Thursday, March 30, 2017

ONION & MUSHROOM GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

1 medium to large onion, thinly sliced

2 tbsp butter
1 cup sliced mushrooms
dash of salt
1 tsp berry-balsmic vinegar
4 slices medium thick sliced cheese of your choice
8 slices sourdough bread
1 tsp melted butter

In a skillet, melt the 2 tbsp butter and add onion. Saute the onion for about 10 minutes until onion is soft and golden brown. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes more. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and add vinegar. Place cheese on 4 slices of the sourdough bread. Top the cheese with the onion and mushroom mixture. Top with remaining sourdough bread slices. Brush bread with the melted butter and cook over medium heat in a skillet or griddle 2 to 3 minutes per side to melt cheese.

Note: File Photo

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

RICE KRISPIES WONDER FUDGE

1/4 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla
1 pkg (6-oz) chocolate chips
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups crispy rice cereal

Butter an 8-inch square baking pan or dish; set aside.

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, cook the butter, chocolate chips, and corn syrup together, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar and cereal stirring until evenly coated. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into small squares.

Note: File Photo


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

COUSCOUS CONFETTI

1 cup vegetable broth

1 cup uncooked couscous
1 can (15-oz)rinsed and drained black beans
3/4 cup whole kernel corn (canned drained or frozen thawed)
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
5 or 6 chopped green onions
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro*
DRESSING:
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional

Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in couscous, remove from heat, cover and allow to set for 5 to 10 minutes or until all the broth is absorbed.

When broth is absorbed, fluff couscous with a fork. Stir in the black beans, corn, bell pepper, green onions, and cilantro.

In a small bowl, whisk the oil, lime juice, vinegar, cumin, salt, and pepper with a wire whisk until well blended. Place couscous mixture into a large bowl and drizzle with the dressing, tossing to coat. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top, if using.

Note: This is a file photo of a similar recipe.

Monday, March 27, 2017

PEANUT BUTTER CREAM CHEESE PIE

1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, cut-up

1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 carton (4-oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 chocolate crumb pie shell
coarsely chopped peanuts, optional
chocolate shavings for garnish, optional

In a large mixer bowl, combine cream cheese and peanut butter; beat with an electric mixer till combined. Add the powdered sugar and milk to the cream cheese mixture; beat until combined. Fold in the whipped topping. Spoon the filling into the pie shell. Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts and/or shaved chocolate, if desired. Cover and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes before serving.

Note: File Photo





Friday, March 24, 2017

SUNDAY GLAZED CARROTS

6 to 8 medium carrots

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cold water
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped, optional

Wash and cut carrots into 1/2-inch slices. Place in 1 1/2-quart casserole with butter and brown sugar. Cover and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes. Mix water and cornstarch until smooth. Stir cornstarch mixture into the carrots. Add pecans, if using. Cover and continue cooking about 5 more minutes.

Note: File Photo

Thursday, March 23, 2017

TUNA MELTS

8-oz jar pasteurized process cheese spread

1/4 cup mayonnaise
12 1/2-oz can tuna, drained and flaked
8-oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
2 tbsp snipped dried chives
4 English muffins, split and toasted

Combine 1/2 cup of the process cheese spread and the mayonnaise. Stir in the tuna, water chestnuts, and chives. Spread the mixture on the English muffin halves. Place on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4-inches from the heat about 3 minutes or until heated through. Top each with a dollop of the remaining cheese spread. Broil for 30 to 60 seconds more or until the cheese spread melts.

Note: File Photo

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

THE QUICKEST STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

1 frozen pound cake, thawed

1 tub (16 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 pint fresh strawberries

Cut the pound cake in half horizontally. Spread half of the whipped topping on the cut side of the bottom half. Reserve 6 strawberries with the stems still attached. Thinly slice the remaining strawberries and place atop the whipped topping. Place the top half of the cake over the strawberries. Spread the top with more of the whipped topping and place the strawberries with the stems on the top as garnish.

Note: File Photo

Monday, March 20, 2017

CHICKEN APPLE WALNUT SALAD

This recipe becomes quick and easy when you use leftover chicken, purchase a prepared rotisserie chicken or buy deli chicken thick sliced and dice.


3 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 red apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 or 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Large lettuce leaves, if desired

In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise and sour cream; add black pepper to suit your taste. Add the chicken, celery, and green onions. Mix to coat chicken. Toss in the apple and walnuts until coated. Serve on the lettuce leaves, if desired. Or serve on your favorite bread.

Note: This is a file photo

Sunday, March 19, 2017

SOUR CREAM CORN MUFFINS

1 pkg (14-oz) corn muffin mix
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray about 18 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the muffin mix, salt, honey, and cinnamon.

In another bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix just until well combined.

Bake at 375 degrees 15 to 18 minutes or until browned and baked through.







ORANGE JULIUS-STYLE DRINK

1 can (6-oz) frozen orange juice concentrate

1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 to 6 large ice cubes

Put all ingredients into a blender container. Blend approximately 30 seconds or so to a frozen drink consistency.

Yield: 6 cups

Note: File Photo

Saturday, March 18, 2017

FETTUCCINE with CREAMY ZUCCHINI SAUCE

A simple but delicious pasta dish ready in about 20 minutes.


12 oz fettuccine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 lbs zucchini and/or yellow squash
1 large garlic clove
8 oz ricotta cheese
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese for garnish, optional

Cook the fettuccine according to the package directions. When draining the pasta, save 1/2 cup of the liquid. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the zucchini in half lenthwise then cut into half moon slices about 1/4-inch thick. Mince the garlic. Add half the zucchini to the skillet, flat side down, flat in the skillet. Cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes, then turn and cook the other side a minute or two. Remove to a plate. Add more oil to skillet if needed and repeat the zucchini cooking process with the other half of the squash; add the garlic. Transfer these zucchini and garlic to the plate, also. Turn off the heat then add the 1/2 cup of the pasta water and the ricotta cheese to the skillet. Stir to dislodge and browned bits of zucchini from the skillet. Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste. (It is okay if the ricotta looks a little curdled.) Pour the drained fettuccine, vegetables and any juice that has accumulated on the plate, back into the skillet. Stir gently to combine all the ingredients together. Sprinkle pasta with the Parmesan cheese, if desired.


Note: File Photo

Friday, March 17, 2017

ONION-POTATO AU GRATIN

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup French onion sour cream dip
1 cup mashed potato flakes
1 tbsp chopped green chiles, optional
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Additional shredded Cheddar cheese for topping

Spray an 8-inch pie plate  or a small casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the dip and mix well. Remove from the heat and add the potato flakes and the green chiles, if using. Mix together well.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie plate. Top with the melted butter and the 1/4 cup of cheese. Broil 4 to 6-inches from the heat for less than 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Remove from broiler and sprinkle with additional cheese.

Cut into 4 wedges for serving.

Note: This is a file photo only.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

FRUIT-CHEESE DIP

1 pkg (8-oz) Neufchatel cheese, softened

1 small banana, mashed
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, well drained
Apple wedges, pear wedges, strawberries, banana pieces, etc for dippers

In a small mixing bowl, stir together Neufchatel cheese, banana, and nutmeg until smooth. Stir in the crushed pineapple. Cover and chill. Serve with fresh fruits as desired. May also be served with angel food or pound cake cubes as dippers.

Note: File Photo

Saturday, March 11, 2017

SOUTHERN COATED PECANS

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cold water
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 lb pecan halves

In a 2-quart saucepan combine the sugar, water, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon. Cook this mixture for 10 minutes or until bubbles cook down. Add the pecans and stir until all the pecans are coated. Continue stirring until syrup turns to sugar. Pour onto a cookie sheet and separate. Allow to cool.

Note: File Photo

Friday, March 10, 2017

TACO MEATBALL SUBS

1 pkg (1 oz) taco spices and seasoning mix

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
2 tbsp plain dry bread crumbs
1 tbsp oil
1 can (14-oz) chili-style tomatoes, crushed, undrained
shredded lettuce
sub buns
shredded cheese for topping
salsa for topping, if desired

Combine 1 tablespoon taco spices, ground beef, and the breadcrumbs. Divide the mixture into 24 balls. Heat the oil over medium-high heat, add the meatballs and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain if there is excess grease in the skillet. Add the tomatoes and the remaining taco spices to the meatballs in the skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 to 7 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.

To serve, split the sub buns and add 3 to 4 meatballs, shredded cheese, and lettuce. Add salsa, if desired. Or serve salsa on the side with some tortilla chips.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

GRAPE ICE CREAM SODA

Make the kids a special drink by putting 1 or 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream in a tall glass.  Pour chilled grape soda over the ice cream.  Serve with a thick straw.


Note:  This also works great with Orange soda, Big Red soda, Strawberry Soda, or Root Beer for a root beer float.  These drinks are great for children's parties, when the kids want a special drink, or for holiday festivities.


Note: File Photo

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

BEEFY BARLEY SOUP

1 lb boneless beef sirloin, cut into bite-size pieces

1 tbsp dried basil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp canola oil
1 cup quick-cooking barley
1 can (14 1/2-oz) diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic (Italian-style)
1 cup peeled baby carrots sliced diagonally
1 cup low-sodium beef broth (or vegetable broth, if you prefer)
3 cups water
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley for garnish, if desired
In a pie plate combine the basil, flour, salt, and pepper; dredge meat to coat.
Heat the canola oil over medium-high heat in a 4 to 5-quart Dutch oven; add the steak and cook until browned all over. Stir in any remaining flour mixture and continue stirring to avoid scorching. Stir in the tomatoes, including the juice, barley, carrots, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the carrots and meat are tender.
Yield: 4 servings
Note: Top each serving with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, if desired.

Note: File Photo

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

SPARKLING ORANGE ALMOND PUNCH

1 can (6-oz) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

2 cups cold water
1 bottle (1-oz) almond extract
2 (2-liter) bottles ginger ale, chill
2 quarts orange sherbet, softened
1 orange, sliced thin, for garnish
Maraschino cherries, for garnish

Combine lemonade concentrate, water, and almond extract in a pitcher or bowl.  Stir well then refrigerate until serving time.

Put scoops of the sherbet (using all) into a large punch bowl.  Add the chilled lemonade mixture to the punch bowl.  Slowly add the ginger ale; stir gently.

For a pretty presentation, float the orange slices and Maraschino cherries on top.

Yield: Approximately 6 1/2 quarts

Note: This is just a file photo.

Monday, March 6, 2017

NESTLE'S LUCKY YOU MINT PIE

  • 1 cup (6 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • prepared 9-inch (6 oz.) chocolate crumb crust
  • 1 package (3.4 oz.) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • to 4 drops green food coloring (optional)
  • 1 container (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • Additional NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels, fresh mint sprigs (optional)
  • MICROWAVE 1 cup morsels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 45 seconds; stir until smooth. Stir in butter; pour into crust. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until cool to the touch.

    MEANWHILE, BEAT remaining evaporated milk, pudding mix, water, peppermint extract and 3 drops food coloring in medium bowl until combined. Gently stir in 2 cups whipped topping andadditional drop of food coloring, if desired. Spoon over chocolate layer.

    REFRIGERATE for 2 hours or until set. Sprinkle with additional morsels. Spoon remaining whipped topping in center of pie. Garnish with fresh mint.


GINGERED CHOCOLATE FUDGE

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 can (5-oz) evaporated milk
2 tbsp butter
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
2 tsp wasabi paste*
1 2/3 cups bittersweet chocolate chips**
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp minced crystalized ginger

Line a lightly greased 8-inch square pan with nonstick aluminum foil; set aside.

In a medium-size heavy-duty saucepan combine the sugar, evaporated milk, butter, and salt.  Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until boiling; boil 4 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove pan from the heat.  Add the miniature marshmallows, wasabi paste - if using, chocolate chips, and vanilla.  Using a wooden spoon, beat by hand until melted and smooth.  Spread the fudge into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the crystalized ginger over the top of the fudge and press down lightly into the fudge.  Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.  Cut into squares.

Yield: 1 1/2 lbs

*The Wasabi paste is optional but will lend an Asian influence to the fudge, if used.
**Best if you use 60% cacao chocolate

Note: This is a file photo

Sunday, March 5, 2017

CHICKEN BREASTS WITH ORANGE PICANTE SAUCE

1 tbsp canola oil

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup picante sauce
3 cups cooked brown rice or long grain rice

Heat the canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add the chicken and cook 10 minutes or until browned on both sides.  Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.

Reduce the heat under skillet to medium, add the garlic and cook, stirring for about a minute.  Add the orange juice, brown sugar, and picante sauce. Heat mixture to a boil and return the chicken to the skillet.  Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.

Serve the chicken and sauce with the hot cooked rice.

Note: File Photo

Saturday, March 4, 2017

QUICK AND EASY RED, WHITE, AND BLUE CHEESECAKE

NOTE:  This recipe goes together very quickly but does require chilling time.


1 Ready-Maid Graham Cracker Pie Crust
2 blocks (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 tub (8-oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
Fresh strawberry halves
Fresh blueberries

In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice on medium speed of electric mixer until well blended.  Gently stir in the lemon peel and 2 cups of the whipped topping.  Spoon mixture into the graham cracker crust.

Refrigerate cheesecake for at least 3 hours or until completely set.  Spoon the remaining whipped topping over the top and arrange the blueberries and strawberry halves to resemble the American Flag or decorate in another patriotic pattern.

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: File Photo

Friday, March 3, 2017

HOMEMADE CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP

6 tbsp butter

1 lb fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tbsp cornstarch
4 cups beef bouillon
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
1 1/2 cups cream

Melt butter in a large saucepan; add the onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is tranluscent, stirring to keep from burning.  Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Blend the cornstarch into the mixture until well coated.  Slowly stir in the bouillon while stirring constantly.  Add the cream and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir in the pepper and nutmeg.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

This is a file photo.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

HOT ORANGE TEA

1 regular tea bag

hot water
1 tsp orange juice
1 tsp honey
fresh orange slices, optional

Place tea bag into a mug or cup and pour boiling water into the cup. Allow tea to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag, pressing out the liquid. Stir the orange juice and honey into the tea. Garnish with an orange slice, if desired.

Note: File Photo