Current Recipes from 10-17-13 to current

These recipes have been collected over the past forty plus years, some that have been in my family for years, some that I've created, and others that I have collected from friends.   Where I can, I will have step by step instructions and in some cases pictures.  I love to cook and I hope that you will find this page helpful. Also, don't forget to check out the Archived Recipe Pages (5). 

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May 1, 2014

Due to my many food allergies and the desire to get away from prepared foods, I thought I would direct my creative talents to salad dressings.  One of my allergies is garlic, so I have been working on recipes that contain garlic and changing them so they still taste good without the garlic being added.  I find that many of the recipes that I have converted this way actually taste better.  You are able to taste the other herbs in the dish.  I am concluding the garlic can be somewhat of a "herb thug" when it comes to recipes.  

This month I have two salad dressings - one is a vinaigrette and the other is a French.   

Shopping List:
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Honey
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Herbs (leaves not powdered):
    •  marjoram
    • basil
    • thyme
    • parsley
    • oregano
  • Sea salt
  • White pepper
Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette 
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon each - basil, thyme, parsley, oregano
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon each - sea salt and white pepper
Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl.  Whisk until well blended.  Place in a bottle with lid if you do not have a salad dressing jar.  I keep this unrefrigerated since I use it quickly and don't like to take the time to 'remelt' the olive oil, which congeals when you store it in the refrigerator.   Makes 1 cup.
Helen's French Dressing 
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon each of marjoram and basil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
dash of white pepper 

Place all of the ingredients in a jar.  Cover and shake well.  Chill to blend the flavors.  Makes about 1 and 1/4 cup.

March 6, 2014

Nothing tastes better than a quick and simple easy to prepare breakfast for those lazy weekend mornings. And what it's even better is when it incorporates some leftovers that you've accumulated during the week.  In my mind this is one way to stretch your food dollar.

Shopping List: 
  • eggs
  • bacon bits, ham, or sausage
  • leftover potatoes (this can be any kind of leftover potato – from a box mix, home fried potatoes, baked potato – whatever you want to use.)
  • half-and-half
 Quick and Simple Breakfast for those Busy Weekends
 the amounts I'm going to give you  are breakfast for two
 4 – 5 eggs, beaten
about 1/8 cup of half-and-half (added and beaten into the eggs)
bacon bits, ham  and/or sausage chopped up fine
(amount of meat is determined to your liking)
1/2 to 3/4 cup of potatoes of your choice
In a large saucepan, on a low heat, I place a tablespoon of butter. When it is melted, I add the meat of my choice and the potatoes.  If the potatoes are in large chunks, I cut them up into small pieces.  Then while this mixture is gently sizzling in the pan, I use my Black & Decker Handy chopper to beat the eggs and half-and-half mixture.
To the meat and potatoes mixture I slowly add the eggs and milk mixture all the while keeping the temperature low under the pan.  If you're using the electric range the setting I use is generally number three. I let it cook for about a couple of minutes before I slowly start to stir. I cook it until the eggs looked done but not hard.
I serve it on a plate that has been garnished with orange slices. And since I like to make my own bread, I also served this with toast made from that bread. Additionally, if I don't have any bread made, I like to use Sister Schubert  rolls. 
This is a great way to use up some of your leftover meat or the leftover potato type casseroles such as scalloped potatoes or au gratin potatoes when there's just not enough to really serve as leftovers. I have on occasion frozen these tiny amounts just to use for this breakfast. 
January 16, 2014

Well, it's a new year and I can't believe this month is half over.  As I said on my post for this recipe, after a long day at work, the last thing I want to think about is cooking.  However, this recipe is easy, tasty, and nutritious.

Shopping List:
  • 2 small or 1 large can of chicken or a large or 2 small chicken breasts
  • Wacky - Mac noodles or Creamette Rainbow Rotini
  • Chicken stock or broth
  • Parsley
  • Thyme leaves
  • Rosemary leaves
Quick and Easy Chicken 'Noodle' Soup
  1. In a large pot place 4 to 5 cups of chicken stock or broth.
  2. Add the two small or the large can of chicken (including the broth that come with it.
  3. If you use fresh chicken - cook it first then cut up into bite size pieces.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of parsley.
  5. Add  1/2 teaspoon of both thyme and rosemary leaves that you have place in the palm of your hand and rubbed before placing in the pot.  
  6. Now here's were it gets un-measurable - I place 3 handfuls of the rainbow rotini in the pot.  So, add what you like, but remember the rotini will absorb some of the liquid.
  7. Bring the whole thing to a boil, then lower the heat to the second lowest setting, cover, stir frequently until the rotini is done.  Add more stock or broth as necessary.  
I found that I did not need to add salt, but that is my personal preference.  I serve this with oyster crackers.  
December 19, 2013

Well, Christmas is just a week away!  How about a little Gingerbread to have with some of those delicious holiday meals?   This is a very simple recipe with lots of flavor!

Shopping List:
  • molasses
  • butter
  • milk (soured)
  • flour
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • ginger
  • cinnamon
  • clove (powdered)
  • nutmeg
  • vanilla
1 cup molasses
1/3 cup butter
2/3 boiling water or 1 cup sour milk
(to sour milk - add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk)
2 1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon each of ginger and cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each of clove and nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mixed together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg) and set aside.   
Put butter and molasses in a saucepan and cook until boiling point is reached.  Add  water or milk and dry ingredients that have been mixed.  Add vanilla.  Beat vigorously.  
Fill a butter shallow pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
To Serve:
Cut into squares and put a spoon full of whipped cream on each.  
Apple Gingerbread:
Make a syrup of 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water.  Peel, core, and quarter tart apples (enough that will cover the bottom of the pan you are using) and cook lightly in the syrup.    Arrange in buttered baking pan.  Pour gingerbread mixture over apples.  Bake, cut in squares, and serve with whipped cream.  
December 12, 2013

How about a little something that you can have with any meal of the day?  Plus it is something that is very apropos for the Holiday season.  

Shopping List:
  • dried apricots
  • butter
  • sugar
  • salt
  • egg
  • whole wheat flour
  • pastry flour
  • baking soda
  • almond chopped
  • orange extract (can substitute by using vanilla and orange zest)
Apricot Almond Bread
1 1/2 cup dried apricots
1 1/2 cup BOILING water
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, well beaten
mix together:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped almonds
1 teaspoon orange extract or substitute with
1 teaspoon vanilla with 1 teaspoon orange zest  
Chop the apricots fine or put through a food chopper.  Add the boiling water, butter, sugar, and salt, mix, and let cool to room temperature.  When cool, add the other ingredients.  Turn into a buttered and floured loaf pan (can use 2 small loaf pans).  Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Optional:  drizzle the top with a glaze made of 1 cup powdered sugar that has been mixed with 1 tablespoon of almond milk.
December 5, 2013

This week's recipe is a change from all of that Thanksgiving turkey.  Thanks to a friend of mine, Kirsten S., this recipe is a great way to give those taste buds a treat.  Also,  this recipe can serve for those who are gluten free and vegetarian

Shopping List: 
  • 2 Acorn Squash
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Wild Rice Blend
  • Sliced Baby Portabella Mushrooms
  • Pecans or Almonds (1 oz)
  • White onion, small
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Thyme
  • Savory
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 Acorn Squash

2-3 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1 Tbsp butter

Wild Rice Blend, yield 1 cup cooked

½ container of Sliced Baby Portabella Mushrooms, roughly diced

1 oz Chopped Pecans or Almonds

1 small onion, diced

¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried savory (optional)

Salt (sea salt preferred)


Precook the squash:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F 
  • Cut acorn squash in half from stem to bottom.  
  • Scoop out seeds and membrane. 
  • Drizzle acorn squash inside and out with olive oil, approximately 1 ½ Tbsp of oil. 
  • Place on cookie sheet or shallow baking pan, meat side down. 
  • Roast at 350 for 45 minutes, or until knife easily inserts into squash.  
  • Let cool for 10 minutes.  
  • Scoop out cooked squash into medium or large bowl, leaving a little inside to hold the shell together.
While cooking the squash, cook your wild rice blend according to package directions for a yield of 1 cup of cook rice.  

--> Sauté onions and mushrooms in remaining olive oil and butter, until translucent and cooked.

Mix in the bowl - squash, rice, onions, mushrooms, nuts, thyme,  savory, ½ cup of the Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Stuff shells with squash mixture. 

Sprinkle top with remaining Parmesan, approximately ¼ cup. 

Place back in oven under broiler until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. 

Yields 4 servings, which can be either a side or main dish. 


November 21, 2013

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next Thursday!!  This week's recipe will fit right in with the Thanksgiving dinner and will also be perfect for that unexpected company that comes during the Thanksgiving / Christmas holidays.  

Shopping List:
  • Dates
  • Sugar or honey
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Baking Soda
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Nuts (I like to use black walnuts in this one)
Old Fashion Date and Nut Bread
1 cup dates, cut fine
1/2 cup sugar or honey
1/4 cup butter, melted in
3/4 cup boiling water
1 egg, well beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Mix dates, sugar or honey, butter, and water.  Let cool.
Mix together the baking soda, flour, salt, and nuts.  Add to cooled dates/honey mixture.  Can add 1 tablespoon of rum if liked. 
Pour into lightly greased loaf pan.  Bake 40 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees.    
November 14, 2013

The holidays are just around the corner.  Here is a little something to serve with that fruit compote or cup of hot tea or coffee.  They are called Cream Wafers and it is a very simple recipe.  I would recommend, if you don't already have one, a pastry cloth and a rolling pin cover.  These two items makes it much easier to roll out the dough.  Places like Bed, Bath, and Beyond would carry these items, or they would be glad to order them.  Also, to save yourself some clean-up time use parchment paper to cover your cookie sheet.

Shopping List:
  • Pastry
  • Salt
  • Heavy Cream (about 1/2 cup) 
Cream Wafers
1 1/2 cups pastry flours
1 teaspoon salt
about 1/2 cup heavy cream
Mix and sift flour and salt.  Add cream slowly to make dough.  Knead on a slightly floured pastry cloth until smooth.  Pat and roll as thin as possible.  Prick with fork.  Shape with small round or fancy cutter, dipped in flour or powdered sugar.  Arrange on buttered cookie sheet or use parchment paper.  Bake at 350 degrees until delicately browned.  Makes 48 wafers. 

November 7, 2013

Almost everyone loves muffins I know I do.  But I seldom eat them out because of the "extra" junk i.e. chemicals, soy, etc.  they put in them.  So, I thought there are probably many others who feel the same way about them, and would probably like to have a basic muffin recipe to follow.  One that can be very simple, or served as a dessert or used like a roll.  Along with the recipe, I will give you a couple of ideas on how to "dress them up".  This recipe will make 12 muffins.

Shopping List:
  • Pastry flour (I use just plain flour, but you might want to experiment)
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • sugar
  • milk
  • butter
  • eggs 
2 cups of pastry flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 or 2 eggs
NOTE:  Use up to 1/2 cup sugar to make sweeter muffins.
Mix and sift (if not using pre-sifted flour) dry ingredients in a separate mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, beat egg(s) until light, add milk and butter.  Then, add the liquids all at once to the flour mixtureAND THIS IS THE SECRET - stir only enough to dampen the flour.  Drop by spoonfulls into buttered muffins pans (or use paper cups) until 2/3 full.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes in a hot oven (400 degrees).
  • Bacon Muffins:  use bacon fat for butter and add 3 tablespoons cooked diced bacon.
  • Berry Muffins:  reserve 1/4 cup flour; use to dredge 1 cup blueberries and add to mixture.  Omit egg, if desired.  Sugar may be doubled.
  • Peach Muffins:  add 3/4 cup peaches, peeled and cut into small pieces.
  • Whole Wheat Muffins:  use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup bread flour.  Increase sugar 10 1/4 cup.  
October 31, 2013

The other night I got the 'hungries'.  So I started looking through my recipes for something that would satisfy the 'hungries'.  And, lo and behold, buried in the back of one of my recipe boxes was this old recipe that I had cut off of a Bisquick box many years ago.  What really made this recipe great was how little time it took to have something yummy to eat.  

Shopping List:
  • Bisquick
  • butter
  • sugar
  • milk or Almond milk (I use this because it makes it 'yummier')
  • fruit preserves (I like Smuckers Cherry Preserves for this)
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla
  • parchment paper
Easy Drop Danish
  2 cups of bisquick
1/4 cup butter softened to room temperature
2 generous tablespoons of sugar
2/3 cup milk or Almond milk
fruit preserves
Glaze (see below)
Heat your oven to 450 degrees.  Take a cookie sheet and cover it with parchment paper.
Mix baking mix, butter, and sugar with a pastry cutter until crumbly.  Stir in the milk until dough forms; beat 15 strokes.  Do not over beat.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet (if you don't use the parchment paper - lightly grease the sheet).  Will make 12 danishes.
Make a shallow well in the center of each danish with back of spoon - fill with 1 teaspoon of preserves.
Bake until golden - 10 to 15 minutes.  While warm, drizzle with glaze.
GLAZE:  Beat 2/3 cup of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk (Almond milk) and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla until smooth.    
October 24, 2013

This week we have finally gotten some cold weather in Tennessee - 40's during the day and high 20's - low 30's at night.  Of course, this means soup.   I find that most basic soups are easily made from scratchNot only do you get to control what goes in the soup, but also, you get to avoid all those additives.  This week the recipe is Tomato Soup.  

Shopping List:
  • Beef Stock (or for those who are vegetarian use vegetable stock)
  • Fresh or canned tomatoes (enough for 2 cups)
  • peppercorns
  • Bay leaf
  • Cloves (whole)
  • Thyme (fresh is best)
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Ham
Tomato Soup
2 cups beef stock (can use water)
2 cups canned or fresh tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
1 sprig thyme or 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons each, diced of the following: 
(onion, carrot, celery (I use 1 1/2 teaspoon of celery flakes), ham)
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the onion, carrot, celery, and ham in butter for 5 minutes.  Add the flour, peppercorns, bay leaf, cloves, and thyme and cook for 3 more minutes.  Add the beef stock or water and tomatoes.  Cover and cook slowly 1 hour [think crockpot, but increase the time - my best guess would be 4 hours, but this may vary from crockpot to crockpot.]  If you don't use the crockpot, stir frequently or put the pot on a stovetop burner mat diffuser.  
This next instruction shows how old this recipe is - "Rub through strainer."  I use my immersion blender, but you can use a regular blender.  Season to taste.   Serves 6
October 17, 2013

As a kid, I remember for the Holidays we would often have a large baked ham.  My grandmother would make it special by pouring a raisin sauce over the top when it came out of the oven.  So, I thought, for those of you that haven't had a ham fixed that way for many years, you would like the recipe for Raisin Sauce, and perhaps recreate a memory.

Shopping List:
  • Raisins
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice
Raisin Sauce
1 cup raisins, cut fine or chopped
1 1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Add the raisins to water.  Simmer until soft.  Add the sugar, and cook slowly for 15 minutes.  Add lemon juice.  
Depending on the size of the ham, you can double the recipe.  When I pull the ham out of the oven, I pour this over the ham and then let the ham 'rest' before serving.  This is also a nice touch for ham steaks.   

1 comment:

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