Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Perfect Pork Tenderloin

It is really helpful to have a wired meat thermometer so you can see when the roast reaches 140 and remove from oven, but this method has worked for me without a problem without a wired one. Also, cooking time may need to be adjusted based on your ovens ability to retain heat.

pork tenderloin
seasonings as desired

Season the tenderloin to your taste - can marinate for an hour or up to a day.

Place in shallow roasting pan lined with foil. Preheat oven to 550. Calculate cooking time at EXACTLY 5 1/2 minutes per pound. Place meat in oven and cook. When the calculated time is over, turn off oven and set timer for 1 hour. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN. Allow the heat to cook the roast.

When hour is complete, remove and temp should be about 140. Allow meat to rest for 5 minutes for juices to redistribute. After resting, temp should be around 145-150. Meat will be incredibly tender and juicy.

***You can also add 1 in cut carrots/potatoes to the roasting pan around the loin, but not touching it. Just drizzle with oil and season to taste. Veggies should be cooked perfectly. *watch for an oil that has a very high smoke point. Cooking at this high of temperature can cause oil to smoke*

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oven Fries

A great alternative to deep fried french fries.

6 potatoes - any variation, but yukon gold and russet seem to work best - can also use sweet potatoes, if desired.
seasonings of choice (season salt is great)
olive oil

Wash and cut potatoes lengthwise to make thick fries. Put into Ziploc baggie with enough olive oil to coat. Pour on generous seasonings and shake till coated. Pour onto foil lined cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, turning once.

Serve with fry sauce or ranch! YUM!

Roasted Whole Chicken

A great main dish to make while you're at church - ready when you get home.

1 or 2 whole chickens - thawed, dry
garlic salt
grated parmesan cheese
1 large onion, or onion flakes

Make a seasoned butter with the ingredients and rub under the skin of the chicken, also sprinkle generous amounts of seasoning into cavity and on top of chicken. Place in roaster pan, breast side up, on a rack if possible. Put about an inch of water in the bottom of the roaster pan and slice your onion into it. You can also put potatoes and carrots or your choice of vegetables around the chickens.

Roast on a low temp - about 300 for 3 hours. Or, slow roast on about 200-250 all day. The longer it roasts, the more tender it becomes and will fall off the bone.

*Don't roast all day with veggies as they will become really soft and nasty.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pumpkin Dessert

1 pkg. Spice Cake Mix
1/2 Cup milk
3 eggs
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1 square margarine
1/2 Cup oats
1 small can pumpkin (or 1/2 lg. can)
2 Tb. margarine
(optional)--1/2 cup or so of chopped nuts

Pour cake mix into a bowl. Take out 1 cup of dry mix and set aside. To remainder add one egg and square of margarine. Mix well and press into a 9 X 13, greased and floured pan. Combine pumpkin, two eggs and milk. Blend well and pour over cake crust. Take the remaining dry cake mix and cut in 2 Tb. margarine, brown sugar and oats. Sprinkle over the pumpkin mixture. Bake at 350 degrees about 45 minutes, or until set. Sprinkle chopped nuts over the top for the last 15 minutes if desired.

Buttery Yeast Rolls

These turn out so good and fluffy. I love them!

• 1/2 cup water
• 1/2 cup warm milk
• 1 egg
• 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (NOT bread flour!)
• 1 package dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
• 1/4 cup butter or margarine
Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook attached, to mix and knead the dough. First, I heat the milk and water together until it's very warm, a bit warmer than the "baby bath" test, more of a "tired mommy bath" temp. I combine the liquid with the yeast and sugar in the bowl and allow the yeast to get it's job started and get activated. Add the egg, at room temp or warmer, the butter that is slightly melted, and the salt, but don't bother to stir. The flour is then unceremoniously dumped into the bowl and the mixer is started on low speed, to allow the flour to slowly combine into the liquids. I allow it to knead the dough until I see it is looking very elastic and stretchy. The dough is on the sticky side but improves after the first rising, which I do in a greased bowl in the warming drawer of the oven. It doesn't take long that way. After it is risen, I roll small balls out of the dough and place them in a greased 11x7 pan, spray the tops with non-stick cooking spray, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour, or until double in bulk.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 to 18 minutes.
Brush baked rolls with remaining butter.
NOTE: This dough can also be divided into two portions and each rolled into a 12-inch circle; spread each circle with softened butter, cut into 8 wedges and roll up starting with wide end, to make crescents OR use this dough for cinnamon rolls or sticky buns.

Carrot Bread

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup finely shredded carrot

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan or four 3 inch by 6 inch mini loaf pans.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnnamon and salt and mix well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, brown sugar and eggs, pour into flour mixture and stir well (batter will be chunky).
Stir in walnuts, pineapple, raisins and carrots.
Pour into prepared pan (s) and bake 30-40 minutes (20 minutes for mini pans) or until lightly browned.

KFC Coleslaw

8 cups cabbage, finely chopped
1/4 cup carrot, shredded
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cut cabbage and carrots into small pieces about the size of rice kernels (the food processor is great for this!).

In a salad bowl, combine the sugar, salt, pepper, milk, mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar and lemon juice. Beat until smooth. Add the cabbage and carrots. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate.

Southwestern Egg Rolls from Chili's

1/2 (12 ounce) can refried black beans
1 (15 ounce) can black beans (drained)
1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, defrosted and water squeezed out
2 medium fresh tomatoes, small dice
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 (12 ounce) can whole kernel corn (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
flour tortilla, the small size
vegetable oil (for frying)

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Put a couple heaping tablespoons of the mixture in a snack size warmed flour tortilla and wrap like a burrito (very tightly) use toothpick to hold in place.
Fry in 1/2 deep oil in skillet on medium heat. Turn and brown other side.
Cut each one in half diagonally and serve on platter with ranch dip, salsa or whatever dip you like.

Another Alfredo Sauce

This one compares to Olive Garden's in my opinion

1 tablespoon pureed garlic
1 lb butter
2 quarts heavy whipping cream
8 ounces milk
1 lb parmesan cheese
4 ounces Fontina cheese
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

Brown Garlic puree.
Then add butter til melted.
Add heavy cream and milk.
Add parmeasan cheese, fontina cheese, salt and pepper.
Stir on medium high until thickens.
Turn off heat and continue to stir.
Serve over cooked alfredo noodles.

Olive Garden Exact Match, Zuppa Toscana

2 cups chicken broth, little more than 2 cups
1 quart water
1 tablespoon minced garlic, minced or 2 cloves, minced
2-3 russet potatoes, depending on desired consistency
2 cups kale
1 lb sausage, personally I like half hot and half sweet
1 onion
8 ounces heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 ounces bacon bits
salt and pepper

Cut potatoes into slices of 1/4 inch thick, mix them, the water, the broth the chopped onion and garlic in a larger sauce pan and cook until potatoes start to fall apart. Meanwhile, bake the sausage at 350 for 30 minutes. When potatoes are done decase the sausage and mix it in, add bacon and let simmer for a couple of minutes, then stir in cream and add in the kale. It's alright if the water starts to boil before you add the sausage.

Easy Drop Biscuits

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (cold)
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly (about 5 minutes)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and 1/4 cup melted butter in medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps
Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl.
Using greased 1/4-cup dry measure, scoop a scant amount of batter and drop onto parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining batter, spacing biscuits about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, 10 to 13 minutes. They can be made up ahead of time and gently re-heated in a 300 oven for 10 minutes.
Brush biscuit tops with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Tortellini and Spinach Soup

1 (10 ounce) package fresh spinach, washed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices bacon, finely diced (optional)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 medium onion, diced
9 cups chicken broth
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1 (9 ounce) package refrigerated tortellini
1 (15 1/2 ounce) can great northern beans, undrained
salt and pepper
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Wash spinach thoroughly and tear into pieces.
Heat oil in large soup pot over medium high heat. Add bacon, if desired, cooking until lightly browned. Add garlic and onion and cook until browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in broth, tomatoes and seasoning and bring to a boil.
Add tortellini and simmer just until tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Add spinach, salt and pepper to taste and beans. Heat until warmed through.
Top with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Individual Meatloafs

1.5 lb hamburger
2 eggs
1/4 c. parmesan
3/4 c. oatmeal
1/4 c. dried onion
1 T. Worchestershire
1 T. Soy sauce
1/4 t. basil (I usually add about 1/2 t.)
1 heaping T. Italian Seasoning
1/4 c. ketchup
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/4 t. pepper

Combine all in bowl until well mixed. Form into small balls and place in muffin tins. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. **Or you can place in loaf pan and cook for about an hour or until no longer red.**

Tortellini Rose

A Bit of work, but SOOO worth it!

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1-3 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons dry basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

Alfredo Sauce
8 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese

4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 mushrooms, chopped
5 cloves garlic, pressed
1-2 package refrigerated tortellini (, not cheese use meat)

Marinara: In a 2-quart sauce pan, over medium heat, cook onion and garlic till tender.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Heat to boiling, stir to break up tomatoes.
Reduce heat, simmer with cover on for about 20 minutes.
Stir occasionally.
I recommend blending it with a hand blender Alfredo Sauce: In small sauce pan, over medium low heat, melt butter.
Just before mixing with pasta, add cheese, stirring until it is melted.
Slowly add cream, heat until thoroughly mixed.
Add to pasta according to directions.
Pasta: Prepare Tortellini according to package directions.
In the meantime, melt butter, add onion and cook until clear.
Add tomatoes and mushrooms, cook until tender.
Add garlic and Marinara Sauce, heat until hot.
Add Alfredo Sauce, mix well until hot.
Add cooked Tortellini, mix well, and serve immediately.
Serves 6 generous portions.

NOTES: Marinara sauce can be prepared a day or two ahead. Garlic is the secret to this dish so use as much as you want. I usually adjust it according to who I serve it to. We love garlic so I use lots! I use a mixture of stuffed Tortellini, like Chicken, Sausage, but try to stay away from cheese stuffed.

Scalloped Potatoes

5-6 cups thinly sliced potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 1/3 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 cup grated cheese, to sprinkle on top

In a small sauce pan, melt butter and blend in flour.
Let sit for a minute.
Add all of cold milk, stirring with a whisk.
Season with salt and cayenne.
Cook sauce on low until smooth and boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk.
Reduce heat and stir in cheese.
Place a half of the sliced potatoes in a lightly greased one quart casserole dish.
Pour half of cheese sauce over potatoes.
Repeat with second layer of potatoes and cheese sauce.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Top with some paprika for color.
Bake covered for about thirty minutes at 350F. Remove cover and bake for addtl 30 min.

Crock Pot Chicken W/ Black Beans and Cream Cheese

This looks disgusting once it's cooked, but has GREAT flavor

4-5 boneless chicken breasts
1 (15 1/2 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can corn
1 (15 ounce) jar salsa, any kind
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese


Take 4-5 frozen, yes, frozen, boneless chicken breasts put into crock pot.

Add 1 can of black beans, drained, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of corn drained.

Keep in crock pot on high for about 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked.

Add 1 package of cream cheese (just throw it on top!) and let sit for about 1/2 hour

Serve over Rice or serve in tortillas as a burrito filling and garnish.

Bacon & Tomato Pasta

1 lb bacon (cooked till crisp)
1 (8 ounce) container cream cheese (Chive and Onion flavor)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
6 cups penne pasta (cooked)
Cook bacon until crisp,then cut bacon into 1/2" pieces.

Drain bacon grease from skillet, add cherry tomatoes saute 1 minute.

Stir in cream cheese & milk, cook until bubbly.

Stir in pasta,bacon pieces and parmesan cheese.

Top with more parmesan if desired.

Spaghetti Pie

6 ounces spaghetti
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 lb hamburger
1/2 lb Italian sausage
1/2 cup onion, chopped
8 ounces tomatoes, cut up and undrained
6 ounces tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Brown and drain the ground beef and sausage. Saute onion until tender and add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, oregano and garlic salt. Combine the meat mixture and the tomato mixture, set aside.

Cook spaghetti and combine with butter, parmesan cheese and eggs.

Press mix into a 10 inch buttered pie plate making sure it goes up the sides of the plate making a sort of "pie crust".

Spread ricotta cheese over the spaghetti and fill with the meat mixture.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Sprinkle with mozzerella and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Potato Skin Tacos

3 Large Baking Potatoes
1 T melted butter/marg.
1 lb ground beef
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 envelope taco seasoning
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
2 green onions

Scrub and pierce potatoes. Bake at 375 for 1 hour (until done). When cooled, cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out potato meat, leaving a thin shell, set potato meat aside for mashing, freezing, or another dinner that week. Brush the inside and outside of the shells with butter. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake again (375) for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add tomatoes and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Spoon into potato shells; sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream, onions, and salsa.

Asian Salad

2 (3 ounce) packages ramen noodles, crushed
1 cup blanched slivered almonds
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 head napa cabbage, shredded
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce

In a medium skillet over low heat brown ramen noodles, almonds, and sesame seeds with melted butter or margarine. Once browned, take off heat and cool.
In a small saucepan bring vegetable oil, sugar, and vinegar to boil for 1 minute. Cool. Add soy sauce.
In a large bowl , combine shredded napa cabbage and chopped green onions. Add the noodle and soy sauce mixture. Toss to coat. Serve.

Cabbage Rolls

1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 lbs ground sausage (jimmy dean or whatever you prefer….more spice=more flavor)
1 onion (I usually use onion flakes…)
1/2 pkg meat loaf seasoning (these are by the gravy mixes)
1-2 eggs
1/2 -3/4 cup rolled oats
Moisten with milk
Salt and Pepper
(mix it up just like meat loaf…use your hands to blend together meats then a wooden spoon for the rest)

2 cans Tomato soup
1 head Cabbage
I add cooked rice because this is a lot of meat

Boil the cabbage for easy separation of the leaves. Spread some soup on the floor of the pot. Put a spoonful of meat mixture in a leaf, wrap and place in the pot. After you have covered the bottom, put another layer of soup (just spread over the tops of the leaves). Do this until you run out of meat. Pour the rest of the soup over the top and put the lid on and cook on high for 3-4 hrs or on low for 7-8 hrs. Goes really well with breadsticks or garlic bread.

Tortellini Taco Salad

16 oz tortellini, cooked
1 can kidney or black beans, drained
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 T chopped olives
1/2 c salsa
1/3 c thousand island salad dressing
1/2 t cumin

Mix salsa, thousand island, and cumin together. Set aside. Combine all other ingredients and top with dressing right before serving.

Best Foods Potato Salad

1 c Best Foods Mayo
2 T vinegar
1 1/2 t salt
1 t sugar
1/4 t ground black pepper
2 lbs potatoes (5-6 medium) cookes, peeled and cubed
1 c thinly sliced celery
1/2 c chopped onion
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Blend 1st 5 ingredients in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Cover and chill

(I personally don’t really like eggs that well, and so I only put in 1 egg and add more celery. I also season with a little bit of Accent and Garlic Powder)

The BEST Cream of Veggie Soup EVER

Makes 1 gallon

1 c flour
2 sq. butter
8 c mild
4 c chopped celery
3 c chopped carrots
1 lg onion
6 potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Onion and garlic powder to taste
2 t accent

Melt butter and add flour. Cook for 2 minutes and add milk. Stir until thick. Put celery, carrots, and onions in processor and chop to medium chunks. Put in pressure cooker with 1 cup water and pressure 2 minutes. Cool under running water.

Peel taters and cube in small pieces. Boil in salted water until just tender and drain. Add all veggies with water and potatoes to milk mixture and add seasonings.


1 1/2 lbs hamburger
1 onion, chopped
1/2 t pepper
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can water
2 c. sour cream
1 t garlic salt

Brown burger with onion; drain. Add remaining ingredients. Heat through. Serve over noodles or baked potatoes.

SOFT Sugar Cookies & Cream Frosting

1 c shortening
2 c sugar
2 eggs
2/3 c milk
1 t vanilla

Cream together, then add

1 t almond extract
1 t soda
1/2 t salt
7 1/2 c flour – add enough so it isn’t sticky, but make it good to roll. It may not need this much flour, and it may need a little more.

Roll out and cut into shapes. Bake at 400 for 6-7 minutes.

Butter Cream Frosting for Cookies

1 t almond extract
1/2 c butter
1 egg
dash of salt
1 t. vanilla

Cream this together, and coloring if desired

Add 4 1/2 c pow sugar using milk or cold water to even out texture so it is spreadable.

Melt in your mouth Pot Roast

2-4 potatoes, pared & diced
2-3 carrots, pared & diced
1-2 onions, peeled and diced
salt & pepper
3-4 lb beef brisket, rump roast or pot roast
1/2 c. water or beef stock

put half veggies in bottom of crockpot. S&P meat, then put in pot. Add remaining veggies, liquid and S&P. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. Remove and serve.

Hootenany Pancakes

1 stick butter
1 t. salt
1 c flour
1 c milk
6 eggs
a dash of vanilla

Put stick of butter in glass pan, place in oven and turn temp to 400 degrees. Allow butter to melt in pan, then add remaining mixed ingredients. Bake for 15-20 min until puffy.

Serve with syrup, or put your favorite jam/jelly on it. YUM!

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 4oz chopped green chilies
1 c sour cream
1 1/2 c cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 c grated white cheese
8 lg flour tortillas

Mix soups, chilies, and sour cream. Heat until warm. Spread a little sauce in bottom of 9x13 pan. Put a little sauce in the center of a tortilla, sprinkle with cheese. Add some chicken. Roll up tortilla envelope style. Place in pan. Continue until all 8 tortillas are completed. Pour remaining sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-25 min.

Crab Salad

Cook 1 pkg acini de pepe pasta in boiling water for 20 minutes. Rise in cold water until cool. Drain completely.

3-4 stalks celery, chopped
3 green onions, chopped fine
1 small pkg frozen peas
1 pkg frozen crab, cut into small pieces

Mix pasta with veggies and crab. Add ½ c “salad dressing”, ½ c mayo. Salt and pepper, accent, garlic and onion powder to taste. Mix well. If too dry, add more of preceding ingredients.

Cold Peach Pie

1 1/2 c water
1 c sugar
2 egg yolks or 1 egg
2 T corn starch
1 3oz pkg lemon gelatin
4-5 peaches, peeled and sliced

In a large saucepan, combine water, sugar, egg yolks and corn starch. Cook until thick. Turn off stove and add lemon gelatin and mix. Stir in sliced peaches. Pour filling into a baked pie shell. Cool. Serve cold with whipped cream or ice cream.

Black Bean & Corn Salad

Serve warm or cold, as a salad or a chip dip.

1 can Black Beans, rinsed well and drained
1 can Corn, drained
4 fresh tomatoes, diced (fresh vine tomatoes taste the best or hybrid tomatoes that you can buy on the vine)
½ c red onion, chopped FINE
½ c cilantro, chopped FINE
2 T Lime Juice
1 T olive oil
½ t salt
¼ t pepper
2 dashes Hot Sauce (i.e. Cholula or Tapatio or even Tabasco)
pinch of Cayenne

Asparagus with Lemon and Minced Onions

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 lemon, quartered
1/4 tsp salt
1 pinch black ground pepper
1 Tbsp yellow onion, minced
1 lemon, sliced thinly

CUT 1” off of the bottom of the asparagus. Discard.
HEAT pan over medium heat. Add extra virgin olive oil. Cook for approximately 3 minutes or until asparagus starts to soften. Place the remaining ingredients in a saucepan, except lemons. Squeeze quartered lemons into saucepan and place lemon in as well. Fill pan with enough water to cover the asparagus half way and cover. Cook at medium to high heat until the asparagus is bright green and tender.
PLACE asparagus and onion on platter to serve. Garnish with sliced lemon.

Roasted Potatoes with Red Onions

4 lbs small red potatoes
2 red onions, large – cut in 1” pieces
16 garlic cloves chopped
4 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
12 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
Parsley, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.

WASH potatoes and cut into quarters.

COMBINE potatoes and onions in large mixing bowl. Add garlic, rosemary, oil, butter, salt and pepper. Toss to thoroughly coat potatoes and onions with seasonings.

ARRANGE potatoes and onions in a single layer on a sheet tray. Cut side of potatoes should touch baking pan.

BAKE in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.

GARNISH with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

Homemade Pesto

1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Romano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

PLACE pine nuts, garlic, basil and oil in a food processor and pulse until finely blended.

TRANSFER pesto from food processor to bowl. Add all remaining ingredients.

TOSS with your favorite pasta or chill and use in 2-3 days.

Herb Parmesan Cream Sauce

Makes about 2 Cups

4 cups heavy cream (or 32 fl oz)
4 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped (4 tsp dry)
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

HEAT cream in a sauce pan and lightly boil until it is half its original volume, being careful not to scorch.

STIR in Parmesan cheese, basil, salt and pepper.

USE immediately.

Pizza Dough

7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)
1 pk dry active yeast
2 2/1 cups water, warm
1/2 Tbsp +1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
All-purpose flour as needed

POUR warm water into a bowl. Add yeast. Using a wire whip, whisk to completely dissolve yeast. Set aside for about 5 minutes, or until yeast activates. Add 1 cup flour, salt and extra virgin olive oil. Mix well. Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until dough is soft and springy. Dough should turn into a ball. If dough is too dry, add a very small amount of water. If it becomes too wet, add a small amount of flour.

PLACE ball of dough on a floured board and cover with a dry towel. Allow to sit until ball doubles in size.

CUT risen dough into 4 equal pieces. Again, roll into balls and allow to rise*.

PLACE dough ball on floured board. Using hands, flatten and spread out to form a circle.

SLIDE pizza dough onto a pizza pan or parchment paper.

COVER with your favorite pizza toppings

BAKE in preheated oven at 550ºF for 5-6 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

*If not using dough immediately, wrap each ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready for use. Once ready to use, remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

4 fresh artichokes
2 lemon, juice squeezed
2 tsp Salt
2 14-oz cans artichoke hearts, drained and sliced

2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
1 lb mascarpone cheese, room temperature
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour, sifted
2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 green onions, chopped
Ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
2 6-oz packs fresh spinach, chopped
16 slices crusty Italian bread
Extra virgin olive oil (to drizzle)

Preheat oven to 325ºF.

BOIL artichokes in 3 quarts water with 1 tsp salt and lemon juice.
COOL artichokes. Clean, peel, remove center “choke” and slice artichoke.
FOLLOW Dip Preparation steps below using fresh artichokes.


MIX all ingredients in a large bowl, except bread and extra virgin olive oil.

COAT a large non-stick baking pan with pan spray; fill pan with mixture. Bake at 325ºF for about 25 minutes or until bubbling and center is hot.

DRIZZLE both sides of bread with extra virgin olive oil. Grill bread on both sides.

SPRINKLE top of heated dip with parmesan cheese. Serve hot with grilled bread.

Shrimp Scampi

3 lbs medium fresh shrimp, shelled
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 cup white wine
6 cloves garlic, crushed
6 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 1/16 tsp crushed red pepper
8 oz butter
1 lb angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions
Salt and pepper to taste

HEAT oil in a saute pan. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute; do not brown. Add butter, wine, red pepper, salt and pepper and reduce by half.

ADD shrimp and cook 1-2 minutes until fully cooked.

TRANSFER pasta to plate and top with shrimp mixture.

Conchiglie with Tomato & Basil

3 lbs ripe vine tomatoes
16-18 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
1/2 cups fresh basil, coarse chopped + leaves for garnish
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb medium-size shell pasta
Reggiano cheese to sprinkle

HEAT olive oil and butter in a skillet. Add sliced garlic and onions. Saute over low heat until onions and garlic turn a light golden brown. Add diced tomatoes and cook together with garlic and onions for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped basil and stir.
COOK pasta according to package directions and drain.
SERVE pasta in a soup plate or bowl and top with tomato mixture and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and shredded mozzarella.

Alfredo Sauce

Serves 4

1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup imported Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup imported Romano cheese, grated
6 egg yolks from fresh jumbo eggs
Salt and black pepper and garlic powder to taste

HEAT milk and cream in a heavy bottom saucepan until it begins to simmer. Turn off heat. Slowly whip in cheese, then remove from heat.

PLACE egg yolks in a separate bowl and slowly whip in a portion of the hot milk and cream mixture. Slowly add egg yolk mixture back into remaining cream mixture. Place back on very low heat and continually stir until simmering. Take sauce off heat so it thickens. (This will increase temperature of egg yolks, known as tempering).

SEASON to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Bruschetta al Pomodoro

Serves four. Total time: 30 minutes

6-8 Fresh Chopped Basil Leaves
Salt (as needed)
2-3 cloves Garlic
4 medium Tomatoes
8 slice(s) Crusty Bread
Pepper (as needed)
6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Chop tomatoes, season with salt, pepper, chopped basil and oil.
2. Grill bread, brush with garlic and top with tomatoes.

Wheat Pancake Mix

4 C flour (I use 3)
2 C whole wheat flour (I use 3)
2 T baking powder
1 T baking soda
Mix in bowl & store in airtight container for up to six months. (about 6 & 3/4 C mix)

To make regular pancakes:
1 egg
3/4 C milk
1 C pancake mix

To make apple cinnamon pancakes:
Mix together:
2 C pancake mix
2-3 eggs
2 C applesauce
1 tsp cinnamon
Chopped walnuts
If the batter seems thick add a little water.

To make blueberry banana pancakes:
1 egg 3/4 C milk
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
Wisk in 1 C pancake mix
Fold in 3/4 C blueberries

Cowboy Caviar

Serve as a dip with Tostitos Scoops or regular corn chips

Drain and rinse 1 can black eye peas and 1 can black beans
Drain 1 can corn and 2 cans Rotel tomatoes with chilies
Chop 1 bunch green onions and 1 bunch cilantro
Dice 1-2 avocados and mix them with the dressing before mixing all ingredients together.

juice of 3 limes
2 T olive oil
3 T apple cider vinegar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Chili's Spicy Garlic & Lime Shrimp

2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, pressed
24 fresh large shrimp, peeled (about 1 pound)
1 lime
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
Make the seasoning blend by combining all the spices in a small bowl.
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.
Add butter to the pan.
When the butter is melted, stir in the pressed garlic.
Immediately, add the shrimp to the pan.
Cut the lime in half and squeeze each half into the pan over the shrimp.
Sprinkle the entire seasoning blend over the shrimp, and give it all a good stir.
Saute the shrimp for 5 to 8 minutes or until they begin to brown.
Be sure to cook both sides of all the shrimp. Do not overcook!

Southwestern Grilled Chicken

Not the same unless grilled!

1 envelope GOOD SEASONS Italian Salad Dressing mix
1/2 c vegetable oil
(or rather than those 2 ingredients, you can use 2/3 cup of prepared Italian dressing. However, do not use a “zesty” Italian as it does NOT taste as good.)

1/4 c lime juice
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
1 t chili powder
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts- halved.

Mix all ingredients into a Ziploc baggy. Add chicken and marinade for about 1 hour.

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Remove chicken from marinade and put on grill. I pour the remaining marinade on top of chicken when I first put it on the grill. Grill chicken 6-8 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

Mexican Tamales

These take some serious time, but are SOOOO good!

Boil your meat (pork, chicken or beef) until done. To add additional flavor, boil with garlic, s&p, onions, etc. When cooked through, set the broth aside to use in Masa. Cool meat and then shred with fork.

Prepare corn husks by immersing in warm water until soft enough to seperate. Seperate them and rinse. Place in fresh warm water again until ready to use.

Prepare chili sauce by boiling 8oz bag of dried red peppers. Do not fill the pan with water. Only add about 2 inches of water in medium size pan. Cover and boil for 15 minutes. The steam will soften the peppers. When soft, blend in blender (with water it was boiled in) until smooth - can add additional water to make more liquid. Strain and combine with shredded meat. Set aside.

To make the Masa you will need:
1 lb of lard (can use shortening) - squish with hands until soft and like creamed butter.
2 t. baking powder - add
2 t. chicken bullion - add
2 T. salt - add
4 heaping cups of masa mix - add, mix with hands
add enough of the broth you set aside earlier to make dough that feels like pie crust - be sure it isn't dry

To make tamale:
Spread about 2 T. masa with a spoon onto the wide end of the corn husk, put about 1 T. of the meat/sauce filling. Fold the wide edges of the husk into the middle, crossing one another. Then fold the skinny pointed end over the folds.

In a large steamer pan, place tamales in a stack - open end facing up into shape of volcano.

Steam for 1 hr, or until dough is cooked.

No Bake Cookies

These are my husband's favorite!

2 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup cocoa
1/3 lb butter
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I use chunky)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups quick oats
(I sometimes use 1/4 c. coconut in addition to other ingredients. It's good)

Mix first four ingredients. Bring to a boil, boil about 3 minutes, remove from heat and add vanilla and peanut butter. Stir until well blended. Stir in oatmeal, drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Store in fridge or freezer.

Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad

A good change up to regular lettuce salad for dinner.

1/4 c. sliced almonds
1 t. plus 1 T. sugar
1 large bag spinach
2 med. celery ribs - chopped
2 green onions - chopped
1 can mandarin oranges

cook almonds and sugar over low heat till sugar melts and nuts are toasted. mix remaining ingredients together in large bowl.

Right before serving, combine with dressing:
1/4. c oil
1/2 t. salt
2 T. sugar
2 T. vinegar
1 T. dried parsley
dash of pepper
dash of tabasco

Envy of the Neighborhood Zucchini Bread

Makes 2 regular loaf pans

3 eggs
2 c. sugar
3 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
1/4 t. baking pow
3 T. cinnamon
1 c. chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or almonds *if you toast the nuts first it adds a little something)
3/4 c. oil/sour cream/ or plain yogurt
2 c. grated zucchini
3 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cloves (opt)
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 c. choc chips

Mix together all items but choc chips and pour into greased loaf pans about 3/4 full. Sprinkle 1/2 c. choc chips on top of each pan and lightly press into batter. (helps not to sink them to the bottom). Bake at 350 degrees 50-60 minutes. (do not use glass pans)

Pesto Chicken

1 pkg pesto sauce mix (or prepared pesto)
8 boneless/skinless breasts (I used 5 large breasts and cut them in half)
unseasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 c. melted butter
sliced provolone cheese (or mozzerella)

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare sauce as directed on pkg. Dip breasts in melted butter then coat in breadcrumbs. Place in greased 9x13 pan. Spread pesto over the tops as generously as you'd like and then top with provolone cheese. Cover with foil and place in oven for 45 - 50 minutes. Remove foil when 15 minutes remain to brown cheese on top.

Parmesan Pesto Pasta

2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 c. butter
1 c. milk
1 c. half and half
4 T. prepared pesto or 1 envelope of knorr or mckormick pesto sauce mix
1 lb cooked penne pasta

In large saucepan, combine all ingredients except pesto and pasta. Stir over med heat until cheese is melted. Add pesto and simmer for 5-7 minutes, until sauce thickens. Mix with pasta. (can include grilled chicken in this if you wanted to for a main dish)

Chili Verde

Serve as sauce over enchiladas, chimichangas or as the filling for burritos with refried beans, sour cream, and cheese. Can also put in soup bowls and broil cheese on top like french onion soup. It's YUMMY

2-3 lbs pork roast or chicken seasoned with garlic powder - precooked and cubed or shredded

Saute together:
2-3 tablespoons lard or butter
1 or 2 large fine chopped onion
1 full head minced garlic or more (your preference)

Then thicken with:
6 tablespoons flour

Once liquid is absorbed into flour, add the following and bring to a boil until thickened:
5 cups chicken broth (broth is not traditional, but I like the flavor better)

Then add:

1 24 oz can whole green chilies, some coarsely chopped and some pureed (find them in the Latino section)
1 medium can tomatillos (at least 5 fruits), pureed - Latino section
half jar of sliced jalapenos, can use more if desired - the heat will cook out the longer it simmers so be generous cause this adds tons of flavor
2 small cans Herdez Salsa Verde - also in Latino section

2 tablespoons ground cumin (or to taste)
2 tablespoons ground chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
Can add garlic powder if desired
the precooked meat

Allow to simmer for at least 1 hour, or keep on low in crock pot all day, stir occasionally - it gets better the longer it simmers. Can add instant potato flakes before serving to thicken if you like it thicker.


Pigs in a blanket
corn dogs
shepherd's pie
Hobo dinners
hot dogs


Grilled cheese
grilled tuna
grilled pastrami and swiss
Italian Panini


lemon bread


Chicken noodle
turkey noodle
creamy potato
beef noodle
cream of broccoli
corn chowder
Creamy Veggie
Zuppa Toscana
split pea


Veggie (broc/caulif/raisin)
good salad


Porcupine rice w/ meatballs
ham fried
chinese sundaes
stir fry
rice & hamburger w/ soy sauce
chicken/broccoli/rice casserole
dinner in a pumpkin


sloppy joes
swiss steak
pepper steak
porcupine meatballs
salisbury steak
stuffed peppers


mac & cheese
herb noodles
tuna casserole
stuffed shells
pasta salad
w/ pesto
w/ clam sauce


Moist baked
legs in sauce
pot pie
Noodle casserole
Creamed on toast
sweet and sour
Cordon Blue
salad on croissants


Oven Fried
tater tot casserole
Twice baked


Chicken Enchiladas
Tacos or taco salad
soft flour tacos
pork & green chilis
mexican lasagna
enchiladas verdes