Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Apple Cinnamon and Cheese Biscuits


1 tube large Grand Flaky Biscuits
2 large apples
1 stick butter
1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp. cinnamon
8 slices cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Use a spring pan or casserole dish large enough for 8 large Grand biscuits without them touching.  Pull the biscuits in half and place 8 half on the bottom of the baking dish.  Core, peel and cut the apples into 1/2" chunks (approx.).  Place in a pan with the butter, sugar and cinnamon.  Allow the sugar and butter to melt over med. high heat and the apples to cook until they're barely firm in the center.  Spoon 1/2 the apples over the biscuit halves.  Place a slice of cheese over each half.  Top with remaining 8 biscuit halves.  Spoon remaining apples over each half and drizzle with the liquid.  Bake 45 minutes or until biscuits are done.  Sprinkle with more cheddar cheese (optional).  

Comments:  This dish is so easy yet so tasty that even if you've never eaten cooked apples or apple pie with cheddar cheese, you can't help but love it.  This idea actually hit me in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep.  I had made the crescent roll apples before but this one comes out more like a cinnamon roll.  Which reminds me, taste the apples when you boil them to see if you need to add more cinnamon.  I like a strong taste that soaks into the biscuits.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Crescent Apple Pie

2 tubes (8 oz.) crescent rolls
3/4 cup of melted butter
3 Granny Smith apples
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 cup Sprite

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel, core and slice apples into 6 wedges each (total of 18 wedges).  Roll each wedge into 1 crescent each.  Place in 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish.  Mix melted butter, sugar and cinnamon.  Spoon over crescents.  Pour Sprite along edges of dish but not over the crescents.  You want the cinnamon sugar to stay on top of the crescents and not washed off.  Bake 35-40 minutes or until browned and crescents bottoms are done. 

Comment:  If you make this dish just once, you'll never make nor buy another apple pie again!  This is simple, pretty, and soooooo delicious.  Imagine what it would taste topped with ice cream while still good and hot.  You can also make this with peaches - 4 large, or maybe even pears.  You and your guests won't be able to get enough of this one.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Tater Tot Casserole

2 lb bag of frozen tater tots (will not use all)
1 c grated cheddar cheese
1 lb. ground beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c milk

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cook hamburger; drain. Add soup and milk to meat.
3. Line a 9x9 baking dish with a layer of tater tots. Cover tots with meat mixture, then top that with cheese. Add another layer of tater tots.
4. Cook about 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Serves 6

Comments:  This is one of the easiest dishes ever.  The original recipe called for 2 lbs. of tater tots and a 13 x 9 baking dish.  I used a 9 x 9 and only just over half of the tots.  The original called for ½ lb. of ground beef.  I used 1 lb.  It called for 2 cups of cheese but I only used 1 cup.  It also called for a layer of tots, layer of beef, layer of cheese and repeat the layers.  I did a layer of tots, all of the ground beef, all of the cheese over the beef, and one more layer of tots.  This is a dish even the kids will love.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Pork 'n Dumplins

1 lb. lean, boneless pork chops
1 Tbsp. minced, dehydrated onions
1/2 tsp. Garlic & Herb seasoning
salt & pepper to taste
1 small can of drained English peas
1 1/2 cups self rising flour

Cut pork into bite size pieces.  Place in a pot with about 2 quarts of water, onions and seasoning.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Cook until pork is totally done and soft.  Skim off fat.  Refrigerate overnight.  About 1/2 hr. before serving add water to pot.  You want a 3 qt. pot to be about 3/4 full.  About 1/2 hr. before serving bring the pork and liquid to a boil then turn down to a simmer and add the English peas.  In a large bowl combine the flour and enough water to wet the dough and make it sticky, kind of like the texture of biscuits.  Using a teaspoon, add the dough one spoon full at a time (making dumplings) until the top is covered.  Let these simmer for 2-3 minutes and add another layer pressing the first group to the bottom of the pot (they won't stay there but it will allow you to add more dumplings).  Let simmer and add another layer until all dough is used.  Simmer the pot until the dumplings are done.  The water will thicken slightly as this is done.  Serves 6

Comments:  I love chicken and dumplings but wanted something different.  I spotted a package of boneless pork chops in the freezer that needed to be used and came up with this idea.  The addition of the dehydrated onions was a great idea as was the garlic & herb seasonings.  I used a Tuscan blend that worked perfectly.  When adding your dumplings, don't make them too big because they will rise slightly.  Make them no larger than a walnut when adding them.  Some will break apart and that's ok too.  That is where the thickening will come from.  When you cook the pork, taste it now and then to see how much salt is needed.  I had to add several times before coming up with enough.  And the overnight refrigeration gave the flavors time to blend into the pork.  This is a delicious dish that my food testers loved.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Spinach Squares

1 box (11 oz) pie crust mix
1/3 cup cold water
1 ½ cups frozen, chopped spinach (bag type not box)
1 ½ cups French Fried Onions
½ cup of crumbled, cooked bacon (about ½ lb.)
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup sour cream
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. Spicy Brown Mustard
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Line a 13x9x2” baking pan with foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Combine pie crust mix and water in large bowl until moistened and crumbly.  Using a floured bottom measuring cup, press mixture firmly onto bottom of prepared pan.  Prick with fork.  Bake 20 minutes or until golden.  Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

Layer spinach, French Fried Onions, bacon and cheese over crust.  Combine sour cream, eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper in medium bowl.  Mix until well blended.  Pour over spinach layer.  Bake 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Cut into squares to serve.  Serves 8.

Comments:  This is actually a combination of two recipes that I found in a cookbook called Favorite Brand Name 3 Books in 1 – One-Dish; Slow Cooker; Casseroles.  It’s a wonderful cookbook.  The changes I made was to use a frozen pie crust.  I baked it in the hot oven until browned.  I then added the layers (bacon from another recipe).  Cut the eggs down to 4 and the milk down to ¾ cup, since the pie crust was smaller.  I baked it the same.  This dish was so good that I could have eaten the whole thing myself, but I didn’t and shared it with some of my friends.  Using the pie crust it cuts the servings down to 6.  This is a must try dish!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Crescent Grinders

1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup red and/or green bell peppers, sliced
½ cup red or yellow onion, sliced
6 Steak-Ums broken into pieces about 1” square
Cheddar Cheese
1 roll (8 count) crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a frying pan heat olive oil.  Add bell peppers and onions.  Saute until limp.  Add steak-ums.  Saute over med. high heat until steak-ums are cook throughout (about 2-3 minutes).  Line a sheet pan with foil sprayed with non-stick spray.  Open crescents and lay out on foil.  Sprinkle heavy with cheese.  Evenly top with meat mixture.  Roll up.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crescents are done and lightly browned.

Comments:  These are simply delicious!  I used a mixture of the red and green peppers.  I found these in Walmart in the freezer section already sliced with the onions already added.  I used about 1 cup of this combination.  The steak-ums work great, but you can also use thin sliced roast beef from the deli or lunch meat dept.  For my cheese I used a Colby-Cheddar Shredded Mixture and put it on heavy.  When adding the meat mixture, you want to pile it on.  When you roll the crescents, it will probably only have one overlap of the crescent point.  Some of the mixture may fall out, just push it back in.  I served mine with a choice of mayo, mustard and/or ranch dressing.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Kielbasa and Hashbrowns (2 ingredient dish)

1 pkg. Kielbasa Sausage
1 carton Idaho Spuds Veggie Hashbrowns

Slice Kielbasa and allow to lightly brown in a non-stick frying pan.  Remove from pan.  Cook Hashbrowns according to package directions.  When done, add the Kielbasa back to the pan and heat thoroughly.  Serves 4

Comments:  The Veggie Hashbrowns by Idaho have red and green peppers in with the potatoes.  I like a little onion so to the potatoes I sprinkled in about 1/2 tsp. of dehydrated onions allowing them to swell along with the potatoes and peppers.  This worked perfectly.  This is a quick and very tasty dish that can be served with a salad and bread for a full meal.  It took about 30 minutes from beginning to end and this includes the time the potatoes are soaking.  Of course, if you don't like peppers or want the real thing, you can stir fry freshly cut and add them to the dish when the meat is added back at the end.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Shrimp Scampi

1 lb. shrimp – peeled and deveined
4 Tbsp. butter
½ lb. spaghetti
1 tsp. minced garlic
¼ cup chicken broth
½ container cream cheese with chives

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Melt butter in a large frying pan.  Add garlic and shrimp.  Cook on medium-high heat until the shrimp is until they begin to curl and become opaque.  Add broth and cream cheese.  Stir until the cream cheese has melted and broth has slightly thickened.  Add to spaghetti and toss until mixed. 

Comments:  I love Shrimp Scampi but wanted to give it a different twist.  That is where the cream cheese came in.  I used large shrimp which I cut in half, but you can use other sizes.  As for the cream cheese, you can add more or less depending on your own desire.  This turned out simply delicious and the sauce coated the spaghetti perfectly.  I also used veggie spaghetti making it a little healthier.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Pull Apart Apple Bread

Non-stick cooking spray
1 can Grands Butter Tastin’ Biscuits (8 count) and 1 small can (5 count)
½ cup oats
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 apple, cored, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
4 Tbsp. butter
4 oz. cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a bundt loaf pan with cooking spray.  Place oats, cinnamon and sugar in a processor.  Pulse to grind.  Pour into a small bowl.  Cut biscuits into 1/4s 4 biscuits at a time.  Roll each in oat mixture pressing lightly to coat.  Place in bundt pan.  Top with 1/2 of the apple chunks.  Cut the next 4 biscuits, roll in oats mixture and place on top of apples.  Top with remaining apples.  Cut up remaining biscuits and place on top of the apples.  Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture. 

In a small saucepan combine butter and sweetened, condensed milk, mixing well as butter melts.  Pour half over top of biscuits and apples.  Bake 45 minutes or until biscuits are done.  Add cream cheese to remaining condensed milk mix.  Heat over low until cream cheese has melted and blended with condensed milk.  (It will thicken).  Spoon over biscuits and apples while still hot.

Comments:  This is so delicious! I made this Christmas and passed it out to some of my testers.  They all wanted more.  You can make this smaller by using a loaf pan and only 1 can of biscuits and 1 apple putting down a layer of biscuits, the apples and the remaining biscuits.  The cooking time will still be about 45 minutes due to there not being the bundt pan hole in the center.  If your cream cheese doesn’t melt completely, which is hard to get it to do in the milk, don’t worry about it.  It just adds even more flavor to the bread.  You can add nuts to this too if you want.  I would mix them in with the apples.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Sausage Balls

1 lb. lean sausage
2 cups shredded, cheddar cheese
1 tube (8 count) crescent rolls
2 Tbsp. flour

Mix the sausage and cheese until well blended.  Lay your crescent rolls on a cutting board or piece of parchment paper sprinkled with flour, lightly coating both sides.  With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the crescent rolls into 1/4" cubes.  Mix into the sausage cheese mix.  Shape into balls and bake 12-15 minutes.

Comment:  I can't take credit for this dish.  I actually found it on the Pillsbury website.  I can say that is is easy and oh so delicious!  You get the flavor of the sausage, cheese and that slight sweet taste of the crescent rolls.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Breakfast ‘Mini-Muffins’

1 14.1 ounce pkg. (2 crusts) rolled refrigerated unbaked piecrust
4 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup milk
¾ cup cooked, crumbled breakfast meat – bacon, sausage, ham, etc.
½ cup finely shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Let pie crust stand until room temp.  Spray 24 1 ¾” muffin cups with non-stick spray.  Unroll pie crusts.  Using a 2.5 – 3” round cutter, cut out pastry.  Press circles into the bottoms of the muffin cups.  Lightly cover the bottom of the crusts with cheese.  Top with about ¾ tsp. of the meat.  Mix the eggs and milk and pour into the crust, filling almost to the top edge.  Bake 13-15 minutes or until puffed and the center is firm.

Comments:  Make sure the meats you use is finely crumbled and the cheese is finely shredded.  You can also use finely chopped shrimp, spinach or broccoli.  I made half of mine using Canadian bacon and the other half with regular bacon.  I also cut my crust circles just large enough to fit the bottom of the muffin cups and very slightly up the side.  Both were delicious!  They are even good cold.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Pork with Mushroom, Onion and Spinach Sauce

4-5 boneless, lean pork chops
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or olive oil)
4 tablespoons butter (or substitute oil)
8 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 small to medium red onions , thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves , minced
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon self rising flour
1/4 cup milk
2 cups baby spinach, tightly packed 

Season the pork chops generously on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Gently place the pork chops into the skillet and cook over high heat for 5 minutes on each side. Do not disturb the pork chops while cooking so that a nice golden brown crust can form.  Carefully remove the pork chops from the skillet onto a large plate.  Add the butter, mushrooms, onion, and garlic to the skillet and stir fry over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until the onions are transparent.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the chicken stock and the flour until no clumps remain.  Add the chicken stock/flour mixture and milk to the skillet, and stir. Add the baby spinach and stir. Cover and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, or until the baby spinach starts to wilt.  Add the pork chops back into the skillet and cover with the creamy mushroom-spinach sauce. Cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the pork chops are fully cooked. Remove from heat. Serve warm, spooning the mushroom sauce over the pork chops.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Ham & Potato Casserole

2 cups peeled, sliced potatoes (about ¼” thick)
1 cup of peas and carrots (frozen or canned (drained)
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham  
¼  red onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk, or more as needed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place potatoes, peas and carrot in a large pot and cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender. Drain and transfer to a 2-quart baking dish.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir ham and onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer ham mixture to baking dish and mix with potatoes.
Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in a skillet.  Stir flour in melted butter until smooth. Gradually stir in milk.  Add salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add Cheddar cheese; stir until melted. Pour cheese mixture over ham and potatoes.
Bake in preheated oven until bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Allow casserole to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Comment:  This recipe originally called for celery and carrots.  I made the change to peas and carrots.  I increased the amount of onion using red to give it even more flavor and eliminated the bread crumbs that topped the dish.  It turned out easy to make as well as delicious.  You can bet I'll be making this again.  My food testers loved it too.  If you want to add back the bread crumbs you can but I think I would add it during the last 5 minutes and use panko for the crunch.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Ground Beef & Spinach Quiche

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion
1 package frozen chopped spinach or 9 oz. fresh spinach
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup milk
4 eggs
2 Tablespoons self rising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
pie crust

Cook and drain the spinach. Use a spatula to press it against the sides of a colander and squeeze out most of the water.  Brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet. Drain any fat.  Stir in spinach.  In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, eggs, flour, salt and pepper.  Stir in the cheese, spinach, beef and onions. Pour into two greased pie plates with or without crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until the center is set.

Comments:  This recipe called for 2 pie shells, making 2 pies.  I had one deep dish pie plate and used one roll-out shell making it a deeper dish.  With it being thicker I did have to cook it for about 45 minutes but boy was it worth it.  Just a bit of crust and a lot of the delicious filling.  This is a must try dish.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Imitation Crab Pasta Salad

3 cups uncooked spiral pasta
1 package (16 ounces) imitation crabmeat, flaked
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. Toss with crab and vegetables. Combine remaining ingredients. Pour over pasta mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Comments:  Of course I made changes.  The original recipe called for celery, bell peppers, low-fat mayo and low-fat ranch dressing.  It also called for 4 1/2 cups of uncooked pasta.  I cut that down to 3 cups, used regular mayo and left out the celery and bell peppers.  Reason - I didn't have any on hand.  Didn't matter.  I also added the cheese which added just another flavor.  My neighbor went out of the country for a few weeks and left me her dill weed plant to watch while she was gone.  I used some if it to make this dish.  The fresh dill was the key to this dish being such a success.  Every bite has you wanting another.  You can't beat this one.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Pineapple Bars

1 tube of sugar cookie mix, room temp.
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 to 3/4 cup cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Press the cookie mix evenly into a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish sprayed with non-stick.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until the cookie is lightly browned.  Remove from the oven and evenly spread the crushed pineapple over the cookie.  Top with cheese.  Turn the oven to broil and place the dish back into the oven.  Watch carefully while the cheese melts and has a very light brown coloring.  Cool and cut into squares.  Makes 2-3 dozen depending on their size.

Comments:  I love pineapple and cheese so decided to create something new that could be eaten like a cookie.  I took these to 3 of my food testers, one being my 100 year old neighbor.  They loved them and wanted more so I made another batch just for them making everyone happy.  I haven't tried this yet but I think this would be good with a little coconut and maybe even a few crushed nuts.  So simple yet so delicious!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Colorful Coconut Macaroons

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 oz.)
1 pkg shredded coconut (14 oz.)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 pkg mini M & Ms (10 oz.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix milk, coconut and flour until well blended.  Fold in M & Ms.  Drop by teaspoon onto cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Makes about 4 dozen.

Comment:  This can be done using different colors of M&Ms for different holidays.  Example - Green & Red for Christmas, orange for Halloween, etc.  I made some of these using my mini-muffin tin and some by dropping them onto a cookie sheet.  The cookie sheet made the best.  The texture was much better.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Potato Soup

3 lbs. new red potatoes, washed and cut into chunks
2 qts. water
4-6 strips of uncooked, lean bacon
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
1 - 1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
Salt & Pepper to taste

Remove as much fat from the bacon as possible and cut into small pieces.  Place potatoes, water and bacon in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Lower heat and cook until potatoes are tender.  Mash the potatoes leaving a few small chunks here and there.  Mix milk and 1 Tbsp. flour until smooth and pour into potato mix.  Bring to a boil to thicken.  Add another 1/2 Tbsp. of flour if needed.  Stir in cheese, sour cream and salt and pepper to taste. 

Comment:  The whole secret to this dish is boiling the bacon with the potatoes.  It cooks the flavor throughout the potatoes giving the dish a delicious smoky taste.  The food testers that I served this to are still begging that I make more.  I've never gotten such raves about any dish I've ever cooked.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Cheesy Spinach Casserole

Total Time 60 min
Prep 15 min, Cook 45 min
Servings 8

2 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach, press out liquid
¼ chopped onion
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 8-ounce package cottage cheese, low-fat 2%
½ cup feta cheese
½ cup Monterey jack cheese
2 eggs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt or other spice mixture to taste
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, hard (not the dried kind in a can)

Preheat oven to 350F.
Defrost spinach in the boxes or in a 2-quart casserole dish.
Fry chopped onions in oil until they are translucent and begin to soften.
Mix all ingredients except for the Parmesan cheese in the casserole dish. Sprinkle Parmesan on top.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean and cheese on top begins to brown. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Serve warm 

Comments:  I found this recipe on the Verywell Fed site and since I love spinach I had to give it a try.  I made 2 changes: I used a teaspoon of minced garlic and didn't add the lemon juice.  It turned out delicious and I can't believe how few calories it contains.  I baked mine in a pie plate which made it easy to divide into 8th's giving me as well as my food testers a nice serving to eat and really enjoy.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 65mg
Sodium 310mg
Total Carbohydrate 4g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Total Sugars 2g

Includes 0g Added Sugars
Protein 11g

Vitamin D 0mcg
Calcium 230mg
Iron 1mg
Potassium 219mg

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
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

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

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

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.