Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Now, here's award rules: Copy the award image in your post. Then, list 10 things that make you happy and tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day. For those 10 bloggers who get the award, you must link back to my blog. Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award and notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

10 things that make me happy!!!

1. My family and all the memories we make and share together.

2. Cooking for my family and friends.

3. Spending time with my grand-daughters and teaching them to cook.

4. Going to church.

5. All my blog friends and sharing with them.

6. New recipes that I can try for the first time.

7. Reading a good book.

8. Taking a long bath after a long day.

9. Beading: making rosaries and jewelry.

10. Laughing and having fun with family and friends

I am sharing this AWESOME!!! award with the following blogging friends:

Go visit:

Alea @ Premeditated Leftovers!

Tiffanee @ One Crazy Cookie!

Samantha @ Sweet Southern Journey!

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm!

Sugar @ Vanillastrawberryspringfields!

Wendy @ Relatively Unique!

Gina @ Ravenwolf Lodge!

Lee @ Conserving Leos!

Cynthia @ Cookin' with Cynthia!

Hallee @ Hallee The Homemaker!

I have made so many WONDERFUL!!! friends in eight months and would really like to give each one this AWARD. I just want to say a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all of you. Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! to each and all of you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009



12 ounces firm chorizo or other cooked sausages
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (8 oz.) peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper (8 oz.), rinsed, stemmed, seeded and diced (1/4 inch)
2 cups arborio or other short-grained white rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 quart fat-skimmed chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoons ground dried turmeric
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces boned, skinned firm white-fleshed fish, such as halibut
1 pound shelled, deveined shrimp (26 to 30 per lb.), tail left on
8 ounces mussels in shells
1/4 cup silvered green onion (including green tops)
Lemon wedges

In a 15 - inch paella pan or 12 - inch frying pan (with at least 2 - 1/4 - inch tall sides) over high heat, add sausages and turn occasionally until browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes total, With tong, transfer to a broad.

Reduce heat to medium-high and add olive oil to pan; when hot, add onion, bell pepper and garlic, stir often until onion is limp, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice and stir until it begins to turn opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in wine, chicken broth, paprika, turmeric and saffron. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring once or twice, until rice is almost tender to bite, 15 to 18 minuted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, rinse and drain fish and shrimp; cut fish into 1 - inch pieces. Pull beards off mussels and scrub mussels; discard any gaping ones that don't close when you tap their shell. Cut sausage diagonally into 1/2 - inch thick slices.

Gently stir in fish, shrimp and sausages into rice mixture; arrange mussels on top. Cover pan with foil or lid and cook until rice is tender to bite, fish and shrimp are opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), and mussels shells have open, 7 to 8 minutes.

Sprinkle evenly with green onions, Garish with lemon wedges. Serve from pan, adding juice from lemon wedges and more salt and pepper to taste.

YIELDS: about 6 servings


2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces dried angel hair pasta
1 onion (8 oz.), peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 - 1/2 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
1 can (14 - 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 package (8 oz.) frozen artichokes hearts, thawed
1 dozen small calms in shell, suitable for steaming (about 1 lb. optional) scrubbed
8 ounces peeled, deveined shrimp (21 to 30 per lb.), rinsed
8 ounces skinned halibut, rinsed and cut into 1/2 - inch chucks
1 cup frozen petite peas
lemon wedges

Pour olive oil into an 11 - 12 - inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Break pasta into 3 to 4 inch lengths and drop into oil; stir often until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add onion, garlic and turmeric; stir until onion is limp, 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in broth and tomatoes, including juice; cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Spread mixture level. Evenly distribute artichoke hearts and clams, if using, over pasta. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Evenly distribute shrimp, fish and peas over pasta. Cover and cook until clams have opened and fish is barely opaque in center of thickest part (cut to test), 5 to 8 minutes longer.

Uncover and cook until pasta has absorbed most of the liquid and is beginning to brown on the bottom, 2 to 4 minutes. Add salt to taste. Garnish with lemon wedges to squeeze over seafood. Serve from pan.

YIELDS: 4 serving


1 - 1/2 pounds broccoli florets
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon hot chili flakes
about 1/2 teaspoon salt
about 1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 ounces dried penne pasta
1/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese

Rinse broccoli, trim and discard stem ends. Coarsely chop tops and stem. In a 5 to 6 quart pan over medium heat, stir olive oil and garlic often until garlic sizzles, then stir in broccoli, chili flakes, salt and pepper and 1/2 cup water. cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is very soft. Add 1/4 cup more water to pan if broccoli threatens to scorch.

Meanwhile, in a 5 to 6 quart pan over high heat, bring 4 quarts water to a boil; add penne and cook until tender to bite, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and return to pan.

Stir broccoli mixture into pasta along with cheese. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

YIELDS: 4 to 6 servings

Monday, December 21, 2009


3 pounds boned pork shoulder roast, fat trimmed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 - 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 fresh sage leaves
3 - 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Rinse pork and pet dry. In a small bowl, mix flour, salt and pepper, sprinkle mixture over pork. Pour oil into a 10 - to 12 - inch frying pan over medium-high heat; add pork and turn to brown well on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork and juices to a slow-cooker (at least 5 qt.).

Let pan cool slightly, then add garlic and sage, stir over medium-low heat until garlic turns golden, about 1 minute. Add to the slow-cooker, along with milk and lemon peel.

Cover and cook on high until pork is tender when pieced and sauce is golden and reduced by about half, 7 to 8 hours; about 3 hours before pork is done, uncover the crock to let the pan juices reduce and thicken.

Transfer pork to a rimmed board and slice. Serve meat with sauce on the side.

YIELD: Makes 6 servings

NOTES: This is a rather lumpy, toffee-colored sauce, but it is one of the most succulent ays to cook pork. You'll need to uncover the cooker for the last three hours, so plan ahead. Serve with polenta and a green salad.


1 cup polenta
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a shallow 2 - quart baking dish, mix 4 cups water, polenta, butter and salt. Bake in a 350 F. oven for 40 minutes. Stir polenta and continue baking until creamy to bite, about minutes longer. Stir in grated parmesan cheese and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes to thicken

Friday, December 18, 2009


Glazed Carrots with Pecans

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups diagonally sliced (1/4 in) peeled carrots
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 - 1/2 cups toasted pecans

Heat oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook, stirring frequently, 4 minutes. Stir in ginger and brown sugar, cook, stirring, until sugar melts, about 2 minutes. Add pecans and cook until carrots are tender when pierced and mixture is glazed in sugar, 3 to 5 minutes.

Yield: Serves 10

Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan and Pine Nuts

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 pounds brussel sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
salt and black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add garlic and brussels sprouts, cook until brown and softened, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add broth and cook until sprouts are tender bot not soggy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add pine nuts and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a small dish and sprinkle with parmesan.

Yield: Serves 6

Creamed Spinach Gratin

1/2 teaspoon butter
5 packages (10 oz each) frozen chopped spinach
2 - 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs

Butter a shallow 1 - 1/2 to 2 quart baking dish. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the spinach ( use your hands or a clean kitchen towel). Set aside.

Heat spinach and cream in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheese to melt. Stir in salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Transfer spinach mixture to buttered baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Just before serving, place dish in the oven 5 to 6 inch below broiler set to high; broil until top is golden and crunchy, about 3 minutes.

Yield: 12 servings

Southwestern Roasted Green Beans

2 - 1/2 pounds grenn beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon butter
about 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt to taste

Rinse and drain green beans; trim and discard stem ends. In each of two 12 - by 17 - inch baking pan, mix half the beans with half the oil; spreand level.

Bake in a 450 F oven until beans are slightly browned and tender when pierced, 15 to 25 minutes.

Stir half the nuts and butter into beans in each pan; continue baking until pine nuts are golden, 50 to 6 minutes longer. Pour into a bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and mix well. Taste and add more cayenne and salt if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

Spinach and Persimmon Salad

1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
5 quarts baby spinach leaves (1 - 1/4 lb), rinsed and crisped
3 firm persimmons (5 oz each), peeled and sliced into wedges
3/4 cup glazed pecans

In a large bowl, mix rice vinegar, marmalade and sesame oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add spinach, persimmons and pecans. Mix gently to coat with dressing.

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

NOTES: The dressing and persimmons for the salad can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead; wrap fruit airtight and chill. Assemble the salad shortly before serving. You'll find glazed pecans in the nut section of your supermarket or make your own, recipe below.

Glazed Pecans

2 cups pecan halves
1/3 cup light corn syrup
vegetable spray

Combine pecan halves and corn syrup, stirring to coat pecans. Line a 15 - x - 10 - inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil; coat with cooking spray. Arrange pecans halves in an even layer in pan.

Bake at 350F for 12 minutes; stir using a rubber spatula. Bake 8 more minutes. Remove from oven and stir, arrange in an even layer on wax paper and let cool completely.

Yield: 2 cups.

NOTES: After glazed pecans have cooled, pecans can be stored in an airtight ziploc bag. These can be made before hand, up to one week. Also GREAT!!! served with ice cream or added to one of your favorite holiday bread recipes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 - 3/4 cups sugar
1 egg plus one egg yolk
2 - 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
12 ounces sliced almonds
1/2 cup raisins, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1/2 cup dries cherries, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl, cream 1 cup butter with 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and egg yolk and beat to combine. Gradually add flour and mix well (dough will be very soft). Transfer to a floured 16 - by - 11 inch parchment paper. with a floured rolling pin, roll dough to same size as parchment paper. Trim any overhang, then transfer dough (on parchment) to a large rimmed baking pan. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven (leave oven on) and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together butter, remaining 1 - 1/4 cups sugar, honey and cream. Cook mixture, stirring frequently, until it registers 250 on a candy thermometer. Remove pan from heat and stir in almonds, raisins, apricots and cherries.

Using a spatula, gently spread warm topping over shortbread. Bake until topping is caramelized and almonds are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; while still warm, cut into 2 inch squares. Cool completely.

YIELD: make 35 bars

Monday, December 7, 2009


1 cup butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups chocolate chips

1 - 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and peanut butter until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

In another bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Stir or beat into butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips, oats and peanuts.

Drop dough in rounded 2 tablespoon portions, 3 inches apart, onto buttered or cooking parchment-lined baking sheet. With a lightly floured fork, flatten slightly into 2 - 1/2 - inch rounds about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake in a 350 F oven until cookies are golden and tops fell set when lightly pressed, 12 to 14 minutes (they will feel underdone but firm up as they cool).

Let stand 5 minutes on sheets, then, with a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release; let stand on pan to firm up, 2 to 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely.

MAKES: about 30 cookies

NOTES: The best accompaniment to these indulgent cookies is a cold glass of milk.



1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced

1 tablespoon cilantro, minced

1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, minced

5 - 1/2 to 6 ounces of goat cheese, rolled into a log.

2 tablespoons extra - virgin olive oil

On a 12 - by - 15 - inch piece of plastic sprinkle herb mixture.

Roll goat cheese in herb mixture to coat evenly.

Set on a small serving dish and drizzle with extra - virgin olive oil

Serve with toasted baguette slices


1 egg white

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

4 teaspoons dried rubbed saga

3/4 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 - 3/4 cups each of salt peanuts and pecan halves

1 cup pine nuts

In a medium bowl, whisk egg white until frothy; whisk in honey, sesame seeds, dried rubbed sage, cinnamon, cayenne and salt.

Add salted peanuts, pecan halves and pine nuts; stir.

Divide the mixture between 2 large parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet and spread evenly.

Bake at 300 F, stirring often, until nuts are golden and fragrant, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from oven leave on baking sheets to cool, turn often to prevent sticking as it cools.

MAKES: 6 cups


1 avocado, peeled and pitted

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves; loosely packed

1 garlic clove; peeled

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 lb. green beans; trimmed and cook until tender to the bite

1/2 lb. jicama; cut into 1/2 - inch thick sticks

In a blender or food processor, combine avocado, yogurt, lime juice, fresh mint leaves, garlic and salt; whirl until smooth.

Serve dip with green beans and jicama

MAKES: 1 cup


2 garlic cloves; peeled and finely chopped

2 cans white beans; drained and rinsed

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest; finely shredded

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves; very finely chopped

salt and black black pepper to taste

In a food processor, whirl garlic, white beans, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice. Whirl until smooth.

Transfer dip to small bowl. Stir in fresh oregano leaves, then season to taste with salt and balck pepper.

Serve with assorted fresh vegetables or pita bread.

MAKES: 2 - 1/4 cups

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Buttery Lemon Squares on Foodista
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 - 1/3 cups all - purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 - 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
6 tablespoons lemon juice
4 eggs

In a bowl, beat butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar at medium speed until smooth. Beat in 2 cups flour until dough is no longer crumbly. Pat into a ball.

Press dough evenly into a buttered and flour 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350 F oven until golden, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile in a food processor, or in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, whirl or beat sugar, remaining 1/3 cup flour, baking powder, grated lemon peel, lemon juice and eggs to blend. Pour onto hot crust.

Bake until lemon mixture is no longer runny in the center (cut to test), 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and dust with remaining 2 tablespoons powdered sugar.

Let cool completely in pan, then cut into 24 bars.

Makes: 24 bars

The lemon squares can be chilled airtight for up to 2 days.


Raspberry Royal Bars on Foodista
1 - 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 - 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3//4 cup sweetened flaked dried coconut
1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup raspberry jam
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

In a bowl, mix oats, flour, coconut, 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Add melted butter and stir until well blended. Press dough evenly into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

Bake in a 325 F oven until edges begin to brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes, then spread jam evenly over warm crust.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until thick and foamy. Gradually add remaining 2/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until mixture holds soft, shiny peaks. With a spatula, spread meringue evenly over jam.

Bake until meringue is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then cut into 24 bars. Let cool completely in pan.


Yummy - Snickerdoodles on Foodista
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
1 - 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
4 - 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon

In a bowl beat together butter, oil, 1 cup sugar and the powdered sugar on medium speed until very smooth. Beat in eggs until well blended, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Add to butter mixture and beat until well blended.

In a small bowl, mix remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.

Shape dough into 1 - inch balls. then roll each in cinnamon. Place balls 3 to 4 inches apart on buttered or cooking parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake in a 370 F oven until edges of cookies are lightly browned 12 to 15 minutes.

Using a spatula, transfer cookies to a cool rack, cool completely.

These cinnamon-sugar cookies disappear quickly, so keep plenty on hand!
You can store these cookies airtight for up to 5 days.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Orange-Cranberry Bread With Grand Marnier Glaze on Foodista
1 - 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 - 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 - 1/2 cups dried cranberries
2 cups powdered sugar
7 to 8 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter two loaf pans.

In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar at medium speed, until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add orange juice, sour cream, orange zest and vanilla; mix until blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture and cranberries to wet ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are absorbed; do not over mix.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in centers of bread comes out clean.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and 7 tablespoons Grand Marnier. Glaze should have consistency of thick maple syrup or corn syrup. If it is too thick, thin with an additional tablespoon of liqueur.

Let loaves cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. With a thin skewer or long toothpick, poke deep holes in tops of loaves. Drizzle with Grand Marnier glaze so that it coats the top, runs down the sides and seeps through the holes.

Let loaves cool completely, then slice and serve or wrap and freeze.

Makes: 2 large loaves or spread the joy with 6 mini loaves.

Loaves can be made up to 1 month ahead and frozen. Bake and glaze loaves and allow them to cool completely. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, put in zip-lock plastic bags and freeze. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and defrost at room temperature.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Mexican Turkey and Dumplings on Foodista
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (8 oz.) peeled and diced
1 green bell pepper, rinsed, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
4 cups turkey, cooked and shredded
1 can (15 oz.) chicken broth
1 can (10 oz.) Ro-tel diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 can (10 oz.) red enchilada sauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup milk

Pour oil into a 5 to 6 quart pan over medium-high heat; when hot, add onions, bell pepper and garlic, stir often about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add broth, tomatoes, enchilada sauce and turkey to pan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk melted butter into milk, stir into flour mixture until blended. Drop batter by tablespoon portions into simmering turkey mixture, cover and simmer gently until dumplings are cooked all the way through (cut to test), about 10 to 12 minutes.

Ladle turkey, dumplings and sauce equally into a wide shallow bowls and serve immediately.

YIELDS: 4 to 6 servings.

NOTES: Shredded leftover turkey or chicken can be used in this recipe.

You can also use 3 pounds skinned chicken thighs. Cook thighs with the broth and tomato mixture until chicken is no longer pink at the bone (cut to test), about 40 minutes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Mama's Homemade Banana Pudding on Foodista
30 to 60 vanilla wafers
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 - 5 ounce box instant French Vanilla Pudding
1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 - 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 -12 ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with vanilla wafers and layer bananas on top.

Crush to remaining wafers and reserve.

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding, blend well using a whisk or hand mixer. Using another bowl, combine cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold in whipped topping into cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the wafers and bananas and cover with the remaining crushed wafers. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

YIELDS: 12 servings

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Lemon-Pecan Cookies on Foodista
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable or butter flavored shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped (see notes)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease baking sheet.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.

In a medium bowl, beat together butter, shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, honey, lemon peel and lemon extract. Beat until smooth. Add flour mixture, stir until a soft dough forms. Stir in toasted pecans.

Drop dough by measuring tablespoons 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.

Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until a light golden color (do not overbake). Cool cookies on the baking sheet on a wire rack 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Because nuts are rich in oil, toasting brings out the flavor and aroma. Toast them in a 350 F. oven in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 10 minutes, stirring at least once. Smelling the aroma of toasting nuts is a signal that they are ready to use. Once at this stage, they will scorch easily.

Toasting pecans extends the flavor of the pecans and makes it seem like there is more than a cupful in the recipe.

You can also add 1/2 cup of mini white chocolate chip to this recipe.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Pumpkin Ice Cream With Ginger Crust Torte on Foodista
8 ounces of crisp gingersnap cookies
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin, chilled
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
About 1 - 1/4 cups caramel ice cream topping
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened (see notes)
About 1 cup hot fudge sauce or chocolate topping
Candied walnuts or pecans

Place about a third of the cookies in a zip-lock plastic bag, seal bag, and roll with a rolling pin, until cookies are finely crushed; pour into a 9 - inch cheesecake pan with removable rim (at least 2 - inch tall). Repeat to crush remaining cookies ( you need 1 - 3/4 cups total) and pour into pan. Add sugar and butter and mix. Press cookies mixture over bottom and about 1 - inch up side of pan.

Bake crust in a 325 F. oven until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes then chill or freeze until cold, 5 to 10 minutes.

In a chilled large bowl, mix pumpkin, pumpkin spice and 1/4 cup of the caramel topping until smooth. Add ice cream and mix until blended.

Working quickly, spoon about a third of the ice cream mixture into the cold crust. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons caramel topping and 2 tablespoons fudge sauce ( if fudge sauce is too stiff, warm slightly in a microwave oven at full power (100%), stirring once, just until fluid, 15 to 30 seconds); sprinkle half the candied walnuts on top. Repeat with two more layers, omitting nuts on the top layer. Freeze until solid, about 5 hours, then cover and freeze up to 1 week.

About 15 minutes before serving, remove sides from pan, set torte on a serving plate, and let stand in refrigerator to soften slightly. Cut into wedges. Serve with additional caramel topping and fudge sauce (warm and stir again if too stiff) to add to taste.

For the smoothest texture, use a rich, full-fat ice cream.
To soften slightly, heat it in the carton in a microwave oven at half power (50%) for 15 to 30 seconds.

YIELDS: 12 servings


6 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cups walnuts or pecan pieces

In a heavy 8 to 10 - inch frying pan, combine sugar and walnuts pieces. Shake and stir over medium-high heat until sugar is melted and amber-colored, about 5 minutes. Pour onto a piece of foil and spread into a thin layer. Let cool until hard, about 7 minutes. Break into small piece.

Use these sweet nuts in the Pumpkin ice cream torte or sprinkle on salads or ice cream.
Candied nuts can be made up to 2 days ahead, cool and store airtight at room temperature.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Christmas Rainbow Cookies on Foodista
2 - 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 drops red food coloring
1/4 cup finely chopped, well-drained maraschino cherries or candied cherries
1/4 cup flaked coconut
4 drops green food coloring
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts

Line the bottom and sides of a straight-sided 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with waxed paper of foil.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until well blended.

Divide dough evenly into 3 parts. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 15 minutes.

To make pink layer, remove 1 portion of dough from refrigerator. Add red food coloring one drop at a time. Stir in cherries. Press dough firmly and evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan . Refrigerate dough.

To make white layer, stir in coconut into second portion of dough. Press i firmly and evenly over pink layer. Refrigerate dough.

For the green layer, add green food coloring a drop at a time to remaining portion of dough. Add almond extract and pistachio nuts and mix well. Press it firmly and evenly over the white layer. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Invert pan of cookie dough onto a cutting board. Remove waxed paper or foil. Cut crosswise into 1/4 - inch thick slices. Then cut each slice vertically into 3 equal pieces. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Makes: 6 dozen cookies

This recipe sound complicated to make, but the recipe is easy to follow, one step at a time.
The pink, white and green cookie makes an attractive addition to any Christmas Cookie Tray.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


2 pounds thinly sliced peppered pastrami
2 pounds thinly sliced corned beef
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
16 slices rye bread
8 slices Swiss cheese
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
About 3 cups coleslaw (homemade or from the deli)

Place pastrami, corned beef and broth in a slow cooker. Heat, covered on lowest setting until hot, stirring periodically, at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Set out bread slices and cheese on a platter and mustard and coleslaw in a small bowls. Cover with plastic wrap until served (up to one hour).

When pastrami mixture is hot, invite guest to make their own sandwiches or assemble for them. Spread 2 slices of bread with mustard. Pile a generous helping of the meats onto 1 slice, then top with a slice of cheese, about 1/3 cup coleslaw and the second piece of bread. Cut sandwiches in half, they're large, so consider sharing.

Makes ; 16 sandwiches

Notes: If you don't have a slow cooker, put the pastrami and corned beef with a little broth in the microwave-safe bowl, cover and warm in a microwave oven.
I make these for the boys on Sunday while they watch football. They assemble the sandwiches themselves.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Pecan Caramel Tart on Foodista
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 - 1/2 cups al-purpose flour
3//4 teaspoon salt
2 - 3/4 cups pecans halves
1 - 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1/2 butter and the brown sugar until smooth.
Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Add flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt and beat until mixture forms a ball.

Press dough over bottom and up sides of a 9 - inch fluted tart pan with removable rim. Freeze until firm, 15 minutes.

Meanwhile spread pecans in a large baking pan. Bake until lightly golden, about 8 minutes
(leave oven on). When pecans are cool enough to handle, chop 2 cups; reserve remainder.

Bake tart shell until golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a 3 to 4 quart pan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then increase heat to high and boil,, swirling mixture occasionally, until mixture is a deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in whipping cream, remaining 1/4 cup butter and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt ( mixture will foam). Stir until smooth.

Spread chopped pecans in tart shell, then pour in hot caramel; spread level. Garnish edge of tart with reserved pecans halves. Let tart cool until caramel is firm enough to slice, at least 4 hours, or chill up to 2 days (bring to room temperature before serving). Cut into thin wedges.

Yields: 12 to 16 servings.

Notes: This fall safe press in crust makes this tart easy to pull off.
Prep and cooking time, about 1 hour, plus at least 4 hours to cool.

Friday, November 6, 2009


1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon rum
1 - 1/3 cups cranberries
1 cup toasted coarsely chopped pecans
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 - 1/2 cups flour
1 - 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Butter a 9 - inch square pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in brown sugar until blended. Remove from heat and whisk in rum. Pour mixture into prepared pan evenly covering the bottom.

In a small bowl, combine cranberries and pecans; arrange evenly over brown sugar mixture.

In a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed, beat eggs, pumpkin, oil and sugar until smooth. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture. Spread batter evenly over cranberries and pecans.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 20 minutes in pan. Run a thin-bladed knife between cake and sides of pan, then invent cake onto a serving platter. Remove pan and parchment and let cool at least 20 minutes. Serve slightly warm or cool with whipped cream.

Notes: To toast pecans, bake in a 350 F oven until golden, 7 to 10 minutes. You can also use walnuts.
If using frozen cranberries measure while frozen, then thaw before using.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Pineapple-Apricot Coffee Cake on Foodista
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, well drained
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 - 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

Streusel Topping

1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and lightly flour an 8 inch-square baking pan.

Prepare streusel topping: In a small bowl combine nuts, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine crushed pineapple and apricot jam. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl beat butter and until creamy. Beat in sugar, egg and vanilla until well combined (batter may appear curdled). Stir in flour mixture and milk, alternately, mixing only until combined. Don't over mix.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Dollop the pineapple mixture by teaspoonfuls on top of the batter. With a narrow-bladed knife, swirl the pineapple mixture into batter. Sprinkle with streusel topping.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center of the coffee cake (not in the pineapple mixture) comes out clean and the coffee cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Serve warm

Makes: 1 - 8 inch square coffee cake.

Notes: Crushed pineapple will measure 2/3 cup after drained.
If you bake with butter you know that "softened butter" means to use it at room temperature or beat until it is soft. But when you use margarine, you can save time by substituting the kind that comes in tubs or one of the low-fat spreads.
Baked goods made with these lower-fat products tend to dry out quicker and become stale faster. so if you want blue ribbon results, especially if you don't plan to serve all of the baked product immediately, stick with butter or regular margarine.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Butter Pecan Ice Box Cookies on Foodista
2 - 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup butter, preferably salted, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt and cream of tartar. In a large bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Blend in flour mixture and pecans.

Form into 2 rolls, 8 to 10 inch long. Wrap in plastic warp and refrigerate until firm enough to slice. Over night or 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease baking sheet. Slice dough into 1/4 - inch thick rounds. Arrange on greased baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool slightly on baking sheet before removing to wire rack.

Makes: 4 - 1/2 to 5 dozen cookies

Notes: For the best shape cookies, keep dough refrigerated until you start slicing it. Use your sharpest knife. A dull knife will push the dough out of shape. Rotating the roll a quarter turn each time you cut it also will give you a better shape. If your hands are warm, slip a plastic bag over the one that holds the roll to insulate it. Heat from your hand can soften the dough.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Honey 'n' Oats Bread on Foodista

1/2 cup old-fashion rolled oats
1 - 1/2 cups whole wheat
1 - 1/2 cups bread flour
1 egg
1 - 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 - 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (or 4 tablespoons dry buttermilk powder and 1 cup water)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (or one package)

Place all ingredients in bread machine pan, select Light Crust setting and press Start.

After the baking cycle ends, remove bread from pan, place on a cool rack and allow to cool 1 hour before slicing.

I remove after the second kneading cycle, form dough into a loaf and place in a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. Let rise for 1 to 1 - 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. Brush with melted butter.

Bake at 350 F for 40 to 45 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sound hallow when tapped.

Yields: 1 -1/2 pound loaf

Notes: The egg and oats give a wonderful rich, creamy flavor to this bread. Serve it with sweet butter and homemade preserves or with cream cheese.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


3 - 1/2 pounds bone-in pork shoulder (aka pork butt )
1 bottle (15 0z.) salsa verde
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Trim excess pork fat. Put trimmed pork in a slower cooker ( 5 to 6 quarts ) and turn heat to high. In a pan, bring salsa, onions, broth, oregano, cumin and coriander to a boil. Pour over pork, cover and cook until meat is very tender when pieced and registers at least 165 on a meat thermometer; at least 7 or up to 9 hours.

Remove pork from slow cooker to allow to cool.

Meanwhile, pour juices to a pan. Skim and discard fat. Boil juices, stirring until reduces to
2 - 3/4 cups , 8 to 10 minutes.

With 2 forks, tear meat into large shreds. Add to pan and stir in salt to season and cilantro leaves.

Serve with tortillas, more salsa, sour cream and shredded cheese.

Makes 6 servings.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Sour Cream Pear Pie on Foodista
  • 1 - 9 inch unbaked pie pastry
  • 4 cups sliced peeled pears
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

  • In a large bowl, toss pears and lemon juice, add sugar and flour combine until blended.
  • In a small bowl combine sour cream and vanilla extract, add to pear mixture, mix until blended. Pour into prepared pie shell.
  • In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumby. Sprinkle over pears. Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F. bake 45 minutes more or until the pears are tender.
  • YIELDS: 6 to 8 serving

Thursday, October 22, 2009


  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium or homemade chicken broth
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (from a 2 1/2- to 3-lb. roasted chicken)
  • 3 cups corn, frozen or kernels cut from 3 ears corn
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon until fat renders and meat starts to brown. Add onion, reduce heat to medium, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, until flour smells cooked (you should get a whiff of baked piecrust) but hasn't started to brown, about 3 minutes.

2. Add potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to keep mixture simmering and cook until potatoes are barely tender, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and corn and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream to taste. Heat through, about 2 minutes. Serve in soup bowls, garnished with tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, a squirt or two of lime juice, and pepper to taste.

Yields: 6 servings