Monday, April 30, 2018


2 tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 lb ground beef, drumbled
1 garlic clove, minced
2 (15-oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 (16-oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 (15-oz) can VEG-ALL mixed vegetables, do not drain

Heat oil in a 3-qt stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring, until softened.

Add the ground beef, garlic, kidney beans and stewed tomatoes. Bring to a boil; cover. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

Stir in the VEG-ALL and cook 10 more minutes.

Serve hot. Top with sour cream, thin red onion slices, grated cheese, etc, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Personal note: For health reasons, I always cook my ground beef first, drain well and then use in the recipe.

Saturday, April 28, 2018


3/4 cup butter + 1 tbsp, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 (6 oz) package butterscotch chips
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Cream butter and powdered sugar until fluffy; blend in flour, mixing well. Add the butterscotch chips and pecans.

Shape dough into balls, using 1 teaspoonful per ball. Place one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 325 degrees for around 15 minutes; should be firm but not browned.
Place on wire racks to cool.
Rum (or vanilla) glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp rum extract (may substitute vanilla extract)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 to 4 tbsp milk or water
Combine powdered sugar with enough water or milk and the extract to make of desired consistency. Butternuts may be dipped in glaze or coated by drizzling glaze from a spoon over the butternuts. Immediately sprinkle the pecans over the wet glaze.

Note: File Photo

Friday, April 27, 2018


1 lb chicken tenders
2 tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery rib, sliced
1 small carrot, sliced
1 can (10 3/4-oz) cream of potato soup
1 cup milk
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Toasted croutons for garnish, optional

Cut chicken into 1/2-inch pieces.

Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until no longer pink.

Add the onion, celery, and carrot; cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Stir in the soup, milk, corn and dill; reduce heat to low and cook 8-10 minutes until corn is tender and chowder is heated through. Stir in salt and pepper.

Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with croutons, if desired.

Thursday, April 26, 2018


Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large onion, diced
3 cans (14-oz each) chicken broth
1  can (15-oz) whole tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14-oz Great Northern or Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 large potato, diced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen Italian-style green beans
1/4 cup pesto, optional
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish, optional

Spray a large saucepan with nonstick spray and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes.

Add broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, potato, salt and pepper; bring to a boil while stirring to break up tomatoes. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add green beans and cook another 5 minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls and top each with 1 teaspoon of pesto and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, if using.

Yield: Approximately 12 cups

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


 Love this salad I found on Barefeet in the Kitchen.
8 ounces bowtie pasta
1/2 very small red onion thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch pieces, about 1/4 cup
3 large cloves garlic minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups baby spinach
2 cups grape tomatoes halved
grated fresh Parmesan, optional
Bring a large pot of water to a boil along with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, but do not rinse the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, place the onion and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and vinegar to cover the onions. When the pasta has been drained, add it to the mixing bowl and toss well. Add the tomatoes and spinach.
Toss everything together to mix well and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Taste the salad and add more salt and pepper, as needed. 
Sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


12 oz uncooked large elbow macaroni, prepared according to pkg directions
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
3 tbsp white whole wheat flour
2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups milk
2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups panko
2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, just until starting to brown. Add flour and garlic to skillet and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Gradually add the Cheddar and Velveeta cheeses, whisking until melted. Remove from heat.

Stir the pasta, mayonnaise, salt and 1/2 cup of the parsley into the skillet.

In a smalll bowl, stir together the ricotta and egg; gently stir into the pasta mixture, leaving large swirls.

Bake in the preheated oven 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together the panko, melted butter and remaining parsley until well blended. Top pasta with the mixture and bake about 10 more minutes until lightly browned.

Yield: 6 servings
Note: This is my version of an old SL recipe. This is their picture of the dish.

Monday, April 23, 2018


1 box devil's food cake mix
1 pkg (4 1/2-oz) chocolate instant pudding mix
1 pkg (6-oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking pan; set aside.

Combine all ingredients until moistened; stir vigorously for 1 minute. Spread batter into the prepared ban.

Bake at 350 degrees about 40-45 minutes until the top springs back when lightly touched in the center.

Note: Frost with your favorite frosting and sprinkle with additional chocolate chips.This cake is so rich it can just be dusted with powdered sugar instead of iced, if desired.

 Note: File Photo

Saturday, April 21, 2018


4 cups rice, cooked according to package directions (without butter)

2 tbsp salted butter
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.

Yield: 6 servings

File Photo

Friday, April 20, 2018


2 pkgs (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 lb shrp cheddar cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup green onions, chopped fine
2 tsp pimiento, chopped fine
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 small can deviled ham
Walnuts or pecans, chopped, for rolling

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except nuts. When thoroughly combined, shape into a ball.
Roll ball in the walnuts and chill until serving time.

Serve with an assortment of crackers, fresh veggies, or party breads.

 File Photo

Thursday, April 19, 2018


1 acorn squash, halved, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the squash wedges with some olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread on a baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Stir halfway through cooking time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 large can orange juice (about 6-oz)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
12-14 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until ice is chopped.

File Photo

Monday, April 16, 2018


1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 squares (1-oz each) unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup chopped dried mixed fruit
1 cup chopped pecans, divided
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray an 8-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl; beat with electric mixer at medium speed for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in the melted chocolate and vanilla extract.

Stir in the flour, fruit, 1/2 cup pecans and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Spread batter in the pan and top with the remaining pecans and chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or just until center feels firm. Cool completely before cutting into 16 squares.
 File photo - not this exact recipe.

Saturday, April 14, 2018


2 cans no salt added whole kernel corn, drained
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, optional
1/4 cup Zesty Italian Salad Dressing (watch the sugar content)

Combine the corn, peppers, onion and cilantro, if using, in a bowl. Pour the salad dressing overall and toss to coat. Best when allowed to chill for 45-1 hour.

This salad is good for camping and picnics as there is no mayonnaise.


I saw this on facebook and thought what a great idea. Package as a gift, as shown in the photo below, or use at home as desired.

Time: 10 minutes...
Total Time: 10 minutes, plus cooling

Follow these easy instructions to create sweet salted caramel sauce at home. Perfect for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, cheesecake, sweet breads and more!

•1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
•6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, cut up into 6 pieces*
•1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream*
•1 teaspoon salt

1.Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
2.Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
3.Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
4.Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.
5.Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.
6.Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
7.Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using.
8.Cover the caramel tightly and store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Warm the caramel up for a few seconds before using in a recipe.

Additional Notes:

*Unsalted butter may be used instead, though I prefer salted. No other changes need to be made to the recipe if using unsalted.

*Heavy cream (approximately 36% milk fat) may also be sold as whipping cream. Light whipping cream (30% milk fat), or double cream (48% milk fat) may be substituted

Friday, April 13, 2018


1 box (around 15-oz) vanilla cake mix
3 large eggs
1/2 cup canola or coconut oil
1 can (21-oz) cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray: set aside.

Combine cake mix, eggs, and oil; beat 1 to 2 minutes or until well blended. Fold in pie filling; spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Frost with your favorite frosting, top with frozen whipped topping, thawed, or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Note: File Photo

Thursday, April 12, 2018


4 (6-oz each) tilapia fillets
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups crushed corn tortilla chips
1/4 cup canola oil, divided

Sprinkle both sides of the fillets with the salt and pepper.

Combine flour, cumin, and coriander in a shallow dish; place crushed tortilla chips in a third shallow dish. Dredge fillets in the flour mixture, dip in eggs, and dredge in tortilla chips, pressing to adhere.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place 2 fillets in the hot oil and cook until golden brown on bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn, add another tablespoon of the oil, and cook until fish flakes easily with a fork, about another 4 minutes. Transfer fillets to a wire rack over a baking sheet and keep warm in a 200 degree oven. Repeat the process with the other two fillets.

Chipotle Tartar Saauce:
1 cup olive oil mayonnaise
1/4 cup drained dill pickle relish
2 tbsp chopped canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp onion powder

Combine all sauce ingredients together and serve with the tilapia.

Recipe and photo from SL.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped ripe olives
1 cup chopped dried beef
1 cup mayonnaise
Party rye bread

Combine the cheese, olives, beef, and mayonnaise; mix well.

Spread mixture on party rye; place under broiler for about 5 minutes, until bubbly. Watch carefully so not to burn.

File photo for reference only.

Friday, April 6, 2018


2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp bottled minced garlic
8-oz sliced button mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped or thin sliced sweet onion
1 jar (7-oz) roasted red peppers
1 can (14 1/2-oz) Italian-style stewed tomatoes
1 can cannellini or great northern beans, drained
2 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Grated Italian cheeses for garnish

Heat oil and garlic in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring often.

Meanwhile, drain and rinse the peppers; cut into 1-inch pieces. Snip tomatoes in the can into small pieces.

Add the peppers, tomatoes, and beans to the skillet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring once.

Stir the basil and vinegar into the stew; add salt and pepper to taste.

Dip into serving bowls and sprinkle top with cheese/s.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup stick butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar, divided
5-oz milk chocolate morsels, divided
5-oz peanut butter morsels, divided
2 pkgs (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar; reserve 1 cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Combine the two morsels and sprinkle 3/4 cup of the mixture over the crumb crust.

In a large mixer bowl, beat remaining sugar, cream cheese, flour and vanilla until smooth using electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth.

Pour the batter over the crust and morsels. Top with the reserved crumb mixture and any remaining of the chip mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes or until set.

Cool completely on a wire rack then refrigerate until well chilled before cutting into bars.

Yield: 24 bars
 Note: This is a file photo.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


1 1/2 cups self-rising corn meal
3 tbsp finely chopped scallions
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups canola oil

In a medium bowl, stir together cornmeal, scallions, thyme, sugar and salt; add boiling water and stir until combined.

Heat oil in a cast-iron 10-inch skillet. Shape tablespoons of batter into slightly flattened patties; drop in hot oil and fry in batches until golden brown. This should take about 2  to 3 minutes per side. Remove to paper towels to drain before serving.

Note: File Photo

Sunday, April 1, 2018