Friday, June 17, 2011

Strawberry Pie

We have strawberries, we have a baked pie crust, we have whipping cream. All need to be used up. So, this is tonight's dessert. It's from Allrecipes

This is from the blurb on Allrecipes:

"Half of this pie 's strawberries are arranged in a baked pastry shell, and the other half are crushed and cooked up with sugar, water and cornstarch until thick and bubbly. This lovely glaze is then poured over the whole berries in the pastry shell. Chill this pie for several hours and serve it with mounds of whipped cream."

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
1 quart fresh strawberries
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


1. Arrange half of strawberries in baked pastry shell. Mash remaining berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture. Reduce heat and simmer mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over berries in pastry shell. Chill for several hours before serving. In a small bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fruits and Vegetables with the Cool & Serve Tray

Today I went to a picnic with some friends who are with DoTerra, an essential oil company.  Their oils are simply marvelous!  DoTerra In any case, I went to a picnic with their team and friends.  About 30 people were there. A good time was had by all. Burgers/hot dogs, paper plates and condiments were provided. People were to bring a side dish to share.

Byron elected to stay home, he gets few days off and wanted to rest and was feeling a bit under the weather in any case.  So he had cereal for dinner and was eating that and watching a video when I came home from the picnic.

For my contribution to the picnic, I brought sliced strawberries, blackberries, baby carrots, celery, zucchini and green grapes. I brought them in this:


The cool and serve tray. The green part is two pieces, egg holders on one side and flat on the other. There are two of the plastic tray inserts, for chips/dips/fruits/veggie, etc.  I filled each compartment with a different form of produce, put the lid in place and off I went.  The green pieces go in the freezer and when they emerge they keep the food cold for up to six hours.  It's a great piece and I love it. I use it all the time. If you'd like more information on it, would like to have one or any questions about any other Pampered Chef products you can go to my Pampered Chef site: here or drop me a line/email me.

So, today was the day for the cool & serve to go on an outing and for us not to cook.  Having pieces like this in the house make bringing food along a snap.  What's your favorite piece to bring to a picnic or potluck?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bean Soup with Salt Pork

Today Byron woke up on his day off and decided he had a hankering for bean soup. SO..... he made some and it was very yummy! He doesn't use recipes, he cooks as he goes and this is what he wrote down (at my request) after the fact. He looks in the pantry and at our plethora of spices and puts things together.

We served it with Bethany's Grandmother's Cornbread (which I'll post soon, with full credit to Bethany (and her grandmother).  I had the marvelous cornbread. Byron had a slice of soda bread. Both from the freezer.

Bean Soup

1 pound salt pork
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1 tablespoon dried jalapenos
12 cups water
3 cups ham stock (or chicken stock, etc. we happened to have ham stock in the freezer from when we had a big ham a few months ago and made stock out of the bone/scraps)
2 bags beans (today it was small white beans)
4 bay leaves

cook salt pork till crisp
add spices, cook 2 minutes
add water, stock, beans cook a few hours till done. Covered.

makes about 12 servings at about 2 cups per serving.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jan's Meatloaf

Tonight was one of Anthony's favorite dinners. I use a recipe my brother tells me is the same as my Grandmother's, though I don't recall my grandmother making meatloaf.  My brother has a  memory for stuff like that.  It's not fancy, it's not complicated. It doesn't involve bread crumbs, ketchup or milk.  It is the way our family makes meatloaf.

Jan's Meatloaf

1.5-2 pounds ground beef (we now use very lean, can use 1/2 ground pork if you like)
scant 1 cup oats
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 egg
several dashes of Worcestershire sauce - probably a bit less than a 3/4 teaspoon
pinch of salt
dash of fresh ground pepper
then whatever you fancy for a kick, some garlic powder? A spice blend of your choice? About 1/2 t

mix together with hands (yeah, it's goopy), put in loaf pan and bake at 350 for about 1 hour 15 minutes

tonight we served it with homemade mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli and a big green salad

You can use barbecue sauce in place of part of the tomato sauce.

Also, Byron's been known to put curry in it when making cupcake-sized meatloaves. The kids used to love it when Daddy would make a variety of meatloves in muffin tins, some barbecue, some curry, some chili-spice, etc.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Byron's Beef Curry with Pineapple and Rice

Ok, this is Chef Byron's "recipe" - I have school tonight and it's his day off, and he cooked dinner.  He cooks as he goes, and this is what he told me he did (after the fact). It smells divine and dinner's ready at 3:45!  I don't have to leave till 5:30-ish, so it will simmer till we're ready to eat. He said "Wife, I didn't measure anything." So I told him to take his best guess on measurements.

So, if you cook a lot, you'll be able to follow this. If not, shout out and I'll add further direction.


2 cups rice
4 cups water
about 2 T mirin (Japanese rice wine/sweet cooking wine - find in Asian section of your grocery store)
saffron (just a pinch, pricey but worth it)
cook as you usually cook rice (we use Pampered Chef microwave rice cooker)


1.5 pound steaks sliced as for stir fry
1-2 t peanut oil (I do WW so we use minimal oil, use more if you like)
black pepper/salt to taste
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can pineapple drained (reserve juice for sauce)

slice steak, brown in oil, cook as you would for stir fry till desired almost (but not quite) done
add garlic or add with steak, saute with beef slices
add pineapple
When done combine with sauce and vegetables (below)

(mix together and simmer)
pineapple juice (from canned pineapple in beef step)
beef stock (2 14 oz cans)
2-3 T sweet curry powder
black pepper
cornstarch to thicken slightly

(saute together)
1 t peanut oil
1/4 t sesame oil
green pepper
sugar snap peas
Use whatever vegetables you have on hand and want to put in (clean out the veggie crisper time)

Put sauce, beef and vegetables in a pot and simmer till you want to eat.
Serve with rice

Serves -- well, serves however many you want it to, depending on how many vegetables you put in and how much meat.  In our case it will probably serve us all for dinner and lunch tomorrow and a midnight snack for the 19 year old.

This ended up being a very mild curry. If you like a stronger curry flavor increase the amount of curry powder and/or use hotter curry powder.

Snickerdoodle Muffins

I'm going to make this in a little bit. Chef Byron is making dinner tonight, so I'll post later what he makes (and the recipe).

These muffins come from the Eat At Home blog my SL forum friend Tiffany. The link to her blog is on the right under "other cooking blogs I follow"

So, without further ado, I give you the recipe for:

Snickerdoodle Muffins
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbs. sugar + 1 tsp. cinnamon for topping
In a bowl, stir together the flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda.
In a mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs.  Add the milk and vanilla and mix until well combined. 

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, just until moistened.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way full of batter.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Breaded Pork Chops

Tonight was a dinner I hadn't made in a couple of years. It's one I used to make all the time when the kids were little. I wanted something easy to fix as I was doing a homework assignment and had to be at church at 6 for service and to assist with communion clean up afterwards.

4 pork chops (or one per person)
bread crumbs, about 1/2 cup
Parmesan cheese, about 2 T
fresh ground pepper, about 1/2 t to or to taste
seasoning of choice, about 1/2 t (today it was Northwoods Seasoning by Penzeys)
2 eggs (1 egg probably would have been fine for number the chops we used tonight). I was so used to cooking this for 5-6+ a few years ago, I started of with the proportions of bread crumbs and eggs I would have used for 6-8 chops)

Preheat oven to 350 or 375
mix bread crumbs and seasonings on a plate
lightly beat eggs on another plate
dip pork chops in egg, then in bread crumbs. Put on pan (I used the large Pampered Chef bar pan). Bake for about 45 minutes, or until done

We served this with scalloped potatoes (from a box, my kids preferred box to scratch scalloped potatoes), I cooked the potatoes at the same time as the pork chops. Also served fresh corn on the cob

dessert: Fresh fruit, graham crackers and nutella

Easy Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

Saturday, June 11, 2011 was an easy to make food day.

Breakfast:  1/2 cup oatmeal and 1 cup fat free milk microwaved for 3 minutes.
Lunch: Fruit. I was on the run a lot and just sorta grabbed fruit when I was home between things.

Dinner: Chef Byron "cooked"

Some days are just easy food.

Breaded Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

3 chicken patties (breaded, spicy, from Schwans or other previously frozen brand)
3 hamburger buns (from Costco in our case)
condiments of your choice
3 slices provolone cheese (from Costco in our case)
bake chicken patties at 375 for 20 minutes, put on cheese and bake for a couple more minutes
put on buns
put on condiments of choice

Served with french fries (fried in our deep fryer today, other times we bake them) and carrots

Ice cream for dessert

Friday, June 10, 2011

Nutella Muffins

These are from my friend Tiffany's Eat At Home Blog (listed on the right). I'm making these tonight after dinner.  YUM!

A muffin that looks unassuming and plain ends up having a surprise treat of Nutella inside! 

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 stick butter
 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3-1/2 cup Nutella

Stir the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar.

Add the eggs, vanilla and milk and mix until well blended.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients with a spoon.  Stir gently, just until combined.

Spoon some batter into the bottom of 12 greased muffin cups.   You’ll use about half of the batter for this step.  Dollop Nutella in the middle of each muffin.  Top with more batter to seal the Nutella inside.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Makes 1 dozen muffins.
6 WW Points Plus per muffin (using 6 T of Nutella in the recipe 1/2T Nutella per muffin)

Byron's Spring Roll Recipe

Here is Byron's recipe for chicken spring rolls. If you are vegetarian, sub in extra vegetables and/or protein source of choice - boca crumbles, etc.
Spring Rolls

2 pounds chicken thighs
1 cup teriyaki sauce
2 stalks lemon grass
2 green onions
5 cloves garlic
1 lime
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Fresh mint leaves
Rice noodles, the thinnest kind is better
Spring roll wrappers (not egg roll wrappers – wrappers of rice and not flour)

Shredded cabbage, a couple of shredded carrots


Skin chicken thighs, cut into chunks, including fat
Grind meat (food processor is what Byron uses) until it looks like hamburger
Cook in oil till done, drain, reserving juice
Put juice/drippings back in pan and add lemon grass, garlic, onion, pepper – cooking about 5 minutes

Add teriyaki sauce, lime juice (juice of one lime) – thicken to gravy consistency
Mix with chicken mixture

Use hot water – as hot as you can stand it – wrappers will soften faster the hotter the water donut over soften) – use as little water as possible, if the wrapper gets too slippery it might turn into a mess for that wrapper

Add filling, rice noodles, fresh mint, cilantro, shredded carrots and shredded cabbage
Wrap up on cloth napkin and/or kitchen towel, cloth napkin best, wrapper will stick if you try wrapping it on the counter.

Dip in sweet chili sauce or your favorite dipping sauce

Makes 24-26 spring rolls – could make more, depends on how much filling you put in them.

Marry Me Matilda Muffins

Many of my best recipes came from the Sonlight forums and this is no exception.  My friend Angi (a woman of many talents) posted this recipe a couple of years ago. This version is one I made about a year ago.  I was reminded of it today (thanks Susan of the Boonies). I'm going to try it with applesauce instead of oil and see if I can get the WW points down/calories/fat down. Will post on that after I try it in the next few days.

Marry Me Matilda Muffins

I don't know who Matilda is or if she ever got married, but I'm sure glad my friend Angi on the Songlight forums posted the recipe!

Marry Me, Matilda Muffins

1 - 20 oz box Raisin Bran
3 - cups sugar
5 - cups flour
5 - tsp baking soda
2 - tsp salt

**optional spices**
4 - tsp cinnamon
3 - tsp nutmeg
1 - tsp ground cloves

Mix all of these dry items together in a large bowl until well blended.

In a second bowl, beat

4 - eggs
1 - qt buttermilk
1 - cup oil

until well blended.

Pour over dry mix, stir until all ingredients are moist.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop into muffin papers in muffin tin (or grease your muffin tin liberally).

Bake 15 - 18 minutes at 400 degrees. Tops will spring at a light touch in the center of the muffin when done.

MMMMMMmmmmm! Mmmmmm!

Garlic Pizza dough recipe

This is what for is for dinner tonight.  I need to go to the store to get Mozzarella and some sausage. I just put the dough in the bread machine.  Yum! I added a sprinkle of Penzey's pizza seasoning to the dough and used just a touch more fresh garlic than called for.

I was reminded today of this recipe.  This recipe is from a good friend of mine, Sandy, who live in Iowa, I've had the pleasure of meeting her in person a few times and have been a guest in her home. She's a super good cook and a great friend, full of fun!  This is copied from a blog post I made last year. I think we'll have homemade pizzas soon, maybe tonight if I start this dough this afternoon.

Make your own pizzas for dinner - Garlic Pizza Dough recipe

I made this in my bread machine on the dough setting and did the second rise in a bowl.  I’ve also made pizza pockets/personal sized calzones with it before – it freezes really well.

Sandy's Garlic Pizza Dough Recipe

2 c Water
1/2 c Oil
3 cl Garlic; crushed
2 tb Sugar
1 ts Salt
6 c Flour
2 pk Yeast ( I use the yeast in the jar, where 2.5 teaspoons is about on pack of yeast, so I'll use 5 teaspoons, or just under 2 Tablespoons)

Dissolve yeast in water and add sugar; wait a few minutes; add oil and salt and garlic. Mix in 3 cups flour and whip about 10 min till it leaves the side of the mixer bowl. Add remaining flour and with dough hook or by hand knead till smooth. Allow to rise twice in the bowl. Punch down. (I rush this a bit) Oil baking sheets; use fingers to press the dough out to edges.

Makes 2 pizzas, cookie sheet size, or 12 individual (pie tin) size. Let rise a bit and top. Bake at 425* 20 min.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Taco Seasoning

We *always* have some of this on hand, just as written. I got this from my friend Bethany, off my favorite homeschooling forums. I make this, sometimes double or triple and keep it in a quart sized pasta jar, 2 T = one packet of taco seasoning.  Try it, I bet you'll never buy the little packets again. Bethany's cooking blog is "For the Love of Grub" referenced on the right.



1/4 c. dried, minced onion
3 T. chili powder
2 T. cumin
1 t. salt
2 t. red pepper flakes
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 t. garlic powder
2 t. oregano

Mix all ingredients and place in lidded jar. Use 2 T per pound of meat. Makes 1/2 cup, enough for 4 pounds of meat.

Notes: Bethany makes her
taco meat in three pound increments and freeze one pound at a time in quart-sized bags, so she quadruples this recipe and put it in a jar. It’s more efficient to make a bunch than to make it often. So, I always have it handy for when I make a bunch of taco meat.

Orange Beef

This is from my friend Kelly's "Cooking with the Guys" blog. Kelly is an amazing cook, a long time forum friend who I really want to meet in person some day!

1 large bunch broccoli
4 navel oranges
1 T cornstarch
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 T reduced-sodium soy sauce (I used regular)
1 1/4 lb. flank steak, trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (I used round steak)
1/3 c. water
3 scallions, cut into 1" pieces
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 T minced peeled fresh ginger

Remove florets from stems of broccoli and cut into bite size pieces.  Trim, peel and thinly slice stems.

Grate 1 tsp. orange zest from 1 orange, then squeeze 3/4 c. juice (from about 2 oranges)* into measuring cup.  Whisk in cornstarch, pepper flakes, orange zest and 2 T soy sauce.  Remove peel and pith from remaining oranges and cut into chunks.

Spray nonstick wok or large deep nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat (I used 1 tsp. olive oil).  Toss beef with remaining 1 T soy sauce in large bowl.  Add beef to skillet and stir-fry until beef is no longer pink, about 1 min. (Do the beef 1/2 at a time if the skillet isn't large enough for all of it in a single layer).  Remove from pan; keep warm.

Add broccoli and water to wok.  Cover and cook 1 minute.  Uncover, add bell pepper and stir-fry 1 minute.  Stir in scallions, garlic, and ginger; stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in beef and cook until heated thoroughly through.  Spoon mixture onto platter and top with orange segments.  (I tossed the orange pieces in the last minute of cooking.)

YIELD:  6 servings; 1 serving (about 1 2/3 c.) = 6 WW PP

*I added water to my fresh OJ to measure 3/4 c.
**I served this with brown rice.  It was delicious!  You'll need to adjust the WW points accordingly for the rice.

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

~ Tannis/Collector of Recipes & Sonlight Forums

6 T. honey
5 T. lime juice
1 T. chili powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 lb. chicken, cooked and shredded
8 flour tortillas
1 lb. (4 c.) Monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 oz. green enchilada sauce
1 c. heavy cream

Mix honey, lime juice, chili powder, and garlic powder and toss with shredded chicken. Marinate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and three cups of shredded cheese. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.

Notes: These enchiladas are fantastic, but definitely on the sweet side! I serve them with crockpot beans to balance out the sweetness. We use ten tortillas and regular whipping cream.

Chloe's Virus Killing Soup

I'm posting some recipes I've eaten this week or have cooked recently as a start to my cooking blog. I make this soup a few times a year and keep it in 2 cup portions in the freezer. It's delicious at any time and especially nice when the family isn't feeling well to be able to pull out a serving or two of virus killing yummness from the freezer.

Chloe’s Virus Killing Soup

One chicken
Appx 15-30 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 Tbs salt
3-4 Thyme sprigs
Cayenne pepper (to taste. I use about a tsp)
Fresh Rosemary sprigs
Fresh ground pepper

Place chicken and other ingredients in a
soup pot (I use my pressure cooker) and cover with water or chicken broth (I really like those boxes of organic chicken broth). Cook on stove top until chicken starts to fall apart. Remove from heat. Strain out chicken and stuff and set aside until cool enough to chop. Reserve broth for next step.

1 large onion (coarsely chopped or sliced)
1 fennel bulb (sliced thin)
1 leek (sliced thin)
4-6 stalks of celery (coarse chopped)
large red pepper (coarse chopped
1/2 lb. carrots (coarse chopped)
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 C good White Wine
salt and pepper

Place oil in bottom of large pot and heat. Add onion, fennel, celery, pepper and leek and sauté until onion just transparent. Add wine and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Cover the vegetables with chicken broth from chicken--add more broth from can or box if you don't have enough broth from chicken and simmer veggies until just tender.

Frozen green beans
Frozen peas
flat leaf parsley (chopped)
1-2 cans chopped tomatoes with juice
salt and pepper to taste

Add these above ingredients and simmer until everything is tender. Add chopped chicken, salt and pepper to taste.

virus can withstand this soup.

You can also add cabbage with the end ingredients if you like (I do!), or any other veggies your family likes. Sometimes I'll throw in whatever is in my veggie bin in addition to the above.

The next day add egg noodles and turn it into chicken noodle
So, I start a cooking blog and then......... don't cook. What's up with that.

Today breakfast was coffee

Lunch was Taco bell with a few friends (soft taco fresco and a chicken burrito fresco), very tasty, as far as Taco Bell goes and fairly healthy-ish/low calorie as well.

Dinner was salad:
Lettuce, cucumber, carrots, red pepper, tomato, Ken's lite Caesar dressing, croutons and some pepperoni I microwaved till it was crispy and then crumbled over my salad.

Tomorrow should be some actual cooking. Anthony's not home right now and Byron's eating salad too.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chicken and Mozzarella Ravioli with Sausage and Marinara Sauce

June 8

Chicken and Mozzarella ravioli from Costco with some polish sausage (from Costco) cut up into the sauce.
Sauce courtesy of Classico (from Costco). See a trend here?

Ok, mostly we actually COOK dinner, we've been doing a lot of that lately, but today was easy dinner.

Side dishes: fruit, cut up vegetables and mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert.

A cooking blog

I have friends with cooking blogs, I look to them first (ok, I look to the Sonlight forums first) for recipes and then my friends cooking blogs (which are mostly friends of mine from the Sonlight forums).

I find myself posting recipes of what we made here and there, on the forums, in email or on facebook. I've been meaning to get my recipes organized for ages, and haven't gotten around to it. So, today is the day. A cooking blog of what we had for dinner, including recipes when appropriate.

Bon Appetit!