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.

Blackberry limeade

6 cups water, divided
3 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
8 thin lime slices
Fresh blackberries (optional)

Place 1 cup water and 3 cups blackberries in a blender; process until
smooth. Press blackberry puree through a sieve into a large pitcher;
discard seeds. Add remaining 5 cups water, sugar, and juice to
pitcher, stir until sugar dissolves. Place 1 lime slice and a few
blackberries, if desired, into each of 8 glasses; pour about 1 cup
limeade over each serving.

Orange Julius

2 cups water
1/3 cup powdered milk, to make it extra foamy
1/2 a can frozen concentrated OJ
10-12 cubes
1 tsp. Vanilla

Banana Smoothie

Blend together
Frozen banana
1 container vanilla yogurt (MSPI coconut yogurt)
2 T peanut butter
Milk (coconut milk or almond milk)

One-pan chicken and potato bake

4- bone-in chicken pieces (1 ½ lb)
4 large potatoes, cut into wedges
¼ cup Kraft Zesty Italian dressing
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Place chicken and potatoes in 13 by 9 baking dish. Pour dressing over chicken and potatoes. . Bake 1 h our or until chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with cheese (and a little parsley).

This is SO EASY, tastes great, and is good for picky company. Serve with a salad.

Whole Chicken

Rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Set in a pan on a wire rack. Put a 1/2 spoon full of salt on the inside. Leave legs/wings tied down. Put 4 cups water under the bird along with a few splashes of white cooking wine.

Put olive oil on the bird followed by black pepper, thyme and rosemary.

Cook at 375 degrees for 1 hr and 20 minutes, baste every 15 minutes.
(This is for a 3 1/2 to 4 lb chicken.)

(Length to 2 hours cooking time if the chicken is 4 1/2 to 5lbs. Or if it is 5 to 6 lbs lower the temperature to 325 degrees and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.)

Just throw a whole frozen chicken in the crockpot and cook it on low for 10 hrs. It is so easy to de-bone so you can add it to any recipe.

Cashew Chicken

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
1/4 cup orange juice
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 green onions — chopped
1 large carrot — sliced
1/2 celery stalk — sliced
1/2 cup cashews
3 cups brown rice — cooked

In a bowl, combine juice, soy sauce, honey, cornstarch and seasonings. In a wok or large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil until it begins to smoke. Stir-fry vegetables for several minutes until the onions become fragrant. Set aside.

Remove from skillet and heat another tablespoon of oil until smoking and stir-fry chicken strips until browned and tender. Add cooked vegetables, cashews and sauce mixture. Continue cooking until sauce bubbles and thickens. Serve over brown rice.

Orange Chicken over Rice

Reheat cooked chicken in orange juice with a few shakes of Tabasco sauce, raisins (Californian and golden), dried cranberries, and walnuts. Serve over brown rice.

Chicken Curry in a Hurry

1 ½ T olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 t curry powder
½ cup plain yogurt
¾ heavy cream
½ t kosher salt
¼ t black pepper
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (optional)
1 rotisserie chicken
2 cups cooked white rice (optional)
¼ fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for seven minutes. Sprinkle with the curry powder and cook, stirring for one minute. Add the yogurt and cream and simmer gently for three minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, and tomatoes (if using). Remove from heat. Slice or shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Divide the rice (if using) and chicken among individual bowls, spoon the sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the cilantro.

Honey Chicken Skewers with Grilled-Corn Salad

½ cup ketchup
2 T honey
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and pepper
Canola oil, for the grill
6 ears corn, shucked
1 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 scallions, sliced

Place twenty 8 inch wooden skewers in water to soak. Heat grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, honey, and Worcestershire sauce; set aside.

Slice the chicken lengthwise into twenty ½ inch thick strips. Thread each strip onto a wooden skewer. Season with ¼ t salt and ¼ t pepper.

Lightly oil the grill. Cook the chicken, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes, basting with the ketchup mixture during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Meanwhile, grill the corn, turning occasionally, until slightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Cut the kernels off the cobs, place in a medium bowl, and toss with the butter, scallions, ¼ t salt, and ¼ t pepper. Serve with the chicken.

Chicken Pot Pie

hands-on time: 35 minutes/ total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

1 lb boneless, skinless breasts (I use pieces from a whole chicken or a rotisserie chicken. I do not a whole pound.)
1 T olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 carrots, diced
3 T all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups 1 percent milk
1 10-ounce package frozen peas (or whatever veggies)
1 T fresh thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper (don't skimp on the pepper)
1 9-inch store-bought piecrust

(Skip if using chicken pieces) Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cook the chicken in a pot of simmering water until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes; let cool, then shred.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, 6 to 8 minutes (do not let them darken). Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the wine and cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and simmer until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Sir in the chicken, peas, thyme, 3/4 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper. Transfer to a shallow 1 1/2- to 2- qt baking dish.

Lay the crust on top, pressing to seal. Cut several vents in the crust. Place the pot pie on a baking sheet and bake until bubbling and the crust is golden, 30 to 35 minutes. (Mine took 11 minutes for the crust to get golden, everything inside was already warm.)

Homestyle Chicken Pot Pie

2 Tbsp. Butter or Margarine, divided
1 pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Dried Thyme Leaves
¼ tsp. Black Pepper
1 package (16 ounce) Frozen mixed veggies, stew veggies work great
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/3 cup Milk
1 refrigerated pie crust (1/2 0f 15-oz. package), at room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in medium
broilerproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sprinkle
with salt, thyme, and pepper. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in vegetables, soup, and milk. Simmer 5 minutes.

3. While soup mixture is simmering, unwrap pie crust. Using knife cut slits in crust.

4. Remove chicken mixture from heat; top with pie crust. Melt
remaining tablespoon butter. Brush pie crust with 2 teaspoons melted butter. Bake 12 minutes. Turn oven to broil; broil 4-5 inches from heat source 2 minutes or until crust is golden brown and chicken mixture is bubbly.

Makes 4-5 servings.

Bean Burritos

3/4 cup rice (brown or white)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeno chile, chopped (ribs and seeds removed, for less heat)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cans (15 oz each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed (or mix chickpeas & black beans)
1 bag frozen corn kernels, (10 ounces)
6 scallions, thinly sliced
8 burrito-size flour tortillas, 10 inches each
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Salsa and sour cream, optional

1. Cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onions, garlic, jalapeno, and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

3. Add beans and 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add corn; cook to heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in scallions.

4. Heat tortillas according to package instructions; fill with rice, bean mixture, and cheese.

5. Assemble: Mound 1/4 cup rice, 3/4 cup bean mixture, and 1/4 cup cheese on one side of tortilla. Fold, and hold in sides. Starting from filled end, holding sides in as you work, tightly roll into a bundle. Place on a baking sheet, seam side down, and prepare remaining burritos.

6. Serve immediately, with salsa and sour cream, if using, or wrap individually in plastic and freeze up to 3 months.

To Reheat from frozen at home: Remove frozen burritos from plastic wrap. Place on a microwave-safe plate; microwave on high for 3 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet; bake at 450 degrees until crispy, about 10 minutes.

To Reheat from frozen microwave only: Remove from plastic wrap, and place on a microwave-safe plate, covered with a microwave safe bowl. Defrost at high power for 3 to 4 minutes; uncover, and microwave on high 3 to 4 minutes longer.

To Reheat only oven: Remove burritos from plastic wrap; rewrap individually in aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet; bake at 450 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove foil, and bake to crisp, 5 to 10 minutes.

(To reheat defrosted burritos, remove any wrapping and bake for 10 minutes).

One burrito is approximately $1.20.

Grilled chicken and spinach quesadillas

1 2 to 2 1/2 pound rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
4 cups baby spinach (about 3 oz)
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack (6oz)
4 large flour tortillas
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup fresh salsa
1/4 cup sour cream

Heat grill to medium. (Or just make them in the oven.) In a large
bowl, combine the chicken, spinach, and cheese. Dividing evenly,
place the mixture on one half of each tortilla. Fold the other half
over to cover.

Grill the quesadillas until the cheese has melted and the tortillas
are crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve with the avocado, salsa,
and sour cream.

Cornbread Enchilada Bake

1 cup cheese, divided (1/4 cup mix, 3/4 cup on top)
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 t. cumin
1/8 t. red pepper flakes
1 can creamed corn
1 box corn muffin mix or dry ingredients of corn muffin mix (see below)
[Dry mix: 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup corn meal, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 t. baking powder, 1/2 t salt (optional)]
1 can chopped green chilies, drained
1 can enchilada sauce
cooked chicken

Mix ingredients together.
Put in a 9x13 greased pan.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Pull out of oven, stab with fork then pour enchilada sauce over. (1 can ...15 oz. Old El Paso or Best Choice. The brand that you purchase changes to the taste A LOT!)

Put some cooked chicken pieces on top and the rest of the cheese.
Then bake for 15 more minutes at 400.

Bake Chicken Chimichangas

2 1⁄2 Cups chicken, cooked, shredded
2 TB. vegetable oil
1⁄2 Cup chopped onion (1 small)
2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1⁄2 tsp. MINCED
GARLIC rehydrated in 1 TB. water)
2 mild green chilies, roasted, peeled,
seeded and chopped (or 1 4-oz. can
chopped mild green chilies)
16 oz. salsa
1⁄4 Cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 1⁄2 tsp. GROUND CUMIN
salt, to taste
6 10-inch flour tortillas or 12 6-inch tortillas
1 Cup canned refried beans
2-4 TB. vegetable oil for basting
sour cream, optional
guacamole, optional
tomatoes, optional

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender. Stir in the green chilies, MEDIUM HOT CHILI POWDER, salsa, cilantro, CUMIN and salt. Stir in the shredded chicken. Let cool. Grease a rimmed 15x10x1 baking pan with 2 TB oil. Working with one tortilla at a time, spoon a heaping tablespoon of beans down the center of each tortilla. Top with a scant 1⁄2 cup of the chicken mixture (less if using smaller tortillas). Fold up the bottom, top and sides of the tortilla; roll up as though you were making a burrito and secure with wooden toothpicks if necessary. Place the chimichangas in the baking pan, seam side down. Brush all sides with oil.

Bake at 425° for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, turning at least once. Serve with sour cream, guacamole and tomatoes if desired.

Prep. time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 6

Nutritional Information:
Servings 6;
Serving Size 1chimichanga (287g); Calories 460; Calories from fat 160; Total fat 18g;
Cholesterol 50mg; Sodium 740mg; Carbohydrate 48g; Dietary
Fiber 6g.

Taco Salad Bowls

chili powder
ground beef
carrots shredded
thick salsa
beans (soy, pinto, whatever is handy)
spinach, washed and torn
1 large tomato, diced
shredded cheese

Spray tortillas. Put over 3 in ball of foil or small ceramic bowl on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 6-8 minutes or until the tortillas are golden brown. They will drape as they bake.

Brown meat with carrots and spices on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup salsa or more and the beans; cook 2 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

In each bowl, put shredded spinach, meat mixture, diced tomato, and shredded cheese. You can also top it with cilantro and/or sour cream.

Seven Layer Southwestern Salad

¾ cups sour cream
1 ½ cups thick and chunky salsa
1 can black soy beans
1 can canelinni beans (or Great Northern beans)
1 large green bell pepper, diced
grape tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or Pepper Jack)
Blue corn chips

Mix sour cream and salsa.

Drain and rinse beans.

Layer beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, and spinach. Top with sour cream/ salsa mix and cheese. Eat with blue corn chips.

(Add cooked chicken if desired.)

Beef Fajitas

1 ½ lb beef sirloin steak, thinly slices
½ cup Kraft Light Zesty Italian Reduced Fat Dressing, divided
2 large green peppers, cut into strips
1 large onion, cut into wedges
16 Tortillas
1 cup Sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
½ cup salsa

Combine steak and ¼ cup of the dressing in glass bowl; cover. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours to marinate, stirring occasionally. Remove steak; discard marinade.

Cook steak in remaining ¼ cup dressing in large skillet on medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove steak; keep warm.

Add peppers and onion, cook until tender. Add steak: cook until heated through. Serve in warm tortillas topped with cheese, sour cream and salsa.

Layered Enchilada Bake

1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups salsa
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed
¼ cup zesty Italian dressing
2 T taco seasoning mix
6 flour tortillas (8 inches)
1 cup sour cream
1 pkg Mexican style shredded four cheese

Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Brown meat with onions in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain. Add salsa, beans, dressing and chili powder; mix well. Put some meat mixture at the bottom of the pan to start. Then arrange three of the tortillas in single layer on bottom of prepared baking dish; cover with layers of half each of the meat mixture, sour cream and cheese. Repeat all layers Cover with foil.

Cook now: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake, covered 30 minutes. Remove foil. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted Let stand five minutes before cutting to serve.

Cook later: Freeze assembled uncooked casserole for up to three months. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake, covered, one hour. Remove foil. Bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted. Let stand five minutes before cutting to serve. Top with chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce and chopped cilantro.

Chicken Tacos

1 store-bought rotisserie chicken
2 cups store-bought red or green salsa (The BEST is Old El Paso medium.)

Add ins: beans (black, pinto or soy), green chilies, shredded carrot sautéed, onion sautéed

8 taco shells
1 cup grated Cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese
8 sprigs fresh cilantro (optional)
½ cup sour cream
1 avocado, chopped
1 lime, quartered

Remove the meat from the chicken and shred. Heat the salsa in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and heat until warmed through. Fill the taco shells with the chicken mixture and top with the cheese and cilantro (if using). Serve with the sour cream, avocado, and lime wedges on the side.

Fish Tacos

1 10.6-ounce package Fish Tenders
3 8-inch flour tortillas
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 10-ounce jar tartar sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce

Bake the fish according to the package directions. Wrap the stack of tortillas in foil and place in the oven during the last 5 minutes of baking. To assemble the tacos, place the warm tortillas on serving plates, put 2 tenders on each tortilla, and cover with a few slices of the onion. Add a dollop of the tartar sauce and top with 1/4 cup of the lettuce. Fold over and serve.

Broccoli and Shrimp Pasta

2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large nonstick skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter and oil until tender. Add broccoli and salt; cook and stir over medium-high heat for 8 minutes. Add shrimp; cook and stir 2-3 minutes longer or until shrimp turn pink and broccoli is tender. Drain pasta; transfer to a serving bowl. Add the broccoli mixture; toss gently. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Italian Casserole

This is great because one batch of sauce makes two
casseroles. Also, it is vegetarian so, no expensive meat to purchase.

Sweet and Tangy Spaghetti Sauce
1 jar meatless spaghetti sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 can Italian tomato chunks with liquid
2 envelopes McCormick's Thick and Zesty spaghetti sauce mix
1 medium onion diced
1 small each green and yellow or red bell pepper diced
Fresh mushrooms sliced
1-2 garlic cloves minced
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp each horsebradish mustard and plain mustard
1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar
Put all ingredients in large pot, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer
one hour.

3/4 cup milk
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups noodles, cooked, drained (wheat is good in this)
Mix milk and cream cheese. Heat in saucepan or microwave until cream
cheese melts. Mix in parmesan and noodles. Layer noodles, sauce,
noodles, sauce. Top with extra cheese if desired.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

You can also freeze this!
Just heat it in the oven with the foil on until heated through.

This meal is approximately $10 for a pan.

Cashew Chicken Pasta Salad

4-6 cups chopped chicken cooked with parsley, onion, and a little
vegetable oil
3 cups color spiral pasta--follow cooking directions for pasta--cool
2 stalks celery diced
6 green onions chopped--including the green
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1 package craisins
2 cups whole cashews

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Combine dressing ingredients and toss with the rest saving the cashews
to put on salad immediately before serving so they don't get soggy.
(Although, it is better if they have been on a little while so they get
soft and absorb some of the dressing.)

Grandma Dixie's Spaghetti Sauce

1 pound Ground Beef
2 tsp. Chili Powder
1 ½ Oregano
1 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
2 ¼ cups Tomato Juice
6 ounces Tomato Paste

Fettuccine with Bolognese Sauce

1 T olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ pound pancetta, chopped
1 ½ lb lean ground beef
1 c dry white wine
1 c whole milk
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 14 ½ oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
¼ t red pepper
2 T chopped fresh oregano, or 1 T dried
1/3 c fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
2 ½ t kosher salt
¼ t black pepper
1/8 t ground nutmeg
¼ cup grated Parmesan

In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and sauté for two minutes. Add the celery, carrot, and garlic and cook for five minutes more. Add the pancetta and cook for five minutes, then add the beef and cook until brown. Add the wine and the remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes. Serve with cooked fettuccine. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

BLT Pasta

YES, that is my one-year-old eating her pasta as she carries her plate to the table.

16 oz penne
12 slices bacon
1 7oz package arugula or spinach
1 pint grape tomatoes
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper.

Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile, fry the bacon over medium heat in a large skillet. Transfer to a paper towel- lined plate. Spoon all but 1 tablespoon of the back drippings into a small bowl; set aside. Return skillet to medium heat. Add the arugula/ spinach and stir until it wilts, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer the arugula/ spinach to the pasta. Return to skillet to medium heat, add the tomatoes and ½ tablespoon of the reserved drippings, and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes to the pasta and arugula/spinach and toss. If the pasta seems dry add up to 1 more tablespoon of the reserved drippings. Crumble the bacon over top, season with the salt and pepper and toss again. (ADD LOTS OF PEPPER!)

Farfalle with Zucchini and Prosciutto

1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup chopped onion
5 cups matchstick-cut zucchini (about 1 lb)
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 oz prosciutto, cut into thin strips (about 1 cup)
7 cups farfalle (1 lb uncooked bow tie pasta)

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes or until brown. Add zucchini; sauté 2 minutes. Remove zucchini mixture from pan. Add wine to pan; cook until reduced to 1 tablespoon (about 1 minute), scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Combine wine reduction, sliced green onions, and next 7 ingredients (through prosciutto) in a large bowl. Add zucchini and pasta; toss to coat.

Greek Chicken with Angel Hair Pasta

1 pound uncooked angel hair pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts chopped
2 cups chopped red onion
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
¼ cup (3 oz) feta cheese, crumbled

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sauté until chicken is almost cooked (not pink on outside). Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through tomatoes) to pan; stir well. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese. Serve with pasta.

Pasta with beef, broccoli and tomatoes

3 cups uncooked radiatore or rotini pasta
¾ pound beef boneless sirloin, cut into ¼- inch strips
½ teaspoon pepper
1 package (16 oz) fresh or frozen broccoli cuts
1 can (14 ½ oz) diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, undrained
1 can (14 ½ oz) beef broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.

2. Meanwhile, spray 12-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add beef to skillet; sprinkle with pepper. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until brown. Stir in broccoli, tomatoes and broth; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is crisp-tender.

3. Mix cornstarch and Worcestershire sauce; stir into beef mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Toss beef mixture and pasta.

Basic Marinara

Great for pasta.
For pizza sauce, don’t add broth. Add tomato sauce and/or paste then cook down to thicken.

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 3 medium)
1-tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried basil
1-½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 (28-ounce) cans no-salt-added crushed tomatoes

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook four minutes, stirring frequently. Add sugar and next seven ingredients (through fennel seeds); cooking one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vinegar; cook 30 seconds. Add broth and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 55 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

Greek Shrimp and Feta Penne

Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound penne pasta
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2-3 springs fresh oregano
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, devained, tails removed
A handful chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Crusty bread, for the table

Cook pasta to al dente. Drain.

Heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté one to two minutes Add wine cook two to three minutes. Add tomatoes simmer. Add feta and stir til melted. Add pepper and oregano, Stir to combine. Add shrimp. Cover and cook five minutes, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are pink and firm.

Add parsley and pasta. Enjoy!

Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce

1 pound uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
1 tablespoon butter
12 ounces presliced exotic mushroom blend
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Minced fresh parsley (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, shallots, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper; cook 12 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Add the cooked pasta, whipping cream, cheese, and 2 tablespoons parsley, tossing gently to coat. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Garnish with minced fresh parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

Creamy Spaghetti

5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
One 1/4-pound chunk pancetta or 4oz pkg pancetta, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs thyme
Salt and pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)
One 15.5-ounce can Roman beans or small white beans
1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (a generous handful)

1. In a large saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently.

2. In a wide, oval pot or a large skillet, melt the butter in the EVOO , 2 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until lightly browned, 2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaf and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Push the veggies to the side of the pan and add the spaghetti. Lightly toast the spaghetti, turning occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the wine and simmer until completely absorbed, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, then add a ladleful of the warm chicken broth. Keep adding the broth a few ladlefuls at a time, turning the noodles to absorb the liquid before adding more, as if you were making a risotto. Cook until most of the broth has been absorbed and the spaghetti is cooked until al dente, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs, then stir in the parmigiano-reggiano. Remove from the heat and stir for 1 minute.

3. Serve the creamy spaghetti in bowls, topped with the parsley.


Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound pasta, such as spaghetti or rigatoni
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan)
1/4 pound pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 large egg yolks
Freshly grated Romano cheese
Handful of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

1. Put a large saucepot of water on to boil. Add a liberal amount of salt and the pasta. Cook to al dente, about 8 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta. Brown pancetta 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine and stir up all the pan drippings.

3. In a separate bowl, beat yolks, then add 1 large ladleful (about 1/2 cup) of the pasta cooking water. This tempers the eggs and keeps them from scrambling when added to the pasta.

4. Drain pasta well and add it directly to the skillet with pancetta and oil. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Toss rapidly to coat the pasta without cooking the egg. Remove pan from heat and add a big handful of cheese, lots of pepper, and a little salt. Continue to toss and turn the pasta until it soaks up egg mixture and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and extra grated Romano.

Prosciutto Ring

2 cups + 3 tbsp bread flour (+1/2 cup, depending on texture)
1 tbsp malt powder (or 1 tbsp sugar)
3/4 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1 c water (70F - 90F)
3 oz Prosciutto, 1/8" thick -- cut into 1/2" pieces
4 tsp bacon fat, lard, or butter -- melted

Using the whisk attachment, thoroughly combine flour, malt, and yeast. Add salt and mix. Add the salt after mixing to avoid it coming into direct contact with the yeast.

Use the dough hook on the mixer, add water to bowl and combine with flour at low speed until moistened. Increase speed to medium and knead for seven minutes. Add Prosciutto and mix in on low. Dough should be tacky not sticky. If it is too sticky add a bit more flour and knead in, if too dry, spray with a bit of water and knead in.

Dump dough onto a lightly floured counter, shape into a ball, dust lightly with flour, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Place baking stone or a baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven and a baking sheet on the bottom of the oven. Heat oven to 450F.

Roll dough into an 18" rope, form into a ring, overlapping ends by two inches on a sheet of parchment paper. Cover with a large bowl or oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in bulk -- about one hour. Brush with melted bacon grease.

Transfer bread on parchment to stone or baking sheet. Toss half a dozen ice cubes into the pan on the bottom of the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes, remove parchment, and rotate bread 180 degrees. Bake another five minutes and reduce heat to 400F. Cook another 10 to 15 minutes. Turn oven off, prop open door, and leave the bread in the oven for five minutes.

Remove bread from oven, brush again with bacon fat or butter, and allow to cool completely.


Monkey Bread

2 cans Grands biscuits
1 cup Sugar
¼ Cinnamon
1 stick Butter
½ cup chopped Nuts
1 cup Brown Sugar

Cut each biscuit in fourths and shake in bag with sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Arrange in bunt pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Melt butter and mix in brown sugar. Bring to a boil and lower heat, cook approximately 2 minutes. Mix in nuts. Pour over biscuits, lifting edges allowing mixture to reach bottom of pan. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Makes 8 servings.

Blue Berry Muffins

375 degrees for 20 minutes
grease tin

2 c flour
¾ c sugar
2 ½ t baking powder
½ t salt
mix and make well
2 beaten eggs
¾ c milk (MSPI coconut milk)
½ c butter (MSPI coconut oil)
1 T orange peel

Mix and add all at once to dry mixture.
Stir until just moist.
Should be lumpy
1 c blueberries (fresh or frozen thawed) FOLD IN
Spoon in cups
Bake at 350
Cool in cups on wire rack for five minutes
Remove and serve warm

Lemon Pepper Biscuit Sticks

2 c flour
2 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t lemon pepper
¼ t baking soda

6 T butter -cut in with pastry blender

make a well

1 egg beaten
1/3 c buttermilk or sour

Combine all at once until just moist
10-12 knead smooth

roll out 12 x 6" – cut 24 6" strips
ungreased baking sheet

400 degrees, 10-12 min.
Cool on wire rack 10 min
Serve warm

Cheese and Beer Bread

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 12-oz can (1 1/2 cups) beer
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4oz)

1 Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 8x4x2" or 9x5x3"loaf pan; set aside.

2 in a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, oregano, baking soda, salt, and basil. Add the beer and cheddar cheese. Stir until just combined. The batter should be lumpy.

3 Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Serve warm or cool completely on rack.

Parmesan Cheese Crescents

2 ¼ c flour
2t baking powder
½ t salt
¼ t baking soda

½ cup shortening- pastry blender mix well
¾ c buttermilk- add all at once but mix until just moist
If you don't have buttermilk then mix 1 TB lemon juice with 1c milk and let stand for 5 minutes.

1 T. butter
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. fresh parsley
Grated Parmesan

Knead 10-12 times
Roll out 13" circle
Brush with melted butter
Sprinkle Cheese and parsley
Cut into 12 wedges and roll
Put on an ungreased baking sheet
Lay seam side down
Brush with milk
Sprinkle extra cheese on top

Bake at 425 for 15 to 20 minutes
Remove from sheet and serve warm.

Sage and Cheese Biscuits

2c flour
3t baking powder
½ t salt
2t sage
¼ t pepper
1t sugar
4T butter
½ cup + 4T evaporated skim milk
1 oz shredded Monterey Jack

Combine first six ingredients. Cut in butter with pastry cutter. Add milk and cheese, stir until just moistened. Knead 10-12 times. Roll or pat out and cut into rounds. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Easy Bake Cheddar Biscuit

1 c flour
2 t. baking powder
¼ cream of tartar
¼ t sugar
¼ t salt
¼ c (1/2 stick) cold butter, cubed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450. Mix flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cheddar cheese. Add milk; stir until mixture forms soft dough.

Place on lightly floured surface; knead eight to 10 times or until smooth. Pat out dough into six inch squares. Cut into nine squares. Place on a greased baking sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Spread each warm biscuit with 2 ½ tsp. Or Philadelphia chive and onion cream cheese spread.

Proofing Yeast Doughs

Yeast doughs that normally take an hour or more to rise at room temperature can be proofed in the microwave in about 15 minutes. Place the dough in a very large bowl and cover with plastic. Place an 8-ounce cup of water in the back of the microwave with the bowl of dough in the center, and set the power as low as possible (10 percent power). Heat for 3 minutes, then let the dough rest in the microwave for 3 minutes. Heat for 3 minutes longer, then let rest for 6 minutes. The dough will double in bulk.

Pizza dough

1 packet of yeast (or a scant tablespoon)
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons very warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3-4 cups of flour

Combine the yeast and water for 5-10 minutes to dissolve the yeast. Add olive oil and salt, then start stirring in the flour. Knead the dough as much as you can tolerate (at least until it's a smooth, not grainy, texture and is only tacky, not sticky). Spray the mixing bowl with cooking spray. Put ball of dough in bowl and flip over so the cooking spray covers the top of the dough. Let rise about 45minutes until double. Punch down and let the dough rest for a few minutes. Roll out or pat out. This makes dough for our 16" pizza pan, which you can adjust by adding or removing a few tablespoons of water. Include 1/4 cup of cornmeal if you want the crust a little crispier.

Bread Recipe - the Foolproof one

Start with three generous cups of whole wheat flour, then use enough bread flour to get the dough the way I want it (not too stiff). I start with at least 2 cups, then maybe add about one more.

1 1/2 T active dry yeast
pinch of brown sugar
1 c. warm water
1 1/2 c buttermilk (milk would work too, but I like the flavor of buttermilk)
1/4 c maple syrup or honey
1/4 c canola oil
1 t salt
3 c whole wheat flour
3 1/2 - 4 c bread flour

Dissolve yeast and brown sugar in water to proof. 5-10 minutes.

Combine buttermilk, honey, oil, salt and ww flour in mixer bowl.

Add yeast mixture to mixer bowl and mix thoroughly. Start adding bread flour and knead with the dough hook. Dough should come off the sides of the mixer bowl, but not be too stiff.

Knead a couple times by hand, form into a ball with a smooth top and let raise till double in the bowl.

Divide dough in half. Pat in a rectangle and roll up, jelly-roll style. (Doing this tightly creates surface tension across the top of the loaf, making it raise better) Make sure the loaf is long enough to touch the ends of the loaf pan.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap (oil the top of the loaf or the wrap so it doesn't stick) and let raise until the loaf is about 1" above the pan rim.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Focaccia Bread

This is so easy and great with a pasta dish or to make into sandwiches. I put mine to raise on parchment paper in the middle of the stove with a damp dish towel covering it. It seemed like it rose really fast because I was cooking other things for dinner. Mine took less than 15 minutes to bake. I checked the bottom with a spatula to see if it was just browned.

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 all-purpose, 1/2 whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt (I use Kosher)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella


1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water.

2. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad

Chop 3-4 cups Veggies
½ cup Mayo
1/3 cup Oil
¼ cup Vinegar
1 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Pepper
2 Tbsp. Sugar
½ package Hidden Valley Ranch Dry Mix (In salad dressing aisle)

Mix dressing well and pour over veggies. Let sit over-night in refrigerator

Chicken Salad with Figs and Prosciutto

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can (14 oz) no-fat, low sodium chicken broth
4 handful hazelnuts
4 oz mixed baby salad greens (a couple handfuls, from the bulk bin in the produce department)
6 fresh figs, trimmed and quartered, or 8 dried figs, reconstituted by simmering in water for 10 minutes, then draining and halving
1/4 lb prosciutto di Parma, sliced thin at the deli, then cut into short, wide strips, working across the slices of prosciutto
1 t currant or seedless blackberry jam or all-fruit spread
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
A splash balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 300 F.

Place chicken in a skillet and cover with broth. Place skillet over high heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 12 minutes to poach chicken through. Drain and let stand at room temperature.

While chicken is cooking, toast hazelnuts in a cake pan or on a cookie sheet in over until golden brown. Pour nuts onto a slightly damp towel and rub off skins. Transfer nuts to a plastic bag and give them a whack with a blunt instrument to break them up a bit.

Chunk the chicken. Combine in a shallow bowl with greens, figs, and prosciutto. Mix jam, olive oil, and vinegar with a fork. Drizzle over the salad and lightly toss the coat. Sprinkle with nuts and black pepper. Serve with crusty bread.

Blue cheese potato salad

4 slices bacon
2 lbs red new potatoes
½ c olive oil
2 T white vinegar
1 bunch green onions, chopped
½ t salt
1 t ground black pepper
1 ½ oz blue cheese, crumbled

Place bacon in large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and chop, leaving skins on. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, green onions, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, bacon and cheese and toss to coat.

Green Bean Salad

4 cans. whole green beans
1/2 cup mayonnaise (sometimes I use Plain yogurt)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 small package hidden Valley Ranch Salad dressing (dry)
1/4 cup diced onion
1 Tablespoon dill weed

Refrigerate 12 hours

Layered Greek Dip

1 8oz pkg. Cream cheese, softened
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp. Dried Italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups hummus
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped tomato
½ cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup sliced green onions
Pita chips and/or multigrain tortilla chips

1. In medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and garlic with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and combined.

2. Spread cream cheese mixture into a deep 9-inch pie plate or shallow serving dish. Evenly spread hummus on cream cheese layer. Top with cucumber, tomato, olives, feta cheese, and green onions. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.

Serve with pita chips made from homemade pitas and/or multigrain tortilla chips.

WARNING your toddler may love it so much she eats it with a spoon.  Don't make it too flavorful. :)

Greek Salad

(Seen here with homemade pita chips.)

4 cucumbers
1 green pepper
pint grape tomatoes
1 red onion
feta on top (MSPI goat cheese)

Chop and mix with Kraft Greek Vinaigrette. (Add chicken if you want.)

Asparagus Salad

5 asparagus spears, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 T Kraft Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing
½ cup chopped cooked chicken
1 oz Kraft Monterey Jack Cheese, cubed
1 tomato, cut into wedges

Place asparagus on microwavable plate with ¼ cup water; cover and microwave on high for 1 minute.
Spoon dressing into individual sald bowl
Top with chicken, cheese, asparagus and tomato.
Makes 1 serving

(I use grape tomatoes and a whole bundle of asparagus cut up and cook for 3 minutes and then drain off the water. The chicken is not necessary.)

Green Chicken Salad

1 box 6 ½ oz. Uncle Ben’s long grain and wild rice, Chicken or original
2 jars(6 oz ) marinated artichoke hearts
May substitute unmarinated and use lite Italian dressing to mix with mayo
4 green onions with tops, chopped
1/3 cup green pepper, chopped
12 stuffed olives, sliced
May substitute favorite olives and add pimiento if desired
1/3 cup mayo
1 tsp curry powder (I use 1 T)
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded(or diced)

Cook rice according to instructions omitting butter. COOL. Drain artichoke hearts, reserving marinade to mix with mayo. Cut artichoke into bite-sized pieces. Mix curry powder with mayo and reserved marinade. Combine all and chill, preferably overnight.

Rosemary Chicken Salad Sandwiches

3 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (¾ lb)
1/3 cup chopped green onions
¼ cup chopped smoked almonds
¼ cup plain fat-free yogurt (MSPI use more mayonnaise or substitute coconut or goat yogurt)
¼ cup light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 slices whole-grain bread

Combine first 9 ingredients, stirring well. Spread about 2/3 cup of chicken mixture over each of 5 bread slices, and top with remaining bread slices. Cut sandwiches diagonally in half.

Tuna Club Sandwiches with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

1/3 cup bottled ranch salad dressing (I just used a powdered packet only.)
½ cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained
1 12oz can solid white tuna, drained and broken in chunks
1 8.75 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
12 extra-thin slices sandwich bread, toasted
Butterhead lettuce leaves (optional)

1. For the roasted red pepper sauce, in blender container combine salad dressing and half the roasted red sweet peppers; process until nearly smooth.

2. For tuna filling, chop remaining peppers. In a bowl combine chopped peppers with tuna, corn, and ¼ cup of the roasted red pepper sauce.

3. For each club sandwich, spread two slices of toasted bread with tuna filling, layer with lettuce leaves, stack the two slices, then top with a third slice of toast. Cut in half diagonally. Serve with remaining roasted red pepper sauce.

Serves 4.

Open-faced tuna and fennel sandwiches

3 6-oz cans tuna, drained
3 T capers, roughly chopped
5 T extra virgin olive oil
4 t red wine vinegar
Kosher and pepper
1 medium fennel bulb, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
¾ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 large baguette

In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, capers, 3 T of the oil, the vinegar, and ¼ t pepper. In another bowl, combine the fennel, parsley, ¼ t salt, ¼ t pepper, and the remaining oil. Cut the baguette in half-length wise, then into quarters or sixth crosswise, and divide among individual plats. Serve the tuna and fennel salads over the bread.

Fruit salad

Mix chopped fruit with flavored yogurt or plain yogurt with jam.

(MSPI coconut or almond yogurt)

Green Beans and Tomatoes Italian

3 cups hot cooked green beans (1 lb)
2 plum tomatoes cut into thin wedges
¼ cup Light House Italian Reduced fat dressing
2 T chopped fresh basil

Toss all ingredients in large bowl

Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Caramelized Pecans

8 oz. spinach
2 C. strawberries (and/or raspberries and/or blueberries)
1/2 c. caramelized pecan halves or pieces (see below)
2-3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
Balsamic vinegar for dressing.
Toss spinach and strawberries in salad bowl, adding in pecan pieces and ginger. Gently fold in crumbled cheese. Dress lightly or pass dressing with salad.

Caramelized Pecans
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 C. pecan pieces
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray. In a small pan, combine sugar and vinegar. Cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Stir in nuts. When coated, spread nuts on prepared baking sheet. Toast in oven 10 minutes or until browned and caramelized. (I seem to have better luck if I melt the sugar and then add the vinegar, stirring fast, and then the nuts.)

Hearty Beef and Tomato Stew

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 lbs sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
4 cups cubed red potatoes (1 1/2 lbs.)
2 cups sliced carrots
1/4 cup pinot noir or other spicy dry red wine [ I didn't use this at all.]
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 (16 oz) package frozen pearl onions
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Remove beef from pan, reserving 1 T of drippings in pan. Add onion and garlic to pan; saute 2 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add broth; bring to a boil. Return meat to pan. Add potato and next 7 ingredients (through bay leaf); bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 1 hour and 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Discard rosemary and bay leaf. Stir in salt and pepper. Top with parsley.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups stew and 1 tablespoon parsley).