Monday, December 27, 2010

Tuna Pasta Salad

This salad is a recipe from my grandma Mimi.  She used to make this every Christmas and served it in the exact same bowl every year.  The same bowl I serve it in now. I like it most of all because it reminds me of her, but also because it is so tasty and a change of pace from all the heavy holiday foods.  It is also great for several days after when you have had it up to your ears in sweets!  Mimi was very special to me and I'm glad that every year at Christmas this recipe (and bowl!) reminds me of her.

Tuna Pasta Salad
From: Mimi

1 large can tuna (drained)
3 - 4 celery stalks (diced)
1/2 onion (diced)
1/2 green pepper (diced)
radishes for color (optional - I didn''t use them)
6-8 hard boiled eggs (chopped)
1 box small shells (boiled and drained)
1 small can baby peas
Mayo (to taste and consistency)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix together all ingredients adding the boiled eggs and peas last.

2. Refrigerate for several hours. Sprinkle paprika on the top if desired and serve!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Avocado Special Delivery

I received a very special delivery from my Brother 3 days before Christmas.  He got a big box of avocados straight from the grower and sent me about 10 of them!  What an excellent Christmas surprise.  I love avocados but we usually don't see any good ones around here during the cold winter. The first one was ripe enough to eat on Christmas and you better believe this week will be jammed packed full of avocados for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Thanks David! What a great and generous surprise!

Also - here is a picture of Buckley digging into her Christmas stocking yesterday!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Peanut Butter Bars

 One of my favorite Christmas treats my mom used to make was Peanut Butter Bars.  I love peanut butter and chocolate and this is like an entire pan of Reese's Peanut Butter cups, so of course I would love these. This was one of the recipes I included in my 5th grade recipe book that I mentioned in the last post

 The picture I drew to go with the recipe was very high quality (I also love the greasy PB finger smudges - you can tell this recipe is well loved even if the picture stinks!).

 I think it is supposed to be me with an apron on and 2 people grabbing for the last peanut butter bar.  Although it looks a lot like they are reaching for the knife and what looks like a scissors (I think it is supposed to be a spatula).  I guess we can all see why I didn't become a world famous artist!

Peanut Butter Bars
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups peanut butter
1 lb powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter

1.  Spray a cookie sheet with PAM. Mix together 1/2 cup melted butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and brown sugar together and spread on cookie sheet.

2. Refrigerate 15 - 30 min.  

3.  Melt chocolate chips and 2 Tbsp butter together and spread on top. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Frosted Mint Bars

When I was in 5th Grade, our class all brought in our favorite recipes and made a cookbook for a fundraiser.  Ths is one of the recipes I always liked from the book.  I think they are perfect for this time of year with the green frosting and mint flavor.

When my mom gave me this book a while back it was fun looking though all the recipes, but was most entertaining was the pictures we all drew with them.   I'll post a picture from one of my recipes next time... it is a real winner.

Frosted Mint Bars
From: Ricky Fairbarin - 5th grade recipe book

1 Cup Sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1 tsp Vanilla
2 eggs
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter softened
1/8 cup milk
1/4 tsp peppermint
green food coloring
1 square unsweetened chocolate

1. Mix sugar and butter, vanilla, & eggs.  Add other Bar ingredients.   Stir until creamy.

2. Pour into greased 8x8 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Let cool. 

3. Frosting: Mix Powdered sugar with butter.  Then add milk and peppermint and mix.  Add 3 drops of green food coloring.  Spread over brownies (once they are cool).  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

4. Melt square of unsweetened chocolate and then drizzle over Bars.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

No-Bake cookies

I got this recipe from my friend Madison at work.  They are tasty, and easy and I like the oatmeal in them!

No-Bake Cookies 
From: Sara Major

2 cups sugar
4 Tbsp cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
waxed paper

1. In a heavy sauce pan bring to a boil the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk.

2. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter and vanilla.  Once that is mixed, add oatmeal.

3.  On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by the teaspoonfuls, until cooled and hardened.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Three Bean Salad

When Green Beans were in season, I was interested in trying this recipe for 3 bean Salad from Ashley.  I took her advice and actually made it a 4 beans salad and added a can of Garbanzo Beans.  I love Garbanzos and thought it went nicely with this salad.  It was very refreshing!

Three Bean Salad 
From: Ashley

1 can of green beans (drained) or 12 ounces of fresh green beans (cooked and cooled)
1 can of yellow beans (drained) or 12 ounces of fresh yellow beans
1 can red kidney beans (drained)
1 can of Garbanzo beans (drained)
1 green pepper, cut into long strips
1 sweet onion, cut into strips about the same size as the green pepper
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Place beans, green pepper, and onion in a bowl. 

Blend sugar, vinegar and vegetable oil and pour over veggies. Let stand overnight.  


Friday, November 26, 2010

After Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

This Thanksgiving I wanted to make some turkey stock. We boiled the Turkey carcass in a large pot with water, onions, and celery for about 3-4 hours.  Afterward, I looked for a good turkey soup recipe and found this one.  It looked pretty easy and all the reviews sang praises for it so I though I would give it a try.  I didn't follow the first step since I already made my own stock, but this seems nice and quick if you haven't made your own yet.  I did take some of the suggestions and cut down on the butter, flour, and cream and added corn.  I think it turned out really well!  The pictures were all from the first day of soup, and I have to say the second day the soup was even better than the first! I will definitely make this soup again!

(that giant container of stock is only about half of the stock we got from the turkey carcass)

 After Thanksgiving Turkey Soup
From All Recipes

1 leftover turkey carcass
2-3 medium onions, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup flour
1-2 cups half and half cream
2 cups uncooked long grain rice
2 tsp salt
1 tsp chicken bouillon granules (if desired)
3/4 tsp pepper

1. Place Turkey carcass in a soup kettle or dutch oven and cover with water.  Bring toa boil.  reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or more.  Remove carcass and set aside 3 qt. broth.  Remove turkey from bones and cut into bite-sized pieces; set aside.

2.  In a soup kettle or Dutch oven, saute the onions, carrtos, and celery in butter until tender.  Reduce heat; stir flour until blended.  gradually add 1 qt. of reserved broth.  Bring to a bowl; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

3. Add rice, salt, bouillon, pepper, remaining broth and reserved turkey.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until rice is tender.  Add the cream during the last 10 minutes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cranberry Sauce

This year for Thanksgiving I wanted to make homemade cranberry sauce.  Since this was my first time making it, I decided to go with a traditional simple recipe I found on allrecipes.  It was delicious and very easy.  I will definitely make this every Thanksgiving, although I might try different variations.  I love the idea of pomegranate juice and seeds in the mix.  so that will probably be the variation I try next.

Cranberry Sauce

From All Recipes

1 bag (12 oz bag) Cranberries
1 cup Orange juice (or any other juice)
1 cup white sugar

1.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice. Stir in the cranberries and cook until the cranberries start to pop (10-20 minutes).

2. Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl or jar. Completely cool at room temperature then chill in refrigerator.  Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Note:  You can add many different things to the sauce - orange zest, raisins, currants, blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates, etc.  Some spices can be added as well: cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

French Toast Bites

When I saw this recipe for French Toast Bites on Tasty Kitchen, I knew I wanted to give it a try.  I thought they might be too sweet for Bill (who doesn't like anything too sweet for breakfast), but I'm glad that they turned out not to bee too sweet at all.  They mainly just tasted like little bits of French toast with a little bit more flavor.  I really liked them and they were pretty easy to make.

French Toast Bites
From crystalcozykitchen via TastyKitchen

6 slices bread
3 Eggs
3 Tbsp Milk
2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Butter, plus more to taste
Maple syrup to taste

1. Cut bread into bite-sized pieces (can use ends of bread)

2.  In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar until combined.  Toss bread cubes into egg mixture to coat.

3. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add coated bread cubes and cook until well done.

4. Serve with melted butter and syrup.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spaghetti Squash - 2 ways


I had never made or even tried Spaghetti Squash before, but I have seen plenty of recipes especially this fall.  I decided to branch out when Spaghetti squash was on sale and I tried 2 different recipes.  The first recipe I tried was a sweet one with maple syrup from the Pioneer Woman.  The other one I made was more savory... it was Squash and Cheese from How Sweet It Is.  Both were tasty in their own way, however I had a hard time getting used to the texture of the squash. If you like spaghetti squash, you should definitely give these recipes a try!

Spaghetti Squash w/ Maple Syrup and Shallots
From Pioneer Woman and How Sweet It Is

1 medium Spaghetti Squash
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 shallot, finely minced
1/8 cup maple syrup
dash of salt
dash of nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce spaghetti squash a few times with a sharp knife.  Place on a cookie sheet and back for 1 hour

2. Cut squash in half.  Scoop out and discard seeds and slimy pulp.  Scrape out the rest of the squash with a fork.  Place in a bowl and keep warm.

3. In a large skillet, melt butter.  Cook shallots over medium heat for 2 minutes or until soft.  reduce heat and add maple syrup. Cook for a minute, then remove from heat.  Stir in salt.  Pour mixture over squash.  Sprinkle on nutmeg and mix together gently.  Serve warm.

Squash and Cheese

1 spaghetti squash
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp four
1 cup skim milk
1/3 cup shredded cheese (I used Parmesan)
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to tast
basil with garnish (if desired)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce spaghetti squash a few times with a sharp knife.  Place on a cookie sheet and back for 1 hour

2. Cut squash in half.  Scoop out and discard seeds and slimy pulp.  Scrape out the rest of the squash with a fork.  Place in a bowl and keep warm.

3.  Combine butter and flour in a skillet over medium heat.  Whisk to make a roux, add milk and nutmeg and stir in cheese.  Turn heat to low and constantly stir until thickened. pour cheese sauce over top, combining.  Season with salt and pepper and top with fresh basil if desired

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Scalloped Corn

I tried this recipe from my friend Ashley last year, but never posted it.  Since I am a sucker for anything with corn,  I really liked this creamy dish.  I wanted to post it now because I think this would be a great recipe for Thanksgiving dinner (which is when she says her family usually makes it).

Scalloped Corn
From: Ashley

1 can of Corn, Drained
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dry mustard
Pepper to taste
3/4 cup of milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup cracker crumbs or bread crumbs
1 Tbsp melted butter

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Using a medium size pot, stir onion and green pepper in 2 Tbsp butter until onion is tender.  Remove from heat.

2.  In a small bowl, combine flour and spices, then stir into onion and green pepper.  Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is bubbly.  Remove from heat.

3. Gradually stir in milk.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Stir in corn and egg, which had been mixed together first.  Pour into an ungreased 1 quart casserole dish.

4.  Combine bread crumbs and 1 Tbsp melted butter, sprinkle evenly over corn mixture.  Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes.

*** I did not take very good pictures, I will have to take some better ones next time I make them!***

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lemon & Garlic Brussels Sprouts

I made these brussels sprouts earlier this fall, and I really liked them, but wanted to try them a different way as well.  This recipe was even easier than the first one and turned out delicious.  I think I had my pan a little too hot though because they got a little bit more black than they should have, but they were still delicious.  Bill isn't supper excited about brussels sprouts in general, but I like to have some different vegetables every once and a while.

Lemon and Garlic Brussels Sprouts
From: whatsgabycooking via Tasty Kitchen

1-2 Lbs Brussels Sprouts
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
5 cloves Garlic
1 whole Lemon, Zested and Juiced
3 Tbsp Parmesan
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Clean the Brussels sprouts by trimming off the ends and peeling the outer layer of the sprout off.  Cut each one in half.

2.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Once heated, add the halved brussels sprouts to the pan and saute for 7-8 minutes on each side until the outer part is caramelized brown and the inside is soft and fully cooked.

3. Add the garlic halfway through the cooking.  Reduce the heat to low and add the lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and taste.  Adjust seasoning of needed.  Add cheese on top and serve.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Peanut Butter Balls

I found these on Tasty Kitchen.  They were described as 'Healthy' so I figured a healthy snack that has peanut butter and oatmeal must be good.  I substituted ground flax for the wheat germ since I had some in the house, and they turned out great!  I made a full batch of these and they lasted a LONG time (it makes about 50 balls), but I would bring a few to work with me every day as a mid-morning snack and loved them.  The next time I made them I only made a half batch and that seemed like a much better amount for only two of us! 

Peanut Butter Balls
From: Mommy's Kitchen via Tasty Kitchen

1 cup Honey
1  1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 1/2 cups Powder Dry Milk
3 Cups Quick Cooking Oatmeal, Uncooked
2 Tbsp Wheat Germ or Ground Flax Seed
1/2 cup Mini Chocolate Chips (optional)

1.Mix all together with hand mixer.

2. Form into balls with your hands and freeze on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper until firm.

3. Remove from the freezer and store in a large ziploc bag.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

I'm always looking for slow cooker recipes, and when I saw this one for Pulled pork, I knew I wanted to try it.  It turned out great (even thought I didn't have the exact right meat) and it would be great for a party!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
From: Stephanie via Tasty Kitchen

2 1/2 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder
1/2 cups chopped onion
1 clove Garlic, Minced
1/4 cups brown sugar
1 tsp Dry Mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups Ketchup
1/4 cups Worcestershire Sauce

1.  Cut boneless pork shoulder crosswise into 1/4 inch slices.

2. In slow cooker, combine pork, onion, garlic, brown sugar, dry mustard, salt, pepper, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix well and cover.

3.  Cook on low, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rosemary Rolls

 Anyone who knows me  knows I am NOT a bread person. I don't eat a lot of bread with a few exceptions and usually eat it with a lot of stuff on top or dipped in things.  However, Bill likes bread (like most normal people do).  I hardly ever have bread in the house, and even more rarely ever make it.  In fact this recipe (anther one from the Pioneer Woman) is the first bread recipe I have posted. Sometimes though, a meal just begs for bread to be served with it.  Like the pot roast I made the other night.  I needed something to soak up all that delicious roast juice.  These were easy and quite tasty - Bill of course liked them more than I did, but that is probably just because of my aversion to bread.  I will definitely make these again.

Rosemary Rolls
From: The Pioneer Woman

Frozen unbaked Dinner Rolls (I used Rhode's)
Melted Butter
Fresh Rosemary - coarsely chopped
Coarse Sea salt

1. Spray a heavy round pan (or iron skillet) with cooking spray.  Place frozen rolls in the pan, leaving plenty of room for rising (I can usually fit 7 in mine).  Cover and allow to rise for 3-4 hours.

2. After rising, brush rolls with melted butter. Sprinkle on chopped rosemary. brush with additional butter and sprinkle with sea salt.

3. Bake according to roll package directions (usually 350 - 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes), until rolls are a deep golden brown on top.

4. Serve in pan or remove to serving plate - brush with melted butter if desired.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Party Potatoes

Growing up, probably the most requested recipe from us kids was my mom's party potatoes. They are a fancy version of mashed potatoes and they are so creamy and delicious!  I thought they would be a perfect side dish for my Pot Roast.  Since these are so delicious on their own, they don't really need to have the juice from the roast poured over them, but I did it anyway, and it was a delicious combo!  Mine didn't turn out quite as good as my mom makes them, but I think that is just how I feel about all of my mom's recipes... mom always makes it the best.

Party Potatoes
From: My Mom

8-10 potatoes
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese (softened)
1 cup sour cream
garlic salt
Chives (optional)
1 Tbsp butter

1. Peel and quarter potatoes.  Boil until soft (about 20-30 min).  Drain.(tip from my mom... after draining, return to heat briefly to remove any remaining water - but make sure to watch it)

2.  Beat potatoes til smooth.  Add sour cream and cream cheese.  If it is too stiff, you can add some milk.

3. Season to taste with salt and garlic salt.  Add chives if desired

4. Spook into 2 quart casserole, dot with  butter and sprinkle top with paprika

5.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

NOTE - you can make this ahead and keep in the refrigerator until needed.  If refrigerated bake for 60 minutes.  You can also freeze the dish.  Just thaw before baking.


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