Friday, December 22, 2006

Baby Pics

Hop on over to my other blog for a couple new photos of baby!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

BoB Time Again

'Tis the Season in more ways than one! It's time for the annual Best of Blog Awards.

I was honored enough to have
won last years' Best Cooking or Recipe Blog award and it has been an experience that tops my All-Time-Best list. I've met people I never would have met and been offered opportunities that would never have come along had it not been for the BoBs.

Jim Turner pours his all into this endeavor and any help or support that you can offer him would be appreciated in a big way.

Get on over to the
Best of Blogs website and check things out.

I'm looking forward to a great time this year!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The REAL Gift of Food

There is no gift I enjoy so much at Christmas as the edible kind. Whether it's a full Hickory Farms breakfast, Friendship Soup from my sister-in-law or a tin filled with lovelies such as Grandma's Chocolate Squares and fudge from my mother, nothing fills the bill like a gift of food.

I've given them myself over the years; a loaf of fresh Challah bread; a colander filled with utensils and makings for a pasta dinner; a simple brown lunch bag decorated by my children and packed with various cookies and a packet or two of hot cocoa mix.

I intended to post fabulous gift recipes and ideas but I thought instead that I should call attention to the real gift of food.

While a basket of goodies from
Dean & Deluca might be nice, a gift certificate for a supermarket or a few bags of everyday groceries would go farther and mean more to someone who really needs it.

So, before you pack up your favorite cookie mix and tie on a bright ribbon, give some thought to someone you may know (or not know!) who might benefit from a gift of real food. If you don't know anyone there are agencies and churches who can direct you to a family or individual who would be more than grateful to eat this Christmas.

One more thing; people need food every day of the year...see if you can grow your heart to encompass a few extra months of the year~I know I need to.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Good, The Bad and The Quick

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, food is at a minimum here lately. Not all of it has been bad but the good is so sparse I felt like I had nothing to share. I remembered a recipe that I tried out this year for Thanksgiving and knew this was one to pass on.

The Good:
First, if you don't get the Kraft Food and Family magazine, sign up for it! There are some great ideas and recipes in there that you don't want to miss and this recipe came from there.

I love Crab Rangoon but didn't have the time to make and deep fry individual pastries so this seemed like a good alternative. They were awesome. I didn't have time to get to 2 stores for T-Day shopping so I picked up 12 oz. of imitation crab at the store I was at and chopped it fine for this. I also added a bit more green onion than called for and opted for regular mayo since I wasn't buying the light stuff for a single recipe.

We got a total of 36 with a doubled recipe.


Baked Crab Rangoon
Printable Recipe


Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min
Makes: 12 servings, one wonton each

1 can (6 oz.) white crabmeat, drained, flaked
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup KRAFT Mayo Light Mayonnaise
12 won ton wrappers

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix crabmeat, Neufchatel cheese, onions and mayo.
SPRAY 12 medium muffin cups with cooking spray. Gently place 1 won ton wrapper in each cup, allowing edges of wrappers to extend above sides of cups. Fill evenly with crabmeat mixture.
BAKE 18 to 20 min. or until edges are golden brown and filling is heated through. Serve warm. Garnish with chopped green onions, if desired.


The Bad:

Apple Pie from canned filling and frozen crust.

Nobody here likes apples cut so thick that you need to cut them again to eat or thick pie crust. 'Nuff said.


The Quick:

Chicken Nugget and Pasta Parmesan

Printable Recipe

1 lb spaghetti or other pasta, cooked to desired doneness
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce-24 oz or so
1/2 bag of Aldi's frozen chicken nuggets or a pound of your favorite pre-done frozen nuggets
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a lasagna or other rectangular baking pan with cooking spray.

Toss cooked pasta and 1/3 jar of sauce together and spread evenly into pan.
Top with chicken nuggets (I got 5 to a row, 6 rows) and top with remaining sauce (I thinned mine a bit with water since I'm too Scot to leave any behind in the jar) and sprinkle with parmesan.
Bake for about 20-30 minutes until nuggets are heated through.

This was a complete fluke on one of my first nights home with baby and the kids loved it. I've made it once since then too and even if it isn't gourmet or exactly healthy, it was a real lifesaver!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Still Here

Three weeks today! Here we are this morning.




I was telling some girlfriends that I made the photo black and white to cover for me being so pale lately.

Lara is all better on the jaundice front and that horrid bili "blanket" is gone finally. She has a rash and a cold though and I told my oldest daughter that she's only 3 weeks old and wrecked already, just like everything new that we get ;o)
Baby girly is really happy and quiet, a real blessing lately since things are always heading on at a tumultuous rate here.

Food is a distant memory lately, especially consumption. Nobody here seems to have picked up the cooking gene from me so we've made do with whatever is easy. I did get Thanksgiving dinner together even if it did include things like apple pie from cans and frozen crusts. We all survived it.

I'm hoping for a game of Ready, Set, Cook! really soon although I can't promise a date...you'll have to grip the edge of your seat awhile longer!

Love to you all, thanks for all the congrats and well-wishes!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Here She Is!




This is Lara Emma (taken Tuesday the 14th), she was born on Thursday November 9th at 10:11 pm about 20 minutes after we got to the hospital. She weighed in at 8 lbs 14 oz and was 21 1/2 inches long.

She has had some jaundice issues from birth with ABO incompatibility and a positive coombs and is still on the bili-blanket at home. We didn't get home until Sunday because her bilirubin levels were too high to let her go. She had been on double phototherapy at the hospital and hopefully we can get rid of the blanket here at home really soon.

Nothing happened last Wednesday despite our efforts so we resumed on Thursday later in the day and that adorable little girl is the result of it all! My monitor is not working right so it's hard for me to tell if the color etc. is right in the picture but I'm sure you get the idea! She is very alert for so little and very happy :O)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ready, Set, Deliver!

I bet you guys will forgive me for no R,S,C this week.

I saw my midwife yesterday and we are planning to have this baby tomorrow. Wait, did I just say "we"? Hahahaha! Well, you know what I mean.

I'm not detailing but, things are progressing and I have some natural and homeopathic labor "kick-starters" on hand for tomorrow morning. Last time the kick start took about 2 hours to work and baby was here in 7. We shall see!

At any rate, I won't be around to post recipes Thursday and even if I were I can already tell I definitely won't feel like it!

So, send me all kinds of easy labor vibes and prayers and etc. and hey, someone boil water, k?

Monday, November 06, 2006

No Baby

For anyone waiting on the edge of their seat, just remember, nobody wants this baby here more than me!!!

Someone find me the time to do it though, please?

I'll update if baby makes an appearance :O)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

R,S,C #21 Recipes

And here they are! Some really great looking recipes, check them out and check out the players over at their own blogs!


Ian at The Gallumphing Gourmand contributed this:

Pumpkin Chili

500g (1 lb) ground beef
1 C chopped onion
1 C orange bell peppers, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 798ml (28oz) cans Roma tomatoes, including liquid
1 (15oz) can pumpkin, drained
1 (15oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 C red wine (or chicken stock)
4 or 5 jalapeno peppers, sliced
1/2 C frozen or fresh corn kernels
1 tbsp chipotle pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
grated cheddar cheese

Heat a little oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, and add the onion,
bell pepper, garlic and some fresh ground pepper. Cook for about five
minutes, until the onion and pepper start to soften.
Add the ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until beef has
completely browned.
Add wine, tomatoes, pumpkin, kidney beans, jalapenos, corn, chipotle flakes,
cumin, salt and some more fresh ground pepper. Stir to combine.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
Let simmer, covered for about 2 hours. Check every 30 minutes, and add more
wine (or chicken stock) if the mixture looks too dry.
Scoop the chili into small hollowed-out pumpkins, and sprinkle some grated
cheese over the top.
Serve with tortilla chips or pita bread.

***************************************
From Kfarmer at Kfarmer & the Dell:

Jack O' Lantern Stew- Boo!!

1 large pumpkin
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 red pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
4 carrots, thinly sliced into rounds
3 celery sticks, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pound lean ground beef
2 cups cooked rice
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 large can tomato soup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the top off the pumpkin and scoop out the insides. Rinse well. Carve a spooky face onto the pumpkin, without going all the way through the flesh. Rinse well, oil outside of pumpkin. Bake the pumpkin shell for 30 minutes.

While shell is baking: saute the onion, green and red peppers, carrots, celery, and garlic until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Brown ground beef and chicken. Add the veggies and cooked rice and cook over low heat, stirring often, for 10 to 15 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Remove pumpkin from oven and let stand 15 minutes.

Stir the tomatoes and soup into the meat mixture. Place meat mixture into pumpkin. Put back in oven for 20 minutes.
***************************************

Krista at In The Kitchen with Krista sent this in:

Dinner in a Pumpkin

1 medium sugar pumpkin
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups tomato juice
3 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
1 cup uncooked white rice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Wash pumpkin, cut off top, scrape out seeds and discard.
Place hamburger in a large, deep skillet. Crumble and cook over medium
high heat until evenly brown. Drain fat, add onion and garlic; saute
slightly.

Add sugar, Italian herbs, salt, pepper, tomato juice and rice; mix thoroughly.

Layer inside of pumpkin with 1/3 of cabbage, green beans and beef and
rice mixture.

Repeat layers, replace lid and bake for 2 to 3 hours.
***************************************

My own submission:

Harvest Meatball Stew

1 pound of lean beef
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 cup chopped onion
1 clove of minced garlic
4 cups of beef broth
2 cups of peeled pumpkin, 1 inch cubes
1 cup peeled potatoes, 1 inch cubes
1 cup carrots, 1 inch cubes
1 cup green beans in 1/2 inch lengths
1/2 cup thick applesauce
1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons of flour OR cornstarch dissolved in water

Mix ground beef, bread crumbs, egg and nutmeg together well, seasoning with salt and pepper as desired. Form into 1 inch meatballs and brown well in a large soup pot with a little oil.
Remove meatballs and set aside.
Add onion and garlic to pot and stir over medium heat until onion is barely transluscent.
Add remaining ingredients except meatballs and simmer until vegetables are tender. Add meatballs back into pot and simmer for an additional half hour.Remove from heat and take out the bay leaf.
Return to medium heat.
Pour thickening flour/water OR cornstarch/water into the stew and stir constantly until thickened.
***************************************

The recipe the ingredients came from:

Beef Stuffed Pumpkin


1 (4 lb.) pumpkin
1 Pound lean ground beef
1 Cup chopped onion
Cooking oil
1/3 Cup chopped red pepper
1/3 Cup chopped green pepper
1 Clove minced garlic
1 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon thyme
1/4 Teaspoon pepper
1 (7 1/2 Oz.) can pitted ripe olives
1 (8 Oz.) can tomato sauce
2 beaten eggs
Cut top from pumpkin; scrape out seeds and fibers. Simmer in salted water to cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until almost tender. Drain. Brown beef and onion. Add peppers and garlic. Cook one minute. Remove from heat, stir in remaining ingredients. Spoon into pumpkin. Place "lid" on top. Brush pumpkin with oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes.
Cut into edges to serve.

Note: Adapted from a recipe found at RecipeSource.com

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ready, Set, Cook! #21



My boring ole blog has been reduced to just our game for now. So sorry I haven't posted much else but I've been super busy and laboring on and off for a week...gotta end sometime!

Before you play, please read the rules
HERE first!
Anyhoo...these 3 ingredients are from a recipe I found online in a listing of Fall/Halloween recipes. See what you can make of them!

1 (4 lb.) pumpkin
1 Pound lean ground beef
1 Cup chopped onion


Leeway: Since a whole pumpkin can be tough to handle, you can replace the pumpkin with several cups of diced pumpkin or pumpkin puree since any whole pumpkin could be cut up and cooked for use that way.

Have fun and I'll share the recipe this came from on Thursday!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

PS! Check out The Gallumphing Gourmand, Ian's blog, for his recipe and photos from last week~GOOD STUFF!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

R,S,C #20 Recipes

Well, one player this week~I would have played too but we are really down to the wire here with baby coming and I'm still racing around like a madwoman. Here is a really awesome sounding submission though!


From Ian the Steadfast at
The Gallumphing Gourmand:


Bacon Bundles with Noodles

4 blocks dry ramen noodles
Bacon Bundles:
1 can of whole water chestnuts, drained and cut in half
250g (1/2 lb) imitation crab pieces, cut into 1-inch lengths
125g (1/4 lb) bacon strips
bunch of green onions, sliced lengthwise
Sauce:
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp ginger, minced
1/2 C sesame paste
5 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 C chicken or fish broth
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Louisiana hot sauce
3 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp white wine or vermouth
6 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 350F.
Place one piece of chestnut and one piece of crab together and wrap with
just enough bacon to overlap slightly. Tie bundle with length of green
onion. Repeat.
Place bundles on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes at 350F.
Cook ramen noodles in boiling water until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove
from heat, drain and keep warm in covered bowl.
For the sauce, combine all remaining ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
Add bacon bundles and toss gently to coat.
Serve over noodles.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ready, Set, Cook! #20



Time for Ready, Set, Cook!

If you have not played before please click
HERE for the rules of play before getting started.

Here are today's 3 ingredients:


water chestnuts
ramen noodles
imitation crab flakes (surimi or crab legs)



Get your aprons on~Ready, Set, Cook!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Whatcha Craving Baby?

How about a big bunch of nothing? At least this time around.

I got to thinking last night about all the cravings I've had during each pregnancy (since thinking about food doesn't give me heartburn...yet) and they have all been so different.

First baby~a girl~I craved deep fried tacos. I had only ever had one in my life up until that point. When I was about 10 my best friend's grandmother took us to Sebio's Lounge in Bethlehem and I had my first deep fried taco there. By the time I was pregnant with #1 (10 years later) and had that HUGE craving, we went to the now-defunct Zapata's~same road in the same town. They had some really awesome Mexican food there and sadly, not only are they not open, the building was razed to make way for a *gag* Wendy's.

Second baby~a girl~I was working part-time evenings for the Globe Times in circulation and I would waddle on over to the lunch room to buy a King Size Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. That's 4 cups in one package and I ate a full package every night. Somehow I only gained 11 pounds despite all that.

Third baby~a girl~I had a huge craving for plain boiled new potatoes; no salt, no butter, no nada-just potatoes. That was until my last month. Hubby was working a second job at a convenience store and brought home a pint of Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk EVERY night. I ate the whole thing EVERY night. Another tiny weight gain regardless~go figure.

Fourth baby~a boy~nothing. I had no cravings at all and kept waiting for one to hit but it never happened.

Fifth baby~a girl~I ate almost a full bag of Snyder's of Hanover Jalapeño and Cheddar Pretzel Pieces daily. No heartburn, no ill effects, no WAY I could do it now. I've tried eating them since then and I can't handle the heat. I also ate a version of peanut butter soup I found in an old Campbell's cookbook~PB and condensed tomato soup mixed together. I know, GROSS, I still like it but not like I did then. I also ate a ton of ice and didn't have any iron deficiency at all to blame that one on.

Sixth baby~a boy~nothing again. I did eat a lot of hummus and whole wheat pita and veggie burgers but not really because I craved them. I was just trying to do the healthier thing.


Seventh baby~supposedly a girl~nothing...and sometimes something. Make sense? Mostly I don't have cravings at all but I have an occasional taste for something and one or two bites does it. Like the chicken pot pie...I don't want it anymore now that I've had it. I have far too much heartburn to eat much of anything lately anyway so if I did have a craving I'd have to suffer through it or take some serious antacids before and after.
I keep having people tease me about boy/girl twins (it's definitely ONE baby) and if I did have them it would explain the craving issue based on my history; you think?

So....pregnant or not, what are you craving?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

R,S,C #19 Recipes

Awesome recipes, as usual. Please give the players a read at their blogs!

Thanks for playing you two!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

From Compulsive Writer at
From the mixed up files of a middle aged mind:

Easy Grilled Flank Steak Over Pasta

Marinate steak overnight in any Italian-style salad dressing.

Cook up a batch of your favorite pasta--I would choose something long
like linguine.

Grill steak as desired.

Slice tomatoes in half; quarter a small red onion. Brush with oil,
sprinkle with basil. Grill alongside steak.

Toss pasta with butter, a bit of cream, sauteed garlic, salt and a
little white pepper, along with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Cut grilled steak in cubes or strips. Toss the steak strips or cubes
over the pasta. Top with tomatoes and onion.

Enjoy!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

From Ian at
The Gallumphing Gourmand:

Marinated Steak Hoagies
makes 4

1 lb flank steak, about 1/2-inch thick
3 small tomatoes, chopped
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/2 C dark soy sauce
1/4 C honey
1 tsp chipotle pepper flakes
fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
4 medium ciabatta rolls
8 slices Monterey Jack cheese

·Score the flank steak diagonally on each side to a depth of about 1/8 of an
inch, and place in a large Ziploc baggie.
·Add all other ingredients, except the bread rolls and the cheese, into the
baggie, and shake to combine.
·Place baggie in the fridge overnight to marinate and let the flavours
combine, turning often.
·Remove from fridge and let sit at room temperature for about 2 hours before
grilling.
·Preheat the grill to high heat.
·Remove the steak from the marinade and set aside. Pour marinade into
saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes,
stirring occasionally until sauce reduces by about one third. Remove from
heat.
·Place meat on the grill and cook over high heat for no more than 5 minutes
per side. We’re going for medium-rare at the most here, people.
·Remove meat from grill and let rest for about 10 minutes. Slice steak
diagonally in thin slices. Place steak on rolls, add two slices of cheese
each, and pour some of the sauce over the top.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

This is the recipe the ingredients came from:

Thai Grilled Beef Salad
6 servings

2 Garlic cloves; minced
1 ts Black peppercorn
1 tb Fresh coriander roots
1/2 ts Salt
2 ts Vegetable oil
1 lb Flank or flatiron steak - trimmed
3 sm Firm tomatoes
1 Bermuda onion- cut into 1/4-in slices

1 Sheet heavy-duty alum. foil- (8" x 18")
1 Head red-leaf lettuce

Dressing

1 ts Ground Dried Shrimp w/Chiles- (optional)
2 Garlic cloves; chopped
2 Red serrano chiles; sliced
2 Green serrano chiles; sliced
1 tb Roasted chile sauce-(nam prik pao)
3 tb Fish sauce (nam pla)
5 tb Lime juice
2 ts Sugar
1/4 c Coarsely chopped fresh mint
1/4 c Fresh coriander leaves-(coarsely chopped)

Pound garlic, peppercorn, coriander root and salt into a paste; add
oil and mix together. Rub the garlic mixture over the beef; marinate
for 30 minutes. Broil or grill beef until medium rare. Slice into
2-by-1/4-inch strips. Set aside in a large mixing bowl. Quickly char
tomatoes under a hot broiler, turning occasionally. Do not overcook.
Cool. Cut into wedges and add to the beef. Evenly spread the sliced
onions on 1/2 of the sheet of foil. Fold in half, seal the edges to
form a flat parcel. Place directly on top of a medium-high stove
burner for 1 minute--it should make sizzling sounds. Turn over; cook
for about 30 seconds longer until charred. Remove, unwrap and cool.
Add to the beef mixture. Line a platter with the large lettuce
leaves. Shred remaining leaves and scatter them on top.

Dressing:

In a hot, ungreased skillet, toast optional
ground dried shrimp until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Reduce to
medium heat. Add garlic, chiles, roasted chile sauce (nam prik pao),
fish sauce, lime juice and sugar; stir together until dissolved.
Cool. Add beef mixture, mint and coriander to wok; toss together
gently. Pour mixture over lettuce. Serve at room temperature.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ready, Set, Cook! #19



Ok guys and gals, if you are new to R,S,C, please read the rules of play HERE before continuing on.

Today's ingredients are once again from a recipe I already have on hand. Let's see what other ideas you can come up with! Here they are:

1 lb flank steak
3 small tomatoes
1 onion (your choice)


Ready, Set, COOK!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sunday Dinner x2

What to do with this after Sunday Dinner?



This!



Not complicated in any way, chicken pie is easy and a true comfort food. Any pie dough will do but, as with many things, homemade is best. My favorite pie crust recipe is this:

Pie Crust

Single :

1 1/4 c flour
1/4 t salt
1/3 c shortening
3 to 4 T ice water

Combine flour and salt.
Cut in shortening until it looks like small peas.
Add water and knead a few times.
Let rest covered for 10 minutes and roll out as needed.

Double crust:

2 c flour
1/2 t salt
2/3 c shortening
6 to 7 T ice water

Same method as above.
~*~*~*~*~*

Simply cut up the leftover chicken, potatoes, carrots and onion (if you have that) into bite sized pieces and mix with about 2 cups of leftover chicken gravy. Season to taste (I like salt, pepper, thyme) and sprinkle the bottom pie crust with a tablespoon or two of flour before adding the chicken mixture. Top with the second crust, vent and bake at 350°until the crust is browned and the filling is hot and bubbly.

Easy second dinner and not at all like typical leftovers!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

R,S,C #18 Recipes

As usual, I've gotten some really yummy recipes! Check these out and have a look at the great blogs written by the players!

From: Ian, The Gallumphing Gourmand

Chocolate Fruitcake
Makes 4 loaves

1 C butter
3/4 C semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 C brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 C all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 C red maraschino cherries, halved
1 C green maraschino cherries, halved
1 1/2 C walnuts and pecans, chopped
1/4 C grated coconut
red and green maraschino cherries, for garnish

PREPARATION:
Melt butter and chocolate chips in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring
often to keep it from burning or sticking to the sides. Remove from heat,
and let it cool for about 15 minutes.
Stir in brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition.
Add flour and salt, stirring until blended. Stir in candied fruits, nuts and
coconut. Spoon mixture into 4 greased and floured 5 x 3 x 2-inch loaf pans.
Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes
out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool on wire
racks.
Seal cakes in plastic wrap and chill thoroughly before cutting. Garnish with
more maraschinos, if you like.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

From: Paula, The Cookbook Junkie


Cherry Cherry Cookies
Silver Spring Presbyterian Church Cookbook ’98 Copyright 1998

1 c. packed brown sugar
¾ c. margarine, softened
1 egg
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ c. maraschino cherries, well drained and chopped
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
½ c. flaked coconut

In a large mixing bowl, cream brown sugar, sugar, butter, egg, milk and vanilla. Combine flour, salt, baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture. Fold in cherries, pecans and coconut. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield: 4 dozen
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



I can't count this as a submission since I planned on doing this for one of my older daughters. I make these often (just the brownie bite without the cherry) and she loves maraschino cherries so I thought the two may be good together. She loved them!

Cherry Brownie Bites

Printable Recipe

1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick (1/2 c) butter
1/2 c plus 2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 c packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
24 maraschino cherries, rinsed and drained well.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 24 mini-muffin cups with paper liners or grease well.

Melt chocolate chips and butter together until smooth and let cool to room temperature. Set aside.
Mix flour and salt together in a small bowl-set aside.
Mix eggs and brown sugar together until thick and pale. Stir in vanilla and cooled chocolate mixture until well blended. Stir in flour until just combined.
Fill each muffin cup halfway with dough and top each with a cherry. Cover the cherries with more dough to nearly the top of the cup.
Bake 12-15 minutes (I find 14 works well) until the edges are set but the centers are moist and fudgy.
Cool for several minutes before removing.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ready, Set, Cook! #18



OK kids, let's do something a little different today~dessert!

This may seem more difficult but I don't think it will be.
If you choose to bake something usually amounts are a little more exact than for other recipes. I tend to still be a "handful of this, pinch of that" type even when baking.
BUT, these ingredients can be used in so many ways though that I don't want anyone to get bogged down with fear that you can't make something with them unless you bake!

So, that said, here are today's 3 ingredients:

chocolate chips (semi-sweet, milk chocolate, your choice)
brown sugar (dark or light, again your choice)
maraschino cherries (these are the super red sweet guys that we all see on top of sundaes)

On your mark, get set, COOK!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Kentucky Butter Cake


Kentucky Butter Cake
Kentucky Butter Cake
This recipe is from a book of recipes that belonged to my mother's friend, JoAn Henry. JoAn passed away some time ago and her husband put together a compilation of recipes in her memory. The book is so much more than just recipes though and I have enjoyed reading it time and again. I have very fond memories of John and JoAn Henry. They were from Indiana, as my mother was, but were also transplanted to Pennsylvania due to John's job with JCPenney.

John has since moved back to Indiana and I miss his warm smile and manner and JoAn's sweet and quiet nature.

This recipe is just awesome. For anyone who doesn't readily know this, oleo is the same as margarine although I use real butter when I make this. Also, soda means baking soda.

Kentucky Butter Cake
(John's Favorite)
Printable Recipe

1 c. oleo
4 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. sugar
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. buttermilk

Cream 1 cup oleo. Gradually add 2 cups sugar. Blend in 4 eggs, one at a time. Combine 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon soda. Combine 1 cup buttermilk with 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add milk and flour mixtures alternately to creamed mixture, ending with dry mixture. Mix well. Turn into greased 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 325° for 60 to 65 minutes.

Butter
sauce
:

1 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. oleo

Combine in saucepan. Heat until butter melts; add 1 tablespoon vanilla. Poke holes into top of cake with fork. Pour sauce slowly over cake while cake is in pan. Cool before removing from pan.

Great with strawberries or peaches over it.

Note (included with the recipe): I remember my grandmother making cake very similar to this one. She would make it using the old wood stove. The only difference was, she didn't put the glaze on it. She also made corn bread in an iron skillet. I remember when my grandfather bought her a kerosene cook stove. I'm not sure she ever got used to it, because the old wood stove stayed there in the kitchen until she died in 1955.

From: Best Cookin' Ever, JoAn Henry's Favorite Recipes, by John Henry

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Monkey Bread



This is so easy that it's even doable on busy mornings and the kids love it. I've made this with various types of doughs from frozen bread dough to regular canned biscuits but what we all agreed on was the type of canned biscuit that was best. The flaky ones that pull apart into layers taste the best hands-down. I don't do the "double-dip" method of first dipping in butter or margarine and then dipping in sugar. I find that isn't necessary at all since it all gets covered over with a butter-sugar mixture anyway.

There are so many versions of this that it's mind-boggling! I've seen a pumpkin one that I will try and report on but for now, this is the one we like.


Monkey Bread
Makes one bundt pan


Ingredients:

3 cans flaky-type biscuits (the kind that come apart in layers)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon-ground
1 teaspoon nutmeg-ground

Directions:


1. Coat the inside of a bundt pan with oil or cooking spray.
2. Mix sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until completely blended.
3. Cut each biscuit into quarters.
4. Dip each quarter into sugar and spice mixture and place randomly into bundt pan.
5. When all biscuit quarters have been dipped and placed into pan you should have about 1/2 c of the sugar and spice mixture left-over. Add 1/4 c of melted butter or margarine to sugar and spice and mix well. Pour this over the biscuits in pan.
6. Bake at 325° for 35-40 minutes or until puffed up and browned. Let stand for 5 minutes and turn out onto a large plate.
7. Serve by pulling apart with a fork into large pieces.











Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Whoops!

I feel rather pathetic. I honestly didn't mean to miss RSC today.

I am so busy with life in general that I think I might drop over soon.

My husband has had some inconclusive MRI's done recently and has other testing coming up soon to try and pinpoint where his chronic pain and weight loss (30 lbs) is coming from. Some scary stuff when the Drs look so concerned. He is not able to make calls or appointments for himself so I do all of that on top of regular daily life. His birthday is Thursday and I decided to get the "library" done and set up with another TV so he can play the few games he has time for without the kids tripping in front of him every 5 minutes. That was a bigger task that I thought and wore me out this weekend. Cake etc will be Thursday and I have a few other things to run around for as well.

I have 2 children heading for general anesthesia at the hospital for dental work just 2 days before my due date.

I have one son having difficulties in school with being bored and the behavior "problems" that can arise from that. We are looking at homeschooling again but just spoke with the principal today (our request) and will see if that makes a difference.

My mother-in-law is having a knee replacement on the 9th and I and my older girls are the only ones that will really be able to help her after that.

My own mother is having some depression issues stemming from grandma's death last year and is not doing too well. I'm hoping she can have her medication changed to help.

My two oldest are doing very well in school but they are both in the play this fall and are gone for much of the time and needing rides to and from practices etc.

I am in my last weeks with baby here and although I am healthier than usual, I'm also more tired than usual (gee, I wonder why) and am almost down to weekly appointments which is honestly an annoyance rather than a necessity at this stage. I had an appointment today and had the two littler ones with me. Let's just say that Drs offices are not too exciting at that age.

So, please forgive me for overlooking this (I also was not able to do board-posting duties for an online community that I belong to yesterday. I feel like I'm failing miserably there too!) I love you guys for checking in and thanks K for e-mailing me to check up!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

R,S,C #17 Recipes

Yummy! Here are the submissions from this week's game of Ready, Set, Cook! Stop by and give these fine bloggers a read, you won't be disappointed.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
From Ian at
The Gallumphing Gourmand:

High-Class Spuds

4 large baking potatoes
2 C chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned & trimmed, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1¼ C whipping cream
¾ C cognac
2 tbsp + 2 tbsp butter
150g boiled ham, julienned
2 cloves garlic, minced
fresh ground pepper
1 C grated cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped fine
Worchestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 400F.
Bake the potatoes for 45-50 minutes until mearly done.
While the potatoes are baking, dry sauté the chanterelle mushrooms in a
medium skillet over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes, then add 2
tbsp of the butter and sauté for another few minutes. Add cognac, bring to
a boil, and reduce liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes. Lower heat to medium,
add cream, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.
When the potatoes are done, let them cool a little, then cut a 'cap' off the
top of each one, and scoop out the insides leaving about 1/3 inch of potato
all the way around.
Mash the potato with the garlic, 2 tbsp of the butter, a splash Worcestershirehire Sauce and some fresh ground pepper.
Arrange some of the julienned ham into the bottom of each potato skin.
Spoon the mashed potato evenly into each potato skin and pour some of the
mushroom-cognac reduction over each.
Sprinkle the remaining ham, some green onion and grated cheese on the top of
each one.
Bake at 425F for 15 minutes.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

From Krista at
In the Kitchen with Krista:

Fettuccine Alfredo (with a twist!)

8 oz spinach fettuccini
2 tbs unsalted butter
2 tbs flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup FRESHLY shredded Parmesan
1 cup FRESHLY shredded peccorino romano
2 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
8 oz cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
4 oz boiled ham (julienned, cut to 1" strips)
1/2 cup raw walnuts, coarsely chopped

In small cup mix flour, salt and pepper.

Salt & pepper the chicken breasts, grill and set aside to rest.

Have cremini's, ham and walnuts prepared and set aside.

While preparing the sauce below, cook pasta according to the package
directions. When necessary, drain and set aside, leaving lid over to
keep it warm.

In a sauce pan, place the butter and melt over medium heat. Once
fully melted add the flour mixture. Whisk into the butter until very
smooth and cook 1 minute beyond smooth. Add heavy cream. Allow to
come to just about a boil and continue to cook until very thick.
Remove from heat and add the cheeses. Stir until very smooth, thick
and creamy.

In a large saute pan, add 2 tbs olive oil and put over medium high
heat. Once heated add the mushroom and cook for about 5 minutes (to
tender crisp). Add ham. Cook one minute. Add fettuccine and chicken.
Pour sauce over and saute until all ingredients are warmed thru.
During final stirring, add the chopped walnuts.

Pour all of it into a big pasta serving dish. And DIVE IN! :D

This SHOULD serve 4 comfortably....unless you're me and can eat the
whole bowlful yourself!!!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

From K at
KFarmer & the Dell:

Ham & Mushroom Quiche

Ingredients

5 eggs
Cream
1 cup Swiss cheese
Portobello mushrooms
Roasted red pepper
Diced ham
Grits
Butter
9 inch deep dish pie crust

Chop and saute mushrooms in butter, add roasted red peppers; let cool.

Boil water for grits, add salt, grits and cook till done; add cream. Turn on very low heat; do not let cool completely.

Beat eggs and cream till light and fluffy. Add Swiss cheese, ham, mushrooms and red pepper and black pepper to egg mixture.

Place grits in bottom of pie crust.

Add egg mixture to pie and sprinkle more black pepper on top. Place in preheated oven at 375 for 30 to 40 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Lastly, here is the recipe that the ingredients originally came from:

Fettuccine with Peas and Ham

5 T unsalted butter
1 c Parmesan cheese
6 ea green onions
1 lb fettuccine cooked
8 oz mushrooms sliced
1 1/4 c whipping cream
4 oz boiled ham chopped
1 x salt and pepper
1 ea 10 oz pk frozen tiny peas

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium head. Add shallots and
saute until soft. Add mushrooms, increase heat to high and cook until
mushrooms are very lightly browned. Add cream and boil two minutes.
Stir in peas and cook about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low; blend in
ham cheese and fettuccine and toss until heated, well combined and sauce
clings to pasta. Season to taste. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ready, Set, Cook! #17

OK, you know the drill and if you don't, go HERE for instructions and rules of play!

Today's ingredients are a tiny bit different. They come directly from a recipe I have in my files and when we are all done on Thursday I will post the recipe that the ingredients came from.

8 oz mushrooms (pick a type-the recipe doesn't specify)
1 1/4 c whipping cream (aka-heavy cream)
4 oz boiled ham

On your mark, get set, COOK!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Scottish Cuisine...?


This weekend brought the annual Celtic Classic to Bethlehem. The kids and I went for one of the opening ceremonies, the Piping of the Haggis and Haggis Eating Contest. I try to get there each year to watch these men and women eat that thing without losing it. I don't know why it's such a novelty but we love watching.

This year's winner was the same as last, Darren Lucey of Brooklyn, N.Y., beating the 22 other competitors out in one minute and twenty seconds. (I'm not sure I could get one down in 24 hours though I am of Scottish descent.) The contest was emceed by Neville Gardner, the owner of
Donegal Square here in Bethlehem, purveyor of all things Celtic. Prior to the actual downing of the Grand Grey Lump, Art Charlton of Easton recited the Robert Burns poem, ''Ode to A Haggis'':

Ode to a Haggis
Robert Burns

All hail your honest rounded face,
Great chieftain of the pudding race;
Above them all you take your place,
Beef, tripe, or lamb:
You're worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.

The groaning trencher there you fill,
Your sides are like a distant hill
Your pin would help to mend a mill,
In time of need,
While through your pores the dews distil,
Like amber bead.

His knife the rustic goodman wipes,
To cut you through with all his might,
Revealing your gushing entrails bright,
Like any ditch;
And then, what a glorious sight,
Warm, welcome, rich.

Then plate for plate they stretch and strive,
Devil take the hindmost, on they drive,
Till all the bloated stomachs by and by,
Are tight as drums.
The rustic goodman with a sigh,
His thanks he hums.

Let them that o'er his French ragout,
Or hotchpotch fit only for a sow,
Or fricassee that'll make you spew,
And with no wonder;
Look down with sneering scornful view,
On such a dinner.

Poor devil, see him eat his trash,
As feckless as a withered rush,
His spindly legs and good whip-lash,
His little feet
Through floods or over fields to dash,
O how unfit.

But, mark the rustic, haggis-fed;
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Grasp in his ample hands a flail
He'll make it whistle,
Stout legs and arms that never fail,
Proud as the thistle.

You powers that make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare.
Old Scotland wants no stinking ware,
That slops in dishes;
But if you grant her grateful prayer,
Give her a haggis.

So, just what IS haggis? Roughly, heart, liver, lungs of a sheep, oats and spices all stuffed into a sheep's stomach and simmered for hours. Mmmmm...

This is Jeff Smith's recipe from his book "The Frugal Gourmet on our Immigrant Ancestors":

"Traditionally, a Haggis is made from the lung, liver, and heart of the sheep. These are mixed with oatmeal and a few spices and stuffed into the sheep's stomach. After being boiled, the Haggis is brought to the table with a great deal of ceremony. A piper ushers in the Haggis and all raise a glass of Scotch whiskey and "brrreath a prrayerr for the soul of Rrrobbie Burrrns!" It is then served with "neeps and nips," mashed turnips and nips of whiskey. I think you have to drink a lot of Scotch before you can truly enjoy this dish, but a party of Scots without a Haggis is simply not heard of.
I prepared this recipe for the Medinah Highlander Pipe and Drum Band of Chicago. They piped the Haggis into the dining room, the boiled sheep's stomach being carried on a silver tray by Craig, my assistant. The Pipe and Drum Major cut the Haggis in the sign of the Cross and the party began. These pipers ate everything in sight ... so I am willing to offer you *MY* version of Haggis.

THE MAJOR INGREDIENTS:
1 pound beef heart, cut into 2-inch-wide strips.
1 pound beef liver.
1/2 pound lamb stew meat, cut in 1-inch cubes.
1 1/2 cups peeled and finely chopped yellow onion.
4 tablespoons Scots whisky.
2 cups oatmeal, toasted on a cookie sheet in a 375F oven for 10 minutes).
THE SEASONINGS:
2 teaspoons salt.
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
1 teaspoon dried thyme, whole.
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary.
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg.
THE CASING:
3 beef CAPS (Talk to a sausage shop about these).
1 cup distilled white vinegar.
1/2 tablespoon salt for soaking.
Place the beef heart in a 4-quart covered pot and just cover with cold water. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Add the beef liver and lamb stew meat, and cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the contents of the pot and cool. Reserve 1 cup of the liquid. Grind everything coarsely.

In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients, except for the beef caps, vinegar, and salt for soaking. Mix well and set aside.

Rinse the beef caps in cold water. Turn them inside out and soak them in 2 quarts of cold water with the salt and vinegar for 1/2 hour. Drain them and rinse very well, inside and out.

Divide the meat mixture into three parts. Fill the beef caps with the meat mixture and tie the ends off with string. Two will have to be tied on just one end, but the third piece will be tied on both ends. Prick the Haggis all over with corn holders or a sharp fork. Place in a steamer and steam for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Serve the Haggis, sliced, with beef or lamb gravy."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

R,S,C #16 Recipes

Here they are! Recipes from Tuesday's game of Ready, Set, Cook! This must have been a "family" week since all 3 of we are related! (sister-in-law and brother)
Check out these recipes and visit their blogs.

From Krista at
In the Kitchen with Krista:

Red Pepper Zucchini Penne with Italian Grilled Pork Chops

1 Red Pepper, sliced in strips, then cut in half
2 zucchini, sliced into "coins"
8 oz Penne pasta, cooked according to package directions (al dente)
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
Salt & pepper to taste

In heavy skillet, place 2 tbs olive oil, heat up. Add minced garlic
and saute for about1 minute - do not let the garlic burn! Add red
peppers and zucchini, saute until "crunchy tender". Sprinkle italian
seasoning and continue to saute for 2 minutes. Add pasta to pan and
mix well. Sprinkle with parma cheese and last tbs of olive oil
(season w/ salt & pepper now too) and combine again. Divide pasta
between 4 large bowls.


For the pork chops...

marinate in fridge for 1 hour in italian salad dressing. Grill 4 to 6
minutes a side until cooked thru. (we use an indoor electric grill
that grills both sides at one time, so it goes faster, but can be done
ahead of time).

Slice chops on the bias and put one chop ontop of each pasta portion.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
From Bobby at
Ear to the Heavens:

Apple and Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops

6 pork chops, at least 1-inch thick
2 to 4 slices diced bacon,
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 apples- peeled, cored, diced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. finely chopped parsley

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Crisp the bacon in a pan.
Add celery and onion and cook until tender.
Add apples and mix in the sugar.
Cover and cook slowly until tender and glazed.

Add bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and parsley.
Mix well.

Slice a pocket into each chop and stuff with stuffing mix.
Season chops with salt and pepper.
Heat oven-safe skillet to medium-high heat.
Sear the chops on both sides.
Remove from the heat and place in the oven for 30 minutes.

Zucchini and Penne Pasta

INGREDIENTS:
1lb penne pasta
8 cups water
2 medium zucchini
2 crushed cloves of garlic
2 tbsp. of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste.
1 tbsp finely chopped basil
1/2 cup finely ground parmesan cheese.

PREPARATION:
Boil 8 cups of salted water.
Add 1lb of penne pasta to the water.
When the pasta is cooked, remove from the heat and drain.
Return pasta to the pot and cover.

Cube 2 medium zucchinis.
Over medium-high heat, add the olive oil to a large skillet.
Toss in the garlic, salt, and pepper.
Once the garlic begins to soften, add the basil and stir well.
Once the basil is stirred in, add the zucchini to the pan.
Cook until tender.

Add the contents of the skillet to the pasta.
Stir in the parmesan cheese.

Serve on the side with the pork chops.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

My submission:

Creamy Pork and Penne Primavera

6 boneless pork chops~1" thick~sliced 1/2" thick on the bias
olive oil
3/4 c. dry white wine or chicken stock
1 T. minced shallot
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
3 T. Dijon-style mustard
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
8 oz. penne cooked al dente and kept warm
1 c baby carrots~cut in 1" julienne
2 medium zucchini~cut in 1" julienne halved
1 broccoli crown, cut into small florets

Steam or microwave the vegetables until just tender and brightly colored, taking care not to overcook. Keep warm.
In a small heavy saucepan boil the wine or stock with the shallot until it is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Add the cream. Bring the mixture just to a boil and simmer it for 2 minutes, or until it is thickened slightly. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl and whisk in the mustard, the white pepper, and salt to taste.
Saute the pork sliced in olive oil until no longer pink.
Add the veggies, penne and cream sauce and heat through.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ready, Set, Cook! #16



For today's game of Ready, Set, Cook! I've added ingredient amounts. I don't do this often but it sometimes helps depending on the ingredient.
Please click
HERE first before playing so you can get the full rules of play.

Here are today's ingredients:

4-6 boneless pork chops
8 oz -1 lb penne pasta
2 medium zucchini


Aprons on and get creating! "See" you Thursday!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

R,S,C #15 Recipes

While I'm off in two different directions to have dinner with these two (I mean, be SERVED dinner!) you go off in two directions and visit their blogs, ok?

From KFarmer at
KFarmer & the Dell:

Baked Chicken w/Roasted Red Peppers, Garlic Mashed Taters & Broccoli

Baked Chicken

Boneless chicken
Roasted red peppers
Butter
Olive Oil
Basil
Bacon
Gouda cheese

Melt butter, olive oil and butter in a pan. Add basil and roasted red peppers. Simmer. Add chicken that has been lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Cook till half done.

Take chicken out of pan, put juice into baking dish. Slice chicken in the fattest part of the meat and stuff with red pepper.

Take a piece of bacon and wrap around the chicken. Place in slow oven, 350, till chicken is done (about 20 minutes).

Turn oven up to 450 and bake till bacon has browned.

Slice some Gouda cheese. Put Gouda on top of chicken and pop back in the oven for a few minutes until cheese has softened.

Garlic Mashed Taters

4 or 5 white potatoes
Salt
Pepper
Parsley
Garlic powder
Milk
Sour cream

Cut up taters, cook in slightly boiling salted water till soft. Drain.

Melt butter, parsley and garlic powder. Add taters, milk and sour cream. Whip, mix, stir, whatever you like best.

Broccoli:

Broccoli
Salt
Pepper
Butter

Cut up broccoli and put in boiling salted water for as long as you like or as little as you like. Drain and add salt, pepper and yes, more butter.

Dinner for Ready Set Cook is served!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

From Ian at
The Gallumphing Gourmand:

Chicken Pepper Pie

4 white potatoes, washed and peeled
2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut into strips
3 large red bell peppers, seeded, roasted and peeled
2 C plain low-fat yoghurt
3/4 C grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375F.
Grease the inside of a 12x9x2 baking dish.
Thinly slice the potatoes, and arrange them in layers in the bottom of the
baking dish, the sides as well. Brush with the melted butter, and grate
some pepper on top.
Arrange the pieces of chicken on top of the potatoes.
Place the peppers, garlic powder, cumin, coriander and yoghurt into a food
processor, and blend until smooth and the mixture is a uniform colour.
Pour the yoghurt mixture over the chicken, and sprinkle the grated cheese
over the top.
Bake at 375F for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven, and let stand for 5-10 minutes to allow the pie to firm up
so it's easier to slice.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

My own submission:

Chicken and Red Pepper Tourtiere

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 4 breast halves)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced thickly
1 small jar roasted red peppers-sliced into 1" wide strips
pastry for double-crust pie

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a large pot, mix the chicken, onion, and enough water to barely cover the chicken.
Season with salt, pepper, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.
Shred the chicken and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
Place one crust into a deep pie pan and add chicken mixture in
alternating layers with potatoes and peppers.
Place top crust on top of pie and pinch edges to seal.
Cut slits in top crust so steam can escape.
Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 50 minutes.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Ready, Set, Cook! #15


If you are new to this game and have not played before, please read our rules HERE.

Here are today's 3 ingredients:

chicken breasts
roasted red peppers
white potatoes

Have fun cooking~I will post recipes on Thursday!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remember



I sat at this computer trying to think of what I could possibly write to honor someone I have never met and couldn't do it. I found myself completely absorbed in wanting to know every aspect of Lisa Egan's life and knew I couldn't do that. I searched the internet for information and was able to find memorial pages with messages from those who really knew her.

There are several links below that contain memorial pages for this beautiful woman. I don't know anything about her except the facts that have been given and I won't cheapen her memory by pretending I do. Instead, please visit these sites and see what others who did know her had to say in her memory. They put it into words far better than I ever would be able to.

9-11 Memorial-Lisa Egan

CNN.com September 11 Memorial- Lisa Egan

September 11, 2001 Victims Memorial- Lisa Egan

Remember: September 11, 2001- Lisa and Samantha Egan

Wall of Americans-Lisa Egan

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Breakfast for Dinner?



OK, 'fess up! How many of you do this? I am proud to say, we have breakfast for dinner often; probably 3 times a month.

Now, I'm not saying I plop a bowl of Cheerios in front of everyone and say "Bon Appetit!". No, I mean real honest-to-God breakfast; the kind that nobody seems to have time to make anymore. Which is, of course, the reason it's for dinner!

The other day we had 2 kinds of muffins, bacon and hard boiled eggs--for DINNER. The kids were thrilled and so was I. I'm not much of an eater when I'm pregnant. There isn't a lot that appeals to me and when I can't eat it's so hard to cook for someone else. Blogging is an effort too since this is a food blog and I really don't feel like food right now!

So, back to the topic, my kids love to have pancakes and sausage or eggs and hashbrowns or English muffin breakfast sandwiches or French toast and bacon for dinner. My husband could eat cereal 24/7 and sometimes when he is not in the mood for a full dinner (which is often with his back pain) he will simply eat a bowl of cereal. I admit I have yet to feed the kids cereal for dinner. I just can't do it. I'm sure it's as healthy as anything but it goes against my moral food fiber.

So, when you have breakfast for dinner (you know you do!) what do you have?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

R,S,C #14 Recipes

Recipes from the first game of the season are IN! They all look fabulous and do yourself a favor by visiting the equally fabulous blogs written by our players.

Enjoy!
***************

From KFarmer at
KFarmer & The Dell:

Stacked Egg Plant

Cut up eggplant and brush with olive oil, sprinkle w/salt & pepper. Grill on high heat until mostly done. Set aside and let cool.

Chop up three or four sun dried tomatoes. To make rice use 1 cup chicken stock and 2 cups water to 1 1/2 cups rice. Add tomatoes and a pinch of saffron to liquid. Cook 20 minutes.

Chop up 2 celery sticks, three or four okra and 1/2 an onion. Cook in olive oil till tender. Add ground turkey and cook till done. Add salt, grated Parmesan cheese, lots of black pepper, parsley, rosemary, thyme, basil and ground red pepper.
Melt butter and add bread crumbs and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Place roasted eggplant on foil covered cookie sheet; add scoop of rice, then turkey mixture, bread crumbs and a piece of roasted red pepper on top. Cook at 350 for 20 minutes or till bread crumbs are brown.

***************
From Adopted Son (aka my oldest brother!) at
Ear to the Heavens:

Dijon Chicken ala Robert

One cup rice
One lb. Fresh Ground Turkey
One cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 minced cloves garlic
One cup diced spanish onion
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
1 cup cream or half-and-half
teaspoon fresh-ground Black Pepper
teaspoon Sea Salt
Dash of rosemary
2 TBSP Olive Oil

In a 2-Qt. Saucepan, prepare the rice.
(Boil 2 cups of water, then add the rice and lower to a simmer. Cover
and let cook for approx. 20 minutes. Stir and remove from heat. Leave
covered until ready to serve.

While the rice is cooking...

In a large fry pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is heated, add the salt, pepper, and garlic.
Stir with a wooden spoon until the garlic begins to soften. Be careful
to not burn the garlic.
Add the onions to the pan.
When the onions soften and get slightly transparent, add the ground
turkey. Stir frequently.
Once the turkey is thoroughly cooked, add the rosemary and the
sun-dried tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes soften
slightly.
Stir in the Dijon mustard.
Once the mustard is stirred throughout, slowly stir in the cream or
half-and -half.
Reduce the heat and stir until the cream thickens.

Serve over the rice.

***************
From Compulsive Writer at
From the mixed-up files of a middle-aged mind:

Rice Bean Soup With a Tomato Twist


Steam the rice.

Brown the ground turkey in a pan light coated with olive oil.

Add chopped onion and minced garlic and cook through. Season with salt
and pepper.

Stir in one to two cups of tender green beans and 1 large can of cream
of mushroom soup.

Serve over the white rice.

Sprinkle liberally with the sun-dried tomatoes.

***************
From Ian at
The Gallumphing Gourmand:

Gobble Burgers
Makes 12 big burgers

Burgers
2 lbs. Ground Turkey
1/2 C Rolled Oats
1 Egg
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 dash Tabasco (or to taste)
baguettes for buns

Filling
1 C Minute Rice
1 C water
1/4 C Ground-up sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1 egg
salt & pepper

Rice Directions:
Boil water with a pinch of salt in a small saucepan.
When water is boiling, add rice, sundried tomatoes, oregano, basil,
chipotle, egg and pepper to taste.
Mix everything around a bit until the egg and the spices are incorporated,
cover and remove from heat.
Let stand for about 10 minutes. (Yes, I know the box says 5 minutes, but
with all the other stuff in there it takes longer to set properly)

Burger Directions:
Place ground turkey into a large mixing bowl.
Add all other ingredients except baguettes. (Just making sure)
Mix together gently with the fingertips until just mixed evenly.
Form the meat into twenty-four (24) thin patties, and group patties into
pairs.
Add a spoonful or two of the rice mixture onto one patty, then cover with
another patty.
Form into burgers, making sure that the edges are completely sealed.
Grill burgers, making sure that they're cooked all the way through. They're
BIG burgers, so they'll probably take longer than you would expect.

Cut baguettes into burger-sized sections, then cut in half.
Toast each half on the grill until slightly toasted.

Serve with lettuce and sliced red onion, then GOBBLE!

***************
My own:

Turkey Meatballs in Sun-dried Tomato Cream Sauce
Serves 4-6

Make enough white rice for 6 servings and keep warm. (Rice cookers are great for this!)

Meatballs:

1 lb. ground raw turkey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 clove galic, minced
1 tsp fresh basil. finely chopped

Mix ingredients together and make into meatballs about 1" in diameter-not too large.
Saute in a small amount of oil until lightly browned. Drain oil off and keep warm.

Sauce:

1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped fine
1 clove minced garlic
2 T olive oil
2 T flour
1/2 c chicken stock or white wine
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Add sun-dried tomatoes and basil, sauté until tomatoes are softened.
Add flour and stir well until there are no lumps.
Slowly add stock or wine until thickened.
Add cream in a thin stream until well combined.
Add Parmesan and stir well.

Stir meatballs into sauce and serve over rice. Balance this out with a very green salad and crusty rolls.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Ready, Set, Cook! #14

Today is the day...the first game of Ready, Set, Cook! for this season. If you have not played with us before, please read the basic rules HERE. Even if you have played before, there are some slight modifications so check out the rules page anyway.

Here are our 3 ingredients for the day:

ground turkey
sundried tomatoes
white rice


Hey, I know white rice is not good for you and if you like to cook along and want to do the healthier thing, feel free to change that one ingredient to brown rice.

Aprons on, spoons up, GO!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Been to the Fair this year?



I haven't. We are hoping to get to at least one before it gets too cold to be enjoyable. I plan on being dragged away from summer kicking and screaming this year! It definitely went far too quickly for me this time.

So, in honor of all that is summer, including Fair food, I made funnel cakes last night for dessert. Yes, you can make them yourself! It seems that one of my 14 year old daughter's friends is fascinated by the fact that I know how to make funnel cake. Honestly, until I was married I didn't know you could make your own either. My mother-in-law made them occasionally and they were just like the ones we would get at the carnival.

Just after my first child was born we took a drive out to Farmer Brown's, a mostly Mennonite run farmer's market, and I purchased my first and only Amish cookbook there. The recipe for funnel cake is included and I set to making my own and have never stopped.

It really isn't difficult at all but I have a few tips. A cast iron skillet works best for these. You can use a deep fryer but I find it isn't necessary since the depth of the oil only needs to be about an inch and a half or so; enough for the cake to float just a bit and not stick to the pan. Also, home use deep fryers aren't really roomy enough.

You don't need a funnel cake pitcher at all, pouring the batter in a thin stream has worked well for me all these years. You can purchase one though and they look like this:




A larger spider or metal spatula is helpful in removing them from the oil although if your batter is right tongs should work.

This is the recipe as it is in the book, Amish Cooking by Sallie Y. Lapp.

Funnel Cake

Combine 1 pt. milk
2 beaten eggs
pinch of salt
1/2 t baking powder
enough flour to make a loose batter

Place lard in an iron skillet, enough to cover about 1 inch of dough, heat the lard and then begin poring the batter through a funnel, beginning in the center of the pan and gradually pouring the dough from the center outward in a circular manner. (Do not allow the dough to tangle the previously poured batter). When the funnel cakes are light brown, remove them from the skillet and serve with maple syrup, a tart jelly or simply sprinkle them with powdered sugar.


The only thing I take issue with here is that she says not to tangle the dough. I always start in the center and run concentric circles out to the edge of the pan and then zip across the whole thing again so that it all stays together. If you don't, it's hard to get it out of the pan all at once.

Sometimes I add a tablespoon or so of sugar to the batter and a teaspoon of vanilla for flavor. We also like cinnamon sugar on these. I've seen them with strawberries and whipped cream and with ice cream sundaes made right on top. I'm still a purist when it comes to these and I like them as is with powdered sugar.

Monday, August 21, 2006

If you're not busy September 5th...

PLEASE stop by and play our first R,S,C game of the season!


Yes, you read me right. Tuesday, September 5th will be our first game this year of Ready, Set, Cook! Rules are listed
HERE for anyone whose interest is even remotely sparked.

It can be a lot fun and I've had some really great "contestants". There are no prizes other than my undying gratitude so play for fun! Check out the archives for past games and you'll get a better idea of what I'm talking about. The first few games were a dud but eventually people caught on and I'm not ready to quit~I am a tenacious type.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Now what?

So, what to do with all that produce we bought? So far I have made more gumbo (can't ever get enough of that), fresh salsa, chili with an extra helping of veggies, the corn on the cob was your basic slathered-in-butter feast, cantaloupe was eaten as-is and with cottage cheese, and on the chopping block next is peach pie, a Georgia Cheesecake Pie, apple pie, breaded and fried squash, ratatouille, the acorn squash will be simply roasted, the baby yellow tomatoes are great in a salad and those cherries are just fine as is.

We had the angel food cake with freshly whipped cream and the shoo fly pie didn't last long enough for me to know exactly who ate it.

Click the linked words above for recipes and here are two more:


Fresh Salsa
Printable Recipe

3 large ripe tomatoes skinned, seeded, and chopped
1 small white onion chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
jalapeno or Serrano chiles (as many as you like) stemmed,
seeded, and chopped (or 1 small can of chopped mild green chiles)
1/4c. chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
1 lime-juiced
1t. kosher salt
1t. sugar if the tomatoes are acidic

Combine all and mix well.
Allow flavors to blend for at least 1 hr.
Taste for seasoning and serve at room temperature.
Refrigerate unused portion.

**********

Anne's Ratatouille
Printable Recipe


1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 T olive oil
1 small eggplant cubed
1 medium zucchini cubed
1 medium green pepper seeded and diced
1 can (15 oz.) tomatoes, chopped and undrained
10 mushrooms (white button) sliced
1 t each basil and oregano
1 t salt
1 T parsley chopped
1/3 c Parmesan

In a large skillet cook onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent.
Add remaining ingredients except cheese and stir well. Cook on low, stirring once in awhile, about 25 minutes until tender and liquid has evaporated.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Serve warm or cold.

Monday, August 14, 2006

More Farm Markets



Our Wednesday trip was delicious, and Saturday's was every bit as good, only cheaper.

As I said, I hadn't been to produce stands for quite some time and I absolutely adore the Amish and Mennonite stands just west and south of here. I took off on Saturday with all the kids (hubby opted to stay home) and after a very roundabout trip that involved somehow winding up in Reading and quickly exiting North, we wound up back near Kutztown. The kids were “staaarving MOM!” and I really need the little girls’ room so we stopped at BK. Well, I’m not going to critique on this point so…as Thumper says “If you can’t say somethin’ nice…”.

After leaving there we headed south to look for a farm that had a roadside sign up and didn’t exactly find that farm but did find another, Newswanger’s. We stopped briefly and the kids were enthralled with the turkeys and roosters hanging about in the dusty yard and the two mutts that were “guarding” the farm. I picked up an eggplant for 45 cents, 3 loverly tomatoes for 1.25, a large cantaloupe for 1.00 and a zucchini for 35 cents. Not bad and I already know those veggies will taste far better than anything I can find in my city market.





We set off for home really but encountered another roadside stand, Burkholder’s Farm Market. The market is completely run by a large Mennonite family (extended) and had the best looking and cheapest produce I’ve seen in a long time. I bought 3 acorn squash for 1.00, a pint of yellow grape tomatoes for 1.50, a large red bell pepper for I don’t know what, a quart of black cherries for 2.00, 4 heads of garlic for 1.00, a LARGE raspberry angel food cake for 4.00, a Shoo-Fly pie for 4.00, and a beautiful yellow zucchini for mere pennies, I’m sure. After I got those huge bargains, (and there was so much more to choose from, I can’t begin to tell you) we went around the side of the building and got ice cream cones, 7 in all, for 25 cents each. Yep…twenty-five American cents! Had I not taken the kids to Death on a Bun, I would have gladly gotten them lunch at Burkholder’s. Not only were they serving 25 cent ice cream cones, they also had hot dogs for 25 cents and FREE corn on the cob and sodas! I don’t know how they do it but I certainly appreciate it! I couldn’t take such a large family anywhere else as cheaply. Add it all up, that’s less than $20 including the ice cream.



Aside from the fabulous foods they were selling, my older girls were charmed by the Pennsylvania Dutch they were all speaking, and simply adored their children. The little girls were wearing the most adorable dresses and the boys had suspenders and straw hats, absolutely simple and lovely. Those kids kept running to and from the soft ice cream machine and must have been filling up all day! They all looked so incredibly healthy, the men, the women, the children. I can’t imagine what they must think of we “English”. I suppose they are grateful for our business but I also think they are most likely glad to see us leave at the end of the day.

They also had for sale there the prettiest wooden outdoor furniture, ornaments and play houses. The craftsmanship isn’t likely anything you would find at Home Depot.



So, if you are at all interested, Burkholder’s directions are thus:

630 Topton Rd
Kutztown, Pa 19530
610-683-5204

Going East of Kutztown on 222 turn right at traffic light and Arby’s (go towards Topton) Go approx. 2 miles straight thru crossroad to 2nd farm on right. Open Monday-Saturday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm

WELL worth the trip!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

On the Road Again



Having wheels is a good thing. We were blessed enough Tuesday to come across a minivan that was in very good shape and also affordable and after being without a car for about 3 weeks it was truly appreciated.

Aside from doing regular things like trips to the store and Dr. appointments, we made a side trip on Wednesday before my midwives appointment to a local produce farm.

Now, this is not just any roadside stand, these guys have the best corn growing hands-down for years. Marty started buying there a few years ago when he was working at a site in that area. He drove by on the way home and picked up corn for us and we were all hooked.

He told me then that there was far more than corn for sale and promised to take me to check it out. Well, that didn't happen for quite some time but once we had that van I told him I was on my way with or without him! One of my favorite things to do each summer is to hit roadside stands. The range here is pretty high since we are still so close to Amish country. No need to go that far though, read on.

So, this Wednesday we picked up not only corn (2 dozen for our brood) but also fresh tomatoes (my own are still coming along), Macintosh apples and peaches. We weren't in the van more than 5 seconds before we dug into the peaches. What to say about those? Well, here's the particulars on this place and if you can get there, GO. They are bringing produce in constantly so everything couldn't possibly be fresher.

One more thing, if you can't get to this place, PLEASE go and support your local farmers. They would certainly appreciate it and you certainly won't be disappointed!

Newhard Farms
3250 Mauch Chunk Rd
Coplay, PA 18037
610-799-3303
Fax: 610-262-6602
info@thecornshed.com

Monday, August 07, 2006

"Memorial" Day

I was able to get together with many of my family members on Saturday for Dad's memorial "service". I saw aunts and uncles I hadn't seen for over 20 years and met a cousin of my father's for the first time.

We all met at my oldest brother's home in Lansdale and though there were only 3 of us children there, it went really well. I felt like I hadn't been away from anyone at all and we all just sat and talked and laughed and cried.

My step-mom was there of course, and that was probably the hardest thing for me; I have never seen Joyce without my father. That sort of solidified the fact that he was gone. She had asked a bit ago if there were anything of my dad's that I wanted to have and I didn't answer at first. Giving her an answer and getting something from her that belonged to dad would make it all too real and I was still in, and wanted to be in, denial.

We had gotten around to talking about dad's shoes. For years he wore Chuck Taylors and those "Bobo's" as we all called them when I was a kid, were a source of great amusement for us kids. I asked Joyce on Saturday if dad had ever worn red ones and she said yes, he used to. I then asked if he wore high top or low top and she said both. It wasn't that I had forgotten, as I feared was the case, it was that I remembered, but I remembered all of those shoes. I recalled the black ones, the red ones, the high tops, the low tops; thankfully my memory wasn't fading as quickly as I'd thought.

Joyce asked if I wanted a pair and I told her yes, I did. She said she would clean up a pair and send them to me. I look forward to, and dread, the day that they are delivered.

My Uncle Earl, a pastor, was there and read several scriptures that he and dad had discussed shortly before dad's passing and shared some of his own experiences with other loved ones dying. It was good to hear about everyone again, Aunt Margie, Grandpa, Grandma. Uncle Earl himself has been sick with cancer for quite a few years and the thought was always that he would pass before dad. I sensed a disappointment when he talked that it hadn't happened that way. God's timing is perfect though, and although we don't all see it, He does know what He's doing. Earl may not be with us for too much longer and I'm so happy that I was able to see him again. Hearing him "preach" on Saturday was so reminiscent of the few times that we had attended a church he pastored in Hereford, PA.

My oldest brother shared a talk he had with my father, and had me read his memory he had written. I won't go into any of that now but when dad's memorial book is finished I'll share some things.

It was decided that my brother Jon would take dad's ashes to Six-Mile Lake in Michigan sometime in the near future and even though dad didn't specify anything about his ashes (on the contrary, her said he really didn't care where they went) I think he would like that. He always loved nature and was sure to place himself where he would be surrounded by it.

Dad's cousin was there with her new husband and she handed out a photo of dad that was taken at her wedding last year on dad and Joyce's wedding anniversary, June 26th. I was floored by it since it was so recent and all the photos I have are 10+ years old. I also told her it held some significance for me. When dad was setting off to his cousin's wedding (I am so ashamed that I didn't find out the spelling of her name--Eleanor or Elinore or something in between!) he emailed me as usual and let me know his plans. The email made me sad because dad sounded as if he were trying to explain himself "we're only going because..." ; I think he felt he had to let me know why he was going there but not coming here. I understood completely and never even would have thought of it that way. Canada is so much closer to where he lived,it made sense.

This is that photo. I know I'm partial, but I think he looks fabulous and I plan to frame it and place it somewhere very prominent.





There were so many photos shared; from dad's infancy to his last months, and many of them will be in his book. I really look forward to it.

I did take the food and to me it was nothing overly special but I made a point of taking my Gumbo since dad had really enjoyed it on one of his trips here. I have a feeling that he would have liked everything and hovered at the table a bit longer than the rest. I'm sure part of my love for food came from dad.

I hope he was there to see us all together, Joyce said over and over that he would have had a good time just sitting around talking with us all. Someday soon we'll all be doing that; a bit North of here.