Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Peach Cobbler

I had been feeling yucky for the past several days along with craving something sweet, so I took a peek thru my old beaten up Recipe Box and found several recipes for Cobblers! This recipe is one of the many ones I was given during my tenure at Teasley Learning Center as a Pre-School Teacher!

I gave both recipe cards to my husband and he was kind enough to make me a fabulous Cobbler!

Peach Mixture

2 15 oz cans Lite Peaches, drained, reserve 1/4 cup liquid
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbl lemon juice
1 tsp corn starch


1 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 stick butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1/4 cup Boiling leftover peach liquid

Mix the Peach ingredients in a bowl and pour into a 9X9 Casserole, bake at 375 for 20 minutes
remove and set aside.

In the meantime using a pastry cutter or your hands or forks, mix the topping mixture together until it looks somewhat like cookie dough. Remove the Peach mixture from the oven and optionally dust the mixture with brown sugar.

Using your hands place the topping on in dollops and get as much of the mixture spread over the entire peach dish as possible.

Bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes still at 375 degrees, remove and let cool, top with Ice Cream or Whipped Topping

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Strawberry and Blueberry Pancakes

If you have been here awhile you know that we are breakfast fiends! On the weekends we make a big breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday, by we I mean my Husband, he is the King of Breakfast.

I make him a nice hot breakfast Monday thru Friday and he makes me whatever I want on the weekends. I am so lucky as he can cook anything from Souffle's to German Pancakes and everything in between!

Today we are having Strawberry and Blueberry Pancakes, with home made Blueberry Compote, YUM. Spring is on the way!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cubed strawberries
1/2 to 1 cup blueberries
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 teaspoon for griddle

Blueberry Compote
1 cup blueberries
1 tsp Arrowroot
2 tbl honey
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together everything except the arrow root, bring to a slow simmer for 5 minutes, add the arrow root and simmer for another 5 minutes till thickened.


Heat griddle to 375 degrees

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter and strawberries, whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps.

Heat oven to 175 degrees and put a plate in the oven (you can hold your pancakes for quite some time in the oven). Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters off griddle, it is hot enough. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter or reserved bacon fat onto griddle. Wipe off excess.

Using a 4-ounce ladle, about 1/2 cup, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one other. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, add your blueberries and flip over (we like them on the finished pancake instead of inside)

Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute and flip.

Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in oven. Serve warm with fresh Strawberries and Blueberry Compote.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Beef and Cheese Crescents

This is another great recipe from my days as a Pre-School Teacher. It is quick, easy and frankly quite delicious. My husband had never had it before, and he was a huge fan.

If you happen to have leftover cooked ground beef, as I did, it makes it even faster to make!

1 1/2 ground beef
3/4 cup barbecue sauce (or less), we like a brand called Show Me, it is smoky and delicious
Sliced Cheddar Cheese
2 - 8oz cans of Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls (the new larger ones work especially well)
salt and pepper to taste
1 beaten egg

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Brown beef and onions, adding in salt and pepper to taste, drain and stir in sauce

Unroll Crescent rolls into 4 long rectangles on ungreased cookie sheets, overlapping long sides firmly

Press perforations and edges to seal pat to form a rectangle

Spread meat mixture lengthwise in a wide strip down the center of the dough

Top with sliced cheese, add the top and pinch edges to seal

Brush on beaten egg and bake for 20-25 minutes till golden brown

They may not be pretty, but they sure taste good!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Gluten Free Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Pasta

My Mom was diagnosed with Celliacs disease about 5 years ago, if she eats or even touches anything that contains Wheat, Rye or Barley, she can become ill for days.  You would not believe how many foods contain Wheat, from Salad Dressing to canned Tomato Soup.  It is pretty hard to navigate cooking and eating out with Celliacs.  I like to make her life a bit easier and cook for her when I can.

Hubby cooked a gorgeous Rosemary and Lemon Chicken for Sunday dinner, so I made Chicken Stock from scratch using my new favorite method, a crock pot, see the recipe for that here.  Prior to placing the chicken in the Crock Pot, debone it and save the chicken for the soup.

In order to make the soup safe, I purchased Gluten Free Pasta, the brand we like most is Tinkyada, Pasta Joy, it does not get mushy and tastes most like regular Pasta, for my soup I used Spirals.

8 - 10 cups of homemade chicken broth
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 sweet onion diced into small chunks
5 celery stalks
Tinkyada Pasta Joy (your choice of type)
Chicken that you boned, chopped
6 crimini mushrooms, stem removed and sliced
1/2 bunch of Chard Greens, leaves removed leave the middle stalk or vein, chop the leaves
lots of fresh cracked black pepper
large dash of Poultry seasoning and dried Basil
salt to taste

Place your Chicken Stock into a large Soup Pot or any large cooking vessel bring to a low boil, add your carrots first, they take the longest to cook, let simmer for 10 minutes

Add plenty of fresh cracked black pepper, the Poultry seasoning and dried Basil along with salt if needed

Add your sliced celery and onion, cook for 5 more minutes then add everything else, cook for approximately 20 minutes till your veggies are fork tender.

*while your soup is simmering, cook your pasta according to the package directions, rinse and drain well

Place your cooked pasta into your serving bowl and ladle soup on top (keep the leftover soup and pasta separate or the pasta will get bloated and unappetizing)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Stock

In the Fall and Winter months my husband refers to me as The Soup Nazi, not very Politically Correct, but you get the drift.  I love making soup, stews and breads in the colder weather.  I rarely use broth/stock out of a can, I prefer to make my own, it is so dang easy and you control what goes into it.  

Every time we have a Roasted Chicken dinner, I know the next day I will be picking the meat off and making stock.  I have always done it the old fashioned way on the stove top.  A gal at the Farmers Market told me to try it in the Crock Pot and I am glad I did, it was way easier and ever tastier if that is even possible!  YUM!
1 chicken frame, include skin, bones and everything remaining after picking meat 
2 stalk celery & leaves
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, in chunks
1-2 garlic cloves
1 tbl whole peppercorn 
1 tbl salt
2 bay leaves which you will retrieve later
cold water
After eating the cooked chicken for the original chicken dinner pick all meat from bones and reserve

Break the bones apart so that they'll fit better into the crock pot

Put bones, skin, and fat from the chickens into your slow cooker/crock pot, add vegetables

Add cold water until crock pot is full to 1 1/2 inches below the rim

Cook on high 4 hours and then on low for another 6-8 hours or overnight

Strain the stock through a colander or cheesecloth and chill to solidify the fat for easy removal

Portion out and freeze stock in whatever quantities suit your needs.

Tip -- Be sure that the water is COLD
Tip -- I save the plastic containers Chinese Food Soup comes in and use those for my stock, they work perfectly.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Apple Cake

I was perusing my favorite Food Blogs and came across this wonderful recipe at One Perfect Bite,  I had some gorgeous apples and decided to make it.  It is a very tasty, homey and moist cake, we love it!

I added a few more spices to make it more interesting and cut some of the fat by using Applesauce in place of oil, which also boosts the Apple flavor!

3/4 cup chopped pecans
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
3 to 4 large baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (we used an individual packaged apple sauce)
1/2 cup) (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

NOTE:  I cooked it at 325 degrees or 1 hour and it was perfectly done
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch removable-bottom tube pan (I used a Bundt Cake Pan) with nonstick spray. Sprinkle pecans evenly on bottom of pan.

2) In a large bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and cinnamon. Add apples and toss to combine.

3) In another large bowl, mix remaining flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, oil, butter, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Beat until batter is smooth.

4) Pour half of the batter (about 2 cups) into prepared pan. Top with half of apple mixture. Spoon remaining batter over apples and top with remaining apples, placing them 1/4 inch in from the tube and the border of the cake.

5) Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a paring knife around the sides and center of cake and turn cake out onto wire rack. Invert cake onto another rack to cool, apple side up. Yield: 12 servings.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Turkey, Vegetable and White Bean Soup (Gluten Free)

As noted in my previous post, I made a bunch of homemade Turkey stock and the next day decided to make soup.  I was tired of my usual Turkey Noodle or Turkey and Rice soup, so I decided to do something a bit different this time.  I added Mushrooms and White Beans instead and it was delicious.  Next time I think I will add in some Leeks.

When making soup I always try to make it Gluten Free as my Mom has Celiacs and she loves my soup.  My nickname is not the Soup Nazi for nothing!  This was delicious and different.  I have a huge stock pot so I used alot of stock and many ingredients. You can scale the recipe to the amount you want to make.

Turkey Stock (preferably from scratch, I have a huge stock pot so I used about 10 cups)
1 lb of leftover turkey chopped
6 celery stalks sliced
6 large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
6 large mushrooms caps removed and sliced
1/2 a large yellow onion
3 cans of white beans drained
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
lots of fresh ground black pepper
white pepper a shake or two
pinch or two of salt
Olive oil

Place a swirl of Olive Oil in your pre-heated stock pot, add your onions and saute until translucent

Add in your turkey stock, carrots and herbs, let simmer for 10 minutes or so and add the celery

Let simmer for 10 more minutes and add the mushrooms, turkey and beans

Let simmer for 10 more minutes and serve

**If you are not planning on serving right away, fill your sink with cold water and add ice.  Let it cool down in the sink before putting in your refrigerator or freezing containers**

*optional (add cooked rice)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Turkey Stock

I love making soup in the Fall and Winter months, something about the process I find really relaxing. I always start the process by making homemade stock, whether it is chicken, turkey, pork or beef.  I like that fact that I can add whatever flavors I like and can control the salt content, also I try to avoid added chemicals and stabilizers in the canned and boxed broths.  My secret and I cannot remember who taught me this, but save your onion skins and put them into the water along with the flavorings, they give the soup a wonderful color.

Don't get me wrong I always have a few cans of various broth in my pantry for emergencies.  This weekend we made a huge Turkey Breast and after I picked the carcass clean I placed it in a large stock pot, added my flavorings and made the most gorgeous Turkey Broth.  Here is how I do it.

1 Turkey Carcass, including skin, and whatever drippings are left in the pan after roasting
4 celery sticks
4 carrots
1 Yellow onion sliced into rings (keep the outer dry skin)
Salt and peppercorns
Any other veggies you have laying around (I threw in a tomato)
Cold Water

*Place your carcass, skin and drippings into a soup pot or large pot of any kind

*Add your celery, carrots, onion skins,onion, salt, a handful of peppercorns and whatever else you wish

*Add very cold water to the cooking vessel depending on size to a few inches below the rim

*Start on high and when it starts to boil, turn it to low setting and let cook for 8 to 20 hours. (I leave mine on overnight with the lid on)

*You want it to just barely simmer, stir on occasion

After cooking strain into a large bowl, refrigerate overnight and the next morning skim the fat off the top

****The key to keeping you and your family safe is NOT to put the hot stock directly into your fridge, that can be dangerous.  I fill my sink with cold water and ice and let it cool down, then transfer to the fridge******

You are ready to use or freeze, I use either a gallon ziplock or the soup take out containers which I save for this purpose

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fresher and Better Hot and Sour Soup

I saw this adapted recipe by Joanne Chang on Yahoo Shine one day and since hubby and I both adore Hot and Sour Soup I decided to make it.

Let me just say this is the best Hot and Sour I have made so far, it is fresher and better.  The flavors are bright and pungent and the texture is amazing.  The only change I made was using lean boneless pork chops instead of ground pork.  Give it a try you won't be disappointed!  One note, be sure and drain and squeeze excess water out of your Tofu.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 scallions, white and green parts, minced, plus more for garnish
8 ounces ground pork
4 cups store-bought or homemade chicken stock
1 pound soft or firm tofu (not silken and not extra firm), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 or 5 medium button mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced (or substitute dried, rehydrated wood ear mushrooms)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2/3 cup rice vinegar, or to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon sesame oil, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce, or to taste
2 large eggs
White or black pepper for garnish

1. In the saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and pork and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute. You want to break up the pork into smaller pieces with a spoon, but don't worry about breaking it down completely or cooking it through.

2. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the tofu, mushrooms, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper, sesame oil, and Sriracha sauce and bring the soup back to a simmer over medium-high heat. Taste the soup. If you want it hotter, add more Sriracha sauce; if you want it more sour, add more vinegar.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. With the soup at a steady simmer, slowly whisk in the eggs so they form strands. Bring the soup back to a simmer. Divide the soup among 4 to 6 bowls and garnish each with a little sesame oil, scallion, and white or black pepper. Serve immediately. (Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The soup may take on a slightly different appearance, but it will taste just the same.)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Savory Bread Pudding

We baked a Ham for Thanksgiving and I wanted to use the leftovers in a different way than my usual sandwiches, soups, etc.  I love Bread Pudding and wondered how it would taste if made in the traditional way but using savory ingredients.

The answer is; very tasty!  This makes a huge portion and is versatile enough for breakfast, lunch or dinner and you can put anything you have leftover in it.  This is the "before" photo, we were so excited we forgot the "after" photo!

6 Croissants cut into cubes and let sit overnight to get dried out
1/4 of a Ciabatta, cut into cubes and dried out overnight
6 eggs
2 cups of whole milk (you could use half and half or cream or whatever you have on hand)
2 cups chopped Ham (I had one Kielbasa on hand so I cut that into coins and included
1/2 onion diced
1 can cream of Mushroom Soup
6 stalks of Asparagus cut into 1 inch lengths (this is optional, I had leftover cooked Asparagus)
3 cups shredded cheese, I used Sharp Cheddar and Pepper Jack
Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp Cayenne
1/2 tsp Dried Mustard
1/2 tsp Thyme
1/4 tsp White Pepper

Butter your dish (I used a Lasagna Pan) generously

In a bowl combine the bread, ham, onion, asparagus and half the cheese.  In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, soup and spices, using a wire whip, incorporate fully. 

Pour the liquid mixture over the bread cubes, etc and mix well with your hands, don't overmix or it will become mush, but mix till well incorporated.

Pour into your baking vessel, there should a little liquid on the top, let it sit a minute for the liquid to absorb.

Place into a 350 oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and add the remaining cheese on top.

Let rest for 10 minutes or so and serve

Friday, November 22, 2013

Baked Acorn Squash

It is Fall and that means all my friends CSA baskets are brimming with Squash of all kinds and they love to share with me, which I do appreciate.  I had accumulated about 6 Squashes and was looking for a different way to cook them.   

I found this recipe and decided to try it, scoring the squash is something I have never done before, what a great idea, we both loved this recipe! It is my new "go to" recipe for Acorn Squash.

One tip is to place foil over your baking dish or you will have a baked on mess!
2 acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
salt to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper

1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Score the squash by making 1/4-inch deep slashes into the flesh of the squash. Place in baking dish. Brush with orange juice and sprinkle with salt.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 30 min.
4. Meanwhile, simmer butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small skillet over medium heat until smooth and the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Remove the squash from the oven. Pour out any liquid that may have collected in the squash. Brush the glaze over each squash half. Return to the oven until tender, about 20 more minutes. Spoon any glaze that has collected at the bottom of the squash over the edges of the squash. Season with additional salt, if desired.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Double Peanut Butter and Ginger Cookies

I often come up with recipe ideas at random times. I was busy eating the wonderful breakfast my hubby made me on a Saturday morning and it came to me! How would Peanut Butter Cookies taste if I added some Crystalizded Ginger! Peanut Butter, Ginger, how could I go wrong with that combination!

I decided to try it out the very next day and to make it extra Peanut Buttery I added Peanut Butter Chips! YUM! The Ginger mellows out the next day and they are even more delicious!

1/2 cup granulated sugar plus extra for rolling balls in before baking
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (fat half cup)
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 1/4 cups AP Flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 Cup Crystallized Ginger diced into small pieces
1/4 Cup Peanut Butter Chips (I used Reesers)

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees Mix sugars, peanut butter, shortening, butter and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten in crisscross pattern with fork dipped into sugar.

Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.

Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet.

Cool on wire rack. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

American Chop Suey Dunkin Style!

I kept reading about American Chop Suey on the Blog Sphere and wondered exactly what it was, some Americanized Chinese Food?  I Googled it and found that it is basically Spaghetti with Elbow Macaroni.  

Some people added Celery, some Mushrooms, everyone seems to have their take on what it good.  

I did my usual and looked at a bunch of recipes to get some ideas and took it from there.  It is a very satisfying meal on a cold rainy evening.  I served with Garlic Bread!

Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped (I hate the green ones)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground beef (I used Free Range, Grass Fed which is a bit leaner)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
kosher salt
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 good quality red wine
1 pinch sugar
1 lb elbow macaroni
5-6 Crimini Mushrooms, ends removed and sliced


In large pot over medium heat using 1 tablespoon of of oil, start your ground beef cooking, about 1/4 of the way thru add your onions, red bell pepper and garlic, cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is done, about 7 minutes until no longer pink.

Toss herbs and pepper over the meat mixture, add salt to taste, and stir until well mixed. 
Add canned tomatoes with their juices, tomato sauce, tomato paste, mushrooms, and wine. Add sugar to taste. Simmer gently while you prepare the pasta.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil over high heat. Add macaroni and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain the macaroni and add to the meat mixture, mix well and serve hot.
I added some freshly grated Parmesan on top before serving.

Serve hot with Garlic Bread

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

I have not baked in some time and was dying for Chocolate Cake, I cruised the Interwebs a bit and found this recipe from Barefoot Contessa for a Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, YUM!

It is a very moist cake and full of Chocolaty goodness, a bit on the labor intensive side, but worth it!

  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows

  • Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
    Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

    In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

    Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

    Chocolate Frosting:

    • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate
    • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
    • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
    Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes.

    Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy.

    Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.