Showing posts from May, 2012

Beware of a Curmudgeon with a Sharp Knife

Sometimes it is nice to come home from the J.O.B to have dinner made. This morning I asked my curmudgeon to make us some salads for dinner. (We try to have salad for supper at least once a week.)

He looked up from the computer and said “What?!” teasing of course. Hm I said "A curmudgeon with a sharp knife…ooo"  He grumbled, and then asked. “How long do I bake the lettuce?”

Actually he makes a really good chopped salad. 

bell pepper
other veggies on hand, from leftovers. ...  nothing is ever measured. but it's always great.

Pea Hummus

Every once in a while aren't you in the mood for something just a little different? Perusing the Internet I found this.  I think i think I have to try it. Not sure what the curmudgeon will think... he does like hummus and he likes peas, but hum. I'll let you know...

Fresh Pea Hummus from Gourmet May 2001

Ingredients For pita toasts

1 large garlic clove, smashed with flat side of a knife
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (6- to 7-inch) pita loaves with pockets (not split)

For hummus

2 cups shelled fresh peas (2 to 2 1/2 pounds in pods)
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 to 2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup well-stirred tahini (Middle Eastern sesame paste)
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Make pita toasts:

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine garlic and oil in a small cup and let stand while oven heats.
Brush garlic oil on 1 side of each pita. Arrange pitas, oiled sides up, in 1 layer on a large …

Grilling Tips

Hooray hooray outdoor grilling starts today! And on that note, this is a reprint from a couple a years ago about safe grilling. Enjoy.

Hey Gang- I found another great website full of helpful infromation. As grilling season is in, and the fourth is this weekend here are some great tips form Enjoy and and have a happy holiday

Basic Grilling Tips
Grill season is just around the corner. Before you start cooking, make sure that you get your grill cleaned and in tip-top shape. Be sure to check back often as our Grill series continues.

Clean Your Grate

Make sure that you purchase propane or charcoal so that you are ready to clean your grate. Then if your grate has burnt-on food from your last grilling extravaganza, you’ll be ready when it’s time to fire up the grill. After about 15 minutes, scrub the grate with a stiff wire grill brush until all food particles are burned or scraped off. Let it cool down and cover.
Spray the cold, clean grate with PAM® for …

Creamy Pesto Baked Ziti

what you need

1pkg. (16 oz.) ziti pasta
1Tbsp. olive oil
3/4lb. Italian turkey sausage (about 3 links), casings removed
1 onion, chopped
3cloves garlic, chopped
1can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes, undrained
1/3cup pesto
1tub (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Original Cooking Creme
1bag (5 oz.) baby spinach leaves
1pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA, divided
1/2cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheesemake it
HEAT oven to 375ºF.

BRING large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add ziti and cook until al dente.

MEANWHILE, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, using the back of a wooden spoon to break up sausage. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender. Stir in tomatoes and pesto. Simmer 10 min. Stir in cooking creme.

DRAIN pasta; return to pot. Add spinach, meat sauce and 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese and stir to combine. Spoon into 3-qt. baking dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and Parmesan.

BAKE until complete…

Snack Cake

If you are feeling a little snack? This is easy and good. Sometimes nothing is bette than a warm piece of cake and cold glass of milk. This cake might even be good to take to a pot luck or party.

3/4cup all-purpose flour1/2cup packed brown sugar2tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa1/2teaspoon baking soda1/4teaspoon salt1/2cup water3tablespoons canola oil1/2teaspoon white vinegar1/4teaspoon vanilla1/4cup semisweet chocolate chipsPowdered sugar, if desiredHeat oven to 350°F. In ungreased 9x5-inch loaf pan, mix flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt with fork. Stir in remaining ingredients except chocolate chips and powdered sugar. Sprinkle chocolate chips over batter.Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Gourmet Grilled Cheese.

How about this. Do something a little differnet with your grilled cheese.  after all grilled cheese is not just for kids. Yes it is ok to play with your food.

This will make one really good sandwich.

1/2 sliced avocado
1 medium tomato sliced
2 slices monterey jack
2 tablespoons tangy mayo
2 slices of bacon cooked
salt and pepper
2 slices of sour dough bread.

butter one side of each slice of bread. spread mayo on the other side and place a slice of cheese grill lightly on the butter side.
When the cheese has melted, remove from the heat and layer the rest of the ingreditents. cover with the other slice of bread. cut in half and enjoy.

to make the tangy mayo-- 1 1/2 tablepoon of mayo, 1 teaspoon honey mustard, and 2 teaspoons ranch dressing.

Ham, Apple and cheese


1 sliced Granny Smith apple
1/3 cup mayonnaise
8 slices sharp cheddar  cheese
8 slices sourdough bread
4 slices fully cooked ham
1/4 cup butter, softened


 Spread bread with mayo. Layer a few slices of apple, a slice of ham and another slice of cheese on four slices of bread; cover with remaining bread.

Butter the outsides of the sandwiches. Cook in a large skillet over medium heat on each side until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted. Yield: 4 servings

A recipe from Betty Crocker - Hot German Potato Salad

Hot German Potato Salad Make this low-fat classic on your cooktop, or use easy slow cooker directions.
Ingredients 4 medium round red or white potatoes (1 1/3 lb)
3 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
Dash pepper
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white or cider vinegar
Directions Place potatoes in 3-quart saucepan; add enough water just to cover potatoes. Cover; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cook covered 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch slices.

In 10-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.

Cook onion in bacon fat in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in flour, sugar, salt, celery seed a…

A recipe from Betty Crocker - Slow Cooker German Red Cabbage and Pork Ribs

Slow Cooker German Red Cabbage and Pork Ribs German red cabbage provides a colorful addition to this hearty bacon, pork ribs and Granny smith apples recipe that's slow-cooked for dinner.
Ingredients 4 slices bacon, chopped
6 boneless pork country-style ribs (2 lb)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1/2 head)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, thinly sliced (3 cups)
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons sugar
Directions In 12-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet to large bowl; reserve drippings in skillet. Sprinkle both sides of ribs with salt and pepper; cook in drippings until browned. Meanwhile, stir cabbage, apples and onion into bacon in bowl.

Spray 4- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place ribs in cooker, reserving drippings in skillet. Spoon cabbage mixture over ribs.

Meat Loaf


1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1/2 green bell pepper
1 1/2 lbs ground chuck
1/2 mild salsa
12 ounces pork sausage with sage (Jimmy Dean)
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg

For the glaze:

1/2 cup catsup
Dash Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon honey


Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl add all the indreadients except for the glaze. Gently mix all together. you may have to use your hands.

Pack this mixture into a 10-inch loaf pan to mold the shape of the meatloaf.  Set the probe for 155 degrees.
It may take about an hour to cook through.

Combine the catsup, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and honey. Brush the glaze onto the meatloaf after it has been cooking for about 10 minutes.


Banana Cream Pie

Well I guess it is pie week here. More old favorites: Banana!
More childhood memories. My dear Mom use to make this when I was a kid. I think Papa could eat a whole one all by himself. She'd layer lots of sliced bananas, pudding and a pile of whipped cream. Some how in the back of my mind I have it as maybe it was a childhood favorite of his, but then so was butter.

then there was the whipped cream fight at Thanksgiving... but that's a a whole different story.


Servings:  8

9 inch pie shell, baked
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 bananas
Whipped cream


1 Have baked 9-inch pie shell ready.
2 In a large saucepan, scald the milk.
3 In another saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt; gradually stir in the scalded milk.
4 Over medium heat, stirring constantly, cook until thickened.
5 Cover and, stirring occasionally, cook fo…

Gram's Raisin Pie

Old fashioned raisin pie is unusual, not in the main stream. One really has to like raisins to enjoy.

One of the pies my Grandpa loved was raisin pie. Gram would make a custard on the stove and then add the raisins. I found this one online. It is very similar, but Gram didn't bake hers. She'd bake the pie shell while she cooked the custard,  then add the custard and let it cool to set. I picked this one out because of the evaporated milk. in other words it gives it the right flavor.


1 cup of raisins
1/4 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 unbaked (9 inch) pastry shell
Whipped cream, optional


Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, and mix thoroughly. Stir in milk, water and vanilla and raisins.
Pour custard mixture into pastry shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 deg…

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Well here's another soup. For some reason my curmudgeon just can't get enough soup. Chicken noodle, cream of mushroom, cream of chicken. ... Loves the asparagus and the zucchini soup.
The nice thing about soup is that you can put the whole meal in one bowl Serve with some chips, bread or apple sauce, and it's a full meal.
It's always nice when when he chops the vegetables.

4 cups broccoli, cooked
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/3 cup flour
4 chicken bouillon cubes
3 cups water, boiled
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


1 In a blender, process half of the broccoli until fairly smooth.
2 Chop remaining broccoli and set aside.
3 In a large pot, melt butter. Saute onion and celery for 3 - 4 minutes or until soft.
4 Add flour, stirring for 1 - 2 minutes.
5 Crumble bouillon cubes in 3 cups of boiling water.
6 Blend into onion mixture and bring to…

Dijon Chicken Smothered in Mushrooms


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb)
1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1/2 cup roasted garlic-seasoned chicken broth (from 14-oz can)
1 jar (4.5 oz) Green Giant® sliced mushrooms, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Chopped fresh thyme, if desired


 1 Between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper, place each chicken breast smooth side down; gently pound with flat side of meat or rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick. In shallow pan, stir together flour, salt and pepper.

2 In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Coat both sides of chicken with flour mixture. Cook chicken in hot oil 6 to 8 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove chicken to serving plate; cover to keep warm.

3 Stir broth into skillet. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Stir in mushrooms and mustard. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently…

Split Pea with Ham


1 lb dried split peas
2 small potatoes diced small
2 carrots sliced thin
1/2 small onion diced
2 cups ham or pork broth
3 oz sliced ham
1 celery stalk
garlic powder
salt and pepper
sour cream


Rinse and drain peas. Add to a large pot. Add broth salt pepper and garlic powder.
Dice the potatoes, carrots, onion and celery. Add to the pot.
Bring the pot to a boil. Stir well so nothing sticks to the bottom.
Simmer on low for 2 hours, or until all the veggies are tender.
Dice the ham, add to the soup. Stir gently folding in the ham.
The soup should be slightly think and be shiny green in color.
To serve top with a dollop of sour cream and crusty bread if desired

Chicken Cheddar Bites

What a cool idea, and really easy. I love easy.

Photo by: Rita Maas A healthy family is a happy family Yum! Cheez-It crackers and chicken fingers together in one flavorful little bite. What more could a kid--or adult--ask for? Here's what you'll need:2 Tbsp olive oil1 1/2 cups (3 oz) Cheez-It cheddar crackers1/2 tsp black pepper1 1/4 lb raw chicken tenders1/3 cup Dijon mustardLet's get startedPut rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 475°F. Brush a baking pan with olive oil.Pulse crackers in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl; stir in pepper.Toss tenders in mustard, then dredge in crumbs.Arrange on oiled pan. Bake, turning once, until golden brown, 15 minutes.Nutrition Facts... Serves 4. Per serving: 340 cal, 17g carbs, 35g protein, 15g fat, 110mg chol, 670mg sodium, 0g fiber.

Real Fruit Punch

Try this on Sunday with your Mother's Day feast. Keep in mind this mixture will be sweet/tart, but really pretty.

1 small container strawberries

1 small container raspberries
1 small container blueberries
3 ice cube trays
1 liter bottle 7 up
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup cranberry juice
1 lime sliced
Method for ice cubes
Cut up the strawberries into pieces. Put them in to one of the ice cube trays. Fill it with water. Carefully carry it and put it in the freezer.

Put one or two blueberries into each of the boxes on the second ice cube tray). Fill it with water. Carefully carry it and put it in the freezer.

Put the raspberries into the third ice cube tray. Fill it with water and again carefully carry it and put it in the freezer.

A large glass bowl  mix - a glass bowl mix the juices and the 7 up together.
chill 2 hours. make sure it is nice and cold.

Simply take the 3 ice cube trays out of the freezer and empty the ice cubes into the punch bowl, taking care not to splash…

Pasta with spinach and breans

2 cups small shell pasta (8oz) 1 cupthinly sliced onion 1 tablespoonminced garlic 1 tablespoonolive oil 1 tablespoonwater 6 cupsfresh spinach leaves 3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped 1(15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 1/3cupgrated parmesan cheese Directions:

Cook pasta until just tender. Ladle 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid into bowl and reserve.

Drain pasta.

Sauté onion and garlic in oil then add 1 T water to skillet and cook over medium heat until onion is golden and tender, stirring often.

Add 1 c reserved pasta cooking liquid, spinach and tomatoes to skillet.

Cover and cook until spinach wilts, about 3 minutes.

Add cannellini beans and pasta.

Cover and cook until heated, about 2 minutes.

Stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Read more:

Tex Mex Egg Brunch

Looking for Mother's Day ideas? Me too. My Mom lives aways away, so breakfast in bed is not happening. I put a card in the mail yesterday. Our "Mothers' Day" will be next month when we get together in Seattle. Oh boy, oh boy)....

Anyway brunch ideas. I found this in Betty Crocker...


. Crust

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg


1 package (12 oz) bulk pork sausage
1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced onion
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
2/3 cup  salsa, if desired
1/2 cup sour cream

1 Heat oven to 400ºF. Spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray or grease with shortening. In medium bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In small bowl, stir together milk, oil and egg. Add egg mi…

Iced Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti


1/4 cup light olive oil
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour1/4 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts


1.Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

2.In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.

3.Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12x2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.

4.Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).

5.Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment cov…

Carrot Raisin Salad

This is great for picnics and summer parties

What you need

2 cup mayonaise
1Tbsp. sugar
6 carrots, shredded (about 3 cups)
1cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/2cup raisins
1/4 cup crushed pecans

Make It

COMBINE ingredients. REFRIGERATE 1 hour.

Crème Brûlée

2 cups heavy cream
8 large eggs yollks or 4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 teaspoons granulated light brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Heat almost to a simmer: 2 cups heavy cream Stir with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl just until blended:   8 large egg yolks or 4 large eggs 1⁄2 cup sugar Gradually stir in the cream. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl or a large measure with a pouring lip. Stir in: 3⁄4 teaspoon vanilla

Pour into four 6-ounce or six 4-ounce custard cups or ramekins (small ceramic cups also work well as long as they're oven-proof) and place in a roasting pan. Have a large measuring cup of scalding hot tap water ready. Set the pan in the oven and pour enough hot water into the pan to come one-half to two-thirds of the way up the sides of the custard dishes. Bake until the custards are set but still slightly quivery in the center when the cups are gently shaken, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the custards slightly in the water ba…

Huevos Rancheros


2 small tomatoes
1 small onion
1 medium jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic; 1 chopped, 1 smashed
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 large eggs
4 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (I use Chedder or Monterey Jack)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Prepare the salsa: Set a grater in a large bowl; grate the tomatoes and onion into the bowl. Add the jalapeno, chopped garlic, hot sauce, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Heat a medium skillet over low heat and add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Fry the salsa in the oil until it thickens slightly, 3 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add the beans to the same pan along with the smashed garlic, 1/2 cup warm water and a pinch of salt; cook over low heat until warmed through, smashing slightly with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat the rem…

A Healthy Taco Salad.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (see Tip) or frozen, thawed
4 large tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain brown rice (see Tip)
1 15-ounce can black, kidney or pinto beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup prepared salsa
2 cups shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
2 1/2 cups coarsely crumbled tortilla chips
Lime wedges for garnish

1.Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and corn; cook, stirring, until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Coarsely chop 1 tomato. Add it to the pan along with rice, beans, chili powder, 1 teaspoon oregano and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomato cooks down, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
2.Coarsely chop the remaining 3 tomatoes. Combine with cilantro, salsa and the remaining 1/2 tea…