June 2024 Recipes

I LOVE bacon.  I make a salad with a pound of bacon but I’ll share that recipe another time.  With summer Bar-B-Ques I thought you might try a different take on potato salad.  You have to turn on the stove for that one, but the dessert recipe I included is No Bake!

I am also including an orzo recipe compliments of Gail Gallagher; and a sneak peak at a recipe that will be featured in an anthology scheduled for next spring.

German Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 slices bacon (diced and cooked until crisp)
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cups sliced cooked potatoes – look for thin skinned like red or fingerling

Directions

  1. Boil already-sliced potatoes until they are cooked through. Set aside.
  2. Cook the bacon and keep the drippings. Set it aside to cool.
  3. Heat bacon drippings in a pan large enough to add the potatoes.
  4. Blend in flour, sugar, salt, and mustard.
  5. Slowly add vinegar and water, stir until smooth.
  6. Continue cooking over low heat, until thickened.
  7. Add potatoes and heat through, slowly add crumbled bacon-save a few tablespoons for garnish.
  8. Serve warm or room temp.

No Bake Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • 4 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • ½ pint sliced fresh strawberries – sprinkled with sugar – set aside

Directions

  1. Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  2. Fold in whipped topping.
  3. Spoon mixture into graham crumb crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Once the cheesecake has set, garnish with sliced strawberries.

Grandma Matilda’s Plum Cake courtesy of Patricia Dorph

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, plus some to coat pan
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 6 ripe plums – cut into slices (remove pit)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Coat round nine-inch pan with butter.
  3. Mix the sugar and 1 cup butter together until creamy.
  4. Stir in eggs.
  5. Add dry ingredients until mixed through.
  6. Spread mixture into pan.
  7. Begin in the middle and place 4-6 slices into a fan pattern, then alternate layers as you move from the middle of the pan to the inside edge.
  8. Place in oven. Bake 40 minutes and check with a toothpick to be sure it comes out clean. If not bake an additional five minutes.

Summer Orzo Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 box or bag of orzo (16 oz)
  • 1  1/2 tablespoon Lemon Zest
  • Juice of 2 lemons (add more after the orzo cools to keep moist)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped up
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or mashed up
  • 1 cup of frozen baby peas – I put them in water to slightly thaw while orzo is cooking
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped up scallions (or I substitute sweet onions)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup packed arugula ( you can judge how much after mixing some through)

Directions

  1. Cook the orzo per package and drain well.
  2. Mix in the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, peas, parsley, lemon juice and scallions. Mix well.
  3. Put aside until cool. Put in refrigerator covered after it stops steaming.
  4. After it is cool, mix in the parmesan cheese and the arugula.
    If you mix the cheese and arugula while it is still warm the cheese will melt and make it icky.
  5. Serve cold.

NOTE: if you have had the salad in the refrigerator for a couple of hours you might need to add a touch more olive oil and lemon as sometimes it gets absorbed into the orzo!

May 2024 Recipes

It’s time for Fresh Basil!!

Watermelon Salad – Delicious and Pretty

Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 8-lb seedless watermelon cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 1 cup reduced-fat feta
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves

Instructions

In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the watermelon, feta and onion and toss gently. Garnish with the basil and serve.


Smoked Mozzarella Salad

Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 and ½ tsp.)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ pound whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach, washed and stemmed
  • 4 pieces jarred roasted red pepper, diced
  • ½ pound smoked mozzarella cheese, diced (use regular mozzarella if you can’t find smoked)
  • Fresh basil (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine the Parmesan cheese, parsley, mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper with a hand mixer or in the bowl of food processor or in a blender until the dressing is smooth.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until it is al dente. Drain the pasta into a colander, run cold water over it or submerge it in ice water until chilled through, and drain well. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, spinach, roasted red peppers, and smoked mozzarella.
  3. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired. For best results, make this ahead of time and let chill for 2-4 hours before serving. Serve cold.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

20 minutes prep
8 hours cook time
Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika or try smoked paprika for more of that smoked flavor
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 10-12 slider buns or 8 regular buns

Instructions

  1. Cut pork into 3-4 pieces
  2. Mix all dried spices together and rub into all sides of the pork
  3. Place vinegar and water in bottom of slow cooker and add pork
  4. Cover and cook for 8 hours
  5. Remove pork and shred
  6. Serve on slider buns or Hawaiian buns

April 2024 Recipes

Stuffed Shells 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. of large macaroni shells
  • 2 cups Ricotta cheese – please don’t ruin it with cottage cheese!
  • 1 cup parmesan or Romano cheese – grated
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley – the dried stuff doesn’t do it
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil – this you can substitute for 2 tsps. dried basil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese – or more if you like a lot of cheese

Directions

Marinara sauce:  If you want to save time and have EXCELLENT sauce get a couple of jars of RAO’s.  Most grocery stores carry that brand now.  It comes from a family recipe at Rao’s Italian Restaurant in the Bronx.  The restaurant has only 10 tables and is considered THE hardest place to get a reservation.  For real.  It’s not even knowing someone.  It’s knowing someone who owns a slot who would be willing to give it up for you!

Cook the pasta al dente according to the package.  You don’t want them to get too mushy because you will be stuffing them and then baking them.
Drain and let them cool down a bit so you can handle them.

While the pasta is cooking – 10-12 minutes prepare the mixture.
Beat the eggs and mix ricotta and parmesan cheeses and herbs and blend. (The mozzarella goes on later.)
Fill each cooked shell with egg/cheese mix.

Preheat oven to 325.

Put a small layer of sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish.
Lay stuffed shells on top of the sauce. Its ok to overlap them if necessary.
Top the shells with more sauce, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.

Bake for 20 minutes.

They’ll think you have an Italian chef in your kitchen!


Short Ribs Slow Cooker 

This is SO easy!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. short ribs
  • 3 large peeled carrots cut into chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic – sliced
  • 1 onion sliced (can use leeks if you want)
  • 1 8oz. package of mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 tsps. Thyme
  • 1 8oz. can of beef broth
  • 2 cups red wine or alcohol free wine

Directions

Salt the ribs on both sides and brown in a little olive oil– 2 minutes on each side.
Remove from pan and set aside.
Sauté the onion and garlic in same pan used for browning the short ribs until wilted.

In crock pot add broth, thyme, wine, carrots, mushrooms if desired, then add the wilted onions and garlic and short ribs to the crock pot.
Set on low for 8 hours.

The meat will fall off the bone!


Creamy Cheesecake

Combine in blender:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 lbs. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Pour blender mixture in graham cracker crust.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool slightly before spreading topping on top.

Topping

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Spread topping on. Bake at 475 degrees for 5 minutes. Refrigerate.
If desired, top with cherries (or 1 can of cherry pie filling) before serving.

March 2024 Recipes

Now on to something delicious.

Easter Brunchy Food:

FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE  

INGREDIENTS

  • loaf French bread (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups unsweetened milk
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • maple syrup, for serving

Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

DIRECTIONS

Grease 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place bread cubes in baking dish. In large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour mixture evenly over bread cubes.

If making casserole ahead, cover baking dish and refrigerate overnight. If baking immediately, let stand 30 minutes at room temperature to allow bread to soak up egg mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

To make topping: Drizzle casserole with melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans. Top with strawberries and blueberries.

Cover and bake 35 minutes then uncover and bake 10-20 minutes, or until topping is browned and egg mixture has mostly set.

Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and let stand 10 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve with maple syrup.


FRITATTA

Need ovenproof frying pan.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 can potatoes or 1 cup [blanched] sliced fresh potatoes
  • 1 package of frozen artichoke hearts –[thawed]
  • ½ cup sun dried tomatoes – sliced
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh basil leaves shredded/chopped
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 4-containers of Eggbeaters [or 6-8 eggs scrambled]
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese [according to taste preference] to melt on top  just before done

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Sauté onions and potatoes in olive oil until soft.

Add artichokes and sun dried tomatoes and sauté until ingredients are mixed.

Whisk eggs and parmesan cheese together and pour mixture over veggies, toss half the basil on top.

Let entire mixture set for about five-seven minutes on top of stove on low-medium, heat.  You don’t want it to cook through.

Once set, place frying pan in oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle shredded cheese and bake additional 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit for 3-4 minutes.  Garnish with remaining basil.


BLUEBERRY LEMON MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Finely chopped zest of 1 lemon or 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 egg, large
  • 1½ cups (225 g) Pamela’s Bread Mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅓ cup milk or milk substitute
  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease 7 or 8 muffin cups, or use muffin papers sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat together oil, white and brown sugar, lemon juice, zest or extract, and egg until creamy.

In another bowl, whisk together Bread Mix, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.

Alternately stir flour mixture and milk into egg mixture, in two additions each, stirring until smooth after each addition.

Set aside ¼ cup of the blueberries to put on top of the muffins; add the other ½ cup to the dough and gently mix to combine.

Scoop dough equally into muffins cups.

Press reserved berries slightly into tops.

Bake for 22 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean.

Serve muffins once they are cool enough to handle.

February 2024 Recipes

Here are a couple of recipes that will keep you warm and cozy until the tulips stick their head out.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Ingredients
Serves 6 –  Serving Size 2 cups

  • 1 pound bottom round beef roast, cut into 1-inch cubes, all visible fat discarded
  • 1 large russet potato, cut into 1/2-inch pieces about 2 cups
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch pieces about 2 cups
  • 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
  • 10 ounces frozen pearl onions
  • 1 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5-ounce can fat-free, low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 10 ounces frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley

Directions

  1. Add the beef, potato, and flour to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, stirring well to combine.
  2. Add the sweet potato and carrots to the slow cooker. Top with the onions, tomatoes, broth, water, thyme, and pepper.
  3. Cook, covered, on low heat for 10 to 12 hours or high heat for 5 to 6 hours. Quickly stir in the peas and parsley. Re-cover the slow cooker. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes.

An easy, healthy favorite: 

Pasta Fagioli pronounced Pasta Fa-zool

This is more like a stew.  If you want it more like a soup see below.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 cloves large garlic chopped
  • medium onion chopped
  • tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
  • teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 16 oz. can of tomato sauce (I like Rao’s with basil.)
  • 8 oz. cans Cannellini Beans drained and rinsed
  • ¾ lb. dried small pasta shells (I like the shells because the beans get nestled in them and they hold the sauce better.)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Crushed red pepper – optional
  • Fresh chopped basil – for garnish

Directions:

  1. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil
  2. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, broth, wine and herbs
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add parmesan cheese and  pasta and cook another 20-30 minutes until pasta is tender
  4. Garnish with basil, more grated cheese and crushed pepper. This will last in the frig for a week and in the freezer for a couple of months
  5. Easy peasy

For soup:

add 2 chopped carrots and 3 stalks of chopped celery, and 16 oz. of vegetable of chicken stock – follow same directions


And of course what would a letter be without GRILLED CHEESE!!!!

Here are a couple of my favorites.  BTW, did you know you can substitute mayonnaise (the real stuff) instead of butter?  I recently discovered that many diners use it in place of butter.

  • Grilled Swiss Cheese, Bacon & Tomato – I like it on Rye Bread
  • Make sure the bacon is cooked first.
  • *Slather up two slices of bread with either butter or mayo. Place slathered side down on medium heat in frying pan.
  • Place 2-3 slices of swiss cheese on each slice of bread. When cheese starts to melt top with bacon and a slice of tomato.  Let melt for another minute.  Carefully flip one of the slices over and place on top of the other – cheese meets cheese.

If you want a little tang:

  • Sourdough bread
  • Provolone
  • Cheddar

*Same routine as above substituting cheeses

Even more tang:

  • Your choice of bread
  • Monterey Jack
  • Jalapeno peppers – as much heat as you can stand
  • *Same routine as above substituting cheese and adding peppers

January 2024 Recipes

Did somebody say food?

Here’s a favorite that will warm you up during the winter months.

CHILI MACARONI BAKE

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles, drained (optional)
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1-2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese  (depending on how much you like cheese.  For me, the cheesier the better.)

Instructions

  • Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat, crumbling beef, until meat is no longer pink. Scoop out oil and discard if there’s too much from the beef.
  • Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Drain macaroni; stir into beef mixture.
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Transfer mixture into greased 2-qt. baking dish.
  • Top with cheese.
  • Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes.
  • Remove cover and bake another 10 minutes.

EASY SLOW COOKER CHICKEN SOUP

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. chicken (breast or thighs) cut into pieces
  • (4) 15 oz. cans of chicken or vegetable broth
  • bunch celery – chopped with leaves
  • large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • (5) cloves of garlic, smashed (wrap in cheese cloth if you want to remove them after the soup is done)
  • small bunch of dill – chopped
  • small lemon, sliced
  • salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Noodles if desired – after soup is finished

Instructions

  • Toss everything into the crock pot and cook for 4-6 hours.
  • Remove lemon slices and bagged garlic.
  • Do not add noodles unless you are planning to serve all of it at the same time.
  • By not adding the noodles it makes it easier to freeze and thaw the soup.

To add a little sweetness into your life:

CRANBERRY UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

Ingredients

For the topping

  • 2 cups (200 g) fresh cranberries
  • ⅓ cup (75 g) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (165 g) packed light brown sugar

For the cake

  • 1 ¼ cups (162 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup (75 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • ½ cup (124 ml) orange juice

Instructions

You’ll need a hand mixer for this.

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  • Line the bottom with parchment paper and lightly spray the paper with cooking spray.

Make the topping

  • Arrange the cranberries evenly in the bottom of the pan; set aside.
  • In a large nonstick pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Pour evenly over the cranberries; set aside

For the cake

  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a whisk.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well mixed and fluffy.
  • Beat in the orange zest and vanilla extract.
  • Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, until well combined.
  • Reduce the speed to low, add half the flour mixture followed by the orange juice.
  • Add the remaining flour mixture, mix until just incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl: Add egg whites to a separate medium bowl.  Using clean beaters, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they hold stiff peaks.
  • Fold ⅓ of the egg whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
  • Pour the batter over the cranberry mixture.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool the cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  • Run a knife around the cake to loosen it from the pan and invert it onto a serving plate.
  • Gently peel off the parchment paper if it sticks to the top of the cake.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • The cake will keep for up to 2 days covered and stored in the refrigerator.

December 2023 Recipes

EGGPLANT STACKS

Ingredients:
(2) large eggplants, skinned and sliced ¼ inch thick
(3) cups Italian flavored breadcrumbs
(2) eggs beaten
(1/4) cup milk
(2) cups Parmesan cheese
(4) tablespoons chopped parsley
(2) teaspoons dry oregano
(2) cups Ricotta Cheese
(8 oz.) tomato sauce – Prego or other brand
(2 cups) shredded mozzarella
cup olive oil

  1. Mix eggs and milk in a bowl
  2. Mix breadcrumbs, and half the Parmesan cheese, parsley, and oregano in a different bowl
  3. Heat olive oil to medium
  4. Dip eggplant in egg batter and dredge through breadcrumb mixture.
  5. Place eggplant in frying pan and brown on both sides.
  6. Place on paper towels.
  7. Mix/whip ricotta cheese and remaining ingredients (except mozzarella) together
  8. Let the eggplant cool.
  9. Begin stacking.
  • 1 slice of eggplant, top with 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture—spread on eggplant; add another slice of eggplant; top with a spoon of tomato sauce and a tablespoon of mozzarella.
  • Repeat until you have 3-4 slices of eggplant per stack
  • Once assembled, bake in 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese melts.

SHRIMP SCAMPI

Ingredients:
(1-2 lbs.) JUMBO shrimp/shelled and deveined (leave tail on or off)
(2) Tbs. Olive Oil
(4) tbs. butter
(4-5) cloves garlic minced
(¼) cup dry white wine or vegetable stock
(2) tbs. lemon juice
(¼) cup chopped parsley
Crushed red pepper if desired

  1. Heat olive oil and ½ of the butter. Sauté garlic 2 minutes
  2. Add shrimp and sauté on one side for 2 minutes
  3. Flip shrimp and pour wine/stock over shrimp, cook 3-4 minutes
  4. Shrimp should be pink.
  5. Add remaining butter, lemon juice, and toss parsley into shrimp (red pepper)
  6. Remove pan from heat.
  7. Can be served over linguini or rice if desired

STUFFED FLOUNDER WITH OR WITHOUT CRABMEAT

(1)  Piece of founder per person (using 6 pieces for recipe)
(1)  Cup chopped crab meat (optional)
(2)  tablespoons butter
(1/4) cup olive oil
(4) lemons for garnish – cut into equal pieces
Zest and juice of (1) lemon
(2) cups breadcrumbs Italian flavored breadcrumbs
(1/2) cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
(¼) cup finely chopped parsley
(4-5) cloves finely chopped garlic
(¼) teaspoon oregano

  1. Rinse flounder and pat dry
  2. Heat oven to 325 degrees
  3. Heat butter and ½ olive oil in sauce pan, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes
  4. Add breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, oregano (crabmeat if desired) and sauté until blended and if adding crabmeat until cooked
  5. Place 2-3 tablespoons of mixture and spread in middle of flounder. Roll flounder and hold together with toothpick.
  6. Mix lemon zest and lemon juice together and pour over flounder
  7. Bake 15-20 minutes until fish turns white.
  8. Once removed from oven top fish with any remaining stuffing.
  9. Squeeze lemons over fish

FRESH APPLE CAKE, courtesy of Deb Yarmula.

Ingredients:
You will need (3) large mixing bowls, Bundt pan, shallow baking pan
(1) cup chopped walnuts
(3) cups all-purpose flour
(1) tsp. baking soda
(1) tsp. vanilla extract
(1) tsp. ground cinnamon
(3 ½) cups chopped Granny Smith apples – cored and peeled
(2) cups granulated sugar
(1) cup vegetable oil
(3) large eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Coat 10-inch Bundt pan with non-stick spray and lightly floured.
  2. Spread walnuts in a separate pan and toast for about 7 minutes until golden. Cool completely.
  3. In large bowl whisk flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In another large bowl combine walnuts, vanilla, cinnamon and 3 cups of the cut apples.
  5. In third bowl beat sugar, oil, and eggs with electric mixer on medium until well blended.
  6. Turn mixer to slow speed and gradually add the flour mixture from bowl 1. Scrape bowl occasionally with spatula. Beat one minute longer or until well combined.
  7. Fold in apple mixture from bowl 2.
  8. Once all ingredients are folded together, spoon batter into bundt pan. Add remaining apples to top and gently press into mixture.
  9. Bake 1 ½ hours or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool on rack. Serve with a big helping of ice cream

SNOWBALLS

Ingredients
(1) Cup butter softened
(½) Cup powdered sugar
(1) tsp vanilla
(2 ¼) Cups flour
(¼) tsp salt
(¼) Cup finely chopped walnuts

  1. Mix well butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
  2. Mix in flour, salt, and walnuts until holds together.
  3. Roll into 1” balls.
  4. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes. Dough should be set, but not brown.
  6. While still warm, roll in powdered sugar. Cool. Then roll again in powdered sugar (or gently shake in bag).
  7. Makes 4 dozen.

POUND CAKE

Ingredients:
(1) lb butter
(3 1/3) C sugar
(10) eggs
(4) C flour
(½) tsp salt
(1) T vanilla
(1) tsp lemon extract

  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add eggs one at a time and beat thoroughly.
  3. Add sifted flour and dry ingredients.
  4. Add flavorings.
  5. Beat 15 minutes.
  6. Bake in greased tube pan.
  7. Bake 300 degrees for 2 hours or 325 1 ½ hours

NO BAKE RASPBERRY CONFECTIONS (aka RUM BALLS)

5 ½ Cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1 Cup finely chopped pecans
1 Cup raspberry preserves
12 oz chocolate mini morsels
2 T dark rum
1 Cup sifted powdered sugar

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl, stirring well.
  2. Shape mixture into 1 ¼” balls.
  3. Roll balls in powdered sugar.
  4. Refrigerate in tightly covered container for up to a week.
  5. Makes 5 dozen

CRANBERRY CRUMBLE PIE BARS

Ingredients
(3) cups all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
(1) cup granulated sugar
(1) teaspoon baking powder
(1/4) teaspoon salt
(1) teaspoon ground cinnamon
(1) cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
(1) large egg
(1/4) cup milk
(2) teaspoons pure vanilla extract
optional: 1/3 cup sliced almonds

CRANBERRY FILLING

(4) cups fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw)
(3/4) cup  granulated sugar
(1) Tablespoon cornstarch
(2) teaspoons orange zest
(1) Tablespoon  fresh orange juice

ORANGE ICING (OPTIONAL)

(2) Tablespoons  fresh orange juice
(1) cup  confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished bars out.
  2. Make the crumble mixture for the crust and topping: Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and cut in the butter until all the flour is coated and resembles pea-sized crumbles. (This takes at least 5 minutes.)
  3. Whisk the egg, milk, and vanilla together in a small bowl. Pour over the flour/butter mixture and gently mix together until the mixture resembles moist crumbly sand.
  4. Set 2 cups of the crumble mixture aside. Pour the remaining 4 cups into the prepared pan and flatten down with your hands or a flat spatula to form an even crust. It will be a little crumbly. Set aside.
  5. Cranberry Filling: Mix all of the cranberry filling ingredients together. Spread over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture all over the cranberries. Sprinkle the almonds on top.
  6. Bake for about 40-50 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out *mostly* clean. Remove from the oven and allow the bars to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.
  7. Make the icing and cut into squares: Whisk the icing ingredients together. Add more orange juice to thin out, if desired. Drizzle over cooled bars, then cut into squares.
  8. Cover and store leftover cranberry bars (with or without icing) at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for three months.

November 2023 Recipes

Now on to another favorite topic, food.  For those of you who are baking—and from what I hear, it’s a lot of you—I am sharing the fantastic apple pie recipe courtesy of Patricia Dorph:

 Apple Pie

Pastry for two 9-inch pastry pans:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cups butter
  • 2-3 tbs. cold water
  • Sift flour and salt together
  • Add butter and cut it through with pastry blender until mixture is in pieces, pea size
  • Add cold water a few drops at time until moistened enough to hold together in a ball
  • Wrap in plastic and chill in refrigerator for 15-30 mins.
  • Take more than half for the under crust and roll out and fit into 9” pie pan

Filling:

  • 5 cups, cored, peeled and thinly sliced apples. Granny Green and Mackintosh
  • Mix together and add to apples
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tbs. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • Place into pie pan
  • Roll out top dough for crust and place on top
  • Make 4 slashes in top crust

Bake 450 degrees for 15 mins.  Turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake for 20 to 35 mins.  Remove when golden brown.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.  Enjoy


If you’re craving the traditional pumpkin pie, another repeat of one of my favorites:

Pumpkin Pie

Pastry for two 9-inch pastry pans:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cups butter
  • 2-3 tbs. cold water
  • Sift flour and salt together
  • Add butter and cut it through with pastry blender until mixture is in pieces, pea size
  • Add cold water a few drops at time until moistened enough to hold together in a ball
  • Wrap in plastic and chill in refrigerator for 15-30 mins.
  • Take more than half for the under crust and roll out and fit into 9” pie pan

Filling:

  • 2 Large eggs, beaten
  • ¾ Cup brown sugar (may also use white sugar)
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ Teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ Teaspoon clove
  • 15 Oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 12oz can evaporated milk
  • In a medium bowl combine ingredients in order listed above.
  • Pour the mixture into unbaked piecrust. Bake in pre-heated oven at 425 for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to 350 bake for 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool 2 hrs. and serve or refrigerate.

October 2023 Recipes

P.S.  Halloween is in a few weeks and we surely need a few treats, food or otherwise.  October is also Oktoberfest and I want to share a pretzel recipe with you:

Soft Pretzels

Ingredients
for 8 servings

  • 1 ½ cups water, warm
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 4 ½ cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons oil, divided
  • ⅔ cup baking soda
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • coarse salt

Instructions:

  • In a bowl, mix water, salt, and sugar until combined. Add yeast and let rest 5 minutes until yeast starts to foam.
  • Add flour and 2 tablespoons of oil and mix thoroughly until a dough forms.
  • Remove the dough and use the remaining oil to cover the bowl.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Cut dough into 8 pieces and roll them out into thin ropes, twisting the two ends to form a pretzel shape.
  • Add baking soda to a large pot of water and bring to a rolling boil. Boil each pretzel for 30 seconds per side.
  • Transfer pretzels to a baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Enjoy!

Now for something sweet:

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients
for 12 servings

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, pumpkin, honey, and water, and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  • Sprinkle the whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, and salt over the wet ingredients and fold until the batter is well combined.
  • Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and smooth the top into an even layer.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully unmolding.
  • Let the loaf sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before slicing.

September 2023 Recipes

I still have a lot of tomatoes, so I’m going to be making a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches.  Here are a couple of my favorites.  BTW, did you know you can substitute mayonnaise (the real stuff) instead of butter?  I recently discovered that many diners use it in place of butter.

Grilled Swiss Cheese, Bacon & Tomato – I like it on Rye Bread

Make sure the bacon is cooked first.
*Slather up two slices of bread with either butter or mayo.  Place slathered side down on medium heat in frying pan.
Place 2-3 slices of swiss cheese on each slice of bread.  When cheese starts to melt, top with bacon and a slice of tomato.  Let melt for another minute.  Carefully flip one of the slices over and place on top of the other – cheese meets cheese.   Yummy.

If you want a little tang:
Sourdough bread
Provolone
Cheddar
*Same routine as above substituting cheeses

Even more tang:
Your choice of bread
Monterey Jack
Jalapeno peppers – as much heat as you can stand.
*Same routine as above substituting cheese and adding peppers

For something fresh and easy try a Caprisi salad or sandwich.

Get fresh mozzarella, I mean fresh, not the stuff hermetically sealed.  If you can.
Fresh beefsteak tomato
Fresh Basil
Make ¼ inch slices of the cheese and tomatoes.
Lay them out like a fan alternating cheese, tomato, basil leaves.
You can make a sandwich out of this or serve it with bread on the side.
Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar.  It looks refreshing and tastes delicious.
Note:  Never refrigerate fresh mozzarella.  It makes it hard.  You can keep it in a cool place for up to a week.  NOTE:  Cheese never lasts that long in my house.

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