Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Spinach Spaghetti Aglio e Olio



4 ounces dry spaghetti
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup parsley leaves, minced
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup spinach leaves, minced
pinch red pepper flakes

Prepare and drain spaghetti according to package directions. Don't forget to salt your water and work on preparing the other ingredients while the spaghetti is on the stove.
Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sautee for about 2 minutes.
Add the cooked and drained spaghetti to the skillet and mix until incorporated with the oil and garlic. 
Add the parsley and spinach, stir until well combined. Let cook for another 2 minutes before turning off the heat and plating.

Comments:  I found this recipe online.  There were only 2 changes that I made.  One was to add 1/4 cup of half & half and the other was to add about 1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese, adding both at the before the last 2 minutes of cooking at the end.  This is so good!  I took some over to one of my food testers and she loved it.  A delicious addition to this would be small shrimp!  Or maybe chicken.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Coconut Pudding



1 pkg. Global Sugar Sprinkled Coconut Cookies
1 pkg. shredded coconut
2 pkg. vanilla or coconut pudding mix

In a 13 x 9 baking dish place 1 layer of cookies.  Sprinkle coconut over cookies.  Make pudding according to package directions.  Slowly pour over coconut.  Top with another layer of cookies.  Refrigerate

Comment:  This is a recipe that I came up with making it in place of banana pudding.  I make my own pudding but you can use instant or cook style pudding.  If you don't find coconut pudding or you make your own, add about 1/2 tsp. of coconut extract.  The cookies I used are the Global but any coconut cookie will work.  The Global are small and I used about 60 cookies.  You can even use vanilla wafers if you want.  This dish turned out so good.  My 99 year old neighbor dug into it as soon as I took it over.  It is so simple and a very inexpensive dish to make.  This will serve 8-10 depending upon the size of your serving.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Pita Burgers



Lean Ground Beef
Ketchup
Mustard
Mayonnaise
Cheese, shredded
Sauted Onions
Pita Bread

Brown the ground beef.  Drain if needed.  While the meat is still hot add to taste - ketchup, mustard mayonnaise and cheese.  Stuff into pita halves.  Top with grilled onions.

Comment:  My dog wasn't feeling well so I browned him some ground beef and mixed a little with his dog food to get him to eat.  I had about 3/4 lb. left over and didn't know what to do with cooked, crumbled ground beef, other than spaghetti, etc.  Then it hit me.  I heated it back up, added the toppings I normally add to my burgers along with shredded cheese.  I sauted some onions, stuffed the meat mixture into pita halves  and added the onions on top.  The cheese acted as a glue holding the meat together, keeping it from falling out of the pita.  The taste was better than a regular hamburger!  I took some to one of my Food Testers.  She loved it so much she bought some ground beef and pitas and 2 nights later she made her own.  I'm sure you could add tomatoes and lettuce if you use the larger pitas.  I used the small. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

White Chocolate Energy Blend



3 Pkg. (2.75 oz. each) Imperial Nuts - Energy Blend
1 pkg. white chocolate chips

Melt the white chocolate and stir in the Energy Blend.  Pour onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until cooled.  Break into pieces.

Comment:  Every year I make chocolate and white chocolate candy clusters but this is the 1st year I've ever used Imperial Nuts Energy blend.  The only place I've found these are at the Dollar Tree.  They consist of Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Honey Roasted Peanuts, and Honey Roasted Sesame Sticks.  I love them as they are but when I decided to give them a try coated with white chocolate, all I can say is OMGoodness!  I took some to the nursing home, gave some to some of my food testers and even my 99 yr. old neighbor 'Mom.'  They all loved them!  Give these a try and I have a feeling you will too.  The sesame sticks really make them special.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Broccoli Casserole with Cheese




10 to 12 ounces frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons finely minced onion (I used ½ med. Onion, finely chopped)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
Dash of pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups half-and-half or light cream (I used 1 cup evaporated milk & ½ cup water)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar (I used Mexican Blend)
3 large eggs, beaten 

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease a 2 1/2-quart casserole or baking dish.  Arrange the cooked and drained broccoli in the prepared casserole.  Heat the butter in a large skillet or sauté pan; add onion and sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes, until onion is tender.  Stir in flour until well blended and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the pepper, nutmeg, salt, and half-and-half. Continue cooking over low heat until thickened. Stir in cheese and cook just until cheese is melted.  Add about one-third of the hot cheese sauce mixture to the beaten eggs; add back to the hot mixture, blending well. Pour over the broccoli.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center of the broccoli casserole and comes out clean.

Comments:  I can’t say enough about this dish.  It is so good.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to add the nutmeg but glad I did.  It gave it a very different flavor that fit with the onions perfectly.  I will be making this one again.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Pineapple Cobbler



1 pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into chunks
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 stick butter
1 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup milk
extra butter and white sugar for top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using a large cast iron frying pan, melt the stick of butter.  Add the pineapple and brown sugar.  Cook on med-high heat until the pineapple starts to become limp.  In a bowl mix the flour and enough milk to make it the consistency of pancake batter.  Pour over hot pineapple.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until crust topping is done.  Dot extra butter over top of crust.  Sprinkle with white sugar.  Bake another 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

Comments:  This is a dish I simply made up as I went along.  The pineapple was nice and sweet allowing me to use only 1/2 cup of the sugar.  The pineapple also provided the liquid needed.  I took this to the nursing home and the nurses there raved over how delicious it is.  I'm sure you could use canned pineapple but I don't know if you would get the liquid nor the touch of tartness that a fresh pineapple provided.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Apple Cobbler/Pie



2 cans refrigerator cinnamon buns
1 can (21 oz.) apple pie filling
butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Separate one can of the cinnamon buns and cut each into 1/4's.  Place them loosely into the bottom of a spring form pan (or a casserole dish 9 x 9 (approx).  Open the can of apple pie filling.  Cut the pieces into small chunks and sprinkle half over the buns.  Open the 2nd can and cut into 1/4's.  Scatter these evenly over the apples.  Top with the other half of the apple pie filling.  Bake 30-35 minutes.  While still hot, dabble with butter and squeeze the icing that comes with the cinnamon buns over the apples.  Serve hot.  Will make 10-12 servings.

Comment:  I'm always trying to come up with different sweets to make and take to the nursing home and had thought about making monkey bread.  My idea was to use the cinnamon buns as my dough and pour the apple pie filling over the top letting it sink in.  But when I opened the pie filling I noticed how thick it was so changed my plan and worked it up in the method above.  This is one of the best apple pie anythings I think I've ever had.  It isn't really a cobbler because it doesn't have the thin filling.  It isn't really a pie for the same reason.  It is sort of a monkey bread but you eat it with a fork and don't pull the dough off.  What it really is is delicious!  This would be great with vanilla ice cream.  And it is so easy to make that you can make and take it just about any gathering.  And even if you can't keep it warm or heat it back up - its good cold!  You can change the filling to whatever you might like as long as it goes with the cinnamon flavor in the buns.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Shrimp Alfredo Mac & Cheese



1 box (16 oz.) elbow macaroni
1 jar (16 oz.) Alfredo Sauce
1 lb. shrimp, cooked and cleaned
1 block (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded cheese
Panko

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook macaroni according to package directions.  In a large bowl combine Alfredo sauce, cream cheese and cheese.  Stir in shrimp and noodles.  Pour into a 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.  Sprinkle with Panko and bake another 5 minutes.

Comments:  My nursing home friend loves shrimp, Alfredo and cheese so I came up with a combination that included all of these and named it Shrimp Alfredo Mac & Cheese.  I found the shrimp on sale - large buy one get one - so I used a bag of them cutting each into bite size pieces.  This dish came out simply delicious.  I sent some over to my 99 yr. old friend and she loved it too.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sock-it-to-Me Cake




1 yellow cake mix
4 large eggs
1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese + 2 Tbsp. milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

Streusel Filling:
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Glaze:
½ cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 10-inch Bundt or tube pan.  Melt cream cheese in microwave until soft.  Stir in milk.  Combine cake mix, eggs, water and cream cheese.  Mix well for 2-3 minutes on medium speed.  Pour ½ of the batter into the pan.  In another bowl mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans.  Sprinkle evenly over the cake batter (save 2-3 Tbsp. for topping).  Add remaining batter over streusel mix.  Bake 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Glaze:  Mix the powdered sugar, melted butter and milk.  Drizzle over hot cake that has been placed on a plate.  Sprinkle with remaining streusel filling.

COMMENT:  I have a friend who is 99 years old and her favorite cake is the Sock-it-to-Me Cake.  I normally buy one but when I was getting ready to make something good to take to the nursing home on Sunday I spotted a Sock-it-to-Me Cake on the Duncan Hines site.  I checked it out and found it a bit hard to read due to the way it was written but decided to give it a try anyway.  The original recipe called for sour cream, which I normally keep but found that I was out and didn't want to go all the way to the store for just one cup.  Then I spotted the cream cheese.  I knew that if I microwaved it and added just a little milk it would end up the consistency of sour cream so I made that substitution.  It was one that I'll be using in the future for not only sweet dishes but also a few veggie dishes.  The original also called for a carton of their frosting mix.  I seldom use store bought frosting so I made up my own using the powdered sugar.  They also added 1/4 cup of sugar to the cake mix.  I couldn't see the need so I eliminated that.  My only other change was to save some of the streusel to sprinkle on the top.  All of these changes worked beautifully.  The taste the cream cheese gave the cake was so good.  This is a simple, yet one of the best cakes that would be great for the upcoming holidays.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ground Beef Stuffing



1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. stuffing mix
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4-5 slices provolone cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown and drain the ground beef.  Mix stuffing according to package mix.  Add ground beef and shredded cheese.  Pour evenly into a 8 x 8 (approx) baking dish.  Top with Provolone cheese.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until cheese has melted inside and out.

Comment:  This dish is so simple yet so delicious!  I've made this with chicken in the past but decided to try changing it by using the ground beef.  I cooked this without the mushroom soup so it isn't showing in the picture.  When I heated the leftovers up I added the soup.  That was even better but the soup is optional.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Pineapple Coconut Cake


1 pineapple cake mix
1 can sliced pineapple (save juice)
1 can (or 1 cup) shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Make cake mix according to directions but use the pineapple juice in place of the water.  This can be made in loaf pans, round pans or 9 x 13 baking dish.  Spray the pan you plan to use with non-stick spray.  Lay out the pineapple.  Sprinkle with coconut.  Sprinkle with pecans.  Bake according to the directions on the package for the pan size you're using.

Comments:  This is one of the best cakes I've ever had the pleasure of eating and all of my food testers agree.  There is one ingredient I love to use but have a hard time finding.  It's a grated coconut in a can with coconut milk.  When I do find this it's usually in the Mexican food section but I seldom run across it.  If you use this grated coconut with milk, spoon it over the pineapple, picking up some of the milk as you go.  Use about 1/2 the can over the pineapple and include the remaining into the cake mix.  Just make sure you take the amount of coconut milk into consideration when adding liquids to your cake mix.  I measured my remaining milk and then added the pineapple juice to come up with the amount of liquid the cake mix called for.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Strawberry Pudding




1 14 oz. Can Eagle Brand milk
1 cup cold water
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 container (8 oz) Cool Whip 
Box vanilla wafers
1 qt. fresh strawberries, sliced 
chocolate shavings (optional)


In large bowl combine Eagle Brand milk and water. Add pudding mix. Beat well. Chill 5 min.
Fold in Cool Whip.  In a 9 x 13 (approx) dish put a layer of vanilla wafers.  Add the sliced strawberries.  Add another layer of vanilla wafers.  Spread the pudding mix evenly over wafers.  Sprinkle with chocolate shavings.  Chill thoroughly.

Comment:  This is sooooooo good and so simple to make.  It reminded me of banana pudding using strawberries instead of the bananas.  You can even change this up and use bananas or cherries or pineapple.  Great for a cool, light dessert at a cookout.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Beefy Enchilada Casserole



Enchilada Sauce

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp chili powder
10 oz. Diced tomatoes and green chilies
2 cups water
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. cumin
pepper tot aste

Heat oil over med-high heat in a large pot.  Add flour and chili powder.  Whisk for about 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and green chilies, water and remaining spices.  Stir well and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down to summer ad cook about 10 minutes.

Enchiladas

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
Enchilada sauce from above
6 medium corn tortilla
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. While enchilada sauce is cooking, brown ground beef, crumbling well,  drain and add to enchilada sauce.   Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.  (Dish should be long and wide enough to hold 4 tortillas with very little overlap.)  Place enough sauce in the bottom of the pan to lightly cover.  Add 4 tortilla.  Top with 1/2 of the sauce and 1 cup of cheese.  Make another layer of 4 tortillas, other half of the sauce and remaining 1 cup of cheese.  Bake 20-30 minutes uncovered or until bubbly and cheese has melted.  Serves 6-8.  (If serving 6, approx. 400 cals. per serving)

Comment:  This is simply DELICIOUS!  For my diet I went with the 1/8 serving so the calories would be down just a bit more.  And the sauce - It's worth making from scratch and doesn't really take that long but if you don't want to bother you can always buy a jar.  I'm sure this would be good if made with chicken and even less calories.  This is a must try recipe that you can't help but love.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Cauliflower Patties



5 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 lb.)
1 cup shredded cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place cauliflower in a food processor. Process until finely grated. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover loosely and microwave on High for 3 minutes. Let cool slightly. Transfer the cauliflower to a clean kitchen towel and wring out excess moisture. Return to the bowl and stir in cheese, egg and salt until thoroughly combined. Roll into large balls and form into patties.  Repeat with the remaining batter, leaving about 1 inch between each one.  Bake until browned and crispy around the edges, about 25 minutes. Serve with your favorite toppings or use to make a breakfast sandwich.  Makes 10


Comment:  These are delicious!   I found a recipe for Cauliflower English Muffins that required using a biscuit cutter to form the patties.  Didn't have one so I used my hands.  The texture reminds me of grits.  The taste is similar to grits with a touch of sweetness.  These would actually work great served with an egg on top.  I'm going to use them in place of bread to make an open face burger.  I really believe it will be perfect.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 10.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 72
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5 g
8 %
Saturated Fat 3 g
14 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 32 mg
11 %
Sodium 110 mg
5 %
Potassium 154 mg
4 %
Total Carbohydrate 3 g
1 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g
5 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 5 g
10 %
Vitamin A
3 %
Vitamin C
35 %
Calcium
10 %
Iron
1 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Pina Colada Fluff



1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding
1 pineapple (peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp. coconut extract (optional)
1 container (16 oz. or 2 8 oz.) cool whip

Combine all ingredients mixing until pudding had dissolved.  Refrigerate 2-3 hrs. or until set.

Comment:  The original recipe called for 1 can of pineapple with juice, no coconut extract and no coconut.  It also called for 1 8 oz. container of cool whip.  I had a fresh pineapple that needed to be used so I used that instead of the canned and increased the amount of the cool whip to add extra moisture.  I also added the coconut and extract because I love the taste of a good Pina Colada.  This is simply delicious.  As for the number of servings, I have no idea.  I'm taking it to the nursing home and it ended up filling the cool whip container so I would say at least 8-10?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies



1 coconut cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 eggs
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix butter, nuts and chips.  Add eggs until well blended.  Mix in cake mix.  Make into walnut size balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  The cookies will still be very soft until completely cooled.  Makes about 3 dozen depending on size.

Comment:  The cake mix cookies can be made with any flavor of cake mix.  I normally just pick the flavor I want and add ingredients such as nuts, chips, etc.  You can even add dried fruit to say a pineapple cake mix.  Or use a pineapple cake mix and add coconut.  Just Think With Your Taste Buds and come up with your favorite cookies using this simple recipe.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

White Chip Pudding Cookies




1 cup vegetable oil
14 cup sugar 
34 cup brown sugar,  firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 (3 ounce) package chocolate instant pudding mix 
2 large eggs 
1teaspoon baking soda 
14 cups self rising flour 
1cup white chocolate chips (more or less to taste)
1cup nuts (optional)

Mix flour and baking soda and set aside.  Then combine butter, sugars, vanilla, and pudding mix in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy.  Beat in eggs.  Gradually add flour mixture.  Then stir in chips (batter will be stiff).  Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls on ungreased baking sheet.  (it works well to roll dough in ball and slightly flatten).  Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Comments:  These cookies are delicious!  I made a batch to take to the nursing home and believe me they didn't last long.  The nurses all raved about them.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Tuna & Rice Casserole



1 can (5-6 oz) tuna, drained
1 can cream of mushroom condensed soup
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup wild rice blend
1/2 cup French fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook rice according to package making sure the water has cooked out or it has been drained.  In a large bowl combine tuna, soup, cheese and rice.  Pour into an 8 x 8 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until bubbly in center.  Sprinkle with crushed French fried onions.  Bake another 5 minutes or until onions start to lightly brown.  Serves 6.

Weight Watchers points - 5

Comment:  This turned out delicious!  I made it based on the recipe for Green Bean Casserole adding the cheese and rice.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Beef Spinach Casserole




1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided


In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the mushrooms, salt, basil and pepper. Add the spinach, soup and sour cream. Stir in half of the mozzarella cheese.

Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 6 servings.

Weight Watchers Points 12 per serving


Comment:  This dish might not look tasty but believe me, it is!  The basil gives it a flavor that has you wanting another bite.  All of my food testers raved about it and ask that I make it again.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Roasted Brussel Sprouts



1 lb. fresh Brussels Sprouts
4 thick slices raw bacon
1 med. Onion
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Clean and slice Brussels Spouts in half.  Cut bacon into small pieces.  Cut onion in half and thinly slice.  In a baking dish toss together Brussels Sprouts, bacon, onions, olive oil and garlic.  Bake 40-45 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.  Turn the oven off.  Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Return to the oven for about 5 minutes allowing the cheese to start melting.


Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 391
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27 g
42 %
Saturated Fat 7 g
34 %
Monounsaturated Fat 10 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 47 mg
16 %
Sodium 1129 mg
47 %
Potassium 395 mg
11 %
Total Carbohydrate 13 g
4 %
Dietary Fiber 5 g
19 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 24 g
48 %
Vitamin A
24 %
Vitamin C
89 %
Calcium
35 %
Iron
6 %

Friday, October 6, 2017

Pork Roast



½ to ¾ cup of baby carrots
3 to 4 medium potatoes cut into thirds
4 boneless pork loin chops (3/4” thick)
1 large onion sliced
1 envelope onion soup mix
2 cans (10-3/4 oz each) condensed cream of chicken soup

Place carrots and potatoes in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Top with pork chops, onion, soup mix and soup. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Yield: 4 servings.


Comment:  While at the grocery store deli I saw that they ran a special one day a week on cooked, pork loin.  The price was wonderful and the size of the loin was rather large but I decided that after making a delicious sandwich I would find something else to do with what was left.  I found this recipe for a slow-cooker pork roast and just changed the cooking time since my roast was already cooked.  To make the adjustment use a large pot, place the potatoes, carrots and onions in the bottom, top with slices of the pork loin, mix the dry soup and canned soups together PLUS 1/2 CAN OF WATER! and pour over the pork, cover and cook on med heat until the potatoes are tender.  Mine took about 45 minutes to cook.  This is delicious.  (You can also make this using left-over beef roast).  My food testers all enjoyed their Pork Roast dinner.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Apple Dumplins'



1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground 
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground 
1 pkg. 10 canned biscuits
4 apples, cored and cut into 1/4s
1 stick butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
1 cup water 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 500°F. Mix cinnamon and nutmeg in small bowl. For each dumplin place 1 biscuit between 2 pieces of parchment paper.  Using a roller or smooth, thick glass, roll out the biscuit until very thin.  Remove top piece of parchment paper.  Sprinkle with cinnamon nutmeg mixture.  Place 1 apple fourth in center of dough.  Cut off 1 tsp. of butter from stick and place in the center of the apple.  Carefully fold dough up over apple half, pinching seams together to seal. Place dumplings, seam-side down, in greased 13x9-inch baking dish.  Place into hot oven for 10 minutes or until the crust begins to brown.

While the dumplins are in the oven bring sugar, water and remaining butter to boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla; set aside.

After the dumplins have browned, reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Pour sauce over dumplings. Bake 40 to 45 minutes longer or until apples are tender and pastry is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Comment:  I used a square cast iron frying pan.  With 4 apples you end up with 16 fourths so I placed one piece in the pan to use as a tester for the apples.  This allowed me to pierce it for tenderness after about 20 minutes so I wouldn't have to pierce the dumplins.  I also sliced up the remaining pieces and placed one slice between each of the dumplins so they wouldn't tough and stick together.  About half way through cooking I pulled my dish out and spooned the sauce over the tops of the dumplins, then put them back into the oven to finish cooking.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Poor Man's Crab Cakes





2 eggs
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
10 oz. pkg Imitation Crab
1/2 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green onion, chopped
Olive oil or oil spray

Heat oven to 400F.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, dijon, lemon juice, paprika, and black pepper. Chop imitation crab into small pieces and pull apart using 2 forks, or put in a food processor and pulse 2-3 times to separate pieces.  Stir in imitation crab, garlic and green onion. Stir in flour until well blended. Gently stir in bread crumbs until just combined.  Form mixture into 8-10 patties and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Lightly brush or spray the tops of each with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden. Remove from the oven and serve.

This recipe originally called for real crab, which is delicious but can also be expensive.  When I changed the real crab to imitation crab I found the taste isn't as great as the real thing but its still a delicious dish.  Make sure you break up the chunks of imitation crab so it doesn't clump too much.  Also, don't over cook and dry it out.  This is one I'll be making again.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Blueberry Cookies



1 pkg (7 oz.) Blueberry Muffin Mix
3/4 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix muffin mix and butter until well blended.  Shape into balls about the size of a large walnut.  Place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Press down with a fork.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until bottoms just start to brown.  Makes 9-12 cookies depending on size.

Again I was trying to come up with something different to take to my friend for my Sunday visit.  I thought about making muffins but thought those might be a bit messy since she has to eat everything while sitting up in bed.  Then it hit me that if I added nothing but butter to the muffin mix that I just might be able to make cookies.  YES!!!! It worked and they are delicious.  I took some to a couple of my food testers and they both loved them.  They agreed they had never even heard of blueberry cookies and were shocked when I told them what they were made from.  Next I'm going to make Apple Cinnamon Muffin Cookies. 

If you use a larger package you will have to increase the amount of melted butter.  I started off with 1/2 stick of butter but it wasn't quite enough so I took it up to 3/4 of a stick.  Experiment with the amount of butter when using a larger package of muffin mix by increasing it until you have a texture that will easily roll into balls.  With these cookies you not only taste the blueberry but also butter making a beautiful combination.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Mandarin Orange Cottage Cheese



1 large carton (24 oz.) cottage cheese
1 carton (8 oz.) Cool Whip
2 cans Mandarin oranges drained (about 1 cup)
1 pkg. Orange Jello

Mix cottage cheese, cool whip and jello until well blended.  Fold in oranges.  Cover and refrigerate.

Comment:  I have a dear friend who I visit every Sunday at a nursing home.  I know the food there may not be the best so I try to bring something special to each visit.  This always prompts a conversation about food and old recipes.  She told me about a dish that she had a long time ago that was so good, so easy and only required 4 ingredients.  She didn't know the measurements but said it was something she really missed.  I went by the store on my way home and bought the 4 ingredients above perfected it with my 1st try. 

This dish is creamy and feels so cool to the tongue.  I've actually made it twice.  Once using the oranges and orange jello, once using pineapple chunks and pineapple jello.  Both are delicious.  This also makes a large amount.  I would guess the number of servings as 10-12 depending on your serving size.