Friday, January 30, 2009

Brown Butter & Balsamic Ravoilli

buy the chicken and cheese ravioli from Costco. It is a quick and easy dish to prepare. Be sure and brown the butter but don’t burn it!

Do you have a favorite side dish??

Brown Butter and Balsamic Ravioli

1 12-16 oz. package of fresh or frozen ravioli (I prefer chicken and cheese)

3 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 handfuls grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for ravioli. Salt water and drop ravioli in water. Cook 8 minutes or until ravioli expand, float to top of water and are al dente.

Melt butter into large frying pan and brown. Add cooked ravioli to browned butter and turn and cook until browned. Add balsamic vinegar and stir until coated. Sprinkle cheese over the top, salt and pepper to taste. (I forgot to add the cheese for the photo!)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ribollitta Soup/Swiss chard

submitted by Melanie

1/4 c olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 leek, washed very carefully and chopped--I added this last time and it was great!!
1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can Italian tomatoes, crushed or pureed
6-8 cups chicken broth
2 15oz cans great northern beans (don't drain)
salt to taste (or bouillon)
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 bunch Swiss chard, tough ends removed, green leaves coarsely chopped (spinach or kale will work as well but Swiss chard is best)
Dried rustic bread cut in cubes or flavored croutons (Costco Fresh Gourmet Roasted Garlic Focaccia croutons are great!)
fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated

In a heavy dutch oven, or stockpot heat oil. Add onion, carrot, leek and celery. Cook on low heat, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook another 2-3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, broth, beans, salt and red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Add Swiss chard and cook uncovered until chard is tender, about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Serve by putting bread cubes or croutons in bottom of bowl. Spoon soup over bread and sprinkle with cheese.
Posted by Melanie Anne at 1:00 PM
Labels: beans, melanie, Soup, vegetables

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sweet Bacon wrapped Venison Tenderloin

EZ Dough Wheat Version

2 lbs venison (or other) tenderloin
1/2 lb bacon (Plain, thin-sliced is best)
3 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups soy sauce (regular, NOT low-sodium. You'll want the saltiness)
1/4 cup white sugar (optional for added sweetness)

Mix brown sugar and soy sauce together in a bowl. Marinate in mixture for at least 3 hrs or overnight in the fridge. After marinating, place on a slotted baking sheet with a drip pan or aluminum foil below to catch the drippings. Do not dispose of the remaining marinade. Wrap a piece of bacon around the end of the tenderloin, securing the bacon strip with a toothpick. Repeat this process until the entire loin is wrapped in ten or so bacon "loops". (I had my tenderloin pre-cut into steaks, so I just wrapped each one individually in a slice of bacon). Drizzle the remaining marinade over the loin. You can retain a portion to continue to baste throughout the cooking process if desired (I did this). Place on center rack in over and bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes. (I actually cut the recipe in half this time, and I cut the cooking time to 20 minutes which cooked the meat to about Medium). Remove loin from oven and place directly on a grill over medium-high heat to sear the bacon and outer loin. (Another option is to continue baking in oven for 5-10 minutes. With 10 minutes left, lightly dust the top of the loin with white sugar creating a sweet crust on top of the bacon. Personally I think this would be too sweet, but I haven't tried it). Before serving, cut the loin between each strip of bacon so that each piece of meat has it's own slice of bacon. (Obviously mine look a little different since my tenderloin was pre-cut into steaks

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wheat Carrot muffins

Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Muffins

2 C. Brown Sugar, Packed
1 C. Oil
3 Eggs (3 T. Dehydrated Eggs + 1/3 C. Water…if you want a really fun trick use your left over carrot or rasin water to add to the egg powder)

2 C. Carrots, Finely Grated (1 C. Dehydrated Carrots. Pulse in blender before re-hydrating to make them smaller pieces. They take 20 minutes in cold water to rehydrate so if you need them sooner, simply put them in warmer water.)

1 C. Crushed Pineapple, Drained (If you have orange juice you’ll be serving, then drain the pineapple juice into your orange juice for a fun tropical blend orange juice!)

3 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1 t. Salt
1T. Soda
1 t. Cinnamon
2 t. Vanilla
1 C. Raisins (I soak mine like I did with the oatmeal raisin cookies)
1 C. Walnuts, Broken

Grease and flour 2 bread pans, 1 bundt pan, or 2 muffin pans (12 each) with vegetable cooking spray. Beat together brown sugar, oil and eggs (no need to reconstitute eggs before adding to this mix). Sitr in carrots and pineapple. blend together dry ingredients; stir into batter thoroughly. Add vanilla, raisins, and nuts. pour into prepared pan. Bake bread pans for 45-40 minutes, muffins for 20 minutes, and bundt pan 1 hour or until done.

Makes 1 Bundt pan, 2 bread pans, or 24 muffins.

Okay, now for the easy gourmet tips:

Adding the nuts on top of the muffins not only gives it a great look and flavor (it lightly toasts the nuts) but it is also a great way to serve nut lovers and non-nut lovers alike since it becomes obvious which have nuts and which don’t.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Chocolate Milk Shake with NO ice cream:-makes two 8-ounce cups
This one I know is hard to believe but it SO delicious! I don’t think I’ll ever make the kind with ice cream again!

1/2 C. Water
3/4 C. Dry Powdered Milk
1/3 C. Chocolate Powder
2 C. Ice

Layer ingredients in your blender as listed and blend until smooth. Serve immediately! Spruce it up with half of a banana for fun!

If you want a great variation, that tastes like it is a Jamba Juice “Peanut Butter Moo’d” then add one banana cut into 1 inch slices and 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter. The peanut butter and banana make it even smoother and add such a great complimentary taste.


Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup

1 C. Magic Mix
3/4 C. Chicken Broth (either from a can, bouillion, or liquid from canned chicken)
1 t. Dry Parsley
Dash of Onion Salt

Mix together with wire whisk over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.


Cheesy Baked Potato and Broccoli Soup
1 C. Magic Mix
1 1/2 C. Water
3/4 C. Sour Cream
2-3 Baked Potatoes (you can also just use microwaved potatoes)
1 1/2 C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 1/2 -2 C. Chopped Broccoli
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Garnish with Bacon bits and green onions or chives, if desired

Mix magic mix and water over medium heat, stirring constantly until it begins to boil and thicken. Add in remaining ingredients. Garnish with bacon bits and or green onions.


The basic instructions for Magic Mix are as follows:
2-1/3 C. Powdered Milk
1 C. All Purpose Flour (Yes, use All Purpose)
1 C. (2 sticks) Margarine (***HAS TO BE REAL MARGARINE, NOT SPREAD***) or Butter, at room temperature
Combine dry milk, flour and margarine/butter into a large bowl and refrigerate.


Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 C. Magic Mix
1 4.5 oz. can Mushroom pieces and stems (SAVE THE WATER!)
1/4 C. Water
Dash of Onion Salt
1-2 drops Kitchen Bouqet,optional (check the previous video to see what this is)

Combine all ingredients over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Remove from heat immediately.


Condensed Cream of Celery Soup

1 C. Magic Mix
¾ C. Water from Cooking Celery
1 C. Chopped Celery, cooked and drained (I use dehydrated celery and use the water left over from hydrating the celery as my water)
Pinch of Celery Seed
1 t. Dry Parsley Flakes (optional)

Combine magic mix and water from cooking celery. Stir constantly over medium-high heat until it thickens. Add in celery, celery salt and parsley. Use in any recipe calling for canned Cream of Celery soup


Easy No Bake Cheesecake
1 recipe (or 1 can) sweetened condensed milk
1 8 oz philadelphia cream cheese or equivalent
1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh or reconstituted)
1 tsp vanilla1 premade
9″ graham cracker pie crust (or the equivalent made from scratch)
1 can pie filling (whatever flavor you like–cherry seemed to be the most popular)
Blend the ingredients for the sweetened condensed milk in the blender. Turn blender to low and add the vanilla, lemon juice and cream cheese. Gradually increase the blender speed, until smooth and creamy. (you may have to stop the blender once or twice to scrape down the sides). Pour into prepared crust. You will see it start to thicken, even as you spread it into the pie crust! Chill 2 hours. (If you are in a hurry, you can put it in the freezer for half the time, without changing the properties of the cheesecake at all). Top with premade pie filling and serve. Yum!

Cook’s note: Recipe does not set up as well if you use the lower fat versions of cream cheese. Also, if you are making the homemade pie filling, the filling must be cooled to room temperature before you put it on the cheesecake. It then needs to chill an additional 2 hours to set up the pie filling completely.

Sweeten condensed milk out of Powdered milk

“Eagle Brand” Sweetened Condensed Milk 14 oz. can

1/2 C. hot water
1 C. Powdered Milk
1 C. Sugar
1 T. Butter

Blend in blender very well. Can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen.


TO MAKE half and half use canned evaporated milk--

YOU CAN MAKE EVAPORATED MILK WITH POWDERED MILK in any recipe by doubling the amount of the dry powdered milk and leaving the water the same.

Evaporated Milk (12 oz. Can)
1 1/2 C. Water
1/2 C. + 1 T. Powdered Milk

Bean Puree vs. oil

Who knew chocolate cake could be so delicious, low-fat, and full of fiber and protein! The great thing about substituting bean puree for oil in cake mixes is that there is NO texture difference like with the brownies (since brownies are supposed to be chewy and cake is supposed to be…well…cake like). The other bonus to using beans is that the cake doesn’t go stale as quickly because there is no oil (and oil is what makes it stale). So, with cake make sure you substitute ALL the oil with bean puree…there is NO adverse effect on taste or texture plus you get all the benefits of fiber and protein to your diet, meaning you won’t eat as big of a piece! You can use this idea with any boxed cake just make sure you match the color of beans with the color of cake i.e. White Beans-Vanilla or Yellow Cake, Pinto Beans-Spice Cake, Black Beans-Chocolate or Devil’s Food Cake. So now you can make a cake from all food storage ingredients…powdered eggs for eggs and bean puree for oil. YEAH FOR FOOD STORAGE!!

Extra Tip: Make your cake a Bundt cake because you don’t generally frost those cakes…cutting out those frosting calories. You can simply dust the cake with powdered sugar or use a simple glaze. It still looks elegant…remember gourmet places always use powdered sugar as a topping.

Bean Puree

This is really easy to make.

Home Cooked Beans: Take cooked beans (reserve the cooking water) and blend in your blender with enough water to create a thick paste. (Basically enough water to make all the beans turn into a puree. If you need to see how to cook beans, read below.

Canned Beans: Dump entire contents of can (beans and water) into a blender and blend until it is a thick paste.

Click HERE to learn how to cook your dry beans.

chocolate cookies-low fat


(Made with white beans)

½ cup cooked white beans
1 cup brown sugar

4 eggs (1/4 C. Egg Powder + 1/2 C. Water)

1 tsp. vanilla

2 ¼ cups wheat flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

2 cups chocolate chips

1 cup pecans (or walnuts) chopped

Beat beans and sugar together. Add eggs, vanilla. In separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add flour moisture to bean/sugar mixture. Stir until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips, and nuts. Cover and refrigerate dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°F. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes depending on size of cookies. Makes 4 dozen

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup

1-1/2 C. Onion, Chopped (or 1/3 C. dehydrated onion)
1 T. Olive Oil
1 C. Red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz. can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 4 oz. can Diced Green Chiles
¾ C. Dehydrated Carrots
1-1/2 t. Ground cumin
3 C. Chicken Broth
6 C. Cooked Black Beans, drained (or 4 15 oz. cans, drained and rinsed)
¼ C. Red Wine Vinegar

Heat oil in large, deep saucepan. Sauté onion (if using fresh), bell pepper and garlic until tender. Add remaining ingredients (including dehydrated onions) and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve garnished with sour cream and tortilla chips or corn chips

Applesauce from dehydrated apples


To reconstitute apple slices use equal parts of dried apples to boiling water. For example:
2 cups dried apples 2 cups boiling water
Let: this set at least 5 minutes.

If you put this mixture through the blender you will have applesauce. For variety add 3 tbsp. Cinnamon Heart Candy to the mixture before you let it set or try some Cinnamon (about 2-3 t.) and Sugar (about 3-4 T.) mixture in it.

Brown Sugar Zucchini Bread

Brown Sugar Zucchini Bread

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil or 1/4 C. applesauce
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg (1 T. dehydrated egg + 2 T. water)
1 1/2 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (you don’t have to have this, but it does add a very nice flavor. Remember the zest is only the yellow part. If you grate the white skin underneath the color, it will be very bitter)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Grease an 8 by 4 by 2-inch loaf pan with 1 teaspoon of the butter.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, oil/applesauce, and sugar. Cream the mixture until smooth. In a separate bowl combine flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Add the egg to the creamed mixture and mix until incorporated. Add the flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time until all is incorporated, and the batter is smooth.

Fold zucchini, and lemon zest into batter.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle nuts on top (this toasts the nuts and creates a fabulous flavor and makes the bread look SO gourmet!). Bake for 55 to 60 minutes until golden brown or when skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve the bread, warm, with butter.

For more tips and tricks for using food storage in your everyday recipes, please visit www.everydayfoodstorage.NET

Filed under: Baking, Bread, Breakfast, Dehydrated Apple Slices, Delicious and Almost Nutritious, Easy, Eggs, Food Storage, Garden, Long Term Food Storage, Short Term Food Storage, Wheat

Sour Cream Apple Pie

Sour Cream Apple Pie

Preheat oven to 375

1 pie crust for 9” pie

2 eggs (*Note from Crystal 2 T. Dry Egg Powder + 1/4 C. Water)

1 cup sour Cream

1 cup sugar

4 TBS all purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

3 – 4 cups peeled, chopped and cooked apples (*note from Crystal, it is faster to re-hydrate dried apples. Place 2 1/2 dehydrated apple slices in 3 1/2 C. boiling water and let stand for five minutes, discard excess water )

In a large bowl beat eggs then add sour cream and sugar. Put in 4 TBS flour, vanilla, & salt and mix well. Stir in apples, and then pour into pie shell.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes

Crumb Topping

3 TBS butter – melted

¼ cup brown sugar

6 TBS all purpose flour

Mean while combine brown sugar, flour, & butter with wire whisk or whisk on mixer until crumbly (should look like small peas)

After 20 minutes cooking take pie out and top with crumb topping, then return to oven and continue cooking for 20 – 25 minutes.

Tortilla Casserole

Tortilla Casserole

1 ½ C Sour Cream
2 Cans (10 ¾ oz) Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Can (7 oz) Diced green Chiles
1 Can (10 oz) Mild enchilada sauce
3 C cooked chicken or 3 cans chicken or turkey, drained (save the juices for broth!)
12 Corn tortillas, torn into bite size pieces (or Tortilla chips)
1 ½ C grated Cheese (Cheddar)

Save 1/2 C. of grated cheese and mix all other ingredients in a bowl. Pour mixture into 9×13 pan and top with remaining cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. This casserole can be made ahead and put in the fridge. (Allow for extra baking time if you do this.)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
from Mel B.

1 2/3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 T. pumpkin pie spice**
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. chocolate chips

Mix ingredients well and then add chocolate chips. Pour into greased muffin tin (or use muffin liners). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Don't overbake or they will be dry!

**My tip: if you don't have pumpkin pie spice, use the following combination: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon cloves. Mix together and woila! - you have the equivalent of 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (and it is much cheaper than buying it premade). So for this recipe, you would need to triple the above amounts to equal one tablespoon pumpkin pie spice.
Posted by Melanie at 1:31 PM 22 comments
Labels: Breads, Chocolate, Muffins

Cornbread muffins

Cornbread Muffins
adapted from The New Best Recipe

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup (about 5 ounces) yellow cornmeal (the original recipe calls for fine, stone-ground, but I used the average, everyday Quaker brand and it worked great)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup (5 ¼ ounces) sugar
8 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
¾ cup sour cream (I used reduced fat sour cream)
½ cup milk

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set aside (when I made them, it made about 16 muffins).

Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, soda and salt in a medium bowl to combine; set aside. Whisk the eggs in a second medium bowl until well combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar to the eggs; whisk vigorously until thick and homogenous, about 30 seconds; add the melted butter in 3 additions, whisking to combine after each addition. Add half the sour cream and half the milk and whisk to combine; whisk in the remaining sour cream and milk until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; mix gently with a rubber spatula until the batter is just combined and evenly moistened. Do not over mix. Using a large spoon sprayed with cooking spray, divide the batter evenly among tins.

Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes, rotating the muffin tin from front to back halfway. Cool the muffins in the tin 5 minutes; invert the muffins on a wire rack, stand the muffins upright and cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Crockpot Stew

Mom's Stew
1 can minestrone soup
1 can tomato soup
1 can water
1 to 1 1/2 pounds stew meat
1 onion, chopped
3-4 carrots, thickly sliced
3-4 potatoes, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all in a crockpot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours. Serves 4-6.
Posted by Melanie at 9:31 PM 5 comments

Spagetti Sauce

Spaghetti Sauce
from A. Marilyn

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds hamburger (at least 90% lean)
4 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (I use about 4 medium sized cloves)
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoons dried thyme
1 14-oz. can italian-style diced tomatoes
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 carton fresh mushrooms (optional)
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon chicken base, granules or 1 bouillon cube
1 teaspoon beef base, granules or 1 bouillon cube
1 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup red wine (I use cooking wine since I don't drink wine - I find it by the vinegar at my grocery store)
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup fresh basil, rolled and thinly sliced with scissors (sadly, I have always left this out because I don't have fresh basil around during the winter)

Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent and slightly browned. Add garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute. Add beef and cook until no red is showing. Drain beef slightly. Add tomato paste and spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring until combined. Add tomatoes, water, chicken and beef bases (or granules or bouillon), sugar and wine. Stir until combined and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in fresh basil and serve over pasta or use in lasagna.

NOTE: The sauce will seem watery at first but will reduce to perfection after simmering an hour.
Posted by Melanie at 2:03 PM 9 comments
Labels: Ground Beef, Main Dish, Pasta, Sauces

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina
from Giada De Laurentiis

1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta - I used cellantani)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Posted by Melanie at 8:02 PM 16 comments
Labels: Chicken, Main Dish, Pasta

Pasta Fusilli Alla Caprese

Fusilli alla Caprese
from Giada De Laurentiis

1 pound fusilli pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 pints)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about 4 minutes. Transfer the tomato sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine. Add the basil leaves and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the pasta is moist. Serve.

Beef Stroganoff

The Ultimate Beef Stroganoff
from Tami W.

Put in crock pot:
2-3 pounds stew meat
1 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1 onion, sliced

Mix in a bowl and pour over meat:
¼ tsp. garlic salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ cups beef broth or stock (made up from cubes or granules)
1 tablespoon ketchup

Cook in crockpot on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. When cooked make a simple roux by whisking 1/3 cup flour with enough apple juice (about 5-6 tablespoons) to make a thick but still pourable flour mixture. Whisk the roux into the crockpot and add 4 ounces sliced mushrooms.

Cook on high for 15-30 minutes. Then stir in ½

Another Rice Krispie Square Recipe

Grandma Lori’s Best Rice Krispie Squaries (courtesy of Grandma Lori)


1/2 c. white sugar
1 c. corn syrup (karo light)
3/4 c. peanut butter
2 c. Rice Krispies
4 c. Corn Flakes
Use a large pot and stir together first three ingredients until melted & smooth. Then stir in the cereal. Spread in a 9×13 pan. EAT! (yes my mom included the EAT direction on the recipe card she gave me, it is the most important item)

Dulce de Leche and Apples

Dulce de Leche and Apples

3 Tbsp. butter
4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 in. slices (I usually use a mix of apples)
2 tsp. sugar

Good quality vanilla ice cream

Dulce de Leche, warmed

In large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add apple slices and saute for about 10 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned. Sprinkle sugar over apples and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until they are nicely browned and softened but not mushy. Remove from heat and keep warm. (Sometimes I sprinkle a little cinnamon in with the sugar too.) Scoop ice cream into individual bowls. Spoon warm apples over and then the warm dulce de leche over the apples. Serve immediately.

Dulce de Leche

1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Put unopened can of condensed milk in large heavy saucepan that is higher than the can. Add water to come about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the can and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to a very low simmer, partially cover and cook, turning the can over at the halfway point (45 minutes), for a total of 1 1/2 hours. (You can remove the wrapper in the water with tongs when it falls off.) Remove the saucepan from the heat.

2. Let the can cool in the pan of water until it reaches room temperature. Open the can and pour the contents into a small bowl. Stir in the vanilla. The mixture should be very thick and taste like a rich caramel sauce. Cover and refrigerate.

Peanut Butter Crunch Snack Balls

Peanut Butter Crunch Snack Balls
adapted from Michelle N.

Makes about 120 balls. (I halved the recipe and got about 70 balls.)

2 cups honey
6 cups peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
3 cups rice krispies
1½ cups grape nuts
3/4 cup applesauce
2 cups coconut
3 cups crushed cereal (I used honey nut cheerios and Life cereal since I had it on hand)
1½ cups chocolate or butterscotch chips - or substitute dried fruit, like raisins
5-8 tablespoons powdered milk
4 cups crushed mini-wheat cereal

Mix all but last two ingredients and mix until well combined. Add powdered milk, like flour, to make a soft, cookie-like dough. Form into 1” ball and roll in crushed mini-wheats. A scoop works very well for this. Refrigerate or freeze.

No Fail Pizza Crust or Bread Sticks

Low-Fat Whole Wheat Banana Bread
4 T margarine (or butter), softened
¼ C applesauce
2 eggs (2 T. Dehydrated Eggs +1/4 C. Water)
2 T skim milk or water
¾ C packed light brown sugar
1 C mashed banana (2-3 medium bananas)
1 ¾ C Whole Wheat Flour
2 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt (optional)
¼ C coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
Beat margarine, applesauce, eggs, milk, and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until smooth. Add banana and blend at low speed; beat at high speed 1 to 2 minutes. Combine flour, baking
powder, baking soda, and salt; mix into batter. Mix in nuts. Pour batter into greased loaf pan, . Bake at 350º F until bread is golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (55
to 60 minutes). Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool to room temperature.

**Helpful Hint** If you don’t have two bread pans but want to double the recipe, you can always put it in a bundt pan (as pictured above). This works great for brunches or anytime you want to “dress up” the bread. Be sure to lengthen the baking time by about 5 or 10 minutes when using the bundt pan.
For more tips and tricks for using food storage in your everyday recipes, please visit www.everydayfoodstorage.NET

Low Fat Bannana Bread

Low-Fat Whole Wheat Banana Bread
4 T margarine (or butter), softened
¼ C applesauce
2 eggs (2 T. Dehydrated Eggs +1/4 C. Water)
2 T skim milk or water
¾ C packed light brown sugar
1 C mashed banana (2-3 medium bananas)
1 ¾ C Whole Wheat Flour
2 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt (optional)
¼ C coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
Beat margarine, applesauce, eggs, milk, and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until smooth. Add banana and blend at low speed; beat at high speed 1 to 2 minutes. Combine flour, baking
powder, baking soda, and salt; mix into batter. Mix in nuts. Pour batter into greased loaf pan, . Bake at 350º F until bread is golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (55
to 60 minutes). Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool to room temperature.

**Helpful Hint** If you don’t have two bread pans but want to double the recipe, you can always put it in a bundt pan (as pictured above). This works great for brunches or anytime you want to “dress up” the bread. Be sure to lengthen the baking time by about 5 or 10 minutes when using the bundt pan.
For more tips and tricks for using food storage in your everyday recipes, please visit www.everydayfoodstorage.NET

Quick mix (bisquick)

Quick Mix

A couple of different people have sent me their recipes for Quick Mix (Bisquick…isn’t that fabulous that you can make your own?!) which I haven’t had a chance to try yet…hmm…maybe we need to do a quick mix cook off…anyway, this is what I use and KNOW works for this recipe. If you have a quick mix recipe you use, feel free to try it with this recipe.

4-1/4 C. All-Purpose Four
4-1/4 C. Whole Wheat Flour (I use white wheat)
1/3 C. Baking Powder
1 T. Salt
2 t. Cream of Tartar
1 t. Baking Soda
3/4 C. Dry Powdered Milk
2-1/4 C. Shortening

In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingreients, Blend well. Cut in shortening until evenly distributed (use the beater on your power mixer or a shortening knife). Put in a large airtight container. Label. Store in a cool, dry place. use within 10-12 weeks. Makes about 13 C. Quick Mix. If you want to see pictures of how to make these dry mixes click HERE (this will take you to picture instructions I did for Magic Mix)

For more tips and tricks for using food

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Easy Crustless Quiche

Crustless Quiche
Submitted by Melanie

½ -3/4 cup Bisquick
3 eggs
1 ½ cup milk
¼ cup melted butter
Pinch of Salt & a dash of pepper
1 ½ cups of grated cheese of your choice
(cheddar, colby jack, pepper jack,swiss,gouda, fontina, etc.)
Vegtables of choice-
(diced Zuchinni, mushrooms, chopped spinach, broccoli, can of diced chilis etc)
Meat of choice-
(sliced precooked breakfast links, crumbled crispy bacon, diced ham)

Beat together bisquick, eggs, milk and melted butter. Add salt and pepper. Mix in grated or diced cheese (it is really good with a couple different kinds), vegetables, and meat of your choice. I usually add about ½ cup meat and another ½ -1 cup vegetables. It is really very versatile—you can add what (and how much)y ou like!
Bake at 400 for 35-45 minutes.
After 15 minutes I like to place sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle on grated parmesan cheese. Continue baking until egg mixture is set and cheese is crispy and brown. Let it stand for 5 minutes before cutting

Streisel Coffee Cake

This coffee cake is so moist! It is one of those basic recipes that are a must-have. It's simple and uses ingredients you are guaranteed to have on hand. My mom made this coffee cake all during our growing up years - it was always a family favorite. Yum!

Streusel Coffee Cake
submitted by Brittany

2 c flour
1 c sugar
1 Tb baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 c butter, softened
1 c milk
1 egg

Streusel Topping:
1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tb butter, firm

Make streusel topping first by combining dry ingredients then mixing butter in with pastry cutter. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease pan; either 9x13 or 9x9. Mix ingredients on low for 30 seconds, scraping sides occasionally. Then mix on medium for 2 minutes, scraping sides occasionally. Spread 1/2 of batter on bottom of pan then sprinkle 1/2 of streusel topping on batter. Repeat. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Posted by Brittany at 2:45 PM 2 comments
Labels: bread, breakfast, Brittany, cake

Favorite Granola

My Favorite Granola
submitted by Melanie

3 ¼ cups Oats (Old Fashioned or Quick—any combination)
1 ¼ cup white wheat flour-freshly ground if possible
1 1/3 cup shredded coconut
¼ cup flax seed (optional)
1 cup or more coarsely chopped almonds and/or pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/3 cup water
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom

Preheat oven to 300. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, flax seed, coconut and nuts. Set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, butter, and water and heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is bubbly. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture together until smooth, and then stir in the salt, vanilla and spices. Pour mixture over the oats mixture and stir will to coat. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
Spread mixture on a large baking sheet, separating it into irregular clumps with your fingers, and allowing space between clumps for the hot air to circulate. Slide it into the middle of the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to break up the mixture into medium sized clumps. Return to the oven and bake again for 15 minutes before stirring again. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the granola is uniform golden brown and completely dry—this usually takes me about 45 minutes . Cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an air tight container.
Posted by Melanie Anne at 9:11 AM 5 comments
Labels: breakfast, melanie

Applesauce Pancakes

Applesauce Pancakes

submitted by Brittany

1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 c natural applesauce (no sugar added)
1/2 c milk
2 Tb canola oil
1 c flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tb sugar
1 Tb baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
chopped pecans

Combine all ingredients until moistened. Cook over medium heat. Sprinkle chopped nuts over batter before you turn pancake. Serve with warmed applesauce or syrup... enjoy!
Posted by Brittany at 9:36 AM 3 comments
Labels: breakfast, Brittany
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Banana Sour Cream Pancakes

Over night French Toast

Overnight Apple French Toast
submitted by Erin

1 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter
2 Tb white corn syrup
3 large apples, peeled, seeded, and sliced
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 loaf of French bread, sliced thick (you definitely won't need all of it)

To make the caramel, melt butter in saucepan and then add brown sugar and corn syrup. Heat for 5 minutes, allowing it to boil. Remove from heat and pour into a 9x13 glass pan. Place apples over the caramel in the pan. In a separate bowl mix the eggs, milk and vanilla. Dip the bread into the mixture, coating liberally. Place bread over apples in the pan (you won't need all the bread, just enough to fill the pan). Sprinkle very generously with cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight so that all the flavors can penetrate. In the morning, heat the oven to 350°, and cook for 45 minutes.
Posted by Erin at 7:13 PM 5 comments
Labels: breakfast, Erin

Blender whole wheat pancakes

Blender Wheat Pancakes
1 cup whole wheat kernels
1 cup milk

Blend wheat and milk for 3 minutes in blender.
½ cup milk
Blend for 2 more minutes.

2 eggs
½ tsp salt
½ cup oil
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp sugar
Blend only long enough to combine. Cook on hot griddle. The batter is very thin.

Connor’s Bubbly Syrup
½ cube butter (I use 2TB less)
1 cup sugar
¾ cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda
*the original recipe called for 1 Tb of corn syrup--which I leave out--I am not a fan of that stuff!

In a small saucepan heat butter, sugar, and buttermilk. After sugar is dissolved remove from heat and stir in the soda and vanilla. Mixture will fizz. Let rest, stirring occasionally. Serve warm with pancakes or waffles.
Posted by Melanie Anne at 11:27 AM 7 comments
Labels: breakfast, melanie, whole wheat

Whole Wheat Tortillas

Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas
submitted by Melanie

3 cups whole
1 tsp salt
1 cup hot water
1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in mixer. Remove from mixing bowl and knead on countertop until smooth (add a little white flour if the dough is too sticky). Divide the dough into 12 balls, and let rest (covered) for 15 minutes. Roll each ball into a very think circle. HEat a heavy skillet (ungreased) to medium high heat. Cook tortillas until brown flecks appear, about 30 seconds each side. (Adjust heat accordingly) Use immediately, or wrap in plastic or place in a airtight container to refrigerate or freeze. To warm, wrap in damp paper towels and microwave 15-20 seconds.

Broccoli Beef

Broccoli Beef
submitted by Erin

¼ c. low sodium soy sauce (I just use regular)
1 T. chunky peanut butter
½ c. water
1 T. cornstarch
2 tsp vinegar
¼ tsp pepper
1/8 tsp powdered ginger
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
2 T. oil
½ lb (or more) diced or cubed beef, chicken, or pork (I’ve tried pork chops & beef)
2 c. broccoli cut into small pieces
steamed rice

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, peanut butter, water, cornstarch, vinegar, pepper, ginger, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix well and set aside. In large skillet or wok, heat the oil. Add beef and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes. Add the broccoli, and cook for another 3-4 minutes (or until meat and broccoli are almost done), stirring constantly. Add the sauce and mix thoroughly, then continue to stir until the sauce thickens. Serve over steamed rice.

Chili Verde-crockpot

Chili Verde
submitted by Erin

3 pounds pork roast, fat removed as much as possible (*If using a roast any larger than 3 lbs, I always double the remaining ingredients)
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 10oz can green enchilada sauce
1 4oz can diced green chilis
1 14oz can diced tomatoes with chilis
2 chicken bouillon cubes
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp pepper

This is how I made it. I'll include the original instructions too, so you can choose your method. In a large heavy pot, over medium heat, brown meat, then add onion and garlic and saute a few minutes. Place in crockpot. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. 1 hour before serving, remove roast and set aside. Strain out the onions and tomatoes as much as possible and put with the roast. Pour remaining liquid into a large saucepan. (I place the roast and strained solids back into the crockpot, TURNED OFF, with the lid on to keep warm.) Bring the liquids to a boil on the stove, and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every now and then, until considerably reduced. The point is to concentrate all the liquids to make a thicker sauce. This is a very important step, because all the flavor is in this liquid, and you want to preserve all that flavor for the meat. Plus, I don't like meat too liquid-y or else it runs out the back of the burritos. (You could also opt to drain the tomatoes at the beginning to make this step go faster.) Mix the thickened sauce into the shredded meat and serve. Serve with warm tortillas, Monterey Jack cheese (monterey pepper jack is good too), cilantro, diced tomatoes, and lettuce. You can also served it with sour cream and chopped red onion.

Original instructions say: Cube roast. In a large heavy pot, over medium heat, brown meat, then add onion, garlic and ½ cup water with the bouillon cubes. Cover for 15-20 minutes then stir, getting all the brown bits off the side of the pan. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, cover and cook on low for 2-4 hours (or in oven at 300°).
Posted by Erin at 7:14 PM 6 comments
Labels: crockpot, Erin, Main dish, mexican

Crockpot Southwestern Chicken

Crockpot Southwestern Chicken
submitted by Erin

1 small bag frozen corn
1 can black beans
2 large frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 16-oz jar medium salsa, such as Pace medium picante sauce
shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla chips
sour cream
chopped cilantro
diced avocado

Pour bag of frozen corn in bottom of crockpot. Place frozen chicken breasts on top of corn and cover with rinsed and drained black beans and jar of medium salsa. Cook on high for 1 hour, and then on low for 4 hours. Shred chicken with forks. Serve with tortilla chips and add toppings to individual servings.
**It is very important that you use MEDIUM salsa in this. Mild simply isn't flavorful enough. Be sure to serve with tortilla chips, and not tortillas. The salty crunchy chips make this so good!
Posted by Erin at 11:10 AM 17 comments
Labels: beans, chicken, crockpot, Erin, Main dish, mexican

Fiesta Chicken Pasta Salad

Fiesta Chicken Pasta Salad
submitted by Erin

1 pkg Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch dip mix
½ c. oil
½ c. vinegar

1 lb cooked, shredded chicken (about 1 ½ to 2 breasts)
3/4 box garden rotini
1 can black beans
1 can black olives, halved
2 -3 tomatoes, chopped
Frozen corn

Mix dressing mix, oil, and vinegar in small bowl and set aside. Combine chicken, cooked pasta, beans, olives, and tomatoes in large bowl. Add dressing and frozen corn about 20 minutes before serving. Be sure to toss again just before serving, as the dressing will seep to the bottom.
Posted by Erin at 7:28 AM 11 comments
Labels: beans, chicken, Erin, mexican, pasta, salads

Sour Cream Bananna Pancakes


1 1/2 cups flour (can use half wheat flour)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream (reduced fat is fine)buttermilk, or yogurt
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
2 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas, diced, plus extra for serving
Pure maple syrup
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes. Distribute a rounded tablespoon of bananas on each pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with sliced bananas, butter and maple syrup.
Rated: 5 stars out of 588 Reviews

Low Calorie Creamy Tomato Soup & Rosemary Focaccia bread

Good for you Creamy Tomato Soup
Estimated Cost: $5.50 for four servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (14 ounce) cans Italian style diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups chicken broth or stock
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
3/4 cup evaporated skim milk, or 4 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
chopped fresh basil or parsley for serving
In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add oniion and carrots and saute for five minutes. Stir in garlic and saute an additional minute. Add tomatoes, broth, red pepper flakes, vinegar, and honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. For a creamy soup, transfer to blender and blend, or use an immersion blender directly in the pot. (Immersion blenders are a must have for soup lovers!) Soup can be made up to 2 days ahead of time to this point. Just before serving, add evaporated skim milk (or cream cheese of half and half) to pot. Warm through, but do not boil. Serve immediately with basil or parsley, and hopefully some warm focaccia. Rosemary Focaccia
Estimated Cost: $3.50 for 12 wedges
Notes: My favorite yeast is SAF, which many professional bakeries use. It may not be available at your store, so ask your supermarket baker which yeast they use behind the counter and buy that one. If you get a truly reliable yeast, and you make sure your water isn't too hot, you almost can't fail.
2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (think baby bottle warm)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped, or 1 tablespoon fresh
3 cups flour (I use half whole wheat)
For Top:
2-6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup to 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
additional chopped dried or fresh rosemary
black pepper

In a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar, water, olive oil, pepper, salt, rosemary and half of the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon. (Alternately, if you have a free standing mixer, put in all of the flour and let the machine do the work.) Work in the remaining flour, using your hands and kneading when necessary. Knead dough for five minutes. Cover and let rise for one hour. (The dough can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Cover with saran wrap and store in fridge.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Press dough into a 12 inch circle. Don't worry about being perfect; you're going for rustic Italian here. Press the dough all over with your fingertips to make indentations. Cover dough with olive oil, cheese, rosemary and black pepper. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve. Any leftovers make a killer sandwich for the next day.
Up Next: My New Favorite Dinner
20 minute Toasted Walnut and Garlic Pasta
plus a burning question....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Spinach and Feta Pasta

Spinach and Feta Pasta

8 oz. Penne pasta (if your math brain isn't working right now, that's 1/2 a 16 oz. box; I've used a whole box before and while it was surprisingly not terrible, it wasn't the same. Also, don't use ziti--you want the ridges on the penne to "grip" the sauce)
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
3 c. fresh spinach (you don't even have to chop it! Could life get any better??)
1 onion, finely chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
A handful of fresh mushrooms, chopped
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add pasta. Cook according to package directions. In the meantime, heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and mushrooms and cook until tender. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Add tomatoes, heat through, and then add drained pasta and crumbled feta. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat through and serve; you can crumble a little extra feta on top if you feel the urge. Even my pickiest eater loves this meal, so you really can't go wrong! Oh, and not low-carbing it? Try serving it with Rosemary Focaccia or Garlic Breadsticks.

Serves 8
Nutritional Information
Calories: 186
Fat: 5.3
Fiber: 3.4
WW Points: 3

So tell me...what are your "Oh, crap!" meals?

Flat bread & Hummus

Tuscan Flat Bread

adapted from

1 C lukewarm water (90°F to 100°F)
2 1/4-ounce package dry yeast or two 0.6-ounce packages fresh yeast, crumbled
2 1/2 C (about) all purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon coarse sea salt (you may want to adjust this a bit. The original recipe says tells you to sprinkle 1 Tbs salt on top and not mix it in with the dough. I reduced that to 1/2 Tbs and mixed it in but it’s still a bit salty.)
(I also add a tsp or more of dried rosemary or Italian seasoning)

Pour 1 cup lukewarm water into small bowl; sprinkle with yeast and add 1 tsp sugar. Let stand until yeast mixture becomes spongy.

Add yeast mixture to 2 cups flour, salt and 2 Tbs oil in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix. Add more flour as needed. Remove dough from mixer and knead by hand for a bit. Coat bowl with oil. Add dough; turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand in warm draft-free area until doubled, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Brush baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Punch down dough. Turn out onto floured work surface and shape into 11-inch round. Transfer dough to prepared tart pan or baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic. Let rise until dough is almost doubled, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Press fingertips into dough, creating indentations. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden, about 28 minutes. Cool bread in pan on rack 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan; cool completely.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Press fingertips into dough, creating indentations. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with salt (if desired). Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Cool bread in pan on rack 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan; cool completely.


from the Barefoot Contessa

4 garlic cloves

2 C canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/3 C tahini (sesame paste) Should be able to find this in the ethnic section of your grocery store.

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons water or liquid from the chickpeas

8 dashes hot sauce

Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it’s minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste, for seasoning, and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sock length vs. shoe size conversion chart

Shoe Size to Sock Length Conversion Chart. Total length of sock (including toe) based on US Shoe sizes.


US 5 = 8 5/8"
US 6 = 9"
US 7 = 9 1/4"
US 8 = 9 5/8"
US 9 = 10"
US 10 = 10 1/4"
US 11 = 10 5/8 "
US 12 = 11"
US 13 = 11 1/4"


US 3.5 = 8 1/2"
US 4 = 8 5/8"
US 5 = 9"
US 6 = 9 1/2"
US 7 = 9 3/4"
US 8 = 10"
US 9 = 10 1/2"
US 10 = 10 3/4"
US 11 = 11"
US 12 = 11 1/2"
US 13 = 11 3/4"
US 14 = 12"

Infants & Childrens

US 1 = 3 1/2"
US 2 = 4"
US 3 = 4 1/4"
US 4 = 4 1/2"
US 5 = 5"
US 6 = 5 1/4"
US 7 = 5 1/2"
US 8 = 6"
US 9 = 6 1/4"
US 10 = 6 1/2"
US 11 = 7"
US 12 = 7 1/4"
US 13 = 7 1/2"
US 1 = 7 5/8"
US 2 = 8 1/4"
US 3 = 8 5/8"
US 4 = 9"


Monday, January 19, 2009

Easy Dance and Yoga socks

These are a quick easy knit. Designed to keep the heels and toes open for gripping the mat, these socks are totally functional and fun. It's basically a K2P1 rib with some garter stitching at the opening points. Easy. Feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions. This pattern can also be found on Ravelry.
Easy Peasy Yoga - Pilates Socks

Approximately 80 to 100 yrds of fingering weight sock yarn. The samples are made of Claudia's Hand Painted Yarn in Ingrid's Blues colorway purchased from The Loopy Ewe. Any thicker type sock yarn should work fine.

US size 3 (3.25 mm) dpns or circular needles

Cast on 42 stitches.

Join in round, taking care not to twist stitches.

R1 - Knit all stitches

R2 - Purl all stitches

R3 - Knit all stitches

R4 -Purl all stitches

R5 - Knit all stitches

R6 - Begin K2 P1 rib

R7 through R41 - Continue K2 P1 rib (this was approximately 3.5 inches for me. You may want more or less rows depending on your desired sock size.)

R42 - K2P1 for 21 stitches (this is the top of your sock), K 21 (this is the bottom of your sock)

R43 - K2P1 for 21 stitches (top), P 21 (bottom)

R44 - K2P1 for 21 stitches (top), Cast Off 21 (bottom - I add an extra knitted stitch every 5th stitch for a bit of extra give)

R45 - R46 will be worked back and forth

R45 - Slip 1st stitch. K1P1, K2P1 to end. Turn work.

R46 - Slip 1st stitch. P1K1, P2K1 to end. Turn work.

R47 - Slip 1st stitch. K1P1, K2P1 to end. Cast on 21 stitches. Join in round, taking care not to twist stitches.

R48 - K2P1 for 21 stitches (top of sock); K21 stitches (bottom of sock)

R49 - K2P1 for 21 stitches (top of sock); P21 stitches (bottom of sock)

R50 - K2P1 for 21 stitches (top of sock); K21 stitches (bottom of sock)

R51 - K2P1 all stitches.

R52- R86 - Continue in K2P1 pattern. This is the point to add more rows of the K2P1 pattern if you wish a longer top to your sock.

R87 - K all stitches

R88 - P all stitches

R89 - K all stitches

R90 - Bind off loosely. For a bit more give, I place an extra knit stitch every 6th bind off stitch.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Breakfast quiche

Mini Breakfast Quiches

4 eggs
1 C egg substitute*
3/4 C shredded low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 C cottage cheese
5 oz frozen spinach (that's half a standard frozen box)
1/3 C roasted red peppers, diced (jarred, or make your own)
1 oz finely diced ham, canadian bacon, or crumbled bacon (about 1/4-1/3 C)
1/4 C finely diced onions
1/4 t kosher salt
1/8 t black pepper
1/2 t hot sauce
hot sauce

foil muffin tin liners

*1/4 egg substitute = 1 whole egg, so if you're using all eggs, or some eggs and some egg whites, you can adjust accordingly.

Preheat oven to 350

Thaw spinach (you can nuke it in the microwave) and squeeze out all the liquid. Putting it in a clean kitchen towl and ringing the heck out of it works well. After it's drained of all the liquid, give it a rough chop.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well.

Place foil cupcake liners in the muffin tins and spray with cooking spray. Don't forget this step! And yes, they really do need to be the foil ones. If you have a silicone muffin pan, those work great and you don't need to line them. My silicone pan makes them taste like soap, so I don't go there. As you're dividing the egg mixture into the muffin cups make sure to keep stirring it so all of the ingredients are well-dispersed. My pan takes about 1/4 C in each hole and it fills them up perfectly. You want them to fill right up to the top.

Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. The tops should be just barely set on top. Over-baked eggs get tough and spongy so don't do that! They'll puff up while baking and then sink down when cooled. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge, or freeze them. When reheating in the microwave, make sure to take off the foil liner! And if you're reheating from frozen, I try to take them out the night before so they can thaw in the fridge. Then when you microwave them, set them on a folded paper towel to drain excess moisture.

Eat them alone, or for a well-rounded breakfast crumble on top of a piece of whole grain toast along with a glass of milk and a piece of fruit. Makes 12.

Nutritional information for 1 mini-quiche:

83 Calories, 7.5 g Protien, 3 g fat
2 Weight Watchers Points
Southbeach Diet Phase 1

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Frozen Butter Brickle Pie

Frozen Butter Brickle Pie

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers)
3 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
Butter Brickle:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup oats
1/3 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup butter
8oz cream cheese, softened (I used light)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
12oz Cool Whip
1/3-1/2 cup of caramel ice cream topping

For crust, mix crumbs, sugar and butter. Press into 2 pie plates. Bake at 350 for 6 minutes; cool.
For brickle, combine all ingredients till crumbly and pat into a 9x13" pan. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or till light brown. Remove from oven and crumble. Cool completely.
For filling, Beat cream cheese till fluffy; gradually beat in milk. Fold in Cool Whip.
To assemble pies, spread half of the filling in the two pie crusts (a fourth of the mixture in each.) Sprinkle with half of the crumbs. Drizzle with half of the caramel. Repeat the filling and crumb layers. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving and drizzle remaining caramel over the top.

-Makes two 9" pies or 1 springform pan

-This can also be made in a springform pan, it just takes longer to freeze.
-I used pecans, but you can use any nuts you like.
-I like to drizzle the caramel over the individual slices, I think it makes for a prettier presentation

Monday, January 12, 2009

Super moist chocolate bundt cake

Super Moist Chocolate Bundt Cake
submitted by Melanie Christensen

1 devils food cake mix
1 -4 serving instant chocolate pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
½ cup warm water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Place all ingredients except chocolate chips, in a large mixing bowl. Blend with electric mixer 1 minute.
Stir down sides. Continue to mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.
Bake 45-50 minutes at 350. Cool 20 minutes. Invert onto serving platter.

8 Tbsp butter (not margarine)
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/3 cup evaporated milk (I used 2%-it worked great)
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk in cocoa and milk. Bring mixture just to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Beat in powdered sugar with electric mixer until thickened and smooth. Pour warm frosting over warm cake. This recipe makes a lot of frosting.