Monday, January 26, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

I LOVE pumpkin bread, and the kids will eat it, too. And considering that we can count pumpkin as a vegetable, that is a good thing for all of us! This is a recipe I have modified from several others. I wanted to use the entire can of pumpkin, or otherwise the rest just goes to waste in the back of the fridge. And I added the yogurt and took out some oil from the original recipe. I also only used cinnamon, because the kids aren't big fans of other spices. And also no nuts for the same reason. The result is a simple and very moist bread.

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbl cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 large can of pumpkin (about 3 1/2 cups)
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup oil
  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease two loaf pans.
  • Mix all dry ingredients together.
  • Mix wet ingredients together.
  • Combine the two and mix well.
  • Pour into pans.
  • Bake 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack.
The second loaf will freeze well, if it lasts that long.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dairyland Rolls

I love making bread and rolls. It makes the house smell SO good, plus they are yummy. I found this recipe in The Oregonian in 1992. And now I feel really old. These go really well with a soup or a stew the first night (I have a stew in the crockpot now) and make good sandwich rolls the next day.

2 cups hot milk
6 tbl margarine or butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 packages yeast (or 5 tsp if you buy it in bulk)
7 cups flour, divided. (I usually use half whole wheat flour and half bread flour, but all purpose works, too.)
3 eggs, well beaten
1 cup grated cheese
  • To hot milk add margarine, sugar and salt. Let cool a bit so it isn't too hot for the yeast.
  • Add yeast, and let stand for 3 minutes, or until all bubbly.
  • Add 3 cups flour and beat thoroughly.
  • Add eggs and cheese, and then the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup or so at a time, until you have a soft dough.
  • Knead lightly. (I make it all in my stand mixer and let the mixer knead it for me.)
  • Let rise until double, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Punch down.
  • Shape into rolls.
  • Let rise until light. (15-20 minutes)
  • Bake on cookie sheets at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. The rolls will sound hollow when thumped when they are done.
Start to finish it takes about 2 1/2 hours.
I made it into 27 rolls (12 on a cookie sheet and 15 in a 9x13) and they were big rolls.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cinnamon Balls or Snickerdoodles

This recipe if from a cookbook called 1001 Cookies. The recipe I originally made was called Cinnamon Balls and I noted "Very good! Fluffier than snickerdoodles. Very easy dough to handle." After I wrote those notes it occurred to me to check the snickerdoodle recipe in the same book, and the recipe is identical. So I guess we are down to 1000 cookie recipes in that book! But since they are fluffy hopefully they will be what Marla is looking for in a snickerdoodle.

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Cinnamon Sugar:
3 tbl sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat over to 350. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl cream the shortening and sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.

Combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish.

Pinch off 1 inch pieces of dough and roll into balls. Roll in cinnamon sugar and place 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheets.

Bake for 10-14 minutes, until lightly colored. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

My little helpers. I wanted to point out the cookie scoop on top of the bowl of cinnamon sugar. I LOVE using it when making cookies. For drop cookies it makes the perfect size straight onto the cookie sheet. And for rolled cookies they are also uniform, and practically in balls already. I also have a bigger size that I use when making muffins, and scoop the batter straight into the muffin tin.


Hey, does anyone have a great snickerdoodle recipe? I made some out of my Better Homes and Garden, cook everything cook book... and they were good, but a little thin. I like a slightly "cakier" snickerdoodle. Or at least one that doesn't wind up super thin...

Aunt Selma's Macaroni Mess

Since I just put on Lucas' Aunt Selma's mondel bread, I think it's only fitting that I now put on "macaroni mess", one of Lucas' favorite meals. Lucas is such a "foodie" but he loves this stuff! It reheats really well too. Think of a "healthier" less greasy form of hamburger helper.

Make a box of macaroni, drain.
Brown a pound of beef, drain the grease.
Open a "regular" size can of tomato sauce
Open a "regular" size can of tomato chunks or cubes or dices
Grate about two-three handfuls of cheddar cheese

Into a 9x13, dump the macaroni, the ground beef, all of the tomato cubes, and about 75% of the sauce (you could use it all, but we don't like it too saucy, but without it, it's too dry for my taste)
Add the cheese and stir all together.

Place in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes, or until hot.

Selma puts mushrooms in hers... I prefer to omit the fungus.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sour Cream and Dijon

I've been experimenting with different sauces and dressings of my own creation. So I decided to begin a new category.

Tonight, on top of baked fish (mahi mahi to be exact), I put the following sauce.

1/4 cup light sour cream
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp pepper

Combine and apply. A nice amout of zing.

Viva La Chicken Tortilla Casserole

As requested by Anne, a favorite Mother Oshel recipe.

(Make a day ahead of time to allow flavors to blend.)

5 whole chicken breasts
1 dozen corn tortillas
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 can/ jar green salsa sauce
1 onion, chopped & sauteed
1 pound cheddar cheese, grated

Wrap chicken in foil, 2-3 in a package.
Bake 1 hour at 400 degrees.
Cool. De-bone. Cut into bite sized pieces.
Save 3/4 -1 cup of the broth.

Mix soup, milk, salsa, and onion.

Cut tortillas into 6 pieces each.

Butter a 9x13 inch casserole.
Spread 6 tortillas on the bottom & spoon over some of the broth.
Place 1/2 the chicken on the tortillas.
Pour 1/2 the sauce over.
Sprinkle with 1/2 of the grated cheese.
Repeat layers.
Cover with foil & refrigerate overnight.
Day of service, bake 1 hour at 300 degrees, uncovered.

(1/2 of recipe fits well into smaller casserole)

Aunt Selma's Mondel Bread

Mondel bread is very similar to biscotti... except Jewish. It's very easy, and wonderful to put in the freezer and pull out a piece or two (or three) when you need it.

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
6 oz chopped nuts**
6 oz chocolate bits *
3 cups flour

cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling

Mix oil, sugar eggs, baking powder, vanilla, nuts and chocolate chips.
Fold in one cup of flour at a time.
Grease cookie sheet with butter
divide dough into 3 loaves. Place on cookie sheet, leave room between loaves.
Bake for 30 minutes @ 350
Remove from oven, let cool until you can hold pan
Slice into 1/2 inch slices, lay out on cookie sheet.
return to oven until light brown (about 15 minutes)
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

**I don't add nuts, rather double the chocolate
* Allie uses mini chips, I find if you use full size chocolate chips, use a little less than 12 ounces. (I know it sounds silly to use less, but really, it's true)

Monday, January 19, 2009


The egg-o-muffin is a critical part of the Willamette University experience. I ordered this meal at least once a week at the "Cat Cavern" diner where my friends and I would always eat lunch. The big draw was that they served breakfast all day.

to prepare this must-have staple, cut an English muffin into 2 and put the two sides face down on the pan, fry in margarine or oil. This is a crucial step. If you just toast them in the toaster you miss that crispy yet greasy goodness part. Meanwhile, scramble an egg in a bowl, then fry thin and flat. Fold it over to fit the English muffin and add a slice of cheese on top. (To melt the cheese faster, take the lid from a large pan and place it on top of the egg for a few moments.) Put the sandwich all together, and don't forget the hash browns on the side... the other important part of the egg-o-muffin meal!

It's a breakfast fit for a princess...

Risotto with Sweet Italian Sausage

I based this recipe off of one called Risotto with Sweet Italian Sausage and Radicchio from the free Costco cookbook. But then I realized that radicchio was $8 a pound, for a funny little cabbage, and decided to pass. But even without it the risotto was absolutely delicious!

2 tbl olive oil
5 links sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings (I found a turkey sausage)
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups rice - (recipe originally called for Arborio, I had Calrose (in the giant yellow bag from Costco))
1/2 cup dry white wine - (I only had chardonnay. Is that dry?)
6-8 cups chicken broth (I used 2 cans of broth and then made the rest with bouillon cubes)
2 tbl butter
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a big pot over medium heat. Add sausage and onion, breaking up the sausage, until sausage is cooked.

Add rice and stir until rice is hot, 3-5 minutes. Add wine and stir until dry.

Add 2 cups broth and cook, stirring often, until rice absorbs liquid. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring often. After it absorbs each time add more, until rice is creamy but still slightly al dente, taking 15-20 minutes. (I only needed 6 cups of broth. )

Remove from the heat and cover for 8 minutes. Stir in butter and Parmesan vigorously. Serve immediately.

Makes a lot!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Taquito Brunch Skillet

This recipe came out of "In the Kitchen: The Costco Way," which Costco was handing out for free the day after Thanksgiving. I made it for lunch today, and it was SO good! We had spicy taquitos in the freezer, so I figured it was a bit much for the kids, so they got good old scrambled eggs instead. And we all had some of the cinnamon muffins posted below.

2 Tbl olive oil or butter
2 cups potatoes, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup diced onions
10 taquitos, thawed and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup salsa (Since we had spicy taquitos I doubled the tomatoes and skipped the salsa)
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup olives (I skipped)
2 eggs
1 cup shredded cheese (calls for Mexican blend, I just used cheddar)

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and onions and fry until potatoes are soft and onions translucent. (The recipe said 2 minutes, but it took MUCH longer for my potatoes to cook.)

Add diced taquitos, celery, salsa, tomatoes and olives. Cook until heated through.

Break eggs into a bowl and wisk. Add cheese and stir. Pour mixture into skillet.

Cook until eggs are done and serve immediately.

Garnish with fried onions or bacon bits or cilantro if desired.

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

This recipe is out of a muffin cookbook that Marla and Lucas sent for my birthday. Every recipe out of it has been a winner so far! At least for the taste, probably not for the diet... :)

1 3/4 cups self-rising flour***
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 superfine sugar (I used standard issue)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
7 tbl butter, melted

Cinnamon Sugar:
2 tsp cinnamon
6 tbl brown sugar

***If you don't have self-rising flour substitute 1 3/4 cups regular flour, plus 2 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Either grease or line with paper muffin cups 10 muffin cups of a muffin pan. (I did the paper cups because the kids like them, but wish I had just sprayed them. It made it hard to swirl later on.)
  • Mix up the cinnamon sugar and set aside.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl mix egg, milk, and melted butter.
  • Add wet to the dry all at once and mix just until combined.
  • Put a tablespoon full of batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle with a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Add more batter, more cinnamon sugar, and finish with a layer of batter. Use a skewer or a sharp knife and swirl the mixtures around to get a marbled look.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until risen and golden. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then cool on a wire rack. Serve either warm or cool.
This is a picture of mine after the layering, but before the swirling:

Hot Beef Sandwiches with Au Jus

4# rump roast (the one I had was just under 3, and still worked fine)
2 envelopes onion soup mix
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cans beef broth (I used chicken, worked fine)
1 bottle beer (I read somewhere the lighter the better for crockpot recipes)

Place beef in crock pot. Stir together everything else and pour on top.

Cover and cook on high 6-8 hours, or until fork tender.
(Mine was definitely done at the 6 hour mark, although I did have a smaller roast.)

Remove beef and shred with two forks. Return beef to cooking liquid and mix well.
(I pulled a bunch of the liquid out, and left maybe a cup or two to stir into the beef.)

Serve on rolls and dunk into extra au jus.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Taco Pie

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 (1 1/4 oz.) env. taco seasoning mix
3/4 c. Bisquick
Shredded lettuce
Sliced ripe olives
1 1/4 c. milk
3 beaten eggs
1 c. shredded processed cheese
1 diced tomato

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 8 x 8 inch square dish with Pam. In skillet, brown beef and onion; drain well. Stir in taco mix; spoon into dish. Beat with wire whisk Bisquick, milk, and eggs. Pour over beef. Bake 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 2-3 additional minutes until cheese melts. Cool 5 minutes. Cut into squares. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and olives. 6 to 8 servings.

Nana's Shortbread

This recipe comes from my mom's mom, however it was actually brought over

with the family from England. It's simple, quick, and delicious.

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 pound butter

2 cups flower

Knead with hands, roll into a "tube," cover roll with wax paper and chill in fridge for at least an hour. Then cut into cookie size circles and bake at 300 degrees for 25-35 minutes.

You can also freeze the dough for later.

Sweet, buttery goodness.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuna Boats

So easy, even a 5-year-old can do it (obviously)
1. Take the rolls left by someone from last weekend's dinner party, cut each in half
2. Spread tuna/mayo mix on each
3. Cover each with a slice of cheese
4. Broil for 5 min or as crispy as you want

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Banana Bread Pie

We always get bananas at Costco because they are such a good deal. The only problem is that they are usually pretty green, and then seem to turn quickly, so that we have a 2 or 3 day window to eat a dozen bananas. We usually come pretty close, but luckily the kids all love banana bread! I found this recipe the other day for Banana Bread Pie and decided to give it a whirl. It is baking in the oven now, and sure does smell good!

2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup bisquick
2 eggs
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbl butter or marg., melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees
  • Spray a 9 inch pie pan
  • Place the bananas in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low for about a minute, or until they are smooth.
  • Stop the machine and add the bisquick, eggs, milk, butter and vanilla.
  • Beat on low until well blended, 1 - 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Pour the batter into the pie pan.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes, or until well caramelized on the top and firm around the edge, but still a little soft in the middle.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes before slicing. Store at room temp for up to a day, otherwise put into the fridge.
Final review after dessert tonight: It was pretty sweet and the banana flavor was really strong. So I really liked it, and Nathanael wasn't a big fan. Bananas are one of the few foods he doesn't really care for, though, so this wasn't surprising. The kids really enjoyed it, though!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pizza Pasta Casserole

When I make casseroles I often double the recipe and freeze one for a later date. It doesn't take any extra work, and is SO nice on those days when 4pm rolls around and I have NO idea what to make for dinner. I actually found this recipe when I was searching for some new casserole ideas that I could make and freeze before the baby was born. It makes a lot, enough for 2 large casseroles (9x13) or 4 smaller ones. I ended up freezing one 9x13 and one 8x8, and then eating one 8x8 right away.

Ingredients: (Quantities are enough to make the double batch)

2 pounds ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tbl olive oil
2 26 oz jars of spaghetti sauce
16 ounces rotini pasta, cooked and drained
5 cups shredded mozzarella
8 oz sliced pepperoni

  • Brown beef, onion, garlic and oil together. Drain if needed.
  • Stir in pasta, sauce, and 3 cups of the cheese.
  • Place mixture into greased pans (see above for size choices)
  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese
  • Top with pepperoni
To cook now, bake at 350 for 24-30 minutes.

To freeze, cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. (Or when you forget to thaw the night before just bake it for longer.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Shrimp Pasta

I know this one will look much like the Chicken Pasta. But really, it IS different. A little faster to make, as there is less prep work.

1 bag frozen shrimp. Cooked and de-tailed, if you can find. Medium sized.
1 box pasta
1 can diced tomatoes
Lemon Juice
Corn starch

Optional ingredients: frozen peas, white wine, feta cheese

Cook up the pasta. Drain.

I ususally begin to thaw the shrimp by running them under warm water first.
In a skillet, combine shrimp, a few squirts of lemon juice, and pepper (to taste). As it begins warming, add tomatoes (drained or undrained, you pick) and any of the optional ingredients. Heat.

I find the sauce part usually is watery/ runny from the water coming off the shrimp and peas as they thaw, so I add corn starch (as described on the box) to thicken up.

Plate - pasta. Shrimp mix on top. Ymmmm.

Serves 4 adults easily.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


This seems to have become a day after Christmas tradition at our house. The recipe originally comes from Joe & Deb Meeuwsen (Jill, Anne, & Katie, taught/teach with Deb's sister at Kennedy). We all have our favorite toppings for the soup. Mine is cheddar cheese (Tillamook Cheddar, of course), Jon's is sour cream, Lucas & Doug each load their bowl up with Fritos. More Fritos than soup, I swear.

This is the Recipe as it came from Joe & Deb:
2# hamburger
2 15oz cans black beans
2 cans corn
2 14oz petite diced tomatoes
2 8oz cans tomato sauce
2 pkg Taco Bell Taco Seasonings
1 cup water to thin, if needed

1.25# pkg of lean ground turkey (cooked/crumbled/drained)
3 or 4 cans of beans (2 black, then kidney, chili, red, or pinto)
(I drain the black beans & pinto, but not the red or kidney)
2 cans corn, drained (Jon really likes the corn)
Same diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, taco seasoning as above.
I rinse out my cans with a little water and add the water to the soup.
The amt of water you add determines if you have a brothy soup (as I like) or a thicker soup.

Then just let it simmer and and let the aroma fill the house!
Everyone that has tried this soup has liked it!

Overnight Blueberry French Toast

This recipe comes from The Ashley Inn in Cascade,ID. The hotel looks big and modern on the outside, but inside is full of quaint & beautiful antiques. Each room is decorated in a different theme. They are famous for their breakfast buffet. This dish was so delicious that I have to admit I went back for 2nds (and 3rds). I asked for the recipe and they were gracious enough to mail it to me.

12 slices day-old bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup fresh blueberries (OK to use frozen)
12 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup maple syrup

1. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. arrange half the bread cubes in the dish,
and top with cream cheese cubes. Sprinkle 1 cup blueberries over the cream
cheese, and top with remaining bread cubes.
2. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla & maple syrup. Pour over the bread
cubes. Cover & refrigerate overnight.
3. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 25-30 minutes more, until center is
firm and surface is lightly brown.

SAUCE: Start when there is about 20 minutes left on casserole timer:

1 cup white sugar
2 Tbl cornstarch
1 cup water
1 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries
1 Tbl butter

In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, cook 3-4 minutes. Mix in the remaining 1 cup blueberries. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes until the blueberries burst. Stir in the butter. Pour over the baked french toast.








Ham and Cheese Pie

This recipe is from the Dinner Doctor cookbook, although I'm sure versions of it are in many Bisquick cookbooks as well. It could easily be adapted for whatever you wanted to put into the bottom, and is a great way to use up leftovers, too. It almost tastes like a quiche, but has a nice crust on the top, too. I won't name names, but 2 out of 3 kids (of dinner eating age) loved it. One poked at his plate and chatted about Cars.

Grease pie plate and place in the bottom:
1 1/2 cups cubed ham
1 cup cheese (I used cheddar. Tillamook, of course.)

Mix together and pour on top:
1/2 cup bisquick
1 cup milk
2 large eggs

Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and the top is firm to the touch. Let sit at least 5 minutes before serving.

Chicken, Veggie, Pasta toss together

I cook up some version of this about once a month. It's quite flexible and easy, so pick your own ingredients! This is the way I made it tonight. Well, actually, this is the way I think I should have been made . . . some adjustments were necessary.

16 oz of bow tie pasta.
Yellow & Orange bell pepper
Marinade (tonight I used Lawrey's Italian Garlic)
2 cans (15 oz?) diced tomatoes
2+ chicken breasts
Olive oil
"Fresh" Parmesan cheese

Dice the onion. Put a little olive oil in a big skillet, and saute the onions a good long time.

Cut the bell peppers and zucchini into bite size pieces. Put in a bowl. Pour some of the marinade over them, so they are reasonably coated. Add to the skillet (with the now well sauteed onions). Saute until no longer crunchy.

Return veggies to bowl when done sauteing.

Slice up the chicken breasts into fat strips. Put into the skillet. Cover with marinade. Thoroughly cook. Remove from skillet and 'shred' the chicken. (I find you get more bites with chicken in them this way.) Save the extra juices that are in the skillet.

Drain cans of tomatoes.

Add veggies, chicken, and tomatoes all together in the skillet and heat on low.

Cook up the pasta (I'm assuming in a big pot here). This could have been done earlier, but I only have one big burner . . .

Drain pasta. Return to big pot. Assuming the veggie mix is now hot, add to pasta. Stir to mix.

Serve up! Garnish with parm. cheese.

Easily serves 4 adults. Possibly more.

Simple Veggie Quesedilla

I think this is a "grown up" version of the cheese quesedilla from childhood. It's quick, easy and one of Lucas' favorites! It's not a "real" recipe, rather, an idea for a simple quick dinner. Last night I made this variety:

saute up some spinach, let cool a bit and then squeeze the liquid out of it
saute onion and red pepper until soft
(also really tasty with a roasted red pepper. For that place the red pepper on foil on a cookie sheet. Place into 425 degree oven, rotate pepper every 10 minutes or so, until edges are blackened. Place pepper into bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool. Now you can peel off the skin easily, de-seed the peppers. You are left with a yummy roasted pepper.)

I used flour tortillas, sprinkled some cheese and then added my veggies. Broiled on each side until slightly browned.
Garnish with sour cream and salsa. QUICK, EASY, YUMMY.

Also good with chicken.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Baked Cod

I "know" Suzi will like this one. Feeds 3 adults.

1 pound cod (fresh/frozen) from the fish section of the grocery store.
Bread crumbs (this time around I used Progresso Parmesean Crumbs) - about 1 cup.
1 egg.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut cod into fairly even size pieces. Mine ended up being about 2 inches by 3 inches, but it would vary based on the type of cut you get with the fish.

Line cookie sheet with foil. Lightly spray with "Pam".

Beat the egg in a bowl. Put bread crumbs in another bowl.
Dip each fish piece in the egg to coat it.
Roll fish piece in bread crumbs.
Put on cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish is flakey.

Yummy, and good for you.

And since I don't like tartar sauce, I made my own sauce. Dijon mustard, small amount of mayo, and milk, whisked together.

Had rice and salad as side dishes to round out the meal.

Potato Soups

I LOVE potato soup. My favorite food at Olive Garden is their Zuppa Toscano soup. My favorite at Marie Callendar's is their cheddar potato, and even in my vegetarian days I would request that we eat out at Stuart Anderson's Cattle Company because I adored their baked potato soup. So I've tried a few recipes for potato soup in my days. I don't know that these are the best, but they are the most recent.

The first is for a chowder and is based on a recipe called "Sunday Night Potato Chowder" from the cookbook "The Dinner Doctor." (A great Christmas gift!) It was quick and easy, and used ingredients I generally always have on hand.

  • 4 slices of bacon-cooked and cut up (I had extra ham on hand, so used it instead. I know Jill and Marla will have this problem often, too.)
  • 4 cups frozen tator tots
  • 1/2 cup or so of diced onions
  • 1 can of corn (drained), or 1 cup frozen
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 can chicken broth

Put the tator tots into a big pot and cook on low heat, stirring around, until thawed a bit. Add the corn, onions, ham, milk and broth. Cook over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer at least 15 minutes, or until tots are soft. They will mash up as you stir the soup.

The second is for a baked potato soup.


1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cans chicken broth
6 large potatoes
1 cup sour cream
  1. Cook the potatoes until done, either in microwave or the oven.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the butter and flour over medium heat. When it has thickened a bit blend in the milk and broth slowly. Leave this cooking over low-medium heat while you work on the potatoes. (If I have any extra onions or celery around I often add them, too, cooking them in the butter before adding the flour and milk.)
  3. Peel the potatoes and cut up about half and mash the other half. Add to the soup.
  4. Add sour cream and serve.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bread Pudding

And speaking of new year's eve, here's the recipe WE brought. It's a bread pudding dessert we got from Anton's cousin Jennifer. It's seriously one of the best desserts I've ever had!
(Especially good with vanilla ice cream!)

White and Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding with Irish Cream Sauce

2 cups whipping cream
6 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons water

Bread pudding
14 cups 3/4-inch cubes French bread with crust (about 12 ounces)
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces imported white chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

For sauce:
Bring cream, liqueur, sugar, and vanilla to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Mix cornstarch and 2 teaspoons water in small bowl to blend; whisk into cream mixture. Boil until sauce thickens, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Cool, then cover and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

For bread pudding:
Combine bread, chocolate, and white chocolate in large bowl; toss to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla in another large bowl to blend. Gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups cream and milk. Add cream mixture to bread mixture; stir to combine. Let stand 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Transfer bread mixture to prepared dish, spreading evenly. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup cream. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake pudding until edges are golden and custard is set in center, about 1 hour. Cool pudding slightly.Drizzle bread pudding with sauce and serve warm.

Marla's Maple Pecan Squares

These aren't actually my creation, rather it's from my new William's and Sonoma Essentials of Baking. A Christmas gift that has been wonderful! I made them last night, and while we are still waiting for the "official" verdict from Lucas' co-workers, my square was wonderful! They were pretty easy to make too!

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the filling:
6 T unsalted butter
1/3 c pure maple syrup
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x9 pan with foil, then butter the foil. (I'm sure you could omit the foil step, but it made it really easy to remove from pan and cut)

For crust:
  • mix together dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter to cut in butter until you have coarse, pea size crumbs.
  • Press crumb mixture into bottom of pan.
  • Bake for 12-17 minutes, until top feels firm when lightly touched.
  • set aside

For filling:

  • in saucepan, over medium heat, combine butter, syrup, brown sugar.
  • Stir, bring to boil. Boil for ONE minute
  • remove from heat, and immediately stir in cream
  • Then stir in pecans
  • Pour into 9x9

Back until the filling is set when you give a gentle shake, about 22-25 minutes.

Set on cooling rack for 1.5 hours.

When you take it out, it will still be bubbling hot. don't' touch it! (it hurts)

Now you can lift up the foil, nicely remove the yummy and cut into squares.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Anne's First Contribution: a new curry recipe

Hey-- this blog is a great idea! I hope Suzi doesn't mind some guest contributors. I just discovered a new recipe that I thought I'd post. At the new year's eve party we attended this year, the theme was "bring your favorite new recipe from the past year." Our friends Scott and Kristine brought this one. Not perhaps as kid friendly, but maybe a savory dish for date night? I think Jill will agree with me that it was delicious!

Kristine's Curried tofu with tomatoes

2 c chopped onions
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 t salt
2 T vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 1/2 T grated peeled ginger root
2 T commercial curry powder or garam masala*
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 cake firm tofu (about 16 oz), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes*
black pepper and hot sauce

In a large saucepan with a lid, cook the onions, peppers, and salt in the oil on medium-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, and tofu. Cover and cook on medium-low heat , stirring frequently, for 5 minutes (I find that you can't really go for 5 minutes, because it the pan is usually getting a bit too hot and spices are starting to burn. I usually just add these ingredients, give it a stir and go on). Add the tomatoes, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Occasionally stir gently. Add black pepper or hot sauce to taste.

* I usually use Sun Brand Madras Curry Powder which comes in a kind of rectangle metal can. I tried it using Spice Hunter brand curry powder, and it turned out a bit too hot and spicy and not as much flavor. If you have a curry powder you like, go for it. But you might be careful and maybe add half and give it a taste before using the full amount.

Coconut rice

1 1/2 c white rice (I usually use basmati - brown doesn't seem to work that well)
1/2 t tumeric
1/2 t salt
1 t vegetable oil
1 1/2 c water
3/4 c coconut milk

Rinse and drain the rice. In a saucepan on medium-high heat, saute the rice, turmeric, and salt in the oil for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Add the water and coconut milk, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid absorbed, 15-20 minutes.

* Both recipes from Moosewood Restaurant's Simple Suppers cookbook

Orange Tapioca Pudding Salad (or Dessert)

This is an easy salad with simple ingredients and has always been received with "umms."

1 small box of orange jello
1 small box (same size as small jello) of tapioca pudding
1 small box regular vanilla pudding (not instant)
2 small cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 - 8 ounce container Cool Whip

Combine jello, tapioca and pudding packets in a saucepan with 3 cups of cold water. Bring to a gentle boil on fairly low heat. Cook another 10 minutes keeping watch and stirring while it thickens. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool before adding the drained oranges and gently folding in the cool whip. Refrigerate about 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!
You'll see what I mean about serving as a dessert :)

Oreo Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake for Nathanael's 30th birthday back in September. It was very tasty!

  • 1 package (1 pound, 2 ounces) Oreos - divided
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs

1-Read through recipe carefully
2-Preheat oven to 325 for a silver spring form pan, or 350 for a dark non-stick pan

3-Place 30 cookies into the food processor and process 30-45 seconds or until finely ground. Cover your ears, it might get loud!

4-Add butter and mix well. Stare in horror as your cookies are being destroyed.
5-Press firmly into the bottom of the pan.

6-Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Lick the beaters.
7-Chop of the remaining cookies and stir 1 1/2 cups of the cookies into the batter. Pour over crust. Sprinkle with remaining chopped cookies (less the ones that have been eaten in the last few minutes.)

8-Bake 1 hour, or until center is almost set. Run small knife around rim of pan to loosen cake. Cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.


If you don't have a spring form pan you can use a 9x13 pan. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Overnight Rolls

Overnight Rolls

Mom has made these for Christmas morning as long as I can remember. They are so simple to make and tasty! A real kid pleaser, too.
  • Rhodes frozen white rolls. You'll need 24, but the packages come in bigger or smaller amounts.
  • 1 small package butterscotch pudding mix. (Recipe officially calls for "cook and serve," but instant will work, too.)
  • 1 cube margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 chopped walnuts or pecans (I usually skip so the kids will eat them)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Put frozen rolls in the bottom of a bundt pan, in one layer.
  2. Sprinkle dry pudding mix over the rolls
  3. Melt butter and sugar together and pour over the rolls
  4. Sprinkle with nuts and then cinnamon
  5. Cover with towel and let rise overnight. (I've also turned the oven to warm, then turned it off and put the rolls inside and they are ready in a few hours.)
  6. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. If they start getting too dark cover with foil.
  7. Invert onto a plate and enjoy!

Fire & Ice Brunch Bake

I'll start with what I made for lunch this afternoon!

Fire & Ice Brunch Bake

1 cup uncooked rice
12 oz ground sausage
3/4 c salsa
1/2 c sour cream
1 1/2 c cheddar cheese - shredded
6 eggs
salt and pepper
  1. Cook the rice.
  2. Crumble and cook the sausage.
  3. In a big bowl stir together cooked rice and sausage. Add salsa and sour cream. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese.
  4. Spread mixture into greased 9x13.
  5. Using a 1/4 cup metal measuring cup make 6 indentations into the rice mixture
  6. Break one egg into each indentation.
  7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  8. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
  9. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
  10. Bake an additional 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melty and eggs are set.
I served this with Mom's overnight roll recipe, which I'll post next.

Look What I Cooked!

Welcome to "Look What I Cooked!"

I know the hardest part of making dinner for me is deciding what to make. I envision this blog to be a place where we can share fun and tasty new recipes with each other. It doesn't have to be just for dinner, either. Desserts are always welcome, too! Or anything else for that matter, although don't expect too many veggie recipes from me. :) So let me know what you have cooked recently!

I would LOVE to have as many contributors as possible. Let me know if you are interested and I'll add you as a contributor and you can post directly. Or if you aren't comfortable with that you can also just email me new recipes.

Looking forward to a tasty new blog together!