Sunday, December 15, 2013

Turtle Candies

recipe from She Wears Many Hats
4 cups pecan pieces
14 oz caramels (I used the bag of bits, no unwrapping!)
10 oz. chocolate chips coarse
salt for sprinkling 

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Lightly salt pecans and toast on baking sheet for about 25-30 minutes. While pecans are toasting, melt caramels according to package directions. I melted them in the microwave and it was just fine and dandy.

Mix toasted pecans into melted caramels. Slightly cool, so you can handle. Drop tablespoon size rounds onto buttered or lined baking sheet. If mixture begins to harden, reheat for a few seconds at a time in the microwave. Let cool.

Melt chocolate chips according to package directions. Again, the microwave worked like a charm. Top each caramel/pecan drop with about 1 tablespoon of chocolate, and sprinkle with a little bit of salt. Let cool. Store in airtight container. Makes about 4 dozen.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Tuscan seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Tiger seasoning
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire ground pepper blend

  1. Combine all ingredients, except the chops, and mix well with small whisk.  
  2. Brush mixture on chops and either grill by searing on both sides and then cooking more slowly for 30 minutes or until done, brushing chops occasionally with the sauce.  
  3. Or to broil the chops; place chops on a broiler rack 5" from heat and broil about 12 minutes per side or until done.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Herb crusted mushrooms


16 even-sized open cup mushrooms, stalks cut level

3 tbsp corn or vegetable oil

1/4 c unsalted butter, softened

3 cloves garlic, chopped very finely

2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 c fresh breadcrumbs


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly fry the mushrooms, cap-side down, in hot oil for 20 seconds.

Arrange the mushrooms in a shallow roasting tin with the stalks facing upwards.

Mix together the butter, garlic, thyme, lemon juice and seasoning. Spoon a little garlic butter on to each mushroom, then lightly press the breadcrumbs on top. Either refrigerate for later use, or cook immediately in the oven for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

  1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
  3. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute.
  4. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread with chocolate chips

Pumpkin Bread:
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/2 C. applesauce
2/3 C. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 C. sugar
3 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 1/2 C. mini chocolate chips.

Cream Cheese Filling:
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 C. sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 Tbsp. milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease loaf pans, muffins pans or come of each (I made 1 large loaf and 12 muffins!)
2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, milk, vanilla extract and sugar.
3. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger together.
4. Combine the 1st and 2nd bowl and stir only until combined.
5. Stir in chocolate chips.
6. Filling: Beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and milk together until smooth.
7. For Loaf Pans: Pour a little bit of batter into the loaf pan, spread to cover the bottom and then spoon cream cheese filling and spread it on top. Continue to alternate until your pan is 3/4 full and then bake for 60-80 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
8. For muffins: Fill each muffin tin 1/3 full, then spoon your filling in the pan, then top with another spoonful of pumpkin batter. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Simple Tiramisu

16 ladyfingers
 2/3 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
 1/3 cup maple syrup
 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
 1/2 cup sour cream
 1/2 cup maple syrup
 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

  1. Split ladyfingers lengthwise and use them to line the bottom and sides of an 8x8 inch dish. Stir together coffee and 1/3 cup maple syrup until smooth. Spoon mixture over ladyfingers.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, sour cream and 1/2 cup maple syrup until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture over soaked ladyfingers. Cover and chill 15 minutes.
  3. Dust with sifted cocoa just before serving.


6 egg yolks
 3/4 cup white sugar
 2/3 cup milk
 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 pound mascarpone cheese
 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
 2 tablespoons rum
 2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form. Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum. Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise and drizzle with coffee mixture.
  4. Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 7x11 inch dish. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, until set.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cucumber and Avocado Sushi

1 1/4 cups water
 1 cup uncooked glutinous white rice (sushi rice)
 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
 1 pinch salt
 4 sheets nori (dry seaweed)
 1/2 cucumber, sliced into thin strips
 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and sliced
toasted sesame seeds

  1. Combine the water and rice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender and water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cover a bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap to keep the rice from sticking. Place a sheet of seaweed over the plastic. Use your hands to spread the rice evenly onto the sheet, leaving about 1/2 inch of seaweed empty at the bottom. Arrange strips of cucumber and avocado across the center of the rice. Lift the mat and roll over the vegetables once and press down. Unroll, then roll again towards the exposed end of the seaweed sheet to make a long roll. You may moisten with a little water to help seal. Set aside and continue with remaining nori sheets, rice and fillings.
  3. Use a sharp wet knife to slice the rolls into 5 or 6 slices. Serve cut side up with your favorite sushi condiments.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Easy Waffles

3 egg whites
 2 cups all-purpose flour (or wheat flour)
 1 3/4 cups milk
 1/2 cup vegetable oil
 1 tablespoon white sugar
 4 teaspoons baking powder
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.
  2. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot.
Note: Will keep up to a week in frig.

Breadcrumb Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

Ingredients:2 lbs of Large Cremini Mushrooms or White Button Mushrooms, cleaned
1 ½ cups of Homemade Fresh Breadcrumbs
½ cup of Parmiggiano Reggiano
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
3 Tbsp of Fresh Chopped Parsley
4 Tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2) In a large bowl, combine together the breadcrumbs, parmiggiano, parsley, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper.

3) Hollow out the mushrooms with a small spoon and spoon in this mixture into the mushrooms and place them in an oiled baking dish on a single layer.

4) Drizzle a little more olive oil on top and bake them for about 1 mintues or until the tops are golden brown. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Onion and Garlic Bread Recipe

2 1/4 cups milk
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 medium onion (finely chopped)
1 Tablespoon honey (optional)
3 Tablespoons butter (margarine)
1/4 cup quick-rolled oats (rounded)
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley (optional for color)
1 egg
1 package of active dry yeast (or Quick-Rise yeast)
5 to 6 1/2 cups unbleached flour (I like to substitute 1 cup of wheat flour)

Chop the onion into small pieces. I like mine fairly fine. If you want the onion softened, sauté it in a small amount of butter at this time, then set aside.

In a small sauce pan add the first nine ingredients in the list (leaving the egg, yeast, and flour out). Place the pan on a stove top at medium heat and stir it a few times to mix everything together. While the milk mixture is warming, place 2 1/2 cups of flour and the yeast into a large mixing bowl. Return to the milk and continue warming it until it's reached 105 to 115 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, don't worry. Use your finger and when it gets to a very warm "hot tub" temperature, you are there. Stir the solution a couple of more times, then add it to the flour mix on low speed.

Adjust your mixer speed to a low/medium setting and add the egg. Allow it to blend for 3 minutes. Mixing at too high of a speed will cool the recipe and whip too much air into the dough. Near the end of the 3 minutes, slowly add more flour, (a 1/4 cup at a time) until the dough begins to creep up the beaters. Turn it off and remove the bowl from the mixer.

With a large serving spoon (or your clean hands) kneed in more of the flour until the dough begins to form a large ball. You can turn it onto a clean, lightly floured counter top or continue to mix it in the bowl. Add enough flour until the dough is just dry enough to handle easily.

Grease another bowl (shortening or butter) and place the dough ball in it, turning it once or twice to coat the dough with the shortening. Cover it with a lightweight towel and place it in a cold oven along with another bowl of hot water. This will speed up the rising time. Leave it alone until doubled (about 50 minutes). Set a timer and go do something else.

When the timer rings, lightly grease a large cookie sheet. Punch down the risen dough and turn it onto a lightly floured counter top. Quickly divide the dough into approximately 12 pieces, then form each one into a hot-dog bun shape and place it on the cookie sheet. Leave a little space between them. (To make full loaves of bread, grease two loaf pans, divide the original dough ball into two pieces, form them into loaves, and place each in a pan.) At this point, melt a few tablespoons of butter and lightly coat the top of each roll or loaf. Place them back into the oven to rise for another 40 to 50 minutes. The rolls will push into each other as they rise. Again, set a timer and go do something else.

At the end of this rising, gently remove the uncooked dough from the oven, pre-heat it to 350 degrees, then bake them on the middle rack for approximately 25 minutes. (Set the timer and go do something else.) They will become golden brown when done. Remove them from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes, then gently break them apart. For full loaves of bread, the baking time is about 38 minutes, or until the bread slightly pulls away from the side of the pan. After removing them from the oven, allow them to sit for ten minutes in the pan before turning them out to a cooling rack.

Eat your warm creation now, or bag it after an hour of cooling. Either way, it's a delight for the senses, and something that will compliment any main course you can offer to your guests. For fun, use your bread rolls to make mini-bread pizzas for the kids. Cut them in half, cover with sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice. Place them into a 350 degree oven until the cheese is bubbly and browned. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Vegetable Soup Recipe

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, medium dice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium carrots, medium dice
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, medium dice
2 cups additional vegetables of your choice (such as red pepper, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, fennel, or peas), medium dice
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 pinch dried thyme (optional)
1/4 cup white wine or dry vermouth (optional)
1 quart low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound, medium dice

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the celery and, if using, any hearty vegetables (such as cabbage and fennel) and the bay leaf and thyme. Season again with salt and pepper and cook an additional 5 minutes. If using, add the wine or vermouth (for some acidity) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the alcohol has reduced by about half, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth, potatoes, and any quicker-cooking vegetables (such as asparagus and peas). Let the soup come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, about 15 to 25 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Easy Lunch Box Sugar Cookies Recipe

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 3/4 cups flour
* Optional. Colored candy sprinkles.  These cookies are tasty without the candy sprinkles on them as well.

1  Cream butter and sugar.
2  Add egg and vanilla.
3  Mix all dry ingredients and add slowly to butter cream mixture until incorporated.
4  Roll out on lightly floured board to desired thickness.
5 Cut out 2-1/2" circles, dab the sprinkles onto the cookies and bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes.  The cookies should be light in color with light browning on the edges.  Cool the cookies on a cooling rack.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
 1 cup white sugar
 1 cup packed brown sugar
 2 eggs
 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  1. Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter. Put batter in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. Roll into 1 inch balls and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown. Do not over-bake.

Peanut Butter and Banana Bread

Cooking spray
1 1/4 cup(s) (5.35 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1/2 cup(s) creamy peanut butter (do not use "natural")
2/3 cup(s) sugar
3 large ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 cup(s) chopped walnuts or chopped pecans (optional)
1/2 cup(s) miniature chocolate chips (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mist a 5 x 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt with a fork. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat the peanut butter and sugar together until well blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in the mashed banana and eggs; mix well.
  3. Using a wooden spoon or flexible spatula, stir the flour mixture into the peanut butter–banana mixture, mixing until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula if needed. Stir in the chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips, if using.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and gently smooth the top with the flexible spatula. Bake 45 minutes. Cover the pan loosely with foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes in the pan.
  5. Remove the bread by running a paring knife around the inside of the pan to loosen it, then inverting the pan to release the bread onto a wire rack. Carefully turn the bread right-side up and cool completely. Slice and serve. Wrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and foil; keep at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Additional granulated sugar
About 36 Hershey's® Kisses® Brand milk chocolates, unwrapped

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. 
  2. In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder until dough forms.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in additional granulated sugar. On ungreased cookie sheets, place about 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Immediately press 1 milk chocolate candy in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack.

Peanut Butter Bars

Peanut Butter Bars I Recipe

1 cup butter or margarine, melted
 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
 2 cups confectioners' sugar
 1 cup peanut butter
 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
 4 tablespoons peanut butter

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter or margarine, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners' sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a metal bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spread over the prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

30 Minute Homemade Soft Pretzels


1 and 1/2 cups warm water (lukewarm, no need to take temperature)
1 packet active yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
4 - 4.25 cups all-purpose flour + more for the counter surface to knead (or mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour)
1 large egg
course sea salt for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir with a spoon until fairly mixed, about 1 minute. Some clusters of yeast will remain. Add salt and sugar; stir until fairly combined. Slowly add flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is thick. Continue to add more flour until dough is no longer sticky. Poke the dough with your finger - if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes and shape into a ball. With a sharp knife, cut ball of dough into 1/3 cup sections. This measurement does not have to be exact - use as much or little dough for each pretzel as you wish - the size of the pretzel is completely up to you.
  4. Roll the dough into a rope with an even diameter. My ropes were twenty inches long. This measurement will depend how large you want the pretzels. Once you have your long rope, take the ends and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape. See above for link to visual instructions.
  5. In a small bowl, beat the egg and pour into a shallow bowl or pie dish. Dunk the shaped pretzel into the egg wash (both sides). Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes at 425F degrees. Turn the oven to broil and bake for 5 more minutes to brown the tops. Watch closely to avoid burning.
  7. Allow to cool and enjoy. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pretzels may be stored in an airtight container or zipped top bag for up to 4 days (will lose softness). Pretzels freeze well.

*If you'd like to make cinnamon sugar pretzels, mix 1 Tablespoon cinnamon and 1/3 cup sugar and coat pretzels instead of using salt.

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Peach Dumplings

Photo: Peach Dumplings - Oh My Gosh, I've died and gone to heaven!!!
*To Save this recipe, simply Share it to your timeline*

2 whole large peaches
2 8 oz cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1-1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon, to taste
1 1/2 cups orange juice

Peel and pit peaches. Cut both peaches into 8 slices. Roll each peach slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.
Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over peaches. Pour orange juice around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Adapted from Pillsbury Peach Dumplins recipe:
2 whole large peaches
2 8 oz cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1-1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon, to taste
1 1/2 cups orange juice

  1. Peel and pit peaches. Cut both peaches into 8 slices. Roll each peach slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.
  2. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over peaches. Pour orange juice around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Adapted from Pillsbury Peach Dumplins recipe:

Friday, August 9, 2013

Pork Chops with Apples, Onions, and Sweet Potatoes

4 pork chops
 salt and pepper to taste
 2 onions, sliced into rings
 2 sweet potatoes, sliced
 2 apples - peeled, cored, and sliced into rings
 3 tablespoons brown sugar
 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Season pork chops with salt and pepper to taste, and arrange in a medium oven safe skillet. Top pork chops with onions, sweet potatoes, and apples. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Season with 2 teaspoons pepper and 1 teaspoon salt.
  3. Cover, and bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until sweet potatoes are tender and pork chops have reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

Roasted Vegetables

1 small butternut squash, cubed
 2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
 1 red onion, quartered
 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
 1/4 cup olive oil
 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
 salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the squash, red bell peppers, sweet potato, and Yukon Gold potatoes. Separate the red onion quarters into pieces, and add them to the mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together thyme, rosemary, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss with vegetables until they are coated. Spread evenly on a large roasting pan.
  4. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring every 10 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through and browned.

Sweet Potato Burritos

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
 1 onion, chopped
 4 cloves garlic, minced
 6 cups chickpeas, drained
 2 cups water
 3 tablespoons chili powder
 2 teaspoons ground cumin
 4 teaspoons prepared mustard
 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
 3 tablespoons soy sauce
 4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
 12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Heat oil in a medium skillet, and saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans, and mash. Gradually stir in water, and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce.
  3. Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the warm flour tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve.

Peach Pie Recipe - Butterscotch Peach Pie

Peach pie recipe is made with brown sugar, peaches, butter, lemon juice, and other ingredients.
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
  • 3 1/2 cups sliced peaches
  • pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • dash salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Place peaches in pastry-lined 9-inch pie plate. Combine the brown sugar, flour, and salt in a saucepan. Add butter. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice then pour over peaches. Make a lattice-style top crust. Bake at 425° for 25 to 35 minutes.

*To make a lattice top crust, cut dough into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Arrange dough strips across top of filling. Form the lattice by arranging more dough strips at right angle to first set of dough strips, weaving the strips if you wish. Trim dough strips even with the overhang on bottom crust. Tuck ends of dough strips and overhang under; press to seal. Crimp edges.

Peach Dumplings

Dumplings are spooned onto boiling peaches in syrup. This dessert is similar to cobbler, but simmered on the stovetop.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 to 3 cups fresh sliced peaches, or frozen thawed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream, more or less
  • cinnamon sugar, optional
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup sugar, butter, and hot water. Add peaches and bring to a boil. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon of sugar, if using; stir in milk or cream to form a stiff batter. Drop large spoonfuls of batter onto the boiling fruit. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Spoon out dumplings and fruit into bowl. If desired, sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar and serve with cream or ice cream. Serves 4 to 6.

Fresh Peach Crisp Recipe

Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh peaches, peeled, pitted
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup soft butter

Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Preheat oven to 375°.
Slice peeled, pitted peaches into the prepared baking dish. Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon into a medium bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over peaches in baking dish. Bake at 375° for 45 to 50 minutes, until topping is golden brown and peaches are tender. Serve peach crisp warm with cream or whipped topping.

Peach Salsa Recipe

This recipe calls for peaches, but you could easily use nectarines. Habaneros work well in this salsa, in place of the jalapeños, but watch out, they're hot!

·         4 ripe but firm yellow peaches, chopped (skin on or off, your choice, skin on makes for better color, but if skin is too thick or fuzzy you may want to peel first)
·         2-3 Tbsp chopped shallots or onions
·         2-3 jalapenos, chopped (stem, seeds and ribs discarded)
·         Juice of a lemon
·         2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
·         2 Tbsp grated ginger
·         1 teaspoon sugar
·         Salt and black pepper to taste


1 Put the chopped peaches, shallots, and jalapeños in the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients. Pulse 2-3 times, just enough to get most the pieces small and to well combine the salsa. Do not liquefy it.
2 Place salsa into a bowl and cover. Let stand for an hour before serving to give the ingredients time to meld.

Serve with chips, with fish, pork, or chicken.

Pepper Cheese Dip

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup small dice onion
2 tablespoons minced jalapenos
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 cups corn kernels (frozen, canned or fresh) 1 cup roasted poblano pepper, chopped
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped (green parts only)
4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces monterey jack cheese, grated
3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon ground ancho chili pepper (sprinkle this just after the corn is added) (optional) salt cayenne pepper Directions: 1 Preheat oven to 375°F. 2 In a 10-inch sauté pan set over a medium high heat, add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes. 3 Add the jalapeños and the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. 4 Add the corn and sauté for 5-6 minutes. 5 Remove the corn, jalapeños, garlic, and onion mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and blend well. Season the dip with salt and cayenne pepper. 6 Place in a casserole dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the dip begins to bubble. 7 Serve with your favorite chips!

 Read more:


  • 1½ cups ripe peaches, diced (4-6 depending on size)
  • 1 cup tomato, diced (about 2 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño, finely minced (about ½)
  • ¼ cup yellow pepper, small dice (substitute red or green pepper if you’d like)
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder or other chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • for spicier version add more jalapeño or cayenne powder or other ground pepper to taste
  1. Mix all ingredients together well. Serve right away, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sweet Potato Casadia

1 large sweet potato
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 package stir fry rice, prepared per package directions
olive oil
cayenne pepper
fresh spinach
1 onion
lime juice
Mexican cheese
4 large tortillas

sour cream and salsa to taste

1. Follow package directions and prepare stir fried rice.

2. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil in pan. When warm, add onion and whole cayenne pepper. Remove pepper to suit your taste. Cook onion lightly and remove from heat before it is completely soft.

3. While everything else is cooking, microwave sweet potato for five minutes. Remove from microwave and mash, stirring in 1/4 teaspoon cumin.

4. Once everything is ready, put tortilla in skillet to brown. Smear 1/4 sweet potato mixture on half of the tortilla. Layer rice, cheese, spinach, cilantro and a dash of lime juice. Fold tortilla over in half and serve, cutting again through the middle. Add sour cream and salsa to taste.

Yield: 4

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cayenne Cheese Dip

1/2 cup mayonnaise
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 dash cayenne pepper
8 butter crackers, crushed, such as Ritz
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Corn chips, crackers or bagel chips, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, green onions and cayenne pepper. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking dish, such as a 9-inch pie pan. Top the mixture with the cracker crumbs and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and top with the bacon. Serve immediately with corn chips, crackers or bagel chips. 
 Read more at:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sweet Potatoes with Mushrooms, Onion, and Thyme

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes (about 1 lb)
1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (about 1/2 lb)
1 (10 ounce) package white button mushrooms, wiped clean and halved or quartered
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt & fresh ground pepper

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Arrange the sweet potatoes, onion, and mushrooms in a large roasting pan or baking dish, about 13 X 9.
3. Drizzle evenly with olive oil, sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper, and stir to coat vegetables.
4. Roast vegetables until golden and tender, turning occasionally with a spatula, about 45 minutes.
5. Serve immediately.

Read more:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Caramel Apple Pork Chops

4 (3/4 inch) thick pork chops
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar salt and pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tart apples - peeled, cored and sliced
3 tablespoons pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees F (80 degrees C). Place a medium dish in the oven to warm. 
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  3. Brush chops lightly with oil and place in hot pan. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, or until done. Transfer to the warm dish, and keep warm in the preheated oven. 
  4. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt and pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add butter to skillet, and stir in brown sugar mixture and apples. Cover and cook until apples are just tender. 
  5. Remove apples with a slotted spoon and arrange on top of chops. Keep warm in the preheated oven. 
  6. Continue cooking sauce uncovered in skillet, until thickened slightly. Spoon sauce over apples and chops. Sprinkle with pecans.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

1. Combine in a quart jar:
¾ cup water
1 cup vinegar (rice vinegar is my favorite mild vinegar and works well in this recipe)
2. Add and stir to dissolve:
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3. Add spices and flavorings. I used:
2-3 whole cloves
½ teaspoon whole coriander seeds
2 or more sprigs of fresh dill or tarragon
1 small red onion, quartered
2 or more peeled garlic cloves
4. Add cucumbers:
3 – 4 lemon cucumbers, quartered lengthwise
Optional: blanched whole green beans, ends trimmed
Cover the jar with a lid and refrigerate for a couple of days to allow the spices to flavor the vegetables.
The spices I used in my version of her recipe resulted in tasty pickles but there is a lot of room for experimentation and trying a variety of spices and flavors. Use herbs and vegetables right out of your garden or  have fun foraging at your farmer’s market for produce to use. The green beans are especially good – I cooked them in boiling water for only a couple of minutes, drained them, then added them to the prepared jar. They were crisp, tender and delicious.

A plate of fresh, chilled, pickled veggies makes a refreshing summer appetizer or is perfect for picnics, and as a garnish for salads.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lemon Cucumber Pickles

3 Baseball Sized Lemon Cucumbers
1/2 Small Red Onion
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Rice Vinegar
1/2 Cup Water
3 Tbs. Kosher Salt (1 T. sprinkled through layers, 2 T. in vinegar and water)
3 Cloves Garlic Crushed
1/4 tsp. Coriander Seed
1/4 tsp. Black Peppercorns
1 tsp. Dill (or small bunch fresh dill)
1 Bay Leaf
1/4 tsp. Mustard Seed

Bring Vinegar, Water, and 2 Tbs. Salt to a boil.
While the brine is heating. Rinse and slice cucumber and prepare remaining ingredients. Layer Seasonings, Onion, Garlic, Cucumbers, and 1 Tbs. Salt in a jar or bowl.
Once vinegar has boiled, pour over the cucumbers and spices until bowl or jar is filled and cucumbers are completely covered. 

Eggplant Bruschetta

1 eggplant
Alessi Eggplant Appetizer
Parmesan to taste
  1. Slice eggplant into quarter inch slices.
  2. Coat slices with salt and let drain in colander for 30 minutes. Rinse. 
  3. Lightly coat the eggplant with olive oil in order that the breadcrumbs stick. 
  4. Pour 1 cup of breadcrumbs into a bowl and put the eggplant in, making sure the breadcrumbs stick. (If you need more breadcrumbs, add 1/2 a cup). 
  5. Warm topping in microwave safe bowl. Be sure to cover with paper towel
  6. Lightly coat the frying pan with olive oil, and put the eggplant in for no more than 3 minutes. 
  7. Once the eggplant on the side down begins to brown flip over and let the other side cook until beginning to get golden brown.
  8. Top eggplant with Alessi Eggplant Appetizer and Parmesan cheese.
  9. Place under broiler for two minutes or until cheese melts.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sautéed Zucchini Recipe

1 medium unpeeled garlic clove
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound zucchini (about 4 medium), trimmed and cut into 2-by-1/4-inch matchsticks
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. Place the garlic clove on a cutting board and, using the flat side of your knife, smash the clove by pushing on the knife blade with the heel of your hand. Remove and discard the peel and set the garlic clove aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon or tongs and discard (or save for another use).

3. Add the zucchini to the pan and toss until coated with oil. Let cook undisturbed until the bottoms of the matchsticks are golden brown, about 1 minute. Toss again and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute more. Remove the pan from heat and season the zucchini with salt and pepper. Transfer the zucchini to a serving dish and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash, halved crosswise, seeded, and bottom trimmed to lie flat, if necessary (1 pound)
fresh ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (8 ounce) package mushrooms, sliced (and chopped, if desired)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and season cut sides of squash with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, and turn cut sides down. Roast until tender, about 35 minutes.

 2. Meanwhile, in a medium straight-sided skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms, onion, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms are golden, 8 minutes. Add rice and broth and bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 20 minutes.

 3. Remove squash from oven and heat broiler. Carefully scoop out 2 to 3 tablespoons flesh from each squash half and stir into rice; season with salt and pepper. Divide rice mixture among squash halves, sprinkle with Parmesan, and broil until melted, 2 minutes.

 Read more:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sesame Green Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
 1 pound fresh green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
 1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add sesame seeds. When seeds start to darken, stir in green beans. Cook, stirring, until the beans turn bright green. 
  2. Pour in chicken broth, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until beans are tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Uncover and cook until liquid evaporates.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Stuffed Zucchinni

3 zucchinis
1/2 large onion, chopped fine
1 Tbsp olive oil
5 - 6 slices crispy bacon, chopped
1 Tbsp sour cream
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp curry powder
1 roma tomato, seeded and chopped
1 tsp fresh cilantro leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh cracked black pepper

1. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Leave the ends on to keep the filling in. Scoop out the flesh with a melon baller or a spoon. Leave a ledge of zucchini around the edges.

2. Finely chop half a sweet onion. Chop up some smokey bacon. Add the curry powder... cook until desired doneness of onions and remove from heat. To the zucchini flesh, add sour cream.  Rough chop some fresh thyme leaves. Mix onion and bacon mixture with other ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning.

3. Seed the tomato and then stir in the tomatoes. Refill the zucchini shells with the filling mixture.

Grate some good aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top and sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Honey-Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms

1 pound potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 tablespoon beer mustard
1 pinch garlic powder
bacon salt to taste
  1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). 
  2. Place potato chunks into a 9x13-inch baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and toss potatoes to coat. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. 
  3. Remove from oven, and stir cremini mushrooms, onion, honey, rosemary, thyme, sage, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper into the potatoes. Return baking dish to oven and bake until mushrooms and potatoes are tender, about 15 more minutes.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ham-Stuffed Squash Recipe

4 medium yellow summer squash or zucchini (about 6 inches)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 3/8-in. shell. Chop pulp and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, cook shells in boiling water for 4-5 minutes. Drain and set aside. In another saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender; remove from the heat. Add ham, bread crumbs, cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, egg, paprika, pepper and squash pulp; mix well.

3. Spoon into shells. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425° for 12-15 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 4 servings.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

microwave berry jam: all the flavor, none of the fuss


Oven Roasted Mushrooms Recipe

1 8oz Package of Mushrooms
2 Tbs Fresh Parsley, chopped
2 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Tbs Olive Oil
3 Tbs Butter, cubed
3 Tbs Rice Wine
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Trip stems so they are flush with caps and half or quarter large ones so everything is uniform.  Toss mushrooms, olive oil, garlic, and wine together and add to a casserole dish.  Top with butter.  If using unsalted butter (recommended) add a pinch or two of sea salt.  Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and sauce is bubbly.  

Note: I added chunks of zucchini to the pan. Yum!

Roasted Mushrooms with Garlic-Anchovy Butter


12 cremini mushrooms
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Finely grated fresh lemon zest, for sprinkling
Freshly ground pepper Crusty bread, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the stems from the cremini and save for another use. Sprinkle the caps inside and out with salt and place stemmed-side up in a small baking dish; caps should be touching.

 2. Use a fork to mash the butter with the parsley, garlic, and anchovy paste until smooth. Stuff each cap with some of the butter. Drizzle the olive oil over the mushrooms and bake until the mushrooms are tender and the butter has melted, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon zest and pepper over the top.

Serve with crusty bread. Nutrition Info Per Serving (does not include bread) Calories: 168 Total Fat: 18 grams Saturated Fat: 10 grams Total Carbohydrate: 2 grams Protein: 1 gram Sodium: 148 milligrams Cholesterol: 42 milligrams Fiber: 0.5 gram Read more at:

Green Beans with Bread Crumbs

1 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Combine green beans and 1/2 cup water in a medium pot. Cover, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, and let beans cook for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain well. 2. Place beans in a medium serving bowl, and mix in bread crumbs, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and basil. Toss mixture until the beans are coated. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and serve.

Easy Cheesecake: 3 Recipes

Easy Cheesecake #1

1 graham cracker pie crust
8 ounce package soft cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
8 ounces Cool Whip, slightly thawed
Easy Cheesecake Recipe #1 Directions:
1. Beat cream cheese until smooth, add sugar and mix well. Add sour cream and vanilla, mix well. Fold in Cool Whip.
2. Spoon into pie crust and chill for 4 hours.

Easy Cheesecake #2

This is an easy baked cheesecake recipe that is topped with a delicious sour cream and sugar topping. It is crustless, but you can easily add a graham cracker crust before filling your pie plate. It gets rave reviews at every family gathering!
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons sugar
8 ounces sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Easy Cheesecake #2 Directions:
1. Beat cream cheese, 2/3 cup sugar, 3 eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with mixer until smooth. Pour into well greased 9 inch pie plate.
2. Bake 22 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. Turn oven off. Remove cheesecake and cool for 5 minutes.
3. Combine 3 Tablespoons sugar, sour cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Spread over warm cheesecake and return to oven for 5 minutes.
4. Cool and refrigerate.

Easy Cheesecake #3

Graham Cracker-Crumb Crust:
1 1/4 cup(s) Graham Cracker Crumbs, from 11 rectangular graham crackers
4 tablespoon(s) Butter Or Margarine, melted
1 tablespoon(s) Sugar

3 package(s) (8 ounces each) Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup(s) Sugar
1 tablespoon(s) All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) Vanilla Extract
3 large Eggs
1 large Egg Yolk
1/4 cup(s) Milk
Fresh Berries, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare Crumb Crust: In 8 1/2- to 9-inch springform pan, with fork, mix crumbs, melted butter, and sugar until crumbs are evenly moistened. With hand, press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and up side of pan. Bake 10 minutes; cool crust in pan on wire rack. Turn oven control to 300 degrees F.
2. Prepare Cheesecake: In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in flour and vanilla until well combined. Reduce speed to low and beat in eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in milk just until blended.
3. Pour batter into prepared crust. Bake 55 to 60 minutes, until set but still slightly jiggly and moist in center, and pale gold near edge.
4. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate overnight before serving. To serve, remove side of pan. Place cake on plate; garnish with fresh fruits.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mincemeat Roll

1 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp (rounded) shortening (or butter)
1/2 cups crushed pineapple
2 cups mincemeat
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 cups water

Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl and cut in shortening. Stir in enough milk for stiff dough. Roll out 1/3 inch thick in oblong shape. Mix pineapple with mincemeat and spread on dough. Roll as for jelly roll and place in a baking pan. Mix the brown sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour over the roll. Bake in 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. 8 servings.

Honey-Nut Bread

2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp melted butter

Sift the dry ingredients together into a bowl and stir in nuts. Combine the egg, honey, milk and butter. Add to the flour mixture and stir until dry ingredients are just moistened. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Lemon Bread

1/2 cup shortening (or substitute 1 cup butter OR 1 cup margarine minus 1/2 teaspoon salt from recipe)
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 2/3 cup sifted flour
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup milk
1 cup chopped nuts
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon

Cream the shortening with 1 cup sugar in a large bowl, then add eggs. Sift flour with salt and baking powder and ad to the creamed mixture alternately with milk. Mix in nuts and lemon rind and place in greased 5 x 9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Combine remaining sugar with lemon juice and pour over hot bread. Cool then wrap in foil.

Rhubarb Crisp

4 cups chopped rhubarb
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter

Place the rhubarb in 6 x 10-inch baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon and salt. Mix the flour, sugar and butter and sprinkle over rhubarb. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or cream. 6-8 servings.

Raspberry Trifle

2 cups raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg beaten
2 tbsp melted butter

Place the raspberries in a greased baking dish and sprinkle with sugar. Sift the flour with baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the milk, egg and butter and mix well. Pour over raspberries. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Sunshine Dream Bars

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp grated lemon rind
1/4 cup butter
1 8 oz package cream cheese
2 eggs 2 tbsp lemon juice

Sift the flour with 1/3 cup sugar into a bowl and stir in 2 teaspoons lemon rind. Cut in the butter and 1/4 cup cream cheese until particles are fine. Press into well-greased 9 x 13-inch shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cream remaining cream cheese with remaining sugar in a bowl until smooth. Blend in eggs, one at a time. Blend in remaining lemon ring and lemon juice and spread over baked mixture.

Note, this is the original recipe which specifies raw egg. Wonder what could be done instead?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cream Cheese-Peach Pie

1 3 oz-package cream cheese
1 baked pastry shell
7 peaches, sliced
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp almond flavoring
Whipped cream

Soften the cream cheese and spread over pastry shell. Place 5 sliced peaches over pastry shell. Combine the sugar, water, cornstarch and remaining peaches in a saucepan and cook, stirring, until thickened. Cool and add almond flavoring. Pour over peaches in the pastry shell and chill. Top with whipped cream and serve.

Milky Way Cake

8 Milky Way candy bars
2 sticks butter
4 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
 2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp soda
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped pecans
1 small can evaporated milk
1 6 oz package chocolate chips
1 cup marshmallow creme

Combine candy bars and 1 stick butter in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted. Set aside. Cream 1 cups sugar and 1 sick butter in a bowl, then beat in eggs. Sift the flour with soda and add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in candy mixture. Add pecans and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured oblong baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Combine remaining sugar, milk and remaining butter in a saucepan and cook to soft-ball stage, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and marshmallow creme. Cool slightly. Beat until thick and spread over cake.

German Apple Cake

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs 3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 cup cold water
2 1/2 cups chopped apples
1 pkg chopped dates
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cream the shortening, butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour with spices, baking powder, salt and soda and add to the creamed mixture alternately with water. Stir in the apples, dates and walnuts and mix thoroughly. Pour into a well-greased 9 inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Fresh Apple Cake

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup salad oil
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups grated apples
2 cups chopped nuts
1 8-oz package cream cheese
1/2 stick margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1 1-lb box powdered sugar
2-4 tbsp milk

Combine the sugar, oil and eggs in a bowl and mix well. Sift the flour with soda and salt and stir into the sugar mixture. Add the apples and 1 cup nuts and beat well. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Col. Soften cream cheese in a bowl. Add the margarine and cream well. Add the vanilla. Add powdered sugar alternatively with milk and stir in remaining nuts. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

2 cups sugar,
1/2 cup milk,
1 tsp. vanilla,
3/4 cup peanut butter.

Bring sugar and milk to a boil. Boil two and a half minutes. Remove from heat and stir in PB and vanilla. That’s it.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Baked Kale Chips

1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt


1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.

3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

Sauteed Rice with Kale

1 cup chopped kale
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked white rice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 pinches cayenne pepper
salt and ground black pepper to taste


1. Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring the water to a boil. Add the kale, cover, and steam until just tender, 7 to 10 minutes.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion, celery, mushrooms, green bell pepper, and garlic in the oil and butter mixture until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir kale and rice into the mixture, breaking the rice into grains with your spoon as you stir; season with dry mustard, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook and stir until the rice is hot, about 5 minutes.

Creamy Kale Salad

4 cups chopped kale (ribs removed)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 tablespoons raisins
1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sugar
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds


Mix kale, red onion, and raisins in a large bowl.
Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice together in a bowl; pour over the kale mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate 2 hours to overnight. Sprinkle sunflower seeds over the salad and toss to serve.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Baked Portabella



1Ctomato, chopped
¼ C(1-ounce) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1tspolive oil
1clgarlic, crushed
1Tbsblack pepper
4lgportobello mushroom caps (5-inches each)
2Tbs   fresh lemon juice
4Tbsbalsamic vinegar
2tspfresh parsley, minced
cooking spray

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Combine tomato, cheese, olive oil, garlic, parsley, pepper and half of the balsamic vinegar (2 Tbs) in a small bowl. Remove mushroom stems, dice and add to stuffing mixture. Continue to remove gills from underside of mushroom by using the side of a spoon and scraping them out.  Combine 1/2 teaspoon oil, lemon juice, and the rest of the balsamic vinegar in a small bowl; brush over both sides of mushroom caps. Place the mushroom caps, undersides facing down, in a large baking dish coated with cooking spray, and bake for 10 minutes. Flip mushrooms over and spoon 1/4 tomato mixture into each mushroom cap. Place back in oven and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is melted and mushrooms are tender. 
Yield: about 4 servings

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

1-minute Microwave Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee

2 ounces cream cheese 
1 egg yolk 
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar 
2 teaspoons bourbon or vanilla 
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup 
optional: fresh berries and mint leaves for garnish 

Directions: In a small bowl, microwave creme cheese for about 15 seconds, or until soft. Whisk in the egg yolk, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and the bourbon until smooth. Pour into two very-small ramekins (I used the 2″-square dip dishes from Pier One). Microwave for 25-35 seconds, or just until the center of the cream cheese mixture is set. Remove from microwave. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, mix together the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar and the maple syrup. Microwave for 10-20 seconds, until bubbly. Drizzle over creme brulees. Allow sugar topping to harden for a minute before topping with berries & mint, (if desired) and serving. 

- By Brooke McLay 
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