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Showing posts from 2010

Snickerdoodle Peach Pie

I made loads of delicious snickerdoodles and unfortunately many of them dried out before they were eaten. I didn't want to eat them hard, even though they still tasted ok. So, I got the idea to throw them in the food processor and make a pie crust with them. It was delicious!

So after making cookie crumbs in the food processor, I pressed them into the pie dish with a bit of melted Smart Balance Light (just enough to moisten the crumbs). Then, I put canned peach pie filling in my crust and added cinnamon to the top and baked it for about 25 minutes.
This made a great snickerdoodle peach tasty treat!

Cranberry Sauce

I was surprised how easy it is to make delicious cranberry sauce! Here's how it's done:
In a medium sauce pan, heat together: 1 cup orange juice 1 cup white sugar
Once the sugar is dissolved, stir in: 12 ounces of fresh cranberries
Cook for about 10 minutes. The cranberries will pop open during this time. Take off the heat and move the cranberry sauce to a serving dish. The sauce will get thick as it cools.

Comfy Piggies and Tomato Soup

Make Comfy Piggies (Pigs in a blanket) with little sausages and croissant dough and cook as directed on the dough container.
Serve with hot Campbells Tomato Soup and enjoy.

Beautiful Banana Bread

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your selected pan. I usually make the small 1 lb loaves and muffins because they take less time to bake. This recipe will make 4 small loaves.
In a large bowl combine: 2 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon 1/8 tsp nutmeg
Make a well in the center after mixing.
In another bowl mix with an electric mixer: 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups ripe banana (about 5-6 bananas)* 1 cup white sugar 1/2 cup cooking oil
Add egg/banana mixture to the flour mixture all at once and stir until moistened but still lumpy. Fold in nuts if desired and spoon into prepared pans.
Bake small loaves for 30-35 minutes and muffins 15-20 minutes or until perfectly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy and share with others!
*TIP: For the banana, I am continuously putting ripe bananas (in the peels) that will not be eaten by my family into the freezer. Once I accumulate enough to make banana bread, I thaw out about 5-6 frozen bananas f…

Peach Tart

The original recipe was found in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book on page 450.
It makes 4 servings but we handled it quite well, just the two of us. :)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and sprinkle lightly with flour.

How to make the pastry (pie crust):

In a medium bowl, stir together:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Use a pastry blender and cut in:
1/3 cup shortening

After pieces are about pea size, sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the flour mixture. Gently toss using a fork. Push moistened pastry to the side of the bowl and repeat moistening flour mixture using 1 tablespoon of the water at a time until all the flour mixture is moistened (4-5 tablespoons water)
Make a ball from the pastry. Then place on a lightly floured surface and flatten slightly with hands. Roll pastry from the center to the edges into a circle about 13 inches in diameter. Place on prepared baking sheet.

How to make the peach filling:

In a large bo…

Perfect Chicken Chili

I forgot to take a picture because it disappeared too quickly. It was perfectly delicious for us who don't like hot spicy chili.

Mix these ingredients in a large pot:

1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (I used garlic and onion kind)
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dried crushed basil
chopped onion to taste (1-2 cups)
black pepper to taste (1/2 teaspoon)
minced garlic to taste (1-2 tablespoons)

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. Add cooked chicken (1-2 chicken breasts cut up bite-sized). And enjoy with rolls or cornbread.

Quick Cinnamon Treat

This is a great and fast treat using tortillas, non-dairy margarine and cinnamon-sugar.

On the stove top, heat a skillet to medium heat. Place a tortilla on the skillet and heat one side, then flip to heat the other side. Smear a small amount of margarine on the entire side of the tortilla that is facing up and then sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture all over. Let the tortilla get browned on underside, then fold in half to enclose the buttery side. Make many and enjoy them warm.


My Favorites

I use certain ingredients over and over, nearly every meal, when I cook. Here are my favorite ingredients and the must-haves in my kitchen and pantry.


Olive Oil - I am not picky with olive oil. I don't really understand the difference in taste between Extra Virgin and just plain old olive oil. I buy name brands if they are on sale, otherwise, store brands work for me. I use olive oil when I make nearly anything on the stove. Olive oil is often a great substitute for butter.

Garlic Salt - Garlic salt adds such a great full flavor to many foods.

Mrs. Dash seasoning blends - I guess when I am cooking without any dairy, I compensate by adding awesome seasonings to the foods I make. It needs to be flavorful and I have learned to love these blends of seasonings.

Cinnamon - Cinnamon is a great spice that provides food with a distinct full flavor without requiring much sugar. For example, I love adding cinnamon to applesauce instead of sugar. No sugar needed when cinnamon does its trick.

I ke…

Italian-Style Potatoes

Simple, Healthy and Full of Flavor


Dice approx. 5 medium-sized red potatoes and boil for about 15 minutes or until soft but not mushy. While potatoes are boiling, cut corn off 1-2 cobs and about chop about 1/8 cup yellow onion. Once potatoes are done cooking, drain and return to stove on lowest heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, Italian seasoning blend, garlic salt, corn, onion and bacon bits. Stir to coat all ingredients in seasonings and oil. Do not over-stir to avoid mushing up the potatoes. Serve warm with garlic toast or breadsticks.

Zapped Cobbler

I don't like turning on our oven when it is 100 degrees outside, so I thought cobbler made in the microwave sounded more appealing (and quick). It is a great treat with some ingredients that would trick you into thinking it's healthy!

It really is as easy as putting these ingredients together in a microwavable bowl:
20 oz. can of peaches (including all the juice/syrup)
1 cup quick oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Mix well and microwave for about 4 minutes on high. It should be bubbling around the edges. Mix and microwave for about 1-2 minutes more or until it is bubbly, thickened and heated through. Let it cool a bit and enjoy warm. Serves about 6 people.

NOTE: You may need to adjust the amount of brown sugar you add depending on if your canned peaches are in 100% juice, light syrup or heavy syrup. Mine were in 100% juice.

Serving this with soy or rice vanilla ice cream or cool whip would be tasty too.

Fanciest Ramen

I have always liked Ramen noodles for every reason except that they have basically NO nutrition. My husband looked concerned when he saw the following ingredients sitting on the counter before I started making dinner.
2 packages of chicken flavored ramen noodles
1 head of cabbage 1 large chicken breast
My random concoction turned out great, and that's why it is our newest addition to my food blog.
How to make the "Fanciest Ramen Noodles"
Dice one large raw chicken breast into bite-size pieces and cook fully in a pan on the stove with olive oil and seasonings of your choice (garlic salt, Mrs. Dash, seasoned salt, etc.) Cook the ramen noodles in a medium-sized pot without seasoning packets. Drain the noodles once they are cooked and then add thinly sliced cabbage to the pot and place over lowest heat setting. Add 1-2 packets (depending on your salt preference) of ramen noodle seasonings and stir in about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir well so oil and seasonings are evenly distribu…

Fry Bread

I got the original recipe for this fry bread here, and I altered it a bit and included some additional instruction based on my experience.

How to makefry bread:

Combine together in a medium bowl:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder

Add in and mix together:
1 and 1/2 cups warm water (approx. 110 degrees F)

Knead until the dough is soft and not sticky. Divide and shape into 3-4 inch diameter balls. Flatten into patties about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and make a small hole in the center of each.

Fry each in 1 inch of hot oil (I used vegetable oil, you can also use shortening). Turn over to brown both sides. Fry for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown color. Set on paper towels to absorb some of the excess oil.

They are best eaten when they are still hot. Top with refried beans, tomatoes, lettuce, avacado, etc.
With these measurements, I made 8 medium-sized pieces of fry bread.


And make it a dessert by topping with cinnamon sugar, honey, and/or powdered sugar.






Focaccia Bread

How to make Focaccia Bread (Improved Recipe as of April 2012)
In a large bowl, stir together: 1 1/4 cup whole white wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast (a little more than one packet)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper (optional)
Mix in: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup warm water

When it has mixed enough to resemble dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. (Olive oil not needed for pizza crust)

Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Original Recipe from here. ____________________________…

BLT

In this case it is a BT, since we didn't have fresh lettuce in our fridge. I made them with toasted sourdough bread and served it with fresh pineapple.

Mahi Mahi Tacos

I found Mahi Mahi on managers special at Fresh and Easy and it made flavorful, simple tacos at dinnertime. I cooked the fish in a skillet at medium heat in about a teaspoon of olive oil with seasoned salt and garlic salt. After flipping the fish once and about 2-3 minutes before the fish was all cooked through, I cut corn off the cob and put it in the pan with the fish to steam. I added a little more seasoning and once the fish was cooked I diced it and put it in warmed corn tortillas with shredded lettuce (cabbage and diced tomatoes would also be good, I didn't have them). Salsa or guacamole and tortilla chips would be great additions to this meal as well.

Garlic Humice

Great for a fast, healthy dip with pita bread, pita chips or crackers.


Ingredients (approximate measurements): 1 can garbanzo beans (12 oz) 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon garlic salt 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I like the olive oil type)
Put all ingredients into food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately or store airtight in the refrigerator.

Divine Granola

Quick and rewarding.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together in large bowl:
4 cups rolled oats
1-2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1/4-1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a small saucepan, heat and mix together:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Add:
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Pour mixture over oats in bowl and mix until coated evenly. Pour on to a large cookie sheet with edges or a shallow baking pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning(about 3-4 times).


Let the finished granola cool and then add your choice of raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc. Store airtight.

Original recipe from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cinnamon-Raisin-Granola/Detail.aspx

Fruit Pizza

Follow your favorite sugar cookie recipe, make or buy white frosting and decorate with vibrant colorful fruits of your choice. Easy and beautiful!

French Toast

What you need: Thick slices of french bread or texas toast bread 6 eggs mixed with about a tablespoon of ground cinnamon and 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
Heat a skillet to medium heat. Spray with non-stick spray if needed.
Once skillet is hot, place one piece of bread in egg mixture, flip to other side to get egg on both sides. Immediately, place flat on skillet. Cook until lightly brown and egg is cooked on one side, then flip and let brown on opposite side. Repeat with all slices of bread.
Serve warm with toppings such as: margarine, berries, cool whip, maple syrup, etc.

Lentil & Barley Soup

Delicious & Nutritious. I love the crock pot!



Ingredients: 16 ounce bag of lentils, rinsed 1 chopped onion Diced carrots 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with garlic (including liquid) 1/2 cup uncooked barley 14.5 ounce can of beef broth 5-7 cups water Your choice of seasonings Optional additions: chopped meat, sliced celery, garlic _________________________________________ Directions: In a 4-quart slow cooker, mix lentils, onion, carrots, tomatoes, barley and seasonings. For seasoning, I added garlic salt, seasoned salt and Mrs. Dash garlic herb blend. Stir in broth and about 5 cups water. Cover and cook on low heat for 9-10 hours. If you choose to add meat, add it after about 5 hours of cooking. Add water as needed to keep all ingredients immersed. Your soup is done cooking once vegetables and lentils are tender. Serve with some homemade cornbread.

Yellow Cornbread

Finding a dairy friendly cornbread recipe was tricky, so I created my own.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the following dry ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups corn meal
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
8 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt

Then add:
1 can cream corn (14 3/4 oz)
1/2 cup soy milk
4 eggs
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup water

Blend using a mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute. Pour into a greased 9" X 13" pan and bake in 400 degree preheated oven for about 30 minutes, checking around 25 minutes for browning and using a toothpick to determine when baked all through. I used a glass pan and it was done perfectly at 29 minutes. Enjoy hot and store leftovers in the fridge or freeze for future enjoyment using freezer bags.

Lemon Pepper Breaded Catfish

For this recipe, you will need:
Chopped Catfish
3-4 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup corn meal
2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
2-4 tablespoons olive oil

Lightly beat 4 eggs in small bowl, set aside. Mix flour, corn meal and seasonings in separate bowl. Heat approx. 2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Dip pieces of fish in egg, covering completely, then drop into flour mixture and generously coat and drop immediately into heated oil. Rotate once browned until firm and cooked through.
TIP: While dipping, designate one hand for egg and the other hand for dry ingredients, then both hands will not be covered in gooey egg.

I added chopped broccoli to the breaded fish while it was still in the skillet and heated with the lid on, stirring occasionally until the broccoli was brighter green. Then, I removed the fish and broccoli and put in in a serving dish with the lid on to keep it warm. I used the leftover egg and flour mixture to bread some squash and fried it in the…

Feel Good

This combination of vegetables made a healthy, filling, feel-good meal.


Boil diced yams and potatoes until almost soft. Add sliced yellow squash, onions and celery (optional). Drain once squash is tender. Return to pan and add seasonings, olive oil or dairy free margarine to taste. Serve hot. I served it with chicken flavored rice a roni.

Angel Food Cake

You can buy box mixes to make quick and easy angel food cake or make from scratch. A light, wonderful dessert with any fruit.

The following video is very helpful in learning how to make this unique cake:
http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Making-an-Angel-Food-Cake-Video/Detail.aspx

Raspberry Sorbet

Inspired by Martha Stewart and oh, so tasty. Fast and easy and inexpensive if you get a deal on the berries.


12 oz. frozen raspberries 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup sugar
Mix water and sugar in a small cup or bowl until sugar is disolved. In a blender or food processor, pulse frozen raspberries until coarsely chopped. While blending, add water/sugar mixture and allow to blend through. You may need to stop it and push large pieces of raspberry down toward the blade to get it smooth all through. Once smooth, immediately transfer to sealed container and freeze for 30 minutes to thicken. Serve cold.

Grandpa Omelet

Mix well in a bowl (my husbands choices):
6-8 eggs chopped ham bacon bits finely chopped onion chopped bell pepper ample amounts of seasonings Tablespoon of water or soy milk Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. Once hot, pour entire egg mixture into the skillet and let cook almost through, checking the bottom to make sure it is not getting too dark. If it is, turn down the heat and use the lid to cook through. Using 1-2 spatulas, flip half the cooked omelet over to fold in half. Continue cooking through until completed as you prefer. Serve and eat hot. Optional: cover in rice or soy cheese.

Fried Rice

Fried Rice is great when you need to use up left-over rice or if you want to intentionally make loads of rice for one meal and use some for another meal.
This time, I made the fried rice and put it in a warmed tortilla with fresh tomatoes. It was great!
To make fried rice: Warm through white or brown rice in skillet on medium heat. Add 2-3 eggs, various seasonings, meat (optional), onion, bell pepper, etc.
Mix thoroughly to get egg all over rice and cook on medium-high heat until the egg is completed cooked and all ingredients are hot. Serve immediately for best taste and texture.

Mushroom Burgers

This was delicious. It was a bummer that I had to be responsible and only eat one.


Mix together with your clean hands: - 1 lb ground beef - 1-2 tablespoons terriaki sauce - garlic salt - seasoned salt (lots) - small pieces of raw mushrooms (not too many or the burgers will not stay together) Mush, mush, mush it all together and then divide into 4 equal parts. Make tight round balls and smash them into hamburgers. You want to make them slightly larger than the buns you will be using. Drizzle a tad more terriaki sauce on the raw burgers then put them on the hot barbecue and cook for about 6-8 minutes, flipping about halfway through the cook time. Do not push down on your burgers at any time as that lets precious moisture escape.
You will be Mmmmm-ing at your dinner table tonight. :)

Crisp Potatoes and Squash

This was a great meat-less dinner. I will make this again soon. The photo does not do this dish justice.

- Fully cook several (3-5) potatoes either in oven or microwave. I used red potatoes.
Set potatoes to cool for about 15-20 minutes, then cut them about 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. - Heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Move pan around to get oil distributed around bottom of skillet. - Sprinkle an even layer of Italian bread crumbs, Italian seasonings and garlic salt on the oil. - Lay potatoes flat on oil and seasonings. Cook with lid off for about 3-5 minutes or until bread crumbs are sticking to the potatoes and are browning. Flip the potatoes to get browned on opposite side. - Add sliced yellow squash and spinach leaves and any additional seasonings that are needed. Put the lid on the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes or until squash is tender. I served this dish with garden rotini pasta with melted Smart Balance Butter and Italian seasonings.

Naked Pizza

Don't be prejudice against cheese-less pizza, it's worth devouring with a smile on your face.

For this pizza, I was an over-achiever and I made whole wheat pizza dough (recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook) and I made the pizza sauce too. I LOVED the pizza sauce and will never buy pizza sauce again. If you don't have time or the desire to make your own pizza dough, Fresh and Easy sells great pizza dough (wheat, white or focaccia) or you can buy one of those crusts already baked (follow those individual directions for cooking times).


Pizza Sauce (makes enough for two large pizzas)

- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in small sauce pan.
- Add seasonings of your choice (basil, garlic, onion, bay leaves, oregano, celery, pepper, fennel seed are all options.) I like a little minced garlic with basil and an Italian spice mix I have.
- Then, mix in one 8 oz can of tomato sauce and one 6 oz can of tomato paste. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and heat through on low heat while…

Feeling Crabby

I like imitation crab meat... not sure about all those mysterious ingredients, but hey, it tastes good!
Cook your favorite pasta or whatever type is available in the pantry. Drain, return to pan and add about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Put over low heat and add imitation crab meat and a vegetable. I added frozen green beans because I didn't have any fresh, but fresh is SOOO much tastier. Season as you will and enjoy either hot or cold.

Easy Refried Beans

With some planning ahead, you can make these easy refried beans to add to your burritos, tacos or dip.

You will need:
One small bag of dried pinto beans (approx 3-4 cups)
minced garlic
1 yellow onion
Seasonings (garlic salt, pepper, coriander)
Time (start the night before you want them done)

Soak the beans in water over night. The water should immerse the beans with 2-3 inches additional.

In the morning, drain the soaked beans, sort out any that do not look good, rinse and place in crock pot. Fill with water to about 1-2 inches above beans. Place large chunks of onion, seasonings and garlic in and stir. Cook on LOW for 6 hours. Stir. Cook on HIGH for an additional 3-4 hours. Once they are soft enough to smash with spoon, drain most the liquid out and place beans in large mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed with a hand mixer until they look like refried beans. Use them hot and store sealed.

I made bean burritos with lettuce, tomato and cilantro and served with cold, perfectly ripe fruit.

Hobo Dinners

Is that politically correct?
Anyway, "hobos" are not an ingredient in this recipe, so I think we are all safe with this tasty and healthy meal.

It seems obvious that the most appropriate way to cook these meals is over hot coals from a campfire, but it is also possible to cook them in a dutch oven or in the oven right in your comfy kitchen.

You will need aluminum foil, meat of choice (optional), potatoes, carrots, cabbage, onion and seasonings.
Making your Pouch (one serving):
Tear off 3 sheets of aluminum foil about 18" long each. Lay them on top of each other all at different angles with middles aligned. (I am such a visual person, I hope that makes sense.)
Put large pieces of cabbage on first, then the meat on top. Then pile on the other ingredients you have chopped up small into the center of your prepared aluminum foil and season as you go. Once you have added enough for one serving, fold up each end (one at a time) of aluminum foil to enclose all ingredients and c…