Tuesday, April 29, 2014

CRISPY PARMESAN BAKED POTATOES

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
8 small Yukon gold potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
3 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the Parmesan and garlic in a shallow dish; dip the cut-sides of the potatoes in butter, then in the Parmesan mixture. Place, cheese side down, on a baking sheet; drizzle with any remaining butter.

Bake at 400 degrees until the potatoes are tender.

Mix some sour cream and fresh chopped chives or your choice of flavoring in a small bowl to serve with potatoes, if desired.


Note: I got this recipe a year or two ago from a Kraft Foods magazine.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

FRESH STRAWBERRY PIE

I have had this recipe since I was in high school. It is still a family favorite, one of my grandchildren's favorites.

2 9-inch pie shells, baked
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 tbsp cornstarch
2 small pkgs strawberry gelatin
2 1/2 cups boiling water
2 pints fresh strawberries, washed and stemmed (Cut in half if extremely large)
Whipped cream for serving

Cook the sugar, cornstarch, gelatin, and boiling water together in a medium saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Cook until the mixture is bubbly, thickened, and has turned a clear red. Stir during cooking.

Arrange the strawberries in the two pie shells while the filling cools slightly.

Gently pour the gelatin mixture over the berries.

Chill until completely set.

Serve with whipped cream.


Friday, April 25, 2014

COCONUT MACAROON TRUFFLES

Note: These truffles require at least an hour of refrigeration before dipping in chocolate.

4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8-oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 oz white chocolate, melted, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Using a heavy 3-qt saucepan, combine egg whites, sugar, and salt. Heat on medium heat, stirring, until warm to the touch. Stir in the coconut, flour, cocoa, and vanilla. Continue stirring until gently sizzling; remove from the heat. Stir in 1/3 cup of the bittersweet chocolate until melted. Scoop the mixture by tablespoonfuls into balls. Place on the prepared cookie sheets 1-inch apart.

Bake for 15 minutes or until set and crisp around the edges. Allow to cool completely on the cookie sheets on a wire rack.  Store macaroons in an airtight container for at least an hour up to a day.

In a microwave-safe medium bowl, microwave remaining chocolate on high in 30-second increments until melted smooth, stirring frequently.

Dip tops of macaroons in chocolate to coat. Let harden on wire racks then decorate with the white chocolate if desired.





Thursday, April 24, 2014

BRUSCHETTA MEATLOAF

This recipe goes together in only a few minutes. It does however require almost an hour baking time.

1 lb extra-lean ground beef
1 can (14.5-oz) tomatoes, do not drain
1 pkg (6-oz) stuffing mix for chicken
1 egg
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix the tomatoes and stuffing mix until combined; reserve half for later.

Add the ground beef and egg to the stuffing mix that remains; mix together well.  Press mixture onto the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish.

Combine the reserved stuffing mixture with the onions and spread over the meat mixture. Cover pan with foil.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes; sprinkle the cheese over the top, /Continue baking, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the meatloaf is cooked through.


This is a recipe I got from Kraft Foods last year.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

PEANUT BUTTER - BANANA SMOOTHIE

I always think of Elvis when I enjoy peanut butter and banana! Here is a calcium-rich drink made of those two ingredients.

1/2 cup milk
1 carton (6-oz) Greek-style yogurt
1 fully ripe banana
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup ice cubes

Blend the milk, yogurt, banana, peanut butter, and honey in an electric blender until blended.

Add ice to blender and blend on high speed until thickened.

Serve immediately.

Yield: 2 1-cup servings



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

CREAM CHEESE DEVILED EGGS

12 hard-boiled eggs
1 tub (8-oz) cream cheese spread
2 tsp Dijon mustard

Peel eggs and cut eggs in half lengthwise.

In a medium bowl, mash egg yolks with a fork.

Add the cream cheese and mustard to the mashed egg yolks; mix together well.

Use the egg yolk mixture to fill the egg whites.

Garnish as desired.


Monday, April 21, 2014

CORN/RICE CHOWDER

2 slices bacon
1 medium-size onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, sliced
4 tsp all-purpose or white whole-wheat flour
3 cups milk
1 cup water
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen corn
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup quick-cooking rice
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Cook bacon in a large saucepan until crisp; remove and drain on paper towels. Crumble drained bacon and set aside.

Add the onion and celery to the bacon drippings and cook, stirring often, until tender. Stir in the flour.

Add the milk, water, corn, bouillon, salt and pepper to the onion and celery mixture; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat under pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the rice, parsley, and crumbled bacon; cover and remove from heat. Allow to stand 5 minutes before serving.



Saturday, April 19, 2014

PORK MEDALLIONS WITH PEARS

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch thick slices
1/8 + 1/4 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp fennel seeds
4 green onions, sliced (+ additional for garnish, if desired)
1/3 cup water
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 lbs ripe Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice

Prepare quinoa as directed on package.

Flatten pork cuts with the palm of your hand; sprinkle with the 1/8 tsp salt and the pepper.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil on medium-high; add pork medallions. Cook 5 to 6 minutes or until browned on both sides, turning after about 3 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium; add the fennel seeds to the skillet cooking about 30 seconds while stirring. Add the green onions, water, and garlic; cook for a minute, stirring. Add the pears and lemon juice with the remaining 1/4 tsp salt; cook 2 minutes until pears begin to soften, stirring occasionally.

Return the pork to the pan along with any juices that have gathered on the plate. Cook approximately 5-7 minutes or until pork is cooked through.

To serve, place quinoa on serving plate and top with the pork. Pour pear mixture overall. Garnish with additional green onion, if desired.


Friday, April 18, 2014

LOUISIANA SLOPPY JOES

2 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (19-oz) Progresso Vegetable Classics hearty tomato soup
1 can ( 10 3/4-oz) condensed chicken gumbo soup
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
12 buns*, split

In a large skillet, cook the beef, celery, bell pepper, and onion over medium-high heat until the beef is cooked through. Stir occasionally during cooking to break up beef; drain well.

After draining beef, turn heat down to medium and stir in the soups, mustard, and Cajun seasoning. Cook 15-20 minutes until bubbly and veggies are tender. Stir occasionally during cooking.

Spoon the beef onto the buns to serve.

*Your choice of tasty buns; I like the onion rolls.


Note: This is a recipe I got from Pillsbury years ago.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BAKED SQUASH

The Black-Eyed Pea is a popular restaurant here in the Dallas-Ft Worth metroplex. Years ago when the restaurants were owned by the original owner, Mr. Street, he would allow the recipes to be given out. This is their very popular Baked Squash recipe.

5 lbs medium-size yellow squash
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs +additional crumbs for topping
1 stick butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
Salt to taste
2 tbsp chopped onion
Dash of pepper

Cut tips off squash and cut each squash into 3 or 4 pieces. Drop into a large saucepan with enough boiling water to cover. Return to boil; reduce heat and cook until tender. Drain in a colander and mash.

Combine the mashed squash with the eggs, 1 cup bread crumbs, butter, sugar, salt, onion, and pepper. Turn into a 3-quart casserole dish that has been lightly greased or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover with a light layer of bread crumbs.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.




Saturday, April 12, 2014

CAESAR PITA BURGERS

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup creamy Caesar salad dressing
1 egg
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
5 pita bread halves
1/2 cup shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese
5 tbsp diced fresh tomato
5 tbsp diced fresh cucumber

Preheat grill.

In a medium bowl, mix the beef, half the dressing, the egg and bread crumbs together until combined. Shape mixture into 5 equal sized patties about 1/2-inch thick.

Place patties on the grill and cover grill.  Cook approximately 10 minutes or until to desired doneness. During last couple minutes of cooking time, top each patty with cheese.

Place pita halves on grill for a minute or so to warm, if desired.

Place the remaining dressing, the tomato, the cucumber and the patties into the pita halves.


Friday, April 11, 2014

STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD

1 tbsp Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Blend
1/3 lb fresh spinach leaves
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 kiwi, sliced
1 tbsp slivered almonds
1 tsp Mrs. Dash original blend
1 tbsp raspberry preserves
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar

Place the spinach leaves, lemon pepper blend, strawberries, kiwi, and almonds in a salad bowl.

To make the dressing, combine the Mrs. Dash original blend, preserves, oil, and vinegar until well combined.

Pour dressing over the spinach mixture and toss to combine.

Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

GRILLED ASPARAGUS WITH PARMESAN

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 lb fresh asparagus spears, trimmed (fatter spears are better for grilling)
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Heat grill to medium-high heat.

Place asparagus in a shallow dish and pour the vinaigrette overall; turn asparagus to coat both sides. Remove the asparagus to grill but save dressing in dish.

Grill asparagus for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning and brushing occasionally with the reserved dressing.

Sprinkle with cheese before serving.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

EASY CHEESE RAVIOLI

2 pkg (9-oz each) refrigerated cheese ravioli
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tub (8-oz) Chive and Onion Cream Cheese Spread
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup Shredded Italian Five Cheese Blend
Freshly ground black pepper, optional

Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting the salt. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the water.

Lightly spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Cook and stir the pepper in the skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes or until crisp tender. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved water, cream cheese spread, and the peas to the skillet. Cook, stirring 2 to 3 minutes or until the cream cheese is melted and the peas are heated through.

Add the drained pasta and stir to coat evenly. If sauce is too thick, thin by adding the remaining reserved water, a little at a time, until of desired consistency.

Top with the shredded cheese and pepper, if using, before serving.


Monday, April 7, 2014

BUTTER & CREAM CAKE

1 1/4 cups butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp rum flavoring
Whipped Cream Frosting: Recipe below

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.

In large mixer bowl, cream butter at medium speed until lightened in color (about 1/2 minute). While beating, add the sugar in a steady stream. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down bowl several times.

Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each egg.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together; beat in the butter mixture in thirds alternating with the milk. Beat in the vanilla and rum flavoring.

Divide the batter evenly between the three pans.

Bake layers at 350 degrees for for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool cakes in the pans for 10 minutes.  Loosen from pans and invert on wire racks to cool completely. Brush loose bits from the sides of cakes.

When cakes are completely cooled make the frosting.

Whipped Cream Frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In a small bowl, with electric mixer, beat the cream until it begins to thicken. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.

To assemble cake, place one cake on a serving plate and top with some of the frosting; repeat with the remaining layers. Use remaining frosting to frost sides and add any decorative touches you may desire.

Note: This is a file photo.

Friday, April 4, 2014

PINEAPPLE ANGEL FOOD CAKE

Another recipe I got from a friend's facebook page. Thanks Lavonne Lea Rea for posting this recipe from Hillbilly Cast Iron Cooking.

1 box of angel food cake mix
1 lg can (20 oz) of crushed pineapple.
Combine the dry mix with the pineapple, Juice and all. yes, it's going to bubble up and wait a few minutes after mixing these 2 together. It will foam up and double in size.
You can use a 13x9 pan or 2 same size CI skillets.
Grease the pans with oil or spray and spread in your pans,
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
p.s you are only using the cake mix and nothing more on the box instructions. Cake Mix only and 1 lg can of crush pineapple (juice and all).

LOADED CAULIFLOWER

A friend of mine posted this recipe on her facebook page. I love it and thought I would share it with my readers.

Ingredients:
1 large head of Cauliflower cut into bite size pieces (approx 6 cups)
6-8 strips of bacon cooked and crumbled (Cooked in oven at 400° for 20 mins)
6 Tbs chopped Chives
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour Cream
2 cups Colby Jack Cheese ( may use cheddar)
8 oz container sliced mushrooms

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°
In a large pot boil water and cook Cauliflower for 8 - 10 minutes, drain and let cool.
In a large bowl combine sour cream, mayo, 1/2 of crumbled bacon, 3 tbs chives, 1 cups of cheese,mushrooms and cauliflower and mix well... place in baking dish and cover with remaining 1 cup of cheese and rest of bacon crumbles. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted. top with remaining 3 Tbs chives and serve.
Here is the info from the fb post: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GettingFitwithDavid

Thursday, April 3, 2014

CANDY BAR COOKIES

This is a recipe I got years ago from the Knight Ridder Newspapers.

80 Ritz type crackers or 3 sleeves Waverly or Club crackers
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup peanut butter

Coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with a single layer of crackers.

Combine the butter, sugars, graham cracker crumbs and milk in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil mixture 5 minutes. Pour half the mixture over the crackers in the pan.

Place a second layer of crackers over the sauce and pour the remaining sauce mixture over crackers. Top with a third layer of crackers.

In a heavy saucepan, over medium heat, combine the chocolate and butterscotch chips with the peanut butter, stirring just until smooth. Pour over the top layer of crackers.

Refrigerate until set.

Cut into 24 squares with a sharp knife dipped in cold water.

Per Square: 295 calories, 18 g (8 g sat) fat, 2 g fiber, 17 mg cholesterol, 226 mg sodium, 34 g carbs

This is a file photo.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

MINI LIME CHEESECAKES

Note: This is a quick fix recipe however it does require chilling time for the finished product.

1 pkg (6 count) mini graham-cracker pie crusts

FILLING:
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 block (8-oz) Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp finely grated lime peel
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup sour cream
Lime slices and diced nectarines for garnish, optional

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Place crusts on a rimmed baking sheet; set aside.

To make the filling, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together in a medium mixing bowl until well blended.  Add the softened cream cheese, stirring with a spoon until smooth.

Add the egg, lime peel, and lime juice to the cream cheese mixture; whisk until blended. The mixture will be 'soupy'. Remove 1/3 cup to a small bowl and reserve.  Ladle the remaining filling evenly into the 6 crusts.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until puffed and almost set.

Meanwhile, stir the sour cream into the reserved filling until blended. Spoon evenly onto each cheesecake. Bake an additional 12 minutes or until the topping is set.

Remove from oven to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or cover airtight and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Garnish with the lime slices and nectarines before serving, if desired.