Friday, April 29, 2016

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes & Carrots

I love small fingerling potatoes.  They are so easy to make and will go with just about any meal.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes & Carrots

1 pkg. fingerling potatoes
1 small bag baby carrots
2 Tbsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. Ground Pepper
1 tsp. Rosemary
1/8 cup Olive Oil

Place potatoes and carrots on a oven-proof baking rack.  Spread them out evenly and sprinkle with the seasonings.  pour the Olive Oil over the vegetables and then toss them gently to coat all.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes (more or less depending on your oven).  Test with a fork at 30 minutes and if one of the larger potatoes is done, then remove from oven.

Note:  You can also add additional vegetables such as:  Bell Pepper slices, Onion slices, Eggplant slices, or any other root vegetable that you like. 


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Chicken Soup with Gnocchi

 Instead of dumplings, try Gnocchi in your chicken soup.  This is an easy recipe that uses pre-baked chicken from the grocery and packaged gnocchi.  Oh, you could take the hard way around and make your gnocchi from scratch, but this is so good, why bother?

Chicken Soup with Gnocchi

1 whole baked chicken from the deli of your local grocery store
2 boxes of chicken broth or homemade stock (about 4 to 5 cups)
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
1 package of Gnocchi from the grocery store

Remove skin and pull chicken off the bone.  Shred with your fingers and place it in a large stock pot.  Add the chicken broth, water, pepper, sea salt and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add Gnocchi.  Allow this to cook for at least 40 minutes on low so that the Gnocchi is done.  You will know when it is done because it will rise to the top. 

I usually cook it for another 10 to 12 minutes after it rises because I like it soft and more dumpling-like.


Monday, April 25, 2016



Florentines are possibly my all-time favorite cookie...and they are so very easy to make.  These crispy little almond cookies with a light coating on one side of chocolate (I use white chocolate) are addictive, so be warned!


2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. hazelnut flavoring (can use vanilla)
1 cup almond slices (chopped finely)
3 Tbsp. evaporated milk
5 Tbsp. real butter

5 oz. melted chocolate.  I use almond bark because it goes fantastic with these cookies.
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Chop up the almonds to small pieces.  Mix with the flour and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt butter and then add sugar, syrup and evaporated milk.  Bring to a boil and boil for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often so it does not stick.  Remove from heat and add flavoring.

Combine with the flour and almonds.  Mix together well and set aside for 15 minutes or so until it is cool enough to handle and roll into balls. (or you can just use a spoon)  Make tiny balls, about the size of a marble, and place them on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper (this is important because they stick easily), about 3" apart because they really spread out.

Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes each in a preheated 350 degree oven.  Allow to cool 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a cooling rack.  Once they are cool enough to handle, dip them in chocolate or drizzle it across the back of the cookie.  Let cool completely.  Can be stored up to 2 weeks in a seal-tight container.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Sauteed Beef over Couscous

I had never made couscous in my life, so I used a boxed version.  I bought the Veggie Couscous and it was very good.  The beef....that's all me!

Sautéed Beef over Couscous

1 box Veggie Couscous - prepared according to directions

1 eye of round steak, cut into very small, thin slices
1 green bell pepper, sliced into very thin slices (seeds removed)
1 small white onion, sliced into very thin slices
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. real butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasonings
Water - Enough to keep the meat constantly covered until time to make the gravy
1/2 cup mushroom slices (optional)

1/4 cup of water + 2 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch to thicken gravy

Cut beef into very small, thin slices.  Melt butter in a deep skillet and add beef, bell pepper slices and onion.  Saute' for a few minutes to brown the beef.  Add Worcestershire, garlic, soy sauce, seasonings and enough water to cover the meat.  Cook over medium heat for about 2 hours.  Check about every 15 or 20 minutes to make sure the water has not boiled away.  If it does, just continue to add more hot water.

Once the meat is fork tender, allow some of the water to boil away by removing the lid.  Once it is reduced to about 1/2 of what it was, thicken the gravy by adding a mixture of 1/4 cup water and 2 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch.  Stir immediately until it thickens.  Remove from heat and serve over the Couscous..


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Crab Alfredo Pasta

I use Imitation Crab Meat for this dip, but it is fantastic with real crab...just expensive! 

Crab Alfredo Pasta

1 cup imitation Crab Meat
2 cups wide egg noodles + 1 tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. real butter
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/4 cup water mixed with 1 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan.  Add 1 tsp. salt and 2 cups wide egg noodles.  Boil until noodles are almost, but not quite done.  Drain off all water.

In a deep skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. real butter.  Add garlic, crab meat, pepper, salt and lemon juice.  Saute' for about 5 minutes to get the garlic infused into the butter and crab meat.  Add 1 can of Evaporated milk.  Bring back up to almost a boil and then add 1/4 cup of water mixed with 1 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch to thicken.  Stir, remove from heat and immediately add the boiled, drained noodles.  Stir well to combine.  Serve topped with shredded parmesan cheese.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Angel Eggs Dip

This dish is much like Egg Salad, but smoother and creamier.  It is a fantastic dip to take to a pitch in or a holiday meal.  My husband says we don't give the devil credit for anything, so we call it Angel Eggs Dip

Angel Eggs Dip

6 boiled, peeled eggs  (use the 10 minute rule below)
2 Tbsp. Dijonnaise (mayo/mustard blend)
1/2 Mayonnaise (more or less)
1/4 finely chopped onion (optional)
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
Sprinkle top with paprika if desired (optional)

Hard-boil eggs according to this 10 minute rule and they will peel like a charm:
     10 minute rule:  Place 6 eggs in cold water that just covers the eggs.  Place the pan on the stove over medium/high heat.  Bring the water to a boil and then start timing 10 minutes.  Turn the heat off and let the eggs sit in the pan for 10 minutes.  Drain water and shake the eggs briskly around the pan to loosen the shells.  They will peel right off!

Place peeled eggs in the food processor and pulse until they are a fine chopped consistency.  Place in a bowl and stir in the Dijonnaise and Mayonnaise.  Mix in the onion, pepper and salt.  Sprinkle top with Paprika if desired.

Serve with Crackers or on Crescent Rolls.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cream Cheese Corn

This corn is probably the best corn I have ever made.  It is creamy, a little sweet, and very buttery.  You will love it! 

Cream Cheese Corn

2 cans of whole kernel corn (drained completely) *or fresh corn off the cob - about 4 ears*
4 Tbsp. real butter
2 heaping Tbsp. whipped cream cheese
2 Tbsp. pepper (more or less)
1 Tbsp. sea salt

Melt the 4 Tbsp. real butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the corn, salt and pepper.   Fry the corn in the butter for about 4 minutes.  Stir in the cream cheese until all is blended.  Reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes.  The corn will be crispy to the bite, but also tender. 

The cream cheese just adds a little sweetness, but not too much.  I add a lot of pepper to this recipe because the spice of the pepper is a good contrast to the sweetness of the cream cheese.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Homemade Cheesy Tater Puffs

These are really scrumptious although they look kinda ugly!   Try them for a different side alternative to fried or mashed potatoes.  We had them with T-Bones the other night.  They freeze really well too.

Homemade Cheesy Tater Puffs

2 to 3 medium potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese  or Pepperjack if you like it spicy!
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/4  onion, diced or I like to use the French Fried Onions in the can (about 4 Tbsp)
4 cups oil for frying (I use canola)

Peel and wash 2 to 3 medium potatoes.  Place them in a deep pot and cover with water.   Bring water to a boil over high head and boil for about 8 minutes.  You just want to par-boil them and not get them done completely.

Shred the potatoes using a box-type grater.  Place grated potatoes in a bowl and add 1 tsp. cornstarch.  Stir well and then add cheese.  Stir to mix.  I like to add French Fried Onions to mine, but you can also dice up 1/4 of an onion.  The French Fried Onions give these a nice crispy texture.

Mix all ingredients well and using your hands (spray with cooking spray so the cheese doesn't stick to your hands), form them into small round balls.  If you have the time, it is best to freeze these for about 1 hour at least before you drop them in the grease.  It helps them hold together.

Drop into hot oil about 375 degrees.  Turn them once or twice to make sure they get done on all sides.

Remove to a paper-towel and salt to taste.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Steak, Rice & Broccoli

Since I'm not really much of a veggie eater, I try to incorporate them into some of the dishes I cook, so that I at least get some of my veggies!  This recipe is very hearty and my husband really liked it.

Steak, Rice & Broccoli

1 small round steak or flank steak
2 stalks of broccoli, stems removed and heads chopped
1 cup white rice
2 cans beef broth
1 to 2 cups of water (as needed)
2 Tbsp. real butter
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground pepper

Slice steak into small, thin strips about 1" long.  In a deep skillet, melt butter and then add the steak.  Saute' for about 8 to 10 minutes until the steak is browned and cooked through.  Add 2 cans of beef broth, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium.  Cover with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes to tenderize the meat.  Check occasionally to make sure the beef broth has not reduced too much.  If it has, add some water (about 1/2 cup at a time). 

Remove lid and add 1 cup of white rice and the chopped up broccoli.  Add additional water (about 1 cup), replace lid and cook for about 10 minutes (until rice is cooked through).  Again, keep an eye on the liquid level and add water if you need to.  Once the rice is completely cooked, remove and serve.

This is a really good one-pot meal!  Enjoy...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Burger and Twice Baked Casserole

This is a great casserole that has so much flavor.  I love Twice-Baked Potatoes and this incorporates that recipe plus some protein (burger)

Burger & Twice Baked Casserole

2 lb. ground chuck
1/2 diced medium onion
6 medium potatoes
1/2 stick real butter, melted
1/4 cup sour cream
2/3 c. evaporated milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, finely diced
1 tsp. Oregano
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. salt

Brown ground chuck and onion in a skillet.  Drain.  Peel and dice potatoes into large chunks.  Boil in 3 quarts of water until the potatoes are almost, but not quite done.  Drain.

Spray a baking dish at least 9x9 with cooking spray.  Add the drained ground chuck to the casserole dish.  Add about 1/2 cup of the cheese on top of the meat.  Place the potatoes on top of the meat in an even layer.  In a bowl, with a fork, beat 2/3 cup evaporated milk, melted, cooled butter, oregano, salt, pepper and sour cream together.  Pour over top of the potatoes.  Top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cheese.  Sprinkle with the green onions.

Bake on 375 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes - until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are lightly browned on top.

Top with additional sour cream when served.

Serve and Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Peach Cobbler

 I love this Peach Cobber.  It is so good and I add some nuts to make it just a little different from everyone else's cobbler.  I hope you enjoy this...I like it warm with a scoop of ice cream.

Peach Cobbler

1 stick real butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 28 oz. can peaches in heavy syrup
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a large deep baking dish (mine is 13x6x4) melt the butter in the pan in a 350 degree oven.  Remove pan and dump the can of peaches with the syrup into the butter.  (I like to cut my peaches up into smaller bite-sized chunks). 

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, flour and cinnamon.  Stir well and slowly stir in the evaporated milk.  It will be thin and smooth like a cake batter.  Pour it evenly over the top of the peaches.  Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes.  The dough will rise and it will form a caramel-like crust around the edges. 


Monday, April 11, 2016

Chicken Noodle Soup

It was such a cool weekend this past weekend, I decided to make some Chicken Noodle Soup from scratch.  I love the brothy kind of chicken warms the soul.  I know I posted a similar soup back in November, but it never hurts to have this soup on hand!  A little variation with the Rosemary and this one doesn't have the cream of chicken in it.  Strictly a broth soup.  You'll love it and why buy those canned soups, when you can make it from scratch?

Chicken Noodle Soup

3 cans chicken broth
2 cups wide egg noodles
2 chicken breasts - boneless, skinless
2 Tbsp. butter
5 baby carrots, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground pepper

In stockpot over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp. butter.  Dice the 2 chicken breasts into small pieces and add to the pot.  Saute' until the chicken is mostly done.  It doesn't have to be completely done because it will finish cooking in the soup.  Add 3 cans of chicken broth.

Add 5 baby carrots, finely diced, 1 stalk of celery, finely diced, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Once it comes to a rolling boil, let cook for about 15 minutes to ensure the chicken is completely done and then add 2 cups wide egg noodles.  Reduce heat to medium/low and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes until noodles are done.

Serve and Enjoy!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Dinner Rolls

I have tried for years to make good dinner rolls and for some reason, they always came out heavier than a hockey puck!  Well I found this recipe, tweeked it a little bit, and they are fabulous!  You use potatoes to make them....

Makes about 2 dozen and you use a popover or cupcake pan to make them.

Dinner Rolls

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes - cooled
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. sea salt
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 medium eggs
1/2 stick melted real butter

IN a large bowl, mix sugar, salt, yeast and about 2 to 2 1/2 cups of the flour. 

Heat the evaporated milk, water and shortening just to warm, do not boil.  Add it to the dry ingredients and beat with mixer for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Beat the eggs and add the eggs and the mashed potatoes.  Mix well with mixer for about 2 additional minutes.  Continue to add flour until it forms a soft dough.  The dough will be sticky.

Do not knead this dough.  Place it in a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate it overnight. 

In the morning, punch down the dough.  I spray my hands with cooking spray so the dough won't stick to them. Spray cupcake pan with cooking spray.  Roll the dough into small balls and drop 3 balls into each cupcake spot.  Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray and set in a warm place.  Allow to rise until almost double and then remove plastic wrap and bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until browned on top.

Remove from oven and brush tops with melted butter. 

Serve warm.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Flourless Fried Pickles

Oh wow, were these good.  I never thought I would like "Fried Pickles", until my step-daughter had me try them once when we went to dinner.  "Hey, these aren't so bad," I thought.  So I finally came up with a delicious recipe for Fried Pickles that uses no flour, so it isn't as bad for you.  Now, they are deep fried, but hey, what can I say!  Give them a try....

Fried Pickles

1 1/2 cup cornmeal (don't use the Jiffy Type, it has lots of sugar in it)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. salt
1 egg
1/4 cup evaporated milk (or you can use 2% for less calories)

8 or so dill pickle slices or hamburger dill slices

Canola or Peanut Oil for frying

Bowl 1:  Beat the egg and the evaporated milk together

Bowl 2:  Mix cornmeal, cornstarch, oregano and ground pepper.

I use the long-thin sliced pickles (sandwich style), but you can use whatever you want.  Dip the pickle into the cornmeal mixture, then the egg batter and then into the cornmeal mixture once more.  Dipping it twice in the cornmeal assures you a crispy pickle.

Make sure the oil is hot over medium-high heat.  I test it by dropping a little cornmeal into the oil and if it sizzles and rises to the top, it is ready.   Turn a couple of times so that each side gets evenly cooked.  It takes about 6 to 8 minutes per pickle.  Remove and place on a paper towel to drain excess grease.  Salt generously.

I serve these with Ranch dressing and with Yum Yum sauce.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Daniel Plan

The Daniel Plan by Pastor Rick Warren:

I need to get healthier, that is a fact.  I don't like many veggies, that is also a fact.  I have a tremendous sweet tooth, that is a big fact!  At one time I weighed 335 pounds...that is also a fact.  I lost well over 100 lbs. over 25 years ago....that is also a fact.  But, the hardest fact to live with is that my weight has continued to rise and fall during the course of those 25 years.  Yes, I have NEVER gotten close to that heavy again and I never want to....however I do teeter back and forth on about 25 pounds and need to lose at least another 40 lbs. to be where I want to be.

I have a strong faith in God and have decided to start The Daniel Plan from Pastor Rick Warren and a few physician friends of his.  I'm not saying this will be THE ONE for me, but since it is faith-based, I am going to give it a shot.  Who is with me?

I bought this book, used, on Ebay for about $5.00 and started reading it today.  If you want to take this journey with me, let's do it.  We aren't going to tell everyone in the world what our weight is (geez no!)....but we are going to work on getting healthier. 

So, look for some healthier recipes, some tips (hopefully), and I suggest you buy the book and let's get started.  Will it work for me/you?  Maybe...maybe not..but it's worth a try.

Daniel Plan - here we come!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Butterfly Pasta and Mini Meatballs

I am not a big Pasta eater because I'm not fond of marinara, but I love this cheesy pasta.  The little mini meatballs make it even better.

Butterfly Pasta and Mini Meatballs

2 cups butterfly pasta
2 Quarts water
1 tsp. salt

Bring water to boil and add salt.  Add the pasta.  Boil Pasta in the salted water until it is tender.  Butterfly Pasta is a thick pasta and will take a little longer than regular pasta.  You want it almost done when you take it off the heat. 

Mini Meatballs: 
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg
1/2 cup finely minced Ritz Crackers
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Italian Seasonings
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1/2 small onion, finely diced

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands.  Form into small meatballs (about the size of a quarter) and place them into a deep skillet over medium heat.  Brown, turning so that all sides get done.  Remove to a paper towel and drain well.

Wipe the hamburger juices from the skillet with a paper towel and put it back on a low heat. 

Add 2 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. lemon juice. 
Grate in 1 tsp. lemon rind (optional)
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Add the pasta to the skillet and toss until it is all coated.  Put the mini meatballs into the pan and toss gently to mix.  Turn off the heat and cover with 2 cups Gruyere Cheese.  Cover with the lid of the skillet and allow the cheese to melt.

Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Corn Chip Nachos

Alternative to using regular tortillas or chips for your nachos.  Try using Fritos Corn Chips.

Corn Chip Nachos

2 cups of Fritos Corn Chips per person
1 to 2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/4 head of lettuce finely shredded
1 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
2 heaping Tbsp. refried beans

2 green onions, finely diced
Sour Cream and Salsa for garnish

In skillet, brown ground beef with 1/2 finely diced onion, 2 heaping Tbsp. refried beans, taco seasoning, ground pepper and salt.  Brown until done and drain well.

Place Fritos Corn Chips on a plate and top with the hamburger mixture.  Top with Mexican Cheese and garnish with lettuce, green onions, salsa and sour cream.

Serve and Enjoy!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Sugar Creme Pie

Sugar Crème pie is my absolute favorite pie.  I'm more of a cookie/brownie person, but when it comes to pie, this is my love! 

Sugar Crème Pie

 1 unbaked deep dish pie shell

 1 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
2 heaping tsp. cornstarch
1 cup half and half
1 tsp. vanilla (I use hazelnut flavoring)
1 cup boiling water
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cinnamon


Mix sugars, flour, cornstarch, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl.  Pour in the boiling water and stir until all dissolves.  Add the flavoring and the half and half.  Pour into an unbaked pie shell and bake for 10 minutes at 425.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake about 30 to 40 minutes more. 

 If you want, you can just bake it on 350 for the entire time, but it takes longer….   When it is set up in the middle it is done…