir 5 min. or until tender.

Stir in soup, tomatoes and hot sauce. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, partially covered, 10 minutes or until heated through and flavors are blended.

Cajun Jambalaya Pasta

Prep time: 1 hour

1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves
1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
5 qt. water
6 oz. plain fettuccine
6 oz. spinach fettuccine
(Note: some brands, like Ronzoni, sell a 12 oz. combination plain/spinach fettuccine mix)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 small bell peppers, sliced (red, yellow, green, orange, etc.)
1 small white onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbs arrowroot or cornstarch
2 Tbs white wine (or white grape juice/chicken stock/vegetable stock)
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 1/2 dry flakes)

1. Make a Cajun seasoning blend by combining the white pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl.

2. Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Use about one-third of the seasoning blend to coat the chicken pieces.

3. In another bowl, sprinkle another one-third of the spice blend over the shrimp.

4. Start your pasta cooking by bringing 5 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add both fettuccines to the hot water, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 12-14 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

5. While the fettuccine cooks, heat 1 Tbs of the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, sauté the chicken in the pan for about 2 minutes per side or until the surface of the chicken starts to turn brown.

6. Add the shrimp to the pan with the chicken and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the shrimp from sticking. When the chicken and shrimp have been seared, pour the contents of the pan onto a plate or into a bowl. Do not rinse the pan!

7. Put the pan back over the high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the tomatoes, peppers, and onion to the oil. Sprinkle the veggies with the remaining spice blend and sauté for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to turn dark brown or black.

8. Add the chicken and shrimp to the vegetables and pour 3/4 cup of the chicken stock in the pan. Cook over high heat until the stock has been reduced to just about nothing. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of the stock to the pan. The liquid should become dark as it deglazes the pan of the dark film left by the spices and cooking food. Stir constantly, scraping the blackened stuff off the bottom of the pan. Reduce the broth a bit more, then turn the heat down to low.

9. Combine the arrowroot with the wine (or substitute) in a small bowl. Stir until it is dissolved. Add this to the pan and simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly.

Roasted Red Pepper, Corn & Garbanzo Bean Salad

Prep time: 1 hr (but only because it's served chilled--if you've refrigerated all the ingredients, you can make it in about 10 minutes and serve it immediately)

2 cans (15 oz. each) garbanzo beans
1 jar (16 oz.) roasted red pepper salsa
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed and drained (from a can works, too)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
8 leaf lettuce leaves
Fresh tomato wedges and sunflower sprouts (optional/garnish)

Rinse and drain beans well; place in 2 qt. casserole dish. Add roasted red pepper salsa, corn and onions; stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate 1 hr. or up to 24 hrs.

To serve, line serving platter with lettuce. Spoon bean mixture over top. Garnish with tomatoes and sprouts, if desired.

Makes 8 servings

Cheeseburger Calzones

Prep time: 1/2 hr.

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 jar (26 oz.) pasta sauce
1 jar (8 oz.) marinated mushrooms, drained and chopped (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 oz.)
1 package (12 oz./8 count) refrigerated large flaky biscuits

Preheat oven to 375. In 12-inch skillet, brown ground beef with onion and salt over medium-high heat; drain. Stir in 1 cup pasta sauce, mushrooms and cheese.

Roll or press out each biscuit to a 6 in. circle. Place 1/2 cup beef mixture on each dough circle; fold over and press edges to close. Seal completely by pressing along edges firmly with tines of fork.

With large spatula, gently arrange on cookie sheets. Bake 13 minutes or until golden. Serve with remaining sauce, heated.

The sauce freezes and thaws well, so this is easy to prepare in large batches, then serve in small ones later.

Makes 8 servings

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Gluten-Free Blog

My friend Marci has celiac disease and loves to cook. She keeps a blog of all the meals she makes called On My Menu. I've posted the link to her gluten-free list of recipes on the right hand side of our blog. She has some great recipes! Her oven fried chicken and chicken and broccoli stir fry are some of my favorites.

spaghetti alfredo

Alfredo Sauce:
1 foil wrapped package cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 glass of milk
1 handful of dried cranberries
1/2 tsp salt
1 handful of chopped walnuts
Some spices like marjarjom or rosemary
ground dry cheese like you put on speghetti

Melt the butter and cream cheese, stirring into a thick paste. Add some of that ground dry cheese you put on spaghetti. Add the milk a bit at a time so it gets mixed in thoroughly. Add the rest of the ingredients. Add brown sugar to taste. Cook it until it starts to change into something else.

Just cook dried spaghetti from a box. Or you can cook rice instead.

put the sauce on the spaghetti.

serve with fruits and vegetables, like green beans from the produce aisle. Or baby salad.


Thai Coconut Shrimp

2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 lb shrimp
1 lb zucchini, cubed
1 red pepper, cubed
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 can unsweetened coconut milk (I checked the can I had and it's GF)
juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce (omit to get lose MSG)
1 1/2 tsp chili paste (add fresh chilis, use chili powder, or omit for GF)
1-2 tsp dried basil

At medium-high heat
1) Sautee the shrimp in 1 Tbsp oil until they're just pink, but not fully cooked. Set aside
2) Add zucchini, red pepper, and remaining oil to pan and cook until soft, about 4 mins.
3) Add ginger, cook for 30 seconds
4) Add coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce, and chili paste. Stir to dissolve chili paste.
5) Turn to medium heat, add shrimp, and cook until sauce thickens.
5) Serve over jasmine rice.

* The actual recipe calls for 3 Tbsp lime juice. We've made this three times and gone from 3, to 2, to 1 Tbsp of juice. I thinks it's too acidic with more, but you could try it out.
The recipe also calls for fresh basil, but I never have on hand nor buy fresh basil, so I don't know how much the recipe calls for. What I wrote is how much dried basil I use. You could mess with that too.
We've added green pepper and onion on occasion to this recipe as well. But I like the original veggies the best.


Big Batch Normal Batch Ingredient
3 Tbsp 3 Tbsp sugar
4 ½ 3 eggs
3/8 C ¼ C melted butter
2 tsp 2 tsp vanilla
2 ¼ C 1 ½ C flour
¼ tsp ¼ tsp salt
¾ tsp ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ¼ tsp baking soda
4 ½ C 3 C milk

Mix sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla together in blender

Mix dry ingredients together

Add dry ingredients alternating with milk while blender is continuously running

Cook over medium- med/high heat

Taco Soup

Brown 1 lb ground beef or turkey with a small onion and a package of taco seasoning.
Mix in a big pot and heat:
1 can kidney beans, or chili beans (meaning, kidney beans with some flavoring)
1 can black beans
8 oz can green chilis
1 can corn
1 can carrots
1 can diced tomatoes (you can get these with chili flavoring too)
8 oz can tomato sauce
No need to drain the cans as it adds some moisture to keep it soupy rather than thick

When the meat is done, mix it into the canned stuff. Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream and nachos. Or serve it in bread bowls.

GFCF options: use frozen or fresh varieties of the same thing. This makes a TON of soup.

Chicken Enchiladas

1/2 C diced onion
2 Tbsp butter
1 (8 oz) can diced green chilis (though I often double it-- we like it spicier)
1 package (8 oz?) cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp cumin
4 C chopped, cooked chicken

flour tortillas

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C sour cream
1 C milk
3/4 C shredded cheese

Sautee onion in butter over medium heat till browned. Stir in 1 Tbsp green chilis (I add one can).
Combine cream cheese, 2 Tbsp milk, cumin. Stir in chicken and the onion/chili mix.
Spoon 3 Tbsp mix in each tortilla and roll. Place in baking dish
Combine remaining chilis, soup, sour cream, 1 C milk. Mix well and spoon over enchiladas.
Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 35 min. Remove foil, sprinkle on cheese, bake until cheese melts.

I mess with this recipe a lot. Sometimes I add chili powder to the chicken mix, sometimes some of the soup to the mix. Sometimes I squirt some ranch dressing into the sauce if I don't have any sour cream. I've used plain yogurt instead of sour cream. Sometimes we make 1/2 the sauce and pour it over the enchiladas and THEN we pour a can of green enchilada sauce over the top. We're not too strict on the amount of chicken either. I usually use 3-4 breasts to one package of cream cheese. Also, I sometimes cook a bunch of chicken breasts and then freeze them to use in recipes like this or chicken salad to cut down on prep time, but I think they taste better fresh.

Beef Enchiladas

Brown 1 lb ground beef or turkey with one red onion

In a sauce pan, combine:
1 can tomato soup
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Dip corn tortillas in heated sauce to soften them. Put some beef/onion mix and some shredded cheese in the tortilla and roll it up. Cover the rolled enchiladas with remaining sauce and shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 min or until hot and cheese is melted.

Spritz Cookies

1 tsp baking powder
4 C flour,sifted
1 C sugar
1 1/2 C butter
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/2 tsp almond extract

bake at 400 for approx 8 min or until bottom of cookie is golden

Rice and Sausage

1 lb of sausage
1 cup celery and 1 cup onion cooked with sausage
1 box both packs of dry chicken noodle soup (delete or replace with GF noodles)
1-2 cups of rice
chicken bouillon/ soup base to taste (NO MSG!)
enough boiling water to cover
some pepper
bake at 350 until water is absorbed (about 40 min if water is boiling, 60 min if not)

Corn Bread


Beat Until Stiff: 4 egg whites

Blend Together:
4 egg yolks
1 (13 oz) can evaporated milk
3/4 C melted butter
1 1/2 C white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 C cornmeal

Sift together:
2 C white flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Add flour mix to cornmeal mix
Fold in egg whites
Pour into greased jelly roll pan (10 or 11x15 in)
Bake at 325 for 20-25 min
Done when center is firm but sticky on top


1 C butter
1 C sugar
1/4 C water

Stir everything together over medium to med/high heat with a wooden spoon. Stir constantly, scraping bottom of pan. If candy starts to brown more quickly than you can stir, turn down the temperature. Once the candy starts to get frothy and the right color, pour onto a greased marble slab (or marble counter top) to cool.

I've never made this using a thermometer. I just judge it by the color. The lighter the color, the softer the toffee. I tend to like mine on the softer and crumbly side, but if you just cook it longer, you can get it much darker/harder without burning it.

Chicken Salad

2 Large Chicken breasts
3-4 stalks celery
1/3 lb red grapes halved
1/2 can cashew pieces (optional)
A couple TB of Hellman's mayonnaise (GF) -- be sure to use real mayo. salad dressing won't work
Season with black pepper and garlic powder

Serves 4 with some leftovers

Cut the chicken into strips and boil them till cooked through I usually check them when the pieces are floating. Chop up everything else and mix it with enough mayo to coat everything. Season it at will.

Try adding peppers, cold pasta, tomatoes, etc.

Eat it by itself or on toasted croissants.