Recipe Cupboard

I will post recipes weekly – it will be a continuous feed.  Please check it out.

Apple season is here!

Freezer Apple Pie Filling

24 cups sliced peeled baking apples (6-7 lbs)
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 ½ cups sugar (I use half brown sugar, half white)
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
10 cups water
In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice; set aside. In a Dutch oven (large kettle works) over medium heat, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add water; bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add apples; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes. Ladle into freezer containers, leaving ½ inch headspace. Cool at room temperature no longer than 1 ½ hours. Seal and freeze; store for up to 12 months. Yield: 5 ½ quarts (enough for about five 9-inch pies).
Okay, here are my tips. Instead of quart jars, I use gallon-sized freezer bags. Let the filling cool a bit before filling the bags (one quart per bag) and then flatten the bag to freeze it. This way, you can stack the “boards” of filling in your freezer and slide one out when needed. Less space needed, and thethawing time is shorter. After thawing, I heat mine up on the stove or in the microwave before putting it in my pie crust, and dot it with butter before sealing the top crust.
Along the same lines, you can stack and freeze your pie crusts. Roll them in your 8 or 9″ circles between wax paper, and stack them together in one of those two gallon freezer bags. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using!

Zucchini Torte


4 cups cubed zucchini

1 cup bisquick

1 large onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon oregano

3/4 cup shredded cheese

Mix all of this together


3 eggs

1/2 cup oil


Add beaten eggs and oil mixture to the dry mixture till zucchini is covered.  Bake uncovered at 350 degree for 40 minutes.

Beef & Barley Soup

Crock Pot
1 pound boneless chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups carrots cut thin
1 1/2 cups celery thinly sliced
2/3 cup onion chopped
10-12 mushrooms sliced
2 tablespoons beef base (this is different than beef broth it is a base that makes beef broth)
8-10 cups water
1or 2 large bay leaves
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon garlic
Brown beef in skillet until browned, stirring frequently
Remove beef from pan and place in crockpot, Add carrot, celery, onion, and mushrooms, beef base, water, garlic and bay leaf
Cook on high heat for 2 hours, add pearl barley turn down on low and cook until vegetables and beef are tender
Stir in salt and pepper
Remove and Discard bay leaf

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

1/4 cup warm water (about 110°F)
1 package active dry yeast* (2 ¼ teaspoons)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk (you need the higher fat content)

Directions for Starter

Use glass bowls preferably, or plastic – do not use metal bowls or utensils.

Pour the warm water into a small glass bowl.

Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let this stand for 5-8 minutes to allow it to bloom.

In a larger glass bowl, combine the flour and sugar with a wooden spoon.

Stir in the milk to the flour/sugar mixture.

Then stir in the yeast mixture.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow it to stand until bubbly.

Once the mixture is bubbly, pour it into a gallon-size zippered plastic bag and seal. This counts as Day 1.

Directions for Developing the Starter

This is what you will write on the bags as instructions!

Do not refrigerate at all during this 10-day process. Allow the sourdough mixture to sit out at room temperature. If air gets inside bag, open the bag a bit, let the air out, and reseal.

Day 1: Do nothing.

Day 2: Mash the bag.

Day 3: Mash the bag.

Day 4: Mash the bag.

Day 5: Mash the bag.

Day 6: Add 1 cup each of all-purpose flour, sugar, and milk. Mash the bag until ingredients are well mixed.

Day 7: Mash the bag.

Day 8: Mash the bag.

Day 9: Mash the bag.

Day 10: Pour the sourdough mixture from the Ziploc bag into a glass (or other nonmetal) bowl. Add ½ cup each of all-purpose flour, sugar, and milk. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Divide out 1 cup portions of the starter, placing each one-cup portion in separate zippered plastic bags. You’ll get about 4-5 bags.

Securely seal the bags.

The bags of starter are ready to give away to friends along with the instructions. But keep one for yourself!

The starter then goes back to Day 1 to build it back to the sharing quantity.


1. Have sturdy gallon freezer Ziploc plastic bags (for easily storing the starter), glass bowls, and wooden spoons on hand. For sourdough, you don’t want to use metal bowls or utensils. Sourdough is acidic and can dissolve certain metals. It’s best to use anything but metal bowls and utensils.

2. Before filling the Ziploc bags, write the directions right on the bags using a permanent marker so you never have to go hunting for the directions.

3. While you are working your way through the 10-day process, store the starter at room temperature. If the Ziploc bag gets air in it, simply let it out.

4. How much sourdough you end up with at the end of the 10-day process depends on how active your sourdough is. You’ll end up with about 5-6 cups.

5. On Day 10 after you add last bit of all-purpose flour, sugar, and milk, separate out 1-cup portions into Ziploc bags (don’t forget those directions on the front!).

6. At this point, you can give away all but one of those starter bags to friends along with the recipe and instructions so they can indulge in their own friendship bread.

7. You need to keep a bag of starter for yourself to continue the sourdough process (Day 10 is equal to Day 1) and make the Amish Friendship Bread with one of the other cups of starter.

8. If you can’t find anyone who wants the sourdough starter, simply throw those 1-cup bags into the freezer until another time when you’d like to start the sourdough process or bake the bread.

9. When you pull the sourdough out of the freezer and want to make a batch of starter, treat it as Day 1. Or to make the bread straight away, just go ahead and use that cup to bake loaves of friendship bread!


2 cups all-purpose flour, packed (if using self-rising flour, omit baking powder and salt)
1 Tablespoon baking powder (leave out if using self-rising flour)
½ teaspoon salt (leave out if using self-rising flour)
½ cup butter, salted, cut in small pieces (if using unsalted, add ¼ tsp more salt than above)
1 cup milk (regular or buttermilk) you can make your own buttermilk (1 tablespoon white vinegar to 1 cup milk)
Oven 400 degrees
Mix Flour, baking powder, salt, together and cut in butter to this mixture until coarse.
Add milk and mix fast and do not knead.  It is important to not knead and do not over mix.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured board.  Cut with biscut cutter or glass.  Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
My Grandma always greased or buttered the tops of her biscuits before baking.  Enjoy!

Old Fashioned 7 Minute Frosting

Old fashioned 7 Minute Frosting that tastes like marshmallow cream. A light and fluffy frosting for just about any cake!
1+1/2 cup of sugar.
1/3 cup of cold water.
2 egg whites.
A pinch of salt.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar.
Step 1 Mix the sugar, water, tartar cream, egg whites, and salt in a medium glass bowl.
Step 2 place on the burner water in pan or double boiler to simmer. Beat the egg mixture for 30 seconds using an electric mixer.
Step 3 Place the bowl on the saucepan of a double boiler on high until rigid and light for up to seven minutes.
Step 4 Remove it from heat, add vanilla extract, and add mix for 2 minutes until integrate.
Step 5 The frosting is set rapidly, so you need to use it directly.
Note: To frost a layer cake, you would need two recipes with this icing. This recipe is beautifully doubled, no need to make two different batches, just double it and make it all at once.

Huckleberry Tiramisu or Berry Taramisu


3 cups fresh raspberries3 cups fresh blackberries2 cups fresh blueberries2 cups fresh strawberries, slicedNote: or 3 cups huckleberries and 1 cup blueberries (none of the above berries)1-1/3 cups sugar, divided4 teaspoons grated orange zest1 cup orange juice1 cup heavy whipping cream2 cartons (8 ounces each) mascarpone cheese1 teaspoon vanilla extract2 packages (7 ounces each) crisp ladyfinger cookies

Additional fresh berries, optional


1. Place berries in a large bowl. Mix 1/3 cup sugar, orange zest and orange juice; toss gently with berries. Refrigerate, covered, 45 minutes.

2. Beat cream until soft peaks form. In another bowl, mix mascarpone cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar. Fold in whipped cream, a third at a time.

3. Drain berries over a shallow bowl, reserving juices. Dip ladyfingers in reserved juices, allowing excess to drip off; arrange in a single layer on bottom of a 13×9-in. dish. Layer with half the berries and half the mascarpone mixture; repeat layers, starting with ladyfingers.

4. Refrigerate, covered, overnight. If desired, top with additional berries before serving.

Ramen Salad – The healthier version


1 package ramen noodles (3 ounces)  ( I like to add 2 packages of the noodles)

2/3 cup sliced almonds

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 bag coleslaw mix (16 ounces)

1 1/2 cups shelled frozen edamame thawed

1 cup shredded carrots

4 scallions thinly sliced (both white and green parts)

1/2 cup canned mandarin orange segments in light syrup rinsed and drained


  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey substitute agave if vegan
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Crumble the ramen noodles onto a baking sheet and spread them in a single layer along with the almonds. Bake for 5 minutes, remove from the oven, add the sesame seeds, and toss, then bake for 1 to 3 additional minutes until fragrant and golden. Watch closely so that the mixture does not burn. Set aside.
In a small bowl, briskly stir together all of the dressing ingredients: rice vinegar, olive oil, honey, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. (Alternatively, you can shake them together in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid.)
In a serving bowl, toss together the coleslaw, edamame, carrots, scallions, and toasted ramen and almonds. Drizzle the dressing over the top, then toss again to combine. Sprinkle the oranges over the top, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Best to eat right away.

Never Boil Corn Again

Microwave for 3 minutes with husks on.  Try to peel back a bit to stick some butter on the cob, after microwave cut off ends, grab the husk’s silk and all and tug a bit and the cob should slide right out.


Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Leave the husk on, it will trap in the moisture, leaving you with juicy, tender corn.  The husk and silk will peel away easily once it is cooked.  Cut off the large end and it slides right out with no silk.

Bonus – either way you keep more of the nutrients in the corn.  Enjoy!

Raspberry Crumb Bars  Enjoy the last of summer with dessert!


3 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups sugar, divided

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup shortening

2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon cornstarch

4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries


In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in eggs and extract. Press two-thirds of the mixture into a greased 13×9-in. baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine cornstarch and remaining sugar; add berries and gently toss. Spoon over crust. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.

Bake at 375° for 35-45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Bars with Coconut

Put on the Jimmy Buffet and kick back with these yummy dessert treats that have so much awesome flavor and nostalgic appeal. A buttery shortbread crust is the base for the scrumptious pineapple and cream cheese filling.

For the Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

12 tablespoons butter ((1 1/2 sticks), slightly softened)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Dash salt

For the Filling:

12 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 large eggs

1 large (20 ounces) can crush pineapple (well-drained)

For the Topping:

1 1/3 cup/3 1/2 ounces coconut (flaked sweetened)

1 cup pecans (finely chopped)

4 tablespoons butter (melted)


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Lightly grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan or spray with baking spray.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and dash of salt.  With a pastry blender or fork, cut in the 12 tablespoons of butter until crumbly.  Spread evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan and press with hands to form a crust layer.  Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 12 minutes.

Drain pineapple well in a colander; set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla, and eggs; beat until smooth.  Spread evenly over the baked crust, then sprinkle the drained crushed pineapple evenly over the top.

In another bowl, combine the coconut, pecans, and 4 tablespoons melted butter: sprinkle evenly over the pineapple and cream cheese layer.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until coconut is browned and filling is set.

Chill thoroughly before cutting into squares.  Serve and enjoy!

Classy Summer Salad


3 Romain hearts chopped

1 cup roasted walnutssee notes

1 cup blueberries

1 pint raspberries

10 small radishes washed, trimmed, and sliced thin

5 ounces goat cheese crumbled – if you don’t have goat cheese, I would use blue cheese or feta


Toss all of the salad ingredients.
Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and mustard until the sugar is completely dissolved. Taste and add more lemon until it has enough of a lemon flavor for you. Add more honey if it becomes overwhelmingly acidic.
Stir poppy seeds into the dressing.
Serve salad dressing on the side and allow people to dress their salad to taste.

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

2/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juicesee note 

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt (or just a pinch)

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1 tablespoon honey optional


  1. Roast the walnuts at 400 degrees on a parchment lined baking sheet for 5 minutes to deepen their flavor. (Optional step.)
  2.   The balance of sweet and acid in this salad dressing is really important. Start with 1/3 cup lemon juice. If it doesn’t taste enough like lemon to you add a little more, about a teaspoon at a time.  If you go too far, add a tablespoon of honey to counterbalance it.

Classic Pasta Primavera – in 30 minutes!

One of the classic pasta recipes of our time, pasta primavera is made with angel hair pasta, a rich sauce of butter and cream, Parmesan, and plenty of fresh vegetables. Serve it with your favorite white wine!


1 heaping cup broccoli florets

4 asparagus spearstrimmed and cut into 1-inch segments

1/2 cup snow peas

1/2-pound angel hair pasta or spaghetti

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small zucchini, diced

3 Roma or other paste tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

12 basil leaveschopped

Kosher salt


Blanch the broccoli, asparagus, snow peas:

Get a large pot of water boiling. Salt it well. It should taste like the sea. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Boil the broccoli for 1 minute.

Add the asparagus and boil another minute. Add the snow peas and boil for 30 more seconds.

Remove all the vegetables and plunge them into the ice water. Once they’re cool, drain in a colander.

If you want, you can boil your pasta in the same pot you boiled the vegetables in, or you can start over and boil new water; I use the same water.

Sauté the zucchini and garlic, then add the tomatoes:

In a large sauté pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat. When the butter is hot, add the garlic and zucchini and sauté 1 minute.

Add the diced tomatoes and sauté another 2 minutes, stirring often.

Add the stock, cream, blanched vegetables, and peas:

Pour in the chicken or vegetable stock and turn the heat to high to bring it to a boil.

Add the cream and toss in all the vegetables you boiled, plus the peas. Stir to combine.

Turn the heat down until the cream-chicken broth mixture is just simmering, not boiling.

Add the Parmesan:

Add the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. If the sauce seems too thick—it should be pretty thick, but not gloppy—add some more chicken broth, cream or water.

Boil the pasta:

If you are using spaghetti, you will want to start cooking it before you begin sautéing the garlic and zucchini. Angel hair will only need 1 to 2 minutes to cook, vermicelli or spaghetti can take 8 to 12 minutes.

Toss the pasta and serve:

As soon as the pasta is done, transfer it with tongs into the sauce and stir to combine.

Add the basil now, and taste for salt. Add salt if needed. Grind some black pepper over everything and serve immediately.

You will want a dry white wine with this, ideally a dry French white.

This recipe can be done meatless as well and is delicious – enjoy!

Roasted Zucchini with Garlic – Healthy and easy!

1 pound zucchini, each cut in half across the middle, then each half quartered lengthwise

1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic cloves

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence or dried thyme, or 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped thyme

Freshly ground black pepper


Pre-heat oven to 450F Make sure there is a rack in the top third of the oven

Place the zucchini and garlic in a bowl and toss with olive oil

Spread the zucchini out onto a foil or silicone lined sheet pan, skin side down.  Sprinkle with salt.

Roast the zucchini at 450F for 8 – 15 minutes, or until it begins to brown.  Start checking at about 7 minutes.

Remove it from the oven and place the zucchini in a bowl.  Toss with the herbs, salt, and pepper to taste.

Bread and Butter Pickles – should make 3 – 5 pints


2 1/2 pounds pickling cucumbers, fresh from the market is best

1/4 cup pickling salt (see recipe note)

1 pound white or yellow onions, thinly sliced

1 1/4 cups while distilled vinegar

1 cup apple cider vinegar

2 1/4 cups sugar

Pickling Spices:

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3/4 teaspoon celery seeds

1 inch cinnamon stick

6 allspice berries plus a pinch of ground allspice

6 whole cloves plus a pinch of ground cloves


Rinse and slice the cucumbers

Carefully rinse the cucumbers, scrubbing away any dirt that may have stuck to the ribs.  Slice off 1/8 inch from the ends and discard.  Slice the cucumbers in 1/4-inch-thick slices and place in a large bowl.

Salt, chill, and drain the cucumber slices

Add the sliced onions and all of the pickling salt.  Stir so the salt is well distributed among the cucumber slices.  Cover with a clean, thin tea towel (not terry cloth).  Cover with a couple of inches of ice.

Heat the jars

If you are planning to store your pickles outside of the refrigerator for any length of time, you will need to heat your canning jars in a hot water bath after canning.


Because the jars will be processed in the water bath for more than 10 minutes, it is not necessary to first sterilize the jars for this recipe.  Do make sure your jars are clean.

If you are planning to eat the pickles right away and store them the whole time in the refrigerator, you can skip the water bath step.

Making the syrup

In a 4- or 6-quart pot, place the vinegars, sugar, and all of the pickling spices (do not add salt).  Bring to a boil.  Once the sugar has dissolved, add the sliced cucumbers and onions.  Bring to a boil again.  As soon as the syrup begins boiling again, use a slotted spoon to start packing the hot jars with the cucumbers and onions.

Pack the jars, add the pickling syrup

Pack jars to 1 inch from the rim with the cucumbers and onions.  Then pour hot vinegar sugar syrup over them to 1/2 inch from the rim.

Wipe the rim clean with a paper towel.  Place a dry, clean lid on the jar.  Secure with a metal screw band.  Repeat with remaining jars.

Process in a hot water bath

If you are planning to store pickles outside of the refrigerator, you will want to process the filled jars in a hot water bath.

Return filled jars to the same canning pot with its already hot water.  The water level needs to be at least 1 inch above the top of the jars.

Bring to a boil and boil hard for 15 minutes.  Remove jars from the pot using tongs or jar lifters.

Let cool and store

Let cool down to room temperature.  Jars should make a popping sound as their lids seal.  If a lid dosen’t properly seal, do not store the jar outside of the refigerator.

If you skipped the water bath canning, transfer the cooled jars directly to the fridge and eat within 3 months.

Bread and Butter pickles can be eaten as soon as 24 hours after making, but they’ll have the best flavour if you let them sit for at least a week. (ideally 3 or more weeks)

Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings (this recipe was requested)


2 8 count crescent rolls (cans)

3-4 tart apples

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 12 ounce can of mountain dew


Spray a 13X9 baking dish

peel and slice apples into 16 pieces

Roll each apple slice in 1 section of crescent roll

place rolled slices in pan in two rows, put extras along side

Melt butter, add sugar and cinnamon and pour over apples.  Pour can of mountain dew over all.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

I have made most of all recipes I put on our website, and these are one of my favorites.  Yummy!

Almond Joy Cookies

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups chocolate chips
2 cups sweetened coconut
2 cups chopped almonds
Pre-heat oven to 375°F  Lightly grease cookie sheets.
Combine dry ingredients, set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stir in the vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until well mixed then stir in the chocolate chips, coconut and almonds. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Homemade Buttercream Frosting

2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter, unsalted and softened
3 cups Confectioners Sugar
Using a hand mixer, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy
Add the vanilla and beat again
Begin adding the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time to incorporate with no lumps
Add in the heavy whipping cream and beat until all mixed in completely
Fill the piping bag and frost your cake or cupcakes

Conversion chart – cup to ounce (handy to have)


1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
Spread the chopped pecans in a single layer on top of the parchment.
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Add butter, sugar, and salt to a heavy bottomed 3 quart pot.
1 cup unsalted butter,1 cup granulated sugar,½ teaspoon kosher salt
Bring to a boil over medium low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.
Once the candy is boiling, stir occasionally, slowly and evenly, until the candy has reached 290°F to 300°F, or “hard crack” on a candy thermometer.
Once the candy has reached 290°F-300°F, remove from heat and gently stir in the vanilla extract.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Carefully pour the mixture over the chopped pecans.
Let the candy sit for a few minutes, undisturbed, before sprinkling the chocolate chips over the top.
1 cup milk chocolate chips
Cover the baking dish with foil and let sit for 5 minutes or until the chocolate has softened.
Remove the foil and gently spread the softened chocolate into an even layer. An offset spatula works best for this.
Place the candy in the refrigerator and let cool completely. Give it at least 2 hours.
Lift the parchment out of the baking dish and place the toffee on a cutting board or solid surface.
Use a knife to gently break it into smaller pieces. Store in an airtight container in a cool place.

Black Magic Cake


2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk

1 cup black coffee

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Heat oven to 350, grease and flour two 9 inch round baking pans or one 13X9 inch baking pan

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in large bowl,  Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes (batter will be thin).  Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

Bake 30-35 minutes for round pans – 35-40 minutes for rectangular pan or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks.  Cool completely.  Frost with a Mocha Frosting is the best.

Pronto Vegetarian Peppers

It is summer time! And they can be frozen for later.


2 large sweet red peppers

1 cup canned stewed tomatoes

1/3 cup instant brown rice (gluten free)

2 tablespoons hot water

3/4 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

2 green onions thinly sliced

1/8 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese


Cut peppers in half lengthwise; remove seeds.  Place peppers in an ungreased shallow microwave safe dish.  Cover and microwave on high until tender, 3-4 minutes.

Combine the tomatoes, rice and water in a small microwave safe bowl.  Cover and microwave on high until rice is tender, 5-6 minutes.  Stir in the beans, corn, onions and pepper flakes; spoon into peppers.

Sprinkle with cheeses. Microwave uncovered, until heated through, 3-4 minutes.

2 servings.  Enjoy!

 Szechuan Noodles with Spicy Beef Sauce


1 pound ground beef

1 1/2 cup chopped onions

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1/2 – 1 1/2 teaspoon dry crushed red pepper (start off with just a little and work your way up)

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 cup beef both

1/3 cup hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

8 ounces vermicelli, cooked

1/2 cup sliced green onion


Brown ground beef in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles; drain and keep warm

Pour sesame oil in pan and heat till hot.  Saute onion and next 4 ingredients hot sesame oil until tender.

Combine cornstarch and beef broth, whicking until smooth

Stir broth mixture, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce into ionion mixture.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; boil, stirring constantly 1 minute

Stir in ground beef

Toss with hot cooked pasta, and sprinkle sliced green onions.

Servings 4

Enjoy this wonderful dish.  If you like a lot of sauce you can double this recipe.  Update; the hoisin sauce is quite sweet, so you might start off with just a little and work your way up.

Rhubarb Dumplings

Rhubarb dumplings are a little more work but definitely worth the effort!
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4. teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tbsp. cold butter
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoon butter, softened
2 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. 1. In a saucepan, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir in water and add butter. Bring to a boil, cook and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add vanilla.
  2.  For dough, in medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and mix quickly. Do not overmix.
  3.  Gather dough into a ball and roll out on a floured surface into a 12×9″ rectangle.
  4.  Spread with softened butter and arrange rhubarb on top.
  5.  Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over rhubarb.
  6.  Roll up from the long side and place on a cutting board seam side down.
  7.  Cut roll into 12 slices. Arrange slices cut side up in a greased 13×9″ baking dish. Pour sauce over the top.
  8.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Yield 12 servings

Lemon-Buttermilk Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze


2 1/2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

4 eggs

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon lemon extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease and flour a fluted tube pan

Beat white sugar and 1 1/2 cups butter together in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, thoroughly beating each egg into butter mixture before adding the next.

Sift flour, salt and baking soda together in a bowl.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture; mix well.  Pour in 1/2 the buttermilk and beat until combined.  Repeat adding the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, beating well after each addition, and ending with the flour mixture.  Stir lemon extract into batter.  Pour batter into prepared tube pan.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees

Bake in oven until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 60 – 75 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a cake platter or plate.


2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter softened

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Beat confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons butter, and lemon zest together in a bowl until glaze is smooth.  Pour about half the glaze over the cake; let cool.  Pour remaining glaze over the cake

Italian Custard Pie


4 eggs slightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 1/2 cups milk hot

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

dash of lemon zest

1  9-inch pie crust


Beat eggs well in a large bowl, then add milk, salt, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla

Pour mixture into a unbaked pie crust

Place dish on a foil lined cookie sheet

Bake on center rack in the oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 – 35 minutes more or until knife inserted comes out clean.

You also can add sweetened coconut flakes or shredded or toasted coconut.

Rhubarb Crisp

4 cups rhubarb, chopped
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
1. Mix rhubarb and white sugar together. Place in bottom of 9×9″ pan.
2. Combine remaining ingredients and sprinkle on top of rhubarb mixture.
3. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour (check after 45 minutes).
Make sure to add a scoop of ice cream on top!

Note: younger rhubarb takes a little more sugar than mature rhubarb.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)

100 g caster sugar (super fine sugar, you can make your own if you do not have it)

100 g light brown sugar

120 g hard margarine, melted, (I’ve always used the hard block of Stork which is dairy free – if you don’t need dairy free you could use butter)

1 large egg

Here’s a few ideas you can use as egg replacements, so each of these = 1 egg.

  • 3 tablespoons of aquafaba – water from a can of chickpeas. Keep the chickpeas for a future dinner!
  • Egg replacement powder – I’d recommend using Orgran as it’s gluten free.
  • 1 tablespoon of chia/flax seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and left for 10 minutes in the fridge.
  • 3 tablespoons of applesauce.

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

300 g gluten free plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

160 g chocolate chips, (dairy free if necessary)


In a bowl, mix together both your light brown sugar and caster sugar with your melted hard margarine. Mix until it all comes together and is fully combined.
Add your egg  and vanilla extract to the bowl and continue to mix (with a wooden spoon) until combined once more.
In a separate bowl, add your gluten free flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and briefly mix.
Add your flour mix to your original bowl and mix till combined. Make sure your mixing bowl is big as this is quite a lot of flour. It can be hard work and takes time to really combine it all but it’ll form a perfect cookie dough (you could use a stand mixer but I prefer to do cookie dough by hand).
Add the chocolate chips and give them a good mix in so they are dispersed evenly.
Cover your mixing bowl with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for about 45 minutes (you can make the cookie dough ahead of time also and keep it in the fridge until you need it).
Heat your oven to 170C and prepare a couple of baking trays with good quality, non-stick baking paper.
Remove your cookie dough from the fridge and roll your dough into balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place them on your trays. The cookies will spread a little so leave some gaps between them – I usually cook mine in a couple of batches.
Pop into the preheated oven for 15 minutes – they should have flattened out to look more like cookies and be a lovely golden color.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking tray before moving them.


Hamburger Helper (Gluten Free)


Grass-fed/grass-finished beef – you can also use ground turkey or chicken if you prefer

Almond flour – this isn’t a must, but I think it helps absorb the broth better while pasta cooks

Garlic powder, paprika and onion powder

Bone broth – I used beef bone broth, but any broth works

Dry pasta (gluten free)– I used these brown rice shells

Tomato sauce – use your favorite pasta sauce

Shredded cheese – or use dairy-free cheese too


Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat and add the grass-fed beef to skillet and breakdown down into smaller pieces uses a wooden spoon or fork

Cook on medium heat until the beef is brown and no longer pink

Drain any excess fat from the skillet then add in the flour, spices, broth, pasta and sauce and mix well

Bring to a boil then cover and cook on low heat for about 12 minutes (or until pasta is ready and almost all liquid is absorbed)

Remove skillet from heat and mix in cheese and serve while warm!

Asparagas Turkey Stirfry (Gluten Free)

Recently I have been asked to post gluten free recipes, so here you go.  Thank you for asking.


2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 pound turkey breast tenderloins, cut into 1/2-inch strips

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1-pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces

1 jar (2 ounces) sliced pimientos, drained


1. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, broth, lemon juice and soy sauce until smooth; set aside. In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry turkey and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil until meat is no longer pink; remove and keep warm.

2. Stir-fry asparagus in remaining oil until crisp-tender. Add pimientos. Stir broth mixture and add to the pan; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Return turkey to the pan; heat through.

Hamburger Soup

A wonderful mix of vegetables and ground beef.


1 pound ground beef

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

6 beef bouillon

5 cups water

1 8 ounce can tomato sauce

1 can diced tomato

1 teaspoon salt

1 10-ounce package frozen corn kernels

1 teaspoon dried basil

3 tablespoons ketchup

Pepper to taste


In a medium skillet brown hamburger over medium heat, drain off fat.

Combine beef, carrots, celery, onions, bouillon, water tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper, corn, basil, and ketchup in a large stock pot.  Brings to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours.

Perfect served with fresh baked bread.  This is a great rainy day soup, enjoy!

Comforting Chicken & Noodles Crock Pot

2 can cream of chicken soup
2 can chicken broth (15oz each)
1 stick-butter or margarine
1 lb chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
1 packages frozen egg noodle (24 oz) I used Reames.
In crockpot put chicken on bottom. Pour the chicken broth and soup on top. Then top that with the stick of butter. Put the crockpot on low for 6-7 hours.
Take the chicken out and shred. Put back in crockpot.
Add the frozen noodles and cook for 2 more hours. (I stir every 30 minutes until done.)

Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding

2/3 cup Minute Rice
2 3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
First step: Combine Minute Rice, milk & raisins, sugar, butter, salt, vanilla & nutmeg in a buttered 1-quart baking dish.
Second step : Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 h, stirring after 15 mins & again when pudding is done.
Third step : Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Finally step : Serve warm or chilled. Pudding thickens as it stands.

Arizona Sunshine Lemon Pie


1 large lemon

4 eggs

1 stick butter melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 unbaked pie crust

Whipped cream, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Leaving rind on lemon, cut lemon into small chunks.  In blender puree lemon chunks, eggs butter, vanilla and sugar until mixture is smooth and creamy.  It should be fairly runny. Pour into pie crust.  Bake for 40 minutes.  If crust becomes too brown, cover gently with foil.  Serve with dollip of fresh whipped cream.



Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies (everyone’s favorite)

1/2 cup Butter
2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Milk
4 Tablespoon Cocoa
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
3 1/2 cup Quick cooking Oats
2 teaspoon Vanilla
Add the first 4 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, and boil for 1 minute. Stir in the next 3 ingredients and drop onto wax/foil paper. Let cool until set.

Texas Sheet Cake


2 sticks butter

1 cup water

4 tablespoons cocoa

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, grease a large cookie sheet with sides. In a sauce pan mix butter, water and cocoa, bring to a boil. Pour into large bowl. In a small bowl mix sugar, flour and salt. Gradually add dry mixture to chocolate, mix well. Blending between additions, add 3 eggs, sour cream and baking soda.  Pour into well greased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.


1 stick butter

4 tablespoons cocoa

6 tablespoons milk

1 pound powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped nuts

Make frosting approximately 15 minutes before cake is done. Cake should be frosted as soon as it is removed from the oven.  Melt butter in saucepan.  Add cocoa and milk, heat just until mixture starts to bubble.  Remove from heat.  Gradually beat in powdered sugar and then vanilla.  When completely blended, add walnuts.  Spread on cake as soon as it is removed from the oven.

This is a wonderful recipe to make for a family reunion or gathering. It is the ultimate chocolate brownie, and it is yummy!!

Texas Roadhouse Steak Seasoning – Best on Rib Steak!

2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Gather a medium-sized bowl, a gallon-sized plastic bag with a zip top, a pair of scissors and a spice jar with a shaker-type top.
Measure out 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and pour into the bowl.
Add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Standard white sugar can also be used.
Measure 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, garlic salt, onion powder, and turmeric. Add all seasonings to the bowl.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of paprika and chili powder to the bowl.
Measure out 1 teaspoon of black pepper and add to the other spices in the bowl. Fresh ground, medium-sized pepper is best for this mix.
Stir mixture gently to incorporate all ingredients.
Pour seasonings into a gallon-sized plastic bag, then seal. Shake the seasonings together in the bag until the seasonings appear to be evenly blended.
Cut an edge off of one of the bottom edges of the plastic bags at a diagonal. The cut should be small enough for the tip of the bag to easily fit into the empty spice jar.
Empty spices from the bag into spice container.

Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding

2/3 cup Minute Rice
2 3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
First step : Combine Minute Rice, milk & raisins, sugar, butter, salt, vanilla & nutmeg in a buttered 1 quart baking dish.
Second step : Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 h, stirring after 15 mins & again when pudding is done.
Third step : Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 lemons, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
4 egg whites
6 tablespoons white sugar
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.
To Make Lemon Filling:
In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.
To Make Meringue:
In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees..

Cream Puff Dessert


Puff Dough

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs, room temperature


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

3-1/2 cups cold 2% milk

2 packages (3.9 ounces each) instant chocolate pudding mix


1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1/4 cup chocolate ice cream topping

1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping

1/3 cup chopped almonds


  •  In a large saucepan, bring the water and butter to a boil over medium heat. Add flour all at once; stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.
  • 2. Spread into a greased 13×9-in. baking dish. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • 3. For filling, beat the cream cheese, milk and pudding mix in a large bowl until smooth. Spread over puff; refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • 4. Spread with whipped topping; refrigerate until serving. Drizzle with the chocolate and caramel toppings; sprinkle with almonds. Refrigerate leftovers.

I love this dessert using butterscotch pudding instead, but you can use any flavor you wish.  It is a great get together dessert.  Enjoy!



Best Classic Chili


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion -diced

1 pound 90% lean ground beef

2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper* -optional

1 1/2 cups beef broth

1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes

1 (16 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce


Add the olive oil to a large soup pot and place it over medium-high heat for two minutes. Add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the ground beef to the pot. Break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally.
Add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and optional cayenne. Stir until well combined.
Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with their juice), drained beans, and tomato sauce. Stir well.
Bring the liquid to a low boil. Then, reduce the heat (low to medium-low) to gently simmer the chili, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pot from the heat. Let the chili rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Mom’s Famous Cream Puffs


1 stick butter (8 Tablespoons)

1 cup water

1 tsp vanilla

4 eggs

1c flour


1-pint heavy cream

1 package (3.4 OUNCES) instant vanilla pudding

⅓ cup milk

How to make:

Bring the butter, water and vanilla to a boil.
Add the flour and stir constantly until it leaves the side of the pot and forms a ball.
Remove and cool.
Beat in 4 eggs, one at a time until smooth.
Drop by T. onto parchment lined cookie sheets
Bake at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.
Slice in half and pipe or scoop in Mom’s filling.
Dust with powdered sugar.
Beat the cream, pudding powder and milk in a mixer until thick like whipped cream!

Coconut Pie


3 large eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup unsweetened or sweetened flaked coconut

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch salt

1 9-inch pie crust


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium bow, mix all the filling ingredients until well combined; pour into the pie shell.

Place pie on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour.

Let set and cool completely before slicing.


Swedish Meatballs


2 tablespoons butter

1/2 yellow onion chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup milk

2 large eggs

1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 pinch cayenne pepper or to taste

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork


2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 1/4 cups beef both

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper to taste.

cooking spray


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook and stir onion and salt until onion turns translucent, about 6 minutes.

Mix beef and pork in bread crumb mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Melt butter for gravy in a large skillet over medium heat; whisk in flour and cook until golden brown, 4-5 minutes.  Slowly whisk in beef broth.

Increase heat to medium high heat, whisk cream into mixture and bring to a simmer.  Stir in sugar and Worcestershire.  Simmer until slightly thickened, 6-7 minutes.  Season with salt and black pepper.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Roll 2-3 tablespoons meatball mixture into a ball using wet hands; repeat with remaining meatball mixture.  Place meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until browned, about 20 minutes.  An instant read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees.

These can be frozen also.

Sweet and Sour Chicken


  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoon ketchup
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder   


  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
  3. Put the cornstarch in a shallow bowl. Put the eggs in a separate bowl. Place the oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dredge the chicken in the cornstarch, then dip in the egg. Add to the hot oil and brown on all sides. You do not need to cook the chicken through, just brown the outside to get a crispy exterior. Transfer the chicken to a 9×13-inch baking dish and continue with the remaining chicken.
  4. In a bowl, combine the sugar, ketchup, cider vinegar, soy sauce and garlic powder. Pour the sauce over the top of the chicken.
  5. Bake the chicken for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Serve over prepared rice.

Mayonnaise Cake – many of you remember this from your Mom or Grandma


3 cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cocoa

1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup water


In a large bowl, combine the water, mayonnaise and vanilla until well blended. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa and baking soda; gradually beat into mayonnaise mixture until blended. , Pour into a greased 9-in. square or 11×7-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Orange Dreamsicle Dessert

This orange dreamsicle salad takes a few minutes to prep and then it chills until you are ready to serve it. The perfect no bake dessert recipe!
1 box orange Jell-O
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1 Cool Whip 8 oz.
1 can mandarin oranges 14 oz, drained
1 cup mini marshmallows
In a large bowl combine orange Jell-O and boiling water.
Whisk until Jell-o is dissolved.
Add cold water and allow to chill for 15 minutes in refrigerator.
Slowly whisk in vanilla pudding mix until smooth and chill for another 15-20 minutes or until it becomes slightly thickened.
Fold in Cool Whip, mandarin oranges and marshmallows

Hearty Beef Stew


4 cups homemade or store bought chicken stock

3 tablespoons tomato paste

31 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast cubed

Salt and black pepper to taste

10 ounces mushrooms quartered

4 medium carrots cut into bite sized pieces

1 large yellow onion

2 small celery ribs copped

3 medium cloves of garlic 2 tablespoons flour

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs thyme

1 pound Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cubed

4 ounces frozen or fresh peas


Combine stock/broth, tomato paste, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.  Set aside.

In large pot or a dutch oven; Season beef all over with salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, until beef is well browned on 2 sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer beef to a rimmed baking sheet or large plate and set aside.

Add mushrooms to Dutch oven or pot and cook, stirring, until liquid is released and mushrooms begin to brown, about 6 minutes, lowering heat as necessary to prevent scorching. Add diced carrots, onions and cook, stirring, until well-browned on all sides. Season to taste with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl, and set aside. Add celery, and garlic. Cook, turning carrots, celery, and garlic occasionally until all the vegetables are well-browned, about 4 minutes.

Scrape up browned bits with a wooden spoon, and cook until reduced by 3/4, about 3 minutes. Add broth mixture and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.

Add seared steaks to a large bowl. Toss with flour. Add beef and any juices accumulated in the tray or plate to the Dutch oven along with bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Stir to combine and return to a simmer over medium heat. Transfer to oven, cover with lid partially open, and cook until beef is starting to become tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Liquid should hold a slow, steady simmer the entire time. Adjust oven temperature if necessary during cooking.

Remove stew from oven. Using tongs, fish out and discard bay leaves.  Add potatoes and reserved sautéed mushrooms, to stew, return to oven, and continue to cook, partially covered, until beef, potatoes, and carrots are tender and broth has thickened, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove stew from oven. If necessary, place over a burner and simmer for up to 15 minutes to reduce to desired consistency. Stir in peas. Season to taste with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve immediately, or refrigerate overnight or for up to 5 days and reheat to serve.

Great with Fresh Baked Bread or biscuits.

25 Minute Chicken & Veggie Enchiladas

These chicken enchiladas are great for using up any veggies you have lingering in your fridge. Our chicken enchilada recipe calls for zucchini, squash and onion, but you could easily swap in spinach, onions or potatoes.



Preheat oven to broil with rack 5 to 6 inches from heat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add zucchini, squash, and onion, and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add chicken, salt, pepper, and 3/4 cup of the cheese; stir to combine. Cook until hot and cheese melts, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Place about 1/3 cup of chicken mixture in center of each tortilla; fold tortilla around filling, and place, seam side down, in a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 11- x 7-inch (or a 2-quart) broiler-safe baking dish. Pour salsa over enchiladas, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Broil in preheated oven until hot and bubbly, about 1 1/2 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Healthy Tuscan Chicken Pasta


10 oz short pasta gluten-free if needed, whole wheat, or lentil pasta

1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 tbsp olive oil or use the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes

34 garlic cloves minced

1 tsp Italian seasoning

Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste

8 oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained and chopped

3 cups almond milk

2 tbsp gluten-free flour

3 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to package directions to al dente.
Chop chicken into 1-inch pieces and place into a bowl. Stir in the oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chicken in a single layer and cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and continue to cook until cooked through about 5-7 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk the milk and flour until no visible lumps.
Pour the milk mixture over the cooked chicken in the pan and mix well to combine. Allow the sauce to bubble for a few minutes to thicken up. It should take no more than 3-4 minutes.
Once the sauce is done, add spinach and stir until wilted.
Add cooked pasta together with grated parmesan and stir to combine. Enjoy.
  • Pasta: use pasta of choice. Gluten-free, whole wheat, lentil pasta, or chickpea pasta.
  • Chicken: we used chicken breast, but you may use boneless thighs. Consider using shrimp instead of chicken if desired.
  • Spinach: we recommend using fresh spinach. Frozen spinach can be used but thaw first and drain to remove excess water.
  • Use fresh garlic or replace it with 1 tablespoon of garlic powder.
  • Cook the pasta al dente since it will cook again with everything else to prevent having soft and soggy pasta.
  • Store leftover chicken pasta in a container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Tasty Tomato Tart

This easy weeknight dinner is packed with lycopene and vitamin C to boost vision health and add to senior nutrition. It’s similar enough to pizza that even picky eaters will try it — but it’s a total showstopper with fresh, colorful ingredients.


1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon olive oil

2-3 large tomatoes (multiple colors make a beautiful tart, but red works just as well)

1 cup of your favorite cheese (such as blue cheese, mozzarella, feta, or Parmesan)

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, or chopped fresh herbs like basil and oregano


Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil.

Stretch out the puff pastry on the lined baking sheet. With a fork, poke small holes along the bottom.

Add onions and olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Sauté, stirring frequently, until soft — about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle cooked onions over the pastry dough, then top with tomato slices so they don’t overlap. Sprinkle with cheese and half of your seasoning or herbs. Season with salt (or salt replacement, if you’re avoiding sodium) and pepper to your tastes.

Bake for 25 minutes, until the crust is golden. Sprinkle with the remaining herbs, cut into squares.

Easy One Pan Meal

This recipe is so easy, it’s almost not even a recipe. It showcases flaky and richly pink salmon, a low-calorie protein source full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and energy-boosting B vitamins.

This non-recipe is versatile! Replace salmon with another flaky fish like tilapia or trout. Swap out the veggies for whatever’s in your fridge or add potatoes for a heartier meal.


  • 1 squash or zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • ½ onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning or your favorite fish-seasoning blend
  • 2-3 salmon fillets, about 4 ounces each
  • 1 lemon, optional


Preheat oven to 450 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil (not wax paper). If you don’t have these, you can thoroughly grease the pan with vegetable oil.

In a large bowl, toss all veggies with 2 tablespoons of oil and seasoning, then spread them into a single layer on the baking sheet.

Nestle your salmon fillets, skin side down, between the vegetables. Brush with remaining olive oil, and top with 2 thin lemon slices each.

Roast for 12-15 minutes, until salmon is flaky and mostly opaque.

Add 1 salmon fillet and a heaping serving of roasted veggies to each plate for a healthy and satisfying meal. Enjoy!




1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup minced onion

2 cloves garlic minced

salt to taste

black pepper to taste

2 pounds ground beef

3 slices of bread toasted and crumbled or breadcrumbs or oatmeal or crackers or some even use rice

1 egg lightly beaten

3 tablespoons sour cream

1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 (15 ounce) tomato sauce, divided

7 crackers

3 tablespoons ketchup


Preheat Oven 350

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic about 5 minutes or until tender.  Remove from heat, and season with the black pepper and salt.

In a large bowl, mix the onion and garlic, beef, crumbled bread, crushed crackers, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/2 can tomato sauce.  Gradually stir in the milk 1 teaspoon at a time until mixture is moist, but not soggy.  Transfer the mixture to a 5X9 loaf pan.

Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 40 minutes.  Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees, and continue baking 15 minutes, to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the remaining tomato sauce and ketchup.  Pour over the top of the meatloaf and continue baking 10 minutes.

NOTE: the milk is optional, is added due to high altitude and dry climate.


Old Fashion Potato Soup


1/4 cup butter

1 large onion chopped

6 potatoes peeled and diced

3 cups water

2 tablespoons chicken bouillon

black pepper to taste

salt to taste

3 tablespoons flour

3 cups milk or you can use canned milk

2 carrots peeled and diced

1 tablespoon parsley

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme


Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in onions; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent about 5 minutes.

Add the diced potatoes, carrots, and water cook until vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes) do not overcook.  Season with the ground black pepper and salt to taste.

Add flour to a bit of the milk to make a paste.  Gradually add the milk and chicken base and stir well.  Cook over low heat stirring constantly until warmed through.  Stir in parsley and thyme and serve hot.

Goes well with a loaf of homemade bread.  You can also use the base recipe and add a couple cans of clams to make clam chowder.  Another variation to this soup is you can add crisp fried and chopped bacon.

Huevos Rancheros with Bacon Tortillas


For the Salsa

5 ripe tomatoes (about 2 pounds

2 to 3 serrano Chile peppers

1/2 white onion chopped

kosher salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 clove garlic chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


For the Tortillas

6 slices bacon

1 cup masa harina (instant corn flour)

kosher salt

1 tablespoons vegetable oil


For the Eggs

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 large eggs

kosher salt

1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese or queso fresco

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Make the salsa: Preheat the broiler. Spread the tomatoes and serrano peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil, turning occasionally, until charred, 10 to 15 minutes. Wrap in the foil and set aside, about 10 minutes. Rub off the charred skins; remove the pepper stems. Pulse the tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor until chunky.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the tomato mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt. Transfer the salsa to a bowl and cover to keep warm; wipe out the skillet.

Prepare the tortillas: Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp, 9 to 11 minutes; drain on paper towels, reserving the drippings in the skillet. Finely chop the bacon. Combine all but about 1 tablespoon bacon, the masa harina and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Stir in 3/4 cup warm water and knead in the bowl until the dough is soft and pliable, about 2 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces; roll each into a ball, then flatten into 4-inch disks.

Cook the tortillas: Heat the vegetable oil in the cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tortillas and cook until golden brown on the bottoms, 3 to 4 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the other side, 3 more minutes. Flip again and cook until the tortillas are browned and cooked through, about 1 more minute. Wrap in foil to keep warm.

Make the eggs: Add the vegetable oil to the bacon drippings in the nonstick skillet and set over medium-high heat. Add the eggs, season with salt and fry until the whites are set, 3 to 5 minutes.

Spoon some of the prepared salsa onto 4 plates. Place a tortilla on each plate and top with a fried egg. Top with a little more salsa, then sprinkle with the cheese, cilantro and the reserved bacon.

Want a great side dish for that Prime Rib Roast you are cooking for Christmas.  And even better make your own Teriyaki Sauce…..

Teriyaki Green Beans


1-pound fresh green beans whole or cut into 1-inch pieces

8 ounces fresh mushrooms sliced

1 shallot diced

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 cup teriyaki sauce

1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds


Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add green beans, shallot and mushrooms.  Cook until starting to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes

Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds

Add teriyaki sauce.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until green beans reach desired tenderness.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serve immediately.

Teriyaki Sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons sweet rice wine

1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger

Teriyaki Glaze

Add to sauce mix, 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water.  Mix cornstarch and water together before adding to the sauce.

Combine ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.  The glaze heat sauce on medium high adding the cornstarch mixture simmer until thickened.

If you cannot find fresh green beans you can use canned green beans, but the fresh are the best.

Scottish Shortbread Cookies


10 tablespoons unsalted butter unsalted butter, at room temperature 142g

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 180g

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt optional


In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and vanilla extract until creamed.
Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; mix until combined.
Scrape bowl down and add flour while beating on low. Scrape bowl once more and mix until combined.
Shape the dough into a rectangular prism, wrap in plastic and chill until firm. At least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350F (177C). Use a sharp knife to cut 1/2-inch-thick slices
Place slices spaced at least an inch apart onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Use a fork or skewer to indent a pattern onto the top.
Bake for about 10 minutes, rotating baking sheet in the oven halfway through.
Transfer to a wire sheet to cool.
Can be made a week in advance they keep well in the refrigerator or a month in the freezer.

Perfect Prime Rib

4 pounds Prime Rib roast
14 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon herbes de provence or 1 teaspoon thyme, whatever you like best
kosher salt

Place rib roast on a plate and bring to room temperature, about 4 hours.

Preheat an oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).

Combine butter, pepper, and herbes de Provence in a bowl; mix until well blended. Spread butter mixture evenly over entire roast. Season roast generously with kosher salt.

Roast the 4-pound prime rib (see footnote if using a larger and smaller roast) in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and, leaving the roast in the oven with the door closed, let the roast sit in the oven for 2 hours. Remove roast from the oven, slice, and serve.

Your cooking times will vary depending on the size of your prime rib roast. To calculate your cooking time, multiply the exact weight of the roast by 5. Round the resulting number to the nearest whole number. The rib is cooked at 500 degrees F for exactly that many minutes. For example, for a 6 pound roast: 6×5=30, so cooking time is 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and wait 2 hours before opening the oven door. Remove the prime rib and slice into the most perfectly medium-rare meat you’ve ever see.

Garlic Butter Pork Chops (The Best!)


1 pound bone in pork chops

coarse salt

ground black pepper

1 tablespoon cooking oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 sprigs thyme

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 pinch salt


Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and ground black pepper.  Heat up a skillet on medium-high heat.  Add the cooking oil, melted butter and thyme.  Pan sear and cook the pork chops for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the surface turns light golden brown.  Add the garlic to the skillet.  Continue to flip the pork chops around and saute the garlic until light brown.  Add a pinch of salt.  Remove the pork chops from heat and serve immediately with lemon wedges. Can be served with mashed potatoes or stuffing and a vegetable.  Serving for 2

Dinner in 20 minutes

Old Fashioned Fudge

2 cups sugar
4 Tablespoons Hershey’s cocoa
1 stick of salted butter
5 ounce can of Carnation Evaporated Milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
nuts are optional
Mix sugar and cocoa in a saucepan, then add a stick of butter and the can of evaporated milk, and stir until the mixture starts boiling.
Stir continuously for 7 minutes, then remove from heat and add vanilla, then stir the mix continuously for 3 minutes, then pour into a buttered baking dish to set.
Great fudge in less than 20 minutes!

Grandma’s Biscuits – Don’t Lose This

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoon salted butter melted to brush on top
Preheat oven to 425. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Transfer to a food processor. Cut frozen butter into cubes and add to flour, then pulse 6 or 7 times until it looks like a loose crumble. Place the dough back in the bowl, add buttermilk and stir with a spatula until it forms a rough ball (don’t worry if it is a little sticky).
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a rough rectangle, about an inch thick. Fold it over and gently roll it down again. Repeat 6 times.
Gently roll out the dough once more, so that it forms a rectangle. Cut dough into biscuits using a floured glass or biscuit cutter.
Do not twist cutter when cutting; this will crimp the edges of the biscuit causing it not to rise. If you have scraps just reform a rectangle and cut additional biscuits.
Place biscuits on a baking sheet and place in oven. Make sure they’re touching. Bake until golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Serves 6 to 8. Brush on the melted butter and enjoy!
NOTE: If you don’t have a food processor, you can cut butter into flour in the mixing bowl using a grater, fork or a pastry cutter.

Creamy Broccoli Gnocchi

Who doesn’t love pasta?  “Eat Good Food” between the two Holiday’s


3 tablespoon creme fraiche (sour cream)

1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard

1/2 lemon and juiced

long stem broccoli, each cut into 3 pieces

350g fresh gnocchi

2 tablespoon olive oil

100g frozen peas

1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts


Mix together the crème fraîche, mustard and lemon juice. Set aside. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Once boiling, add the broccoli and cook for 3 minutes, then tip in the gnocchi. Cook until the gnocchi begins to float to the surface, this will only take 1 minute so keep an eye on them, then drain.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and, once hot, tip in the gnocchi, broccoli and frozen peas. Toss around in the hot oil for 1 minute, then stir through the crème fraîche mixture. Season to taste. Once hot, spoon into bowls and top with the lemon zest and pine nuts.

You can always make your own gnocchi!

7-Up Biscuits 


4 cups Bisquick

1 cup sour cream

1 cup 7-Up

1/2 cup melted Butter

Mix bisquick, sour cream and 7 up.  Melt butter in bottom of cookie sheet pan, and put shaped biscuits in then bake at 425 until golden brown.  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Apple Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together the eggs and oil. Add the cinnamon, white and brown sugars, and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
Add the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Fold in the apples and the nuts and pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Frosted Pumpkin Cranberry Bars


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

3 large eggs @ room temperature

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin

3/4 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

Brown butter frosting

1/2 cup butter

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 to 6 tablespoons whole milk


In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin and butter; stir into dry ingredients until well combined. Stir in cranberries.

Spread into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

For frosting, in a large heavy saucepan, cook butter over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Pour into a large bowl; beat in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Frost bars. If desired, sprinkle with finely chopped dried cranberries.


Toll House Famous Fudge


1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How To Make Toll House® Famous Fudge

LINE 8-inch-square baking pan with foil. COMBINE sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. STIR in marshmallows, morsels, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan; refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces.

SUBSTITUTE 1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Milk Chocolate Morsels for Semi-Sweet Morsels.

SUBSTITUTE 1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Butterscotch Flavored Morsels for Semi-Sweet Morsels.

SUBSTITUTE 1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Morsels for Semi-Sweet Morsels and 1/2 cup chopped peanuts for pecans or walnuts



1 (18 1/4 ounce) package yellow cake mix

3 eggs (or as called for by your cake mix)

1⁄3 cup oil (or as called for by your cake mix)

1 1⁄3 cups water (or as called for by your cake mix)

8 ounces cream cheese

1 1⁄2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice

2 (8 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained

1 (3 1/2 ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix

1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed


Mix and bake cake mix as per package instruction for two 8 or 9 inch round layers.

Let layers cool, and then split each layer in half so as to have 4 layers.

In a large bowl, whip cream cheese until soft, and then gradually mix in confectioners’ sugar.

Stir in the pineapple with juice and the drained mandarin oranges, reserving about 5 mandarin orange slices to decorate the top of cake.

Mix in the dry pudding mix.

Fold in the whipped topping.

Place one cake layer on a cake plate cut side up; spread with frosting.

Place another layer cut side down on the first one, and top with more frosting.

Repeat until all layers are used, spreading last bit of frosting on top and sides of cake.

Decorate with reserved mandarin orange slices.

Refrigerate overnight before serving.


Homemade Cranberry Sauce


1 cup of sugar

1 cup water

1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest/peel

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Mix sugar and water in medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil on medium-high heat.  Add cranberries, cinnamon and orange zest/peel; return to boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low heat; simmer 10 minutes or until cranberries burst and sauce begins to thicken, stirring occasionally.  Careful not to scorch.

Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla.  Cool to room temperature.  Cover

How to bake the perfect “Turkey”

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 fresh turkey (if frozen/thawed) 10 – 12 pounds
salt or kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 Spanish Onion (quartered)
1 head garlic halved crosswise
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Melt butter in a small saucepan.  Add 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves to the butter mixture.  Set aside.
Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out with cool water.  Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry.  Place the turkey in a large roasting pan.  Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity.  Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, quartered onion and the garlic.  Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.
( You can stuff your turkey with stuffing if you like)
Roast the turkey about 2 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the legs and thigh.  Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 minutes.
Slice the turkey and serve.

Old Fashion Potato Soup


1/4 cup butter

6 potatoes, peeled and diced

2 carrots, diced

3 cups water

2 tablespoons chicken bouillon or bouillon powder

ground black pepper and salt to taste

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

3 cups milk

1 tablespoon dried parsley

I also add fried diced bacon.


Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the onion; cook and stir until onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.

While the onions are cooking place the diced potatoes, carrots, water and chicken soup base – or vegetable base in another pot and bring to a boil.  Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Do not overcook.  Season with ground black pepper and salt to taste.

Add the flour to the cooked onions to make a paste.  Cook stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.  Gradually add the milk and stir well.  Cook over low heat stirring constantly until warmed through.  Add the potato and carrot mixture.  Stir in the parsley and thyme – also the bacon if you choose and heat through.  Serve hot.

Note;  I also add a couple tablespoons of butter, it gives it a richer taste.  And homemade bread goes great with this soup.  Enjoy!

Better Than Anything Toffee Recipe


1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup (2 sticks)
challenge unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips


Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
Spread the chopped pecans in a single layer on top of the parchment.
Add butter, sugar, and salt to a heavy bottomed 3 quart pot
Bring to a boil over medium low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.
Once the candy is boiling, stir occasionally, slowly and evenly, until the candy has reached 290F to 300F, or “hard crack” on a candy thermometer.
Once the candy has reached 290F-300F, remove from heat and gently stir in the vanilla extract.
Carefully pour the mixture over the chopped pecans.
Let the candy sit for a few minutes, undisturbed, before sprinkling the chocolate chips over the top.
Cover the baking dish with foil and let sit for 5 minutes or until the chocolate has softened.
Remove the foil and gently spread the softened chocolate into an even layer. An offset spatula works best for this.
Place the candy in the refrigerator and let cool completely. Give it at least 2 hours.
Lift the parchment out of the baking dish and place the toffee on a cutting board or solid surface.
Use a knife to gently break it into smaller pieces.
Store in an airtight container in a cool place.

Orange Dream-sicle Salad

1 box orange Jello
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1 Cool Whip 8 oz.
1 can mandarin oranges 14 oz. , drained
1 cup mini marshmallows
In a large bowl combine orange Jell-O and boiling water.
Whisk until Jello is dissolved.
Add cold water and allow to chill for 15 minutes in refrigerator.
Slowly whisk in vanilla pudding mix until smooth and chill for another 15-20 minutes or until it becomes slightly thickened.
Fold in Cool Whip, mandarin oranges and marshmallows

Frosted Pumpkin Cranberry Bars

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

3 large eggs – room temperature

1 can or 15 ounces pumpkin (or use some of your pumpkins left over from Halloween)

3/4 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

Brown Butter Frosting

1/2 cup butter

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4-6 tablespoons whole milk

Additional dried cranberries, optional


In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin and butter; stir into dry ingredients until well combined.  Stir in cranberries.

Spread into a greased 15X10 baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

For Frosting, in a large heavy saucepan – cook butter over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.  Pour into a large bowl; beat in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency.  Frost bars.  If desired sprinkle with finely chopped dried cranberries.

Nuts could be added – optional.

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

So this slow cooker roast beef is my-go-to when I want hearty comfort food.

1 cup warm water

1 tablespoon beef base

1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 boneless beef chuck roast (3 pounds)

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup butter, cubed

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt


In a 5 or 6 qt. slow cooker, whisk water and beef base; add mushrooms, onion and garlic.  Sprinkle roast with pepper; transfer to slow cooker.  Drizzle with Worcestershire sauce.  Cook roast, covered on low 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.

Remove roast to a serving platter; tent with foil.  Strain cooking juices, reserving vegetables, skim fat from cooking juices.  In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in flour and salt until smooth; gradually whisk in cooking juices.  Bring to a boil stirring constantly; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in cooked vegetables. Serve with roast.  Comfort!

Lipton Onion Soup Mix (make your own save money)

This homemade dry onion soup mix recipe is so easy to make and taste just like Lipton Onion Soup Mix.  Made with basic pantry staple spices, it’s perfect for making classic onion soup dip and seasoning many other recipes.
1/2 cup dried onion flakes
1/4 cup vegetable bouillon powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste
1/4 cup of this homemade blend = 1 foil packet of Lipton Onion Soup.  Recipe should yield 4 packets.
Mix all ingredients together and store in a glass jar or airtight container.  Store in a glass jar for up to 6 months.  Enjoy!

Au Jus Mix (make your own save money)

12 beef bouillon cubes (or 4 tbsp. beef bouillon granules)

4 tsp.  onion powder

2 tsp. parsley

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

4 tbsp. cornstarch

Place all of the above ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Process until the mixture turns into a fine powder.  Store mix in an airtight jar or Ziploc bag.

To prepare the au jus, mix 41/2 tsp. of the au jus mix with 2 cups water and heat in a medium sauce pan for about 15 minutes until heated and slightly thickened.  Serve

Note: 41/2 tsp. is equal to one McCormick French dip au jus packet that you would buy at grocery store.  Leftovers will also keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, as well leftovers can be put in freezer in inexpensive freezer containers.

No-Knead Harvest Bread


  1. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix the flours, salt, yeast, and water in a large bowl. Stir, then use your hands to bring the sticky dough together, making sure to incorporate all of the flour.
  2. Work in the fruits and nuts.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature overnight, or for at least 8 hours; it’ll become bubbly and rise quite a bit, so use a large bowl.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and form it into a log or round loaf to fit your 14″ to 15″ long lidded stoneware baker; 9″ x 12″ oval deep casserole dish with cover; or 9″ to 10″ round lidded baking crock.
  5. Place the dough in the lightly greased pan, smooth side up.
  6. Cover and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, until it’s become puffy. It should rise noticeably, but it’s not a real high-riser.
  7. Using a sharp knife, slash the bread in a crosshatch pattern. Place the lid on the pan, and put the bread in the cold oven. Set the oven temperature to 450°F, and put the bread into the oven.
  8. Bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes (start the timer when you place the bread into the cold oven). Remove the lid and continue to bake for another 5 to 15 minutes, until it’s deep brown in color, and a digital thermometer inserted into the center registers about 205°F.
  9. Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out onto a rack, and cool completely before slicing.
  10. Store the bread, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Harvest Moon Squash Soup


  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2-2½ pounds), cut in half, seeds removed
  • 1 yellow onion, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons sundried tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup cooked wild rice
  • Sea salt, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. On a large baking sheet, place the butternut squash, flesh side down, along with the onion and garlic. Dry roast until the garlic and onions are soft, about 20-30 minutes. Remove the onion and garlic and let cool about 5 minutes. Squeeze garlic out of its papery skin, remove the onion peels, and set both aside.
  3. Continue to roast the butternut squash until it is soft and can easily be pierced with a knife, about 15-25 additional minutes (45 minutes total). Remove from the oven and allow to cool 5 minutes. Scoop out the squash flesh and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, rehydrate the sundried tomatoes by soaking them in a small bowl of very hot water (about 30 minutes), drain, and set aside.
  5. Using a blender and working in batches, puree the roasted vegetables, sundried tomatoes, smoked paprika, and vegetable broth. Place the puree in a medium/large saucepan, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes to marry the flavors. Taste and season with sea salt.
  6. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish each with 1 heaping tablespoon of the cooked wild rice.

While cleaning up your garden, use some of those Zucchini.

Zucchini Boats


  • 2 medium zucchini (about 8 inches)
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste


    1. Trim the ends off zucchini. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving 1/2-in. shells. Finely chop pulp.
    2. In a skillet, cook beef, zucchini pulp, onion, mushrooms and peppers over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Remove from the heat. Add 1/2 cup cheese, ketchup, salt and pepper; mix well. Spoon into the zucchini shells. Place in a greased 13×9-in. baking dish or I place it in a shallow cookie sheet with a small amount of water. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
    3. Bake, uncovered, at 350° until zucchini is tender, 25-30 minutes.
    4. I also sometimes top with a dallop of sour cream.  Enjoy!

How To Make Good Oatmeal Using Steel Cut Oats

Steel cut oats is a super healthy way to start your day and after testing so many different flavor profiles, I found one that I love. Here is how to make good oatmeal that doesn’t suck using steel cut oats!

How to make good oatmeal? Start by adding steel cut oats, peanut butter, almond milk, and hemp hearts! This bowl of oatmeal becomes a protein-packed breakfast that’s great to eat before or after a workout or before a long day of work or school!



  1. Pour the oats and water in a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are soft.
  2. Pour cooked oats into a bowl and arrange all of your toppings on top.
  3. Top with almond milk, if desired.
  4. Start your day with energy!