Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hershey(r)'s Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Hershey(r)'s cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
10 oz. Hershey(r)'s Mint Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Beat butter and sugar till creamy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Stir together dry ingredients and gradually add to cream mixture. Stir in mint chocolate chips.
Drop, we use a small ice cream scoop, by teaspoon fulls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8-9 minutes or until set; do not over bake. Cool for several minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pudding Pops

I have been kindly reminded to post this recipe multiple times.

1 pkg. (5.1oz) JELLO Chocolate Pudding (Must be Cook & Serve!)
3 cups Milk
1/2 to 3/4 cups Cool Whip

I put mine in actual Popsicle molds but you can put them in Dixie cups with Popsicle sticks.

Make the pudding from the box directions. Let the pudding cool slightly then add Cool Whip. Put in molds and freeze for approximately 5 hours.

Cinnamon Ornaments

1 c cinnamon
1 T ground cloves
1 T nutmeg
1 T allspice
1 T ginger
3/4 c. applesauce
1 T white glue

Combine into a dough. Roll out to 1/4 inch and cut with cookie cutters.
Punch hole for a string with a straw.
Bake at 150F for an hour on a cookie sheet then an hour and half on the rack.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mint Chocolate Delights

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. mint extract (we used peppermint)
3 to 4 drops red food coloring (little men were helping, SO, there was way more than that)
2 to 3 Tbsp. milk or half-and-half

1 For cookies, beat butter and sugars in bowl until creamy. Add melted chocolate, egg and vanilla; beat until blended, scraping down bowl occasionally. Mix flour, cocoa and salt in bowl. Gradually add four mixture, beating until well blended. Shape dough into 16-inch log. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

2 Preheat over to 400 degrees. Grease cookie sheets and line with parchment paper. Cut log into 1/3-inch slices; place on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheets. Remove to wire racks to col completely.

3 For filling, beat powdered sugar, butter and salt in bowl until blended. Add mint extract and food coloring; beat until evenly tinted. Add enough milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time (unless having little people help), to make filling fluffy. Spread or pipe filling on bottoms of half the cooled cookies. Top with remaining cookies.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Melt Crayons

Peel old broken crayons.

Some of the old crayons were difficult to get the paper off. I put them in some water in the microwave for A FEW SECONDS so they wouldn't melt but the paper would easily peel off.

You can spray old muffin tins to use but I really like silicone baking cups for these. I own mini-heart shaped silicone baking cups I use often. Crayons, lotion bars, bath bombs ALL just pop right out.

OVEN: 200F for about 9-11 minutes, then cool. You can cool in the fridge or freezer

MICROWAVE: 5-8 minutes, the oven seems to work better for more even melting but if your child wants to do it alone this is safer.

We passed these out for Halloween. The heart shaped crayon is folded into the nose of the puppy. We put my daughter's memory verse with the puppy, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." --Psalm 119:11

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Plaster Sculpture

2 cups water
2 cups Plaster of Paris
3 cups vermiculite

I purchased vermiculite at Earl May gardening center. Make sure you get the kind without fertilizer. The students should be fine if they aren't eating it or breathing in the dust. The mixture should be thick enough that there isn't any dust.

Pour the mixture into your containers to dry. We used plastic yogurt and sour cream containers.

We let ours sit for an hour and it was pliable with our fingers. After four days it was completely dry and ready to carve.

The best item to carve it was a nutcracker pick.

No-Bake Craft Clay

No-Bake Craft Clay
1 cup corn starch
1 1/4 cups cold water
2 cups baking soda
food coloring (optional)
damp cloth
tempera or acrylic paints (optional)
clear shellac, acrylic spray, or nail polish

Combine cornstarch, water, and baking soda in saucepan; stir over medium heat for about 4 minutes until mixture thickens to a moist mashed-potato consistency. (For colored clay, add a few drops of food coloring to the water before it is mixed with cornstarch and baking soda.) Remove from heat, turn onto plate, and cover with a damp cloth until cool. Knead until smooth. Shape as desired or store in an airtight container or Ziploc ba. Dry sculptures overnight, then paint with tempera or acrylic. Seal with shellac, acrylic spray, or nail polish.

This recipe is from The Toddlers Busy Book by Trish Kuffner.

This recipe is one of the best I have found- easy, cheap and looks good.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Granola Bars

This is the best granola bar recipe I have found.
I found this recipe at Raising Olives.

The organic grocery store in my neighborhood sells granola bars for two bucks a pieces! They are good but not that good. This recipe is simple and easily adapted.

2 c. rolled oats
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. wheat germ (I used some unidentified flour in my pantry. I forgot to label the bag while at the grocery store. :) )
3/4 t cinnamon (Let my 16 month old shake the spice jar over the bowl!)
1 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c raisins (mmm, no... I used chocolate chips and dried cranberries)
3/4 t salt (didn't measure, sprinkled)
1/2 c honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c applesauce, coconut oil, peanut oil, or olive oil (I used some of our homemade applesauce)
2 t vanilla

Bake at 350 in a greased 9 by 13.

Mix the dry ingredients then make a well and place in the wet ingredients.
Mix then pat into the baking dish.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. The edges will begin to turn golden. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Cut and remove from pan!!! Do not wait or you won't get bars. You will be chipping it out of the pan and eating it with milk on it or with ice cream.

I barely followed the directions and the bars tasted great! I will be making these again and again.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spicy Chicken Chow Mein

This recipe is from the little recipe book that comes with my Rival Crock-Pot. While putting things back in my remodeled kitchen I found the little cookbook and thought a few of the recipes looked good. This one is a keeper.

1 T oil
1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast cut into 1-in pieces
4 carrots, thinly sliced
4 green onions, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1 T sugar
1/3 c soy sauce
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t ground ginger (be LIBERAL)
1 clove garlic, minced (be LIBERAL)
8 oz. bean sprouts
1 8oz can water chestnuts, drained (you could add more)
1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 c water

In a large skillet, heat the oil and brown the chicken pieces.

Place the chicken in the slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients, except for the cornstarch and water.

Stir to combine. (Forgot to! ;) )

Cover; cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

In a small bowl, stir cornstarch into cold water until dissolved. Stir the liquid into the stoneware. Place the cover slightly ajar on the stoneware and cook until thickened (about 15 to 30 minutes).

Serve the chow mein with noodles or rice. We served over brown rice.

Lip Gloss

This is so COOL. Now if I can just figure out how to tint it a little. :)

1 teaspoon grated cocoa butter
1/4 teaspoon grated beeswax
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon vitamin E oil

Melt together on low heat. I use a mini crockpot; this crockpot is used for non-edible items only. Stir occasionally until everything is melted and combine. (The beeswax takes the longest to melt, so you might want to throw it in first!)

Pour into a small counter with a lid. It should cool quickly.

I am excited to give this as a little gift for people to try. I found shallow candle holders at Target for 99 cents. I am going to have to fashion a little plastic lid.

HERE is another recipe I tried.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lotion Bars

This recipe is from my friend Courtney's blog found HERE.

Her recipe:
2 oz Beeswax
2 oz Shea Butter
2 oz Coconut Oil

Melt in a double boiler or small crockpot, melt beeswax, then add in the shea butter to melt, and then the coconut oil. Stir to mix well and pour into molds and let harden on the counter or in the freezer.

I did not read her 'notes' about the ingredients being measured by weight!!! Beeswax is heavier than shea butter and coconut oil. So she used 1/4 cup of beeswax to 1 cup each of the other two.

My recipe:
2 T beeswax
2 T shea butter
2 T coconut oil

I dumped all of it in a mini crockpot, stirred it once after it was melted and poured it into my Wilton's mini heart silicone baking cups. This made 3 small heart shaped bars. I let them cool overnight. They are not goopey but will rub into your hands.

My daughter thought they were delicious; she nibbled on one. She loves anything I make in the silicone hearts. Her memory verse is 'I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.' Psalm 119:11. I always draw a heart on her hand when we practice, so these hearts have been an extension of her learning her verse. (She is only 16 months. We are a long way from her being able to say more than 'heart.')

I gave these as Christmas gifts with a note, "We must not lose heart in doing good things. If we do not stop doing them, we will get something back when the right time comes." --Galatians 6:9.

Potato and Leek Soup

4 cups vegetable broth (It could use a little more)
3 potatoes, peeled and diced (We did not peel the potatoes)
1 1/2 cups cabbage, chopped (Measure the cabbage or it can be to much)
1 leek, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1 bay leaf
(Next time, I will be more liberal with the spices.)

In a large bowl, combine the broth, potatoes, cabbage, leek, onion, carrots and parsley. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker. Stir in the salt, pepper, caraway seeds and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Remove bay leaf before serving.

You can top with sour cream and/or bacon if you choose.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rosemary Pork and Mushrooms with Shallots

1 T. oil
2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, sliced into 1/2 inch slices (we used 3 pork chop loins)
1 cup shallots, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 T. fresh rosemary
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes

Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the pork until browned. Remove and drain excess oil and place the pork in the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. cover and cook on low for 8 hour or on high for 4 hours.

We served over couscous.

Steak Fajitas with Sweet Potato and Poblano

I'm starting to think we need a 'Mexican' label to organize these recipes. :)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet potato (about 12 ounces) peeled and diced
1 medium onion
1 small poblano pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
Kosher salt and pepper
1 1/4 pounds skirt steak, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
1 to 2 Tsp chopped chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (We used 1-2 Tbsp.)
8 small flour tortillas, warmed

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sweet potato, onion, poblano, salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat broiler. Season steak with salt and pepper. Place on a broiler proof rimmed baking sheet and broil for 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest five minutes before slicing.

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and chipotles. Fill the tortillas and ENJOY!

Wish I had a picture, but, they were gone before that could happen.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Easy Roasted Turkey

Hands-on Time: 20 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Serves: 8 with leftovers

1 12-pound turkey, thawed if frozen
12 sprigs fresh thyme
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
2 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
Kosher salt
2 carrots, cut into 2-in pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 2-in pieces
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (if needed)

1. Heat oven to 375 F. working on a baking sheet, remove the giblets and neck from the cavity. reserve the neck and discard the giblets. Using a paper towel, pat the turkey dry of juices. stuff with the thyme and half the onions.

2. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Tuck the wing tips underneath the body (this will prevent them from burning).

3. Rub the turkey all over with the butter and season with 1 t salt, making sure to reach the crevices of the legs and wings. Be careful not to tear the delicate skin.

4. Place the turkey neck, carrots, celery, and remaining onions in a large flameproof roasting pan. Put a roasting rack in the pan and place the turkey on top of it.

5. Roast the turkey, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices. (Basting will not make the meat moister, but it will produce an evenly browned skin.)

6. If the turkey begins to darken and there is still a substantial amount of cooking time left, tent it loosely with foil. If the vegetables begin to scorch, add some broth to the pan.

7. Continue roasting until the thickest part of a thigh registers 165 F, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. tilt the turkey to empty the juices into the pan. Transfer the turkey to a CARVING board, tent with foil, and let rest for at least 25 minute. Reserve the pan and its contents for GRAVY.

Cook your turkey the day before then reheat the turkey with broth and veggies in the crockpot on low so your oven has room for side dishes.

Sweet potatoes with Pecans and Parmesan

hands-on Time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Serves: 8

3 T olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
2 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (You might need a mandoline for this or chop smaller so they cook through.)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 oz)
Kosher salt and black pepper
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 t fresh thyme leaves
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 375 F. Oil a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish.

In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the Parmesan, 2 T of the oil, 1 t. salt, and 1/4 t black pepper; transfer to the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake until tender, 45 to 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the pecans, sugar, thyme, cayenne, the remaining T of oil, 1/4 t salt, and 1/8 t. black pepper.

Remove the foil from the baking dish, sprinkle the pecan mixture over the potatoes, and continue to bake, uncovered, until the pecans are toasted, 10 to 12 minutes.

Potato and Celery Root Mash

Hands-on Time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8

These are good. The celery root isn't overwhelming it just gives a new richer flavor. The consistency is perfect.

3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered (the peeling needed be perfect)
1 lb celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
4 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 T chopped fresh chives

Place the potatoes and celery root in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover. bring to a boil and add 2 t salt. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, 18 to 20 minutes. drain and return the vegetables to the pot.

Add the half-and-half, butter, 1 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper and mash to the desired consistency. sprinkle with the chives.

Basic Stuffing

Serves 8

6 T unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish and foil
1 large loaf Italian bread (about 1 pound), cut into 3/4 inch pieces (about 16 cups)
2 medium onions, chopped
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 large eggs, beaten

1 Heat oven to 375 F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. divide the bread between 2 rimmed baking sheets and bake until dry and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, 1 t salt, and 1/4 t. pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the wine and cook until evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes; transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.

3. Add the bread, broth, eggs, and 1/2 t salt to the vegetables and toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Cover with buttered foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

Sausage and sage stuffing
Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 3/4 hours

Brown 1 lb Italian or breakfast sausage (casings removed) in 1 T olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, 8 to 10 minutes. In Step 3, to the bread mixture add the sausage, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, and 3 T chopped sage.

Other interesting additions can be found HERE.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

From Real Simple

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours (including cooling)
Serves 10

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for the pan
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
5 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting

Heat oven to 350 F. butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with cocoa powder.

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter with 1/4 cup of the heavy cream over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth; remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk in the chocolate mixture.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until puffed and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 1 hour. run a knife around the edge of the cake before unmolding.

Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream with the creme fraiche and confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form. Dust the cake with confectioners' sugar and serve with the whipped cream.

The cake can be baked up to 2 days in advance; refrigerate covered. Before serving, bring the cake to room temperature, dust it with the confectioners' sugar, and whip the cream.

This is SO GOOD. You only need it once a year.
I like to pass my Real Simple magazines on to other people at church to enjoy, so I often type up the recipes I like here on the blog so I can easily find them.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ravioli Vegetable "Lasagna"

Photo from Jessica. THANKS!!!

This is so good. Another Rachel Ray recipe.

2 packages (12 oz) chopped frozen spinach, defrosted in microwave (could have had less spinach)
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (15 oz each) quartered artichokes in water, drained well
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 T butter
2 T all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 c cream or half and half
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 large package (24 to 28 oz) fresh ravioli, 4-cheese or wild mushroom (We used frozen ravioli, its cheaper)
1 lb thin asparagus spears, trimmed of tough ends, cut on an angle into 2-in pieces (could have used more asparagus, it was really good!)
2 cups shredded provolone or Italian 4-cheese blend

Put a large pot of water over high heat for the ravioli.

meanwhile, drain defrosted frozen chopped spinach by wringing it dry in a kitchen towel, working over a garbage bowl or sink.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the garlic and saute 1 minute, then sprinkle spinach into the garlic oil. Add artichokes and turn to combine and heat through. eason with salt and pepper and remove from heat to a bowl. place skillet back on the heat and melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook one to two minutes. Whisk in stock and let it bubble. whisk in cream and Parmigiano cheese; season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper and thicken one to two minutes.

Preheat broiler to high. Set rack about 8 inches from heat.

when ravioli water boils, add salt, then ravioli and cook, 4 to 5 minutes. (ravioli should be less than al dente, still a bit chewy; it will continue cooking when combine with sauce and vegetables.) Place a colander over ravioli as it cooks; add asparagus and cover. Steam the chopped asparagus while pasta cooks, two to three minutes, until just fork-tender, but still green.

Remove asparagus and add to bowl with spinach and artichokes. Place colander in sink and drain ravioli.

Drizzle a touch of olive oil into the bottom of a medium-size oval casserole or a rectangular baking dish and brush to coat evenly. Arrange a layer of cooked ravioli. Next, add a few ladles of sauce, another layer of ravioli, then vegetables, then top casserole with the last of the ravioli. Dot top of "lasagna" with any remaining sauce and cover liberally with shredded provolone or four-cheese blend. Brown in broiler, about five minutes, until cheese is golden and "Lasagna" is heated through.

Bath Bombs

1 c. citric acid (I found in the spice aisle at the local health food store)
1 c. baking soda
1/2 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. of oil (almond, canola, or sunflower)
2-3 drops of essential oil (lavender, peppermint, or any other)
2-3 drops of soap colorant (I just used food coloring)

Mix is up. then put in the essential oil and colorant mix it in.
It will form a soft dough. Put into a mold or roll into balls.
Dry overnight then wrap them in plastic.

These fizz well and are simple.

We put ours in washcloths made to look like ghosts for Halloween. We attached the recipe and the bible verse Matthew 14:26-27.

I found the recipe HERE.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Nice Italian Girl's Salad

Great Rachel Ray recipe!

1 sack (10 oz) chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 cup black pitted olives
1 roasted red pepper from a jar, drained and sliced
12 grape tomatoes
24 slices pepperoni

Italian Blender Dressing
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons chopped green salad olives with red pimientos and juice
6 fresh basil leaves, torn up
2 to 3 Tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 big spoonfuls grated parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, or Romano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup extra- virgin olive oil

Pour lettuce into a big salad bowl. Break up the olives, bail, parsley, cheese, pepper, and olive oil. Place the lid on the blender and blend the dressing until everything is all chopped up and mixed up together. Pour dressing over the salad and toss it up good.

Sarah's Chocolate Cookies

1/2 cup butter (no salt)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

350 degrees for 12 minutes

Thursday, October 14, 2010

French Dip Roast Beef Sandwiches & Asparagus and Green Beans with Tarragon Lemon Dip

French Dip Roast Beef Sandwiches

2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 shot dry sherry (optional)
2 cans (14 oz each) beef consomme (not beef broth, in the soup ailse)
1 1/2 pounds deli-sliced roast beef (get from the deli counter so it doesn't stick together)
Steak seasoning blend uch a Montreal easoning by McCormick OR corse alt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 torpedo sandwich rolls, split

[What the recipe says:
In a large, shallow skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Saute shallots in the butter 2 minutes. Add flour and cook 1 minute longer. Whisk in sherry and cook liquid out. Whisk in conomme in a slow strem. Bring sauce to a bubble and allow to simmer over low heat until sandwiches are ready to serve.

Pile roast beef loosely across a large work surface, and season with grill seasoning or salt and black pepper. Gather 4 ramekins or small soup cups for dipping sauce, and 4 split torpedo rolls. Uing tongs to help you assemble, dip meat into sauce and pil into roll. Set ramekins iwth extra suace next to the sandwiches.]

In a large, shallow skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Saute shallots in the butter 2 minutes. Add flour and cook 1 minute longer. Whisk in conomme in a slow strem. Bring sauce to a bubble then dump in crockpot over the top of the roast beef. Cook on low until you are ready to make sandwiches.

Cut out wedge in center of roll. Put in a piece of provolone then use tongs to fill the sandwich with roast beef. Serve with a small bowl of the sauce to dunk it in.

Asparagus and Green Beans with Tarragon Lemon Dip
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed

Tarragon Lemon Dip
1 cup mayonnaise
The zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 small hallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (4 sprigs)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
a few grinds fresh black pepper
sprigs of tarragon and parsley, for garnish
(This makes WAY TOO MUCH dip. Purchase more asparagus and green beans.)

In a large skillet, cook asparaguas spears and green beans in 1 inch of salted boiling water, covered, 3 or 4 minutes. Drain and cool the vegetables and arrange them on a serving plate. Comvine dip ingredients in a small bowl and garnish with sprigs of parsley and tarragon and set along side vegetables on a serving dish.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Broccoli Cheese Soup

4 cups broccoli (fresh or frozen)
1 medium onion, diced
1 large potato, diced
1 carrot, grated
1 can (48oz) vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
cream sauce:
4T butter
4T flour
1/2 t white pepper
2 c milk

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
celery salt-dash to 1/2 t.

Bring veggies to a boil in broth.
Cover and reduce heat to simmer 30 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan. Stir in flour, pepper, blend with whisk.
Slowly add milk over medium-high heat; cook and stir until sauce thickens. Add to veggies, blend well with a whisk. Season with celery salt. Add cheese by fourths and stir until melted.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Garden Patch Bread

Makes a 2 lb. loaf.

Put in bread machine in following order:
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup coarsely shredded carrot
1/2 cup tomato juice
3 Tbsp. coarsely chopped green bell pepper
3 Tbsp. sliced green onion
4 tsp. butter
4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1 tsp. active dry yeast or bread machine yeast

Corn & Shrimp Chowder with Bacon

Olive Oil
Chopped Onion
Chopped Bell Pepper
Frozen Corn
Potato, peeled and diced
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
2 Tbsp. Flour
1/2 tsp. Thyme
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1 pound Shrimp
Bacon, crumbled

Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook and stir 5 minutes. Stir in corn, potato, and broth; bring to boil. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Combine 1/2 and 1/2, thyme, flour, salt, and red pepper; stir into corn mixture. Cook and stir 3 minutes. Add shrimp, cook 3 minutes. Serve with crumbled bacon.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chorizo and potato tacos with black bean salsa

This is from Real Simple October 2010.

1 pound fresh chorizo or Italian sausage, casings removed (Super Saver sells chorizo in 1 lb bags by the deli section)
1 russet potato (8 oz), cut into 1/4-inch pieces (really, four potatoes is better)
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed
4 radishes, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 T fresh lime juice
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t ground cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper
8 hard taco shells, warmed
1 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup sour cream

In a large nonstick skillet, cook the chorizo and potato over medium-high heat, breaking up the chorizo with a spoon, until it is browned and the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the beans, radishes, cilantro, lime juice, oil, cumin, 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper.

Fill the taco shells with the chorizo mixture, black bean salsa, avocado, and sour cream.

*Honestly, we did not make the salsa. I had a black bean salsa in the pantry to use. We put the chorizo potato filling topped with rinsed black beans, salsa, sour cream and cheddar cheese. They were really good.

Fresh Tomato Sauce and Meatballs / Meatball subs

Spaghetti and Meatballs...yum.

Meatball sub..yum.

This recipe is from the Penzeys Spice catalog. Check out their website for other recipes or to look at a catalog:

Fresh Tomato Sauce:
2 large onions, chopped
2-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
5 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped (6-8 large tomatoes) [I did not peel them. I didn't even chop them particularly well. They still turned out well.]
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar
1 T Hungarian sweet paprika (I used 2 t. regular paprika)
1 t. California basil
1 Bay Leaf
1-2 T Turkish Oregano
1/4 to 1/2 t penzeys Freshly ground pepper
1/2 to 1 t California Crushed red peppers
2 6oz cans tomato paste

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or stock pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, sugar and spices. Add the tomato pasta. Heat slowly, stirring often. Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 30 minutes. Add the cooked meatballs and continue cooking for 15 additional minutes.

1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
4 cloves garlic, finely minced (1 tsp. minced garlic)
1 egg
1/4-1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1 t. salt
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 T. flour for dusting

In a bowl combine the bread crumbs, garlic, egg and seasonings with a fork. Add the meat and mix well. Form into 1 inch meatballs and dust with flour. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides (don't add oil unless you have to to prevent sticking-then use use 1 T. Drain on paper towels. Add the meatballs to Fresh Tomato Sauce. Freeze extra meatballs separately for another time if not serving many people- allow 4-5 meatballs per person.

Serves 6-8 people.

You can also add sliced mushrooms after the first 1/2 hour of cooking the sauce.
This sauce, I think, is best over angel hair pasta.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chili Chicken Tacos

This recipe is from the October 2008 edition of Everyday Food.

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6) - we used leftover cooked chicken from a whole chicken cooked earlier in the week
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup prepared tomato salsa, plus more for serving (optional)
1 to 2 T chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo
1 T chili powder
coarse salt and ground pepper
8 hard corn taco shells
cilantro, shredded cheese, lime wedges, and sour cream, for serving (optional)

1. In slow cooker, combine chicken, garlic, salsa, chilies, chili powder, 1 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper. Cover; cook on high, 4 hours (or on low, 8 hours.).

2. transfer chicken to a serving bowl, and shred, using two forks; moisten with cooking juices. Serve in taco hells, with toppings, if desired.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins

This recipe is from the Penzy's spice catalog.

3 cups sugar
1 cup oil (half oil and half applesauce works as well)
4 eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2/3 cup milk (soy milk works great)
1 3/4 cups pumpkin, NOT pie filling (1 15oz can)
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin tins with a good coating of non-stick cooking spray and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until thoroughly blended. IN a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and blend thoroughly. Add half the milk and half the pumpkin and mix, repeat. Fold in the chocolate chips. spoon the batter into the muffin tins, about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until springy and brown or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Yields about 24.

Beef and Bean Chili

This recipe is for 4 meals with 4 servings each, divide accordingly for a single meal.

1/4 cup olive oil
3 large red onions, chopped
4 green bell peppers, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
3 lbs ground beef chuck
1 6oz can tomato paste (use one whole can for a batch)
1 tablespoon cumin (use one tablespoon per batch!!!)
3 tablespoons chili powder
4 28oz cans diced tomatoes
4 15oz cans kidney beans, rinsed
4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Divide the oil between 2 large pots and heat over medium heat. Divde the onions, bell peppers, and garlic between the pots and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Divide the beef between the pots, in crease heat to medium-high, and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until it's no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes. Divide the tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin between the pots and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Divide the tomatoes (with their juices), beans, and chocolate between the pots. to each pot, add 1 cup water, 1 1/2 t salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened,25 to 30 minutes. Dividing evenly between the pots, stir in the vinegar.

Dig in!

Freeze the chili in four 2qt or eight 1qt freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the chili and cook, covered, in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve with...
Sliced avocado and chopped red onion.

HERE is the link for one patch of this recipe on the Real Simple website.

This recipe is approximately $8 for one recipe.

Brownie Cookies

1/2 cup butter
4 (1-oz) unsweetened chocolate baking squares
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels (I used ghirardelli)
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate morsels (I used ghirardelli)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups walnuts chopped

Combine butter, unsweetened chocolate, and 1 1⁄2 cups bittersweet chocolate morsels in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until butter and chocolate melt; cool.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture, beating well. Add chocolate mixture; beat well. Stir in 1 1⁄2 semi-sweet cups chocolate morsels and walnuts.

Drop dough by 2 tablespoonfuls 1 inch apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheets; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Creamy Seafood Casserole

Yet, another Real Simple freezer recipe. Sept 2010 was a great issue.
I thought this recipe needed less parsnip and more ground pepper, but I liked the potato on top. Jessica thought she could live without the potato on top.

This recipe is for four casseroles. Divide it accordingly to make one casserole!

1 1/2 cups olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped
2 pounds medium carrots (about 16) halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 pounds medium parsnips (about 16), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
8 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups dry white wine
4 cups heavy cream
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 pounds waxy potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 pounds skinless tilapia fillets (about 12), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 pounds peeled and deveined medium shrimp, tails removed
2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs

(We used the salad chopped for the carrots, parsnips and celery so they were extra thin.)

Divide 1/2 cup of the oil between 2 large pots and heat over medium heat. Divide the onions, carrots, parsnips, and celery between the pots and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 18 to 20 minutes. dividing evenly, sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute (do not let darken). Divide the wine between the pots and simmer for 1 minute.

Divide the cream between the pots; season each with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and, dividing evenly, stir in the parsley. Divide the vegetables mixture among four 8-inch square baking dishes and let cool. (We used a regular 9x13 pan.)

Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Reserve 3 cups of the cooking water, drain the potatoes, and return them to the pot. Add 1 cup of the remaining oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 cup of the reserved cooking water and mah (adding more cooking water, if necessary) until smooth.

Dividing evenly among the baking dishes, nestle the fish and shrimp in the vegetable mixture. Top with the potato mixture.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. dividing evenly, sprinkle over the potatoes.

Bake the casserole on a rimmed baking sheet at 375F until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.


Freeze the unbaked casserole, tightly sealed, for up to 3 months. To cook, thaw the casserole and bake, uncovered, on a rimmed baking sheet at 375F until heated through and golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.

To see this recipe at the Real Simple site:

This meal is approximately $11 a pan.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

This recipe is for four freezer meals.
Divide accordingly to make one meal.

8 lbs bone-in chicken breasts (about 10)
4 16-ounce jars mild salsa verde
8 cups fresh cilantro sprigs (from 2 bunches)
2 16-ounce containers sour cream (about 4 cups)
2 16-ounce packages frozen corn, thawed
2 pounds Muenster or Monterey Jack cheese, grated (8 cup)
Kosher salt and back pepper
32 6-inch flour tortillas

Place the chicken in a large pot, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cooked through, 25 to 35 minutes; remove from pot and let cool. when cool enough to handle, shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. divide the chicken meat between 2 large bowls.

meanwhile, in a blender, working in batches, puree the salsa, cilantro, and 2 cups of the sour ceam until smooth; transfer to a medium saucepan as you work. Simmer the sauce until slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes; stir in the remaining 2 of sour cream.

To each bowl of chicken, add 1 package of corn, 1 cup of the sauce, 2 cups of the cheese, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper and toss to combine.

Spread 1 cup of the remaining sauce in each of the four 9-by-13-inch baking dishes (4 cups total). Roll the chicken mixture in the tortillas (about 1/2 cup per tortilla) and place seam-ide down in the dishes (8 rolls per dish). Top each dish of enchilada with 1 cup each of the remaining sauce and cheese.


Bake the enchiladas at 400F until bubbling and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Freeze the unbaked enchiladas, tightly sealed, for up to 3 months. To cook, thaw the enchilada and bake, uncovered, at 400F until heated through, bubbling, and beginning to brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve with...
Cilantro, sour cream, and rice.

This is a Real Simple recipe. Found at

This recipe costs approximately $10 a pan.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sweet Potato and Gruyere turnovers

This recipe is for 4 meals. Divide accordingly for one meal.

3 large onions
3 pounds sweet potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
4 bunches Swiss chard, stems discarded and leaves cut into 1/2-in strips (about 24 cups)
1 pound Gruyere, grated (4 cups)
2 tablespons fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and black pepper
8 refrigerated rolled piecrust, each cut in half (to form 16 half-circles)
1 large egg, beaten

In a food processor fitted with the large grating disk, grate the onions; transfer to a bowl. Grate the sweet potatoes and transfer to a second bowl.

Divide the oil between 2 large pots and heat over medium-high heat. Divide the onions bbetween the pots and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Divide the chard between the pots and cook, stirring, until wilted, 5 to 7 minutes.

Divide the vegetable mixture between 2 bowl. Dividing evenly between the bowls, fold in the sweet potatoes, Gruyere, and tyme; season each with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread the sweet potato mixture from both bowls onto a rimmed baking sheet and let cool for 10 minutes.

dividing evenly, spoon the mixture onto one ide of each half-circle of piecrust (about 1/2 cup per piecrust), leaving a 1/2-inch border. Dot the borders with water, fold the dough over to form a quarter-circle, and press firmly to seal; crimp, if desired. Cut 3 slits in each turnover and brush with the egg.

Bake the turnovers on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 400F until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Freeze the uncooked turnovers on a parchment-lined baking sheet just until firm, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to freezer-safe resealable bags and freeze for up to 3 months. To cook, bake the turnovers from frozen on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 400F until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.

Serve with...a green salad.

*This recipe is from Real Simple magazine.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Southwestern Chicken Wraps

Another great recipe from Jennifer!
* 3/4 cup sour cream
* 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped green chiles
* 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* Chili Powder
* 4 sandwich wraps, (10 inches each)
* baby spinach
* shredded cooked chicken
* black beans, drained and rinsed
* tomato, thinly sliced
* red onion, thinly sliced
* avocado, thinly sliced

1. In a bowl, whisk together sour cream, green chiles, and lime juice; season with salt and pepper and chili powder.(Or you can mix some salsa verde in with the sour cream)
2. Spread sandwich wraps with sour-cream sauce, leaving a 2-inch border. In center of wraps, layer equal amounts of baby spinach, shredded chicken, black beans, tomato, onion, and avocado. For each wrap, fold two sides of wrap over filling, then roll tightly, ending seam side down.

Ginger Cookies

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
4 Tbsp. molasses
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add molasses, salt, and egg, blend
well. Sift dry ingredients and blend into creamed mixture. Shape into
small balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheet and
bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jennifer's Sandwich

This is directly pasted from the email with the recipe that Jennifer sent me. I love this recipe for a picnic lunch!!!
It is based off of a Julia Child's recipe, but I think the method
could be adapted to making any kind of large sandwiches to cut and
serve a big group of people.

For the vinaigrette:
1 shallot, minced
1 anchovy fillet, minced
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 round of Focaccia* or other round loaf
Extra-virgin olive oil
About 6 leaves red-leaf lettuce, washed and dried
8 oz fresh mozzarella, in 1/4" thick flat slices
3/4 c black olives, chopped
sliced turkey, salami or other deli meat

plastic wrap
2 cookie sheets
Heavy pan or other weighty items for pressing the sandwich

To make the vinaigrette, mix the shallot, anchovy and vinegar in a
small bowl, and gradually whisk in the oil with a fork. Season with
salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the bread horizontally into even top and bottom layers. Turn the
top over, then drizzle olive oil all over the cut sides of both
layers, using 2 or 3 Tbs of oil on each.

Make layers of all the filling ingredients. First, completely cover
the sandwich bottom with 5 or 6 lettuce leaves, then arrange the
slices of mozzarella on top. Scatter the chopped olives and cover with
the tomato slices in a single layer.

Spoon about half the vinaigrette over the tomatoes, then distribute
deli meat evenly. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette all over the
filling. Finally, replace the top layer of the bread to close the

Wrap the sandwich well with several layers of plastic wrap and place
on a cookie sheet or pizza pan or tray. Lay another tray on top of the
sandwich and center some heavy items to press and flatten the loaf (a
heavy pan and a 5-lb bag of sugar, for example).

Place the weighted sandwich in the refrigerator for at least a couple
of hours or overnight. Before serving, remove the weight, unwrap the
compressed sandwich, and let it come to room temperature. Cut into
serving-size wedges or, as an hors d'oeuvre cut in thin parallel
slices, and again into short, bite-size lengths. 1 large sandwich
makes 8 large wedges or 24-hors-d'oeuvre-size pieces.

*You don't want there to be too much bread, so a high round loaf is
not ideal, the flat of focaccia works best

The original recipe is from Julia Child's show Julia and Jacques:
Cooking at Home on PBS Create. The recipe called for using Brie
instead of mozzarella and distributing anchovy fillets over the
sandwich instead of deli meat, I've also heard of making the sandwich
with tuna.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salsa / Salad

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 5 ears)
(We sautéed frozen corn in a skillet with some olive oil.)
1 1/2 cups diced avocado (1/2-inch pieces)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup finely diced red onion

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper.

2. Add the corn, avocado, tomatoes, and onion and toss to mix. Serve at room temperature. Serves 4 to 6.

I served with quesadillas like a chunky salsa but it can be served as a salad as well.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Play Dough

1 cup flour
2 T cream of tartar
½ cup salt
1 to 2 T cooking oil
1 cup water
food coloring

Mix flour, cream of tartar, and salt in a pan. Mix desired coloring with water, add with oil to dry mixture. Cook over medium heat until thick.

Rainbow in a Bag

Mix 1 c cornstarch, 1/3 c sugar and 4 c water in a saucepan. Boil stirring constantly-looks like Vaseline. Cool. Fill 1/3 of bag with the mixture. Add food coloring. Zip and squish.

Baker's Clay

4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 teaspoon powdered alum
1 1/2 cups

Mix ingredients. If dry, work in extra water. Bake on un-greased cookie sheet 30 minutes @ 250. Turn and bake another1 1/2 hours. Remove and cool. Paint.

Peanut Butter Playdough

1 cup peanut butter
2/3 to 1 cup nonfat dry milk
2 t. honey (optional)
(Do not give honey to children under 1 year old

Mix ingredients. Add enough powdered milk to make play dough dry enough to handle. Play. Decorate with chow mein noodles, Cheerios, chocolate chips, raisins, coconut, etc.

Indoor Sandcastle Stuff

(aka Moon Sand)

2 cups clean, fine sand
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
Mix all three ingredients over a low heat (200). Remove when the mixture firms.
Cool and play! Store in an airtight container.

Bubble Recipe

1 Cup Water
2 T Light Karo syrup or 2 T Glycerin
4 Tablespoons JOY dish washing liquid


Metamucil Flubber

1 tsp Metamucil or similar soluble fiber
8 oz water

Mix 1 teaspoon of Metamucil with 1 cup (8 ounces) of water in a microwaveable bowl.
Place bowl in the microwave and nuke on high for 4-5 minutes (depends on microwave power) or until the goo is about to bubble out of the bowl. Turn off the microwave.
Let the mixture cool slightly, then repeat (microwave until about to overflow). The more times this step is repeated the more rubbery the substance will become.
After 5-6 microwave runs, (carefully - hot hot HOT) pour the flubber onto a plate or cookie sheet. A spoon can be used to spread it out.
Allow to cool. Flubber can be stored at room temperature in a sealed baggie for several months. It will last indefinitely in a sealed bag in the refrigerator.


1 c. liquid starch
1 c. white glue

Mix for 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

Coffee Eggs

1 cup Used coffee grounds
(If you are making several batches of eggs, call a local coffee shop to ask for some coffee grounds. A lot of shops save them for local community gardens.)
1/2 cup Cold coffee
1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Salt

Stir the coffee grounds, cold coffee, flour and salt until well mixed. Knead together and flatten it out onto the waxed paper.

Use the can to cut circles or the knife to cut slabs.

Press your objects firmly into the dough, when you take the
object out, you have your fossil.

Let dry overnight and hang.

These are great to put little toys or clues in. They really look like rocks!

Sand Eggs

1/2 c. cornstarch
1 c. sand
1/2 t alum
1/2 c. water
Cooked on medium heat to thick, cool on wax paper, put around toy and dry. Hide. Crack open to find toy.

White Mud

1 1/2 rolls toilet paper, torn into 2-3 square pieces
1/3 bar grated Ivory soap
4-6 cups of warm water (I used about 4 cups because I had cheep Sam's club toilet paper.)

Then you just mix it together with your hands. It looks horrible at first but then it just turns in to white globs that hold shape really well.

Sidewalk Chalk

1. Find a mold for your sidewalk chalk. Anything from a toilet tissue roll or small paper cup to fancy candy molds will work.
2. Mix together 1 cup of Plaster of Paris with 1 cup of water.
3. Add color to your mixture using powdered tempera paint.
4. Blend well and let stand for a few minutes.
5. Pour your mixture into the molds you chose.
6. Set aside and let dry completely.
7. Once dry you can remove your chalk from the mold.
8. Set it aside to dry for approximately 24 hours more.
9. Take your chalk outside and draw.

Sidewalk paint

Mix equal parts water and cornstarch with food coloring.
Paint the sidewalk.

Drier Sheets

New rinsed sponges or old wash cloths cut into 1/4ths

Combine ½ oz of liquid fabric softener with a pint of water.
Put the sponges into the mixture and squeeze excess liquid out.
Let dry and store on top of drier.

Also, using 1/4 cup vinegar in your laundry's rinse cycle keeps clothes soft. You can set aside a vinegar jug just for laundry and add about 2 dozen drops of your favorite essential oil to the vinegar if you'd like.

Laundry detergent

1 bar grated Ivory soap (or Fels Naptha, if you can find it)
1 cup Borax
1 cup washing soda.

Put the soap, borax, washing soda and 1 quart hot tap water in a pot and bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. It will get a little bubbly. Keep stirring until all the ingredients are dissolved.

Put 5 more quarts of hot tap water in a bucket. Add the soap mixture and stir until it’s well mixed. Let it cool. It gets really slimy as it cools. And it will still be a little lumpy.

I store in a big clear sweater tub with a lid. I scoop it out with an old ¼ cup.
I like that it is so cheep and easy to make. I have tried scenting it but prefer not to.

(If you cook on low for two days, you don't need to gate the soap.)


You can make it in the crockpot!!!

Dump the ingredients into your crockpot with some water on low all day. No need to grate the soap. When the soap is dissolved, dump with more water into your container then let cool.

This turned out the best consistency of any time I have made it. The only reason I even tried this was because we just got a gas stove and the vent is not yet hooked in, so I didn't want to set it on the stove on low all day.

Portobello Salad with Crispy Prosciutto

1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
4 small portobello mushroom caps, stemmed and thinly sliced
6 ribs celery from the heart with leafy greens, thinly sliced on an angle
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt and pepper
2 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
Truffle oil, for drizzling (optional)


1. Preheat the broiler. Arrange the prosciutto in a single layer on a foil-covered baking sheet and broil until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.

2. Toss the mushrooms, celery and onion with the EVOO and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a platter and top with the arugula and parsley. Drizzle with truffle oil, if using. Break up the crispy prosciutto and scatter over the salad.

Creamy Shrimp Rolls

¼ cup mayonnaise
1 T fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and pepper
1 ½ lbs cooked medium shrimp, cut in half cross wise
2 stalks celery, chopped
¼ cup sliced chives (optional)
4 hot dog buns
1 small head butter lettuce, torn into pieces
1 5 oz bag potato chips
In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Fold in the shrimp, celery, and chives, if desired. Line the buns with the lettuce and fill with the shrimp mixture. Serve with the potato chips.

Prosciutto and roasted red pepper sandwiches

1 baguette
2 T Dijon mustard
4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto or salami
4 oz Asiago, Parmesan, or some other hard cheese, sliced
1 12 oz jar roasted red peppers, halved

Slice the baguette in half horizontally. Spread the bottom half with
the mustard and layer with the prosciutto, cheese, and red peppers.
Sandwich with the top of the bread and cut crosswise into 4

Roast beef and Cheddar roll-ups

4oz cream cheese, softened
2 T prepared horseradish
4 large flour tortillas
1 head romaine lettuce, tough ribs removed (I use spinach)
8oz thinly sliced deli roast beef
4 oz Cheddar, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and horseradish. Spread
evenly over each tortilla.

Layer the tortillas with the lettuce, roast beef, and Cheddar and roll up.

Indonesian Beef Satay

1 pound skirt or flank steak, trimmed
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
16 (9-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Peanut Sauce:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon Thai red curry paste (we used Thai Kitchen brand)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1. To make the satay: If using skirt steak, cut the meat crosswise into 4 pieces, each about 4 inches long. Slice each piece across the grain into 4 strips 1 inch wide. Lightly pound the strips to flatten them. If using flank steak, halve the meat lengthwise, then thinly slice it across the grain into 30 to 40 1/4-inch strips. (Tip: Partially freezing the meat for 45 minutes makes it easier to slice).

2. Whisk the lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, dark brown sugar, garlic, curry powder, and crushed red pepper in a medium bowl. Add the steak and toss gently. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.

3. Prepare your grill or heat a grill pan to medium-high. Lightly oil the grates or pan.

4. Thread 1 piece of skirt steak, or 2 to 3 pieces of flank steak, onto the skewers, stretching each piece taut to maximize contact with the grill.

5. Grill the skewers until the steak is seared and just cooked through,
about 2 minutes per side. Serve with the Peanut Sauce. Serves 4. SAFETY
NOTE: If you plan to eat right off the skewer, be sure to use bamboo
(not metal) to avoid burns.

6. To make the peanut sauce: Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the
shallots, garlic, and Thai red curry paste and sauté over medium-low
heat until the shallots and garlic are just tender and fragrant, about 3

7. Stir in the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, dark brown sugar, and water.
Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the lime
juice and let the sauce cool slightly. Serve warm or at room
temperature. Makes 1 2/3 cups.

Potato, Leek, and Feta Tart

Thanks for the picture Kathie!

Serves 4
Hands-on Time: 20m
Total Time: 1hr 20m

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks (white and light green parts), cut into half-moons
2 small zucchini, cut into half-moons
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled Feta (about 2 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 Red Bliss potatoes (8 ounces), thinly sliced
1 store-bought 9-inch piecrust


1. Heat oven to 375º F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium
heat. Add the leeks, zucchini, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper
and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the Feta and dill. Add the potatoes and toss to combine.

2. On a piece of parchment paper, roll the piecrust to a 12-inch
diameter. Slide the paper onto a baking sheet. Spoon the potato
mixture onto the piecrust, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the edge of
the piecrust over the edge of the potato mixture. Bake (covering with
foil if the crust gets too dark) until the piecrust is golden brown
and the potatoes are tender, 50 to 60 minutes.

When selecting leeks, look for straight, firm stalks. Limp leeks are old.

Nutritional Information
Calories 396; Fat 22g; Sat Fat 9g; Cholesterol 27mg; Sodium 668mg;
Protein 7g; Carbohydrate 44g; Fiber 2g

My version:

I made this for lunch today and realized I should probably type this recipe up the way I actually make it. :) It is so much FASTER and just as delicious.

The pie crust at the store comes two in a box. I can eat 1/2 of the tart myself, so I normally make both of the pie crusts for four people.

olive oil, as needed
2 leeks (white and light green parts), cut into half-moons
(if I don't have leeks or enough leeks, I add some chopped yellow onion)
2 small zucchini, cut into half-moons
kosher salt and black pepper (if desired)
1/2 the container crumbled Feta
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
4 Red Bliss potatoes (8 ounces), thinly sliced
2 store-bought 9-inch piecrust

I start by heating the oil. I add more oil as I go if things stick to the pan.

I preheat the oven to 450F (as the pie crust directions indicate).

I THINLY slice the red potatoes. I put them in the pan first and stir occasionally as I chop the other ingredients. I wait for them to start to brown around the edges then add the salt, pepper, leek and zucchini. I stir the vegetables occasionally until the zucchini starts to brown and soften. I add the feta and dill. I stir for a few minutes while the feta softens and there is a wonderful smell.

On a cookie sheet, I place some parchment paper and roll out a pie crust. I put 1/2 of the mixture on the pie crust. I fold over the edges of the pie crust but the middle still shows. I bake for 11-15 minutes (as the pie crust directions indicate). I normally bake it for 14 minutes. The pie crust will start to be golden brown towards the bottom. (I normally put the second tart in 1/2 way through the baking of the first tart.)

The tart should easily slide onto a cutting board to be cut into fourths and enjoyed.

Crispy Prosciutto and Scallion Frittata

Serves 4
Hands-on Time: 10m
Total Time: 30m

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1-inch pieces
8 large eggs
3 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups arugula (about 2 bunches)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (mmm…I don’t like this, we use parmesan.)


1. Heat oven to 350° F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook, stirring, for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, Parmesan, and pepper. Add the cooked scallions and prosciutto. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and stir to distribute the ingredients.

3. Bake until browned around the edges and puffed (a knife should come out clean), 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, divide the arugula among individual plates. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil, sprinkle with the salt, and top with the goat cheese. Cut the frittata into triangles and serve with the salad.
Tip If you don't own an ovenproof nonstick skillet, use a seasoned cast-iron pan instead.

Chicago Style Italian Beef Sandwiches

9-10 pounds Top Inside Beef Round
3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
2 quarts Water
½ cup Chopped Oregano
¼ cup Salt
¼ cup Pepper
1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
35 French Rolls
1 ½ pounds sliced Mozzarella Cheese
Roast meat 10-12 minutes per pound for medium.
130 degrees for rare.
140 degrees for medium.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place sirloin in roasting pan. Dry roast
for 15-20 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and add water, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes. Return to oven and roast at 350 degrees for 2-2 ½ hours (no lid).

Remove from oven. Rest 15 minutes. Thinly slice. Serve on rolls
with juice for dipping.

Garnish with sliced sweet bell peppers and hot giardinara.

Breakfast Burritos

Flour tortillas
In a bowl, lightly mix the eggs (mostly breaking the yolks), throw in a bit of oil and some seasoning (cumin, chipotle sauce, whatever) and let sit until pan heated and scramble
Hash browns- can use frozen and follow package directions or make them from scratch with fresh potatoes. Shred potatoes with cheese shredder rinse and dry! Don’t forget this step to get some starch off so they will stick together.
Meat- bacon, chorizo, sausage, whatever
Leftovers in fridge from the week- black beans, sautéed onions or green peppers, etc.

Cook everything and pile it your tortilla. Top with sour cream and salsa then roll it up. You just can’t mess these up. They are so good!


Lavash can be purchased in the deli section. It is like a big saltine cracker.

Put thinly cut Havarti slices on it (put Havarti in the freezer for a few minutes before slicing), some veggies and/or chicken and/or prosciutto on it and bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cumin-Crusted Pot Roast with Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips

Browning the pot roast before it braises maximizes the flavors in the dish by creating a caramelized crust on the meat.

1 ½ T instant minced onion
1 T cumin seeds
1 t-dried oregano
½ t garlic powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ¼ t salt, divided 3 lb boneless chuck roast, trimmed
Cooking spray
4 small onions, each cut into 8 wedges
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 (14 oz) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
3 cups (1/2 inch) cubed peeled sweet potatoes
2 cups chopped peeled parsnips
2 cups (1/2 in) pieces green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Combine first five ingredients in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground. Stir in ½ t salt. Lightly coat roast with cooking spray; rub spices mixture over roast.

3. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add roast to pan, and cook for six minutes turning to brown on all sides. Remove roast from pan. Add onions to pan; sauté three minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic, and sauté for one minute. Add balsamic vinegar, beef broth, and diced tomatoes; bring to a boil. Return roast to pan; cover. Bake at 350 for two hours, turning roast after one hour.

4. Add potatoes, parsnips, and bell pepper to pan; cover and bake an additional one hour or until vegetables are tender. Remove roast from pan, and let stand for 15 minutes. Shred meat with two forks. Stir remaining ¼ t salt and parsley into vegetable mixture. Serve roast with vegetable mixture and cooking liquid.

Turkey Panini with Onion-Cranberry marmalade

This is outrageously good. Don't be deterred by the weird ingredients. (For Two People)

4 slices multi grain bread
4 slices (1/2 oz each) Havarti cheese
4 oz thinly sliced deli mesquite turkey (6 slices)
Onion-Cranberry marmalade (see below)1/4 small Granny Smith apple, cut into eight thin slices

Onion-Cranberry Marmalade: Pour 2 T hot water over 1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries in bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 t oil in pan over medium heat; add 1 cup thinly sliced onion. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until onion softens and begins to caramelize. Add 2 T cider vinegar; stir to loosen browned bits from bottom of pan. Add 2 T orange marmalade, cranberries and any liquid from soaking. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

1. Lightly spray one side of bread slices with oil; arrange bread, oil side down, on cutting board. Top two bread slices with half of the cheese, turkey, marmalade and apple slices. Top with remaining cheese and bread slices oil side up.

2. Heat fry pan/grill/George Foreman grill (we used this, worked great!) over medium-low heat five minutes. Put top on grill and press (or press down in pan). Cook 3-4 minutes or until grill marks appear and cheese is melted. Turning once.

Stir Fry Pork

1/4 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
8 oz sugar snap peas
3 green onions, cut diagonally sliced
2 T soy sauce
1 t cornstarch
1/2 t ground ginger

Cook rice.
Heat dressing in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add meat; cook and stir two minutes. Add peppers and peas; cook three minutes, stirring frequently. Add onions; cook and stir 1 minute.
Mix soy sauce, cornstarch and ginger until well blended. Add to meat mixture in skillet; cook one minute or until sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Serve over rice.


1 lb Andouille sausage- thinly sliced
3 T olive oil
2/3 c chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup chopped parseley
1 cup chopped celery
2 16 oz cans tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped green onion
1 ½ t thyme
2 bay leaves
2 t oregano
1 T Creole seasoning
¼ t pepper
2 cups raw long grain rice
2 lbs medium raw shrimp (peeled/washed) or chopped chicken breast

In a 4 qt. Heavy pot, sauté sausage until firm. Remove sausage and add olive oil to drippings. Sauté green pepper, garlic, parsley and celery for five minutes. Chop tomatoes and reserve fluid. Add tomatoes, tomato liquid, chicken broth and green onion to the pot. Stir in all the spices. Wash and rinse rice thoroughly. Add rice to mixture. Add sausage back to mixture and cook for 30 minutes covered over low heat, stirring occasionally. After most of the liquid has been absorbed, add shrimp and cook until they turn pink. Transfer mixture to casserole dish and bake in oven preheated to 350 for 25 minutes.

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Shrimp

Peanut sauce:
¼ c creamy peanut butter
1/4 to 1/3 c water
2 T soy sauce
1 ½ T rice vinegar
1-2 t chile paste
½ t sugar
¼ t salt

4 c cooked udon noodles (8oz) or linguine
1 red bell pepper, julienned
¾ c. chopped, seeded cucumber
¼ c diagonally cut green onions
3 T chopped roasted peanuts
2 T cilantro leaves
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Combine sauce ingredients.
Toss shrimp with ¼ t salt. Sauté for three minutes on each side.
Combine sauce, shrimp, noodles, bell peppers, cucumber and onions in a large bowl; toss well. Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro.

Easy Beef Stroganoff

1 12oz package egg noodles
1 tablespoon live oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 4- to 4.5- oz can or jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 10-oz package fully cooked beef strips
1 8oz container sour cream 2 ½ T steak sauce

Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan, over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and salt. And cook for five minutes. Add the beef and cook until warmed through about 8 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream nd steak sauce and stir the mixture into the beef and mushrooms,. Divide the drained noodles among individual plates and top with the stroganoff.

Salmon Fillet en Papillote with Julienne Vegetable

1/3 cup julienned fennel bulb
1/3 cup julienned leeks, white part only
1/3 cup julienned carrots
1/3 cup julienned snow peas
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon whole coriander seed, ground fine
1 (8-ounce) salmon fillet, in bones removed
1 orange cut into wedges with white, pithy membrane removed
1 tablespoon dry vermouth.

Take a 15 by 36-inch piece of parchment paper and fold in 1/2 like a book. Draw a large 1/2 heart on paper with fold of paper being the center of the heart. Cut out heart and open. Lay fennel, leeks, carrots, and snow peas on parchment in center to 1 side of fold. Mix together salt, pepper, and ground coriander. Sprinkle vegetables with 1/2 of salt, pepper, and coriander. Lay salmon on top of vegetables and season with remaining salt, pepper and coriander. Top with the orange wedges and sprinkle with vermouth. Fold other side of heart over fish and starting at top of heart shape, fold up both edges of parchment, overlapping folds as you move along. Once you reach the end tip, twist several times to secure tightly. Place on microwave safe plate and cook for 4 minutes, on high in microwave, or until fish reaches 131 degrees. Open parchment carefully and serve for a complete meal.

Caribbean Black beans, Peppers and pineapple

1 cup white rice
3 bell peppers (1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow)
1 cup cubed fresh pineapple
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup salsa

Cook rice as directed on package. Spray large skillet with cooking spray; stir-fry peppers until crisp-tender. Stir in pineapple, black beans and salsa, heat through. Serve over cooked rice.

Speedy Sloppy Joe

1 7.5 oz tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
(I make my own sage cheese biscuits and serve with sauté veggies from the garden.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey or beef
Kosher salt and pepper
1 cup fresh salsa

Bake the biscuits according to the package directions. Let cool before slicing each biscuit in half. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook until no trace of pink remains, about seven minutes. Season with ½ t salt and ¼ t pepper. Stir in the salsa and cook until heated through, about two minutes more. Place the bottom halves of the biscuits on a plate. Top with the meat mixture and sandwich with the remaining biscuit halves.

Super Stuffed French Bread Pizza Rustica

1 (2 foot long) loaf French bread
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 package frozen chopped spinach defrosted and squeezed dry
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 pound sweet sopressata, from the deli, sliced thick, chopped
1/2 stick pepperoni, chopped
1 sack (10 ounces) shredded mozzarella
1 sack (10 ounces) shredded provolone
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Split bread lengthwise and hollow it out. Cut in half across, making 4 shells for pizzas.

Heat a skillet over medium high flame and brown sausage in
extra-virgin olive oil. Brown and crumble sausage. Add red bell
pepper, onion and garlic. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, add spinach. Remove mixture from heat and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper, to your taste.

Transfer to a bowl. Combine sausage and veggies with ricotta,
Parmesan, sopressata and pepperoni. Fill bread shells and top with
mounded mozzarella and provolone cheeses. Place in hot oven on cookie sheet and bake until cheese melts and bubbles and bread is super crisp, about 10 to 12 minutes. Top pizzas with oregano and hot pepper flakes. Serve immediately, or snack all night!

Wild Salmon and Potato Casserole with Citrus-Herb Vinaigrette

1 lb wild salmon fillet , skin removed
3/4 t salt
1/3 t pepper
1 lb new potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 c olive oil
1 T olive oil
1 lemon, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
12 pitted black olives, such as niçoise or picholine
2 T lemon juice
1 T fresh orange juice
2 T chopped basil
1 t fresh thyme leaves

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Season the salmon fillet with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper on both sides. Place the potatoes in a single layer in an 8 1/2- by 11-inch casserole. Drizzle
1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the potatoes and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

2. Remove from oven and layer half the lemon slices over potatoes. Lay the fillet over the lemon slices, top with remaining lemon slices and olives, and return to oven. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F and roast until salmon and potatoes are cooked through -- about 40 minutes.

Pot Stickers with Snap Peas

Serves 4

1 1 pound bag frozen pot stickers
¼ pound sugar snap peas, trimmed (about 4 cups)
2 medium carrots, sliced
½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
¼ pound bean sprouts (about 1 ½ cups)
¼ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
2 scallions, sliced

Fill a large saucepan with 1 inch of water and fit with a steamer basket (or fill a large skillet with ½ inch of water.) Bring the water to a boil. Place the pot stickers in the basket (or skillet, cover, and steam for 4 minutes. [ I did neither of these. I bake my pot stickers and put them on top of the veggies at the end.]

Add the snap peas and carrots, cover, and steam until the pot stickers are cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 4 to 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the soy sauce and sesame oil. Divide the bean sprouts among bowls and top with the pot stickers and vegetables. Sprinkle with peanuts and scallions. Serve with the sauce.

This is REALLY good- not heavy but flavorful.

Spicy Green Beans with Pork

1 lb pork tenderloin
2 T soy sauce
2 T rice wine
¼ t black pepper
¼ cup chicken stock
1 T spicy bean sauce
1 T hoisin sauce
1 ½ t chili garlic sauce
1 ½ t sugar
1 sesame oil
2 t cornstarch
¼ cup peanut or vegetable oil
1 lb green beans, trimmed and snapped in half
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1 inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup toasted white sesame seeds

Cut the pork into thin strips. (tip: first partially freeze it for 30 to 90 minutes. ) In a small bowl, toss the shaved pork with 2 T of soy sauce, 1 T of rice wine, and the pepper. Marinate the port at room temperature while assembling the rest of the ingredients.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, the reaming tablespoon of rice wine, the stock, spicy bean sauce, hoisin, chili garlic sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch, and set aside.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the beans and stir-fry them until they begin to brown or blister, about 10 minutes. Remove the beans from the pan using a slotted spoon and pour off all but 2 T of the oil. Return the pan to the heat and add the pork, garlic, and ginger.

Stir-fry the mixture until the port is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the green onions and cook for 1 minute. Add the reserved sauce and green beans, mix well, and cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about one minute. Finally, sprinkle with sesame sees before serving. Makes 5 cups.

I serve over rice.

Ham and Potato Skillet

1 pound small potatoes
1 cup water
8 ounces fresh green beans or 9 ounces frozen
8 ounces sour cream
2 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. mustard
3/4 tsp. fresh dill or 1/4 tsp. dried
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups cubed ham
Tomato and fresh dill for garnish

1-Scrub and slice potatoes; halve any large slices.

2-In a large skillet bring the water to boiling. Add potatoes and fresh green beans (if using). Cover and cook about 5 minutes or until potatoes and beans are tender. (If using frozen beans, cook potatoes 10 minutes; add beans. Return to boil. Cook 5 minutes more.) Drain well; return to skillet.

3-Meanwhile, in small saucepan, stir together sour cream, flour, mustard, dill, and pepper. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Pour over vegetables in skillet. Stir in ham. Heat through. If desired, garnish with tomato slices and dill.

Hot Vanilla

½ cup of whipping cream
1 T of chocolate syrup
Dash of cinnamon
1 cup milk (per hot vanilla)
2 t sugar (per hot vanilla)
½ t of vanilla extract (per hot vanilla)

Start with the topping. In a medium bowl, whip 1/2 cup of whipping cream until it's frothy. Add 1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup and a dash of cinnamon, then continue to whip the mixture until everything is well blended and peaks form. Makes enough to top about 6 drinks.

For each hot vanilla, microwave 1 cup of milk and 2 teaspoons of sugar in a mug for 90 seconds. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Top with a dollop of chocolate cream, a drizzle of chocolate syrup, and a dash of cinnamon.