Friday, July 30, 2010

Wedding Sandwiches

These little goodies were a staple at the weddings I worked at in the late 80's and early 90's!
My kids LOVE them! They are super simple to make:

1 bag of costco rolls split
1 small tub of country crock spread
2-3 T. yellow Mustard
Meat (turkey, ham, roast beef) Cut in half
Cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss, Provalone)cut in half

Mix the mustard with the spread till it's well combined and spread evenly on both halves of the roll.
Lettuce so that the pretty part is showing!
Arrange on a round tray..

See I told you it was easy! Note: you can assemble these in any combination you prefer, we always did Turkey with Cheddar, Ham with MJ, Roast Beef with Swiss ...really you can do anything you like and get a good mix.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oatmeal Cookies

I love these cookies!

Oatmeal Cookies:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Grease sheet pans or use parchment paper

Cream together
1 C. Unsalted Butter, Margarine or Shortening (up to you!)
1 C. Brown Sugar
3/4 C. granulated sugar
2 Lg. eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Sift together:
1 1/2 C. flour
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. soda
1/4 t. allspice
1/2 t. freshly grated nutmeg

Incorporate the 2 mixtures then Add:
1 1/2 C. Raisins
3 C. rolled Oats ( NOT Instant!)
Place on cookie sheets make sure to leave a good 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 10 to 12 min. If you make Large cookies you will need to increase baking time. Cool for a min or two on the cookie sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool.

Blueberry Bread Pudding with Golden Dessert Sauce

I got this recipe from a B&B we stayed at in Connecticut many years ago. It's a little bit more work than a normal recipe but SOOO worth it!

Blueberry Bread Pudding with Golden Dessert Sauce
Serves 12

Preheat oven to 350

Golden Dessert Sauce
3 T. Butter
1/2 C. Sugar
1 C. Cream
1 t. Vanilla
Melt butter and sugar in Saucepan then add the cream.
Boil Gently for 6-8 min until sauce is slightly thickened.
Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Set aside

Blueberry Bread Pudding
8 C. bread cubed
3 T. Butter Softened
3/4 C. sugar
3 eggs
2 t. vanilla
3 1/2 C. milk
1 3/4 C. Blueberries
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. Cinnamon

Put bread cubes in a large bowl.
Mix together the 3 T. butter with the 3/4 C. sugar and mix till well combined
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat till fluffy.
Slowly add the milk.
Pour over the bread cubes and let sit for 5 min.
Fold in the blueberries and add entire mixture to your pan. (deep 9x13 or something close)
Combine the rest of the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the pan.
Drizzle 1/3 C. of the Golden Dessert Topping over the pan.
Bake for 40 min.
Serve with the remaining Golden Dessert Topping

Going Healthy Spaghetti and Sloppy Joes

So, our family has to change our diet a bit to accommodate my husband's health problems (diabetes). I am starting to re-work my standard fare to make it more healthy. I made 2 recipes tonight because I had 1 lb each of lean hamburger and ground turkey (99% fat free) and I thought it would be easier since I was cooking it up to just make the 2 meals and be done and have leftovers!
Here is what I accomplished tonight:

I started with 1 lb. of ground beef-97% lean and 1 lb. ground turkey 99% lean and cooked them up together. When they were about done I added 1 small diced onion and one zucchini diced fine and cooked till the vegetables were soft. Then I split the meat! The first half went to :

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Homemade sauce
Start with: Meat/Veggie Mixture
a splash of balsamic Vinegar to add sweetness and depth
salt and pepper
garlic powder
italian seasoning
dried parsley (I would use fresh if I had it on hand)
1 jar of homemade stewed tomatoes (use canned if you are not lucky enough to have a mom that cans tomatoes for you!!)
1 can tomato sauce.
cook for 5 min or so and check seasoning add what you need to make it taste good to you!

Let the sauce simmer to thicken up a bit while you:
Cook the whole wheat spaghetti, drain add to sauce
Serve and watch it disappear!

My little girls did not even guess it was healthy! To be honest neither did I!!

Sloppy Joe's, Slop Sloppy Joe's (yes we always say that!)

Start with the meat mixture
a couple of splashes of Worcestershire sauce.
a can of manwich sauce
a can of tomato sauce
a can of drained and rinsed white beans (why? because I like them and they are good for you!)

My one stove was busy with the spaghetti stuff, so I tossed all that in the microwave to cook, I nuked it for about 6 min total stirring half way through and checking the flavor.

Toast some wheat bread
Serve open faced with a fork
I got 4 thumbs up! 2 each from Kevin and Kent

P.S. No one noticed the Zucchini in either dish...HAHAHAAHAHAHA! I WIN!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mom's chicken Broccoli Casserole

Layer in the bottom of a 13x9 pan:

20 oz broccoli cooked
3 C. cooked chicken cubed
Combine 2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup, 1 C. Mayonnaise, 1 t. Lemon Juice (fresh is best), 1 t. Curry Powder. Spread over Chicken

Top with 2 C. shredded Cheddar Cheese or a mixture of your favorite.

Mix 1/2 C. Bread crumbs with 2 T. melted butter and sprinkle over the top
Bake at 350 for 40 Min.

Serve with Rice.
Pray for leftovers....

Renee's Hamburger Pie

 Notice there are 2 pies...I have to double this recipe now so that we have enough!

Make your favorite pie crust for 2 crusts (top and bottom)
Place bottom crust in deep pie plate.

Brown 1 lb ground beef-set aside
Melt 1/4 C. margarine in skillet and add:
1 med. onion chopped
4 small potato's sliced and chopped small
1 lg  carrot chopped small (diced, or grated works too. Personally I like the carrots chunked)
some mushrooms (optional I use mushroom gravy to get my mushroom fix then the kids don't complain!)
Cook till veggies are tender
Add in the ground beef
Stir in:
1 t. mustard
3 T. katsup
a few sprinkles of Worcestershire sauce (or more! to taste of course)
1 package of mushroom or beef gravy mixed to package directions
cook for 2 to 5 min and pour into bottom pie crust
Add top crust, seal edges and bake for 50 min at 325.

My Meat Loaf

This is a reduced fat meat loaf recipe that I have tweaked! To keep with the healthy stuff, don't add the katsup or the potato suggestion at the bottom!

1 lb ground beef or combine ground beef and ground turkey.
1 C. low fat cottage cheese
1 egg
1/2 C. bread crumbs
1/3 C. each:
minced celery
chopped fresh parsley
1 t. italian seasoning
1/4 C. water
2 T. minced onions
1 T. worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. Salt
1/4 t. Pepper
Combine ingredients, shape into loaf, Cover with Katsup (Optional) Transfer to a rack in roasting pan
Bake at 375 for 45 to 60 Min.

*Option: I made this once and put cut potatoes on the bottom of a crock pot and cooked the meat loaf on top. It was VERY yummy!

Kent's Chicken Wings

Big package of Chicken wings!
Cut into pieces use the 2 large pieces and marinade with:

1/4 C. Soy Sauce
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. Lime juice
2 t. minced Garlic
1 t. Onion Salt
salt and pepper

Let marinade a few hours.

BBQ till done then toss in Sweet BBQ Sauce (see recipe

Put back on grill for a few min to get the bbq sauce to glaze over and be really done!
Serve in a big bowl!
Bring Wet wipes to clean hands!!

Sweet BBQ Sauce

1 C. Katsup
2 T. BBQ sauce
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. Honey
1 t. Salt
1/2 t. Pepper
1 t. Garlic powder
1/4 t. Cayenne pepper
1 T. spicy brown mustard
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. Smoke flavor
2 T. dried onion flakes

Lesa's Fajitas

1-2 lbs. flank steak or skirt steak
Cut into strips:
2 Bell Peppers and one large Onion-set aside (I like to put these in a zip lock and add about 2 t. of the marinade)
2 Chili Peppers (Anaheim or poblano or jalapeno etc)

Make Marinade:
2 T. Soy sauce
2 T. Olive Oil
Juice of 2 Limes
2 cloves of Garlic Minced
1/2 t. granulated garlic
1/2 t. pepper

Cut 4 shallow slashes across the grain of the steak, prepare marinade, pour over steak rubbing the garlic into the slashes. Marinade at least 2 hours.
BBQ the steak for 10-12 min (about 6 min per side)
While grilling meat.... Grill 2 Chili peppers (I use anaheim, you can use hot ones if you like!) Char the skin then set in a ziplock closed for 5 min or so then peel off the skin and slice chili's into thin strips.
Let steak rest at least 5 min then slice across grain making thin uneven slices.

Heat pan with 2 T. oil then saute the onions and peppers When tender add Chili strips.
Add Meat strips and for a few min then serve with Hot Tortillas
Optional Toppings;
Sour Cream
Hot Sauce
**NOTE: You can double the marinade and do Chicken in another bag ...probably could try it with shrimp too!**

Lucy's Sweet Tomato Salad Dressing

Mix and Shake

1 chopped small onion
1/2 C. Oil
1/4 C. Cider Vinegar
2/3 C. Katsup
1/3 Sugar

Thousand Island Dressing

1 C. Mayonnaise
1/3 C. Catsup
2 T. sweet pickle relish
1 T. dried minced onion
2 T. Chopped Parsley
* Optional 1 hard-boiled egg chopped fine.

Merlynn's 3 bean Salad

1 can each of:
green beans
Wax beans
Kidney beans
1/2 C. small diced green pepper
1/2 C. small diced onion
1/3 C. salad oil
2/3 C. Vinegar
3/4 C. Sugar
1 t. Salt
1 t. pepper
Combine all! YUM

Oriental Chicken Salad

1/2 C. Veg oil
3 T. Vinegar
2 T. Sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. Accent (MSG)*optional

1 cooked chicken breast- chopped
1/2 head green cabbage chopped fine
2 green onions chopped fine
2 T. toasted sesame Seeds (toast in oven-watch carefully!)
2 T. toasted slivered almonds (toast in oven-watch carefully!)

Toss with Dressing and sit 4 hours or overnight
Just before serving crumble up one package of ramen noodles and add to salad.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

This is one of my all time favorite recipes that I found online. Be warned, you need a good mesh sieve for this to get all the woody pieces out! Don't skip those steps or you will NOT have a good smooth soup!

snap the hard woody end off of 1 lb of asparagus spears. Rough Chop remaining pieces and cook in water till tender. Do NOT overcook or you will lose that beautiful green color. (You can put these directly into an ice water bath to retain even more color now)
Drain and Puree in a blender with:
2 T. Butter
2 T. Flour
1 t. Salt
1/2 t. Celery Salt
1/2 t. Onion Salt
1/4 t. Pepper
2 C. Milk (NOTE: I have used 2%, 1% and Non fat milk and all have been good it's just a little creamier with the fat)
Puree till smooth
Put through the sieve to get out woody parts and puree again.
Put through the Sieve again....then add to a pot on stove and add 2 more C. milk.
Heath through till desired temp and serve immediately.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tortellini Salad

Adapted from my good Friend Karen Rule. I LOVE this salad! She served it very elegantly on a beautiful butter lettuce leaf. We don't get that just gets consumed! Her recipe calls for chicken but we have omitted that in ours (you can add it if you would like a more hearty dish)

Tortellini Salad:

4 whole Chicken Breasts cooked, chopped in 1 inch pieces (Completely Optional!)
1 Pkg of Costco Cheese Tortellini (comes in the double pack I used one side save the other for Tortellini casserole! Or toss in the freezer!) Cook the lowest time (8 min), pour into strainer then I pour the liquid out of the marinated artichoke hearts over the pasta and stir. Let it sit there for a few min then pour into your large salad bowl to cool.
1 C. red grapes halved
1 C. green grapes Halved
2 C. baby spinach leaves rough chopped
1/2 C. Snow peas halved (0ptional, I don't use these anymore)
1 lg. Celery Heart with leaves chopped fine (about 1/2 Cup is all my kids like)
1 6 ounce jar of Artichoke hearts chopped
1 English Cucumber chopped
2 Kiwi peeled, sliced,
Reserve One can of Mandarin Oranges till time to serve.

1 1/3 C. Mayonnaise
1 C. grated parmesan Cheese
2/3 C. fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Note: the Parmesan is usually salty enough for me so I just grind some fresh pepper into the dressing and it's enough

My Macaroni Salad

This salad is my adaptation of the one my mom made. Hers included Chicken which my kids did NOT Like so I have omitted that. I also use Paprika sprinkled on the top before being served.

4 C. Cooked Macaroni (I like small shells or salad macaroni) Cook, Drain, Add:
1 bottle of diced Pimento (liquid and all, it keeps the macaroni from sticking together)
1/2 C. finely Chopped Celery (cause the kids complain if pieces are too big, it works either way)
1/4 C. finelyChopped onion (whichever kind you prefer I have used all of them they all work)
1/2 C. Diced green pepper (or a variety for more color)
4 or more (I use 6) hard boiled eggs chopped up
1 C. Miracle Whip (NOT Mayo)
1 T. yellow mustard
1 1/2 T. Vinegar (I like rice vinegar)
1 T. Sugar
Mix together add to salad
Sprinkle paprika over top.

This salad is good, but its GREAT if left overnight!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Grilled Artichokes with Garlic Dipping Sauce

This sounds really good... I might have to try it!

Marcelle's husband came home bearing a box of 12 baby artichokes. They were delicious served with a dipping sauce made with mayonnaise, garlic and anchovies.

1 cup mayonnaise

6 flat anchovy fillets, drained, patted dry, minced

3 garlic cloves, pressed

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

12 baby artichokes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

Make the sauce by combining the mayonnaise, anchovies, garlic and lemon juice. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Trim pointed tips (if any) of the leaves with kitchen shears, then cut a thin slice from the ends of the stems to expose a fresh cross section. Trim dark-green fibrous parts from the bases and stems of the artichokes, being careful not to break off the stems. Halve each artichoke lengthwise. Remove the fuzzy centers and any pointed inner leaves.

Boil the artichokes in water seasoned with salt and black pepper until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, pat dry, then toss with the olive oil.

Start the grill. Oil the grill rack, then grill the artichokes, cut sides down, covered only if using a gas grill. Turn once, until golden brown in spots, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve with the sauce.

Potatoes with Peppers and Onions

These potato's are so simple and delicious! I have used Red onions also and a variety of peppers for beautiful color!

Potatoes with Peppers and Onions

Rachael Ray

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Show: 30 Minute MealsEpisode: It's Dinner, Not a Workout

Rated: 4 stars out of 5Rate itRead users' reviews (630)


  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds fingerling potatoes or red skin baby potatoes
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 Italian mild green pepper, cubanelle, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow skinned onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, cracked away from skin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Coarse salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Cut fingerling potatoes into halves or quarters, depending on thickness of fingerlings -- thin, small fingerlings may also be left hole, larger potatoes should be quartered to speed cooking process. If you are using small red potatoes, halve or quarter them in the same way.

Cover a large cookie sheet with foil. Place potatoes on cookie sheet. Combine with peppers and onions, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Coat the potatoes, peppers and onions with extra-virgin olive oil just enough to coat vegetables in a thin layer, 2 to 3 tablespoons. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Place potatoes in the oven and roast 20 to 22 minutes, until potatoes are just tender and peppers and onions are crisp at edges. Toss mixture with tongs, turning the potatoes after 15 minutes. When the potatoes are cooked, transfer them to a serving dish and peel the foil off the cookie sheet and discard for super-quick clean up!

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts with Tomato and Basil

I LOVE this recipe. Try it some night when you can get super fresh basil and real tomatoes!

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts with Tomato and Basil

Rachael Ray

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Show: 30 Minute MealsEpisode: It's Dinner, Not a Workout

Rated: 4 stars out of 5Rate itRead users' reviews (630)


  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Parmesan, available in tubs near deli -- make sure to get shredded cheese, not grated
  • 4 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 plum Roma tomatoes or small, vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 15 to 20 leaves fresh basil, pile leaves, roll then thinly slice -- chiffonade

To prepare chicken: Roll out a 2-foot piece of waxed paper or foil near the stove top. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat -- your pan must be very hot when the chicken is added. Pile the shredded cheese on the work surface created with the waxed paper or foil. Season your chicken breasts with black pepper but no salt; the cheese will add enough salt to the taste of the dish. Press the breasts firmly into the cheese. Coat both sides of breasts with as much cheese as possible. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil to the skillet, 1 turn of the pan. Set breasts into the skillet and cook 7 minutes on each side, until cheese forms an even, golden casing around the tender chicken breasts.

While chicken cooks, combine chopped tomatoes with basil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to your taste.

Drain off any excess oil from chicken as you remove it from the skillet. Top chicken with big spoonfuls of raw sauce and serve with potatoes, peppers and onions.

Homemade Soft Pretzles

You may ask yourself why would she make these? Well, I had some high gluten flour that I needed to use and this was one of the recipes I thought would work great...and it did!

This recipe is not for the lazy chef. It has some labor involved! I have however, simplified this by making the dough in my bread maker.... don't tell Alton PLEASE!! To make dough's in the breadmaker you need to put the liquid portion in the bottom, then add the flour then the yeast on top and set to dough setting. Walk away and continue in about 90 min... I have also found that rolling out the pretzels is much easier on my counter so I sanitize it and oil it down to roll them out.

We have also tried this with Cinnamon Sugar instead of salt YUM!

Here is the link to his recipe:

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Alton Brown

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007

Show: Good EatsEpisode: Pretzel Logic

Rated: 5 stars out of 5Rate itRead users' reviews (245)

  • Cook Time:

    25 min

  • Level:


  • Yield:

    8 pretzels


  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt


Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.