Saturday, May 30, 2009

Comfort food

I was in the mood for some comfort food today. That meant chuck roast with carrots, celery, and onions (my mommy's favorite) prepared in the slowcooker with the carrots, celery, and onions. With it I had garlic mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. Yummy!


Asparagus, onion, and cheese omelet

While randomly browsing, I stumbled upon the Kraft website and discovered that it has how-to videos. Most of the videos (and recipes) are, in my opinion, what not to do and targeted towards that cook who doesn't give much of a damn about what she prepares. Her goal is simply to get food on the table for her family quickly with minimal effort. That being said, I was rather intrigued about this how-to on omelet making. It uses a lid and more-or-less steams the omelet which results in extreme fluffiness. Had to try it out and this is what I got:

Asparagus and onion omelet
Not too shabby if I do say so myself. Cooking with a lid allowed the omelet to cook more slowly on lower heat and poof up. Love it and send my thanks to Kraft for the idea.

Another plant update

I just checked this morning and my thyme is finally sprouting!

053009 Thyme

Here's how it looks in perspective to my year-old basil and parsley plants.
053009 basil, parsley and thyme

My new basil appears to be doing well.
053009 Basil

The tomatoes are getting their center leaves and looking closer to the magazine picture!
053009 Tomatoes

Finally, I'm happy to report that my rosemary and sage plants are still alive.
053009 Rosemary and sage

Monday, May 25, 2009

Making a book for my husband

It's been awhile since I did some serious scrapbooking. If I do say so myself, my skills have improved since I did our wedding album 2 yrs ago. Loads of pictures to catch up on.



Saturday, May 23, 2009

Robert's Birthday Card

Golf card

My plants are growing!

I love growing herbs for use in the kitchen. For one, it allows me to have greenery in the house that I actually care about. Second, it's a far more affordable option for using fresh herbs in cooking. Last year, I purchased basil, rosemary, Italian parsley, sage, and maybe thyme. As winter came and I traveled more, I neglected them and most died or appeared to die and were tossed. Somehow, my parsley and a single basil plant survived.


Just this week, I purchased new sage and rosemary plants at the farmers' market. In efforts to conserve space, I potted them together. Hope it works because not only is the sage plant already full, I'm looking forward to lots and lots of summer cooking with these two herbs.


Just last week, I also planted from seeds thyme and more basil. The basil is just beginning to sprout in this picture.


Finally, I also planted a packet of tomato seeds which came in one of my British cooking mags. This is them at 2 weeks, with about 1.5 inches in height. Not sure what I will do if they all make it to the next stage, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Baking with the stand mixer

On Sunday, not only did I make these banana muffins, I also made a loaf of french bread.

French Bread


2.25 tsp active dry yeast
1.25 c warm water
1.5 tsp salt
.5 Tbs butter, melted
3.5 c all purpose flour
cornmeal for dusting
1 egg white
1 Tbs water

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in bowl of stand mixer. Add salt, butter, and flour. On low, mix till blended about 1 minute, scraping sides if necessary. Knead on low for 2 minutes. Dough should be sticky.

2. Place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for at least an hour or until doubled.

3. Punch down dough and roll into 12 x 15 rectangle. Place dough on greased baking sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours until doubled.

4. With a serrated knife, make several diagonal cuts on the top of the loaf. Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes. Beat egg white with water and brush loaf. (This will result in a shiny gloss.) Return to the oven and bake 5-10 minutes longer until the golden brown desired.

5. Remove from baking pan immediately and cool on wire rack.

And what's bread without strawberry jam?


Strawberry Jam

1 qt hulled strawberries
2 T lemon juice
1/4 c sugar

1. Pulse strawberries in food processor until coarsely chopped.

2. Transfer to large skillet and mix in sugar and lemon juice.

3. Cook over medium, stirring frequently until jam has thickened and bubbles completely cover the surface. (I think this means the sugar has combined.) This will take 15-20 minutes.

(I kept going until I had the consistency I wanted.)

4. Transfer jam to a jar and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.

Makes 1-1.5 cups.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Still working on the colors. I like the background papers, but not sure about my coloring.


New dishes!

There's something about gorgeous weather that makes me want to shop. I found these brilliant blue plates at Worldmarket for 50% off. That was $14 for all 8 plates.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Buttermilk Quick Bread

9 ounces all purpose flour (~2 cups)
2 T sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 buttermilk
1/4 c melted butter
2 egg whites

1. Preheat to 350

2. Mix dry ingredients. Make a well. 

3. Mix wet ingredients.  Add to dry ingredients, and stir until moist. 

4. Pour batter into a 8x4 in loaf pan, coated with cooking spray. 

5. Bake about 45 min untile golden brown and a tooth pick comes out clean. 

6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completey. 

The first thing I made using my "new" stand mixer. 


This turned out very yummy. Hopefully it will last till tomorrow--has the light texture almost of cornbread. 


Kitchen Loot!

Thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law's spring cleaning/decluttering, lookee at all I got:


I've wanted a stand mixer for some time, but I didn't think I had the room. 


It fits perfectly!


Now I'm ready to slice and dice up a storm!



Yes, I already have tons of pots and pans, but everyone needs a set of stainless steel. The pot to the left is an asparagus steamer!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Vegetable 'n' Chicken Alfredo

Servings: 4

4 Tbsp. butter or margarine, divided
3 Tbsp. flour
3 cups milk
3/4 cup (3 oz.) Grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1 pkg. (1/2 lb.) fettuccine, cooked and drained
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
4 cups sliced fresh vegetables (broccoli, mushrooms, red bell peppers, celery, green beans, carrots & zucchini)

In medium saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp. butter. Add flour and cook on low heat 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in milk. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in Parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. Set aside; keep warm.

Cook pasta. While pasta is cooking, heat remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and oil in large frying pan. Add chicken and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; set aside.

In same pan, cook green onion and other vegetables until crisp-tender about 5 minutes. Toss vegetables with hot pasta and chicken. Serve with sauce and additional cheese.

Turkey Meatloaf

Printable Version

2 Tbs butter
1 cup chopped onions
3 cloves garlic
16 oz lean ground turkey
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 large egg
3/4 cup ketchup, divided
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium high heat. add onion and garlic; cook 5 min. Transfer to a small bowl Cool 5 min.

Add turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, 1/4 cup ketchup, worcestershire, salt and pepper to onion mixture; mix well. Pack into an 8 X 4 inch loaf pan. Spread remaining ketchup over top. Bake for 50 to 55 min or until no longer pink. (internal temp should reach 165 degrees). Let stand at room temp 5 min before serving. Makes 5 servings.

Turkey Chili

Printable Version

1/2 lb ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 (15 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can kidney beans
2 TBS chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
2 cloves garlic

1. Brown meat, garlic and onion in large saucepan. Drain. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, chili powder and oregano.

2. Heat to a boil. Simmer 30 minutes covered.

Turkey and Black Bean Chili

printable version

2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 c chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (15 oz ea) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (15 oz ea) diced tomatoes
2 cans (8 oz) tomato sauce
1.5 c corn
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion till tender, about 1 min. Add ground turkey, cook till browned, about 4 min. Add chili powder and garlic. Cook about 2 more minutes. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, tomatoe sauce. Heat to simmer; cover and cook 20 min.

2. Add corn, bell pepper. Cook till heated through and veggies are tender, about 8 min.


Triple Chocolate Biscotti

5 cups flour
1-1/2 cups cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
12 ounces tempered chocolate

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time until smooth; add vanilla extract. Sift dry ingredients together and combine with egg mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape dough into 6 long loafs and brush each with beaten egg yolk. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove loaves and let cool completely. Cut loaves diagonally into one inch pieces. Place pieces on baking sheet cut side down.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn pieces over and cook for 10 minutes or until well cooked.

Remove biscotti from baking sheet and cool on a rack. Dip top of biscotti in tempered chocolate.

Steamed and Roasted Duck

1 whole (4 to 5 pound) duck
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5 big slices fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves
1/2 bunch green onions
1 orange peel cut in big strips
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce

Trim excess fat from the neck and body. Rinse the duck, inside and out, and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Combine the Chinese five-spice, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the duck, inside and out.

Stuff the duck cavity with the ginger, garlic, green onions, and peel. Fold the wing tips back under the duck and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Poke the duck breast a few times, piercing the skin. Place a roasting pan on the stovetop over 2 burners and fill with 2-inches of water, turn the heat to medium. Set a V-rack insert inside the pan and lay the duck on the rack, breast-side up. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Steam the duck for 45 minutes, checking the water level periodically.

In a small saucepan combine the vinegar, honey, and soy sauce over low heat. Cook and stir for 5 minutes until thick.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Take the foil off the duck, remove the rack with the duck, and pour out the water and all the fat that has rendered out (this is great to use in other dishes like fried rice.) Put the rack with the duck back inside the roasting pan. Baste the duck with the vinegar mixture, until all the skin is completely coated in the glaze.

Roast the duck for 1 hour, basting periodically with any remaining glaze to set in a deep mahogany color. Tent the breast with some foil if it gets too dark. The legs will wiggle easily when it's done. Carve and serve.

Servings: 2-4

Steak Salad with Warm Mushroom Dressing

12 cups packed assorted salad greens
1 cup chopped cucumbers
1/2 pound medium-size shiitake mushrooms
1/2 pound medium-size mushrooms
1 beef top round steak, 1 inch thick (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar

1. Into large bowl, tear salad greens into bite-size pieces. Add cucumbers.

2. Cut off tough stems from shiitake mushrooms; leave mushrooms whole. Trim stem end of regular mushrooms; slice.

3. Sprinkle top round steak with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In 12-inch skillet over high heat, in 1 tablespoon hot olive or salad oil, cook steak until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking 8 to 10 minutes longer for rare or until of desired doneness. Remove steak to cutting board; let rest 10 minutes for easier slicing.

4. Meanwhile, in the same skillet over medium-high heat, in 1 tablespoon additional hot olive or salad oil, cook both kinds of mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt until mushrooms are golden brown and all the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.

5. In small bowl, with fork, mix balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, 3 tablespoons olive or salad oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/3 cup water. Stir vinegar mixture into skillet with mushrooms. Remove skillet from heat.

6. With knife held in slanting position almost parallel to cutting board, cut round steak across its width into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Add sliced steak and mushroom mixture to salad greens; toss well. Spoon onto large platter to serve.

Each serving: About 325 calories, 22 g fat, 68 mg cholesterol, 770 mg sodium.

Baked Chicken with Sun-dried Tomatoes

2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
half a medium onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbs sherry or other cooking wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cover chicken with tomatoes, onion, and garlic. Pour broth and sherry over chicken, baste a few times to mix. Cover and back for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an addition 10-15, or until chicken is cooked through. Baste often. Serve with juices.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

1 pound round steak, sliced into cubes
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup beef broth
8 ounces sour cream
2 cups hot cooked egg noodles (4 ounces dry)

Place beef, mushrooms, onion, parsley flakes, mustard, salt, pepper and garlic in a 3-quart electric slow cooker; stir well. Place flour in a small bowl; slowly add broth, using a wire whisk to stir until blended. Add broth mixture to slow cooker and stir well.

Cover slow cooker with lid; cook on high heat for one hour.

Reduce heat to low setting and cook 7 to 8 hours or until steak is tender. Turn slow cooker off, remove lid carefully and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream.

Meanwhile, bring water to boil in a medium saucepan. Cook noodles per package directions; drain. Serve stroganoff over cooked noodles.

Makes 4 servings.

Homestyle Sloppy Joes

Makes 6 to 8 servings

2 to 2.5 pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell, chopped
2 cans (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large skillet, cook ground beef, onion and bell pepper over medium-high heat until beef is brown and vegetables and tender, stirring occasionally; drain. Stir in tomato sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon onto buns and serve. Top with cheddar cheese, if desired.

Raspberry Chicken

2 tsp oil
4 (4 oz) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves
2 tbs orange juice

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. If desired season chicken with salt and pepper; add to skillet. Cook 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is fork tender and juices run clear, turning once.

Add raspberry and orange juice; stir until melted. Bring to a boil. Boil 1 to 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve sauce over chicken, and garnish with fresh raspberries.

(calories 210 total fat 5g cholesterol 75 sodium 70)

Pecan Pie

For crust -- not my favorite dough recipe anymore

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons (about) ice water

Make crust:

Mix first 3 ingredients in processor. Add shortening and butter; cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse meal. Blend in enough water to form moist clumps. Gather into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill 1 hour.

Roll dough on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch round cake pan with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Trim to align with pan edges. Freeze 15 minutes.

For Filling

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup corn syrup
½ tsp salt
3 eggs
1 c pecan halves or pieces.

Heat oven to 375°F. Beat sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt and eggs in medium bowl with wire whisk or hand beater until well blended. Stir in pecans. Pour into pastry-lined pie plate. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set; cool.

Pecan Coffee Cake


1 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
3 cups flour, sifted
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/8 cup milk
4 egg whites


1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon
¾ cup flour
¾ cup butter
2 cups pecans

Cream sugar and butter until soft and smooth. Sift together lour, baking powder, and salt. Add sifted ingredients alternately with milk. Fold in egg whites beaten stiff. Pour into large baking pan. Mix topping together until it forms pea-sized crumbs. Blend in pecans. Spread over the top of batter and bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes. Cut into squares.

Makes 1 dozen

Peach Cobbler

4 cups sliced peaches (may use up to 5 cups)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup milk
white sugar, to sweeten peaches if desired


1. Melt butter or margarine; put it in the bottom of a large casserole or 9 x 13 inch pan.
2. Slice peaches, and add enough sugar to sweeten. Place in casserole dish.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the 1 cup sugar, salt, baking powder, flour, cinnamon, and milk. Sprinkle over the peaches.
4. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), or until top is brown.

Makes 1 - 9 x 13 inch cobbler

Oatmeal Bars

1 egg white
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins

1. Coat a 13" X 9" baking pan with no-stick spray and set aside. In a food processor, mix the egg, egg white, sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Add the oil and vanilla; process for 10 to 15 seconds. Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Process until the mixture is just blended. Add the oats and incorporate with on/off turns. Sprinkle with the raisins and use a fork to lightly mix them in.

2. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan. Wet your fingers with water and press the dough evenly into the pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan.

Makes 24

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple-Pecan-Shallot Butter

Printable Version

7 TB of unsalted butter, room temperature
2 medium shallots, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 TB maple syrup
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt
4 medium sweet potatoes

Melt 1TB of butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook until well browned and slightly crisp (about 6 minutes). Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 6TBs butter with the shallots, pecans, maple syrup, thyme, and 1/8 tsp of salt. Blend till evenly incorporated. Set aside for at least 1 hr at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate if not using with a few hours. Bring butter to room temperature before serving.

The butter may be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.

Mango Chicken Stir Fry

1 mango
1 red pepper
1 yellow or orange pepper
1 med onion
1.5 lb chicken breasts or thighs, skinless

2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp sugar
1 T corn starch
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 T oil
2 TBS soy sauce

3 T soy sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
6 oz pineapple juice
.5 tsp crushed red pepper
1 T corn starch.

1. Whisk marinade together.

2. Chop chicken, peppers, and onion into bite-sized pieces. Marinate chicken while chopping veggies and starting the rice. Make about 1-2 cups uncooked rice.

3. Heat wok with about another tablespoon of oil. Saute onions, adding peppers once onions have begun to soften.

4. Remove veggies, keep warm. Mix sauce.

5. Saute chicken till fully cooked. Add mango for a minute or so until slight charring.

6. Return veggies to the wok, add sauce. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, adding additional corn starch, if needed.

7. Serve with rice.

Lemon Squares

1 c all purpose flour
1/2 c butter or margarine, softened
1/4 c powdered sugar
1 c granulated sugar
2 tsp grated lemon peel
2 TBS lemon juice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl mix flour, butter and 1/4 c powdered sugar. Press in ungreased 8 or 9-inch square pan, building up 1/2 inch edge. Bake 20 min.

In small bowl, beat granulated sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice baking powder, salt and eggs with electric mixer on high speed for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Pour over hot crust.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched lightly in center. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar.

Yield: 25 squares.

Leg of Lamb with Herbs and Mustard

2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground bay leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (4-pound) rolled boneless leg of lamb
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
6 rosemary sprigs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup low-salt beef broth

Combine first 3 ingredients, stirring well. Unroll roast; trim fat. Reroll roast; secure at 1-inch intervals with twine. Cut 10 (1/2-inch-deep) slits in surface of roast; stuff thyme mixture into slits. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Brush mustard over roast. Cover and chill 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 425°.

Arrange 3 rosemary sprigs crosswise on the rack of a broiler pan, and top with roast. Arrange 3 additional rosemary sprigs on top of roast. Bake at 425° for 50 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145° (medium-rare) or desired degree of doneness. Discard rosemary. Let roast stand 20 minutes before slicing.

Combine water and broth; add to broiler pan. Cook over medium heat; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 4 minutes or until mixture measures 1/2 cup; stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Slice roast; serve with sauce.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 ounces lamb and 1 tablespoon sauce)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Honey Wheat Pizza Dough

1.5 tsp yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
3 tbs honey
1.5 tsp olive oil
1-1/4 tsp salt


Dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix in rest of ingredients. Cover and let rise in greased bowl 1-2 hrs.

Honey Mustard Chicken Recipes

Honey Mustard Chicken I

1-3-4 lb. chicken cut up
1 stick margarine melted
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix together margarine, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour over chicken pieces.
Bake uncovered for 60-75 minutes or until nicely browned, basting often.

Honey Mustard Chicken II


4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup mustard
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
3. In a small bowl combine the honey, mustard, basil, paprika and parsley. Mix well. Pour 1/2 of this mixture over the chicken and brush to cover. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over, brush with the remaining 1/2 of the honey mustard mixture, and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes and serve.


Herb-Butter-Roasted Turkey


Printable Version


14 to 18 pound turkey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 to 3 tablespoons snipped fresh thyme, tarragon, marjoram, sage, and/or rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz broth

Additional aromatics
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
handful of herbs


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. For Herb-Butter Seasoning, combine butter, the fresh herbs, and garlic. Starting at the neck end of the turkey, loosen the skin by sliding your fingers underneath it, being careful not to tear it. Slide your hand as far as you can toward the other end of the turkey, separating the skin from the meat. Rub about two-thirds of the herb-butter seasoning over the entire breast.

3. Stuff the cavity with aromatics and tie legs loosely.

4. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of one of the inside thigh muscles. The bulb should not touch the bone.

5. Rub remaining herb-butter seasoning over the entire turkey. Cover turkey loosely with foil. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F.

6. Continue roasting turkey for about 2 to 4 hours or until thermometer registers 165 degrees F. Baste with broth every 30-60 minutes. Cut band of skin between legs after 2-1/2 hours so the thighs will cook evenly. During the last 30 minutes of roasting, uncover turkey.

7. When done, remove turkey from oven; cover. Let turkey stand 20 minutes before carving.

Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms

Printable version

6 cups quartered cremini mushrooms (about 1 pound)
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine first 4 ingredients on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with thyme and pepper. Toss well to coat. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes or until beans are lightly browned. Sprinkle with salt; toss to combine

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

4.5-5lb cut up frying chicken
2 quarts (8 cups) water
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup celery leaves
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
5 carrots, cut-up
1 cup uncooked wide egg noodles

1. In 4-quart stockpot, combine chicken, water, onions, celery, celery leaves, bay lead, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover; simmer 45 minutes or until chicken is fork tender, no longer pink and juices run clear. Add carrots; cook 15 minutes.

2. Remove chicken from pot. Cut meat from bones. Skim off and discard fat from soup. Return meat to soup. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes or until carrots are almost tender.

3. Add noodles. Return to a boil. Cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until noodles are tender. Remove celery leaves and bay leaf. If desired, garnish with chopped parsley.

Garlic Shrimp Marinade

1.5 tsp sugar
2 tb soy sauce
3 cloves garlic
.5 tsp salt
2 tb sherry
1 lb of shrimp

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Marinate for 30-60 minutes. Suitable for grilling, stir-fry, etc.

French Onion Soup

I "created" this recipe when I couldn't find the equally simplistic recipe I had once used before. Though suitable if you have extra onions and want something warm in a hurry, I'd more enthusiastically recommend my crockpot version to be posted soon if you want something truly yummy.

4 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/4 butter (use less if possible)
5 cups beef broth
3 TB flour
Salt and pepper
French bread or bakery bread of choice
Mozzarella cheese, shreded

Preparation: Saute onions in butter, using you judgment as to right about. Mix in flour. Whisk in beef broth. Generously salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve: Place toasted slice of french bread on top of 1 cup of soup in an oven safe bowl to be used for serving. Cover with cheese. Broil till cheese has browned slightly.

Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce

At Thanksgiving growing up, we always had cranberry sauce from a can. I loved taking it our of the can because you had to do it just so otherwise it would lose its perfect shape. Then, using a nice sharp knife, someone cut it into even slices. Totally fun! However, like any art project, I would never dream of eating it as it was too non-foody. Many years later when I made my first Thanksgiving from scratch, even though I was still anti-cranberry sauce, I wanted to make it for my guests. Using a simple recipe, probably from Cooking Light, I made fresh cranberry sauce. It was fantastic (and nothing like the stuff from a can). Now I make it every year.

1 cup sugar
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan; uncovered, bring to a boil over
medium-high heat. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until cranberries
pop, stirring occasionally. Chill.

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

Candied Carrots

Serves: 6

1 pound carrots
1 small lemon
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar

1. Cut each carrot crosswise in half. In heavy 3-quart saucepan, heat 1 inch water to boiling over medium heat. Add carrot halves, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp-tender.

2. Meanwhile, finely grate 1 teaspoon peel from lemon and reserve, then cut lemon and squeeze 1 tablespoon juice.

3. Drain cooked carrots and return to saucepan; add butter, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is completely dissolved and carrots are well glazed ? about 5 minutes. Spoon carrots into serving bowl; garnish with reserved grated lemon peel and serve.

Easy Banana Muffins

banana muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the bananas, mix well. Add the flours, baking soda, salt, oatmeal, and walnuts stirring just enough to moisten. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Banana Cream Pie

3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all- purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 - 9 inch inch baked pie shell
3 - 4 bananas


1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour or cornstarch, and salt. Add milk in gradually while stirring gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly.Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner.
2.Stir a small quantity of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture. Cook for 2 more minutes; remember to keep stirring. Remove the mixture from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency. 3. Slice bananas into the cooled baked pastry shell. Top with pudding mixture.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 12 to 15 minutes. Chill for an hour.
Makes 1 - 9 inch pie
Baked Salmon

1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley
2 cloves garlic
lemon juice
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350. Combine butter, parsley, basil, and garlic. Rub salmon with salt; sprinkle with lemon juice. Coat fillets liberally with mixture. Lay fillets on foil, seal foil. Bake for 30 min, done when salmon flakes.

Apricot Glazed Chicken

2/3 cup apricot (or peach) preserves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons grated orage peel
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon coarsly ground black pepper
2 large onions
1 3 ½ pound broiler-fryer, cut into quarters
2 medium size chicken legs
(roughly 3 or 4 pounds of chicken pieces, basically)
steamed broccoli

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In small bowl, mix apricot preserves, balsamic vinegar, orange peel, salt, and pepper. Cut each onion into 4 wedged.
2. Arranges chicken pieces and onion wedges in 17" by 11 ½" roasting pan. Spoon apricot preserves mixture over chicken and onions. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, basting occasionally with pan juices, until onions are tender and juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife.
3. To serve, place chick and onions on warm large platter with steamed broccoli. (I served it over angel hair pasta, mixing with juices and sprinkling with parmesan cheese).

Chicken Tequila Fettuccine

Serves 6

1 pound spinach Fettuccine, uncooked
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. minced jalapeño pepper
3 tbsp. unsalted butter or margarine
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp. gold tequila
2 tbsp. lime juice
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/4 pounds chicken breast, diced 3/4-inch
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups fat-free half and half


1. Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain.
2. Saute cilantro, garlic and jalapeño in 2 tbsp. butter over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Add chicken broth, tequila and lime juice. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until reduced to a pastelike consistency. Set aside.
3. Pour soy sauce over diced chicken. Marinate for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook onion and peppers, stirring occasionally, with remaining butter over medium heat until wilted. Add chicken and soy sauce; toss and add reserved tequila/lime paste and cream. Bring to a boil, until chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes.
4. Toss with hot pasta and serve immediately.

Bisquick Chicken Pot Pie

I've been reviewing my old posts and was pleasantly surprised to come across this one. This was, in fact, the very first recipe I ever made by myself. I don't recall whether it was 1998 or 1999, but I know I was on summer break from college and just bumming about one evening waiting for my parents to come home from work. Something I was reading or watching inspired me to find this simple recipe from Betty Crocker and surprise my family with dinner from "scratch." I use quotation marks because as you can tell from the recipe a lot of short-cuts are used. Nowadays, I make pie crusts using flour, butter, water, and salt rather than Bisquick and haven't seen a can of mushroom soup in nearly 10 years. Nonetheless, this turned out very well for my initial effort and inspired me to begin my cooking journey. I do remember using fresh vegetables, but the celery was very limp and the carrots definitely feeling their age. It was a miracle the result turned out as tasty as it did.

Bisquick Chicken Pot Pie

4 cups mixed veggies (corn, carrots, celery, peas, onion), or 16 oz frozen
1 cup cooked chicken, diced
1 can (10 ¾) condensed cream soup (I used cream of mushroom)
1 cup Bisquick baking mix
½ cup milk (skim)
1 egg

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix veggies, chicken, and soup in an ungreased 2 qt casserole dish (or 9-in pie pan).
2. Stir in remaining ingredients in a small ball with fork until blended. Pour into casserole.
3. Bake 30 minutes until golden brown.

Easy Cheddar Quiche

1 cup baking mix (e.g., Bisquik)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon salt
3 slices bacon (not absolutely necessary)
2 cups chopped, cooked green veggies (e.g. broccoli)
1 small onion, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
2. Combine baking mix, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and milk and mix until moist. Knead a few times on a floured board, then fit into a lightly greased 9-inch(deep dish!!) pie pan. Turn overhang under and flute.
3. Fry bacon and onion until brown. Crumble bacon. Sprinkle bacon ,broccoli, onion, and cheese into shell.
4. Heat evaporated milk just until hot.
5. Beat eggs, stir in 1 teaspoon salt and Tabasco, then slowly stir in evaporated milk. Pour into shell.
6. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 5 minutes, then lower to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake 25 (30) minutes more or until center is almost set. Do not overbake as it will set as it cools.
Caramelized Onion-Balsamic Gravy

5 1/2 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
1 onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
2 large onions, halved, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Combine turkey neck and giblets, 5 1/2 cups broth, quartered onion and bay leaf in saucepan. Simmer until reduced to 3 cups liquid, skimming occasionally, about 1 hour. Strain turkey stock.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions; sauté 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon rosemary and 1 tablespoon sage and sauté until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in turkey stock. Boil until gravy thickens, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon each rosemary and sage.

Transfer turkey to platter. Tent with foil. Pour juices from pan into large glass measuring cup; spoon off fat. Add juices to gravy. Add vinegar to roasting pan. Bring vinegar to simmer over medium heat, scraping up browned bits. Pour mixture into heavy small saucepan. Boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes; add to gravy. Rewarm gravy; thin with more chicken broth, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.

Chocolate Soufflé Cakes with Crème Anglaise
Adapted from From Cooking Light September 2003

Soufflé Cakes:

Cooking spray
8 teaspoons sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons sugar

Crème Anglaise:

3 large egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup skim or 1% low-fat milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350º.

To prepare soufflé cakes, lightly coat 8 (4-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon sugar.

Combine 2/3 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Add chocolates, stirring with a whisk until chocolates melt. Combine 1/2 cup cocoa, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add cocoa mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring with a whisk. Whisk in 2 egg yolks and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth egg white mixture into chocolate mixture; fold in remaining egg white mixture. Spoon chocolate mixture into prepared ramekins. Place ramekins in a large baking dish; add hot water to dish to a depth of 3/4 inch.

Bake at 350º for 15 minutes or until puffy and slightly cracked. Remove ramekins from dish, and place on a wire rack.

To prepare crème anglaise, combine 3 egg yolks and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, whisking until thick and pale yellow (about 3 minutes).

Heat milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat.

Gradually add hot milk to egg yolk mixture, stirring with a whisk. Return egg yolk mixture to pan; cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until slightly thick and mixture coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly (do not boil). Remove from heat. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Serve with soufflé cakes.

Notes: A water bath tempers the heat and insulates the soufflés, ensuring a creamy texture. Line the baking dish with a towel to keep the ramekins in place. These souffles are excellent chilled and do not need to be served immediately.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Dried Cherries


Makes 2–21/2 dozen cookies

* 1 stick butter, softened
* 2/3 cup light brown sugar sugar, packed
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs
* 3/4 cup sifted all purpose flour
* 1/4 cup sifted whole wheat flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
* 1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
* 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Ingredient Option: use dried cranberries instead of cherries, walnuts instead of pecans, granulated sugar instead of brown

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cream together butter and sugar, beating until light. Add vanilla and eggs. Continue to beat well. Sift together both flours, salt and baking soda, and add to butter mixture, beating again. Stir in chocolate chips, dried cherries and pecans. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with canola or olive oil spray. Bake cookies 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Nutrition Info

Per Serving (1 oz-wt.): 130 calories (70 from fat), 8g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 1g dietary fiber, 2g protein, 16g carbohydrate, 10mg cholesterol, 65mg sodium

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

chocolate chip oatmeal

½ cup margarine
¾ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oats, uncooked
1 cup chocolate pieces
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees

- In a large bow, beat margarine, brown sugar, and sugar until combined. Beat until fluffy.

- Add egg whites, egg, and vanilla extract; beat until smooth.

- With spoon, stir in flour, oats, chocolate chips, baking soda, and salt until combined.

- Drop dough by level tablespoons about 2 inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

Chocolate-Chili-Rubbed Prime Rib with Grilled Papaya Butter

Makes: 12 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Grill: 2 hours


1 4-pound beef rib roast
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons finely ground ancho chili peppers or dark chili powder
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Grilled Papaya Butter (see recipe below)


1. Rub beef with the coarse salt and black pepper. Brush with oil. Combine ground ancho peppers or chili powder and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Rub mixture into beef, evenly coating the entire surface.

2. Prepare grill for indirect grilling. Test for medium heat above drip pan. Place roast on the grill rack, bone side down, directly over drip pan. Cover and grill for 2 to 2-1/4 hours or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest portion reads 155 degree F for medium doneness, turning roast occasionally. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Cut into individual portions; top with Grilled Papaya Butter. Makes 12 servings.

3. Grilled Papaya Butter: Peel and seed 1/2 of a small papaya; cut into thick slices. Lightly brush slices with cooking oil. Grill papaya slices over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, turning once. Set aside. Soften 1 pound salted butter (no substitutes). Finely chop papaya; stir into butter. Spoon mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll into a log, twisting ends closed. Chill for 2 hours or until firm. Cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick slices to serve. Reserve remaining papaya and papaya butter for another use.

Eggplant Ratatouille

Serves/Makes: 6


3 T. Olive Oil
1 lb. hamburger (optional)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. eggplant, pared and julienne strips
2 green bell or italian cooking peppers, julienne strips
2 cups (1 lb. can) tomatoes, sliced, or 5 ripe tomatoes peeled and sliced
2 medium zucchini, julienned
2 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. basil, dried and crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash black pepper
2 T. snipped parsley or 2 tsp. dried
Paprika to taste
Chili Powder to taste


Heat oil in 4 quart saucepan. Add onion and garlic, saute until onion is transparent. If using hamburger, fry now and drain.

Wash peppers and cut-up. Saute peppers until tender. Wash zucchini, eggplant and tomatos. Prepare and add them each one at a time, and continue cooking; stirring after each ingredient.

Cover pan and simmer for 15 minutes, slowly, stirring occasionally. Add sugar, basil, salt, pepper. Add paprika and curry powder to taste.

Serve in bowls, as ratatoule is liquidy.

Cranberry-Walnut Dressing

This has been my favorite stuffing recipe for some time now. It's from Southern Living 1996 Christmas Book. I generally eat half a pan before it gets to the table.


5 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
4 cups sourdough bread cubes
2 cups chopped Vidalia (or other sweet variety) onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 (3-ounce) packages dried cranberries [I think this is ~1 cup]
1 1/2 cups walnut halves, toasted
2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
2 tsp. rubbed sage
1 1/2 to 2 1/3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice

1. Combine cornbread and bread cubes in large bowl; toss and set aside.

2. Cook onion, celery, and garlic in melted butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, just until tender.

3. Add onion mixture, dried cranberries, and next 4 ingredients to bread mixture; stir well.

4. Add broth and orange juice, stirring until mixture is thoroughly moistened.

5. Spoon dressing into a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan.

6. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until golden.

YIELD 10 to 12 servings.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar, divided

Place the cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating at low speed until smooth (do not overbeat). Stir in the remaining 3/4 cup powdered sugar. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Spread frosting over top of cake.

Easy Oven Beef Stew


2 pounds boneless beef round tip, trimmed of fat
2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups water
6 medium-size carrots (about 1 1/4 lbs. total), sliced about 1 inch thick
1/2 pound small mushrooms or quartered large mushrooms
2 small red onions (about 6 oz. total), quartered lengthwise
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
Salt, Pepper to taste


Cut beef into 1-inch cubes; coat with flour, shaking off excess. Arrange cubes slightly apart in an ungreased 9- by 13-inch baking dish or pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 500 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove dish from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes; meanwhile, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Gradually add water to dish, stirring to loosen any browned bits.

Add carrots, mushrooms, onions, and all but 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Cover tightly. Bake until beef is very tender, stirring once or twice (about 2 1/2 hours). Season to taste with salt and garnish with remaining parsley.

Yield:Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information:Per serving: 197 calories, 26 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams total fat (2 grams saturated fat), 68 milligrams cholesterol, 98 milligrams sodium.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cider-Roasted Chicken
Cooking Light

3 quarts water
1 quart apple cider
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 (6-pound) roasting chicken
2 cups apple cider
1 large onion, peeled and halved
4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
4 garlic cloves, peeled

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until salt dissolves. Remove from heat; cool completely. Pour brine into a 2-gallon zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken; seal. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400�.

Bring 2 cups cider to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until cider has thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup (about 15 minutes).

Remove chicken from bag; discard brine. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place the onion halves, parsley, and garlic into cavity. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Tie legs. Place chicken on rack of a broiler pan. Bake at 400� for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 175�. (Carefully remove and discard skin.) Baste chicken with half of reduced cider; return to 400� oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; baste with remaining cider reduction.

Serve with juices, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 4 ounces chicken and about 1 tablespoon jus)

Chocolate Cheesecake

Prep time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 5 hours 5 minutes
Serves: 10-12



1 cup chocolate wafers crumbs
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted


2 pkg. (8oz each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup melted chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs


Crust: Mix crumbs, sugar and butter, press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan Bake for 10 minutes @ 350.

Filling: INCREASE oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

Beat cream cheese, sugar cocoa and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour into prepared crust. Place entire cheesecake pan in a hot water bath. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a knife comes out clean.

Chocolate Banana Cream Pie


1 deep dish pie crust, baked and cooled
2 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 bananas, sliced
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 (4 serving size) package chocolate instant pudding and pie filling
1 1/2 cups nondairy whipped topping


1. Combine chocolate, 1 tablespoon milk, and butter or margarine in a medium, microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Spread evenly in pie crust.

2. Arrange banana slices over chocolate.

3. Pour 1 1/2 cups milk into a large bowl. Add pudding mix, and beat with wire whisk for 2 minutes. Spoon over banana slices in crust.

4. Spread whipped topping over pie. Refrigerate 4 hours, or until set. Store in refrigerator.

Pesto Recipes

Basil Pesto

3/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil

Process first 6 ingredients in a blender until smooth, stopping to srape down sides. With blender on high, add oil in a slow steady stream. Makes 2/3 cup.

Slim Basil Pesto

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1.5 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 oz. Parmesan cheese

Blend ingredients as above

Pasta w/ Basil Pesto Shrimp

Serves/Makes: 7-8 people


1 pkg pasta (fettucini, linguini)
1 1/2 lbs uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup basil pesto sauce
2 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
Parmesan cheese (optional)
salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Prepare the pasta to package directions. In a med. or large skillet, heat olive oil over med.-high. Add garlic and cook for about 1 min. Add shrimp and cook until they are all pink and have shrunk a little. After pasta has been drained, place it in a large bowl. Add shrimp and pesto to pasta, stir well so that the pesto evenly coats all the pasta and shrimp. Serve immediately, sprinkle parmesan cheese and salt and pepper on top if you like. Also works with grilled chicken

Blackened Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

This recipe is a knock-off from a chain store, probably Applebees. I don't remember where I originally found it, possibly Top Secret Recipes.

1/4 cup fat free mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Chicken Marinade:
1 cup water
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire

Cajun Spice Blend:
1/2 teapoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

8 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 large tomato, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 hardboiled egg white, diced

Make dressing by combining ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well by hand. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until salad is ready.

Combine water, lime juice, soy sauce, and Worcestershire in a medium bowl, and stir. Add the chicken breasts to the marinade, cover bowl and keep in refrigerator for several hours. Overnight is even better.

When chicken is marinated, preheat skillet over medium/high heat. Or, preheat your barbecue grill to medium/high heat. Combine the spices for the Cajun spice blend in a small bowl. Sprinkle a teaspoon of the spice blend over one side of each of the chicken breasts. Cover the entire surface of the chicken with spice. Spray the pan with nonstick spray, then sear the chicken breasts for 2-3 minutes on the side with the spices. While first side cooks, sprinkle another teaspoon of spice over the top of each chicken breast, coating that side as you did the other. Flip the chicken over, and sear for another 2-3 minutes. The surface of the chicken will be coated with a charred, black layer of flavor (aka blackened). Cover pan, reduce heat slight and cook until juices run clear.

While chicken is cooking prepare the salads by splitting the lettuce into two large bowls. Toss in the red cabbage and carrots. Mix the cheeses together, then top the salad with the cheeses and hardboiled egg. Sprinkle the diced tomato and cucumber on each salad. Slice the chicken breast, across each breast in 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spread the chicken over the top of the salad and serve immediately with dressing on the side.

Geocities closing

After using it as my website host for nearly 12 years, Geocities is
finally closing. Thus, I will likely send all my recipes here and
backup the rest on my harddrive until I figure out what to do.

Alfredo Sauce Light


1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cups skim milk
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (16 ounce) package fettuccini pasta
2 lbs assorted vegetables (broccoli, peppers, onions, etc)


1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and
garlic, and saute until golden brown.
2. In a small saucepan, stir together milk, chicken broth, flour, salt
and pepper over low heat until smooth and thick. Stir into onion
mixture. Continue to cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently,
until the sauce is thick. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water. Add broccoli to the pasta
for the last several minutes of cooking Continue cooking until the
pasta is al dente.
4. Drain the pasta and vegetables, and transfer to a large bowl. Toss
with sauce.