Sunday, April 2, 2017

Baked Broccoli Bites

12 oz. broccoli, chopped, thawed
1 large egg
2 Tbsp diced onions
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 tsp. minced garlic

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  Shape mixture into bite size logs, pressing firmly together to prevent them from falling apart.  Place on baking sheet.  Bake 20-22 minutes or until lightly browned and hot throughout.

Comment:  A version of this recipe came from a site titled Yummly.  I did my usual and made a couple of changes.  I used chopped broccoli instead of the larger pieces or fresh.  I eliminated the salt and pepper.  The recipe called for 1 tsp of each and I found that was too much due to the salt in the cheeses.  The original recipe quoted this as having only 12 calories per serving with the recipe making 4 servings.  I can't vouch for that but I can say that this is one delicious 'snack' food.  I'll be making this later using spinach.  I have a feeling it will be just as good and possibly even better.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Quick & Easy Apple Pie

1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 pie crusts
1 cans apple pie filling
cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a 9" cast iron frying pan melt the butter. Remove 1 Tbsp. of butter and set aside.  Add brown sugar and stir until blended and bubbly.  Remove from heat.  Top with 1 pie crust.  Pour apple pie filling on top of crust.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (about 1 tsp.)  Top pie filling with 2nd pie crust.  Brush with the 1 Tbsp. of melted butter.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (about 1 tsp.).  Bake 30-40 minutes or until crust is done and lightly browned.

Comments:  This recipe came from Trisha Yearwood's cooking show and yes I made a slight change.  I used 2 cans of apple pie filling instead of 1.  I also used my square copper pan so it would hold the 2 cans of apple pie filling.  One thing you will notice is that the butter/sugar may overflow to the top and create a caramel which is delicious.   For a dish that is so simple I couldn't believe how delicious it is.  I took some to one of my food testers and she added a scope of ice cream.  I took her a very large serving and she said it was so good that she ate it all in one sitting.  I want to try this using other fruits - peaches, strawberries, blueberries....

Friday, December 23, 2016

Broccoli Casserole

2 frozen packages of chopped broccoli or a 1 lb. pkg., thawed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded cheese
French Fried Onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook broccoli until just starting to become tender.  Drain.  In a large bowl mix the broccoli and mushroom soup.  Pour into an 8 x 8 baking dish sprayed with non-stick.  Top with cheese.  Bake 15 minutes.  Top with French Fried Onions.  Bake another 5 minutes or until onions are just starting to brown.

Comment:  I ate at a restaurant that served their 'broccoli casserole' which was delicious.  Of course I ask for the recipe or at least a list of the ingredients.  No way.  Well, I picked the dish apart as I ate and if I didn't come up with their recipe I came up with one that is just as good.  I simply used the simple Green Bean Casserole substituting the broccoli for the green beans and adding the cheese.  EVERYONE, including myself like this better than the Green Bean Casserole.  This is a dish that you can't lose with.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

S'Mores Brownies

1 pkg (family size) brownie mix
chocolate chips

Make brownies according to directions on package.  Cool until they are lightly warm.  Top with chocolate chips.  Top with marshmallows.  Turn oven to broil.  Place under broiler and allow to lightly brown.  Cool completely before slicing.

Comments:  I don't like chocolate but my food testers do.  I had an idea for a S'Mores Cake but when I saw that I had a Family Size box of brownies I decided to use it instead with the idea of them giving this dish the gooey texture.  It worked!!!!  Guess you could use a cake mix but it just wouldn't be the same.  This is a must try for chocolate lovers.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Pumpkin Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 can pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 stick butter, melted
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup water
2 cartons (8 oz. each) Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread
1 - 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl mix cake mix, pumpkin, butter, eggs, cinnamon and water until smooth and creamy.  (I mixed my butter with the pumpkin to cool it off).  Pour into 2 cake pans sprayed with non-stick or 1 bundt pan sprayed with non-stick or 1 deep square pan sprayed with non-stick.  Bake according to time on the cake box or until toothpick comes out clean.  I used a large square pan and cooked mine for about 45 minutes.  If using a bundt or deep square pan, allow cake to cool and slice across the center making 2 layers.  In another large bowl mix cream cheese and 1 cup of powdered sugar.  Add more if needed to make a creamy, spreadable mixture.  After cake cooks, ice.  Refrigerate.

Comment:  A friend gave me 2 containers of Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese and I had no idea what to do with it.  It is delicious as is but the expiration date was coming up soon and I knew I would never eat both containers before that date.  I've made cream cheese frosting before and know how delicious it is so why not make Pumpkin Cream Cheese frosting.  The cake portion came partly from a recipe I found online for a layered, bar cake/cookie but it gave me enough information to know how much liquid to eliminate while using the can of pumpkin.  This one turned out to be a winner.  Even if you don't like pumpkin, you'll never know that is what you're eating.  I gave a big slice to a friend who hates pumpkin.  He loved it.  I told him it was a spice cake with cream cheese icing.  Fooled him!  You can add a few nuts to the cake or icing if you like to give it another texture.  Oh yeah, the frosting makes enough that you can put a nice thick layer between the layers.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cream Spinach Roll-Up

1 Tube Crescent Dough Sheet
2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. self rising flour
1/4 cup Half and Half
4 oz. Soft Onion & Chive Cream Cheese
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 pkg (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a saucepan over medium low heat, melt the butter.  Add flour and stir until creamed together.  Slowly stir in cream and then cream cheese, increasing heat to medium.  Constantly whisk until the mixture becomes thick and smooth. Mix in garlic, spinach and Parmesan. Open Crescent Dough Sheet and spread it out on a piece of waxed paper sprayed with non-stick.  Spread the spinach mixture evenly over dough.  Slowly start rolling from the long side.  Place on cookie sheet covered with foil that has been sprayed with non-stick.  Bake 20 minutes or until dough starts to brown.  Sprinkle down the center with a little cheese and continue to bake until dough is golden brown.  Cool and slice.

Comments:  Yes, I guess you could say I'm on a spinach kick.   I ate at Boston Market and had my favorite dish - Creamed Spinach.  They make the best!  I had bought a roll of Crescent Dough 'Sheet' and wanted to find a really good recipe in which to use it.  The thought of the Creamed Spinach hit me as the perfect filling for this dough.  But... Boston Market won't give out their recipe.  But... there are copycats on line that are pretty good.  I found the recipe that sounded best and gave it a try.  I cut down most of the ingredients because I would be using it as a filling and wouldn't need quite as much and the recipe above is what I came up with.  Boy is this one good!  It makes a great dish or appetizer.  You can bet I'll be making this often.  I do think I'll increase the garlic to maybe 1 1/2 tsp. to give it even more flavor.   This is good hot or cold.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Spinach Pull Aparts

1 lb. frozen spinach, thawed & drained
1 pkg. garlic knots, sliced into 2 pieces each
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Pizza blend cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In the bottom of a non-stick dish or dish sprayed with non-stick spray, place arrange the garlic knots so they are touching but not tight.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Evenly top with spinach.  Sprinkle with Pizza blend cheese.  Dot with butter.  Bake 5-10 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Comment:  I've had the thought of this dish floating around in my head for some time now and finally decided to give it a try.  My original thought was to use crescent roll bread but when I spotted the garlic knots I changed my mind.  This recipe is a 1st try and it will be my last or should I say only one.  This is soooooo good.  I'm serving it with wings but believe me, it's delicious by itself.  It's quick, easy, and so appealing to the eye.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Coconut Pecan Cornbread

1 pkg. Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup powdered sugar
cream (milk or water if you want)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix muffin mix according to package directions.  Stir in coconut and pecans.  Pour into 3 mini-loaf pans.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Mix the powdered sugar with the cream (milk/water) using just enough to allow it to melt and drizzle.  Spoon over hot bread.  Sprinkle with more coconut and chopped pecans (optional)

Comment:  My order at a nearby BBQ house came with a sweet mini-loaf of cornbread.  I don't normally like sweet cornbread but gave it a try.  As I took a bite I noticed how moist it was and that it wasn't very grainy.  This made me start thinking about how good this would be with coconut and pecans added making it a dessert instead of just a bread.  I remembered how sweet Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix is and decided to give it a try.  I didn't hit the nail on the head, but I came close.  The Jiffy Mix did have a bit more of a grainy texture but it still worked beautifully.  And my food testers loved it too!  One stood eating her whole loaf while we were standing there talking about it.  She said it was that good.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Cheese Stuffed Shells with Spinach

10-12 large cheese stuffed shells
6 Brautwirst Sausages
1 jar Alfredo sauce
1 box spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup Italian blend cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Remove the casings from the sausages.  In a large frying pan add the sausage and break it up.  Cook until completely cooked.  Add Alfredo and spinach.  Fold in.  Spray a 9 x 12 x 2 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Place the shells in the bottom of the dish.  Evenly pour the sauce mix over the shells covering completely.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake 30-40 minutes or until bubbling in the center.  Serves 6-8

Comment:  This dish came out delicious and it can be made with many meat variations.  You can use ground beef and even Polish sausages.  You can also change the sauce to spaghetti sauce.  You can add onions and peppers cooking them with the sausage.  And even change the cheese flavor.  So good, so simple and quick

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Cheesy Spinach Bundles

1 pkg. (10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well-drained
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 chives & onion cream cheese spread
1 egg, separated
1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a bowl mix spinach, Mozzarella, Parmesan, cream cheese and egg yolk.  Separate crescent dough into 8 triangles.  Cut each triangle diagonally in half.  Lay out on a baking dish lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick.  Evenly spread the spinach mixture onto each.  Bring the corners of the dough to the center over the filling, overlapping ends and pinch together to seal.  Beat egg white and lightly brush over bundles.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Comment:  This is a Kraft Cheese recipe that I spotted and had to try.  Of course I made changes!  I used 3/4 cup of the Mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of Seasoned Parmesan cheese, the kind you sprinkle over spaghetti.  I didn't have the chives & onion cream cheese but did have a block of plain so I put about 1/4 cup into the microwave for about 20 seconds and added 2 small finely chopped green onions, tops and bulbs.  I wasn't sure how they meant to cut the crescent rolls so I just cut them in half and pressed them out on the baking sheet allowing me to have enough to bring up over the spinach mix.  Also, the recipe called for 1 Tbsp. in each but I ended up with a bit left over so I divided it evenly among the crescents.  This is one heck of a dish.  I honestly think I could have eaten at least half of them but I didn't.  I shared with my testers.  Almost forgot - After the egg wash I sprinkled each bundle with a small amount of Colby cheese.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ham & Cheese Pea Patties

1 can black eyed peas, drained
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 green onions, chopped with tops

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a med. cast iron frying pan pour enough oil to cover the bottom.  Place in the oven while it preheats to get it sizzling hot.  In a bowl mix peas, cornmeal, milk, egg and onions.  Pour half of the mixture into the frying pan with the hot oil.  It should sizzle when poured in. Top with a layer of cheese, a layer of ham, and another layer of cheese.  Evenly spread the remaining mix.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until browned and done on the inside.

Comments:  I've made what I call Georgia Pea Patties for years, using my mother's recipe.  Normally I fry them but found myself with some leftover ham and decided to give this mixture a try.  Boy is it good!  My food testers all loved it.  One thing to remember about the batter and that is that you wan it about pancake batter thickness.  You want to be able to pour it into the pan.  Also, to test your oil, flip just a drop of 2 of water into it to see if it sizzles before bringing it out of the oven.  When it sizzles you know its' hot enough.  Add as much cheese and ham as you like.  I had some 1/4" thick ham and put a thick layer of cheese before and after the ham.  Plus, if you don't like black eyed peas, I'm sure this will work well with others.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
1 box spice cake mix
1 cup apples, peeled & shredded
brown sugar & cinnamon cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl add pumpkin puree.  Whip it to make it light and airy.  Fold in the shredded apples and then the cake mix.  Place paper liners in muffin tins and then fill each with batter.  Smooth the top of each muffin with a wet spoon.  The batter is thick.  Scoop out a place in the center of each muffin, and drop in one teaspoon of cream cheese per muffin.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until done.

Comments:  This recipe is based off on Rochelle's favorite muffin from Starbucks and sounded so simple and delicious, but of course I made a few changes.  First off, I didn't have a spice cake mix in my pantry but I did have a yellow cake mix.  To that I added 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice.  This didn't make it as spicy as the spice cake would be but I think I like it better.  It isn't overpowering.  The next change I made was to use plain cream cheese which I added about 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.  I probably put a bit more cream cheese than the 1 teaspoon called for but that turned out good too.
And the last change was to sprinkle the muffins with just a little cinnamon before baking.  My muffins came out perfect!!!  Not too strong in spice flavor, just perfect.  Next time I make these, and I will, I'm going to add some chopped walnuts.  This is a must make dish for the fall.  Oh yeah, I used 2 large granny smith apples to make a cup.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

San Francisco Scramble

4 eggs
1 cup leafy spinach
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheese
2 sausage patties, cut into pieces 

Sauté mushrooms in olive oil, add in sausage until brown. Add spinach. 
Crack eggs in bowl, add a splash of milk and pinch of onion salt (or seasoning of your choice) - stir.
Add egg mix to skillet. Sprinkle cheese all over and serve.

Comments:  This recipe was sent to me to post along with my review for The Angel Solution by John Stipa.  As soon as I saw it I knew I had to make it!  Author John Stipa called it San Francisco Scramble and I call it Delicious.  Now, you all know that I have to make a change here and there but with this recipe I didn't really change any of the ingredients I just increased them so I could feed 6.  I used 6 eggs, 1 frozen package of chopped spinach (thawed & liquid squeezed out), 1 lb. Jimmy Dean sausage, crumbled and cooked.  I lied, I did make one addition and that was by adding a big spoon full of Sabra's Spinach Parmesan Greek Yogurt Dip.  This dish is totally one of the best!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Pesto Chicken Pasta

6 oz. spaghetti
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 large skinless, boneless breasts, cut into bite size pieces 
1 pkg. basil pesto mix
½ cup finely shredded Italian cheese blend

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet cook carrots in butter over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add chicken; cook and stirring until no pink remains in chicken. Make pesto according to package directions.  Add 4 tablespoons pesto; toss to coat.  Drain pasta. Return to pan; toss with remaining pesto. Toss in chicken mix and cheese.  Makes 6 servings.

Martha:  This is, of course, a recipe I found and made changes to.  The original called for refrigerator pasta and jar pesto.  I used ½ a package of spaghetti and bought a dry package of pasta mix.  I’ve used the jar a well as the mix and like the mix better.  The original had the chicken served on top of the pasta but I just made it easy and mixed it in with the spaghetti.  I also changed the cheese from Parmesan to an Italian blend which had some Parmesan in it.  This turned out so good.  I shared with 4 of my food testers and they all loved it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ground Beef & Hashbrowns

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef 
1 cup nacho cheese sauce (from 15-oz jar)
1 can (4 oz) mushrooms, chopped, drained
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese (4 oz)
6 frozen hashbrowns (4 x 2 ½”)

Heat oven to 425°F.  In 10-inch ovenproof skillet, cook beef over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink; drain. Stir in cheese sauce and mushrooms. Top with cheese.  Place hashbrowns on top of cheese.  Bake about 25 minutes or until potatoes are crispy and golden brown and mixture is bubbling. Serves 6

Comment:  This is part of a recipe that I found on the Kraft site.  I changed from peas to mushrooms and used the large hashbrowns.  After the cooking time I did turn on the broiler and let the tops of the hashbrowns crisp just a little. For my skillet I used a square cast iron frying pan.  It worked perfectly.  This dish is so good and if you have a meat and potato foodie, they will love it!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Strawberry Shortcake

This is such an easy, yet delicious Strawberry Shortcake to make.  It's one that I actually forgot about and haven't made it in years.

1 round Angle Food cake
10-12 fresh strawberries, cleaned and sliced thin
1 pkg. strawberry jello
1 carton cool whip

Evenly place the strawberries in a jello mold (or bunt pan sprayed with non-stick).  Place the cake on top breaking it and pressing it down so it will fit.  Mix the jello with 1 3/4 cups of hot water until dissolved.  Pour over the cake allowing it to soak down to the bottom as well as into the breaks in the cake.  Refrigerate 3-4 hrs.  Pop out onto a plate and fill center with cool whip.

Comments:  This is such a moist cake yet not soggy due to the jello.  It's so good and you can even do this with other flavors such as blackberries, peaches, etc.  You can also use frozen strawberries if fresh aren't in season but get those without the juice.  Plus, you can make this with sugar free jello helping to make it more diabetic friendly.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Peanut Butter Brownie Pudding Cake

1 Family Size Package of Brownie Mix
1 pkg. Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 3/4 Cup Milk
2/3 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 cups Cool Whip

Cook brownies according to package directions using a 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish sprayed with non-stick.  Cool brownie mix completely.  Scoop out 24 small holes in the brownies making sure not to go through the bottom.  Reserve for later.  Mix pudding and milk until blended and starts to thicken.  Whisk in peanut butter until blended.  Whisk in cool whip until blended.  Spread over brownies.  Sprinkle with brownies that were spooned out.  Refrigerate at least 2 hrs.  Makes 24 servings.

Comment:  This was a Kraft recipe that I made just some small changes to.  I used the family size instead of the regular size.  I only used 1 3/4 cups of milk instead of 2 and the milk I used was almond milk.  I didn't drizzle the top with melted peanut butter because there was enough flavor in the pudding mix and just didn't think it needed it.  These turned out so good!  Everyone that was lucky enough to try them raved and wanted more.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Southwestern Chicken Casserole

1 cup uncooked wild rice blend
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained, rinsed
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 cup chicken stock
3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 can Rotel
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish with cooking spray.  Sprinkle rice over the bottom.  Top evenly with black beans.  Mix chicken stock, chili powder and cumin.  Slowly pour over beans.  Sprinkle with chicken and evenly pour Rotel over the chicken.  Cover with foil.  Bake 45-50 minutes or until rice is tender.  Sprinkle with cheese and return to oven for about 5 minutes allowing the cheese to melt.  Serves 6.  Top with sour cream (optional).

Martha:  As usual, I found the recipe and made a few changes to to make it a little easier.  The original called for long grain rice but I love a blend that I get at Harris Teeter which has barley, wild rice, long grain white rice and rye berries.  This is so good and gives a great texture to the rice.  I added the cumin, used Rotel and changed from a regular cheddar cheese to the Mexican blend.  I also added the sour cream when serving.  This dish was one that my testers requested I make often.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Spinach 'Burgers'

1 bag (12 oz.) thawed, well drained chopped spinach
2 egg whites
1 whole egg
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Shape into patties and cook over medium high heat in a non-stick skillet with a small amount of cooking spray.  Patties are done when they are golden and firm. (about 4-6 minutes).

Comment:  I found this recipe on a site titled The Village Cook and boy is it great!  I made just a couple changes.  I used 2 whole eggs instead of the 2 whites and 1 whole.  I used Seasoned Panko bread crumbs, which don't bind as well as regular so I increased the amount to 3/4 cup allowing the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes.  Plus I browned the patties quickly on each side and the placed in the toaster oven to complete cooking (about 5 minutes).  This gave me 12 patties which were wonderful!  I gave some to 3 of my testers and the 1st words out of their mouths was OMGoodness!  I had 2 left over, which had gotten cold and decided to heat them up and eat later that day.  Before heating I took a bite and it did't need heating at all!  So good.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Lime Bars

I found this recipe online and of course made my changes (watch for notations).


5 ounces animal crackers (about 2 1/2 cups animal crackers)
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
Pinch salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted

(I didn't have animal crackers but spotted a box of Honey Nut Cherrios and used 2 1/2 cups that I put in a food processor and ground until they were flour like, added the melted butter and had my crust.)

2 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 tbsp grated fresh lime zest (from about 2 limes)
1 can (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk
Pinch salt
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 3-4 regular limes or 20 Key limes)

(The only change I made here was to use 4 ounces of cream cheese instead of the 2.)

3/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted (optional)

(I used organic, non-sweetened coconut that I added when I started my baking which allowed it to toast in the oven as the bars cooked.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, adjusting an oven rack to the middle position. Line an 8-inch (I used an 8 x 12 clear casserole dish) square baking pan with aluminum foil, letting two opposing edges hang over at least an inch or so. Grease the foil with cooking spray.  (I didn't use the foil but did spray my baking dish with non-stick spray.)

For the crust, process the animal crackers, sugar and salt together to fine crumbs in a blender or food processor. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and pulse to incorporate (or stir together in a bowl with a fork). Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared pan and press the crumbs into an even layer. Bake the crust until fragrant and golden, about 15-18 minutes.

For the filling, while crust bakes, in a medium bowl, stir the cream cheese, lime zest and salt together until combined. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk until smooth (you can use a handheld electric mixer, if you want). Whisk in the egg yolk and lime juice until combined.  (Note, when the lime juice is added the mixture will thicken, I'm assuming from the acid in the lime.)  Pour the filling evenly over the crust. Bake the bars until the filling is set and the edges just slightly begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, 15-17 minutes.  (Mine took about 30 minutes to reach this point.)

Let the bars cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Then cover the pan with foil and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil overhang and cut into squares. Sprinkle with toasted coconut if desired.

Comment:  One of my food testers bought too many limes so she gave 4 to me.  I promised her I would come up with something good using the limes.  After looking at several recipes for lime bars this is the one I liked the best and the one that was actually the easiest.  The cereal crust was great!  Not too sweet and probably a bit healthier than the animal crackers would have been.  You can make this with graham cracker crust too.  The flavor of this was simply delicious.  The 3 lucky food testers that were given this dish to try all put in a request for me to make it again.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Better Than Sex Cake

Sorry I don't have a picture of this cake.  Working with a new program and somehow lost the picture.  It was a pretty picture and tasty looking picture.  This is a picture I found that looks the closest to my cake.

1 Butter Yellow Cake Mix
Mix and bake according to directions using a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Poke holes in the cake (I used a wooden spoon handle).  Allow to cool.

1 cup sugar
1 large can crushed pineapple with juice
While the cake is cooking combine the sugar and pineapple with juice in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over med. high heat allowing the sugar to melt.  Pour evenly over the cooled cake.

1 large box vanilla instant pudding mix
Make pudding mix according to box directions.  Spread evenly over pineapple.

Sprinkle with nuts and coconut.

Top with whipped topping and sprinkle with pecans.


Comment:  Shirley McLain, Author of Princess Adele's Dragon, sent this recipe to me to go with my review for her book.  As soon as I read it I knew I had to add this to my must make list.  I made it over the weekend and OMGoodness!  This cake is a gotta make many times again recipe.  I used unsweetened coconut and almond slivers which gave it a nice texture and taste.  So good.  I want to give this a try using a carton of frozen, thawed strawberries next.  This cake has many possibilities.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Chicken Bake

1 2/3 cups hot water
1 pkg Stove Top stuffing mix
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken cooked
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup sour cream
6-8 slices Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut chicken into bite size pieces and place in the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Mix soup and sour cream.  Spread over chicken.  Add a layer of Mozzarella cheese slices over soup mix.  Mix hot water and stuffing mix.  Spread over cheese.   Bake 30-35 minutes or until bubbly in the center.  Serves 6

Martha:  The original recipe came from Kraft and I did make my usual changes.  I used packaged stuffing instead of the stove top.  I did this for 2 reasons.  I'm not crazy about the seasoning packet in the stove top and I also had 3 cups of the packaged stuffing in the pantry (I use Pepperidge Farm blue package).  The sour cream was increased to 1/2 cup and the Mozzarella cheese addition was not in the original recipe.  Out of the 5 food testers that were lucky enough to get this dish, they all raved about the different flavors that blended so well.  This is a good one to make quickly after a long day at work.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Humming Bird Cake

1 package Yellow Cake Mix (without pudding)
1 package (3.4 oz.) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
4 eggs
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained; reserve pineapple juice
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ cup finely chopped pecans
1 medium-size banana, mashed
¼ cup chopped Maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 2 cake pans.  Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, pineapple, juice from the pineapple and enough water to make 1 cup, oil and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Beat with electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add pecans, banana and cherries.  Mix well.  Pour into cake pans.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely before icing.

Cream Cheese frosting
8 ounces cream cheese softened at room temp
12 cup butter softened at room temp
3 1/2 cups powder sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3 pineapple slices, well drained and cut into small pieces

In a bowl whip cream cheese and butter until well blended.  Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time blending well after each addition.  Mix in vanilla. 

Ice the bottom layer and side.  Sprinkle half of the pecans and half of the pineapple over the top.  Add 2nd layer.  Finish icing and sprinkle top with remaining pecans and pineapple.  You can add chopped cherries for more color if wanted.

Comment:  This is a combination of 2 recipes that I found for Humming Bird Cakes.  The 1st one used made a tube cake but I wanted layers.  It also didn't have the added nuts and pecans on top.  Plus its frosting was a drizzle so I found a recipe for a cream cheese frosting I liked and decided to use it.  Another change was the pineapple.  I didn't have a can of crushed but did have a can of slices.  I simply drained it well, crushed and drained again.  I ended up using 4 circle slices for inside the cake and then the 3 slices that I drained and cut into small pieces for my topping.  By using the larger can (20 oz.) of slices I ended up with 1 cup of juice and didn't have to add water.  This sure is a delicious cake!  Moist and full of flavors.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Shepard Pie

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 med. onion, chopped
1 med. bell pepper, chopped
1 box (4.2 oz.) Hungry Jack Hashbrowns
2 cans (10.75 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup French-fried onion rings, crushed
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare hashbrowns according to package directions to puff them up.  Spread evenly into a 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper.  Brown ground beef.  Add more salt and pepper if needed.  Spread over hashbrowns.  Saute onions and bell peppers until tender.  Add both cans of cream of mushroom soup.  Mix well.  Spread over ground beef.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until cheese has melted and dish is bubbly.  Add onion rings and bake another 5 minutes.  Serves 6-8

Comment:  I was going through some old cookbooks and found a printed page that had the name Tater Tot Hot Dish! and the list of ingredients but no directions, so I made it up as I went and renamed it Shepard Pie because it seemed to fit it best, especially after I changed the tater tots to hashbrowns.  The Hungry Jack hashbrowns simply call for water that allows them to puff back out.  The original didn't call for the bell peppers but I decided they would taste good.  It also called for 1 can of mushroom soup and 1 can of celery soup.  I used 2 cans of mushroom.  I also added the cheese and layered the dish.  Sure did turn out good!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Coconut Pecan Bars

1 cake mix
1 stick melted butter, cooled
1 egg, slightly beaten

1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Pour cake mix, butter and egg into a bowl.  Mix well.  Press into baking dish.  In a medium size sauce pan on medium high heat combine coconut, nuts, sugar and water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until mixture starts to thicken.  Remove from heat.  Cut cream cheese into chunks and add to mixture.  Stir until melted and blended.  Stir in vanilla.  Spread evenly over cake mix.  Bake 30 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Cut into bars.  Makes about 24 bars.

Comments:  I found this recipe online and since it had some of my favorite ingredients - coconut, nuts, cream cheese - I had to make it.  For my cake mix I used Butter Pecan.  Also, I had a couple bags of walnuts and only 1 bag of pecans so I used walnuts instead of pecans.  And believe me, I couldn't tell the difference I have a feeling due to using the Butter Pecan mix.  I also used rum extract instead of the vanilla, only because I had about 1/2 tsp. left and needed to use it up too before buying more.  I don't think the rum made that much difference, if any, in taste.  The recipe said to reduce heat and simmer until it starts to thicken.  Mine never did thicken so I added the cream cheese after most of the water had cooked out.  No matter what, this dish came out delicious!  My lucky food testers all had nothing but praises for it and one question.  When will you make this one again?!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Shrimp & Rice for One

8 med. shrimp, cooked
1/4 cup wild rice blend, uncooked
4 mushrooms, sliced
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. butter
1 tsp. flour
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1/4 tsp. paprika

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt/ Set aside and keep warm. Combine mushrooms, green onions, broth and garlic in a non-stick skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until liquid evaporates. Add butter, stirring to melt. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Stir in sour cream and shrimp. Spoon over rice; sprinkle with paprika.  Serves 1

Nutrition Facts
Values Per 525g % Daily Value*
Calories 624
Calories from Fat 80
Total Fat 8.9g 14%
Saturated Fat 2.7g 14%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.1g
Cholesterol 1106mg 1106%
Sodium 1281mg 53%
Potassium 889.41mg 25%
Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Protein 119.6g
Vitamin A 32% · Vitamin C 0%

Calcium 48% · Iron 9%

Friday, February 19, 2016

Spinach Quiche

1 3-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup half and half
3 eggs
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup grated cheddar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 to 6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pie crust

Preheat oven to 425°. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in half and half and eggs. Mix in remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is set, about 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Comments:  This is a recipe that I found online.  I love Spinach Quiche and out of all that I found listed this one looked perfect for me.  You can substitute milk for the half and half, gruyere for the cheddar and 1/2 cup finely diced red and white onions or shallots work well too.  This turned out delicious!

Strawberry Pineapple Cobbler

25-30 whole strawberries
1 can (20 oz.) chunk pineapple
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Slice strawberries in half and place on bottom of dish.  Evenly pour pineapple with juice over strawberries.  Top evenly with coconut and walnuts.   Sprinkle dry cake mix over everything.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and pour on melted butter.  Bake 45 minutes.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Vichyssoise (Leek & Potato Soup)

6 medium potatoes
6 leeks
4 Tbsp. butter
8 cups chicken stock
heavy cream or sour cream
salt, pepper
chopped chives (optional)

Peel the potatoes and cut them into small pieces.  Cook in enough boiling water to cover until tender, then drain.  Meanwhile, wash the leeks thoroughly.  Split and saute in butter.  When the leeks are limp, add 2 cups of the chicken stock and simmer gently until leeks are tender.  Puree the potatoes and leeks and combine.  Add the stock in which the leeks were cooked, the remaining chicken stock and heavy cream or sour cream.  Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and blend thoroughly.  Chill 24 hrs..  Garnish with chopped chives before serving.  Serves 8

Comments:  I ran across this recipe in an OLD cookbook I bought.  The paper has yellowed and from the ad on the back it looks like it may be from the 50's, possibly before.  I talked to a friend of mine who is from Canada and said she had eaten this many times in the past and couldn't wait to try it again so she was going to be my 1st tester.  The only changes I made was to decrease the chicken stock to 6 cups and since there were no measurements for the heavy cream or sour cream I used 1 cup of half and half and 1 cup of sour cream.  PERFECT!  The did salt my potatoes while cooking and when I added the nutmeg I sprinkled just a little, tasted; added a little more, tasted; and continued until I got the perfect taste which for me was just a slight flavor.  Judging by the instructions to chill 24 hours I believe this is a soup that is supposed to be eaten cold.  I don't like very many cold soups so I ate it hot.  It was delicious!  This is a soup that any soup lover can't help but love.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Spaghetti with Garlic-Shrimp & Broccoli

1/2 lb. Spaghetti, uncooked (I used Quinoa)
4 cups small broccoli florets
1/2 cup Kraft Tuscan House Italian Dressing
1 lb. uncooked deveined, peeled large shrimp
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook spaghetti in a large saucepan as directed on the package, omitting the salt.  Add broccoli to the boiling water for the last 2 minutes of cooking.  While spaghetti is cooking heat dressing in a large skillet on medium high heat.  Add shrimp and garlic;  Cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turns pink.  Drain spaghetti mixture (rinse with hot water if using Quinoa).  Return to the pan and add shrimp mixture and cheese.  Mix lightly.

Comment:  I found this on the  It not only sounded good but I actually had all of the ingredients on hand.  I do gluten free so I used the Quinoa spaghetti which I've found needs rinsing in hot water after cooking due to the starches that cook out.  Other than that I followed the recipe completely.  This dish is not only good but it's only 330 calories for a serving.  The picture above is 1 1/4 cups and that is the per serving amount.  A lot of food!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Pork Chop Potato Soup

4-5 boneless pork chops
2 Tbsp. oil
4 cups water
3-4 med. potatoes
4 more cups water
1 pkg. (4 oz.) instant potatoes with the works
salt & pepper to taste

Cut pork chops into 1/2" (approx.) pieces.  Put in a large pot with oil.  Saute on high until all has started to brown.  Add 4 cups water, cover and simmer until meat starts to fall apart (1-1 1/2 hrs. depending on meat).  Cut potatoes into cubes.  Add the other 4 cups of water and simmer until potatoes are done.  Add package of instant potatoes, salt & pepper.  Stir to mix.  Add more water if you want a thinner soup.  Sprinkle with cheese when serving.

Comment:  This soup came to me out of the blue.  I had a package of boneless pork chops that I had found on sale.  I spotted a package of instant potatoes with the works in the pantry and decided since it's cold outside soup would be good.  This worked perfectly!  I'll not change a thing when I make it again.  Well... I might add some chopped green onions.  Maybe a little bacon bits.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tex-Mex Lasagna

16 tortilla shells
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 pkg. Taco seasoning
1 can Garbanzo beans, with juice
1 carton (16 oz.) sour cream
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 jar (15.5 oz.) salsa
1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese

Crumble and brown ground beef.  Add Taco seasoning and Garbanzo beans with juice.  Heat until beans are hot.  Mash with a potato masher to partially crush beans.  In a bowl combine sour cream, flour and garlic powder.  In a 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray place 8 shells evenly.  Top with 1/2 of the ground beef mixture.  Top with 1/2 of the sour cream mixture.  Top with 1/2 of the salsa.  Repeat with remaining shells, ground beef, sour cream and salsa.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2-3 hours, over night is even better.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Comment:  The original recipe called for 1/2 lb. ground beef, onions, chili powder and cumin.  I increased the ground beef and used a package of taco seasoning instead of the spices and left out the onion.  It also called for an 8 oz. carton of sour cream which I increased to 16 oz.  I changed the enchilada sauce to salsa and added the cheese.  Came out simply delicious!  I really don't think I would have enjoyed it as much with less meat, sour cream and no cheese.  This worked perfectly.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Hot Chocolate Pie

3/4 cup crushed butter cookies
1/2 cup marshmallow cream
1 pkg. pudding/pie filling - vanilla
1 pkg. Land o Lakes Cocoa Classics Hot Cocoa Mix
1 1/2 cups milk

Mix the crushed butter cookies with the marshmallow cream until crumbly.  Press into the bottom of a pie pan.  In a bowl combine pudding mix, dry package of cocoa mix and milk.  Whisk to blend and stir until it starts to thicken.  Pour into cookie crust.  Refrigerate.

Comment:  Every year I end up with my favorite butter cookies and this year I had 3 tins.  I can eat them, which I love doing or I can come up with something else to do with them.  I decided to give them a try as a pie crust.  These cookies are full of butter so I didn't want to add more, but I needed a way to make them stick together to form a crust.  Then I spotted the marshmallow cream!  Mixing the 2 together isn't as easy as you would think.  I used a fork to blend and eventually used my hands mixing until the crumbs were crumbly and allowing me to press into the pie pan.  You can go up the edges if you have enough or you can just cover the bottom like I did.  After doing this I had to come up with a filling.  I could use the box of vanilla pudding/pie mix but wanted some flavor.  That is when I spotted the Land O Lakes Coco Mix.  I'm not a chocolate lover but I do like a hot cup of flavored chocolate on a cold night so when I spotted a package of Amaretto I decided to give it a try.  Bingo!  It worked so well that I decided to make a 2nd pie using plain hot cocoa mix making it a chocolate pie.  To know which was which I sprinkled the top of the chocolate one with a little coco and the amaretto with almond slivers.  The pies were all approved and seconds were asked for by my Food Testers.  And the crust - it was different but in a delicious way.  You can bet I'll be making these pies often and will be 'playing' with the flavors, both through the crust as well as the filling.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

PP&J Cookies

This recipe is so simple that kids can even do it.  The ingredients are simple - peanut butter cookies and jelly, preserves or jam.  Yep that's it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Simply make up your favorite recipe for peanut butter cookies (you can even use refrigerated rolls or store mix).  Form your cookie dough into 1" balls.  Spray the tins of a mini muffin pan.  Place the cookie dough balls into the bottom of the tins.  Press down to cover the bottom of the tins and a little up the side.  Press a dent in the center (this can be done with your finger if you don't have long nails but it needs to be round.  Just be careful and don't go all the way through.  Next, add about 1/2 tsp. of your favorite jam, preserves or jelly to each dent.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Let cool in the pan for about 5-10 minutes.  Using a large spoon, carefully run around around the edge of your cookie to loosen and lift out.  Place on a rack to cool completely.

These turned out so delicious!  You can actually do this with just about any cookie - chocolate (not with chips), sugar, etc.  You can use any flavor jelly/jam/preserves - whatever happens to be your favorite or your child's favorite or do some of both.  You can also do as I did and fill some of them with chocolate chips.  My food testers all loved these.  One said she simply couldn't quit eating them and ended up eating all 7 that I brought her.  This is a fun recipe to do with the kids, especially for the holidays.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Pork Tetrazzini

1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 can condensed mushroom soup
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups chopped, cooked pork (or chicken/turkey)
1 jar (2 oz.) chopped pimentos
1 can (8 oz.) mushroom pieces, drained
1/2 cup almond slivers
1/2 lb. spaghetti, cook and drain
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large pot saute onions, pepper and celery in butter.  Keep over heat and add soup, cheese and flour.  Whisk in broth and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Add pork, pimentos, mushrooms, almonds, spaghetti, salt & pepper.  Pour into a 3 qt. baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake 40-45 minutes or until bubbly.

Comments:  This is one of those 'Think With Your Taste Buds' recipes.  I found the recipe using turkey instead of pork in an 1989 cookbook.  I had 4 nice boneless pork chops that needed to be cooked so I decided to use that instead of the turkey.  To me, turkey, chicken and pork really don't have much flavor so this substitute worked perfectly.  The sauce ends up about the thickness of spaghetti sauce and stuck to the pasta very well.  But the flavor is what really stands out.  You can taste each flavor  onion, peppers, celery, cheese, and mushrooms.  The almonds added a wonderful texture to the dish.  The food testers that were lucky enough to be served this dish all raved about it and wanted more.  I did make one other small change.  Just before coming out of the oven I sprinkled it with just a little more cheese and allowed it to melt.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Sausage and Grits Casserole

1 lb. lean sausage
3/4 cup uncooked quick cook grits
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook sausage until done and crumbled.  Cook grits according to package directions.  Stir in sausage, cheese, milk & eggs.  Pour into a 2 qt. baking dish sprayed with non-stick.  Bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Comments:  I found a version of this in the Holiday edition of Southern Living.  It called for smoked sausage, garlic & thyme.  I used Jimmy Dean's extra sage sausage, which is very lean and flavorful.  I also omitted the garlic and thyme.  Plus, I cut the recipe in half.  This dish turned out wonderful!  Even my Food Tester who is from NY loved it.  I'll be making it again but I'm going to add sauted onions and possibly some bell peppers.  This is also an attractive dish that has everything in one dish.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Coconut Pudding Cake

1 cake mix (yellow or white)

2 pkg. (4 serving size each) coconut pudding
2 1/2 cups milk

Mix the cake according to package directions and bake in 2 round cake pans.  Cool COMPLETELY.  Mix pudding and milk.  Allow to thicken.  Slice the cakes in down the middle making 4 round layers.  Carefully lay a layer onto your cake plate, cover with pudding.  Carefully add the next layer and repeat with pudding.  Continue ending with pudding being your topping.  Sprinkle with coconut (optional).

Comment:  This is so easy.  I originally thought about putting the pudding between the layers only and icing the cake but changed my mind using the pudding on top.  When I sliced my layers I carefully placed each on a paper plate.  When putting together use the thickest one 1st (there will always be one thicker than the other when you slice).  Add pudding, top with a thinner layer, add pudding and top with other thin layer using the other thick one for the top.  This cake came out so moist!  And think of all the other flavors you might want to use.  Pistachio would be delicious!!  You could do chocolate with chocolate cake, or yellow.  Lemon maybe.  Whatever pudding flavor you might like you can make a delicious cake with.

Lemon Almond Pudding Cake - the only changes was to use a lemon cake mix and lemon pudding along with almond slivers sprinkled over each layer.  So good!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Strawberry Jello Pie

1 1/4 cup apple juice (I used water)
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 pkg (4 serving size) Strawberry Gelatin
2 cups fresh strawberries (I used whole frozen)
1 graham cracker pie crust

In a saucepan mix apple juice (or water), sugar and cornstarch.  Cook on medium heat 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add dry gelatin mix and stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved.  Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on the bottom of the crust.  Cover with the gelatin mix.  Refrigerate until firm.  Serve with topping.

Comment:  This is another old favorite that I found in an old Jello cookbook.  Every time I see a picture of this pie I think about the old Shoney's where they served a pie like this but in a regular crust, not the graham cracker type.  One tip that I must give when making this is to make sure your cornstarch mixture gets to the point of a thick gravy.  You want to be able to pour it over the berries but thick enough that it will become firm when cooled.  I didn't find fresh strawberries that looked very good so I did buy the whole frozen and sliced them down the middle.  I also filled my shell with 2 layers instead of just one to give it even more flavor.  This is a dish I will be making often but I think I'll try it with the regular pie shell that I bake instead of the graham just to see how much difference it will make.  I feel sure it will be delicious!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Coconut Pie

1 cup flaked or shredded coconut
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Bisquick Mix
1/ cup butter, softened
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a pie plate 9 x 1 1/4 (I use a deep dish pie plate) with cooking spray.  Stir all ingredients in a medium bowl with a wire whisk or fork until blended.  Pour into pie plate.  Bake 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely before slicing.

Comments:  Yes this is another one of those 'Impossibly Easy' Bisquick dishes.  And yes it is easy and oh so good.  I made this and served it to some of my food testers that I'll be feeding this Thanksgiving to see if they would like it to be on the menu.  All agreed that it was a must have.  The only change I'll be making when I make this again is to allow the coconut to brown just a little more and maybe drizzle it with a little melted butter.  This pie comes out like an egg custard type pie and well worth making.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Farro Salad


1 Brussels sprout stalk (I used 1 lb. frozen)
1 1/2 Tbsp Dijon or Spicy Brown Mustard
1 small shallot, minced
1/3 cup Sherry vinegar (I didn't use)
1/3 cup and 1 tsp Extra virgin Olive Oil (I used 1/4 cup and 1 tsp.)
1/4 cup Shaved Parmesan, or to taste
1/2 a Lemon (I didn't use)
3/4 cup farro
1 teaspoon Butter
Salt and Pepper

Use a paring knife to trim the sprouts from the stalk. Separate and reserve the big leafy tops, and any leaves that fall while you’re trimming the sprouts. Wash the sprouts and the leaves separately. Set the leaves aside for now. You can shave the brussels sprouts in a food processor, with a mandoline, or with a knife.  (For the frozen sprouts I allowed them to thaw just slightly and then cut them into 1/4s).  Once your sprouts are shaved, lightly toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast at 425ºF until brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir them at least once while they’re roasting. (When using frozen sprouts you may want to turn the heat up to 450.  They don't brown as well or quickly as fresh).

In a saucepan, cover 3/4 cup farro with plenty of water, and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Drain the farro and discard the cooking water. In a saute pan, melt 1 teaspoon butter with 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat, then toast the farro until it’s golden.  (For some reason I couldn't get my farro toasted but that turned out ok for my dish.  This is also when I added 1/4 cup of olive oil and the shallots, letting them cook slightly.)

While the sprouts and farro are cooking, make the dressing. In a jar or tupperware, combine the shallot, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Shake or whisk thoroughly.
Toss the roasted sprouts with the toasted farro and the dressing, and serve on a platter with shaved parmesan scattered over.  (For my dish I eliminated this step completely.  I mixed the sprouts, farro and cheese, tossing it while everything was still warm allowing some of the cheese to melt.)

Comment:  This recipe came from John Spottiswood at and it caught my eye immediately.  I did make a few changes because I'm not a lemon nor vinegar fan when it comes to my farro nor Brussel Sprouts.  I ended up tasting as I went along determining what I wanted to add.  There was one other ingredient that I haven't listed and that was a few sprinkles of Greek Seasoning (can be found at Walmart).  The 4 food testers that ate this dish all loved it!  And so did I.  I'll make it again.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Tamale Pie

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped bell peppers (I added)
1 envelope (1 1/4 oz.) taco seasoning mix
1 can (8 oz.) stewed tomatoes drained & chopped (I omitted)
1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed & drained (I omitted)
1 jar (16 oz.) Your Favorite Salsa (I added)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I added)
1/2 cup Bisquick Mix
1/4 cup Yellow cornmeal (I used white)
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a pie plate (I use cake pan) with cooking spray.  Cook beef until brown.  Drain.  Stir in onions, (bell peppers) and taco mix.  Spread in pie plate.  Sprinkle with tomatoes and corn.  (I spread the salsa over mine instead of the tomatoes & corn and sprinkled with the cheese.)  In a medium bowl mix the remaining ingredients until blended (this works best with a whisk or fork).  Pour evenly over the ingredients in the pie plate.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Comment:  This is another one of those simple, yet delicious, Bisquick Impossible Pie recipes.  As you can see I did make a few changes but have given you the original recipe as well.  I must say that mine turned out so delicious.  I topped it with a little sour cream.  Serve it with a salad and you have a meal that's ready in no time with very little preparation.  These forgotten recipes from my earlier years are worth bringing back.