Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Family Favorite Dessert

First Layer -

Cream 1 cup of sifted flour with 1 stick of softened butter (REAL butter). Add in one cup of chopped nuts (cashews and walnuts were a family favorite but I'm sure peanuts are good too).

Put in 13 x 9 pan (which you've sprayed with a bit of PAM) and press down. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. COOL.

Second Layer -

8 ounces Cream Cheese
1 cup sugar

Cream those together with spoon or hand mixer and add one cup of whipped cream or favorite whipped topping, blending well.

put that on (cooled) first layer.

Third Layer
Get out two bowls -
1 large package instant french vanilla pudding
1 large package instant dark chocolate or fudge pudding
beat each package with 2 cups of cold milk. Let chill for a few minutes to thicken, (while you wash those bowls).

Spread on Cream Cheese layer, first the vanilla, then chocolate.

Final Layer -

2 cups of whipped cream of whipped topping. Sprinkle with more nuts and shaved dark or milk chocolate.

Chill until serving. Refrigerate leftovers (if there are any).

Goblin Gorp

1 box raisins
3-4 cups mini oreos (I used 3 of the individual snack sized containers)
1 can cashews
1 regular bag cheddar goldfish (I used the flavor blasted ones, they're more orange)
1 bag candy corn

mix in a bowl and watch it disappear.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Prepare a batch of Home on the Range Venison Meat Sauce (recipe in sidebar) or your favorite pasta sauce recipe that would use about one 29 ounce can tomatoes and two six ounce cans of tomato paste plus meat (or veggies) and spices. Cook on low til done and the flavors have blended.

Boil a 10-oz package of lasagna noodles to which you've added a few dashes of salt to the water, as well as a teaspoon of olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking. Cook the noodles "al dente" (they still have a bit of "bite"(. When they are done but not too soft, drain, rinse with cool water, and lay them flat on a sheet of foil or a cookie sheet so they are easier to wrangle later.

Mix 3 cups low fat cottage cheese in a bowl with 2 beaten eggs. (people that hate cottage cheese won't even know this is cottage cheese when you are done). Add a 1/4 cup of grated Romano cheese, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, a 1/2 teaspoon of Penzey's garlic powder, 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes, 2 teaspoons of fresh (or dried) basil, a pinch of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to that and mix together well.

To assemble, spread a tiny bit of meat sauce on the bottom of a lasagna pan (about 13 x 9 pan) which you have VERY lightly sprayed with PAM non stick spray first. The purpose of that little bit of sauce (maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup spread around) is so keep the noodles from getting hard as it cooks. On that lay about 4 lasagna noodles.

Top with half the cottage cheese/egg mixture.

Top that with 1/2 pound of slices mozzarella cheese (not the shredded stuff, but thick slices from the deli)

Top with another 4 noodles and 1/2 of the remaining pasta sauce mixture.

Add another layer of four lasagna noodles and top with the remaining half of the cottage cheese mixture and another 1/2 pound of mozzarella.

Finish that with the rest of the meat mixture. Sprinkle it all generously with a little more grated Parmesan and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes, until bubbly around the edges.

Garlic Bread

This is not the "dripping with cheese" garlic bread, but the crispy garlicy kind that is wonderful for dipping in stew, soups or pasta sauce.


  • 3 bulbs garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf Italian bread
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Three Cheese and Smoked Chicken Enchiladas (and Biscuits)

This is the only recipe I've actually had published in a real cookbook. (no longer in print).

1 1/2 cup chopped smoked chicken or turkey, or any cooked poultry
1 cup salsa (plus 3 tablespoons)
4 ounces cream cheese cubed
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 heaping teaspoon oregano
1/2 cheddar
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
8 flour tortillas
hot sauce, sour cream and olives if you please, for toppings

Combine meat, 1/4 cup of the salsa, cream cheese, onion, cumin and oregano in a large skillet. Heat on low until it is creamy, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. Spoon about 1/4 cup turkey mixture down the center of each tortilla, roll up and place seam side down in a 13 x 9 inch pan in which you've placed about 3 tablespoons of salsa and spread it around so the tortilla doesn't get crispy on the bottom. Top with remaining salsa and remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. If you make ahead and chill, bake for about 20-25 minutes covered with foil. Garnish as desired. I'm usually requested to double this recipe. It's simple and a crowd favorite, especially as you can adjust the "heat" by the type of salsa you use.

Cheddar Biscuits


2 ½ cups Bisquick baking mix

¾ cup cold whole milk

4 tablespoons cold butter (1/2 stick)

1 heaping cup grated cheddar cheese

Brush on Top:

2 tablespoons butter, melted

¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes

pinch salt


1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a large fork. You don't want to mix too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

3. Drop approximately ¼-cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop.

4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.

5. When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter is a small bowl in your microwave. Stir in the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Use up all of the butter. Makes one dozen biscuits.

Recipe adapted from Todd Wilbur, "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2," Plume Books. (his version has garlic powder in it, but I left that out to go with Mexican style supper).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Basic Black Beans and Rice

This is a very mild version of beans and rice and that makes a perfect sidekick to other foods.

Black Beans and Rice
2/3 cup dried black beans (two cups cooked) or 1 16 ounce can black turtle beans
3 generous tablespoons olive oil
1 Vidalia onion sliced
small pepper (green, yellow or red, diced fine)
1 cloves of garlic
1 cup long grain rice
dash of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of Penzey's Adobo Seasoning
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Cilantro

Cook black beans as per directions on package but cook just slightly under done. For me, after pre-boiling and letting them sit with the heat off for a while and then draining and adding fresh water (which greatly reduces any tummy issues with beans) that's about 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours.

Put the cooked beans in a heavy saucepan, keeping enough cooking liquid to make about 2 cups. (If you're using canned beans, use two cups chicken broth or hot water for your liquid). Heat the olive oil in the skillet, cook the onions and pepper until softened and the onion caramalized. ( I was using leftover veggies so I think there's a little corn in the photo batch as well). Add the crushed garlic or chopped fresh roasted garlic and cook for a couple more minutes, being careful not to burn. Stir in the cilantro, salt and and other spice at this time. Just a tiny bit as this dish is not the star but the base of another meal.

Mix the contents of the skillet to the beans in the heavy sauce pan. Add rinsed and drained rice to the beans, veggies and liquid. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat, a gentle simmer, for about 20-25 minutes. Top with additional chopped cilantro or parsley.

For breakfast, sprinkle with some cheese and let melt, then top with a fried egg or two that you haven't mangled too badly and some more cilantro. Smoked ham is also a good add in, chopped or added to the plate as a side.

Lunch it's great with some spicy grilled chicken or fish on a plate or wrapped in tortillas with your favorite salsa and crisp vegetables for a low fat sandwich wrap.

Serves 4-5 hearty appetites as a side.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Flakey Scones with Blackberry Jam

2 cups All-Purpose King Arthur Flour
1/3 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pinches Ground Nutmeg or Cardomonn
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (the peel)
6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (well chilled)
1 extra large egg
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons Penzey's Mexican vanilla

Vanilla Sugar
(I use Penzeys)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix well. Thinly slice the chilled butter into the bowl and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter until the flour and butter looks like course meal.

In a clean medium size bowl, mix all the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing as little as possible, just enough to encorporate wet and dry together.  If you like, add in a handful of chopped dried fresh or dried blueberries or tart cherries, just at the end of the mixing.

Place the dough onto a flour-dusted pastry board and knead a half dozen times. Cut the dough in half and pat into two 1-inch thick rounds. Cut each round into 6 EQUAL-SIZED wedges. Place each wedge on an ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle with the vanilla sugar. Bake about 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool on a rack.

Blackberry Jam

5 cups crushed blackberries (do not puree, crush with a potato masher)
7 cups sugar
1 (1 3/4 ounce) package fruit jell pectin (I use Ball but Sure Jell will work too)

Carefully measure out the berries, put them into a very large pot (8qt).
Carefully measure sugar in a lg bowl.
Add the pectin to the berries a little at a time, stirring constantly.
Heat on high, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a FULL boil.
Add sugar ALL at once, stirring.
Bring mixture back to a full hard boil, stirring constantly.
Boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and ladle into clean, hot 8oz jars, leaving 1/4 inch space at the top.
Wipe the rim of the jar and put canning lids and rings on firmly tight.
Place in canner with very hot water, make sure water is 1 inch above jars.
Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Remove and set them upright on a towel to set for 12 hours

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"PayDay" Bar cookies

Start with a batch of your favorite Sugar Cookie recipe or use some store bought sugar cookie mix.

Pat the Sugar Cookie Dough in a 9x13 pan that you have sprayed with non stick coating (or they will be hard to cut into bars). Bake in preheated 350 F. oven until lightly golden and the center does not look wet(10-12 minutes).Remove from oven and sprinkle 1 bag of mini marshmallow evenly over top and return to oven for 3 minutes until the marshmallows become soft and puff up.

Remove and set aside. Next you will need: 2/3 cup Corn Syrup 1 cup Peanut Butter Chips 2 and 1/2 tsp. Vanilla 4 Tablespoons salted Butter (NOT margarine) 1 1/2 cups rice crispies 2 1/2 cups salted peanuts. While the cookie base layer is baking, heat corn syrup, peanut butter chips and butter and vanilla until melted over medium heat, in a large saucepan, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn't burn. Do NOT bring to a boil.

Stir in rice crispies and peanuts (you will need a big wooden and some muscle), reducing the heat to warm until cookie/marshmallow base is done.

 Spoon over crust/marshmallows carefully and spread evenly (Spraying your spoon or spatula with a little non stick spray will help keep it from sticking.

Melt 1 bag mini dark chocolate chips in bowl in microwave 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so. Pour over peanut layer.

When cool, cut into bars or small squares.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Croissants Pain au Chocolat

Croissants Pain au Chocolat

Recipe courtesy Jacques Torres Chocolate, MrChocolate

Show: Passion for Dessert with Jacques TorresEpisode: The Croissant (PASTRY

  • Cook Time

    10 min

  • Level


  • Yield

    About 20 croissants


For the dough:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Scant 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh compressed yeast
  • Generous 1/2 cup cold water
  • 3 1/3 cups bread flour, plus extra if needed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Generous 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter

For the pain au chocolat:

  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or shaved
For the egg wash:
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • Scant 1/4 cup whole milk


Prepare the dough: Melt the 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Allow the butter to cool to room temperature. It should be warm to the touch.

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the cold water. Place the flour, salt, sugar, milk, and melted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Set the mixer on medium speed and mix just until the ingredients are dispersed, about 5 seconds. Add the dissolved yeast and beat on medium-high speed until the dough is well combined and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute. If the dough is too soft, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it is firmer. (The dough is too soft when it cannot hold its shape.) If the dough is too hard, add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until it has softened. (The dough is too hard when it is difficult to mix in the mixer.) Remove the dough from the mixing bowl. If the dough is slightly sticky and ropy, knead it with your hands for about 30 seconds, until it is smooth. Pat it into a ball. Place the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and let it proof at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll it out to an 8 by 15-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Wrap the rectangle in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. The cold retards the rising process, allowing a slow fermentation to help develop the flavor of the dough.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap the rectangle, and place it with a long side facing you on a lightly floured work surface. Spread the softened butter evenly over the right two thirds of the dough. Incorporate the butter by folding the (butterless) left third of the dough over the center, Then fold the right third of the dough to the left, to resemble a folded letter. Roll this out into another 10 by 30-inch rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Fold each short end of the dough to the middle so they meet but do not overlap. Then fold one half over the other half and, if necessary, rotate the dough so that the seam is on your right. Wrap the folded dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll it into a 10 by 30-inch rectangle and turn it so a long side faces you. Give the dough a single fold by folding the left third of the dough over the center, then fold the right third of the dough to the left. Now the dough should resemble a folded letter. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough into a 10 by 36-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Keep the thickness even and the edges straight. This will make it easier to cut the croissants or pain au chocolat.

For pain au chocolat: With a sharp chef's knife, cut the dough into 3 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch rectangles. Lay each rectangle on a lightly floured work surface, with a long side facing you, and place about 1/2 tablespoon of the chopped chocolate in the upper third of each one. Fold that third of the dough over the chocolate. Place about another 1/2 tablespoon of the chocolate along one seam of the folded dough. Fold the bottom third of the dough over the chocolate. (At this stage, they can be frozen for up to 1 week if well wrapped in plastic wrap. Thaw on a parchment covered baking sheet overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding.)

Turn over the pain au chocolat so the seams face down. This will keep them from opening as they bake. Place them on a parchment covered baking sheet; spaced about 2 inches apart. Loosely cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and allow the pain au chocolat to proof at room temperature until they have doubled in size and appear light and full of air, about 1 1/2 to 3 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Make an egg wash by whisking together the egg yolks, whole egg, and milk in a small bowl until well combined. With a pastry brush, very gently coat the pastries completely with egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the freezer if well wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 2 weeks. Thaw at room temperature and warm in the oven before serving.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Corn Pudding -

There are versions of this recipe all over the net, but however you tweak it, it's a delicious and inexpensive staple at many supper tables.

Corn Pudding

4 cups of corn kernels (about 8 ears of corn if using fresh)
12 ounce can evaporated milk
4 eggs lightly beaten
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Vidalia onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 cups crushed Kebler Brand Waverly Wavers (slightly less than 1 sleeve of crackers)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon Penzey's Aleppo Pepper
dash of ground black pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or lightly spray with Pam a 2 quart baking dish.

In a blender puree 3 cups of the corn with the can of evaporated milk until smooth (it won't be completely smooth).

Strain the puree through a mesh sleeve or strainer with medium sized holes into the bowl with the remaining corn in it. This strainer removes some of the starch which you should discard.

Stir the beaten eggs into the bowl.

In a frying pan saute onions and garlic in butter until soft and lightly caramelized. Add to the corn mixture. Stir in 1 cup of the cracker crumbs and 1/2 cup of the cheese.

Add Penzey's Aleppo pepper, salt and ground pepper to taste.

Sprinkle with remaining crumbs and the remaining cheese.

Bake the corn pudding until set and golden. About 50 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes and serve on individual plates.

Note: This Aleppo pepper is from Turkey. It has an ancho like flavor, plus a bit of tartness and a nice bite. Good on pizza, subs, corn dishes, potato salad, burgers and kabobs. If you can not find, use just a small pinch of cayenne OR ancho chili powder.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Chocolate Cream Pie

Serves 8 to 10 Photo and recipe adaption from the always great Gourmet Magazine.

  • 1 1/3 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (from about 26 cookies such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/4 cup sugar

For filling

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 5 oz fine-quality bittersweet dark chocolate (not unsweetened), melted

  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For topping

  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Make crust:

  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

  • Stir together crumbs, butter, and sugar and press on bottom and up side of a 9-inch pie plate (1-quart capacity). Bake until crisp, about 15 minutes, and cool on a rack.

Make filling:

  • Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and yolks in a 3-quart heavy saucepan until combined well, then add milk in a stream, whisking. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking, then reduce heat and simmer, whisking, 1 minute (filling will be thick).

  • Force filling through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, then whisk in chocolates, butter, and vanilla. Cover surface of filling with a buttered round of wax paper and cool completely, about 2 hours.

  • Spoon filling into crust and chill pie, loosely covered, at least 6 hours.

Make topping:

  • Just before serving, beat cream with sugar in a bowl using an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks, then spoon on top of pie.

Cooks’ note: Pie (without topping) can be chilled up to 1 day.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mushroom Artichoke Frittata

Note: Directions were for cooking at 6000+ feet. You may need to adjust cooking times for flatland kitchens. :-)

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms
1 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 10 ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
5 large eggs
1 - 6 oz jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon Scoville Brothers Heavy Metal Heat hot sauce
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper or to taste

Saute onions and mushrooms in oil until mushrooms lose a lot of their moisture and onions are starting to caramelize. Remove from heat. Beat eggs lightly. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and pour mixture into buttered 1/12 quarter casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

You can double this and cook in a 13 x 9 pan for a crowd or for leftovers for a light suppe another day (keeps very well to reheat in the oven on low). If you double, increase cooking time 10-15 minutes.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Baked French Toast with Peaches and Walnuts

Baked French Toast (adapted from a recipe by Pampered Chef )

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
14 slices (1 inch thick) French bread (don't use the smaller baguette size).
1 (29 ounce) can peach slices, drained or a couple of cups of chopped apple slices
1/3 cup walnuts, halved or coursely chopped
3 eggs
1 cup less 1 teaspoon milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons butter melted (halved)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Spread cream cheese over both sides of bread slices. Place bread in 13 x 9 inch or lasagna style baking pan. Prick bread slices several times. Top with fruit; sprinkle nuts over peaches.

Ina large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, syrup, butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon (you can just use cinnamon if you don't have the other) vanilla extract and half the melted butter. Pour mixture over bread. Drizzle the top with the remaining butter. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until firm in center.

You could also make this with a couple of good-sized handfulls of blueberries and 1/3 cup granola or almonds instead of the peaches/walnuts.

Yields 6 servings.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Guinness Shepherds Pie

There are a number of good Guinness Shepherds Pie Recipes on the Web. This is an adaption of 3 or 4 of them.

Guinness Sheperds Pie. Good way to use up leftover potatoes and veggies.

For the Filling
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds Ground Sirloin (lowest fat available)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium Onions, finely sliced/diced
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon Penzey's Ozark Seasoning (optional)
  • 1 Beef Stock Cube
  • 2 bottles of Guinness
  • 3/4 cup Peas
  • 1/2 cup corn (both thawed from frozen)
  • Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
Drink one bottle of Guinness. Put the other aside to add to the meat mixture.

Take a heavy cast iron pan and brown off the meat at a medium heat. There should be enough fat and liquid in the meat to let this cook easily without additional oil, etc. Once there is a little liquid in the pan from the beef add the Garlic and continue to cook and stir until the beef is lightly browned all over. Then add the Onion and continue cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.(you can also add in a cup of leftover diced carrot here, I did not). Next add the Tomato Paste Ketchup, Worcestershire Sauce, Dijon Mustard, Thyme and Oregano and crumble in the Stock Cube. Stir well and cooking for a further few minutes before adding the Bottle of Guinness. The Guinness should help you de-glaze the pan of any burnt pieces of Beef from the bottom. Stir in the Veggies, then, cover the pan and leave to simmer until a lot of the liquid is gone (should look like a very thick stew, NOT soup)

Once the filling is nice and thick put it into the bottom of roasting dish, then leave to cool while you mash the potatoes..

Mashed Potato

2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese
3 pounds baking potatoes
¼- ½ cup milk
1 stick butter
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375

To make Potato filling…
Boil the potatoes in salted water until fork tender. (you can do this in the final minutes the filling is simmering). Drain completely and place back in pot so all of the water evaporates.In a medium mixing bowl add butter and potatoes. Mash until smooth, while adding the milk for a medium consistency. Add salt and pepper.

Place over meat mixture while still warm, and sprinkle with cheddar. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Pasta with Vodka Sauce and Prosciutto

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
4 garlic cloves chopped
2 and 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes diced (about 10 ) or use equivalent amount of canned crushed tomatoes.
1/4 teaspoon salt (the prosciutto is salty, so no more, or can use less to taste)
dash or two of pepper (I used white pepper)
1/2 cup vodka (don't go cheap now, good quality vodka).
1/4 lb prosciutto, chopped or use cooked drained Italian sausage
1/2 cup FRESH basil, chopped
1/2 pint heavy cream

In a large frying/saute pan add oil, butter and garlic, saute on low flame until oil starts to bubble.

Add tomatoes, salt and pepper.Cook covered on a low flame for about 30 minutes.

Add vodka.Cook uncovered for 25 minutes. Add prosciutto or pre-cooked Italian sausage-- cook 5 more minutes.

Add basil and heavy cream-- cook just 5 more minutes.


Sunday, October 1, 2006

Bacon Spinich Quiche

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
1 pkg.(10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
4 extra large eggs
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon milk
1/3 cup MIRACLE WHIP Dressing (don't laugh, even if you hate it you will like this, but you can use mayo)
1/4 heaping teaspoon Penzey's Northwoods (spicy) OR Ozark (savory) seasoning or your favorite all purpose seasoning blend
1 cup and two tablespoons shredded Swiss Cheese (or cheese of your choice)
1 9 inch frozen pie crust (yes, frozen, it was a 50 hour work week).
1 package bacon, cooked and diced.

HEAT oven to 375°F.

COOK mushrooms and onions in large nonstick skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil on medium heat 5 min. or until softened and the onions are starting to caramelize. Remove from heat; stir in spinach. Beat eggs, milk and dressing in medium bowl with whisk until well blended. Add spinach mixture, seasonings and cheese and one quarter to one third of the bacon. Pour into crust. Top with remaining bacon. (The bacon on top gets crispy, so if you want more crispy bacon taste, put less bacon into the filling).

BAKE 50 min.or until center is set and top is golden brown.