Saturday, December 31, 2011

FUN AND EASY INDOOR S'MORES

8 Graham cracker squares
2 tsp Nutella
1 banana, slice into 1/4-inch slices
4 large marshmallows

Spread the Nutella over 4 of the cracker squares; set aside.

Arrange the remaining 4 Graham cracker squares on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Arrange 4 banana slices on each of these cracker squares.  Place one of the marshmallows atop each of the banana covered crackers.  Broil for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until the marshmallows are toasted (watch carefully to prevent burning).  Remove from broiler and top immediately with the Nutella crackers, Nutella side down.  Press lightly to mash the marshmallow onto the bananas.

Friday, December 30, 2011

CHILI SPICED PECAN PEANUT MIX

2 cups pecan halves or large pieces
2 cups roasted peanuts
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking pan, combine the peanuts and pecans.  In a small bowl combine the egg white with the butter, chili powder, red pepper, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and the hot sauce, stirring to combine well.  Pour the butter mixture over the nuts in the pan, stirring to coat all the nuts well.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the nuts are toasted.  Remove from oven and set pan on a wire rack.  Cool nuts completely in the pan.  Store in an airtight container.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

TACO SLOPPYJOES

1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14.5-oz) tomatoes
2 tbsp catsup
2 tsp taco seasoning mix
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
4 to 6 hamburger buns
1 cup shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
shredded lettuce for garnish
diced tomatoes for garnish
black olives for garnish
taco sauce, if desired

In a large skillet saute the ground beef, onion, and garlic together until the beef is browned and crumbled.  Drain off excess fat.

Add the tomatoes, catsup, taco seasoning, salt, and Dijon mustard.  Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until mixture is dry.  Spoon the mixture onto the buns and top with the lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, olive, and taco sauce if desired.

LAZY COOK'S LASAGNE

6-oz lasagne noodles, cooked according to pkg directions
1/4 tsp oregano
1 can (15.5-oz) spaghetti sauce of your choice
1 cup cream-style cottage cheese
1 pkg (6-oz) sliced Mazzarella cheese

Blend the oregano into the spaghetti sauce.

Spray a 10 x 6-inch baking dish, that has 1 1/2 to 2-inch sides, with nonstick cooking spray.

Layer half the lasagne noodles topped with half the cottage cheese, followed by half the sauce and half the cheese.  Repeat the layers with the remaining halves of the ingredients.  Bake in a moderate 375 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes, until heated through and bubbly.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

Yield: 4 servings

For a complete meal serve with a salad and crusty whole-grain bread.

MEATBALLS AND VEGETABLES

1 bag frozen meatballs, partially thawed OR your own cooked meatballs you have made ahead
1 can (10 1/2-oz) cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 pkg (9-oz) frozen French-style green beans
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen corn

In a large skillet, stir the soup and milk together until smooth.  Place the frozen beans and corn in the skillet; add the meatballs.  Place lid on skillet and heat to boiling over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to low and cook 5 minutes.  Stir and cook another 5 to 10 minutes until heated through.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

EASY ALMOND CLUSTERS

2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
1 pkg (18-oz) creamy frosting mix
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter in the milk.  Remove from the heat and stir in the frosting mix. 

Cook mixture over low heat for a couple minutes until smooth and glossy, while stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and stir in the almonds.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper and allow to stand until firm.

NOTE: You can make with chocolate frosting mix, if desired.  You will need to use 2 more teaspoons of milk with the chocolate fudge frosting mix.

TOASTED ENGLISH MUFFINS WITH PECAN SPREAD

1 tsp grated orange peel
3-oz cream cheese
2 tbsp low-fat milk
1/4 cup chopped pecans
6 English muffins that have been split and toasted

In small mixer bowl combine the orange peel, cream cheese, and milk; beat until smooth and creamy.  Stir in the chopped pecans.  Spread the mixture over the toasted English muffins.

To serve as appetizers cut each muffin half into 4 edges for a total of 48 appetizers.  Can also serve each half as a breakfast or brunch item.

Monday, December 26, 2011

BLUE CHEESE-WALNUT WAFERS

I have listed this recipe in my Quick Fix files because it only takes minutes to put together and only 12 minutes to bake.  The dough does, however, have to chill for an hour.  Remember that when planning to make this appetizer!

1 pkg (4-oz) blue cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
couple dashes of salt
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

Place the blue cheese, butter, flour, and salt into a food processor and process until blended.  Scrape down the sides, once during processing.  This mixture will be sticky.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the chopped walnuts until well blended.  Divide the mixture in half.  Shape each half into an 8-inch long log.  Wrap in heavy-duty plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove dough from refrigerator and slice each log into 1/4-inch slices.  Place the slices on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 12 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Yield: approximately 54 wafers

Saturday, December 24, 2011

SPICY PORK STEW

1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tbsp canola oil
20 to 24-oz frozen mixed vegetables of your choice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 to 1/2 tsp (depending on taste) cajun seasoning
1 can (4 1/2-oz) diced green chiles
1 tsp cumin
1 cup water
fresh cilantro for garnish

In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Lightly sprinkle the meat cubes with salt and pepper; add to the oil and cook 4 to 5 minutes until browned.  Stir in the vegetables-except for 1 cup you reserve, cajun seasoning,and cumin. 

Place the reserved vegetables, garlic, and green chiles into a blender container and blend until smooth; pour mixture into the Dutch oven.  Bring the stew to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the meat is done and the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

To serve, ladle into soup bowls and top each with a couple sprigs of the fresh cilantro.

Yield: 4 servings

Note:  Yummy served with crusty, lightly toasted bread.

Friday, December 23, 2011

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN PRIMAVERA

1 tbsp canola oil
3/4 to 1 lb boneless skinless chicken strips
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 carrot, julienned
1 small red onion, chopped
1 can (14 1/2-oz) chicken broth
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups uncooked minute brown rice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken strips and cook, stirring, until browned.  Add broccoli, peas, carrots, and onions; cook and stir until the vegetables are tender-crisp.  Stir in the broth, basil, and pepper.  Bring to a boil and stir in the rice.  Return to a boil and reduce the heat to low.  Cover skillet and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Stir in the cheese before serving.

Yield: 4 servings

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

SNICKERS BAR COOKIES

1 large roll of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
5 to 6 Snickers candy bars, sliced into 1/4-inch slices

Preheat the oven to the temperature on the chocolate chip cookie dough package.

Press the dough onto the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.  Bake according to directions on the dough package.

Remove from oven and immediately arranged the sliced candy over the top of the baked layer.  Return to the oven and bake only until the candy is softened enough to spread.  Remove from oven and spread the candy over the top of the crust.  Cool completely before cutting into 24 squares.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

BROCCOLI WITH ORANGE TARRAGON SAUCE

2 lbs fresh broccoli
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp grated orange rind
1/4 tsp tarragon
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup orange sections

Separate broccoli into serving-size spears.  Place spears in saucepan with a small amount of water to steam.  Cover and cook up to 10 minutes until crisp tender.

In a heavy saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the flour, stirring constantly to blend.  Add the orange juice and cook until thickened, continuing to stir constantly.  Stir in the orange rind and the tarragon.  Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the sour cream.

Drain the broccoli and arrange on a serving platter.  Spoon the orange sauce over the top.  Garnish with the orange sections.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Samantha & Santa's Lip Smackers

20 large marshmallows
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 cups crispy rice cereal

Combine the marshmallows, butter, and chocolate chips in a microwav-proof mixing bowl.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Marshmallows will puff up.  Stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.  Return to the microwave and microwave for another 30 seconds until marshmallows and chocolate chips are melted.

Remove mixture from the microwave and stir in the cereal, one cup at a time.
Grease a cookie sheet with butter.  Then butter your hands.  Shape mixture into whatever shapes you prefer and decorate if you desire.

To store, if you have any left, keep in an airtight container or bag in cellephane bags to give as gifts.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

BUTTERSCOTCH-APPLE-WALNUT MUFFINS

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups chopped Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 12 muffin tin cups or line 12 cups with paper liners; set aside.

In a bowl mix the flours, cinnamon, and baking soda together; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl beat the eggs and add the canola oil, both sugars, vanilla extract, and apples mixing well.  Add the flour mixture and mix just until moistened.  Stir in the butterscotch chips and walnuts.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake muffins for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Muffins are done when a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.


DECORATIVE WHITE CHOCOLATE CRUNCH

1 box (14-oz) Honeycomb cereal
1 pkg (12-oz) thin pretzel sticks, broken into halves
12-oz pecans
2 lbs white almond bark
decorative candy sprinkles

Mix the cereal, pretzels, and pecans together in a large heat-resistant bowl. 

Melt the almond bark in top of a double boiler over hot water, stirring frequently to smooth.  Pour the melted candy over the cereal mix in the bowl.  Stir well to be sure all the cereal, pretzels, and pecans are coated.

Spread the mixture out on a large sheet of waxed paper and sprinkle with the decorative candy sprinkles.  Use colors and shapes to fit the occasion.  For example, red and green for Christmas, pastels for Easter, favorite colors for birthdays or other celebrations.  All to cool completely then break apart into bite-size pieces and store in a airtight container.

Note:  Bag up in cellophane bags and tie with pretty ribbons to give as party favors, class treats, etc.

Friday, December 16, 2011

SNOWFLAKE FUNNEL CAKES

4 eggs, beaten
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 cups milk
1 tsp salt
2 cups canola oil
powdered sugar for dusting

In a mixing bowl combine the eggs and milk.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; add to the egg mixture and using a rotary mixer, beat until smooth.  Pour the mixture into a pitcher and chill.

Heat the canola oil to 360 degrees in a deep fryer if you have one or a large skillet.

Remove batter from refrigerator and stir with a large spoon and test to see if it flows easily through a funnel.  If too thick, add a small amount of milk.  If too thin, add a little flour.

Cover the end of a funnel with your finger and pour 1/2 cup batter into funnel.  Hold over the hot oil and release your finger and drop batter into the oil while moving funnel to form a snowflake shape.  BE CAREFUL WHEN WORKING WITH HOT OIL!  Oil will splatter when batter hits it! Cook snowflake approximately 3 minutes until a golden brown; turn and cook approximately 1 minute on other side.

Remove from the oil and drain on paper toweling.  Transfer to a paper plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar 'snow'; sprinkle with sparkle or colored sugar, if desired.

Yield: 8 large snowflakes


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WINTER SALAD WITH TOASTED ALMONDS AND RASPBERRY DRESSING

DRESSING:
2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
2 cups wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp honey
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Puree raspberries in blender or food processor; strain through a sieve and discard seeds. Pour into a jar.  In a jar with a tight filling lid combine 1/3 cup of the raspberry vinegar with the olive oil, honey and garlic; shake vigorously until well mixed.

SALAD:
8 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 large red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup seedless grape halves
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Arrange the salad ingredients on individual salad plates or in a large salad bowl.  Serve with the above raspberry dressing.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

PARMESAN CHIVE BISCUITS

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
6 tbsp chopped fresh chives
3 garlic cloves, crushed
cayenne pepper to suit your taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix flour, Parmesan cheese, and the baking powder in a mixing bowl.  Cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly.  Add the oil, honey, eggs, milk, chives, and garlic mixing well.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle with the cayenne pepper.  Bake at 400 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield:  Approximately 18 biscuits.

ICE CREAM SANTAS

All the ingredient quantities will depend on the number of people being served.  For each person being served you will need:
1 large scoop vanilla ice cream (or chocolate, depending on your Santa's skintone!)
sugar ice cream cone*
canned whipped cream
M&Ms
small heavy duty paper plate or a dessert plate

Note:  Children love making their own and the directions are very simple:

Place scoop of ice cream on plate. 
Place a cone upside down atop the ice cream to make Santa's hat.
Use the whipped cream to make Santa a beard and to trim the bottom of the cap as well as a blob on top.  Use the M&Ms to make Santa's eyes, nose, and mouth.

*The sugar cones with the chocolate coating inside add a bit of extra flavor and make the cone a little more sturdy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

CANDIED FRUIT COOKIES

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup assorted chopped candied fruit
1 cup chopped pecans
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients mixing together well; let stand for 5 minutes.

Drop by teaspoonfuls 1-inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.  Baked at 325 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden. 

Remove cookies to a wire rack t cool completely.

Yield: 60 cookies

Friday, December 9, 2011

SPICY CARROT SOUP

4 cups chopped carrots
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken broth
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 orange, juiced
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

Saute carrots onion and garlic in butter in for 5 minutes in a large saucepan over high heat.  Sprinkle the chopped parsley, curry powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper; stir in the chicken broth.  Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Puree the mixture in blender then return to saucepan. 

Process the cream, egg yolks, and orange juice in a blender until smooth.  Add this mixture to the saucepan mixture and stir constantly.  Heat until slightly thickened and heated through. 

To serve ladle the soup into serving bowls and sprinkle the chopped green bell pepper.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Thursday, December 8, 2011

LACEY ALMOND COOKIES

1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease and flour cookie sheets; set aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan combine the almonds, butter, sugar, flour, and milk; cook over low heat until the butter is melted, stirring constantly.

Using a teaspoon, drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets putting only 4 to 6 cookies per sheet (depending on how big your cookie sheets are).

Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 6 minutes or until the cookies are light brown and the centers are bubbly.  Let stand on the cookie sheets for 1 minute.  Remove gently to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 60 cookies

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CREAMY PECAN CHICKEN SALAD

2 cups chopped cooked chicken (great use for leftover chicken)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup (more if desired) mayonnaise
1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped
salt to taste, optional
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

In a mixing bowl combine the chicken, celery, and pecans.  Add the mayonnaise, whipped cream, and salt, if using; mix together well (adding more mayo if needed).  Drizzle with the lemon juice and mix gently.  Chill until serving time.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

This salad is great to use as stuffing for tomatoes, on breads for a sandwich, or on a lettuce leaf with tiny breads or crackers.

SWEET TEA CONCENTRATE WITH LEMON

2 cups boiling water
3 tea bags
2 cups sugar
3 lemon rinds
juice of 3 lemons

Pour the boiling water over the tea bags in a teapot.  Steep, covered, 20 minutes.  Remove the tea bags.  Add the sugar and lemon rind, stirring to completely dissolve sugar.  Allow to stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Remove the lemon rind; add the lemon juice.  Mix well.

To serve, combine 1 part concentrate with 3 parts water in a pitcher.

May be served over ice or hot.

Yield: 8 servings

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DELICIOUS COCOA FROSTING

2 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp milk

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Beat until combined, creamy, and of spreading consistency.  Use to frost brownies or cake.

Yield: 2 cups.

Note: Add powdered sugar a dab at a time, if frosting is too thin for your use.  Add milk, a teaspoon at a time until thin enough for use, if necessary.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

SPINACH FETTUCCINE ALFREDO

8-oz spinach fettuccine noodles
1/4 cup butter
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp salt
couple dashes of freshly ground black pepper
1 pkg (3-oz) Shredded Parmesan cheese

Prepare the fettuccine noodles according to the package directions; drain.

Over low heat, melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan.  Stir in the cream, salt, and pepper; heat thoroughly. 

Add the drained fettuccine noodles and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, stirring until thoroughly heated.  Serve with the remaining cheese.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Note:  To add more vegetables to your diet, melt an additional 2 tablespoons butter in a 10 to 12-inch skillet.  Add 2 cups frozen (thawed) vegetables and saute until vegetables are tender.  Stir into the fettuccine as prepared above.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

SKILLET ZUCCHINI

2 tbsp canola oil
3 cups sliced medium zucchini
2 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 pkg (3-oz) shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat; add the zucchini, mushrooms, and bell pepper.  Cook mixture, while gently stirring, over medium-high heat approximately 5 minutes until the veggies are crisp-tender. 

Remove skillet from the heat and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top.  Cover skillet and let stand a couple of minutes before serving.

Yield: 4 servings.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

SPICY BAKED ARTICHOKE DIP

1 cup (4-oz container) grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 can (14-oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 can (4-oz) green chilies, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp green onion slices
2 tbsp chopped tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Very lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate or a quiche dish; set aside.

Mix the cheese, mayonnaise, artichoke hearts, chilies, and garlic together.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and sprinkle the green onion slices and chopped tomatoes over the top.  Serve with assorted crackers.

Yield: 2 cups dip  (Doubled Recipe Pictured)


Friday, November 25, 2011

SAUSAGE BALLS WITH ONION AND CELERY

2 lbs bulk sausage, uncooked
1 1/2 cups biscuit/baking mix (such as Bisquick-my favorite!)
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup very finely chopped green onion
1/2 cup very finely chopped celery
1/2 tsp garlic powder
dash of Cajun seasoning, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together well.  Form mixture into balls, approximately 1-inch in diameter.  Bake for 15 minutes on ungreased baking sheet that has sides, until golden brown.


Yield: Approximately 70 appetizer balls.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

EASY FRESH CAULIFLOWER SOUP

1 (approximately 1 1/4 lbs) cauliflower
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp thyme
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
dash of nutmeg
dash of pepper
2 cups half-and-half cream
1/2 cup shredded cheese
Chopped parsley for garnish

Core the cauliflower and remove leaves; seperate into small flowerets.  Combine cauliflower and onion, thyme, chicken broth; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until tender.  This will take about 10 minutes, more or less.  Remove the cauliflower and reserve approximately a third of it.

Transfer the remaining cauliflower mixture to a food processor (or blender) and whirl until it is a smooth puree.

In a 3 or 4-quart saucepan melt the butter over medium heat; stir in the flour, salt, nutmeg, and pepper.  Gradually stir in the cream and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils.  Blend in the cauliflower puree and the cheese.  Heat stirring occasionally, until soup is steaming and the cheese melts.  Add the reserved cauliflower and cook until heated through, less than 5 minutes.


To serve, sprinkle some of the fresh chopped parsley.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

GINGERBREAD WAFFLES

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup canola oil

In a mixing bowl blend the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and sugar; set aside.

In another mixing bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, molasses, and canola oil.  Stir the mixture well then add to the flour mixture.  Stir mixtures together until blended.

Cook in a preheated, oiled waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.  Serve with butter and syrup or topping of your choice.

Yield: 14 waffles.

Monday, November 21, 2011

CHEESY POTATOES WITH GREEN ONIONS

Approximately 6 cups cubed red potatoes
1/3 cup chopped green onions, including tops
1 carton (16-oz) French onion dip
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a bowl combine the potatoes, green onions, dip, pepper, and garlic powder.  Transfer mixture to a 1 1/2-quart baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Sprinkle the cheese over top of the potatoes.

Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese melts and potato mixture is heated through.

Yield: 6 servings.

BUFFALO SHRIMP NIBBLES

 2 1/2 tbsp butter
3 1/2 tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
2 dozen deveined extra-large shrimp with tails on
4 ribs celery, cut into sticks
lime wedges for garnish

Preheat broiler.
Line a baking sheet with rim with aluminum foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave or on stovetop in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat; stir in the pepper sauce and garlic. 

Place the shrimp on the prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle shrimp with 3 tablespoons of the butter mixture.  Broil, turning once, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through.  Toss in the remaining sauce. 

To serve, arrange the shrimp on a serving platter and serve with the celery sticks and remaining butter sauce.  Garnish with the lime wedges, if desired.



Friday, November 18, 2011

RICE AND CRANBERRY PILAF

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp sugar, optional
1 1/2 cups instant brown rice
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 tbsp toasted sliced almonds

In a saucepan bring the broth, orange juice, and sugar, if using, to a boil.  Add the brown rice and cranberries; stir to blend.  Reduce the heat to simmer and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes; remove from heat.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Remove lid and stir in almonds before serving.


Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 144 calories, 5 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 199 mg sodium.

Monday, November 14, 2011

MALTED COCOA MIX

1 box (8-qt size) nonfat dry milk powder
1 bag or box (16-oz) powdered sugar, sifted
1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups instant malted milk powder
1 3/4 cups powdered nondairy coffee creamer
miniature marshmallows, optional for serving

Combine the dry milk powder, powdered sugar, cocoa, malted milk powder, and nondairy coffee creamer in a large bowl.  Stir until mixed well.  Store in an airtight jar or canister.

Yield: approximately 16 cups of hot cocoa

To make individual serving:
Place a third cup of the above mixture in a mug.  Add 3/4 cup of boiling water and stir to dissolve.  Top with miniature marshmallows, if desired.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

SAND BALLS WITH HONEY

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
sifted powdered sugar for rolling

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, powdered sugar, and honey at medium speed until well combined.  Beat in the flour, walnuts, vanilla extract and the salt.  Mix together thoroughly, this may require using your hands. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls and place 1 1/2-inches apart on greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 325 degrees for 14 to 16 minutes or until the cookies are just lightly browned.  While still warm, roll the cookies in powdered sugar.  Cool on wire racks and roll in powdered sugar a second time.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Saturday, November 12, 2011

RICE AND BLACK BEAN SALAD

2 cups cooked rice, cooled to room temperature
1 can black beans, drained
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Mexican-Blend cheese
1 tbsp snipped fresh parsley
1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
1 tbsp lime juice

In a large bowl combine the rice, beans, tomato, cheese, and parsley.  Pour the Italian dressing and the lime juice overall.  Toss mixture to coat well.


Yield: 4 servings

Friday, November 11, 2011

BARBECUE GROUND BEEF MIXTURE FOR A CROWD OR TO FREEZE

4 lbs ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 bottle (14-oz) catsup
1 cup water
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard

Place the ground beef in a large skillet with the chopped onion.  Cook the mixture until the meat is brown and crumbly and the onion is tender.  Pour into a large colander and drain mixture well.  Return to the skillet and add the remaining ingredients. 

Bring the mixture just to bubbling, reduce heat to low and simmer for a half hour.  If serving a crowd, place mixture on buns and set out an assortment of toppings.

Can be placed into pint or quart size zip-top freezer bags and frozen for a quick meal later.  If you freeze, label bags with contents and date before freezing.  To thaw place in the refrigerator overnight or all day to thaw and heat on low to medium heat in a saucepan.

Yield: 5 pints

Thursday, November 10, 2011

EASY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER SUNDAES

For 4 sundaes:
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
1 pint vanilla ice cream
4 long-stemmed maraschino cherries
cookies, if desired

Stir the peanut butter and chocolate syrup together until well blended.  Divide the ice cream evenly between 4 dishes.  Spoon the syrup mixture over the ice cream.  Top each with a maraschino cherry. Serve with a cookie, if desired.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

EASY ITALIAN-FLAVORED BREADSTICKS

1 can (8 count) refrigerated breadstick dough
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
dash of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 egg white, beaten
1 tbsp water (cold works best)

Preheat oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Spray two cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a small bowl combine the oregano, basil, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and garlic powder; mix well and set aside.

Beat the egg white with the water; set aside.

Unroll the breadstick dough and separate at perforations.  Cut each into two strips lengthwise.  Brush the dough with the egg white/water mixture.  Remove 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture and reserve.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese mixture over the egg white wash; fold strips in half lengthwise and twist to form a twisty breadstick.  Press ends together to seal.

Brush twists with the remaining egg white wash and sprinkle with the reserved cheese mixture.  Arrange on the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. 



Best served warm!

Friday, November 4, 2011

SALAD DRESSING (MAYO-TYPE) BISCUITS

2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup milk
2 tbsp salad dressing
1 pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together until blended.  Place on a floured surface and knead lightly.  Cut biscuits with a 2-inch biscuit cutter or glass that has been dipped in flour.  Place cut biscuits in a lightly greased pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

BREAD DIPPING SAUCE

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper to suit taste
Crusty bread
Yield: 1 serving
For more servings, multiply the ingredients by the number of servings needed.

HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SAUCE

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
4 tbsp baking cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Cook over low heat while stirring until the butter is melted and the cocoa is blended in.  Turn up the heat to medium-high and bring to a full boil.  Stirring constantly, allow to cook at a rolling boil for 30 seconds.

This is a great chocolate sauce to serve over ice cream, pound cake, etc.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

BACON AND CHEESE CRESCENT APPETIZERS

1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
8 slices lean bacon cooked, crumbled
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp milk
2 cans (8-oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Set out a baking sheet.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, bacon, Parmesan cheese, onion, parsley, and milk  until well blended.

Separate the crescent roll dough into 8 triangles per can for a total of 16.  Cut each triange in half lengthwise.  Spread each piece of dough with a generous teaspoon of the cream cheese fillling mixture.  Roll dough up starting at the short side of the triangle.  Place, point side down, on the ungreased baking sheet. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

Yield: 32 rolls



Note: Instead of cutting the dough triangles in half, you can leave them whole and instead of appetizers, use them with a cup of soup for a light lunch.

Friday, October 28, 2011

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN POT PIE

1 pkg (15-oz) refrigerated pie crust
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 -3 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken*
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line a deep-dish 9-inch pie pan with a sheet of the pie crust; set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook a couple minutes until tender.  Add the flour, salt, and pepper; stir until well blended.  Gradually stir in the broth and milk, cooking while stirring until bubbly and thickened.

Add the chicken and mixed vegetables; mix well.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Spoon the mixture into the crust lined pie pan.  Top with the second crust, seal edges tightly and flute as desired.  Cut slits for steam escape in the top crust.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 425 degrees until the crust is golden brown.  If edges start to get too brown, cover edge with foil strips.


Let stand 5 minutes before cutting to serve.

Yield: 6 servings

*Turkey may be substituted.  This is a great way to use up leftover holiday turkey!

SPARKLING STRAWBERRY LEMONADE WITH OR WITHOUT ALCOHOL

3 cups quarted fresh strawberries
1 cup cold water
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 (6-oz) can frozen lemonade concentrate, undiluted
2 cups chilled sparkling water or Champagne, if preferred

In a blender combine the strawberries, cup of cold water, and sugar; process until smooth.  Combine the strawberry puree and lemonade concentrate in a pitcher, stirring until the lemonade dissolves.  Add the sparkling water and serve over ice.  Garnish with a fresh mint sprig or a lemon slice, if desired.


CHILI CHEESE SPIRALS

Note: These spirals go together in minutes.  They do, however, need to chill for an hour before serving.

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (4-oz) sliced green chiles
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 can (2.25-oz) chopped ripe olives, drained
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup salsa of your choice

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, shredded cheese, chiles, green onions, bell pepper, and chopped onions.  Spread a half cup of the cheese mixture over each tortilla and roll up.  Wrap each roll tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove from refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap.  Slice each roll into 6 even pieces.  Serve with the salsa for dipping.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE

1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (15-oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce
4 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
8-oz thin whole-wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet over medium heat cook the ground beef and onion until the beef is crumbled and browned; drain well in a colander.  Wipe skillet out with a paper towel and return beef and onion to the pan.  Stir in the undrained tomatoes and the tomato sauce.  Add the bay leaves, Italian seasoning and the Worcestershire sauce.  Cover skillet and simmer about 25 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.  Discard bay leaves before serving.

Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.


To serve, spoon the sauce over the hot spaghetti and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

QUICK CHEESE BISCUITS

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp butter
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in the cheese.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Using a fork, stir the milk into the flour mixture until a soft dough forms.  Caution:  Do not overmix the dough!

Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons, 1-inch apart, onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 450 degrees about 15 minutes or until the biscuits are firm to the touch.


Variation: To make biscuits for an Italian dinner, replace the Cheddar cheese with Parmesan cheese and add half a teaspoon of dried basil.

QUICK AND EASY VEGGIE SAUTE

2 medium zucchini squash
3 medium yellow squash
1 large onion
2 medium carrots
1 large green bell pepper
3 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary

Scrub the zucchini and yellow squashes and cut into 1/4-inch round slices.  Peel onion and cut into 1/4-inch slices.  Julienne the carrots and bell pepper.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the squash, onion, bell pepper, carrots, salt, pepper, basil, thyme, and rosemary.  Cook, gently stirring constantly, until the veggies are tender, approximately 10 minutes.  Do not over-cook or veggies will be mushy.  Remove veggies from the skillet immediately using a slotted spoon for serving.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

CHOCOLATE-CHIPOTLE FONDUE

4 (4-oz) sweet dark chocolate baking bars, chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup canned dulce de leche
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper powder
1/3 cup Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
For dipping: candied fruit, fresh fruit, marshmallows, angel food cake squares, pound cake cubes, etc
In a medium saucepan combine the baking chocolate, heavy cream, and dulce de leche; cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the chipotle powder and Kahlua. Pour the mixture into a fondue pot and place over the fondue burner. Serve with the dippers.
Yield: 3 1/4 cups

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

PORK TENDERLOIN WITH COUSCOUS

1 (1 1/4-lb) pork tenderloin
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup apricot preserves
2 tbsp honey mustard
1 box (10-oz) couscous
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds

Line broiler pan with aluminum foil.

Brush the tenderloin with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.   Place on the foil-covered broiler pan.  Broil 5 to 6-inches from the heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until browned, turning once.

Combine the preserves and honey mustard.  Spread the mixture over the tenderloin.  Continue broiling for another 10 minutes or longer until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 155 degrees.  Turn meat once during this time.  Remove from oven, cover with foil and let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the couscous according to the package directions.  Fluff the couscous; stir in the diced apricots and sliced almonds. 

Slice the pork and serve with the couscous.

Yield: 4 servings

DRESSED UP POTATO CHIPS

1 bag (13-oz) thick wavy potato chips
1 bag (14-oz) caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 bag (12-oz) chocolate chips
2 tbsp butter-flavored shortening
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

Line wire racks with parchment paper.  Spread the whole chips in a single layer on the prepared wire racks.

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, combine the caramels and cream, stirring constantly until smooth; remove from the heat.  Drizzle caramel mixture over the chips.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips with the shortening and microwave on high setting for 1 1/2-2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute.  Allow mixture to cool slightly; drizzle the chocolate mixture over the caramel drizzled chips; sprinkle with the pecans. 

Allow to cool until the chocolate and caramel are set before serving.


Yield: Approximately 9 dozen dressy chips.

QUICK AND EASY NUTELLA MOUSSE CRUNCH

1 jar (13-oz) Nutella or other brand of hazelnut spread
1 carton (8-oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 pkg (6.88-oz) bittersweet chocolate-dipped biscotti (or your favorite biscotti)

Being sure to have removed the foil wrap, microwave the Nutella, uncovered, on High for 30 seconds.  Fold the Nutella into the thawed whipped topping in a large bowl; leave some chocolate streaks.  Using a cake decorating piping bag or a plastic bag with a hole cut in the corner, pipe the mixture into 6 individual parfait serving dishes.  Crush some biscotti and sprinkle over the tops for a crunch effect.  Serve the remaining biscotti with the mousse.

Monday, October 17, 2011

CRANBERRY RELISH SALAD

Note:  This is a quick to make salad.  It does, however, need to refrigerate for several hours to firm up.  It is a great salad to make a day ahead, making it perfect for the holidays.

1 pkg (3 oz) cherry gelatin
1 pkg (3 oz) raspberry gelatin
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 can (12 oz) lemon-lime soda
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple with juice
2 pkgs (10 oz each) frozen cranberry-orange sauce

In a large bowl, dissolve the gelatins and sugar in the boiling water.  Add the soda, pineapple with the juice and the cranberry-orange sauce (relish).  Pour into an 11 x 7 x 2-inch dish and refrigerate overnight or until firm. 

Yield: 12 servings.

Friday, October 14, 2011

EASY TRI-BEAN SALAD

1 can cut green beans, drained
1 can wax beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 small white onion, sliced and separated into rings
1/2 cup vinegar
3 tbsp water
1/2 cup sugar*
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 tbsp canola or extra-virgin olive oil
In a large bowl, combine the wax, kidney, and green beans; toss gently to combine well. Gently stir in the bell pepper, onion, and celery.
In a small bowl combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pepper; stir briskly with a fork until the sugar is dissolved. Add the oil to the vinegar mixture. Stir briskly with fork to combine well (or use a small wire whisk).
Pour the dressing mix over the bean mixture, tossing with a large spoon to coat beans well. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill until serving time. Before serving, give beans a good stir to combine any dressing that has settled to the bottom.
*You can make this a DIABETIC friendly dish by substituting an equal amount of Splenda granulated for the sugar. Taste will be the same.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

LAYERED CHEESE 'TEXAS FUDGE'

1/2 lb Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 lb Colby Jack cheese, grated
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup picante sauce (heat of your choice!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the cheeses in a bowl.

Very lightly spray a 9 x 11-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Layer half of the cheese mixture in the dish.

Combine the beaten eggs and the picante sauce; pour over the cheese in the dish.  Top with the remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly then cut into 1-inch pieces and serve on warmed tortilla chips.

Monday, October 10, 2011

FRESH TOMATO AND BASIL LINGUINE

8-oz uncooked linguine
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil that's chopped fine
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook the linguine according to the package directions.

While linguine cooks, mix the tomatoes, olive oil, basil, garlic, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.  Add the cooked and drained linguine and the Parmesan cheeses to the tomato mixture and toss to coat.
Serve immediately while linguine is hot.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Yield: 4 1-cup servings.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

ZUCCHINI-PINEAPPLE MUFFINS

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canola oil
3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup crushed pineapple that's been drained
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line muffin cups with paper liners or spray cups with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil together well. Add the zucchini and mix well. Add the flour mixture to the zucchini mixture and stir until smooth. Stir in the pineapple and the walnuts, if using. Pour batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Friday, October 7, 2011

QUICK AND CRUNCHY COLESLAW

1 bag (1 lb) coleslaw mix*
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup slivered toasted almonds
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup Italian Salad Dressing

In a large bowl toss the coleslaw mix, onions, bell pepper, almonds and pepper together until mixed. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving.

Yield: approximately 10 servings

*Also works well using broccoli slaw instead of the coleslaw mix.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

STUFFED ZUCCHINI SQUASH

1/4 tsp salt
4 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
2 cups prepared cornbread stuffing from your favorite mix
1 can (7-oz) corn
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly grease a cookie sheet with sides; set aside.

Fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven about halfway full of water; add salt and bring to a boil. Drop the 8 zucchini halves into the boiling water and boil 6 to 8 minutes until tender. Drain water from zucchini. Using a spoon, scrape the seeds out of the zucchini and invert on paper toweling to drain.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix the 2 cups of prepared stuffing, the corn, and mozzarella cheese together. Lay the zucchini halves out on the prepared cookie sheet; mound the stuffing onto the hollowed zucchini halves and bake at 400 degrees 10 minutes or until hot and the cheese melts.

Monday, October 3, 2011

WHIPPED SWEET POTATO BAKE

3 cans (15-oz each) sweet potatoes, drained
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine the sweet potatoes, butter, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Beat the mixture with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Spoon into the prepared baking dish. Top with the mini marshmallows. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and the marshmallows are lightly browned.

Friday, September 30, 2011

GROUND BEEF ROMANOFF

1 lb lean ground beef 1 pkg (5.5-oz) Noodles Romanoff 1 can (10 1/2-oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup 1 tbsp instant minced onion 2 tbsp chopped pimento In a nonstick skillet brown the ground beef until cooked through, stirring to break up; drain off excess fat. Prepare the Noodles Romanoff according to the package directions, increasing the milk to 1 cup. Stir in the ground beef, undiluted mushroom soup, minced onion, and pimento. Heat the mixture to boiling; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

LEMON-BUTTERED SPINACH

1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped spinach
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lemon juice

Cook spinach as directed on package. Drain; stir in the butter and lemon juice.

Yield: 4 servings (skimpy servings--I recommend doubling the recipe)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CHICKEN WITH BROCCOLI AND CHEESE

1 tbsp butter
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1 can broccoli cheese soup
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 cup small broccoli florets

In a nonstick skillet, over medium heat, brown the chicken in the butter. Brown on both sides, cooking about 10 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat. Stir in the soup, milk, and pepper. Heat mixture to boiling and add the broccoli florets. Reduce the heat to low, cover skillet and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the chicken is fork-tender and broccoli is tender. Stir occasionally during cooking.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

TUMBLEWEEDS

1 pkg (12-oz) butterscotch chips
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 can (12-oz) peanuts
1 can (4-oz) Shoestring Potatoes

In a double boiler over very hot water, melt the butterscotch chips with the peanut butter. When completely melted and smooth, remove from the heat. Stir in the peanuts and the potatoes until mixed in. Drop by teaspoonsful onto waxed paper. Allow to cool before trying to handle. Store in an airtight container.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

BEEFY BROCCOLI & CHEESE SOUP

2 cups chicken broth
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 to 1/2 lb ground beef
1 cup milk
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
4-oz sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp oregano
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
hot pepper sauce to taste, optional

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; add broccoli and onions. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.

While the above cooks, brown the ground beef in a small skillet and drain well. Rinse with hot water to rid of excess fat and drain in a colander.

Gradually stir the flour into the milk in a small bowl until well blended. Slowly stir into the broccoli mixture, add the drained beef and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.

Add the shredded cheese, oregano, salt, pepper, and got sauce if using.



Yield: 4 to 5 servings

Friday, September 23, 2011

MOCHA-FLAVORED COFFEE GIFT JAR

1/2 cup instant coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup powdered milk or coffee creamer
2 tbsp cocoa

Mix all ingredients together and put in a decorative jar.

Directions: To use, put 2 rounded teaspoonsful in a cup of hot water.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

CHEESY FISH FILLETS

2 lb white fish fillets ie cod, blue hake, etc
1/2 cup French salad dressing
1 1/2 cups finely crushed cheese crackers
2 tbsp butter, melted

Cut the fish fillets into serving portions.

Pour dressing into a shallow bowl and dip the fish into the dressing.

Put the cheese cracker crumbs into a pie plate and dredge the dipped fish through the crumbs, coating well.

Place the fish fillets on a greased cookie sheet and drizzle the butter over the fish.

Bake at 500 degrees for 12 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with a fork.

Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

QUICK AND EASY CARROT SALAD

2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups chopped apples
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine all the ingredients together and mix lightly.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

LOW-FAT DILL DIP

1 carton (12-oz) low-fat cottage cheese
2 1/2 teaspoons dill
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Put all ingredients into blender container; blend at low speed. Put dip into a small bowl with a lid and chill. Sprinkle with finely chopped green onion tops if desired for garnish before serving. Serve with fresh vegetables or whole-grain crackers.

SPICY CHICKEN NACHOS

1/2 lb cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1/2 cup water
3-oz picante sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
6 flour tortillas
canola oil as needed
6 slices Monterey Jack cheese (or grated)
sliced Jalapeno peppers for garnish, if desired
sour cream

In a saucepan combine the chicken, water, picante sauce, pepper and poultry seasoning; heat thoroughly. Fry the tortillas lightly in the canola oil and drain on paper toweling. Divide the chicken mixture evenly atop the fried tortillas and sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Heat broiler and place under broiler until the cheese melts. Cut each tortilla into fourths. Garnish with the jalapeno peppers, if desired. Serve with sour cream.

Monday, September 19, 2011

TWISTED PIZZA STICKS

1 can (11-oz) soft breadsticks (refrigerated section)
24 thin slices of pepperoni
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup pizza sauce, heated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Separate and unroll the breadsticks.

Place 3 slices in a single layer over one half of each breadstick. Fold remaining half of the breadstick over the top; seal the ends and twist into a figure eight. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Combine the Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder; sprinkle evenly over the breadsticks.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

Serve with the pizza sauce.

Yield: 8 twisted pizza sticks

Saturday, September 17, 2011

MORNING GLORY MARYS

2 1/4 cups tomato juice
1 1/2 cups carrot juice
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
2 drops hot pepper sauce
Dash of celery salt
Ice cubes
3 lemon or lime wedges, for garnish
3 celery stalks, for stirrers

Put the juices, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, hot pepper sauce, and celery salt into a large pitcher; stir together well and refrigerate to chill. When ready to serve, pour into glasses over ice cubes. Pour into 3 glasses and garnish each with a lemon or lime wedge and a celery stalk for stirring.

Yield: 3 (10-oz) servings
97 calories per serving

EASY MOCHA BROWNIE CAKE

1 pkg (22.5-oz) fudge brownie mix
2/3 cup water
2 eggs
1/4 cup instant (or regular) coffee
15 pecan halves for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the brownie mix, half the water, eggs, and coffee. Beat for 1 minute, scraping down the sides and the bottom of the bowl often. Add remaining water and beat for another minute. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes. While cake is still warm, spread a can of prepared fudge frosting over the top. Press the pecan halves over the top center of each square.

Yield: 15 squares

Friday, September 16, 2011

CRAB CAKE SANDWICHES

1 garlic clove
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups cooked crabmeat
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
4 buns or split rolls
lettuce for garnish, optional

Preheat broiler.

Make aioli: Squeeze the garlic clove through a garlic press into the mayonnaise. Add the lemon juice and parsley. Blend well and set aside.

Mix the crabmeat with the breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup aioli. Mix and form into 4 even-sized cakes. Place on a baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Broil on center rack of oven until golden and heated through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn once during cooking. Spread aioli on buns and add the crabcakes. Garnish sandwich with lettuce, if desired.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

QUICK AND EASY FRUIT FILLED SUGAR COOKIES

1 pkg (20-oz) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1/4 cup your favorite jam or jelly

Preheat oven to 350 degree.

Slice 24 (1/8-inch each) cookies from the dough. Refrigerate remaining dough. Place the slices on ungreased cookie sheets. Spread each of the slices with a half teaspoon of the jam or jelly. Spread to within 1/4-inch of the edge.

Slice the remaining cookie dough into 24 (1/4-inch) slices. Cut a design out of the center of each slice. Place these slices atop the jam or jelly covered cookies. Press edges together to seal each cookie so jam won't escape.

Bake filled cookies at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for a minute. Using a thin spatula, remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 2 dozen filled cookies

Note: You can bake the designs from the centers until lightly browned, if desired. Sprinkle baked mini cookies with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CREAM CHEESE BROCCOLI

1 large bag frozen broccoli spears
1 stick butter
1 pkg 8-oz cream cheese

Steam broccoli until tender; drain. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and cream cheese together. Place broccoli in a casserole dish and pour the hot melted butter mixture over the broccoli.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

ALMOND COLESLAW

2 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced cucumber
3 tbsp minced onion
1/4 tsp salt
dash of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 to 3 tbsp light cream
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

In a large bowl combine the cabbage, celery, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, salt, and pepper. Cover and chill. Just before serving combine the light cream and mayonnaise. Toss the dressing and almonds into the cabbage mixture.

Monday, September 12, 2011

REUBEN SANDWICHES

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp chili sauce
12 slices rye bread, buttered
1/2 lb sliced Swiss cheese
1/2 lb sliced cooked corned beef
1 can (16-oz) sauerkraut, drained

Mix the mayonnaise and chili sauce; spread on 6 slices of the bread. Layer cheese, corned beef, then sauerkraut on the mayonnaise slices. Top the sauerkraut with the other six remaining bread slices.

Yield: 6 sandwiches

Note: Replace the mayonnaise/chili mixture with coleslaw for a different sandwich.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

QUICK AND EASY PARMESAN BREAD

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1 loaf French bread, halved lengthwise

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together the cheese, butter, and Italian seasoning. Evenly spread the cheese mixture on the cut sides of the bread. Place side by side on a baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yield: 12 servings

KIELBASA SKILLET DINNER

1 lb smoked kielbasa, cut into thick slices
1 can (10.5-oz) condensed French onion soup
1/4 cup water
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 can (8-oz) diced tomatoes, do not drained
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups uncooked minute rice
fresh parsley for garnish, if desired

Lightly spray a 10-inch deep skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook the sausage until browned, stirring often. Spoon off any excess fat.

Add the undiluted onion soup, water, mixed vegetables, tomatoes, and pepper. Heat the mixture to boiling; reduce the heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir in the rice and remove skillet from the heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Using a fork, fluff the rice before serving. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

Friday, September 9, 2011

SIMPLE CREAMY SHRIMP FETTUCCINE

1 lb peeled, deveined shrimp
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
8-oz pkg fettuccine noodles
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add shrimp to boiling water. Boil for 1 minute or until the shrimp turn pink. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon; keep warm.

Continue boiling the liquid and add the broth and garlic. Boil until the liquid is reduced to about a half cup. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cream, basil, and salt. Simmer the sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine noodles according to the package directions; drain well. Place the noodles in a large bowl.

Add the shrimp to the saucepan and heat for a minute. Spoon the shrimp and sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over all.

Yield: 4 servings

Thursday, September 8, 2011

ENGLISH MUFFIN BROCCOLI PIZZAS

2 cups small broccoli fowerets
1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
1 can (10 1/4-oz) cream of broccoli soup
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
6 English muffins, split
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small saucepan, over high heat, cook the broccoli and bell pepper in boiling water for around 3 minutes. Drain well.

In a small bowl combine the undiluted soup, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Place the 12 muffin halves on a baking sheet and spread the soup mixture evenly over the muffins. Top the mixture with the broccoli flowerets and bell pepper strips. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the tops.

Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve immediately while still hot.

Yield: 12 mini pizzas

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ROSEMARY-LEMON GRILLED CHICKEN BREASTS

1/2 cup lemon juice
6 tbsp canola or extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary*
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 (1 lb total) skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Preheat grill and spray rack with nonstick cooking spray.

In a bowl combine the lemon juice, oil, onion, rosemary, lemon peel, salt, and pepper; mix together well. Place half the oil mixture into a large (1 gallon) zip-top plastic bag.

Pierce each piece of chicken several times with a fork. Place the chicken breasts in the bag of marinade and seal bag. Place in refrigerator and turn once or twice; drain.

Place the chicken on a medium-hot grill. Grill for 10 minutes and turn. Brush with half of the reserved sauce. Grill, brushing frequently with the remaining sauce for another 10 minutes or until the juices run clear when meat is pierced.

Yied: Serves 4

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

GRILLED MINUTE STEAKS ON ONION ROLLS

8 minute steaks, 1/4-inch thick
8 onion rolls
butter
bottled blue cheese dressing
salt to taste
pepper, optional

Place the steaks on grill, 2-inches from the hot coals. Cook approximately 5 minutes, turning once. Season with salt and pepper.

Split the onion rolls and brush with butter. Place cut side down on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the rolls from grill and spread desired amount of blue cheese dressing on the cut side of one of the rolls.

To serve, place steaks on the rolls. Add any condiments you desire.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

EASY CHICKEN CACCIATORE

4 to 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup wine vinegar
1/2 lb uncooked whole-wheat spaghetti

Season chicken breasts with the pepper and salt. Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking olive oil spray and brown chicken on both sides.

In another skillet, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, and wine vinegar and bring to a boil. Cook mixture for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Add the chicken to the sauce and cook for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Serve the chicken and sauce over the hot pasta.

NOTE: Serve this dish with a green salad for a healthy meal.



Friday, August 26, 2011

ROMANOFF MEATBALLS

2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 package (5.5-oz) of Noodles Romanoff
1 1/2 cups milk
2 dozen frozen meatballs
2 tsp parsley flakes
2 tbsp butter

In a large skillet, melt the first two tablespoons of butter. Remove skillet from the heat and blend in the flour and sauce mix from the Noodles Romanoff package. A whisk works well for this. Gradually stir in the milk and heat to boiling while stirring constantly. Boil, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the meatballs and heat back to boiling. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. While the meatballs cook, cook the noodles according to the package directions. Stir the parsley flakes and butter into the noodles.

To serve, place the noodles on plate and top with the meatballs and sauce.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

QUICK AND EASY APPLE STUFFING

1 cup minced onion
1/2 cup minced celery
1/2 cup chopped apple
1 1/2 cups apple sauce
1 pkg (8-oz) stuffing mix
1 cup low-fat, low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a medium nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat until hot. Add the onion and celery; cook while stirring for approximately 5 minutes. Add the apple and cook while stirring for another 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients.

Yield: 8 servings

Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and place the stuffing mixture into the pan. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

HAM BALL APPETIZERS

3 cups biscuit baking mix
1 1/2 cups finely chopped lean cooked ham
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp parsley flakes
2 tsp prepared spicy mustard
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a large baking pan with sides or a jelly roll pan 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch; set aside.

Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Shape the mixture into 70 to 80 1-inch in diameter balls. Place the balls approxmately 2-inches apart on baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until browned. Immediately remove from the pan and serve warm.

QUICK AND EASY BEEF-VEGGIE PIE

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 tsp salt
1 can (approx 1 lb) green beans, drained
1 1/2 cups seasoned mashed potatoes
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 can (10 1/2-oz) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook the meat and onion sprinkled with the salt in a skillet until the meat is browned and the onion is transluscent; drain well. Wipe excess fat from skillet with a paper towel.

Return meat and onion mixture to the skillet and add the green beans, tomato soup, and pepper; simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Drop the potatoes onto the meat mixture in small mounds. Sprinkle the cheese over all. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

NOTE: This is a great way to use leftover mashed potatoes. If you do not have leftovers, use some instant mashed potatotes.

Yield: Serves 6.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

FETTUCINI VEGETABLE PARMESAN

1 pkg (8-oz) fettucini noodles, cooked according to pkg directions
2 tbsp butter
1 pkg (9-oz) frozen French-style green beans, thawed
1 cup cubed red bell pepper
1 small yellow squash, sliced into coins
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 can (10 3/4-oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a 10-inch skillet, over medium heat, melt butter. When butter is hot, add the green beans, bell pepper, squash, garlic, and basil; cook until veggies are crisp tender. Remove vegetables but keep warm. Stir the soup, milk, and Parmesan cheese into the skillet and cook until blended and heated through. Stir in the hot, drained fettucini until coated.

To serve, place the fettucini on a platter and top with the vegetables.

Yield: 6 servings

Friday, August 5, 2011

CELIA'S BEEF AND VEGGIE STIR-FRY

2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1 lb top round steak, remove fat abd meat cubed
8-oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen french-style green beans, thawed
1/4 cup lite soy sauce
black pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high temperature. Add the onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes, stirring often so garlic doesn't burn. Add the steak and mushrooms; cook, stirring often until the meat is browned - about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the green beans, soy sauce, and pepper. Heat through.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

OH-SO-EASY KEY LIME PIE

4 large egg yolks (save whites for meringue, if desired)
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
3 1/2 ounces Key Lime juice
1 9-inch graham cracker pie crust or pie pastry baked just until lightly browned

In a mixing bowl combine the egg yolks with the sweetened condensed milk on low speed of electric mixer. Slowly pour in the lime juice, mixing until well blended. Pour mixture into the pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until set. Use the egg whites to make a meringue topping or top with whipped cream. Personally, I prefer a dollop of whipped cream atop individual wedges with a very thin slice of lime, slit and twisted atop the whipped cream.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

IRISH-ITALIAN STYLE SPAGHETTI

This is an old recipe from my vintage recipe collection. It is from the early 50s.

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 can (10 3/4-oz)condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can (10 3/4-oz)condensed tomato soup
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp hot sauce, optional
dash of ground red pepper
1 pkg (12-oz) spaghetti pasta
Parmesan cheese for topping

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and onion until the meat is no longer pink and onion is tender. Drain and wipe excess fat from skillet with a paper towel.

Return the meat and onion to the skillet; add the cream of mushroom soup, tomato soup, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, chili powder, pepper, and hot sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover skillet and simmer for 20 minutes.

While sauce simmers, cook the spaghetti according to the package directions; drain well.

To serve, spoon the sauce over the hot spahetti and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 6 servings

Friday, July 29, 2011

BREAKFAST PARFAIT

1 tsp finely grated orange zest
2 tbsp orange juice
1/4 cups raisins
1 tsp vanilla extract
4-oz Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup granola
honey, optional

In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the orange juice and raisins. Cover; microwave on high for 30 to 34 seconds (depending on microwave). Let raisins set for a minute to plump. Stir in the vanilla extract and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the Neufchatel cheese and sugar and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Stir in the raisins and the orange zest.

In four tall dessert glasses, divide half of the cream cheese mixture; top with half the berries and half the granola. Repeat the layers. Drizzle a little honey over the top, if desired.

EASY STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

Filling:
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp sugar

Stir the strawberries, sugar, and vinegar together. Let the mixture stand for an hour. Stir mixture occasionally during that hour.

Cakes:
2 1/2 cups reduced-fat biscuit baking mix (ie: Bisquick)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup fat-free plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and biscuit baking mix. Stir the vanilla into the yogurt to combine. Add the yogurt to the ingredients in mixing bowl, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface; knead 3 to 4 times. Pat dough down to a thickness of 1/2-inch. Using a 2 1/4-inch round cutter, cut dough; redo the scraps and cut them, too. Place the shortcakes on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes at 425 degrees.

Serve while still warm, filled with the strawberry filling. Garnish with whipped cream and strawberries, if desired.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

BANANA SPLIT SMOOTHIE

2 medium bananas, peeled and sliced
1 can (8-oz) crushed pineapple in juice (do not drain)
1 cup crushed ice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened orange juice
1 carton (8-oz) low-fat vanilla yogurt

In the container of a blender, combine the bananas, pineapple with juice, ice, sugar, and orange juice. Put the cover on the blender and process the mixture until smooth. Add the yogurt and process until blended. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 cups

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

LEMONADE-ORANGE DRINK

1 can (12-oz) frozen orange juice concentrate
1 can (12-oz) frozen lemonade concentrate
2 pkgs Kool-Aid lemonade mix
1 cup sugar
water

In a 1 gallon container, mix the juice concentrates, Kool-Aid mix, and the sugar together with enough water to fill container. Stir well to dissolve the juices and Kool-Aid.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

EASY HOMEMADE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the cream cheese and butter until well blended. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar. When mixed in, add the vanilla flavoring and blend in well.

Spread over cooled cake.

Monday, July 25, 2011

STEAK KABOBS

This steak needs to marinate overnight or all day. But it is quick to fix at meal time and the prep to marinate is also minimal.

2 lb lean sirloin, cut into cubes 1 1/2-inches
3/4 cup Italian salad dressing
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
16 large mushrooms
16 cherry tomatoes
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes

Trim steak; place in a shallow baking dish.

Combine Italian dressing, soy sauce, and garlic powder, stirring well. Pour over the steak; cover and refrigerate for several hours (overnight or all day) in the refrigerator.

Preheat broiler or prepare grill.

Remove meat from marinade, saving the marinade. Alternate the steak cubes,mushrooms, tomatoes, and bell pepper on skewers. Brush with the marinade and broil 4-inches from heat 5 minutes on each side, brushing a couple of times with the marinade. (Or you can grill the kabobs.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

CHILI PIE CASSEROLE

3 cups corn chips
1 large onion, chopped
1 can (19-oz) chili
1 cup grated American cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread 2 cups of the corn chips in a baking dish. Arrange the chopped onion and half of the cheese over the chips. Pour the chili over all. Top with the remaining chips and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Friday, July 22, 2011

HAM WALDORF SALAD

2 cups cooked lean cubed ham
2 cups chopped red Delicious apples
1 cup thin sliced celery
2/3 cup seedless grapes, halved
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
3 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Splenda granular (or sugar)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cups chopped pecans for garnish, if desired
red lettuce leaves for salad plates, if desired

Combine the ham, apples, celery, grapes, and the toasted pecans in a bowl.

In a small bowl blend together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and Splenda; stir into the ham mixture. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, place lettuce leaves on 4 salad plates and top each with 1/4 of the salad mixture. Sprinkle with the pecans, if desired.

Variations:
Replace ham with chicken.
Replace the grapes with pineapple chunks and serve in a hollowed out half pineapple.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

QUICK VEGETABLE RAMEN SOUP

1 pkg remen noodle soup
1 cup chopped fresh broccoli
1 green onion, sliced

Follow the package directions for cooking the ramen. When water boils, add the broccoli and the noodles. Cook until the noodles are tender. Stir in the green onion and the ramen seasoning packet. Serve at once while hot.

Yield: 2 servings

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

VENISON STEAK WITH LEMON

4 slices bacon
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp sugar
10 venison steak cutlets, 1-inch thick cut from backstrap
Lemon pepper seasoning
1 lemon, juiced

In a large cast iron skillet, fry the bacon. Remove bacon from the pan, drain on paper towels and crumble. Remove all except 2 tablespoons of the baking drippings from the skillet. Reserve the discarded drippings.

Add the onion to the skillet, sprinkle the sugar over onion and cook until tender. Remove the onion from skillet and then return the discarded drippings to skillet. Place the steak cutlets in the skillet, drizzle each with the lemon juice and season with the lemon pepper seasoning. Cook cutlets quickly; meat is best if left slightly pink in center. Add the bacon and onion to the cutlets and reheat before serving.

ROTINI CHICKEN SALAD

3 cups rotini pasta, cooked and drained
2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups Ranch dressing
1 pkg (6-oz) deli-style honey roasted chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup slivered red onion

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well to coat. Refrigerate until serving time.

Yield: 10 cups

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

LEMON-DIJON MARINADE

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2/3 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons water
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika

In a small bowl combine all the ingredients, stirring well to blend. Use this marinade on fish or chicken before cooking. Baste the meat with the marinade while cooking.

Makes 1 cup of marinade.

Monday, July 18, 2011

ITALIAN TURKEY CUTLETS

1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs*
3/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb turkey breast cutlets**
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup marinara or other spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a large baking sheet that has sides with the nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine the egg and oil in a pie plate or shallow bowl; stirring well to blend.

In another small shallow dish or pie plate combine the bread crumbs with the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese. Dip the turkey cutlets into the egg mixture then dredge through the bread crumbs to coat.

Place cutlets on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly coat cutlets with the cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until juices run clear and cutlets are lightly browned.

Meanwhile, heat the marinara sauce just until warm. Spoon sauce over cutlets before serving.

*Or other dry fine bread crumbs.
**Chicken may be substituted.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

TRIPLE CHEESE AND CARROT DIP

1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp skim milk
1/8 tsp dill weed
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 shredded carrots

Using a food processor or blender, combine cheeses, milk, dill and pepper. Process mixture until smooth. Stir in the carrots. Cover and chill. Serve with crackers and/or fresh vegetables.

Friday, July 15, 2011

BARBECUE CUPS

1 lb ground beef
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 can refrigerated flaky biscuits
1/2 cup favorite barbecue sauce
1 tsp minced onion
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly brown the ground beef with the minced onion; drain well.

Return meat to the skillet and add the barbecue sauce, and brown sugar. Set aside.

Form the biscuits into the cups of muffin tins. Fill each biscuit with the meat mixture.

Bake cups at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until biscuits are browned. Remove from oven and sprinkle each cup with the cheddar cheese before serving.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

CHEWY CHOCOLATE CAKE

1 pkg (3-oz) cook and serve chocolate pudding and pie filling mix
2 cups milk
1 chocolate cake mix (2-layer size)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a 2 or 3-quart saucepan combine the pudding mix and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the dry cake mix until well blended.

Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top. Sprinkle chocolate morsels over nuts. Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

Cut into squares to serve. Great served warm. No frosting needed.